Merlin 2:31 "Gargoyle"
Outside the city of Teice walks Ophiuchus carrying a bag of snakes, he stops where the grass begins to recede from trending step as he sees the smoke rising afore him, people flit to tread the soles of their feet from ominous terror, would that a fire break the nearby sea would be the ferry of pails to be, and certainly not flee lest looters will the riot act. Abated this is sinister replete, anent the remnant chaos launches blackness, without slackness into the air, the wyvern from its haunches for its way and daren’t tare.
Lastly slight like errant night tantivyingly across the sky, the serpent bearer slightly adjusts his course from direct toward the city edge, now at erst parsing paces along the walls to witness the anarchy personally. Through narrow alleys while soldiers rally to make bold against the tyrant Draugur starting fires beneath the wires that city folk use for drying laundered clothes. He sneaks upon the doppelganger in time to see him throw an explosive bottle at a wagon and a wall, staggering and exhausted with wide brace of step but look upon his face of blissful rage, until noticing Ophiuchus standing in the street. He tries to bow pain staked like a drunkard as he addresses him.
Draugur: “Your majesty.”
Ophiuchus: “What are you doing!?” (Vigilantly watching the surroundings)
Draugur: “This city was on the list for renovation master, I was merely.”
Ophiuchus: “By whose orders!?”
As the Draugur begins to speak a squad of soldiers in near lockstep comes running down the street for them, he hears their feet and turns his head, Ophiuchus runs into an alley to disappear, the shape shifter whips his head toward the soldiery and carries his foot also, to begin a promenade in cavalcade of battle.
Meanwhile, in the fields far from the superstructure of government, morals, laws and religion, Merlin and his allies watch the black thing in the sky leave the city apace over the horizon not toward them, but leaving the scene begins to turn-about them, slowly steering in their direction the monster flies to them directly at their side, to turn from sailing on the wind, inviolate passion causes Troy and his phoenix to catch the sky current with caper to hear the wings stretch and press anent the wind and turn from weighty pursuit.
Haughty demon horse-faced lizard, rapping on delight of windswept torture plagued by naught but hate, enmity by webbed wings of bats and tails of rats and peregrine talons combats the escape of prey, ebbing to the plight of malaise and malcontent. It narrows distance to Alerion with contagious levels of fear, Troy looks back again and sees the sweetless hell-bent creature with terrible wide wings, it begins to glide overcast but does not clasp with wretched jaw and growling with pleasure in deceitful rapture, its rear claws kick downward to be burnt by the glowing bird as Troy jumps forward in saddle to avoid the claws like iron spears, the phoenix barks of anxiety and cuts starkly to the ground then circles underneath, Troy holding desperately in circling, in now the wyvern to chase. The cumbersome lizard begins to turn as Alerion latches talons into the mold-green serpent, a raspy howl and wings attempt to spiral, vial fangs snap in defense redesigned to fly and fight affinitive to escape, it grabs the phoenix from below and in throes uses wingspan to tumble midair and return in flighty reptilian hunt. Swaying from the greater course of capture Troy leans with the turning and forth again within the lee of chase, for hatred the wyvern flies with reckless abandon, hooks for climbing at every joint and eyes without dilatation, over the sand of the dry creek Eitur.
The wyvern repeatedly throws its wings downward gusting throws of air aft, it snarls looking like the spawn of a frog and a bat, and lifts its head to breathe of adrenaline, with a magical breath it exhales a stream of fire, the incineration engulfs only the air causing the phoenix to glimmer, insofar granting Troy relief he draws a snugly stowed arrow and his bow over his shoulder and turns to face the beast of predation, still bathing in immolation he draws and releases the into the wyvern’s eye causing the fire to stop and the foe to fluster. Losing ground the wyvern barks and howls and screams and commits to chase, the phoenix aptly glides roundabout and latches talons to the creature then releases twice in succession and in reaching for a third locks with the wyvern in a death spiral toward the city at a great lake’s edge.
In the lair of the church Lynn tarries, the witch of the ethereal fog brews a cauldron of acrid blood as Ophiuchus enters with his bag of snakes.
