The Trials of White Scale

Created by

Percilla Christensen and Hayden Howard

Prologue: Mother Moon

Following Marobi and Kyro

The forest below is still and quiet, not even the wind dares to rustle through the trees, to Marobi, it’s as if the land is frozen with fear. From the clouds, two dragons descend, a male and a female. The female is somewhat smaller than the male beside her. Her body slender in appearance and her style more agile as she comes in for a soft landing. The male, a thicker and much more muscular creature, takes up the sky with his impressive wingspan. Following his mate’s landing much more like a meteor, his rear legs take the blow and nearly buckle. The force of the landing makes its mark and leaves a distinct pattern in the dirt, a signature imprint, a measure of his weight and a warning of his power. His front claws dig into the dirt as his weight shifts forward. The male dragon pulls his head up and his wings extend, creating quite the display below the moonlight. A golden sheen reflects from his scales, The female unimpressed. Her thoughts still on the stillness of the trees and her eyes follow the shadows of the pines as they scan their surroundings, her focus on the tree line stays vigilant as she makes her way to an old familiar cliff side. The Male approaches. “ Marobi..?” Kyro gently gets her attention.

“An ill omen fills this air…” she replies, unable to take her eyes from the darkened woods. Her breath short.

“Marobi, we must rest, my wings cannot bear another wind.” Kyro says with some agitation.

“We could always walk, my love.” She pauses taking in a long cold breath. “I smell something sickly about this forest… something unruly and foul….” She meets her eyes with her mate. He nearly chuckles, but he knows too well how serious she can be. His eyes follow her gaze towards the darkness for a moment then he closes in to comfort her.

“Put aside what makes you anxious, it is temporary. Whatever the council murmurs, matters not. Our child needs the light of the mother moon. WE need the safety of the hatching grounds. Again, I say we must rest, my blessing, this place will do.” Cold chills claw at his scales, he looks to the moon with a tense shiver. Delicate stripes of cloud stretch across the night. A lavender glow begins to creep along the luminary in the sky, a foretelling of the mother moon.

Kyro finds a place in the grass along the cliff rocks to rest his sturdy bones. Marobi, beside him soon after, gives him some peace of mind. Not long after, she begins to twitch and fidget. He is not amused. Something in the distance snaps, Marobi instantly stands alert staring out toward the base of the cliff below them. She sees large trees fallen over in a line; she imagines a terrible scene. Kyro opens his eyes long enough to see her worry and catches a glance to the rock wall beside him. He places his hand where some scratches were left, his claws match. He sighs, “I know you’re worried, I am too, but there is hope. I feel something is different this time. A love for our child that has yet to meet us. I feel a bond in our blood, mine and yours, it’s stronger today than it was yesterday and the days before. I can’t explain where this comes from, by the mother moon I swear it to be true. Trust me, just this once, whatever is out there I will protect you.” Kyro looks beyond his mate toward the stars where the moon watches. Marobi hangs her head, she looks into the egg between her feet. She closes her eyes for a moment then grips the egg a little bit tighter. Marobi glides into a resting pose softly next to Kyro, she checks the egg one more time then closes her eyes again. Kyro checks for danger before settling down one last time, resting his head on his front claws. There is a long silence between them, finally Marobi cannot stand it any longer she breaks the silence.

“Why can’t we just go home?” She playfully dares. Kyro snorts and sighs in exaggeration, a little puff of smoke curls from his nostrils filling the air with a scent of ozone and static electricity.

While Groaning, Kyro asks… “How many times must we go over this…?” too tired to fully open his lips. Marobi hesitates before speaking.

“No, what I mean is… after the hatching, why send our fledgling through those aging trials? We could teach a fledgling anything they would ever need…” Kyro gets to his feet and snaps his jaws in agitation at her.

He retorts… “That is ridiculous!” he pauses to take a breath. “And what of our bonds to the council? Our ancestors demand it!” Kyro inhales, takes a moment. He plants his face into his hand. Marobi gets up from the nest to nuzzle her mate on the cheek in an attempt to pacify him. She begins to speak slowly and carefully, trying to appeal to his pride.

