Dragon's LibraryGrimoire
by Ozzie Padilla

Giant of Darkness

Algarick; mage of the blue crystal tower, and destroyer of Brindarmour's finest warriors; giggled with glee. With a wave of his bony fingers, light, sand ushered forth and scattered. As the dust settled about the air, runes of purple arcane light appeared. Algarick shuffled over to the runes and spoke them softly at first; he lifted his voice into a mighty crescendo, finishing the last of he mighty, mystical words. Deep below the bottom of the great crystal tower known in elfin as "Corlian-Tielian" The tower of crystal, the great metal doors that were the en-trance to the dungeons, creaked and crackled. The command words to open ushered forth.

Algarick shuffled in, his lame leg slowing him. His cane never helped, but soon that would all change, once he had the Eye of Fate, he would truly be the master of destiny.

"Most impressive," came a voice from behind the mage. Algarick peered across the great cavernous chamber, back to the door. There stood a man, dressed in the finest clothing. Gracefully he moved into the dusty chamber, his fine silk shirt catching the soft wind that blew through pockets in the room. His stockings were night black, as well as his fine leather knee-boots that picked up faint traces of dust. The man was truly regal. Long black hair flowed outward and around his thick and powerful neck. At the man's side was a rapier of fine make, its quillions sparkling with a life of their own.

"I did not call for you Oynex." Algarick sidled over to the man hovering over six feet, closer to seven. Oynex laughed, then his face twisted into a knot, of rage. "What of our pact...you said I would have my prize, after I destroyed Brindarmour army."

Algarick simply sneered and returned to the inner recesses of the great chamber. "All in good time, my worthy reptilian friend, for you see, we still have one more mission to perform. Once that is done, you may have the princess. And then you can sire as many dragon-men as you wish," he replied.

"I thought you loved her. She is quite beautiful, and I will enjoy the many gifts she has to offer." Oynex followed the wizard into the inner recesses of the dark.

Algarick bristled at the thought of the reptilian touching his most prized possession. The old wizard did indeed love Gwyneth the princess off Corlian-Tielian, the blue crystal tower. The crafty old mage had a plan that would do away with his dragon partner; but first he needed the dragon to follow him deeper into the cavern.

The Eye of Fate, fabled stories had arisen from its legend. Supposedly the heart of some great deity, that could give the owner mastery of the fates, time, mortality, and the greatest of all powers love. The Eye of Fate was an opening to Divinity. To be divine; that was Algarick's plan, and all he had to do was destroy the city, built over the stone. Faliss annihilated, Oynex would be dead, and Gwynth would share in his glory, as all should have been. Algarick simply smiled. Soon they would reach the Nightman's chamber. There he would unleash his ultimate creation.

***

A figure slipped into the dark mystical chamber. Tiny hands looked for a handhold. The figure was a woman short and supple. She had been lucky that both Oynex and Algarick had not heard her. Quickly her soft, slipper covered feet followed the path of the wizard and his dragon companion.

Gwynth Brindarmour, Princess of the blue crystal tower, shuffled after them. Fear ate away at her very soul, she over heard the conversation between both men, and knew her fate was sealed. She would have to find away to escape, and the way to do that was by finding out what Algarick's plan, and foiling it.

She gulped some moist air, and continued on her way. If escape meant death, surely she was prepared; death was more of an option than no hope, no love, or a chained life. Yes, death would be a release after a hundred years of captivity.

***

Ethen simply slumped over, dozens of books. He snored deeply, twitching in his very sleep.

"Why did you leave us to die, you should have fought, but you were nothing but a coward, nothing but a scared boy who ran underneath his fathers skirts." Grumman's voice echoed, in Ethen's head. The vision was clear, as clear as a bright sunny day, as Grumman's body was snapped in half. In the dream he could see his father, Fandis, as the blade pierced his back, and acid destroyed his form. "You must be strong now. You inherit Brindarmour, you are the land, and it is you. Remember who you are, you are a street-ruffian no longer. You are the next King of Brindarmour.

