I missed writing these stories so much!! Thank you @splinterlore and @splinterlands for giving us a chance to let our creativity flow! I must say I didn't felt particularly inspired, but no way I would let the opportunity pass. And here is my story!
One by one, lights appeared throughout Lyveria as I watched from the hillside, but not before I heard the screams. It was too late.
The city was doomed.
But there was still hope. Wether it lasted the night, depended how fast I could get to the city.
May the Gods be in our favour.
Without thinking twice, I rushed Federoch down the hill to the city gates, already partially destroyed from one of the bursts of fire that were flying throughout the city. People were already escaping through the gates, screaming, with terror in their faces.
“To the woods, run to the woods!” I yelled, as I galloped past them into the city.
The scenario was beyond anything I could imagine. Smoke and fires were everywhere; crumbled buildings, screaming man and woman. How could the dragons cause such destruction in only a few minutes? I could hear the horns of the troops and the sounds of battle, but this wouldn't be a fair fight. It would be a massacre. As soon as the dragons were done with the city's defenses... they would come for everyone else. And for their main objective.
Guiding the horse through the chaos, I kept wondering if I was too late. The little stone house halfway between the castle and the city wall was my destination. A strange location, but the shaman's words had been clear, many moons ago. “If the great peace is broken, and the city is attacked, this is where we will meet. And if that time comes... ride with the wind.” I wondered if he ever imagined the attack would come like this.
My heart rejoyced when I saw him running in the same direction, further down the street. It had been years since I saw him, but that clumsy stride was unmistakable.
“Gobson! Grab my hand!”
The little goblin looked back as he heard the shout; the terror in his eyes turned to joy as he recognized me. Without slowing down, he grabbed my arm as I rode past him, lifting him from the ground.
“You're here! You're here!” He shouted, clinging hard to the saddle. “So glad to see you, so glad.”
“Hold on, brave friend; we're almost there.”
As I entered the street, two riders were already in their steeds, in front ot the house. Fortunately, that street was still free of fires; but chances were it wouldn't take long.
I saw the relief in the shaman's face as he noticed I wasn't riding alone, and who my company was. His first words were to him.
“Praise the gods. Do you have them?”
The goblin nodded.
“Maybe there's hope, then.”
And then he turned to me.
“You came. Thank you. We have no time to waste, old friend. If we leave the city alive, we ride with Gobson to the forbidden forest. Follow me.”
He then turned to the other rider. They shook hands, knowing that it would be the last time they would see each other.
“You know what to do. Farewell, and may the spirits guide you.”
The rider rushed into the city center, and blew his horn. Even among the screaming and the crumnling buildings, more horns were heard.
“They will try and get the dragon's attention; it's our chance. Let's go!”
The Shaman spurred his horse, and I followed.
We rode as fast as we could. The smoke was getting thicker as the fires grew, and the screams were louder as the dragons continued to spread destruction. We headed to one of the smaller gates, that was wide open. Four guards stood beside it, probably part of the Shaman's plan. I wondered how much of a match would they be to a lightning dragon, should it appear.
I had my answer seconds after. As we crossed the gates, a burst of flames engulfed the gates and whoever was guarding them. I prayed it was by mere chance, but the flapping of wings over our heads shortly after confirmed my worst fears.
We were discovered.
“Don't stop!” Shouted the shaman, as we both looked above. A huge dragon was just a couple dozen meters above us. He looked at both horses, and I could swear I saw his eyes shine as he layed eyes on the goblin. He turned his head to the shaman... and the fireball came after.
I only had time to steer Federoch to the right; the place where my friend stood bursted into flames, as the dragon landed a few meters in front of us.
“Nooooooo.” Cried Gobson.
I reached for my bow, and the arrow carved straight into his chest. Rage crossed the dragon's face... but the fireball never came. He slowly started walking in our direction, like a cat, taunting its prey.
