Wanted: Treasure and Fame

Gregor's "Wolves" Part 3

The White Dragon

998 YK Wir, 14th of Therendor (Wednesday, March 14)

We took a few minutes in the bunkroom once we knew there weren’t anymore kobolds, or those NASTY beetles. Even with how severe the fire and frostbite felt, there thankfully weren’t any serious injures. Geesh, you’d think waking up to a few bugs would be the worst thing they could offer. Ew, now I gotta check my bedroll after this.

After the rest, we decided to follow the path the bugs and handlers had come from. Around the corner was..well, a play room. There was a small fence in the back, toys and balls in a pen in the middle of the room, and a few chairs around it. We were able to quickly confirm there weren’t anymore fire beetles, young or otherwise, in the room. Drawn into the wall were diagrams on how to both train and raise the beetles! They’re a good fight when they’re opposing you, but if Ni’Tarra had lucked out on finding an egg like she’d been trying, we would have the means to raise them. If anyone is looking for them, the following drawings were taken from the wall.

{A rough etching of the pictures on the wall are drawn here}

We then took the second path from the bunkroom. It went down a bit before we came to a crossroads. The mine rails were present under a thin lair of dust, but still in good condition. Ahead of us were five different entrances. We quickly realized how much a mine can act like a maze when we started getting lost and walked into deadends and even each other! It felt like hours, but was probably less than one when we finally found an end to the twists and turns. And this time it didn’t lead us back to where we started!

There was a beautiful cavern hiding at the end of the maze. I mean, there were a few stalagmites hanging from the roof a good 20 ft above our heads. Thanks to Drakar’s light, we were able to make out a spacious room. A good distance in front of us the room opened up to almost 35 ft of headroom. Not even Kildrak needs that much room! :) Far in the back corner there was a small pond that was surprisingly clear considering it looked stagnant.

Young dragon

As we walked toward the pond, we started to hear chanting. It echoed throughout the cavern, so we started to tip toe as lightly as we could, considering we have two brawd guys in metal armor. The chanting became clearer, if still unrecognizable, as the roof started to slant up. Drakar chose to break rank and that’s when a rope appeared from the roof, almost hitting me in the face. Immediately, four of the smaller kobolds slid down the rope and surrounded me. Thankfully Rife and Ni’Tarra were nearby and the bastards didn’t get too many hits in before they were dispatched.

That’s when everything went to hell. Just as Kildrak finished the last of the little kobolds, a roar like nothing I have ever heard echoed in the cavern. And then we saw it; a White Dragon as large as all of us side by side and teeth designed specifically to tear at flesh. A piranha’s mouth doesn’t even hold a candle to the raw amount of teeth this dragon had. It swooped down to us, roared once again in our faces before it breathed the very ice winds from atop Frostfell! We all were covered in ice; frost bite already nestling in as I saw the ice form around Kildra’s exposed bones and Rife’s beard.

We did all that we could. Combining a LOT of our talents, coordinating together, and an obscene amount of luck let us walk away from that fight gave us a chance to win. Of course I made it, how else could I be telling you about this? I started healing those who looked the worst as Ni’Tarra swung her “friend” at it. Before it had a chance to fly out of reach, Rife struck it hard with his sword. He then started to grapple it, like he was putting the damned thing in a headlock! However, this dragon {or maybe any dragon} did not appreciate the idea of a noogie, and took Rife with it when it flew towards the ceiling!

Rife held onto its thick neck for a good while as Kildrak threw javelins at it. A dragon is usually a horrible pincushion I’ve heard, but we had to make an exception. Ni’Tarra started to climb the stalagmite closest to the dragon as Drakar attempted to assail it with his spells. I’ve never heard of dragons being hardy against spells, but this one was seriously making me doubt the tales of old. To make things worst, like it could a kobold in thick robes and wielding a spear slid down the rope.

