Tag Archive: Myro


The World Will Know Your Name

Panre took one last look over his shoulder before he bounded through the portal. He was intending to look for food for his older siblings and his parents. It never occurred to him that he would not be able to return. He clambered over the snowy rocks now, wondering if he’d ever see his family again.

Suddenly something swooped down over him. The being was a dragen. They spoke of many things. Then he, ever so gently, scooped Panre up and carried him off into the sky. A part of him was afraid. The abominables could fly like this also. However, the dragen, Myro, seemed kind-hearted.

They landed on a high precipice. Panre looked around in shock. The place was like and unlike where the abominables lived at the same time. It was a cavern, as they dwelled in. At the same time the place seemed open, alive and happy. There were no slaves here. There were no bars blocking off certain caves.

“Elder Myro, what an unexpected pleasure,” a tall winged being greated. His hair was very long and almost white it was so fair. He had an open, friendly face though. “And who’s this with you?”

“His name is Panre and he’s a yetean,” Myro said softly. “His people live in the realm of the demons and they treat them as they treated us. The problem being that… well…” he trailed off.

“They can’t get away as easily as we did,” the being who could only be the Elder Jesin that Myro had mentioned said. “Perhaps we can get together with Mage Denair and see about helping them.”

“I would truly appreciate it,” Panre said. He looked around the cavern and thought about how he had left home to search for food and had actually found help for his people.

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If the Ground Should Come Alive

Myro flew out over the plains, enjoying the feel of the wind in his face and the feather-light touches of the snowflakes as they fell by. He loved this time of year best of all: the briskness of the air, the seeming purity of the ground when snow covered it, the frozen ponds that he could skate across as he landed on them.

Something caught his eye on the snowy ground below and he circled back to take a look. For a moment, as he hovered over the ground, it seemed that there was a moving snow drift. He hovered lower for a closer look and saw that it was, in fact, a creature of some kind. Soft white fur covered the animal almost entirely. Only small tan horns and a coal black nose broke into the pristine whiteness.

The little animal was unlike anything he’d ever seen and Myro landed to get a closer look. The creature paused in its path and regarded him silently. It didn’t seem afraid, only curious.

“Hello,” he said softly to the creature.

“Hi,” the little creature said. “I’m lost. Can you help me?”

Myro blinked in shock but recovered quickly. “Where are you trying to be?” he asked. Now that he was close enough to nearly touch the creature, he realized that it wore a soft white tunic and pants that had blended so perfectly into its fur that he’d missed them previously.

“I… well, part of me wanted to go back home… to the other world, but… at the same time, my people are so marginalized there that this place is looking better and better. So… I suppose that I’m just looking for a warm place to call home for a while.”

Myro’s eyes narrowed and he edged closer. “The other world?” he asked. “You’re a… a demon?”

“I wouldn’t say that,” the little creature said. “We call ourselves Yeteans, actually. My name is Panre, by the way.”

“Myro… Myro Hailstrom. Do you mind coming with me… I’d like to ask some of my collegues what they think,” the young elder said. “What did you mean when you said that your people are marginalized?”

“The other folks who come from the other world regard us as pets or foodstuffs,” he said softly. “I actually escaped and ended up here accidentally. When I turned around to go back through the portal it was gone. I’ve been dodging the abominables since.” He looked down and added, “Those might be what you call demons. Big… ugly… red skin… horns… long tail… you know?”

“That’s them,” Myro said, relief tingeing his voice. Whatever yeteans were, they regarded the demons in the same way the dragens did. “I’ll take you to see Elder Jesin. He’s very wise.”

Chapter Twenty-six Excerpt

I’ll be Waiting for You, if You Still Believe in Love

Pitching his voice so that it carried throughout the cavern he announced, “This night we are faced with an attack by marauding demons led by the traitorous Elder Zarentil of the Fire Dragens. Several other elders are on their way to give aid but we must hold them off until that help arrives. Zarentil seeks my life because I know of his falsehood.”

He glanced around the warriors and mages that had assembled before him. “I know that we can hold them off. Not only because our numbers are greater but also because we are defending our homeland and the lives of our young. Zarentil may be able to call upon reinforcements but he will not take this cavern while an ice dragen warrior or mage still lives.”

