Chapter 8

Written by: dannyo77

The sun cast the last of its warmth and light across the rocky cliff face, replacing long shadows with pockets of deep darkness throughout the courtyard of Gacgon’s castle. Gacgon stood on a narrow balcony, still watching the direction that Gretchin had flown. He was so very tired. The cool air stung his bloodshot eyes.

The femdrake was majestic in flight. Long after Gretchin was a spec on the horizon Gacgon could still hear the rhythmic beat of her wings. He tried in vain to hold on to his  initial disdain toward the creature but found himself intrigued and enamoured with the ungainly beast that she had become. His spell had worked after all, to some extent.

Gacgon squinted against the failing light. His tired eyes still fancied they could see the dragon as a spec off toward Mendril Peak. He turned to go inside, but stopped short. A shrill cry carried across the dusky valley, very faint. Gacgon looked back to see the spec grow slowly and materialise into Wiles the Falcon. Gacgon’s brow furrowed with concern. The appearance of Wiles could only mean dubious circumstances, although what exactly he dreaded to guess.

The bird alighted upon the rampart and stood proudly before the sorcerer. Gacgon stepped forward respectfully and gently caressed the head of the creature. The bird put a taloned foot forward, revealing a parchment. Gacgon pulled off the message and hurriedly unfurled it as he walked back to the castle. With a cry, the feathered messenger launched back into the sky.

The sorcerer’s fatigue fell from him like a cloak as he digested the missive. So that was it, the Ispolin had detected the fyredrake and had responded aggressively. To Gacgon it seemed odd that they would target Alwena. Her significance was moot unless… she was being used as a distraction from their objective. Of course! He was the primary target. If they could neutralise his bond to the fyredrake the creature would become undirected. 

Gacgon’s awareness piqued. He was alone in his keep, and he had sent his primary weapon away. A darkness, almost in response to his revelation, suddenly enveloped the castle. Hair stood on the old man’s arms and neck. They were here. 

Quickly through the labyrinth of rooms and corridors he scurried. The speed and witchcraft of the Ispolin would prevent his escape. Gacgon hastened to his sleeping quarters. Hidden in a secret recess, he pulled out a small, plain paper package containing a fine grey power. If they lit a fire, he might have a chance to escape. 

He slipped the parcel into the sleeve of his robe and ran from his chamber. He rounded a corner and was immediately confronted by a slavering band of Ispolin warriors. 

The leader licked his canine’s and growled at Gacgon, “We have come for you at last wizard,” his voice crackled like a brittle piece of paper being slowly crushed. 

“Prepare the spell. The old man has crossed us for the last time.”


Daniel, a wonderful chapter that will definitely lead us to a memorable climax! You can experience Gacgon's apprehension as you take us through the chapter toward a nail-biting ending. Enjoyed every word!!
What tremendous imagination and such vivid description. This is wonderful writing Daniel. I found myself thinking of Tolkein's Lord of the Rings and Glacgon as Gandolf. I was in that castle and wondering what was in the fine grey powder. So well done!