Malus: World of War
The Hall of the Dragon
Stories you might want to be familiar with:
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Legend of Zelda
THE LONELY MOUNTAIN, MIDDLE EARTH, 3:11 AM
Malachite stood before the destination that it had taken weeks for him to find. The Lonely Mountain, the perfect base of operations for him. The gold that lied there would be great enough to create multiple business empires to make his war. It was feared by many as a hall of doom, which would fit perfectly with his reputation of being a nearly undefeatable sorcerer. And even if the rumors were true that there was a mighty dragon guarding the cave, his defeat of said dragon would bolster his reputation to even greater heights than it already stood. His staff at the ready, the hand that bore his gauntlet balled into a fist, he walked into the mountain.
Malachite walked through a couple of turns in the cave until he walked into a shining hall littered with gold and wealth. The alluring glow shined off of the sorcerer's sunglasses as he stared in silence, his face remaining completely straight. It had been millennia since he had seen such a sight. Suddenly, he heard a creature breathe its thundering breath through the cave. He looked around, searching for the source. Then a rumbling voice spoke, echoing through the gold-littered halls,
"You have come a long way to die, mortal," it spoke slowly. It was deep and as powerful as the mountain itself.
Malachite stopped his moving. The rumors were indeed true. He held completely still, staff and gauntlet at the ready.
"I have no intention of dying, beast. Leave your mountains of gold and face me."
The mountain then shook. Jewels, vases, and all kinds of treasure dropped down to the ground. Suddenly, a creature rose in the center of the hall. Only, it wasn't just any creature, but a dragon. His ruby scales glowed with the reflection of the gold in the room. His large wings spread, sending a strong gust of wind that forced Malachite to hold his hat down on his head. And then the dragon rose above the mountains of treasure it had gathered around him, its deep red eyes peered directly at Malachite.
"Man, elf, or god, whatever you be, your blood shall be splattered across this treasure before you leave my mountain alive! I, Smaug the Golden, shall darken the sky with your ashes! Now, by the war cry of Morgoth, be gone!"
And at that, the cave shook with the power of Smaug's roar as he moved to attack, Malachite standing at the ready. As the dragon drove closer toward the sorcerer, a large stream of fire burst from his open maw. Malachite held out his gauntlet hand, curling it into a fist as it deflected the sustained stream. As the flames finally died down, Smaug dove his neck forward, snapping his jaws at the stone-faced sorcerer. Malachite leaped to his left, letting his superhuman fitness carry him a good distance away from the creature. However, Smaug was quicker than the sorcerer had anticipated, quickly swiping his tail toward Malachite. The gust of wind from Smaug's move knocking him slightly off balance in the air, Malachite barely blocked the glittering tail with his staff, being sent flying like a meteor into a mountain of gold, which collapsed down upon him.
Smaug closed in, smoke flaring from his nostrils. He crouched his head down low, ready to attack should his opponent emerge. Whomever this sorcerer was, he had quickly made it clear that he possessed more than competent skills. A couple of more assortments of jewelry fell down from the collapsed pile as Smaug closed in. Just as he began to prepare to breathe a stream of fire in the case that Malachite had survived, he felt a powerful energy bolt strike the back of his head. He arched his neck forward briefly, then turning his head to see the sorcerer standing upon a nearby stone on the cave wall, pointing his staff down at the creature. Smaug turned around completely, firing a quick bolt of flame toward Malachite, who leaped to his right and fired another energy bolt from his staff while flying through the air. The bolt hit Smaug where his left shoulder met his long neck, but it merely tickled him due to his powerful scales. The sorcerer landed on another rock, taking a moment to observe Smaug's defenses. He stared deeply at his scales. He could notice no weaknesses in his defense.
Then, just as he was focusing on finding a vantage point, Malachite's opponent lunged forward, his wings spread, his roar shaking the mountain once again, and his jaws open to strike. Malachite leaped back, blasting a fissure into the wall behind him with his gauntlet as he flew into the night sky. Smaug followed, the side of the mountain seeming to explode like a bomb as the dragon flew in pursuit. The two of them flew high into the sky until the Lonely Mountain was several miles below them. Smaug flew up toward his prey, but Malachite raised his staff, striking the raging beast in the head as it tried to strike, running down its back as it turned around, diving back down toward him as he fell through the air. Twirling his staff as he continued to fall through the pitch black night, he shot multiple energy bolts, which flew towards the colossal dragon from multiple directions. They struck him from everywhere, causing Smaug to thrash about and roar in frustration and pain. As he did this, Malachite managed to catch a view of his stomach. Some gold from the cave lay stuck in where vulnerable spots would be, but the cunning sorcerer noticed one weakness: a tiny fracture in Smaug's armor. This is where he would deliver the killing blow. This was his gateway to victory.
