Harsh World

Shadowy fog slowly moved over the land and the night wind cooled the air. Creatures of all kinds, dragons and beasts alike all settled in for the night. One pair in particular settled around their makeshift nest and waited for the eggs to hatch. A large blanket laid out next to the pile of eggs, an ugly yellow in color and torn in places. The fog grew thick as the night paraded on, misting over the eggs filling them with the dark shadow energy of the Shadow Realm.

Not long before the sun started to rise, a small sound was heard from the nest. The fog had long since dissipated, vanishing with the night as the sun threatened to rise. The parents of the eggs, hearing the cracking of the shells, woke and stood fast. It was time, the eggs were hatching. A small tuft of fur poked out of a hole in the egg shell, jolting back and forth as the hatchling inside moved about to get free. Another egg started wobble about, moving around and bumped into is sibling egg. The bump caused enough damage for the hatchling to break free of its protective armor.

kuro baby

A ball of black and silver fur with silver wings attached rolled out from the broken egg shell and unfurled on the ground. Before the little one could even try to stand it was lifted up by the mother dragon, and placed on the blanket. Next was the fae that hatched from the hit and run egg. Once both little dragons were on the blanket, the father of the clutch grabbed all the corners and tied the blanket shut. Once his mate was nestled on his back, he picked up the blanket sack and took to the air.

“Sora, where is this beast located?” The large tundra male shouted out over the wind. The sun’s rays shimmering from the east, cloaking the land in its early morning warmth.

“Head towards Water Flight territory, near the edge of Fire Flight. Just fly south, keep the sun to your left.” The small Fae dragon cranked her long neck up to see over the Tundra’s head. “Just keep going the way you’re going.” She retracted her neck and nestled back into her mates fur. She hated flying so high, always too bright so high up.

Soft cries from the hatchlings echoed through the air as they squirmed around to get comfortable. The young fae kept crawling all over the place, refusing to sit still. At one point, one of the fae’s wing tips stabbed the tundra in the eye causing a small fight. The fight ended soon after it started as the blanket sack they were in bounced causing the young ones to tumble around inside. Each time their father used his wings, the sack would bounce along with the beat of his wings causing the two inside to bounce with it.

For the young hatchlings, what felt like forever finally ended as a hard surface appeared under their small bodies. Unfortunately the tundra was upside down and had landed on top of his brother. Blinded by mid-morning sunlight as the blanket they were in suddenly opened. The tundra tried to wonder away from the blanket, not wanting to go through that kind of ride again only to be herded towards the edge of the ground they were on by his mother.

“Only 2?” A husky voice roused out, disappointed and angry.

“What comes out, come out. We can’t control the amount of eggs that are laid.” Sora, the hatchlings mother snapped.”I’d like to see you try to pop out something that isn’t there. Vio hurry this up, we have another job to do.”

“I know, I know!” he groused before turning to the beast they spoke to. “Look fish, you promised 30,000 treasure per hatchling brought to you as food. 10,000 treasure more if they are freshly hatched. These brats hatched not 20 minutes ago, so I am sure they fall under freshly hatched.” Vio, the hatchlings father spoke in a demanding tone. “Now, if you don’t want them, we’ll take them else where. From where I stand, 2 are better than none, and not many Dragons are willing to sell their brats to Beasts. Take the two, or we leave.”

Sora started to herd the young ones back to the blanket when the Amber Gulper cried out.

“Alright! I’ll take them! 60,000 for both, that little thing won’t fill me up at all. Nothing but an appetizer. ” The two dragons looked at each other before Vio sighed and turned back to the beast and agreed.

The beast left them for a few minutes before returning with a wet sack of coins. Vio tied it to his waste before heading to the children.

“Ready?” He asked the beast. The Amber Gulper nodded and mumbled a ‘Hurry already’ before opening his duckbilled mouth. The older tundra sighed once more before picking up his Fae son. “Sorry kids, but this is the only thing you guys are good for. It’s tough enough to live in this world and we don’t need to have you guys leeching off of us.” The young Fae looked up at his father and tilted his head. He didn’t understand a word the older male had said. Vio went to the edge of the landing and then tossed his hatchling into the gaping mouth of the Amber Gulper.

The small black and silver tundra watched in horror as his small helpless younger brother disappeared into the beasts mouth. Redness oozed out from the fishes duck like bill and the sound of small soft bones being crunched on resounded in his ears. Fear over took him as the older tundra came for him. He wasn’t even old enough to understand what was happening, but he did know, he was terrified and didn’t want to be here.

Stonewash colored wings rapidly flapped as the body they held soared through the sky. The deep blood colored body much larger than the wings made it harder to fly. She left her home because they all made fun of her small wings, comparing them to her huge, heavily build body. For weeks now she traveled to many lands, she went from her home land in Viridian Cabyrinth, to visit Dragonhome. After that she traveled through Starfall Isles and Icefield.

She now flew over the land of Ashfall Waste, and obviously the heat there was too much for a Nature dragon to handle so she headed for the Sea of a Thousand Currents. Her throat was parched and her skin drying out from the heat below. Luckily for her she wasn’t far from the water. Her wings, obviously too small for her to really fly long distances, something she learned when flying over to the Icefield.

The Pearlcatcher was so tired, but she refused to land in such a hot area, and her destination was not that far from her. Her wings were exhausted and felt as if they’d break off but she pushed on. The smell of sea water, and the cool breeze coming off the waves gave her the strength to keep flying. The land below her was slowly changing from a scorched red to a purpleish color, and then finally a nice clear blue. The water looked deep and cool so she stopped her wings from flapping like crazy and just dropped. A cannon ball right into the water.

