Rise of Kalshara

Chapter One: Creatures of Albion

Sweat poured down his scarred and marked face as he dove behind a large slab of upturned stone to evade the dangerous breath of the fierce dragon behind him. He searched the floor, only to notice that he had left his blade behind while dodging the inferno. His black hair fell messily in front of his eyes as his scale mail pressed tightly to his body as he strained to overcome the heat.

A deep laugh came from the great black dragon. Jack of Blades, who had finally revealed his true self, shot another blast of hot embers towards the rock where S'Rin, the Sabre, was hiding. "Face it, Hero, you're no longer any match for me!" He bellowed raucously, clawing the ground with his great black claws.

While the dragon was slightly distracted with his laughing, S'Rin shot up, shouting out some unknown words in a hurry, his hand sparking with a great amount of electricity. The bolt shot from his palm, lighting the area about him with an intense blue light as the energy traveled up the scaled beast's nose and split, spiking him in the eyes before he could do anything.

An angered billow came from the black dragon as he clawed at his snout. S'Rin had disappeared in a flash, and the sword was now also missing. "Where are you, Hero?" The dragon growled, looking about… He stiffened, shocked now, as bolt of pain ripped up his arm. His scales on his left forearm now torn, and bleeding. "What treachery is this!"

Unbeknownst to the dragon, S'Rin had hurriedly started to manipulate the space around him and the dragon, causing everything, from the sparks of embers crackling on the stone floor to the movement of the dragon himself, to slow down greatly. This allowed S'Rin to weave in and out of the embers and approach the dragon with ease, slashing his greatsword into the left limb, lightning sparking from the blade as it hit scale. The sword was sharp, cutting through the dragon's scales like butter.

The time warp was starting to slacken, and he pulled the sword which was wedged between two scales away, diving behind the leg of the beast as all resumed to the way it was.

Jack sensed something was hiding behind his leg after another couple of seconds passed, and he growled loudly, twisting his neck and bringing his nose in to investigate. He got a snout full of masterwork sword.

"Awwrrrg! You'll pay for that you impudent little land scuttling worm!" The dragon loosed another deadly flame, only this one mixed with dark magic. S'Rin yelped and dove under the dragon's maw, running under his long, extended neck as Jack continuously let the flames leap at the Sabre.

A claw of flame suddenly crashed down on S'Rin, the dragon had used his magic to manipulate the fire and cause it to chase the spellwarrior. The flames wrapped tightly around his body as he barreled through. S'Rin, surprisingly, made it out with little more then a scorch mark. The blue aura of energy slowly started to fade as he panted, ducking under another slab of stone as the dragon roared.

The great black lizard snapped his maw shut, expanding his wings and taking off in a flurry of hot winds and flying embers. He hissed as he circled, gaining altitude and taking off out of any reach of spell or arrow from the Sabre. "You'll be scrap meat when I'm finished with you, you'll pay for disabling my arm!" Jack called out angrily from above, letting another burst of flame and now acid rain to the ground.

S'Rin ducked deeper beneath the stone, watching as the weak points in the rock crumbled away under the pressure of the fire and the acidic spit. He grimaced in disgust, but grasped the hilt of his sword, then ran out between the pause that the dragon took to land again, readying another burst of flame. The Sabre stooped behind another rock that was jutting up, using his time slowing abilities to move from one place to another.

He quickly dropped his sword and pulled his bow out, now hiding in a sort of ditch under the dragon's belly, quickly snatching an arrow from the quiver, notching it, and pulling the arrow back, soon to loose it. He aimed for what looked like a patch of skin devoid of any protection on the mid-belly section of the dragon, and let the arrow go. It whizzed upwards, striking into the bare spot just as the world started to speed up again, and because of the magic of the bow, the arrowhead exploded on contact, leaving a nasty gash.

