The green dragon bellowed. It spoke to Oromis in the Common tongue: “I have not eaten a dwarf in a very long time.” Oromis fumbled over his words, trying to shield Eclipse while the rest of us gazed in awe. It was not a large dragon by any means. Not like I had seen many years ago. But a young dragon is just as dangerous and cunning as their elders. Even more so because a young dragon is haughty and perhaps not as cautious as it should be.
“Look at me, and listen!” called a small voice. Petra strode directly up to the dragon, being sure to show her dragon features. She and the dragon spoke in what Petra later told me is Draconic. She was very nervous, but stood her ground.
Before long, the dragon spoke in Common again to us all. He said that he would spare our lives if we served. Whatever Petra had said to the dragon had worked. Hebo tried to respond, but the dragon just roared. Renshato (as was its name) told us that a certain magical item could be obtained in the cave we had discovered earlier in the day, and that we should bring it to the him atop the highest mountain on the island. Ezio tried to ask what the item was that we should seek, but the dragon only quipped that we would know it when we found it. Luna asked why the dragon could not get the item itself. The dragon only chuckled and said that it had eaten too many dwarves – looking at Oromis as it said this – and that it was now too large to enter the cave.
Unfortunately, Oromis made a remark about the dragon’s size (specifically using the word fat) and dragon heard it. It reared back its horned head and exhaled a blast of noxious gas. Oromis shrugged off the attack but did not see Eclipse nearly faint behind him. I quickly ran forward and stood in front of Eclipse, keeping my thunder cannon aimed at the sand beneath me. “We hear you and will serve you!” I cried out. “We will find what you seek and will bring it to you!”
The dragon seemed pleased, and flew away. Hebo and I picked up Eclipse, very sick from the breath attack, and began to carry her back to the Cat’s Tail. We spoke harsh words to Oromis for nearly getting her killed. “She’s fine!” he replied, slapping Eclipse on the back. He was clearly very intent on finally exploring that cave. I wanted to return to Soul and his sisters and tell them about the dragon and our apparent servitude, but Luna suggested it might be better to lie. The Great Ones can handle a dragon in a fight, but the sailors might not survive an encounter.
Hebo offered to explain to Soul and his sisters that we found nothing at the shipwreck and instead were going to explore the cave. But Hebo was greatly distressed at the thought of entering another cave, and ran up to the deck of the ship and cast a tiny hut spell over himself and Spoink. Ezio and Oromis wished to enter the cave immediately, but I convinced them to wait and give Hebo a moment. After all, the last few times we had been in a cave, Hebo was either greatly injured or had died. While Hebo was beside himself, we tended to Eclipse and helped her back on her feet. Hebo eventually dispelled the tiny hut and left Spoink in Soul’s care.
Our adventures in the cave were entertaining, to say the least. The walking skeletons that fell upon us were not a threat and fell to pieces in a few short moments. Oromis and Ezio argued over who should get the kill while the rest of us fought from a distance. After the skirmish, Hebo helped me set up a new Alarm spell on the entrance to the cave. I decided that I did not want to be caught unawares should something enter the cave from behind us. For his part, Hebo stayed close by because he was still hesitant to come with us. But I am glad Hebo joined us instead of remaining with the sailors. As you will soon see, our survival would be dependent on Hebo’s magic.
Petra, Eclipse, and Ezio argued over which of the many paths in the cave to explore while Luna and Oromis found another room. They accidentally stepped onto a fire glyph trap and were left scorched but well enough to continue. The room they found might have been a study or dormitory at some point, but was now just a derelict memory of civilization. On a table were plans for the construction of some magical item, a magical monocle (which I identified and kept for myself), a spell scroll, and a pair of healing potions.
The next route to take in the cave led to a few barrels of rotted flour. While we explored, we heard a clanging noise from deeper in; the same noise that Oromis heard earlier in the day. The group decided to explore a different path, discovering the remains of a long-dead dwarf warrior who had been shackled to a wall in heavy fetters and surrounded by fire glyphs. Petra went on ahead, deftly avoiding the glyphs and casting her lights into a large room. At the end of this room was a very large iron golem wielding a saw blade. It saw her and charged.
The iron golem caused the ground beneath us to tremble as it moved, and we are fortunate that it moved slowly. The Great Ones tried to flank it, but Luna and Oromis found more fire glyphs. Eclipse moved to heal Oromis when he succumbed to the trap. We began attacking but it kept charging. Its armor was extremely thick and heavy. Ezio came up with a plan to lead the golem into the open area of the cave where we fought the skeletons, and we all began to move in that direction.
Then we heard a voice: “Do you know what is red and bad for teeth? A brick!”
Hebo began cackling at his own joke. The golem shuddered, and fell onto its back.
Hebo’s spell worked. The golem was incapacitated! Oromis began glowing as his rage developed. He slammed his axe into the golem, but it was turned aside by the armor. Oromis howled at the rest of us to stay back while he pulled out the lightning javelin he received from Exatorus. It sank deep into the golem’s body, ripping lightning across its body and the walls of the cave. It attempted a feeble attack at Oromis while it laid on the ground, but the dwarf dodged. I took aim as the golem began to pick itself up. The blast from my cannon shattered its body. Oromis’s javelin had weakened the armor just enough. The golem expired and fell to the ground.
The danger was over, at least for the moment. But what awaits us deeper in? We have yet to find the dragon’s treasure.
But even if we do, what lies in store for the dragon? Very soon, the Great Ones will be upon it.