Page 1 of 1
The Rise of Draconyx
Posted: 14 Feb 2018, 17:46
Here is my attempt at writing the lore behind my character Draconyx. I read all the lore already written by members of the guild and also read some of the lore of Shadow Era. I tried to make my story fit within both worlds. I sincerely hope that I'm capturing the essence of what it means to be a Shadow Dragon!
This post will be updated with links to each chapter as it is published. I hope you enjoy it, and feedback would be appreciated!
The Rise of Draconyx
Re: The Rise of Draconyx
Posted: 14 Feb 2018, 17:48
Althrinar, the Adlmor City of Exiles, is a place the rest of the Aldmor never speak of and consider lost.
The city was founded by a group of Aldmor who were cast out from the rest of the tribe because they believed in and actively spoke of the Vision. The Vision foretold of the Day of Awakening, the Eternal Flame, and the Aldmor's important place among the Chosen - that their skill with artifact and Shadow Energy was meant for a higher purpose than trivial mortal conquest or struggle for power. This posed a direct threat to the power and authority of the Chieftains, so all who believed were commanded to disavow their foolish traditions and never speak of them again or be banished. Hundreds chose banishment rather than denying their deeply-held beliefs.
The Believers gathered their families and what few possessions they could and journeyed many moons into the Wilds until they came to a secluded valley surrounded by green hills, flowing with water and lush with food and game. In this valley they built Althrinar, where Falnyx was born and raised.
Falnyx learned of the Vision from his youth. His parents taught him and he studied copies of the Writings - sacred texts in which the details of the Vision were recorded. Although some still believed in the Vision, others in Althrinar had begun to question and doubt its veracity. While they were not yet hostile to those who still believed, they saw the Vision as more of a fantasy than a reality. But Falnyx believed. He hoped to live to see the Day of Awakening and be among the Chosen. And he wanted to be prepared. As soon as he came of age, he joined the Guard and began training in the Aldmor arts of self-defense and Shadow Energy.
He was not known among his people for being loud or making a scene. On the contrary, due to his quiet and reserved nature, he was barely known at all. This made Falnyx the perfect Aldmor scout - he could move as silently and quickly as a shadow, hearing without being heard, seeing without being seen.
But on this sunny Spring morning, harrowed by all he had recently experienced, he burst into the grand entrance hall, chest heaving, and asked - bellowed, actually - for an immediate audience with the Chieftain. He had an urgent report to deliver - a report he still didn't quite believe himself.
The Chieftain heard the cry from the other side of the building and came running; the large, muscular leader could move surprisingly quickly for his size. He had been in a meeting with trusted advisors who now ran behind him, struggling to catch up. If even-keeled Falnyx was this distraught, it must be important.
As the Chieftain drew closer, he noticed the sizeable gash which had torn clear through the scout's chest plate and tunic. But the bare skin was new and pink underneath, a fully healed scar where an open wound obviously once was.
"What news, master scout?" asked the hulking Chieftain.
"The legends…the Vision…it's all true…" the scout said, still gasping for breath.
"Be calm, Falnyx," the Chieftain said as he put his hand on the scout's shoulder reassuringly. "Let your breath find you first, then report." Any man would have sagged a little under the weight of the Chieftain's massive paw, but Falnyx did not. Despite having traveled quickly with little food and rest for days, he seemed to have an otherworldly strength about him.
"Yes, sir," the scout sighed. His tension eased a little and his breathing slowed.
"Come, let us go to the Council Chamber. We will bring you food and…"
"Sir, what I have to say cannot wait a moment longer. And it is for all of Althrinar to hear."
Re: The Rise of Draconyx
Posted: 14 Feb 2018, 22:51
Taken aback by Falnyx's uncharacteristic boldness, the Chieftain's eyes widened. "Then let us at least sit," he said, gesturing to a large, square table and chairs in the corner of the entrance hall. The Chieftain sat at the head of the table with Falnyx, the members of the Council occupying the remaining seats. All eyes were on the scout as he delivered his report.
"Three days ago, I departed the city to scout the mountains to the east," Falnyx began.
"Three days ago?" a Council member interrupted. "Falnyx, you have been gone for three weeks. We had begun to think you were dead or lost in the Wilds."
"Three weeks…" Falnyx blinked and rubbed his forehead in a moment of confusion. Regaining his composure, he continued.
"The timing is unimportant. While I was near the mountains, I scaled a large tree and sat for some time to observe as the evening approached. Save for the sound of a nearby stream, all was quiet. There was no wind to move the leaves. Not even the sound of birds or the clawing of rodents among the branches of the forest. In the calmness, I took to deep reflection upon the Writings of the Vision."
At the mention of the Vision, a few of the Council members sniggered and looked at each other incredulously. Did a respected scout like Falnyx actually believe such stories? But the Chieftain lifted his hand in a gesture of silence and all obeyed. Falnyx continued.
