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The Guardian of Firestone Mountain

"Best to stay clear of that accursed mountain...something terrible lurks in the darkness."-Perrigan Merryweather, resident of the village of Kalm

By Dylan CricePublished 12 months ago Updated 12 months ago 25 min read
The Guardian of Firestone Mountain
Photo by Alain Bonnardeaux on Unsplash

“There weren’t always dragons in the valley,” sighs Baird as he makes his way up the treacherous slope of Firestone Mountain. Scattered throughout the mountainous terrain and crumbling cliffs are large thickets of thorny brambles. There is little to eat and even less to drink in the frozen wasteland of the northern valley. From time to time, Baird’s heavy black cloak snags on the brambles as he and the rest of his retinue try to make their way through the thorny thickets. He is a tall, bearded man with coarse red hair that falls in neat braids down to his shoulders. Sigils for the god of death dot his eyebrows and heretical marks of the gods of chaos adorn his cheeks. “A long time ago, the mad tyrant King Narzheel brought dragons across the western seas from uncharted lands at the edge of the world,” states Baird, nearly losing his footing on a rough patch of snow, “Narzheel used dark magic and forbidden alchemy to control the dragons and twist lesser creatures into his instruments of war.” Faint torchlight illuminates the unrelenting landscape during the day, and it was nearly impossible to see much of anything in the blackness of night. A thick mist envelopes the surrounding countryside, so the small group of travelers hold torches to light their way through the oppressive gloom.

The six cloaked figures walk in tandem, huddling close together to warm each other with the fire of the torchlights. An old grey mule, carrying their cargo follows steadily along. “Aye, I used to be able to spit in front of me and not hit one of the bastards.” curses the sell sword Gunmar Eight Fingers as he kicks a small lizard-like creature the size of a cat away from the rocky path. The green and purple speckled dracolithe takes the blow to its side reeling from the blow painfully. The small creature lands on all fours, hissing at Gunmar, before it disappears into nearby shrubbery. Gunmar is a balding sell sword with a salt and pepper beard. The short mercenary reaches into his leather breeches and withdraws a curved knife the length of his forearm and looks intently after the small dragon.

Olaf, the largest member in the group, lets out a bellowing laugh that echoes across the surrounding foothills. “Looks like you made a friend there.” roars Olaf, from under his hood, his nearly toothless grin illuminated by the dancing torchlight. The lanky rat faced man walking behind Olaf clenches his fist and punches him in the back of the head. “Shut up you foolish oaf,” snarls Hynrick quietly. Hynrick’s thin lips curl back into his gaunt face revealing a savage smile with teeth that had been filed into sharp points. “Silent mouths for dark business,” utters Hynrick. Olaf removes his hood revealing an enraged face adorned with jagged scars and blue runic symbols inscribed across his temples. “You touch me like that again and I will make sure you stay silent forever little man.” Growls Olaf, spittle flying from his mouth, into his frozen beard.

A large hemp sack atop the mule let out a muffled cry of desperation. Hynrick , seizing the opportunity gleefully, punches the brown sack repeatedly until the muffled cries turn into soft groans. “That’s enough Hynrick,” orders Astrid at the front of the procession. Astrid removes her hood revealing raven black hair and an eye patch over where her left eye should have been. Hynrick frowns at Astrid before bowing his head silently in submission. His brown greasy hair fell forward shrouding the many markings he had engraved on his mouse-like face. “Looks like this is as far as the mule will take us,” acknowledges Sigrun, stroking the long silver beard cascading down his stomach. The old man cast aside his hood revealing a wrinkled face and sunken eyes that had dimmed nearly white with the passage of time.

