The Doomed Bastards: Reckoning (story complete)


DragonLancer said:
I said it before and I'll say it again, you know how to describe a fight. This story gets better and better!
Thanks, DragonLancer!

* * * * *

Chapter 159


Pella’s shot scored, digging deep into the dragon’s chest. But the arrow was not enough to stop it. The archer reached for her sword, but the blade had not cleared the scabbard when the dragon slammed into her, its dagger-shaped head locking onto her right arm. Pella screamed in pain as it lifted her into the air. She too had been weakened by the initial blasts of the dragon breaths, and her efforts to break free were utterly futile.

Flashes of gray smoke and a loud chittering noise announced the arrival of more summoned allies, a pair of huge fiendish centipedes that immediately attacked the dragon from both sides. Others were coming; Baraka was running across the tunnel, drawing his sickles while he ran. But neither he nor the centipedes could stop the dragon from reaching up and digging its foreclaws deep into Pella’s torso. As the archer screamed anew, the dragon yanked down, hard, while it pulled its head, still clamped onto Pella’s arm, upward. The woman’s joint was the weak link in that equation of force, and with a sick ripping noise her arm was torn from her body.

The centipedes, though unable to pierce the dragon’s hide with their initial attacks, were starting to distract it, so it tossed the pieces of the human archer aside, and shifted its attention to deal with them. It sensed another smaller foe trying to sneak up on it, and with an almost desultory twist of its body it shot down its head, its jaws snapping open to surprise the attacker.

But Licinius Varo was not surprised. In fact, he seemed almost willing to give the dragon a free bite, lifting his arm to protect his head. The dragon caught his arm, biting down with enough force to crack bones. Varo did not cry out in pain, but he did release the harm spell he’d cast from Gudmund’s scroll.

Blood gushed from the dragon’s nostrils, and it immediately released him, staggering back in agony. It let out a roar of distress, each motion of its head releasing more fat droplets of blood. The creature was far too durable for the spell to have crippled it, but it had certainly hurt it, badly.

That was what Drakha had been waiting for. Summoning the most potent of its magic, the outsider hit the dragon with a power word. The spell overcame the dragon’s spell resistance, and sent it reeling, stunned.

The male dragon aborted its attack on Dar in mid-strike, knocking the surprised fighter down as it leapt into the air. It flew like a dart across the battlefield to join its mate, diving onto one of the centipedes that were still trying to dig into the stunned dragon’s flesh. The dragon utterly crushed the first centipede as it landed on it, severing its head from its body with a single savage rip of its jaws. A blast of energy lanced into it, a lightning bolt from Drakha, but the spell dissolved harmlessly as it struck the dragon’s spell resistance.

But it did give the dragon a target. It swiveled its head to focus on the gray-skinned outsider, its eyes narrowing with sinister intent.

But before it could unleash another deadly attack, the dragon found itself distracted by other foes. Baraka, driven to a fury by Pella’s death, rushed at its flank, his twin sickles flashing in his hands. He made no secret of his intent as he raised the weapons and let out an angry roar of challenge.

The dragon met the ranger’s rush with a flick of its tail. The armored appendage smashed into the ranger like a whip, its end catching Baraka square in the center of his forehead. His momentum was immediately stopped and reversed by the force of the blow. He flipped head over heels backwards, landing motionless on his back, his weapons clattering to the ground a good distance away.

Varo put the distraction caused by Baraka’s futile attack to good use, creeping up close enough to deliver an inflict critical wounds spell by touch. But again the dragon’s spell resistance held, and the spell dissipated harmlessly as it discharged. The dragon detected the attack, however, and twisted its head toward the new threat.

But before it could pulverize Varo, the dragon saw Talen, Dar, and Bullo charging it, weapons raised and ready to strike. The dragon did not wait for them to reach it, opening its jaws wide, and unleashing another blast of negative energy that engulfed all three of the attacking men, casting them into a murk of utter darkness.

