Saint Victoria: And the Battle of Trachiadon

Saint Victoria: And the Battle of Trachiadon

A Story by Spectral Dust
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Medieval Fantasy

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A Medieval Fantasy

 


Someplace in England of the dark age a fierce battle was raging.  It was not a battle between men. It was a battle between man and beast--the most ferocious beast to ever exist on earth: the Trachiadon. This fierce creature was endowed with large bat-like wings for flight, and four legs with razor claws for slashing. It had iron-hard scales the size of dinner plates to protect its body, and a large mouth brimming with teeth that were always red from the blood of its victims. From the point of its two horns to the tip of its long tail it was gauged to be twenty cubits in length.

 

This tale is about the men of Britannia, united in their effort to defeat the Trachiadon. In the end, however, it was not a group of men, or even one man that accomplished this great deed. It was a young girl. Her name was Victoria, which means "Conqueror," for she was that and more--a conqueror of evil, a helpmate of mankind, and a faithful servant of the Lord.

 

This is her story. 
                      

In the castle of the busy town of Clare the leading men of the countryside were gathered. They were there to talk of the great beast and the means of destroying it. The people of Britannia believed they had only one remaining beast to contend with; the others were long dead or had flown away. They were mistaken in their belief, however. The king's men had spotted Trachiadon at its lair ten miles north of Clare, with a bloodied cow in its mouth while her two babies yelped cries of hunger at her feet. The men ran in terror to the king with the grave news that the beast was a mother protecting its young.

 

It would be a fierce battle.

 

The King offered a huge reward for the beasts' destruction. So here they were, at Castle Clare, the twelve bravest men of England united in their desire to destroy the foul beast and its progeny. John Winifred, the Sheriff of Clare, was among them. He pounded the table as he spoke.

 

"I tell you, Sirs, our weapons can kill the beast! With our finest rope we will trap it and kill it at its lair!"

 

"But how do we trap such a large animal? I tell you, it can't be done!" Bishop Benton protested.

 

"We've discussed this already. We'll noose the beast as it emerges from its den, and off its head!" answered John.

 

"I say, you are mad for thinking such thoughts! That she devil will kill everyone in sight, and then ravage the town, just like in the time before Egbert, the king."

 

"I tell you," said John, "The beast will not abandon its young. This time it's a fight to the death. Our best archers will aim for the eyes while the others lance its neck."

 

"John speaks the truth," said Alfred the Knight, "the beast won't flee its young. If we delay, the young will grow, and we shall have not one but three beasts to contend with. We must make haste, or pay the consequence."

 

"Aye, Aye," the men clamored

               ~~~~~~§~~~~~~

 

Not far away from this meeting was another man in a tower watching over the distant verdure. In the east before the rising sun, he could see three riders galloping fast. He kept watching. Could it be them? he wondered.

 

It was.

 

"They're coming!" he yelled from the tower, "they're coming!" The gate man leapt from his slumber and readied himself to lift the gate.

 

The three riders reached the rising portcullis and entered the courtyard. The children ran to see if it was really him. It was Baldric, the blacksmith of Clare. He was the biggest man in England: Six foot-seven, and nearly 300 pounds of strength. The men were returning from the beast's lair to plan their attack. They were intending to slay the beast and collect the king's reward. The two men with Baldric were his noble brothers, Basil and Carlton. They would help Baldric destroy Trachiadon and be rich for the rest of their lives.

 

The three men burst through the council room, causing all in attendance a frightful occurrence.

 

"Well?" Baldric shouted, "Who's in charge here?"

 

The Bishop swallowed hard, and then said, "Sir, we are all acting as one in our effort to...to--"

 

"Nonsense!" Baldric replied, "I've come to collect the king's reward. I must know who's in charge, now!"

 

John stood up and said, "You mean, you've killed the beast? What of its offspring? do they still live?"

 

"Yea, the beast still lives, but not for long, of that you can be sure! Before sundown of the morrow the beast and its demon spawn will be dead!" He took two steps forward and pointed at the Bishop and said, "All you need do is have the reward for me to take. I'll do the rest." The big man eyed every one of the twelve men in the room, and then turned about and out the door. The men all breathed a sigh of relief.

 

Baldric and his two brothers returned to their horses. A crowd had gathered. One of the children called out, "Are you going to kill the beast, Baldric? Aren't you afraid?" 

 

"Boy," Baldric exclaimed from his horse, "on the morrow the beast will die by my hand. And you can be sure, all of England will remember my name--forever!"

 

Just then Baldric's lovely young daughter, Victoria, stepped forward and held something out for Baldric to grab. It was the cross of Christ on a chain.

 

"Please, Father, take this, it will protect you," Victoria said.