Regaining his composure, Smaug flew down. Hatred and rage boiled in Smaug's red eyes as he closed in Malachite. Never in the Third Age of Middle Earth had a human stood against him and survived for so long. However, Smaug's opponent saw the rage in his eyes, and knew that this was the perfect factor that would lead to Smaug's undoing. Readying his staff like it was a baseball bat, and charging it with both its own magic and magic from the gauntlet, he readied a large energy orb at the end of it. As Smaug breathed the most powerful stream of fire he had fired in years, Malachite manipulated the air shooting from the stream to move to his right as the stream struck the trees below like a lightning bolt. Fire erupted in the forest on the ground far beneath the two as Malachite swung his staff, striking Smaug directly in the face with the mighty energy bolt as he passed by. As Smaug fell out of balance, Malachite fired another bolt towards the dazed dragon's vulnerable spot, stunning him. Smaug continued to fall toward the burning woods, but through his pain and weariness, he made a terrible realization: Malachite only would have aimed for the kink in his armor if he knew that it would have hurt him!
The suddenly panicked dragon struggled to regain control of his flight, but Malachite had already reversed the air currents gathering around him to rise into the air. Putting them back in motion to a maximum high point once again, Malachite dove down, plunging his staff downward. Smaug widened his eyes in horror as the mighty sorcerer stabbed his staff into his weak point. Releasing one last mighty roar, Smaug finally succumbed, falling toward the forest as Malachite charged a powerful energy blast inside of his corpse, using the magic remaining in the dragon to fuel his spell. As the mightiest dragon of the Third Age landed in the inferno, a mighty explosion born from magic erupted where he landed, and Smaug the Golden was no more.
However, from the explosion, a figure shot up like a missile, trailing smoke behind him. He flew for miles as he landed back in front of the entrance to the Lonely Mountain, crouched down, staff perched on the ground. Malachite rose up, a bit of sweat on his forehead, his face straight, his expression stoic, and his gauntlet hand let loose, walking back into his mountain.
CHATEAU D'IF, 7:34 AM
A couple of minutes later, Drake and the guard had walked through several floors, stairways, and halls when they entered a dark, gray room with a wooden desk in the center. The room was only slightly cleaner than his cell, rats crawling in the various corners of the room. If he had his magic, he would have killed those creatures in an instant. Silently and with perplexing calm, a man in a fur coat sporting a metal cane with a sapphire at the top emerged from the corner to the right of the door.
"Leave us," said the man in a British accent.
The guard stepped forward,
"Mr. Blue, with all due respect-"
"We have no secrets to hide," the man interrupted.
"The cameras will keep us good company."
The guard looked up to see the security cameras. Looking back to Horvath, he left the room with a look of assured trust on his face, shutting the metal door behind him.
Drake turned toward Mr. Blue, with a rather unimpressed look on his face.
"So, what's your real name, Mr. Blue?"
The man moved toward the desk,
"Would you care to elaborate on your question, Mr. Stone?"
Drake walked forward,
"You tell the guard to leave the room. I'm guessing you've bugged the cameras. And I don't see many men dressed like you hanging around death row. If you're recruiting me for that stupid war everyone's talking about, you can forget about it. I'd rather be a dead man then a pawn."
The aristocratic looking man leaned against the desk,
"Well the choice is yours, Drake. Stay here and wait to die, or join my forces in England and take your revenge on Frollo."
Drake had a look of utter suspicion on his face,
"Who are you?"
"My name is Maxim Horvath, but I represent her highness, Morgan Pendragon."
"The famous Horvath and the Order of Morgan come to help me in my time of need. So let me guess. I help you overthrow Morgan and establish a magician supremacy."
"No. The queen and I fight for a common cause."
"And that is?"
