The Dragons of Keanna
Copyright © By Jandar Tyr
High in the dark mountains of the Durmista range, three men wandered deep in the hot dark caverns in search of treasure. Gold was rumored to fill these caves. Gold and diamonds and other valuable items. The three men, Terek Orson and his brother Gird and Tomar Rudd, had been sent here by Polan Dressak after something he called a dragon spirit. Polan didn't tell them what he wanted it for, only that it was powerful and would help him. Terek didn't really care what he wanted it for, but he did care about the jewels and gold he said they would find there. They crept slowly through the caves with only torches to light their way. This was to be a long and dangerous mission, but Terek didn't care. Nothing mattered but the riches he and his brother would bring out with them. Together they moved along the maze of tunnels, marking the walls as they went, to keep from getting lost.
"What is that smell?" Gird asked. "It's awful!"
"I don't care." Terek said. "Just keep your mind on what we're looking for, we can worry about smells later."
"I don't like this." Tomar said with fear creeping into his voice. "These mountains are supposed to be haunted. All kinds of ghoulies are supposed to be up here."
"Then turn around and take your scared ass home." Terek stopped. "But you get nothing we find, then."
"I'm not scared." Tomar put a brave face on. "No ghoulies going to scare me out of my share."
"Good." Terek said. "Then move your ass."
Tomar ran to catch up with them where the cave became more spacious. More light filtered down from the ceiling, and now it was much easier to see. Each man moved in a different direction to search, with gold on his mind.
Off to the left, Gird found a new cave and turned in with his torch to have a look. He moved around a huge boulder and held out his torch to get a better look. Gold!!! More gold than he or his companions could spend in a hundred lifetimes. He turned and ran back for his brother, eager to prove his worth. No more starving for him or his family. They were all rich as kings now.
Tomar moved down the corridor, his eyes wide open. Still scared of what he might find, he heard a deep rumbling noise. It was coming from somewhere ahead of him. He pulled his sword out with trembling hands and kept moving. Louder and louder the noise grew, his hands shook with fear. The smell became stronger with every step he took and sweat poured off his face. He stopped as he heard a sound off to his right. He cast his torch over to look and noticed the rock was a strange shade of green. Tomar moved over and looked closer at the rock ledge. Then it moved. He jumped back and dropped his torch with a cry. It was a dragon!! It was so huge he couldn't even see it all. Tomar backed away from the monster as the giant leg moved and into a warm wall. He reached out and felt around and realized he was feeling scales. He looked where his hand had landed and saw the crimson scales under his hand. Quickly he pulled back his hand and made to run when he saw a golden flash. Over the entrance to the next cavern hung a golden disc. Slowly Tomar backed out of the dragon cave and ran to find Terek and Gird. In the gold cave Tomar found Terek and Gird filling bags with gold and jewels. They were jumping up and down in joy, ecstatic over there find.
"We did it!!" Terek shouted. "Look at it all!!!"
Tomar ran to him and tried to cover his mouth. Terek pushed him away.
"Are you crazy?" He said. "We're all rich!!"
"This cave is full of dragons!!" Tomar said. "There are hundreds of them. Come look."
"Dragons?" Terek said. "Where?"
"Out there." Tomar pointed. "And there's this gold thing on the wall."
"That must be the dragon spirit." Terek nodded. "Show me where."
"No, please let's get out of here." Tomar pleaded.
"We can't leave without it!"
Terek started toward the dragon cave. Tomar grabbed him again. His fear of the dragons made him bold. Terek grabbed the front of his coat.
"Do you want Polan to set his demons on us?" Terek pulled him to face him. "That's what he will do. They will eat your children and drag you and your wife away with them. Now come on both of you and help me get it."
Together the three men went back into the dragon's cave. There it was, on the wall, just like Polan had said it would be.
"Come on. Help me pry loose the gold disk off the wall."
Terek made his brother kneel as he climbed on his back to get to the disk. It was hard work but they got it out. It was really heavy and took two of them to carry it out.
