Drace stepped into the little town, looking for a place to sit and have some food. He'd been traveling for a while and was starting to feel the first bites of hunger.
Walking past little shops and houses, he soon came to a small saloon. Deciding it was the best he could find in the small town, he stepped inside.
Besides, he reasoned with himself, this has got to be the busiest place in town. I'm sure to hear any news about dragons here.
Finding a table towards the back, he settled in and tuned in his dragon hearing. Not much was happening at the moment. By the time the waitress showed up, he had already drawn little designs into the table. The waitress looked confused as to how they got there. Drace just smiled at her and ordered his food. The waitress just nodded and walked away, still looking perplexed.
By the time his food had come, more people had left the saloon. Drace decided to quickly eat his food and walk around town. He wasn't getting much here.
After finishing off two more plates and dessert, he paid the still befuddled waitress and left the saloon, heading towards the town marketplace. He figured that would be where most people would be on a day like this.
And he was right. Most of the people from town were down there. It looked to be market day. That was good news for Drace. More people to talk to in an easily accessible place.
He set off, his mind set on one thing: find out where a dragon is. Most people didn't even want to speak to him, and those that did he ended up walking away from. They were no help and had no idea what they were talking about.
Exasperated, he was about to give up when he saw a young man stumble into the square, obviously having just run a long distance.
"A dragon was just spotted! Over yonder, in the forest. He on your best look out, for this is a large black one and blends in easily with the trees."
The townspeople we're all terrified. Drace was thrilled. Running over to catch the lad before he left, Drace asked him where it was spotted and how long ago.
"About half a day's travel into the forest on foot. It was spotted just as long ago by my master. He sent me on a horse, which was eaten by the fearsome dragon, to warn these townspeople. They deserve to know what is happening in their woods."
Drace rolled his eyes, not really caring for the lady's long explanation. Drace was quickly shoved aside by the townspeople wanting to question the boy.
But that was okay by him, because he had the information he needed. A half day's walk would be but a few hours flight for him.
Quickly leaving town, Drace sprouted his dragon wings and took off in a rush, hoping to catch the dragon in action.
When he got to the middle of the forest, he slowed. With a soft landing, he stood up and crept behind a tree, wanting to sneak up in the dragon. He waited a few seconds. Nothing happened.
Peeking around the tree, he saw a large cave opening, but no dragon. Curious, Drace stepped around the tree and into the cave. What he saw surprised him.
Little creatures were everywhere. And in the center of them all was a giant dragon corpse. The black dragon.
Drace cursed himself and tried to sneak away. But he was too late. The little creatures saw him.
As they got closer, Drace could see them more clearly. They looked like charred toddlers. Except creepier. They had no ears, lips, or noses, and no eyelids. They gave Drace the creeps, and brought back a certain memory…
Shaking it off, Drace turned to face them.