Monday, November 09, 2015

Treasure!

Of Dice and Glen is a story being written following D&D 5th Edition rules and using Minecraft as the battle mat (and to set the scene). Each of the two writers control their own characters and share the job of Dungeon Master (controlling the environment, story, monsters and background characters). As a result, neither of us has any clue of what's going on or where this is going. So, let's have fun!

This story is split between episodes being posted on the second Monday of every month. You can find the first episode here and the previous episode here.


Of Dice and Glen Episode 7: Treasure!


“Look out!” Luna yelped and dodged around the dragonborn to get a clear shot at the new foe. Holding up a hand that was suddenly brimming with fire, she hurled the molten missile at the goblin.

The flaming ball hit the suspicious goblin and it shrieked as the fire spread from his chest to his arms and even licked at its disgusting, stringy hair.

As Luna pushed past, Shaddar caught sight of the goblin he hadn’t noticed before. He followed in behind the flying flame, swinging at the goblin with sword and torch while it was frantically flailing at the fire.

The goblin’s flailing inadvertently helped it to dodge the swinging sword, but the torch slipped in to hit its forehead. The monster fell backwards onto the ground as the remaining flames stole its life away.

Panting, Shaddar turned and smiled weakly at Luna, his tongue unconciously flicking from behind his pointed teeth.

“Thanks.”

Smiling slyly at him, the tiefling poked her small, red tongue out from between her own pointed fangs. Her tail twitched in the dirt on the floor, in deep amusement.

“You’re welcome.”

Rolling his eyes - a maneuver he had learned from observing Luna - Shaddar turned and set about searching the corpses, not even bothering to ask the tiefling before sorting the money he found between the two stashes in his pouch.

“No boots,” she muttered, examining the corpses in her own way, ignoring Shaddar’s careful division of the money.

Looking at the tiefling’s booted feet, Shaddar admitted that they looked fairly worn, but they were still in perfectly serviceable condition.

“Your boots look fine to me, why would you need new ones?”

“What?” she looked up, distracted. “No. Not new. The older the better.”

Giving up, she stood and glared at the corpse, tail swishing irritably around behind her. Moving through the doorway before them, Luna quickly explored the small chamber, with no interest. Peeking cautiously around another doorway, she squeaked with excitement and fell upon a crude chest.

The chest was in a rough hewn cave that appeared to have been excavated around the remains of what had once been a balcony for the tower, but was now encased in stone and dirt.

Shaddar quickly followed behind Luna, worried that she was rushing into trouble.

“What is it?” he asked.

“Look! Look!” she squealed with delight holding up the gleaming, green emerald and for the moment ignoring the rest of the plainly expensive contents.

“Looks like we found their treasure trove,” Shaddar commented, coming over to examine the contents of the chest with her.

“It’s so pretty!” Luna agreed, with childish delight, not taking her eyes from the stone. “Can I keep it?”

Taking a close look at the gem, the white dragonborn’s tongue flickered.

“It’s magical. Do you know what it does?”

The tiefling’s hand suddenly shot out, grasping for the thin, forked tongue that was vanishing back behind the dangerously pointed dragon teeth. She caught it deftly, and gently, between two fingers, then released it just as quickly.

“No! Do you?” she said, as if nothing out-of-the-ordinary had happened, but there was a slight, incorrigible tilt to her head.

“Why’d you do that?” Shaddar demanded and started rubbing at his sensitive tongue, trying to eliminate the dirt and tiefling taste.

“To see if I could,” she said simply, then, slightly quieter, “why do you sound like I just lit your bed on fire?”

“Becauth you tathte terrible!” Shaddar said. Giving up on the scrubbing, he took a drink of his water. He gave her a sideways look - somewhere between frustrated and amused. “Don’t do that.”

“Oh, ok!” She agreed readily, turning back to her magic stone. “I did bathe last month,” she added, slightly hurt.

“What else have we got here?” Shaddar asked, going to look in the chest for himself. His eyes were immediately drawn to a shiny scale shirt. He lifted it out of the chest and gasped.

“It’s so light!”

Without worrying about possible consequences, he took off his current, heavy scale shirt and started putting on the new one. Under his scale shirt, his actual scaled back had a tree-like pattern in gold scales on his more common white scales.

Luna quickly grew bored with the laborious and tediously long business of fastening and unfastening armours. She amused herself by examining each item in turn, but all the time, keeping the emerald resting safely on her lap.

Looking up just in time to catch the tree-patterned scales, she sucked in her breath in awe and shuffled forward on her knees to get a closer look.

“You’ve got a tree in your scales! It’s so pretty!”

Shaddar turned around, inadvertently hiding his back from her curious eyes. “Hmmm? Yes, I was born with it.”

“I like it. Do all dragon-people have trees?”

Laughing, Shaddar shook his head. “No, everyone has their own patterns and colouring. I’m told both white and gold dragonborn are uncommon in the world, although both occasionally hatch in my clan.”

Crossing her legs and sitting in front of him, she listened, giving him her full, and rare, attention.

“What clan are you from? What are you called?”

“Drachdeliath,” Shaddar said, a hint of pride in his voice. He finished fastening his new armour on and moved about to get a feel for it. He snapped his teeth in approval. “I like this! Very nice; very light. What else have we got here?”