Her dry heated skin instantly absorbed the water, her throat flooded with the cool liquid. Her sore tired wings were soothed by the water’s chill, and she turned her body around to float back to the surface and relax. Like a leaf, she rested on the waters surface, her tail slightly moving to keep her moving slowly farther into the Sea of a Thousand Currents, farther away from the tortuous Ashfall Waste.

With out any warning, a loud cry rang out through the Tsunami Flats. Startled, the Pearlcatcher flailed and ended up sinking into the water, almost dropping her pearl before gaining control of herself to bring herself to the surface of the water. More cries rang out and she swam toward the call for help. From the sound of the cries, it was obviously a hatchling barely a day old.

Upon reaching one of the many pools, the worst sight she had ever seen reached her eyes. One of the pools was tainted with blood, a beast in the middle of that taint with his bloody mouth hanging wide open. A large male tundra and a small female fae stood at the edge of the pool, the male held a wailing infant tundra in his hand. The young one screamed, clawed, bit, and flapped his little wings all in failed efforts to get away. His father struggled with him, constantly losing grip of the terrified hatchling.


“Mm, a fighter eh? He’ll taste better than the last.” The Amber Gulper groaned with pleasure as his mouth watered. Drool and blood leaked from his bill as he awaited his next meal.

Disgusted, the Pearlcatcher jumped out of the water and loose a breath of air so powerful in knocked the infant out of his fathers hands. Angrily she scratched out at the Fae then bashed the Amber Gulper over the head with her tail. The adult male Tundra charged at her but she managed to dodge his attack and shove him into the bloody water. His fur so thick, it absorbed so much water that he had trouble staying afloat.

The Fae flew off, injured and bleeding. She’d rather abandon her mate than die fighting for something she didn’t even want. She didn’t even think of how her mate held all their treasure. The Amber Gulper attacked the little one’s savior, who was trying to fly off with the hatchling. His attack hit her on the left wing and cut into her shoulder.

Instead of Flying she’d have to run. Jumping from one pool ledge to another, she ran from the battle. The small tundra, frozen in fear, shivered in her arms. She ran for what felt like hours until she slipped and fell. She threw the young Tundra up onto the landing before she landed in the water, her tail clinging desperately to her pearl.

Her body was so heavy, she flew a long distance only to rest for a few seconds before rescuing a small infant. All of that, she dies before she could find a home for the hatchling who is now all alone at the edge of the water.

Movement below her resounded through the water. The pearlcatcher was able to breath again. She had blacked out, but how did she get back to the surface? The young tundra was still shivering in fear, huddled in a ball crying to himself. Looking around she noticed a very large and beautiful Imperial Dragon in the water.

“Child, you are injured and that one there is frozen stiff with fear, what has happened?” The Imperial questioned. The two dragons before her were suspicious. An injured female, obviously not the hatchlings mother, way too young. And the Tundra, curled up into a ball of self comfort, trying to ignore the world around it. Was this Pearlcatcher a nest thief?

“Oh large one, we need your help!” The injured dragon managed to croak out before coughing up some water. “I am Tama of the Viridian Cabyrinth, weeks after I hatched, I had left my home to travel. As I was resting near the Tsunami Pools, I heard a cry and headed towards it. What I saw was terrible! How they could do that to their own babies?! They fed their young to an Amber Gulper back there. I managed to rescue this one, but I don’t know how long it will be before the father of the child or the beast will catch up with us. So much blood. Please.. help us. I need to get to a place where we can hide.” Tama started crying, finally all she had just witnessed washed over her. Who knows how many hatchlings those dragons fed to the beast before she came along.

“I’m sorry, but for me to believe such a story I will need to see for myself where this took place. Too many nest thieves around here, too many young ones have been lost. You will guide me there. Come now, grab the infant and climb onto my back. Guide ol’ Chimaditida to this place with the bloodied water.” Tama started crying even harder as she moved to pick up the infant. As she reached for him, she noticed her pearl was missing.

“My Pearl! I need my pearl!” In a panic she started looking around the pools edge. She was now bawling incoherently, pearlcatchers are nothing with out their pearls. The Imperial Chimaditida huffed before diving down into the water, an action that went unnoticed by the 2 on the ledge. Minutes passed as Tama sat down in a daze. She lost her one and only worldly possession. An item that can never be obtained anywhere else. The pearl made from the eggshell she was born from. She sat there for a long time before Chimaditida emerged from the water once more and dropped a shiny orb in front of her.

Tama stared at the orb, a dreamlike expression washed over her face as she picked up the orb and cuddled it. It was her pearl. She looked up at the larger dragon with a great deal of gratitude shimmering in her eyes. Calming herself down, she got to her feet and managed to pick up the Tundra hatchling in one arm, and carried her precious pearl in the other. Slowly she managed to make her way onto the Imperial’s back. Tama curled up in a way that the tundra would stay safe, her tail wrapping around the little ones body, while she held onto Chimaditida ‘s mane.

Off into the sky the water dragon went, following the directions Tama gave, Chimaditida flew south towards the heated Tsunami Pools. It was there that they witnessed a Black and Violet colored Tundra, sopping wet, and an Amber Gulper who floated inside a pull of pink water. They were arguing about treasure.

“You let that Pearl brat get away with my meal! I want my money back! I demand you give my money back!!” The Gulper shouted. Vio huffed, before stalking away, treasure and all.

