Straag Rod: Book 1, Part 2, Chapter VII: Pride & Humiliation

  • Äelberon and Kodlak were the last to join the gathered warriors, and all looked to the Altmer. Aye, he was expected to say something again and Kodlak watched the Mer adjust the position of the great bow slung over his back, ready to string in seconds. The Eagle.


    His eyes caught the morning sun as he gazed upwards at the circling dragon. Whitemane narrowed his own, he had never seen eyes like that before. Never in all of his days. Except in his dream. The silver-white of his eyebrows and lashes and the permanent dark circles under them made them standout, and now the sun cast them with flecks of gold. As if they themselves embodied the flames of the dragon’s thu’um.


    “The eyes are the windows to your soul, Snow Bear.” Kodlak muttered under his breath.  


    The soul of a dragon bound by the shell of mortality. The Ancient Nordic legend in the flesh, and Whitemane could see the heat of battle rising in Snow Bear, his jaw muscles tightening under the thick silver beard. There was no room for fear now and Kodlak could see the Elf project his knightly demeanor upon his face, leaving behind his insecurities. It was time for the Thane to lead, to rally troops into battle.


    “Warriors of Whiterun! Companions!” Äelberon began with a now mischievous smile and a sidelong glance towards the beast in the sky. “Seems dragons are slow to learn! The last one that came by our fair city, died. You would THINK that they would learn to avoid Whiterun Guards by now!” He flashed a grin at the Companions, “So now we will bring in the Companions! And if Dragons continue to come back after seeing their ugly faces, then well, they are just not that bright, are they?” They laughed, and Äelberon walked up to Skjor and squeezed the Veteran’s cheeks playfully with both bear paws, shaking the Nord’s head, “Now, who would not run after looking at this pretty face?” He cooed like an old matron fawning over a baby boy.


    The guards erupted in a roar of laughter that was as loud as the dragon’s. Skjor further fueled the fire of humor by giving the Elf an air kiss and batting his eyelashes. “Pot’s calling the kettle black, ya Old Mary princess!” Shot back the Veteran, squeezing the Elf’s cheek in kind, and they all laughed again.  


    The Mer rubbed his cheek before motioning with his hands for the guards to settle down. “Alright, alright. The time for jokes is over. This is the plan.” All eyes were on him now and the Mer nodded, as if agreeing with an idea in his head. “Dragons are prideful, arrogant. We have killed one already and its soul is now a part of me. It is the one thing they fear, I think, the permanence of being slain. Dragons do not have Sovngarde when they die.” The tone was very serious now and Kodlak could feel the eerie silence as the guards processed Snow Bear’s words. “I think this dragon is after me.” The Mer’s features then suddenly brightened and he smiled. “So today, you will see how fast an old Mer can run.”


    “Run?” Captain Caius raised an eyebrow.


    “He is going to be the beast’s bait.” Kodlak explained. “That right, Snow Bear?”


    “Aye.” The Mer nodded. “That is right.”


    “But I am Dunmer.” The Morag-Tong volunteered; a bit too enthusiastically for Kodlak’s comfort. We are Nords, Morag-Tong, and relish a fine battle, but we’re not stupid. “I would be a better dec—“  


    Äelberon shook his head. “No, Jenassa. It will not come to you and I need you shooting, not running. I need you where the dragon cannot keep its eyes on you. Aye, Harbinger. We need to get it away from the city. The longer I remain here, the more of a chance it has to focus its attention on the gentlefolk. I will call the dragon, challenge it. And then I will run. You will divide into two groups, traveling parallel to me.”


    “Thought you were the only one running.” Farkas quipped.


    “Just keep up, lad, and work off all the mead you drank this morning.” The Elf shot back. Laughter, but underneath it was an undercurrent of tension. It was a dangerous plan. A plan that could go wrong on so many levels. The Elf turned to gaze at the city, his eyes studying it. He released a sigh and faced them again.  “As I was saying, two teams, moving parallel to me. One north, under the city walls towards the Battle-Born farm and one South, over the fields and to the cliffs on the eastern bank of White River. Both areas offer plenty of cover. Utilize it. When the dragon turns above your heads, take advantage of the adjustments it has to make in its flight pattern and give it what you have. I trust your skill. You are Nords of Skyrim, great masters of war. Remember one thing when you battle this beast. You won a war against them. You, not me, you.  I trust what you can do to keep yourselves alive and bring this bastard down. I trust you to defend this city, to defend our families and friends. And I will do the same, with every fiber of my being. For you, for Whiterun.”


    Kodlak knew deep in his heart that there wasn’t a Nord who heard that speech this day who wouldn’t remember those words for the rest of their lives. He trusted them. And to hear it from a “Witch-Elf”?  Spoken with a sincerity that made the men grasp their weapons, their great pride clear. Where are you really from, Snow Bear? Who are you? Who are you that you can rally the hearts of men like this?


    Äelberon’s eyes blazed and he grabbed his bow, holding it in the air as he shook it. The warriors assembled followed suit, shaking their weapons in the air.  “But this time, men!” He yelled at the top of his lungs, “We send NO MORE to Sovngarde!” He turned his head to the sky and snarled, “You hear that, BEAST?  NO MORE!” The Altmer’s face flushed with the dragonblood, and Kodlak felt the same heat he felt when Snow Bear returned to Jorrvaskr from both the Watchtower and Lost Tongue. Like something hidden deep inside him was trying to claw its way to the surface. Confused, angry, and sad all at the same time.



    Sometimes it felt like he was another person, another being when it came to the dragons and Äelberon felt something deep and primal well inside him. Something grasping desperately for a way out, churning to the surface, burning through his heart and soul. It was time to challenge the Dragon. Tiid wah jur Dovah!


    “FUS… RO!”


    Uncontrolled, the thu’um emerged from his mouth, its forceful pulse traveling into the sky.  The dragon turned its head in the direction of the sound as it flew. Huge, like the one from the Western Watchtower, scales glistening in the sun, and Äelberon saw the jaws drop from the guards before he noticed that his own mouth was open too. Species two from his notes. He would have to update the dossier to include the one from Lost Tongue. Species three, though he was more inclined to simply call it a Frost Dragon.  Aye, species two, he confirmed in his mind, the orange, black, and brown to the scales betrayed it. Gods, what a stunning creature, he let out a gasp, ignoring the sting of smoke in his lungs, how his nose ran from the persistent irritation.  They were beautiful, awe-inspiring, and terrifying all at once. Intelligent, from a time when all things enjoyed a closeness to the gods.  Äelberon blinked suddenly and closed his mouth, attempting to lick his lips to moisten them.  Bloody angaids of snot, sweat, and tears were coming from his body, but no spit, his mouth and throat as dry as the Alik’r. The beast’s wings grew louder. Oh, it is definitely coming.