Jack felt the arrow lodge deep into his belly, and he reared up on his back legs, roaring in pain. Deep, crimson-purple liquid seeped from the gash, splattering the ground in large pools of blood. He stretched his wings out with a pained groan, but before he could lift off from the ground, S'Rin meticulously shot off three more arrows, with precision that would put any master archer to shame.

These lodged further into his belly, exploding on contact. After the three arrows hit their mark, blood was now pouring from the underbelly of the dragon, and he stumbled and fell backwards, roaring in extreme agony as a sharp, spear-like rock pierced the scales of his back, and jutting up through his chest. His claws curled as he growled, whipping his tail about. He was still alive, miraculously, but S'Rin made sure for not much longer. He took his blade, and drove it down into the already beaten stomach of the dragon, slashing it through a vital organ, and left the sword there, turning it in his grasp.

Jack roared in pain, and after a moment of futile struggling, trying to slash and blow fire at S'Rin, the dragon's head thumped to the ground, and his body began to lax… He was dead. S'Rin had finally killed the beast that was tormenting him for such a long time… He slumped to the tempered ground, on his knees, panting, and thanking whatever forces out there that had helped him slay the terrible dragon.

He would finally be able to rest, it has only been five short years since he left the Guild, and already, being only twenty five, has faced more then his share of hardships. The Legendary White Balverine, conquering the Arena, reveal the witch that was once Bowerstone's Mayor, avenging Lady Grey's sister, even Jack Of Blade's previous humanoid form… Then defeating a sea-beast, the Kraken, along with spending an agonizing year in the Bargate Prison… And now, he has slain an all-powerful, dragon. The dragon that was Jack of Blade's true form.

He stood up and retrieved Jack's soul, trapping it in the mask that he had once used to corrupt powerful beings and used them as a vessel. Then, S'Rin marched over to the edge of the platform, peering down at the boiling, bubbling lava, and chucked the mask down into the fiery pits of a suitable Hell.

With a sigh, he retrieved his sword, strapping it to his back, and his bow, also putting it away. He checked his arrow supply, making sure none had fallen in the struggle. Magical quivers, always holding in every arrow, such a nice item to have possession of. He wiped his bangs away from his face and the sweat from his brow, and sighed again, in relief. He heard the scuttling of footsteps, and a gasp from a woman followed.

"Oh my good Lord Avo! You've done it! You…" Briar Rose stood there, shocked, looking on in utter and complete surprise through her darkened goggle-like glasses. Scythe walked up behind her, arms folded and letting off a ghost of a smile.

"You've done it. But who would have know Jack's incarnation would be that?"

S'Rin shook his head, and walked towards the two. He walked slow, having most of his energy zapped at this point. "I don't know. But it was damn hard to beat. I would have never imagined that that's where he got all that blasted power from. Dragons aren't to be laughed at, despite their decline in numbers." He closed his eyes, breathing in the charcoal fumes that were all around him, and then exhaled deeply.

"Take you're trophy! A dozen scales should do. The dragon's head is far too big to carry." Briar Rose said in excitement. True, she never was really fond of showing off her trophies, or really fond of S'Rin, but he has earned her respect. That, and dragon scales, claws and teeth are too valuable to pass up.

S'Rin laughed and shook his head again. "Mind helping, then?" A grin spread across his face, his features becoming plain. His hair a dark jet black sort of color, and he had a bit of stubble growing on his chin. His messy mop-head grew down to his shoulders, in spurts and spikes here and there. Scale mail, or something similar to stronger chain mail, stretched across his body, being almost a full suit.

No markings betrayed him as being evil – or as being goodly. He seemed to be neutral, in between. A slash of black paint marked his left eye, like a scare, and intricate markings of paint covered the other side of his face. A purely fantastic design it was, too.

Briar Rose smirked and pulled out a dagger, though it glimmered with magical energies, and walked over to the carcass of the dragon, squatting down and picking off choice scales. She also took a claw, a tooth, and the very tip of the dragon's horn that curled around its face. She dropped them all in a sack held open by S'Rin.

