A complete assault on the English language.
|Chapter 1: The Jester and the Dragon
“The sky is on fire!” screamed Marisha Mallon, daughter of the highly esteemed Erroid Mallon. Erroid was generally conceited by the fact that he was the mayor. Of course, his village was only a one mile by one sixty-third mile square consisting mainly of thatched roofed huts, and small brick businesses. Marisha, on the other hand, was rather embarrassed of her father’s pride. “We need to seek shelter, now!”
“Relax, my dear, I will save you!” yelled Marisha’s husband, Alicao Shivao. With that proclamation, he ran to his death. A fireball fell from the sky, he was instantly incinerated. At this point I would like to draw attention to the fact that Marisha was far from upset with all of this. She really didn’t care for Alicao, it was an arranged marriage in which she didn’t get the good end of the deal.
Just then, Marisha’s real ‘Knight in Shining Armor’ ran in showing no signs of distress (he was, in fact, scared out of his wits!). His name was Alarxis Allocatia, he was a wizard. Not on the council, but good enough. He could wield basic magic.
“Stand back.” with that simple command he stepped right out into the street with confidence and bravery. At that moment, the source of all the fire showed itself. It was a bronze plated dragon. It’s rider wore a tattered old cloak that consisted of several colors of green, no two places on his cloak matched.
“What is your…” Alarxis began to ask as the dragon’s head turned to torch another house. “Stop that!” At that moment a shriek of utter horror could be heard as the house’s occupants realized that they were only seconds away from death.
The dragon rider promptly said, “Come with me, mage.” and with that he grabbed Alarxis’s arm and sped off into the clouds on the bronze dragon. Only occasionally did the rider stop to pillage a few small towns.
During one such of these stops the rider talked to Alarxis. He asked if he was all right and if he could do anything to make him more comfortable. At which time, Alarxis told him that he would be quite comfortable if he were allowed to return home. The rider laughed and told Alarxis that his name was Tygony and that he was a dragon mage. He then forced Alarxis to remount the dragon, and off they went into the ever increasing darkness of night.
When the dragon and it’s passengers finally arrived at their destination, the rider, Tygony, immediately got them a room at a local inn. The dragon, being only a young whelp, was able to tightly squeeze into a horse stall.
The rider spoke only to tell Alarxis that he should get some sleep, because they would be in the skies early tomorrow. He thought about running away, but he soon realized that Tygony had placed a seal on his powers. He still could run, though. With that thought he began to rise, he soon found that he must have been drugged. He stood and fell again. Frustrated, he vowed to get answers tomorrow. Tonight was for sleep.
Marisha, being a Time Seer, saw that the man meant Alarxis no immediate harm, but eventually, if he was allowed, he would kill him. She vowed to hunt them down and it was no going to be easy.
Marsha tried for three days to sneak out of town. But since the town was small (and considerably more so after the dragon), there was no escape.
She then decided to wait, a traveling jester was to come in a week. She would sneak out in his trunk. The rest of that day she provided help for the newly homeless people in her village. All the while she was thinking about her plan for escape, much to the dismay of those she helped.
“Marvalo the Magnificent” strolled into town a week later. “Marvalo”, whose real name was personally preferred, Hammond Warrren, had had enough of the jester business, he wanted to seek danger, not mock it in his plays, songs, and jibes. The only thing he knew to do was travel to Firagia, where he was born, to set things right with his family (who had been more than upset with his career choice, they preferred he take up the family business, as the town drunk).
His servant, Tom, was nervous about his master’s new idea. He was a bit of a coward and did not fully trust his master’s judgment when he had told Tom of his idea three nights ago. Immediately upon entering the small village, he noticed that half of it was burnt down, a few building were still smoking.
“Did we take the wrong road, Tom?” Hammond asked hopefully, this town didn’t look like it had sufficient funds to pay for his services.
“No sir, right on track. Do you question my sense of direction?” Tom asked sheepishly.
“You’ve seemed a bit distraught ever since I told you of my career change.” Hammond replied.
Tom just kept leading their mule by a thin cord. This town smelt of dragon’s breath. How could that be though, dragons had been extinct for centuries? Unless it had been from Firagia, that was silly though, dragons have a relatively short range. Unless it was a dragon horse, in which case it would make perfect sense, except…
Tom, evidently sensing his master’s inner conflict, or more likely just being annoyed by his constant incoherent mumblings, spoke up, “Lovely town, eh?”
“What, er, yes, what a beautiful town.” said Hammond, as he now upon spotting the first townsfolk thought of himself as ‘Marvalo the Magnificent”.
“Hallo hullo, children!” he said loudly as the village boys and girls ran up to him, clinging to his bright red coat.
