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Creeping Shadows part 5The funeral pyre raged, casting light into the depths of a normally dark main hall where Shadow Dragons packed shoulder to shoulder and clung to the walls. It could have been a scene from a draconic hell, but in reality all anyone wanted to do was pay their final respects and welcome in the new emperor.
Belleross stood solemn, the black cloak of a Shrathan mage draped over his shoulders. The night would be quiet, but it wouldn't last long. His plan would fall into place just as quietly, and Dracocosmia would be on its knees before anyone could even notice what had happened.
Retreating to his study, Belleross flipped through details of his idea and smiled; he felt it was genuinely brilliant, and it would be a treat to watch it unfold.
"I can't wait to see the looks on the Great Dragons' faces," he laughed to himself, picking up the blue orb that had been Cael's. It was the final peice of his puzzle, but it wasn't the right time just yet. He gazed at the sphere, feeling out th
Creeping Shadows part 4There was a new light shining in Cael's eyes; sure, he had wallowed in sorrow, grieving his friendship, but he'd learned that others had been stolen from. Now it was time to do something about their problems. Cael had organized a small meeting with some fellow victims in the nearby town in an attempt to figure out why they'd been targeted, and now waited for them at the inn.
The first to come was a Meiran-a fiery-looking False-wyvern- who solemnly introduced himself as Karth. He was soon followed by a shy Razorwing named Atreos, who said nothing more than her name to them. Nysseth, a loud-mouthed Barrens Drake soon arrived; and not long after he came, a cheery young Windvern named Orina joined them. Pleasantries were briefly exchanged, then the group got down to business.
"So, what does this Belleross want with our stuff?" Nysseth boomed, clenching a large hand, and the others thought for a bit.
"Uh...well...it's clear he...wants old heirlooms and artifacts," Atreos said, he
Creeping Shadows part 3"I have the artifacts, just as you asked," Belleross said, setting a bulging sack gently on a table.
"Exxcellennt," a voice hissed, and its owner stepped from the shadows, accompanied by two guards.
"You know full well I'm dying, so I'm pleased you have collected them before my time has come," the old Shadow Dragon smiled sadly, pulling the pitch-black cloak closer around his shoulders.
"It was a pleasure, Emperor Ikkrazz. You've stopped hissing your words for the most part, I see," Belleross replied, bowing his head.
"Yesss...it means the end is near, I'm afraid. You know the plan-and I feel that I'm leaving the Shratha Empire in capable hands," Ikkrazz smiled again, "and there are no better candidates."
"Don't worry; I promise to bring the Shratha Empire back to its former glory. The plan is already in motion," Belleross assured the aged emperor, who nodded knowingly. With a wave of his hand, a guard presented the two with tea, and Ikkrazz took a cup gratefully. He knew his successor
Creeping Shadows part 2"How do you lose a thing like that?!" Orina's mother cawed angrily, kicking a wall out of the nest.
"Some dragon said he needed it for his studies, so I though 'what's a loan between fellow students?' and next thing I know, he's flown off," the young Windvern replied, trying to keep her own voice from rising.
"But that was our prize posession, sculpted by Great Pyreron himself! Do you know how many Arbith leaves I had to trade for that? That was a year's worth of throat medicine!" Orina's mother ranted, and she sighed. That was the trouble with having a medic for a mother-everything's worth was measured in medicine.
Orina knew her mother would calm down sooner if she left, so the small dragon flew off to ride a thermal or two. Soaring on the warm updrafts was effortless, so her mind turned to other things; specifically the events that had led to her mother nearly busting an air sac.
The green dragon had introduced himself politely as a fellow art student, and was particularly intereste
Creeping ShadowsCael yawned contentedly; his trip to the local outpost had proved fruitful. His food store was restocked, and he had a new book to read. Flame Amphitheres wheeled playfully overhead through the sulfur-tainted sky; he watched them for a while before turning to begin his book.
Wind hissed aound the spires of Cael's volcano-top lair, but he took no notice of it. Thie spires had been masterfully carved by his great-great-grandfather to funnel the wind away from the perch's bottom, where many a dragon brood had been hatched. Cael was quite proud of his heritage, and it was seldom he hesitated to brag about it. After all, his family had lived here since the time the Dark Sea was still known as the Ruby Sea-quite an accomplishment in and of itself. The Dark Sea volcanic belt was famously unforgiving.
The large red-orange dragon stretched after an hour or so, then winced as he plucked a quill from his headcrest and placed it as a bookmark. The story was entertaining, but not as much as he'd ho
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