The Chronicles of GrimmGale & Co.

The List

Auraus Kal’tha’mar leaned on the rail at the bow of the Grunkin ans it traveled high in the clear air, and marveled that they traveled in almost complete silence. The ship itself, carried as it were by a cloud, made no noise whatsoever. It was only those who traveled aboard and their actions which disturbed the air. Auraus leaned far out over the rail; farther than any save the dragon, or maybe Jermailyn would feel comfortable with. He enjoyed the view as they skirted the mountains along the Coal River.

After a time, a gentle breath of wind ghosted across his face. “How can I help you?” asked Auraus as he returned to an upright position and turned in a single fluid movement.

Lefty was taken by surprise at the swiftness of the elves movement and let out a startled yelp. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to sneak up on you…I just thought, you know…since you killed Gibson and all..”

Auraus “gazed” at the man before him, trying to ignore the insidious voice, whispering in the back of his mind “he is so weak. how easy it would be to slice him in half.” Having only to clear his throat once he spoke. “First, I knew because the Wind knew. Have no fear, you did not surprise me. Second, be at ease; I will not harm you. Please join me, and tell me whats on your mind.”

The welcoming tone causedLefty to sigh slightly with relief. He leaned against the rail next to Auraus and said “Well I didn’t know if you kept up on these things or not; but since you beat Gibson you’re now one of the top ranked swordsmen in the Realm.” He paused briefly as if trying to judge if the elf belied him or not. Unable to decide, he continued. “There’s a little debate on Gibson’s actual ranking at the moment cus of an unconfirmed duel, but I got the most recent ranking list here…” Slightly on the defensive he added “I been following it since I was a kid…so what.” He reached into his pocket, and pulled out a rumpled and discolored sheet of paper. Pushing it into Auraus’ hand he said “Now that you’re on that list, people gona be after your blade. Better watch yourself.”

Auraus gestured towards his eyes, “unfortunately, unless the script is magical my eyes cannot perceive it. Please, if you would.”

Lefty blushed in embarrassment. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to offend…you actually kind or round out the list. It hasn’t happened in decades, but all of the top ten Swordsmen are using not only different styles, but different blades as well.”

Darton – bastard sword

Win-Chung – katana

Bruha – rapier

Mobius – long sword

Auraus Kal’tha’mar – elven curve blade

Bella – two handed sword

Gizmon – knives

Gardines – two scimitars

Lennardo – double bladed sword

Macgill – two short swords

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Quests

IlliacKarrived in the ice caverns that were his hoard, he carefully deposited the second chest and look around, he had not accounted for the head wind in the Valley of Ere, that had taken more time then he thought. He trudged along through the ice cavern and flopped onto his coin bed, feeling the cold run through the coins, little shards of ice about them, it made him happy… content for the moment he allowed his mind to drift to larger problems.

Shokar… it had taken days to get the Bardand the Oracleto succinctly tell him of their quest, he shivered trying to comprehend the mess he found himself in.

an agreement made by General Shokar and the Devils of Hell, According to the deal, Shokar would sell his services, and the souls of his men to Hell for 1001 years. After this time, he would be free to return to the world of the living in command of Vile Power, and his own Legion of Hellspawn.

• noble blood may be used as a catalyst to allow an advance force to cross over and prepare for Shokar’s arrival.
• The Sisters of the Mist have the power to allow Shokar to cross over at his full strength.
• The Crystal of the Abyss is needed to power the Abyssal Gate and allow the bulk of the Legion to follow their general.
• The location of the Abyssal Gate can only be found in the Secret Library of Has.

Clearly this had to be stopped, this must be what the winds of IO spoke of when they sent him to Kal’tha’mar. There was issue with prophecies though, they were so vague. Noble blood for example, as far as he knew he was the only dragon anywhere near this region, and although compared to the humans he was indeed a noble creature, he by no means rated noble on a planar scale. Could the prophecy really be referring to something as meaningless as the human’s hereditary title system? He certainly hoped not, else that would be impossible to stop, their appeared to be latterly thousands of humans all who trace their lineage back to some king, baron or hero.

The Sisters of the Mist, he’d heard of them before, a coven of Hags that lived well north of here, nothing would make IlliacK happier then disposing of such vile creatures, that should be moved up the list slightly he thought.

