Finally! A new chapter!
And a nice long one at that :3
And 29 followers, that's like more than doubled since the last chapter. ^^
So, this one was difficult for a number of reasons, some of which i will address at the end of the chapter. The main thing is that work turned out to be more taxing than i thought. That and i may have ended up rewriting like 80% of the chapter...so there's that.
Despite the long wait some parts of the chapter may appear a bit rushed and may contain wacky sentences and all that good stuff.
Answer to the riddle is hunger.
Without further ado.
Chapter 8: Mirmulnir
He jumped over the railing of the destroyed walkway, landing on the hard rocks below before moving over to his bonded.
Koraaviik stayed in the background, within sight but not close enough to be in the way. They couldn't risk it.
As the dragon landed Koraaviik was both relieved and at the same time made even more nervous. The slightly pale scales, broken spikes and numerous scars as well as slightly torn wings were a telltale sign of an elder. Though Koraaviik had never seen one this old. No, old didn't really fit, ancient was more like it. Younger dragons were known for their rash and aggressive behavior, often attacking first and asking questions later. Elders however possessed wisdom and knowledge fitting for their age, and while they were often several thousand years old their long life gave them experience and strength that few dragons possessed. This one seemed like no exception, It was clear that it wasn't afraid of standing its ground with countless scars that littered his scales. The downside to this being an elder was that if he decided they were trespassing on its territory and wanted them gone, there was little to nothing they could do about it.
What not to do when facing an elder? He knew not to look them in the eyes, it would be disrespectful at best, and a death sentence at worst. Don't speak unless spoken to, like before it was seen as a sign of disrespect. The rest conveniently left his mind as it landed.
The dragon stood tall, head held high in a clear show of dominance. He was a fair bid larger than Midwahgein with a much more stocky and muscular build. Worn dark brown scales along the back with a much lighter, almost sand colored belly and wings.
By tradition it was the elder who spoke the first words, and they didn't have to wait long.
"Ahnok dovah, an unexpected surprise" He grumbled, voice old and rich and eyes that held a glint of something he couldn't quite place.
Midwahgein lowered her head, before replying "Drem yol lok. I am Midwahgein. Apologies for trespassing on your territory, but we are in need of...assistance"
Koraaviik tried his best to follow the conversation, he recognized Drem yol lok from the few times he'd been around the dragons before the war.
It meant Peace fire sky, a formal greeting between two dragons. And it was expected for a younger dragon when addressing an elder.
It was meant to show respect of territory and the withholding of aggression between two dragons. Midwahgein seemed fairly tense though the ancient dragon showed no sign of noticing.
"We?" It said questioningly, eyes scanning the area for the figure it had apparently missed. Koraaviik took that as his cue and stepped forward, holding his head low and avoiding eye contact.
It's eyes narrowed.
"Dovah-sonaak, a dragon priest. I thought your kind died off long ago" The ancient said with a snarl, revealing rows of teeth. Koraaviik wasn't sure if he was supposed to answer, and even if he was he wasn't sure what kind of answer it expected, nothing he could think of really seemed fitting. The dragon seemed less than friendly, something didn't bode well.
The ancient turned its attention back to Midwahgein eyes narrowed in suspicion.
"Alduin thuri, would not have brought him back" It finished, eyes boring into Midwahgein. Koraaviik flinched, this seemed more like an interrogation than a meeting between old allies.
Meanwhile he was trying to digest the information the elder seemed to be throwing around. Alduin was alive? They had all gotten the message that Alduin had fallen, the rebellion had been at its highest when it happened. And when alduin fell and it became clear that the dragons could be defeated, well the war didn't last long after that, it seemed like everyone suddenly had the will to fight, men women and children. They had won by a landslide as well, there's only so much you can do when the enemy outnumbered you by thousands.
"Alduin did not bring us back, Koraaviik did" She said reluctantly, gesturing to him. Her voice sounded tense, not only her voice he noted. Her entire body was tense, ready to jump into action at a moments notice.
