Chapter One

Holier than Thou

Kaarma shifted uneasily, staring at the blood-red cloud forming on the horizon. The last time that cloud had formed was a hundred years ago, when THEY had come. They had decimated his people, and many other peoples. And now they would return. They were the Demonslayers, white-armored human religious zealots who harbored only hatred for those who were different.

"Kaarma?"

Kaarma turned.

His tail twitched.

"Yes, Wormwood?"

The female gazed worriedly at him.

"Why are we going towards the cloud? If it really is them, we should be moving AWAY, shouldn't we?"

"That was what our kind did the last time. Now we fight. We're going to Bladehenge to contact Ironheade. We will need their help."

Kaarma was the vocalist for an all-dragon rock band called the Drakes of Wrath. Wormwood was the drummer, and the guitarist and bassist, Asmodeus and Scȍrch, were on their bus already. Hopefully the Demonslayers had not already arrived.

"Hey Mangus, whaddaya think that thing is?"

"Man, I dunno, Eddie. Looks pretty scary to me."

"It's like the Tainted Coil are coming, but… I dunno… worse", said Eddie.

"Gives me the creeps", said Mangus.

"Mangus, everything gives you the creeps," said Lita. Suddenly, from the red cloud, men appeared. They all wore white, medieval-style armor with a red cross on the breastplate. And they did NOT look friendly.

Ironheade had to do without a stage this battle. The knights were at a distinct advantage. As if that wasn't bad enough, looming in the distance were Headsplitter-like ballistae. As the threat to Ironheade became greater, Eddie regained the use of his demon wings and flew off to investigate the ominous artillery. Unfortunately for him, the ballistae had already taken aim.

BLAM!

A red thunderbolt shot Eddie, sending the roadie spiraling down to hit the ground HARD. Ironheade was shocked speechless.

Suddenly the roar of an engine filled the air. A sleek black tour bus hurtled over the hill, plowing through the knights. The knights turned tail and ran. The bus door opened, and a dragon came out. He looked at the Ironheade troops, then carefully lifted Eddie onto his back and flew off.

"What WAS that thing?"

Another dragon got off the bus, followed by two others. They all had eye markings reminiscent of KISS, and judging by her chokers connected by fishnet, one was female.

"We are dragons," she said, "and we mean you no harm. I am Wormwood, and this is Asmodeus and Scorch. Kaarma was the one who is taking your general to the Thunderhorn."

"Wait a sec," said Mangus, "I've heard of these dudes? They're the Drakes of Wrath. They're an all-dragon rock band!"

Wormwood nodded.

"Yes. And you have already met the Demonslayers. They are the reason we came; to ask for your help getting rid of them.

Kaarma landed gently in front of the cave where the Kill Master lived. The healer raised an eyebrow at the dragon, but went pale when he saw who was on his back. Fortunately, Eddie wasn't dead yet. Kaarma gently laid Eddie on the Kill Master's altar. They did not speak, but the Kill Master knew what he had to do. He took up his bass and began to play as he had never played before.