Medievia Mudslinger

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 happy.

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 voice.

"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 word.

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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