Mysteries & Myths

Son of Thord (Episode 54)

Badger’s Journal
Entry #1
I hate to try and rest down in this private dungeon, but it seems that Moonglum and Benus insist. We debated on where was the best location and finally settled on the chamber that we rescued Thord from. At least the rest was uneventful, if not somewhat tense. With that out of the way we could finally get back to trying to track down Thords son and the Earth Idol that we have been looking for. When we finally ventured down the hallway that headed south off of the room filled with the strange pools and treasure we ran into the underground river that cut through the hallway just as Thord described. The problem, as it turned out, was that after finally getting across the damned river I soon discovered that the hallway was nothing more than a dead end. Back to the pool room and try the hall to the north I guess.

Entry #2
After a small room full of smashed furniture this hall rounded the corner and headed a long way back to the south again. After at least 100 feet of hallway we then found a strange feature ahead. As we opened another normal enough looking door it opened into a wider hallway that had to have been 20 feet wide by 60 feet long. It wasn’t the portcullis in the middle of the hall or the minatours savaging gold plated armor that caught my attention, it was the set of double doors at the end of the hallway. They were ornately carved and a golden light emanated off of them as if the sun itself was within them. We made quick work of the bullmen tentatively opened up the lighted doors to see what they would reveal beyond.

Entry #3
…….

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The Pool Room (Episode 53)

Benus’ Journal
Entry #1
………….

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Stoned (Episode 52)

Alacry’s Journal
Entry #1
As we proceeded south along the oversized twenty-foot corridor our light began to illuminate what appeared to be minotaurs, but upon closer look we realized all three were merely statues. Yet the closer we looked at the scene before us the more we began to suspect that these creatures were once alive. A wooden cart sat amongst the three with a tarp pulled over the top to hide its contents. A closer look revealed random items of some intrinsic value but nothing to clue us in on what might lie ahead. A few of us decided to scout ahead to inspect the rubble further south, as well as a dark hole excavated in the right side of the passage.

Entry #2
We discovered a shattered statue at the very southern end of the hall and all the stone minotaurs seem to be peering in that general direction, but we are unable to discern whether they are looking at the statue or the hole in the wall as they lie adjacent to one another.

Entry #3
Our situation grew very intense quickly. We attempted to peer inside the hole in the western wall and discovered two minotaurs standing inside a rough hewn cavern, and as surely alive as I am right now! We don’t know if we’ve been detected however as Moonglum raced back toward the group to the north to inform us of what he has seen. We then decided to slowly approach as a group, mainly staying about the wooden wagon for some sort of cover and protection, all the while trying to steady our nerves. We have heard of such beasts in legend but none of us has ever encountered such beings, and we are unsure of what to expect. Finally our worst fears were realized as the beasts charged us in unbridled rage as we attempted to approach. Somehow we came out of the encounter unscathed. The beast seemed wildly enraged which may have played to our advantage.

Entry #4
After the battle had died down we could hear a faint voice emanating from a passage leading north from the cavern. We soon discovered an orangish glow illuminating the hall up ahead. Then as I rounded the corner another minotaur came charging from within. Once again we avoided any casualties but I did get gored by the creature’s horns. Luckily Benus was able to mend my wounds with his mysterious powers. He claims these strange powers to be divine gifts of the gods, and I must admit they seem to be of a higher power unlike that of anything we have ever witnessed.

Entry #5
The complaining from up ahead seemed to intensify following the battle so I hurried ahead. Soon I discovered a dwarf hanging from a spit near an alcove burning with some sort of supernatural heat, an apparent attempt at a meal by the minotaurs. The dwarf seemed basted with oil, or perhaps it was just sweat, but he was otherwise surprisingly unharmed, we had arrived just in the nick of time. I cut him down as quickly as possible, and as one might imagine the dwarf moved away from the heat with great angst. He proved to be very thankful for the rescue and offered up quite a bit of information about his companions and their ultimate fates. The bald dwarf had badly rotted teeth, a beard parted in two down the center, and little for clothing so we gave him what we could. Soon he told us of Darwa’s fate and how she was turned to stone by some kind of trap, and how he (Thord), his son Grit, and another individual named Lump somehow escaped unscathed luckily. Then how he slipped into a fast moving stream and was swept away only to be rescued and captured by the minotaurs. He seems genuinely worried about what might happen to his son in his absence, and no longer knows where he might be, or if he is okay. We offer to let him follow us if he provides information to what he knows about these dangerous halls with hope that we may be able to reunite him with his son.