    “It´s coming!” shouted one of the Whiterun guards from the tower above Äelberon´s head, making him whip his head in her direction. A young lass from the sound of the voice. When he squinted through the smoke, he made out her helmeted head, the long wavy copper hair escaping its confines.  She leaned precariously over the tower just as he used to lean over Crystal-Like-Law, one muscular arm holding her securely, the other with spear in hand.  The Shield-Maidens of the Nords. Like Lydia, Äelberon imagined. Like Kaan, Shor’s warrior-widow; beautiful and fierce, like the land. Like Keizaal.  His eyes fell upon the tower that now served as his Sister-Hawk’s perch. Aye, Sister-Hawk to his Brother-Eagle, he thought with a smile of great admiration. The smile quickly left his face. The tower was in terrible disrepair and he briefly studied the ones that punctuated the walls of the city at certain locations. Ballistas, ballistas would be good here, along the walls. And a bell system? A warning system, yes. Hmm, something he would discuss with the Jarl when this was over. Other cities would benefit—stop thinking about this and focus. Gods, he hated being an Altmer sometimes. Äelberon’s eyes took stock of his surroundings, noting the positions of the men and women standing on the walls of Whiterun´s outer gate as well as those taking cover by the rocks in front of him. The stables were to his left and he shook his head. You need to start running, old Mer. Get into a more open area.  


    He looked over the men once again and raised his voice, feeling the muscles of his legs bunch and tense the way they normally do when he is ready to run: “It needs to fly low to strike on us! When it does, we feed it some good Nordic steel, eh?”


    “Like a cock to a bitch’s mouth!” One of the guards hollered in response, making the Elf release a guffaw.   Äelberon admired their sheer nerve over their laughter and cries of encouragement. Ah, Nords. And Bloody Oblivion, the women’s laughter was just as loud as the men’s.


    He trotted a few steps forward, knowing that his armor was reflecting the sunlight, bright and easy to see. It was not quite a run yet, but he wanted to be sure as he nocked an arrow, his eyes watching the horizon. The mighty wings that carried an even mightier body were slowly approaching and he felt a drop of sweat trickle down his forehead, into his brow. He sniffed to clear his nose. Aye, you are nervous. So much at stake, so much to defend. “Get ready!” he yelled hoarsely, raising his bow.


    The dragon dove swift and hard, its wake almost like a hurricane, its maw opening to release its thu’um and Äelberon released his arrow in response. “Now!” he cried and the archers stationed along the walls showered the dragon with a volley of arrows.  




    The beast’s response to their challenge. Accompanied by a gust of flame that rendered their arrows  dust.  Its fire breath then continued as the dragon flew towards the walls.  Äelberon saw the guards jump down, quickly taking cover like mice scattering when caught in the grain stores, before the fire could reach them.  It was then that the men behind the rocks emerged from their hiding places. The dragon grunted and Äelberon saw the massive body start, betraying its surprise. Mighty Nord arms hurled their spears at the dragon as it barreled past. Few hit their mark. Even fewer spears actually pierced the flesh between the beast’s orange scales. But the attack was strong enough to throw the dragon off balance. It roared in pain, and it could not adjust its fight in time so its belly scraped against the watch tower and the city walls as it rose to the air again, shaving off several dragon scales.  Äelberon nodded, now there was exposed flesh. It was an additional place to strike.


    The tower was already burning, the growls of men were heard through the now strange silence of the land. No birds, no insects, no life dared venture forth, save the dragon and them. Äelberon checked the troops and his Shield-Siblings. No one was mortally wounded. Some burns yes, and they were certainly pissed off, but it would take more than dragon fire to intimidate these Nords. He looked at the burning watchtower and screamed. “Did she make it out?”


    “Aye, I made it out. Fucking nearly burned my arse off though! Shor’s Bones! Was like an oven in there!”


    Äelberon let out a sigh of relief. Cursing was a good sign with Nords. Lass was definitely fine.


    “Eh, you could stand to lose a few inches off that arse of yours, Helga!” Barked another guard. “No wonder you are named after Grey-mane’s cow!”


    “How ‘bout I shove my spear up your arse, Bjorn?” Äelberon heard her challenge amid the guards’ laughter. “We know it’s what you like anyway.”


    “Settle down, men.” Ordered Captain Caius.


    Äelberon would owe her drinks too. Drinks for everyone! He chuckled to himself; that would leave him with little money for anything else the way these Northern people guzzle their drink—focus, old Mer. He heard the beating of the wings, and he was quietly praying that the dragon would not envelop the city in its fire. But the dragon is not here for them, it comes for me.  He almost laughed at the image of Alduin sitting on his scaly black arse, performing the black sacrament, but it was essentially what this dragon was attempting to do. End him. At Alduin’s request, Äelberon was certain. No different from the Thalmor in many ways. The dragon;s beating wings became louder and Äelberon frowned. Beating...louder...but, from where? Xarxes’ arse!


    “Take cover!” He bellowed. “He´s coming from over the city! I need to start mov—“




    The thu’um was so powerful, it swallowed his own voice. He could not even hear himself finish his words, only felt his mouth move. Air hissed under the dragon’s stream of fire, which swept over the gate from inside the city like a tidal wave. The fire was followed immediately by the dragon.  The men were preparing to shoot more arrows and throw spears. Äelberon could see the scars on its belly and that is where he aimed his arrow. I got you now, he narrowed his eyes.




    Visions of the Guardian of Bleak Falls Barrow flashed before his eyes and Okriim flew roughly from his grasp onto the ground quite a distance away. The air was thick with confusion and Nordic curses. Honthjolf also lost his weapon, as did Skjor. The dragon then quickly circled and came back for another pass. How many no longer had their weapons?


    “TAKE COVER!” Cried Äelberon, feeling like a bug under a man’s thumb. Molten flames engulfed the area. But no burning bodies or screams, the men were getting smarter and the dragon roared in rage when its efforts yielded nothing. But Scamp’s Blood, the dragon was not letting him implement his plan!  It was Aela who then appeared, the hunt heavy in her snarling face and for a moment, Äelberon’s heart leapt to his throat at the power of Hircine’s pull over her, worried that she would change.  She drew her bow and he hated himself when she nodded at him, hated that he doubted her restraint. The Huntress shot her weapon several times while Äelberon scrambled like a chicken with its head cut off to find his in the rubble.  Her shots were true and he marveled at her skill, for this dragon moved quickly, lacking the injured wing of the Western Watchtower beast.  The frost arrows were not as effective as his arrows of storm, but the dragon was definitely feeling her skill.  I will make you that bow, Sister—He suddenly collided hard into Skjor, sending them both to the ground flat on their arses. Äelberon winced at the pinch of the chainmail against his skin. Skjor crawled to the Altmer, coughing in the heavy smoke.


