The River Folk

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The Girl And Her Dragon

River shook Reign’s hand. Reign was Esbrin’s mother. She was a tall, brown haired woman with pierced ears, smooth skin and wore a cloth around her hair. She greeted them with a warm smile. Underneath River’s arm she held a satchel that hid her dragon. To prevent the dragon from making a noise, she used her psychic connection between herself and her dragon Nade. Next to River stood her father and two older brother’s Drask and Hectar. Drask stood up tall with his long hair that went down to his shoulders and stood in his leather clothing. While his brother Hectar had shorter hair and wore a green robe. The robe had a hood and the option of pulling a mask across the face.

The entire houses in the village looked essentially the same. Each house was either single or two floors. The house there was had a large library and fireplace. The kitchen was at the end of the house on the right side and was attached to the dinning room. Esbrin’s mother invited them into the house. River and her family walked inside.

Stay in the basket and stop moving around, said River.

Later that day, River followed Esbrin to his family’s barn. On their way to the barn looked up at the wall that surrounded the village. She noticed men with long bows in hand, quivers filled with arrows around their back in the watchtowers.

“I’m still shook up from yesterday. I was convinced you where going to do me in. I could see in your eyes, you where not fooling around.”

“Correct, I wasn’t joking around. My father taught me swordplay. I’ve best my brothers on more than one occasion. And yes, if you let this village know about Nade, I will come to you in the middle of the night when you are asleep and cut your throat.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Good. Have you seen a River Folk village before, Esbrin?”

“I have not. Only second hand through relatives.”

“We live on boats most of the time, but when on land we have shacks. We move around a lot.”

“We’re at your dragon’s hiding place.”

Esbrin led River behind the house towards an abandoned barn that was several yards away. The new barn was right outside the house in the back, and was replicated from the old barn that was lost to a fire.

Esbrin opened one of the doors of the barn and River walked in. Esbrin followed behind, closed the door behind him and they climbed a ladder to the loft. In the loft a couch with a large blanket rested at the far end of the barn by an opened window.

River walked over to the window and peered out. She took off her satchel, carefully took out Nade and placed him onto the couch. She looked out of the window and leaned against the wall and said thoughtfully, “During the winter I love the snow covered landscapes. The snow removes all the worries of the world for a season.”

Esbrin joined her by the window, fascinated by her outlook.

“I’m curious,” said Esbrin. “Where did you find Nade’s egg?”

“I found Nade’s egg out in the snow when I was out playing with my friends. My friends and I first didn’t know what to do. We knew if we where caught with a dragon egg our village would be burned.”

“Personally, I think the King doesn’t want anyone raising and becoming a rider because to him that produces a threat of power. So he hires dragon slayers.”

“It’s cruel and sick.”

“He’s just scared.”

“And that makes it right,” River snapped with some vigor in her voice.

“No, no of course not.”

At this burst of anger from River, Esbrin pictured himself sleeping one night and having his throat cut for exposing Nade to the village.

“Esbrin! Esbrin!” Came the voice of his sister Ny’la.

Ny’la entered the barn and saw her brother standing at the top of the loft.

“What is it, Ny’la?”

“You are needed in the village.”

Without verbally responding, he grabbed hold of the ladder and raced down leaving River with Nade.

Everyone in the village had gathered around a ranger. The ranger was covered in blood. His long beard was soaked red. He limped on one knee and had to be assisted by his pregnant wife who held him up. Esbrin made his way to the front of the crowd and heard said, “We where ambushed, it was chaotic. The Orcs and Goblins attacked us five hours after we met the River Folk.”

“Esbrin,” came a low voice.

Esbrin turned around recognizing the voice. The voice belonged to his cousin Fynn. Fynn wore his hair in a ponytail and was more muscularly built than his cousin. When he saw Cespar, (Fynn’s younger brother), Cespar said, “Esbrin, if you allow me lead the party, I know where to start.”

“Of course,” agreed Esbrin. “Let’s get moving.”

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