Entry #6
Water can be heard rushing nearby. We believe a large flooded cavern stands just to our west but we have decided to inspect it later. Thord informs us that the large chamber to our east is where the door is where he last saw his son. We decide to head in that direction in the hopes of finding some answers…

Entry #7
The room was dimly lit. Six wide pillars of stone carved to resemble four smiling djinn and two scowling efreet supported the vaulted ceiling of the twenty-foot-high chamber, which also contained six pools of liquid, one of which was steaming and bubbling. Each six-foot-diameter pool contained a different substance, and some of the liquids seemed to glow with unnatural light. Carved into the far eastern wall we could see a deep alcove containing a fifteen-foot-tall black basalt statue of a fire giant seated in a throne. Flames could be seen burning within the giant statues hollow eye sockets. It is upon this scene that Thord points to a nearby door to our right informing us that this was where he was swept away by a swift flowing underground stream. We now discuss exactly how to proceed…

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Death & Despair (Episode 51)

Moonglum’s Journal
Entry #1
Having made our way through the dilapidated ground level crypts and the actual family crypts of the Ambergul family we eventually found ourselves face to face with Alycia Ambergul herself, or should I say the deathly embodiment of what was left of her. It was the deep red glowing of her eyes that gave me pause. I have seen eyes like that before. More than once the searing gaze of Tyrus gazed upon me, and her eyes looked eerily similar to his. Was she also a lich? Or something different? At somewhat of a loss, and not wanting to reveal the spellbook that I had found in her personal crypt I held up the iron amulet and asked if it was hers. And surprisingly, after telling us we were free to roam as we wished if we gave her the amulet, she spoke with us at length. We asked her many questions, about the crypts beyond, her families history, Darwa and of course about the earth shrine we were looking for. She had seen Darwa, but hinted that things may not have ended well for her. She told us much about her family, and that the rest of these crypts were more of a dungeon, a hobby of her late husband. She also mentioned that her daughter had been cursed and lived within the dungeon below. Regarding the earth shrine, she called it the Alter of Ogramach and said it was within the dungeon as well but little more. It was an interesting encounter and we were all a little nervous leaving her behind us, but did not want to press the issue so we eventually too our leave and headed to the north and put ourselves to the task of exploring Reynard’s dungeon.

Entry #2
To hell with exploring the passage to the north! Getting past the portcullis did not prove too difficult, it was what followed. Some of the party proceeded cautiously since we could see a large statue of a red dragon at the end of the hall and it gave us pause. But while we focused on that some strange creatures, perhaps flesh golems, emerged from an alcove filled with a strange mist. We actually dealt with them rather quickly but, then as Mortiran investigated a large urn in another alcove he pushed off the lid and suddenly the dragon statue started spewing forth a great cloud of scalding steam. Luckily I was not in the hallway. All attempts to stop the steam failed, so we begrudgingly headed south.

Entry #3
What is it with people who make dungeons and statues? Shortly after getting past the portcullis that blocked the southern passage we found three lifestyle statues of minotaurs around a wooden cart. The rest of the party has grown so fearful that every statue is a trap so they are taking great precautions proceeding down the hallway. I have had enough of this slow going however, so I will continue my entries later and speed this up. Besides, if Darwa and her band have been this way, what dangers could still be in our path?

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The Crypts Below (Episode 50)

Alacrys’ Journal
Entry #1
I have decided to stay on with this new group of interesting explorers. It seems that there is a rich history in the town of Daggorford and the surrounding Lizard marsh. It also appears that perhaps the infamous deeds of the Ambergul family have cursed them. After we released the two local hoodlums we found in the upper family crypts we followed the passageway down to the crypts below. We discovered the crypts of the original Ambergul family, and what we now believe to be the restless spirits of many of them. For the most part I would say that their spirits are not happy, witnessed by their desire to end our lives. Luckily for us both Benus and Moonglums ability to wield great powers has proven most valuable in battling these ghostly spirits. Other than a book bound in drake hide, which Moonglum quickly snatched up, we found mostly the personal belongings of the immediate family. We also found, or should I say we easily found the entrance to what we believe to be the lower crypts, and the trail of Darwa and her group. Perhaps we will find the spirit of Alysia Ambergul down there. Her spirit seemed to be the only one that did not have some presence in the crypts we have explored so far. And we have found no trace of the shrine that we are trying to find.