Further ahead the winding trail narrowed. Sigrun walks ahead of the group to scout out the path. Leaning against his wooden walking stick, Sigrun surveys the surrounding hills and the landscape that lay ahead. Meanwhile, Baird ties the mule to a dead tree that had fallen close to the bank of the river that spanned the full length of the valley. Olaf tosses the hemp sack onto the ground which produces a muffled cry of protest. Hynrick draws his curved scimitar from its sheath and in an instant, cuts the sack open, spilling its contents onto the ground. Green onions, carrots, turnips, and a bruised and naked man lay where they had fallen. The beaten man was young. He appears fit with broad shoulders, short dark hair and pale white skin. The battered man quickly tries to scramble to his feet. In an instant, Hynrick presses the edge of his sword to the man’s throat. “It won’t do you any good to run but go right on ahead and try. Hynrick mocks pushing the blade into his captives flesh until a thin red line forms, “It’ll be fun to see how far you get without the heat of our torches.”

“Don’t harm the prisoner any more than you have to,” orders Sigrun, his elderly face a solemn mask, “We need him for the great task that lies ahead.” “My name is Roen Blackwell,” yells the battered man defiantly. Hynrick ties a rough noose around Roen’s neck, tightening the short rope until Roen can barely breath. “Why are you doing this to me?,” Roen croaks. “I am only a simple blacksmith”

Gunmar sits down on an overturned tree stump and rests his stubby short legs. “Astrid, I have to ask, do you honestly think that we will find him in this god forsaken place?” Astrid pauses, and then softly replies,“ I have seen his arrival in a vision.” “The gods of chaos and death will grant us a great victory against the forces of order today.” Gunmar snorts and spits at the shrouded woman’s feet. “Well pardon me for not sharing in your clairvoyance but the only god I trust is the god of coin,” replies the sell sword curtly. “Rest assured, you will be paid handsomely for your efforts, mercenary.” replies Astrid unfazed, “ You are an important strand in this grand tapestry of fate,”

Sigrun grabs a handful of dead leaves from the dirt and crumbles them together in his wrinkled hands. The old man begins muttering a dark prayer to the ancient gods long forgotten. The leaves instantly burst into blue flames. The entire party including Roen grew silent as they were bathed in the strange blue light that emanates from the fire. Sigrun stares into the flickering flames intently as if searching for a great cosmic message that only he can understand. After a brief moment, the great blue flame disappears. Sigrun dusts white ash from his hands. “We are on the right path.” asserts Sigrun. “The only way is forward.”

Together, the group move upward, following the narrow path toward the summit of Firestone Mountain. Roen follows, pulled roughly along the noose biting into his neck. “Move your arse, piglet.” Hynrick snickers. Roen trudges ever forward, naked, hands bound behind him, shivering from the cold gale blowing down from the mountain summit. “You wouldn’t be so tough without that sword and your friends to help you.” retorts Roen. The young blacksmith suddenly crashes to the snowy ground with Hynrick falling atop him. Hynrick punches Roen in the face repeatedly with homicidal fury. The two roll downhill together in a heap. At the bottom of the hill, Roen finds enough leverage to rear back and crash the top of his head into Hynrick face. Hynrick’s nose cracks, spewing blood into the surrounding snow. Hynrick screams and clenches his face allowing Roen to roll over in the snow. Roen regains his footing trying to sprint away, but Baird kicks his legs out from underneath him. Roen tries again to get to his feet, but Baird places the heel of his boot on Roen’s throat. “There’s some fight left in this one after all.” Olaf guffaws while assisting Hynrick onto his feet. Upon regaining his footing, Hynrick shoves the giant man’s hand away in disdain.

A rumbling growl from a few feet behind them causes Roen and Baird to freeze in their tracks and their blood to run cold. A large drake stood towering over a bull moose carcass nearby. The brown scaled drake closes his sharp claws over the moose’s furry hind quarters and drives its gaping maw into the elk's abdomen pulling a steaming string of entrails from within. The drake uses its vice like jaw to shake the meat violently tearing large chunks from the carcass. Both men keep their distance and their eyes on the beast as the drake finishes its meal.

The company continues along the trail, on their way up the mountain. Occasionally, the trail opens enough for each of them to glimpse through the clouds, the rugged peak that marks their destination. Polluted with Sulphur, the air near the summit is barely breathable. Gunmar has heard in certain areas the fumes are so intense, death is immediate.

