A red dragon flew west after the setting sun, carrying a woman and a baby on her back. The woman, Margery Yagaro, looked with tear-stained eyes 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 noble woman of two and twenty years with long brown hair reaching down to her waist. She wore 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. 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… or rather, someone… that would have guaranteed their victory. Derair and Margery’s own son, Eric Yagaro. She looked down at him as he lay in her arms. A baby just over two weeks old. He looked like any other child, 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.
Eric 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 thanks to the sacrifice of his father, they had not succeeded.
Margery’s eyes let out more tears up as she again recalled the horrible battle. After Derair left to defend the city, the most powerful demon came to their castle and broke through the shield protecting it. The soldiers stationed there froze at its mere presence, helpless as it mercilessly cut them down with its sword, each strike dealing a death blow. Margery ran out to try and help but only froze with the men.
All seemed lost until Derair returned, having heard his castle was under attack. He’d managed to do what few others could, stand against the demon. A fierce battle erupted between them and eventually the demon took over her body, possessing her to fight Derair and using her hand to kill him. With the last of his strength though, Derair cast a spell to trap the demon inside her. There it would remain imprisoned until the spell wore off.
That would take many years, but when the demon emerged it would surely kill hundreds if not thousands of people. So, she had two options, kill herself and bring the demon down with her or fight it when it came out. While it was trapped in her body, their lifeforces were connected. She died, it died. After seeing the full extent of its terror, Margery felt self-sacrifice would be worth it. Until now, there had been no chance to destroy the demon. Few could stand against it, and none could defeat it, except for the prophesized child whom everyone had waited for for so long. The child with red sorcery.
That was her son. He alone could do it, when he became strong enough. That would require a great deal of training, in both of the arts of sorcery and melee combat. Normally a sorcerer warrior would be trained by fellow men, but Margery would take that role for herself. She was not the typical woman who simply stood back and let men fight while praying for their safety. She was a Maiden of Mayhem, a sorceress who could fight with both magic and a sword.
If they won, she’d share in the glory of defeating this monster. That was her dream, to be recognized as a capable warrior. Then she could bring about change to the Sorcerer Kingdom and turn her fellow females from helpless damsels into warriors that could stand with men as equals. 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. The fear of bringing about such a dark age weighed against her. It might be better to simply take her own life. She’d almost gone through with that. 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, saying this could be her biggest chance to fulfill her dream (as well as how he couldn’t bear to lose her too). She still felt conflicted though.
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 them.”
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. Something evil. “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 so 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,” Rubara said.
Margery managed a smile before suppressing a sob. “Thank you, Rubara. You’ve-you’ve always been there for me when I need you. I-I hate to think we may be parted in another few decades.”
Rubara nodded. “I’ve almost repaid my debt to your family. Once your child has children, I will leave. But I’ve grown to love you. Even once I leave to return home it may not be forever. I must say I never imagined I’d be going there while still paying my debt.”
They were heading to the land of the dragons, Clawgloran. A land far across the sea to the west. Soon they came to an enormous wall stretching hundreds of miles along the coast of the Sorcerer Kingdom. The Dragon Wall, made to keep dragons from entering the Sorcerer Kingdom, it was gargantuan, made of dark gray stone. A castle lay before it, providing housing to the soldiers and sorcerers manning this section. They stood 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 dragon killing bolts, in Rubara’s direction. Sorcerers readied blasts of sorcery as well. Before they could unleash their attacks however, Margery shot a beam of her own blue sorcery into the sky for all to see.
The soldiers and sorcerers held their fire, recognizing Margery’s signal that Rubara was an ally. But the dragon let out an angry roar as she flew over the top. Margery feared for a moment that Rubara would attack the wall, knowing this place had claimed the lives of many of Rubara’s kind. But the dragon simply passed over the wall after letting out her roar.
The land vanished below and was replaced with the lovely Soron Sea. 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.