Several weeks ago, I experienced a dream that was as lively as they could be. The colors were bright and the places seemed real (although not familiar). The dream stuck with me for such a long while because of its amazing storyline, that I decided to write it; with a few additions here and there to spice it up. For example, the whole start of the story is made up. There were no ‘catowls’ in my dream (you will see what they are below). The woman that is spoken of below had a few different attributes but she was there. The golden dragon did not appear in my dream. Nonetheless; feel free to read on if you want a high fantasy story to enjoy. This is only the prologue so far.
Consider this a Christmas present, if you wish to. Thus; happy holidays and I hope you will enjoy this creation of mine.
Note: Caeirys is only the working title.
In ancient tales, people spoke of creatures upon wings mightier than those of the strongest hunting birds. The might within claw and fang unmatched by any human sword. Courage and wisdom both untamed and illogical to simple minds of mankind. They became rulers. These kings and queens of their respectable realms were without throne and crown. They needed not royal gemstones to emphasize their place in the world. Their reigns were evident through their unwavering might. Their benevolence remained upon the tongue of many for centuries after. Names echoed within songs and were immortalized upon parchment. Mankind spoke of the dragons.
One such queen was what scholars would later refer to as a ‘Great Red’; a dragon of crimson scales and impeccable majesty. Her brilliance was unmatched by stars and the sun. She was a drop of vital essence against the daylight sky and a speck of mystery within the moon’s domain. A spectacular wingspan provided a canvas for dreams of the young and innocent to be painted upon. They saw patterns within them that inspired their feeble hearts. Caressing light as dim as clouded skies danced upon her scales. Countless small plates of armor covered her fearsome body in a coat of tiny shards that seemed to have descended from deadly roses themselves. Her horns and talons seemed to have been carved from a delicate stone of rosewood pigments and finely shaped by divine smiths. They were both fatal weapons as well as impeccable treasures for her physique. Beneath her tender lids lay bright irises of emerald hue within which existed a large black pupil that shone with wisdom and pride. This splendid collection of superior attributes made her an extraordinary specimen of her own species. She bore the name Caeirys; meaning ‘clarity of the sunrise’.
From her early age onwards, Caeirys placed her name within the minds of those she encountered and within the minds of those who heard tale of her ventures across the vast landscape. Throughout all her endeavors she remained true to both her titles. She was forever a Great Red but also a symbol of the rising sun. The allure of her legends was strong and never ceased after her final sighting.
Her tale begins with the flight of a lone dragon during a fall evening. This creature was armored in gold and covered in silver embellishment. Equally impressive were his talons within which he carried a red object. The oval object glowed with a soft intensity before dimming again. It was a slow pattern that seemed soothing. However the dragon carrying the soothing object felt not this way. In his heart he felt worry and a need for haste. His journey destined him for a large tower that stood within an abandoned valley. Few roamed to these reaches. Little was to be gained here. A mission that weighted on this dragon’s aged mind however had pushed him to pursue the destination.
Against a backdrop of golden and red abstractions he could see the looming tower. It’s grey walls were covered in an orange glow from the setting sun. He could feel the warmth of the large star upon his scales. It made him feel calmer yet also more persistent. He flapped his wings vigorously before gliding. The structure before him came nearer to him. The golden dragon leaned upon the currents to glide around the tower to the opposite end where he found an opening large enough for his own form. There he swooped in. After thrusting his wings forward to lessen the impact of his flight, did he land upon tender feet. His talons created a soft clicking sound as they connected with the stone earth below.
While he regained his posture from the landing, his silver eyes cast about. All he found within the vicinity was a creature that was both cat and owl. With the head and tail of a cat and the body, wings and claws of an owl, it was the perfect combination of the two. This particular catowl was draped beneath a blanket of white which made the piercing blue eyes seem all the more pure. The resembled lakes of clear water within a landscape of pure snow.
The dragon performed a brief nod towards the creature before parting his jaws and speaking to it. “Tuwven, I must speak with your lady.” His tone was deep and genuine. It was but a deep rumble; the product of both fatigue and age.
The catowl spread his wings for a moment while changing his footing upon his perch; one of many connected to the walls for his convenience. “Aha.” he responded in a light voice. “Have you come to exchange your favor with her?” he wished to know.
Once again the dragon nodded. “I brought the Final One.” he replied.
Tuwven cast his bright blue eyes about to examine the entirety that the dragon before him was. His gaze stopped when he spotted the glowing object within the dragon’s talon. For a moment he sat still; his tail swaying from side to side. “You think…” he began while selecting his words carefully. Before he proceeded he raised his gaze once again to meet the unblinking silver eyes, “You are convinced that this is the Final One?” he informed.
With a tender gesture, the golden dragon placed the object upon the stone floor. “If not this one then who?” he answered with a sad tone.
“Very well.” Tuwven replied. He flicked his wings to carry himself into the air before floating effortlessly towards an opening within the wall beyond which lay darkness. Soon after this, the sound of flapping wings died out. What remained was the sound of the wind that blew by the tower.