There was only one person that seemed not to be ecstatically relieved to see him was a young woman, no more than twenty. She stood and glared at him, more so at his cart. She noticed Hammond staring at her and retreated inside the nearby inn.
Now is my chance, Marisha thought. “Marvalo the Magnificent” was her ticket to “fun, fun, fun!”, or so the cart said. Or is he my ticket out of this hellhole? She thought about this bitterly for an hour or so, until she was called into the common room to watch the jester’s play.
Once again Lancelot, you have proven your stupidity, you greatest flaw. For that you must die! There is nothing left that can save you, your only hope is to bow to the one and only god, me, Argamenianon. This is your only hope.
Do not ask, for the answer may shatter the very threads of the universe, all of space and time will come crashing down on you puny little worthless head.
You wish to know? Hmm, interesting, you may be of some use to me yet. Go to Wesmark in the furthest regions of Megalia where the sun never sets. There you will find the Temple of Argamenianon, you shall receive further instructions there.
Never mind, you insolent fool, you will know all the answers in a short time.
Why? Why? Wh…
“ I had the strangest dream last night.” Alarxis told his abductor. “Does the name Argamenianon mean anything to you?”
“Hmm, yes, I have heard that name once. In the dying words of my previous master. Just before he died he uttered the words: “Stay away from Megalia, for there lies evil itself, Argamenianon. And always remember, the only way to defeat evil is to…” and then he died, thus confusing the hell out of me. Why do you know this name?” Tygony asked.
“In my dream I saw two men talking in a large cathedral. One’s name was Lancelot. The other was Argamenianon. Argamenianon told Lancelot to go to Wesmark in Megalia. He spoke of a temple there,” he said, “and Lancelot would receive instructions when he got there. Something about a temple. The mere sound of his voice was so frightening I almost cried.”
“This is a bad omen.” Tygony told him.
“This is a very, very bad omen.” Alarxis said in near hysteria.
“Calm down, is there anyone you should wish to send notice of your departure to?” Tygony asked.
“Departure? I think I will send word to my family telling them that I’m alive and all. If that’s alright with you, you know, you really set the terms, you kidnapped me.” Alarxis was rather confused at this sudden kindness from his captor.
Tygony simply stared at him for a moment and finally said, “I apologize for to you for any harm I may have caused to you or your family. I did not mean to come off as a kidnapper.”
“Well, you sure know how to hide it, torching half the town and all. Are you insane or something? You killed most of my friends, and most likely my family too. With that said, I think that I’ll just write to survivors in general!” Alarxis was just freed from all fear of the dragon mage.
Tygony seemed to be on the verge of a mental breakdown. “I…I…didn’t mean to, I was just following instructions…retrieve the boy, at all costs. Try to strike fear in him. I…didn’t mean to-”
“Who gave you orders to capture me? Who?” He demanded near tears.
“Sarrape Quiego, he is a soul mage. He’s more specifically a necromancer. He is also the only man I fear.” Tygony said.
“Well, you should fear me. I am a wizard. Fear the burn, mage!” Alarxis shouted the last part so loud that the walls shook…or maybe that was just the effect of the spell.
With this Alarxis held out his hand and a beam of fire the width of a man’s chest shot out of his hands. Tygony only raised his staff casually and the beam was no more.
“How dare you doubt my ability! I am a mage, you are a mere wizard! I should kill you now you fool!” If ever there had been a louder yell, it had not been heard by human ears…or at least living human ears.
“Yeah, and I oughta rip you a new one, bud!” at this point, Alarxis was a mad as a man with lady parts.
“You need to calm down.” Tygony said calmly. How could he be so angry one minute and tolerant the next. “Here have some tea.”
“I’m gonna…” Alarxis’s words trailed off into nothing as Tygony put a silencing spell on him.
Days went by before “Marvalo the Magnificent” decided to pull his “Magnificent” ass out of town (ass meaning his mule of course). The man’s show was decent, his servant seemed to know what Marisha was planning. This was not going to be easy.
“Bye-bye children! I’ll be back some day.” Hammond said lying through his teeth.
“Marvalo, let me see you to the river. It is not far, my father even gave me permission.” said Marisha in a sweeter than sugar voice.
“Of course my dear, I would be honored to be accompanied by such a lovely young woman.” Hammond said while staring at her chest. Marisha cleared her throat.
“Oh yes, well, onward. Farewell children, I wish you all the breasts…er, best. I wish you all the best. I’m off to travel the world,” he began to look Marisha over, “climb large…round…humph…supple mountains. Er…never mind I’m getting the hell out of here.” And with that, “Marvalo the Magnificent” was turned back into Hammond Warren, and all was well (except that look Marisha gave him).
