Battle Of The Dragon Lords

Cold and harsh the light from the full moon bathed the path ahead of me in a pale corpse light as I walked on my way back to my village. Long had I travelled and many was the adventure that I had reluctantly been involved in, but now my mind no longer lingered on such thoughts as my footsteps became lighter as I sensed that home was near. Rounding the trunk of the large oak tree that got struck by lightning five years ago before all this happened to me, my eyes beheld the greatest sight in all my travels. Home.

A gust of warm air mingled with laughter and talking washed over me as I stepped into the Inn. Eyes turned and beheld a large man standing in the doorway, tall and sleek of limbs my long bow slung over my shoulder, my right hand caressing the hilt of my sword, for even though I was finally home I knew that the evil had not been truly destroyed only halted for some time. Calling to me from behind the bar the fat jolly man who so often had refused to serve me before I came of age and left the village. " Sir! A mug of ale and a warm meal at once for you" " Why thank you Master Innkeeper" a light shining in my eyes. " Anendel? Is that you?" " Of course Master Gill long time no see!" " Come young Anendel have a seat and tell all of your travels at once!" Reluctantly I let Master Gill lead me away from the bar and into a corner of the Inn to a low table. " I will be back soon with your food so make yourself at home" With that the stout innkeeper makes for the kitchen crying out orders as he goes. My eyes take in all the changes that five years have wrought on my quiet little town, I notice more outsiders than were once in our flyspeck village in the middle of nowhere. But that was to be expected with the rise of the Dragon Lords in the East.

All eyes turn towards the door as again the bitter night forces its way into the inn, and standing there is a figure decked out in robes of velvet as black as night. A flicker of movement comes from the hood of the robe as the person looks over to my corner. I smile to my self and get up to walk over to the bar. " A glass of wine for the Mage Sir?" Master Gill asks. " Wine? Better get all the sprits locked away Master Gill!" I state as I see my friends eyes narrow beneath the hood of her robe. " True O' noble Innkeeper, wine is not to my taste I'll take ale and lots of it!" " Grazielle! I thought you would be longer in coming," I say as I draw towards my battle companion. " Ah Anendel, long have I walked and my feet are sore, come let us sit and eat!" Motioning to Master Gill to serve food to Grazielle and I at our table I walk with her and offer her a seat. Cold fire burns from her eyes as she snatches the chair from my hand. " I don't know why I let you get away with that, any other man would have been handed his heart for insulting me as you do!" Laughing, I fall into my chair as Grazielle stares daggers at me. " Easy friend I only do it because you let me, but peace! Let us eat and drink!" Master Gill, two heaving platters in his hands starts fussing over our table like a mother hen, " Anendel who is your friend?" " Oh just someone who I bumped into on the road and has never let me be since!" Spluttering in outrage Grazielle lunges towards me murder in her eyes, " You take that back at once you scoundrel!" Almost chocking on my laughter and ale, " Peace friend! " I implore my volatile friend. Master Gill a look of profound shock on his face starts to edge away from Grazielle, " I will now tell you a tale that is not one of my favourites," I say to Gill, as he takes a seat next to us, first sending one of the serving girls to get us all fresh mugs of ale. With the warmth of the Inn and the ale loosening my tongue I started to relate my first meeting with Grazielle. " It was about four and a half years ago, just after I had left home that I met Grazielle", I start and soon memory comes flooding back.

