The Torment Of Trian
A Tale Of Two Elements
Changeling Stories Zip'd
The Torment Of Trian
A Tale Of Two Elements
Oh What Fools Ye Immortals Be
The Torment Of Trian
Not Edited Yet (Sorry)
It was another one of those perfect days as Trian stepped into the throne room of the castle. He'd woke up, ate breakfast, and put on his formal armor for a meeting with the king. The king often called him in to ask about the ongoing war with the neighboring country and what services he might have to offer. Being one of the strongest trolls in the land, Trian was always asked to fight in the most difficult battles in order to assure complete success and conquer of the enemy. Alas, Trian was starting to get very weary of the war, which is hard for a Troll to accept; especially when they have sworn an oath of servitude to the King.
Trian came to kneel down before the Sidhe King Karinash, the ruler of Laminar since his childhood. The King looked the same as he always did upon his throne, imposing. The finest armor adorned his body since it was a time of war, but it was only for show. Trian could see that a simple blow in one of the many joints would send it falling from his form, but it did make him look formidable to the untrained eye at least, which is what the King wanted. The Trolls grey eyes looked up as the King bid him rise and approach, for some reason Trian felt that there wasn't good news coming.
"Ah Trian..." The Sidhe began with that soft yet powerful voice, "...once again we're faced with enemy's on all sides. The war's been going on for to long, and I've asked you to come before me this morning not to discuss where you shall battle next, but where you will quest next."
The words of the King both annoyed and pleased Trian, it was good the King had finally accepted that the war had going on to long, but bad that he had come up with a scheme to quell everything. That bad feeling which had been creeping over Trian began to grow, "Quest, your majesty? Speak and I shall do what you wish." The Troll had began to loathe the oath he had made when he was young to this King who seemed to have such promise, how power could make you think you were invincible.
"I'm glad you said that Trian, for I have a very interesting task for you." Karinash stood up from his throne then, indicating for the Troll to follow him. They were headed for the war room, or as Trian liked to call it, the weary room; he was getting tired of the war. Whatever the king planned, at least he'd be away for a bit of time.
The large oaken table that adorned the center of the war room had been wiped clean of the local maps, along with the positions of the enemy. Like they had been suddenly thrown off as if not important any longer, this disheartened Trian even more. His eyes fell upon the war map which he had taken great pains to plot out and make, laying crumpled on the floor. Why did the King act like everything he did was a simple task, normal Trolls would take it as praise that their lord considered them so powerful, for Trian it was a handicap.
Karinash came to the table with the new map upon it, spreading it out with his hands and placing small paper weights on each of the four corners to hold it in place. The map was very old and crumbling, must of been pulled from one of the library archives in the castle. Upon further inspection of the map by Trian he found that the map was actually of the land upon which the castle and Karinash's kingdom once stood, why would the King be showing him an old map?
"I can tell by the look on your face Trian that you recognize the layout of the map." The Sidhe straightened up and banged his fist upon the oak table, his voice raising up, "Bring Gralan in here!" One of the servants who stood at every door within the castle in case the King shouted an order rushed off to fetch the head sorcerer. Karinash looked back to Trian, "Gralan and I have been doing some secret investigating recently about some old legends that have been about my kingdom before I claimed it for my own. Have you ever heard of Nala?"
A large hand came up to rub underneath the Trolls chin as he ran it through the name's he'd come to known about the kingdom, then back a bit further to his teaching as a child. But nothing sounded familiar, "Never my lord."
A sly grin from the Sidhe made Trian's bad feeling grow even larger. Making an oath to this young King was one of the biggest mistakes of his life, and he could tell that the man had some bad plan conceived up. "I didn't think so..." The King began, "...hardly anyone has for a few thousand years, but Gralan did some research for me." The Sidhe's eyes moved over towards the entrance to the war room, already impatient for the order he had made for Gralan to come, "Nala is the name of a dragon that used to live in this region long ago." Karinash's eyes lit up, and Trian knew that look. It meant he had come up with a scheme that would fell all of his enemies in one swoop, and the Troll had such high hopes that perhaps they were going to talk of peace. The King continued, "As you know dragons always have massive treasure hordes full of the things they've collected over the years. One of these is..." Karinash pauses in his speech as Gralan entered.
Another Sidhe that resided in the castle, though this one was rather short in stature and not the best of lookers. He was however one of the more skilled sorcerers that Trian had ever met, unfortunately like the King he was full of thoughts of power and conquest, it wasn't a wonder they were great friends. "Hey Karinash..." The mage spoke. Trian shifted his position, no matter how often Gralan referred to the King with his first name, it always got him on edge, such disrespect. "...talking to Trian about our great plan?"
'Fuel for the fire...' Trian thought to himself.
"Gralan!" Karinash said with a joyful ring to his voice, moving over to embrace the other Sidhe in a hug, "You're correct as always, I thought it was about time to put our plan into action before our enemies get the better of us."
The smirk that played across Gralan's lips as he moved over to the war table made Trian shiver inside, which wasn't something he expected when in the presence of this particular Sidhe. "How far had you got in your explanation Karinash?" The mage asked.
Moving back over to the table, Karinash folded his arms across himself...despite his attitude, he did always hold that regal presence about him. "I just finished telling him about Nala the dragon, and the treasure that they collect, but not about the one we need."
