Age of Destiny

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Chapter 6: The Battle of Perdfale

He had gone absent-mindedly through the streets to Melana’s house, recalling to himself the many times he and Melana had spent together. The door was opened by Katliana before he had even started up the steps; she must have been watching for Melana or Maltor from the window. She ushered him in, but he couldn’t look her in the face.

She sat him on a chair, sitting across from him herself, and he felt like a child being punished. “What is it, sweety?” she asked, hand resting on his knee.

This time he looked her directly in the eyes, “Melana, she…she’s dead!” he sobbed the last word out, covering his face to hide his shame.

Katliana’s hand was pulled to her chest, watering eyes wide in disbelief. “She- how can she be dead? You must be mistaken!” She was wringing her hands, face red. She tried with all her might to deny what he said, but as she looked at his face, she saw the truth. Her tears burst forth, and Draden didn’t know what to do, so he sat there and cried with her. He managed to cry to her the words “butcher shop,” and after a while, they both sat in silence, both living in the memories they had of her.

Maltor burst through the door, face losing its joy at the site of Draden and his tear-stained wife. Draden couldn’t stand to see the man’s reaction, so he rushed out the door, not looking back once as he made his way home.

He cried through the night and slept well into the next day, exhausted from his sorrow. He awoke to a persistent and annoying tap-tap-tap on his door, finally being aggravated enough that he jumped angrily off his bed, going to see who was bothering him.

He let out a frustrated sigh as he crossed the room and threw open the door. There stood Kladspir, hands clasped behind his back, body swaying as he rocked patiently on his heels. He spoke before Draden could even think about calling a greeting, voice steady, hints of joy interlacing his words, “The Fra’tsi are approaching.”

It took a minute before the weight of the words sunk in, then Draden blurted out, “What? So soon? Wh––”

“Yes, so soon. Did you think they would take their time in coming here? No! They have one goal and one goal only: capture you and kill any who stand in their way.”

Draden closed his eyes, wondering whether or not to notify the buffoon that those were two goals, but instead asked, “Have you alerted the townspeople?”

Kladspir laughed a deep throaty laugh. “Why, of course I did! You were…sleeping.”

Melana’s death returned full force into his thoughts, and he glared at Kladspir. He also wondered why the man sounded so joyful at the moment. His emotions always seemed contrary to what was occurring. ‘Maybe something isn’t right in his brain…,’ he thought to himself.

He was pulled out of his theories by Kladspir’s hand on his shoulders. ‘And to think, this is how it all began. I seem to remember that the last time he put his hand on my shoulder my life turned into a living hell––literally,’ he thought sarcastically.

“We must go to the armory and get you suited up! Grab your sword and the medallion!” Kladspir shouted, as if Draden wasn’t right in front of him.

“But- we don’t even know how to use the amulet!” Draden protested.

“And what better way to find out than when you absolutely have to. Now hurry! Time is draining away; I don’t want to miss the start of the battle: that is always the best part!”

Rolling his eyes in bemused wonder, heart still heavy with thoughts of Melana, Draden charged into the house, quickly returning with his sword and its accompanying sheath in one hand, the medallion dangling from its silver-white chain in the other.

Grinning, fists on his hips, Kladspir exclaimed, “About time. Now, let us go!”

The tense energy hanging in the atmosphere when they arrived in Perdfale mirrored the nervous hold that had a tight grip on Draden’s stomach. Would he be ready for battle? Could he kill someone so cold-heartedly? The Fra’tsi were evil at heart, so he was doing the right thing…right? At least, Kladspir said it was the right thing. But more and more he doubted the things Kladspir was telling him.

Of course, he had no choice but to go along with it, so he might as well steel himself and be prepared for the bloodshed that was coming. As he looked around him at the women already weeping for their fathers, husbands, and sons, he realized that he was the cause of this.

