The Dragons of Keanna
Copyright © By Jandar Tyr
Emeralds Are Forever
"Get up you lump!!" Dreik's father pushed him out of bed. "You'll never find nothing here in that bed. I swear I got the laziest gump there is."
Dreik sat up on the floor of the house and scratched his head. He hated how his father woke him every night for work.
"Why do you do this every sun down?" He frowned. "Don't I work hard every night?"
"You could fool me, Gump?" Grek his old man said. "How I know you working? You ain't never brought home no gold or stones from the damn hole you call a mine. Most dwarves got a nose for those things, but not you. Come git your vittles and git out of here."
Dreik got off the floor and went to the out place and did his business. Then brushed his hair and got dressed. Dreik was a dwarf. He stood four feet three inches and was stocky and strong. He had a rather large nose and reddish brown hair. He was a handsome dwarf and many ladies wanted him, but he was bad at finding the things that made being a dwarf successful. Gold and other metals, diamonds and gems, things that dwarves thought were important. Dreik apprenticed with his father, who was a rich dwarf. But to his father he was a disappointment. He just didn't have the nose for mining. Dreik ate his food and took his tools and got ready to leave.
"I feel lucky tonight, Pa." He said to his father. "Tonight I'm gonna find somthin' . I just know it."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah." The old man said. "Git out of here."
Dreik walked out of the house got his mule. He packed his things and set off for his mine. It was a long ride to his mine, about two hours. Dreik worked alone because he couldn't afford help. That was the way of the Dwarves. He would inherit what his father owned when he died, but until then, other than shelter, his father would not help him. Dwarf young fend for themselves; they mined for themselves until they made it or moved away in shame. This was Dreik's biggest fear. Even if he inherited his father's riches, he would have to move to a different dwarf community. So he worked his mine every night, never finding much, but always working on.
Rage, Jandar and the group walked through the forest after leaving the children in their village. Their parents were grateful for the return of the children. They offered the party many things as a reward, but all they took was a little food. They didn't need much. They were the best hunters there were. No prey could elude them. The dragons could call prey to them if they wanted, but liked hunting better. So thank you was more than enough for them.
"How's the egg doing?" Rage asked.
Carrying it in a sling across his chest, Jayce smiled.
"Good." Rage said walking next to Jandar.
"Do you feel anything?" Jandar asked.
"Yes." Rage said. "There's an egg that way."
He pointed west.
"We'll be there before sun up."
"Good." Jandar frowned, "There's something strange here."
"What do you mean?" Rage looked around and sniffed the air. "I don't sense anything. "
"I feel it." Jandar said. "There's something here. I don't know what. But I feel something."
High in the trees, Mags watched Rage and his group travel through the forest. He had found them. Now he had to go back and tell Polan. His master? Not in his eyes. He rose up into the sky heading for Napia. This Dragon King seemed familiar. Mags wished his memory would come back. Things would be so much clearer if it would. He might be betraying a friend. But now he had no choice but to do as he was commanded. Moving quickly, Mags came to a decision. He would tell Polan what he wanted. But only that. What he had to tell him. Also, Polan didn't know that Mags was a sorcerer himself. Hopefully as his memory returned he could do something about the hold Polan had on him, he thought as he came closer to Napia. As Mags entered Polan's study, Polan turned to face him. He didn't look pleased.
Sitting in a high backed chair, Polan was an older man with almost white hair but a very powerful body for his age. He wasn't tall, just average size but the way he held himself showed him to be very powerful. He was dressed all in black from head to toe and he wore two black stoned rings on his fingers.
"Well?" he said. "Have you found him?"
'YES I HAVE' Mags said. Polan reached out to touch him.
'MASTER!!' He called in fear of Polan's touch..
"That's better." The necromancer smiled that evil smile that scared all the dead in his city.
"Show me where with your mind." Polan ordered. Mags projected the route he took to find Rage. Making it look like it had taking time to find him. He didn't want Polan to know how easy it had been for him to find the Dragon King. He didn't want to be too useful to the evil man. He knew Polan would never let him go if he was.
"I know that place." He said. "It's near a dwarf village. Now I'll get the power I want."
Polan walked outside and took on his dragon form. The moon was high and darkness covered his city. He left Mags alone in his house knowing he would be there when he returned. Where else could he go? Until Polan released him, he was bound to him and could not return to his grave or go anywhere. Spreading his wings Polan flew into the shadows and was gone.