Gralan gave a nod of his head and looked up towards Trian, picking up the conversation without even asking the King if he could speak for him. Sometimes the Troll desired to bash the man's head inside out and use it for a waste receptacle. "As you know Trian, the war has gone on for far too long for all of us. So the King asked me months ago to seek an alternative way to defeat his enemies in a few swift strokes. After a few weeks of researching I stumbled upon an old legend about Nala. This dragon once used to keep this entire continent as his own, killing anyone who came upon it without permission. Now one might think that just a single dragon would have trouble keeping such a land mass only to itself, and that would of been true if it wasn't for the powerful artifact Nala was supposed to possess." Gralan paused in his speaking to pull a book from its resting place on the table, opening it up to a marked page which held a picture. The sorcerer turned it towards Trian so he might have a better look.
The picture was of a dragon's talon, but it wasn't the strong skin that usually adorned such a powerful appendage, it was armor. Trian had never seen armor around any piece of a dragon, their scales have always been more than enough to protect them. The picture wasn't detailed enough for Trian's taste and he couldn't make out why it would be so special, but why would a dragon wear such a thing?
A light laugh brought Trian's attention back to Gralan who had that smirk on his face, "Interesting isn't it?" He said as the book was closed back up and laid to rest on the table once more. "Armor for a dragon's talon, it's quite amazing. It's said that it's impregnable, more so than even a dragon's hide. But that isn't the best part..." Gralan shared a knowing look with Karinash and then continued, "...it is said that when the armor is placed upon a dragons talon it gives them the ability to drive the essence of magic out from its opponents. Not only that, but it gives scrysight, the ability to see anyplace where you have ever been. This is how the dragon kept its ruling place of this continent for so long."
Trian thought that his legs were going to give out from underneath him, if what Gralan said was true than such an object would be horrendous. It would be like sucking away people's Fae forms, and being able to see anywhere you had once traveled. No wonder the King and Gralan seemed so excited. But still, the thought of using such a weapon disturbed the Troll. He wasn't sure just how this could be possible, but he also wasn't a sorcerer either.
The King and mage passed silent looks between each other and when Trian still didn't speak, the King did, "You realize what this could do for us? We would be able to defeat anyone that dared to threaten us again." His finger came down to point at the old map, off into the far away mountains of Lil. "The last sightings of Nala were up in these mountains. You will go there and retrieve this talon armor for me and all the kingdom. Go before the sun sets on this day."
Trian recognized a dismissal when he heard it, he got it often from the King. Gralan and him probably wished to discuss more about what they would do with the artifact once he brought it back, if he brought it back. The Troll bowed at the waist to his king, "As you say so will I do your majesty."
Trian had rode out within three hours of the his King's command. He had hoped the bad feeling would go away after the meeting with the Karinash had ended, but it had only increased since then. And for a good reason. Trian himself hated what he was doing. First of all, he was leaving his lord's kingdom and the war that was ensuing, not that he didn't want a break from the war, but abandoning the fight was not what he had in mind. Second, he was on a quest for something he wasn't sure even existed, that blasted sorcerer Gralan probably had made a good portion of the legend up so that the King would buy it and order him on this mission. Despite his hard feelings against it, he had to keep true to the oath he had sworn to Karinash, though he had regretted doing it after the first few years of service. He was treated like a tool, like a plaything of the King to be sent here and there and qualm whatever might be happening. At first it was simple squabbles of neighboring lands that required a quick show of forces, but as time passed it started to become more viscious and formed into true battles. Trian didn't mind it at first, until he learned what the enemies of the King were mad about it.
Apparently Karinash had been making treaties with the kingdoms that surrounded him and everything was going well. He would give them a part of his land in exchange for peace. A fine agreement for them both and a good gesture on Karinash's part that he wanted to have friendly relations from everyone. Unfortunately, the places that Karinash had promised to them all were the exact same places he had been sending us to stop the invading forces on his land! Furthermore, he had offered marriage to more than a few of the Princess' that surrounded him.
Often Trian lay awake at night, angry at himself for the foolish oath he'd taken to the King. But the thought of breaking it never entered is mind, just of regretting it. The Trolls train of thought was shattered as his horse suddenly collapsed underneath him, sending Trian off balance and smashing him into the grass and dirt. He got up to his feet quickly, his giant sword already in his grip, wary of any attack that might be coming. There was a few tense minutes where Trian stood ready, the sounds of his horse's panting the only thing coming to his ears. No sounds of an approaching enemy, no wisp of a sword coming through the air.
Trian turned around to look at his horse, wondering why it had fallen. The horse was laying upon its side, taking in slow and even breaths, no physical damage apparent on its body at all. The Troll's face formed a frown as he looked up towards the sky, the sun was almost completely set already. 'Have I been riding all day without rest?' He puzzled to himself, and after some more time realized their could be no other explanation. 'I should of paid more attention to the time, that's what I get for thinking about the past.' A deep sigh came from Trian as he leaned down to pat the dying horse's head, so much for an easy ride. Sheathing his sword he turned and began walking towards the mountain that was rising above him, along with the forest below it.
The forest was one of the more peaceful parts of Karinash's kingdom, no wars had been fought here as of yet, so the life inside of it was always alive and the night noises filled Trian with a kind of relaxation he only felt every few years. Occasionally he'd see a raccoon or a fox darting across his makeshift path that wasn't really a path at all, it's much easier to cut through branches and thick foliage than try to navigate around them, at least in Trian's opinion it was.
