Otherworldly Memories Part XI: The Dragon War
- Otherworldly Memories Part XI: The Dragon War -
The seasons passed pleasantly... at the great citadel in the other world of the Faerie, in which I did live in bliss with my adopted daughter Ethnivel. I did not know if that citadel had a name before my folk so came to dwell therein, and we always simply called it Helethir Citadel, naming it after our house, which once was noble before humankind had driven us from our ancestral lands on Earth, forcing us to flee to the farthest reaches of the realms of Faerie, which their cruelty and animosity could not touch us. I was called Balsarda in that life, and I had in my time experienced both horror and contentment alike. But it was only when I chanced to meet she whom I now shared my life and my heart with... it was only then, when I truly can say that I knew love and understood joy as others do. She too found her solace in me... and her own terrible past was easy for her to put aside the memories of as time went on for us both. Ere long, autumn came and with it the leaves of the forest trees changed as the green wood turned into that most beautiful of sights, a multicolored wonderland of many hues of yellow, orange, red and gold. All would turn brown and brittle before the winter came, but for a brief season it was like a glimpse of that sort of experience that is always fresh, always new, and always breathtaking. Time ran differently, in the other world, and between the time of my death at the end of my previous incarnation and the time of my life in the realms of Faerie... it may have seemed but a brief span, to mortals back on Earth. Or... even a long one, depending upon the whims of whatever power it was that warped time within the confines of that plane of existence. For we who lived within it though, it would always seem as if nothing changed, and time for us would pass normally. To enter into the world of Faerie was to leave behind the familiar world you once knew, and to face the possibility that there might be no going back. I did not in that life intend to ever return to Earth, nor did my daughter. We were finished with humankind, and only in truth tolerated those few humans who at present dwelt in the other world as honored guests of the Elves who had in time become the true masters and mistresses of that place. But more than Elvish kind dwelt there in the vast reaches of that parallel world... the Ur'kril did dwell there too, and only left for Earth when it was time to set forth on raids against the humans, often taking them by surprise and then departing back to the other world, sometimes leading their prey into traps that awaited them when they crossed over to the places where the Ur'kril led them. Wild and strange places were they, the stuff of nightmares! And it was known that all human who were so tricked by the Ur'kril never returned to tell the tale of what thus befell them. For the Ur'kril were a warrior people, first and foremost... with a mind given to industry, to science, and to great cunning and craftsmanship. They had been Elves once, but they fell to darkness as they gave in to a certain madness that existed within them. They had been sons and daughters of the old empire of Kalaborea once, a nation given to madness as a form of art. A place of both casual cruelties... and even more casual passions. All that the folk of Kalaborea were, the Ur'kril were still... only in more savage ways by far. They had an understanding with other Elvish races... and because we were all of the El'vril kindred in the beginning of all things, there was kept peace between us. I had discovered a rather unsettling truth during my research in my family's private library in the citadel! For generations beyond all counting... we Elvish folk had believed mistakenly that the ancient Elves of the old blood of the folk of Kalaborea had been as tall if not taller than those of diminished blood such as my daughter, who was about five feet and four inches in height. Now I myself in that life was six feet tall, and many who were of the children of the goddess Dana were known to reach seven feet in height. But as I discovered... the El'vril of old ranged from 5'4 to 5'8 but never beyond 5'8 in height. The tallest among them was said to have been 5'9 in height! But that was rare. They were fair and smooth of skin... and had predominantly black hair, almond shaped eyes and tapered ears which only in some cases were outright pointed. What this indicated, is that those of “diminished” blood were in fact reverting to the more pure physiology of our ancestors. But the taller Elvish folk of the current generations wished to hide much about countless details of our origins, and sought to maintain a status quo in which a certain folk were seen as superior.
