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Zetakh t1_j9pf79m wrote

“Oh no oh no oh no I’m so sorry oh my Bahamut–”

The dragon’s horrified rambling distorted into a wordless wail as they backed away, pressing themselves against the rough stone wall and curling up into a tight ball. They trembled as their wide-eyed gaze flicked from the broken, red smear on the floor to their own bloodied claws and back again.

“I swear I didn’t mean to!” they continued, their voice anguished. “But he just came swinging at me with that axe and I panicked and then I hit him and he–”

“Shh, shh, it’s okay!” Mara said, carefully placing her bow on the floor and stepping forward with her arms held far away from her sheathed daggers. “Well– okay, it isn’t okay, but it was an accident! We all know Brock, he’s a bit of a hothead and, to be frank, a huge idiot.”

“That he is!” Samson agreed, bent over the unlucky Fighter’s body. “But not to worry, we can still fix this.”

The dragon sniffled. “You can? He’s going to be okay?”

Samson rolled up his sleeves and shook his holy amulet free from inside his robes. “Oh, certainly. He’s more or less intact, so getting him back to the living is a pretty simple matter. Just need a few diamonds and a minute or two to focus.”

The dragon still looked terrified, their sides heaving like bellows as they took rapid, gasping breaths.

Mara felt a tug on her sleeve and looked down. Posie was beckoning her closer, the little gnome’s face serious beneath her wide-brimmed, pointed hat.

“She’s still spooked,” Posie whispered into Mara’s ear when she knelt down, “you’d better try to keep her calm while Samson puts Brock back together again.”

“Why me?” Mara hissed, glancing apprehensively at the dragon who had so easily dispatched their strongest party member. “Didn’t you see what that dragon did to Brock?”

“Samson is busy and you’ve already started talking to her! She hasn’t burnt us to a crisp yet, but that can change! Now hurry up!”

Mara yelped and skittered forward as she felt the hard wood of the little wizard’s staff smack her buttocks. She nearly turned to strangle the miniscule magician, but caught herself as the still-terrified dragon echoed her own exclamation with a shriek of her own.

“Sorry, sorry!” Mara soothed, her arms held wide. “I didn’t mean to shout, promise.” She took a cautious step forward. “What’s your name, dear?”

“Bri–” the dragon hiccuped. “Brimstone.”

“That’s a nice name.” She kept up her slow approach, a gentle smile on her face. “Have you lived here long?”

“No, I just moved in last month. I’d heard there was an old abandoned ruin in this area, and I figured I might extend the cellar into a proper lair…” the dragon trailed off and tried to back away from Mara, sliding along the wall. “There was no-one here when I moved in! I swear, not even a tribe of Kobolds!”

“It’s okay! We know. The only reason we came here in the first place was to find some shelter from the rain outside – we went down here to escape the worst of the wind.” Mara stopped an arm’s length away from Brimstone and smiled up at her. “I’m sorry we spooked you.”

Brimstone returned the smile with a shaky one of her own. “It’s alright. Again, I’m so sorry about your friend, truly…”

Mara looked over her shoulder to watch Samson working his magic over Brock’s body, golden sparkles drifting prettily in the air around him as Posie looked on. “Oh, Samson will have him fixed up in a minute. In the meantime–” she fished a handkerchief out of her pocket. “Do you want some help with that?”

Brimstone blinked, following Mara’s gaze to her own bloodied claws. She shuddered and looked away again, hiding her head beneath a wing. “Yes, please. I really don’t want to lick that off.”

She extended her leg and spread her claws wide, her face scrunched up as she looked away, eyes shut. Mara gently took one sword-length talon and began wiping it clean, feeling the tension in Brimstone’s muscles ease with every stroke.

“There. That’s much better, don’t you think?”

Brimstone peered down at her claws through one eye, sagging with relief as she saw them clean. “Yes, thank you! That is so much better. Though I’m sorry you ruined your handkerchief…”

“What, this old thing?” Mara laughed, stuffing the stained cloth back into her pocket. “Not the first time I wipe up Brock’s blood with it, and it won’t be the last!” She patted Brimstone’s claw. “Worth it to cheer you up.”

The dragon tittered, her tail wagging gently back and forth behind her. “Oh, what a lady. I might just–”

”HAH! I’m back! Have at you, dragon! You won’t best me twice!”

“No, Brock, wait–!

Mara threw herself flat as Brimstone shrieked with panic. The dragon spun, her tail flying through the air like a living battering ram and impacting the just-revived Brock in the chest with a gasp of expelled air and the crumple of shattering armour.

A second later he smacked into the far wall with enough force to crack the stone, sticking wetly for a moment as he coughed.

Then his eyes rolled into the back of his head and he slid off the wall, leaving a bloody red trail behind.

Mara, Posie and Samson just stared.

”Oh my Bahamut!” Poor Brimstone wailed. “Not again!”

Been a while since I answered a prompt! Feels good to get back in the game! :D

Thanks for the great prompt, and thank you for reading!

Feel free to check out r/ZetakhWritesStuff for more dragon stories!


Grraaa t1_j9ppkiz wrote

Maybe stuff Brock in the Bag of Holding for the night?


Zetakh t1_j9qm1h1 wrote

Hahaha! You know, that is indeed starting to look like the best course of action! XD


JonVonBasslake t1_j9shtlb wrote

Honestly, I would be tempted to just leave him dead. Sounds like he causes just as many problems as he solves, if not more.


Madanax t1_j9t5ymh wrote

Acctualy, that happend in one of my sesions, I was Cleric but we didn't have components to revive our paladin after he fell into trap, sliced in cubes, Cube/Saw style. Roge sugested this more like a joke but we went with it.

Best sesion ever in my book.