The moon was high in the sky when he finally decided he might take a short rest, so finding one of the larger oak tree's near his location, he sat down and rested back upon it. A wave of dizziness swept over him as his head touched the oak tree, he tried to make himself sit up and move but found that his mind was too groggy. He wasn't sure if his hands were moving or not, just blurring in front of his vision. The Troll soon collapsed upon his side, unconscious.
When Trian came awake his mind was still foggy, and he had a horrible pounding on the back of his head. After his eyes focused enough for him to see, he realized the pounding on his head wasn't just a headache, someone was trying to beat him unconscious. His mammoth hand came up to catch the piece of wood that was sailing down towards his head, holding it in his iron grip he wrenched it free of whatever was holding it. The grogginess was passing quickly and he got up to his feet to face his opponent.
The surroundings of the forest had disappeared, replaced by grungy dirt walls with branches flowing through them, the smell of mold filled the room and the only light that was allowed inside was from a small hole at the top of the dirt ceiling, that moonlight streamed through.
Whatever had been whacking him on the head had disappeared from his line of sight, Trian also realized that his armor and sword had been taken. In wasn't a good thing for him to be without armor, but the more important matter of finding who was beating him on the head and getting out of the hole occupied Trian's mind more. After a quick search of the dimly lit room he couldn't find who or what had been beating him on the head. No other way to get to the hole in the ceiling than climbing the wall.
Tossing down the club to the floor he shoved his hands into the dirt wall, intent on scaling it to the roof. He wasn't curious enough to bother finding out just who was hitting him, or why he'd fallen asleep. He did have an urgent quest for the King, no matter how improbable it was that he would find any ancient dragon armor.
Halfway up the wall the troll felt a familiar beating on his head, that of the club. Rather than grab it from the air he turned his head to look towards whatever was beating him. It was starting to piss him off, not to mention giving him a bruise on the back of his head. It took him a few moments for his eyes to focus after the club smacked him across the face two more times, but he soon realized that the club was attached to the branches that were flowing out of the wall. And those branches his hands were currently gripped on had started to wrap around his wrists and ankles. The Troll quickly ripped himself free of his would be capture's and leaped down from the wall to the dirt floor. The club came after him but he quickly snatched it out of the air and wrestled it free of the branches grasp. It was about this time Trian had taken enough and he let his voice boom out into the empty room, "All right!" He began, the branches holding the club already receding back to the wall, "Whoever or whatever you are come out right now or I shall burn this room to the ground!" He wasn't serious of course, if he burned this room down he'd die inside of it, but he was more interested in trying to get whoever was controlling those branches to show himself.
The voice that answered back to Trian was not something he was expecting. It was as if the entire room was speaking to him, in a deep voice that sounded withered and tired. "...go back to sleep. I have not finished with you..." The voice said towards Trian, who was most certainly not going to do so.
"Finished with me?" The troll asked, "What were you doing with me in the first place? Show yourself!" Trian yelled, talking to walls of dirt was not something he felt like doing.
"I have shown myself..." The voice came again, "...I am all around you." As if to prove what the voice said the branches along the wall began to flow and twine about themselves. Trian could see pieces of his armor dislodging from the dirt only to be sucked back into the wall.
Trian thought about what the voice had said and decided to accept the fact that he was stuck, and this voice was his only way out. "Very well, why have you brought me down into this whole? I am on a mission from King Karinash and cannot be delayed."
The branches stopped their moving and silence once again filled the room. Trian began his prior sentence again but was interrupted by the voice, "King Karinash is not a worthy person, he is destroying the land with war. Soon it will reach me. You are one of his fighters, I can tell from your armor. I will not let you leave so you can destroy me."
The trolls eyes narrowed down as he looked around him. He puzzled over the words of the voice but could make no sense of it. "How would the war destroy you? If you let me out we can speak face to face and we'll see if you are worthy of being saved."
A deep resounding sigh flowed through the room and Trian could feel the creatures misery and despair from it. "You stupid troll, I am already being destroyed as we speak. You have cut your way through my innards without a second thought. Stupid troll, I will take your life for the damage you are causing." To encourage its threat the branches in the wall shook themselves.
Trian soon realized just who he was talking too, this wasn't some sorcerer playing with him, it was the forest manifesting itself into a voice and speaking to him, and it wanted revenge for him cutting his way through it. And for the destruction that it believed would come soon if the war was not stopped. "I am on a mission from King Karinash as I have said before, this mission is to help stop the war. If you let me go you'll soon find this war at an end with your forest left unscathed. I'm sorry for my earlier negligence, I did not know this forest was sentient."
Another sigh come forth from the room, "No one does, no one cares to listen anymore. To sit underneath the sun and hear my cries of anguish. There once was a time when the Fae played in me. I flourished and blossomed under their joy and became a good home. But times changed, and the Fae stopped speaking to me and began to leave the forest, seeking out their homes made of rock and metal." Their was a long pause during which Trian stood without any words coming to his lips, the voice soon spoke again however, "Swear to me an oath dear Troll, swear to me that your mission is one to end the battles that are coming to defile me and I will let you go. But you must also swear to not let me be disturbed anymore, I don't want your rock homes coming to me and around my borders."
'Another oath...' Trian thought to himself, he had not made an oath since his one to the King, and all to soon did he regret that one. The first part of the oath was simple, for he was truly on a mission to end the war. But the second part about disturbing the lands was not for him to say, it was for Karinash to decide. "I can give you the oath that my mission is to stop the battles that you fear, but I cannot promise that the forest will not be disturbed as you say. Such a thing is not for me to decide, but for the King."
