I know I haven't been posting much lately, and that has been because a majority of my old stuff is now up here on Comic Vine. There is one item that I have left to post, and I've just been a bit lazy about putting it up. Today, however, on the 33rd anniversary of the Challenger Disaster, I am posting a new chapter in my Gauntlet: Dark Legacy fic, Legendary Heroes. This particular chapter is set before the game, as the Chimera now takes over the Castle Stronghold. I hope you enjoy this new chapter.
|Gauntlet: Dark Legacy disclaimer|
Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, as well as the whole Gauntlet series, to the best of my knowledge, is property of Midway Games. Character names, to the best of my knowledge, are original.
|Previous Chapter||The Fire On The Mountain|
Chapter 12: The Fallen Castle
Sitting atop the highest set of ramparts in the Castle Stronghold, the Chimera could see all of the sprawling fortress that it had finally taken over. Sure, there were small pockets of humans, elven creatures, barbarians, or the dark skinned ones that had domain over the rough deserts, but they would be no match. The Chimera had managed to destroyed all the strong fighters that had been left in the castle. Even now, the Chimera’s snake head was sinking its fangs into one of the few Valkyries that had remained. She wasn’t even a challenge, running right into the poisonous gas that came from the snake head.
The eagle head was also snacking, but on an elven creature. This one was also female, but stringy. It wondered briefly if that one had been one of the creatures that the Spider Queen was supposed to be leaving to the lizard men in her realm. It wouldn’t matter, since it was already one less problem there, but wondering about these things were part of the problems of a creature with three heads, and three minds.
The usually dominant head, the lion head, was currently gnawing on a leg from a human. It had been a particularly plump man, and had the smell of treasure on him. Knowing where all the riches were was great, since it knew where the greedy human beings would be headed. It made it easy to get food. Occasionally, that head would cook the meat with its fire breath, making the smell take over the ramparts.
While the Chimera ate, its minions knew better than to disturb it, unless it was important. With the multiple heads, it meant even they would be a feast if the Chimera was displeased. Still, it noticed that some were approaching with the King and the Queen of the castle in tow. No doubt it had taken them a while to locate them. Even though the Chimera’s forces had managed to overwhelm the people living in the stronghold, the two rulers seemed elusive for a while. No doubt they were using some of the places secret panels and magical transportation to get around.
The three heads stopped eating, and focused on the approaching group, locking eyes with the strongest lupine creature, something the humans referred to as a werewolf. The creature didn’t flinch, which told the Chimera that this one was destine for something greater. This demanded appropriate attention, as the Chimera responded with all three heads speaking. “So you finally found the rulers. You’ve done well, and were brave to bring them while I ate.”
The lead creature nodded, responding with a growl in its voice signaling the acknowledgement of that respect. “Yes. It took a while, but we found them. Also, another group has received some items from Skorne, and are bringing them up.” That statement surprised the Chimera, and sure enough, another group of the lupine creatures came up with two special items.
Once they were up, the Chimera looked at the King and Queen, and brought up the one question that was on its mind. It still remembered the Valkarie that had transformed into the Falconess. It didn’t want that to happen again, and said to the fallen foes, “Where did that Valkyrie go? We know she wasn’t part of the group we had defeated. Did she go off in search of that cursed Scimitar?”
To his credit, the King shook his head and responded, “I won’t tell you. You can eat me, kill me, but you will never get that from me.” The Chimera had all of its heads focusing on the man, and contemplated those words. Threats of death wouldn’t work on the ruler, and the Chimera had a feeling that threatening the Queen would result is a similar response, but an answer was needed right away.
The Chimera’s eagle head looked at the lead lupine like creature, and said, “Hold that sorry excuse for a life upstanding. There is only way to get the information quickly.” It watched as the creature did as it was told, lifting the man up, and forcing them to stand still. Once that was done, the Chimera reared back with all three of its heads, and focused on the two in front of them.
It then let loose with breath from all three heads, all focused on the King and the creature holding him. The two were bathed in the poisonous breath from the snake’s head, the fiery breath from the lion’s head, and lightning breath from the eagle’s head. If one of the two figures would have been alone, the body would have been disintegrated. Since they were together, however, the resulting mixture was enough to force the two figures to merge into one.
The Chimera stopped breathing the dangerous breath, and the figure that was now standing in the place of the two fell to its knees, breathing very heavily. No doubt the process had taken a toll on the figure, but the Chimera remained patient. This was the crutial part, since this new figure would have the minds of both of the figures used to make it. If the King had been more powerful, the new figure would attempt to rebel. If the King wasn’t the more powerful, all the King’s knowledge would be easily accessed by the mind of the lupine creature.
