I was crouched in the corner my blade planted into the ground, leaning my weight on it, my long hair hanging in my face, sticking to my jaw becoming ensnared in my stubble. The shadows cloaking me, the dim candle light flickered, the enemy was a few feet in front of me. I was trapped in the corner of this church no escape, I tried to keep as still as I could, I even began to breathe slower making me feel light headed. I wanted to remain undiscovered rather than be tortured and punished by one of those creatures.
Many of my elven kin I had watched being murdered many family and friends. I was alone, the loud screeches of those creatures hurt my ears.
I could see their nostrils flare as they raised their heads looking for a scent, before I knew what was happening two great meat like hook claws were dug into my shoulders and I was pulled into the light.
The prehistoric creatures roared lifting their heads high in the air. Iron shackles were clapped onto my wrists, and the chain was given one hard tug almost pulling me over. I knew begging for my life was futile. I was dragged to the dungeons of my former home these Dragon Warriors had claimed it. They stripped me of weapons, armour and left me in nothing more than just my loincloth. I found myself backing into the corner once again, my knees pulled into my chest, and my arms crossed over my knees, I hid my face in my arms. I was scared. I had elves on either side of me and they were weeping just as much, the women seemed to be wailing. I looked around realising there were no children.
I soon began to gaze around and realised why, there lay corpses of children everywhere. I soon heard the cries of babies and I saw these creatures snatching the children from their mothers arms and throwing them into a pit. The sounds of their bodies hitting the ground with a thud made me feel sick, what did they want us for? We were just mercenaries, warriors, widows and sentries we were of no use. Until I saw them drag an elf forward, she was chained down and a spine was inserted into her stomach where something seemed to be pumped into her.
As it was taken away the hole healed and she was thrown into a cage. The sight sickened me, I allowed my head to fall onto my knees. “Ashfall.” I heard someone whisper. I looked up slowly. It was Mayeleth he looked just as scared as I was. His long dark hair was tangled with sweat, his skin seemed to be glittering with beads of sweat, he was also just wearing his loincloth.
“What do they want with us?” I asked my voice faltering.
“To become one of them.” He said holding out a shaky finger pointing to the dragon warrior pacing up and down in front of us.
“One of them?” I asked tucking a strand of long copper hair behind my ear.
“Yes, they have selected the only strong ones of us.” He said. “I’m surprised you haven’t picked that up my dear friend.” He said cracking a smile, but soon lost it as a beast beat the bars with the hilt of its sword.
“We must break free, and in form the wood elves nearby they could bring us reinforcements.” I explained to him.
“We wouldn’t make it to the doors, one of us would die.” Mayeleth spoke up.
“Not with me defending you you wouldn’t.” I told him.
“We’ll wait for dawn when these creatures slumber.” He suggested.
“Well I suggest we sleep save our strength.” I told him laying on my side but with my back to him.
Dawn soon came but it was silent, no animals yawning loudly into the morning. I sat up and looked over to Mayeleth he was still sleeping. I tapped the bars softly waking him up. “Mayeleth wake up.” I whispered.
My friend moaned as he stirred, I walked to the bars and looked around for something sharp to dig into the lock. A thin rusted nail lay just a few metres away from me, I crouched sideways pushing my muscular arm and shoulders through wheezing a little as I did. My fingers like spider legs reaching desperately for the nail, once I reach it I attempt to quietly pick the lock, all the while Mayeleth watches intently. It squeaks, it clicks till finally it opens with a creak, I quietly push the door more then rush over to Mayeleths door and begin to do the same but his seemed to be easier.
As soon as the door opened he pulled me into an embrace. “Thank you my friend.” He smiled. We had to tip toe over the giant sleeping lizards, they’re breathing deep we knew we were safe.
Mayeleth grabbed the wall causing some of it to break off in his hand, we paused as a couple of dragon warriors fidgeted in sleep. We just about reached the great oak doors all we needed to do was push on them and we were free. But it wasn’t that easy Mayeleth misstepped and trod on one of their tails. It awoke screeching, but it was like a domino effect they all woke up and rushed towards us, an inaudible shout was heard and before we knew it they were rushing at us, we had to fight with nothing but our fists or so I expected.
Mayeleth threw me into the sea of creatures and ran not even looking back. I was restrained and pushed to my knees on the ground. I was dragged over to an anvil, a creature intertwined its hand into my hair and tugged my head backwards, my arms also being pulled back so my chest and torso was on display, a creature turned around with a hot sword blade in its hand, it held it against my chest and expected me to scream but all I did was grunt, it was unbearable my skin sizzling and burning, the smell so potent I wanted to throw up.
But they weren’t done with my punishment, they held me firmly one stuck it’s finger into my eye and pulled, I heard it pop as it left my socket, they kept pulling till it was separated from my skull. I cried out, I tried to bow my head but it was only yanked back. They then proceeded to cut the tips of my ears off causing me to cry out loudly. The creatures then cauterised the wounds and threw me into my cell. I lay on my front not feeling I could move. I could hear the screams of everyone around me, when I had the energy I sat up and pulled my long side fringe over my eye, ashamed of my appearance.
It seems I can’t even trust my own kin. I could barely keep my eyes open, the pain still too much for me. There were elves on either side of me, I could feel their eyes on me. “Ashfall you were brave, but foolish. You shouldn’t have trusted Mayeleth he has a reputation for betraying his own kind.” She told me.
“I guess I was too naive to see it.” I said slowly looking up at her.