Horvath stood up completely,
"You aren't the only one that Frollo has destroyed. I know that his forces locked you up here. I know that they burned your residence, buried your wealth, and took your-"
Drake suddenly lunged forward before he could hear the worst part, but he was held back by a strange force as Horvath raised his cane a bit, its sapphire glowing,
"Don't. Mention. That night."
Drake looked down, looking as if he were trying to hold something terrible back as he backed away,
"Unless you can help me kill that bastard, you can leave now."
"That is just what I am offering you Drake. Frollo is one of the most powerful men in the world. So naturally, he has made several enemies. Morgan is one of his most formidable. And she is gathering together an army of sorcerers to combat his tyranny, as well as that of Ganondorf's."
"I couldn't care less about that sand bandit," said Drake, looking away with his arms crossed.
"As far as I'm concerned, he's doing the world a favor."
"Would you like me to finish?" said Horvath, his tone becoming significantly sharper.
Drake merely looked at Horvath for a brief moment, then paced around the room as the latter continued,
"I can train you in our arts. I can teach you how to fight, how to lead battles, how to turn your power into the ultimate weapon."
Drake merely turned around and spat toward Horvath's feet,
"I know people like you. You'll just use me and put me back in here when you're done."
The door then opened, the guard from before entering the room,
"Mr. Blue, your time here is up."
Drake turned to go back to his cell, but suddenly, a crack resonated through the room. The guard's eyes bulged as his neck was suddenly overcome with several bruises. The man dropped dead instantly without a word as the door behind him slammed shut on its own. Drake turned to see Horvath with his cane lifted slightly, the sapphire tip glowing.
"This is the power magic has granted me, Drake. This is the power of a sorcerer. It can be yours. And if that's not good enough, then I can also give you the gift of final blood."
Drake turned, a mixture of awe and confusion in his eyes,
Horvath twitched his cane as a slight aura of light emanated from it. Drake backed up a bit as the light projected an image. In it was Frollo, beaten, bloodied, battered, and crawling away in desperate retreat. Suddenly, Drake, dressed up in his black uniform that he traditionally wore before his incarceration, walked into the image, a malevolent smile singed into his face. Drake grabbed a terrified Frollo by the hair, pulling him up. He then stomped on his leg as a loud crack protruded, although it was hidden beneath the judge's loud scream. Drake then pulled on Frollo's head, the flesh on his neck slowly ripping apart before the entire head eventually tore off from the rest of the body. Drake raised the head up. It was still marked with the horror in Frollo's eyes as Drake shouted a victorious war cry.
Drake watched with eager tears in his eyes as the image faded.
"The offer is simple. Join the forces of Pendragon and see that vision become a reality, or stay here and spend your final days watching as Frollo takes this world for himself."
Drake looked down at the ring that he still wore. It was one of his most precious possessions, one of the few things that remained of his wealth, and all that he had managed to sneak into death row. He thought of what it would be capable of if he received the proper training, how he would be able to unleash his wrath on all who dared oppose him, how he could use it to find greater purpose beyond his broken state, and best of all, how he could destroy Frollo and make him pay for what he had suffered. This ring would be the instrument of his rise to power and his glorious revenge. Drake raised his head, an eager smile on his face,
"When do we leave?"
"Well, we'll have to play that by ear. It would have been easier to simply butcher the entire prison, but in a couple seconds, I expect that there will be a mass breakout of all of the inmates. The guards will be occupied, and the prisoners will know who it was who freed them. They'll owe me. And once we're far from the confines of this prison, I'll return your magic to you."
Drake widened his eyes,
"You can do that?"
Horvath leaned against the door,
"Of course. All members of the Order of Morgan have been trained to do so. And the essentials from your cell have already been packed."
Suddenly, from outside the room, the sound of opening doors, swords being drawn, and muskets firing echoed through the halls of the hellish prison. Horvath looked back toward the door calmly, then toward Drake once again, who looked as excited as a child on Christmas Eve.
Horvath extended the pommel of his cane toward the door,
"And so the adventure begins."
ABADAN, PERSIA, 11:53 AM
The city of Abadan raged in flame and ruin, its buildings crumbling and the Gerudian insignia flying over it. Ganondorf's forces, under the command of Demona, Zant, who had served as her second-in-command during the assault, and General Onox, had raided and defeated the city in less than an hour. Now, the soldiers were being relieved of their weapons, their temples being destroyed so that new ones built in dedication to the King of the Gerudians himself could be built, and villagers were being walked on chains to large carriages, where they would be carried to a safer facility until the city could be rebuilt.
