The Chronicles of Hyrterna, Book 1: Water's Surface

There was a certain buzz to the air that night. People were whispering to each other, or cooing their dragons to relax, but it was impossible to dispel the anxiousness and nervousness of all the riders. It was well past midnight, and the nearby town was all but dead, most of the inhabitants drunk from the celebration of earlier that night. Aran, The general of the dragon riders, cantered by on his horse in an attempt to bring his soldiers into order. It took some time before the riders quieted and took their places next to their dragons. Once the only sound was the distant clanking of armour, Aran spoke.

"We gather tonight, not as civilians, not as mortals, but as warriors!" He bellowed, and a hushed cheer resonated through the crowd. "Tonight, we defend our land and our allies! Tonight we show the Savannah Nation that we, the Mountain Nation, will not be pushed around! They will remember the men and women of the Mountain Nation as a force to be reckoned with!" More cheers erupted from the warriors. "Let us ride, brothers and sisters, to battle!"

Ilya, a rookie of a rider gazed at the sky, wondering whether the victims of that night's siege would gaze down at her once they were departed from their mortality. Her dragon, Eternal, raised her head to the sky and breathed a trail of black smoke up into the blacker atmosphere. Thunderclouds ominously covered the sky, pushed into different forms by the winds of east.

Aran's dragon, a huge beast with fiery wings and spiked horns by the name of Unbroken raised himself into his hind legs and took off with a furious beat of his wings. One by one the other dragons took off and followed their leader. Ilya was one of the last to leave, as her dragon was small and would be crushed otherwise. Ilya watched as the other bigger and more powerful dragons went and each picked up a large boulder from the pile of rock fragment. Eternal was fast and agile, not suited for heavy lifting – Ilya and Eternal were spear throwers.

Ilya clutched her spears her chest, held in place by her saddle. As she looked about, she saw some riders that flew towards their target confidently, and she saw some riders that looked as scared as she felt. She fought to calm her harsh breathing, and the utter confidence she had in Eternal helped her remember that she was a respected and honourable dragon rider, and honourable dragon riders do not fear war or battle. She stretched her mind, connecting with Eternal.

Her mind was met with confidence and determination. Eternal loved flight and despite being small charged into every battle headfirst.

That was when the first wave of attacks began. The stronger dragons began dropping the boulders on houses, shops, and the small building that hid all the weapons and militia that the town had in stock. The sound was terrible: a falling whistle followed by splintering wood and a thunderous boom and the boulder finally hit the bottom. People woke and began screaming words and curses of terror. Families ran from their homes, the parents desperate to protect their beloved children. Whatever horses hadn't been scared away by instinct of the dragons impending visit now broke away from their frantic masters and exited the town. By the time all the boulders had fallen, half the inhabitants were already dead, and a third more were gravely injured.

Suddenly, the boulder-carrying dragons flew up and back, leaving the sky clear for the spear throwers to rain upon the survivors. Ilya and Eternal, like their companions, dropped down to only a hundred feet above the ground. Just like hunting the wolves, Ilya reminded herself, anticipate their movements. She changed the grip of her spear, pointing it downwards, and Eternal did her best to steady herself. Ilya picked out a target: a man cowering behind a cart. She launched her spear downwards and it struck true, impaling through his chest. The screams of terrified people rose to her ears as she prepared another spear. Her next victim was a mother hugging her children. Ilya was about to kill her second victim that night, but another rider impaled the mother, and two more spears killed the children. Ilya looked away for a moment. Will I kill children when I am no longer a novice? She asked herself. Will I loose my humanity? As she thought this, she sent her spear down, killing another woman who was running down the streets. Ilya sent her three remaining spears flying, and all but one struck true, killing her intended victims. Once out of ammo, she and Eternal flew upwards, as did the other spear throwers once they were done. At Aran's command, the dragons began diving down, grabbing up the few remaining survivors and killing them. Once no one appeared to be left alive, the last wave of attack began. The dragons glided along the surface of the town, setting everything on fire with their hot breaths.

It was a night everyone would remember as the night the dragons blocked out the stars.