Legends of Sanania: A Misguided Hunter

Note: Sanania is my new world. Most upcoming stories will be based in it. This one is a short story. Thanks for reading!

A large golden sun sat high over the Western Desert. Flickering tongues of tiny, insignificant lizards sat under its imperceptible gaze. Tall, spiny plants with green leaves that danced in a slight breeze dotted across the landscape. Mountains dominated the west horizon, their peaks nothing before the sun's height.

A flicker of movement crossed the desert, almost an illusion to the golden dragon lying in the warm sand. He had just finished a long flight from a supposed cave with dark magical wealth in side. Flickering up, only the angry gaze in his eyes showed the annoyance that was flashing through him. An image of the young purple dragon, selling away the false information to the seasoned gatherer, flashed through his mind. With joy punishments for the foolish beast sailed through his mind. Blinding him with a flash of lightning from his maw seemed fun. Or perhaps simply slashing into a wing would do?

In either case, Trontia was far too tired to deal with whatever was passing through the desert. Unfortunately a gang of three men were passing through the desert that day. One a hunter, greedily searching for the valuable dragon scale skin, rode a horse of black across the golden sand. Another was a dragonologist, hoping to learn valuable information about dragon's flight from the hunter's kill, studied notes from his previous expedition. The final traveler was another hunter, instead searching for glory in slaying the beasts.

Slowly, with Trontia looking on with slight amusement at their foolhardiness, they pressed their horses through the sand. Obviously they rarely traveled this region, for horses could only travel through the sand slowly having to life their heavy hooves. The little humans, if they possessed intelligence, would ride Trihovs, or at least smaller horses. In mock despair at his own wisdom, Trontia shook his head slowly.

Regrettably one of the hunters, a man named Dyos, was very keen with his senses. He spotted the movement, a colossal wave of sand, and immediately pointed it out to his companions. Digging his feet into the mount's side the huntsman took off toward the dragon, only a hundred meters away. Rising out of the sand to meet his charge was Trontia, spreading his golden wings in an attempt to intimidate the galloping horse. But the rider of the steed spurred it on.

Trontia growled. The annoying white dragons were better at frightening off men than him, but the least the horse could do was try to turn away! Now that the group was closer, the golden dragon saw they weren't all human. It seemed that the hunter closest was some form of elf. His eyes with no whites or pupils, only darkest blue, assured that. The other hunter… he seemed somehow too fluid, too icy to be a mere human. Because the dragon calculated him as the greatest risk, he turned slightly away from the elven hunter. Rapidly taking notes, the dragonologist barely took notice of the russet horse underneath him, examining the golden dragon with obvious excitement. As the slingshot at his side bounced with the steed's movement's Trontia silently laughed at the pathetic weapon.

On the other hand, the elf had already drawn a morning star, the mace with points looking small against the lance in his other hand. In a quick flash, the mysterious warrior had drawn a scimitar and a half-moon cleaver. The blades whirled in his hands as he leapt off his now walking horse to land softly on the ground. While the dragonologist remained mounted, both hunters stood on the slippery sand, sizing up Trontia with measured looks.

"Well, Rastin, it seems we have found not a red but a golden dragon." The elven hunter grinned greedily, his tongue flickering out like a snake. The lance tip moved in small circles.

"Excellent. Their hide is far more expensive." The words were spoken softly, but indicated intense avarice. The man began already counting gold in his mind.

A flash of comprehension flickered through Trontia. Now that the mysterious hunter had spoken, the golden dragon detected a hint of the Yinsin accent in him. The strange people of the north certainly were odd, but it seemed this warrior was more at ease in the heat of the desert than normal for a Yinsinian.

What to do with them, however? Both huntsmen looked to be capable warriors, although the dragonologist smelled of weakness. Trontia was getting old for a dragon, and Yinsin performed powerful magic. If he fought, then his treasure hoard would go to waste. And fleeing would only result in a magical assault from the northerner….

