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Chapter 19, 1st Book of Serinity

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Chapter 19, 1st Book of Serinity

Postby SerinitysChild » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:10 am

In the hall of covens, on the southern continent, Darkling snarls at the eldest witch. “Of all the inept, antagonistic, disasters I’ve ever had the displeasure of being a part of, this has to be the absolute worst!” Pacing to and fro across the granite floor of the temple, Sorcerer Darkling continues deriding the covens for their inability to sink one ship. “One ship, one lousy ship! You can’t even sink one stinking ship full of Orcs!”

“Ease your temper man child, or you may find that we’ve enough power left to send you back to the depths of Hel.” Merlith’s anger is a palpable thing in the close confines of the inner temple. “You asked for a storm to wreck the volcano the ship rested in, and we provided it. Now you say we failed at our work, when in reality you failed. Had you asked that we sink the ship, or kill the crew, we could have done so with ease, and at far less cost than the power it took to create that storm. We’ll be many weeks restoring our powers.”

As regal as any Empress, Merlith stands and points to the main entrance. “Leave this place sorcerer. Leave here before I forget that you are more of a friend than an enemy.”
Turning on his heel, the Sorcerer Darkling stomps out of the temple. As he clears the temple door, it slams shut behind him sending shivers through the temple rock.

Without pausing for a parting shot, Darkling steps into his chariot, drawn by condors, and executes the spell that sends his magical beasts into the sky, and then he sets their course toward home. Long before he arrives, he’s created, and discarded, a hundred plans to secure Ascension.


**********

Thousands of miles to the north, where eternal ice meets restless seas, dragons gather in conclaves. Leathery wings spread in disgust at the pitiful way a single beast bested their warriors. Great columns of fire rain skyward as first one voice, then another, roars its anger upward, railing against the gods. Voices, long silent in contemplation of lesser things, now join in the rush to condemn the cowardice of their brethren against the last Zarnar. Days of argument flow past the ancient beings as younger dragons suggest, and then have rejected plans for attack by the congress of elder dragons. At last, only one plan seems viable to the elders, and that plan is most disagreeable to them.

“Rainbow Wing, we appoint you our representative to the lesser beings of our world. Ignore those that bring storms to us, and talk only to those that seek to defend our world against this beast from the ice. Offer them our help, our backs, for the good of all.” Rainbow Wing nods his acceptance of the orders, touches his nose to that of his mate, and launches himself into the frigid air. With strong, sure, beats of his wings, the dragon swings southward, his first stop to be where a smaller black dragon tends to one of the fragile two legs.

**********

While Ashera makes her preparations to deliver the letters, Euriptus looks skyward, and then mutters, “Uh oh.” Turning to Serinity, he points to a rapidly growing dot in the northern sky. “I’d say we’re about to have company.”

Minutes later Rainbow Wing hovers above Serinity’s ship, and then extends his hind legs to land gently on the aft deck, avoiding the rigging as he folds his multi colored wings neatly across his back. Tilting his head to one side, so that his saucer-sized eye can gaze on the lesser beings gathered on the middle deck, he sniffs the fetid air, and then nods to Serinity.

“I bring greetings from my elders, quatra.” Rainbow Wing ruffles his wings, settling them into a tighter bundle on his back. “I’ve been instructed to offer our help in bringing a swift end to the being that killed our kin. To that end I offer my back and wings for your use.”

Shadow, having made herself scarce since the magical storm, now mewls at Serinity. Somehow, the lynx knows that her companion is about to be taken from her.

Kneeling beside her long time friend, Serinity strokes the cat’s head and tufted ears. “Why?” she asks the dragon.

Rainbow Wing turns his other eye on Serinity, stares at her as she pets her friend and companion Shadow, and then nods, as if making up his mind about something. “My elders have commanded that all dragons lend support to you two legs so that we may rid this world of the last of the Afridale race. To that end, I offer you, and your friend, my back and wings, to ferry you where you wish, and to help fight against your enemies until either we lie shattered on the ground, or the Afridale lies in a pile of ashes.”