Sigrun and Astrid silently separate from the group. Roen curiously watches the woman inspect the walls as she traces her fingers lightly over the rocky surface. Astrid steps off a dozen paces before pausing at a long narrow fissure engraved in the mountainside. “Right here, this is the spot I dreamt of.” Astrid points with her finger towards the large impression in the stone wall. Sigrun joins Astrid at the wall and beckons Gunmar to follow. “Your knife, quickly, give me your knife,” Sigrun orders, gesturing for Gunmar to give him his blade. The sell sword hands the curved knife to Sigrun. Sigrun takes Astrid’s hand in his own gnarled fingers and slices the top of her palm open. The blood pools into Astrid’s hand. Immediately, she places her bloody palm against the rocky surface in front of her. Astrid carefully draws a series of semi-circles and vertical lines until the arcane labyrinthian symbol is complete.

Astrid and Sigrun wait with excited anticipation as the blood dries on the stone wall. Minutes soon turn into hours. As time passes, Astrid grows more anxious. Soon a lone tear drop rolls out, from under her eye patch and traces a trail across her cheek. Her voice cracking, Astrid cries out, “I don’t understand. In my dream I saw this exact moment and place. The path should already be open for us.” Olaf’s shoulders heave in disappointment. “We came all this way for absolutely nothing.” curses Baird grabbing a nearby stone and throwing it down the summit. Hynrick doctors his face with a purple healing salve and stares intensely at Roen.

Sigrun continues staring at the rock with steadfast conviction and then turns his gaze toward Astrid. He caresses Astrid’s face gently in an effort to comfort her. “Sometime great progress demands an even greater sacrifice.” Whispers Sigrun in her ear. Astrid gasps lurching backwards suddenly. Sigrun holds her forcefully in a tight embrace as she struggles to get away. Astrid looks down at her robe as warm blood soaks her lower body. Staring at the curved knife protruding from her abdomen, and then raises her head to meet Sigrun’s placid gaze. After a few seconds, her head slowly drifts forward onto Sigrun’s shoulder. As her life leaves her she slowly sinks onto the ground.

“What was that?” roars Gunmar brandishing his two-handed great sword, “You killed her.” Sigrun washes blood from his hands with an open flask and handkerchief. “It was the role that fate chose for her.” Sigrun states matter of factly. “Piss on that,” spat Gunmar, “You going to try to stab me now?” Sigrun shook his head and raises a bloodied hand dismissing Gunmar’s words. “ It’s what Astrid would have wanted.” Sigrun rationalized. Olaf, Baird, and Hynrick looked at Sigrun with stunned disbelief. “She resisted you when you stabbed her.” Olaf accuses. “All righteously fear the god of death when he comes for them and fewer still understand his great design,” replies Sigrun, “Look for yourself.” The blood on the ground began to ebb and flow around Astrid pulsating with the rhythm of a great heartbeat. The blood snakes up into the stone wall flowing into the labyrinthian symbol Astrid had inscribed causing it to glow with a fiery iridescent aura. Blood from the symbol then streams into the fissure of the stone wall causing it to crack and splinter apart by an unknown force, revealing a hidden narrow path into the mountain.

Baird was the first one to the entrance of the opening. He peered into the gloom of the long, dark corridor. “Looks like a hell of a bad place. I don’t want to get lost in there. Anybody want to volunteer to go first,” quips Baird, his nervous green eyes widening with growing anxiety. Sigrun gave an affirmative nod toward Baird and the matter was decided in an instant. Baird hesitates, then steps into the entrance and began leading the way down deep in to the center of the mountain. Olaf was the last to enter, bringing up the rear. Soon after, it became evident the surrounding walls were slowly, but steadily closing the distance between one another.

