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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11. In which the truth is denied.

          Finding Lorelei proved to be more of a challenge than he expected.

          The morning now gone, having missed lunch as usual, Aldesh paced around the hold, asking around if anyone had seen the small icy-blue dragon, a large, leather-bound resource book hanging from his tail. The muscles in his extra appendage were growing sore carrying the heavy thing around, and he promised to never do so again.

          Someone had mentioned she was cleaning the sleeping caves, so tromping across the large expanse of the snow-covered courtyard, he panted his way into the warmth of the caves.

          He didn’t see anyone about, as most were out doing their daily tasks: collecting food from various places, cooking, cleaning, or teaching. He heard some chatter up on the second floor and paced toward the switchback ramp leading to the upper areas.

          Geldoc and his crew were hard at work scrubbing the smaller youth rooms, their way lit by a series of very bright torches. He called instructions out making sure everyone was scrubbed clean.

          “Make sure the youth caves get an extra go over! We don’t want any...potty bits left from over-nervous intestinal tracts!”

          Aldesh couldn’t help but smile.

          “Al, what are you doing here? I thought you would still be in the library,” Geldoc commented, turning toward the golden-red scaled one.

          “Have you seen Lorelei?” he replied simply.

          “Yeah, Fels’ took them to his study, I think. He seemed rather flustered.”

          “Blasted Felstam,” he said just over his breath. Looking back at Geldoc he sighed. “Thank you.”

          As he turned to leave, Geldoc questioned him.

          “What’s wrong? Did Fels’ mess up dinner again?” he added with a smirk.

          “If what I read is correct, he may have messed up more than a menu,” Aldesh said, his brow furrowed.

 

          “I don’t have much more on the Crystal,” Felstam explained, leading to the door, which opened to the cold breeze outside. Without much effort, he pushed the door open, allowing the two female dragons to the northern part of the courtyard. Lorelei could have sworn the door was much heavier coming in, but she pushed the thought aside. “I’m sure Aldesh will gladly show you the-”

          His words of advice were blatantly interrupted by a shower of snow from a skidding red and gold collection of scales.

          “What on earth, Aldesh?” Felstam sputter, he face covered in a mask of white powder.

          “Felstam, sir,” Aldesh panted, his tail drooping in the weight of the book.

          The elder dragon raised an eyebrow and plucked the resource from Aldesh’s tail.

          “What is this?” he asked, thumbing through the pages.

          “Morfan the Ancient’s writings, sir,” Aldesh replied, catching his breath. “I tried to find you, but it says that we can’t light the crystal.”

          Felstam’s eyes widened in rage. “How can you say that? It is of the utmost importance! Why you insolent child. How dare you insult all the writings?”

          “Felstam, you must listen. If we light the crystal, horrible things can happen. That’s what caused the destruction if the thirteenth century!”

          “Aldesh, you child, the writings have been studied and saved for generations! How can you say they are wrong? Many minds have come together to provide these studies and Morfan was one of them!”

          “Just listen to me for one blasted second, you gaggled son of a cockatrice!” Aldesh burst out. Felstam blinked in surprise. Aldesh bared his teeth in anger and replied with a slightly calmer tone. “Morfan’s research is right here. If we light the crystal...Bhaal will come back.”

          Felstam paused, looking at Aldesh.

          “Bhaal was sealed after the War of Humans and Dragons,” Felstam breathed.

          Lorelei watched the exchange with mild confusion, blinking a few times.

          “What are they talking about?” she whispered to Juniper, who stood beside her, swishing her tail.

          “Oh, Bhaal is some evil corrupted dragon-human thingy that caused a huge war in the Middle Ages. Apparently he got lose because the last Rishata was lost. He gathered a group of supporters and took over a bunch of human cities. The hold dragons sealed him in a prison.”

          “So he’s not still around?”

          “He should be dead by now. The magic drained his powers and all that hoo-ha,” Juniper replied.

          “But Aldesh says he’s alive again?”

          “Who knows. Aldesh finds a lot of weird stuff in the library.”

          They were interrupted by Felstam’s bellows of anger.

          “You are a mindless child, Aldesh! Be gone with you!”

          With that, Felstam turned and stormed back into his study, slamming the entry door behind him.

          Aldesh fumed with anger, gritting his teeth.

          “When will you wake up and face modern times, old coot? The world is not unchanging!” Aldesh roared, gathering the confused gazes of various dragons around the courtyard.

          No reply came.

          “Calm down, Aldesh!” Juniper eyed her twin with concern. The brown book now lay in the snow, a shocking contrast to the white powder.

          The golden-red scales of Aldesh’s face grew even darker crimson in his anger. He took a deep breath and the colored faded slightly. He turned toward Juniper, a somber expression.

          “He won’t listen,” he said simply.

          “Not many would listen,” Lorelei observed. The two dragons turned to her, surprised she had spoken. “If what Felstam says is true, then this has been taught since...forever.”

          Aldesh blinked, silent for a while, as if trying to come up with a very thoughtful reply. When none came, he simply nodded.

          “Right,” he added, at a loss for words.

          An awkward silence fell between the three of them, only broken by the call for dinner. The bellow of Wrench from the back kitchens carried across the hold and it startled Lorelei to the point that she jumped slightly.

          “Wow, I hadn’t realized what time it was already,” Juniper commented, looking on as the hold filed in for dinner. She peered back at the door in front of them, wondering if Felstam would emerge to sup. But the door remained still.

          She shrugged. “Oh well, let’s go get some food, alright?” she grinned eagerly, starting toward the hall. Aldesh followed close behind his twin, not realizing how hungry he was until Wrench had called them all.

          Lorelei watched them go, thinking over the day’s events. If what Felstam said was right, she would have to go light this thing. She didn’t like trips much, except when she had flown to her aunt and uncle’s house in her previous life. This unknown she was to face made her grumpy.

          “Come on, slowpoke!” Juniper called, turning over her shoulder. “Dinner waits for no dragon!”

          With a small leap, the icy blue scales shimmering in the afternoon sun, she caught up to the pair. She was surprised at how fast they had become comfortable with each other: Juniper’s sunny disposition; Aldesh’s gruff, but kind attitude. It was as if they were an odd family.

          “What’s on your mind, Lore?” Juniper asked.

          “Oh nothin’,” she replied. “Just thinking about how awful Al smells.”

          “Hey!” Aldesh growled. “I took a bath last month!”

          The two females giggled and Aldesh adopted an annoyed, but playful expression.

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