Almost 4 weeks had past since the last Dragon meeting. Xena Dragon was having trouble getting in contact with Daedric Dragon. Everywhere she asked she got the same reply, not a soul knew the current whereabouts of the Prince. This was not very unusual for Daedric often travelled to far away islands on his boat, but this time Xena had a premonition that something might be wrong. The last week she even started to hear rumors that Daedric would be dead. But nobody could really confirm that. Hopefully Daedric would show up at the next Dragon meeting which was scheduled to start in an hour. He did send out a whole bunch of invitations to newly discovered fellow Dragons. This might become the biggest Dragon meeting in Sosaria ever.
Xena travelled to the UDIC meeting hall in Rivendell where she met Octal Dragon of the Sunset Knights, Roland Dragon and Soulblade Dragon. Soon thereafter they were joined by Zarf Dragon. Zarf said 'Rumors are flying that Daedric is dead!'. A feeling of sadness entered Xena's mind. Roland asked 'What? What happened?'. Soulblade was also suprised to hear this but Octal apparantly had heard the rumors also. Then Black Wind Dragon (Orlion Xeep to his friends) and Huma Knight, both of the Sunset Knights, arrived. Huma was all dressed in black and was here because he wanted to attend the ceremony. Xena could no longer hold her tears. 'It must be true then' she cried, 'our Prince is no longer among us'. Huma tried to wipe her tears as the other Dragons were shocked by the news and stared at each other in disbelief. What should have been a feast of friendship and bonding was turning into a memorial for the late Daedric.
Just a few minutes before the meeting would officially start Edge Dragon, Furor Dragon and Zym Dragon (all of Rivendell) entered the scene. Edge polymorphed into a chicken and started laying eggs. Obviously he had not heard the sad news yet. Xena told him that Daedric probably was dead and that this would be a day of mourning. Edge was shocked. He asked what had happened. Xena started to tell how Daedric had been afflicted with wyrmbane several weeks earlier and that she feared that he died because of that. Even though Daedrics friends saved his life then the wyrmbane must still have been active when everybody thought Daedric was cured. At that moment Gargish Dragon appeared. He also had heard the rumor that Daedric was dead and he brought with him a backpack full of black clothing so that all those invited would have the possibility to dress for the sad occasion.
Some of the Dragons went inside the meeting hall. Xena decided to wait outside, together with Gargish, Orlion and Edge, so she could welcome the rest and tell them the sad news. As she was waiting there a woman came walking towards her. She started talking. 'Milady? I found something. I think possibly it is ment for your kind.' Xena was a bit confused. The woman continued. 'I was visiting my husbands grave this morning, laying flowers in it as I always do, and I found a letter. I had heard of you Dragons so I came here in hopes of finding someone'. Now all Dragons listened to this mysterious woman. The woman then asked 'Who shall I give this letter to? I feel very sad about your loss...'. Xena took the letter out of the womans hand and started reading. 'no, nooo, OH NO!' she cried, 'It is all true, he is dead, our Prince is dead'. With tears in her eyes she thanked the woman who slowly walked away. Quickly she read the entire contents of the letter.
Fellow Dragons, my brothers and sisters,
Xena went inside the building, together with the other Dragons that were still standing outside. Lacy Dragon walked in right behind them. Xena walked to the front of the hall, turned around and faced the crowd who could do nothing more than wait in anticipation to hear what was in the letter. Xena started talking. 'Friends, please come a bit closer for my sore throat cannot shout anymore. I still cannot believe it, but I am afraid it must be true. Oh, the horror! For days I have prayed, hoping that it was not true but this letter gives me the final proof. Only a few moments ago a woman gave me a letter that was written by our poor Prince. As some of you may know he suffered from Wyrmbane. I thought we had cured him when we created the special potion for him. But it seems we were all wrong.' Everybody was shocked about the confirmation of the rumors. Some of the people turned white while others quietly sobbed. 'Read us the letter please' some Dragons asked. Xena did as was asked.
