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Wyverns 1: Dragon 0by Greywolf-ELM
Wheezing breaths are all he can manage. The indignity of running for his life is beyond reason and this deafening is unacceptable. That orc shaman should have lived and cured him of it. If only the wing was not damaged, a flight to the secondary cave would find enough healing magic and enhancement magic to retaliate while the orcs are injured. In the back of his mind the self-styled "Master" is fearful for his life.
"If I must die this day, perhaps a sending to look out for my revenge."
Drigka sees Gaak and Gorga take off out of the room, and realising that there was no leadership near, calls out to the other Orcs. "Follow the warband, we must kill the Dragon." With that he turns and runs from the room, following sounds of Gorga and Gaak running further down the tunnel.
Quickly Rhgl makes his way over to the treasure pile, and makes a few select choices for his personal finances. Oblivious to Rhgl's quick-handedness with a few gems, Sharraxtharkul continues to dance around the body of the Fat Lips shaman. "My foe has been defeated. Ha Ha Ha" In fact, none see the sneaky goblin's quick work.
The rest of the warband, except for Rhgl, decide that maybe they better follow the kobold's direction, and together, climb back up the hollowed-out tree.
Chasing after the dragon, Gorga has reservations about leaving the goblin back with the treasure. While running heavily after the dragon, he manages to blurt out, to the magic of Rhgl's earring. "Rhgl, what are you doing?"
"Gorga, Rhgl is watching the treasure. The treasure is fine. Rhgl has not touched the treasure since you left."
Gaak and Gorga have chased "The Master" out into the open and continue to chase him back up the vale, heading towards a pass between a pair of low mountain peaks.
With the rest of the warband gone, Rhgl moves to hide behind a pedestal. The pedestal is in a small alcove in the room; lighting from the torches is seemingly directed causing it to shine and glint in the light. The goblin is intrigued and lets his curiosity get the better of him. On the pedestal is a carved bone statuette of a regal looking duck. He takes the statue and feels the odd desire to quack come over him.
Drigka sees an orc in the tunnel, leaning against the wall ahead. Thinking nothing of it, he continues to run down the passage. The floor opens underneath him, and he falls into the darkness, 12 shins* below. The orc walks over and looks in. "The Master commands we stop you."
Sharraxtharkul climbs up out of the tree into the shaman's hut. Quickly looking around, he sees Chupa looking out through cracks in the walls to the entrance of the caves below hoping for the chance to cast a spell at the retreating dragon.
"Hurry Chupa we must help Gorga and Gaak."
The kobold runs for the rope and begins climbing down. Not waiting for him to get down, Shar starts down after him, as Hobna, Guru, and Snig come climbing out of the tree.
Unable to retain his grip on the rope, the kobold falls to the ground. Shar curses after him "Oh Drake dung! You clumsy kobold."
The strain of the extra talking while climbing must have been too much for the goblin druid, as his hands slip from the rope as well. He falls three shins to land on the kobold below the rope, and begins muttering various curses about worg dung and goblin balls after falling on top of Chupa.
The kobold can hardly contain himself. "Get off of me stinky goblin. Uh sorry Sharrax, don't curse me."
Drigka calls up to the orc with his most persuasive tone "Hey! You. Let me out of here. We will make it worth your while." His answer is the sound of the top to the pit being cranked inexorably shut.
Outside, Shar makes his way over to the opening in the palisade where they entered, and climbs on Margrax. "Run Margrax, we must be there for the kill." Pointing up the valley Shar guides the wolf. "That way after the dragon."
The orc and ogre slowly gain on the dragon, as he nears exhaustion. Both stop short, as the dragon turns to make a final stand, weariness and blood loss plain to see. Sharraxtharkul comes storming up mounted on Margrax, and the three spread out to surround the hunted beast. Circling to the left, Margrax and Sharraxtharkul circle to close to the enraged and humbled dragon, who rushes up to badly maul the goblin. With a great force of will the goblin manages to hold onto the wolf as Margrax runs quickly in the opposite direction.
From a safe distance, Gorga calls out to the deafened dragon. "Your reign ends here." Using the power granted by his bow, Gorga fires two final arrows into the dragon. With the magic enhancement and Gorga's great strength, they penetrate deeply into the chest piercing his heart.
Shar manages to call upon nature to heal himself somewhat, and turns to survey the dead dragon. He guides Margrax back to make sure the dragon is dead.