Baird turns to the others with a look of shocked realization on his face and yells, “We need to hurry. I think that the walls are closing on us.” Before long, they all had to turn their bodies sideways, in order to continue pressing forward. The walls soon press against their chests and backs. The company steadily sidestepped forward toward a fiery red glow emanating from the end of the corridor. Olaf looks ahead in dismay straining to squeeze himself through the narrow passage. It was becoming more difficult for the big man to keep up with the rest of the group. “Hey guys I think I’m getting stuck,” groans Olaf. “Like hell you are, you have no choice, but to keep going,” orders Gunmar. In a frantic voice Olaf pleads, “Please don’t leave me. I just need a little help getting through.” Gunmar curses at himself and squeezes his way back down the passageway. Grabbing Olaf by the hand Gunmar begins dragging the big man along the ever-narrowing corridor.

A hundred feet further, and the passageway empties out onto gigantic stone plateau suspended high above a lake of molten lava. Baird, Sigrun, Hynrick, and Roen finally push through the end of the passageway. Gunmar and Olaf follow about ten feet behind, struggling every step to the end of the passageway. “You have to keep moving forward,” encourages Gunmar as he stumbles out, through the opening with the others. Quickly, he turns and grabs Olaf’s arm which had cleared the opening, but it was too late. Olaf was caught tightly between the walls that continued to slowly close on him. Olaf cries out in agony as the walls crush his chest and caused one eye to bulge out of his head. Gunmar unsheathes a hatchet from his leather belt and quickly buries it into the big man’s head to silence the wailing. Gunmar reluctantly turns back to face what remained of the company as the walls seal together behind him.

A plateau lay before them. It was flat. Carved stones stretched for miles in all directions from the entrance. A smooth surfaced, volcanic cavern formed the roof of this domain. The ceiling was shrouded in a pitch-black darkness. The smooth rocky surface of the floor was engraved with ancient symbols depicting past history and prophecies of events yet to come. Sigrun shoved Baird out of the way, his old face reflecting the wonder he felt of the scene that lay before him. “Why bring me all these many miles to this place?” asks Roen. “Why indeed,” Sigrun replies, with a sinister grin on his face.

“Who dares to awaken me from my slumber?” The inhuman voice shakes the very foundation of the platform the company stood on. A startled look suddenly crosses Sigrun’s face. “The guardian, it exists,” whispers Sigrun. A hideous roaring suddenly fills the air with dread. The company turns to stare upwards and into the now swirling darkness of the ceiling. A gigantic black mass unfurls with the sound of a thunderclap and streaks toward the platform like a falling meteor. A gargantuan red scaled dragon lands on the platform as gracefully and soundlessly as a cat. The enormous dragon stares down at the company towering over them as he speaks, “You little rodents have strayed far from your burrow. Do you seek annihilation? Is that you came here for?” The dragon began thrashing its large serpentine tail about slamming into the surrounding walls with unimaginable force. Large boulders rain down from the ceiling and roll over the edge of the plateau and into the lava below.

“Balethor, world eater, great devourer, and guardian of Firestone Mountain.” Sigrun addresses with all the politeness and courage he could muster. The beasts four monstrous taloned claws rake the stone underfoot excitedly causing the very earth to tremble. The dragon stretches out his wings like black sails of a great ship. The resulting gale of wind brings Sigrun and his followers to their knees “Few know my titles and fewer still know my true name.” growls Balethor. “Judging by your presentation, you are death priests or followers of chaos.” Sigrun stood up from the floor and nods his head in agreement. “What is a better manifestation of death than the great and powerful Balethor.” The great dragon rears back his horned head and fills his iron scaled stomach with air. The dragon’s large maw fell open belching an enormous gout of flame over his head that swept across the entire ceiling of the volcanic mountain. The entire rocky background surrounding Balethor was now wreathed in fire and flame. “Do you think that flattery with save you and your followers.” For the first time Sigrun struggled to find the words he wanted to say. “Tribute, yes we have brought a great sacrifice to pay tribute to the guardian of the mountain.” A look of amusement crosses Balethor’s serpentine face. “No one has paid sacrifice to me in decades,” chuckles Balethor, a plume of smoke trailing from his nostrils. Sigrun gestures to Hynrick with a wave of his hand and Hynrick roughly jerks the noose around Roen’s neck forward presenting the young man for the dragon to judge.

