The Dragons of Keanna
Copyright © By Jandar Tyr
Darkest before the Dawn
One by one, city by city, in almost every kingdom Polan had conquered, his armies fought a losing battle. The dragon's forces were winning and there didn't seem to be much he could do to stop them. He couldn't even get back in and help with the fighting. His dead were being put down and his troops were on the run. His schemes had all failed. Even the kidnapping of Toric's family had failed. He had come back to Maricora and found his troops burned and blasted and the two women gone. Delmar died for his failure. His soul was now mixed in with all the rest Polan had consumed. High in the sky Shadoe flew filled with anger. There had to be something he could do to turn the course of things back in his favor. Maybe if he got the spirit back again, he would have the power to break back into the lands he lost. Surely if the dragons cast this spell, dragon power could break it. The Spirit may just be his answer. Polan called out to Taren to meet him in the Durmista Mountains. They stole it once, they could do it again. He turned and headed for Durmista. With an evil gleam in his eye, he thought, tonight he would kill everything in the cave.
As a cool late night breeze blew through his terrace, Toric sat and thought about the events of the day. His mother and sister were free and away from Polan's captivity. The battle he and Ariel had with the monster bat. After, they flew back to Settlement and got Tess into a room here. She was in a bad way, but she opened her eyes and saw her mother and brother and smiled. She knew she was safe, she'd be alright. Shayn their healer said Polan's poison and exhaustion had almost killed her. Thank the gods it was all over.
[BUT ITS NOT.]
Toric jumped when he heard the words in his mind. He looked around and saw the little dragon flying onto the terrace. Shine fluttered down and seated himself on the railing.
"I want to thank you for helping my family." He said as he walked over.
[MY PLEASURE.] Shine sent. [YOUR MOTHER IS A FORMINABLE WOMAN.]
"She is?" Toric looked at him with surprise. "Father always said she had power, but I never saw it."
[I THINK YOU RECEIVED YOUR POWERS FROM HER. THOSE ENERGY BOLTS SHE USED WERE JUST LIKE THE ONE'S YOU FIRED. WE NEVER WOULD HAVE GOTTEN OUT WITHOUT HER.]
"But I got my powers from my father." Toric told Shine. "He was a master mage. He came from a very powerful family."
[YES, A POWERFUL SIPHON.] Shine told him. [ALL THE COLLECTORS ARE. THEY STEAL POWER FROM OTHERS TO USE AS THEIR OWN. THAT'S WHY THEY COLLECT MAGICAL THINGS. YOUR MOTHER WAS A PART OF HIS COLLECTION. BUT YOU AND TESS ARE DIFFERENT. YOU BOTH HAVE POWER OF YOUR OWN FROM YOUR MOTHER. YOU WON'T COLLECT, WILL YOU?]
Toric sat in a chair to talked with the smallest dragon.
"I saw what it did to all creatures and beings in my father's cages. It made them weak. Sometimes it killed them."
Shine's head tilted as he looked up at Toric, his eyes flashed. He liked this young man and his family. He hoped they would stay in Settlement.
"Shine. How is Ariel today?" Toric asked.
[YOU LIKE OUR PRINCESS?]
"Very much." He said blushing with a smile.
[THEN BEFRIEND HER BROTHER OR BEWARE THE DRAGON OF FEAR.]
Upstairs, Cutter paced back and forth in the study. He, Denner and Dreik were ending a Settlement security meeting that he hadn't paid much attention to.
"Cutter?" Dreik called. Cutter didn't even hear him call.
"CUTTER!!" Denner yelled.
"Yes?" He looked up at them.
"Have you heard anything we talked about?"
"No, I'm sorry." Cutter walked around the end of the table and sat down. "What were we talking about."
"Never mind." Dreik said to his friend. "What's wrong?"
"What do you mean?" Cutter asked.
"I know you well enough to know when something's wrong Jake." Dreik and Denner sat with their friend.
"You know Ariel's fine right?" Denner said. "She wasn't hurt last night."
