Excerpt from Arthorien ~ Dracolords
Dracolords is the first novel set in the world of Cryell, where most of my fantasy writing comes from. Below is an excerpt from Chapter 8.
Maeryn, Merearka, Gogwyn and Siryn all stopped and stared in amazement.
Before them stood a land much more expansive than they had ever imagined the Sunset Isles would have been. Even from their position high up on the mountainside, the landscape stretched out to the horizon in all directions. It was a land filled with bright, vibrant colours; strange, musical sounds that echoed off the mountains surrounding them and a fresh, crisp air that tasted clean and new with every breath.
“My father once told me about this place.” Maeryn whispered.
“Really? How?” Gogwyn replied.
“Well, not exactly.” Maeryn clarified, “He used to tell Clebrylla and I tales, though, of all sorts of heroes and their adventures to distant lands. One was a story about a pool that would allow anyone who drank from it to live forever. If such a pool exists, it must be down there somewhere.”
“It’s amazing.” Merearka breathed.
“Welcome to the Dragon Nest.” Gandrik said, offering a flourish with his arm. “Come, I’ll take you to your quarters.”
Maeryn’s gaze continued to hover over the landscape, drawing closer to where he stood until he realized that he was standing on a smoothly carved platform. Above his head, a ledge from the mountain itself jutted out providing an element of shade over where they stood.
What was below him, though, was just as amazing.
It was an entire city; bigger than Ywscla, Goran or even Laelyn – and the entire city seemed to be carved out of the side of the mountain. In the streets below, Maeryn could see others of Gandrik’s race moving back and forth, presumably going ahead with their day-to-day lives.
“What is this place?” Maeryn asked, falling into step behind Gandrik as he led them to the edge of the platform, onto a flight of stairs leading downward.
“The home of the Guardians.” Gandrik said, “The city was built by the Dwarrow in ages past for the humans who lived here previously.”
“Humans?” Merearka said, “Humans used to live here?”
Gandrik chirped something unintelligible before continuing. “Many years ago, yes. Back when the humans from your land and Dragonkin lived in harmony with one another.”
“What happened?” Maeryn asked.
“A fight.” Gandrik said, “The Great Darkness.”
Gandrik didn’t elaborate, so Maeryn pushed.
“What kind of fight? Who fought?” He asked.
Gandrik chirped again, this time it sounded almost like a sigh.
“You know little of the race of dragons, do you?” Gandrik said.
“Very little.” Maeryn replied, the others in the group echoing his statement.
“Then I shall explain something first of all.” Gandrik said, “Rarely in the race of dragons is a special dragon born – greater than the Queen, greater than all others in the race, she has many exceptional abilities. One of these abilities is to shift into any shape that she wishes – animal, bird, even human. Our history says that only three of this kind have been born in the entire history of this world. Two of those went to the Pillars and the third – she was the reason for the Great Darkness.”
“What happened?” Merearka asked enthusiastically.
“Her name was Kala.” Gandrik said, “In her natural form, she was a grand white dragon, and as a human, it is said she was of such beauty that even the Draconima were enamoured.
“The human Prince of Inglèsal fell in love with her. However, when she refused his attentions, he used the Eye of the Dragon to force her into his will. He took her back to your land and held her captive, much to the anger of the Dragonkin. They sent the humans from this city to your land, charged with finding Kala and the Prince – but they were never found.
“The humans attempted several times to return to the Dragon Nest – and each time they were turned away. When they were not permitted to return, they attempted to use the Eye of the Dragon to force their return. That was when the war – The Great Darkness – reached its pinnacle. Dragons were forced to kill their own as the humans tried to conquer the Dragon Nest.”
Gandrik stopped, turning to look at the four humans.
“To ensure their own survival, the Dragonkin and Dwarrow destroyed the humans of your land to the last person.”
“And Kala? The Prince?” Maeryn asked.
“To this day, their final rest is known only to the gods.” Gandrik replied.