The Scene That Started It All

It was never my intention to “write a novel” when I began the work originally titled, “Dragon Tails: Or Warriors Roasting on an Open Fire.” I was simply recording the adventures my college friends and I had playing, you guessed it, Dungeons and Dragons

We played all of the usual scenes and quests, but on one occasion, two of our of heroes, Nor’in (Elven Wizard) and Toscc (Human Monk) chanced upon a dragon! How did our resident Elven Mage deal with said threat? Well… read on and you’ll see:

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Chapter 2: How to Beat a Red Dragon

“Huge, I think, would be an understatement,” Toscc managed to whisper; “colossal, or gigantic, or mountainous might be better.”

The monk slowly looked around the cave, searching for somewhere to run. The Dragon’s enormous red tail obscured any passage beyond him and behind them he knew was only the sheer cliff up to the entrance. The Dragon’s scales shimmered as he moved closer to them. He seemed slightly confused as if he wasn’t sure why they weren’t running scared. They might actually pose a threat if they were confident enough to face him.

“Well, what do you think we should do?” Nor’in asked seemingly unfazed by the Dragon, “I say we kill it!”

“Shut up, you fool, he might hear you,” Toscc said trying desperately to formulate a plan.

“Yeah?! So what if he does hear me,” Nor’in said raising his voice, “I’ll turn the yellow-bellied lizard pink if he tries to mess with me!”

“Why me, why did it have to be me?” Toscc moaned shaking his head, “Of all the monks in the Glade, he had to choose me to come on this little adventure with him. It could’ve been Michael, or maybe even Turan, but noooo, he had to bring. . .”

“I would suggest that both of you shut up,” the Dragon boomed, somewhat annoyed at being ignored, “or your untimely deaths shall become even more untimely.”

For a split second, Toscc glanced up at the Dragon. The dim light of torches shimmered on the glittering ruby scales standing in front of him. Steam eased its way out of the flaring nostrils above the creature’s deadly jaws. Tooth-like daggers protruded from the monster’s mouth and a snake’s tongue counted them over and over again. Flaming eyes pierced Toscc and the beast’s magic stung him wildly. He was paralyzed.

“Toscc?” Nor’in whispered, “Are you all right?”

Toscc stood like a statue staring into the Dragon’s eyes. Nor’in clapped his hands together and turned to look at the behemoth.

“Okay, no more mister nice-guy,” he said quietly, “What have you done to him?!”

“Oh, I’ve just scared him stiff, that’s all,” the Dragon laughed.

“You think you’re real funny, don’t you?” Nor’in said moving closer to the Dragon, “The big bully laughing at the little guy. Well, you’ve got five seconds to let him go or else.”

“Oh, what fun this is,” the Dragon boomed, hardly containing his laughter, “Or else what you insignificant little parlor-man?”

“Or else you will suffer a fate worse than death,” Nor’in retorted calling a familiar spell to mind, “I’ll begin counting down now — FIVE.”

Yes, and I suppose you’ll kill me after you’ve had your fun ridiculing me,” the Dragon said.

“FOUR.”

“I’m so scared,” the Dragon said flicking his tongue over his teeth, “I don’t suppose I get a last request, do I?”

“THREE.”

“Listen, you insolent little Elf, why don’t you just say one and get on with it,” the Dragon said becoming annoyed by this holdup on his dinner.

“TWO.”

“Ah, good. We’re almost there,” the monster loomed closer.

“ONE.”

“Finally! Soup’s on!” the Dragon laughed as he lunged for Nor’in.

Nor’in lifted his hands and a blinding pink light exploded into the room. The Dragon roared in pain. In the distraction, Nor’in grabbed Toscc and dove into the darkness behind the Dragon, leaving the giant lizard to thrash about, blindly searching for his prey. The Elf dragged his Human companion into the first passage he came to and raced headlong into blackness. He held out his hand in front of them to keep from rushing into a wall. Soon the cavern ended abruptly. He propped Toscc against the wall and pulled a small candle from his pouch. The tiny flickering flame revealed a choice of three tunnels. He took the one that looked small enough to deny the Dragon passage, the far left.

The tunnel wound around endlessly with no connecting passages. When he was sure they were far enough into the cave to hide, he laid the frozen monk on the ground. After weaving a protective cloaking spell around the two of them, Nor’in snapped Toscc out of his daze.

“A DRAGON!!!” Toscc yelled as he came to.

“SHHHHH!!” Nor’in whispered, “I took care of him. We’re safe here for the time being.”

“Where’s here?” Toscc asked doubtfully.

“Well, I’m not exactly sure, but we’re in a small tunnel off the main lair,” Nor’in said, once again looking back down the corridor.

“Wait a minute,” Toscc said regaining his composure, “What did you do to him? How did we escape?”

“It’s nothing permanent,” Nor’in laughed, “It should wear off in about two or three weeks.”

“No, tell me,” Toscc said still in doubt, “How exactly did you beat a Red Dragon.”

Nor’in was now laughing furiously.

“Shhhh!!” Toscc put his finger up to his lips, “Do you hear that?”

Up ahead of them, echoing through the tunnel, they could hear something bumping around. They both dropped flat on the floor and inched slowly toward the sound. A faint light revealed they were back to the main cavern near the entrance, but they were up high, almost even with the top of the cliff they’d come down on.

Toscc eased further down the tunnel to see down into the cavern. He could hear the Dragon yelling and crashing around. He moved as close to the edge as he dared and soon began giggling at the sight before him. The light from the cave entrance streamed down into the opening revealing the scuffle below. This huge monster, this leviathan that had threatened to devour them both, this creature of fear from across the ancient ages, was now a lovely shade of pink. Apparently, the Dragon did not like this at all, because he was clawing and scraping at his scales trying, to no avail, to remove the color.

Toscc made his way back to Nor’in, stopping occasionally to laugh a bit. He found the Elf in much the same condition . . . on his back, in the middle of the tunnel, laughing hysterically.

“I guess you showed him didn’t you,” Toscc said wiping tears from his eyes.

“He’ll be the laughing stock,” Nor’in said gasping for breath.

“But, what a nice shade of pink he is,” Toscc said laughing again.

“It matches his eyes don’t you think?” Nor’in said sitting up to face Toscc.

The monk burst into laughter. They shared a few more laughs wiping tears from their eyes and began to settle down.

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