Here's a little taste of the sci-fi epic and even though this passage contains the word 'dragon' it is very much sci-fi and NOT FUCKING FANTASY!!!
You'll have to stay tuned to find out more. Just as a warm up Samual Heyling is a figure of legend on the world of Mirabilis. The entire scope of the epic actually evolved from his tale which takes place a few hundred years after the fall of Ander's empire and several hundred years before Aevan Steelcraft ever graced the southern shores of Aederon in the five kingdoms.
Basically the original idea was to make a work mocking J.R.R Tolkien (see that would be blasphemy in the fantasy world but oh well) and the approach of gambling the fate of the world to rugged little gluttons.
The world of Mirabilis faces a similar peril, the evil King of Tensia, Arthur DeLean has waged a war on humanity and employs minions, trolls and even dragons against the wretched souls who live there.
However Samual leads his people out of their funk and turns to industry, not magicks or cunning, or anything so romantic to turn the tide. Enjoy the fiblet. Just remember this is a first draft and though I was tempted I haven't altered it except for a few minor spelling errors.
The polished version will be much sexier.
Dragons of Tensia. For a hundred days they had burned our cities, dropping their sacks of fire far beyond the range of the strongest bowmen and always under cover of night. Our people feared their beds for not a night past when people were not shaken from them by the flames of our enemy or the screams of their burning neighbors.
Each night the royal astronomers peered through their telescopes, tracking the beasts closer and closer to where they perched. The King demanded a sortie against the beasts. However maddening and frightful they were he would not risk a decent commander, nor any of his trusted troops to confront the beasts while they slept.
Instead he commissioned a small army and commanded me to lead it. I suppose it would have been a convenient way to dispatch me if it had worked. Every aspect of the attack was set to fail. I had never lead more than a handful of soldiers into battle. I had never lead a three day march in peacetime or war. And I have never had the misfortune to serve with such dreadful men.
They were culled, my first army, from the deepest dregs of our fair city. Criminals and commoners, dissidents and drunkards filled our ranks. Inspection was a joke. One in then was missing and eye or a few fingers, was mad in the head or could barely stand under the weight of their own drink.
A thousand souls or more marched forth in the night. We made slow progress, moving only in darkness for three long days. The second night our camp burst into flame and we lost a hundred men to wounds or death. The beasts must have seen our campfires for their flaming sacs landed on them with uncanny precision. Another hundred disappeared in the morning. Our third night we scattered and dispersed camps, lit no fires and sheltered under whatever rocks we could find. Still the beasts found us though we lost a mere score.
A few more deserted but we were nearing the Tensian border and lone men do not survive long without horses or armies to shelter them. In this task we expected to march into a barren waste, devoid of life or happiness. Instead we found fertile soil, lush with flowers and fruit that covered the land. It was almost as if the whole country were being cultivated. A few idiotic souls decided to eat the fruits of the land. When the fools began to shit their own guts the remaining men took care not to peck at aught but their rations.
At last, that fourth night we arrived at the base of a small mountain, perhaps a thousand feet tall. Even in the dim light we could see caves dotting the hill, showing openings and hiding places. Dusk had long fallen but the lights of Cala and Bria showed us the way. And as I plotted our approach the beasts began to stir.
We watched these creatures, so rarely seen by the naked eye, scramble out of their hiding holes and ascend various paths to the summit. Once there the creatures, each bearing a small sac of their flammable liquids, would jump off one side and glide for a long distance before thier huge flimsy wings could bear them to a safe altitude.
Only thirty minutes passed and for reasons I cannot guess we were not discovered. The last of the beasts flung itself from the summit and beat its wings off into the darkness. Only an hours march or less seperated us from the place where evil slept. I weighed the decision carefully and decided to gamble our fates.
We charged, well rather we jogged to the base of the hill and then ascended on foot. Ye gods, the noise we made would have alerted the dead yet we saw no challenge issue forth. Ascending the southern slope brought us to many of the small openings. Heat and the stench of some awful fetid heinousness seemed to belch forth constantly. Though my soul screamed in torment with every footstep I lead my men inside.
No sooner had I raised my torch did one of the beasts confront us. Only two men could crouch abreast in the passage way. I stood alone, sword in my sheathe, holding a bit of burning cloth and stared into the eyes of my enemy. Green globes, huge by any standard of measure, leered back at me.
Teeth gnashed and steel claws hissed upon the stone of the corridor. The beast lunged for me and I could only throw out my naked fist in defense. I expected my arm to be crushed and the thing to quickly eat me while my idiotic soldiers stood by in horror but to my surprise I lived to tell this tale.
The tiny, pitiful bones of my hand passed through the creature's skull like an arrow through paper. It fell over dead, before I could realize that I was not going to be devoured any time soon.
I looked the creature over, studied it thoroughly as I listened for more. This was no menace of steel and troll hide. The pitiful beast was gossamer, flimsy as a sagging breast through infinitely less resilient. My hasty stroke had actually severed one of the beasts arms, hollow bones poked through transparent skin and foul blood gushed from a dozen places onto my steel-shod boots.
"See that," I called to my men. "From the air these beasts are all but invincible. Here, where they dwell a child could dispatch them and still be home in time for supper." Cheers rang out and good spirits flowed from heart and flask alike. We pushed on into the lair and crushed the young and unborn dragons until our arms ached from it.
After the last had been crushed we sat outside and rested for a brief spell. There was no time for celebration as the adults would be returning soon to roost. Though they would be coming home to shattered eggs and slain youth each of the adults was huge compared to their young. And they would be angry....