"Then make an oath that you will tell your King of my suffering and ask him to come and visit me so we might speak of a way to keep me from being bothered by your folk."
This oath was something he could do, Trian had no qualms about speaking to Karinash about such matters, he did so on a regular basis. He was actually glad the forest had not asked for anything radical, perhaps it wished so hard to end the desecration of its beauty that it would consider a chance to talk better than a dead troll.
After speaking the oath that his mission was to end the war and he would tell the King of the forests wish to speak with it, he was lifted by branches out of the hole. His armor and sword came up alongside of him, rising out of the dirt. He quickly strapped his armor on and took up his sword, ready to move on his quest once more for the King.
Talking with the forest had not lengthened Trian's journey as much as he had feared, indeed the forest had deposited him on the outskirts of itself and the beginning of the mountains of Lil. Apart from the bruise on his head, he considered it to of been a rather helpful encounter. Not wanting to waste anymore time, he continued on his journey into the mountains.
It was a long journey, and not one Trian would ever wish to repeat. After three long weeks of trekking through the mountains and encountering various odd creatures he had finally found what appeared to be a caved in entrance. His expectations were fulfilled when, with the removal of a few large boulders, the gaping mouth was revealed to indeed be a cave. The Troll wasted no time in moving inside and down the many corridors of the cave's interior. It was deep with more than a few different paths to choose from, but after two days of exploring and many backtracks to the entrance he believed he had found what used to be the lair of a dragon.
The smell was what brought him to this place, the scent of decaying matter and death was nothing new to Trian's olfactory senses, but the combination of this and years of mold growing unhindered had made the giant cavern a miserable place. He didn't want to stay that long. The cavern was massive, the ceiling stretching off into darkness that even his blazing torch couldn't reach past. And all along the floor was a thick green mold, like a grassy forest floor. It was on the walls too and Trian's feet made a light sloshing sound as he began his trek across it, looking for anything that might catch his eye.
It took a good amount of exploring and inspecting but finally he caught a glimmer at the edge of his torch light. Moving over he found it to be the tip of a gold artifact buried in the mold. Reaching one of his hands down he gripped upon the object, ripping it forth from its green tomb. Cleaning off the piece Trian soon found it to be a scepter, it was rich with glamour and it felt good just holding it. 'With this...' Trian's mind began without him really thinking about it, 'I could rule the world.' Such a thought had never entered his mind before, and he shook his head to try and clear it. But as he focused his eyes back on the scepter it filled his vision.
Billions of Changelings were bowing before him, each of them groveling at his feet from all sides. He saw Gralan begging forgiveness for all the idiocy he had fed to the King. He saw the King alongside of Gralan, asking forgiveness as well and releasing him of the oath placed upon him. He was sitting on a throne now, a throne on top of a castle. His castle. He turned his head to look out across the land, it was all his, all of it. He stood from the throne and walked to the edge of the stone roof, screaming his name out towards the empty land which rose up with Changelings praising his name and offering gifts. He held the scepter up high in the air, he was the ruler of the world. The King of the planet and his people loved him for it, he commanded the ground and the sky and all things above and below him.
The stone of his castle beneath his feet suddenly began to shake, sending him falling backwards into a puddle of soft and wet stone. This struck Trian as odd, who was the idiot who made his castle of this substance?! It was then that his eyes unclouded themselves and he realized he was laying upon the mold covered cavern floor. The scepter lay alongside of him, dropped from his hands when he fell. He wasn't a king of any kind, nor was he any sort of ruler of the earth. He was Trian, a simple troll once more. The desire to reach out and take the scepter again left his mind as he realized the ground was still shaking from below him.
Battle senses kicking in the troll brought himself to his feet, sword already out of his sheath and in his hands, ready. It was hard to keep his balance from all the shaking that was going on, but he managed to plant his feet down into the mold enough to secure his stance.
The cause of the rumbling was soon made clear to Trian. All around him the mold had begun to shift and bubble upwards, large mounds exploding up into the air to shower down in a green rain. The cavern suddenly become fully lighted as a pillar of fire erupted at the back end of the cavern, and up it came soon after.
It wasn't a pretty sight to look at, its scales had mostly decayed and peeled away, revealing the dragons bone structure beneath. And the stench was enough to cause a man with no nose to be sick. Dripping with water the carcass of the dragon emerged fully out of its moldy tomb. Its front talons crashed down upon the wall, tearing into it to hoist its lower half up and out of the ground where the dragon had been embedded for thousands of years. The sight repulsed even Trian, he had seen a dragon once before and it looked nothing like this. The wings of the dragon were torn and shredded and puss oozed out of the many holes in its body, it defiantly should of been dead in the condition it was in, at least Trian thought so.
The dragon brought itself down upon what was left of the now shifting and churning mold, causing Trian who thought he had a good balance to fall back upon the wet surface. Another pillar of fire erupted from the dragons mouth, speeding across the cave and onto the wall where the once green mold was left disintegrated. The only thing Trian's eyes saw at the moment however was the large piece of armor that was fitted around the back right talon of the creature.
Shouting up over the chaos of mold eruptions around him Trian spoke, "Peace dragon! I come not to do battle!" 'And also not to be stepped on...' The troll thought, it was moving around now at a rather quick pace, tearing up and frying mold patches as it found them. But it halted its rampage as Trian's voice reached its ears.
