Alymndes 1: The Cavern

Darkness surrounded him. Even Glamrun’s nocturnal eyes could not see in the gloom through which he was carefully inching his way forward.
“What spell could have created such darkness?” he muttered to himself.
Glamrun was a very inquisitive kind of Wyrm, as dragons were sometimes called in ancient lore. He hoarded knowledge, not riches or jewels and other such valuables. He was very much unlike his dull-witted cousins, who all perished as they were bound to, either killing each other, or being disgracefully dispatched by clever men who coveted their treasures, or even sometimes dying for such a simple reason as forgetting to nourish themselves for fear of losing their ill-gotten wealth.
Many times Glamrun had seen worlds grow and disintegrate, more than he cared to remember. He had witnessed the birth and demise of great civilizations and spent lonesome eons in between. But for all this loneliness, he had always kept himself aloof and distanced himself from all the upheavals, entertaining relations only for the sake of knowledge garnered from varied learned men, scientists and even sorcerers. The world in which he presently lived was at last experiencing a mediaeval era after the customary collapse of a few enlightened epochs due to people neglecting to protect themselves against more barbarous men with the ensuing wars and destructions. So many times had he seen the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse that his even tenuous notion of good and evil had been lost. Pragmatic neutrality suited him best and ensured his safety in these harsh worlds that constantly found new means to destroy themselves.
All that time he had grown to a size unheard of, or more aptly said, unseen of, as he had not allowed anyone to espy his great red-scaled body gliding on impossibly wide wings, negotiating the air currents with defiant ease.
Glamrun had found that cave high up in the Iron Crags Mountains in his endless quest for knowledge. Such desolate mountains found in the far northern reaches of the continent and battered by constant winds were not perhaps the most obvious places for a fruitful search, yet bounties lay in wait for those who knew where to look.
Profound magic had forcefully drawn him to that forlorn location. Actually, any kind of sorcery was no great surprise or challenge, as his own was the culmination of endless searching and learning and probably encompassed all that could be sucked out of this world.
He suddenly came to a stop.
A barrier stood there.
He could feel it a few paces away. The darkness was still vast, but he could sense a shimmering in the air, some kind of intangible membrane reacting to his presence.
Humbling magic lay in wait.
He understood this was some kind of extremely powerful shield, although strangely enough, it did not seem to repel him. In fact, he felt attracted to it, almost invited by it.
Glamrun took his time, reaching in the depths of his knowledge to uncover the reason for this unknown barrier he knew would stop anybody or anything unknowingly.
But why was it compelling him?
The old dragon possessed incredible patience, the reason for his long life despite the chaotic ages he had to survive through.
This time, however, called for a quick decision.
Uncharacteristically ignoring the possibility of dire consequences, he approached the barrier and tentatively pressed his snout against it. The barrier was pierced without any resistance. Not needing more time to think, he kept pushing until the membrane had painlessly enveloped his entire head. He anticipated what lay ahead
Once through, the impossible gloom he had so far been moving through started to fade. A pale glow appeared at ground level. And slowly, painfully so, something took shape. An open scroll was now in plain sight. It hung in the air unaided, and as it became more corporeal, Glamrun could discern golden letters and signs inscribed on its surface.
The language was ancient, resurrected from an age long dead. Before he could decipher any meaning, a voice resonated through the cavern.
“Welcome, creature of my kind!”
Glamrun knew nobody, least of all a dragon as the words seemed to infer, was there. As it spoke, Glamrun studied the scroll. Each written word disappeared with each word voiced. This was inconceivable magic! A scroll, which spoke with its writer’s voice and will to a dragon, Glamrun, obviously chosen to bear witness, had come alive when he uncovered its secret location!
“Who speaks so to me?” Glamrun asked uneasily.
“Zamrel of your kind! I know you, Glamrun, and within this message I have been waiting for you and only you.”
Zamrel was the name of a female dragon, although Wyrms of his kind were hermaphrodites and changed their gender at will making life so much simpler and more practical. The same could not be said for most other dragons, which explained their internecine struggles and their compulsion to mate, ignorant of the consequences. Only a higher dragon could achieve such a feat and Glamrun experienced a sad pang in his heart as he suddenly felt an unbearable loneliness.
“I’m the only one of my kind left. What befell of you?”
“You ask as predicted, Glamrun! Know that I suffered my demise due to an obligation to create this message. My power, strength and resources were spent to provide you with this message and assist what lies in your future paths!”
At these words, the veil Glamrun had passed his head through vanished with the surrounding darkness and a soft light entered the cave to reveal in its utmost recess an enormous nest made from pebbles and sand in which lay five gargantuan eggs of different colors.
The combination itself seemed strange and Glamrun could not fathom its meaning. The first egg was cobalt blue with rainbow hues constantly moving around it. The second was pure radiant gold. The third one was bright liquid silver with an unending shifting of its color on the surface. The fourth one was hard ebony black as if it had been chiseled in onyx. Finally the fifth egg was the strangest as its appearance was not unlike that of dull flint, with no reflection whatsoever. It seemed to absorb the light.
Zamrel’s voice suddenly jolted an engrossed Glamrun.
“Hearken to me, Glamrun! We have little time!”
Glamrun suddenly felt resignation overwhelm him as he realized with horror he was about to lose his freedom. Something would be asked of him and they both knew he could not refuse.
“You and my unborn children must fulfill a destiny I died for!”
“And what is that destiny?”
“You will discover all in good time! You must first protect them, educate them in all your arts and more. Make them aware of the world around you and let them know that one day they will have to merge with its creatures for our purpose!”
“What! You wish to demean us by making us share lives with ignorant ant-like men and other races?”
“Given time, yes! But know that by the name of our race and your own, you are bound to their lives and protection!”
Glamrun’s heart collapsed. Dragon’s names were vital for their existence. How had she known his name? And why had she given hers so freely?
“You have not yet told me of their destiny!”
“I shall not narrate my reasons now, the world has ears. I shall reappear to you when needed. Only then will you hear of what lies ahead of you!
Before Glamrun could utter another word the scroll suddenly vanished and Glamrun was left staring at the eggs with a dark premonition that long days of toil and care were waiting for him…
Looking at the eggs he sighed at the realization that they must be moved to a more propitious location. Five fully-grown dragons would never come out of that cave unscathed. They also had to be fed, groomed and taught to fly and hunt. Fortuitously the Old Wyrm knew the perfect place…