"Hm. You know, we should take more of that hide…"

"Why?" Ask S'Rin, giving her a somewhat suspicious look.

"Don't look at me like that! It may have been an evil creature, but do you know how good Dragon Hide armor is supposed to be? In the books, its said that if you have the hide of a dragon, you can make armor better then any! There's a strange creature – she looks like a Nymph, only is about the size of a teenage child – that appeared at the Guild. According to her, she can imbue armor with magical properties. And that dragon's hide is big enough to fully suit you with some masterwork armor." Briar Rose said in a hurried fashion, grinning lightly.

Scythe shook his head, "Rose, she is not a Nymph. Tesil is an Elf from a continent far off." He told her knowingly, and then looked over to the Spellwarrior, S'Rin.

"An Elf, huh? I've heard tales of Elves and Elven kind. Never saw one though. I didn't know that they even existed." Answered S'Rin thoughtfully. He nodded after a moment of silence, expecting Scythe to answer.

"Ah, but Dragons and Krakens, and Gryphons are very much real. And so are Elves. Most creatures of Myth are truly alive – somewhere."

"I see." S'Rin answered, stroking his chin.

"Whatever! Are you going to help me de-hide this damn creature, or not?" Asked Rose, already working on skinning the fallen dragon.

"Oi, fine." S'Rin said, becoming annoyed with Rose. "Just shut up afterwards. Please?"

"Yes yes! You too, Scythe!"

"I want no part in this. I didn't slay the dragon. And I have no need to wear its filthy hide." With that, he vanished in a ring of blue and reddish rings. He teleported away, back to the Guild, most presumably.

"Humph. This will take longer…then… S'Rin, what're you doing?" Rose asked curiously, watching S'Rin chant an incantation for one of his many spells.

He grinned, and four, silvery, misty swords appeared, dancing and twirling around him. "Shakath." He stated simply in the language of the Arcane, in which he used to command anything he summoned. The swords immediately went to work, hacking and slashing at the dragon in various places. Rose let out a cry of alarm, and was about to question S'Rin's doing, but he silenced her and told her to watch.

The swords continued their work, sizing and cutting the dragons hide perfectly. The pieces of skin fell off of the dragon to the floor, already de-scaled and ready to be made into armor, in large squares. S'Rin smiled, walking over, picking up the pieces of hide, and stacking them until all available hide was taken from the dragon. The sword disappeared with a whisp and a slight swish of sound, and S'Rin turned to Rose, grinning.

"That's how it's done."

"…Oh, shut up, you big ugly –"

"Hey now, is that any way to treat your savoir?" He said with a mischievous glint to his eyes as he transported himself and the hide to the Guild. Rose snorted and followed his actions. But not before gathering up the scales that were removed from the hide that was cut.

"Woooow! So that's how you kicked that big nasty dragon's a—"

"Timothy!" Screeched the teacher from his desk, standing up and pointing a shaky figure at the young boy. "You know not to use such language!"

"Aw, shut up you old man." The ten-year-old turned back to the storyteller, who was indeed the Hero known as S'Rin, now the Dragon Slayer. He had brought in genuine scales as proof!

S'Rin grinned, and nodded, resting his chin in his palms as he leaned on the table in front of him. "Indeed, children. That was also the day I met Tesil – such a lovely, fair Elf she is…" He sighed, and then turned a beady eye on the children as they started to blurt out questions.

"How did you and her meet?" One girl asked.

"Why do you have pointy ears now?" Another little boy blurted out. Other such questions arose from the class.

S'Rin let out a hearty laugh, and pushed back his hair, revealing his now pointed ears. "These, and my new ability that is the longevity of the Elves was a gift from Tesil."

"Wow!" One of the kids shouted in excitement. "Can you tell us about how you got to know her, and how she became the new Mayor!"

S'Rin let off a chuckle, and shook his head. "I'm afraid not, children. I must be leaving now. Besides, class time is almost over."

