- Anthar Froom, paladin of Torm, colleague of his
- the black network
- The zhentarim – organized crim affiliate – evil mercenaries
- A pair of black antlers
- Leosin gasped and pointed at the egg. A single jagged line appeared down the middle of it, and spread all around. There was some movement inside, a wiggling, subtle at first. Then it split down the middle and the egg yawned open like an alligator’s jaws.
Huddled inside was a silvery form that slowly got up an all four shaking legs, tiny claws grasping the straw around it for purchase. Slowly it spread it’s beautiful silver wings behind and above it, then furled them close again. It’s eyes had been closed, now they opened, looking around unfocused. Seeing the human forms around it, it raised up on its hind legs, which seemed to be growing stronger by the minute. Wings unfurled once again. Looking one by one at the people around it, jaws open, tiny sharp teeth are seen, and then the little beast emits an ear-splitting shriek that seems to rattle the glass of the tavern.
Foluwa, as disarming as he can, approaches the wyrmling, while pulling rations from his pack.
“It will be hungry. We must fetch it something fresh.”
Luther (Dave V:)
Luther stands, in awe of the event he has just witnessed. He says a small prayer to Torm.
“My friends, we are truly blessed to have been part of this”. He slowly takes takes off his mailed glove, cups his hand and pours some water in it. He approaches his hand very slowly and gently towards the baby dragon, that it could get a sense of him and lt him (her?) drink.
“It is hungry, or will be soon, certainly. I cannot leave its side. Leosin, do you have some chambers here where we can go? Can you send someone to get some fresh meat at the butcher?”
Foluwa and Luther approach the wyrmling, slowly, carefully so as not to startle the creature.
Arobyn and Whisper stare in awe, speechless.
Foluwa produces some meat jerkey from his pack and offers it to the beast while Luther places some water in his cupped hands for it to drink. Foluwa makes odd cooing noises only a druid could produce. The dragon snaps at the meat ration and gobbles it down, then sips from the water in Luther’s hand. Luther’s hand feels cold, so cold. The wyrmling’s breath is freezing. Rising up and spreading its wings again, it looks pointedly at Foluwa, and screeches again, even louder.
Leosin breaks out of his reverie.
“Meat! Yes at once I will go check the larder” he rushes off, backing away, eyes never leaving the dragon.
It is at this point you notice that all sounds of laughter and merriment from the tavern have come to an end. There is the sound of booming footsteps as you hear Onthar Frume rushing outside.
“Lord of all things what is that terrible racket?!” he booms.
“It won’t be possible to keep this secret any longer,” Foluwa says to Luther, “These are your people. Your order. And it is your vow to protect it. You must make them understand what is at stake.” He looks sternly at the young paladin, I do not wish to be at odds with you, Luther, but I will not be okay with them taking the dragon from us, not unless there are no other options.”
“Luther, I must agree with the Druid. It is obvious that we can no longer keep this a secret, but I am not willing to trade one form of captivity for another, especially since we really do not know these people.” Arobyn says in a low voice to Luther, his hand resting on his shoulder.
“Perhaps we should put aside our current quest, and instead seek out a dragon of its own kind with which to leave it with…” The sentence trails off as he notices how silence has now replaced the wild reverie from inside.
Moving slowly so has not to disturb to dragon youngling, but deliberately, Arobyn places himself between the cart and the door, just as the footfalls grow louder, hands instinctively going to the hilts of his twin swords…
Luther steps forward, “They are brothers, yes but I would not give a newborn babe to a bunch of drunkards, no matter how nice they were, so I will not here either.”
“I made a vow. I will keep it Foluwa. We need to find its mother or kin.”
“I will make them understand , some way…”
Whisper’s voice can be heard, though the elf is unseen. “All right then, we are agreed: the first one to attempt to take the wyrmling gets an arrow through the throat.”
Whisper melts into the shadows, her bow at the ready.
Arobyn turns and faces the incoming crown, led by Frume, the burly paladin.
Foluwa and Luther care for the dragonling, Luther giving it more water to sip at and Foluwa feeding it some more rations.
Onthar Frume barrels out the door into the courtyard that opens into the stables. He is followed by ten of his henchmen and squires. He stares in silence, then explodes: “BY THE LIGHT OF ALL TORM SINGS THROUGH THE ETHERLIGHT INTO ALL THAT IS HOLY IN THE REALM OF… IS THAT A BABY DRAGON?!?!”
Leosin can be seen returning with a plate full of uncooked meat.
Foluwa quickly steps between Whisper and the paladins, afraid that she may misinterpret the situation, and looks to Luther.
“Easy now… Let us not startle it.”
The Wyrmling is startled by the paladin’s loud words, and screeches in fear. It beats its little wings once and leaps onto Luther’s arm, claws digging painfully into his flesh.
Onthar, seeing his effect on the little beast, tones it down to a whisper.
“Why. Is. There. A. Dragon. In. My. Stable?” he asks pointedly. Then he whispers in awe “oh, it’s a silver!”
He bows down low, soon to be followed by his henchmen. “What a beautiful beast.”
“They liberated it from the cave at the cultist camp, there was a hatchery there. Rezmir left them behind because they were about to hatch.”
Leosin fills Frume in. “They also destroyed Langdedrosa Cyanwrath and Frulam Mondath in the process. They have found out the loot is heading north, likely through Baldur’s gate”
Onthar whispers, “What shall we do with this exquisite creature? Who else know about this?”