“Master, I don’t trust her. Not a bit.” Tom said.
“Why not, she is a very lovely girl?” Hammond asked. “And she’s certainly not hurting anything.”
“She’s planning something, master, I just know it. And whatever that is I know that it cannot be good.” Tom said in an overexcited tone.
“Hello boys.” Marisha chimed sweetly.
“Hello, my dear. You look beautiful.” Hammond said coolly.
“Easy trigger, did you sleep well last night?” Marisha’s sweet voice seemed to ensnare Hammond.
“Who wouldn’t, next to you?” Hammond replied not so coolly.
“What?” Marisha asked suspiciously.
“He said on a wooden bed, how did you?” Tom went for the save.
“Marvalo, you clown, you know that there are no beds in the forest.” Marisha bought it hook, line, and sinker.
“You may call me Hammond, my dear.” he told her.
An apparently drunk Marisha spoke loudly, “Okay, Hammond Mydear. Ha, ha, ha! See, I can be funny too. All right, what is your real name then?”
“Hammond Warren, just Hammond Warren. Please, no more jokes, I think you just about killed us with the last one.” he said.
“All right, I have to be completely honest with you, Hammond. I am running away from home.”
“Why, you come from a rich family? Or at least they were rich until they got my bill.”
“My love has been kidnapped by a man on a dragon.”
“We know, your father told us, except he said that your husband was barbequed, and some no account loser got kidnapped.” Tom said.
“True, but I love that no account loser.” she said.
“What about your husband?” Hammond inquired.
She just stared at him with a blank and vacant look before replying “Alicao was a nice guy, I suppose…”
“See master, I told you! Next time you might listen to old time.” Tom shouted.
“Shut up you silly bastard. Don’t you see this is my big chance to nab a breast…er, quest? May we accompany you on this venture, my dear.” Hammond asked.
“If you promise not to call me ‘my dear’ anymore.” she said.
“Consider it done. We have been looking for a quest for quite some time,” Tom’s eyes bulged when Hammond said this, “I swear my loyalty on my mother’s grave.” Hammond finished sincerely.
“Your mother’s not dead.” interrupted Tom. “Not yet anyway, you go around swearing on her grave like that it’s liable to come back and snap you in the arse. Excuse my language, milady.”
“Go find me a very large stick which I may smack you on your head with, you silly little…” Hammond began, but was abruptly called to a halt when a stick hit his own head. The last thing he heard before the long descent into darkness, was Marisha’s laughter.
“Wake up, you moron dragon!” Alarxis said to Tygony’s dragon in a hushed, excited whisper.
“What do you want, mage?” the dragon snapped. Alarxis nearly fainted, he did not know that dragon’s could talk. “Well, don’t just stare at me like that. Don’t tell me you’ve never seen a dragon talk before?”
“Actually, I haven’t, come to think of it, I had never seen a dragon until you came and torched my hometown.” Alarxis said.
“Oh no, I’ve given dragons everywhere a bad name. My name is Titus,” the dragon began, this was perhaps ironic, Titus was the first dragon slayer.
“It’s alright, how about you give me a lift?” Alarxis began. “I promise I won’t do anything stupid.” but stupid was just what he intended to do. Only in his warped mind would his plan work, reality worked against him.
He was going to try to bond the dragon. He found out, from a drunken Tygony, that he had not bonded with the dragon, he was just a rental.
“I don’t know, Tygony might need me.” the dragon said reluctantly. “What if there is an emergency.”
“There won’t be. Besides, I have never heard of a cowardly dragon. Titus is such a brave name. Too brave for a dragon who is afraid to fly at night.” Alarxis played with the dragon’s mind, though very carefully, also very successfully.
“I am not afraid! I have flown at night my whole life.” the dragon seemed offended. “ Well at least half of it. Besides, I could fly ten times faster at night.” Alarxis laughed silently at this obvious exaggeration. “ I just don’t want to hurt you, that’s all. Master might get upset, you know?”
“Oh, so you do have a master?” Alarxis felt shattered.
“No, not really. I’d like one though. I need to be freed from Mike’s Dragon Rentals. But he holds my title, so I am his. If I can get my title back I can be bonded.” Titus was begging for his help.
Alarxis began, “Well…”
“What do ya mean yer cuttin me off luv? I ain’t drunk yet.” an old man yelled at Carrie Larson, the only working bartender in Mercantillia, Firagia. Her father, Mike of Mike’s Dragon Rentals, held part ownership to the bar, Mike and Phil’s Drunk House, and Carrie was the only one who could work behind the bar.