Zagreus7777 OP t1_j9pstzb wrote

Ohhh I loved this, I want to pat the dragon


Zetakh t1_j9qm6nx wrote

Glad to hear it! It was an excellent little prompt, and a very enjoyable write!

And I'm sure poor Brimstone will appreciate the pats after the day she's had, poor dear


Behemoth-Slayer t1_j9qirsr wrote

Awesome vignette. I feel so bad for the dragon lol


Zetakh t1_j9qmy22 wrote

Honestly so do I - poor girl will have some trauma to process after this mess :P

And thank you, very happy to hear you enjoyed the little story!


SapphireVX t1_j9s1wcn wrote

That was great. I could use an entire book about this dragon.


Santabandicoot t1_j9rx4yx wrote

Aww, this was sweet. I want to give Brimstone a pat on the head :3


MechisX t1_j9scc5d wrote

Please stop attacking me!

Crap another one is dead.

This feels like something I have done before. :/


andrius-b t1_j9pa01g wrote

The party had experienced its fair share of setbacks, but Bridget had never seen an adventure go to hell so quickly. In hindsight, they had bitten off more than they could chew in trying to infiltrate the lair of a dragon.

First, Kaz couldn't resist pulling at a bejeweled scepter and set off a cascade of gold coins that woke the dragon from its slumber. Then Jorg immediately raised his enormous battleaxe and attacked, only to get swept into the wall by its tail and croak on the spot. The only silver lining was that the dragon didn't seem inclined to attack the rest of them, pacing across the lair and growling under its breath as it was. If anything it seemed... panicked.

Elein the Druidess looked up at the dragon thoughtfully. "I don't think it wants to fight us." She took a step toward it, and before Bridget's disbelieving eyes, the enormous creature recoiled. "I'm casting Commune."

"Don't waste a spell trying to communicate with the beast!" Kaz sputtered, his gaze flicking between the dragon and the exit, a throwing dagger in his trembling hand. "We should get out of here while we can."

"Shut up. It's your greed that got us into this mess in the first place." Bridget took a deep breath and nodded. "Do it, Elein."

Elein raised her staff, a string of elven flowing melodiously from her lips. All at once, the dragon's growls turned into a frantic, girlish voice.

"So squishy, why did the human have to be so squishy," she blabbered. "Am I in trouble? Stupid Nedreya, of course you are! You'll be hounded by dragon-hunters to the ends of the world, all because you freaked out instead of staying calm like mother taught you!"

The party exchanged wide-eyed looks.

"Noble Nedreya," Elein began.

"Aargh! You scared me. Calm down, calm down. Don't want to accidentally squish more of them." The dragoness took a deep breath that ruffled Elein's long hair. "You understand me?"

"All of us do." The druidess paused for a moment. "Am I to understand that you wish us no harm?"

"Why would I wish harm upon perfect strangers? You simply scared the stuffing out of me!" Tears pooled in Nedreya's enormous golden eyes. "Why would you do that? Why barge into my home and aim your sharp weapons at me?"

Elein shifted guiltily, opening her mouth, only to close it again and look at the others for guidance. Kaz just shrugged.

"We can talk about that later," Bridget hedged. Approaching Jorg's corpse, she laid her hand on his forehead. "His soul hasn't gone far. I should be able to recall it."

"T-the human's going to be all right?" Nedreya asked, leaning closer.

"If I work quickly. A moment of silence if you will."

"Yes, of course! I'll be quiet as a hare in its lair. Ooh, it rhymed!" The dragoness winced. "Sorry, you asked for silence. Please perform your magic. I'll watch quietly. Um, sorry again."

Bridget exhaled slowly and closed her eyes. The dragoness's agitated babble faded away, as did the rest of the world, as she briefly touched the unfathomable being of her god. Cracking open her eyes an indeterminate time later, she saw that Jorg's broken bones were knitting, and life was returning to his glassy eyes.

"He's returning," she said, sitting back wearily. "You two, please hold him down before—"

Jorg's head jerked up, his gaze flicking around wildly, then centering upon the dragoness who was watching the resurrection with bated breath. "Foul dragon!" he cried, bolting to his feet. "To arms, my friends!" With a roar, he hefted his axe and leapt at the dragoness.

"Jorg, don't!" Elein cried, stretching her hand toward him.

"D-don't point that thing at me!" Nedreya squeaked, falling back on her haunches.

"The beast fears me!" Jorg laughed, raising his axe for an overhead blow.

"Eeek!" Closing her eyes, Nedreya blindly stomped her clawed foot as a delicate lady would at a cockroach.

There was a wet crunch, then sudden silence. The dragoness raised her bloodied foot and stared. "Not again! Why does this keep happening? Ugh, I've got human all over me! Get it off, get it off!" She shook her foot, spraying blood and gore over the party.

"Goddammit," Bridget muttered, wiping her face with the back of her hand.


Zetakh t1_j9pgek3 wrote

Hahahaha! Oh this is brilliant, we both had the exact same idea for the punchline! I love it, well done! :D


Antzus t1_j9s6nd7 wrote

hehe awkward dragon. This was like a sit-com!


NextEstablishment856 t1_j9p7659 wrote

"Oh by George, he's dead. He's dead, isn't he? Oh, I killed him, oh Bant and Lung, I'm a killer. Oh, please, what do I do?"

"Nyugodt," Sinter called, gently strumming his mandolin. I could see the arcane energy reach out to calm the beast. It's breath slowed and it's muscles relaxed. Then it began sobbing.

"What are we looking at?" I asked Dorcas. She was a cleric, our healer. And right then, she was handling Kingsley's idiot corpse. The moron had rushed in, shouting, at the poor beast. It had tried to scramble up the wall and escape, but he caught its tail with his axe. Looked like a reflexive swipe that sent him flying across the cavern.

