The Redheads Get Barbequed
Posted on September 25th, 2009 by Kathryn Harper
Roxanne Carre and Kathryn Harper
The black dragon narrowed her eyes at the crowd of figures assembling at the entrance to her cave. Letting out a resonant chuckle, she idly picked at a razor-sharp claw, anticipating her next meal. They seemed to be taking their time, though; her excellent hearing could pick up lots of chatter about who would go where, but it wouldn’t matter in the long run – they’d all be going into her stomach, preferably well done after a nice flaming breath.
“I’m not prepared!” said a red-headed elven priest. “Stupid paladin buffs, I don’t have blessing of wisdom, again, and can we have fire resistance aura instead of crusader?”
“Hunters need might instead of wisdom!” a hunter whined.
One cry pierced the din, “OMG JUST GO ALREADY!”
Sure enough, they came. “How fortuitous!” she bellowed, “Usually I must leave my lair to feed!” One particularly juicy looking warrior led the charge and she figured it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to eat him first, despite the tendencies of plate armor to get stuck in her teeth. Swiping at him with a fist full of talons as he ran by, she turned and exhaled a torrent of flame. Meat, after all, tasted better when cooked. Oddly, the warrior survived the breath, and squinting, she noticed his wounds were magically closing.
Enraged, she turned and spotted a priest who was obviously healing her dinner.
The priest noticed and immediately tried to fade into the surroundings; fortunately the ruse worked and the dragon was distracted by sharp pointed projectiles poking out of her hide. Seeing a likely hunter she snapped at him and yelled, “This meaningless exertion bores me. I’ll incinerate you all from above!” Rising into the air, she drew in a great breath, preparing to drown the room in flames.
“Deep Breath, head for the walls and avoid the lava fissures!” cried a voice, as several raiders turned into char. Suddenly the lair was aflame, everything burning like thatched-roof cottages. Madness, terror, and falling rubble; flames burn and lava bubbles.
“Puny mortals…” she raged. Somehow several of them had escaped certain death, so the dragon willed about fifty of her eggs to hatch from her nearby nests.
“Whelps! Many whelps! Handle it!” said the warrior who she had initially tried to eat. “Come, mortals, feed my babies,” she cried, amused as she watched her children swarm the invaders. The dragon then began breathing fireballs, selecting the tastiest looking targets from below.
“OMG HEAL PLEASE!” came a yell from a red-haired human woman clad in leather, as she busily stabbed a dragon whelp with twin daggers. Hoping that the healing magic would soon come, she spun impossibly fast, throwing knives in all directions, felling several of the whelps.
The dragon smirked, if such an expression were possible on her face, and then fireballed the woman again, turning her into a flaming corpse. All enjoyment of that aside, this attack was starting to hurt. Arrows were sticking from her scaly hide, she was bathed in flames, and felt rather queasy. It was time to end this.
The air seemed to rush out of the room as the dragon took another deep breath. Calls to run away came from the intruders below, but this time, they were too slow. A deluge of flame fell from above, and every single one of the adventurers that had braved her lair for a promise of looting a dragon’s hoard was caught in it. Screams arose from the floor as most of them died, but a few stragglers somehow survived, trying to heal each other.
“JUST WIPE ALREADY,” came the shout from below, and they seemed to give in to their fate, resignedly stopping their healing and giving in to their inevitable fiery demise. Dinner would be good this evening.
Kate Harper threw the hologoggles off her head and onto the bed with a dejected sigh. “Another wipe!”
Roxy sadly replied, “In truth, dragons do not seek out gold for their lairs. They simply horde what treasures remain from those they destroy.”
As a final statement came through the speakers, “You would sooner be a dragon snack than a dragonslayer,” they both collapsed laughing.
Leaning back onto the bed, Kate sighed. “I think it is time to fake a disconnect. That raid will never kill the dragon. I could not even get a heal.”
“How many times a week do you want me to save your ass?” Roxy asked.
“As many as it takes to get the loot!” Shutting down the hologoggles without a word to the rest of the raiders so it would look like she disconnected, Kate turned on her side to face Roxy on the other bed. “I have not gotten the chance to thank you for saving my life. I probably should have died… thanks, Rox.”
“You’re quite welcome, but I don’t think you need to thank me. I don’t thank you every time you go out and blast the bad guys to keep them from killing me, along with everyone else onboard. Consider it a return favor for kicking some mutineer butt, right before you targeted the bridge with the shuttlecraft,” she replied grinning and yet, slightly embarrassed.
“Then I guess we are even,” Kate chuckled.