Talen, still protected by the lingering potency of Allera’s death ward, emerged from the stream of black energy unharmed, but the same could not be said for his companions. When the blast faded, it revealed Dar barely standing, bent over, his motions stiff and jerky. His helm had fallen from his head, and his flesh was was as pale as old wool. Valor was still in his hand, but the blade shook violently.

But he was better off than Bullo, who lay upon the ground, his limp corpse drained of even the last lingering vestige of lfe.

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First Post
Being unable to tear myself away from your story has had it's negative side effects at work.

oh well...

I do have to bite my tongue all too often however, as my reactions can be a bit . . . animated. This is just ugly, and I mean that in the best possible way. Echoing earlier posts the combat descriptions are a lot of fun to read... mayhem and despair and death... great reading material for a DM right before gaming =-)


Ximix said:
Being unable to tear myself away from your story has had it's negative side effects at work.
I know what you mean; I lost about a week's worth of productivity when I read Sagiro's SH start-to-finish a few months back. ;)

* * * * *

Chapter 160


Talen looked up into the eyes of the dragon, and saw his death. As its deadly cone of negative energy faded, he tore his eyes from that malevolent stare, and looked back at his allies.

The dragon’s breath attack had decimated his companions. Bullo was dead, and while Dar started forward again, sheer will driving him, even Talen could see that the man was balancing on a razor’s edge between life and death. One attack from the dragon, that’s all it would take.

But Dar kept coming, and Talen could do no less, bound in a weave of duty and honor. He felt something surge inside of him, and he let it explode out in a rallying cry that echoed through the cavern. The shout was more raw emotion than any specific command, but his companions heard it, and took heart.

Talen charged. The dragon, canny, waited for him to come within range, where it could rend him with claw and bite, wing and tail, the full tally of its deadly natural weapons. Talen knew was well as he knew his own name that he could not withstand the creature’s devastating full attack. At best, he would get one shot at it.

But Talen charged, and he was not alone. Shay appeared from his left, rushing across the cavern to join him, her legs almost a blur as her magical boots accelerated her across the floor. She caught her lover’s eye, and the two shared plans in that look with the silent acknowledgement of two who had lived and fought together for a long time. Instead of catching up to Talen, the scout veered to her left, adjusting her arc to come upon the dragon from its flank, timing it so that she would hit the dragon at the same time as the knight.

The dragon saw and recognized the maneuver, but it refused to shift its position, keeping a protective stance in front of its stunned mate. It had not forgotten Varo, but had dismissed the cleric as a lesser threat than the armored human with the holy blade. That turned out to be a mistake, as Varo delivered another touch spell, this time overcoming its spell resistance. The dragon’s powerful will allowed it to still shrug off much of the damaging energies of the spell, but the inflict critical wounds still hurt it, opening a long gash in its hide where the cleric’s fingers had pressed.

The dragon snapped its head around and down, catching Varo before he could withdraw or seek cover. Its head snapped down on his shoulder like a vise, and before the priest of Dagos could react, it set all four claws and yanked its upper body around. It launched Varo like a catapult stone toward Shaylara. The scout saw the cleric coming and leapt aside, changing her momentum subtly, just enough so that Varo flew past her. The cleric landed hard, bounced, and rolled to a stop a short distance away.

The attack slowed her just enough for Talen to get to the dragon before her. The dragon’s long neck extended, and it smashed down its head on the knight like a club, its jaws opening to seize him by the neck. Talen staggered from the force of the blow, but he jerked away from its bite before it could lock its jaws. Beatus Incendia flashed as he tried to sever the dragon’s head from its neck, but the beast was too fast, and he managed only a glancing hit that did little damage.

