2701/Pyramid Raid

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Pyramid Raid
Date of Scene: 31 July 2015
Location: Desert Mountains
Synopsis: Smaug comes upon a pyramid with treasures within, however, while attempting to discern how to break into the pyramid, a visitor comes to him with questions, and possibly a way for the dragon to achieve what he desires.
Cast of Characters: 615, 689

Smaug (689) has posed:
    A dragon without a hoard is a creature in quite a sorry state. The longer, and older they become, the more irritable and frustrated they will become at sleeping on a stone floor with only a spattering of valuables to claim as their own. While much of the great dragon's time has been spent brooding about dwarves and arrows, the yearning to find a hoard as great as the one he attempted to claim at Erebor remains a constant pain in the back of his mind, urging him both up and out of the place he now calls home.

    Today, a set of great wings have carried the dragon called Smaug to a set of pyramids located near the foot of a great mountain. These are not the sort you would expect pharoh's to be buried in. Rather, they are the sort that people made doomsday calendars around instead. Currently, the dragon is circling one particular pyramid, long since abandoned by its people. He can -smell- what he wants inside. It's determining how to get at the valuables without destroying them that is his current concern.

Ineryon (615) has posed:
     It wasn't the most extravagant entrance ever beheld by the myriad of the Multiverse's members, but those hailing from the nexus which constituted the crossroads of universes might be inclined to marvel at Baron Ineryon Valos' appearance, if one supposed they hadn't already stood testament to more grandiose debuts in their lifetime; for an ancient wyrm like Smaug, who has undoubtedly been around, witnessing some shadows congregating, before the dark-elf was spat out upon the slope of the pyramid, was less astonishing than some of the greatest tricks ever seen, albeit, more impressive than the most paltry ones!

     Dragons, in their own right, had earned a reputation for obscenely-magnified degrees of power, and even if it had been the contingent that 'Smaug the Golden' was not yet so gilded as a few rumors had led Ineryon to believe, the drow was familiar enough with dragons to be conscious of aesthetics carrying some truth, if size amounted to anything. The reality was that the Dark Elf King, Astos, could metamorph into the dreadful Black Dragon, who had slain the Fiend of Earth, Lich; a technique possessed exclusively to the fully-fledged practitioners of the stygian arcana. Lord Valos was hardly a match for Astos, and thus, Ineryon gambled that without a miracle, he would come up short in a competition of violent proportions, if he enticed Smaug into skirmish-- naturally, Ineryon would no sooner attack Smaug than he would try to tackle someone like Dragon-Form Astos, without a backup plan.

     Today, he was here to negotiate, prayers that a dragon could be reasoned with were notwithstanding, due in part to the dark-sylvan being of the mind that should things have turned sour, that he could use a shadowy-vortex to escape right back the way he'd come! That was his hope, as he addressed Smaug, "...Salutations. Be you Mister Smaug, or have I mistaken you for some other gargantuan reptile capable of knocking down towers, museums, churches, airships.... or otherwise, facilities of substantial structural-integrity.....?"

Smaug (689) has posed:
    A mix of shadow and magic was of no concern to a dragon. Smaug was no different. The wisps heralding the arrival of this drow did not seem to concern, or worry, the dragon. He was far more concerned with figuring out how to crack the massive stone egg before him so he could claim the goods within.

    When addressed, the dragon does not realize he's being spoken to at first. After a moment or two passes, his eyes would slip toward the peak of the pyramid, catching sight of a creature far too small for him to typically be concerned with. It is because this smaller being knew his name that the dragon even acknolwedges his existence. "What thing has come before me, that even knows my name?" Well, at least Ineryon has a chance, now.

Ineryon (615) has posed:
     Ineryon himself might be a hypocrite to condemn Smaug for considering a drow to be unworthy of being afforded the attentions of a great dragon, for the nobleman engaged in no habitual study of ants crawling around ant-hills, unless they ended up on his foot, in which case, they would soon find themselves losing their cohesion; Ineryon Valos had few qualms about obliterating insects by spreading their matter to the four-winds.

