Your Bard, Her King

By Damien Knigbt

Listen to the words of the bard
Hear him speak that you might not sorrow
Only line and verse convince you
But it isn’t me, yesterday, today or tomorrow

This is my lair, my home, my abode
And here I am the dragon king
Would he claim such fancy title
Then why believe when it is I, Koraki who sings

I have intentionally not written verse
As often as I had, lest it confuse you
But this is my cave, mine, I was here first
I should not have to tread soft in my castle

I am but a bard to you, singing song
Aniya she’s out there, my queen my everything
It is for her ultimately I crow verse for
And when I find my soulmate I’ll be her king

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Chapter Nine: An Empty World Final Draft

“It was a vast burning field
where no flowers grew
blood covered the embers
where no bodies were strewn

Who could do this to a land
that committed no crime
a place that had peace
In a time before time”
Anika describing
the devastation Arajuan
caused through out

That morning Anika awoke as the sun peeked into her tent. With the darkness gone the sun beamed the brightest she had ever seen. Only a slight trace of sulfur was on the wind much to her relief. She sat up, her stomach had a dull ache, but her legs healed except for scars on the back of them. Her shoulder where Arajuan gripped her had no wound at all. She had fallen asleep in her travel armor, so she did not need to dress. She left her tent, found Tarnink was already up and had prepared a fire.
Tarnink pulled out a pack of food and handed it to her. She tried to eat but her stomach felt numb. The food just sat and rotted. She tossed the food away from her in frustration.
“Arajuan, that vile beast, he is trying to starve me to death,” she exclaimed.
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Chapter Seven: The Shadow Revealed Final Draft

“How many fear the dark only

to find there is little to fear”

-The Bird-Child Socrates

As the shadowy mist faded away, a foreboding man with charred brittle skin appeared. In the cracks, there glowed what appeared to be red-hot lava. His eyes were embers as he glared at them. Anika regained her bearings, Tarnink behind her, sword drawn. A small troop of twisted men circled them.

Anika found herself faced with this monstrosity. His eyes glowed so hot that his stare burned into her. He was blind, yet Anika felt he could sense her that he was looking at her.

The scar he had on his left eye glowed the brightest red and cut deeper than the other cracks of his flesh. Strapped to his right side he carried a sword, and in his right hand a long spear. His long feathery black hair blended in with the darkness of the forest. He wore a battered

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Chapter One: Beginning of The End- Final Draft   


“Hear that, my friend. It is

the call of the war drum. Thump,

Thump, a heartbeat and

it summons me to war”

-Arajuan to Socrates

A man with icy eyes and short salt and peppered hair gazed from a dark, tall, and jagged throne. He held a cherry wood scepter with carved woody thorns and a large garnet stone. The gem itself pulsed with cloudy swirls as if alive. He wore a deep navy robe with a dragon clasp at the neck and silver thread lining the sleeves. His aged face twisted into a bitter grimace as he tapped the armrest of his throne with impatience.

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The Nucker Worm

By Damien Knight

Twisting down a spiral well
There a nucker worm doth dwell
Coming out for children sweet
And other tasty forms of meat
Scaly skin slimy ooze
Many a man challenge to only loose
The nucker drinks it’s share
And has a fearsome stare
With the nucker none can compete
Becoming his next slice of meat

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Koraki’s Confession: An Aldaria Journal

By Damien Knight

Napidő 4, Nyǻ Közep

I am Koraki Saros Kanosis, son of the Aldarian Emperor, Gori Baslias Kanosis and his wife, Kysa Ekte Kanosis. I was given away at birth, raised as a Spartan warrior and returned by time I came of age. People claim I am a proud man. I confess I have little to be proud of, arrogance is a mask to make up for the atrocities I committed in my father’s name. Ego simply covered the crippling self -esteem I bared due to war, but let’s leave that between us. Our secret if you will.

Milady woke me from the pit of despair I had been in since Elewyn’s demise. Initially Anika’s survival was simply my failing to kill her. It was not kindness; it was not love that drew me to protect her; it was greed and power. There was deep seeded evil in my heart. A heart she stole.

That first kiss was a lie. I remember well how close to death I stood as I begged her to heal me or shield me. Gori, I pleaded, must not find me. I kissed her, and I felt such strength in her magic. I lied and proclaimed that I had been watching her out of love. Silly girl, a man does not fall for a child. She was naïve, willing to believe the word of a monster, a murderer. Yet, I could feel her heart pounding in her chest, I laid close to death, and she cried for me. Suddenly I knew, I didn’t want to die; I didn’t want her to leave my corpse on the ground. I wanted us to be forever in that last embrace. I was a broken man.

Yes, I was broken; I wanted to be the villain. No, I was told I was a villain, and so I believed I was. My past had been full of tragedy and I became bitter. I committed acts of bitterness and believed them to be evil. My every waking moment was a nightmare and after merging with Anika she became my pleasant dream. My escape plan. She was a means to an end, nothing more.

I had loved once already, and that love was ripped from me. I loved Elewyn as no other man could love a woman. My heart was shattered by her death. After that kiss, that lie I perpetrated to take advantage of a young woman, I realized that she saw past my bitterness. It wasn’t right away. I was a monster, the demon of her nightmares. Yet I had also been her comfort, her guardian angel all those years. It wasn’t until that moment she knew the monster and the guardian were one and the same. I never harmed her, but she saw what I had done to her kind. I could never take that back.

I survived, and I fell in love with her grace and her wit. She fell in love with, I could not say for all I could see was darkness, bitterness. I believe even now as King in my father’s throne I am bitter. I could not be where I am if it wasn’t for her. She comforted my pain, during the war. She placed a hand on my shoulder and whispered that we would be OK. We would win.

She understood my pain, I never wanted Anika to suffer. I never meant to hurt her. We kissed, and this was real, not the empty lie I told before. All the pain melted on her lips, a distant memory of war and suffering. This would be the woman I would make my queen. She genuinely loved me.

Anika, led a charmed life though, sheltered she grew up safe. I did not share this good fortune. My life was war, I saw death at an age most children would not. As a teenager, I killed a man for the first time. She never left her village and never killed a man. She had seen death only once, but it was a distant memory. It felt cruel to strip her of this innocence to force her to train as the Dragon Council demanded.

I did the only thing I knew I could do. I took her to the dragon lair of the eternal Kyrazosanz and introduced her to my wife Elewyn. My beloved wife now a specter stuck on this plane of existence could impart on Anika wisdom. Anika took her hands and in a flash of light Elewyn vanished. After years being held by the spell my sword casted when she died, she was free. Anika now carried all Elewyn once was. The guilt consumes me. Anika stole my heart, and I stole her innocence.

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