May 21st, 2010
Winter Dragon

The sting of the arrowhead was barely noticeable to the blue dragon. It plunged into his side, little more than a pinprick, as he raced to get home before the full force of winter arrived.

It was only when the magic began to spread, when he dipped precariously low and nearly caught himself on a tree stripped of its leaves, that he realized something was wrong. By then it was too late.

The claws that could sunder a human into pieces or haul a seta-beast’s carcass to his lair for a feast were numb, useless against the arrow. His wings would soon follow.

Beneath him was familiar territory, a neutral valley that served as a flight-way for all dragons. In front of him and to the right were the imposing cliffs marking the outer boundary of the land the blue dragons laid claim to. In front and to the left was territory claimed by scarlet dragons.

Though it would cost a great chunk of his hoard to get help from the scarlet dragons, he knew there was little choice. The distance to the lair-city he called home was too great and he was rapidly losing the ability to fly.

The dragon lifted his head and stretched out his neck, intending to trumpet his request for assistance. But his vocal cords were frozen, rendered as useless as his sharp talons.

A treetop scraped his belly. Fear skittered through him though he refused to let it form an icy knot in his belly.

His knowledge was vast. It was his true hoard, the thing he valued far more than the gold and gems lining the floor of his private lair. And unlike the majority of his kind, whose interests tended to be limited to the dragon world and the pursuit of treasure, he was a being who thrived on studying everything of the world around him—including elves and humans.

Whether it was a human sorcerer or an elf, whoever had sent the spell arrow into his side would have a tracking spell attached to it and would soon arrive to claim their prize. He would use his knowledge to evade their snare.

The dragon silently grunted as the needles of a pine tree rained down on his wing after striking the branch. He made the decision to land and barely reached a small clearing before he lost all ability to fly.

Cold seeped into him immediately. With the last of his will and strength, the dragon whose most private, self-given fifth name was Aizik, forced the change, gave up the dragon’s form for a human one.