Copyright © 2007-2017 Akeentia. All Rights Reserved.
The Valley of Duial sat silent for once, nothing but the sound of the rain could be heard. As the rain fell, creatures of every kind scurried to find shelter from the cold water. The sound of the rain striking metal could be heard in the distance ever so faintly and the mountain at the north of the Valley hissed as the rain cooled its hot volcanic rocks. This mountain, named Talis, was the home of the Drakis. And the south end of the Valley of Duial was home to the Favlin. At one point both of these peoples lived in peace but that was no more.
High atop one of the cliffs of Mount Talis sat a lone figure. He looked to be fairly young and in most respects he looked as if he was an Elf or one of the Favlin in most of his features. But in some places where you would expect skin to be the skin went from smooth to an almost scale like texture made up of shades of red and gold. He also had wings, wings that resembled that of a dragon but smaller. He looked as if he was half dragon, and in fact as a Drakis he was. As the rain fell down upon him he sat quietly with his wings wrapped around himself, watching the Valley below. His yellow eyes scanned the Valley as if he was looking for something. Just then, another slightly older, Drakis came up behind him.
"Lord Dyric, the Favlinian Army has pulled back due to the rain," the older Drakis said to the one sitting quietly on the cliffs edge.
"The monsoon season has started," Dyric replied softly. "Jormi, have our troops pull back to the higher ground."
"Yes my Lord," said Jormi. "I am also to tell you, my Lord, that Lord Vecon has called a Council meeting to assess the situation at hand. The meeting is to take place immediately."
"Thank you Jormi," said Dyric as he slowly got to his feet and straightened his armor. Dyric looked over the Valley one last time before he turned and followed Jormi down the narrow path and back into the mountain.
A few minutes later Dyric found himself looking at the familiar sight of the great hall of Castle Talis, the Drakis Palace that was cut and shaped from the caves of the Talis Mountain. The entire hall was crafted to use the mountains rocks and black onyx to its full potential, showing off just how skilled the Drakis stone crafters were as well as how beautiful the mountain was. At the north end of the great hall Dyric could see that the Council was already gathering for the meeting. Jormi then took his leave to go check on getting all the troops to higher ground. Dyric sighed and then slowly started to make his way over to them but stopped abruptly when he felt someone, lay a hand on his shoulder.
"So my younger brother has actually returned home for a change," the owner of the hand said.
Dyric turned around and smiled, "Even I have to obey the seasons, Vecon. I've been home for about an hour now though."
"Ah, you weren't staring off into the Valley again were you?" chuckled Vecon as he looked his wet brother over. "When you find whatever it is you're looking for when you sit up there by yourself I'd love to know, you've been looking for years now. Maybe then the castle staff will also stop complaining about having to be the ones that have to dry all of your clothes when it rains."
"I've missed being able to sit up there, especially in the rain," said Dyric. "But anyway, it's good to see you again Vecon."
"It's good to see you too Dy," Vecon replied as he pulled Dyric into a hug. "It's been what, six months since you've been home?"
"Something like that," said Dyric. "So how have you been?"
"Well, you missed my twenty first birthday," said Vecon. "You also missed me asking Cwen if she would be my mate. But other then that, you've been seeing more excitement then we have here."
Dyric frowned, "Excitement? Vecon, we've lost almost a hundred good Drakis in the last six months."
Vecon sighed, "Yes I know, I'm just trying to making things sound better then they are, Mother likes it better if we try and keep a positive attitude."
Both of them started to walk over to the rest of the Council. "How is Mother?" Dyric asked.
"Well physically, she's the healthiest Dragon I've ever seen. But hearing about her people suffering and dying is taking its toll on her I'm afraid," replied Vecon. "It'd be good if you would visit with her while you're home."
"Gentlemen!" one of the Councilmen called out. "Are we ready to start?"
"Of course Councilor Jifrey," said Vecon as he and Dyric joined the others.
"Very good," said Councilor Jifrey. "Dyric, I'm glad you can join us, maybe you can brief us on our long range guards after Councilor Wilim is finished. Wilim you may start now."
"Thank you Jifrey," said Councilor Wilim. "As some of you may know, we were unable to protect the southeast fields this year as well as we would have liked. The Favlin Kingdom seems to be doubling their efforts in that section; which we will need to address later. But due to that fact our rice stores are not as full as we had hoped. Luckily though, we were able to hold all of our other fields and so the wheat stores are so full we had to build extra store houses in the upper storage caves. As such I suggest that if we do any trading with any other kingdoms this year that we trade wheat instead of rice."
"But rice has always been our exportable good," cried one of the other councilmen. "What if the other kingdoms are not willing to trade because we are offering wheat instead?"
