Legacy of Ember
Yes, this is Ember-centered. Don't like it, please click out.
This is actually the storyline of a comic I plan to illustrate sometime soon, introducing my version of Ember had she been in the new LoS series. I decided I needed to write down the story before transitioning it into a comic.
My head feels like it's been hit by a mace...
Light blue eyes slowly flickered open, surveying the shaky surroundings. Though her head pounded painfully and her vision was slightly blurred, she concluded that she was inside of some sort of vehicle, a moving prison. Small slit of light could be seen in the corners of the shaking wagon. It was obvious that the sun had just risen.
Collecting her wits, the small dragon tried to pull herself up. Her legs were quickly pulled back down, harsh metal rings chafing against them as she slammed back down onto the hard wood.
Whoever had knocked her out was careful to bind her as well.
She gritted her teeth in frustration, lifting her head up. The chain collar around her neck didn't make the task an easy one. Glancing up again, she heard two gruff voices from outside speak to one another. She focused her attention on them.
"Damn animals, the lot of them! Giant, filthy lizards with wings..." One of the voices said hotly. The other voice laughed harshly.
"Yes, but you can't deny they make great tools! Why, when that little runt grows up, there'll be nothing left to stop us, eh?"
"HEY! Shut up back there! How easily you seem to forget that one of the very beasts you speak ill of happens to be the one that will be your King." This came from a deep, commanding voice further up ahead. This immediately silenced the two drivers.
Ember wondered what this was all about as the wagon continued to rattle as it crossed the rough terrain of the mountains. Escape was impossible: even if she somehow melted the strong metal clasps, she didn't think she'd have the strength to fight off her captors. She decided to concentrate on sinking her claws into the dark wood of the floor, the rattling of the wagon threatening to thrash her around.
What seemed like hours went by as the large group made their way up the slope of the mountain. Where they were headed, the young girl had no idea.
What will they do to me, I wonder? What do they want with me in the first place?
As though to answer her unspoken question, the large door of her cage slid open with a dull scrape. She looked up, slightly startled to see a large, hulking silhouette stand against the dull orange light of the sunset. Though it was difficult to make out his features, wild hair and large claws could be seen against the bright light.
She slit her eyes in warning, uncertain of what he wanted. A low chuckle chuckle came from the beastly figure as it stomped towards her.
"You don't scare me, whelp. Your cute little growls are useless here." He said mockingly, taking out a small, rusty key. He bent down and unlocked the shackles that bound her legs, kicking the chains aside as though they weighed no more than a pile of strings.
Gingerly massaging the reddened flesh near her paws, she remained silent. Up close, she could see that he was some kind of ape. A lemur, with a very rough appearance. He was by no means ugly, but he had a cruel look about him that worked oddly with his young features. Unlocking the chain from the side of the wall, he yanked her up by her collar.
She choked, clawing at the chain. "That hurts!"
"Ah, so you can speak?" He grinned in amusement, wrapping the links of the chain around his wrists securely. She stood up, although rather shakily, ignoring his snide comment.
"Now, then. Let's go."
Pulling her along, they descended the ramp leading from the wagon. Her eyes hurt from the blinding light of the setting sun, used to the darkness from inside her temporary prison. Looking around, she saw other soldiers. Most of them were primates, strong gorillas by the looks of it. The larger, more dominant ones commanded the smaller, unintelligent ones. They were busy unloading other wagons that contained various weapons, gunpowder, food supplies, and other various necessities.
Many of the apes bared their teeth at her, trying to intimidate her. Though she was admittedly afraid, she didn't let it show. She had learned te hard way that showing fear could lead to horrible consequences.
He lead her to a crude entrance on the side of the mountain, barely noticeable to anyone who hadn't seen it before. Workers were filing in slowly, checking in with one of the two huge guards on either side of it. They made their way to the front of the line, her captor ignoring the evil glares that were shot his way by those who were waiting their turn.
"Found a new recruit." He said simply motioning towards Ember with a small nudge of his heel against her side. She grimaced, glaring up at him.