This proclamation was met with general shouts and thumping of tails. “I will fight with you, my people,” he added. “My mate will stay to guard the elderly and little ones.”

“To my last breath if necessary,” Saira proclaimed. Again there were shouts and loud tail thumps. Saira flew into the cavern, followed closely by Ryden.

Myro sighed in relief and turned to look out into the night, awaiting the arrival of the demons. He didn’t have long to wait. Just as a few of the younger warriors were beginning to fidget, the demons appeared on the horizon.

“Mages ready the ice shields,” Myro called. The demons wouldn’t be much bothered by the ice barriers but they would certainly give Zarentil pause. “Warriors, stand at ready.”

The shields flowed up from the mountain side just as the demons came close enough to stand out in more detail than dots with wings. Though the demons flew on, the effects on Zarentil were immediate. He lost momentum and spiraled down to the ground. Myro smiled tightly but didn’t gloat. They hadn’t won yet.

Chapter Twenty-three Excerpt

Behind a Forced Smile, I Harbor a Grown Shadow

Myro woke slowly to the sound of several dragens talking at once. Then one voice over-rode them all. “Hush, friends. Elder Myro has been through a great deal. More than anything he needs rest.” The voice was a familiar one. It hadn’t been that long ago since he’d heard it. He let it draw him back to consciousness.

“Where am I?” he said blearily. He forced his eyes open but his head felt like it was stuffed with cotton and he was having trouble getting his eyes to focus. He’d heard Elder Jesin, but he didn’t really recognize anyone else.

“You’re in the Starburst Cliffs,” an older sire said from close by. “I’m Elder Taurin. You saw me at the convocation but we didn’t speak to one another. How are you feeling?”

Myro closed his eyes, trying to shake the cobwebs loose from his mind, then opened them again and sighed when things stayed just as unfocused. “I’m still a little woozy,” he admitted. “The fire dragen elder… I should know his name…”

“Zarentil,” Elder Jesin supplied. “You said he attacked you. What happened exactly?”

“I got overheated and landed in a stream – or the meadow that surrounded one, rather.” He closed his eyes, giving up on forcing his eyes to focus. The thought that something might be seriously wrong with them flitted through his mind but he pushed it away. Now was not a good time to let his more hypochondriacally driven tendencies run away with him. “I splashed water on my face but it didn’t help that much, so I decided to take a short dip – wait for the sun to go down a bit and the heat of the day to lessen. I was just starting to relax when I heard a familiar voice. I looked up and saw that it was the fire – Elder Zarentil and he had a horde of demons with him. He was quite calm about the whole thing too. Then he told me to relax and began chanting in some strange guttural language. He was just about to grab my shoulder and… I suppose assault me, so I flew.”

“You found your way here and away from them and then collapsed,” a sea dragen dam said. She seemed familiar as Myro opened his eyes to look at her. His vision was starting to clear as well, much to his relief.

The Promise That Could Not be Kept is Burnt Deep into my Chest

Maraphil clambered over the rocks and strange wild plants following the small tingle of magic that she could sense. It was like a beacon in the darkness of the demon’s world. Perhaps it was the way home. She couldn’t be sure, but it seemed like it was dragon magic. She hadn’t felt dragen magic in so long. Since that day long ago when she’d been taken by the demons.

A part of her wondered what her family thought. It had been so long since she’d seen any of them. Most of all she worried for her brother and sister. They had been little more than hatchlings when she’d been taken. She wondered what had become of them. Had they been separated when she hadn’t returned to take care of them? Had someone taken them both? Were they hurt that she had broken her promise to take care of them?

Tears filled her eyes as she clambered over another stone. She could bear almost anything as long as her siblings still loved her. As long as she had not finally escaped only to find that something had happened to them or they thought she’d deserted them. She thought back to that day all those years ago. The family had lived in a small cave, far from most of the larger cavern complexes. The nearest other family was almost half a mile away. When their parents had died from a fever that swept through the area, her siblings had looked to her as the oldest to take care of everything.

“I’m going out to gather some berries,” she said to her brother. “Stay close to the house and don’t open the door to anyone you don’t know. Let Befamy sleep; she’s tired.”

“Are we going to be alright, Mara?” he asked softly. “Without Mam and Pop, I mean.”