Dar and Shay followed the knight in, and attacked the dragon’s flanks. The colonel, seriously drained by its terrible breath attacks, could only manage a weak stroke that bounced harmlessly off its armored body. Shay fared only slightly better, her momentum allowing her to pierce its hide with her sword as she hewed at its thick hind leg. But even the keen elvish steel only managed to score the corded muscle beneath, drawing just a trickle of seeping black blood.

This is it, Talen though, as the dragon reared up.

But a loud, piercing crash echoed through the cavern. Looking up, Talen could only just make out the gray outline of Varo’s planar ally, flying above near the ceiling. The outsider drew back from a large stalactite, which detached from the ceiling and plummeted down toward the battle below. Talen saw that the missile wasn’t heading for the big dragon, but for its still-stunned mate... and Shay, whose position put her dangerously close to both.

“Shay, look out!”

The dragon had glanced up as well, and as it saw the stone dagger plummet down toward its defenseless and heavily-injured mate, it aborted its attack. It surged back and sprang upward to meet the falling stalactite, driving into it with its shoulder. The impact, backed by the dragon’s considerable weight and strength, deflected the stalactite, which hit the ground a few paces from the female dragon, and shattered into a hundred pieces. Shay leapt back, narrowly avoiding getting hit by the male dragon’s tail, but several fist-sized pieces of rock battered her, and when she fell into a crouch a few paces distant, blood trickled down the side of her face where a jagged piece of stone had glanced off her temple.

Talen and Dar did not hesitate to take advantage, coming up on the dragon from behind. Again Dar did little more than distract it, but Talen’s second attack was slightly more effective, the holy sword cutting a gash two feet long in its back, its blood hissing as the weapon’s flames seared it.

The dragon turned in a fury, but its mate let out a shriek, drawing it back again. Varo was there, holding onto the dragon’s neck, drawing the energy of more of his higher-order magic to fuel yet another inflict critical wounds. The stunned female, weaker than the male, could not resist the magic, and it let out a keening wail as the cleric’s power scored it.

The male dragon descended on Varo in a violent fury, holding nothing back. It lunged forward, slamming both claws down on his shoulders. The twin blows slammed Varo down to the ground hard enough to crack the stone. Blood exploded from the cleric’s mouth as the air was crushed out of him.

The cleric’s companions hurried forward to intervene, but the dragon was not done. It spread its wings and buffeted Dar and Shay, striking both of them. Dar was hit in the forehead, and without his helmet, the blow was enough to knock him unconscious. Shay tried to leap under its reach, but the leading edge of the wing smashed into her back, hitting with enough force to snap a rib. The scout cried out and staggered forward.

Talen knew he had to do something. He raised his holy sword and uttered a prayer to the Father, leaping at the dragon’s back. It showed that it was all too aware of his presence as its whip-tail came around, aiming for the knight’s legs. Talen yelled and leapt, and despite his heavy armor and battered body, he somehow was able to clear it as it swiped below him, so fast that the air whistled as it passed.

He lifted Beatus Incendia, but before he could strike, the dragon’s head shot out at him, coming under its wing as it lifted from hitting Shay. Talen had avoided the tail through a miracle of luck and fate, but he could not avoid those jaws, which seemed to grow to encompass the world, an instant before they closed over his head with a snap of grim finality.


First Post
These guys suck. Is this really the best the kingdom could come up with for a final assault against a demon prince? Geesh. If it is, the world deserves to be reborn as the spawn of Orcus.


*who wonders if what remains of the group will soon be augmenting their ranks with undead controlled by Varo and those few goblins who managed to run off earlier*


Chapter 161


Metal crunched as the shadow dragon bit down hard on Talen’s helmet. The two combatants came apart as the helm’s straps gave way and Talen fell back. Blood sprouted from deep gashes along the sides of his head, where the dragon’s teeth had crushed the metal against his skull. Talen fell to one knee, dazed.

