August 15, 2000
I live in the majestic city of Medievia, where I own a small house in the suburbs. Every morning I get up and roll out of my bunk and put on my equipment.
I am an adventurer.
In fact, I am a prominent one. I am a member of my father's clan, but for many years I was a member of another, where I became the co-leader to a man named Riack.
Long have I adventured in Medievia. In the spring of the year of Spoiled Oysters, I experienced the great war of the Demon Lords. In that same summer, I had one other adventure like no other.
Many have told me that what I lack in the abilities of hand-to-hand combat, I make up for in the abilities of tale-telling. That is why today I will tell you the tale of that splendid summer. I hope you shall enjoy it.
It was hot that splendid morning of midsummer, when I rolled out of bed and put on my gear (much as I did on any other day, of course). Then, just as I was about to leave my comfy abode, I heard someone knocking on the door.
"What is it?" I shouted toward the front of my home. "It is nine in the morn."
"'Tis me, you uncultured oaf!" came the voice of a man I knew well, and who but my best friend would make such stupid comments!
"Just for that, I shall not let you in," I crossed my arms about my chest and stuck my nose into the air. "You, my friend, are an arse!"
"I shall bust the door down!" And then, in a shower of splintered wood, a figure wielding a huge glowing warhammer appeared in the doorway. His name was Kakkaraun, and he was my friend.
I stared at him discontentedly. "You will pay for that."
"Bah!" he said, and smacked me across the back of the head, as to induce great physical harm.
"What do you want?" I said as I kicked my friend in the knee. He stumbled and fell backwards into a crumpled heap.
"Haven't you heard?" He looked up towards my stern face.
"Heard what?" retorted, grabbing his hand and jerking him up.
"Now, who is an arse? And a stupid one at that. Shadmire! you fool, Shadmire!" He raised his hands in a peaceful gesture, but continued. "The golden dragon Samrah was attacked by a band of thieves last night. He has been terribly weakened!"
"O!" I squeaked. "A dragon? That is impossible! He would have regenerated his power by now!"
"Not so! You sleep like a log, o worm of a man!"
"And what do my sleeping habits have to do with a golden dragon?" I raised one eyebrow at the marauding cleric.
"Fool! You slept through the earthquakes that kept the beast weak! You slept by merrily as the feral storm of wasps drove right into his lair. And yet, you rested peacefully as a bolt of lighting drove him to near-death."
"And you have heard this where? From your friend Tirilus, who was slaughtered by a balrog that he knew he could kill?"
"No, I heard it with my own ears, camped out near the entrance of his lair through the night. Why, just look at me you oaf!" It was true. His body was covered in the mud of the Shadmire region. He had a bad scar, where his baggy, black pants were ripped on his leg, most likely the result of a blazing bolt of lightning.
"I see. Perhaps we shall assault the dragon in his lair?" I stroked my chin in perplexity, pulling up a stool to sit down upon.
"Yes, we shall. And we shall go soon, before others try our mission." He grabbed me by the wrist, pulling my arm (and the rest of my body, quite painfully might I add) out of the house. I pulled away from his grasp, and quickly locked my front door before following him out onto the street.
Shadmire wasn't really out of walking distance, but we had to get there quickly. We didn't want the folk already out on the road to get there first, so Kakkaraun telepathically called for a dragon. A firelizard, which was one of the only creatures that dragons could communicate with from far distances, popped into the area. It rushed up towards my friend, holding out a hand. Kakkaraun threw a bag of coins, payment, at the creature. It grabbed the money and disappeared. I did the same, and was also charged a fee. Soon, we saw the silhouettes of two great dragons on the horizon. They landed, and we got on their backs and ordered them to take us to Shadmire.
We set off at breakneck speed, flattening a merchant's booth in the process. He cursed and pointed at us as we flew off into the early morning sky. I threw another bag of coins to him to pay for the damages. Dragons are really expensive, after all. The dragon that Kakkaraun was riding looked at my dragon, and a bit of fire spouted from its mouth. My dragon, in return, shot a glance at my friend's, and then pow! my dragon hit his dragon with a powerful smack of the tail.
