The Only Constant

Kids eat the funniest things

Patryn Kael

We dropped down into the pit in the center of the room into a pile of bones – the remnants of countless stolen lives. It was either a place of sacrifice or, even more likely, feeding. The roar we heard from the tunnel leading out of the pit was evidence of that. We sneaked through the tunnel as quietly as we could, finally emerging into a wide chamber through which a cold wind blew. We could see the faint reflection of sunlight at the far side of the room. We knew without a doubt that an ambush awaited us, but there was no other choice – Kiree likely wouldn’t wait for us forever.

...”I’ll find you again, some day,” she said, clutching her maimed hand and trying not to cry. Tears stain her cheeks, and I know deep down that we should have stopped this from happening…

The ambush was prepared in the cavern, as we expected, but we now faced a new opponent: a white dragon, very young judging from its size and demeanor, as well as another group of kobolds. Some quick diplomacy from Adar kept the dragon from attacking us immediately, but now, like any child, it wanted to be entertained. Only this child would eat us if we didn’t do so.

Perhaps we could have succeeded in gaining the dragon’s trust, were it not for our new dwarf companion’s ill-chosen attempts to demonstrate his athletic prowess. In heavy armor. When the dwarf ricocheted off of the side of the dragon, it decided that we were not amusing enough and attacked, with the kobolds moving in to flank.

...he shouts, “Hold the line!” The baatezu wash over our ranks like a festering tide, and the sound of swords and screams fills the air. On the other side of the chasm, I can see the elves, caged and whimpering, as a pair of pain devils stalk towards them. Our sorcerer teleports over to stop them…

The battle was fierce, but we eventually sent all of our assailants to their graves, and a new draconic figure rose to join the ranks of Adar’s spirits. It is curious how that occurs, since Lord Kelemvor should collect the dead, but there wasn’t time to ponder the question then. We moved out of the cavern to a snow covered, wind-swept ledge overlooking the ground hundreds of feet below. Dain climbed up to get a better view of our surroundings and spotted another dragon approaching, but this one turned out to be Kiree and her blue dragon ally.

...None of us know how a dragon could lose its memory, but its request for our help seems sincere enough. Plus, making friends with any dragon, even a blue one, should have its perks. I wonder, though, what the significance of those solid colored eyes is…

They picked us up on the ledge, with Kiree helping us climb aboard and fasten ourselves to the straps hanging from the dragon’s sides, then we dove down into empty air. Looking back, we saw that the caves we had been lost in were in an enormous chunk of earth, suspended in midair over the mountain range below. We scarcely had time to take that in when Kiree yelled a quick warning to us over the howling of the wind. Bands of blue fire, hovering in midair, lay between us and freedom. Silently, the dragon rolled, plunging into the middle of the bands and dodging them furiously.

We had almost made it through when Adar lost his grip on one of the straps, hanging precariously from the side of the dragon as it made a few final twists away from the fire. Almost, but not quite. Adar’s arm dragged through the flames, igniting with blue radiance, before we could pull him back into position, and the fires did not extinguish themselves. Kiree directed the dragon downward once we had cleared the bands, and we eventually made it down to the ground, Adar writhing in pain the whole way.

...won’t hurt a bit,” she says, and I’m sure she believes it. But she isn’t the one having these thorns pulled out…

Kiree healed Adar as best she could, but she muttered something about a “spellscar” and how he was lucky that he hadn’t turned into some kind of monster. She also explained where we were (north of Luruar, in the Glimmerwood), and directed us to the nearest village. After some reminiscing between Solanjey and Kiree, we set up camp for the night, prepared to set out the next morning for Greenside, although without Kiree, since she claimed she had duties that she needed to return to.

...”I have duties that I need to attend to,” and he stretches his wings towards the sky. I’ve tried to tell him what he’s doing to Jey, but he just can’t seem to understand. Of course, Jey can’t see Castor’s point of view either. I sigh. This is going to be an uphill battle…

And now I sit, on the first night that I’ve seen in apparently a hundred years, wondering what awaits us in this unfamiliar world. Only one thing is certain: if what we went through in the caves is any indication, keeping my friends alive will be even more difficult this time around.

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