If he could just run away and alert the Fra’tsi of his flight, maybe he could save his people––the people that were willingly giving up their lives to protect their families. But he knew that the Fra’tsi would still press on and attack the city. They needed him here, along with the unknown powers of the medallion.

‘It had better be worth it, seeing as I released the souls of the Gorginoths in retrieving it,’ he thought angrily.

Kladspir led him silently to the armory, where a rush of activity was occurring. Men of all ages were hurriedly suited up in available armor and equipped with cheap weapons. The stock in Perdfale was by no means good, but with the size of the town they were lucky they had anything at all. What things they did have were made by their very own blacksmith who used only what metals he had to furnish the armory. With the meager resources the town processed, this battle was going to prove a giant feat if they came out alive.

Draden fondly rubbed his hand along the smooth, padded hilt of his sword. It was thanks to Melana he had such a wonderful creation, but it was also one more painful memory of her.

He was quickly pushed along the line, and a shirt of chainmail was thrust onto his torso. He was handed chainmail pants, greaves, and a helmet by a grumpy looking villager before being thrown out the door into the hectic streets of Perdfale. The newly founded militia had been informed that they were to wait in the Square outside of the Town Hall until they were alerted of the enemy’s whereabouts.

The Fra’tsi were expected to come from the east. They weren’t the brightest creatures, so they would most likely come from the most obvious direction. To have formed an army and planned an attack was quite above them, and chances of them being manipulated by some higher power were great. As soon as the Fra’tsi were spotted by the scouts, word would travel from scout to scout to alert the city. They would be well prepared for the attack, as long as the Fra’tsi’s numbers weren’t too great.

So now, Draden stood among the crowd of nervously muttering mock-soldiers, Kladspir smiling happily next to him. “The battle is finally almost here!” the man exclaimed happily.

Draden sighed exasperatedly –– no point in trying to explain his weirdness. Kladspir spoke again, this time saying something useful but not a bit encouraging, “You have been armed with melee weapons, and now I shall arm you with magic. The only spell you currently know is ‘Grangnir,’ which I am sure you have noticed has many uses. I will name you a few more spells, and their base effect:

“Alektar; this can be used as a buffer, a weapon, or whatever else you choose. Its base is electricity, so let your imagination run wild.

“Wotiran; this is the base water spell. There is another, but you have no need of that yet.

“Finally, Sporeg; this is used as a buffer for weapons and projectiles alike. It will poison on contact.

“Now, I shall leave you to discover their many uses. Remember to enunciate them clearly and focus; focus with your entire mind. I must advise you to perform magic only if you know you are not in danger. Focusing your mind means letting the world around you go. Only a skilled magic user, like me, can focus on magic and still be aware of his surroundings at the same time. There is always a chance it won’t work for you. Therefore, I leave you to that. Now, repeat the words to me,” Kladspir finished, snapping his fingers.

“Um…Alektar, Wotiran, and…Spo––Spor––Sporeg!” Draden said carefully. The fear that had come over him the first time he'd used magic was fading, and he was becoming excited as a new world of possibilities was opened.

“Yes, well done,” commented Kladspir dryly. “Don’t mess up! We need you alive to do any good; don’t go dying!”

‘Yea, that’s helpful…,’ he thought sarcastically.

There were things Draden still wanted to know about magic, things he knew there was no time for. Would he become exhausted if he used too much magic? Could he die? What were the consequences? These questions would have to wait until later.

The talking around him ceased, all eyes turning up towards the top of the building. There stood Flagprim, voice echoing above their heads, “The Fra’tsi have been spotted! They number far greater than us and are approaching fast, but stay strong! They are foolish creatures and fumble with their weapons. Stay alert and you will survive. Today is a day of victory! We fight, and we win!”

The people roared, raising fists in the air. No one seemed to question the elf’s presence; they were just glad to have a leader. Draden was glad they had the elf to aid them in the first battle the city had ever seen.