Lynn: “Where have you been?”
Ophiuchus: “The Draugur you mentioned is here destroying the city and I can taste the magician in the wind.”
Ophiuchus: “Should I kill them?”
Lynn: “No! Erichthonios died trying …his name is Merlin and he is no ordinary fen dweller, if and likely when he defeats Draugur, watch and learn and follow.”
The impending fall of the beasts has a view of smoke from chimneys and the cathedral, into a slanted roof of a hall throes collide, first the swamp serpentine and still locked then Alerion which snaps Troy from saddle by momentum, vaulting him to the next hot clay tile roof, he slides in agility on his feet and shoulders over descending roves of plateauing awnings to a ledge three flights above the street, marked by the balconies of apartments filled or flit by awestruck spectators. The phoenix battles arduous doom by clasp of beak and havoc wreak against the talons prone, conflict wrought made wry into the sky in stammering across the buildings proper, and lift they do by fervor of past to not be the last in conflagration.
The strength of claws versus armored maws of phoenix, the battle ground of brittle homes being struck and strewn defenseless, they seem to bounce across the top, pulling and pinned, latched and winged, never for the loss of strength resolve, taking turns in escape Alerion flies and is grabbed and given bite that bruises without break, then kicked alight as the maladroit beast tries escape only to be pummeled by the phoenix’s talons to the buildings, and a bite at the back forces the phoenix lifts in retreat while tearing intentionally the wyvern’s wing, in flight again pursuit resumes but by planned demise, gliding and slowing the phoenix midair bows its head to look behind itself and see the dark reptile follow, it spirals and puts its talons into the chest of the wyvern and crashes through the clerestory.
The collapse of stone and shards of glass tumble heavily toward Lynn and Ophiuchus, the witch looks to see the falling marble and turns to smoke as the walls collapse, the snake handler dives for a stone doorway faster than he can run and survives calamity of indifference requite pride. In the aftermath phoenix and wyvern battle in the stone nest where defining superiority in close quarter makes pleasure of death and fate, Alerion’s procurement of victory comes as it begins attempt to wrest the heart of the battered monster’s chest in standoffish showdown. The phoenix red and metallic emblematic reflective hue blue at plume edges fearsome in anger against the rabid beast of broken wings and languor breath of flame quotidian to the fiery bird the knell sounds.
Outdoors in the city street with fires close to his feet Draugur stands among the bodies of the slain, laughing at the church in ruin and the fell of the wyvern who growling howls in death followed by two resounding squawks of the phoenix, Merlin begins slowly waking toward him with trepidation, as Ana seeks to help trapped victims from terror and flame, Nickolas steadily jogs toward the villain. Draugur cradles the glass orb with a trapped stormy ocean inside of it and turns lifting one foot sluggishly steadfast to stand and face him. In momentum Nickolas dragging a broadsword pivots and swings tethered blade striking into the Draugur arm beholding the crystal ball, slicing the skin the flash of the blade halts upon villainous bone, with the other arm the villain clubs Nickolas a hundred paces over the air and through a wall.
Draugur: “We’ve come to share this destiny.”
Merlin: “You speak in confusing tones.”
Draugur: “Don't like the quod I say? You'd really hate the stuff I keep to myself.”
Merlin: “In that beating piece of shit you call a heart?”
Draugur: “Fie! Freedom and choice has failed these people, ending the errand of markets, exposing the truth of wealth, I will control it, join me dark wizard.”
Merlin: (pacing) “The truth isn't that enterprise has failed these folk, heretofore it hasn't yet been tried.”
Ophiuchus is in the room where Nickolas is impaled thru the ribs; he laughs content and draws his knife to eat a piece of him, in ardor anguish Nickolas speaks.
Nick: “Help me off this rod!”
Ophiuchus: “You’re finished.”
Nick: “I’m not, get me on that table.”
Ophiuchus: “What a good idea. I’ll be giving you surgery.”