Turning around and bringing its head down towards Trian who was dwarfed alongside of it, the dragons voice come out. But it wasn't the booming voice of a male that came to Trian's ears, it was that of a female, "You...? Who are you?" The dragon asked towards the troll, its head pulling back so its one functioning eye could swivel to look more closely towards the being that was in its lair.
The reflection of himself in the dragons eye was more than disheartening to Trian, but he soon pulled himself together, making a dragon wait when it asked a question was inviting yourself to be its meal. "My name is Trian, I come from King Karinash."
"King who?" The dragon questioned as its head pulled back. The mold that had once layered the cavern was still peeling itself away, and horde of the dragon was being revealed. The dragon continued, "I have never heard of a Karinash. What are you doing on my island troll?"
Trian thought fast, he had not expected the dragon to rise up out of this decaying cavern. "Forgive me for intruding, I have been sent on a quest by my King." He added quickly, "I'm sorry for disturbing your rest." Remembering that being respectful to a creature who's fingernail is the size of your body is a good thing.
The dragon's head pulled back to blink twice, a decayed piece of scale falling from its body to smash down into the now gold covered cavern floor. "I wouldn't be sorry, you freed me from my prison. I have been trapped in here forever." The dragon reached over and gripped the scepter between its talons and tossed it off away from Trian, "I guess I owe you a debt, but I think the way to repay it would be by not eating you. I haven't had anything to eat for century's."
Getting up to his feet slowly and flicking a bit of mold away from his face Trian spoke again, "Thank you for your kind generosity. I can only hope I would be allowed to leave alive as well."
"Oh, sure." The dragon said as it began to gather clumps of treasure into a larger mound near the wall of the cavern, "I could just kill you after you leave, and you'll still have left alive." The walls and ceiling shook as the dragon dumped itself down upon the golden mound, a deep and groaning sigh coming from its mouth.
Staying silent as the decayed dragon got comfortable on the mound, Trian was working on a way to get the armor from the dragons talon, all of them seeming impossible in his mind. It wasn't long before the dragon spoke to him again, "So tell me troll, do you think I'm pretty?" She asked, raking up chunks of gold and dumping them over herself repeatedly.
Anything but pretty was what Trian thought, but he wouldn't dare to say such a thing. "I have only seen one other dragon, I'm not a good judge concerning the looks of your kind."
"That was not my question troll!" The dragons voice boomed out as a fireball erupted, exploding into the far end of the cave wall. "I asked you if I was pretty."
The fire seared the hairs of the trolls body, who responded promptly, "I will answer you truthfully since you have agreed to let me leave with my life, you won't kill me here in your lair..."
He was interrupted by the dragon, "Unless I'm lying."
"...yes, unless you're lying." Trian continued, "But the years have not been kind to you, your scales are falling from your body and you look half eaten away by mold."
There was a long pause as the dragon stared towards Trian, still dropping the mounds of treasure over and over herself. It finally spoke, its voice much less wrathful than it had been before, "I respect your honesty troll, most lie to save their skins. Maybe I will not eat you. Perhaps I might talk with you for awhile. You can call me Nala, give me your name."
"I am Trian, commander of the army of King Karinash." He responded.
"There's that King again that I've never heard of. He must not be very old. Why would he send you down to a dragons lair? Did he want you to kill me? If so, I shall have a tasty snack indeed."
"Actually, he is younger than myself. Only by a few years though, but he is my King and I do what he commands me. He has not sent me here to do battle with you Nala, he has sent me after the armor that adorns your talon."
Smoke flowed out of the dragons nostrils as it sat perfectly still upon its bed of treasure. Within less than a second Trian found himself smashed up against the opposite wall of the cavern, a dragons talon pinning him. Nala's head was barely inches from his face, and the smell emanating from her breath made him vomit. The heat coming from her mouth as she spoke began to singe his face. Her now near deafening voice screamed towards him, "You want it?! You want the armor that lays encased upon my foot?!" Trian next found himself smashed into a rather large mound of gold and he felt a few of his ribs crack from the force brought down upon him. "Do you know what it does? This thing that rests on my body? Do you WANT the power that it gives? Tell me the truth now TROLL! If you're lying I will break my word and cook you to nothing!"
Coughing up blood Trian forced words from his mouth, "I have been sent by my king to retrieve---"
He didn't get any farther than that as he felt himself slam down into yet another mound of gold, he was hanging on to consciousness now as the dragons voice tore at his eardrums, "I don't care about your quest or what your silly King wants! I asked if you wanted the armor that rests upon my talon?! I won't give you another chance to respond!" The heat coming from her mouth was enough to cause Trian's face to begin to burn.
It took all his power to remain conscious and coherent as the dragon screamed down at him with the question again. He had come here on a mission for the king to retrieve this piece of armor to fight the war, though he was still unsure how the King was going to be using the talon. Especially when they had no dragon to place the talon on. Who did? But as far as him actually wanting the piece of armor, he wasn't sure. Hesitation when the dragon was in a rage was a foolish thing however, and he had to do what the King had ordered, so he spoke towards the dragon through the blood gurgling in his throat, "Yes, I want it!" He managed to choke out.
Nala's talon pulled away from the troll. Her back right talon came around to rest above the broken troll, "Then take it." Her voice come out free of any wrath it once possessed.
For fear of enraging this towering beast again he reached over and gripped an edge of the armor, holding tight and pulling it as hard as he could. The loud sound of metal crashing upon metal was the last thing Trian heard before he fell into unconsciousness.
