[Story] Story a Week 5

[[ Prompt: Magical realism – the book described this as putting something magical into an everyday situation. ]]

Eggs, butter, spinach, tin foil.

I repeated the list aloud like a mantra as traffic crawled along the highway. Eggs, butter, spinach, tin foil. Normally I’d have written it down, but it was only on the drive home that I’d remembered the meet-up tomorrow — the one I’d volunteered to bring snacks for. There wouldn’t be time to go out in the morning, so I needed to pick up a few things tonight on the way home. And it was only four things: eggs, butter, spinach, tin foil. I could remember four things. The sun was setting, setting the sky to gold and every car to a bright pinpoint of light. I fumbled in the console for my sunglasses. Eggs, butter, spinach, tin foil.

Traffic was especially slow, in addition to being Friday, it was also a holiday weekend. I exhaled a sigh of relief when I finally saw my exit sign. Eggs, butter, spinach, tin foil, I reminded myself. Pulling up to the light in front of the grocery store, I saw the intersection was clogged with cars. An accident, maybe, but it was going to make my quick trip to the grocery not-so-quick. I groaned. I just wanted to get home and get out of my work shoes. I remembered the little convenience store at the end of my block. Sure, it was more expensive, but they were sure to have at least the eggs and butter. Maybe I could improvise the rest. The parking lot at the convenience store was empty save for the owner’s car. It was something of a welcome sight after all that traffic on the highway. Eggs, butter, spinach, tin foil, I recited in my head, walking through the double doors with their struggling bell.

I grabbed a carton of butter from the refrigerated section and looked for eggs. They were out. Of course they were. I opened the case anyway, hoping maybe — yes! There was a little carton hiding behind the soy milk. I sneaked a peek inside just to be certain they were intact. The eggs were a dark green in color, nearly black, but the size of regular chicken eggs. Maybe some kind of wild fowl or something. But eggs were eggs, they were sure to work just fine and I was certain no one would know the difference. The convenience store didn’t have spinach, but I also grabbed a box of tin foil from the shelf before checking out. The little old lady at the register gave me a curious look, but said nothing other than “credit or debit”. In hindsight, I wonder why that was.

When I finally arrived at home, I tossed the eggs on the counter and shucked off my shoes. I went into my room to change into a t-shirt and pajama pants, the official uniform of the weekend. I saw that I had some new e-mails, and checked those too. It couldn’t have been more than five minutes. Maybe ten. When I returned to the kitchen, the egg carton was open. I was sure that I’d latched the little tabs. Flipping up the lid, I saw that one of the eggs had a crack running along its entire length. Had I thrown them into the back seat too roughly? I guess so. It didn’t matter though, I only needed four for the recipe. I fished the cracked egg out of the carton and was about to toss it into the trash when it squirmed. That’s the best word I can think of. I’m not too ashamed to admit that I shrieked, and dropped it on the floor. I crouched down to get a better look, nudging the eggshell with a wary finger. Something slithered out from it. A snake, I thought at first, but I could see little legs. I grew up around all sorts of little critters, so I wasn’t too fazed by a lizard. It was more the fact that it had just crawled out of my egg carton than anything else. I got a glass from the cupboard and corralled the hatchling into it for a better look. Its wide mouth opened as it peeped in protest. It almost looked like an alligator, but that was impossible, wasn’t it? The little body was covered in bony bumps running all along its sides and down the tail. There were several little bumps on its head and around the eyes. Taking the cup with me, I went to my computer and typed in “baby alligator” in the search box. It was similar, but not quite right. The nose was the wrong shape, and the tail wasn’t vertically flattened like the alligator’s. Okay, maybe a crocodile. I typed in every kind of lizard I could think of, but none of them seemed to match the little thing I had in my apartment.

It peeped again. It sure didn’t seem dangerous. Even if it was an alligator, right now it was only a few inches long. I took out some leftover takeout from the fridge and emptied the carton out onto a plate. My little hatchling sniffed at it for a few moments before trying it. I was glad I hadn’t gotten the spicy. A thought dawned on me and I went over to look at the other eggs. Sure enough, two more of them had cracks. Was I going to have six of these things? I didn’t have that much take-out. What’s more, I wasn’t allowed to have pets in my apartment. The nosy neighbor lady would be sure to notice if I was feeding six lizards. That’s assuming they didn’t make any noise, either. I pulled up the number for animal control on my phone and typed it in. My finger hovered over the “call” button. What was I going to say? I have a bunch of alligators in my house? They’d think it was a prank call. Maybe I could sell them to a pet store. If they were alligators, they might be worth something. Of course they’d want to know where I’d got them from. I didn’t want to get the store owners in trouble either.

