Lorin awoke to the sounds of metal on metal. The cave floor was cold and hard as he shifted his body to find the noise of metal.
Xard stood over a small fire; he slowly stirred something in a pot over the flames. The odor of stew caused Lorin's stomach to rumble as it reached his nose. Every muscle in his body hurt to move, how long had he been out? What had happened? Lorin thought back the last thing he could remember; Skeletons, so many skeletons swinging at him. Xard by his side as they fought their way through the skeletons, trying to make their way towards someone. Lorin scanned the rest of the area; a large bundle wrapped in blankets lay near the fire on the other side. Slowly the rise and fall of the blankets could be seen.
"Gaidal!" Lorin said aloud as memories flood back on the battle they fought to get to this man. Lorin tried to move but his body felt slow and sluggish.
"Sit tight lad, he is well," Xard said coming to Lorin's side. "Both of you be needing to get your strength back. He eat this it will help," Xard said as he handed Lorin a bowl of stew. Xard looked at Lorin, studying him intently. "Lad how do you feel? " Xard asked.
"Well I can barely move my arms or legs," Lorin said.
"I would be surprised if you could," Xard replied. "Lad you need to get some control on yer gift there. You almost went to far and drained your own life away."
"Some of his wounds were so deep. I could feel them bleed. All I could think of was to heal them and I did," Lorin said as he shifted his weight. Xard handed him the bowl and a spoon, staying close as he saw the bowl shake in Lorin's hand.
"Take it easy lad, ya need to go slow till your strength returns," Xard said has he helped to keep the bowl steady. Slowly Lorin managed to get the first spoonful in his mouth. The warmth of the stew slid down his throat and spread throughout his cold tired body. Hunger took over and soon the bowl was empty. He could feel his strength returning. Xard took the bowl and stood up, returning to the fire. Lorin looked around at his surroundings, skeleton bones lay in piles everywhere, to many to count.
Lorin's arms and legs stopped shaking and he was able to stand. "How is he?" Lorin said looking in Gaidal's direction.
"He will live but he needs rest," Xard replied. "He must have been fighting a long time. I still do not know why he is down here alone. This is not a place to be alone. His wounds are healing and I think he only needs rest to recover his strength."
Lorin leaned his head against the cave wall, looking at Xard he asked, "how long has it been since you have gotten any sleep Xard?"
"It is of no matter, I will sleep when there is time to sleep lad," Xard said.
"Get some rest Xard. I will keep watch awhile," Lorin said.
Xard looked Lorin up and down, shaking his head he took a bowl of stew and sat down next to Gaidal's slumbering form.
Lorin felt better as he walked around, his muscles stated to loosen up and he could feel more of his strength return. "How long do you think it will take….." the words stopped on Lorin's lips as he turned around to face Xard. The mighty dwarf had fallen fast asleep already. Gently Lorin covered Xard with a blanket, taking the bowl from Xard, Lorin turned and tended to the fire.
Lorin strolled around the camp, thinking of the things he had seen since his return to Befallen. Where there was once emptiness in his heart he now felt it filling. Azifar had said time would make the difference. Memories filled his mind of healing Gaidal. He remembered the power flowing from him to Gaidal. He also can remember the ever so slight picture of a large beast in his mind. Golden scales and large long teeth, faint but there nonetheless. The power came from this large beast; he remembers the flows that poured into him from this image. Lorin leaned down and checked on Xard and Gaidal as his thoughts raced over the events that happened here in Befallen. . "Lad you need to get some control on yer gift there. You almost went to far and drained your own life away," Xard had said.
How was he supposed to gain control if there was no one that could tell him how? Frustration boiled up in lorin's head, "Who can I seek that can help me with this power I feel?" Lorin thought to himself.
"Seek to learn thyself my son," A powerful voice boomed in the hall.
Lorin spun around, seeking the origin of the voice. A small light further down the hall grew in intensity, brighter and brighter it became. The light expanded and filled the hall. As it grew, something was forming at its center. The light expanded and dimmed. Lorin gazed at what he thought was a portal and the figure that stood in the center of the portal.
