“Chronicles of Fallon Skye ☾”
Thunder rolls throughout the valley of Azaeloth. Only the desiccated corpses of the fallen reflect the faint flashes of light that pierce the darkening veil of clouds overcasting our homeland. Over time, we have grown complacent, blinded by our lust for blood and supernatural power. Now, by our own careless insolence, we will certainly be overthrown. The eldest were struck down first, and have faded to ash and memories. As keepers of the Harvest and the defining knowledge of our rituals, our wisdom has faded with them. The few that remain have fled for the red-stained shores of the Ocean of Tears, trembling in fear of persecution. Even fewer were successful in evading the aptly named “Mercenaries of Light”. Now we stand on the brink of extinction, weakened and separated. All hope of rising to our former glory has diminished to the handful of descendants that were hidden among the trade vessels destined for the distant land of Godville. Of those fortunate few, only one can call me blood-kin. My daughter, my soul, my Fallon Skye.
Crudely sharpened arrows flutter passed my ears through the screams of agony and looming death that has engulfed the stale air around me. With one arm enveloping my sole descendant, I fiercely raise my blackened staff into the night sky with the other and hastily mutter something unintelligible. The winds turn to storms of swirling ember and debris, hurling the marauders to the ground. Exhausted and disoriented, my knees buckle and my vision fades. Blood flows like a crimson flood from my dehydrated lips to the scorched earth below. The echo of my waning heartbeat resounds like a lullaby of trepidation. The only thought that has given me an unyielding will to resist is now lying beside me, glaring back into my dilated eyes. Wrapped in a violet blanket from her bedside cradle, my daughter somberly cries at the sight of her only protection and kin vanishing before her. Then suddenly, a thunderous clap of steel and bone shatters the stillness! A violent battle cry tears through the night, followed swiftly by the clatter of several shields tumbling to the ground. A mysterious shadow clutches my robe and flings my lifeless body over his armored shoulder. It was Hammr, my closest friend and one of our strongest warriors. I gasped a whisper of thanks into his ear just before losing consciousness.
Three days pass before I finally awaken to the sound of sails gently flapping in the soothing gusts of the ocean breeze. I hear the faint giggles of my daughter playing in the floor of the deck next to me. She has discovered her warped reflection in Hammr’s heavily dented shield, and appears to be completely unharmed. I sighed with immense relief and then gradually fell back to sleep once more. Only this time, I would not return to hear her beautiful voice ever more. Despite his best efforts, my wounds were far too severe for the scarred hands of a fighter to mend. I have fallen. My soul peacefully dissipates into the atmosphere, sparkling in the auburn light of the last Harvest moon I will ever witness. My legacy to be determined by her innocent hands….
(Through the eyes of Hammr)
Four months have passed since we escaped the clutches of Light, and after days of enduring stinging rain and the crackling skies of the unrelenting sea, a blur of land has finally broken the horizon. At last, we have reached the golden shores of Godville!
As we anchored our battered ship to the coastline, I couldn’t help but pause and gaze upon the strange land that would soon become our sanctuary. It was much different than I had imagined from the lore I heard as a child. Just past the white sands of the beach were nothing but vast, endless forests in either direction. The colossal trees were lined with twisted vines and giant burgundy thorns that rivaled the length of my hand. The air brushed across my face in waves, and smelled as sweet as honeysuckle in summer sunlight. In the distance to the east, a dark silhouette of jagged mountains loomed high into the clouds. But even more peculiar was the echoing symphony of chirping, buzzing, and howling that pulsed together like the heart of a prowling predator stalking its prey. Without a doubt, this land breathes with resilient life, untold mystery, and most certainly, imminent danger.
While the crew were busy scrounging the remaining supplies for the perilous journey ahead, I slowly crept into the hull to awaken the tiny ball of human that was still sleeping soundly, despite the rigorous commotion from the storage rooms nearby. As I cradled her into my arms, I peered over at the crate containing the remains of her father. An overwhelming sense of pain surged from deep within my chest, followed swiftly by a torrent of tears cascading down my weathered face. But then, without any warning, the boat was violently rammed off the shore back towards sea! I stumbled to my feet and worriedly looked up and down Fallon’s head and limbs for injuries. A bellowing roar screeched across the sky as I rushed for the deck above. Through the brutal cries of the injured crew, I hastily scanned the area for signs of the beast responsible! Suddenly, a hissing sphere of fire raged overhead and exploded into the mast of the ship! Without hesitation, I held Fallon snug against my chest and leapt into the tide. Vigorously wading for stable ground, I could hear the air behind me whipping from the forceful flapping of formidable wings. I dove for the sand, narrowly missing the protracted talons of the ferocious monster sweeping over us! A raging inferno engulfed the men running for the woods ahead. In panic, I rapidly searched for anything that would suffice for a weapon! My hammer and all of my armor were aboard the fiery vessel that was quickly sinking into the bay. As I reached for a wooden axe lying in the scorched remnants of one the deckhands, the foul creature slammed into earth before me! I hastily hid Fallon behind some barrels of barley that had been unloaded from the ship. As the dust and ash began to settle, I dreadfully gazed upon the obscure outline of my adversary. I couldn’t believe the sheer misfortune of what my eyes beheld. It was the fabled Grayscaled Dragon!
