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R.A. Knowlton

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By R.A. Knowlton
Friday, April 10, 2009

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The story of an aged warrior who longs for the end.

Years had passed and so had the memory of him. Severen had grown old and he no longer had the urge to fight and no one came looking to kill him. There was a time though when he would go out like a warrior and he would lie low all those whom he chose. Merely for fun he would kill and many came to his land to seek vengeance, many a knight had died on his land as they pushed forward on their impossible quest. But now the land was quiet and the days were empty and he longed for the exhilaration of his youth, he longed for a reason to live…or to die.

One day as Severen looked to the east, from the top of Crimson Gorge, there in the distance he saw a young warrior traveling to a city that lay north-east. He yearned to join this young one on his hunt, to again feel the strength in his members, to see the fear in the eyes of his enemies.

Too old.  He thought and with a weak, shaky voice he growled.  “Oh DEATH, why have you passed me by? I long for release from the pain of my scars and from my torment.”

It wasn’t long before he saw smoke rising in the distance, his thoughts turned to years past and through his memories he could once again hear the screams of men, he could smell burning fires and he could taste searing flesh.

He shook his head and tried to stand but to no avail, his legs were stiff, bent, and useless. “Cursed be you sticks that will not burn, worthless twisted twigs with no strength!”

As he sat watching the young one making strike after strike at the enemy, he began to sense something on his land.  He closed his eyes and he could feel them and then he began to smell them.

Forcing his misshapen legs to push against the stone on the mountain top, he ever so slowly turned and looked down the path that led to his cave, his home.

At first he could not see any movement but soon near the bottom of the mountain, near his stream, he saw them.  “Men!  Angry men are on my land and they bring with them spears and swords.”

His eyes widened as he peered down from his high perch, straining to see which knight would take the lead then he became disheartened. “Farmers. Only farmers.  Do I pose no threat at all that they should send… only farmers?   Cursed be all men!  What respect do you show Severen by this display?”

He then lifted his head and opened his mouth and strained and yet nothing happened.  "Oh fire, have you left me also?  Rekindle, strike these men that they may know the strength of Severen!”

Once again lifting his head he opened his mouth and the slightest amount of heat came forth and with it came a defining roar that shook the mountain side.

The men heard the sound and looked high above them and there on the cliff was the massive Severen.  His shiny black scales sparkled against the blue sky, his tail hanging down the side of the cliff, twitching to and fro.

Severen could see the men moving up the well worn path and he struggled to get to his feet.

As the farmers came closer they began to see the grey of the scales around his eyes and mouth. One of the men commented.   “This beast is no threat to us.  The young one, he is the one we seek.  Let us end the life of this ancient relic and move on in search of the young one.

With that the mob ran towards Severen and began to thrust their spears into his side. 

Severen pulled back to protect his eyes and as he did he breathed in deeply and opened his mouth and let out a tremendous roar and a small stream of fire and smoke came from deep inside.

Seeing this, one of the farmers began to taunt him.  “To old to make fire, to weak to fight.   We will end this for you!” And then he laughed.

Severen could not understand the words but the laughter was unmistakable, they were laughing at him…At him!  The great Severen, the terror of all the land, the one who had destroyed Dathar , Stohen and Kedel.

“Mock me will you?  You whose spears cannot pierce even my outer scales, you who can not fly… Fly!  It has been so long.  Wings atrophied, twisted and limp.  Will you once again carry me upon high; glide me across skies of blue, fortify me to make a stand…for my name?”

With the will of his mind and the pride of his heart, Severen strained to pull his wings to his side.

Seeing his movements, the men became troubled and began to thrust their swords and spears with a furry.

As his wings came to life Severen felt renewed strength.  “Old friends, it has been too long, spread, feel the cool wind upon you.”

As he stretched his wings over the cliff a shadow fell over the men and they became fearful and began to run from the massive dragon.

Pulling himself to the edge, he looked down at the men who were running in terror.  “Run!  Run from Severen!  Severen brings you death! You will remember my name!”

With that he pulled himself over the edge and the wind caught his wings and lifted him.

Instantly he knew something was wrong.  His weak wings would not hold his immense weight.  “DEATH, you come with swiftness.  But my name… Severen… will be remembered!”

With that he looked towards the men, the men who had taunted him, laughed at him.  As he fell towards them he shouted, “Severen! The great Severen!  Remember Severen!”


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