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The Ambergul Estate (Episode 49)

Benus’ Journal
Entry #1
We had the strangest encounter the other day. We found ourselves in the company of the old wizard Delfen. He proved to be very helpful in explaining the history of the Ambergul family as well as providing Moonglum with a book regarding the history of Thay and the Red Wizards that have become the focus of our investigations. It was his mention of the Princes of Elemental Evil that caught my attention. There are those in our party that I believe have begun to wonder of I can truly commune with the Gods, that the Gods may actually have and perhaps still do exist. If they could feel the presence of the old Gods as I have begun to, then perhaps the mention of these elemental evils would cause them as much concern as it does me. If the gods are real, then these Princes of Evil could be real, not just malevolent fiends that are characters in stories, but actual beings whose only desire would be to destroy this world. Perhaps we will find more answers at the ruin of the Ambergul Estate.

Entry #2
Just as it was described to us the only thing left of the Ambergul Estate was the Crypts. The estate proper had been dismantled years ago and what wasn’t taken has been reclaimed by the swamp. There were 9 crypts all together, and for the most part contained only what you would expect to find. One of them did still contain a trap to deter grave robbers, but the rest were rather normal. But the signs of recent traffic confirmed that we were on the right track, and eventually we found what remained of Darwa Dalion’s treasure hunting party. One of them was Arassan, the young man that the pheasant girl was looking for and the other was an older man, who had obviously lived a hard life. Neither of them knew what had happened to Darwa or the rest of their party. Moonglum did his best to interrogate the two of them but he does not have the skill with people that Jacare had. All we really know is that Darwa and her group have yet to return from the Crypts below.

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Wanted Alive: (Episode 48)

Geoffry’s Journal

Entry #1
The dragon is dead, and we are all still alive. We are missing our guide, Maechen, however. We have looked everywhere for her but to no avail. We secured what treasure we could, but with the storm still raging outside we decided to rest and regroup in this temple before we head back to Cromm’s hold.

Entry #2
We encountered the strangest creatures on our travel back to the hold. At first we thought we had spotted another group of travelers in the storm. What looked to be the faint light of a lantern turned out to be a strange glowing orb of bluish electricity. It wasn’t until little fingers of lighting leaped out at all of us from several of these orbs that had floated up upon us that we realized that these things were hostile. We were taken by surprise but I suddenly noticed flashes of magical light and flames erupting from Moonglum and Benus towards these strange creatures. A few swipes of the sword and some well placed arrows and we were again left alone again in the miserable bog of the swamp.

Entry #3
What a miserable heat. The storm finally gave way several hours before we reached the hold, but only to be replaced by the most fetid heat. It seemed that endless hours trudging in the heat passed before we finally returned to civilization. We reported all that we had discovered and Sir Isteval seemed both shocked and impressed. He asked that we accompany him back to Daggorford, so we collected our things and after a time we made our way back so he could make his reports.

Entry #4
There is definitely something strange going on here. We found Maechen, but she doesn’t remember ever meeting us. Either she was charmed, is lying, or some one was impersonating her in the swamp. We are not sure which one it is though. Either way, she was out hanging up a reward poster for another Red Wizard, this one a woman with many aliases. The poster showed the image of an ugly woman and after a morning spent in the market we began to think that this wizard may have been posing as several different people in town. Perhaps she had impersonated Maechen as well.

