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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7. In which Aldesh discovers truth.

          The sun had set not long ago as Lorelei snuggled onto the surprisingly soft straw that lined her new room in the adults’ quarters. She was not one to be alone normally, but her desire to seek peace, while thinking over her situation made her not mind.

          The room itself was quite dark. There were no windows, for that would have made more heat escape. Long collections of open-flamed lanterns burned and crackled in the hallway, as well as two in her room. She enjoyed the soft light, despite her semi-foul mood, which had lightened a bit on her arrival.

          The encounter with Richard had been interesting and thinking back on it now she laughed.

           “What was that?” she heard Juniper’s voice from the hallway. Her olive-and-berry scales were just visible in the dim light as she peered in Lorelei’s room. “Were you actually laughing?”

           “Of course not,” Lorelei protested. She hid a smile by pretending to find her claws intensely interesting.

           “You can’t stay Miss Grumpy-scales forever, you know,” Juniper said, sticking her tongue out.

          Lorelei huffed in faux annoyance, watching her claws until Juniper left.

           “If there’s anything you need, my room is right next door, and Al's room is across the hall,” Juniper said around the corner. “Just knock on the wall if I don’t wake up. The morning meeting is at dawn, followed by breakfast!”

          Lorelei didn’t respond. She laid her head down on her forelegs and closed her eyes wondering when she would simply be able to end all of this.

          A loud thump woke her up the next morning, followed by a long string of curses that sounded like Aldesh. The previous week’s adventure had left a hole in the wall, now filled with dried mud and baked with dragon fire. However, whoever had finished the job seemed to have not finished it well enough. He had been awoken by multiple fingers of freezing air coming through microscopic punctures in the mud. In his anger, he kicked it, but this caused the whole structure to collapse leaving the hole open once again. He roared in anger, cursed, and flailed about his room, waking the entire compound up.

          Lorelei had shot awake, looking about for signs of danger, not sure what to expect. She saw Juniper rush to the other side of the hall, her claws clacking on the cold stone, her scales shimmering in the morning light seeping through the hole.

           “Al, what are you doing? You know that fix isn’t permanent!” she exclaimed.

           “I’m sick of this cold air!” Aldesh raged.

           “We live on top of a mountain,” Juniper grinned. “What can you expect?”

           “That’s not an excuse!”

          A loud horn blared, signaling the wake-up call and order for meeting.

           “You always seem to wake us up in time, Al,” Juniper sighed.

           “You can say that again,” an orange and gray scaled dragon snorted, tromping past the pair.

          A crowd of groggy dragons followed, chatting to each other. A few waved toward Aldesh and Juniper on their way out. Lorelei, looking towards the crowd, but still laying down, didn’t react. She was greeted multiple times, but simply watched as they passed, her brain beginning to warm up.

          The two dragons in the hallway peered into the room, adopting curious expressions. Aldesh was more annoyed than his twin, but he attempted.

          Lorelei gave a slightly annoyed expression, mirroring the male dragon’s and stood up.

           “I guess I better go, too, huh,” she reasoned, shaking like a dog.

           “If you want breakfast,” Juniper grinned and stuck out her tongue.

 

          The library was part of the only other man-made building in the hold besides the dining hall. It was behind the kitchen, but the entry was connected to the nursery and the Elders’ hall. There were three ways to get in:

          ...through the nursery, where a dragon wishing to enter had to face Richard, Grimat’s guard-cockatrice, and deal with the cranky old female dragon on top of that, tiptoe through the young dragons’ nursery, and be yelled at about disturbing the delicate state of the eggs.

          ...through the kitchen, where pots, pans, ovens, freezers, piles of beans, raw meat that smelled funny, but a cheery, overly-friendly chef known as Wrench, who always had to know where you were going. His short stature was great for his job, however, his black and silver-tinted scales often covered by a pale apron, stained with sauce (though sometimes Aldesh wondered why it looked so much like blood), vegetable stains, and a slightly creepy smile.

          ...through the Elders’ hall, which often smells of old dragon, and an overwhelming aroma of potpourri, which was placed by the housekeeper dragon Donna, who apparently didn’t like the smell too much either. The scent of flowers and fruit often nearly choked those that entered. The hallways were dark, most of the time containing no light save one flickering lantern, and nearly always empty, save the occasional meetings that had grown less and less regular.

