The moon crept up upon the land of Ceres, more specifically somewhere in the country of Merlia. The sun was on the opposite side of the earth, showing the compromise between the two celestial bodies. Upon the night blanketed scape of the land, a village, tiny and rural, lay just below a hill. Lingering lanterns signified the village still had life. It would be enough activity for the both of them.

"Perfect." One of them grinned through fang filled muzzle. The smile broke as a hacking cough gave away, racking the girl's body, smoke spewing everywhere.

"Boss!" cried an accented voice. Thumping steps accompanied the voice, imprinting into the ground. A claw raised and slapped against the back coated in a blue vest. Tiny puffs of smoke managed to sneak by with the tiny coughs that followed. Then they stopped completely.

The young lady composed herself before taking a drag on her cigar, blowing the smoke out in a smooth stream. "Thanks." After the gratitude, the girl, who was sixteen, no less, turned her attention back to her cigar.

"Do ye really have to keep smokin that thin so much boss?" Medina asked. The dragoness held a visible look of concern on her scaly visage.

Sierra puffed deeply on her rolled tobacco before breaking into another fit of coughs. "It's *cough* *cough* no problem *cough*" the young kobold lass managed to spit out between her respiratory disruptions.

"But look at ye! Ye're coughing up a storm!" Medina exclaimed, her concern even more so evident.

"I got it under *cough* COUGH* *hack* control!" Sierra bellowed, mostly annoyed at her familiar's constant reprimand of her habit.

It had been like this for the past week, ever since she started smoking. A rare but odd find on their little thieving excursions. Yes, Sierra had at last taken up the mantle that had been passed down in her family for generations. It filled her with pride to take up the thieving tradition, but it hadn't been an easy route. In fact, it had been a rather trailing set of years. Besides the self training she had to appoint herself, Sierra tried to maintain a good record of keeping up with what was new in the thieves' market. Market being used rather loosely.

One such mission involved a merchant wagon, one that her grapevine had mentioned carrying several items of magical nature. Perfect, as those kinds would sell well, not just for status, but for food. Sierra and Medina held different mannerisms, but one thing they held in common was a love of food. That and going hungry for days was not healthy, although between the two Medina held the greater appetite. It showed upon her belly, which had a slight sign of chub to it, nothing large, but noticeable all the same. Sierra's belly had no such increase, although it could really use it.

The plan had started off without a hitch. Medina had scared the horses into submission, while Sierra purloined what she could. So perfect, yet they hadn't counted on the merchant having a familiar, a rather large and ferocious one at that. The pair had managed to escape with their tails intact. A low point in thieving, they had only managed to grab a few magic items of low value. One that stood out however, was a cigar case, one that perfectly strapped, and currently was strapped around the kobold's waist.

Sierra instantly became reminded of her mother.

She thought a lot about her mother to be exact. It showed in her similar outfit, same design only with her few own alterations. One thing she remembered was her mother had a fondness for cigars. Sometimes after a particularly trying evening on the job, her mother would light one up and smoke. Maybe it was curiosity, or a repressed need to emulate her departed mother, but she took to smoking and, quite frankly, she loved it. In fact, before the week ended, she had smoked every cigar in that case, but when she closed it, she opened to find a new supply waiting for her.

Apparently that was the magic of the case. Although the reason someone would make a cigar case with never ending cigars was beyond her. Not that she complained. In fact, she would very much like to thank the person who invented such a device. It also served lucky for her to have a dragon as a familiar, for their shared bond added gave her lungs the same protection a dragons has. In translation, she could smoke all she wanted and never suffer any serious health problems, at least in the lungs.

"Well Ah don't think ye should be smoking so much. What with all the coughing ye're doing." Medina lectured parentally.

Sierra shot the dragoness a glare. "You ain't my mother." Medina wisely said nothing after that. Unintentionally she had struck a sore point. A habit she slipped into now and again. It wasn't her fault though. After all, she had raised Sierra since she was ten years old. Medina herself had been just a teenager back then. Now, she was ninety years old. In human reckonings, that would be about eighteen.

However, that had nothing to do with the task at hand.

"You understand the plan?" Sierra asked, slowly dragging on her cigar.