The dragon spat out the helmet, and surged forward to finish the job. Talen knew that he had to react, but Beatus Incendia felt like it weighed a hundred pounds, and his perceptions were tainted by a hazy fog. The dragon looked like it was charging down a long tunnel in his vision, with everything around it fuzzy and insubstantial. Blood fell in fat droplets from its body, which now bore well over a dozen wounds, ranging from arrows that barely stuck in its hide to deep cuts in its shoulder and torso where its foes had managed to hurt it badly.

He felt an odd tingle, then a tiny but distinct stab of pain as something pricked his neck. That momentary discomfort was followed by a spreading warmth that cut through the fog hanging over his senses, returning clarity with an abrupt suddenness.

Just in time to see the dragon’s head diving for him once more.

Talen screamed and drove himself to his feet, bringing up his holy sword in a blinding arc of fire and light. The dragon tried to shift its attack, but the knight’s sudden recovery had caught it off guard. The blade bit deep into the bottom of the dragon’s head, a full foot of the blessed steel sliding through the tight flesh under its jaw up into its skull.

The dragon reared back, taking the sword with it. Wisps of darkness erupted from its jaws, scattered tendrils of negative energy that dissipated within a few feet. As the dragon’s head darted wildly back and forth, however, light began to shine from the creature’s jaws, followed by wisps of holy fire. The shadow dragon let out a terrible hissing, which faded as its struggles gradually ceased, and it collapsed to the ground in a heap.

Talen stood there stunned, looking at the dragon’s corpse.

And then the female dragon reared up behind it.

The slain dragon’s mate was also grievously wounded. It had finally shaken off the effects of the power word, but it moved sluggishly, with black blood oozing from the sides of its jaws. It looked down at its fallen companion with an unbridled fury shining in its eyes, but there was something else there as well, an underlying fear.

A lightning bolt, fired by Drakha from where the outsider hovered still high above the cavern, lanced down into the dragon. The arc of energy evaporated as it impacted the dragon’s spell resistance, but it still shied back.

Its foes had suffered heavy losses, but there were still foes able to strike at it. Shay had fallen back, working her shortbow despite the incredible pain from her broken rib that accompanied each draw. Arrows continued to come from the far side of the tunnel, where Kalend had remained in cover for the duration of the battle. Thus far he’d only managed one lucky hit, but the rogue’s shafts could not be ignored. Allera had stabilized Baraka, although the ranger was still unconscious, and she was already running toward Dar. Talen had drawn his backup sword, the magical steel forming a bubble of light around him that seemed pale compared to the holy brightness of Beatus Incendia.

The dragon spread its wings and lifted itself into the air, sending up a plume of dust and grit that obscured the vision of its nearest enemies on the ground. More arrows came at it, but as the dragon lifted higher into the air it summoned a renewed layer of mirror images around it, confounding their shots. Drakha drifted closer to it, but the dragon was clearly no longer interested in anything but flight; with powerful beats of its wings it darted with great speed down the tunnel, back toward the steam cavern. The outsider launched a final lightning bolt after it, accompanied by a few last arrows, but none of them could see whether those parting attacks had any effect.

As the flapping of the dragon’s wings faded, quiet returned to the tunnel, broken only by the groans of those who had survived the brief but violent clash.
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Julie and I miss her
The stroy is as great as ever. I'm really enjoying it. I just have a little nitpick with the last post.

The dragon spread its wings and lifted itself into the air, sending up a plume of dust and grit that obscured the vision of its nearest enemies on the ground.

However, you stated that the dragon had a broken wing three paragraphs earlier.

but it moved sluggishly, with one wing canted at an unnatural angle, and black blood oozing from the sides of its jaws

Isn't this a contradiction ?


Guillaume said:
Isn't this a contradiction ?
I'll think about how best to change that passage.

* * * * *

Chapter 162


“We need to make certain of it,” Varo said. “The dragon is too great a threat to us to leave behind intact.”

“We’re in no shape for another fight, Varo,” Talen said, his impatience sounding clearly in his voice. “Have you taken a look around you?”

