Amulet of the Elements Journey to Destiny

Continue the quest to save Evernia, in book two, of the seven book series for AOTE.
The first battle for Evernia and the search for the Elemental Gemstone has left every side of the war battered and broken. The peace treaty formed by the both the Dragons and Hellhounds has come to be broken, or so it is thought. Zacura Bloodclaw, the seventeenth Keeper of the Elements has gone missing, rumors spreading far and wide that she came to perish in the battle of Morgaideign. New ancient breeds known as the Imorti have come to demand payment for a blood debt made nearly three centuries before. Can King Calira and his newly crowned Queen defend their territory against the old and feared breed, or will they fall to their will. The Raxin Defanta, a mysterious and destructive fog of uncertainty continue to sweep the lands, leaving death and darkness in its wake. With Evernia's only hope among those who have vanished, will allegiance and bloodshed prove enough to keep life revolving upon the plane


1. Prologue

The cold touch of separation had come, the war now raging just outside the entrance of a small and hidden cave. The sound of crumbling rock came to dance to the hymn of the quaking soil. It was this realization that struck fear into the heart of the hounds hidden within the within the large and fire lit grotto they called home. Besides the Alpha male and female, rested a litter of newborn pups. The night had come to gift darkness onto the land, its presence slithering eerily into the battered refuge. The sounds of clashing metal came to fill their keen ears, the warriors of Ar'shane has found them.

"The time has come for us to embark on the next phase of our journey." Spoke the male. The female hound curled her body around her children, limbs shaking in disbelief. She felt no pity for her own loss of life, but that of her offspring was entirely different. They were not even a fortnight old and now stood in the grasp of harm's way. "You can fight whatever demons the Gail's of Judgement send to challenge you. Why do you choose to fall when you hold the abilities to defend us? Can we not travel elsewhere? I am not ready to let them go, they are too young they will never survive! Call upon Manuke, please...I beg of you." The females words came forth in ribbons of regret and panic. Suddenly she felt as if all her sacrifices had been in vain. Memories of her choices came to flood her mind, she rued the day she had damned her offspring to death.

The male stepped forward, allowing his snout to nuzzle into her ivory mane. He wished to comfort her, longed to explain the reasoning's behind his difficult choices but he had run out of time. "Our world did not come to be born without sacrifice as you well know. All things are constructed by fate, my time has come to stand aside and let it do its bidding. I will stand against the warriors who come to slay us this eve but know I shall fall. Evernia is only the first step towards a much grander civilization, one we both shall feel the comfort of. You must find it within yourself to trust me as well as my reasons."

The ground came to vibrate beneath their paw pads, its force brought forth by the heavy footsteps of Aingalo, the winged Cerebrus hydra. He stood nearly fifty feet tall, with scales of celadon overlapping those of Titian. One of his three heads came to peak into the cave, a haze of worry within the golden hue of his eyes. " Ren, if you have come to change your mind, now would be the time to flee. The Gail's have now set foot on the territory. It won't be long." His voice was deep and hissing, his words carrying his undying loyalty for the male. The hound moved to turn and face him. He looked to the soil a moment before erecting his chest and speaking. " My plan will carry on as we discussed. I will not surrender nor shall I flee in terror of the sin that will enter this den. Let them come as they may, I vow it will be a night they will always remember."

The hydra seemed reluctant to allow his friend to hand his life over to those who wished him dead. As he attempted to reason with him, the first strike came to hit. First blood had now been drawn. The roar of the giant beast came to carry for miles as a spear came to pierce his right eye. The wood hung from the socket as an agonizing adornment. Blood came to splatter upon the sand, leaving a river of sanguine fluid in its wake. He turned to face the direction in which it came, only to be stuck time and time again. Arrows and spears came flying, finding themselves embedded deep beneath his natural armor. In a final attempt to protect those he had vowed to serve, the Hydra allowed his jaws to spread. He roared as molten toxic fluid came to litter the ground. It's potency was in the likeness of acid, consuming all who had the misfortune of treading through it. Steel turned to water, as the men began to charge through. The only being who was left nearly untouched by the slag was a dragon of copper complexion.

