Jaavere woke up lying upon a soft cushiony cot. He looked around the room. There wasn’t any furniture, except a small brown chest, with a wash basin on top.
“What am I doing here? How did I get here? I don’t remember anything past leaving the castle for my quest…The quest! What happened? We need to finish the quest…” Yawning Jaavere thought no more, but fell into a peaceful slumber.
* * *
Vrenith froze. She heard a dark, clunking sound, and wondered what it was.
Two days ago, she’d awakened to find nothing--her memory completely lost. The only thing she could remember was her name--Vrenith.
Alarmed, she stepped back. Noises of water dripping from around her, in the cave. The cave that she was inside was dark--utterly dark. She didn’t know what to do, and now this! A strange noise.
Then, she saw it. A small light coming from the entrance to the cave illuminated a huge, rearing, black head.
* * *
When Jaavere woke up, he was about to get out of bed and explore, when a someone knocked on the door.
“Come in!” Jaavere gently said. A plump woman walked in the door, carrying a tray of food.
“Hello, Sir. My name is Crystal. I will be taking care of you,” said the plump lady, as she walked over to the bed.
“Thank you! Would you mind telling me where I am, and how I got here?” Jaavere asked. The last thing He remembered was leaving the castle for a quest a few days ago,-- he thought-- with his fellow questers.
* * *
Vrenith gasped and drew her sword. An Ebony Flame Dragon! “Wait--how did I know what it was called?” That gave her some hope, that maybe her memory could be redeemed. But not if she was dead. And wait--did she even know how to use her sword? Try as she might, she could not remember anything more about Ebony Flame Dragons.
Sighing, she leapt forward, wondering at how graceful and fluent her movements felt. Letting loose a war cry, she slashed at the dragon’s chest, sprang away, and pretended to go for his leg, and then at the last moment feinted and ended up gashing his belly. “Weird…” she thought. “I didn’t know I could do that!”
But she had no more time to think--the dragon was upon her once more.
* * *
Jaavere searched Crystal’s eyes for answer, but found nothing. After a few minutes of waiting, finally, Crystal gave a reply.
“I don’t know exactly how you got here, but your friends are waiting out side. They can refresh your memory, I’m sure.” As if on cue, four men walked in.
“Hey Jaavere how are you doing?” One man named Khinlr asked.
“I’m good except for one thing… I can’t remember anything past leaving the castle. The four men explained to Jaavere what had happened the last few days…
* * *
“Sharurl!” Vrenith screamed. Wait--what was that name from? Who was it? But she had no more time to think, because the dragon, snarling and snapping at her, was advancing.
She glanced down at her sword. Did she really know how to use it? Sighing, she pivoted her light, brown hair flying. Here she was, used to--used to what? She stopped that thought. But no time!
The dragon slashed a claw at her side, but then when she ducked, he, fast as lightning, swung his tail at her, and trapped her in its folds.
“I need help!” she couldn’t help but think.
“I’m always here, I will help you--just believe, have faith, and trust in Me.”
“Sharurl?” That was the first name that came to mind. Could it be that she was finally remembering something?
* * *
Jaavere sat uncomfortably on his dragon, as they flew over a beautiful forest. He didn’t have much experience with riding dragons. He had been informed quickly before they left the castle, but it didn’t help much. Khinlr and Gyrendail flew to his left, while Zimm and Ferdlien were on his right. The day was passing quickly; beautiful scenes were flying by underneath them. All was well, until they were raided from the sky.
* * *
Vrenith felt a fiery, searing pain as the dragon scraped a claw along the length of her arm, tearing a huge rip in her skin, deep and bleeding profusely. The pain was almost too much. Dimly, Vrenith felt as if something like this could’ve happened before--her being injured.
Then, she managed to break free--though she didn’t know how. Something, other than her own strength, had helped her… something that she did not understand.
Now out of the dragon’s grip, the dragon, not expecting, earned a slice across his chest. He was not hurt, but annoyed. He roared in pain, and then sprang towards her. But, this was part of her plan. A plan that she’d remembered, apparently. When the dragon leapt towards her, she lifted her sword--and it gored through his heart.
