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Chapter 10, 1st Book of Serinity

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Chapter 10, 1st Book of Serinity

Postby SerinitysChild » Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:14 am

Chapter Ten

“Mistress . . . ?” Pearim Dalnas, major domo of House Artris, for the first time in more years than he cares to remember, is in a quandary. Making room for eighty pounds of cat is different from making room for six tons of dragon. A few chickens, or a goat, will feed a lynx for several days. Dig a few holes and fill them with sand from the beach and the cat thinks it’s in heaven.
On the other hand, feeding a dragon, not to mention building a dragon sized litter box, strains even his imagination, to say nothing of the house’s budget. To date, the unexpected guest has eaten six cows, three donkeys, and a hundred weights of fish.
Pausing in his train of thought, Pearim never knew that dragons ate fish, but there it was on the list of purchases, clear as morning in his mind. Perhaps he should invest in a trawler?
“Mistress?” Pearim tries again to insert himself into the conversation between Serinity and Ashera. For two days now the pair has been dragging out every theory they could lay memory on about dragons, and how they relate to people, other than people being a quick snack for growing dragons.
At last Serinity turns her glowing eyes his way, and raises her left eyebrow in question. “Something I can do for you Pearim?”
“Mistress Serinity, I’m running short of funds, what with feeding your guest’s dragon and all.” Pearim isn’t really sure how to address Serinity’s guest. A house can only have one “Mistress” and Serinity is that one for this house, at least until she moves on.
Should he address Ladeea Ashera as such? Or should he give her the honorific of Landswoman? Ladeea might be closer to the woman’s status in this house, as she is neither servant, slave, nor a bondswoman to Serinity. Yes, Ladeea, or as it’s currently translated, Lady, that’s much better than calling her Landswoman, since he has no idea if she is landed-gentry or no. From overheard conversations, he’s guessing that Ladeea Ashera is neither landed, nor does she appear to be a lady, but as the official representative of House Artris, he must extend all courtesy to Mistresses friends.
“Ladeea Ashera, with your permission, I’d like to move your, uh, friend, from the stables behind the main house, to the open court behind the stables, further away from the horses.” Much further from the servants, adds Pearim silently. “His, uh, dining habits are a bit messy.”
“Messy? You mean the little glutton enjoys flinging blood all over the stable hands. He’s also not very clean in his other bodily functions.” Pausing for a second, Ashera finally nods her head. “Yes, open space, and a tall wall to hide him from curiosity seekers is just the thing. You have my permission.”
As Pearim is turning away from her, Ashera chuckles. “Of course you’re going to have to ask Darganath if he’s willing to move.”
“Thank you.” Pearim is nearly out the door when he remembers his reason for the visit in the first place. “Mistress Serinity, about those extra funds, should I convert more of your rings?”
“How many are left?”
“One hundred sixty,” Pearim replies without hesitation. “When you first moved in, I converted four rings to local coinage, placing the rest in my strong box. Now, what with the expense of the dragon added to the expense of additional guards to keep out the curiosity seekers, there’re only eight silver drakes and a dozen copper phinnigs left. To maintain this level of service will require a ring a month, at the current rate of exchange.”
Serinity nods. “Please convert ten more rings, and bring me three ring’s worth of the local currency. I’ve got to do some shopping, and it seems that gold has a very high price in Milesport.”
“Yes Mistress,” Pearim bows his head, then leaves the house.
Outside the house, and far enough away from the house’s staff that they can’t hear him, Pearim uses words of vexation he’s been very careful not to use in public for a long time. His casting of aspirations on the mixed ancestry of the dragon, and perhaps of its rider, would have landed him in the stocks if any of the civil guard should hear them.
Having vented his anger at all draconian things, Pearim marches to the stables to confront the thorn in his side. Opening the stable doors, and stepping into the shaded stalls, Pearim has little trouble finding Darganath.
Before the dragon can rumble its standard threat about eating anyone who disturbs him, Pearim holds up his right hand. “I’ve just come from talking to your rider. She’s agreed that you’d be better served if you left the stables and entered the open area behind them. If it storms too much for you to be comfortable, we can always return you to these cramped quarters, or, we can build a tent to keep you from most of the rain.” Silently Pearim hopes his heart isn’t pounding as loudly as he thinks it is.
Tilting his head to the right, Darganath chuckles, then crawls through the wide stable doors. Once outside he rises on his hind legs and stretches his wings, shoveling the fetid air of the cramped stables away from him and filling his lungs with the warmth of the outside.
Turning to Pearim, Darganath rumbles at him. “My rider is as generous as she is lovely.” A quick hop takes the dragon out of the stable yard and into the enclosure behind it.
“Ah, much better accommodations than that cramped little place. More room to stretch my wings.”


