Greyhawk (Against the Giants/Tyranny of Dragons)

The Road to Greenest

The owl sits calmly on the branch looking at the clearing intently. Slowly it takes to the sky and begins a slow circle over the field seeking its prey. Intent on the leg of a grasshopper the mouse had snagged there was no inclination of the doom that lay ahead. Spiraling at first and turning into a steep dive the owl plunged down upon its prey claws extended, ready to grab its first meal of the night. As the mouse looked up it realized too late its fate….
But then, all stories don’t end the same. For this night, the mouse lived. For minutes before a larger airborne hunter had begun its dive upon a prey. Her scales were each larger than the owl and she had thousands of them. The beat of her wings sent trees crashing to the ground and caused bears to flee for nothing was more fearsome in the world than a hungry dragon!
And it was the blood red dragons whose hate oozed from them like the flame they belched upon the world. And this mouse was saved by this very creature, as she passed at just the right moment, and the beat of her wing cause a blast of air to strike the owl with hurricane force. The owls wings spread out and claws down allowed the blasting wind to tear her right wing of sending her crashing to the ground. And the mouse, on this night, running toward its hole, may be all that lived in the area.
The flames burst upon the sleepy town like a volcano. I stand upon the hilltop looking in horror and the buildings filled with sleeping families of humans explode into flame like torches. And then, an instant later she turns to me. Wings pumping and fire all around she swoops, closer she comes, and then the fire emerges between her foot long teeth…
I sat up in bed, sweaty from the dream. For years this vision haunted me, but, it had been absent from me meditation for near a decade, until tonight, when it suddenly and vividly returned. It was this dream and this town that caused me to leave my home in search of the truth.
My father was often upset with me over the years as I constantly told his sister of my dreams and belief in them. For my aunt was the Queen, and I, my mother’s youngest daughter. So when I was able, I took my belief and headed east into the woods to seek the truth of it. And it was here, along the eastern edge of the Gnarly Forest, I would find my proof.
Dusk lay upon the forest as I followed the clawed prints of the dragon man. I stared down upon its unusual bronze armor, covered in blood, laying on the edge of the small river. The sound of a lute beginning to play to the north of my position echo’s through the woods. Moving swiftly I begin to head swiftly and quietly through the woods to try and save whatever poor fool is drawing such attention to themselves in this part of the woods. And there it was, engaged in a fight with a man, who I would later learn, was named Kasil.
I let loose my arrow into its leg dropping the beast and advanced, tying the beast up and making introductions to the human. Two dwarves, Thorrick the Cleric and Crixus, a Halfling named Den’Var clamming to be a famous Bard, and a sickly looking human ranger named Eldora were drawn from the road to the river’s edge by the sounds of the beast.
Knowing we must all find a way to save these lands, I set aside, at least temporarily, my distrust of the dwarfs and introduced myself. “I am Lady Avanna Aldarin of Celene and this beast is under my control now.” They agreed to assist me in taking the beast to Greenest Castle, so when it awoke I could question it. Perhaps its answers would prove the truth of my dreams.
We managed to secure transport a time later from a passing merchant wagon to the town of Greenest. The town watch began escorting us to the keep to meet with Governor Highhill when from some covered wagons waiting to enter the town burst many dozens of kobolds and goblins who began attacking the town. From the sky could be seen a swooping dragon spitting out lightening upon the town and the keep we were headed to. As we drove forward to the keep we came under attack from a group consisting of seven kobold’s and two drakes.
It was at an intersection and the three human guards and the dwarf Crixus were felled in the opening volley of fire from the enemy. It must have been the kobolds, but, the dragon man suddenly awoke, and let out a loud roar. From the sky above a light shot down and bathed the dragon man. His bonds slipped free and he roared even louder matching the roar of the dragon overhead.
For truly, this must be the dream I had all those decades ago, and then again every night for the past three month. For tonight, I would face my dreams and god willing, save myself.
Avanna Aldarin



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