I write this now as my crew and I are awaiting trial and likely execution by the Elder Wyrm Dragon Council for mysterious crimes we may have committed. It’s all bullshit and Slate’s fault. Not a soul has spoken to us since our capture. We are imprisoned in the deepest dungeon of the mighty Dragon Fortress City on an island floating above Azlant. This place makes the Mordant Spire look like a slum after a hurricane. It all started a week ago after we stormed the shores of Azlant with treasure on the brain. Please allow me to start at the beginning of a long and tragic story…
The conflict between the Wyverns and the Sea Drakes over the Great Hunter’s territory had tipped in the Wyvern’s favor. The bigger brains on the crew surmised Big Sting was the Wyvern king and possessed the other half of Slate’s treasure map. I was supremely confident, in my ability to track down Big Sting since he and I have dragon blood coursing through our veins. It took us three days exploring the Wyvern stomping grounds to track Big Sting. Wyvern attacks were commonplace. In the end, we prevailed in finding Big Sting’s lair after a particularly dangerous battle with Lord Sting’s royal guard. They came at us while we were scaling cliffs, I thought we were doomed, but Lorenz saved the day by summoning his awkward griffon and single-handedly defeating them in an outrageous aerial combat the likes of which will never be seen again. He effortlessly mopped them up like we never even encountered them in the first place. Lorenz the wily bastard even managed to extract the location of Big Sting’s lair from a falling Wyvern in midair. It was insane! We got to the lair in no time.
Myrrh and I crept into Big Sting’s salt encrusted lair just to get the lay of the land, I swear we didn’t make a sound, but Big Sting detected us and roared a malevolent challenge. I roared my musket right back into his nasty face to answer the challenge. It was time to see who was packing the bigger stinger! His mate emerged from the darkness ready to sting the shit out of us while the rest of my crew piled into the cave. Goethe channeled his powers, Aven swung his great sword, Myrrh aimed for organs, and I stood my ground musket barrel blazing. The kill shot shattered his scales and shredded his bones but not before Aven and I got stung, poisoned, beaten, and slammed. I was willing to spare Big Sting’s mate due to the hatch-lings so I merely grazed her and told her to flee with her babies. Aven and Myrrh had other plans and used the opportunity to try out a new tactic I like to call “stabby stabby chop chop” because the poor lady was turned to mince meat in a blink of an eye in front of her hatch-lings.
I turned to the newborns and calmly said in an even tone, “It was not our intention to do this in front of you. For that we’re sorry. But you can take our word for it, your parents had it comin’. When you grow up, if you still feel raw about it, We’ll be waiting”.
We were fortunate sons and found the missing map in the hatch-ling nest along with Azlanti artifacts, coinage, and a weapons cache. Aven and Goethe examined the map and declared we were in the Great Hunter’s lair. Hot-Damn we truly were fortunate sons!!!
“We did it, the dragon hoard is ours”, Aven triumphantly declared.
“I will start looking for traps”, Myrrh said pulling out his tools.
“What about the Great Wyrm? It is unlawful to take what is not ours”, Goethe questioned.
“Pirate law clearly states FINDERS KEEPERS!”, I excitedly responded.
“It is written in holy triplicate that possession is nine tenths of the law, my friends”, Lorenz answered with a wide grin. Goethe relented, he was too curious about the lair to press the issue. A treasure larger than life was waiting for us.
Around the next corner we got the thrill of a lifetime, we came face to face, with a massive horn-crowned head with bright copper scales. The coppery Great Wyrm had a ridged tail and long wings but was still as a mountain. Not gonna lie we all peed a little because if the dragon woke and found us in his hoard not even Lorenz mercurial words could save us. I thought my best bet at survival would be to trip Goethe and make a run for it. Luckily I didn’t need to do that since the Great Wyrm mysteriously did not stir and peacefully slumbered. Coppers are tricky but I had doubts one would go so far as to let Wyverns settle in his den. Fuck it, before the others could stop me I gave the dragon a hard pat on the nose. I almost fainted with fear and those watching faces were paralyzed in comedic shock. Still no reaction from the dragon. “I will rouse the dragon”, I told my comrades while I pointed my musket at it’s coppery eye. Just kidding I am not so dumb to shoot a Great Wyrm in the face. We quietly backed away to gather ourselves.