"Don't think there's an unbroken bone in his body. If I try to bring him back now, he'll be in pain, which he deserves, but he'll also probably die again, which makes it a waste. We had a plan, what was he doing?"

"No idea," I replied, knowing exactly what he was doing: being as big a prick as usual. "So we cart him back to the temple."

"You carrying him to the cart?"

"Hey, Sinter, you wanna—Oh COME ON! Where are your pants?"


Zagreus7777 OP t1_j9p7ida wrote

Fantastic work! And also I assume the bard rolled a 20 lol


jagdpanzer45 t1_j9pyi4z wrote

Bard: I rolled a 20 to seduce the dragon.

DM: Good, now roll a con save.


Zagreus7777 OP t1_j9q2wqm wrote

As a DM myself; Yes


MarsupialMisanthrope t1_j9qlcm8 wrote

It’s a male dragon. He’s a top. Better ask the wizard for a polymorph.


Zagreus7777 OP t1_j9qqnkv wrote

Nah, just have 'em roll a life saving throw every few turns lmao

And add a permanent -2 do dex throws


Starwatcher4116 t1_j9rjp4y wrote

This is why one of my bards is happily married, and the other is far too insane to even consider this.


BadDragonBottom t1_j9twzl7 wrote

According to this research site N!S!F!W! that bard could be in for a really good time. So long (ahem) as he doesn't mind a good stretching, some of those dragons are kind of big.


prisp t1_j9whqtv wrote

And here I thought it was going to be either this (marked NSFW primarily for implications) or that S(?)lay the dragon comic that I can't find right now.


VictheQuest t1_j9pyk2j wrote

Sinter come one! Not the time or the place!


NextEstablishment856 t1_j9q0hld wrote

Sinter: There's a dragon, here and now. What better time and place is there?

Dorcas, poking Kingsley's eye: I mean, he's not wrong.


Yuriy116 t1_j9py1fp wrote

>"You carrying him to the cart?"

"But I don't want to go on the cart!"


Omnizoom t1_j9r0mbu wrote

The barbarians blood was dripping from the tail of the beast now cowering in the corner

“He literally just impaled himself running at it didn’t he “ piped up the ranger “ it didn’t even move at all , was he expecting it to swing its tail around to defend itself or something?”

“ sigh , intelligence was never his strong suit but this takes the cake, oh Mistress Muriel , Mark is dead , again”

The holy cleric walked forward from the raiding party over to marks corpse before looking up at the dragon in the corner who had “killed him”

“ shouldn’t we uhh deal with that before we think about resurrecting someone , it isn’t a fast spell “

The wizard walked forward toward the dragon , taking heed of the spikes

“ I don’t think this beast is much for battle, it’s very much awake but it didn’t even take an aggressive action , just bared it’s spiky behind at us “

The wizard stroked his beard

“ does anyone speak dragon by chance? Mine is extremely rusty… smart creatures you know…”

The entire raiding party just stood silent

“Anyone?…. No? Well fizzle sticks… I hope I don’t say something offensive…”

The mage walked toward the front of the dragon and began speaking

“ uhh excuse me, hello , I know you are awake , do you mind uhh having a chat “

The dragon rolled over , it’s wings covering its face

“ go away please, I’m sorry your friend is hurt but please go I’m not a monster “

The wizard was shocked “ oh , you speak common tongue , that would make this easier… uhh how do we say this , we were sent to slay you I’m afraid , terrorizing the town and what not “

The dragon lifted one wing up to look at the wizard “ I haven’t terrorized anyone , maybe ate a sheep or two… but I haven’t attacked any people… I was just hungry , I will just leave and go to another cave or ruin and you can say you did your quest “

The knight leading the party spoke up “ well uh , we are kind of supposed to bring your head back, but I mean you are a dragon right? Why are you not fighting back or anything “

“ because I don’t want to fight , I already said I’m not a monster… humans scare me because they always attack me…. So just please leave me alone “

The group chatted amongst themselves as suddenly the raging scream of the barbarian continued as he was brought back as he stood up he looked back and forth and at the dragon , he raised his axe and let out a piercing battle cry as he charged forward again onto another of the dragons spikes, dying again”

“ for the love of god mark “ shouted the cleric “ someone help me drag his body outside of the cave so this isn’t a repeat occurrence”

After shuffling marks body outside the group returned to the dragon

“ back to the matter at hand” the wizard started “ what shall we do about you… we can’t go back empty handed you know…. “

The dragon let out a sigh “ I know , but everywhere I go the humans always want to attack me and I just fly off to another cave… “

“ you know the king could use a dragon “ the knight spoke up “ Even if you are not a fighter… well just the idea of a dragon in the kings army would help to bolster fear for invaders… why don’t you come to the kingdom “

“ really? Even if I don’t want to fight? That would be wonderful…”

The dragon looked over to the mage

“ do you happen to have any good books for me to read there ? I’m honestly more of a book wyrm”


Zagreus7777 OP t1_j9r1g1s wrote

AHAHAH, the punchline at the end got me, wonderful work!


Omnizoom t1_j9r27iy wrote

It was all a lead up for the punchline lol


MikeColorado t1_j9r7eub wrote

Go ahead take my upvote. Well done, did not see that coming.


RevenantSeraph t1_j9rz5z1 wrote

"Oh, shit! Go, go, go!"

The three remaining members of Dura's team raced through the cavern, weapons at the ready. Venmys was their heaviest artillery, their Arcanist's Rifle primed and crackling with energy; Conor was a little more lightly armed, a simple handgun in one hand and a holy symbol in the other, venerations to the Watchful Eye already flowing between his lips.

