Greetings. This will be my first story here on Fiction Press and I do hope you all like it. Reviews, good or bad are appreciated; flames are ignored or possibly mocked. ^_^

The characters held within this story are of my own creation and have been around in my mind since I roughly the age that I was ten, at which time they sprang to life within the endless universe that is my imagination.

This is the story of a dragon's life, from hatchling to elder. It will at times be written in first person and other times in third, since he is remember most of it, reminiscing in his older years.

I am a Wiccan, and as such I am using many Wiccan principles in this story. If you're anti-wiccan or anti-pagan this is not the story for you and you will need to move on to other things.

Without further a due I give you my story.

~ Part I: Memories of a Hatchling ~

"In the beginning there was the spirit. Pure, peaceful, and tranquil and this energy spread throughout time and space and the universe was made. Within this universe were made the mortals and the immortals. Upon one planet, that which was called Earth, that which was called Gaia, that which humans would call "the" world. There was a variety and multitude of varied life upon this realm, but one life form reigned supreme.

"Conjured by the very life forces of the spirit itself, set upon the world to guide those less wise and less powerful through life to great dreams and hopes. There projections of spirit were called Dragons in mortal tongue, and to pronounce their name in the language of the immortals would take far longer than the average mortals life span and yet would seem only seconds to the immortals themselves, for the immortals vision of time and it's passing is far varied than that of the mortal beings of earth.

"The dragons watched over man and beast, and they soon saw that man required deities, beings of substance with which they could witness the power of spirit. And so the dragons told spirit of this and the spirit took on many forms, to suite the different needs of the many peoples of the world.

"The spirit took on two primary forms, the forms to which the dragons reported their observations to, these two forms were the Lord, ruler of the sun and skies and the Lady, mother of the earth and moon.

"And so the spirit spread itself through out the land in hopes that it could help mortals live life in peace and harmony much the way it itself always felt."

This story is past down from mother to hatchling. Every dragon knows it, for it is our sacred duty to defend the world and those who dwell within it. The Lord and the Lady as well as the gods and goddesses of other cultures tried valiantly to help humans leave peacefully with one another and other species, but it was not meant to be, like all beings, humans had freewill, something that even the gods themselves could not mettle with, and so they began to corrupt and slowly there golden age deteriorated, and their own gods began to be corrupt, like humans they grew greedy, sinful, and wicked.

The elder gods, as we dragons called them, the Lord and the Lady, were free of this purge, for those who worshipped them were always in contact with my kind and we dragons could guide them in the right direction.

So it was that we dragons watched as the humans fought and slaughtered each other, as their civilizations rose and fell, truly it became almost fascinating to us, to see the way these poor misguided souls quarreled and massacred each other. But I digress, allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Cevryn.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

"Claws as big as your horse and teeth as long as your entire body!"

That was what most men said when asked what the elder dragon living high in the misty mountains, but there was so much more to it. Humans looked upon a dragon and they saw a giant beast that could and, as far as they were concerned, would eventually try to destroy their homes and land.

In the beginning people knew of and loved the dragons, but then corruption set in. There is always a balance. Where there is good there must naturally be evil. Where there is light there is also dark. Where there is happiness there is sadness. Where there is life there is death.

For the humans wisdom, peace, and prosperity itself, they're in turn came confusion, anger and famine to balance them out. All good things brought unto themselves a negative balance much like a magnet holds a positive and a negative side.

Humans were the ones most easily corrupted by these balances for they are weak and with a will of their own. After them, the god specific to each race of humans began to be affected by the negative things, because their followers were corrupted by them. The gods did not choose to be affected by things such as greed, hatred and jealousy. They were affected because those who worshipped them were affected.

After this the other races, both mortal and immortal were touched by the darkness and changed, for better or worse, in ways they could not prevent.

Then came the elves, second only to the dragons in their wisdom and knowledge, as the dragons were the guardians of life itself, the elves were the guardians of the earth. Slowly but surely clans of elves grew corrupted and from these clans came the wicked elves.

Then, finally, the dragons themselves. Few and far between were the dragons who were touched by corruption and rarely did they survive long for other dragons and the humans were swift to put them down for fear of the damage they would do, but it was from these corrupt dragons that the human race forgot the dragons of old, their guardians and friends, and grew to fear and hate the Dragon race.

