Vibria and her grandfather have been travelling Europe on there way to the Draconic Convocation, held every quarter century, featuring only the eliete and most powerful members of dragon-kind. This time it is being held in Sweeden.
There are lots of sights to see and many side stories to fill in. But in this one there is a lesson being taught.
Krakow, Poland, 1236.
[color=red][b]Now, some may wonder, since I am such a powerful dragon, why is it that more people have not heard of me? I tell you that the secret to my success is keeping a low profile. Everyone's heard of Fafnir. Guess what? Fafnir was killed. Why? Because he was famous, and it made him a target.
Ever heard of Smaug Vavelski? Everyone in Poland has. He was powerful, he was feared, and he enjoyed a famous reign of terror.
And it got him killed.
His cave is still intact underneeth the Castle of Krakow, as is his treasure. A faerie duplicant has taken his place, and is convinced it is the original. But all it can do is relive the cycle again and again. Come, let us see what we can learn from him.
Vibria has been just over the moon traveling with Sigmundo the last few weeks (months?). She'd always heard about one of her ancestors being a dragon, and had hoped to meet her draconian forebear someday, but she never dreamed that it would happen so soon.
She hangs on practically every word, soaking in everything he says like a rosebush soaks in the rain. The advise about keeping a low profile, she particularly takes to heart. [color=red]"So, if I want to live to a ripe old age and not have people trying to take my treasure and my life, it's better not to trumpet how simply fantastic I am," she says thoughtfully.
[color=red]"I think I've heard of Smaug Vavelski," ((Int 1 + Magic Lore (Dragons) 5 + die roll of 7 = 13)) [color=red]"How does his faerie duplicate relive his cycle?"
With that roll, what does Vibria know of Smaug Vavelski?
Not sure. I first heard that story about a hundred years ago. Now what actually happened is yet unknown. Seems like a pretty strange way to die, and sounds like a cover up excuse for some kind of magic.
Still, the story is what counts for that is what perpetuates the faerie duplicate. The faerie is not constantly active and the general population is unaware of it. Supposedly once in a while a pair of young lovers gets caught up in it. The maiden is abducted, the hero always rescues her, they return a few days later and the people laugh and wink at the story and figure they were really hiding out for some hanky panky time.
[color=red]"Well, I suppose it couldn't hurt to see if anything odd's been going on lately. The locals may have noticed something without realizing what it really meant. Do you happen to speak the language here?"
I speak the language everywhere. Come. I have read that a tavern is always a good place to begin a story. Let us have some refreshment and revel in tales of yore. See what we can stir up.
And sure enough, you find a tavern. Green Griffon. It's a franchise :mrgreen:
Everyone turns and eyes you with suspicion. Vibria has the Gift and grandfather has Magical Air.
Vibria looks around the tavern, trying to ignore the stares and glares from the patrons as she tries to find a place for her and Sigmundo to sit. Preferably somewhere out of harm's way. She places her hand on her coin purse, letting its solid weight reassure her. (And, not entirely unconsciously, counting the coins through the leather.)
[color=red]"What are they saying?" she whispers to her grandfather as the conversations resume around them.
Nasty things. Stupid things. Nothing to worry about. Come, let us sit anf partake of the local beverage.
It takes seemingly forever before you get service. And it isn't the barmaid. It is a large fellow (security?) and he has a serious expression on his face.
[color=green]You two are new faces. Is there anything I can help you with? Looking for something in particular?
He speaks Polish (the world's most confusing and complicated language in my experience). But since you two have the look of Western foreigners, he might start off with French. In any case, he knows some language Vibria also knows.
The guy looks like he wants to say something rude, but Sigmundo's quiet piercing gaze makes him think better of that.
[color=green]How about food? You look hungy. Perogies have not yet been invented, so, how about a bacon pie?
Your gradfather is impressive to behold, especially since you know the truth about him. He has silent stoic strength that surpasses kings, and you know that the form of an elder scholar disguises his true nature. In a flash at any moment, he could assume his true shape and is large enough to encircle the whole city!
[color=red]"Bacon pie sounds delicious. And perhaps some....red wine to go with it?" Vibria gives the waiter what she hopes is a friendly smile.
When he leaves, Vibria pretends to check out the rest of the patrons of the pub while actually watching her grandfather.
