The Last of the Dragons

Dear John...
In which Jenit breaks up with Caratacus

Dearest Caratacus,

I think we both know this has been coming for some time. My life has become far too adventurous for me to settle down to the life you need. You are a governor, Tac. You arrange our people and make sure they are fed and cared for. I do not have the patience for that kind of work. I may have managed it before I had a taste of adventuring, but this adventuring life has taken that from me forever. I will never again be at peace sitting idly in the village, I will always be wondering where the next attack comes from. Where the next treasure is hidden. I can’t help but need to adventure, it is in my nature. Your nature is to sit at home and care for our families, mine is to head out into the world and find excitement.

You do not need to worry about me, Tac, I have friends, now, who will watch over me. They have saved me on numerous occasions. Even when they could not understand me, they stood by me. I’ve gathered powerful pets to protect me. Even when I contracted disease and vomited spiders. When my hair fell out at the roots and my magic fired out of my control, my friends and allies stayed by me. Even death does not separate me from them, as they have already revived me numerous times, and now it seems I have become immune to it. Like the Phoenix I awake after death, emerging from flame.

That rebirth has awakened my mind to the fact that you and I are not moving in the same direction. I hope that this does not change the years of friendship we have built. I hope that we can continue to work together to lead our people to greatness, but, no longer can I do so our your fiancee. I am too firmly wedded to my life of adventuring.

I do love you Caratacus, but only as my dearest friend. I hope you understand.

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To the Astral Sands

You are so silly, Tac, of course I can’t trust Kellie. She is a soul eating monster, but she’s protected me and my friends often enough that if she says she needed to steal my soul at that particular time, I will go along with it. I’ll never leave her alone with Gaul, or my mother, but if my life is in danger I know she’ll do what needs to be done to keep me alive.

We did make it to the temple, actually. It’s kind of a funny story there. The priests are the ones who told us about the slavers… and the slavers are the ones who turned me to stone… and the priests are the ones who turned me back.

Actually, now we’re sort of at another temple. Do you remember the stories my dad used to tell us about where I came from? This temple is sort of from there, too. Now I owe them a favor… a few of them. OK, a lot of them. Look, I didn’t have a choice, OK? I walked into the temple, not even knowing what it was and when I tried to leave they restored my size. Then as we were outside, preparing to leave we were attacked and somehow this portal opened and I was paralyzed. Earth elementals started pouring out and my friends were getting hurt. I didn’t know what to do, and I think the priests in the temple must have “helped” because they sent me and Sasha to the Astral plane, where we made quick work of the elementals, but I was seriously injured (no doubt due to my paralysis). Sasha took me to Mishgralor, a Githzerai city, where I was treated for my injuries and made friends with a man named Retholien. We spoke at great length about the work I’d like to do and he became very interested and agreed to join my cause as my retainer/steward/adviser.

Why would you ask if I will visit the canyon? Of course I will. Soon. As soon as my work is done. I am Countess of the Canyon, I can not just leave my lands unattended. There is a lot of work to be done if I am going to turn our village into a thriving metropolis and impregnable fortress. When I am Dragon-Empress, Tac, you’ll see. The world will be better and you will be Prime Consort.

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Stolen and Stoned

Dear Tac,

Your concern is touching, but you know I can handle it. The taint really isn’t so bad, my love. It allows me to do things more powerful than I otherwise could. It has helped my new friends to stay alive numerous times, truly the taint is more helpful than harmful.

Besides, it was not the taint that tore my soul from my body just for a chat. That was Kellie, she does not have anything to do with the taint. It was not such a bad experience, though. Having died numerous times this was nothing new.

Turning to stone, though. That was new. I do not know much of what happened there, actually. I had been about to attack the man who had ambushed us, and suddenly everything went black. I could not move or see or hear, but I was awake and aware. The days of solitude were agonizing, but you know me, I got through it.

I am learning and adjusting, I have gained a lot of new power lately. I am not entirely sure what to do with it. I have already gotten most of my men killed. Only Donal survived, and I had thought I was leaving them in safety. It seems I can make no decisions to keep my men safe.

