The Forest pt VII

The witch exploded with rage when the children passed through her reach and left the forest. She reeled at the thought her powers were waning to such a degree and she needed a meal fast.

Knowing that this was the only thing that would give her the strength she needed to complete her plan, the witch determined that she would have to leave her lair and feed. She had sensed the arrival of the Kings men within her borders and determined that this was the best course of action. It would be easy to take a man in the trees and drain his life before he is missed and so she set off to eat.

Kalleb knew of the tales of the forest. He had made it his life’s work to study and investigate the forest and its legends, but this was the first time he had ever dared set foot within its borders. He, like all his men, was terrified. The dank, foreboding seeped into the knight’s armour and sapped their will power with each step they took, and then the mists came. Slowly at first, no man noticing the ground at his feet thickening into a soup.

It wasn’t until they walked into a thick bank of fog that the men knew they were in trouble, none being able to see three feet in front of them. Men called out to one another in a desperate attempt to not get lost but as fast as the mist had appeared it went again; leaving an empty horse where a squire once sat and Kelleb feared for his life for the first time that night.

Grom could no longer see them and he was confused. The wraiths newfound strength was working well and Lillee, Kiyonari and Dapple vanished from the forests view. Grom was furious and belched a ball of flames into the night sky, lighting all for miles around. It was then that he noticed the knights. A tiny glint of light from the forests edge, the kind of glint only armour under firelight makes and Groms stomach growled. He had been promised a feast and he was sure he was going to get one, one way or another and Grom turned from chasing Lillee and headed towards the glint.

The knights could hear the wing flap growing louder by the second and knew that they were headed for a fight. Each man armed himself and headed back to the tree line to wait the beast’s arrival. They didn’t wait long before a torrent of wind blew the trees and Grom landed before them in the pasture.

Kalleb was dumbfounded for a moment, stunned at the magnificence of the animal. He had spent his whole life studying these creatures and for a split second all he could do was stare in awe. Grom didn’t give him any more than a second to marvel however as he released another belch of flames and lit the grasslands around his feet, sending knights running for cover behind the trees.

In a flurry of steel and battle cries knights attacked the dragon, running at his underside and aiming for his wings. Grom took care of the first knight in a single bite; taking his head clean off in a shower of blood. The remainder of the knights, buoyed by the vengeance they now felt combined an attack on Groms left side, successfully severing the lower portion of the dragon’s wing.

Grom roared in pain, spewing fire and taking out a group of four knights in one go; leaving nothing but a pile of molten steel where they once stood, evening the fight once more. Four knights and the Kings son remained. Grom was determined to finish them off before he came to any more harm and went after Kalleb himself, sure that if he took out the leader the rest would run away in fear.

With a sweep of his tail Grom took out two more knights, leaving them crumpled and battered in his wake as he rounded on Kalleb; spewing flames as he went and lighting the whole forests edge on fire. The remaining two knights rallied to their master’s side as the trio ran in for a final attack.

Grom played right into their trap and as he reared in defence of the attack on his underside, a pair of archers, secreted within the trees, unleashed a volley of mithril arrows, directly at the dragon’s heart. Only one found its mark, but only one needed too as the dragon fell, defeated. No match for the king’s finest warriors.

—-

The witch sat on her throne, pleased her plan had worked. She could feel the squire’s life energy galvanising her strength and she felt more confident than ever that this night would be Lillee’s last and her own last night trapped in this cursed forest. The witch was very pleased indeed until she sensed the dragons passing. A dark foreboding feeling as she realised her last ally was no more and she now stood alone against Lillee and the entire kingdom of Ernabeth.


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