Death of Dragons #1

June 26, 2017

Chapter 1: A Newfound Power

When Teien came to, his battered and singed wife was looking down on him with concern.  “Teien, my love,” she said as she caressed the side of his face.

“How did I escape the blast?” he asked.

“You flew like a leaf on the wind, father,” replied his daughter who was also nearby.

Teien closed his eyes.  Something had changed in him.  It was as if something had snapped, and he felt the newly released power coursing through his veins.  He did a kip-up to get to his feet and felt more balanced than he had even in his youth.  Where had this power come from?

Turning his head to the side, he saw his house burning.  They could not stay here.

The first thing I have to do is get my family to safety. My parents know I’m alive, but I’ve avoided them due to the shame I would bring them by continuing to associate with them. However, now that my wife and children are in need, they may be able to help them and maintain their honor as I seek to reclaim mine. If I can rescue my son from the Sedai Hogosha, I may win back my honor. Unfortunately, my parents live miles from here, and we’ll have to cross not only the attacked village below but also the dangerous terrain between.

“Gather what is most important. I’ll take you to my parents and then go find Junan,” I tell my wife. She looks at me with understanding, knowing how much pain that will cause me, but begins sifting through what isn’t burnt to gather what we may need for the journey. Our first stop must be the village down the road from our mountaintop abode.

Random Event?: No random event

Is the path blocked?

Answer to Yes/No Question: No

We make it to the village easily. I see smoke coming from several buildings. Is the village completely destroyed?

Answer to Yes/No Question: Yes

It looks like the vast majority of the village is destroyed. Are there any survivors around?

Answer to Yes/No Question: No

As I begin to look for survivors, I notice something that I should have noticed much earlier: the silence. There are no noises, not even the whimpering of wounded. Either they’re all dead or the few survivors have left. Can I find tracks leading away from the village?

Answer to Yes/No Question: Yes

It looks like some of the villagers got away. Should I track down these people because it’s my duty to care for the poor? I play 2D to lowball.

Cards Drawn: Kc,8s

I’m not compelled to do so. My family comes first at this time. Let’s look through the rubble first. There may be something of use here.

Location: Thank goodness. A healer’s temple will come in handy some day.

A local herbalists hut on the edge of the village seems to be slowly smoldering rather than burning outright. Is there anything of value in there?

Answer to Yes/No Question: No

Nothing. Time to move on unless something else jumps out at me.

Random Event?: No random event

What’s on the other side of the village?

Location: Large rock formations seem to make familiar shapes. There’s camel rock, the lion’s head, and the meditating monk. Each formation could make a strategic vantage point.

These rock formations are difficult to get through. Their height makes this area like a maze to anyone traversing it on the ground level. Many of the area’s bandits travel on top of the rocks as much as possible. I should probably try to get up top to make sure there are no bandits about. Using “Strength of a Gale” I’ll brute force climb my way up by wedging myself between two close structures. It’s a DC 2. I’ll play KC and 4C to crown with 5C for a total of 19.

Cards Drawn: Js,Qs,7s

20! The rock formations are just too tall. The bandits use specialized equipment they have mounted on a few rock formations to get up top. I know the villagers try to keep the equipment knocked down from the rocks, but they always come back. I’ll just have to hope the bandits aren’t here. Hopefully they were scared off by whatever that beast was that set the village on fire. There must be a way to keep my wife and daughter safe as we traverse this area! That thought sends tendrils of power spinning through my mind. Wisps of green begin to swirl around my head , and my wife gasps as she sees it. Just as quickly, the energy swirls fly directly into my ears. It’s like my hearing has been enhanced ten- or twenty-fold. I can hear the wind speaking to me. Is my hearing good enough to hear bandits if they were there? 8S

Cards Drawn: Qc,6d

As my mind catching up to what my ears are hearing, I realize it’s the steady rush of air sounding like a colossal river flowing around a rock. There’s a deep and long intake of breath before the exhale. There’s something out there that is huge and drowning out all other sounds. Am I surprised by a bandit attack?

Answer to Yes/No Question: Yes

“Stop or they die,” I hear from above me. “Give us all you have,” the voice demands nervously. They must be scared having seen that great beast and probably don’t want to be too loud drawing the attention of whatever is out there. Before I respond, I stop and look around. Is there a rock formation nearby with an overhang that I could hide my family underneath?

Answer to Yes/No Question: Yes

I slowly move closer to my wife and child while looking up to count the bandits. How many are there?

1 rolls of 10-sided dice: 3,

Sum of 1 rolls of 10-sided dice: 3 + 0 = 3

Three that I can count. “We have nothing of value. Our house was just burned by a massive creature. It looks like it just got the village too. We only seek to flee,” I tell them honestly. They look at each other for a moment in fear. That’s my cue. I grab my daughter and thrust my wife towards the overhang trying to get them out of range of the bandit bows. I’ll use “Move like the Wind”, but with no clubs I’ll have to random draw and cache my universal for a total of 14.

Cards Drawn: 5s,4c,7c

I make it to the rock outcropping and shove my family safely underneath behind me. “Please allow us to pass. We mean you no harm,” I call out from underneath the rocks. Do the bandits continue their attack?

