The following is chapters 4-6 of Karrel the Grox Slayer in its unproofread state. Feel free to fix any spelling errors yourself, but please inform me of any plot holes and inconsistencies. Please note that this story is based on older versions of the Dhragolon article and may not be up to date.
Chapter 4 Edit
Location: Odalegnoc, Atlas System, Core Cluster
The escape pod came down with flames surrounding it as it entered the planet's atmosphere. As it got closer to the surface, Karrel realized that the pod was sliding down a mountain. It slid and jumped over bumps and shook wildly. Then it finally slid over the top of a frozen lake. It had come to a halt. Karrel reached for a Telepathic Amplifier, but then he heard a crack. The escape pod was too heavy to be on top of the ice. Then the ice broke, the escape pod tilted downward slamming against an underwater pointed rock putting a hole in the pod; it began filling up with ice-cold water. The Telepathic Amplifier rolled out of Karrel's reach, so he had no choice but to climb out of the escape pod. As he was climbing he grabbed the Staff of Life, and he found himself standing atop the frozen lake as the escape pod sunk into the frozen waters.
Karrel was standing in the midst of the white void of a blizzard. His reptilian skin shivered in the cold; he needed to find shelter. He propped the Staff of Life on his back and tried to focus. He put his hands together and knelt in prayer. He said, "Lord Kray, please give me a sign. I must obey my father's will if I am ever to avenge him." Karrel waited and waited. Then, a strange thought entered his head. Something told him he needed to head to the northeast. Karrel proceeded in that direction as he attempted to endure the frostbiting cold.
While wandering amidst the blizzard, he noticed something buried under the snow. With his bare hands, he dug into it. The snow on his hands only made him colder. After sifting through piles of snow, he pulled out the buried object: a right hand energy claw. At last, perhaps a weapon could be of use; he could hunt. He slid the energy claw on his hand and continued wandering northeast. However, the metal covering the claw did not warm his hand any bit.
After a while, the blizzard became less intense, and he spotted an Arkleon tiger eating a dead Gamna. If Karrel could somehow get the Gamna's white fur coat... He needed to get it without disturbing the Arkleon, which was still eating it. Karrel remembered learning in his science class that Arkleons were willing to kill anything that comes near their meals. He looked at his left arm. Some of his blue scales began peeling off from the cold. He needed to get the Gamna fur fast!
Karrel creeped closer to the Gamna, but the Arkleon turned to face him. It roared and dashed towards him, leapt up and pinned him down. The Arkleon's white visage with three razor sharp fangs was up to his face. It opened its mouth to attempt to chomp at Karrel as he pushed upward with his arm as much as he could. Realizing it could not easily take a bite out of its prey, the Arkleon whipped its dagger-like tail at Karrel's face. Karrel just barely moved his head to the right to dodge it. Then, he activated his energy claw and drove it into the Arkleon's side causing the predator to collapse.
Karrel pushed the dead Arkleon off of him and approached the dead Gamna. Using his energy claw, he skinned it and put the fur about himself. The thick skin and fur instantly made him warm. However, he was still not safe. No doubt there had to be more hungry Arkleons out there.
As he continued northeast, he spotted a charging Arkleon in the distance. It was coming right at him. To the right of it, he spotted a mound of snow which began shifting about. Instantly, the Arkleon sensed danger and fled. As the snow moved more, it stood up on four muscular hundred-foot tall legs. A pair of enormous tusks and horn along with a menacing gaze and a mouth of dagger-like teeth became visible. It let out a roar that shook the ground causing an avalanche on a nearby mountain. It was the rare, legendary Ice Behemoth, the top predator on Odalegnoc, and it had an appetite for anything that moved.
The Ice Behemoth turned its enormous white-haired body and gazed upon Karrel striking fear into him. By simply walking, the Behemoth moved towards him as fast as he could sprint. Karrel, continuing to run northeast dashed as fast as he could through the snow fields as the Behemoth drew closer. Soon, Karrel became exhausted as he had never ran so fast in his life. Karrel tried to stay calm as the Ice Behemoth caught up to him letting out another avalanche-causing roar. The monster reached down with its gaping maw into the snow barely missing Karrel.
Karrel was too tired to run any further. The Ice Behemoth reached down again, but at the very moment before it reached Karrel, a pack of Arkleons had swarmed the Ice Behemoth's left hind leg. The Ice Behemoth attempted to shake them off and turned around to engage in battle. This was his chance to get away.
