The story that was supposed to be a story but became bullet points
- The fledgling Imperial has not been very happy since his abrupt eviction from the Death Court hatching. He is morose, skulking around the corners of Onesto’s gardens, wondering how Ymeth could just leave him.
- Shiqinth does not have a bond: is that such an important thing? If you bond, do you discard all your promises for that one hatchling?
- He sleeps in starts, and starts to find that sleep provides him with relief against the pain and the questions. Sometimes, he dreams of Ymeth. The Dark Court blue who let him follow along on training drills, who laughingly worked with him on policies of diplomacy. Shy was his creator, but Ymeth was… Ymeth was his dad.
- The dreams provide relief, and there is this sweet voice that calms him, hands that pet his hide and soothes him. “Everything will be okay” the voice says, and when Shiqinth is asleep, it is.
Shy, the Council
- The Scientist is furious. A Dark Court dragon changing sides? He is not surprised; the older generation of Court dragons have demonstrated that they are broken, that they have a weakness. The self proclaimed King throwing jabs and barbs? Expected; Pretentiouth had been a mouthy dragon in the past, it is not something he would have seen change.
- But hurting a hatchling? His little prince?
- “Your idealistic attempts of peace did not work. It is time we try it my way.”
- The council disagrees. “It is just the first attempt”
- “This will not end. They will continue to bring allies to the planet. There were dragons, gryphons, hydras.” The Scientist has still not decided if this little nugget of knowledge needs to be passed on to the Red Mage. “One day they will not be content on their side of the planet, and they will attack again. With reinforcements. When the city burns with blue fire, I will not stand here saying I told you so.”
- The General has pensive eyes, the veteran of multiple wars nodding his head, agreeing. Shy is not surprised; the General has been the one voice of logic and reason, regularly siding with the Scientist.
- “I will not decimate a new Court because they do not play by the rules.” the Empress’ voice is firm. “If we punished all that did not follow our rules, scientist, they are not the first ones that come to mind.”
- Shy flinches.
- “There are hatchlings.” Pii speaks aloud. “The Death Court had a hatching. We cannot hurt the children.”
- “Will you be saying the same when they mature, and kill our children?”
- The meeting ends at an impasse; the Scientist leaves, but not before the General stops in on the way out. “Let’s talk.” he says.
- Shy nods. “At the Labs. Come find me.”
- The Leader of the Blood Court withdraws from the council meeting, her quiet and faithful shadow trailing behind her.
- “What do you think of the Scientist’s argument?” she asks her adopted daughter.
- Rina’s response is slow and thoughtful. “He does have a point, this detente does have to end.” she answers. “But it is unrealistic to expect that one individual can wipe out an entire line of dragons.”
- “Unrealistic, but not cruel?”
- The young girl who had lost her entire family to the Death Court Wars has gentle but jaded eyes. “There will always be one survivor. One martyr that will reignite the flame. In the Nexus, our reputation is also one that is important. We cannot be known as the world that killed the Death Court dragons.”
- “Because some may be innocent?”
- “Because we will be spurned.”
- Pii notes that her daughter speaks of reputation, and revolutions, but not of the value of life
Ravi, Amina, Sidhu
- Ravi, Nelduth and Sidhu teleport into Shiqinth’s dream, and finds the fledgling imperial learning how to fly with Ymeth.
- “That never happened.” Sidhu answers quietly, frowning. “The Court dragons don’t need to be taught how to fly, they are not birds with limited intellect.”
- Ravi does not pay attention to the little blue, scanning the horizon instead of see if he can spot the creator of the dream.
- A pale haired young woman sits among the tall grass, humming to herself as she watches the little blue dragon learn to fly.
- Ravi approaches her, his eyes turning a flat brassy shade that is a pale imitation to the molten gold hues of a Project. The girl’s eyes turn the same shade, and she smiles.
- “It took you long enough to find me.” she says as a greeting. “This world stinks of our kind, but I could not find out where you or our sister is hiding.”
- Sidhu carefully approaches Shiqinth, who is startled to find others in his dream.
- “I punish people for her, for their crimes.” Ravi says. “There is another who eats emotion to dull the pain. What are you?”
- “I am Amina.” she pats the ground next to her and the standing monster sits. Nelduth creeps forward, sniffing at the woman. “I let her relive her memories, and if there is a specific memory that she needs but does not exist, I help her make it.” she held out a hand for Nelduth to sniff.
- She smells like you the dragon muses. Like Potential.
- “We are not allowed to harm those of the Nexus.” Ravi warns.
- Amina smiles. A sweet, peaceful smile. “I do not think I am harming them, look.” she gestures towards the fledgling. “He is so happy.”
- “But it is a temporary happiness.”
The General, Shy
- “A short battle would win the war for us.” the General argues. “Your Projects protect the city, we could find a way to obliterate the clan. They are busy caring for their young, they would be distracted.”
- The Scientist wholeheartedly agrees with the blood thirsty general, the man who jumps first to thoughts of violence and war. “It would be an efficient solution.” Shy knows it is too late to nip this problem in the bud. And yet.
- “The Empress would not be happy with us.”
- The General grunts his agreement. They would not want the Empress to be unhappy. Not if it would delay her healing (and then, they would never hear the end of it from Mia and the cleric).
