The Dragon Within
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Chapter 24: Brewing Evil

Someplace

Some time


 

Amidst the darkroom a violet hue radiated from the walls where vines of corruption made root. It was the only light within, its source the bulges of black pus that hung from them. The light reflected off the floor where runic carvings where made into the stone, forming a large magic circle across the room. Within each carved-out line ran rivers of blood, the red liquid running down the lines and then up into each black fruit-like object.

The blood all originated from the very centre where a mass of mangled flesh rose, like a massive heart it pulsed with rhythm. Dark crimson flesh made up the massive organ, violet lines running through it like veins as blood was pumped through and then out of several pores that lay open on the floor in alignment with the magic circle.

Suddenly the heart stopped beating and in tandem each of the black fruits pulsed violet, the light filling the room entirely as six cloaked figures appeared standing around the central organ.

These six were the leaders of each body, a head for each group that made up the Assassin’s Pact.

My assassins were slain in both Druvia and Daldorth, I am also receiving reports that the dreadblades invaded my outposts around Druvia.” Said the first in a low harrowing whisper. Cloaked in shadows with violet energy sparking through their eyes, nothing of their appearance could be perceived. The Pact’s head of shadow, Umbra.

Yes, yes. I have not received word from my minion either. He must have been destroyed by a stronger opponent, your shadows didn’t do a very good job at covering for him it seems.” Snidely said the second. Wearing a dark green robe and hood, this one’s body was entirely wrapped in white bandages also hiding their appearance. Tendrils of green death energy peeked out of their bandaged body, as if being contained yet barely. The Pact’s head of death, Dread.

Oh, kill your bickering you two, you had a job and you failed. Be men and admit to your own shortcomings, or should I say be human?” The third said with a giggle. A demonic female with bright red skin and long violet hair reaching down her hips, her body was voluptuous and barely covered with thin straps of black silk. Her puffy lips were bright pink just like her eyes, a misty violet hue hovering about her gaze. The Pact’s head of hell, Lust.

You had survivors from Daldorth no? What was their report.” Solemnly asked the fourth. Covered in a blood red cloak with a noble’s attire beneath, just as red. The man had black hair and seemingly was a normal human among the rest. All but his bright red eyes, surging with crimson energy that seemed to hum with every blink. The Pact’s head of blood, Vein.

They say the Destroyer has truly returned.” Umbra responded, and each of them then turned to face the fifth.

As I said he would, the xilfir people speak of his resurrection. We must move forward with haste but also care, the drake is reborn human but he is powerful nonetheless. Wise as a dragon he still is as well.” Warned the fifth. Dark skin with many scars covering her face and body, a dark elf having had her scale patches carved off. Her shoulder-long hair was dyed green, badly so as the original white was still visible at the root. Her eyes were a white void, blind and staring off into the nothingness. The Pact’s head of soul, Ether.

Yes, haste in killing Druvia’s ties with Sinbeni, care if the drake accompanies the ambassador.” Agreed the sixth. A gruff panther-man warrior, a bestia with black feline ears and a long tail. Their skin was a dark grey and their eyes a bright ember that lay wide and attentive. He wore pitch-black spiked plate-armour and heaved a massive two-handed longsword over his back, its details hidden by the thick violet miasma that hovered about its blade and hilt. The Pact’s head of beasts, Hunter.

My shadows cannot fight his dreadblades, fighting other assassins is not what I trained them for.” Umbra stated, his voice echoing through the room.

I won’t send another of my minions, one was all I could spare, this is off my hands.” added Dread.

Hmph, cowards the lot of you.” Lust said, rolling her eyes while smirking.

Suddenly the room went completely dark, as slowly the heart at the centre pulsed once more, slowly with each pulse a violet light began to refill the room. Now emanating solely from the large organ.

A misty figure stood above it, an image, like an illusion the demonic being was there yet not.

If you wish to take this on, Lust, then be my guest.” Said the devil, her skin made of smooth red scales while violet energy rushed through them like flames. Crimson hair with linings of violet, cut short and braided on the front. She seemed young in age compared to the rest in the room, much younger than even Lust who had a perfect appearance.

Each of the six heads kneeled before the devil, “I-If that is y-your wish Mistress Azkel!?” Lust exclaimed in fearful question.

No, you’re not equipped to deal with a drake. Not even a human bound drake’s soul.” Azkel scoffed in annoyance, looking the succubus up and down. “This being killed Azruxan, my foolish yet dear uncle. My father King Kurzan and uncle Xokith left the take-over of Faeterra to me and my cousin Brazath in his absence. Make no mistake, there shall be none, and I shall give no second chances.” She warned, “I can and will replace any number of you.

Azkel turned to Ether, “You, and Hunter, you and your bodies will deal with this in full force. You are xilfir, you know your people the best. You’re in command over this operation above Hunter. Understood?

Yes, mistress.” Ether quickly answered, rising to then fade out of existence. Hunter on the other hand solemnly nodded before walking out of the room, stepping into the room’s shadows where he disappeared.

