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Thread: The Ambling Dragon

  1. #1
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    Hysteria's Avatar

    Name
    Remedy Blue

    The Ambling Dragon

    I brushed a spot of oil on my cheek with the back of my wrist by only managed to spread it out in a long smear. It didnít break my focus, in fact I was only dimly aware that I had splashed oil on my face as it was. I pushed myself back from the table and looked at my finished work. I had spent four days working on my latest creations and had done little more than eat, sleep and work. It was rare that Iíd focus on one thing for so long when I had so many other priorities, but this one was time sensitive. I needed to finish my work, then hop onto a ship for Alerar. If I waited too long Iíd get caught in the shifting seasons and the unpredictable weather. The first idea for this particular adventure started two weeks ago when I procured a copy of Rare and Valuable Stones by the dwarven master Eeric Drumsplitter. The name didn't mean much to most people, but I knew him as a famous smith, especially well known among traders and merchants for his work with precious stones. One particular subject stood in his book stood out:

    Dragon Amber
    Dragon amber is named for its visual similarity with amber with nearly all dragon amber translucent. The amber forms when stones have undergone a high amount of exposure to dragon flames. The magic contained with the flames slowly imbues the stone with its own magical properties.

    Typically this will occur within a dragonís den where the constant close proximity to the dragon allows the stones to absorb many yearís worth of magic. Sometimes dragon amber is found at the sites of great dragon battles where stones have been exposed to continuous breath attacks from the creatures. However, such stones tend to be very more quality.

    Dragon amber has many uses. Poor quality stones can me made into jewelry, or used as magical conduits for wands, scepters and staves. High quality amber will generate its own magical energy over time and can be used to perform some magical feats.

    The type of dragon flame the stones were exposed to determine their affinity and colour. Green may denote earth or poison for example. In some rare cases stones are exposed to multiple types of dragon magic and the result will be rainbow dragon amber, a mixture of two or more colours. This often occurs at the site of a dragon battle, but the resulting amber quality is too poor to be put to good use. It can also occur if two dragons share a den (rare as that is) or if a dragon takes over anothers den. Because dragon amber will exhibit magic relating to the type of dragon flame they were exposed to, rainbow dragon amber can produce multiple types of magic and is especially valuable.

    Typically dragon amber will exhibit offensive magics, such as projectile attacks like fireballs and blasts of frost. Elemental attacks can also take the form of claws and wings. There are some effects which will never be achieved by dragon amber, such as teleportation, transmutation, mind control, curses and hexes, and summoning. Rare effects include illusion, healing and body modification. To perform these sort of magics the amber must come from a rare type of dragon. For example, a white dragon may produce amber capable of healing.

    The value of dragon amber varies greatly, potent amber can be broken down into many small portions for magic jewellery such as rings and amulets. A potent dragon amber ring may be able to summon a blast of fire or a few fireballs. They can also be grafted to weapons to add elemental effects. Less potent forms need to form large sections of of the weapon to have any effect. For that reason a pebble of highly potent Rainbow Dragon Amber may sell for hundreds of times the amount a large chunk of less potent, single affinity amber.

    The method for valuing dragon amber is three fold. First, the clarity of the amber. The clearer the stone, the more magic it has been exposed to. Second is the colour. A single colour is most common an denotes a single affinity. The primary colours, green, blue and red are all common colours. Purple, yellow and black are examples of less common colours. Very, very rarely more than two colours stones have been found and these are worth far more than single affinity ones. The final check is the size. The bigger the piece, the more it can be broken down into useful chunks. This is the most easiest to judge, but can be the least important.

    That got me thinking, if this stone could be used to generate magical items, why hadn't I seen more of it? I did some research and it turns out that the issue was with transporting the stones. In the ground they were earthed and their magic was released into the surrounding stones. When they were taken out and before being refined they were dangerously explosive. You put a few of them together in close proximity and BOOM! For that reason the stones were transported separately, but you canít make much money if youíre transporting one stone at a time.

