A Magnificent Seven Tale set in the universe of Dungeons and Dragons


The seven protectors were up early the next morning checking gear and memorizing spells. Jaydee and Vin were saddling the horses. They led seven mounts to the cottage and tied them to the rail. They came inside to find Nathan packing the last of his bandages and herbs. Vin walked over to Chris and helped him with his chain mail.

"I want everyone fully armed," Chris said.

"We're going to have to stay close together," Josiah said. "The spell for protection from fire is limited to a radius of ten feet."

"The dragon won't let us stay together," Vin said. "He'll try to separate us and he'll go for Josiah and Nathan first."

"How come?" Jaydee asked.

"They're the major threat," Vin explained. "He'll know they can use spells of cold against him."

"Can't Ezra charm him?" Jaydee inquired.

"I'm afraid not," Ezra answered. "The dragon has magical abilities to prevent me. Just like our half-elf can't be effected."

"So that's why Vin never falls for your schemes," Buck declared.

Vin smiled at Buck as he checked his bow. Buck muttered something about the no good pointy-eared hoodlum not warning them about Ezra's schemes. Ezra in the mean time, professed to having no idea what Buck was talking about. Chris noticed Vin winked at Ezra and he shook his head. Those two made a deadly combination. Chris decided to pair off non-magical with magical. Ezra and Vin would be a pair. Their magical abilities were limited but they both could fight. Chris would protect Josiah while Buck and Jaydee would guard Nathan. They left the cottage and walked towards their horses. Mary and the other villagers watched them mount. Mary walked over to Chris's horses and grabbed the stirrup.

"Please be careful," Mary begged looking up at Chris.

"If we fail the dragon might come here," Chris warned. "You might want to take Billy and go to your father-in-law' estate."

"This is my home," Mary protested. "I'll stay. Besides we all have faith in you."

"We'll need more than faith," Josiah said. "We need the blessing of Pallas."

"We'll light candles at the temple," Mary promised.

Mary backed away from Chris's horse and they rode out. Vin took the lead and headed towards the mountains. They rode in silence and that was fine with Vin. The further they got from the village Vin could hear the forest birds calling to each other. In the distance a fox yipped and a rabbit screamed its death. Vin knew as they got closer to the dragon the forest creatures would have fled and the silence would be depressing. He glanced at the sun to gage how long it would take to get to Mount Edoras. If they kept at a steady pace they should reach the mountain by early afternoon. Vin wanted to engage the dragon before nightfall. The dragon had superior night vision and the humans would be at a disadvantage. Being an elf he wouldn't be hampered by the dark. Vin was wondering about the best way to approach the dragon when his thoughts were interrupted.

"A copper for your thoughts," Chris said.

"Ain't worth that much," Vin said with a smile. "Just trying to figure the best approach to the cave."

"What did you decide?" Chris asked.

"He's gonna know we're coming before we get to the cave," Vin predicted. "So I figure a straight approach would be best."

"Whatever you thing is best," Chris said. "You're the only one that's done this before."

"We'll have to leave the horses," Vin said. "They won't go near the dragon."

"How far back are we going to have to leave them?" Jaydee asked.

"I'm figuring about a mile," Vin answered.

"You mean we're goin' to hike a mile up a mountain before we even get to the dragon?" Buck asked surprised.

"Yeah," Vin answered looking at Buck. "Why?"

"He can pick us off anytime he likes," Buck said.

"He won't," Vin said with confidence.

"And may we ask where you came up with your conclusions?" Ezra asked.

"There's something up there he's guarding," Vin said staring off into the distance. "I can feel it."

"That's good enough for me," Nathan said.

The others quickly agreed. When Vin got a feeling about something he was usually right. The half-elf's feelings and premonitions saved them many times ad they were willing to trust them. They rode for two more hours when Vin stopped for a break by a stream. They were eating some wayfarers bread when Mystra darted through the trees and over to Vin. Vin looked into her eyes and Chris knew a silent communication was going on between them.

