One Fan's possible version of the 2nd Lightraider mission from the Dragon Raid Christian RPG (with a bit of assistance from anyone who wishes to join in).
In this adventure, 5 young Christian warriors embark on a mission to find and rescue imprisoned comrades and recover stolen fragments of the Sacred Scrolls from a Shadow Dragon and its evil minions.
“Tharkon, come in. We’ve summoned you here for a very important raid.”
You have just entered the large office of Sir Talin III, President of the Lightraider Academy and Guardian of the Light in the service of the Overlord of Many Names. Seated at a massive table that serves as his desk, Sir Talin rises to welcome you. He is an older gentleman of about fifty summers but still carries himself with strength and dignity. Though weather-worn and scarred from many raids in the Dragon Lands in his youth, the respected leader of the Liberated Lands hides his age well. To either side of the desk stand Sir Ailyn Ironforge, combat trainer and armorer for the academy, garbed as always, in full plate armor, and Brother Perethan, the academy’s Head Bishop, dressed in the plain robes of the clergy. You also notice four of your friends from the academy already arrived and seated.
Sir Talin invites you to have a seat near the others.
“As I was just explaining before you arrived, Tharkon, we would like to send the four of you on another Raid. Having now completed your training here at the academy and successfully completing your first mission, we are in need of your team’s particular gifts and skills sooner than we had anticipated.”
Sir Talin reseats himself, the other two men following his lead. Then folding his hands on his desk and leaning forward, he continues.
“As you know, Gareth Stoneshield was captured while attempting to return here to the Liberated Lands with his companion, Darek Larkhaven after the two of them escaped an orc ambush upon their Raid team.”
“How is Gareth, Sir?” you interupt, concerned about the young man you rescued during your first raid. “He was barely alive last time any of us saw him.”
The image of Gareth’s ravaged body floods back to your mind as you remember what was done to him by the minions of evil in the Dragonlands.
“He is recovering quite well, young one.” Brother Perethan steps in with an answer. “The healing salves we have applied to his skin have drawn out the painful poisons from his many cuts and scratches and served to soothe the stinging as well. He should be up and about again within the week.”
“Gareth and Darek are the only two members of their Raid Team to have returned from their mission.” Sir Talin continues. “It was a very important mission to get copies of the Sacred Scrolls to Salt Warriors in the Western Peaks for the underground churches meeting there. Unfortunately, Darek has reported that their Raid Objective was not successful. They were discovered and attacked shortly after entering the mountains. Then while trying to escape back to us, they were pursued and Gareth was captured as well, leaving only Darek to bring us news. After Darek’s initial report, we believed that his team-mates, Zekion Underhorn and Erland Gold-dagger, had been sent to the Everlasting Kingdom.”
“But they haven’t, thank the OverLord!” interjects Brother Perethan again.
“No. Though the situation is grim for them if they do not receive intervention.” Sir Talin unfolds his hands and unties a roll of loose parchments on the desk before him. “Apparently, the others two members of the team were imprisoned and the Sacred Scrolls burned or comfiscated by the enemy. This new information comes from Gareth. Before you were able to rescue him, his captors took pleasure in taunting him with the probable fate of his captured friends.”
Sir Talin shakes his head in sadness at the thought as he rises from his chair once more and begins to unroll sheets of parchment from the bundle and push them across the desk toward you.
“This is where you come in. We have narrowed the search for the missing Lightraiders to an area known as the Heinous Heights region within the Western Peaks shown on this map scroll here. We want the five of you to undertake a Raid to rescue our missing Lightraiders and recover as many copies of the Sacred Scrolls as you can find. We can only hope that there are some that have survived. It is essential that we regain the scrolls before the enemy attempts to pervert them. Beware the deception of the enemy, Lightraiders!”
There is a sudden clanking and scraping of metal as Sir Ailyn rises from his chair and addresses you. Though not as old as Sir Talin, the Knight's steel grey eyes show wisdom that bely his years and tell of many campaigns into the dark lands. Where Sir Talin's face is tempered with gentleness, the middle aged countenance of the armorer is the picture of stern control and unrelenting alertness.
“The region you are going to is under the direct rule of a Mature Shadow Dragon. You all understand the danger this implies."
This is a statement, not a question, and the elder knight continues without pausing for an answer.
"Remember your training at the Academy and do not take lightly the strength of the enemy. Keep your swords sharp and your breastplates tightly fastened in place! The days of testing are over for you. Now is the time to fulfill the calling for which you have been trained!”
