Dragonstoen: An Amulet for a Prince

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Based upon characters from the Dragonstoen novel series, Addler Berrington must try to rescue his son from the clutches of an evil tyrant.

Submitted: October 12, 2013

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Submitted: October 12, 2013

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Dragonstoen: An Amulet for a Prince

 

By Phillip J. Boucher

 

Addler Berrington jumped down from Nesra’s saddle and knelt on one knee, looking at the tracks in the fresh wet grass, then to the note he held in his hand. His dragon snorted a small plume of smoke and turned its head as the sound of another set of wings whooshed by, watching the Dragos, Rapopella, land near his rider. The small gargoyle-like creature folded up his wings and waddled over to where Addler knelt, looking at the ground alongside him.

“Many men and horses, your Majesty,” Rapopella hissed. “Many renegade Majji and Orbers.”

“Don’t call me that,” Addler replied.

“But you are King, your Majesty,” the Dragos insisted.

“I am only the Queen’s husband. Being married to Alnya does not make me a King.”

Rapopella put his claw to his chest.

“Husband to Queen Alnya Dragonstoen is true King, in my heart.”

He ignored the comment and read the note again. He fingered his lance as his eyes scanned the same line repeatedly: “Bring me the amulet and I will give him back to you. Any attempt at rescue, and your little boy will die.” He wiped away a tear. He felt the pressure of the Dragos‘comforting claw on his shoulder and abruptly stood up. Rapopella was unfazed by Addler’s action. He knew the young man was preoccupied with getting his son back.

“How many in total?”

The Dragos looked at the tracks in the grass. He was silent for several moments as he tilted his head from side to side, sniffing the air and calculating the number of soldiers they would face. Addler took the opportunity to walk back to Nesra and open the dragon’s saddlebag, looking at the contents.

“Thirty-four,” Rapopella said.

“Only thirty-four men?”

“Thirty-four crystals in the saddlebag.”

Rapopella was still looking at the ground. Though the Dragos had lost all of his magick in the Rebirthing of Addler’s son, his wife Alnya, and Nesra the dragon, he still had a Majji’s intuition, in addition to a Dragos’ hearing. The loss of magick from bringing back the dead had no effect on the creature’s other abilities.

“How many men are there?”

“Over two hundred soldiers,” he hissed. “Twenty, thirty Majji. Twenty, thirty Orbers.” He stood up and turned to Addler. “And Prince Cedric Laramy Dragonstoen.”

Addler seethed with rage. Rapopella could sense both the anger and fear deep in the young man’s spirit.

“Where is Alnya?” he said through clenched teeth.

“In the countryside of Tulanpault with Lord Berger. Many Dragos and aligned Majji there. Your son’s mother is well protected. She will not be harmed.”

“Good,” he said with little relief. “Do you have the sack?” Rapopella reached into his waist bag and retrieved the sack, handing it over to him. “It’s in there?”

“As demanded, against many wishes,” Rapopella said.

“Against your and She-en’s wishes, you mean.”

Rapopella simply stared into Addler’s eyes in response, causing the young king to avert his gaze and survey the barren land before them. In the distance, he could barely make out the top spirals of Yelfal castle.

“Let’s go,” Addler said as he mounted the dragon and sat in the saddle. Rapopella extended his wings and quickly took to the air. Addler pulled on Nesra’s reins and the dragon began flapping his wings quickly, the dirt swirling underneath them and his air sacks filling up in his chest. He rose up and Addler snapped the reins. Nesra obeyed and began to follow the Dragos.

#

Borgious Yelfal’s castle was well protected by thick stone walls and a ring of well-armed soldiers. As Nesra lay quietly behind them, Addler and Rapopella peeked over the rocks that hid them from view. They could see that the number of soldiers they would have defeat to enter the castle was far more than they initially thought there would be. It may be best to decrease the number of opponents to increase their chances of entering the castle.

