It took some convincing but Haya Tekram, the potion-maker, eventually came around to my way of thinking. He bitterly hated the wizard Imrael of course, but he was just as frightened of the dragon that he called Blazewing and the one he called Kohm who was not a giant at all but some kind of genie? Haya started to explain but I assured him we had more important matters to discuss. I built a pretty solid case based on three factors – he was clearly the expendable one here to his companions even though he was the aggrieved party, he was very valuable to me since he could finger Królewna & Bonifacja not only for slavery but also for supporting the dark art of necromancy, and if he didn’t get with the program my friend were going to kill him. All in all I’d say that’s a pretty airtight argument. Still it took him a while to accept his circumstances. It was only once I told him that Imrael was going to die today that he really got on board.
As stealthily as we could I led him away to where Molly and Arlonni were waiting in the darkness to escort him back to our camp to be stashed away with the teamsters for safekeeping. I returned to his tent and disguised myself as him and waited. It was nerve-racking to say the least. There are so many things that can go wrong, but as they say nothing ventured, nothing gained.
In the early morning hours Imrael took his position by the slave-yard and I took aim with my crossbow – staying inside Haya’s building. Cover doesn’t mean much against magic probably but there’s no reason not to try right? The wizard was quite startled to suddenly find a crossbow bolt protruding from his belly, and I put another in his leg before he rallied himself. He ordered a contingent of his skeletons to attack but as they clattered forwards they suddenly fell in a pit – conjured by Barjin who was lurking nearby according to plan. I pegged Imrael with another bolt, you know the expression shooting fish in a barrel? Maybe it should be changed to wizards on wall. I’m a decent shot but this fellow wasn’t doing anything to get out of the way. Ducking must not be at the curriculum in wizard school.
He gathered himself enough to invoke a spell and send four bolts of eldritch energy at me – I tried to avoid them but they sought me out unerringly, magic you know. I braced myself for whatever awful thing was going to happen but what happened is my Brooch absorbed the deadly lights. I knew it did something but I wasn’t sure what, I guess it does that. I lined up another shot and nailed him again. Desperately, he ordered another squad of skeletons forward, but just like the first they were swallowed up by a suddenly appearing pit. Imrael cast another spell but this time my crossbow flared and seemed to absorb the magic. I should probably learn more about what all my stuff can do. Some day, when I have more free time.
My fifth shot was my last – a crossbow bolt in the chest tends to do that. Imrael stood stock still for a moment and then plunged off the wall to the ground. He probably was still alive at that point but a ten foot fall onto his head changed that in a hurry. In a hurry of my own I stashed the crossbow and switched from my Haya disguise into what I hoped was that of your standard person who’s been enslaved. I wandered out into the city streets just as Kohm came into sight – quick as a snake he was on me and had my arm in a vise-grip.
“What’s going on here?!” he boomed “How did you get out?!”
I stammered and stuttered and blubbered until it looked like he was going to try and slap some sense into me – at which point I told him that we saw the wizard get killed and they hoisted me over the wall to try and escape and get help. Just then cries started coming from the slave-pen. Without Imrael to control them some of the skeletons were attacking the slaves. Cursing, and quiet an accomplished curser he is, Kohm told me to lay down on the ground and not to move an inch. I did so as he flew over the wall bellowing for Blazewing. The two of the methodically, but quickly destroyed the skeletons before things could get out of hand.
I was seemingly forgotten for a moment as Kohm searched Haya’s room, cursing all the while. He came out and after a brief conversation Swiftwing flew off like an arrow. Still cursing under his breath Kohm seized me by an arm and a leg and threw me over the wall into the slave-pen. And I mean that literally. He threw me over a ten foot wall like a child tossing a ball. It would have been quite a bad landing, but the people on the other side managed to mostly catch me and break my fall. Still I got the wind knocked out me for a moment. One fellow in a ragged sergeant’s uniform cleared everyone away from me.
“Back up, give her room to breathe!” Once I had regained my breath he spoke again “Who are you?”
“No one of consequence.” I looked around “You fellas ready for a good old fashioned slave revolt?”
The slaves weren’t all soldiers, but a lot of them were, and once I explained the situation to them they couldn’t get over that wall fast enough. I produced the falchion and greatclub that I hadn’t had a chance to sell yet from my various extradimensional storages, but I left the spear where it was – I was worried about getting it back. Call me cold hearted if you want, I’ve been called worse.
Kohm drew a scimitar as the first soldiers came over the wall – aided by those who weren’t fighters – and promptly flew away as the trickle turned into stream. He was clearly a strong warrior but when you’re facing down two score of angry soldiers you decide somethings aren’t worth it. Even if only two of those soldiers have weapons. Once he was gone they quickly worked to get everyone over the wall and then the sergeant who I had given the falchion and a Vieland soldier who had the greatclub came to me.
“What do we do now?”
“Now you lot head to the south where my friends are.”