    “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Hircine’s antlers! What the fucking Oblivion was that? My weapon flew right out of my hand! That never happens. You see that damn crossbow?” The Nord gasped. “And why aren’t you running yet?”


    “Hold on, hold on. Was about to run. Cannot find my own weapon in this mess either. Cannot run if I cannot find my weapon. Damn dragon.” He grumbled, trying to push himself up. Blasted plate was very heavy today. He heard Skjor’s robust laughter at his attempts to get up and for a moment the Nord reminded Äelberon of a crusty Imperial he knew. He would have ask Skjor how he knew Dec.


    “Ha! He disarmed you too! I need to learn that shout for our spars...”


    “Shutup! Shutup!” The Elf snapped, though both men were chuckling at their situation. They looked like a bunch of younglings scrounging for loose change.


    “Dragons are fuckers, aren’t they?” Skjor growled while he looked. “I can’t find that crossbow anywhere.”


    “You have no idea.”  Äelberon coughed, finally getting to his feet. “You see my Eagle?”


    “Nope.” The Nord smirked saucily. “Must have flown away.”


    “Damn it, Skjor I am trying to be serious!” Growled the Elf, though his shoulders were shaking from suppressed chuckles. “Now, where is the bloody thing? Damn, gold, it is damn gold, and I cannot find it in this mess!”


    Skjor slapped Äelberon’s shoulder and winked his one eye. “Don’t worry, Princess.  I’ll keep my eye out for yours. You keep your eyes out for mine.” He grinned, before swooshing his head to make his grey ponytail sway, “And don’t singe that pretty silver hair of yours. Wouldn’t want to disappoint all your admirers.”


    “Auri-El’s bow!” The Elf groaned. “Just get out of here.” He chuckled, shoving Skjor away.  Äelberon then stooped to pick up a bow. It was Honthjolf’s. He scanned the area quickly, his eyes fighting through the heavy smoke.  Where was the boy?


    “Honthjolf!” He croaked. “Aela!”


    “Here!” The young Nord began to crouch towards Äelberon, quickly followed by the Huntress. And Äelberon smiled when he saw what she was holding. There he was.


    “You dropped this,” She said, handing him Okriim. “What was that?” She continued, her brow furrowed, “Skjor’s weapon flew out of his hand and he never drops a weapon.”


    “A nasty, cheating shout, I will explain later. Keep a look out for Niniik in this mess.” Aye, the outskirts of the city were a mess. He looked up, it was circling for another pass. Another hit with flames and the Whiterun outskirts would be destroyed and the fire would then pass the wall. Into the city... He needed to get the beast away from the city, and the beast was not cooperating. “Come with me…”  The two crouched, ready to follow.


    “Morgen!” Honthjolf suddenly called out, his eyes going wide. Äelberon’s head snapped towards where the young Nord was pointing and he spied Vilkas helping a wounded guard. She was bleeding. Dammit. Äelberon stood and beckoned to Vilkas with his hand.


    “Quick! Quick! Bring her to me!” Vilkas dragged the young woman to Äelberon and propped her against a wall. Where the Oblivion were they anyway? Äelberon looked up and saw the familiar back door with the carving of a ram’s head. They were right behind the Rams Head Tavern now, huddled against the wall, dodging the flames. All were streaked with soot, sweat, and dust from the rocks. Vilkas was holding both his and the guard’s spear and he had lost a pauldron. The boy’s eyes were tired, the cockiness that came with mead long gone, and Äelberon could see that Vilkas was no longer thinking about glory, but about survival.  Like the rest of them were.  He refocused his attention on the guard, rushing to kneel by her side, ignoring the bite of his boots against his skin. She was coughing violently, her Skyrim blue eyes wide with terror. Upon inspection, he saw a small gash to her side was staining her cuirass with blood, her sweat making the blood spread more readily through the reinforced cloth, making it look worse, but the wound was superficial. It was the breathing, however, that bothered Äelberon.


    “Morgen! Help her, please!” Honthjolf cried. The boy was alarmed. Morgen, Morgen… Äelberon knew that name from somewhere, his brow lowering in thought as he tried to clear the lass’ airways. She gagged, and he cursed under his breath that he had to be so rough. He practically tore the child’s helm from her head, revealing the face behind the helmet. The soot from the dragon leaving black stains around her eyes and mouth, a contrast against the warmth of her skin tone.  Like a warrior version of Hroki from Markarth.  Xarxes’ arse, this was THE Morgen!  Honthjolf was sweet on her. It was after he had returned from Lost Tongue.  He had eaten his dinner and then snuck to the Bannered Mare, unable to sleep.  He helped Jon with his poetry and both listened to Honthjolf shyly confess his feelings for the lass over few bottles of mead.  You did everything possible to distract yourself from your failure with the dragon, save drink and have sex, and it did not work, so you listened to other people talk about sex while they drank.   


    “Do not fret, lad. I got her.” Äelberon replied.


    “Easy, Honthjolf, it’ll be alright.” Vilkas reassured.


    “Where’s Farkas?” Aela asked Vilkas between heavy breaths.


    Äelberon continued working while they spoke. It was the same problem Honthjolf had at the Watchtower.  The smoke, it coated the lungs and you couldn’t breathe.


    “He’s alright, back with the old Man.” Vilkas mumbled. “I didn’t expect…” The warrior started, wiping soot from his face, smearing his war paint in the process. “It’s so, so strong. Our spears barely pierce the hide… how did they win…” Vilkas didn’t finish his question, only shook his head.

    “They managed it.” Äelberon said softly as he began to channel magicks. Aye, this is no bandit den, lad. Morgen coughed again, her eyes going to the back of her head as the color drained from her face. She was going limp from the lack of air.


    “No.” Honjolf croaked, making a move towards the girl, only to be pushed back by Aela.


    “Let him work, Honthjolf.” Aela comforted. “He’ll bring her out.”


    Golden magicks surged from Äelberon’s hands, coating the child’s throat and chest in its soothing balm of liquid numbness. One hand at her throat, the other at her chest, pressing, seeing inside the body, cleansing it of the impurities of the dragon’s fire. He was rewarded for his efforts when the girl’s chest suddenly heaved hard and her eyes flung open. Morgen took a deep breath and he saw Honthjolf relax out of the corner of his eye.


