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Firedrakes Of The North

By Jonathan Deguire

By Jonathan DeguirePublished 2 years ago Updated about a year ago 8 min read

There weren't always dragons in The Valley……So why are they here now?

This thought has plagued my mind every day since the dragons arrived. And it played over in my mind again today as I read over the latest sightings on my balcony over looking the town and the fields beyond. A small bluff hid the rest of the kingdom from view. Who am I? My name is Jonathan of Kalcutta. I am the Royal Adviser to King Roland and Queen Miranda of Calawna. As a young man of 21, in Kalcutta, I had been training to become a Monster Tracker, but when I got the news King Roland and Queen Miranda were looking for a Royal Advisor, I dropped that dream and moved to Calawna for a new and better dream. It was definitely the right decision. Within a month the King and Queen expanded my duties to include tutoring their beautiful daughter, Princess Amber, who was 11 at the time. We bonded in that time and became like brother and sister. Even after I stopped tutoring her, when she turned 16, we still maintained that bond.

Three months ago the first dragon reports came in. I dismissed them as misidentification of a known animal or the ramblings of someone who been at the home brew for a little too long. But as time went on, more and more reports and sightings came in. The stories were far too similar to be a coincidence. The only inconsistency was the colour of the dragons, and that led me to believe there was more than one dragon. Not long after I had my own experience. I was in Mirean, a small town on the outskirts of the kingdom, enjoying the annual Harvest Festival when I heard it. It was a noise like that of a hurricane coming from the north. A dark shadow blotted out the sun and then fire. Trees became torches, buildings became raging infernos. Flames came down like rain from the sky. There was nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. Everywhere I looked was fire. Even looking up brought terror as you’d catch a glimpse of the creature before more fire. The unfortunate ones only heard the noise and never saw the dragon as they were consumed by fire instantly. I don’t know how many souls perished. All that was left was ash. It had been a sunny day before but now it was a dark as smoke blocked any light coming from the sun. The only light was from the fire that burned everywhere you looked.

I heard it again, a noise like that of a hurricane. I ducked down as a dragon swooped overhead heading east. I never understood that. They never tried to attack the capital city or the castle, only the small surrounding towns. The capital is surrounded by a wall but that would make little difference to a dragon. I watched the creature as it soared toward a column of smoke. I couldn’t tell if it was residual smoke, left over from the attack last night, or if this was new smoke. I heard footsteps coming up behind me.

“Shouldn’t you be attending the strategy meeting with the King and his officials?” asked Kala as she came up beside me. She was a maid in the castle before I had even arrived. She was about my age.

“I have nothing more to say right now.” I replied. I had been advising the King for weeks and he had tried everything to combat this threat short of direct combat. ‘Cause we all know how that will turn out. “I’ve said all that can be said.” I continued. She stood beside me as we both watched the dragon soaring away.

“This report said it was a grey dragon this time.” she said quietly.

“Yeah I know.” I replied.

“How many?” Kala asked.

“Sixteen probably more. We just haven’t seen all the dragons yet.” Out of the corner of my eye I saw her curtsy and say, “Your Highness,” before scurrying away. I turned to see who she was addressing and saw Princess Amber approaching.

“I thought you were in the meeting with your father.” I said.

“I was, but I got bored so I left. They’re saying that we should evacuate and go somewhere safer.” Princess Amber replied.

“A full scale exodus of a Kingdom this size? I don’t see that ending well.” I said. Amber winced and replied,

“Actually just us.” I looked at her in surprise.

“Knowing your father, he’s not going to accept that. He believes his place is with his people and I tend to agree with him. He’s not going to abandon them.” I said.

“The general said it’s hopeless otherwise. After all you can’t out fight dragons.” Amber said. That gave me an idea.

I gently took her face in my hands looked her in the eyes and said, “There’s always hope.” before giving her a small kiss on the forehead and embracing her in my arms. After a few moments we separated. “I need to talk to your father. I may have a plan. At least 20% of a plan.”

