Flaming Tongues of the Dragons

Fiction By Paula J // 11/25/2008

*Prologue*
~Battle Cry~
Fuhlay whipped his sword out from its sheath that hung on his right leg, and the long silver blade caught the midday sun and it seemed to glitter.
Powerful blows of the dragon's swishing tail to Fuhlay's arms and chest brought him to knees, face contorted with pain. Sweat streamed down from his brow and into his eyes, yet he ignored the stinging sensation, and drew his right hand up, lashing out with a strong jab. The sharp blade caught just right in between the scales on the dragon's tail, and sank into its skin. It jerked its tail free from the blade, nearly ripping the sword right from Fuhlay, and blood flowed freely from the wound.
The dragon bellowed a pain-filled protest, and ran off, disappearing into the woods just beyond them, tail spurting blood.
Fuhlay pushed to his feet, chest heaving from labored breathing. Taking a torn rag from his back pocket, he wiped clean the blade from all signs of blood, and sheathed it at his side once more. He began walking over to his horse, forgetting why he had even come up here in the first place, but a noise caught his attention, and he pivoted to see what it was. His eyes widened with surprise-maybe even fear-at the sight before him.
A bevy of dragons stood at the entrance of the woods the injured one had just disappeared into, and Fuhlay thought that maybe the dragon hadn't hollered in pain, but maybe alerting the ones nearby. Anger shone from their round, red-tinted eyes, and one open its mouth, spitting towards Fuhlay. A fireball came from its mouth, aiming directly for his head. Without a second to spare, he ducked from its path.

A mere mile away, an army of soldiers saw smoke coming from the top of the hill. The hill Captain Tulunk had sent Fuhlay upon to gather fruit for the hungry men.
Furlo eyed the raising smoke, concern heavily coating his words. "Captain, should we go check it out?" Fuhlay and Furlo had joined up together, and were boyhood friends even before that.
Captain Tulunk squared his already square shoulders. "We were warned of the dragons that shoot fire. I daresay Fuhlay has run into one. Prepare for battle!" he ended on a shout, pumping both his fists into the air.
Furlo deftly saddled his horse, hoping they wouldn't be too late. Fuhlay was a quick runner, fast thinker, but sword-fighting wasn't his thing. And it was the only way to fight a dragon that could shoot at you with fire. Fist-fighting was more of Fuhlay's thing.
Rest of the camp soon broke into action, saddling their horses and double-checking their swords. Horses' hooves soon pounded the dirt trail as they raced them to the top of the hill.
Just as the men crested the hill, a loud screech filled the air directly over their head from the tree, startling them. The dragons lifted their heads, staring in their direction.
Fuhlay saw his chance to flee, and seized it. Furlo wanted to shout, urge him on but just then another screech pierced the air, and a tree branch swung low to the ground, somebody clinging to it with one hand, the other baring a sword. Another scream as the sword drove closer to one of the scaly beasts' heart.
The dragons attempted to flee, and all but one did. The sword pierced the heart and dropped it dead in its tracks.
Whoever the person was, Fuhlay didn't wait another second after they let go of the branch and let it glide back up to its natural place. The rescuer must have been light for the branch not to have broken.
Fuhlay thrust out his hand, thanking the small figure before him profusely.
"No, don't stand here thanking me," she replied, ignoring his offered hand. The others nudged their horses forward. She tossed them a glance before speaking further. "You have now riled their wrath, sir. Just beyond this forest lies a city of mighty elves. They believe the dragon to be a god, and worship it. And now this brutal fight will cause them to seek out the one who has injured their god. You need to flee as quickly as you can, escape while you may."
Puzzled, Fuhlay glanced at Captain Tulunk, then back at the girl. "How do you know this?" he demanded. Being told what to do by a girl did not set well with him.
"My family and I lived among them in peace for several years until one day my brother killed one of the dragons for food. You see, it was a famine, otherwise we would not eat dragon. The elves killed my entire family, and I only escaped. I wasn't home at the time, but I was returning and saw them do the deed. My sister, Vyian, was not home either, but I cannot hope she is alive. She probably returned home, and they would have spotted her, killing her on sight." She took a deep breath. "They now kill any humans, especially if a dragon is hurt, as one is now."
