Braith - a scene
Here is a scenario I wrote back when I was studying Creative Writing. I'm not sure yet if it'll ever become its own full-length project, but it was a fun scene to write either way. I wrote two different versions of the same scene, both of which have been posted here. Let me know which version you liked better, if you'd like to see more of this character, and if you'd like to see me read it on YouTube!
He awoke with a start, the canopy of charred and broken branches overhead being the first thing his vision adjusted to. Distinctly, he heard her voice, though a glance around told him he was alone. The sound of her calling to him was what had brought him from the depths of unconsciousness. With wakefulness came an overwhelming sensation of pain flooding his senses.
Pushing himself to a seated position was no easy task and he nearly passed out again, but he forced himself to cling to consciousness. When the wave of dizziness cleared so he could see again, his gaze was drawn to a hideous sight. The flesh of his right arm could hardly be called that anymore. From his fingers to his shoulder, what wasn’t black was covered in blisters. Blood slicked everything, oozing thickly from nearly every pore.
He turned away from the grim image, a sour taste filling his mouth. To calm himself, he took deep, shuddering breaths before looking at his damaged arm once more. Carefully, he tried to move his fingers. They curled at his command, but his hand trembled from the effort.
She called again. Her voice distracted him briefly from his own circumstances. That voice was so familiar, but he couldn’t recall where he’d heard it before or why he would be hearing it now.
Considering the blackened landscape around him, he tried desperately to remember what had happened and who he was. He’d been here for a reason. Why else would he have woken like one of the dead raised after an apocalypse?
Thinking deeply, he saw a dark cloud descending and fire raining down on him. There had been others. So many others. Their corpses littered the landscape along with his own as they burned. He remembered the fear and . . . that was it. Everything else was hazy in his memory.
Braith . . . help me!
Braith. That was his name.
The sounds of men shouting, and the clanking of metal reached his ears as though a veil had been lifted. It was coming from beyond the incline. Rising slowly to his feet, Braith grimaced against the agony movement caused him. Though not as badly as his arm, his right leg was also burnt. He made his way with a slow limp through the damaged forest to the top of the inclination.
Sweat ran down his face and neck from the effort of hauling his armoured bulk up the hill. Thankfully, the armour he wore was made of leather rather than metal. Considering how much fire had been involved in whatever fight he’d taken part in, he was glad of that.
When he reached the top, he hid himself behind a convenient hedge. Peering around the leafy foliage, the picture that painted before him was frightful. A large contingent of soldiers with crude looking weapons were violently attacking an already badly injured creature chained to a cart in their midst. He recognized it immediately as a dragon.
Braith, stop them, please. Don’t let them kill me. Braith. Braith!
Her call was insistent, and the voice so familiar. He knew it was the voice of the dragon, but he couldn’t recall why she would be speaking to him. All he knew was the pain and fear she was suffering.
A large black shadow off to the side suddenly moved forward. He hadn’t noticed it before, thinking it was just another part of the surrounding forest. The shape unfolded itself to reveal large wings and scaled body. This second dragon raised its magnificent head and roared. Instant silence descended on the valley as all movement ceased.
A man stepped out from behind the dragon and raised an armour-clad fist. Even from this distance, Braith could see the arrogance he emitted. “Victory!” he shouted. “See, the great silver dragon burned and beaten, her rider lying dead in the forest. Those maggots of Sarenth have today lost their champion!”
A cheer rose up from the soldiers. It was deafening.
The man raised a fist and silence took hold once more. “With their hero defeated, we shall conquer them swiftly. The war has changed to our favour. Sarenth will fall by our hands. N’Kar!”
The dragon roared in response and the men shouted their triumph.
While the cheering continued, the man swung himself up to the base of the black dragon’s neck. “To Frethengor!”
The dragon took off into the air with a mighty beat of his great wings. The men watched the departure before mounting their own beasts; Giant Krakh’s: half wolf, half bear. The cart on which lay the silver dragon was dragged behind them.
He watched them leave, sorrow and urgency gripping his heart. “I will save you!” he cried in a whimper. One thing he could remember, he had never before felt this helpless.
Braith, you must remember. Come to me, and hurry! Before it’s too late.
Remember. That’s right. He had lost his memories. They’d been burnt up. “I will remember,” he said to himself. “I will. And I will save you!” He closed his eyes against the tears that threatened to fall. Then, in a pain-torn voice, he raised his head to the sky and roared. “Elkana!”
Braith awoke with a start. The sudden jolt sent shocks of pain throughout his entire body. A steady pounding beat mercilessly at the inside of his skull.
He tried to push himself up but his right arm collapsed in pain from the pressure. Once again, he found himself lying on his back staring up at a hazy sky. The trees were burnt black. He glanced down at the burnt flesh of his arm and his eyes widened in shock. Half his hand up to his elbow was black and the rest of his arm was still slick with blood. Carefully avoiding putting any pressure on his injured arm, he managed to ease himself slowly back into a seated position.
