TYRANNY OF DRAGONS

Day 2

Standing outside the front of the grain mill Ezuri couldn’t help but feel bored. Currently they where waiting for the thief to finish scouting the mill itself. Languishing was more like it if Ezuri had anything to say about it.

“Croc of shit….” the disgruntled warlock mumbled under this breath. He knew better, Gimble was lining his pockets with whatever was in there, he was sure of it. “I should have gone with him, instead I’m stuck out here with the goon squad…”

“Say something?” Iokona asked looking up from his conversation with the dwarf.

A look of surprised innocence flashing on his face Ezuri blurted out a hasty excuse, turning quickly away to suddenly find more interest in their barbarian companion. Mostly though, to ward off any further questioning from the far too perceptive soldier.

Focusing his majestic mind on the….well… savage might be a better term…barbarian, Ezuri had to fight to suppress the shiver of disquiet creeping down his spine. On the ground opposite the building from comparatively refined Iokona and Frosty sat the rather massive Tod’d. A half ork half human? Half elf? Ezuri realized he wasn’t at all sure. The green skin, tusks and lack of civility kinda masked anything he might claim as human for sure, certainly elf. The really bothersome issue however wasn’t that the brute was so intimidating, nor that all he EVER did was clean his axe, but that at this point Tod’d had failed to even notice or care about the gore from earlier today covering his face and body. Ezuri wasn’t sure if what dripped off Tod’d’s chin was drool, slobber or kobold blood. A congealing mess of foamy pink lather that looked as if it might have been half heartedly been wiped at, continued to drip slowly from the barbarians chin onto his chest. Humorously, if it could be said so, as Ezuri watched Tod’d leaning over hard at work polishing his beloved axe some of the gore would drop off his chin to land directly on “Helga”, Tod’ds mighty weapon. Marring the mirror finish and sending Tod’d into yet another wiping frenzy. Yet not once throughout this process did the poor brute either notice or realize where the extra blood was coming from.

In his boredom Ezuri continued to watch the busy halfork.

Timidly, almost whispering as if afraid of waking a hurricane, Frosty attempted to get Tod’ds attention “Gib is in trouble Tod’d, we need to get inside quickly.”

Looking up with strikingly uncharacteristic concern “Wut ju meen lil’ Gibby’s in trubal?”

Pointing to the locked and iron barred door in front of them leading inside to the granary, Frosty replied “Can’t you hear the yelling? We need to get in there, Gib sounds like he’s in a fight.”

Tod’ds eyes widening in child like fright at every word he is quick to get to his feat. Discarding his polishing rag to heft Helga with both hands. It’s at this point Ezuri realizes Tod’d had been using a kobolds body to polish his axe, as he continued to look at the small mangled creature Ezuri realized the kobold might actually still be alive….

“Lil Gibby’s inside der? Ju need Tod’d smash dun da dour!?” Came Tod’ds alarmed response.

Placing a meaty hand on the center of the door Tod’d made a quick one handed push, the iron reinforced door showed no signs of moving however.

Infuriated the great brute threw back his head, howling in frustration

NOTTING CAN STOP DA TOD’D!!!”

With a short step back, Tod’d threw his heavy shoulder into the door, exploding it in a shower of splinters. Sending his companions diving for cover. His momentum carrying him forward into the main room of the granary Tod’d immediately came under fire from the waiting cultists inside. Taking aim they fire. Arrows and javelins sizzling past on all sides. The Tod’ds animalistic fury surprising them to err.

“JU CANT HURT DA TOD’D!! JUR PUNY WEAPONS MEAN NOTTING. HELGA WILL EAT JU ALL!!!”

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Day 1

Gods Help us

“Help me…” as weak, raspy voice from the dark, it’s originator in obvious pain. “Please… someone…”

Acidic smoke, flowing in a low, lazy haze is starting to fill up the old house. It’s harsh fumes stinging Mitch’s nose. He can see outside, his homes front door having been smashed asunder. It’s broken wood planks littering the floor. By what, Mitch wasn’t sure of, as it was getting harder and harder for him to think clearly. Dusk was settling in now. Between the dimming light, the smoke and ash it was becoming more difficult to discern exactly what was going on outside. Mitch could see the street out front, the Johnson’s house across from his. Sight however didn’t tell him much. Sounds of fighting could be heard in the distance outside. The occasional roar of an unidentified beast. The ring of steel. Screams of the dying. These sounds at least where unmistakeable, that Mitch was sure of.