Fandis turned as; mist began to rise from the surreal landscape. Ethen began to twitch greater and moan, as he saw his father walk into the mist. The figure slowly turned around, and gone was Fandis's flesh. What stood there before him was clean white bone where skin should have been, and red eyes. Bony claw that seemed to point towards Ethen came forth. The last King of Brindarmour spoke. Ethen leapt from the table in fear, crashing down upon the floor covered with books. Sweat beaded down his forehead, and he could feel his mouth dry. The image of Fandis's skeletal remains still etched in his head, as well as the last ghastly poem, that came forth from the dead man's bone-box.

Battle a hundred years ago, blade and magic foe.
A Princess lost to a wizard's desire,
In the quest to seek the eye of fire.

Ethen simply shook his head to clear it. He then gripped the water pitcher that lay on the wooden table. The young prince had studied for hours, since returning from the still smoking grave that held Brindarmour's finest warriors. Their destruction had been complete. Every one lost, even the king. It had not been an easy trip. Ethen had been lucky to even secure a horse. He had pushed himself and his steed to reach Brindarmour's capital Faliss. He hoped he had beaten the crazed wizard by a day. Still he had no clue, where the evil wizard was, and when he would attack. There were just to many riddles, to much information missing. He was never prepared for something like this. Fandis was right I am a failure, he sank his head into a large tome. Weeping for several minutes, he felt a tap against his shoulders.

"Good eve, young sire. How do you fare?" The voice was soft and had an ancient willowy sound. Ethen looked to see where the voice had come from. The light coming from the reading candles shedding little of their warmth or brilliance. "Who are you?" Ethen quickly pushed the many books to the side.

The figure was short, standing a little over five feet. He was draped in a long gray robe, adorned with a flowing black cape. The man's beard was like night, and his eyes were the stars twinkling in mock fun. With a slow graceful movement the man's hands came to his mouth, and a fine pipe appeared there. The smoke that came forth smelled of old wood bark and spices.

The figure slowly moved closer, into the light of the candle.

"May I join your table young king?" His voice like spring was light. Ethen though could feel power pulse through the words.

"You may good sir, but might I know your name." To Ethen the old fellow seemed to be about sixty winters no older, as he gazed at the man he noticed the spriteful bounce of his step. Ethen stretched and yawned, as he wiped last night's slumber from his body.

The man simply pulled out another chair and sat, resting his cane by the leg of the table. "You are rash one are you not? If I told you my true name, you yourself would not believe me. So for you my good, young king, it is Lorian."

Ethen gazed at the man in wonder, his hand flew to the sword at his side, and with one movement he withdrew the blade.

The man known as Lorian, simply shook his head and whispered.

Ethen cried out and clutched his hand. The blade clanked harmlessly onto the floor with a dull ring.

Damn a wizard, Ethen swore to himself.

"Patience young man. It would not be the first time a warrior such as your self drew a blade on me. Your own stepfather had the nerve to do so when he was a young pup as well. Learned the same lesson did he." Lorian chuckled, and took a long drag of his pipe.

"How did you know my father?" Ethen gathered his weapon and sat.

Lorian smiled and leaned in close. "I have served the house of Brindarmour for many years, since it was founded more than three hundred years ago. When I was younger I fought many battles along side this family. Using my magic to alter a battle here, or change the course of mighty rivers there. But always to serve the family that ruled Brindarmour. Like your father before you, he had need of my aid, until the one known as Algarick used his magic to infiltrate the house. I was sent away, as your stepfather was eaten away by the enspelled voice of Algarick. He twisted his mind toward me and thus I am here now to help you avenge your father, and destroy Algarick, and his cursed tower." Lorian leaned back against the chair, and held his pipe in one hand and took out his tobacco.

Ethen simply gazed at the man. He did not know if he could trust Lorian, one mage had already betrayed his homeland, would not another. So far Lorian had proved himself a wielder of magic, and possibly could destroy him without wasting a breath. Ethen had no abilities to combat magic, and if Lorian knew this he would surely be gone, so he weighed his options.