And now with their continued quest, the Gate, the Crystal and the library, if they wanted any chance at success they would need to stop dallying… for short lived creatures they surely traveled slowly, they would have to manage their time better if they had any hope of success.

IlliacK stretched out over his coins, loath to go, but much more uneasy about leaving his other treasure unguarded. He inhaled deeply enjoying the scent of his hoard… he had one more round trip to make, he would say his final goodbyes to his favorite treasures then… this was re of a see you soon. With that the dragon walked through his ice cavern and plunged back into the cold water of the sub glacial river and begun to swim to the exit, and begin his flight back to his companions.
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Detour

IlliacK stretched his wings as he prepared to depart. It was painful how slowly humans traveled, but in some cases it was advantageous. He had spoken with both Auraus Kal’tha’mar and the captain on their direction of travel and course and was satisfied that he could reconnect with the ship without issue. He looked about to his companions nodding his good byes grabbed hold of his first chest and took flight, the chest was heavy. Not enough to slow him, but more than enough that his flight wouldn’t be all that comfortable.

It was 112 kilometers from here to his hoard, as the dragon flies, it would take him almost an hour and a half to get there, half an hour to sort things just so, then about an hour to return… then about an hour and a half again to return. By his math he could make three trips today, saving half an hour on the last trip as the human ship slowly moved closer to him. That would be put three out of five chests in relative safety. IlliacK debated bringing along the other two as well, he could easily make the trips the next day, but he liked having the money. It made him happy to just look at it, to watch the light gleam off the silver and the nice clink it would make when a coin dropped onto the pile of its brethren. He liked the weight in his hands, and the taste of the coins, the smell of the steel chest mingled with the heavy must of polished silver. Since taking his half orc form he had found that to be one of his new favorite pass times, polishing the silver, he liked to make the coins gleam.

He waited until he was around the first mountain before he veered sharply and changed course, it wouldn’t do for anyone to know the direction of his precious hoard. He raised in altitude and cut into some thick clouds then rose above them, it was easier up here to mark pursuers, and harder for any to follow. He thought to the last few days in the town and smiled, it had been fun. Sure there had been issues, his companions were a greedy lot, always trying to take extra shares of his hard earned treasure. But for the most part those issue had been resolved, Jermaylyn on three occasions had tried to convince others that he was entitled to less of his precious coins; the half fiend plays dangerous games, he thought gritting his teeth. Perhaps he ought to have a heart to heart with her later, and explain how shares truly work… dragons pick, then dragons pick again, then anything they are generous enough to bestow on others, the others should be damn thankful for… then Dragons get the rest. He glided on a decent thermal and continued his mulling.

Aruiours’ duel still weighed heavily on him, the thought of fighting for coin or for show, what a chromatic way of thinking, how could humans really encourage this behaviour. Here amongst them they had an openly evil person, one who killed for the glory of killing, one who was more of red then any would like. The humans respected him as nobility (another ridicules concept) and treated him as a hero. Just for killing less skilled warriors for no other purpose but to show he could. It made IlliacK angry just thinking about it, he should have killed him openly, taught them all that this behavior would not be tolerated… but humans were like ants, and his senses told him they did not have the capacity to see his wisdom and that humans ALWAYS respond with violence. The mortal lands were a hard place to live, and the learning curve had been straight up since he first come here, it was times like this where he felt lonely, where he missed Agrax and his other friends, where he just wanted to be with someone who could understand.

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The Grunkin and the Battle of Bulvidu

Airship dragon battle

The Grunkin and the Battle of Bulvidu – By Yasmin Sybilla Fell

The Grunkin, a ship that sailed in Bulvidu
Up down left and right
Floating on the air
magnificent airship site

Engines move us forward
Slow but steady speed
Moving with the wind
Can increase our speed

Like a ship of the sea we sail
A ship of the air we are
If conditions are bang on
We can travel quite far

Flying on our carpet ride
Light and feeling free
Sunlight shines down on us
As we look down to the sea brave

We fought the Huntress bravely
and triumphed over her allies.
Elven, Human, Half-Orc, Dragons,
and more working together
The General and his men,
The Grunkin Crew fought valiantly too
The townspeople did their part
courageously.