"By Baldur's blood!" Vin cursed.

"What's wrong?" Nathan asked.

"Mystra found some bodies in the clearing ahead," Vin explained.

"Bodies" Jaydee gulped.

"Yeah," Vin said heading for his horse.

"By the gods," Josiah said shaking his head.

"Shadow at the clearing?" Buck asked.

"Yes," Josiah said. "It isn't a pretty sight."

They mounted in silence and followed Vin. As they were riding the wind changed directions and they could smell burned wood. Mystra unfurled her wings and screeched as she clung to Vin's shoulder. As they got closer they could see charred and burned trees standing like skeletons against the blue sky. Vin's horse very calmly walked among there charred remains. The other horses balked and fought to get away from the smell of fire. Vin stopped and turned back towards the others. When he saw the horses were reluctant to continue he turned his horse around and pulled up along side Chris's horse. He placed his hand on the animal's head and talked to it in the elven tongue. The horse quieted and Vin moved to talk to the others. When he was finished he took the lead again and the horses followed his willingly. Chris just shook his head as Jaydee's mouth gaped in astonishment. Jaydee's wonder some turned to shock as they stepped into the clearing to find the remains of tow charred bodies. Nathan dismounted and moved to the smaller body.

"This was only a child," he said in despair.

"How many days, Vin?" Chris asked as he watched the ranger dismount and check the ground.

"At least two," Vin answered. Looks like they were gathering wood." He held up the metal blade of an ax. It was melted but you could still see its shape.

"Do we have time to bury them?" Josiah asked as Shadow settled on his shoulder.

"If you do it quickly," Vin said. "We don't want to face the dragon at night."

"How much further?" Buck asked.

"Couple of hours," Vin replied.

Chris glanced up at the sky to check the position of the sun and made his decision.

"Leave them," Chris announced. "We'll press on."

"But Chris," Jaydee protested.

"We leave them," Chris said staring at the youngest.

Seeing the body of the child brought back painful memories for Chris. The child was an innocent, like Adam, but they both died the same way. One by an evil army bent on total destruction the other by an evil dragon. Chris jerked his horse to the left and entered the forest. Vin glanced at Buck who nodded telling him to follow. Vin mounted and tapped his heels to his horse's side. Chris hadn't gone very far and Vin easily over took him. The blonde leader was sitting on his horse breathing heavily. Vin didn't say anything just pulled his horse along side Chris's and waited. Chris remained silent for several minutes as he tried to control the turmoil in his soul. He finally took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

"The others coming?" he asked.

"They'll be along," Vin answered.

"Wasn't expecting it to be a child," Chris said staring at his hands.

"My fault, Chris, I should have warned everyone," Vin apologized.

"Not your fault," Chris said looking into Vin's slanted eyes. "Just brought back some bad memories."

"I understand, "Vin said as they heard the others approaching.

"I'm sorry Jaydee," Chris said.

"It's alright Chris."

"Vin we still have time to bury them?" Chris asked.

"We took care of it Chris," Buck said looking at his old friend and knowing what demons plagued Chris.

"Alright Vin, lead on," Chris instructed.

They rode for another hour when the trail started to get steeper. Vin kept them at a steady pace for another hour when it was getting tougher to move the horse forward. Chris's black gelding began tossing his head and rolling his eyes.

"We're going to have ta leave them," Vin said. They dismounted and Jaydee went to tie is horse to a tree. "They won't wander. They'll stay here on their own. If they do wander off they'll come when I call."

"If you say so," Jaydee said skeptically.

"They'll stay Jaydee," Josiah said with a smile. "Once an elf makes friends with them they'll follow him to the ends of the earth."

"Oh great that's all I need," Buck complained. "My horse wanting to follow Vin instead of me."

"Don't worry Buck, he told me he likes you," Vin said with his lopsided grin.

