Medievia Mudslinger

October 17, 19999


High above the vast plains a mighty dragon soared, golden wings outstretched as she rode the winds of a dragon's chosen terrain. Only an occasional beat of the vast wings betrayed the effort required to remain aloft. This was her domain - the topmost layers of the atmosphere where only a dragon's magic could allow flight, where a dragon could look down on all they used to rule.

Siminia was content to let the currents of the winds take her where they willed for today was a day to enjoy - the harsh glare of the sun was pleasant at this altitude and the winds were soft against her thick scales. Siminia merely relaxed, bathed in the elements and the sure knowledge that nothing dare challenge a dragon at the height of its power. This was the realm she ruled - once, so long ago, with her mate Adrexnil. Adrexnil - so long her mate, sire of her brood, sire of her shame and dead these many years.

A sudden burst of air nearby woke her from her reverie as a small firelizard appeared in a flash of magic and began flapping its stubby wings fitfully. It hastily flapped its way to her head, now lazily turned to face the intruder, and began chittering excitedly with a large pouch of gold held between its small claws. Siminia dismissed the firelizard with a flick of a wingtip and concentrated her mind on the information it had related, forming a bond with the person who required her aid, homing in on their position. The firelizard chittered briefly and vanished with the gold to add it to the meagre hoard she had ammassed. She had always envied their ability to weave their way through the spaces between places, something a dragon could never do, but the limited intelligence and weak bodies of the firelizard were enough to ensure that the regret never lasted.

She banked briefly on the winds and turned towards her target, some dozen or so miles in the distance - the contract had been accepted and would be honoured. This ancient compact had been made with the dragons many aeons past at the time they began to teach men the true magic and would last till the end of time itself. Siminia, however, rarely allowed her pet firelizard to accept these contracts - the humans had the term "prostitution" for a demeaning form of work (not that she bothered much with human society) but this ferrying of anyone who asked was no fit task for a true dragon. This time, however, her hoard of gold was running low and the only way to recover it was to work for those with the precious metal. There was never enough, these days, not like the ancient times when her caverns had been adorned with golden chains, tapestries, and the trappings of the wealth of nations.

The leagues sped past underneath her leathery wings as she dived down through the air. Her target, however, suddenly changed postion in her mind's eye and she was forced to bank a few degrees to remain on course. Some use of the teleport spell, perhaps? There was but one possible reason for this - an evil dragon was hunting her target.

She dived harder to gain the extra speed she would require and flew low over the plains. Within seconds she saw her real target - a dragon the colour of fresh blood stalking the ground, muzzle lifted high for a scent of his prey. He saw her shadow on the ground but all too late as her speeding body crashed into his, claws outstretched and ready to tear into her evil foe. The initiative was hers, hers was first blood, the victory was near complete already. She dug her claws into his back and wings, rending the wing's leather and scattering rock-hard scales from his body.

Yet this red dragon was not without ability himself. He hurled himself forwad into a roll, throwing her forward off his back - a trick only the more experienced dragons used, the ones who survived. Siminia had been thrown like this before and automatically used an old technique few young dragons used to stop herself. She bellowed a great blast of fire from her maw and spread her wings to catch the superheated air, slowing herself down and allowing herself to land safely while turning to face her wounded foe at the same time. As expected the red dragon was still recovering from his roll and she moved towards him to make use of this time. Then his head looked at her properly for the first time.

That face - she had seen it before. Fresh with the white from the egg, eager for its share of the kill, too eager to learn to fight and survive, covered in the blood of its murdered clutch-brothers. The face of her own son. The face of her shame. She had concealed its colour from her mate and it had cost her her brood of younglings - his own family. Why she had been fated to birth an evil dragon was something the fates alone knew, but she was his mother. And on that day of evil she chased him from the lair, returning from her pursuit too early to grieve for the dead offspring - none old enough to have even been given a name. Her mate had sought revenge after the grief had diminished - he had never returned.

The sudden shock of pain in her shoulder brought her back to the present as the red lunged with his jaws widespread, wasting no advantage from the moment of shock he had caused. The pain caused an automatic reaction from Siminia and her own jaws flashed out to catch his uninjured wing - to keep an opponent on the ground was important in dragon combat. The sudden chill of ice seared her scales as he brought forth the power of dragon's magic and tiny shards of ice forced their way into her skin. She retaliated with ice but the initiative was now his.

The dragons tumbled over each other crushing trees and gouging holes in the soft earth and they desperately clawed and rended wounds in each other's hides. Siminia knew whe was in trouble as her right foreleg was badly weakened from the red's initial attack - he knew it too and was seeking to claw at that area as often as he could. Siminia felt herself weakening as she clawed fitfully at the red's underbelly with her hind claws to little effect. So this was the fulfillment of her destiny? All her children, her mate and herself - all killed by the one she refused to kill at birth? Her strength drained as the red, bloodied but unbowed, hurled her to the ground. A heavy crash nearly broke her ribs as he landed on top of her, ready to deal the final blow.

"Now, mother," he snarled in the language of dragons, "It's time to give me a name." His words were bitter with the scorn felt by a nameless dragon, for only the mother dragon could give a dragon child a name. Siminia merely stretched out her neck for the final death - accepting defeat.

"No name shall you have from me. No child of mine are you," she said, softly. The red screamed with rage and his jaws fell to her throat. Siminia felt them clamp on her throat but was astonished to feel little pain - a glow of white surrounded her body and she felt somehow stronger. A human voice sounded from the side.

"Some humans remember the compact fully, my friend," it said. A blast of pure power screamed through the air and knocked the red dragon's head aside as Siminia reacted in the only way a dragon could - renewed attack. Her claws ripped upwards into the red's underbelly with more vigour and he screeched loudly. He fell from her and scrambled to his feet, wary of this new opponent.

Siminia gave him no time to think - wounded as she was she leapt upon him, clawing and rending with her three useful claws. The human ran to her side, heedless of the danger of being crushed by a rolling dragon, and chanted some words in the language of dragons. A warm glow spread throughout her right foreleg as her tendons knitted and her muscles healed. The red was frantic with panic by now as he flailed about uselessly on the ground yet Siminia gave not a thought to a mother's instincts and lunged for his throat.

Clasping his neck tightly she grated a few words out tightly, "I name you 'Morduril', my child." So saying, she twisted her head violently and ground her jaws together and sheared his neck in two. Avenged, she sat still, panting violently. The human came close, warily.

"My friend? I have been taught the language of dragons for this is the language of magic. Yet I am unfamiliar with that word - Morduril. What is its meaning?" Siminia paused a moment and took the red dragon's head in her claws.

"It means 'one who should never have been' - a lesson to remember." So saying, she leapt into the air, trailing her son's head, screaming her victory and wept her tears.

Tears of pure fire.