Addler held out his hand and Rapopella handed him the first crystal. He threw it at a group of soldiers, and a reddish light exploded from it as it hit the ground. Clothes turned to flesh, flesh turned to bone, and bone turned to dust. Before their companions realized what had happened, more crystals fell about them as Addler and Rapopella threw as fast as they could. Group by group the soldiers turned into piles of dust.

As the last group of soldiers died, three Majji ran out the castle gate to investigate the explosions. Before they could stop themselves, the last two crystals flew through the air and they winced as they realized their mistake. As one crystal hurled towards two of the Majji, the one who was an Orber quickly faded out, but the other Majji was unable to run away fast enough. The crystal landed and as the red light hit the Majji, she burst into a blinding roar of light and energy, dying in a spectacle of brilliance and thunder that shook the whole castle and, unfortunately, announced their presence to Yelfal. The third Majji quickly created an energy shield around him, which protected him from the last crystal’s deadly light. When the light faded, he stopped generating the shield and looked at the rocks from where the crystals came from. In an instant, he orbed away.

“Bad idea,” Addler said.

“It would now seem,” Rapopella agreed.

As they rose to escape, several buzzing sounds behind them stopped them in mid-stance, Nesra’s fearful roar and the sound of amour clanking indicating that someone had orbed in.

“Majji crystals, Knight Berrington?” a voice behind them said.

“Yelfal,” Rapopella said quietly.

Addler looked at the Dragos.

“Really?” he said with annoyed sarcasm. He watched Rapopella’s deep black eyes move around before the Dragos spoke in a whisper.

“I can kill him before anyone can kill me. You might escape.”

Gently placing his hand on the creature’s scaly arm, Addler shook his head.

“I can’t afford to lose you either, my friend.”

He felt his lance being taken away from him, thankful that the magick in it could not be used against him.

“Having a nice little chat, or did you forget I was here?”

They stood and turned to see Yelfal standing impatiently, an ogre of a man every bit as nasty in looks as he was in demeanor. Several Orbers and soldiers stood around him.

“Where’s my son?” Addler demanded.

“Safe for now, Berrington. Last we met, you were a simple Knight, a Free Lance. Now you are a King I hear! Marrying the Queen of Husanta does not a King make, boy!”

“I’m not a King.”

“But your Majesty-”

“See?” Yelfal chuckled, interrupting Rapopella. “Even your pet says you are a King.”

Rapopella spread his wings and bore his fangs in attack at being called a pet, but was quickly subdued by many swords now pointing only a hair’s width away from him.

“Amusing. Do you have it, King?”

Addler reluctantly handed over the bag. Yelfal looked in the bag and chuckled again. The Dragonstoen amulet, and all of its power, was now his.

“Now give me my son, as agreed,” Addler demanded.

“Take them,” Yelfal said to his soldiers, who surrounded and chained Nesra while others dragged Addler and Rapopella away.

“I paid you!” Addler screamed at the top of his lungs. “I gave you what you wanted. What about my son?”

“Oh, him.” Yelfal smiled broadly. “You did bring the Dragonstoen amulet, and I will give you your son back. But I did say not to try to rescue him or he would die. Didn’t I? I’m a person who keeps my word. So I will give you back your son very soon, however, he will be dead and you’ll be my prisoner forever!”

Addler screamed in the greatest anger and emptiness he had ever felt as they were dragged away by Yelfal’s men. An Orber looked at the amulet that Yelfal was holding in his hand.

“What do you intend to do with that?” he asked.

Yelfal cracked an evil grin as he looked at the Majji Orber.

“Bring down the Dragonstoen family and rule Husanta myself!”

“But the amulet has no power for you, Yelfal. It only works for a Dragonstoen.”

“That’s right. Queen Alnya will use the amulet to do exactly as I say.”

“How?”

“She’ll have no choice. I have her husband, her son, and her Protector. If she wants to see them alive, then she will do as I want. Orb out and try to find where she is being hidden. Deliver my message and bring her back here.”

