Monthly Archives June 2017

A friend indeed…

Our return to Red Larch wasn’t greeted with the sort of hero’s parade that I had been hoping for, but at the very least I got a nice smile and greeting from Kaylesa, although not as much fussing as when I was at death’s door the previous time. Mayhap I should ensure at least a minor flesh wound on each outing. Anyhow, we decided that we would have some of her fine ale, and maybe even attempt some of the food to rebuild our strength for the morrow. While we were so engaged, and I was regaling some of the other patrons with tales and discussions of my derring-do and general heroism in leading and protecting my Amazonian companions, I noticed a lone dwarf sitting in the corner of the bar, nursing a mug of ale with a look of deep distaste and poking nervously at one of the more dubious offerings from the grill outside, which appeared to have been transmuted into some sort of carbon elemental. The dull shimmer of chainmail was obvious under his cloak, his helmet sat on the table next to him and a great Dwarf-axe rested against his pew. These subtle clues let me to suspect that he might possibly be a warrior of some kind, and it seemed from our exploits of the afternoon that while we were a winning combination of quick wits and beauty, it was possible that our small party lacked something in the way of brawn, and as we all known, dwarves are very much focused on that side of development. Having seen him therefore, and shaking off the crowd of admirers for a few seconds, promising to return before any of the young ladies died of a broken heart at my absence, I grabbed a fresh pint of the better ale for him and sidled up to his table and clambered onto the stool. “Morning shorty” I said with my most winning grin, for he was probably only eighteen inches taller than me, and got ready to leap for cover in case he over-reacted in any way. His hand shot out for his axe, but then he realised just who was addressing him, and broke into a broad, but still quite frightening, smile. I proffered the flagon of ale that I had brought across, and assured him that this was the stuff that they reserved for customers who they liked and who insisted on ale that had not already been filtered through several sets of kidneys. He accepted it, and so, feeling safer, I outlined a proposal to him. I explained that we were in need of some muscle and pointed out the other members of my party to him. Since he was a dwarf, I didn’t dwell on the obvious advantages of adventuring with such beautiful companions, their long tresses, the delightful contrast of taut leather and soft skin, the delicate swell… but I digress… and instead dwelt on how hard-working and aggressive they were, which I know are attributes that dwarves value highly. He seemed interested, being somewhat short of ready money like the rest of us, and I offered him a sixth share of everything we found together. Unfortunately, and against expectations, it turned out that he could count higher than three, so we were forced to settle on a fifth of the proceeds of our endeavours. We shook on the deal as partners and I introduced him to the ladies. The rest of the night passed in carousing and general revelry.
The next morning, having found my clothes and my room and freshened up, we decided over something that was loosely described as breakfast that we should return to Lance Rock and have it out with the necromancer for once and for all, boosted in confidence by the presence of the dwarf, Thorg by name, who still wished to accompany us in the cold light of morning. Accordingly, we set out, and within a few hours were back at Lance Rock. Our approach was untroubled, and so I crept silently into the first chamber. It was much as we had left it, save that there was no corpse in the entrance passage now, and no zombies waiting for us in the niche above the entryway. I crept further into the mortuary, to find that there were now but nine bodies in there, not the twelve of before. Three were missing, all skeletal, so I surmised that the necromancer must have raised those three into an unholy semblance of life to act as reinforcements for his depleted hordes. The others now caught up with me – Thorg is slow and noisy unfortunately, but then dwarves and subtlety are rarely bedfellows (indeed dwarves rarely have bedfellows at all or so I have heard it told) – so I continued into the next cavern, which also proved empty. The cavern beyond that containing the chests also proved unchanged, and in climbing to the peep-hole I could see that little of the great cavern beyond could be seen, and that that could be seen, while still lit by flickering torches, contained nothing of interest.