"I was pondering the passage that says:
'In the Day of Awakening they shall be drawn to a Dark Scar in the land. And there the Shadows shall descend upon them and forever Change them. And they shall become one with Shadow and shall lead the Chosen to prepare the way for Eternal Flame, which Flame shall Cleanse all of Balor and Balor of all. And the Cleansing shall be for a Rebirth.'
"I felt strongly compelled to take my journey to the southeast along the range. I did so and came to a place I had been many times before - a sheer rock face with thick trees and brush at its base. But this time I felt there was something more to the place. I made my way through the tangled foliage at the base of the wall and came upon the entrance to what appeared to be a cave or tunnel. The entrance had been carved into the rock itself. It was adorned with carvings and markings unknown to me, but it was clearly made by skilled hands.
"An invisible force seemed to push me into the entrance and I walked, deeper and deeper under the mountain, using my Seeker to see the way forward.” He pointed at the scanning device all Aldmor scouts wore, attached to the side of his head.
“I walked for many hours. During that time I crossed three underground rivers on bridges made of stone and strong enough to bear large, heavily laden carts. At some places the passage was narrow, while in others it opened up into large caverns. I passed abandoned buildings carved into the side of the tunnel that appeared to be way stations. But these were cruder in workmanship than the tunnel entrance - probably built at a different time by a different people. The tunnel must have been an ancient thoroughfare at some point in time.
"I had no urge to eat or sleep, only an unquenchable desire to keep walking. But just when I thought I might be walking forever in the darkness and chill I saw a faint light which grew as I approached. I soon realized it was daylight and that it must be the tunnel entrance on the east side of the mountains. I had been walking through the night.
"When I first emerged from the tunnel, I saw that the entrance was up a considerable distance on the side of the mountain. I saw a winding path leading from it that descended into a deep canyon unlike any I have ever seen before. When I saw the twisting narrows of the dark canyon spreading out before, I immediately recalled the same passage from the Writings I had been pondering the evening before. This canyon was the 'Dark Scar in the land.'
"Whether I heard it with my ears or in my mind I do not know, but a cold voice clearly told me to go into the canyon and that I was expected. My instinct was to run back as fast as I could the way I had come, but I could not. In my heart I knew I must go.
"It was at the entrance to the canyon that I was beset by a band of seven rogues. I should have heard them! I should have seen them! A poor example of an Aldmor Scout I was in that moment, but the cold voice I had heard kept ringing in my ears and clouded my senses. They said nothing as they moved to surround me. Then one of the rogues charged me with blade drawn, clearly thinking I was easy prey. I was not. My training took over and I sidestepped his advance at the last moment, tripping him to the ground and putting my staff blade in his back as he fell.”
Several Council members and a few of the growing number of servants and guards that had been gathering around the table to hear the remarkable tale made sounds and gestures of celebration. The Aldmor took pride in their battle prowess and ability to defend themselves against their foes.
"Enraged, three others attacked me,” Falnyx continued. “The first of them was dead in an instant, but as I was dispatching the second, the third slashed me across the chest with a blade that must have been imbued with Sorcerous Poison.” All eyes were drawn to the large gash in Falnyx’s chest armor. Quite a wound it must have been.
“The cut was deep and bled freely,” he said. “The poison caused it to burn with such intensity that I fell to one knee as I tried to manage it. As I felt the poison beginning to spread, I saw the remaining four rogues coming toward me with death in their eyes.
"But I was now in a position where my back was to the entrance of the canyon. None stood in my way and I had a clear path. I knew I was no match for four in my current state, so I ran into the canyon. After a few minutes of hesitation, the rogues pursued me. I suppose their lust for revenge over their fallen brothers overcame their fear of the Dark Scar.
"I ran through the winding canyon as fast as I could. I had a good start on them, but my strength was failing. I came to many junctions, instinct telling me which paths to take. At first I thought I had lost them in the canyon maze, but I soon heard their footfalls. They must have followed the trail of blood that was pouring from my wound. They were getting closer, and I was getting slower.
"The last of my strength failed as I entered a small clearing. I had lost much blood and I collapsed as the poison continued to overcome me. Though my vision was blurred, I noticed strange symbols on the canyon walls - similar to the ones I had seen on the entrances to the tunnel. And then I saw the rogues enter the clearing. They saw me and approached, bloodlust in their gazes. One of them took out a dagger, knelt beside me, and held it to my throat.
"'Time to put you out of your misery and avenge our comrades, Aldmor scum,' the rogue said. ‘Your little trinkets will fetch a handsome price.’
“I closed my eyes. I was sorrowful that my strange adventure had been cut short, yet I was at peace and ready to go live in the Great Beyond. But instead of a slash to the throat, I felt a tingling sensation, as if my skin were crawling with insects. And I heard a sound like a great rushing of wind and water. I opened my eyes to see my pursuers standing and looking up and all around them, weapons drawn. The malice in their eyes had been replaced with terror.
