(If you’re reading the original edition, this is Chapter 14.)
So yeah … the party found dragon eggs. Good for them.
The good news is that a) the eggs are healthy, and b) they’re curing Marlin’s water sickness. Also, they’re sea dragon eggs, so I guess all the sea dragon riders can finally get dragons of their very own. The bad news is that Emily may need to use the eggs’ magic to cure the water sickness, but she doesn’t want to do that because killing unborn dragons is a Bad Thing.
However, someone else thinks that killing unborn dragons and taking their magic is a Good Thing. And by “someone else”, I mean Miranda, the new party member that just appeared out of nowhere. You see, Miranda mind raped everyone into forgetting that she was still a party member, and then followed the party into the Crystal Caves to get the eggs. Also, she has Tasha’s phone, which she obtained when she captured Tasha. Oh, and look — Tasha is with Miranda, too! How convenient.
Kara demands that Miranda let Tasha go, but Miranda decides to use Tasha as a human (goblin?) shield instead. Adriane fires a Magic Missile near Miranda, but this has the unintended effect of making one of the eggs crack! Turns out that sea dragon eggs are super sensitive to magic, and will hatch when they detect strong sources of magic.
Miranda then drops a major reveal on the party: she’s the Dark Sorceress, and she was once a member of a party similar to our heroes’ party. Okay, that’s not a major reveal if you’re reading the new edition, but this was hella shocking when I was reading the original edition. She claims that her friends betrayed her, and the Fairimentals left her with nothing. So she taught herself magic, and now takes whatever magic she wants. Also, she and the Original Party created the Power Crystals by collecting magic, but the Fairimentals hid the Power Crystals so that the current party would be the only ones who could find them.
Zach wonders what happened to the rest of the Original Party. This prompts the Dark Sorceress to drop yet another bombshell: Zach’s parents used to practice the dark arts! This really pisses off Zach.
The Sorceress then admits that she nearly turned Aldenmor into a magical nuclear wasteland because she tried to regain the magic the Fairimentals “stole” from her. In the new edition, she also challenges the party’s knowledge of magic:
“You think you know what using magic is about? Magic will change you and everything you touch. The only way forward is through darkness. But you know that, don’t you, healer?”
Emily flinched. One will see in darkness.
The Sorceress tries to convince the party that having the Spider Witch reweave the Magic Web is bad news for everyone, and then tells Emily that her magic weaving powers may be stronger than the Spider Witch’s.
Suddenly, water rushes into the cave! It turns out that the Sorceress used the tutorial trap to obtain enough magic to complete her own plan! The water then turns into a massive hydra. The Sorceress explains that she needed the Fairimentals to obtain three Power Crystals, and whatever magic Emily gathered, to control Marina, turn her into the water hydra, and corrupt the water elemental magic.
And then the hydra starts smashing eggs and absorbing magic.
Next time: Yep, you guessed it … boss time.