"Let's go." Terek said. "We're out of here."
"I'll meet you out front, I dropped my sword." Tomar told them as he walked back.
"Get it stupid." Terek said frowning. "We'll be loading the horses out front. Hurry."
Tomar walked back to the treasure chamber with his head down, so ashamed of today's deeds. He walked to the back and took off his mother's pendant and stared at it. She had given it to him on her death bed promising to always be with him to protect him as long as he wore it. Now he looked around at all the riches he knew he had no right to. Poverty had changed him. It had made him a thief something he knew his mother and father hated. He couldn't wear the pendant anymore.
"Forgive me Ma and Pop, I don't deserve your protection." He tossed the pendant into a pile of gold and ran out.
A dragons dreams are very vivid. They can perceive what is going on around them. From a certain distance all dragons can communicate with each other unless one blocks the other. A young dragon can send and receive thoughts from other dragons only from close distances, unless it's merged. Then the joined minds become much more powerful. From the moment it hatches from its jewel-like egg its parent can find a young one no matter where it is. A dragon king or mage can communicate with almost anyone he wants no matter the distance. Once he's touched that mind, he'll always be in touch. Also he can perceive his surroundings in dreams, smells and others senses. Depending on how deep he is dreaming or what he is dreaming. It's almost impossible to sneak up on a 400 year old dragon like King Rage. Unless there's a spell on him to distract him. A spell placed on his mind to keep him occupied while others creep in and maybe steal from him. That person can't cast magic on him, for he will perceive that magic as it gets close to him. To enchant him at all it will have to be done with such subtlety and distance that Rage will not feel it or notice it. He has to block out all senses that come from close by or Rage will wake and take out his anger on those that intrude on his territory.
Flying high over his wondrous mountains, Rage soars seeking pray in his dreams. Ahead he sees a fat mountain goat chewing on grass on a plateau. He sends out a doze spell to keep it from bolting before he can swoop down and feed. Rage tilts his wing and starts down to feed. Then something strange entered his mind, a feeling that something was wrong, He looked back to the goat and it was gone. That's strange, that's never happened before in his dreams or in real time. He flapped his great wings to gain altitude, but still falls. Something is wrong. With his command over his dreams Rage hasn't had a nightmare in over 100 years. And this is a nightmare to be sure. Down he falls, no matter how hard he flaps, still he falls. The mountains are quickly coming closer.
'THIS IS NOT RIGHT!!' He screamed in his mind.
As he hit the mountain, Rage woke with a roar filling the cavern with his flame. He stood and looked around. The cavern was filled with his brothers and sisters, all sleeping. Rage rises and moves his large crimson body to the pool to drink. That dream disturbed him, a nightmare? How could he have a nightmare? His total control prevents that. But he couldn't get control of the dream and that's impossible. Something's wrong, very wrong. And why is everybody sleeping? He nudged his brother Thunder. Nothing. Rage looked around then caught a scent in the air. Humans have been in here!!! He felt the rage build in him. The scent led to the rookery. Now fear filled him. Quickly he moved to the rookery to check on the eggs. With a glance he counted the eggs. Oh no, there were eggs missing!! The eggs all look like large jewels. The thieves must have thought they hit it big. Rage knew he had to get them back before they hatched or the young dragons would die. He didn't think there was much chance they would merge with the thieves. There's not much chance any of them are worthy of being merged with a young dragon. Rage walked out of the rookery and glanced around and spotted it. Over his usual spot where the dragonspirit was kept, it was not there!! Someone took the dragonspirit! Without that his clan would all die and turn to stone. How long will it take? First the young, the eggs will become hard and turn to stone until there's no chance they'll ever hatch. Then the young, there sleep will become eternal and they will become petrified. Then the older will succumb. Only the eggs that were taken have a chance to hatch now. Rage knew he had to get it back and he needed something that would show him how much time the clan has.
