A few things I must preface with:
This is not a part of O&E. So far from cannon it’s laughable, and yet deeply relevant to the world that came to pass. This occurs in a hevily polished idea of a MMO world I once took part in through my late teens and early twenties. That said this is best read after finishing the first book of The Storm Cycle.
I cannot say when this was written exactly. The file claims it was created early in 2005. This means it is likely a rewrite/edit in the wake of late 2003 first drafts of what would now be Book III’s opening. The original may be forever lost. Regardless, dates or drafts aside this is how it all began. With a girl, a dragon, and a plan so crazy it just might work.
I have done some very minor editing, but this will show some evolution of my writing over the years since it was written nearly 13 years ago.
I shall tell you now a tale from when I was a young wizardess, seeking adventure and fame amidst the lands of the first world. I have always been a proponent of seeking advantage in a fight, for there are only two kinds of fight in this world, the ones that you must win, or escape, and the ones that could have been avoided but for pride, ego, or a simple lack of skill. My mentor oft joked that perhaps I missed my true calling in life as a rogue, regardless this was a fight of ego, to which I am no more immune than any.
Now I mention this for it is at the heart of my tale, in every age there has always been one great and defining legendary deed. The slaying of a great and powerful dragon without assistance. I was young, impetuous, and determined to do what was claimed by any sane minded person impossible, to slay a dragon with nothing but wit, magic, and potions if need be, at a point in my training where even a fine magical robe could not save me from one slight nip by the fierce breed I had set my sights upon slaying.
I studied long and hard, every text, every tome on dragons which I could find. I traveled with many brave bands of adventurers seeking the glory of a group kill of the mighty beasts, some tales of which I might tell another time. All of it came to not, there was no protection great enough but one’s own training, strength, or the fine armor of a warrior to save one from the might of an angered red dragon.
It had been a late night reading on the steps of the great central bank, with foreigners about speaking in broken common of the age, and their own native tongues. My dear sister K’ia herself had slipped into a slumber amidst her night’s practice in the art of alchemy, and dear sweet K’it had long since sauntered off with some other young woman to discuss the finer points of the less applied uses of healing magics. I was feeling disheartened, I was a daft fool but by no means suicidal. I was not going into a fight I knew I could not win.
As I plucked a freshly corked bottle of some potion from beside my sister’s sleeping form, I gazed at the blue green liquid within and turned it contemplatively. It was labeled invisibility, and for a moment I simply stared through it at the moon, bits and pieces of thought slowly congealing into a mad plan, something no one had ever been so daft as to try, and I knew in a heart beat I must do it.
I quickly realized that while I might worm a few potions out of my dear sister without suspicion, to get as many as I needed I would have to turn else where, for I knew she would not approve. I believe it was a colleague of hers, well practiced and recently mastered in his arts of alchemy that provided a generous quantity of the potions, and for a few coins extra asked no questions, and told no tales.
My supplies gathered my plan was all but complete, but ambitious as my primary undertaking was, a single great beast is perhaps less dangerous than the darkness that may lurk about their lair. In those days the most reliable place to find dragons was deep within winding dank passages found to the east, infested with undead horrors and wild elementals. What gave rise to the twisted pit of hell known to some as the bone dungeon was a mystery, no doubt it had once been a dark shrine of ill worship and blackest magery, but it’s masters were long since walking dead, if not simply dust.
After their passing though, and this was more well documented, the main hall of the deepest levels – which opened through caves inaccessible to man in high mountains above – became nest to a red dragon and her children. To reach the main hall was no small feet but it had been done many a times, and many of her eldest children had fallen to groups of brave adventurers in the past. Yet there seemed no end to the progeny of the red dragon, so gathering by my side two fellow wizardesses, and a young rogue, who thought me daft, but was more than ready to amuse them self with my demise, I set forth to brave the forsaken depths.
We had reached the anti-chamber of that great hall that had been nicknamed the red dragon pit, and it was now that I set my plans into action. Knowing that nothing would protect me from one mistake I striped bare. It seemed a logical thing to do, if armor interferes with magic, then surely to be completely naked would only strengthen my magic. The rogue was most amused, and his stares a bit to appreciative for my taste, I considered frying him then and there, but I still needed him for my plan.
The idea was simple enough, the rogue would run in, nab some treasure, his payment for his services, and the dragon who’s attention was caught would be distracted by me, allowing him to slip away and count his cheaply gotten gold. That part went without a hitch, the rogue slipping into the shadows as I paralyzed then afflicted the dragon with a poison spell, and chugged the ready potion of invisibility, and sank to the floor next to my bag of potions and regents, careful not to jostle the bottles for fear of making a sound.
While dragons are intelligent you see, they are not geniuses, and most red dragons, it is my opinion, at their best barely give dogs a run for their money. A dragon’s greatest weakness is its temper, they are all as fiery in spirit as they are in breath, and red are by far the worst when it comes to this. To have been paralyzed, and then stung so impertently angered the beast beyond words, and it bellowed and belched small puffs of smoke. My plan had worked, the beast was too enraged to focus clearly, its enemy had simply disappeared, had I drawn the mother of the brood I wondered if I would have been so lucky.
Little damage as I had done it worked, time and again having rested to pool my magical energies I would paralyze then strike the beast, little by little weakening it. I could see the great beast begin to stager after nearly an hour of this trickery, once blinded by rage it was now badly staggering. Little did I know as I crouched, invisible and slick with sweat from my efforts, fearful that my fragrance would overpower the smell of sulfur in the air and give the stupid beast a clue, that my normal companions were no longer the only ones watching my fool stunt.
For another party of adventurers had come to seek fame for them selves, and having stumbled upon my friends joined them in quiet observation. In their number was a cleric, who’s name escapes me now, perhaps began with T, and far be it from me to speak ill of the dead, but I do still question if he truly sought a better view of the fight, or my unclad body.
Regardless it all went quite awry, the dragon, though half dead heard the cleric’s footsteps and caught sight of him. Realizing his mistake he fled, and I, not yet composed for my next strike could do nothing to save him as the dragon crashed through the old weak wall and made short work of the poor man. Though revenge was taken upon the beast in due course, it was not to be by me alone for my stocks had run too short, and my body too weary to start from scratch, for the beast had replenished it’s health from the cleric’s own life.
By the time all parties could regroup, word it seemed had spread amongst the red dragons, and such trickery never worked again, for even they can learn a lesson aptly now and then. To you though I offer these lessons, the best laid plans of mortals and wizards may be set asunder by one fool, and no mater how attractive, a better view of a naked woman is not worth your life.
– a tale of K’at, Mage of Entropy