“Sorry but once the money came to my hands that kid was YOUR responsibility. If you weren’t so lazy and would just feed yourself this wouldn’t have happened. I need to find my mate, I’m out of here.” With that he flew off. Chimaditida made sure to fly higher so the older Tundra wouldn’t see her. The jerk her body made while climbing in the air cause jolts of pain to run down Tama’s shoulder and back. A groan slipped through her tightly clenched jaw, Tama was started to get light headed from the pain.

“I will land in the water now and swim you to the Tangled Wood. The energy from the Shadowbinder should help sooth that little one. His eyes say he was born and hatched there. Rest for now, you both are safe. It will be nightfall by the time we reach the shores of the Tangled Wood.” Chimaditida soothingly talked to both Tama and the hatchling.

With the sun gone, and the moon out in full glory shining bright in the dark sky. Tama woke to the scene of an eerie fog and light blue glowing things in the distance. Chimaditida swam slowly, making sure not to jolt her passengers. The hatchling, passed out from exhaustion not long after the sun started to set, his sleep fitful and seemingly full of night terrors. Small whimpers can be heard from the tiny body that trembled mercilessly.

“Is that the Tangled Wood?” Tama spoke softly, still groggy but awake to know not to wake the little one. Chimaditida nodded her head and looked toward the sky. Most shadow dragons should be out during this time, so the young ones should be able to find sanctuary with one of the clans. Tama breathed a sigh of relief, they should be safe for now.

The Imperial swam up the river until she reached a nature made dam. She waded further toward the river bank and let Tama off. Tama reached up and gently lifted the baby off Chimaditida’s back. With a slight nod of thanks, the Pearlcatcher walked away before stopping to look around.

A mist hung in the air, so thick it was hard to see ahead of her, looking behind her she could see Chimaditida’s shadow drifting away. There was no way she would be able to wonder through this mist in the dark. She wondered around the area a bit before deciding that the oddly placed stones would be the best place to sleep.

Gently she sat the hatchling down before laying beside him. Using her pearl as a pillow, she pet the young dragon until she fell asleep. Her last thought was a wish that she wouldn’t have any nightmares of what had happened today. And a wish that the little one next to her will be alright some day.

Inside the Cliff Side

After their trip to the market, the dragons of the Demons Den took a few days rest. Time to get to know one another and for the new members to learn of their new surroundings. Kai and Mido would both spar outside near the river, and AoTora would chat with Oniko about anything and everything. Eventually talks turned to the dug out cave in the cliff side. How much space would they need, how high would the ceiling need to be to fit grown dragons, would they be able to make different rooms for different things? Many questions were asked but no answer was given.

AoTora would sometimes go with Kai and learn a few things about fighting while Mido would go with Brambolus and learn to hunt and fish. Every time they came home, Oniko would work on patching any injuries the others would have. While they were out she would work on carving into the stones. She made shelves to put little things on, like AoTora’s plushie that his grandmother gave him.

One day Oniko was digging in the cave while the others were out and she hit something hard and solid. She dug more trying to find the edge, the more she dug into the ground, the larger the stone seemed. She had to pile the dirt onto some fabric and haul it outdoors before coming back in for another load. By the time the others came back, the cave floor wasn’t really cave floor. It was made of chunks of granite, smoothed down to a flat surface with a dull shine.

Oniko grabbed an unused cloth and ran out to the river. Soaking it in the water, she rushed back to the cave and scrubbed at the floor. Soon the dusty dim floor turned into a muddy mess, the cloth only catching more loose dirt turning it into mud. Miffed she stormed out of the cave and sat down. The cloth twisted in her claws, dripping mud water onto the ground. There the Mirror dragon sat, sulking, trying to think of a way to clean off the floor she found when a clay jar caught her eye. She had found it earlier while digging at the walls yesterday. Picking up the jar, she wondered over to the river once more. First she cleaned off the cloth, scrubbing the mud out of the fabric. After she managed to get it as clean as she could, she filled the jar and tossed the rag into it.

Inside the cave she started wiping at the floor once more. Once again, the more she scrubbed at the floor, the more muddy it got. Finally she just threw the whole jar of water on the granite before heading out to get more.

Mido and Kai were laughing as they hauled some items they had won off of some of the Beastclans around. Behind them a Luna Mith floated behind them, its wings hummed as they fluttered. Once they reached the cave, they dropped everything they had. The cave was flooded. Inch deep water covering the floor, in the middle of the flood was Oniko swishing and swashing away in the water. The two Guardians looked at each other before back to Oniko.

“Uh, Oniko… What are you doing?” Mido asked, his voice cracked.

“There is a floor made out of pretty stone! It’s not there naturally and I’m trying to wash it.” Oniko kept at her washing and sloshing in the water.

“Oni, this is overkill, the place is flooded!” Kai stated as she poked at the water with her paw. Dirt swirled in the water before settling down once more. Oniko looked over at her friends before looking around the den. Shrugging and going back to her attempt to clean.

“Well, we’ll just put the things we won out here for now, then show Mis around the area.” Mido informed his fellow clan mate who then looked up and took notice of the Luna Mith behind them. The Mith nodded her head, and Oniko did the same before going back to work.


“The signs of granite flooring means there may have been a building here once a long time ago. Be careful when digging at the walls.” Mis the Mith stated. Kai and Mido once more looked at each other before dropping their prizes on the ground and wading through the water to start digging at the walls.

“Hey! I just cleaned over there!” The mirror dragon cried as the dirt from the walls fell into the water making it even more so muddy than it was before. The two guardians ignored her as the tore through the walls. Mis decided to help by carrying fallen dirt and rubble outside of the den, careful not to get wet in the process.