Soon, the figure got to one knee, and looked up at the Chimera. The new figure placed a fist to its heart, and started to speak. “It appears the Valkyrie was sent to the structure known as Sumner’s Tower. She thought that was the place to go to reclaim the cursed Scimitar.”
This news made the Chimera frown on all of its faces. It had hoped to snack on that Valkyrie. Still, it knew the Scimitar was no longer in the Castle Stronghold. Since she hadn’t been experienced enough, she hadn’t known how to use it, making it easy to dispose of. Still, to know she was seeking to find it was not a good thing. The Chimera then looked at the Queen, and realized it had the perfect way to capture the Valkyrie.
As if reading the creature’s minds, the Queen chose that moment to speak up. “Your victory here will be short lived, foul beast. She will return with Rasha’s Scimitar, and liberate this castle.” The Chimera had to give her credit. She managed to present herself as a leader, even though her outfit was not in pristine condition.
The Chimera turned to its new general, and said, “Take her down to the dungeon. Place her in one of those cages that they hang high in the room.” The Chimera took pleasure in seeing the fear in the Queen’s face as the general nodded, and then dragged her off.
Once she was taken away, the Chimera turned its attention to the other group of its grunts, who all appeared to be cowering under the triple gaze. It was obvious that they were not ready for the honor of being a general. They did, however, manage to keep enough of their wits together to finally say while holding up a magical Ice Axe. “Master, this was sent to the Castle Stronghold for safe keeping.”
Before the Chimera could respond to that statement, the image of Skorne appeared, causing those grunts to stagger back in fear. The image looked at the Chimera, and then at the items the grunts were holding before speaking. “I see that the axe and the rune stone has arrived. They need to be safely hidden, Chimera. If not, it could be a disaster.” The Chimera understood entirely the concern of its master. Those accursed items had ruined Skorne’s last time of domination long ago. The Chimera’s one neck still stung from the time it had lost its Lion head long ago. Skorne’s own powers had only managed to save the Chimera from complete destruction.
The Chimera bowed all of its heads before responding. It took a moment, however, to make sure that only one head was speaking. “I understand, Skorne. I have a perfect place in mind for the Ice Axe, as well as for that Rune Stone.” The Chimera could see the surprise in Skorne’s eyes through his face mask. Many forgot that the Chimera could think with all its heads, tripling its mind power from time to time.
The Chimera then looked towards two suits of armor that stood at the corners of the ramparts. While they didn’t speak, they approached the Chimera, and placed their empty hands where their hearts had to be. The Chimera then said to the one on the left, “Take the Ice Axe down to the barracks, and place it in that ice room they had for the food stores.” The Chimera watched as that particular armor just nodded, and carried the Ice Axe off, the magical axe causing a coating of ice to appear on its arms.
The Chimera then turned its attention to the second suit of armor. This one was perfectly stationary, waiting for its command. This pleased the Chimera. It then said, “Take that rune stone down to the Armory. Place it safely away in one of the pits. Also, make sure one of the Granite Golems is guarding over the area.” This armor also nodded, and made its way down into the Castle Stronghold.
It then heard Skorne make an approving sound. “Very well done. That should keep those items safely out of the hands of any Legendary Warriors that might be about.” That little statement made the Chimera worry for a moment. The Valkyrie the Chimera had encountered had shown signs of being a Legendary Warrior. If there were more about, it could be a serious threat to all of the others.
This prompted the Chimera to ask something that was on all of its minds. “Lord Skorne. Where exactly did Rasha’s Scimitar end up?” It had to be placed somewhere that no Legendary Heroes could easily get it.
The Chimera felt better when Skorne’s image chuckled, and responded to the question. “That particular item is embedded in a tree. It’s not something they can chop down.” That bit of news was good to hear. It meant that the bane of the Chimera’s existence was in the Spider Queen’s realm.
Skorne spoke again, bringing the Chimera’s minds back to the moment. “By the way, you must send more of you children out. The snake headed ones need to make their way to the Forsaken Provence and the Mountain Kingdom. The lion headed ones need to go to the Ice Domain, the Desert Lands, and the Dream Realm. The eagle headed ones can head to the other realms.”
The Chimera bowed, and nodded all three heads. “It will be done. Their tough hides will be tough for any hero to break. I’m sure they will also enjoy the feast any who oppose you provide.” The Chimera looked up, and saw the image of Skorne fade. Another feast would have to wait, since the need to summon more of its kin was needed. It only meant a momentary departure from the Castle Stronghold, but it would be enough. The forces were in place to defend it from any heroes who might come to liberate the place. There were Granite Golems everywhere in the place, as well as Eagle Gargoyles resting at key positions. No hero should be able to make it through the place.
|Next Chapter||(Untitled Plague Fiend Chapter)|
|Library Page||RichGenX's Library - Legendary Heroes|