The Dragons MouthMature

Bayowens light blue eyes looked upon the hords below him, traversing the valley on the left side of the frozen river Ruadar. His long jet black hair blew softly in the cold winter breeze as he turned to face his warriors. The elf looked upon his fellow soldiers as they lay hidden in the woods of the valley side. He saw his friends, persons he had come to know and love. He saw that their endless lives were at stake this very moment, and he saw in them, the sacrafice they had given to follow their leaders to fight for what is good and just.

Veroth had come from the pits of Suratha, aided in this era by a necromancer of great skill named Ghreyver. The Necromancer, as he was known amongst the alliance of Man, Elf, and Halfling, was from histories stand point, one of their most powerful adversaries yet.

The human lands had now been overrun, where your ally fell, an enemy would soon rise, as The Necromancers warlocks would give new, and vial breath to the dead.

Bayowen turned once more to the frozen valley below, and he watched with his elven eyes as the grunts would run to the woods and kill all manner of small creatures; crows, badgers, foxes, and any such living thing. They brought the carcasses to fore of the line, and there, the warlocks would change them. These once, simple creatures, would become the eyes and ears of Veroths army, a vast and ever replenishing source of information would stream into the minds of the warlocks, and give them heed to all that passed before, and after the wake of their troops had trampled and soiled the land.

As his comrades ate their final meal before the attack, Bayowen called upon their attention. "My friends, my brothers and sisters. Today, we are the instruments of our fate. Let the will of The Ancients give us strength in our hour of need. With the gifts the gods have bestowed upon our lineage, we shall conquer the evil that has plagued our land, driven the good from our lives, and endangered the future of freedom. We, the forsaken of the reaper, are indeed cursed. Our lives may take us to the eternities of the universe, but in that same blessing, we can die but in the path of violence. But I ask of you this day, to look upon yourselves as though you have aleardy passed upon the ride of the everlasting. Only once you have accepted your fate, can you act upon it with true will, and thus, take ease. We cannot lose what is already lost."

The small number of talented soldiers watched and listened to him, contemplating their future as he continued.

" I know what you have given up to be here today, and I also know that there is great reason for it. We cannot let the hords of Veroth continue on this path, for at it's end lay all that we hold dear. Your lives, my friends, are void upon the sailing skies that this nights winds will bring. And in the night, your families will hear the deathwords you send to them, and they will know. You have given all for them, you have given what no other creature on this plane could give. You have given eternity for their sake."

Warm tears streamed down Lulanas face from her hazel eyes as she watched him speak. She had been at council that night, she knew the truth, as everyone else did. She took a lock of her dark brown hair and pushed it aside as the wind had blown it into her teary eyes, and she rose her head once again to watch him speak.

"We have nothing but time to buy, and nothing but lives to wager. If you fall to the clutches of fear, do not feel yourself unworthy, for you are here now, sitting before me, ready to head out into the comming night and dance with the blades of death one last time. That courage alone is worth more than you may ever know."

Faraneth had gotten up, and walked to the far side of the camp, he made sure that he was not far enough to not hear the last words that Bayowen had to say, but far enough for him to see the stars which shone above.

"I leave you all, with a proverb that I cherish, it has guided me through my hardest times. Let it guide you through these, and look past the words, look into the soul of it's meaning." Bayowen paused for a moment, and as the slience thickend to near palpability, he spoke again "All that is, shall end."

Lulana walked to Bayowens side as he turned once again to the valley. The group lay in silence as she walked past them. They had not replied in any way to his words, for they knew that he did not want pride for them.

Her hand rose to his shoulder, and she turned him to look him in the eyes as she spoke. "There are many reasons why I have followed you this far, and I know that my intentions toward your heart are well apparent, but I feel like there is little time left for me to tell you that I love you." Tears were still fresh in here eyes as she spoke to him, and she choked on them as she spoke. She brought him closer to her, and nestled her head into the nook of his neck. "I know that tonight, we will be together for the last time."

Bayowen took her by the shoulders and brought her out far enough to see her eyes again. "Nay, tonight, we shall be toghether forever, for all that you see before you now, is but the childhood of eternity." His hands took her lips to his, and they kissed for the first time on what was becomming the eve of their last day.

Faraneth still pondered as he gazed at the stars above. " You too shall end." he said to the sky, his white hair boasting the status of Sorcerer flowed from his shoulders in the breeze. He turned to the troops before him as they rose up from their meals and he began to prepare for the ambush.

As light lost it's grip on the surface of the land, the elven company worked hard into the evening to prepare for the ever marching hord which relentlessly trudged their way.

The preperations were set, and in silence they lay, hidden from all senses by the gifts of nature which flowed through their blood, they awaited the hords droning steps.

Hours passed and though they could not see in their hidden slumber, they could feel the trembling of the marching dead. Snow fell from the pines as the vibration of their combined steps travresed the valleyside. The ice of the Ruadar cracked from the shaking of the land. Four thousand strong, the hord marched on, and hidden in the woods lay a mere three hundred endless lives, praying to their gods to give their sacrafice worth, to slow the hord long enough for their loved ones to escape the doom which has come to their doorstep.

The Dragons Mouth was were it would begin. To continue through the mountain pass, the hords would have to enter the bottlneck of the canyon. Here they waited. The time had finally come.

Faraneth had whispered to them all that the last of the hord had entered the canyon, now it was time.

His eyes opened, and before him, in the cold winter snow, stood a grunt. Its one eye widened in realisation as Bayowens blade ruthlessly passed through it's head. Black blood flew from the cracking skull and stained the pure white snow below as the beast fell, lifeless once again.

The battlehorns blew, and rang throughout the canyon as the hord became aware of the Elven presence. In the tight confines of the canyon, the ambush had already succeeded it's first goal, as at least two hundred of the outer laying grunts fell dead to the canyon floor, struck down by the silver blades of the Silvana contengent.

The second goal of the ambush soon preceded, as the steep, snow covered valleyside crumbled to the sounds of the bellowing horns. The snow came rushing down into the crevace, burying the hord, and it's attackers.

Faraneth soon rose above the snow, and with light pulsating arround him, the others came up as well, the snow, shifting from their path as they came to it's surface.

Bayowen ran across to Faraneth, walking soundly on the snow, as if it were solid ground. "Is that all of us?" he said, as Faraneth turned to him.

"This is all those who have not already fallen." With a nod, they continued down the canyon.

They had now bought more time, and although lives had already payed for it, there was more death to come ahead, as the hord would not be trapped for long.

The End

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