Alymndes 4: The Mission

Slowly the long chiseled face of an incredibly beautiful snow-white dragon appeared in the night. They could not see her body, but by judging from the size of her head, she must have been as large as Glarum or more.
”Greetings, Glamrun! I see I could trust in you with the wellbeing of my blood. My profound thanks!”
”You are most welcome!” The old Wyrm muttered with a dreadful feeling he was completely losing control.
”Father! Who is that?” sputtered Amrel who had finally overcome her surprise.
”Amrel! Show some respect, will you? This is Zamrel, your mother, and I am not your father!”
”Well, their education still leaves much to be desired after all, does it not? Perhaps I should withdraw my thanks.” replied the white dragon with some asperity. She did not seem to have an easy character or much patience.
”If you had had the courtesy to appear from time to time, I suppose you could have lent a hand!” an angry Glamrun retorted.
”Spare me your pique, Old Wyrm! I have had my own burden of chores, too! We simply have to share the work! Anyway, we do not have much time. The longer I materialize in this world, the more dangerous it grows for all of us! So hearken to me! Now has come the time to listen and act! As Glamrun has mentioned to you earlier,” (proving to Glamrun that she had been observing his role as caregiver to these now adolescent dragons) “there is a world living out there and willing or not, we are part of it and honor-bound to help preserve it! I cannot spare the time, nor have the will to explain why right now. Know that all of you will have to go and live among the other beings dwelling in our land and find out what is brewing there. The land south of the Fire Mountains is stirring and dark forces are prowling in search of ways to invade and enslave our world. Your mission for the time being is to ferret out as much information as possible until we meet next time.
You, my five children, were conceived in that number because on you will befall the task to unite the five nations and tribes of Alymndes, and ultimately vanquish the evil about to destroy our world or perish in its defense!
I cannot afford to appear as often as I would wish to. Old Wyrm! A seventh member will join you soon and shall impart you of the necessary directions from now on. One last piece of advice, Glamrun, teach my children how to shape-change, and all of you make sure you reveal your dragon form to other creatures only when absolutely necessary!
Fare well!…”
Zamrel’s face abruptly disappeared with her last words.
”Mother…”, cried Amrel almost silently, realizing a sudden loss in her short life. All the young dragons felt overwhelmed. Even carefree Umatar lay subdued and very still.
The old dragon, on the other hand, was literally fuming as a long-extinguished fire threatened to belch out in anger and frustration.
Numnir was the first to shake out of the general lethargy.
”What did Mother mean by shape-changing? And why is smoke coming out of your nostrils?”
”Oh, don’t look at me like this, will you? You can’t even start to imagine of what we can do!”
But Numnir would be not cowed into silence this time and reiterated his questioned.
”Why aren’t you our Father? We have known you as long as we have lived! How could it be? Where is Mother gone? Why do we have to go on a mission?”
A suddenly very deflated old dragon sighed and conceded.
”Well, it will not do to conceal anything any longer as it now appears that you will need all your powers and knowledge very quickly!”
The rest of the night was spent relating the discovery of the cavern and their eggs, the Scroll speaking with the voice of Zamrel, and her request to Glamrun, and why he had chosen their present abode.
”If Mother is dead, why does she keep on appearing?” an inconsolable Amrel insisted.
”Her own magic, probably. Do not forget that the two of us are the last members of a great race that possessed powers beyond your understanding! Actually, I sense that she is not really deceased, but active. Didn’t she say the longer she materializes in this world, the more danger might befall us? She must have good enough reasons to make us believe her demise. We shall meet her more often from now. In what guise, I do not know.
By the way, since you have realized I am not your real sire, you may call me whatever you desire”
”Teacher, maybe?” snorted Ekan. “That shall not do. Our Father you have ever been, our Father you shall ever be!”
With that finality, the other young dragons opened their minds to the old Wyrm who could do nothing but to accept their allegiance.
We shall see…, he thought. If I remember well, youngsters will come to want to fly on their own wings one day…
The following weeks, Zamrel’s children’s education started in earnest.
First Glamrun had to explain and convince them of what dragons of their kind were capable of.
Numnir had been thinking of dragonfire ever since he saw smoke coming out his father’s nostrils. Glamrun explained that they were equipped with a supplementary stomach producing a highly inflammable gastric substance at will that would ignite immediately upon simple contact with the outside air. The trick was to build up enough of this substance and expel it with as strong a blow as possible making sure the flaming substance did not stay inside their maw or create a backdraft. He had them practice until they could avoid their snouts being singed and aim properly.
Telepathy was already known to them. Teleportation or translocation proved a totally different task to fulfill. The only way dragons could go to a different place instantly was to remember the exact location and have a clear mental image of the place they wanted to reach. This they could achieve by flying, exploring and memorizing. He could not stress enough that a single mistake could find them trapped inside rock or even worse in an inescapable void. So many careless dragons had met their sudden demise in that fashion! The mental image of a dragon half caught in the stone of a mountain cliff being devoured alive by all sorts of predators was enough to convince the young dragons of the need to strictly follow his instructions.
Shape changing proved a subtler matter to master as it implicated the perfect knowledge of the creature impersonated. The ability for such a feat being an inborn talent, the stress was on the study of the character. To achieve this, Glamrun forcibly designated the race that each of the young dragons should attune to, taking into account their respective tendencies and obvious morphology for his choice.
Dargelblad would adopt the Elves as his own. Ekan would fit with the Races of the Desert and the Sea. Amrel should find plenty to dream about with the Blue Knights and Walkyries. Numnir already possessed a yearning for studying the Dwarves, while Umatar would satisfy her cravings for wandering with the Free Tribes of the Steppes.
Glamrun showed them as an example, his own guise of a wandering storyteller with a sorry tendency to drinking and lecher which he had used to good effect in times long past.
He encouraged his charges to think up and assume a character that would make their subterfuge more believable and acceptable in the lands they were visiting. So each young dragon grew and wandered around among their designated race with the help of an invisibility-forgetfulness spell from the Old Wyrm until the Great Dragon was satisfied. They achieved their new personalities faster than he had imagined they would, probably because the young dragons were thoroughly enjoying themselves. He had to put the brake on in the end to prevent them from charging head first into adventure.
Only when he had become absolutely convinced they understood their aims did he finally set them on each of their missions.

2 Responses to “Alymndes 4: The Mission”

  1. dragonmommie Says:

    Oh, I read this one, too… I’ve GOT to figure out a way to keep track!

  2. dragonlife Says:

    Simple:
    On the right, Alymndes Chapters are numbered! Writ it down on your pad/notebook you keep near your PC! Or use some magic!
    Cheers,
    Robert-Gilles

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