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The Faith of the Overlords [TFTG]

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posted on May, 20 2012 @ 10:14 PM
The Faith of the Overlords

Within the depths of the cave the dragon swam in complete blackness. It had quickly realized that the most effective way to ease the pain was by swimming continuously, but the cold water could do nothing to calm it's incredible rage. Already wounded once, and with yet another cursed knight pursuing it, the dragon's heart beat at an astounding rate and volume. So did it's breath, yet the animal did not possess the intellect to understand that it's own physical response to pain and danger was the very thing that would seal it's fate. The one thing it did understand was that it should stay there and wait; it's enemy would be upon it in minutes, and when the knight came within range, the dragon would rip the his body to shreds.

Duvar himself knelt around the corner, behind a large deposit of limestone and just out of the dragon's range of auditory perception. This far inside the cave there was no light whatsoever, but this caused little concern. He was, after all, the most skilled of the Republic's Overlords, and his training would serve him to the fullest inside this pit of blackness. Having honed his own perceptions to incredible detail over the years, he could rely on his other senses just as well as sight, and even from behind the grotesquely shaped limestone formation he could tell that the dragon was submerged behind a rock in the middle of an underground lake just beyond the bend - wounded and dying. In this environment, Duvar had the advantage.

Tightening his grip on the dragon-lance, he considered his options. With Cornelius's lance already deep inside the creatures belly, it did not have long to live, but was still quite dangerous. It's fire-breath was already spent, but dragon of this size could still easily swallow a person whole, and he realized that it was best take it's life as quickly as possible. A well-aimed shot at the heart would do the trick, as long as he could approach the dragon quietly enough to avoid detection. Duvar curled his toes in the cool mud - he had removed his boots so the dragon wouldn't hear his footsteps, but had not removed his black leather clothing, which creaked slightly with each movement. Damn, he thought to himself, better move quickly. Very quickly.

After a brief and silent prayer, he inched around the rocks with the prowess of a predator cat; then made his way ever so carefully to the bend in the cave. Peering his head around the corner, his senses were immediately overwhelmed by the sheer power of the creature's own lifeforce. The thunderous heartbeat which echoed on the walls of the cavern, and the roar of it's breath which signaled it's worsening condition, was accompanied by another sound, one that Duvar had not counted on. The inside of the limestone cave was soggy and damp, and he could hear the steady drip - drip - drip as drops of water fell onto the lake. Still, not loud enough to throw off his accuracy, but an added complication all the same.

If it was at all possible to get just a little closer, just a little, then he could be sure of his aim to the most critical degree. Crouching very low, he quickly made his way toward the water.

It was then that he sensed the creature move it's head. The dragon knew. Duvar lined up his shot, and decided to give his throw a running start. In only a second, he accelerated to a full sprint, brought back the heavy lance over his powerful shoulder, and thrust the spear forward on a path to the dragon's heart . . .

. . . and missed.

It was the very edge of the shore, where some type of slimy substance had found a home on the water's edge, which caused him to lose his footing. As Duvar fell square onto his back, the wind was knocked from him, yet he still heard the impact of the lance piercing the creature's shoulder. Startled, as well as wounded again, it's head burst upward and struck the ceiling of the cave. A dangerous shower of rocks fell from above; this was followed by the dragon's tremendous and terrifying roar, which echoed from the walls of the cavern, making seem as if the beast were in all places at once. Duvar desperately tried to claw his to a safe distance, but the edge of the lake sloped downwards, and the slimy mud only caused him to slip closer toward the water.

Suddenly, he was hit by the wave caused by the huge creature which was thrashing about behind him., and as the water receded, it took him with it. Duvar slid helplessly into the lake, but even as he did so he tried to stay focused, collected, anything but wild with panic.

Even as he sensed the enormous head rise out of the water behind him . . .

This part of the shore was too steep . . . and too slick to negotiate. He knew he had only one chance, and he took it on instinct. With barely enough time to take a breath, he dove straight down into the frigid depths, just in time to feel the great teeth slam shut over the surface above him. Underwater now, with the wounded dragon thirsty for blood, Duvar used his arms to propel him closer to the rocks which he knew were along the side of the cavern, much too far away for comfort. To make matters worse, the dragon's jaws were now snapping blindly around underwater, hoping for a lucky strike. Then, unexpectedly, the dragon twisted it's body, and Duvar was struck by the unforgiving force of the gargantuan reptilial tail.

It sent him crashing against the rocks, and he tasted the blood that ran from his nose down through his throat, but this was a lucky break after all. With plenty of adrenaline left in him still, the knight pulled himself onto the rocks, hopped onto the shore, and began to run for his life down the pitch-black cavern. Now out of the water, he could much better utilize the keen sense of hearing and direction that had served him so well in prior deadly encounters. As he rounded the bend in the cavern and sprinted with all his might toward the distant opening, skillfully staying on course without the guidance of daylight, he distinctly heard the dragon explode from the lake. Bellowing with fury, it set off after him, determined to kill and mutilate it's prey.

