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Chapter 19
Interpreting the Dragon's Puff

 

Raven did not want to join the Quest to interpret the Dragons' Puff, he didn't consider it as important and he left for the Troll Stronglands. Neither did Merlox want to join, he wanted to get back to Raus Fort to see Jezra again. Axjack, Dolxx and Kaid-aw moved all their special items normally in the A-TEAM inn to the Blind Kings Castle for safekeeping, while Kaid-aw took his family to his temple on the Yelmalio Hill, just in case the Lunars would do a full search in the A-TEAM inn and confiscate anything special they found in there.Before they left Pavis, they searched from their possible sources all knowledge they could about Dragons. Dolxx spent time in Lhankor Mhy Temple and found a story written by a person who had met Yarn. As this could be seen as official cult duty to interpret the dragons puff, Kaid-aw had a ceremony in his temple where he got blessed by his congregation. Likewise did Dolxx and Axjack become blessed by the secret Orlanth congregation.

Early in the morning of the first day of Dark Season they left Pavis. The few first days were uneventful, as they rode towards west. On the night between the second and the third day, they saw in the distance a big procession (seemed like 100+ people) with torches lighting their way walking towards northeast. A light from above, the Polestar himself, was on the move. On the fourth day they met a dozen of very worn out Storm Bulls, who wanted to have booze and know if Axjack, Dolxx or Kaid-aw had seen any chaos on their way. As they had not seen any, the Storm Bulls continued to east. When the group had made camp, they saw in the distance about 20 humanoids walking eastwards, which could very well be broos, but as they were so far away, and on the other hand they had a mission, they did not start to investigate if the humanoids actually were broos or not.

The next day they met four Lunar soldiers, who stopped all travellers for interrogation about their names and business. Kaid-aw did the talking, while Dolxx and Axjack kept silence and their cult emblems hidden under their A-TEAM cloaks. When they continued forward, they came to a big camp with several hundred Lunar soldiers and a stopping all travellers for close inspection and toll for using the road. There was also a big market, which had appeared when merchants saw the opportunity to sell their goods to the travellers. There were two queues, one for Lunar citizen with no people queueing, while a second for everybody else which was several hundred people long. As a member of New Pavis city council Kaid-aw went to the Lunar citizen queue and was let through easily. Lunar soldiers came for Axjack and Dolxx, who came through the gates as Kaid-aw's companions. There was a message waiting for them, which cost 5L to get, from Merlox saying to wait for him and Raven at the place. Kaid-aw got a nice tent in the Lunar citizen area, with guards patrolling to keep the area safe, while Axjack and Dolxx hired a tent for the two of them from the other area. Dolxx went in the evening to the bar, where he saw a man, who at the sight of Dolxx turned very uncomfortable, and left almost immediately towards the Lunar area. Dolxx followed the man from distance and saw how he went to a big guarded six-man tent. Another man poked out of the tent and spoke with the first man who then left. Dolxx hurried back to the bar, to avoid being seen spying on the first man. He then left to Kaid-aw's tent, but was stopped by patrolling guards who escorted him and asked Kaid-aw if he really wanted to meet a man called Dolxx. Kaid-aw said of course and Dolxx went to talk about the scene he had seen. Kaid-aw said he would do some enquiries, and Dolxx went back to the bar to have a second round before the night.

In the morning Kaid-aw could tell that the man in the tent was Ovidius, departmental administrator in Pavis Lunar College of Magic. To Axjack's, Dolxx' and Kaid-aw's big surprice, Merlox and Raven arrived that day just before noon. Merlox got throught the Lunar citizen gate and got Raven with him, so they didn't have to wait for hours before they would come through the gates. Immediately they left towards Herongreen, a place Raven especially remembered from the past.

Midday the group arrived to Herongreen and immediately Raven wanted to have a drink in the Inn for "old times sake". The innkeeper did not remember the odd group when ordering some beer and food. When it wastime to pay, Raven refused to pay, exactly as he did many, many years ago. He then kicked the innkeeper, wounding him badly and left. Dolxx allied immediately healed the innkeeper and payed also Ravens bill. When Merlox was leaving, he waved his hands and jumped saying "BUU", scaring the hell out of the people, Merlox laughing loudly. The next place to vist would be Blue Boar Fort, where an uneventful night was spent. The next morning the journey ended in the evening close to Dragon's Eye, but even this night went by without anything unusual.

