Chapter 1

Stolen!

The cave was adorned with jewels and gold. Rubies and diamonds littered the floor. The burgular Marzak took out a chisel. He had found what he came for, a giant golden gem almost as big as his head stuck in the rocks on the floor of the cave. The surface was so smooth, that it was like it had been polished every day since it came into being. It had one simple symbol on the top. Marzak gulped when he saw it, but then swallowed and said out loud, "That don't mean anything, must've been some superstit… umm people" he finished. Because that symbol also literally meant "good or bad" which some superstitious people interpreted to be good or bad luck.

Marzak had been living on the streets for a while, so he knew how much a thing like this would cost. I'm glad my employer told me about this, he thought. As soon as I get this, I'm going to run away, and sell it. He'll think that I died, hopefully.

While he was happily chiseling away, he started to relax. Who knew about the cave besides him? He remembered, when the chisel screeched across the gemstone, that he must be very careful, for in his hands, he held his reward to his life of thievery, and millions of darmen. Then he thought: this life has payed off, hmm? No more sitting on the street begging for food like those other sewer rats. It's time to live in style. His ignorance of the world around him did not pay off, though, when he failed to notice the giant golden dragon gazing at him from a high ledge with contempt as he chiseled the gem from the wall.

Later, when Marzak was almost done taking the gem out of the rock around it, Myrequa pounced. Nobody would steal her egg while she still had air in her lungs, she thought. She unfurled her giant golden wings and took off. She silently circled down upon her unsuspecting prey. A creature like no other stalked the lands, for dragons were feared everywhere in legends and lore, but they were forgotten in all but name. I will not lose him this time she thought. Veckbal was the first prey she had lost in hundreds of years. And for that, she hated Veckbal with all her heart, he also had chopped off the tip of her tail, and he also, had killed her first daughter. Although that time, he had about two score burrowers, that cornered her in a cave while Veckbal killed her daughter. He seemed to bring an endless stream of trouble to Myrequa.

Then she had a new thought. Myrequa turned her thoughts to revenge, and thought: He and his cohorts deserve to die. Anybody who slew dragons deserves to die. And she would follow through with that claim. Someday, she would avenge her daughter by killing Veckbal.

Marzak thought he had heard a disturbance in the air above him. It did not occur to him to move though. Probably some bird, He thought, nothing life-threatening. Later, he would realize his mistake.

Myrequa extended her claws to grab Marzak, and just too late, he looked up and gasped. He rolled to the side, but was not fast enough to protect the egg as well as himself. Myrequa's claws then closed around the egg, and Marzak watched from the floor as she carried the fruits of his life's labor up to her perch high above.

Marzak was then overcome by such a fit of rage, that he grabbed the wall and started climbing. Shouting insults all the way. He even started shouting about how much the gem cost, and how long he had tried to find that, but Myrequa did not understand a word. Then, when he was about halfway up the wall, he started shouting again "Veckbal will hear about this!"

Myrequa visibly stiffened at the mention of her enemy's name. While Marzak kept climbing, Myrequa sat on her perch, stupefied. He's sending agents out to kill me and take my egg now! I can't let him up here! But Myrequa still could not move, with the knowledge that he was from Veckbal.

In a sudden motion, Marzak saw Myrequa jump into the air and start coming down towards him. Down… down… down… he wouldn't be able to move in time, he must accept his fate. And he let go and started to fall…

Myrequa landed next to him on the ground and watched him as he took his last breaths, and in that few minutes until his crushed lung caught up to him, Marzak realized that's not a priceless stone. That's her egg! Veckbal lied to me… and then Marzak left this world.

Now all that was left for Myrequa to do was check if her egg was safe. She flew up to the perch where she had left the egg, and made a surprising discovery. The egg was gone. She started searching, and she was a whirlwind of power. She was looking this way, that way, under that boulder, behind that old scratching of her grandfather on a piece of oak bark… wait… there was something behind there. Myrequa saw a small hole in the wall, where a boulder had fallen loose. She put her giant eye up to the hole, and saw… Empty space! There was a tunnel back there! She pushed her head into the hole, and started wiggling her head to make more space in the hole. For a few moments, Myrequa thought she was stuck, because nothing was giving way.