“I didn’t say yer drunk, sir, I said ya smelt lok a friggin brewery.” she really hated her job. She needed a way out. There was a traveling jester scheduled to arrive tomorrow. Maybe she could hitch a ride with him out of this hellhole.
“I need sum whiskey, luv.” the drunk persisted.
“Yur gonna call me ‘luv’ one more time you old, drunk, bastard and I’m gonna kick yur arse from here to the friggin mountains.” Carried definitely had her mother’s attitude, her mother died giving birth to her, but whenever Carrie became disagreeable with her father he looked at her and said, ‘Your gonna grow up to be just as beautiful as yer mother.” This she noticed soon thereafter, was a code he and a few of his friends had come up with to say about their wives when they were mad at them.
Only another day she thought, only one more day.
Marisha laughed deeply and drunkenly into the night. Tom held his laughter, which was the wise thing for a servant to do. Hammond was still sore.
“Still want to be an adventurer, sir?” Tom said then laughed hysterically.
“Yes, yes, I do, and if you got a problem with that then you’ll just have to come with me.” Hammond said furiously.
“Yes sir, I maybe should come along just to make sure that no old ladies beat you senseless in the streets or something,” Tom laughed again.
“Are you sure that you aren’t the comedian, mister Tom? You’re funnier than he is!” Marisha began laughing too.
Minutes turned to hours of making fun of him. Finally Hammond interrupted. “Are you all quite finished?” he said viciously.
“Oh yes, o’ great and powerful Marvalo. We surrender to your amazing ability to pass out on command.” Tom fired back.
“Yeah, on command of a stick to the back of his head!” Marisha shrieked, maybe he had misjudged his beauty in the first place.
“Oh, shut up the both of you. I thought you didn’t trust her Tom, I thought she had something planned, something terrible?” Hammond asked incredulously.
“She did sir, she didn’t want us to know that she brutalizes traveling jesters for a living.” Tom bursted. “No, no, but seriously master, she thought we would get mad at her for running away.”
“Oh, and I’m sorry about the whole thing with the stick and all.” Marisha said sweetly, or maybe with mock sincerity.
“Where to next, Tom?” Hammond tried to ignore Marisha, which he would soon find out to be a serious mistake.
“ARE YOU JUST GOING TO TRY TO IGNORE ME? That would be the biggest mistake of your pathetic life!” Marisha screamed at the top of her lungs.
“Sorry, I accept your apology.” Hammond said shaking.
“Yeah, well, I don’t accept yours!” Marisha said.
Tom just sat there stunned for a moment and then answered Hammond’s question, “Mercantillia, in Firagia, sir”
“What, oh yes next stop. All right, how long do we have to get there?” Hammond asked.
“About a week sir.” Tom replied timidly.
“A week? A week! You must be kidding me? Please say that you are kidding me?” Hammond seemed panicked.
“No sir, right here it says a week.” Tom realized the time it would take to get there. “Oh,”
“Oh? Oh? Oh isn’t going to help us is it?” Hammond asked.
Something flew overhead in the night sky. It went by so fast that they nearly fell over when it went by.
“What was that?” said a hysterical Marisha.
“Looked like a dragon, what do you say Tom?”
Tom stared blankly past Hammond. As Hammond turned to see what was so interesting, he saw a dragon sitting directly behind him.
“Ahhh! It’s him, that’s the one who stole my love!” Marisha screamed.
“Relax, Mari, it’s me.” said a very confused Alarxis.
“Alarxis? What happened?” Marisha asked.
Alarxis told them and then noticed the jester and his servant. Mari explained them and the situation in which they had to be in Mercantillia in a week. Alarxis said he was headed there too. He had to free the dragon, Titus.
Finally Hammond asked, “Oh, is this the love you lost?”
“No, my love and husband was killed by the dragon,” Titus looked at her sheepishly.
“But I thought that you said you didn’t love your husband and you fell for some no account wiza-oops!” Tom was then hushed by a blow to the back of the head with a stick. This time from Hammond. “Don’t do that master, it’s rather painful. How would you like it if someone hit you with a stick?” Tom finished.
Tom and Mari laughed so hard they were in tears. Alarxis stared at them blankly, occasionally faking a laugh here and there.
And the night went on merrily.
In the morning, they all boarded the dragon, who grimaced a bit with the large load, and flew off to Firagia. The ride was broken three times for breaks, other than that it shouldn’t have taken another day…shouldn’t have.
Chapter 2: Tom’s day
The hot Megalian sun baked his entire body. There were people who actually lived in this, he thought. The last village he visited had sold him water at five gold a gallon. He purchased ten gallons at this price, thus depleting his funds. He thought that the water would last him until his arrival at Wesmark…he was wrong. He was out of water two days before he even saw the first sign of civilization.