Even without reaching for it, Duvar knew that his sword was still slung at his side, but being far too small to harm this creature, it was no more than a wooden toy at the moment. There was another complication. The opening of the cave itself was a steep hole which leveled off into the tunnel. He could reach the end of the tunnel, but that was where he would certainly die. There was no time to climb out.

As his feet carried him across the muddy earth on his desperate escape through the darkness, his attention was captured by the horrifying, rhythmic rumble of the dragon's footsteps. The sound was like thunder, and was getting closer with every step. Duvar could feel the cave tremble under the beast's weight, and a stalactite larger than a man fell from the ceiling, almost cutting him in two. Just when it seemed a dead certainty that he would never see the light of day again, Duvar eyes sighted the bright sunlight at the end of the tunnel which poured in from above.

And that was when he slipped, slamming face down on the floor of the cave, sliding momentarily on the thin layer of water which sat above the mud, his nose bloodied once again. The sound of the dragons angry footsteps were now deafening, and when he lifted his head he observed tiny mushrooms of water erupting upwards
with each impact of the dragon's stride.

There was of course no time to reflect on that, to be sure, so Duvar pulled himself up and dodged toward the light. He didn't have to glance back to know the enormous reptile was upon him now, it's jaws open, outrunning his stride and taking it's final, catastrophic bite.

As if it were a gift from heaven above, Duvar heard his friend Gabel's call, "Duvar! Take this!"

A new dragon lance flew down from the hole above, sticking into the mud. Duvar was still running as fast as he could, he almost had time to reach it.

But of course he would have no time to turn it around and use the damn thing!

Instead, the quick-thinking knight performed a diving roll, clutching the lance as he rolled over, and braced the weapon's blunt end hard into the wet limestone floor - just as the horrifying teeth rushed down on him from the darkness.

The huge jaws fell with astonishing speed down over Duvar's vulnerable body, and this sent the tip of the steel lance straight into the dragon's brain, killing it instantly.

"Could he be alive?" Gabel asked Cornelius, who lay next to him at the edge of the great hole that led into the cavern. The two had managed to catch only a fleeting glance of Duvar's figure, a mere instant before the great dragon's head decended over him, the impact raising a thick cloud of dust that was only now beginning to settle.

"By God's most forgiving grace, I would think it possible - barely" replied the other knight. "Look! There's the tip of your lance coming out of the beasts head! I think he did it!". Cornelius pointed to the steel blade protruding out the top of the dragon's bony forehead. A steady trickle of crimson blood ran from the wound, making an ever-widening pool in the mud below.

"Duvar! Do you live!" Gabel shouted frantically, but in truth Duvar was in no such circumstance to reply at the moment.

Yes, the beast was dead, but when Duvar tried to take a breath he realized that he was not out of peril just yet. Something big, cold, and wet was pinning him to the ground - he knew this could only be the dragon's enormous tongue. Unable to move his arms or legs, Duvar began to choke on a foul - smelling liquid. In fact he was drowning. Drowning in the dragon's blood and saliva.

Yet his right hand still gripped the shaft of the lance. Using as much strength as he could muster, he pushed on the wooden shaft, thus shifting the weight of the dragon's head ever so slightly. And then the tongue itself shifted, allowing him just enough space to pull himself out from under it, gasping for breath and nearly vomiting from the hellish stench.
edit on 20-5-2012 by Flatwoods because:

posted on May, 20 2012 @ 10:15 PM
His strong hand was quickly grasped by another. It was Gabel's, who pulled the weary knight to his feet, shaking him with excitement.

"I swear in all my seasons of battle, I have never seen such an incredible thing as what you just did!" Gabel's strong face and bushy black beard displayed a grin the size of the mountain they were on.

"Nor such a foolhardy thing as what you just did." The words came from Cornelius, who kneeled above at the edge of the hole, casting a stern, judging glance at the slime-soaked hero. "Following a wounded dragon is dangerous enough. But an Overlord of your experience, if not wisdom, would know that to do such a thing alone displays twice the stupidity!"

Duvar had expected this reprimand, and it was entirely correct, but his concerns at the moment lay in ridding himself of the filthy dark red ooze that he could feel soaking into even the most private areas of his underclothing. Besides, even though Cornelius had habit of dressing a bit more egalitarian that his peers, with brilliant blue trim around his cape and shiny silver armour plates against his shoulders and forearms, highlighting the standard black leather pants and shirt, he was not really Duvar's superior. Nonetheless, sometimes made it crystal clear that he believed it so. Carr - Rolgan was the true captain of the guards - the one who had dispatched them to this faraway country on the outskirts of the republic, and he would undoubtedly learn of Duvar's suicidal feat not long after their ship returned.

