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To Fix A Future (Short Story GRP. DNR)
Topic Started: Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:18 pm (161 Views)
Arthur
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Darkness loomed in the air. Of course, darkness reigned in the dark lands. Of course, it wasn’t the darkness you had to worry about. It was what resided in it. Many things, horrible things made this place their home. Drow, Gray Dwarves and other such creatures could be found here. If one was not careful one could be killed, enslaved, or worse. So why was Arthur here? Many times, had he made his way into the dark lands. To free slaves and cause chaos amongst its most unwelcoming inhabitants.

He however was not here to cause trouble today. No, he was here for another reason. A personal reason. More than a few days ago he had been warned by his son from the future that another son was coming back to kill him. This son was the fruit of his time as a slave when he first spent time among the Drow. This son blamed him for his mother’s death as well as the way her life and his had turned out.

It was true that his dalliance with her was the root cause of her death. If the seed had not taken she would have been alive and continued on in her petty existence. Or if the seed had taken chosen to sacrifice the boy at birth instead of keeping him. That was the part that bothered him most of all. His memory of his time among the Drow was not all pleasant. He was a slave in their Pit Fighting Arena. They called him the Iron Dragon.
He was still a legend and one of the few that ever escaped the Spider Queens wrath. So why keep the child. Could it have been love? For male child in a female dominated society that was the bastard son of what they saw as an abomination. It sounded unbelievable. Yet what had happened in past few days told a truth. Could she have loved the child? Arthur would find out. Besides he would not leave her or the child to their fates now that he knew them.

Duty drove him deeper and deeper into the dark lands. But there was more than duty. Fixing what had been broken. Fixing something that should have been fixed long ago. That drove him as well. He had left a long string of hearts behind him. Now they crashed back at him. One more thing drove him one thing that he did not even think to admit. Love, love drove him the hardest. Yes, he had loved that Drow woman. Sadria Verkas, a name emblazoned on his soul. He had loved her and hated her at the same time.

Memories flooded into him as he traveled. The pain and the pleasure almost as fresh as the day they happened. Love, a love that drove him to save the person the held his leash for a small bit of his life. The fruit of all this lay in a son that traveled back to kill him. That son now lay safe at Arthur’s fathers home deep in the Dragon Spine mountains. After his defeat he had become catatonic and his father used what magic he could to help. It was up to Arthur to fix the rest.
So onward and downward into the gloom. The Iron Dragon was making one more foray into a land that enslaved him.
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Sadria coughed as she kneaded the bread that would be their supper. Her cough had been getting worse and she did not have the money nor the influence to seek a cure. She had more to worry than about her health. Her son Canar who thank Lolth was no sick needed her attention. Times had been rough ever since his birth and her refusal to sacrifice him. Sometimes she heard Lolth at night in her dreams that all she had to do was kill him and she could return.

Lolth though did not understand love. For she did not love. She loved the boy, yes, a female Drow loving a male son. Unheard of, unthinkable yet it was there. She loved him as she had loved his father. Again, something unheard of. The Iron Dragon he had been called. For her he was Arthur. The only man she had ever loved. And yet she held him as a slave, a prisoner, a pet, a toy. That was the way of the Drow. Yet doing it after awhile had proven to her the wrong of it.

She finished the bread and put it in the ramshackle oven. Another coughing fit came and tiny voice said,” Are you alright mother?” She smiled and turned. Her son looking at her with concern. His eyes were like his father’s draconic but red. The rest of him was Drow. She lied,” Yes Canar I am fine. Go out and play. Dinner will be soon”.
He nodded and went out. She sat down in a chair. It sagged under what little weight she had. She could feel the sickness in her body. She worried not over herself but her son. What would become of him when she died? For that was what would happen unless she got help. But she would not, no help for her. No hope for her son.
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Canar roamed the slums of the city. They were his second home. He knew them well better than most his age. He knew where to avoid and where he would be safe. Sometimes he even managed to snatch a few coins from unwary purse. He was saving all of his ill-gotten coin for a gift for his mother. If he had known the truth he might have been saving for a cure but he did not know.

He also was saving up for the day his father came to save them. He still had that hope even after this long. His mother had told him stories of his father the Iron Dragon. The man who saved slaves and caused chaos every trip to the Dark Lands. He held out hope that his father would come here and save them. He did not know the future that had once been in store for him. He would never know now. For at this moment the Iron Dragon was on the very door step of this city.

Fire lit up the dark. Canar looked over to see. It was a great distance away. But it roared bright and large. Canar could hear screams and roars of what sounded like battle. A roar sounded out larger than the others. It was unlike anything he had ever heard. Soldiers rushed by the alley he was in. He wondered what was going on.