“Yes, Yelfal.”

As the Majji orbed out and Yelfal preceded back into the castle, two men, who had taken great pains to remain hidden, looked at each other after hearing Yelfal’s plans.

“A few minutes too late. If we had only flown faster, we may have prevented the King’s capture.”

“Dragons can only fly so fast,” Berger said. “Besides, yours is not as young as some as the others.”

“I could have made him go faster,” Kaska replied. “You just happened to be the first one in his saddle. He’s used to me riding him, not you.”

“Used to that weight?” Berger said with a laugh.

“You’re not that light yourself.”

“Ah, Kaska, but you are the Lord of the Knights for Queen Alnya. You must be fit and trim! I’m just a lowly and retired former Lord of the Knights for her grandfather. I’m just an armorer now, so I am allowed to indulge in food and drink a little more than you.”

“Berger, I don’t think that-”

Kaska was interrupted by the sight of the sword that was bearing down upon Berger’s neck. In one swift motion, he thrust his own sword up into the stomach of one of Yelfal’s soldiers, the man’s body falling beside the surprised Berger.

“I think we talk too much, as well,” Berger said, pushing the body of the soldier off his leg. “Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it. Seems like we may have more company soon. We should try to get them out.” Kaska surveyed the number of soldiers Yelfal told to remain outside the castle. He counted fourteen. “Two against fourteen. Good and fair odds. Seven apiece.” Kaska looked around for a moment. “Up for some fun?”

“I always like fun,” Berger said with a smile.

They both crouched low and proceeded through the thick brush to the back of the castle. Once there, they moved forward slightly and Berger’s eyes suddenly stared into the sharp point of a sword. He looked up, and with dozens of soldiers poised with swords towards him and Kaska, let out a sigh. Kaska bumped into the back of him and tried pushing him forward but Berger remained in position.

“Berger, move your rear end, we have-” The boots of a soldier came into view to his left and he froze. “Berger?”

“Yes, Kaska?”

“Those are not your boots, are they?”

“No. These are not your swords, are they?”

“No. How many other people are here?”

“Over four dozen and more.”

“I think we have a problem.”

Just as Kaska spoke, five sets of strong arms grabbed him and Berger and pulled them up and along into the castle.

#

The large hall was filled with Yelfal’s soldiers, most of which were standing behind the five captured rescuers. Addler was gagged and restrained, trying to break the grip of the soldiers who held him. Nesra was tied to metal stakes in the floor, his wings and snout clamped shut, the dragon unable to do anything to protect his rider. Berger, Kaska, and Rapopella stood motionless, knowing that one move would mean the end of the life of Addler’s son, Prince Cedric Laramy Dragonstoen, now sitting in the lap of Yelfal who reposed in a chair, his back to his prisoners.

The air in front of Yelfal soon began to shimmer slightly, and a buzz filled the hall. The shimmer became more solid and within a moment, two renegade Majji Orbers loyal to Yelfal stood there with their arms around the shoulders of the child’s mother, Queen Alnya Dragonstoen. Yelfal stood and handed the Prince to a Majji and walked over to the Queen, looking her up and down, and then setting his gaze upon her eyes.

“Your Majesty. Welcome to my castle. I hope your trip was gentle on your stomach.”

Alnya looked past him to her child, who looked unharmed. She moved her eyes over to Nesra, who was flailing about, unable to break his bonds, and his low dragon guttural growl suppressed by the clamp on his snout. Berger and Kaska nodded their acknowledgment, and Rapopella locked sight with her, the Dragos’s mind still trying to fathom a way to rescue the Prince. She then looked at Addler, who was still trying to break away from the grip of the soldiers, he being even more agitated now that his wife was here. He could see the tears in her eyes and tried to scream, but the gag was too tight.

“Let them go!” she commanded to Yelfal.

