The Fire of Dreughoth

December 18, 2007
By Nicolas Heady, Dearborn Heights, MI

In a land tarnished by violence, overcome with fear, and plagued by beasts, a hero must rise. A hero who will challenge the antagonism of his enemies and triumph over them. However, a hero cannot succeed alone. Companions are as valuable as a trusty sword, if not more. Therefore the hero of Terim City finds himself searching for two warriors to accompany him on his quest.

Crim, a knight of Terim walked through the heavy, wooden double doors of the Elder Council Hall. The noise of his armor echoed between the high walls. A tall warrior of tremendous strength, he was of noble blood and felt it was his duty to extinguish the flame of Dreughoth Mountain, to destroy the malevolent dragon in its residence. As he proceeded, his worn armor reflected a dull light from the many candles lit at the table. He stopped and looked at the council members whose conversations quickly died as they turned their heads to him, irritated by the sudden interruption of their meeting. “I will carry this burden for you,” he said to them. “I will slay your dragon.” They looked at him in amazement. Harold, the council leader, spoke contently, “Very well then. What do you require?” Crim’s words were adamant, “I require only two warriors, a mage and an archer. Bring them to me tonight, and by nightfall tomorrow your dragon will bother you no more.”

That night there was a knock on Crim’s door. He opened it to see a council member with a lit candle and two others behind him. “I have brought you warriors,” he said. “This is the archer, Nim. His accuracy is unparalled. And this is the mage, Volar. He is a top member of the Magicians Guild and also a member of the Fighters Guild. Nim here is in the Fighters Guild as well. That is where I found them both.” Crim surveyed the two men. The archer had a long bow on his back and a quiver filled with arrows. Each arrow had a blue feather on the end, assumingly from a rare beast of some sort. He was average height and a wore a black cloak that covered his brown hair of medium length. The mage wore a dark blue cloak, and his black hair shined in the reflection of the candle. In his right hand was a wooden staff almost one and a half meters tall. In its wood was carved many intricate designs Crim could not recognize. At the top of the staff was a blue glass-looking ball. Its magical properties aided the mage in casting spells. Crim turned back the council member, “Thank you, sir. Tell the council we will leave at dawn.” “Good luck,” he said in response, then turned and headed toward the Council Hall. The two men he left behind looked at Crim questioningly. “My name is Crim,” he said. “I will be your leader on this quest.”

The sun was beginning to rise and Crim awoke as light poured in through the window. He went and woke Nim and Volar. They got their equipment on and ready, then ate what they could before leaving. The town was silent this early in the morning, only a few people could be seen going about their daily routines. Terim City was fairly large for its location. There was not another large city for over fifty kilometers. The surrounding establishments were only small villages of fisherman or farmers. Nonetheless, they were all in danger. The dragon of Dreughoth Mountain last terrorized these lands fifty years ago, when it was wounded badly by the Terim Guard and fled back to its mountain. Now it threatens the people once again. A messenger traveling from another town said he saw it out of its cave off in the distance. He hid behind a hill waiting for it to return, then ran the entire seven kilometers here to alert the city. The Elder Council held many meetings to determine what should be done. After several days, Crim concluded that if no one else would do anything, he would. That day he found himself in front of the council stating his request, and here he is now. They walked out the city gates and saw Dreughoth Mountain in the distance. It was a towering mountain, covered in its top portion with thick snow. The three of them began the long walk to the mountain, fixed on slaying the dragon for good.

At midday they arrived at the base of the mountain. The cave entrance was only a number of meters away from them. They stopped here to rest and eat. Volar reached in his pack for some bread. They each took some and ate only what they thought necessary. Nim looked up from his food and asked, “How do we plan on going about this?” Crim thought deeply for a moment about the question, then answered, “We go in, and kill it.”

“This is no time for jokes,” said Nim.

“There is nothing else to it,” responded Crim. “We go in, quietly, then kill it. Hopefully in its sleep.”
Nim became skeptical of his leader’s ability to actually lead.

“But let us worry about that when it comes. For now, how ‘bout some mead?” He pulled out a small bottle from his pack. Volar’s eyes opened widely. “Have you gone mad! You cannot be a drunken fool and fight a dragon!”

“We’re not going to get drunk,” Crim mumbled through his bread. “Just one sip for good luck. It’s how I always do it.”

“Even if I wanted to,” said Volar, “it’s against the Fighters Code to drink before executing a mission.”

“Lucky for me I’m not in the Fighters Guild,” Crim said as he took a small drink. He then placed it back in his pack. He stood up and looked at the others, insinuating it was time to go. They approached the entrance of the cave. They were tense, as anyone would be in this situation. They left their packs at the threshold and headed in.

It became darker the farther they went in. Volar lit his torch and handed it to Crim. They proceeded cautiously, the only sound was the waving of the flame and that of their footsteps. However, the silence was soon interrupted by a high pitched screeching from above. They looked up and Crim unsheathed his sword. Bats flew from the ceiling and away from them. He sighed in relief and looked down just as something smacked the three of them and knocked them back several feet. The torch and sword flew out of Crim’s hands. He hit the ground with a clang of armor. He looked up to see the tail of a dragon coming back down at him. He rolled out of the way and ran to his sword. Volar got up quickly and recited a spell in an ancient tongue. His staff began to illuminate and heavy light soon filled the surrounding area. Nim painfully got up and pulled out his bow. He reached for an arrow and pulled it back as far as he could. When he released the arrow whistled through the air and pierced the blue-green dragon under its neck. It shrieked in pain. Crim picked up his sword and raced back to the dragon. He came up behind it and stabbed it in the tail. It gave out another cry then whipped its tail again and knocked Crim to the ground. The colossal strength of the beast was unprecedented. The dragon turned around and brought its head back, then let out a roaring blast of fire that sailed toward Crim. He hastily jumped out of the way. Volar spoke another spell, and from his staff flew a bolt of lightning. It struck the monster’s head and it fell back. Crim ran and jumped on its back as it returned to its feet. Another arrowed flew through the air and hit at the dragon’s side. Crim lifted his sword and brought it down into the animals back. It let out a roar and shook violently until Crim was thrown onto the floor.

The dragon brought its head back again, this time aimed at Volar. The mage lifted his staff and whispered another spell. He aimed it at the dragon just as it breathed out a stream of fire. Blue light shot from the staff and collided with the flame. A constant flow of light created a blockade the fire could not pass. Within a couple of seconds the dragon ended its barrage of flames and swung its claw at Volar. The claw came down but then was pulled back as an arrow penetrated its center. The dragon let out a squeal and another lightning bolt blasted its head and it fell once again to the ground. Crim hopped on its back a second time. Holding the spiked scales along its back, he began climbing upward. Arrows soared into its flesh and spells pummeled its body. Crim climbed until he reached its head. He stood up, struggling to keep his balance, and lifted his sword high above him. “Back to the shadows from whence you came beast!” With great force he plunged his mighty sword through the skull of his foe. It let out a deep roar that echoed loudly throughout the cave, and the behemoth fell to the ground for the last time. The three warriors breathed heavily and looked at each other in relief. With that they turned and departed for Terim City.

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