Chapter 4: Sweet Dreams
As we travelled with Nulgath, he began to tell us more about why he wanted Dage's head on a pike.
Dage had been plotting to take over the underworld, to kill Nulgath and take control of both his army and Nulgaths, he would be unstoppable. Nulgath had prepared his defenses, but the final straw had been broken when Dage killed Nulgath's oldest son, in the land of the living. He'd just caught wind of it, so he decided to "recruit" that village as his base of operations. Why there though? It was such a miniscule place. Something didn't add up.
We marched alongside the massive army of Nulgath. He planned on taking the fight straight to Shadowfall, The land in which Dage operated. Shadowfall is home to the Shadowscythe Empire. It is a massive empire of the undead, living, and all around evil beings. Both Dage and Nulgath control sub-armies in the name of the shadowscythe, for now.
Both Dage the Evil and Nulgath had planned on overthrowing the empress, but first differences had to be settled between the two of them. Whilst the Shadowscythe empress concentrated on a campaign against other armies opposing the Shadowscythe, Nulgath decided this would be the perfect time for vengeance. Nulgath and Dage would have nobody to stop them from fighting, only one of them would walk out of this war alive.
We reached shadowfall. The ground was a dark, sooty gray. The sky was a dark ash-colored gray. The ground was uneven, and there were few plants, most of which were dead. We saw a large castle in the distance.
The castle was surrounded by large hills, almost as if it were in a crator. It was huge, there were long, stretching walls in a lopsided circular shape. The walls were a dark gray, worn by the years. They were thick and battleworn. Inside was the skeleton of a gargantuan dragon, the size of a wyrm. The city was built off of the bones of the dragon. The upper district was built onto it's wings. The middle underneath, and thhe peasants lived outside of the walls. The main keep was built out of the beasts mouth. The market district was in it's ribs. Some buildings hung off of the wings, which were outstretched upwards, diagonally up to the sky.
The place was an extraordinary sight. War would ravage this place, this would be no different.
"This is Shadowfall Kingdom, Dage has his base set here," Nulgath informed us. "So, We set up here," He eyed his troops, left to right. "Alright, you maggots, half set up camps behind this hill," He pointed to a large hill, close to the castle, but if we set up behind the hill, Dage wouldn't see us coming. "The other half, this one," He pointed to a slightly larger one, opposite the first.
"We attack at dawn!" His men cheered and raised their claws and blades to the sky.
Me and Ignos slept in one of the many camps scattered along the hill. We didn't want to attract any attention so we slept with only the warmth of our blankets whilst we lay on the cold, harsh ground. Ignos couldn't sleep, I didn't blame him. The castle just over the hill we lay on, it was massive. How many innocent people lived there? There were small buildings scattered around, these were the Shadowfall equivalent to peasants. I knew Nulgath wouldn't spare anyone, just because they were in the way of his vengeance. He could sleep soundly at night, fully knowing how many souls he's damned. Bastard.
Evil and corrupt he may be, but we had to help him, I knew this. Regardless of Nulgaths horrible, twisted nature, he was extremely powerful. If an extremely powerful being asks you to join him in killing both his arch enemy and yours, would you deny him. Especially considering how he'd slaughtered a whole village seconds before. He wouldn't have a problem with two more. We would kill Dage, and worry about the rest when it happened. I stared up at the bleak, starless sky. Soon, sleep found it's way to me.
My dream was surreal, I hardly understood what was happening, it was all so fast. First, I saw three yound children, playing like usual. Something was wrong though, they weren't on grass, The ground was stone, they stood on an outcropping into a massive chasm. Above them was the roof of a gaping cave. I then saw six red eyes in nothing but darkness. I heard a deep voice growl "Leave, my children"
I saw Nulgath and Dage talking. They looked nothing like themselves, but somehow I knew it was them. Nulgath was a short man, about my height, with leather armorr and a hood. Two sinister red eyes glowed from beneath the hood. Dage, was taller, but there was something else. You could see skin through his helmet, a face. His armor was silver, and lacked the skulls I had seen before. Dage signed a paper, and Nulgath smiled.
The scene changed once more. I saw Dage kill Shal again, but this time one of the boys stood behind dage as he did it. The boy was transparent, he was angry.
I then saw a woman, short, and red haired. She was skinny, and quite beautiful. I saw her with Nulgath. I supposed she was in a relationship with him. I saw her draw a knife quickly and stab Nulgath in the back as he wasn't looking. Nulgath fell quickly, and quietly. I saw all of the souls he'd devoured float off, free from their living cage. The woman smiled devilishly. She couldn't have been more pleased with herself.
Ignos woke me up after that. It was morning, and the troops were preparing for their attack. Our side would begin to flank the kingdom. When their defenses were focused on our side, the others would come from the other hill and flank them. I peeked over the hillside at the enemy. I could see guards patrolling the dark, fortified walls. I could see farmers tending their crops, a strange red plant growing out of the gray soil.
We would attack in an hour. Ignos and I sat whilst we talked over what we assumed to be our final meal. We'd never been in a war before, there were millions of soldiers on either side! We've fought about two dozen bandits before, but that didn't come close. I told Ignos of my dream, of the boys, the eyes, Nulgath and Dage, The woman who killed Nulgath. After I told him that, he stared at me, wide eyed.
"I dreamt too...I...I don't remember much of it.. it's all blurry... but I remember one thing,"
His eyes were locked on to me, worried, desperate, trying. The look frightened me. Someone his age didn't need this life. He didn't have to die like this! Why did he choose this path?
"I saw Shal... No... I WAS Shal," He began shaking slightly "I could see through his eyes.. I came here, to Shadowfall, I came for Dage," He was having a hard time remembering, I could see by the way his eyes now shot about aimlessly. "I remember making a deal with him, and then I felt power... So.. So much power..." He struggle more, but it was no use. "I can't remember anything else," He regretfully informed me.
Now it was only a half an hour until Dage would be killed. Then, we would have answers.
A/N: What do the dreams mean? who's that woman? will dage die or will nulgath fail? Find out next chapter of Underworld Rising! :O