 

Baldric waved his hand dismissively and said proudly, "I have no need for trinkets of God to be who I am! I am Baldric! not a whimpering woman! I will slay the beast with these two hands alone!" He held his hands high in the air for all to see.

 

The people cheered wildly. "Baldric!"

 

"But Father, all men need God; that's what Bishop--"

 

"Ah! The bishop is a fool, my darling. Out of my way, everyone. I must go and slay the beast!"

 

"Don't mind her, she's crazy," one of the kids said, pointing at Victoria.

 

Victoria was different from the other young people of Clare. She was very devout and kind, but many feared her because they thought she was a witch. Sometimes she saw visions of what was to come, or knew the thoughts of others without explanation. Most parents did the best they could to keep their children from her, but the young men loved her, for she was a beautiful maiden.

 

Baldric's horse reared while the crowd cheered again, then the three men raced through the gate, Northward to face Trachiadon.

 

Victoria pulled the cross over her head. "May God help him," she said. Then she crossed herself.

 

The twelve members of the council had followed Baldric to his horse and watched from a distance. Miles the wool merchant was thinking of the reward when he said to the others, "We shall ride out on the morrow and see for ourselves if this man speaks the truth. If he fails, we will attend his partial success, and claim for ourselves the king's reward.

 

"Aye," the others agreed.

 

"We ride at sunrise," Miles said determinedly.

 

Victoria returned home to her mother, Agnes, who was very distraught over her husband. On the way she met the boy, Wilfred. He loved Victoria, but she loved God. There would be only one man in her life, and that man was Christ.

            

   ~~~~~~§~~~~~~

Later that night, while the moon was high and the people of Clare were fast asleep, Victoria awoke. She pulled her woolen blanket up to her neck to warm herself. While her mother slept, Victoria prayed to her God. 

 

 Please, Lord, help us 
 to overcome this great evil

 Grant Baldric the strength to slay
 the beast, so he may live

 And grant me the wisdom
 to know your will

 For I desire to serve you, Lord,
 with all my heart, mind, and soul

 God, hear my prayer

 

A short while later she awoke again. She opened her eyes. Not far above her was a small but brilliant light. It grew larger and hovered above her head. The light spoke to her mind.

 

"Victoria, God has heard your prayer. You may do God's will if you choose."

 

Her spirit burned with a desire to serve the Lord.

 

"Yes, I will do what ever God asks of me," she said softly, careful not to wake her mother.

 

"Go to the dell, where you will find a beautiful horse, white in color." The dell was a small treed valley not too distant from the town of Clare. "In the morrow, you will ride north and confront the beast."

 

"But I am only a girl? How can I do such a thing?"

 

"Do not fear, Victoria, God will be with you. You must go tonight, if you choose to follow the command of the Lord."

 

Then the light evaporated before her eyes.

 

She lay there silently for a moment. Had it been merely a dream? Was she crazy like the others said? Surely God was asking too much of a small girl. She was distraught and fearful, uncertain about what to do. The very next day all of England would know of her decision.

  ~~~~~~§~~~~~~


The townspeople gathered on a hill, two hundred cubits distant from the lair. Baldric and his brothers were there, ready to confront the beast. Thirty cubits from where the beast lay Baldric stood strong and proud with the sword he'd fashioned for the task, nearly two cubits in length. A giant noose was positioned around the lair's mouth, so when the beast poked its head above ground the horses would ride, pulling the noose taught. Then brave Baldric would rush Trachiadon and cut off her head with one swift swing of his sword. Once the babies were left without their mother's protection they could be slaughtered without great difficulty.

 

Basil and Carlton were ready on their horses, to ride if-and-when the beast emerged. From a short distance Baldric began throwing large stones down the lair's opening. The ground trembled, but the beast could not be coaxed from the safety of the lair. The townspeople began to grow impatient.  Some had started back toward town.

 

Then suddenly with a terrible roar Trachiadon emerged.

 

The people screamed, including Baldric, who had never before confronted the beast. His brothers rode, more out of fear than tactical deliberation. The noose was pulled tight, but Trachiadon was too mighty to be even phased. The riders were thrown from their horses. The Bishop fell to his knees and cried out:

 

"God help us!"

 

Baldric lost heart, and he too cried out to God as he ran for his life. Trachiadon belched a piercing cry of anger, and then lurched downward, clamping her massive jaws over Baldric's head and shaking him violently before tossing him to the ground. He was still alive but badly injured. One horse managed to work itself free, but the other whinnied a terrible sound as the beast sank its teeth into its flesh, killing it instantly. The people began to run. Then there was a yell from one of the young men. It was Wilfred, the boy who loved Victoria.