The light banter was a way for the seven to relieve stress as they made the rest of the way on foot. Vin again took the lead followed closely by Chris. As they got closer to the dragon's lair they found the vegetation dead or dying but mostly scorched. Vin called a halt behind a large boulder.

"Why'd he burn everything?" Jaydee asked.

"I'm guessing so no one can sneak up on him," Buck said.

"I think we should spit up from here," Vin said crouching down," The cave is here," he said placing a rock in position.

"If we separate and come at him from three sides we should be have a good chance."

"Alright," Chris said picking up a stick and pointing to the East. "Ezra you and Vin come in from the East. Buck, JD and Nathan take the West. Josiah and I will come in head on."

Chris separated the teams this way to insure that anyone without magic would be protected by magic and visa versa. Ezra and Vin were going to sneak in as close as they could get before they attacked. Ezra's skills as a thief and Vin's innate abilities would enable them to come quietly up to the dragon. They wished each other good luck and moved out in separate directions.

+ + + + + + +

Chris didn't like splitting up but it was the only chance they had against the red dragon. He glanced at Josiah to see the magic user sending Shadow off into the trees. They continued on until they saw the cave opening. There were large boulders strewn around the opening and they made their way cautiously forward. Chris motioned Josiah to halt behind a boulder 500 yards from the entrance when they heard a rumble. Chris could swear it sounded like laughter.

"Puny humans," came a deep baritone from the cave. "Did you really think you could sneak up on me."

Josiah and Chris watched as the dragon emerged from the cave. He was larger than Chris suspected and he wasn't sure they could defeat him.

+ + + + + + +

Buck Nathan and Jaydee made their way to the cave as quietly as they could. As they got closer the land became more barren and lifeless. The only things to hide behind were some boulders. Buck motioned them to the cover of another one when they heard a rumble from the cave. They stopped and waited to see what would happen. The rumbling got closer and Jaydee gasped when he saw the dragon exit the cave. Nathan and Buck were just as shocked. When the dragon flew over head the day before he didn't look that big, they were wrong. When they heard the dragon speak they knew they were in trouble.

+ + + + + + +

Ezra and Vin had more cover than the others. They had decided to get closer to the wall of the mountain and make their way along it until they were closer tot the cave. They took a rest behind a boulder and Vin told Mystra to make herself invisible. The little dragon did as she was told and disappeared.

"Shall we join her?" Ezra asked with a smile and was gone.

Vin smiled as Ezra disappeared. He was still able to see Ezra with his ability to see infrared. Vin knew the Bard had a ring of invisibility, as did he. Vin followed Ezra's example and disappeared as well. Chris had no idea they had these rings and would probably be furious when he found out. Since they were invisible they would have to work independently of each other. Ezra had no way of "seeing" Vin. Vin could stay close to Ezra but if they talked they would give away their position. So they decided to split up, which is what would infuriate Chris. Ezra said it was for the best. It would give one of them a chance to get close to the dragon.

Vin knew where Mystra was through their bond even when she was invisible. The half-elf moved silently, as only elves could, and made his way towards the cave. Vin stopped suddenly when he heard laughter from the cave. He knew the dragon had smelled them and waited for him to emerge.

"By the gods!" Ezra exclaimed.

Vin smiled at Ezra's remark. The Bard was a few yards away but Vin's hearing was exceptional. The red dragon looked even bigger on the ground but Vin was glad to see he wasn't ancient. The dragon was mature and Vin knew he would be formidable. His suspicions were confirmed when the dragon spoke. Vin cursed knowing now that the dragon could cast spells. The half-elf waited to see what would happen.

+ + + + + + +

The dragon raised its head and sniffed. He could smell six humans and an elf. He smiled showing his teeth. He hadn't eaten elf in a long time. Humans were tough but elves were quite succulent. He was going to enjoy this.

