Continuing where I left off last week ….
The woman, her red hair caught back in a tail, yelled in anger and agony, striking the creatures down as they drew nearer to the downed man, even going so far as to punch one square in the jaw repeatedly. As we drew closer, I heard her muttering as she helped him to his feet that they wouldn’t have him. He looked about ready to drop, but as my family drew closer, still stammered out that we were Apostates, began the usual posturing and threatening that the Templars always fell back on when confronted by us rogue mages, but the woman, who introduced herself as Aveline, his wife, calmed him down and told him that we were all better off getting along. Between her persuasion, and the fact that the Apostates and their family outnumbered him, he quickly quieted down and joined Mother and the back of our little group.
We continued on our way, after realizing that our only choice was to continue through the Wilds. The children’s stories, the murmurings about the Witch of the Wilds struck no fear in me. We had to survive, sometimes survival meant doing things you weren’t happy about or don’t agree with at the time. As we travelled, we met with more darkspawn, their numbers seemed to grow as we went down the road. The air stank of death, smoke was filling the horizon, all the color seemed to have drained from the world. We could have been travelling through once lush fields of crops for all we knew, but there were no plants to be seen, no life. A bend in the road, and before us was a small hill. Barring our way up the incline was some sick twisted creature that hovered off the ground, it seemed to be a mockery of a mage, it had long flowing robes and some sort of twisted metal crown. With a roar, the darkspawn flanking it rushed us. The battle was fierce, we withdrew up the hill and realized it was a plateau, and also a trap.
We were surrounded. Fighting for my life, barely dodging some attacks that would later haunt my nightmares, I failed to notice the ground shaking beneath my feet. Mother screamed, I whirled around and saw an ogre glaring at her, froth dripping from its fangs. We all ran, but Bethany was faster. She challenged the creature, throwing a massive fireball at it, which seemed to only infuriate it more. Bellowing, it grabbed my sister and threw her against the ground, over and over. Mother was sobbing, screaming more now, then everything seemed to go quiet. Carver and I attacked as one, he slashed at the monster’s feet, tears streaming down his face. I summoned up an energy I didn’t know I had as I almost ripped the thing in half with a surge of power. Aveline was trying to single-handedly hold off the few darkspawn remaining.
The earth shook again. Sounds came flooding back again as I realized the roaring in my ears wasn’t something I was imagining. Aveline’s jaw dropped open as she looked back over my shoulder, as I spun around I saw a massive dragon, wings outstretched, roaring defiantly at us. It lunged down the tall outcropping at us, jaws dropping open as it belched out flame. We all dove for the ground, I felt the air heating up around me, then I smelled the horrible stench of already dead flesh burning to a crisp. The dragon made a couple more passes, then landed with a thump, clawing the darkspawn down and swiping fiercely with its tail.
A rush of power, a flash of golden light, and through the smoke and flames walked a figure, headed slowly in our direction. As it got closer, the figure was revealed to be an old woman, but carried herself as if she was but a few decades old. Her hair was intricately done, made to echo the horns of the dragon she was but a moment before. Thus began one of the more confusing and complicated conversations I had encountered in my entire life.
Whew! That was a little easier to do this time around, still feeling slightly self-conscious but a little more comfortable with it! As always, thank you for reading, and have a great day!