Jarnunvösk

It was all dark and cramped inside there there, then he touched me. I felt something powerful in him, so I emerged forth from my egg. He looked at me, he was a hatchling too only a decade old, in awe and I returned his gaze. He looked into my big, sparkling eyes and I knew he would be a great Rider. He was young, just like me, so other Riders on the island -Vroenguard- taught us. Other Riders could not match my Rider's skill and power. He excelled in everything: magic, fighting, the use of his mind, as did I. I grew as well, I became stronger, bigger, and more agile. But we were still learning.

I fought him for the thousandth time.

Again, youngling! he called with his mind.

We preformed the movement again. I could never beat him, not for the months I had been training. He was almost four times my size and power. Though he was much older, which made sense that I could not. I couldn't even breathe fire yet, and he could hold the flame for over and hour.

How do you accomplish it, Master? You never tire, you never lose. How?

Feelings of amusement relayed from him to me.

In time, young one, you will learn. It comes with age, wisdom. You are still young, do not worry.

We practiced again.

My master was charming, as my Rider may have put it, he was wise and kind. There were many Elder male dragons, but none were as wonderful as my master. He was the most noble, and one of the oldest dragons at Vroenguard. He had taught me many things, things I never thought I could do. I did not have affection for him, but I did respect him and count him as a good friend.

I was walking through one of Vroeguard's hidden forests when I saw my master standing in the forest. I wondered what he was doing, so I went up to him. I waited for him to acknowledge me with a flick of his mind.

Questioning flowed through our link.

I am worried about my Rider, I said.

Concern welled through his mind, and wondering.

He is... oh, he worries me. I do not know what has gotten in to him. I no longer can hear his lessons, he shuts me out. He acts like he is the most powerful Rider there ever was. It may be a passing thing, but I do not want him to lose himself.

Keep a sharp eye on him, young one, I will speak with Oromis next time I see him, but for now that is all I can say. I am sorry. Comforting came forth from his mind, consuming me.

Thank you, Master Glaedr, I said continuing walking.

One day my Rider talked to a number of his friends and their dragons. He had always been cunning in his words, so he convinced them. We were to fly away at night to a near-by land's forest to hunt foreign monsters we had been warned about- Urgals. We had been warned about their strength even us dragons had, they were strong. We flew the following night across the vast ocean, to the forest called the Spine, it was unfamiliar land. I felt a strange magic in this place and thought it unwise to stay.

We shouldn't be here, I said, the Elders told us never to leave Vroenguard without their permission. We are not strong enough, they warned us. We are still learning, please, let us leave.

But he closed his mind to me. When he closed his mind, there was no way back in, only a thread of his emotions came to me and all were pride and bashfulness.

They set up camp that night, like ignorant hatchlings. They lit a fire and spoke loudly around it. I went to lay by the other dragons, we exchanged long glances of worry. They had try to reason with their Riders, but were, like me, were shut out. Our Riders thought themselves invincible, but they were not. We could not just leave them in this strange land, so we had no choice but to stay. We could have picked up our Riders in our claws and forcibly taken them back, and how I wish we would have. Our instincts screamed at us, we all knew, this was no safe place to be.

During the night -after our Riders had fallen asleep- I was the first to wake. Then the other dragons woke, we sensed something was amiss. Our Riders -in their ignorance- were still asleep because they had blocked us from their minds. We all tried to wake them, roaring, calling out with our minds, flapping our wings in a whirlwind around them, but they wouldn't wake. Suddenly, out of the woods, the horned monsters we had been warned about jumped out at us from behind. The first one caught me on the back. I flipped over crushing the Urgal against the ground, I would not be ridden like some animal by a strange creature. We struck down the first few, and finally their savage war-cries awoke our Riders. They franticly grabbed their swords and slew the ones around them. My Rider climbed up to my back, sitting in his usual spot. I used my claws, wings, teeth, and tail to take down the Urgals.

I can not fight from your back, you have to let me down!

No! It is too dangerous! I will not! I will not lose you!

You have to! Or we will die.

I finally gave in, letting him to the ground while taking down many of the Urgals around us. He wielded his sword valiantly rushing the Urgals.

We and our Riders slew many, they were a tangle of bodies now, our Riders lost in their midst. Two of my friends had already been slain and their Riders -distracted by their dragons' deaths- had met the same end. I too was distracted they had been my closest friends. My hatch mates had been torn from me, the one I loved, my future mate, gone. I did not see it coming, I was fighting many Urgals around me while watching my friends and my Rider. A single, black arrow, I saw it far to late, my eyes wide as it struck me in the chest. A painful roar escaped my jaws, my Rider turned to me. I swayed, collapsing to the ground with labored breathing. He ran to me, using all the spells of healing he knew.

I was too young, we were too young. My Rider could not understand why this was happening.

"Jarnunvösk," he sobbed. He wrapped his arms around my neck, then he knelt next to my large head, gently stroking my nose. None of his spells had worked, I knew this was my end. He must have known too, for he wrapped his arms back around my neck, sobbing all the harder.

Do not let this ruin you, my noble Rider, I said painfully turning my head to look in his eyes. Let not your powers be used for evil. Do not lose who you are, for you are great. I love you very, very much, and will always be watching you from the skies. With that said I took my last breath, dying in his arms.

I was too young to die, but now I watch over him from the skies. I hate not him, but what he has become. My death caused him to lose much of himself, as he wandered near death in that forest. It caused a cruel outcome as well. He begged for another to bond with, but we never would have been the same. Our Elders denied him another, so he found them and killed all of them along with our teachers. Thirteen joined him -out of fear or wanting for power I don't know, but the rest he destroyed. Every last one. Any who opposed him met the same end. Elves and dwarves went into hiding, the last of the Riders were annihilated. He made himself king over the strange land and ruled with evil power. Only four remained, three had yet to hatch, and the one that was older was disabled, unable to fight. He had control over the eggs. Why did you have to disobey our Elders, why didn't you heed my warnings? Why did you not love me enough to listen? I still love you, but why? Why, my Rider? Why Galbatorix?