A mysterious creature afflicts a mountain kingdom
The castle towered between the snowy twin peaks of the Pinnacle Mountains that rose like two spears with ivory tips. Guards in thick animal skins with armor stood at the tops of the battlements at the corners of the walls were erected four-square. Within the castle, King Trophimus sat on his white marble throne with his head hanged as he brooded over the mysterious animal attacks travelers, merchants, messengers, hunters had fallen victim to attacks..
What kind of beast would attack humans like that? I’ve never seen such a creature so vicious. What will become of the kingdom? His nervous tension ate at him when he heard pleasant female voice.
He looked up and saw a young woman, fair and thin that looked at him with eyes that sparkled like ice. She slowly tilted her head and glided to him in her blue gown that swayed with her passing.
When she approached him, he lightly held her father’s right hand.
“Father, you must stop condemning yourself. Only action will change things.”
“That is where I falter. No matter what I do or how many hunters I send out, it all leads to nothing.”
“What if you were to send out an entire troop of knights to seek out what is doing all the killings?”
“No Lithess. That would leave the kingdom vulnerable and unprotected. There has to be another way.”
Suddenly, a messenger rushed into the throne room. “Your majesty, a group of travelers baring weapons and armor have come to the kingdom claiming they know what has been doing the slaughtering and that they can solve our problem.”
“What did they say?” asked the king.
“They said they would only answer to you.”
King Trophimus sat back in his throne contemplating with a deep sigh.
“Father, this may be our answer. Please, allow it.” Lithess said with her gentle but convincing voice.
He looked at her then at the messenger.
“Very well, send them in.”
“Yes your majesty.” With those words the messenger quickly left their presence. Five minutes later six muscular men in thick armor entered the room. They had swords at their sides and lances on their backs. Each man possessed a stern countenance with blue eyes that seemed to be cold and hard as though the vehement cold and wilderness had formed them over time.
The first man to speak had a long gray beard and a scar below his left eye; his voice was rough but strangely nostalgic.
“I am Epok, leader of this band. We have come to rid you of the beast that has been plaguing the outskirts of your kingdom.”
“Do you know what the beast is?” said the king.
“Your majesty, the vile creature that is responsible for these heinous killings for the past eight months is nothing less than…and Ice dragon.”
Lithess spoke up. “How can that be? The last dragon was seen a thousand years ago.”
Her gentle serenity had its effect even on the brisk warriors.
“That is not true malady. They were only hunted into hiding. I surmise that your dragon has its keep in a remote cave.”
“Can you help us?” she asked.
“For the price of fifty thousand gold pieces.”
“I’ll gladly pay you if you would indeed do as you say.” King Trophimus had eagerness in his voice and for once in a long time, there was hope in his words.
“Very well, we will depart at once.” Then Epok led his men out of the throne room. They left the kingdom walls and embarked into the wilderness. The blowing snow obscured their vision. Then Epok saw a blue streak pass overhead.
“Bear your arms men. We’ve been spotted!”
The six men took out their swords and spears and waited. Ten minutes went by with no dragon. Suddenly a long blue tail struck Talus, one of Epok’s men.
“Dragon!” Epok yelled.
The fowl creature hid amidst the trees and snow.
Talus got up and shook of the pain then remounted his horse.
It came from the left,” said Talus.
All the men turned to the left awaiting for Epok’s signal to charge. They faced two trees that were perfect for hiding something large.
Anxious twinges in their stomachs still filled them even after all the dragons they had faced.
“Attack!” yelled Epok. The men charged through the white foliage and there hunched on the ground was the ferocious beast. Talus veered off to the left to divert is attention so its side would be exposed. It took the bait and Epok took out a lance and hurled it at the left side of its torso piercing it but only barely. It immediately snapped back and lunged at him with its open mouth. Epok took out his sword and slashed as it came for him and cut of its upper right fang sending it flailing back in pain.
The dragon was enraged. It opened its mouth and spewed out a blue mist that froze Talus’ shield that caused him to drop it. One of the men came from behind and severed its tail while the rest of the men came to both side of the beast, it was surrounded. The dragon spread its wings preparing to fly.
“It wants to escape, get out the net!”
They got out a harpoon like contraction with a net and shot it over the dragon. It struggled to take flight. Epok climbed onto the immobilized creature. He made his way up its neck then upon the head and thrust his sword into it and the dragon collapsed. It was over. The men ventured to find the keep of the creature and inside they found dragon shedding. The place was cursed. Even the snow couldn't improve the look of the place.