Karrel continued walking northeast leaving the Ice Behemoth and the pack of Arkleons to fight with each other. Then, he came across an ice cave in the side of a mountain. He crawled inside and was now safe from the blizzard. He was now standing in a cavern entirely made of both snow and blue transparent ice. He took the Staff of Life from his back and set it down attempting to activate it. Before he could, a voice sceamed in his head. "Forebear!" Ignoring it, Karrel tried to activate it again. This time, the voice said, "Using the Staff of Life on a planet with advanced life forms will replace all that life." This time, he heeded the warning remembering the commandment, "No Dhragolon shall ever destroy innocent life in the process of destroying evil."
As he looked around the icy cave, he spotted a figure on a wall. It was a frozen Dhragolon skeleton holding a metallic orb.
"A Telepathic Amplifier? Thank you, Kray, for guiding me. Bless the poor soul frozen within those walls." Karrel used his energy claw to dig into the ice and eventually grab the Telepathic Amplifier from the skeleton's hands. He had never used one before, but his father had given his will to him through one. He tried to remember what he learned in school. He need to hold it with both hands and concentrate his thoughts. Then he could communicate with a Scientist on Ucharpli and tell him to send an unmanned craft to pick him up.
He grasped the Telepathic Amplifier tightly and closed his eyes, picturing the jungles and forests of Ucharpli in his head. Then he imagined the city of Yallvus, and saw a group of scientists standing next to several unmanned crafts. Then, he established a link with one of the scientists and said, "Greetings, do you hear me? My name is Rustiagon Karrel. I am stranded on Odalegnoc, Atlas System, Core Cluster. My father was killed by the Grox." Karrel began thinking of his father who had valiantly saved him, losing focus and cutting off the link.
Fortunately, he got the message out though it might not have been clear enough for the scientists to see who he was. After waiting an hour in the shelter of the ice cave, a Dragon Transporter appeared in the snowy, white skies descending from the fog. Karrel stepped outside and stood under the Transporter as a tractor beam began to lift him up along with some snow on the ground. Eventually, Karrel and the Staff of Life were safe inside the ship as it took him to Ucharpli.
Location: Ucharpli, Muelia System, Malick Cluster
The ship arrived at the nightside of Ucharpli outside the city of Yallvus in a green meadow, dropping Karrel off in a tractor beam. The sky was moonless, and thousands of Dhragolon wearing robes and a hood were holding candles. All of them had gathered around a statue of him with his father as they bowed their heads mournfully. A Philosopher stood in front of the statue and began reciting an epitaph.
"King Rustiagon Reckar was a great man whose was killed in action. His son Karrel who also perished with him looked up to him and wished to follow in his footsteps. Do not fear. The Grox are not evil. They have not violated the Commandments yet. However, may Reckar and his son rest in peace; their spirits shall live in harmony with Kray. Their deaths have left us in a dark time as Karrel was the last heir for the Rustiagon family," the philosopher said. Karrel entered the crowd. Suddenly, everyone turned to face him in awe and surprise. The philosopher began speaking, "Karrel? You are still alive? How is this so?"
Karrel began to recount his experience. "Just before the Dragon Cruiser was destroyed, my father told me to get to the escape pod with the Staff of Life. He gave his own life to protect me." Karrel's sorrow turned to rage. "Those infernal monsters of Uszaroth murdered my father!" Everyone gasped at the word, "Uszaroth", which was the name of the demon who is credited with inventing evil. It was not quite a swear word, but it was never used lightly. "They were trying to cripple our kingdom and make us fall!"
The Philosopher tried to ease him. "Listen, Karrel, you must remember to respect the Grox's fighting spirit. If you are to become king, you must not let your emotions get in the way."
"I swear to avenge my father for this. I will find the Grox who gave the command to fire the missile that killed my father!"
"Karrel, you do not understand. Now that you are the next and last heir, you must study well for the exams. You must learn our philosophies well The entire kindgom is depending on you to lead us to the end of this war."
Karrel walked to the statue of his father and said, "I will study every last detail and do everything it takes to become King. I will not let this kingdom crumble because of me."
Location: Ucharpli, Muelia System, Malick Cluster
Karrel, now a young teenager, sat in his room with stacks of books as tall as him. He grabbed each one and reviewed everything he needed to study for. He read every holographic text word by word.
