This morning we patched ourselves up and headed back into the Fire Node…no playing with demons this time.
[sketch of map]
We started exploring the southern corridors, not finding much of anything…until Tressarian and I were scanning an empty room for magic and stuff, and a loud scraping noise came down the corridor from the main hallway.
Ezekiel and Mikael took Heiron with them to investigate, and we heard a huge, vibrating voice talking with them.
The rest of us gathered around the doorway, in preparation, and sure enough moments later a blast of hot air (and flickers of flame) shot out past us.
Raven flashed forward with his daggers out, and by the time Tressarian and I got up there, he and Heiron (with his sword Scather) had finished the job.
A red, spiky dragon head lay mangled and blocking the hallway. I thought they were supposed to be the scariest ones, but thanks to our rings of fire protection, it was still a pretty lame dragon fight.
Ezekiel started pulling empty bottles from his pack and filling them with dragon blood, and Lydia handed through a little crate full of more…apparently dragon blood is useful for something…
Elmo collected some steaks; he says you can eat just about anything. I’m not sure how I feel about that, since the dragon could talk after all, but as Elmo says, I’m the one who spent an hour skinning the whole thing, so there you go.
Mikael was kinda grumpy at Ezekiel — he says they should have kept the dragon talking until the rest of us came up to help. Ezekiel says he couldn’t stand there and let the dragon reminisce about savoring the anguish of its victims, but I’ve heard him tell the story of blasting the half-demon to dust…several times. And that only happened yesterday.
All’s well that ends well, I guess, though we had to pile the pieces of skin into the fortress to carry it all (and it made groaning noises when we shrank it that I don’t like). Heiron’s bowstring got burned up, but Elmo helped him with a spare.
[sketch of map]
We did some more exploring without finding much interesting (although we killed a toad that spit fireballs, so that was different). Also killed some more fire elementals, which Tressarian is happy about, since we “didn’t save the dragon” for him. Oh, also fought one of those squishy, brain-looking things with the tentacles…Mikael and Raven killed that.
Things got a little more interesting when we found rooms that looked like giant quarters. Elmo says they reeked of giant, but I still can’t smell anything but dragon. (Maybe go swimming later?)
The rooms were pretty picked-over – dirty bedding and scraps and the like – but we did find a huge sword – longer than Elmo or even Mikael! – that was only sharp on one edge for some reason, and had no point! Tres says it’s magical, which makes sense when it’s all covered over with filigree and way lighter than it should be, but it still looks impractical. It didn’t radiate Evil, so we took it to examine later.
We were about ready to move on when the door at the end of the corridor opened, and something DARK stepped through. It seemed like those fiery figures of the fire elementals, vaguely humanoid, only it was on DARKNESS instead of on fire…so I covered my eyes with my shield and asked Ezekiel if this was the thing we were supposed to leave to him.
Ezekiel hefted his mace and clank-clanked forward, and after a few “have at you”s and “begone foul fiend”s we heard a croak, and a zap, and I’m pretty sure purple lightening reflected off the corridor walls for a split-second.
When we all peeked again, Ezekiel stood victorious over a pile of dust, and the runes on his mace were glowing. He seems really excited, so that’s good. It’s been a good couple of days for Ezekiel getting to do stuff.
Mikael got to use his stone-to-mud spell, too…on a door that none of us could seem to budge (a lot of the doors have trouble…maybe it comes from being made of stone?). Inside we found a magic tiara, but none of us could figure out anything more than that (it didn’t have emblems that any of us recognized) so Ezekiel put it in his “presents for Lydia” stash.
At long last, we tracked down the dragon’s lair (Elmo says it smelled strongly, but again, everything has smelled more or less like dragon all day).
The dragon even had a hoard – which we checked for magic and Evil (all safe and normal) – and which we just barely fit into the portable hole. At that point, we agreed all our baggage capacity was full up, so we drew the circle and let Lydia guide us back home.
We have a lot of math to do…
Disappointing about the sword and tiara. Don’t know what the tiara’s made of, but Lydia snapped it with her fingers. She thinks it has something to do with a magician named Nystal, who could make things look magical when they really weren’t (Tressarian disgruntled).
Raven pointed out the sword was almost twice as tall as I was (though he didn’t need to say that so loudly) so Elmo went to try it out in the backyard. He says it’s got a nice swing, and seems really intuitive…but he can’t make it do more than nicks or small scrapes, no matter how much power he puts behind the swing. Maybe it’s whatever it’s made of, but the sword almost seems to bounce back. Raven says it could be useful for teaching his disciples the muscle memory needed to swing a sword, without the danger of them hurting each other badly (though, again, it’s like eight feet long!).
We were all standing around discussing it, when Heiron asked hadn’t we seen that sword before? With the young lady in Greyhawk who kept telling people, “I’m a Barbarian!”?
It certainly looks a lot like her sword (though to be honest, the whole group was a bit overwhelming, and it’s hard to remember exactly). As we told Heiron, this is why you wear armor that actually covers you! Can’t imagine how those girls ended up in the Fire Node…but I can’t imagine it being a pretty story.
Raven says there’s a chance they’re still alive in there…I’m not sure I’m prepared to face that.
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