    I grabbed an oil rag and wiped my cheek and then rubbed the excess oil from my hands. On the table in front of me were the five finished canisters I had worked so hard to complete. Each one was identical, a copper and brass top and bottom with a long cylinder of glass between. Inside the cylinders was a salt-water solution designed to regulate how much magic could be released from dragon amber. The oil that I had managed to get on my face was from the bottom mechanism of the canister. The base earthed the canisters when placed on the ground, but the copper components needed to be submerged in an non-flammable oil to ensure they didnít overheat. The process of storing and releasing excess magical energy was not new to me. I had been dealing with my own issues for most of my life, and it was years of trial and error that had taught me a number of different methods to manage wayward energies.

    The final step was a boring one. I had to travel to the most likely destination to find a dragon den, the Twilight Mountains between Raiera and Alerar. I knew of a few places that had definitely had dragons roosting in the past. An abandoned dragon den should be the perfect place to find some dragon amber. I had already sent word to some contacts to in Alerar that I was looking for abled bodied persons to accompany meÖ and possibly do the heavy lifting.

    ☆ ☆ ☆

    Three weeks after leaving Radasanth I arrived at the small village at the base of the Twilight Mountains. There were dozens of such villages spread along the base of the mountain range. They ranged from grand, sprawling towns acting as rich trading centres for goods flowing in and out of the dwarven strongholds within the mountains, down to the dilapidated wrecks, etching an existence out of the mountain and yearning for the days past when their town was the centre of activity. The small town of Drachen was somewhere in the middle of the two extremes. It had once been a trade centre, but rather than fall into decay it had managed to strike up its own trade of fruits and vegetables using the rich soil from runoff of melting ice from the mountain range.

    Yedda had sent fit to open the sky and bring down a thunderous pouring of rain while I was travelling. An hour into the ride to Drachen the rain had managed to dampen my mood, and an hour after that the last few dregs of excitement had truly drowned. I was sullen and more than a little dejected as my horse clopped through the mud of the flooded road. The buildings in Drachen at least looked well made. Thick slabs of wood, pushed together with craftsmanship somewhere between the elegance of the drow and the practicality of the dwarves. The rain was running down the buildingís roofs and cascaded over the edge to create dozens of waterfalls along the edge of the road.

    I came up to the Inn I had organised to be the meeting place; the Ambling Dragon. I wasnít one for omens, but only a fool ignores the Thanyes when they present you with something so relevant. I jumped down from my mount with a splash of mud and water. I was quick to secure both horses in the Innís stable and retreat from the rain into the inn proper.

    The inside of the inn was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. It was warm, there was a fire and there was food. Iíll be the first to admit that my expectations might have been lowered by the cold and wet journey. I dumped my bags on a bench and signaled for food. Iíd organise lodging later, I stripped off my wet traveler's cloak and boots and stood next to the fire to get back some warmth. My red hair had been tied back in a braid, but was soaked through, as were my pants and top. If not for the awkward social issues of a woman stripping off in the middle of an inn Iíd have done so right there and then to warm up. For now Iíd have to settle for being wet and warm, Iíd change later.

  2. #2
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    jdd2035's Avatar

    Name
    Captain Cain Jodin
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    Sometime before....

    There was a knock at the the Peregrine's great cabin, it was an all in one office, bedroom, and dining room for the Captain. Looking up from a pile of paper work, butchers bills, accounting ledges, crew manifest and stores tallies Cain welcomed the reprieve and said in his sea going voice, the only voice he had "Enter!"

    It was the ships cook, an elf by the name of Aravir who stepped in with a steaming cup pot of coffee and a packet of letters "Boatswains complements sir. We have post, two letters from the Admiralty and a personal letter."

    Cain nodded "Thank you Mr. Aravir. How are the ships stores coming along?" the captain asked as he took the bundle of letters placing the two from the Admiralty on the pile of ships books they were letters of marque for pirate hunting. But in an instant his keen emerald eyes spotted the tail tale smudges of an old acquaintance of his some sort of tinkerer he had crewed with on a caravan not too long ago. He smiled and wondered at what she would want.

    He glanced through letter with it's thin and accurate scroll a smudge here, greasy thumb print there but very fine writing.

    "Very prime sir, we should be fully victualing with in the hour." Mr. Aravir replied.