He switched to his human form and stretched his limbs. Walking to a pool of water he looked at himself. By Rimnar he had been sleeping long. Looking at his face he saw he had a long scruffy beard. He turned his head then combed his fingers through his long locks. As he did this he heated his fingers burning hair away until it had a shorter more neat style. With a quick rubbing on his face the beard was gone and his face was clean. He stood and looked down at his image. Though naked, Rage was tall with brownish hair and a ruggedly handsome face.
It had been a long time since he had walked as a man. He walked back to the rookery and looked again at the eggs. Rage needed to know how many were missing. He saw the emerald, sapphire, opal, ruby, topaz, tourmaline, and diamond like eggs. Rage counted them. There was one of each missing. Worst of all was that his diamond egg was gone. His own offspring was gone.
"NOOOOOOOOOO" he screamed.
Dragons only lay one egg when their time comes. The anger in him rose as he moved to the back of the chamber. The scent of humans caught his attention, and he followed it to the back. There in the back he found something. A pendant, it must have been dropped by one of the thieves. Now he had the scent of that human. There's nowhere this one can hide from him. This pendant will be useful. With a quick incantation Rage tuned in to the rest of his brothers and sisters. Now the gold pendant will tell him when his time is running out. Rage walked out of the rookery and passed his brethren all asleep. He stopped and looked at his human form. Strong, slender, handsome, thought the human in him. He would need clothes, he thought. Humans don't walk around naked. He whispered a spell and he was dressed in form fitting crimson leather and matching boots. Rage placed the pendant around his neck then looked at his family.
"I will return with the spirit and our children . Sleep well my brothers and sisters. My spell will keep you safe,"
PROTECT FROM EVIL SO NO ONE FINDS
WHILE DRAGONS SLEEP AND TIME WILL LAST
LET NO ONE ENTER ONLY DRAGONS MAY PASS"
With that done, Rage turned and started down the mountain after the thieves.
"What have I done? Tomar asked himself. "What have I become? The shame I have brought on my family."
Tomar slowly walked down the trail pulling his horse laden with stolen dragon gold. This is not me, I've never stolen anything in my life. Now to feed my family, I'm reduced to being a thief. This won't do, not at all. With his head down, he followed behind Terek and Gird not really wanting to catch up to them.
"Hurry damn it!" Terek yelled. "Or we're leaving you for the wolves."
Tomar didn't care right now, all he had on his mind was how he was going to explain this to his wife. She would never abide him stealing, even to feed her and the children.
"I said move it." said Terek.
As he got on his horse and kicked it into motion. Gird laughed at him as he followed Terek. Tomar kept walking; he wanted as much distance as he could get between them. He hated the brothers now. This was not what he was promised. Easy gold... he thought he was going mining, not stealing. Even though it was dragons, it wasn't his to take. That's why he left the pendant. He knew what he did was wrong and at some time someone or thing would be coming after him. As long as his family doesn't suffer, he would take his punishment. Up ahead he saw the brother's gallop away. Good riddance to them. Now he could be alone with his anguish.
Tomar saw a clearing ahead and decided to make camp for the night. He took down his supplies and sleeping things and set it all out. After starting a fire and making dinner he came to a decision. He couldn't take the gold home. It didn't belong to him. Tomar decided to keep enough to feed his family and bury the rest. Later he could return it. But what about the Jewel? For some reason he just couldn't part with it. Something was special about this gem. He had no idea what, but he knew he had to keep it, and keep it warm. It was almost like one of his children. Strange he thought. Feeling this about an object, but he did. Tomar dug a hole and placed the gold in. He sat the ruby on top and covered it. That will keep it warm. Fixing a cup of hot tea, Tomar saw a man come into the clearing.
"Good even, sir." said the hunter. "Beautiful night."
"Yes ."Tomar said, "Will you join me for some tea."
"Don't mind if I do." said the hunter. "My names is Valen. I was hunting deer when something made me come this way."
"Really." Tomar said. "Are you hungry? I have more than enough."
"Why, yes ." Valen smiled. "Thank you."
They ate and talked for a while, passing the time.
"I have something to tell you, Tomar." Valen said.