The beast came charging forward, his jaws coming to wrap around the neck of the injured creature. The two began to battle, their bodies slamming into nearby rocks and land. The weight of their blows came to shake the ground, forcing the smaller warrior back toward the legions that had come to challenge them. Inside the den, the hounds could witness the ripping of the Hydras wings and the fire that came to engulf each of his faces. The pair came to leave a river of blood in their wake, their battle one of the most gruesome of combats. The spear-like endpoint of the Winged Hydra came to impale the dragon's chest, its mark just mere inches from his attacker's heart. He saw it removed and struck again, only to have it caught in the jaws of the wild creature. Fire rushed over his scales, with one rip of his head his tail fell onto the ground. Aingalo limped backward, once more shooting his only weapon on the field before the cave. The copper Drake saw him thrown into the dust, his talons ripping open his chest to claim his heart. The warrior watched it beat rapidly for a moment before his jaws saw it torn from its valves. In one gulp, it vanished, and suddenly the shadow of the dragon came to slither into the darkness of the cavern.

The female scurried backward and rested her body over the shivering bodies of her pups. Their whimpers filled the area as she tried to quiet them. "Shh, hush now little ones you must remain silent." She looked to her mate her eyes pleading. "Please... reconsider. Look at them!" Her words fell on deaf ears, their weight no match for the courage within the male's heart. The body of their ally came to slide from view as if he never stood before them. The shadows began to paint a terrifying portrait of the champion they would now face. From the right came the silhouette of a bull dragon. His jaws opened and bearing the outline of serrated teeth. Smoke came to slide into the cave, its scent thick with the fumes of ash and destruction.

The gleam of coin like scales came to peek into the den. First came the wide nostrils of the beast, then one searching eye. Talons of granite began to dig holes into the soil as he made his way inside. The creature was grand, nearly blinding in his beauty. Unlike those in his battalion, this dragon wore no armor. The hound came to settle himself into a defensive posture, the flews of his muzzle coming to wrinkle over his fangs. The pair seemed to take a moment to assess each other before they charged. The first strike came from the defending hound, his claws sinking into the scale and flesh of his challenger. He hung on the face of the dragon his body weight shifting him left to right until he found himself shaken off into a nearby wall. He connected with a harsh bone shattering crash.

The warrior made his way inside fully now, his neck craning backward as he filled his fire bladder. His jaws came to split, allowing the gleam of conceiving fire to show in all its radiance. The facial crests of the dragon began to fan outward, as he inhaled his flames soon flowing behind his exhale. Ren leaped out of the way, avoiding the first river that came forth. The second wave of fire shot forth but this time found itself consuming the small defender. His yips of pain came to radiate into the space he fought in, his body burned clean of fur and flesh. The serpent leaned down and clamped his attacker in his jaws. For several long moments, he held him gored upon his teeth before at last, he bit down. Bones came to shatter, blood now cascading down the face of the murderer.

The alpha now stood the only defense between her offspring and the dragon of sin. If her mate could not defeat him, how could she? In her last moments, the hound embraced her pups before being swallowed in an inferno of fire. The champion moved forth to look over the small litter of canines. He cut his eyes, finding one that had come to venture too far from its siblings. This was the one he had been ordered to kill. One talon carefully slid under the belly of the whimpering pup, another turning it to its back in his clutch. It was female, small, helpless and though he would not admit it charming. The ball of black fur came to writhe and whimper again, but this time, its eyes came to open. The little female stared through him, and suddenly his honorable vows seemed too far away to pass the deed. He did not believe this was the creature who would bring demise to his world. Remorse feel onto him like acid rain, had he killed the innocent?

He placed the whelp behind his largest horn, allowing his facial crest to fold over her. Eager to flee his post the dragon charged onto the battlefield and spread his wings. He did not get far before his own men turned upon him. Arrows shot through the thin leather of his wings, trebuchets threw boulders towards him and only when he thought harm may come to his new ward, did he fight back. His fire rained down in waves of molten embers, his war cry stampeding through the vast land. As the pair rose higher into the clouds, the champion came to wonder if his choice would aid or destroy the life of Evernia.


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