"Shadowy figures clouded the sky and darted around the edge of the clearing. And then…there was fire. If I could have moved my arms, I would have put my hands over my ears to try to muffle the horrible screaming of the rogues as they…as they…"
"As they what?" encouraged the Chieftain, again placing his hand on the scout's shoulder.
"They burned alive. From the inside out."
There was a collective gasp from Council members and the now sizeable crowd around the table. In contrast to the others, Falnyx did not wear an expression of horror, but of grim purpose and resolve.
"How did you survive?" the Chieftain inquired.
"I feared I would be the next victim of the shadows,” replied Falnyx, “but I was too weak to do much of anything. One of the shadows came to me and sank its claws deep into the wound on my chest. The pain was so excruciating that I lost consciousness. As if in a dream, a dark hooded and cloaked figure spoke to me and told me the Day of Awakening was at hand and revealed to me the true destiny of the Chosen among many other things. He told me I would be Changed.
“I don't know how long I was in this state, but the next thing I knew I was waking up outside the east entrance to the tunnel I found. How I got there I know not, but my wound had been healed and I was clean with no trace of blood on my clothes. And I felt…I feel…different. I do feel Changed.”
He paused for a moment and looked down at his own hand resting on the table. He gazed at it as he lifted it and turned it palm up as if he had never seen such a marvelous thing in his life. He blinked and looked up, snapping out of his trance.
“I quickly made my way back to Althrinar because I was commanded by the shadows to bring the city a message.”
“You may deliver it,” said the Chieftain, looking at the scout with concern.
"Chieftain,” the scout declared, sitting up straighter in his chair, “as the Writings have foretold, the Day of Awakening has come. The people of Althrinar are commanded to serve and prepare the way for those who will cleanse Balor with Eternal Flame. We are among the Chosen of the Shadow Dragons."
Re: The Rise of Draconyx
Posted: 18 Feb 2018, 16:36
Gilgarth was a Council member from a family of great wealth and influence in Althrinar. He was a descendent of one of the Founders of Althrinar. He was also an experienced soldier with a cunning mind. And he had heard enough.
"By the Ancients, how can you listen to this nonsense, Chieftain?" he cried. "Voices and tunnels and rogues and...Shadow Dragons? I am more inclined to believe your so-called 'master scout' was bored on his patrol, drank too much ale, and became lost. It’s more likely he's damaged his own armor and invented this absurd story to try to save his honor and remain in favor with you."
"Ah, Gilgarth, I knew it was only a matter of time before you made your voice heard," the Chieftain replied. "But you do not know Falnyx as I do. I helped train him myself. He comes from a humble, but honorable family. We have defended our city together. He has never touched a drop of ale, nor is he known for deceit. He has earned his position as master scout because I trust him. More than that, I count him a friend. We would do well to consider his words."
"I have considered them," came the sharp retort from Gilgarth, clearly upset that the Chieftain didn’t see things his way. "I consider them a load of Carniboar droppings! I don't know what you're playing at, scout, but it's time you told us the truth!"
"All I have spoken is true,” replied Falnyx, confidently looking Gilgarth in the eyes, unmoved by his accusatory manner.
"Prove it!" demanded Gilgarth. "The Chieftain may be willing to take you at your word, but others will not be so willing. If you have been ‘Changed’, as you say, or if even a shred of what you claim is true, then surely you can prove it. Tell your shadow friends to reveal themselves to us. Tell them to show us their great power...if they can."
"The Shadow Dragons do not have to prove themselves to you or anyone else," Falnyx responded coolly. "They are the true masters of Balor and will not perform for you like circus animals. They will make their power known to all in due time."
Gligarth rose suddenly from his chair knocking it over. He stepped away from the table, drew his sword and pointed it at Falnyx, its tip a mere forearm’s length from the scout’s throat. The crowd of guards and servants stepped back from the table and out of reach of the blade should it be swung. The Chieftain made a move as if to intervene but remained in his chair, deciding to see how events unfolded.
"I knew it! You have no proof because it never happened," growled Gilgarth. "You are a liar and a coward, Falnyx, and your punishment for this treachery shall…"
"ENOUGH OF THIS FOOLISHNESS."
A low, unworldly voice emanated from Falnyx in place of his own and seemed to fill the entire hall. His eyes burned brightly with the unmistakable purplish hue of Shadow Energy and a dark mist began enshroud him. Though it was a clear and sunny morning, the sunlight streaming in through the windows of the hall suddenly dimmed as if veiled by dark clouds. The light from the great chandelier and wall sconces faded and flickered. The air itself seemed charged with energy. Those who witnessed the spectacle would later say they heard a ringing in their ears and felt a tingling sensation all over their skin.