“Let them go? Your Majesty, I can’t do that yet. We have to come to some sort of agreement.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out the amulet. “Now that I have this,” holding it up for her to see, “I want to rule Husanta.”

“That won’t work for you.”

“I know. I will need to persuade you to command it to work for me. So this might be the incentive you need. Bring me the Dragos!”

Several soldiers prodded Rapopella, and he waddled over to Yelfal.

“You will declare me the rightful ruler of Husanta now, or I will kill the Dragos.”

“I die in service,” Rapopella hissed. “Do not let him rule. I am not important.”

“I will not let you rule my Queendom,” she said after a long moment of silence, tearfully looking at the Dragos.

“One last warning, Dragonstoen, either you give me the power of amulet or the Dragos dies now.”

Alnya stood still, her emotions a tangle of thoughts and anger and fear.

“Kill the Dragos,” he commanded, and a soldier removed his sword and began to swing it. “Wait!” he shouted, and with the soldier lowering the sword, Yelfal took the Prince from the Majji. “Kill the child instead.”

“Wait!” she said softly and the tears flowed like rivers down her cheek.

“No, your Majesty!” Rapopella said, which was echoed by both Berger and Kaska. Addler was screaming through his gag.

“Kill the child,” Yelfal said again.

“No!” she screamed. “I’ll do what you want. You now rule Husanta. Please don’t kill my child,” she begged.

Berger, Kaska, and Rapopella all looked at the ground in defeat. Addler had fallen to his knees and was weeping.

“Let the Knights and the Dragos go,” Yelfal said, “But,” looking at her, “the King and his dragon will remain here to ensure your cooperation, your Majesty.”

She bowed her head and cried as the Prince was handed to her.

“Now your Majesty, command the amulet to work for me.”

She looked at the necklace as it sat in Yelfal’s hand and reluctantly placed her hand over it. She closed her eyes and the crystal started to glow, the amulet’s light growing brighter until it shone like the sun.

“You command it, now,” she said through her tears.

Yelfal slowly put it around his neck and he could instantly feel the power that the necklace had. He grasped the crystal in his hand and closed his eyes.

“I command the destruction of the Majji Order,” he said quietly. The crystal became warm and within a moment, every renegade Majji in the room burst into a bright light and were gone. “No, not my Majji!”

“The amulet only works as you tell it too,” Alnya sobbed.

Yelfal’s face, which had grown even uglier through his anger, slowly relaxed as he contemplated his next command.

“Give me all the power the Order of the Majji control!” he shouted.

A hot flash enveloped his body and he could feel the power build within him. But as the feeling intensified, it felt as if his blood was boiling.

“What’s happening? What is this?”

“You asked for all the power of the Majji,” Alnya replied, her crying having ceased and her face showing only the slightest of a smirk.

“But you did not specify which power you wanted,” a voice said within the shadows of the hallway as the form of the speaker slowly came into view. She-en, one of the Majji Council members and personal liaison to the royal family, stood there staring at Yelfal. “So you will receive the power that is best suited to you. You requested the destruction of the Majji Order, yet only your own exiled Majji were destroyed.”

“And now,” Alnya added, “the power you desire is not what you’re receiving. Your power is one of self-destruction. You don’t control the amulet, Yelfal. I do.”

Yelfal’s face began to show the pain and anguish his body was experiencing. The heat within his muscles and blood was increasing and he started to scream in agony. As his soldiers looked on, Kaska and Berger were in the unnoticed process of releasing Addler and Nesra from their bonds.

“And now,” Alnya stood directly in front of the man, looking up at him, “it’s not any of us who are going to die. Unfortunately,” she held the Prince tightly against her, “It’s you.” Yelfal was screaming now from the pain. “This amulet is a fake, crafted by the Majji just for you.”

“H-h-how...?”

