Dark Lord of Kismera (cont’d)


Nimbus gave a visible shake that rattled his scales. “It was an ancient firedrake legend that had been forgotten by most dragons until recently. I came across an old forest dragon many years ago that was the last to know it. Before she died of her many years, she imparted the tale to me and I became the sole keeper. In the dragon tongue it rhymes, but there is no way to translate it to do the same in a common language.” He paused and put his head on one clawed foot. “It tells of trouble from the south; that men will come with terrible allies and magic with greed in their heart. If not stopped when they first invade, their numbers will flow into these lands. It tells that the Werre must battle, led by a fierce she-lion and she will be saved by a great warrior, he and a stallion both dark and powerful, but not of this plane. The Dark Lord.”

Drace looked dubious, leaning forward to rest his elbows on his knees. “And I and my ‘dark and powerful stallion’ are supposed to do what? How do you know that I am even the right guy?”

“You are the Dark Lord, of this I am certain. I have searched with magic for some time now,” Nimbus shifted his weight slightly. “As for what you are to do, the legend does not say specifically, but that you fight together and will only be successful if you do so. The threat is soon upon us and there is not much time to prepare. ”

Drace was thoughtful for a moment. “If I agree to do this, to help these people, after it’s all over, will I be able to go back home?” He sat up straight and looked the dragon directly in the eyes

“If that is what you desire, then yes, you will be sent back.”

“What if I don’t want to help? What if I want to go back now: today? I don’t recall having any say in this matter and frankly, it pisses me off.” Drace crossed his arms over his chest and looked defiant. “I’m really not anxious to spill blood or have someone try to kill me. Dark Lord, my ass. No thanks.”

Nimbus sighed and resigned himself to an argument with a human. “You are the Dark Lord of legend, of this I am sure. I cannot force you to
stay, however.”

“Yeah, you can,” Drace returned, irritation clear in his voice, “I can’t get back without your magic, but I can refuse to help.” Even as he said this, he had a mental picture of a war torn land and the suffering of its survivors.

“You will not refuse, of this I am sure as well, for if you look within, you know I do not speak falsely. The Lady Ki would die, for she will fight fiercely for her people, and the Werre’s life, as they know it, would be lost without you. I cannot change their fate,” Nimbus stated patiently.

Read more from Tamara Hartl!


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