Dren is saved by a wandering girl

Frudd the troll was motivated by Dren's cries of pain, and before he knew it he was repeatedly driving his fists into the prone dragon's flank.  Kregmar called for him to stop, but the hulking beast was caught up in a state of bloodlust and he continued to pummel Dren until he felt the satisfaction of hearing a muffled SNAP from within.  Then he reared back and laughed and grabbed his belly.

In a wave of fury, Kregmar spat, "FRUDD!" and performed a conjuring without a second's thought.  Instantly the ground at the troll's feet opened and two skeletal forearms burst from the dirt.  Trolls are schooled in blood and not books, and Frudd looked down curiously, not really afraid but lost in incomprehension.  The demonic hands worked without the aid of muscles or tendons, yet their grasp was iron, and Frudd was swallowed without so much as a scream.  As his head passed into the earth, the ground immediately covered itself with a fresh mound.  Frudd was gone.

Now the trolls were scared.  They may not have fully comprehended what had just happened but they were acutely aware that the ground had just opened up and pulled one of their own down into its depths, and that sort of occurrence was uncommon, to say the least.  The five remaining trolls trembled and looked away from Kregmar because they were afraid he might look at them, and suddenly they wanted to be elsewhere.  Anywhere but in that field.

Kregmar rubbed his hands together and began reciting an old incantation.  As he spoke the color drained from the sky, as if it had been sucked and bled dry by the mountains or trees beneath, replaced with a churning blackness.  The trolls nervously rocked from foot to foot as they watched the blackness take a physical form, similar to clouds.  But they knew this was no natural event, and the trolls -- who were basically too stupid to fear anything at all -- each felt an icy spear of terror stab them in their spine.  They froze and watched dumbly as the blackness ate the light.  Kregmar trembled with vitality, as though his body was reaching a crescendo, and two glowing little orbs pulsated inside his hood.  His robes blew furiously even though there was no wind in the air.  Indeed, the entire universe might have been at a standstill for all the movement lacking in the atmosphere at that moment.  Dren could scarcely breathe.

Kregmar stepped closer to Dren and smiled, exposing a mouthful of rotting, crooked shark's teeth which looked about ready to fall from his skull, no doubt to be replaced by a new set.  He hissed, "Are you ready to die, dragon?"

It was difficult for Dren to speak because of his current tanglement in the net.  It didn't matter anyway because  before he could think of a reply, a merry tune wafted to everybody's ears, A jaunty whistling which carried to them from the edge of the woods.  Kregmar lifted his head and actually muttered, "What the hell?" as a tall, young blonde woman came around the corner and walked past the last thicket of trees, looking up at the sky with an indifferent interest and still whistling.

The End

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