    “That is it, child, your lungs are clean now, breathe deep.” He dropped his hand and turned to the other three, while Morgen recovered. “The beast aims to burn down the city. We cannot let that happen. I need to finally move my fat arse. Cover me while I run like a mad Mer away from the city. Go now, with purpose.” He turned to the young woman. “Can you still fight?”


    She nodded, extending her hand toward Vilkas. “My spear, Companion.” She replied, her blue eyes full of spirit.


    Vilkas handed her the weapon as if he now understood something. As if seeing her resilience fed his own. “Here you are.” He turned to Äelberon. “We fight this thing. We crush it, Shield-Brother, like the heroes of old.”


    “That is the plan.” Äelberon nodded, before returning his gaze to the Nord woman leaning against the tavern wall. “Morgen, is it?”  


    “Aye, Morgen. Wait. How do you know my name?” She seemed surprised, at first, and then her face changed and she glared hard at Honthjolf, making the lad clear his throat and face the other direction, turning bright red under his helm. Aela and Vilkas snickered at the guard’s embarrassment. “You’ll hear it from me later, you chicken shit!” She hissed, her face going just as red.


    “Morgen, if you give that very glare to the dragon you just gave to poor Honthjolf here, we will cut this battle far short.” Äelberon smirked, resting his hand over her other one.   So this is Honthjolf’s pot o’ honey, Äelberon thought. Good choice, lad, good choice, lots of fire in that one. “Hope she remembers ‘tis your birthday, son.” Äelberon smiled lewdly at the lad and he saw the lips grin. He gave her hand a squeeze. “Time to stand up, Morgen Spear-maiden.”


    Honthjolf made towards a standing Morgen only to receive another glare. “Can stand on my own, you bastard.” She then showed her true Nord grit and punched Honthjolf in the gut. “You treat me like an invalid again, you’ll spend the night at the stables.” She warned, snatching her helmet from the gasping Nord.


    “What does Uthgerd say about Nord women, Honthjolf?” Äelberon asked.


    Honthjolf exploded in laughter, understanding the joke completely as he rubbed his gut.  The Elf then quickly got up and walked with purpose to a few other guards and Skjor. “Finally found Niniik, eh?” Äelberon pointed to the Nord, “If you break her, you will prefer the dragon.”


    Skjor laughed and patted the crossbow. “Then I better guard her with my life.”


    Äelberon turned to them and gestured back towards Aela. “I need to move. The dragon will come back and Auri-El only knows if the bastard will shout like that again. That wasted time. Whiterun does not have time.” He scanned the sky. Aye, it was readying for another pass. It was time to challenge it again. “Skjor, signal to Captain Caius and Kodlak that we move now. I am losing my patience with this beast.”


    “Let’s do this.” Skjor nodded, loading Niniik with a bolt.


    Äelberon then turned to the sky again, a hard glint in his red-orange eyes. 


    “FUS… RO!”


    The thu’um exploded from his mouth, wild and untamed, echoing through the tundra and Äelberon felt the emotions rush through him. Come for me dragon. I challenge you, I… I...


    I really do not know what I am doing..


    As if pulled by some primitive force, the dragon again turned to head in Äelberon’s direction.  It began its slow decent and Äelberon could have sworn that the dragon was attempting to make him feel nervous, make him regret his decisions. This beast was relatively quiet. The Watchtower beast and the one at Lost Tongue spoke much more, but this one was quiet save the shouting, which was more practiced than the other two.  “That’s it beast, you want me, you will have to catch me!” Äelberon suddenly taunted, shaking his bow at the flying dragon, watching the Nords out of the corner of his eye cheer at his arrogance, at his defiance and show of courage.  


    “But is it really the right time?” he murmured to himself, looking around after his outburst. They were getting ready to move, their eyes on him, and he felt the responsibility heavily at that moment, like a suffocating wave. Oppressive. He had never led like this before. So many now depended on him to make the right decisions. At Crystal-Like-Law, he followed the orders of others and any other time, he was alone or only with a small group, their goals similar. Do not think, do not let the self-doubt creep in, just do. We need to get it out of the city. Move your legs and go. “No point in waiting,” he muttered under his breath, seeing Skjor signal to the others. The wings sounded much closer and Äelberon began his sprint along the stables. Then to the crossroads and taking a fast turn left, he bolted alongside the stream.


    He ran, his breath steady, his armor rhythmically clanging, his legs pumping easily, conserving his strength for the moment when he would need to quicken his pace. He dared to glance back just for a second, seeing the men jumping over the stream pouring from Whiterun´s walls, hidden in the shadows of the city’s stone barrier while the other group followed him to the crossroads and then dispersed over the dense fields of Pelagia farm.


    The beating of wings became much louder and the looming shadow of a dragon flew over the outer walls immediately followed by the dragon itself. “Over here, ya over-grown chicken!”  Äelberon yelled, waving his arms, drawing the dragon´s attention to him while he continued to run. The dragon passed the guards under the walls and arrows flew into the air. Explosions of ice and shock tugged at the dragon’s body and it roared in anger, but it continued towards its primary target. Äelberon let his legs move faster.


    Glancing back, he noticed that it was descending. Lower, much lower and he could smell the potent mix of sulfur, the dried blood of many beasts on its scales, and the almost bird-like smell. Like chicken feet, or hawk’s feet. Did they really smell the same? He wondered on that, trying to remember the exact smells. Where did he smell chicken feet? It smelled like bird feet at any rate. Feet... His eyes widened like septims. FEET! Talons! The dragon´s plan. Go down, go down now, he willed his body, stop running. His feet abruptly halted, his momentum making his boots dig into the soil.  He fell, landing hard on his right hip when he slid over the ground, feeling the chainmail dig into his skin through his clothes. The dragon’s claws snapped shut only inches from his body.


    “Ruth!” Cursed the beast before it was forced to pull up.  Äelberon got up quickly with a growl at his own stupidity, still not quite thinking about what he was doing, and ignoring the fact that his hip was screaming ‘Xarxes’ arse’. His hands took over, and he saw an arrow fly from his bow. It struck the dragon on the right leg, close to its own hip. “Aye, you bastard! Waan dii reym ahraan ful fen hin!”  He shouted, beginning to sprint again.


    It roared at his outburst, flying over the fields of Pelagia farm, gaining power to slowly turn around when the archers rose from the cover of the farm’s low walls. More explosions erupted on the dragon´s body. It roared in anger and another stream of fire escaped its maw, burning the fields with the men taking cover behind the low walls again. There were a few screams of pain—dammit—followed by several more curses, and then more arrows.  


    Äelberon watched all of that while running, with several glances back over his shoulder. He always scanned the road ahead though. When you run, you watch the road, watch your path. You do not want to trip over, eh?   The Honingbrew meadery was only a few steps away when the dragon caught up with him again, following him. 