Returning therefore to my more sluggish and noisy companions, I therefore boldly, yet silently and invisibly crept into the main cavern and saw that in addition to the four skeletons at the very back, as before, there were now three skeletons at that strange stone counter three fourths of the way to the back, and they appeared to carry bows. I relayed this information to my companions, and suggested that we should use some incantation to prevent the skeletons with bows from shooting at us as we approached them up the cave. Fortunately, Sorrel has just such an incantation, so she invoked a great cloud of fog which blocked most of the view of the cavern from halfway along it, stopping the skeletons seeing us. I sneaked along the left hand side of the cavern while my companions boldly advanced up the centre. We emerged from the cloud of fog and started a two pronged attack on the three bow-armed skeletons. The other four attacked around the counter, while I scrambled across it and attacked from from the flank, throwing them into much confusion. They were reinforced by the four skeletons from the back of the chamber and I now saw the hooded figure of the nefarious necromancer back there, now completely undefended. Reasoning that if I were to kill him, all the skeletons would cease fighting, as surely his insane will must be all that was driving them forward, I started to sneak quietly towards him, but he took fright and rushed off down a passageway behind him.  I gave chase as fast as I possibly could, throwing all caution and self-preservation to the wind, but was unable to catch him before the tunnel split into two passageways. I followed one path, hoping it was the right one, but they rejoined as they entered a final chamber, hung with purple drapes, so it turned out that either path would have been the true path.  In the centre of the cavern was a strange glowing orb resting on a stand constructed entirely of skeletal human arms. Above the orb was a strange symbol.  I started creeping around the chamber, until my companions finally arrived, unfortunately having had a rather tough time of defeating the skeletons without me to lead and help them. As they entered the chamber, being unable to sidle quietly in as I can, they were obviously seen, for a voice rang our, telling them to grovel before the might sign of someone or other, obviously some weird fiend that this deranged lunatic purported to worship. Feyabelle obviously thought she could tell where the voice was coming from, as she fired an arrow towards the back of the chamber, but it was a foolish gesture and it merely snagged into one the hangings. In a moment of pure inspiration, I cast an illusion over the glowing sphere and symbol to make it appear that it was not longer glowing or present, respectively, and that obviously enraged the necromancer enough for him to burst out of his hiding place, waving a short bone wand, cursing and chanting enchantments which however seemed to be of little effect on us. Sorrell plugged him with a crossbow bolt in the centre of his chest though, and Arielle leapt forward and gave him a might blow with his staff. The necromancer staggered but was still standing and starting to raise his wand before a well placed slingshot from me caved in his skull, killing him instantly and saving my companions from his devastating magics. We searched him and the cavern, finding a considerable quantity of silver and golden coins, and some polished pieces of jet (enough cash for me to buy a light crossbow and some better leather armour when we returned to town, albeit not quite enough after that to settle either of my bar-tabs, let alone both), and an ancient leather bound journal. Taking these, and the bone wand and glowing crystal sphere, we returned to Red Larch, to tell all and sundry that the so-called Lord of Lance Rock was dead.
Our return to Red Larch was greeted with joy, and Kaylesa even gave us the money she had promised for dealing with the evil at Lance Rock, most of my share of which went straight back to her to settle some various outstanding debts for various services and sundries. Our tales were listened to well into the night, and it was the next morning before I was able to examine the journal that we had found. Unusually, it proved not to be a journal at all, but a seried of mysterious incantations. Looking at them, I found that some of the wizardly miscellany that I had picked up from my mother in my youth came back to me, and some of the incantations I could even understand. Among these, I found that some minor spells of mending, prestidigitation, and a useful sounding little cantrip for the secret sending of messages. Amongst more complex incantations, I found ones called Nystor’s Irrepressible Slumber, Ever-Faithful Flaming Bolt, Foldor’s Foggy Cloud (which sounded very similar to the incantation that Sorrell had used) and also some notes that I saw would allow me to generate a more potent form of the minor illusionary tricks that I had already mastered, in addition to two rituals, one for summoning a familiar from the upper or lower regions and giving it a form most useful to one, and the other for the understanding and reading of languages of utmost obscurity. All in all most useful, although the binding of the tome is in a leather the providence of which I suspect is most disturbing and which therefore I aim not to dwell upon at length.  In addition, arcane inquiry showed that the bone wand which we had found was capable of generating fiery arrows of its own accord, even up to 18 such each day, although it is slow to recharge its potential once exhausted, like a clock spring that has been overwound too often and then allowed to run long past its useful tension and is powering a clock three sizes to large for its own capacity.
Thus excited by these new found tricks and opportunities for entertainment, we spent a merry day appreciating the gifts of life, having so recently seen the contrary, and wondering what tomorrow will bring.  That said, I fear that my new found interest in all things magical and mystical means that I am unable to devote the time I heretofore was used to devote to practicing my card tricks and sleights of hands with which I was wont to delight the crowds.

