Smugg – part the first

Another barrel smashed against the cliff face, it’s contents, water, instantly vapourised by the heat of the beast’s rage.

The human king, who liked to be called Eric the Wise but would likely very soon be Eric the Roasted-in-his-own-armour, urged his men to reload the trebuchets and continue pushing forward. His breastplate, pure gold and engraved with messages praising many gods, had been selected for its resplendance rather than its properties of thermal conductivity, but for a dragon the wearing of gold is seen as incredibly poor taste and if anything makes the wearer even more likely to be on the recieving end of a thousand degree lizard breath.

Eric hated battles. They were messy and noisy and unpleasant. His would be a life of comfort if it wasn’t for his pesky advisers insisting he go and lead the army to conquer this or that goblin city, or rid the forest of demons or what have you. Eric considered himself an enthusiast of bed sheets, of pastry, of floral cushions. He was taking lessons in the lute from the kingdom’s greatest bard, this was work enough for Eric, never mind this standing-in-a-field-shouting nonsense. But the people were clear, once news that a few farmers had turned up rather more toasted than they would necessarily have been comfortable with, well then it fell to the king to sort this mess out. After all, who would welcome news that their new neighbour was a worm?

The generals and the king were yet to even see the dragon itself. A hundred thousand knights and soldiers took up a great deal of the scenery, many of them were even still capable of carrying a sword. Clouds of smoke obscured the more distant parts of the battlefield. Probably better for morale that way.

“What instructions should we give, sire?” demanded the often petulant Commander something-or-other (his name temporarily escaping Eric) with more than a hint of sarcasm. Eric opted to deal with it by feigning complete sincerity.

“Why, keep pushing forward, of course! Victory is within our grasp!” Who knows, maybe it was. It sounded like the sort of thing a King ought to be saying. Eric sighed and considered that Thursdays were usually his evening for practicing the lute. Alas, not this week.

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