An arrow buried itself into the elvan girls’ steed. It immediately collapsed to the forest floor, dead. She turned round clutching the stone she had stolen from the king and she hurled her sword at the Darksade, Morguŝiąn, who was walking over towards her.
‘Bråiskar!’ and the sword whirled away into the distance.
‘Give me it!’ he said in a terrifying way, ‘and you get to live.’
‘No.’ She replied. And took the stone out of the bag and held it above her head,
‘Tyrais pårįşh!’ the stone lit up and disappeared. The Darksade gave a howl of anger,
‘D’shurgatil!’ he yelled and she collapsed to the forest floor, already unconscious.
Rowan cocked two arrows’ and aimed at the deer’s. He had been travelling for 4 days around the Braeok Mountains just to get enough meat to feed his uncle, Fernest and his cousin, Kairen. He was tensing up and he fied when out of the blue, came a flash of light. The light subsided and rowans arrow was stuck in a near by tree, the fletching on fire. As for the deer’s, it was no were in sight. He returned his gaze to where the flash of light happened and he was a bit shocked to see that, in the flame’s place was a rock.
What? I lost my family’s feed for a stinking rock?! He thought with rage, well I might as well take it. He reached out and clasped his hands around it and was surprised by it feeling so smooth and soft. He popped it inside his leather pouch and searched through his quiver, cocked another arrow and sprinted after the deer’s. He came up behind a tree and peered out from beside it and was relieved to see the deer’s grazing there. This time he repeated his actions as silent as a mouse, and he brought up his bow and fired. The two arrows hit two of the deer’s in the side which they immediately fell down dead. Rowan whooped with joy, he had got their dinners for the whole of winter!
He slung it over his back and started to walk back in the direction of his farm on the outskirts of the town, Hartford. He travelled down the mountain slope before setting up camp at dusk. He had a small dinner of dry meat and mashed potato before tucking into his sleeping bag happy with the day’s events.
In the early hours of the morning, rowan woke up and stared at the sky for awhile,
Life is good! He thought, I still can’t believe that I succeeded! Most of the times I’ve come hunting, I’ve barely come home with anything! He got up feeling positive and went over to the nearby river, the Aker’ra and washed his face. He packed up and started trekking back to Hartford.
At around midday, he spotted the town on the hill and also saw his farm about a mile away, Rowan smiled and jogged towards his farm. He tired after a while because of the weight of his pack. He was greeted by his cousin, Kairen, when Rowan went inside the barn. Kairen ran over to him,
‘Hey Rowan! Catch anything!’ he said smiling,
‘..Yep! I caught two deer’s! So, praise me!’ rowan said. Kairen threw himself at Rowan and they started to play-wrestle. His uncle, Fernest entered the room, ‘Come on boys! We’ve got to do the harvesting before the snow comes!’ The cousins stopped wrestling and for several seconds they were just a tangled heap. They separated, got up, grabbed a basket and ran out into the field.
After picking various vegetables and fruits, they went inside the barn again and placed them near the hay bale. This time it was Rowans’ turn to start a fight. After tiring themselves out so much they could die from wrestling, they ran inside the house and were greeted by the lovely smell of chicken soup! Kairen and Rowan sat down at the table eagerly and Fernest brought over three hot steaming bowls. When they cooled a bit, the three ate it eagerly to try and keep the warmth. After eating the soup,(and feeling refreshingly warm), Rowan returned to his room and lay down on his bed, almost instantly falling asleep.
Rowan woke with a start. He listened again and heard a faint cracking sound coming from his mantelpiece. He got up and walked over to it to see what it was. The rock had cracks in it and was shaking side to side. Suddenly the rock broke apart and revealed what was inside. Rowan gasped. It was a dragon. He knew it was a dragon because he had heard stories about how imperial dragons were, before the king and rider, Morkareä, forced the riders into committing suicide. As soon as Morkareä had done this, he had announced himself as the king of Rargarsia. It shone brilliantly blue and its eyes were as large as a bulb. The eyes stared up into his and his stared back at…at…. Are yes…her!
