Chapter 11: The Dark Forest: Dawn of The Dragon

Dawnies, check out chapter 11 draft below. Read beyond for updates!

“What may I call you?” Kalera asks the Kale.

“My name is Kooloan. May I speak openly to you?”

“You may.” Kalera replies. 

 “Men and Kales do not get along, and the Dark Forest is a dangerous place.” 

“Men do not get along with men as you can see by the rise of the smoke from Bram, but we endure.” Kalera whispers removing the box containing the eggs from the hood of her cloak as Ton approaches. 

He smiles as he looks upon the box.

“Your Grace.”

Kalera smiles back.

***

Kalera announces Kooloan will lead them down the Coemic Passage into the forest. 

“Stay alert!” She says as she places the box inside of a glass compartment connected to her mere.

Down the Coemic Passage they advance deeper into the forest. The trees, massive, black, and void of leaves restrict the light of the sun and moon. Only endless darkness and white sheets of snow line their path. Kooloan gallops to the center warning them of his senses. Weapons drawn, they halt as the snow begins to beat their faces. Back and forth he gallops twice more and then. 

“Wild dogs!” He yells.

“Protect our queen!” Ton calls out.

Kalera disembarks her mere. 

“Your Grace, what are you doing?” Genna yells. “Get back up there.” 

“Shelleann and her daughter. They must be protected.” Kalera shouts. 

Running towards them, snarls are thundering and nearing as the group prepares to engage. From the thick of the forest runs big, black, furry beast on two feet with blood-red eyes.

Kalera and two other guards surround Shelleeann and her daughter as they cry out. 

“Shh. It’s okay.” Kalera whispers.

Boom!

 The clash between men and beast commences. Dogs snarl, growl, and howl as they rip through guards. Several men jump on the back of one, stabbing it multiple times along its upper torso. They bring it down but more and more leap from the darkness.

Kooloan hits one with an arrow between its eyes bringing it down immediately. 

“You must strike them between the eyes!” He yells but the news is late. No one had a chance to grab bows and the calculated dogs were ripping through the supplies and weapons.

Three of them make their way over to Kalera and the guards. They charge. It becomes hard for Kalera to concentrate as her head begins to spin. With her sword, she swings but misses. One of the beasts rushes the guard nearest her. He falls to the ground. Kalera jumps on top of its back as the man musters enough strength to push it. Kalera rolls with it, falling and stopping a little ways from it. She stands to her feet.  Not realizing the child stumbled with her. Near them she glares upon Shelleeann.

“I shall not lose another.” 

 Genna runs up as the three prepare to engage once more. This time Kalera’s head pounds, harder and harder. The dogs attack. Kalera slits one in its chest then thrusting her blade as deep as she can. 

In the distance, a horn sounds. War cries as tribal native Kales gallop as the ground begins to shake.

“Kales!” Ton cries out.

The Kales release arrows as they leap onto the scene. Kalera turns to see that she was standing toe to toe with another dog. Only this one was white with red eyes and a pink nose and on all fours. It drools from the mouth and then howls.

The other dogs silence and become perfectly still. Kalera moves closer, catching its scent and locking eyes with it. 

“Rome.” She whispers.

 The Kales stand their ground with arrows fix towards them all. Guards who were left, including Ton and Hiddard run towards their queen.

“Rome. It’s me, boy. It’s Kalera. Romulus. I love you.” 

He calms his groan and growl

He calms his groan and growl. With a strong howl the wild dogs retreat. Rome looks to his friend, lets out a slight cry, and then takes off. Kalera runs after him. 

“Rome! Rome!” She screams but she cannot keep up. Kalera notices the pendant is gone as she moves deeper into the forest. Her legs get lighter as she feels warm hard scales. 

“Roarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!” Xavgon screams as he whips and breaks the limbs of the trees and before long he ascends above. As she looks down to see everyone in awe.

“Xavgon!”

“Mother, I know you love him. Should I track him?” He asks.

“No, we must go back. I don’t understand Xavgon.” 

“Neither do I. It matters not. I’m here now.” 

Xavgon rounds heading back and landing near everyone. Kalera slides down his wing that has tripled in size as he has. Everyone, including the Kales bow before them.

Kalera’s eyes swell as she tries to contain great sadness for the fallen guardsmen and Kales. Xavgon blows smoke from his nostrils, and Kalera senses fear.

“This is Xavgon, my son. You need not fear him.” She says. 

Shelleeann and her daughter walk over.

“Thank you Queen Kalera for risking your life for ours.” She says.

“If I’m not here to save you, then why am I here? Ton, Genna, Hiddard, we bury our dead, salvage what weapons and supplies we can, and we make our way to the Port Cye.” 

“Hiddard, stay for a minute.” With Xavgon arrival she feels confusion in him. “Did you receive any additional news from the merchant? Be completely honest with me.” 

Sigh.