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Dracobabies

Tac, my love,

My egg has hatched! She is a beautiful copper, just like my mother. I have named her Gaul-Jalan, it means “Glorious Treasure” and she is lovely. Mother says Gaul is her daughter, so it is almost as though she is my sister and my daughter. I can not wait for you to meet her. She is so small, I never imagined dragons could be so small. I am taking her to the Dragon-Temple as soon as I am well enough to travel. In the meantime I play games with her and let her swim in the acid bath.

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To Kill a King

My sweet Tac,

You will never believe this, but I met the Crown Prince AND the King. Well. Actually the Prince hired us to kill the king. Pretty fucked up, right? Dude wants us to off his own dad? What am I supposed to do, though, he’s the prince.

I was pretty loyal to the king, though, so I thought “I’d better warn the king, he’ll probably have to throw the prince in jail, maybe me too, but I can’t just let the king die like that”

So that’s what I tried to do. I walked into the king’s throne room unarmed and tried to tell him the whole story. The fucker told his guards to kill me!! They damn near did, too, but you know me. I’m pretty tough, so I held on and the naiad (Jackie) eventually healed me. So I tried to cast a spell at the king. He tried to kill me, you know, so I figured I didn’t owe him any loyalty anymore. Fired off the biggest spell I could stretch, unfortunately it backfired on me. A lot of awful things happened in the course of the next few moments. I played chess with death. I cheated at chess with death. The creepy girl (Kellie) helped me. She’s all right. I made all the King’s hair grow almost a whole foot! It was a very surreal experience, almost like that time we accidentally ate the wrong mushrooms. Then… Well, then… my mind broke. It literally broke. I was completely out of it. I don’t know how long it lasted, but when it ended the core of my being was tingling and I couldn’t stop touching myself. It was awful and incredible all at once. I managed to summon the last of my will to cast one more spell, which ended the king once and for all. I awoke some time later in my wagon heading for the tower so we could take some time and get my head straightened out.

I have sworn that no one will touch me like that again until you and I share a wedding bed, if you will still have me.

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Burninating the Peasants

Beloved Tac,

We’re back in the city, now. We decided to head back and collect our reward from the mage who sent us to the village. We also checked into another of the rumors we’d heard. Apparently, the commoners had framed a nobleman for murder and we were supposed to clear him. Seemed pretty straight forward so we went to the judge and convinced him to change his verdict. No problem, right? WRONG! He needed us to convince the witnesses to change their stories. So we went to the common district.

Some arson occurred and they were convinced to leave town after telling us the whole plot. Unfortunately, as we left the area the fire had somehow spread and I guess several buildings were destroyed. What can you do, though, yanno? So, we went back and told the judge that it was taken care of. Case closed and nobody had to die this time. _

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The Hex Tower

Dearest Tac,

Remember I told you we went to a village? Well, the village was only five buildings, but they were huge! The shorter ones were fifty feet tall and at the center of the little town was a massive tower! It was 300 feet tall if you can believe it! It would have stuck right out of the top of the canyon.

The ground, though, was really weird. There was this thick fog hanging around our ankles and there were dead bodies everywhere. Not a single sign of life anywhere in the entire village until we checked the smithy. Then this… mouth… with legs! attacked us. We killed it pretty quickly, but the girl with a tail (Sasha) thought it was weird that the mouth hadn’t eaten the bodies outside, if it had been what killed them. So we assumed it WASN’T what had killed everyone and kept up our search.

The tower itself was extraordinary. First, I convinced the door that I was its new owner and gained access. I own a 300 foot tall tower, Tac, how about that? Then, you’ll never guess what was inside! Glyphs! Magical summoning glyphs! That summon a talking rabbit! How cool is that? I admit, though, the rabbit is pretty damned annoying. Still neat, though.

So we continued up the tower a ways and eventually we found some demons that had been summoned. I guess they had been hoping to catch us unawares, but some of these guys are damned perceptive. Don’t worry, though, we killed the demons.

I could feel some taint nearby, though, so I proceeded with caution and we continued up the tower. Sitting on the dining room table was a pair of bracers, they seemed kind of neat, but as I got close to them I could tell they were the source of the taint.

I continued on, but the group decided they wanted to keep the tainted bracers, so, being the taint expert I decided I would hold on to them for the moment.

