A red dragon flew west after the setting sun, carrying a woman on her back. The woman, Margery Yagaro, held a baby boy in her arms. Margery looked down at the land below, the Sorcerer Kingdom. A place torn by war for the last thousand years. Soon this war would end and she would do her best to ensure the side of good prevailed.
Margery was a woman of two and twenty years with long brown hair reaching down her waist. She wore the garb of a noble woman, an elegant blue dress made of fine fabrics, a pair of gold badges on her chest, a wooden amulet around her neck, and a ring on her finger. Her dress and ring both bore the Yagaro crest, the letter Y emblazed on a shield.
Leather straps from the saddle were fastened around Margery’s waist and legs to keep her from falling out. On her belt, she carried two daggers, one on either hip. They had been a wedding gift from her husband Derair.
Derair! Her Derair! That selfless hero who’d died just the day before! He’d given his life to prevent their enemy, the Demorians, from acquiring something that would have guaranteed their victory. That something… or rather, someone… was Derair and Margery’s own son… Eric Yagaro. She looked down at him, a baby, just over two weeks old. He looked like any other, but inside his veins flowed a rare and powerful sorcery. Red sorcery, which appeared only once every thousand years and bestowed its wielder with powers like no other. He’d received it only moments after being born that fated night when the moon turned red with sorcery and gave him the power.
He was the one destined to end the war. Whichever side controlled him, controlled the outcome. The Demorians had attacked the capital city of Sortar to snatch him, but Derair defended his son and everyone else he could with his life.
Margery’s eyes teared up. Her heart ached like a heavy stone in her chest as she remembered her husband fighting the most powerful demon; a horror so strong that in a thousand years no one managed to vanquish him. She remembered it breaking through the magical shield around their castle and freezing the Yagaro soldiers with its mere presence. She’d watched the demon cut them down as they stood helpless as statues. She’d run out to try and help but only froze with the men.
All hope seemed lost for them until Derair returned. He arrived just in time to combat the demon. Margery witnessed a fierce battle between the two, eventually the demon took over her body, possessing her to fight Derair. The monster gleefully used Margery’s own hand to kill her husband. But with the last of his strength, Derair cast a spell to trap the demon inside her. There it would remain imprisoned and harmless until the spell broke.
It would do so a fortnight from her son’s fourteenth Aging Day. Then the demon would emerge and surely kill hundreds if not thousands of innocent people. The Sorcerer Kingdom’s greatest threat that seemed to never die.
But there were ways of slaying it now. Only two though.
One, Margery could kill herself. While the demon was trapped inside her, their lifeforces were connected. If she died, it died. Seeing the terror it brought to her, Margery felt it was more than worth it to sacrifice herself. She knew the pain of loss all too well. Second, she could have her son kill the demon when it emerged from her. She looked back at him as he cooed. Little Eric was the Third Red Sorcerer, the one destined to end the war, their only hope. He alone could defeat the demon according to an ancient prophecy. It might work, but it came at great risk.
If Margery won, she’d be hailed as a hero. She’d share in the glory of defeating this demon. That was her dream, to someday be recognized as a capable warrior. She was not like most other women who followed the old traditions. Those kept them subservient, under the thumbs of men. She was a Maiden of Mayhem, a sorceress who could fight with magic and sword. She wanted to change the way the Sorcerer Kingdom viewed its females so they would be seen as equals, not weaklings or damsels to be protected. She knew it couldn’t be changed overnight, but it would be a step in the right direction. The chance to do that was almost worth the risk to her. Almost.
But she dreaded the possibility of what could happen if she lost. Should the demon triumph, it would take her son and use his power to achieve its own goal. Bringing about an age where all mortals were enslaved under a demonic rule. Margery shuddered at the thought of that. She wanted to live and be recognized as a great warrior, as well as bring change to her fellow females. But the fear of bringing about such a dark age weighed against her dream. It might be better to simply take her own life. She’d almost gone through with it. But her husband’s brother Chosan, her wed brother, begged her not to. He’d convinced her to leave Sortar, and face the demon when it came out, telling her this could be her biggest chance to fulfill her dream (as well as how he couldn’t bear to lose her as well).
The dragon Margery rode finally spoke. “I wish we didn’t have to leave.”
Margery looked up from her infant son and toward her lifelong companion and protector. “Aye, Rubara. But if we’d stayed, there could be a civil war. Some in Sortar will stop at nothing to weaken the Demorians. Getting rid of this monster would surely be a crippling blow to the enemy.”
Margery’s voice carried no hatred as she said this. She bore those who wanted her gone no ill will. They were just doing what they thought was best for the kingdom.
“They won’t try to protect you?” Rubara asked. “Won’t lend you their aid when it comes out?”
“It’s useless,” Margery replied, putting a hand on her belly. A while ago she’d been pregnant and a had large baby bump there. Now her body looked normal, but there was still something inside her. “An army wouldn’t help. I will not have others die because of me if I can help it. I just hope this wasn’t a mistake. Staying alive-”
“You did it to look after your son. They would have raised him as a weapon,” Rubara reminded her. “Your family should be your only concern.”
Margery would have chuckled if not for the loss of her husband weighing heavily on her heart. She sighed instead, “If only I had simple needs like you.”
Rubara was solely concerned with her loved ones, while Margery would protect everyone she could. Well, almost everyone.
“Don’t worry, little one. We’ll get through this. I’ll be by your side when this monster comes out and will fight to protect you,” Rubara said.
Margery managed a smile before suppressing a sob. She’d lost so much in her lifetime, her parents, comrades, now her husband. But she still had Rubara, the dragon who’d raised her and been like a second mother to her. For that Margery had decided to appoint Rubara as Eric’s surrogate grandmother.
“Thank you, Rubara. You’ve-you’ve always been there for me when I need you,” Margery choked out as tears fell from her eyes. “I-I hate to think we may be parted in another few decades.”
“I’ve been with your family since your great grandfather’s time,” Rubara said. “He saved four of my hatchlings from dragon hunters. In return, I pledged to guard his offspring for four generations. Once your son has children, that debt will be paid. I-I have come to care for you deeply. But it will be nice to be back in my homeland.”
“Yes, it-it will be dangerous living there among dragons. But certainly safer than if we stayed in Sortar.”
They continued west, soon coming to a castle with an enormous wall stretching hundreds of miles along the west coast. The Dragon Wall, made to keep dragons from entering the Sorcerer Kingdom, it was gargantuan, carved from dark gray stone. A castle lay before it, providing housing for the soldiers and sorcerers that manned this part of the wall. They walked on top of it, Margery saw them, and they saw her, or at least Rubara. The soldiers turned their ballista’s, giant crossbows that could fire massive bolts capable of killing dragons, toward Rubara. Sorcerers also prepared to let off blasts of sorcery as well. Before they could though, Margery shot a beam of her own blue sorcery across the sky, signaling the people of the fort that Rubara was not an enemy. Had she not done this, they would have shot at the dragon.
The soldiers and sorcerers held their fire, recognizing the signal that this was a comrade dragon. But Rubara let out an angry roar as she flew over the top. This place had claimed the lives of many of her kind. For a moment, Margery feared Rubara would attack, but she simply passed over the wall after the roar. The land vanished and they began the flight oversea. Margery looked back, taking one last look at the Sorcerer Kingdom, unsure if she would ever see it again.
They continued west, after the setting sun to the land of the dragons.