February 18, 2001
Sssspeak to Me - by Beekay
A bluebird shot past the halfling like an arrow, singing its song. The
halfling stopped short. He could feel the air ripple from the bird's wing
barely a breath from his eyes. Grunting, he looked up, and cursed the gods for
creating such little bastards as these. His name was Beekay, and he was not
The sun stood high above the coastal range, like a giant ball of light on a
blue canvas. The scent of the sea hung thick in the air, and the screams of
seagulls pierced the quiet. A long, winding path followed the edge of a large
cliff, and upon this path, walked our hero. The sun above his head, the wind
at his back, and the hard ground beneath his feet, Beekay had a feeling that
today was going to be a horrible day.
The sun cast a violet glow as it slipped beneath the horizon, and the
traveling halfling stepped off the path a few dozen yards to set up camp.
Dropping his pack to the ground, he surveyed the small clearing he had
selected as a campsite. It measured at about ten feet by twelve feet, and was
good, packed soil. He noticed the lack of animal tracks, along with the
absence of any plant life, which was odd, considering the thick growth in the
area. He removed the tent from his pack, and was about to drive the first
stake into the ground when he hesitated. He looked around. The sounds of
nature ceased. The crickets stopped chirping, and the air grew cold. The
breath escaped from Beekay's lips in a visible cloud. He turned his head this
way and that, looking around for danger.
The air slowly grew warmer, and the sounds of the crickets yet once again
filled the air with their cheerful chirping. Relaxing, Beekay grabbed the
stake firmly in his hand once again, drove it into the ground, and that was
when the world exploded.
Groggily, Beekay sat up, rubbing his head, and tried to adjust his eyes to the
darkness. Holding his hand up to his face, he saw nothing. For some reason,
his infravision wasn't working, though he knew that he had cast the spell
correctly. He was unnerved by being blind in the dark. He felt the ground
below him; It was a smooth stone, marble, by his estimation. On all fours,
he felt around, crawling, in hopes of finding a wall. Finding one not but a
few yards ahead, he stood. He walked around the room, sliding his palms along
the walls. After about fifteen minutes, he found a door. It was made of
wood, bound with great pieces of hammered iron. The wood felt rough against
his fingers, the iron dimpled by numerous hammer strikes.
Pushing the door open gently, slowly, he was about to step out of the room
when he heard a sound of an incredible amount of weight being shifted, and a
"I ssmell... halfling." The voice was incredibly deep, accented by a
hissing. The voice reminded Beekay of a dragon he had once called upon
outside the Temple of Bloodstone, an ancient gold, whose name he had never
learned. For some reason, he doubted that that majestic creature would be
spending its time underground in a place as miserable as this.
The halfling froze, a teleportation spell upon his lips. He peered through
the narrow opening between the door and threshold, and his jaw dropped at what
he saw. Before him was a room, dimly lit by a dying torch on the wall,
covered with vast amounts of gold and gems, piled higher than he stood
tall. The jewels glowed brightly, even in the absence of a strong light
source, and the gold magnified the light that was already there. Atop this
treasure mound lay a dragon, at least thirty feet long from what Beekay could
see of it. Its scales were pitch, their edges a dark purple. This was an
ancient black dragon.
"Come in... my little... friend..." the dragon hissed, its head bobbing back
and forth ever so slightly, "I would have sspeakingss with you... it is not
often I get... visitorsss."
The halfling thought about this for only a second before he entered the room.
Best not to stall, he was certain dragons didn't like to wait. Plus, if the
dragon wanted to kill him right now, he would be dead already. Regardless, he
kept the teleportation spell at the tip of his tongue.
The dragon shifted its position a few inches, causing hundreds of coins to rain
down to the cold floor. "The only reassson...", it continued, "that you are
alive right now...is that I cannot decide whether to parley with you... or eat
you." The dragon's eyes glowed a dark crimson for an instant with his last
Beekay stopped dead in his tracks. He'd been through many an adventure, but
he'd never experienced being eaten alive by a giant lizard. He didn't exactly
want to start now. He gulped.
The wyrm seemed to decide on the latter. He lowered his head somewhat, and
spoke. "What iss it that you're known asss, amongssst your people?" He
stared straight at our hero. A great talon clicked on the cold stone floor.
"Beekay", he stated, "and what is your name?" He looked at the dragon,
wondering how long this conversation, and therefore, his life, would last. The
dragon grunted. "My name isss... unimportant."
The conversation lasted for hours. Beekay related changes in the world,
who had risen to power, who had fallen, new discoveries in the world of magic
and swordplay ("Malediction? Tell me more of thisss..."), and drastic changes
in certain parts of the world ("There are now ssseveral casstless?") The
talking finally slowed to a halt, then ended. The dragon and Beekay looked
each other in the eyes.
"The converssation sseemss to have ended", the black wyrm whispered. He
straightened his back, the vertebrae popping as he stretched. He sat, his
front limbs on the ground, and he shot his head at the halfling's form,
stopping a mere few inches from Beekay's face. "You have enlightened me to
the current sstate of Medievia, little one. For that, I am willing to offer
you a head sstart. If you can keep thiss far from me, you desserve it. If you
cannot, you are mine!" He reached to the side of his giant body, and pulled a
large green emerald from underneath a massive scale. He threw it at the
halfling, and started to move towards the exit.
Beekay glanced at the massive hoard of gold and gems as he picked up the
emerald. The dragon stopped, turned its head slowly, and shook a talon at
him. The great black continued on, crouched at the mouth of the cave, and
shot up, his wings spreading rapidly.
Our hero stood silently for a few moments. Blinking, he wondered if he would
be able to really get away. He chanted the magical words that would return
him to Medievia square, and disappeared suddenly, hoping the dragon wouldn't
find him there.
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