Cevryn heaved a great sigh as he thought upon this. At nearly sixty feet tall from fore legs to head, roughly a hundred feet long and a wingspan of nearly eighty feet from a humans vantage the dragon might very well seem the type to attack a town in a rage and leave it coated in ash and death. But if you knew them, you knew that a dragon was no threat to a human, a dragon would never hurt someone, unless they tried to hurt him or her first.

Despite this, Cevryn did carry the appearance of a dangerous beast, and no doubt were he stirred into attacking he would be. His claws, white as marble, were indeed as big as well sized horse, but his fangs certainly weren't as big as a man's body the largest ones were probably only 5 feet, more likely 4 and a half. He had a row of icy blue plates from his chin down his long neck, under his chest and fading away half way down his tail.

His scales were a sparkling cerulean blue, and if not for the lack of webbing in his hands and feet and the absence of gills, along with the addition of those massive wings, one might have easily mistaken him for a sea serpent.

His tail was long and at it's tip was a menacing barb that, when it pierced flesh secreted a poison that only he chose the dosing of. At it's weakest it acted as a tranquilizer that could help a wounded person relax while Cevryn did his best to heal them, at it's strongest it could kill a bull elephant in three seconds, it was this stinger that earned him his nickname among the uncorrupted mortals, the Celts, as they were called. To them he was known as Scorpio.

His eyes were a brilliant sparkling silver, with that shimmering look that lightning had, splitting the sky as if too signal the start of a massive onslaught brought on by the fury of Mother Nature.

It was raining now, he hadn't noticed it till now as he paused in his thoughts once more. He looked out of his lair over the forest, watching the rain pour down over the world. He smiled lightly and closed his eyes, and listened to the Lady sing. It was not a true song, not in the sense that humans think of songs. The Lady sang with her powers, the rain itself was her song, and to Cevryn it was beautiful.

He sighed softly and pushed himself up, walking slowly out of the cave, half way out of it he stretched out his body, much like a cat, then slunk all the way out and stood, looking to the sky as the rain fell down upon him.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

I remember my hatching as strong as well as I remember all the rest of my life. It is our business to remember. We remember every moment of our lives, for that is what we are, the all wise, the all powerful. The guardian's of life. If we don't remember our own lives, how can we possibly help other beings with their lives?

Still, there are parts of our lives we dragons wish we could forget. Not a day goes by that I don't wish I could forget my hatching.

It had only been a few months' months. My sisters and brothers and I lay curled in the lair, waiting for our mother to return from the hunt for our supper. It was raining, much as it is now. My sister, Azriel nestled against me as thunder rumbled outside our lair. I was the biggest, I was the oldest born nearly a full day before my siblings, mother always said I would grow to be a great warrior because of my determination. Like most families we had a runt in our group, Azriel, my dear little sister. My two brothers and three other sisters picked on her for being so small, the size of a pony when the rest of us were the size of horses, in my case bigger than a Clydesdale.

I wrapped my tail and one wing about her and told her it was all right. She asked when mother would return. I told her if we listened carefully maybe we could here her flying home to us, we closed our eyes and listened.

Thunder, thunder, lightning, thunder- No. No, not thunder. I listened more intently and my eyes sprang open. Horse's hooves.

The dreaded horse's hooves. When we were but a few days old mother taught us that, were we ever to here horses we were to burry ourselves as deep as we could within the depths of our lair and that whatever happened she would keep those horses and their riders from us.

I didn't know what riders were then, but I knew my mother feared for our safety whenever we were about, and for that I feared them too. I listened even more intently; it was so loud, so close. These weren't just a few riders, these were many.

I yelled for my siblings to retreat into the cave. I was the oldest, I was the biggest, and my mother wasn't there. I had to do my best to keep those riders from my siblings.

I remembered what my mother taught me as I listened to my siblings scrambling into the depths of our lair.

"If ever I am not their to protect you, it will be your mission to protect your siblings. Stand tall, spread your wings as wide as you can, snarl, bare your claws, and when they try to approach, roar. Roar with all your might!"

And I did roar, I roared as loud as I could, and for a time it worked, the first few riders backed away. I was terrified, but I didn't let it show in my outward appearance. These monsters were hideous, clad in strange metal scales and head cages, they wielded sharp sticks that looked as if made of metal, and they hurt! After my second roar they charged me, they slashed and stabbed with those sharps sticks and I tore at there horses with my claws, but I was no match for an entire army of riders, at least six dozen, I was over whelmed quite quickly.

