Posts Tagged ‘dragons’

Saving the Shore Sampler

Friday, September 4th, 2009

This sampler is taken from one of the stories in the Tunnel Vision collection:

Synopsis:  Frido, a descendent of the Ringbearer and mayor of the Shore, needs a magical artifact to protect the Shore from deprivation by a yuk construction crew.  He plans to steal the artifact from an elderly dragon named Wygga with the help of his three companions.  Mamzer is a wizard, Dementia is an elf-maiden bard and Gimlet is a dwarf warrior.

Frido lurked in the shadows of a narrow tunnel and observed Wygga, a red and gold dragon.  Very little armor scale remained on her thin, gaunt body.  She slept on her treasure pile: several gold coins, trinkets, brass flagons gone green with age, broken plates and well-chewed bones.  A coal fire blazed in a hearth carved into the rock wall and a pile of coal lumps sat alongside the fireplace.  Coal smoke permeated the cave, tickling his nose.  Frido struggled to suppress a fatal sneeze.

On the wall opposite, four rings dangled from five pegs arranged in two rows.  The top row had three pegs with an empty middle one.  Frido was surprised the dragon didn’t hear his pounding heart.  Mamzer’s plan called for the other three to enter the main tunnel and distract Wygga so Frido could filch the rings.  The plan sounded good when he was outside the cave but now he had serious doubts about it, and the longer he waited, the more flawed the plan seemed.

“Whazzat?”  Wygga’s head came up, cocked to one side.

Frido heard distant, muffled voices.

“Thieves!”  Wygga stood up.  “I’ll teach them a lesson.”  She limped to the coal pile, grabbed a mouthful and swallowed.  “Ugh!”  Wygga shuddered as she slithered into the main tunnel.

As soon as her head disappeared, Frido slipped out of the tunnel and crossed to the ring wall.  He gathered himself into a crouch and sprang up.  He missed the lower rings by a good margin. Frantic, he glanced around the cave.

“I thought we were supposed to meet a dragon,” Frido heard Gimlet say.  “This one is just an overgrown lizard.”

Wygga roared.  Frido wondered if it was from indignation or indigestion.  Only the tip of her tail now remained visible.

“Hey!” Dementia said.  “You told us the dragon didn’t have any fire left.  So why is smoke coming out of her mouth?”

“Uh-oh,” Mamzer said.

Frido found a broken spear shaft.

Dementia sang:

“I don’t mind sticks and stones,

Or even broken bones,

But I don’t like toast,

And I won’t be a roast.”

“That ain’t funny, girl,” Gimlet said.

“Let me know how this turns out,” Dementia yelled.  “I’m leaving.”

“Flee!” Mamzer screamed.  “Flee for your lives.”

Frido retrieved the lower rings using the spear shaft.  His elation at his partial success deflated when he peeked at Wygga and saw her tail moving backward.  He jumped and the shaft touched an upper ring.  It rocked back and forth.

Frido jumped again and missed.

Wygga’s rump backed out of the tunnel.

“Where’d the lizard get to?” Gimlet yelled.  “There she is.  Here’s a rock for your treasure pile, frog-face.”

After an angry yelp, Wygga completely disappeared into the tunnel.

“Come now,” Mamzer said.  “A dragon this old can’t still be flammable.  Move forward you two.  I’ll be right behind you.”

“Hey!” Gimlet said.  “What’s she doin’ now?”

“Out of my way!” Dementia screeched.

“Flee!” Mamzer screamed.  “Flee for your lives.”

Frido tried again.  He knocked a ring off its peg and snatched it out of mid-air.  Wygga’s hind legs reappeared in the cave.  He took a gulp of smoky air and leaped.  He hit the ring harder than he wanted to and it soared off the peg.  Frido reached for it, but it was too far away and it landed with a metallic clank.

“Who’s there?” Wygga roared.  “Another thief?”

Frido, with three rings looped over his forearm, chased the fourth.  He snatched the rolling ring and ran towards the escape tunnel.  From the corner of his eye, he saw Wygga’s head turn in his direction.  He dove behind a boulder just as Wygga belched a ball of fire.  The flames passed over his head to blacken the wall behind him.  Frido scrambled to his feet and ran.  He reached the tunnel entrance a moment before another blast of flame engulfed it.

Interview with Drakin, a dwarfen hero

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Moderator: I have with me today the legendary Drakin, perhaps the most famous hero in the history of Gundarland.  Drakin is a bit hard to describe physically because most of his face is hidden behind a dark brown beard that resembles a squirrel’s nest.  He wears a leather patch over his right eye and vest.  His arms are covered with tattoos and battle scars.  So, let’s begin.

Moderator: how long does a quest or an adventure take?

Drakin: I guess three months is a good figure.  Sometimes more if the objective is well hidden, sometimes less.

M: Is hunting a dragon’s treasure as dangerous as the stories say it is?

D: These stories must all be written by folks who never even seen a dragon.  The stories all tell about how big the dragons are and how huge their teeth are, and how massive the armor scales are, but they never mention the really dangerous and difficult bit.

M: Which is?

D: The stench.  Dragons have the worst body odor you can imagine.  And the body odor is like perfume compared to their breath.  It’s fetid and that’s being kind.  So goin’ into a dragon’s lair is riskin’ passin’ out or throwin’ up or both because of the smell.  And that can get you killed because dragon’s are easily insulted and they’re sensitive about stench issues.  Once you insult a dragon, you ain’t leavin’ its lair with all your body parts.

M: what was your most difficult assignment?

D: Escortin’ an obnoxious princess named Moxie from her father’s castle to her betrothed, a count named Yuri.  Once we got there, she took one look at the guy and broke the engagement ’cause she said the count was a jumped-up peasant putting on noble airs.  So I had to escort back home.  Both ways, I had to listen to her non-stop whinin’ and complainin’.  And after I got her back with her father, he wanted to hang me from the battlements for bringin’ her back.  I never want to run into her again.

M: What is it that you like best about an adventure.

D: Finding a pile of loot to sort through and see what’s good and what’s not so good.  You’d be surprised at how much junk people and dragons have in their treasure hoard.  If a dragon eats some one with shiny buttons, the buttons will end up in its treasure hoard.  Don’t ask how.

M: You’ve been adventuring for a number of years.  When do you plan to retire?

D: I’ve been questin’ for over twenty years.  I figure I’m good for at least another twenty.  Then I’d like to settle down and maybe get married.

M: I understand you led the movement to have this blog established.  Why?

D: Characters need a say in what goes on around here.  We’re tired of everything we say or feel getting filtered by the author.   I belong to the Heroes Guild, so when we ran into resistance, I organized everybody into an Characters Guild.  This way we’ll have some more clout and can better negotiate with the author.  He’s okay, don’t get me wrong, we just need alternative voices around here.

Moderator: Let’s open this up to the audience.  If anyone has a question, send in a comment and Drakin will respond to it..