“My blessed darling, You are the most powerful dragon in the sky, you alone can guide us. The bonds of the council need not be ours. Our history is important, but when he comes nothing else will surpass our love for him. There will be nothing that you won’t be able to protect him from, what could the council ever do?”

“I can no more protect him than I can… Him? What’s this him?” He is confused for a moment. She smiles. She seems to be just as surprised.

“I don’t know where that came from, just a feeling.” The two hold each other, everything else fades. They begin to fall asleep. Marobi starts to say something, but Kyro growls back at her, she rests her head. Hearing no further complaints, Kyro falls asleep soon after.

The mated pair failed to notice the heart’s vine bush hanging above their makeshift nest. The red vines stretch from cliff to stone holding up downed trees and old decrepit logs, it’s largehearted leaves make for a warm blanket when wrapped and stretched from little twigs and trees. Inside the heart’s vine a complex network of branches and vines entangle and weave a very good hiding place. A Sargonian serpent lay dormant here, a king of beasts rivalled only by dragon. His nose filled with his favorite scent…. Dragon’s egg. The Serpent smiles as the pair fall asleep below. He begins to emerge from his hideout, he welcomes the cool night air as his long body slithers toward his resting victims. This creature is much larger in size than most dragons, even Kyro seems a runt before the serpent. Eventually, the serpent’s neck is fully out from the bush and two feeble limbs claw their way out with him. His arms are wimpy compared to the rest of his bulk, the serpent’s mid section still slithering from the vines as he climbs his way down the cliff face. Now showing are his rear legs also just as useless as his arms, still they claw at the vines and branches around him as if they are helping somehow. The rest of his body moves like that of an enormous snake, silent and powerful. The dark scales on his body allow him to blend in with the night, he is indistinguishable from the darkness in the cave. Suddenly, a roar shatters the silence.

Sensing the hatchlings distress, Marobi releases a deafening roar of fury and despair. Kyro wakes up, his eyes darting around frantically in search of the immediate threat. He sees, however, that Marobi is uninjured. He is puzzled. They both appear to be enshrouded with confusion. Marobi is unable to respond, she instead holds up the egg for his inspection. Kyro looks closely at the egg, a horrified hiss escaping his mouth. On one side of the egg a puncture, the rest of the shell still intact. The shell black in color gives off a strong aura. It seems venom is leaking from the damaged egg. Kyro sniffs at the venom and looks around. The serpent watches from the darkness. He is still and unseen. Kyro picking up his scent is staring, unknowingly, right at him. Marobi, shaking with fear and grief, happens to pick up the softest exhale from the serpent, that’s when she notices the light from his eyes, a deep dark yellow. The realization brings clarity, suddenly she can see the whole of the serpent hiding in the shadows, a massive, entangled body compressed against the cliff wall.

Kyro catches on just in time to defend against the serpent’s strike. He holds the Sargonian back with his claws prying his jaws open. The male dragon plants his hind legs to ground himself, his large tail straightens, his lungs fill with air, his posture sturdies. The cliffside becomes quiet before a mass of energy begins to swell within him. Kyro calls upon the light in the sky. He pulls electricity from a distant source, his tail postures as if conducting from beyond, the energy moves through him and he begins to create a swelling power from his mouth, lightning is about to pierce the serpent, but the serpent’s tail wraps around Kyro’s snout holding it shut. Kyro redirects his electric power through his claws sending a powerful shock into the serpent’s head. The serpent’s jaws pulse and burn, his body goes limp as he is flung away from Kyro with a great force, but he recovers and he is quick, he weaves himself around the master dragon, he takes him to the cliff’s edge and slams Kyro against the stone. Marobi wants to interfere, but Kyro fights off the beast long enough to command her to flee. The adrenaline takes over, she charges the serpent. Kyro blocks her attack and throws her off the cliff side. Marobi falls from the cliff and opens her wings. She catches herself and holds the egg close, she has to believe he will be okay. She is forced to find the hatching grounds. The sound of a thunderstorm remains where she left her mate.