“What interest should I have in this pitiful and malnourished welp.” Questions the dragon with a look of disappointment. “The boy is an accomplished blacksmith that is responsible for forging many great weapons that have been used to hunt your kind,” answers Sigrun. Balethor leans closer to Roen and inhales deeply through his nostrils. The dragon closes his eyes before quickly shaking his head in disgust. “Your flimsy lies seem to know no end, death priest. The boy smells of onions, dried blood, and spoiled vegetables, and yet he retains the unmistakable stench of royal blood,” accuses Balethor, “You are trying to deceive me.” A look of confusion and bewilderment crosses Roen’s face. Sigrun smirks at the dragon’s realization. “Very well then, the boy is the bastard son of the king Hothgar Tassdothe,” acknowledges Sigrun, “The boys’ sacrifice will finally free you from your bondage in this mountain,” A look of longing crosses the crimson beast’s reptilian eyes as he considers the cultists proposition.

“You would see the whole realm burn and release a great calamity to sweep across the rest of the known world?” Balethor postulates. “Blood magic is a powerful thing,” states Sigrun gesturing to Hynrick with a point of his staff. “In this case, only royal blood can set the dark lord free.” The dragon eyes widened “No, this is not the way.” Hynrick unsheathes his sharp knife before turning Roen around to face him directly. “I want to see the light dim out of your eyes before I send you to hell.” Smirks Hynrick as he drives the knife deep into Roen’s lungs. A look of satisfaction crosses the sadist’s face as he twists the blade. Roen coughs blood and wheezes in pain before lurching forward and sinking his teeth into Hynrick’s throat. Roen’s captor screams out in anguish, but Roen pulls back suddenly taking a large chunk of Hynrick’s throat with him. Roen spat onto the stone tablet floor below. “I guess you’ll be joining me in hell,” laughs Roen weakly. Hynrick drops the knife onto the stone floor and grasps with futility at the gaping wound in his neck. Hynrick falls over face first. The dragon roars with terrible fury, a cloud of burning sulfur and smothering smoke rising from his cavernous maw. “What have you done” Balethor bellows, his features twisting with rage. A tremendous wall of flame slams into Roen incinerating the young blacksmith into smoldering bones.

The dragons horned head snaps back towards Sigrun with deadly intent. “Now you die.” Growls Balethor. “Wait, I sense that something has changed,” said Sigrun solemnly. The dragon pauses to consider the death priest’s words. “He’s here,” confirms Sigrun “Narzheel has returned.” Balethor sniffs the surrounding air before flicking his colossal tail at Sigrun. The old man bounces across the stone tiles like a child’s toy before coming to a stop in a shattered heap at the edge of the precipice overlooking the lava far below. Balethor careens his long neck about the room staring with mild amusement as Gunmar and Baird huddled together with weapons raised in defiance before turning his gaze back toward Roen’s smoldering body.

The charred and blackened bones of a skeletal hand slowly rises from the fiery remains. A skeletal head emerges and stares at its outstretched bony fingers bending each in succession as if using them for the first time. Balethor bellows with an ear-splitting shriek and starts to inhale hot air. The outstretched bone fingers clench into a closed fist before the skeletal figure rises and turns its eyeless gaze towards Balethor. An all-consuming fire explodes from Balethor onto Roen’s skeletal remains. With unbelievable speed, the dragon half runs, half flies across the platform and stop mere inches away from skeleton’s extended fist. The fiery flames part and pass around the Roen’s skeletal body averted by some invisible barrier, drenching the surrounding area in a fiery inferno. Balethor extends his massive jaws revealing three rows of razor sharp teeth intent on consuming his prey. Blazing, rage filled eyes, glare out from deep inside his head. The beast’s razor sharp teeth bite down on the burning skeleton crushing, and grinding it into ashen powder that disappears into Balethor’s infernal jaws.