"Did you really think six puny humans and an elf could harm me?" he asked then sniffed again. "Correction half-elf. What a pity." He'd been looking forward to eating a real elf.

The dragon pawed the ground leaving huge gauges in the soil. He puffed out his chest and sucked in a huge breath of air. When he exhaled flame shot from his mouth and he heard a gasp to his right.

"I hear you," the dragon said. "Leave now and I will not harm you."

"As if we would trust the word of an evil dragon!" Chris shouted from behind the boulder.

"The words of Flame can be trusted," he said.

"Yeah right," Buck scoffed from concealment.

"Then prepare to die!" the dragon roared.

Josiah and Nathan both cast a spell of cold. Josiah's cone of cold was dispelled by Flame but Nathan hit the dragon in the chest. They watched as ice crystals formed on the dragon's scales. Flame roared and breathed fire towards Nathan and the others. They quickly ran from behind the boulder as the extremely hot fire melted it. Buck screamed a battle cry and ran forward to engage the dragon. Chris joined him and they both took a few swipes at the dragon's nose. The swords bounced harmlessly off Flames tough scales and he laughed. The laughter turned to a scream of agony as and arrow pierced his right eye. They were all forced to take cover as Flame breathed fire all around.

"You rotten elf!" Flame bellowed. "I will enjoy eating you after I have inflicted terrible pain. Just wait until I get my claws on you!"

The dragon couldn't get the arrow out and was forced to continue to fight with it sticking from his eye socket. Chris could see he was furious and the fighting would be even worse. He signaled to Nathan to cast another cold spell. The cleric nodded and began to chant.

"Oh no you don't!" Flame yelled and breathed fire towards Nathan.

The cleric's concentration was broken as he was engulfed in flame. His cold spell was broken and he wasn't able to cast it. Jaydee ran to try and help Nathan when the dragon slashed him with his claws. Jaydee went flying against a boulder as few feet away and lay motionless. Buck yelled and charged the dragon. Josiah and Chris moved in to help. The flames surrounding Nathan dissipated and he was unharmed. He quickly moved to Jaydee's side.

+ + + + + + +

Vin watched as the dragon breathed fire and engulfed Nathan. He knew the flames wouldn't hurt the cleric but obviously Jaydee didn't. He saw the kid rushed to Nathan's aid only to be racked by the dragon's claws. He heard Ezra yell and attack Flame. As soon as he attacked Ezra became visible. The Bard slashed his sword along the dragon's softer underbelly. Flame roared in pain and tried to hit Ezra. He missed as Ezra dodged beneath him. Vin tried to fire another arrow into Flame's good eye but couldn't get a shot. The half-elf was distracted when Mystra gave a cry and flew towards Flame.

"NO!" Vin yelled but couldn't stop her. Vin was relieved when she darted past Flame and into the cave. He watched as Mystra flew towards the back of the cave. Something was glowing and Vin couldn't believe it. He had to protect the object from the evil dragon. He pulled himself from Mystra's mind as she curled protectively on top of the object. Vin drew his sword and ran up the dragon's tail along his back and to the base of his long neck. Vin plunged his sword into the base of Flame's neck and held on.

+ + + + + + +

Chris's sword was getting heavy as he blocked the claws of the dragon. Buck wasn't doing much better. Chris could see blood seeping down Buck's cheek from a cut just below his left eye. Chris heard Ezra yell and appear under the dragon. Flame bellowed in pain as Ezra cut his softer underbelly. The dragon's attention shifted to Ezra's attack giving Josiah time to cast a cone of cold. Flame reeled from the double assault but was still very much in the fight.

Flame was about to blast the cursed magic user when he roared in agony and reared up on his hind legs. Ezra wasn't fast enough to dodge the dragon's leg and he was thrown a few feet away. Chris ran over to Ezra and pulled him to safety as Buck and Josiah continued to attack. Flame was throwing his head back and forth as he tried to dislodge something. Chris took a closer look and saw Vin clinging to he dragon's back.

