The Sands of Argo
A Dream of Green Malcocite
Dargmund hummed to himself as he delicately chipped away at the rock surrounding the small vein of ore he’d discovered only a week ago. He’d always known he was destined for big things. Joining the Palus Extremis Mining Company along with his brother, Torvald, had seemed like giving up that dream. What could one hope to achieve while digging for malcocite? But that was all about to change. All of the malcocite in this gods forsaken continent of a mine was a deep shade of purple. The tiny vein that he knelt beside, so cautiously exposing, was green.
It had taken his brother and him over ten years of hard work in the sand pits of Dustvale to earn enough gold to stake a claim in the Palus mines. He could still recall the day they cashed in their final haversacks of white sand. They’d packed the night before so that they could board the Gildariot immediately for Foranund. Torvald had even secretly bought a pair of airship tickets so that they could travel to Palus in style.
The adjustment to mixed culture had been a shock to both of them. Having grown up in Dustvale, Dargmund had seen only a few hundred Khargous his entire life and could count on one hand the number he had actually interacted with. In Palus, it was he who was the spectacle. Gnomes, Halflings, Dragonborn and Half-Orcs, children of all kinds, all gawked whenever he left the mines to buy supplies.
But with this discovery, even this life would be a thing of the past. They would be rich. Perhaps a manor in Foranund with a summer home on the Coriolis Atoll. These were his thoughts as he scraped a shaving of the malcocite from the side of the rockface onto a scrap of cloth. Bundling the cloth together and tying it off with twine, he crossed over to the small campfire he had going and threw the bundle into the fire. Immediately his eyes and throat began to burn. He gulped air, but every breath seemed to provide less oxygen. The campsite around him faded and he was aware to two shadowy figures nearby. They were aware of him too. One lifted an arm in his direction. As he gasped a final breath, three snarling beasts bounded toward him.