Land of The Dragons
By: The Monster-Hunter
Towards Departure and Death
“Court finds you guilty as charged. Sir Harvey Lee you have been condemned of Treason by the Ministry of Schrade, and have been sentenced to the castle of the dragons. Your deployment has been scheduled in five weeks. May you receive a painful death by the dragons.” The grand judge of Schrade bellowed to the bribed jury and I.
Many people around me shouted harsh insults except for my wife Sophia and my children, Marcus and Suzanne. They all escaped the wrong of the court by their timing to go to the market. I felt ribbons of water go down my cheeks as they dragged me away from the courtroom and my family.
I was continued down the hall of the Grand Court of Minegarde by the officers of Minegarde. They looked at me as if I was a serial killer, and yet all I was talking about with a few friends of mine were getting a democracy. Everything before Zargon the Terrible overthrew the guild was of great peace, but now all decency in society has vanished along with the guild.
Nothing is allowed to be free. If you simply say that the taxes should be equally spread throughout the classes of people you’ll end up in my shoes. Waiting to be sent to Castle Schrade to be devoured by the Fatalis. I always thought my life would end for no real good reason, and I was right. I had to just open my mouth around my friends.
The halls around had a red, soft, carpet that engulfed all the areas. Marble pillars, gilded with many gemstones kept the building intact. Yet, behind the doors leading to the prison lies nothing more than an inhospitable, inhumane dungeon that represented the tyranny of Zargon. The staircase winded as it repelled downwards towards an abyss of shadow. Alongside the staircase doors held many prisoners. Some lunatics, others murders that deserved this, and a few thieves, but in each bones littered the ground. There was a thin hint to tell that a few of the bodies inside were alive. Rats scurry around, feasting on the rations of the prisoners before it even reaches their mouths, and then when the victim finally collapsed to die they swarmed over his body and cleaned him dry before the flies could reach it.
At last I reached my inhospitable cell. I shared it with one of my friends that had gotten caught, Oswald Fitzgerald.I never could’v trusted him more as a friend. We both knew that we were never going to see our family again. We had qualms about talking, but yet our deaths will most likely heat up the people to a point at which they revolt. Oswald was rather poetic. He loved the arts of writing and music. He had composed many songs. Most were about hoping for peace.
We also went often on forbidden hunting trips through the Kokoto Plains. I loved bringing game that would turn into food. We often on these weeklong trips bring back Kelbi, Burruku, Velociprey, Bullfango, Aptonoth, the occasional Velocidrome, Yian Kut-Ku, Bulldrome, and even once a Rathian. We didn’t have to pay anything for this game. Something that would empty your pocket with only five pounds of kelbi meat. We also even sold Velociprey claws to the aristocrats for a hefty price. I would’ve gotten better gear if we still had a weapon smith. The world was never the same after the guild retreated from Minegarde.
I began thinking of the dragon Fatalis. I’ve heard the painful stories of the dragons called Fatalis. They are destructive and thrive with corruption. They burn anything they see in their sights down to a miserable block of scolding ash.Their teeth and claws shred through rock like scissors through paper. They were the ones who claimed Castle Schrade, but now they’re the ones who are being used. Yet they don’t know it.
The days passed as slowly as dust in a room. The days grew sadder. I started to lose hope, and the only person who I’ll know is Oswald. See, you don’t just go there with your cellmate, you go with the entire dungeon. They don’t worry about anyone one escaping, for the walls of a now extinct volcano that surround the area of the Castle and some miles of the plains almost prevent any escape, but even if you escape the caldera there are still miles upon miles of plains.
Then, the day arrived, Oswald, the rest of the prison, and I were dragged to an enormous airship where shackles bonded everyone together. The trip would last for two whole days. I then started to talk to Oswald about everything.
“Do you regret of ever thinking of a constitution?” I asked him.
“If our story affects history in the right direction I may not regret as much, but I will miss talking to you.” He told me with no qualms.
“I’ve just finally excepted that tomorrow will forever change our lives.”
