Challenge Story: The King, The Valley and The Elf

Challenge Story: The King, The Valley and The Elf

A Story by lunawolf

The Challenge: The story must have a dragon in it. The story must have a glove appear in the middle.

A figure in full metal armour walked across the barren landscape with purpose. They walked strong and tall against the wind that carried sand, heat and decay. He had been moving for days with little food and water but his Elven bloodline was strong, strong enough to make these conditions bearable and were very much like what his ancestors would cope with every year. The march to the forest of Ga’hem was a long difficult one, but the migration was made each year to and from it. He no longer joined in the pilgrimage, instead he travels constantly. It was the way he liked it, no connections and no troubles.
As he passed through the last town he’d heard tales of a terrible beast causing masses amount of trouble; it devoured children and livestock, burned houses and livelihoods to the ground, turned crops to ash and blacked out the sun. There was no other option, it had to be killed. Thus Thalgor Ramshield was making the long journey to the beast’s lair, in one of the most lifeless regions of the Azar desert where not even the spiny Lapis plant could grow. This place had claimed the lives of many who had tried to map it or travel through it and was now known simple as the Skeleton valley. Sandstorms were few and far between, rain never fell and almost everywhere you looked pale while bones poked out of the sand; the last travelers buried in the fine grains but the smell would never leave. Death would always be in the air. No wonder a monster such as this one would make its home here.
Finally though, after days of walking Thalgor could see the tips of the spire that made up Dark Rock. This small single mountain lay at the center of Skeleton Valley, the dark peaks was where it lived. At the top, past the sheer drops and the jagged base. The journey to the rock was hard and almost painful but the climb was the last piece. The one last trial before the monster and the last before clean water. The few who had made the climb before him spoke of how the inside of the mountain was hollow and how rain water collected inside it for years making it the only oasis in the valley. Unfortunately most people who made it this far were unable to make the climb up and left the rock surrounded by skeletons of all races, the mix of rotten flesh and bone was enough to turn away all but the most desperate- and they were the ones hanging higher up from the fall either on the way up or back down.
It took another day to reach Dark Rock, another night of sleeping in the open. The only good part of the valley was that no predators or scavengers lived there, no large animals could survive and as such there was no chance of being mauled in your sleep though the chance of freezing to death in the icy night was still very high.
By the time he was at the base of the rock the sun was high in the sky  and it was near impossible to ignore the crunching beneath his feet and impossible to avoid the white rocks littered around the base. Thalgor looked up the rock and wondered why he was actually bothering to risk his life for no reward. Oh right, the hope that the town will be so thankful they’ll make him a thane or something… or at least he can add a new title to his ever increasing name. He glanced down at his hands and then back at the rock. Climbing would be hard and could wreck his hands without proper protection. So after several minutes of rummaging through his pack he pulled out his fine horse leather gloves and slipped them on, grateful of the innkeeper who gifted them to him many moons ago after reclaiming some items from bandits.  These were tough and would grip well on the slopes of the rock.
Thalgor started his climb up the black rock that made up Dark rock, carefully stepping around the sharp jagged rocks and gripping the smooth walls with all he had. He forced himself to breathe naturally and avoided looking down whenever possible; he would have plenty of time for that once he arrived at the top. Once he’d killed the monster.
By the time he reached the peak his lungs were burning and his ears itched inside the helmet, hopefully he could take the damned thing off soon but one after he was done here. Sometime during the harvest last year he had fetched an item for a mage from a lair of vampires- not an easy task but in return this mage had enchanted some armour and weapons for him which made the task worthwhile and would certainly help him now; fire protection and water breathing just to name two. How mages manage to make something let you breath underwater and protect you from flames was beyond him.
Thalgor eyed the area in front of him with uncertainty, half wondering if there was some kind of alteration spell on the area. Surely there wasn’t grass and tree’s here? Surely those insects were not real and…was that a bird? He stared at the tiny creature hopping around on the grass, pecking at what could only be insects. It was only when the ground shock and the sky rumbles was it that he looked away.
The monster sat perched on a rock ledge high above the tree’s watching him. Thalgor had been given an idea of what he was facing but none of them were correct; A Chimera, Hyrda and even a Basalisk. But no, there sat a twin headed dragon nicknamed throughout history as The King. The size of a small hill, deep purple scales and two fire breathing heads and like all dragons was renowned for being cunning and highly intelligent. Not something to be trusted.
“Greetings Elf, what is the purpose of your visit to my home?” both heads spoke in sync creating a strange echo very different to the ones created inside caves.
Thalgor swallowed hard and drew is sword, gripping it tightly as the best cocked both heads to the same side.  The movement was definitely unnatural and sent a shudder through him. The dragon laughed, both heads moving in synch, and a wide grin crossed it’s face displaying both sets of sharp, two inch long teeth.
“Come, come now” it purred “surely you must have something better to do today than to die?” 
For a moment it crossed Thalgor’s mind that he may just be able to reason with the creature or even work alongside it as the chance of him surviving a fight with such a creature was slim. So he swallowed hard, pulled his shield closer against him.
And spoke to it.

© 2013 lunawolf

Author's Note

This was written on a whim after using a story generator online so I'm sure there are problems with grammar and maybe spelling also but hopefully it wasn't too bad to annoy people too much!

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Added on October 9, 2013
Last Updated on October 9, 2013
Tags: Fantasy, dragon, fiction, elf, adventure, challenge



Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom