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“The closer to water the better.” Xavgon said.
“We land near the falls.” Kalera announces.
Once his claws grip the white ground beneath him, they slowly disembark down his wing. Kalera carries the girl and Kooloan and Ton carefully lowers Hiddard as Rome runs towards the falls. Kalera screams for him, but he continues.
Hiddard breaths are beginning to labor. The altitude is making it harder for him to breathe so he must have a punctured lung. Xavgon already taking Kalera’s thoughts moves towards a pile of pipes of some kind.
Removing the box from his jaws he brings up a red flame heating the pipes just right. Bringing two over to Kalera, he nods his head in approval. She knew what she had to do or Hiddard would die. Asking Ton for his knife that Xavgon then heats. She whispers in Hiddard’s ear. Then…
Inserting one pipe into Hiddard’s chest, she releases pressure. Liquid flows and his breathing normalizes a bit more. Rome runs back and stares into Xavgon’s eyes.
“Mother, he has found drinkable water and shelters some clicks below.”
“How do you know this?” Kalera asks.
“I don’t know how, but I can understand him, as clearly as I do you.” He answers.
Kalera beckons for Ton to retrieve the eggs. After he moves they carefully lift Hiddard onto Kooloan’s back. Kalera takes the hand of Ton’s sister and they follow Rome. Xavgon takes to the sky.
“Where is he going?” Ton ask.
“Where ever he is going or whatever he is doing, it is necessary. Don’t worry. Just follow my dog.” She answers.
King Ager receives news of Jessup’s betrayal. Turning to the messenger, whose face was soaked in panic, Ager steps closer without a word. Looking into his bloodshot eyes, Ager thrust his sword into his gut disemboweling him.
“How could Shereen have missed this being the most powerful of the High Order?” He screams.
Striking his bell he calls for his commander of the House Guard. Surely he must have answers. The giant brute steps as a slug into the council chambers and Ager rush him. It was as water striking the side of a boat, Ager’s forcing his hand landing it on Alon’s face.
“Alon, I trusted you to do your duty.” He whispers.
“I did my duty Your Grace, including keeping Shereen safe.” He replies.
“You fool, she doesn’t need your protection. She is a SHELLION!” He shouts.
“Your wrath is misplaced. Your Hand betrayed you. After all these years of crawling through the ranks, he was nothing more than a follower after the old ways. Ways your great grandfather struck down.” Alon boldly speaks.
“Mind your tongue beast before I roast it on a campfire.” He warns.
Ordering Alon to bring the children and Hiddard Larks’ b**tch to him, Shereen steps in.
“Into the flames now. Tell me what do you see?” He asks.
“The flames are dormant, but the whispers are clear. It is as you have seen. There is no bargaining with Boilos.” She says.
“There is one I can bargain with.”
“Your Grace, she will never bargain with you.”
Shereen’s affirmations were sound. Ager threw the first blow and missed. Palera Dawn will never bargain with him, but she will bargain for the realm.
“Thank you Shereen, I see it in my head.” He says.
“Excuse the interruption my King, the Guardians are waiting in the council hall, Your Grace.” A scruffy guard announces.
The high Lords from each house order Ager’s return to Ta’l. They are in full armor bearing the insignias for each of their houses.
“Did you acquire the Dawn?” Lord Boolong asks of his king.
“No.” Ager said.
“Of course you have not acquired anyone. As a matter of fact, you had a traitor serving you for some time now. Your Hand.” Lord Boolong announces.
The council begins to bicker.
“Sit down and seal your tongue before you lose it.” Ager commands of Boolong.
“Boy, you may be King, but we control these lands. Failsafe’s put in place long before your birth. So you will mind your manners.” Boolong barks back.
He has a point so it is time for Ager to get to the heart of the matter. He looks every Lord in the eye and confesses of his Hand’s betrayal. They bicker amongst themselves and then silence as Lord Boolong rises.
“The truth is my nephew, there was a time when you brought balance and fear throughout Zaylen, but no more. Each of the Lords here faces uprisings in their houses as talk of a new Dawn spreads like a plague. How long before the slaves rise up against masters? I move for a vote of no confidence against you. Nephew.” Lord Boolong says.
“My Lords.” Shereen interrupts.
“These are trying times, a move such as this will show we are broken. The realm must see us band together. If not, your armies will have no reason beyond duty to support any cause of the Crown. Yes, the Enforcers are great but the solders of your houses are the wheels needed to best any foreign invader. Believe me, the Dawn is an invader. I object a vote of no confidence against our good King, as a member of this council, I motion to grant absolute power to Ager.” She counters.
The men whisper and then turn to Lord Boolong as Lord Pompean of Raw rises. He removes his golden cast from his breastplate. Each cast having the head of the king and the tail of the beast insignia of each house. A vote of heads grants absolute power, but a vote of tails is a vote of no confidence. The cast faces head up. Lord Daigle of Rhodes follows with a head-up as does Lord Lareal of Liber while Lord Meerin of Grayler looks to Lord Boolong.
His bushy brows blow straight as sweat rolls off his head. He slides his cast face up.
Lord Meerin sees this as an outrage, placing a bag of gold on the table, and his cast tails up.
Four against one grants Ager absolute power. He orders the games to cease. Every man, woman, and child in Mason must now be trained for tactical advancement. Alon will head the advancement in Liber. The women will train for combat. Enforcers will march to the outlands in addition to Thaves. Rounding up able bodies, former Enforcers, and children from age seven. They will be ferried to Mason. Every Lord’s Guard will report to Ta’l to protect the king as he rides to Mason once more.
Several moons have passed without a word from Kalera. Before Xavgon’s return, their bond was broken somehow. She met with Kooloan and Ton convincing them she must walk the path alone.