One of the guards, clad in sturdy armor, looked down at her small frame. He towered over most of the other soldiers, evidence of his experience in wars etched all over his arms. Horrific gashes and bruises were all over it.
The guard grunted.
"Go on ahead, Azin. Though I don't know how much value she'll be."
The one he referred to as Azin smirked, making his way past them and into the dark tunnels inside. Ember looked around in awe.
The passage leading deeper into the mountainside was brightly lit with bright, glowing crystals of varying colors. The lights emitting from them dances across the walls and ceiling. Rooms connected to the main hall were shut off by elaborate doors, gears firmly locking intruders out. The ceiling was, instead, some sort of glass structure with water rushing through it. Some kind of water system they had probably built to save themselves the trouble of trekking back and forth from a river nearby.
A rough yank of her chain made her stumble a bit. Her attention now came back to the man walking in front of her. His crimson eyes narrowed at her.
"Keep up. I'm already moving slower than normal as it is." He warned her in a low voice, running his clawed hand across his face. His features were young and, in a weird way, handsome. He looked like he was just out of his teen years. His hair, wild and unkempt, draped down to the middle of his back. His tail, something his peers were lacking, was long and banded, trailing behind him like a cloak. He wasn't too tall compared to the other, Ember noted, but he seemed to command respect from everyone he talked to. It was a safe bet that he was possibly a general.
The two of them soon reached a large door, complicated mechanics adorning the base of it. Ember examined the brass and silver workings, coming to the conclusion that it was some kind of lock.
Azin knocked on the door, the dull thuds carrying down the hall behind them. A gruff, deep voice acknowledged him.
"Who is it?"
"Azin, Sir Gaul. I've captured a dragon whelp in the woods just outside of our territory. She might be a handy recruit." Azin responded immediately, bowing down on one knee.
Ah, so he's the one who knocked me out. Ember thought, glancing at him.
The large steel doors slowly opened, the lock's mechanics moving and sliding apart. Ember took a few steps back in alarm, staring into the eyes of a rather large ape with a eerie, glowing jewel in place of his right eye. His long, scarred face was contorted into a sneer, looking down at her. It felt as though he was looking into her mind, judging right then and there if she was worth his time. If it wouldn't be in better taste to just kill her right now.
"Hm... this little one? What could she possibly offer?" Gaul questioned, not taking his eyes off the still dragon.
Azin smiled confidently, reaching down and picking her up by the collar, bring her closer to Gaul for him to inspect her.
"She's young and healthy. She could be trained to become the Dark Lord's servant."
Gaul rubbed his stubbled chin, grunting as he thought it over. She gulped and wriggled uncomfortably, uncertain on what to do.
Finally, Gaul moved took the small, pink dragoness away from Azin, taking the chain he offered.
"Good work, Azin. I thought that all of the dragon eggs were crushed, but it seems more of them escaped my eye than I initially thought." Gaul complemented the young soldier, patting him on the soldier.
Azin bowed, thanking his superior. "Thank you, Sir. If you need my help training her, you know where to find me."
With that, Azin left down the hallway.
Gaul closed the double doors again, setting Ember down on the hard, stone floor. After securing the lock, he turned back to her, kneeling down.
"Now, what is your name? You're big enough where I don't have to take the time to make up one for you."
Gaul narrowed his eye at her. "I said, what is your name?"
"Ember.." she said softly, looking down at her paws.
"Ember, eh? And where did you come from? I know there must have been others taking care of you-"
"No. There was no one else. I took care of myself." She responded quickly, snapping her head back up. Gaul laughed, a knowing grin stretching across his marred face.
"Is that so? There's no use lying, runt. We'll find them eventually." Gaul warned. Ember remained silent, staring up at him.
He stood up suddenly, rolling his shoulders around.
"Enough of this. Show me what you can do. You must have some powers, I take it." He walked over to a large chair, settling himself onto it with a bored sigh. He turned towards a large room, bellowing.