By the time AoTora and Brambolus returned, night had fallen and lanterns were lit all over the den. Shock apparent on their faces as they see a very flooded, but very great room inside their cave. Granite floors, covered in a thick mud, pillars that climbed high into the dirt and rock above them. The start of a stair case in the back to the right, and what looks to be a doorway which has yet to have been fully dug out. The room was expansive, and could probably expand even more with work and time.

What they thought would be just a cave, was turning out to be a great manor that was once buried under ground and turned into a cliff. If they kept the outside looking like a cliff, but finished digging out the interior, they might just have a real nice place to live. Maybe one day expand it, make it an even larger and greater manor than it once was.

Brambolus let out a shaky sigh, “Kids, go take a bath before we eat. Tomorrow we will continue digging out this marvelous place and make it our own. Oniko, I applaud you for finding the floor which led to this discovery. Now off to your baths.” The 4 dragons, 3 of them muddy and tired, all wondered over to the river to wash. Tonight would be a feast of celebration! Then tomorrow, they will work on their home some more.

Market Day

3 Dragons and a Bramble Guardian walked through the streets of the market. Dragons and Beastclan Familiars all rushing here and there, the hustle and bustle was loud and fast. Kai and Brambolus were the only two who weren’t nervous moving through the streets, Oniko and Mido stuck to the two like glue. Their heads swiveled from side to side, watching at all the new things.

The smell of food filled the air, dragons calling out for others to buy their products. Wind chimes sung as a breeze blew past them, a soft clinging of metal and bones called out. The young ones stomachs growled, the food smelled delicious. Brambolus agreed to stop and eat before heading to where the dragons would be sold off. Rabbits, Fish, Beetles and even Tulips. A bounty in which the young ones relished in as they ate, mounds of food disappeared before their eyes.

After the meal, they set out for the building where dragons looked for good homes for their young ones. Dragons from large to small, bellowed out in attempts to sell off their young. Even some of the older dragons, no longer welcomed in their clans were being sold off. Oniko and Mido looked around as Kai kept her head down. Mido pointed at a small Fae hatchling, but Brambolus shook his head. The Fae that he pointed out too looked sickly, something that could be fatal to the clan.

AoToraA cry rang out and Oniko’s eyes zoned in on a blue tiger stripped spiral. His bright purple eyes full of tears. The young mirror rushed over to him, curious. It turns out, his older sibling had taken away his Icewarden plush. Oniko rushed back to Brambolus and brought him over to the Spiral dragon. A beautiful Skydancer approached them.


“I be not buying younglings, begone!” She was snide in her demands. Brambolus cleared his throat before speaking.

“We are not here to sell, we are here to buy. This young blue Spiral male, are you the one selling him?  How old is he? Does he have any ailments? What of his parents status?” Questions on top of questions he asked. The Skydancer turned around and eyed him.

“The blue tigered one is but a few days old. He hatched late but is more fierce than his siblings.” They turned to watch as he fought with his sibling to win back his plush. “No ailments, no health problems what so ever. I am the grandmother of this batch. My son and his partner decided mid nesting to abandon them after an argument. If it weren’t for me, they would never have hatched. I am between clans and cannot afford to care for them. So I have set up here, hoping to find good homes for my little ones here, and hopefully for myself as well.” The feathered female sighed as she eyed the young Mirror who eyed her youngest grandson.

“Oniko here, is the oldest of her clan. She hatched a few weeks back when I found her after fleeing with an egg from rogue dragons.  Mido over there is what came from that egg, and we just acquired Kai as well.” Brambolus nodded towards the two guardians. “They are making their own clan with Oniko and Mido as their leaders. We are looking for strong young ones around the same age as them to help build the den and make the clan stronger. The blue Spiral seems strong and vibrant, will you be willing to sell him to us?”

The Skydancer didn’t look pleased to hear that such a young one was the oldest of her clan. She also didn’t like the thought of selling any of her grandchildren to new clans that could be easily wiped out.

“Eight Thousand Treasure is my asking price.” This was a newly formed clan of babies, there was no way they could afford three thousand let alone eight. She hoped that the price would scare them away, for she feared the safety of the boy if they had bought him.

“Bramby! We have enough right? I know we ate a lot earlier but we still have enough right?” Oniko was excited. Brambolus brought out their coin purse. Earlier it was filled to the brim, bulging with coin. Now there was plenty of room in the purse that the coins jingled. He slowly counted the treasure pieces before placing them back into the purse. “Bramby?”

“We have more than enough to buy him.” the Bramble Guardian smiled. “Will you let us buy him from you?”

The Skydancer was shocked. How did these young dragons and familiar gain so much treasure? “How will I know he’ll be safe? Such a young clan as this, there is no real way of protecting him with so many young ones and no adults.”

Oniko turned from the Spiral to the Skydancer. “The way our home is, nature itself will protect us. If we ever need to fight others to protect our home, Kai is more than formidable. She fought off an Ember Mouse all alone! With the help of the rest of us, we can beat anything that tries to hurt us.” She stood proud as she spoke. As young as she was, she was wise.

“Well said Oniko, well said.” Brambolus praised. “I, too, have my own abilities to help the young ones. Your young Spiral will have a good home, once it is finished. They have survived this long with out adults, so I have faith they will survive all things that come at them.” Mido and Kai wondered over to Oniko, they had looked at other hatchlings but didn’t see any that would be fit to help dig, build, or hunt. They turned to the Spiral that Oniko had spotted and investigated.

