349 Dragon Ques

    "An impressive bit of work, without a doubt."  Nix studied the large barrel that had been converted into a barbeque; Pon the magnificent would be on cooking duty as soon as the loot was ironed out.

    Jun Li gestured to the four new faces that were present. "That's Muncie from the Bandit camp; he was part of their 'forced labor' group. I believe you already know Lu, Circa and Molls."

    Nix nodded, he'd already been briefed.  As soon as Jun Li found out about the animator, she had Ducky question him using her abilities.  He passed the Water Witches enhanced questioning techniques with flying colors. "Necroskeletal animation, it's basically a Necromancer without the sorcery."

    "He admits that it isn't likely he'll be able to use the black dragon we killed at the mountain pass."

    Jun Li nudged Nix with her foot.  "Deidra just arrived through a breach."

    Nix turned toward the closing breach; he could still sense them even though the ability was frozen again.  "She's bringing Shae for a visit, and I asked her to inspect the dragon puppet corpse.  It seemed too much like the real thing."

    Jun Li didn't trust the Solomon City dragon leader; her presence made her nervous. "Why don't you take care of that first, then we'll break open those chests and divvy up the loot."

    Nix stood when the Salamander approached; she was monitoring the salamander/dragon hybrid egg.  "How's everything back in Solomon City?"

    Shae kissed him and hugged him close for a few seconds before answering.  "Couldn't be better."

    Deidra had shrunk her horns to the point where she could pass for a dragon descendant.  "That's your house?  Isn't it a Turtle shell?"

    "Yes."  Nix kept his face expressionless.  Did dragons have a sense of humor?  "Let's check out the puppet."

    Leva approached them when Nix caught her attention.  She opened up a breach to HQ so the trio could inspect the puppet.

    Deidra's sudden intake of air didn't match her calm face.  The dragon puppet was laid out in the HQ courtyard, under the guard of several Scorched Earth Temple Acolytes.  The wings that had been pulled off were sitting on the ground next to it, along with the severed head.

    Nix stared at the puppet; it had been a much harder fight than any of the depleted Dragons Inferno had faced before. They were forced to put their trump cards on display to kill it. "It only used two attacks; Fear and Dragonfire."

    "Not surprising, this closely resembles a dragon in its first century.  Biting, fear, and fire are the first weapons my kind get." Deidra knelt and pulled apart the crushed scales to examine some of the wounds.  She frowned at the severed pieces, pulling the wings off of a dragon would take incredible strength.

    "Titans, if you're curious."  Nix watched as she studied the sheared bones of the wings.

    Deidra pointed to the right-wing, "this one's strength is amazing, you can see that it bit through scale and bone and then snapped off the thickest section of the wing."

    Nix was confident that the Flame Knights that Deidra assigned to him would have already given her a briefing on the fight. "That would be Mortimus, Warleader of the Titan Clans."

    "Its flesh, bone, and scales are identical to a young dragon.  There's only one thing missing."

    Nix already knew the answer, so it said it. "The heart."

    Deidra favored him with a smile; he'd already killed a handful of depleted dragons and was aware of the unique properties of the dragon heart. "Are you the one who removed the head?"

    "Yep."  Truthfully Nix barely remembered it.  Rage was like nothing he'd ever felt.  A red haze settled over everything, and he felt a strength that far surpassed his own.

    Deidra stepped away from the corpse, finding it utterly distasteful.  It did, however, give her an accurate measurement of Nix and his allies.  If they were to face a younger dragon, in all likelihood, they would be able to kill it.  "I want to ask a favor of you."

    Nix frowned immediately.  Although she had done him a few recent favors, Deidra wasn't hesitant about extracting a price.  "If nothing else, I'll hear you out."

    Shae coughed to cover a smile.  Nix could be difficult when he chose to be.  "I already know what she wants, Nix; it falls within your plans."

    "Bring the Dragon Cities together now."  Deidra watched him for a reaction when there wasn't one she continued.  "You have Yandro's City, the Master City."