"So be it wizard. On one condition, you must help me solve a riddle." Ethen did not trust Lorian, but he had no one else, and if he was going to get revenge on Algarick he had to start somewhere. Ethen told the riddle to Lorian, who in effect simply laughed.

"That's why I'm here boy. Your entire question will be answered, this night. For the eye is opening and the flows of fates are merging." Lorian said gripping his cane and striding toward the young King. Ethen's mind traveled, Lorian had just spoken of the eye as if he knew of it, even as he had just told him of the riddle.

Lorian grabbed the young man by his arm forcefully. "Come boy we must prepare, the Nightman is coming, and the eyes of fate and destiny must be awakened." Ethen expression grew in astonishment, as Lorian lifted his cane and slowly moved his arms in a rhythmic motion. Light motes of purple light appeared, Lorian's voice rising to a crescendo. Ethen amazed cried out, "where are we going?" Lorian's cried out, as a bright light swarmed over them.

"To the soul of Faliss, young king, to the eye of the world and beyond..."

***

Gwynth moved as silently as she could, her slippers leaving only slight marks on the duty floor. The cavern she was in was huge beyond any chamber she had seen in the tower. The great opening had to be more than two hundred feet in length, and three hundred feet wide. Hiking up her skirts she quickly darted toward another chamber. Fear as she had never known pulsed through her, as she watched the tall, dark hair man walk behind the wizened magic-user. The fear was primal, as a hare had when being stalked by a hound. Enough girl, she whispered to herself and ran after them.

It a few moments as she reached the opening of the cave; Gwynth stopped, her flesh began to crawl as if she had goose bumps. That primal fear she had felt before now surged down her back, into her gut then towards her brain. Something was horribly wrong. Had she followed to closely? Had she been found? Those questions ran through her head, as the fear ate at her. Slowly she shifted to the nearest wall. She sniffed the air, and her nose wrinkled from the putrid smell. It was a acrid odor, a foul stench that wafted through the air. She huddled close to the rock to find warmth. The stone gave none; cold from the winds that flew from one corner of the many shafts in the great cavern. Seeing nothing in the dim light, she continued.

One step.

The torchlight began to waver.

Two steps.

The smoke of the torch light slowly died.

Three steps.

The cold feel of the wind at her back terrorized her soul.

Four steps.

Gwynth let out a sigh of relief as she came closer to the entrance;. She then gazed at the torch- light, as it slowly died.

Five steps.

She had made it, the opening was in front of her. Gwynth broke for it running at top speed. She slammed hard into something hard, and soft. Gazing up she saw Oynex's, lizard like smile appear on his face. His dark hair easily swayed, in the pockets of wind.

"Well princess, we were expecting you sooner. Would you care to join us?" Oynex question was an order not a request, he quickly gripped her arm and tore her to the chamber where Algarick waited, with his prized object, the Nightman.

***

Ethen opened his eyes and gazed at the large columns that stood before him. They were made of marble chipped from an ancient dwarfin quarry. Ethen looked and wondered where he had been transported. The chamber was huge, beyond recognition. He knew that he was underneath the city, but the chamber he saw was amazing. All about the room was treasure. Great mounds of glistening coins, fabled armors, weapons forged during the ages of war and might. A treature trove greater than the great dwarfin kings, lay before his eyes. Moving toward the center, he could see a large pedestal made of the same marble as the columns.

Still watching the pedestal, Ethen felt himself move slightly. He could see his hands move forward, as if they had a mind of their own. Sweat beaded down his face, and his mind itched at the wonder that gleamed upon the pedestal.

The Eye of Fate gleamed wickedly in the light, illuminating from the torches about the chamber. It was a fashioned in a round shape, and made of hardened, white quartz. In the middle of the of quartz casing was a red ruby shaped in a cat like slit, the ruby itself seemed to pulse with inner fire. Around the casing, blue, red sigil ebbed in a faint glow, showering Ethen's bewildered face. His heart quickened at the sight of the mystical artifact, unto a long lost lover. His pulse rushed, and his soul rose at the sheer beauty of the Eye.