Balethor flaps his wings in triumph. Gunmar stands over Sigrun’s grievously injured body as Baird tends the old man’s many wounds. Both of the old man’s legs and one of his arms are broken. His breathing is weak and irregular. Gunmar raises his iron great sword as the dragon confidently approaches. “Your puny efforts have all been in vain,” mocks Balethor with a thunderous laugh, “Now each will forfeit your lives as a result of your complete and utter failure.” Gunmar squeezes the hilt of his sword in resigned anticipation as death approaches him. “I guess the bards will have to write a great song about my final stand, “ laughs Gunmar grimily readying himself for a desperate charge. The dragon chuckles. “There will be no songs of remembrance for the likes of . . .,” Balethor pauses mid-sentence. A look of bewilderment crosses the dragons smug countenance. The dragon begins to cough smoke and flame erratically before suddenly clawing at his long throat. The remaining members of the company stare in confusion as the dragon swings his great head suddenly into the side of the mountain. The resulting shockwave sends rocks tumbling from the top of the structure smashing onto the plateau below. Balethor lets out a desperate roar as he rakes his sharp nails into his scaley neck. The dragon releases a chaotic stream of fire and smoke into the air. Balethor falls onto his back, rolling himself over and slamming his tail onto the floor. Balethor clutches at his chest. The dragon wheezes coughing up a pool of blood onto the stone floor, as terrible spasms rack his body. Balethor’s purple tongue slides slowly to hang limply out of the side of his mouth. After a few seconds of labored breathing, the great dragon’s eyes close and he breathes no more. Balethor world eater, great devourer, and guardian of Firestone Mountain is dead.

Gunmar quietly steps forward with his sword raised high readying himself to deliver a killing blow if needed. Baird walks beside him brandishing an axe in each hand. The sell sword and cultist approach the motionless dragon until Gunmar hears a peculiar sound that causes him to pause. A sound of snapping branches emanates from Balethor’s chest causing the dragon to jerk unnaturally. The dragons iron scaled breastplate begins to move suddenly as if the beast were breathing. The snapping sound continues and dragon’s chests starts to pulsate and stretch itself. A bloody tear begins to form underneath one of the dragon’s scales. Seconds pass, a bloodied hand presses through the wound and soon after another hand follows. The two hands pull the breastplate apart with such tremendous force that they cause the dragons ribcage to rupture tearing the beast wide open in an instant. A naked humanoid body spills from the great beast’s chest covered in viscera and draconic blood. Heated steam pours off the man as he slowly rises from the floor to a standing position.

The man looks identical to Roen but is naked, pale, bald, and completely hairless. “Roen is that you?” questions Baird with a trembling voice. “No, not anymore,” whispers the man cryptically. “I have walked across the astral plane, crossed a sea of stars, stood on the surface of faraway planets, and rested at the edge of time staring into the great black abyss only to finally find myself here in this vessel.” Sigrun attempts to lean against a large fallen boulder. “You have returned to us Narzheel,” the old death priest declared, “You will lead us all against the forces of order, take your revenge, and reclaim what is rightfully yours.” Baird produces a blanket and cloak giving them to Narzheel with shaking hands. Narzheel cleans himself with the blanket and dons the black cloak before facing Baird and surveying him with golden eyes. “You would serve me but not in that pitiful shape,” Before he can respond, Narzheel touches Baird on the forehead with an outstretched finger, “Let me reward you for your services, my child.”

Baird’s breathing quickly became labored and his muscles rapidly began to enlarge across his body. “I feel powerful.” Baird laughs marveling as his transformation takes hold. Baird feels the musculature of his body change and his limbs stretch making him considerably taller. Large horns form on Baird’s forehead and huge bat like wings erupt from his back. “You will make a fine general to lead my forces in the battles to come,” laughs Narzheel before the horned demon lets out a guttural roar taking flight into the ceiling above.

