Rush Of Blood To The Head, part 7.7.
“Ha! Watch and learn, you simians! Yet another dragon falls before the might of Edwin Odesseiron’s magic!” Edwin boasts proudly.
“Yet another one, dear Edwin? I am afraid that those stuffed plush toys you strangled to death in your childhood, do not count,” Jaheira adds, laughing.
“Pah! You know nothing of what you speak, druid! If not for my magic, you and your lover boy would have taken a very long dirt nap!” Edwin snarls, “From this day, my name shall be known as Edwin the Dragonslayer Odesseiron!”
“Really, Edwin… that poor beast was already dead when your spell went off…” I object, annoyed at Edwin’s attempts to steal all the glory for himself.
“A poorly masked envy is emanating from you, my dear chimp!” Edwin snorts, “know that it is unwise to argue with someone who can bend and twist the flow of time itself… oh, yes… that bastard with the pointy hat had better beware, for I have mastered and subdued the time and space around us!”
“Ah, that spell stopped the flow of time?” Nalia asks, “but Edwin… um, you read the only scroll we had and you didn’t scribe it into your spellbook prior to that…”
Edwin stands dumbstruck and as he looks at the young mage and the realization slowly sinks in his brain, his eyes are growing wider and wider… and then we are forced to plug our ears as the curses that stream from his mouth are effective enough to make even seasoned adventurers like us to blush heavily…
“Are you quite done, Edwin?” Jaheira yells at him, as the wizard still can’t calm down, but soon he is out of his breath and sits down on a tree stump to sulk for a while.
“Hey! Where is Vico?” Imoen suddenly realizes that the drow is missing from our sight.
“I am right here… fools!” a weak voice is coming from somewhere behind the dragon and we rush to see what has happened to Viconia, meanwhile Jaheira goes to check upon Keldorn, who has snapped out of the daze and is rising from the ground shakily.
“Where are you, Vic?” Imoen asks worriedly, “Oh, no! Don’t tell me that you are… inside that dragon?”
“Do not be foolish, Imoen,” Viconia’s voice rings from right… below us and we look down to see the drow being held under the dragon’s heavy neck…
“Are you hurt, Vicky?” Imoen bends on her knees to check on her friend.
“No, I am fine,” Viconia snorts, “had I been hurt, I know of a certain somebody, who would be begging for mercy right about now. What are you standing about; get me out of here this very instant!”
Nalia, Imoen and I grab the dragon’s neck and lift it up, so that Viconia can crawl out and once back on the feet, her first task is to briefly hug Imoen.
“Aw, Vic, I was so scared about you… but you sure showed that lizard, heh,” Imoen giggles, “we did really well, didn’t we… and everyone is still in one piece… oh, crap! Keldy!”
“I am fine, young Imoen,” Keldorn says, coming towards us, having received the necessary healing from Jaheira, “I must apologize for not being able to help more in the fight.”
“Nonsense, Keldorn,” I reply, “Such unlucky break could have happened to any of us.”
“You’re wrong there, Theodur,” Viconia mocks, “It only happens to a fool who likes to can himself in such a heavy suit of armor, that he can’t avoid a single swing. Jaheira, you and I, we had no trouble in sidestepping the dragon’s attacks.”
“Well, Drow… for once, had I not been wearing this full plate, I would have been a dead man now. And I am not as young to rely on my agility, anymore,” Keldorn retorts, “I would like to see you do better, once you reach my age.”
“Ha! I’m most likely already four times your age, paladin!” Viconia shouts, “Unlike you, I am not threatened by premature senility!” For some reason, Viconia’s words have an awkward effect on Imoen as she turns away and pretends to be looking elsewhere.
“I think that’s about enough, Viconia,” I interrupt, before the situation gets out of the hand again, “we should start looking for that artifact… err, where is Edwin?”
“Edwin? What are you doing there?” Jaheira is the first to notice the wizard as he has crouched down to the ground and is looking intently at something in front of him.
“Have you found the dragon’s hoard, Eddie? Lemme see, too…” Imoen clamours as we all head over to see what Edwin has discovered, but he rises from the ground wearing a strained expression on his face, trying to look rather indifferent.
“Well?” I ask him meaningfully and he hands a fancy looking golden goblet over to me, which I then place in my pack.
“That’s all?” Nalia asks sounding disappointed.
“Edwin… you know that in adventuring parties, it is assumed for the party to share the spoils equally,” Jaheira points out, looking at him suspiciously and unwillingly Edwin drags out a sack of gems from his robes and hands it over to the smiling druidess.
