Light filtered into my room. I couldn’t remember when I got home or how I got to bed but I’m glad I did. Sitting up I saw Toriga in his normal spot just below the window sill. We lived in one of the higher more exposed housing. The cat and I both loved the air and view.
“So that really happened.”
I looked down at Mordred. It was curled up next to me. It lazily opened its eyes. I pat its head.
“Good morning, Mordred.”
A strong happiness seemed to wash over me as it jumped on top of me. I started to wiggle underneath it trying to escape.
“Come on, Mordred. It is too early for this.”
I managed to escape from its playfulness by falling off the bed. A loud thump echoing in my house.
“Sonna, you alright?”
I scrambled to my knees.
Standing up I took a chance to glare at Mordred. It just smiled. I swear I could feel how funny it found it. Toriga also seemed to find it equally as funny.
“You two didn’t even seem to like each other. It’s not fair if you team up against me.”
Both of them turned their heads on me. I ignored them and quickly got dressed. My uncle was probably already out in the city calculating wares. Ignoring my two devious roommates I ran down the stairs. My aunt should be in the kitchen preparing food for her fellow apprentices.
She turned around to face me. A worried smile on her face.
From around the doorway stood three older dwarves dressed in robes. I bowed my head immediately. I wasn’t practically well versed in how to appropriately deal with an elder of the Celbedeil. I could hear one sound of disdain and one chuckle.
“Raise your head Sonna.”
I did as I was commanded. The one in the center seemed to smiling.
“Last night an occurrence that the dwarves have been waiting for finally arrived. Do you know what that is?”
I shook my head no. The one on the left seemed to be the unhappy one.
“Of course, she wouldn’t. She’s not even a full dwarf. This sort of thing shouldn’t count.”
The one in the center seemed to glare at him for a moment. The other backing down. That was odd. I looked to my Aunt but she seemed just as confused as I was. On the other hand, Toriga seems to have made his way down the stairs in silence to watch.
“Are you aware of what was given to the Dwarves after the War?”
I shook my head no.
“I cannot think of what you are hinting at.”
Unlike the one who insulted me previously he just smiled warmly.
“After the War we were gifted an egg. It was a very special egg. One that could only be hatched when touched by its fated person.”
An egg? Like Mordred’s egg? I nodded my head for him to continue.
“This egg was decided to put in a place where only the chosen dwarves could find it. For the years since then the clans have been sending out representatives to overcome the challenges to test their worth.”
That sounded hard. Why go through all of that for an egg?
“Did something happen to the men last night? Was in the woods?”
He nodded his head.
“Indeed, it was in the woods. A group of the clansmen finally found the location of the egg. It seems however they could not find an entrance. Someone else did and the egg hatched for them.”
Really? Were the men there to find an egg? Was it perhaps one of Mordred’s siblings? Poor Mordred was separated from his family.
“Do you understand what I’m saying, child?”
I looked at him confused.
“Are you saying that the spring I normally go to is now dangerous? Or that you want me to lead you to spring?”
The three of them looked amongst each other confused.
I nodded my head quickly.
“Yes, about 10 miles north east of here. There is a sulfur spring I go to above one of the old thermal tunnels. It’s a great place to heal your bones and joints.”
The one on the right who had no change of expression until now cracked up laughing.
“I can’t believe it. Our first Rider finds the egg in a sulfur spring.”
An egg? I shook my head no.
“There was no egg in the spring. However, yesterday I did find an underwater tunnel into a cavern. In a platform there was an egg. However, there was a blocked path. That’s probably where the egg you are looking for can be found.”
The one on the left grew more irritated.
“Where is the egg you found on that rock platform? That’s the one we want.”
I took a step back nervously. That was Mordred egg.
“I’m afraid I don’t have it.”
The angry one started to walk towards me.
“You’re lying. You must have the egg.”
When he went to grab me all of a sudden I saw a flash of silver. Growling at him in front of me was Mordred. The one who had laughed earlier started to laugh again. “She didn’t have an egg but a baby dragon.”
I looked at him shocked.
“Mordred isn’t a dragon… It’s a… Well, some sort of lizard.”
Mordred looked at me more disappointed than the others in the room. Even Toriga was looking at me like I was foolish. The original one spoke up with a smile on his face.
“Sonna, the young male you call Mordred is a baby dragon. And he has chosen you as his Rider.”
My mouth dropped open and I turned to a proud looking Mordred. Mordred you are a male! He turned his head away even more disappointed in me.
“I’m sorry you have the wrong idea. I’m only an 1/8th dwarf. I can’t be a dwarven Rider… And… I’m afraid of heights!”
Mordred walked over to comfort me. He was worried I was getting so anxious. All the elders in the room watching us.
“It’s fate, Sonna. You are Mordred’s rider and he is your dragon. 1/8 dwarf or not, you are the first dwarf to be chosen by a dragon.”
I looked down at Mordred. He just really didn’t seem to like the mean one that much.
“Really, I am not a fan of heights. I can’t be a Rider.”
He pointed down at Mordred.
“It seems he disagrees with you.”
Mordred glared at the rude dwarf. I turned to look at my aunt for help. She didn’t really know what to do.
“You must come to the Celbedeil until Mordred gets bigger. Then you shall be sent to Tronjheim to meet with the King and the council.”
I shook my head no.
“I’m not someone who wants the life you are offering.”
The grumpy one glared at her.
“You have no choice. You have stolen our dragon. I will be glad to use force.”
Mordred growled at him. The one in power getting in between and pushing him back from him.
“Stop this. We won’t be using force. Sonna and Mordred are special to all of Alagaësia. There cannot be harm done to them.”
Mordred? I can hear your voice?
Took you long enough.
Are you really a dragon?
I am. So stop calling me a lizard. My patience is almost gone.
Fine. But what do we do about this?
Do you really not want to be my Rider?
I don’t like heights.
I don’t want to live in a temple. Do you?
No. Try to bargain.
Bargain? With the them?
Yes, bargain. You have a brain. Be smart about it.
“Um, is there no way we can forget about this?”
He shook his head no. The jolly one smiling.
“By now almost everyone who is important in Alagaësia knows a new Rider has been born.”
I looked at my aunt. She looked even more worried then I was.
“I want to stay here with my family. I won’t go to the Celbedeil.”
All three of them looked a bit tense. My voice definitely sounded stronger than before.
“But I will try to train and do what’s right for Mordred. But that is all I can promise you.”
The annoying one went to speak but found his mouth covered by the joyful one. The center one nodded his head.
“Alright. For now we will try it your way Sonna.”
He turned to look at Mordred. The dwarf seemed really curious.
“Do show us why you picked her young dragon.”
The three turned to leave after letting me know where I’d have to meet my trainers tomorrow. My aunt looked at me nervously.
“Sonna, how did you go and find a dragon!”
I shook my head in desperation.
“I have no idea either!”
She pulled me into a tight hug,
“I know we are no longer in War but you have to take care of yourself. It is not a safe thing still to be a Rider. And you already are only part dwarf. You don’t know how much more dangerous it could be.”
I squeezed her even harder.
“At least, I have Mordred. I’m worried more about you and uncle. You work at the Celbedeil.”
She pulled away and put on a smile.
“Oh, I’ll be fine. It is a great honor to have a Rider in the family.”
I looked down at Mordred. He seemed annoyed.
Sonna, when I get bigger and you learn to fly can we leave this place?
Not forever, but an adventure or two we deserve for what they say our fate is.