He said. “Mostly because it’ll be our last.” he finally told me, but a small tear appeared. It, in some ways, reassured me that we didn’t lose our humanity in that cell. Finally we all were awakened to a horrifying sight. We had arrived to the land of horrors. Land of despair some call it. Others call it the Castle of the Dead. While many refer to here as one name “The Land of The Dragons.”
Death Comes In Many Names
As soon as the eyes of many had opened a fight had occurred. Men were beating each other senseless, and we got into the mess. We had to use the rocks as weapons. Clubbing those who attacked was going well for us until a tall, thin man grabbed a whip and struck us both. We were cornered by him, and for a few seconds I thought we were going to die. Then,suddenly, a blade stuck through the middle of him, and he collapsed to the ground.
“We need to get out of here!” The man who saved us from the armed murderer. Without delay we started our way to the doors to the halls of the castle, but then we heard the menacing roar. Fire rained from the sky. Men were incinerated in the flames. A bold few tried to stab the dragon with their dull blades, but they then lost their life. His gleaming black scales showed some elegance, but underneath that armor a beast emerges to destroy all. The dragon in flesh was far scarier than my worst dreams.
“Make it to the door!” I shouted to the people. That caused a surge of people fleeing to the doors. We made it in before the beast burned the door, and the people there as well. I turned to left when everyone besides Oswald, the person who saved us, and four others, took to the right. Tattered curtains, moldy furniture, cracked bricks, and rusted metal on the walls showed the castle’s age. Rats scampered along the side, but as we neared the exit we heard something that I hadn’t heard in ages, Velociprey.
Then, something pinned me to the ground, and all I saw for a split-second was the jaws of this carnivore, but then it was thrown off me. It then darted into the shadows. We heard the clicking and growling taunting us to go in the shadows, but we knew it would be suicide for us. Then it jumped out at us and we wrestled it down to the ground. We tried to avoid the jaws and claws, but the tail nabbed one of the few who joined us. Then, after minutes of struggle we finally broke the neck of the raptor, and we had ourselves a meal. Yet, we had no shelter.
We used the initial hunt by Fatalis to dart along the streets with our prize in tow. Then, in one small house near the end of the city we set up camp. The raptor itself was cooked in the basement using a flame that’s smoke couldn’t leave the basement all in one rush.
A conversation began with a few remarks about Fatalis, but then I never knew of anyone’s names besides the guy who saved me from whipped man. His name, I had learned, was Darrel King. He was a mayor of a small town outside of Minegarde’s boarder, but when Zargon overtook a small portion of the Sandy Plains from the Loc-Lac region he was immediately put into prison.
Dillon Cilan, one of the other people who had taken a left, was a fisherman of the seas. He had many tall tales of meeting huge fish, sea monsters, and a dragon that had attacked his boat that almost tore it in half. He was fishing too close to the coast of Minegarde when the agents commandeered his ship and threw his crew into jail.
Robert Smith was a scholar in the study of Elder Dragons. He was employed by Zargon’s uneducated advisors to forecast the patterns of the wandering Lao Shan-Lung. Yet, they didn’t give him and resources or men to find Lao Shan-Lung, so when he told the scholars he couldn’t track Lao Shan-Lung because he needed resources to actually leave to find him he was arrested for malpractice.
Samuel Davidson, was from a large, poor, farming family in the Kokoto Plains. He and his family etched out a living from their crops, but one day when they had finished harvesting their crops the agents took all their harvest and put them all into the government crops. He was forced to work in the crops from hours before dawn until hours after starlight. He was able to rally some of the workers to escape the plantation, but he was one of the people who had gotten caught.
I told them my stories of the many hunts I had with Oswald, and we slept through the night on cold hard stone.Then the next morning we woke up. Lumbering through our new home we started to talk about a plan to survive this land. There were quite a few ideas, but we all agreed that we needed to go out and hunt for rats or any type of food we could find. Darrel, Robert, and I volunteered to go out and hunt while Oswald, Dillon, and Samuel would search for any viable source of water in the desolate remains of a burnt city ruled by dragons...