Serinity, pausing in her ministrations to Shadow, looks down on her friend. “What do you think? Should we accept the dragon’s offer of help?”

Shadow rubs her head against her friend’s hand, as if to remind her that there are still spots that need petting, and then nips at Serinity’s thumb. Suddenly, with a cat’s insatiable curiosity, she moves up the stairs to sniff at the dragon. Backing off so that she can stare into the dragon’s eyes, the lynx moves forward again and rubs against the dragon’s front legs, much as a house cat accepts a stranger into her home.

Serinity, knowing that Shadow has made few friends in her life, stands stunned. Shaking her head she mutters, “Well, there’s no accounting for a cat’s taste in friends.” Looking up at the dragon, which is now engrossed in Shadow’s attentions, Serinity nods. “I suspect that we’ll be accepting your offer.” Mounting the stairs, Serinity kneels beside Shadow, and laughs. “It seems you’ve decided, little one. Let’s hope neither of us regrets it.”

Dawn of the following day finds Serinity and the ship’s captain standing amidships, each is wrapped in their own thoughts. Ashera, tightly bundled in heavy leather clothing, stands closely by for her final instructions.

Turning to Mardalnath, Serinity gives him instructions. “Return to Milesport as quickly as you can, even if it means leaving Euriptus behind. Once you’ve docked, find medical help for our wounded, and then restock the ship. I’m hoping to catch the Afridale before she can travel much further south.”

To Ashera she says, “I’m going to be taking Rainbow Wing to my grandfather’s castle, so I’ll deliver my message personally. In the mean time, please make all haste to the others to which I’ve written. We’ll need all the help we can muster for our next attack.”

As Ashera lifts an eyebrow in question, Serinity grins. “I can’t take the chance that she’ll regain her strength and attack the northern settlements. After I’ve talked to grandpa, I intend to gather what forces I can on such short notice and attack her again. Maybe we can delay her long enough for the main force to arrive before we are reduced too bloody ruin.”

Mardalnath, standing to one side as Serinity lays open her plans, comments, “I think you’ve lost your mind. Beggin’ yer pardon Lady. It’s only been a couple of days since that beast ripped up your crew, and sent us all packin’ southward. What good is it goin’ to do us if yer a killet fightin’ when ya shoulda been runnin’?”

Serinity smiles sweetly at Mardalnath, noticing that he tends to revert to his native slang when he’s upset. “I have no intention of getting ‘killet’ Mardalnath. On the contrary, I intend to fight a holding action against the beast. We’ve seen that she can be hurt, and that she can’t regenerate quickly if we hurt her a lot. So, when I return, I’m going to take as many Orcs as can be fitted into Seeker, and I’ll use them for a delaying action.”

Suddenly Serinity’s red eyes take on an evil gleam. “This time I’ve learned my lesson. That beast won’t be getting any free souls. If she gets any of my troops at all, she’ll have to expend so much energy getting them that the cost will be too great.”

“Off you go Ashera; I’ll meet you back at Milesport in a week. Captain, you have your orders. Make sure Euriptus makes good on his promise of fair skies and following winds.” Looking around one last time, Serinity sees that two Orcs are saddling Rainbow Wing with a specially built saddle for human and cat.

“If that’s all then,” Turning to Mardalnath, she smiles, tosses him a snappy salute, and asks, “Permission to leave Captain?”
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Re: Chapter 19, 1st Book of Serinity

Postby Bmat » Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:29 pm

Charming. :)

I was touched by the dragon's stopping to acknowledge his mate before leaving. And also, little does the dragon know, but when a cat rubs against him the cat is claiming him. heh!
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Re: Chapter 19, 1st Book of Serinity

Postby SerinitysChild » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:48 am

//chuckling\\ We have several cats and all of them think they own us, problem is, Nova KNOWS she owns me. Fist puppy I've ever had that was so certain of ownership. Her owning me.

As for Rainbow Wing, well, one should always acknowledge ones spouse. I believe in Disney and Peter Pan.
More rampant silliness.
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