[color=red]Simply amazing, she thinks. [color=red]Here he is, as human-looking as anyone else here...and yet, there's just something about him. The mortals seem to sense that they're in the presence of something so much greater than he can imagine. And yet...he doesn't seem to let it get to his head, and he doesn't lord it over mortals or demand treasure or sacrifice like the dragons of legend do. He almost seems as comfortable in this guise as he does when he's himself.
Her respect and love for Sigmundo continues to grow as she just...basks in his presence, and feels herself blossoming under his influence, much as a flower blossoms in the sunlight.
She listens to everone around her, hoping to hear some strains of a familiar tongue, and admires what there is to admire.
A grin spreads across Vibria's face as she thinks, [color=red]Yes! A chance to fight an evil dragon!
Then the smile fades as she realizes that this is probably a faerie version of Smok Wawelski, and they will have to defeat it the way it's defeated in the story.
[color=red]"I have no problem being the King's daughter for this story," she whispers in Catalan to Sigmundo. [color=red]"And I can probably make a lamb-shaped block of sulfur[sup]1[/sup]. Think that would work?"
[sup]1[/sup] I'm thinking CrTe base 1 to create sand, dirt, mud, or clay (as sulphur seems to be fairly soft), +1 magnitude for an elaborate shape, R: Touch for +1, and D: Sun for +2, for a target level of 10. Her CrTe is Sta 2 + Cr 10 + Te 4 = 16 +/- Aura + die roll, halved, plus a Confidence point wherever that goes.
The crowd looks at the frenzied guy, then start laughing when they hear what he says. Then they see you jump up and get all excited over it and then laugh some more. The guy runs out and on to the next group of people to warn.
Sigmundo tugs you aside and whispers [color=red]Sweetheart, did you notice what language he was speaking in? I am sure you heard Catalan and they all heard Polish. I heard Tartessian. That man has the GIft of Tongues and likely the blood of heroes. We should follow him.
[color=red]"You mean he was speaking...Polish?" Vibria is surprised. She could have sworn the man was speaking Catalan (although, in retrospect, she does think he was a little far afield to be speaking that particular tongue, unless he was particularly frantic), but she wasn't paying enough attention to see if the mouth synched up with the words.
She puts a couple of coins on the table to pay for their drinks, looking down at them fondly as she stands up. [color=red]Goodbye, Eric. Goodbye, Walter. We shall meet again, someday, she thinks, before she leaves to find a place to linger so they can follow the boy who cried "Dragon!" when he leaves.
Outside, a small crowd gathered in the street, gazing up at the sky trying to see if they can spot anything. The crier is still running around with his frantic warning. Most pay him no mind, but some are curious and a group of men has headed off to the dragon cave to see if anything is going on there.
Then you and Sigmundo are approached by a withered old man with an iron countenance in his eyes.
Been a long time. Why do you tread upon my domain?
Sigmudo smiles but looks puzzled. A few hundred years, quite a long time. They say you were killed and replaced by a fairy tale. I have come with my human granddaughter to investigate and teach her some of her draconic heritage.
This is Vibria of Flambeau, Hermetic Maga. Vibria, meet Smok Vavalski.
Vibria beams and her eyes grow wide at the introduction, and she puts a visible effort into not dropping into a deep curtsey.
[color=red]"Smok Vavalski, this is a magnificent honour! I can't believe I'm actually meeting you!" Then she cocks her head to one side taking him in, and the grin fades momentarily. She smiles politely at him.
[color=red]"I get the feeling that there are tales to be told. Grandfather?"
Indeed. But I am not sure what the true tale is. Last Smok and I met, I was still posing as a Roman priest and Smok was a seven headed hydra extracting tribute from pagan barbarians. His encounter with the Polonians and his "demise" are just the stories I had heard well after the fact.
So what of it Smok? What is the real truth?
Meanwhile, the town crier is still running around and now he is pointing out Smok, as if he can see something about him others can't.
Vibria looks at Smok and Sigmundo, waiting for Smok's reply. After a moment of the town crier yelling around, she turns and yells at him, [color=red]"Hey! Keep it down! Some of us are trying to drink, over here!"
She adds, quieter but still loud enough for him (and anyone else who speaks Catalan) to hear, [color=red]"Got a ways to go to catch up to you, though."