"It's not that. Something's wrong though. And I can't quite get to it." Cutter put his hands to his head. He'd been feeling this fear and dread all day, but he didn't know where it was coming from. That was the problem with his fear abilities. He felt others fears and sometimes he even saw things about to happen. Maybe that was it, something was going to happen. Or was happening to the cave.
"The cave?" Where did that come from? Cutter jumped up. He knew now something was going on with the dragon cave.
"We have to get Rage and Jandar!" Cutter said. "The dragon cave's in trouble!"
[Yes, Cutter? What's wrong?]
[We have to get to the cave. Something's wrong there.]
[The dragon cave?]
[Yes, we have to hurry.]
[I'll get some of the others and meet you out front.]
Outside, Cutter met Rage with Icicle, Syren, Banshee and Blink. Denner and Dreik had come out with Cutter. Being part of Cutter's security force they were always with him when they could be.
"What's going on?" Rage asked.
"I don't know. But something's either going to happen or has happened at the cave."
[Gird!!!] Rage sent out. Gird came flying down from the roof. He landed before Rage and bowed.
"Will you stop that!! Rage said.
Everyone laughed. Rage hated being treated like royalty.
"Sorry Majesty" He smiled. "You called me?"
"It's Rage, for the hundredth time. Yes, go back to the cave and see if anything's going on. Jandar gave you the ability to transport right into the cave right?"
"Yes." He said. "I can get in."
"Good. Go now. Hurry!!"
Gird flew up into the sky and disappeared, he'd be back soon.
"Hopefully everything's ok." Rage said. "Maybe all we have to do is warn them."
"If it was that simple." Cutter said. "I don't think I'd be getting warnings."
"We'll see." Rage turned to go back into the house when Gird reappeared.
"Majesty, I mean Rage!! They're surrounded by Polan and his forces. They haven't made it in yet. Thunder says they can take care of it"
"No." Rage said. "Take Banshee with you and tell Thunder and the others not to come out. Stay in there and protect the eggs. We'll take care of this. I want everyone except Shayn, Ono and Jandar out here now! We have a war to end."
"Jandar's not going to like that." Denner told him.
"They can protect our homes." Rage told him. "Gather everyone and let's get moving."
Circling high in the Durmista Mountains, Polan split from the assault on the cave. He knew Rage was no longer here and he thought the other dragons would probably still be sleeping off the long enchantment he had put on them. None of them had come out of the cave while they had been watching the entrance. But he could smell them, so he knew they were still there. From the last time he tried to get in, he knew getting in would be a difficult task. Placing men on the trail to the cave entrance, he told them to advance and try to get in. From the air he watched as they moved forward. Five Black armors crept closer and closer until they were right outside the cave. Pulling their swords and spears they rushed the entrance. Unknown to them, Rage's spell was still in effect. No man could get in, only dragons. Polan watched as his men tried to run in. When they hit the entrance, an electrifying energy overwhelmed the men and electrocuted. Well that won't work. Time to try another way in. There has to be another way into the cave. One entrance doesn't make sense. There had to be another way in. It would have to be hidden too. A secret way in and out. But how to find it? Magic was the answer. Across from the cave entrance Polan saw a plateau. He headed down and landed. Now for a spell.
ENTRANCES AND EXITS
INS AND OUTS
FIND ME A NEXUS
HELP ME OUT
CRACKS AND HOLES
HOW TO SLIP THROUGH
SHOW ME A WAY
HOW TO GET THROUGH
All around the mountain, dark spots started to swirl and fly covering every inch. Polan smiled, he knew his spell would find a way in. All he had to do was gather his forces and be ready to move. On the ground he had less than one hundred men. In the air he had his flying demons and other sorted flying creatures. Polan shifted back to Shadoe and took off so he would be ready when the opening revealed itself. Looking to the west, he saw another large group of creatures flying toward them. He guessed it was more of his demons coming to aid him. The more the better. He would leave nothing alive this time. Suddenly an area on the mountain began to flare up. That was it!! He'd found the entrance!! It was time to move in.
"MASTER!!" Taren called to him. "Coming from the west!! Dragons!!"