One such secret, was that our first and most remote of ancestors had been a race of people who came to Earth from beyond the stars, like the gods themselves. That folk was known as the Vril, and how we had even come to be was due to genetic experiments that the Vril conducted for reasons known only to their own kind. They had been the ones of exceedingly great height, with fair skin and hair that was oft platinum blonde in color, bordering on being silver or white at times. They mixed their own blood with the blood of a reptilian people also from beyond the stars, a race known as the Kolabi. And by all that I could understand of them the Kolabi had either bald heads, or when they had hair it was either black or red in color. It had either been the Kolabi or the Vril who had pointed ears... and as a result of that mix of those two races the El'vril had been born. Over time, our kind had become less and less reptilian and more and more like the Vril themselves, with the reptilian blood waning over time until the generations of the folk of Kalaborea saw the height that our kind would remain at during the glory days of that great and terrible empire. A height that was far shorter than the Vril and more akin to that of the Kolabi. But, I could not help but wonder, what had changed in our genetics to account for the sudden increase in our height between the time of the great cataclysm with the destruction of Atlantis, following the downfall of old Kalaborea... and the age of the Children of Dana and the Fomorians, in which the El'vril had thus begun to more and more closely resemble the Vril side of their ancestry. The answer was obvious! The Vril had not vanished from the pages of history after all, but were somehow still there in the shadows, manipulating us on a genetic level and trying to strengthen their own blood within us. Perhaps they had a falling out with the Kolabi, and wished to lessen the strength of Kolabi blood over time? I could never be certain of that, either way, but it seemed likely. It was said that over time, once someone fell and did become Ur'kril... they began to experience physical changes, such as a diminishing in height, and a very odd desire to carve into their flesh ritual scars that gave them a distinctly reptilian appearance. They did also file their teeth into pointed fangs, and begin to speak in a guttural language that seemed to come to them from an ancestral memory that came to the surface, once the desire to become Ur'kril surfaced for the first time in them. I drew from all of this knowledge only one possible conclusion! The Ur'kril were in reality those El'vril in whom the blood of the Kolabi side of their ancestry was greatest. In time, it did seem that the “madness” mentioned in so many of the ancient texts and tales was merely a resurfacing in a person of the ways of their ancestors that was too strong to resist or suppress any longer. Those of that sort likely struggled with this their whole lives before giving into the natural desire that in the end always won out in them. And yet, they are demonized by both their own Elvish kin and by humans too! All of this that I discovered weighed heavily upon my mind that autumn, and it was hard not to think of all that I had learned of this forbidden knowledge. The books I discovered these truths in were banned in most Elvish city libraries and places of learning, and it was obvious they contained truth that was not convenient for those currently in power in Elvish society. The reach of the Vril was long indeed! And I knew that within me the blood of the Kolabi was strong indeed... I would one day change, and become of the Ur'kril race. That much was certain! There were signs, and stirrings within me that where the first indications of the changes to come. I tried to repress them, as much for my daughter's sake as for that of myself or my kin. But my kin likely also were struggling, for the same blood flowed in their veins also! The servants at the citadel never noticed my increasingly eccentric behavior, and my erratic impulses... and my daughter, who was also my lover, only thought that I was overtly passionate and given to quite aggressive displays of emotion. I loved with all my heart, hated with all my being, and desired with all the fire of my loins. That had always been the way with me, and it was becoming more and more strong in me as the months passed and the seasons changed. Always, Ethnivel was the calming influence upon me, and her love gave me the strength to resist the urges of my ancestors when they did arise. Thus was it come to pass that we found ourselves trying to forget our cares, as we walked together along the trials and paths of the fall forest of that year. It was a pleasant day, early in the season, and so not cold as yet.
I identified as a female first and foremost in that life, but was in fact a hermaphrodite who had instead of any external female genitalia... fully functioning male genitalia. But otherwise, I looked totally like a woman, with an ample bosom and generous curves. I was young by Elvish standards, but old enough to have been Ethnivel's mother or father. She was only fourteen years old, and had not been with me even a year yet, but already we felt as if we had known each other forever. Which we may have... in previous incarnations and lives past. I had chestnut color hair cut in a pageboy style, and my almond shaped eyes were grayish blue in color. My skin was fair, but with a slight yellowish tint to it, but one that did not at all appear to be unhealthy. My nose was a bit aquiline but not large, and I had a small mouth with rather plump lips... all of which went well with my round face and high cheekbones. I was slender, and highly athletic looking as well... and my arms and legs were well muscled, though not excessively so. It was a rather unspoken truth, that the various hair color variations that came to be in Elvish folk derived from the fact that we had been interbreeding with humans for a very, very long time. Likely ever since at the very least the time of the great cataclysm if not beginning sometime even before that. And so all of the myriad varieties of hair color found in humankind find their way into our kind. My young lover thought I was quite beautiful, and I found her to be exceptionally pretty. I was wearing, upon the occasion of the walk we took, a pair of warm baggy forest green trousers tucked into a pair of brown fur boots, and into the trousers was so tucked a long sleeved shirt of the same material and color as the pants themselves. The shirt was buttoned in the front, and the sleeves of the shirt with wide and full. Beneath the shirt, I wore a white camisole style blouse with a wide neck, the same style of neck as the shirt. It was a bit on the crisp side out, but not chilly enough yet to require a coat or a cloak. Ethnivel was always to my eyes quite breathtaking to look upon! She had curly shoulder length strawberry blonde hair, with big green, sparkling eyes that always looked as if they were marveling at something. They were not quite nearly as almond shaped as my own eyes were, but