It was later that day that the four of them met in the woods around the tower by the mountain in which the dragon lived. The dragon was asleep outside the tower, and they could only assume that William's sister was being kept inside. "Right, here is the plan." said Raven, suddenly sounding rather confident about the whole thing. "Blue, you distract the dragon. William and I will get into the tower and get his sister out. Vera, do whatever you like."
William looked horrified by what seemed to Blue a wonderful plan. "That's it?" he demanded. "That's your great plan? The dragon will eat us the moment we leave the woods! We need a proper battle strategy – we need a plan of attack, we need to co-ordinate, we need to work out the angles and the timing and…"
"I find simpler plans more preferable." said Raven, cutting him off. "Blue, go and do your job."
Blue left the woods calmly, apparently not having noticed the giant, man-eating, fire-breathing dragon waiting there. "Why hello there, dragon. I was wondering, by any chance do you eat elves? I have a rather lovely elf at home that I would love for you to eat." he said, and the dragon looked up from its rest. It briefly considered the elf, but decided that elves are much too chewy and figured it'd just eat Blue.
Seeing that the dragon was about to eat Blue, Vera figured that she would intervene. It wouldn't do well for her to have to fight the dragon on her own, after all. She just about managed to swing her battle-axe in time for it to stop the dragon breathing fire, but the dragon closed its mouth and the axe clattered against its teeth without doing it any real harm. "Women," said Blue, tutting, "they think every problem can be solved by swinging an axe at it."
She resisted the urge to punch Blue in the face and kept her attention focussed on the dragon. The dragon, being a very bored creature without much to do besides eat sheep and steal maidens, thought the whole thing was rather entertaining and decided to see what fun it could have. Thinking quickly, because dragons are actually rather clever, it snaked its tail around behind Vera and tripped her from behind, watching as the scrambled up and turned to punch Blue in the face.
"What the fuck was that for?" he asked.
"For tripping me!" snapped Vera.
"You did no such thing! You fell on your arse all by yourself."
"I did not fall on my arse, you tripped me."
"Oh, of course, because I have nothing better to do than trip up some klutz who falls on her arse all by herself anyway." snarled Blue.
"Oh, so I suppose the dragon must have tripped me then, hmm?"
All the while this was happening Raven and William had snuck up to the tower door. Raven was working with a set of lock-picks, nimble and clearly experienced with them. "What are you doing?" asked William.
"Having a wank." said Raven, face straight and completely deadpan. "What does it look like I'm doing, you idiot? I'm picking the lock."
"But the door's already unlocked." William told him.
Raven pressed the door-handle down and pushed. Just as William had said, the door opened without a problem. "Oh." said Raven. "Well, I do suppose that makes things easier." They met no opposition as they walked up the tower stairs, and the door at the top was unlocked, too. It led to a large, spacious and well-furnished room with a king-size, four-poster be and an oak desk, desk-chair, vanity-table and tool.
There was a young woman sat on the stool at the vanity-table, combing her hair in the mirror. She startled when she saw Raven in the mirror, tumbling out of the seat and holding up the comb like a weapon. She relaxed when she saw William. "Arianna! Oh, thank goodness you're okay." he exclaimed. He wrapped an arm around his sister, pulling her into a hug.
When they separated she smiled at him momentarily, and then she punched him in the arm. "You let a dragon kidnap me." she snapped.
"It was a dragon – what was I supposed to do, fight it?"
"Well you could have done something."
"I'm doing something now, aren't I?"
"Well it's a little late now – what if I'd been eaten?"
"Well you haven't been eaten. Now stop arguing and come with us, before the dragon notices."
"And what if I don't want to?" asked Arianna.
Raven, who had tired of the bickering and entire paragraph ago, did the easy thing and picked Arianna up, slinging her over his shoulder, and walked out. She spent the entire walk down the stair pounding on his back and calling him a brute and a barbarian. He didn't pay much attention, since he had much better things to do.
When they got outside Blue and Vera had stooped all the way to 'your mother' jokes, and the dragon was trying desperately not to roll over onto the floor in laughter, since that would leave its stomach exposed and put it into danger. "But Vera, your mother was an unintelligent, over-weight prostitute." William called over to her.
"And Blue," added Raven, "you're mother was a clinically insane alcoholic who beat you regularly and locked you in the cupboard when she couldn't be bothered with her parental responsibilities, so you can't say anything about anybody else's mother."
Both grumbled a little at having their family histories dragged out, but they obediently followed William and Raven, who was still carrying Arianna, away from the tower before the dragon decided to BBQ them all. The dragon, now actually rolling about on the floor in a fit of actual hysterics, decided that it would have to abduct maidens more often, since the rescue attempts were absolutely hilarious.
And this is it. 'Blue and Raven's Five Man Band' is all finished. Let me know what you all thought of the story, the characters and the plot, and be sure to keep and eye out for 'Blue and Raven's Epic Quest' and other stories in the 'Big Bad Book' series. And of course, I hope you've all enjoyed reading this as much as I've enjoyed writing it.