“Well?” demanded Desimatix.
“I’m looking, I’m looking,” said Garthort frantically as he flipped through the tomes spread out on the camp table.
“You do know there’s a massive Abomination wreaking havoc on the land,” the Dragon pointed out.
“It would be difficult to miss,” snapped Garthort, “What with it laying waste to countless troops and it approaching at an alarming rate.”
“Then you had best come up with the proper lore quickly.
Garthort stopped and stared Desimatix in his golden eyes. This was the bravest thing he had done in his life. A draconic gaze can spark fear into the most resolute of hearts. Today, however, the former Fell Wizard regarded this ancient Drake in the same way a shopkeep might with a difficult customer with an unearned sense of entitlement.
“Do you think badgering me insistently will help me find what I’m looking for any quicker?”
“I’ve heard that humans can thrive under pressure,” said Desimatix who was still getting the hang of working with others.
“Does it look like I need MORE pressure?” asked Garthort who went back to searching through the books.
Garthort rolled his eyes and kept leafing through pages. Desimatix thought that there was something he ought to say. He considered ‘I’m sorry’ but every time he said that it always came out sarcastic. There was a quality to his voice that made apologies seem insincere. Which is why he spent most holidays alone.
Not because he was at all anxious, he looked back towards the battlefield. The Abominations had regained more ground. The Orange Prince drove its brood forward. While the smaller (as judged by a Dragon’s scale) Abominations were easily dealt with at a distance, this Orange Prince was another matter entirely. It was larger than Desimatix and possessed any number of unknown abilities. He found that… unsettling.
If he had the time for it, he might have come to the epiphany that he was simply afraid. However, given what was going on at the moment and a Dragon’s inherent sense of self-superiority, that insight would come later, if at all.
“Huuuuuuh?” muttered Garthort.
Desimatix leaned in and asked, “You have found it?”
“Huphup!” replied Garthort who opened up another book and leafed through that.
Scanning back and forth, he took out a notebook and scribbled some glyphs. Then leaped to another volume.
“Is there anything-” began the Dragon who was silenced with a snap of Garthort’s fingers.
Dragons rarely are snapped at more than once. As great as his initial ire was for this dismissive gesture, the confidence with which was made impressed him. He would not eat him today. The future, of course, is uncertain.
“HA!” shouted Garthort.
“What have you discovered?”
Finishing the last arcane symbol he raised the notebook to the sky and laughed.
“I’ll ask you once more, what have you discovered?” growled the Dragon.
“Well, it’s actually very funny. Wimnik the Wise set up a series of ciphers in the margins disguised as a decorative border. This is ironic if you consider the historical context of the-”
“I will not consider the historical context. You will tell me. Now.”
“Right. Sorry, got carried away. We need to seal the overlap so no more Abominations can come through.”
“There is still, that,” Desimatix pointed with his nose at the Orange Prince.
“With the overlap sealed the Orange Prince will be drawn back to the Outer Planes. They need a physical conduit to move from their home dimension to another.”
“Why didn’t you start with that bit?” sputtered the Dragon.
“I was about to get to it.”
“And how do we seal a dimensional rift?”
With a smile, Garthort said, “Fire. Lots and lots of fire.”
“It took you all that time reading these basted books to work that out? Abominations hate fire, it seems pretty obvious!”
“It has to look like this,” replied Garthort holding up a detailed pattern.
“That’s… Very intricate. We need to get the Inferno-Squad organized right now. I will bear you to this destiny.”
“Thank you,” he said bowing.
Desimatix smiled, he enjoyed being bowed to.
“I need to take care of one thing first,” said Garthort as he slipped his hand into his pocket and grasped at something.