His horse had died three days ago from dehydration. He just left it there. He was hungry, true, but not hungry enough to start a fire in the desert.
It was then, as he was contemplating his similar demise, that he saw it. First, he believed it was a mirage, but, upon closer examination, he found it to be a small village. He walked warily through the streets, because he suspected this to be a place of great evil…he was right.
“I said Wesmark, not Alcariastab! You great idiot! I should never have sent a man to do a god’s job. Go on, open that large door. It is a portal gate. Open it.” Argamenianon’s immense, disembodied voice bellowed.
“O’ great lord of the wicked, there is a sign. It reads: ‘Beware the wea-weas…milord?” Lancelot began.
“What?” Argamenianon seemed annoyed.
“I can’t read milord, least not very good. What’s the ‘W’ word?” Lancelot asked.
“It says: ‘Beware the weasel.” he answered calmly.
“Oh, okay. Open it then, right?” Lancelot heard what he thought was his master’s laughter. “Right then, here we go.”
Lancelot opened the door and a huge mutated weasel leaped out and charged at him. He ran, the weasel followed. This went on for quite a while.
“Foolish mortal, does whatever I say. Well, I suppose it’s time to be human again.” and with that, Argamenianon the great, became human and was shortly attacked by the weasel’s offspring, also mutated and rabid.
Three days later, Lancelot wound up in Firagia. At a bar called Mike and Phil’s Drunk House. He went in and ordered a whiskey. The bartender pretended not to notice him, but he knew he could get any little bit of information form her with very little work necessary.
So, he bought her a drink and asked her if she was free for a chat. Lancelot wasn’t a bad looking guy, some may call him handsome (though only those with low standards). So she naturally sat down to chat with him.
“What’s your name?” was the first thing she asked.
“Lancelot,” he began. He would have to modify the truth. “I’m a traveler I have traveled the world. I have seen it all. What’s your name, lass?” Lancelot knew how to play most women…most, not all.
“First off, Pansy-lot, no one calls me ‘lass’. Second, I think that a world traveler who has seen the whole world would be just a little bit older. And lastly, you have a horrid stench about you!” she yelled loudly before switching to a more modest voice. “Oh, my name’s Carrie.”
“Um, yes. Carrie. Where am I?” Lancelot asked very cautiously.
“This is Mercantillia.” Carrie told him.
“Would you please pour me another whiskey?” Lancelot was amazed. How did he travel over an entire kingdom in just three days? Many of the details of the past three days were still unclear.
Carrie, the bartender, got up to get his whiskey. She was a pretty girl, really. Maybe he could find a decent inn. This town looked to be a keeper.
Later, on Titus, Alarxis sensed Tygony drawing near. They went faster, they would be over Mercantillia in less than an hour, now. The next second, Alarxis turned to see and hear Marisha scream at the top of her lungs.
When she saw what she was screaming about, he considered screaming himself. A man dressed in many colors of green, riding an enormous dragon. This time the dragon was blue. A dragon mage.
“So, you thought you could escape me?” Tygony asked him. Then he began to laugh a hideous laugh.
“I don’t like you, you woke me up!” Tom screamed. With that, he charged Tygony and tackled him off his dragon. Both men began to fall to the earth below.
“Catch them Titus!” Alarxis commanded.
Titus did so and then Tom began to fight Tygony. The sword fight lasted for several minutes. The sound of metal against metal echoed loudly. Finally, Hammond put an end to it by pushing Tygony in the forehead with his left hand, then Tygony fell plummeting to the ground below.
“Good show, master, good show!” Tom applauded.
“Don’t praise him, you did all the work. You jumped of a friggin dragon for Pete’s sake, then you fought a brilliant sword duel. You are amazing!” Alarxis exclaimed.
“No, master finished him. And I don’t think that Pete had anything to do with it, he isn’t even here. I just warmed him up for master.” Tom said sheepishly.
“No, he has a point, Tom. You are quite a fighter. A brave one at that. Today is your day Tom.” Hammond told him.
“When we land I wish for you to take us to the nearest inn, Hammond. Since you’ve been here before?” Alarxis asked.
“Of course, of course, all in good time.” Hammond said. He seemed preoccupied with a book he was writing in.
“What are you writing, Hamm?” asked Alarxis.
“Oh, just some poems. Not much.” he responded.
“May we hear one please, I think we could all use one.” Marisha requested.
“No, I think that I shall write one of our travels when we land. Then I will read you that one.” Hammond said.
They landed three miles away from the city. It might have caused quite an alarm if they had been seen.
