The kingdom of Ezthrame. Elves, dragons, fairies and humans are only myths to the humans that live there. But when the truth is discovered in the Forest of Ultanak, west of the King's Palace, the fates of these five peoples will become entwined. And what of the elvish enchantress that has appeared seemingly out of nowhere?


5. Chapter 5

Kazoel raised his axe and then slammed it into his opponent’s chest, grinning. The dwarf fell under the force of the blow, a sign that Kazoel was winning the fight. Behind him, his family cheered. Dwarfs love such fights and as the weapons used in these were blunt, nobody got hurt very much. Kazoel never got hurt in the slightest. He was one of the best fighters in the First City Of Dwarfs in the mountains at the back of Ultanak Forest. Further up, you would find the larger dragons but where the woods crawled up at the bottom of the mountain slopes the dwarfs lived in their cities.

It seemed a pity to many that he never got to use his axe to fight in real life. Adventure was something unknown to him. He hadn’t grown up in a well-to-do family, or had a chance to go on an important quest or mission for his city. But he longed for a chance to put his only skills to use, for he could not mine as well as most dwarves could even if his capability was higher than that of other races.

He raised his axe again, but the dwarf opposing him held his hand up as a sign of surrender. Kazoel had won. He was almost instantly surrounded by his family and friends, congratulating him and clapping him on the back. The loser returned to his own side, shaking his head in defeat. The crowd suddenly silenced, and Kazoel craned his neck to see why.

A large creature had entered the hall, black scales gleaming in the light. It’s long, whip like tail stuck out of the door. Two glowing amber eyes flickered over every dwarf in the hall.

“A dragon” Kazoel whispered, but it wasn’t as quiet as he had thought. The dragon’s attention immediately turned to him.

“Dwarf,” it hissed, and he thought it gave him an impatient look. “However much of a surprise it is to you that a dragon such as myself arrives at your city, save your breath. There is trouble at hand.”

“Trouble?” Kazoel’s father Zrilui demanded “What sort of trouble?”

“I heard the news from one of the smaller dragons,” the dragon answered “He heard it directly from one of the elves. The dragons and the dwarves have had numerous alliances in the olden days. Therefore I came to your people to warn you. But enough of that. I will tell the story to you later. Is there anyone of authority around here?”

“I will take you to the Lady Nyade. She rules this city.” Said Kazoel, half-surprising himself.

“Lead on” replied the dragon




The Lady Nyade looked up at the black-scaled dragon before her. It was true, dragons and dwarves had been friends for thousands of years, although she and her city had not seen them for some time.

“What is your name and why have you come?” she asked, making sure her face revealed as little surprise as usual.

‘I am Valri’. Nyade started as she heard the dragon’s voice in her head.

‘I’m sorry. This is my preferred method of talk’ the dragon’s voice came even clearer in Nyade’s mind.

‘If this is your wish then we may discuss via your abilities as a dragon.’ Nyade replied. This form of talk, which could only be used when dragons were part of the conversation, was not new to her.

‘Lady Nyade, there is trouble brewing,’ Valri stated ‘I have heard it from the one of the smaller dragons, who came directly from the elf city. Humans have entered the forest. Twenty two were found dead, killed by the work of what is thought to be a single elf.’

‘If twenty two humans were killed by a single elf, then either this was no ordinary elf or humans have grown weaker in combat than I thought’ Nyade answered

‘It was what the elves call an enchanter. Sixteen were slain by magic. Now the humans may come, seeking revenge upon the elves and in doing so may find the cities of dwarfs and the homes of the dragons.’ Valri told Nyade, flicking her tail back and forth as she spoke.

‘And what do you suggest to be done?’

‘I propose an alliance, that if one of us is attacked, the other will come to the aid. If we stand together we have a better chance of survival. But also, I wish to go to the elves myself for the full truth of this and I assume you might want a dwarf to go with me’

‘You assume correct’ Lady Nyade replied, and then spoke aloud:

“Dwarfs of this great city! War is coming. Close the gates and open them to no-one other than those of our own race and the dragons. But meanwhile, a dwarf who is willing is to be sent with Valri” she indicated the dragon in front of her and looked around the hall to the dwarfs around her. “Is there a dwarf who will go.”

Kazoel breathed in sharply. This was his chance!

“My lady!” he cried “I am willing! I will go with Valri!”

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