So we come at last to the final part of our tale, an ending that perhaps many didn’t foresee but was always inevitable.
With rebellion in the wind and beginning to sweep across Arwin, Princess Elaine joined her beloved at the Dwarf mines of the Grey Mountains. Their reunion was sweet, filled with love and hope for a future together. But such a future was yet to be won and so such dreams were put aside as they prepared to face the full wrath of King Shemyaza. And the king was true to his word. Enraged, and with the jilted Dagon by his side as well as the full force of the Dragonlords; King Shemyaza descended upon the traitors without remorse, wielding dragon fire and Dragonlord ferocity at his command.
The battle of the Grey Mines was brutal and quick, the rock itself caught fire from the breath of the dragons. Sha and his followers was no match against such an overwhelming force, many gave their lives in a futile attempt to withstand the onslaught. But the wee folk did not give up their lives easily; they took many Kraken Warriors with them including the mighty Dagon himself, slain by the dwarf Rustum, but the most heart rendering casualty of all for the young Sha, was the death of the gentle troll, Bok, who gave his life to save the young master. In all of troll history, never has one of these creatures given its own life for another species, and yet Bok, tall, strong but passive in nature, did such an act. But in the end Sha was forced to flee with the remanets of his rebellion, by calling upon the aid of Eleven magic to alter the weather to help hide their escape.
Disheartened, Sha, with the Princess Elaine by his side, led his people across the harsh and unforgiving Blood Desert and through the Mage Swamps. Constantly hounded at every turn by the now mad King Shemyaza, whose thirst for blood would only be sated with the genocide of all non-humans. And it was during this sojourn that Sha came to the inevitable conclusion that his kind would never be free of the human race, no matter where they went, and that the only hope for them was to cross the Mountains of Myst and enter the unknown realms beyond the end of the world. A vote was taken and it was unanimously agreed upon, even by the humans among the wee folk, this world and the land of Arwin now belongs to the human race.
And so, still pursued relentlessly by King Shemyaza, Sha led his followers towards the Mountains of Myst, but only to find themselves sequestered and surrounded on the sacred Enchanted Plains. And it was here; upon the same spot where Elves and Dwarves once met in battle long ago, that Sha and his people were forced to make a final stand against the Dragonlords of Kraken.
Hopelessly outnumbered, Sha decides that if they are to have any chance of coming out alive they are going to need help. And so Sha bids Elaine farewell before sneaking off through the enemy lines, again with the aid of elemental magic, calling upon this most sacred and arcane knowledge, bending the light around him to hide himself from the searching eyes of his enemy. Once through he makes all haste for the nearby Fire Mountain, where the oldest dragon of all, Windfire, rests in slumber ever since his defeat at the hands of the Dwarf King Grimbold long ago.
The battle on the Enchanted Plains begins. It is a fierce contest with no ground given and no quarter taken. Led by the human knight Strum, the wee folk put up a grand fight, the wounded are attended to by Elaine, who comforts them in their final moments of life. The battle rages back and forth, but it is a battle they cannot hope to win, instead, they hold out for grim life, hoping that Sha will return in time.
In the meantime Sha reaches the Fire Mountain, so named for its constant spewing of volcanic ash and lava, a more inhospitable place you could not find, and it is here that he makes contact with Windfire – the mightiest, oldest and wisest dragon of them all, who doesn’t appreciate being woken from his slumber. But Sha is desperate and steadfast as he pleads his case to the mighty Windfire. But the dragon has no interest interfering in the affairs of other races, haven’t almost died the last time he did such a thing. It seems that Sha’s journey was for nought...that is until Windfire learns that the Black Dragons are aiding humans. The old drake becomes furious at such an outrage, for his brethren have broken dragon law, a most sacred and strict code that ever was created, far beyond the knowledge and comprehension of mere mortals to understand. And once this law is broken punishment must be dealt – for there can be no exceptions.
And so as the Dragonlords were on the verge of crushing their enemies, Sha riding the majestic Windfire, swoops down into the fray, taking out several Black Dragons in a single stroke with its fiery breath. The mere sight of the legendary Windfire causes the other dragons to throw their riders from their backs and take flight in utter fear. As for those on the ground, the mere sight of their leader, Sha, resurrects the will of the others, led by Rustum and Strum, they gain new strength in attacking the warriors of the Dragonlords as the battle begins to turn in their favour.
But the real battle takes place in the sky above the Enchanted Plains between Sha on Windfire and Shemyaza on Mandrake, leader of the Black Dragons and arch rival of Windfire. The fight is a clash of swords, talons, fire and ripping flesh. The air cracks with thunder and the ground shakes below at this clash of titans. The fight lasts a full hour until finally King Shemyaza and Mandrake are cast down upon the ground leaving Sha and Windfire victorious. With the death of their king the few remaining Kraken Warriors flea the battlefield, defeated, never to rise again.
After bidding thanks to Windfire, Sha learns the sad news of the death of his human friend, Strum. The knight perished while saving the life of the dwarf Rustum...at the very end of the battle. It is a bitter blow amongst the joy of victory. But amongst the carnage Sha and Elaine are reunited, they embrace and kiss, a kiss which has become known as one of the greatest kisses of all time, a kiss to rival them all indeed. And so it was that after burying their fallen heroes, Sha gathers the last of the magic folk and leads them to the fabled Mountains of Myst.
It is there in the foothills of the mountains that Sha will have to make a grave decision, perhaps the hardest decision of all those that have come before. Elaine cannot go with them, with the death of her father and the power of the Dragonlords broken; her people will need their queen. Her future lies in Arwin. In the end the decision for Sha is easy, he will follow his heart and in doing so he decides to remain with Elaine, and together as husband and wife, an elf with both the blood of Dwarf and Elf coursing through his veins, and a human, will try and build a better world.
Sha handed over leadership to Rustum bidding him a fond farewell and good luck. And Sha’s final glimpse of his kind was that of them crossing the mountains and vanishing forever into the murky mists of time, legend and myth, never to be heard of or seen again.
As for the land of Arwin, the rule of Queen Elaine and King Sha heralded the dawning of what has become known as the Golden Age...but that is another story.
Copyright © 2012 by Peter Jessop