This is a work of fiction and is not to be sold in any way shape or form. It is simply for my amusement and the challenge of writing these characters in a strange and dangerous world. All the characters are owned by Disney and I do not claim ownership of any of them. Please let me know what you think in the comments below! Without further ado, welcome to The Kingdom.)
Screams, cries for help, and low rumbling thunder echoed faintly through the halls of the castle. Merlin awoke, his body drenched in sweat and his muscles aching, especially his shoulder where the blade had pierced him. He pushed with his bony hands to sit up from the soft bedding and silk sheets beneath him. He reached to the side table and gingerly picked up his eyeglasses, placing them atop his nose. He gave a couple quick blinks to get the lay of the room.
SLAM! The double doors leading out of the room burst open as Archimedes flew in, his feathers fluttering as he frantically landed on the bed.
“Merlin,” he said, gasping for air. “Come quick. The Kingdom. Under attack.”
“Under attack?” Postured Merlin. He slowly stood from the bed and walked towards the door, using the wall for support. Sun shone brilliantly through the large window in the hallway, but as Merlin walked out of his room, he watched as a shadow crept across the floor until all of the sunlight disappeared. “What is this?” He asked, and walked over to the window. He pushed open the glass panes and gasped at what he saw before him.
Crawling over the city from the sea beyond was a huge black cloud. Purple lightning ripped through the cloud, thundering menacingly over the cries of fear from below. The cloud rolled over the harbor, enveloping all the ships, and then continued forward, unstoppable in its approach.
“The day I feared has finally come,” said Merlin as Archimedes landed on the window sill. He turned to the owl and smiled warmly. “It seems our time together has come to an end.”
“What, What?” Asked the bird, confused.
“Come now Archimedes. We always knew this day would come.” The old wizard reached into his pocket and pulled out a small rolled up piece of parchment, fastened with a tiny leather strap. He quickly tied the parchment to Archimedes leg. “You know what to do.”
“I…I should be here with you,” protested Archimedes.
“We all have a part to play,” said Merlin. “You know what yours is.”
Archimedes looked out over the city at the impending darkness. “Yes,” he replied sadly. “I do.”
Merlin patted the owl on the head. “It’s been an honor having you as a companion all these years.”
“We will see each other again,” said Archimedes, trembling with emotions.
“In case we don’t,” said Merlin. “It’s important for you to know that.”
Archimedes nodded. “The honor has been all mine.” With a final nod to his friend, Archimedes took off into the sky, flying in the opposite direction of the black cloud. Merlin waved him farewell and then turned to face the oncoming storm.
From the dark cloud, a large creature burst forth. It had a sleek black body with spikes along its back and a dark magenta under-belly. It had a long neck and an even longer tale. The most menacing part of the creature was its head which had a large toothy mouth, pale blue eyes and two curved horns jutting out the back. The dragon flapped its large bat-like wings and made straight for the castle – straight for Merlin.
It roared and spat fire down on the city below it. More screams went up. Merlin simply stood and stared down the dragon as its enormous body zoomed through the air. Its eyes fixated on Merlin, coming ever nearer. It was halfway over the city already. Any moment, it would converge on the castle, shoot fire through its hallways and and incinerate the old wizard where he stood. Merlin waited. The dragon came closer and closer. It was about to hit the castle now. It pulled back its giant maw, yellow fire rolling in its throat, ready to strike. Merlin closed his eyes and waited for the inevitable.
WHAM! Another dragon, this one green with purple spikes along its back, slammed into the black dragon, forcing the fire in its belly to shoot up into the sky, missing the castle entirely. Merlin opened his eyes just in time to see a small boy riding atop the dragon. He didn’t have time to process it though. The black cloud was moving further into the city. He needed to act now.
With a chance given to him, he took it. He leapt from the window and transformed into a large eagle, soaring over the burning houses below towards the cloud of destruction itself. With one final flap, he entered the cloud and made his way for the ground, the air being too polluted to see straight. Below, amidst the chaos, he made his target. A tall, fat dog wearing a black cloak, walked through the streets, surrounded by a group of guards who were picking off anyone foolish enough not to run.
Merlin soared down towards the street below and then, just as he was about to crash, transformed back to his human self and landed in a puff of blue smoke, standing directly in front of the large dog. The guards surrounding the dog gasped.
“Hello Pete,” said Merlin. “I knew you’d come sooner or later.”
Pete gave a hearty laugh. “Did ya now?”
“Oh yes,” replied Merlin curtly. “All the garbage we throw into the sea eventually washes ashore.”
The smile disappeared from Pete’s face. “Shoot him.”
From behind Pete, an alligator, standing on two feet and wearing a long red cape, stepped out holding a silver crossbow. Without a second thought, he shot an arrow at the wizard. Merlin was fast though. He held up his wand and stopped the arrow mid-flight. With another flick, it shot into a nearby wall.
“One way or another, Pete. You are coming with me.” Merlin waved the wand and all the guards surrounding the dog flew to the side, landing hard on the street’s cobblestones. “Don’t make this harder than it needs to be.”
Pete appeared legitimately concerned. How could he be beaten so easily. And by an old wizard nonetheless. He clenched his fists, ready to fight. He had yet to reveal how strong he truly was, but it seemed that Merlin had called his bluff.
There was roar overhead. They both looked up and a second later, the body of the black dragon came into view through the smoke, heading straight for them. It was falling, as if struck from above. Pete and Merlin lunged out of the way as the dragon slammed down onto the buildings and street, crushing everything in its path. With another loud roar of anger, it took off, back into the sky; back into the black cloud.
As Merlin stood, he looked around, quickly surveying the crushed street for Pete. “No,” he whispered as he realized that the fat dog had seized the opportunity to escape. All around him, chaos had broken loose. Fires roared through the buildings and people were screaming in pain. Some were being attacked by the remaining guards.
Merlin leapt into action. He started shooting off a protection spell, one which, while messy, was effective. It transformed the situation to help save the person it was cast at. For a man about to be slaughtered by an alligator, it made him a mouse so that he could run away. For a woman who was trapped in a burning building, it made her a sparrow, who could fly from danger. The spell would only last until the person it was cast upon was completely safe, so at least Merlin could continue pressing forward, with no need to look back.
“Higgle-De-Salutem!” He yelled, shooting another spell off at a small child lost in an alleyway. He shot another one at a mother, carrying a baby away from an alligator guard. Further and further he went into the darkness, helping anyone that he could. It was the least he could do at this point. He’d lost his chance at Pete. As he reached the docks, he saw ships and boats sinking, engulfed in green flames. There were screams of pain and terror all around. He didn’t even know where to start.
From above, in a nearby watchtower, there was a cry that cut above the rest. It was almost musical in its tone. He looked up to see a woman dressed in green with brilliant red hair, falling from the tower. She held a bow and arrow in her hand, with the arrow, blazing with yellow fire. She was going to crash into the fiery sea and be burnt alive. Even if she survived the fire, the current would certainly drown her. He had to do something.
Merlin pulled back his arm and mustered the biggest spell he could. He had one shot. There was no room for error. If he missed, she was dead. With a great bellow from his chest, he yelled “Higgle-De-Salutem!” The spell shot forth from his wand.