I heard a riot of peeping from the kitchen. The two other eggs had hatched, and already joined their sibling at the plate of leftovers. I could see now some subtle color differences among the hatchlings. The first one was green and black, but one of the new ones had a reddish tint to it, and the other was paler, more of a forest green. I’d never heard of a reddish alligator, but then as I said I’m not exactly an expert. I wasn’t going to get my recipe done at this rate, but I also didn’t want to leave these little guys alone in my apartment. Who knows how much trouble they could cause. What’s more, there were three more that hadn’t hatched yet. I opted for pizza tonight, I wouldn’t have to go out and who knows, maybe alligators like pizza as well.

The little guys had devoured the entire plate of food already. Smears of sauce still clung around their lizardy mouths. I scooped them up and set them into the bathtub where I ran the tap to rinse them off. They seemed to like it, peeping and chirring as the tub filled. They were cute little guys. I’d have to get some pictures of them. I dug my phone out of my purse, and snapped a few pictures of them swimming around in the bathtub. Did I want to post the pictures? I hesitated, but I was pretty sure my nosy neighbor and my landlord weren’t among my online followers. I didn’t know what to tag them as, so I left it blank. I uploaded the pictures and got a towel out to dry my little guys off.

I hadn’t even made it back to the kitchen when my phone started to vibrate. Who was calling me? I set the towel full of baby alligators down on the couch and checked my notifications. They were comments on the picture I’d just posted. People asking if it was fake, where I’d got them, so on. I’d never had one of my photos get so many comments, and so fast.

Are those dragons? One of them read.

No way, I said, looking back at the babies clamoring on the towel. I heard more peeping from the kitchen.

[Story] Story a Week 52 – The End

[[ Prompt: A story titled “The End”.

I have seen prompts before that asked you to write the death of a character. I guess this is basically that, but larger in scope, it’s a vision of the Legion invading the Ghostlands. But don’t worry, as all Bronze dragons know, it’s only a possible outcome! ]]

The first streaks of dawn stretched over the Ghostlands sky, illuminating the wintry landscape below. A cold rain had frozen overnight, sheathing the branches and fences in a layer of ice. Renzdormu shivered, eager to finish his morning patrol and return to his cozy bed. There would be cake or muffins by the time he was back, and tea and chocolate. He occupied himself with wondering what sort of muffins they would be — manaberry, perhaps — as he glided low over the forest. As he crested the final ridge that led out to the ocean, something caught his eye, stark and jagged among the ashes of the scar.

It was a portal, a large one. As Renner watched, fel energy crackled over it, the surface churning like a stormy sea. His first thought was to try to break it, but he knew the structure was too strong — it was some sort of reinforced metal and likely had wards as well. He swung around and flew straight back to the school, beating his wings to carry him faster. Hethurin had to know, so he could prepare the portals to get everyone to safety.

Renner landed in the garden, shifting hastily into his elven form as he did so, jogging into the entry room. Hethurin wouldn’t be up this early, but he could ask Tik to rouse him. But surprisingly, he was, already speaking with the death knights. “There’s a–” Renner interrupted. Whatever they were talking about couldn’t be as important as this.

“Portal,” said Salenicus. “It appeared last night.”

So they did know. “It looks to be opening,” Renner said. “You must start the portals,” he said to Hethurin. “I’m going to find Zayel and see if she can help me close it.”

Hethurin was already making his way down the hall, knocking on doors to wake the students. Renner could hear confused and sleepy voices behind the doors, asking what was going on. Once outside, he made the flight over to the healing clinic in town, where Zayel would already be seeing to patients or making up beds for the day. Isandri looked up as he arrived, surprised. “Get to the school,” he said. “A portal is opening. Zayel, come with me.”

Zayel’s eyes grew wide, but she followed Renner outside. “Are you sure?” she asked.

“Very sure,” Renner said, looking south to where he’d seen the portal. The rangers! He’d forgotten they were here in the forest too, and first in the path of anything that might come out of that portal. “It’s this way,” he said, shifting back into his dragon shape, his great wings lifting him into the sky. His eyes scanned the forest below as he flew, searching for any demons. Maybe there was still time to close it before anything came out. He heard Zayel gasp, and he looked to her.