Battles erupt between Jessup and Ton for an unknown number of times now. What’s a dragon to do about human quarrels?
“He is a traitor to his own! We can’t believe a word from his mouth. Hiddard, Molly would never betray you, betray us.” Ton shouts.
“She loves the children with all her heart, but even then… Molly went through hell before meeting me. She would never betray me. Hiddard whispers.
“She is a woman. Women are different.” Ton claims.
“Careful Ton. You serve a woman.” Hiddard responds.
Unable to bear the bickering any longer, Xavgon checks on the girl.
Sound asleep under Rome for warmth as he nears them, yet a chattering of teeth. Taking a short breath, Xavgon relights the branches near them. His charge is to protect the camp. But uncertainty sets in as another blue moon rise without any sign of her.
Beyond the falls, blankets of white and vast nothingness. The dark never-ending as the moon stands still. Starvation begins to consume her as she protects the eggs knowing the damage this climate may cause. A gleam in the distance catches her attention as the eggs begin to glow.
Growing brighter and moving closer a voice whispers in her head, “Nempi, enter.” As the light morphs into a frozen door.
A bolt of lightning strikes engraving it. Placing the eggs on the ground, Kalera moves in to open it, but a surge knocks her on her ass. Kooloan had warned about obstacles she would face as he, his father, and three from his clan had.
He told her of a time when the blood of innocents was spilled on the land by High Shellions of old and men. It was the beginning of a Dark time. A time ago long after the last Revelie, special gifted babies were born naturally into the world. Believed to have been sent by the Goddess Rose to provide balance. As early as birth their gifts were realized. Some could touch a dying plant and give it a new life. Others brought new soil to barren lands. As they grew, so did their gifts. Instead of embracing them, the Shellions feared them. So they devised a plan to rid the realms of these extraordinary mortals.
Mothers were convinced by their husbands and high Lords to abandon their infants and children to the land. They were promised a great reward that would never come. The Shellions placed the babies into deep craters and the children into caves. Their cries unheard as incantations befell them like raging floods. They bled from every pore.
After their life force was drained from them, their flesh burned to ash save one. The High Shellion took the body of the boy to the Shellion city. There it was cleaned and placed on a glass bed. Four dragon eggs representing the elements known to man lay at the foot of the bed. Each egg crushed by the Shellion and its liquid flowing into the pores of the child.
“Nephi!” Whispers the Shellion. The body convulses as the organs are frozen in time. Before her, no longer a child, but a young man. Many moons pass and then one night, the man opens his lavender eyes. Kooloan had described the birth of Boilos.
Kalera was not about to give up. Hungry, cold, and exhausted, she tries again and again to no avail. Something had to give, the eggs were losing their warmth. Her presence would not allow them to die, but there are far worse things than death.
Screaming to the heavens, she pushes the door once more. Waves pour through her as she tries holding on looking to the engravings. From it comes a light that cast her two feet away.
Clutching the snow in her bloodied hands, she rises once more.
“You will let us in!” She shouts.
She picks up the eggs, placing them her bosom. Covering her chest with the palms of her hands she whispers, “Raygol.” The eggs jolt sending fire through Kalera. She directs it to the door and it shatters. The Elementos has bonded with her.
She sees tall trees, bearing fruit of every kind. Streams flow beneath them. She runs to a tree, cuffing her hand, taking water into her mouth. Standing, She looks upon Taree before partaking of the fruit.
In the distance stands a man. She blinks and he is in front of her. He blows a strong breath into her face and all goes dark.
Voices of Kalera’s past, present, and future clouds her mind.
“My eyes. Give them back to me!” She orders as she can no longer see.
Placing her hands over the eggs, she sits on the ground and weeps uncontrollably. Then, the dirt becomes wood beneath. She hears a familiar voice that enrages her. It is Ager.
He strikes her again and again with his sword. “You are no Dawn. You are weak.” He repeats over and over.
Clutching one of the eggs, her hands heat. As Ager bears down on her, she grasps the blade, reversing it and impaling his right cheek. His body explodes into ash pulling her into a white room.
Kalera and her family are all sitting around the Birchwood dining table reminiscing about old times. Her mother and Xavier are whispering about the hand he dealt her winning a game of spades. Hella and Jeffery rose to their favorite Christmas tune, Grandmother Got Run Over By a Reindeer, as Musfall cuts a piece of cake. Smiling, she moves closer to her mother, now looking down at a scrapbook. She turns seeing the eggs realizing it’s not real. She cannot remain.
A young man with lavender eyes enters. Cutting the umbilical cord of a baby girl he takes into his arms. He lifts her, placing his nail into the skin on her neck, carving it as the infant screams.
“This is not real!” Kalera screams but it continues.
Falling to her feet, Kalera lets out a cry of great sorrow as her sight returns. Burrowing in her soul, she sees a great cave with endless tunnels. Lined on the walls are precious golden stones.
Ahead she sees a spectrum and she moves towards it. Lowering to the ground and crawling into a cavern upon a rock, a glass crown sits frozen in ice. She takes it into her hands and closes her eyes. Opening them, she finds Xavgon standing at the edge of a cliff. Immediately their bond reconnects.
“My Mother!” He cries.
“You found Taree?” He asks.
“Yes. She replies.
We are 20 days from launch day! The wait is over! Dawn of The Dragon is available for presale on Amazon!
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Giveaway Raffle Drawing:
The second raffle giveaway is Thursday, September 4, 2020! Claim your ticket today!
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Each basket will have some unique giveaways, but all will include a pillow, t-shirt, gift card, mug, candle, bookmarks, a leather dragon journal, and a signed copy of Dawn of The Dragon.