Dragon's Eye Ch 4-5

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  1. damiynn

    damiynn Fantasy Author

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    Chapter 4

    “In ancient times before men came to Allryss, dragons ruled. When you humans first arrived, traveling through gateways from other worlds, wars were fought and thousands died on both sides. Both dragons and humans alike were hunted and killed.” The dragon fixed him with a direct stare. “My ancestors, finally, after seeing that there was no way to stop your advance until we could close the gateway offered a peace agreement.

    Fearing that the ancient dragons would kill them before they could come to an agreement the first humans used what was left of their remaining magic and created The Eye, The Tooth, The Claw. The objects needed to open up the remaining artifact of their left behind legacy, The Heart.”

    The dragon lifted one manacled foot and pointed the same claw at him that it had used to rip off his shirt. “A peace was established between our races and you as the bearer of the eye became the upholder of the laws in those agreements.”

    Micah started to speak and the dragon waggled the long claw at him as if it were scolding a child that should know better than to speak. Micah sighed, swallowing what he was about to ask and listened as the dragon continued.

    “The Eye was the first object of power. It protects the bearer from Dragonmagic and no dragon can harm him or her as long as they have possession of it. After the Eye, both
    dragons and humans combined their magic and created the Tooth and the Claw.

    The Tooth allows its possessor to control any dragon close to him or her. To stop humans from harming dragons the Claw was created. It grants the dragon holding it protection from dragonmagic. Only when all three are put together can the one holding them open heart. That controls the human gateways between worlds.”

    Still listening intently, Micah didn't realize at first that the dragon had stopped talking

    Showing that he was paying attention, he looked down at the medallion clasped in his fist and asked, “Obviously I hold this one, so who has the other two?”

    “The Griega,” answered the dragon with an irritated growl. “Well, at least their dragonmage has the tooth.”

    Seeing Micah’s questioning look the dragon said, “They are fierce warriors who believe that dragons should be beasts of burden and their dragonmage uses the tooth to accomplish such. He launched this attack on Illanor ten years ago, hoping that it would draw you. With me captured, the Griega thought that they could capture the eye when you came. After they were rid of you, they could find the claw at their leisure and open the heart. They want to reopen the gateway between the worlds and using their dragons take over others like they have done here. With all three artifacts of power in the hands of their dragonmage, there will be no stopping them. Thanks to your ancestors, who unlike some,” Micah heard sarcasm dripping from the dragon’s words, “did their duty, the eye was transferred beyond the griegans reach. They chose a world where the griega couldn’t reach and sent the eye bearer there until he was needed.” The dragon paused and fixed him with a direct look that spoke volumes and Micah sighed loudly. “I get it, I was supposed to come,” he said rolling his eyes.

    “Twenty years ago, the griega came out of the north and launched an all out war on humans and dragons alike. Only after the arrival of your father were they defeated.” The dragon paused, letting out another long breath, laying its head down on the stone floor.

    “They came again ten years ago. This time under the command of a new dragonlord, a dragonmage actually, and the destruction began again, much worse than the first time. The remaining dragonlords asked me to call for you to come and bring the eye, so that someone could lead them and wield the dragon magic as your father did against their new dragonmage. But my summons was never answered and I was captured! You, Micah Williams are a descendant of the first rider and a bearer of the eye. Didn’t your father tell you any of this?”

    Micah found himself shaking his head. “I didn’t believe him. There was no proof, except this.” He held up the eye by its golden chain. “Until today, it has never done anything. I thought my father had made up those tales.” Micah eyed the stone warily as if he tried hard enough he could see the magic in it.

    The dragon’s raised its head until they were eye to eye. “If the Griega gain control of the heart, Al’sonar, their dragonmage, can open up the gateway again. The closest world to here is yours and the griegan home world. I would place all my gold on a bet that their new dragonlord will start with yours.” The dragon paused and skewered him now with a look that he could almost feel. “Do you have any children? If you have an heir Micah Williams, he will want to kill him first, that way the eye can’t be passed on to another after he finishes with you and he can retain control of it.”