Yelfal tried to talk but his tongue was on fire, literally, as the smoke bellowed out of his mouth. The skin on his arms smoked and began to turn black. As Alnya and She-en made distance from Yelfal, everyone in the room could smell the burning flesh and bone. With all of Yelfal’s soldiers transfixed on the burning man, some now trying to put out the flames, Berger and Kaska gathered Addler, his lance, and Nesra the dragon, while She-en and Rapopella quickly grabbed Alnya and the Prince, and they all made their way to the far end of the room.

“How could you know King would bring amulet?” Rapopella asked both She-en and Alnya.

“My husband is not only a great Knight, but is also a creature of predictability.”

Rapopella nodded as She-en grasped Nesra’s reigns and each of them put a hand on She-en’s body. As she concentrated as hard as she could to generate the magick needed to orb all of them back to the castle in Pillarry, Alnya closed her eyes and made one final command to the false amulet. The rest then saw, before they orbed out and their vision was obscured, Yelfal explode into a shower of flesh and bone that blanketed the room.

Each set of eyes saw the darkness quickly turn to light as they finished orbing into the castle ballroom. Addler ran to Alnya and comforted her, holding Prince Cedric tightly against them both. Nesra bobbed his head up and down in relief, the dragon’s gas sacks expelling a small amount of air that ignited as it passed over his teeth, the minerals on them setting the gas on fire. Kaska slapped Berger on the shoulder, nodded to Alnya, and excused himself from the room. Berger walked over to the royal threesome.

“You two cause more trouble for me and Kaska,” he motioned over to Rapopella and She-en, “and the Dragos and the Majji, than anyone people I have ever known.”

“Sorry,” Alnya said sincerely.

“And that’s not all. You, Addler, taking the amulet. What were you thinking?”

“I just wanted my son back.”

“And almost got everyone killed in the process!”

“I-” Addler began, but lowered his eyes in shame. “I’m sorry, Berger.”

“Sorry? For putting my life in jeopardy? For making Kaska and I come and rescue you? For listening to your wife who knows how you think and act and set up our plan to destroy Yelfal? Sorry, King Addler Berrington Dragonstoen?” Berger walked over and grasped Addler by the shoulders, startling him. Berger pointed his finger directly in Addler’s face. “Don’t you,” then pointing at Alnya, “or you, ever be sorry for anything you do. As Queen of Husanta and her husband the King, you will be the targets of people like Yelfal. And I as your friend, Rapopella and She-en as your protectors, and Kaska as Lord of the Knights, will always be there to faithfully rescue you. And besides,” he continued as he backed off and motioned them to follow him out of the ballroom, “the best part of saving your lives is always afterwards.”

While Addler’s Dragontend took Nesra to the stables, Berger brought them to the dining room and they fell in awe of the feast that awaited them. Kaska stood there, ale in hand held high in toast, and waved in indication that they be seated. The food was brought to them and as they ate, Berger stood to make a toast.

“To the Royal family of Dragonstoen. Pains in our behinds, rulers of the land, and the best friends one could have.”

“Thank you, all.” Addler said.

Alnya rose and raised her mug.

“To all of you, who are the best friends my husband and I could ever have.”

As they drank to her toast, a soldier burst into the dining room hall and approached the table.

“The outer skirts of Lickteen have just repelled an attack by a group of robbers who stated they are heading here to the castle to steal the amulet!”

“That means they’ll be here in about three hours,” Addler said.

“We should prepared the-” Alnya began as she stood up and Addler picked up Prince Cedric from her lap.

Kaska and Berger looked at each other, then over to the couple, then to Rapopella and She-en who looked extremely concerned. Berger motioned for them to sit down.

“Kaska and I will deal with the robbers. Eat now.”

Kaska smiled.

“Fight later,” he said. “Besides, you four can’t worry properly, and Berger and I can’t fight properly, on empty stomachs. Right?”

They silently agreed by returning to their food.

“And your majesty,” Berger said to Anya as he chewed a piece of meat, “this time, please hide the necklace from your husband.”

The table burst out in joyful laughter.

The End


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