Medina gave an affirmative nod. "Ye get it boss. Ah know what to do. Ah'll put on a good show." There was a small smirk upon the dragon's lips.

Sierra grinned, a trickle of smoke seeping out of her muzzle, just as if she were a chimney. Certainly she smoked enough to be compared to one. Tonight would work; it had to. The she-kobold would be damned if it didn't. She would even take a trip to hell and back. Many a day had been spent in planning for this night. They both had a lot riding on this, emotionally to be more precise. The Valgez name had to be restored, and in her heart Sierra hoped this little job would pay off towards that goal. For Medina it would be one of honor. The two families, the Valgez and her dragon line, were intertwined.

Long ago she had heard this tale from her father. Before the Gods departed from Ceres soil, a member of the Valgez family had saved the life of a dragon, her ancestor. Honorable as dragons were, her ancestor made a pledge to the kobold, that is he, or any of his descendents needed the aid, then by his fire, the dragon would aid him and his descendents likewise.

A symbol of this promise was an offered scale, right from the dragon's hide.

The promise went unattended for many years, even until the great divide between worlds. Yet both families kept the story and the promise in their minds. Sierra's mother had been the first to uphold the promise, and Medina's brother Brax had been chosen. Medina still remembered the day he had been chosen. So suddenly, out of the blue. The departure didn't happen immediately; Brax still remained behind just so he could settle any loose ties he had. Their father looked on his eldest with pride, knowing full well he would uphold the family honor. Her aunt, Brax's mother, showed an equal pride in her son, while Medina's own mother, on the other hand, was a torrent of emotion as she saw her nephew off.

Then there was Viera. Medina stopped at that thought. In fact she had stopped thinking about her family completely. Or at least she tried. Brax had kept in communication with them. Apparently the mages of Ceres had set up a system for familiar to contact those they left behind in Zurvan. Brax's messages detailed much, but left out the family of thieves' part. Then one day, they stopped. Before she knew it, Medina found herself being called. The first thing she saw on Ceres was the tear stained eyes of a kobold pup. At that point Medina truly stopped thinking of her family. For the memories brought a tear to her eye. A claw raked against the grey bandanna around her neck, the only reminder of her brother, a final parting gift from her half-sibling-cousin.

Both girls would make their loved ones proud. Even if it killed them. All of a sudden, the stoic moment shattered as Sierra broke into another coughing fit. A few back slaps from the dragons, and it passed.


The village had started to wrap up all of their activities. The day had been a long one, so much to do in such little time. At least that is how it could have been looked at. Parents shepherded their children inside, while farmers began to herd in their livestock. Everything could be considered a paradigm of perfection, but it wouldn't last, as they would quickly found out. Or at least, one farmer.

"DRAGON!" he screamed in fear.

All the townsfolk look up to see an angry looking green dragon. Smoke spewed from its nostrils, fire belched from its roaring maw. The creature looked as if it had flown right out of hell. The crowd panicked as it tore and crashed at whatever it got in its way. So frightened the townsfolk were, they didn't notice the dragon wasn't actually going for any living targets, only non living. Neither did they notice the gray bandanna around the reptile's neck.

"HOLD IT RIGHT THERE, YOU FOUL BEAST!" the townsfolk looked behind the dragon, and saw a silhouette against the slowly approaching moonlight. A teenage kobold stood against it, her silver hair swishing in the breeze. The kobold crossed her arms, her position like that of a stoic heroine, her face a brown furred example of heroism. Save for the cigar that stuck out of her mouth, she could have held that image together. Her nose twitched as a trail of cigar smoke wafted past. Next followed her breath. Her chest heaved up and down. It grew more hastened as puffs of smoke began to seep out of the muzzle. The kobold did her best to hold it in, but she could no longer.

"*COUGH* *COUGH* *HACK* HACK*!" A great could of smoke exploded out of her as a fiery pain raced through her throat. The townsfolk didn't know what to say. They simply sat back and watched.

The teen managed to stifle herself enough to continue her speech. "I the great Sierra shall slay you!"

