2 min read

AtD 049: And Then There Was One

Bleeding from several (embarrassing) injuries, Ozloc staggered on through the night...
AtD 049: And Then There Was One

Lone survivor—brave Sir Ozloc—burst from the dragon’s cave and rushed into the cover offered by the nearby twisted and gnarled trees. Staggering through the trees, he found a safe hollow to hide in and dropped down to rest. An hour or so later, Ozloc was much refreshed and began to think of how to escape. Dunstone lay to the east, and it seemed this was the direction in which he must go.

Just as he made this determination, however, a great roaring from the sky above heralded the arrival of the dragon—maddened that someone had escaped its ire.

The dragon flew back and forth across the woods, roaring out its terrible challenge—a challenge that brave Sir Ozloc dared not answer. After a few hours of futile searching, the dragon returned to its lair.

Ozloc used this respite to resume his flight to the east. Up and down hills and through tangled thickets Ozloc plunged. Luckily for Ozloc the dragon’s depredations had cleared the woods around its lair of all predators, and the warlock’s initial staggerings were without notable incident.

However, Ozloc’s luck couldn’t hold. As he approached a lake, the loud rustling of something in a nearby thicket sent the warlock fleeing into the deeper woods. His finely tuned, and often practised, evasive tactics proved successful, and he lost his pursuer without ever discerning its identity.

Hours later, as the dawn of the next day began to lighten the eastern sky, Ozloc approached the clearing in which lay the bat cave the party had discovered a month ago. Two hobgoblins hunters chose that very moment to enter the clearing. They spotted the lurking warlock and quickly shot at him with their powerful longbows. Ozloc’s reactions were faster, however, and he darted away deeper into the woods. The hobgoblins gave chase, but Ozloc—his legs enhanced with magic—proved difficult prey, and he lost his pursuers.

Finding a ridgeline, he followed it south and east. The land dropped into a swampy bowl, and here Ozloc almost came undone. Two stirges buzzed from the mire, drawn forth by the scent of Ozloc’s warm, succulent flesh. Ozloc panicked and unleashed his most powerful spell—sleep. In his terror, however, Ozloc forgot his own power. The sleep spell was indeed powerful—so powerful it slept the two stirges and the warlock himself! Ozloc collapsed, crushing one of the stirges below his falling body. A minute or so later, he and the surviving stirge awoke. It latched onto the hapless warlock, but he eventually destroyed it with his celestial power.

Bleeding from several (embarrassing) injuries, Ozloc staggered on through the night, occasionally resting to replenish his magical powers. He hid from an ogre, almost slew a ghoul and dodged two more ghouls before finding a hollow between two boulders in which to rest.

The next day dawned bright and warm. Ozloc was excited. He had made good progress. His continued eastward travel was interrupted by two encounters with wandering ogres. He hid from both and was uninterested in finding out what they were doing—even though one of the beasts carried a sack dripping with a thick yellow liquid.

Late on the second day, Ozloc’s persistence was rewarded. He finally reached the ford which he had crossed with his friends so long ago. Using magic to cloak himself in invisibility he rushed across the river and headed eastward—to Dunstone and safety! With a sack full of treasure—luckily Ozloc had been carrying the loot the group had not yet shared out—and much news to impart to the high priest of Darlen and lord Aavo the warlock’s adventures seemed to be just beginning…