Medievia Mudslinger

November 19, 2000

Engulfed - By Lythius

The streets of Medievia were silent, as were the fields surrounding the once great city. The hustle and bustle of everyday life could be found nowhere, and only a few truly knew how this came to be.

Approximately six weeks previously...

A shriek had cut through the air, so high-pitched that only an animal would notice. The head of the great Zeksagmak snapped towards the north where it had come, and the fumes of his supreme weapon issued from his nose. This had been the third dragon's death wail he heard this week. The hunters, he thought with much distaste, seemed to be getting bolder in their attacks. Something had to be done, lest the entire population of dragons become extinct.

With draconian strength, Zeksagmak leaped forth into the sky and within an hour arrived at his destination, the entrance to a massive underground cavern next to a fast-flowing stream. The sound of water flowing over small rapids fell upon Zeksagmak's ears as the owner of the cave came tearing forth from the entrance, a massive Silver dragon. Her bright eyes locked onto Zeksagmak and she quickly bared her teeth, preparing to fight him to the death if he so chose.

"Be at peace, young one," he said slowly, "Today I do not come to fight."

"What is it that you wish then, dark brethren?" the Silver, Zeklia, snapped.

"As you must know, another of our kind has fallen to the hands of.. the lower beings. Something must be done lest our kind vanishes from the face of this changing world. We have been losing slowly, progressively, through the years and if more of this continues we may be nothing but a folk tale."

"Great beings such as us? A folk tale?! Surely you jest, dark hearted one. I know your kind, and you cannot be trusted with so much as your own offspring. Why have you come here today? The truth if you would be so generous," she mumbled.

After an irritable sigh, he replied, "I propose that we gather a council and prepare for a blood bath, my dear sister."

After a fit of uncontrollable laughter, the Silver subsided and tried to regain some gravity. "You plan to have the dragons of the light as well as the dragons of the dark gather together to fight the humans? What kind of fool do you take me for?"

"I do not take you as a fool, not at all. Alone, I would be bolted, frozen and melted before I could bring up my proposal to the fliers of the light. That is why I need your assistance, my sister. How can you just lie about and allow your brethren to die! They attack without discrimination between light and dark, and they target the younger ones of our society. What will you do when they come for your offspring?" Zeks said, attempting to reason with her.

After much debate, Zeklia was convinced that perhaps the humans were beginning to get out of hand. She flew off to bring this proposal to her allies, and Zeksagmak departed to confer with his.

Within a week, the dragons of all alignments came together in neutral territory, the lonely beaches of the Isle of Xanthal.

"Your proposal is odd, yet intriguing, Zeksagmak. However, there are but a few, who they term heroes, that hunt us. Much of the rest are innocents. Why should we wage war on the entire race? " inquired one of the Golden Dragons.

Zeks replied, "A valid question, but perhaps you should open your eyes to the larger view. They all attempt to become 'heroes', it is their goal it would appear. Yet throughout this time, some of us have lended them rides to thicken our caves with gold and other treasures. How can this not be considered degrading? To be ordered where to go and were to land, or who and what to fight. They call upon us to fight one another when they feel threatened, and even after the aid that some of us render, they go and kill our brothers and sisters.

"Well, enough is enough. We shall not be hunted any longer for our hides, our organs, or our status! We are the rightful rulers of this land, how dare they term themselves heroes! Stand up for yourselves and cease this domination! Do not allow them to ride you as if you were their pets, and do not let them attack your offspring or anyone else! Let us put aside our differences, and fight for our lives!" Zeksagmak yelled with great conviction.

While he had been speaking, the others had been eyeing each other and their minds slowly came to the same conclusion. Why had they allowed humans to mount them, for gold coins? Why did they fight each other to the death when the humans were afraid? Why is their society larger than ours when we are the superior creations?

Thus, a rebellion would begin, and life in Medievia would never be the same again.

