A Spot of Silver
1001 Ways to Wield a Dagger
The abbey creaked and groaned as the wind howled outside and the thunder cracked overhead. “A bad night to travel,” muttered Vamaniel, “Hope that corpse still has skin when he shows up.”
I chuckled and continued honing my dagger. Turns out fighting enchanted sculptures dulls blades faster than you’d think. “At least he doesn’t mind the cold,” I offered, “I would’ve found a brothel and a warm country girl long ago.”
“As long as he hurries.” Vamaniel didn’t care for the Revenant and his ghoulish songs. “I don’t like just sitting around.”
Almost on cue, the great abbey doors thudded open and a dripping wet bard bounded through. “I have arrived!” crowed the undead dwarf, seemingly ignorant that his soggy garb made him look even more frightful. “Worry not, friends, for I have not returned empty handed! Come, gather around, and let me regale you with the most marvelous tale I heard on my travels.”
“NO!” cried the party of adventurers, most of whom had been sleeping quite peacefully before this grand and macabre entrance.
“Welcome back, Torick. How was your trip, Torick? We missed you so!” mocked the bard. “No matter. You all seem rested enough. Shall we press on into this beauteous place?”
Grumbling at his cheer, the group rose and packed their gear. They had been waiting his arrival before moving forward because their scouting led them to believe that a dragon lay ahead. Ghastly though his songs may be, Torick’s healing was invaluable to the party.
Vamaniel and I crept to the nearby door and peered through. A pair of Kobolds stood in the hallway beyond, bickering about some traps that had been set for rabbits outside. I turned to the party with a smile and said, “Don’t worry, friends. I know how to handle this.” I opened the door, much to the surprise of the Kobolds, and greeted them in their native Draconic.
“Hail, friends! What business do you have here in this place?”
The Kobolds scurried about, clearly flustered, and responded,
“You not be here! Ice Lord need see you!”
After a quick conference, the group decided to go and speak with this “Ice Lord”, feeling perhaps too confident with the return of their party member.
As we were escorted down the hallway, we could feel a deep chill growing ever stronger. Entering an antechamber, we came face to face with the “Ice Lord”, which turned out to be far less impressive than I had hoped. Dragons are known for their size and majesty, but this was only slightly larger than a horse, maybe 3 years old. My initial disappointment was only compounded when this “Ice Lord” opened his mouth and began speaking.
He spoke to us in this tone of entitlement and bravado, puffing himself up with unearned pride. This is one thing that I cannot tolerate. However, we knew there was something to be gained from placating the creature, so we parlayed with him for some time, promising him we would slay his enemies and worship him. This was nauseating.
Convinced of our loyalty, the “Ice Lord” opened up a passage for us which he had sealed. I pulled the group aside and expressed my distaste for the young dragon. Thankfully, all but Torick were in favor of dispatching him, and so we attacked.
With a flurry of steel and spells, we charged the insolent whelp. Quickly we discovered we may have overestimated our strength. His breath was more powerful than we had anticipated, and we quickly fell to dangerously low health. Mercifully, he fell to our blows even as two of our party, myself included, were downed.
Recovering, we pressed on, finding a pair of suicidal goblins and their more life-eager compatriots. Weakened from our previous encounter, these proved more of a challenge than they would have normally, but they too fell to our blades. I myself landed the final blow, and we took a well-earned rest.