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Breaking of Bonds part 3

21 Apr

By Alicia Steen and Nathan Steen

Ecalai. Northern Forest: Dark Moon, Jeshrun.

Deep in the forest the ground begins to rise upward until a cliff ledge rises out of the landscape. The forest continues up and beyond. This is the upper forest, and the land below the lower forest. From the top of the cliff the entire lower forest and the northern lands of clan Dark Moon can be viewed to the horizon.

Night has fallen, veiling the forest in darkness and limiting sight, but even so from this height Ecalai can tell all is not so quiet as it was before. A mass of dark clouds, much darker than Ecalai has ever witnessed, is rolling it from the north. It looks as if they could cover the whole sky. As the clouds draw closer, their movement looks strange. They behave more like shadow than clouds driven by the wind.

The lower forest is stirring, coming alive with signs of shadow activity. There is no doubt. A second wave is marching for the Dark Moon.

“It has started, as I feared. Shadow will sweep over Dark Moon.”

 

Parkr. Mountains, Jeshrun. Year After Shadow Two Thousand One Hundred.

Dark clouds gather to the west as I face Jazuel, the First King of the Nephilim, on this lonely ledge. The magic lingering from Lord Dragon’s defeat teases my consciousness, making it hard to focus in a fight where one mistake would mean instant death.

 

Jazuel bares long, thick fangs as he circles around me. “Gathyra, the nation that stands first and falls last. You fools have no inkling of how precarious your position truly is.”

“Really. History hasn’t noticed.” With my black sword in hand, I wait for an opening, but he provides none.

Jazuel laughs. “History! Your mere six hundred years? Your ‘history’ is dependent on your dragons. When they fall, so does your nation.” Jazuel stops and focuses his gaze on me. “And when you fall, so do your dragons.”

Jazuel charges with a speed I am barely able to react to. Instead of blocking, I twist into his blow, and get flung into the mountainside for my trouble. By absorbing the impact I am able to avoid injury.

This time.

I want to refute his statement, but in truth, I’ve felt it. The weariness hidden behind their fire. Dragons have waited two thousand one hundred years for their rightful Lord.

They may not be able to wait another two thousand.

 

Ecalai. Northern Forest: Dark Moon, Jeshrun.

Ecalai shakes his head at the guide’s remark. “Dark Moon isn’t finished yet. As long as Fortress Dark Courage stands the clan has a chance at holding shadow back.”

“That’s a dangerous assumption. Many forces have been set in motion that are impossible to stop. I doubt anyone alive can predict how the battle will end.”

A massive roar erupts from the lower forest like a battlecry, and following it a wall of shadow creatures burst out into the lands of the Dark Moon. The roar echoes throughout the forest, awakening a sense of dread in Ecalai.

“The Nightbringers have come to Dark Moon. This is worse than I expected,” the guide says, never taking his eyes off the tree line. As if in response to the roar, a noise like thunder reverberates through the clouds. In an instant a large section flames up like a meteor and crashes into the ground with a thunderous impact. Thick shadow pours from the impact site. Shadow creatures charge forth, strengthened by the tangible blackness. More strikes follow until portions of Dark Moon seem bathed in shadow.

Ecalai is left in disbelief at the sight. “What is this? I have never seen anything like it before!”

“Shadow has escaped into the sky and is forming dark clouds overhead. It’s deliberately crashing into the ground in a dramatic demonstration of its power. It must intend to bury Dark Moon alive.”

Ecalai can’t help but stare at the scene. Shadow and its creatures crawl everywhere, surging forward towards Fortress Dark Courage. The strikes from the sky continue, moving deeper into Dark Moon. More ominous, though, is the roar from earlier which began the chaos.

It is likely an unknown number of Nightbringers are waiting in the darkness.

 

Parkr. Mountains, Jeshrun.