close. She had full lips, and a cherubic looking face. Always, she seemed to have a cheerful expression upon that face! And she had the most adorable freckles. She was curvy for one so young, and had very nice proportions to her body indeed. Everything about her so had a certain softness to it, and in truth she probably looked more noble of birth than I did! Thus did I call her my princess, which she found to be most pleasing to her ears. Whereas my ears were pointed in the manner of most Elvish folk, my daughter's ears were merely tapered. Now that I knew why, I would no longer refer to her blood as being diminished in any capacity, and we had spoken of this prior to our going for that walk. She was dressed in similar, practical attire to myself, but her shirt had puffy sleeves with stretchy wrists through which she fit her hands. And her trousers were softer and fuller in material, but still just as warm. Her outfit was a lighter shade of green, more of a leaf green shade, and beneath her shirt she wore a pink camisole style blouse. The neckline of her attire was a bit lower cut than mine was, and she was wearing a white pearl necklace, and her favorite pair of amethyst earrings. I wore the same necklace I always did... the one from which hung the pedant that was in the shape of an eye with a small green gemstone in the center of it. The leaves crunched beneath our feet... always a sound that to me brought back a kind of childhood nostalgia... for, I had always so adored going for walks in the fall season... and memories of pleasant autumns from other lives seemed to come to me in fleeting visions and lingering feelings during such walks as these. And the skies were clear and cloudless, with the only sound being the occasional breeze blowing through the trees of the woods, and sometimes the sound of squirrels that were bounding about here and there, often just out of sight. It was a perfect day! And the right day to discuss my growing concerns with my beloved. “Daughter... I think, that I am beginning to change.” I began to say to her, adding: “The call of the Ur'kril is powerful in me! After our discussions about all I have discovered during my studies and research, I just thought that you should be aware that one day perhaps not so far off as all that, I might become far more like the Kolabi of old than many of the 'purer' Elvish bloodlines might like. They rule through lies, but the truth is still quite a dark thing.”
It was easy to see why many Elvish folk preferred the lies to the truth! I then continued: “Now I know that I promised this walk would be free of any worrying discussions, but I just need to know something. If I do change, if I do become Ur'kril... and I have told you previously all that such a thing means, and a great amount of detail, about what it also entails... will you still love me, even then? I could not bear to lose you, girl, and if I thought that I might lose you because of myself... I would surely go mad from the fear of such a thing.” she then looked deeply into my eyes and said without even the slightest hint of a hesitation: “I will never leave you! Never... not even if you turned into a dragon. Although admittedly, I think it might prove awkward were you to sudden grow wings and let out those fearsome cries! But you get what I mean, anyway. I have pledged myself to you wholly, and we will remain together in both this life and beyond it. So you need not worry, if that is all you were concerned about.” and we kissed after that, warmly and well. We walked hand in hand through the woods, and plucked some of the last of the remaining wildflowers of the year, pulling off their petals and casting them to the wind. “For each petal, a world!” we would say, as was the way of this game that children often played. It meant, that there are all manner of worlds in the universe, and all around us. As many as there are the petals of flowers in the world! If not more, stretching into infinity. Once we had our fill of this playful excursion, we walked on back to the citadel, and as we walked onward I noticed that occasionally my daughter would skip about in a way not unlike a girl of far younger years. In many ways, her childhood had been stolen from her... but with me, she got to live the childhood she never had. I was content and delighted to grant her this, and anything else she might desire. There was no reason to be afraid of something that might never be!
The years passed, until at last it was that Ethnivel turned sixteen years of age. She had not grown too much in height since I first met her... and was by then five feet and eight inches in height, and no taller. She had blossomed into a stunning woman, with a voluptuous build and a sensuality that she cultivated with me quite well. She took to wearing revealing clothing... and her sense of humor became a bit more naughty and sometimes dark compared to the days of her youth. I was older by then, but still beautiful, and the years did not touch me all that much, nor affect my strength and spirit which both remained as strong as ever. More and more, I noticed that my daughter... my beloved... seemed to find herself at ease with my male aspects, and sometimes she called me father as much as she called me mother. This, did not offend me... and somehow it reminded me of our relationship in the life we had both lived prior to our present one. The familiarity of it was almost comforting even! All was blissful until one day I felt in my breast a sudden sharp pain that burned like a hot fire. I ran to my chief physician who told me this was not related to my heart, and that rather it likely was because something had happened to my dragon. For due to our bonding, if ever my dragon was to perish I would feel the pain of it, though it would not kill me. I screamed, and ran out to the caves behind the citadel where my dragon rested during the cold seasons of the year... for once again it was autumn, and nearer to winter than before. There.. I saw four human hunters, who had somehow slipped into our lands unnoticed. They had driven spears and lances through my dragon's breast, and had killed it. They were attempting to pry some scales, from off of its' cold body... and, having brought my sword with me, as well as several guards from the citadel, just in case there might be trouble, which there evidently was... I and my guards fell upon the human hunters, showing them no mercy whatsoever. We cut them down quickly, saving one for interrogation. And, that one I took a very long time torturing in ways so gruesome and terrible that they had not been seen since the days of my previous incarnation, the Fomorian king Balor. He whose symbol... was the eye that this pendant I wore was in the likeness of. This too I had discovered during my research years before! And I intended to honor Balor's legacy with how I treated this human wretch. He talked readily enough, once I had removed his fingers, toes, eyelids and half of his scalp. My guards held him as I worked... as I thus commanded them to. And their faces looked shocked to witness how much I relished what I did to him.