I kept firing arrows, but they wouldn't be enough to stop it. And when hope was starting to abandon me... a burst of light clashed against the dragon, leaving him motionless.
We both looked back, as the shaman emerged from the fire, his eyes lit like lightnings. I had heard tales of great sorcerers that could conjure energy and survive attacks that would kill any other living soul, but I always believed them to be folclore... until now.
More bursts of light came out of the shaman's hands, striking the dragon. But slowly, the dragon started to move. The shaman rushed to him, trying to keep him stunned. And without turning his eyes away, he shouted.
“I won't be able to hold him much longer. Ride and don't look back, Lyveria's future lies in you! GO!”
I know I should have started to ride. But I couldn't take my eyes away. It seemed as I was watching it in slow motion: the shaman rushing to the dragon. The beast slowly opening its mouth. The ball of fire building, and then, expelled. And it was over.
The shaman's cry would echo in my head for a long time. But the dragon wouldn't live to see another day either. As the last drop of life left the shaman's body, the dragon's chest bursted into flames. And without a sound, he felt to the ground, dead.
Gobson's cry woke me from my torpor. Too much time was wasted.
I patted Federoch.
“You know what to do, old friend... ride with the wind.”
We rode into the darkness, leaving a city full of fire, smoke and screams behind. For the first hour, none of us talked. It seemed almost unreal, how in an hour our reality changed. It was Gobson who broke the silence.
“Why... why didn't the dragon attacked us?”.
The tought has crossed my mind as well. And there could only be one explanation.
“I can only think of one thing. Whatever you're carrying... they want it. And they don't want to risk destroying it. Let us hope we can reach the forest before being discovered, and make sure his death wasn't in vain.”
We rode all night.
The dawn approached as we reached the valley before the forest. I still couldn't believe we were able to ride all night without being discovered. The forest was just a couple minutes away. Federoch was exhausted, so I allowed him a slower pace.
“Seems we will make it, Gobson.”
The little goblin turned his head to face me, but as he did, his face turned blank. He was looking past me, and as I turned my head I understood.
They found us.
Two dragons were flying on the horizon, approaching quickly.
We could still make it.
“Go, Federoch, go!”
The horse rode with all its forces. We we literally a few minutes away from safety; the dragons wouldn't be able to follow us into the thick foliage, and the forest had a few tricks on her own to keep unwelcome visitors away. But we had to reach it.
I kept looking back, as Federoch gathered all his strengths to the final stretch.
“They're almost here!” Gobson shouted.
A couple hundred meters left.
I looked back as both dragons were ready to lunge. But then, a shout echoed through the outskirt of the forest,
The forest came alive.
A rain of arrows dimmed the dawn's light, as the earth elementals, forest spirits, and headhunters loosened their bows. And their arrows were bigger, and more powerfull. As we rushed into the forest, we heard the loud thump of two bodies hitting the ground. The forest protects who comes in peace... and punishes the ones who don't.
I still couldn't believe we made it.
We were waited in the first clearing.
Lyanna shouted as she saw her friend. The goblin jumped from the horse straight away, rushing to heartfelt hug.
The Spirit of the Forest was there too, as well as the Magi. A few more creatures I had never seen were there too. The spirit approached me, and without a word touched the horse's face. Federoch's breathing returned to normal, as the healing energy spread to all his body. And then she grabbed my hand too.
“We can't thank you enough. Lyveria can't thank you enough.”
She then turned to Gobson,
All eyes were on the little goblin as he reached for this pocket and took out the small wooden box.
And so he did.
A faint green glow emanated from the strange object inside. Even I felt the energy.
Lyanna was the one who talked.
“This is what they were after. The earth shards are small, but have the energy to heal entire armies... or destroy them.”
And turning her head to me, continued. “And thanks to you both... we could hold on to this one.”
It was too much for me to process. Shards? Energy? I could only articulate two words.
She smiled, as the answer was obvious.
“Now... we rest. And tomorrow...”
Tomorrow... we fight back.
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