A/N: Alright, here's my short story. Note- it is a SHORT story, therefore isn't long. The chapters, or scenes, are not as lengthy as the chapters in my other stories, due to the fact that this is a short one. It is no less in content, just made for school adn therefore with a shortened plot. Hope you enjoy it... and hope I get a good grade, lol.


Scene 1- The Plague

Cryptbarq was located on an immense, desolate plateau, raised above the smoky, gnarled Rath Forest and in front of the blue-tinted Song Mountains in the lands of Gryflen. It was once a flourishing place filled with beautiful white-washed stone walls and towers with polished, crystal-like windows that gleamed like jewels when the lovely beams of the morning sun shone through them with a golden, cherry-flecked radiance.

The forest, too, was once a wondrous, mythical place, teeming with majestic animals and the amazing abode of exotic plants and flowers. The tangled vines were a bright emerald, twining with the climbing morning glories around the mahogany trunks of the evergreen trees. The river that flowed through had been a glistening stream of diamonds, banked by lush grasses and river reeds.

But all this had changed.

A plague had swept the area. Not a plague of black, heart-clenching sickness, but a plague of man. The peaceful, love-holding dwellers of Cryptbarq were slaughtered unmercifully by the man-plague riding aback nightmare steeds of the darkest ebony. These riders, calling themselves Armedan (distantly derived from the word 'Armageddon'), or Death Riders, brought with them the sorrow and sickness that had never cursed the lands of Gryflen before.

Within their first hours, the magnificent stone dragons that flanked the entrance were beheaded and all other stone was put to flame until charred black to make the ideal dark fortress or castle. All good was put to death until evil reigned solely.

The grand Rath Forest wilted away; the plants died and the trees took on an unhealthy tinge. The diamond river thinned to a slight creek, muddy and no longer shining with its lovely, glimmering beauty. The creatures fled in fear of their lives or died at the sword of the Armedan. Soon, not even the chirrup of a lonely cricket could be heard in the barren place.

The Armedan had total control of their desolate realm, but wanted, lusted, more. Why should they, those who had conquered an entire colony within a night, be limited to a single dwelling? Why couldn't they, no doubt the most powerful people within Gryflen, own and rule the whole of the immense lands? They could do it; no doubt crossed any of their blood-lusted minds. With such thoughts, the urge for more power grew and exploded from them. The Armedan left Cryptbarq in droves and proceeded to scour the lands for close areas to destroy and later control.

Upon such treks, a young Armedan by the name of Ralcon stumbled upon a mighty lair of mystery. The darkness was overwhelming, the stench almost unbearable.

Not sure of what to do, the lad stayed a moment too long.

From out of the cave shot a snarling, hulking form of scales, talons, and fangs. The beast was a good fifty feet in length from snout to tail tip, grey and black in color with scales of the hardest metal. It had massive, leathery wings with lethal hooks on the ends and large, catlike, gleaming yellow eyes. Four, foot long talons of a stormy grey hue were upon each of the four feet. Thin, razor-sharp spines lined the back of the beast from between his nostrils to the tip of his long tail. An assortment of ridges, horns and tendrils covered the dragon's head, as well as two leathery ears.

The dragon was a full-on battleship, snarling and smoking, ready for head to head combat. His tail swung around like a whiplash and his jaws cracked open slowly with a long hiss. Yellowing fangs of an extraordinary length were revealed, glinting and gleaming like a bright warning sign.

Ralcon was a molten statue of fear; his eyes large as he looked over the monstrosity before him. His mouth gaped soundlessly and his limbs shook. It was the first time he had showed fright, but it was also the first time he had faced such a foe as the dragon before him. The draconian creature reared up on his hind legs, large wings unfurling like a ship's sails in a rushing fury of stormy wind. The tail rushed around soundlessly and the leathery ears were spread open wide. Tendrils whipped around chaotically and spines rustled warningly. The brute's yellowing teeth snapped and clashed together menacingly as a fiery growl erupted from his throat; a volcanic rumble of fury.

Not to be outdone or shone as the weak one in the face-off, even in such circumstances, Ralcon took a crouch, his rapier at the ready for a battle never before seen. His black cloak was torn from his body and his dark brown locks blown astray as the dragon's wings rushed forward and shoved a mighty wind current at him. His lips curled into a sinister leer as he bellowed forth a challenge.

The dragon seemed outraged by such a challenge and swung his tail around at the brazen youth. It caught the lad across the stomach and twirled him in midair before slamming him against the black, rocky ground.

A piercing scream racked the bitter air as the Armedan was thrown unmercifully upon the harsh terrain by such an imposing display of power and strength. It felt like

every bone in his body had been shattered, broken for eternity. He moaned as the dragon bugled his triumph to the ever-darkening skies and disappeared into the many caverns he occupied, leaving Ralcon to die and rot away like all other discarded prey of the Dark dragon.

