Rise of the Thrall Lord
The Battle of Fisheye Cove - Part 3
To Meriwynn it felt like the world was ending, the very air seemed to explode with fire and lighting, and they were suddenly off the rocks and falling towards the water.
“Take a breath” she heard a girl’s voice call out to them. The dragon that held them rolled onto its back as they hit the surface and they were spared the worse of the impact, but pulled under the cool water in a grip of bronze.
They sped just under the surface for a brief way, and then descended rapidly. Looking up Meriwynn saw the bright sky shrinking in a dwindling round disk. Meriwynn felt her heart clench as a dark dragon shape appeared, silhouetted in the disk of sky.
There was no more than a slight tingling in the water as the lighting bolt blasted up and into the dragon above. The silhouette vanished.
“Ha! Eat that!”
She heard the voice again, it sounded almost childlike and it was perfectly clear underwater. Meriwynn felt she must be going mad, or the sudden water pressure was getting to her.
In the brief flash from the lightning, Meriwynn had seen they were in a round shaft of worked stone. The dragon made a sharp turn into a side passage and they were in total darkness. She could only feel the rushing water against her and the unbreakable clawed grip. They were moving fast; but it seemed an eternity, and her lungs were ready to burst.
They shot from the water still in total darkness and she was placed roughly on a cool, hard, wet floor. The slight sloshing of water echoing off stone walls gave the impression of a large chamber. The bulky presence of the dragon was there for second, and then it was gone without a splash.
“Poor little guy is hurt pretty bad.” Meriwynn heard the voice again; then a soft chanting incantation and a faint blue glow appeared briefly. The glow dimly illuminated a dark humanoid shape bending over the pale unmoving form of her brother.
Standing in the returned darkness, it was all too much for Meriwynn. The dragon had left them here, probably to eat later. Her left arm throbbed with pain from burns she had barely noticed before, and now some ghoul had come forth from the darkness to devour her poor dead brother before it attacked her. She felt something hard in her right hand and realized that she had somehow held onto Gully’s stupid stick.
She staggered forward, raising the club weakly.
“Good idea” the voice said and then chanted a single word, and the room was ablaze with light shining from the end of Gully’s club. It was just a young girl who was leaning over her brother; she was touching the end of the glowing stick Meriwynn held.
The girl turned back to Gully, and Meriwynn froze at what she saw. Horrible blackened burns covered the girl’s back; her garments were a tattered and fused mess in that area. Was her first fear correct; was this some undead ghoul child? No one could survive burns like that, let along be doing… doing what to her brother? Meriwynn looked, and in the light she could see Gully’s wound closing, his burns fading. She was healing him! His breathing came in shallow gasps, but he was alive.
The realization flooded through her, as her shocked mind finally began to right itself. When the second dragon suddenly grabbed them, she had struggled against it, thinking they were just scraps of food being fought over by great beasts.
The vision of the flames washing over them, burning their exposed skin came to her. She had heard the roar, but hadn’t realized why or how they had survived the conflagration. This girl was the other dragon and she had saved them! Meriwynn sat heavily on the floor.
“You look pretty out of it,” the dragon-girl was kneeling in front of Meriwynn now. “You better rest a bit”.
She took Meriwynn’s left arm in her cool fingers, chanted a spell and the throbbing pain began to subside and the red burns lightening.
“My name is Rukastanna Greymantle, please call me Ruka” the dragon-girl introduced herself when she finished the spell.
“I’m Meriwynn Fichgotz.” Meriwynn went to rise, but Ruka’s hand on her shoulder stopped her. She wasn’t sure how one should introduce oneself to a dragon turned girl; she was going for a curtsy.
“Merry fish guts?” Ruka pondered off-handedly. “Cool name.”
“Shouldn’t you be healing your self?” Meriwynn asked. She didn’t correct the girl, somehow her hated childhood nickname didn’t sound so bad from her.
“I’m fine. I’ve had worse.” But the grimace of pain that crossed Ruka’s face as she stood up gave lie to that statement. “Light cures would be a drop in the ocean anyway.”
Ruka wandered around, gingerly stretching her wounded back.
“This room is safe enough” Ruka commented with one hand on a damp wall. There were two tightly shut doors, and a large square opening of water in the floor. The room seemed formed of solid stone blocks of a uniform dark grey color.
“Uh huh,” Meriwynn was dubious, but her mind was still reeling and everything seemed unreal. She was trying to figure out if this normal seeming young girl could really be a dragon.
“You swing a mean club.” Ruka went on rubbing her shoulder. “You should be able to handle yourself.” It was a pretty obvious lie to Meriwynn.
“But, just in case…” Ruka drew a strange looking sword from a sheath. The handle was carved like a dragon’s neck, the hilt was gapping jaws, and the blade was its tongue or breath; it was formed of a hammered bronze that seemed to glow with an inner light; blue sparks travelled continuously up and down the blade. “This is Inazuma, the lightning blade. He’ll protect you.” The last was said sternly, and as if to the sword itself.
Ruka spoke several strange words, again as if to the sword. It sounded similar to the language that the great dragons above had used to roar their challenge to each other. An odd sounding male voice responded in the same language. The dragon-girl’s eyes seemed to glow amber for a second as she slammed the sword several inches into the stone floor with one mighty strike.
“Where are you going?” Meriwynn started, but she already knew the answer. “You can’t go out there, there are huge battling dragons!”
The dragon-girl grinned at Meriwynn, but there was a deadly glint to her eyes.
“Of course there are, and that is where I belong.”