“I’ll take good care of you and Befamy, I promise,” she said. “Be good. I love you.”

He nodded and waved goodbye as she flew away toward the berry patch. She would pick enough berries to make tarts for them and some to sell at the market. Her father had always said her berry tarts were the best. They should be able to fetch a few pennies each. The money would be used to buy milk and meat for their meals, fabric for their clothing and books to learn from.

Maraphil planned out the whole thing as she flew to the thicket where the berries always grew the fattest. She landed and began to fill her bucket with the sweet fruits. She might even be able to make jams to sell. Those would fetch an even better price.

With her mind on earning money for the family, she didn’t notice that she wasn’t alone until it was too late. Strong hands caught her around the waist. She dropped the half-full bucket.

Shine on This Life That is Burning Out

Elder Paesha Brightling sat in her office amid the bright colored pillows that made a small nest for her to rest in when she’d finished with her work for the day. The hour was late so she figured that she’d catch up on a bit of sleep while she waited for her appointed meeting. It seemed like mere moments had passed when the bell over the door signaled his arrival.

“Hello,” she greeted warmly. “Thanks for coming to see me. I suppose that I should get right to the point of why I asked you to come. I was wondering what business you had with my sub-elder. He’s been acting a little off lately and – ” she broke off as strong hands caught her and pushed her down into the pillows. “Let go,” she protested. “No, stop…”

The protests continued, growing ever weaker as the attack progressed. Soon they ceased altogether, though Elder Paesha still breathed, if only faintly.

**
Teliya frowned as she realized that the lights were still on in her mother’s office. It was possible that the meeting she’d been in last night had run long into the night and into the next day. Teliya didn’t know whom her mother had been meeting with but it was clan business. She hesitated for a moment before she pushed the door open. “Mother? Are you still up or are you up already?” she asked.

The scene that greeted her was like something out of a nightmare. The office had been ransacked. Pillows and files were strewn all over the floor. Small shreds of clothing littered the floor as well. Her mother lay, naked and bleeding, amid the ruins of her day-nest. “Mother!” Teliya shouted. She turned back to the corridor to yell, “Someone get a healer!” Then she ran to her dam’s side.

She was still breathing if only just. The nature of the attack was obvious from the injuries. “Please, please be alright. Please don’t die.”

To Leave Behind all the Suffering You’ve Brought to Me is so Sweet

His eyes closed as he relaxed. He would continue on his journey soon enough. The cool stream was the perfect place to wait for the heat of the day to abate.

“Well, well,” a smooth voice said.

Myro looked up, covering his nakedness and blushing. He saw a familiar figure standing above him, surrounded by demons. “I know you…” he said, trailing off as words failed him. It was the fire dragen elder. He didn’t seem bothered by the demons surrounding him. Quite the contrary, they seemed almost deferential to him.

“Relax, young Elder Myro,” the older dragen said. He began chanting in a strange and guttural language as he circled the edge of the stream to catch Myro on the shoulders.

“No way!” Myro shouted. He bit the hand on his shoulder and flew straight up into the air. After he crossed the tree line, he shot horizontally as fast as he could. If there was one thing that ice dragens could do, for all their small size compared to their fellows it was fly fast.

He felt very strange as he flew, almost dizzy, but he didn’t care. He focused on one thing: getting away from his attackers. Ahead of him, he spotted a sentinel standing on an overlook. He shot through the doorway and didn’t stop until he saw someone he knew. As it turned out, it was Elder Jesin.

“Elder Myro?” he said in shock. He had caught Myro’s shoulders and now they stood staring at one another.

“I… got overheated and… I found a stream and I was able to cool off and then there were these demons and… the elder – the elder of the fire dragens was there and he started chanting and – and I flew. I’m shaking an awful lot,” Myro said as he wound down.

“Retala!” Elder Jesin shouted over his shoulder. Then his vision began to gray around the edges. “Hang on, Elder Myro,” he said as if from a great distance. Then darkness swooped in and he collapsed into the larger dragen’s arms.

Chapter Fifteen Excerpt

Ride on the Wind and Ring Daybreak’s Bell

Myro rubbed the sleep out of his eyes as he heard the summoning stone chirping from the communications room that was across the corridor from his nest. Denair met him in the hallway and followed him into the room.

