Story Summary:

A tragic friendship befalls a young elf, and a bitter enemy is made, the moment when he touches a dragon hatchling that did not belong to him.

Palin, a half crippled youth, struggles to find purpose amid a perfection obsessed elvin society. In the day, he endures the ridicule from his peers for having been born deformed with a clubbed foot, his only kindness received from his sole friend Tamaldin. At night, he dreams of soaring on the wings of his dragon, seeing the sights only a true legendary rider saw.

When the dragon eggs are brought to his city, Palin can hardly contain his excitement. He races to his city's grand hall on wobbly legs with his friend Tamaldin at his side. To his great misfortune, his excitement overcomes him as an egg hatches… and he touches a hatchling dragon meant for Tamaldin. An unbreakable bond is formed between the dragon and Palin, the false rider.

Would I be punished for this, my grave mistake? Would I suffer all of my long days?

Story Notes:

My Idea for this fanfic came from a Q&A session with the author Christopher Paolini:

Q: If a dragon hatches for a person, what happens if someone else touches it before that person?
CP: Complications.

Prologue: Rider

FalseRider. The accusation reverberated painfully through my head. The voice threatened to shatter my thoughts to dust. Fallacious,deceptive,deceiving,traitorous,forged,counterfeitrider!

Well,atleastmydragonhasatalentwiththevernacular, I thought, briefly feeling smug through the overwhelming fear encircling my frail heart.

I'mnotyourdragon,evilswindler! The words fell like stars across my mind, momentarily searing my inner sight, blinding my inner thought.

Abomination, another voice joined. His voice sent boulders toppling down upon my mind. For a moment, I was lost without a name, crushed beneath the unyielding weight of a mountain.

Cheat. Her voice was smooth as a snake's slither, and twice as deadly as its bite. My heart beat sluggishly beneath the venom dripping from her voice.

Whatisthisrider? a voice like thunder demanded. The sound nearly split my mind apart into two. I was on my way to meet my end, my doom, soon.

FalseRider! my dragon shouted again, and was joined by a multitude of others, roaring, whispering, shouting, hissing, breathing fire – all the speeches I never thought a dragon would speak to me.

The echoes in my head swirled and swam across the farthest reaches and corners of my mind. I would come undone at the fragile seams in my mind. I would drown in a sea of angry voices. I would die by the thousand thoughts of a murderous mob. Bright lights and splotches of color swirled like a cunning vortex conniving to swallow me whole. I was lost and afloat in a sea of fire.

Would I be punished more than this for my grave mistake? Would I suffer all my long days?

The questions left me shuddering with fear and trepidation.