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Postumus, a huge, ancient dragon, proves to be the questors' first major obstacle as well as the driving force that pushes them into the main part of their first adventure. They could get through the Portal to their next destination if only he weren't blocking it: not even tiny Habie can wiggle past him. But he rouses long enough to tell them he will gladly move if only he weren't so ill, and that the substances that can be combined to heal him and his entire colony lie in a mine hidden below their feet. If only the questors had a means of entering the mines...