(after years of playing just one alt, i figured i would see what all this draggy stuff is all about. here is the story of my dear mw - i hope you enjoy it!)
I remember being cold. That's the clearest memory. There were voices and sounds I now recognize as battle noises, and I remember being shaken so hard I bruised a wing against the side of my egg, but the clearest memory is of being warm, then suddenly – I am cold, so cold.
When I was warm, my mother would sing to me lullabyes of the glory of our race. I nestled in my shell, comforted by the melody of greatness, the harmony of hopes to be gifted, like the wonderous ancestors who fought and fought and did not fall.
My mother sang to me her dreams that I might be gifted – long are the lives of dragons, but without the gift, even we must pass. Our family had been without gifted in our line for many generations. My parents were old – though bonded for centuries, my mother and father had never before produced an egg. I was their last hope for offspring, much less a gifted one.
I found great pleasure in the warmth and grace of my mother, and although I was past time to enter the world, I remained in my egg. How could the wide world be as sweet as life in my tiny space? My father would bring her food so she did not have to hunt. Tenderly, he would drop his offerings in front of her, asking her in a voice booming with love if it was sufficient. Even thru my shell, I could feel the flush of heat my mother always experienced at the sound of his voice.
Thus I spent my babyhood, cocooned in love and nourished with tender care.
Until they came. They brought the cold with them, of course. Waves and waves of chill covered my shell after the sudden loss of my mother's warmth. I heard her scream in rage and fear, yelling out battle words I had never imagined my gentle mother would even know. I did not know what those words meant at that time.
Long after the last horrible scream had faded, I still waited for my mother's warmth to return. How many days passed, I do not know. But I had long since consumed the egg's foodstores and the initial cold had faded to a dull but unrelieved chill. The bruise on my wing had stopped hurting. Cautiously, I scratched my soft claws against the greenish grey shell. The sound was one I had not heard before and it startled me. I waited for an answer, any answer – but none came. I tapped louder. Again, no answer from the other side of my sanctuary.
Afraid to leave but scared to stay, I pushed my body against the shell. I was large and there was no more room to move, but I kept imagining myself expanding and expanding, using all my strength and will to break my once haven, now prison. Just as I was at my strength's end, I heard a sharp snap, and one wing burst out, scraping my delicate membranes against the thorny edge. Once the hole was made, it was a simple matter to break enough of the egg to tumble out.
But I immediately wished I had stayed in the egg. My mother greeted me at my emergence, but not the way either of us had wished.
She had fallen protecting me. My first sight was the remains of her great back and tail. Her tail had curled around the egg, forming a wall to barricade the vicious attackers. Enough of her flesh remained to show the numerous cuts and burns that scored her. Even the bones of her back showed the depth and breadth of the assault she had endured.
Circling the death of love, what I saw would have caused me to be ill, if I had food in me. No tissues were left to hold the bones of my mother together. It was as if some great hand had scooped up all her flesh, leaving a perfectly clean skeleton.
Of my father, I saw no sign. To this day, I believe he fell defending my mother and me – perhaps he saw the attackers coming and met them in his hunting ground.
My grief and despair overcame me and I could only express it by laying down next to my mother's body and nudging her, trying to get her to sing to me. Yes, rationally, I knew she would never voice to me again – but a child knows only that mother is the name for god………
This was how the saris and sslik found me. I could hardly move when I heard the sounds echoing thru the caves my parents had called home. I lifted my head as the sounds came closer, and I hoped it was whoever had killed my parents returning to finish their work.
I watched as the smallish saris female, clad in green armour and carrying a large warhammer and shield motioned to the tall sslik in brownish armour to circle around the large skeleton. They did not yet see me, or rather, they thought I was merely part of the remains.
"We are too late," I heard the saris call out, as if that was not obvious.
"If only we had sighted that blight anchor a week earlier. Maybe we would have been able to help fight off the Withered Aegis." replied the sslik, using his large maul to poke my mother's hind leg.
Even in my weakened state, I could not let this insult to my mother go unanswered. I scrambled to pull my legs up underneath me and struggled to my feet. It took me so long that the pair had plenty of time to prepare for battle.
Of course, as soon as I got to my feet, weakness overtook me and I pitched forward, bashing my snout against the cave floor.
"O Snake! The poor thing can hardly move! It must be starving!" the green lady exclaimed.
"Come on, let's go bag a couple deer and hurry back!"
I must have fallen asleep, because I remember dreaming of my mother. I heard her voice singing to me once again, only it was different and the song was about a naughty saris and her wild adventures. But I was warm again, and there was a smell in the air that made my tight, empty stomach heave and grumble. Sluggishly, I opened my eyes to see two large animals, unmoving as my mother, leaking red fluid all over the cave floor. From them was emanating the tantalizing odor. There was another smell, this one coming from the large crackling flames the pair had set near the entrance of the cave. There, a smaller animal was being slowly rotated and turning brown.
The green lady came into view from the cave mouth. Slowly, she came up to me, holding out her hands in front of her to show she did not have the hammer in hand.
"Hello. My name is Velveeta. Can you talk?"
I could barely summon the strength to move my head.
"Okay, no problem! Can you feed yourself? Probably not, huh? Times like this, I wish I carried a sword!! No matter, it will probably be easier on you to be fed pieces anyway."
The green lady called to the sslik and introduced him as Snake. Together, they began to cut large pieces off the dead animals, which they called deer, stacking them up in a pile.
Once there was enough food, the green lady approached me and explained that she was going to feed me, and asked me not to bite her. For some reason, the pair seemed to find this remark funny, but I was too busy gobbling down meat to try to understand what about it was so.
After feeding me, they declared their own meal ready and began to carve meat off the animal they called a sheep. The smell made my stomach rumble again, so the pair offered the rest of it to me. My first meal must have given me my strength back, as I quickly gained my feet and needed no help to snap up what was left in two bites.
The green lady explained that the pair would spend the night in the cave with me, and that I was welcome to leave in the morning with them. I wished I could speak then, to tell her my story and ask what I should do – but I could only gaze at them, trying to project my thoughts to them by sheer will.
Soon enough, the morning came and the pair roused themselves. They had saved a few scraps of meat for their breakfast and quickly, the green lady announced it was time to go.
"So, are you ready to go? We will make sure to mark this cave and report to the council. We should take you to them as well – they will know what to do about you!" Velveeta told me.
As we left the only home I knew, I stopped only to take one of my mother's claws, caked black with the residue of what Snake and Velveeta called the Withered Aegis. Snake fashioned it into a pendant using a leather strap to fix it on my neck. We stepped out into the light of day, the first I had ever seen.
"Well, hatchling, you need a name! Do you have one? No? Your parents picked a lovely spot to make their home – this patch of forest is known as the Mourning Wood. It sounds somehow appropriate, doesn't it? What do you think? Have no fear, Mourn – we will have plenty of time to teach you some basic words while getting to Dralk and you can tell us yourself what you prefer!"
Eventually, the pair did teach me to talk and did take me to Dralk – and from there, into the wide world. After many more adventures, the green lady became the Cheese Queen of Blight and Snake, her devoted consort and advisor. I chose to become Velveeta's ward, accepting her protection and assistance when Steward Pratt refused to reward me with my gifted emblem after I had completed the trials. Like gifted, I cannot die – but I am not recognized as gifted. Velveeta and Snake continue to fight to get me the recognition they think I am due, but I am content, knowing that I have become the fulfillment of my parents' hopes and the guardian of their dreams.