Gender: Male Age: 53 Location: Las Vegas, Nv
|Introduction: Dragon Minor|
After the sidhe left everything returned to normal. The guards and other guests seemed to delight in watching Flower as she began to sing more. The few times Song joined her the tavern was always full with people standing around the walls just to listen. Flower even taught me a song and they seemed to listen to me as well. Of course they delighted in watching Song hand her daughter to me to get her to calm down.
It was a few months after the sidhe left that other news began. It started with word of a dragon minor in the western farms. Soon fewer people came as reports began telling of the dragon attacking the city walls and a few times inside the city. I was rocking Sky when the council walked in the door. Flower only glanced at them as she sang a soft lullaby that had grown men nodding.
They crossed to me and one opened his mouth. I nodded to the small cradle on the table and he stopped before whispering, “We want to hire you.”
I looked at the other men as Song walked out of the kitchen and joined Flower in her lullaby as she crossed the room. She hugged me and gave me a quick kiss before lifting Sky out of the cradle. She walked back towards the kitchen as Flower finished singing and then the door closed on the final note. The room stirred and Flower laughed a silvery laugh that made everyone smile.
As she began a lively song I nodded to the council and master Cartier cleared his throat, “we want to hire you to kill the dragon.”
I smiled, “It hasn’t bothered me yet.”
They looked at each other and master Cartier sat in one of the chairs, “It is causing great damage and has killed dozens of people.”
I sat back and listened to Flower as the room full of men clapped and stomped their feet. I finally nodded, “not for money. You will owe me and my tavern a debt.”
They nodded hastily and I stood to walk towards the kitchen. Song was cooking and glanced at me when I came in. I waited and she looked down, “You will go after the dragon minor.”
I nodded, “It would come here one day.”
She nodded but didn’t look up and I crossed to her and turned her head, “I will take care.”
Song smiled and caressed my check, “Don’t think of that. Do what you have always done.”
I smiled and nodded before leaving and going to our room. I opened my pack and pulled out a small vial. I left the tavern and headed into the city. By now the people knew who I was and nodded or greeted me. I stopped at a weapons stall and bought a spear. Next was a blacksmith shop where I used a rag to coat the spear blade and burn the rag.
The latest stories had the dragon sleeping in one of the warehouses. It took awhile to reach the area of the city with warehouses. Very few people were here except soldiers blocking the street. I saw the caved in ruin of a warehouse and started towards it. One of the guards stopped me and whispered that it had only been in there since early last night after eating a horse and a couple of people.
I stopped before entering to cover my mouth and nose with a thick scented shawl. I slipped into the ruined building silently and waited in the shadows for my eyes to adjust. The dragon was several times the size of a horse and reminded me of the beast outside of Amgree. This one had wings though and was smaller. I moved the spear until I held it at the very butt.
I slipped closer like a shadow and had almost reached the dragon when its head turned and its eyes opened. The head struck without warning, like a viper. I rolled to the side and came to my feet to thrust the spear into the closest eye. I yanked it back as the dragon roared and gas began filling the huge warehouse. I moved as the dragon stumbled to its feet until I was on the other side.
The dragon was searching for me as it began smashing crates and wooden boxes. I tossed a broken board across the space and the head snapped around and shot out. I lunged and stabbed the spear through the other eye before rolling backwards and away. I silently moved around as the roaring dragon stumbled and crushed everything near it.
I lunged in as the dragon turned its head to listen and stabbed through its ear hole. I dropped and rolled as the dragon spun and swept over me with a large clawed foot. A huge cloud of hot gas exploded out of the dragon and started to fill the warehouse. I came to my feet and moved back and finally out of the warehouse.
No one was on the street, not guards or soldiers. I crossed to a large horse trough and put my head in the water. I squatted and waited as the dragon continued to crash around inside the warehouse. I had lost the spear in the dragon’s ear hole and looked around. Down the street by the soldiers barricade was several spears laying in the street.
I walked to them as the dragon continued to rip the warehouse apart. I walked back as it started to get quiet and moved to the far side of the opening into the warehouse. I shifted into a half crouch and waited with the new spear. The dragon emerged with a rush but I was ready and leaped as I thrust the spear forward.
I was slammed sideways as the spear went into the dragon’s good ear hole and it roared. I rolled away and came to my feet as the dragon staggered and thrashed back into the side of the warehouse. I shook my head, the poison should have already killed it. I looked around and moved over to pick up a large piece of rag.
I looked around for a small stick and carefully wrapped the rag before pulling out the vial of poison. I watched the dragon as I carefully poured the poison on the rag. I moved around until I was in front of the dragon and then threw the stick when it roared and dove to the side. I was surprised when the dragon seemed to swallow and then raise its head as a huge explosion jerked its head.
The head dropped to the ground smoking and the body went with it and began to twitch. I waited until it went still and moved closer and listen for a heartbeat. I finally straightened and turned to start walking home.A Treasure Found
Young Henry, one of my stable boys ran into the Tavern, “MASTER LAN!
I turned from helping Flower with a large tray of dishes, “Henry?”
He swallowed, “Peter fell into a hole in the barn.”
I straightened, “What hole?”
Henry looked a little wide eyed, “The one a horse broke in the floor.”
I started moving quickly, “get me a rope.”
I came into the barn to see a small hole in the floor in front of the first stall. I knelt and looked down, “PETER!”
“I’m okay master Lan!”
