Monday, 11 June 2012

Death of a Dragon.


‘That makes two dragons I’ve killed.’ – Osric as he marks another notch on his longbow.
Why do adventurers always try and stab you in your sleep? 
The great Red Dragon Abraxus stretched his mighty reptilian form. The coins of his treasure horde clinked and clattered beneath his bulk. He yawned loudly. The noise echoed about his cavernous chamber. He was bored and being bored made him tired. The residents of the dungeon never passed through his cavern, no one interesting had visited since that last band of hill dwarfs, and they had provided little more than a few fleeting moments of entertainment. He craned his head down to examine the charred corpse of the dwarf who had declared himself the bands leader. 'We are searching for a tomb' the hairy creature had said. Abraxus had shown the dwarfs a tomb of sorts; Abraxus’ chamber would serve as a tomb for the hirsute interlopers. 


The upstart wizard Enlandrin had invited Abraxus here, shown him the vaulted chamber with the natural gas flame pit and then left the dragon to his own devices. It seemed that Enlandrin merely wanted the status of having a dragon in residence. Abraxus amused himself looting and pillaging the countryside  amassing a sizeable horde. He scooped up a taloned fist of coins and shook his head at the disappointing amount of silver and copper amongst the gleaming gold. The great drake considered terrorizing some local farmers but then sighed at the futility of it for they would only have more copper and he had enough of that already. Instead he would rest.

YAAAGH! I HATE DRAGONS!
Abraxus was startled awake by a shrieking banshee. But not the undead elven variety; instead a mad armoured woman with a sword was busy trying to carve slices from his flank. Other armoured figures appeared all desperately trying to pierce his scaly hide. He would have been amused if an arrow hadn’t lodged itself in his neck.

Abraxus exhaled a great plume of flame and the banshee was silenced, falling in a smouldering heap. A smaller creature, partially concealed by a rocky outcrop began screaming as flames licked her hiding spot. The other armoured figures started to scramble dragging the still burning banshee to shelter. Now Abraxus became the hunter. Another arrow thunked into his armoured chest. That pesky archer needed to die. The dragon heaved its lumbering form in the direction of the pointy-eared bow wielder when suddenly he found his way blocked by a wall of spider web. The petty magic of humans only served to anger him further. He exhaled again and the strands of web melted away. Abraxus looked again towards the archer but was distracted by a bellowing, chest thumping knight who stepped out from between two pillars of rock to challenge the drake. “I’M HERE! KILL ME! DO IT. DO IT NOW!” Abraxus was nothing if not obliging and so lunged at the warrior, his fangs glancing off the brutes armour. A little embarrassed the drake pretended he was toying with the mortal, as a cat does with a mouse. This did little to assuage his feelings of ineptitude.

MILGOS IS STABBING YOU IN THE SPINE!
A human had leapt onto his back, sharp blades clutched in his hands.
‘Why do these pesky humans keep shouting and … By Tiamat my spine!' The pain was excruciating, unlike anything Abraxus had experienced. Another arrow thunked into his neck. This was getting ridiculous. “Parley, Mortals!” he roared. “You have bested and humbled Abraxus, a feat no other has managed. Spare me and I shall owe you a favor. There are denizens in this dungeon who I harbor no love and would aide you against. I have information, useful information on their strengths and weaknesses and what it is exactly that you shall face. Did I mention that you will have the favour of a dragon whose single breath incinerates dozens of mortals? My treasures are yours. All I ask is that you spare me.’ The two closest mortals stopped and looked confused. They lowered their blades and for a moment the cavern was still. Then the rain of arrows started up again seeking the weak points in Abraxus’ scaled hide.
NO YOU FOOL, WE COULD HAVE HAD A DRAGON!” the spine stabbing human yelled. The knight before him raised his blade and lunged. It was  clear the truce had been broken before it had even had a chance to begin. Desperately Abraxus exhaled again and the knight defiantly fell to his knees consumed by flame.
What would you do if a dragon owed you a favour? 
The great dragon muscled his way toward the cavern entrance and began scrambling up in such haste that loose stones clattered to the cavern floor in a mini landslide. Abraxus’ desperation made his escape all the more difficult. The loose stones originally intended to serve as an alarm instead served as a trap. The sky, he would seek the sky and flee these adventurers and their horrors. Abraxus would spread his wings and soar. If he was to die let it be as dragon on the wing and not as a rat trapped in a hole. Alas for the great red wyrm it was not to be. An arrow lodged in the back of the drake’s neck where the skull meets spine. It sank so deep that it severed the spinal column and the mighty dragon collapsed like a marionette whose strings are cut. While he could no longer control his limbs the dragon remained cruelly conscious. The last thing Abraxus saw was the charred knight approaching with a bloodied sword held high. The warrior drove the blade down with a sickening crunch of bone, and Abraxus the dragon was no more.

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