While she tried to keep her voice steady Xena started to read the letter to her fellow Dragons. When she had read about one third of the letter there was someone screaming in the back of the hall. It was Lacy. Everybody turned his head towards her and it became clear why Lacy had screamed. Standing there was a ghostly appearance which looked very much like Daedric. They were witnessing the manifestation of Daedrics wraith! 'oOoOoOOOOoO' he went in a ghostly voice. Huma apparantly was a good medium, he could understand what the wraith was saying. 'Foolish mortals. What hast thou to do with me ? Why hast thou interrupted mine sleep ? Begone foolish mortals.' But the Dragons did not listen to his rants. They asked the wraith why he was here and what had happened to Daedric. 'The gods have laid his mortal being to rest. He was taken now to Enroth to fight more evil there.' the wraith replied. Xena could listen no longer to this wraith. She wanted Daedric to come back to the land of the living. She positioned herself in front of the wraith and started the preparation for resurrection. 'An Corp' she spoke, concentrating deeply. A magical glow surrounded the wraith and the resurrection succeeded. Succeeded ? Oh no! It did not. Surely the ghostly form had been switched for one of flesh and blood. But this was not Daedric standing in front of her. It was still the wraith. He started to moan soft and then shrieked in despair. 'What have you done ?' I told you that Daedric has been put to rest. His remains are buried under a large cross. 'where. Where? WHERE??' everybody asked. 'You want to see the Princes grave ? Fine' was all the wraith replied. He quickly moved outside, threw a rune on the floor and recalled away.
Quickly the Dragons rushed outside. They bumped into Xxy-Sylvr Dragon of the Seekers of the Wisps who was late for the meeting. Lacy and Edge pulled him with them as they stepped into one of the gates that had been summoned by Gargish, Huma and Xena. The gate took them to the Shrine of Sacrifice. The wraith stood a bit to the side and watched how all the Dragons paid their respect at the Ankh. Xena looked up and yelled 'My Prince ! Can you hear me ?'. Xxy Sylvr kept repeating there had to be a way to get Daedric back, he had witnessed so many ghosts resurrect that he could not believe this death was permanent. Octal joined Xena and shouted 'Daedric, come back to us !' Octal then joined Huma who was chanting the mantra of Sacrifice over and over trying to get Daedric back. The wraith said 'He cannot hear thee foolish mortals'. This made Furor mad, he approached the wraith and threatened to summon a Necromancer to extract more information from the taunting wraith. This made Xena think. Necromancy, maybe that was the key to all of this. The wraith kept taunting the Dragons. One by one they all turned towards the wraith and kept asking for a bit of help, a shred of information, anything that would help them get their Prince back alive. The wraith replied 'It is forbidden. It shall not be done'. A gulf of hope overwhelmed the Dragons. So there was a way after all. 'Tell us wraith, what do we need to do. We will sacrifice anything and everything'. 'Very well' the wraith continued, 'take this then. An Corp Ylem Sah'. A book appeared in his hands. He gave it to Xena and said 'Be well or be accursed, foolish mortals!'. Xena opened the book and started to read it outloud to the crowd.
Summoning beyond the Ethereal Plane by Malakach.
After reading it everybody started talking at once. The clock and sextant would be no trouble, nor would the bones. But the black and white hairs confused the Dragons. Some thought this could be dyed wool or yarn. Much discussion was going on and all the time the wraith kept taunting 'I knew it, scared mortals. Bah! I warned thee, now be accursed for life!'. Quickly teams were made. Furor would get a handmade clock, Edge offered to slay a giant serpent for its hides. Zym kept asking the wraith if there was a way to communicate with Daedric, but the wraith kept replying that Daedric was doing his sworn duty of fighting evil in Enroth now. Lacy thought that the flesh of a humanoid might be the carved body of a Headless, she offered to find one and kill it. Zym was getting worried that Daedric might not *want* to come back but the wraith did not confirm or deny that. Octal and Gargish offered to go together with Edge to slay a giant serpent. Zym gave up questioning the wraith and offered to make a clock and sextant back in Rivendell. Maybe he could even find bones in one of the Rivendell storage rooms. One by one the Dragons recalled away leaving only Xena, Xxy Sylvr and the wraith. The wraith laughed maniacally and shouted 'Fare thee well and good riddance !' as he quickly ran away. Xxy Sylvr gave pursuit to the wraith. He was determined to get more information out of him. After a few minutes he came back telling Xena that he saw the wraith simply vanish into thin air.
