The Blood Of The Lion
Visions of the Ring 04
Your vision is blacked out as you walk. A rough prodding from something metal pushes you forward. Your hands are tied. As you step, rocks in your path cause you to occasionally stumble, but you keep your footing. You are ascending up a path. It seems like you’ve been walking for hours as the men and women around you yell for you to keep moving. You know better than to ask questions of these folk, so you continue on in silence.
Your patience begins to falter, but you hear a command from those leading you. “Stop here,” they say. You hear a door shut behind you. Hard metal locks into place and a moment of silence surrounds you before the voices rise up again, “Remove your blindfold. Argus, untie their hands.” You lift the fabric from your eyes and open them. Orange light blinds you temporarily as your eyes adjust, and as you begin to focus you see a giant of a man coming toward you. He grabs your arms, almost lifting you from the ground with them, and undoes the bindings around your wrists. You rub the skin as it aches, and look around.
You find yourself in an underground lair of some sort, lit by torches on the walls, one of which is close enough to feel the heat lick your skin. A woman addresses you, “Bronne, is it? You’ve done well. The package you retrieved for us will be put to use and as promised, you will receive your weight in gold. I will organize for a caravan and two horses to be provided to return your new-found wealth to your home. I imagine this will end our business together?”
You speak, attempting with every ounce of your strength to sound calm and collected. “You have more you need done. Perhaps we could work out another deal,” you say. The woman’s face betrays her, showing a moment of surprise, “With how long you took to agree to our first arrangement, I would have thought you’d be done. You have enough to live well for the rest of your days. Why stay?”
You stare into the woman’s eyes, and you feel a bead of sweat roll across your face. She isn’t the type that will just take any answer. “I grow restless at home. I have a child and a wife, but no adventure. That first job renewed something in me… something I thought I had lost forever,” your voice trembles slightly, but the women doesn’t seem to notice. “Alright then,” she replies, “We’ll have to keep you in the facility until we have another task for you. I’m surprised you haven’t come back with questions from your journey. Don’t you want to know what was in that little box you gathered for us?”
“You told me to get you a box. I don’t get paid to speculate on your business beyond that. You pay well, and I like to get paid. Don’t think I have any interest in knowing the boring details of your organization.” You add a gruff undertone to your words, almost an anger. Did she know that you had seen the contents? Did some arcane check reduce your deception to shambles? And if so, why weren’t you dead already? No… no, they must trust you at this point. Nothing they do here could take the risk of a man who knew they were collecting a dragon’s young. For now, he was safe.
The woman sends you to your quarters, and you peer around to look for signs of eavesdropping. You collect a piece of parchment, but think better of leaving any physical trace. No, your plan must exist only in your mind. There is no precaution you won’t take to protect your plans now. You sit in silence thinking, but no plan comes to mind. Whatever they’re doing here, you feel no other goal in your mind than to stop it, even if it kills you.
You whisper under your breath half-jokingly to yourself, “A group of warlocks in control of a dragon’s egg… what’s the worst that could happen?”