“Strong spirit for one so young. I’ll sell him to you, just promise me that he will stay safe.” The older dragon reluctantly took the treasure before heading over to her grandchild. Tears in her eyes shown as she said her goodbyes and told him to go with Oniko’s group. “You keep it little one. Your siblings lost theirs, that one is yours. Remember me when you look at it. Stay safe, grow up strong.” She cooed, trying to soothe herself more than her grandchild. The spirals siblings watched as he walked over to the group. “As with custom, when a unnamed dragon enters its new clan, it is up to them to give it a name. Please give him a name.”

“AoTora! He’s a blue tiger so that is his name!” Oniko chirped immediately. “Make sure to come find us and visit him!” She waved as she bounded off toward her new clan mate. The trip had them gain two new friends when they were only expecting one.

“Thank you milady.” Brambolus said as he bowed. He walked off toward the group of young ones and herded them out of the building and off toward some stands. They traded for food and supplies before leaving the market. Oniko and Mido rambled on about their home, and how it came to be as such. They told Kai and AoTora about how they’ve dug into the cliff wall and found treasure and items of all sorts.

Hours had passed and the darkness of night stretched over the skies. Brambolus guided the children to a batch of trees and bushes, where they all nestled in for the night. They all slept silently, except for AoTora. He missed his grandmother, and he prayed that he would one day see her again.










The Den Grows

As the days went by, the hatchlings grew. The more they grew, the more they ate and the more they could do with their den. The hole in the cliff side grew bigger, the insides hallowed out into a cavern. While the cavern was wide enough to hold several hatchlings, it was no where near high enough to hold any adults. Random items thrown about outside the cave, cloth hung from thorns of the bramble vines, broken pottery shards piled inside a crate they found.

Oniko was assigned to carving and shaping the large rocks into pillars to help keep the ceiling stable. Mido was assigned to continue digging to make the ceiling higher up.  Brambolus had assigned himself to many tasks, hunting for food, dragging dirt out of the cave, and instructing the young dragons on how to build things. Sadly he could not teach them how to melt down the rock to make it into something new, for that they would need a Fire Dragon.

He felt bad about making freshly hatched dragons work so hard, but Mido was the only one left from a Guardian dragon clan he had worked for. The clan had fought against the rogue dragons and the adults had all died, the hatchlings all dragon-napped, the eggs are taken except for one. The one he managed to scurry away with. Luck had it that he’d came across the Mirror hatchling, who he had no idea of where she came from. Was her clan alive or obliterated like Mido’s. Shadowbinder was surely looking out for these two young ones.

Brambolus was born into the world of dragons, he had watched many grow up and many more die. He went from Clan to clan, being sold for this or traded for that. Some of the clans were nice, but most were abusive. They had treated familiars like slaves, forced them to work with little food to stay alive. One day he was traded to Mido’s parents clan, that clan was one of the nicest clans he’d ever been to.  More than enough food for the Familiars, who in return gave them gifts of treasure and sometimes a treasure chest they found while working. Brambolus felt he owed that clan, so he would not let anything happen to Mido. He would help Mido, and even Oniko, grow and make a life of their own. To make a clan of their own.

Snapping out of his thoughts, he rushed back to the den-in-progress with duskrats and some random birds he managed to capture. He was far too small to hunt better prey, and soon he won’t be able to hunt for enough food. The dragons grow so fast, they will soon need to learn to hunt for themselves.

The 3 settled down to eat, the young ones who had finally learned how to talk , they went over the plans for the den. Oniko wanted a play room and Mido wanted a sparring room, to learn how to fight properly. They also wanted rooms that really held no purpose. They wanted to make the ceiling higher, but couldn’t reach high enough to dig more. That would have to wait until they’ve grown more. They also talked about how they were going to get more help. Should they go buy a dragon, or buy some familiars.

Brambolus and the children decided to go to the market on the next day. Check the auctions and even see hatchery fliers to find a dragon they can afford. One that is big enough to help, but young enough to listen to two very young clan leaders. But until then they would have to do more work by themselves.

The inside of the den was coming along nice, but the outside with in the Foxfire Brambles, it was getting to be a mess. The thicket was small and they needed to untangle the vines  and carefully move them aside until they are ready to place them around the den. The plan was to make a wall of the spiny vines, making a nice large space outside of the den and still hide it.  They needed to make an area for the nests as well, outside the gave but still with in the den’s vine protection.

They started to gather some of the items they’ve found while digging. Many things they would take with them to the market to sell. A few pretty jewel like rocks here, some crystals there. The broken pottery pieces would fetch a small price, along with some of the apparel they’ve come across. After all was gathered and ready to go, the started taking piles of dirt out of the thicket, finding a place near the river bank to dump it. Stones and large rocks were moved outside the thicket as well, but close enough to get if needed. Cleaning the den took the rest of the day, as night rolled in all three were already deep asleep in the brambles.

The singing of songbirds woke the pair of young dragons. Brambolus was already up and skittering about, getting ready for their first day away from home. As they grabbed sacks of items that they plan to sell, the lizard told them how to act, and what to expect from the place they were headed. They were young, children, very easy to dragon-nap.  Hopefully the market would be safe for the two. Not like they had much choice, they needed help making their den.

The road to the market was long, it felt even longer to the two dragons, who had never traveled farther than to the rivers edge. Along the way they saw many strange animals, even some dragons that nodded good day to them. Oniko saw a butterfly and snapped at it, catching it in her mouth then swallowing. She made an odd face at the powder like taste it placed on her tongue. Mido laughed at her and then pounced on a grasshopper that decided to bounce by. Crunchy on the outside and gushy on the inside, he loved it.