Golden scales surrounded a large head, teeth longer then two men reflected the surrounding light. Large deep-set eyes stared at Lorin. The large head filled the portal; immense power emanating from the being. Lorin's hand slides towards his blade as he back away from this being.
"Would thee strike at me my Son?" the voice boomed again. "Would thee count me an enemy without knowing me first?"
Knowing he didn't stand a chance against such a being, Lorin slowly lowered his blade back into his scabbard and looked at what had to be the largest Dragon ever. "Who art thou?" Lorin asked in a shaky voice.
"Dost thou know me not my Son, " the dragon asked. "Ever have I been with thee, watching over thee and guiding thy steps. It is I who set thee on the path to fulfill thy destiny. Know that thee are my chosen, the blood of Dragon Lord dose flow threw thy body."
Lorin stumbles back as images flood his mind, images of him fighting the skeletons as a young boy here in befallen, images of a Dragon behind him and guiding his arm as he tore into the undead. More and more images of his past form in his mind, images of vast strength and power that could not be explained, each time the form of the Dragon in the background.
Slowly the images recede and stop, gaining his self-awareness again, Lorin faces the Dragon again as understanding and completeness fill his mind and body. For the first time in his life, the void within is filled and Lorin is overcome with the feeling of completeness. Facing the Dragon, Lorin kneels and lowers his head.
"What is thy command great one, how may I serve thee?" Lorin said.
Feelings of love emanates from the Dragon engulfing Lorin as he knelt. "Know that I am pleased with thee and the time has come for thee to take the next step in thy destiny. Stray not from thy meeting with the mighty Wizard Twisterkahn, through him will thee gain the knowledge you seek to gain control of thy strength. Learn well my son, for what he can teach thee will aid thee greatly."
"What is this?" Xard voices sounds out.
Lorin stands and turns to the Dwarf. Xard's face pales as he stares at the image of the Dragon before Lorin. Weapon in hand, Xard steps slowly to Lorin.
"This one may be a little bit more difficult lad, but fear not I am with thee," Xard said as color and determination flow into his face.
"Fear no mighty Xard," Lorin said with a smile spreading across his face. " I would introduce thee to the Mighty Dragon Lord, he is our friend."
"Drag.. Drag.. Dragon Lord," Xard stutters as again his face turns pale. "The lord of all dragons?" Slowly the Xard's weapon fell from his hand to clang on the ground. Kneeling before the Dragon Xard says, "Forgive me Lord I meant no offense."
"Greetings Rock Brother Xard, glad I am that Lorin has companions such as thee. Fear me not mighty Xard, for thee has aid he who is my chosen and for that I am thank full," Dragon Lord said. "Rise mighty Xard, long have the Dragons and Dwarfs been friends and companions. Ever have thee and thine kept the pact between us, know I am pleased with thee"
"Thank you M'lord," Xard said rising to his feet. "Tis an honor to greet thee Lord, how may I aid thee further?"
"I ask nothing of thee but that thee aid Lorin in his training. His destiny will be hard and he needs the aid of those close to him. It is companions such as thee that will help see him through the trying times to come," Dragon Lords said.
"As you have asked great one so shall I do. He shows much promise and I will do all I can to aid thee and Lorin," Replied Xard.
The dragon nods his head at Xard and turns to Lorin.
"My son, make haste to the Forest that dies, listen and learn well that which Xard can teach thee," Dragon Lord said. "Mighty Xard, I charge thee with the task of making sure Lorin dose keep his meeting with Twisterkahn. This must happen if Lorin is to learn to control his power as it grows."
"I will make sure he is there even if I have to carry him there myself Lord, this I swear," Xard said.
"All is well then," Dragon Lord said. "Learn well my Son, know I watch thee always and that I am pleased with thee." Again the light in the hall flares up and then diminishes to nothing, the portal and Dragon image fade from view.