This earned a round of groans from the children. It was rare for the Hero to come in to the Bowerstone School and recite tales from his adventures. Nymphs, Dragons, Krakens, Elves – such excitement for the young ones.

"When will you be back?" Asked a timid looking girl with twin pony-tails and light brown hair.

S'Rin chuckled, "I don't know. Hopefully soon. But now, I need to check up on a few things…" He smiled at the class before getting up, turning and walking out of the school.

As he proceeded to Bowerstone North, where Tesil's mansion was… Where his wife was. He sighed, and smiled, remembering what had happened between them so long ago… It had turned out that the Elf was very young for her race. She was no older then the Hero, only about twenty-seven, she was considered a child among her race, but S'Rin would disagree. She fought and handled a bow better then he did, which he found surprising.

He wiped the wistful look off his face when he started too trod up the stairs. Twenty-five years ago was when he defeated Jack the Dragon, and he doesn't seemed to have aged one bit, or even had any trouble with dragons or bandits since then. He chuckled to himself and waved to a happy guard that let him through into Bowerstone North.

He was walking towards the manor when something that was quite a bit smaller then the six-foot-tall Hero. A child, who appeared to be around thirteen years of age, chuckled and hugged S'Rin's waist.

"Mommy's been waiting!" She said with a high-pitched squeal. The child had jet black hair, like S'Rin's, which reached to the middle of her back. Unlike S'Rin, or any human for that matter, she had a small and lithe body, and she seemed to be able to walk about and not make a single noise, and small pointed ears barely poked out of her long hair. Her eyes were a bright blue-green, a mix of her father's blue and her mother's bright green.

"Is that so, Ailya? Well, I'm coming home now, huh?" S'Rin patted the girl on the head as she tried to duck away.

"I guess so. Mother was teaching me to use magic with the bow today! Can you do that too?" The half-elf asked innocently as they walked towards the mansion that once belonged to Lady Grey. Though it has been remodeled to their likings. S'Rin never really liked the interior of the home, or the exterior.

"Aye. I'll be free for the rest of the weekend, so I'll spar with you first thing in the morning, alright?"

"Okay! Great!" She skipped away, running joyfully towards her home with her father following close behind. She giggled loudly as she kicked up a cloud of dirt and suddenly took off sprinting, leaving S'Rin in the dust.

He laughed and ran through it, catching up to her easily enough, scooping her up and holding her against his chest as he ran the rest of the way to the manor. "Hehehe! Hey, Daddy! I can run myself!" She said in between fits of giggles.

When he reached the front gate of his and his family's manor, he noticed the fair elf maiden that was Mayor of Bowerstone trot out of her home. She was fair skinned and more lithe and delicate looking then any human ever seen, her long black hair reaching down to her thighs, and knotted up in braids. Large green eyes and a worried expression were plastered on her features. "S'Rin! We have trouble!"

"What?" He asked, setting Ailya down as Tesil approached. Ailya looked up at her mother with a curious look plastered on her face, holding her father's hand.

"The Guildmaster contacted me twenty minutes ago, there is a sudden rise in Bandit numbers to the south, near Oakvale, and the Hobbes have also doubled in number. Also, I have reports of strange creatures traveling the sewer system of Bowerstone, I don't know what they are quite yet, but we need to take action, and soon." She noted this all quickly, and looked down at her daughter, who didn't know what, besides the bandits, all these creatures were. In her thirteen years of existence, she has seen nothing more then the occasional giant wasp or beetle, and of course the more common breed of both species.

S'Rin bit his lip, and looked about. It wasn't going to be nightfall for another three hours, so he couldn't send his daughter to bed so they could talk. Tesil seemed to notice this, and shook her head. "No, she is our daughter, and she will need to be taught about these things, I… I know you don't want her to have any troubles till she's older, but…"

He shook his head. "That's alright, I suppose you're right. Anyways, let's talk this over after supper."

