Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Bremonth

By Reg Elliott.

The jagged cliffs of Winbreton Bay’s northern peak caught slivers of orange light from enemy fire- spheres as they rocketed towards Winbreton.  Bremonth, the ancient custodian of the northern peak had learnt to wait in these situations. Conservation of energy was paramount in repelling attacks. Since the custodian of the Southern peak had gallantly met its end in battle over a century before, Bremonth had repelled all the attacks on Winbreton single handed. Age had wearied him but not diluted his ferocity and God-given serpentine enthusiasm for killing men.

The ships of the attackers became larger every time they came.  Bremonth thought to rush in would be foolish. It had never been said Dragons were dim-witted and for good reason. Bremonth let the first salvos from the enemy sail past harmlessly in order to alert Winbretons’ defences. Looking from high on his peak to the back pocket of the bay, he watched the spheres drop short of Winbreton harbour and sink beneath the water’s surface.  Winbreton’s defence vessels, already manned, begun to manoeuvre towards the north and south peaks.  As with every conflict it was best to keep the enemy out of the bay and at the mercy of the elements while battle was conducted.

Bremonth dropped his head and curved his thick scaly neck as he heaved two enormous black shoulders into action. Stretching his vast wings and sharpening his eyes for battle he summoned a potency from within. A silver flash from below alerted him to something else altogether. Down at the base of stronghold a small boat bobbed close to the rocks.  It was empty.  The moonlight edging past a thick cloud threw a soft blue glow on the rocks below giving away the position of a small advance party sent to silence Bremonth. Negotiating the cliffs suddenly became an even more treacherous task for these poor few as a fifty nine ton Creedmoor defence Dragon set down on them. Fire spewed from two giant nostrils.  Just enough to singe and dislodging the men from the cliffs tumbling into the powerful currents of freezing wind and to their deaths below.

A few arrows had found their way to the Bremonths’ breastplate and bounced off it like a toothpicks. Though smiling was not in the Creedmoor’s make up, a smirk was not out the question.

And showing off? They were not capable of this. Still, posturing was not out of the question! Knowing well the attackers had witnessed his swift disposal of the hapless men, Bremonth regally resumed his lofty position upon the north peak for all to behold. He was a magnificent bastard though.

Bremonth once more checked on the progress of the Winbreton defence crews heading out to make battle. Bremonth was losing patience with their slow progress.

The attackers watched in horror as Bremonths’ gigantic frame lifted from his lofty perch then dropped like a stone, swooped towards them.  Suddenly a yawning banking movement had him heading back into the bay where he rounded the small Winbreton defence flotilla. Positioning himself behind the fleet and hovering only metres about the water he beat his powerful wings with slow heaving movements.  It was noticeable even to the attackers some distance away that the Winbreton fleets’ speed increased significantly thereafter.  Bremonth lifted high into the night sky once more then dived down to become flat above the water and performed a flyby of the attackers out at sea before heaving himself up upon his perch and looking back towards the Winbretons’ defence fleet. He gave an almighty roar. He was also an impatient bastard. 

Waiting for the battle to begin in earnest he folded his wings, dipped his head as his eyes closed over in a weary fashion. Perhaps the attackers would turn for open sea and run like so many before them.

From the deck of an attack ship a horn sounded.

Bremonth immediately sensed something he’d not experienced in a long time.  He did not look up. Better to feel. The air closed in around him.  His leathery skin flinch and quivered.  He raised his huge black head. His eyes opened and for the first time he saw.

The seething skies behind the attack fleet were sliced in two by a tortuous screech as a mass of bright yellow barrelled out of an ominous cloud bank toward him.  Bremonth was not prepared for this.  A Creedmoor attack Dragon.  It drew closer.

Bremonths’ nostrils suddenly acquired a life of their own flaring, snorting and spluttering pellets of fire until an uncontrollable eruption drew fire from his belly that would torch a thousand villages.

Giving away his position, Bremonth took to the air with gusto and intent not felt by the old dragon in many years. The attack Creedmoor having spotted its foe circled its own fleet in an attempt to guard all.  But the old dragons’ vivacity had not deserted him.  Bremonth’s keen eye told him this was a young attack Creedmoor. He went for it maliciously. As the younger Dragon made a turn to evade Bremonth, the old dragon performed a complete about face. Diving back toward the attack fleet. The young dragon mimicked Bremonth and closed in on his tail.  Bremonth was not at all as quick in flight as he should be. The reason for this soon became apparent as two huge boulders materialised from his claws and plummeted unto the decks of two of the ships.  Both perfect hits ripping through the decks, Bremonth swung back in an instant and spewed fire into the gaping hulls then pulled away to survey the damage.  After only a matter of seconds the fire on both ships spread to the armoury blowing each out the water leaving a single vessel to confront Winbretons’ crews closing in fast.

The opposing Dragon decided attack was the best form of defence set an immediate course for the Winbreton fleet.   It closed in on the Winbreton fleet with haste and purpose.  Suddenly the horn from the attack ships sounded again.  This time it was a different tone.

The attack Creedmoor was bound to obey.  It slowed, propped and almost stood up on the water beating its beautiful yellow wings.

In the distance the attackers were being ushered back out towards the perilous black ocean by Bremonth. Once more his gigantic wings creating an undeniable gust the ship could not fight. The attack Creedmoor had not witnessed lives being sparred before.

Soon, with the ships course righted, Bremonth flew high into dark sky this time in the direction of the abandoned southern peak of the bay. A breath of fire lit a beacon deep inside a long dormant cave. Bremonth returned to his northern perch and waited.

The attack Credmoor had no choice.

The bleak cave was volumous.  A deep fire pit had been unlit for many years but now burned brightly. The silence of the cave was only broken by the restless sea outside. The fire grew and danced on the yellow scales of the Creedmoor as it edged cautiously into its new home. Soon to be found was a kind of annex and there too another deep fire pit. Sitting there in the darkness were four shapes. They had waited patiently for decades.  For only a female Creedmoor can work the magic to make an egg wake.

Bremonth smirked once more.

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