The voyage to that faraway country, Draklaua, is a harsh one no matter what. Even in the fastest ships- yes including the ones powered by magical energy, it would take about two weeks, at minimum, to reach it’s cliffed shores. The numerous storms that bless the land’s farmers with plentiful crops are the bane of the sailor trying to reach the country. Despite all these risks, perhaps the most unlikely two people had set off to research Dragonkind.
Being rocked to and fro in a ship tossed by the waves is an unpleasant experience for anyone. Samuel Harvey, one of those two sent to research the dragons, definitely handled it worse then anyone else. He had spent the entire voyage completely and utterly seasick. When he heard the news that land had been sighted, it was cause to rejoice, and he stumbled his way to his close partner, Mathieu.
“Have you heard the news- we’ll be on land in an hour!” Samuel exclaimed- his excitement almost seeming to overcome his seasick dizziness
“...yes i’ve heard, I was on deck when it happened. I’m just tired of all the talk about it” Mathieu replied, a little just slightly annoyed in tone.
“I just can't wait to be off this boat… I never knew I even had seasickness” Samuel put his hand to his forehead as he answered. Swaying a little from the rush of dizziness.
“Are you alright Samuel? Do you need help to the deck?” Mathieu took notice of what would hopefully be the last of the seasickness.
While Samuel was at first reluctant, Mathieu eventually led him to the deck, and Samuel did not regret that. The view of Draklaua from here was gorgeous- even if it was blocked somewhat by 20 or so other passengers. Samuel and Mathieu stood and watched, they had been waiting for two whole weeks! An hour on deck, watching the port grow larger and closer was nothing in comparison! Finally, they had arrived, setting foot on the island of great dragons, and the only people to understand them.
“...Sam- are your legs alright?” Said Mathieu as he noticed that Samuel had been walking as he had on the ship. A gait that could only be described as ‘constantly stumbling’- even though by now the seasickness was long departed.
“I didn't imagine it’d be so hot here…” Samuel said, already tired from the sweltering tropical heat.
“....Should we go inside? Or at least in the shade?” Mathieu asked, concerned for Samuel’s well being.
Samuel nodded, and the two made their way to the nearest building. A magic supply shop across the port town’s main street. The interior was lined with shelves, each stocked with numerous ingredients and catalysts for magic. Crystals, herbs, robes, staves, talismans- the store had anything a mage, beginner or experienced could ever need, Though more importantly, the store’s aisles were kept far cooler than outside. Samuel eyed some of the items as he went to sit down on a chair in the corner. Mathieu of course, was close behind Samuel, but he couldn't resist browsing the magic goods as well. They did need to stock up, after all- most of their energy crystals had been consumed by Mathieu’s attempts to ease Samuel’s seasickness.
While resting, Samuel was staring out the window. The townspeople in Draklaua were quite different, both visually and in behaviour. What had his attention more is that dragons were walking amongst the people. Talking, trading, doing their daily routine- he hadn't been told that dragons were sapient! ...and yet, his mission here was to bring back a dragon, dead or alive. He felt a seed of worry sprout within his mind.
Samuel got up and started browsing the magic wares. He needed something to take his mind off of that. His eyes darted toward a particularly interesting magic catalyst near the back of the store. Even from this distance, he knew was something special. He beelined for it like a kid toward candy. Sure it was expensive, but what was so special about this catalyst is that it was subtle. It was a simple ring- no one would expect spells to be cast from a ring! Excited at the possibilities, Samuel went to the shopkeep.
“This ring” Samuel asked “how much is it selling for?”
The shopkeeper sighed, looking at the ring with resentment in her heart.
“I’ll sell it for cheap- but only because I want that thing out of my life…”
“Is there a reason you want it gone? Is there anything I should know about” Samuel asked, worried that the ring might be cursed or too powerful for him to work with.
The shopkeeper replied “...no, don't worry, it isn't cursed or anything silly like that- it’s just a story I don't want to talk about, alright. I’ll sell the ring for whatever you're willing to give”.
Feeling a little generous, Samuel gave her quite a bit of money. What he guessed to be the ring’s actual value. With that done, He slipped it on his finger. Examining it, Samuel smiled, satisfied with the purchase, before going to find Mathieu. Wherever in the aisles he might be.
Soon enough, he found him, carrying a basket filled to it’s brim with various magical supplies. Or rather, almost struggling to carry far too many supplies.
“Uh… Mathieu? Are you sure we need that much?” Samuel asked as he approached him “You know we’ll still need money for food and inns right?”
“Yes, Samuel, we’re going to need all of this- especially if we’re going to be dealing with dragons. As for food and shelter, we can just hunt and camp”
Samuel was annoyed at Mathieu’s suggestion, since he knew full well why that wouldn't work. “Well, Mathieu, i’m not so sure about getting torn apart by a storm, then again by the local wildlife”
Mathieu was ready to make a point back that they could just fight whatever animals that did act toward them with any hostility, but then he remembered that in a fight Samuel would always push himself too hard. For that reason alone, for Samuel, he wanted to avoid conflict.
“You're right” he admitted “could you help me put some of this back?”
He and Samuel then put a little over half of what was in the basket. What was left was only what they would need for their mission. A few dozen energy crystals, and two catalysts in case their current ones depleted. They paid for their goods and exited the store. Once again they found themselves in the busy port town streets. Looking inland, looming in the distance, far behind the bars and houses and stores. Were the snowcapped peaks of Draklaua’s only mountain range, the only thing preventing further exploration of the island, The Wall. Samuel squinted, even from this distance, a particularly massive drake could be seen circling above the second-tallest peak. Though tiny from this distance, the creature was miles away, and it’s grace sent a chill throughout Samuel’s body.
“Do you see that Mathieu?” Samuel asked his mission partner. Who was mostly focused on the unusual decoration of a nearby building.
“...er… no?” Mathieu’s response prompted Samuel to point at the stunning sight- well, stunning for them anyway, for the people of Draklaua that dragon tribe’s chieftain was a regular and welcomed presence.
“Now I see it- are you thinking what i'm thinking?” He had his eyes focused directly at the gigantic dragon in the far distance. A mischievous glint in them.
“Oh you bet- if we were to bag that dragon, we’d almost surely get a big reward for our mission” Samuel’s boast caught the attention of more than a few passerby, he had forgotten that Draklaua’s whole, ‘thing’ was respect of dragons. After an awkward silence, Mathieu and Samuel wordlessly agreed that they’d need to discuss this elsewhere. So they exited town to enter Draklaua’s great rolling prairies. A sea of emerald grasses, dotted with herds of simple-minded Stoneroller Beetles that feasted on what the meadows provided. Watching from a safe distance, and keeping to the main road, the two took shelter behind a large, rounded boulder a good distance from the road. There, they could discuss their plan without causing worry, and speaking of worry, Samuel was starting to feel doubts about slaying or capturing a dragon. Doing either of those just felt- wrong, but if he did neither, he would lose his chance to snatch the high royal court position he’s been working hard for.
“So, just what is our plan for getting to that dragon- it is up the mountain after all, and that’s a long ways away” Mathieu questioned, resting his head in his hand.
“...I don't know, but we might need to stock up a little more if we plan on tackling that one- regardless, we should get going to the next town, we don't want to get stuck out here in the dark after all”
“Relax Samuel” Mathieu said “we could always just camp here- actually, it’s getting dark out, I think we should start getting some firewood”
With that, was merely the beginning of a long journey, one that would ultimately end in the death of a great dragon.