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Old 02-17-2009, 01:19 AM   #1
Jae Onasi
@Jae Onasi
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The Dragonfighters

I'm hoping to have some kind of title for this soon. I have to write a novella for my creative writing class, so I thought I'd share the chapters here, too, as I get them done. I had to write a scene for this week's class, and so here it is.


The Elani reinforcements didn't arrive in time to save her brother. When the waves of the feral Fest'ari poured over the top of the mountain in numbers so great that their gray fur darkened the Ilinrael pass, Daerved had leaped from the back of his white dragon and unsheathed has sword, the vanguard of calm in the middle of the village chaos. He nodded at Ta'lith'ra, and the gleaming dragon took wing with a powerful downstroke, creating a mini-windstorm of dust. She flew off in the direction of the Elani fort, where the elite dragon-fighters trained, to call for help.

“Jailyn!” Daerved called out to his sister as she ran to him. “Good—you're armored properly. Get as many of the rest of the militia armored and ready. Have anyone else who's able block up the streets with wagons here and here.” Her brother pointed down two of the small village streets, more dirt paths than anything else. “We'll funnel the rats down this route and stack them up so they can't all come at us at once. Now run and get that done, or we'll lose the entire village before the Elani can make it to us!”

Jailyn rushed back with the militia, heart sinking as she heard the clanging of swords and howls, both human and Fest'ari. “Oh, no, they came too fast! Daerved's only got a couple men with him!” The men glanced at Jailyn, mouths set in grim lines, and pressed forward, readying weapons.

Daerved stood in the balanced stance drilled into him by his years in the Elani, sword flashing in compact fluid motions, making deadly slices into the packs of the large, rat-like enemies. Piles of dead or wounded Fest'ari lay on the ground in front of him, their dark red blood matting their fur and making the ground muddy. The two men who had been with Daerved lay still on the ground, their blood and pieces of their bodies strewn about in the piles of rodents. The Fest'ari swarmed on Daerved. Jailyn couldn't tell if it was the tenth or twentieth that made the mortal sword thrust--it didn't matter once he fell. The militia and she met the swarm of snarling creatures. She settled into the same balanced stance her brother had taught her, forcing the tears back so she could hit her targets clean—her brother would have hounded her if she let her guard down to cry, even if it was his death. Her sword sang through the air, slicing through two Fest'ari and dropping a third when she brought her blade up and around. The giant rats pressed forward in relentless waves, heedless of the swinging blades and flailing warhammers, forcing the militia back step by step.

“Daerved says we have to hold this roadblock until the Elani arrive!” Jailyn yelled over the battle-din.

“There's too many of them!! We can't keep up!” one of the young men shouted.

Jailyn took a deep breath and called the order that her brother should have been giving. “Hold the line. Unless you want your families eaten by these godforsaken rats, hold the line!!”

The militia swung their emboldened weapons in furious patterns. Jailyn couldn't see some of them, they moved so fast. Fest'ari fell at their feet, screaming curses or gurgling death throes. A militiaman fell and some of the Fest'ari swarmed on him, shredding him. Two more fell. “Fill in those gaps in the line!” Jailyn ordered. The rest of the men pulled closer, forming a shield wall to hold the waves of fur, claws, and weapons back from the defenseless little town.

Jailyn could feel her shoulders aching as the battle raged on, and her arms burned from the effort of cutting through the rats. She glanced at the men on either side of her—their fatigue showed in the weariness in their eyes, or the gasping breaths of their efforts. A swarm of rats broke through the blockade on one of the streets, and advanced towards Jailyn and her men, surrounding them. Three more of the fighters fell, and the tattered remains of the village's forces turned back to back to fend off the attacks now coming from all sides. I don't think we'll be apart long, my brother, Jailyn thought. Just pray my ending is quick. The claws and curved Fest'ari blades pressed in, and the small group was surrounded. Jailyn had no room to swing her sword, and could only stab at the rats who lunged and bit at her. Her heart raced as she heard the man behind her scream.

The wing of different colored dragons dropped out of the sky, roaring. Swathes of fire burned through the Fest'ari as the huge flying beasts flew over in a deadly precise pattern. The Fest'ari that didn't fall over in flames ran howling towards the pass, away from the large dragons. The Elani fighters dropped off their mounts and ran for Jailyn's group, slicing through the remaining rodents with greatswords taller than they were. They pushed back the routed Fest'ari with military efficiency as the dragons continued to course walls of flames through them. The smell of singed fur and rat flesh made Jailyn gag. She lifted her sword with numb arms to fight just so she wouldn't throw up, but the only enemies left were the dying. Jailyn put them out of their misery with deft merciful strokes—mercy they didn't deserve, but mercy she gave anyway as tears for her brother poured down her face.

Jae Onasi has requested a fanfic review for this thread.

From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Story WIP: The Dragonfighters
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