There is a flash of white light, so bright you have to cover your eyes. As soon as it's died down, you look around. You're not sure where you are (something that you've got used to experiencing ever since you clicked on the link to that page 'DragonWorld Legends and Adoptions')
You hear the sound of running water. You still never found that stream you were looking at when Heather stopped you from going any further and you've gotten thirstier on the tour, so you head in the sound of the water.
When you arrive, you're completely dumbfounded. You're in a huge glade surrounded by all manner of trees. There is a crude hut next to a large lake but there is no sign of life. However, you don't really care about this as you're too thirsty. You pause at the edge of the quarry that the lake is in and start to drink, practically hanging upside down.
"There's some fresher water in the hut, if you're interested."
You jump. Bad move. Particularly when you're precariously balanced on the edge of a small cliff over a deep lake and defying all the laws of physics and gravity.
SPLASH! You fall headlong into the water. Luckily, you're a strong swimmer and surface a few minutes later, treading water. Something flies past your face and you jump violently, going under again.A baby blue fire lizard hovers a few feet away, chittering rapidly. If you didn't know better, you'd think it was laughing at you!
"Oh, I'm so sorry!" You see a nice looking (if slightly dorky) young boy standing on the edge of the lake. "No, really, I am!" He reaches down and pulls you out easily. "My name's Berand," he says, holding out a hand. There is a squelch of lake weed and mud as you shake it and you both flush.
"Look, I really didn't mean to make you jump like that," Berand persists. "Drurl," he says scoldingly to the fire lizard, "quit laughing at 'em!"
"Forget it," you say, a little bored already with his bumbling apologies.
"Annoying our guests again, are you?"
Both of you turn round and see a girl perhaps a year older than Berand approaching from the forest with a bronze fire lizard no older than Drurl flying behind her.Unlike Berand, who is short with brown hair in a straight cut and green eyes, this newcomer is tall, about five foot ten with thick blue-black hair down to her waist and electric blue eyes. Berand grins happily and you raise an eyebrow. Oh. They're...together.
"Berand! What's new?"
Berand shakes his head.
"Nothing much. Sharlene's in there, doing some of her 'drawing' again, I just caused this person to take an unexpected swim and Drurl's been playing around again."
"'Sharlene'?" you ask pointedly.
"She's the only permanent resident here," Berand answers. "The rest of us do shifts in the Glade."
"Where did the flits come from?" you persist.
"Oh, well, it gets a little lonely out here on our own and they needed to make up the numbers in the first fire lizard Impressions, so we said that we'd apply.
"Asalri, what's going on? Who's this human?"
"Ah...may I introduce you to our other permanent resident," Asalri says, affection edging her tones. "She's a Limepa dragon-one of the highest ranking, and a white female called Lorensha-after the dragon in Kiranu's Legend; you know?" You shake your head and Asalri pauses, nonplussed. "Oh. Oh, of course, Althne did tell me. We're working on that particular Legend right now. Incidentally, it's got nothing to do with the SKAN; it's one of the few that doesn't in this place," she adds with a snort. "Once we get it written out, it'll be placed in the library with the rest. Anyway, to get back to the main topic, Lorensha comes from Liquid Mercury Castle. Actually, even with the flits, it does get kinda lonely here. I'm really glad she finally hatched-that's stopped Shar from asking 'When's it gonna hatch?' every two minutes! Those two are a right pair! Speaking of dragons and flits, by the way, this baby, bronze, ballistic...er..." You see Asalri struggle mentally for other words beginning with 'b' to complete the alliteration. Finally she gives up. "Anyways, he's called Shan."
"Hello Shan," you say. The fire lizard croons a reply.
"Aww, he likes you," Berand says teasingly. "Asalri, I really should get going. I'll see you around."
"Asalri, when's dinner?" Lorensha asks plaintively.
"Oh, honestly, don't you ever think of anything besides your stomach?" Asalri says teasingly. "Okay, okay, okay!" she adds, as Lorensha rams her head into the human's thigh imperiously. "If you go into the hut, Shar might have something for you..." She lets her voice trail off tantalisingly.
"Okay, 'Sal! See you soon, human!" Lorensha turns and pads into the hut.
"So what can I do for you?" Asalri asks. "You can either rendez-vous with Heather-she said she'd wait for you in the Karmal Forest-or you can follow Berand back home."
"How can I get to the Karmal Forest from here?" you ask.
"No probs," Asalri answers lightly. "Hey Shar!"
A small girl about five or six years old sticks her head out of the door.
"Can you take our guest back to Karmal Forest?"
"Oooaaaww, Asalri! Do I have to?"
"If you want Muri to visit, yes! Anyway, I thought you wanted to show off your fire lizard to everyone you met!"
"Okay!" The girl steps out, closely followed by a brown fire lizard. "This is Crescent my fire lizard," she tells you. "I'm Sharlene, and I'd like to see my friend Muri today and I really want to get back in time to play with Lorensha so can we go now? Pleeaase?"
"Okay, okay," you say, laughingly as you follow Sharlene back to where Heather is waiting.
"Come back anytime," Asalri calls after you. "Perhaps when you do, Lorensha will be able to talk about something besides food!"
"I heard that!" Lorensha says from the hut, albeit through a mouthful of food.
Laughing, you thank Asalri and leave Rilar Glade.