"How did you know my name?" Tomar looked at him in suspicion.
"I'm a gypsy." He told Tomar as he got up to leave. "You're doing the right thing."
"What?" Tomar said.
"Good eve to you, friend." Valen walked back into the forest leaving Tomar scratching his head.
That was puzzling, Tomar thought. He had a lot on his mind so he pulled his blankets over him and fell asleep. As the sun rose, Tomar woke with the first ray to hit him. All night long he dreamed of dragons. Fire and ice, and a young red dragon named Blaze. He felt close to this dragon... like family. Blaze was a brilliant shade of red with gold undertones on his back and belly. Tomar didn't know why, but this dragon gave him the warmest happy feeling. With a smile from his dreams he packed his things. He took the gem and buried the gold then went on his way down the mountain. For some reason, he felt better about what he had done, almost forgiven. But getting rid of the gold wasn't the answer he needed, because he still had the gem. As he walked he stared into the depths of the ruby. It must be hallucinations he thought. But he could swear he could see dragons flying.
YOU SEE US.
Tomar stopped and almost dropped the gem. He thought he had heard someone talking to him. He looked around, deep into the forest to see if someone was spying on him. But there wasn't anyone there. Tomar shrugged and went on walking down the trail.
It was a beautiful day out in the Durmista mountains. For some reason, Tomar thought the skies looked bluer than usual. The smells of the forest seemed so much clearer than they ever had before. He looked up in the trees and saw a sprite flying like fiery spark slipping from tree to tree. He knew there were fairies and sprites nearby; the children had talked about seeing them ever since he was a kid, but he had never once seen one before. It flew down to dance around his head. It was amazing. It was like magic.
'WE ARE MAGIC.'
Tomar laughed at the idea. He thought had to be hearing things, He felt happy but maybe that was just his mind slipping away from him.
'YOU'RE SPECIAL. NOT CRAZY. YOU WILL SEE SOON.'
For the rest of the trip down the mountain, the voice spoke occasionally. A few times he even answered it back getting used to his madness. As he came close to Haleama, he saw many of his neighbors going about their daily chores. Kent, from up the road, waved as he led his flock of sheep past him. He looked at them and suddenly he was so hungry for lamb.
As he passed, the sheep suddenly got nervous, kicked at the air, bleating and stampeded away. Tomar reached out and grabbed Kent just in time to keep him from being dragged away and trampled. Kent thanked him and ran off to get help in rounding up his flock.
Strange, Tomar thought. Those sheep were usually so docile they would eat right out of your hand. Today they seemed afraid. Moving on, Tomar walked up the main road into town passing the blacksmith shop, the feed and general store where his oldest son Luca worked, then the livery and the kennel. As he passed the dogs began to bark furiously and jump at the fences that kept them caged in. Frightened, Tomar hurried across the road to the market where he picked up a few supplies for home then made his way out through the north entrance to the little farm his parents had left him.
Home sweet home with all the trouble behind him.
'ALL BUT ME.'
"Yeah well I'll deal with you after I get me a little rest."
The day was beautiful and warm and the handsome blond Jayce St. John flew high with Jetta the hawk. They loved flying in the morning. Darting in and out of clouds and chasing each other through the forest. Just loving the feeling of being free. Jayce swooped down into the forest to hide from Jetta when out of the corner of his eye he noticed something strange. Something blue shining in the underbrush. Jetta flew down and landed on Jayce's shoulder as he searched through the bush. There he found a large blue gem. A sapphire!! It was about 5 pounds, the size of a normal head. A little more than a foot long. Jayce picked it up and examined it. It was warm to the touch and beautiful. Jayce had seen many gems before but never anything this big. Where had it come from? Sapphires were mined this one had to be lost by someone. Jandar would be able to tell. Maybe some locator spell or something. He sent Jetta aloft back to his family then spread his wings and launched himself into the air. Jandar and Ono camped about 20 miles to the north in a clearing. Jayce saw them up ahead, smoke rising from the cooking fire. Ono had done the hunting. Deer meat was cooking and smelling delicious. Jayce came in and landed calling to Jandar.