    Micah’s mind flashed to his ten year old son, Jared, living with his mother and new stepfather in the suburbs outside Chicago. Slowly nodding, he also thought he heard something else in what the dragon was saying but the thought flew away as he heard what the beast said next.

    “All it will take if they can’t find the heart,” stated the dragon in a direct manner, “is killing you. The stone will pass through your bloodline and go to the next. A minor gateway like the one that brought you here will be created. The griegan Dragonmage can if he is close to you, follow that line back to your world and end any other protectors from returning. I’m sure,” the dragon paused, giving him a skeptical eye, “since you didn’t believe the words from your own father’s mouth, you probably never passed your heritage on to your son, did you?”

    Micah shook his head. He had told Mariynn about the stories and they both had agreed that their son didn’t need to know about his father’s deranged nonsense of other worlds, protectors or dragonmages.

    Realizing that possibly he might not be dreaming, Micah decided to take a chance. “Since I am supposed to know you and obviously you know me, what is your name?”

    The great dragon eyed him carefully and Micah felt again as if he was being measured from head to toe and then some. Finally the beast answered, “My name, Man of the Blood, is Noraxxis.”

    “Norraxxis,” Micah echoed, the name sending him back years in his head again. At first he didn’t know how far but as the long ago memories of his childhood resurfaced he remembered the name of the loyal and fierce dragon his father had told him about.

    “You are the dragon that serves. You help the protector and acts as the guardian of the gate. I know about you,” Micah whispered in fascinated awe. “I know your story.”

    Noraxxis drew back, regarding him with a flat eyed stare that revealed nothing.

    “You are the fiercest and most dangerous of your kind. Some considered you to be one of the greatest dragons ever hatched.” Slowly another memory surfaced and Micah found himself saying something his father had made him memorize. “However danger falls, your loyalty and service will always be to the bloods call. As will those of the blood always answer the summoning when the servant calls”

    Micah didn’t realize where the words came from exactly but the change they wrought on Noraxxis was instantaneous. The anger that had seemed to sustain the dragon since the moment he had arrived, the animosity that had filled the dragon, faded as if it had never been.

    Almost reverently the large beast lowered its spiny head until it lay in front of his feet. “So do I serve and always to the blood am I a servant in service.” Noraxxis stopped speaking, then at the same time, both dragon and man said in unison, “Together we stand to guard the gate and will never fall unless it is to answer deaths call.” Both of their heads whipped around they eyed each other as if they had just seen the other one for the first time.

    The dragon, regarding him thoughtfully, stated, “I believe I misjudged you Micah Williams. I doubted you were a rider but your words and mine are those of the foresworn and the words of servants to the eye. Only a Man of the Blood and his dragon are allowed to speak them while wearing the eye.”

    Micah realized his anger had faded towards this creature and if he was supposed to be here maybe he was also supposed to be doing something since the vow did speak of being summoned.

    Looking at the chains holding the dragon in place he asked, “I’m but am I and you supposed to be doing something if you have all been summoning me for so long?”

    “It’s been too long, eye bearer,” answered Noraxxis in a melancholy tone, a sad look painting his scaly face. “Our lands and our people have been defeated. The Griega have defeated almost all the Dragonlords and the few remaining have fled, fearing destruction. You have arrived too late. Now we have no purpose. The only reason for you to be here now is to die. Most of the people of Illanor would like to see that happen since you never came when you were called. You were supposed to come and lead them, you were to protect them. But if you die now, it will allows Al’sonar to travel back to your world and kill your heir. Without another Man of the Blood for the eye to be passed on to, he can return here, find the claw and open the gateway. If he returns with the eye, even I will be powerless to stop him.”

    “So what you are saying is that I have to find a way out of here, or recover this heart and return back to my world?”

    “Sort of,” growled Noraxxis, “in order for you to do that though you would also have to abandon all of us here and somehow recover the tooth and the claw too. Without them you can’t open the heart, that’s also why you were summoned. You do carry the eye that will activate all three.”