The king of Brindarmour never felt the ground rush up to meet him as he fell. All he saw was the Eye of Fate.

"Snap out of it boy." A familiar voice shouted at him.

Ethen moved his head groggily, Lorian, he wondered. He looked about the chamber and saw nothing. Turning he saw the Eye. He also gazed at a massive claw the size of two army, battalions in front of him. The scales were a golden brown. The claws showed the same type of coloring. Ethen in his horror knew those claws could rend mountain, stone like cheese. He shuffled back in horror, as a large sinewy neck came slamming down to the cave floor, uprooting coins and treasure. Attached to thick, armored neck was a large head, almost as large as a house. Tendrils of soft, hair and whiskers snaked the ground.

Ethen horrified expression explained it all.

"It can't be." His voice cracked. He had seen another of these beasts crush a army of Brindarmour's finest warriors. Here before him stood almost the same exact duplicate, except this creature, had skin of burnished gold.

Slit like eyes, gazed at the young king, and wings unfurled from the creature's back. So great was the wind Ethen was swept back. The head came down towards the king of Faliss, a scaly, large smile appeared on the snout of the great Beast.

"Well boy what do you think of me now. No longer am I Lorian the old magic user, huh boy, but Lorianthinese the guardian of the Eye of Fate, dragon of faliss." The dragon voice dripped with humor.

Ethen's face gleamed with amazement. He had read many times about the dragon of Faliss. It was the legendary creature that guarded the Princess of the blue crystal tower. It was the story he read to Sandra under his favorite tree, in the evenings. In that story though the evil wizard had destroyed the dragon, turned it to ash. Ethen shook his head, this could not be happening.

"Oh it is my boy... it is," Lorian replied as if reading the young kings mind. "Algarick thought me destroyed, he had no clue that I had survived, and had hidden the Eye of Fate from him. But I failed in my duties to the true heir to the throne of Brindarmour. Gwynth Brindarmour, was taken into the pocket dimension, along with Algarick as I cast the final spell that sealed his prison."

Ethen could say nothing as the giant head of the Dragon came closer.

"She still lives, Ethen. I ask you, as the remaining heir of Brindarmour to aid me in her capture? Algarick has found a way out of his prison, and is on his way. We must destroy him. What say you?" The dragon looked on, his eyes full of uncertainty.

Ethen looked down. He remembered the nights underneath his tree. He remembered the smell of Sandra's hair as she sat close to him. That would be all gone when Algarick arrived in the coming night. The wizard would bring a storm unheard of over Faliss, destroying all in his wake. His head turned to the Eye of Fate, Fandis, his shade stood there proudly. Beside the great king was Grumman, the stiff barbarian leader hoisting up his winter, horn in approval.

The king of Brindarmour turned toward Lorian, toward the Eye, toward Fate, and clenched his fist.

"Yes!"

"Then so be it lord of Brindarmour, touch the eye, and let our destiny be fufilled!" The dragon roared his battle cry, and Ethen touched the Eye. The Eye of Fate opened wide, and the ruby slit erupted in a sizzling flash of white, light. When the light died down Lorian and Ethen were no more.

***

"What in the world is that."Oynex gazed at the hulking, great statue in the middle of the huge chamber. Carved out of black mountain granite stone the sthe figure was at least a hundred feet tall. It was shaped like a giant warrior, with a sword at it's side, and a carved helmet as well. Two massive hands larger than several men were curled, up into balls looked ready to smash anything in it path.

"That my good friend is my ultimate, magical construction. I brought it with me when I came from the lower hells." Algarick smiled lifting his cane pointing. Algarick then shuffled to Oynex and watched the young princess squirm in the dragon turned human arms.

"You should not have come my dear. You would have been safer in you room. Since you are here, you might as well enjoy the show." He snickered and faced Oynex.