The ancient dragon froze for barely a moment before it's head turned to fully face Koraaviik who didn't dare move.
"Is that so?" it said in a strangely neutral tone, looking once again at Midwahgein who stood still, clearly weary of the ancient dragon.
"I never cared much for you traitorous humans" It admitted accusingly, but koraaviik new better than to retort.
"You lived your small and insignificant lives without bothering me"
Koraaviik felt the edge of Midwahgeins tail rest move across his leg. Followed by her voice ringing through his head "When I give the word, you run"
"I'm not leaving you" he replied stubbornly, though the severity of the situation was starting to make itself clear, the ancients aggressive posture was a clear warning of where they were going.
The ancient continued, clearly oblivious to the silent conversation between the two.
"But when you rebelled, and slaughtered my kind, hunted us to extinction like some common good for nothing animal" It spat the last few words, apparently blaming the entire human race for the rebellion, and the hunts that apparently followed, something Koraaviik had feared but had know gotten confirmation on. He silently cursed, it only made sense that the humans would want revenge for centuries of oppressive ruling but hunting the dragons to extinction was wrong, doing that proved that they were no better than the dragons, in fact they were worse. The dragons at least let the humans live, it might not have been a perfect life but they lived nonetheless. The idea of a peaceful and just human empire that had slowly been building in his mind crumbled.
"When you killed every dragon you could get you filthy hands on, that all changed" It took a small step forward, claws digging into the hard soil.
"Despite your titles and clothing you are just like the rest of them, rotten to the core!" It practically roared the last bit.
Midwahgein re-positioned herself so that she was halfway blocking koraaviiks view of the ancient, something that was rewarded with another angry snarl.
"You would choose a pathetic Joor over a fellow dov?" It asked, voice somewhere between disappointment, betrayal and hatred.
"You are giving no choice" she squeezed out through gritted teeth.
"Then so be it, your death will be swift"
"Now!" Her voice screamed through his head, loud enough to make him cringe. Koraaviik sprung into action, body turning around and sprinting towards the nearest part of the outpost wall.
"Yol Toor-" Koraaviik looked behind him just in time to see the ancient dragon get a tail smacked into his face, interrupting the shout and sending him stumbling to the side from the force. He shook his head before turning to face Midwahgein face set in an angry snarl.
"A traitor and a coward!" he roared jumping forward slamming his entire body into an unprepared Midwahgein. They wrestled each other, tumbling around like a massive pile of scales, claws and teeth. They crashed into the wall, making the already badly damaged structure crumble completely under the weight of the two dragons. She had a bloody gash across her neck from were the other dragon had managed to tear through the scales. She managed to get a stable footing but the much bigger ancient pushed her back before back before she could retaliate.
Midwahgein managed to use her smaller size and weight to doge to the side, almost making the ancient dragon stumble forwards, before he could turn around she pushed the dragon to the side and sank her teeth into his shoulder, making him roar in pain.
He pushed her back with one of his wings and they were once again having a standoff. Each refusing to back down.
"We are not here to fight you"
"Liar!" the ancient roared before charging again.
Koraaviik was not about to leave her to fight it alone, her orders be damned. Though he had never fought a dragon before so he would have to think quickly. How did you kill a dragon, fire? No
He had seen dragons bath each other in flames with no visible effect. Ice? That could work, but he would imagine that he would have to put quite a bit of energy into it to do any real damage. Same issue was present when it came to conventional weapons like swords and axes. A dragons hide was tough and highly resistant to both cutting and stabbing. Perhaps blunt force weapons could be effective but he didn't really have any such weapons on him.
He knew dragons had week spots, places were the scales were much softer and therefore more vulnerable. The wings, inside of the legs, armpits and eyes. But of course the dragon knew they it had those weak spots and would no doubt do everything to keep them away from harm.