Edge Dragon, Octal Dragon and Gargish Dragon went to dress up in battle gear and met at the Marketplace in Rivendell. The Rune Library there provides safe travel to nearly every place in Britannia. The adventurers chose to go into the depth of the dungeon Hythloth on the Isle of Fire. A rune from the Library brought them directly into a maze of passages in the heart of Hythloth. They were greeted by a pack of hellish hounds. 'Corp Por!'. The words of power mixed with the howls of the animals as the glowing rods of pure energy struck the beasts of hell. Soon the bodies littered the floor. The few wounds were quickly healed magically and the party began their search for serpents. They encountered some other travellers. 'Hail! Have you seen any giant Serpents?' Edge Dragon asked the travellers. 'Lots of them', 'Four of them up the corridor' were the replies. The three set forth along the dungeon corridor. 'Ukkghorim gukbaz. Quil!'. Words that sounded more like gurgling were uttered from a room they just wanted to enter. A band of orcs seemed to inhabit that dungeon area. 'Corp Por!'. Once again the bolts flew across the room to tell the orcs who was the master of Hythloth. The Dragons closed in on the orcs and raised their halberds and swords. 'Sssszzt' The noise of snakes mixed with the cries of agony from the dying orcs. Gargish felt the pain as a giant snake closed in on him and bite him into the leg, crushing the heavy plate armour. 'An Nox' - Octal Dragon succeeded in curing the snake venom and soon three dead snakes lied on the dungeon floor. 'Grab some hide, and let's leave!' Edge ordered the comrades. Quickly the corpses were skinned and the hides collected and the load distributed amongst the three. Then all of them recalled back to safety.
Meanwhile, at the Shrine, Lightheart appeared. Furor ordered him to make a clock from scratch and then deliver it at the Shrine of Sacrifice. Xxy Sylvr was getting worried that maybe Daedric did not want to come back to Sosaria at all, and that all this was a very foolish and dangerous attempt. 'Who are we to do this ?' he asked. 'We are not being rational now, we are being emotional'. Unfortunately none of the Dragons really knew what was good and what was wrong in this situation. Then a gate opened and Lacy appeared. She had travelled to the valley of the orcs between Yew and Britain. She was attacked by a band of orcs and ratmen while she was there. With a lot of skill and cunning she managed to kill them all. In a hidden corner of the valley she found a Headless who was attacking a sheep. Swiftly she laid the cursed monster to its rest and took away some flesh from its corpse. Then in the corner of her eye she saw something black moving. It was a cougar with a fur as black as the darkest dungeon. Using her bow and a skinning knife she managed to kill and skin the beast. This would do very nice as the black hair that was mentioned in the book. She recalled back to the Shrine and handed the items to Xena. Lacy told Xxy Sylvr about the black fur. They discussed the possibility of finding a white fur on the island of dungeon Deceit. Xxy Sylvr and Lacy decided to travel to there together to find a Polar bear and bring back a white haired fur. Minutes after they disappeared Octal, Edge and Gargish returned bringing a large stack of hides with them. Another gate opened and out came Zym. He brought a clock, a sextant and bones. Zym did not know that Lightheart also had brought a clock. Shortly thereafter Lacy and Xxy Sylvr returned with a white fur. A white fur from a white wolf who happened to cross their path. It seemed all the needed ingredients were there.
Xena asked all Dragons to form a large circle around her and hold hands. She noticed that Aesculapis the Monk was standing at a short distance. He was looking at the ceremony and started to meditate. The Dragons clasped each others hands and looked at Xena who was preparing to cast the spell. 'Kal Vas Xen An Corp' she chanted. Magic filled the air. If all went well Daedric would respond to this summoning and return to the land of the living. Then a moongate started to appear. Xena could see something moving in it, a humanoid form. Her hart started to beat faster. It seemed the spell had worked. But wait, the figure she saw was not Daedric. Oh no! The Dragons had summoned the Ancient Wyrm. Out of the moongate stepped a very old manlike figure. His eyes were like burning coal, red-hot. His breath smelled like sulphur and ash, and his voice was booming. 'Mortals! Why hast thou disturbed me?' There was panic amongst the Dragons, this was not what they had expected. The Ancient Wyrm attacked Xena, who was standing closest to him, with a magic spell. Xxy Sylvr immediately rushed to Xena's rescue but Lacy pulled him back. 'NO! Do not hurt him!' she shouted, 'He may be the only one who is able to tell us what went wrong'. Luckily Xena resisted the magic attack and quickly she moved away from the Ancient Wyrm while at the same time making sure none of the other Dragons would get too close to him. Lacy asked 'Why did you come here ancient one?'. The Wyrm replied 'I was summoned here, so I came.'. Some of the Dragons feared that this was all a trick of the wraith, he must have deceived them all. Xena did not understand. She carefully checked each of the ingredients that the Dragons had gathered. They were all there, just as it was written in the book. Edge started to question the Ancient Wyrm. He said 'We wanted to summon Daedric, not you. What could possibly be wrong ?. Xena started to read the book once again and suddenly her eyes widened 'oh no. Oh no. OH NO! What have I done. Oh my goodness. I fear I made a terrible mistake!'. The Ancient Wyrm started to laugh and laugh. 'You foolish mortals, now you have set me free instead. HAHAHAHA!' The Dragons turned to Xena and asked what was wrong. She explained that it looked as if a page was missing from the book. Right after the page where the 6th ingredient was described. The spell probably needed at least one more ingredient.
