I don't own Drakan. Does anything else need to be said? On with the story!

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Light A Candle

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A Drakan fan fiction written by Random One-Shot

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and no one doth knoweth from whence they have arisen, but all agree that they are Great in their power and might. In form they are draconic, but their flesh is that of dreams and mist. Wisdom is in their eyes and power in their claws. All who meet them walk away changed. Truly, these creatures are not of our world…

before the fall of High Earl Jareth's reign there was, for a time, a horrific series of atrocities committed against the riders of the Order who were waylaid and imprisoned in the mad Earl's dungeons. These crimes would have gone on unreported had not a series of messages been relayed to certain persons in dreams by those our dragon brothers call Guardians….

lacking bodies of their own, these creatures exist solely on the astral plane. Occasionally, they have been known to reach out to our world through mediums, most notably dreams or spiritually sensitive persons. While most of these spirits are malevolent in nature, delighting in the tricking and tormenting of those who walk the physical world, there exist a few spirits who seem to express an interest in aiding those who are troubled. In various legends and documents of astral experimentation, many of these spirits take the form of, surprisingly enough, great dragons….

And I walked through the corridor of my soul, seeking a release from this burdensome life I carried. Crossing a bridge of silk over a chasm of stars, I reached the edge of my mortality. Had I taken another step forward, I would surely have fallen off this mortal coil and followed my dear Nephrite, scaled brother of my heart that he was, into death and oblivion, had not a great white dragon appeared before me. "Go back," it said unto me. "Nephrite, who we loved dearly, has sold his life so that you may keep yours…."

And that was it.

It went on and on like that. All legends and vague descriptions of dragons or their riders or an occasional sorcerer meeting up with something that may or may not have been a Spirit Dragon, receiving a few words of cryptic wisdom and advice, and then one of the two leaving. There was nothing concrete, nothing definite, and, most frustrating of all, nothing that would tell what to expect from the beings themselves.

Terror and panic had long ago lost their hold over Rynn, but frustration still made her want to scream.

The buxom redhead tossed the moldering tome back onto the desk and stared hopelessly at the dwindling pile that the Brotherhood of the Eternal Word had graciously gathered for her. They were still even then sorting through their seemingly endless supply of cryptic texts looking for more that might help, but the going was slow. While all of the monks could read, not all of them were proficiently skilled at it beyond merely copying older documents onto fresh paper. Even worse, it took a great deal of time and patience to decipher the handwriting of some of the works. Rynn was seriously considering asking the abbot to make legible handwriting part of the requirements for novices to advance to the rank of monk.

"Damnation," Rynn sighed.

The candles were burning low in their pools of wax, and her back and neck ached horribly from hunching over the low desk for so long. Her eyes did not feel too great, either. Rynn was starting to understand why all the brothers in the monastery were so nearsighted.

"Later then," she said.

Rynn stood up from the uncomfortably rigid chair and stretched, feeling and hearing her spine and joints pop back into their proper alignment. The small window in her impromptu study gave her a glimpse of the fading sunlight when she walked over to peer out of it. The last blaze of orange and gold was burning away in the horizon, and the misty twilight of purple and gray that came after it was fading to dark blue and black. The first stars were beginning to show their faces and the moons were glowing vibrantly.

Dinnertime, her stomach growled at her. Rynn agreed with it. Her last meal had been a bowl of lukewarm porridge she had snatched from the castle kitchen early in the morning. It had had the consistency and taste of the paste that Rynn had used to bind together the spine of a book when she was sixteen and –

- "Delon!" The cold of not-space and his face, oh god, his face, he knew she would not reach him in time -

- and suddenly she was on her knees, not remembering the trip down, and retching. Her long red hair, greasy and dirty from four days without a proper wash, spilled across her shoulders and touched the cold stone floor, and it was a darker color with the filth, the color of –

- his blood it didn't matter if the soul was of another she was fighting her own brother and where the fuck was Arokh she needed help yesterday –