The next floor up contained a pool of acid with another item in the center. I collected the acid in several glass vials for future use and then the creepy little girl climbed up the wall (did I mention that she is creepy? Yeah, I saw her sword eat some dudes’ souls. Yes, creepy as fuck) and activated a device that drained the acid. They got a rod out of it, I think the elf naiad boy took it. He really is very pretty, it is almost a shame he prefers to play with rods.

I’m just teasing, love, but my magic definitely messed me up pretty soon after that.

So, we kept climbing and found a crystal prison hanging in the center of a room, the creepy girl and I smashed it and freed a Xorn, who was surprisingly NOT very grateful. Oh well, I guess some creatures never learned manners. We kept climbing and, again, encountered some demons. And here is where my magic fucked me up.

I want to apologize in advance for what happened to me. I poured my magic into a powerful blast at the most powerful of the demons (which was actually, I’m told, a devil), but because it WAS so powerful I had to draw a lot of the taint through me. It really messed me up, Tac, I might never get better.

I have become magically shrunk. I am so small now. I know I was always small, but I am so much more so now. I do not know if you will still love me now that I am small. Also, I have another confession to make, and I blame this entirely on the taint. For a time, I had fallen in love with the Devil/Demon. I am not proud of it, but I can not change what happened. Only try to learn from it, I suppose.

I actually died in that fight, my soul had left my body and begun its journey to find my mother when I heard a warm, kind voice say “not yet” and suddenly I awoke back in my body just in time to watch the rest of the group open the final door in the tower. It led to the mage’s bedchamber. From it came a presence. I do not know how else to describe it, except that nobody could see it, but we could sense its passage until it attacked me.

As I spun about to face it I felt my terror rise as I looked up at the Shadar-Kai who had attacked our village. Having little other choice, and seeing that everyone else’s abilities had proven useless I took hold of all the acid I had collected. I smashed every vial I had on the bastard that killed our friends. I watched him melt to goo before my eyes. His puddle, however, had one more secret to tell. For after he had melted a copper battleax, in the same style as my own, called out “my daughter” in my mother’s voice. I could not believe it! My mother is alive, Tac! She’s alive and I have her with me!

I am so excited to have her back.

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Leaving Home

Beloved Caratacus,

Life was starting to get back to normal. I wasn’t ready to marry you, but things were getting back to normal.

Then I was summoned.

Io, the mother, summoned me to her chambers and bestowed a great gift. She gave me one of the last Eggs in the world. She asked me to nurture and care for it as though it were my own child. I could not deny her. Along with me she granted her gift to one of the warforged, he is a very lovely bronze color and I believe his interior is made of material stronger, yet. She also granted her gift to a girl, a very strange girl with a tail and to a beautiful elf naiad boy.

We get on well enough, I suppose, but when we arrived in Soledad another joined our party. She appears to be a young girl in an enchanted cloak. I do not know what she actually is, but a young girl, she is NOT.

She gives me the creeps, Tac. I wish you were here.

You’ll be glad to know that my men are with me, as well. They are in good health and good spirits. We first enjoyed the sights of the city, and partook of its market. We decided, as a group, to put many of the eggs in crates in my old wagon.

It was then, we decided to investigate a lynch mob that seemed to be gathering among the commoners for the purpose of killing a nobleman. The commoners claimed that the nobleman had been going insane and killed many of their number. I could only assume that, if true, he must have been a mage who refused, like me, to draw on the power of dragons. I could not let someone who would sacrifice his own mind for the benefit of dragons to suffer at the hands of these brutes, so I stepped in. I regret to say we were forced to kill many of their number, but you should have seen the stuff they had! My men haven’t been equipped this well in ages!

After that, the Lord felt like he owed us a favor, so he gave use these nifty pins that let us pass over the bridge to the Noble District, he also paid for our rooms for the night.

The next day we heard a few rumors and everybody elected me as their leader. You would have been proud of me, Tac. I sent my men to clear some spiders out of basements. Not very heroic work, I grant you, but it paid well, so I sent them on their mission. When they were done we all headed east to investigate a village for some mage.

The trip took us a week! I’ll tell you more about it in a bit. Love you, Tac.

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