“Look,” she said, as the surface of the portal alit with vivid green flame. The spiraling surface seemed to pull apart, and a teeming swarm of imps poured forth from it. Renner couldn’t even begin to count how many there were; they were countless, like a hive of bees or ants. They ran over the ground, leaving it charred with flickering fel flames behind them, moving north up the scar — and toward the school. Renner had fought imps before. Even this many shouldn’t pose much danger.

“Is there any way you can close that?” he asked, turning to Zayel. She stared intently at the portal for a few long moments, and shook her head.

“It’s too strong,” she said. “There’s something very powerful keeping it open.”

Likely something much bigger than imps, even a swarm of them. “Go up to the school,” Renner said. “Hethurin will need help making the portals. If you could keep the demons out–”

Zayel nodded. “I can keep a ward up long enough for that, I think.” She looped around, heading north toward the school. “Be careful, Renner,” she said.

It wasn’t a matter of being careful, it was a matter of buying Hethurin and the others enough time to get to safety. The thought of the school — his school — being over-run by demons was unacceptable to Renner. The students, so eager and innocent, couldn’t be harmed either. He would not allow it. The bronze dragon landed squarely in the middle of the imp swarm, hoping to break their march. He snapped with his jaws, swung his tail, and swiped with his paws at any imp within reach. He could hear their pained shrieks, feel their bones crunch between his teeth. They jumped and crawled onto his back, their needle-sharp claws scrabbling to hold on. He could feel the fel fire burning into his scales, but he ignored it. There would be time to heal later.

The imps, seeing their kindred dying, finally scattered. They darted off into the forest in different directions. They were still out there, but they were far less dangerous alone. Renner looked back to the portal, and groaned. More demons were coming, and bigger ones. He recognized the mana-eating hounds, the long, tall inquisitors and the strange one-eyed orbs. They did not look at him as they emerged, rather they continued their march north. They had orders, Renner realized. Someone was in charge of this invasion. The demons were not simply roaming where they wished. It was even more important to stop their advance. But without the leader, it would no doubt continue. Where was he?

He would have a better view from the air. Though he ached from the fel burns, Renner spread his wings and flew up over the forest, searching. Even from afar, he could see a bright blue glowing barrier surrounding the school. He hoped it would hold against so many demons. Something whizzed past Renner’s head, and he drew back in alarm. A second later, the ground below shook with the impact, a smoldering crater of green fire. Infernals! Renner looked up, searching for more. If he could prevent them from hitting the barrier, that would help. He darted underneath the falling boulders, shoving them out of the way. It hurt, much worse than the imps had hurt, but if one of them got through the barrier — he didn’t want to imagine it. The forest below had caught on fire, the trees crackling with vivid green flames as the infernals pushed their way through. They were huge, their rocky heads towering over the tops of the trees. And more were coming.

A battalion of demons, each armed with two long swords, advanced along the scar. Each was huge, its hoofbeats causing the ground to tremble with each step. The portal yawned once more and Renner saw the general emerge — at least, he was certain it had to be the general. A monstrous pit lord, its massive body too large to fly, stepped out and surveyed the forest. Renner circled back around the portal, studying his prey. As long as he could stay in the air, he would have the advantage. It was surely weak around its head and especially the eyes, though its head was covered with spikes, and a pair of long curving tusks. He would have to stay away from those. But unless the head was stopped, the demons’ invasion would press on. If nothing else, he had to buy Hethurin enough time to make the portals.

Renner swooped down, clawing at the pit lord’s head. He didn’t seem to even scratch the thick, scaly skin, but the pit lord certainly noticed his presence. He bellowed and swatted at the dragon, but he darted away quickly.

“Captains!” the pit lord bellowed. “Remove that dragon.”

The eight demons with the long swords paused in their advance and turned around to look. Renner ascended up, out of their reach. Though they were more agile than the pit lord, they were still very large and couldn’t move as quickly as he could. And their swords only reached so far. Renner was careful to stay just out of range. Maybe he could draw them back toward the ocean, away from the school. But he could see the other waves of demons, continuing to walk north, ignoring his presence. They had their orders, and they would follow them.

