Blood of Kings I
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A great battle between the Kargesti Elves and forces of darkness. The dimming of the forces of light in the world.
THE FALL OF THE KARGESTI
The battle raged fiercely about him. Strong, stout steel cleaved limbs from their bodies as the weary warrior clad in mithril plate tiredly hacked and slashed his way through the minions of the Chaos Gods. His great, silver phoenix shaped helm had been dimmed and corroded with the days of ceaseless battle and bloodshed. The enemy fought with no desire to halt for a minute. Some unnatural force kept the enemy from exhaustion. Unfortunately for the Kargesti, Stone Elves, had no such powers working on their behalf. His men were tired and there was little that this weary mithril clad fighter could do for his people; except fight on as an example. His mind could not think of food nor rest until he defeated the five vile dragons overhead; and their followers no longer threatened the mortal world.
Many of the lesser soldiers in Mogrim Whitelock’s army fled before the phoenix helmed warrior’s vorpal sword, Galamdraugk. The runes once the same color as the blade were stained vermilion with the blood of his foes. Emperor Orien, the phoenix helmed fighter, trudged through the red muck that was now the ground; it had been drenched so badly with blood that it had lost all shades of brown for crimson. The sight of so much blood split sickened him for dominating his thoughts were that much of it had come from his own people.
Orien held the sword weakly in his tightly clenched gauntlets. He wanted nothing more then to drop the heavy sword and lay down his life; but he found that he could not. He had lost his son, and the vow of vengeance kept him from dying. He would not go to the Gods until he had slain his son’s murderer, Red King Xrrzynrry. His grip tightened as he took out another treacherous human that had sided with the Chaos God worshippers. Orien was glad for one thing about his son’s death; all the human mages of the Chaos Gods’ army had been slain at the Battle of the River Galen a few weeks ago; leaving only the Kargesti and their allies‘ mages on the battlefield. It was at the Battle of Galen River that Red King Xrrzynrry had slain Orien’s son, the sole heir to the Kargesti Empire.
The five dragons continued to circle the battlefield casting their auras of fear and despair on the Kargesti army; but still the valiant Stone Elves continued to battle both warriors and their dread. Orien had no doubts that these dragons were incanting spells to keep their troops morale and vigor high.
He abruptly raised up Galamdraugk and his shield. The runes upon the blade pulsated brilliantly, catching and absorbing the blazing inferno spouting from the deadly maw that spouted from the massive red dragon’s mouth. All fighting had ceased on both sides as Emperor Orien boldly trudged up the hill jutting out like a great bastion in the middle of the mass of battling armies.
The ancient red scaled dragon alighted upon the hill’s crest; sending blast after fiery blast. The emperor of the Kargesti’s longsword absorbed most of the blasts; but many made their way through the sword’s defenses to caress their searing heat over the mithril armored monarch. Perspiration beaded his brow as at last the two combatants stood close to each other.
Emperor Orien recognized the yellow scar over the wounded, right eye of the dragon. After all he had inflicted that wound upon the Red King during the Battle for Stonehelm, the first battle of this war. It was this wound that had inspired the long hatred between the Imperial Line of the Kargesti and the red scaled dragon known to mortals simply as Red King.
Red King arrogantly boasted as he knew from the helm that Emperor Orien stood before him, “Puny elven lord, you have grown overbold. Do you really think you can triumph on my battlefield. Heh heh heh. I shall relish scorching your body into ashes. You should not have started this war; but stayed behind, buried beneath your stone mountains.”
Orien pointed the blade’s tip towards Red King’s heart as his weary voice found some faint hint of biting steel to it, “The Kargesti are slaves to none; least of all court jesters of the Chaos Gods.”
Xrrzynrry snarled and let forth another fiery blast. Orien blocked the fire with his sword and dented shield. The blast contained such force behind it that it knocked the shield from the stone elf’s grasp.
His tired hands tightened their grip upon Galamdraugk as he further tried to antagonize the ancient dragon, “Red King, you shall soon enjoy Moros’ embrace.”
The red dragon let out several bellows that shook the air, and then agitatedly snapped his tail out towards the elven monarch with such force that it had nearly collapsed the hill they stood upon. Orien had barely managed to leap out of the way at the last moment. The Stone Elf Emperor stumbled backwards from the tremors; but caught himself as the mass of armies once more took up battle.
Orien charged forward into the fiery blast of the dragon’s maw. The mithril plate grew hot; just barely able to fend off the searing heat. Sweat dripped down his pale face from the heat that surrounded him. Fires blazed around them; scorching the land a blackish red. His long white hair beneath his helm felt heavy and thick with perspiration. Some of it dripped into his eyes stinging and making his vision slightly blurry.
The Emperor of the Kargesti had little time to concern himself with discomfiture and just barely dodged a massive claw lashing outward at him as he attempted to close the distance. He springboarded from the attacking claw to land on top of Red King’s snarling, yellow fanged snout. Orien thrusted deeply between those golden eyes; his blade drank greedily and deep of ancient dragon blood. The runes once more pulsated along the blade as the blood gushed out of the wound. With a snap of his head and bellow of pain the dragon attempted to throw the elf and his vorpal blade from his face.