Ager did not bring Sundo and Celest. They are at Mason. My heart is torn.”

“Molly?” 

“I can’t be sure.” He responds.

“Mason is where we will go.” 

“My Queen, I can’t allow you to do that. What of Ager? What of Bram? You now have a dragon. We can take him.” 

“I need you whole, not broken.” 

“Your Grace.” He says.

“I have spoken Hiddard.” She commands.

“Yes Your Grace.” Hiddard responds as he walks away to join Ton and Genna.

Kalera remembers the eggs. She runs back looking for the mere with the compartment she had stashed them in. After finding it on its side,  she opens the box and there they were, unharmed. 

Xavgon leans in to sniff them. “My children.” He cries.

“Your children?” She asks.

“They were lost to the world my Mother, but here they are. You being here now with them can only mean one thing.” 

“What’s that?” 

“Boilos. The Death Claws have returned.” 

“You know of him?” 

“These eggs have been petrified for thousands of moons, elementos were laid by my ancestors. Your blood awakens them.” 

“So the legend is true. I was asked to destroy them. Is there another way? She asks.

“I don’t know Mother. But what I do know is if Boilos gets his claws on them, all life will end.” He warns. 

Meanwhile, Ton is thanking Kooloan for his help. He walks Ton over to his father. King of the Kales. Ton becomes nervous and stutters as he thanks him.

“I did not do it for you.” Remarks the King.

What Ton does not know is that Kales are telepathic beings. Not long after Kalera patched Kooloan up, he sent a message to his clan about her.

Kooloan moves towards Kalera and Xavgon.

“It seems you and your dragon have the same gift as we Kales. Your grace, this is Malaki, my father, ruler of the great Kale clan. He is pleased to meet you.” He says.

She looks upon him in awe. He is taller than Kooloan and his mane is white and silver. He has brown skin, blue eyes, and long black hair.

Malaki speaks to Kalera about a Dred who made his way into the Kale camp. He had been bitten by wild dogs and was turning. His magic no longer sufficient enough to end his suffering. The Kales cared for him as long as they could but he would soon succumb to his injuries. Before the transition was complete, he told the clan of one who would save the realm. One from the old ways would destroy what is and what was. He begged Malaki to kill him before the transition was complete. After burying the Dred, the Kales pondered his words and considered the possibility. 

“I’m thankful that you healed my son. He had been missing for some time. He is my first in command.” My queen, how can we help you?” Asked Malaki.

“We are on a journey to rescue two children from Mason. I can’t be sure, but I believe they were taken there to fight in the Games. After, and hopefully, successfully, we will head beyond Grayler to Mount Mahar. If you can spare Kales to accompany us that will suffice.” She answers. 

“I can do more than that. I will accompany you on your journey. Dawns are the reason my people were able to live in peace for many moons. It was a sad day when the last was taken away from this world. Zaylen needs you, and I will help you to whatever end.” 

Malaki removes his bow from his back.

“I pledge my life to the Queen of the Realm. My bow shall protect you, and my knowledge educate you. I am very familiar with the lands of Mahar. What is it that you seek there?” 

“I can’t be sure yet, but a way to keep these Elementos safe.”  

“I know of those horrid creatures from the far, far north who seeks them. They have sought them for thousands of moons. If they are real, the creatures will follow. Until now, I thought it was a rumor, myth. But you are here and your dragon so the rumors are true.” 

“All is prepared Your Grace.” Interrupts Ton.

Kalera looks out to see the dead lined up in five rows of ten. Xavgon looks down into his mother’s eyes. She orders everyone to step back as she and Xavgon move closer to the dead.

“Your swords and shields will forever be etched into the corners of my mind. May you now guard the realms of men in the beyond.” Kalera pronounces.  

Xavgon moves in closer as Kalera turns to him and whispers, Raygol. She has no idea where the word stems from, but Xavgon understands clearly. He takes a deep, deep breath brings his long neck in and blows. From the base of his body, he releases ice blue flames onto those who are dead. As the smoke clears, the bodies are frozen like stone. 

Update:

Dawnies, hopefully by now you have all had the chance to view the reveal video for Dawn of The Dragon. If you have not, see below.

I’m excited to announce Dawn of The Dragon release date is September 15, 2020. Prepare yourself for the release by reading Palera Dawn and the draft updates if you wish. Some of you are like me and you don’t like spoilers and I understand. In that case, read Palera Dawn.

If you have not already done so, sign up for the email subscription. There are freebies, including a chance to win one of the four raffle giveaway Ultimate Realm Baskets. Click the email subscription from the link below.

https://linktr.ee/aundrielwashington

If you live in the United States and have an Instagram account join me this Sunday for a live author chat. We will be discussing the release of the deleted scenes of the epilogue. Don’t worry, there will be no Dawn of The Dragon spoilers. See the image below for details.

Dawn of The Dragon Reveal Video

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