Luna wasn’t listening, however.

“All hail and cower before the mighty Drak-lilacs!” she bellowed, leaping to her feet, tail lashing excitedly about her. “Mightiest, honourable-est, strongest of all dragon-people!”

“Drachdeliath,” Shaddar corrected sharply, his eyes narrowing dangerously and small wisps of smoke issuing from his nostrils.

Instantly, the dun coloured tail ceased its excited lashing and Luna turned to regard the dragonborn with the first indication of fear she had ever shown towards him.

“I, um...” she began, uncertainly. “Oopsy! Sorry, I didn’t mean to... Could you pronounce it a bit slower?” she added, staring hard at his face, a determined expression replacing the quick flash of fear.

Shaddar’s expression instantly softened. “It doesn’t matter,” he said, turning away, toward the chest. “I don’t use my clan name anymore, anyway.”

“Why?” she asked, her voice softer than normal. A ridge of concern formed below her horns.

The dragonborn didn’t answer. Instead, he picked a vial of red liquid out of the chest. Curious, he gave it a shake and the red liquid glimmered. Fairly confident it wouldn’t be harmful, he unstoppered the vial and took a tiny taste.

“Healing potion,” he said, nodding as he felt the familiar tingle of healing magic.

There were certain hints that even this wild-living tiefling could read. The small wrinkle of concern didn’t smooth, but Luna nodded silently, behind the large, draconic back.

“You should take that,” she stated. “Some of us have healing in our hands.”

As proof, she held up both her grubby hands and wiggled the thin, but strong, fingers.

Shaddar chuckled. “That you do. Now this is a mystery.”

He held up a sloshing ceramic jug that looked like it could hold about a litre of liquid, but when he uncorked it, there was nothing inside. He even turned it upside-down and nothing came out, though it continued to slosh.

“I know! Here,” she reached out for the strange jug.

The dragonborn willingly surrendered the jug.

Grasping the container tightly, she appeared to take a small sip.

“Am I invisible?!” she squeaked excitedly.

“Where did she go?” Shaddar gasped sarcastically.

Clutching her hands in tiny fists pressed to her cheeks, Luna giggled like a small child and danced on the spot.

“I’m right here! Oooooh!”

“So you are,” Shaddar chuckled, reaching to pat her on the head, but then withdrawing his hand when he remembered her reaction last time.

Luna watched his hand approach, then begin to retract with satisfaction. Then, unexpectedly, she found herself not so averse to what was beginning to seem like a sign of... Affection.

Quickly, she ducked her head forward, bringing her horns up on either side of his hand, brushing his palm with her purple hair.

Slightly confused, Shaddar patted her head, then turned back to the chest. “What else have we got here?”

He reached in and pulled out a short blueish-grey cloak, trimmed in gold and with a long, thin tail protruding from the back.

“More magic, or I’m a talking lizard,” Shaddar said, flipping it around and examining it. “I wonder what it does.”

Smiling with embarrassment to herself, Luna examined the cloak as well, grabbing for it in her enthusiasm. Swirling it around her shoulders she suddenly crouched to the ground and scurried about the small chamber.

“Squeak! Squeak!” she said, in a passable imitation of a small rodent.

“Looks more like a sea creature than a mouse,” Shaddar commented, his voice tinged with amusement.

“A sea mouse?” she asked in slight awe. “I’ve never been to anything that big. Just ponds and lakes in one or two forests.”

“I’ve been to the sea a couple times,” Shaddar said with a shrug. “It’s just a big salty pond.”

He turned back to the chest and pulled out the last item - a fairly normal looking blue satchel. Frowning, knowing instinctively that it had some magic about it, he poked his nose inside. His eyes flew open.

“It’s bigger on the inside!”

“What?!” she exclaimed and grabbed at the edge, yanking it down. “By the Loki’s nose hair, it is!”

“I’ve heard of this sort of thing, but never seen one before,” Shaddar said, putting the open bag on the floor. “Watch this.”

Her retrieved his old scale shirt and put it in the satchel, then lifted the bag from the floor.

“I was right!” he said, laughing aloud. “The bag’s the same weight as before, even with the heavy scale mail inside.”

Luna stared in amazement, tail pointed stiffly in surprise. Quickly growing bored with this new wonder, she turned back to the chest, still wearing the odd cloak.

“That’s the lot,” she said, slightly disappointed. “Now if we can only figure out what it all does...”

Holding up the emerald again, the curious tiefling squinted at it, hard.

“Reveal your secrets to me, little shiny stone!”

The emerald glinted back innocently. It seemed to be surrounded by inaudible whispers.

“If we took the time, I’m sure we could figure them out,” Shaddar said, “but I’m worried about the rest of the goblins. I don’t want their boss to escape again.”

“Rrrrrrrr...!” the tiefling growled, viciously, dropping to her hands and feet in good imitation of a wolf. “You’rrrrrre rrrright! Let’s get ‘em!”

They traveled back to the room with the decrepit bed and through the second doorway, past the kobold Luna had killed. Around a corner at the far end of the passage, there was a stairway leading down. From below came the occasional crack of a whip, followed by an anguished yelp.





Discover what happens next in Episode 8: Big Bad Boss





Click here to find the charity anthology containing a couple of my short stories.


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