Dren spoke as slowly and as clearly as he could, despite the trembling in his throat, "Kregmar, I owe you nothing. I don't know why you hate me so much."
It is said that the powerful necromancers gain their prepollence from engaging in deviant sexual practices with the undead, which in itself is deviant as hell, in Dren's opinion, but that Kregmar had augmented these orgies of the damned into fire-and-brimstone sessions which toppled mountains and boiled away lakes and streams. He was doubtlessly among the most powerful necromancers in all the world, and definitely the scariest. He glided to a spot just beyond Dren's snout, and bent over to address the captive beast, "I hate you all, Dren. Every last dragon in the land, for it is you who will set flame to every corner of our world and burn it all to hell."
"But that's your job, isn't it? To be one with Satan? To swallow the Dark One's unholy seed?"
Kregmar erupted and lashed out with a spell over Dren's entire prone body, the effect of which felt like a steady rotation of a million flaming spears impaling deep into Dren's scales. Dren stifled a scream with a choked gasp and dug his claws deep into the soft, dark earth beneath him to deflect the pain. His vision swirled into a kaleidoscope of red colors and he felt his body convulse.
Kregmar's evil rasp assaulted his ears once again, "Your impressive scales are like armor against traditional pointed weapons, Dren, but you will find I am anything but traditional. I have ways of bringing you pain internally that would make you beg for death. But no matter, you will discover all of my tricks in due time. These trolls are in no hurry, so I will do my damnedest to make your demise arrive verrrrrrrrry slowly. Eventually I will retain some of your body parts so that I may sell them at market, but most of you I will personally disfigure beyond recognition and I will piss on your de-scaled corpse."
Dren heard little of Kregmar's words because he still reeled from the blast of pain from within his body, but he got the point enough. A little blood oozed from his nose but he closed his eyes tightly to settle his throbbing head. Through clenched teeth he told the old defiler, "You're a child searching for petty revenge. I hope you rot in hell."
Kregmar stood to full height and laughed, though not as heartily as he had with Byarly; it was more of a coughing sound, the sound of a thousand gagging children. Then he addressed the nearest troll as if it were an esteemed colleague, "Do you know what I find most interesting about dragons, Frudd?"
The troll apparently did not realize it was being addressed, for it continued looking balefully at Dren, waiting for its chance to pound the dragon into dust.
Kregmar continued unperturbed with his end of the conversation however, "Their scales! Nearly impossible to cleave with neither blade nor bow, and they are also -- handily enough -- fire retardant! But do you want to know what fire breathers really hate?"
The necromancer leaned forward so that he was inches from Dren's face, and though dragons were incapable of exhibiting goose flesh, Dren felt his skin crawl nonetheless.
"They hate the cold!"
A few of the trolls laughed. Dren tried to shake his head, "That's not true. Snow Dragons, for instance --"
But Kregmar cut him off by touching a bony finger to Dren's face, just below one eye. Dren screamed as his scaly skin immediately sizzled -- not from heat but from extreme cold. The small, delicate scales beneath that eye quickly turned brown and fell to the ground like ash.
Kregmar clapped his hands delightedly.