Many lost their lives
fighting for the cause.
Let us remember their sacrifice,
As we now move ahead..

So we sail
but time has come
For we now return to mast
Our trip is over
Until next time
When we fly up with the stars.

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Towns

Listen While Reading

Three

Two

One

“AHHHHHH” what a glorious day, the air was crisp, and he inhaled deeply has he broke through the clouds and soured out over the river, how absolutely amazing, what a day to be alive! He had been cooped up for the last couple days, waiting for his battered body to heal, this was his first flight since the battle with the Huntress, and oh how he’d missed the skies… they had called to him while he had been stranded on the ground, something he’d tried to explain the bard while she had been visiting with him, sadly she could not comprehend his kinship, she was an elf, born of the earth, how could she understand what it was like.

IlliacK rolled through another set of clouds and beat his wings furiously to gain altitude. Yasmine… she saddened him, the poor thing barley understood it. She was such a sad creature, and yet tried so hard to appear happy. She was an exceptional mummer, yet he could feel her pain like a fountain flowing forth to all those around her. How in her very short life had this one been so wronged? It saddened him and so he pushed forward folding his wings and falling into a dive, the water of the river rushed towards him. He curved his tail allowing himself to begin a spin as he fell.

A flash of his final battle with the Huntress raced through his mind… he’d been ready to die, he’d thought that it was assured, yet the great IO had spared him, there was more work to be done here. His wings opened and he felt the wind take him as he stretched his neck upwards. With only a few feet to spare he glided across the river floating on the wind, life was good. The Huntress would not take another life, not so long as he drew breath. One hundred years and a day, that was not long enough… he would be ready in one hundred years exactly, he would summon her and banish her once more. Even devils should be wiser then to cross a mighty Silver. He flapped his wings twice climbing straight up as he cemented his Oath to IO that he would assure her banishment remained intact for the remainder of his life. Then he tucked his wings in and splashed into the cold cold river. His mighty maw outstretched his snapped. Salmon how he loved fresh raw salmon, the mayor could have paid him in fish and he would have gladly accepted it, so long as they didn’t ruin it by cooking it. What was it with the Demi humans need to ruin food by burning it…? IlliacK did not understand.

Dswim

His tail and claws kicked powerfully as he emerged to the surface with speed, he swam with the current a little ways until he could find a wind powerful enough to catch his wings, that done he once again took flight, this time towards the docks. With a few seconds of flight he found and landed back on the building where he had left his “cloths” another ridicules concept the younger races invented. There he quickly returned to his Half Orc form and proceeded to dress. Since the victory it had become impossible to move about town in his true form, villagers would either mob him with praise or scream in fear, streets would become crowded and it generally was not worth the fuss, it often made him feel claustrophobic. Quickly he slid down a drain pipe into an ally and then melted into the streets. He was learning… the first time he had done this trick he had merely jumped from the building and hurt himself quite badly landing on the hard stone three stories below, it was hard to remember that he didn’t have wings in this form. IlliacK’s hand went down his pants as he scratched furiously… “What a curse” he swore to himself as he navigated the market… he supposed that if was forced to live in a demi human form forever he may feel some shame, but to cover it up always and with these horrible materials… something would indeed need to be done.


He worked he way towards the market, on the way he saw Tuv’l and Fluffy walk by, he smiled as once again Fluffy attempted to carry some goods for Tuv’l and once again shooed him off… the mating rituals of the half orcs were indeed entertaining, He was glad they had found some happiness.

Another block took him into a tailor’s shop, one that the mayor had recommended to him.
“Hello” IlliacK said to the shop keep, s nasally human with a sharp nose and thick glasses. “I am in need of some clothing, some that doesn’t itch” the shop keep looked him up and down. Illiack was wearing merely the brown burlap pants that Fluffy had offered him and well as a soaking wet and dripping backpack, as of yet he had not required a shirt.