Wind upon a sea of grass and the sweet scent of food cooking brought Trian awake suddenly. He was laying upon the outskirts of the forest and his wounds were healed. They were more than healed, he felt like he had the greatest rest of his life. Laying upon the ground next to him was the talon armor, though it was not as large as he remembered it. Perhaps it was just the overall size of the dragon that had made him misjudge it. At least from the look of it, the piece of armor was able to be carried.
A rumbling came from below the troll, he realized it was his stomach. Looking about the area, he found that there was a massive camp some miles away from him, the smell of hot food wafted to his nostrils. Odd, he hadn't been gone long enough for an army of that size to be gathered by the King.
'Then again, he might of assembled all of my men into one large grouping in order to fight with greater forces. Foolish tactics...' Trian shook his head and reached over, hefting the massive piece of armor up onto half of his back, the other part dragging on the ground. It wasn't his position to question his King like that, though he did it often enough.
'All in all...' Trian thought to himself, '...this quest which I had such a horrible feeling about came out good in the end.' The troll still couldn't get rid of that bad feeling though, which was growing more and more over him. Apparently it wasn't the quest that was the problem.
The sight that came to meet Trian when the castle of his king came into view was enough to make him fall to his knee's. The castle was old, very old. Years of wear were apparent, and a few of the towers that once stood tall and high had crumbled and fallen to the ground. Scorch marks littered the castle in multiple areas, telling of bombardments against it. It was impossible for this much destruction to have happened while he was gone, it was only a month and a few days.
Getting up to his feet, Trian gripped around the talon armor, running with it across the remaining ground between him and the castle. It had inhabitants, that was obvious, because they began to scream and wave as he approached the portcullis. Coming to a halt before the gate Trian let his voice boom up towards the gate watcher's location, or at least where it used to be, "Open the gate! Trian has returned from King Karinash's mission!"
There was a few minutes and Trian's impatience was starting to flare up, he wanted to know what had happened to the castle while he was gone. It was only a month! The gate finally opened up and Trian rushed through, his talon armor catching the gate, blasting it from its hinges. Not slowing him a smidgeon, the troll soared in past a Sidhe in armor who was obviously about to question him.
Most of the interior of the castle was the same, so he found the throne room with ease. He entered through the throneroom doors, which should have definaetly been guarded, and looked around the throne room. King Karinash still sat upon his throne, at least his looks hadn't changed, but the Sidhe never seemed to lose their looks anyway.
Trian brought the talon armor in with him, dropping it off his side and then moving before the throne and bowing down to his knee's before it. Trian stated, "Your majesty, I have returned from the quest you sent me on." He held back the many questions he wished to asked.
The king's face was one of complete surprise at Trian. He looked from the talon armor and back to the troll as if in disbelief. And then a smile came up to the Sidhe's lips, "I knew it." He stood up from his throne and walked past Trian to look at the piece of armor, "I knew someday you would come back Trian. You took your time though. Send for Gralan, immediately!" He screamed towards the only servant currently in the throne room who rushed off quickly.
Down on his knee's, Trian stayed bowed, "I'm sorry if my absence has caused suffering my lord, I did not know being gone for a month would cause such great destruction on your kingdom."
Karinash stopped the admiring of the talon to turn towards Trian, "Month...?" He raised an eyebrow then told him to rise up, which the troll did. "You have been gone for ten years Trian, can't you keep track of the passing of time?"
His mouth moved but their were no words to come out. 'Ten years...' The troll thought to himself. 'How could it of been so long.' "Your majesty, " He began towards Karinash, "I've been away for a month at most I'm sure."
The Sidhe's hand waved through the air to the throne room around him, which looked in a need of a good cleaning, "It's been at least ten years Trian, next time I tell you to do something I suggest you do it faster. But you've done well, you brought it back. I'll give you a reward for that." His eyes passed around the troll to spot Gralan entering in, adjusting his robes.
"Thank you your majesty." Was all Trian could think to say as he stepped aside as Gralan came up along the talon armor, beginning to examine it.
"Well?" The King asked Gralan after a few moments.
"This is it Karinash, he got it." Gralan looked over at Trian and said, "Welcome back." As if it were an afterthought.
"You may go rest now Trian." The King Sidhe said towards Trian. He was more than happy to move from the throne room and to his quarters which looked the same as when he left it, at least the King trusted him to return someday. Or else he forgot about it.
A week passed and Trian was informed of what had took place while he was gone. Three years after his departure there was a raid upon the castle and much of the occupants and pieces were destroyed. Karinash's army barely made it in time to save what was left of it. Lacking Trian's intelligence with planning battles and movements the war started to lean towards the enemies favor. Over the next seven years Karinash and Gralan had tried their best to keep what they had left of the kingdom by assembling their remaining forces into one group. Cutting their losses in a certain way to ensure the castle and its surrounding area wouldn't be taken. The castle had never had enough time to be repaired and rebuilt, all of the money being giving to the army. There was also a rumor that two of the surrounding enemies had forged an alliance and were marching an army more than quadruple the size of Karinash's to come and destroy the remnants of the castle and the King himself.
All of this troubled Trian deeply, he still could not understand why ten years had passed when he was sure no more than a month could have passed. Still, through all of this Trian informed the King of the forests wishes to meet with him about the problems of its destruction. Karinash of course listened only half-heartedly to what Trian said. The troll knew that he had no intention of ever going there.
It was the seventh day since Trian had returned to the castle, he had taken account of their current forces and what they were capable of. He had also sent spies out to see if the rumor of the approaching army was true. It was. He had just guven his last commands and was preparing to leave the war room when Karinash and Gralan entered. That bad feeling had never left him and seemed to increase tenfold upon him. He couldn't even guess what the two had planned this time.