“Hello, Icewind Caverns,” he greeted. He smiled wanly as he recognized Elder Jesin from when he’d lost his father. “Elder Jesin. To what do I owe the pleasure?”

“I have something of great importance to discuss with you but I’d rather do it in person. Would you be able to come here to Softwind Caves?” the wind dragen elder said. He looked serious but in good enough spirits.

“I’m afraid that the summer air has grown too hot for me to travel in,” Myro said with genuine regret. “I do have a trusted friend that I can send in my place, if you would allow it. He isn’t an ice dragen and not so affected by the heat.” He looked up at Denair and was rewarded by the other sire’s nod.

“That sounds like a satisfactory compromise,” Jesin agreed. “I assume he know where the Softwind Caves are?”

“He’s a wind dragen so I would tend to assume,” Myro replied with a grin.

“A valid assumption if I ever heard one,” Jesin returned. He looked ready to sign off when he paused and added, “I can tell you some good news that the eldest might also want to pass along. The son that Shyrala and I had lost to the demons during the war has found his way home.”

“Congratulations,” Myro said. He quirked an eyebrow at Denair and the other sire nodded. “My representative will be there by midday.”

“Thank you,” Jesin replied. The stone went blank and Myro looked seriously at Denair.

“You think this is about the dragen I saw in the demon’s realm?” Denair asked.

“I think it’s a very good thing I’m sending you if it is,” Myro replied. “Maybe you can add something to their son’s report. I’m sure they two are connected. Be careful. Good flight.”

“Fair winds,” Denair returned before he headed out. It would be strange to fly back into the wind dragen’s territory. He hadn’t returned to the region since his escape from the demons. A part of him was afraid to. What would the elder say when confronted with a simple half-breed like him as Myro’s representative?

I Dream

 Elder Synaera shifted in her sleep, rumpling the blankets that lined her nest.  She was in the midst of a horrendous dream.  It started with what appeared to be a convocation, except a young dragen stood where Paesha had always stood and two of the elders were blocked from her sight by swirling dark clouds.

 Suddenly a huge rent appeared in the wall as a horde of demons flew by carrying a young dragen.  He might have been a wind dragen but fur could almost be seen along his ears, marking him as one of her own clan.  He screamed in such terror that she tried to intervene.  But he was suddenly by her side, smiling wanly.

 “I’m alright,” he said in a soft voice.  “You need to listen.  We’re very young but we know more than some venerable ones.”

 Then he disappeared and the sky that she could see through the jagged hole across from her turned black, blood red streaks darted through it.  Thousands of people were screaming then, some in anger, some in terror.  Over it all she heard a young voice say, “You thought you could control them?”

 “I didn’t mean for this to happen,” another, almost familiar voice called back. 

 A startled cry not far away drew her attention.  She immediately recognized the person who’d cried out as Elder Gynro.  He struggled, naked, in the grasp of an unfamiliar water dragen.  “No, please, stop,” he moaned as his struggles continued.

 A soft voice, terrified and deeply upset said from beside her, “But… why?  Why would he do this?”  She turned to see a pretty young earth dragen standing beside her.  Tears streamed down her face as she asked, “What should I do?  How can I fight him?”

 Synaera sat up, finally awake.  Tears streamed down her face.  “Paesha,” she whispered.  “Gynro.”  She stood and crossed to the summoning stone.  Her energies swirled around the stone for a moment before the face of her dear friend appeared. 

Soon a Downpour Will be Coming

He’d been hurt by the rejection and pleasantly surprised at the welcome the ice dragens had given him.  He was as different from them as he could be.  He had furry ears and soft feathery wings.  They all had long prehensile tails tipped in a soft tuft of fur.  He ate fruits and vegetables practically in their pure states.  The ice dragens ate nearly all their fruits in the form of preserves and their vegetables mixed into hearty stews.  He had to bundle up warm when it was cold but could happily fly about in weather as warm as the high eighties.  The ice dragens had no real need of coats in the winter months but couldn’t stand the heat of summer.

 However different they were, the ice dragens hadn’t mind.  If anything their differences made him all the more interesting for them.  They were a curious, questioning clan.  They tested the limits of magic and science.  They were the fiercest warriors Denair had ever seen.  He hadn’t been all that surprised to learn of the numbers killed in the catastrophic final battle of the war.  Small as they were, the ice dragens didn’t have an ounce of submission in them.

