Through Dust and Smoke

It was just like any other excursion with his good friend Synbios. The flash of firey breath and the high pitched sound of air rushing to clear the way for the might of sharpened claw, echoing throughout the cave as caught by his ear so many a time before. The vision of his compatriot’s swirling form dodging and striking as though a careful and methodic dance had been planned for man and drake. The strange crackling thunder of axe crashing through hard scale, like that of a sheet of ice yeilding to an immense weight. It was clear in moments who had wrestled the upper hand in this serenely violent display of speed and sharp eye, the gentle roar of the young drake yeilding to his oncoming fate.
His friend would do as he always did, scour the area for the horde so coveted by these creatures. Damion would be granted pause to reflect on what he had witnessed as he looked over the beasts carefully placed wounds. The only signs of life the creature had once led being the soft rising ribbons of smoke and steam eminating from lacerations and noistril.
He would think of the common folk, so delicate and innocent to the ways of combat, that he would curiously conjure within his mind an appropriate sum of them it would take to fell this creature as efficiently as a single man just had.
Damion called out "Anything good?!"
"Just some coin, and another map.." Synbios sighed beneath his helm and shook his head slowly, clearly in awe of the sheer mountain of parchment they had gathered in a similar fashion. "Just what we need eh?" Although he could not see it Damion knew Synbios was smiling.
"There will come a time my friend where we shall be unable to close the treasure map chest!" Damion chuckled in his gentle way and returned his friend’s suspected smile.

In that very instant a jet of sticky liquid flame shot directly between the two. So hot and close that Damion instinctively shielded his face and averted his eyes. It drew a line of flames that licked the air nearly twenty feet above, gently teasing the stone roof of the cave and dancing amongst the stalactites. "Synbios!!??" Damion yelled through the flames, but of his friend he could see nor hear any sign. He had no choice but to assume that Syn had either fallen or had fled to acquire better ground to make his stand.

Chanting softly Damion gathered whirling white hot strands of energy from the surrounding air, weaving them into an intricately latticed bolt of energy, and hurling it at the Dragon as hard as he could. The bolt screamed through the air and struck true, burning a small hole through the delicate leathery skin that formed the great wings. A moments celebration was quickly cut short as the wound sought only to enrage and annoy the Dragon, who answered in kind furling his wings and chanted in the guttural draconic tongue. In an instant a great burst of fire engulfed him and all that he could see, followed by a great explosion to his chest that sent the Wizard back through the air in a heap. His staff firmly wrenched from his grasp embedded into the cave wall with a crystalline crackling snap that shook the ground nearby, cracks sprouting all around as the force of the impact had driven it through the solid stone. Singed and bloodied Damion was unable to stand, relegated only to roll his head and gaze up to the vehicle of his oncoming doom.
The Dragon sauntered over to his prey, savoring the delight of the impending kill. It hunched down to escape the fingers of the low ceiling where he had flung his enemy, roaring loudly as from within the deepness of his mouth a brilliant sun would flare, flames licking through its throat and growing as it was fed as a furnace.

It was at that moment a terrible crack was heard from beyond the beast, a loud shriek escaping its maw as it sought to reach its long neck back behind itself. The Dragon groaned and let out a horrible low grumble as its head fell down to the floor, its wings falling limp against its body as it crashed down to the floor. An odd scraping of rock against metal was heard, seeming to come closer and closer to him. Before long a charred gauntlet was seen, then at once a helmet and the eyes beneath it seemed to smile at Damion.
"Synbios?" Damion coughed as the rising smoke from the corpse was pooling in the small alcove. "I had wondered where you went!"
Synbios waved at Damion and the two caught their breath, only to burst out in a chorus of fatigued laughter.

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