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Excerpts from "The Melchori Hoard"

A decision at Naerytar

The half-dragon was furious. The acid-spitting, servant-slaying, fang-melting anger that only one with her physical ‘gifts’ could muster. As she shouldered her way past the enthuiastic, last defenders of Naerytar, she recalled her earlier reconnaisance atop the south tower with Borngray, and the rapidly-collapsing ruin of her plans.

“I believe they are agents of the Pewter Rose, Wyrmspeaker. They must be!” the half-elf had said, his blue-gray eye glinting in the overcast morning air. “No one else- save Her Dark Majesty of course- could spur such committed fanaticism.” Dalmorrer glanced nervously up at her. “This will be set aright.”

His words continued, falling around her like the light snow that dusted the stone battlements. She too had wondered who they were once. But unlike her buffoonish captain, she had taken practical steps to discover the truth. And in fact had thought the matter settled (with some timely mutilations) two moons ago, in a basement in the human dungheap of Myr Darot: they were freebooters, surely and no more.

But what drove them with such fervor? A religious sect? Perhaps the agents of a rival? She knew that she had made many enemies in the Melchori along the path to her (nonetheless rightful) ascension.

She allowed herself to revisit the memories of that long night again, searching her mind for clues she might have missed among the sass and salt and syrup offered up to her inquisitors by the ribald dwarf and placid priest. Under unequivocally painful torture, they yielded nothing substantive. Even Hazirawn had gleaned very little, other than the unsurprising meddling of those old Erathian fools.

Nevermind. The pious elf was her creature now, she would soon have him at hand to bleed every painful drop of knowledge from him. Hazirawn would be served one way or another!

The view from the tower was peaceful, if not for the dozens of kranak dying at the hands of these interlopers, not two or three hundred yards from her. The sounds of violence had always soothed her, but they were no respite today. She was accelerating the schedule, well short of her projections and fleeing (fleeing!) from the reckless lot that seemed horn-bent on distrupting her operation- damn them to an Asmodean torture plane!

She found herself amused by the thought that the preening maethorian beside her would fall to them, allowing her to bleed these impudent fools directly.

She barely looked at the simpering idiot, a nearly-imperceptible twitch of her pure black eyes. He was again(? still?) pledging the castle and its role in the Grand Design.

“Enough.” She cut off his feeble, meandering words.

“I am leaving, immediately. Azbara Jos and I travel to the chalet. You and that dancing toad will see these interlopers put down.” She gestured at the melee down below, where the blue-skinned goliath was facing a small circle of the disgusting creatures, and the thin elven ascetic moved gracefully through the fray, dropping one of her ‘loyal warriors’ with every step. “Her Dark Majesty flies with you. Hail Tiamat.”

If the intruders put him and that filthy swollen toad down, it would save her the trouble.

Now, as she stalked through the cool caverns with the Thayan and his disgusting new pet, she set her simmering anger aside. There would be time soon enough to savor the tang of her vengeance. These creatures- she thought with a suddenly broad perspective that perhaps included the heavily-inked neck in front of her- they would soon crave to respect her hard-won title of Wyrmspeaker. And beg to honor the name of Rezmir.

Comments

Loved this write up, and as far as “the human dungheap of My Darot” goes, yeah, that is pretty much what Kheg thought about it too.

I’m so looking forward to breaking into the chalet.

Excerpts from "The Melchori Hoard"
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