Well everyone, it’s time once again for another installment of Onyxia’s grand adventure. For the sake of speeding this up a bit, I’ve decided to jump ahead a little further into the campaign, as most of what happened in-between really wasn’t that interesting. To sum things up though, Onyxia and I basically fell into a daily routine, with me doing my best to teach her moral values, while she did her best to keep her temper under control. However, after 14 years of being together, it felt like I had hit a brick wall with my daughter, for no matter how hard I seemed to try, she still wasn’t willing to embrace a good and virtuous life.
Sure, she wasn’t killing anyone, and behaved herself for the most part, but she still treated everyone around her with an obvious disdain. As for my farmlands, business continued to grow at a slow and steady rate, and I even managed to obtain a few dinosaurs and mammoths to add to my ranch as well. All in all, things were looking very good as far as my finances were concerned, but I was still spending a lot of money just to keep the farm afloat. By this point, aside from hunting down new animals to add to my ranch, I had pretty much delegated the daily upkeep to my staff (although I would still step in to train some of the more difficult animals, who usually required an enormous handle animal check in order to be properly reared). I even went out and bought a Ring of Sustenance so that I only needed to sleep just two hours a night (which essentially meant that I had more time to work on the farm and raise my beautiful daughter).
Speaking of which, Onyxia had now grown to the size of a large dog, and she was slowly getting stronger and smarter with every passing day. Her scales still didn’t shimmer or shine as I wanted them to, but neither did they darken or dull any further. I was relieved to see this of course, but I was also at a loss, for I simply couldn’t figure out how to help my daughter advance any further (at least as far as her alignment was concerned). During this time, I even started taking Onyxia out on minor quests, and she soon learned that hunting down bandits and trolls was a VERY fun pastime.
As you might imagine, trolls found Onyxia especially terrifying since her acid breath turned off their precious regeneration, and as such, my daughter happily enjoyed chasing them down with impunity. She savored every battle and reveled in every kill, and although torturing her enemies no longer held her interest, it was clear that she still suffered from a blinding amount of rage. I suppose that if I had wanted to, I probably could have convinced my daughter to adopt the worship of Gorum (who is basically the God of weapons, battle, and war), but I simply couldn’t bring myself to lead her on that path.
I wanted her to be good. I needed her to be good. And above all else, I knew that if I helped her to embrace a life of violence, I’d eventually lose my daughter to the bloodlust that possessed her.
No, she needed to have a purpose that was greater than herself, but sadly I had no idea what that purpose might possibly be.
And little did I know, with the news of a traveling caravan showing up at my farm, everything about my life was swiftly going to change.
Now, up until this point, my ranch had built up one hell of a reputation due to the wide variety of exotic animals that we sold on the farm. Because of this, many other interested parties began to take notice, and several of them greatly desired to sell me some of their creatures as well. As you might imagine, I was always open to the idea of raising new animals, and I couldn’t wait to see what this traveling caravan would offer.
When it finally arrived, a good portion of my followers (along with myself) came out to greet the merchants with smiles on our faces, for my farm was also widely renowned for its generous hospitality and trustworthy staff. I knew it was important to be friendly towards traders, and I always wanted them to feel welcome on my ranch.
“Good day to you sir. It is a pleasure to finally meet you,” the lead merchant called out, a man in his late thirties with a stylish well-trimmed beard. “I have been traveling for almost three weeks to make it to your establishment, and I’m confident that my merchandise will be well worth the effort.”
“I’m sure that it will,” I said in response, before politely reaching out to shake the man’s hand. “Let’s see what you’ve got.”
To my surprise, the merchant wasn’t kidding about the quality of his goods, as the man proudly took me on a tour through the caravan, showing off the numerous beasts that he had at his disposal. A dire bear and an elephant were the first to catch my eye, but the thing that really grabbed my attention were the large man-sized eggs in the second to last wagon.
“Are those…roc eggs?” I asked in genuine awe, as the merchant merely smiled and nodded his head.