The dragon looked curiously at him again and yelped hungrily.
‘Alright. I’ll get you some meat!’ Rowan said wearily, he turned away from it and went out into the kitchen and he ripped some dry meat into pieces and fed it to the dragon. It ate it eagerly and before long, Rowan had to go back and forth feeding the dragon generous amounts of meat. After about half an hour, the dragon finally slumped down satisfied. Rowan reached out his hand to pat it and when he touched it on snout. An excruciating pain raced through his body and he was surprised to see a star shape burnt into his palm.
‘What… what… have you done?’ he stuttered to dragon, in return he received a cheeky smile. Rowan turned away from it, got up and finally slumped into bed falling asleep immediately, dreaming about what just had aspired.
Rowan woke up and closed his eyes after being temporarily blinded. After adjusting to the light, he gazed down and saw the dragon lying on his stomach. He gazed at her for awhile thinking about what to do. After a period of time he gently lifted her up, got up and gently laid her down on the bed again. He walked out into the kitchen and was greeted by Kairen whose head was laid on the table, his eye’s closed. Rowan quietly grabbed some cold porridge and ate it before slipping back into his room and amazingly Leo still hadn’t wakened. When Rowan entered his bedroom, he was greeted by massive blue eyes.
‘Hello!’ he said to her smiling. After getting dressed, Rowan grabbed some parchment and wrote down;
I’ve gone to Hartford and I should be back soon.
See you, Rowan
With that Rowan hid the dragon under his bed with some meat, grabbed some coins and set off into town.
He strolled in a casual fashion and saw two of the king’s guards arguing about something to the butcher, Bart.
‘We’ve heard that your meat is rotten?!’ A guard said accusingly.
‘Shut up. My meat is the only meat you can get around here!’ Bart yelled back into his face.
Rowan missed the next for accusations, but when it finished the two groups parted, fuming. Rowan passed and walked into the library. He went on a quest looking for information on dragons. As soon as he had collected as much as he could carry he sat down in a comfortable chair and started reading. He read and read, hours went past like minutes and Rowan absorbed words till he could no more. Finally he finished the last parchment about magik spells and how to say and perform them. He got up from the chair and groaned because of how stiff his body was. He put back the parchments were he found them and wearily started to walk back to the farm. It was about noon when he was greeted by Kairen the field, (‘Hello Rowan!’ He said), who happened to be picking some Roicers, a native watery melon of Rargarsia. He went inside,
‘Hello Rowan!’ Rowan turned to were the voice came from and saw Fernest sitting by the fire smiling at him.
‘Hello’ Rowan replied tiredly,
‘What did you do in town then, huh?’ Fernest inquired, Rowan suddenly froze.
What could say without his uncle finding out about the dragon? He thought, scared of what would happen.
‘Oh…are, um, I just went to the library to check out some scrolls.’ He stuttered
‘Ok.’ Fernest said, Rowan relieved that Fernest didn’t press the subject any further. Rowan turned away and went outside to do his duties with Kairen.
That night, after some more chicken soup for dinner, (again), Rowan fetched the dragon from under his bed and set her on his lap so he could pat her. Rowan was also surprised to see that she had grown up to Rowans waist!
He was excited at the prospect. Before long, he stopped patting her and they both jumped into bed together and fell asleep both thinking about what will happen in the future.
The dragon soon was so big (and surprisingly was taller than Rowan!); she had to be put outside in the Maoraķŏpia woods a bit of a way from their farm.
One morning, when Rowan was feeding the dragon he heard a voice in his head,
Rowan stopped and gazed at the dragon scared and surprised,
She can talk to me?! Well, think actually.
Rowan….my name is Sapphiris. I have waited a thousand years for you. I am a dragon and you are my rider. Sapphiris said
A dragon? Me, a Rider? WHAT?! Rowan thought.