She nodded, and they turned and walked through the gates. Ailya blinked and looked thoughtful, thinking about what the 'Hobbe' creature was, and what could possibly be running around under the city… I think I'll sneak out later tonight and get Hugh, he would probably know more about this. He said his father used to take him through Darkwood every once in a while to gather banewood…

Later that day, they were all sitting at a large, round table, and Tesil just sat after cleaning up after their meal. Ailya lifted her arms and let her elbows rest on the wooden table, dipping her head in her hands and sighing out of boredom. Tesil sighed, and glanced at S'Rin.

"Did you contact the Guildmaster?" She asked, a cautious tone hinted her accent.

S'Rin nodded, and rubbed his temples. "It's worse then I would have thought," he murmured lowly, but both Tesil's and their daughter's keen sense of hearing picked up his words. He continued, "The Hobbes in Greatwood have not only doubled in number, but their organizational skills seemed to also have improved by a great number. Osirun thinks something may be leading them now. Balverine's are becoming more and more numerous in Witchwood and Darkwood, and some are even moving out into the Greatwood and Barrow Fields areas." He groaned, and snorted.

"Oh dear… You're not finished, I can tell." Tesil said worriedly, putting a slender hand on her husband's shoulder.

"No, I'm not finished. Osirun contacted Snowspire village, and Hook Coast. Frost and Snow Trolls are becoming a common sight and then there is always the creatures you spoke of in the sewers… Guildmaster Osirun also mentioned that these events have been steadily increasing over the past five years, but before now the Heroes and Apprentices were always able to keep the numbers under control." He rasped out, starting to get a tad angry. Ailya listened in tentatively, making sure to note everything her father said.

"And now they want you're help?"

S'Rin nodded. "Yes. I am to leave tomorrow and grab the quest card details… I will be heading off to help defend Snowspire village, it is the least protected in the whole circulation of the Cullises."

"Daddy, what are Hobbes, and Balverines, and Trolls?" Ailya asked curiously.

Tesil and S'Rin looked at each other briefly, the elf nodding. She turned towards her daughter, and began to explain the best she could. "Hobbes are imp-like creatures, the Balverines are a race of wolf-men, and Trolls are sort of like guardians of the elements, only turned evil… Here." She stood up, pushing her chair in, her ears twitching when she listened to the chair's legs scrape the ground. The mother turned and headed for a bookcase, grabbing three books… And a fourth and fifth. The 'Creatures of Albion' series, and two other books, titled 'Myths and Legendary Creatures of Albion' and 'Extinct and Endangered Species of Albion'. She then sat them with a loud thud in front of her daughter. "Go ahead and read these, they can teach you more then I could."

Ailya squealed in delight, taking the books, and hauling them up to her room in a rush. S'Rin sighed, running his fingers through his hair. "At least that will keep her out of our hair while we work this out," Tesil mentioned thoughtfully.

"I suppose."

Ailya trudged up the long stairs that would eventually lead to a hallway with the five books in her grasp. She huffed as she made it to the landing, and looked down the dimly lit hall. There were several rooms, about five on each side, and a rich crimson and dark brown rug running down the whole length of the hall. She snorted as she hauled the books to the fourth set of rooms down, turning to the left and kicking the door in.

Her room was lavishly decorated, a theme of black, crimson, and dark purple. A canopy bed with the color scheme sheets accented the corner of the room perfectly, and a variety of dolls sat on the sheet that stretched across the top of the bed. Dragons and werewolves, or Balverines she assumed now, unicorns and nymphs. She always thought her dolls were of strange and wondrous creatures she knew naught of, except the dragons. She knew of those well from her father's stories.

She grinned and plopped the books on a table that rested next to her bed, looking around and eyeing the black mahogany dresser that held all of her clothes, a rug that matched the rest of the scheme of the room, and other such material items. The most numerous were her many dolls, and a few statuettes that depicted dragons. She has a fascination with the fiery creatures.

