Raindrops of Clan Drops, Barbarian Queen

by Fizzy Orange

Assault on the Dark Fortress

Raindrops smirked to herself as she approached the forbidding shape of the Dark Fortress of Ugn from within the large storm cloud. Stealing this storm from the Lightning Wyrm had been a cinch. For such fast creatures they were particularly slow in the head and easy to fool. The pegasus wondered if they had even yet realized their herd was short a storm.

Hidden by the dark stormy cloud Raindrops had managed to approach the stronghold of Torka, the Evil Enchantress of the Lizard People, completely undetected. From her vantage points in the dark cumuluo-nimbus formation she could see the archers slowly patrolling the parapets of the onyx building, completely unprepared. Lightning arced all around her, thunder threatening to deafen her. Only a bold and courageous warrior like her would dare use a live storm as cover. She felt droplets of water running down her jasmine coat and turquoise mane, under her manticore hide armor. Her sandals were soaked, but she didn’t care.

“Time to make like the rain and wash away the filth!” she said to herself, unsheating her trusty sword, Sun Drinker, with her mouth.

She climbed high into the cloud and broke through the top. The pegasus warrior gave her wing a powerful flap, gliding in mid-air for a second as droplets off water flew of her wings before she tucked them in and dove back into the dark cloud. She dived through the storm like a sinking rock, and it was like the storm angered at her impudence. But she didn’t care. She was Raindrops of Clan Drops, Barbarian Queen!

She came out of the bottom of the cloud; sword firmly in her jaw, trailing a mass of lightning charged water vapor behind her! She let out an inarticulate battle cry, muffled by the sword handle in her mouth, as the archers spotted her. It was too late for them by this point. She cut down the first one on her left in half as she swooped down to the parapet, her sword digging into the purple reptilian’s scaly midsection and sending green blood spraying everywhere. She stomped her hoof onto his ugly foot to hold his quickly dying body in place, and yanked Sun Drinker out, following her motion to quickly lop the head of the archer on her right. After that she bowled forward, her horned helmet aimed at the wall in front of her.

With a resounding crash Raindrops broke through the masonry like one would break down a wooden door, finding herself in a long smooth corridor lit by torches. Behind her the charged clouds that had followed her landed and she could hear the scream of pain of the lizards that she hadn’t cut down with her sword. The smell of cooked lizard and ozone filled the air, but Raindrops didn’t have time to appreciate the aroma. Another lizard, this one carrying a large axe in one hand appeared at the end of the corridor, his other hand held the chains of two of the ugliest dogs Raindrops had seen this side of the Diamond Dog Enclave of the East. The two hounds barked at her, sending drool flying off their misshapen jaw. The lizard hissed and pointed his axe at the pegasus, before letting loose the pair of dogs.

Raindrops stared down the two beasts as they charged her. The fastest of the pair pounced at her, jaw opened wide to reveal sharp fangs. She flared her wings and leapt up toward the ceiling. She rolled in the air, swinging her sword downward in a circular motion that cut deep in the back of the dog’s neck, severing its spinal cord in a single explosion of blood. Her sandaled hooves connected with the ceiling just as the second dog reached her former position and barked at her. Her horned helmet landed with a loud noise on the stone floor below, surprising the hound. It would be the last time that dog would bark as she propelled herself from the ceiling, charging down head first toward the floor. She cut down the other beast at the same time as her front hooves hit the stone floor, and it had died by the time her rear hooves landed a few second later. She was now standing with her back to the black lizard and she knew he wouldn’t let that opportunity pass so she quickly turned around and brought her sword to bear.

Just in time to block the incoming strike from the lizard’s axe. The two weapons connected in a shower of sparks. Sun Drinker was an exceptional weapon, crafted by the Cloud Sage of Moon Mountain as a reward for Raindrops’ brave deed. It would not fail her. The two opponents exchanged blows, each time creating a shower of sparks. Finally the lizard went for an overhead strike with all of his might. Raindrops let out another muffled battle cry and struck with all of her might. The axe shattered into pieces, unable to cope with the strain of battle, before the surprised eyes of the lizard. His surprise grew tenfold when Raindrops, carried by her momentum, brought her sword around and stabbed him through the abdomen. The massive lizard coughed green blood as he stumbled away from Sun Drinker. He fell down on his back and gurgled a few last words. His eyes were still wide open in shock, but they would see no more.

Raindrops felt no remorse at killing him. He liked to kick puppies.