     On the other hand, he recognized that sometimes analogies worked well when dealing with beasts who had scant patience for beings that were puny, and, by contrast to something as enormous as a dragon, that if one didn't /verify/, beyond all reasonable doubt, that they -DID- have legitimate claim to some mode of importance, then far be it for Smaug to waste his time speculating that a mere dark-elf had anything to offer, beyond what was visibly noted upon his emergence! Ergo, when Smaug issues inquiry, the dark elf comfortably seats himself on a particularly obtrusive stone, which acted as a makeshift couch, minus a cushion, and peered at the magnificent pyramid that the dragon had lent his interest to, denoting, "...This thing that has come before you, is capable of both making, as well as unmaking the /other/ thing that clearly holds your interest, which fails to know your name, or yield to you whatever it is that you wish it to render. Given the choice between relinquishing your concentration to a vast dune of sand, a drow nearly one hundred inches in height, or an old stone-forged building that withstands wind for centuries, you have elected to pay heed to the pyramid... ziggurat... or whatever you'd be inclined to name that thing."

     Ineryon isn't mocking Smaug's decision, however, the drow is aware that Smaug cherry-picked the structure out of everything else to be the focus of his designs, and it seemed rational to conclude the dragon yearned for -something- within... or around. Not being psychic, this would take some investigation. "....At any rate, even the greatest general in the world can achieve more with an army, in addition to his own devices, than to be left solely to the aforementioned devices, whilst lacking an army. More intriguing, a grenade may be as small as a squirrel, but contained within its physical shape lies enough force to topple a house." The dark-elf folded his arms over his chest, "If you can not get something by yourself, surely, someone with a -different- skill-set can do it for you, whereas, you can sometimes do things for others, that they cannot do, because they do not have your 'unique' skill-set!" If Ineryon scratches Smaug's back, perhaps, then.....

Smaug (689) has posed:
    While lengthy, the way in which the drow offers his assistance to Smaug is not missed. He seemed to understand early on, but Smaug, much like this drow he feels, enjoyed the sound of his own voice. Let him speak what he wishes. The dragon's eyes stay upon him, focused. To be given an easier way of accessing this ancient pyramid was quite a notable find. Of course, Smaug knew one thing. This offer would not be given for free. There would be a debt in need of repayment should he accept. The same occured when the Confederacy took him in after his failure at Erebor. This, certainly, would be no different.

    "I will focus upon what I desire, nothing less. You, however, have my interest, dark one. What is it that you are suggesting? I would be a fool to think you would offer such aid at no cost. What is it, then, that you would want of me? And also, why would I want to accept? This pyramid is no match for my might, nor my power. Should I need to tear it down and salvage what I desire, then so be it. Tell me, then, creature, why I should continue to lend my attention to you?" Impaitent? Perhaps. Irritated? Not at the moment. With dragons, however, the road between pacified and angered is narrow at best.

Ineryon (615) has posed:
     Ineryon gazed upward at Smaug, as the wyrm spoke his part, and then stood. From here, the midnight-colored sylph begin to peruse the edges of the giant monolith, clicking his tongue periodically, which would've sounded nostalgic for anyone familiar with the noises made by cetaceans, for those aquatically-inclined, as he considered his words cautiously, when revering the titanic monster nearby, "What you desire is, in a sense... what we all desire. Expansion... reassurance, and, should I dare venture to say, minimization of pain, while maximizing the intake of comfort?" The drow tapped his chin lightly, drumming his fingers as he took some things into account, until he started to scale to different elevations, "Lore of differing realms tell of dragons who seek the sacrifice of humanoid virgins... some who crave gold for preferable bedding, and then... others simply wish eminence, that is... their due respect."

     If the devil himself went down to Georgia, he too, would expect his dues, or so the famous song asserted-- and Ineryon had overheard this tune during his travels to the more technologically-advanced territories within the Multiverse. Gently putting the side of his head to one of the stones, and making percussion by tapping his palm against them, he took another 'reading', although whatever he was doing could've been a mystery to Smaug, unless the wyrm was knowledgable on dark-elves from The Blue Planet. Standing upright, and turning to the one-headed-hydra, Lord Valos cleared his throat, "You've been here a few minutes, haven't you? Why have you hesitated to pulverize this obstacle, which brings veto to your election to do what it is you came here to do? Knock down this piteous pyramid, and be done with it, great one!... I shall observe, and be awe-stricken, as you demonstrate how the act is done, so that I can see you beget what fantasy lies in your mind's eye, if my services are not necessary!" Snapping his fingers, as though coming to a conclusion, the drow tilted his head to the side, questioningly, "....Or, tolerate my presence and seek to haggle. What have you to fear from me, failing some hidden knack for placing a dragon in its grave!?"

