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Silearth

For Fame and Fortune I: Blood & Sand

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The sun hung high over the white sands of Khorad Nur, relentlessly beating down on the land with its oppressive heat. Drogan sat on the hot sand with his back to a boulder. He took what refuge he could from the heat in the shadow of the large, smooth rock.

His eyes slowly closed as sweat poured down his scared and dirty face and tears spilled out of his pale gray eyes.

A slowly spreading pool of blood formed at his left thigh.

Time to change the dressing.

He reached into his pack and withdrew a length of cloth and a number of small yellow leaves. He began to slowly chew the bitter leaves as he placed the cloth at his side and began the work of removing the old dressing. He winced in pain and his vision blurred.

Somewhere in the distance he could hear the whooping and snarling of Orcs and the skittering sounds of animated skeletons. Somewhere in the distance he could hear her; the poisonous, undead dragon called D’cay.

She was looking for him, slowly, relentlessly—her army of skeletons acting as her scouts. It was only a matter of time. D’cay neither forgave nor forgot and he had done considerable damage to her. More, in fact, than any of his companions.

They were all dead, their precious life blood spilled out on the sands. Their bodies dragged away by the foul Orcs for whatever dark purpose….

Drogan cried out in pain as he tied up his new bandages, the chewed leaves packed his wound and would slow infection. He knew that his cries would bring his enemies upon him….

 

There had been five in the party. Four random warriors and the beautiful Seraphim who served as their leader. They had met by chance in the town of Porto Valum. Each of them sought out fame and fortune. The Seraphim with her deep purse agreed to outfit them and they would seek out the riches of Ancaria together.

There was Josla, a solemn Elf woman. She was a master of bows and daggers. Samual was a mage well versed in fire and water arts—a jovial young man who viewed the world as his own private joke. Then there were Drogan and Kasal. They were both gladiators who escaped from their masters.

Their leader was the regal Estirias, a hauntingly beautiful Seraphim. Drogan found himself drawn to her. Her expressions were unreadable; her thoughts unknown to all but herself, but he thought that there was something—

 

Three animated skeletons stumbled into his hiding spot, drawing their swords.

Drogan managed to pull himself to his feet putting his weight on his good leg.

The skeletons chuckled dryly as they advanced.

Drogan raised his empty hand high and concentrated as a bright light filed his fist. He stuck one of the skeletons and all three vanished in a burst of energy.

“Fist of the gods,” he whispered as he sank heavily to the ground.

 

Josla and Kasal were the first to fall. Cut to shreds by skeleton archers. Samual was the next to fall. Rooted to the sand by a skeleton mage, he lost his temper and cast fireball after fire ball. He did not notice the dragon until it was too late.

Drogan was the most experienced of the group and he learned a powerful aura from another gladiator so long ago: The dagger stare.

Drogan called on the power of the dagger stare, causing a pulsing wave of poisonous energy to radiate out from his body. Every human sized creature for a hundred yards was killed swiftly. The dragon suffered minor damage, but the dagger stare did more to annoy her than injure. He then unleashed another powerful attack, the stomping jump. He jumped into the air and landed on the sand before the dragon, causing a shock wave that damaged her considerably. His axe began to swing in wide arcs that tore at her tough flesh. The rage of his attack actually drove the dragon back for a few moments until she sliced at his leg with her claws. He was thrown back and darkness took him for a few seconds. He woke to see the bright yellow eyes of the dragon inches from his face. She showed her rotted teeth in an evil smile.

She waited for him to awake! She wanted him to see his death coming.

“Celestial Light!”

The dragon suddenly jerked her head and winced in pain as a column of pure light erupted from the ground beneath her. She lurched away.

“Celestial Light!”

Again she reeled away from the source of pain, showering the sand with several meteor storm spells. Several times Estirias grunted in pain. In between the crashes of the meteors several Seraphim spells were fired.

He watched the battle in awe and despair as his hands deftly bandaged his torn leg.

The desert suddenly fell silent and through the smoke and haze a solitary figure appeared with glowing metal wings and armor that shone with inner fire. Estirias arrived to save him.

She was covered with dirt and blood and her eyes shone with less inner fire, but she still walked tall.

Her gaze was fixed on him and her eyes were unreadable. But there was something there, something in the set of her jaw, something unsure.

She slowly looked to the side and then back to him.

“Run.” She called out. “Hide yourself!”

For a brief moment the white fire in her eyes flickered out and her eyes we like those of a human. She held his gaze and he held hers. In that brief moment so much passed between them and then it was gone. Gone in a blast of poisonous flame. Estirias’ life was taken by D’cay in a final scream of pain.

Drogan’s face was a mask or horror. He managed to pull himself to his feet and stumbled away until he found a boulder that sheltered him from the heat. He would honor her last wishes and make her sacrifice meaningful.