I could see him standing in what looked like a stone floored room. I laid down and put my head in the hole to look around. The walls were old cut block stones and there were stone torches on the walls. I could make out what looked like rubble blocked stairs leading up and on the other side a doorway. I glanced back as Henry brought a rope from another stall.
I made a loop and lowered it down into the hole, “Put the loop around yourself.”
I stood and braced myself as Henry looked into the hole. He looked at me and nodded, “he’s ready sir.”
I pulled the boy up and out until he was laying on the barn floor. I glanced back at Song standing in the barn doorway and smiled, “Peter, why don’t you go with Song so she can check you.”
He reddened and stood dusting himself off, “Yes sir.”
I looped and tied the rope around a stone pillar and moved to the hole. I sat and put my foot in the loop while holding the other rope. I slide down and started letting the rope out lowering myself. When I reached the floor I stepped out of the loop and released the rope. I knelt and looked around carefully before going to one of the stone torches.
I could smell the old oil they had used for the torch and glanced at the open doorway. I walked to it and looked out. It was a small landing with stairs going down. I glanced toward the bottom of the doorway to see a thin piece of rotting cord. I turned and walked back to the hole, “HENRY!”
He face appeared looking down at me, “Master Lan?”
I smiled, “Bring me a lantern. Use the rope to lower it.”
A moment later he was lowering one of the small storm lanterns. I turned and went back to the doorway and knelt. I looked at the landing stones to see a couple raised slightly. I stood and carefully stepped over the old cord trip wire. I moved to the stairs avoiding the two floor stones. I checked each stair as I began going down. I had to step over three before I reached the bottom.
The bottom of the stairs was at least fifty feet below the landing. It ended in what looked like a huge hall with stone fireplaces at each end. I could see across the hall from the stairs and there was another shadowy hallway. I knelt to look at the cut stone floor and realized most of the stones were tilted slightly or raised. I drew out a piece of chalk and started across.
I used the few stones that were lower and even. I kept stopping to squat and mark each stone. I looked down the hallway when I reached it to see thin barbed spears on the floor. I could see several old rotten cords that had broken so I knew they had been tripped. I grinned as I unwound a light cord from my waist and pulled out a dagger.
I tied the cord to the dagger and careful leaned out of the hallway. I threw the dagger down the hall and several spears slammed into the walls as old cords broke. I started pulling the dagger back and more spears started hitting the walls and small darts began hitting the floor around the dagger. Once the dagger reached me I threw it down the hall again.
I did it three time before carefully moving down the hall using only the stones I knew were even. Along the way I checked the walls carefully for hidden doorways. At the end of the hall was another landing at the top of a spiraling stairway. I moved to the far rail and looked down into darkness. I turned and knelt to look at the first few stairs.
One look and I knew just about every other stair was a trap. I looked at the rail and smiled before carefully moving onto it. I started down slowly checking the rail as I went and the stairs beside me. I also looked at the wall across the stairs, I could see the small holes for spears. Again the stairs seemed to descend about fifty feet before ending.
I looked at the floor before slowly standing on a stone. The room I was in faced the same way as the upper hallway, it was like a small entryway. I used my dagger and cord again to clear a way through to the other doorway. When I was done I was still carefully selecting the stones to step on as I moved across. I looked out on a huge throne room with tattered banners on the walls.
Along each wall was niches that the banners had once hidden. I checked carefully but didn’t find any traps. I still moved carefully into the huge room and along the right wall. I slipped into the first niche to stare at stone shelves and small pedestals filled with elegant jewelry. On the back wall was a sparkling set of chain armor with a slim jeweled sword and a sliver filigree crown.
I backed out and moved to the next niche to find it full of similar things. One after another I checked each niche. When I was done I went to the large throne. Sitting in the throne was a skeleton with a long dagger through its chest. I stood and looked at it carefully before moving to the left (its right) and bent to look at rows of small stone levers. Even when he was dying he had pulled them.
I reached out and moved the levers before looking around. I heard slight grating of stone before it became quiet again. I turned and moved back to the entryway and began checking the traps. They all seemed safe so I started checking up the stairs. At the top I checked down the hallway and then I began to check the huge hall with the two fireplaces, they were blocked of course.
I checked up the stairs and the landing, ignoring the boys calling my name. When I was done I walked back to the rope, “I’m fine.”
I glanced up at Song’s worried face, “Come down Song. Put your foot in the loop and I will lower you.”
She looked doubtful but sat and did as I told her. I held the other rope and slowly lowered her, “You boys wait up there until I come back.”
I took her hand and held up the lantern as I led her to the landing. She was looking around wide eyed, “Our people once lived in great halls under ground.”
I looked at her as I led her down the stairs. She stared at the huge hall before grinning at me. I led her across and down the other hallway and then down the spiraling stairway. I led her into the huge throne room and she looked around, “no one has been here in a very long time.”
I nodded and started taking her to each of the niches. She was silent the whole time until I led her to the throne and the skeleton. She looked and then sighed, “This is the lost king. He died alone as all the sidhe princes left him.”
I led her back to the hole and helped her up through it before climbing up myself. I helped Peter and Henry cover the hole before walking back into the tavern. Over the next few days I had Cutter and several of his men check and shore up the ceiling of the room beneath the stable and clear the stairway up so that it came out between the stable and the tavern.
I explained that it was a tomb and Cutter was more then willing to place a strong stone tomb above and around the stairs with a thick door.
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