Chapter 1: A Gathering of Kings
King Yashin looks as eager to be in the meeting as some of the other leaders of the nations. The only ones even remotely interested in the proceedings is Alexander, Racla, the Dragonling Elders, and my parents.
"Come on, can we at least agree on something? Who knows how long Ramok will be kept down this time?!" I yell, irritation setting in.
Grimmhorn Hamestin, leader of the East Dwarf Kingdom, chuckles.
"Keep your peace, dear fairy. I understand you wish to take action, but like the great stone mountains, we dwarves are not readily drawn to arms without good cause. It is true that Ramok has cost a great deal of destruction and terror, but the threat to us is now done. What more of a threat does he bring than before, when he was sealed?"
Alexander, off in the corner, smiles. "I actually think that Yashin can vouch on this matter, though I'm not sure how readily he would like to divulge."
Yashin Greyborne, pale faced with steely grey eyes, and draping jet black hair, reluctantly nods.
With a rather strained voice, he speaks. "Indeed. I have reports of a mysterious army of demon-creatures rising from the Great Rift, created by Ramok's rise. It appears as though they are coming in great number, and they have already started attacking my nation's settlements of the Central Isle, the location of the rift."
He coughs, and then continues. "We might not have considered them a threat were it not for the fact that I was injured in their first attack, something no mere bestial being would accomplish."
He lifts his armor and his undershirt as well, revealing a long jagged scar running from his waist to his right shoulder.
I gasp in alarm. "How on Aladoria did you sustain such an injury? What manner of creature did that?!"
Alexander comes up to the meeting table, and throws down several files. "Go ahead and read. These are the reports I have taken on the situation. These creatures are known as Corpi, or Dialadect grunts. They are one of the weakest species of Dialadect, and yet they managed to injure Yashin Greyborne, perhaps one of the most skilled swordsmen known to the human race."
I pick up a file and start to read, looking through diagrams of the creature, from its bullhorns to its narrow beady yellow eyes, its wicked sword to its brutal claws. Whatever this monster is, it looks like it was made to slaughter. When I have finished, I swallow silently and place it back on the table, and Alexander retrieves it, sliding it into a pouch on his waist.
He says in a low voice, "I understand that some of you have reluctance in joining forces, due to past problems and disputes, but I promise you all this much: the Dialadect are too dangerous to fool around with. Ramok may be defeated, but his followers are not."
The others are silent, until my mother and father, the queen and king, speak up.
"It is vital that we work together, these Dialadect may pose a greater threat than we realize. And if they are working under Ramok, that is all the cause we need to stand together." My mom says firmly, with an air of authority that is characteristic of her reign. She knows what needs to be done, even if it is something she doesn't like doing.
Yashin is the first to speak up. "No."
"Pardon, but why not? After all, your own people are being attacked right now by those beasts!" She says, with a touch of confusion.
He says quietly, "I will not work with the likes of the magic wielders. They are a hateful lot. They are cowards and fools. Besides, there is no threat to us. You all perceive what does not exist. These are merely an idle threat, and we shall soon take care of them. We humans don't need the likes of you, who look down on my kind as inferior."
He rises quickly, and quietly leaves the meeting hall, followed closely by his guards.
"That little… how dare he insult us!" I snarl to myself.
Grimmhorn and the other dwarf kings begin to talk amongst themselves, and after a few minutes, they seem to reach a consensus.
"I'm afraid that like Yashin, we do not recognize the threat of these Dialadect that you have mentioned in this meeting. Although if Ramok should return, we would gladly assist you. However, he is still trapped in that fiery abyss, and he should stay for a great while, at least that's what we are keen to believe. In any case, we must go, as we have our own issues to attend to."
The dwarf lords themselves excuse themselves, and soon we are down to only the elves and the Dragonlings.
Aladora, the elven princess smiles warmly at me. "I'm sorry about all of this, Danica. But, I'm sure my parents would agree that it would be wise to work closely with you on this issue, the Dialadect may in fact be a direct threat, and should be dealt with quickly. I will return with word on their opinion soon. Oh, and Danica, it's been too long since we've had a proper talk. It will be nice to finally catch up."
She bows politely, and then looks up at me. "I'll see you around, ok?"
I smile. "Sure thing, I can't wait either."
With a bit of a merry step, she walks out from the meeting hall, until only Racla, Alexander, my parents, and the Elders are left.
"So…" I trail off, concerned about the lack of support I have gotten.
Alexander smirks. "It would be unwise to ignore these Dialadect, I'm not sure what's gotten into their heads. But in any event, I would be glad to assist you."
I laugh, relieved. "Well, I can say at least a dragonling has my back. Good to have you aboard."
Racla gives me a cold stare. As Commander of the Dragonling Army, she might be a tough nut to crack, seeing as she hates fairies due to the war between our races several years ago.
"As much as I would hate having to work with you, defeating and keeping Ramok at bay is our number one priority. So, I guess you can count me in, for now. But don't mistake this as an alliance, I STILL hate your guts."
I smile faintly, and nervously laugh. "Of course you do, if that changed I WOULD be surprised."
I look at Tom, the Sapphire Elder. "And what about you?"
He shrugs. "I'm in, seeing as the others of the Chromatic Nation have already cast their vote in your favor, the Gem Dragonlings will aid you as well. However, I don't think that this small of a force will be enough to assemble a strong army."
Alexander nods. "Yes. The Dialadect, from what I understand, are sending more and more troops every day from the Rift. They're getting stronger, and by the time we mobilize, we might not be enough. We'll have to get the other nations on board if we are to get anything done."
He pauses, thinking. "The best solution and advantage could be gaining the assistance of the Dragonflights, though I imagine they won't readily agree to assist us. It'll take a miracle to be ready in time for whatever those monsters are scheming."
It seems my work is cut out for me…
Oh yes it is…
Oh gods, not this again…