The drakeling bellowed, its otherworldly cry resonant and aching in the skulls of the nearby hunters. There are no dragons, it mourned. There are no wings among us. We are the last of the great creatures. We are the last and we are the lost.
Alenne padded barefoot across the vine bridge while balancing a couple baskets of starfruit and melons. She was starting to enjoy her new-found home in the eastern jungle, minus the swarms of mosquitoes and aggressive poisonous flora. There was nothing to fear, really, not with her half-immortality earned from sipping the last dragon’s blood. She had drawn a drop from the King’s chalice before his coronation ceremony, and the priests and nobles were none the wiser. Earning the right to test the royal banquet for poison had taken her many long years of political maneuvering, but it was a price worth paying in the gastronomical paradise that is the kingdom of Remorra.
The chalice was prepared in the soaring halls of Naira’s Temple, the goddess of seers. Talon had slept in the rafters on a makeshift hammock that was hidden by the numerous banners and tapestries spread for the coronation. During the day, she made a big show of placing decorations and fruits and overnight pastries for the royal kitchens. In the busy beehive of ceremonial preparations, one little maiden was easy to miss. That night, with a blunted needle hooked on a spool of thread, she dipped the the tip into the chalice and reeled back a drop for herself and for her beloved. She did not know that Danim would die from the droplet. but she felt no guilt. Danim lived the same way she did, seeking danger and thrills via any possible outlet. His death was his risk.
Allene set the buckets on her dirt-packed floor and checked her hands for splinters. Robbed of illness and aging, her only remaining threats were physical and external. It was a shame father barred her from completing her training with the Royal fencers, but it was her own fault for breaking the law in first place.
Allene was vaguely aware that her list of friends had dwindled to none over the years. She thought it wouldn’t matter; that new lands and new people would provide the cork to that overflowing hole in her heart, put people began to shun her as dragonskin started to grow on her body. It was certainly hard to charm a reckless noble with patches of iridescent scales sprouting on your cheeks. At least Rogan, the sympathetic stable boy, had orchestrated her escape before anyone discovered her treasonous activity. He was perhaps still a friend, but a friend so far away was of little use on such a lonely, pensive night.