Furlo heard the veiled sadness in her voice, and quickly spoke, hoping to turn the conversation around. "I am sorry for you loss. And thank-you for warning us of this danger. May I inquire of that screech you made?"
A tinge of red swept across her face. "Papa taught me that battle cry. I am afraid it is sorely lacking the battle sound. Sounds more like a child crying for her life."
"It ran them off," Furlo replied on a chuckle. She lowered her eyes, a smile gracing her lips.
"Yes, indeed. It scares the dragons to hear a battle cry-they've heard many lately-and not be able to see who it is that shouts." She took off the hat she wore, wiping her brow with the back of her hand. Her eyes stared past them, to the tree she had been in. At this time of year, it was full of green leaves, and had hid her well. Her eyes moved to Fuhlay. "You must have a sharp sword to have penetrated through the dragon's scales, sir."
"No such formalities please. Call me Fuhlay; and yes, I had just gotten my sword sharpened in the village hours earlier. Although to be honest, I caught it just right, and it went beneath the scales. How long were you watching me?"
She knew of the village; it lay a mile away, and she figured the group to be camped on the outskirts of it.
"I'd been asleep in the tree, and I heard your horse whinny just moments before the dragon appeared." She giggled a little. "I must say, seeing your face was comical. I must say you've never seen a dragon. Oh, and call me Maelen."
He shook his head. "No, I hadn't, Maelen. And I'll say I don't want to see one ever again."
She turned to Captain Tulunk. "Sir, may I travel with you?"
Captain Tulunk cleared his throat, and spoke for the first time since their arrival. "We are a group of men on a possibly dangerous mission. We have no need for a lady."
Maelen narrowed her eyes. "I saved you from a battle-"
"Which may have never happened," he interjected. "They were just standing there, looking at Fuhlay."
"They smell fear, sir, and bask in it," she replied calmly. "They would have attacked soon. I know the dragons, sir. Now, must I get on my knees and beg?"
"Let her come, Captain," Furlo said. "She knows the area. All we have is a crudely drawn map."
Surprise lit her features. "Where do you plan on going?" Only place she knew of that could possibly mean danger from them was Shining Lake.
"The dwarves are in trouble trying to battle the Linquidnights," responded Furlo for the Captain.
Fear took its unwanted place on her face. "To reach the dwarves, sir, would mean going through elf territory. And also, sir, the Linquidnights are a fierce bunch. They slaughter anything in their way."
Fuhlay stared hard at her. "Exactly. We can help-with or without you. We have freedom, and we love it. Why not spread it around?"
He had her there, and she looked down at her bare feet.
A second later in an defeated tone, Maelen agreed. "I shall help for I love the dwarves; they are such a peaceable folk. But we need to fully prepare ourselves for without it it'd be the death of us."
"Then lets return to camp and prepare!" Captain Tulunk declared. Fuhley let Maelen double with him on his horse, and as they rode back towards camp, at a much slower pace than they had arrived at the hill, Maelen began giving instructions on how they needed to prepare, all the while thinking of what it would cost them if the elves caught them. For trespassing they'd cause a stir, but for injuring a dragon? She shuddered at the thought.
When they reached the camp, Fuhlay helped Maelen down, questioning her with a grin, "How'd the dragons know it wasn't one of the men who screeched?"
Maelen smiled in return. "They probably noted the surprise look on your fellow companions faces. Plus, then they saw a flying branch with someone clinging to it."
Fuhley chuckled, and then went to go find Captain Tulunk, leaving Maelen standing there by herself.
"Oh well," she muttered, "I'll unsaddle the horses, and groom them."

Meanwhile, over in Shining Lake the dwarves were engaged in a losing battle with the savage Linquidnights. Surrender was a disgrace for the them; they'd rather be killed in battle or take their own life instead of being captured by the enemy.
Blood covered the ground, bodies laying in their pool of blood with bloodied swords still clenched in their hands. Eyes wide open, lifelessly gazing up at the cloudless blue sky.
Gaelen, leader of the dwarves, briefly wiped sweat and blood from his eyes. This battle was senseless; his men were being cut down like weeds in a well-tended garden, and for what? For the cleanest water in all the area of a hundred mills. But it was theirs, and Gaelen didn't like the thought of surrendering it because others got greedy. The dwarves settled this area first, others following. They had no claim to come and disrupt their lives.
