BOOK I

The

Warrior Trio

By Adam Rainbolt

Erik, the legendary king of the Vikings, is thrown into a huge mess when another king defeats him, however this is no ordinary leader, this is Count Vladimir Dracula, ruler of the undead army, who are rumored to be invincible. But that is the least of his problems, now he has to fight the Fryst army and their brutal leader, the Dragon Snilldar. Befriended by the lowly, yet talented, messenger knight Sir Mordred Conwell, he must embark on an epic journey, and even he might have met his match.

Prologue

5 Hours Before

A small village in Iceland was in mayhem. Through the clouds of smoke, people were running and screaming everywhere. Fires cackled as they hungrily consumed people's homes and everything in them. Inside and out, smoke filled everyone's nose and mouth. Nobody had been expecting the dragon to come down from the distant mountains, so there was no military force to fight it. The deafening roar of the dragon drowned out the horns used to call for help, as the dragon obliterated the town and the people who called it home. Then, while everyone was fleeing for his or her boats, dragon itself silently slipped into the water, leaving nothing but a ripple on the surface.

"Where's the dragon?" someone asked in a frightened voice. Everyone began to search the horizon and peer through the smoke.

"Maybe it got bored," someone else offered when there was no sign of it. Just then the dragon burst out of the water, smashing all of the small boats and with them, all hope of escape. Most people got back onto the shore and were crowded together, shivering in the cold wind from the sea. The massive green dragon almost appeared to be smiling as it snarled down at the people. In slow, dramatic movements it advanced on the group. Suddenly, something moving with blinding speed struck the dragon's eye, causing it to rear back and bellow in painful surprise. The eagle that caused it quickly turned around and flew back out to sea where it had come from. Then a ship on the horizon caught the attention of people and dragon alike. Normally, the sight of it would have caused the town to erupt into chaos as people fled inland out of the realm of the fierce captain of that ship, leader of the Vikings of Iceland, Erik, who came from a long line of fierce warriors.

The ship, the Warrior, rumored to be the fastest ship in the world, was already near enough to see clearly. Standing at the bow was the great Viking himself, with his sleek yet powerful eagle, Koenigsegg, perched on his shoulder.

The dragon abruptly took flight and began to circle above, like a giant predatory vulture. It had considered fleeing to the safety of its mountain realm, but instead decided to stay and fight.

Erik saw the dragon swooping above and smiled to himself at the challenge at hand. His ship abruptly hit the shore with a resounding thud.

He instructed his men, "Stay on the ship and shoot it when you get a clear shot." With that, Erik waved Koenigsegg off his shoulder, jumped down, and splashed into waist- deep frigid water.

The dragon saw the sole man jump down and begin to advance up the beach, completely oblivious of the water so cold it would freeze a man to death before he could even drown in it. Even though it was just one man, he was a formidable force, and the dragon knew it.

He was easily the tallest man among all present, and was of a very muscular build. He wore typical Viking attire with a huge bear pelt that hung down from his shoulders. Atop his head was a full-face helmet with two huge horns that arced down and out. The mark of a leader. He carried a large round shield in one hand and across his back was slung his enormous battleaxe. Most grown men couldn't even lift it, let alone swing it with any accuracy, however Erik did it very well.

The dragon suddenly landed and, without notice, unleashed a jet of flames from its mouth at Erik, who rolled aside to avoid being scorched. He gave a command and a wave of arrows from his ship rained down on the dragon, forcing it into flight again where it couldn't accurately breathe fire on Erik. The great beast changed tactics and beat its wings downward in powerful strokes, propelling it higher, and higher, and higher, until it was just a small green shape in the wide expanse of the blue sky. Erik waited patiently as he saw the dragon turn, pull its wings in tight, and go into a dive, plummeting straight down. While watching the dragon rocket towards him with staggering speed, Erik dropped his shield and placed both hands on his battleaxe still slung across his back.

In the moment before the beast would've struck the ground it spread it's wings wide, causing it to shoot forward, neck outstretched for Erik. In these short moments time seemed to slow down for Erik. He could feel the air rush past him, escaping from the dragon's wings. The lingering smell of smoke from the fires filled his nostrils. In one swift, fluid movement, Erik sidestepped the dragon's great head with its open jaws, heaved up his battleaxe and swung it down with incredible force.

Erik hadn't even noticed the dragon had been roaring until it abruptly stopped, its head and body no longer one.

The fierce Viking leader calmly stood, and nodded toward the awestruck townspeople, "Tell your king he's welcome. And to stay out of my way in the seas."

With that, he held up his arm, and once Koenigsegg was back on it, he climbed up on his ship and sailed off in search of new challenges.