One day, Bernhard Lightfinger, a halfling of the heartiest appetite, was traveling through the wilderness. Food was very scarce that year; few other races ventured into his stretch of the Endrel Forest, fewer still ventured out. He had traveled far south of the Endrel Forest, making his way along the foothills of the Astoro mountain range, but the growling of his stomach seemed to be scaring off any worthwhile prey. Verily, nightfall came, and poor Bernhard was still hungry. He decided it best to make camp for the night, his hunger would have to wait for another day, who knows what kind of monsters roamed the foothills in the depth of night!
The campfire dwindled low, painting the surrounding landscape in a dim red glow. Bernhard was just about to lie down to sleep for the night, when a horrible screeching and whistling shocked him into sudden awakeness. From the mountains came a white light, accompanied by such horrid whistling and grinding, poor Bernhard had to cover his ears. The white light drew nearer, and it was soon made out to be some sort of craft, similar to those found on water, but this one skimmed across the land, seemingly of its own volition. A thought dawned upon our hero, a thought that scared him worse than any old wives tale of the great halfling snatcher of the forests. It was a gnome. And worse, the gnome was traveling towards him in something it had created!
Giving up all hopes of survival from the fell beast, Bernhard stood up to meet his end bravely; never blinking as the explosive device hurtled toward him like some creature of the abyss. Pulling his cloak up over his head, Bernhard tensed, preparing for the end, when low and behold, the thing came to a stop! Gears spun with bells and whistles, until finally the machine let out an ear-shattering squeal, and dropped to the ground; it’s wheels folding carefully underneath it.
The gnome piloting the device jumped from the bow, for it truly was a land-boat, and raised his hand in greeting, “HAILFRIEND” he screamed.
Bernhard’s heart skipped a beat, his prayers had been answered! In his hour of deepest need, whoever was looking out for him had finally delivered. Pulling his cowl lower, he raised his hand in the same fashion as the gnome. “Goodnightforaride,” he called back.
"WHATICANTHEARYOUSAYITAGAIN" the gnome yelled back. "MYOVERLANDFORMERNAUTICALTRANSPORTATIONSYSTEMISMALFUNCTIONINGANDNEEDSWORK. YOUGOTTOOLS?" Turning his back, he began to fiddle with some gears and other devices that had fallen to the floor.
Approaching the gnome from behind, Bernhard stalked silently, lest he scare the creature away. He drew his blade ever so carefully, gripping it ready to strike the killing blow. Suddenly the gnome turned around, “SOYOUGONNAGETMETHOSETOOOOOOOO AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH, H-H-H-HAAAAAAAAFLIIIIING!!!!!!!!!” And with that he took off for the hills.
Cursing his luck, Bernhard tracked his prey through the darkness. The gnome darted in and out of rocks and growth, doing anything he could to escape his hunter, but Bernhard was an experienced hunter, he could easily handle himself with such small quarry.
An explosion rocked the night; Bernhard’s former campsite had been reduced to nothing more than a splotch on the landscape. “Myoverlandformernauticaltransportationsystem!” his dinner cried out, and that was the mistake Bernhard needed to close the distance.
With his escape routes now limited, the gnome, panicked, jumped into the closest cave, which snapped closed immediately behind him. Lumbering from its hiding space, the black dragon reared its head back in triumph.
“Hey, that was mine!” Bernhard screamed. Looking confused, then angry, the dragon opened its mouth to spew forth its acid. Undaunted, Bernhard dove into the gaping maw, following his lost quarry. The dragon smiled, having caught two meals for the price of one, then settled down to sleep until his food digested.
A horrid pain in his belly caused the dragon to awaken with a start, looking down, his stomach did seem to be a bit distended, suddenly his gut burst open, and out burst Bernhard, a gnome draped over his shoulder.
Bernhard ate well that night, a beautiful mix of gnome and dragon, slowly roasted over the smoking remnants of the overland whatchamacallit. And so started the legend of the great Bernhard Lightfinger, the only halfling to have dined on dragon flesh, and live to tell the tale.