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Mighty deeds for one so small

This being the third volume of the journal of Eldon Orryn Folky.  Having decided that Waterdeep is a most unpleasant city in the heat of summer, I have decided to come up country and see if I can find some quiet town or towns that are suitable for me to ply my trade for the summer months, far from the bustle and stench of the city.  After several weeks, I have arrived at Red Larch, which was suggested to me by an acquaintance in Waterdeep as being a most suitable place, and even provided me with a letter of introduction to Endrith Vellivoe, who runs a general store in the town.

Endrith seemed to be a flighty sort of fellow, with tales of strange happenings hereabouts, indeed many of the townspeople seemed to be given to these sorts of flights of fancy, which I assume is due to the distinct lack of any other excitement or entertainment.  That said, I found good lodgings at an Inn called the Swinging Sword, albeit that the food was distinctly poor, but they were willing enough to allow me a line of credit on my board which may yet come to my advantage.  Opposite there is a most lively Tavern called the Helm at High-Sun, wherein I have been able to entertain many of the townsfolk with little tricks and slights of hand, and earn a few drinks thereby.  There are also often a few locals who are willing to partake in a game of risk and I have kept a small income going by my exceeding luck in these games, or so I keep telling them.  But I have been generous with my winnings and there seems no harm held against me, for I am putting on my most charming and roguish face, and telling them all tall tales of my doings in Waterdeep and the mansion that I keep there when I am not upcountry looking for novelties that I can sell in Waterdeep or other ports up and down the Sword Coast.  The only mark against it is that the food is of a most indifferent quality.

There are few other strangers who linger in town, although caravans are often passing through, but in the last few days there is one group that have caught my eye, for several reasons.  I know not if they came severally or together, for they seemed to appear at different times, yet seem so well matched that I cannot but assume that they are companions of long acquaintance who have just maneuvered that it should appear that they meet here in Red Larch as strangers to each other.  They are all elven maidens, of passing comeliness, and indeed passing comeliness in an elven maiden is often accounted surpassing beauty amongst humans (although nothing surpasses the flashing eye and teasing grin of an gnomish maid, at least in my mind).  But I digress, although on a subject keen to my heart.  These three maidens are out of the normal sort, for they go about well armed and with well worn travelling clothes that show they have come from far.  One indeed is I think from the High Forest, although obviously a farther part of it for she had not heard of my grandfather who was Lord of all the Forest Gnomes of that part of the High Forest whence I come, nor of my much renowned clan.  But they are not wealthy my any means, so I fear may be down on their luck, but obviously from their manners and habits are not used to human lands as I am, for they are at times quick to take offense.

Anyhow, I introduced myself to these visions of pulchritude for passers through are good companions for they do not linger to see how my luck can hold for many days, and I reckoned that they would like some entertainment and although their purses had but few coins, their harness was of good quality and mayhap I could wager myself some good steel.  But I found that while they were happy enough with my company, wagering and games were not to their taste, and moreover, they did not seem inclined to move on, but almost seemed to have business in Red Larch, although the nature of this business did not become evident.  They were willing, though, more than me, to listen to all the tales of strange doings and events, and seemed concerned about these, even though they affected only strangers.  Two of them indeed talked much of nature and balance and such things, and seemed deeply concerned about events that were perturbing that natural order, which I am also concerned about, on behalf of my people, for few know the rhythms of the forest as we do.