Councilor Jifrey sighed, "We will just have to cross that bridge when we get..."
Suddenly Jormi came bursting into the great hall. "Unus-Dracis Vecon! The lower storage caves are under attack!"
"Attack? The Favlin are attacking now? They must be crazy, I mean in this weather," said Vecon. "Raise the Palace Guard and have them stand by. Dyric will take his Wing Guard and come in from the south; I'll lead the Palace Guard and come in from the north. Let's move!"
As Vecon, Dyric, and Jormi rushed out of the great hall one of the councilmen shouted "The lower caves? That's our fruit stores! You must stop them! We need that food!"
Less then five minutes later Dyric was in the air with thirty of his men behind him. As they got closer to the lower caves Dyric could see the hordes of Favlinian soldiers flooding the caves. Dyric drew his sword and then dove straight down at the mouth of the cave. His men followed him and as they reached the cave they started to try and clear the Favlinian soldiers from it. A few minutes later the Palace Guard joined the fight.
But with the rain falling as hard as it was it was becoming difficult to stay airborne. Several of Dyric's men had to take to the ground and had already pulled out their second sword. After another few minutes Dyric folded back his own wings, pulled out his own second sword, and landed. The Favlinian soldiers were almost as thick as the rain itself but after a short while they started to pull back and were finally in a full retreat.
Dyric sighed as he watched the Favlinians retreat and was just about to sheath his second sword when he heard a cry from the caves. Dyric didn't wait for his men, he rushed into the lower caves by himself just in time to see one of the Palace Guards fall to a few Favlinians that were still in the cave. Dyric rushed them but as he did and one of his swords hit its mark an explosion sounded through the cave and rocks began falling from the ceiling.
Deep in the middle of the Favlin forest of Fanelic a young man, who looked to be about sixteen, got up on a large rock and looked out at the group before him. He sneered at the subdued group of Drakis that he saw before him, all fifty some of them, both young and old, all bound in shackles. "Pathetic," he mumbled as he brushed his black hair back behind his long, pointed ears. He nodded to one of his Favlin soldiers and then waited for him to get the groups attention. The soldier quickly got everyone's attention as he blew into a small horn that he pulled from his belt.
"Listen up flying rats," shouted the soldier. The group quickly got quiet. "There you go Lord Sythin."
Sythin, the young man on the rock, grinned, "Thank you Captain." He cleared his throat and then continued, "Welcome to the Favlin mine Felevic, here you will mine metal and make armor for our soldiers. My father, King Alder, has sentenced all of you to this permanent fate for daring to come into our land and try to spread your lies about your gods. You deserve worse then this but at least this way you still have some purpose. I am Lord Sythin and I am now in charge of this operation until I get bored with it or my father places me elsewhere." Sythin then pointed to another dark haired Favlin, who looked to be a few years younger, behind him, "This is my brother Kazen, he will be my assistant. If either one of us hear that any of you are not meeting your daily quota then we will personally make example of you. At this time I reserve the right to change what happens if you don't meet that quota, but trust me you won't like it. The same will happen if you disobey any order that any Favlin here gives you." Sythin paused, "Oh and get a good look at the sky, because we'll only let you out of the caves once a month."
Sythin then signaled to his Captain to start moving them into the mine.
Kazen hopped up on the rock next to his brother and looked out over the group and they slowly started to file into the caves, receiving their position as either miner or smelter as they entered.
"So why did father assign both of us to this project?" Kazen asked as he searched the Drakis for no one in particular.
"Because the priest that leads these people, Celic, in some way posses a threat to our father," Sythin replied. "When he stood before father he wouldn't lose his temper and only felt sorry for father. You know how much father hates that, he thinks it's a bad omen, so he put us both here because he wants us to break the priest. He wants the priest to renounce his gods and vow to serve the Favlin Kingdom."
"That could take some work," said Kazen. "Doesn't the Drakis Empire normally come after their priests and their followings if they get captured?"
"Oh not this group, not this priest," grinned Sythin. "They went against the Drakis Empire's orders to stay away from our borders. They were not only near our borders; they were caught within our borders. So Father doesn't think anyone will come to save this group because chances are no one knows they're missing."
Kazen looked at his brother, "So how do you plan on breaking the priest?"
Sythin pointed to one of the adult Drakis, "You see that Drakis there? The one dressed in white?"
Kazen looked to where his brother was pointing, "Is that the priest?"
"Yep, now look around him and tell me what you see," said Sythin.
Kazen looked closer and noticed that the priest was paying extra attention to where one of the female Drakis, as well as two children were, "He has his family with him?"