Xard blinks as his eyes adjust to the limited light in the hall, turning to Lorin Xard says, "There are things you have not told me lad that I would know. But first let us get Gaidal up and out of here. We will talk as we travel on, I mean to keep my word and see that you are placed in Twisterkahn's hands."
Lorin nods his head and again stares at the spot the Dragon had been at. Still stunned, Lorin knows from deep inside of himself that this was meant to be, somehow this felt right. Xard watches Lorin as they turn to the camp. Again Xard is surprised by yet another change in Lorin, his stride and stance seems more confident then before.
"I will keep my word to get you to Twisterkahn," Xard thinks to himself. "But I must inform Lord Dragon of these events also. No longer a boy but instead a man, a man with great power that must be watched else it be turned to evil." Shaking his head, Xard returns his thoughts to the task at hand. Gaidal needs help and a place to recover from his wounds.
Xard and Lorin, after attempting to wake Gaidal, decide to make a stretcher to carry the still sleeping Gaidal from Befallen. With the stretcher made and the camp all-packed up, Lorin and Xard head back out of Befallen. Their pace slow and cautious at first, avoiding any and all Skeletons as they move to the entrance of Befallen. Walking out of Befallen and into the warm air of the Commons, they set down the stretcher. Xard reaches into his jerkin and pulls forth the medallion with the hand upon it. Holding it in his hands, Xard closes his eyes and concentrates.
Opening his eyes and placing the amulet back inside his jerkin, Xard turns to Lorin and says, "Help is on the way, we should make camp here for the night till they arrive." Nodding his head, Lorin begins to prepare the camp for the night.
Lorin is awakened in the morning to voices. "Yes I am sure," Xard voice said. " I stood before him myself and he spoke the ancient words of greeting to me." Pushing back the blankets, Lorin turns to the sound of Xard's voice.
Sitting near the fire, Xard and Dragons turn as Lorin rises. "I see you are not without surprises Lorin. I felt the spark in you when we met but I had no idea it would amount to this," Dragons said. "Xard tells me you were visited by the King of the Dragons, Dragon Lord. Is he your patron? How long have you known he watches you?"
"He claims to be the Lord of the Dragons and that I am his chosen," Lorin replied. "I have only learned of him myself M'Lord. I would tell thee if I knew more. I feel a connection to him, when I have called upon the power to heal others I can see him and I feel the power come from him."
"Well Lorin it seems that you God has made himself known to you," Dragon said. "I cannot tell you to follow his words, that is up to you. I can tell you that the Syndicate will be here for you and if you have need of our counsel we will do all we can to aid you."
"Thank you M'Lord, Lorin said. "I will do my best to honor the Syndicate name always."
"That is well Lorin," Dragon said. "Xard the others here will take Gaidal to a place he can rest. I am assuming you will continue on with Lorin till he meets up with Twist?'
"I gave my word and I Lorin still needs some training," Xard said.
"Then I wish you both luck and success, please keep in touch and let us know what transpires," Dragons said. " Twisterkahn should be at the appointed place on time, I must go and tend to Gaidal. Keep each other safe."
Five cloaked figures picked up the stretcher holding Gaidal and with Dragons In the lead walked out of the camp.
"Let us be on our way Lorin," Xard said. "There is much ground to cover and little time."
With Xard's help, Lorin pack the camp and they headed out to the meeting with Twisterkahn. As they walked together, Xard told Lorin of his beginnings, how he came to be in the Syndicate. They spoke of fighting and of different weapons. Xard showed Lorin the tricks to keeping a weapon clean and ready to be drawn at a moments notice. For many days they walked and talked. When the opportunity came they slept in the inns along the way, most of the time they slept under the stars. Xard told Lorin of the Syndicate, stories of the battles and members in the Guild. More often though, Xard spoke of his love of beer and Ladies, always impressing upon Lorin the importance of treating Ladies with respect and honor. They had three weeks of traveling to do to meet Twisterkahn, in that time Lorin promised himself he would learn all he could from this Dwarf he now called friend.
©2019 The Syndicate. All rights reserved.