Gilgarth's grimace transformed into an expression of shock and he dropped his sword. He abruptly fell to the ground screaming and writhing in agony as his sword hand burst into purple flame. Within moments his entire right arm was enveloped in fire and burned to ashes in front of the awestruck, horrified crowd, the smells of smoke and scorched flesh filling the air.
"WE WILL HAVE THINE ALLEGIANCE," the piercing voice said. "THOU ART AMONG THE CHOSEN. BE GRATEFUL THAT THOU WAST NOT COMPLETELY CONSUMED BY THE FLAME THAT WILL SOON CLEANSE ALL OF BALOR."
Gilgarth staggered to his feet and ran for the great doors at the entrance to the hall, pulling his cloak around the charred and smoking stump of his shoulder and clutching it with his good hand. "You will regret this day, Falnyx!" he cried as he fled. The guards at the door stood to block his escape.
"Let him go," the Chieftain commanded, "let the shadows deal with him as they will." The guards stood down and let Gilgarth pass. The Chieftain turned back to look again at Falnyx, whose eyes were still brightly burning from within the dark-shrouded mist. "What would you have us do?"
"THOU SHALT DECREE AMONG ALL THE PEOPLE OF ALTHRINAR THAT THE DAY OF AWAKENING IS AT HAND, THAT THEY ARE AMONG THE CHOSEN, AND THAT THEY HAVE A WORK TO DO. THOU SHALT KEEP THY CHARGE AS CHIEFTAIN AND DIRECT THY PEOPLE, BUT THE CHANGED ONE SHALL TELL YOU WHAT IS TO BE DONE. HEED HIM OR PERISH."
The dark mist dispersed from around Falnyx and the purple flames in his eyes were extinguished. He breathed heavily, blinking for a few moments. "I warned him, Chieftain," he said in his own voice.
"That you did," the Chieftain replied, relieved both that his friend seemed more or less himself again and that his faith in the scout had been justified. "He was never among the Believers as you and I. But I sought his counsel because he helped me see and understand ways of thinking that differ from my own. I expect he did not want to believe your story because he saw it as a threat to his own power and influence among our people. Poor fool.” The Chieftain shook his head, a faint smile on his face. “So, Falnyx, tell us the will of the Shadow Dragons."
"I shall," replied Falnyx, holding his hand in front of him a few inches above the holographic console controls embedded in the table. His eyes began to glow a purplish hue again, although not burning brightly as before, and no dark mist appeared. "We are commanded to use our Aldmor knowledge and skill to create a mighty vessel for the shadow that dwells within me."
The holographic projector in the center of the table activated and detailed schematics appeared, flashing before them - designs and plans for a colossal machine unlike any the Adlmor of Althrinar had ever seen, let alone built before.
Re: The Rise of Draconyx
Posted: 26 Feb 2018, 15:50
The Chieftain made his decree to all of Althrinar the next morning. But before he did so, other plans had already been set in motion.
Late that night there was an explosion at the Armory, killing over 50 soldiers and destroying several stockpiles of weapons and technology used by the Guard. But while the rest of the Guard was distracted in the chaos and confusion, fifty thousand soldiers - over one third of all the Guard of Althrinar - rebelled. While the city walls were unmanned (the sentries had been called away to help at the Armory) the rebels disabled Althrinar’s defense and tracking systems and fled the city before the Chieftain and the rest of the Guard knew what was happening, taking large amounts of weapons, horses, transports, and supplies with them.
But the city walls were not entirely unmanned. Falnyx crouched atop a tower near the northern gate, completely concealed in typical Aldmor scout fashion. He watched the traitors as they fast-marched through the gate and out of the city in an organized column.
Falnyx could have identified their leader, marching at the head of the column, even without the aid of his Seeker. The man had only one arm.
Falnyx carefully inspected the small metal plate, turning it over in his hands as Morthen, the Master Artisan, looked on eagerly.
“So this is the metal the Shadow Dragons showed us how to make?” he asked the Artisan.
“Yes,” Morthen replied. “We call it Shadow Steel. This sample was forged exactly to the specifications you gave us two weeks ago. We’ve never made anything like it before and still don’t fully understand its properties. But watch this.”
He handed Falnyx a pair of protective goggles. Falnyx put the goggles securely around his eyes and Morthen did the same with the goggles he always had wrapped about his head.
Morthen took the Shadow Steel plate and fastened it securely in clamps beneath a large drill press. He activated the drill and attempted to bore a hole through plate. Exerting all the pressure the press could muster - which was no small amount - the plate began to bend and deform where the thick drill bit made contact with it. Then, in an instant, there was a loud metallic CRACK as the drill bit shattered. He removed the Shadow Steel plate from the clamps and handed it back to Falnyx.
“Impressive strength,” said Falnyx as he inspected it again. “It deformed slightly from the pressure, but the drill bit only left a scratch.”
“Keep watching,” Morthen nodded at the plate.
A faint purple glow emanated from the metal and before their eyes the deformation and the scratch made by the drill press disappeared and the plate returned to its original shape.