The mythical creature snarled and huffed toxic smoke as it glared into Hammr’s soul with insidiously black eyes. Hammr cautiously reached down and grabbed a handful of sand. The dragon pounced forward, violently trying to sink its teeth into its near-defenseless prey! Tossing the sand into the mouth and eyes of the evil being, Hammr swung fiercely and landed an unobstructed hack to the dragon’s shoulder! Enraged and blinded, the dragon let out a brutal roar from the throbbing pain! Hammr raised the worn axe and poised himself for another counterattack. The dragon furiously swept its powerful claws at the unarmored warrior! Dodging the first two strikes, the fiend unexpectedly spun around with unrivaled velocity and lashed its tail into his chest! With tremendous momentum, Hammer was flung across the beach and slammed into a massive log at the edge of woods! Suffering from a substantial injury to the back of his head, Hammr began to lose consciousness. Sensing his vulnerability, the sky demon boiled the air preparing to unleash a final, fatal blast. Suddenly, by some miracle of the gods, an unknown warrior rushed between them with shield in hand, and somehow absorbed the blistering discharge! Then, out of the distance, a salvo of arrows hailed from the darkness and pelted the dragon relentlessly! Annoyed and outnumbered, the great beast attempted to leap into the air and escape the vigilantes. But before it could assume flight, another heroic figure lunged onto the dragon’s left wing from behind! With a hefty claymore whirling above his head, the brave warrior slashed the monster’s wing in two! In thoughtless retaliation, the dragon snapped at the warrior and latched onto the hefty sword! Still smoldering from the fireball intended for Hammr, the shielded protector charged in and bashed the ferocious animal repeatedly with his shield! Disoriented and fatigued, the dragon released the weapon and angrily blew flames in all directions! Both warriors took cover and yelled into the woods, “Now Delenn!”. Taking careful aim at full draw, she murmured a rhythmic incantation and fired a shrieking bolt, charged with rampant electricity, straight into the mouth of the beast! Hissing and crackling, the monster screamed once more as its head burst into ashes. At last, the Grayscaled Dragon had been slain!
With the danger subsided for the moment, the heroes hurried over to Hammr to stop the excessive bleeding and mend to his wounds. As his vision vaguely started to recover, he slowly began to recognize his valiant rescuers. Before him knelt the beautiful pale-skinned mage, Delenn, who was very distracted casting healing spells on his numerous splintered lacerations. Standing to his right, heavily armored in pitch black steel and preoccupied with cleaning off his claymore, was the great Argoet, descendant of the Blood Moon Champion himself. And finally to his left, watching over them all with stern vigilance, was Swayvil, the eldest and most protective of the group. In legends of late, his bloodline was rumored to descend directly from the harvest moon itself! Feeling comforted for the first time in months, Hammr closed his eyes and fainted into a deep sleep. To keep him warm, Delenn wrapped the lower half of his exhausted body in the severed wing of the fallen dragon. Afterwards, she went off alone to gather what little food or supplies had survived the flames. Just as Swayvil decided it was time leave for their campsite to the east, Delenn managed to hear the faint cries of little Fallon, still tucked away behind the now slightly charred trade barrels. Calling the others over, she gently picked her up and was suddenly taken back. “Have you ever seen eyes burn so brightly with crimson Swayvil?”, she softly whispered. “Come on Delenn, we must hurry before nightfall. This is no place for a child.”, he replied. Crafting a rope and broken wood into a harness, Argoet heaved Hammr onto his back, while Delenn cloaked Fallon in another shredded piece of the dragon’s wing as a blanket. Surviving the trials of the day, the heroes set out for their encampment, now with two more guild mates by their side…
To Be Continued…...