8- A Dragon's Riches
The strong rule the weak. That is the law amongst the kobolds. But in the depths of Lord Nagafen's lair, one of the strongest of the Solusek kobolds grew restless.
While kobolds do not usually give in to pride, some do indeed give in to greed.
Heili Erat, a noble of the Solusek kobold clan, grew increasingly angry that he was left on the fringe of the royalty. The rewards he sought for his position were ignored. No matter how he petitioned for an army of his own, he was shuffled back to his filthy room, where he could often be heard pacing back and forth while cursing them all.
Heili decided it was time to seek power and riches of his own. He would find a way to line his pockets with gold.
For as long as Heili could recall, he had been told to stay away from Lord Nagafen, the mighty dragon in the bowels of the mines. He was told never to explore there or he would face the dire lord's fiery breath. The legends say that those who attempted to slay the dragon were stripped of all their riches and wasted away deep in the caverns-a place no Solusek kobold had ever set foot.
Rather than get the tangled fur of his own haunches seared by Lord Nagafen, he decided to send an unsuspecting slave. He called a kobold slave to his shabby room and had him sit in front of him. The noble quickly cast a charm spell upon the poor slave, bidding him to search the deep caverns of Nagafen's den to see what lay hidden there.
It is not known what the enchantment was that captured the slave, but it was somehow enough for him to catch a glimpse of a cavern filled with enormous heaps of riches belonging to Lord Nagafen. Heili saw it all as he looked through the slave's eyes.
That was the tale woven by the Shadowed man to Nedaria who, in turn, relayed it to Morden and Tondal. Morden believed the tale. The creases at the corners of his eyes crumpled as he smirked, his gray eyes glistening with the thrill of adventure.
Two nights had passed and Morden had finally reached the Solusek kobold's lair, where he perched on a ledge near a lava pit. He heard them growling about a hidden passage and the noble's idiocy. They said he was starting rumors and saying that Lord Nagafen's lair was not real.
In the shadows, Morden made time to watch Heili, the noble. He saw him caress an old crate on the floor of his makeshift room and cackle. He got up and paced past the torch on the wall and its flame flickered. It was enough to capture a glint of gold between the rotting wooden slats of the crate.
"There are riches of the likes we've never seen, my dear friends. I'm sure of it," Morden said with a roguish grin. "I've found a way for us to enter the hold. Prepare yourselves for adventure. We move today!"