The Rowan

(Thanks to NamesFromGraves for the beautiful cover, your hard work is always loved :) )
Before the Falling, there were Dragons.

Dragons who's breath could set a forest ablaze, who's wings could cause hurricanes, who's claws made canyons in the rocky earth, who's scales shone like glass and who's bones were made of gemstones. Fearsome guardians of all elements.

There were no humans who could tame such beasts. Not until The Rowan.

The Kingdom of Tiber was a harsh place, where magic was outlawed, and even the Dragons were on the verge of extinction. But in the middle of hide, the last pair of Dragons find a human baby, cold and alone, left to die with their strange appearance.

As the child grows under their care, a war begins brewing, something ancient stiring beneath the surface, and a prophecy to be fuffilled by The Six Branches, a band of six adventurers who must give up their lives to go and complete training to save their kingdom from destruction.

But they sent the wrong six.

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5. The Sixteenth Pink Moon

The Branches had sent their heirs.

It had been decided as the Storm Moon sank for the last time, and the Rose Moon began to rise in it's place. The Seal had taken it's biggest hit yet, and there was no signs of the evil inside the walls of that place stopping at any point soon.

It would soon break free. By the Harvest Moon the Magicals said. Two lunar cycles from now.

Julij had become restless amongst the mountain passes, and craved for more. They had heard stories of the great adventures of heros and even the festivities of the non-magicals in the valley below intrigued them. Wyrim and Dracia had tried to keep Julij safe, but now they realised her Dragon heart was coming to light, and so set about trying to teach her the common tongue.

It was an arduous task, for neither Dragon spoke particuarly fluently, but Julij was slow to form her tongue around the words too. Speaking in only growls and gestures for many cycles had changed her voice, making it gravelly and thick, but still retained it's volume, echoing off of the walls of the cave.

Wyrim and Dracia had begun to shed their scales, and Julij took larger peices and draped it over the top of a heavy fur they wore to make it water-proof, the fine mist in the air could soak anything if it was exposed long enough. Though they never told anybody, the feel of the scales was comforting, and let them believe for a little longer that they really just a small Dragon.

The sun was shining for once on the day that Dracia and Wyrim gathered Julij close, nuzzling affectionatley and purring.

You know we love you Julij, Wyrim began, his tongue flickering out and catching Julij's hair in it's rough barbs, me and your mother have decided that it is time.

Time for what Papa? Julij growled back, brow furrowed in concern as their heart lept out of their chest. Something telling them that perhaps, their guardian was talking about the Passing.

For you to go and explore the world below, Dracia's voice was mellow, soothing, sensing her daughter's panic, wrapping her claws around Julij in a form of hold. You are sixteen cycles old now, you are ready.

Julij's heart thudded even more, a roar that almost filled their ears. Leaning in close, they too began to purr and pat the warm scales of their guardians. Feeling an aching feeling in their chest, but knowing deep inside, that for some-reason-or-another, this day was meant to come.

Julij was meant to leave the nest.

It felt strange to Julij, as they pulled their cloak tighter around their muscular frame and began their decent from the mountain, a shed claw-tip from Dracia roughly but securely tied onto a wooden handle pressed against Julij's side, acting as a weapon of sorts. If an onlooker's eye's were not too strong, they perhaps might mistake Julij for one of the legendary Dragon-Tamers, or perhaps even for Talia herself.

Long white hair flowing freely over their furs and dragon scales, catching like miniature snow drifts in the breeze. Bloodied eyes hidden behind the dark onyx glasses, silver moulded around to hold them onto her thin face, full and soft lips parted softly but turned up at one corner as if in a smirk. Tight leather trousers fitting their muscular legs, although toned, they still seemed longer than usual but remained feminine. Their feet, as always, were bare. Covered by calluses, scars and toughened by years of mountain walking, climbing and the harsh climate.

It was as Julij descended into the village though, that their heart began to pound more nervously. For the first time in their life, they were afraid. There were no Dragons to protect them from the non-magical's wrath this time.

Julij was alone for the first time in their life.

Looking back to the mountain, where the rowan tree grew alone too, although they couldn't see it themself, Julij straightened their back and breathed deeply. A chord struck within them.

A tree cannot grow without roots, and Julij would never forget hers.

Even if it killed her.

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