This week's story came later than expected partly because my weekend turned out busier than expected. The story is a random one, not connected to any of the other worlds such as the Glass Eyes or the Forty Isles. It is, however, an interesting snippet which works well enough on its own, but could be made into a larger novel. I hope you enjoy.
The heat of distant fires burned the fair skin of the Tahenkot female. She stood taller than average, her faded blonde hair tied up into intricate knots to keep it controlled while in the midst of battle. The sword in her hand dripped with blood. She could cast a spell to cool off her body, but her strength was needed for the battle.
Ten thousand armed Biton, a fierce tribe with heads of bulls and bodies of men, raced across the Plains of Anaq towards the Algaia Misse, the largest mountain chain on the continent. They intended to destroy all in their way, even the Wang'ombe, another tribe of the same race who loved farming and peace.
The leader of the Biton wanted to conquer the tribes of his race and to make one unified empire under his control. The Wang'ombe were the farthest away, and now the most protected by the other races of the continent.
"I'm nearly out of strength, Captain," a male youth said beside her. He, too, was one of the Tahenkot.
The captain turned her hand upwards. "My magic is nearly empty, but they still come."
"We need the dragons to help."
"They help none but their own."
"Than the eagles."
"It is only us to defend them." She glanced over her shoulder. Five hundred members of the various races stood between the Biton and the Wang'ombe. The commander of the ragtag defenders was one of the Biton. He had defected some twenty years before to live among the Wang'ombe after experiencing enough war.
He stood near the two Tahenkot and turned to them. "Captain, take the mages and run towards the mountains. We are going to use magic to give the appearance that the dragons have joined us."
The captain nodded her head once and turned to jog towards the mountain, in this case a smaller outcropping. She called to the mages and the ten others came running. "We are to give the illusion of the dragons coming," she explained.
Two of the mages looked at each other. "Our magic's spent."
"Mine's nearly gone. We cannot create an image like that."
The captain looked over the defenders; at the beginning of their battle that morning, they had had twice the number, but now ... "It's the only chance we have to turn the tide of this war," she said. "Otherwise, those we have fought aside will die, and we who remain here will also perish."
The mages swallowed and nodded their heads.
The dragon was indeed something small, more of a figment of a dragon, but it was enough. It appeared to turn the tide of the battle that was, until the dragons did appear ... on the side of the Biton. In one fiery strong, they destroyed the line of defenders. In another blast, the village and fields of the Wang'ombe had gone. The screams of the dying and the running echoed across the plains, mixing with the roar of the victors.
In the center of the battle, the commander fought until he, and the remaining of his men fell, one by one.
"That leaves only the twelve of us," the captain said, more to herself than to the other mages. She stood on a rock to watch the battle. Her troops no longer able to fight or even use magic. Hope was lost for the Wang'ombe. They would be absorbed into the Biton Empire, the fight was not the stuff of legend.
"We must depart," the captain said to her subordinates. "They will quickly over take this place. There is a tunnel in a cave to lead up into the mountain."
"How do you know that?" One of the other mages gasped. He had taken many attacks, and now had lost the lower portion of his left arm.
"It was the way they had sent those who could not fight." The captain squared her shoulders. "We must follow them and protect them."
"A wandering tribe of Wang'ombe? Nothing like that has ever existed."
"Then we will make a new tribe of wandering Wang'ombe," the captain answered. She pointed her sword at the entrance. "Go, before you become one of the dead on this battlefield."
The mages scrambled into the cave until only the two Tahenkot remained. They cast a spell around the area, cloaking it in confusion and mist before also descending into the cave system.
Their pathway was dark and dangerous. Random stone outcroppings to protect defenders caused confusion to those retreating. At times, the path snaked one way then the other, leaving the Tahenkot only guessing where they should go next. It was at this moment when they stumbled into a hole which led outside onto a cliff overlooking the battlefield below.
"It's been decimated," the male said.
"This is bloody war," his captain agreed. She looked around. "But where are we in relationship to everything else?"
They were in the mountains, but they were supposed to be in a valley - a rich favorable valley where the Wang’ombe could rest and recuperate. "Did they destroy the entrance and open a new one?"
"Possibly ..." The captain paused. Warriors could be heard bellowing under them, and they had no place to go. "Have you recovered well enough yet?"
"Then we will make our last stand here."
They readied for battle, but as the first Biton charged through, he could not stop and barreled into the two Tahenkot forcing all three off the cliff and into mid-air. Clinging to one another, the Tahenkot shoved the Biton away towards the cliffs as they pushed farther away. Precious seconds ticked past as the captain and her subordinate fell. Only a little bit of magic was needed. Only a little would protect them.
Then, before them, a cloud appeared, and another on the desert landscape. Blackness descended and stars grew bright in the mid-day.
"Have we died?" the male inquired.
"I don't believe so," his captain answered. "We've fallen through space to another location." Magic surged into her finger tips, just enough to save them. She pushed her hand through the air and pointed it below. "Hypokine."
They slowed until they were able to land on the street below.
"Where are we?"
"In America," another male greeted. He eyed their clothes. "The comic convention is two streets over, by the way. I'm on my way there myself."
He wore a green tunic and brown pants. His hair was white and his ears pointed. He looked not unlike some of the races near where the Tahenkot lived. "I'm Tudor, by the way. Harry Tudor - family joke."
"Chrysalis," the captain answered.
"Birch," her subordinate said.
"You two related? You look like each other, and you have weird, but entirely cool, names."
"Siblings," Chrysalis confirmed. "This convention, you speak of, what is it?"
"Wow, you really get into character. I'd like to know where you got your sword from. It looks like it could kill. And the blood!" Harry Tudor started to walk past them. "The convention is a time when nerds and geeks can get together to party."
"Nerds and geeks must be a small tribe," Birch observed.
"We are, but were united," Harry Tudor assured them.
"Just where are we?" Birch asked, falling into step with Harry.
"Now, I realize it's not much; it's not New York or London, but Buffalo has its own charms."
Buffalo, New York, London - these words meant nothing to the Tahenkot. Chrysalis looked down at her hand. The tips of her fingers ebbed as the magic returned. At least the place had magic from which she could gather strength.
Harry Tudor seemed to know his way around, and her brother enjoyed talking. For once, Chrysalis saw not a warrior, but a seventeen-year-old boy. How many years had she lived? It felt like an eon, but it was ... what? Ah, yes, twenty-five. It was her birthday.