"I know you're thinking the battle is hopeless Trian, but I believe you'll change your mind with the news you're about to hear." The king looked over to Gralan, who stepped forward a bit to speak.
"I've finished studying the armor you brought back with you and we're ready to use it, all we need is a dragon." The sorcerer said it as if it were a simple matter. Trian didn't think it was that simple at all.
"All we need?" Trian asked questioningly at Gralan.
The king spoke next, sliding up past Gralan now, why did they have to trade positions like that, it so annoyed Trian, "You are going to be that dragon Trian, in service to me."
It took a few moments for what Karinash was saying to sink in on him, but he realized their plan. Gralan was going to use his magic to shape shift him into a dragonform, after which he was to wear the talon and go out to destroy the approaching army with its power. This was not something Trian wanted to do, and the look on his face let Gralan and Karinash know.
A few whispered words from Gralan had the King standing tall, making his noble bearing suit him, "Trian. As you have sworn an oath to me I command you to allow this to be done. You shall be changed into a dragon, and wear the talon armor you have brought to me. With it you will destroy the approaching army."
The bad feeling was growing more intense, Trian knew through the very core of his being that this was not something that should be done. However, he had no choice, the king had spoken his command and he was oathbound to it. His head bowed down towards Karinash, "As you wish your majesty, it shall be done."
Night had fallen by the time Gralan had finished carving the twenty foot rune on the ground outside of the castle. Multiple etchings and words had been carved inside of it, including an overlaying of a dragon beneath it all. Trian stood in the middle of the circle, waiting for the spell to be cast upon him. He had offered a proposal to the King that he could attempt to defeat the army as a dragon first without the armor, but Karinash would not hear of it, that was Gralan's doing. The blasted sorcerer had bent the man to his will over the years he was gone.
It wasn't a painful experience, but it was nothing that Trian had ever felt before. He could feel the glamour pouring out of the rune as Gralan cast his shape shifting spell. Just a tingling sensation at the beginning, but it had soon blossomed into an itching. The troll attempted to move but found his movements slow and awkward. He fell down upon his face, his body starting to contort and shift as the spell flowed over him. His hands began to throb and grow before his eyes, increasing in size as his bone structure began to shift around him, his feet were doing the same.
The vision of his eyes shifted, becoming sharper and clearer. The ground began to pull away from him as his legs and arms continued their rapid growth. The fingers and toes were pulled together, mashing into three separate fingers and a forth growing at the base of the palm and heel. The rest of the transformation was a slight blur to him, the glow of the rune falling over his eyes as his body shifted and changed.
It was difficult at first to get used to the new body that he was in, everything was moving in awkward ways and the tail was absolutely impossible to control. After three hours of practiced movements he believed he had got the general hang of the massive form. Gralan and Karinash looked so small from his high vantage point. Though the King's voice rang clear as if he was right next to him, "You seem fine now, put the armor on and destroy the incoming army!" His joy was very apparent and so was Gralan's, apparently he'd never shifted someone else into a dragon before, nice that he was the test subject.
The bad feeling once again was heavy upon Trian as he looked over towards the talon armor. Odd, it seemed to have grown again. Chalking it down to the new vantage point he brought one of his talons over, flexing it above the piece of armor. He paused before inserting his talon, that bad feeling was overwhelming now, and it was pulling at every core of his being that he should not but his appendage inside of that thing. His head cocked to look down towards Karinash, who was standing with that smirk he'd acquired from Gralan. 'I should have never made that oath.' Trian though to himself. He took in a deep breath and slide his talon down into the armor, which crunched down around his talon tightly.
Nothing could have prepared Trian for what was to come next, a wave of pure hatred rushed over his entire body. Karinash and Gralan fell back as the dragon standing before them let out a resounding growl that caused the wall of the castle to crumple in on itself. Death, death was the only thing that was in Trian's mind now. He wanted to kill, he wanted to kill now. And he could too, this armor gave him power. Its power was now his, all his. He possessed it, he could destroy anything in his path. And he was going too. His talons smashed down next to Karinash and Gralan, but just depressed the ground near them as the dragon lunged into the air, its wings spreading out and flying off at an amazing speed.
The fury that washed down upon the army approaching Karinash's castle was unexpected. A dragon soared down through the air, smashing through the middle of their assembled forces. And then came the fire that engulfed half of the field around them.
Trian knew he wasn't supposed to be able to breath fire, but he did anyway. It just seemed to come naturally to him now, all of it did. Especially the killing, he'd never felt this thrilled before in his life. Oh it was glorious sport, seeing the small lives being crushed underneath his weight. Many of them had began to run in terror from the monstrous form that had descended upon them from on high, but it didn't concern him.
Five minutes had passed and Trian had made quick work of the enemy, all that was left was the scattered remnants now fleeing as fast as they could. Trian wasn't going to let them go either. He rose up into the air, his wings beating upon his back and holding him in a hovering position. He brought his armored talon down to point his middle claw towards the earth below him.
Glamour surrounded the airborne death beast, glowing in a purplish haze. It was all sucked down into the talon in which the armor was around, focusing it and powering it. This is what Trian wanted, it came so naturally to him, he knew how to pull the glamour up and focus it down to unleash the spell. And unleash it he did.
