|#1zombiegleemaxJan 23, 2004 14:08:47||This chapter one of something I've been working on. It takes place during the fifth age, at the just before/During the War of Souls.|
Please, I value your Input as you are some of the most Hardcore DL fans.
New Silvanost had once stood as a proud elven village just outside of the magic shield that surrounded Silvanesti. In fact it had once been one of the most beautiful elven villages to behold. Two days had passed though since it had been raised to the ground. Now, it seemed nothing more than just a pile of burning embers. The smoke filled air choked the lungs of any creature unfortunate enough to be there.
Third Recon patrol of the Green Dragon Army (though it truely numbered only a few hundred) had just that misfortune. Assigned to watch the once beautiful elven village for “post-battle activity.” Though a victory, the sacking of New Silvanost and its surrounding area had not come cheaply. Third Recon patrol was a patrol in name only. Before the Outer Silvanesti campaign it had ten men. Now it was a lone Aurak.
The seven-foot tall golden scaled draconian made no effort at stealth as he moved about the ruins. There was no need to. The only things unlucky enough to be there other than himself were the few rats that had yet to flee. He was not the thin limbed Aurak of old, but a new breed of Aurak warrior, intelligent and incredibly well built. His sword sheathed, his shield slung over his back, there was no reason to be battle ready. He’d been in the village since just before the dawn and had found nothing but destruction. Night had come and he sat down on one of the few none non-burning pieces of wood and pulled a scrap of dried meat from his pack. Chewing on it, his thoughts drifted back and forth between the report he would have to make and the trip he would take back to Green Dragon Regiment’s central command in the morning.
Suddenly a noise ripped him from his thoughts. Slowly he turned his head in the direction of the sound, his dark red eyes peering into the debris. The sound of crackling embers filled the air, but again, a different sound emerged, then faded away. He rose slowly, pulling a dagger from his belt. Moving closer, the sound, though faint became easier and easier to follow. Then a cough.
The dragon headed creature now stood above a burnt out pile of what was once a building. Grabbing a collapsed beam his strength mad short work of moving the debris about. Whoever it was they had grown quiet. The Aurak knew he was close though. He readied himself as he prepared to move the last piece of wood. Flinging it aside he paused. This was no elven soldier, just a child. A filthy, whimpering elven girl. Had she been human he would have estimated her to be about seven or eight. She hardly moved, steeling only quick glances at him.
Standing back up he turned and started to walk away. That noise though. That combination of whimpering, and coughing. Turning back he wretched the small girl from the whole. Her whimpering now turned into crying. Placing her on the ground he sat back down. She just stood there in front of him, huddled in a ball and making a noise that grated at his nerves.
Reaching into his pack he pulled out an apple he had recently picked up, and tossed it at her feet. Maybe that’ll shut it up he thought to himself, then again killing it would do the trick too.
She sat, motionless and crying for a moment longer, then like a lightning bolt grabbed the fruit, consuming it so quickly that the massive warrior could not help but laugh. At least now she was only whimpering and coughing again, that crying was a far worse noise to endure.
“Hungry little thing.” It had been a few years since the draconian had been trained to speak elven, so his words were heavily accented. None-the-less the girl looked up, shocked to hear this fearsome looking thing not only talking to her, but talking to her in her in her own language.
“Please, please don’t hurt me.” Her voice was weak, and full of fear.
Though the thought to kill her had occurred to him, the draconian paused, he couldn’t seem to do it. He’d killed countless others, however most had been soldiers. Perhaps it was curiosity holding him back. He reached into his pack once again, this time pulling out a small, stale bread he had taken off a dead elven foot soldier. Breaking it into two he placed the larger half by the girl. Again, and despite the breads stale nature, the young girl consumed it greedily.
“My name is Eric, what are you called?” He asked as he began to consume his half of the bread. His voice was low and growling in nature, he wondered if it frightened the small elf more than she already was.
“Airyanna, my, my name is Airyanna.” She looked up from the ground, looking the draconian in the eyes “Please don’t hurt me.”
“Where is your…..” he trailed off, searching for the word ”family! Where is your family?”
The girl’s whimpering quickly turned back into crying. The thought to kill her occurred to the Aurak once again, but he decided against it.
“I, I’m sorry” His words seemed unheard, and that sound. He stood back up, lifted the child off the ground, and then sat back down with her in his lap.
