FOREVER KNIGHTS: #20 Watchers Gathering

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The Unleashing

Meeting their glares unflinchingly, Radix barely saw the river of small dragons pouring from Bast.

They very nearly tore him in half as they flooded out. Slithering from the wounds, their compressed bodies compressed ballooning out as they inhaled.

One by one, they plopped to the ground. Pouring over Cimmerii like a plague of locusts. Consuming the Nonis skin like parchment, and leaving only skeletal remains.

Which inevitably lengthened into human skeletons after a time. Piling atop each other as the bones clattered.

But even the little dragons shied from Radix, unwilling to close in on his evil. Shaking their heads wildly against the stench he emanated.

Killing Nonis didn’t make Radix blink. Though he bent in pain now and again. Huffing against whatever sensation it was for him as his minions died.

His stare was riveted on Deragan. Two old enemies facing each other down after a centuries-long battle.

Radix smirked. Enjoying the rage so clearly written over the Alpha. Clearly recognizing from where it stemmed. "And I'll kill her again...Have you brought her to me?"

Deragan’s rage seared his soul.

But somehow Bast mustered enough strength to put the back of a hand against Deragan's abdomen. A weak effort to stay the alpha from foolishly attacking.

As Radix so clearly wants me to. Deragan's eyes flicked to Bast next to him who shook his head in warning.

He's right.

Wolves crouched. Growling and shuffling next to Deragan. Ready to pile atop the demon Master. A few overzealous souls lurched forward to catch his robes. Tugging wildly and shredding the cloth. Others yanked viciously at his staff.

With a curled lip, Radix calmly slammed the staff to the ground. The wood promptly began to twist, writhing like a snake. Withdrawing into the black diamond at its peak. The wood molded around the gem. Hardening into branches which wrapped it like clenched fingers.

Images slowed, and Deragan watched wolves lunging from the fog as one to encircle the Cimmerii leader.

Bast backed up and leaned against a tree to steady himself.

Weakened from his exertion. Deragan recognized.

Radix lifted the wood coated gem and offered it to a darkening sky. Lightening cut jagged streaks to light the dark ball in an opalescent purple glow. Then came the boom that echoed over the valley.

Wolves stumbled mid-stride. Dropping sideways with scorched flesh.

Bast’s objecting cry was the only human wail.

Branches crunched as a second wave of Cimmerii split the fog.

Just as they did back then. Radix’s great strategy.

Not this time, Demon.

Pendant in hand, Deragan lowered his head to speak into the mind of his fallen comrades.

With grunting and huffing they obeyed his commands. Blindly trusting his leadership.

They rose on shaking limbs, tossing their lumbering heads. Layers of flesh and fur fell away.

As will their pain as they change form. Deragan knew from many years of shifting.

Already their bodies were healing from the massive damage they’d sustained as they straightened into the figures of armored men. Standing next to him. Blonde, brunettes and some as dark as the night itself.

Deragan fingered the pendant again and ordered them to the skies. Now that they're healed they can sustain the Primary Change.

In a river of movement, they flooded the sky. Wings bursting from their sides in an array of colors. Banging like whipping sails. Fleshen bodies coated in loose in thick scales. Which clattered and scraped over themselves until locking into place. Their dragon necks thickened.

Cimmerii snapped at their wings as they lifted off the ground. Nonis bit their toes. Dangling from their claws as they rose.

Even Deragan breathed heavily as his body began altering to its primary form. Forcing it into the greater beast was painful. But necessary.

The black creature he became unfolded massive wings and slowly flapped. Tearing the trees apart as he twirled into the sky amidst his Forever Knights. Joining their ranks as they hovered over the Battling Border and the dark treeline separating it from the Netherlands. Together they spiraled into the gray sky. Bombarding it in blues, purples, blacks and crimson reds.

Pouring across the darkening sky, they dodged the lightning Radix summoned.

His furious shouts filled the valley.

Cimmerii still leapt at the heels of wolves in transition. Chasing the ground beneath them to try and keep up.

But the Forever Knights had risen above the Cimmerii reach.

Thus far. Deragan had suspicions of what would come next. Seeing that Radix seemed undisturbed by this move.

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