"So the Great Flood occurred in 22,000 BD isolated the Dhragolon across the world. Around that time, Ucharpli's core cooled forming rare gems such as rubies, diamonds and Dragonrock in the Sea of Diamonds...Raycaon is the closest planet to the Galactic Core that can cupport carbon-based life...Agengo is the planet with the richest deposit of purple spice...Jamzez was born in the late tribal Era founding the religion of Jamzezism. Renya Aknar in the year 0 expanded on it founding Renyanism."
The time came after having reviewed the philosophies and histories of his race. He arrived at the Royal Academy and prepared to test. The exam proctor came to him.
"Welcome, Rustiagon Karrel. Have a seat," the proctor said. Karrel sat down in a chair. The room around him was quite spacious. Behind him was a bed and to his right was a refrigerator with Eletar meat and bottles of Charkan juice fresh from the Charkan trees in the jungles of the Tralgatar continent. Would the exam really take long enough for him to have to eat and sleep? The exam proctor continued, "This is the written portion of the Royal Exam testing your ability to understand the history and philosphies of the Dhragolon. You have as much time as you need to complete it. If necessary, you may eat from the refrigerator or rest in the bed. In order to pass the exam, you must answer 950 out of 1000 questions correctly. Are you ready to start?"
Karrel was ready indeed. He replied, "Yes, Exam Proctor."
"Then you may begin. Good luck. The entire kingdom is depending on you to stabilize the monarchy." The Exam Proctor left the room and a holographic interface of the exam appeared in fron of Karrel displaying the first question.
"Question 1: According to a story in the Book of Kray, a Dhragolon gathered several of as many animals as he could find to save them from the Great Flood. Who was he?" This one was easy. Using a pen, Karrel wrote the name "Nolara" into the hologram. He hit the "next" button displaying the next question. "Question 2: What did Rustiagon Reckar find at the Galactic Core?" A question about his own father. Remebering what dad told him 20 years ago, he answered, "He encounteered Steve who gave him 42 uses of the Staff of Life."
Karrel breezed along fairly quickly as many of the questions were common knowledge. He got up several times to take a bite of Eletar meat and even slept for a little bit. Then towards the end of the exam he came across a tough question: "Question 932: True or false. The Grox must be respected for their fighting spirit." His eyes widened in both sadness and anger. His arm began shaking.
"They killed my father. But the philosopher told me it was part of war and its in the Commandments. I should skip it." Karrel eventually reached the last question.
"Question 1000: What ist he maximum velocity of an Ice Behemoth?" Karrel wrote "6 miles". A notice appeared on the exam. "You have 1 unanswered question. Please complete it before your score gets submitted." Karrel decided to take a rest before he answered the question he skipped.
About an hour later, he woke up, sat down in the chair and navigated to Question 932. He thought calmly and brainstormed. "If the Grox killed my father, doesn't that make them murderers? But the commandment about that says, 'No one shall kill another without good cause'. Good cause? Death in the battlefield is from a good cause, but this was my own father. I don't respect their fighting spirit. But they haven't violated the Commandments such as 'No one shall destroy innocent life,' or 'No world shall be destroyed before its declared apocalpyse.' What do I do?" After pondering, he concluded, "I must put aside my emotions and feelings. I need to answer logically. Even though they killed my father, it was necessary for them in their attempts to deefeat us. He was killed on the battlefield." A tear began slipping from his eyes. Then he recollected himself again. "They have not violated any major commandments. Just like that philosopher at the funeral said, 'The Grox's fighting spirit must be respected. It is in the Commandments.' Yes, that's right. There is the Commandment, 'the spirit of fighting of another race must be respected until that race violates the Commandments. I must answer 'true'." Reluctantly, Karrel wrote the word "true" on the hologram and selected the "Done" button.
"Please wait...Scoring exam," a message read. Then, displayed was the list of all 1000 questions each one with a green checkmark. "You have answered 1000 of 1000 questions correctly. Your psychological evaluation shows interest in Question 932." Karrel listened to what the exam had to say. "You were strong-willed enough to put aside your emotions for your father to answer this question correctly. However, it seems you only did so for that reason. But if you are capable of avoiding emotional compromise, you, Rustiagon Karrel, are fit for king."
Shortly after, the exam proctor entered the room and said, "Well done, Karrel. You are the first king to answer every single question on the exam correctly. Certainly, future Dhragolon will remember this feat."
"Thank you," Karrel replied.
"Now comes the next portion of the exam: the twenty mile agility course. You will begin it first thing in the morning. As you know, the course is within the jungles of Tralgatar and may potentially be dangerous. Understood?"
"Yes. I am ready."