Into the Lair of the Plasma Dragon

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by DisreputableCharles, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. The beast dwelled in the deepest caverns of the kingdom of Meilith, where once there had been a lucrative mine, at least before the dragon's arrival brought a storm of casualties and destruction. For the most part, the caverns were given a wide breadth and rarely were they a punishment chosen rather than execution. But this was a special case; all four of these offenders, special cases.

    Six soldiers accompanied the prisoners: one for each charge, and two to watch from the back and front of their company. Due to the hazard involved, ventures to the caverns were not made such a public affair as something like a hanging. The guards were to bring the felons and seal them in; if they defeated the beast, it was rumored that another way out would present itself. But no one honestly expected them to survive.

    "Oi! Keep movin', criminal scum!" One guard used the blunt end of his spear to jab his charge in the back when the youth had the gall to cease walking. "We haven't got far to go, and no amount of stalling is goin' to stop ya getting what's comin' to ya." And it was a rapidly approaching reality; they were now but a hundred meters or so from the mouth of the tunnel into the long-abandoned mine.

    "Oh, I'm well aware of that, good sir." The young man responded in an almost mocking tone. "Just enjoying the sunlight, the last of it at least..." He shot a look of true disgust at his guard and the party continued moving towards the entrance. He was young, or perhaps just looked it, but to any casual observer he couldn't have been more than twenty years. As they trudged along, shaggy dark brown hair fell carelessly about his face, obscuring amber eyes that held little more than a scowl. In stature he was tall and lean, and his armor---all of it dark, in barely distinguishable shades of green and brown---appeared as though its primary concern was neither practicality nor heavy endurance, but stealth. It was in the way he carried himself as well that one could assume him to be sly, a thief, a rogue.

    Behind him, closely eyed by her guard, was a diminutive figure in a white cloak. With her hood up, nothing of her eyes was visible, only the reddish gold of her hair as it lay, braided, over one shoulder. Her garb was all of white and gold, and the designs with which it was embroidered indicated not only a magic user, but one of high standing in some order or another. Clearly she was now fallen from grace; pale blue eyes looked to the entrance wide with anxiety as it grew visible before them. She began muttering frantically, something sounding more like prayer than incantation.
  2. The promise of certain destruction was a particularly apt punishment for this odd foursome. Their crimes didn't really matter all that much to the general public, or the half dozen guards who trudged steadily towards the mouth of the cave. In all likelihood, the four of them would be forgotten the moment they stepped into the complete, all consuming darkness. Why waste energy fretting about such wastes of space? It was undoubtedly a brutal way of thinking, but in the often dire and frightening world in which they all lived, it was a necessary evil. Loyalty to ones own and of course, oneself, had to be the paramount thoughts of any sane person.

    One man who did not subscribe to this theory of survival, was one of these so called criminals. Well, he was a criminal, but that was neither here nor there. The formerly ebony haired elf now enjoyed a full head of silver hair, he reckoned it made him look distinguished. Other elves might have laughed at his early descent into middle age - he had begun to find himself with strands of grey as early as his mid-thirties - but honestly, now in his fifties, still a relatively young age for a wood elf, this one certainly didn't miss his original hair cdolour. He wasn't vain in terms of appearance, but he could become an extremely conceited man given the right encouragement. Bards were like that. Their cocky nature was what made them so excellent at what they did, apart from when it backfired - as it so often did in the case of this one. Now was one of those cases, although he bore the consequences well.

    The green eyed man, who happened to be wearing an equally green (not to mention grubby) cloak of thickly woven fabric. Underneath this, the man wore little in the way of armour. He kept to a distance in any altercations, and was certainly not capable of bearing the weight of any significant amount of metal. So, this one took his chances in relying on his wily nature to keep him safe. Well, more than this his charming side was important. Although sometimes clumsy, he could often weave words fast enough to escape any real battle.

    Ahead of him, the girl of apparently high birth seemed rather distressed. "Don't fret, little chicken, you are not alone." His words were meant as honest comfort, but perhaps came out as nothing more than condescension. For a bard, it was a particularly abismal sentence. Unfortunate, but there was little that could be done about his habit of putting his foot in his mouth. He was who he was, and his calling was the same, whether or not he was particularly talented in this field.

    Just a few paces behind this fool, strode an entirely different character. A barbarian woman of the mountains. She bore herself well, unafraid in the face of her punishment. In truth, she was almost looking forward to the challenge. The ice blue eyes of this blonde often met those of her guard, daring him to say a word. Occassionaly, a lip curled in a sneer, sometimes followed by a guttural growl. The pale skinned woman was not devoid of speech, but she had long since realised that if she embodied the myths these lowlanders spouted of the barbarian people, then she could more effectively frighten the life out of them. It was all game playing, until the real fun could begin.

    Among her stout people, this ranger was an amazon, though with these people she was of an average height at best. Even so, she still carried herself proudly, as always dressed in furs and leathers of various mountain creatures. Beneath the elk fur, she was sweating rather alot by now, but refused to discard the skin. It was precious to her, a gift upon her coming of age. She was another that did not wear armour, though this was a matter of pride, rather than practicality. The barbarian people believed shielding oneself was a sign of admitted weakness, and so they often charged into battle wearing little, or even naked - for the traditionalists. Of course, the rangers job was not in open war, though she would not have shied away from it, had she been offered the chance.

    For now though, the four simply continued walking, mostly in silence by now. Whereas some might relish the challenge, others remained more cautious, perhaps that was the wiser choice of the two. No doubt, it likely wouldn't matter all that much by the time they met with the dragon, but that would remain to be seen. In all honesty, it would depend upon the cooperation between the motley group.