What Mitch knew for sure was he was trapped. Some thing, big, had hit his house. The squat single story structure had shaken so violently when it happened that not a pane of glass had survived in his windows. The front door had all but exploded, parts of it pelting him in the chest and face even where he had been standing in his kitchen making dinner. Furniture had fallen over. His grandfathers maple cabinets toppling like trees, spilling their contents. What had trapped poor Mitch however was a section of the roof.

Well, not exactly the roof, mused a bitter Mitch. Just the old main beam that was carved from a single tree and supported most of the weight of the roof by itself. Just the beam. Just the single heaviest piece of wood in his entire home . It was a testament to his home builders craftsmanship, or luck, the actual roof hadn’t collapsed yet. That he’d been intending to have the beam replaced by the towns carpenter some time soon certainly served no comfort now. It’s weight across his hips, Mitch was unable to do so much as roll over. Trapped, face down in his own home. Staring out into a town he no longer recognized.

Mitch hoped the rest of the people had faired better than he. If Greenest was being raided he was sure most of the people would make for the Keep. Raiding didn’t explain his current predicament but with nothing else to do except focus on breathing and hope, Mitch prayed those he knew where safe. Maybe then there would be some one to rescue him after all. Some one like Butcher Daniel. He was a strong man. The butchers wife Partirla wasn’t much to look at between the two of them they might be able to help Mitch. Or maybe the Fralk family, that bastard had so many kids. The Johnsons. The Sullivans. Even Terrace of the Greenest tariff office would be a welcome sight. Mitch prayed they where all ok.

It didn’t hurt much to pray. He didn’t have to move to accomplish that goal. Shifting his shoulders or moving his arms pulled at his torso and hips, ultimately reigniting the pain of crushing weight from the beam. Laying there facing the door Mitch had stopped trying to crawl his way out. It hurt too much. All he could do was call for help.

Almost whimpering, “Please…. can anyone hear me…”

Sounds. Close. Somebody was moving outside. Close enough that the sound of footsteps and scraping contact was a stark contrast to the canopy of noise outside his home.

With more vigor Mitch mustered strength to call out “I’m here, please, I’m trapped…”

Who ever it was must be right outside. Desperate Mitch called again, “Here! I’m her… “ coughing spasms racking his body, Mitch was unable to continue for the moment.

Just then a small head poked in from the side of the doorway. It was too low to be a mans. Only two feet or so from the ground. Trying to discern his rescuer through smoke and fits of uncontrollable coughing Mitch struggled to get a better look. Maybe it was one of his neighbors kids.

As the small figured moved though Mitch became less sure of who he was looking and more concerned with what he was looking at. As the head turned, it’s apparent gaze locking onto Mitch the movements where all wrong for a kid. Too quick, too jerky. Almost reptilian, which didn’t make much sense.

Trying to bring a hand to his face to rub the ash from his eyes Mitch only succeeded in making the pain filling his torso worse. Just lifting his arm sent excruciating waves of misery through him. Gasping, struggling simply to breath Mitch had to stop and lay still. His head laying on the floor, breathing coming in strained rasps.

Sensing Mitch’s plight the diminutive figure stepped fully into the broken door frame. Now that it was standing rather than leaning through the door Mitch could see through tear filled eyes that it was indeed less than three feet tall. It sure as hell wasn’t human. The short tail, scaled skin, pointy face any jerky movements becoming more and more apparent as Mitch blinked away the ash and grit. The creature was standing full in the doorway now. Just looking at Mitch. It’s head tilting from side to side as if getting a better look at the man before it. Or assessing trapped prey, realized poor Mitch.

Emitting a chirpy crooning noise the small creature drew a knife and slowly advanced on Mitch. But it wasn’t the tiny lizard man, or the threat of it’s small knife that caught and held Mitch’s attention. For at that moment a catastrophe of noise and movement erupted outside in the street. The rhythmic beating of giant wings descended outside, blasting dust and smoke into the house. The crushing weight of something monstrously huge landing, not so much heard as felt, it’s reverberations causing the splinters and pebbles to bounce on the floor before Mitch’s startled eyes. With rising alarm and outright panic Mitch could start to make out the cause. Past the advancing kolbold. Past his broken door. Outside, waves of smoke and dust parted. Exposing something Mitch had only ever heard stories about. The kind of stories you scare soldiers with, not just kids at night that refuse to go to bed.

Dread seeping in Mitch stared aghast at the blue scales, the huge taloned foot. In rhythm with the beating he cold see the tip of a wing swinging down outside the door. Those things could only belong to a dragon. Just then the beast let out an ear shattering roar, shaking the very earth with it’s terribleness.

Not even notching the kolbold almost on top of him, Mitch stared. Transfixed by the legend outside his house. Dragons had returned. Would there be no hope for Greenest? For him?

“Gods help us”

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