 

"Look! on the hill! It's Victoria!"

 

Everyone stopped and looked. Upon the hill, in the direction of the dell, Victoria was mounted on a beautiful white unicorn. On her head was a winged helmet made of polished silver, from which flowed a silken veil white in color. Over her snow-white tunic was fitted a silver breastplate upon which was embossed a gold cross of Christ. In her right hand could be seen a gleaming sword.

 

Baldric wanted to cry out to his daughter but the beast had injured his throat, rendering him speechless.

 

"Good God!" The Bishop screamed, "that girl is a saint!"

 

Victoria raised her sword high, and then announced for all to hear, "With God's help, I shall conquer!" Then she charged Trachiadon full speed. Everyone gasped in disbelief.

 

The unicorn she rode was brave in the assault. A mighty battle ensued, with the beast hissing its evil intent, and Unicorn racing wildly about the lair's perimeter like lightning on four legs. Fiercely it jabbed with its one horn, causing Trachiadon to cry out in pain. The beast desperately tried to plant its jaws on its foe, but Unicorn always managed to evade its grasp. Trachiadon emerged fully from its lair and outstretched its wings so it could attack from above. Unicorn took flight too, with Victoria still upon its back, swinging her sword while shouting victory in the name of Christ.

 

The people were too astonished to move. "Is this a dream?" one of the old men cried out. They continued to watch as Victoria and Unicorn attacked savagely. The winged horse would gain distance with back flight and then soar at great speed toward the beast, piercing the scales with its horn deep into the flesh. The battle took place not too high above the lair, for the beast would not abandon its young. By now the baby Trachiadons had emerged and were flapping their wings in terror, instinctively trying to take flight.

 

Emboldened by the young girl's courage, some of the archers ran forth and began to use their bows to attack. Most of the arrows missed their mark, and those that did hit could not penetrate the beast's armor. Above was Victoria, slashing and stabbing, as Unicorn raced madly and determinedly about the winged, lumbering mass. At one point, it looked as if the beast had achieved advantage when Victoria had to land, exhausted from the battle. Unicorn dragged on the ground its tired wings while Victoria regained her strength and courage. It appeared to the townspeople that she had given up, as the winged-horse trotted off and away from battle. Suddenly Unicorn did an about face, tucked in its wings, and started pumping its front legs. The brave rider raised her sword forward, and looking up to God announced,

 

"Onward to victory--in Christ's name!"

 

Fast and hard Unicorn charged, then took flight to resume its attack on Trachiadon. The people began to scream their support for Victoria. Every time Unicorn would bury its horn, they would all cheer, and every time Victoria's sword would land a blow, they would cheer again, louder still. The ground below was drenched with the blood of the dying Trachiadon. Finally, the beast weakened by the assault, crashed to the ground with a loud thud amidst her babies. They ran to her side for protection but she could offer none.

 

Now was the time for the coup de grace. LIke a giant hummingbird Unicorn hovered at the back of the neck near the head.

 

"Victoria! Victoria! Victoria!" the people cheered.

 

Victoria leaped onto the beast's neck, sword in hand. The beast's long neck flailed wildly, but could not shake its attacker.

 

"In the name of Jesus the Christ, I strike thee down!" Victoria proclaimed for all to hear.

 

Deeply into the neck she drove the sword. A river of blood flowed from the wound, causing the beast to choke and spasm. In its death throes the beast threw its head back and belched out one last agonized scream before falling dead. Victoria fell to the ground near the beast's lifeless head.

 

"Victoria!"  The people screamed.

 

The townsfolk rushed to her aid. Some of the men managed to surround one baby Trachiadon and kill it, but the other took off in flight and disappeared over the horizon. Unicorn ran too, into the dell from which it came, never to be seen again.

 

"Oh, my dear daughter, you saved my life! You are the bravest girl in the whole world!"  Baldric said, as he cradled his dying daughter in his arms.

 

Around her neck was the cross that she'd offered her Father the day before. She raised it above her breastplate and said, "Here, Father, take this and seek the Lord, for he is great for those who love Him...With faith in God...all things...are possible."

 

Baldric slipped the cross over his head and then wept for his daughter. She turned her head to one side and died, as her helmet fell off and onto the ground. The people wailed in despair. Bishop John performed the last rites.

 

"Oh, my dear daughter, Victoria!" Baldric cried. "Please don't leave me...Victoria!...Victoria...

 

                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

  "......Victoria...Victoria, wake up, Sweety. You don't want to be late. It's your special day, remember?" Her mother, Agnes, turned on the dresser light next to the bed.

 

Twelve year old Victoria opened her eyes to see her mother standing at her bedside. 

 

"Did you forget it's your first holy communion today?" Mom asked.