“Dread, Vein and Lust continue watching over the ritual, it is paramount to our success.” Azkel then glanced at the three of them. Each head lowering as each voiced their agreement.

She lastly turned to Umbra, “Continue watching and reporting on Brazath’s little magic experiment…we will intervene and…destroy everything if his maniac loses control of that pet.

To be clear mistress. Destroy the pet and…Ramzi?” Umbra asked.

Yes.” Azkel plainly said before her image faded away.

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A dark misty grin formed over Umbra’s shadow engulfed face, “It would be my pleasure.” he whispered.

 


Another place

Another time


 

The dungeon shuddered and quaked, the corridor falling apart as cloaked mages ran around in urgency, casting magic to hold it all together.

An ear-piercing roar filled their hearts with dread and fear, it would sound off from time to time but the quaking never stopped.

Ramzi walked past the mages, ignoring their fruitless efforts in holding his surroundings from falling apart. He followed the roars of fury and their following monstrous shrieks of pain. He reached the final door, a bowing servant awaiting him out of the way.

“Well?” Ramzi asked with a raised brow, stopping to stand before the wide door in wait.

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“Umbra failed, master. The Pact is convening as we speak.” Shahla said, the human slave rising to stand straight by his side as she spoke. “The drake still resists, she is young but powerful.”

Ramzi chuckled, “No reward is worth it if it doesn’t take time and bloody struggle. The Pact doesn’t understand that, too afraid of their mistress, too afraid to anger their inpatient princess. But my lord is patient, my prince knows that good comes to those who wait.” He pushed open the door, suddenly having to struggle with it as an even louder roar crashed into it.

The roar ended, followed by an agonized in-human scream.

Ramzi smiled wider then fully opened the door, revealing the large cavern within.

A hole carved to be sphere-like, vast enough to hold the Coliseum and more. Over the floor, the walls and even the ceiling, runic carvings of all kinds lay in a highly complicated web. Their bright glow shining light into the cavern, the rune’s colours sometimes set to either red, blue or yellow, or ever-changing between violet, green, white and ember.

A magnificent sight, but none of it was for cosmetic reasons.

Chains etched with pitch black runes lay embedded across the cavern, meeting at the very centre where they held Ivyieth imprisoned. The drake was breathing heavily, blood leaking out from in between her scales, seemingly flowing of its own will and onto the chains. From the chains the blood then ran down them and into long scrolls of paper that lay hanging along the chains, strange characters were written upon them in blood red.

Ramzi gazed up at the restrained drake, “Magnificent. A beauty of a beast…No, a God among beasts. The epitome of Faeterra, the ultimate existence on this world. Their souls filled with more mana than any elf could possibly use in a life time. Their bodies hardened by evolution, senses keener than any bestia, a hide tougher than any dwarf’s. Albeit it lacks the upbringing of a true dragon…it still looks down on anything but itself and the nature that made them.”

Oh please, you’ll make me blush.” Ivyieth snarled down at him, the chains that bound her suddenly getting tighter as jolts of black lightning ran through her body. Causing her to shriek in agony for several moments, yet breaking out into a chuckle right after. “You will not break me. Alone I was born but dragon I still am!” She laughed, “These restraints do nothing more than that, restrain me. And they won’t last forever, neither will you. We both might be mortal, but with how much longer I’ll live? Yes, you might as well call me your God.

The jolts once again filled her with pain.

“Hm, I guess I have captured God then. And am about to kill said God.” Ramzi mused, “Yes it is true that you dragons have powers beyond what we younger races are capable of producing but…We’ve evolved in a different way than you monsters. Craftsmanship is our power, what you see around you is more than just seals and restraints.” He gestured at the town-sized cavern around them.

Ramzi’s smile crept wider, “Gods made Faeterra, Faeterra made us…It is our turn to make something, don’t you think so too…Ivyieth?” he asked, his voice changing. It rumbled like thunder yet hissed wetly, a demonic voice.

Ivyieth struggled with her restraints in fury, her proud name being spoken with such a vile tongue enraged her. The restraints punished her for this, black energy jolting through her entire body, ceasing her struggle once more.

Ramzi chuckled, gesturing at the slave behind him to step forth from the doorway. Shahla did so, coming to stand by his side. He suddenly grabbed her by the hair, roughly holding her forward at the chained drake. “What do you see here, drake? A human? No, you’d be close, but wrong.”

Shahla did nothing as he held her, her eyes empty and cold as she lay limply in his grasp.

Ramzi threw the woman forward, her body stumbling onto the ground between them. “Soon, drake, soon you will find out what she is and why you’re here.” He said, Shahla remaining on the floor where she was thrown as the dozens of mages that stayed back before, now walked into the cavern.

Soon, everyone will know.” Ramzi hissed, then breaking out into a maniacal laugh. Laughter which, Ivyieth, regarded as nothing less than evil.

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