    Cain nodded absently saying "Very good, remind me to ask Ms. Remedy to come aboard to teach the crew how to write properly."

    The elf cook nodded, touching his knuckle to his brow answering "Yes sir." before exiting the grand cabin.

    The letter was short and to the point inviting him on a new adventure on shore. Looking up Cain he ordered "pass the word for Mr. Grimand."

    A few seconds later a large orc entered the great cabin "Sir?" touching his knuckle to his brow.

    Cain ordered "When our stores are in weigh anchor, get us underway and set course North west, a half west.

    .................................................. .............................

    Presently.......

    A few days later Cain pushed the door of the Ambling Dragon kicking off the mud from the rainstorm from his boots and shaking off his number one sea coat. Once he was all situated he and located his acquaintance he touched his knuckle to his tricorn hat. "Ms. Remedy!" he exclaimed in no subtle voice.

    As he strode over he stopped a wench "Ms. I'd like a sauced hogs face, a bottle of your best port, a block of cheese and loaf of sourdough bread." he asked handing the lady several coins from around the world.

    Then a pall crossed his face as he approached "forgive me ma'am your letter didn't seem to indicate secrecy, but it may have been implied."

    He sat down just as the first parts of his meal began showing up. He may have ordered enough for him and his midshipmen he realized but it was a simple matter of offering his food to any others at his table "Might I offer you a piece of bread and cheese?" He smiled even when he did make a mistake it didn't keep him down long.

  3. #3
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    The Phoenix's Avatar

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    Elisdrasil
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    Elisdrasil floated weightlessly between the crystalline web strands of fate, his eyes and hands roving the clustered masses with a focused intensity. Tracing paths through the shifting lines took a tremendous amount of skill. Even the lightest touch of his mind on one of the strands caused new junctions to split off, rewriting the very fabric of time. Once, before the necromancer had destroyed the Order, the wisest and most practiced of the Phoenix had been able to weave these lines, guiding destiny itself with their skill and focus. Despite his training, Elisdrasil would still have been considered barely a novice compared to his teachers. But they were all dead now and none remained to train him. He could only progress himself through hours and hours of practice, and endless time was not one of the luxuries that he had.

    Elisdrasil sighed and withdrew his mind from the labyrinthine maze. The crystalline monoliths faded slowly, leaving their after impressions written in his mind in gleaming slashes. He opened his eyes with a fluttering start, his body slow to respond to the return of his senses. A shuddering cough wracked his body, followed by a deep throbbing ache which pounded in his forehead. He reached for a stoppered bottle which he’d kept beside him only to fumble it back onto the bench with tingling fingers. Frustrated, he gritted his teeth and forced the hesitant digits to close around the warm clay neck while his other hand pulled at the seal. One more dry cough shook him before he could open the bottle.

    Warm, watery wine flowed from the bottle as he drank greedily from it, catching only slightly as it wet his parched throat. Elisdrasil fought down another cough as the liquid tickled its way down his chest, suckling greedily until half the bottle had been emptied into his gut.

    Finally sated Elisdrasil slumped back into his seat and let his eyes take in the view outside of the carriage window. It was late, and storming quite hard. It hadn’t been storming when he’d entered the trance, he thought. Nor had it been late.

    “One of these days,” he muttered breathlessly. He had been letting his trances linger in the fate strands for longer and longer periods of time these days, whenever he got the chance. It was a dangerous thing to do without someone outside to wake him. The crystalline webs were a timeless space, or rather a space encompassing all time. It was easy to lose one’s self inside those twisting corridors. In the early days the fate monks had told cautionary tales of fate-weavers who’d done such, letting their bodies waste away while their spirits roamed freely. At the time Elisdrasil had thought them nothing more than ghost stories, but now he knew better.

    A building appeared outside the carriage’s window. First one then another, until the carriage was surrounded. The carriage slowed until it was barely moving and Elisdrail could hear the driver yelling something at one of the rare pedestrians out in the evening rain. Something was shouted back and soon the carriage was back in motion.