Then, for the first time since Alarxis first met him, the dragon spoke, “Do purchase my title, then return to me and I will allow you to bond me.”
“Jimmy cracked corn, did he just talk?” Tom asked excitedly.
“Yes, and I don’t care.” Alarxis said and began to walk into town.
When they arrived in town, they were amazed; it was the largest city any of them had ever seen. Alarxis immediately went to a building with a sign out front that read: ‘Mike’s Dragon Rentals’ . He went inside, while the others went across the street to a building marked ‘Phil’s Inn’. Once inside the inn, they found it to be much like the one back home, except a lot bigger.
A man in the common room looked at them as they passed through. He did not appear the type of guy who would be friendly, although he did seem a bit familiar. He walked over and began to introduce himself.
“My name is Lancelot. I am a world traveler that has seem the entire-well most-okay some of the world.” Lancelot kept nervously glancing at the woman accompanying him. Every time he began to tell them how much of the world he had seen, she glared at him and pointed downwards with her thumb. No doubt that this woman had complete control of him.
“My naimes Carrie Larson,” the woman told them as she noticed that Tom was eyeing her suspiciously. “I’d be the local bartender.”
“You would be the local bartender…but…?” Hammond began.
Marisha smacked him gently (by gently I mean not quite enough to knock him out). And the introductions went on again.
They exchanged hellos as Alarxis burst into the door. “Stop right there! You, I know who you are!” he yelled.
“No, you don’t, I’ve never seen you in my life.” begged an old man at the door.
Alarxis ignored him and began to walk towards Lancelot menacingly. The old man stood up and interfered with Alarxis’ path. He was quickly and effortlessly shoved out of the way. “Lancelot! You are in league with Argamenianon!”
“Not anymore I’m not, the great lord of the ironic ending has left me for dead in Megalia. He even set a giant weasel on me. I ran for three days through the desert, and nearly died…” Lancelot began before being interrupted by Tom.
“Wait, a giant weasel?”
“Yes, a very, very large weasel. If you dare contest my allegiance to justice then draw your sword!” Lancelot cried drawing his rapier.
“No thanks, I believe you.” Alarxis said and began to run out the door. Lancelot followed. The group just stared at this before deciding to head back to the inn and wait.
Alarxis ran for what seemed like hours, Lancelot right behind him the entire way. Dodging in and out of alleyways and through crowds of marketplace goers and nearly knocked a few people down on the way. He muttered half conscious apologies along the way. He ducked into one alleyway too many and found himself staring at a dead end.
He turned around hoping to find Lancelot farther behind him so he could retrace his mistaken steps. No such luck. He panicked until he remembered that he was a wizard. He shot a powerful stream jet of water at Lancelot, bringing him to his knees. Then Alarxis ran right past him and made his winding way back to the inn.
Upon arriving he found a very angry Marisha waiting for him. “What did you do to him?” she demanded to know.
“Nothing, I just knocked him down with some harmless spell and got here as soon as I could.” Alarxis explained.
“He still lives then right, or do I get the pleasure of killing ya’?” Carrie asked with a bloodlust.
“Uh, no, no killing today please.” he said.
Minutes later Lancelot walked in drenched from head to toe. “You alright?” Tom asked.
“Yeah, why didn’t you tell me that your friend’s a wizard?” Lancelot still seemed surprised.
“Evidently so.” was the answer from Tom, “You used to serve Argamenianon?”
“Yes, I was brainwashed, I think…I can’t remember.” Lancelot told them. “May I accompany you on your quest? I am an excellent swordsman. And I can be an excellent fighter if need be. I have always longed to work with a wizard.”
“I wish to come as well, I am an excellent cook and I can fight with the best.” Carrie said while Lancelot winced confirming that she was indeed a formidable fighter.
“What makes you think that we are on a quest?” Alarxis asked suspiciously.
“Your friend Tom here told me.” said Carrie.
This comment made them all stare at Tom. “Hey, hey, I kicked the crud out of that dragon guy didn’t I?” he asked defensively.
“Okay, I trust you both. You may come along…we definitely need the cook. But, what is our quest?” Alarxis asked. No one seemed to have the answer to that question unfortunately. “Well, should we be off to find out?”
Everyone seemed to like this idea. He thought that they might look a bit suspicious in the eyes of the law, a group that size traveling together. But they wouldn’t be walking he reminded himself. They would fly. He had been successful in his purchase of Titus’ title. They went to their rooms in the inn, they would fly out early the next morning.
They returned to where they left Titus the day before, he was still sleeping. They decided not to wake him, it could be fatal to awaken a sleeping dragon, especially if he snores. When the dragon finally did wake up, some three hours later, they explained to it that they would travel the world in search of adventure. Then, Alarxis presented the title. Titus began to cry at the sight of it.