Why choose me? Rowan asked
Because I, dragons choose riders for their heart and their courage. Sapphiris answered his question.
He asked one question that had been buggering him,
Can dragons perform magic?
No…well sort of. A rider has its own magic reserve in its Ŝhagaţħę şoķŏ that star on your palm and if a rider performs a spell that exceeds his/her strength it kills them. But, a dragon has its own magic reserves, although a dragon cannot perform magic, so it flows through the rider giving the rider more strength. Sapphiris answered with a cheekily in a matter-of-fact way.
He also had another question,
Are there other dragons?
Yes. But they are under the king’s control and guard.
Rowan had one more question.
How do you know all this?
Ahh. Now, listen closely my hatchling. When a female dragon is about to die, it hatches an egg and also gives the new-born dragon all it’s knowledge of the parents’ past life. So that is your answer.
Can we fly? Asked Rowan
Yes….well, soon anyway.
Rowan was soaking in the last few events he smiled in disbelief and kept feeding Sapphiris.
Over the next few days, Rowan kept talking to Sapphiris, and was getting more enthusiastic and confident. One day when he was working in the field with Kairen, he suddenly felt a jolt of embarrassment. Rowan curious, suddenly heard a voice in his head.
Oh, sorry Rowan. A rider and his or her dragon feel the others emotions! Sapphiris explained.
O, that’s ok then! Rowan said shrugging.
After getting in the food, rowan said goodbye to Kairen, Sapphiris, (secretly, of course!) and Fernest, then set off for Hartford. As he was walking past Bart’s house he heard screams he went behind the butcher’s house to investigate. He heard them coming from Bart’s shed and went over, hid under a table and listened.
‘We know you’ve seen the boy with a certain stone’ said a voice with an icy fear to it.
‘Yes, now you’ve mentioned it. He brought it from The Braeok Mountains.’ He gave a sudden howl of pain as Rowan heard a sickly squelch, ‘he lives on the outskirts of Hartford with his uncle and cousin. That’s all I know.’ Oh my god. These creatures are coming for my family! Rowan thought. he heard a howl and then silence as he heard something jump upon the table. The creature above him gave a low hissssss and then returned into the shed. Rowan got up from under the table and broke in a run towards the farm. He was greeted by Sapphiris, who he could see had fear in her eyes as well. She locked her claws around Rowans’ shirt.
What are you doing they’re going to murder Fernest and Kairen!
You’re in danger! I can’t let you die! She said
Let me GO! I need to save them!
NOO! For the last time, Rowan…
LET ME GO! He yelled in his head,
You’re giving me no choice, Rowan! Sapphiris said and she dropped him. Rowan yelled in fright at the sudden decision. Fortunately, he landed on a hay bale. He got up, brushed the hay off him and ran towards his farm.
Rowan sped through the front door which was disabled, and went into the living room. He was confronted by a weeping Kairen over…over his uncles’ deceased body. He felt tears pour down his face in grief. Why is life so sophisticated? He thought as he saw Sapphiris’ head poke through the window.
‘Kairen?’ Rowan whispered to his cousin.
Kairen sniffled a few times.
‘Yeah?’ he said.
‘Listen. I’m a Dragonrider. My Dragon is Sapphiris,’ Rowan muttered to him gesturing towards Sapphiris. Kairen turned and looked at him in wonder, his eyes bulging with disbelief. ‘This afternoon when I went into Hartford there were creatures torturing Bart, who told them about our farm. They are Fernests’ Killers.’ Rowan finished with a bit of rage edging into his voice.
‘Rowan, you have bought this death upon us. But if you will let me, I wish to travel with you and Sapphiris to hunt down our uncles killers and kill them.’ Kairen said boldly.
‘Of course.’ They clasped each others hands and got ready for the trip.