They kept me cornered against the wall, 15 of them with those sharp metal sticks and then the others went down into the cave. I heard roars and cries from my siblings, and then I heard her cry, my baby sister, little Azriel cried out in pain, cried my name, cried for help.

I couldn't let that go unnoticed; I could not let them take her without first having to go through me. I heard her cry again, this was not just pain, she was in agony, I could feel it, she was dying, and I SNAPPED.

There is an old vow among dragons. 'Thou shall never take a life for naught.'

In other words, you do not take life without good reason. Good reasons such as: for food or for protection. I was taking lives for protection, but it wasn't necessary, if I were a wiser, stronger older dragon, I might have maintained my control, I would have known I could simply have chased away our attackers.

But I was not wiser or stronger or older, I was young, and the only thing I heard were my sister's cries of death and pain, and those cries drove me to tear through my captors with teeth and claw. Mere months into my life and I was already pitched headlong in all or naught battle to save my life and the lives of those I was sworn to protect.

It would probably seem logical if it were a human hearing my story. After all I did what any family member would do for his loved ones, I fought off their attackers, and the fact that I killed them in the process probably wouldn't matter in human eyes, as long as I saved my family.

But it's different for dragons. We don't approve of taking life. We don't like to do it. We don't like to hunt and kill and wound. But in that brief time, in that small span in which I slaughtered my enemies one by one. I liked it.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The mighty dragon heard his stomach rumble and he decided it was time to find fresh food. He took to the air, lifting into the sky even as lightning snaked through the clouds, storms were no threat to him, he was of their elements, his roar like thunder, his elemental attack that of lightning.

He took the skies, dipping and weaving in the air as the rain pattered down upon him. He closed his eyes and glided gently, the memories coming flooding back once more.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

I tore through the riders metal clothes like the fangs through flesh. One by one I found my siblings. My brothers lay side by side before the entrance to our slumber chambers, alive, but barley, bless to the goddess for their Courage, in the moment it didn't register in my mind, but as I look back upon it I remember the wounds I could see inflicted upon their bodies, they had done their best to keep the riders from reaching our sisters.

I recall bite through the armor of one of the Riders still standing over them, which would account for the chipped fang I can feel with my tongue now as I fly. I whipped the other into the wall with my tail, I saw is body go limp and heard a series of crunching sounds that made me feel somehow as if justice had been served.

I charged down the corridor into our slumber chamber, and there. There was the second born of my mother's hatchlings, my sister Viona laid dead at the back of the slumber chamber, where she had apparently done her best to keep the riders from proceeding deeper into our caves. Several of the riders still stood over her, they were hacking and stabbing her lifeless form with their metal sticks, slicing at her beautiful scales and tearing away her claws. They were dishonoring her body and I knew then the truth. These creatures had no honor, and so I gave them none in my attack. I ravaged their bodies as they had ravaged my sister, I left them alive though, with such grievous wounds that they would be forced to lay motionless, suffering, and praying that the reaper would be merciful to their soulless lives.

For some reason, I tarried briefly before my dishonored sister's forlorn form and watched her silently. Perhaps it was a brief insight into how I would consider things many years in the future, as I consider things now, in my prime, rather than then, but I felt she deserved at least a moment in which for me to simply be with her. I felt tears watering up in my eyes, and new I could not stay longer. I kissed my once beautiful sisters cheek and then turned, and slunk into the shadows that led to my mother's treasure chambers.

It was here that she kept all the trinkets she acquired in her life. If there's one thing about dragons that humans do still recall it's that we have affection for trinkets. We like to keep things humans have made that we find, they're amusing to us, and so we stockpile them, sometimes even find true uses for them in our own species way of life.

As I entered my Mother's treasure chamber, piled high with what she told me, to humans was a wealth beyond imagination, trinkets of gold jewelry, their metal clothes and sharp sticks, which later of course I knew to be armor and weaponry.

My mothers treasure chamber was a great domed cavern with stalactites and stalagmites jutting from its floors and upped walls some so long they'd created pillars. The ceiling had long ago crumbled away, and my mother had cleared the debris so that it made a perfect skyward entrance from which she could fly in and out of.

The riders had taken advantage of this. They had constructed huge imposing machinery, traps it seemed, which were all stationed to aim for my mother's entrance way. They made to murder her too, and this was something that drove me even further into my rage. I lifted my wings and roared, this wasn't a roar like I had given in the front corridor of our lair, a meek, force sound to meagerly attempt to impose the riders. This was loud, echoing and, apparently to them, terrifying for I saw afterward that they shook in their armor as they drew their weapons.

