Treasure! Do you lot like treasure? It would certainly seem so. And do you know who were always the best at hoarding treasure. No, not dwarves you idiots… no…stop with that bourgeoisie thing already…wha…what even are leprechauns?…It’s dragons! Stop it, it’s dragons. I thought you would get that, since I mentioned a dragon temple just moments earlier but, well let’s just forget this ever happened and skip to the story.
Twas maybe a year since I became officer, that we captured a smuggler vessel and were just about to throw the survivors overboard when the ship’s captain told us something our pointy ears wanted to hear. He was an old dwarf and he knew seemed to know his way around the continents. He said that he knew of an island halfway between Dragosaar and Ygginnon covered in dense forests that hid an old dragon structure, maybe a temple or something, seemingly untouched since the Dragon Wars over a thousand years ago. That dwarf would guide us to this temple, if we spared him and his crew.
I’ve heard stories such as this from hundreds of men about to die, they all however usually rang hollow in the end; but there was something different about this one. Maybe it was the calmness of the dwarf, or the absurd unlikelihood of such a claim, but I think it was the idea of finding a dragon hoard.
Our Captain accepted his offer, stranded the smuggler’s crew on a remote island, promising the smugger that he may pick them up if he speaks truly.
The voyage was long and burdening but the promise of dragon gold was filling us with excitement and energy, and morale was at its best. We stayed off pirating for the time being, as we wanted to delays in our venture, and landing somewhere to repair the damage might loosen a few of our crewmen’s lips, which was something we really didn’t want.
As we approached our destination, Captain only remarked: “Well no wonder that no one but some filthy smugglers found the temple” and I was of the same mind. The place was an island in the midst of a giant and treacherous archipelago. Full of hidden reefs and icebergs forming in this colder northern climate. Without the smuggler’s aid, it would be a miracle to get through it, but it at least make his claims all the more plausible. When we finally landed on the island, it was decided to send a small scouting group first to check if the temple is really there, and how it looks.
I was stupid enough to say that the most skilled and bravest should be the ones to do this task, so naturally it fell upon me to do so. I was sent with our so called experts on architecture (at least on destroying it), technology (or at least stealing it) and resourcefulness (whatever that is). Therefore I was sent with our Boom-Master and his kobold commando.
We were a team of eight, I and a bunch of insane, suicidal, unstable bunch of pyromaniacs equipped with the latest array of volatile technology modified with gnomish designs recovered in the latest raid on the town of Gnomš.
We made our way through the ice and snow, and thickets, and bogs, and before we knew it, the sun was setting on us. We all of course see in the dark, unfortunately, someone forgot to tell that to the ice wolves.
They didn’t even really try to hide themselves, they either relied on our lack of vision, or on their sheer numbers. It was an overwhelming amount, too much for our small group…whole three…no four winter wolves. Stop laughing you scum! Have any of you ever seen a winter wolf ? The next one of you who laughs will get a knife in the guts so tread carefully.
Anyway, four winter wolves. Now I am no slouch with a scimitar, but fighting these beasts head on under these conditions would be suicide, and running wasn’t an option either. However the Boom-Master had a little something new up in his sleeve. He quickly produced a couple of head-looking devices that he gave to each of us. Each head was modelled differently, but they had one thing in common, they each had a metal ring in their noses. He then pulled on the nose ring of his orc-looking head and green smoke started coming from its ears. It made me feel all sleepy and sick, but the Boom-Master soon threw it at the wolves and they seemed to suffer from similar effects. We all pulled on the rings as well and threw them at the beasts. Each of them started acting like they had a little bit of those miracle mushrooms if you get me, hehe. “Good stuff” says I, for once finding a kobold device functional, useful and subtle. But then came the dreaded answer: “And you haven’t even seen the best part yet.” and he lobbed a lit candle at the gas concentrating around the wolves, near vast bogs I might add, now I ain’t no explosive expert, but I know my bogs, and I know they don’t like fire. I quickly threw myself into the greatest pile of snow in the near vicinity and I barely made it before I felt the immense shockwave that shook the land around me. The Boom-Master and his merry band of kobolds landed in various distances of the explosion, unharmed of course, for they are kobolds, they have adapted for stupid explosive stunts.
The rest of the journey was rather uneventful as most of the wildlife seemed to abandon this island, probably assuming an as of yet unknown volcano decided to erupt.
I was in less than stellar mood from my company, as they revelled in the carnage they had caused, but that all went away when we captured a first glance of that fabled dragon temple. After the thousand years, it was overgrown with vines and roots, almost looking like it was a part of the nature on that island. But that didn’t take away from the magnificence that temple held. I’m no expert on architecture, but there was no doubt here, the dwarf was right. A standing temple from the times when dragons ruled over the world, and it was here for us to plunder.