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         Copyright © Randy Bowers. All rights reserved.


Storm Dragon

That evening the choice was made. She would not survive the new year, only days away. She had lost that beauty which had first enraptured her to him. Now trapped, he, Garbin, desired to be free with his lost - but new found flame, Niatera. She had kept her adventurous spirit and was uncaring of his shady profession, after all, she had secrets too. He knew that much.
    Over the evening in Tel-Akbar, as the snow fell outside, he consumated his love to Niatera while his wife's blood stained the cold streets of white. Ske had done his job of making sure she disappeared, professionally, her arms would never hold her husband again, as they held the ground where she had fallen to her death.
    When returning to his castle, The Citadel of Light, with his new bride, a letter awaited him from his Commander in Canaan.
    Come quickly, interesting news awaits
    In the heartbeat of the next morning, Garbin arrived in Canaan.
    The great statue which had been unburied and set to stand, reflected the morning glory in the crystal ball which it held in its hand, some three hundred feet above. Freshly excavated from the Age of Wonders, the statue held yet untold magical properties. This was not the reason for the letter though. From beneath the excavation site had been found a dark archway of untold age.
    Deep within was a vast underground city from the time of the UnHoly Wars. Such was revealed in a half destroyed journal that here waited Torim's armies to retake Canaan above back in those days. But there was more as well...
    A unexplored temple lay in the midst of a lake of molten lava. The temple was made of bronze and contained a great door within, which even the legendary Torim Zurkies had not disturbed, upon which was the inscription, "Vengence."
    Looking elsewhere a large bronze hall held ancient artifacts, magical devices, among which was a magical key to open yet another great door found, one with less dangerous implications.
    Beyond that doors tortured opening fell a pit of darkness. One thousand feet was its great depth, nearly a quarter mile, leading down to a room filled with coins of red steel and many chests of other wealth. To one side another great bronze door remained closed, which took the strength of several large men to open even barely enough to slip within.
    Inside, the chamber beyond held an wary silence. In the center of the room, in a stone carven dragon's jaws lay the sword Mindama. Its rival blade Mishima, held in the hands of Garbin, glowed and both began to hum, tiny flames licking from their tips.
    To touch them together would as likely release the immortal Dragon of Storms which had been imprisoned in the blades, half to each one.
    After consultation with comrades and the everman, Macros, the command was given to seal the ancient city away from all mortal-kind once more. Taking the blades far from habitation, Garbin and his lover, Niatera, left for the mystery laden Arnorian Valleys. And there he lay the swords together...
    The world went dark.
    When his eyes opened he heared the howling of a thousand winds, the sky black and white with lightning. Near to his was a claw the size of a longboat, and a great moon of an eye looked to him as it emerged from the darkness.
    "What shall you have at my release!?" The voice thundered, the sky split in shatters, and the earth trembled.
    "I will be immortal, make me so!" Cried Garben to the sky.
    Light filled him as he died...
    "So... it shall be..." The ground was torn by great claws, the heavens fled in terror, and the netherworlds quaked in fear...
    Sky greeted his eyes as he awoke. A coiled stone ring ornately darkened his hands finger, when he heard a sinister whisper from his thoughts,
    Break me and you shall die, loose my grip unto another and you shall be forever lost to them.
    The ring glimmered and became still around his hands finger. His heart beat anew and his soul began to stir once more.