He told me, that his folk were starving to death, and were desperate for food and tools, having been cast out from one of the Elvish cities where they had been living. They did not know, that this dragon had belonged to anyone, and thought its' meat and scales would help their people. I told him that I was bonded to the dragon, and that to kill it was also to hurt me. And indeed, a part of me did die that day! It was a bitter cold morning, and fog was all about the forests and jungles. Every year the jungles died off from the frost... only to, by some magic or science I did not understand, rise again once summer came, growing taller, wilder and more lush and magnificent than ever before. The jungles would always come back, but my sweet dragon... my pet, my best friend, who had been so very loyal and kind and loving all these long and lonely years in which I had not anyone else to truly care about... was dead. Never more, would he carry me through the skies, never more would I place my saddle upon his back and polish his scales, or get to trim his claws when they got too long. He could no longer nuzzle me so affectionately with his beak, or look at me with his kind eyes... or play silly games with me. he was gone. And so was my innocence! Before I killed that last hunter, I walked sadly over to my dragon and I pet its' great beak lovingly. I could not help myself from crying, sobbing, and screaming hysterically. “Wake up! Please... please, Terry, just wake up!” I kept shrieking, until my throat hurt from it. Terry, was what I had named him, and it was short for his actual dragon name, which I had learned through our bonding. That name, was Terithracytus. Dragons always had long names like that, and were not only quite civilized creatures but loyal and compassionate as well. They were peaceful by nature, unless bred for war or driven unto anger, or forced to defend themselves or the person they were bonded with. This hunting of him was a senseless, barbaric act... because this was not some mere animal, though animal it was. It was a being capable of both intelligence and deep feeling, and it was only trying to sleep. One of my guards had to actually say to me: “Mistress, he will not wake up! He is dead.” And I nuzzled my head against Terry's beak, then kissed it one final time. “Goodbye, Terry! Sleep well, my friend.” I said to him, and then I so walked over to the tortured hunter, who was still being held by my guards. I said to him: “There are, I am sad to say, always more humans!” and then I spat in his face, and added: “But there are so few left of dragon kind because of filth like you. You hunger, you consume, and you destroy! You are like some sort of plague, the way you infest the land and destroy what you do not understand. Oh, your folk will be fed alright, and I will provide them with tools... but, it shall be your flesh I feed them, yours along with that of your fellow hunters. And from your miserable human bones, I will fashion those tools that they will be gifted with! They will not starve to death just yet... because once they have fed upon you, they will turn upon each other in desperation, and devour one another until none are left. That shall be their fate, for the crime you have committed this day, a crime they also have a part in. Now, you are to tell me where your folk are living right now... so that I will know where to find them. Then, and only then, am I going to allow you the privilege of dying.” He was hesitant at first, but once I began to cut into his genitals he told me exactly where his village lay. “Thank you!” I said, and then slit his throat before stabbing him through the heart, ending his disgusting life. I had the caves cleared of the hunters' remains, so that Terry could slumber now forever without being disturbed, and then I ordered that any and all entrances to those caves be sealed, which they were upon my orders. The bodies of those four hunters were cut up, and from them was meat prepared that looked little different from animal meat. I had various tools crafted from the hunters' bones, and personally led a party of my warriors out to that village, and there I did deliver to the human wretches that lived there these gruesome gifts, at first not telling them where they came from. I stayed to watch, and to make sure that the humans ate well, and only after they had thus feasted did I tell them whence the meat had come. And the origin of the tools that they now held in their hands. I also told them why I had done this, further saying: “You will hunt no more dragons in these lands, should you find any! You will receive no more gifts from me or from my house. You soon shall be at the mercy of winter... but I am not without mercy. This is proof of it!”
