They were twelve. As they moved gravely across the path that parted the high grass, there was a might in their steps that made time appear to slow. The man at the front had thick yellow hair. A cold mist shrouded him, and diffused to envelop the other men. The very last of the men was the only of them to carry a scabbard. It was two-thirds the length of his body, and stretched slenderly across his back.
The path led the grim and silent men to an elaborate shrine. Covering many acres, and built with incredible precision and detail, the giant of marble stood firmly on the grassy hill. As the men moved toward the massive bronze doors, they opened themselves.
Standing within the shrine, dwarfing the hundreds of exquisite ornaments and figurines, were two statues, that stood facing each other. They stood close to the walls, and appeared to depict great men. The twelve men lined up and bowed before the statues, then walked between them, moving through a series of narrow passages. Within the shrine was a labyrinth that would easily seem like an infinity of repetitions to strangers. After minutes of walking between narrow walls lined with gold writings, the men entered through a small door. The man with the sword closed it behind him.
None of the men seemed at all frightened or surprised at the amazing creature sitting before them. It was black, and sported thin streaks of red and silver on its back – a magnificent sight. It lay asleep, its spike-infested tail wrapped around it. It was silent. The thing was massive, and any normal person would think that disturbing it would be a really bad idea. Eleven of the men remained at the back of the room, close to the door. They lay their swords on the floor before them, standing in a line that stretched from one end of the room to the other. Then, they bowed their heads and close their eyes.
Meanwhile, the apparent leader of the group stepped forward, retrieved something that resembled a sponge ball from inside his cloak, and squeezed it. The dragon’s terrible screech filled the room as it arose abruptly, fierce-eyed. It bellowed another frightening roar, flinging massive orange flames into the air from its widened mouth, guarded by what looked like sharp iron teeth. Despite the scorching heat hitting his face, the forwarded man remained emotionless and took two paces back, lining up with the others. The men at the ends of the line took two paces forward, not seeming to fear the mighty dragon.
The angered beast, for a short moment, closed its eyes. Then, it flung them open abruptly with a hellish roar that shook the place. The eyes of the furious beast were now beyond ghastly- they were completely black, a pure darkness that was so deep, it seemed to glow out of the beast’s eyes. The two end men had in their hands identical egg-shaped vessels. They were round and golden, and had complex designs and tiny inscriptions all about them. Together, they turned the upper halves of the spheres. They split open simultaneously, and both men bowed their heads and closed their eyes. In unison, they repeated a chant of an ancient and indecipherable tongue. What seemed like a black mist, maybe a spirit, or some power so great that it had a physical manifestation, came out from the dragon’s eyes. Becoming one entity after leaving the beast’s eyes, it split apart again into what seemed to be halves – each rushing into one of the small hand-held vessels.
The place shook violently, and there was a great wind as this awesome entity was pulled from the dragon and forced into the vials. Militantly, the men slammed the vessels shut. The dragon’s eyes grew quickly pale, until it was white entirely. Then it fell, dead in the cage. The men with the vials sighed with relief and some even smirked proudly although they had shown no sign of fear or stress before. The mission was accomplished.