Return of the DarknessMature

Sirananth, who took to the stairs first, came out into a wide open room that was sparsely decorated. A few chairs and end tables dotted the room but nothing else adorned the walls nor ceiling except for a battery of four doors at the far end. He moved forward and took up a fighting position in the middle of the room and waited as his comrades filed into the area and did the same. Charmuth finally descended the stairs and studied the doors before his troops and smiled.

“The old wizards at the College are trying to confuse us, four identical doors and no indication as to which leads to the prison. An old puzzle, but effective.” Charmuth said.

Elvaron regarded their leader, “So do you know which door is the correct one?”

Charmuth chuckled softly, “I do as the man I interrogated told me the clue that solves this puzzle.”

“And what, pray-tell, is this wonderful clue Charmuth?” Dorvund asked.

“The Grand Master of the College at the time,” He began as he walked past his fellow dragons and towards the doors, “Was left-handed and preferred his right leg when doing any sort of physical activity.” He paused at the second to the left door, studied it a moment, then bashed it open with a quick and powerful kick. He then stepped back as Sirananth, Dorvund, Byor and Kvoyr charged into the room beyond. A bright light emanated from the room and a lance of energy flashed past Sirananth and missed Byor by mere inches. Sirananth roared a challenge and sprang towards the only person in the room who was obviously a wizard.

“You will not free the dragon from his prison! I will not allow such a terror to be unleashed again!” The man said. His deep blue robes flowed as he strafed from side to side avoiding Sirananth and Dorvund’s attacks. He then quickly ducked as Byor sliced at his head and was promptly tackled to the ground as Kvoyr laid into him. Dorvund moved over to the wizard and readied his battle-axe to deliver the killing stroke when Charmuth stopped him.

“Hold your blade young Dorvund,” He ordered. Dorvund straightened and moved his axe to his shoulder, “I wish the Grand Master to witness our return to glory.”

The wizard’s eyes widened, “You’re all dragons?” He inquired as the others rushed into the room.

Charmuth chuckled, “Of course foolish Terium, why do you think you heard all of that roaring outside just a few minutes before this?” He shook his head and walked past Dorvund and Kvoyr and to the end of the room which held a plain black cube. He studied the object for a few moments before picking it up. “So this is the Null Prison? Such trouble for a small object.” He said quietly.

“You cannot release him from his prison, you need the Elder Key in order to do that and only one person on this earth has that.” The Grand Master told Charmuth from the ground.

Charmuth turned to face the old man and widened his grin, “I know this, young Maroc Eriador and I had a pleasant chat a few years ago and we discussed this fact at length.”

The Grand Master’s face drained of color, “No! You can’t release him!”

Charmuth rummaged in a pocket of his trousers and produced a small brass key, “And why not?”

“Because he will be more powerful than you can imagine!”

Charmuth studied the mage for a second, “Ah but young Terium, that’s exactly what I hope for.” He then held the key up to the Prison which then sucked the key right into it. Charmuth stepped back a few paces and waited as the Prison began to expand and change form to that of a human being. All of the light in the room, which was only a few torches on the walls, was expunged and the room was plunged into total darkness. The dragons, confused by this move, swept the room with their enhanced vision and could only see themselves in the room. However, Sirananth took a mental count of how many of them there were in the room and found the number to be a little larger than before by about one man who stood where the Prison had been.

“My lord Kelpresh,” Sirananth greeted. He dropped to one knee and the others followed as they realized where Sirananth was directing his praise. The light slowly returned to the room and they all could finally see Kelpresh who was the only one standing in the room at the moment.

Kelpresh observed the occupants of the room and his gaze settled on Charmuth, “Rise, faithful Charmuth. What is the cause for the gathering of dragons before me?”

Charmuth did as he was ordered and replied, “Sir, we came to free you from your prison where you were entrapped so many years ago.”

The lord of the dragons laughed, his voice deep and booming as it rebounded off of the spartan walls, “Indeed, indeed. That cowardly Grand Master and his council couldn’t stand to face me in true combat so they trapped me in that prison of theirs. Tell me Charmuth, did we win the war after I disappeared?”

“No my lord, after you disappeared I tried to keep the brotherhood together but some started to follow their own leadership. We were able to assault the human’s capital but we were repulsed by a combined force of humans, elves and dwarves.” He replied, the pain on his face just barely noticeable.

“A pity, I had hoped that we would have overcome, but yet, it was inevitable.” Kelpresh looked about the room and his eyes rested on Terium who was still lying prostrate on the ground with Kvyor’s knee keeping him in place. “Ah, so this is my prison warden eh?” He walked over to the man and studied him, “Still as weak and cowardly as his predecessors.” Kelpresh reached behind him and unlimbered his huge greatsword whose blade shone a dull metalic red, “Brother, do stand the mage up and keep away. I do not wish for you to be harmed.” Kyzor did as ordered and slid back a few paces with his sword at the ready in-case the mage tried to harm Kelpresh.

“Now fellow dragons, we shall start our revenge. With this one,” Kelpresh then roared and stabbed Terium through the midsection, lifting him off the ground and further onto the crimson blade. Terium gasped for a moment then collapsed limp and lifeless. Kelpresh then angled his sword down and Terium slid off of it and onto the ground in a heap of robes.

Sirananth, watching from behind Kelpresh, spoke, “Thus it begins, the ascension of the dragons back to our former status.”

Kelpresh turned and smiled at Sirananth, “Well spoken brother,” He then nodded to Charmuth who took the suggestion and led the way back up to the surface. As Kelpresh walked out of the wide-open doors of the keep he took a deep breath and smiled. He then looked out and regarded the decimated city of Northrend, much of which was on fire, and chuckled, “And thus, they shall know fear!” He roared towards the heavens, a mighty, deep, powerful, fearsome challenge and changed into his dragon form. He stood before the assembled dragons, his crimson scales gleaming in the mid-day sun and spoke, “And they shall know that I have returned!” He then breathed a gigantic torrent of fire straight into the sky and it was then that the dragons knew that it had begun, their revenge was at hand.

The End

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