Okay, that maybe wasn't the most spectacular speech, but the young one didn't have much practice. Even the dragon seemed confused, but a mere look from Sierra shut her up. Although the townsfolk couldn't see this form their distance and position. The dragon lolled her head around, drooling small puddles. The kobold blew out a stream from her cigar and reached into her vest, pulling out a pair of curved daggers. Kerambits. A roar signaled the dragon's approach, her great feet stomping upon the ground, leaving large imprints in the dirt. Sierra strode forward, kerambits bared. A loud clang sparked as the metal met claw. The strikes and parries perfectly matching one another. A red glow lit up in the dragon's throat. It traveled up to the dragon's maw, and a fireball emerged. Sierra narrowly managed to duck in time, the fire only singing a few hairs off. Sierra's widened eyes shrank into a glare. In between her snarls and snorts, Medina offered an apologetic look. It was forgiven, for they needed to make it good. Sierra responded with a gust of wind blown right in-between her pink gloved hands. Behind it, there was a small yellow glow, the air magic summoning the invisible gusts.

This went on, fire and air battling one another in a fury of natural elements. Medina kept her show on long enough– it had to be finished. Sierra looked for their opening, just as they had rehearsed. Medina roared a great stream of fire and smoke. Her neck and belly lay exposed in her staged fury. Perhaps that was when she would make her opening? The townsfolk thought so. However, Sierra didn't take such an opportunity. The fire subsided with a gnash of teeth. Medina growled as she lowered her head. Sierra smirked a crooked smirk, the placement of her cigar causing the crookedness. Raising her arm, she held one of her kerambits high, but at the last minute, she turned it around to its hilt.

"Time for the clincher." Sierra brought it down upon Medina's head.

Medina gritted as the pain brought down on her skull. It wasn't enough to truly hurt her, but she needed to put on a good performance. Medina let out a wail. Accompanying that wait was great lashing of her limbs, tail and arms flailing about as she commenced with her "death". Medina chocked, held her head, and placed a claw over her heart. Sierra tilted her head to the side, signaling the dragoness to wrap things up. Medina took the cue and with a last dramatic wail, she flopped belly down upon the ground. At the last minute, she stuck out her tongue for good visual measure. Sierra shook her head, coughing once from her smoke again.

The townsfolk stared at Sierra. Their eyes focused on the "dead" dragon. Right then and there, a bravado of cheers spread all around. Sierra watched as the crowd gathered around her, offering congratulations and praise. Sierra wasn't humble in accepting it, she loved the adoration and felt it very deserved. After all, she was their "savior".

"Is there anything we can offer you Miss?" the village head asked.

Sierra scratched her furry chin. "Well…"


Sierra ate with much ferocity. Her mouth crammed with warm, delicious food. "Mmmm! Not bad! Pretty good stuff you got here brother." Sierra complimented after swallowing a large portion. The food was good, but hardly gourmet dining, which was something she craved. But for now, this would settle. The thief had set up a proper payment plan for her "heroism". That translated to a free dinner and a fair amount of gold. By fair, that translated to a whole lot. The villagers were surprised by the amount the kobold wanted. Although in her greedy mind, Sierra felt it very "modest". Yet, they had just been saved from a vicious dragon, so they were in a debt.

Sierra felt herself flush with pride, or maybe that was the wine? A perfect con had been pulled off. Well, it still wasn't finished. Medina just had to be a bit patient, at least until the village went to sleep.


Medina felt a grumble within her belly. A soft whimper parted from her bound lips. The first phase of the plan had gone well so far, now the second one could begin. That part would be the waiting game. Once all the villagers settled in, Sierra and her would sneak out, and return to their hideout. Sierra had convinced them to hold back on skinning the dragon's "corpse". Medina had nearly returned from the dead when she heard that. But she held her caller's words stifled them, just until morning. By then, they would be gone. Her body lay bound to a metal pole, upside down like a great roast. Easily she could break out, yet she had to remain so for just a little while longer. Easy enough, except for one problem.

She was hungry. So very hungry.

"Must be patient." Medina told herself.


There came the bleating. The farmer had put his sheep herd inside after the whole fiasco. In fact, Medina was put right near their barn. Mutton, it had been so long since she had that sweet meat. During her years in Ceres, Medina had sampled variety of food. So very different from the meals she ate back at home. So many delicacies. Her parents would have disapproved of the amount she ate, but she didn't care. Now, she was free to gorge herself silly on whatever she got her claws on, and it wasn't as if she didn't neglect her hunting duties, oh no. With the life she and Sierra lived, they had to eat when they can. Sierra, on the other hand, was picky compared to Medina. Sierra only preferred cooked, while Medina didn't care. If it was edible, it found a home in her belly.