One of the sword demons lunged toward Renner, swinging wildly. He ducked under and around them, flying up when he needed to pause for breath. The burns from the imps still stung, and he could feel the impact of the infernals — that would surely bruise later. He hoped Zayel knew how to treat dragon injuries as well as elf. Below him, the demons appeared to consult with themselves. He supposed it was a good thing that they weren’t more competent. The entire forest would have been burnt down by–

A bolt of fel fire caught Renner off-guard, causing him to stagger off-balance and flap wildly to regain his position. It had come from one of the long, thin inquisitors, and others gathered behind it, their hands glowing with magic. The fire had burned a hole in the leather of one of his wings, and the pain was almost unbearable. But he had to stay in the air. If he landed, he would be dead.

“Again!” ordered the pit lord. “Bring it down!”

The inquisitors’ hands alit with flame, and magic was much more difficult to dodge than slow swords. And his right wing already hurt terribly. Renner flew south toward the ocean, trying to draw them away from the school. He could hear the heavy hoofsteps of the sword demons following behind him. That was good. Another bolt of fire seared over his back and he shuddered in pain. It was enough for one of the swords to catch him, and Renner went tumbling head over tail into the brush. As his vision went dark, he saw the barrier over the school dissolve.

[Art] Merry Christmas!

Renner and Zayel are getting in the holiday spirit!

xmasdragons.png

[Story] Story a Week 50

[[ Prompt: A creation myth ]]

Harvian didn’t explain anything, not at first. He insisted on walking on his own, despite his injuries, and Tamazi had no choice but to allow him. It was not until they had put the village several miles behind them, and the Huntress’s eye opened in the sky, that he finally spoke.

“What do you know about dragons?” Harvian asked.

Tamazi frowned, puzzled. “Not very much. Aren’t they all gone?” She had never seen one, nor known anyone who had. The only dragon she knew of was the one from the tale she’d told Harvian before, but that had happened many generations ago.

Harvian clicked his teeth and sighed. “No, I guess you wouldn’t.” He glanced around and pointed to a small stand of trees across the path. “We can rest there for the night.”

Though they had no food to cook, Harvian started a fire for light and warmth. Tamazi was relieved to see him do this magically; perhaps whatever damage the dark creature had done was only temporary and going away. But she did not ask about that now, she was more curious about the dragons. “What about the dragons?” she insisted, after they had settled down in front of the fire.

“It’s best I start at the beginning,” Harvian said. Tamazi turned her ears forward curiously. “A very long time ago, before any of us can remember, the world was empty. No birds flew in the sky, no fish swam in the seas, and no animal walked upon the ground. There was only the sky, the sea, and the rock. They decided there should be a caretaker, a keeper for the world, and they set out to make one. The body was formed out of rock, the sea brought it to life, and the sky lifted it into the air. The child was called Mahra, and she was the first dragon.

She was at home on the rock, in the sea, or in the sky. She kept watch over the world and guarded it from danger. But in time she grew older, and she yearned for children of her own. She mated with the sky, and she tended her nest as gently and carefully as any mother could. From that egg hatched Aurilahn, his scales a brilliant glowing gold. He basked in his mother’s warmth and love, and she placed him in the sky that she might see him every day. Though she was happy with her child, Mahra saw that the world was empty and lonely. She raised another nest with the sky, this time there were three eggs: Burakhar, Lakahari, and Miralana. Burakhar was wild and swift, stirring the sky into fluffy clouds and rainstorms. Wherever the rain fell, plants began to grow and cover the rock. Lakahari was a shy and secretive child, always hiding and playing tricks on others. She went to live at the very edge of the world, where the mists could hide her. Miralana, her scales a shining silver, was delicate and wise. Mahra placed her in the sky beside her brother, but they were both so large that they had to take turns — one flew at night and one in the daytime.”

Here Tamazi made a face, but she didn’t interrupt.

“The world began to feel full and alive, but Mahra knew she was not yet finished. She mated with the sea, and raised another nest of three: Ellikhova, Karmiaki, and Tuhlmanna. Ellikhova took to the sea immediately, splashing and creating the waves and tides. When he went to visit his mother on the rock, he left scratches in the rock that became the streams and rivers. Karmiaki was blessed with very good luck and a love of all things beautiful, and Mahra chose her to give her riches to those most deserving. Tuhlmanna loved the plants that grew on the rock, and tended to them — she could heal them when they were ill and help them grow fuller and stronger.

