I was asked to feature another novel for January and I’ve decided to talk about my second fantasy novel, still a work in progress, Dragon Wielders.
Long ago the five remaining dragons were turned into pieces of jewellery in order to stop the dragon war. Hundreds of years later the evil dragon, Zabood, has been freed. It is up to Raida and her bonded dragon, Pax, to find the remaining dragons, their bondmates, and set them free. Only with the help of the other dragons will Takes have any chance of stopping Zabood from enslaving their world.
About the Author:
I’ve always been a lover of fantasy especially dragons. I’ve got a heap of dragon statues above my bookcase. I’ve just always loved the mystery, powers, and history of them. Writing a novel about dragons has been a long dream of mine but it was only last year that I came up with a story plot that I loved with characters that evolved with every stroke of my pen.
As I began to write this story it seemed to flow so naturally, even more natural than my first novel The Keeper: Ancestors’ Knives. But I had to edit my first novel and soon Dragon Wielders was put on the back burner. Once my novel was ready for publishers I had the new idea of a children’s series brewing in my mind that just had to be written, so once again the dragon’s story was left untold. I am hoping that this year I will get back to it. I am determined to finish it; it’s a story I’m passionate about.
(This is the first chapter as it is now, written and unedited)
“Please, Raida, please tell us the story,” the children of Ubera chanted from the campfire like a choir of birds.
Raida could hear them from her hut. She sat cross legged, a cup of root tea in her hands. Her eyes were closed as she breathed it in. The chants grew louder and she smiled, not something she did often. Her eyes fluttered open revealing her piercing yellow eyes, a trait she shared with her tribe. Placing the tea on the floor, Raida picked up her green toga and wrapped it around her olive skin. The finished product was a skirt and shoulder top combo. Though she preferred the feel of the earth under her feet, she wore high sandals – her mother’s sandals.
The evening was warm and sticky. She brushed back wavy, black hair from her face and stepped into the fire’s light. She was greeted with many pairs of yellow eyes, watching her eagerly. They were her people, her tribe – Uberfáng. They were sometimes called savages by outsiders, but the people of Ubera were merely in touch with the land. It was their appearance that threw people – sandals, bracelets, togas, and of course tattoos; each one a mark for accomplishment among the tribe. Raida had received three; a knotted pattern on her left upper arm for becoming of age after killing her first animal. The second was a pattern of triangles around her bellybutton, visible between the gap in her toga dress, it was marked for bravery during a great flood many seasons ago. The third, an elaborate dragon covering most of her back, its origins were unknown to most of her tribe and Raida never spoke of it.
The Uberfáng lived on a plain encircled with mountains and forests. It was their land and Raida knew it like she knew nothing else. Usually Raida would have enjoyed the scenery, but tonight her mind was troubled.
She was pulled back from her worry and back to reality. A young girl tugged at Raida’s toga, her yellow eyes full of wonder. “Alright,” she answered, “story time.”
A chorus of ‘yays’ rang out as Raida sat with the children by the fire. The weather was warm, but the Uberfáng were used to it. Other Uberfáng gathered also, Raida’s story was one they had heard many times, but it was so shrouded in intrigue and mystery that it appealed to all. Raida knew the story well; her mother had told it to her as a child.
“In the beginning…” Her words washed over the tribe and silence fell. “The world was without races, and elements roamed free through the forests and mountains. But it was lonely without anyone else and so each element – fire, water, earth, air and spirit – each gave birth to an egg. They were nourished and cared for until one day they hatched and the first race was born – the dragons.” Raida moved her hands through the fire’s smoke and the form of an egg hatching rose into the sky. The children watched on in awe. The image changed and a great dragon flew around the fire. “The five originals bred and their race thrived for thousands of years.
“As time passed other races were born, among them the Uberfáng. The world was in a state of peace and balance. Then everything changed.” Raida’s tone deepened, her eyes falling into shadow. “Zabood, a dragon of water, turned on his kin. His lust for power started the dragon wars. It lasted for thousands of years, which for a dragon is not much time at all. Many dragons were forced to pick sides, turning their backs on family and friends. They murdered each other in the fight for power and peace until only five dragons remained. Four were the youngest of their race’s element and the fifth – Zabood.
“Knowing they could not win the war and fearing their race’s extinction, the four young dragons called to their parents, the Elements. They begged for help to preserve their race and bring back peace. The elements agreed to assist the dragons, but it would come at a cost. The young dragons accepted, knowing it was their only hope; and so it was done. The Elements lured Zabood to the other dragons, atop the Spirit Mountain and cast their spell. Zabood and the four dragons – the last of their kind – were bound and transformed into five pieces of jewellery. They would slumber in metal for all time.
“And so the world was once again peaceful, but the Elements felt a heavy guilt over the part they played in the world’s torture. And so they decided to leave our world, taking their magic with them.
“But what about the dragons?” squeaked a little girl.
“Shhhh, she’s getting to that,” replied another.
“The elements chose the safest place they could think of and so they came to Ubera; where they approached its leader, Raven. She was very young, but the elements saw her courage, truth and they knew she would protect them. And she did, Raven spent the rest of her years making sure no one would find the dragons.” Raida gazed around the fire at the satisfied faces and a single hand up. “Yes, Callie?” Raida asked.
“Um,” started Callie, unsure whether to ask her question, “why did Raven have to protect the dragons? Why could no one find them?”
Raida had never been questioned on her story before and hoped she never would, but Callie was sharp. She was very young, but her mind was quizzical. Raida thought about how she would answer and unconsciously touched her silver armband. It was wrapped around her upper arm, and shaped like a dragon, its eyes watchful.
“The legend says,” she continued, “the only way to free the dragons from the jewel cases is to find their bondmate, someone from another race, and that person would become De’za – Dragon Wielder.”
This added bit of information caused a flow of hushed whispers and excitement.
“Where are the dragons now?” Callie asked, more confident now. “And which dragon are you bonded to? You have a dragon jewel.”
The children fell silent again, having never made the connection to Raida’s armband and the story before. They awaited the answer eagerly.
“Callie, it’s a story,” Raida replied, “it’s not real; only a story to entertain you children.”
“But you have the armband and the elements part is true, they did create our world.”
“And doesn’t everyone find the story more exciting if certain parts are true? So I used true elements to create an untrue story. Understand?”
Callie nodded, but Raida could tell she wasn’t convinced. Callie was very clever, but she also had an overactive imagination. Raida knew she would be trying to convince her from now on.
“Well, that is the end of the story and it’s now time for you to go to bed.”
“Aww,” sang the children, but parents were already ushering them to huts. Raida stood and watched for a while and when they were tucked in bed, she snuck off into the shadows.
The Uberfáng were very respectful to their dead. They had many burial chambers spread throughout the mountains like catacombs. Every deceased Uberfáng was given a sort of party in their honour where the body was placed in the centre of the village and the rest of the tribe celebrated their life through song, dance and food. The closest family member to the deceased was tasked with hunting an animal for the feast to show they were still strong.
The body was burnt at sunset and the ashes gathered in an urn, the urns were placed in the burial chambers with their ancestors. To not be buried this way was disrespectful and only the forsaken of their vi