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DragonSpark – Speakeasy 162 – Terror in the Dark

Until the day I die, I’ll never forget those glassy, unblinking eyes. Before me was the body of a running man, his motion frozen in time. He was now a fragile, lifeless statue, his once opaque body now translucent. Terror was the only thing expressed by the man’s facial features. A SoulEater was near.
I contoured the crystal statue and walked further into the cave’s open chamber. A stream of light poured in from a narrow crack in the ceiling, maybe 60 feet above me, probably more. This lone, distant source of light gave the chamber an eerie mood. The air within was cold, still. I felt a tingle of fear in my spine. “The artefact had to be here of all places”, I thought as I tugged my cloak around me, “A SoulEater’s den.”
On the opposite side of the chamber, a massive, ancient structure had been built along the inner wall of the cave. Most of the chamber’s floor was occupied by a lake, traversed by a lone path, splitting the body of water in two. To either side of the path, the water was pierced by high stony spikes, as if two giant hedgehogs were slumbering beneath the surface.
I lit a ball of fire on the tip of my index and made my way across. Halfway through, I felt a subtle shift in the air immediately behind me. I turned around, and found myself face to face with the empty cavern. Tense moments followed. All of those who had seen a SoulEater and had lived to tell the tale had died shortly after, in a state of lunacy.
All of my senses were alert, scouting the darkness in front of me for movement, for a presence. My hood was restricting my peripheral vision but taking it off would break my concentration. After a couple seconds, the tension started to fade. The movement I had sensed was probably just a stray air current. I breathed a sigh of what seemed like relief and turned around….
​….And found myself staring into four green, glowing eyes.
I recoiled back, kicking the creature away from me. It shrieked in response, in a way I would have never imagined a living thing capable, its body thrashing about on the floor. I could not make out the shape of it clearly. It seemed humanoid, yet its neck seemed too flexible, its arms too long, the legs supporting its frame articulated in a strange way. Within seconds it was standing again, ready to attack.
I thrust balls of energy in the thing’s direction. It dogged by jumping high in the cavern. As it landed, it slashed at my cloak, trying to grab it. It took the cumbersome thing off and threw it in the creature’s direction.
The heavy fabric exploded in mid-air. I shielded my eyes. The distinguishable sound of glass shattering echoed through the room. I lowered my arms only to see the creature still before me, the thing that had been my cloak lay on the floor in one thousand different, crystal-like pieces.
The fight had been a short one, yet I was out of breath. The very air in this chamber seemed to be sapping my strength. The creature then pounced in my direction. Time slowed down. It was in the air. Its trajectory could not be changed. It couldn’t dodge. I put my hands before me and used the last of my strengths to fire an intense missile of magic at the beast, transpiercing it.
It fell to my feet, dead. I knelt on the stone floor, exhausted. As I gazed at the thing’s dimming blue eyes, I felt relief wash over my body.
Wait a second…..Blue?
I jerked myself back onto my feet. Before me was the first creature, its green eyes peering into my soul. A bestial roar resonated in my ears. It came from my left. I turned to face the sound to find that on top of every spike in the water stood a SoulEater, their glowing eyes varying in color, like brushstrokes on a terrifying canvas. Another inhuman sound radiated behind me. I turned around only to witness a similar sight. Maybe 40 SoulEaters were gazing at me with their terrifying eyes.
I delved into my body for my magic but found only petrifying fear. I darted towards the ruins at the end of the path, my legs powered by terror.
Roars echoed in the chamber as the beast shot towards their desperate prey.

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Posted by on 19 May 2014 in Dragonspark, Speakeasy

 

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DragonSpark – A Dragon’s Spark

I was sitting on a boulder, at the edge of a ridge. Above me, the heavens were wrapped in darkness. The clouds shifted, casting an ominous shadow on the ground. Dark, thick clouds they were. The town in the distance had burst aflame mere minutes ago, lighting up the evening sky with an orange hue. Sins were being answered for. Souls were begging for a mercy that would not come. A dragon was on the loose.
What did they expect?
A few moons ago, the King had called for the extermination or capture of all dragons throughout the realm. Hunters had been appointed. Squads had been brought together. The King was going to show those oversized, flying lizards who was the true ruler of the land.
He was confident, as dragons had always been peaceful creatures, never attacking unless provoked first. However when an affront was made to their very existence…
The one that the village hunters had captured was the very first dragon to be attacked by the King’s Crusade, the first victim of Human overconfidence. They put him to sleep with coated arrows and locked him up bellow the town’s moat. However a couple of hours ago, I sensed that the village I had called home, despite the hatred of its inhabitants for all things natural, was about to see its last sunset.
I was a Spark, a mortal being that had channeled the arcane powers of fire unconsciously upon birth. I could understand the dragons, empathize with them, and communicate with them. Those of us who made their abilities public were either tortured to death or executed. Luckily for me, I knew better than to host a mummer’s show in the town square. Besides, the arrogance of the villagers had brought enough fire to the town without my engulfing a couple of branches in flames. Remembering their faces, I felt sorry for a few, but sad for none. They had all treated Nature and her creations with disrespect, hunting during mating seasons, chopping trees in the summer and emptying the wastes of the town straight into the river. If anything this was Justice, a strict Justice, but Justice nevertheless.
Those dragons had now become the weapons of Nature to fight back against Human aggression, and Nature was very kind towards innocents, but ruthless towards aggressors. In most towns throughout the land, the steady beat of music was still alive with happiness. In those towns, food was tasty and hunger was scarce. In those towns, they didn’t leave agonizing animals to rot in the forest because of a hunter’s complaints on its quality of fur. In this town however, the only sound that now lived was that of searing fire and burning wood.
A roar of rage brought me back to reality. The dragon had been hit. I closed my eyes and focused my soul on his presence, sending my consciousness out in the town’s direction. What I saw was gloomy. The dragon had multiple arrows in his wings. Arrogance had won its first victory… Or had it?
I jumped down from my rock and started alongside the ridge, going back the way I came. I spawned a ball of fire in my hand, as if to make sure which side I was on. I had never killed, but my kin was in danger of death, and those about to end the creature’s life didn’t deserve to have one of their own.
I was walking across the plains that led to the town when I sensed something. I stopped. A smile crept up on my face despite me, a cynical smile to say the least. There were probably less than 100 knights left in the village. I was confident that, despite my mortal body, I could reach the wounded dragon, heal him with my fire and, if worse came to worse, ride him far from these corrupt people. That was no longer needed. I walked to a lone tree near me. I climbed on its lower branches and rested my back against the trunk. When Nature passes a sentence on those who harm it, that sentence will be executed no matter what. Thoughts similar to this phrase ran through my head as winged shadows traversed the fields with incredible speed. Above, the owners of these shadows were roaring with anger, preparing to unleash the cleansing flames of Nature upon the corruption of Humanity.
If the fire wasn’t big enough before, then it was about to become just that.

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Posted by on 11 May 2014 in Dragonspark

 

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