The heroes were busy finishing up preparations for the defense of the village when the first signs of the attack could be heard.
A loud roaring from the cliff-side above the village was the first tip off. The Blue dragon flight was taking to the skies as roars could be heard from the distance in the forest.
There were far more roars coming from that direction Al’ev “Olive” Reldinthought.
As the blues took wing, the heroes, except Sindri Stribog, positioned themselves outside the dome near the ballista. They hoped to provide some protection to what limited air defense they did have. Sindri decided to make use of the reinforced entrance area of the dome and prepared to cast spells from there. They were joined by several ninjas while more still hid themselves on and within the dome.
The attack came swiftly. No more than half a minute passed after the blues had gone to meet their enemies when the first wave became visible.
There would be no shortage of targets this time, Al’ev noted, as the enemy approached from the air.
Numerous white scaled dragons of varying size filled the skies. Along with them were a few larger members of the red dragon flight. This solidified the theory that the two flights had formed an alliance. And this thought caused Al’ev to pause.
If what the heroes had witnessed up until this point hadn’t convinced them, this certainly did. The Chromatic War had begun.
When the first dragons came within range of the ballista all five machines opened fire. Some shots connected and even Sindri managed to knock one of the smaller white drakes from the sky with a solid volley of magic missiles.
Then the dragons strafed the ballista for the first time. The heroes were mostly quick to react. Neo was a bit slow to get out of the way and took a solid blow from a dragon’s lighting breath attack. Al’ev was too busy thinking about the implications of higher ranking red dragons taking to the field with their white scaled allies when he took the full force of a breath attack as well. He appeared to shrug most of the damage off, however, and he stood up again. His mind was now on the battle and making sure his allies survived.
The ballista were reloaded and fired once more by the time the dragons began bringing the fight to the ground. Four smaller white dragons landed outside the dome’s lightly guarded entrance. Sindri and several ninjas were forced to back away into the dome to more defensible positions. Just in time too as all four ensured the way in was clear when they sent streaks of lightning breath through the opening.
Al’ev caught this sight out of the corner of his eye and knew the halfling was in trouble. Having already started to cast protective spells on himself, the half-dragon sprinted for the entrance, drawing his sword as he went.
Meanwhile Eremes, Caramel and Desira had finished casting beneficial spells on themselves and Eremes opened fire. The bolts that collided with the dragons in the sky were so bright it had turned night into day for a few brief moments. The shots destroyed a couple of dragons as they flew around in the skies above. At this same moment, the ballista still manned by the ninja’s native to the village caught sight of five groups of dragons closing in on the dome with large boulders in their claws. Knowing that this could spell trouble for the recently created protective shell guarding their homes, they let loose another salvo. Two of the shots caught their targets and forced their scaled opponents to drop the boulders early. The other three continued on to drop their boulders right on the dome.
The boulders didn’t appear to even make a dent in it. Frustrated, those groups continued on to gather more boulders, perhaps in the hopes that repeated strikes would weaken the target.
Meanwhile Al’ev and Crim had caught up to the four drakes who had chased Sindri and a small group of ninjas inside just in time to watch their diminutive ally unleash an intense fire breath attack. He dropped one of the lizards and seriously singed the others. Inspired, the two arbiters brought their swords out to meet dragon scale. Though both heroes easily connected and took solid chunks out of their enemies, neither drake dropped. Al’ev was somewhat panicked when he witnessed one of the drakes begin to maul Sindri.
He would NOT lose another friend. His arm began to itch as he readied himself for his next attack.
Another burst of flame from the halfing announced that Sindri was tougher than his pretty boy face would suggest and that he was still in the fight. He managed to end his attacker and weaken the two remaining drakes further still, but those two remained standing.
Then Al’ev and Crim both felt the ground shake slightly as a loud sound came from behind them. Glancing over their shoulders, they saw two more white dragons. These two appeared to be young adults and a bit bigger than the previous four. They both let their lighting breath fly. Crim and Al’ev were ready though and managed to avoid the brunt of the damage.
From the ballista, the rest of the heroes saw this and something else that drew their concern. The groups of dragons that had gone off and come back to bombard the dome with boulders appeared to have grown impatient. Two of the larger white dragons, about the size of the two now fighting Crim and Al’ev, had landed near where the cliff wall and the dome met. Those two began to dig into the dome from opposite sides and they all realized it was only a matter of time before they broke in while everyone was busy defending the front entrance. When they looked back to Crim and Al’ev, the two had already vanquished the remaining smaller dragons and had engaged the medium sized ones.
Eremes, Caramel and Desira in the few seconds it took to rush to the entrance from the balista, Al’ev, Crim, Sindri and a recently arrived Harry made very quick work of the young adult dragons. Eremes shouted to get to the back side of the dome.
They all proceeded into the dome trying to reach the back before the dragons broke through.
Eremes, Caramel, Crim and Al’ev managed to get there just in time to stop one of the dragons from reaching what was now obviously their objective, the master ninja’s building. Eremes destroyed that dragon in a single shot, actually managing to pin it to the cliff wall with a bolt from his crossbow. The other dragon was just out of their range and managed to get into the targeted building only to shrivel up and die at the feet of the master ninja himself.