Ember looked in the direction he called, gasping as a young black dragoness padded out of the room with a yawn. She was around the same age as Ember, looking a little younger. Silver jewelry adorned her legs, neck, and tail. Although she was only a child, dangerous blades adorned her crimson wings and tipped her tail. Three sets of ivory horns made the prospect of a frontal attack suicidal. Despite all her physical defenses, she had a small, cute beak of a snout, giving her a certain charm.
"What, Gaul?" She said in annoyance. Her emerald eyes widened as she took in the sight of Ember, caught off-guard.
Gaul smirked, a large fang poking gleaming in the light.
"Oh, hush, Cynder. Two hours of rest should have been more than enough!" He laughed, the black dragoness shooting him a cold glare. "Anyway, I want you to test out our new recruit."
Cynder looked over the pink dragoness. She didn't seem to have much physical offense. Aside from the heart-shaped blade on the tip of her tain and the two sets of curved, gold horns on her head, it didn't look like she could do too much damage. Her legs seemed quite strong, however, and her claws looked relatively sharp. Her snout, much like Cynder's, was beak-like. Without a doubt, there were needle-sharp teeth lying inside.
In a flash, Cynder began to charge towards Ember, deft concentration etched across her face. Her wing blades were pointed forward. She intended to impale her!
Ember gasped, jumping out of the way just before the sharp blades could pierce her chest. Cynder skidded for a second, spinning around to face her.
Ember's mind was racing. Darn, this is happening so fast! I didn't think any dragons, much less my age, would be here. Now I have to fight her, too? There's got to be a way I can end this sadistic little duel before one of us gets hurt too badly...
She bared her teeth as she thought, narrowly avoiding the swipe of Cynder's tail blade as she advanced upon her again. Cynder swiped at her with her claws, leaving three bloody cuts on her chest. Ember winced, using her wing's strong membrane to deflect more of the black dragon's blows.
Gaul laughed in amusement, watching the fight unfold in front of him. "Go on, Cynder. Show her how it is to be a warrior! We have no room for weaklings here."
A sharp pain shot through Ember's wing as Cynder's tail blade pierced through it, ripping downwards. She screamed as blood gushed it, spilling onto the stone surface of the floor. The gold, severed membrane along the wound started to flush red. Ember gritted her teeth, choking back tears.
Ugh... there's no way to go around this.
Before her opponent could deal a final blow, she lurched forward, slamming the curved part of her horn into Cynder's exposed forehead. Caught off guard, Cynder stumbled a bit. Not wasting a second, Ember whipped around and swung the side of her tail into Cynder's stomach, sending her sliding a distance.
Cynder winced from the impact, coughing. Her stomach ached horribly, making it hard to steady herself. Gaul's disapproving scowl encouraged her to change her tactics. She hurled a poison ball at her panting opponent, it flying straight at her head.
A blinding flash of light illuminated the whole room. Cynder blinked her eyes in confusion, looking up just in time to see her own Poison attack zoom in and his her square in the face. She flew back onto her side, clutching at her face. Her own spell did not hurt her nearly as much as it would against the enemy, but it still stunned and blinded her.
Ember, seeing Cynder struggling on the ground, ran towards her, a ball of white light materializing in her open maw. Gaul held up a hand to stop her, a satisfied smile on his face as he stood up from his seat.
Her vision slowly clearing up, Cynder carefully stood up, looking at Ember with a confused expression. What the heck did she do? I know I saw it go in her direction...
"Very good, Ember. It seems I underestimated you, and judged you solely on your... cutesy appearance." He smirked, watching Ember scowl at him while clutching at her ripped wing.
"It seems you have a new roommate, Cynder. Make her feel right at home, won't you?" He said coolly, staring at his young 'daughter'. Cynder glanced up at him, nodding reluctantly.
"Fine." Cynder turned away, limping back to her room.
Gaul sneered at her, clicking his tongue in annoyance. He looked down at Ember, giving her a nasty smile.
"Welcome to the family."
Woah, first chapter is done! Pretty proud of it. Next chapter will be up soon. I hope you enjoyed it.