“Don’t hurt me!” her crying had now turned to screaming, an even worse sound. Eric covered her mouth and forced her head back, they were now staring into each other’s eyes. Hers were full of more fear than he had ever seen on any of his victims.
“I will not kill or hurt you, you’re okay, I won’t hurt you.” With that the screaming thankfully became whimpering again. He could feel her trembling in his arms. Pulling his water skin from his side he removed the cape, took a drink, then placed it to her lips. She hesitated, but then drink almost half of the draconian’s water. Using a piece of cloth he wiped the water from her chin, then wiped the rest of her ash and dirt covered face.
“A filthy and hungry little thing.”
“I wanna go home.”
“Where is your home?” Eric realized as soon as he finished asking that he would regret it. Sure enough she began to cry again, though this time she pointed back to the pile of rubble where Eric had found her. Curiosity now turned into pity, a feeling the draconian had only felt perhaps once or twice before in his life. The girl had lost everything save for the clothes on her back, and even those were in sad shape. He wished he’d never gotten this assignment, then he would have never found her. Perhaps he should just kill her he thought, then she wouldn’t suffer. He couldn’t do it though. As he sat there lost in thought, the crying faded. He looked down into her face. The poor little thing cried herself to sleep.
Sleep sounded like a good idea. Hopefully he’d figure out what to do with her in the morning. He lay her on the ground, pulled his blanket from his pack, and placed it over her.
As the sun rose the air still reeked of ruin, but much of the choking smoke was gone, and a morning dew seemed to quench many of the embers with only the most stubborn still remaining. Eric sat up and looked to his side, half hoping the small elf had run off in the night. She hadn’t, and was in the process of awakening as well.
“I have to go to the bathroom.” Her voice was groggy, and her awakening seemed incomplete.
“So go behind something and go” Eric’s speech was slow and his tone was one of what do you want me to do about it. The child threw the blanket from herself and then quickly vanished behind some debris. Maybe she won’t come back he thought, then my problem is solved. Yet upon seeing her again as she walked toward him he felt a strange feeling of relief that she was ok.
Now fully awake, the child gazed back up at the draconian, her lip began to quiver as she meekly spoke, “What are you going to do?”
Eric knew he had to choose his next words carefully, the last thing he wanted was to hear her crying again, and from the look of her, she was very close already. He finished folding up the blanket then looked at her.
“Well, are you hungry?” He asked cautiously.
“Yeah.” Her voice was so soft he could barely hear her.
“Well, I guess we’ll see about getting something to eat.” He paused then chuckled a little, “You finished off what I was originally going to have, so we’ll have to find something.”
“Okay. Please don’t hurt me.”
Eric knelt down, placing one of his hands on her shoulder and looking into her eyes “I promise I won’t hurt you. Now, we got some walking to do today.”
Eric stood back up, put his sword belt, on slung his pack over his back, and then picked up his shield.
“Let’s go then.” He said as he smiled at the small child.
Eric Walked at a brisk military pace, Airyanna fell behind quickly despite her efforts to keep up. Eric would stop then and again to let her catch up but grew weary of the constant stopping after only an hour’s travel.
“Come here.” He said as stopped yet again.
Airyanna slowly and cautiously approached. When she neared the giant half-dragon she began to whimper, closed her eyes, and expected the worse. She then felt herself being lifted from the ground, and upon opening her eyes found she was staring right into the side of his face.
“I’ll carry you for a little while, alright?”
“Okay.” Her voice quaked with nervousness and surprise. “My mommy told me that all dragon people are mean.”
Eric made no response as began walking down the forest road, which had once led from New Sylvanost.
“Why did you burn the village?”
Her question shocked Eric, only moments before she was deathly afraid, now she was questioning him.
“Because your people and my people are at war.”
Eric stopped. Never before in his life had been confronted with the question of why. It was all he had known, ever since he was a hatchling he had been taught that the good races of Krynn had been at war with the Dragon Armies and their remnants. Never once had he questioned why.
“I’m sorry, I won’t talk anymore” Once again she began to tremble, her fear had returned and was obvious to Eric.
“No, don’t be sorry. No one has ever asked that of me before, we just are.” Eric’s replied as he began walking again.
“How do you know my language so well, my mom said that draconians aren’t smart enough to talk to us.”
“I was trained so I could,” Eric hesitated. “So I could observe my enemies better.”