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11 Responses to “Alymndes 1: The Cavern”

  1. sarah flanigan Says:

    interesting beginning and intriguing. i like glamrun and am curious about zamrel. i found that during the interchange between the two my interest was much higher than during the narrative giving background. in fact, the story came a live for me when the magic pulsing entity appeared.
    sarah

  2. dragonlife Says:

    Dear Sarah!
    Greetings!
    This is the problem with the beginning of a long story: One could start in the middle of a magic happening, but would have to spend time to explain things later with the risk of disappointing the reader. I opted to gradually raise the tension!
    Incidentally, Zamrel will be a mysterious entity for a long time to be!
    Cheers,
    Robert-Gilles

  3. Khylan Says:

    Glamrun sounds like a very level headed dragon so it is interesting that he’s been duped into having a brood. Sort of like the sort end of the stick for being one of the last dragon’s left alive.

  4. dragonlife Says:

    Dear Khylan!
    Greetings!
    Well, poor Glamrun does have some work on his hands!
    He’s never been a father after all!
    Cheers,
    Robert-Gilles

  5. wolfbaby Says:

    Interesting, I am curious to see how this plays out.

  6. dragonlife Says:

    Dear Wolfbaby!
    Greetings!
    Well, it will certainly take some time as the blook/book is an over 500-page work!
    I sincerely you enjoy it!
    Cheers,
    Robert-Gilles

  7. dragonmommie Says:

    I love dragon stories and so glad that I found your site through The Justification of Justin blog. I found your story definitely compelling me to read more… and I will!

  8. Elizabeth Says:

    This could prove very interesting. I can’t wait to move on to the next chapter. I think I’ve read some of it before, but can’t remember.

    Poor Glamrun. Not having been a father before and suddenly have five eggs thrust on him (shakes head in sympathy), I wonder how he’ll handle it.

    Onward!

  9. Brendan Says:

    So this is what you’ve been up to!! I was delighted to run into you the other evening after god-knows-how-many-years!!! We must stay in touch. Ring me and we’ll plan an evening out to catch up on what’s been going on in our lives.
    A bientot, Robert!

  10. Anonymous Says:

    What made you write a dragon story by the way? Richard

    • dragonlife Says:

      Oh, I’ve been writing this story for years on and off. It has grown into a big first story and the second (before the final third one) has almost reached halfway. I had always wanted to write fantasy (and other things) but for adults. I’ve tried to find publishers but this is a shark’s pond! How did you manage to publish yours?

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