“We have also built prototype circuits, wires, and power cells to your specifications if you’d like to inspect them,” Morthen continued. “Again, this technology is new to us, but everything appears to function as designed.”
Falnyx suddenly looked up from the plate and tilted his head slightly, as if listening to a sound from an adjacent room. Morthen also tried to listen but heard nothing.
“This is excellent,” Falnyx said, looking at Morthen with a smile. “Exactly the way it should be. You and your team of artisans have done a remarkable job, especially considering you were short-handed after nearly a third of them defected the night of the explosion at the Armory.”
“Thank you, sir,” Morthen replied. “We are honored to be among the Chosen and put our skills to use in the service of the Shadow Dragons.”
“They are pleased with your work,” said Falnyx. “Once I inspect the other prototypes you may begin the next phase.”
Re: The Rise of Draconyx
Posted: 13 Mar 2018, 20:07
Autumn in the Valley of Althrinar is a truly beautiful thing. The hills surrounding the city are heavily treed and, during the right time of year, they are ablaze with colors of bright red, orange, and yellow of deciduous varieties interspersed with the contrasting evergreens.
But on this Autumn day, half a year after the return of Falnyx and the proclamation of the Chieftain, the eyes of the Aldmor of Althrinar were not on the beautiful hills, but on their communication terminals. The Chieftain was addressing the city once again, this time with dire news.
“Gilgarth and his army have been sighted advancing towards Althrinar from the north,” the Chieftain announced with a heavy voice. “They are greater in number than before - having persuaded soldiers from several other Aldmor cities to join their cause. Our spies report that Gilgarth has lied to them, claiming we have been planning to attack them and unite all the Aldmor under our rule. It is their intention to destroy us - the Believers of the Vision. I know Gilgarth well and he will stop at nothing short of complete victory. Our army is outnumbered three to one by Gilgarth’s, and it is now only two days march away. Our soldiers are skilled, and our walls and defenses are strong, but we cannot hope to keep an army so large at bay for long.”
A tangible wave of fear rippled through the city as the Chieftain spoke. Seeming to sense this, he quickly continued his speech.
“People of Althrinar, do not fear. The Shadow Dragons are with us. This is the moment we, the Chosen, have known would come. Falnyx and our best Artisans are just now finishing their work on the grand machine the Shadow Dragons have instructed us to build. The details of this machine have been kept secret and the utmost caution has been taken to ensure that Gilgarth’s spies have not been able to learn of its existence.
“It will be close, but Morthen believes the work will be completed in time. The Shadow Dragons have assured us that this machine will sway the battle in our favor, allowing us to defend ourselves and protect our city.
“Chosen of the Shadow Dragons, we have long prepared for this day. We have had a plan in place for months. Now is the time to put that plan into effect. For Althrinar!”
Within minutes, the city was abuzz with activity and the light in the eyes of the people was as vibrant as the Autumn-colored hills.
Re: The Rise of Draconyx
Posted: 24 Mar 2018, 15:11
The morning of the day that would thereafter be known as the Day of Draconyx was unseasonably warm, as if it had been heated by the blazing red dawn with which it began. A storm was coming, and storms in the mountains of the Wilds could be fierce, even deadly. But no storm would hinder the march of Gilgarth’s army to Althrinar.
The army was breaking camp, preparing to complete the final half-day’s march south through the Canyon of Believers which led to the Valley of Althrinar. Gilgarth planned to rename it the Canyon of Fools once Althrinar was captured and the Believers were wiped out once and for all. He’d save Falnyx for last, of course, making him watch as his friends and family were all executed one by one. Falnyx should have killed him when he had the chance.
A voice interrupted Gilgarth’s deep thoughts. “Chieftain, a report from our scouts,” the messenger said.
“Proceed,” Gilgarth said with a tinge of annoyance.
“The Chieftain of Althrinar and one of his guards are here asking for an audience with you. They are unarmed.”
“Fools, indeed,” Gilgarth replied, chuckling quietly to himself. “He’s probably here to ask for a truce, knowing how much more powerful we are. Bring them. I want to hear him beg for his life.”
A soldier on horseback emerged at breakneck speed from the Canyon of Believers into the Valley of Althrinar, making straight for the northern gate of the city. A scout on the gate tower immediately saw that it was the Chieftain’s guard and that he was alone.
Shalfith, the Chieftain’s second in command, was waiting for the guard as soon as he passed through the gate.
“They’ve taken the Chieftain prisoner!” the guard shouted as he dismounted his frothing horse and ran to Shalfith. “They spared me but told me to give you this.” He handed Shalfith a rolled parchment, which Shalfith immediately opened and read. After a several moments he looked up and rolled the parchment back up.
“What does it read?” asked an eager soldier.
