i have traveled the world and back and still will never find a stew made as delicious as that samantha terwin. she must put some kind of faerie magic in there, no matter where i am i crave it. ah, so very delicious…
so, where was i? oh yes! betrayal. the worst kind of betrayal, the kind that comes from your best friend. the wizard had become the sorceress, the descendant of a long line of sorcerers bound by the ancient green dragon’s blood pact. the sorceress explained how she had been in search of the dragon for centuries (she was an elf, i suppose i should mention that), and that when the tremor split the land in kostor in twain, she was certain that the dragon that crawled out from the fracture was indeed her ancestor. she had been using us all this time as vessels to help her in this search! every night she pretended to study her spellbook, she had all this knowledge of the different schools of wizardry, she was nearly pedantic in her knowledge. but she looked and played the part perfectly. her spellbook, we later found out, was filled with random notes, drawings, and scribbles.
the dragon ordered us killed right then and there. she was not one for gabbing about her plans for world domination. as the sorceress raised her arms to deliver a killing blow of magic, her eyes caught mine, and even though she was a dragonborn now and no longer an elf, i could see in her eyes a pang of regret, small as it may be. we had traveled together for nearly ten years, and we all but friends. i had told her my darkest secrets and she told me hers, or at least all but one. i would even go so far as to say, at one point in our travels, i loved her … for a brief moment, maybe a year at most. adventuring is a lonely business, little ones, so it’s nice to have some companionship. she didn’t feel the same way. about us, i mean. anyway.
the moment our eyes met felt like an eternity. her spell kept me and my associates from moving. i could feel the air sizzle as her magic began to manipulate the air around us. i prayed to enfyenda for guidance, for help, for anything that could get us out of this mess. and then, out of seemingly thin air, came out help–tully, the little rogue halfling, leapt onto the sorceress’ back and put a dagger blade against her throat. he must have been hiding the entire time! he whispered something to her, something i’ll never know, before he cut her throat. the dragon was furious and spit hot acid at tully, which hit him and the sorceress. i watched them both dissolve away as the bonds of her spell disappeared and allowed me movement. the next few moments were a blur: gojen sprinted at the dragon while i unleashed a spell to keep him protected. then i attacked as well. leyva kept us inspired while she weaved her special bardic magic, and the three of us fought that dragon with all of our might, so much so that i was afraid we would cause another earthquake. in the end, i was the only one to make it out alive, barely. my friends, that i had been traveling with for so long, all dead. the dragon was dead too, and i helped the people of kostor haul its body and its treasure hoard. took us nearly six months to excavate it all and get it out from the depths.
after that, i knew my adventuring days were over. i was getting older and wanted to rest and enjoy my life, and never see another friend dissolved by acid from a giant dragon. once we finished cutting up the dragon and selling the scales to smiths for armor, i was given a generous portion to take with me. but i gave most of it away to the poor on my journey back here, to doren, my home. i was born and raised here, did you know that? and one day i met a young paladin preaching the gospel of enfyenda, which is when i knew what i would be one day.
so that’s it, that’s my story. the last adventure i ever went on. the adventure that killed all my friends. i … guess i didn’t realize how morbid it would be, really.
[sighs softly] i’m tired. come help me up, sam’s stew is making me drowsy. i think it’s time for this old dwarf to head to bed. come on, let’s go kids. i’ll tell you a more upbeat story next time, i promise…