They grabbed all sorts of things. Blankets, food, weapons and a variety of other things. All the time Sapphiris watched them dash about. Finally after a period of about 10 minutes, they were ready.
Roan and Kairen finished tying the final knot of the bag of provisions, to Sapphiris and hooked
Themselves over her back (which happened to have a saddle which they put on Sapphiris earlier) and she took flight. Kairen looked queasy at first and Rowan thought he was on the verge of vomiting, but he got used to it. Sapphiris seemed happy because she was flying again. She soared through the sky like she had been flying all her life. At one point, she performed a somersault and Rowan and Kairen were scared of falling off, but she pulled it off nicely. Finally as the sun went down they stopped and set up camp near the B’nara River. When Sapphiris went off to hunt for her dinner and after the cousins had finished theirs, Rowan challenged Kairen to a sparring contest. Kairen chased Rowan around the fire and was trying to hit him when Rowan turned round and whacked Kairen in the arm. Kairen fell to his knees and Rowan heard laughter. Kairen quickly jumped up onto his feet and knocked Rowans sword out of his hand.
‘You Lose….again!’ Kairen said smiling.
‘Oh no. I’m just getting started. I’m going easy on you.’ Rowan replied chuckling,
‘Yeah...Right!’ said Kairen and swung his sword at Rowans.
After 2 more battles, the two sat down near the fire, exhausted. Rowan grabbed some Roicers’ pieces and stuffed them into his mouth. He slowly chewed them gazing up at the sky. A few moments later, Rowan heard the beat of wings as Sapphiris came down with a deer in her mouth. She grunted and went over to devour her dinner.
As Rowan heard crunches and cracks, he wondered what was happening in Hartford right now. He shrugged and laid down in a blanket and fell asleep.
Rowan woke with a start, drenched in sweat. He gazed around their site and saw Kairen snoozing against a tree and Sapphiris lying on her back, her tail flicking up and down every time she breathed. Rowan got to his feet and walked over to the warm flames of a dying fire. He grabbed a handful of sticks and dropped them into the flames, the fire roared up with life and Rowan sat back down grabbing some meat to chew on.
Nice Meat? said a voice in his head. Rowan turned round to see Sapphiris lumbering over towards him. He great big baby blue eyes gazed into his as an eerie silence fell over them. Rowan broke the silence
What do you think these creature, we’re hunting, are? He asked Sapphiris,
Well, as far as I know, I believe they are a sort of Human-bat creature of some sort. They are creatures of the dark that eat human and animal flesh and are believed to be pets of Darksades, those dark sorcerers which are possessed by spirits. They abide by the Darksades bidding and are merciless to whom unfortunate soul becomes their prey. She explained
Ah. Rowan replied, concluding the conversation. Rowan returned to his blanket and fell asleep.
The next morning, Rowan and Kairen dissembled the camp and they were on the way again. Rowan luckily had a map of Rargarsia and a few surrounding islands, so it was pretty clear were they were going. Rowan surveyed the map; they were heading away from the B'nara River and were heading towards the Razzäc Desert. Rowan peered down at the ground and saw tracks of the creatures.
We are getting closer to the creatures now. Rowan said to Sapphiris clearly getting ready to kill them.
Let’s rip them to pieces and burn their foul bodies to ashes!! She replied fiercely. Rowan turned to Kairen to tell him the news. Kairen immediately grabbed his sword and started to sharpen it. Rowan turned back and stared forward and surveyed the scenery for any signs of their prey. He saw nothing and they continued to soar through the sky.
Around about noon, they stopped for a lunch of roasted rabbit which Rowan managed to obtain two of with the mastery of his archery skills. While they ate, Sapphiris went off to hunt for her lunch which she returned with a wild boar, which’s head, was hanging onto the neck with a tiny piece of skin. While she devoured her lunch, Rowan talked tactics with Kairen about the slaughter of their guardian’s killers.