And I ordered my warriors to slay all of the hunters who remained in that village. The humans there, had no warriors or soldiers of their own, only those hunters. Once they were all slain, I said to the folk of that village who remained: “Now, you shall have even more meat to feast upon! You shall live, like the vultures you are. And if I should hear of any further ranging into my territory by your people, I will return here and have the lot of you flayed alive and then impaled... from the oldest to the youngest. In time perhaps scavenger beasts will come to feast upon you! For there is always a more hungry beast... and humankind is far from the most cunning of all animals.” They called me a demon, called my kind monsters, and it was a familiar prejudice they showed towards us. Humans rarely had any real love for Elvish kind, and this was finally the last straw for me regarding them. I laughed at the villagers insults, and said to them menacingly: “Of course I am a demon! You have made me become one this day. And as for monsters... the worst monsters of all wear a human guise, in my experience.” and never again did they trouble our lands, nor hunt upon them. They did not last through the winter, and they perished just as I had predicted they would. I was never the same after that, and knew that the Ur'kril within me was beginning to show itself fully. The more I thought about Terry and how deeply I missed him, the more I wept and thought that I might lose my mind entirely. All through my mourning and grief, I had right at my side... my beloved daughter, who helped me get through it as best as she could. “I had wanted, once spring came around again, to take you flying with Terry.” I told her, and I said further: “Now... we shall never get the chance, and there will always be a part of me that is missing.” For the bond between Terry and I was deep, and ran through both of our souls and spirits. Ethnivel said to me in a soothing manner: “I cannot pretend to know the depth of your grief! I know how deep your bond with him ran, and how it must feel to have lost him like that. Especially because of humans! But the men who took him are gone now, as are all the folk of their village. You punished them justly, and they were destroyed in the end by their own basest natures. How long will you grieve for?” and I admitted to her the truth: “Forever.” and she wept for me, and for my loss, sharing in my grief. We spent days, telling stories of our youth, and I told her of the many adventures that my dragon and I had gone on together, trying to keep his spirit well and alive by regaling her with tales of his life. His passing affected my whole household, and the citadel mourned with us for as long as we mourned. After about a year of mourning, things became brighter for us, and I tried to resume acting as if things were pretty much as they had been before. But sometimes, I found myself looking up at the platform from which Terry and I would go flying... and then I would just break down and cry, unable to control myself. One night, I started cutting my skin in order to kill off my pain... but the pain of the cutting only made it worse and drove me into an insane frenzy. I did this when alone in the bathing chambers, and I did not stop until my arms and legs were covered in ritualistic cuts that gave my limbs a somewhat reptilian appearance. Then... I turned my attention to my face as well as to the rest of my body... and when I was finished, I knew that the cuts would scar and that they would so remain upon me forever. So badly was I bleeding... and so weak was I from the loss of so much blood... that I had to hurry to the chambers of my chief physician, so that I would not perish. Ethnivel rushed to my bedside as soon as she received word of what I had done to myself, and was at my side for the entire length of my recovery... which took about a week, before I regained my full health and former strength. The scars were terrible, and my face looked especially frightening now! My face had a series of scars in the shape of lines cut into it... horizontal scars that were small and which were cut across my nose from the bridge on down to just above the tip. Above where my eyebrows had been, which I had shaved off completely, there were two curved arches that were also scars, and two that were beneath my eyes, and which ran from both sides of my nose down and around my cheekbones. As I lay upon the bed with my eyes closed, I could hear the physician telling my daughter: “It is unmistakable! These are the markings of the Ur'kril. This is always how it begins, once the change becomes irreversible. I fear the loss of her dragon, has driven the mistress deep into darkness. It will take tremendous light... in order to save her.”
