Finally, after so many days that had been windy, rainy, or just plain dreary, the sun was shining and the air was warm. Whisper perched on the windowsill, wing-arms spread, back to the sun, and luxuriated in it. The little wyvern could fly in cold, windy, or rainy weather, but it wasn’t very pleasurable beyond the mere fact of getting out of the house, and he’d always come right back in to huddle by the fire. Being able to actually enjoy the weather again was so welcome.

He stretched up to curl his thumb-claws over the window casing, letting his wings relax yet still enjoy being outstretched before the sun, and cast his gaze over the room’s other occupant. Cedric was dozing now, but he’d been up before the sun rose, tending to the chores demanded of an apprentice sorcerer. Obviously the day had been well on its way to warming up when he came back here for his nap, because he hadn’t even bothered pulling the covers over himself; he’d just stripped down, sprawled out, and gone to sleep.

The day was well along now, and Whisper’s shadow fell mostly on the floor just in front of him. At the time Cedric had gone to sleep, though, the sun was streaming in, covering much of the bed; it was that warmth that had roused Whisper fully from his slumber. He hadn’t really taken the time then to appreciate the sight, which was a bit of a shame, really, because by the shards of his own egg did he ever enjoy looking upon his partner.


Freedom. At long last he was free!

Delvin threw back his head and let a laugh tumble free, whipped away by the wind as Glitterdark bore him down from the clouds. The drake was in just as good humour as the rider, wings splayed wide, barely rustling as he rode the currents; his eyes were half-lidded, his posture as relaxed as it was possible for a dragon in flight to be, save that as Delvin looked about at the vast unspoiled landscape rising to meet them, the drake’s tail-fin splayed and relaxed in a rhythm of barely-constrained excitement.

Behind him, now, was the bewilderment of Choosing, the labour and study of a candidate with eggs hardening before the hearth, the gut-wrenching anxiety leading up to a hatching. They’d lived together through Glitterdark’s ravenous hatchling days, the confused young night-drake barely able to comprehend anything but his own hunger and Delvin’s devoted care. Then the lessons, the training, the endless, endless drills both on the ground and in the air. For years, they’d never had a moment’s peace.

And now, wonderfully, for the first time since he’d been Chosen by his dragon’s dam as a youth of fourteen autumns and entrusted to the care of Glitterdark’s cornflower-blue egg, the young man’s time was his own. (more…)

An almost negligent wave of the man’s hand, and the force keeping Alderian up in the air shifted smoothly downward, letting him get all fours properly onto the ground. It was a marked improvement; he was hardly afraid of heights, certainly not the mere foot’s breadth he’d been at, but it was such an undignified way to be hanging there, not like proper flight at all.

Not that Edric was quite ready to trust him enough to release him entirely, apparently; he was allowed to furl his wings, but then force bound them against his body, and he was not permitted to walk around, or even to sit. He was stuck standing with his legs outstretched, at the human’s mercy.


“Well, you’re not the sort of beast I expected to ensnare.”

The web of force that had stopped Alderian in mid-air, nearly doing a harm to his wings, wasn’t so tight that he couldn’t turn his head to see the one who’d spoken. Human, of course, with a thin queue of brown hair, green eyes, and wrapped in gold-brown cloth. Male, if he reckoned correctly. “Yes, yes, have your laugh, two-legger,” he sighed. “You call my kind greedy and hoarding, yet with so large a flock for so few houses, you spend such force to keep from losing one small sheep.” And not so well that he hadn’t struck the thing before the snare tightened; the smell of the carcass so close by had been maddening on an empty stomach.


“Tomas. I wasn’t expecting you today.”

Tomas resisted the urge to lower his gaze. Pride, he told himself. “Y-yes, I know. I’m sorry.” The great creature gazing down at him usually invited him over; he’d not complained when Tomas had shown up unexpected in the past, but that was hospitality that he didn’t want to strain. “I’m sorry, Kalamindrax,” he repeated. “I was just hoping – I could really use some sensible company.”


“Hey, you lazy, overgrown, ugly excuse for a lizard! Food’s here!”

The call resounded in the depths of the yawning cave, and was presently answered by a low, rumbling growl. Something large began to stir, coming closer to the entrance, but the brown-skinned young man who’d shouted stood his ground, leaning on his spear. Even when a horned, black-scaled reptilian head emerged that could swallow him in, if not one gulp, probably no more than two, he still stood there with that mischievous grin on his face.

“Rrrrr… Kelt,” that head hissed, followed out of the cave by a considerable length of sinuous neck, with the suggestion of great sickle-clawed feet looming in the sunlight at the cave’s edge. “You’re lucky this smells tastier than you do, you know that?”


People said the old field was cursed, and nobody had yet tried to build there.

Of course, people had also said such things of the manor on the hill, and people had come to inhabit that without incident. And even now, it was a far gloomier place than the field had ever been. It was just that nobody had really had a pressing need to use that field.

Not enough to deal with the rocks strewn across it, anyway.