So, one morning, as I was breakfasting in the Swinging Sowrd and flirting delightfully with Kaylessa, the owner, my paramours approached me and said that they were off to the quarry for they had heard that strangers had been seen lurking around there at night.  I pointed out that it was now daytime, but they said that they wish to speak to the owner and find what the problem was at source.  I was unsure what had provoked either their sudden interest, or their wish to include me in the matter, but I assumed that boredom must have caused the first, and since I had little else to do this morning, I decided to join them.

The quarry, Mellikho’s Stoneworks, for those who know not Red Larch, is on the outskirts of town, so is only a five minute walk, and hence not that discommoding.  They entered the office there, while I had a little wander around the quarry itself, making sure to keep myself discreet and unnoticed, for which I have quite a talent, which is possibly what recommended me to Sorrell, Feyabelle and Arielle (for such are their names, and it is good to name them now for they may play a more permanent part in this tale from now on) in the first place.  They soon emerged however, and said that the proprietress, Albaeri Mellikho, had claimed that nothing was at issue save an over consumption of liquor during the night shift, but giving us rumour of a cave not far off that was said to be filled with much treasure.  Now my wallet has been feeling rather light recently and the though of being able to settle a few debts and maybe get a decent meal, if such a thing is possible here in Red Larch.  So I readily acquiesced in their proposal to investigate this cave, and we soon found it given the instructions we had been vouchsafed.  The entrance was a narrow and muddy crack in a small  cliff not far off the path, with many tracks entering and exiting.  Concealing myself with an incantation, I peered silently into the cave, but saw little.  Carefully and quietly as only I can be, I entered.  Inside it was crowded with pillars and columns of rock, dripping with water.  I started looking for this treasure when suddenly I was assaulted by a demonic looking bird of some kind, which stabbed me in the shoulder with a long proboscis.  Three others were assaulting the elven maidens, so I rapidly dispatched the one that was perched on me and rushed to their aid.  The other three were rapidly dispatched, but on investigation the cave proved to be empty of any treasure of any kind.  We had been played like rookies, and I had to laugh when I saw how gullible we had been, although my companions seemed more put out by the trick that had been played on us.

We returned to Red Larch, and Arielle was kind enough to persuade the priest at the Allfaiths Shrine to heal my shoulder before sepsis set in.  I made sure that Kaylessa at the Swinging Sword saw it before though, so that she could see how gravely I was injured and yet how I bore it with good humour and spirit.  It obviously impressed her with my bravery and fortitude, for over lunch she suggested that if it were adventure and wealth that we sought, then there were rumours that some terrible evil dwelt at Lance Rock, which was only a few miles outside of town and that we could make names for ourselves by dealing with it in a suitably heroic way.  I readily agreed, for we all know that young maids will swoon for a good hero, and my companions were easily talked around to the expedition.

We easily found Lance Rock, but on that trail leading up to it through a thicket of brambles, we also found a crudely made sign warning us that disease and death lay ahead.  We discarded such warnings as unfitting for heroes such as us to take account of, and I led us quietly up to the rock.  At the base of the mound on which it stood, I found a small cave mouth.  I stole quietly in and found a corpse of an almost naked man spreadeagled within the corridor.  We cautiously passed this, and beyond I found a cave with two other exits, and a low altar-like bloodstained stone in the centre.  I crept silently across; leaving the others in the passage outside, and up the right hand corridor.  At the end was a small cave with a dozen corpses and skeletons stacked within – a disturbing sight indeed.  Returning to the main cave, I saw that Arielle had also entered, so I crossed the floor to tell her of my gruesome discovery.  She was obviously not as stealthy as me though, so there was a sudden rattle, and we both leapt back as a shower of stones and rocks fell upon us from a ledge over the entrance, followed by two humans, who jumped clumsily down.  The reason for their clumsiness soon became apparent as we realised that these were also corpses, but animated by some unholy magics.  They were slow moving though, and little match for my quick rapier work, and were rapidly dispatched.