Eventually they  sat down for a small rest under a tree, with in the bounds of the Light Flight territory. Shadow and Light, while always next to each other, the two flights never got along well. Not much farther now, the group will arrive at the market soon. The market which were many dragons and familiars roam, bid, buy, and bargain. A place where one can get lost if they don’t pay attention.

A sound, a head on the trail, a struggle of some sort. Oniko and Mido jumped up and ran towards the scuffle. Brambolus called out for them to stop, to return to the tree. The two dragons raced up the road and found a young Guardian female, about their age, fending off a Ember Mouse.

“Amazing, so young and yet she’s able to fight like that.” Brambolus exclaimed as he caught up to his two charges.

“Oni can’t fight yet, why is that? Can Mido fight like her? Bramby?” Oniko, her words still childish but forming full sentences. She was in awe, watching a dragon as young as her fight with all her might. “Where are the grown ups? Is she like Mido and Oni?” She was right, no adult dragon in their right mind would allow a 2 week old dragon fight. They must normally learn the basics and learn a skill or two before reaching adult hood. Going out and fighting their first battle against the Beastclans is a rite of passage into adult hood. But normally one must be way older than the child is now.

Mido watched on as the other guardian fought bravely. He saw that no matter how many hits she took, she refused to go down. She fell, hard to the ground, a slash gaping on her left flank. She could stand no more, and the Ember Mouse was heading for the kill. The male Guardian dragon leaped over to the injured female and attacked her would be killer. The fight started anew.

“Fool! Oniko go out there, fight together. Use your claws and scratch as much as you can. Neither of you have the fighting ability to win that battle alone., but together with that other dragon you may win.” The Mirror dragon-ling nodded before rushing out over to her den-mate.

The dragon on the ground sat dazed, lost on who these dragons were and why they were helping her. The fight continued on, Mido and Oniko took turns scratching and biting at the Ember Mouse. The mouse fought back with its own scratches, landing a well placed blow on Mido’s front right leg. Oniko took the chance to pounce on the mouse and dig her claws into the creatures neck.

Mido saw the mouse real back and he struck at the chest. Soon the Ember Mouse lay dead on the ground. They sat and watched as its body turned in to embers and faded into nothing. The wounded female guardian struggled to her feet and defensively stared at her saviors. “Who are ya?” she shouted. The two denmates took their eyes off the spot where the mouse had lain and looked at the injured one.

“Oni is Oni, and that one is Mido!” Oniko chirped happily. She pranced over to the new dragon and sat next to her. The Guardian female was not happy about this and slowly edged herself away from the Mirror.”Who are you? Do you have adults or are you like Oni and Mido?”

“Oniko! Calm yourself, you frighten the young one.” Brambolus chided. He wondered up close to the group of dragons but sat himself a bit away from them. He saw that the Female Guardian did not trust him, she saw him as an enemy just like the Ember Mouse was. Clearing his throat he started to talk to her. “I am Brambolus, a Bramble Guardian who helps guard dragon lairs. My kind mostly act as scouts and alerts the dragons of any possible thread headed toward the lair.”

Brambolus told the story of how he saved Mido, found Oniko and their building the den. Assured the female guardian he isn’t an enemy but a friend.”Oniko and Mido have no parents.I have taken it upon myself to help them build a clan of their own. Young one, do you have a name? A home?”

“I am Kai, I have no home. I was kicked out because my parents committed a crime against the clan. They died as punishment, and I banished.” She sat down, as gently as she could, trying not to irritate her wounds.

“Well then, why not join their clan? It’s just the two of them, and myself at the moment. They could use a strong fighter like you, and I could use help with gathering food. They eat more than what I can catch.” The lizard laughed a little a at the thought of his recent hunts. “We need someone to help protect the Den.”

Kai sat there silently, thinking of whether she should join them or not. She was told no clan would take her in because of the crimes of her parents. At the market she was told that no one would buy her because she’d end up just like the ones before her. She straightened her self and looked at the others. “My parents killed a whole nest. Smashed the eggs to bits just because they weren’t allowed to have use of a nest. That is a great crime, smashing eggs.”

“Yes, that is a terrible crime to commit. I can see why your parents were executed. Most clans would also do what they did with you. They’d believe you’d do the same thing one day.” Kai looked at Brambolus angrily. A look that said ‘See! I knew you would say no to me joining you once you heard my story.’

“That’s not right! Oni says Kai comes with Oni!” The young Mirror dragon shouted. “It’s not good to be alone.”

Brambolus nodded, “It seems out clan leader has spoken. Come with us.” he stood up and started off toward the market. “Come now, we need to get to the market soon to see if we can’t find more help!” Mido started off after him followed by Oniko, who turned around and waited for Kai. The female Guardian slowly got up and started after them. Apparently her fate had been decided for her.





Building Demons Den

The night past quietly as the Bramble Guardian kept an eye out for enemies. The Mirror Hatchling slept peacefully next to the unhatched egg, snuggling up to its warmth. The Guardian knew, he’d have to be the one to educate the little ones to the best of his abilities. Being a lizard, not a dragon, would make teaching them difficult.

Sparrows and other birds started to sing, alerting those around them to the rising sun. A sun which never really touched the dark damp lands of the Tangled Wood. Lavender wings stretched out as their owner stirred and awoke. She gave a few aggravated chirps before getting up to find the owners of the noise that awoke her.