Unusual things occured throughout the land. The dragons which once hunted no longer came about. When an adventurer called for a ride from a dragon nothing would happen. People were puzzled, but soon they adjusted and soon it was as if dragons never exsisted in the first place. The people who still questioned these events were answered in time.

The sound of called thunder tore through the skies as the flapping of dozens of dragons appeared on the horizon. The mass approached the City of Medievia, and within shouting distance they landed. The humans outside had already run into the shelter of Medievia's shield, puzzled and scared from this strange occurance. Allowing their fears to grow, Zeksagmak waited for a hour, then shouted forth,

"This is no longer your Age, lesser beings! You shall no longer have the help of the dragons, no.. you will now feel our wrath! We have had enough with the hunting and the pestering of your kind upon us! This is the beginning of the end!"

Medievia's inhabitants gave their own reply in the way they knew best - bands of heroes came forth from their shelter ready to do battle exactly as Zegsagmek had predicted. The large band of heroes had gathered in several large formations, and quickly enhanced themselves with their spells. They waited ready in their ranks as the dragons watched with interest, hardly believing that the heroes would consider a frontal assault. With one voice the heroes gave a war-cry and charged towards Zeksagmak who stood at the forefront of the dragons' ranks. He laughed and with a cruel whip of his neck, his breath spewed forth from his mouth engulfing the heroes in searing flame.

Much to his surprise, the heroes had not given way. A few of the unfortunate had fallen, but many were still standing and the loss of their brethren heated their blood. War cries continued to split the air as the heroes continued their charge. Formation upon formation surrounded the dragon, and for the first time Zeksagmak felt fear grip his heart - had he made a fatal miscalculation? Warriors and thieves attacked him with their enchanted weapons while clerics and mages stood in the back and chanted arcane words. The scales from his hide started to chip off from to the onslaught, and though his talons slew many with each swipe the ranks were continually refilled with ever more heroes.

With graceful movements, a dozen dragons floated through the air to land on the humans' flanks, bringing their own strength to bear on the army. Within moments the tide of battle had turned and the humans began a desperate fight to merely survive, never mind assault their foe. The mages and clerics in the rear of the humans' ranks were the first to fall, and without their protective magics the warriors could not sustain themselves. Several of the heroes began to flee back to the shield and were lucky enough to make it. As the dragons scented victory a crisp, clear note from a horn sounded.

Thousands upon thousands of humans ran screaming from Medievia's exits, but not in terror. Each was well equipped and in perfect formations - none were heroes but that they made up for that by sheer weight of numbers. Caught off guard surrounding the small knot of remaining heroes, the dragons fumbled and a few were killed within moments, hit from behind. The dragons remaining in the air quickly landed to assist their brethren and the Dragon War commenced.

This battle was bloody and at times, seemingly hopeless. Death cries sounded all too frequently for the human forces, yet at every dragon death knell they raised a great cheer. The earth was scorched, churned and trampled as the battle raged. Both the humans and dragons fought on for hours and in the end the humans finally broke, fleeing back into the protection of the shield, a trail of broken corpses in their wake.

The dragons mourned their dead briefly and resumed their patrol, ever watchful for a chance to break through and ravage the city.

The End of the War

The shield protected the inhabitants from hostile forces preventing the dragon army from entering. Zeksagmak had tested the shield in many ways, from throwing objects to frightning trolls into entering it. Nothing would penetrate it that wasn't meant to. Zeksagmek knew that his allies would be losing their will for this and that the humans would be readying themselves for another assault. A fight such as they had recently won would break his forces completely, for though the humans could replenish their number quickly it took many years for a dragon egg to even hatch. If it hadn't been for those portals the humans would have run out of supplies by now. Suddenly, an idea blasted into the elder dragon's mind.

The dragons found themselves looking deep into the vortex known as a portal. They had entered a clantown and lined the emptied streets - Zeksagmak glared at the portal; the key, their victory. A small picket of dragons had been left to guard the outside of the shield, preventing escape and Zeksagmak smiled grimly as, one by one, his forces entered the portal.

When the feasting was done, naught but an empty shield remained.