    Xarxes’ arse!


    A potent fire breath was unleashed right at his heels.  Äelberon felt the heat, the ash rising from the burned ground, the stones cracking from the pressure of the sudden temperature change and he could even swear that his hair would have caught on fire from the swelter if he was not wearing his hood. It seemed to want to burn through the thin leather and he felt his body sweat steam under his armor. You are not going to beat this fire, old Mer.  Äelberon turned slightly to the side and opened his mouth.




    The world became a blur as the shout propelled him to the right of the road, turning him into a streak of motion. He felt his foot strike a rock in his path, though, feeling a shooting pain in his little toe. There was no way to stop and he found himself rolling quickly on the ground, arrows spilling from his quiver, the hilt of his sword poking his ribs hard. Somewhere along the way, his forehead hit another rock, finally stopping his rolling.  Hot blood now trickled around his eye, over his temple and down his cheek. It was the kind of intense, smarting pain that caused a flood of curses to escape his lips. “GAH!” He cried, holding his head while he kicked at the ground in frustration. “Quelne! Quelne! Quelne! Oghma’s tits! Gods! You stupid, stupid, old fool!”  He righted himself and then felt a wave of dizziness, his vision temporarily dimming. He shook it off and started to quickly grab at the arrows scattered around him, hating his thu’um more than ever. Angrily, Äelberon stuffed them back into his quiver, the red heat of embarrassment eclipsing the hot blood that still flowed down his face.  Did they see him fall?  They must have. His still-blurry eyes were doing the best they could to follow the dragon’s movements.


    It was making another turn in front of the city´s walls, with more arrows hitting it and even one or two spells. Kodlak with Hasedoki. He got back on his feet, realizing he would not be able to pick all the arrows in time and darted towards the meadery, struggling with his balance. But once he gained momentum, it was all about moving forward, letting the pounding in his head push him forward. He ran past the meadery, his right hand motioning towards the cliff on the other side of the river—a reminder for the troops taking cover on the fields and behind meadery to take the higher ground. The last stand is going to take place near the river. It should be far enough from the city. Hopefully…


    The dragon was now heading back towards him and he was nearly at the bridge, which would bring him to Whiterun´s eastern outskirts and Äelberon fought the urge to shake his head. How much longer will you be able to play this game, Old Mer? You cannot avoid him forever.




    The dragon answered his question, its fire breath showering upon the bridge right in front of him. The path of the flames continued toward him and Äelberon, in the last second, changed his direction, vaulting down into the ditch under the bridge, sliding through the dirt into the shallow water. He did not even stop to consider how cold the water that almost reached his thighs was. He kept moving, his boots pushing through the mud at the bottom, and he sucked in his breath when his foot fell deeper into the mud and the water now reached his waist. It was quite a shock when the cold water tickled his…”Gods! Not now, you idiot!” he growled, continuing to push himself up the slope. It is not like you use it anyway, she saw to that, he thought grimly.


    When he reached the top of the slope, he saw half the guards along with Kodlak and his other Shield-Siblings taking positions at the walls near Chillfurrow farm to his left and the other half of the guards taking positions on the cliffs on the other side of the White River with Captain Caius. He glanced over his shoulder at the dragon making another turn near the hills behind Honingbrew Meadery and he weighed the bow in his hand. You need this shot.  He licked his lips, grateful for at least a tiny bit of spit, feeling the slight breeze blowing from the east, the sun hovering above Whiterun to the North West and then he nodded. You have made harder shots in much worse conditions, old Mer. You may not have control over your thu’um, but—his grasp on the bow tightened and he blinked slowly—by Auri-El, you have control over your bow. Their lives are at stake…


    The dragon was closing in and Äelberon raised his bow, nocking an arrow. He watched the dragon fly, doing the calculations in his head as he felt the breeze. He took a deep breath, feeling his sore muscles tighten at his draw.  When he released the air from his lungs, he also released the arrow. It buzzed through the air, until it became very difficult to see.


    The dragon´s head suddenly snapped to the side as if it was struck by Trinimac’s fist mid-flight. The beast now tilted to the right, roaring in pain and rage.  Äelberon watched it thrashing in the air like the dragon was trying to chase an errant fly away from its right eye. The old Mer then smiled darkly. Aye, this fly has a mighty sting. He had made the shot. The dragon completely lost control over its flight and came crashing from the sky, ploughing through the land near the river.  He could hear the cheers from the right, from the river. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw spears raised to the air, shaking robustly.


    Äelberon released a sigh, trying to relax his pounding heart, just glad that the chase was over, but he knew there was work ahead of him. Bloody work. He began to carefully pick his path towards the dragon. If he could get another shot like that in. Take out the left eye. It would be easier for all. You got another shot like that in you today, old Mer?


    “Aye, I do.” He said softly, beginning to remove another arrow from his quiver. Shouts from the left stayed his hand, however, and he turned towards Battle-Born farm. He shook his head and his eyes widened, his mouth saying ‘no’. They, his Shield-Siblings, were now running towards the dragon, weapons drawn.


    “Xarxes´ arse!” He cursed aloud, waving his hands to get their attention. “No! Wait! Not yet!”


    But they ignored him and then the Companions were followed by a few guards, all armed with spears, greatswords, and battleaxes. Big weapons that needed one to be up close. Were they insane?  He would have stayed a distance away, weaken the beast further with his bow.  He heard Skjor shouting at them and he increased his pace, hating his stiffening leg muscles. He could make out the  Veteran’s words as he neared.


    “...take out the wings! We can´t let it take off again!” the Veteran shouted. “Circle it, stay away from the head and its breath. The tail, wings and legs are your targets!”


    No, no, no. This is not your fight, Shield-Brother. It is mine, my burden. I can lose no more.  


    A volley from the cliffs went high in the sky and then rained down upon the dragon.  Explosions of frost and shock shook its body as it tried to regain its balance.  Äelberon was running at full speed now. He knew the little toe was broken, the hip bruised, but he did not care. He ran, seeing the visions of his dream, seeing his Shield-Siblings die. He nocked an arrow and released it within seconds, the frost explosion puncturing holes in the dragon´s left wing.


    He was too late, his Shield-Siblings had reached their target. And the beast knew, its one healthy eye turning to face them.  It opened its mouth and Äelberon could see the beginnings of the fire.


    “No! No!” Äelberon cried and another arrow was in the air before he even had the chance to think about it. The arrow struck the side of the dragon’s head, lightning crackling, burning into the scales on the left side of its face. Almost at the eye, almost. At the same time, Skjor with a wolf’s snarl, hurled a spear that plunged under the dragon’s maw, into the neck, and it roared in pain.  What strength the Nord had!