Flying with all the speed they could. Polan saw Rage and the other dragons coming in their direction. This was his chance to kill Rage and Jandar.
[Attack!!] Polan sent.
He angled his wings and turned to intercept them. He called all his winged forces to follow him into battle. Shadoe could see Rage in front of him with a stern look heading for him. Next to him, a dragon that looked just like Shadoe.
[Polan is my responsibility.] Blink flew in front of him. [Leave him to me. Kill the demons.]
[He's all yours.]Rage turned and began tearing into demons and other things.
[Who are you?] Polan sent. [Some young dragon looking to die today?]
[You're a dragon and you know nothing of our people, or our ways.] Blink told him. [I'm your senior. I'm the one that's going to make sure your reign of terror is over. I am Blink, the Dragon of Darkness. You're just a shadow of me.]
[We'll see who's a shadow.] Shadoe dived at Blink slashing out. Blink batted his claw away and punched at his chest. He connected and it pushed Shadoe back. He roared and came at Blink again. Blink ducked as Shadoe sailed over him. He reached up and grabbed Shadoe's leg and swung him around. Shadoe fell back into a group of demons. He slashed out and ripped them apart. Pieces fell toward the ground. Blink laughed at him.
[Is that the best you can do?]
Shadoe looked at Blink then inhaled and blew his black flame breath in Blink's face. Blink shielded his eyes with the eye shield Jandar gave him. It was good against more than bright light.
[Your breath won't work against me. But my darkness is stronger than your shadows.]
Blink sent out his darkness field. It covered them both and totally disoriented Shadoe. He couldn't find Blink in the darkness. He swung blindly, trying to find Blink. Blink saw through his darkness like there was nothing there. Avoiding Shadoe's blows was easy. Blink struck out and battered him again and again. Shadoe drew back trying to get out of the darkness. The field wasn't that big, so it only took seconds to get out. Blink collapsed the field and watched Shadoe. He knew he had the upper hand and it would give him the advantage in this fight. enraged, Shadoe rushed at Blink. He wasn't much of a fighter. Polan usually used magic in battle. Blink fended off most of his blows and connected with many of his.
Wading through demons, Icicle and Banshee fought everything that came near them. Icicle's icy breath and Banshee's pounding scream dropped things from the sky as they moved towards the cave entrance. Soon they were outside guarding the way in, to keep them out. Ariel with Toric on her back had found the other entrance. Demons tried to get in the mountain, but Toric blasted them out of the sky. Shine and Ariel sent lightning and energy bolts at the enemy. Rage and Blaze shot gouts of flame at demons and monsters. All around, the enemy fell from the sky, bodies littered the side of the mountain.
Out of the corner of his multi-faceted eye, Shine thought he saw something. A quick fluttering of wings. He wasn't sure what it was but he flew down for a look. Whatever it was, it moved behind the side of the mountain. Shine followed it. He looked through the trees on the side of the mountain and saw nothing. Suddenly he heard a noise and looked back as a stabbing pain erupted from his back. On his back was Taren stabbing down with his sword again and again. Shine twisted and turned trying to shake him loose, but to no avail. He couldn't get him off. The pain was more than he could bare as Taren kept stabbing. Growing weak, Shine did a quick backflip that tossed Taren into the air. Quick as a flash, Terror came flying out of the trees. He flew under Taren and caught him. His laughter rang out as they flew out to where Shadoe was flying. Struggling to stay airborne, Shine tried to reach Rage. His wings became heavy but he kept on trying until he reached and collapsed at the cave entrance. From high up, Rage saw his father being stabbed by Taren. At the time he was battling two demons. They were trying to land on his back and get at his wings to bring him down. Rage reached out and grabbed them both. He sent his heat through his hands and held them as they burst into flames. As they screamed in flames, he dropped them and flew to Shine lying in front of the cave. He had to help his father, he was dying right in front of him. Shadoe reached out and raked his claws along Blink's chest then swung around and tried to spike him with his tail spikes. Blink winged himself out of the way of the spikes and delivered a punch to Shadoe's snout. Blinded by pain, Shadoe angled up and flew out of Blink's reach. He looked around and saw his forces falling everywhere. This is not what he planned. It's not how the battle was to go. In his frustration, he screamed out.
