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A Pony Named Marxithial the Mighty

Rosorc’s Journal

Riding forth from the caravan and out to the left, I found myself quickly disappointed. Seems the Barbarian ambushers were an elusive bunch and had already disappeared, long before we arrived.

Taking a swig of ale to console myself, I wheeled my pony around back to the caravan. Seemed funny that I had ridden this beast for almost a week and I didn’t even have a name for him. Oh, well, I guess that would have to change. Patting him on the neck, I started to think of a name.

Several long hours later, evening had drawn near and we were wheeling the wagons in for camp. At this point no name had yet come to me. Dismounting, I fed and rubbed down my pony. Securing him with the other animals, I headed over to the closest campfire.

A few of the guards were gathered around it. Something definitely smelled good. I could see the makeshift spit already had a few rabbits spinning nicely. Sajin, a rather burly and rough spoken guard, offered me a swig from the aleskin they were passing around. Not wanting to offend them, I pulled a long draught and then produced one of my own.

Hunching down, I handed my flask around the fire. Seemed everyone was very thirsty indeed. When it returned to me, there was hardly a good swallow left. Seeing my plight, another guard named Timoth passed me a fresh hunk of rabbit from the fire. More than happy for the trade, I bid everyone a good night and headed off to pull my shift of guard duty.

My position for my watch was on the south side of the camp. Being as the camp was so large, I would have to keep moving to cover my territory. Looking up at the night sky, I began to pace.

Seemed like no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t keep quiet in my endeavors. My armour and weapons clanked through the night like an orcish horde on parade.

The hours of my watch passed quickly. Soon Beau was there with Shadow to replace me. Bidding them a peaceful watch, I retired to the campfire which our group was around. Theona and Areon were in their meditative state and Deitricha was passed out in her bedroll.

Removing my armour I lay down on the ground. As it was a little damp with dew, I decided on the comforts of my bedroll. Pulling the blankets up tight, I closed my eyes.

Laying there I tried to wait out the flower weaving culprit that I knew would come. Shortly after, I must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I knew it was morning. I heard the others milling about. Guards were hooking up the wagon teams. Others were eating, cleaning their weapons, or donning their armour.

Fearing the worst, I slowly opened my eyes. As expected, the flower demon had arrived. My beard looked like a mountain field in midsummer. What was worse, my hair had violets and dandelions braided into it, giving me a hellish purple and orange mane.

Somewhere off in the distance, I could hear snickers and guffaws. Not even bothering to give the offenders the benefit of a death stare, I pulled each of the flowers from my person.

Being done with what seemed to be my new daily ritual, I stowed my gear in a wagon and mounted up on my pony. Still perplexed on what to call him, I headed out for the day’s travels.

Rumors still swirled about the caravan of the Barbarian pursuers we had. Some said they were a scouting party for a large army. Others were saying they were a band of werewolves. In any case, I was itching for some action.

Just as I feared boredom would be the death of me there was a stir from one end of the caravan to the other. The unmistakable shape of a large red dragon winged across the afternoon sky, on a direct path towards us.

Lukan, the head of the caravan, called for an all “Stop”. As we waited, the dragon winged in and landed. It declared in a booming voice, “I am Marxithial the Mighty and you have dared to trespass in my territory. For this I demand tribute.”

Lukan at this point was hiding in the wagon in which he rode. The same with most of the other guards. Theona and I quickly stepped forward, Areon and Beau right behind.

I asked, “What would be a fair tribute to one such as yourself?” Looking into one of the closer wagons, the dragon muttered, “Two thousand gold or the equivalent in magical items.”

Theona and I looked at each other. We knew we didn’t have that kind of gold. We had blown our loot back in Beorunna’s Well. Pulling Lukan from his hiding place I quickly asked him, “Do you have any gold or magical items to exchange for this caravan’s safety?” Nodding his head sadly he moaned, “I have no gold as I have spent all of my money on the merchandise within these wagons, though I do have this magical ring.”

Pulling the ring from his hand, I walked it up and handed it to the dragon, keeping a wary eye on his every action. After several moments of the dragon eyeing his new bauble he declared, “This is a fitting tribute. You shall be allowed to pass.”

You could hear the concerted sigh of relief across the caravan. As Marxithial the Mighty went to take wing, it seems Theona and I had the same idea at once. We quickly pointed out the other trespassers following us through the dragon’s territory. We said that we were pretty sure they would be an easy target to collect tribute from. You could almost see the “gold gleam” in his eyes as the dragon leapt into the air.

Once he had taken off, Lukan hollered for us to move out. Seems that neither he nor no one else wanted to see the dragon again. Several hours of quick travel passed. Then, in the distance behind us, a familiar sight appeared.

Coming up on us fast was a red dragon. He wheeled towards us, though this time he didn’t stop. He just incinerated the rear wagon with his firey breath. As he passed over, you could see his undersides were badly damaged. He had been in a doozy of a battle. Kind of made me glad the Dragon met the Barbarians in battle and not our little caravan.

Seeing he was returning at an incredibly fast pace, I pulled down my visor and dismounted. Raising my shield and my crossbow, I took a shot at the fire breathing wurm. As my bolt hit him, a second wagon was incinerated before my eyes.

Several of my companions at this point were also firing their bows at him. So were the guards that weren’t driving the wagons away at breakneck speed.

As the dragon approached again my next bolt found a very tender spot in his wounded belly. Seems this caught his attention. As he flew over this time I was the new target of his firey breath weapon.

It sounded as if the world was exploding within my head. I sucked for air as the earth around me burst into flames. I could feel my beard and hair singe under helm. I felt the heat of my shield and armour as it protected my body. Then as quickly as it started it was over.

Seeing I was still standing seemed to piss the dragon off. He quickly wheeled around for another pass. As he approached I grabbed my axe and beat my chest defiantly. I hollered, “You daughter of an adulterous wyvern! Come down here and fight me! I will kick your scaly ass from here to Silverymoon!”

As much as my comments pissed him off, I couldn’t trick him into landing and fighting us on the ground where we had the upper hand. Instead, he wheeled in and blasted Areon with his firey breath weapon, leaving him much worse for the wear. Though still smoking, he managed to fire off a couple of arrows at the dragon.

Several more passes from the dragon came and passed. Each time we pelted him with arrows and bolts. Beau had summoned a giant owl to help with the battle, though it was very short lived as the dragon shredded it with it’s powerful claws.

Beau and Deitricha healed us as we suffered heavy wounds from the dragon. Deitricha herself was blasted once from the dragon as she flew around it trying to hit it with her quarterstaff. Surprisingly, she survived. Her lithe form flew out of the fire and immediately started praying to her god for healing.

We sent a final barrage of bolts and arrows the dragon’s way. More than a couple hit true. The other guards had returned with us and were also firing now. The dragon’s underside ran slick with blood as it wheeled off to the north. This time, it did not return.

Regrouping the caravan we then buried our dead. Deitricha said a solemn prayer for them. Then we decided to head out and place some (more) distance between us and the dragon.

Walking over to my pony I went to mount up when his new name came to my mind. “You, my friend, will be Marxithial the Mighty.” I said as I stroked his side.

“Come, Marxithial, we have a caravan to guard,” I mumbled to myself as we headed out. Then I sang a song for our fallen companions. Sajin was driving the last wagon and he wouldn’t be sharing any ale with us this evening around the fire. Nor would a young man named Seth.

“A Warrior’s soul shall come and pass...His heart and strength will never last................”

Posted by Erik on August 15, 2004, 00:57 | Rosorc’s Journal