When the came to Tink the next day, there was a very special caravan outside the inn. Lunar soldiers were guarding the caravan and it was obvious, that this belonged to an important person. Inside the inn, Forang Farosh was sitting in a booth with two Yelmalio Runelords, two Lunar Runelords and one Humakt Runelord. Also there were an Irrippi Onthor follower and a healer. Merlox, who had nothing against Lunars, spoke with the Runelords. They were on a holy quest, where they would make the future bright for Lunar. Merlox got to know the names, it was Vitolius and Finn. The A-TEAM had a fast lunch and continued to Geo's River Inn, where they spent the night. The next day they passed Bagnot and slept at the Shaker's Inn.
As they all knew, Ormsgone valley was at that time a very rebellious Orlanth followers area, which Dolxx and Axjack were happy for. Raven said he'd have to leave for his High Holy day, and flew with his griffin towards the Shadow Plateau. Dolxx and Axjack went to Wintertop while Merlox and Kaid-aw stayed bored in the Shaker's Inn. On the fourth day they left to Ormsgone valley, leaving a note to Raven. During the day, they saw a scorpio man, which Merlox palsied helpless and it was killed. This was unusual, as normally there were not seen very often in this area. Following his tracks, they found in the evening a cavern and they made camp there.

In the morning they heard a faint sound of a fight in the distance, in the direction where the tracks were leading. Following the tracks the sounds became louder and louder. Passing a hilltop, a view of a valley opened. On the other end of the valley, there was a cliff, 100m high starting from a half-circular lake, with the diameter of 50m. Around the lake about 150 fighters were fighting groups of chaos, all in all almost 80 of them, all different. From a cavern in the cliff, there came more chaos monsters. When talking to a group with a shaman, he told that there is a demon in the cavern, and that he is summoning chaos monsters.

At that time Kaid-aw arrived with the Lunar Runelord group, and he told to Dolxx' big disappointment that Whitewall had fallen, and that there were only 21 bodies found. Tatius army with all his magicians had won over the defending Orlanth troops. What would Tatius do as next, when he now had won the last big Orlanth stronghold.

The A-TEAM started to think on a plan on how to come to the demon and defeat it. There was a boat on the shore, but the other group told nobody had managed to come even close to the cavern, before they had been overpowered and killed. If they used damage resistance and a protective circle around them, while the shaman would distract the demon. Dolxx and Axjack with the help of other fighters would make a passageway to the lake and to the boat. The first chaosmonsters Dolxx killed was a Jack-O-Bear, while he then killed two Krarshtkids, and then with a single mighty blow even a Stoorworm, beheading it before its poisonous gas started to take effect. The Troll Axjack was facing, was spelled to a fish by Merlox, which Axjack then easily killed. Merlox started then to cast the Protective Circle with intensity 10, a Spirit Reisistance 10 and a Damage resistance 30 with the duration of 40 melees. The size of it was 100 cubicmeters. Afte this only one chaos group was between them and the lake. Dolxx and Axjack had both to face a walktapus, but they managed to kill them. Kaid-aw maimed a leg of a chaos dog, making it easy for Axjack to kill it. When they got to the boat, six spirits attacked the group of almost 20 fighters. Only one attacked Axjack, but he managed to overpower it. Some of fighters could row and were accepted onboard the boat. They rowed and came about halfway, when suddenly three arms appeared on both sides of the boat. Dolxx and Axjack cut both two of the arms immediately on the first round, and the last ones the next round. After this they continued inside the cavern. On the other side of the small beach was a clump looking like "Jabba-the-hut". A boat was on the shore with several dead fighters. As the monster did not move, they made a simultanous attack on the demon and killed it. It started to wither in parts, and they saw a small chamber with eight sticks as a summoning circle. Dolxx, Kaid-aw and Axjack smashed six of them when the warding protected hit them, and Axjack fell down. Dolxx was maimed in his leg, and had to sit down. He still together with Kaid-aw managed to smash the last two summoning sticks. But a powerful spirit (POW 37) had started to appear and it attacked Dolxx. Kaid-aw and the other two fighters helped both Axjack and Dolxx into the boat and they rowed as fast as possible out of the cave, hoping the spirit couldn't leave it. And that proved to be true, when they came outside the cavern, the spirit flew away from Dolxx, freeing him. A great cheer came from the fighters when they saw the A-TEAM emerge from the cave. This gave them more fighting spirit and they continued to kill the chaos monster still around the lake. After some time the fights stopped, when no new chaos monsters came anymore from the cavern.
The fighters wanted to hear who had defeated the demon and thus ended the fight against chaos monters. Also they wanted to party the victory and bury their fallen comrades. The big question they all made that was the A-TEAM real heroes, to which they answered yes. (Actually they were not yet real heroes, as none of them had a subcult of them own, but they were on their way to getting ones.)

And here they started to meet the Dragon and see about their future.
What to do with Tatius the Bright now when the message was decrypted?


Copyright © 2002-2005 by Kim Englund. All rights reserved. How to contact me. Last modified 19.02.2005.

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