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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10. In which the Lore is shared.

         Felstam grumbled. He hated being woken up after his morning nap.

         The sun peeked through his curtains and he raised his tail to pull them closed, hiding his large, scaled head under the blanket. He was one of the few dragons that had the privilege, nay, need, to sleep on a raised cot and pillow as humans did. This was brought on by a series of odd events involving having to sleep on nothing but cold stone before shipments of straw were carted into the hold, in combination with his weak back.

         His age was finally getting to him, and this was a source of fun for the hold dragons. He was often a target for the younger dragons, especially those just into their thousands. As the oldest dragon in the hold, he had to take the brunt of most of this.

         No, not oldest, he corrected himself. Grimat was the oldest.

         With this is mind, he nodded off again.

         Within minutes, his dreams were interrupted by a stern beam of light puncturing the wool blanket. He grumbled and was nearly crushed by a force almost the size of him.

         “Fels, sweets, come on. Don’t sleep all day,” cooed a familiar voice. Apparently Bromor had gotten woken up, too.

         Felstam groaned and rolled the top of the blanket down to peer into the uncomfortably close face of his mate.

         “Please don’t call me that, Brom,” he grumbled.

         “No one else is around,” Bromor grumbled, retreating from the bed. He pretended to be insanely offended.

         “Don’t give me that face, gaggle-breath,” Felstam added, hiding a smile.

         The other male dragon’s eyebrows became a single line, depicting his annoyance.

         “Fine,” he replied simply.

         Felstam got up, flicking the blanket off with his tail and licked Bromor’s face in apology. He smiled down at the younger dragon, who glared at him like a scolded child.

         “Come on, Brom’,” he sighed. “We’ve been together for nearly three thousand years and you’re going to pull that on me?”

         Bromor licked his mate’s nose. “Yes. Yes I am, you old coot.”

         With mock huffiness, Felstam sauntered out of the room. “I have much to do that doesn’t involve whiny old dragons! I shall attend to you later.”

         Bromor sighed and smiled. That old man was something else. One day he loved him, the next he couldn’t stand him.

         The two were started out of their musing by a loud crash, followed by shouting.

         “What is going on?!”

         “I don’t know! It just started glowing!”

         “Get it away!”

         “I touched it and it burned me!”

         “FAIRY GIBLETS! Put it somewhere else!”

         Lorelei’s necklace lay on the floor, a fierce and bright fiery red color emitting from it. Another dragon, now with a singed foreclaw, stood not ten feet away gripping her hand and crying in pain.

         “It hurts!”

         “Calm down, Iona,” Geldoc said, applying a wet cloth to the nearly sobbing young dragon. Looking up at Lorelei, who was now a mixture of confusion, panic, and curiosity, he asked “Has that ever happened before?”

         “No,” she replied simply. The glow had died down, so she took a step closer, leaning on her hind legs, and picked it up. It didn’t seem hot at all to her.

         “That thing was hotter than Wrenches stove-top at Great Feast!” exclaimed the injured dragon.

         “Well, I’m sure it’s alright now,” Geldoc replied with a smile. “Let me see?”

         Lorelei looked up from the charm in her paw and blinked. “I suppose,” she added, skeptical.

         Geldoc reached forward to pick it up and was greeted by a blaze of extreme heat. He stopped dead and tilted his head.

         “It seems to react to the touch of others,” he observed. “Is it hot to you?”

         Lorelei simply shook her head.

         “What’s going on here?” A disheveled Felstam nearly crashed into the caves, knocking over Juniper in the process. His largeness indicated his entrance was far from a good idea, and he realized that on entry. Backing out a few steps, his large shoulders scraped the limestone and granite entry and he gritted his teeth with the effort. Finally, with a last grunt, he freed himself, landing with a soft thump in the snow behind him.

         “Well,” Geldoc replied, dismissing the events that had just happened as if they were normal (and for Felstam, they were). “The commotion was caused by this,” he continued, indicating the charm attached to the leather chain, still slightly glowing.

         Felstam, still with his rump in the tromped on snow, gasped. His eyes widened as he recognized the orb.

         “That is...the Light...” he said almost silently.

         “The what?” Lorelei asked, raising an eyebrow.

         “The Light!” Felstam stood up quickly, not realizing how close he was to the entryway and smashed his skull against the arch. He saw stars for a second, then fell over in a heap.

         “Felstam?” Juniper blinked, poking the old dragon.

         When no one else made a movement, Lorelei turned to Geldoc. “Is he ok?”

         “Just give him a few minutes,” Geldoc smiled. “The poor old guy’s coordination is null and void these days.”

         They were answered by a loud snort and Felstam’s eyes shot open.

         “Is everything ok?” he asked. “What was I doing? Oh, the Light. Yes! Lorelei, come with me! I must tell you important things!”