Water from a grave they needed now. Xxy Sylvr, Edge and Gargish all remembered that they had once seen graves in the dungeon of Shame and not far from there was a lake. Perhaps they could try to use that. But both Xena and Lacy were not really confirmed that the Ancient Wyrm was talking about that. He cleary said 'water from a grave' and not 'water near a grave'. Surely there had to be a place in Sosaria where one could get water from a grave. Xena said 'I remember I once visited a very spooky place with graves. All the time I was there I could hear water dripping, just like you hear in damp and wet caves'. Xxy Sylvr then said 'Ofcourse, he must have meant the underground crypts near Yew. There is water flowing next to the graves in there.' The Dragons decided that the crypts would be the best place to get the 'water from the grave'. Just before they opened a gate to Yew another gate opened and out stepped Phoenix Dragon. He had heard in Rivendell that the Dragons were at the Shrine of Sacrifice visiting Daedrics grave. He was greeted by all and invited to come with them to search for the water. Xena and Zym decided to wait at the shrine.
The Dragons travelled to Empath Abbey in Yew and headed north-east into the forest. None of them knew exactly where the crypts were located but with hope in their harts they headed in the general direction where they thought them to be. The trip was long and ardous but they finally came in sight of the crypts. The first thing that hit them as they entered the dwelling was the awful stench. Lacy was so over come with it she almost had to leave, only the thought of Daedric being returned to them kept her going. They split up and began searching the halls for the "coffin water" that was needed. They explored long dank corridors and climbed into the depths of hell with only one thought in our minds, 'we must find the water for Daedric's sake'. The stench was overwhelming the deeper into the crypts they went. Finally a new smell came to them and the sound of dripping water could be heard eachoing in the underground chambers. They were close but still they could not see it. Then, around a corner and one more flight down they came into a room with coffins, some locked shut, others broken open by looters. None of them contained the water they needed but they could still smell it stronger and hear it louder. Off to one side in the corner they finally found it. A large cistern full of fresh running water, so cold it hurt to touch it. The only sweet smell in an otherwise dead world. Quickly they scooped up pitchers full and hurried back to Xena.
One after another the Dragons returned to the Shrine. Now that they found the 7th ingredient they were ready to try the summoning again. As before they formed a circle around Xena and held hands. Everybody started to prey. Xena concentrated and chanted the words of power again 'Kal Vas Xen An Corp'. This time it was not a moongate that appeared. It seemed as if the Ankh was emitting a blue glow. And behold, right in front of it the body of Daedric became visible. He was seemed to be fighting an invisible opponent. He must have been summoned from the heat of battle. 'AAAHHH! What? Where the ....? Lacy! Xena! Zym! My friends!' he cried out. The Dragons were thrilled to see their Prince again. Lacy almost fainted but Edge made sure she kept standing on her feet. Everybody was shouting and yelling outbursts of joy! Daedric put down his sword and shield and started to greet all his friends. There were so many of them, he did not know where to start. He asked what had happened and Lacy told him the entire story. About the rumours, the memorial, the wraith and the summoning of his Nemesis the Ancient Wyrm. Daedric got very upset when he heard that. Summoning an Ancient Wyrm is never a good thing to do. They usually are an omen of a great disaster. This scared the Dragons a bit, but they agreed that this was not the time to worry about that. The most important thing was that their Prince had returned. Then Deadric told the Dragons the story of his death. He was once again infected with wyrmbane. His blood thickened at an alarming rate, and before he could get help he lost conciousness and died. The Gods took him to Enroth where he could continue his eternal battle against evil. Daedric also told the rest of the Dragons that the Ancient Wyrm had to be befriended. Anyone who dared to go against him would surely die by his hands. The Dragons that would listen to him would be able to learn a great deal and become better Dragons in the end. Right now they would all go back to Rivendell to celebrate. For in a few hours the midsummer festival would start there and all the people at the festival would be able to hear the fantastic adventure the Dragons had that day.