Episode 23 : Let Sleeping Dragon's Lie
 

The doors are opened and Stefan steps into the cavern. The cavern is roughly an inverted hemisphere in shape. The stairs continue to run straight down to the chamber floor. On either side of the chamber stand a statue representing the God, Shaam. The eyes of each statue glow with a yellow light. Their legs stand apart and a blur like illusion shimmers there between the legs concealing whatever lies behind. The whole cavern itself glows with this yellow light. In the middle of the chamber is a pile of glittering gold and assorted other items. Beyond the gold mound near the back wall lies a Dragon asleep upon a pentagram. The Dragon is black and blue in colour and has four legs. There is a smirk upon its face.

Stefan says, "Dragon, I think that the key to your release must be in this pile of treasure. Wouldn't it be just like Shaam to imprison you here, and all the time the key to your release is under your very nose amongst Shaam's treasure.", the Dragon raises its head, "I don't believe you.". "There you go then, wouldn't Shaam say that's what you would automatically say, instantly dismissing the idea out of hand. I think Shaam would be laughing till he cried. That must be why you are still here.". "Go ahead then and search.". "Can I bring in some friends?". "Yes, but only two.". Stefan calls out for Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt and {He who goes unnamed}. These two come down the stairs and onto the chamber floor.

The Dragon speaks, "Go and start searching.". It backs up slightly onto the pentangle and watches. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt, Stefan, and {He who goes unnamed} one by one feel the effects of the spells cast earlier upon them vanish, one by one. The three each split up amongst the treasure pile and start searching through each area. The younger Dragon flies down from above and perches on the statue of Shaam to the right of our entry and watches the three as they sift through the golden treasure. The focus of its undivided attention shifts to each person in turn, one by one. Each feels the young dragon's eyes boring into their persona, watching every move, watching and waiting to pounce.

As the three go through the treasure they discover all manner of odd weapons and equipment. The following items catch their eye. {He who goes unnamed} finds a silver scroll case. Stefan finds a statue of Lumina, next to the statue of Lumina is a large round shield bearing the symbols of Lumina. {He who goes unnamed} moves on and spots the Helm of Dragon Control. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt sees a silver bow, that has carvings of Dragons all along it. The bow seems to be entirely of silver, including the bow string which is a fine metallic silver wire. He does not see the quiver with the arrows. Stefan steps over to the shield and picks it up. Instantly fear and a sense of impending doom is upon him, strangely enough the fear does not come from the Dragon. Stefan hears words which seem to come from the statue of Lumina nearby, "Rescue me, rescue me.".

{He who goes unnamed} sees an open box with a set of braces near the Helm of Dragon Control. He steps close to the Helm of Dragon Control. He waits until he receives the signal from Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt that he is ready. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt continues his search and finally discovers the silver quiver with a dozen arrows each with the images of Dragons carved into their shafts. The young Dragon starts to mumble to itself. A spell strikes Stefan and {He who goes unnamed}, they would never hurt their friend the young Dragon. The young Dragon looks at each in turn, his eyes turn to Stefan.

{He who goes unnamed} puts on the Helm of Dragon Control. With a word, "Sleep.", he sends the large Dragon into a slumber. There is a screech from above along with the flapping of wings. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt grabs the silver bow and nocks a silver arrow. Stefan leaps behind the statue of Lumina. {He who goes unnamed} turns and flies with all speed towards the exit. With a thought he commands the young Dragon, "Do not attack, do not kill anyone.". Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt watches as the young Dragon starts to fill its lungs. {He who goes unnamed} gets to the double brass doors and flies straight up the stairs. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt follows as best he can across the piles of gold and up to the staircase towards the exit. He looses and arrow striking the young Dragon, blood spurts from the wound. The young Dragon retracts it's wings and is propelled up the staircase.

Stefan prays at the statue of Lumina. {He who goes unnamed} flies right past the party crying out, "Brace for impact!". The young Dragon follows up into the staircase. Stefan continues to pray at the statue. The eyes of the Statue of Lumina open, the mouth speaks, "Find the spear, in the room beyond the shimmering.", the statue's eyes indicate the shimmering between the legs of the statue of Shaam to our left. It then becomes inanimate and silence reins. Stefan bolts upright, grabbing the shield and sprints into the shimmering and vanishes from sight.