“Oh, lovely, a sensitive dragon!” Lancelot exclaimed. Titus belched on him. Lancelot came out of that looking and smelling like he had just stuck his head up a chimney.
After that Alarxis and Titus performed the bonding ceremony. It looked more like two old friends performing their secret handshake: Alarxis grabbed Titus’s left claw with his left hand and Titus’s right claw with his right hand and it was done.
When this nonsense was through, they all climbed aboard the dragon and flew off into the sky. The brave Lancelot seemed to have a fear of heights. The others found this quite amusing. Whenever Lancelot whimpered or otherwise mentioned his fear Titus made an odd maneuver that almost always involved them going upside down. They flew like this for a long time, until they saw a huge fire in a nearby field. They landed not far from it to investigate. What they saw chilled them to the bone: a huge blue dragon, nearly twice the size of Titus.
A new dragon mage, or maybe even an old friend back from the dead.
Chapter 3: In the Argony town hall
Tygony feared that he might never see the wizard again. The foolish boy didn’t even know that he was one of the mages, he was perhaps the most powerful of them all; he was a spell mage. Tygony didn’t mind losing the dragon however, it was a weak one, very cowardly. He was faster than any other one he had seen in his life though. It was still no great loss.
He had to find the boy. He thought long and hard about how to bring the boy to him. He had to attract him somehow. Same as last time, he thought, burn something big. The nearest town was Argony. “Lets set it aflame, Pyros.” He told his new blue dragon. This one had the worst breath he had seen (worst meaning most blazing hot).
There was little else to do now. Just sit from a safe distance and watch the chaos commence. Watch, and wait for the frog to snatch at this fiery fly.
Carrie watched the inferno; this seemed so familiar to her for some reason. She watched with a sense of fear and one of determination to kick whomever started this fire’s…well I think you get the basic idea of what she wanted to kick.
Carrie felt also a wave of helplessness, in the fact that she was so scared of the immense, blue dragon ahead of them that she had elected to stay behind with their own dragon. She was not alone (which she was grateful for) Marisha was bluntly told that if a battle ensued, that she would be of little use. Marisha did not seem to like taking orders, but Carrie didn’t mind one bit.
Then, Alarxis, Lancelot, Tom, and Hammond began the long march that led them to the fiery town before them. Alarxis didn’t look like he was the least bit scared of what lie ahead. Maybe this was just a powerful determination, one that may have just led to his death…it doesn’t, at least not directly. I wasn’t supposed to tell you that, ignore the last sentence and this one as well.
As Hammond walked among the group, he began to think, how in the friggen world did Alarxis expect them to stand any chance whatsoever against a dragon that size. Sure, there had been tales of knights slaying dragons single-handedly, not only were they not knights, he was a jester. He knew that the tales were just that, stories. He told them for a living. He told ones less believable to small children and knew that he was not about to believe that there were leprechauns living in the tree stumps of the Merrian Wood.
Still he walked with an air of false bravery around him, so as not to let the others know that he was afraid. Maybe if they saw his confidence they would gain some of their own. No, they aren’t that gullible, he thought to himself. He began to cry.
Lancelot thought he saw a flicker of hate in Alarxis’s eyes. Though a small man, he was powerful, more powerful than any he’d even seen. This Tygony was supposedly even more powerful than Alarxis. If this was true, Lancelot did not want to meet him.
Lancelot wasn’t afraid, however, he felt confident in the men surrounding him: Alarxis the great wizard, Tom the great swordsman, and Hammond the great…the great, well he was great. And himself, he thought, the great world traveler. He was a seasoned fighter, but his mind often seemed to work a second too slow. This annoyed him, but what really annoyed him was his short attention span…hey! Look a cat!
Tom proceeded directly behind his master in the procession. He stared grimly at the hellish sight before him, (the town, not Hammond). He felt like his lungs were going to burst. The smell of dragon’s breath had done that to him ever since the small town where he and Hamm met Marisha. That woman had caused all of this, if it wasn’t for her, they wouldn’t be getting ready for a suicide mission. He had an odd feeling though, he felt as if this was not the last time that he would put his life on the line for her. That thought gave him a chill. He went from a humble jester’s servant to a full-fledged bodyguard. He hated his line of work…pay sucked and no dental.
Alarxis felt as if he would hurl up everything that he had ever eaten. The town was devastated, not a soul stirred. Although, he thought he saw something move.
“What the…” he heard himself say. At that point, Tygony lifted up his dragon and screamed at the doomed party in the city.