Venturing down the left hand corridor, I found another cave, with many nooks and crannies, and containing three more of these unholy corpses, but this time dressed as a bear, a woman and a jester.  I pride myself on an unusual sense of humour, but whoever’s caves these were had a stranger sense still than me.  I crept unobserved into the cave a secreted myself in a nook, and waited for my companions to arrive.  They finally blundered down the tunnel and into the cave, and attacked the three zombies.  I used this opportunity to leap out and skewer one of them while they were engaged from the front.  Arielle was severely wounded by a one of them, and was forced to withdraw, but I set to with redoubled valour and skewered all three of them with attacks from the rear, dancing to avoid their clumsy lunges.  Continuing down the left hand tunnel out of this cave, I entered a vast cavern, lit by guttering torches.  A tall figure in a black cloak was standing by another altar stone, apparently stitching a selection of body parts, of which there were a great many scattered around, together.  I returned to my companions, who were engaged in healing Arielle, and ventured down the right hand tunnel,  It ended in a small cave with two iron chests.  Excited, I prodded at one, to check it was truely just a chest and then sneaked forward to check it for traps.  While so doing, I became aware of a breathing sound, and looking around saw a small hole high in the wall of the cave where a glimmer of the torch light shone through.  I crept to the base of the wall below it and climbed quietly up, and was rewarded by hearing a voice muttering, questioning where I had disappeared to.  I was unable to see anything from this side of the spy-hole, but using my new found vantage point, cast an illusion in front of the hole of the vision of the cave and the two iron chests.  I then climbed back to the floor and examined the chests, secure in the protection of my illusion from any sight from above.  Unfortunately, both chests proved to be empty completely of any contents.

Returning to my companions, I filled them in on my bold and daring exploits, and we decided to attack the necromancer in his laid.  I entered first and quietly moved in the shadows around the edge of the cave in order to start behind him.  My excellent perception also allowed me to notice that there were four skeletons standing at the far end of the room, and another hooded figure with them.  The maidens then entered and started shooting at the necromancer, except Arielle who leapt forward to engage with a becoming recklessness.  As they did, half a dozen dismembered hands leapt from baskets of body parts and scuttled forward to engage them, but once they had recovered from their horror at them, they proved to be just a minor distraction.  I continued to boldly hurl slingshots at the figure in the black cloak, who turned out to be another animated corpse.  He swiftly fell before my onslaught, so I concealed myself again, for the four skeletons were advancing down the cavern towards us and I saw that it would fall perforce to me to handle them, as the fair elves were now sorely wounded.  Indeed their various wounds from the attentions of the dead, were such that when the true necromancer at the far end of the chamber offered to spare them if they departed, they did so with alacrity.  He gave a great account of himself, ranting and claiming to be Lord of Lance Rock, but it all seemed front and bluff to me and I suspect that he was sorely bullied as a small child to have grown to such a curious and warped fellow.  A skeletal warrior, crackling with unholy energies, followed them, so I followed it in turn most quietly to ensure that no further devilry was planned, and intervene to save them if it were, but it merely followed them to the entrance and departed, so I also departed and caught up with my rapidly departing companions in order to protect them from any further assault in their weakened state.  In this manner we returned to Red Larch and a most welcome mug of ale, and some variously indifferent food.  We recounted our tales of horror and daring to much excitement in the public bar of the Helm.