Demona was supervising the management of the soldiers' actions throughout the city. The moblins were managing the surrender conditions of the Persian soldiers, with the aid of the shadow demons. The Gohmas were scaling the walls to make sure that no reinforcements arrived for the city. Zant's twilight dragons also flew above the conquered city, like a looming storm cloud before a defeated sunny day. As Demona finished giving orders to a group of moblins who were sacking a house for all the food that laid within, she turned her face, cold and bitter emotion sealed within it, to see a commoner trying to struggle against two human soldiers who had joined Ganondorf. He was a man with a trimmed beard, rather mediocre looking clothes, with a defiant look in his eyes.
"I follow King Xerxes, not a usurper from a dead realm!" he cried as he was being dragged toward one of the wagons.
Hearing his words, and enraged at a human being too foolish to acknowledge his all too obvious defeat, she walked over to where he was located, every step she took oozing with contempt and hatred for the species that had destroyed hers, her posture slightly bent forward, exuding clear bloodlust.
When she reached the commoner, she pulled a sword from one of the soldiers' sheathes and pushed the two of them down, leaving the commoner to fall on his back briefly. Just as he prepared to get up, not sure whether to thank Demona or spit on her hand, she grabbed him by the throat and lifted him off the ground, holding the man in the air as he struggled for breath. However, he was still looking her in the eyes, staring her down despite the advantage clearly not being his.
"You're so devoted to your foolish king," said Demona with a malignant grin.
"Would you face the Hell that awaits all of you humans to prove it?"
Coughing briefly and raising his chin, the commoner responded,
"I'll take my chances."
Demona then raised her sword arm and stabbed it through the man's abdomen, letting go of the throat. However, she still lifted him on the blade of the sword. She then swung it down, letting his corpse roll to the ground harshly.
"Lady Demona," said a deep, commanding voice from behind her.
Demona looked behind her to see General Onox approaching her.
"You do remember what your father told you about killing commoners, do you not?" he said boldly and tauntingly.
Demona held the sword up, then tossed it down lazily.
"Why does he let those miserable ants live?"
Onox continued to walk forward,
"He has his reasons which you are not to defy."
Demona spat at Onox's feet.
"Who are you to command me?"
"I served Lord Ganondorf long before he found you in that village, about to be burned to the stake by those ants, as you call them. I killed far greater creatures than ants while you were a mere grain of soil waiting to be devoured by them."
"Have you ever wondered what it's like to be gutted by a grain of soil, tin man?"
Onox stepped close to the second-in-command of the Gerudian forces, towering over her, as she merely looked up to the gargantuan general defiantly.
"Enough," said the all too familiar, monotonous voice of Zant, who walked with his hands dangling slightly at his sides.
"General, there are soldiers who have endured injuries in the nursery. Apparently, they're in need of your aid."
Onox took his attention away from Demona just barely to listen to what Zant had to say. He then looked back toward Demona briefly, his golden helmet hiding a voracious stare, and proceeded to the nursery. With him gone, and Zant not paying the slightest attention to him, he walked over to Demona.
"Well done, Demona," said Zant.
Demona crossed her arms, glad to have much more pleasant company with her after the stern and deplorable Onox. Zant slightly and creepily tilted his head to the right to see the dead commoner being dragged away by two soldiers.
"I can see you've had fun," said Zant, his monotonous voice adapting a slightly more invigorated sensation.
"It doesn't bother you?"
"As I've said before, I find it most arousing."
Demona grinned once again at Zant's pleasurable presence. It was pleasurable for her at least. She then turned to see the burning citadel of Abadan to her right, walking a couple of steps toward it as she marveled at the destruction she had led upon it.
"Now we have three cities left. Then we march on Alamut. A good couple of weeks well spent."
Zant walked to up to Demona, standing behind her, his superior height noticeable.
"Actually, it's just three cities, then we go to Alamut to celebrate our victory."
Demona turned toward Zant, slight confusion on her face.
"I beg your pardon?"
"Your father claims that he has something special planned for Alamut that won't require an army. He sent us the message a couple of days before you arrived back from France."
Demona put her hand on her chin in thought. Was what Ganondorf planned for Alamut something that should concern her and Zant?