"Curse you Vin!" Chris yelled and rushed back to the fight.

+ + + + + + +

Vin could feel his grip slipping. The blood from the dragon was making it difficult to hold on. Flame gave a mighty shake of his head and Threw Vin hard against the mountainside. Vin slid down the wall and lay in a heap. He could hear the dragon continue to fight against his companions but Vin had to get inside the cave. He tried to stand but couldn't get his legs to obey plus his head was killing him. The half-elf began to drag himself towards the cave.

+ + + + + + +

Chris watched as Vin was brutally slammed against the mountain wall and crumble to the ground. He yelled and rushed the dragon. Ezra was right behind him and screamed something at him.

"Chris!!!!" Ezra yelled as they both dodged a swing by the dragon. "I found some missing scales under his belly. If we hit him there we should be able to defeat him."

Chris nodded and followed Ezra. Flame was making it difficult for them to get close but he was distracted as Nathan and Josiah again hit him with their spells. Ezra ran to a spot by his back leg. Chris could see the missing scales and the both jammed their swords into the dragon's side. Flame roared as his leg gave out forcing Chris and Ezra to run as the dragon pitched to his side. Josiah hit Flame with magic missiles taking out his other eye. Ezra cast the spell summon insects and a swarm of hornets and bees aided there attack. The dragon breathed flame all around trying to dispel the insects. Buck switched to his heavy crossbow and shout a bolt into the dragon's mouth. It penetrated his skull and the all moved back as the dragon collapsed dead. Buck quickly moved to Jaydee.

"How is he Nate?" Buck asked.

"I'm fine," Jaydee said as he stood up and swayed.

"Yeah right," Buck said as he grabbed him.

"He lost a lot of blood from the claw marks," Nathan said. "But I healed them and he should be fine."

"Is everyone else OK?" Jaydee asked.

"I don't know," Buck said. "I haven't seen Vin."

+ + + + + + +

As soon as the dragon was dead Chris ran to the spot he'd seen Vin lying but there was no sign of the Ranger. Ezra had gone with him and looked around in worry. That's when he noticed the trail leading to the cave.

"Chris," Ezra said pointing to it.

"Let's go," he said and ran into the cave.

The cavern was huge. It could easily have held two dragons the size of Flame. They looked around trying to figure out where to start when they saw a glow coming from off to their right. They cautiously made their way over. As they got closer they saw Vin reclining against a very large egg with a dagger in his hands. Chris moved quickly to his side.

"Vin," Chris called.

"Chris," Vin gasped as he tried to speak. "Protect the egg."

Vin began to cough and bright red blood bubbled over his lips. The half-elf started to fall to his side and Chris took him in his arms. Ezra saw Vin was hurt badly and ran out to get Nathan.

"Easy, Vin, Ezra went to get Nathan," Chris said.

"Don't matter," Vin gasped. "Can't feel my legs. All broken inside."

"Nathan will fix you good," Chris said. Vin smiled and began coughing again. Chris was forced to roll him to his side so he wouldn't drown in his own blood.

"Promise me Chris," Vin said struggling to speak.

"Promise what?" Chris said pushing the Rangers long hair out of his eyes.

"To protect..... the..... egg," Vin said.

"Don't worry you'll protect it with me," Chris assured him.

"I'm dying Chris," Vin said quietly. "Look at Mystra."

Chris glanced over to the egg to see the little dragon lying on top. Her breathing was labored just as Vin's was. Chris knew when Vin died she would die also.

"Never meant to hurt her," Vin said. "Can you get her for me Chris?"

Chris nodded and gently laid Vin on the sand. He stood up and lifted Mystra off the egg. He placed the dragon in Vin's arms and sat down next to him. Vin's gasped in pain as Chris helped Vin up to lean against him. He started coughing again and darker blood bubbled out of his mouth. Chris wiped it away with his sleeve and held Vin tighter. Nathan came in and kneeled at Vin's side and placed his hands on the Ranger. He remained that way for a few minutes then removed his hands and turned anguished eyes to Chris.