The master ninja emerged from his building just as the roof of the dome came crashing in on them.
Aerolous himself had broken into the village. The great wyrm recognized the foes that stood around him and snorted in amusement as several heroes couldn’t help but run in terror.
Meanwhile outside, Harry found himself in combat with the one type of being in this land he hated more than any other, a red dragon. He and many of the village’s ninjas were taking on the dragon with some measure of success, though it was taking time because this one was older than even the young adults who had attacked the entrance earlier. During this fight the dragon’s breath attacks proved too much for Harry’s badger and the dwarf’s companion now lay as a pile of ashes just outside the dome’s entrance. Harry had one more reason to despise those of the red scales.
With one more rush of numerous ninja attacks and two well placed blows from his mighty hammer, the dwarf dropped the red dragon to the ground. He had won this battle, but how were the others fairing? He could only guess at what was going on inside the dome. He looked over in that direction and saw a very large red dragon circling high above. What was it waiting for?
Back inside the dome, Aerolous had enough time to look around before he spoke. “I see the insects are here.” A small bit of laughter escaped his mouth.
Eremes was not one to let such comments fly…unless they were accompanied by one of his crossbow bolts in return, of course. He fired two shots for good measure. The first clearly didn’t have the power to penetrate the ancient dragon’s natural scale armor though. However, the second shot was clearly a fluke or an act of the divine, for it nailed the great white wyrm in a gap between his scales and actually caused him to grunt in pain.
This must have been what the ninja master was waiting for, as he chose then to make his own attack. He lunged from in front of his building, sword in hand, straight at the dragon’s chest. As he drew closer to Aerolous he appeared to become more translucent. When the two should have collided, the ninja master simply seemed to meld into the white dragon’s body. There was no trace of him anywhere.
His primary target no longer in sight, the mighty white took aim at the only other person who had gotten his attention, Eremes. By this time, Desira had finally caught up with Eremes and Caramel. It was unfortunate for her as she was in the way when Aerolous unleashed his own breath attack on Eremes.
Both of the heroes were hit hard by the lightning that had forked from between his teeth. When the smoke cleared a bit, Eremes was clearly unconscious and in pretty bad shape. Desira appeared to be slightly wobbly on her feet and her hair was on end but she appeared otherwise okay.
It was during the dragon’s breath attack that the ninja master emerged from the dragon. As he did, Aerolous cried out in pain and began to shrivel up as the heroes had seen happen to the other dragon the ninja master had vanquished. Aerolous was dead by the time his head hit the ground.
There was no time for celebration, however. Just as Sindri was emerging from a hiding spot in a hut not too far away, a large red dragon landed inside the dome right next to the once proud white dragon. The halfling quickly retreated again.
The ninja master didn’t even hesitate. He lunged once more, this time for a wing, and took it with a single swing of his sword.
The beast roared in pain. Now greatly enraged, it took two swings with his claws and missed the master twice. Perhaps it was out of frustration or perhaps the ninja master was just out of luck.
The dragon’s mouth had found what his claws could not.
The ninja master wouldn’t be able to recover from this. It appeared he was bitten cleanly in half. His sword arm also falling free from what remained of his torso, still clutching his weapon. The shear ferociousness of the attack had put several of the heroes in a state of shock as Desira and Caramel tended to Eremes’ wounds. They had made some quick progress as he appeared slightly less steamy now.
Al’ev and Crim only saw some of this happen from the corner of their eyes. The two continued to be engaged in a fight with the white dragons who had come in from the holes in the side of the dome. They finished them with a little more effort and turned back to face the red dragon.
The blood covered wyrm transformed into a human as they approached. He was missing an arm. They were all horrified to watch as the dragon then took the ninja master’s arm as his own, pushing it against his own body and magically attaching it. He had just enough time to work the arm about when it was ripped through by a crossbow bolt.
The dragon smirked at the wound the bolt had caused. Before everyone’s eyes the wound disappeared. It now appeared as though nothing had even happened to it. Completely and instantly healed he then turned to Eremes, who had fired the shot after being revived by the combined efforts of Desira and Caramel, and gave him an evil smirk.
Then he waved his hands about, muttered something under his breath and vanished. Al’ev had seen his mother do this once before. It was a long distance teleportation spell. The dragon was gone.
Outside the dome, the fight was over. What blues that remained alive returned to their cave to tend to their wounds and the attacking whites and reds retreated.
As Al’ev walked back out of the entrance to see them flying away he felt a sinking feeling in his stomach. Though the heroes had come out of this battle alive, he knew this was not a victory. The dragons could have wiped them all out if they had wanted to.
No, the dragons had attacked for another reason than simply wiping them out and then left suddenly. Did it have something to do with the village’s ninja master and that sword the red dragon had taken? He’d have to talk with everyone about this later. The heroes couldn’t remain here any longer than they had and they still needed to confirm that the blue dragons were now prepared to aid them in the future.
The Chromatic War had begun.