Dragon Lore

Lorelei wakes up one day to find she has turned into a dragon! But the story goes much deeper than that. Much, much deeper. Lorelei must overcome her fears and own wants to prevent the dark shadow known as Bhaal from causing another great war between the humans and dragons. Follow her as she grows stronger and learns about herself in this epic adventure of a lifetime.

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8. In which a shadow enters the cave.

          Edwin shivered. His cave was cold, but not usually this cold. He blew on his hand-claws and placed them over the candle near his work to warm them. Turning back to the notes he was taking on his latest project The Draconic Wars: 1200-1300 A.D., he shivered again.
          Something was not right. Even now, in the middle of December, it was not usually this cold. He stood up and paced to his cot, the one he kept in the candle-lit study when he was too involved to get to his room before he nodded off. Even then, he sometimes found himself awakening in a puddle of drool on the desk.
Picking up a heavy-layered fleece quilt he managed to pilfer from a nearby house on one of his outings, he flung it around his shoulders. The family was dismayed, but he needed it, and that was enough for him. He shivered again, a feeling of anxiety sweeping over him.
         His worry was not unfounded. The source of the cold was not a leak in insulation. Well, it was, but, not technically.
A small tendril of black crept its way into the cave, via a crack in the stone door at the end of the hallway. The last time this had been opened was the last time Edwin had seen Lorelei. Though Edwin was sure to seal it, there had always been a small hole big enough to let a string of light through on sunny days.
         The black mist collected in a small coiled pile on the inside of the door as if it was a rope made of translucent dirt. Though it appeared to be fleck-free, there was something about it that seemed to reduce the temperature of its surrounding area by at least ten degrees Fahrenheit.
         Taking on a slightly more solid form, it stood up, flexing its shoulders (or what appeared to be its shoulders. The form was so insubstantial - anyone would have a hard time distinguishing.) and took a few cautious steps down the hallway. Raising its nose, it flicked out its shadow-like tongue and tasted the air. Its form became more solid and a tail appeared, followed by a set of draconic wings. It continued to stand in a bipedal fashion, unlike most dragons, and it was smaller in stature.
         Scales began to form, lackluster and dark, as it slowly moved down the hallway. Tasting the air again, it caught scent of what it searched for.
         Edwin shivered again, the feeling of apprehension growing. He tried to shoo it away, but to no avail. Finally, eager to rid himself of this feeling, he stood up and growled, pacing toward the doorway of the study.
         The shadow, now a dark-scaled, bipedal dragon with eyes of glowing red and a tail with three large spikes, raised his wings is excitement as he caught sight of his quarry. It growled excitedly and shot forward, a tooth-baring grin on its face.
         Edwin never saw it coming.
         Instantly, he felt a power pushing against him. He was lifted into the air about two feet by neck, strong fingers clasped around his windpipe. He looked down and saw a pair of bright, red eyes and felt a wave of horror sweep over him.
         “What...are you...doing...?” he gasped, trying to catch his breath.
         In a voice so menacing and dark, deep-toned enough to make any man in his right mind run in fear, the thing replied.
Where is the girl?
         “What girl?” Edwin asked, pretending to not know. He knew full well this thing wanted Lorelei, though he wasn’t sure how he knew.
         There is no need to protect her. You will all die soon enough, it replied, tightening its grip on the man-dragon’s neck. What struck Edwin though was the fact that its mouth didn’t move at all, almost as if it was speaking to his mind directly. He tried to breath, but couldn’t. He struggled and flailed, unable to move. This thing was smaller than he was, but much stronger. Then the thing released him, letting him flop to the ground to catch his breath.
         Now tell me, or you shall be the first to die.
         “Now you’re contradicting yourself,” Edwin replied. “You said it didn’t matter because we’ll all die anyway. Now you want information? It’s clear I’m the one in power here.”
He was answered by a swift kick to his side. His breath caught in his throat and he fell over, grasping the location of the pain. A thought struck him at this moment. The voice seemed rather familiar, but he couldn’t place it.
         I will not stand for your foolishness, Edwin, it answered.
How did he know my name? the man-dragon wondered to himself.
I know all.
         “If you know all,” he replied, “then just read my mind to find what you need.”
         Anger flared up in the dark dragon’s insides. He growled deep in his throat and lifted Edwin up once more. The glowing eyes that pierced the dragon-man seemed so familiar. Even in his lack of breath, he still saw those eyes in his mind’s eye. He had seen them somewhere before.
         You will pay, fool, it growled.
         Gasping for air, Edwin knew he was about to die. Why not go out with flying colors?
         “I’m hardly a fool when you seek to hurt those you need information from,” he whispered.
         With a quick flick of its wrist, Edwin lay on the floor, his neck broken, and his body lifeless, no information gained from a second visit to the former Rishata.

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