Heeding the old woman’s warning Fathala turned, no one was paying her much attention anyway. Quickly she slithered up the steep stairs, crossed long hallways, past common rooms.

A soft and gentle growl rose from the rock around her. More and more knights poured out of the rooms, old men, younger men, but still old, young men. Fathala had hoped to see one of the sons Eric had left with the order, to warn them, yo take them with her, but she saw not one.

Soon she found herself out in the open again, from the dry heat of the keep she had cone back to the damp, icy air of an.almost wintery pole.Within.minutes had she flown to he house, dusk was close, not that it matter much with the dark clouds above. For a moment it appeared to her that an immense ray of golden light was engulfing the pole, or at least the mountain with the keep in it.

Roused by the unusual sound of her wings beating the air Thorsten rushed out, his family in tow. We raised him wisely. He had packed some provisions and clothes, on his arm a little child. Fathala couldn’t tell whether itvwas Erica or his own daughter.”We need to leave.” she didn’t waste any breath on long explanations, the ground beneath her grumbled softly. “I thought as much.” he replied, showing his luggage. “Fishers bay is too far away, come father.” He is accepting this better than I thought.

Thorsten led his family west, out to the place where he and Eric had built the first boat, to find an identical ship waiting for them. Fathala felt almost bad for abandoning hers in the middle of the ocean. It would’ve been towed by the Albin ship, and would be inaccessible now as well.

“Tide is out.” Thorsten sounded desperate, but Fathala recalled that he couldn’t know of her ability to let the ship to water.

Mere moments later waves towered over the mast that now seemed tiny by comparison. Although she felt the exhaustion of her powers Fathala kept pushing he ship away from shore, out into the raging storms.

 

Above and behind the wandering, furious mountains of water the tall black rock stood above, barely distinguishable from the dark skies and waters. Deafening thunder roared, making Fathala and Thorsten turn their heads. Just as Fathala had feared, a broad ray of light crossed the skies above, engulfing the mountain.

Another thunder sounded as the top of the rock was torn apart, fire and molten rock spewed forth from it, immediately a plume of ash and smoke rose into the sky, melting through the clouds, forming an even darker cloud above.

“Faster!” she cried to herself, closing her eyes to propel the ship faster through the waters, but exhaustion got the best of her, leaving the ship adrift in the currents of the storms.

 

Relieved she noticed the currents carried them off.

 

Thorsten stood next to her, his hand on the rudder, while she was hanging against the railing of the ship. We’re doomed. Streams of lava ran down the slopes, whilst more ground shaking explosions tore at the peak of the pole mountain. Fathala saw that something massive was spewed up inside the plume, but couldn’t determine if it was chunks of rock and lava or their dreaded enemy. “Wave!” Thorsten’s cry took her attention further down, amassive wave raced towards them. I can’t breathe seawater for long. An hour, maybe two, before I die! she wanted to cry but felt a ghostly touch on her left shoulder. Glancing up, she found Naga Eric smiling down on her benevolently. Returning the smile she rose to her full size, wind caught in her spread wings, ripping her off the deck, dragging her high up.

Deepin the western horizon clouds opened up to send the last rays of daylight into the world. Wereit not for the catastrophe raging around us, this would be a peaceful sight. Good bye my children. She glanced down on the tiny boat dancing on and between the the mighty waves, ahead of the large floodwave. Summoning the remainder of her strength she pushed the little boat away. Far away from the wave pursuing it, where the sea was deep enough forthe wave to disperse in the deep.

Aware that she had no.place to land anymore, she.plunged downwards to catch the massive wave that had threatened the boat until then.

Lit by the light from the west she could see her distorted reflection in the front of the water wall for a moment, before she was struck by a waterfront as strong as rock.

 

Leif smiled as he cradled he bane in his hands. “She is dead, our gift to the world will soon,” he felt the lips of he alabaster woman touch his. “They are here.” she breathed wih a cold smile. “Thanks to you, the dragons have returned.”

Not understanding Leif tried to gatger any meaning from her eyes. But again he felt her lips on his, her tongue searching for his. Before he could resist he felt a sharp stingin his throat.

The alabaster woman stood over him, one hand buried in his hair, one tightly clasped around the arrow she had forced through his throat, she kissed away the blood he spewed up. “I am a dragon, or a chimera or sphinx. We have many names, and I have brought my brethren here. Thanks to you.” she smiled turning to face outwards through the dense curtain of water behind the waterfall.

She felt the coming presence of the other sphinxes, a demented grin jerked the corners of her mouth around. Under a maniacal laugh she ran towards the waterfall.

 

Whlana felt air brushing against her face with increasing intensity. Suddenly liberated from the alabaster Chimera she fought to forget the countless times the creature had spread her legs for Leif. It had left memories in Whlana’s mind. It had been true that the chimeras of the other place were bringers of life, but the alabaster creature had not come from there.

Suddenly Whlana felt the crush, every thought stopped, there was just water and rock, bones like sand and blood everywhere.

Darkness.

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