Dear Diary….first ever dragon fight—impressive??

Digging through my pack (and the bag of holding) I realized I have a potion of heroism (it might be from the sticky cloth that makes a storage hole, but I’m not sure…). According to Ezekiel and Lydia, it makes you stronger and tougher, and “unlocks” something-something-lets you attack more efficiently, or something.

Bottom line, I gave it to Elmo, in case he judges it would be useful. (I mean after all, he chopped a giant in half last battle, and I barely did anything. Besides, Heiron and I are planning to go in with our bows, and more muscle wouldn’t really help us there – except maybe break the bowstring by accident (which would not be helping).)

Ezekiel says we’re heading into the Air Node tomorrow…

****

Arrived safely at Taki’s old campsite and set up the fortress. (Forgot to ask how he was doing last time we were in town…maybe Raven has heard from him??)

Lydia “set” the portal inside the fortress, and then stepped through. Hope no slimes find it while we’re gone — that would be awkward.

Ez cast his “Endure Cold” spell on her — he says it should last several hours, so even if the dragons get the jump on us, she should be protected (not just because she’s a girl, but because she has the best chance of any of us to toast the enemy with one gesture – and rescue our bacon if need be).

Heading out to follow the wall of the main ravine now…heading “south.”

**

[rough sketch]

Boring, boring, boring caves. Even Elmo can’t find traces of anybody/thing living here – or at least not recently. There sure is a lot of room back in here…you could house an army (though I don’t know why you’d want to, in here).

We did find something interesting, in one of the caves tucked at the southern end of the canyon: a faintly glowing triangle, drawn on the floor. So now we don’t have to trek to the Water Node to travel to the Earth Node.

**

Finally found a ridge that led us up to a plateau overlooking the ravine, and the last couple caves that we haven’t mapped.

Ezekiel “warded” us from cold as we came up the ridge…and then there wasn’t anything up here.

If we tie all the ropes together, I think we can climb down the cliff-face faster than walking the long way down the ridge (Raven says, “Especially with Elwyn’s short legs,” but I know I’d never land a hit on him). Maybe we can reach the cave at the cliff foot before these shorter spells wear off.

**

Well, it was in the last cave…the very last cave. Because naturally.

As we were about to enter, we noticed a huge pile of lizard-like dung – splatted, as though it had landed there front a great hight, and at great speed.

With that indication, we passed around a flask of invisibility potion, and entered as quietly as we Ezekiel could.

The first dragon swooped toward us from a crag high in the cave wall ahead of us…(contrary to the squat little burrows we’d spent the morning in, this cavern was expansive and high-ceilinged.) I don’t think it could see us, but it might have been coming forward to investigate the sounds of clanking armor.

Heiron got his shot off first – and winged it so that it shimmied away from my shot.

Mikael lit it up with faery fire, and Lydia gestured – and the dragon yelped and skewed into the ground, its body popping and smoldering.

Two more dragons broke from the shadows and charged us. One of them was comparatively small…I must have landed an arrow in a chink between its scales or something, because it flipped over and fell dead almost before I saw it.

The final dragon was almost our undoing. It gave a roar of rage, and blew icy breath all over us.

Raven jumped behind Lydia. Ezekiel and Elmo got their arms up to shield their faces or something, and of course Mikael was wearing the Ring of Warmth.

For Heiron and I – it was like diving into an ice-locked lake…naked. Ezekiel has told me about some people, way up in the mountains, who play a game like that in winter: you sit in a room full of fire and water, then run and jump into the icy water. Some people don’t have their heads on quite right.

Heiron still managed to draw his bow without his fingers falling off – and nailed the last dragon through the throat.

Ezekiel and Mikael came around, giving everyone magical anti-frostbite, and the battle was over.

So I don’t know what to make of my first encounter with dragons. On the one hand, they went out like punks…and on the other hand, if Ezekiel had been a little slower putting his hand on me, I think I might have shattered when I tipped over and hit the ground. I’m only just now getting the feeling back in my fingers, as I write this.

(I NEED to find a way where Heiron stops almost dying all the time. Like better armor, or more dodging practice, or something. I’ve told him it won’t do…his arm is all scarred up from the giants’ boulders, and now he’s nursing frostbite. If he weren’t such a teddybear, he’d up and quit on me.)

We explored the rest of the cave, and found the dragons’ treasure stash. Mostly money, with a couple magic goodies – including a short composite bow. Now I have an excuse to practice short bow.

We also followed a ramp along the side of the cavern and found a little cave with the eight-sided fire symbol glowing on the floor…which means we now have entrances to all three of the other nodes, once we’re ready for them. As Ezekiel would be quick to point out, we also want to find the magic gems for all of them…but one thing at a time.

While the others check out the potion, scroll, and wand we found, “some” of us are gonna try skinning dragon! Elmo says we should have a race. I’m not sure I want to lose at something else today.


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