"Let her go!" He commanded. Oynex simply shrugged and let Gwynth go.

With a smile the Dragon, moved along side the mage. "I'm impressed. You've out done yourself this time. How does it work?"

"Well," Algarick face beamed. "It needs a powerful soul to guide it, once it is imbued with the soul, I can control it by simply mind manipulation."

"Ahh, you are a crafty one, you will use the girl as your soul? Hehh... you should have been a dragon." Oynex laughed loudly. Algarick followed suit, then, began to chant several words of power. Ancient symbols flared to life, upon the stone skin of the Nightman. Oynex whirled about, as Algarick slipped out a curved rusty dagger from his robes, the same dagger that had slain Fandis. The dagger was covered with strange runes, and gems.

"No, not the girl, my good friend. You!" The mage cried plunging the dagger deep into the dragon's heart. Gwynth screamed as the blade tore into the dragon's chest. Onyex eye bulged from his head, still amazed at the deep blade sticking through his chest. "Magic?" he asked as red blood filled his all to human mouth.

"Of course, the only way to kill one of your kind." Algarick giggled, as Oynex slumped down to the floor, blood pooling from the open wound. "You see my dear he thought he would have you as a plaything. He was wrong. Once I'm finished here, we will return to the lower hells."

Gwynth spat at his direction. "Never!" She turned to run, and suddenly stopped. Algarick had spoken a word of power that held her in his mighty grip.

"My dear that was no request." He smiled her way, then, spat at the Nightman. The gooey spit soared toward the thing's head, and in mid-flight transformed to a glowing sigil of might.

With a rumble, the Nightman moved, stone legs moving the great bulk with nimble ease. Red light erupted from darkened sockets, and the stone creature kneeled with ground rumbling impact.

"I see you have rested well my son. I have a mission just for you. Seek out the heart of Faliss and bring it to me. Bring to me the Eye of Fate. Oh don't leave anything behind, destroy every last thing." He, smiled. The Nightman turned, it's rumbling feet heading toward the opening of the cavern. Peering down the hundred-foot creature saw the opening to the sky, and with a great leap it plummeted to the earth below.

The star that was the Nightman fell, and all those who would stand in it's way would perish in a wind of fire and stone.

When night appears across the land
the giant of darkness will destroy with his hands
Great will be the cries of the wounded and dying
As Faliss awaits the rise of the gold dragon flying.

Wings of gold, Fangs of steel, Dragon of fire
Arms of Stone, Heart of black, The Night Man Dire.
The warriors of fate will meet on the ground Brindarmour's shire.

***

Prince of Fate

Lorian wanted to weep. Pain and hate choked his heart as tears ran down the side of his flushed face. These heated tears fell to earth even as he gazed at the still form lying of white satin sheets. The pure sheets so white they seemed to be snow. The only thing that marred their beauty was the red billowing stain that seemed to grow in a outward journey to cover the whiteness of the fabric. The stain of red threatened to cover each the field of white, just as the pain threatened to cover Lorian's heart. Holding his hands to his mouth and his stomach, the man wanted to wretch to unleash the anger he felt, the rage he knew would surely come.

A wail, a sound so unholy, tore the humble fog of silence that had permeated the room. Lorian turned, his fresh tears flowing like an unabated river, not dammed to race across the cold cobble stone. There the advisor to the king of Brindarmour gazed at his liege. The man had succumbed to the torments of emotional guilt, and now only the essence of an animal remained.

Brevoius lord of Brindarmour, wept as his gentle hand caressed the still form of the women he loved. His white gauntlets stained with the lifeblood that had given her life. His tears unlike Lorian's were tears of grief and loved lost. He stood hunched over his beautiful wife, and his large strong hands forged for wielding a blade held her softly like some new born babe being christened. Another wail ripped from his soul, as he gazed Milensia, his queen, and his love. With the movement of the undead the great king laid the women on the sheet and stared at the dagger that stuck half way deep into her chest. Intricate rune, laced with words of power ebbed faintly. With wild anger, the king tore the blight from his queen, and cast it towards the floor where Lorian stood.