"Just a wee longer." Medina disciplined herself.


"But sheepies are so yummy!" drool began to drip from her mouth.


"Wee longer." her watering had turned into a waterfall.


The bleating beat against her eardrums. "Just….a…..wee….longer!"


Sierra hiccupped as she knelt back in her chair. Perhaps she had drank too much wine? A flush small flush colored her face. "Hoo boy," she said, but a little rest would sleep off the tipsiness she felt, and she wasn't that tipsy. Perfection filled her soul. So far so good, the plan still went off without a hitch. The village head wanted to further discuss her payment before she retired to the guest room. The only thing that would make this moment even better, would be an after dinner smoke. Reaching into her cigar case, she was about to remove another of those beauties.


A crash travelled with the bleats.

"What was that?!"

"It came from outside!"

Sierra sat still for a moment before she joined the crowding villagers. "That idiot." she grumpily muttered.

Bolting from the chair, she used her air magic to sprint through the forming crowd. Right at the front, she saw her hunch was correct.

Medina slurped and crunched upon the lamb carcass. Blood stained the greater front of her body, all from her muzzle to her belly. "URRRRRRRRP!" the dragoness let out a wet belch, tossing aside a bone and patting her belly. Euphoria spread over herself. The glutton lazily turned her head. Immediately she noticed the crowd behind her. At the front stood an irritated looking kobold.

Medina yelped. "Ah'm sorry boss! Ah coulnae help mahself!"

"You idiot! It was perfect!" Sierra exploded.

Both soon realized their folly.

Sierra backed away the moment she felt the angry heat behind her, metaphorical heat of course. "Ah heh *hic* itsa zombie?" Sierra couldn't really concentrate on her excuse. Guess the alcohol hadn't left her system. The next thing that came out of Sierra's mouth summed everything up.


A gust of air hit the mob. Sierra didn't look back. When she got to some scale, she hopped aboard her familiar. Medina haphazardly gained altitude, very hard with a belly full of lamb. A few more wing flaps, and the pair made it out with their skins.

They wouldn't be coming back here any time soon.


The Valgez home, once owned by Sierra's mother, hadn't been treated kindly by the years. Paint peeled, poorly made patches coated the roof, and dust coated the windows. All in all, it needed work. Inside, many words spewed out, cursing, arguing, anything that could be said.

Medina accepted every insult that came her way. After all, she deserved it. "Ah'm really sorry boss," apologized the dragon. "Ah know ye planned this, and nothing Ah say can make it better." her head lowered like a dog who had made a mess upon the carpet. "Forgive me?"

Sierra tapped her claws against the table. Every vehement word had been exhausted, with really nothing more to spew. Tonight, she thought she would make her mother proud. Fate had another idea.

"Ya know that town had to be the dumbest pack of hick we've run into." Sierra finally spoke. That didn't go far from the truth. Anyone who knew their history would know that a dragon could only exist on Ceres soil with a caller. The villagers didn't seem to know this. A real backwater place.

Medina said nothing, without her caller's facial expression, she didn't know how to react. Sierra turned around, a bright smirk adorning her scruffy mug. "Guess we'll have to find some other saps."

The dragon brightened up. There would be no fear of not being forgiven. "That's mah boss!"

Sierra strutted over to her dragon, pulling out a cigar. "Don't you forget it." Sierra held out her cigar.

Medina breathed a small flame, lighting it up. Sierra began to puff. All the great thieves started out like this. Trial and error here and there, but they would make it. Why in probably ten years, they would hit it big. Hopefully they would accomplish that in a lesser amount of time, but for now, they would tough it through.

Sierra's smirk remained present… until she started to hack again. Being nearby, Medina frantically patted the kobold's back.

A/N: I miss the forums. Well I can still upload. Here is the Sierra and Medina bit. Even as teenagers they were the same. And when she started smoking, Sierra wasn't that good at it. This may be the final one, but I haven't decided yet. I may do one villain chapter, or that and a side character chapter. But I am not sure. Well I really hope those have enjoyed this.