“Am I your enemy? Why are elves and draconians enemies?”
“Well” Eric was lost for words again, this child seemed no one’s enemy, let alone a foe for an Aurak warrior. “No, I guess you’re not.”
“Then why are we at war?” Her voice was gaining strength.
“I do not know why, we just are.”
“My dad always said it was because the Dragon Armies are evil. Is he right?”
Eric thought more, in a matter of minutes this child had confronted him with questions he had never been asked, and thus had never asked himself. His time to wrestle the issue was drawn short though, there was a sent on the air.
“Why….” Before she could finish her sentence her mouth was covered by his free hand.
“Something’s out there” Eric whispered as he set her down. “Keep quiet and stay behind these bushes, do not move.” As he said this he turned and looked at her. A tear streaked down from each of her eyes.
“Daddy said he’d be back too” she whimpered as she looked into Eric’s eyes.
“I promise I will be back, now stay quiet and don’t move”
She shook her head yes, satisfied with this Eric moved as quietly as he could toward the smell that had first caught his attention. Soon he heard footsteps and chattering. Humans, four, no five, all wearing chain mail from the sound of it. Eric crawled under a bush, then saw them approaching. Four armored humans, one elven archer, the only one not chatting like a fool.
Eric thought about letting them pass, then thought of his general orders as a member of a reconnaissance patrol, more specifically the one about eliminating enemy reconnaissance units. Maybe he could turn the girl over to them, then he wouldn’t have to deal with her questions anymore. How could he approach them though?
As they drew near the elf suddenly stopped. Eric knew the elf could sense him, unlike the humans the elven archer looked as though he’d tasted battle before. The elf began to reach back toward his quiver for an arrow. Eric lunged from the brush that had been his cover, startling the humans. The Aurak brought his sword crashing through the helmet of one human, smashing the face of another with his shield, knocking him straight to the ground. It was then that the draconian felt a sharp pain in his left shoulder. Turning he saw the archer preparing another arrow, the other two humans running in fear. Eric charged and with one deft blow severed the archer’s forearm.
The elf fell back, looked at the draconian now looming over him, then down at his lost limb. A second blow, this time to the face ended his misery. Eric turned to the human whom he’d knocked to the ground.
“I yield! Don’t kill me!” Yelled the frightened man as he scrambled to his feet.
“Run, and don’t look back, leave your supplies here.” Ordered Eric in the human language.
The man dropped the pack he had on his back, then turned and ran off, quickly disappearing down the wooded road. Eric now turned his attention to his shoulder. Thankfully the arrow had gone through, only tearing the flesh. He picked through the supplies of the two dead, and of the man who had just fled. Emptying one of the packs, he refilled it with items he felt would be useful, bandages and food.
Eric headed back up the road, to the spot where he’d left the girl, though he knew not why, after all, he could’ve just abandoned her, but something compelled him not to just leave her behind. He knelt down and pushed aside the branches he’d placed her behind. She looked up with tears on her face, then shocked Eric as she extended her arms indicating she wanted to be picked up again. Eric pulled her from her hiding spot, then set her on the road.
“Here,” he said as he presented her with a large hunk of bread and some dried fruit. “I have more food, but we’ll save for latter.”
“Thank you.” With that she sat on the ground and began to eat. Eric knelt down, watching her as she consumed the bread. He patted her on the head, then stood back up and began to treat his shoulder wound. He soon felt a tug on his cloak, and turned to find the child standing at his side.
“Airyanna is your name right?” He said as he finished tying the bandage to his shoulder.
“What is it Airyanna?”
“I’m full, do I have to finish this?” She raised her hand offering up what bread she had left.
“No, that’s fine, we have to get moving anyway.” Eric took the bread and packed it back in his pack, which he then slung back over his good shoulder. “Do you want to walk, or do you want me to carry you?”
As the started down the road Eric led her down a “Short-cut”. His true intention though had been to avoid letting the girl see those he had just killed. Once back on the road it wasn’t long before she once again started to fall behind. This time Eric slowed his pace to allow her to keep up, but after only another hour’s walk she asked him to stop.
“Tired already?” He asked as he looked down at her.
“You walk really fast.” She then raised her arms into the air, “Will you carry me again?”
Without word Eric lifted her back up and started to walk again.
“What happened to your shoulder?” She asked as she tugged lightly on his bandage.
“I got, I got cut.” He didn’t want the child to know he had just killed, for fear of frightening her. This also confused him. He enjoyed seeing fear in his enemies and victims, but not in her for some reason, though he knew not why.
“Did you kill him?” She asked as she continued to play with a loose thread in his bandage. “I heard somebody ask you not to kill him, did you?”
“No, I let him go.”
“Did he cut you?” she asked as looked up into his face.
“No,” Eric searched for a way to change the subject. “You’re filthy, I should throw you in the next stream or pond we come a cross.”
“My mom always makes me take a bath, at least, she used to.”
“Well, I’m hoping I can find somebody to take you.”
“You don’t like me very much do you?” The sound of pending tears filled her voice.
“No, I mean yes, I mean.” Eric glanced down at her “Airyanna, I can’t really have a kid around me, what I do is very dangerous and I don’t want you to get hurt or anything.”
“You’re not that scary, not like my mom and dad said draconians are.”
As the day went on she continued to ask him child like questions, and Eric did his best to answer. Eventually they happened upon an abandoned farmhouse, which Eric decided to use for the night. After a final “bathroom break”, they had made several throughout the day, he placed her in a straw bed and started to walk away when she grabbed at his arm.
“I don’t want to be alone.”
Eric thought for a moment, then smiled at her “How about if I sleep right here on the floor.”
She shook her head yes and Eric laid out his blanket next to the bed. It wasn’t long into the night when the small child climbed out of bed, and curled up at the Aurak’s side, clutching at his arm. Eric covered her up with the blanket then fell asleep himself holding the small child in his arms.
|#2dragontoothJan 23, 2004 15:53:41||awwwwwwwwwwwwww|
The only critque I would give. Change the Draconian name it too common for a human.
|#3zombiegleemaxJan 24, 2004 5:34:03||I'm confused about when this is set - the Green Dragon Army suggests War of the Lance, but the reference to the Shield and the fact that Silvanesti isn't a nightmare land suggests post-WoS. Post WoS, the draconians weren't at war with the Silvanesti. I'm also unsure if even the elves have baths.|
|#4zombiegleemaxJan 24, 2004 15:12:19||it is amazing. i WILL use them as npc-s, if you dont care. (if you do, then i wont tell you ;) )|
But yes, the forest has to have some visible sign of the terror of the Shield. And you should give a reasonable answer for why the draconians destroyed that willage. Because they should not be part of the green dragon army, 'cos it is not exist in that time. They should be the remnant of the army, under a mad leader who follow Takhisis, with a few green, acting as partisans, and when they have found out that the Shield is over, they attacked. Without reason.
I am really curious for the next chapters! who will be the main hero? i wish that the girl... i imagine her as a beautiful manga heroine.
and i think they HAVE a bathroom. Kagonesti dos not, Qualinasti has maybe a collective, but the Silvanesti build it in every house. They are clean as angels! (but proud and stubborn as dwarves )
|#5zombiegleemaxJan 26, 2004 4:17:18||If they had a few rogue green dragons, they might have left by this time, since by the time the Shield fell, Takhisis had come back, and had sent out a call to all the dragons. Following a mad goddess is much less likely to bore you than some crazy old guy (he would have to be fairly old if he was around in the WoS time and was in command in WotL time) who had been sitting just outside Silvanesti just in case the Shield fell. And *everyone* knew that a green had already claimed the Silvanesti land - he had erected the Shield in the first place.|
No, we need to resolve if Ritterkreuz meant green dragonarmy, and if so, why. Also, I'm fairly interested in why an aurak draconian, in all the times since the WotL, if they've been working for some random lunatic, is only now just deciding to help lost children.
|#6zombiegleemaxJan 26, 2004 8:04:56|
Originally posted by Arkozd
I shall address the issues one by one. The "Green Dragon Army" is really a small army (more regimental in size) which has been brought together by some delusional human who calls himself a Highlord. Its really more of a mercenary army and is too small to have impact on the canonized events. The Village is Just outside of the shield I wil try to make this more clear during my final edit.
As for the bathroom thing, remember, every building is gone, and the line is ment to create a more genuine feel to the situation.
As for the draconian's motives, they will become clearer as the chapters progress.
Oh, and Dragontooth, if you can help me with a more Draconian name that would be great, or better yet, I could try to explain his "Human" name in a latter chapter.