Against Draden's will, but very much to Kladspir's liking, they had been pushed to the forefront of Perdfale’s army and now stood in the forest to the east of Perdfale. Draden’s hands nervously clutched his sword, glittering in the mid-day sun, before him. Kladspir stood to his right, eagerly performing practice swings with his gold-edged sword, wand being expertly manipulated in his other hand.

“You shall do well, Draden. All will end happily this day,” encouraged Flagprim, standing on his left.

Draden turned to face the elf, an accusatory look on his face. “What happened to you, Flagprim?”

Flagprim smiled, sympathy in his eyes. “I shall tell you later, Draden. For now we must concentrate.” Then he said, whispering to himself––though Draden caught it partially––, “No need to worry you right now.”

Kladspir eyed the elf warily, but didn’t question him…yet. He would wait until later to drill him. He wondered what an elf was doing all the way out here. To take his mind off it, he continued to prepare himself for battle.

Draden took a deep breath, eyes scanning the forest before him. Light peeked deceptively through the canopy of translucent leaves and bare branches, distorting all sense of depth. Birds chirped away, brooding in their nests as the sunlight bathed them with warmth.

Then, everything went silent: the calm before the storm.

The men behind Draden tensed, the rustle of a few hundred pieces of armor scraping together disturbing the ambiguous sense of calm. Then all hell broke loose.

The Fra’tsi appeared suddenly before them, the roar of their murderous charge shaking the canopy above. How the Perdfalians had not heard the pounding of the approaching army sooner stunned him. No doubt, they were being magically aided.

Flagprim raised his hands, palms facing outward and held side by side. He spread them quickly apart as he shouted, “Fractiniliium!” A slightly visible green sheet stretched out before them, separating the two armies for the moment. The Fra’tsi army neither faltered nor slowed, led on by their blood thirst. They crashed into the green shield, bouncing backwards in comical unison. The emerald haze rippled, but stayed fixed where it was.

From the center of the ranks came the largest Fra’tsi, towering above them all. He was clearly the leader, armor spiked at odd places that were most valuable for protection and damage. Why he would reveal himself so early and remove himself from the protective surrounding of his grunts showed how lacking his race was in common sense.

Flagprim signaled to the archers that had lined themselves up behind the protective rows of sword-bearing soldiers, and they fired their readily strung bows. Arrows whistled overhead and sailed through the phosphorescent shield, some successfully piercing through the gaps in the Fra’tsi’s armor; those that did wounded most and dropped a few. The armor of their leader proved strong, and the arrows found no leverage to harm him. He stood firm as the arrows slammed and flew off his tainted and rusted armor.

While the Perdfale archers were readying their bows, the Fra’tsi sent their own volley flying at the shield, small brains thinking their arrows would also pass through the shield. They were wrong. The arrows sank harmlessly into the jade sheet, continuing to spin long after they had embedded themselves. The Perdfale archers sent another wave of arrows knocking into the stupidly awaiting Fra’tsi, bringing down a few more of the foes.

Kladspir raised his wand, pointing it towards a group of rather large looking Fra’tsi, avoiding the leader until later. In his mind, destroying their leader would leave the rest less enthusiastic about fighting, less of a threat. He liked a challenge. He quickly spoke ‘Alektar,’ and a pulsing electric beam shot from his wand, hitting the brute in the front of the pack right in the stomach. He was thrown off his feet, crashing into the group of comrades behind him. They gathered closely around him: something they shouldn’t have done, but that Kladspir had highly anticipated. The Fra’tsi that had been struck by Kladspir’s spell exploded in a flash of blue static, electric charges slicing through the creatures around him and sending them smoking and dead onto the leaves below.

Draden decided to try his own luck at magic. He closed his eyes and focused his mind, repeating the word ‘Wotiran’ in his head. The clanking of metal and shouts of battle faded away. He snapped his eyes open, and a small orb of water began to form in his hand. It grew to the size of his head, floating and swirling in his palm. He brought his hand back and flung the ball towards a Fra’tsi. The bubble encasing the water broke, and water burst onto the Fra’tsi’s already rusted armor, leaving him dripping.