“Fine, but only because I have witnessed your… unique skills of handling the merchants, druid, and I trust that you will get us a good deal or else…” I am quite shocked to hear Edwin actually admitting that someone is better than him at least in something…
“And I still insist that I have the largest share of the treasure, especially considering that it was I who slew the dragon” he adds, looking at me meaningfully.
“A suit of armor, Eddie?” I ignore his boasts and instead turn my attention towards the deep green chain mail, lying on the ground behind Edwin’s back.
“Ah, I’m glad you noticed,” Edwin’s face lights up in a smile, “this is a truly wonderful item, the elven chainmail of the highest quality – it is strongly enchanted to provide remarkable protection against physical blows, yet is so very light that it does not hinder the wearer from using magic or the rogue’s stealth.”
“Of course, I would be the one most worthy to wear it, but I will never consider giving up my precious red robes for even the most exquisitely made armor,” Edwin adds.
“I suppose then it’s a toss between Nalia and Immy… who of you two wants it?” I ask.
“Oh, I don’t know… I’ve never worn armor… I don’t know if I can get used to it…” Nalia hesitates.
“Sure, I’ll take it!” Imoen gladly accepts it, “I’ve worn leather armors for most of my adventurer’s career… this one is even lighter than some of them, wow! WOW! Come, Vic, you’ll help me to change, let’s go behind those trees…” the overexcited girl drags the reluctant drow off and out of our sight.
“Which brings me to another point,” Edwin starts and we turn our attention back to him, “I know a very gifted dwarven blacksmith in Athkatla, by the name of Cromwell.”
“Cromwell? Oh… I know him too,” Jaheira interrupts him, “he actually was a contact for the Harpers and used to forge many magical items for them. I… I don’t know… ah, to hells, I am not a Harper anymore – well, there was this rumour that he is one of those few people who can actually forge the original Harper pins…”
“You’ve met with him in Athkatla, when you visited before?” I ask her and she nods in confirmation.
“Yes, a fascinating story, druid… now, where was I… ah, yes!” Edwin seems to be a bit lost, but he recovers quickly, “well, this Cromwell has a house in the Docks district of Athkatla, nearby the… ah, a certain guildhouse of a very certain thieves guild with which I had some very certain relationships, until a group of chimps showed up to spoil my plans! Bah! Regardless, on occasions I had a few talks with this Cromwell character and he supplied me with rather interesting information.”
“Such as?” Jaheira quirks her eyebrow.
“Such as what components are necessary to forge powerful magical items, druid,” Edwin explains, “and the scales of a slain dragon are amongst those components, used to produce armor of the highest quality, far superior than anything we currently have.”
“That’s good to know, Eddie,” I smile, “if we ever return to Athkatla, we will show all that junk that is stuffed in our backpacks, maybe he can do something with it…”
“Don’t you realize simian? Look here and see - that is a dead dragon. These are scales of a dead dragon. I know of a blacksmith… surely, even your deranged brain can see a pattern emerging (though I feel that I am clearly expecting too much…)” Edwin is getting impatient.
“Oh, I understand, Edwin… how smart of you. Well, here you go,” I chuckle and hand him a dagger.
“I have no need of that, fool,” he swats my hand aside, “why are you handing me this?”
“Well, Eddie… it is your loot, after all… so you have the honour to skin the dragon,” I chuckle, “and after that you will be the one to carry those heavy scales around and all the way back to Athkatla.”
“Eh… what? I am not doing something so barbaric as getting my hands dirty with the blood of that lizard,” Edwin is shocked, “and come to think of it, no one of you is worthy to wear an armor of such quality…”
“All right, you had your fun, now let us get back to more serious issues,” Jaheira interrupts, still chuckling and earning an angry glare from Edwin, “I suggest that we make use of this now peaceful place and have some rest… Viconia and I need to pray for our spells and I believe that our wizards all need to rest, in order to regain their spells. And Keldorn needs time to recover from-”
“I assure you that I am perfectly fine, Jaheira,” Keldorn scowls a bit, “and I would insist that we press on with all haste as more and more elves are dying each moment, but I also realize that it might be dangerous if we were to continue badly prepared.”
“Are you sure that we are safe here, Jaheira?” Nalia asks, “I’m not really comfortable with this dead dragon and all…”
“It is not necessary to set the camp directly beside the dragon, Nalia,” Jaheira explains, “and yes, this place will be safe – all creatures, even those of evil intent, have been scared away by the dragon’s presence.”
“That’s convincing reasoning in my book,” I smile at my love, “let us set our camp here and have some precious hours of peace and relaxation…”
Rush Of Blood To The Head, part 7.7.
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