"Jandar!!" He called. "Look what I found!!
"What is it? "Jandar asked.
"The biggest sapphire I have ever seen." Jayce said. "Here."
Jandar took the gem from him and examined it. Turning it over and weighting it in his hands. He had a feeling he knew what it was, but to be sure, he cast a simple spell on it to make sure. In his mind a large blue dragon appeared in his mind.
"Do you know what this is?" Jandar asked.
"What?" Jayce asked looking puzzled.
"It's a dragon egg." Jandar held it up. Ono came over and looked at it.
"That's an egg?" Ono asked. "It sure doesn't look like a egg."
"Dragon eggs are nothing like the eggs you eat." Jandar placed the egg next to the fire and covered it with dirt. "We have to keep it warm and safe if we want it to hatch. And cause you found it, Jayce. you must care for it. Until we find where it belongs." Jandar told him.
"Why?" Jayce asked.
"Dragons are very territorial. So the cave is probably close by". Jandar said. "And you touched it first."
"Ok" Jayce asked. "How do you take care of a dragon egg?"
"Just keep it warm, and sing to it." Jandar smiled and smirked at his brother. Ono smiled at the humor his brother was playing on their friend. Who sings to dragon eggs?
"Now when we find its cave." Jandar sat and pulled off some of the deer meat to eat. " You do realize what's going to be in it and who's going to have to take it back in? Jandar said as he ate. Jayce choked as he realized what this meant. A cave full of probably pissed off dragons, and he would have to face them.
"Oh no." Jayce said. "Do I have to?"
"It's your egg to protect, now." Jandar got up stood next to Jayce. "We have to get it back before it hatches. So we need to get a move on."
"Can't I just fly it?" Jayce finished his deer meat and hard bread.
"No more flying with the egg, not if you can avoid it." Jandar started packing their camping things. "It can't take anymore cold or the dragonet inside will die. Dragonets are very strong, except to cold while in there egg. The shell is almost impossible to break until it's ready to hatch."
"How long will it take?" Ono asked.
"Could be an hour, could be a month." The mage explained. "But I do know you can't hurry it. The dragon will be born when its ready or it senses the person it wants to bond with."
Jayce looked at his two companions. This could mean a change for him. He could impress a dragon and gain all its abilities. He would care for this egg for as long as it took. This dragon's life depended on him now.
Red is his rage as he walks down the trail from his clan cave. Rage is on fire. His brothers and sisters are frozen in sleep. He is on the trail of those who stole their young. His mind is fixed on hatred now and vengeance and the return of their eggs. One step after the other he moves down the trail. How did this happen? How could he sleep as his children were stolen. There's only one answer, Magic. Someone must have cast a spell to cloud his mind, and make him unaware of his surroundings. This must have been just to get their spirit, the life magic. But who would know about the spirit and what it meant to them? Only a high level sorcerer would have that knowledge and the power to hide this from him. Smoke rose from Rage's nostrils. The more he thought about it, the madder he got. Half way down the trail the forest began. The sounds of life became louder and the smell of gold became stronger. It was close, very close. Around the bend came a man dressed in hunting attire. As mad as Rage was killing the man was his first thought.
"Greetings Rage." said the gypsy hunter.
"Death walks beside me stranger." He growled. "Beware."
"I see you're upset." said the gypsy. "That won't solve your dilemma."
"And you think you can help me!!" his eyes glowed with anger. The gypsy stared at Rage and gave him a look of the obvious.
"I have words for you." he told him.
"And they are?" Rage stood with his hands on his hips getting more angry by the minute.
"1 is fire found at home.
1 is earth in a cave alone.
2 are elven don't let them pass.
1 is magic learning fast.
1 is pretty and on an ark.
1 is evil in the dark.
Seek them all to save your kin.
Seek the spirit and you will win."
Rage looks at him in amazement. The words seem strange to him, but somehow they calmed him.