‘Stab them through the chest and maybe then behead them?’ Kairen suggested, wanting to do something slow, painful and above all bloody!
‘Mmm. Maybe not.’ Rowan replied sighing heavily. As he finished those words Sapphiris had completely eaten her lunch so after a few minutes they were ready to take flight again. Sapphiris opened her wings and soared up into the sky.
Rowan was reading the map when suddenly a deformed bird darted out of the sky hurling itself towards the trio. Kairen gave a shriek of fright as the bird knocked him of the saddle. He fell towards the ground screaming his head off. ‘L’eavitial!’ Rowan yelled and Kairen stopped in mid air and started to rise towards Sapphiris and Rowan. He looked dazed as he returned into his place in Sapphiris saddle.
Rowan turned his head back to the bird as it attacked Sapphiris’s belly. They both grappled the claws at each other, trying to injure the other. Sapphiris opened her mouth and tried to bite off the birds head. She Succeeded. The birds head and body fell towards the ground and hit it with a crunch. Rowan and Kairen faces turned a sickly shade of green and they puked. Sapphiris just smiled grimly.
By the end of that day, Sapphiris told Rowan, who told Kairen that she could even smell the creatures. They set up camp on the outskirts of the desert. There wasn’t much see except a few trees and some dead bushes. Rowan and Kairen had Some Roicers and Some Jaraja (a mango-passionfruit fruit, again native to Rargarsia) which was juicy, so it cooled them down from the scorching heat radiating from the desert. As always Sapphiris went off to hunt. She didn’t come back for a while, so Rowan started to get worried. Was she hurt? Rowan thought and decided to contact her.
Sapphiris, Are you all right? He thought the worst had happened. Several seconds later he received a reply.
I am all right, young one. I’m just struggling to get through a sand storm.
All right. Just be Careful. You’re precious to me. Rowan said. He felt a jolt of love from Sapphiris emotion. He went over to their provisions and handed Kairen a water skin and also grabbed one for himself. They drank a bit ration it to last but at the same time try to quench their thirst for more water. After drinking about ¼ of the water, Rowan heard Sapphiris return. This time she didn’t save her catch to eat when she got back, but it appeared she ate it on the way. She smiled at them and curled up falling asleep. Again Rowan and Kairen sparred and this time it was actually quite an effort to defeat the other. In the end, both won a fair three challenges each and various bruises, some in places I’d rather not specify. Rowan lay down on his blanket and stared in the direction of the Razzäc Desert. He felt as if they would die out there. He fell asleep afraid of what the desert beheld.
Rowan woke up to a rising sun, bathing in sweat. He got up wearily and was met by a tired, yawning Kairen. Sapphiris still appeared to be asleep. Rowan grabbed some fruit and some jerky and slowly ate it. He was worried about them getting de-hydrated out in the desert. He decided to try and forget about and focus his attention on the actual crossing of it. He found a route that actually could save them a lot of travel. Sapphiris snorted and woke up with a flicker of being well slept. After hunting down and devouring her breakfast, they were ready to journey into the desert and the unknown.
At around 11, the trio were growing thirster and thirster by the minute. They grew so thirsty they stopped. When Kairen was drinking some water ravenously Rowan tried to help Sapphiris quench her thirst. Suddenly Rowan remembered a spell for retrieving water from the earth.
‘Watar`ious Racula!’ he said. Out of nowhere water gushed into a pit of sand and Sapphiris said,
For me? All this? Rowan nodded Sapphiris’s eyes lit up in joy. Thank you. I am blessed with this gift! Sapphiris started to drink and drink soon Rowan had to summon more and more water. After her thirst was quenched Rowan let go and sat down weakly feeling that a huge amount of energy was used. Sapphiris lay down on her back happily. He grabbed a water skin and poured it over his cracked and parched lips. He also drank some and before he was completely satisfied he had drank three water skins worth of water! After a short rest they took flight again. Sapphiris told Rowan through periods that she had smelt the creatures strongly at points in the day. She assured him that they would soon be so close to the creatures that they could pounce.