Entry #5
We found ourselves watching a puppet show of none other than ourselves slaying a dragon in the market square. After the show we were being swamped by the crowd and then some poor peasant woman asked for our help. I wasn’t sure it would be worth our time, but I was persuaded in the most unusual way. We agreed to meet her at dusk near the Delphine tower. After she told us that her lover had gone missing doing some treasure hunting near the ruins of the Ambergul estate I was ready to dismiss the entire thing. I was not a retriever of idiots after all. But then, suddenly, we were engulfed in a purple mist. When I could see clearly again, we were standing within a small room, perhaps a study of some kind. An old man approached us and introduced himself as none other than Delphin, the owner of this tower. It all seemed very strange, but as he told us more about the Ambergul estate it seemed that perhaps we had better check it out. As it turns out, there may be another of these strange alters hidden somewhere amongst the ruins, or in the cemetery of the estate. After he explained how to find the estate he sent us on our way, again we were surrounded by the purple mist and we found ourselves back in the alley next to the tower. It seems we are headed back towards Cromm’s hold and will be looking for the Ambergul estate. Perhaps we will find the woman’s lover, or the Red wizard, or another alter type shrine. I just hope the weather holds, I’ve had enough of the swamp.

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An Unexpected Surprise (Episode 47)

Mortiran’s Journal
Entry #1
I have borrowed Badger’s enchanted ring of acid resistance and donned the horns of the black dragon wyrmling we killed several days ago. We hope to draw the huge male dragon back to its lair by torturing one of the hatchlings. Hopefully its cries of pain will be enough.

Entry #2
hmmm… Something doesn’t seem quite right, the shells of the eggs seem to be soft and spongy, not at all what we expected – very strange…Damn! All of the eggs were unfertilized. I didn’t think we would be able to lure the dragon back until Moonglum said that he would produce the sound of a screaming dragon hatchling with his magic’s. We all spread out and prepared ourselves for the attack. Then Moonglum produced a horrible screeching sound that was centered right at the eggs. It was an awful noise and it seemed that moments lapsed into minutes with nothing but the awful sound. Then, suddenly, the water seemed to almost begin to boil for a second. After a split second the water erupted into a geyser, spraying the dank cave with murky water in all directions. Out of the geyser emerged a much larger black dragon, and its gaze was fixed on me and the remaining eggs.

Entry #3
I had hoped that by wearing the enchanted ring that it would offer me some protection against the acidic breath of the dragon. It did, but I had not anticipated just how angry, or how much acid a larger dragon could produce. Before I could even draw an arrow I was engulfed in acid. I tried to move towards cover but the pain was unbearable. I thought I was going to die then and there. But finally, the acid stopped. I regained by senses only in time to see a massive claw coming at me, and then I remember little.

Entry #4
What a strange sensation. It was if I was floating through a dark void, until a warm light seemed to envelope me. Just as suddenly I came too. I saw Benus standing over me and I could hear the sounds of battle raging on. Is Benus actually communing with the Gods of legend? Whatever power he has, it is truly amazing.

Entry #5
I got to my feet to find my companions were all engaging the huge black dragon. Benus returned to the battle, and that’s when I noticed that his skin seemed to be the color and texture of hard smooth stone. Besides that, he waded across the water as if it was solid and made his way directly for the dragon, to engage it in melee combat. Badger was actually flying around the dragon attacking it as well. Arrows were slamming into the beast from Alacry so I finally retrieved my bow and started shooting the beast as well. The damned thing started spewing acid again, spattering nearly every one of us in its rage. I thought I saw Alacry fall, but it was difficult to see. Acid was melting and etching everything around us and suddenly a huge fireball erupted around the dragon. I quickly took cover in the entrance of the hallway we used to get down here and drew back my bow for a final shot. But the huge dragon suddenly grabbed Benus and plunged deep into the murky lake. All went suddenly quiet.

Entry #6
Badger flew straight into the water and then I saw the strangest thing. Moonglum ran up to the shore of the lake and dropped to his knees. He began chanting some strange words and stretching out his neck. He suddenly seemed to convulse and then his limbs contorted and twisted and grew. He actually transformed himself somehow into a large sea type creature that I have never seen before, and then he plunged into the lake as well. Alacry, Geoffry and I waited nervously at the shore.

