Kingdom of Aeristine

I'm Dreaming of a White... Dragon?

wherein we save the city

Deacon’s log, astrological date 12/1/13

So it’s been snowing heavily and we’re running out of heating oil. We decided to head to the riverfront market to load up on winter provisions. Along the way, I paused to disrobe and make naked snow angels in homage to Ronan, who had seen fit to bless me with resistance to the cold. Later in the market as we were minding our own business, haggling over smuggled dwarven ale, the snow picked up to blizzard-like conditions. Suddenly out of nowhere, three young white dragons thumped down into the center of the market square! The crowd screamed in unison as I quickly ducked behind a wagon, muttering a prayer to send a message to Stefan, who had stayed behind in our house. We would need his courage for this!

Most of the city guard fled in terror, but I observed a couple of stalwart fellows striding forward. Their bravery was commendable, although I did notice a dark stain spreading down their pant legs as they advanced. One of the dragons lashed out a claw, disemboweling some poor townsman who had been supervising a group of kids at play. As it reared back, preparing to chomp down on its first victim, quick thinking Blake the Decanter summoned a web in it’s maw, gumming it’s jaws shut! It shook it’s head in surprise, but then just sucked air in through its nostrils, and released a frigid blast of breath that froze the webbing and violently ejected it in crystallized shards which, tragically, tore into several of the crying children.

Now Kalli had seen enough of these monsters’ wanton destruction. She brandished her blades and charged full on into the second dragon’s flank, carving through it’s hard scales with sheer rage. I too was livid, as I summoned forth a blade of pure holy fire and advanced (a bit more cautiously) on the third dragon.

Three guards leveled their spears and charged the first dragon in anger, after it snapped up a frozen child, tossed her into the air, and swallowed her whole like a dog might snap up a lump of gristle. One of the guards’ spears even found purchase between the beast’s scales – that got it’s attention! The dragon whirled its tail around, smacking the offending guard across the square where he crashed into a merchant’s tent.

Meanwhile I could see Raynard steal into another tent adjacent to the third dragon I was approaching. Surmising his plan, I began to taunt the beast with slanderous insults about its mother while waving my flaming sword in order to distract it. It worked! The sneaky rogue plunged his blade deep into the dragon’s underside, catching it by surprise. I then charged forward swinging, but the beast pivoted away, now dancing around the rogue with the thorn in its side.

The second dragon was now in shock from the trauma of Kalli’s onslaught, and she viciously clambered up the thing’s back, stabbing into it for handholds. As it staggered to it’s knees, she continued her butcher work, eventually literally scissoring off it’s head! A couple guardsmen cautiously approached once it stoped moving, poking at it with their spears as Kalli strode away.

Finally Stefan came lumbering up one of the paths, shouldering aside a handful of trembling guardsmen, but hesitated as a massive fireball detonated on top of the first dragon, igniting several tents, knocking back the brave guards, and blasting shards of frozen children in every direction! More of Blake’s work, but also now Hrolf leapt up from the snow to to hurl a flaming axe, which impacted into a frozen townswoman. (I assume he was aiming at the dragon). Shaking off the fireball, and clearly not happy, this first dragon now reared back, drawing breath once again… and blows out a freezing cone of air, catching Blake as well as Kalli and the two guards in her wake!

Raynard was now nimbly engaged in a dance with death with the third dragon, but eventually a claw caught him off-guard and disrupted his flow long enough for the dragon to bite down, catching the Black Fox halfway in his mouth! I saw the poor rogue go slack, as he passed out from the pain and trauma, but just then is when Stafan came raging in, cleaving off one of the dragon’s feet with a mighty axe blow. It dropped Raynard and fell to its side, hissing and bleeding to death from it’s guts and arm-stump. I dropped my flame blade, darted in and grabbed the unconscious rogue, dragging him behind a tent to pray for his survival.

Kalli now shook off the frost and ice and roared a challenge to the last dragon, which roared back (bitchily if I may say so). But just then, the sky darkened, and the massive form of an elder dragon crashed down into the center of the square, flattening an entire row of merchant stalls. It was their mother! (I hoped she hadn’t heard my insults.)