“Careful of the soulless my dear Alarxy, it’s hungry!” with that final scream Tygony took off. In mere minutes there was no sign of him, or of him ever being there. Oh, except for the burning buildings and the rising smell of burning flesh.
“What’s a soulless?” Tom asked.
“Don’t know, don’t care, and I sure as hell know don’t want to stick around to find out.” Alarxis replied flatly. They began to walk back to the girls when…To be continued in part eight. Don’t peak ahead, part seven is short.
As Tygony flew into the horizon he wondered if he had done the right thing. His master had told him to kill if necessary, there was always corpse regeneration. Still, something in him made him think what if the soulless consumed more than Alarxis’s life and took his soul as well? There was no telling what that thing could do if it was set loose on the world.
He decided that he would turn back. Alarxis was strong, but not strong enough to take out a soulless alone. No one that he knew could.
…out of the darkness a faceless shape came silently toward Tom. The thing raised a bloody hand, longer than the hand of any mortal man who had ever walked among the living. The “thing”, was this the soulless?
“Mind your back Tom! Hammond what are you doing?” Alarxis shouted as Hammond ran toward the only building left standing in the whole town, the two-storied brick town hall.
Traitor, he thought, a bloody traitor. He had more things to worry about, he had to find a way to kill this soulless thing.
This “thing” was surely the soulless. It looked more like a man in a butterfly’s cocoon. There were odd, gray, fleshy pieces that seemed to be peeling off like a snake’s skin. The face of the soulless was plain except for two deep, seeming endless pits for eyes and the same in mono for the mouth. It had what appeared to be hair all over it’s body. Upon closer inspection the hair was shown to be an odd mucus that covered it for no apparent purpose, perhaps cooling? It charged at Tom, he was ready.
Tom slashed the soulless across the abdomen with his fine blade. This resulted in an earsplitting shriek and a wild slash back at Tom with its razorblade hands. Tom ducked leaving poor Lancelot in the line of fire. The soulless’s hands sliced through Lancelot’s neck and left him headless.
Alarxis screamed with a rage that was incomprehensible. He released all of his stored power into a powerful. He was operating on instinct and adrenaline. He knew it was too late to help Lancelot. He kept going. The soulless fell back instantly bursting into flames. Fire was it’s weakness.
Before another thought crossed his mind a wind had fallen on the town of Argony. Not a comforting wind, but one that seemed to sink into their hearts and dwell in them for a while. When this wave of air hit the soulless the flames protruding off it’s body leaped. This was no natural wind.
“Ho, Alarxy, looks like you could have used a little help.” Tygony shouted over the din of the wind.
“What the hell is that? The wind I mean why does it stir the flames so much?” Alarxis asked.
“It’s dragon’s breath. Pure kerosene.” Tygony said simply before remounting his dragon. He flew off over the town. As he passed the town hall a mighty crash like the breaking of glass sounded high in the building. This was, in turn, followed by a loud yell, a war cry.
Hammond, being quite insane, had jumped out of the window and was on Tygony before Hammond himself knew what happened. Both men struggled for a short while before falling off the dragon.
Marisha, Carrie, and Titus watched the fireworks show from a safe distance at the dragon. Carries saw it first, something was walking towards them. The thing had no face! That was just not natural. She shrieked a warning cry for any that cared. That dragon turned its head toward the intruder to the camp and it disappeared.
“What in the blue hell was that?” Marisha asked out of breath.
“Don’t know, don’t care, and I sure don’t want to see the damn thing again.” Carrie responded with a sense of déjà vu.
The fist-fight lasted for a few minutes before Tygony got his bearings and used a spell. This was just enough to put Hammond on the ground and out of Tygony’s way. With that done, Tygony looked at the others and smiled.
“We will meet again and perhaps then I will not be so merciful.” with that he disappeared in cloud of smoke.
“That was horrible, that soulless thing, Tygony again, master Hamm nearly losing his life. My day has not been good.” Tom whined.
“Yeah, Tygony isn’t even all that creative, I mean…uh, why is everyone staring at me?” Lancelot began.
“Aren’t you dead?” Hammond asked.
“No, should I be?” replied the formerly decapitated.
“Yeah, I watched yer’ head roll over my toes.” Tom said.
“Did not!” Lancelot said fiercely. “I didn’t die, merely a flesh wound that’s all.”
“That’s the first thing I like about that Tygony fellow, Alarxis stated. “He always leaves something behind, his dragon. He must not have thought about it when he warped. He’ll be back. Go get the girls, we’ll stay in the town hall tonight. Wait for my little fly.” Alarxis said, then laughed for entirely too long for such a dumb joke.
“What’s the second?” Tom asked.
“The second thing you like about that Tygony fellow?”