The Life of a Dragon

Avatre, sole dragon in the realm of Zentaria flew over the countryside, gazing at the wonderful view of trees and lakes. She loved flying. It always made her feel so free and happy. The sun was directly overhead, without a cloud in the sky, and warmed her wings and back comfortably. Her blue-gold scales glinted in the light, and her wing membranes stretched as she glided around the entrance to the cave that was her home.

She folded her wings along her back and dropped in a controlled dive. Not many of her kind could dive like she could, and she was immensely proud of that fact.

Just seconds before she would have hit the ground, she unfolded her wings with a loud crack and touched down lightly on her hind legs, slowly dropping to her forequarters. No one was around to see her aerobatics, but she practiced them as if she had an audience. There was no telling who could be watching her, and she wanted anybody who did see her to think she was an incredibly powerful dragon.

Well she was

Avatre was a beautiful creature, even as dragons went. She was covered from head to tail with beautiful royal blue scales lightly dusted with gold with a long elegant neck and tail, and a fiery nature. Her eyes glowed with a gold that matched the gold on her scales, and her long, membranous wings were a transparent gold that caught and intensified the sunlight. She was beautiful, and she knew it. Arrogance was a part of her nature, as was disdain for any creature that was not a dragon.

That included humans, elves, and the rarely-seen phoenixes. Not unicorns though. Everybody with any sense at all knew that unicorns were beyond the supernatural, and were absolutely amazing and intelligent creatures.

Done with her aerobatics, Avatre walked forward with a grace long practiced into her cave, and into relative safety from watchers. She traversed the twisting tunnels with ease, and found the central lair in a matter of minutes. Dragons' lairs were not simply caves, as humans thought, but incredibly twisty and mazelike, impossible for anyone but a dragon to navigate. They were usually made of several caverns and tunnels, and were impossibly big based on what was visible to the outside.

This was just the first large cavern of several in her cave complex. She thought of it as her great hall, and only a small portion of her hoard was here.

Though it was a very large small portion of her hoard.

She only kept a small part of her hoard here, the closest cavern to the entrance, for fear of someone coming to steal her precious books. For a dragon's hoard was not made of gold and jewels, as the ignorant humans thought, but of books, books, and more books. Her hoard had books of every sort imaginable, from books on humans' perception of the universe to simple fantasies and romances, and she had read them all.

It seemed odd, that if she were a human, she would probably have the same contempt for the draconic species as she did for the humans. Humans, she reflected wryly, think they own the world. Them and the elves. With their cities and towns, and who knows what else 'civilized' they have. Well, I suppose they must be all clustered together, there is so many of them! They breed like mayflies, the lot of them!

In fact, Avatre wouldn't even be surprised if there were halfbreeds between the elves and humans!

Halfbreeds and quarterbreeds and goddess knows what else! She thought contemptuously. The only difference between the two species is the ears, eyes, hair, and complexion! Purely physical! And they're all as dim-witted as toads, with rocks for brains!

She snorted, and a short spout of fire burst from between her teeth. Luckily, draconic magic was that of fireproofing things, ironically, and her books remained untouched.

I suppose we're supposed to make sure we don't ruin everything with flame, she thought, amused.

Towards the back of this first cavelet, there were several tunnels to choose from. She chose the far right one, the one that would eventually lead to the cavern she had chosen for her sleeping-place. She wound her way through the halls, not even switching her eyesight to night-sight. She knew the way by heart.

Occasionally a human or an elf would think to raid her lair for treasure, though not the kind that they found. Whenever that happened, she either waited until they were so lost before approaching them, or she hid just around the corner and lie in wait. Either way, the outcome was always the same. She scorched them where they stood, after letting them know that she wasn't just a mindless animal as they thought. Once a phoenix even found its way in her cave, and she had no idea what to do with it. Neither could hurt the other except for purely physical force, and that would not be good. In the end, she had used her fireproofing power to make its flame go out, then had scorched it.

Interesting how when unprotected by its own flame, a phoenix turns into just a regular bird, she thought.

Any time her cave had been invaded, however, she had become incredibly angry. Fury always made her think more clearly, and she was able to come up with simple solutions to the invasions every time.

She made her way to her sleeping-place quickly. When she reached it, she ran to the center of the cavern, where there was a shallow dip that fit her form perfectly, and lie in the indent to sleep off her meal. Quite comfortable, she sighed in bliss, perfectly content with the way her life went.

Dragons only lived a decade or so longer than elves and humans. Avatre was a youngster, as dragons went. She was only twenty years or so, and would live for another sixty. She wouldn't care if this was the way she spent those next sixty or seventy years.

Cool darkness surrounded her. She was comfortable, full, and feeling decidedly superior to every other creature. She slept soundly and didn't wake until nightfall.

Little did she know that by then, everything would be changed.