Brut struggled to pronounce the glyph before him. What was it with dwarves and having 8 different glyphs that all sounded like the flu? He couldn't muster the guttural throat call, and normally it wouldn't be an issue, but he thought perhaps the secret to this cipher was a homophone or pun. He'd need the help of a native speaker.
Just as important, perhaps more, he needed to convince his captors/crewmates that he was valuable, even if he needed more time. He would lead them to Thundertree- Clearly Seneca had chosen him for his knowledge of the region to the East, and Thundertree was on the way to the East, so it seemed a safe direction to take the ship. Even if the truth was that he couldn't make heads or tails of this document.
Besides, robbing a Drake's gold-horde seemed like the sort of thing these powerful, amoral, loot hungry pirates would enjoy doing.
Not long after coming ashore, the party had excellent indication that they were, in fact, near something worth taking. Robed worshipers stood fast in the road, decked out in draconic regalia and toting banners that depicted a green, winged beast. Some droned, some chanted, and their leader proclaimed:
"BEWARE! Walk not through the-"
It remains unclear what the Cultist had intended to have come out of his mouth next. What was clear, however, was Ka'Ara's Frost Axe, cutting through jaw and cheek and skull. What followed was also an unambiguous; The Cultists were about as good at fleeing as they were at fighting. That is to say, 'Not very'.
The Wyrven Cultists had relied more on their Patron Beast, their inconvenient locale, and their foreboding Mystique than they had on any combat proficiency. When the course of the engagement became clear, the bravest among them began carving a crude sigil into his chest, muttering some Draconic enchantment.
As the party approached to finish off stragglers, the carved cultist exposed his artwork, proclaiming that "Venomfang will have his due!". Despite the hail of arrows and blades, the cultist triggered his enchantment. He erupted into a spray of ghoulish acid, indiscriminately coating things as far as ten meters away. The-jelly-formerly-known-as-cultist clung to armor and skin, burning as it slowly dripped off.
The acid damaged not just the adventurers, it made the remaining cultist bodies unrecognizable. It was unclear which leathery bits had been leather, and which had recently been human skin. One thing remained unaffected by the reagent, however; A barrel coated with some sort of sheen which, presumably, interfered with the bile. The party considered it part of their haul- The first part of many, they hoped.
Having eliminated all the cultists, the party had free reign over the remains of the village. They passed crumbled cottages and merchant stands obscured by overgrown brambles. Much of the area was in disarray. Only two of the dozen structures seemed to be in regular use. An old church and a grand tower.
The church had been mostly converted into a barracks, footlockers of cheap clothing and uncomfortable bunkbeds sat between the rows of pews. Sheets had been hung to offer a modicum of privacy, but they were so threadbare that it was mostly the thought that counted.
Atop the pulpit, propped up by a custom made stand, an exquisite Dragon Mask was on prominent display, watching any would-be occupants closely. Naturally and without hesitation, Ka'Ara strapped the visage to her face. Looking through the dragons eyes, she saw ghostly auras of different colors, shapes, and distances. It took a few minutes to figure out that it wasn't just a blur of pretty colors. There was a consistent gold column in the distance, and three glowing white ripples nearby. Examining her Frost Axe produced a fierce blue-green.
The mask showed the user the shape and nature of magically charged items, including gold. It did not, however reveal anything else- Making furniture and walls invisible, and walking impractical. Ka'Ara used it to point out that the barrel they had collected had mellow glow to it, as did some nearby flasks.
But none of that was important, because Ka'Ara was pretty sure that whatever the distant gold column turned out to be, it'd be worth stealing. Collecting the loot, the party departed the church and ventured down the only well worn path. Signs at intersections indicated they were toward a well, but when they got to the promised location they saw a tower, standing ten meters tall. Using the newly acquired Mask of Detect Magic, the party was able to piece together the story.
Long ago, someone (or something) must have decided to use the local well to store their gold. As their horde grew, higher and higher, they built the tower around the well. Both were packed full, from side to side, with gold. Other colors, too, peered through, indicating magical items mixed in.
After some significant miscommunication, frustration, trial, and error, Ka'Ara finally managed to secure a rope to the top of the tower after ascending it herself with her Slippers of Spider Climbing. The others climbed up and peered over to see a large complication between them and the loot- A massive, sleeping, Green Wyvern.
Brut and Ka'Ara descended stealthily, as Persephone and Lupe remained on the tower ledge with their ranged weapons. They hoped a coordinated strike might end the beast quickly and without complication, and they made a valiant effort. But as the first coordinated volley struck the Wyvern, its eyes snapped open.
It hissed and spit corrosive and poisonous globules in response to the arrows and magic above. It snatched up the melee fighters, holding one in each leg, spread its wings, and dove. The tower was as much filled with a swampy marsh of muddy water as it was with gold, and the Wyvern tore through it, pulling the adventurers into the depths.
Persephone and Lupe were concerned, arguing about what to do, but neither Brut nor Ka'Ara were. They held on tight as the Wyrven dragged them through the gold and upstream to the water's source. As the water cleared, the two fighters saw each other, surprisingly calm, all things considered. Brut grasped his Trident of Water Breathing, and Ka'Ara channeled her Storm Herald nature.
The Wyrven had no advantage here.
It struggled to shake off its unhappy riders, or at least their weapons. Failing to do so, it surfaced, not far from the tower, and soared into the air. It hoped to bring its attackers to great heights, so that at least in death it could kill them by falling. Unfortunately for it, however, there was just not enough life left in them.
The Wyvern shuddered its wings in a mighty flap, then another, then the last would ever manage. It careened this way and that, but continued its descent, until finally crumpling into the ground. Somewhat shaken, but not much worse for wear, the two adventurers dismounted the beast and reconvened with their party members.