"What is your name, beast of air?" Surprise coursed through Trontia at the respectful tone, but he refused to be fooled by the mounted man's gentle tone.

"My name is unworthy to a small being like you, human. If you wish to kill me, command them so." The dragon crouched into a readier position, claws pointing at the group. Then a hint of something, something magical reached his nose. Heedless of the slowly advancing hunters, he sniffed the air eagerly. The scent came from… the dragonologist?

"You," addressed Trontia roughly. Biting back a retort, the dragonologist cocked his head to a side. "What's in your pack?" The man hastened to obey, pulling out some scrolls, a little food, and a fancily adorned wine chalice.

The mystical power washed over the golden dragon, pleasantly numbing his mind. Then the feeling disappeared.

"Stop your conversing and let us kill it!" yelled Dyos. He leapt toward the dragon with lightning speed, his morning star racing towards his wing. A yell echoed from the dragon specialist.

Trontia expected the attack, and swung up his wing. It clipped the elf under the chin and knocked him to the ground. Hastily he stood, preparing to charge.

"Wait. If you spare my life, I will give you the location of a dragon egg."

Playing pathetic. Trontia knew it would work, for it would please the hunters to no end at his "helplessness". Besides, a dragon egg was worth far more than an old dragon's hide.

While the dragonologist's mouth dropped in shock, the hunters exchanged smug glances.

"What… an egg?" As the golden tower snuffed loudly, Instan grinned. The hunters looked uneasily at one another at the noise, but the educated man knew that this was a sign of affirmation to dragons. "I could raise it in secret, and learn valuable information about their growing patterns…." His mutterings trailed off. Finally a golden opportunity! This would show his skill, despite his youth. Now he would become a legend among dragon studiers!

"A nest of them, fresh from their red mother, is hidden a few leagues from here. By now the pair would be gone, recovering from the strain. Anyone could nip in their, if they knew how to find them. Luckily, I do."

"How do we know you aren't lying?" asked the Yinsinian suspiciously. The elf's lance rose ever so slightly.

The dragonologist appeared to think for a moment, his mind flashing back to the studies he had done of golden dragons. "I believe that he would be much more likely to tell the truth if we gave him a gift. Golden dragons hoard treasure." Carefully, the specialist held out the wine glass to the aged dragon. With slight apprehension at the hunters' raised weapons, the golden dragon walked carefully up to the man. His horse snorting in fear of the golden wall in front of him, the dragonologist handed Trontia the chalice.

Excitement coursed through the golden dragon, but he managed to hold the zealous power racing through his veins inside his mind.

"Very well. If you head straight towards that large mountain in the distance, you should come across a small oasis. At the bottom of the pool surrounded by a few greywood trees there will be four or five eggs. Now if you excuse me, I will continue with my nap." The dragon turned away, apparently unconcerned as the two hunters remounted and rode away with the human. When they were halfway to their destination Trontia took to the air, staying high in order to leave the sand unsettled. He landed about a half-mile from the oasis to watch the show.

After struggling against the sand for over an hour, the horses finally managed to get to the pool. Leaning down to quaff the water, the elf dove into the pool without a word. He swam quick and strong, testaments to his coastal childhood. A shimmering red bundle, only three eggs, sat at the bottom. In the water they were easy enough to see, and immediately the hunter realized they were pure stone, not an egg of the mystical creatures that haunted the desert. He surfaced with swift strokes, bursting out of the water.

Straight into the face of a massive, red ragon.

Before he could even blink a roaring flame seared out of her mouth, instantly evaporating all the water and quickly setting the nearby trees aflame.

Nearby watched Trontia as the massive fire incinerated all the humanoids and animals in the oasis but the young dragon just outside the fire's reach, which Rastin had tried to grab. Such a pity, sighed the golden dragon with a grin. It made a profit from the expedition after all. Now back to torturing the purple dragon….