You look around you. Last thing you remember, you had clicked on a link at a page offering dragon adoptions, then there was this vivid flash of light and you found yourself here, in this...cave.
Something large and scaly sniffs curiously at your neck and you jump round, startled. There is a green dragon standing there.
Are you waiting for Arint? A voice appears in your head and you realised it came from the dragon.
"I-don't know," you say. "Who's Arint?"
He's the dragon responsible for showing new visitors round, that's who he is! The dragon seems slightly surprised that you didn't know this. Then it collects itself. I'm sorry if you thought I was being short just then. It's just that my sister hatched today and I've been kept busy watching over her. It's getting a real bore!
You glance over to where the dragon looks and see a strange coloured dragon curled up in the shards of its egg. It's black, with multicoloured wing markings and spines, and its egg is a kaleidoscope of colours. "She's beautiful!" you say sincerely. "What's her name?"
Shanant. She's a Black Spectrum dragon-very, very rare. She's in the hatchling stage of her life now.
"What stage are you at?" you ask.
Me? I'm only a child, the next stage up from Shanant. Arint's the oldest; he's a full adult now, and my uncle Narvint isn't far behind. He's an adolescent.
"Oh right," you say.
Talking our guests ears off again, are you, Kirant? A deeper dragon voice enters your mind. You jump and spin round, trying to locate its source and come face to face with a far larger specimen of dragonkind than Kirant. The dragon leans back on its haunches lazily and shoots a jet of fire fifteen feet from its mouth.
Greetings, stranger, it says leisurely. I am Narvint, silver adolescent, and this is my nephew Kirant-but I see you already met.
You introduce yourself.
"I'm looking for Arint," you say. "Can you help me?"
Narvint grins (well, you hope it's a grin) and spreads his wings.
I think he's out flying somewhere; I'll go tell him we have guests.
The white dragon pads softly down a dark tunnel.
Don't mind Narvint, Kirant says dismissively. He only does things like move soundlessly and shoot fire for effect. He isn't really mean.
"Glad to hear it," you reply jokingly. "I'm here looking to bond with a dragon-can you show me some eggs, seeing as you're the keeper of them?"
Kirant preens visibly.
'Keeper of the Eggs'. I like the sound of that! Okay, c'mon and I'll show you. We only got one in at the moment for display and that's a red one. Incidentally, this might be a little off the beaten track but I just remembered that Arint wanted me to tell you, golds aren't always queens you know. Here, they can be either male or female.
"I thought golds were queens and queens were gold," you reply, startled. "That's what all the books say, anyway."
Yeah, true. But it only applies to where the dragons're from. For example, at a Pernese Weyr, you can Impress only golds and greens if you're a female candidate, or any colour except golds if you're male. That's the way Pern works. But here in a Sarin Weyr, you can bond with any dragon, male or female and it doesn't matter what gender you are. Of course, having said that, golds are usually queens. Male golds are very rare-but they exist.
"I see," you say. "Where's the egg?"
Along there. Kirant indicates the place where a glistening purple egg lies against a wall.
"It's kinda big," you say.
We're kinda big, Kirant quips.
"That's true," you concur, and continue to gaze at the egg admiringly.
I see you've found your way in.
The masculine, deep voice, deeper than Narvint's, slips into your mind. You jump round. You've been doing a lot of that since you entered this cave, you note. Then all thoughts are temporarily driven out of your mind as you see Arint hovering near the ceiling.Greetings, I am Arint, blue adult, the dragon continues. Narvint told me you were here. I am sorry I wasn't here to greet you when you arrived-but I wasn't expecting anyone. I've been busy looking after the eggs.
"Actually, that's why I'm here," you say. "I'd like to try and bond with a dragon."
Arint studies you for a few moments, then lands and looks at you expectantly.
Climb on then, he says. You swallow gamely and scramble up between the huge wings. And hang on.
He takes you through numerous dark tunnels and winding corridors, faster and faster before bursting out into the open. The blue dragon then wheels round and dives straight for a glade, landing perfectly. You slip off.
"Uh, thanks," you say.
Arint's eyes gleam.
No problem. Good luck in bonding.
He takes off, leaving you alone in the glade.