The companions were clustered in a niche formed in a natural crevice in the wall of an elbow-shaped cavern a few hundred feet across. They were not far from where they’d fought the dragons, and another tunnel jutted off from the far end of the cavern, a smoother, straight passage a hundred feet across that Shay said likely led to the goblin city. It was not the best place to camp, but they had not yet encountered any goblins, and none of them were willing to return to the steam cavern.

“My suggestion assumes that we rest first,” Varo said. “I can prepare a spell that will transform myself and three others into wisps of smoke, capable of following the dragon to its lair. Drakha is capable of following via his own means.”

“You want to split the group as well? Varo, this is not a good idea.”

“It is the only way. From what Allera’s little friend told us, the female dragon withdrew across a broad chasm, which only flying invididuals can easily bypass.”

Snaggletooth, sitting on a rock nearby, lifted its head and chirped. The faerie dragon, on its own initiative, had followed the fleeing shadow dragon as it fled back to the steam cavern, but Allera’s companion had not pursued it all the way to its lair.

“Maybe he just wants the dragon’s hoard,” Dar chimed in. The fighter leaned back against a sloping shelf of rock, his cloak rolled up and tucked under his neck. Allera had saved his life, but until their divine casters could regain their restoration spells, there was nothing she could do to help him recover from the draining effects of the dragons’ breath weapons. Most of them suffered from similar weakness, but Dar had been the only one to have been breathed upon twice.

Varo did not respond, and after an explosive sigh, Talen said, “Is that it, Varo? You want to risk our lives for some treasure?”

“I am not concerned with a pile of coins or pretty baubles, commander. But surely you can appreciate the benefits of securing any items of power that the dragons may have accumulated. Clearly the goblins used the beasts as guardians; they would not have been able to access the mines in the great cavern if the pair had been hostile.”

“It is an unnecessary risk,” Talen said. “Baraka is still comatose, and we’ve already lost three. I cannot afford to send four more of our company off to confront a foe that is no longer a threat.”

“That we do not know for certain, commander.”

“I said, no, cleric.”

“As you wish.” Varo started to get up. “Wait a moment,” Talen said, meeting Varo’s eyes. “You are going to do this anyway, aren’t you?”

Varo did not respond for a moment, then finally said. “Yes.”

Talen’s expression hardened. “What about the mission? I thought you were focused on our goal, priest.”

“It is because I believe that this is vital to accomplishing that goal that I must do this. But I will not risk any of the others, if that is your decision.”

“There is something else that you are not telling us, isn’t there?”

“At some point, commander, one has to trust his instincts. I am sorry, but there is nothing more that I can tell you.”

“You should be grateful, Varo, that I am not following my instincts right now.” With that, the knight turned and headed toward the entrance of the crevice, where Kalend and Shay were keeping watch. As the only person—other than Varo—who had not been drained by the dragons’ breath, Talen would not likely get much in the way of sleep while the spellcasters recovered their magic.

Varo watched him go. “A dragon hoard, eh?” Dar said, looking up at the cleric.


Chapter 163


Four wispy, insubstantial forms drifted out of the trailing edges of the thinning steam cloud, out over the chasm. The rising air from the chasm rapidly dissipated the steam from the cavern to the south, but these four clusters of mist remained intact, drifting down to the far side of the chasm. The cavern on the north side of the chasm was dark and cold, but a soft glow radiated from the lead figure, barely enough for the travelers to see their way forward.

The four figures drifted northward, deeper into the cavern. The place was so huge that their pale light failed to reach the walls or ceiling of the place.

Finally, the group of wind walkers came to a stop, and sank to the ground. Slowly the misty outlines took on solid form, until Varo, Dar, Allera, and Kalend stood within the bubble of light that shone from the cleric’s holy symbol.

“I don’t like this,” Dar said. “Why not keep flying until we get to the lair?”