- “There must be a solution?”
- Shy nods. “A quick, efficient one.” one he has been courting the Light Court heir for, but so far she seemed to resist his advances. “The same solution that was used against me.” (He had not been banished).
- The General does not understand.
- “Eviction.” Shy explains. “We know where the Death Court dens are. We parcel off the land, and shunt them off the planet.”
- “Where would we send them?” The General can already hear the nagging of the diplomats.
- Shy shrugs. “My Labs floated around in the Nexus as a self sufficient bubble. We do the same. They will be the Nexus’ problem.”
- The General finds this plan delightful, and Shy is once again reminded as to why he likes this man so much.
- Rina is studiously annotating the minutes of the meeting, adding the Blood Court’s perspective to reports, and signing off on smaller agreements on behalf of her mother. She finds the work interesting and delightful, and comes across a partial document that she does not know what to do with.
- Pii is equally surprised, and directs the young heir to take to the Light Court.
- Rina finds herself sitting in a personal meeting with the Light Court leader, a stunning woman with enough traces of the Empress to make her enigmatic. She remembers the stories of the crazed widow, but before Pii had brought her in as her own daughter, Rina had had no contact with the leaders of the council.
- She admits to herself that she is in quite awe of Maramia.
- “I don’t think my mother would be happy to find that this partial document was not archived properly.” her tone is mild. “I’ll make sure it is put away properly.” her eyes are polite. “Pii’s daughter, you did well bringing this to my attention.”
- Rina flushes at the praise.
- Rina leaves the room wondering what the spell was about. Pocket dimensions and teleportation; far beyond her pay grade. To be of service to the Light Court queen; she wonders what more she can do to be of service.
- “She was supposed to lead us all.” Pii explains. “The leader of the Vella Crean, not just the Light Court. But life was cruel, and now we have different factions.”
- “Does it ever bother you?” Rina asks her mother.
- “That there are three Courts?” she asks.
- “That we were created to mediate between two factions that don’t listen to us.”
- The words are logical, but cut the leader of the Blood Court. She continues to be the only Leader with no dragon. “We did our job well enough.” she answers honestly. “The Blood Court dragons mediated the day to day, and we provided leadership.”
- “But we don’t need to any more.”
- “No, we don’t.”
- “Then what is our purpose?”
- Pii does not know how to answer her daughter with her jaded eyes.
- The Imperial blue sits by Shy’s side, asking him questions. Pointed questions.
- Why do dragons bond? Are bonds so important that they outweigh everything else in life? What is freedom? Did Pernese dragons really die if they do not bond? Court dragons do not bond. If your bond is not at the sands, do you just bond with the second best? Is it really about finding your soulmate, or just anyone at the group who is “good enough?”
- Shy does not know how to answer some of the questions. Not because he does not have an opinion, but he does not want the cleric to visit him with disapproving eyes.
- “These are questions to do with creation, and there is someone who might have the answers you seek.”
- “You do not have the answers?” the fledgling looks a little bit disappointed, and Shy marvels at seeing his little prince mature in front of his eyes.
- “Shan might.”
- “Uncle Shan?” Shiqinth brightens.
- Shy nods. “Fairness, justice, the importance of bonding and knowledge; these are all discussions and ideas that he has, especially with the work he is doing with his own clutch. Would you like to go see him?”
- The Imperial blue nods. He Has Questions.
- Shy finds Amina delightful, the Projects he could create using her genetic code. Similar to Sidhu, but so different. The monster was more like a narcotic than a dream walker.
- “Will you let her stay here?” Ravi asks.
- But Shy knows that having such a creature would be too much temptation for the Light Court leader. He does not want to break the Empress’ heart by dangling such a monster who seems personally created just for the grieving widow.
- “Would you like me to take her to Dawn Watch?”
- Shy winces.
- His protegee is not happy with the number of odd … candidates he has been sending in her direction.
- “I’ll take her to Shan.” He is curious of her abilities, and with Echo happily settling in at the Empyrean Stair, it would be a controlled and neutral territory for the young woman.
- Curious, what a Monster like her could do with her powers.
The General, Shy
- Shy is recruiting candidates for the Empyrean Stair court clutch, and he approaches the general.
- The General is perplexed. “I did not need a dragon to lead the wings, and to fight against the Death Court. Why would I need one now?”
- “Because, General, we will be taking this battle across the Nexus. If our plans work, the Death Court will not call the Vella Crean home for much longer, and we will need to take the fight to them.”
- The General is dismayed. “I am an old man. I see that these dragons bond with young children, adolescents who are still … moldable. I am too old to stand for a clutch.”
- Shy assures him that this will not be the case.
- The Blood Court heir is not a candidate he plans on searching, but Pii, the leader of the Blood Court has a private word with him.
- “We need purpose.” she says.
- “A young girl bonding a dragon will not give your court purpose.” the Scientist answers, not necessarily unkindly.
- Pii agrees. “But she is the next generation, and she has ideas. I do not want her to follow in my footsteps, to be a leader of a court of dragons without a dragon.”
- Shy had not realized how much this had hurt the leader. “You should have said.” he reprimands her.
- “And you would have built me something?” Pii finds the solution amusing. “I am happy with my life, but she will not be. Help her. Shy. Help the Blood Court find purpose again.”