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A Valley of Fire

by RockyHighlander 4 months ago in Series
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Chapter 1: Escaping Death

There weren’t always Dragons in the valley,

There weren’t always horses, either.

Truth is that the quest to find this remote mountain town has led our heroes to every corner of this valley. Only to get fire shot at them from above and arrows from below, as the newly migrant humans were about as friendly as the dragons.

Whoosh! A blast of air nearly knocked the riders off their mounts, followed by a few loud flaps, in succession, from the massive creature’s powerful wings. It roared, attempting to catch the horses with fear. With sudden instinct, the heroes made a move to the side, and the well-trained horses responded without second thought. They slowed, attempting to elude the giant predator.

A fury of flame shot overhead, just singing the coats of the two men. They tossed the enflamed fur garments aside, leaving them smoldering where they fell.

“We have to get to the tree line if we are to survive!”

The giant winged beast swooped around for another go. As an eagle or hawk would when fishing a lake. It eyed its prey, two full-grown horses with human snacks on both.

Again, the sound of a massive explosion obliterated all other sound. The burst of flame shot directly at the intended horse BBQ below.

Rojnall turned around and produced a shield, the aura was of a sunset purple, and it rebuffed the impeding flame. Both riders took off at a gallop; the beast roared in dismay and dived. As if a larger-sized falcon, the firebreather shot toward the valley floor. The heroes had just begun to enter the forest when a second roar echoed throughout the valley. Then an earth-quaking thud nearly unrooted the horses.

Then, just as suddenly, the beast took flight and rose into the clouds roaring its disapproval.

The men hid amongst the trees, a smaller boulder outcrop became a refuge from the fiery onslaught. The flanks of the horses were at a lather; foam began to form around the mouths near the bits. It was a hard ride to rid themselves of their pursuer, but as soon as the horses reached the stream, they drank heavily and gratefully. The men took one look at one another and laughed a full belly laugh; not every day you escape death.

The stream provided a cool drink, which served to relieve the men from their parched throats.

Rojnall took notice of the multitudes of stoneflies about the water's edge. Nearly being a made a meal of, the traveler began to realize his own hunger. He pulled a small kit from his pocket along with a small hook. He took a seat upon a fallen log and proceeded to replicate the insects flying about him.

Jorjan, a long friend of Rojnall, took a moment to scan the sky. He was a tall, bearded fellow, and with his sharp eyesight, he took watch of the sky again after he took another pull from his water bladder. Dragons were known to be persistent when it came to finding food. The skies were, for the moment, clear of anything deadly.

The man wore a dark green cloak, better suited for camouflaging with the surrounding forest and tall grasses. He carried with him a small bow and a broadsword strapped to his back. On his hip, he adorned a short sword and a combination of throwing axes. Currently, only 3 hung there; the fourth was grasped in hand, ready for use.

He scanned the visible valley grasslands and valley walls. On the opposite side of the open expanse was what appeared to be a cave, the mouth of which was pitch black. After a few minutes, Jorjan observed minimal movement about the area.

Rojnall finished his fly and tied it onto a makeshift rod. From there, he proceeded to the deeper end of the waterway. Looking into the water, a nice-sized fish was lazily swimming about. Carefully, with a rod in hand, Rojnall dropped a line directly onto the still water. Wham! A fish bit and was stronger than expected, to which it took the fisherman off his feet and into the water, beginning an epic struggle.

Surprised, Jorjan turned, dropping his water bladder and startling the horses.

“Whoa-a, the man, hold on,” he called out.

Regathered the leads of the mares and turned to follow the now soaking wet Rojnall in his pursuit of the night’s dinner. Regathering his feet and stepping out of the stream, Rojnall noticed the fish tiring, and with a final yank, the fish flopped ashore. Barely flapping, it had gotten to the point of exhaustion. Rojnall was not a tiny man, mind you.


About the author


Pen name:

William Craig

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