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STORY: Drake's Flight

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Guest, May 25, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    On The Guildhall about a fortnight ago, I released part by part a 9000 word story based in loose Ultima Lore that was well received by many people. As a result, I have started on the sequel and will be posting it on The Guildhall, Stratics-Europa and Stratics-UHall for any people who enjoy reading to look at.

    I hope people enjoy it, it's not a heavy historical story, and I expect this one to be in 6 or 7 parts as the first.

    For those who havent seen the first one, it can be found on the link below.

    For anyone else, I hoe you enjoy it, and please feel welcome to give any feedback. I'm not a professional writer obviously, but I do enjoy writing when i can.

    Thank you in advance for your time.

    The first story - Drake's Fortune
    http://www.theguildhall.net/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=39158


    This sequel, also found on the Guildhall
    http://www.theguildhall.net/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=39619
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    CHAPTER ONE

    What was it someone had said once?
    “Old habits are hard to break”

    Drake smiled to himself for the briefest moment, thinking back to the time he’d last heard those words. Maybe he should have listened a bit better. His head throbbed and he could feel a tingling sensation all through his body. He opened his eyes slowly and forced a painful look up to the ceiling. It was dark, but all around he could hear heavy thuds as creatures moved overhead. Dust fell from the roof of the deep cave and echoing roars filled his ears.

    He could feel his last pulses of energy leaving him slowly.

    Drake tried to move his neck a little to raise his view, but failed to find the reserves within him. Letting out a deflated sigh, he let his head fall to one side towards his killer.

    Moving towards him, at no pace of urgency, the Ancient Wyrm let itself drift from side to side, eyeing him up suspiciously. So this was it? One job too many. Resigned, Drake let his mind wander to Imelda and closed his eyes.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Twin Oaks Tavern. Card night.

    Drake shuffled the cards around in his hand. He’s successfully managed to lose most of his money and had what could only be described as one of the worst set of cards imaginable in his view. In truth.. shouldn’t really be a problem.

    “I’ll see ye gold, and raise you…” he paused a moment, “twenty thousand.”

    Fat Joe stroked his chin in thought. To be more precise, Fat Joe stroked his chin because he didn’t have a clue what to do. He wasn’t blessed by the gods of intelligence but was certainly a major benefactor of whichever divine being was in charge of food supply. Slowly, or by his personal standards, quite quickly, he replied.

    “Ye bluffin’ fellah,” he started, certainly one of his more eloquent comments. “ Ye aint got nothin’ but a pile o’ horse dung I reckons.”

    Drake frowned a little and nodded slightly.
    “Ye might be right big man.” He was smiling to himself absently. “But it’s gonna cost ye ye purse to find out… and I don’t reckon ye got the bottle to match ye belly.”

    Drake placed his cards face down on the table. He was down about fifty thousand so far, not a tragedy but he sure as anything wasn’t going to lose to the big pile of lard opposite. Hopefully he’d just fold and Drake would be nearly back in pocket.

    Fat Joe obviously wasn’t playing to the plan.

    “I’ll see ye,” he snorted, throwing a purse of golden coins to the round, light wooden table. “Ye ain’t nuthin but a schemin’, bluffin loser I reckons.”

    Drake didn’t give anything away, but inside it was fair to say he wasn’t best pleased. Being outsmarted by the local dimwit certainly wasn’t acceptable.

    “Lovely. All donations readily accepted Joe.” Drake hoped he looked confident. He had about 30 seconds to work out how he was going to fix this.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    In the seas beyond Skara Brae, The Dragon Isles lay. An archipelago of islands and rocks, some barren and empty, some speckled with plant and bird-life and some home to the last stand of Dragonkind – driven from the mainland with the last vicious attacks of man. For more than any human’s lifetime, these creatures had protected their sanctuary from all invaders and protected it they had.

    Pushed back into their small corner of the realm, for over a hundred years, this community of wyrms, dragons and their smaller kin, had thrived and subsisted with neither danger nor fear.

    From the top of the tallest point, the crumbling peak known as Dragon’s Tower, the king of his kind, known to man as Ol’ Bounty, surveyed his realm and the seas beyond.

    It had been some months since last a disturbance, and since then, all had been as quiet as he could hope. This day - this morning - Ol’ Bounty sensed something about to change.

    In the air, his kin swooped and glided, playfully resting on the cool breeze. Raising his massive head a little, he used his senses to look to the horizon. To his sides, behind and a front, he strained himself to understand the vibrations that troubled him.

    Everything was calm.

    Quicker than he was used to, Ol’ Bounty raised himself on his hind legs, talons cutting deep into the stone below, and with his jaw raised high, closed his eyes. It would come to him.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Fat Joe looked tense. Drake could see he was beginning to worry that he’d lost his gamble. Chewing his lip, as he tended to do when in thought, Drake leant back a little and tapped the front of his old, trusty hat.

