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In the morning, Sir Jeffrey and Sir Ricky reported that their forces were ready for offensive maneuvers. Lord Shinzu told them to stand by as they would be needed shortly. All the others, Norma, Georg, Werner, and Clute the centaur were more than ready to engage the enemy. Lord Shinzu held them in reserve for direct castle protection. The Sir Ricky's archers and spear launchers began their assault as the sea serpents approached within range. We needed the dragons to take out the trebuchets but all were involved with fighting the sea serpents which attacked them.

Always on the watch, I observed that when three dragons took on one sea serpent, the serpent could easily be defeated. But, alas, we did not have enough dragons for that kind of fighting and they were beginning to fall back towards the castle.

Thusly, I ordered the drawbridge to be lowered and the foot soldiers and horsemen to attack. Clute led the attack with Norma on his back. They would have presented a formidably force in fighting humans but against sea serpents they looked too small. But small or not, they proved to be lightning fast against the lumbering serpents.

E'er long, the rest of the troops joined the attack and proved themselves worthy if not victorious. They succeeded in knocking out the trebuchets, but then the serpents turned to man-to-serpent combat in full force. Sadly, it was not long before the serpents had the upper hand. Each time a serpent was killed another appeared to take its place.

It was then I launched our "air force;" Captain Aurelia and her Flying Granny Vampires. They could not do much in the way of attacking but they created a great diversion! They swooped and dove and generally harrassed the sea serpents. Occasionally one of the Grannies would nip a serpent and cause it to look up. Then, if the soldier fighting the serpent were quick, he could stike a mortal blow to the serpent's underside. Moreover, the foot soldiers were successful in setting fire to the trebuchets and put them out of action.

Always vigilant, Lord Shinzu checked on the dragons and saw that the Red Dragon and Puff had teamed up togther and presented a deadly combination. They were larger than most of the other dragons and their combined fire-breaths were awesome. Side by side, they attacked serpent after serpent and devolped a deadly teamwork.

However, the rest of the dragons were not as fortunate and the dragon/sea serpent battle on the whole was not going well. The battle had moved close to the Castle Bisset walls but our archers had to withhold fire for fear of hitting the dragons by mistake.

Inside the walls, the populace of the Castle were keeping spirits high. Lady Jocelyn, Minister of The Home Front was "Keeping the Home Fires Burning" ... literally, and by leading the singing, in her fine Welsh voice of patriotic songs! Snacks were still plentiful and prepared, seemingly, without end, by Ann, and served by Maiden Kay. Of course, Friar Daffyd was praying for all; warriors and populace in the Castle. He offered Communion to those desiring it, and blessed all, humans and dragons aiike. Also, Katey the Healer was ready to go to the battlefield at a moment's notice or care for those brought to her and her aides if such be the case. Many leeches had been collected for her bleeding practice. (It was reported tht Scribe Ruthellyn was seen using a cell phone to make a report on the battle. When approached, it was determined, the phone was out of juice, having been near no currant bush. So, the matter was not persued, but the news lady, Barbara of Pigeon Express, had remarked a smuggled report was due. This is not proved. "Rubbish!" I say ... noted by Ruthellyn.)

Meanwhile, the battle was raging on, and the serpents were beginning to gain the upper hand against the castle defenders. And, it did not look well.

Gradually, the afternoon sky began to darken but few took notice. Naturally, all eyes and concentration was on the battle for Castle Bisset. Suddenly, the skies became very dark, and soon a faint, constant thunder could be heard over the sound of the battle!! Increasingly, the thunder became louder and louder and the fighting began to stop as the combatants looked upwards.

Amazingly, approaching from the south there came a flying mass which was blotting out the sun. Soon all eyes were turned upward as this gigantic mass approached. Stupified, I could hear voices on both sides wondering what kind of magic this was.

I shape-shifted into my dragon form and use my dragon-sight to inspect the flying hoard. There!! At the head of the mass!! It was Glymph the Younger!! Somehow, he had amassed thousands of French dragons and was flying into battle, snorting fire as he flew!!

As they flew over the castle, the light faded even more, heroically, Glymph did not hesitate and he dove into the battle scene followed by the French dragons. A deafening cheer arose of the castle for this brave warrior dragon and his comrads.

