Thaum Slays Leng Drake!
The sun beat mercilessly apon Row's (Rowanthaun is his given name,
everyone calls him Row) shoulders as he crossed the bridge into the town
of Leng. He longed for a spell to cure hangovers. Pausing briefly to mop
the sweat from his brow, the rangy thaum thought again of his impending
doom and the circumstances that had lead to him promising to....WHAT?!!
The previous night, he had been in Kesmai at a commencement party for
a newly appointed knight. Someone had found a rare (and illegal) barrel
of Illyrian ale and the party had surged forth with liquid-enhanced
gusto. Row faintly remembered some loud-mouthed and inebriated little
Wizard with flammable breath telling him that the Thaum's place was in the
temple and that the slaying of drakes and other creatures would forever be
the work of the stronger proffessions; Thaums were simply Djinn-dispensing
handymen. Knights, Martial Artists, Wizards and Thieves all had their
role in the occupation of drake-slaying but Thaumaturges were excluded.
Row, having forgotten the potency of Illyrian drinks, was less reserved
than usual and had responded rashly to the slight. He was sorely tempted
to try to stuff the little Wizard into a mug of ale just to see if he
would fit. Instead Row decided on a bolder, if incredibly more stupid,
course of action. He vaulted onto a table (somewhat shakily) and loudly
proclaimed over the thunderous belches of the audience that he would slay
the Leng Drake to forever put an end to this debauchery of his priestly
profession. A chorus of drunken hoots and jeers were his answer from the
revelers still conscious enough to understand his slurred speech. Someone
passed him another mug of ale. An opportunistic party-goer started laying
odds on Row's chances of success (they were slim) and betting began in
earnest. A Thaum he recognized but couldn't remember looked intently at
him and shook his head solemnly. The pub minstrel started singing 'The
Ballad of the Leng Drake" and all joined in heartily. During the chorus,
Row slipped on a pool of beer, fell off the table and passed out.
The room hushed.
The Knight of Honor belched and drooled a little.
Another voice said, "grab his ale before it all spills."
The party raged on........
So now Row was in Leng and had to either try to slay the drake or
face a few lifetimes of shame. Right now the shame was sounding like a
reasonable alternative to sure death. Shuffling through the eerily quiet
main street of Leng, he paused at the recall ring vendor. The small,
sharp-featured thief looked up at Row and raised his eyebrows in an
unspoken question. Row tossed the price of two recall rings at the thief
and watched in amaement as the thief plucked the coins from the air in a
silvery streak of movement. With a deft movement of his hands and a few
whispered words, the thief opened his hands to reveal two glowing recall
rings. As he walked away, Row resisted the urge to count his fingers to
make sure they were all still there. Thieves always made him more than a
Soon it came to be that Row found himself at the door to the Leng
Drake's lair. About his feet were the numerous and foul-smelling corpses
of minotaurs and manticores that patrolled the plains just west of the
Drakes lair. The brief but bloody battle had been a cacophony of death
between the many servants of the Drake and Row's small arsenal of magical
tiger figurines. He picked up the last of these figurines and wiped the
spots of blood from it. The small caricature of a tiger felt warm in his
hand and seemed to writhe with barely-restrained energy. The four he had
carried in his sack were the most experienced ones he posessed and had
A glance around caused him to wonder for the thousandth time what the
heck he thought he was doing here. He had no business battling a drake.
Here and there the sand had been melted into rivulets of glass from the
legendary lightning the drake was so fond of using. A shiver ran up Row's
spine as he heard the ominous flapping of giant wings behind the door.
Row summoned his powers to call forth three Djinn from the nether regions
of the air. Heh heh, nether regions.
The magical blue servants coalesced into being and waited for his
instructions. The Djinn were much more dependable than the demons he had
summoned as a younger, less-experienced Thaum. Their expressionless
visages seemed somehow resigned today, as if they knew their fate and had
already accepted it. Taking a deep breath, Row motioned for them to open
the door to the Drake's lair and proceed into harms way.
A few steps inside the corridor, Row gasped. He had almost forgotten
to enchant himself with protection against the Drake's lightning. He did
so now and continued on. After gingerly stepping over a pile of obviously
human bones there was a terrific explosion ahead of him. He looked up to
see the giant Leng Drake casting bolt after bolt of lightning at the
djinn. The enormous electrical energies made the hair on Row's arms stand
straight up. He loosed a tiger at the drake, then another, then another.
Soon there were 3 tigers snarling at the fiersome Drake, the fourth having
shattered heartbreakingly on the floor as figurines sometimes do. Row
began casting his most deadly spells at the Drake. No creature alive
could stand more than 2 of his potent death spells but he had cast six,
no, seven spells at the Drake and it was still wreaking havoc on his
tigers. The Djinn had been vaporized long ago and there were only two
tigers left alive when the drake suddenly lunged for Row. The spell he
had been preparing was driven from him along with all the air in his lungs
as the Drake hurled him against the wall. Row, shaking like a leaf from
fright and excitement, finally managed to grab a vial of healing balm from
his leather sack and drank greedily. For the next several minutes he was
tossed about by the Drake's blows and burned severly by the lightning
spells from the Drake. Finally the Drake turned to the two remaining
tigers and Row was able to cast another death spell. Feeling his magical
powers ebbing, he marshalled enough magic for one final spell, for he knew
it would be his last. As the last incantation passed his lips, the Drake
went limp and collapsed heavily apon the floor. Row leaned against the
wall and slid down until he was sitting on the floor, breathing heavily.
He looked in the leather sack at his side, there was one balm left. He
had not enough magic left to do a card trick, but there was the corpse of
the Drake. Dead. Slain by a Thaumaturge. "Next time", he thought, "I'm
going to keep my big mouth shut."
In the future Row remembered that he was better served by modesty than
pride and did indeed keep his mouth shut and shun adventure...until
Tetilio of the guild of Doom showed up unexpectedly at his door with a
mischevious grin and an outlandish proposal............