Your heart sinks with the knight’s warning as you glance around at your friends. Their faces match the nervousness you feel as you consider the possibility of actually facing a dragon; wicked spirits in scaled flesh which rule the inhabitants of Talania by deception and sorcerous power.
Noticing the exchanged looks of anxiety upon your faces, Brother Perethan is quick to add a word of encouragement to you.
“Do not forget the matchless strength of the One you serve and remember His promises. ‘Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.’ ‘Trust in the Lord with all your strength and lean not to your own understanding.’ Keep your swords sharp indeed, ‘For the word of God is living and active...’”
“Yes, do not fear,” Sir Talin concludes, “the power of the Overlord is not diminished in the lands of shadow. It was His Spirit which moved us to choose your group for this raid. After many hours of fasting and seeking his will on this matter, we were lead to summon each of you. The only question which remains, is whether or not you will accept the responsibility. We understand this is rather sudden but time is short for those who have been imprisoned. We will give you some time to pray and meditate on this if you are uncertain, but we encourage you to weigh your decision carefully. Much is at stake.”
A moment of silence follows and you find yourself thinking about all you have just heard. Briefly you consider the danger of the mission and whether it is the Overlord’s will or not for such a young team to take on such a great responsibility, but then the realization strikes you like a lightning flash of confirmation. This is what you have been trained to do at the academy. If not this raid, then which one? Is it not the Overlord who gives the victory after all? In the back of your mind you sense the whisper of a still, small voice prompting you to take action.
With a suddenness that surprises even yourself, you push your chair back and stand up.
“Sir, I appreciate your desire to let us think this through, but I, for one, do not need to seek the High One’s will on this, for the Spirit confirms in me at the hearing of your words that this is my duty as a Lightraider. Though I do not know the further details of all that is required, I will pledge to go on this Raid!”
Suddenly you hear the sound of four more chairs scraping across the floor as your friends rise up in almost perfect unison to join you in your decision. Brother Perethan rises as well, a warm smile of approval upon his face.
“Excellent. Your decision pleases me.” Sir Talin says as he moves around the desk to stand before you. Then, to your surprise, he places his hand on your shoulder.
“Tharkon, because of your decisiveness in this matter and proven leadership skills in the past, I am appointing you the leader of this Raid. Receive this position with humility and wisdom for it is a great responsibility and the lives of your companions will depend on decisions you make. Will you accept this trust?”
“If the others will have me as their Raid Leader, Sir, then I accept.” you reply.
The others nod their approval and Sir Talin continues with the details of your quest, turning to gather the parchments from his desk and handing them to you.
“We have included all the instructions you will need to get started in these parchments. Unfortunately, we do not know exactly where either the prisoners or the sacred scrolls are being held for certain. Reports have been vague, but it is often the Overlord’s way to lead one step at a time. Brother Perethan received a Word of Knowledge in prayer this morning that is included among the parchments. It will serve as your starting point.”
“Now let us pray,” says Brother Perethan, “and anoint these young warriors for the task they are about to undertake for they will need a double portion of protection, power and wisdom.”
With that, the three elders encircle your group and lay their hands upon each of your shoulders. As you bow your head to receive the blessing, you begin to feel the peace of the Holy Spirit flow over you and through you, empowering you for what lays ahead. Soon, Brother Perethan’s voice is joined by Sir Ailyn and Sir Talin, agreeing in prayer on your behalf as the chorus of prayer rises in intensity.
And then you are overcome by the awesome presence of the Almighty as He overshadows you like the wing of a great bird and you sense his words speaking to your heart: “I Am the Overlord of Many Names. I have chosen you for such a time as this. Remember that I will be near to you. I will never leave you or forsake you, and lo’ I am with you always, even to the end of the World. You are my beloved child and I will not suffer you to fail in that which I have called you to do if only you will follow me and obey.”
The words flow over you like waters cleansing away all fear and doubt even as the anointing oil of Brother Perethan flows over your head and drips upon your shoulders. As the oil flows over you, you feel the hands of blessing upon your head and the strange sensation of armor being strapped to your body like someone is dressing you for war. But as you open your eyes in curiosity it is not metal that you see upon your body, but a supernatural vision of living light in the form of armor; a breastplate of purest white, boots, belt, and a shield like the sun, strapped to your arm. The Armor of God envelopes you and your companions! You are ready. Though you might be slain, yet will you follow your King!
