A Champion's Soul

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A Golden Stag

Mama woke me up, but I was tired… “Come on sweetie.” She always speaks so softly when she tries to get me up, but it just makes me want to sleep more. Mama picked me up and started carrying me. “Let’s go see the family again. I’ll just carry you for now.” I like being carried…

I heard Cassius though. “H-hi!”

Mama stopped walking. “Good morning Cassius.”

I heard him shuffle around a bit. “G-good morning. I’m sorry to ask, but there was a strange man in town last night. He was talking about dragons having mating season? I know that’s what you do to have kids, and I’m not going to ask how it’s done. I’m just wondering if that’s true? Do dragons have kids because of what season it is?”

Mama paused for a minute, seemingly confused… “No, we don’t?” She paused another moment. “I know what he’s talking about. It’s all fake… That is something desperate hybrids do to try and woo a naïve girl. Usually two or three band together and use this lie to try and impress her. It’s pathetic really.”

Cassius still seemed nervous. “I see, thank you for answering my strange question. I’ll leave you alone now!” Cassius then ran off.

Strange, but I don’t think it matters to me. I fell back asleep anyways and was woken up by the sound of grandma. “Little one, it’s time to get up.” She doesn’t say it as softly as mama, but I opened my eyes.

I saw mama, and she was big. I was laying on her giant foot. Grandma was in front of me. Mama didn’t sound happy though. “Do she really need to do this?”

Grandma looked at mama now. “You are well aware of our traditions. She won’t do it alone though. We have another little one that has yet to prove themselves. His name is Eimrass, a rare breed. He was an orphaned little one, and we don’t know who his kin are. We took him in shortly after hatching.”

Mama still didn’t sound happy. “I know our traditions, but these forests are teeming with many creatures that would want to make a meal of them.”

Grandma chuckled. “Oh, I don’t think there’s anything brash enough to try. Our scent is in the air, and you can feel the forest is on edge. Should anything try. We will burn it to the ground.”

Mama grumbled. “Fine, but what do they need to do. We’re not in the usual place.”

Grandma sniffed the air… “There is a stag nearby, and I believe that would be a good enough test. Let’s test their tracking ability, and should they pass all well and good. Should they fail we will try again next year... I don’t think it’ll hurt your little one all that much if they fail regardless. You are both separated from the clan, so you are not receiving the benefits either way.”

Mama sounded worried now. “What will happen to the other little one then?”

Grandma paused… “They will still be able to live with us, but we will not provide aid. The little one will need the learn to survive on its own, and it will be stronger for it.”

Mama didn’t like the sound of that… “Fine, so where is this little one?”

Grandma barked a noise and a little white dragon walked up from behind her. I jumped off mama’s foot and ran up them, but I think I scared them.

Grandma tried reassuring them. “It’s fine little one. You are safe.”

I started sniffing them, and they sniffed me back… They have a strange smell, not good or bad… It smells very different from everyone else here, almost like they aren’t part of the family… That makes me a little sad actually.

Grandma started talking, but she put strange stones on our snouts while she did it. “These will let you two little ones talk to each other. Work together and try to find the stag.” What’s a stag smell like?

I heard a voice. “You don’t know what a stag smells like?” WHAT WAS THAT!? No one was talking! “You don’t need to shout. It’s me, the white dragon in front of you.” O-oh… So, we’re talking through our thoughts? “Yes.”

Grandma interrupted us with a laugh. “I see the little Tesyrir is surprised by this. Run along you two, bring us back one of the stags antlers… Or hide, whichever you manage to do.”

O-oh! The white dragon seemed happy. “My names Eimrass, and I would guess you are Tesyrir?

Y-yea. “Yes, that’s my name. Do we need to worry about these falling off our snouts?”

He shook his head. “No, but follow me. I think I know where the stag is.”

Alright then. “Lead the way then… Maybe I’ll figure out what a stag smells like while we look.” I looked back at mama before running off. She nodded, so I knew it was okay.

We ran off into the woods, and Eimrass peed on a tree… “Why are you doing that?”

He stopped and turned around. “It’ll make it easier to get back.” EW!

I’ll just have to deal with it then. I followed him and, well it was weird. I felt all tingly walking in the woods. I saw a footprint on the ground though. “WAIT!” he stopped and turned around.

He looked at the ground and saw the track to… It was weird. “That looks like a stag print. Good job!”

O-oh. “T-thank you!”

He turned away quickly when I thanked him… “Let’s follow the tracks then, but we should move slower. We don’t want to make a lot of noise.” Alright then… he kept peeing on stuff as we went on… Nasty, but if what he says is true. Then it might be helpful.

Walking, walking, walking, and more walking. IT’S SO BORING! He chuckled, I know he can hear what I’m thinking. IT’S JUST SO BORING! I want to chase mice!

He stopped! “Do you see it?” I could feel the wind in our face, and I sniffed the air. I smelled something…

He gave me a quick glance. “Yea, I see it. It’s a weird color though, gold.” Gold? I peeked around his shoulder and saw it to.

It was a giant deer, err well I guess that’s a stag. Its horns were massive, almost as big as mama’s head. It’s was taller than mama when she’s small, and it was just eating grass.

Wow… “How are we supposed to get that thing? It’s so much bigger than us?”

He didn’t answer, but slowly walked behind me. I watched the stag… I heard a trickling noise and turned around. Eimrass was peeing again, but this time on a giant log instead of a tree. Really, again? The log started moving though and got up. It was big AND ANGRY! “EIMRASS RUN, BEAR!”

He turned around and bolted past me! “I KNOW! RUN TO THE STAG!” WHAT! I rushed after him! I could hear the bears thundering steps slam behind me! Each time I heard that thump it felt like I was going to be snatched up!

WHY! “What are you planning!?”

I stag perked its head up and stared at us, but we got to it before it could react. Eimrass shouted again. “Jump on the stag!” I didn’t have time to question it. He launched himself onto the stag and used his claws to climb up. I got up on just before the stag took off!

The stag started running from the bear! It was big enough for us both to fit on it, but we had to latch on with our claws to not fall off! “What now!?”

Eimrass looked at me blankly. “I didn’t think this far ahead!” WHAT!

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