“Calm down Oniko, they’re just letting you know its time to wake up.” The hatchling tilted her head, confused at who the lizard was talking to. “You, my little one, needed a name. I chose Oniko. Demons Child it means, I hope you will grow to be a strong leader, Demon like in nature if need to be. Thus Oniko.” Oniko, the newly named Mirror hatchling, sat down and stared at her companion. Her tail wiggled back and forth, happy that she had a name. “I am Brambolus, a Bramble Guardian. I help guard the dens of dragons, though I’m more of an egg sitter and someone who alerts the dragons of danger.”

“Bramby!” The hatchling jumped up and pounced on Brambolus in an attempt to play.

“Yes, yes, full of energy first thing in the morning is good. But we need to get started on building your Den. You are to be the first generation of this Clan we build. The Demons Clan. But first, we eat. Stay put while I go bring back food.” Brambolus scampered off to go hunt up more rats, and Oniko looked around the small thicket. The spiny vines of the Foxfire brambles swayed slightly with a breeze, some scraped against the others making slight noises. The hatchling watched one of the vines move, she hunkered down and pounced on it.

The thorns scratched her skin, causing her to back away and hid behind the unhatched egg. Tears formed in her eyes as she chirped angrily at the bramble vine. This is how the lizard found her as he returned from hunting. Dropping the Dusk Rats to the ground, Brambolus skittered over to the upset hatchling and comforted her. Lessons that are learned, aren’t always the easiest or painless.

“Now, come and eat. I’ll explain the world to you and what we must do if you are to survive in it.” He pulled a Dusk Rat over to the Mirror dragon-baby and as she ate he explained things. “First off, this world is filled with many dangers. Many different dragons and dragon flights. Dragon Flights each have their own area in the world, and each flight has their own Deity. We are in the Tangled Wood, the land of the Shadow Dragon Flight, Protected by the Deity Shadowbinder.

‘Being hatched from an egg that has been hatched outside of its birthden, this makes you a First Generation Dragon. Yes, you may or may not have parents out there, after all eggs come from somewhere. The problem is, you were hatched outside the den where your egg was laid. Orphaned and alone. Needing to start a clan of your own, we call you First Generations. When you go out to play, you may find other unhatched eggs. Eggs stolen or lost from their nests. You can keep the eggs to hatch and raise for your own clan, or you can sell the eggs to gather treasure to hoard.

‘Any eggs birthed with in the grounds of the shadow flight, will hatch with purple eyed dragons. Very much like your own eyes, little one. If you go to visit another flight and lay eggs there, the eye color will turn out to be the other flights color. Also, not just the eyes of the dragon are used to tell the dragons birth flight, the egg itself is used. Every Flight’s eggs look different. Dragons born to your flight can be sent to another clan for what ever reason. Some clans sell their young to other flights. It sounds terrible but depending on the reasons it may not be. Like say a male from another clan likes the colors of one of your children and wishes to become her mate, he will pay you to let him have her as a mate.

‘Other reasons for selling the young ones, Lair Space, sell to those who train them for the Deities and the worst reason, Greed. You need treasure to upgrade your lair, to add nests, even to care for your clan. To make treasure, you need to sell young ones to other clans, send them to worship the Deity, sell things you find while roaming around outside, even

‘Before we go on hatching eggs, we’ll need to dig at the cliff wall here. Caves make for great Dens, and the brambles here will help hide the Cave we make. We’ll need too mess with these brambles a bit, make a space for where the eggs will incubate. We’ve got to find some nice old tree stumps, bring them here. Of course that will have to wait until your bigger. For now we dig and work on hatching the egg I brought with me.

‘One more thing to learn about, creatures like myself. Many different kinds out there in the wild. When you grow up, you’ll eventually go out to fight them. Fight them for food, trinkets, or materials. Some of them will decide to join you. We call the ones that join to help the dragons, Familiars. Familiars all have different tasks with in the clan. From being playmates to the hatchlings, bringing food to the den, guarding the nests, to building the caves, to being sold. Don’t get me wrong, we Familiars aren’t slaves, we can leave a clan any time we want, getting sold is another way we help out around here. Some times its all we’re good for..”

Oniko sat there with a bored look in her eyes. She wanted to go do something, her energy was making her restless and she wanted to move. Brambolus sighed and moved toward the side of the cliff where the thorn vines grew out of. Patting the rock and dirt there, he started to dig into the wall. The mirror child watched for a few seconds before joining in.

They spent hours digging into the cliff wall, making a small opening in its surface. The small opening becoming deeper, and deeper borrow. Soon, the 2 creatures could both fit inside comfortably, and they decided to take a rest. The hot air outside seeped in through the brambles and washed over them. The left over rats from the morning meal made an odd smell and tasted bad so Brambolus took them away and hunted down fresher meat.

While he was gone, the unhatched shadow egg started to twitch. The first movement startled Oniko, causing her to jump slightly before getting into a pouncing position. The next few twitches and shakes had her approaching curiously. Thin lines appeared down the eggs shell, cracking sounds broke the silence. A piece of the shell fell off the egg and Oniko got close enough to peek inside. A purple eye stared back at her, scaring her into running behind the small pile of dirt and stone.

MidoMore egg shell broke away, weakening the rest of the eggs structure until finally, the shell exploded and in its place was a thistle colored dragon with avocado green wings. This dragon looked different from her in every aspect, except for the purple eyes. She stared at the new dragon from her hiding spot, watched as he looked around and made cackle noises. Purple eyes looked around, a spiked head swiveled from side to side searching.

Brambolus returned with more rats, and some fish this time, to find that the egg he brought to safety had finally hatched. The lizard brought the food over to the dirt pile, and then ushered the new hatchling over to it. “Come now young Guardian. Eat up, eat and listen to me as I explain once more the ways of this world. It’s good that you’re male, that will make populating this new clan easier. That is of course, after you’ve matured.” Brambolus chuckled a bit as he started his lecture once more.