         Lorelei and Juniper glanced at Geldoc who nodded his permission. “I’ll see you at lunch, or dinner, perhaps,” he replied. “Depending on how long old Fels’ keeps you,” he added with a grin.

         “The Light,” Felstam panted, racing through the snowy path to his study in the small building attached to the Elders’ hall, “is a very sacred artifact that marks the Rishata as the chosen one.”

         For someone so old, he was certainly difficult to keep up with, Juniper observed. She galloped close behind Felstam, the light snowfall dusting her scaled face. She looked back to see Lorelei, struggling to keep up with the older, more developed dragons.

         She’ll need a bit of training, Juniper mused.

         Felstam skidded to a stop in front of the stone entryway, nearly causing a three-dragon collision. The wooden door looked out of place, but it matched the inner decor, oddly enough, Lorelei observed as he opened it.

         The inside was much like that of a log cabin, with mock stepping stones painted on the wooden floor. Along the right ride of the entry hallway were three doors, each matching the outward-facing entrance. At the end of the hall was a room that looked somewhat like a vastly over-sized living room, with plush chairs in shades of scarlet and a very ornate area rug. However, the walls were still the same natural gray stone that made up most of the hold, save the dining hall and kitchen.

         Felstam stood, catching his breath. He beckoned them inside with a quick “hurry it’s cold!” and the two females pattered and clacked in. With easing breath, he led them to the third door and opened it to a small, cozy room with a sputtering candle, a large cot, and a window (which seemed to be the result of someone punching the wall. Lorelei wondered if Aldesh had a hand at it.) who’s pane was made of clear ice. How it didn’t melt in the heat of the candle Lorelei noted to ask later.

         Felstam pulled a book from the shelf at the right and plopped down onto a red armchair that matched the decor of the living room. The other two dragons took a seat on the floor, appearing like large blue and green dogs waiting for a command from their master. The older dragon must have noticed this and hid a chuckle.

         “The Light,” he read, “is the source of power that is used to ignite the Ethereal Crystal. Every 1000 years, the Rishata Malgonei must relight it to preserve the pact and protect the Separation between dragons and humans, as decided in the year 3174 B.C.”

         “What pact?” Lorelei asked.

         The two dragons looked at her and blinked.

         “You know nothing of the pact?” Felstam asked, his eyebrows rose.

         “You forget, I was human,” Lorelei said simply, frowning.

         “You were?” Juniper asked.

         “Of course she was!” Felstam retorted. “She’s the Rishata!”

         “Of course she was,” Juniper mocked.

         Felstam ignored her smartness and began to explain.

         “When the world first began, dragons came into being. When humans came into existence, they began to see dragons as competition. They ate the same as early humans and much more of it, throwing of the balance of nature.

         “Human and dragon had a meeting and decided that it was best to separate. Dragons went to various faraway places: on top of mountain ranges, far north, far south; the Rishata was in charge of making sure the peace remained.

         “The Crystal was constructed as a powerful source of magic for the dragons to use. To hide from humans, they developed pyre-shields, powered by the Crystal, which made them invisible to the human eye. However, it must be relight every 1000 years by the next Rishata, whose job it is to decide whether or not it is time for humans and dragons to be reunited. If this is true, the crystal need not be lit, but such a time has not yet come.

         “In the time the humans call the Middle Ages, no Rishata was found, and therefore the crystal was not lit. A small band of dragons that had grown angry at humans, seeing themselves as stronger, decided to take advantage of the opportunity. They began to wreak havoc on various human dwellings, some even going to the point of taking civilizations hostage. You can see an example of this in Aztec culture in which the entirety of the civilization worshiped a large dragon (of the amphithere order) named Quetzalcoatl.

         “The only way this calmed down was the efforts of one dragon named Morfan. He managed to secure, through his efforts in scientific research, a false Light, to relight the crystal and end the chaos. It had a similar chemical makeup to the one you have around your neck. He was unsure how powerful the magic could be, so it is very important that you relight the crystal as soon as possible.”

         “Why would you want to hide from humans?” Lorelei asked.

         “You were human for a while,” Juniper said a little sarcastically. “What would you do if you saw a dragon?”

         Thinking for a minute, she finally answered.

         “I would probably scream and throw rocks at it.”

         Felstam nodded. “Exactly. In this modern age it is better for dragons to be unseen. We don’t know what technology humans have developed that can pierce even our hard scales.”

         “The best way we have developed to hide from humans,” the older dragon continued, “is the use of our pyre-shields. We have made changes to them over the years, but the last development is nearly five hundred years old. We don’t travel very often, so only the collection and delivery dragons get the most magically updated versions.

         “I am glad we found that you have the Light. This is very good, because now I know you are the Rishata. Soon you will have to leave on your Quest,” Felstam finished, closing the book.

         “Oh great,” Lorelei grumbled. “I was just getting comfortable.”

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