The latest draft is coming along nicely. Up to chapter 4 with 17,239 words. Now written from a first person perspective, it has been a much greater joy for me to write, and hopefully for you to read. Here are a few samples.
The very idea of a dragon being a hero is beyond ludicrous.
We are the stuff of nightmares for the lesser creatures of the world. To behold our size and majesty is enough to drive most adventurers to madness. Our power is without equal. Our intellect without boundaries. Our will worthy of the deities. And the lifespan of a single Saar is enough to watch an entire civilization be born, grow old, and die. We do not meddle in the affairs of the pitiful little vermin that litter the world.
Yet I did. Even this high in the sky I can hear their cries, no longer cries of terror.
They cheer for me.
I turned my fire loose on the skeleton, scattering what little of the powder remained. Saar’Jya’s remains seemed to inhale the fire. When it was finished, they emitted a soft orange glow. They vibrated in place, filling the chamber with a soft hum.
She didn’t respond, perhaps because I was not kneeling.
“I do not have time for your games, Saar’Jya.” I raised my voice. “Let’s just get this over with.”
The flames burst forth from the skeleton. They instantly filled the chamber, dancing around me in a giant circle. In an admittedly impressive ballet, the fire churned, expanded, contracted, and began to form itself into a shape. A perfect likeness of Saar’Jya as she appeared when she was living. With a great shake, she threw the flames off of herself to reveal her form. A brilliant glow of divinity emanated all around her.
“Ahh! What foolish mortal dares disturb my…” she began. Then she turned and saw me. It had been at least two hundred years since we last spoke. Even after those many decades, she recognized me in an instant.
“Oh, it’s you.”
The voice didn’t answer. My furnace began to rumble as I poked my head through the hole at the top of the crypt.
“Derd.” I beckoned him. “If you hide, I will get angry.”
“Go to hell!” He yelled. The voice had moved behind me. I snapped my head towards the voice and shot flames down the tunnel. The running of those little feet picked up.
“Do you think damnation frightens me? I am the vision that demons have in their nightmares, and carry the burning underworld in my breast wherever I travel.”
“Ha! Buttering yourself up? You sound just as vain as he does.” The voice taunted.
My temper was beginning to slip by now.
“If you come out and look at me, you will see that I have earned the right to be vain. Now show yourself, you little runt!”
The voice didn’t answer. The tiny creature just ran even further into the crypt.
“Don’t make me go in there and get you.” I threatened.
“Then come in here and get me!” he voice was filled with a bloodlust. More ready for battle than any foolhardy warrior who had ever tested me before. Then he said something that was very ill advised.
“Come and get me, wizard!” he shouted from the crypt.
Wizard? A pathetic little parlor magician with a robe and a stick? A wizard? Me? The ageless wonder that had graced Tygan from its earliest days? He dared mistake me for a wizard?
“WIZARD!?” I roared.
My furnace instantly burned white hot at the insult. The thunder of my voice shook the entire crypt. I pulled my head out of the crypt and began to smash through the ceiling. The derd began to run, his footsteps betraying his position. It made him easy to follow. With a great swing, my fist went crashing through the roof, blocking the derd’s path.
As promised, the artwork is coming along. The image of Zhyx in the opening chapter has been finished, so now word will begin on the background environment and foreground figure.