We had reached the goal of the contract and a snoozing Great Wyrm was not gonna stop us now. We quickly found another wing in the cave that led into the ruins of an ancient Azlanti temple. Myrrh easily disabled every trap and opened every locked door. We had hit pay dirt like never before because behind every door was unimaginable lost treasure. The first room contained Azlanti antiques galore, the second room contained weapons of peerless quality including a set of five daggers of great beauty, and the last vault held several mysterious objects including the Dragon-hide Armor Slate was after. We all did our happy dances. We separated into two groups. Aven and I fetched Slate and Kaledith due to contractual obligation (Lorenz insisted). Goethe, Lorenz, and Myrrh documented the treasure in holy triplicate.
Big brother Slate was the happiest I had ever seen him. Kaledith was also beaming brightly. We made great haste to the hoard, during the journey Slate was not shy about using his powers to move us along. Big Bro easily removed every inconvenience blocking our path including menacing Wyverns. I thought to myself, “Why did he need us? He’s got power to spare!”. We made it to the hoard in record time and Slate wasted no time getting to the armor. He was possessed, only fixated on the armor, and didn’t give a shit about any of the other priceless treasure. Lorenz talked a mile a minute to slow Slate’s roll. Slate divulged that he wanted the armor for his self (not his benefactor) because of the one of a kind platinum scales the armor was made from.
“I never heard of a platinum dragon”, I said. “No one has”, replied Slate with a toothy smile. I don’t think we could of but we never tried to stop him since the armor was his under the terms of the contract. We all really wanted to know was Slate’s plan for the armor and kept pressing him.
“How about a demonstration?”, Slate ominously offered, “With this know that you held up your end of the bargain!”. Huh….
Slate laid the platinum dragon-hide armor before him and pulled out his magic lamp. He rubbed the lamp while uttering loudly, “Balijan! Grant me my second wish now!!!”. Tendrils of blue smoke emanated from the lamp spout and grabbed the pieces of armor whirling them high in the air. Slowly each piece of armor began fusing with Slate’s flesh, he cackled like a demon, to push through the agony of the melding. The cave walls shook, cracks of thunder echoed, and the wind howled. A blinding light flashed during the crescendo of magical energy. Once Slate’s metamorphosis was complete things calmed down. The blue smoke dissipated revealing Slate new form as a graceful Platinum Great Wyrm of extraordinary size and shimmering scales. I felt like I was going to be crushed by his overwhelming beautiful presence. Slate looked pleased as hell.
“Me next”, I cried.
Slate stopped laughing, stretched out his his wings, and roared to the heavens. Slate smiled to us and said, “I must be going now my friends. Sorry to leave you after you have given me so much but I have things to do. Know that nothing will be the same anymore”, he then disappeared leaving his last words hanging in the air, “Until we meet again my friends”.
“Me next”, I cried again desperately, the words echoed through the cave. We all dumbfounded stared at each other.
“What in the hell was that?”, a shocked Aven spoke.
“Was that good for us or bad?”, questioned a shaken Myrrh.
“Very interesting he used a wish to become one with the platinum scales”, Goethe said.
“Let’s pack up the treasure before something else happens”, commanded a nervous Lorenz. At that moment the tremors began again and loud flapping noises rolled in from the outside.
“What now?”, said a worried Kaledith.
Then we saw a man with a powerful build adored with flawless silver full plate armor enter the lair. “Everyone out!!!”, he shouted and to emphasize his point he pierced his sword a foot deep into the stone floor in a dazzling display. We all obeyed. Outside of the cave he were surrounded by monstrous Great Wyrm dragons. My emotions were in shambles I was one part awed, one part happy, and seven parts scared shitless. Goethe demanded, “What is the meaning of this?”. The Gold dragon picked him up and squeezed him unconscious and told the rest of us, “You will be judged”. She then spread her wings and took off with Goethe towards a flying island that was slowly eclipsing the sun. The other dragons each grabbed one us and did the same.
Now we await our fate. Will this be a fair trial? What are the charges? Can we escape?