Entry #7
After what seemed like many minutes Benus and Badger returned. They said the dragon was dead. Badger had been able to catch it and deliver its death blow. They also said that they saw Moonglum swim off into an underground tunnel at one end of the lake. Since we would never retrieve the corpse of the dragon at the bottom of the lake we simply waited for Moonglum’s return. Until Badger suddenly got up and grabbed one of his shovels and headed over to the part of the shore that was mostly sand covered. He began digging and I simply watched him for a long time, thinking he was being foolish. Then I heard the sound of his shovel hitting something metal. He grinned and reached into the hole he had just dug, producing a small chest. With that we all found things to dig with and scoured the beach. By the time Moonglum returned we had found a very nice collection of the dragons treasure, and we enjoyed one of the 5 Rosnar Ruby wine from Amn in celebration. We also found a smashed alter. What do these alters mean, and why did the dragon steal them? It seems we need to return to Cromm’s Hold and report what we have discovered and that we have lost Maechen. We cannot find her anywhere.

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Black Death (Episode 46)

Oswell’s Journal
Entry #1
Sounds of rushing water can be heard as we descended the large stairwell into the darkness below. Mortiran’s small light can be seen in the distance. We advance carefully.

Entry #2
Large natural cavern at bottom of large stairwell. Underground waterfall spills into cavern before exiting on opposite side. Niche at back of chamber is a roughly hewn temple with pillars adorned with serpentine carvings. Inside a crouching lizardfolk statue has been made to appear as a black dragon made of lashed wood and gray canvas, with horns made of clay and glittering eyes. Starting to feel a bit uneasy.

Entry #3
Lizardfolk attacked from water. They’re now dead.

Entry #4
Searched above waterfall and disposed of several fire beetles, and a carrion worm-like creature. Before returning to large chamber below. We then decided to destroy make-shift dragon statue’s wings.

Entry #5
Now walking on water thanks to Moonglum’s enchantment. Following river deeper into the caves. Discovered small shelf just off the river, but fear a shrieking mushroom may have given warning to whatever hazards might lie ahead.

Entry #6
Discovered a stone bridge crossing the river, and climbed up to continue our journey. Found a hall connecting to dragon statue chamber to our right via a secret door. To our left another stairwell which opens into a large natural cavern.

Entry #7
Large natural cavern measures maybe thirty-feet high, and is covered with stalactites. Underground river is found to empty into a deep, fog-shrouded pool here. What looks to be a sandy beach lies north of the pool, while to the southeast a large alcove can be seen piled with riches. A narrow walkway hugs the south side of the pools edge and leads to a deep cavity in the southern wall of the chamber. We proceed with great caution, careful to spread out for our own safety.
dragonPathfinder.jpg
Entry #8
Huge Black Dragon exploded from center of the pool, apparently enraged as Badger and Geoffry approached the pile of treasure lying in the southeast alcove. The great lizard quickly spewed large amounts of vile acid upon the two, but both managed to somehow avoid being covered in the deadly substance, it was then that we learned the true nature of Badger’s enchanted ring discovered in the carrion crawler’s nest – acid resistance! We quickly scrambled to assist in the attack as the dragon moved toward the shoreline. We soon prove that we all seem to work well with one another as we quickly inflict major wounds upon the massive dragon. Badger appears quite injured but recovers quickly thanks to Benus’ prayers. The assault continued before the beast suddenly broke for the deep waters of the pool, and then disappeared below the surface.

Entry #9
Benus’ attempts to give chase but the beast soon disappears into an underwater tunnel thirty-feet below the surface. Mortiran then hatched a plan to hopefully coax the dragon back to its lair – dragon eggs are discovered in the far eastern passage of the chamber. Past the eggs and further into the far back of the chamber we also discover an alter half-sunken into the mud. The alter is cracked in half and is hollow inside. It is made of blue coral, and its sides are carved to resemble crashing waves. It may be a clue to our mystery of why Cromm’s Hold was attacked, but we will worry about that later, first we must deal with the dragon. Mortiran plans to crack one of the eggs open and torture the wyrmling in hopes that its screams will alert the parent, causing it to return with a vengance. Its a risky proposition but we all believe the beast is already near death. Mortiran has donned Badger’s enchanted ring, as well as his black dragon horn’s, taken from the last wyrmling we killed in the ruins of the swamp. The gods help him if this doesn’t go as planned…