Dura, she preferred the old ways, like many orcs did. A sturdy sword and hardened armor that'd let her close the gap, regardless of what they were facing. Her multiple braids streamed behind her as she led her team in, the brass rings at the ends tapping against the back of her mithral breastplate as they went.

They'd been sent to look into the disappearances that the local precincts couldn't answer; the first point of contact, they'd decided, should be the dragon that their data showed had taken up residence here recently - perhaps she'd noticed something, with the powerful senses dragons were gifted with. Or, as Richard had pointed out, perhaps she was responsible. The disappearances had started shortly after her arrival in the area.

Dura was keeping an open mind. At least, she was until she heard the bellowing roar, and the sound of Richard's voice, first yelling in anger, then screaming in agony.

Now, the three of them charged into the deepest part of the cavern, and what greeted their eyes was not pretty. Richard was on the ground, eyes glassy and vacant, his Royal Inspector uniform - still new to him, their squad's rookie - rent down the front with great claw marks. Dura could see the bone of his ribs through the gashes; she heard Venmys swallow hard - the elf had no head for gore - and saw them raise their rifle out of the periphery of her vision.

"Royal Inspectors, don't move!" Venmys' voice rang off the stone, and Dura looked up from Richard's corpse to see what they had their crackling rifle trained on.

Sure enough; a dragon. Though, smaller than Dura had been expecting, barely an adult. And...she was cowering. Her claws were raised as she pressed herself against the back wall of the cavern, eyes wide and dilated, smoke curling around her face as she practically hyperventilated.

"Please, no, please, don't shoot! I didn't mean it! Please! Oh, by the platinum scales, please, please, help him!"

Conor had already reached Richard, sliding on his knees to look over the man, his brown eyes already glowing red with magic. "He's gone," the holy man's voice said, the gruff and pressured tone quite different from his normal jovial boom, "but not far. We're just in time."

He set his gun down, and withdrew several small gems from a pouch on his belt - diamonds, Dura knew. They glowed between his fingers as he invoked his god, a favorite deity of the healers of the Royal Inspectors, and begged for the return of their comrade to this world.

Conor had this. He was her second, and she trusted his judgment more than anything else in this world. If he said he could save Richard, that was good enough for her. She looked back up to the dragon, who was, if anything, trying to press herself further into the stone, as though she could meld into it. Perhaps she could.

Dura spoke up in a clear voice, and said, "Step away from the wall. Wings folded, claws where we can see them. Nice and easy. My friend doesn't want to shoot you, and they won't if you don't give them a reason to."

Venmys muttered to themselves, "Wanna bet?" The dragon wouldn't hear it over the sound of her rapid breathing, but Dura did; she gave the squad's arcanist a scowl. There was no hate in Ven; the elf just liked to shoot things. With a rifle like that, Dura couldn't blame them, really, but she still tried to keep the arcanist in check.

Dura turned her attention back to the dragon, who was slowly moving away from the wall, obeying her instructions.

"Good, good," Dura said gently. "Nice and easy. This doesn't have to go any worse than it already has. Just stay cool while my healer does his thing, then we can talk. Alright?"

This was why Dura was the sergeant for this squad. She had a knack for keeping things calm, and getting to the heart of a situation quickly. Being handy with a weapon was just a plus; she was a born investigator and negotiator. And now, her instincts told her there wasn't anything to worry about here. The dragon was frightened, alarmed by what was happening. There was no anger there, no ferocity.

"A-alright," the dragon stammered, slowly walking forward, the motion somewhat awkward as she walked on two legs toward them.

Dura's eyes flicked back towards Conor, still kneeling next to Richard's body, bearded chin moving as he gave word to the prayers that would summon their squadmate's soul back from beyond.

She heard a choking gasp from Richard, then a harsh cough. She felt the tension in her chest lighten as her rookie came back to them. Good. One less thing--

She heard Conor's wordless exclamation first, then saw Richard moving, scrambling towards his dropped rifle. He was ranting wildly as he went.

"You fucking scale-skin, I'm gonna blow your Gods-damned head off for that! Fucking menace!"

The dragon squeaked - actually squeaked - in fear, and backed away again, pressing herself against the stone wall as Richard made for his weapon.


RevenantSeraph t1_j9rz6qe wrote

Dura was closer to the rifle than Richard was, and as he reached it, he found her foot resting on top of it. He tried to pull it out from underneath before he realized what he was looking at, and gaped up at his sergeant, her tall, broad figure suddenly imposing.

"I'm sorry," she said quietly, "what did you just say?" There was more menace in her quiet tone than there was in her shouts; she didn't have to look to know that Venmys had shuddered a little at the sound. The elf had been on the receiving end of this tone before, and had gone out of their way to avoid it happening again.

"Sarge, lemme have my gun! This dragon is a menace, it has to be our target! It killed me! Why didn't you kill it?!"

Dura sneered down at the human. She'd thought as much; she'd noticed little things since he'd joined. The way he seemed to look down at Venmys, or seemed to treat Conor like he was the one in charge and not Dura. She put the tip of her sword into the trigger guard of the rifle, then lifted her foot and pushed Richard away with her heel. He was still weak from resurrection; there was no chance of him resisting, and he rocked backward, landing on his ass.

"Listen here, Dick," she said. "You being upset about dying? Sure, I can handle that. That's not what's got me pissed off right now. Your open racism is what did it." She knelt down to look into the man's eyes, and gave her lower jaw a little extra jut forward, emphasizing her tusks. "You said the quiet part out loud, you dumb shit. And in a squad led by an orc, no less. Not very smart. I don't know what backwards precinct you came out of, but that shit don't fly in the RIC. Queen don't take kindly to human supremacists - you know, being an elf and all."