Deep in his mine, Dreik Ironbeard worked feverishly on a stone he had found. A large diamond. At last he would bring home something to make his father proud. It was a huge stone, bigger than his fist. Sweat poured off his body as he worked to free the stone from the wall. One more swing and it would be free. There it is. He picked it up and held it to the lantern. Yes it looked like a diamond. But there was only one way to be sure. His gemster. A gemster was a magical device that was made by elves; it would identify any metal and gem. Reaching in his bag he took it out and turned it on. Red and green lights flashed as the gemster got ready to do its job. After a final beep it was ready to go. Dreik held the stone up to the gemster and said Examine. The gemster was about seven inches long and three wide. Inside there was a sample of every type of metal and gem known to the dwarves, and dwarves were experts in mineralogy. They knew of things man had no idea existed. Magical metals, mystical stones, not to mention gases. The gemster had eight small lights on the front and three on the back for magical objects. Left side lights were for metal, the right side for stones. The lights on the right side blinked out one at a time until it was ready, then it beeped and made its identification. QUARTZ.
"NO!!" Dreik screamed. "Not again!!"
He kicked his pick and then threw the stone at the wall. It hit the wall exposing something green and shining. Dreik looked at the spot and wondered what it was. He walked over and started digging whatever it was out. It looked like a large emerald. Again hope flared in him as he dug. Had he found an emerald vein? He jumped up and down and danced in joy. Wait a minute. He had been fooled before by trash, he had to check with the gemster. Using the device again he prayed to all the dwarven gods for luck. EMERALD.
"YES!!" He screamed out as he danced around. "I knew tonight was my lucky night!!"
"We're close now." Rage told his companions. "It's just over there. In that cave."
Rage stopped, something was wrong. He felt a presence, a dragon was near. It was one of his eggs hatched and merged. But something was wrong with it. He felt hate and evil. The egg had been corrupted.
"Everybody get down!!!" Rage yelled as a large shadow flew down and knocked him over. Quickly he got back to his feet.
"What's happening?" Jandar said summoning his staff to his hand. "Jayce get in the cave with the egg. Protect it!"
Jayce spread his wings and launched himself into the cave, cradling the egg to his chest with one hand and drawing his sword with the other. Rage and the others looked to the skies for whatever was attacking. Rage could smell Shadoe up there ready to attack. A bolt of energy hit a tree next to Ono and he jumped and shifted as he ran for cover. Jandar's staff blazed with power, He wasn't yet sure what was attacking them, but he would be ready when it came.
"It's a dragon." Rage called out to them as he was hit again from behind. "A black dragon."
"What does that mean?" Another bolt of energy struck close to Jandar. He swung his staff around himself to protect himself. Hoping his shield would work against a black dragon bolts.
"It's a shadow dragon." Rage called.
'OH I'M MUCH MORE THEN THAT.' A black flame hit a tree; It withered and died, then crumbled to dust and blew away
'GREETINGS, YOUR HIGHNESS' Polan sent. He sent a bolt at Rage. Rage saw it coming and sent out his own flame to counter it. They cancelled each other out as they came together. Another bolt came from the sky and hit Rage knocking him back.
'HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!'
Blaze sent out his flame to where he thought Polan was and missed. Polan was fast in shadow form. It was hard to tell where he was.
"All of you get in the cave now!!" Rage yelled. "Jandar, give me light!!"
As he ran, Jandar sent up from his staff a blinding light. It caused Polan to become solid for a moment. He sent back his own bolt that missed Blaze entering the cave. Behind him Rage noticed the morning coming. Sunlight would weaken the shadow dragon, giving him a better chance to battle him. All he had to do was keep him occupied until the sun rose.
'SO YOU'RE THE ONE THAT STOLE OUR EGGS.' Rage said taking on his dragon form. He took to the air, sending his flame out in circles, hoping to hit what he couldn't see.
'NOT ME PERSONALLY.' Polan said. 'BUT IT WAS MY DOING.'
'WHY?' Rage asked.
'POWER!!!!' Polan sent. 'DRAGON MAGIC. THE MOST POWERFUL THERE IS. I WANT IT ALL TO BE MINE. AND IF I HAVE TO KILL EVERY ONE OF YOU, THEN SO BE IT!!!'
Polan sent another bolt at Rage. Twilight was coming now and he dodged easily and sent flame that hit Polan. He roared in pain as he burned his shoulder.
'THAT HURT DIDN'T IT?' Rage laughed. 'YOU KNOW WHY? LOOK BEHIND YOU. THE SUN'S COMING UP. SOON YOU WILL BE POWERLESS'
Polan could feel the sun coming up behind him. He didn't have to look. He knew he was getting weaker by the minute. He had to get back to his city. It wasn't time yet for him to take on Rage. He'd come back tonight.
'NOT QUITE POWERLESS.'