Luther (Dave V.):
We shall do exactly the same thing we would do if we found a defenseless child in the wild, alone…
Find the mother…
Onthar notices Arobyn standing in the way and looks him in the eye for a moment. A small nod.
“Boys, back to the Tavern, this is not our affair.” They start to file out with several awed backward glances.
He stands and leans forward conspiratorially. “Those are my men, but I cannot guarantee word of this won’t leak out. I will keep them all within my sight for tonight. We will meet on the morrow. Then you need to go.”
Leosin hands over the meat tray to Luther and Foluwa, who take turns feeding the little dragon, who soon has filled its belly and looks around for somewhere to rest. It is clinging to Luther and rubbing noses on Foluwa.
Whisper is nowhere to be seen.
Arobyn is still standing with his hands on his swords, sure there is someone else out there to be paranoid about.
Finally the Wymrling curls up in the cart to sleep. It maintains contact with both Foluwa and Luther, frequently opening one eye to make sure one of the two men stays close by.
Whisper emerges from the shadows, an arrow going back into her quiver.
“We do. As cute as this is to see,” she begins, a grin threatening to break across her face as she looks at the new parents. Foluwa and Luther. “We can not hope to tack the Dragon Cult encumbered by a baby dragon. What you need to do, monk, is find an appropriate parent for the beast.”
Leosin says “We have much to discuss.”
Leosin nods at Whisper, “This perhaps I can help with. As you may or may not know, I am a member of the Harper’s.
“Onthar is a member of the Order of the Gauntlet.”
“The Harper’s network stretches far and wide, if anyone can find out more about this wyrmling’s mother or where it can be properly raised, it is us. By your leave, on the morrow I will start probing our networks for information. An unhatched egg is almost priceless as you can imagine. But a hatched dragon is of almost no worth to nefarious organizations so I think you should be safe here.
Regarding the Dragon Cult and it’s activities at this point, you know almost as much about it as we do, and thanks to you, we know twice as much today as we did a tenday ago. Something rotten is afoot. We have no formal organization to oppose these rascals’ not yet anyway. We’re working on that. And we need people like you, who know how and when to fight, and how and when to keep their heads down and observe. We can’t promise you anything except long days filled with danger and stress’ but what could be better than that, eh?”
“We know that the loot convoy has to head through Baldur’s gate to go North, so we propose that you get attached to this convoy and go North with it, perhaps getting hired on as guards, or making your own cart and pretending to be merchants. Our resources and contacts can help in this. Whisper speaks truth in that carrying around a baby Silver dragon will make this mission impossible.”
Scribe could seldom remember a time when he had been happier. The crowd was enjoying his song tremendously; some were clapping in rhythm, some were smiling and swaying back and forth (though that might be the ale), and two couples had begun to dance round and round in the centre of the floor. Scribe’s fingers floated across the strings effortlessly, and they tingled as when he was using the tricks he had learned… the magic was here, too. It filled him with purpose; the smiles and merrymaking… in this moment, it was all that mattered; his audience could forget the trial and tribulation of their lives; he would do this for them. He would remind them of the beauty still in this world.
Now this is living! Scribe thought to himself. Safe at last, new friends, a grand adventure, and Leosin on the mend…
With the last few bars of song, Scribe stood and with a flourish, finished amidst great applause. Bowing graciously, Scribe met more than a few outstretched hands with his tiny handshake, and thanked them genuinely but with a youthful shyness contrary to his performance. Scanning now the room, he could see that most of the paladins had left the tavern, and the back doors stood open, the light from the courtyard spilling onto the ale-stained wooden floors.
What’s going on out there, I wonder?
Making his way from the other side of the tavern to the doors, Scribe met a few more of his audience with smiles and thanks. He could see the light of the torches in the stables courtyard, and now some of the paladins were coming back into the tavern. Pushing and squeezing his way through their burly line, Scribe said more to himself than anyone in particular, “Hey, what’s going on out here?”
As the last of Onthar’s paladins passed him, Scribe could now see most of the group standing facing him and the doors to the tavern. Onthar was there, as well as Leosin; their backs to Scribe.
Hey, where is Whisper?
“Hey guys… what’s going… oon…….” Scribe’s voice trailed off as his eyes fell upon the cart and it’s inhabitant. His eyes grew as wide as saucers and his mouth fell agape. Scribe blurted out: “It hatched!” his child-like voice unrestrained and bubbly.
Immediately stepping a few quick steps towards the cart and then pausing to look at Luther he said, “Aww… why didn’t someone come GET me!?!”
Now standing just beside the cart, Scribe could not restrain himself any longer. His gaze darting to Foluwa, “Are we going to keep it?!”
Without waiting for an answer, his gaze went back to the curled up silver form of the wyrmling and then to Leosin, “Did it do anything yet?!”
Again moving closer to the cart, his eyes still as wide as a child on Christmas morning, he looked to Arobyn, “Can I name it?”
Scribe’s mind was a jumble of questions and exclamations.
As if everyone around him had disappeared, Scribe looked on the still, lying form of the wyrmling… I’ve never seen anything so beautiful before… it’s like me… orphaned.
The emotion welled up inside of Scribe, and he reached out towards the majestic creature, his fingertips still tingling with the echoes of his song….