Richard looked frightened now, and turned his head to look at the others. Venmys was now looking at him with open disgust, their rifle lowered and slowly discharging back into the storage cells on their armor. Conor had stood up, and was looking at the younger human with stark disapproval. It was Conor that Richard's gaze lingered on, and he said, "You're not gonna just let her talk to me like that, right? Brother?"

Conor sneered as he said, "I ain't your brother, Richard. And she's your Sergeant." He paused, then added, "My wife is Feyblooded - you know, our quartermaster? So don't think your garbage is gonna buy you any points with me."

Richard scrambled to his feet, and stepped backward away from them - then gave a sheepish yelp as he realized he was backing towards the dragon, and stumbled forward, away from her.

Dura laughed. She couldn't help it. "Ven," she said, "get this piece of shit out of my sight. I've got to ask some questions still. We'll deal with this later."

"With pleasure," Venmys said, their alto voice tense with dislike. "Move it, shithead. Outside. Don't test me, or you'll find out how good a knife-ear's reflexes are. Don't think I didn't hear you call me that under your breath the other day..."

Venmys poked Richard with the business end of their rifle, and that was enough to get him to move, walking ahead of them. Which left Dura and Conor to deal with the dragon.

Dura turned back to the dragon, sliding her sword into the holder on her back as she did. "Ma'am, I'm so sorry about this. It's Halcida, right? Are you capable of shapeshifting? If you are, could you please assume a smaller form? It'd be easier to talk to you that way, but I don't mind if you can't."

"No, I...I can," the dragon said, and she closed her eyes, focusing on the shapeshifting power native to most dragons. She began to shrink, taking a human form, her hair and eyes the same vibrant blue as her scales had been. She was reasonably pretty, but most shapeshifted dragons were - as her Captain had put it, with a vain flick of her own silver hair, if you could choose what you looked like, most people would choose to be pretty, wouldn't they?

"I...I was just minding my own business," Halcida said, her voice now quieter and higher pitched, "you know...admiring my treasure? And burst into the cave, and started screaming at me, pointing his weapon at me. I-I panicked, and when he advanced on me, I just...lashed out, I couldn't think of what else to do, I'm so sorry!"

Dura put her hands up, her expression as gentle as her voice. "It's okay. You were defending yourself. I'm not planning to say anything more than that. It's a big world with a lot of different people in it - things happen."

"I'm glad he's okay," Halcida said in a small voice. "Even if he know, a racist...I didn't want to hurt him."

"He'll be fine," Conor said, smiling behind his beard. "A little weak for a day or two, but it's nothing he doesn't deserve for being an idiot. Now, can we ask you some questions about what's been going on around here lately?"

"With the disappearances? I'd...I'd heard about that, I've been keeping an eye out when I go out to stretch my wings." Halcida's expression settled a little, the fear ebbing away into an eager look. "I want to help, I live here now, so I should be a good neighbor, right? That's what Papa always said we should do. And I saw something the other day, a bunch of cars driving along the highway, but...they were weird, they had some kind of shadowy stuff around them. It was hard to see them."

"Can you show us where?" Dura's tone was excited now. Finally, a break.

"Yes, I can! I could fly you there, if you want!"

Dura held up a hand, smiling. "I like your enthusiasm, but one thing at a time. I've got to get my soon-to-be discharged rookie back to the local chapterhouse so he doesn't get killed by my arcanist for looking at them wrong. Is it alright if we come back tomorrow, and you can show us then?"

"That'd be okay. I'm...I'm so, so sorry about all this..." Halcida's expression became anxious. "Can you tell that man I'm sorry? Maybe...maybe he's just afraid of dragons. I don't blame him, I'm a little scared of my older sisters..."

Dura gave Conor a look, then smiled at Halcida. There was no reason to shatter her optimism by telling her racists seldom had good reasons to be hateful. "I'll tell him, sure. We'll see you tomorrow, Miss Halcida. Have a good night."

"You too," the dragon said as Dura turned to leave the cave, Conor following close behind.

After a moment of walking, he asked quietly, "How are we gonna deal with all this?"

"Well, first, we're getting that enormous pile of shit out of my squad," Dura said with an undisguised snarl. "Then, we're gonna track down this shadowy caravan and figure out what they're up to. No more people are gonna vanish from this province on my watch."


Zagreus7777 OP t1_j9s0e6s wrote

Absolutely FANTASTIC work! I haven't seen a story written from a prompt with so much detail! The worldbuilding on it's own, and the story?

chef's kiss

Bravo, my friend! You are an exemplary writer


RevenantSeraph t1_j9s1uea wrote

Thank you! I appreciate the kind words. The world is one I've been writing in for a while, though I hadn't had a chance to touch on the concept of the Royal Inspector's Corps just yet, so thank you for a prompt that inspired me to do so!


Kflynn1337 t1_j9sv1ay wrote

DUDE! Ok.. you have to continue this, pretty please?! I mean, this is Sir Terry Pratchett levels of world building! (I'm thinking of Guards!Guards! specifically)


RevenantSeraph t1_j9swyf6 wrote

You honor me! He's one of my inspirations in how I write and build a setting. I may keep going on this later; I have ideas. If I do, it'll be on my personal sub. I can ping you, if you like.


Aphrel86 t1_j9svybw wrote

I half expected the Seargant to be faking he political correctness and planning to shoot the dragon after shifting to a smaller form xD


RevenantSeraph t1_j9sx4qc wrote

No lie, asking a dragon capable of doing so to shapeshift small is probably standard procedure for exactly that reason - easier to put down before they can cause too much carnage, if that's what it comes to. Just because they're smaller, though, doesn't make them that much weaker...