"A wife and two sons," grinned Sythin. "I'm going to use the children to get him to break."
Kazen frowned, "Why not just the wife?"
"Oh I'm sure she's ready to die for the same thing her husband is," said Sythin. "But I don't think either one of them is ready to watch their children suffer."
Dyric opened his eyes and slowly got up from where he'd fallen. He quickly looked around the store cave to find that whatever had gone off had sealed the entrance.
"Is anyone alive in here?" Dyric called.
"Yeah but I doubt you're really asking me," came a call from across the cave. "I don't think I'll last long anyway."
Dyric looked over to find a dying Favlin soldier. The Favlin was younger then Dyric would have first thought, possibly even younger then he was. Dyric slowly looked the boy soldier over, he quickly saw why the Favlin thought he wouldn't make it; Dyric could see that his sword had pierced the Favlin's armor and was embedded in the boys side. This was the Favlin soldier that he had struck as the explosion had gone off.
The boy was doing his best to get into a more comfortable position, or at least a position that would cause him the least amount of pain. Dyric continued to look the boy over when he suddenly realized that the boy had no weapon, in fact there was no place to put a weapon of any kind on his uniform. He wasn't even wearing proper armor; his armor was made of leather rather then iron. And the boy instead was loaded down with medical supplies; the boy was a healer not a soldier. As Dyric was thinking he let his eyes wander back up to the boys face to find that the boy was staring back at him. The moment he looked into the boy's eyes though something deep down inside went off like a spark; some how he knew this boy, even though he'd never met a Favlin on anywhere but a battle field.
"I know you," Dyric whispered softly.
"I guess you didn't like me then," the boy replied softly as he glanced down at the sword in his side. The boy sighed, "You know what's funny, I've helped save 97 lives in the time I've been in the Army as a healer but now here I am I can't even save my own. They never even taught me to use a sword, but I suppose I never thought that I can still die on one."
"I'm sorry, I...I was just acting. You were in the fight with one of my men," Dyric said sympathetically. "Had I known you weren't a soldier..."
"Then someone else would have killed me anyway," interrupted the boy. "I was trying to pull your soldier off of one of the injured men I was treating when you attacked." The boy then looked down at one of the dead Favlin around him, "Well I don't think he'll make it now, that rock on his head kind of did him in. Not even I can heal that." The boy then looked back over at Dyric, "I don't blame you for attacking me; you were just doing your job as I was here to do mine. You know what though; it's nice to actually get to talk to you even if I don't think I'm going to make it. I've always wanted to actually get to meet a Drakis." The boy paused for a moment and closed his eyes, "Sorry, your sword hurts just a little bit."
"I...I can imagine," Dyric said softly.
"Oh, my name is Ashlin by the way," said the boy.
Dyric looked down at where his sword was stuck again before looking back up at the boy, "I'm Dyric."
"Well it's nice to meet you D..." Ashlin whimpered as he slid a little on the rock he sat upon, "I...I know this could be asking a lot because I'm a Favlin but can you help me...please?"
Dyric watched as Ashlin slid down the rock a little further. Somehow he knew this boy, somewhere they had met, but Dyric couldn't think where. If he let him die would he ever know? But if he did anything else what would he tell him brother to stop him from killing Ashlin. Ashlin gasped as he tried to get into one of his medical bags but ended up shifting the sword. Suddenly Dyric knew what he had to do.
Dyric got up and rushed over to where the boy lay, "What do you need me to do?"
Ashlin looked shocked, "I...this bag here. Spread its contents on the ground. I can tell you what you need from there."
Dyric carefully took the bag from Ashlin's shoulder and dumped it out on the ground, "Now what?"
"Find the bottle that's labeled 'deep heal'," said Ashlin as tears began to stream down his face. "Quickly uncap the bottle, then pull the sword out of my side and pour half of its contents directly into the wound. Can the Drakis use magic? And if they can, can you use it?"
"I'm not as skilled as our Master Protectors are but I know enough I think," replied Dyric as, in one swift motion, he uncorked the bottle, pulled the sword out of Ashlin's side, and began pouring the bottle's contents into the wound.
"Ahhh, by Haseles that hurts!" shouted Ashlin.
"Well what next?" Dyric said in a panicked voice. "You're bleeding pretty quickly here."
"P-place your hand over the wound and re-repeat after me," Ashlin said as he closed his eyes. "Q'eenich the piahieni, heahll the faahlllleeni, meenib the derouiceeni."
Dyric placed his left hand over the wound and repeated the strange words that Ashlin had told him to say. Almost instantly the wound stopped bleeding. "Well it's not bleeding anymore, now what?"
