Chapter Sixteen

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”

Sarconis ripped through the sky with the intent of devouring the glowing orbs that were delicious souls, conveniently caught in the web-like Æther. His flight reached it’s zenith and his great maul closed around a light purple soul, gliding back through the air euphorically not having tasted a soul in what seemed an eternity.

“Quickly! He’ has started!” Amarella screamed, which gained the attention of the dragon. The massive beast altered his flight and came down upon the warriors. They battled the dragon in the Dreamstride. The battle raged on, the drake tearing through the fabric that makes the dream world violently.

Sarconis circled around the temple and with an unexpected speed came around and was upon the archer. Leomourn was knocked to the ground and was screaming for help. Sarconis enveloped Leomourn with his claw, and pinned the warrior to the earth below. The dragon roared deeply with satisfaction and closed it’s maul about Leomourn’s head and bit down.

“Oh, no!” Leomourn screamed as the gaping maul came about his head. The foul crooked teeth of the beast met each other as the faint shade of the archer faded as the fangs penetrated his dream-form. The figure of Leomourn dissipated into the dream-world about him, his material body sat straight up screaming in agony.

“What was that!? Why did it hurt so bad?!” Leomourn screamed through tears at the Stormwalkers who were kneeling beside the bodies of his companions.

“You were just killed in the Dream-World…which is something you should generally want to avoid. That is why the plume of the Thunderbird is required in the ritual. If not for this web, your death would have been more permanent.” One of the Stormwalkers said.

Leomourn caught his breath and picked up his bow. He slowly walked near the static form of Sarconis, he looked around…no one was looking. He nocked an arrow and loosed it upon the physical form of the beast with a smirk followed by a wince. Though the arrow shattered as if it had been fired upon a wall of stone. The archer decided to stand guard and wait for his comrades to wake from the Dreamstride, not in the same manner that he did.

“Now how do we get back to our physical bodies?!” Delgen asked after delivering the final blow to the beast, the black mist of the dragon’s defeated form still revolving around the dream-dwarf.

“I don’t know!? They actually never told me that part.” Amarella screamed, they all started to run back to their camp where their bodies were awaiting their return. Darella sprung into the air and dove into her body. Luckily at the instant her dream form made contact with her material form, she was pulled back into consciousness. She awoke gasping.

“Hurry, the beast will awaken!” Darella gasped and tucked into a rolling sprint picking up her blades in the movement. Amarella woke and summoned her falchion of light and sprung into readiness following her sister. Delgen’s eyes opened and he grumbled something about the trip, used his hammer to help himself up and waddled towards the next battle.

Just as the four warriors came upon the temple, the beast stirred. When it fully recovered from it’s stasis it turned it’s vile head towards the figures advancing upon it. The beast’s maul curled in what could be the draconic equivalent to a smirk and a hideous attempt at laughter seeped from the rotting beast’s gullet. Without readjusting it’s stance it breathed in shortly through it’s nostrils and then let loose a massive rotting miasma from it’s throat. Death and decay were mixed with white-hot flame. It poured out into the copse, a deluge of pain and rot.

Darella rolled out of the way after pushing an unaware Leomourn out of the path of unknown agony. Delgen stopped abruptly in midstride, the every tip of the gout of flame ending directly in front of him, singing three hairs from his beard, he raised in eyebrow. Amarella was in mid charge and had no time to evade the oncoming onslaught. The rotting undead Exarch caught the barbarian fully with his breath of decay.

Darella, Leomourn and Delgen watched as the flames engulfed their comrade her body extending out in pain, a long deep scream of agony filled the copse and echoed through the hidden wood, birds took flight at the disturbance. It seemed to be the bitter end of the sister of light.

Chapter Sixteen

The Flame of Time gabrielegandrake