Designed by Mhordamis
Lifespan: 45 minutes
Medium Groups: 16-20
Large Groups: 15-20
Prince Bedomon tiredly walked down the wide, stone passageway which led to the chamber of Samrah, the golden dragon. His bloodstained tabard of white, which had the emblem of the Sacred Covenant of Kingdoms embroidered on the left breast, literally hung onto the Prince's robust torso by a thread. His silver chainmail was rented and torn beyond repair; the buckles on his boots were ripped away by the venomous claws of a mutated humanoid in the mud pool, and he was forced to replace them with a lovely pair of leather shoes which his mother, the Queen, had packed into his clothing bundle before he set off on this adventure of glory and riches.
The three minstrels who had so boldly accompanied the Prince on his journey had died on his way to conquer the dragon. The first one, a dashing man named Junwin, had perished to an abomination of the forest; the second bard, a scrawny man who had a creepy glass eye and called himself Thomon, had his limbs ripped away and eaten by a gang of mutated humanoids in the sludge pits; and the last one who met his demise, a plump drunk named Mork, fell off his horse and split his skull open.
The Prince had fought through the Deepwood of Shadmire, ventured into the warren, trudged through the mud pools and eventually found the passageway that led to Samrah's lair. Thoughts of greed ran through his mind at the pace of a hurricane's wind, as he imagined what he would do with the dragon's gold after he had defeated the beast.
Prince Bedomon's kingdom was bankrupt. How it happened, he did not know. His father, the king, sent him on this quest to collect Samrah's riches and bring it back to the Vault. He was the third heir to the throne, the lowly son who was predicted to go nowhere in life. Perhaps this was just some scheme the king and his advisors plotted to prevent Bedomon from causing political and sibling rivalry over the throne.
No, Bedomon did not have any desire to return to the castle with the dragon's loot. He was going to take it and live somewhere far, far away from his devious brothers and cruel father. For too long had he been the punching bag of the family, and for too long has his father sent him on these suicide missions.
With grim determination written on his face, Prince Bedomon charged into the dragon's lair, the blade of his blood-caked sword glimmering in the torchlight.
"Hey!" shouted a deep, thunderous voice.
"What?" he said, looking in the general direction of the source of the voice.
Towering nearly forty feet above the Prince was the largest creature he had ever seen. Golden scales armored every inch of the beast's immense body, but they looked somehow dull, even rusted. A pair of oval-shaped, emerald eyes stared down at Bedomon curiously. Protruding from beneath the eyes was a long, pointy snout which was trimmed in tiny, ivory spikes. The colossal dragon had a wingspan of over twenty paces, and claws that looked like platinum daggers hooked out of Samrah's thin hands.
Bedomon trembled in his shoes, but he refused to let the dragon sense or see his fear, and quickly got his legs under control. He cleared his throat in an attempt to get the deepest, most intimidating voice he could, and thought of what he could say to strike fear into Samrah. But before he could gather the words for his speech, the dragon spoke first.
"I said, hey! What are you doing here?" The dragon's voice boomed, shaking the dome-shaped walls which surrounded them.
"Oh, um...." Bedomon considered his words. Clearing his throat once again, he shouted, "I have come to slay you, and loot you of all your riches!"
"Now that's not very polite of you," said Samrah in a tsk-tsk manner. "What did I ever do to you?"
Bedomon blinked in astonishment. Could this monster be serious? "Well you haven't done anything, really. But the truth is I need your gold."
"Oh," said the dragon in a melancholic tone. "Oh. Well, I haven't got any of that. Sorry."
"What?" Bedomon replied in amazement. "You have no jewels, no ancient relics or gold?"
"Why not? You're a dragon! All dragons have gold!"
"You're being awfully rude, sir. You enter my home uninvited, you probably had to kill a handful of my servants just to get here, and now you speak to me in this tone," Samrah said disapprovingly.
"Do you have any idea how many perils I had to face just to get here, you mongrel!"
"Oh, be nice."
"I lost three minstrels on the--"
"Oh!" the dragon said excitedly. "You're a prince! Why didn't you say so from the start. I haven't had one of you visit me in...hmm...must be three decades by now."
The cavern was suddenly silent. The dragon broke the silence. "To answer your question earlier, not all dragons collect gold."
"Oh?" Bedomon said sardonically. "The last three quests my father sent me on involved slaying dragons, and each one of those had jewels and gold!"
"Again, the rudeness."
Bedomon blinked. "Well sorrrrrrrrrry!" he said with as much emotion as a stone has.
"Young Prince, I am not a greedy dragon. I see no point in adding gold to my vault. What can I, a forty-six foot tall dragon, do with gold, other than collect it?" Samrah asked. "It's not like I can stroll into some tavern and buy a drink. It's not as if a shepherd wouldn't give me his flock if I asked for it. Really, treasure is humans."
The Prince laughed hysterically. "A dragon that doesn't hoard treasure? This is ridiculous."
The dragon shook his enormous head. "Young Prince, I do not have any treasure for you."
"Then what on earth do you collect?" Bedomon asked impatiently.
"I collect shoes."
Bedomon looked around him and stared in gaping amazement at the mountains of footwear which were piled up along the cavern floor. "Why in the name of the gods would you collect shoes?"
"I also knit mittens," the dragon said, avoiding the Prince's question. "See?" Samrah reached behind his gigantic figure and pulled two small sewing needles and some colorful, tiny mittens from the darkness. He held them up for Bedomon to examine. "They're quite beautiful, aren't they? Centuries ago, my father told me that dragons couldn't sew, but look at me now!"
The Prince rolled his eyes and let out an exasperated sigh. "Dragon, you better have something of value or else I'll slay you just for the fun of it."
Samrah's serpentine, scaled neck came down and stared Bedomon directly in the eyes. "Those shoes you are currently wearing look particularly nice, you know. They would do just wonders for my collection."
The Prince peered threateningly into the dragon's sparkling, emerald eyes, and said, "Your eyes are like beautiful crystals, Samrah. I'd love to gouge them out with a fork and sell them."
The dragon's head snapped back. "Are you coming onto me?" he asked seriously.
"What?" Bedomon screamed. "No! Of course not! I thought we were just exchanging threatening words and what not!"
"Oh," Samrah said. The dragon sighed, a deep rumble that resembled thunder. "I'm really not in the mood to play that game, young Prince. Look, let me have one of my servants bring us some food and we'll talk it over dinner. Does that sound all right?"
Bedomon sat down on the hard, earthen floor, more from exhaustion than what the dragon told him to do. "Okay. What are we having?"
The dragon shrugged - or at least it looked like Samrah shrugged, to the Prince's eyes. "Who knows? They always bring something delicious, though. Servant!" the dragon roared.
A mud-covered, odd-looking humanoid shuffled into the room. "Yes, Master?"
"Those monsters in the mud pools are your servants?!" Bedomon asked, surprised.
"Hmm? Oh, yes," the dragon replied. "Servant, bring us some dinner."
"Right away, Master." The humanoid lurched out of the cavern, and returned moments later carrying two silver plates. "Here you are, Master."
"Thank you, Lechteghangian. That will be all."
The servant bowed and left the dragon and Prince alone, after dropping the two plates in front of them. As the Prince scanned the contents of the meal, he noticed there was something round and hard in it, almost like a polished, white rock. When he picked this unidentified object up for closer examination, he noticed there was a device meticulously painted on it in rich colors.
Then it struck him. "Oh, gods! It's Thomon's glass eye!"
"I'll eat that if you don't want it," said the dragon, already through with his meal.
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