Next to him Kladspir laughed. “Try it more like this, Draden.” He shouted ‘Wotiran’ and pointed his wand at the soaked Fra’tsi. A concentrated stream of water with the force of a breached dam slammed into the creature, sending him flying through the air and crashing onto his none-too-happy comrades below. He ached from the blast and the fall but was perfectly fine, save for the death-threats his companions were now giving him. “Not the most effective spell for attacking, but great for other things,” Kladspir concluded jovially.

Finally, the Fra’tsi leader moved into action, walking forward to stand before the glowing veil. He pounded his fist on his chest, and with the other hand pulled out a medallion––similar to that hanging from Draden’s neck––from somewhere on his person, and punched it forward, piercing the shield. The emerald sheet began to waver, its surface rippling uncontrollably, and then disappeared altogether. With a cry of excitement, the Fra’tsi charged forward, crashing into Perdfale’s ranks.

Swords slid and ground against each other, each fighter trying to find an advantage over his opponent. The Fra’tsi were less adept with their blunt weapons, but the Perdfale army contained many who had never even touched a sword before. A sickening cry as a Fra’tsi’s hammer met with the skull of a young Perdfalian caused his allies to stutter in their steps. It was their first casualty of many more to come.

To Draden’s left he saw Maltor expertly slide his blade through the exposed stomach of a Fra’tsi. The glint of evil left its cold, black eyes as blood spurted onto the metal that had caused its death as if in tribute to its success. Draden guessed that the emotions from Melana’s death were fueling the man’s rage as he quickly felled another Fra’tsi in a gush of blood.

Soon, Draden had joined the battle. He had Isliaz working in a blur of blue and silver before him as he hacked clumsily at an attacking Fra’tsi’s armor. Unfortunately for the Fra’tsi, only a few were lucky enough to adorn a well-worn but protective helmet, including the battle commander. He was not one of them.

Draden pulled his sword in close to his chest, parrying a swipe that had been intended to pierce his heart, then he swung his sword out wide, bringing it home to the side of the creature’s head, leaving a gash and causing a spurt of blood. He swung again, this time aiming for its neck. He roared as he forced the blade through the thick tendons and bone. The body crumpled to the leafy bed and the head rolled off, blood spraying the ground.

He turned when, from the corner of his eye, he saw a flash of silver. His sword was too slow to block the cleaver that slammed into his chainmail-covered shoulder. Pain shot up his neck and down his arm, the entire member going numb. He raised his sword, still in his unharmed hand, blocking an attack that had been skillfully aimed at his head. The force that it slammed into his blade with caused him to stumble backwards, allowing the foe to continue his attacking spree.

Among the vicious swings of his attacker, Draden noticed it was similar to one of the large brutes Kladspir had attacked earlier. This one was definitely much more skilled than the others that were fighting around him. It continued to hack at him, and it was all Draden could do to block, let alone attack back. The Fra’tsi showed no sign of tiring, each blow coming as hard and swift as the one before it. The attacks began to be more skillfully aimed, and Draden had to move with adrenaline-aided speed to block each one.

Another Fra’tsi approached from the left, grinning evilly as it ran to join the fun. It struck low, and Draden parried, but the other overly aggressive Fra’tsi continued in its assault, striking Draden in the side with such a force that he went sprawling to the ground, the air knocked out of him. He rolled over to face his two foes, the taller one raising his cleaver to attack. The creature sent it crashing down, aimed for Draden’s vulnerable face, but was stopped at the last possible moment by a sword thrust above Draden’s head.

The gold lining the edges of the sword glinted with crimson blood as it pushed the cleaver away from Draden. “I wouldn’t do that,” said Kladspir’s familiar voice. The man raised his wand and pointed it at the two Fra’tsi. They had already begun their attack on him, and he expertly blocked with his sword in one hand while he cast a spell with his wand in the other. “Glicear,” he spoke. Fra’tsi weren’t so dumb that they didn’t recognize the words of the Ancient Language. They moved in unison, hoping to stop the attacker before his magic took effect. They both failed.

