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Posted in Greyhawk Wars
The Rite of Battle Fitness, Part Two
The third test, the test of intelligence, would normally involve surviving a deadly labyrinth. Redbeard had something else in mind for our group, it turned out. He approached us with a special mission: there was a valuable gold mine a few days away that had been ravaged by a white dragon. We were being tasked with wresting back control of the mine from the beast. We felt up to the challenge and accepted the mission. With an alliance between several nations at stake, what choice did we have?

We reached the mine later in the week. We immediately saw signs of the destruction wrought by the dragon. Dead miners were strewn about and the surrounding camp was all but destroyed. Our cleric and I had both prepared resist energy spells, among other defensive measures. We would certainly end up needing them, but not for the opponents we'd expected.

After exploring the central tunnel, we soon came upon foes we'd never seen before. They came right out of the walls, appearing to be made of gold and moving like earth elementals. There were at least a half-dozen of them, and they were all capable of launching fireballs. With a lot of teamwork, we were able to destroy them. Strangely, Thotham found that his fearsome sword was not doing any holy damage on the creatures. They were not evil, it seemed, yet they were assaulting us just as fiercely as any demon. We had no choice but to slay them.

We hadn't had much time to recover when another group of the golden creatures attacked us in the main corridor. We dispatched this wave as well, but the two battles had drained many of our spells. I took the precaution of casting resist energy: fire, but it was too late. No more of the golden things came our way--but the silver ones were next.

Knowing that we would eventually face the white dragon, we had resist energy: cold cast on our group. Therefore, we were not prepared for an ambush by silver elementals shooting lightning bolts down the hall at us. My polar bear bore the brunt of many of the scorching attacks, but luckily its evasion skills helped him avoid the deadly magic. The rest of us were not so lucky, and we once again expended more spells to defeat the enemy.

Soon after, we reached the newest portion of the mine. We found out it was still being worked--by a squad of Ogres and their Ogre Mage leader. This was the easiest battle so far, primarily because I summoned a fire elemental that took out most of the Ogres. Thotham handled the rest. The Ogre Mage used dimension door to get behind us, but between my bear and the others, the enemy leader was quickly slain.

We pressed on, almost out of spells and weary beyond belief. We passed through several large chambers, each one containing a massive altar. By studying each altar, we deduced that they were dedicated to the various tenets of the dragon culture. We left those halls behind and then came across an enormous treasure hoard. We didn't see any magic items that might aid our effort, so we continued on.

Finally, we reached a wide, cavernous hall. Standing there was a human barbarian. Words were exchanged; our motives were questioned. We explained our mission, and then everything went to hell. The human transformed into the white dragon! I knew that white dragons couldn't shapechange, so something strange was afoot. It was too bad that I didn't figure out this anomaly sooner.

The battle was long and hard-fought. I summoned an air elemental that helped to batter the creature. It was a good thing that Thotham and I had stoneskin; otherwise, we would have been dead. And rather than breathe a blast of cold as we expected, the dragon hurled fire at us. Another strange development. Luckily, my resist fire spell was still in effect. It was close enough as it was. By the time we finally slew the dragon, we were all near death and just about out of spells.

And then a black dragon ambled out of the darkness to thank us for slaying the pesky gold dragon that had been ruling the mine.
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