Duvar and Gabel turned their heads upward to reply, but Cornelius had something else to say. "I must admit, however, that it was one impressive display of dragon slaying. A very large beast at that. Would you like us to sever it's head and drag it back to the ship for you?"

Gable burst out laughing. Duvar simply wiped some more slime from his forehead, glared at the two of them, and addressed them in a most serious tone. "I'm going to wash up in the stream. Maybe you two clowns should go and work on finding out how it got here in the first place."

As he climbed up the slope of the cave to the opening of the hole, Duvar raised his arm over his eyes to sheild them from the glaring sunlight, as his eyes had been forced to adjust to the darkness inside the cavern. He scanned the surrounding terrain. The cave opening lay hidden between two ridges of the boulder strewn valley, which by the harsh looks of it held just enough water underneath the topsoil to barely sustain the fledgeling weeds and grasses that carpeted the landscape. Trondan, the larger of his world's two suns, was just beginning to set in the south. Boran would soon follow it, leaving them only the night stars with which to navigate back to town. The hill they were on also decended south, and therefore the remaining sunlight shone directly into his eyes. Even so, Duvar's highly trained sense of sight revealed to him the wooden structure which lay at the far end of the valley, further away from town.

"Well, it's my opinion that we should cut out it's tongue," Gabel remarked "as it would make a fitting trophy for this assignment. I'll bet it would look just perfect if we stuck it on the wall over the card table in Carr - Sals tavern, right where Duvar always sloughs when he's had a three mugs of ale for the evening, brought to him by the busty beauty of a barmaid he calls his daughter!" Gabel burst out with hearty laugh once again, and Cornelius was now chuckling along with him.
"I'll tell you where you can stick that thing, and it's nowhere that I nor anyone else would go for a drink." Duvar retorted wearily. He pulled off his smelly leather shirt, and made his way across the jagged rocks to the stream below, ignoring the jubilant hoots and hollers of his companions.

The cool water of the mountain creek felt wonderful as it washed away the putrid filth from his bruised body, and Duvar took a minute to recognize what he had not before- which was the rugged natural beauty of the valley around him. The sunset cast long erie shadows across the parched hills, making it a far different - even alien - environ than that which he was used to. The dragon must have felt the same way, as it's species was indiginous to the LeTarre mountains only - a place as distant from this country as Duvar's home city of Gallahandra. What was it doing here? None of it made any sense whatsoever, but finding the answer to that riddle was the other half of their assignment, now that the immediate threat to one of the Republic's oldest colonies lay dead on the floor of the limestone cave not far up the hill.

As he made his way back up to the cave, Duvar spotted his companions as they steered their two-horned steeds carefully back in his direction along the rutted wagon trail which led further up the canyon. They too had seen the structure far away, and had gone to investigate while Duvar was busy cleaning himself.

Cornelius brought his two-horn to a halt alongside Duvar, who was carrying his washed shirt in one hand and his polished sword in the other . . . something an Overlord knight never, never let out of his sight. The beautiful animal neighed slightly and shook its head as Duvar reached out with his hand and scratched behind it's ear. "It's a wagon-cage, isn't it?" he asked Cornelius, a look of sobering concern on his face.

"Of quite an ingenius design at that" he replied. "A lot of time was taken in it's construction. That goes for both the wagon part as well as the cage on top. I haven't seen anything like it since the last fair at Gilgadon, the one in which slothbeasts were the star attraction."

Tossing his black cape around his shoulders and fastening it to his collar, Duvar displayed a puzzled look. "Do you have any idea who made the thing?"

"It's not from the upper region of the republic, that's for sure. Whoever made it was quite clever in using taperwood for the axles. That type of wood excretes an oil which makes it perfect for long distance transport, since it's self-lubricating." Cornelius's eyes narrowed. "And we also found this."

Duvar's eyes caught sight of the tiny metallic object which Cornelius drew from his pants pocket. Cornelius laid it in his palm.

posted on May, 20 2012 @ 10:17 PM
What you see above is the beginning of a novel I started writing a long time ago, but never finished. Need I say it out loud? Okay then, yes, this was inspired by the movie Dragonslayer.

posted on May, 20 2012 @ 10:21 PM
reply to post by Flatwoods

Nice story

posted on May, 21 2012 @ 06:56 AM
reply to post by Flatwoods

SnF. I always like good writing that includes dragons. Well done.

posted on May, 24 2012 @ 11:41 PM
reply to post by Druid42

Thanks for the compliment. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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