The Dragon and the Apple

Everything begins somewhere…

…and this story begins on the road from Baldur’s Gate to the east, a little way west of the town of Greenest.

After many days of travel, a caravan of merchants and travelers crests a rise and gets its first glimpse of the town.

“You’ll have a soft bed tonight,” Bram Leenor called over his shoulder to his apprentice Dom, who was in the back of the wagon. “Nice place, this, we ought to do some decent trade. Heh, I knew a girl here once…”

“Oh not another tall tale of your ever-so-manly conquests, please,” replied Dom, climbing from the wagon to sit down on the bench next to Bram. “You realize that no-one believes any of that claptrap, right?”

Bram chuckled, and turned to reply, when a shadow fell across the caravan, a sudden downdraft flattening the wide cloth brim of his hat over his eyes. Dom snorted at the sight of his master frozen for a moment, mouth open, finger extended as though to make some important point, with his hat brim blocking his eyes.

A glance ahead on the road removed the smirk from his face, however. Bram, cussing, pushed his hat out of his eyes and saw his apprentice frozen in much the same attitude, eyes and mouth wide, hand extended, gesturing forward.

He registered the sounds around him: the horses were whickering and stamping in their traces; voices from the other wagons in the caravan raised in alarm; the shouts of the guards… and far off, the screams of terrified people, carried by the wind.

Turning his head, he followed the direction of Dom’s outstretched hand.

“Oh bugger.”

Ahead of them, swooping across the fields towards Greenest, was a creature everyone in the caravan knew, but that none expected to see. Bram watched it rise as it reached the edge of the town, beating its wings to hold position before it unleashed a burst of crackling lightning onto a house, setting fire to its thatched roof.

“Oh, bugger.”

Their next stop was being assaulted by a Blue Dragon.

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alanQuatermain

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