But... as much light as my daughter possessed within her, it could not for long match the darkness of my sorrow. I was losing myself, to that sorrow, and it was indeed transforming me. Instead of filing my teeth to fangs, I had one of the less scrupulous house physicians implant my teeth with permanent fangs that were fitted in place over my existing teeth. And I had a tattoo artist who lived within the citadel so mark me with all manner of tattoos and markings of sacred Ur'kril design and meaning. He knew what the meaning of this was, but because I was his mistress he refused to defy me, and went along with all I asked of him... though in his heart, he thought it was a mistake for me to indulge in such a thing. “Were it anything but Ur'kril tattoos, and markings, I would not be so taken aback.” he told me, adding: “But... even though I will do this for you, mistress, it just feels wrong to me, knowing the path you are on now. But since it is a path that cannot be gone back from, I suppose this was sadly inevitable. Fated.” And he did his best work in creating those patterns and designs upon my flesh. I also had him create a strikingly lifelike looking eye tattoo in the middle of my forehead, which made it look like I had a green eye that was gazing forth from there. I had specified the color exactly. I now looked like what I truly was, for I had become fully Ur'kril... occasionally slipping with my speech into the native Ur'kril tongue, which whenever I did so sounded harsh and alien compared to the light and lilting style of Elvish speech and linguistic patterns. I got more piercings, and soon I had two pairs of looped gold earrings in each of my ears, and a gold nose ring as well. I wore my eye makeup in a more tribal looking way then before, with heavy use of deeper, darker colors, and used blood red lipstick instead of the lighter shades I had been favoring previously. Elvish cosmetics of the other world in that ancient time were far in advance of any similar sort of thing on Earth during that era... and many modern techniques of applying it were used. Safer materials, better ones for a person's skin, and longer lasting foundation makeup all made it easier for an Elvish woman to enhance her beauty. Or, as I now did, to express something deeper and darker about herself! I shaved off all of my hair, until I was bald, at the last... and thus, my transformation was complete. All through the time of these doings, my beloved Ethnivel remained steadfast at my side, and treated me not any bit differently than she had before I became Ur'kril. If anything, she began to act as if I were her child, and that I was in need of much more love and caring than an adult normally requires. I eventually reached a point where because of my heavy use of the Ur'kril language, which thankfully all of my household studied up on so they could still understand me, I developed a strangely exotic sort of accent whenever I spoke in the Elvish tongue. As a result, my daughter took over my former role as the mistress of the house, whilst devoting all of her free time to caring for me. In time, the melancholy that led to my descent into an Ur'kril spread to all of my kin, who likewise changed... and soon, the whole of the folk of the citadel became of the Ur'kril race. Lastly of all, my daughter succumbed to it, and soon it was that she too became Ur'kril and together we remolded the society of our folk at the citadel to be far more properly along the lines of the race we had become. Even Ethnivel began to train in the ways of a warrior, for all Ur'kril were warriors first and foremost! And, she became a great warrior and huntress... and there was no one to equal her in skill of arms or physical prowess. The princess had become instead a warrior princess, and her arms and legs became as well muscled as were my own. But still there was a softness to her, and a beauty to her that never lessened even after her face bore the ritual scars that all of the Ur'kril folk bear. She did not shave her head like I had... that was not something common to us, but rather something some Ur'kril did but mostly not all. Sort of a personal preference as it stood in regard to one's own appearance. But all of us shaved our eyebrows, and even thus was my daughter's beauty to me without any equal. The citadel was prepared for battle and war, and we intended to go forth in order to punish any humans who might be dwelling in the surrounding lands nearest to our borders. For there did lie a place that was outside the rule of any neighboring domains, and it was said to be a lawless sort of no man's land. I intended to bring law there, and to see if I could find a new dragon to bond with. In me raged a fire now... and it would not be quenched easily without far more human blood being spilled.
We attacked always at night, and never in the winter, preferring the heat of the summer which seemed to be more to our bodies' liking than it had been before we had changed. We fell upon every single one of the human camps, villages, and towns, and left none alive. The scenes of our raids were bloody, and we waged a war of extermination against they who had for so long been our tormentors. I gave some a choice of departing these lands forever, or facing death at the hands of our swords, axes, and spears. It never failed that they always chose death instead, for beyond these lands were the Elvish domains that they had been cast out from in the first place, due to their barbaric behavior. These folk, were all kin to the same human tribe whose hunters had slain my dragon... and because of that, I took especial delight in making them suffer before ending their miserable lives. They had no great cities, merely at best crude wooden palisades with no gates, behind which hid their tents, huts, and hovels. What passed for fighters among them were like children compared to us! And soon their heads rested upon pikes and stakes that lined the rough dirt roads and paths that ran between their settlements. We haunted their nightmares, as we laid waste to even their temples and places of worship, where they revered their ancestors as if they were gods, but mocked the true gods with their savagery. We met their savagery with equal savagery, as our campaign of conquest and vengeance drove us ever forward. We were blood sworn! For we, before setting forth... had sworn a blood oath to do what now we did... so that never again would dragons and those who bonded with them need to fear, the kind of loss that pushed me unto this terrible path. I had seen the change in me coming for years! But never had I imagined it would lead to this. None escaped us, none could run off to tell of what befell them. I searched all through the lands in which we traveled, as we cut a bloody course through the whole of that realm, and never could I find another dragon. It was a year, or two, before all of that territory in which we fought appeared to be nearly cleansed of all traces of the human infestation. At the end, we beheld in the distance a great city with stone walls and towers, and a mighty gate. It sat within a deep ravine that ran up to the base of a cliff on one side, a cliff that did mark