Chapter Seventeen

Þat er þá reynt,
er þú að rúnum spyrr
inum reginkunnum,
þeim er gerðu ginnregin
ok fáði fimbulþulr,
þá hefir hann bazt, ef hann þegi
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Amarella opened her eyes after the pain of one thousand deaths. She was alone in the copse, neither the dragon nor her companions were anywhere to be seen, the temple and the forest were much more vibrant than she had remembered. All the sounds of a forest seemed to be amplified, the calls of birds echoed in her ears, soothing. The sound of animals and critters resonated within the copse, relaxing. The wind slid through the trees, gently caressing each leaf with the focus and care of a lover, the sound of each leaf groaning and singing met Amarella ears, welcoming.

The sound of crisp leaves crushed underfoot cut the prosaic symphony, she turned towards the source. There was a lone figure walking from the forest towards the temple. He was elderly and donned a verdant robe and a crown of branch and acorns. He walked with a staff.

“Hello child, I have waited for so long to see you. I am Leneus Trosdan, called Sylvanus. Thousands of years ago I defended this temple from a fell beast. Sarconis attacked this temple with the intent of destroying Bahamut’s Cuirass and by doing so defeating Bahamut. I was on my way back from tending to the trees when I saw Sarconis cast aside the Seven Jarls after their valiant stand against the wyrm. I came between the dark beast and this hallowed temple, I called upon The Great Shalm for aid. Obad Hai entered my body and dazzled the beast and we fought a bloody battle. I was mortally wounded and cast to the ground, Sarconis charged into the temple with the intent to destroy the armour when the Time Brothers came and put Sarconis in a stasis. " Amarella listened intently.

“In my last breath I cast an oath with Obad Hai and this great forest as my witness; that my descendant would defeat Sarconis, to finish what I started. You are my ”/campaign/the-flame-of-time/wikis/555th-descendant" class=“wiki-page-link”> 555th descendant and upon your shoulders, is the fate to destroy the corrupt aberration. I shall grant you the power Obad Hai passed on to me. Finish what I failed to do, my child. I am already proud." And as quickly as she awoke to this vision she was back on the battlefield the flames of Sarconis still enveloping her body.

She smiled as she realized that the flames did not harm her at all. She felt a deep warmth rising from deep within. The grass around her feet grew as the energy from Obad Hai radiated from her body. Nature in its purest form exuded from her body, negating the unnatural rot from the beast’s gullet. Vines grew from the vegetation at her feet and gently crawled up her legs. The voices of the forest were louder than ever in her ears. She could hear plant and animal alike the sound of millions of voices shouting out in unison. The chaotic cacophony coming together in a perfect harmony to Amarella. Now the occasionally voices and sounds she was hearing as she walked through this ancient wood made much more sense now that she could understand the language of nature.

Sarconis ceased his rot-breath and inhaled deeply. The barbarian was still standing, neither charred nor putrefied, this confused the beast. Amarella extended her arms high in the sky, widening her stance as she did. Tiny beams of light were pulled from the surrounding forest. She was pulling light and energy from all the surfaces within the copse like so many stars. All of this light formed orbs of pure light in her outstretched hands and she smiled. The vines crawled higher up her legs and filled her with energy and happiness.

Sarconis tensed his rotten muscles and sinews then leaped into the sky, destroying the temple roof above him. Ancient stone fell to the ground as the monster rose into the night-sky. He circled about the temple and let out a roar that sounded like hundreds of dead dragons, the screams of the damned and so many death knells. The sky ripped open at this foul beast’s command and viscous green-black acid bled from the sky. This corrupt rainfall eat through stone and flesh alike. The warriors had to quickly find cover underneath the remaining parts of the temple that remained after the dragon’s ascent, not without sustaining injury from the first few moments of the falling rain.

Amarella stood her ground, the radiating light protecting her from the corrupt rainfall. She stretched out her scintillating wings and followed the drake into the sky. The light continued to collect in her hands as she slowly ascended. The dragon made a wide arc and charged the winged barbarian. Amarella smiled and bringing both hands together she threw the light right at the dragon. Forces of Nature and Unnature met in the sky that night, purity versus abomination.

