The Second Battle of Skrayhorn
As we began our travels yet again I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride. We have found another God-Dragon who was willing to help us in our plight of freeing Sovereign from the End of Days. We had more answers to our questions than ever before, yet I still hungered for more. It seemed everyone knew who they were or what they had to do but for me.
Walking through the forest gave me time to collect my thoughts. I know that the questions I have will be answered, but the anticipation was becoming overbearing. Alessisa has been given a chance to redeem herself from slaying the king. Balfore, a chance to bring his shattered family back together and in the process bring the God-Dragon of Water back from exile. Heays brought back to heal the damage that Negan and Akor have wrought on both the tree of life and the Elemental Planes. Tahn although he didn’t die, has been tasked with rekindling the relationship between the dragons and his people. When it comes to me though, all I have is a broad statement that I must go to the capital. A goal that is so important that I have been brought to life back not only once, but twice. When would I get to go to face my destiny? What is waiting for me when I get there? Will I be recognized? Was I important before I was sent to the crypt? Or perhaps the fire of righteousness that burns in me now, fueled by my curiosity was the reason.
These questions plagued me as we walked to the edge of the forest. I snapped out of my ponderous stupor to find myself toying with the silver ring I have had on my person since the beginning. I wondered to myself “Whose ring is this? Why is it on a necklace and not my finger?” I walked into the others, who had stopped and were now standing staring straight over the rolling plains. I couldn’t tell what they were looking towards at first until I saw it. Over the cascading hills set ablaze by the setting sun, a solitary column of smoke rose on the horizon. The location was right where our journey has taken us many times before, right to where we were heading. Skrayhorn was in trouble again.
“That’s Skrayhorn,” Tahn said in a soft exhale. “We must hurry, Morgan and his Crew will need our help.”
“Aye, and the Villagers will also be needing us as well” Balfore said. With that, we hurried our way back to the village that has become our home. the only place where we actually felt we could belong. All of our friends and allies were there and we have made them targets with our actions against Queen and Akor’s other minions.
The rest of the night was spent on our hasty journey to Skrayhorn and due to the amount of traffic we have been doing through the area, we managed to make good time. Before we knew it we were at the village’s outer limits. As we drew closer we could see that the situation was dire. The royal forces of the Queen had Skrayhorn under total control. With at least a platoon of soldiers and several fire elementals.
We knew we had to take the town back and the Blonde would be our first strike.
“If we wait until the cover of night we can probably sneak around the buildings and get into The Blonde.” Alessisa stated with us all nodding in agreement. Over the next few hours, we made our plans to free Skrayhorn from the tyranny of the Queen. Alessisa and Tahn would take the lead since they were the lightest on their feet. Balfore would also follow them closely but do to the amount of noise my armor created I would stay near the outside of town and wait for signs of trouble before I made my approach. Not long after the sun disappeared beyond the horizon and twilight tightened its grip on the sky the others began to slink their way into town.
It wasn’t long before they were out of my sight. All I could see is the light of the guardsmen torches and the large glow of the fire elementals as they moved around Skrayhorn. All seemed to be going well, but I could not help but pray to Uther for the protection of the others. I also thought about Heays and I hoped that his missions to replant the tree of life was going well, With his quiet demeanor, it can be easy to forget that he hasn’t been with the group. I only hope that when we move to strike against the elementals that we will be able to face them without his bond to the elemental plane.
Time seemed to drag by as I waited for a sign. It felt like hours as I sat and watched the lights casting shadows on the houses and storefronts of the small merchant village. I felt anxious wondering when and where the battle would begin. Then I heard it, A door slamming open, although it was faint due to the distance I could tell that it was something because the entire town began to stir. It was time. I Summoned Aroinix and charged towards the Blonde. As I entered the town all of the Queen’s men and the fire elementals we converging on my destination. Once I was closer I could see that Alessisa was already actively controlling the crowd that was heading towards her. The others must have been in The Blonde already.