I opened the doors to the conference room where the King and his officials were talking, and took my seat at the round table. I did not say a word. They never stopped talking.

“Do not tell me where my place is!” King Roland roared. “My place is here with my people.”

“If you’re not going to leave then at least have more arrows made for the wind lances so we can defend the city.” The chief knight said.

“That’s a waste of money, with no payout I might add.” I countered. The general glared at me. The general and I often didn’t see eye to eye on things and that often led to us butting heads.

“The wind lances are the best defence we have against the dragons.” the general said angrily.

I knew this was not the best thing to say as it would just make him angrier but I said it anyway. “Yeah? How’s that working for ya.” I knew wind lances had been used in some of the small towns with little to no effect on the dragons.

“Well what do you expect us to do? Hum? You can’t out fight a dragon.” the general shot back.

“No, but you can out think them.” I replied. I turned toward King Roland. “Your Majesty. I have a plan. It’s highly dangerous But from where I’m sitting, we’re out of options.” I stated.

Everything came together far more quickly than I thought possible. After King Roland heard my idea of an expedition with in the hour he was making preparations. In a weeks time we were ready to go. I was to lead a small team out east in the direction all the dragons disappear to. There had to be a reason every single one of them flew off in this direction after each attack.

“Jonathan!” King Roland called me one morning. “I’d like to introduce you to someone. I called in someone to help you with the expedition.” He led me to the court yard of the castle and when the doors opened I saw who he had called.

“Roxanne?” I asked. She heard me and gave a little smile and wave. Roxanne was a Monster Hunter and a good one. It makes sense why King Roland wanted her on the team. The only problem was…. we didn’t like each other. We had a mutual respect for one another but I felt like the respect was more for our title than for the person who held the title. I closed the door to hide us from view. “You can’t be serious.” I said

“I know you and her have had your issues in the past, but she’s the best there is and she’ll be a real asset to the team.” the King commented.

“But I can’t stand more than a few moments in the same room with that woman and now you want me to be around her all day and night for what will probably be weeks?” I asked.

“Follow me, I want to show you something.” the King stated. He led me behind a curtain to a small secret room. Queen Mirada was waiting there holding a long box.

“We think it’s high time we gave you this.” she said as she opened the box. Inside was a beautiful two handed long sword. There were ancient runes on the blade that I couldn’t read.

“I can’t take this. I haven’t used a sword in years.” I stated

“Your father was an expert swordsman. We know he taught you well.” King Roland said.

“We did our research on you. We know you were training to be a Monster Tracker. You wouldn’t have made it to training unless you were exceptionally skilled with a blade.” Queen Miranda added. They were right. I was a highly skilled swordsmen, one of the best in the Kingdom, but I hadn’t picked up a sword since becoming the Royal Adviser. “This is a very special sword. Only men of your bloodline are able to wield its power. Your father wanted you to have it when you were ready and now I believe is that time.” said Queen Mirada. I slowly reached for the sword. My hand hesitated for a moment before picking it up. When I did the runes on the blade glowed in white light for a moment before going out again. The sword was much lighter than I had expected and it was remarkably well balanced.

I was still looking at the sword, trying to decide if I should take it, when King Roland said, “You’re going to need a weapon where you’re going. The road is dangerous and not just because of dragons.” I grabbed the sheath that was still in the box and slid the sword into it before tying the belt around my waist. King Roland placed a hand on my shoulder and looked me in the eye. “This is your expedition. You’re in charge. You make the calls. Roxanne is aware of this and I made sure she knew that I’m putting you in charge and she’ll respect that.” I left the room and met up with the rest of the group outside. Myself, Roxanne, five knights, and two rangers, a man and a woman, made up our company. I bid farewell to the royal family and after a big hug and kiss on the cheek from the princess and queen we were off. First destination was The Scorched Plains, deep in what was now dragon territory.

Short Story

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Jonathan Deguire

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    Jonathan DeguireWritten by Jonathan Deguire

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