“Sir…” the shop keeper began “this is Smitherson / Seal and Sons Silk Station , it does not and will not cater to… your kind.” IlliacK looked questioningly at the man

“My kind?” the man could not begin to guess what ‘his kind’ was. He was half tempted to give him a fright then and there… but no he required a service, and from what he’d seen already most demi humans had a common motivator. He un-slung his pack as the dripping mass dropped onto the desk with a loud chink of hundreds of coins rubbing together. The well trained human’s demeanor changed instantly

“My apologies sir, of course we would only be too happy to serve you… Andrea!” he shouted towards the back room “Bring a chair and a drink for Master…. Er?”

“Krispyn” IlliacK provided

“Master Krispyn to sit while I fetch my tools and we make this gentleman more…. Er comfortable… oh and Andrea…. Burn those pants” the tailor rushed to the back room as a smallish gnomb with the largest nose Krispyn had ever seen rushed out with a fine silk robe, once that was on the gnome took his burlap pants throwing them in a small tin pail and mumbled a quick spell, in moments there was a cheery little fire to sit by as Krispyn was offered a glass of wine. Perhaps there was something to this after all.


Four hours later he emerged from the Tailors, a fine pair of brown pants. Mr. Smitherson had promised that they would indeed hold up to the rigors of travel while still being comfortable and what was that word… ah yes “trendy”. The tailor had tried to convince him of several shirts and a cloak and a sash and all this other nonsense but ultimately he had settled on a simple white silk vest. He had forgone boots which the man had found strange, but ultimately Krispyn couldn’t be bothered with kicking them on and taking them off every time he needed to change form. He worked his way down the market to the smithies, he had one more purchase to make before rejoining his companions.


“What do you mean you just want a cold iron rod?” the Dwarf rumbled for the third time

“Why is this so difficult?” he responded “ don’t touch it to the forge, just take the hammer and beat it into a large rod/club like shape… it doesn’t even need to be a rod”

“This sounds like magic… I don’t do none of that magic type stuff, I just forge steel here” the dwarf said scratching his beard. IlliacK was getting near losing his temper

“As I said… it has nothing to do with magic… just take the Iron ingots and hammer them into a club, do not heat it, don’t use the forge… can you do that?” the dwarf scratched his beard once more

“Aye… I can… but it sounds fishy… its gonna cost ya… the cost of the Iron plus 10gp for me time” the dwarf gave him a smug look sure that the cost would drive off the odd Half Orc

“Fine… just do it please”

It was well passed mid day as he returned to meet his friends… never before had he been so willing and ready to leave a city as he was now

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To the Victor

Hasslehoff smiled as he thought of the recent victory over the Huntressand her forces. The heroes had done a magnificent job in protecting the town. Most assuredly there had been damage and death, however not only had his family and the town been saved, the High General as well had been protected, and seen first hand the success of the battle. In all it was very likely that the victory had increased his popularity as Mayor within the town, but also with his highly placed brother in-law.

The Mayor took one last look at the damage report from the battle, then put it aside. It was terrible and heartbreaking, but it could have been so much worse.

188 townspeople were killed. Of that number 134 were men (66 from among the Guard which now sits just above 50% strength), 76 women, and 12 were children.

Specific mention among the dead were :
Among the Heroes who fell in battle: Gregathy McJim, and Tim’Bob – their share of the reward would be included in the reward for the Heroes to do with as they saw fit to honor their comrades.

Also 16 of the 20 knights who rode in service to the High General.

From the Town
-Leonard Mcray – Captain of the Guard
-Harbor Master Jim
-Kantar – High Priest of Ra, also 4 of his 6 priests followed him in death.
-Speartacus the Gladiator – Member on record with the Royal Explorers Guild
-Maxwell the Alchemist – killed when his shorp exploded *65% of all buildings damaged/destroyed were in the vicinity of his shop.
-Michael Brenam – Guard at the Gate – Nephew to Karnak the Arms Master.

Damage within the town included:
-3 separate fires: At the Gate, around the Alchemist, and at the Jail. In total 18 buildings were destroyed, and another 20 sustained damage. The majority of the destroyed buildings were centered around the Alchemist shop when it blew in the fighting.
- 5 of the wall mounted Batista were destroyed, and 2 others damaged. 3 remain in working condition.
- 3 ships were sunk in the harbor by enemy action during the fighting. No traffic can enter or leave until the wreckage is dealt with.
- Church of Ra – significant cosmetic damage, some exterior structural damage. Also it is now under heavy guard by the General’s knights.

