The Chronicles of Starlyn

For generations it has been known that elves are immortal except for death by battle or poison. Something strange happens and Starlyn's mother becomes sick with an illness that seems to only be getting worse with each passing day. Starlyn loves her mother and wishes to find any way to help her, yet it seems nothing can be done except to sit and watch. It breaks her spirit but she spends every moment she can with her mother, as she fights frantically for an unknown cure. She went to the elven healers and herbalists but even they cannot find a way. Meanwhile Starlyn's sister Arria takes more drastic measures to try and help their mother, even diving into the restricted books of the elven library about dark magic. The dark magic is dangerous and forbidden for elves to use because it is said that even the willpower of an elf cannot prevail with the touch of a dark taint. Arria is not concerned of her own welfare and dives into heavy studies with the books. Strange things begin to happen, a

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5. Chapter 4

Chapter 4:

By Craig A. Price Jr.

 

                Arria stood in the center of a settlement with a relaxing breeze feathering her long white hair behind her. In front of her was chaos all about. These dragon creatures weren’t organized in the least. They were savages without any form of weapons other than their claws. That was the first thing she decided to correct. She knew they were powerful enough to do some extensive damage without weapons, but so much more could be done with simple weapon. For these creatures to be able to stand a chance against the elves she knew it would take a lot more than only their claws.

                She stood in the midst of chaos with a little order. Many of the creatures were out and about finding chunks of iron, steel, and copper that they brought back to her. A large pile of unsorted metal obscured the ground in front of her. She set forth more of the creatures to separate it by type. There was no time to be picky about which materials were used. Copper wasn’t as strong as iron, yet she still planned on using it to make axes that would need replacement for the lesser skilled warriors. It was faster to form than the harder metals which would make the production fierce.

                Another assortment of creatures gathered coals to be piled in a dozen fire pits. She made them create fires below cauldrons, which slightly disappointed her when she had to show them how. Somehow she thought that they would breathe fires as the history books of old told of dragons. Perhaps these weren’t real dragons after all. She made the creatures carry specific materials into the lines of cauldron burners so they could melt the material.

                First she had them build her own material. She was without armor or weapon, except for her own bow and a few arrows. Since she didn’t fully trust them to do it all for her, she decided to tutor them in the arts of armor and weapons and do most of the work herself. Once the material was hot she made them pour it onto hardened stone with raised edges to form it into large plates. From there she had them cut it to size and hammer it down to form pieces of plate that could be riveted together. Her armor was of blackened steel from a mixture of her own with iron, steel, gold, silver, copper, titanium, platinum, diamond, and sverornium. Sverornium was rare and bonded each metal together flawless and gave them hardness beyond anything imaginable.

                She used the same recipe when making her sword. It was a long intrusive process, that took days to complete, but she continued working hard on them until everything was complete. Her sword was a large flamberge, one of her favorite types of swords with the curves from tip to hilt. It made it easy for her to use the curves to catch blows for defense as well as study pushes for offensive attacks. She put on the finishing touches of swirling silver and violet on the hilt of her sword as well as on her armor.

                A few of the creatures became jealous of her weapon and armor and demanded their own in their slithering dialect. When she denied them and commanded them to have patience, three lurched forward to attack her. It didn’t catch her by surprise though as she expected to already have to prove herself once more. They didn’t scare her any longer as they had when she first met them. This time she had a weapon and armor equipped. Last time she was caught unaware as naked as a babe. Still, even without weapon or armor she snapped the neck of a few.

                She smiled as they approached and dodged them easily and effectively. Their claws were still sharp and she didn’t want to be caught by their deadly force. The missed strikes seemed only to enrage the creatures more. Attacks came in fiercer and without pattern which made it harder to defend against when the attacks were unpredictable, yet it also made their minds process little thought. She thrust her flamberge into the air to deflect one strike before slicing the hand off another. The creature shrieked in pain, and with the distraction she lobbed its head from its shoulders.

                The other two pounced on her and knocked her to the ground, causing her flamberge to tumble from her hands. It did not matter because her hardened armor was harder than their scales. She clenched her fist and struck the first in the gut and the second with an uppercut to the jaw. Taking her new black helm off, she dropped it to the ground and lifted her flamberge once more. With two swift strikes, both the heads of the creatures tumbled to the ground.

                “Anybody else dare to challenge me?” She asked the silent crowd.

                Once her weapon and armor was complete she pushed them to create their own weapons. She told them with their hardened scales that armor wasn’t a necessity for them. A few of the creatures brought logs of pine wood to the camp. She immediately showed them how to carve handles and create axes. They used every material to form several different forms of axes. Soon there were hundreds of copper axes, as well as those of iron, steel, and titanium. She made sure the captains held the strongest of either titanium or even a few platinum that were created.

                She knew it would take everything she had to be able to march on Sudegam. That was the difference between her and her sister. Arria was willing to do whatever it took to save their mother. If Arria were to guess, Starlyn was either sitting next to mother waiting for a cure, or out in the wilderness searching for her. She knew her sister was foolish, and it took someone with a stronger gut to save their mother.

                There were thousands of the creatures all working hard with each other to bring materials to the camp and begin sorting and creating. She knew that it would be another few weeks until enough weapons were created for all of them, but she was willing to wait. Starlyn was always the virtue of patience, but Arria knew how to be patient when it was required of her.

                She stood back and watched them with interest. Nothing could be said about them being lazy, although incompetent was a perfectly fine word. They worked hard, of that there was little doubt. She was proud to say the least of her training and creation of weapons. Beyond all else she admired her armor that looked stunning on her when she looked at her reflection in a pale of water. 

                Laughing, she walked away from watching the new blacksmiths work. It was far from that of an elven blacksmith shop with all the tools and necessities, but that was why she had them only making simple axes. When she walked to another part of the camp she saw where they began creating crossbows. She knew teaching them how to create and use bows would be too difficult of a task for them.

                Crossbows were a bit harder to make, but the simplicity of using them made them first on her list for the creatures to have range weapons. It wasn’t like they would be afraid of getting too close. Bows were better suited for long range, but medium range would suit just fine. They weren’t as quick to reload as a bow, but with enough of them, she knew they would be quite effective in a siege.

                She took her armor off and put on her white silk robe that she had the creatures make for her first. It was time for some much needed rest and study. Since taking these dragons under her wing, she had been neglecting her studies of dark magic. She knew better than letting the old black leather book to collect dust, and it was time to begin reading it once again. Perhaps there would be something in it to help her with training these creatures. Maybe even a few were competent enough to learn a few things about magic. It would be to her best advantage if she could have a few spell casters on her side during the siege of Sudegam, especially since they had none.

                There were many simple spells to bring small things back to life, like that of lizards, toads, and spiders. She wasn’t sure what the use of that would be unless she let loose a thousand walking dead spiders into the city as a distraction. It would be of little use against elves, perhaps against humans it could be effective. She continued reading through page by page. The writing was in another tongue, and so it took her a long time to read only one page. It wasn’t a language she was familiar with and so she had to decipher each sentence.

                She smiled, there was little else to accomplish but time. With the creatures working night and day to perfect weapons in mass of both melee and range, and her wisdom and experience to lead them into battle. Not much else was required for an attack on Sudegam, especially a carefully brewed one. Obviously army for army it could not be done. The elves had spent an eternity studying defense and fighting tactics. Yet, if they were surprised with a distraction, it may be just enough for what she was planning.

                “Yes; it won’t be long now.” She smirked.

 

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