Lorian could see the hatred dancing upon the eyes of Brevious, the like in which he had never seen before in all his time serving the king. Gathering his wits Lorian shuffled to the king and spoke. "Let her sleep be peaceful." His hand fell to the king's great shoulder. Brevious towered over Lorian be several inches. His blue-green orbs burned with inner fire. "How can she ever rest," Spit fell upon Lorian and the king's dark beard, "I trusted him! We all trusted him!" Disbelief hung to the man, as would a cloak; stunned disbelief. Even as silence once more clung to the room, slapping sounds of leather boots upon a cold floor soon disrupted it. Lorian out of cold rage reacted, swiftly gathering the dagger in his hand, the blade reflected some light at the king; the only thing that would wash the evil taint of the dark-steeled blade was vengeance.

"Take it then, use the fury that lies in your breast, and quench it with his death!"

As if not hearing the advisor, Brevious's hand played lightly with a forelock of his wife's hair. How beautiful she was... how alive she had been, he could not believe she would not be there any longer. Slowly the king rose, and his hand closed in a squeezing fit. "Vengeance." The whisper barely left his lips, as the footfalls from outside entered the king's chamber. Several men from the castle garrison bowed on one knee to the lord. The captain with blond hair, and steely, gray eyes spoke first, his voice the sound of creaking timber on a stormy night. "My lord..."The man stammered. Brevious lashed out in his anger. "Speak man! What do you have to report?" The soldier simply continued, the works stuck in the dry crevices that was his throat. "The princess is gone."

***

It was a cool night, this evening in Faliss. The lights were arranged in there usual way to brighten the areas of the streets as passerby's walked about the roads, this hot summers eve.

Anavuer's moon had risen high in its apex, away from it's larger sister moon, Elistris Bridal. The dark moon was known to many as the moon of omens, and at its apex the bringing of ill wind.

Brisk Wayfoot cared not this night, as flowing tears mixed in his flagon of Sempress-Crystal ale. He pulled another strong swig, and unhappily traversed the way home. The drunken man hiccupped as he stumbled down the streets. His clothing stunk of bad ale, and even worse food. It permeated his garments like some cloud that always hung over the ill fated. Even the passerby's that walked near made a wide circuit about his ripe form.

Brisk cared not.

Sempress-Crystal ale, the fey wine created by the stout Niblung Dwarfs had carried away any sense of reality, and had replaced them with dreams of fractured promises. Thing had not gone well with Brisk, early he had found out the fates of both his brother and his son that served in Brindarmour's army. Both had been destroyed against the dragon, as would have Brisk, if the man hadn't broken his arm lifting the barrels of water for the quest. In his grief, and sorrow, Rift's clawwine's inn this night, and wine would make his mood better.

The man cursed the dark moon that hung high in the inky-black night. He stared at the moon with a deep pang in his heart, as he saw the fevered images of his brother and son, created by the powerful Dwarfin drink. "Sef... Arsen, I should ‘uv been with ya... damn!"Brisk smiled, and as swiftly as it had appeared the grin changed to one of mirth. He raised his broken hand to the sky.

Brisk never felt the wind pick up.

To his drink-induced eyes he only saw his brother and son. He smirked as he saw their hands drop level and pointing to him to join them, to be together forever. It was the least Brisk could do, to join them, by taking his life.

Even as he thought this, the fates had taken that choice out of the man's hands. Two hundred, thousand tons of solid obsidian rock came crashing down upon him, shaped in the image of monstrous foot. Brisk had joined his brother and son, and never would they be parted again.

The Night man had descended.

***

Fine wings; pumped forward in a sweeping arc. Sending the speeding body of the dragon whipping through the night. The feathered appendages were crafted of fine gold, scales laced with specks of silver and green. The gigantic figure of fang and claw glistened in Anauvar's light as it made a sharp banking motion east, catching the last of the north wind.