With the battle done, Gorga's mind turns to the dragon's hoard and the whereabouts of his warband.
"Rhgl, Is the treasure safe?"
"Gorga, the treasure is fine."
"Rhgl, where is the rest of the warband?"
"Gorga, some went up the tree, Drigka out the tunnel."
"Rhgl, I see the rest now. Find Drigka"
Rhgl sneaks slowly down the hall, and sees the orc standing against the wall. Ignoring him, he continues down the hall, and promptly falls into the pit Drigka found. Rhgl does not fare well from the fall, and is badly injured.
"Drigka, why didn't you tell Rhgl there was a trap there?"
"You weren't supposed to find the trap like that!"
The trapdoor does not close this time. Drigka looks on in surprise, as the goblin waddles over to the wall, and begins jumping and flapping his arms, in some strange manner, as if the goblin thinks he can fly out of the pit.
Shar begins stabbing the slowly cooling body and squeals out "I hate Dragons! You are very mighty with the bow, mighty Gorga. I hate Dragons, I hate Dragons!"
Pointing to the dragon, Gorga tells Gaak, "Bring it back to the camp; we will keep the useful parts of 'the Master.'" He begins to laugh at this his own joke, leaving the others staring at him. "Let's go."
The warband returns to the Dragon's lair, having met up with the rest on the way back to the palisade. They find many dazed and disoriented Orcs in the huts and tunnel on the way back. The Master is dead, and they seem to be affected beyond normal loyalty.
After a plaintive call from Rhgl, Gorga sends Guru and Hobna to get him and Drigka out of the pit.
With quick directions from Gorga, Sharraxtharkul and Gaak begin the grisly job of cleaning and saving bits and parts of the dragon carcass. The core of the creature is still quite hot, despite the recent death.
After grabbing some dragon meat Gorga heads straight for the room with the unconscious Worg, and begins to minister to the starved and weakened creature. Even weakened, he notices the powerful potential of the creature, and knows that this could be the companion he has been waiting for. "Is .... She, okay a she, is she worthy?"
Gorga slowly and carefully ministers his one remaining healing slime, from his personal stash. He also uses his skill in healing that he has learned in his training as well as what he has learned from Sharraxtharkul recently to bind and clean wounds.
While Gorga is starting to trust the shaman, he wants to do this himself. He does not want the Worg to have any divided loyalties, especially not now.
She comes around and he can tell that she's had a hard time of it. Weight loss, fur is looking a little sickly, and her ribs are visible.
Speaking in Goblin "Who rescues Darkhunt? I was to be slave to a dragon."
"I, Gorga Manhunter of the Vile Runes, leader of the Wyverns rescue you. The dragon of which you speak is now dead. Slain by my bow."
"You will not kill or enslave me?" Darkhunt turns to a sitting position and sets the gaze of her intelligent eyes upon Gorga.
"I have known little more than that since I was a pup."
"I have little desire to kill you and I have found a free-willed ally is more useful than a slave.
I believe we can become great allies. What is your goal? If you wish to leave, I will not stop you. However, there is safety and greater success when hunting in a pack. And my pack has been quite successful," Gorga grins widely and offers a hunk of dragon meat to Darkhunt.
Darkhunt's head lurches forward, almost faster than Gorga can react. The Worg has taken the Dragon meat and gobbled it down, without taking fingers with it.
She peers carefully at Gorga.
"You have some power and are the pack leader. I would run with you Gorga. I feel strength, confidence and purpose from you. I have been the slave of giants since I was a pup. Can I join your pack?"
"You are welcome in my pack, Darkhunt. In fact, since I saw this place and you in particular, I somehow felt our destinies connected and I have need of a strong and loyal ally. Can I depend on you?"
"You may perform the bonding ritual, if you wish. But I would be your packmate. To fight for and defend you."
She nips at Gorga's hand, and licks his face, and begins sniffing around.
"Is there more dragon meat? I find my hunger returning. I need to regain my strength. I smell a little brother on you. Is he part of your pack?"
"It was a large dragon." Gorga grins again.
"There is plenty. Come with me." Gorga leads Darkhunt to the dragon remains.
"Yes, there is a wolf in this pack. He is a companion to Sharraxtharkul, the shaman of this warband. We may perform the ritual later, when you are stronger and we have more time."
Next Up: Umm, I thought Iirkh was dead