 “I’ve been researching the sealing spell,” he said finally, changing the subject.  Myro nodded, he’d known as much.  He’d in fact gotten the working notes of the spell from the elder of the light dragens for Denair’s use.  “Something seems to be missing.”  He opened the notebook he always carried and showed it to Myro.  “See how it seems to change gears halfway through a sentence?  I don’t think that the master mage being odd.  I think there’s a page missing.  Perhaps a diagram as well.”

 “I think you’re the first person to notice that in ten years,” Myro said softly.  “You really are remarkable, Denair.  It’s no wonder that my grandfather is so keen to teach you.”

 “Thanks,” Denair said as he pushed hair out of his eyes.  He looked out and smiled.  “I suppose I will stay… for a while longer.  But… since the heat doesn’t bother me and the healers have said I’m well enough.  I think I’ll go for a fly.”

 “Fair winds,” Myro said.  Denair smiled over his shoulder as he spread his broad wings and jumped off the overlook.  Myro watched him soar until he’d rode the winds out of sight.  “He’ll be back.  I hope he’s found a place here.”

 “Me too,” Saira said softly.

Chapter Four Excerpt

I can see all too clear; the time has come to face my fear

Saira watched the elder closely.  The memorial songs got to him every year.  Why the venerable ones of the clan felt the need to mark such a grim anniversary every single year was beyond her.  Didn’t any of them see how upsetting it was to the elder of the clan?  She remembered when they were nestlings and had looked forward to the beginning of winter.

 The cold and snow of winter didn’t phase ice dragens at all.  If anything they reveled in it.  Myro especially had loved the winter.  He would spend all day outside if he could.  As they grew older, his parents and hers had both agreed that so long as they were together they’d be safe enough on their own.  Once they’d learned to fly and to judge the sometimes strange air currents of the mountains in winter, she and Myro had explored far beyond any of the other fledglings.

 The demon war had curtailed that activity, if only slightly.  They were still permitted to explore and sport in the icy winds; as long as they stayed close to the den, or at least some shelter.  Demons didn’t mind the cold any more than ice dragens.

 Myro sighed heavily and glanced her way.  His favorite time of year was now punctuated by grief.  It would have been so even without the memorial ceremony and songs; they’d been orphaned at the opening of the season.  Still, it hurt to see him so down at a time of year where the Myro of her memories was so happy.

 In the years since she’d come to be his subordinate and not just a good friend, Saira had grown even closer to him.  To say she’d become protective would not be an exaggeration.  Sometimes she wondered if he felt the same.  She couldn’t ask though.  She smiled at him and his tail flicked out to coil around hers.  This display of affection was all they were allowed in front of all the others in the clan.  She remembered when he’d become elder and they had both come to understand how their relationship would have to change.

They had stayed at arms length from each other and kept their relationship strictly professional.  There were times when one or the other would edge toward the closeness that they had felt in their shared grief, but then the moment would pass.

 However, now the clan was recovering.  There were nearly as many mated pairs and young families as there had been on that fateful day when the war ended.  Saira smiled over at Mryo and tugged on his tail to draw his attention closer.  He leaned in so she could speak softly to him.  “Maybe we should ask,” she said.

 “After… the ceremony?” he murmured.  “Would you come with me?  If he says no… I… wouldn’t be able to tell you, I think.”

 Saira nodded and shifted just a little closer.  They joined in the final song of leave taking and left the dais.  She remained a silent presence as he joined his grandfather and the other oldones who advised him as clan elder.  “Grand – Master Ryden?” he called.  Even after ten years he felt strange addressing his grandfather so formally.

 “Elder Myro?” the old dragen replied.  “You have something to ask?”

 “I do,” Myro said almost hesitantly.  His tail coiled around Saira’s and she smiled up at him to reassure him.  “We’ve never… we’ve wondered since… I became elder… is it… appropriate… would it be alright… Saira’s my sub-elder but… I… um.”  Suddenly tongue-tied, Myro chuckled nervously.

 “You want to know if it is appropriate for you to court your sub-elder?” Ryden asked dryly.  “I thought you already were, child, or I would have told you long since that it was fine.”

