PART ONE: The Meeting

In a roughneck's tavern, just South of Waterdeep,
a man came tapping at the door, while most good folks were fast asleep.
A wizard he, tall with hair of black, and jacket just as dark,
under which hid many dagger sharp.
"Good evening, gentlefolk! A warm fire I beg, for I am truly soaked!"
Asked the mage, in tone half a joke.
The inn was rough, with hardened mercenaries it was crawling,
always danger of bitter brawling,
more than one swordsman that evening had been knocked senseless,
battered, sprawling.
A strange lady in a cloak, a man made familiar with her graces,
and soon he was dead, in the floor his blood did soak!


Now one fellow, a half-elven ranger,
after some contemplation, approached the stranger.
"My name is Mister Dragon."
The ranger cordially introduced himself,
"Silverblade!" The mage warm replied,
and bought them both finest wine from off barkeep's shelf.

"Why 'Mister', good sir Dragon?" Asked Silverblade,
"Because somehere there is a 'Missus' Dragon?"
The half-elf enigmatically replied with a humorous smile,
"Of the wine, do you want another flagon?"

And so the pair began to sup and talk, growing friendly drink by drink,
and the ranger explained that a REAL dragon he did want to stalk.

"Not a task easy done!" The mage was deep in thought,
"But from what you say of yon wicked drake,
it was long since time the villain was in battle fought!"

So through the night they spoke of Hades,
a black dragon who abused the folk of Mete' Moor,
and did cruelly like to eat the locale's young ladies.

And on the 'morrow set out did they,
and some lads who had over heard,
the beast they cheered the pair to flay!

"On that I cannot say, but we'll be sure to make him have a most interesting day!"
To them the wizard did cheerfully say.

But on his comrade's face a frown appeared,
for though he wished the drake no well,
a ranger likes no beast for gold or glory its skin stripped bare.

So Dragon the path did lead, a crafty soul who avoided harm or tricky trails,
and so quickly did they come to place of need.

Though it was a fen, the land was rich in game and graced with the rare "Moon flax",
favoured to make fine dresses for many a noble maiden.

So why then, in a place of riches, did folk their fields not attend, left like ditches?
For nearby the dragon made it's fetid, secret den!

In the village, but 2 families remained, they hadn't left as several folk were old, crippled or maimed, and so they had to endure when the dragon did pillage.

Despite his name, Dragon was well known and received,
for oft had the ranger, swamp foes quickly slain.

And so they spent a day and a night, planning and thinking of upcoming fight.


PART TWO: Into the Swamp

Morning chill, mists their sight did fill, as onto danger they went with a determined will.

On their backs, like the turtles in pools around,
coracles for fording the pools and small lakes, and plenty of food in sacks.

Bullrushes tall, their shafts rattling in warming wind, as Sun oppressive heat did bring,
tired of his burden, the wizard bade them stall.

Amidst steaming heat, great frogs in chorus croaking,
wondrous orchids of rainbow beauty but stench and underfoot stinking peat.

Dozing from weariness, Silverblade was ambushed where he lay,
squirming tentacles from single trunk, a creature of vile eeriness eager to slay!

Grasped by legs by thing with strength of several men, he would have died,
save Dragon saw, gave out mighty cry, hewed with blade
and beast retreated into it's muddy fen!

Well sun had set ere the went much farther, oppressive heat,
swarms of midges, had with frustration drove them into a lather.

Just ahead was the foe's strange demesne: ruined city of ancient times,
half sunken, filled with water, made from granite dense.

And as they knew, the swamp goblins were up there making their evening stew,
from all kinds of trash and even human life, while drinking ghastly, orcish brew.

Thus after nightfall, they crept in in stealthy fashion, Dragon silencing sentries left and right, with daggers through windpipe, while other's slept at Silverblade's mystic call.

Then watching from ancient tower, the enchanter cast his powers into the enemies' flaming braziers, and with a Fire Charm their wits he did lower.

Calling on his art, Silverblade goblin minds did take over, bringing them to his side, and thus an hour after the start, their actions he could command and chart....


PART THREE: Against the dragon


In the dawn, Silverblade, in illuisonary heroic goblin form,
his followers into an attack on their once leader Hades, had now drawn.

Stealthily through the swamp lands, had Dragon gone,
and behind him did his namesake latch onto his trail, greatly wise and sly,
its mighty eyes burning like yellow brands!

And yet the ranger KNEW Hades was there, and went on,
though he was cold with fear, but this was all a terrible dare!

So at last he wound his way to the goblin's home,
where the dragon made it's lair hundred fathoms deep beneath the loam.

THEN did Hades make her presence known! Striding out like mountain black of walking death, big as a keep, a sight so terrifying even brave Dragon felt it as a blow!

And then with a mighty crack, fired from ballista kept to fend of troll's attack,
a burning bolt sped from ballista,
their ruler wyrm the goblin's had attacked!

Armed with spheres small, some of the runty orcish-kin,
braver thanks to a potion poured in their grog,
hurled the sorcerous Beads of Force,
and with mighty bangs, chunks flew off Hades' skin!


Shaken, the wyrm still its wrath did on traitors turn, liquid death their bodies melting, screaming as their eyes wasted, scores of goblin's acid then did burn!

Spells of speed and its reverse did coat friend and foe,
and Dragon the beast his mighty sword plough into its toe.
Aye, it's toe! For the wyrm towered over him, it's body beyond his blows.

And NOW did the great thing happen! For did not the sky darken!
Did not every beast in terror to the skies hearken!

For the Sun, was slowly DISAPPEARING!
The Time of The Hungry Dragon was now nearing, the celestial terror the solar orb was reaving!


A hush fell on the place as the eclipse rushed to it's zenith,
Just as Silverblade had read in ancient tales of myth...

Hades was her spells unleashing, but now there was an aching hollow in her sorcerous heart, now mystic powers could not anyone be releasing!

Many goblins, still under previous power, were urged on by mage's verbal teasing,
to get their mistress's vast mounded treasure, hidden in her bower.

Now though the runty lot, could hardly hurt her a jot, when over a hundred her hide attacked, armed with weapons that were a touch be-poisoned,
they were sure to find some tender spot!

Blows and screams, the huge mass of darkened scale tore through foes like a gale,
but the ranger was her movements anticipating,
and she was fighting him as if ghostly untouchable dream!

NOW did the Sun reappear, what wonder!
And Dragon changed his form, into a silver drake!
And his foe he did tear into and rent wing asunder!

The battle fierce, goblins gone,
Silverblade his arcane powers unleashed in this peculiar dawn,
but true power rested in the wyrms, on whose coat blood now shone!

But at last, Hades fell as she tried acid breath to exhale,
for the ranger-dragon was much quicker, into her mouth he blew freezing gale!

So did the ancient wyrm there expire, her body crashing back into the mire,
a mighty splash heard throughout the shire!

Silver dragon regaining form, explained to his wizard friend,
that though a fellow drake, yon Hades of blood was too quick herthirst to slake,
and thus from this land had to be shorn!

But it was an act regretfully done, for though evil,
still alike were they, and the wizard of death was not too keen,
and without dragons, how could magic from mystery ever be shone?

It was a mighty duel, and they left with not even goblin's gruel,
for they knew the dragon's traps were still deadly, on hatred fuelled.

But still, though this place may be a swamp,
now folks would no more fear evil dragon's jaws on them would clamp!


All original art, writing on this site, copyright of Steven James, "Silverblade the Enchanter" ©2012