- gagging on her own juices. The stomach acid was strong and bitter and scorchingly hot in her throat as it fought its way up. Her stomach had taken on the form of a pretzel and it was still even then twisting more –

- "I'm sorry Rynn, but we don't have time to mourn." What 'we', she thinks. Your brother died centuries ago and mine has -

- tears were forming in her eyes and snot was clogging her nose, signs of something she had been pushing away for weeks -

- she falls through the air, clinging to his neck for dear life and in the seconds when Rynn is still around and the dragon rider has not appeared, she sees the thing that they have come to fight and what little remains of her sanity is torn away like so much grass. Her arrows are flying not to aid Arokh, but because she simply has to kill it, has to deny this Rift-spawned abomination its unholy existence -

-and the last heave got it all out.

Had it really only been ten weeks? No, on second thought not even that long. Two months. Just two months. Two months ago, she had been sitting down to dinner with her brother. Two months ago, she had been at home in her little village with no name by the sea. Two months ago, her biggest kill had been a lone wartock scout who got too close to her home for comfort four years earlier.

And two months later, here she was – Rynn, the heroine; Rynn, the bonded of Arokh; Rynn, the destroyer of the Dark Union reborn; Rynn, the slayer of Navaros; Rynn, the light of Surdana; Rynn, the ruin of storms; Rynn, the hero of the northern wastes; Rynn, the desert tamer; Rynn, the Desert Lord's bane.

She sick to death of it all.

'Just get up', she thought. 'Just get up and… and get some damn dinner and go find Arokh. Hell, that's what I really want.'

Coughing up the last of her bile, Rynn weakly spat it out onto the floor and stood up. She felt curiously weak and drained. Stepping over the puddle of vomit nearly sent her falling down to the floor again. Leaning against the wall seemed to help and Rynn slowly made her way to the heavy door.

Her hand wrapped around the pull ring and Rynn breathed in deeply, tasting foulness. The air did not help and there seemed to be a growing ache centered directly behind her forehead. Perfect.

'Let's get something straight here,' Rynn ordered. 'You are the dragon rider. You are not weak. You do not get sick. You are going to open this door, get a meal, find your partner, discuss relevant issues at hand and go to bed, in that order. If Lady Myschala asks for a report, you will give her one. If General Dehrimon asks you for a report, you will give him one. You will not collapse. You. Will not. Collapse.'

Rynn opened the door.

'And you will clean this mess up before anyone finds it. Understood?'


There was something indescribably beautiful about Drakan from the air.

If Arokh had been a poet he might have been able to put it to words, but he was a warrior and as such his specialty lay more in the 'burn things until they stop screaming' range. Still, just because he was a connoisseur at distinguishing the variety of ways there were to fry something did not mean he had no appreciation for anything else. He especially preferred the view at night, when Drakan's moons were full and round, the light giving a pale tint to the hills and mountains that Surdana was situated within and turning the lakes and rivers to molten silver. Everything became quiet and still. He could hover in the air a few hundred feet above the ground and the only sound would be his wings.

It had become especially restful ever since he had woken from his sleep and found that the world had gone to hell.

Surdana's nights were quickly becoming his refuge. Under the guise of patrolling – and it was not a complete lie, per se. The sight of a three-ton, fire-breathing dragon had scared off more than a few minor troubles in the past two weeks – he could stop thinking about everything that had happened to him and Heron and Rynn and the world at large and just fly, reveling in the power and grace that made a dragon a dragon. He cleared snow-capped mountains in minutes, where a group of humans would have taken weeks. He coasted over a lake that a wartock would have needed four days to circumvent. He climbed to altitudes that would have killed those miserable black wings and stared at the clouds below him. He danced through the air until his troubles left.

Lately though, it was becoming more and more difficult, and Arokh was very tempted to blame Rynn.

It had been almost two months since their bonding. The time for the more interesting side effects to show was just starting, if his memory was right. Catching the edge of Rynn's emotional baggage was just the beginning. He really needed to have a talk with that girl. The only problem was, she was getting harder and harder to be alone with.