I cared not for their petty sticks this time. I charged head long into the first group of riders, hack with claws and whipping with my tail, I sent them flying with a strength I was unaware I possessed. I would later learn from my mother that this was called dragon rage, a tactic most dragon's tried to avoid, for the anger and hatred that was needed to use it successfully, I to would learn to try and avoid it, though it would be many, many years before I had control over my anger at the horse riders for what they had done.

Piece by piece, slash by slash, I reduced their contraptions to rubble and ripped their bodies to ribbons. In the after math of my attack I whirled around, throwing my head hither and thither looking for my sister's somewhere in the great expanse of the treasure room. I heard then more of the rider's shouts and I charged through the chamber down a shadowy corridor, toward our springs. Here in the cave a series of springs had, over many centuries long past, created a large underground lake, it possessed strange elements to it, my mother said, elements of magic my siblings and I were to young to understand.

As I entered the spring rooms I saw them, Azriel and Zaria, huddled together, my two little sisters, pinned in by the largest mass of the army of Riders, at least twp dozen of the metal clad humanoids were around them poking at stabbing at them. Zaria snapped at them in turn, Azriel was not moving. Zaria couldn't fight them, she was a dragon of magick, not of war, my mother had explained each of our talents, if Zaria lived and grew she might one day become a great healer of our kind. I was said to be blessed in that I possessed talents of both war and magick, but young and angry as I wise, I had the sense to know when I was outnumbered. I looked about as if hoping to find some easy way to defeat them, but it was not meant to be, I was beginning to panic, my sisters were being murdered before my eyes and I didn't know how to stop it.

I felt a strange sensation in my chest, almost as if all my emotions were building up inside me and was now ready to crack the dam that held them at bay. Sure enough, it cracked, I felt a great torrent of emotion, fear, anger, panic, rage, sadness, all being combined into another large roar, only this time, when I opened my jaws, the sound wasn't a dragon bellow, it was a crackle, a low rumble, and then, streaks of silvery white shot from within my body, jolts of electricity which were drawn straight to the men's metal clothing. Their bodies writhed and spasmed, some of them were thrown off their feet in random directions, those that avoided the attack looked at me in astonishment, and I'm sure, were I able to look at my self, I would look astonished too, I didn't know what in the spirits name I'd just done, but it gave my sisters time, Zaria nudged my sister to her feet, and with a slash of her tail Zaria cleared a path through which she and Azriel ran to me and moved behind me.

There were fourteen now, still to many for one hatchling and his wounded sisters to fight, however, I could tell that they, like the others before them, were shaken by my sudden show of strength. I thought of a plan, one that I don't even know how I created, I didn't even know how to speak human, nor did I know their thoughts and actions yet, but somehow, I knew, if I could speak, and they understood, if I could be imposing enough to add even a little more fear to their already terrified minds, I could force them out of our lair.

I swallowed the fear welling up in my chest, and spread my wings wide, as my mother had always told me to do when I wanted to seem threatening, and then, taking a deep inhale of breath, I spoke, willing my words to be the type that these humanoids would understand.

"Hear me, villains! You hath entered our lair unbidden, and unwelcome! Your army lies in ruins, you shall not win, LEAVE, NOW! AND NEVER RETURN!"

My words held a conviction and depth which seemed to come from a creature far older and larger than myself, even I felt imposed by them.

The metal clad riders stared at me, and then, one by one they dropped their pointy sticks, and they ran.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Cevryn circled the woodlands, his eyes rolling over the tree tops searching for movement, something large enough to provide a decent meal, but he saw nothing, but then, away in the woods to his left he saw a sparkle of white. He dove down toward the tree tops, following the white form as it ran through the trees, heading for a glade ahead of him.

'Perfect' he thought to himself as he trailed his intended prey.

It emerged into the glad, tall, white and pristine. Cevryn was shocked, and rather appalled that he had intended to attack this creature that now looked up at him with an almost cheeky look in her eyes.

The Elder landed, folding his wings and bowing his head.

"My apologies holy one, I realized not what you were." He said in a shameful tone.

The creature smiled, her brilliant blue eyes sparkling.

"Do not fret wise one, a mistake any could make in such dark woods on a stormy eve. Her glittering horn bathed herself and the dragon in a pale silvery light as she shook her head and tail free of water.