Indeed, most of the sea serpents were stunned and did not move until attacked. Furthermore, the serpents were now greatly outnumbered and didn't stand a chance. The flying dragons attacked from all sides and the serpents started retreating towards the woods. I could see Glymph attacking again and again, breathing fire and slashing with tooth and claw.

Without warning, there suddenly appeared beside Glymph a monsterous, golden sea serpent. I knew in an instant that this could only be the great Leslie Warren, shape-shifted into that gigantic serpent. He struck without warning, and Glymph never saw him coming. His huge mouth, filled with razor-sharp teeth, opened as his head flashed in the direction of Glymph.

Tragically, Glymph was instantly crushed between those jaws, his life-blood came streaming down the sides of Leslie's mouth. That demon Leslie spat the lifeless Glymph to the ground and rose on his hind legs in triumph.

In a rage born of horror, I mustered all the magic I could and created a thunderclap that shook the very foundations of Castle Bisset. In a single instant, all fighting stopped. I shape-shifted into the largest dragon I could think of and took off towards Leslie.

When I got with thirty yards of him, I landed. Combatants from both sides parted and presented a clear field between us. "This battle is over," I shouted. "There is to be no more killing except for a single bout between you and me, Leslie. Winner take all!"

Scornfully, he glared at me, "That's all I want. That sea serpent you killed was my brother, Luther. He was learning magic and was just trying to scare a couple of dragons BUT you killed him for no reason at all. Now I shall have the pleasure of killing you!" With that said, he lunged himself towards me.

However, I countered with a huge breath of fire and he pulled up short, "That won't stop me for long! I know you have limited use of your fire before you must take time to regenerate. So you just blow as much smoke ... or whatever ... as you want!"

Actually, he spoke the truth but I felt like I could bluff him. "Normal dragons, yes, but I am a magically created dragon. I have no such limitations!" With that I tried to roast him. As he dodged away, he whirled and delivered a stunning blow to my chest with his tail. I reeled as the breath was knocked out of me. More out of instnct than planning, I flew upwards just in time to miss Leslie's slashing jaws. Miraculously, I landed facing him trying to regain my breath. Instantly, he sensed my predicament and leaped in my direction. His left hind leg caught my right hip and knocked me to the ground. Before I could recover, he was on me, his weight pinning me to the ground.

With a mighty kick, I rolled over and Leslie fell beside me, snapping his jaws in my direction. I was the first on my feet and took the advantage. I grabbed a spear and held it under his immense jaw. "Now, you will die," I shouted as I drove it home.

Instantly, the magic protection the sea serpents had was gone and they found they had trouble breathing air. As one, they started toward the ocean, trying to get in the salt water before they suffocated and be found lying on dry ground much as beached whales!

The Bitterness of Defeat and Loss:

The victory was won but there was little celebration. Glymph the Elder retrieved the body of his son and without a word flew towards his home. But, his tears left holes like grottoes in the land. Our losses were similarly great, and we all felt the pain. Regretably, we lost eighteen English dragons and three French dragons. The Red Dragon and Puff were not injured and each vowed allegiance to the other.

The crafty Puff volunteered to take our "Regrets:" to the families of lost dragons. What a character! This was but a game to him and now he was looking to whom or what may come next!! Happily, dDraig, Red, returned in triumph to his mountain home. However, Lord Shinzu lost four men and had four wounded. Furthermore, Sir Jeffrey had lost five footmen and two horse soldiers with three footmen injured. Sir Ricky lost no men but twelve were injured. Thankfully, my men had remained in the castle as the inner defense, so my injuries were the only ones suffered.

Friar Daffyd was kept busy tending the cries of those hurt with his calm voice and prayers, as Katy The Healer tenderly dressed wounds, treated burns, and bled those that had a fever. The women of the Castle had no rest as the casualties poured in.

Of the others who volunteered to fight for Castle Bisset, there were no injuries except for two bruised Vampire Grannies who collided with each other upon take-off! However, Captain Aurelia has been promoted to Major in recognition of her bravery.

But, for Katey the Healer and her aides, the battle would not be over for weeks. The cell phones were packed for a safe return and the Germans were seen packing their goods. (Plus a keg of Coca-Cola and one of English beer!!)

Nor will the cries of battle be soon forgotton in The Realm. The residents of Castle Bisset had proved their worth and now stand united against any foe. Knowingly, they revelled in victory, but bitterly mourned those lost. A memorial seemed to be in order and, perchance a celebration of victory to warm the cockles of the brave hearts still present??