"Remember these words, for they will guide you in your quest." said the gypsy." Follow your senses. All will be revealed."
"Who are you, gypsy?" He asked.
"I am Valen." He said. "And we will meet again."
With that, the man walked off into the forest. Rage stood and pondered what he had said. Who was the gypsy? And what did his words mean. A prophecy? That's what it sounded like. Rage walked on, his mind moving faster than his legs. His anger subsiding and his vision clearing he picked up the scent of the gold and found the mound. It's safe, that's good. He can pick it up later. Rage thought about the words. He'd have to figure it out later. The scent was leading him to a village. His prey was here in this place. Rage walked back into the forest and found a clearing. There he took his dragon form and closed one eye to rest. His dreams were of dragnet's playing in the cave and his brothers and sisters hunting. Morning came and Rage opened his eye. He was hungry. He sent out his senses and found a buck drinking from a stream and called it to him. In a daze the buck came to him. Rage blew a puff of gas out to surround the buck, a noxious gas. It staggered a few steps then fell over paralyzed. Rage moved to the buck and picked it up, He flipped it up and caught it, then had his breakfast. With his stomach full, he shifted to human form and made his way into the village. Many people passed and bid him good morning. Pleasant people lived here; then again he could see them all with pitchfork coming after his clan. A scent caught his attention and he followed it. It went to the back of the village when he saw a nice little cottage with a fence and a porch swing. Rage moved to the side of the barn as two young ones came running out followed by a woman. None of them had the scent, close but not quite right. There must be someone else in there. Rage waited and soon a man came out. His scent hit Rage almost immediately. This is the one. Rage made his way into the barn as the man came closer. He hid behind the hay as the man came in to begin his day's chores. Rage stepped out as the man picked up his shovel and made his way to the door.
"Aiya." Tomar said a bit startled by the man in crimson leather. "Can I help you?"
"Yes you can help me, thief." Rage said.
"Sir you're in my home." Tomar held the shovel out. "Your trespassing and you call me thief?"
"I have something of yours." Rage held up the pendant. "And you have something of mine."
Tomar stared at the pendant. It was his mother's, the one he left in the dragon cave. This man was in the cave. What does he want?
"What do you want with me?" Tomar dropped the shovel. This was going to be trouble he knew it. With his eyes glowing red and smoke coming out of his nose Rage advanced on Tomar.
"Where are the eggs?" He yelled.
"Eggs?" Tomar said. "What eggs? I found no eggs. Just the jewels."
"Those are eggs." Rage smoldered. "Our eggs, my egg. And I want it now."
Tomar fell to his knees. He knew this was a dragon in front of him not a man. His life was at an end. He stepped back and dug in the hay and pulled out the ruby egg.
"Here it is." He said. He held it out for Rage. "I think its name is Blaze. I should have figured it out."
"Blaze?" Rage said. "It talked to you?"
At that moment a noise came from the egg, CRACK!!! Pieces fell from it as a head emerged from the egg. The dragonet looked up at Tomar and spoke his name.
"I can hear it in my head." Tomar told Rage as he stared down at the little red dragon cradled in his hands.
"He wants to merge with you." Rage said. "If Blaze wants you, you must be worthy of my trust. Will you accept the merger?"
Tomar looked at the dragonet and saw love in its eyes. He knew he couldn't let it go. It would be like losing one of his children.
"Yes I will," Tomar said. As Blaze moved into his body Tomar could feel the feelings of love and comfort. His need to be joined was almost overwhelming. The strength and power Tomar perceived was so strong, he knew then he made the right decision. All Tomar's senses flared to a higher degree. His body began to change. Scales grew, and fingers became talons. Tomar fell to the barn floor and roared.
"Relax and let the change happen." Rage said. "There won't be any pain. Their body lengthened and his tail grew out. They reared up on their hind legs and wings sprouted from their back. Smoke and flame erupted from Blazes nostrils. Quickly Rage absorbed the flames to keep the barn from burning.
"Now you're one of us." Rage smiled. "Now you are Dragon!!!!!!!!"