Orien had gagged on the blood as it had bathed his face. He spat out the dragon’s blood with clear revulsion; fore the taste was beyond unpleasant. It was hard to see with blood and sweat in his eyes. His grip had been firm on the blade so he was not so easily dislodged. Red King fell flat to the ground with a thunderous thud; but he was not dead yet. He was an ancient dragon, and he had lived through worse then this. Red King’s thoughts were solely on destroying this annoying elven pest.
The Kargesti Emperor climbed blindly on top of the dragon’s head. He thrusted vainly into the thick skull; but could not puncture the strong dragon hide. He tossed his bloody helm from his head; his long white hair flowed out behind him. Free of obstruction Orien wiped the blood and sweat from his eyes with a dry patch of his cloak. The Stone Elf Monarch could once more see. He tried to keep his footing as the dragon jostled about in vain attempted to throw the elf warrior.
Red King bellowed in outrage, “Insignificant insect! I’ll crush you like the bug you are!” and with that the ancient dragon attempted to roll over onto his back. Orien jumped off the dragon’s back and swiftly scurried away. Another loud thud sounded as the dragon landed on his back, his tail smashing down many of his own army as well as those that were allied forces of the Kargesti. Disappointed clearly shown on the dragon’s face as he realized that Orien had outmaneuvered him, and had managed to evade being squashed.
His long white hair billowed out behind him once more as he landed hard on the soles of his feet after being thrown from the tremors of the massive dragon’s landing on his back. Pieces of the hill rolled away beneath the dragon as he struggled to gain ground once more. Orien ignored the pain and shaking earth as he rushed towards the exposed dragon. Orien used his increasing speed to launch himself into the air and landed on the surprised dragon’s chest. The emperor made quick work of removing the fragments of scales over the dragon’s heart; ducking underneath each pass of the claws and tails that vainly swatted at him. The elven monarch ordered his blade just before it callously pierced the dragon’s heart, “Galamdraugk, serve your master will this day and drink deeply.” The vorpal blade thrusted downward eagerly and burrowed deeper and deeper until the point had penetrated Red King’s heart and all that could be seen was the elf’s hand upon the hilt. Blood gushed up in a red geyser. Orien’s vision became lost in a world of crimson. His lips grinned savagely as he took great pleasure in slaying the murderer of his son, and people.
Orien spoke ancient elven words of power; calling forth aid from the Planes of Fire. Brilliant tongues of flames licked down the blood and caused the red dragon to combust in vibrant blue blaze. Satisfied and ready to die himself Orien fell from the burning body of Red King; his hands still clutching at Galamdraugk.
A great roaring filled his ears as the massive dragon burned like a beacon on the shattered hilltop. The armies of Chaos looked up in dread at the fate of Red King Xrrzynrry. Terrified, the Red King’s forces fled, save one. Mogrim Whitelock tried desperately to urge his own mercenaries to continue the battle. The dwarves Dragonlord forced his white scaled dragon to swoop down and rain further chaos among the battlefield. His dragon struck down the forces of Red King’s fleeing army and those of the Kargesti and Humans that went after them. He snarled in rage as the other two younger dragon, the sons of Whitelock’s mount, fled back towards the Raukos Mountains in the west.
Orien felt as if he had no strength left in his body; but still mustered what little he could to raise to a kneeling position. The forces of Mogrim the dwarf raced towards the Emperor of the Kargesti; hoping for an easy battle that might make the Red King’s army return to the field. Mogrim’s army fell back as the only member of Red King’s army not to flew swooped down towards the shattered hill, like a harbinger of ill fated death he hovered over the elven emperor. The red scaled jaws of Red King’s only surviving son yawned wide over Emperor Orien. The elven monarch was too exhausted to even look up. His mind had fallen asleep as the dragon’s maw engulfed him; taking the Kargesti ruler and the ground he knelt upon into his gullet.
Red King’s son circled the hill’s remnants twice before he took flight; having claimed vengeance for his father. Mogrim shouted and cursed in vain as he noticed that all his dragon allies were soaring westward; back to their homelands in the Raukos Mountains. Mogrim continued to vainly shout insults after them, his own men being slain in great numbers now as they fled westward. Mogrim pulled his dragon back up higher into the air to escape the spells of the enemy mages. He turned his white dragon westward as he snarled at the pathetic remnants of the once great Kargesti Empire. The angry dwarf headed back to Malaor in the hopes of rebuilding his forces to return to conquer at a later date.
“Disinheartened at the death of their emperor the Kargesti did not have the desire to cut down the retreating forces of the Chaos followers any longer. They made preparations with their human allies and began the long sorrowful trek back to Oriendayne; their last remaining stronghold in world. All others had fallen to the Chaos Followers. The 5th Dragon War had ended; but it had come with too great a price to the Kargesti. The imperial line had been diminished in the War; there would be no crowned ruler until the Elders could be gathered a new imperial family coroneted. The Kargesti would isolate themselves now and be only concerned with crafting wondrous works of beauty and art in the name of their Goddess Hana Celane.” -Taken from the Annals of Kargesti History Volume X
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