I understand now why Sir Rufus and Master Bern built a tower and fort with their dragon treasure. Dragons collect a lot of treasure!
Maybe these black dragons had more than we expected because there were two of them…or maybe the Earth Node has received more treasure in general, so they had more to capture.
Either way. Lydia came out of the portal to check out the situation – then went back to her room. Ezekiel and Raven cradled the two dragon eggs (where are they going to keep those, I wonder!), and in a few minutes the pile of coins started flowing down through the floor! Apparently Lydia had to get Keom and Ronhass to hold the mirror facing the floor, so the treasure would fall to the ground…but obviously it worked. It got plugged up once or twice with a larger item – there was a suit of scale mail, especially, that tried to go through while turned the wrong way – but we got it unstuck and shoved the whole hoard onto Lydia’s floor.
Once she got the mirror set up right-ways again, we came through, too – since Ezekiel said he was out of spells, and we’d done plenty for today anyway. He and Raven still haven’t completely decided where they’re keeping their baby dragon eggs…I’m really wondering just what they think they’ll do with baby dragons! Those things eat a lot, after all; I remember how much Sgt. Bearington used to eat…and he didn’t leak acid all over the place.
Well, that aside, counting the coins kept us busy all afternoon…especially when someone knocked over one of the stacks and we had to start over.
[page of messy numbers and figures]
We’ve seen quite a lot of gold and expensive things while pillaging the Temple…but I don’t know…this might well be the biggest pile of coins I’ve ever seen in my life!
In addition to money, there was the scale mail (magical), a potion, a ring, and a scroll. We’ll probably divvy them up to whoever needs them most, unless even Ezekiel decides he doesn’t need another spare set of armor, and we can sell it.
About armor – I still had the magic chainmail that I was wearing before in my trunk, so I will wear that when we go back to the dungeon. It’s just common sense…and besides, magic armor isn’t as bulky as you might think, and it’s not that hard to draw a bow in.
Mikael has disappeared to the druid grove. He said he had some “questions,” and I thought maybe he meant about dragons…but it looks like he had more questions than just that. Be nice, though, if he came back with some tips…
Ezekiel has been spending a few days visiting the Chapel of St. Cuthbert. He says he can use their sanctuary font for scrying, and he wanted to catch up with his siblings. Raven went with him, but when they asked me, I preferred to help Lydia and Heiron get the money organized. Spying on all my siblings would take a long time – and besides, I’m sure Father and Mother and Alpheus and Dexter are busy with other things. It’s not like I could pop over to them if they needed help, anyway.
Ezekiel did check in on Lancell, and says he seems to still be in Orlane — he was with the mayor of Orlane, anyway. They were building a house or dedicating a house or something, and he thinks he saw Old Uncle Brian from Ertuli, too (who is not really my uncle, but that’s what everybody called him), so that’s nice.
I also went on patrol with Elmo one day. An area farmer thought some bugbears were setting up a den near him, but from the marks, it looks like they were just passing through – maybe headed toward the hills. If he has any trouble, I hope we can come down and deter them.
Keom and Ronhass are in charge of watching the dragon eggs. Poor little dears.
We head back to the Earth Node as soon as Lydia can get us lined up on the dragons’ bodies.
Earth creatures are ug-ly! We dropped into the dragons’ lair, no trouble — they’d been picked almost clean while we were gone.
We continued down the passageways, and Ezekiel walked right into a beastie that climbed out of the wall. Mikael called it a “xaren” – it was like the xorn we saw earlier, but more so…three tentacle-arms coming off its ball-body, and three eyeballs circling its shark-mouth of teeth – on top of its head! (Mikael pointed out they might not view “up” and “down” the same way we do – since they live in earth, and all.)
Two of these beasties oozed themselves out of the wall, and started gabbering. Ezekiel mumbled some things, and started talking to them: saying, “No, you can’t eat my shield” and things like that.
Next thing we knew, one of them grabbed for his shield, and Mikael waved his hand – bathing them in the sparkly glow of faery fire. Heiron and I let loose, and they finally dropped to the ground, twitching and drooling, the arrows standing out like their weird teeth and limbs.
Ezekiel pointed out they weren’t exactly “Evil”…but we can’t let them eat our gear, either. The dragons’ acid already did that.
We found a couple dead end corridors, then ran across something that I guess is the Earth-version of a roper (the thing that took the wind out of Wonillon). With so many flailing tentacles, it was hard to know what to aim at…although Heiron didn’t seem to have that trouble. Elmo says it’s just as well the thing never grabbed any of us.
Finally fought something that looked a little more “normal.” At the end of a twisty corridor was a larger room, with a dark brown shape flitting in the shadows. We were all on our guard, since we passed a couple more statue-fied people in the corridor, and Ezekiel splashed a vial of holy water over his head and spun one of the prayer-beads on his necklace.
The creature snarled at us, but Raven and Mikael hit it hard – and when I got an arrow through its throat, it flopped over…the arrow fizzling and steaming as it was consumed by acid. I thought, what it the acid burned up the arrow before the creature died? – and then I realized, it would still have a couple holes torn in its throat, so we’d be safe.
Mikael and Elmo think the creature is a dracolisk, and that makes sense to me. It has six legs, like a basilisk, but two wings, like a dragon. And none of us have been turned to stone yet, so maybe it can’t do that…or maybe we’re just lucky.
I have decided acid is one of my least favorite things.
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