Alessisa had the Queen’s men in a trance-like state with her song but the fire elementals seemed not to care. They were mine. I picked the Elemental closest to The Crimson Blonde and brought Aroinix to a gallop baring my lance in attack position. “For Justice!” I yelled, activating the magic Imbued into my lance by Uther. The flame coating the lance as charged the first elemental. The flaming monster let out a howl as landed my first blow. The other creatures began to attack the Blonde and I knew I had to pick up the pace before what we have been using as a home and a base was destroyed. The Elementals were hard to kill but thanks to the superior mobility I gained from Aroinix we would dance away from the blows of the creature before they could retaliate. Still, by the time I felled the first, the others were already halfway through the roof of The Blonde and what was intact was either on fire or beginning to smoke.
As things to began to look worse I heard a loud roar of a dragon above followed by a brown serpentine dragon that swooped down and grabbed two of the fire elementals and flew off at an alarming rate. A bit perplexed by what happened I began attacking what was left of the soldiers and before I could take out my fifth opponent the dragon was back! he whipped his tail at a large group of the Queen’s men and melted another group with a spray of acid. As the dragon twisted and curled around in the air I noticed that Heays’ was on the dragon’s back! The fight was ours now.
Once we had wrapped up the skirmish in the streets of Skrayhorn and the dragon had extinguished the flames throughout the town by swooping past them at high speeds I ran into the Blond and witnessed Tahn Stomping in the Orcish captain’s face. The same one that had slain me on the whalebone bridge. I thought this a cruel end for a cruel man. I actually felt remorse for the Orc. He knew things that I needed to know. His end may have been justified for what he had done in the past and what he had done in Skrayhorn, yet it still felt like an empty victory standing over his lifeless mangled corpse. I knew that I had to bury him.
Ylloh emerged from the basement of the Blonde shaking her head. She figured that it was us causing all the commotion, and after telling us a brief version of how the Queen took control of the town she told us that Morgan’s men had already moved on when they saw the town was under attack. They did leave the location of where their ship was and when they would be casting off. We then told Ylloh about the God-Dragon of Earth and how he had given us some more incite as to who we were. Including that Alessisa had killed the king. Raphiel was happy to learn that Alessisa knew what she had done. he was glad to have his guild master back. But he also knew that Alessisa seemed ashamed of what she had done.
Then Ylloh then began to issue orders. Some of which were to Evets to start a large batch of stew to feed everyone who would be helping restore the city. “It happened before and it will happen again” She said as we apologized for the damage to the Blonde.
Haeys then came up to us with The dragon hovering above him and as motioned to the dragon he said “This is Hortos God-Dragon of travel, he picked me up after I planted the seed of The World Tree.” Now that the Dragon was at a standstill and we could get a good look at him. I noticed that he a mostly brown scaled with a white underbelly almost the texture of marble. His long body floating effortlessly without the aid of any wings.
“IT IS GOOD TO MEET YOU ALL” Hortos said.“ I HAVE HEARD MUCH ABOUT YOU FROM MY BROTHERS, AND IF YOU EVER NEED ME I WILL GIVE THE POWER TO SUMMON ME TO YOU TAHMNGRIND.” the Dwarf was shocked by this gift.
“Why me?” Tahn asked.
“BECAUSE I WISH TO SHOW YOU THAT NOT ALL DRAGONS ARE AS MY BROTHER AKOR. THAT IS WHY I GIVE YOU THIS GIFT.” Hortos said before flying away.
The others helped work on rounding up the civilians and getting the most of the debris cleared. I dragged the body of the Orc to the road leading north and dug a shallow grave. After placing his body in the hole I prayed to Uther to forgive him of his trespasses and follies. I wish that I could have asked him why he served the Queen. How were him and his followers allowed to use the powers and name of the Paladins when they were not in service of any real celestial power? I wanted to hold him prisoner so that we could draw the Murder or some high ranking official out of the protection of the capital. My friends and teammates made sure that he would no longer harm anyone or anything. Their righteous action freed the people of Skrayhorn. Taking from the Queen her loyal dog and in the process, they took from me, my chance for answers. Unlike myself, I knew he would not gain a second chance at life to redeem himself and once I finished covering him with the dirt I slowly walked away knowing that this wouldn’t be the last time I would bury someone.