     Reclining, arms behind his head as he leans against the building, Ineryon finally remarks, "I think you've been here a few minutes by virtue of there being some.... /minuscule/ technicality that prevents you from simply shattering this, or why would you waste time quibbling with I, to even so much as /entertain/ the notion of forming a pact." Ineryon shakes his head, "I do not play games with you, Mister Smaug. I merely theorize that some things are beyond your doing, as some are beyond mine. As to what I detect.... I detect.... metal... lots of metal... inside this structure. Clusters of metallic ore that bear shapes, so articulate and... /artificial/... that I should wager these aren't naturally-occurring deposits... but treasures people placed within, which some pyramids are known for housing! And... by process of elimination, I might be led to believe you /desire/ the metallic contents of this archaic shelter. Can an ant crawl into an ant-hill with more ease than a human? And here we are... a dragon and a humanoid... at a structure that is the equivalent of a 'human-hill'. Which one of us can extract the stuff inside without risking a cave-in?" Being a 'legal-assistant' to a mining-company, Ineryon Valos knows much about the fragile nature of hollowed-out alcoves, which is how he deduced what he did, even if he's willing to accept that he's incorrect, should Smaug clarify to the contrary....

Smaug (689) has posed:
    A pause comes, filled only by a low growl as the dragon's eyes narrow. To tell a dragon there are things they cannot do may not be wise, but the words ring true deep within Smaug's mind. The reason that fire and smoke do not not seek to release themselves from the dragon's maw is simply because the drow was right. While Smaug may not admit to it, it was clear to him that the 'dark one' before him was intelligent, shrewd even. He doesn't dignify his inability to shatter the pyramid to bits with a response. Rather, his head comes level with Ineryon's own.
    "What do I call this one, then? And, again, I ask, what is it that you would seek in return?" His tone is calm, but more demanding, with the answer to that question avoided, as far as he could tell. "Answer me these questions, first, and then I will consider what you have to say further." Now, the drow had this dragon's full attention.

Ineryon (615) has posed:
     Ineryon shook his head, closing his eyes with a sigh, then began to climb to the top of the pyramid, before Smaug's head descends to meet head-on with the dark elf. Side-glancing a particularly large stone, that looked roughly to be two tons at most, Ineryon goes over towards it, then heaves it into the air, after grabbing it with both hands, making it 'appear' to be a chore for him. Setting it down, afterwards, wiping his brow, he extends a hand, palm upwards, 'offering' Smaug the boulder, "Well, Mister Smaug... you have been a gracious host to suffer my presence to up to this juncture, and now... I bequeath unto you a name, in exchange for your courtesy. I am often known as Baron Ineryon Valos, or, Mister Valos... But I prefer not to be referred to by my given-name, simply because it seems to be a breach of etiquette, unless I'm conversing with a.... friend." Narrowing his eyes at the mention of 'friend', it may be the concept is alien to him, or something he finds personally to be disagreeable.

     Canting his head towards the rock, Ineryon queries, "My price is.... that stone. If you can pick it up and give it to me, I will provide the valuables in this pyramid's interior, without any reluctance. Is it a deal?" Lifting his hands in the air, waiting for Smaug to hand him the rock, Ineryon silently, presumably unbeknownst to Smaug, adds about seventy tons of additional weight to the stone, which is just shy of the same poundage exhibited by most grey-whales of the seven seas.

Smaug (689) has posed:
    There's a moment where the dragon's gaze is locked onto the drow's actions. The rock, the appearence of his difficulty lifting it, setting it down, and then the offer. For a moment, the dragon looks at the drow with a bewildered look, and then he just laughs long and low. "A stone? Truly? That is -all- you want?" he finally says as he gathers his composure back. Well, at least Ineryon made him laugh. That's good, right? "Alright, dark one, I will play your game," he continues before moving toward the indicated stone, completely unaware of any magics being placed upon it.

    Upon approach, the amount of confidence radiating from the dragon is palpable. It's just a stone. What difficulty could it possibly be? His hand reaches out, pressing against it as if to test the weight. For just a moment, there's confusion. Blink, and it would be gone. Aware now of the possible weight, the dragon rears back, standing on his hind legs as both hands are set to the stone. This would be NOTHING.