    “Spread out, men!” Skjor shouted and they all quickly circled the dragon.


    “The wings!” Aela cried from a farther position.


    “Take them out!” Kodlak barked.


    The Nords began to put their weapons to use and Äelberon hated that he was so far away still. With a gasp, he continued running, but his sides were beginning to hurt.  He saw the action unfold before him, the sounds of his ragged breathing now interspersed with the gasped recitation of his tenets. His prayers that they would not die. That he would reach them in time.  The spirit of Hasedoki was at least with them, casting his magicks while Kodlak hacked at the left wing with Vilkas, tearing the leathery membrane to shreads with their weapons, like hungry wolves at a carcass. At least the old Man used the staff and Äelberon somehow willed himself faster. The Whiterun guards were using the length of their spears to stab at the dragon’s legs. The dragon then turned left, trying to bend its head towards its assailants. He was too slow, too far still. A stream of fire escaped the dragon’s maw and Äelberon could only manage a strangled cry.  The fire, however, missed the old Man’s back. Vilkas and Kodlak then jumped forward, directly under the beast’s wing, where they began slashing their Skyforge steel against the bones. Äelberon could hear the clang of metal.   


    He almost tripped again when the dragon suddenly spread its wings, beating them to the ground before beginning its ascent. Gods! It would take to the skies again?  Kodlak? Where was he? Vilkas? Äelberon’s eyes searched the area. The relief washed over him when he saw two forms in wolf armor stagger underneath the dragon’s shadow. They were safe. He growled, now pushing his legs to their very limits, letting the blood from his head run into his eyes. Semi-blind, only hearing his Shield-Siblings’ and the guards’ voices as he focused on getting to the dragon.


    “Don´t let the fucker take off!”


    “Watch out for the tail!”


    “Stab it!”




    “Duck! I said duck, Farkas, you dumb fat shit!” That had been Skjor.




    “What duck?!”


    The guards parted for him as he barreled past, full speed. He was not going to stop and something in him snapped as he watched the dragon continue to gain altitude despite his damaged wings. You are not getting off the ground anymore, you son of a bitch. I am going to stop you right now.  “Out of the way!” He cried, continuing his run. He needed to get close enough to the dragon, he thought, watching his family move, their faces puzzled.  Aye, family. Äelberon took a deep breath, filling his lungs with air and then he stopped running. 


    “FUS… RO!”


    The powerful shout struck the dragon the moment it beat its wings, snapping the left wing to its body and they all heard the bones break. The dragon hit the ground with all its weight, landing on its right side.  It was Skjor who noticed him first.


    “Hircine’s… “He stopped himself mid-curse, his brow lowering. “Snow Bear, you look like shit, you alright?” The Nord asked, taking a step towards him. No, he was not alright.


    “The neck! Cut the fucking neck!” Kodlak interrupted, running towards the dragon again. “Skor, I need you here! Guards! Men! Let’s go!”


    “I´m trying!” Farkas growled.


    “The belly is vulnerable!” A voice.


    “Yes! Very few scales there!” Another…


    Äelberon forced out all the shouting, all the noise from his pounding head. How he walked, he did not know. He did not intend to walk, but he found himself standing next to Kodlak. He reached for an arrow from his quiver, only to realize it was empty. Äelberon watched the Nord hack away at the creature.


    “Snow Bear, what are you doing? Get over here!” Kodlak barked, frowning before swinging his Skyforge Steel again.  “Come on, get your bow out of your arse and show us that Elven steel of yours!” It was the way he said Elven that finally made Äelberon move. Under his words was an issued challenge.  He drew his glimmering weapon, longer and heavier than the Nord’s blade, he let himself smirk—you dolt, the silly sexual reference does not escape you—and he moved forward with a speed that made the Nord stare.  Both he and Kodlak then leapt forward, striking at the revealed belly, drawing more blood.  The dragon began using its broken wings to get back on its feet. Unexpectedly, it swung a wing to balance itself and both Äelberon and Kodlak found themselves flying in the air at its blow, landing on their arses. Äelberon could not suppress the grin that Kodlak fell too. “Pride cometh before the fall.”  Something his old teacher in Dusk used to tell him.   


    “I´m too old for this shit!” Kodlak growled while using his sword as a crutch to get on his feet. Äelberon pulled himself up more slowly, feeling the bones crack and protest. He could not help the chuckle. You are old, old, old, old Mer.


    “That makes two of us.” He replied honestly, making the Nord regard him. Äelberon raised his left hand and cast a healing spell. You still have magicks! Just enough, a slipshod job really, but then he turned his attention to his brother. Underneath that wolf armor, Äelberon felt the small fracture, saw it in his mind. The hip. What was it with old things and their arses? It would grow worse if the Nord continued moving and Äelberon diverted the magicka streams to Kodlak, ignoring his own pain. Your arse is harder, he smiled. Fat arsed Dusken. The Nord felt the magicks invade his body and the pain on his face left. It was quickly replaced by a blustering anger and he shook his head vigorously at the Elf, like a lenya about to chastise a child. 


    “Ysmir’s Beard you are stubborn! Save your magicks for the beast, not me!” Kodlak snapped.


    “Oh shut up, Old Man.” Äelberon snorted. “I do as I please! What? Besides, what would you like me to do with my magicks against the beast?  Heal it?” Retorted the Elf, his voice no more than a croak, his face contorted in pain and defiance. The Old Man scowled and the Elf scowled back as their stubborn wills clashed briefly. But then they both chuckled. “You look terrible.”


    “So do you. Saw you kiss the rocks earlier. That an Altmeri form of prayer?  To kiss rocks?”


    “No.” He grumbled, unable to hide the bite embarrassment that Kodlak had seen him fall. “’Tis a dance.”


    They turned to watch the dragon battle Hasedoki. It seemed to adapt to the dragon well, casting Ice storm and other frost magicks to counter the beast’s intense flames. The Beast was weakening. Äelberon could feel its life ebbing. Harder than the dragon at the Western Watch tower, for it was much stronger, yet easier, for he was better prepared. Well, was he? He still did not know what he was doing, still felt as if he was floundering, like battle plans were not set. And he, himself had been clumsy.


    “Get your arses back here, old farts!” Skjor suddenly shouted from behind the dragon, deftly avoiding its tail. “This isn’t tea time at Dragonsreach! We´re not done yet!”


    “Right,” the Harbinger murmured, taking a deep breath and headed back towards the dragon. Aye, Kodlak was definitely feeling it, Äelberon observed. See, not so easy, old Man. If I get up the next morning, it will be a miracle.  He felt like every bone in his body was hurting and his head was now fuzzy from the use of magicks. Healing the old Man’s hip had taken its toll.