Mayor Hasslehoff picked up the next item from his pile and smiled. This one was much more pleasant, it was the reward for the Heroes. Out of respect, he would have it delivered directly to their ship, this would save the awkwardness of having them ask for it. He reviewed the list to be sure…

- full food and water resupply for The Grunkin, along with another 5000gp for the crew to split.

- 1000gp for each of the Heroes; also included were the death benefits for Gregathy McJim, and Tim’Bob.

The spoils of victory which also include anything retrieved from the Huntress are:
- 4x masterfully crafted silver glaives,
- amulet of disguise (retrieved from devil pretending to be Priest of Ra).
- +2 magical frost longsword (retrieved from a mercenary captain).
- +3 magical chain mail of speed (retrieved from same captain).
- +1 mitheral dagger (found amongst the fallen).
- magic ring – unidentified.

Hasslehoff stood, and took the papers in hand. Now that these tasks were completed, he had a town to rebuild. But first a celebration…..

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I'm not sure I like this...

Jermailyn sank her weary, bruised body up to her pert nose in hot scented water. There’s something to this hero business if it gets you a hot bath in extremis, she mused. The last of the blood in her hair and worked into her skin floated off in pink streamers.

As every knotted muscle began to uncramp for the first time in what seemed like days, she finally took the time to mourn a moment for the fallen. Sir Weston, nobly (and somewhat foolishly) dead banishing a dark phoenix, Tim’bob and Gregathy, lost in the last battle, Master Grimm simply lost… However, grief isn’t really a survival requirement, so she turned her thoughts to more practical matters. Such as further survival.

Her new fiendish abilities were very worrying, although the reassurances from those who could sense evil were a small relief. As long as she could avoid tainting her soul, no possible advantage in their desperate situation should be dismissed.

Immediately after the bath, she began a letter to Master Frone.

Dear Master,

I regret to inform you that it seems that the cleansing rituals, painful and exhausting as they were, do not seem to have been wholly effective. I seem to have been affected after all by my short stay Elsewhere. My blood has been tainted, and I do not understand – I seem to be able to take on a fiendish form… I am assured however, that my essential soul remains untouched by evil. So far. Our party, though damaged, remains resolute in pursuit of our objective – the great library. Although we have lost Sir Weston and Master Grimm, not to mention various other worthies, we have gained a silver dragon, a powerful hunter, and other allies. We will do our best to deny the inhabitants of Hell further purchase on this plane, I have seen their idea of a good time. Advise me if you can, my friend, my rescuer.

Jermailyn AKalakar

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Love from the Ashes

His abused muscles protesting every movement; Gryphin shifted in the heavily padded chair he occupied in-front of the Inn’s roaring fireplace. The fighting within the town had begun at dusk, and had raged furiously for almost 3 hours before the last of the mercenaries had thrown down their weapons in surrender. He had wanted to avoid the situation altogether, unfortunately, he was bound by chains stronger than honor or greed. Love had brought him to this cursed town, and love had kept him in the thick of the fighting as he fought valiantly to defend his lady from harm. Gods; how he wished that she might exercise some caution in her own quest, rather than diving headlong into each and every lead without thought of her own safety. Gryphin signaled the still smoke blackened innkeeper for his 3rd glass of whiskey, and then looked around the room. He was not alone in hoisting a drink; however he was the only soul in the Inn wearing a melancholy frown on his face. It seemed that most of the townspeople, after battling for their lives and homes, had decided a celebration was in order. The mayor had already declared that for the next 3 days, the only work done would be in rebuilding, and repairing the damage to the town. Additionally, any citizens not assisting with the rebuilding would be preparing for nightly celebrations in honor of the victory bought by the lives of the General’s knights, and the heroic townspeople. For Gryphin, the celebration was hollow. He had fought harder than ever before in his life, and he had done it not for money, but for love. But now, his love had left him to “celebrate” while she followed her own heart away from him. Gryphin cursed aloud, and then threw his glass with all his might into the stone fireplace. It shattered, and exploded into a shower of flame and glass. He ignored startled looks from her revelers, and ignored his protesting muscles as he struggled to his feet. As he staggered outside looking for clear air, Grypin cursed the gods which caused him to love one who’s heart belonged to another.