One wrong move and he would be dead. Perhaps he should go for a solid distraction instead to allow Midwahgein to get the upper...wing.
Koraaviik pondered his opportunities, his magic was still low, he wouldn't be able to throw that much around before going dry, magical exhaustion was the last thing he needed, that would make him practically useless. No 2 or 3 well placed spells was all he had to work with. Now were to attack? The nehimd would result in him getting slapped by the tail, the sides were covered by the wings, if he got punished by those he would probably be either dead or dying and the head was definitely out of the question. Underneath? No he would just get trampled. The back...stupid but it might work. He looked around, he needed a weapon and since his old sword was now lying somewhere in the temple, probably covered with rust and dirt he would need a quick replacement. He jumped from his cover to one of the dead soldiers bodies, grabbed a spear and ran towards the guard tower. The soldier was nowhere to be found, probably fled when he had the chance.
He had made it up the first few slides of stairs and into a floor that was missing most of a wall when he almost stumbled from a spike of pain that pulsed through his chest, he dragged himself to the edge just in time to see Midwahgein push the other dragon away with a bloody gash across it's left eye. She was however bleeding from several puncture wounds in her chest area.
The ancient had somehow gotten her onto her side and then bit into her chest only for her to claw it's right eye out.
Without further thought he jumped from the hole in the wall spear aimed at the dragon. He landed heavily on it's back, the spear firmly jammed into the spot between the wing and the spine.
The dragon reared upwards, throwing Koraaviik onto the ground. It spun around and roared before it's head shot forward, clearly intending to bite him.
He briefly considered throwing an ice spear down it's throat but he had to jump to the side before he could act on it. The jaw snapped shut right were he had been a second ago, he got it's attention alright.
He flipped around to face the dragon again, barely getting up from the ground before the dragon opened its mouth, eyes practically burning with rage.
"Fo krah diin!"
Koraaviik quickly threw up his arms and summoned the strongest ward he could think of, the storm of ice and snow blasted against the ward and he immediately felt the drain on his already depleted reserves.
The ward held up well, though he could feel the cold wins roaring past him, the ground beside him immediately froze and cracked and the few plants around was sliced or broken by pieces of ice.
Time seemed to slow down during the onslaught. After two seconds, his arms were shaking.
After four seconds his legs felt wobbly.
After six seconds he was barely able to stand, he only lost his focus for less than a second but that was all it took, the ward flickered and promptly faded and he was faced with the full force of the shout. It felt like an ice wall smashed into his face, the world spun as he flew through the air before hitting the ground hard, rolling around several times before coming to a stop. It took a moment of silence before he realised the shout had stopped.
He coughed a few times before rolling onto his stomach, slightly lifting himself up, he absentmindedly realised his arms were covered in cuts and bruises.
He looked up, his vision was blurry and he had to blink a few times before it cleared enough for him to see the scene taking place. Midwahgein had jumped over and grabbed the ancients head with her claws and then used her momentum to slam it into the wall of the guard tower partially making it collapse in the process the ancient looked like it was about to get back up when she slammed her right wing into its head knocking it into the ground again.
Koraaviik wasn't really sure if it the dragon was still moving, he couldn't quite get his vision to focus.
Midwahgein attacked again, clearly not taking any chances.
She used the claws on her wings to grab hold of the dragons head before she stated slamming it into the ruined stones from the tower, again and again. After the first four hits the rocks were bloody.
Koraaviik was taken aback by the brutality, the ancient struggled, it clawed at her but she ignored it, it's head hit the ground again and then again, this time it was followed by a crack as one of the horns broke off.
She took a few unsteady steps back, breathing heavily.
The ancient was still.
Her head turned around, eyes catching his before she started walking towards him, however she didn't even make it halfway before collapsing heavily onto her side.
His mind immediately jumped to the wounds she had received during the fight, the bite in her chest, the gash along her neck the numerable scratches along her side and wings. She was practically covered with blood.