Jazuel unleashes a series of blows that send me on the defensive. I must attack in order to win, but dying isn’t good for victory either. I find a spot to spin away. His momentum breaks us apart, but not before his claws have a chance to graze my back. Fortunately, the reinforced leather in my jacket holds. My back still smarts, though.

Jazuel raises himself to full height. “Your dragons must either embrace shadow or watch their fire die, and as shadow will no longer have them, dragons will fade away like summer heat before winter’s chill.”

His words are beginning to irritate me in a bad way. If I don’t get my mind to focus, this fight won’t last much longer. “I’m not dead yet, Jazuel. You’re forgetting about one key player: the Ancient of Days, whom even your kind knows to fear. His commander may yet show up.”

The name ignites a growl of anger, then I realize Jazuel is laughing. “We sealed his coming decades ago! All that remains is to claim Jeshrun as ours.”

We both charge for each other, and exchange blows in a flurry of movement almost invisible to the eye. Everything about this doesn’t add up. If nothing stood in his way, why didn’t Lord Dragon make his move years ago? Getting cut down in his moment of triumph, of all times, doesn’t seem so brilliant.

What made him wait? What necessitated the rise of a new Lord of Shadow?

What is it about the magic about this place that has me so on edge?

 

Ecalai. Northern Forest: Dark Moon, Jeshrun.

“What do you intend to do?” the guide asks. “You can’t possibly hold them all back alone, and we are more or less useless where we now stand.”

Ecalai pulls his mind from the scene before him. “I have a hunch that all this shadow is coming from a single location. See? Those clouds of shadow all seem to be moving outward from one point of origin. That is where we will find the dark fortress. If I can stop shadow from spreading from there, I might be able to halt the forward progress of the invasion.”

“You better make it quick. Dark Moon is being swallowed fast, and Fortress Dark Courage is in serious danger.”

“They will have to hold out long enough for me to get there. I don’t believe the warriors of Dark Moon will fall so quickly, and I trust Erianna and Mykai to make a difference.”

Even as the words come forth, Ecalai stares at the utter chaos of shadow’s second wave. He wonders if his words will prove true, for if Dark Moon falls, there will be little left to stop shadow.

 

Parkr. Mountains, Jeshrun.

I stagger backwards. The massive strength of Jazuel’s blows, one after another, is beginning to take its toll. What’s worse, I am beginning to sense that he holding back his real power.

Obviously feeling no threat from me, Jazuel laughs almost lazily. A sound that grates on my every nerve. “Our dance is getting tiresome. Haven’t you yet discovered what disturbs you about the magic scattered here?”

Wonderful, a considerate Nephilim.

Jazuel continues. “A little slow, aren’t we? Maybe a few more knocks will clear your head.”

He rushes for me. I forcefully clear my head and launch a counterattack. Whether I’m ready or not, this fight is happening now. Watch for the timing. I slice at his arm, which he bats away, then parry and block.

Now! “Heaven’s Wrath!”

Jazuel grins and opens his arms. The magic scattered around reacts with my own, and they both cancel out.

My feet stay rooted to the spot.

I must have seen it wrong.

My mind defaults over what just happened. No mistake, that magic was Hell’s Fury.

Mykl’s magic.

My periphery catches Jazuel swinging his arms, but not in time to react in defense.

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5 Comments

Posted by on April 21, 2016 in Dark Moon, Ecalai, Parkr

 

Tags: , , , ,

5 responses to “Breaking of Bonds part 3

  1. Charlie

    April 21, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    The darkness has risen the light can prevail don’t let it end this way. The story made me cry thinking they have no hope light can win I know they can fight back send that dark Lord where he belongs fight!!!!

    Like

     
  2. Nathan Steen

    April 22, 2016 at 3:31 am

    Brace yourself, now. We’re just getting started.

    Like

     
  3. Tia

    April 22, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

    Like

     
  4. Tia

    April 22, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    No seriously I’m gonna cry

    Like

     
  5. Charlie

    April 23, 2016 at 3:23 am

    I agree with Tia Whhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyyy? Head for the hills

    Like

     

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