I Am A Dragon Killer
There weren't always dragons in the valley. It used to be a trade route. The King's gold flowed freely down the river Acheron, and then it didn't. Even from the mountaintops I could see the glitter of the dragon's hoard. And now, I stand in the middle of it. King's gold, Myrian gold, Askan silver, jewels of every shade and color.
Watercolor Streaks of Nightmares
Chapter Seven Rosia, Raven, and William were all huddled in the kitchen when she burst in, causing all of their pale forms to jump. A phone nearly tumbled from William’s hand.
Fools and Sages
There weren’t always dragons in the valley. They arrived before I was born about three decades prior to my birth. Galya Farja was a peaceful place before that, or so I’ve heard. They say the dragons came because the people were too sinful, too self-indulgent, too savage. The Metanoia people were the ones who lived here before but now they are called Drearians by the Benin people. The Benins showed up a little before the dragons. The Benins blame the sinful savageness of the Drearians for the dragons’ arrival. This is what we are all taught in school from the first day to the last. I was raised by my father, the head of agriculture of the valley. My mother was a Drearian, and she was killed in an accident right after I was born, so they say. My father and her never married, he married his own kind and had my half-sister, Tamar. I’m a half-breed and there is only so much my father’s power can get me. I work at the pub in town. Alcohol is forbidden and I don’t mind that, we serve cider mostly and other drinks. It’s mostly just a place for all the Benin men to come after work to avoid their boring lives at home. The Benin women do not come to the pub. Drearian women do though, along with the Drearian men.
There weren’t always dragons in the valley. Now people are used to their existence. It was a weekly occurrence that there would be a village scorched or a guard swept away in large claws. But only five years ago there was not a single dragon. I should know, as I helped in their coming back.
Duskwood: My AI Pt 1
Hello friends! This is the first time I’ll be writing a full-length story instead of a smaller research piece! If you haven’t heard of me, my name is Jess, and I go by AGoreJessStone online. I’ve been a research journalist for the past five years, with a focus on games and entertainment. Now, if you haven’t read anything I’ve published before, don’t worry! You don’t need any of that to partake in the adventure I am taking you on this time!
There weren't always dragons in the Valley. There weren't always dragons. But there was always the Valley. The Elders told tales of the old world beyond the buried cave at the base of the Valley. The old world where all of the creatures of this world first crawled through. From the pit of darkness that we scuttled and slid from on our battered hands and knees until we came to this world of our salvation.
Welcome to your new home
There weren't always dragons in the valley. At least that's what mom said. But as I cupped my hands in front of my eyes, I used my makeshift hand binoculars to try and see one for myself. Everyone else was terrified that the rumours were true, but I was eager to see one up close. Mom said someone probably made the whole thing up, but I knew she just hated to think that it might be true. That it wasn't just a lie told to scare, or entertain, the town kids.
There weren't always dragons in the Valley. The words were printed in large block letters on the blackboard. Ms. Meadow pointed at the chalky words, "Thea, can you tell us what the author is trying to tell us here?"
The 13th Scholar
There Weren't Always Dragons in the Valley... For the third time, Mr. Townsend crinkled the paper with a huff; what a headline. The rim of his glasses sat snugly upon the bridge of his nose, and yet Mr. Townsend seemed entirely annoyed; if the red-rimming around his eyelids was any sort of indicator. It was a strangely cool May, and he had tucked his sandy brown hair behind his earlobe; held back by what appeared to be a leather band, it swung in a low ponytail. Free of its binding, Joel Donovan Townsend's locks reached about his shoulders, but he rarely allowed any to see it this way. Not since she had disappeared.
The Eighth Trial
IN 43BH, EVERYBODY OVER THE AGE OF TEN could recall where they were and what they were doing when the world ended. For most it was sudden, over in a matter of minutes, but for others it lasted for eternity, or it seemed that way. A lone few had predicted the destruction of the ancient world long before its demise. So called cults and fortune tellers had been mocked for their asinine predictions as far back as 102BH. The earliest record of an apocalyptic prediction was found in the Old Bailey documents of 125BH from Madame Toil, an old wise woman, described with a hunched back, frazzled hair and twenty cats living in her one room caravan. She preached the word of her Lord, cautioning all that would listen of the approaching day of judgement that would see the beginning of eight deadly trials. Nobody paid her much mind, except for one lowly journalist that needed a story to fill the small three-inch gap in the next day’s newspaper. Eighty-two years later judgement day came. Little is recorded of the first trial. Survivors were in the hundreds in the less populated areas but those that did survive had little motivation to write a lasting and credible account of their ordeal. Those that did, wrote to discussion columns and trade magazines. Travis, 28, from Leicester, recorded in an engineering trade magazine ‘the earth shook, the very foundations of Earth’s crust splintered into shards of gravel and dirt. Great cities, where underground networks had destabilised the surface, were reduced to rubble. Our only salvation was the hard ground of the midland’s peninsula’. The second trial, the global pandemic, was the last of the first seven trials to be documented. Only two recorded accounts remain. A reassuring message of hope and strength from the British Prime Minister, written sloppily by a harried and under experienced journalist from the Daily Mirror, and a quickly scribbled missive from the Director of NHS England to the Prime Minister detailing the rapid spread and high death toll as of 2084 - 43BH in modern day terms. Only two weeks into the pandemic, the death toll was a catastrophic eighty-two million globally. One third of the first trail survivors perished in a week and more would follow. The third trial, known only by oral stories of survivors, was simply panic. The rapid spread of the virus and high death toll threw the globe into chaos. Governments broke down, schools closed, shops were looted and law and order was shattered. The fourth through seventh trials are little known, oral accounts of which were lost through time. The eighth trial, however, is widely documented. It is still widely written about and debated amongst professionals in the field. Classified as the most important event to have happened in the last millennium, the eighth trial holds the fascination of the modern world and the dedicated examination that comes with it. Beginning in 4BH, the eighth and final trial, the trial of war and power, finally brought about the end of the ancient world and the dawn of a new era. Accounts dating from 4BH to 1HE, the beginning of the modern world, are detailed in a way that most pre-modern documents were not. Eye witness accounts were written in remarkable detail by the founders while the tales of great tragedy and great heroics were still fresh in their minds. One such tale stuck out from the others and is widely considered the beginning of the Eighth Trial. Early in 4BH, sees the beginning of James no-surname-recorded’s journey, detailed below and written in collaboration by Obwole, Obwole, Lavische and Patrelli.
Watch Your Back; Honor the Old Ways
There weren't always dragons in the Valley. Some time ago they stayed hidden in the distant shadows in the dark patterns of the mountains of the Earth and while that happened humanity was allowed a brief respite; an opportunity to flourish and grow. In the early days, some people still believed in the value of magic, and there were a few shamans who would actually go forth to pay tribute to them so that they would stay at the forest edge but from time to time, as with all villages some folk; a precocious adolescent or the curious toddler, would find themselves making way into the depths of the forest to become a sacrifice that the shamans had no control over.
The Garrettsford Dragons
There weren’t always dragons in the valley. For years beyond counting, dragons resided on their own continent: an enormous and rocky isle to the north that people referred to as Citrine. It was so named due to the unusual shade of yellow of a dragon's eye: a yellow that could catch the light and was found nowhere else in nature apart from the citrine stone.