    Directions, Elisdrasil thought. We must already be in Drachen. He shook his head, only to have the carriage’s insides spin around in his vision. A twisting nausea gripped the thin wine in his gut, rising dangerously. Elisdrasil clamped down on it, forcing his gorge back down his throat. The sickness faded quickly, only to be replaced by a stabbing hunger.

    If the carriage was already in Drachen then that meant he’d been in his trance for over a day. Far longer than he’d even originally thought.

    Stupid fool, he chided himself. He knew that he’d been acting foolishly setting up this trip, but he’d never thought himself to be that reckless. But some things couldn’t he helped. Enough money had been left behind by the Order before its destruction that he didn’t have to worry about that necessity. But the real treasures, the order’s magic and artifacts, those had all been lost to him.

    And what have I done to restore them? Elisdrasil thought bitterly. It seemed that nearly everything he’d tried to accomplish since the Order’s destruction had ended in failure. Elisdrasil closed his eyes and willed the pounding in his head to stop. It didn’t responded.

    A heavy rap on the driver’s window woke Elisdrasil with a start and he realized, somewhat sheepishly, that he’d drifted off in the few minutes that the carriage had been running through Drachen. He rose to open the window, hissing admonishing curses at himself.

    “Pardon the interruption, sir,” the driver said as soon as Elisdrasil opened the window. Cold, wet wind blew in, stirring the stale, stuffy air inside the riding room. “We’ve arrived at the Ambling Dragon, as ordered.”

    Elisdrasil thanked the man and told him that’d he be out in a moment. The driver nodded and hopped up onto the baggage locker. By the time Elisdrasil had managed to fully get his limbs under control the driver had unpacked his baggage and was standing on the carriage’s running board to help the Raieran out into the rain. There weren’t many in the nation of dwarves and dark elves to take a high elf’s on a five-day trip without promised return fare, but this human had jumped at the chance. Though he’d already paid the man more than enough to convince him to travel all the way out to Drachen, Elisdrasil thanked him and handed the man another handful of golden coins in gratitude.

    The two parted ways, with the driver telling Elisdrasil that we was planning on staying at a coachman’s inn down the road if additional service was needed before tomorrow morning. Elisdrasil thanked him and made his way into the warm tavern light of the Ambling Dragon. It idly occurred to him that he hadn’t even thought to get the driver’s name despite their days-long journey and he shook his head lightly.

    “How long until you’ve completely removed yourself from everything else?” he muttered as he made his way into the tavern. A quick moment found his prize. A pair of humans, oddly mismatched in their appearance, sat at a nearby table. They chatted amiably over a basic meal, and a violent cramping in his stomach reminded Elisdrasil that he hadn’t eaten in nearly two days.

    Shooing away an approaching serving girl, Elisdrasil approached the table where his soon-to-be comrades sat.

    “Hail and well met,” he said quietly as soon as they took note of him. He winced at the thin, papery tone that whispered from his throat and swallowed to wet his throat before speaking again.

    “From the description you gave me and your appearance, I take it you are Remedy Blue?” Elisdrasil nodded at Remedy and offered a pale thin-lipped smile at her companion. “I have not had the pleasure yet to learn your name, but I am Elisdrasil, fate-weaver and sword-mage of the late Order of the Phoenix. It is a pleasure to meet you.”

    A loud growling ripped from Elisdrasil’s stomach and a sheepish look stole across his pointed features. He set his pack down to lean against a support post and sat down with the others, his eyes moving from them to the platter on the table. “I do hope that that’s for everyone?”

  4. #4
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    Flamebird's Avatar

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    Felicity Rhyolite
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    "No. I'm here too!"

    If one were to look towards the direction of the door, they would see a young redhead walking towards them. The delyn sword at her side bounced as she approached them. She wore a dark green shirt, ebony green jacket, and brown pants. Her peridot eyes sparkled with youth and energy, but her kind face showed signs of maturity. She pulled the string holding her ebony round shield off her back. As it fell to her right hand, she smiled. She walked around the table and sat down on an oak chair. Setting the shield down but keeping a protective hand over it, she looked to the small young woman and spoke. When the words came out, they were unintentionally slurred, the r's and l's of the sentence not fully enunciated.