The party closes the double brass doors and tries to wedge them shut. We run back up the staircase. The double brass doors are rendered molten as a bolt of lighting strikes them . The young Dragon bursts through the malleable molten metal doors and wedges them deformed and open against the walls. We fire our weapons at the still rapidly approaching young Dragon. Most arrows bounce, all spells are render naught, only Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt firing at the young Dragon's rear causes more blood to gush forth and cascade down the stairs.

There is another roar from the chamber of the Temple of Shaam. The older Dragon awakes. Stefan passes through the shimmering light into a room. In the room there are four benches. On each bench is a weapon or statue. There is a Spear, a Sword, a Statue of Axraam, and a Warhammer shaped like a Dragon. Stefan grabs the Spear and turns around.

Aristotle cast a spell at the young Dragon, the spell fails, as have all previous spells. Yiros Fetta Uzo slings the beast but slips on the blood and falls down the staircase to lie near the young Dragon's mouth. The young Dragon snaps at the nearest standing person, this happens to be Heinz Meier. He uses all his skill, it fails connect with Heinz Meier because of the tight and closed confines of the staircase. The young Dragon cannot manoeuvre. It's snapping maws are turned aside by Heinz Meier.

Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt hears the sliding of gold coins cascading down the mountains of gold in the cavern. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt draws forth a Mage slaying arrow and takes aim again at the young Dragon's butt. Again he lets loose. The arrow streaks into the young Dragon, it yelps with pain, blood cascades down the stairs like a torrent now. Stefan hears the sound of battle outside. He hears the old Dragon lumber before the entrance of the room. He hears the audible in rush of air, filling the old Dragon's lungs to capacity. Stefan is filled with an overwhelming urge to slay the old Dragon. The shield whispers to him, "Use me wisely.". The old Dragon's head enters the room directly in front of Stefan. Lightning spews forth from the open old Dragon's maw, Stefan is almost blinded by the light. He is knocked from his feet and sent across the room. The shield of Lumina remains between him and the old Dragon sucking into itself all that is spewing forth from the open maws.

The young Dragon again snaps at Heinz Meier but once again the confines of the staircase hinder it. The young Dragon starts to move itself backwards, its claws slipping and sliding on the blood coated stairs. The party with a frontage of four people continue to strike at the face of the young Dragon and it begins its slow retreat down the staircase. The staircase beings to expand and it strikes at those in front with claw and bite. Unfortunately these efforts prove to be ineffectual. It grows weak through blood loss and drops onto the staircase, sliding some feet further down towards the chamber. Heinz Meier advances and embeds his warhammer into the skull of the prone figure.

Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt turns to look at the cavern behind him. The old Dragons head is buried beneath the legs of Shaam, fire and lightning are spewing forth from the room which Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt last saw Stefan enter. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt readies the bow and sends a silver arrow arcing across the chamber into the exposed flanks of the old Dragon. It's cry fills the cavern, blood splashes red upon the piles of gold coins. Stefan steps forward and stabs the spear into the face of the old Dragon. The old Dragon yelps again, it's bottom jaw broken and lower teeth shattered.

{He who goes unnamed} and Werner Faßenberg fly above the young Dragon on the staircase and enter the chamber proper. Werner Faßenberg cast leaping on Heinz Meier and Wilhelm Schults and they leap over the still body and into the chamber also. {He who goes unnamed} commands the old dragon, "Get your head out of that hole, at once, and come here.". The old Dragon's body jerks backwards, the head turns as it hears those words. Stefan plunges the spear three feet deep into the expose neck of the Dragon. Blood engulfs Stefan. The old Dragon raises it's head from the room, blood gushes from it's neck, it turns and moves towards {He who goes unnamed} and then collapses onto the piles of gold. It's life leaks away. {He who goes unnamed} cries out in frustration and annoyance, "Bugger!".

 

 
(c) 2000 Hammerstein Rolemaster Campaign Journal by Ross Stopford  
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