Two hours later, you and your companions are packed and waiting at the academy stables near the outskirts of town where you have been provided with horses to take you north to the Passage Lakes at the foot of the Peaks of New Beginning. It is through these lakes that nearly all Lightraiders pass into the lands of the dragons through the power of the Overlord. Any Lightraider stepping into the waters of the appropriate lake at the designated time will find themselves supernaturally transported to various parts of the dragon lands, usually emerging through a hidden doorway that opens out of a tree or cave there.
This special transportation is required due to the barrier of mountains that separates the protected lands of the Overlords people from the corruption of the dragons and their minions. The Peaks of New Beginning are the crowning glory of Talania - a constant reminder of the OverLord’s care for the Twiceborn who live at peace here in the Liberated Lands and a never ending frustration to the dragons who cannot breach the impassable 20,000+ ft, snow-covered wall.
The Overlord himself, gave his life to secure this protection for his people generations before when he single-handedly faced the raging hordes of dark creatures led by the dragons themselves, who pursued the First-Called-Out-Ones to this promised land of hope. Having brought his people out of bondage to the dragons and into this new land, the Overlord went forth to bar the enemy’s advance. This he did with his own blood as they crashed upon his body like a flood of hatred. As they tore his body to pieces, the blood that was shed became a freezing mist of crimson that engulfed the attacking armies. The serpents spent all their fire in vaporizing the deluge. Barely avoiding death, they were left weak and powerless. "In the Western Peaks, at Safety's End" Meet him early, don't be late. Guard well your tongue, and speak with care. Ten days to save a precious life.
In great wrath, they withdrew to recuperate, delaying pursuit without serious concern. With their enemy, the Overlord, destroyed, recapturing the deserters would be an easy task for a time of their own choosing. But a few days later, just as the rested dragon legion was preparing to resume the chase and destroy the Chosen people, the continent erupted with a mighty roar into a mass of billowing, crumbling earth that rose higher and higher forming the Peaks of New Beginning; for indeed, these mountains represented just that to the people who had first followed the Overlord; a new beginning in a land liberated from the hated dragons.
Now known as the Twice Born, the people of this land continue to live in harmony under the direction of the Overlord’s teachings as understood through the Sacred Scrolls. The scrolls were written and preserved for future generations by those same First-Called-Out-Ones who were discipled by the Master directly. The originals are kept safe in the Academy Library, while copies are produced and circulated throughout, not only the Liberated Lands, but also throughout the Dragon Lands wherever and whenever possible.
Those who undertake to carry these copies into enemy territory and bring the good news of the Overlord to the human slaves that are still entrapped by the lies of the dragons are known as Light Raiders and must undergo a minimum of four years at the Light Raider Academy. Here they are educated about the Dragons and their dark creatures and taught how to defeat them in physical and spiritual warfare. They are taught the geography of the Dragon Lands, their cultures and money systems, and how to reach out to the deceived humans who are enslaved by their own darkened hearts; how to rescue them from sin enchantments that hold them bound.
This is the passion that burns in your heart as you embark on this raid! People are dying without the Overlord’s love in their lives; living in despair and fear as you once did. Thankfully, you had been rescued from a cruel orphanage when you were a child by a courageous Salt Warrior and brought to the Liberated Lands. Salt Warriors are Light Raiders who are commissioned to actually dwell in the Dragon Lands in secret as church leaders who provide refuge for traveling Light Raiders. Here, for the first time, you were treated with kindness and gentleness and adopted by a loving couple whom you now call Mother and Father. And knowing that Godly love first hand, you are compelled to share it with the once-born before it is too late!
You only hope that you’ll get a chance to meet some once-born on this raid and bring one or two of them back with you as well as the captured Light Raiders and the scrolls, for there is no greater joy than to see one slave set free! The sacred scrolls even say that the celestial guardians in heaven rejoice over one sinner saved.
Suddenly you are struck by the urgency of this mission and find yourself growing impatient to depart. Unfortunately, your team is waiting for the last member to arrive.
“What is keeping Joref?” you ask irritably. “We are losing precious time!”
Joref, the youngest of your team, is a Psalmist, trained in music and verse. Possessing a natural talent and gifting for music, members of the Psalmist Corp are especially trained in Musical warfare, utilizing their various musical intruments to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy while encouraging the Overlord’s servants. Joref graduated at the top of his class, possessing an uncanny ability to compose verse seemingly out of thin air. Though you have seen an intense hatred consume him in the presence of dark creatures, (which were responsible for taking the lives of his parents only a few short years ago) Joref is normally found singing praises and making merriment wherever he roams spreading the joy of the Most High One. Of course, his funloving spirit and silver tongue have made him a favorite choice among certain members of the opposite gender.