"I'm sorry Chris," Nathan said. "There's nothing I can do. My healing spells can only do so much."

"I know Nate," Chris said. "Can you at least take the pain away?"

"Yeah I can do that," Nathan said and placed his hands back on Vin.

Chris felt the half-elf relax in his arms. Vin opened his eyes and smiled at Chris. The others joined Nathan at Vin's side.

"Chris can you scatter my ashes around the village," Vin said.

"Where ever you want," Chris said around the lump in his throat.

"Burn Mystra with me."

"I will."

"Promise to protect the egg," Vin said grabbing Chris's hand. "You have to keep it safe!"

"I promise," Chris said squeezing his hand.

Vin sighed and closed his eyes. His breathing was getting more labored and it wouldn't be much longer. Jaydee couldn't watch any more and turned away with a sob. He leaned against the egg hiding his face in his arms as he cried. As he did he felt a warm sensation spread through his body. The egg began to rock and Jaydee lifted his head to look at it. Fine lines started to appear along its surface and Jaydee hastily moved back.

"Buck!" Jaydee called and pointed to the egg.

They all turned to look and the egg slowly started to crack open. A large section of the shell fell away and a clawed foot stuck out. Jaydee backed further away and over to the others. Buck pulled his sword and went to advance.

"No don't," Chris said grabbing his arm.

"Chris are you crazy," Buck protested. "It's a dragon egg!"

"I promised Vin," he said looking down at the elf in his arms. Vin's breathing was shallower and Chris could feel him slipping away. "He wanted me to protect it.'

"But Chris it's a dragon," Jaydee said standing by Josiah.

"There are two types of dragons son," Josiah reminded him. "I don't think Vin would die to protect an evil one."

They watched as a nose began to push through another opening in the egg. The dragonet gave a mighty shove and its head popped out of the egg. It shook it's head and more of the egg fell away to reveal it's beautiful silver body.

"By holy Myshalla," Josiah said. "I don't believe it."

"What is it?" Buck asked.

"A Platinum dragon my friends," Ezra said in awe. "They are extremely rare and precious."

"What was Flame doing with the egg?" Jaydee asked.

"Nothing good," Nathan commented.

The dragonet turned when he heard their voices and started to keen. It's pitiful cries broke Jaydee's heart and he moved towards the small dragon. When Jaydee got close the dragonet butted his head against Jaydee's shoulder almost knocking him over. It was the size of a horse and very strong. It turned its crystal eyes to Jaydee and the young mercenary was snared. Jaydee couldn't pull his gaze from the beautiful multi colored eyes.

"He's lost," Josiah said with a laugh and the others joined him all except Chris.

Chris could feel Vin slipping away from him and couldn't join in the others enjoyment. The leader of this rag-tailed bunch just held the tracker in his arms. He was grateful Nathan had taken away the pain and Vin could die in peace. He was so absorbed in holding Vin he failed to notice the dragonet was at his shoulder. It made a pitiful whine and rested its head on Chris's shoulder staring down at Vin. Chris gasped as a wave of serenity swept through his body. The dragonet moved away from Chris and lay next to Vin with its head across Vin's chest. It closed its eyes and began to hum. The cave was soon filled with the soothing sound of the dragonet's voice. As it continued to sing there wasn't a dry eye in the cave. They were all watching the dragonet and failed to see Vin's eyes open. The song ended and it opened its eyes to stare at Vin. Chris saw the Ranger's eyes were opened and his breathing was back to normal.

"Her names is Greylin," Vin said with a smile as he sat up.

She trilled to Vin when he said her name and butted her head against his chest. Mystra whistled as she was dislodged from Vin's lap. Greylin whistled and Mystra climbed over Vin's legs to get to the platinum dragon. The pseudo dragon licked Gryelin's nose and then climbed between the horns on her head and curled up.