    It doesn't even move. The possibility of the stone not moving wasn't even in the furthest corner of his mind. For it to defy him in such a way quickly causes his growl to return. Another attempt at least stirs the boulder, but little else. With rage quickly coming to a boil, his next attempt sets his tail thrashing, his wings to spread half way. This time, he -barely- manages to lift the stone from the ground it rests on, but handing it to Ineryon? Well, that chore would depend upon just how much further the dragon has to lift it.

Ineryon (615) has posed:
     Ineryon, for what it was worth, was using seventy percent of his mental concentration, ergo, while Smaug was trying to lift that rock, which was only a couple cubic meters in total volume, from default, presented the dark-elf with the chore of having to resist the colossal muscle of a drake who could carry its own weight through the air; Ineryon, if pushed to his limits, in their totality, would have required he imbue the boulder with ninety-some tons, since the object was initially in proximity to two. This drow mastermind, if he could be referred to as a puller-of-strings, was not finding this entirely easy, so Ineryon was in no position to brag about 'how easily' he was thwarting Smaug, yet, simultaneously, it was not so simple for the wyrm to decree that the dark-elf was wholly helpless in presenting a dragon with a challenge that could be regarded as a 'mere afterthought', which spoke volumes for the fact that whichever of the two entities was greater, Smaug or Ineryon, that both had at least -some- merit!

     "....No gloating shall come from me, Mister Smaug. But I will say that even a whale can be felled by a harpoon, if that whale should be speared in its heart, by one who has made sufficient calculations to ensure that the arrangements made in advance, should enable the spear-thrower to have access to an exposed thorax!" These weren't the best words, seeing that Smaug may have had to've slogged through the drudgery of recuperating from a 'harpoon' thrown by some dwarven-sized(or human-sized) Captain Ahab, nevertheless, being that Baron Valos wasn't entirely aware of this detail, exactly, hopefully the dragon would forgive Ineryon, especially since it was evident that the smaller fellow was not /absolutely/ helpless. No tone in his voice suggested patronization, either, so if luck was on Ineryon's side, mayhap Smaug would give the night-pigmented sylvan the benefit of the doubt? "The fact is... All things are composed of other things... I am composed of bones... you are composed of bones... flesh... scales. What is it that bones are comprised of, Mister Smaug? Lots of calcium, and a few other minerals. Calcium is a major component of limestone. I can, apparently... manipulate stone.."

     He rolls his eyes, and bows, again, with no condescending sarcasm involved, because an angry dragon is not something to trifle with, "...The fact is... if your bones are made of calcium, and I can control approximately a million pounds' worth of minerals.... then, would it not be true that there are... lots of people... or dwarves... or elves... who, if taken by surprise, could be.... 'coerced' to cater to my whims, whether it be in or against their free-will to comply? I'm certain your success has made you some bitter enemies, Mister Smaug. Something out there that has iron in its blood, or calcium in its bones... must be susceptible to talents I lodge, yes?"

Smaug (689) has posed:
        Heave, HEAVE, *THUD*.

    No such luck for the dragon in regards to the stone today. So maddened by it, however, the dragon sets loose a torrent of flame against the offending stone. Thankfuly for Ineryon, however, it is at such an angle that it would be easy for him to simply step back to avoid the blaze of the dragon's ire. The rage nearly turns on the drow, however, his explanation spares him from a jaw full of daggers and a flame from the heart of the dragon's inner furnace.

    The drow's point is made. His ability to manipulate matter to his whims was clear. "A ruse, then," he mutters, almost spitting the words. "I do not care for trickery, dark one, but you have made your point. Do as you will, one way or another. I will offer you a 'favor' of mine, or you can leave me to this stone temple and the riddle of it's entry. It is your decision to make. I will not hold it against you, one way or another."

Ineryon (615) has posed:
     The dark-elf takes precautionary measures to avoid the flames... and not /just/ the flames, but the -proximity- of the fire, because, anyone who has ever been to a large bonfire at a camping trip that one can become highly uncomfortable even if they so much as step within half a foot of a massive inferno, let alone touching any straying embers! With this taken into account, an omniscient would be enlightened to Ineryon's whereabouts during Smaug's escapades, which involved the drow nobleman taking refuge a good distance from the flaring lizard, possibly even using another boulder to shield him from extraneous sparks meandering around carelessly. Grunting, when Smaug says his part, Ineryon retorts, "...You may be so honorable to limit yourself to bypassing the employment of trickery, Mister Smaug, but your enemies, if they are humanoid, will yield no such reservation, and shall embrace any luxury given to them.... be it the trick of crafting spears, swords, arrows, or bullets to do their dirty-work. If you adhere to some code of honor, that is well and good, however, you will never see yourself blessed by the coins, goblets, and crowns strewn about their labyrinths, if you ignore this warning, however foreboding it might be!"