“He’s probably singin’ some silly love song to his fare maiden as usual.” comments Kale Win’darc sardonically.
Kale is the shortest member of your team, barrel chested and solid as stone. Being a Knight of the Way, he wears his hair braided down the center of his back to his belt in the typical fashion of a member of that ancient order. Even at his young age, his beard is braided to his chest having never been shaved, for a Jarrow takes a vow at an early age not to touch a razor to his head. Kale is a direct descendant of the Jarrows, “people of the Old Covenant”, and takes his heritage very seriously, often applying it to his conduct as a Knight of the Way. Sometimes he takes it too serious in your opinion. And now is one of those times. You shake your head slightly as he continues.
“You know how flittery in the tummy these Psalmists get once they get a romantic notion in thier heads, especially Joref."
“No more ‘flittery in the tummy’ than a Knight of the Way gets when he gets a chivalrous notion in his head.” retorts Valen Thornglade.
Valen is the Raid Team healer and is garbed in the red and white robes of a Renewer. Trained in the art of medicine, a Renewer’s skills are essential to survival in the dangerous lands of shadow that you are about to enter. Unfortunately, Valen, though one of the brightest students in the academy, is inexperienced and largely untested in the Dragonlands. Raised in one of the most respected families in the Liberated Lands, Valen’s sheltered life has created problems for him among his classmates. Most of them see him as soft and pampered. But you have seen his passion for the Overlord up close and, though a bit idealistic, you have come to value his heart of compassion for those less fortunate.
Of course, among equals, Valen’s sharp wit can quickly turn sarcastic.
“At least Joref has a reason to lavish adoration on Amberlessa since he is courting her for marriage.” he quips. “What is your excuse for fawning over every damsel you encounter like she’s made of glass even when she’s not interested in you?”
Kales face turns red with anger and you realize you’d better jump in before things get out of hand. Pulling out the scrolls you were given by Sir Talin, you interject quickly.
“While we are waiting for Joref, why don’t we review these scrolls and get an idea of where we’re going. It might take all of us putting our heads together to make sense of it all.”
Keei is the first to respond. Acting on your cue, the slim, darkly clad and cloaked young man steps between the others, effectively drawing their attention as he moves. Keei is the quiet, thoughtful one of the group, always observing and aware of everything around him. As an Overlord’s Scout, he has been specially trained in the art of disguise and stealth, infiltration and escape. Though mysterious in his character and background, there is an aura of calmness about this young man that you find comforting. If only you knew what drives him, for there is an intensity about him that slips through the cloaked exterior on occasion and betrays his peaceful demeanor. You make a mental note to talk with him one of these days, but now there are more important things to think about.
You unroll Brother Perethan’s letter and begin to read it, the others looking over your shoulders. It reads:
Find Mort the Short - Your ear he'll bend.
At the town square, inside the gate.
The cause of your mission never share.
The cost will be toil, trouble and strife."
The Overlord himself, gave his life to secure this protection for his people generations before when he single-handedly faced the raging hordes of dark creatures led by the dragons themselves, who pursued the First-Called-Out-Ones to this promised land of hope. Having brought his people out of bondage to the dragons and into this new land, the Overlord went forth to bar the enemy’s advance. This he did with his own blood as they crashed upon his body like a flood of hatred. As they tore his body to pieces, the blood that was shed became a freezing mist of crimson that engulfed the attacking armies. The serpents spent all their fire in vaporizing the deluge. Barely avoiding death, they were left weak and powerless.
"In the Western Peaks, at Safety's End"
Meet him early, don't be late.
Guard well your tongue, and speak with care.
Ten days to save a precious life.
“Sounds like a riddle more than a word from the Overlord.” comments Kale.
“Let him who has ears to hear, hear.” says Valen in reply. “You know the Overlord often spoke in parables to the First Called. Those without spiritual discernment back then didn’t get it either.”
“Are you sayin’ I don’t have discernment?”
Valen ignores Kale and continues, taking the map scroll you were given and unrolling it.
“Besides, I don’t think this is that hard to understand. We have a map of the area with us and... look.” he points at a spot on the scroll. “There’s a dot marked Safety’s End so it must be a city. It’s obvious that we need to go there first according to the verse and find this ‘Mort the Short’ person. Whoever he is, he must have some important information for us. Wouldn’t you say so, Tharkon?”