In the brief second of stunned silence, Blake took the last young dragon in the face with a second fireball. It fell to the ground charred and unmoving, and all turned to face this new, greater threat. Hrolf was the first to advance, trundling forward to smack the mama with his little mace. It pivoted, looked down disapprovingly, and bowled the dwarf over with a casual tail swipe. In one fluid motion, it also buffeted Kalli away with a mighty wing swipe, while impaling Blake with a claw and raising him up to her face, to inspect this puny creature that had just murdered her child right in front of her. After a second, she chomped down ferociously on him, nearly tearing the poor bard in half before dropping his eviscerated body to the snow!

Stefan now swung into action, charging in from behind and boldly hacking at her nether regions. Kalli staggered to her feet and flailed dizzily and feebly before regaining her composure.

Seeing the carnage, and reassured that Raynard was beginning to stir, I drew a special vial from my pockets, lurched up, and began sprinting toward the mother dragon to aid my overwhelmed comrades. I vaulted over wrecked wagon debris, dove, and slid through the bloody snow to Blake’s crumpled form. Heedless of the danger looming overhead, I immediately began to slather his gaping wounds with that miraculous Keoghton’s Ointment I had previously procured, and, as advertised, the severed flesh indeed began to knit back together. I then wrapped him in my Towel +1 from Ignax’s Bath House, and used it as a sling/stretcher to drag him away from the thrashing dragon.

Just in time too, for then the dragon let loose a freezing blast of breath straight down onto Stafan (and where we would have been), encasing the mighty warrior in ice. Raynard was rising to his feet across the square, and now raised his bow and loosed an arrow at the mother, only to see it bounce off, though it distracted her for a second. Kalli, having now regained her balance, strode forward once again, slashing at the mama’s leg. The ice couldn’t keep Stefan incapacitated for long – he quickly flexed his muscles to fracture the ice, and shook it off in anger, bursting forth to leap up and hack at her maw.

In the face of this renewed assault, the mother dragon hunched down and then launched herself upward into the air! But Kalli was too quick – she had stabbed into the dragon’s underbelly, pulling out an entrail and hanging on for the ascent, during which she continued to plunge a blade into the dragon’s guts as they rose. The rest of us could only watch the winged form pirouette across the sky, over a row of buildings, and eventually plunge into the nearby river. Kalli had been victorious!

We would later learn that Kalli had almost drowned in the river, wearing all that armor. But the river guards had seen what happened, and sent a rowboat out to pick her up and bring her, bedraggled, back to shore.

Back in the market, curious townfolk began reappearing. I calmed them down and started leading a prayer of benediction for the dead children, townsfolk, and guards, to help shepherd their spirits into the afterlife. Meanwhile, a bumpkin named Dorvin (who operates a warehouse called The Ice House) sidled up and offered Blake $10,000 gold per dragon corpse, but he refused, although he finally consented to sell two for $26,000; and we kept the third and decided to keep the big mother’s corpse as well. Kalli plans to make a bed out of her skull, and armor from her hide. We will stuff the young one for our bar. We decided also to use some of the proceeds to set up a fund for the families of the dragons’ victims.

Later, we went off to the fighting pits to find Hef the Minotaur, and deal with his rotund owner. While there, a guard captain found us, and handed us badges for entry to a celebration that was to be held in our honor. In preparation for this event, we also found an artisan to make a present for the Duke out of dragon scales. We then went home to get cleaned up and don our formal wear. A crowd had gathered around our house to cheer for us. I took the opportunity to distribute pamphlets proclaiming the good news of Ronan’s salvation.

Finally, we were all fancied up and went to the ball! A carriage with 6 white horses conveyed us there, where the Duke gave an elegant speech in our honor, and proclaimed us High Citizens. We presented him with our dragonscale token, and he offered each of us a boon of our choice. I requested the construction of a megachurch for the greater glory of Ronan. Hrolf, wary of perpetuating the stereotype that “dwarves just like gold,” asked for item enchantments. Blake asked for admission of the College of Wizardry. Raynard asked for admission to Law School. Stefan, so decisive in battle, was apparently made completely indecisive in the face of nobility, and after much hemming and hawing simply asked for an I.O.U. (later, he would settle on commissioning the fabrication from mithril of a suit of platemail). Kalli offered a rare glimpse back to her former selfless days as a paladin when she asked for freedom for Hef the Minotaur – and at this time his fat owner in the crowd could be heard whining “I PROTEST, THESE SCALLYWAGS!” As Kalli’s eyes got moist, the Duke voided the repulsive man’s ownership and commanded him to be put in the stocks. It was truly a storybook ending.



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