“I stay here to talk to the dragon, we can’t have him trailing after us.”
In the end all the soldiers resolved to stay and back me up while the non-combatants headed to Argo and the rest. I tried to convince them to go as well, if things go bad no reason for everyone to die, but honestly I didn’t try that hard and I was relieved when they refused to go. We spread out amongst the nearby buildings to await the dragon. Its return was swift and once it saw the slave-pen empty and no sign of Kohm he roared horrifically – I actually cowered involuntarily for a moment – and then it blasted one of the walls to pieces not with a flash of flame like in the stories but with a bolt of Gods damn lightening from its mouth!
I was so shocked (pun!) that I didn’t realize I had stepped out of my building until I had already done it. My body was proceeding with the plan without me. The dragon’s head whipped around on its sinuous neck and I threw my hands up in a way that would have been embarrassing under any other circumstance. There’s no use in pride when you’re dealing with a dragon.
“It’s over Swiftwing. I’m sure you could find and kill us all if you wanted to but there’s no point. The scheme is foiled.
The dragon reared up, wings unfurled and sprung lightly before me with an effortless hop – its scaly face inches away from mine. It’s breath was like the air itself was burning.
“You’re a brave little one aren’t you?”
“Not in the least your magnificence.”
“There’s no reason to kill you all maybe, but what if want to?”
“There’s nothing we could do to stop you of course.”
“No there isn’t. So why should I spare you? The ‘scheme’ as you call it is foiled but I could just devour you all. It’s been a while since I devoured a whole village worth of your kind. It’s quite enjoyable.”
“I could s-sing for you. Legend has is dragons like music.”
A strange light sparkled in its eyes “Does it now? Well go ahead then, far be it for me to contradict legend.”
My throat has never been so dry in all my life. For a split second I felt like I was choking. I spike of fear hit me as I thought I might not be able to sing, but I took a moment to master myself and started. I was a little shaky at first, but I managed to smooth things out. I’m a very good singer on my own, with the magic of my Bracers I’m a great singer. For all my skill though the dragon didn’t seem moved at all. In the tales the beautiful maiden sings the deadly dragon to sleep with her sweet voice, in this case the dragon just listened like a mildly bored audience member.
My song ended and I licked my lips, but before I could speak the dragon lifted its head and started singing itself. I couldn’t understand the words, it was singing in the language of dragons, but the song was so beautiful and its execution so flawless that I fell to my knees. The greatest singers I have ever heard in the human world were like candles to a bonfire compared to the magnificence of the dragon’s song. It seemed like multiple harmonies and melodies were coming from a single creature. I was awestruck. For a brief moment the dragon sang in my own voice – perfect pitch. I sat on my knees before the creature as its song ended, completely at a loss. All thought had flown from my head.
“Dragons do like music, perhaps someday your people will make some. Fly away now little songbird.”
With a leap and a few flaps its wings the dragon was quickly a speck in the sky. As the soliders came stumbling out of their hiding places many of them were sobbing like children. Whatever else happens to me the rest of my life I will never forget the the dragon’s song. Never.
Funds: 10,258 gold
Inventory: Ring of Many Garments, Bag of Tricks (rust), Cap of Disguise, Secure Pocket, Resplendent Diplomat’s Palette, Secure Paypack, Skeleton Key, Brooch of Shielding, Pouch of Magic Stones, Masterful Grey Gloves, Black Marketers’ Bag, Biting Bracelet (Endless Ammunition), Boots of Escape, Bracers of the Glib Entertainer, Ring of Animal Friendship, +1 Falchion, +1 Greatclub, +2 Commanding Light Crossbow, Headband of Alluring Charisma +2, Manual of Quickness of Action, Bracer of Fire Resistance (10), Spear of Piercing Thunder, Handy Haversack, Amulet of Natural Armor +1, Cloak of Resistance +2 (2), Headband of vast intelligence +2 (2), Ring of Feather Falling
Signet ring, noble’s outfit, candlerod (9), masterwork dagger, succubi carving, Domiel family ring, walking stick, masterwork playing cards, spinel and peridot holy symbol of Kralten, diamonds (14), silver crown, waterskins (6), trail rations (7), antitoxin (9), formula book, smelling salts (3), sunrods (3), thieves’ tools, tindertwigs (6), various and sundry inebriants and intoxicants
Potion of Spider Climb, Potion of Eagle’s Splendor, Potion of Jump
Silver ring, gold bracelet, gold and pearl pendant, gold ring, platinum necklace (2), mithril hair clasps (3), 4 small diamonds
Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane,
Piltis Swine, Rince
Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle
the butler , Alice Kinsey , “ Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire
Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror,
Eedraxis, Skin-Taker tribe,
Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni
Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander,
Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother
Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee, Helgan
van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot
Rumors : Exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(Reoccurring), murderous Halfling (Reoccurring)
Graltontown Buildings – Mill