    Noraxxis threw a glance around at his surroundings, “All that has to happen, is for you to be captured and killed. Al’sonar can take possession of the eye and he can open the heart. But,” Noraxxis said at the end, “he doesn’t have to have the heart if he kills you personally and takes control of the eye. Like the portal that brought you here, he can follow it back through the minor gateway that brought you.”

    Micah sensed that Noraxxis was leaving out something, and he knew he was missing it but was too tired to figure it out. Instead he asked, “So, I don’t need to be captured here then? That means we have to free you, if those chains are magical and you can’t break them what are we supposed to do? I don’t want to go out into a world where everyone wants to kill me alone. I think I could use a little help and you are supposed to be that helper.”

    Noraxxis lifted his head and stared back at him, a wry twist to his toothy smile, then he looked at the chains. “You are the only one who can set me free, and that itself is a trap.”

    “What do you mean I’m the only one who can free you?”

    “These are runeworked,” answered Noraxxis, lifting his clawed feet with the manacles on them. “They are linked to the eye through a bond of blood and magic. Only one possessing the eye or a Man of the Blood can work the magic needed to release me. But,” Noraxxis paused, glancing about the chamber, studying its doors, “whenever you do, I’m sure it will alert the dragonmage who placed them.”

    Staring at the dragon’s massive body, Micah found it hard to believe that anyone could ever subdue the giant beast. “How did you end up being captured anyway? I don’t see how it’s possible.”

    Noraxxis turned his head, looking in another direction and didn’t meet his eyes. Deliberately he began examining his surroundings.

    Sensing that the dragon was embarrassed and after having been teased and tortured by him Micah couldn’t resist. “What did they do catch you while you were sleeping?”

    Snorting, Noraxxis faced him and growled irritably, “Actually, yes.”

    Fighting to keep a smirk off his face, Micah nodded. Not wanting to know all the details, he said, barely stopping a chuckle, “We will worry about what to do about the dragonmage after we free you, but for now we need to do that, how should we go about it?”

    “Before we even think about that, there are some things you need to do first,” replied Noraxxis. “See that door off to your right?”

    Micah nodded following the dragon’s eyes to a stout wooden door covered in dust.

    “You need to recover what is rightfully yours. You can’t expect to approach the other dragonlords without armor or equipment and it’s impossible for you to ride on my back without a brace saddle.”

    “What the hell is a brace saddle?”

    “It’s what keeps you in place and prevents you from dying while riding me. Now go get it! I’m not sure how much time we have. It’s possible the dragonmage who captured me already knows of your arrival, but if he doesn’t, I would like to be far away from here when he finds out. You aren’t ready to handle Al’sonar and I would rather not have you killed yet.”

    “Killed yet?” Micah asked throwing the dragon a startled, questioning look.

    Noraxxis fixed him with a look that could have had several meanings. “Don’t worry, you will grow into what you should be. Until then,” the dragon smiled a smile so wide that it revealed all of its long teeth, “I will lead you by the scruff of the neck. Like all good hatchlings, I will keep you near the nest until you are ready to fly and try to keep you from harm.”

    Micah glanced sideways at the dragon as he crossed the room. He was sure he heard sarcasm in his voice, but when he looked at the giant red beast, Noraxxis’ scaled face showed pure innocence.



    Chapter 5

    Following Noraxxis’ advice and ignoring his attempt at innocence, Micah entered the other room. A large dusty pile of equipment lay on the floor looking as if it hadn’t been touched in years. Examining it, he realized he couldn’t move the large saddle by himself.

    The brace saddle, as Noraxxis had called it, was huge. It had several wicked looking hooks that he has sure he was going to have to place under the dragon’s scales. Where he assumed his legs would be there were lashes woven into the leather. Instead of stirrups there were holders that could be raised or lowered for his feet. He noticed also that there was no halter or reigns amongst the gear.

    Eyeing the large saddle he remembered something he had seen in the other room. Stepping back into it and gathering up a bit of rope lying in a corner he stopped. Staring down at his left hand, he realized it didn’t hurt. Unconsciously he had used it to pick up the rope. It should have throbbed, lord knows it had hurt all day yesterday after he had sliced it open with the kitchen knife. Turning his palm upwards, he examined it carefully. The wound was completely healed and the scar looked as if it were a month old, at least. He would have to ask Noraxxis about it later but at hearing the restless shifting of the Dragon, he asked, “How do I control your flight or determine the course or direction if there is no bridle?”