The Pegasus warrior retrieved her helmet and ran down the corridor. She ran into a group of reptile warriors but she mowed them all down swiftly, barely slowing her pace. She went down a flight of stairs, encountering a prison cell filled with beautiful mares and even a female griffon. With a buck of her powerful leg she shattered the padlock keeping the cell locked and shooed the prisoners away. She went down some stairs again, then up a flight, before running down a corridor into a room and slaughtering a group of reptile warriors on their break.

Finally Raindrops reached the large wooden door of the inner sanctum! On the large oak doors was etched the dark symbol of Torka, a dark snake coiled around a sphere. Thanking her weapon, the pegasus sheathed her sword. Raindrops lowered her head, pawed at the ground, and charged headlong toward the doors. The doors exploded into the inner sanctum, sending splinters of wood and the metal hinges flying into the large pools of acid doting the cavernous room.

The room was apparently carved out of rock, as though Torka had built the Fortress of Ugn atop a small mountain, encasing the natural formation in dark stone. The room was large, circular, and illuminated by a large, unpolished, glowing crystal high on the ceiling, but torches were still lining the wall and bringing light to the banners hanging on at regular interval. In a circle around the room were seven circular pools of green bubbling acid. In the center of the formation were strewn rich carpets and cushions and at the very center of the room, on a silver pedestal stood a golden box with air holes in it. Below that box, standing with her back to Raindrops and doing incantation in front of a large crystal ball, stood the robed form of Torka the Evil Enchantress! The equinoid form turned around, only dark purple glowing eyes visible under the dark hood. Raindrops had never seen the Evil Enchantress, but it was said she had sacrificed her whole Clan to gain her dark powers, and that she had gained control of the Lizard People with those same dark powers. The pony, if indeed she was a pony anymore, that stood before Raindrops was clad in a dark robe with long sleeves and a dark blue cape.

“Get her!” screeched Torka, pointing a blue hoof tip toward the Pegasus.

Dozens of purple reptilian guards, all wielding various weapons, seemed to drop from nowhere, as if melting out of the walls. They rushed toward Raindrops as one, swarming her from all sides. Soon Raindrops had disappeared from Torka's view. But that didn’t last long as all of Torka’s lizards were sent flying by an explosion of fury and strength. Most just landed against the stone surface of the walls or the floor, a few unlucky ones disappeared into the pools of acids.

“Your underlings won’t stop me Torka! I’m here to take Prince Miche back!”

“Foalish pegasus! Who do you think you are, barging into my Dark Fortress? No one who dares stand against me may escape alive!”

“I am Raindrops, of Clan Drops, Barbarian Queen of the Northern Peaks! Student of the Cloud Sage of Moon Mountain and Savior of Daer’b! I am one who will always stand against tyranny and evil, regardless of the risks. I am the one who will end your terror, Torka!” declared Raindrops, drawing Sun Drinker once again.

“You’re not the only student of the Cloud Sage, Dropsy,” said a new voice.

A brown pegasus stallion with a powerful build landed between Raindrops and Torka. He was clad in the white pelt of a yeti and carried a sword at his waist.

“Haltere,” said Raindrops through her sword hilt.

The pegasus mercenary known as Haltere was Raindrops’ greatest rival and most bitter enemy. They had once both trained under the Cloud Sage but Haltere was a warrior without honor, one who looked down and abused those weaker than him. He was cast away in disgrace and now worked for the vilest of scums found in the Eight Kingdoms. It was not really surprising to see him working for Torka. Haltere drew his own weapon, a red sword forged out of a dragon’s scale.

Without further words the two pegasus charged at each other. The two clashed in a brutal dance of steel and sound. Sparks flew each time their swords connected. Neither warrior seemed to be taking the edge on the other, each taking their turn to push the other backward. Soon they took to the air, flying around the room, much to Torka’s amusement. They raced alongside one another, trading blows and muffled insult at one another.

Finally Raindrops pierced through Haltere’s defenses and drew first blood as she nicked his wing slightly, sending him tumbling toward the ground. He recovered enough not to crash but he wouldn’t be taking to the air for a day or two. The two resumed fighting on the ground, but Haltere was now filled with renewed vigor. In one final clang Haltere sent Sun Drinker flying away from Raindrops’ grip! Sun Drinker would not fail Raindrops, but she was not as infallible. Luckily for the Barbarian Queen it did not land in a pool of acid.

“I finally got the better of you!” said Haltere, laughing at his enemy.

Raindrops quickly spun around and bucked him in the face. He staggered backward in a daze and barely heard her shout a battle cry as she charged him. Viciously she clocked him in the face with her front hooves, making him loose grip on his own weapon. She delivered a powerful uppercut that shattered his jawbone and Haltere crumpled on the floor. Having dealt with him, Raindrops turned her sight back to Torka.

