After the fight with ReSet we then immediately had an encounter with the Dragon, we had barely gotten our breath back, and off in the east we saw an ominous black speck that was getting bigger by the second. It’s coming as inexorable as winter. As it got closer we slowly felt the presence of the Dragon, like a blot on our minds, fear slowly turning our insides to water. It screamed out a challenge, which fully spooked the horses, but Xerx’ses somehow kept them under control, which is more than I can say about my bladder. It got close enough for us too look at it in all of it’s terrible majesty, from its sleek black protective scales, to its 2 foot long claws and its palpable magic aura it was a honed and sharpened killing machine. It soared down towards us with murder in its eyes.
Then turned around and flew away.
I kid you not, the damn thing just turned around a flew back the way it came and was going to make us chase it down. So much for the inexorableness of winter. Since when do you have to chase down winter, this brought to mind a song I had heard in a tavern about a brave knight turning and running away. Then I noticed that I had started babbling in relief, but I wasn’t talking to the whole group. It looked like Asher had been scared out of his mind by the thing, and I mean out of his mind, he jumped out of the wagon and started chasing the damned thing by himself, that was curious enough but Raulf then immediately took off after him, crazy seemed to be contagious as I then fleeted myself, then muttered something unintelligible to Xerx’ses and took off after them. I got close enough to land a carpet of Adhesion on the Kobold, sticking him to Raulf, but then the little bugger disappeared, not invisible, but teleported. Raulf took off after him flat chat, there was no way I was going to keep up to him so I went for a few miles to see if Raulf caught up with him, but he didn’t, so I went back to the wagon and informed Burlap, Ja’Deir and Xerx’ses what had happened, then cleaned myself up, as I was still a mess from fighting reset. The wagon kept on moving on, except we were short 2 members. Eventually we got to a crossroad, but as our tracker had left us We had no idea which way either of our missing party members had gone, or even if they had made it this far, so we followed the map and continued on our way towards Fort Ac.
As we slowly made our way to Fort Ac I started to get a bad feeling about this whole thing. Raulf, our fighter extraordinaire was missing. Our hard hitting mystic was missing, how could this get any worse, and I immediately told myself of for even thinking that. The horses started to get a little uncontrollable again, but Xerx’ses still controlled them easily, and off in the distance we heard the Roar of a dragon, capital R and everything. The R in a dragon roar should always be capitalised if you ask me, why, go listen to a Dragon Roar and then tell me you don’t think so.
We left the wagon behind and hurried up towards the noise, when we got close we say the dragon, and it seemed to be acting strangely, it was chewing, and a familiar kobold arm dropped out of its mouth and fell to the ground. I stared in disbelief, the Dragon had killed Asher, the bastard.
After that it was on.
I prepared for the fight of my life, the Woolly Dragon was basically a beast, but this Dragon had a cold calculating mind, this fight was going to take forever if we were going to win it so we had to be very careful, luckily we had cast our helping spells one the way so we were quick an hard, not that I had any illusions about the way this fight was likely to go, Oathbringer was in my hand, whispering tips on fighting a Dragon, Xerx’ses looked all serious as he moved to set his plan into action. Even happy go lucky Ja’deir’s face had what I think was the most serious mien I had ever seen. Burlap however was grinning a vicious grin to match the dragon, and I watched in stunned amazement as a Hugomungous anvil fell out of the sky, clunked the dragon on the head and knocked it unconscious. Who throws an anvil, really !!!
3 seconds in and the dragon was unconscious, not dead but unconscious, and being as tough as it was it wouldn’t probably take much to wake it. Xerx’ses moved in with the same spell I did, except that his seemed to fail, but luckily mine didn’t, I then stuck my dagger to the shoulder joint of the dragon with the carpet of adhesion and increased the weight of the dagger to over a ton. That should stop him from flying when he wakes up, apparently a ton of weight on your shoulder is enough to wake you up and the dragon woke up, only to be struck from behind by a Kamikaze Killer squirrel. Ja’Deir glided through the air like a ballerina on ice, except that this ballerina had a glowing sword in his hands that wasn’t there a second ago, and he plunged that sword into the dragon, there was a soundless explosion of power and the Dragon shuddered and screamed, whatever Ja’deir had done had hurt it, badly. This was when I noticed the Dragon had a cloaked figure on its back, and it looked like this figure was trying to ride it.
Great, another enemy to fight was about all I got to think before the figure started punching, yes punching its way through the dragons scales in an effort to pull the dragons skeleton out through its nose or something, and he was looking more successful then I would have ever imagined. Also, apparently Oathbringer likes the taste of Dragon, and smashed into him time and time again, shattering scales, skin and sinew. The Dragon looked as surprised as I was about the beating it was getting, until it shuddered again as Ja’Deir poked it again with his glowing sword and it decided discretion was the better part of valour and Disappeared. This enraged me as it had killed a friend and had run away in the way I had no chance of stopping. The mysterious stranger on his back had went with him, I said a prayer for him and just sat down. Happiness that we won, sadness and rage about Asher flowing through me. Coming out of a cave I saw a mostly naked Raulf fighting Kobolds, apparently the Paladins code allows, or even encourages fighting dragons naked and weapon less. I stood about, about to swear an oath to hunt the dragon down a slay it for its crimes and suddenly it reappeared. Oathbringer snapped upo to my hand and my friends all moved back into fighting stances wearily. Even though the fight had only lasted fifteen seconds it felt like it had taken all day, and it showed in the fatigue and grief we all wore apparent on our faces.
The Dragon then said hold mortals, you have bested me in fair combat. I actually then interrupted the Dragon like I had a deathwish, as we were all drained by what happened and I said “You killed a friend, the only place you are going to is hell”. The Dragon then said “your friend fought bravely and honourably, I will return to you some of his things, and I shall leave this place and never return”. I almost shouted out loud “That is not enough, you will pay for eating Asher” and brought my weapon up, but Xerx’ses had a cooler head and pointed out how spent we were, another round or two with the dragon would likely have more casualties. We eventually came to the following bargain, The dragon would leave this world and not return for 1000 years, would return what he could of Asher’s gear and we would never see him again. He signed this contract, returned what he could (apparently a Dragons digestive tract is very efficient) and then left. I then lay down again, feeling even more drained by the feeling that somehow I had betrayed Asher, but people were injured and I got up and spread Her Lady Isis’s healing power through the group. Thinking back on Asher’s actions and how the Dragon acted after we fought I somehow feel that we are missing a part of what happened, I wonder if Asher made some sort of gambit to weaken the Dragon, that might explain how it went to so easily, or maybe he made some sort of bargain with the Dragon to try and save the rest of us. We will never know. All I do know is he fought bravely for the Light, and will be missed.
Then we got a message, the world had turned to fire, the war that I had been warning about had now truly started. Unrest will now be the norm, I now understand what my father was trying to show me a few days ago, that even the farmer and peasants had picked that trouble was coming
The day Asher died by Indaris Excellar,