    Noraxxis gave him a flat-eyed stare. “You don’t.” Shaking his head and rolling his eyes the dragon continued. irritation evident in his voice, “Control my flight, bah! What do I look like, a horse? You ride and I fly, that’s the way it shall be.”

    Micah sensed a change in the dragon’s manner but ignored it, again there was something here that he wasn’t being told but like his hand he would find out more later. Instead, thinking about how much time they had, he threw Noraxxis one end of the rope. “When you feel me tug, give that a good pull.”

    “Why?” asked the dragon cautiously.

    “Because you’re not getting out of here without my help and I’m not dragging that big assed saddle in here by myself, so shut up and pull when I tug.”

    “So, how do I put this thing on you?” Micah asked once they had the brace saddle back into the large chamber. “It looks complicated.”

    He had ridden a few horses in his day, mostly for parades and ceremonies, but never had he imagined putting hooks into one in order to do so.

    “First,” the dragon said as if scolding an awkward child, “You need to stop waving that medallion around as if it were a club and put it over your head like you were supposed to have done nine years ago.”

    “Will that help?” Micah asked, knowing the question would irritate the exasperated dragon, he couldn’t resist the temptation.

    “Just put it on and concentrate on the stone. I will explain as we go, retorted Noraxxis with a tired sigh.

    Micah slowly, for the first time in twelve years slipped the golden medallion with its dark red stone over his head.

    He heard Noraxxis’ growling next to him, but oddly it sounded as if it were miles away. “Have no fear Man of the Blood, the eye will guide you. Use it and it will show you the way and the paths of the past that will guide your future.”

    Micah stared down at the medallion and felt nothing. Looking back at the brace saddle he thought, This is silly, I don’t know what the hell I am doing.

    Like the words ‘In service to all’ that had brought him here, suddenly his mind was filled again, this time with memories. They swirled through his consciousness, making it seem like he was suddenly surrounded by hundreds of other men. Each started issuing him directions in a chorus of voices. Hoarse, coarse, grainy, deep, faint, reedy or shrill, they all started telling him what to do.

    Almost as if the voices or something inside the medallion were controlling his movements, Micah felt his hands move almost of their own accord. They took up the brace saddle and suddenly he knew where and how to place it.

    Looking at Noraxxis, he asked, “could you lift and drop the saddle over the spot on your neck near where your shoulders begin and the spikes were the smallest.”

    Noraxxis smiled and eyed at him for a moment, his scaled lips still writhing as if he were fighting to keep his mouth shut, but then he did as he was asked. Using a leg as a lift Micah crawled up onto Noraxxis’ back and using the dragon’s aid he shifted the saddle until it sat perfectly in place. Climbing back down, he grabbed up a long bar with a slightly scooped end and looked for the place he wanted. Immediately he saw the scarring on the blood red scales where hooks had been placed before. Following the chorus of voices issuing instructions, he shoved the long bar in under the large red scale and set two hooks. Turning he did the exact same thing behind him and on the other side of the dragon’s neck.

    “That wasn’t so hard,” he said admiring his handiwork.

    “It never is,” Noraxxis said snidely, “when you have the help of the other eye bearers that came before you giving you guidance.”

    Looking down from Noraxxis’ back Micah studied the remaining pile of equipment that he had dragged out of the small storeroom. The armor was made up of overlapping plates, polished to a dark molten red almost the color of cooled lava. Steel backed gauntlets and metal boots lay on the floor next to a light leather undercoat. A helm of shaped steel, molded and resembling a dragon’s head was tilted over on its side. Its crest was horns, they were the same color as the one on Noraxxis’ head. Although the armor was intricately designed, it was not overly ornately decorated. Like the saddle, again he wasn’t exactly sure how to put it on. Immediately the murmuring voices began in the back of his head. Removing his hand from the eye, they faded. A claw suddenly poked him in the back between the shoulder blades almost knocking him from his feet.

