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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9. In which Lorelei finds food.

          The common area was full of chatter, a bonfire in the middle. Today was a lazy day, she observed, where many were perched around the fire, or throwing snowballs at each other. She spotted a few familiar faces, though she said nothing - Prikar’s friendly smile, Henrik’s guttural laugh.
          She began to feel a bit homesick. Visions of her previous life flooded back to her: her home, her school, her dad, Nicholas....
         She felt tears well up inside her, but shook her head. She can’t cry now. She had to find a way to escape this and go home.
Now that she had become accustomed to not being dead, she couldn’t fathom the idea if actually going through with it. She didn’t have to like the idea of being a dragon, but she would avoid death if she could. There had to be some way.
         “You didn’t eat much this morning,” Juniper said, coming up from behind her blank stare. Lorelei broke out of her trance and blinked at the green and blue scaled dragon. She wanted to sneer at her concern, but something held her back. She simply blinked again.
         “Are you alright, Lore?” Juniper asked, tilting her head. Her opalescent eyes were mirrored with concern.
         “Y-yeah,” Lorelei finally replied. “I’m okay.”
         “Why don’t we get you something else to eat?” she added, turning toward the dining hall with a flick of her tail. “Come on, I’m sure Wrench won’t mind.”
         While Lorelei had never met Wrench, from what she had heard he seemed to be a very jolly fellow of somewhat short stature. If he had the patience to work with children (for which Lorelei had no patience for), then he must be alright.
She followed the more cheerful dragon toward the northern part of the hold, greeted as they went along by a slew of smiling faces and nods or waves. Everyone was so friendly here. She scowled to herself, wishing she was at home, despite the cheeriness.
The dining hall was weird now that it was empty, the pair’s claws clacking on the tan concrete floor (which she wished had a few rugs). She noticed the long red runners down the aisles that Felstam and Bromor had filed during the previous night’s dinner. She put a cautious paw on the soft rug.
         “Don’t worry, that cloth won’t put up a fuss if you poke holes in it,” Juniper smiled.
         Lorelei quickly removed the fore claw startled she was being watched. With a small chuckle, the other dragon tittered down the rug in front of her, humming a tune and bouncing a beat, her large hind end wiggling. Lorelei hid a smile.
         The kitchen was vast and somewhat messy, splats of sauce across the counter. Some bacon (or other unidentifiable meat) still sat, sizzling softly on the massive griddle next to a two-range stove. A soft humming came across the side and Juniper smiled, her rear wiggling like an excited dog. Lorelei frowned and resisted the urge to strap it to the floor.
         The humming got louder and a very small but tubby black and silver cook, clad in a pale, but stained apron camp tromping around the corner, his chef’s hat askew. He walked on his two hind legs rather than four like most other dragons. He spotted Juniper and lit up.
         “June, baby, what’s crackin’?!” he exclaimed with an accent that seemed somewhat ghetto. She wondered where all these dragons had come from that had them develop such diverse accents.
         “Hey, dawg,” Juniper replied, adopting his vernacular. “Lore here’s a bit empty. Can ya see if we got some snackage?”
“Snackage it is, baby! I got jus’ what’cha need!” With a quick spin, he turned and ending in a pointing pose that targeted a large wooden pantry. “Tha’s mah secret stash. Ain’t no one but the special dudettes allowed in there,” he added with a wink. “Go on, baby! Have a peek!”
         Lorelei took a few cautious steps toward the cupboard, then looked back at Juniper, raising an eyebrow as if asking “Is he alright in the head?” Juniper nodded a reply and stuck out her tongue.
         The cupboard was filled to the brim with something Lorelei never thought she would see again. She gasped and took a step back in amazement.
         “Snickers! Sour Patch! Lays!” she couldn’t help but exclaim. Turning back to Wrench, she added “How did you get all these?”
         Excited by her response, the small dragon crossed his stubbly arms and nodded, a huge grin splitting his face.
“I got my sources,” he said with a nod.

         Aldesh raced down the hallway of the Elder’s meeting hall, the scents that previously made his head hurt now nothing but air. His claws made echoing sounds off the cold stone walls and his tail gripped the resource book he had worked for months to find.
In his urgency, he had failed to see the housekeeper down one of the side hallways. She had just finished refilling the smelly baskets and turned to leave down the same route Aldesh was racing. With a smash and thump the two collided.
         “Blasted hallway!” Aldesh roared. He quickly turned his golden-red face scales a deeper red as he flushed with embarrassment. The middle-aged dragon looked down at him with a mighty scowl.
         “Watch where you’re going!” she snapped. She stood up and shook like a dog, her tail knocking over the basket she had just filled. “Oh, green gobs and filter sprites!” she growled. Turning to pick up her mess, she nearly smacked Aldesh in the face with her tail.
         “Gyah!” he shouted, ducking. She apparently didn’t notice.
Aldesh stood up slowly, grumbling. He dusted himself off, leaning on his back legs, the book still clutched tightly in his tail. For someone who did nothing but clean an empty building all day, she sure had an attitude.
         His musings were interrupted by Bromor’s quick pace.
“What’s going on here?” he asked, rather sternly. “I was taking my morning nap!”
         Oh, marvelous, Aldesh sighed and rolled his eyes. Now I have to deal with a cranky Bromor, too?
         “No trouble, right?” the elder dragon asked, a stern expression across his face. The cleaning dragon said nothing, but continued to fix up the basket. Aldesh simply shook his head.
         “Right,” Bromor nodded and turned to leave. Aldesh frowned and simply continued on his way, his pace a bit more controlled this time.

         Now full of delicious human snack that made Lorelei’s mood a bit more reasonable, the pair headed back to the sleeping quarters.
         “What are we doing back here?” Lorelei asked. “It’s only mid-morning.”
         “Someone’s talkative now,” Juniper poked at Lorelei.
         “Forgive me for being curious,” Lorelei frowned, adopting an expression of annoyance.
         “Pffft. Well, we’re here to help Geldoc today. A few of his crew had something awful in their dinner last night and are stuck in the infirmary. He asked us to help out.”
Lorelei scowled. “Why don’t you get Aldesh to help? He’s like your other hip.”
         “He’s been in the library all morning. He does that now and then,” Juniper sighed. “When he gets into his books, not much can pull him away.”
         “Lorelei! I’m glad you could make it!” the green-and-gray dragon smiled, coming around the corner. He carried some form of metal yolk with multiple hooks, which in turn, carried buckets of some cleaning liquid, each with a large sponge in them. He grinned and nodded. “The rest are inside. We have a lot of cleaning to do! The two hatchlings are moving in today.”
         Lorelei sighed and rolled her eyes.

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