Polan launched several bolts at the cave entrance. He would trap them in there until he came back.
'BETTER SAVE YOUR FRIENDS.' He said as the cave began to fall in. Rage saw what was happening and flew down and into the cave and forced everyone further back as the entrance collapsed and trapped them inside.
'HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!' Pleased with himself, Polan flew down into the shadows and returned home. That would keep them until he got back at sundown, shielding Jandar from the cave in, Rage kept his dragon form until he knew they were safe, Then he shifted to human and checked to see if everyone was alright.
"We're all fine." Jandar told him. "How are you?"
"A little sore and very angry." Rage said. "Of all the eggs, He had to get the black one."
"What do you mean?" Jandar asked checking for himself that Rage was not injured. He looked at Rage and felt a lump grow in his throat. He had been worried while Rage was out there fighting that shadow creature. This strange dragon he found his way past Jandar's defenses, and that wasn't an easy task. Jandar looked into Rage's eyes. He didn't want anything to happen to him.
"The onyx egg is the only egg that can be turned to evil." Rage sat down next to Jandar. "That's why we never let the black egg merge with anyone. It's too strong and even good men can be made evil by it. So we make sure it never merges. As a dragon, it can be tamed and part of our community. But merged, it can blacken the heart of the person and become dangerous."
"Can it be destroyed?"? Ono asked.
"Yes." Rage said. "But did you notice the energy bolts?"
"I almost got hit twice." Ono said.
"How did he do that?" Blaze walked over and asked.
"Exactly." Rage said. "He shouldn't be able to do that."
"I think I know." Jandar said. "When you were fighting it, I noticed something about it when I cast that light to blind him."
"What?" Asked Jayce.
"How's that egg?" Rage said.
"Look and see." He held open the sling. "It's fine. Now what did you see Jandar?"
"Something only another Mage might see." Jandar explained.
"He had a mystic glow." Rage said. "I saw it too. The person that merged with the egg had to be a person of very strong magic."
"That's bad. " Blaze said pacing back and forth. "So what do we do, Sire?"
Rage held out his hand for Jandar to take and helped him up.
"You're sure you're OK?" Rage asked him. "He didn't touch you?"
"I'm fine." Jandar smiled. "He never touched me. We're all fine."
"Then we find the egg." He said. "There's one in here. Then we find a way out."
Hearing the rumble from the front of the cave, Dreik knew exactly what it was. A cave in. A dwarf's nightmare. Dwarves were great diggers and their magic helped with that. Very seldom do dwarven caves cave in. They knew how to tunnel and their magic helped them sense weak areas. This one sounded serious. Depending on how much of the tunnel had fallen would decide if he could get out. Dwarves don't need a lot of air, but they do need some. And if it ran out before he could dig his way out, he was doomed.
'DO NOT WORRY' He heard in his head. Dreik turned around quickly to see who had said that. There's no one here but him. To many hours in here he thought.
'I AM HERE, TOO'
That voice again. Dreik thought he was going crazy. Now that he had found something, he was going batty. Quickly he headed for the entrance to see if he could dig his way out.
'I CAN HELP YOU'
The voice startled Dreik and he took off running as fast as his little legs would move him. Coming around a bend he ran into Ono and fell back on his ass.
"A dwarf." Ono said. "Hey little one."
Dreik looked at the four strangers in his tunnel. Maybe they were here to steal his emerald, or maybe it was there's. It probably was, he should have known he would never find anything like this.
'I AM YOURS' He heard.
"Who are ya?" He asked getting to his feet. "What are ya doin in here?"
'THEY ARE LOOKING FOR ME'
"They're lookin for who?" Dreik asked. Rage walked up and bent down until he was eye to eye with Dreik, He smiled at him.
"We're not here to take anything from you." Rage said to him. "But I think you have a new friend that wants to meet you."
"Whatcha talkin about?" Dreik frowned, "I ain't met nobody new but you people."
"Open your bag," Rage said,
"Then dis is yours? Dreik opened the bag and took out the egg. "Here, take it."
At that moment the egg started to crack. Dreik looked at it in his hand Pieces began to fall off and a small head poked its way out. It looked up at Dreik and purred.
He looked at the dragonet and felt the warm loving feelings it sent to him. Dreik didn't understand what was happening or what this was, but he knew right then everything in his life would be different. He knew he'd found something that would make gold and gems unimportant from now on.
"Dreik," Rage said.
"How do ya know my name?" He asked Rage.
"Gaia told me." Rage pointed at the dragonet. "He wants you to be a part of him. "Would you like that?"