"Grab the stuff that looks like sewing stuff," said Ashlin. "I'll need you to stitch the wound closed. It'll heal pretty fast but I need you to close the wound for it to do that."
"Umm, I really don't know how to do this," Dyric said as he picked up the materials he needed.
"Have you ever stitched up a hole in a piece of cloth?" asked Ashlin.
"I did a long time ago," replied Dyric. "I used to patch my own pants when I was a kid."
"It's not really the same thing but pretend that it is and do your best," said Ashlin as he grabbed a cloth bandage from the spread out contents of his bag and then bit down on it. "Go for it," he mumbled through the bandage.
Dyric carefully started to try and mend the wound with Ashlin wincing with every stitch. A few minutes later he set down the needle, "There, will that work?"
Ashlin, opened his eyes, removed his gag, and then looked down at the wound, "That'll have to do, it's good enough." Ashlin looked up at Dyric, "Thank you."
"You're welcome," Dyric said as he sat down next to him. "Can I ask you something?"
"Sure, why not," said Ashlin as he started putting things back into his bag.
"When I pulled out the sword you used one of our gods name," said Dyric. "Haseles, the Goddess of Seasons. I thought the Favlin didn't believe in a religion."
"Well we kind of have to," replied Ashlin. "I mean as a healer. Our king may not like it but the little bit of magic like healing we can do relies on Draconis. We have to at least believe in Draconis, but a few of us will believe in a few of your gods too. I hope I didn't offend you though by using her name."
"Oh no, no, I was just curious," said Dyric.
"Okay," Ashlin said with a slight smile. "Do you think it would be okay if I took a nap? That potion I had you use kind of makes you tired."
"Sure, that's fine," replied Dyric replied softly.
Ashlin sighed, closed his eyes, and then slid up against Dyric as he got comfortable. Before Dyric could say anything Ashlin was fast asleep. Dyric frowned as he looked down at the sleeping Favlin, he still didn't know from where he knew this boy. It was like he had met him in a dream within a dream, or something that felt like that. Dyric wasn't quite sure where to place him. He studied the boy a little more, somehow the boy seemed to be missing something; he didn't feel like a Favlin. Dyric sighed and then got comfortable, hoping someone would come get them soon.
"Quickly, we have to clear the rocks before those inside run out of air or enough water gets in that they drown!" shouted Vecon as he directed his men. The rain was coming down so hard now it was hard for them to see even a few feet in front of them as they worked.
Suddenly someone swooped in and landed next to Vecon, "What is the situation my lord?"
Vecon looked over and in the heavy rain he could barely make out the figure of one of the younger Master Protectors, Fylis Ocysis. The Master Protector was dressed in heavy Silver Temple Armor complete with the purple robe and cloak befitting of a high priest.
"Protector Fylis!" Vecon yelled over the rain. "I'm glad you're here, we have a problem. We've got people trapped in the cave here and there's been a cave in. It looks like one of the Favlin set off an explosion. But with the rain like it is my men are having a hard time clearing the way, the rocks are too slick."
Fylis nodded as he quickly brought his hands together and yelled, "Shiellb!" Almost instantly the rain seemed to stop as the entire area was enclosed in some kind of invisible shield.
"Wow, that's much better," said Vecon in shock as he could now see everything much clearer.
"This won't last long so we must work quickly," replied Fylis. "Pull your men away from the cave; I think I know how to clear it much faster."
Vecon nodded and shouted, "Everyone away from the cave, quickly."
Fylis slowly walked up to the cave entrance as the other Drakis backed away. He pulled his sword from its sheath, stuck it between two of the heavy boulders, and shouted "Shahtter!" The sword began to give off light so bright that the Drakis soldiers all had to shield their eyes. The light got brighter and brighter until finally the sound of shattering glass could be heard. The light was suddenly gone and Fylis stood at what was now a cleared cave entrance. Just then the rain once again started to fall as the invisible shield disappeared.
"Protector Fylis has cleared the way, now lets get in there!" shouted Vecon as he rushed forward. "Wing Guard, check the food stores. Palace Guard, clear any bodies you find. Master Protector, you're with me, let's find my brother."
I want to thank Akeentia for writing such a wonderful addition to "The Dragon Earl Universe". When I started writing "Dragon Earl" and creating this universe I never dreamed of having other authors ask to join it. I was overwhelmed when Akeentia asked to join; his story has many interesting twists and turns and he has informed me that there will be many more in the future.
Please let Akeentia know what you think of his wonderful new story. Akeentia also created all the wonderful new graphics for "The Dragon Earl Universe".
Thanks Akeentia you definitely made my day :)