    “That’s a mighty big bet there Joe. You better promise there won’t be no grudges when ye gold is resting in my pocket.” Drake forced quite a reasonable smile – the confident one he had to think relaxing thoughts to do. Maybe he could bluff Joe into taking it back.

    “Aye there, a big bet it is.” Joe squinted unconsciously, and Drake could practically smell burning coming from within the fat man’s head. This thinking activity was quite a shock to the guy’s system.

    “But I’ll take a chance to get one over on ye. That bet’s staying right where it is.”

    Ah. Drake pushed his tongue under his top lip. Maybe Joe was just too damned stupid to do what he was meant to. Well, only one thing for it. Plan Z.

    Drake gave a knowing wink and smiled wryly.

    “I got to hand it to ye Joe, ye play a mighty fine game o’ cards.” Two choices, talk his way out, or walk his way out. He had about 5 seconds to make it he reckoned.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    After only twenty or thirty seconds, Ol’ Bounty opened his eyes. His neck shifted quickly left to right, his stare fixed on the skies and horizon around. He was shocked he hadn’t noticed sooner. Calling out to his kin with a little used cry of warning, his shriek filled ears for miles around. Air rushing from his cavernous lungs and sent the sign of danger to all creatures for twenty miles in every direction.

    How he had let his attention slip from his own realm he could not rationalise. Was he too old to lead his brethren? For now, he had to think quickly, he had to do something.

    With a sound of the very air being pierced in two, he unfurled his huge wings and pushed himself slowly into the sky. There may be nothing he could do. He had to seek aid.

    Looking back at The Dragon Isles, his home, he saw clearly what he should have sensed earlier. There were no birds, no other creatures sharing his home that had dwelt there for years past. All other life had abandoned this place. It could mean only one thing. Destruction was coming.

    Straightening up with a resolve, he did what he hadn’t done for nearly two hundred years. He flew to the mainland.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    “What the hell!” Drake forced his eyes open wide and pointed over Fat Joe’s shoulder, “He’s got a knife!”

    All attention whooshed to beyond his ginger haired companion and in a flash, Drake had jumped up and swept every gold coin into his open purse. As people started to look back to Drake, he was off his chair and fifteen, maybe twenty feet from the tavern door.

    “Stop him! That rascal’s makin’ off wi me gold!”

    Dropping one of his home made potions of explosion to the ground, all around him went flying as Drake flew through the swing doors of the tavern and crashed onto the dusty ground outside. He just had to make it to his horse – a thirty second run and he was out of here. Face down on the dirt, he started to push himself up when he felt a firm foot push itself onto his back.
    Straining under the force, he managed to glance up.

    It was Isabel. This was quite unfortunate.

    “Not now Izzy! I’m about to get my head kicked in!”
    Drake screamed at his former beloved, losing his control for the first time he could remember. She pushed down harder with her foot and her eyes narrowed. She really knew how to do that.

    “That’s right Nat. And they can wait their turn.” She kicked him hard in the side of the face and as a dozen men burst out of the tavern, she started to roll up her sleeves.

    Drake looked to Izzy and let out a resigned sigh. Damn this girl was something else. If she hadn’t been a complete lunatic she’d have been quite a catch. As it was, he was going to get a pasting – he just had the pleasure of choosing the gender of the person to do it. Uncomfortably, he forced a glance to the men behind him. He had to look twice to be sure what they were doing.

    They seemed to be backing off… they were looking at Isabel with nothing short of absolute terror in their eyes. Somewhat confused, he could see them begin to run back into the tavern, some screaming with fear. Now he knew Izzy was a total nutter, but surely this was way over the top. Still sprawled on the ground outside he turned his head back slowly to his favourite mad person and only then began to hear the noise of air being forced to the ground.

    Isabel had gone. And where she stood, what could only be described as a forty foot dragon was landing as gracefully as it could on the grass in front.

    Pushing himself back onto his backside, he leant on his palms and stared at the creature that had already once threatened to kill him.

    With a broad smile on his face, he scratched his chin and gave a small nod.

    “Well a horse would have done but hey! Let’s get out of here in style huh?”

    Ol’ Bounty pawed the ground slightly and slowly edged forward.

    At the back of his mind, Drake could feel that itching noise that meant his dragon friend was about to speak.

    “Well this should be interesting,” he thought. Out of the frying pan…
     
  2. <blockquote><hr>

    It was Isabel. This was quite unfortunate.

    <hr></blockquote>

    *grins* I liked it, very much.

    Thank you for posting it here. :)