There was no sign that the spell had worked, save for the frozen bodies of the Fra’tsi. They stood rooted to the ground, weapons raised in their final attempts at subduing Kladspir, faces contorted with rage. Kladspir laughed a joyous laugh, then said, "Ble Uman." Both crystallized figures exploded in a shower of glittering ice and shining blood, the bloodied frosty remains of the two adversaries slicing dangerously through the air, some shards piercing through the unprotected skin of a passing Fra’tsi.

Draden picked himself up and stood to face Kladspir. He had never been so happy to see the man in his life. Come to think of it, he had never been happy to see him. “Thank you so much, Kladspir. I––” Kladspir sent a fireball fizzing past his head, the magma orb splashing into the face of a Fra’tsi that had been about to attack Draden from behind. “Shut up and fight. You talk too much,” was Kladspir’s reply. Then he was running off, finding new battles that he could gladly join.

Draden breathed a sigh of relief, then turned to face a trio of Fra’tsi eyeing him dangerously. He smirked; he knew exactly how he was going to take these creatures out. He just wasn’t sure if it would work. ‘Well, I know ‘Grangnir’ works when I use it; I just never know how it’s going to turn out. Maybe if I picture it ahead of time…,’ he thought hopefully.

He kept his eyes open, not wanting to lose the advantage, and whispered through gritted teeth, ‘Grangnir.’ He thrust his fist upwards and fire erupted from the ground underneath the charging Fra’tsi’s feet. The scarlet flames licked at their armor, blackening and melting the metal, bodies alive with fire. The three of them thudded to the ground, three smoking blurs on the landscape of battle. Draden smiled; he finally saw where Kladspir found his joy in this. It scared him to enjoy killing so, but he didn’t view it as killing. He was protecting his people.

A group of Perdfale soldiers before him were thrown to the ground as the Fra’tsi leader barreled through them, a barb on his chest armor impaling a soldier in a fountain of blood. The man hung their limply, body dangling as the creature continued forward. He yanked the barely-living soldier off his spike, then held him up so that he could see into his dying eyes. The soldier spat in his face, and the brute threw him to the ground, stomping on the mans head and twisting his neck.

The group of soldiers that had been previously knocked to the ground rushed at the foe, but he proved formidable. He swung his dangerously spiked arms at the rushing men, some spikes breaking skin, others piercing armor. They all went flying backwards yet again, but they did not stop in their assault. The Fra’tsi brought the medallion to his chest, smashing it twice against the metal. A bright yellow explosion erupted, and when Draden’s eyes had cleared, all that were left of the soldiers were six piles of ebony ash. He stood resolute before the foe, all trace of fear absent from his mind. His own medallion was held ready in his hand. He had no clue how to use it, so he was just going to mimic what the creature had done. He guessed that the medallion was controlled with certain patterns of physical movement. If only he knew what those were.

Draden smashed the amulet twice against his chest, and a blast of yellow light burst before him, showing the Fra’tsi leader he was not the only one who possessed such power. The creature did have the advantage, though, seeing as it knew how to control its own amulet’s power. Draden charged at the enemy, holding Isliaz with both hands, blade over his shoulder. He swung a second too late, rage causing him to break a spike off the brute’s arm. If only there weren’t so many other spikes that could easily replace it.

However, this caused the creature to go into a rage, face contorted in a hate-filled gaze. Then again, he always wore that angry expression. He swung his axe at Draden. Where the weapon had come from Draden couldn’t tell, but the Fra’tsi also had a hammer in his other hand. Almost no time was left in between the gap when the axe struck to when the hammer struck, Draden’s arms blurs as he hurriedly twisted to block the attacks. Then a thought came to Draden; just an idea, but maybe it would work. If only he could find the time to use it. The Fra’tsi continued beating mercilessly away at him, Draden’s sword vibrating as it clashed with each weapon in turn.