          Aldesh knew which way he would take and took a deep breath to avoid the mass of floral and fruit aromas he would have to encounter.

          Thankful of his massive lungs, he dashed through the dark hallways, knowing the way by heart. The library was nice this time day. The sun filtered through the ice-like glass (It was always so clean, Aldesh swore it could be ice. He wondered if the housekeeper had a life.) onto the nearly empty aisles lined with books of various shape and size.

          The library was free for anyone to use and all its knowledge, most written by the dragons themselves, others stolen (or as the library watcher, Jin, said “borrowed for a long period of time”) from human houses, libraries, archives, and antique stores.

          Knowing where he was headed, he quickly found himself among the ancient writings of the dragons that he had read them many times before.

 

          The Ethereal Crystal, incorrectly known to humans as the King Crystal, was created during the pact of Dragons and Humans. Every one thousand years, it becomes unlit due to lack of power. The Rishata Malgonei, or Chosen One in Dragontongue, was born from the human race to relight the Crystal, giving their own life in the process as the Crystal requires a massive life force to spark it to life.

 

          I know this already, Aldesh mused, thumbing through the pages. He frowned, and returned the book to the shelf.

          He grumbled, frustrated. His thirst for knowledge led him to these shelves, seeking topics such as What makes a storm? or The origin of symbols in Human religion. He often learned a lot, but his intense interest on whether or not the Rishata actually existed had led him here today.
          Lorelei was a strange one. Every Rishata he had met was a “bright and shining example for all of dragon kind,” according to Felstam. Never a bad word was spoken about him. While Aldesh had never met him (as the Rishata was often too busy keeping order between the human and dragon realms), he expected Lorelei to be of like mind.
          Researching the previous Rishata seemed to be the way to go.

 

          Morfan, the Ancient, seeker of knowledge and recorder of events, kept a record of previous Rishata, along with further information on the Ethereal Crystal.

          The first Rishata was named Prodic the Great. He was the only Rishata not born of humans. The most prominent of those at the meeting just before the Great Separation, he proposed this idea, sealed by human and dragon Promise. Further information can be found on page 276.

 

          This isn’t helping much, Aldesh sighed. He flipped through the pages further, seeking more information.

 

          The last Rishata before the Disappearance was known as Jenwithers the Blue. Her great scales often shown brighter than most of her color, even to the point that she was seen much farther away than his group following. Her attitude did not match, however. Initially not accepting the role, she sought to rid herself of his scales and return to her human form.

 

           “This makes sense,” Aldesh mused. Continuing to read, he turned the page.

 

          She was, however, the first Rishata to discover the Crystal’s true purpose. Lighting it caused the opposite of what many had known for thousands of years. When her hold, the Hold of the Desert Mountain, sent her to light the Crystal, as was custom, she encountered a Dark force that encouraged her to light it as well.

 

          No further information about this was on the page. Aldesh turned the next and a new topic had already started. He blinked, wondering what it meant. There had to be more. Something was hidden here that he needed to find.

          Peering down the lateral, he spotted a leather-bound book that didn’t appear familiar. Blinking, he picked it up and opened the cover gingerly.

 

          ...I have found information on this that no other has thought to seek. The explanation of the violence in the year 1232 was not because the crystal wasn’t lit. It was because the crystal was lit. The Rishata was lost in the year 1000 after a new one was not found. This allowed the Dark to light the crystal, using the blood of his own followers, removing the dragons’ Pyre-shield so they were no longer invisible to humans, and thus destroying the pact created in the year 8174 B.C. (as measured by the human calendar). The Dark then used the power he gained to destroy human civilizations, gain followers, and makes slaves of the very animals we as a species promised to protect.

 

          Aldesh turned the cover back to find a title, but there were no markings on the front. Desperate to find an author, he searched until the very last page.

 

          The Journal of Our Times, written and researched by Morfan the Ancient, ends here. May this information be of use to anyone that finds it.

 

           “Morfan...!” he whispered, a shiver running down his spine. If it had not been for a call of concern from a nearby library-goer, he would have stood in the same place for an hour.

          Nodding at him, but brushing off his concern, he thanked the other dragon and left the library swifter than the chill breeze he had felt on awaking.

           “Morfan the Ancient,” he breathed. “No one knows more about the Crystal than he!”

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