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De Exilio
Chapter 1 — Exposed to the Elements
It was mid-morning. The party was traveling silently, heads down, eyes squinting, because of the glare from walking into the sun. The only sound was that of their feet crunching in the firm snow.

   No one was expecting the attack. It fell down upon them silently and swiftly. One moment they were walking, the next moment they were covered by a large shadow and a spray of icy shards and bitter cold. Belvin noticed the shadow before the blast struck and spurred Kamil. Szordrin, too, dove to the ground to take cover. Even so, they were not quick enough. Everyone was covered in frost and ice. Their lungs gasped desperately for warm air, and their hearts skipped a beat from the shock of the sudden cold. Ilthian and Stormshadow fell down onto the snow, as if frozen solid.

   "A dragon!" Leokas called out. "Spread out! Spread out! Remember the seven rules!"

   Mythlos healed Stormshadow with his magic blade and then rushed to the north several steps. Turning, he drew a scroll from a pouch on his pack. He frantically unrolled it, hoping he could read the words before the dragon struck again. He struggled to hold the scroll still, as his body trembled in fear.

   Leokas was also shaken. He moved west and gulped down a magical potion to restore warmth to his frozen body and crouched down low to the snow-covered ground.

   Belvin was galloping to the southeast and began a summoning spell as Szordrin darted quickly to the southwest.

   Cassiera had no idea what "seven rules" the sylvan elf had meant by his warning, but she ran to the south nonetheless, taking a flask from her belt and holding it ready. She brushed the frost from her face and looked up to the east to see the white-colored dragon gaining altitude 100 feet away.

   A beam of light as bright as the sun launched from Hakam's outstretched palm and struck the dragon as it performed a wingover maneuver in the air and began flying back toward them for a second strafing attack. "Szordrin!" he shouted. "Are white dragons chaotic crea...?"

   The dragon was upon them again. Its rear claws ripped through Hakam's chest-piece and tore into his flesh. Hakam was flung flat onto his back in the snow.

   Cassiera let fly one of her flasks. The glass shattered upon the dragon, as it glided past, and ignited into flame. Then Szordrin and Mythlos shouted out together in languages of magic. A stream of fire and flame shot forth from Mythlos' palms and should have engulfed the dragon, but instead, some unseen force caused the flames to wrap around the dragon's body harmlessly. Szordrin's spell, however, gave them hope, for suddenly, despite the dragon's frantic flapping of its eighteen-foot wings, it dropped to the ground several yards past where Hakam lay, bound to the earth by magic.

   "Yes!" yelled Szordrin. "They are chaotic beasts!"

   It's what Hakam had wanted to hear. He rose quickly to his feet again. "Feel order's wrath!" the cleric shouted with a wave of his hand. A cubic grid of purple beams of light entrapped the dragon, and it thrashed in pain and roared.

   Leokas sent two arrows at the creature. Despite his fear, his aim was still true. The first missile plunged deep into the dragon's hide, but the second was deflected off its glistening white scales.

   Stormshadow came to and immediately fled to the northwest from beneath the dragon's legs. It snapped at her with its beaked jaws but missed.

   Five small fire elementals appeared on the surface of the snow and nearly surrounded the dragon, swinging their flaming appendages. The dragon spun with cat-like dexterity to face them and ward off their blows. Then a ball of fire shot from Belvin's fingertips, giving the dragon yet another fiery object to avoid. Szordrin began the completion words of yet another spell of fire, but he lost his control on the Weave, and only smoke appeared at his palm. "Curses!"

   Seeing that it was distracted by the attacking elementals and the rolling ball of fire, Mythlos charged at the dragon across the snow, swinging recklessly with his full strength. He struck a solid blow at the base of the dragon's fourteen-foot tail, his magic blade slicing through the mirror-like scales and spraying red dragon blood onto the white snow.

   The dragon spun around in anger, its neck snapped out, and it bit into Mythlos' shoulder, lifting him from the ground and shaking him, before tossing his limp body to the ground. Simultaneously, the dragon's tail struck one of the the fire elementals, leaving only a pool of water behind. Seconds later, the dragon was facing the remaining elementals, after deftly hopping over the rolling ball of fire that Belvin still controlled. With two slashes of its foreclaws and the slaps of its wings, only a single one of the elementals remained on this plane. The little elemental struck a solid blow on the dragon's snout, and the great beast roared in anger.

   Behind the dragon, blood stained the snow heavily where Mythlos lay. Hakam rushed over to him and touched him, and the flesh was restored.

   "Mythlos, the elephant!" Leokas shouted, as he shot a continuous string of arrows at the dragon. Cassiera tossed another vial. It missed, but the dragon was still singed by the brief flame. Szordrin moved closer and sent a cone of fire from his hands, but the flames were repelled by the dragon's resistance to magic. Cassiera tossed another vial, this time one filled with acid. It struck and its liquid contents began sizzling upon the dragon's back.

   Returning to consciousness, Mythlos rose to his feet, took careful aim, and plunged his sword into the dragon, piercing its left thigh. The dragon turned again to face the persistent swordelf and was struck by a second slash across its short neck.

   Then the dragon breathed again. The chill blast caught both Mythlos and Hakam in its path, nearly blowing both of them over and leaving a faint chemical smell in the air. Skin burned by the severe cold, Hakam staggered backwards and healed himself, as an arrow from Leokas punctured the dragon in the side, just below its shoulder. Several other arrows glanced off its armor.

   "Strike!" Belvin screamed, as he tried calling down a bolt of lightning from a dark cloud that no one else had noticed had formed above them, but his call was ignored. Once again, the dragon's inner magical power prevented the spell from harming it. It failed to prevent Szordrin's next spell, however, as a jet of fire blasted from the wizard's palms.

   The distraction from Szordrin's spell gave Mythlos the time he needed to extract the marble figurine from the side of his pack. He tossed it at the foot of the dragon, as another vial of Cassiera's shattered on its back. Mythlos summoned the elephant with its command word, and the figurine morphed into the massive pachyderm, which towered even over the dragon. Trumpeting, the elephant slammed the dragon on the top of its head with its trunk and kicked it twice in the chin with its hooves. With the dragon flanked by the elephant, the remaining fire elemental landed another blow to the dragon's right side.

   Appearing dazed, now with five arrows stuck in its body, melted and scorched scales, and blood pouring from several open wounds, the dragon desperately tried flapping its wings again to lift off from the surface and escape, but Szordrin's magic still held it to the ground. Its escape failing, the terrible beast roared and then ducked its head low to the ground. Its fanged mouth opened, and a third time it breathed its dreadful blast of cold and ice. The elephant was unfazed, but Mythlos tumbled to the ground, a second time, frozen stiff. Hakam managed to stand against the barrage. He stumbled over to Mythlos and once again saved him from dying with a surge of positive energy from his hands.

   "I said, 'Strike!'" Belvin repeated. A bolt of plasma fell from the sky. The dragon convulsed as the electricity flowed through it. Then it collapsed to the surface of the snow and was still.
Session: 61st Game Session - Friday, Oct 30 2015 from 12:00 AM to 3:00 AM
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