30 Day Blog Challenge, writing

Story Snippet: The Dragon Lord’s Maze (Blog Challenge Day 15]

If you’re getting the idea I have a lot of half-written stories in my files, you’d be right. Me posting bits and pieces here and on Wattpad is just me trying to see (A) what I’d enjoy finishing and (B) what other people enjoy enough to listen to me finish! Lol. If you enjoy this snippet, let me know in the comments!

The Twelliglet family had ruled the Kingdom of Nolby for over 2000 years, and everyone agreed that Princess Ciana  with her red brown, corkscrew curls, and big, long lashed violet eyes, was in fact the most gorgeous princess born in the kingdom in that entire time.

Despite this, Ciana was sweet, spunky and unspoiled. Perhaps that was why she continued to be beloved by everyone (it was a very tiny kingdom). By her eighteenth birthday — the year she was named heir to the throne — there was not a soul in Nolby who wouldn’t give his or her life for the princess. That is if it were needed. She was considered the Kingdom’s Greatest Treasure.

That was the year that tragedy struck.

Chancellor Thomen, a thin, puffy faced man, with a long wispy beard, came stumbling into the throne room that day.

“Your majesty!” He wheezed and bent double to catch his breath. “There’s a huh-huh a huh–huh–”

“Come, come man,” the fat jovial monarch bellowed. “Speak out! What about the Huh huh?”

“A h-h-HORDE!” The man exclaimed. “A horde of nasty, despicable g-g-goblins descending from the mountains.”

“Goblins!” The king exclaimed.

“That’s right, Sire,” huffed the chancellor.

“What are they doing here!” cried the king. “I thought they were afraid of the sun.”

“That I do not know,” said Thomen, regaining his dignity and straightening his doublet. “All I know is that there’s thousands of the creatures, millions even, pouring out of every conceivable hole and cave and tunnel in those mountains. And every despicable specimen is hooting and yelling and screeching for the blood of our people.”

“Good heaven’s!” The king blanched. “What’s to be done then? Our tiny little army can’t stand against that sort of din!”

So the king and his council paced and fretted for a good hour. They argued and insisted on doing this, no that, or maybe we could try, or no, on the other hand….

In the end, someone hollered, “Let’s call on the Dragon Lord!” And everyone turned pale and figity. But in the end it was the best suggestion to be had.

For the Dragon Lord, you see, was the most powerful magician the land had seen in years. He was mysterious and cagey; a wee bit frightening–uncanny even. But no one had known him to do any harm to others, though he could command dragons and was said to take that form himself occasionally.

Still, to bargain with the Dragon Lord was a chancy thing. After all, whether he was good or not, it was something to be wary of. All magic, you see, comes with a steep price. The wise know this. And it must be paid. There can never be an escape.

But finally, the king agreed. “Call the Dragon Lord then!” he declared.

So a messenger was sent flying in the direction of the mountains (on a horse I mean. Not literally flying). And in a day or so, they saw results. Though in the meanwhile, you can bet they got nervous, for the goblin horde was drawing closer, and fleeing refugees were streaming into the city with fearsome tales to be told of the danger they had narrowly escaped.

But then the next day, at straight up noon–just as Ciana was walking into the throne room to check on “poor Papa” lo and behold there was a big puff of bluish grey smoke and a mighty clap of thunder and THEN the Dragon Lord appeared!

At his side cowered the dazed looking messenger, a scrawny lad who was in fact very brave just for going to get the Dragon Lord in the first place. Magicians you see happened to be his greatest fear. He scurried away from the Dragon Lord and out of the throne room as fast as his legs could carry him, you can be sure.

Meanwhile, the Dragon Lord, threw back the hood of his long, billowy cape of dark navy blue–it was almost black. “Why have you called on the Dragon Lord?” He asked, in a voice that was super quiet and yet had the voice of thunder in it.

Ciana, standing at her father’s side was arrested by how young and handsome the Dragon Lord was. Why, he couldn’t be over thirty if that! But then, a magician–no doubt he used a spell to stay young. She’d heard of that before. Nevertheless, he was quite good-looking, with a tanned, rugged face, dark eyes, and thick masses of black hair. Tall, dark and handsome you know. You can’t blame Ciana. if she was a momentary sucker of TDH Syndrome…

“Um, um,” her father was stammering.

