Land in Revolt Interludes VI
“I’m not gonna tell ye again, wizard. We don’t like ye kind ’round these parts.”
“Please,” replied Alexander in a weary voice, “leave me be.” The young arcanist sat alone at a table near the fire at the back of the inn. Drips from his wet hair fell to the ground in quick succession. It was raining buckets and Alexander was soaked to the bone. He looked down at the ground, refusing to raise his head to acknowledge the harassers.
“Are ye hard ‘a hearin’?” the burly man replied. “I’ll leave ye be when ye get. Yer not welcome here. I’ll be happy to show ye just how much at that.”
“I understand, sir,” answered Alexander. His voice was slightly above a whisper but easily heard since all eyes were on the confrontation. “I am tired from traveling, wet from the rain and have gold enough to pay for my time here. I ask only that you give me time to warm myself, perhaps eat a bi-”
The brute grabbed the wizard’s shoulder, cutting him off. “Time to go, spell slinger.”
“Please sir,” Alexander said in monotone, “you’re making a huge mistake right now. Just leave me be.”
The burly man chortled and exchanged glances with his two cronies. “Mistake, is it? The only mistake is I told ye three times instead ‘a just once. I’ll take it out on ye hide as I toss ye.” He began to clamp down on Alexander.
In a flash, the wizard grasped the man’s wrist. His grip wasn’t overpowering but Alexander’s touch sent shivers down the man’s spine. Alexander slowly lifted his head. He met the man’s gaze and terror washed over the assailant’s face. The wizard’s eyes were black as night; two dark windows into pits filled with hellfire. “I just…want to find…my sister…”
A scream came from somewhere in the common room. The man attached to Alexander couldn’t avert his eyes to see the cause for commotion. His cronies, however, turned to see the writhing black tentacles a split second before the rubbery appendages plunged themselves into the men’s hearts. The bodies squirmed and gurgled as they were lifted into the air. Some ten feet off the ground, they began to go limp along with the inn’s twenty some-odd other patrons impaled in the same fashion. The scene resembled a gory children’s diorama turned upside down.
The sounds of horror lasted for what felt like a lifetime. Prayers to the Gods were replaced by the soft squishing noises made by the tentacles wriggling inside the bodies. Eventually, there was only Alexander and the burly man, locked in a frightful stare.
One last undulating nightmare began to wind its way up the man’s leg. He could feel it and began to tremble with fear. But he never stopped looking at the wizard. The waving member moved up his body with reptilian-like grace. It wound itself around his neck, face and head. Conveniently, it left an opening through which the man could continue to stare at Alexander. Then it slowly began to crush him. The man was finally free of the gaze when his eyes popped out of their sockets.
As the tentacles dragged their victims into some unknown portal from which they emanated, Alexander dropped his head once more. A tear came from his black eyes and rolled down his face. “I’m so sorry, Amelia,” he whispered aloud.
“The Master approves of your offering, Alexander Roger,” said an unseen voice. “You are in his favor.”
The fire continued to crackle as it cast shadows on the lonely wizard.
* * *
Wyldshire loomed on the horizon. With each beat of his massive wings, the doomed city came closer. Lord Raxis sneered knowing the pride of the short-lives would soon be no more than a smoldering pile of rubble.
“Mi’lord, what are your orders?” The Great Wyrm’s lieutenant, a green named Serturac, flew up along his starboard side. “The target is in sight,” continued Serutac.
“I am aware, Lieutenant,” Raxis replied sharply. “There are only two locations with which we need engage,” stated Raxis. “You and your wing will accompany me to the Dome. The strongest opposition will come from there. Tell Feldurg to take his lot to the Cleric’s temple. They’re the only other ones who may give us trouble.”
“Yes, mi’lord,” responded Sertuac.
“Remind them all to cast sparingly or only when they know they are able. The city’s police force is somewhat adept at dispelling…for short-lives at least. Physical attacks along with our breath is the order of the day. I want to rain the Nine Hells upon these fools. I want nothing left behind of this place save scorched earth. Everything destroyed. Is that understood?”
“Completely, mi’lord,” responded the green. With that, she broke off to issue the edicts given to her by Lord Raxis.
The Great Wyrm’s silent prayers to ancient dragon gods had been answered. The wizards failed to produce the Guardian as ordered. All the better. It felt like eons since Raxis had let loose fiery death upon those who would defy him. A weapon dulls if not used. It was time to unsheathe his majesty once more.
Lord Raxis’ massive size almost blocked the sun rising in the Eastern sky. For any who viewed him from below, the sight was beyond frightening. But more than just Raxis’ terrifying visage would send shivers that day. Behind him flew other dragons of various shapes and sizes, all of them set on destroying the greatest city in Majeria.
And there were hundreds of them.