Answer to Yes/No Question: Yes

The bandits jumped down to the ground knowing that they had no shot from above. I guess they wanted to fight. Are there really only three of them or did more show up?

Answer to Yes/No Question: Yes and

Now that I get a look at the bandits, it looks like they’re not in the best shape either. One of them looked to have an arm injury and another looked just flat out scared. This should be a good warm-up for me. “I don’t want to hurt you, but I will protect my family,” I say to the bandits. They aggressively move forward. I notice their positions and think in my head of the series of moves necessary to disable them without a minimum of damage. I’ll use “Retired Kung Fu Master” skill against a DC 2 with 10D and 9D for 19D.

Cards Drawn: 3s,10s,5h

I roll to my left and break the bow of the first bandit in half and then throw my staff out to trip the frightened one. Lunging toward the remaining bandit, the one with the injured arm, I easily knock his dagger with a backflip kick that lands me next to the fallen bandit and my staff. I kick my staff back up into my hand and hover it over the prone bandit’s face. “This can end now. Please let it,” I say. Do they stop their attack?

Answer to Yes/No Question: Yes

The two further bandits turn to run. As the third tries to get up, I push him back down with my staff. “Have you seen the beast?” I ask him.

Answer to Yes/No Question: Yes and

“Yes, and it’s still nearby. Most of our brethren had already fled, but Kironan was hurt as the creature flew low over the tops of these rocks. We hung back to help him and then saw you. We just thought we’d get whatever we could from you and leave. In fact, we shouldn’t even be here. It’s still close and we don’t know why! Let me go!” I let him go as he inexpertly wriggles out of my grasp. If the beast is still here, what does it want? Does anything else happen?

Random Event?: No random event

I close my eyes and concentrate on the slight breeze I know runs above the rock formations. The sounds begin to sharpen and amplify in my mind. Behind the retreating footsteps of the bandits, I can hear the beast breathing again. Perhaps I can track it’s direction by the sound? My card play had been 8S.

Cards Drawn: 2s,4d

Yes, I can. What direction is the breathing coming from?

Direction: North

It must be just beyond the edge of the rocks on the ground. “Stay here,” I tell my family handing my wife the discarded dagger. “The beast is still nearby. I must found a way around it if possible.” My wife nods to me with concern in her eyes.

I try to sneak up on the beast DC 3 with Move like the Wind, 3C.

Cards Drawn: 7d,9d,3d,2d

“Little man of earth. Where is she?” a voice rumbles from the edge of the rocks. I choose to stay silent and not come out. From inside the rocks, I can only see that the creature is large. It appears red and scaly, like a lizard. “Answer me, for I am your king and god. Subjects do as they are bid. Tell me before I lose patience.” I still don’t answer. I’m not sure what to do or what this thing is. “I can smell her, or a breath of her, upon you. Now, WHERE…IS…SHE?!” the voice rumbled with the last three words accompanied by a crashing of some of the rocks near the edge. This is crazy. I must lead this beast away from here if my family has a chance to survive.

My staff begins to glow in my hands, and I feel more power welling up inside me. On instinct I gently push the end of my staff into the ground and feel power leave my body. (3S to activate entangling.)

“What is this?!” the deep voice cries out. I can see vines growing from the ground and moving towards the beast. Another instinct takes over my body. In times of great stress that instinct is either towards fight or flight. The need for flight was overpowering my senses. There was nothing I could do to stop this great beast, but I could run. I took off and realized I was in the air. Looking back and towards the ground, I can see that the beast is a dragon like the stories of old. It sees me running away and begins snapping the vines surrounding its legs. It launches into the air after. I must flee quickly and lose it in the surrounding area. What is nearby?

Location: This cliff face is intimidating enough, but there appear to be dwellings carved into it as well. Who would live in the side of a cliff?

After the rock formations is a cliff with some holes in the sides. Surely something lives there, right? Do I see anything?

Answer to Yes/No Question: Yes and

There are some great birds living on the cliff face. Maybe I can use those as a distraction. I try to weave in and out of the caves and touch my staff down in every opening causing flowers to grow there. I want the flowers to smell like what I smell like, hopefully the same smell the dragon is following. To avoid the dragon and lose it in the confusion, is a DC 3. I play QS and 5S and crown and cache for 4S and KS giving 29.

Cards Drawn: 2h,9s,Qd,5c

The birds around the holes in the cliff face scatter in confusion and chaos. The dragon at first plows into them and then slows to examine some of the flowers I’ve left behind. One flower in particular causes the great beast to hover slowly above it, almost in contemplation. That is my moment to slip away. I fly back to my family, gather them in my arms, and flee the area. A great roar shatters through the frightened sqwaks of the birds as we make our get away. What is nearby?

Location: A huge rocky ledge juts out providing a natural overhang. It’s the perfect place to hide.

Flying to the other side of the village, as far from the beast as I can get, I see another rocky outcropping, but this one is huge. It sits at the edge of a forest and should be a place to hide for now. I set down my surprised family (who knew I could fly?), and collapse on the ground. “I must…rest…,” I pant to them before collapsing to sleep for the night.