Dragon Fire: Episode 24

Elisabeth quickly scaled the wall up to the archers’ trench and the oil that would destroy the beast of darkness. Set upon by two skeletons climbing up and over the outer wall, she asked,

“You would not mind letting a lady pass, would you?”

When the skeletons responded by charging with weapons raised, she spun around behind them, slicing one in half. As it fell to the ground, the other skeleton turned to face her. Elisabeth pivoted on her left foot and kicked up with her right, knocking the skeleton in the jaw and breaking off its head.

Smiling proudly, Elisabeth nodded her approval.

Three steps forward, she heard a scraping sound behind her and turned to see the beheaded skeleton still moving towards her. When she looked down, she saw that the top half of the other skeleton was crawling up the wall towards her.

“Will this never end?” she complained.

Just then the dark beast roared and swung out, hitting the wall and knocking loose great pieces of stone. Elisabeth lifted one of the stones and threw it at the headless skeleton, still struggling in search of her. When the stone struck the skeleton, it shattered and crumbled to the ground.

Elisabeth stepped forward and kicked the other skeleton, still climbing up the wall towards her. Its head tumbled over the wall as the ribcage shattered.

She turned and ran toward the oil vats.

Only a few yards closer, she heard a screeching sound and felt the brush of wings, forcing her to dive and tumble out of the way. Something had swooped down from the trees.

Rolling up to her feet, Elisabeth pressed her back to the wall and looked around, trying to see what it was. In the trees just to her right, something moved. She stared into the branches, trying to get a better view. She saw that a winged, humanoid creature was skittering back and forth on one of the branches, watching her and chirping.

“What in the world are you?” she asked.

The creature sprang from the branch, spreading its wings, and flew down at her. Elisabeth drew her saber and swiped at one of its wings. The creature, a female with long black feathers and dry, leathery skin that barely clung to its body, fell to the stone floor squawking and clutching its damaged wing.

Elisabeth curiously watched it then asked,

“An undead harpy?”

The creature answered with a squawk. Elisabeth lunged at the creature, her saber driving through its head.

The creature looked up at her, the blade through its mouth, as though it were not wounded.

“Undead. I know,” Elisabeth said.

She quickly rotated, twisting the blade and slicing off the creature’s head. As the headless remains violently writhed, Elisabeth jumped over the carcass and ran for the oil vats.

“I pray the two guards at the vats are unharmed,” she thought.

Finally she reached the oil vats over the main gate. She saw that Aric was fully engaged in battle as he flipped over the beast’s strikes and tumbled out of its slams.

Behind her she heard movement. Holding her breath, she slowly turned to see the two vat guards, both now dead, shuffling towards her.

“Of course,” she said in exasperation.

“Get ready!” she yelled to Aric.

Elisabeth quickly tumbled out of the guards’ way and spun, slicing one in half but missing the other. She kicked the upper half of the first undead over the side of the wall, and turned her saber on the other.

“Push that vat over for me,” Elisabeth commanded.

When the dead guard did not respond, Elisabeth ran her saber through his midsection and rammed the point into the wall, pinning the guard’s body.

“Stay,” she ordered.

“Move away, Aric!” she shouted as she pushed over the oil vats.

Looking out over the wall, she grabbed a flaming torch and dropped it on the great beast of darkness.



*              *                *

Aric dove out of the way just moments before the beast caught fire. Screaming and clawing at the flames as the oil burned, it at last fell over, dissolving into bones, dirt, and slime.

Degan staggered forward as the black energy surrounding him dissipated. He looked around at the advancing undead and quickly commanded,


Immediately the undead stopped their assault and turned toward him to await his order.

“What happened?” Degan asked, looking at Aric.

“I can only tell you what I saw,” Aric said. “I do not understand it.”

“I remember telling the undead to engage the castle, and then I seem to have fallen into a strange sleep,” Degan explained.

“I am afraid the magic became too powerful for you to control,” Aric replied.

After Aric told Degan what had happened, Degan hung his head low.

“I am sorry,” he said in shame.

As she approached Degan with her saber drawn, Elisabeth growled, “You will be.”

Published in: on January 11, 2012 at 8:37 am  Leave a Comment  

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