This session happened February 27.
After the rather tense delivery of the mortal remains of Rheged’s deceased apprentice to the Staffthrasher Clan, Sheriff Ed Oakshield, Rheged the Wizard, and Ranger-Sergeant Clem Rollins were returning to the Rat’s Bastard Sword Inn in New Applegrove, where the rest of Ranger Team Rollins awaited. While the three of them were on the street, just outside the Inn, a large green dragon landed on the roof of the Temple of Amangpara across the street and bellowed that it now claimed dominion over the village and surrounding area.
The sheriff and Clem, as the duly appointed representatives of the count, verbally disagreed and the dragon breathed a caustic cloud of acid on them to makes its point as to who was now in control. This dropped the sheriff to his knees, but Clem and Rheged avoided the worst of it, though the wizard nearly died anyways.
Ranger Team Rollins rolled out of the inn and to the attack. While Clem pulled the unconscious sheriff out of the line of fire, the rest of the team flanked the dragon (which had landed to kill Oralon after a near miss with a lightning ball spell), Dav Moonbow acrobatically leaping onto the dragon’s back to attack. Clem then stepped out into the street and bellowed in a voice of unimpeachable authority that the dragon was to surrender immediately or leave town.
Facing an unexpectedly stiff resistance to its attempt at dominion and feeling the righteous waves of anger from the still steaming paladin, the dragon blinked and chose to flee. It immediately flew off, nearly taking Dav with it – she acrobatically dismounted with a practiced leap to the roof of an adjacent building. This left Clem (rather pleasantly surprised to still be alive) and the astounded citizenry of New Applegrove watching it leave.
After providing the sheriff with enough healing to stabilized his wounds, the team immediately made for the Fane of the Just, the local temple to Murthdrya Natea, for healing, carrying the sheriff with them. Dav stayed behind on the roof and watched to see where the dragon flew off to and observed it landing on and taking possession of Rheged’s wizard tower on the outskirts of the towns dominion.
After getting healed up at the Fane, the sheriff and Ranger Team Rollins went to talk with the mayor (Isen Cowhunter) to see if the team could acquire something to protect against the acid. This was the first time the team had met the mayor. In fact, they were somewhat surprised there was a mayor – they thought the sheriff ran the town. As it turned out, the mayor is a career administrator and the rangers were not impressed with him at all. After some verbal sparring, the Mayor led the team across the street to the Temple of Amangna and browbeat a goodly number of potions out of the young and frightened acolyte there (“the dragon landed on the roof!”).
With a small number of potions of acid resistance and cure light wounds, the team planned their assault of the wizard’s tower. Rheged was convinced by Dav to provide a hand-drawn map of his tower, showing where the rooms were and a short description of the rooms. As Rheged was expecting to talk to grieving relatives today and not fight a dragon, he had no combat spells ready and all of his books were in his tower. With the dragon. This meant that the map was all the support he was able to supply.
The team put together a plan and headed out early the next morning to attack the tower. Along the way, they started discussing an alternate strategy – convincing the dragon to run for mayor. At first this was just a jest, but as they discussed it, they found that it actually might work. At the very least it would delay the need to fight the dragon until the rangers could get more assistance from the count.
Arranging themselves for a fight, the team entered the tower and opened a parley with the dragon. They learned the dragon’s name (Malkion the Bold) and made their pitch about the dragon running for mayor. Owen Sands waxed elegant on the subject, pointing out the many benefits of being mayor and the recognized authority for the surrounding area. The dragon was still keen on its initial plan (kill anyone that opposed it), but was talked around to at least consider the possibility. Malkion gave them two days to provide evidence that he could, indeed, run for mayor.
Back in the village, the current mayor was appalled by the plan, to say the least. He deferred answering any questions on elections for a day and had the rangers (politely) kicked out of his office. The sheriff was amused at the idea, especially at how ruffled it made the mayor’s feathers. He led the rangers over to the town’s de facto scribe, Nai’ianhal, an elven naturalist and part-time scribe.
(NOTE: this is the first full-blooded elf all but Dav have ever seen, making this a rare situation for the PCs.)
After consulting over the town charter and the various county laws, it was determined that there was no law specifically prohibiting a dragon from running for mayor. The wording that allowed humans, dwarves, halfings, half-orcs, and orcs to hold positions of authority also allowed the dragon to run, or at the very least the wording did not proscribe it.
Clem thanked Nai’ianhal for his time and a copy of the town charter (and relevant electoral laws) and the team left. Clem dispatched Dav to the county seat of Old Sandy-on-Naze to warn Count Adrik what was happening and why and asking for instructions. Clem, Owen, Thar, and Katan headed back to the tower to present proof that it was possible for the dragon to run for mayor and what steps needed to happen first (mostly get a third of the populace to sign a petition that an election was necessary). After reading the material, the dragon concurred and filled out the paperwork to get the petitions posted.
This left Clem and the rangers in a bit of a quandary. They were fairly certain that having Malkion as mayor was not necessarily a good thing, but could not, in good conscience just attack the dragon after advocating the non-violent solution (at least Clem could not, and she was in charge). The sheriff pointed out that the dragon had damaged the inn, attacked county officials (himself and Clem), and unlawfully seized another’s property (Rheged’s tower) and he, the sheriff, had the authority to levy fines. If the dragon refused to pay the fines…
Clem decided to wait for a reply from the count, expecting clear guidance in his reply.
Dav and her red deer mount made the four day ride to Old Sandy-on-Naze in three days. There she put in Clem’s report and a requisition for magical support for attacking a green dragon. After waiting several hours for the report to percolate up through the chain of command, she met with Theothan Balboshin, Advisor to the Count, to confirm the details of the report. After a 30 minute discussion, he left to report directly to the Count, asking Dav to stay available at the Ranger Headquarters and keep quiet about this.
Several hours later Dav met again with Theothan Balboshin and he delivered to her a set of scroll tubes containing the Count Adrik’s instructions. Theothan instructed Dav to leave in the morning and make all haste back to New Applegrove. He explained that Count Adrik was now assembling the County Militia and County Guard in preparation of marching against the dragon if “things went wrong”. He also warned that Ranger Team Rollins and its leader had put the count in an awkward position and he was not happy. It would be best if they resolved the situation soonest.
Dav set out early the next morning.
Dav returned to New Applegrove to find that the dragon had collected enough signatures to force an election. It had done this by visiting the various farms and announcing it had a petition for the residents to sign and that it would wait there until they signed it. The farmers asked themselves, “Who would decline a dragon?” and signed the petition. “After all,” they thought, “it’s not like we are actually voting for the dragon – its just a petition.”
Clem read the count’s instructions and was not comforted by them. The public part simply stated that if the election happened and was run legally, he would honor it. It included specific instructions to the winner, including the requirement of a very strong oath of loyalty to the count. The private part of the message stated that if things went bad, the count was holding Clem solely responsible for suggesting this course of action to the dragon.
Clem met a final time with the dragon, explaining the stringent conditions the count was placing on any new mayor. The dragon read them over and stated it could work within that framework. Clem then delivered the sheriff’s list of charges and fines for crimes the dragon had committed. The dragon read them and consulted the town charter and the copy of the laws it had acquired.
It then paid the fines, asking for a receipt of payment.
Clem’s last hope of getting the dragon to balk was gone. She no longer had any legal pretext to go after the dragon or stop the election from happening.