They seemed to be old friends, greeting each other as men would punch their brothers in the arms. However, a misplaced slap of the tail sent Kakkaraun flying to the ground below. One rocking dragon and I followed in his footsteps, or rather, fell in his footsteps.
We landed on the middle of the road with aching headaches. Kakkaraun had a sore on his chest. Dragons do have powerful tails, after all. I quickly used my skills to heal him, and since he was a cleric himself, he healed me. Soon after recovering from this, we looked both ways down the path, and saw two men in hooded cloaks coming along the road behind us.
"Hail!" shouted one of them. "Where are you two going, in such a hurry?" He raised a hand in friendly greeting.
"We go to the lands of Shadmire in hopes of ending the life of the Golden Dragon Samrah!" shouted Kakkaraun. He stared at the man with malice, and a strange glint in his eyes. I thought it quite strange. "We will be on our way then."
"Wait!" shouted the other man. "I know you! You are Kakkaraun, my enemy! I challenge you for the rights to kill the Dragon!"
"Fine then, we shall do battle! I have waited to duel you so long! I will be assisted by my partner, Nexis." I protested with a squeak as he gestured towards me, "And who shall be your partner?"
"I take with me the master Warrior Gilgatoh, who shall impale your ugly face upon a stick!" They cast off their cloaks, and revealed heavily armored forms. The first pulled a short sword from a sheath at his belt, the second wielded a mace and wore a shield. "Let us do battle!"
Kakkaraun shot a few quick somatic gestures and verbal commands into the air, initiating his favorite combination of spells. A spectral raven appeared in the air and flew into his chest, an ethereal suit of armor appeared about him and vanished, and two auras, one to protect from evil and another that protected from all damage, covered his body. I copied most of his motions, but with a few differences in my casting style. Then, I chanted as an ethereal hammer appeared in the air. It crushed one of the warriors, nearly killing him. Kakkaraun leapt into the air with his staff held forward. He landed on one of the enemies and chanted furiously as he dissolved the man's evil with his own goodness. Meanwhile, I was engaged in a heated battle with the other fighter.
He bashed me about the head with the hilt of his mace, stunning me and keeping me from casting my spells. I was able to get a few through, but whenever he was damaged he quaffed a few golden potions and seemed fully healed again. Yet Kakkaraun was faring better in his berserk rage. His enemy was already covered in blood from his oozing wounds, and wasn't able to attack well with my friend's weight on him. But, he finally broke free and sent a volley of attacks into Kakkaraun.
He stumbled back, gashes on his body, and cast the spell called Heal. He felt his wounds go away to the awe of his enemy, then set to one last attack. Kakkaraun reached out and grabbed the fiend. He held tight until the foe's flesh withered away and he perished. Kakkaraun stood triumphant above his enemy's corpse, which promptly disappeared. Then he finally rushed to help me.
I was nearly dead. He jumped in and healed me, then stood between the warrior, withstanding blow after blow as I prepared my final spell. Another hammer appeared in a blaze of holy light, and crushed my enemy, killing him.
Kakkaraun healed me, and I healed him. We rested, waiting for our mana to return. In this time I realised I had not yet eaten my breakfast, and quickly shoveled down a loaf of bread and some traveling jerky. By the time our mana had returned, we were more than ready to go and we headed down the short road to Shadmire. In almost no time, we were there.
"Why did you have to drag me into that stupid battle, you oaf? You may enjoy pain, but I do not!" I said to him.
"You are the oaf! That was a fatal vendetta, now delayed until some crazy god lays mercy on the waste of flesh and his friend. I've fought the animal so many times, I know him and his friends like the back of my hand."
"Indeed! Oh, why, oh, why did I come with you? Next time I will prefer a sharp kick in the groin to one of your blasted adventures!"