Hours Pass…

Marobi’s wings collapse as she hits the sand. It’s wet and sticky. Her mind scattered, her breathing tense… the sand sticking to her wings which lay limp. She brushes off the pasty sand, tears pouring from her eyes. She is defeated with grief. She holds her egg up in the morning moonlight, it’s damage now more apparent. Suddenly, she feels warmth, her hands swell at the touch of the egg’s shell. The egg feels alive. Marobi jumps to her feet and continues on, she is at the foot of the hatching grounds, she approaches five large columns, as she knows them, the guardian pillars which represent the clans and its council which protects this place.

Ahead, a stone platform, a stage for a lecturing council, surrounding it a dark black sand which starts to feel warm beneath Marobi. Under her breath she prays “someone please help me.” She approaches the platform, places the egg in the warm black sand before it. She sobs. Feeling an energy from within the ground, Marobi relives her many visits here. She was born here as was every Dragon she had ever known. Her mind won’t let her focus, she didn’t know what to do. The ground began to glow all around. Marobi looks to the moon, it’s nearly half darkened with a deep dark purple. She turns back to her egg; she closes her eyes and holds both hands over the egg hoping she can breathe new life into her unborn child. The Mother Moon was almost here.

A set of eyes appear from a darkened entrance in the structure behind the platform. They glow green as they appear, but the figure emerges from the dark and steps into the moonlight, her eyes now a faded red when reflecting the lavender light. The familiar figure, a female dragon with light green scales, quietly approaches Marobi. “Marobi..?” She asks softly. Marobi is startled by her voice, it takes her a beat to recognize the source.

“Skovus!” Marobi cries..“We were attacked, my child, please..” she gestures to her egg revealing its damage. Skovus can’t help gasping, she kneels to the egg for inspection. Marobi stays still keeping her hands at either side of the egg. The green dragon holds out a hand to the egg. Her other hand digs into the sand. The hand above the egg begins to produce little flakes of green light, a sort of glowing dust pours into the opening of the egg.

“I can’t promise this will work; it is pierced… deep…” The egg begins to quiver and roll slowly back and forth. The light particles are gentle like snowflakes melting against the shell.

“Is my son, okay?” Marobi asks. Skovus doesn’t answer, she closes her eyes and hangs her head, the intensity of the green glowing particles increases. The egg locks in place while green light surrounds it. The presence is still gentle, but the light becomes harsh forcing Marobi to close her eyes. She feels Skovus’ hand take her hand and place it on the egg.

“Keep your hands on the egg, he must know you are here.” Skovus says. Marobi forces her will into the egg, all of her focus consumes her. She can feel the blood bond between her and the child inside, she wants to open her eyes. Her hands begin to fill with pressure, her eyelids remain shut. Whatever Skovus is doing to the egg it begins to make a sound, a humming like distant music, a radiance of a healing voice. She can almost hear a choir of voices singing. Marobi imagines the Aurora Dragon himself is guiding the energy of the beyond right into her palm. A healing whisper of faith. The sound begins to dim. Marobi’s eyes remain closed. Now, the air is silent, green light no longer fills her eyelids, only darkness. The wind is whistling through the canyons. Marobi’s shoulders relax. Skovus clears her throat then places her hand with Marobi’s. “The venom is gone… most of the shell is still intact, however… the damage your child has taken… I’m unsure of what can be undone… If anything.” Marobi doesn’t want to open her eyes anymore. Her tail tenses, nervously constricting. Her claws caressing the precious egg.

Marobi opens her eyes. “What else can be done?” She looks to Skovus for answers. Skovus begins to say more, but Marobi interrupts. “What else can we do to make sure he is safe?” Skovus is unsure how to answer. She steps away from the young mother and regains her posture. She looks out beyond Marobi toward the trees where she came in.