But why had she done that?

Tears slowly rolled down his face as he saw her final moments again and again.

Why?

 

The ground began to shake as the dragon drew closer to his hiding place. She had found him. She approached his boulder and slowly made her way around until she was, once again, face to face with Drogan.

“So foul beast, here we are again. I will not close my eyes or hide. You will not have the pleasure of hearing me beg or cry. So have at it then. Give me your worst!”

“Little man thing!” sneered the dragon. “Little man thing talks brave. Maybe I kill you fast, brave little man thing. Or maybe I kill you slowly. Make you cry, make you scream…make you beg!”

Drogan felt a sensation of strength surging through his muscles and spirit. He felt stronger—so much stronger. But how? It was like the Seraphim spell—Strength of……

“CELESTIAL LIGHT!”

D’cay screamed in anguish as an impossibly bright column of light flared into life. She thrashed about in agony as the light stole her life from her.

“CELESTIAL LIGHT!”

The dragon cried out in pain and rage.

Drogan rose to his feet, ignoring his injuries. He raised his hand to the heavens and concentrated as white-hot energy filled his fist.

“FIST OF THE GODS!” he screamed as he slammed his fist into the dragon, unleashing all of the built-up power in an explosion of light.

D’cay’s screams echoed on the wind even after her body vanished.

Through the haze, Drogan could see a solitary figure approach. One of her metal wings had been snapped off and her armor was dented and broken. She carried a large spear that was more of a crutch than a weapon.

Her eyes were filled with white fire, but her cheeks were wet with tears.

She walked up to him and they stood silent for a time. They finally embraced and both shed tears for their fallen companions.

They stepped back and she put her arm around his waist, and they started toward town, each using the other for support.

“I thought…I thought—“

She laughed lightly and it was music in his ears. “She thought she had killed me as well and in truth I thought that my time on Ancaria was over. She hurt me badly, Drogan. It was all I could do to make it back to town after I realized I still lived. I only had enough gold to buy healing potions or trade in a few runes.”

“You made the right choice,” he laughed.

She turned to face him and through the white light in her eyes he could see tears. She held his gaze quietly for a few moments as her jaw quivered slightly.

Drogan’s breath was taken from him from the strength of her emotion.

She steeled herself and looked forward once more. She seemed her old self, rigid and proud. A deity too pure for the likes of him—but she pulled him closer and at length spoke. “It was the hardest choice of my life: to stay and fight or return to town. It could have turned out the other way and I would have lost everything…important to me” She trailed off, pulling him even closer.

Their group had entered the desert in search of fame and treasure. What they found instead was death.

But for Estirias and Drogan, what they found was far more valuable then any gold or enchanted weapons. As for what she had shown him, dimming her fire for a moment….neither spoke of it. It was a matter for another day.

The walked slowly north, toward the town, neither looking back.

Had they turned around they would have noticed Samual, singed and bleeding slightly, sitting atop the boulder. A small pile of gold and rings and amulets spread out before him.

“How easily you discount the mage.” He sighed. “I guess neither of you have heard of the phase shift.” He chuckled slightly as he scooped up his riches and stored them in a pouch at his waist. “So, you two kids found each other and I found some gold. So everyone is happy.” He looked around and sighed. “Is this what my life has come to? Traveling from town to town?”

He flared up his flameshield just in time to block an Orc arrow. He noticed that his perch was attracting a bit of attention. He greeted them with a barrage of fireballs, burning them to ash. One got away, running East across the burning sand.

“Greet the others from me,” he called after the departing Orc. “I’ll get to you later!”

Samual phase shifted to the ground and then phased his way north, quickly reaching Porto Valum where he found a bar. He ordered three mugs of ale, saying a silent prayer for his two fallen comrades. Then he set out to get drunk.

“I can see my self settling down in a town like this he muttered over a mug of ale.”

__________________

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Ooooh WOW this was amazing! Way better then my random junk, although those are just for fun. ^^

 

I really like the part where the dragon was screaming and "CELESTIAL LIGHT!, CELESTIAL LIGHT!" was reverberating through the hills! :whistle:

 

Great job, it was fun to read through, I hope you do some more.

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I really like the part where the dragon was screaming and "CELESTIAL LIGHT!, CELESTIAL LIGHT!" was reverberating through the hills! :whistle:

 

Great job, it was fun to read through, I hope you do some more.

 

Thank you. You can blame Gogoblender--kind of--for the whole screaming out the name of your CA thing. Lol. The funny thing is that the first time Drogan casts a FOTG he says the name after he casts it.

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lol, I see. Gogo, its ALL YOUR FAULT!! BAD BOY. :whistle:

 

Heheh just kidding bro I absolutely love your idea, goes well with story context.

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