Cevryn smiled lightly at the Unicorn, but kept his head bowed in respect. No matter how high of stature you were, a unicorn was a rare, beautiful and powerful thing, and it was most important to treat their kind with reverence and dignity.

"Tell me, Cevryn of the storms, why do you haunt the skies on this eve?" She asked him. Her voice was as soft and rhythmic as the strumming of a harp. Her lips moved not and inch but the words were heard all the same.

"My supper, M'lady, though it seems all would be food has retired away from the rain and the wind." He replied.

She nodded softly.

"Go to the stream three miles westward, there it is full with fish and you shall be able to eat your fill, go swiftly great dragon, for there is more than food there that you are meant to meet."

Cevryn was puzzled by her words, but it was the way of a unicorn to leave you puzzled, to give you a quest but not to explain it, and that is what she had done. He bowed his head low, and she did the same, and then he took to the air once more and she vanished away into the woodlands.

As told he hastened to the stream with utmost speed, using the currents of the wind to let him glide for great distances and reserve his energy. He made the three miles swiftly and circled the river, gliding slowly downward, settling on the rain soaked shores he lifted his wings up to shield himself from the rain as he searched the shore. He looked for whom or what it was he was meant to find, but he saw nothing, and then he remembered the unicorn said he was meant to find something as well as his food. He realized she may have meant that only if he ate would he find what he was meant to find, and so he moved closer to the river and dipped his jaws into the water, coming up with a mouthful of trout and bass which had all come out to enjoy the rain in the birth of the evening.

He swallowed the fish and looked about once more, still nothing out of the ordinary, and so he continued eating, and slowly, his mind wandered he stopped thinking of searching for what he was meant to find and contently continued with his meal, and only then, relaxed, calm, and no longer searching for that which he sought, did he find it.

As he lift his head out of the water a third time, once more with a mouthful of fish, he found that something clung to his snout, it was wet and heavy, and, to his surprise, appeared to be a living creature. Quickly he pulled it from his snout and lifted a hand, cradling it as he swallowed the fish and looked down upon the creature. It was a woman, a very beautiful young woman, clad in a traveling cloak.

He realized that she must have fallen into the river at some point crossing one of the bridges. He recalled the unicorn's words now, and he realized this was it. He was meant to find this woman. If he was not their, feeding from the banks, her body would not have been swept up onto his snout, she would have been carried down the stream another mile and then thrown from the waterfalls to a most gruesome demise.

With a sweep of his wings he took to the air, holding the woman in his hands as he soared through the wet sky, back towards his mountain lair.

~ * ~ * ~ *

Aurora, dragoness of the mists, found her lair strewn with the bodies of humans, dragon slayers from their armor. A wave of panic washed over her as she charged through the caves. Two of her sons lay at the entrance to her slumber chambers, they were alive, bless the spirit. She scooped them up into her arms and moved into the slumber chamber, gently setting them in their nest she crooned softly to them, told them she would return, then she moved to enter the next chamber, and their, at it's entrance way lay her oldest daughter.

She looked upon Viona's torn and mangled body and tears rolled down her silvery cheeks, she cradled her hatchling in her hands and nuzzled her lifeless form and wept.

"What sort of monsters could do such heinous deeds?" she thought as she looked about once more, softly laying Viona's body beside her two brothers where they slept, already their natural recovery was healing their wounds as they dozed.

She looked around once more as a knew thought occurred to her, who had slain these slayers? And where were the rest of her brood? She moved to her treasure horde, there she found catapults and spear launchers aimed for her skyward entrance, but all had been dismantled by great blows.

She looked once more for her hatchlings but found nothing and so she moved to the underground springs, and there, she found them. Her eldest born son and her two youngest daughters huddled together.

Cevryn's body was covered in cuts and stabs, bruises and blows, she realized now who had done all this damage. She realized now that her son had fulfilled his duty to defend his siblings. Even now he lay over Azriel and Zaria protectively.

She smiled just barely, and nuzzled his cheek, never had she felt so proud of one of her hatchlings.

~*~* FIN*~*~

A.N. Well there you have it folks. Part one, quite possibly the longest chapter I've ever written for one story at a full 10 pages long, I'm in awe of myself.

Now, I realize there are a few grammar problems, but cut me a little slack, it's not like I'm planning to publish this or something, hopefully it's at least readable.

Now I know that, from feed back, the first and third person switches may be a bit confusing, so just let me know if that's so and I'll include a small notice at the break points to say if it's a memory of the past or present time.

Thank you for reading, and please, do review it.