Ralcon turned over once, his eyes glazed and shining with an intense pain and fury. He wouldn't die; he wouldn't lose his life due to a first lost battle between Armedan and foe. He would live, and walk away with his normal, swaggering stride of arrogance! He would come back and kill this savage monster or have it done for him.

The latter seemed much more practical.

Unfortunately, the conniving Ralcon was found and taken back to Cryptbarq. He was healed by ancient Dark magic, potions of unicorn's blood and phoenix feathers; two creatures so pure that they defied death unless it was at the hands of some black-hearted person. Such happened to the poor beasts.

No longer was he a great warrior, but now a cripple with nothing more to live for, Ralcon became a wrathful being, one filled with hatred and wishes for revenge. Finally crashing, he told of his encounter, much to the lusty pleasure of the Armedan people.

Once more they set out in hordes, armed with strong weapons and such black magic they could take from the lands about them. With Dark items in hand and arm, the act and art of dragon-slaying began.

Battles raged between man and beast. Though the dragons seemed the stronger force, they were dying out in large quantities. The Armedan used the dragons' elements against the mighty creatures, pouring water on the fire, putting fire over the earth and ice. Dark was pitted against Light and Light showered over Dark. Only one dragon evaded the plague of man; the very dragon that drove the notorious Ralcon to a close point of insane rage.

He kept to his many caverns beneath the earth, staying silent and alone to ensure life as the rest of his kin and element were slaughtered unmercifully. Such were the ways of the Dark, and this certain dragon lived solely by such, the only code of his clan: why risk his life for others when they had never done such for him?

Only once did he leave his lair. That was the time when the screams of his element rang out. Feeling their pain fully and the presence of Light, the mighty brute winged his way out from his lair and took flight, wild torrents of black smoke trailing from his nostrils and open jaws. All that stood in the Herculean reptilian's way were vanquished without mercy.

He flew, a looming shadow of darkness, to the deathly abode of the killing Armedan. Cryptbarq was a place of bone-chilling fear now, a tall castle encircled by a black-water mote. Towers rose in places like lethal guardians, all watching and waiting for battle. Spears lined the ramparts and a large, wooden drawbridge lay open, though the great, wooden doors were closed tightly.

The Dragon circled the area once before slamming his full weight upon the bridge. His tail whipped around and broke the wood behind him easily, like it had been a pesky stick in his way. His bellows called forth the guards and Ralcon, who was wheeled to a rampart to see the intruder.

Spears clattered off the creature's hide as he pounded at the doors with his immense talons clenched. His breath, it deemed, was not able to destroy against the powerful doors, no doubt cursed with some black magic. Comprehending this, the brute grasped the chains that let the bridge down and pulled it up in an iron grip, his yellow eyes whirling with fury and hatred.

Ralcon's mouth split into a sickening grin of childish pleasure as he spotted the very dragon he wished to have slain. He called the guards away as the dragon savagely crushed a horse and rider that had bravely come forth to meet the challenge. The gates were latched firmly inside and the chain that held up the remaining part of the bridge (which was only up because of them and the stone pillars beneath it) were let loose.

The wood cracked under the Dark reptile's grand weight and split in two, falling into the mote below and leaving only two stone pillars that had supported the bridge at the center. Ralcon watched all with a delighted cackle.

As the great, wooden planks crumbled and collapsed under the monstrous dragon, the drake rocketed into the air in a raging fury; his bright eyes alight like wildfire and his fangs snapping up a few knights that had riskily moved forward to attack from the battlements. Saliva dripped from his mouth as he rose in a towering temper and spat out the slain men, only to be hit by a swift volley of arrows and spears. Giving a menacing cry, the dragon back-winged and then whirled in midair.

Arrows followed the massive creature's flight as he fled the castle fortress, not in fear, but with tormented thoughts flashing about his dark mind. There had been a smell, a stench, of man that had seemed vaguely familiar. He had only met one of the strange figures in his life, but he had as good as killed him. Had the man lived? Was it that idiotic little thing that was organizing these riots and wars against the dragon type?

With a howling scream to the wasteland below him, the Dark dragon king flew to

his caverns in Tweldon, his rage holding him in a grasp of insufferable darkness.

Revenge would be taken- no doubt about that! Why shouldn't it be? The filthy leeches were killing off the kind that had lived and ruled for eons!

With a heaving sigh, the black dragon landed slowly, taking in the site of his ravaged home. Men had come here in the slight time he had been gone battling stupid pests of man. They had left behind their foul stench. But they were gone- they would not return.

It would be life to pay if they dared return…and if they did, there would be no leaving.