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The Pillar of Dominance

Chapter 23
The Sacrifice
After several hours of steady climbing, Warren began to hear a dull
roar. It was a sound unlike anything he had heard before. This was not the
rushing thunder of waterfalls, nor the howling of a powerful wind. Wooffen
propped up the tops of his long ears, nervously listening to the foreign
sound. His tail hung low to the ground, and his eyes darted around without
rest as he moved alongside the small cluster of humans, taking care to make
as little noise as possible. Salvador impatiently strode ahead. Nella and
Warren hurried to stay with him.
The roar steadily grew louder as the company moved on. The sun was
just about overhead when they began to see the light of day through the trees
up ahead. Breaking through the final line of trees, they abruptly discovered
the source of the noise, as the blare of battle finally hit them with its full
force. Here, the clang of steel and the shouts of man and beast were almost
deafening. The ground sloped steeply downward before them. Looking out,
they saw the caldera spread out below, scooping out the top of the mountain
in a giant bowl shape. The valley before them was a raging battlefield. Four
colors of robes milled together as soldiers from four different regions battled
for the Dominance. Besides the military men, there were knights, thieves,
beggars, rebels, and monks, altogether comprising thousands of men.
Countless monsters and reptiles were scattered throughout their midst,
inflicting damage with frenzied eagerness. It was unclear whose side the
beasts were on. At the far end of the field was a tiny cave in the side of the
Warren felt his heart rate escalate. “That’s where we need to get to,”
he said, pointing at the tiny black spot on the opposite side of the caldera
from where they stood.
Wooffen let out a whimper.
Salvador allowed his jaw to fall open as he witnessed the brutal scene
taking place before him.
“I can get you through that,” said Nella quietly.
“Through that?” asked Salvador in disbelief, pointing to the chaos
before them.
Nella nodded. “Follow me,” she said, striding forward.
Exchanging a nervous glance, the brothers went after her moving to
either side of the girl with Wooffen creeping unhappily at their ankles, his
tail tucked between his legs.