Walking and whistling without a care in the world a young man is seen on the edge of the Great Forest looking up at the great trees. " Look Grat, fresh meat!" One Goblin says to another. " Aye Drog! Young and tender! She should like this one!" Drools the other Goblin as they look towards the young man. These Goblins were in the service of the black dragon Kishanth, who had taken up residence in the Great Forest many years ago and was considered myth by many. For she seldom ventured out and let her army of Goblins tend her every desire. After a short while the young man walks towards the opening to the forest and disappears out of sunlight and into the dark shadow of the trees. " Better follow him Grat! " " Aye Drog! Follow him; take him to Her! " The Goblins moved out from behind the tree they were hiding behind and stealthily crept after the young man. Anendel the young man walks beneath the lofty trees. Happy with himself and happy with the world, " Finally I have left that hole of a village and am making my way in the world! " with a happy jig to accompany his words Anendel pushes further into the forest. " Get him now! " " No Drog! " urges Grat, " Later, will be fine, wait for the white face, she will be only half tonight! " Grat as you may assume has a few more brain cells than your average Goblin, actually he is slightly larger and hefts a thick wooden club almost twice the size of his counterpart's. Grat had for many years been in the company of Kishanth and was considered a leader of the Great Forest Goblins. He looks towards Anendel who is tall for a human over six feet and large, big arms big chest but not fat. Armed only with a long bow and a dagger at his waist the Goblins thought him easy prey. Time not being easy to tell in the perpetual half night of the forest, true night fell and found Anendel far from prepared for it. " Right then! Looks like we need a camp." Talking away to himself Anendel started about making a small makeshift camp, growing up near a forest he new his way around trees and would one day make a fine Ranger. Whilst Anendel makes his camp Drog and Grat edge closer to him, nearing his camp they get ready to rush in and grab him. " Ah fire! " Anendel cries out as the sparks catch and his fire roars into life. " He summons fire! " moans Drog, " Coward! Leave this to me " spits Grat, creeping into the clearing behind Anendel he is nearly on top of him when Anendel sensing the change in the air spins around. A look of shock on both faces fades quickly as Grat teeth barded, launches himself at Anendel. " Aie! " Anendel springs away from Grat and drawing his dagger drops down into a fighting crouch. Seeing that the fire was no risk to Grat, Drog dredges up the courage and rushes Anendel from behind. " Got 'im! " crows Drog, as they both set to tying Anendel's wrists together with his own bowstrings. " What do you want with me!? " shout Anendel, " Silence! " shouts Grat as he delivers a blow to the side of Anendel's head knocking him cold.

Meanwhile in another clearing the mage Grazielle is also making her camp only with a lot more proficiency. After she had made her fire she went around the camp putting wards on all the trees so that if anything came into her clearing she would know about it. Grazielle, medium height about five foot eight, long black hair, green eyes, clothed in a robe of velvet of black, she is an innate of the school of magic. Finishing her wards Grazielle settles down to sleep when a great crashing comes from further into the forest getting nearer. Huffing and wheezing Anendel crashes into Grazielle's clearing and just in time manages to throw himself to the side as a fireball roars past his head and explodes full force on Drog. Grat seeing his comrade fall and no longer liking the odds turns tail and flees. " So young man, care you to tell me why you disturb my sleep with Goblins? " " Oh good Sir! " " Hold! " acid drips from Grazielle's every word, " Sir? Sir? have a care young man to use your eyes before you use you tongue! " " My humblest apologies O' mighty arch mage I did not see that you were a woman." " Nay young man only a mage for I am not that unskilled as to take a title that is not mine, come sit tell me your name. " As Grazielle unsheathes her belt knife and in one stroke frees Anendel's arms. " My name is Anendel and yours may be? " Flexing both arms to get the blood flowing again he sits across the firs from Grazielle. " Grazielle, who were your friends? " " Well one was called Grat, not the one you turned into a torch the other one, and they talked of Her?" " Her? Mayhaps they mean.. No it can't be, Kishanth? " " Who? " " One of the great Dragon Lords, Kishanth, many years ago she was thought to have been destroyed in the Final Dragon Wars but maybe not. Come let us rest and more we shall discus in the morning. "

" There you go Master Gill, that is how I met my friend here. " Smiling I reach for my mug of ale and leaning back into my chair take a long pull.

* Well hope you liked it! R&R and I'll do some more! Later, Smify. *