There was a sudden surge of bloodlust and that was all the warning she needed.
With a slight wing adjustment, Ilmera went from a glide into a spin then tucked her wings back to go into a dive. Not a moment too soon, as another dragon’s flame sizzled by so close that she felt the heat through her scales.
she was already in trouble, her attacker had gotten the drop on her and was almost certainly lining up a second shot. She desperately turned and rolled hoping to make herself a tricky target as she rapidly lost altitude and another fireball shot by perilously close.
Her only hope was to drop below the tree line, a risky manoeuvre when she wasn’t under pressure, almost suicidal in a mad flight.
But this was Ilmera’s turf, she knew these woods and her pursuer wouldn’t be able to follow her easily if she could make it to a clearing.
Getting her bearings, she spotted a small forest clearing to her left and rolled sharply towards it.
She broke through the treetops way faster than she was used to. Throwing her wings wide, she tried desperately to slow down enough to land but her enemy had been waiting for this chance. A ball of flame tore through her right wing.
Ilmera roared in pain, bathing the forest floor with her black flames as she crashed through the trees uncontrollably, she broke her left wing on a tree before crashing to the ground, her body burnt and broken, she lost consciousness.
She passed in and out of consciousness and there was no way to tell how much time had passed when she finally came to.
She was starving, and the pain in her ruined body was overwhelming. It felt like she’d torn a horn off of her head, possibly broken several ribs and one of her legs was definitely broken to say nothing of her wings.
Even if she survived (which seemed unlikely at this point), she would most likely never fly again, one wing was shattered beyond repair, the other had a gaping burnt tear.
To add insult to injury, she was pinned to the ground by some unseen obstacle, almost certainly a tree.
Ilmera’s attacker had clearly decided she was as good as dead, they hadn’t returned to deliver the death blow.
Several more days passed, she could barely lift her head, weakened from her injuries and intense hunger.
As she was about to lose consciousness again, a young human child appeared in the forest in front of her. Ilmera didn’t know a lot about humans (she’d always kept her distance, wary of them) but this one looked incredibly young, odd that it was on its own in the forest, possibly lost.
Completely unaware of the danger it was in, the human child stumbled through the blackened scrub, right up to her jaw, perhaps not even realising there was a dragon lying prone there.
With a quick flick, she turned her head and snapped down. It was over in an instant. It wasn’t much of a meal, it wouldn’t even stave off the hunger really. She slumped back down, unable to move.
But something was wrong. Her whole body started burning with pain unlike anything she had ever felt before. She felt her bones and scales reshaping, it hurt more than the wounds she had sustained from the crash landing. And she was starting to get smaller, she felt the weight on her back slowly ease but with the internal pain intensifying, she didn’t get much opportunity to appreciate it.
She let out a roar of pain, bathing the forest in more dark flame. Gradually, her roars became screams as she started resembling a human in form. The pain intensified further as her jet black scales smoothed into ebony human skin. The agony was too much, she passed out once more.
There on the forest floor, where a once mighty dragon crashed down, a frail, naked human woman now laid face down, her skin so dark it almost seemed blue in the mid morning sun.