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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5. In which the two meet.

          Angry and seeking repose, the night found her in a northern forest of Wyoming, somewhere in the middle of Yellowstone. She never really liked the cold, but her scales seemed to keep her warm. Snow covered the ground now, though she wasn’t sure what time of year it was. Perhaps late November, she guessed from the early sunset.

          The pines smelled as fresh as she remembered pine smelling, though with a bit stronger twinge. She guessed it was her enhanced sense of smell thanks to her transformation.

          Her stomach growled, but she ignored it, lying down on the snow-covered tree droppings. She closed her eyes and dreamed of nothing.
Some creature was aware of her presence though. She wasn’t hard to spot, her pale scales looking like a beacon on the darkness.

          What say you?

           ‘Tis a beast of huge size. A fine kill for us, yes?

          It sleeps. Let us kill it now for the pack!

          She shot awake at the low growl and a sharp pain in her tail.

           “What is this?” She asked under her breath to no one in particular. She shook her tail lightly and it disappeared. A second more vicious pain followed. She growled and shook her tail more violently, feeling a huge weight fly off it. A painful yelp followed.

          Bring the pack! This feast will be hard to obtain!

           “What?”

          A silent scampering, followed by a far off howl. She jumped to her feet, her eyes adjusting to the dark. All was quiet now, but she stood, ready.

          Suddenly, a large weight toppled her over. Growling and barking, pain all over. Why weren’t her scales protecting her? She squirmed and roared!

          A jet of ice exploded from her gullet. An icy thunk, followed by yelps of pain.

          Do not give up! This mean will hold us for winter!

           “What meal?!” She demanded with a roar. “I am not a meal!”

          What is it saying? I cannot understand!

          It matters not! Concentrate!

          A second stream of ice flickered in the moonlight. A load roar followed and wolves yelped in pain and fear.

          Another?!

          FALL BACK!

           “What is this?!” a deep-toned and commanding voice bellowed. “Hast thou forgotten the pact?!”

          Pact? What pact say you?

           “The Pact of the Ancients, foolish canines!”

          You’re a dragon?

           “Yes, you dimwitted fools! So is this creature!”

We knew not! It has been many a year since our pack has seen thusly. Greatly we apologize! The wolf that appeared to be the leader bowed his head in submission and whined an apology. Please accept our sorrows. We do not wish to anger the most gracious of all races.

           “Apology has been accepted. Please do not do this again. We respect the Pack and value their power, but not this way.”

          Understood.

          With that the wolves disappeared into the night.

           “What was that...? Who are you?”

           “I am Aldesh, young dragon. And you are the new Rishata.”

           “Rishata? That sounds like some Indian dish.” Lorelei huffed and curled up on the cold pine needles, her back to the figure that just saved her. “How the hell do you know I’m that thing you said?”

          He looked at her and frowned. The last Rishata was said to have accepted the responsibility with honor, not with her butt to the messenger, right? “Your scales – only Rishatas are as icy white as you.”

           “Rishata, or Rishata Malgonei, is the chosen one that is destined to restore the power to the Ethereal Crystal and relight the way for dragons and humans to be reunited in this world,” he quoted.

           “What textbook did you get that out of?” she grunted without looking back at him.

           “Text book...?”

           “Never mind. I’m trying to die. Any tips?”

           “Why would you want to die?”

           “I’m already dead.”

           “I could have let the wolves kill you, but you didn’t seem to want that.”

           “Wow, I’m dumb. I should have.”

           “Why are you so upset?”

          She stood up with a low growl and swung around to face him.

           “I died in a plane crash. I don’t want to be alive. My dad is all alone now, and I have nothing to live for!”

          Aldesh backed up a few steps in surprise, but held his ground.

           “The Rishata must rid themselves of the human form before they can become the chosen one,” he said plainly. “It is destiny!”

           “Destiny my ass! To hell with destiny! I have no reason to be alive! And what is this crap about some king crystal and what not? You go light it!”

           “The Ethereal Crystal can only be lit by the hand of the chosen one. It has been out for two cycles of Rishata.”

           “Ethereal, King, what’s the freaking difference. Do I have to light this? Can I die after that?”

           “I suppose...” Aldesh trailed off. “If that’s what you want. It is impossible for the Rishata to die before the crystal is lit.”

           “Ah, freaking hell. That explains all my bad luck.”

          Aldesh tried not to laugh. He smiled slightly, then swallowed it.

           “Well? Let’s go.”

           “The only problem is, we don’t know where the crystal is. Usually, the Rishata knows on instinct.”

           “Well, I don’t know where it is,” she interrupted, exasperated.

           “Then, you would have to come with me to the hold and search the libraries. No one has bothered to keep track of the location because no Rishata has appeared for over two thousand years.”

           “So how do you know I’m the Rishata?”

           “You said you died and became thusly, yes?”

           “Yeah...”

           “That is the only way a Rishata is born.”           She grumbled and sat back down. “Sleep first.”

          Hesitantly, Aldesh agreed. He hated sleeping outside the hold, but the long journey he took had taken a toll on him.

          The sun rose after what seemed like five minutes, though Lorelei knew it had been quite a few hours. The light filtered through the needles still hanging on the pines and warmed her back slightly.

          She stood up, the light catching against the scales of the other dragon that lay across from her. She hadn’t been able to see him clearly in the darkness, so his golden-red scales came as a shock. She stretched and paced around, warming her muscles.

          The movement awoke Aldesh and he yawned, putting his head up.

           “You really are a small one,” he commented.

           “You really are a stinky one,” she retorted, not turning to look at him.

          He couldn’t resist a smile. She caught sight of it and growled.

           “What’s so funny, scaly-butt?” she snarled.

           “Nothing, nothing,” he said, standing up.

          His size was a surprise to her. He was nearly triple the height and twice her girth. If she was a VW van, he was a garbage truck, a school bus, and an army tank thrown into a blender and mashed together into some crazy super vehicle. She took a step back, but regained her composure.

           “Let’s get going, lard butt.”

           “My, such an attitude,” he stated, spreading his wings.

          She copied and steadied herself. “Just go.”

          The two dragons took off through the morning air, crisp and cold, headed to an even colder place: the peak of the tallest mountain in the polar circle.

          The chill wind made her face feel like a thousand icicles stabbing. She closed her eyes for a brief moment to save her saline-starved opals.

          The ground below was but a dream. She couldn’t see anything below the clouds. When she asked why they flew so high, he simply said “So you’re not seen.”

           “What about you?” she had asked.

           “I will explain all on arrival,” he replied.

          The rest of her questions were drowned out by the sounds of rushing wind. She shivered, wishing her scales would have insulated her more.

          The sun was at its zenith when he descended slightly. The land below the clouds was now white with snow. She wondered how far north they were. Still silent, Aldesh turned his wings down and slowly dropped altitude. Instinctively, she followed.

          He landed with a soft crunch in the thick snow. She followed suit, the snow caking on her claws. He took a few steps toward the edge of the cliff and she warily followed, wondering why he was so silent. He paused, then turned to her.

           “Welcome to the Hold.”

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