Narzheel turns to face the mercenary Gunmar. Gunmar unsheathes his sword but rests it at his side. “How should I reward your services,” asks Narzheel with a faint grin. “Not the same way you rewarded Baird,” answers Gunmar, “I’ll take my coin and my leave of this place if you don’t mind.” Narzheel acknowledges the sell sword with a nod and waives his hand toward the fissure the company had entered through. The wall splits apart in an instant revealing the exit from Firestone Mountain. Gunmar began to make his way towards the exit but takes a quick detour to Sigrun who had managed to prop himself up on the boulder. Sigrun produces a large bag of silver from his robe and presses it firmly into Gunmar’s hand. Gunmar leaves through the exit stepping over Olaf’s remains, never turning to look back.

Narzheel knelt down to Sigrun and took the old man’s wrinkled hand in his own gently. “My only reward is serving my one true master, states Sigrun. Narzheel squeezes Sigrun’s hand in his own. “You will serve me if not in this life, then the next.” Narzheel leans forward and kisses the old man’s forehead before turning around and walking away. “Do not forsake me please, my lord,” begs Sigrun. Narzheel ignores Sigrun’s plea standing in front of Balethor’s corpse and raises his arms to the ceiling. Narzheel began reciting a dark incantation in an ancient tongue long forgotten. A bolt of lightning suddenly strikes Firestone Mountain boring a hole through the crater of the ceiling and enters the great dragon’s body. The lightning bolt courses through the beast’s body. It’s closed eye snaps open revealing a ghostly blue eye in its place. The re-animated dragon stands on all four legs stretching his great black wings towards the ceiling. The dragon lowers his neck and Narzheel grabs one of the horns protruding from its back to hoist himself onto the inlet between the wings. Balethor’s wings flap with the sound of a thunderclap before Narzheel and the dragon crash through the top of the volcano and into the sky of the frozen valley above.

A dark shadow falls over Sigrun. Looking up, suddenly he sees a familiar face. A long slender knife quickly pierces Sigrun’s heart. Astrid kneels down close to the old man as he spits blood. “Do not take too long,” demands Astrid, her one eye glowing with a ethereal blue aura, “We have a lot of work to do.” Sigrun sighs and his head falls forward limply as his last breath leaves him.

Short Story

About the Creator

Dylan Crice

I'm heavily influenced by film just as much as reading. Here to get some of the ideas I've got floating around in my head on paper. If I can entertain people with my stories, situations, and characters then all the better.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

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    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

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    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

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Comments (16)

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  • Cathy holmes11 months ago

    great story. Very well done.

  • Lena Borondia11 months ago

    Very good building and characters. Would love to read more!

  • Good story, great ending. Would like to read more.

  • Eugenette Morin11 months ago

    Your characters are well developed. I wonder what the rest of the story will bring!

  • Dana Stewart11 months ago

    Well paced, good arc, really enjoyed this one!

  • Hi Dylan! Really thought this was wonderful! It reminded me of Sigifried the dragon slayer and his battle against Fafnar. Truly splendid, I just subscribed for more.

  • Lady Headlamp12 months ago

    I really enjoy your characters. The banter and juxtaposition. And this is full of surprises.loved it.

  • Angel Whelan12 months ago

    Beautiful eloquent writing. Read it out loud to yourself to find the places where you have changed tense mid sentence (the first line for example). I love the world building and names.

  • Jasmine S.12 months ago

    Nicely done. Thoroughly enjoyed this adventure, the story was easy to follow. There are a few mistakes, maybe another read through to catch them. Hearted and left insights.

  • Cynthia A Fortier12 months ago

    Surprised me in a few places - Astrid twice :) Nicely done - I hope to see what happens next

  • Brin J.12 months ago

    The plot twist floored me with Roen's resurrection (or possession?). Great stuff. I honestly enjoyed the depictions of the characters. Giving them personality traits that convey actual people. Not everyone is all good and not everyone is all bad. The fact they acted and thought as humans probably would have made it more relatable in that way. Good work :) I hope to read more stories from you.

  • Julie Lacksonen12 months ago

    Dark, but many people love gory stories.

  • Mariann Carroll12 months ago

    Like the humor in the story, did not like Olaf being hurt in the story.

  • Fantastic story!

  • Jeff Rubenstein12 months ago

    Well written from character development to setting! Felt as if I was part of the party!

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