“We have our answer,” Shalfith calmly replied, handing the soldier the parchment. “In the absence of the Chieftain, I hereby take command. Prepare for battle. Tell the people to take shelter. We only have a few hours at most.” He started walking quickly to the Chieftain’s House, which also served as the command center.
The soldier, momentarily stunned, quickly unrolled the parchment and read aloud - more to himself than the curious soldiers around him:
To the People of Althrinar,
I have taken your Chieftain prisoner. He will live only so long as to witness the destruction of his people, which will be swift and complete. You have already had your chance to reject the Vision, to leave Althrinar and the Believers as so many of us have. All who remain in Althrinar are, therefore, traitors and enemies of the Aldmor. Use your remaining hours to prepare for death. None will be spared. I will purge the Wilds of this Shadow Dragon foolishness once and for all and claim rightful rule of Althrinar.
Gilgarth, rightful Chieftain of Althrinar
“Well don’t just stand there like Packbeasts, get to your posts!” another soldier snapped as he grabbed the parchment and ripped it up. “We will show Gilgarth and his army how futile it is to fight the Chosen of the Shadow Dragons!”
The soldiers threw their fists in the air and cheered before scattering to take their positions.
A clap of thunder rang through the valley almost at the same moment the first soldiers emerged from the mouth of the canyon. The scouts on the city walls paid close attention and kept count as they filed in and formed ranks. One hundred, two hundred, three, four….
Within a few hours, nearly twenty thousand soldiers were amassed on the north end of the valley - with an estimated sixty thousand still marching through the canyon. The thunder and lightning had only increased, and although it was mid day it was as dark as the twilight hours. Oddly enough, there had not yet been any rain or snow. But storm or no storm, thought Gilgarth, the City would be his by tomorrow.
“Sound the advance!” cried Gilgarth. A shrill horn blast sounded and the ranks of soldiers, horses, and support vehicles began marching towards the city.
The sound of thousands of advancing soldiers, accented by thunder and lightning throughout the valley, would have terrified anyone. But the People of Althrinar were different. They were the Chosen. And they were prepared.
Gilgarth brought his army to a halt just out of range of the archers on the northern walls of Althrinar, seemingly dozens of soldiers continuing to emerge from the mouth of the canyon and form ranks behind them every second.
In brazen fashion, he stood atop a large armored vehicle, which slowly carried him out in front of his army closer to the city. The archers on the walls knew better than to try to shoot him - the vehicle was clearly protected by an energy shield and it would be a waste of precious arrows. He wore a thick black cloak, which covered his armor
“Falnyx!” shouted Gilgarth up to the gate tower. “Falnyx, where are you? I wish to see the pathetic look on your stupid face! Tell me what you think of the impending doom and destruction you have brought upon your people!”
Only a peal of thunder broke the silence that answered.
Re: The Rise of Draconyx
Posted: 24 Mar 2018, 15:15
“You can’t hide from me, Falnyx! Come out and face me now!”
The gate slowly opened, just enough to let a single man through. Falnyx, in battle armor made of a metal Gilgarth didn’t recognize, calmly yet resolutely walked out and stood before the vehicle. There was a confidence in his stance and a sharpness in his eyes that startled Gilgarth.
“You’re as foolish as your Chieftain,” Gilgarth laughed, recovering from his momentary lapse. “Oh, he’s alive. And he has a perfect seat to watch the obliteration of all he loves.”
He made a motion with his left hand and two soldiers brought the Chieftain out from behind the vehicle. He had clearly been beaten, with one eye swollen shut and a cut lip. But in a moment he exchanged a look with Falnyx that said he was alright and to stick to the plan.
“Surrender now, Gilgarth, and you and your army will be spared by the Shadow Dragons!” announced Falnyx. “They need the Aldmor to help them cleanse Balor!”
Gilgarth laughed again, clearly amused. “It is YOU who should be begging me for mercy as your Chieftain did! I clearly have the advantage, so I will make the demands, not you!”
Falnyx was not surprised by the response. “What are your demands, then, Gilgarth?”
“I am a reasonable man,” replied Gilgarth, his voice suddenly taking a silky, snake-like quality. “I am willing to call off the attack if you agree to face me in single combat. I want a chance to even the score of our last encounter.”
Falnyx glanced at the Chieftain who ever-so-slightly shook his head. Gilgarth was clearly lying, but he already knew this because the Shadow Dragons knew.
Falnyx smiled. “You have already tasted the bitter wrath of the Shadow Dragons, Gilgarth. Are you really so willing to let them finish what they started?”
“Enough, Falnyx!” Gilgarth’s face was contorted with rage. “You can either fight me now and try to save yourself, or you can die with the rest of your people!”
At this, Falnyx merely nodded and drew his sword. Gilgarth stepped down from the transport and drew his sword, now in his left hand. They approached each other and began the dance of single combat. Sword clanged on sword, neither man claiming a clear advantage. Both of them were clearly trying to ascertain the skill of the other while not wanting to reveal too much. Falnyx noticed Gilgarth had not removed his cloak. Was he embarrassed at the absence of his right arm?