“The goblins,” Ciana murmured out of the side of her mouth (which just goes to show that, even if she was somewhat distracted by a good looking man, at least she still managed to keep her head).

“Yes, goblins!” her father squeaked.

Somehow the whole story was related…in the end mostly by Ciana  The Dragon Lord folded his arms and focused his piercing gaze on her. She straightened her spine, met his disconcerting gaze, and boldly told the tale. And if you think you’ve ever been nervous in the presence of a handsome gentleman, let me assure you it is much worse, when you know the handsome gentleman is a dangerous and incredibly unsettling magician. Especially one that could possibly turn into a fire breathing dragon at any moment.

“So you see, Oh Dragon Lord…” she finally wound up.

“Aldaric will do,” he said shortly. Which was almost a humanizing gesture on his part.

“Yes, um, Aldaric ” she said, thinking how awkward that was. You just can’t call an awe-inspiring and totally frightening, gorgeous wizard by his first name! Somehow one just assumed that he called Dragon Lord at birth–nay, one could barely believe he’d ever been a mere babe at all!

Ciana realized she was staring at him and saying nothing. Drat, she must appear daft.

“As I was saying…sir,” she said hurriedly. “Father was hoping for your help against the goblins.”

“Naturally,” he said. His voice seemed almost wry. Was he laughing at them? At her?

“Well–can you?” She said, somewhat testily.

“I have a way.” His voice was very quiet. Almost a whisper. “But the price will be very steep indeed.”

“We will pay it,” the king declared (King Harold, his name was, by the way).

“A favor for a favor,” he said. “I vanquish your enemies. You enter The Deadly Maze for me.”

A gasp ran around the room.

“Deadly Maze!” squeaked the king. “You mean–?”

“Yes,” said the Dragon Lord– or Aldaric as he obviously prefers to be called. “The very one.”

The Deadly Maze you must understand, was the most horrendous place known in all of twelve kingdoms. And this Deadly Maze lay just on the borders of Nolby, beyond the high mountain castle where dwelt the Dragon Lord (or Aldaric).

No one had been known to enter it and come out alive. For that matter no one had been known to even enter it in several generations, so terrible was it’s legend.

“What business have you in there?” said the king.

“That I will discuss with you if you agree to my terms,” he said. “When and if my own promise has been fulfilled.”

Just then someone, bloody, with clothes ragged and torn stumbled into the room. “The goblins!” he shrieked and fell to the floor. “They are at the gate!”

The king– who had been standing– fell into the throne, breathless. “I agree to your terms Dragon Lord,” he said listlessly. “Stop them if you can!”

The Dragon Lord bowed, deeply and gracefully. Then with a magnificent swirl of his indigo robes he turned and strode out onto the balcony that adjoined the throne room.

Ciana hurried after him, accompanied by the king and every other person in the room. What they saw next left them breathless (I’m sorry, I know I’m not supposed to throw out foreshadowing hints like that. It makes me sound like a pompous know-it-all narrator. Which I am. But I don’t care).

From the balcony they could see the gates of the city, and the country beyond, simply black with the swarms of goblins sweeping up from the distant mountains. The Dragon Lord (or Aldaric  It will be much simpler to just call the poor man Aldaric from now on. Let’s do that)… Aldaric then, leapt to the edge of the balcony and hurled himself into the air, his billowing robes twisting and contorting around his long, lank figure. Ciana watched open-mouthed as his clothes transformed and lengthened into the shape of a dragon.

His scales glistened blue-ish black and purple in the sunlight. Gigantic, bat-like wings wrapped his body in gorgeous shadow. Whirling through the air, flames spouting from his open maw, he dove into the goblin ranks.

I do hope you enjoyed this tidbit! In fact I hope you want more (I do have a good bit more written, and it wouldn’t be hard to convince me to continue this tale, believe you me…). I also hope you enjoy the odd little “opinionated narrator” bits that I tend to stick in when I write first draft. I enjoy them a lot, so I’m curious to find out if its the sort of thing other people would enjoy reading at all…

Again, letting me know in the comments would be awesome!

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