Level 10 ~ Sheya cont’d

Infiltrating the volcanic forge had gone well enough. Sheya knew more than enough about smithing to find the airways necessary to keeps such a massive operation running. Thanks to Andrew’s amulet, the Oracle, and Vixie’s uncanny sense of smell they’d even managed to find and free several dwarves who had apparently been imprisoned by the dragon in order to make trinkets for her. Then came the last half hour…

With help from the dwarves, they’d been able to trap the dragon in the volcano with a series of controlled cave-ins. But fighting a cornered dragon had been even lower on Sheya’s list of things to do in her life than hunting demons. Her legs were sore from running, her lungs burned from the sweltering dry and dusty air, and she could barely feel her arms any more from striking a full grown dragon with Mere and Luna. Darting in from openings the dragon couldn’t fit through to strike and retreating again before it was too late, chasing the beast through labyrinthine tunnels beneath the mountain… Andrew was getting some good cuts in, amazingly, but Feanthar had needed to heal horrific burns on him already and the left side of his armor had been torn away by the dragon’s claws. They were all tired, Feanthar about ready to drop, except Andrew whose next skirmish would get him killed if the pattern continued.

Then she saw her next opening and rushed for it, she had to be sure the dragon saw her before Feanthar on every strike. The dragon roared and Sheya could see Vixie and Andrew moving in from their positions too—it was a relief at the beginning of these skirmishes that Feanthar was slow. Sheya felt the displacement in the air just in time to roll out of the way of the dragon’s whipping tail and out from under the falling rocks it struck loose from the wall. A surge of pain shot through Sheya’s arms as she laid into the dragon’s leg, hopefully hurting the dragon as much as herself. She felt the fluid running from the blisters in her palms scalded there when the dragon’s fiery breath had super-heated her weapons. She was just glad the insulation under her armor had spared her torso the same fate. Then with a shriek the dragon fell to a knee! Half an hour of hitting the same spot had done it! Sheya smiled grimly. They now had a cornered and wounded dragon on their hands, but the fight would end here one way or another. Andrew had incapacitated the other front leg. Now completely without armor on his torso, he was being healed by Feanthar.

As far as Sheya could tell, the dragon wasn’t as chatty as her father said dragons could be. Sheya had never seen or fought a dragon before herself. Her father had fought two. Of the two, her father indicated the red had been very arrogant and talkative. Of course if this she-dragon was saying anything in draconic Sheya wouldn’t be able to distinguish that from the roars. But Sheya had no idea why the dragon would be saying anything in a language no one else present knew. There had been a preliminary exchange of taunts, so the dragon did speak the Common tongue. Again Sheya dodged as the dragon continued to thrash about, and again Andrew took the shot in order to immediately counter-attack. Sheya hoped Feanthar didn’t run out of miracles before this was over. Back home, Kel was a miracle worker and Sheya knew it was an emotionally and spiritually taxing experience to call up miracles. Feanthar had done enough in this last half-hour to put Kel out cold for nearly a week recovering.

“Lights out, bitch!” Sheya noticed Vixie had gotten up on the dragon’s back, and was running up the beast’s serpentine neck to reach the head. Vixie’s claws had broken on the dragon’s scales in the first skirmish, and Sheya wasn’t really sure what she’d been doing since then. This time she saw, as Vixie plunged her arms all the way through the dragon’s eyes.

Roaring, the dragon shook Vixie off, and Vixie flipped through the air to land gracefully amongst the others.

“Heaven,” Feanthar’s prayer began at the same time the dragon took a last furious breath, “Grant us a miracle, save us from the fire!”

The last moments went so quickly they felt slow in Sheya’s mind. Andrew rushed in to take advantage of the dragon’s blindness. The dragon unleashed a massive and bloody blast of flames even as Feanthar surrounded them with a cool sensation. Sheya leapt between the dragon and Feanthar and felt an odd mixture of searing pain and soothing cool as Feanthar’s miracle battled the dragon’s breath on her body while she shielded him with hers. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Vixie’s foot catch in a hole, leaving her unable to extricate herself from the inferno.

When Sheya came to that evening they were the heroes of the Goldstone Clan. Dragon slayers. Honored dignitaries. And they were promised the best of dwarven craft to help them on their way. She’d saved Feanthar from any of the fire his miracle didn’t stop, though he apparently fainted after Andrew killed the dragon. They took another day to rest even after Feanthar woke up the next afternoon.

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