Cheers and shouts for Falnyx rang out from the city walls, as they also did for Gilgarth from his vast army. The fight was becoming more heated, sweat forming on Gilgarth’s face. The thunder and lightning seemed to pulse in rhythm with the strokes and thrusts of their swords.
Then with a sudden flourish, Gilgarth’s cloak was removed and thrown aside. In the same movement Falnyx’s blade was caught in the grip of a metallic hand. Gilgarth laughed at the gasps that came from the city walls and the momentary confusion of Falnyx as they beheld his powerful mechanical arm.
“What do you think of my new arm, Falnyx?” asked Gilgarth, smiling through gritted teeth as he struggled against Falnyx’s attempts to free his blade. With another sudden movement he snapped Falnyx’s blade in two and smashed his mechanical hand directly into the breastplate of Falnyx’s armor, sending him flying back several paces to land on his back. He didn’t move, and there were several moments of silence as all who were watching tried to understand what had just happened. Even the storm seemed to have paused as if the sky itself was watching.
Suddenly there was a loud cheer from Gilgarth’s army and he turned to face them, arms and sword raised in victory. But as quickly as the cheer arose, it abruptly ceased as the soldiers in Gilgarth’s army looked past him toward the city.
Gilgarth lowered his arms and turned back around to see Falnyx standing once again with firm resolve. There was a large dent in Falnyx’s breastplate. But there was no sign of pain on his face. And his eyes were glowing with purple flame.
Enraged, Gilgarth ran toward Falnyx, intending to finish him off. But he halted with a look of confusion on his face as he saw the dent in Falnyx’s armor heal itself within moments, restoring the breastplate to its original shape.
“You should have listened to me, Gilgarth!” shouted Falnyx. His purple eyes burned brightly as he was enveloped in a dark, shadowy cloud and then vanished.
The ground began to shake and thunder from the storm again echoed loudly across the valley. Gilgarth tried to keep his footing and only caught a glimpse of the Chieftain of Althrinar as he ran past towards the city gate, which opened slightly to let him in and closed behind him. Gilgarth looked back towards the transport to see two soldiers on the ground where the Chieftain had been standing and the ranks of soldiers behind the vehicle starting to break formation in panic.
“Form ranks!” cried Gilgarth. “It’s just a land tremor! Form ranks!”
The soldiers regained some composure and returned to formation, though they were looking around with worry as the ground continued to shake - not enough to topple buildings or walls, but enough to require anyone standing to concentrate on keeping their balance.
The large, open square in the center of the City of Althrinar, normally bustling with people and market stands, was now vacant. The people had obediently taken shelter as they were told to do. It was a good thing they had done so, because had there been anyone standing in the middle of the square, they might have fallen into the gap that was now forming as the ground slowly opened beneath them, parting in four different sections to reveal a vast, deep cavern beneath.
The enormous hole in the center of the city filled with blinding purple light that shot up to the stormy sky in a massive beam visible from everywhere in the Valley of Althrinar.
Gilgarth listened to the excited, worried exclamations of his troops as they all looked in the direction of the purple beam of light. The ground was still shaking and thunder and lightning raged all around them.
“What’s happening? Is this some kind of weapon?”
“I think something’s rising up through that light!”
“What is it, can you see?”
“No, it’s too bright, I can’t look straight at it.”
“Was that a...a claw?!”
“Whatever it is, it’s...big! It’s gigantic!”
“Look, it’s rising above the city!”
“Gilgarth never told us about this! We never should have come!”
“What should we do? I don’t like this!”
A thing unlike anything seen in Balor was indeed rising up through the beam of light. It stopped, hovering in mid air, enveloped by the light. The thing bellowed a loud, earth-shaking roar that temporarily drowned out the thunder from the storm. Many covered their hands with their ears and cowered at the deafening sound. Gilgarth cowered, too, but couldn’t look away.
In the same instant it roared, the light dissipated and a pair of massive, metallic wings unfurled to reveal a machine that was as terrifying as it was awesome. It was in the form of a dragon, much like the drawings from the ancient texts. Its skin was made of the same dark metal as Falnyx’s strange armor - Shadow Steel, infused with Shadow Energy. Purple light emanated from within it, showing through in various places. Although it was clearly a far more advanced piece of technology than the Aldmor had yet conceived, it bore the distinct characteristics of Aldmor craftsmanship.
It flapped its wings, remaining suspended in the air, and then flew straight towards Gilgarth, who was still standing dumbfounded between his army and the northern walls. He was in such shock that all he could do was watch as the dragon-machine came for him. As it drew near, it became apparent just how incredibly large it was. It landed in front of the northern gate with such force that it knocked Gilgarth to the ground along with several thousand of his soldiers, most of whom were now fleeing back towards the canyon in utter horror.