He clumsily pulled himself to his feet, limping as fast as he could. Heart pounding in his chest. He knew it looked bad but the wounds weren't that deep, only superficial. She was just exhausted from the fight that was all.
He dropped down in front of her, her eyes were closed. Blood was still flowing from the wound along her neck, he couldn't really see anything on her chest since it was covered with dirt and blood but he hoped the wounds there weren't deep.
He mentally checked the link, anything to make sure she was fine, the link was alive, but she was clearly weak and in pain judging from the pounding headache he was having as well as pain limbs he didn't have. Something he didn't even know was possible.
He tried running a hand along her face "Don't you dare die on me"
"I'm not dying" She all but whispered, halfway opened eyes and something that might have resembled a smile if it wasn't for the pain shining through.
His hands were shaking "Y...your neck?" there was so much blood.
She huffed, almost dismissively. "It's not as bad as it looks...his aim was off"
"How do you know?"
She closed her eyes again, a pained breath leaving her "If it wasn't I would be dead"
He didn't like the sound of that, it made it sound like it was more luck than anything that she made it through the battle. He should've done something else, there were so many other quicker ways he could've distracted that dragon. And ice spear to the side, a sword in its wing, hell he could've used telekinesis to drop rocks from the tower on it. He looked back at it, the spear was still firmly lodged in it's back, despite the rough beating it took, at least he hit something, he couldn't imagine what would've happened if his aim had been of and the spear had glanced harmlessly off the scales. He'd pressed himself too far with the ward too, that didn't stop him from using what sad little remains he had on a healing spell to Midwahgeins neck, to hell with magical exhaustion. When the warm glow receded the wound was still here but the worst of the bleeding was mostly stopped.
He sank to the ground, leaning against her chest. Somehow he felt even more exhausted than before, he feared it was mostly adrenaline that was keeping him awake and focused. He knew he would feel the consequences later but casting one look at Midwahgein made it all feel worth it. His wounds weren't that bad either all things considered, his mask and armor kept him mostly protected, his arms and legs were a mess through. Numerous cuts and bruises that he could do nothing about. He was drained as it was and after dealing with the wound on her neck the best he could, he was just about ready to drop.
"I told you to run" She muttered tiredly.
"Like i would leave you to fight that one alone"
He saw a glint of orange reflected on her scales. Something that hadn't been there a moment ago. He turned his head to look back towards the tower.
A flake broke off from the ancient and floated in the air. A small piece, almost looking like a scale that moved around for a bit, slowly burning away to nothing.
Both koraaviik and Midwahgein was staring at it in tired bafflement.
Then more broke off, flames started flowing around the dragon as the flakes started to fly around in some unseen wind. The head and wings started burning as the flames increased in intensity.
They were both looking in fascination as the flames burned away scales and flesh, leaving nothing but bones behind.
Everything seemingly forming a flowing wind of flames with streaks of blue and gold.
The flaming wind flowed around increasing in speed and intensity before flowing straight towards him.
He tried to get up, but the stream smashed into him before he could get out of the way.
His body turned numb and his vision got blurry, a swirl of colors and feelings.
Suddenly it all came into focus.
He was standing atop a rock, gazing down upon the burning battlefield bellow, a disappointed look on his face. The wind was flowing across his scales.
Another dragon swooped over, bathing the grassland and humans in flames. The mortals had assembled something that might have been supposed to be an army. However, it was defeated in a matter of hours, the sad remains knows scattered to the winds.
Power was equal to truth, and their power over men was indisputable evidence of their superiority. It would seem like the humans forgot their place in this world.
Well, he thought, a sinister smile spreading on his muzzle. He would be more than happy to remind them of where they belonged.
He jumped from his peak, gracefully gliding through the air before angling his body and turning left towards a fleeing group of soldiers.
As he got within range he opened his maw, letting a shout flow.
"Yol toor shul"
Screams filled the air.
His vision swirled in flames and revealed a new scene.