Dreik looked down at Gaia. This was the most precious thing he ever saw. He knew then he couldn't give Gaia up, And Gaia knew to.
"Yes. I would," He said.
'THEN WE ARE ONE'
Gaia pushed his way out of the egg and moved in to Dreik's chest. And the change began. Feeling no pain, Dreik and Gaia merged. He went down on all fours and started to grow. His body lengthened and became green scaled. a tail grew from his bottom that forked with two spikes on each end. His neck grew long and reptilian as did his head, he had a short snout and deep piercing eyes that glowed red. On his back grew a triple row of spikes from his forehead down to his tail. Fingers became long sharp talons for digging. Teeth became fangs and now his tongue was forked. On his face Gaia had six short tendrils that looked like whiskers. Gaia reared up and roared showing his chest, A deeper shade of green. His change was complete; Gaia and Dreik were now one, a Dragon!!!!
"Welcome, young earth dragon." Rage said to him. Gaia bowed to his King.
'THANK YOU, SIRE'
Rage placed his hand on Gaia's head as the dragon bowed.
'PLEASE ALLOW ME TO OPEN THE ENTRANCE FOR YOU.'
Gaia walked to the entrance, he took a deep inhale of breath. Then roared at the wall of rock. Like a wave in the ocean, the wall parted to reveal the outside forest and sunlight.
"Thank you, Gaia. That makes two eggs found"
Rage and the others walked out to breath in the fresh air. Jandar walked next to Rage through the forest.
"The more I'm with you, the more I learn about dragons." Jandar said. Rage smiled and put his arm around Jandar's shoulder.
"Stay with me and I'll teach you everything there is to know about this dragon."
Jandar smiled up at his tall companion.
"I'm not going anywhere without you." He smiled.
Wandering in the forest with no memory of who he was, or where he should be going, Gird stopped at a stream. He looked down on his reflection. He knew that face that stared back at him, But he couldn't find anything about him in his head. A picture of another man that looked a lot like this kept floating up. But it was a different face, an older face. His father? His brother? He didn't know. He sat back and looked in his bag. There he found gold. Where did it come from? Was he a rich man? He didn't think so. Maybe the gold wasn't his, maybe he stole it. Could he be a thief? Gird was so confused. Trying to remember was giving him such a headache. He didn't want to think anymore so he laid his head down and tried to sleep. He dreamed of a cave, it was dark and full of riches. Gold and jewels. Enough to make a man rich for many life times. But there was also danger there. Dragons!! The cave was full of them. Dragons of all colors and sizes. And they were all deeply asleep. And jewels, huge jewels. Where was this place? Had he been there. And the strange symbol he kept seeing in his mind. Like a dragon etched on a gold plate, it was beautiful. Then the face, in black. And the horrible scream. It echoed in his mind over and over. Until he jumped up out of the nightmare to see a tall brown haired man dressed in red standing over him.
"You!!!" he said.
Gird looked at him wide eyed. He tried to back away on all fours but ran into someone in green.
"Who are you?" Gird asked.
"Where are my eggs?" Rage asked. He reached down and picked up Gird and held him up off the ground. Rage's eyes blazed with anger, red sparks showed in his eyes. He pulled Gird closer to him.
"Talk!!" He yelled.
"I don't know what you want.?" Gird screamed cringing in fear. Around him stood six men. Two in red leather, one taller and blond, the other shorter dark haired , both handsome. Then a dwarf dressed in green. But he was different from other dwarves; it was in his eyes and the way he stood. Next, two men that had to be brothers, they both had a wildness about them. Last, was a tall blond man, he looked like an angel with shining hair and wings. Strange men. He knew they were powerful but not bad men. The man in red was mad, yes, but there was something about him.
"Have I done something to any of you?" Gird asked. He wasn't afraid anymore. "Please, whatever it was, tell me." he said. "I don't remember anything."
Rage looked at him in shock. He could smell the eggs on him. He knew he had them, but his eyes told a different story.
"We'll see." Rage said. He put his hands on Gird's forehead and closed his eyes. Deep in his mind, he saw the cave and his brothers. The eggs being stolen. Rage looked deeper and saw Terek and Tomar, and their trip down the mountain. Then Polan's dark face appeared. He saw Polan kill Terek. Then blank. Nothing. Gird looked up at him.
"I remember!!" he said. "My name is Gird."
Rage put him back down on the ground. He had seen into this man's mind and was satisfied he told the truth. He didn't remember anything after his brother's death. But he had taken the eggs, him and the others. They thought them gems but a thief is thief. Rage looked into Gird's eyes.
"Now you know what you and your brother did?" He said.