“I told you before,” Varo replied. “The spell requires too long to change from insubstantial to material form. I can dismiss it at once, but then we would not be able to return until I rested and regained the spell again.”

“The dragon will know we are coming,” Kalend said, indicating the light.

“She already knows that we are coming,” came a voice from the darkness behind him, causing the rogue to jump slightly. Drakha materialized out of the black, his gray skin and garments blending with the shadows until he was almost upon them. “She remains to defend her eggs, and her hoard.”

“So it’s just waiting for us to show up and put it down?” Dar asked, skeptically.

“I am certain that she will have a few surprises left for us,” the outsider responded. “We would be well advised to be wary.”

“The time for subtlety is past,” Varo said. “Ware your eyes.” He lifted his mace, and summoned a brilliant globe of daylight, focused on the head of the weapon. The companions shied back, the bright light hurting their dark-sensitive eyes.

“Allera, ward Kalend and yourself against the dragon’s breath. I will likewise treat myself, Dar, and Drakha.” As he began casting his death wards, touching his companions to impart the magical protections of the spell, he said, “Once the wards are placed, we must move swiftly. The spell will only function for a few minutes.”

“So we just rush in, and kill it?”

“Correct. If Drakha is right, it will not abandon its nest; we can use that to our advantage. If it is utilizing magical protections, wait until I can dispel them before you strike.”

Dar tested the string of his bow. “Cleric, this is a new side of you.” He grinned. “I like it.”

Varo finished his castings. He looked at Allera, who nodded. “Ready.”

“All right then, let’s go kick some dragon ass,” Dar said. The companions started out at a jog. Between the light of the daylight spell and the clank of Dar’s heavy armor as he ran, there was no way that their foe could have failed to sense their approach. But nothing stirred out of the darkness to threaten them. The cavern floor was unremarkable, a barren expanse of flat, cracked stone, with only the occasional scattered boulder or rock formation to obstruct their charge.

They ran for a minute that stretched into two without event. The cavern continued unabated; the place was truly huge. The others had to slow their pace to match Dar, and all of them were in good shape, so they did not flag. Drakha paced them, floating a few inches off the ground, his expression mysterious as they neared battle.

And then they saw it. A huge mound of white, easily sixty feet across, and upwards of ten feet high.

“It’s made of bones,” Allera said. “Thousands and thousands of bones...”

Dar came to a stop, breathing a little heavy. Despite his excellent conditioning and his incredible strength, augmented by his magic belt, running in fifty pounds of metal armor and another fifty pounds of arms and other gear was not a trivial undertaking. But his eyes were sharp as he fitted an arrow to his bow. Varo had enchanted their arrows again; the cleric of Dagos had depleted nearly all of his higher-order spells in preparing for this assault, selecting those magics that would give them the most advantage in the coming confrontation. Allera, too, had used up most her most potent magic, both on the death wards and the restorations that had been necessary to bring the others back to full strength after the dragon battle.

“Getting up there is going to be a challenge,” Kalend observed. “If the dragon’s waiting in there, it can strike as we’re climbing up.”

“Then we must give it an incentive to come out,” Varo said. He nodded to Drakha, who lifted a hand almost casually toward the nest.

At once, the huge mound of bones seemed to come alive. They clattered together as the outsider’s animate objects spell caused the nest to twist together, the uppermost layer of bones snapping and cracking in a false semblance of life.

The response was immediate; a massive roar echoed through the cavern, sounding loudly off the distant walls of the place.

“Well, that got its attention,” Dar said.

“There!” Kalend yelled, pointing up to the left, where the dragon swept down out of the darkness. Surrounded again with mirror images and another shield, it opened its mouth and breathed, engulfing all of the attackers with a cone of negative energy.

Protected by death wards, none of them were affected by the blast.