The responsibilities of a knight of the Order were many. The responsibilities of the only two knights of the Order in the world were ridiculous. Arokh did not have a problem with it. Or at least, he had not. As far as he was concerned, someone had to fix the mess and why not he and Rynn? They had some significant advantages over most others.

But once he had taken a moment to actually pursue that train of thought with his other half in mind, he realized that no one had ever asked her what she had wanted.

Rynn had never gone into detail about her life prior to the attack on her village, but Arokh was a good observer and he could guess. She had been trained in the martial arts decently, if not extensively. Most of what she used to fight with seemed to either be self-taught or improvised at the moment. Whatever teacher she had found couldn't have had too much time with her before the instruction ceased. Still, she was phenomenal learner and never made the same mistake twice, so far as he could see, and that served her well.

She had not been in many fights before meeting him. Her skin had next to zero scars and she did not walk the way Heron and the other human knights had, all grace and awareness, ready to lash out if anything chose to attack. She didn't keep walls to her back and she was only just now getting used to the idea that just because every living thing under the sun wanted to kill humans didn't mean that all humans stuck together. Zola Dane had been good for something, at least.

The biggest thing that those little facts and clues told him was that Rynn had never intended to live her life as a warrior. She had studied the fighting arts as a means of self-defense, maybe even as a way to protect her village, but it was not the life she had wanted beyond all others.

When Arokh had shattered the rock that had kept him away from the world for a thousand years, he had not seen a woman worthy of the title 'knight', had not seen someone who he thought was a good choice to spend the rest of his considerable life with. He had seen a scraped up, beaten down, filthy, tired and bedraggled girl who was all but ready to collapse, and who was begging him to go save her brother. At that point it was either go back to sleep and spend another few centuries as a cave ornament, or join his soul with a complete stranger to hunt down a bunch of filthy wartocks and save her brat brother.

A few hours after that the cave ornament option was sounding very tempting indeed. The other course of action was to keep going after the brat, fighting off the reformed Dark Union (the most dangerous organization to ever walk the planet. Rynn had not cared), doing it with just one bonded pair (whereas before it had taken the majority of the Order and several long, bloody years of warfare that had altered Drakan's landscape. Rynn had not cared), and killing off a soul stealing monstrosity who was technically already dead (and who wanted Arokh's blood for tossing him into the Rift for a few hundred years. Rynn had not cared. Arokh had very much cared).

The girl had stubborn in spades, but only if the goal was a personal one.

The journey to open the Mother's Eye had been treated with a slow, plodding determination. The rabid obsession with which she had chased Delon five hundred miles across Drakan was nowhere to be seen. Saving Drakan was a must, but it had not been something she felt motivated to do.

'Which brings us to the question of the hour – what are we going to do now?' Arokh wondered.

He was perfectly fine with remaining Surdana. It was one of the few defensible settlements they had come across and it had some definite appeal. A sorceress, several libraries, a working guard unit and a big gateway that could take them to another corner of the world in a heartbeat. So long as Myschala did not get the idea into her head that he and Rynn were her personal soldiers, Arokh was in no hurry to –

- there was a tearing, twisting pain in his stomach and Arokh convulsed in the air, his wings crumpling and gravity taking hold.

He had drifted down during his musings and the ground was suddenly very close. Ignoring the pain, Arokh obeyed that instinct that all flighted creatures posses, the one that shrieks 'gravity is not for everyone!', and spread his wings through the pain. The fact that it did nothing to make the hurting worse led him to the knowledge of where the pain was coming from.

Rynn.

The pain that flared up around his wing joints was all his as Arokh's full weight came down on them. Air ballooned the membrane lining his wings and Arokh neatly turned his tumble into the momentum he needed to veer sharply back into the sky and swing back around toward Surdana.

After a few moments the pain in his gut was gone, leaving only the throbbing of his wings to indicate that it had ever happened. That finalized it, then. Something had happened to Rynn. Trying not to think about what, Arokh decided that when he saw her, they were definitely going to have a long overdue discussion.