greedy tendencies

Once upon a time, there were five people born into a world of magic and monsters. They each had a combat role they specialized in. One was a Swordsman, one was a Cleric, one was a Mage, one was a Bard, and one was a Rogue. 

They were all companions, loyal and true. They all had their faults - the Rogue swore too much, the Bard was rather greedy when it came to money, the Mage was a bit of a slob - but they all got along well, and felt their journeys together had gone exceedingly well. 

One day, they ran straight into an angry dragon. They had never faced a dragon before, and such inexperience almost cost them dearly. But though they almost died, they managed to defeat the fiercest foe of their entire adventuring career. Following this, they claimed a bounty that had been put up for the dragon in a nearby town, and became moderately wealthy. It was the cleric’s idea to set up a guild in the town with their new small fortune, and the rogue’s idea to advertise it by talking about how they were bona-fide dragon slayers with a great success rate (again, they had fought exactly 1 dragon by this point so duh). 

Fast forward 10 years later, and their guild was doing very well. Thanks to the rogue’s idea, they’d ended up being contracted to fight dragon after dragon, despite not intending to do anything of the sort. By this point, they were experts at fighting and killing dragons of various kinds. They also became knowledgeable in the proper disposal of a dragon’s corpse. When cut open, the pressure and heat inside of a dragon’s corpse burst out all at once, so dissecting a dragon is something best left to experts. Our heroes, by now, were indeed experts. They also had a very nice source of income - not only were they paid to kill dragons, but those who knew how to properly dissect a dragon corpse could then salvage the dragon’s internal organs. And intact internal organs from a dragon corpse were, due to the difficulty and inherent danger in obtaining them, very rare, and could be sold to medicine makers and the like for a fortune per organ. 

One day, reports of a dread wyrm terrorizing a town over on the other side of the local mountain range made their way to the guild. And so our heroes packed up their stuff, and prepared to make the trek. When they reached the base of the mountains, they discussed their options. The winding path through the mountains was rather long, but much safer than the straight path, through the tunnel underneath the mountains, where various monsters lay hidden in the darkness waiting to ambush even the most prepared of travelers. The party started to climb the mountain. However, the bard refused to join them, claiming that they needed to get to the other side post-haste to protect the civilians who were in danger, and that if necessary he’d brave the caverns alone to get their faster. Unable to convince him otherwise, the group gave up and began their ascent. 

Things went smoothly, for a while. Halfway through the mountain pass, however, there was a rock-slide that blocked off the main path, forcing the group to retrace their steps until they could find another way across. They eventually did, but as they started to climb down the mountainous path, they saw a great burst of fire in the distance. It would seem they had found the dread wyrm. 

Meanwhile, the bard entered the caverns underneath the mountains. After a while of walking, he felt as if the unseen eyes observing him would attack at any second. Raising his lute from his side, he played a magical lullaby, and all the monsters stalking him fell asleep. It was in this manner that he made his way through the dank and spooky caverns relatively quickly and efficiently, a full day before his friends descended from the mountain. 

The swordsman lead the way as the guildmates tracked the dragon through the craggy cliffs. After reaching the town that had been under attack by the dread wyrm, the swordsman and cleric left the group to help evacuate the survivors. The rogue now took point, and proved much more effective than any of his brethren. 

The swordsman and cleric successfully ushered the citizens of the town to a temporary safety of sorts, before leaving to find the dragon themselves. 

The rogue had successfully tracked the dragon to what he thought might be its lair, though they had not found any piles of gold or kidnapped maidens as of yet. He and the mage made camp for the night, to gather their energy for the upcoming fight. 

It was early morning when they woke to the sound of a monstrous roar. It seemed that the other group, the swordsman and the cleric, had by chance wandered directly into the dragon’s den. The rogue and mage grabbed their gear and weapons and rushed in the direction of the dragon’s lair. When they got there, they met up with the swordsman and the cleric, but not with any kind of wyrm, dread or otherwise. It soon transpired that the swordsman and the cleric had also heard the roar, assumed that the rogue and mage had been the ones to unwittingly enter the beast’s abode, and come to save their friends as well. 

Puzzled, the party returned to their search. It was in the afternoon that they finally found the place the roar had came from - a plateau past where they’d originally started, where the dread wyrm lay dead on its side, its insides cut open and its organs missing. 

This only served to make the four comrades even more confused. Surely the only people in the region who knew how to properly harvest dragon organs were the members of their guild? As it turned out, they were right. It wasn’t long till they noticed a figure approaching in the distance - the fifth member of their party, the bard, whistling as he walked, with a rather heavy coin pouch strung on his belt. 

His fellows, after expressing relief that he was alright, soon turned to asking him what had happened. As it turned out, since he’d taken the shorter route through the mountain pass, he’d started to track the dragon way before any of his guild friends. The roar from that morning, he explained, had been not a roar of anger or surprise or warning, but of agony - the moment when he lucked out and, despite fighting the dragon on his lonesome, landed a devastating and fatal blow. 

Their curiosity sated, the party swiftly remembered that the dragon’s organs were missing, and that the bard was known for his greedy tendencies. Though no one bothered to try and reprimand him, a bit of resentment grew in their hearts that day, when they thought of how the bard had sold all the dragon’s inner organs before the rest of them even found the wyrm corpse, and certainly before anyone could conceivably have convinced him to split the loot. 

Seeing their unhappy expressions, the bard reminded them that he’d fought and killed the dragon on his lonesome, and was entitled to the rewards. But when that explanation failed to suffice, he brought up his other trump card: the reason he’d fought the dragon by himself was that he was able to find it before anyone else, and he’d gotten that head start by taking the most direct path through the mountain, not out of greed, but out of concern for the citizenry that was in danger. And not only that, but by finding the dragon while his friends snoozed, he had effectively laid first claim to it. 

At this, his teammates sighed and shook their heads, for they couldn’t argue with that. He’d confronted the dragon while they were still sleeping, and when they arrived at the site of the battle, it had been over for some time already. By that time, the bard had already killed and then cut open the dragon several hours prior, and what could they have done about that? 

But from then on, the swordsman, mage, cleric and rogue were determined to always make it to a battle against a dragon. And so, if you should ask them why they keep their eyes peeled and their mind alert at all times of day and night, they will not hesitate to explain that the early bard guts the wyrm.