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We could be heroes

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r5$t^eb# 45$ 16U52$ 1} x6E’1R’ 2ÈP7Et#j% o`N 92# w`V`V5 2$xb% 1} @ e6E82%È W” 8zé6EÉ = z`V`Vqb% `C x`N`N2 2iT15#iËw1Ré`V`V5 4t$ r5$t^eb# yiEw^r`ByY8jØ 81j%¸ 51Y 81EiTe`B2$ = ,E @2t$2#P2$ 41E `B dyYm zt^È yY1 e7t^92%b% = 2ÈP y~B dyYm j#¸ xr%È 9t% j#¸ WyY6 ynRj3 ,E yj$¸ 4%_ 22%51 8`V`VtjzTÉ `C x7nR1 2nRj = 8`N `B dyY12$ yY11} j$hE5`C 1} x1R 4b%_ 816E12$ d~B7dU2$ yY1 2ÈP 1E’zE’2$ r5$t^eb# 5% @ej5#z = tiT’b% y4% 96R e6T81 37iU1w1U 91T’b% y4% 96R 8zR2^P `B d1Y 1T = 2ÈPtiT’2$ zqYpj1Rj$`Û 4b%_ y6RÉ 816E1b%w2#jØ x6E’1R’ ziE1 d1E’6R = w1U 1TsiU1 d`N`Nz 1T eH’ r5$t^eb# 45$ 7zE2$1E j$hE5`C y4% `C zjyE = tiT’b% = 2ÈPw7nR32$ qiY`B5^ 5^ x6E’1R’ = o`N y1Rp817hEv1 2yY5 7Et#j% ziE1 7iRiT1qhY85^ 5^ 9iTpj$e `B d1Y x#hE5 = 2ÈP 91T4%_ 1`BtÈ = 27r%b% 5# 6E’yY 2`V`Vq 1Tp`N 9,Tej5#z j$hE5`C 8jdE2$ 2ÈP tiT’2$x#hE5 = 2ÈP 5% 71R6U5 yiE w2#jØ8r#x#2$ 7Et#j% ziE1 `C wj^1 W5$6Rx`Û oaT 91T r5$t^eb# ej&¸ 5^ = 2ÈP`B 91T x#hE5 y4% `C tv%1 6E’yY 41E 85#z2`V`Vq 1Tp`N `C xqE w1Ré`V`V5 9,T 8zj#L_ j$hE5`C 9nRj2$ 96R8j$e = 2ÈP 96RwjyY xj5#iR2 eH’ 9,T 8zj#L_ r5$t^eb# 817zU’ 96R x#hE5 4yYvy4% 9,T zjyE8 = qdUb% 96R 1} 96Rz5`V`V8 7Et#j% 7dU2$ e6YyuE = 2ÈP 817zU’`C wjyY y4% 9,T tiEË `B j1R jiYË `C 3uTtv%1 6E’yY 41E 85#z 2`V`Vq 1Tp`N 9,TdyYm6R = 2ÈP r5$t^eb# 1`N`Nz 1} @ hE6 =w^r`ByY8jØ e2%Pb% iU 1yYv6R xhYb45# 9~B 92# zR|qzR12$ 7Et#j% 8yb&x#hE5 ,E 9~B jeF1 = 2ÈP tiT’2$ = w1Uj$hE5È 817zU’ 9t% 7Et#j% 45$16Ex1R2$ 9t% y4% 5#3H6R wj^1 W5$6Rx`Û = 2ÈP `B 7dU2$ yY1 2ÈP 91T 9t% y4%5#3H6R 6E’yY e5%j#¸`Û j$hE5`C 16Ex1R2$9t% y4% `C tx#zT tiT’j%L 8qj$¸ 2ÈP 9~Bej$¸ = e1Ej#¸`Û yyY2P2$ = e7t^ @ 8z`Û

82&”5$jØ 7t$w$P7Rb% x6E’1R’ = o`N yiEw#yY1 1} w7nR3Ê 9,T jiE1 = 7Et#j%2dE2$ zE7iY’ 2ÈP iU2$ 5# zTp1Ep1E`B5^ 1} 9nRj9t% 2ÈP w7b% 9t% yE`C`Û e7t^ 2nR382`N`N6