As for the PCness, though, that's very real. The Witch Queen's conquest of the world all started with her destroying and replacing an elven government bent on race-driven conquest. She doesn't look fondly on racism, and she's...not a nice lady, when she isn't fond of a practice. It only follows that people working for institutions bearing the Royal seal and name would be held to a high standard in that regard. Richard must have hid it very well until that moment.


SlotherakOmega t1_j9t3hhk wrote

Actually, I would think that shrinking the body down would only make the dragon more powerful. Because of the fact that matter can neither be destroyed nor created, only converted into or from energy. Reducing the total mass? Charging and compressing a tightly wound spring, that thing might backhand someone into next year. By accident. Think Ant-Man. Shrinking himself down didn’t make him any weaker, he still had the mass of a full grown man.

Why would a species as proud as a dragon even consider learning how to shrink themselves and put themselves at a disadvantage at the same time?

This also could play into the issue of overall size, dragons come in many different sizes, maybe the shapeshifters are at the maximum possible size to power ratio that keeps them competent. A towering dragon is terrifying… but the question is, can it stand up on its own four (or more or less) limbs? Too big, and it’s a WACKY WAVING ARM FLAILING INFLATABLE TUBE DRAGON, minus the wacky and waving parts. In other words, a ragdoll. The size of a Kaiju. Too tiny, and it literally becomes a Giant Space Flea From Nowhere. Like I said, backhanding someone so hard that they literally travel fast enough to bend time and space and wind up in… sometime next year. I mean logically there would have to be a limit before there was falloff or potential gravitational anomalies, so that could explain larger dragons being more powerful simply because they grew so much that this is their small version.

Or, we could just say it wasn’t in our universe, where these rules apply. That works too I guess.


RevenantSeraph t1_j9t4xeg wrote

It's definitely complex, only made more so by the fact that shape shifting - and for that matter, dragons in general - are magic, and magic doesn't care much for the laws that the non-magical parts of reality operate by. 'It's magic' is absolutely a plausible explanation for just about anything in their universe. Magic makes the impossible possible. Thermodynamics, conservation of mass - these are things that most proper college-educated wizards acknowledge as real while simultaneously violating the shit out of them for party tricks.

Physically, a dragon's strength and speed aren't really diminished by transforming. Halcida could still very much toss Dura's squad around for a bit, until she wound up eating hot magical death from Ven's rifle, or with Dura's sword in her. Their senses aren't diminished either; they still have an aerial predator's visual acuity, and a sense of smell much better than any human, elf, or orc.

The notion of being weaker comes from the other gross physical changes - not having their scales makes them more fragile, not having wings makes them unable to fly without an outside option (a spell or device), and the glands that generate their breath attacks are physically smaller and not capable of generating the same level of raw power behind the attack. They do give things up by transforming, and many will take steps to make up for those losses; some wear armor, or carry a big honkin' weapon, because they feel vulnerable at human scale.

However, they gain other things in exchange. Primarily, hands built for the same scale and level of dexterity the rest of the world operates on. Dragon claws aren't great at manipulating objects built on human scale. They gain the ability to interact with the rest of a very cosmopolitan world on a level that doesn't frighten the average person. Plus, fast cars and jewelry and plush furniture, among other things - the 'treasures' of a modernized world - are easier to really enjoy and make use of when you're not too big for them.

Plus, the dragons of this particular point in the setting are a millennium and a half into the world-spanning rule of a spellcaster who absolutely has the means - personally, politically, militarily, economically - to wreck them if they don't play nice. The ones that didn't choose to do so didn't make it to this era of their world. A dragon the age of Halcida (a mere two hundred years old, equivalent to roughly a 20-year-old human) is a more 'tame' version of the grand, prideful beasts of old. Still powerful, still frightening on a visceral level to smaller creatures, but cognizant of the fact that if they get along they can be movie stars and business tycoons and enjoy wealth and power just like Great-Grandma used to.

Ultimately, transforming has benefits and drawbacks; it's also just respectful when dealing with smaller people that you don't particularly feel like terrifying the piss out of, or if said smaller people can make your life miserable by dint of being an agent of an authority they know they should be wary of.

Sorry I replied a novel at you! I just like engaging with people about my work. Thanks for coming to my TED talk.


RealFrog t1_j9u2ejp wrote

> They do give things up by transforming, and many will take steps to make up for those losses; some wear armor, or carry a big honkin' weapon, because they feel vulnerable at human scale.

Pick your poison: a human-shaped dragon carrying an M2 like humans carry AR-15s, or a dragon in their default firebreathing form, with air support if they feel like it. Near enough to BRRRRT for close-in work.


RevenantSeraph t1_j9uefop wrote

Frightening either way.

Now you've got me imagining a GAU-8 designed to be wielded by a full size dragon. Fuck, the equivalent weapon in this world probably references dragons in its name. Either out of reverence, or because it's designed to kill them.


SlotherakOmega t1_j9v6mtb wrote

The DraGAU-9. Because when it comes down to damage control, what better than a dragon with a gun? Long range, medium range, close range, right on top of you, nowhere is safe. Order now!


Zagreus7777 OP t1_j9wzq7k wrote

Ah shoot- almost forgot! You've earned yourself a follow!


_i_am_a_dragon_ t1_ja3ab74 wrote

Modern-age, fantasy detective. I absolutely love it! Do you by chance have more? Or plan on doing more?