Was the city under attack? And if so by whom? He made his way out of the alley and started to make his way toward the commotion. Yet the distance was great and what could he do if he went. No, he would be safer at home. So, he made his way back. The sounds seemed to follow him. The fire was growing larger and coming toward the slums. He saw the Pit Fighting arena crumple from some unknown force. More fighting could be heard.
Slaves had begun fighting those that had enslaved them. He made his way back to his home. His mother was frantic when he got there. She hugged him tight and pulled him inside. She closed the door and he asked,” What’s going on mother?” She shook her head for she did not know. The last time something like this had happened her world burned around her.
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The fire lit the Dark Lands now. It was so bright that even the Drow had to shield their eyes from it when fighting it. They also had to fight the slaves that had been let loose and given weapons. They were losing. It was chaos, glorious chaos. One thing had caused this, one man that no one would have thought would return here. The Iron Dragon once more destroyed a city that enslaved him. This time though there was no rage, it was more controlled and to a purpose. As of now the Iron Dragon was questioning a Matron of House Verkas on the whereabouts of the former Sadria. She had fought well but was no match for Arthur.

Fear filled her eyes as she looked into those Draconic blue eyes. She answered his questions. He let her go and went out as her house burned. She shook her knees quaking and thanked Lolth she was not dead. She felt no pity for the woman he was after. She felt nothing for her however she was wrong about Arthur’s intentions. She rallied what was left of her household and saved what she could from the fire.

Arthur made his way through the slums of the city. The sound of battle behind him. The city was on fire now. The only place it hadn’t reached was the slums. Arthur knew the freed slaves were doing well against their captors. Many had died so far but more remained. They would escape the majority of them anyway. He hated to use them like this but he knew they thanked him for the chance to finally get their own back. He knew where he was going. Like an arrow at a target he headed to a Drow woman and her son.
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Sadria looked out at the city concern lining her face. The sounds of battle were fading yet the city still burned. The slums were safe for now. She had nowhere to go though if they came. She noticed a lone figure making its way down the alley. Heat rolled off its body in waves. She sensed a danger there unlike anything she had ever felt. A primal energy that caused the people outside to turn away in fear. It made its way to her house. It stopped at her door way. She tensed in fear. Then the fire outside caused light to show on its face. A face that she had not seen in 10 years.

She gasped fear running through her body more terrible than before. Fear and joy and myriad of other things. He had returned. Arthur stood outside her very door. He came up to the door and knocked. Weak at the knees she stumbled to it. And she opened it and there stood before her Arthur the Iron Dragon.

She could see the fire burning in his draconic eyes. It was like a campfire. He looked more handsome than she remembered. His blonde hair spun like gold longer, a beard on his face as well. He looked tougher, mis muscles bulged underneath armor a dark green color. He was armed to the teeth and she knew he was more dangerous than he had ever been.
She now knew why no one from the Dark Lands had ever succeeded in killing him. He looked at her and said,” Hello Sadria”. His voice brought back memories long let go of. She fell to the floor on both knees. A coughing fit shook her body. He knelt down and lifted up her chin to look in her eyes. Concern filled his face. She saw no intent there and she knew he had not come to kill her. She smiled at him a weak smile. He returned it and then looked up. Behind her stood a young Drow male. No more than 10.

He had a pan in his hand but stood frozen in place. Arthur said,” Easy now boy. I am not here to hurt you or your mother”. The boy said,” Who, who are you?” Arthur replied,” I am Arthur. Arthur Mandraeg. Formerly the Iron Dragon.” The boy dropped the pan. All his hopes had just come true. He rushed forward and Arthur tensed but the boy just wrapped him in a hug.

Arthur was in shock but not for the reason you would think. He had not expected the boy’s reaction. At least not from what he knew or had known. He looked at Sadria and said,” You have a son”. She nodded and said,” We have a son. Arthur this is Canar. He is yours”. He looked at her, there was something different in his eyes. She could not say what it was. He said,” Mine. You had a son by the Iron Dragon. Why?”

A good question that. She looked down searching for a good answer. Could she tell him she had loved him? Could she admit that she still did? That she still though of him to this very day. She looked back up and said,” Because I love him. As I loved and still love his father”. Arthur nodded but he reeled from those words. She had loved him and still did. He had never thought that not really. The Drow did not love not that way or so he thought. Yet those words had shown his thoughts were untrue. For he smelled no deceit.

He thought back to that last time he saw her. The kiss he had given her before he left her to her world. He had loved her, yes love, for one who held his bonds. She had shown him something in those days. That not all Drow were alike. He had changed her and she him. He said to her,” I have come to get you out of here. As I should have done all those years ago”. Sadria shook her head in disbelief. He wanted to rescue them and she asked,” For what purpose Arthur. Are we to be your slaves? Does your vengeance know no bounds?”

Arthur replied,” You know me better than that Sadria. I would never have a slave. No, I want to take care of you and our son.” The Drow woman looked at him and replied,” Why? I held your leash. I was your master. I had you beaten and whipped. Why help me and the son of that time that you did not know about till now?” Arthur answered,” I loved you. I felt it for awhile even as your slave. I loved you and hated you. One of the reasons I escaped when I did. Because I knew if I stayed. I would be yours forever and not want anything more.”
She was shocked at those words. She knew them to be truth and nodded and said,” I am sick Arthur. Very sick. I will die I do not know when. But now I want to live. I will go with you for our son and for me”. Arthur smiled and it brightened her world.
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Days later for it had taken days to get out of the Dark Lands without incident. Arthur had to guide them. They avoided patrols and other dangers thanks to his guidance. He watched them many a night as they slept on the ground. He would radiate heat to keep them warm. Dangerous would often come because of that. But they never came close. Arthur would radiate danger to them and they would go away.