Inside the house, Serinity and Ashera have moved from repeating old wives tales to searching the library for any information it might contain about dragons, and their habits. Thankfully, three hundred years ago, the war that united the east coast baronies into a country also combined the dozen different dialects into one language, thus making it easier for the pair to search the library without having to hire a translator.
Several hours of searching have lead to three books resting on the central table between the shelves that stretch from the floor to the ceiling and way into dusty darkness. Gilded letters proclaim the title of the topmost of these books ‘Dragon War’. Underneath this book the other two are a collection of ancient folk lore copied from even older text.
“That’s about it,” sighs Ashera. “I’ve been up and down this blasted ladder so often my legs think I’ve been out mountain climbing.”
Serinity chuckles at her friend, then bends over to massage a cramp in her right calf. “I know the feeling.”
Pulling the summoning cord to order tea, Serinity wonders to herself at how easily slipping back into habits she had as a child is. Settling down in a comfortably overstuffed chair, she tucks her feet up under bottom, then leans on the chair’s left arm.
“As far as I can tell, after thumbing through that top book, dragons don’t behave like the one that’s decided you’re his best friend. They usually eat a big meal, then sleep for months. Darganath must be a growing baby, with all the food he’s been packing away.”
Serinity isn’t worried about the expense of keeping her friend’s dragon as she’s already sent a messenger to her father’s accountant requesting two hundred rings from her strong box. Over the years she’s amassed a large amount of gold, jewels, silver, and a mixed bag of arcane objects, from various legends she’s chased down. Her mother’s father had taught her at a young age that most legends have a grain of truth in them, and sometimes that grain of truth is worth a fortune.
Serinity chuckles at the memory of her adopted grandfather. As far as she knows, the old Dwarf is out in a tunnel, sneaking up on unsuspecting evil doers. Grandpa D’Darnif was the main reason she’d taken up what her mother always called ‘treasure hunting,’ but is really the study of ancient civilizations. However, to be honest with herself, treasure hunting is more fun than reading dusty old tomes. The only fight she and her Papa D’Darnif ever had was over his stubbornness that she studies the magical arts before he’d take her on an expedition. Six years of determination, a year on the mountain, and she’d rushed from novice to being a journeyman sorcerer in record time. Their first expedition together proved how right he’d been about her studying magic when they’d awoken an ancient guardian while loading scrolls and gold into their pack animal’s panniers. She’d needed three fire spells to quail the spirit enough for them to escape its territory. Thankfully they’d removed all the ancient writings before she’d been forced to unleash the fire storm.
One of those stories leads her to the discovery of the sword Ascension, and a little of its history. Now she’s hoping that one of these books will give at least a hint as to the care and feeding of a dragon.
Holding up her right index finger, Serinity counts off the things they know, or can guess, about Darganath. “First, we know that he’s a dragon, and that at least one dragon still exists. By extension, there must be at least two more dragons, since every creature has parental lineage.”
Holding up the middle finger of her right hand, next to the index finger, Serinity continues. “Two, we know, or think we know, that this dragon is young. Mainly we know this by how much food he’s eaten.” Pausing in her numeration of facts, she looks at Ashera and asks, “are we sure he’s a he?”
Ashera places her left index finger where she’s stopped reading, thinks about Serinity’s question, then nods. “Somehow his voice feels like a male. Uh, more like a little boy actually.”
Seeing the look Serinity is giving her, she modifies her last statement. “Don’t ask me how I know. It’s like I can hear two voices when he speaks. One is the sound of his voice, and the other is somewhere in my mind. The later is the one that sounds like a little boy.”
Nodding, Serinity holds up the ring finger of her right hand, next to the other upright fingers, and adds the last bit of dragon lore she knows. “From ancient lore we know that there’re six primary colors of dragons, none of which are black.”
“Six?” Ashera looks a bit stunned at the number of colors dragons come in. “I thought that they only came is brown and green. At least that’s all the color I’ve ever heard of.”
Serinity nods to the book that Ashera is holding in her lap. “That book says that there’s four other colors. Gold, which is always female, and silver, which is either male or female, Bronze, which are always male. Lastly, red, which no one knows whether they are male or female, mainly because they are so rare.” Suddenly she laughs at her words. “I’m sorry, but the thought of any dragon being considered so rare in this day and age, when dragons are mere myth, strikes me as ludicrous.”
Ashera grins at her friend, the chuckles as well. “It seems that Darganath is proof that we know even less about dragons than we think we do.”


Behind the stables of House Artris, Darganath dreams of a home he’s never known, where dragons of every conceivable color fill the sky. Somewhere amongst those colorful creatures his parents wait patently for their son to dream of them. As he does, they use their magic to find him. When the time comes, they’ll be ready to fly to his defense.
More rampant silliness.
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