Then Myrequa felt some of the stones and dirt give way to her powerful shoulders, and she was able to pull herself through the hole. She then saw the telltale tracks of burrowers, three-pronged circles, which were a dead giveaway that somebody had used burrowers to create the tunnel.

Then Myrequa realized something else. If a thief had taken the egg, they would have a few minutes head start already, maybe more if they were magical, like Veckbal. Veckbal is the only person who uses burrowers… it's Veckbal who took my egg! Won't he ever stop torturing me and my family? And then, she surprised herself by thinking: Magicians, humans, burrowers, they're all grouped together in the same scum pit! She spat and started down the tunnel.

The first thing she noticed, was that there were supports and beams so that the ceiling didn't fall in, and plus, there was no trickle of dirt down from the ceiling that there normally was. Definitely humans, and definitely magicians, she thought. Will the torture ever end?

Myrequa put on a burst of speed, and started running. I can catch these rascals! She thought to herself. I have wings, and they have to walk, but I can't fly in this blasted tunnel!

Oh, how her legs hurt, she wanted to lie down and rest but she kept telling herself: I can't let my egg get crushed! I must get Veckbal! And kept running, keeping her pace the same as when she started out, which was a full out sprint.

Another few hundred feet, and the tunnel forked. Myrequa chose the right path, and kept running. Another fork, this time the left, yet another fork, right, left, right, left, it all started to blend together for Myrequa. I'm not going to be able to get back after I'm done in here.

How she wanted to lie down and rest… the word had no meaning anymore. Rest… and Myrequa flopped down on the ground, creating a sound wave that resonated for miles. Her legs simply couldn't carry her any longer. She struggled back to her feet, but promptly fell back down again.

One certain person was alerted by that. A hooded figure in flowing purple robes stepped out of the shadows and said "do you want your precious egg, Myrequa? Or are you going to wait another two hundred years?" and walked away laughing.

He never made it five feet. After he took a few steps, Myrequa pounced and took Veckbal down to the rocky floor. She didn't care how tired her limbs were, she was fueled by the anger that Veckbal started inside her with his taunts. For a few minutes, her anger helped her get the better of Veckbal. Then she made her mistake.

Egg breaker! Dragon killer! Murderer! She silently shouted with her mind. Am the fury of the ages, and none may escape me!

Veckbal stopped suddenly, as if he had heard that. "You are not the Fury!" he screamed, with the strain showing on his gaunt face and a paw on his chest. "You are a dragon! A mythical, lesser being to be killed at will!"

Then he spoke something in the ancient language and the universe bent to his will. The atoms in the space around her suddenly withdrew, leaving Myrequa gasping for nonexistent air. Her vision started to fade into black, death was claiming her.

She roared, with her last breath, and cried, no! My egg will not be crushed my egg will not be crushed! She flapped her wings, and found that they extended just beyond the space-of-no-air. She flapped once, and propelled herself forward just enough to knock him over and bite him right in the belly. It was a death wound, she was sure. Now die, She thought. And watched her greatest enemy enter the void.

When he died, Myrequa felt happy. Her daughter avenged, and her egg saved. Where was the egg, though? The scent came from a tunnel that was too small for even her head to fit through, and ended at Veckbal. She used one claw to look around inside Veckbal's robe, but to her distaste, there was nothing there, not even a body.

Myrequa laid down on the hard rocky ground, defeated. I failed! She thought, I failed and my egg will be crushed because of it!

Suddenly, she perked her ears up. A quick, sudden, movement to anyone other than herself. The reason for her sudden motion was that she had heard burrowers! And in a tunnel adjacent to the tunnel she was in right now! She stood up and shook off her drowsiness with newfound determination. All is not lost! She roared. I am a dragon!

Then she rammed her shoulder into the wall, and she felt something give. She tried again and again, but only succeeded in knocking a few inches of dirt off the wall. Then, she rammed into the wall for one last time, and with the sudden excruciating pain in her shoulder, she realized that the rest was rock. She stepped back and roared in frustration and anger at the wall.