From his rage and anger Shadoe's shadows began to spread. His shadows began to cover everyone. Further and further out it spread until it was in every corner of the whole mountain. And it kept going. Soon the whole world was covered in his shadow.
[This is my gift to you all!!]
Up he flew, high and away. The only one that could see him was Blink. He started to follow when Rage called him back.
[I need you here brother.]
Blink rushed down to Rage's side. He didn't know how to help, but he would be there. As he lay there, Shine's body shrank back down to the little dragon that was his normal size. Rage picked him up and ran into the cave. There was only one hope for any help. He could use dragon healing magic, but he doubted if it would be enough. His only chance would be for Jandar to bring Shayn to help. The white dragon was the most powerful healer he knew. If he couldn't help, then Shine had no chance.
[Jandar!!! I need you and Shayn here now!!] He sent out.
[What happened Rage?] His mate asked. [Who's hurt?]
[Father's been stabbed. I need Shayn here now!]
[We'll be there in just a minute.] Rage really had a worried sound in his voice. Running quickly through the cave, Rage met Thunder.
"Brother, I need the spirit." He said. Shine's color had become pale.
It's in your old lair." Thunder told him. "We haven't moved it."
Rage ran further into the place where he used to sleep and pulled the spirit down. He placed it on the ground and laid Shine down on it. As they watched his color became better and his breathing wasn't as labored. All the dragons began to gather around. The thought of one of their own dying was foreign to them. Dragons don't die often. None so far in Rage's lifetime. A bright flash behind them caught everyone's attention. Jandar was there with Shayn and Ono.
"Here Shayn!!" Rage waved at them. Running over to them Shayn bent and examined the little dragon. He found his wound and gasped.
"How did he do this?" Shayn asked.
"What does it matter?" Rage asked. "Heal him!"
"Ono, help me." Shayn held out one hand and Ono took it. Shayn found that being with Ono made him more powerful. He had once told Ono he would make a great magic user. Shayn closed his eyes and concentrated on Shine's wounds. They were deep and he'd lose a lot of blood. There was something else. More than the wound. The blade that cut him was a Dark elf blade. They means Elven magic. He opened his eyes and asked for a blade. He needed a special blade.
"Call Jayce." He told Jandar. "I need Salvation."
[JAYCE. WE NEED YOU IN THE CAVE. HURRY!!]
[On my way.]
Blink stared at Shayn and Ono. He'd been in Settlement over a week but had never met these two. He could feel their magic and he knew Ono was a werewolf and Shayn was a dragon. Their magic was unmistakable and it seemed he was a healer. Could he be? Was it possible? He had to talk to Rage about Shayn, but not now. Things were moving too fast. But soon, very soon.
It took Jayce no more than fifteen seconds before he came flying in. Jayce had never been in here before, but finding his brothers would never be a problem for any of them. He sailed in with no fear over all the dragons there and landed next to Jandar.
"How can I help?" He asked.
"Give me Salvation." Shayn said.
He held out his hand for the sword. Jayce looked at him, then at Jandar.
"He can't." Jandar said. "No one else can hold Salvation but him. It would kill you."
"I have to cut myself and bleed on Shine's wound in the next ten seconds or he'll die." He told them. "Then cut me quick"
"I can't do that either." Jayce said. "If I try and cut you, the blade will kill! This won't work!"
"Then just pull your blade and I'll cut myself." Shayn yelled in frustration.
"Do it now, I'll take my chances. I have to save him."
"Do it!" Jandar told him. Jayce pulled out Salvation and put the point in the ground. Shayn ran his hand across the blade and cut his palm. Quickly he put his bloody hand on Shines wound. The wound began to absorb the blood and glow. Inside him his organs started to heal and the wound started to close. He would be ok. Rage, Jandar and all the rest of the dragons let out a sigh of relief. Blink stepped up to them.
"Can we do something about this damned shadow now?" He said.
"Yeah, we can." Rage said. "And Taren is mine."