the beast turned towards Firent, meeting eyes with him yet again as even as the fel creature towered over him in the distance.
It let out yet another tremendous scream as it once again boasted its terrifying size, but this time Firent did not freeze, he stood, brandishing his dagger, and began to calmly force himself to his feet.
His heart was steeled, he was prepared now to meet his fate, but if this bastard had taken his friends he was going to make sure it died with him, he wouldn't cower on his knees.
As Firent gripped down tightly on his dagger, so tightly his knuckles turned white, he finally understood Anoks motivations, and his rage.
This beast was not the result of a mere lust for adventure for Anok, it was vengeance, vengeance for a beast that had taken everything from him, a stolen life now solely dedicated to this creature's destruction.
As the clarity of singular purpose swept over Firent, he finally felt calm, his hand gripped the dagger tight, but was steady, as he prepared the charge forward to meet his destiny.
Before his feet began to carry him however, Firent’s eye caught a stray glint of steel on the stoney outcrop that stood over the Dragon, the crag that Anok had been sent flying into, only Anok no longer laid where he had been.
Now, Anok, using Firents' lost sword as a crutch to keep him upright, stood overtop of the beast, having reached the very highest point on the mountain.
Anok seemed to spot Firent as well, and for the faintest of moments even from so far away, Firent could have sworn they too locked eyes, and that he had seen Anok smile once again.
Fighting through the pain of cracked ribs and a punctured lung, Anok let out one last great yell, a scream that seemed to even outdo the Dragon herself in its volume and fury.
The Beast quickly turned, for a moment Firent thought he maybe detected a small trace of fear when the Dragon realized how vulnerable it had become, but before it had time to process what was happening, Anok threw himself from his high ground, landing atop the writhing neck of his foe.
The Dragon thrashed madly as it attempted to throw Anok from its body, but Anok gripped tightly to the creature's charred and blood-matted mane despite his incredible pain.
She slammed herself into the rocks, throwing her immense weight around to attempt to rid itself of the pest clinging to its neck.
Soon enough however, in its delirious pain fueled desperate whipping, both the Dragon and Anok, were sent over the summit of the mountain, disappearing off the high vertical cliff.
Firent let out a shocked expression as Anok took the beast off the mountain with him, and he hurried to the edge of the summit himself.
For a brief moment it almost seemed as if the Dragon could save itself, using its wings to glide out and dampen the impact of the tremendous fall.
But Anok, still clinging to his eternal foe with everything he had, lifted Firents sword high, and with one final thrust, with the last of his strength, guided the blades point to the beasts head, and buried it in the Dragon's skull.
In half an instant the beast's wings went limp, and then its great mass collided at full speed with the rocks below, seeming to shake the entire mountain as dust enveloped it like an ethereal stormcloud.
Firent started with bittersweet relief at the crumpled mass of the Dragons corpse far below, and like Lieman had done for Durgo, Firent said a silent prayer for Anok.
Sheathing his dagger, Firent solemnly turned and began to descend the mountain.
Four years after this event, a Gailishman drank alone in a dingy corner of a Graylish inn, candlelight dimly lit him as he pored over a small book he had been reading between sips of his ale.
Two younger fellows approached the man, a certain look of awe in their eyes, for they had noticed the very special sword at his hip.
“Excuse me sir, are you Firent Numund, the Dragonslayer?”
The first of the boys stepped forward, his voice trembling with excitement as he nervously spewed out the words.
Firent calmly placed his ale and book on the table as he turned to face the boys, uncovering his verdant green hooded cloak to reveal his grisled visage, he let out a disappointed sigh.
“Aye boys, i am Firent, but if you know my sword you know the story surely, you know who the real Dragonslayers were”
The other boy put himself in front of his friend, eager to show off the knowledge that his friend seemed to lack.
“Yes sir! It was the Legendary Wizard Lieman Twillian! And the Great smith Durgo Araka! And Anok Dragodd of course, the greatest warrior of the lot!”
The boy started with a smug and satisfied grin at his companion, content that he had gotten to best his friend in front of their shared idol, even still he continued.
“The Araka’s and Twillians forged that sword for you didnt they sir! “Dragonmaw”, the most legendary sword in all Aphal! Crafted with some of the scales of the Mother Dragon herself! Can we please please see it sir!”
Firent couldn't help but admire the boy's spirit and enthusiasm, and relinquished a sly smile as he began to unsheath the blade the boys so desired to see.
It was a gorgeous weapon, the Arakas had done well with the scales Firent had brought them back from Drakespire, it was lustrous and glittering, and caused the boys to become utterly entranced.
The first boy pushed himself to the front again, getting close enough where Firent quickly sheathed the sword, lest the boys get hurt.
They were both disappointed in such a momentary glance at such a legendary weapon, but the first boy spoke up once again.
“One day, me and Yartom here are going to be famous Dragonslayers just like Anok! We’re going to travel to the far corners of Aph and defeat Dragons, and Linunkins, and Beamuths, and all sorts of monsters!”
Firent stood quickly, seeming to startle the boys, before he quickly swallowed the last of his ale, and picked up his book, extinguishing his nearby candle with his fingertips.
He leaned in closely, drawing the boys attention once again.
“Be careful seeking adventure, little lads, Dragons are dangerous creatures, and i think we might have just gotten the last of them,”
The boys looked down at their feet, discouraged by the notion, as Firent began to slowly stride towards the door of the Inn after paying the barkeep.
Before he left though, he managed to say two words that captured the imaginations of all of those who had been idly listening to this interaction in the Inn.
And with that Firent left the Inn, firmly clutching Dragonmaw at his hip, and set off down the northbound road.