"Yes" Gird looked down. "There's no excuse. We took your young, and I don't know what I did with them. I don't know how to help find them. Search my mind it's there somewhere."
"I have searched your mind. It's not there. Those memories are gone." Rage said to him. "But you stole from us. You took the most precious thing we have. Am I to let you walk away from here? What are we to do? Do you know who we are?" Rage asked him.
"You have something to do with the dragons." Gird said to him.
"No, we are the dragons." Rage stepped back and changed forms. He roared and blew a fifteen foot jet of flame. He reared up on his hind legs and stretched out. His massive form reaching to his full height of forty feet. Thirty five to forty foot wingspan wingtip to wingtip. Then the other red leathered man and the dwarf changed. They were not as big, or as massive, but just as impressive. Three great dragons stood before him and roared. Gird knew he owed much to these dragons. All he could give was his life for them.
'IS THAT YOUR OFFER?' Gird heard ringing in his head clear as a bell.
"Yes." He said. "What can I do? I have done you the worst wrong a man can do. My life is yours sire." Gird went down on his knees and bowed.
'I'LL TAKE THAT OFFER.' Rage's head swung down to his level and stared at him.
"A WRONG YOU HAVE DONE
DONE OUT OF GREED
A DEED YOU SHALL DO
DONE OUT OF NEED
TO PROTECT OUR CLAN
YOUR TASK SHALL BE
NOW RISE YOUNG CHANGELING
I PASSED POWER TO THEE"
Gird rose into the air and began to glow as his body started to change. He grew to a height of over twelve feet his clothes ripped from his body and his skin grew scales and armor. He sparkled with many colors, an iridescent hue. Hands and feet turned to claws and talons, wings and a tail sprouted on him. Gird's hair grew out until he had a mane like a stripe down his back, his face did not change, but it grew an armor like mask with glowing eyes. Landing on the ground he looked at himself, Gird felt power in these limbs. He exhaled and frost blew out of his mouth and nostrils freezing the grass and bushes in front of him. He did it again and flame blew out and scorched the same ground.
"What am I to do now?" He looked to Rage.
'I THINK YOU KNOW' Rage sent. 'PROTECT MY FAMILY FROM ANY HARM, AND COME IF WE CALL. THIS IS JANDAR AND HIS BROTHERS. THEY ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO ME. TO BE CONSIDERED DRAGON, UNDERSTAND?'
"Yes, sire." Gird bowed to Jandar and Ono and Jayce. "I will answer your call, any of you."
"To help you there." Jandar called for his staff, he pointed at Gird and spoke in that magic tongue, his eyes glowing
"To help, I cast in you the spell of Familiar. You will be transported to the one that calls in a blink. So be on your guard if someone calls, you may land in battle."
"Thank you." he said to Jandar. He then turned to Rage and started to speak. Rage changed back to his human form and stopped him.
"I do not adopt men to my clan easily." He said. "I know you will do your task well. One more thing. There is a spell on the entrance of our home. Only dragons with pure hearts can enter. I have cleansed your heart with the change so you are safe to enter. Now, go!!"
Gird bowed again and took to the air to take his position as guard of the rest of the dragons and eggs. Jandar walked over to Rage.
"What are you thinking?" He said as they watched Gird fly off into the sky picking up air currents to ride to his destination.
"I'm surprised none of the eggs called out to him." Rage told Jandar.
"You saw a lot in his heart." Jandar looked at Rage. Jandar knew this dragon was burrowing deeper and deeper into his heart, and he wouldn't fight anymore. He welcomed him in. Rage smiled at him as if he heard Jandar's thoughts.
'I DID' He heard.
'STOP THAT!!' Jandar sent to Rage. 'WHEN I WANT YOU TO KNOW HOW I FEEL, I WILL TELL YOU. PLEASE DON'T LISTEN TO MY THOUGHTS.'
'I WON'T EVER DO IT AGAIN. NOT UNLESS YOU CALL.' Rage promised him.
"Can we talk?"
"Of course." Rage pulled him away from the others, "I want you and your brothers to go."
"Why?" Jandar said in shock. "We do something wrong?"
"I can't let you get hurt in this." Rage told him. "This Black dragon is powerful with strong magic. I won't take a chance with your life."
"That's not your decision. I'm not leaving." Jandar told him." You think me a novice? An apprentice? I was High mage of my clan. A master. I can protect myself and do battle. I've beaten many in our travels. And I will not leave you."
'MAYBE NEVER.' For the first time Rage pulled him into his arms and kissed him. He put his arms around him and Jandar responded. They kissed holding each other tight.
"I won't go." Jandar said.
"I know." answered Rage. "I don't want you to."