This story was inspired by a website that offered you the chance to become a citizen on an island as a humanoid or creature. If anyone knows the URL for that site, PLEASE, PLEASE EMAIL ME! I need to check the information submitted.
A large island in the middle of the Katun sea. A large island called Morl. Home of the alicorn, home of the unicorn, home of the pegasai, home of the dragon.
For several hundreds of years, the dragon and mythical equines have lived together in peace. Occasionally, a humanoid comes and becomes lifepartners with a dragon-but that doesn't happen very often.
Dragons communicate with each other using their own language compounded of easy-sounding words which for some reason, no humanoid has been able to pronounce properly. Most of them gave up after a time as dragons can communicate with them telepathically.
There is also a lingua franca among mythical creatures such as dragons and mythical equines. Most dragons therefore never want for friends and companionship.
Loransha watched over her clutch fondly. The thirty or so eggs gleamed in the sun, their iridescent shells constantly changing hue faster and faster as they came closer to hatching.
Her lifemate, Siarandol, landed next to her and nuzzled her fondly. Unlike Loransha, whose sapphire coloured scales glistened in the sunlight, Siarandol was a deep blood red dragon. Their kinds and colours had never coupled before and most were eagerly awaiting the result.
"It is a fine clutch, Lor-ant-sha."
The blue female looked up from her eggs and recognised the delicate features of her old friend, Corolla. Corolla was standing a good unilength away from the outermost egg, afraid of crushing it.
Unicorn instincts die hard, Loransha thought wryly. If Corolla was to charge the softest egg time and time again, I'd wager her horn would break long before the eggshell did! Corolla was the leader of one of the unicorn herds. She was tall for a unicorn-but not too tall and had mothered countless foals. Corolla had the typical long legs and small body of her kind. Coupled with a deep golden coat, pure white mane and tail, bright blue eyes and a blue horn, she was one of the most beautiful unicorns ever to be hatched on Morl.
"Thanks, my friend," Loransha answered. "We're hoping for them to hatch soon."
"May I and the others come and watch?"
"Of course, Corolla," Loransha replied. "You would be most welcome."
Corolla bowed her graceful head in thanks, then turned and trotted off into the forest.
"She was right about one thing," Siarandol said. "It is a fine clutch."
"Of course," Loransha answered loftily. "Then again, I laid them, so I would think that."
Her mate smiled.
"Justified, in this case."
"I'm not so sure," Loransha said, her fun mood departing rapidly. Rearing back on her hindlegs, she used her foreclaw to point out a small grey egg. "That one hasn't changed much since I laid it. I don't know if it'll hatch or not."
Siarandol, picking up on his lifemate's nerves, nuzzled her neck gently.
"It happens, Loransha. This is our first clutch. There'll be others."
"Mmm." Loransha didn't appear convinced. "I suppose."
"Trust me," the red dragon said softly.
"Trust you?" Loransha echoed. She moved to curl her sinuous neck around his. "You're my lifemate, Siarandol. I would die for you."
Siarandol let out the low growl that was a dragon laugh.
"I hardly think that's going to be necessary!" he said. "After all-"
"Hst!" Loransha craned her neck over a large egg. "Look," she said softly. "It's hatching."
She was almost deafened then as Siarandol snaked his head back and gave an almightly roar, calling all of Morl to witness the event just as the egg cracked open, revealing a gold dragon curled wetly inside.
"Selhenna," murmured Loransha. "Selhenna should be her name."
Beside her, she felt her mate rumble his approval. Next to Selhenna, another egg cracked, revealing the shining body of a red dragon.
"Red-like you," Loransha said. "What should we name him?"
"Shantal, for the sunrise," Siarandol answered. And indeed, the tiny dragon's body did appear to have a hint of orange in it.
There was the sound of furiously galloping hooves and Corolla returned with her herd, flanks heaving. Above them, the rush of wings heralded the arrival of Aviol, the leading stallion of the pegasai and Lyrolte, leader of the alicorns. The aerial equines hovered above the eggs, not wanting to get too close to the newly hatched dragons.
The hatching lasted until sundown. Twenty nine hatchlings-eleven female, eighteen male, six golds, nine reds, two greens, one blue, seven bronzes, two browns and two whites.
Only the underdeveloped egg remained unhatched.
"It happens, Lor-ant-sha," Lyrolte said, trying to console the blue dragon. "My mate Alari laid six eggs when we first clutched and only four of them hatched. You're lucky to have so many healthy ones."
Loransha nodded. She knew what the alicorn was saying made sense.
But that didn't make it any easier to bear.
Suddenly, they heard Corolla cry a warning. A young unicorn was attempting to break the egg.
"Come away from that!" the leader said imperiously.
The unicorn didn't move, only intensified his efforts.
"It wants to get out!"
Ilra answered, frantically using horn, hooves and teeth in an effort to crack the shell. "Can't you hear it? It wants to get out!"
Corolla hesitated. Turning to Loransha and Siarandol, she said in a low voice, "Ilra is a seer. He's only a colt-but he's had these feelings before, and he's been right time and time again. With your permission, I think he should be allowed to try."
Reluctantly, the dragons nodded. Ilra redoubled his efforts.
Suddenly, the entire egg shuddered and there was a faint scratching sound from inside. Ilra backed off, lowered his horn and charged.
He didn't break the shell. Loransha had been right when she'd said that the horn would break long before the shell ever did. Dragon eggshells are harder than diamond and can only be broken from the inside. However, given this current egg's situation, the blow did weaken it enough for the occupant to make a hole in it. As if the first breath of air had awakened the desire to live, the hatchling inside squealed and started scrabbling to widen the hole.
Eventually, exhausted and ravenous, the tiny dragon pulled itself out of its shell and collapsed in the lush grass. Loransha and Siarandol looked at it, then at each other.
The hatchling was female, and it was a black. Not the usual blue black of dragons, but a black with nothing more than a hint of dark blue. The hatchling gave the disconcerting effect of seeming to absorb all the light around her.
And she was small. Only about half the size of her smallest sibling.
Loransha reached up and selected a choice naesiln (a small fruit that both dragons and equines adore) and deposited it by the tiny one's snout. The hatchling opened dull grey eyes and took a small bite, then closed her eyes and went to sleep again.
The two dragons looked over to where Ilra was lying exhausted, his exertions having tired him out.
"Thankyou," Loransha said sincerely. "Thankyou very much."
"Anytime," Ilra panted. "What are-you going-to name her?"
Siarandol looked at his lifemate.
"Kiranu," she said without hesitation. "Steel, for her determination and her colour."