RevenantSeraph t1_ja3kfm9 wrote

You can check my personal sub for more of my other works, as well as any continuation of this one, which is fairly likely to happen as I like the characters and scenario.


non_ex_nihilio_4297 t1_j9q6kho wrote

Good job karkzak, not even a century old and you've gargantuanly messed up. the dragon thought to himself as he hugs his body with his large wings and holding his head with both paws trying to calm down.

not only you've killed an adventurer, but done so infront of their group. The dragon peeks behind him to look at an elf druid, a dwarf riding a warforged, three humans which are a rogue, cleric and fighter with the latter being dead lying in a pool of blood caused by a huge claw mark across their front. The human rogue spoted him looking at them and has told the group causing everyone to look at him and upon seeing their head turn towards him, he further curls into himself.

yep, i am surely dead he took another peek behind to see the elf and warforged approaching him so he decides to lay on the ground onto his side exposing his neck at least they would end this quick so he closes his eyes, bracing for death as their footsteps get closer except he hears them stop a few feet away "we're sorry about one of our party member startling you, this is a common occurence with them" he opens his eyes and turned their head to see the druid crouching with their hand out stretched. Confused he asked "you aren't going to slay me?" Foĺlowed by the druid placing their hand on his neck and slowly stroking it while responding with "no and besides, we entered this cave thinking it was a good place to shelter from the storm raging outside not expecting to find another creature here".

Hearing this he responded with a "thank you" before closing their eyes and falling asleep exhausted.


GoogleIsYourFrenemy t1_j9sn9du wrote

The walls of the castle shook and dust fell from the ceiling. The guard captain tried again "Sire, we need to get you out of here be-" but was once again silenced with a "Shhhhhh" from the king. The king was struggling to hear the recording crystal that was playing. He rewound it once again.

None of it made any sense. Nothing he'd seen yet would explain why dragons were sieging his castle. The recording started with the adventuring party skulking their way around some caves high in the Craven Mountains. They were searching ever nook and crevice. He was beginning to wish they hadn't finally found what they were looking for. They found a dragon cave.

It wasn't a very big cave. It wasn't a very big dragon. It was clear what the "quest" they were on: Slay A Dragon. The king groaned. Only idiots took that quest and the dragons got a free meal so nobody complain, especially not him because he had fewer idiots making trouble. And what trouble they had made.

He looked more closely at the dragon they had ambushed. He wasn't just small... he was kinda malformed. His scales were mottled brown and orange. The head seemed a little misshapen? Also what were those things the dragon was... organizing. Were those portraits? Portraits of women? Hey that looks like a portrait of his daughter. How? Why? He shook his head in confusion. And that's when the barbarian rushed in screaming. What an idiot.

The dragon spun around, the barbarian already anticipating this along with the dragons fiery breath and so had leaped into the air. Except the dragon hadn't breathed fire and really wasn't that fast so the barbarian had mistimed it and the tail by shear luck thwacked him into a wall. Blood went everywhere.

That's the point when the rest of the team rushed in but instead of finding a dragon on the offensive they found a sad pitiful dragon in the corner crying and trying to get blood off one of the portraits. A dragon on the offensive isn't that hard to kill oddly enough once on the ground. But a defensive dragon all turtled up? Yeah much harder to kill.

Poor thing was totally distraught too about killing someone and what did they do? They did the only reasonable thing. They stole his hoard. The recording ended.

Guess he'd better get caught up on what's going on outside. "Captain. Report." he commanded.

The captain stood to attention "Sire, the big orange dame set our outer wall is on fire. We are running low on arbalest ammunition. One of the juvenile browns collapse the east tower. I'm not sure how much longer we can hold out."

The king pondered and finally spoke "You've seen the crystal, would you say that dragon is similar in appearance to those outside?"

"Sire, they look very similar sir, except this dragon is a bit... runtier sir? Less majestic? Kinda I don't know. Just overall less?"

The kings eyes opened wide in horror and realization: "You know Edmund, the footman's boy, Down syndrome? You think dragons...? Any ideas for how to placate the parents of a Down syndrome dragon?"


Tired-Siren-43vr t1_j9v7fin wrote

Love it! Representation and playing with people assumptions. Mama and Papa Dragon might negotiate for repayment of the dragon's horde and some adventurer heads (or at least names).


GoogleIsYourFrenemy t1_j9wirdf wrote

The historians writing about the ascension of the young Princess Tiffany and the death of her immediately family have been able to clear up some details which weren't readily apparent at the time.

The portraits formerly in the possession of the dragon Chester Earthen Flame and now in the Treasury Museum of Draconic Hoards on the face of it were non-traditional hoard items. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Chester Earthen Flame, much beloved by his family, was cognitively challenged. They tried hard to shelter him from the slings and arrows of life but weren't always successful. He had unfortunately become aware of the relationship between princesses and dragons but only in the vaguest of terms. He became obsessed with their acquisition, but had no real notion of what one was.

The historian Princess Westal of Harpavia, sixth in line to the Harpy thrown, recounted a tale of Chester Earthen Flame told by his older brother during her captivity about how Chester had to be told repeatedly moose weren't princesses. He went on to tell how their parents had come up with idea of making the princess thing a collectable trading card game. They knew if he ever encountered a Princess Protection Squad it would be the end of him so they convinced him princesses where beautiful paintings of the daughters of monarchs. They even would seed the woods with one periodically and let him 'capture' the princess. They quickly became Chester's pride and joy and he would spend days with them. With the assault and theft he was inconsolable and took decades to fully recover.

While it is widely known that Princess Tiffany was taken hostage, rarely is it mentioned her subsequent ransom consisted of the royal portrait gallery.


livebeta t1_j9rv623 wrote

The rest of party bent over, covering their ears with no effect, as the psychic screaming of the panicked dragon echoed relentlessly through their minds


"Please, stop! You're hurting us!" The cleric screamed at the flailing dragon, as blood trickled from his nose.

I wiped a warm wet stream from my own stoically.


The dragon echoed. It stopped it's psychic screams and curled up into a ball, knocking its bony skull into the castle walls to calm itself.