Mahra looked over the world and was very pleased with it, but still no creatures ran upon the rock, or swam in the sea, or flew in the sky. She gathered from the plants — twigs, leaves, flowers, and moss. She took them to the sea and built them into creatures, using sand to hold them together and the water to bring them to life. She made them in different shapes, using different plants. Some were soft, made from moss, while others were spiny and made from twigs. Some were beautiful, adorned in flowers, while others were rough like mud. Mahra breathed gently upon the creatures, and they began to stir. They began to walk out into the world on their own. Some went into the sea, others into the forests, and others flew away into the sky.

But now Mahra was old, and she wanted to finish making the world before she died. She had one final clutch of eggs with the rock: Tahkarith, Ramador, and Nahrinah. Tahkarith was rough and fiery, and Mahra set him on the highest rocks, where he chewed and dug them into mountains. Ramador was proud, strong, and dangerous. He taught the animals to fight and defend the world from danger. Mahra’s last child, Nahrinah, was very strange. Peaceful yet strong, and most of all very wise, she was chosen to tend to the animals after they had died.

The world was no longer empty, but full of life, and everything was as it should be. Mahra told her children to guard and keep the world well when she was gone. Ancient and tired, she lay down upon the rock and died. Her blood ran into the rivers, and those animals that drank of it gained some small part of her wisdom. They became wise, and able to use weapons, and stand on two legs. Most important, they were able to speak with Mahra’s children, the keepers of the world.”

Tamazi waited until Harvian was finished before she spoke. “So those children were dragons?” she asked. It still didn’t make any sense to her.

“No. Not as we know them. The dragons are their chosen, to speak for them here.”

“That still doesn’t make sense,” said Tamazi.

“There is only one dragon for each god,” said Harvian. “They choose him, or her. They gain some of their power. Well, normally there’s one. Miralana’s died some time ago.”

“Then how do they choose them?”

Harvian grinned, his teeth shining brightly in the darkness. “That’s the mystery. No one knows exactly. There have been scholars that study it who have an idea, but they don’t know for sure. They believe that a drake is chosen and undergoes a physical change.”

“Like that one in the swamp,” said Tamazi. “Is he going to turn into a dragon?”

“I hope not. But yes, one of those. As far as anyone knows, it hasn’t happened yet. The Temple of the Moon stands empty.”

Tamazi looked at Harvian intently. “That’s the place you want to go.”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“That’s… complicated,” said Harvian. “It’s already late. We should rest while we can.”

Tamazi frowned. Why would he not answer? But it’s true, she was exhausted from the ordeal and the village and from the journey. Her injuries still ached, but not nearly so much as they had. The moment she lay her head down, she felt herself drifting away to sleep.

[Screenshots] Onyxian Drake

I’ve been running this for the past few weeks on all my 100s, finally dropped today! I really like the look of this mount.

Not sure which one I will work on next, either Invincible or the Deathwing drake (so I could get the Emerald as well).

onyyay

[Story] Story a Week – 25

[[ Prompt: A story set at the summer solstice.

Just some more background stuff in the same world that Tamazi and Harvian live in! Far, far to the north, the citizens revere the sun dragon. On the longest day of the year, a festival is held in her honor. ]]

The capital city of Adekhari was ablaze in white and gold, ribbons and banners wound around every post and hung from every doorway. In the streets, her citizens had donned their finest clothes in honor of the holiday, and children darted to and fro, racing their flying paper dragons.

“Why such a gloomy expression, Nomara?”

Nomara, chief advisor to her Exalted, frowned further. She turned away from the balcony, retreating into the cool shade of the room. Though a slight breeze stirred the curtains, the day was already hot and would only grow hotter. She wore a loose garment of thin fabric, and the long hair of her ears was pinned back into a gold clip. But it would still be difficult to keep cool. Nomara had no idea how the guards could tolerate wearing all that armor on a day such as this.

“I believe you know the cause of my concern, Captain.” Zimos presented an intimidating figure; taller than herself by a head and at least as far across. The captain of the guard bristled with gleaming armor and all manner of weapons from large to small. His face and arms bore the scars of many battles, yet underneath all of this Nomara knew the kiraal’s ferocity was saved for only his enemies. They had something like a friendship, having worked closely together for many years in the city’s defense. Certainly, he knew her well enough to know when she was troubled.

Zimos grunted quietly, stalking over to one of the chairs, settling his sizeable body into it. He also knew which chairs would support his weight, Nomara was thankful of that. “No one would try anything today, of all days.”

She shot him a sharp look. “On the contrary, today would be the perfect day. The crowds, the chaos, Her Radiance will show herself–”

The kiraal scratched his chin. A recent cut was healing there. “Will she?”