Just as Ni’Tarra had finished the climb, Rife lost his grip and fell the whole 25 ft! He was rolling to his feet, mostly unharmed, as Kildrak threw another javelin, this time hitting the roof above its head. Ni’Tarra took advantage of the distraction Rife provided and jumped from the stalagmite, swinging her axe right into the side of it. However, we still hadn’t seen any appreciable damage to its hide. On the ground from the Priest we felt another icy breath cross the floor. This time, however, we’d had enough cold from the dragon that it didn’t truly effect us. To make matters worse, other than the few javelins we had picked up from the kobolds and the unsuccessful arcane, we had no other options to cover the distance a flying dragon could create.

Just as we came to the daunting realization that it could just sweep by us, tearing into us with its claws as big as Ni’Tarra’s axe, it reminded us that it was more than just pointy weapons. It breathed, again, this time roaring as it did so. The very cavern shook with the sheer rage behind the sound, our feet attempting to freeze to the cavern floor after its worshipper. Kildrak was not having that again, and charged the Priest, bringing it down in three quick, precise strikes.

There were flurries of teeth and claws as we tried to strike, cast, and bait it to be within range. Eventually though, it became very clear it wasn’t going to, and then Ni’Tarra had a brilliant plan. She asked Rife for a piggy back ride. With the added height his tall frame gave her, the dragon was JUST in striking range. Since I couldn’t help anyone recover from their bites and talon injures, or support Kildrak’s sheer size I asked Kildrak for a lift. He easily tossed me on his shoulders as Rife helped Ni’Tarra settle on his.

Drakar continued to press his arcane knowledge, looking for some way to get his spells to impact that scale hide. Slowly we all got a rhythm, balancing on shoulders or striking from below with the remaining javelins. Eventually, between Ni’tarra’s raw determination, the low silver light I provided telling my comrades where the soft spot was, and the guys keeping us stable, we got through the scale. And once we saw blood, we carved. It was painstaking, but slowly we were able to peel back enough of its underbelly to bleed it out.

Not one story I have ever read about dragons ever mentioned the part, “What happens to the dragon when it’s defeated?” Common sense says, it crashes! And it did so, from mid-soar, on top of us. Thankfully Rife was able to move Ni’Tarra and himself out of reach. Drakar had been smart and already kept his distance and Kildrak..he rescued me by throwing me off his shoulders and taking the weight on himself. Now, Kildrak is EXTREMELY strong, but a dragon is a bit too much even for him. But, Ni’Tarra and Rife are just as impressively strong, and between the three of us we were able to unbury Kildrak from the white dragon. And he was safe, if not a little winded from the sheer weight of the thing.

We all made it, in relatively one piece. Thankfully, nothing else came down the rope. Once we’d recovered as much as we could safely, we continued exploring the cavern. Ni’Tarra ventured up the rope as Rife and Kildrak took the heads. Ni’Tara started shouting in excitement, saying we’d need more hands than we have to carry the horde. I’d completely forgotten about the stories telling us how big a dragon horde’s can be! Drakar came prepared, however, and with a little help got his Tensor’s Floating Disk working as a dumbwaiter. We found quite a few boxes, including a jewelry box {excluded from entry until decision made on items and a weapon/armor box.} There was also a mound of silver, a chest of gold, and a few gems arranged like a circlet around the silver coins.

On a second trip, with some arcane detection from Drakar, we also discovered some platemail that had been used as a make-shift pillow among the nest. To Ni’Tarra’s dismay, there were no dragon eggs for her to collect. We also discovered that, although the mine we had passed to get here was abandoned, there was still some kind of ore. However, due to the recent string of fights, the identifying and counting not including the staying up late to hunt down these “wolves” would have to wait until after some much needed sleep. With everyone’s help, we were able to use my campsite ritual and get everything unpacked. It did not take long for us to drift away into the Dreamlands. I pity Rife since he took first watch, but I am also glad, since it means I can catch up on some much missed rest.

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