“You have a keen eye my friend,” he said in a flattering tone. “Those were very hard to come by, but I had heard that you’ve been wanting them.”
“Well, you heard right,” I said in response, as I could barely contain my excitement about finally raising some rocs.
However, it was around this time that Onyxia had finally made her arrival, as she suddenly flew in and landed near one the wagons, causing several of the caged creatures to growl out in response. Now, to be honest, I wasn’t very worried that my daughter would cause trouble, for she usually behaved herself whenever I was around. Yet for some bizarre reason, while I was bargaining with the merchant over the price of his goods, I noticed that Onyxia was acting a bit strange.
She was constantly sniffing the air as if searching for something, and after roaming around the caravan for a couple of minutes, her head suddenly shot up and she let out a loud roar.
“Here!” she yelled in draconic (for it was still the only language that she understood). “Father, come quick! They have them trapped here!”
Without even thinking about it, I quickly rushed over to see what was wrong, for I knew that Onyxia wouldn’t call me ‘father’ unless the situation was incredibly serious. When I finally found her though, my daughter was clinging tightly to the wooden door of a wagon, as she gazed through the barred window and yelled out once again.
“Look. You must look,” she urged me frantically, and as I stepped up to the window and looked inside the wagon, the only thing I noticed were three small oval-shaped objects lying in a bundle of hay.
After making the proper knowledge check, I quickly discovered that those objects were none other than a brass dragon’s eggs.
“Save them! We must save them!” Onyxia declared hotly, yet before I could respond to my daughter’s demands, the sound of the merchant’s voice quickly captured my attention.
“Ah, I see you have found my most prized possessions,” the bearded man stated happily. “I had intended to sell those eggs to a nobleman in Brevoy, but I’d gladly let you purchase them if you’ve got the coin to do so.”
When I asked how much they cost, the merchant calmly replied that they would be 60,000 gold a piece (which basically meant that even if I sold all my magical items and used up all my savings, I’d only be able to afford two eggs at the most). With that in mind, I asked if he’d be willing to let me purchase them on a credit, to which the merchant immediately laughed and waved me off with a smile.
“I’m afraid I can’t do that,” he said rather bluntly, whereupon I quickly attempted a diplomacy check to try and change his mind.
I rolled a 14, but it still wasn’t enough.
“As much as I would like to, I’m afraid that’s out of the question. These eggs are simply too valuable to be given out on credit. Now then, I seem to recall someone wanting to purchase some of my roc eggs, and I’d certainly be more than happy to conclude that transaction.”
I asked the merchant to give me a moment while I considered the situation, as Onyxia continued to stare at me with a desperate look in her eyes.
“Father, we must help them!” she stated once again.
“I’m not sure if we can,” I tried to explain. “The eggs are too expensive. I don’t think I can buy them.”
“But…but father…” Onyxia said in a slightly wounded voice.
“Listen my daughter, you cannot ask me to steal from this man. Those eggs are his property, and we have no right to take them.”
“Yes, I know that but…” she paused for a moment, as if silently searching for the proper words to say. “This…isn’t right. I know that this is wrong. We cannot let this happen. We have to do something!”
“I’m sorry Onyxia, but I’m afraid–" I stopped myself in mid-sentence as I suddenly realized something.
In all these years that I had spent with my daughter, this was the first time that she had ever declared something to be ‘morally wrong’. Up until this point, she never seemed to give a damn about doing the right thing, yet in this very moment, that was exactly what she was doing. She knew that it was wrong for these eggs to be sold into slavery, and it didn’t matter that the merchant had every right to do so.
Now, I want you all to understand that under normal circumstances, I never would have considered stealing from someone with this character (and especially not from a merchant), for I knew that if I did it would only invite trouble. My goal had always been to establish myself as a respectable farmer with an honorable reputation, yet as I felt my daughter’s gaze upon me, I realized that what happened next could very well change her life.
She was watching me, waiting to see what decision I would make, and I knew that whatever I did would have a major influence on how she viewed the world.