By the end of that day, they had travelled 600 leagues since they had left Hartford. Instead of just eating packed food, Kairen and Rowan decided to bring their bows and arrows to join game with Sapphiris to hunt there dinner. Kairen spotted some bushes rustling and said to Kairen,
‘I think we’re about to catch our dinner.’ He whispered. They both cocked an arrow and silently lifted the bow, stretching out the string. The cousins, whose back was guarded by Sapphiris, fired and seconds later they heard two thumps. They sprinted towards their catch and saw two rabbits dead on the forest floor, an arrow sticking out of their chests. Rowan stride out in front, grabbed the nearest rabbit and hooked it over his shoulder and walked back to them. Kairen repeated it and then they followed Sapphiris as she hunted her dinner, which turned out to be five lovely geese. They walked back to their make-shift camp and started to pluck the feathers off them. Soon the had a spit going which was turning to yummy looking serves of roasted rabbit. As they devoured their dinner, Rowan got out some fine ale and they toasted. Sapphiris ate her dinner near the spit enjoying the tender meat of the geese. Rowan and Kairen drank a lot and when it was bed they were drunk. They collapsed into bed, feeling sick.
The next morning, Rowan woke up feeling absolutely awful. His legs wobbled as he got up and walked over to get some fruit for his breakfast. He was met by Sapphiris.
God, you look awfully sick. She said with a bit of pity in her voice.
Gee Sapphiris that makes me feel a whole lot better. He replied sarcastically and grumpily. He ate two handfuls of Jaraja. After finishing that he sat there not moving for several seconds, then got up and ran over to puke over a rotting log. After releasing most of the ale in a sludgy mess, he felt a lot better. He filled up time by polishing his bow. As he strung it, Kairen woke up and puked.
‘I don’t feel like breakfast.’ He said quietly after puking.
They packed up their camp under the scorching sun which was blistering their backs and necks. They hooked their supplies over Sapphiris lower back and resumed there hunt.
At around noon, Kairen spotted the creatures flying ahead in the clouds.
Oh! Of course! They’re called the Gŕażŕs! Sapphiris said dumbly. Kairen was told this by Rowan.
Nice of you to tell us!! Rowan said. She increased her beating of her wings and soon they were so close Rowan could literally jump onto them. He silently unsheathed his sword and Kairen repeated the movement. They crept up Sapphiris’s neck (with her approval of course) and then the gave a howl of rage and jumped onto one each. The Gŕażŕs turned the heads but it was too late to avoid their attack. Rowan was tossed around by the Gŕażŕ before he managed to wrap himself over the creatures face. He lifted up his sword and slowly pressed it against the creatures wind pipe and brought it across slicing its throat. He fell with the corpse.
‘Help!’ he yelled. Sapphiris instinctively swooped down and caught him on the saddle and Rowan felt a bit dazed. He chucked the Gŕażŕs corpse over the his shoulder and watched it fall down into a dune below. They flew up to see how Kairen’s progress was going and there was one simple word to explain it; awful.
Can you roast the Gŕażŕ, by breathing fire? Rowan asked her,
I don’t know. I’ve never breathed fire before so it might not be able to.
‘Jump onto Sapphiris and grab hold Kairen!’ Rowan instructed. He did what he was told and through himself onto her just catching a hold on the saddle. Sapphiris reared up and out of her nostrils came…..nothing. she attempted again. Nothing. This time the Gŕażŕ attacked and was biting into her neck. Sapphiris shrugged it off. She inhaled great gusts of air and out of her nostrils, on her third attempt, came a raging inferno! The Gŕażŕ’s fur caught fire and it yelled in pain. It flew downwards into the dune and that was the end of the Gŕażŕs. The trio stared down at the creek expecting them to fly up out of the sand and attack; but nothing came.
Now that, my boy, is talent