    "I heard dragon amber is really cool! Can they really shoot ice? Fire? How about lava?"

    As she continued to ask fast paced questions under her bending lisp, she remembered how she got here…

    "Mmm! Oh, yum! Dragon what? Ohmnumnum!"

    A middle aged man held out a tray of mint cookies, which the girl was consuming at a very fast pace. His glasses glimmered as he smiled, "Dragon Amber. A good use for a weapon… with its magical properties."

    With cookies flooding her mouth, the girl attempted to speak, but the combined powers of the mighty cookies and wretched lisp were too powerful. As she chewed the cookies, the doctor raised an eyebrow. They were in a small medicine chamber. Made of oak wood, this place had a work table and multiple carbonates for medicine, herbs, and alchemic substances. The table had many tubes and monitors keeping track of multiple odd liquids and substances ready for experimentation. The small compartment shelves at the at the other side of the room kept herbs and solids in neat little boxes sorted alphabetically. As Felicity gulped the cookies, she bent down and looked through a microscope, "Unrelated to our current project? But this still sounds fun."

    "Indeed," the doctor smiled, pulling some of his grey-brown hair behind his ears, "You are a heavy lifter, enough strength and sword swinging to help a band looking for it out. I trust you are willing."

    Felicity jumped up from the seat, "Sure am, boss!"

    He smirked, "Just do not let your enthusiasm get in the way of judgements. This is all the way in Alerar's mountains, mind you. And dragons reign there."

    Felicity took another cookie off the tray, "Nothing I can't handle!" She tossed it into her mouth.

    "I know, Felicity." The man smiled, quickly swiping a cookie and throwing it into his own mouth.


    That was how she was here.

    Felicity had never been to Alerar, however. It had taken forever to circle the forests of city and steel to get to this pub. The airships were all so fascinating, and she could not resist riding one all the way here. It made sense that her old friend Daisuke had connections to the country's alchemists, being a good one himself. The licensed doctor and researcher found out that a Remedy Blue, the person she was sitting close to now, was searching for the intriguing mineral that was dragon amber. Curious and awestruck, Felicity just had to come… and slam the short girl, extroverted captain, and high elf with questions.
    Last edited by Flamebird; 07-15-17 at 05:35 PM.
    "Throw me at the wolves and I'll return leading the pack." ~ Unknown.

    Songs of Felicity.

    Fewicity Smash!

  5. #5
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    Ozoric's Avatar

    Name
    Ozoric Newalla
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    24
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    Red
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    Ozoric stood by his mentor’s side, trying to find any excuse at all to be anywhere but Alerar. Duty had a way of binding you to places and people when you least expected it. He wrinkled his nose.

    “Can you see them?”

    The horizon was a mix of white and grey, jagged peaks protruding from clouds and whirls of mist rolling down from the mountain tops. It was, in Ozoric’s experience, precisely the sort of place to find a dragon. He did not quite understand why they had to wait for the rest of their patron’s allies. He could be atop the range and down again with the bounty before sunset. At least, after porridge and a flight over the Combs at dawn. He felt ready for anything.

    “At the bottom of the pass, there’s a fair few.” Aelfric gestured to the east, where the narrow cut into the rock that snaked through the landscape formed their ascent. Behind the party the dusty, barren heart of Alerar reminded them they were in the arse end of nowhere.

    “Good. Only a few hours until we can get this over with.”

    “What’s gotten into you?”

    “Me?” Ozoric frowned. “I’m just…nervous. I haven’t come across a dragon from a brood asides Chalazae’s before.”

    “Ah, first time nerves. It happens to all young men.” Aelfric sniggered.

    “You know what I meant, damnit.”

    “You don’t have to worry. The blood coursing through your veins is of kings. Well, pissed off queens. If this ‘amber dragon’ won’t relinquish some of its stomach bile to weary adventures, I’m sure it’ll listen to other side of your one trick coin.”

    Ozoric hated the insinuation, but Aelfric was correct. He was good at two things. Talking people into sense, or using his dragonborn gifts to enslave them. Of course, he couldn’t use the latter on humans, but even in the crucible of Dragons It was something he had only done once. Against Chalazae herself. The life of his friends, his family would always overweigh his kinship with the sky lizards.