Do I choose the righteous path, or do I simply play it safe and let the merchant go?
With a reluctant sigh, I slowly drew my sword and ordered my cohorts to do the same, and within the span of a few seconds, the caravan was quickly surrounded while the merchants were held at knife-point.
“What is the meaning of this?!” the lead merchant yelled out, as I slowly approached the man with a firm and determined look.
“I’m sorry for the inconvenience my friend, but I fear I must insist on taking these dragon eggs off your hands,” I said simply, before ordering one of my cohorts to unlock the wagon and retrieve the eggs.
“Y-you…you would dare steal from me?!” the merchant asked incredulously, as his palms began to shake with undisguised rage. “You monster! You fiend! I’ll have your head for this!”
In response to the merchant’s ramblings I rolled an intimidate check, and with a result of 19, the man was quickly silenced. However, as my cohort finally finished retrieving all the eggs, I decided to try and make amends by paying the merchant 10,000 gold pieces and dropping them in his wagon.
“Consider this money my down payment for now. If you would be so kind as to visit me again, I promise to pay you more in the next coming weeks.”
The merchant merely glared at me with dark hateful eyes, before turning on his heels and slowly walking away.
“Oh, I can assure you that you haven’t seen the last of me,” he called out over his shoulder, before finally reaching the lead wagon and urging his driver onward.
As the caravan pulled away, I quickly turned my attention back to Onyxia who was currently watching my cohorts with a mixture of awe and surprise. It was if she was finally seeing them for the very first time, for she simply could not believe that they had helped me in my efforts to save the dragon eggs. However, as her gaze finally fell back upon me, my little dragon quickly walked up and spoke to me in again.
“Father, let me kill him. I know that he is dangerous,” she said, referring to the merchant.
Apparently, even though Onyxia still could not speak common, she understood that the merchant now clearly intended us harm.
“No Onyxia. You cannot kill him,” I said to my daughter.
“Why not?!” she demanded.
“Because it wouldn’t be right.”
Onyxia briefly considered my words and mulled them over in her head, yet rather than continuing to argue with me (which I fully expected her to do) she actually said something that caught me off guard.
“I understand,” she stated in a completely calm voice, before looking over at the eggs and then back to me again. “Can we put them in my lair father? I promise I’ll take care of them.”
Not seeing an issue with this, I nodded in approval and we carried the eggs to her barn.
Later that night, I slumped down in the hay and let out a stressful sigh, as my mind started to process everything that had happened. I lamented the loss of the roc eggs (which I sadly didn’t purchase), for as much as I wished to buy them from the merchant, I simply couldn’t afford to after ‘paying’ for the dragon eggs.
Speaking of which, after making another knowledge check, I learned that the eggs were still several weeks away from hatching; and since I really didn’t know what else to do with them, I realized that my little family was about to get a bit larger.
Looking across the room, I noticed that Onyxia was guarding the eggs like a hawk (which was actually rather impressive considering that black dragons weren’t really known for having a strong maternal instinct).
“Well, it looks like you’re going to be a big sister now,” I chuckled out softly, as Onyxia merely regarded me with a calm, unreadable stare.
The two of us sat in silence for several long minutes, each of us clearly lost in our own train of thought. However, just as I considered saying something else, Onyxia slowly stood up and walked over to my side. I didn’t know what to expect as she took a seat next to me, but I decided to remain silent and let her speak first.
Then, from out of nowhere, Onyxia said something that I would never…ever forget.
“Father…I just wanted you to know that…I am so very proud that I am your daughter,” she said, before suddenly moving closer and embracing me in a hug. “Thank you, father. Thank you. I love you so much.”
It was the first time my daughter ever hugged me like this, and it was also the first time that she had ever said ‘I love you’. I didn’t know what to say as she continued to hold me tight, for all I could do was sit there in silence before returning her embrace with one of my own.
And then, in that moment, I noticed that my daughter’s scales had slowly started to shine just a little bit brighter than they ever had before.