"Damn Vin," Buck said. "That was too close."

"Did you know she could heal you?" Chris asked.

"No," Vin said standing up. "I knew it was a good dragon that's all."

"Well I for one am truly grateful," Ezra said. "Now I can still receive the gold you lost to me at dice."

"Don't worry Ezra, I'll win it back the next time we play," Vin said with a smile.

"Shall we explore the rest of the cave, gentlemen?" Ezra asked. "Red dragons are known to keep a hoard."

"We can look," Josiah said. "But my guess is Greylin was his hoard."

The others agreed but they looked anyway. Ezra and Vin were searching one corner of the cave when Vin spotted a hidden door. He pointed it out to Ezra and the Bard saw it also. They called Josiah over to remove the spell hiding the door. Once it was revealed they could see it was a heavy wooden door with a large lock on it. Ezra moved up to the door and Vin followed. Ezra checked for traps and Vin confirmed that he couldn't find any either. Ezra smiled and pulled out his lock-pick tools.

"Can I try Ezra?" Jaydee asked.

"Want to keep your ex-thieving skills from getting rusty?" Ezra asked.

"Yeah I liked to keep practicing," Jaydee said and Ezra handed him the pick.

Jaydee attempted to pick the lock without any success. He sighed and handed the pick to Ezra. Buck punched him on the shoulder and said it was a good thing he was an ex-thief. Ezra picked the lock on the first try and opened the door. The all stared in surprise at the treasure found in the room. Greylin, Mystra and Ezra gave delighted cries and headed for the gold. It was a well know fact dragons loved gold.

"You think Ezra might have some dragon in him?" Vin asked Nathan.

"They way he likes gold I wouldn't be surprised," Nathan said with a laugh.

"I heard that," Ezra said.

The treasure wasn't very big but it was enough to fill three bags. Amongst the gold they also found some jewels. As they were filling the bags Ezra found a chest under a table. Buck helped him pull it out and Ezra easily opened it. When he pulled the lid up they found chain mail and a sword. Under the mail was a pair of bracers and another small box. Ezra opened that one to reveal three beautiful rings. The bard eagerly cast a detect magic spell and all the items in the chest began to glow. Ezra clapped his hands together and smiled.

"Easy there Ezra," Buck laughed.

"We'll take everything back to town," Chris announced. "Josiah can take his time figuring out what everything is."

They all agreed and the items were put in another bag. Ezra volunteered to carry the magical items. Chris let Ezra have the pleasure of carrying them as the others took up the other bags. Vin had the magical sword since it didn't fit easily in a bag. Greylin and Mystra were happy with the necklaces Vin had given them. Ezra was appalled when the elf handed over an emerald necklace to Mystra and a sapphire one to Greylin. He held his tongue knowing he couldn't get them back.

They exited the cave and walked back towards their horses. The body of the red dragon was left to the scavengers. The horses were startled when they saw the dragon but Vin whistled to them and the quieted. They mounted and headed back to town.

"What are we going to do with Greylin?" Jaydee asked as she walked beside Vin's horse.

"Ain't sure," Vin admitted as he reached over to scratch her behind the horns.

'There is no rush to decide," Josiah said. "We can keep her safe in town while we discuss what to do."

"Sounds good to me," Buck said.

"Won't people come from all around when they hear about her healing abilities?" Jaydee asked.

"They won't ever find out," Chris warned.

They agreed to keep Greylin's secret. Ezra pointed out that any scholar would know about her abilities. Nathan agreed and said they would just have to keep her being in town a secret. Chris was grateful Four Winds was so isolated. They made their way back to town in good spirits. Ezra began to compose a song about their adventure but was stuck on what to call them. He played his harp thinking of a good name when he got it. The Magnificent Seven, it had a nice ring to it.


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