The Fra’tsi slowed for a split second, and Draden saw his chance. He ducked under the swing of the axe and dropped his sword. His other hand held the medallion and he quickly mimicked the former actions of his attacker. He pounded his empty fist on his chest and sent the fist holding the medallion upwards. It slammed through the brute’s arm, sending the once attached member flying through the air in a gush of blood. The creature howled in pain and rage, quickly smashing Draden’s helmet with the hammer. Draden rolled to the side, avoiding another pound as the hammer slammed into the ground, leaving a rather large indent, Draden envisioning what that would have looked like if it had been his chest.

He stumbled to his feet and charged away from the fury of the creature. He heard no sounds of pursuit, and when he had gone a considerable distance and had rejoined the ranks of his fellow fighters, he turned around. There was a large clearing around where the one-armed Fra’tsi leader stood, and neither friend nor foe approached him. A second later Draden realized why.

A dark shadow quickly blocked out the sunlight pouring through the canopy, and then in a shower of leaves and branches a large dragon crashed through. Its gigantic maw opened in a deafening roar, revealing long and deadly razor-sharp fangs. Ebony spikes similar to those the Fra’tsi leader wore, but five times larger, followed the curve of the spine, starting at the base of the neck and ending at the tip of the tail. Its black scales, glinting violet in the sun now pouring in through the large break in the canopy, pointed sharply downward, each tip colored brightly silver, mirroring the color scheme of its spikes. Its eyes were glowing red orbs covered by a thick ridge of overhanging bone. Smoke billowed from its dark, gaping nostrils as its chest heaved with heavy breaths.

Then the Fra’tsi leader, who had been hidden by the creature’s great mass, appeared atop the dragon’s back, hand grasping a spear.

‘What is it?’ Draden thought.

‘It’s a Shakra,’ someone answered back.

‘Flagprim?’ questioned Draden, recognizing the elf’s distinct tone even in his mind.

‘Yes, it’s me; now focus,’ commanded the elf.

Slightly startled by the sudden intrusion in his thoughts, but now openly accepting things he couldn’t explain, Draden turned his eyes once again to the Shakra.

The Fra’tsi leader had led the dragon––or it had more likely acted of its own accord––into a group of fighters to the right. The Shakra was surrounded by at least twenty Perdfalian soldiers, but was by no means being subdued. Its tail thrashed quickly behind it, spearing a few soldiers with its spikes, knocking over a few more and beheading an unfortunate one who hadn’t pulled away in time. Its gargantuan, fang-equipped mouth was doing its job as well. The dragon currently had the back-end of a young soldier hanging out of his bloody jaws, stomach already digesting the two soldiers he had previously swallowed.

The Fra’tsi brute atop him was also aiding the dragon in its massacre. Eyes glaring darkly, the creature stabbed his lance down with a quick thrust, sending it through the back of an ill-fated soldier’s helmet as he had been charging past. Gore sprayed out the front of his helmet as the spear pierced through, the man screaming one last time before falling limply to the ground.

Draden decided that he couldn’t stand there and not participate any longer, but he couldn’t go charging in and get himself killed either. He had to plan it out––

‘Do what I say!’ interrupted Flagprim’s thoughts.

––or he could listen to the elf.

‘Get closer and don’t act until I say. We must take down the leader before attacking the dragon. Our chances of succeeding are greater.’

Draden complied, inching slowly forward. He saw the elf break through a group of combating enemies, hands holding a bow with a golden-feathered arrow already knocked. He sent the projectile flying at the Fra’tsi leader, but the creature raised his javelin with a grunt and swiped it sideways, meeting the spinning arrow and knocking it harmlessly aside. Flagprim instantly tried another tactic, sending a fiery scarlet orb careening towards the creature. The Fra’tsi brought the medallion up and the fireball crashed into it, disappearing as the amulet absorbed it, glowing white-hot from the magic.