     He scoffs, "Nature, or the nature of sorcerers has used its tricks, its means, to see to the creation of a creature such as a dragon, who uses fire to see that its ends be brought to fruition, Mister Smaug. Every design in any world, anywhere, is an extension of whatever brought you, or I, into this world, to do its bidding. Insects use an exoskeleton... Reptiles use their scales... Humans are born with less innate gimmicks, so they compensate with their inventiveness." He grinned, hoping to speak Smaug's language, with his final observation, raising his finger in resolved punctuation, stressing his final point, "...So if one greater than a man, such as you, possesses both your own tools, and the same tools as the man, who is equal to you, Mister Smaug? If you say you focus on only your desires, and nothing less... then I say, focus not on their codes of honor, or any other hindrance. Focus on what you want. They have what you want. Do what it takes to take it from them.... because if you do not learn how to take from them, they will eventually take from you!"

     The drow then chortles, "....Besides... If someone is to be destitute, better them than you, right?" Prompted by this, Ineryon waves a hand, and the stones of the 'pyramid' begin to -rearrange- themselves in a systematic manner, allowing, from the top, an opening to grant Smaug access to some of the wealth within. Ineryon does this delicately, yet, he doesn't move the 'bricks' at a snail's pace, because, if one takes the top level off of a 'house of cards', it can be done with more confidence than if one were to try to remove one of the cards holding the structure up, from the very bottom! "....Today, I came to 'improve' relations between us, Mister Smaug, because I am hoping that in the future, we can both arrange a mutually-profitable arrangement.... and as you can see, I'm fond of arranging, and rearranging things that improve my quality of life, as well as those who are willing to.... 'play ball', as the slang term goes, in human circles!"

Smaug (689) has posed:
    The rage cools, Smaug's composure situates itself upon his mind, and then he listens to the words of the drow, many of them as there are. Someone that had not already impressed him would have found the dragon becoming impaitent. Instead, the warning about the cleverness of men, and other similar creatures, is heard. "I am fully aware of what lesser creatures can do. I spare no mercy to those that cross me, or attempt to come between me and what I desire. I -dislike- such trickery, but to believe that it won't be used against a creature such as myself, in a world such as this, would be foolish. No, the allies I have set my eyes open, and I have seen the things this place has to offer."

    And now, this world shows him something new. The apparent lack of effort it takes for this drow to pry open the pyramid is impressive at best. In a moment, Smaug scales the structure to look within, spying what he had desired when he landed here. "I will do as you will, so long as our interests are aligned, dark one. How will you decide to call upon me, then? What manner of device will you provide, then, should my aid be needed?"

Ineryon (615) has posed:
     Starting to create a rift in the middle of thin-air, in a midnight hue, resembling the shadowy vortex he'd utilized to come forth, initially, Ineryon bobs his head bilaterally, before he answers Smaug, "Anyone who says they'd assist me even if the assistance is unaligned with their own agenda either believes I'm gullible enough to buy the Brooklyn Bridge, or they actually infuse stock in the concept of altruism. In either case, such a person is not equipped to do business with Baron Ineryon Valos, or anyone coming from the clan of the Valii." He sighs, before he commences towards the black gate, "....Lastly, Mister Smaug.... I want to say that my hearing is not limited to the physical parameters of my ears, nor my ability to acknowledge, limited to what I see with my eyes. Nearly all things are in a constant state of motion.... and, even before something reaches me personally, it may go through someone else's ears, or a communication device.... or a newspaper."

     Looking over at his shoulder, once more, the nobleman addresses the dragon, "....If you wish to speak to me... I trust you are resourceful enough to tug on one fiber of the tapestry with enough strength to make the outer edges of that weave to feel your pull.... so, if you need me, and you make it clear, to someone, somewhere... I shall be around... and if I need to find you, all I have to do is listen to the wind-- metaphorically speaking, of course, Mister Smaug." Following this statement, Ineryon is finally swallowed up by the dark corridor, which closes up, after, leaving only minor tendrils of negatively-charged energies, which radiate outwards concisely, before dissolving into nothing.