Pernonil was lost to the Elves….the southern lands forsaken by the tribes….Chenesia lost to the Vale…Shadowolf lost to the world…
It has been two years since Shadowolf released the power node and destroyed Mercius; since he had been mysteriously taken by a dragon to Bentley Strip. But rumours of the dragons are stirring in New Avalion, and one of them is that the son of Nighthale has returned.
The Shadow Clan reform and set out to him in the Strip, and they meet a man wiser and more powerful than before. They quickly learn that Shadowolf had been in another world with Asgorna the Dragon King in what is called the Dragon War, a war that has leaked into Celenic Earth and that the dark lord Le’Mar plans to use to his advantage. Ursula the unicorn joins their Clan, and urges Shadowolf to find a horn lost in the Battle of T’Mar’s Scourge. The horn holds untold power and would assist in defeating the dark lord. But on their way they find many obstacles, including the undead, witches, the Butcher of Philagis and Firestroms.
Quietly, Le’Mar is preparing his new champion for the War, Sonersaat the DragonRider. As his quest grows larger, Shadowolf decides to enter Eldor’s Forest, find Eldor and Masara and await Le’Mar. It is a war the earth has been anticipating….and it is a war with the direst consequences.
The “Prophecy of the DragonRider” is upon them…
Darcwulf was the first to rise, but waited on the others before proceeding. When the group of fifteen reached Ursula she turned, but not before making one last comment.
“He might not be as you remember him,” she warned. “He has changed. But do not fear him, for he is still who he was. The only change is his wisdom and power.”
The largest dragon reared up before him, his scales magnificently red and green, with a yellow belly shimmering in the sunlight. Its black wings spanned across his vision, but before it could attack he leapt for its neck. He called the wind to push him onto it, facing its rider.
“Sonersaat,” Lucian remembered. “It’s been a few years.”
“Too many, old friend,” Sonersaat replied. “Or should I call you traitor?”
“Call me what you like,” he replied.
“Very well,” Sonersaat said. “But you shall call me DragonRider.”
“DragonRider?” Lucian repeated. “You deign to carry that title? You know what happened to Le’Mar’s Windfarer?”
“Mercius was pathetic,” Sonersaat replied.
Two centaurs stood by it. One of them was like all the other centaurs in appearance; four legs, half-horse and abdomen of human, spiky ears attached to its head, a long tail at the rear.
The other moved to place its belly over the concave altar, the table supporting his body. Shadowolf realised this was his throne. From his shoulders he wore a regal cape that flowed from his neck onto his long, hairy back. Gold armour plates sprung up from his muscular shoulders and biceps. His chest and stomach muscles stood out as a bane against any weapon. It would take an axe twice the strength of Sny-Ten’s to pierce that skin.
The most peculiar characteristic was his head. Unlike the other centaurs, this one had horns protruding from the sides of his head. They twirled up like a majestic antelope’s antlers, at least as long as Shadowolf’s forearm.
His eyes were pitch-black. It was not the black of an abyss, nor the black of sunken sockets like Trimistus. Rather, the membranes bulged out like a human’s eyes, but the white and pupils were replaced with liquids pool of black. His teeth were fangs that could tear the skin of any creature in the cave. With sudden fear and apprehension, Shadowolf realised that this centaur was an aVampeyer.
When they reached the beach, Darcwulf and Shadowolf bid Lellian farewell and made for the Shadow Clan. Darcwulf hissed as the gills hurt on his neck. He removed the rose pendant and placed it in his pocket. They were in intense discussion when they stopped on top of the hill.
Clothes and equipment lay scattered on the fields. Not one member of their Clan was anywhere to be seen.
All conversation was killed by the arrival of the Firestrom. The first sight was daunting enough that they all retreated a few steps. A fire beast twenty times Shadowolf’s height turned the corner upon the boiling lava river. There was no place that its light did not reach, or its heat did not penetrate. Sweat broke from Shadowolf’s pores, over his eyes and down his cheeks.
It had no legs, but drifted on its own heat. Its face towered over them, but it was slowly rotating to the right. As the rest of its ethereal body appeared, they realised in shock that the Firestrom had four heads.
Shadowolf jumped off the tier without warning the others and landed on Asgorna’s back. As he did so, Sonersaat and his nine dragons rose above the horizon.
“So this is what he has been saving the Dragon War for?” Shadowolf realised. “Not for the elves?”
“So it seems,” Asgorna replied. “Call to Trimistus. Tell him the dragon Mynisna resides in the Gate. Instruct him to summon him.”
Five dragons rose above the hill of the Gate and soared down upon them. Shadowolf recognised them from his travels in Asgorna’s temple, and felt relieved.
Le’Mar sat up as he saw the dragons approach. He tried not to curse, but it inevitably escaped his lips.
“How can this be?” he muttered. He watched as Sonersaat engaged Shadowolf and the sixteen dragons were caught in a ferocious battle.“SHADOWOLF, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING THERE?!?!”
Le’Mar’s mind was in turmoil. He really needed this victory, but he could not risk the War of the Dragons. He required it at another appointed time. He summoned a hyperportal on the hill and mentally called the retreat to all his remaining units.
“Now many questions still arise,” Eldor returned to his own voice. “Mostly concerning Le’Mar’s true motives and concerning the prophecies. It would be nice to say that he is purely evil and bent on destruction, but I am afraid it is not that simple. Many have seen and heard some truths, but there is one essential truth that has escaped the ages.
“With Le’Mar’s army approaching, it is now time for this essential truth to be revealed.”
Asgorna sailed down, rumbling with the fires that burnt within. Maneto flew up, casting balls of flame up at them. The fires passed them as Asgorna swerved from side to side, getting ready for the final attack.
When they met, Shadowolf and Sonersaat jumped off. Shadowolf spread his arms and wings majestically and he changed. Asgorna pulled Maneto’s arms and legs apart and rumbled deeper. Sonersaat dropped his sword in horror.
Go for his heart, Asgorna said to Shadowolf’s mind.
The wind stirred behind the dark lord, and he turned to look down his flight of earthly steps. The wind swirled like a dune in a desert until Shadowolf’s form became solid. Shedaaij ran towards the stairs, followed in a short distance by Fransiska and Sorceress. Shadowolf walked up the stairs, calming his nerves and lowering his power.
“Finally,” Le’Mar grunted and walked down to meet him. Their silhouettes were marked by the sun that had completely topped the hill and shone on the devastation of Lard’s Den. Shadowolf could feel the demons stirring. The sun seemed to unsettle them, although not harming them in any way. “Your time is up, Shadowolf,” the dark lord leered, holding his staff tightly. “I have saved this moment for you.”