The beam of light struck the beast in it’s open maul right as it was about to loose another gout of rotflame. The light beam stuck the monster, it’s eyes rolled back in it’s head and the rotten tongue of the thing fell limp as the monster fell to the ground like a stone. The pure light burned away the flesh of the dragon and part of it’s jaw. The monster fell to the ground like a fallen star, knocking up dust and debris with the disturbance. The beast was not defeated though, not just yet. It writhed and soon stood. That is when the they struck. The battle was violent and bloody.

Darella teleported with a flourish, as if falling into a dark hole, then appearing upon the monster’s back. She started to quickly chop at Sarconis’ wings. Dead putrid flesh fell from the bone as she grasped the wings with one hand. She forced the tip of her scimitar deep into the back of the beast into the joint where the wing met the back. With a twist of the blade she ripped the whole wing out of it’s joint while pulling the wing with her free hand. The bone was torn from it’s joint as black blood and tendons fell from the beast like ink and string. She pulled until the plagiopatagium was ripped from the monsters back, causing more black blood to trickle down the aberration’s side.

Delgen blessed his hammer, leaped from cover and stormed the creature. The dragon was calling out in agony as the dwarf approached. Sarconis attempted another fire-rot, but before he could muster up the vile energy to produce such a curse Delgen’s hammer smashed into the beast’s maul with a bone-crushing force. The old rotten bone was pulverized into a grey powder within the beasts head. The head of the monster limply fell but, this ancient Exarch of Tiamat was not going to let four living things destroy death incarnate.

Sarconis clawed the wet earth and spun in wide circle, gathering velocity. The tail of the beast knocking the dwarf and rogue to the ground a few metres away. Sarconis was upon the dwarf in an instant, pinning Delgen to the ground. The dwarf screamed out as the claw of the beast ripped through his shoulder, digging deep into the earth below. The vile rotten claw released rot and disease into the hardy flesh of the stone-born. Delgen reached down into his dwarfen resolve and retreated deep within, calling upon Moradin’s skill to push back against the rot and poison that now tried to reach his core and destroy the dwarf from the inside out.

Delgen opened his eyes and reached into his for his holy symbol calling upon the name of his god. A radiant light emanated from the small hammer and like rays of piercing light it tore the rotten flesh from the bone, creating a cavity in the monster’s thorax. As the leathery flesh was burned away from the ribcage of Sarconis, the cold innards of the dead dragon fell from between the ribbones and splattered the dwarf. Delgen was now in a pool of the rotten organs and liquid putrefaction. The smell was overwhelming, Delgen screamed for help but within the reddish-brown pool of dead flesh he spotted his hammer. He reached for it but fell short, he grunted and pulled against the vile black talon that held him fast. He closed his eyes and spoke the deep name of his hammer, the metal of the handle quivered a few feet away. The radiating energy of the beast weakening the hold of any other dweomer in the vinicty, but Delgen was not going to let this thing best him

Once again he called upon the unknown name of his weapon, and this time it flew to his hand. He closed his fist around the handle and smashed it into the dragon. Snapping the bones in the creature’s arm, he crawled away. The blow was enough to tear the flesh and bone of the beast, it now seemed frightened if such a thing could still have higher emotions. It backed against one of the fallen pillars, now with one less arm and only one wing. The arm fell heavily on the dwarf. Leomourn ran to Delgen and tried to pull the dark limb from his companion.

Darella was upon the dragon once again driving her blade deep into the spine of the beast, it bucked and writhed. Darella held strong onto her blade and rode the beast like a wild horse. This is when Amarella landed in front of the Exarch and once again smiled. She pulled light from the surrounding area, this time so strongly that it became pit dark, even Delgen’s dwarfen eyes could not penetrate this veil of black. The darkness was cut literally by the blade in Amarella’s grasp as she pulled it through the air in a long arc. The writhing dragon was not paying attention and the last thing it saw was Amarella’s glowing smile as the blade of light cut through it’s putrid neck.

The head of Sarconis fell to the ground, both the body and head steamed in the radiance of the 555th Descendant of a god made flesh.

Chapter Seventeen

The Flame of Time gabrielegandrake