the beginning of a craggy mountain range. The paths leading down into the ravine were not overly difficult to traverse, by looking at them, but we sent our scouts to check everything out... and, to try and see whether or not the city was an enemy one, and if so, what sort of defenses it could have. I remained with our army in the barren hills overlooking the ravine, and was surprised that for this entire war it so far only took half of our entire forces to see it through. The rest remained back at the citadel to guard it and keep our home safe. At my side, as always, was the beautiful Ethnivel. She truly was a princess, for I had taken for myself the title of queen, and as my daughter she had the right to act as my heir. She was a striking figure, standing there spear in hand and wearing a scale breastplate over her silk purple gown, the sandals upon her feet firmly planted upon the earth beneath. From her spear hung a black banner on which I had ordered be sewn the ancient symbol of Balor's eye. Green was that eye, and surrounded by a ring of flame which symbolized dragon fire. The eye was the original image, but I insisted myself that the fire ring be added, in order to honor my slain dragon... to remind us well, what we were fighting for. My daughter held her horned helmet in her other hand, and looked down upon the city with distaste. I myself spat in its' direction and said unto her: “If there are humans there, they will think they can hide behind those thick walls of theirs and that we will run away at the sight of them! But I have seen bigger walls than those, and thicker too. All of Elvish make! No Elves make walls that ugly though, so it must be humans I say. We'll burn the wooden roofs of their towers with our flaming arrows, and set alight the tops of their walls if they try and station men there. Then we shall see who runs away! Once we launch the skulls of those other humans we've killed today down upon their heads, with our catapults. And, if all else fails we can always use our explosives on them! I've yet to meet a wall that can withstand it as those get thrown at them.” And, we had all of that and more, at our disposal... having cut down the trees of several small local forests in order to create the catapults. We would not even need a battering ram, if we decided to deploy the explosives. Ethnivel smiled wickedly... showing her fangs, with a savage glee.
The scouts got back after some time, and the head scout reported directly to me, saying: “My queen! I saw some soldiers in the towers, and more upon the walls, though you cannot see them from back here, mostly because of some mist at that depth below. Visibility is awful! But, we won't need to see them, if we lob the bombs on top of them and blast them to bits. They're humans alright! And, there's a sound of a sort I've not heard in a long time, the sound of a dragon crying... that coming from the city square. But there's a cloud of fog thereabouts, so there was no way to tell whatever is going on there! If it is a really a dragon, and if they mean to harm it... the explosions from our bombs should distract them from doing any harm before any might befall the beast. Up for a bit of a recuse today?” and I said jubilantly: “Yes! Order the men to launch the bombs, and have everyone stay back until that work is done.” I was myself wearing an exquisite looking black silk gown with red trim beneath my own breastplate, and kept at the ready my helmet, just in case I needed to lead the charge once the invasion of the city began. Quickly as can be, crudely fashioned bombs were loaded into the wooden flinging machines that we had created to propel them at a great distance... or a small one if needed... and those too we had built after getting here in order to put them to this very use. The fuses of the explosives were lit, and they were thrown through the air to meet their targets with a loud and fiery explosion wherever they were sent. The tops of two of the towers were reduced to rubble, with a good chunk of that rubble falling down below to kill any who might have been standing on the ground there. The top of the wall... all along the length of it... to either side of the main gatehouse, was devastated, and even through the mist I could see the light of men who were on fire running around like flaming ants. There was screaming and shrieking, and I smiled to hear the sweet sound of the enemy's suffering. This was the last of their settlements, and the largest! Likely, it was the capital of their domain. Once this place fell... all of this territory would become a part of our land, and would mark the beginning of my new kingdom. And no humans would be left, to dispute my claim! “One more volley like that, but at the gate, and we will have an easy way in!” I cried out, and the order to launch the second wave of bombs was given. After that, we would conserve the rest just in case we might need the use of them in the future before we could get the chance to make more. The gate did not last against our explosives, and the wood of it shattered apart, even as the iron aspects of it broke to pieces from the force of the blast. Some of the other bombs that were in that second volley reached just past the gate, and several of the buildings there were utterly destroyed. The scouts went to take another look, and reported back to us that the whole human army was gathered in the wreck of the gate, trying to see where the bombs were being thrown at them from. What they were not paying any attention to... is that from the last of the bombs we had sent over, there was now a large hole in the city wall far, far to the left of the gate, just beyond the sight of the human army. Once the scouts told me about that, I began to form a plan of attack! I said, to the ten generals in charge of my army: “Alright, boys and girls... here is what we are going to do. There is a hole in the wall down there, and our scouts know where it is! If we use the fog that is gathering down in the ravine to our advantage, and move silently enough, we will be able to reach that hole, which is just where the path down into the ravine ends. We go through it, and see if we can circle behind the human army. Then, we stab the lot of them in the back and take their vile human heads to use for our playthings! Who is with me?” and the generals cheered, and then the army all cheered, and we went silent after that. The humans had to have heard us cheering, and likely as not were puzzled by the sound of it. But after those explosions, they would be too confused and uncertain to have a decision set regarding what to do about it. Quietly but quickly, we moved down and deep into the ravine, arriving immediately before the city wall. Right before us was the gaping hole, smoking bits of rubble lying strewn all about the ground before and behind it. We could see the enemy army clearly in the distance, at the gate, but far enough away and looking up out of the ravine... so that they had not the slightest idea that we were there. I had ordered some of the army to stay behind back up at the hills in order to make as much noise as possible, so as to cover the sound of our armor clanking. It worked!
