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The Tamer's Demise
Dungeons are dangerous places, full of evil creatures, murderous villains, and treasures enough to make an adventurer rich beyond his wildest dreams. However, for some, the treasure does not always come in the form of gold and magic items. Sometimes the treasures are the very creatures that call these dungeons home. For our Most Thrilling Dungeon Adventure Spotlight, we are happy to share the tale of Noah, Master Tamer, who in his quest to tame a dragon, got a little more than he bargained for.

 "I shall calm thee, and by mine hand wilt thou come to know man as thy friend…", Noah looked up at the dragon with a half-crooked smile as he tried to soothe the scaly beast. "…I've always wanted a pet like you…"
The dragon cocked its head back and peered at the tamer through dark slit eyes. Small streams of smoke twisted out of the dragon's nostrils, drifting upward, spiraling into faint puffs of gray. The dragon's gaze intensified as it leaned towards the brave tamer; its eyes narrowed until the pupils were barely visible.

"Good Dragon…", Noah stretched out his hand almost touching the dragon's nose. "…Nice Dragon." The dragon cocked its head back again but this time in a sharp, more abrupt, motion. His nostrils flared and a gust of dark gray exhaust shot out from them, followed by a short burst of flames. The smell of burnt ash lingered in the damp dungeon air.

"…I bring you no harm, my friend…", Noah raised both hands trying to calm the angered beast. His eyes widened as he watched the dragon flail from side to side. Nervously, the tamer began to inch backwards.

Suddenly, the beast ceased its flailing about - it swayed to the left then froze, as if it were waiting…waiting for the tamer to make his next move, perhaps. Noah stopped his backwards-retreat and slowly began moving forward again, "…Good dragon…."

Without warning, the dragon lunged forward. Its tail swung, whipping an empty treasure chest sending it crashing into a cavern wall exploding into a thousand splintering shards. Tearing through the dirt in a mad rampage, the dragon's claws streaked six inch grooves in the cold, hard dungeon floor. Noah scrambled.

"Kolette!! Where art thou?!", Noah's eyes frantically searched the dark-shadows while ducking and running for a safer place. The dragon was right behind him. The dreadful sound of wind being drawn in by the mighty lungs of a dragon could be heard throughout Destard - the great beast was preparing to breathe its fire.

The silhouette of the Dark Princess emerged from behind a large rock, "Here, Brother!" Suddenly, like a thousand tidal waves pounding on the shore all at once, the shear force and magnitude of the fire-blast sent a whirlwind of heat throughout the surrounding area. Gritting her teeth, Kolette turned her back to the onslaught of fiery heat. She was not in the fire's path, but the heat could still be felt as the backlash of hot air exploded in the opposite direction of the blast. As for Noah, he took the full brunt of the explosive attack. His scream could be heard from outside of the dungeon and weary travelers standing at the cave entrance backed away, giving "Destard" a second thought.

"Noah!", Kolette called for her wounded brother. Or perhaps he was dead, she could not see through the smoke and heat. "Noah!!", she called out again. The dragon reared its head back to see who was shouting. Smoke rolled out of its still opened mouth.

The Dark Princess quickly moved forward towards the dragon. She appeared to be moving in a daring head-on collision with the fire-breathing monster. As the dragon began to advance, Kolette grabbed the hilt of her weapon while keeping her feet in stride. "To hell with you, Dragon!!!", she yelled angrily as she pulled the blade from its sheath, then lifted it high above her head.

"Oblivion, give me strength!", she shouted as she began to swing her weapon. The blade collided with the dragon's abdomen, cutting through the many layers of scales splattering blood on her polished platemail. She followed through with her swing and began to cut back the other way, slashing from left to right. Before she could get her next attack off, the dragon lunged with his claws. The devastating blow sent her stumbling backwards, staggering. Her weapon fell to the ground.

Reaching forth with her hands, she chanted, "In Vas Mani". But to no avail, the dragon hit her with another claw, disrupting her magic. The blow caused her to spin 180 degrees, stagger left, then collapse. The dragon cocked his head back for the killing blow - oxygen filled its lungs. Again, the dungeon echoed with the sound of a mighty wind; Noah's fate was upon her. She mustered up all of the strength that she had left, and in one swaying motion, stood to her feet, and then turned to face the dragon.

The exhale came in the form of a fiery-cone, engulfing everything. The dragon moved its head from side to side, spraying its fire, making sure the evil princess was cooked. Closing its mouth, the last trail of fire shot from its jaws and landed where Kolette was standing.

Stretching its neck forward, the dragon searched for the corpse of the princess, but found nothing. It inched closer, looking through the smoke, still nothing. Confused, the dragon turned its head to the rear. There he saw the outline of woman-figure standing on a near-by cliff. The faint echo of "Rel Por" could be heard in the cavernous room.

Kolette could see everything from the high ground. Her brother, barely alive, twitched slightly as his singed-black body smoked on the dungeon floor. Truly, it was a horrifying sight. Within minutes, retribution was hers. The dragon was now relentlessly fending off the energy vortex and two blade-spirits she had cast. Moments later, the Tamer and dragon both lay dead on the cave floor. Victory was hers, only she wished that Noah could have had his victory with the dragon. She hopped down from the ledge and readied the reagents to resurrect her badly charred brother. Kolette wiped the tears from her eyes knowing that, one day, her brother would get his dragon. One day.

-Noah, Master Tamer, Atlantic Shard

Published: October 2000
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
Ultima Online ESRB Rating
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