He was flying above Bromjunaar, the once great city now under siege. He cast his gaze across the buildings, many of the small houses that the mortals insisted on living in were damaged or destroyed by siege weapons. The few mortals that were still loyal to the dragons were fighting on the walls.
Once more he found himself hating them, they had been useful for a moment, helping to keep the rest in check, but the second he looked away they either rebelled or ran like the cowards they were. Alduin had fallen. No one knew how, but he was gone. Alduin had been the strongest of them, his rule had, however much he hated to admit it shattered what little coordination they had. Most of the dovah had gone their own way and then died as a result. He would say stupid young lings but elders had been among those who decided to abandon their old allies and territory. Fools all of them.
There was a bright blue flash that sent the nearby soldier flying and turned the solid oak gate to little more than splinters and crumbled metal. The traitors flowed inside like a wave of insects. He roared his challenge, several other younger dragons following suit before going airborne.
He landed right in front of the gate, crushing a handful of mortals under his claws.
He turned his attention to the stunned creatures in front of him, once more letting flames flow from his maw. Screams filled the air, but those were quickly silenced as well.
Only ash would remain when he was done with them.
He looked up just in time to see a shout impact a dragon, it's body seemed to seize up and fall from the sky, the moment it crashed it was swarmed by the mortals from all sides. Insects they were.
Mirmulnir turned back to the soldiers, once more breathing fire, except this time it was blocked by a translucent blue wall. The wall disappeared as soon as he ended the shout, the mortals seemingly taking advantage and charging.
A dragon got halfway decapitated by spell.
He bit into a mortal, teeth easily penetrating the steel plate and crushing the bones beneath.
Another dragon fell from the sky.
A group of humans got frozen solid by a shout.
The smell of death was thick.
His version swirled and changed again. He was flying, he didn't know where he was or where he was going but he had no choice. Bromjunaar had fallen, Mirmulnir was old, he cared little for other dragons, though he didn't mind the occasional small talk. That however didn't mean he wanted them dead, but the humans had continued their hunts. They had won the war and as if that wasn't enough their apparently deemed it necessary to actively hunt and kill every remaining dragon. Mirmulnir had no allies left, he didn't even have any rivals or enemies left. They had all fallen.
It seemed like a long time ago, but he wasn't really sure, the days all blurred together.
Hunt, sleep retreat to somewhere isolated and repeat once the hunting parties showed up. He'd killed the first few, but that just resulted in even more showing up, more numerous and stronger than him. He never had time to rest, he was forever on the run, tired, hungry and alone.
What he wouldn't do for a little company.
He cursed the mortals, every day he cursed them. He vowed he would kill a thousand for every dragon they had slaughtered.
He would make them scream for mercy in every tongue, make them cry out for their gods before crushing their pitiful little bodies.
One day he would have his revenge.
Koraaviik slammed back into reality, the strange out of body experience disappearing as quickly as it had arrived. He was on his knees, breathing heavily. His mind was a jumbled mess.
It felt like a damn had broken inside him, a strange warmth flowing through his body.
He swallowed, taking a few calming breaths.
"What was that?" He looked up at Midwahgein when she didn't answer for a moment.
Her eyes were wide, a shocked expression on her face.
So I'm going to address the big thing first and the one that caused me the most trouble.
Koraaviik being dragonborn, it was the plan from the beginning, it worked perfectly with my long term plans and would in my mind ad an even more interesting component. A dragonborn who's allied with the dragons. However, then i realised that one of the things that made this story unique was that, unlike every other story the main character wasn't just a random dragonborn on adventure. And then I became unsure. So let me know if you...you know like it, I really became unsure with that one.
Next up is Mirmulnir, as it turns out he survived the dragon war and the hunts that followed, he his one of the oldest named dragons in the game. You learn something new everyday.
This is also one of the first fighting scenes i write to I would love to know your thoughts.
Two bodies have I, though both joined in one, the more I stand still the faster I run. What am I?