Except there was a set back. This move was usually used as a last resort when pertaining to dragons, because no one really wants to have a dragon land on her. A loud ‘oomph’ came from Vrenith as she rolled, though the dragon’s leg landed on her arm.
Ow. That was her wounded arm.
* * *
Dragon bandits. They flew in from all sides, and below. Jaavere and the others drew their swords.
“Get in a circle!” Khinlr yelled. They all quickly flew into the best circle possible on dragons. Jaavere and Zimm turned around in their saddles, so they could protect the back. Dragon bandits flying everywhere, some slashing with their swords, others grabbing everything in sight. Jaavere slashed at an upcoming bandit, but was too late. The bandit cut a long, gaping gash across is face. Losing his balance, Jaavere fell to the forest below.
* * *
Unconsciousness overcame Vrenith’s senses, and she blacked out.
She remembered… she remembered what had happened to her, where she had lived. Her father, just before she left, had been telling her that she was not really his daughter--that they’d found her lying on their doorstep when she was a baby.
But no, Vrenith couldn’t accept that. She was seventeen, nearly an adult, and now they told her that? She couldn’t believe it. And now… who were her real parents? Had they not wanted her?
Broken, she ran away.
* * *
He lay on the forest floor for days it seemed. Unable to move, he lay there helpless, until He blacked out from the pain and hunger.
“A few days later, we found you. Laying there unconscious. So we brought you here.” Khinlr, Zimm, Ferdlien, and Gyrendail finished their tale of what had happened to Jaavere.
“And now I’m here.” He lifted hand up to his face and gently felt the long scar that the Dragon Bandit had painfully dealt him. “We should try to leave as soon as possible. We need to save the king!” As Jaavere tried to sit up, a searing pain shot up through his legs, making him lay back down immediately.
“You’re not going anywhere until you’re all healed!” Zimm said.
“I’m fine. Really.” Jaavere protested.
“Oh, no your not!” Crystal came up to the side of the bed, frowning. “You’re not going anywhere, until I say you healed!” Crystal said sternly, but sternly enough to make his cheeks burn red.
A few days passed, while Jaavere was bed ridden. After taking medicine each day, his legs finally healed. It was time to go save the king!
* * *
Vrenith felt like her arm was going to come off. It was numb, now, and probably the blood flow had stopped before reaching her hand… if she was there for five or six more hours, she’d lose her arm.
Unable to do much, she thought over the information that she’d learned about herself.
* * *
Jaavere and the other questers journeyed for several long days. On foot. They had given their dragons to the master of the place they had stayed at, because they didn’t have any money with them. When they found a safe looking forest to stay at, they set up camp immediately, in a low clearing.
They needed water to drink, so they sent Zimm and Khinlr out to search for water.
Khinlr walked with Zimm across the forest to a place-- he hoped-- would be water. They got to a small clearing, surrounded by tall--almost black-- trees. Over to the side, there was a huge cave entrance.
* * *
Vrenith heard noises--blessed footsteps! Maybe those people--whoever they were, would help her. But, then again, they could be bandits.
Vrenith decided that it didn’t matter now--if she stayed under that dragon, she’d probably die, and if it was bandits, she’d die anyways. Either way, her fate was the same she’d rather die the quick death a bandit would deal her rather than the slow starvation that was her future now.
So, “Help! Anyone out there? Help!”
* * *
Zimm was looking in the bushes and around the trees for some sense of water, when he heard a cry for help.
“Khinlr! I think someone is in the cave! Come on lets go look.”
“Yes! Right away! Whoever is in there could be in trouble.” Both ran into the mouth of the cave, only to find they couldn’t see anything. So they stood there and let their eyes adjust to the darkness. After a huge black scaled creature. Drawing their swords, they approached it. Not knowing what it could be. When they got closer, they noticed, that it was a dragon. Going closer, they saw a sword protruding from its heart.
