Dragon Fire: Episode 13

As Terrin steadied his sword, Razham tried the gate.

“The gate will not open. We must find another way out. Come,” Razham ordered.

They began running east along the wall, barely escaping the Xanbolusas’ poisonous quills.

Weaving in and out of the booths and shops, they at last escaped the deadly creatures. Razham stopped running when he came upon a raised platform with a headman’s axe embedded in a chopping block. The block was well stained with blood and surrounded by dead grass and lifeless soil. Razham examined the strange sight.

“What is this?” he wondered as he ascended the platform steps.

Bending down, he ran his hand over a circle burned into the wood flooring. In the center of the circle was a six-point star with a different symbol at each point.

“What do you see?” Terrin asked.

“Come up here,” Razham said.

Once the men had climbed the steps, Razham, still near the floor, said,

“Something evil has been awakened here. This circle is used for reanimating the dead. It calls upon magic from something believed to be long dead.”

“I do not understand,” Terrin said confused.

“This town is cursed. These creatures are here because they are attracted to the residual energy lingering from the ceremony,” Razham explained.

“How do we get out of here?” Vanamir asked.

“I do not yet know,” Razham answered.

Suddenly the air was filled with clicking as the Xanbolusas advanced towards the platform.

“They have found us. What shall we do?” Vanamir asked, slowly stepping back.

“Ahhhhh!” Terrin yelled as pain shot through his head. Grabbing his temples, he dropped to his knees.

“We must move from here. Help me with him,” Vanamir yelled.

Razham and Vanamir reached for Terrin but could not get close.

“What is wrong with him? He feels as though he is on fire,” Vanamir said.

“Step away quickly. I have seen this before,” Razham warned.

In the distance, a deafening roar split the air.

“What is that sound?” Vanamir yelled above the noise.

From the eastern sky with the sun behind it, they spotted something flying towards them.

As it drew closer, they saw it had a large body with wings and a tail. Razham’s eyes grew wide.

“Get down!” he yelled.

Just as they dove to the ground, a maroon scaled dragon passed overhead belching fire across the Xanbolusas and the city. Once it cleared the city, it arced, returned for another fiery pass, and then suddenly flew away leaving the fields and city in flames.

“Is it gone?” Vanamir asked, afraid to look up.

“Yes, for now, and we are safe. But we must get Brius and leave before it is too late. More Xanbolusas will come. Get Terrin,” Razham ordered.

“Do you not remember that we were unable to touch him?” Vanamir disputed.

“His fever is gone,” Razham assured him.

Vanamir hesitantly reached out to touch Terrin and saw that his skin was no longer burning.

“Come on, boy,” he said helping Terrin stand.

They ran through the city past the burning, charred bodies of the Xanbolusas until they reached Brius. With Razham carrying him over his shoulders, they hurried toward the gates.

“Get over the wall and open the gates,” Razham told Vanamir.

“All right,” Vanamir acknowledged.

Vanamir quickly scaled the wall and opened the gates.

“The gate handles were lashed together,” Vanamir remarked.

“It is not of importance,” Razham replied. “We must leave.”

 

 

*              *              *

 

 

Deep within the darkness of a cave in a silent, desolate land where only scavengers dare draw near, large red eyes opened slowly. In the shadows, a man moving through the cave clutched a rusty lantern as he approached the glowing eyes.

“You summoned, master?” the man asked.

“Yes,” the voice within the cave hissed.

As the voice spoke, the man dropped to his knees, lowering his head to the ground.

“The Prince has begun to manifest. Soon he will be too powerful.”

“Nesmoru is trying to find Prince Alidus, but something prevents him.”

“His idiocy is all that hinders his progress,” the voice boomed.

“What can I do, master?” the man asked trembling.

From the shadows, a long black barbed tail extended and entered the man’s back. When the wounded man looked up and tried to scream, his voice failed him. His eyes rolled back in his head as his body shriveled and fell to the cave’s floor. The tail disconnected from its victim and disappeared into the shadows as the red glowing eyes again closed. Suddenly out of the darkness stepped the body of the very man who moments before had died. As he looked down through red eyes toward the shriveled corpse at his feet, he said,

“That is all I will need.”

He closed his glowing eyes, and when he opened them again, they were pale with dark green pupils.

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Published in: on February 12, 2011 at 1:43 am  Leave a Comment  

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