[Hurry. Hurry up, faster I know I can go faster. Oh come on Ise, it’s not just your life at stake.] These were the thoughts that Ise repeated to himself over and over again.
[Damn it Ise you’ve got to go faster or the royal guard will catch us, then the whole prophecy will be ruined.]
Ise ran through the corridors of Darkwing palace like a man possessed. The baby in his arms still sound asleep. [Good,] Ise thought [the sleep spell is holding. I guess the elders were right about that at least.]
Ise suddenly turned a sharp corner, and hid in a nook in the wall. He slowed his breathing as much as he could, and let the shadows cloak him. The guards ran past his hiding place without even a parting glance thrown Ise’s way.
[The royal guard,] Ise thought [the greatest dragons of one of the great nine clans, but not one of them thinks to look behind them.]
As the last of the black cloaked guards left the hall, Ise emerged from his shadowy hiding place. “Easy they told me,” Ise said “‘he won’t have many guards ‘cuz no one’s dumb enough to try anything.’ Oh, I’m gonna make sure they knew just how wrong they were, even if it kills me.” And with that said Ise walked down the hall and made his way back to the meeting point.
“Ise! You’re back!” Qwen cried as Ise hurried to meet his wife. “is that him? The new third?” Qwen asked. “Yes” replied Ise “his name is Ash apparently. And he came with his own escort of guards, guards that the scouting team didn’t mention being there, so let’s take this conversation elsewhere. I’d rather not be here when the master of this place finds out we took his heir.”
“Fine by me, the other component is still deep in the woods.” Qwen said “We’ll talk there.”
The other component was an animal born on the same day as the first, and the two must share common traits. This and other rules of the ‘ritual of bound souls’ swirled through Ise’s mind as they walked.
[Can this little black haired boy really be a Dragon Lord?] He thought, [not only a dragon lord, but the one with the strongest aura to live to date? Well his father is Tryion the great, maybe he’ll grow into it…]
“We’re here” Qwen announced. “The grove of the black moon.” Ise looked around, and sure enough the nine sacred Blackwood trees formed a circle in the middle of the woods. There was nothing but sheer, smooth, black rock inside the circle. The grove of the black moon.
Ise placed the resting child at the circle and began to chant. “Ahh slah het mes ver lok ben!” Silver runes burned around the boy in both the ancient tongues of sorcery and dragons. “Qwen where is the other component?” Ise asked.
“My dear Ise,” Qwen replied “did you believe I would not fulfill my portion of our duties?”
“No,” said Ise “I am confident you have Qwen, but we are short of time. Tryion is sure to sense us now that we have stopped cloaking our power. He will be here soon no doubt!”
“Of course” she replied “that’s why I prepared the rest of the ritual beforehand.” And with that she snapped her fingers.
A small black furry creature appeared in the center of its own set of runes, just opposite the boy. It had Nightlock, Moonsblood, Dragonsclaw, and other herbs in its mouth and on its chest. A single black rock the size of a coin lay by its head. It was bound and partially covered with a tarp.
“What is that anyway?” Ise asked.
“Why Ise haven’t you ever seen one?” Qwen asked.
Ise shrugged, he might have but with Qwen it was easier to let her have her way. With a sly, knowing smile she replied “it’s a catkal.” And with that they both began to chant…
A loud roar accented the final verse of their incantation. Both the boy’s and the creature’s eyes flew open. The spell of sleep that held them broken.
“Is it him? Tryion?” Qwen asked fearfully. Ise just stared at the distant palace. He would not meet his wife’s eye. “Yes, it is his call to arms. The sound of doom.” Was all he said.
Suddenly a column of blue energy appeared in the grove, and out of it calmly walked Tryion the Black. The greatest dragon lord of his time. He was tall and his hair was streaked with grey, but held himself with a regale air. In his hand was a simple blade, dark grey with a silver dragon wing cross guard and hilt. He wore no armor, but like the sorcerers this did not mean he was defenseless. In truth Ise knew he was anything but.
“Is that my son” he asked.
Ise swallowed hard before answering “Yes-”
“And what is that creature near him?” Tryion asked. Ise conjured his own weapon, a single staff with a bladed head. “His new shadow” Ise answered.
Recognition flashed in Tryion’s eyes, and Ise could almost hear him whisper ‘the ritual of bond souls’. Ise charged and Tryion bellowed, Ise could see Qwen at his side.
She was running with him to meet their foe, and he thought [Qwen. My wife. My life. My love. We will be together through whatever happens next. I’m sorry it had to be us, no matter the outcome this will be our final quest. I promise…]
[Those damn filthy mortal pieces of SCUM! They dared to enter MY lands! To RUIN MY HEIR! No… no perhaps I might still salvage him…] Tryion thought as he gazed down at his child.
[Yes the boy does carry my blood through his veins, that in and of itself should be enough to counter the fact that he has been… tainted…]
As Tyrion went deeper in thought the child and catkal gazed deeply into each other’s eyes, all the while undisturbed by the blood and viscera littering the grove around them.
[Yes one chance I will give the child and the filthy thing tainting him one chance… and if they fail well…] Tyrion thought to himself as he slowly gathered the two bonded. [Well immortals have no need for heirs if they never die…]