"Oh, shut up, why don't you? We are there, and it is time to kill the dragon!" He held open a wall of leaves formed from a huge old willow, and we stepped into the abysmal, dark place. Just as soon as we were inside, we heard a terrible roar and turned to face a horrible bear that stood seven feet in the air.
It reared up, and with a mighty slash knocked the paralyzed Kakkaraun into the shrubbery. I cast protective spells on myself, and set to battle with the great thing. In seconds the battle was joined when Kakkaraun recovered from the mighty strike. Soon the beast lay bloody and defeated on the forest floor.
"Come!" said Kakkaraun. "We have wasted too much time already! I know the way into the dragon's lair. I beseech you, follow straight!" I followed in my friend's adventurous footsteps, as he led me quickly past glowing tree spirits and other strange beasts of the woods. In no time, we were near a strange hole, muddy and smelly, in the middle of the ground. He led me through it, down into a mud-covered catacomb beneath the land. We ran quickly past some strange, mutated swamp creature, and soon emerged outside again, below a cliff.
"Here is the beast's lair!" said my friend. "We shall go now. Prepare your spells." In seconds, we were covered in auras and armors of all sorts. Kakkaraun put his finger to his lips, meaning silence, and we crept slowly into the cavern.
We emerged in a cave with a single occupant: the Golden Dragon Samrah. He was indeed a wonder to behold, covered in the most beautiful gold scales. He had golden horns, and a small pair of mittens on his hands.
"Mittens?" I said aloud, and as Kakkaraun covered my mouth the dragon turned his head slowly, and saw us.
"Why come you to the lair of Samrah?" he bellowed. Before he was even done, Kakkaraun was upon him. He cast spell after spell upon the dragon, and only when he was in a real battle did I have the presence of mind to join the fray.
I jumped in next to my partner, with a grin on my face. I healed him and he healed me, for that spell loses much potency when cast on oneself. So, in this fashion, we were able to reduce the dragon to near death in minutes.
Then, a terrible fear came over me. I felt my body completely sapped of mana. "Kakkaraun!" I screamed. "I am manaless! Manaless, I say!" Then, he looked at me with fear in his eyes. A terrible blast exploded in the cave. We were sent flying backwards, and the air was filled with mud and stone debris. The air stayed brown for many minutes. When the dust finally cleared, we saw two red eyes filled with malice. Though much of our mana had returned, we were paralyzed with fear.
I could do nothing. I was held fast by terror. But Kakkaraun was not.
He leapt into the air, his eyes filled with some strange emotion I could not decipher, his mouth twisted in sadistic glee. He shouted the incantation to a powerful spell, the one he had used to defeat his enemy earlier, and laid his hands upon the dragon, who screamed out in pain. Its flesh disappeared, the world appeared to spin as the dragon filled the chamber with a last blast of flame. Then, in one white explosion, I blacked out.
What happened in that time I do not know. All I remember is waking up, feeling quite hurt, and seeing Kakkaraun stuffing things into his bag of holding.
"Ah!" He said when he saw me waking. "I see you have finally gotten less lazy again. I have taken the liberty of healing you. We can split this dragon's treasure. He has many coins."
"Good!" I replied. "I have come in need of gold as of late." I noticed one corner of the room was full of shoes. "What are all those shoes for?" I asked.
"Samrah collects shoes, silly. Everyone knows that. But these shoes are a waste, worthless. I will leave them for some poor barefooted person to take."
"How kind of you!" I said in mock amazement, as he helped me to my feet. I straightened my cloak quickly. "So, shall we return to the city?"
"Yes, we shall!" He snapped his fingers, and we found ourselves back in the comfortable city of Medievia. I quickly grabbed my portion of the coins, leaving Kakkaraun to sell the other items. He would give me a share of that later.
I retreated to my comfortable abode. I had had enough adventures for one day. I stripped off my equipment and collapsed in bed, pulling the sheets over my head, and fell asleep.