    "Inferno City, the city of Elynmoor, was taken and renamed by us."

    Deidra nodded in agreement. "And so it was.  I want you to use Inferno City to bring the Dragon Cities together."

    New Guild Quest Available.

    Nix considered her proposal; it did align with his own plans. "Doing it against the will of the other Dragon City Masters could prove problematic."

    "They've already agreed.  Each time we use our marrow to fuel the cities, we are weakened.  The spectrum you have would allow us to save our strength."

    Nix cursed in his head.  The dragons would know that he has spectrum; it represented too much of a temptation for them.  "What about the fallen cities?"

    "We would welcome all twenty-five eventually," Deidra answered truthfully.  "However, the other City Masters have only agreed to offer you limited control until the eighteen cities are united with Inferno City."

    /Inferno: Nix: Deidra wants me to unite the eighteen Dragon Cities with Inferno City.

    /Inferno: Semmi: What about the Planar penalty?

    /Inferno: Nix: I hadn't thought of that.

    Nix pursed his lips while he considered the issue.  "Several Core citizens and humans are living in Inferno City. I can't very well ask them all to take the planar tests."

    Deidra must have known he'd ask about the penalty because she was ready with an answer. "The planar penalty is a group spell that was cast by the original twenty-five Dragon Masters. We won't even consider dropping it.  However, it no longer affects the fallen cities."

    /Inferno: Nix: The planar penalty is a mass spell that only affects the eighteen remaining cities.

    /Inferno: Jun Li: We were going to do it anyway.  This way, we'll get a price from them.

    /Inferno: Pon: Drain them dry!

    /Inferno: Wind: Make it hurt, Boss.

    /Inferno: Semmi: We just got a new Guild Quest, better take a look at the reward before you ask for anything.

    /Inferno: Nix: Right.  I don't want to ask for something I'm already getting.

    Quest: Unite the Eighteen Dragon Cities

    Description: The once-powerful Dragon Nation has been slowly weakening. When the dragons started to falter, instead of working together, they separated their cities so that only the weakest would fail.

    Objectives: Find a way to bring the cities together.

    Locate the lost city of Elynmoor. [Completed]

    Defeat Yandro and take the Master City Key. [Completed]

    Find an alternative energy source to power the Dragon Cities. [Completed]

    Become the City Controller for all the Dragon Cities.

    Reward: Flying mounts are unlocked for all of Everspire with the completion of this quest.

    /Inferno: Pon: F*cking kidding?  What kind of ** is that?

    /Inferno: Jun Li: I have to agree. We do all the cooking, and the entire continent gets to eat our rice?

    /Inferno: Semmi: Not the best outcome, but most of the humans can't even afford a horse yet.

    /Inferno: Ronnie: I don't care if everyone benefits Nix.  I want to fly places, walking and riding is for the birds.

    /Inferno: Sharl: Actually, flying is for the birds.

    /Inferno: Ronnie: HEY!  You made a joke!  Good job, Sis.

    /Inferno: Pon: Let's do it.  I want to fly my Nether mount.

    /Inferno: Fajii: Nix hasn't even taken his out yet.  It's a special.

    /Inferno: Pon: Bastard Nix!  Like the damn King's Set Armor?  What did you get?

    /Inferno: Nix: I don't use it because my Spirit Companion is a Drakon.

    /Inferno: Fey:  Yep!  Faster and better than some Nether Daiken.

    /Inferno: Nix: I only kept it because Fey does quests and isn't always available.

    /Inferno: Jun Li: Do it, Nix.  We were going to do it eventually.

    /Inferno: Nix: Okay.  I'll be back in a bit.

    Deidra and Shae were talking amongst themselves while Nix consulted with Inferno.  He closed his hud and turned back toward them.

    Nix gave Deidra his best diplomatic smile. "I'll accept it."

    Deidra nodded in satisfaction.  "And the price?"

    "One dragon egg."

    Deidra stared at him for a moment, her eyes unreadable. "We can accept that price."

    Nix cleared his throat with a cough.  "Per city."
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