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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13. In which Lorelei’s attempt to brighten things...

          Although Aldesh had left the hold before (last time without permission from Felstam, which he made known the night of his return), it was an odd separation this time. The hold was gone for the most part. The only thing left would be the sleeping caves, now full of holes. A sinking feeling rose in his gut.
          The sound of Lorelei’s voice woke him from his musing. He shook his head and slowed to the point the smaller, icy-blue-scaled female could fly nearly next to him. He cracked a small smile, but the lack of feeling behind it didn’t escape Lorelei.
           “Aw, come on, Al,” she tried. “It’s not all bad, right? I mean at least you weren’t a human before. Dragons are so much cooler.”
          He was amused by her comment, which made him feel a little better, even if he didn’t show it. Lorelei, not usually one to care, felt the urge to attempt.
           “It’s nice weather,” she tried again. “I mean, who could be upset on a day like this?” She mentally smacked herself for the lame attempt.

          When Aldesh still remained silent, she grew slightly frustrated. Trying to think quickly, despite her lack of sleep, she went through a list of things that she thought made sense to make dragons happy. However, her lack of knowledge landed her on killing things, which didn’t seem to fit Aldesh’s personality. Quickly growing angry, she blurted out.
“Oh, damnit, you stupid lizard! Be happy or I’m gonna slap you with a baseball bat!”

          Aldesh, taken by surprise, looked at her, nearly halting in the air.
           “That’s right, you idiot, I said be happy!” she blurted out again, not caring what he thought.
           “A baseball bat, huh?” he said finally, picking up speed again. Having paused in the air, she was left well behind. She grumbled and flapped twice as hard to catch up.
          Without a word, he dove low, trying to catch a view if where they were. Following suit, she saw they were over a rather small village. She couldn’t place it, but due to the fact they were flying south, she reasoned they were in northern Canada. The houses all lined up along the water in a nearly C-shaped

          It was a quaint village, and it made her feel relaxed, imagining living there to be much like camping.
          Apparently happy with his findings, Aldesh flew a bit higher. However, Lorelei found herself observing the village and its residents going about their daily activity within the small web of gravel roads within the very tightly packed community. She failed to see the rather decently sized gathering of people, however. They had spotted something in the sky they found particularly interesting.
          One man, a hunter in his own right, much like the rest of the village, emerged from his house with a large shotgun. The flying beast would make not only a great trophy, but enough meat for the colder months to come. The rest of the crowd didn’t notice him either until a shot rang out. The crowd gasped as they saw the white beast fall.
          Aldesh jerked backwards, cursing himself for not watching Lorelei. His eyes grew wide in fear as he saw the group of humans surging toward her. Without thinking, he swooped into a dive, scooping her up, much to the dismay of the humans, who now saw a floating carcass escaping.
          The hunter cursed, throwing his gun into the late December snow. He could have fed the whole village with that beast!
          Lorelei gasped awake, a floating sensation and a sharp pain in her left wing membrane. She heard Aldesh cursing, but couldn’t make out full sentences.
           “...idiot flying so low! How did they see you? I don’t understand! Did...forget...shield...”
          The next thing she felt was a bed of soft grass. Or was it pine needles? She slowly opened her eyes to a very concerned Aldesh.
           “How long was I out?” she asked.
           “A few hours, if that,” he replied. “What happened?”
           “I don’t know. I guess I should have been watching.”
           “They shouldn’t have been able to see you, though,” he said, curling his tail around his hind legs. “They didn’t see me at all.”
           “How?” she asked, perplexed. He didn’t seem invisible to her one bit. She saw his golden-red scales glimmer in the patches of light that peeked through the trees, casting an eerie light on him.
           “After our acceptance into the hold, we receive a sort of marking,” he explained, indicating the pale blue paw marking on his muscled chest. “It’s faded over the years, but the magic is just as potent.” Relaxing a bit, he lay down in a resting, but attentive pose, reciting what he was taught as a hatchling. “The magic makes it so that humans cannot see us. It was developed by the hold leaders after the Great Separation. They didn’t want to have to deal with humans’ lack of judgment.”
Slightly insulted by the final comment, she frowned at Aldesh.

           “That’s not to say that you have no sense,” he said quickly, shaking his foreclaws in surrender. “It’s just a general precaution.”
           “Felstam mentioned that before,” Lorelei nodded, her frown dissolving. “Well, now that that’s settled, we know we need two things: a shield thinger for me, and the next step against Bhaal,” she said, standing up. Her wing stung and she glanced at it. A green compress had been placed on it to stop the bleeding.
           “The bleeding mostly stopped,” Aldesh explained. “That damn human thought you were some flying deer.”
Lorelei chuckled at his comparison. It had been months since she had laughed, and it felt nice to smile.
           “What?” Aldesh asked, confused.
           “Nothing,” she replied, still smiling slightly. “We should check out Edwin’s place. He has lots of information on the Crystal, even if it’s not all correct. It would be a good place to stop. I’m sure he has some snacks, too.” She licked her jaws in remembrance of Wrench’s cabinet.
           “Yeah, he was the Rishata before me, apparently.”
          Aldesh gasped. She knew what he was thinking, though.
           “Yeah, he’s the one that told me about all this,” she added, motioning her front claw in an all-inclusive gesture.
           “The Rishata....” he gasped again.
           “Come on, if we hurry we can make it in a few days I think. The cave was in southern Pennsylvania, wedged into the mountains, I think.”
           “The Rishata....”

           “Snap out of it! Let’s go!” she barked, taking off awkwardly, despite her injured wing.

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