The Drylands (Pathfinder)
An Obsidian Rubber Duck
Deep within the earth, in a far corner of the world, the linnorm was taking a relaxing lava bath. One of the perks of being the unchallenged despot of a far-flung island is that you can pretty much arrange your work around your bathing habits. You could get used to it.
This means that when your bath gets interrupted by the cornerstone of your power making noises you’ve never heard before, it’s just that much more jarring.
By the time the monster had dragged its bulk out of the lava and flew up to the chamber housing the anchor stone, the noise had stopped. The linnorm sniffed the air. The magic still smelled the same. The caverns were still filled with the mist. Nothing seemed out of place.
Which meant the alarm was probably due to something on the other end.
He knew he should have just eaten the weaklings and taken the other anchors himself. He only needed the one, but leaving the others had created vulnerability. He hated vulnerability. Which is why he didn’t want to go himself. The whole point of an island superfortress is moot if you don’t stay inside the fortress.
Nor could he send his minions. Not only would they be utterly unprepared for life outside the island, but those annoying little ‘rebels’ would probably find and turn a good portion of them. The linnorm had mostly stopped the theft of his gnomes from the island continent, but he still didn’t know how they had managed it.
He was probably going to need to call in some help for this one. Maybe he should lean on the local drakes to go retrieve the anchors for him. As he pondered exactly who he wanted to contact, one of his favored minions mentally tapped him with a sending.
Lookouts had spotted a pack of descending hunters.
Bathtime was definitely over.