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Fane of the Sun Swallower (Episode 45)

Benus’ Journal

Entry #1
Discovered an abandoned temple near the center of the Lizard Marsh. It appears on a small island before us, a rectangular building capped with a shattered dome, and a faint orange light seems to shine from within. Could it be inhabited?…

Entry #2
Carvings and painted murals upon the walls seem to point to the worship of some sort of Sun God. Inside we soon discovered the source of the faint orange light, Fire Beetles, nearly as large as a good sized dog! About a half dozen of them crawling all about a stone alter nearly buried in refuse. The entry chamber is quite large with columns lining the walkway to the alter. Alter doesn’t seem to be the type connected to any of the elements, like the one taken from Cromm’s Hold, but it does have a small five-inch indention on the top that appears to hold some sort of circular object that might be missing? A faint stench that smells of rotten eggs pervades inside the temple.

Entry #3
Suddenly came under attack from a half dozen lizardfolk inside the entry large entry chamber, then more assaulted us from several connecting areas of the temple. Some minor wounds amongst the group but otherwise we survived, they on the other hand were not so lucky.

Entry #4
Continued the search of the premises with little problem except for one small chamber filled with Fire Beetle glands glowing in small niches carved into the walls of the room. A makeshift-throne sat at the rooms center and two man-sized lizards soon appeared from behind the throne. Disposed of them quickly after drawing them out into a larger chamber where our group could bring all our strength to bare. Soon after a scrawny, old lizardman made himself known from behind the makeshift-throne. He cowered before us and seemed innocent enough, believing that these lizardfolk were cursed, explaining that they were infested by some strange and well deserved disease. He informed us that a dragon loomed down below, and seemed to be a prisoner of this tribe, so Oswell set him free. He was very thankful.

Entry #5
Found several dead creatures hanging from nets in another chamber. A constrictor snake, two giant frogs, and a halfling?! Bat-like creatures seemed to be feeding on the halfling which appeared to be a rather fresh kill. What in the nine hells was he doing out here in these parts anyway?

Entry #6
One room in particular caught our attention, standing in the middle of one empty room was a badly damaged statue of a black dragon that looked like it had been torn from some larger structure. Dead snakes, rotten fish, and seashells were piled around the statues base.

Entry #7
Discovered a staircase leading down from the upper level to what appears to be crypts. The stench of rotten eggs intensifies as we descend the moldy staircase. I don’t recall this smell the last time we encountered a black dragon?… I wonder what it could be?

Entry #8
Down below we discovered a semicircular basin full of fresh water with a dragon-shaped waterspout protruding from the wall above it. Water spills from the mouth of the dragon into the basin. Very refreshing. We all refill our waterskins. But its what happens next that astounds us, as I drank the water my wounds begin to heal before our very eyes!

Entry #9
Inside one of the crypts we’ve discovered an enchanted mace! Moonglum was able to sense its presence in one of the sarcophagi. Further investigation and study revealed that the weapon’s name is Dragonthumper (engraved on shaft), and the mace is amazingly light weight. Its blunt head is adorned with stylized renderings of reptilian creatures. This could prove very useful indeed.

Entry #10
Found a room down here that appears to be for mummification of the dead amongst the numerous crypts. Dirty water seems to puddle on the floors of nearly all the chambers, but one room catches our attention quickly when one puddle suddenly leaps from the floor and attacks Badger! The rest of us quickly rush to his aid and quickly dispose of the gray blob, which apparently has strong acidic qualities, as the sizzle upon our metal weapons worries many of us. But it was Benus’ prayer that caused us the most damage as he called upon a fiery column from above to come down upon the gray ooze, only to cause the air around us to ignite in a great ball of fire. Apparently that rotten egg smell is some sort of ignitable gas. We feel lucky to be alive!

Entry #11
We’ve discovered another stairwell leading to the depth below, clay brick walls line the sides and a moldy stone-tiled floor descends into the darkness. It appears that the stairs span ten-feet wide and contain several sets of stairs that drop to short hall-like landings before descending yet again. The sound of rushing water can be heard from below. My heart pounds at the prospect that this sounds like the perfect environment for a Black Dragon…

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