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After the Rain

[Wednesday, May 27, 1998]

Griflet's Report: “Fortune brings a curse with every blessing.”

“Avenged indeed, Polydices, and now we must return the treasures that were stolen from us. Here we are at an impasse: a Quarmallian I cannot trust but I trust you as a friend. How is it we can divide the treasure and culture of our ancestors without the mistrust of history?

When the smoke clears we will claim our trophy. The head of Bloodbane and his four wretched claws. We shall be heroes to our people. Today the wanderers have proven their worth and crystallised our loyalties.”

IN BLOODBANE'S CAVE - Day of the Mole, Wolf's Moon, Year of the Gorgon

The flames have burned for two days, in spite of the cold spring rain. In Bloodbane's cold cave there is the smell of burnt wet wood, and the acrid dragon-stench.

Polydices stands near the cave entrance, looking at the grey desolation outside with an unreadable expression. He turns to you as you clink across the mound of treasure toward him.

“The flames have died down.” he says “We should leave this place. Soon, perhaps sooner than we think, word of the dragon's death will spread. The Beastmen will come, in great numbers. Others too perhaps. We should leave.”

He gestures to the mound of treasure behind you and purses his lips. “This could cause a war” he says. He doesn't seem altogether displeased by the prospect.

Two hours later, you are outside, the rain dripping from your grey hood and cloak, surrounded by blackened trees. You have severed Bloodbane's head (almost as large as an elf) and claws and tied them together. They make quite a heavy package. The rain drips down over the Foe's scaly eylid. There is a fresh smell in the air, as if the rain has cleansed this place.

THE DRAGON-HOARD - Day of the Mole, Wolf's Moon, Year of the Gorgon

There is certainly much gold here, a huge pile. There are chests and jewels and ancient Elven weapons and treasures. There are a few bizarre Quarmallian machines (which Polydices inspected with interest). There are sculptures by Coryon and lesser artists. There is far too much for two men to carry, especially if burdened with the dragon's head and claws. This is the sort of hoard which men would kill each other for. (You don't believe Polydices has this intention toward you. But then, neither you nor Polydices are men.)

The cave is huge and impossible to conceal. Presumably it's location is known (and feared) by the surrounding Beastmen; it's hard to know how long it will be before their greed conquers their fear. Chances are though, it won't be long.

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