[WP] An adventuring party is hired to collect back taxes of a local dragon

"So you wish us to kill a dragon?" Asked the unsure rogue who handled his group's money affairs.

"No no, I wish you to collect its taxes." Answered the agent.

"... so kill it and take its gold?" Clarified the rogue.

Agent: "Dear no, if you kill it, it cannot earn more gold."

Rogue: "Look, I've never heard of a dragon that'll willingly give up any amount of its hoard willingly, you're virtually asking us to kill one."

Agent: "I assure you, we've collected tax from every dragon in the region. It's just this one in particular that proving to be rather difficult to negotiate with."

The rogue raised a skeptical eyebrow.

Agent: "If you kill it, you don't get paid. If you take any amount from the hoard yourself, the debt is transferred to you. You may always refuse the job and we'll find some other group to offer the gold to."

Rogue: "Ugh, fine. So which dragon is it."

The agent didn't require speaking the name, she merely smiled and glanced towards Reaper's Peak (a long since dead volcano that lay at the heart of the Snowy Deadlands). The rogue contorted his face to one of disbelief and outrage.


All the mundane noises of the guild pub halted as the name was uttered. They now had the attention of nigh all the other adventurers. The guild clerks continued about their business since they already have access to quest information beforehand. The agent had come in person to issue their request, now they stood uncomfortably from the new attention.

Agent: "Ahem, um could you please not be so loud. I'm sure your group is fully up to the challenge, your success rate isss 100%."

Rogue: "Yeah! Because we never accept impossible quests. You are asking us to 'collect tax' from the deadliest and most merciless dragon in the world! How many parties have you already sent!?"

Agent: "W-well u-um y-you would be the erm 24th." (115 people prior) The agent closed her eyes while scratching the back of her head and wearing a guilty smile.

Rogue: "Twenty-fo-! Screw it, nevermind we aren't taking the job, find some other suicide squad to send to die."

Agent: "W-wait! We're willing to double the pay!"

The agent traced a circle into the air with their index finger and let fall a second sack of gold that partially spilled onto the table. The rogue, hesitated for a split second though with a quick glance towards the table his friends were toasting at, those whose lives he would not risk for anything, he pushed the money away.

Rogue: "No deal."

The rogue turned his back to the agent and walked away. He would however discover that the table his friends occupied but a mere split second ago was now utterly empty. He rogue silently cursed to himself.

Rogue: "I swear to-"

Behind him, the 4 other members of his party would rise from seemingly nowhere off the ground, eyes oogling at the heap of gold that sat up on the table. Except for their mage who was passed out drunk and slumped over the berzerkers shoulder. The rogue walked over to grab them all by the backs of their collars or hair to drag them away. His advance was however cut short by his berzerker friend who merely stuck out their palm against the rogue's head. The superior reach and strength of the berzerker caused the rogue to practically walk in place.

Rogue: "No! We are not doing this!"

Cleric: "Awwwe come on [insert cutesy nickname here], that's like half a million gooooold!"

The cleric tugged on the rogue's shirt begging him. Fake tears forming in her eyes.

Rogue: "I handle the money, and I say NO!"

Cleric: "But goooooooold!"

Rogue: "But death!"

Their paladin crossed her arms as she took control of the situation and drew the rogue's attention.

Paladin: "Now let's think about this logically. Do we need the money?"

Rogue: "nO, because we're still set from our last job!"

The rogue who was sensitive to the sound of coin would hear the sliding of glass and metal across a counter. He would turn to see the cleric and berzerker (mage still over shoulder) concluding a purchase from the vendor. The berzerker would carry over and set down two large bundles of supplies while the cleric would innocently stare the rogue in the eye and smile.

Paladin: "Are you sure? Because it looks like we're broke."

The rogue would look between his innocently smiling party members, mouth slightly open.

Rogue: "B- b- but that's not fair!"

Paladin: "Oh well, due to unforseen circumstances it seems we are out of money."

The paladin solemnly closed her eyes.

Cleric: "Oh look! Gasp! A conveniently placed large sum of gold! Gasp! It seems to belong to this lady here, right here, who is offering said large sum of gold!" [aggressive pointing]

The rogue's left eye twitched at the cleric's bad acting. The agent who was reading the situation donned a happy smile and extended her hand towards the gold.

Agent: "The offers sti-"

Rogue: "Shut up! Not a word from you."

The rogue angrily grabbed both sacs of gold and pulled them off the table. The agent would gratefully thank them before making her exit Seeing him struggle to drag them across the floor, the berzerker would deliver an offsetting pat to the rogue's back before lifting both sacs with his one remaining arm opposite of the one he was using to carry the unconscious mage.

Berzerker: [grunts in reassurance]

The rogue caught his balance. He would then draw a large circle with his index finger and the berzerker and cleric would begin pouring the sacs into the small rift he had opened, which connected to their joint savings. The rogue would sit down at an empty table and open one of the newly purchased potions and chug it down. The paladin would sit beside the mentally exhausted rogue.

Paladin: "So, serious note, I know you've seen the Reaper up close before, right? Think we can pull it off? Convince it to 'pay its taxes'?"

The rogue let out a sigh and sat back. He look over to the cleric and berzerker who now danced and tossed gold from the open rift into the air.

Rogue: "I don't know."


Welp, as the prompt requested, they were hired. May continue after some rest, have class assignments to do.

/r/WritingPrompts Thread