    As he approached the dragon with Kodlak, Äelberon saw multiple wounds on the dragon´s legs and belly, wounds on its neck. A deep black-red blood was seeping out.  He almost winced when he saw the tail. It was nearly hacked away, only held together by bone in several spots. The dragon was still using it though, swinging it, making the men duck and run to avoid the tip of the tail’s spade.  Farkas and Vilkas were focusing on the legs, attempting to slash muscles and tendons. Skjor was closer to the head, Niniik now slung over his back in favor of using a spear. It was clear that he still remembered his Imperial training when it mattered and Äelberon wondered if Skjor’s poor performance in their first spar was now due to excessive cockiness rather than actual poor skill. The Skjor of that spar was not here today. Instead, there was an experienced warrior, taking advantage of the dragon´s blind right eye, waiting for an opening before jumping forward and stabbing the dragon’s neck with a spear only to quickly pull it out and take cover behind the dragon´s wing before it could turn its attention on him. The quick moves, like a dancer, the cunning reminded Äelberon very much of Decimus Merotim and Äelberon’s mind wandered. How would the Goldpact handle this?  Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a flash of glittering emerald, heard a booming voice.




    Both Elder looked up, their jaws dropping in unison.


    There was no cover, no way stop the gust of flames. They heard the screams from their Shield-Siblings. Shouts of ‘no’ from the guards. Running, a lot of running. As if it would make a difference.  Äelberon’s eyes were fixed on Kodlak in the limited time they now had left. How things change in the blink of an eye.  We stood together, the dragon nearly defeated, and now this. The old man seemed to understand and nodded, resigned to his fate. He seemed to mouth something to Äelberon. An apology?  His fate, the Hunting Grounds.


    No, not like this. Not you. Not fair. Äelberon extended his arm as if putting it there would stop the hurling flames, as if reaching out could possibly do anything. He vaguely heard Kodlak’s cry and then it felt like he was struck by a lightning bolt, except it did not hurt like one. Energy, pure energy, a large stream of magicks found him, and the energy coursed into his veins, escaping through his fingertips.  A massive, shimmering, rippling wall of light blue energy suddenly appeared in front of them, spreading, up and over, and the dragon’s fire struck that wall with force. The world around them became a burning inferno, an unbearable heat surrounding them and both let out gasps at seeing the fire surge unhappily over the wall, trying to taste its food, only to be denied. The flames hissed in anger a final time before dying and then the world became the outskirts of Whiterun again, the river bank and the farms, the golden grasses of the tundra in the afternoon sun.  The blue wall abruptly faded and Äelberon felt the energy leave his body, making him nauseous. It was then that Äelberon realized they were both on their knees, Kodlak’s hands supporting his other shoulder, as if he was lending his strength. 


    “Ysmir’s beard.” The Nord stammered, still breathing heavily. “I thought we were over.”


    “So did I.” Äelberon said weakly, his voice shocked.  


    “Seems the gods have other plans for us, old litter mate.” The old man smiled, squeezing his shoulder.


    “Aye…” He let his voice trail off. They only now reacted to the cries of their Shield-Siblings. Aela appeared first, huffing like she had run faster than the wind.


    “Gods, we thought the fire took you two.” She gasped, her hands on her knees. “The twins are mad for it. Let’s go!” She beckoned. They helped each other up and followed Aela to the dragon.


    The dragon roared in pain when the twins finally finished the job they set before themselves, revenge for the “deaths” of their Harbinger and Snow Bear and the site almost made Äelberon’s stomach turn.  In their rage and grief, they had cut the dragon’s legs to pieces. The twins rushed Kodlak and Äelberon, clasping their necks in greeting and the Elf could feel the intense emotion in the air. Their warpaint was streaked with tears.   Skjor joined them soon after, the spear trembling in his hands from all his physical exertion, his face drenched in sweat.  Aela looked weary, relieved, for her own quiver was now empty.  No, Äelberon shook his head solemnly; this was not an easy one, my family. .


    A roar pierced the air, causing all eyes to turn to the dragon, as if it was demanding their attention for its final soliloquy.  It fell with a crash to the ground, making everybody take a cautious step back, its legs no longer able to support its bulk. The wings were broken, torn, useless.  It was lying there, breathing heavily, a garbled, strained sound resonating in the quiet after the battle. Blood poured from its maw and nostrils, bleeding from a thousand cuts and stabs all over its body. He could hear the shallow breathing of his Shield-Siblings, like they were holding their breath, bracing for the dragon to get back up again, almost refusing to believe that it was now… over.  There would be no more fighting from this dragon, save the fight it would put up to relinquish its soul.


    The Watchtower dragon yielded violently, screaming “no” into the storming night, shouting what had sounded like a curse to Äelberon as he lay dazed in the mud.  Had it cursed him?  What would this dragon do?   Its eye was directly on Äelberon now, seeing him, understanding. A penetrating emerald eye, like the dragon from the Western Watchtower. Weakly, it moved its maw and after its relative silence during the bloody battle, the dragon spoke.


    “Hi los nid Dovahkiin.” It scoffed, coughing blood.  “Hi los nid fod hi praag mal Bron lir wah krii fah hi. Zu'u mah wah niin dahsul, ni hi. Nii los nust Zu'u gahvon wah dahsul, ni hi.” It took a deep breath and narrowed its eye, the light beginning to fade from it, the intense emerald dulling.  Äelberon felt more bodies gather around the dying dragon, their footsteps drawing near and the beast took notice too. His Shield-Siblings, the guards, all were now watching. They were beginning to cheer, to rejoice at their victory while Äelberon stared at the dragon. Humiliated by its words.


    “What is it saying?” Vilkas asked, breathlessly, wiping the sweat from his brow.


    “Dunno.” Skjor scratched his head. “Probably bitching that we won. Sore loser.” He grinned and Äelberon closed his eyes at the remark, which was met with laughter from the others.


    The dragon laughed as well, but for an entirely different reason, turning its gaze from the gathering back to Äelberon as its body began to break down. The light surrounded it, went through it, scattering its essence like thousands of tiny leaves of fire dancing in the winds of fate. Winds that blew towards him. Whirling around him, wheels of fire-leaves circling his body. And he heard the dragon’s final whisper in his ear.


    “Zu'u hind dii sil kuyiz hi vorohah voth paak do tol mindah—“


    “NID!” He screamed at the beasts’ bones, dizzy from the energy coursing inside him. Angry, frustrated, betrayed, hurt. “Zu’u los! Zu’u los! Zu’u los!!”  He kept repeating, ignoring their confused stares. Unable to understand his own outburst. I am what?