    “I know that look, Ozoric. You’re not hurting a member of your family. You owe dragons beyond the Drakengard nothing.” The captain rested his hands on his hips, the wind whipping his curling hair and running a chill down both their spines.

    “I know…it doesn’t make it easier to deal with.” The red leather armour of his station stood at odds with the growing anxiety in the pit of his stomach. He had come so far towards becoming a full Dragoon. The more he engaged with the changing responsibilities of the Drakengard in the ‘modern world’, the more he came to question who, and what he was.

    “Let’s eat, maybe a man’s meal instead of that sticky white stuff will take your mind of killing your third uncle twice removed.” Aelfric turned to the campfire just in time to get Ozoric’s backhand to the shoulder and not his face. He guffawed, and went about barbecuing some deer flanks.

  6. #6
    Wide eyed & bushy tailed
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    Hysteria's Avatar

    Name
    Remedy Blue

    “No need to worry about secrecy, we’re just another foolhardy group washing through town trying to make some coin,” I said, glancing towards the pile of belongings on a nearby table, “There are plenty of people who know about dragon amber, but few collect any more than a few pieces. At the price it sells, you’d struggle to turn even a tiny profit…. At least if you do it the conventional way.”

    If those canisters work as I hope, then they will certainly be a secret worth keeping.

    I snatched up a piece of bread and shoved it in my mouth. I was never one to pass up free food; it would be unconscionable. I was mid-chew when the third, then the fourth of our number arrived. I pushed the plate towards the elf and eyed him with concern. He looked too sick to be of much use. I didn’t want to be helping over every rock and bump as we climbed the mountain. He appeared to be a high elf, not as wild as the wood elves. Those high elves are gifted with magic right? I couldn’t stomach magic myself, but its outcomes were undeniable.

    The serving lady placed a pot of steaming stew in front of me and I thought the elf’s eyes were going to burst from his head.

    “Two more please,” I asked, shoving the stew towards the elf, “help yourself Elly.”

    and yak is my favorite…

    We had Cain, Elisdrasil, myself and our fourth…. “Felicity I take it?”

    The youngster had been so excited she hadn’t introduced herself. I had to guess who she was off the rough description I have been given of her. I coughed politely and pushed some bread her way. Food might cause her to be quiet for a bit.

    “They are magic, yes,” I paused, framing my next words carefully as to not dash the girl’s hopes, “The way they bring forth their magic is variable and depends on the type of dragon amber we can find.”

    I heard someone laugh at another table, followed by mutterings of dragon amber and explosions. It was true, often people trying to carry dragon amber had, well, accidents. I didn’t intend for that to be the case here.

  7. #7
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    jdd2035's Avatar

    Name
    Captain Cain Jodin
    Age
    27
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    Human
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    Cain kind of took charge of serving out food. It was a captains duty to play a good host and he ordered a saddle of mutton along with the rest of the meal and began to pass it out to every one present at the table. "Young lady! Might I offer a piece of the underside?!" he said in his kind of sea going voice that could carry over waves and cannon fire. Before he even got an answer he placed a large chunk of meat on a plate in fornt of Felicity and offered it to her and doing the same for Elisdrasil.

    Turning his attention back to Remedy he mentioned "Might I mention that I may have encountered something like dragon amber before." He dolled out cheese and bread to every one present and lets not forget the bottle of port. "It was 'bout a year ago. In this very same nation...." He named the geographical location. "I was on shore with a party of other like minded people, and we encountered..." The sea captain furrowed his brow a moment "I don't want to say zombies...I hate that word" after shaking his head "any way they shot fire arms powered by crystallized magic. I think someone said Magicicyte? I don't remember. At any rate the crystals after being spent turned whitish and would go off like naked flame touching a powder keg."

    Cain paused again "these might not be the same thing but they are similar and it might bare some thought considering." Cutting a piece of bread he offered it to the guests "Bread?"

    Information was information and even though Cain was out of his depth the information of a related or possibly related substance might be valuable. Or at the very least it was a clever anecdote.

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