"But enough of the mind numbing details. This is yet another step toward our inevitable victory. And this victorious invasion is only one pleasantry in our day. Our time looms closer and closer."
Zant then let the portion of his helmet that covered his mouth retract up, revealing a face as pale as the moon, including his lips. He then reached his hand out eerily, placing it on Demona's warm cheek.
"And our spoils will be something far greater than any a kingdom. Wouldn't you say?"
Demona smiled a beautiful, yet also sinister smile, as she softly pushed Zant's hand away and placed a passionate kiss, born from love forged from malice, on his pale lips.
"I look forward to our time, Zant."
ALAMUT, PERSIA, 1:43 PM
The rattling of chains rain through the city as several women from Agrabah, secretly sold to King Xerxes by the new Sultan, Jafar, were dragged to their execution on chains. Only a single man was with them, at the front of the line. The only other man who awaited them was the large, burly, and monstrous looking executioner who awaited them on a wooden stage, stained with blood, with an ax. The Arabian commoners bore the battle uniforms of Gerudian soldiers. With confidence in Xerxes' reign in doubt due to Ganondorf quickly conquering his nation with only minimal casualties, he had to find a way to regain credibility. So to rally more people from across several nations to his army, as well as to set an example for his soldiers, many of whom had already committed treachery to join with the Gerudian warlord, he had scheduled this execution for all to see.
The man at the front of the line, who had requested to die first and bear a hood over his head, was escorted up to the stage, where he calmly walked over to the executioner, who exuded a powerful presence of physical might. As the commoners, many of whom were silent as to not cheer against Xerxes, who they had long since lost faith in, watched the man step up, one of the men whispered to his wife,
"I thought that the Gerudians were all women."
The man stepped up to the stage, standing in front of the executioner defiantly. The executioner brandished his ax, staring him down. The executioner's expression bore savage rage and murderous contempt, while only an apathetic grin could be seen under the Gerudian man's hood.
"Kneel," grumbled the executioner.
The man in the hood merely continued to grin.
"You know not what you speak to."
It was now the executioner's turn to grin. But for how long?
"Fine. You can die standing, but a dead man will still be a dead man in Persia."
The executioner then raised his ax with psychotic excitement in his crimson eyes. But the hooded man's grin was still intact, and his shackles were now broken. The Persian barely had time to realize this before he hastily brought his ax down. The enigmatic Gerudian quickly and effortlessly ducked, as if he were slowly kneeling beneath a structure too short to support his whole height, and walked past him, turning around to reveal a single Gerudian sword, a thin, one edged blade with the black handle and golden crossguard of a longsword. He brandished it eloquently and pointed it toward the executioner in a challenge as the crowd gasped. Storm clouds gathered quickly overhead, lightning crackling through the sky as rain began to pour down, as if on the hooded man's power.
Unleashing a vicious, incredibly deep war cry, as if coming from a monster, and charging toward his opponent, the executioner raised his ax powerfully, preparing to make a blow powerful enough to kill a rhinoceros in a single blow. But the man before him merely raised the point of his sword slightly and flicked the ax down, passing by the executioner with another quick swing of his blade. This one could barely be seen. As they passed on another, back to back, they stood still as the peasants stared in awe. It took a bit of time for them to notice that there was blood dripping from the Gerudian sword, shortly before the executioner fell to the ground with a gasp of shock and sudden horror, hitting the stage with a sudden thud.
The victor then turned toward the prisoners. The entire chain of shackles dropped the ground as the women were freed by a mere thought. The crowd immediately ran in throngs of screaming and unorganized terror as the hooded man stood alone. His ragged cloak then caught aflame on its own, dissolving into ash that flew away to reveal the powerful figure beneath it. A dark skinned man stood on the wooden stage before a fleeing nation, with red hair sported eloquently on the back of his head and as chin curtain. He wore dark blue armor, strong enough to exude his might, yet light enough to move around in, with a glowing stab wound embedded in his chest. His hands were gloved in black and he sported a red cape that flapped mightily in the wind. He curled his right fist as three golden triangles glowed upon it, with the top one glowing especially bright. And as the rain fell, the Bearer of Power rose, with Persia as a battleground between the greatest army of Xerxes' empire and the single Gerudian from power of the divine, and a realm of old.