The filtered rays of sunlight washed the forest path in multifarious hues of shadow and light, adding to Dren's already menacing appearance. The Dragon-kin's crimson scaled legs carried him swiftly, yet cautiously, along the well used path. It would have been much quicker and easier to fly to the clearing but the risks were too great. There were very few who were welcoming of his kind, neither human nor dragon, he was hated by both. Luckily to the dragons he was of little consequence, truly beneath notice in their eyes. To the humans however it was a very different story. His head was a well sought after trophy, fortunately it was not easy for a mere human to reach his head, much less remove it. Standing at around 9 human feet, not including his wings which rose well above his head, he was more than a match for any normal human. Admittedly, there were a few mages out there who had given him some trouble, not to mention the necromancer whom he had somehow escaped with the barest speck of life left in his body.
Dren was being hired to find a brood of gully trolls who had apparently wrecked havoc on the town and stolen some very valuable things from their Lord’s castle. How simple gully trolls had gotten into the castle was beyond Dren but then again he didn’t really care either. They were paying good gold and he was in serious need of it. An existence with few allies tended to be an expensive one, if you didn’t covet living alone in a cave somewhere. As he neared the clearing, Dren slid his black, crystalline swords a few inches from sheaths that where strapped vertically between his wings. This was not the first time he had been hired by this town but it was always a good idea to make sure your swords come out swiftly when they are needed. The smallest thing getting into your scabbard can jam the blade and that is a very, very bad thing. Resting the swords back in their scabbards he rounded the last curve that led into the clearing. He could see a few people standing in the clearing, Byarly, the one who was hiring him this time, raised his hand. As Dren went to return the salute his wings wedged into something, weird he thought that branch has never been so low. Looking up to see how his wings got caught, he looked up to see two men holding heavy netting.
“Now!” bellowed Byarly.
Suddenly there were a dozen men in trees on either side of the path, all straining to hold the steal and thick rope net. The net came crashing down on Dren. Cursing himself for his arrogance the Dragon-kin struggled hard against the entangling net. The surrounding men were backing away, they had expected the net to easily drop the creature, yet there he stood thrashing and slowly making his way out.
“Fools!” screamed the leader “Pin the net down as planned.”
That broke the men’s trance; they all rushed forward jamming hooked spears through the netting and deep into the ground, anchoring the net and halting the struggling half-breed. Dren bent low and pushed up with all of his vast might, pulling a few of the spears out of the ground. Before he could repeat the effort the men replanted the spears and this time kept their weight on them. He was trapped, no sense wasting more energy so he sat on the ground and waited to see what would happen.
His captors let out a small cheer. “Your head will look nice upon my wall” spoke an unseen yet vaguely familiar voice. Dren figured it was just one of the men he could not see and let out a loud chuckle.
“You think that the lot of you can take my head? You will have to remove the net to get at my head and we all know what would happen if you did that. Those little weapons of yours are not going to kill me any time soon. I can heal from those wounds quicker than you can make them."
“Oh, of course I could not expect these mere humans to hurt the mighty Dren. No I have brought along a few others to help with that task.” Spoke the bodiless voice again.
From behind a thicket of trees stepped the last person Dren had ever hoped to see again; Kregmar the necromancer, followed by a half dozen of the largest mountain trolls he had ever seen.