A chosen knight is called to subdue a witch who wields the power to summon a foul dragon
|word count: 1,546 prompt: The dragon, the witch and the wardrobe.
King Trophimus awoke as the first rays of sunlight fell upon his face. He sat up, slid to his feet and stood. The king walked several feet to his balcony and looked over his kingdom of Khrine. He smiled and took in the cool, moist morning air. Suddenly there was a loud knock on his chamber door.
“That is odd. Who would be knocking at this hour?” the king said as he walked to his door and opened to find a servant breathing heavily in a sweat with a pale face. “My Lord! Something horrible has occurred!”
King Trophimus mouth gaped. “My word! What is it!? Calm down! What happened?”
The servant was bent over still breathing heavily. “The stone has been stolen!”
“Impossible! How could this be?”
“I don’t know sire. The tax handler opened the treasury vault and the Stone of Twilight was gone from its pedestal.”
The king shook his head and frowned. “But who could have done such a thing?”
“If I may speak freely my lord.”
“You may,” the king said.
“I can think of one soul, deceptive and powerful enough to do such a thing.”
“You mean the Witch Lord of Heth? It’s been years since she has troubled our benevolent kingdom. But if it was her, then she has all four stones. She can summon the dragon!”
“What will we do lord?”
“This calls for a last resort. Rouse knight Riven. I wish to speak to him,” said the king.
The servant nodded and ran off.
King Trophimus withdrew his night-ware and put on his royal mantle. He exited his room and walked down a long corridor, burst through two large double doors into the main hall.
There in his chain mail was Riven the knight. He had slicked back, black hair and deep-set blue eyes that glistened like the ocean. “You wished to see me lord?”
“Yes. Follow me.”
Riven blinked his eyes and lifted an eyebrow but followed without a word. He was led to a door with two immense guards with stone cold eyes. “Do you wish to enter my King?” said the one to the right.
“Me and Riven will be entering,” answered King Trophimus.
“Yes Lord,” said the same guard.
Both guards pulled out two big keys from their metal belts and inserted them into two locks and pulled the door open. The king and knight Riven walked in and the door was shut. Inside was a long wardrobe full of robes, armor, chain mails, grieves, tunics and helmets.
“What I’m about to show you, tell no one,” the king said as he led Riven to the very back of the wardrobe.
Hanging by itself at the very back was a golden chain mail, a silver helmet with rubies circling the forehead, and iron grieves along with shining boots.
“This is the Armor of Myst – a magical set of items. By now I trust you have heard of the missing stone?”
“You must dawn the armor and got to the Wasteland of Heth, where the Witch Lord lives. She now can summon Ishmuak the dragon. If she does, this will greatly defend you from the dragon’s power.”
“What weapon will work against a dragon’s scales?” asked Riven.
“You will use this,” the king said as he went to a long chest, opened it and pulled out a sword decked with jewels of every sort on a gold and silver hilt.
“It’s more stunning than anything I have seen,” said Riven. He took a step back. “Why have I been chosen?”
“The armor and the sword belonged to your ancestors. Look at the inscription on the flat of the blade.”
Riven’s eyes widened and he ran his hand over scarlet calligraphy. “Graymore – my ancestral house name!”
“Your bloodline had more valor, integrity, power and humility than any other family in Khrine,” said the king.
Riven straightened his back bowed. “I will leave immediately?”
With that, Riven dressed in the armor of Myst, took the sword and rode off on a steed to Heth. The clouds were a golden-white and the air was cool. As he went into the wilderness trees and animals dotted the rolling hills and lush green grass blew in the wind. As Riven Graymore was riding to the wastelands of Heth, the trees appeared sparse and more barren. The sky was turning a putrid yellow and the air was becoming stale with the stunk of decay. He rode farther and found himself in a land of tar pits, marshes, dead trees and black withered grass.
Then he stopped. Several yards from him was the Witch Lord’s keep. “Come what may, I will face you,” said Riven. He dismounted and approached a tall door to the keep. He heaved it open and entered. Immediately, his eyes locked with the Witch Lord herself. “Hello Sir knight. I suppose you’ve come to destroy me.”
Riven unsheathed his sword. “Yes. I come in the name of the sacred bloodline of the house of Graymore.”
The Witch Lord laughed. “Speak whatever you will. I wield the power of Ishmuak the dragon. But I offer a choice: serve me or die.”
“Never,” said Riven.
The Witch Lord withdrew the four stones and cast them on the ground. The ground vibrated as a dark, deep glare came from the witch.
The shaking grew to a rumble as the stone ground opened up and a red beast rose from within. It stood and dug its claws into the stone surface. Ishmuak let out a roar that echoed across the breadth of the keep and beyond.
Then his chest expanded and he spewed out a stream of fire. The brave knight blocked it with the flat of his blade. Following the attack of flame, the sword began to shine. The witch froze. “What magic is this?!”
“It is not magic. It is the power of honor and purity upheld by my forefathers.”
“Attack Ishmuak, attack!” she yelled.
The dragon gaped his mouth and lunged to devour Rive who slid under Ishmuak’s lower jaw and to his chest. Riven slashed at it sending the beast reeling back. Then he swung his tail around, trying to bash the sword from Riven’s grip. The knight ducked but spikes from the dragon’s tail grazed Riven’s back as he yelled in pain.
When the beast’s tail came back around, Riven made vertical slashed, cutting off some of the dragon’s tail. Blood whet the ground with vile green blood. Next Ishmuak made to subdue and immobilize Riven with his forelegs as he leapt upon him, succeeding with his right arm, pinning the knight to the ground.
Slowly, as Riven gazed at Ishmuak’s face, he lowered it until he was veering squarely with his yellow –red eyes at the restrained knight eyes. Bitter, stank saliva dripped from the dragon’s mouth onto Riven’s face. Then it arched its long neck like snake about to strike. As it opened its sharp jaws to snare the knight, the sword shinned brightly, blinding the beast and the Witch Lord. Ishmuak writhed about and released Riven from the ground. He rose and barged at the abomination’s chest and plunged it into his heart. Riven released the hilt and the dragon struggled with the sword lodged into his chest. The sword in his chest shined brighter and brighter until the whole stone structure was engulfed in with a glistening, diamond-like illumination. When the light abated, only Riven and Witch Lord remained.
“Impossible! How can the great dragon of the four stones be vanquished by a mere mortal!?”
“It was not my doing but by the power that dwells inside me,” Riven said as he picked up the sword.
The witch Lord uttered a few obscure words and began to fade and disappear. “I will return,” she said as she was about to vanish.
“There is no chance of you escaping now,” said Riven. He hurled the blade at the witch about to fade from view and she screamed. In the spot where she was about to make her escape, a pillar of black ashes remained with the Sword of Myst piercing the center of it.
“I thank the God of my ancestors who upheld my bloodline with valor and faith to defeat the Witch Lord of Heth.”
The four stones were nowhere to be seen. Riven smiled as the vile yellow sky began to change into a soft golden hue. Then ribbons of blue resonated in the sky. Right before him, a blue tulip bloomed from the ground along with other kinds of flowers. He heard the chirp of a bird that filled the once ominous silence. Everywhere he looked the grass was washing green and butterflies were lighting about the flowers. The marshes and tar pits become ponds and lakes and the stale air became crisp and cool. The entire land of Heth was going through a metamorphosis.
“No longer will this be the Wastelands of Heth but it shall be called the Plains of Light,” said Riven.
Riven returned to Khrine and in time the Plains of Light were populated and flourished like a paradise. And the Armor of Myst and the Sword of Graymore were laid to rest in the secret wardrobe where it would never be needed again.