‘What now?!’ Draden thought, hoping Flagprim was listening.

‘We need to get the medallion away from him! Then he will be powerless,’ the elf responded.

‘I know just what to do,’ Draden revealed. He just hoped that the elf would know his part in the job.

Draden charged up to the two foes, both creatures turning their heads toward him, just as he had planned. He slammed his fist holding the medallion into his chest twice. Even with his eyes closed, he could sense the blinding flash that occurred. His eyes opened and he let out a sigh of relief when he saw Flagprim leap over the dragon’s back and snatch the medallion out of the Fra’tsi’s hand.

The elf tossed the amulet to Draden who grabbed it out of the air, holding a medallion in each hand. ‘I wonder…,’ he thought to himself. Acting on his thoughts, he smashed the medallions together, having no clue of what would happen. A beam of unhampered, pulsing, pure-white light blasted forth, blowing the Fra’tsi’s head off in a cloud of ash. ‘Much better than I had expected,’ he thought happily to himself.

The Shakra, noticing that its rider had been defeated, reached its neck back, grasping the slipping body of the Fra’tsi in its mouth and tossing it off without a care. It turned to face its foe, a fierce growl erupting from deep within its chest.

“Really, are you stupid? Did you not just see what I did to your leader?” Draden mocked.

Though Shakra are incapable of speech, they understand what is said to them. This Shakra thought Draden quite stupid because, one: he obviously hadn’t seen what Draden had done because he had still been blinded by the previous flash. Two: the incompetent thing on his back was by no means his master, and the dragon hadn’t minded a bit that he had died. And three: magic did not harm a Shakra, for they were protected by the silver tips of their enchanted scales.

This is what the Shakra thought as the beam of light erupting from Draden’s medallions stopped short before him and then burned out. A choking guttural sound emitted from the Shakra’s open mouth as he laughed at the stunned expression on the boy’s face. Then he felt the deep bubbling sensation in his stomach rumble as he prepared to shoot flame. It burst up through his body and exploded in white-hot flames toward Draden.

Draden felt the heat as it approached, and he kneeled down, arms held protectively over his head. The flame rushed toward him then slammed into the pale green sphere that was now covering him. He could feel the heat as the fire built up and swirled around the sphere, creating a cone above him. He briefly wondered where the shield had come from, but then he noticed that it was getting harder to breathe, and his gasps came quick and labored. The stream of fire kept coming from the Shakra, but so intent was the dragon at killing the foe that it didn’t notice an elf sneaking up behind him. Inside the fiery vortex, Draden was about to pass out. As his head hit the ground, the fire ceased and the shield lifted.

The blast of cold air quickly evaporated the sweat on his skin, and he gulped oxygen, refilling his empty lungs. He looked at the Shakra, dragon standing completely unmoving, still in the position it had been in when shooting fire. The only thing different was that the spear the Fra’tsi leader had formerly possessed could now be seen sticking out of both sides of the Shakra’s head, black blood dripping on either side. Its red eyes dimmed and it collapsed to the ground, breathing its last.

Some of the remaining Fra’tsi heard the crash, noticing their dead leader, and stopped where they were. Those who were unaware were still in their own personal battles. Then a call––a series of grunts––broke through the sounds of death, and the Fra’tsi raised their heads, listening to the order. As one, they turned and charged into the forest away from Perdfale.

A last few retreating Fra’tsi were slaughtered by the Perdfalians, and the archers sent a final volley of arrows after the escaping foes, killing only a few. Even so, there was a smile on every soldier’s face.

They had won.


Alektar =Ŭ-lĕk-tar
Sporeg = Spō-rĕgg
Fractiniliium = Frăck-tĭ-nill-ee-ŭm
Perdfalian = Përd-fāle-ee-ĭn
Glicear = Gliss-ee-are
Ble Uman = Blay Ooh-mŏn

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