She snorted after remember what her father said about dragons. He said that they were more often then not evil, ill-tempered and vain. But intelligent. Highly intelligent. She sighed, remembering how he vividly explained his fight with a black dragon. She believed not all dragons, but in fact, most, were not evil. Though she figured she'd never see one.

She turned to her first book to read. 'Creatures of Albion I', and flipped open the cover and started to read. She grinned and she read the in depth descriptions of monsters from all three books. Of the Wasps and Beetles she knew well of, of the ill-tempered and unintelligent Hobbes and treacherous nymphs. The wolf-men called Balverines, sea-beasts called Krakens, the living dead that haunted graveyards… This all fascinated her greatly, and she read until the sun dipped beyond the horizon, causing shadows to mask the land, and sounds of the nighttime creatures flaring up and singing their melody into the air.

She turned towards her opened window and sighed, "I forgot! I was gunna see Hugh. Hmm… It looks like nightfall has only passed about half an hour ago; Hugh is usually out by the Quay at this time." Ailya said, looking thoughtful. She slipped out of her bed and walked over to her dresser, pulling open the bottom drawer and digging into the variety sets of clothing she had. She grinned as she plucked out a small, black stealth suit. This would serve her purpose well. She had bought this from a passing trader out in the Lookout Point some odd months ago, and her father had given her gold a few days earlier for doing some chores.

She slipped into the suit, looking much like a young, Elven thief, tying her hair into a ponytail, and covered her mouth and nose with a black cloth that would hide most of her features. She then shut the drawer and pulled on a loose piece of stone from her floor, digging her hand into the hole and pulling out a rope. She slammed the stone down, cringing at the sound it made.

The young half-elf stood and tied the rope around one of the poles of the canopy bed, then tossed it out the window. Fortunately, there were no other windows anywhere in line of sight of where she'd be dropping from, so she'd be able to sneak out easily. She's done it so many times before, always meeting up with Hugh every night.

She slipped her dark gloves on and jumped from her window, grasping the thick line of rope tightly, and propelling herself downwards, occasionally kicking the wall to make sure she didn't fall too fast. She made it to the ground without so much as a fracture, and stuck low to the ground as she ssneaked away from the manor, jumping up onto a branch of a tree, walking swiftly across the branch like a tightrope, and jumping over the wall that was around the manor.

Unfortunately for her, a guard just barely caught sight of her as she went sprinting off towards the South side of Bowerstone. He grunted and eyed the fleeting form suspiciously, now sprinting after her. He was surprisingly light on his feet, and didn't make much of a sound. He thought she might have been a ruffian-type that just stole from the manor, and should bring her in, and she failed to notice her pursuer as she hopped the high wall into Bowerstone South by jumping up another tree.

The guard reached the gate, scratching his head and grunting. "What's up, Uil?" Asked a guard guarding the gate, and the one dubbed Uil put his finger to his mouth and shushed the other guard.

"I was following a suspicious looking character… But he disappeared…"

The other guard snorted. "Did it come from the manor?"

Uil nodded, and the other guard burst out laughing, which earned him a look of pure surprise. "What a newbie. It was only Ailya, the Mayor's daughter. She sneaks out like this every night, it's no worry."

The guard grunted, and stalked away. He was sure he was going to be promoted for catching that person, even though he's only been on the job for no more then a week.

When Ailya reached the docks in the Quay, she immediately noticed the dark shadow sitting on the dock to be her friend Hugh. She grinned, and crept forwards, be as silent as she could be. She was almost on him, but her footing faltered and she stepped on a creaking plank. This caused Hugh to gasp and jump up, spin around and was about to strike out at Ailya until he noticed her outfit and her giggling.

"Almost!" He said gruffly, grinning. Ailya pulled away the cloth tied around her face and smirked. Hugh stroked his chin. He was no older then Ailya, maybe a year at the most. His hair was shaggy and reached his shoulders in puffs of dark brown locks. He was about a foot taller then Ailya. His chocolate colored eyes, though unnoticeable in the dark, gazed at his friend fondly before he put his hands on his hips. "So what're we doing tonight, huhhuhuh?"