Dust and cinder fell from the rafters and the structure creaked ominously. The cleric laid a hand on the dragon.

"Hey. hey. Hey. It's not perma-death. I have a Resuscitation Elixir for the murderhobo fighter. I know you're upset , but if the tower collapses, I die, you die, everyone dies. And I won't be around to revive anyone."

> No, don't do that

The dragon laid a firm and unyielding palm on the cleric.

> Those who come back have all been corrupted by the Void.

It's eyes narrowed at Aleric, the golden-haired elf who kept his bow still raised at the dragon. Aleric's eyes flashed, and for a moment, the blues were replaced by dark swirls like the night sky. An enchanted arrow flew through the air. Aleric gasped, then crumbled into dust, the runes from my own bow still slowly dissipating.

"You're right. " I tell the dragon. "You have the Sight , too. Now, we must hunt." I grunt, and force the wings out from beneath my shoulder blades, dragon scale replacing the veneer of human skin I wore as a glamor.


MartinMoonfang42 t1_j9wpumc wrote

"So why am I stuck reviving Magnus again?" asked Cynthia as she started pouring magic into the broken corpse that used to be their party member.

"Because," replied Prince Erik fon Valmark, "Magnus is a valuable member of this party and we should treat him the same respect he does to us." That made Cynthia stop her magic,

"Oh," she said, "Like he treated me with respect when he told me I should 'go back to the nunnery and leave the work to the menfolk'?" She brandished her mace just under his nose. Erik had personally seen the weapon turn men, monsters and even a couple demons into a fine paste.

"Or," said Arynia, their archer, "when he told me I should go back to the forest and play with flowers?". The elven woman was the most terrifying hunter the prince had ever met, as well as his friend Alex the Hero's fiance, "or when he told Emmet that magic was for 'pussies' and he should pick up a sword and fight like a 'real man'?"

Erik facepalmed,

"Okay," he said, "Magnus is an asshole, he's still been my friend since childhood."

Meanwhile, on the other side of the cavern, Emmet the wizard and Alex the Hero were trying to calm down a dragon.

"I'msorryI'msorryI'msorry!" she cried.

Emmet was using a pair of giant spectral hands to rub the dragon's shoulders,

"Easy now," he said calmly, "slow deep breaths."

"In through the nose," Alex told her, "count to four, out through the mouth."

The dragon closed her eyes, breathed as instructed and it did calm her down,

"Thank you," she said, "I'm terribly sorry about that. Your friend just...charged right at me screaming bloody murder."

"Yeah," said Emmet, "he did that a lot."

"He did it to me the very first time we met," said Alex, "he wasn't exactly the smartest."

"Yeah," said Emmet, "not the first time he's run in and gotten killed either. Remember last year at the 'tea party'?"

Alex groaned, "why'd you have to go and remind me of that?"

"Because it was hilarious," said Emmet.

"For you maybe," said Alex, "you weren't the one getting shot at!"

"Shield spell and Greater Invisibility," said Emmet, "Name me a better spell combination."

Alex shook his head,

"Are you all right now Lady Kalithirax?" he asked the dragon.

"Yes," she replied, resting her silver scaled head on the floor, "Again, I'm terribly sorry. Bu if you don't mind my asking why do you keep someone like that in your party? It sound like he caused nothing but problems."

"Because he's Erik's best friend," replied Alex, "he has something of a blind spot when it comes to Magnus."

It was true, every time Magnus had gone charging in, sword held high, screaming his head off, Erik had looked the other way during the inevitable aftermath. Every pointless battle, tavern brawl and today's suicidal charge. The man only seemed to know only one tactic: run straight at his opponent, sword in hand. Alex had told him more than once it would get him killed, and today it got him back handed into a wall by a dragon. A dragon the party had specifically sought as an ally against the Dark Emperor.

"We must apologize Lady Kalithirax," said Emmet, "We told him we were here to seek your aid. Multiple times."

It was at this moment that Erik walked over to the pair,

"Except that wasn't what Magnus wanted to do," he said, "I actually asked me why we were 'taming a beast instead of killing it'. Honestly I'm starting to wonder why I let him join us."

"Because he was our heaviest hitter," said Alex, "If we needed something cleaved in half he was the guy to do it. Though I doubt even he'd be able to do anything with that." He pointed to where Magnus's enormous greatsword had fallen, or rather what was left of it. The blade had been shattered like glass and fragments of it littered the floor of the cavern.

"Yeah," said Emmet, "it was the one thing he was actually good at."

Erik facepalmed again,

"I get it," he said with a groan, "my best friend was an asshole. And to be honest we are probably better off without him."

"So," said Cynthia, "does that mean I don't have to bring him back again?"

"No," said Alex, "and I also have something I want to try."

As the assembled party watched quizzically, Alex leaned in close to Lady Kalithirax and whispered something into her ear.

"Why yes," she said, "I absolutely can do that."

In a great flash of magic the dragon vanished, and was replaced with the most beautiful woman that Prince Erik had ever seen. She was tall, with long silver hair and the most intense cerulean eyes. She would have been mistaken for an elf if not for the draconic horns atop her head.

"Is this suitable?" asked Lady Kalithirax. Alex nodded,

"I'd say that's perfect," he said.

And that was how a dragon became an adventurer.


Zagreus7777 OP t1_j9wy2xk wrote

Y e s, another great story! Wonderful work!

Also this prompt has gotten more upvotes than any of my stories.. don't know how I feel about that (QwQ)


MartinMoonfang42 t1_j9y1si0 wrote

Feel proud, that's how I felt when a couple of my own prompts did this well.


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Jatopian t1_j9rdthe wrote

Hopefully the dragon is just pretending to be flustered so it can kill the rest of the party.