    “Snow Bear?” Kodlak’s voice from faraway, “Are you alright?”


    He did not know what to say, how to answer. Äelberon only felt the intense feeling crawl through him again, like claws grasping at his chest, smothering him as they climbed from the deep parts of his soul, wanting to escape. He wanted to escape.  Frantic, he started to search for her in the recesses of his mind, where trees blossomed, showering petals like crystal waterfalls. Where she would laugh at him, her voice like music to his melancholy, her touch soothing on his fevered brow, her breath as she spoke cool like a winter’s breeze over the little pale moon. Calm.  He wanted to find the peace she gave him, but Ebonnayne was nowhere to be found, and he was terrified that this dragon would indeed be his madness. He trembled and just when he thought he was going to burst from the pressure in his skull, he threw his head back, his eyes on the sky, tears flowing. A mess of blood, soot, and sweat, tired and worn. The word that had burned in his mind every day since the fourteenth was ‘why’, but it was another word that tore through his lips, violating the blue of the afternoon sky with a large ball of churning crimson-yellow fury that surged upwards. 




    Dovahzul translations: 

    Waan dii reym ahraan ful fen hin!” 

    If my arse hurts, so will yours!


    Hi los nid dovahkiin.

    You are no dragonborn.

     Hi los nid fod hi praag mal Bron lir wah krii fah hi.

    You are nothing when you need little Nord worms to kill for you.

    Zu'u mah wah niin dahsul, ni hi.

    I fell to them today, not you.

    Nii los nust Zu'u gahvon wah dahsul, ni hi.

    It is them I yield to today, not you.

    Zu'u hind dii sil kuyiz hi vorohah voth paak do tol mindah.

    I hope my soul drives you mad with the shame of that knowledge.


    Special Acknowledgement:

    I want to take the time to thank Karver the Lorc for helping me with this chapter. He wrote quite a lot of the actual fighting because I cannot put what is in my head into words. This led to a  huge case of writer's block in Straag for a long, long while. Working with Karver on chasing Aetherius taught me a lot of things. Having him help me sort out the dragon battle in this chapter that was in my head was truly a great thing. I thank him deeply. Then I Orc smack him, so he don't think I've gone all soft. :D


    Straag Rod, Book 1 ToC

    Part 2, Chapter VIPart 2, Chapter VIII


14 Comments   |   The Wolf Of Atmora and 9 others like this.
  • Gnewna
    Gnewna   ·  January 10, 2019
    Fiiiiiiiiinally catching up, and what a fight! If I do do this rewrite thing, I think the fighting's going to be the toughest part...
  • Ebonslayer
    Ebonslayer   ·  October 30, 2017
    “[Skor], I need you here! Guards! Men! Let’s go!”

    Fucking dragons, if they don't win they still have to get the last word in. Sore losers.
  • Paws
    Paws   ·  March 10, 2017
    I have had a rough week this story was my escape from reality. I appreciated it more than I can say. Plus, I have now finally caught up!
    Incredible chapter. This battle is probably better than the dragon fight in CA and that's saying a lot! Hooked ...  more
  • Exuro
    Exuro   ·  February 18, 2017
    Oh man, the intro chapters, I physically laughed out loud, not a text lol. For the battle, great use of strategy, (and adapting as the plan went to shit), and the mind games of the dovah. Albee needs some ice for those burns at the end...
    I want a d...  more
  • Exuro
    Exuro   ·  February 17, 2017
    It feels like a small voice was telling me to check this site and read Straag Rod... I can ignore it no longer
  • A-Pocky-Hah!
    A-Pocky-Hah!   ·  February 15, 2017
    It seems a reoccurring theme I see in Straag Rod is pride and stubbornness. It's way more worse when you have an Altmer with a heart of a Nord and the soul of a Dovah. 

    I love the dragon battles in Straag. They're completely diff...  more
    • The Long-Chapper
      The Long-Chapper
      It seems a reoccurring theme I see in Straag Rod is pride and stubbornness. It's way more worse when you have an Altmer with a heart of a Nord and the soul of a Dovah. 

      I love the dragon battles in Straag. They're completely different from the typ...  more
        ·  February 15, 2017
      Thanks, Kaiser. :D Oh, yeah, he's had a rough series of chapters. Learning he is Dovahkiin, the Greybeards and now this. Thrust into a position that really isn't in his racial makeup to understand or even want, yet it beautifully explains why he was so di...  more
  • The Sunflower Manual
    The Sunflower Manual   ·  February 14, 2017
    A kill is a kill, and dead is dead. Simply because he didn't land the final blow doesn't mean that Albee's contributions were worthless - far from it, his arrows saved most of the sortie.

    And what a fight! The dragon was an absolute juggernau...  more
    • The Long-Chapper
      The Long-Chapper
      The Sunflower Manual
      The Sunflower Manual
      The Sunflower Manual
      A kill is a kill, and dead is dead. Simply because he didn't land the final blow doesn't mean that Albee's contributions were worthless - far from it, his arrows saved most of the sortie.

      And what a fight! The dragon was an absolute juggernaut, and I can...  more
        ·  February 14, 2017
      In Straag, dragons play mental games as well as physical ones and Albee is already in an uncomfortable position. He's got a lot of crap to sort through before you get CA Albee. These are the beginning stages. 
  • Teineeva
    Teineeva   ·  February 14, 2017
    Amazing chapter, have to commend you and Karver on yet another amazing dragon fight. It wa sengaging, it felt realistic and I won't forget the smile that crept across my face when the nords decided it was time to go in and smack the dragon a bit. Gotta lo...  more
  • Karver the Lorc
    Karver the Lorc   ·  February 14, 2017
    It was pleasure to help you with that, Lis. You know how I like trying my hands on writing dragon battles, where the dragons are so much more, not beasts that can be killed by few daggers and arrows. I think we did one mighty job here, showing that while ...  more
    • The Long-Chapper
      The Long-Chapper
      Karver the Lorc
      Karver the Lorc
      Karver the Lorc
      It was pleasure to help you with that, Lis. You know how I like trying my hands on writing dragon battles, where the dragons are so much more, not beasts that can be killed by few daggers and arrows. I think we did one mighty job here, showing that while ...  more
        ·  February 14, 2017
      Yes, felt good to give Skjor his day in the sun. 
  • Ben W
    Ben W   ·  February 14, 2017
    Knocking in several places needs to loose the 'k'; nocking is what you are after
    • The Long-Chapper
      The Long-Chapper
      Ben W
      Ben W
      Ben W
      Knocking in several places needs to loose the 'k'; nocking is what you are after
        ·  February 14, 2017
      Thanks for catching that, it's been fixed.