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Visions coming true part 1

He stood outside the gatehouse waiting. This was the time of his vision, Auraus was sure of it. He saw the one that he had taken to calling, at lest in his own head, ColdFang, strafe the wall with cold. He felt the airship arrive and the bombs beginning to drop, and yet he stayed where he was. He knew that if he interfered they would all die. But Auraus smiled to himself, that did not mean that he could not assist them when they returned to the city. Not too long after he felt the Airship leave, and the dragon go by.

Now it was time to cause a little havoc until they returned. He knocked on the gatehouse door again. This time it opened. “is it over?” asked the mercenary from inside, “Is the dragon gone?” asked the cultist. Standing to the side they did not immediately see Auraus.

“It is over, and the Dragon is indeed gone, but that should not worry you,” Auraus said as he steeped inside pushing the guard back with him. Stabbing the guard in the gut at the same time that he was pushing he killed him. Auraus looking at the only other person in the room a cultist.“It is the ones that remained behind that you should worry about.” He said as he advanced on the now terrified cultist.

As he stepped out of the guardhouse wiping the blood off his weapon, he looked up. What he saw when he looked up was kinda scary. He saw arrayed against him, a semi circle of hell hounds, a group of cultists, a mercenary patrol, and right in the centre was a bearded devil. Auraus stopped and with a look of mild annoyance, calmly put his weapon away, and said “Well now, this truly sucks.”

“Surrender priest, and you suffering will end quickly, try to escape and we will make it longer.” said the bearded devil.

“You know, that proposition, while enticing, as I do not like to suffer that much, has but one small problem.”

“And what would that be mortal?” the devil asked for his own curiosity, he did not believe that the elf in front of him was any threat.

“I am not a priest.” with the second last word Auraus threw one of the daggers that he had, at the devil and ran in a right angled direction. The dagger drew the eyes of every creature there, and Auraus managed to get though the circle and into an ally. He climbed to the roof on one of the buildings, there he ran to the other edge and turned around and waited. He did not have to wait too long as the devil and the hellhounds had been very close behind. Some of the cultists and mercenaries had managed to get up as well.

“Mortal I will make sure that you end in everlasting agony, I will eat your soul and feed your body to the hounds. I will wait until you are reborn and then do it all over again, and agian”

“ Promises, Promises my good devil are like the wind, here and then there. Only actions, in the face of the wind matter.” As he said that he threw his arm out in a similar fashion that he had when he had thrown the dagger.

“That will not work this time mortal. Your daggers do not hurt me.”

“Again, I thought that devils were smarter than this. ráfaga de viento”
a gust of wind coming from no where blew by Auraus and into the group on the opposite side of the roof. For a brief time the devil hung on and then was then blown off. Auraus went to the other side of the roof and looked down. Many of the humans were dead or severely hurt even the devil and the hell hounds looked like they had taken significant damage.

Auraus smiled again and started moving to other roof until he could get to a sewer entrance undetected.
Now he had to go find the other adventures that were in town, and try and raise the towns people to their own defence. If he could do that then his friends would have a chance of making inside and the knight of the realm may even be able to help. Whistling a little tune he set off down the sewer looking for a place to rest.

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Racing Flames

Blasphemous courses spewed forth in a torrent as the Huntress blazed across the sky like a comment. She had been too far away, double checking her forward stations, when the summons had reached her. Now she poured on all possible speed, as she strove to return to Bulvidu before something happened to disrupt the her plan.

She spat a stream of cursed down at the hell hounds struggling to keep up. Her minion’s reported at strike force of at least 6 warriors, backed up by casters, and by the hells below; a silver dragon! Due to this report, she had been forced to strip half her hounds, and one of her bearded devils from the patrol force. It was unclear if the remaining force would be large enough to complete its mission. She had to defeat these attackers quickly in order to get her forces properly arrayed in time. The only positive aspect, was that her early return would allow her to check on the progress towards recovering the Death Knight from his tomb. The thought of such added power brought a smile to the blasphemy still pouring forth.

For now she had to concentrate on killing a dragon….almost as if on cue, the moonlight reflected off a scaled body in the sky. She smiled now, in true satisfaction; it couldn’t possibly be flying right towards her. Could it?

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