It was a purple streak of pure glamour that streaked down from the talon, thundering into the earth like a fountain erupting from the sky. A crater formed as the assault blasted into it and then out, flowing like a tidal wave over the land and the running Fae that had so desperately tried to escape the dragons wrath. The wave of glamour crashed down upon the land and then as fast as it spread out began to recede, ripping all the glamour along with it. Sucking the very essence of magic from every soul and piece of land that it had fallen upon. It was all sucked back up into the talon and then passed back into Trian, leaving nothing but a bleak and cracked earth where the glamour wave had passed.
Needless to say, this filled Trian with a great satisfaction, what power this armor possessed. He couldn't believe he was afraid to put it on in the first place, and why Nala had parted with it was beyond his comprehension, at least for the moment. Trian turned his head back towards the castle. King Karinash was right, this did solve all of their problems. He darted off through the night sky, feeling better than he had ever felt in his entire life.
Desert. Everything was a barren desert. He should have reached the castle a long time ago, a long time ago. He'd passed by the edge of the dead earth he'd created with his spell and turned back around, searching for any sign of the castle. The night turned into day and still he had found no sign of the castle, or the army of Karinash, or Karinash himself. Landing down upon the rocky ground Trian brought himself to face the final conclusion that had been forming in his mind all this time. The spell had gone further than he thought, stretching out all the way to Karinash's castle and enveloping it in the wave as well. The dragon's body flopped down upon the cracked earth, despair washing over him. He'd killed the king, he'd killed the Sidhe he had made an oath too. So why didn't he feel that egging loss of power that the Dreaming took when an oath was broken by a troll? Maybe because he was still in the body of a dragon.
All Trian was concerned with now was getting that blasted piece of armor off of his talon. He soon came to realize that it would not come off no matter how much effort he put into it. Well, Gralan's spell couldn't last more than a week he said. He'd just have to wait it out...
A week passed, and then a month. Trian wandered through the desolation he had created, the sorrow in his heart was overloading him. Gralan's spell didn't erode away, nor did Trian believe it would. The armor on his talon was seeing to that. Curse the day he had taken that oath, curse the day he had put the armor on his body. The dragon let out a growl, looking at the desolation around him, and then in the distance to the mountains. "Yes..." Trian spoke to himself as he had started to do during his month of isolation, "...I'll speak to Nala." He wasn't sure what good it would do, but she would at least answer his questions. If not he'd just kill her, he was the one with the power now, not her. These aggressive tendencies hadn't left Trian, the need to kill kept growing everyday after the battle.
Nala was awake when Trian came into her lair. She looked much better than she had been when Trian had come to visit her. All of her scales were once again full, and no more mold was residing in the cavern or upon her person. She looked like a new dragon.
"Oh..." Nala's voice rang through the cave, "Is that you Trian? I see you put it on. Do you like it?" The female dragon asked in a mocking tone.
Trian was not in the mood for mockery, smashing down upon the mound of treasure near Nala, smoke pouring from his nostrils, "It won't come off!" His voice boomed out to the other dragon.
"Of course it won't, nor will it ever. Why did you think I was in such a hurry to get it off of me?" The dragonic smirk that spread across her mouth enraged Trian.
"Tell me what it has done! Tell me now or I shall use its magic against you, you blasted dragon!" Already he could feel the rage that had enveloped him the night he had first put the talon on, flowing over him, longing for more deaths.
Nala sat up from her bed of treasure, not seeming afraid at all of the other dragon in her lair, "I'll tell you, but not because of your threat. I've been a dragon all of my life, you've only been one for a single month. Now stop shouting and lay down."
A growl showed Trian's disapproval of the way he was spoken to, but he sat down upon a comfortable looking spot of the treasure, he wanted to know about this armor that had cursed him.
Nala began her explanation to Trian, "The armor was crafted by a great race of forgers specifically for me, I had done them many favors in exchange for it. However, they didn't realize the problem that came with it. Yes Trian, it does give you a lot of power. The ability to see where you once were at any time if you wish, I'm sure you'll learn that one in time. There was a catch they were not aware of though, the spell that you used of last night is a part of the solution to fixing the problem. But it's only a temporary solution. You probably realized that it sucked all the glamour the spell made contact with and passed it into you. The reason it does this is so you can maintain your form." The dragon paused a moment to lay herself back down upon her treasure. "The glamour that the armor pulls in is used to sustain your body. If you don't pull glamour with the spell your body will begin to decay and decompose as mine had when you found me. It isn't all bad though, the more glamour you have the more powers you'll have access too. I kept ahold of this island for a very long time before I grew tired of having to live off of others for myself. I resided down into my cave where I hoped to die by rotting away. Unfortunately my death didn't come and I soon grew to weak to get out of my own lair. But now Trian, you've freed me of my hell."
Trian listened to all of Nala's words, the despair in his heart growing with each and every sentence she brought forth, "How do I get it off?" He asked quietly.
"Simple, you just have to have someone ask for it like you did with me." That dragonic grin came back upon her mouth, "The smart one's don't ask dragons what they wear on their feet though."
Trian sat up on his mound, "Why not force a person to ask for it."
The female dragons head shook, "Doesn't work that way, has to be of free will." She paused for a moment and then spoke again, "Now if you'll leave Trian. Most dragons don't share the same lair and certainly would not share the same land."
A deep sigh echoed through the cavern as Trian got up from the ground. He looked at Nala for a few minutes of silence and then turned, heading out of the cavern, over the forest, and back into the now night sky. He wondered where he would go from here, he wondered if he truly cared...