"Uhm," the elf started uncertainly, "I wanna know what you know about Hobbes, Balverines and Bandits."

He raised an eyebrow at the inquiry, "Why?"

"Father and Mother were talking about them, and some strange creatures that have been spotted in the sewers. I read the book on the Balverins and stuff, but there was nothing about a sewage or swamp-dwelling creature."

Hugh chuckled, "Well, you wanna go down into the sewers and check it out, Princess?" He grinned when Ailya frowned. She disliked being called that, and he had used it on her since he met her, and she was five, him six, at the time.

"Yeah. I brought my daggers just in case. A bow would be useless to me; I wouldn't be able to sneak around with it." She then snapped her fingers and looked thoughtful.

"Ah. I always have my dagger with me, I'm sure there is nothing down there but rats and garbage."

"Alright! I suggest we go to Southside and go to the sewer entrance there, we don't want to be too close to the ocean." Ailya noted to Hugh as they started to walk away from the calm waters of the big blue.

"Fair enough, don't need to be washed out to sea, we don't."


After a good fifteen minute walk, they were out of the Quay and in the Southern part of Bowerstone. They snuck around, knowing the whole city like the back of their hands, and both being skinny enough to slip through the drainage pipes that led into the sewers.

"Ewww, it stinks down here!" Ailya complained, tying the black piece of cloth around her nose and mouth again.

"At least you have something to waft the smell, I don't have jack shit." Hugh spat in disdain, his voice being muffled by his hand.

"Anyways, lets look around, there hasn't been rain for awhile, so it isn't very wet down here." The half-breed started forwards, being a bit braver then her friend. They trudged around the maze of sewer pipes for a good hour before plopping down on the floor, despite the muck, and panting.

"Great. We're lost," Hugh whined, crossing his arms stubbornly and eyeing the girl, expecting an apology of sorts, any would work for him.

"No where not! We… are… right under… the tavern…?" She sounded completely unsure of herself as she spoke, and furrowed her eyebrows. "Yeah, we're lost. And we haven't seen a single thing. Those people who said they saw something must have just been crazy."

"Or drunk."

"Or weird."

"Or drunk." Hugh finished for her, grinning. Ailya giggled, and then, something rustled the garbage that was around the corner from where they were sitting. They clamped their hands to their mouths, and Ailya turned and hugged Hugh tightly, looking away. He scowled, "Some great Elf you are!" He whispered harshly, which earned him a whack to the head.

"Now, if you think I'm going to—" She was interrupted by Hugh slapping his hand to her mouth and holding her tightly, pressing himself against the wall of the sewer pipe's cold, hard metal. A shadow was cast from beyond the bend, and they watched the form shuffle about, bending over here and there. They couldn't tell what it was by the shadow, all they knew that it had a long maw, and a long, stringy tail. Maybe claws.

The creature then scuttled forwards and came into view of the two teenagers. It was lizard-like in appearance, having a human-like body, and was roughly six feet tall. It hissed, its rusty-red scales looking a deep crimson in the dark, and its yellow eyes looking down at the duo. It opened its mouth, revealing rows of tiny, razor sharp teeth and a forked tongue.

Tiny horns protruded from the ridges of its eyes, and a frill extended from its forehead, riding down and stopping at the base of the neck of the lizard-man, and the tail ended in wicked looking spikes, which looked like they would hurt a lot if the creature decided to use its tail as a weapon. Other horns stuck out in various places, the elbows, and shoulders were such places.

The six-foot-tall creature balled up its clawed fists and whipped its skinny tail, the hide armor covering its body stretching to fit its form as it hissed shrilly at the two, letting off a series of serious sounding hisses and clicks, and then it stopped. It eyed the two fearful teens in curiosity.

They gulped, looking up at the creature as it raised it's club over it's head, ready to bring it down on the two teens, and they seemed too frighten to do anything…