The humans could hear very little... over the sound of so many Ur'kril singing, chanting, and banging on their helmets like drums, shaking their spears, and making as much noise as they could. So it came to pass that, fully armed and armored, we were able to sneak down and slip through the hole in the wall in order to take the human army by surprise. And this we did, hacking them to pieces before they could put up a respectable defense! Their armor was little more than cloth, leather, and padding, at best... and our blades were sharper than those of human smith work, which made cutting through them simple. In all... we lost perhaps six or seven of our warriors because some of the enemy got lucky and managed to take some of our soldiers down. We took the heads of our enemies as trophies, and one of the scouts so went back to fetch the others who were back up at the hills. Once they arrived to meet with us, we then made our way through the city, slaying any and all who stood before us... making our way to the heart of the city square where I beheld a magnificent dragon chained to a large wooden post, trying painfully to break free and letting out heartrending cries. “Stop!” I called out to the humans present there, who in truth were frightened to see us coming at them from out of the fog and the mists. “Demons!” cried out many of the townsfolk who were there, and parents grabbed their children and rushed off to the houses where they lived, locking their doors and barricading their windows in a way that told me they had in the past done this before, perhaps to fend off other humans who had attempted to invade this place and likely did not fare as well as we had. I noticed several cages were kept in the square, as well as wooden punishment stocks, in which many Elves were being held. The men all bore the signs of torture, and the woman appeared to have been subjected to rape. Seeing this, Ethnivel shrieked and growled like a very angry animal, screaming: “We free them! Then, we kill these dogs who did this to them.” and I agreed, and gave the order to do so... ending that order with: “Let the slaughter begin!” Not a single human of that place survived that day to speak of what so befell them in that city so forsaken by any goodly gods. The houses into which some ran previously were set on fire, and all within them perished. We hunted... and found our prey wherever they attempted to flee to. They had no castle, keep, or fortress to retreat to, for this was clearly not a city built with defense foremost in mind! The folk of that city, likely felt that the walls and the gate, coupled with how remote of a location this was, and how difficult it would so be for an army to get down into the ravine without being spotted, would be adequate enough to keep them from ever being taken over. They were wrong, and now paid the ultimate price for it! Once we had dealt with the humans and seen to their total destruction, we freed the Elvish prisoners and made ready to set the dragon free as well. “Thank you, noble queen!” exclaimed one of the Elvish men, who was one of only a few of his captive folk there who still had his wits about him. The female prisoners we freed did not seem able to speak at all, merely groaning and making whimpering sounds, or crying endlessly. For it seemed that their spirits had been broken totally by their captors prior to our arrival. Did I truly carry myself so much like a queen, that this stranger took me for one? I wore no crown! But, I had no time to consider this deeper. I strode over after that to the place where the dragon awaited to be rescued. About his neck, for it was a male dragon just as Terry had been, was the iron manacle that held him chained to the nearby wooden post. A key was set upon a table behind the pillar, where even the dragon's claws did not reach... and so I took the key into my hands and unlocked the manacle that kept him chained. He so let out a cry of joy, for that is what I knew that sound was, and bowed his head low before me. That did indicate that he was offering to bond with me. I approached his large head and long beak... and the great and towering beast was docile, as I laid both of my hands upon his beak and closed my eyes. I let go of my conscious self, and allowed it to flow outward. There, the spirit of this dragon awaited me on a sort of alternate plane that existed in the space where our minds, hearts, souls and spirits met. He saw me as I truly am... and, not merely as my body appeared... and I saw him in all of his beauty, power, and glory. “My name is Drakestheus.” he showed me. I said to him: “Greetings! I shall call you Drake.” And from that moment forward, Drake and I were bound together. He let me ride on his back, as he flew happily.