Now though, Linquidnights and the elves wanted nothing less but this land, and they were fighting each other and the dwarves for it. From Gaelen's viewpoint, it was stupid. They'd all be dead before anyone won this war.
An idea hit Gaelen, and without further ado, had his men slowly retreat to hiding. It was a disgrace, but if they won, their families would be rejoicing, not complaining. And especially not complaining over the less dead.
"Gaelen, why move us back?" one shouted.
"We are being slaughtered. We will be dying in vain, and our families will not only have lost this land and lake, but us as well. I have thought of a different fighting technique, that just might help us win."
"Explain further!" somebody else shouted when Gaelen remained silent for several minutes.
Gaelen began telling his plan, not leaving out any details. This would help them keep this land they loved-keep their lives.
"Instead of engaging in battles with them," Gaelen spoke clearly, "we must hide out, attack them at any hour, surprising them. Surprise attacks will be in our advantage, something we need sorely. While we will still lose lives, I am sure, it will not be as many, and we'd have a better chance of discouraging them."
"Discouraging them?"
"Yes. I doubt it'd make them quit-they are much too stubborn, but it may cause them to question what they are doing. They do not like to lose hundreds of lives either, for each one is precious."
"They do not see any life as precious, Gaelen."
He pinned the man down with a firm glare. "Claden, while they don't see our life as precious, they do their own group. They are tightly knitted bunch, such as we."
Claden bowed his head. "I am sorry. I shall refrain from speaking; continue."
"Thank-you." Gaelen surveyed the rest. They appeared to be interested in hearing more. Gaelen shared it, and hoped they would approve of this plan. That they could get it to work.
~~~~~~~~~~
Okay, this is my first attempt at fantasy. My best friend writes fantasy, and hers is the only fantasy I like. I must say this was probably the easiest prologue I've written ever because I don't have to make it be realistic...or do you even with fantasy?
Anyways, if anyone reads this, please tell me what ya think. If you think it's lame, let me know so I don't waste my time with fantasy. =)

Comments

This is really good. Poor

This is really good. Poor Maelen. :(
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"The world will likely end tomorrow - unless postponed for rain." -Tamerah (on her blog)

Anna | Tue, 11/25/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

I like it, Paula. You're a

I like it, Paula. You're a good fantasy writer!! :)
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"Ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?...Morons."
-Vizzini

Clare Marie | Tue, 11/25/2008

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"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

This is great! >

This is great!
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"You're pirates! Hang the code, and hang the rules! They're more like guidelines anyway"
-Elizabeth Swan//Pirates of the Caribbean//Curse of the Black Pearl

Sarah | Tue, 11/25/2008

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

thanks

thanks guys for the comments. i guess i can write more...i wasn't sure if it was any good becuz my brother told me it was awful and nothing like fantasy books he reads.
-Paula

Anonymous | Tue, 11/25/2008

I love this! That's what

I love this! That's what I've been looking for is a good fantasy story. I'm leaving Apricotpie so I'm not around that often, but I'll keep tabs on this (and Anna's stories). See ya!
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"I'm a dishonest man, and a dishonest man you can always count on being dishonest, it's the honest ones you have to watch"
-Jack Sparrow

marie (not verified) | Tue, 11/25/2008

This is your first attempt?!

If this is only your first attempt at fantasy, you're going to be great at it! For only being the prologue, you've done an incredible amount of world-building (something I'm not very good at!) already! I'm anxious for the next chapter! And by the way, Maelen is already my favorite character.
~Mary
P.S. Brothers aren't always the best judges - when he says it's not like the other fantasy books he reads, just say "Why in the world would I want it to be just like every other fantasy book out there?"
Good job, Paula!

"Never let serious crisis go to waste."
-Rom Emmanuel

Mary | Wed, 11/26/2008

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Brother: Your character should drive a motorcycle.
Me: He can't. He's in the wilderness.
Brother: Then make it a four-wheel-drive motorcycle!

I agree!

P.S. Brothers aren't always the best judges - when he says it's not like the other fantasy books he reads, just say "Why in the world would I want it to be just like every other fantasy book out there?"
Good job, Paula!

You did awsome for your first time! Keep up the good work!
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"Thank you for letting us stay here wile we ponder our parents terrible fates."
SpyKids

Hannah | Mon, 12/01/2008