Ecstasy, that was the feeling that surged through Ethen's chest, even as the powerful beat sent him soaring; an arrow in flight. He gazed down at the land from up high and his razor shape maw opened to show a grin of delight. He caught the wild scent of excitement, and the spoor of summer, and he soared higher. This was what it meant to fly. Why birds took flight just before the coming winter storms. To feel the wind at your back, and powerful wings surge with the air of the north. Lungs filled with life giving air...no.. Life to a dragon.

To fly on a back of a dragon was one thing; to be a dragon was another. A dragon was a god a symbol of what man wasn't. Man was earth bound, his feet never lifting from the earth. A dragon was more. They were not of earth but of sky un-like man, free...free to fly the warm winds of summer. A dragon was pure majesty, scales like steel shields, talons-razor sharp, able to cleave the best dwarfin mythral. Dragon breath able to burn away the enemies. Mighty, was he, as he careened toward the distant, floating sepulcher of blue-crystal.

Ethen, enjoyed the power, he enjoyed the grace. He hadn't enjoyed the shiver that ran through his back and up his spine.

We pay a price, a most terrible price, the voice replied. Our price, is destruction, our bane is being hunted. We were created by the Omnipotent power, Anuaver. We are made to be the bane of humanity, with the coming of man in later years. Our fate was changed without the dawn of Anuaver's brother Ilistris who freed us, at the cost of his own. We are man's greatest victory, and we shall be man's greatest shadow. Ethen listened to the voice of Lorian and grinned. With a cry to shake Brideshield Mountain, Ethen soared on golden wings toward the waiting spire of crystal.

***

The massive foot of the Nightman slammed down across the cobblestone street uprooting stone and debris. The dark engine of destruction clasp both hand together and reared back, its stone muscles straining, then with a thunderous boom, he brought them down upon Rift's clawwine Inn. The alehouse shattered like kindling in a summer storm. The wood splintered and went every direction. The patrons inside would never be found, as their forms turned to ash from the powerful fusion of rock and magical power. Like a siege engine of destructive Gail-wind, the Nightman continued his quest to the heart of Faliss, and Brindarmour proper.

***

"There I see it on the Horizon!" Ethen growl echoed through the empty sky. The night was now in full. Ethen's serpentine neck twisted, and he could know see smoke and fire raging from the south. Yes Brindarmour's death has commenced. Faliss is know being destroyed, Lorian replied.

"Shouldn't we go back, to aid them?"

No! Keep wing and best speed, we must stop Algarick before he is able to unlock the gate to his home.

Ethen the dragon shook his head. "What gate? What home?"

Lorian sighed; the end was about to come.

***

Lorian watched as the nimbus of energy ripped from the great cavern upwards, straight to the sky. He had never seen any thing like it in all his years of life. Lorian could see his lord, Brevious, watch in awe, as the spiraling wall of shimmering force expanded and careened.

The old mage could spy deep with in the apex of the flame, the foe that had caused so much misery and hurt. Lorian noted Brevious face; red with anger ready to smite down the nearest man. Brevious anger would know no bounds. The King stepped forward, and lifted up his great sword. Six feet of blue gray steel gleamed brightly as the wall of eldritch flame burned brighter. Lorian stepped forward and began to bring forth the change, at the same time the world shattered, and the plagues of man were unleashed.

***

Ethen landed with a large thud, ripping up rocks and pieces of foundation, his clawed feet raking jagged scars into rocky flesh.

"What do we do know?" He asked, his tail whipping about. For an instance he felt woozy and tired, then his eyes opened to reveal himself back in his own form.

"What happened Lorian, why did you cast me out?"

Steam blew softly from Lorian snout, and a grin appeared. "Our paths diverge here great one. I go to finish the cords of my destiny, while you go to finish yours." The great dragon whirled about, his every move an earthquake.

"So you leave me alone to face some mad wizard, in his own tower. That was not our deal." Ethen raged, tears had begun to well upon his eyes. He had not known Lorian long. Yet they had shared a bond, a communion of sorts when they were one. They had shared souls, and Ethen was afraid to be alone once more.