After they finished eating, Oniko pounced on the Guardian and clung to him happily. She now had a playmate. Brambolus found it quite amusing but had to stop their play to get them back to digging. Summer seasons are all well and good, but if they were going to survive the winter, the den would need to be deeper into the cliff side, shielding them from the cold weather. He found it easier to start digging himself, which caught the attention of the young ones, who then would also find it a fun game and start digging themselves.

Oniko was having a blast while digging this time round, finding it entertaining to toss piles onto her new found friend, who would toss some at her in return. Small stones were tossed outside the whole den area, medium to large stones were set aside, they were to be used to make walls, to keep cave ins from happening.

As they dug into the earth wall, Oniko hit something. Thinking it was a rock like all other things she dug around it and pulled it out. The thing she pulled out wasn’t shaped like a rock and even had a hole in the middle, confused she chirped at her Familiar friend. “Bramby!” She climbed atop the mysterious object and inspected it.

Brambolus turned to see she was sitting on a treasure chest. It was old, and the wood it was made from was rotting, the metal holding it together was rusted. Inspecting the chest some more, he found that there was something still inside. He picked up a rock and started smacking it against the hole until he heard something pop. The lizard ushered the Mirror hatchling off the box, the other hatchling watching curiously as the lid opened. Oniko pushed her head under the lid, causing it to swing up and away from the box, she looked inside. Gold coins littered the contents of the box. A skull of some sort with blue feathers stuck to it, sat in the corner, and a piece of paper with odd scribbles sat under the skull.

Tail wagging from side to side, Oniko grabbed at the skull, lifting it from the chest and placing it onto her new friend. Brambolus laughed merrily, “It’s a bit too big for Mido, don’t you think?!” he took the skull off the guardian and placed it back in the chest. “Let us save these for when they are needed. I guess we should make a treasure room to store our odd findings in. A small hole for now, we can place other items inside the chest since it has enough room. For now lets set it aside and keep digging.”

The digging continued into the night, until finally they all fell asleep on the piles of dirt and stone.






The Start of Demons Den

In among the Foxfire Bramble and the Wispwillow Grove, many dragons come to settle down in the Tangle Wood. With the protection of the Shadowbinder, an egg lost to its mother nest find itself traveling down the river delta. The water flowing smooth and steady. Branches and leaves surround the egg to protect it as they meet with the naturally made dam.

Soft as a feather, the water gently nudges the fragile oval to a corner of the dam near the shore. After hours of sitting there, bobbing with the branches and twigs that keep it safe, the cracking of the shell sounds out as a small black head peeks out. A small Mirror Dragon climbs out of her egg and climbs up onto the shore. Shivering, she pulls her lavender wings to her body as she wonders about. Crying out, looking for her mother or any sign of life near the area she drifted.

OnikoThe night full of many sounds of creatures and dragons, ignores her cries. The dam which kept her safe breaks apart and the rotting wood and leaves float away only to rebuild itself with new wood and leaves. The shell of her egg starts to drift once more but she grabs a hold of it, pulling it ashore and into a patch of FireFox Bramble. The scent of something familiar keeping her calm, the shell itself also holding some warmth that soothes her from the cold.

A twig snaps, the Mirror’s head whips toward the sound as a Bramble Guardian runs past. Blood runs down the side of the lizard as it carries an egg, hoping to find a safe place to hide  it. The small black hatchling makes a chirping sound, catching the Guardian’s attention and directing it to where she hides. Heavy lizard breaths puff as it sets the egg near the back of the small Bramble hideout, before coming back to the Mirror hatchling and ushering her to where the egg is.

“Stay put, stay silent. Make no sound, make no move.” the Guardian whispered as it 618wrapped itself around the egg while keeping an eye out for what ever was chasing it. Seconds felt like days as they waited for what ever danger out there, to pass. The ground, moist but hard under her begun to shake slightly, causing the young Mirror to curl up closer to the Bramble Guardian. A large Snapper Dragon wonders past, slowly, listening for any sound, any sign of movement.

The Snapper passed, continuing its search for the lost egg and the familiar that carried it off. The thud of its steps slowly growing quiet, the shake of the ground getting more and more feint until the ground shook no more. The Bramble Guardian unfurled. itself from around the egg, sniffing the air checking for danger.

“It’s safe now, but it will be best to stay in this location for now. Flight Dominance can get messy, rogue dragons attacking newly made clans, dragon-napping every dragon within the clan. They will then take us Familiars to sell on the market. Dragon-napped dragons are forced by these rogues, to go serve another flights deity. Eggs are nested until they hatch, and when they do the hatchlings, such as yourself, are also sent to a deity. Those who fight against the rogues either manage to fend them off, or die protecting their young.” The Guardian Bramble left the protection of the Foxfire Brambe to scout the area, bringing back a few rats for the hatcling to eat.

“Eat little one, you must be starved.” The lizzard nudged the rats toward the Mirror, encouraging her to eat. “Do you have a name?” The mirror looked at him before giving off a  chirp then nipping at a rat.Looking around, the Guardian see’s the near perfect shell of an egg, missing the top part where the dragon climbed out. “Newly hatched I see. No adult dragons in this area of the Tangled Wood, so I figure you are just like this one here, orphaned.” The lizard gave off a sigh before settling in.

A new clan will be made of these 2 dragons, with the help of the Bramble Guardian, a formidable one.