* * *
Vrenith’s vision was fading, and she tried once more to muster a cry for help, for she saw the two figures that had entered the cave and were now examining the dragon.
As the two figures turned towards her voice, she blacked out.
* * *
Hearing another cry for help, Zimm and Khinlr ran over to the dragon. Seeing a person laying under the foreleg of the dragon, they got to work quickly trying to pull the person out. Failing, they tried again. This time, Zimm held the leg up, as Khinlr pulled the person out. With a jerk, both Khinlr and the person tumbled backwards.
They pulled the person into the light. First noticing she was a woman, second, the gaping wound down her arm. Quickly they took her back to camp where they could dress the wound.
* * *
Vrenith awoke to a jerk on her arm. She opened her eyes, seeing a bright blue sky stretching over her, trees lining her vision. Glancing at her injured arm, she saw a man she didn’t know replacing a large bandage.
“Wait--where am I? How did I get here, and what happened after the dragon? Who are you?”
“Whoa,” the man said, laughing. “Not so fast. First question--well, you’re in the middle of nowhere. Second, we carried you here. Third, after the dragon? Well, what happened between you and the dragon? And fourth, I’m Zimm. Ask my comrades, and they’ll tell you I talk too much.” He grinned.
“Um… all I know is that two--or is it three now? How many days since you found me?”
“Ow. Um… so seven days ago, a week, I awoke, having lost my memory. Then, two days later, I was in the cave, looking for a spring of some sort for water. But I made a mistake by going there, because an Ebony Flame Dragon lived there.
“I don’t’ know how I remembered that name, but I did. And then… I drew my sword. I didn’t know if I knew how to use it, so I guess I was taking a risk, but I ended up slashing the dragon, feinting, and put a gash in his belly. Then, he swung at me, and I ducked. His tail came around and trapped me. Somehow, I got free.
“Then, I cut his chest and he got mad. I’d remembered a fighting plan for this, though risky, and because of that cut, the dragon was annoyed. He pounced, and my sword ran through his heart. I tried to roll out of the way, but his foreleg landed on my arm.”
“So, young lady, you’ve been through a lot.” She hadn’t mentioned her remembering not being her father’s daughter, though…
“Would you mind telling me your name?”
“Uh… sure. It’s one of the things I remembered. It’s Vrenith.”
“Ah. Vrenith. A nice name.”
* * *
Jaavere waited out side the tent. He was worried for the young lady they had brought in five days ago. He had heard slivers of there conversation. So far he new her name was Vrenith, and she had been through a lot the last few days. Zimm walked out of the tent, followed by Vrenith.
“Jaavere, I think this young lady would like some water. Would you get some for her?” Ferdlien had gone in search of water again, two days after they found Vrenith. They now new of a stream not to far away that they could walk to refill their big bucket of water. Jaavere took her a tin cup and she gulped the water down. Obviously parched.
“Is your arm okay?’ Asked Ferdlien.
“Yes, thank you. It is doing much better.” Answered Vrenith.
“That is good. I’m sure you are starving, Come eat.” Said Khinlr.
“Thank you. I am very hungry.” Replied Vrenith. Zimm had fed her little pieces of bread and little sips of water over the five days as she slept. She would barley wake, for a few minutes each day. Not enough to communicate, but enough to open her mouth. Zimm didn’t think she remembered any of it though.
“We will camp here a few more days, until we have to finish our quest. We could drop you of at the nearest town, if you like,” offered Khinlr.
“I have nowhere to go, why can I not come with you?” Vrenith asked.
“It is too dangerous for a young lady like you. You are also injured,” Khinlr replied.
* * *
Vrenith frowned. She’d really like to go on a quest. It’d be better than trying and waiting for her memory to return.
A smile curved over her lips. “Danger is my middle name.” She froze, and paled. “That… that sounds like something I used to say,” she managed to whisper.
Khinlr had a look of concern etched over his face. “Maybe you’d better sleep.” And with that, he left her alone.
* * *