Lorian gazed back. The dragons wizened features drawing close and sad. The great creature's snout gently rubbed the boys chest, almost bowling Ethen over.

"Never would I leave you. We have shared more than any Dragon or man would ever share. I would be with you forever, yet I must do what I have sworn to do. I must protect Faliss. Look upon the back of your hand and know that you will understand all." Ethen looked dumbfounded, as awe worked on his features. He turned his hand over, and stared at the lightly tanned skin. About the middle of the hand, seemed to be a tattoo of sorts round and shaped like a eye. Black in design, it resembled one of Lorian's orbs. Yet instead of an earth green to it, in place was red, the red of blood.

Lorian drew back and bellowed. "There, young Ethen is the answer to the puzzle. There upon the back of your hand is the key to imprison what dwells within the Blue Crystal Spire. Along with your courage, and your faith you will begin to see the shaping for what they are... not what they might be." Lorian's great wings caught the air currents, and the great wyrm was off.

Ethen watched the great golden creature fly off, he then turned his gaze to the great crystal spire that loomed before him. It was a magnificent structure, crystal blue, with a surface that gleamed slightly in the moonlight. Ethen, touched the back of his hand, felt the living tattoo radiate with its own inner fire. It was as if the thing was a live. As if it had its own soul, which it shared with Ethen. The young prince grew hesitant his fear of magic rattling in his bones. Unsure of himself and the glowing sigil upon the back of hand, he began to walk toward the crystal doors that would lead the tower. The wondrous portal loomed in front of Ethen like some great, coral barrier. Ethen placed his hands upon the cool surface. His lips moved quietly and quickly, then his arms began to weave about in sweeping arcs, even as he spoke. Ethen could not fathom what was happening, all he could understand was that the words and the motion felt right.

The eye had taken over infusing the words into Ethen mind.

Stepping back he felt the eye glow hot- red upon the back of his hand, for a brief momet he could almost sense the eye move as if to see the handiwork just done. Where Ethen's fingers and arms had danced the gate began to sizzle and crack. The gate erupted in a shower of glass. The Eye of Fate's power ate away at the magical portal. Smoke rose from every direction, steaming by Ethen, yet not hurting the young prince. Wide eyed he looked at the eye, and the eye simply blinked.

The thing was alive, Ethen look on horridly.

Then in his head he heard a small voice in his head.

We are now one, you and I forged from the pits of a dead divinity, and we are what are to come. Enter and fulfill the destiny you were meant to live...

Fear ate away at the young prince. He watched the living eye pulsate with red, mystic energy, and for the first time he knew that the eye had been created to end the horror of the creature that lay with in the spire. Even as the fear ate away at Ethen, a cool calming voice echoed threw his head, reassuring him, calming him.

Fandis, Ethen thought, his lips moving in conjunction, but no sound came forth. The voice had been Fandis's. The only father Ethen had ever known, the only person who had ever cared. As person he would never see again. Ethen began to weep; his tears become stiff as the cool wind passed his face. Ethen tears were not the tears of fear and loneliness. They were tears of warmth, and understanding. Fandis had never left him. He had all ways come to him in his darkest hour. The dragon, the library and know here.

Ethen rose and gazed at the blasted doors, and the dark portal ahead. Once more gazing at the back of his hand, he turned the sigil, and with a small word of conjured power, the darkness was no more. As was the darkness of his heart, the fear that had taken away his courage. It had been replaced by Fandis's warm love, and the Eyes companionship.

With a heart full of hope and rising spirits Ethen entered the magically lit corridor, and was ready. Algarick Lord of the blue crystal spire was not going to escape, all that would left from his shattered body would be dust. Ethen smiled.

The eye of fate, a watcher of time
boy of no past, a prince divine.
Mage of darkness, Construct of night
Dragon of Gold, Wrym of Might
All bounded by a princess light
Blue Crystal Spire, keep of fright, will hold hope, and the fight
For in the end who will be right?

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