The dragon waited with more impatience than he wished to hold. His talons remained around the glowing red object while it lay upon the floor. Through the connection with the surface of the object, the dragon felt the pulsing sensation of its glow. It resembled the beat of a heart. It throbbed with a gentle intensity. In unison with the evidence of this object’s life force, the golden creature sensed his own heart beating. With every beat that passed, he felt it weakening. While he had accepted his fate, he dared not depart this dimension without ensuring the safety of what little he could save; the last egg.
Several minutes passed before the door near the dark hole within the wall opened. It moved slowly and its hinges creaked as it did. The evening beams that flooded into the open space from beyond the tower engulfed the two figures the door now revealed.
One of the two was the white catowl who regained his perch rather quickly and sat there without a verbal word.
The second person was a woman. Dark eyes of wisdom and kindness were framed by a pale face that lay locked between dark curls of intertwined grey and black hues. She seemed slim beneath her cloak of splendid colors. Her entire body was decorated in small gemstones. A string of bright beads decorated her neck while rings of splendid colors lay around her wrists. Even her hair held small embellishments of varying colors. A small smile decorated her lips as she looked upon her guest. “Indyör.” she greeted him while performing a nod of acknowledgement.
“Minte.” replied the golden dragon while performing a nod of equal meaning.
The woman took several steps closer to the enormous beast before her. It was close enough for her to reach out and touch him. However she refrained from performing any such acts. Instead she merely held his gaze. “The fact that you have come means that the stars will be enriched soon.” she spoke in a deep yet warm voice.
“Correct.” the dragon responded. “My heart is giving out steadily. My heartstone shattered. Likewise did those of many of our kind.” he explained in a grave tone. He obtained a moment of silence before pushing the red object forward towards the robed woman of marvelous colors.
The woman raised her brows for a moment before kneeling down by the object to look upon it. After she had examined it briefly, she placed her hand upon it to feel the warmth of it and its tender glow. “An egg.” she acknowledged while casting her gaze upwards again.
The dragon nodded to her. “She is the only one left. Her egg was not found and destroyed and she does not have heartstones yet. Thus she could not be harmed that way. What is left of my heartstones is steadily withering away. I am not the only one. Every dragon lost their life. Before midnight…” His last words never came. He dared not speak them when he witnessed the change expression of the woman before him.
Tears had welled upon in her eyes as he spoke. From her cloak, she retrieved a silver object that fit perfectly in her two palms. It felt cold and fragile in her hands. “Oh, Indyör…” she whispered as she stared upon the object in her hands.
With cautious movements, the dragon sank through his legs to lay upon the hard floor beneath him to look upon the woman before him more intensely. “Please, Minte.” he murmured before he nudged the red egg with his nose. “Take care of her. Please take care of Caeirys.” his tone had become but a dim whisper.
Silently the woman started to weep. No sound occurred yet the tears were evident upon her cheeks. They shone in the evening light from the setting sun. With a quick yet tender motion, she placed the silver object by her side and reached out to the head of the golden dragon. She wrapped her arms around it as best as her small form would allow while laying her head and torso against him. The tears dripped from her cheeks onto his impeccable scales. They glided down before reaching the stone below.
Indyör partially closed his eyes as he watched her cry while he still heard the dimming bat of his heart. “Please…” he pleaded one las time while attempting not to allow his voice to tremble. He did not want her to know how faint his heart had become.
The woman separated herself from him and nodded to him. She whipped her tears with her sleeve to allow herself more clear sight. “Yes.” she spoke in a shuttering voice. “I promise.” she added to give him more assurance.
For a few seconds, Indyör did nothing but hum pleasantly. While he did, his eyes fell shut.
“Indyör.” the woman’s voice spoke. It pulled him from his overwhelming thoughts and exhaustion. He opened his eyes and looked upon her. She had grabbed the red egg and held it within her arms; clenched against her very body to keep it safe.
With tired movements, Indyör raised himself back onto his feet. He looked upon the small woman for what would be the last time. He dared not blink; afraid that he would not have any more seconds after he did. He wished to savor the moment. “Farewell, angel.” he whispered in a soft whisper as his eyes became sad yet peaceful. It was clear to him that this was the final words he’d ever say. He reached his head forward and touched the woman upon her forehead with his snout.
“Go.” she whispered in response while she still kept her eyes on him and her arms tightly around the egg.
Indyör backed away; returning the way he came. Before he reached the edge from where he would depart, he turned. He spread his wings; opening them far and wide. Before departing, he looked back one last time to the woman who stood behind him; watching him with large, sad eyes. He granted her one final nod before he made his final leap and committed himself to the last few flaps he would ever perform. As he jumped from the tower, the golden sunlight engulfed him and he made haste to disappear from the sight of the tower.
She watched him flap once, twice, three times. After this he vanished beyond her view. Feeling the desire to follow him, she rushed forward to the edge of the ledge from where Indyör had leaped. Her eyes darted about throughout the sky to try to catch one final glimpse of him. Before she managed to spot him however, a sound caressed her ear drums. A loud crack occurred; as if a glass object had shattered into pieces. The sound caused Minte’s heart to skip several beats. She turned around slowly; hesitant as if reluctant to find what truth would await her there.
Her eyes fell upon where the silver orb had lain. What remained of it now were but shards. Witnessing this caused renewed tears to paint dark trails upon her cheeks. She knew then. Indyör, the only one she ever loved, was dead.