In pain Nickolas is torn from the bar and rubble and placed on the table in the room atop the clutter, closing his eyes he rests and falls to sleep and moments later wakes with a shout and begins to stand.
Ophiuchus: “Are you well?”
Nickolas: “I will gladly kill the man who thinks I can’t kill for satisfaction, if you would point me to him.”
Ophiuchus points and watches from the shadows with a sinister mischievous smile of treason, as Nickolas takes a sword from the room and leaves. Merlin’s fingers flicker with electricity, as Nick sneaks toward Draugur.
Merlin: “You reek of death.”
Draugur: “I can smell your fear…”
Merlin: “I can save your soul.”
Draugur: “Spare me your pity. I am loth to discuss religion.”
Nickolas: “Let’s talk politics.”
Nickolas stabs at Draugur’s neck but he leans to dodge as the blade barely slices his throat, attack defense, in feint deception, Nickolas blades the forearm unfavored nearly too swift to block, le danse macabre, Draugur grabs Nick’s lapel and uses the glass sphere by flooding Nickolas with electricity, pausing and punishing him while looking to Merlin. Nick clears his thoughts and swings his blade at the arm of the magical weapon, Draugur withdraws the torture and his tactical grasp, and Nickolas spins full-circle at his foe, to the body blow then to the hand hits the orb. A peal of thunder sounds as Draugur grasps his hands to his eye, he tries to use the stormy magic against Nickolas again but the lightning unwieldy shocks them both, corollary hither verily pain becomes the monster.
Coup de grace Nickolas turns from Draugur only to swivel his sword over his hand in prestidigitation and stab backwards the monster in his stomach. Draugur begins to keel as Nick turns to face him, he keeps his left hand on the hilt as he faces the monster, and with his right hand he forcibly bends back the foe’s thumb with additional lament of pang as the fractured ball falls to the ground without light or magic. Nickolas looks Draugur in his eyes and forces the blade deeper into his gut finally letting him drop distended.
Merlin lifts the orb and examines the rift within it, staring over the body fraught with scars, despite the face elasticity resumes and taught become shrinking scars as the Draugur’s features become ophidian and nondescript, morphing into an androgynous soldier.
Merlin: “It might not have worked anyway.”
Holding the orb it glows with light, its fractured sharp edges glow and mend in his hand, darker are the realms within the mysterious circular echoing point of manna that begins to hum a high bright note, given to fault it crushes in his grasp brittle ashes windswept.
Troy rises from behind the parapet of a building roof with an arrow drawn and ready, Ana stands disheveled down the lane in fire with her hands sweating among the distorted view heat vapors create, Nickolas walks to her and she to him, to and fro befriend Troy and thus stands Merlin over the enemy. A vacant eye and dismal future withheld, the Draugur lowly moves duly to indisposition and determination, sluggish slowly becomes dying as Merlin watches it lying, in silence lest beside them both at all.
Troy: “What is he doing?”
Nick: “He should be tortured for info on grounds of conspiracy.”
Ana: “Perilous vicissitude delusion, plebian of praetorian.”
Troy: “All based on lies.”
Ana: Troy: “Aye.”
Merlin watches waiting for what he might glean remembering this experience from times ere. In the church the phoenix peaks skittishly over the damaged wall twice, from where they stand the bird’s shoulder be towards them while it raises its wings upward as it produces sound and light, the pose that bears upon many coat-of-arms immemorial, a squawk that tho an octave above irritating is short spent, outlasted by the rite of passage.
Alerion is yellowish, bright among the broken walls, and half an arm’s length taller than Troy’s last encounter, Ophiuchus cautiously moves closer to Merlin with Troy running passed. The Draugur dies without a word told. Merlin walks showing upset toward the house of holy. When Merlin et al leaves, he moves to the body in the street.
Ophiuchus: “You have failed me.”
Draugur: “My liege.”
Ophiuchus: “Are you finished?”
Draugur: “Master, take me with you…”
Ophiuchus pulls open the stomach wound and a small snake crawls from the blackening blood to his hand, it crawls through his fingers around his wrist into his sleeve, around his throat and under his collar.