“Do you have more fodder for my fury, Enchantress, or will you finally face me?” called Raindrops.

The Evil Enchantress stared at the warrior as dark lightning began to crackle around her. A third light, the glow of a unicorn’s horn, began to glow beneath Torka’s hood as she rose into the air.

“Foal! I will drain you of all your life energy until nothing is left behind but a dry husk! You think you are the first to try to take me down? Many have tried to slay me before… they have all failed! No sword, hoof, beak nor claw may harm me as long as I posess my Dark Power! Their skulls now adorn the shelves of my private chamber!” said Torka, her voice reverberating through the cavernous room.

“I’m not afraid of you,” replied Raindrops, fetching Sun Drinker.

Torka responded by pointing her hoof down toward Raindrops, sending dark bolts flying through the air. Bravely Raindrops stood her ground and swung Sun Drinker. The sword deflected the lightning, sending it to incinerate a random cushion. Two more bolts were flung her way and both times Raindrops trusted her sword.

“I’m not afraid because I know the secret source of your power is the crystal!” said Raindrops; galloping toward the crystal ball Torka had left behind when she flew upward.

“What? No! You can’t!” said the panicked Enchantress when the pegasus swung her sword to strike the crystal ball.

Sun Drinker shattered the crystal in a grand crashing sound. There was a sudden blinding explosion of magical power and Raindrops was violently thrown backward, her sword escaping her grasp.

Raindrops’ sight returned before her hearing but she could still tell the unicorn was laughing at her. The unicorn was still levitating above the ground, crackling with dark power.

It wasn’t possible! All that she had learned told her the source of Torka’s evil power was the crystal! Why else would Torka be performing incantations in front of that ball? Why did it explode in fell energy? Raindrops looked around her, spotting Sun Drinker, badly mangled, lying away from her.

“…really think it would be that easy?” She heard Torka ask as her ears stopped ringing.

The proud Barbarian Queen turned her head to glare at the Evil Enchantress, finding herself blinded by the room’s main light source. Torka shot her hoof forward and shot another bolt of lightning

That’s when it hit her. Not literally off course, Raindrops easily dodged the bolt of lightning Torka threw at her, only metaphorically. It wasn’t the crystal ball that was the source of her power! Bravely Raindrops flapped her wings and flew toward the Enchantress. This might be foolhardy move but it was her best bet. She dodged another attack and then collided with the Enchantress, pushing her upward. From up close, Raindrops could make the emaciated face of a blue mare under the hood, and that her orbits were devoid of physical eyes. Nothing but evil energy glowing menacingly at her.

“You think you can beat me with brute strength? Foal! My Dark Power makes me invicible! No mortal can harm me!” said Torka.

“You’re just a bonus, my real goal is behind you,” simply said Raindrops.

Realization, then fear, dawned on the monster’s face.

Nooooooo!” was all she could let out before Raindrops rammed her into the large crystal in the ceiling, the true source of her Dark Power.

Cracks formed all around the body of Torka, Raindrops having encased the Evil Enchantress into the crystal. The cracks began to spread all over the large stone as it began to flash from white to the color of Torka’s lightning.

“No! What have you done? No! You’ll kill us all!” said Torka, as the whole room began to shake and rumble.

Raindrops didn’t waste her time. She flew back down to collect Sun Drinker, sliding its mangled form in her belt and then went to grab hold of the Prince’s golden prison. With a grunt she effortlessly lifted it off its pedestal and she flew back out the entrance door.

The whole fortress was shaking by now, light from the crystal apparently coursing throughout the structure along invisible circuits in the walls. The few reptiles Raindrops encountered were too busy running away to try to stop her. Soon she emerged from a door leading to the parapet and flew away into the distance.

She managed to land behind a large rock just as the Dark Fortress of Ugn exploded into light and shards of dark rock. While debris still rained from the sky, celebrating her victory, Raindrops bucked open the golden cage. Sure enough her beloved, Prince Miche, was there. She looked fondly upon his golden form, a relieved smile spreading over her stern feature. She threw her helmet away and helped him out of his prison. His delicious smell was filling her nostrils and she felt lightheaded.

“Oh my love! I’m so happy to see you again!” she said, hugging the large loaf of bread.

“I was so worried! Kiss me my love! Kiss me Prince Miche!” she added, before taking a bite out of the bread.

Raindrops woke up with a start as the alarm clock on her nightstand rang loudly. With a grunt she punched the offending item and sent it flying into the wall, and she slowly sat up in her bed to rub the sleep out of her eyes with her hooves. Memory from her dream flashed through her mind, making her blush with embarassement.

“That’s the last time I eat bread before going to bed,” she said.