Chapter 22

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We had some more dragons to deal with...

          Dania, female 1/2-elf MU, 4th level
          Kortul, male human fighter, 3rd level
          Razuli, male human fighter, 3rd level
          Arlor, male dwarf thief, 3rd level
          Kory Silvertongue, male elf bard, 2nd level
          Topash Raycin, male elf druid, 3rd level

     The dragons probably wouldn't wake up anytime soon, so we were in
no great hurry to go see them.  We spent some time around the body of
the baby, securing teeth or scales or whatever else might be of value,
then waded to the other side and walked to the dragon's grove.  We
were quieter than usual - this was serious business - but dragons do
sleep heavily, and until we were actually entered the grove we had no
doubt they would not hear us.

Razuli: "Hey Wizzerd, I saw you pulling some bits of things out of the
     boat.  You thinking of getting Navero resurrected again?"

Dania: "It'd be a good idea.  He's reliable."

Kory: (Stifles laughter) "Yes indeed, you could sure rely on ol' Nav
     for some things."

Dania: "Well, we are at least going to try."

Razuli: "Whafor?  Do you remember how much it cost last time?  And
     they were being nice to us!  Forget it.  Not again.  If he gets
     himself killed this much, he just ain't worth having around.
     Besides, we got us another healing-type person right here, and
     one who can do something else, too.  Besides blow it, I mean; he
     was always good at that."

Topash: "It is only reasonable, Dania. May I call you Dania?  All
     things are born and die, each in their own time.  It is the
     natural way of the world, which most priestly orders disrupt for
     their own benefit with all these 'resurrections' they perform.
     Surely you appreciate that our lives and all things are only part
     of the endless cycles of birth and..."

Dania: "Look, we are going to try.  Maybe it isn't time."

Razuli: "Wizzerd, how are you gonna resurrect a bicuspid?"

Arlor: "I dunno.  It'd cost a lotta money.  We're strapped, yup."

Dania: "If I wanted your..."

Kortul: "Close enough for them to hear?"

Topash: "Why, I believe so, yes."

Kortul: "Good.  Quiet."
     We entered the grove, noting the tracks of the Baby Black and the
occasional larger track.  This was more than enough to encourage
silence and a light tread.  After several minutes of sneaking up the
hill, we came within sight of the pair.  They were lying in a shallow
depression under some hanging boughs, almost invisible; both were the
same size, a bit smaller than the Red dragon had been.  We had no idea
how old this made them.  They were both fast asleep, necks curled
together, sleeping claw in claw.

Kory: "Awww, how sweet.  I see a nice place for a fireball."

Topash: "I can call up a lightning bolt to strike the spot you point
     out quite nicely, and it would not be nearly so messy and
     destructive as the random blast of misguided magic you speak of.
     Besides, that way the warriors can stand near it to strike them
     as they awaken."

Razuli: "Wait, wait, wait, what's this about warriors being anywhere
     near those things?  Don't scare me like that; that was in very
     poor taste!"

Kory: "You get the one on the left.  Meanwhile, li'l ol' me will be in
     the tree over there, singing a song to encourage your efforts."

Kortul: "Need sword, not cheerleader.  Go with him."

Kory: "WHAT?!"

Dania: (Smacks Kory with her staff) "Keep your voice down, you idiot!"

Kory: "I have been insulted!  And assaulted!  You think you're so
     tough, eh?  Well, I challenge you!  Kazoos at 20 paces!"

Topash: "Unless you have something more constructive to say, I suggest
     a minimum of noise.  How about this for a plan: Dania and myself
     in the bushes..."

Razuli: "Hey, why can't I get that part?"

Topash: "Because you are inappropriately armed."

Razuli: "How would you know?"

Dania: "Shut up.  Topash over there, and call your lightning.  Then,
     I'll be over here to magic missile them, and you all beat on
     them.  Kory, sing your battle song, but only after they're

Arlor: "I'll go with Razuli if I can get behind."

Kortul: "Get one on left.  Looks weaker."

Razuli: "Ok, I can live with that."
Kory: "You hope."

     We moved into our positions; Topash silently moved to the left
into some bushes and began to prepare a Call Lightning spell.  Kortul
went slowly and carefully over to the dragon on the right, mindful not
to make much noise.  Arlor and Razuli, less heavily armed and armored,
moved more quickly into their positions by the leftmost one.  Dania
stayed put, and Kory went to the right and hid in a tree.  The bough-
covered depression made hitting them while they were within an
obviously ineffective approach; hopefully, the lightning would
encourage them to quickly leave the hole.  Clouds gathered slowly
above; flashes of electricity began to spark; an odd smell rose and
the air seemed to acquire a certain charge...

