Dalynia - Nature's Slaughter,
Dalynia - Nature's Slaughter
Copyright © 2014 by Adrian L Juhl
All rights reserved
Adrian L Juhl
Cover art by Adam Juhl
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental
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Glossary of Names
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Glossary of Names
"Hold your ground, men!" shouted Magistrate Marcus, leader of the Aazronians.
"You heard the man!" bellowed the Ice Wizard Captain, Thedrimos, as the assault from the abomination army continued.
An avalanche of ferocious creatures descended the hill, hurtling into the earthen barricades. The crack of lightning resounded around them and fireballs rained death from the sky. From beneath Thedrimos, a beetle-shaped monstrosity broke through the ground. With its armored head protruding from the hole, its mandible lashed out with a savagery that surprised the men. Thedrimos leapt to his left, grabbing the Fire Wizard beside him, but it was too late. Blood-curdling screams filled the air as the abomination's vice-like grip trapped the Fire Wizard.
Thedrimos drew his sword and struck with all his strength, but the creature ignored it, instead opening its jaws to reveal a small stinger that shot out and pierced its victim's chest. He stood frozen in terror as the Fire Wizard's body went limp.
Witnessing the events nearby, the Magistrate shouted to Thedrimos, "Do it now, Thedrimos! Before it turns and takes out someone else!"
His eyes, filled with tears for his fallen friend, began to glow, charging the Ice Wizard with magical power.
"Please, just give me enough strength for one more shot!" he pleaded.
The Fire Wizard dropped to the ground and began convulsing as the abomination's venom transformed him with inevitable efficiency. Its attention now free, the abomination crawled out of its tunnel.
A short distance away, the medallion around the Magistrate's neck blazed, amplifying his Storm Wizard magic. He held both arms in front of him and placed his closed fists together, the magical energy discharging from them. A torrent of pure electricity arced through the air, a mesmerizing dance that forked out in every direction.
Overwhelmed with grief, Thedrimos paused, the magic in his right fist eager for release. Distracted by his reluctance to end his friend's life, he didn't see the charging beetle.
Pain wracked his body as the great abomination grabbed him between its pincers, cracking his ribs. Thedrimos raised his right hand, ready to deliver a freezing deathblow. Before he could, the beetle's head exploded--a victim of the Magistrate's electrical bolt.
"Get your head in the game, soldier!" shouted the Magistrate. "And where's the Druid representative for Aazronia?"
"She's on her home world, Sir," came the response from one of the soldiers nearby.
Thedrimos turned, hoping for a moment's rest. Above him towered a gruesome abomination, his former friend reborn of venom and dark magic. Crazed and compelled to spread the plague, it attacked. Realizing his folly, Thedrimos reacted; remorse filled his heart as he released the last of his magical reserve in a freezing ball of ice. The creature had no time to avoid the icy blast. Its gray skin froze and then shattered upon impact, leaving nothing behind but small, broken pieces of frozen flesh.
"We must protect the portal for a few moments longer!" commanded Marcus. "Push them back!"
Elemental casters in long robes stepped forward. They lowered and raised their arms in a scooping motion. The ground in front of them shuddered and then subsided.
"I know your magic is spent, men, but you need to focus. Think of your wives and children! Fight for Aazronia!" Marcus entreated, running forward before the Elementals and drawing his swords. The Medallion of Justice lit up the field. Electricity enveloped his weapons, the air around them crackling as he continued to rally his men. "Wizards! Use what magic you have left and focus it on your weapons. We must buy time for the Elementals to recharge. Summoners! Pull the wounded back and tend to their wounds! Coercers! Focus on the injured and take away their pain!"
The abominations fell in quick succession before the might of the Magistrate and his people. He fought on, fuelled by the power of the medallion. The valley echoed with the sound of his fellow casters as they charged up the hill. Unfamiliar with hand-to-hand combat, the Wizards charged in, having infused their weapons with the last of their magic. Swords struck creatures of nightmare, turning the green grass of the mountainside red with the blood of enemies and allies alike.
Without warning, the ground beneath the Wizard Legion swelled, flinging the casters down the hill. The earth between them and their attackers tore apart, creating a cavernous rift in the mountain.
In the camp below, a tall, black-haired woman closed her eyes and focused her magic. She sought out the mind of the Magistrate and gave the command to withdraw. "It's done, Marcus. Bring them back."
No stranger to communicating with Coercers, Marcus acknowledged her instructions with a quick thought. "Thank you, Gwin. Tell the Summoners to open the portal to Whetu."
Gwin's confusion was evident, even in his mind. "The Druids, Sir?"
"Yes, Gwin. Nature's out of balance in Aazronia. I'm positive Mayrin is behind it. We need Dalynia's help."
"Very well. Stay there until we get the children to safety. The Elementals have a new plan."
"Oh, great! I hate it when they get ideas," Marcus grumbled.
"Concentrate!" Gwin admonished, as an undetected abomination clawed at Marcus.
Searing pain coursed through Marcus' left arm. On instinct, he swung his swords in a spinning motion. The air crackled as the blades sliced through it, missing the humanoid altogether. The creature struck his face, the force knocking the swords from his hands. Marcus lashed out, but its speed matched his own, without seeming to require any extra exertion. He tasted iron as blood trickled from his mouth.
"Get back in line!" he shouted to his men, who had abandoned their stations to aid him.
Marcus clenched his fist, electricity sparking against the family ring on his middle finger. He raised his arms as the creature attacked again. The combatants engaged in a mortal dance, oblivious to their surroundings. The creature grabbed Marcus' left shoulder, its long, sharp nails cutting deep into the muscle. He grabbed the ear of the abomination and swung his right fist with all the strength he could muster. As it connected, electricity from his hands sparked through the abomination's skull, completing its deadly circui
The glint of a small ring on the mutated hand of the creature caught Marcus' attention. He dropped to his knees, unable to contain his grief. With profound sorrow, he realized that the creature before him had been his best friend and adopted brother.
"No!" he cried. "Archamon! What have I done? Forgive me, brother!"
A slight wind picked up around the Legion, growing stronger with each passing second. Suddenly, the men rose high into the air. Marcus struggled against the gust, reaching out to his fallen brother, but the wind was too strong and carried him to the security of the portal.
"Everyone move into the portal. We'll be safe on Whetu!" Gwin commanded.
The Elementals moved in rhythmic harmony, controlling the winds that carried the exhausted casters to safety. Another group motioned, once again lifting their arms, but this time, the ground rose high into the air, creating a barrier between them. The last Elemental stepped through the portal as the creatures crested the makeshift barrier.