    “Forget about that armor for now if you want to live long enough to escape from here. You need to pick up that sword and get over there,” stated Noraxxis, indicating another door on the far side of the room with a hastily thrown glance.

    Micah following the dragon’s gaze across the large chamber asked, “Why?”

    “Because if you don’t,” the dragon snarled in irritation, “the guard getting ready to come through that door will kill you the moment he sees you and that will ruin both of our chances of escape.

    Eyes wide, voice shaking, Micah looked between the door and the dragon, asking, “What do you mean guard? What am I supposed to do?”

    Noraxxis fixed him with a deliberate look that spoke volumes.

    “You want me to kill him?” demanded Micah, aghast, “without warning? Don’t you realize I am supposed to uphold the law, not break it.”

    Noraxxis’ deliberate look turned sharp and his yellow eyed gaze felt like nails stabbing into him. “You sound like your father. You are not on earth any longer Micah Williams. On Allyrss if you don’t surprise and kill him first, he will certainly try and kill you. Since he has more skill than you do at the moment, he will probably succeed. Every hour of every day a Griegan guard enters here for the sole purpose of checking on me in case on the off chance you finally decide to answer the summons. And I hear footsteps coming.”

    Tearing his eyes away from the dragon’s stare, Micah turned back to the door. He had never killed a man. Hell, he had only ever drawn his service revolver once and that one time had cost him his job. Although now looking back on it Micah wished he had pulled the trigger. If I had, I might still have my job, my wife, and hell, my!

    The dragon’s voice snapped him out of that unhappy memory and dragged him back to the reality at hand.

    The scraping of wood sliding across stone was all the warning that Micah had and he found himself grabbing up the large shield, rather than the sword. Charging forward like a bull attacking a matador, with all his might he brought the shield’s flat side down on the unsuspecting guard’s head, hoping that he would be knocked unconscious. Momentarily the guard’s eyes flashed wide, surprise filling them, then as he was struck he crumpled like puppet with its strings cut, falling into a heap on the floor.

    Shaking his head, Micah looked down at the body. Going over to the equipment, he gathered up the rope and left the sword lying on the stone floor. He couldn’t bring himself to kill a man who was helpless, but he could make it so that once the guard awoke, he would not cause them anymore trouble until after he had managed to find a way to free the dragon.

    Micah was sure, without looking behind him, that the dragon’s expression was scornful, but he didn’t care.

    Rounding on Noraxxis once the other man was tied like a pig for roasting, he asked, “So, now, how do we go about freeing you. Even though your chains are, what, magic? There has to something I can do to get you out of here since we have gone this far isn’t there?”

    Noraxxis regarded him with a grim look. “Only you can work draw on the dragon magic needed to free me, you or the man who put me in these.” He raised a foot and shook one of the manacles. “They are related and only a Man of the Blood can release me.” The last part almost of Noraxxis’ statement almost sounded as if it were something he didn’t really want to say.

    “Me?” asked Micah, putting a hand on his chest. “I don’t know the first thing about working magic, and I’m sure you don’t mean the kind that involves rabbits and hats.”
    Noraxxis gave him a quizzical look and Micah mumbled, “Forget it.”
     
  2. Dragn9

    Dragn9 Sorcerer Supreme

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    I really like Noraxxis' personality and the way he interacts with Micah. Looking forward to the release of this book, it's very intriguing.
     
  3. damiynn

    damiynn Fantasy Author

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    Hell I was beginning to think you had forgot about me drag, wait till you see six I have been debating on posting it but I am going to tonight, or at least half. Now it is about to go crazy
     
  4. Dragn9

    Dragn9 Sorcerer Supreme

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    LOL, nope I've been reading them....I just thought my comments were getting redundant. Looking forward to Chp 6....crazy is good :D Do you have some sort of projected date in which you will have this book published and released? I'd want to pick it up when it comes out, I saw your other book A King's Quest online at Chapters/Indigo...that's really cool.