A quick surveillance of the immediate area around himself revealed that the ground he sat on was charred black and stained with blood. Everything was scorched, and there was evidence of something having rampaged viciously. He was surrounded by carnage and not too far away were other bodies lying motionless in the soot-like dirt.
His mind was foggy. Obviously some sort of battle had taken place and he had been a part of it. He pushed himself agonizingly to his feet and limped over to the nearest form to check for a pulse. Nothing. He did the same to the others closest to him but all were dead.
In the earth not too far from where he himself had lain as one dead he spotted a footprint of some kind. He moved over to this and saw that whatever had made it was big with claws that gorged the earth. At the sight of it, a string of familiarity tugged at the back of his mind. He sat down and stared at the print, hoping whatever memory lurked at the recesses of his thoughts would be brought forward.
He recalled a dark cloud descending and fire raining down on him. Wind had beat against his face. And then, he’d fallen.
His thoughts returned to the print. Memory burst into full light as a barrage of images stampeded through his mind, the fog clearing. The sudden onslaught drove him to his feet, and he staggered from the head rush that came as a result. A nauseating pain made him double over so that he fell against the remains of one of the standing trees for support.
They had been at war; Sarenth and Frethengor. He was Sarenth’s Champion. Somehow, Frethengor’s Champion had managed to gain the upper hand and claim victory. An ambush? That part he couldn’t remember fully. He just knew he had faced against the black dragon.
He pushed himself from the tree and glance furiously in all directions but could see nothing. “Elkana!”
Braith? You are alive?
His body tingled at the familiar sound of her voice spoken directly to his mind. He could hear the sweet sounds run through him like fresh water, but there was an edge of pain to her words.
Yes. I am alive. He allowed his thoughts to transport to her along the link that bound the two of them together as Dragon and Rider. I appear to have been badly injured, but somehow I am alive. Where are you?
They have me Braith. You must save me. They believe you are dead. Frethengor’s Champion plans to make a final stand against Sarenth.
Where do they have you?
Right now I am not sure. We are in a field and they have me strapped to a cart. They plan to take me back to their castle and do who-knows-what to me. Braith, please save me.
Braith turned in a slow circle but all he could see was trees. He knew that if they were able to communicate then she couldn’t be too far away. Somewhere close by.
Closing his eyes, he listened. He could sense the emptiness of the area where he stood, the lack of breath. Listening deeper, he opened himself to the forest and allowed its very soul to wash over him.
A new sound came to his ears. Distant but very distinct. It was the sounds of men shouting and the clanking of metal. His eyes shot open, and he limped in the direction he knew the sounds to be coming from. He ambled for what felt to be quite some time before the noises grew closer.
He came upon a high ridge and with his injured arm cradled safely against his torso, he slowly pulled himself to the top. Upon reaching the top he could see down into a treeless valley. There, surrounded by a large contingent of armed soldiers, was his dragon. She was badly wounded but the men nearest her continued to attack her violently with their swords and spears.
Elkana. I see you.
Braith! Where are you?
I’m sorry, Elkana. I cannot save you right now. If I rush in with that many soldiers, we’ll both be killed.
A large black shadow at the edge of the field then separated itself from the trees. Braith hadn’t noticed it before. The shape unfolded itself to reveal large wings and a long, elegant neck. The black dragon lifted its majestic head and roared. The sound was terrifying and yet somehow exhilarating at the same time.
Instantly, all sound ceased.
A man stepped out from behind the dragon and raised an armour-clad fist.
Braith recognized him instantly and a seething rage flared up behind his retinas. He looked away and tried to calm himself knowing that rushing in at that moment would be suicide. Every muscle in his body was tensed and ready for action.
“We have experienced a great triumph!”
Braith looked back at the sound of the man’s voice.
“See how we have captured the great silver dragon, now burned and beaten, her rider lying dead in the forest.”
The men cheered.
That’s what you think. Braith allowed a small grin to creep across his face.
“And now those maggots of Sarenth will be plunged into defeat. They have lost their Champion! With their hero dead, who can stand in our way? This war is now in our favour. Sarenth will fall!”
Again the men raised their weapons and cheered.
“Come, N’Kar.” With these words, he swung himself up to the base of the dragon’s neck. “Let us take our prize back to Frethengor where we shall celebrate our upcoming victory. This battle is ours!”
The dragon took off into the air with a mighty beat of his great wings. The men watched the departure before mounting their own beasts; Giant Krakh’s: half wolf, half bear.
Braith watched as the troop left. Anger clouded his vision and rage welled up in his heart. He waited until the valley had been emptied before allowing his frustration to leave his body in a loud roar.
Braith. Save me. Come to Frethengor. Once I am freed, together we can save Sarenth and end this war once and for all.
“I will save you!”
He closed his eyes as hot, angry tears threatened to burn down his face. Then, in a pain torn voice, he raised his head to the sky and roared once more. “ELKANA!”