“Considering the next line mentions meeting him at the town square inside the gate, I would say it is reasonable to assume that Safety’s End is a city.” you reply.
“There is also a warning to keep our mission a secret...” Keei points out. “from everyone.”
“That’s true. We’ll have to remember that.” you caution.
“It isn’t the three of us you’ll have to warn,” Kale snorts, “it’s that silly psalmist whose always yakkin’ to everyone he meets.”
“Speaking of Joref, he’d better get here soon or we’re leaving without him.” you mutter. “The last line of this verse says we only have ten days to save a life! That seems like a long time, but considering we have no idea where to look yet and we’re not even out of the Liberated Lands, that concerns me alot.”
“We’re not even out of the Academy stable yard yet.” Valen adds.
Just then, as if waiting for his cue, Joref comes around the corner of the stables with his travel pack on his back and his mandolin in his hand.
“What are you four just standing around for, we’ve got some prisoners to set free.” he says as though he’s been here for hours waiting for you.
“Where have you been,” you ask, “and where’s your horse? We’ve got to get moving!”
“Horses?” he looks at you questioningly. “Why do we need horses to go to Unicorns’s Landing? It’s only an hour’s walk up the Swan Wing path into the surrounding foothills.”
“We’re not going to Unicorn’s Landing, you tweety-bird.” Kale growls.
“Of course we are.” Joref corrects matter-of-factly. “Didn’t the Overlord talk to you guys?”
“The Overlord gave us all a message through Brother Perethan.” you remind him. “We were just discussing it while we were waiting for you and we need to get going. We’ve only got ten days to save the prisoners!”
“That may be true, but the Overlord spoke to me on my way here and He wants us to go to The Glade of Many Waters at Unicorn Landing. He gave me a verse from the Sacred Scrolls from the scroll of Isaiah 40:31. ‘They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’”
“What does that have to do with the Glade of Many Waters?” you ask.
“I’ll tell you what it has do with the Glade of Many Waters.” Kale interrupts. “It’s called love-sickness!”
“What?” you look at the knight in puzzlement.
Valen clarifies. “Amberlessa lives in Unicorn’s Landing. It’s probably where our starstruck, young friend has just come from...”
“And he’s already wanting to go back!” Kale snorts and walks away, his hands in the air. “C'mon, Joref. There are more important things right now than your romantic life!”
Keei shakes his head and mounts his horse beside Kale as you continue to talk to the psalmist.
“Joref, we have no time to mess around. This is life or death. We are going to lose a good day and a half just getting to the Dragon Lands as it is. We can’t afford to risk someones life wasting more time marching half a day in the wrong direction just so you can kiss Amberlessa goodbye.”
Joref looks at you stunned.
“Kiss Amberlessa goodbye?” he repeates. “Is that all you think of me; that I’m just going to risk someone’s life for a kiss?”
“Well, Joref, it just doesn’t make sense.” you begin to explain, but he interrupts you.
“What about the verse then? Isaiah 40:31? ‘They that wait upon the Lord...’ Don’t you think the Overlord’s trying to tell us to slow down a minute and trust in Him? Don’t you think we’re rushing into this a bit?”
Valen mounts his horse to join the others. “Sir Talin and Brother Perethan have already waited on the Overlord for answers and direction and now we’ve got them so why wait longer? Are you sure you heard the Overlord’s voice clearly on this one, Joref? Sometimes we can mistake our own desires as his promptings. I mean nobody faults you for wanting to be with your betrothed, but we have to stay focused now and ride.”
Joref looks at you pleadingly.
“I admit that I’m struggling with this mission, Tharkon. It’s hard to leave the woman I love to go on a dangerous raid from which I might not return, but I really think this verse is from the Overlord. Think about it!”
What will you choose?
Will you agree with the others that this is too much time lost and that you need to ride for the Passage Lakes immediately? After-all, Joref can be emotional at times and how do you know if he really heard from the Overlord when his heart is also drawn by the woman he loves.
Will you heed Joref’s words and leave the horses behind in favor of a half day’s march through the foot hills and into Unicorn’s Landing just to sit around and hope that the Overlord does something for you while the psalmist composes love songs all day . How did that verse go again? Maybe you should look it up first and then try to make your decision. (Isaiah 40:31) Could the Overlord truly be telling you something?
Of Course, you could also take a moment to pray for the Overlord’s Guidance.