“WE ARE DRACONYX.” The dragon-machine’s voice could be heard clearly for miles. “DRACO OF THE SHADOW DRAGONS AND FALNYX OF THE ALDMOR HAVE BECOME ONE WITH THIS VESSEL. WE ARE DRACONYX. THOU, GILGARTH, AND ALL WHO OPPOSE US SHALL BE CLEANSED FROM BALOR BY OUR FIRE!”
“Fire!!” Gilgarth screamed into the communication device embedded in his mechanical arm. That last word spoken by Draconyx had reminded him of something. “Fire the cannon now! Full power! Take it down!”
A beam of energy sliced through the air, originating from near the mouth of the canyon, striking Draconyx’s right shoulder. The force was such that it completely severed the arm, which landed on the ground next to him with a crash, and shot a hole right through his wing. Only a powerful Shadow Energy weapon could have inflicted such damage. The dragon-machine roared in fury, staggering backward and flailing.
The energy blast had also destroyed a large section of the northern wall of Althrinar, killing many of the army assembled on and behind the walls in preparation for the impending onslaught of Gilgarth’s army.
Gilgarth took courage. “It’s just a machine!” he yelled to his troops, which had stopped fleeing when they saw Draconyx damaged. “Another blast from our Shadow Canon should finish it off! Advance! Advance! Take the city!”
But Gilgarth’s shadow canon would never fire another shot. For almost as soon as it had been severed, the arm of Draconyx began to glow and levitate, reattaching itself to the shoulder of the metallic beast, the mass of circuitry, wires, and metal healing itself rapidly as Falnyx’s breastplate had. The metal of his wing had already expanded to fill the hole the cannon blast had made.
“Fire! Fire again!” Gilgarth yelled into his communicator.
“Sir, it hasn’t recharged yet! We can’t...!” came the frantic reply.
It was too late. Draconyx took to the air, looked straight at Gilgarth, and roared. As he roared, bolts of purple lightning from the raging storm struck his metallic body all at once. A beam of fire and energy much larger, more focused, and powerful than any shadow canon could produce shot from his mouth and vaporized Gilgarth where he stood, leaving a large smoldering crater. Draconyx flew towards the direction of the Shadow Cannon blast, breathing energy-fire as he flew and cutting a large swath through Gilgarth’s army, incinerating thousands in his wake.
He spied and flew to the Shadow Canon, which had been hastily assembled on a high cliff - a shelf of bare rock near the mouth of the canyon - and dashed it to pieces. Hundreds of soldiers were fighting, clamoring to run back through the canyon. Perched on the cliff, Draconyx reared on his hind legs, spreading his wings to their full span. Purple lightning bolts again converged on him as he brought his arms down quickly, pounding the rock with a mighty roar.
A shockwave rippled through the rock face, causing it to crack like ice, sending a shower of boulders - some the size of houses - raining down upon the mouth of the canyon, sealing it and crushing all in its path. No more troops would be coming into the Valley of Althrinar today. And no more would be leaving, either.
Re: The Rise of Draconyx
Posted: 02 Apr 2018, 21:04
While Draconyx was busy at the canyon entrance, the soldiers of Gilgarth’s Army that were closest to the city rushed through the gap in the walls that had been created by the shadow cannon. They did so more out of panic than out of any hope of taking the city, so terrified were they of Draconyx and how he had turned Gilgarth into ashes.
But the people of Althrinar were ready. Gilgarth’s soldiers fought desperately, trying to push deep into the city, but they were no match for the Guard of Althrinar who were fighting for their homes and families. They fought valiantly and pushed the mass of panicked soldiers back through the gap in the wall.
Gilgarth’s army was now in complete disarray. Unable to flee back through the newly sealed canyon, and unable to breach the city, they began fleeing for the forests and hills on the east and west. But there they were met and driven back by more of the Althrinar Guard who had been waiting there concealed.
The voice of Draconyx rang from the mouth of the canyon, where he perched on the rock wall he had just created.
“ARMY OF GILGARTH, HEARKEN UNTO ME,” the dragon roared.
The thunder from the storm abruptly stopped, and all halted and turned their gaze upon the formidable metallic beast.
“YOU WILL SURRENDER NOW. GILGARTH HAS BEEN PURGED. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO SHARE HIS FATE, THROW DOWN YOUR WEAPONS.”
The valley was filled with the clinking of metal as swords, spears, and all manner of weapons were thrown on the ground in unison.
“THIS PETTY FIGHTING IS NOW AT AN END. YOU WILL JOIN THE CHOSEN OF THE SHADOW DRAGONS OR YOU WILL PERISH IN THE CLEANSING OF BALOR.”
The mighty dragon leapt into the air and took flight, soaring over the awestruck throngs. He flew up into the dark storm clouds until he could no longer be seen. With a flash of blinding purple light, the storm clouds began to quickly disperse, but Draconyx was gone.