“I have done what I can, Marobi. Now we must wait and see if he hatches under the Mother Moon. Until then… We remain here and keep that egg of yours warm.” She looks back to meet Marobi’s eye. “If you would like, I will stay with you until Kyro gets here?” Marobi nods in agreement.

“There is a serpent out there, the Sargonian. He did this.” Skovus’ eyes widen, her jaws tighten. Marobi continues, “Do you know this beast?”

Skovus remains still “they say it is the legendary Sylok… whether this is true or not, he is a terrible nuisance. He is an elusive creature, but the council has been meaning to deal with him.”

Meanwhile…

Kyro climbs back up the cliff face from where he fell. The nest looks of ruin. it’s covered, almost completely, in blood. Unsure of how much is his own, he rests for a moment. The male dragon finds himself slumped over in the same place he and his mate were sleeping some hours ago. Kyro’s left eye is swollen shut and entrenched in drying blood. Both his wings have bite marks in them. His head still aches from the venom and its effects. In a puddle of blood next to him he sees the remnant fang from the serpent’s mouth. It shines in the moonlight. Kyro picks up the large tooth and throws it off the cliff side into the trees. He mutters to himself, “worthless-vile-thing.” He stumbles before catching the cliff wall. His arm is bleeding heavily. Kyro calls upon a quick electric spark. He takes the sparks and uses it to close the open wound, it burns horribly.

After some time, Kyro makes his way to the hatching ground. Below his flight path his eyes dart searching for the serpent. He fears it made off towards Marobi to finish her off. All he can do is pray that she made it, that he gave her enough time.

Approaching a break in the canyon, Kyro sees some familiar landmarks. To the North the structure of the council’s chamber, to the south the Temple of the phoenix graveyard and before him the pillars of the hatching ground and the dark sand beneath them. The large dragon comes in for a rough landing. A wall of sand emerges at impact. He lays there a minute as his body aches.

Kyro reluctantly lifts himself out of his landing hole. The silhouette of two female dragons sitting in the middle of the hatching ground becomes clear. The morning moonlight shows the way. Marobi senses him and looks back toward her mate. She wants to run and meet him, but she can’t take her hands from the egg. Kyro rushes to them instead. Skovus stands tall to greet him. “Please, sit.” she demands. Kyro rests his brutish body next to Marobi. He takes comfort in her scent. The two females smell only the mixture of Kyro and Sylok’s blood which covers him. Skovus stands before Kyro and holds her hands out to heal him.

“What of my child?” Kyro snaps. “Does he not need healing?” He tries to move Marobi’s hands from the egg so he can see it. Skovus and Marobi simultaneously snap at him.

“The egg still needs time to heal, Kyro. If he still lives after today, I give you both my word. I will protect him with my life. For now, Master Dragon, I can heal your wounds and perhaps you will be well enough to sit through his naming ceremony.” She straightens herself out and holds out her hands again. Kyro smirks at Marobi as if to say, “can you believe this?”. A green light wash bathes Kyro. His thick cuts begin to close. The bite marks in his wings begin to disappear. He feels the large gash on his face start to close up. Kyro looks at his large cut on his arm, the pain begins to clear. A scar remains. His body starts to feel fresh, still sore, but renewed. Skovus nearly falls over, but Kyro catches her.

“Are you okay?” He asks. Skovus pulls away from him quickly and regains her posture.

“Excuse me.” She raises her chin. “I believe you two have an egg to look after, I will return when the other parents arrive.” She begins to storm off.

“Thank You.” Marobi says. Skovus looks back for a second before continuing toward the Council Chambers. Kyro lays next to Marobi and holds one hand on the egg the other on Marobi.

The Hatching grounds are still and quiet, not even the wind seems to summon a breeze, to Marobi it’s as if the realm is holding its breath. The two dragons look to the sky, what blessings may come with this Mother Moon.

End Prologue