Sometimes they would see bodies of escaped slaves or even Drow patrols. The slaves not many the patrols a lot. Arthur knew many had escaped and hoped they would live good lives. He had other things to worry about. They had gotten out of the Dark Lands. Arthur had transformed and flew them to a friend of his house. A healer who like him had been enslaved by the Drow. The healer had been surprised to see him arriving with a female Drow and a young Drow male. But he had learned along time ago Arthur did strange things.
After that Arthur laid down to rest for he had not slept in many days.

The healer then began his job to heal Sadria. Who was very very sick. Arthur awoke and felt someone beside him. He looked over and Canar lay asleep content with the world. Arthur smiled and he knew he had changed the future for the boy. He hoped he had done so for the mother. He got up slowly as not to disturb the boy. He walked into a small kitchen were his friend was waiting. Arthur asked,” How is she Natar?” The man looked at him and said,” She will be fine Arthur. Lucky you got her to me when you did. Another few weeks or even days and I would not have been able to save her. It was a wasting sickness, very dangerous one. But she will be fine. Rest and food is what she needs.” Arthur sat down at the table and sighed and said,” That’s great news. Thank you Valen.” The man smiled and said,” It was nothing Arthur. By the way who is she? Another slave? And the boy is she her son?”

Arthur shook his head and said,” She might not look like it right now. But you know her Natar. She is Sadria Verkas. Our old mistress. And the boy he is her son. And mine”. The mans jaw hung open and he looked back toward the room he came out of and the room where she lay. He said,” Sadria and your son. Fallen gods Arthur. I don’t know what to say.” Arthur shrugged and said,” Believe me I know”. Arthur then told the tale at least parts of it.
Valen muttered,” Dragons”. Arthur smiled and the man shook his head. Arthur then put a sack of coins on the table and said,” For the trouble”. The man shoved away the coins and said,” Arthur I don’t need them. I am doing this for free. I don’t understand it but I will approve it. You have grown in the years since I have known you”.

Arthur nodded agreeing. Once the Iron Dragon might have done the opposite. Now Arthur was not as young and wiser to the world. Danny had seen to some of that.
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About a few months later Sadria was better and even looked as Arthur remembered her. The food and rest had done her well. Even Canar once a scraggly little thing now looked like a normal healthy boy. Arthur had begun teaching the boy as his father had taught him. He was teaching him the things a dragon should know. They boy was a quick study and was farther along than Arthur had originally thought he would be. The mother had watched sometimes and was happy the boy now had a father. But she wondered what would become of her.

One day while the healer and his family were gone and Canar with them. Arthur sat carving a toy for the boy. The mother was sewing a dress staring out the window. She pricked her finger on a needle and yelped a little. Arthur looked up and she waved that she was fine. He stood up and came over anyway. He said,” Let me see”. She showed him her finger and he kissed it. He then looked into her eyes and she felt weak. They kissed and she knew what would become of her.
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Weeks later they rode on Arthur’s back as he flew to his father’s house. She felt the new growth inside her but had not told Arthur yet. Canar was stronger and so was she. They landed in a grove outside the house. She hopped down with Canar. Arthur detransformed and he gave her a smile. A man came out a man that looked like an older version of Arthur. He said,” Good to see you boy. Glad to see you succeeded in your quest. So, this is her and the boy.” Arthur nodded and said,” How is the other one?” The father said,” Come with me”. Arthur followed and said to Sadria,” Wait in the house please”. She nodded and wondered what was going on.

Arthur followed his father until they reached a smaller house where his father worked magic. Inside was a Drow male an older version of Canar. The changes were dramatic from the last time he saw him. He was stronger that was for sure. The energy around him was more primal. Yet there was a softness and gentleness that had not been there before. The young Drow looked at Arthur and smiled and said,” Father”. The boy got up and hugged him. Arthur took it in stride because the last time the boy wanted to kill him.

Arthur said,” How much do you remember?” The boy looked at him and said,” It began to fade after our fight. Part of the reason I was catatonic. Because history at that moment began to change. Now I remember only a little and it fades even now. Soon none will exist. I was sent back by you so as to continue the timeline and tell you that you succeeded.” Arthur nodded and said,” Then you are happy”. The boy nodded and replied,” So is my mother and you. And the others”. Arthur asked,” Others?” The boy nodded and said,” 11 plus mother. You will go out to seek them soon after this. Each has born you a child. You will marry each at the same time.”

Arthur looked at the boy in shock. He had not expected that. Arthur asked,” Is it a good life?” The boy smiled and said,” Find out for yourself father”. The boy then nodded to Arthur’s father and his father nodded and the boy was sent back to the future. His father turned to him and said,” Well boy you have your work cut out for you? But it seems like it will be a good thing”. Arthur nodded and said,” Yes it will”.
Edited by Arthur, Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:21 pm.
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