This is the story of Laikirr, a young Golden Dragon, who must leave his home after it is attacked by a group of dragon hunters called the Skexie Clan. After watching his father die, he must navigate through a tough terain to be taught the four dragon arts by the four FireStroms. During his journey he meets an array of new friends and foes, but can he protect his sister, Lirria from danger? Or will he lose her too?
The Skexie Clan
Slowly, almost hesitantly, the Sun rose from its hideaway, turning the dark, black cave gray in the morning light. Laikirr rose as the sun rose, holding on to his excitement of the day. His father, Lirradon, Leader of their dragon clan, was going to take him through the forest today. A great privilege it was to be taken through the forest by the great Golden Dragon. As quietly as was possible for the young drake, Laikirr moved towards the entrance of the cave, his excitement bubbling from his entire body, making his soft golden scales shake. His pride of his golden scales nearly overpowered him as he thought of his legacy. He was to be the Leader of their clan after his father. It was mainly due to his golden scales and his larger size. He was bigger than all the other dragons his age, and it was this morning that he would be initiated as a dragonling, on his eighth and tenth year.
As Laikirr finally made his way through the tunnels of the caves he stood on the ledge of the cave, looking out onto the Straphetal Forest. He breathed in the dawn air. His home was beautiful. His family is beautiful. His clan is beautiful. He smiled and thought of his sister, Lirria. She was a young Violettene drake. As was his eighth and tenth year it was hers also. She would go on a tour with their mother Mirra through the caves and then wait for father and son to return, so the celebrations of the twins’ initiation could be commenced.
He heard his father approach quietly, and turned around. “Already your senses are improving my son.” And before the young dragonling stood his father, Lirradon, the great Golden Dragon and the Leader of the Haillek clan. He felt his heart fill with love and pride for his father. “Come, we must take to the forest quickly if we are to return in time for the initiation celebrations.” But what was it that Laikirr heard in his father’s deep voice. Was it regret? Fear? Anger? He was not sure. As he watched his father, he started flexing his much smaller wings, mimicking his father. In seconds they took off, flying up above the cave and then plummeting down toward the forest, pulling up in time to see a great flock of red and blue birds fly away. But these birds do not fly away when the dragons pass by, Laikirr thought. He stared into the forest, scanning the forest floor. There he saw gray, almost like a gray carpet covering the forest floor. He shivered, wishing away the awful sight. Had Lirradon seen the giant gray carpet?
“There is a clearing up ahead, we will land there.” Lirradon bellowed over the wind.
Once they reached the clearing, which was more like a giant meadow, Lirradon led Laikirr to a streaming river and laid down next to it.
Lirradon sighed and stared off into the giant forest. “Times are changing Laikirr.”
“What do you mean father?” Laikirr was confused by his father’s sad musing.
Now, Lirradon stared at Laikirr and said, “The age of Dragons is coming to an end, my son. The last son of Edward has died, and now a member of the Skexie clan has taken his place.”
“What’s a Skexie?”
“Who, not what, my son,” he sighed again and stared into the forest. “The Skexie are Dragon Hunters, sworn enemies of us. The Garnetian Dragons have defiled all of our trust, for they have sold themselves into the Imposter Skexie king’s services to lead his men to us.” A flaming tear streaked its way down his large face, disappearing into the scales. “We are to be killed once we are found, you and I. I have told the rest of the clan not to fight, so they can survive. Although I do believe we are the lucky ones, you see, once the dragons are taken to Duavrock, they are to become slaves of our kingdom.” Another tear made its way into his scales.
Laikirr stared at his father, appalled that he would just die. “And you expect me to just sit and wait for them to kill me?” He heard the sorrow and anger in his own voice.
“No, Laikirr. I expect you to escape with Lirria, so that you can find the four FireStroms, to free Eleazar and to restore Dragonkind to our former glory.” He looked at his son, and said, with more despair and sorrow Laikirr had ever heard, “I will sacrifice myself for you, my son. You will be great Leader.” He paused, staring into the river, “You will be a great King.”
Just as Laikirr was about to ask what his father had meant, he heard them come into the clearing. Lirradon got to his feet in a matter of seconds and said, “Fly to the caves, to the top, your mother will be there with your sister.” He stared down at his son, who was now on his feet also, and nudged him away. Laikirr took flight, with some difficulty. Once he was higher than the trees, he looked down in the now ashen meadow, where his father met his eyes in his last moment of victory. And then there was pain in his eyes and he bellowed one word, one name that would scar Laikirr for the rest of his life.
“Duavrock!” and then he collapsed onto the charred grass, with a caped man standing on top of him. He looked up at Laikirr and smiled a murderous smile with amusement.
Laikirr flew as fast as he could, reaching the top of the caves with firey tears disappearing into his scales. It was misty there. He crept around, searching. He dodged an arrow just in time to see his mother turn the fowl Skexie into a charred statue of black bones.
“Laikirr!” She rushed over to him and enfolded him in her wings. She had soft wings for a dragon.
He stared up at her and asked, “Where is Lirria?”
On queue, Lirria dug her sharp nose into his side. “You two must go, now.” Mirra ordered. She blew a wisp of smoke onto each of their heads. “You must go to the desert, and find Glyphon, the Master of Flight. After, you must find Infasta, the Master of Flame, Nephael, the Master of Magics, and Skulbraken, the Master of Battle.”
They could hear the other Skexie coming.
“Good-bye Mother.” Both the young dragonlings said to their beloved mother.
And then they were flying, away from their home. Away from their beloved Haillek clan and Straphetal forest and caves.
Flying, to the deserted wilderness of the Desert of Flames.