 

"No, I didn't forget," Victoria said, rubbing her eyes.

 

Her mother grabbed a book from the bed. It was was a book of saints, opened to an illustration of St. George slaying the dragon. She closed the book and placed it on the dresser. She caressed her daughter's cheek and asked, "Are you still having those strange dreams?"

 

Victoria simply nodded "Yes." Then she asked, "How's Daddy?"

 

"Well, I have good news. The doctor said the surgery went extremely well, and that they managed to take out most of the cancer." Her Father, Baldric, had surgery to remove cancer from the throat a few days earlier.

 

"When is he coming home from the hospital?" Victoria asked.

 

Mom turned toward the bedroom door and called out, "Baldric, you can come in now." 

 

Her father walked in with a big smile on his face.

 

"Daddy!"

 

He ran to the bedside and hugged his daughter. His throat was still healing, so he could only speak in whispers.

 

"You didn't think I was going to miss your special day, did you?" He said softly.

 

"You're going to get all better, Daddy, I know it." She was thinking of the dream she'd had.

 

"Yes, I'm going to be just fine."

 

"I've been praying for you, Daddy."

 

"Well, thank you for saving my life, little lady." He planted a kiss on her cheek.

 

"Did I ever tell you, you are the coolest dad in the world?"

 

"And did I ever tell you, that you are the bravest little girl in the world?

 

She raised the cross that was hanging from her neck and said, "Will you wear this today, Daddy?"

 

He slipped the cross over his head and said, "always."

 

"With faith in God, all things are possible," She said.

 

Baldric's eyes well up, and a tear rolled down his cheek. Today he would go to church for the first time in twenty years. He would never again miss Sunday mass, for the rest of his long life.

 

It was a beautiful day for the holy communion celebration. Victoria looked lovely in her white gown and veil. As they left for church, the neighbor boy, Will, was mowing the grass. He was quite fond of Victoria. He waved and she smiled and waved back as they drove by. Baldric's brothers, Carlton and Basil followed them to the church in their own cars. After the communion ceremony Victoria's family met Bishop Benton. He tweaked her cheek and said, "There's my little saint."

 

Victoria blurted out, "I'm going to be a nun!"

 

All in attendance just smiled at her youthful innocence.

          

  ~~~~~~§~~~~~~

Not long ago, near the ancient town of Clare, a small band of archaeologists unearthed the fossil remains of an extinct animal, hitherto found only incomplete and of uncertain taxonomy.  Shortly after they would announce to the world the discovery of a new species of extinct dinosaur with wings, Trachiadon it would be called.  However,  this was not the most remarkable news, for amid the beast's remains were found many iron arrow heads.  This seemed quite impossible because the beast was thought to date before mankind came to be. Radiocarbon testing solved the riddle by dating the dig to the 9th century AD, give or take 50 years. Many observers questioned the integrity of the dig, and some even levelled accusations of fraud.  The debate concerning the veracity of the find would never end.

 

On her twenty-first birthday Victoria decided to become a nun. She joined the Poor Sisters of Clare in Ohio, and from there traveled the world doing good for others. As the years went by she learned to harness her paranormal abilities and help many with her wisdom and insight. At first the other sisters were skeptical of her dreams and visions. Gradually over time, however, they realized her special abililties were from God, and so they too were able to benefit from her spiritual gifts.

 

Victoria died recently, after forty years of faithful service to God and man. Her diary was found, and in it were recorded many of the dreams and visions she'd had, including one about a flying monster that she had slain. With her diary was found a small ceramic unicorn, a remnant of her fantasy youth and a time when others called her a crazy dreamer. She was not a mere dreamer, however, but rather a doer that dreamed big while living for Christ; a young girl that answered the call of God, and as a result, changed the world. She is not a true saint of the Catholic Church, but she was saintly to those who knew her. For she is Victoria, conqueror for Christ, whose goodness will continue to live in the hearts and minds of those she loved, forever

© 2012 Spectral Dust


Author's Note

Spectral Dust
I'm not very happy with the ending; it's not quite working for me. This story is a work in progress.

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I must say, this is the first piece of historical fiction I've seen on this site, and it's quite good. However, the introduction to the story was kinda too fast for my preferences, but it's not too big of a deal.
And I found nothing wrong with the ending, but if you think you can make it even better, I encourage you to do so.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.



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Reviews

I must say, this is the first piece of historical fiction I've seen on this site, and it's quite good. However, the introduction to the story was kinda too fast for my preferences, but it's not too big of a deal.
And I found nothing wrong with the ending, but if you think you can make it even better, I encourage you to do so.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on February 22, 2012
Last Updated on May 16, 2012
Tags: fantasy, dragon, fiction