Dar lifted his bow but held his fire, waiting for Varo. The cleric had been ready, and responded quickly, hitting the dragon with a dispel magic that tore its magical defenses away. The dragon, driven into a rage, descended upon them. It targeted Drakha, seizing the outsider in its jaws as it landed, biting down hard and then flinging it roughly aside. Varo’s planar ally withstood the rough treatment, although gray blood darkened its tunic, and an angry yellow glow appeared in its eyes as it slowly picked itself up off the cavern floor, brushing off dust from its legs and arms.

Kalend lifted his bow and fired, backpedaling out of the dragon’s reach. The dragon lashed its tail at him, smashing him hard in the left thigh. The rogue went down but rolled with the force of the blow, coming up limping a few feet away. He hung onto his bow, but continued to retreat, putting a safe distance between him and the raging monster.

Allera narrowly avoided being crushed by the dragon as it landed, and she raised her arms above her head as its wing buffeted her. Staggering back, she tried to get clear, the sounds of Snaggletooth’s wings flapping around her as the invisible dragon accompanied her.

Dar aborted his shot and dropped his bow, snapping Valor out of its scabbard at his hip. The dragon, perhaps sensing that he was the greatest remaining threat, turned on him at once. The beast clearly showed the effects of its wounds from the earlier combat; streaks of dried blood covered its head and torso, and one eye was a milky white, crippled and unseeing. But it did not hesitate as it leapt upon the fighter, biting and clawing.

Valor bit deep into the dragon’s torso. Dar had learned his lesson from the first confrontation with the shadow dragons, and eschewed all-out power attacks for more precise strikes that had a better chance of penetrating its scaled hide. His first blow bit deeply into its body, but the second glanced off the armored scales, failing to widen the oozing wound.

Dar lifted the sword to strike again, but the dragon shot in like a crossbow bolt, its head locking onto his swordarm, its jaws crushing the limb from elbow to wrist. Dar let out a cry of pain and tried to break free, using his other hand to try to pry the dragon’s jaws open. He may as well have been trying to pry up a boulder; the dragon was incredibly strong.

Without releasing its grip, the dragon crouched and spread its wings, leaping into the air with its captive still locked within its grasp. Dar’s eyes widened as the ground dropped away under him. The dragon flew up over the nest and past it, then began to bank around for a return, still gaining altitude. His shoulder had been dislocated by the rough treatment, and his arm felt like it was on fire.

Drakha hit it with a lightning bolt, but the spell dissipated against its spell resistance.

And then Varo called down a flame strike.

The spell slammed down into the dragon like a blow from a giant’s maul, hitting it square in the back. The dragon staggered in mid-flight, although it refused to drop its prisoner. Blood both black and red trailed down its body, splattering on the cavern floor below, as it came toward the companions again for one last desperate charge.

Dar roared and slammed his free hand up into bottom of the dragon’s jaw. His magical punching dagger drove deep into its head, only narrowly missing his own arm inside its mouth. The wedge-shaped head of the weapon pierced a narrow gap between the dragon’s skull and its uppermost vertebrae, severing the precious brown cord inside.

The dragon’s wings abruptly stopped flapping, and it dropped like a stone. The creature smashed into the center of its nest, shattering bones by the hundreds, scattering fragments out in a radius of nearly a hundred feet. Dar, free at last, shot forward like a steel-encased missile. He hit the edge of the nest and blasted through, spinning in mid air before he landed hard on his back on the ground below. Valor clattered to the ground at his feet; he’d kept his grip on the sword throughout almost the entire misadventure.

Allera was there in a few seconds, a look of concern on her face. Dar’s arm was a mangled wreck, his shoulder had been pulled out of its socket, one of his legs was bent back at what had to be a painful angle, and there was a wide grin on his face.

“Ouch,” he said.


First Post
Lazybones said:
... Dar’s arm was a mangled wreck, his shoulder had been pulled out of its socket, one of his legs was bent back at what had to be a painful angle, and there was a wide grin on his face.

“Ouch,” he said.

Best quote. Dar gets lots of style points.

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