“I trust the guard will be aware of the potential danger,” Nomara said, crossing her slender arms in front of her. “It would upset the citizens if she doesn’t show herself. They will worry that the rumors are true. That she’s in danger.”

The flight of the Exalted, the High Dragon, was the high point of the festival. Even working at her side every day, Nomara’s breath was taken away by seeing the great dragon take to the skies, every golden scale glimmering in the summer sun. Zimos nodded. “That’s true. What of her son?”

Nomara frowned again. “That I don’t know. He’s –” she paused, taking the time to select the right words. “Willful. I expressed my opinion to him the evening last.”

The High Dragon’s son was a much more unpredictable creature, given to youthful exuberance and the lack of good judgment that came with it. Being much smaller, he emerged from the palace more often — which was good, as the citizens were thrilled to catch a glimpse of him, but it also put him at greater risk should someone plan an attack. There had been rumors of such since the Temple of the Moon far to the south stood empty, and they had only increased as time went on.

Nomara moved to the balcony again, watching the people in the street below. The parade would begin soon, and citizens had gathered on either side of the street. Some clutched flags of white and gold, others held snacks bought from the carts wheeled up and down the street. Zimos would be needed soon; he and his guards would lead off the parade. She hesitated, but in the end decided that her friend could be entrusted with her secret. Perhaps it would put his mind at ease and he, at least, could enjoy the holiday.

“There won’t be any problems,” she said quietly. “I hired someone.”

Ziros’s amber gaze fixed on her. “Like who?”

“You needn’t worry about that. But he’s good. Very good. No harm will come to Her Radiance, nor her son, nor Adekhari.”

Nomara said it as much to convince herself as anyone else. But she had searched for the finest, and paid for the finest. The asenji had given his word, and while that wasn’t worth much, he knew who Nomara worked for and what would happen should he go back on it. And everyone she spoke to said that Harvian was one of the best, even among the asenji.

Her ears perked to the roar of the crowd in the street below. Her Exalted, Glory of Aurilahn, the ancient High Dragon herself, embraced the city in the shadow of her wings as she soared overhead.

 

[Story] Story a Week 20

[[ Prompt: A story written in 2nd person narrative.

This one was tough, I really don’t enjoy this perspective very much and I was stumped as to what to write about. I once had a very vivid dream of being a dragon, and this was kind of inspired by that, I guess. ]]

You awake in a cave. It smells ancient, of minerals and cool water. You can hear it dripping somewhere behind you. You stir, and you sense that your body is much larger than you expected, coiled over itself on the stone floor. You hear the whisper of scales against the rock’s surface. You rise, feeling the muscles tense and coil. Your claws clack with each step as you move toward the cave’s entrance, the light almost blinding in its intensity.

The air is sweet and smells of greenery, carried on a breeze that sweeps past the cave. You are high on a mountainside, and you can see down into the valley, into the village beyond. The houses look sturdy, but humble. The forest below you is dense and green, the ground hardly visible through the canopy of branches. Birds and squirrels chirr busily among the branches, unaware of your presence.

You step out onto the crag, your claws gripping onto the rough stone. Here you spread your wings, feeling the sun warm the leathery skin. You have only one fleeting moment of doubt as you leap from the mountainside, that one moment before your wings catch the air and pull you aloft. You are strong, skilled at flying. It takes little effort to keep you aloft, gliding over the trees that rush past below you. The wind is invigorating, and you want to go higher. Pointing your muzzle toward the sky, you flap your great wings, feeling the rush of air beneath them as you ascend. Not even the birds dare fly this high, this sky is yours alone. You can see what seems like the entire countryside from here.

Your belly rumbles. You haven’t eaten, and you’re suddenly aware of how hungry you are. You survey the village, but you sense it would be dangerous to attack them. They would surely seek you out if you took a villager, and you’re not big enough to defend against an entire mob. Soaring over a hilltop into the next valley, you see a herd of sheep grazing. Their shepherd is nowhere in sight. It’s far easier prey than you are accustomed to, one dive and you clutch the sheep in your claws, carrying your bleating prize to a safe spot to eat. It’s only one sheep, surely the villagers will allow you that. Its meat is warm and rich, and it’s enough to fill your belly for now. Sated, you stretch out upon the warm rock to sun yourself. The light plays over your shimmering scales, and you tuck your muzzle beneath one of your coils to rest.