     The lightning struck, flashing into the heads of the two sleeping
dragons, making their great bodies stiffen in a paroxysm of pain.
With a great snarling scream, two heads sprang up, followed by big
wings and claws.  Kortul took one great swing at his dragon, his huge
blade biting into its forelimb.  Razuli stabbed the other in the
belly; Arlor stabbed nearer the base of the tail.  Two magic missiles
flew out, one to each beast.  Kory's song burst out, a rousing and
emboldening battle hymn; also slightly off key.

     Topash called on the boughs that had spread over the pit to hold
the dragons down; he didn't expect much, but maybe it would buy
crucial seconds.  Dania cast a web over the neck and head of Razuli's
dragon.  Kortul swung twice; his first strike glanced off the dragon's
neck, but the second caught it right on the nose, making it bellow
with pain.  Razuli and Arlor stabbed again, Razuli drawing blood from
its flank.  The dragons exploded out of the pit together, snapping the
restraining branches like they were toothpicks; one lashed out with
its claw at Razuli, ripping into his arm, while tearing away the
webbing with its other claw.  The other turned to Kortul and spit;
Kortul avoided the glob, but the stuff splashed and spattered him.

     The two spread their great wings, and seemed about to take to the
air; Topash called the humble creeping shrubbery of the swamp floor to
hold them, which it did, for a time.  More magic missiles streaked out
of the bushes.  Razuli got a lucky hit on his dragon and snapped one
hollow wing bone; Arlor stabbed at its underbelly, but the short sword
did not enter.  Kortul missed completely.  Kortul's dragon tore its
feet loose and leaped to the skies, all the while keeping its beady
eyes fixed on Kortul.  The other bellowed in pain and frustration and
leaped full onto Razuli, clawing and biting and tearing at its tiny
tormentor.  Razuli was barely able to preserve his own precious hide.

     The airborne dragon looked to its mate.  It knocked Arlor away
with its tail, stunning him, and then tried to snatch Kortul up in its
claw; it missed.  The other dragon lunged for Razuli, driving him to
the ground and biting at him.  A Web then appeared on the airborne
dragon's wings, so that it fell, and nearly on top of Kortul.  Kortul
smashed it twice over the head, until it lay still.

     Razuli stumbled away from the dragon; it did not pursue him, but
instead turned toward the tree where Kory was still loudly playing.
It never got the chance to do anything, however; Kortul stabbed it in
the gut from behind, and with a final hiss, it expired.

Kory: "All right!  We be bad!"

Razuli: "Medic!"

Kortul: (Sneers)

Dania: "Is there any loot in that hole?"

Topash: "Yes, look.  I shall see to our companion's revivification."

Arlor: "Yup.  Good pile of coins and stuff.  Lotsa junk, though."

Dania: "Great.  Sort through it, and see if there's enough to buy
     Navero a resurrection."

Topash: "I thought that issue had been settled."

Kory: "By no means!  Let's all sit and argue about it for a longish
     while.  I personally favor bringing back dear ol' darling Navero.
     What is money if you don't have someone to make fun of?  I mean,
     lets be reasonable here."

Razuli: "C'mon, he was practically useless.  But if you really want, I
     guess we can try.  I hope they take teeth."

Dania: "You better hope there'll be something left of you when you
     snuff it, the way you're talking."

Topash: "I really must oppose this.  Defiance of the natural cycle
     runs rampant, but denying the unbreakable course of birth and
     death is morally indefensible.  I do not favor any sort of
     resurrection of the body; it should return to nature, the mother
     of all."

Razuli: "Look, kids, I'm not gonna end my life as fertilizer."

Dania: "You already are."

Kory: "Ah...  I just love lively, well-reasoned debate."

Topash: "Perhaps we can compromise on this.  It can be arranged to
     have him reincarnated, if you really want him back."

Dania: "Yeah, right.  Have him come back as a beaver."

Kory: "Well, he likes water.  Look how many times he fell out of the

Dania: "Oh, shut up.  What's in the pile?"
     The pile contained coin, broken pottery, shards of glass,
colorful pebbles, and other bright shiny refuse; a mixture of the
valuable and valueless, thrown together haphazardly.  We set to work
separating it; piles of gold stuff, silver, some possibly-magical
items, and old junk.  While we were in the midst of this, right out of
nowhere, a bolt of lightning struck the earth, with a tremendous flash
and a cloud of smoke.  The earth trembled as if a God had flicked it
with his smallest finger, and we were all knocked from our feet to the

Truly Awesome Reptilian Voice: "HHUMMANNSSS!!!"

Party: All weapons mysteriously find their way into our hands.

(Smoke clears, reveals Truly Awesome Reptilian Being.)

Truly Awesome Reptilian Being: "I am Thor, favored of the Snake Lords
     Who Must Not Be Named!!  You have been dissipating the Reptilian
     Life Force in this part of the world!!  This will come to an
     End!!"  (Raises Truly Awesome-looking War Hammer.)

Dania: "Oh shit, we're dead."

Daniel Parsons
               "Hey Dungeon Master, isn't your pet iguana named Thor?"
                                   "Why, yes, he is.  Why do you ask?"

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