A Quest of Stars
A roar echoed far and deep through the damp caves. All beasts, draconic or not, backed off in utter fear. A challenge was spoken, a clear one, and it was the two most dangerous of beasts that would dare clash under the open skies within this very hour.
“You little midget! You shadow of silver! You challenge the golden fires?!” The voice was deep, old, powerful. It was the Dragonlord, One-eye Goldfire, and he was known to crush all challengers under his golden claw, that wanted to take his place.
“I challenge you, one-eyed one, and I will no longer be a shadow.” The voice was deep, but clearly lighter and younger. It was Silvershadow, whom was not known to be very liked. He was a shadow of the river-dragons. Unlike them in many ways. But most of all, he was fearless.
“Then so be it, shadow of silver! Find your doom and never take flight again!” The Dragonlord spread his wings wide, in the dim light of the cave, his gold-like scales seemed to burn. Then, with a sudden movement, he took off, gliding across the large cave, pulled his wings tight to his body again, and sprinted out. Every leap made the ground shake, and held so much power that every one that dared watch the scene was now out hiding.
Silvershadow watched, unimpressed. He followed, with soft steps, unheard and unfelt. He was not ready to waste his power, nor was he interested in impressing anyone. He purely wanted to be respected, and he felt like he deserved it.
Outside was not much of daylight. Heavy clouds covered the sun, and a few drops claimed that a storm was about to rise. Perfect for a battle. One-Eye Goldfire also thought so, and roared for his challenger to come, to hurry, to fight. And so the silver shadow did come, taking a powerful leap for the skies.
“Little youngling of silver, you are aware what it means to challenge me?!” The question was a formality, something that tradition required. And so was also the answer: “I am aware, Lord, that I will take your rule, lead and protect, be wise and strong. I am aware that I will require no flaw, and that my rule may end with a challenge as mine given to you.”
One-Eye Goldfire growled. He was unpleased to waste his time with this. But he needed to fight. “Then by the powers of old! This fight will begin!”
Like a silver storm, the young and swift Silvershadow whipped and clawed at the elder Dragonlord. And like a golden inferno, the old One-Eye Goldfire raged with fury, setting the sky alight. It was a battle like a thousand before, and with the rain of storms came also a rain of blood. This was the final test to become a Dragonlord. Determination, strength, skill. And it was the same as it was thousands of years ago…
With a roar of pain, Silvershadow began to fall from the skies, deeper and deeper, until his scaled body, free from blood only because of the heavy rain, slammed in to the grass beneath, the only land in the mountains that bore life like this, protected by a ring of mountains and dragon’s lairs.
The Dragonlord roared in triumph. He thought himself the ultimate victor, as he had been for centuries now. But then the young silver dragon stood again, everything in him aching, everything screaming to stop… He leapt, and was in the air again, heavy, weak, but far from being defeated. His roar was still clear, it was wild, and it was still strong, unlike his body. The golden Dragonlord, though, was unimpressed. He whirled, slapping his heavy tail against the young dragon’s jaw, and watched him drop.
Again and again it repeated itself. Again and again, the same drop, the same rise. Lightning joined in the rain, and heavy winds made flight a dangerous thing. But still, Silvershadow did not admit defeat.
“Stop it.” A voice said. It was a soft, female voice. And as it spoke, every dragon bowed, all, except Silvershadow, who had taken flight again, if he hadn’t heard that voice.
“Stop it.” The voice said again, and the Dragonlord sank to the ground, looking up to the sky in fear and awe alike.
Still, Silvershadow was not ready to stop quite yet. Only confusion kept him at bay.
He looked to the skies, wondering. What he saw, there, struck him with awe and fear. The storm faded, and was replaced by a nightsky, stars glimmering and shining in all colors. Until this moment, he had little respect for the gods.
The starry sky sank, like a form that was unseen, lower and lower, until it was between the two battling ones. Barely visible in shape, it was Korravah, the Dragon-Mother, goddess of the dragonkind, and known to human-kin only as Starlight.
Her head, barely recognizable as such, except by two jewels that were the brightest of stars in all the worlds and were her very eyes, turned from the old one to the young one.
“My children.” Her voice was soft and clear. “My beloved children. One will not admit defeat, and the other will not accept such loss. My dear children. Both of you are victors, but neither of you are longer Dragonlord.”
There was silence, and even the distant storms were still.
“Goldfire Kar’ran, one named One-Eye, your time here ends, either by the plague or by leaving this world.”
The Dragon backed off, his one eye in terror. He had no time to speak up, though.
“Nar’vim, one named Silvershadow, your time here ends, not by plague nor by leaving this world, but by my command.”
Unimpressed, he rose his head to his goddess. “And where do I go, Mother Korravah?”
“Ah. It heeds my word. Go find the Prophet. Then find your strength. Finally, find your place of rest, Nar’vim, known as Silvershadow the Starweaver, son of Garrath’vallan, known as the Seeker.”
It was without even the slightest hesitation that he, wounded and weak, rose in to the skies. He cared not of his state. He had been commanded to leave by his Mother Goddess, and he would do as said. He abandoned his home, and he flew eastward, to the great continent…