Gabriel was standing at his forge. He cast a Frost Bite spell on the bars of freshly smelted mithrail. As the last bar cooled, the scenery changed, he was no longer standing in his smithy but in a wooded area. A tree loomed before him - nailed upon this tree was a single sheet of paper badly disfigured. Only three words were legible:
. . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . .
Spielburg . . . .
Gabriel was standing in his smithy once more. He teleported himself and the cart holding the bricks of mithrail to his dragon hoard, where he placed them in a cove with thousands of similar ones. Gabriel sent the cart back to its place and made ready to leave. It was time to start an adventure.
A small fox was struggling to free his paw from a trap. Without warning, a pyre of black flame erupted from the ground! The flames twisted as if in unending agony, and â€“ although burning fiercely â€“ gave out no heat. It seems that the ground itself shrank from the pyre. Then all changed. The flames vanished as suddenly as they had appeared. In their place stood a man clad in black dragon armor. For a moment the fox forgot the pain in his paw as his mind filled with fear and curiosity. He watched this man cast a spell.
After teleporting to the place in his vision, Gabriel immediately cast Detect Magic. Gabriel felt the haze of the peaceful aura cast upon the town by Erana. Despite the aura Gabrielâ€™s mind filled with the vision of Erasmus in his mountain home. He then felt the foul, secluded presence of Baba Yaga in her hut. Gabriel sensed a third presence, so faint it barely stood out amidst the multitude of enchantments in the valley. As Gabriel finished the spell, someone called to him for help.
â€œHey Hero, over here. Can you give me a hand?â€
Gabriel turned to find the talking fox caught in a trap. With a mental sigh that failed to change Gabrielâ€™s demeanor he cast the open spell on the trap. A loud â€œsnickâ€ was heard as the trap was rearmed. An eternity of minuet heroic acts was the price one paid for eternal power. The fox gave the trap a nasty look that was quickly replaced with gratitude as the fox turned his face to address Gabriel.
â€œThank you. In return for the kindness you have shown me, I will give you knowledge and advice. First, Baba Yaga has placed a curse on the baronâ€™s family. Second, it sometimes pays to be polite even to rude people.â€
Sensing the foxâ€™s intention to run off Gabriel healed his leg. The Fox looked back at Gabriel and bowed his head in thanks before vanishing into the bushes. While thinking of what the fox said, Gabriel tossed a rock into the trap to spring it, not wishing to be the savior of anymore forest creatures. He strode off to the town.
The Sheriff, a placid-looking man whose stomach had long since given in to the battle of the bulge, was sitting in a chair, idly watching the town gates. Every now and then, he puffed absent-mindedly on his pipe. It was a pleasant day, just right for his hard-working duty. Watching for criminals trying to sneak into town, yep, that was hard work.
His contented expression slipped abruptly and he dropped his pipe as he saw a stranger actually coming through the gates. At first, he thought it was Otto â€“ the stranger was tall enough for that. But no, Otto was right here, playing with his yo-yo.
â€œWho the-?â€ He squinted, and saw that the stranger was attired in the sort of armor that would cost most kings their entire treasury to purchase. The armor was unusual â€“ hard black metal of incredible shine. There was only one sort of armor that shone like that â€“ dragon armor. Heâ€™d heard about it, but never even dreamed of seeing someone wearing it! The armor was finely crafted and fit so superbly that it was clear the armor had been made for the stranger, rather than come by as a ransom or won in a tournament.
Two great swords hung by the strangerâ€™s side. The sheriff swallowed hard and decided that the stranger would probably not take kindly to being asked to hand over his weapons. The man was the noticing sort, too â€“ his eyes scanned the town, taking in every detail.
A greeting, though â€“ surely the stranger wouldnâ€™t object to being greeted. And, thought the Sheriff, if I canâ€™t discover a little something about this man by clever questioning, then my name isnâ€™t Schultz Meistersson.
Taking a deep breath, the Sheriff called out a friendly greeting.
Edited by Paladin Wizard, 25 September 2004 - 02:22 AM.