4iU y~B zj%¸2$ @ 27x#5^ r5$t^eb# =2ÈP jw%7R1E2$ @ rj%¸x#È W 32&P6R17`V`V r^6R @ 5zR|1 eyR 2nEÍÅ y~B zjnR72$ 1TzqYpj1Rj$`Û W” dE kw^P`BiR 2ÈP 1éx%wjv%1_ = 8`N 41E q`VqYjL zyYm zt^È 2ÈP5^iË x#hE5 81R’jL 5% 1T

Aramil returned to their new found friends, having first cast Resist Poison on me.  I went up to the roof of the barracks and took up a watching position, while Elaina hid in the bushes on the far side of the square.

Garrett and Aramil were gone for quite a while, then returned with 6 masked and robed cultists, two of whom were carrying a chest.  They stopped in the middle of the square and Garrett then started improvising a song in honour of the dragon.  It sounded pretty awful to me, and the dragon obviously agreed as he didn’t make an appearance.  The leader of the cultists finally cracked and stopped Garrett, and started an invocation in a gutturally sibilant language that I think was draconic.  This was obviously more effective, as a fairly large green dragon appeared through the roof of the tower and flew down.  It circled over the barracks, and I hastily scrambled down the ladder, which was good because it then landed on the roof.  Fortunately the barracks were sturdily build and could take the strain.

The leader continued to talk in draconic and two of the acolytes opened the chest, revealing a rather small pile of gems.  It appears that the dragon though so as well, although we couldn’t be certain as none of us spoken draconic.  They conversed a little more, and then I heard it switch to common to talk to Garrett and Aramil.  It had correctly surmised that they didn’t speak draconic, because apparently the cult leader had just offered them to sweeten the sacrifice.  Garrett countered with some quite impressive brown-nosing, discovering that the dragon was called Venomfang.  He managed to persuade Venomfang that the cultists themselves should be punished for having offered such a feeble sacrifice.  Venomfang obviously agreed as he turned on them, killing all six in a particularly effective fashion.

Venomfang then turned to Garrett and Aramil who had been edging to the far side of the square, keeping a good distance between them.  Venomfang was obviously still not satisfied, as the demanded that I should come out from hiding, and we should all give him all of our wealth as well.  This didn’t seem like a great deal, so I shouted out to Elaina to get things started.  She rushed out and attacked Venomfang in the flank, missing with her first thrust but hitting with her second.   I shot it, and missed completely.  Things were starting badly.  Garrett cast Shatter, but it just shook it off.  Venomfang then raked at Elaina with a claw, missing, and breathed posion on Garrett, who went straight down.  Aramil cast resist poison on himself.  I shot again, and hit this time, driving an arrow deep into his flank.  Elaina slashed and missed again, and in return was badly savaged.  Aramil cast a bolt of energy which hit Venomfang full on, and I hit again with a might arrow that sank deep into a gap between his scales.  Elaina healed herself, and her blow glanced off his scales.  Venomfang struck her again though with his claws., pushing her to her knees.  Aramil rushed forward, and struck a blow with his mace.  I let lose a third might arrow that sank deep into his shoulder, and Venomfang took to the air, obviously finding us tougher going than he had expected.  Aramil swung again as he left, and missed, but Elaine struck him.  Aramil then targeted him with another bolt of energy, and I rushed out and hit him with another arrow.  Finally Elaina targeted  him with a Magic Missile spell and he fell, fatally wounded, from the sky.Suddenly remembering Garrett, who was about to breathe his last, Aramil dashed across and used an incantation to heal him and bring him away from death’s door.

Thus we killed the dragon Venomfang, and liberated the village of Thundertree.  Over the next few days we cleared it completely of the ash zombies and twig blights, so that people could come and once again settle in it.

And they all lived happily ever after…

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