The Magic Company – Part 4
It was a long hard ride over many nights and by many winding and perilous paths to the valley of Gwyndoor where Rancliffe was certain they would find the black tower in which the girl, Florian
was imprisoned but finding the girl had become like a faith to him and he was willing to go any distance and face any foe or terror to save her.
“I am no cartographer”, said Rancliffe, holding his roughly drawn map unfurled before him, “But I saw the way when I dreamed of the girl and, when I awoke, discovered that I had been drawing a map in my sleep”.
“You did a great job”, remarked Hallah, looking over his shoulder at the map, “I can’t even draw that well when I’m awake”.
But then, suddenly, something appeared before them that wasn’t on Rancliffe’s map. A broad crack, opening up in the dusty earth, oozed out a bubbling, thick, black slime that spread out in all directions until it blocked their road completely, then, up out of that slime came a long, black scaly neck as tall as a gushing geyser and, at the top of that towering neck, was the wild, roaring head of a terrible dragon with a long, spiralling steel horn, like a drill bit, rising from its brow, a great, snapping mouth full of teeth as sharp and crooked as bolts of lightning and four fearsome, gas-flame blue eyes .
“That ought to be enough to deal with oiks like them”, said General Motus , in the form of a large, hunched, black raven, as he observed the slimy, ferocious Monster from the safe distance of a nearby oak.
“I knew we should have brought a rocket launcher”, moaned Gavrin, the Halfling as his horse reared up in terror at the sight of the great slimy beast.
“No need for that, young Halfling”, said Rancliffe, talking from years of travelling and wizarding experience,“What you have to learn is that Dragon’s are essentially like large scaly capitalists. They hoard gold because the accumulation of personal wealth is their only purpose in life; to become richer and fatter and more powerful without putting their wealth towards any useful end. Every person which a dragon devours is transformed into gold which adds to its hoard but its hoard is what gives it its power. Destroy its hoard and you take away that power”.
“But this monster doesn’t have any gold. Just gallons of slime”, said Hallah as the dragon’s enormous, sabre taloned hands appeared on either side of it, followed by its wide, unfolding wings as large as the billowing sails on a trader’s galleon.
“Hallah. Have you never heard of black gold?”, replied Rancliffe, “That’s not slime. It’s crude oil”.
And, upon saying this, the old man delved into the sack that hung by a strap from his shoulder and produced a packet of The Magic Company Instant Fireballs which he then proceeded to hurl
into the large pool of black slime which surrounded and bathed the scaly body of the monster.
Immediately the crude oil exploded into a bright red, raging inferno but, rather than burning in the fire, the greasy dragon instead seemed only to shrink in size as its hoard of wealth was consumed by fire until, finally, when all its hoard had been burned up, the dragon was no bigger than a tiny, oil covered tinned sardine which Rancliffe then squashed flat beneath a granite left foot.
The echoing voice of Davorian throbbed within General Motus’s head like a splitting migraine,
“No room for losers. No room for losers”, it pounded.
“Don’t worry”, said General Motus, as much to himself as to his dark chairman, “They slew my Oil Dragon but they won’t find what lies ahead so easy”.