 “Well… all that anxiety for nothing,” Myro said, rolling his eyes.  “I hadn’t seen any relationship like it in the histories.  It always seemed that the elder and sub-elder were nothing more than comrades or friends at most.”

 “That is because much of the time, they’re both male,” Ryden said in a matter-of-fact tone.  “Saira’s mother, may her next life be a joyous one, was the first female sub-elder in generations and your father, may his next life be a joyous one, had already set his cup for your mother,” this time Myro joined on the traditional phrase for a departed dragen.

 “So all this time, you thought I was courting Saira?” Myro asked.  “Our parents expected it, didn’t they?”

 “They were always pushing you together, what did you think that was for?” Ryden snapped, his frustration finally showing.

 Myro’s tone held the same impatience as he retorted, “We weren’t sure, Grandfather.  That’s why we asked.”  He took Saira’s hands and bumped her forehead with his.  “So this is me, formally setting my cup for Saira, if she’ll have, fool that I am.”

 “I’m just as foolish, since I didn’t realize it either, Myro,” Saira said, returning the bump and completing the ceremony.

 “We have to announce this.  The clan needs to know,” Ryden chirped.  He dragged the pair back to the dais and hailed the dispersing crowd.  When the hum of voices had died back down he clutched their joined hands in his and said, “Your Elder, Myro Hailstrom has set his cup for this woman, Sub-elder Saira Iceshine.”

 A cheer that nearly deafened them went up from the crowd.  Some of the old ones that were near to the dais could be heard to mutter, “It’s about time,” or “I thought he already had.”  Chuckling, Myro bumped Saira’s forehead again.

 “Are you happy?” she asked.  He frowned and shook his head, point a free hand at his ear.  She chuckled and shouted, “Are you happy, My?”

 “Deliriously,” he shouted back.  “Want to go flying later?”

 “I thought you’d never ask!” she said.  Still clutching his hand, she dashed off the dais and dragged him, protesting half-heartedly, up to the overlook.  “He set his cup for me,” she shouted to the sentinel.

 “Congratulations,” the dragen shouted back.  “Much happiness,” he added as they launched from the edge to fly out over the snow-covered mountains.

Chapter One Excerpt

Tears Cannot be Forgotten as Long as There is Song

 The end of the war against the demons was years ago now and most of the people in the region had moved on.  There were a few that, though they had been merely fledglings at the time would never forget the end of the war.  Many of those were from the ice dragen clan.

 A full ninety percent of the ice dragen warriors who fought that final battle had been lost.   They had left behind comrades who had been too injured by previous battles to participate in the final catastrophic one.  They had left behind mates and spouses.  They had left behind parents, nestlings and fledglings.

 One of those fledglings was the present elder of the clan.  He listened to the anniversary songs honoring the fallen with closed eyes.  The memories were still painful.  He still had such regrets.

The demons had yet to emerge, though his grandfather and the other mages still said they would sooner or later.  Myro leaned against the wall and listened to the song.  Never forget, it urged.  Some day the demons would return and everyone must be ready to stop them for good.  A part of him dreaded that time.  He hoped that didn’t make him a coward.

They were meant to remain inside.  Both of his parents had told him to stay inside separately.  Saira, to, had been told by her mother to remain inside.  All the fledglings and nestlings were to stay inside with the more venerable members of the clan during the fighting.  It was meant to keep them safe, Myro knew.

 Saira was curious, however.  She kept going out on the overlook to see what was going on.  They couldn’t see what was going on from where they were, of course.  Every time she went out, Myro would follow her, to keep her out of trouble.  Every time they went out, his grandfather would find them and bring them back into the den.

 “Your parents left you in my care until they return,” he said softly.  “Stay in the den where I can watch you.”

 “Yes, grandfather,” Mryo said, as he had each time.  He settled down on a bench with a book and glanced over at Saira.  She looked ready to go out again.  “Stay there,” he hissed.  “You’re going to get us in trouble.”

 She shrugged.  Myro knew that the other dragen was going to get him in trouble again, no matter how hard he tried.  They both grinned.

Monica Ferris

an author with many hats

A Land of Curiosity

From the files of Shynian Intelligence

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tales from the enchanted gardens and shadow hollow

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