Free Fantasy Action Adventure Story | Dragon Mage Part 4


Andra is one of the most powerful women in the known world as the General of the Dragon Army.

But she is still nothing compared to her lover, Olwen; she is the Mistress of Dragon March, but does that mean the people will follow her?

If they do not, will she use her power against the people she had sworn she was protecting?


Allies

“All my daughters are dead.”

“We’ve all lost kin!”

The Council Chamber of Dragon Hold echoed with more than a dozen deep resonant voices shouting over one another. Andra, General of the Dragon Guard Army, stood beside the seated Mistress of Dragon March as she barely feigned attentiveness to the troubles her people had brought to her.

According to the gathered Reevesmen and Eldermen, sent from all shires of the Marches; the people of Dragon March were in a frenzy and had sent their representatives to argue before the Chair on their behalf.

Olwen had delayed the council for days already. But she had finally accepted that at some point she would have to face the questions raised by the failure of her Dragon Army. They had broken the promises they had made to the soldiers that fought. Bodies had lain shattered on the road to Meadowvale before they had even met their enemies in battle. The great victory had come to nought, and the people demanded to know why.

The men argued amongst themselves. Shouting over one another to be heard and drowning out any opportunity for useful discourse.

Olwen barely acknowledged their presence. Her mind was elsewhere. When she should have been fiercely defending her actions, when her position as Mistress of Dragon March was under threat, Andra watched her merely recline in the large wooden chair set aside for the Masters of Dragon Hold, and stare into the middle distance.

“We lost over a hundred and eighty from the northern regions, too many even to bury, this will mark us for generations.”

“Why are we not building a monument? A great white hill that will be seen across all of Dragon March.”

“Build a ruddy great mound? I lost seventy-two good warriors. Who’s gonna harvest crops? Bring wood in for winter?”

“We went to war!” Andra stepped forward. She loomed over the council from her position on the dais. The bickering was exhausting. She was the only one of all of them in the room that had been on the battlefield that day. She was the only one who had witnessed the massacre.

She had seen the Meadow Dragon swoop down and take the life essence from her people as easily as if supping water from a lake. It had been as if her people were nothing. Her young soldiers and battle-hardened warriors fell like toys and their bodies had been left to the birds in the wild panic of defeat that followed.

“In war people die.” She silenced the men sitting below her. A few eyes glanced to the hand that rested upon the hilt of her sword. As if any moment she would draw it and all she needed was a suitable excuse to do so. “Your army went to face the Elves in battle. We went to face them as equal warriors fighting for our land,” eyes wouldn’t meet hers, there were men in this room that had avoided the call, pleading infirmity and sending children or elders in their stead. They all seemed healthy enough to her now. “Those Elven cowards hid in their homes, while their Dragon did their work.” She let the statement rest, she let the accusation of cowardice from the Elves hang over the men in the room; denying it would be to support the enemy, supporting it would only admit their own failings.

“Now is not the time to run from this fight,” she continued, “not when so many of us lay dead at their hands. Now is the time to take the war to them, to take the land of Meadowvale once and for all. We still have enough soldiers and guards for an army, we still have the Dragon Essence to make our soldiers strong-“

“No.” Olwen cut her off. She clutched Andra’s arm and pulled her back to take centre stage for herself. For a moment, Andra resisted. She was used to handing the reins of power back to Olwen, but she had never been so openly contradicted in front of their subjects.

But one glance from the ice-cold blue eyes of the Mistress strangled her objections and reminded her these men were not ‘their’ subjects; they were Olwen’s subjects. Olwen was the Mistress of Dragon March and Andra was little more than the clumsy fist Olwen wielded to maintain her position. She nodded to her Mistress and humbly moved aside.

“The army will not be using the Dragon Essence again,” Olwen hissed, not loud enough for everyone to hear and for all the council could see, the two women were bickering upon the dais.

“What?” Andra stared open-mouthed. She knew Olwen suspected the Dwarf Wizard had entered the Dragon Realm… but to cease the use of the essence completely? To avoid partaking of the very power that had led them here? The reason they stood where they did now? It was madness.

“We have other methods at our disposal.” Olwen turned to address the murmuring council. “The Dragons were merely allies for as long as it suited us. Now that it no longer suits us, we must cast them aside like the inconsequential beasts that they are.”

“It wasn’t no ‘inconsequential beast’ that killed more ‘an hundred and eighty warriors of the North.”

“You are right.” Olwen rarely, if ever, gave way to others, but then, Andra realised, she rarely addressed an audience before partaking of the essence. She would be weak… tired… “It was a Dragon that attacked our army. The Dragon’s have proven… unreliable.” She had to prevent a second outburst by raising her hand to silence them. Olwen seemed too often to forget that not more than weeks ago the Dragons were Gods to these men. “We have other allies.”

“If you mean the Dwarves-“

“I do not mean the damned dwarves.” Olwen burst, her calm composure cracking open for just a second and a flicker of magic danced across her skin. The councillors recoiled. These were not brave men. “Why must you always think so narrowly? So like the Elves? You focus only on those who come to this land from elsewhere. You ignore our brethren.”

The men looked to one another, and Andra too searched her mind, Did Olwen mean the Druids of Midwinter? They had no alliance with them and would need to conquer them before they joined forces. It would take an army to do that… an army they no longer had.

Olwen waited, looking to each of them, with the subtle smile of someone who enjoyed her mystery. “Do none of you know of the others who belong to this land? Who have been here since the first blades of grass emerged upon the soil?”

“You cannot mean?” One of the Eldermen, white of hair and eye, gasped, “but they are savages.”

“And do not the Elves call us savages?” she snapped, “that garnished witch who sits upon the Elven throne thinks nothing of deeming us savages, and yet she rules nothing but a grape swilling horde of creatures unwanted even in their own Motherland!”

“No!” A large man, bearded of cheek and bulbous of belly stood, “We will not go to war alongside half beasts! Our people will not allow it.”

“Allow it?” Olwen spat, “Our people shall celebrate it!” her magic flickered again across her skin as her rage grew, “when we rule all the Edge Islands there will be songs of this day.” But even as she spoke the dissent grew, it seemed even cowards had their cause. “It is I who sits upon the Chair, it is I who stands before you as Mistress, and it is I who decides upon the allies of the Druid people!” As the council erupted into shouts and chaos with bangs of feet and fists upon tables, Olwen turned to Andra, dark circles surrounded her cold blue eyes. “Summon the Sycorax,” she turned to glance back at the raging men, “and clear out these bastards before you go.”


Read Part Five Now

Niamh

Niamh Murphy is the best-selling author of 'Escape to Pirate Island' and other adventure books with lesbian main characters. Read more here.

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts