Maturity Test

*Takes a seat and writes on a scroll* I come to you humans to try and teach you somthing, how dragon's truely mature. Not by age not by words. But by a test that proves them old enough to take a mate. Sit back and enjoy the story of my maturity test to best explain it all.

It was fourty years ago, I was rather old in furry years but still a child to my races ageing, a mere two thousand eight hundred and fifty-seven years old. I was at home playing with some friends of mine at the main Palace of the Shadow dragon city 'Chaos Canyon' when my mother litterally dragged me aside and placed a scroll in my paws.

Opening the scroll it had the seal of the Darkflame family, a Dragon holding a large claymore over one shoulder and a crown on its brow, and another seal that I couldn't make out to well. Reading the scroll I found it was the maturity test check list.

Honour- Prove yourself by by finding one to scale your karma at Dragon's level, this will start your path down the dragon's road to maturity.
Courage- Slay a dragon of a lesser race in the world of humans and gorge yourself for the next trial.
Patiance- Go out into the world and meditate for one week under the supervision of the four ancients.
Power- Defeate a mage in combat and bring back his or her staff as proof.
Wealth- Create a horde for your trasure, one large enough for you to protect and give warm shelter for you future young.
Adventuresum- Seek out a cave within which to hide your future mate and your horde till your young have fully grown.

Looking over the list I looked up at my mother abit scared but understanding. I knew that taking this test meant I'd be moving further down the road to being the next King of the pack, somthing I didn't want to have happan to me. I was given supplies and the family sword to start out on my maturity test.

Looking over my meger supplies that I was to live on I kinda felt depressed. I had about four days worth of bread and water, two days worth of dried beef and a hunk of cheese. The family sword sat in my lap as I polished the black blade, the odd thing of the sword. It was made of some unknown metal forged by the gods that laid curses on my foes.

I was walking through the rain, on the second day I think it was, and I happand apon a small villiage called Sanhae. I went to the local tavern seeking shelter but found the whole place deserted, so I laid down on one of the old cots keeping my sword in my paw and my food close. I awoke to the sudden noise of laughter, not knowing who it was I showed the better half of valor and used a skill customary to my kind and hide in the shadows as a shadow.

It turned out to be two bandits coming in, the had an old female with them and they where repeadidly screaming at her as if she where deaf. I watched silently, feeling my hunger boiling up, as in my youth I had a voracious appatite and ate all my meat and cheese. "Leave me be you brats." crooned the old female as she stepped onto one of the cots, but the two men persisted. "I'm warning you boys, Karma is a double edged sword and you'll get what's coming to you ten fold if you continue." she said in an annoyed yet cackleing tone.

"Aww is the old lady going to cast a spell on us?" one of the males said with a laugh, the other joined in soon after. The old female just looked at them and started crying, for some reason she looked like my mother the day my father was killed in battle. With a snort one of the men lifted his blade to her throat and said "Say good night." and before I could think it through my body reacted, barrleing into the male in somthing of a mixed wolven/dragon form.

I had muscle, speed and intelegance on my side...but he had experiance. My blade made no light as his did that gave me the advantage of the shadows as I I should say back'tailed' the other male with my tail, the tip sycle slashing across his right eye as I tried to regain my balance from the lunge. I had knocked the wind from the other bandits chest and he was on me quickly slashing and stabbing with his rapier.

I could barely get an attack in as I danced around trying to avaid his attacks. He was coming on to fast and I could feel my fear welling up, I wanted to collapse and cry in a heap of feathers and tears, but then a flick of light and a sudden burst of fire hit the male and he collapsed dead...

Looking up I saw the old female standing there with a smile on her lips. "Young dragon why did you save me?" she asked softly, all I could do was hit my knees and tear into the roasted male as my sanity gave into deprived hunger. I could feel her eyes watching me as every muscle in my body worked to clean my 'kill' untill finally I finished and looked at her softly replying "Respect..." was all I could reply with as my eyes closed from filling my belly.

I woke up the next morning to find a note next to me reading "Mighty Dragon, your soul is complete and equal to your power. You stand on the threashold of the gods." I didn't know what it meant, but deep down I understood I had passed the first test.

Three days had past and my tummy was starting to hurt, I hadn't eatten since the bandits at Sanhae tavern and the only water I could find was river water poluted by crawdads. I was hunting a dragon from Mythic Nexus, feared creatures very powerful at the time, I couldn't hunt them in this state so I had to hunt somthing smaller to gain my stregnth back.

A day had passed and the most I could come up with in the ways of food were afew squirrles, rabbits and deer. While the deer alone could have feed a dragon my size it still wasn't enough in my starved condition. Finally I decided I was ready and ventured into the cave of the Mythic dragon. Entering slowly I found it was very quiet, almost erriely beckoning me in.

As slowly as I entered, I still couldn't help the knot in my stomach as I felt the pressence of alot of dragons. It was suicidal for a lone dragon to enter a pack of dragon's teritory especially for one as young as me. But I continued. "Stop!" came a clearly feminen voice from behind me, slowly turning around I came muzzle to muzzle with a Dragon mage.

Stories of these high level dragon's where told to scare young dragon's into eatting all their food and going to bed, but here I was staring at one muzzle to muzzle. She was very cute in an odd sort of way, maybe that's where I went wrong because the next thing I knew I was on my side after being back handed. "Pathetic creature. You dare invade my home?" she screamed at me clearly upset. I could make out afew drakes behind her.

I stood up slowly only to be kicked back down and pinned by her hind paw while she recited a spell. I recognized it, it was the same incantation as the Diviner from four days ago had used for that fire spell. I rolled to one side and lashed out with my tail and ducked behind the nearest drake as the fire spell went off. I felt the singe of the fire burn at my feathers as the drake fell dead to the ground.

Quickly I lunged at the Dragon mage and pinned her to the ground tieing her muzzle shut with the only rope I had on me, then bound her wrist by her own sashe. I got off her and held the blade of my family sword to her throat and waited for any movement, when none came I moved away and exited the cave, but not before snagging one of the drakes for the next test, I'd need the food after this ordeal.

I travled through the wilderness feeding off the dead drake as my stomach was able too, giving me more stregnth by the moment. Walking around I finally found a spot that seemed right so I made camp and prepared for the next test. Slowly I layed down on my belly my feathers ruffleing softly in the wind as I layed there concentrateing on becoming one with the shadows to avoid detection.

Visions of the ancients filled my head, Melina the great wolf goddess of Creation and destruction appeared and gave me a sword named 'Ragnark', her sister the Fox goddess of Love and truth came and gave me a pendant called 'Rhinshuin'. A dragon god named Bahamut god of Wisdom and Honour came forth handing me a shield marked 'Agile' his sister next walking from the Shadows, Tiamatt dragon goddess of War and Power suited me with black armor with gold trim called 'Draginas'.

The visions swirled in my head as I watched them slowly. Tiamatt remained at my side and smiled at me "Your path has been chosen Knight of Tiamatt." she spoke and turned leaveing me in the armor and weapons. I watched in disbelife as my path had been chosen for me, destiny truely did exist, or did it? Maybe it was my mind playing tricks on me? No this dream was to vivid and I could almost smell the smoke....smoke??

I woke up quickly and weighted, the armor equipd to my body, but strangely the scent of fire still burned in my nostrials. I looked up slowly finding my eyes meeting with none other then the Dragon mage I had defeated days ago. She looked upset as I raised 'Ragnark' to a deffensive position. At that time she stared at me and suddenly collapsed in a heap crying at my hind paws.

Confused I just stood there as she weaped. "HOW COULD YOU!?" she sobbed angrilly standing and taking me by the shoulders hitting my armor clad chest. "How could you leave me for them to find me defeated?STUPID MALE!" was all she managed to croak out before she fainted from over casting spells. I watched her sleep as rain cascaded down over the camp putting out the magical fire slowly but surely.

As she woke up slowly I took a protective step back ready to strike at a moments notice. But no violent advance was made towards me as she began crying again. "I'm an excile now because of you." she finally said after an uneasy hour of silance. "You defeated me in battle and you left me alive for them to find. The only way I can go back now is to kill you...but I can't. Defeated once by you with nothing more then a sword, how could I possibly compete with you in full battle armor that appears from no where on your body?"

I couldn't help but pitty her as she spoted the remains of the drake, a slow smile playing over her muzzle as she picked at it hungrilly. I slipped my arm around her slowly, carefully and hugged her to find her scaled form warm to the touch not cold like stories told. "Anneke.." she said softly. I replyed slowly as we laid back "ShadowFox..."

I awoke to a sleeping Anneke curled up around the camp fire...snoreing loudly. We'd been travleing for about two weeks searching for a mage that was causeing trouble, the only one Anneke could figure out was a furry killing people for fun. We where hot on his trail when Anneke doubled over and groaned in pain.

"I can't go on..." she whispered before fainting. I didn't know what was wrong, she'd been eatting very healthy, had enough water. I side tracked my test and took her to a Shaman who told me to take her to a Druid living in the wilderness. Back to the wilderness we went moving south from the small town known as Buya.

"You want me to do WHAT?!" the Druid asked me after I explained our story to her. She was clearly worried for Anneke but I could tell by the look on her face that she was unsure of what to do. Anneke was groaning and moving around in pain and I felt sick to my stomach watching her.

The Druid looked at her and shewed me outside of her home for afew 'test'. That word worried me, but I decided to go after the mage in my test while Anneke was safe. Another two weeks had passed searching for that mage when I finally found the area furrys called 'The Vale'. One of the Gods of the furrys apparently had gone insane and was wielding a staff like he owned everything, casting spell after spell.

That's when I saw an arrow fly past aimed at the God, I thought to myself with a laugh thinking simply "How can a simple arrow kill a god?" but to my amazment the arrow, the god, and the staff all shattered leaveing chips of dark stones scattered everywhere. I picked two up and looked them over in my paws then pocketed them as they where very shiney and one weakness of all dragon's is "shiney things".

Of course it wasn't long that I meet the mage muzzle to muzzle. I drew Ragnark and quickly attacked before he could utter a word. The mage was not happy and started that spell Anneke told me was called 'Hellfire', I had two choices. Kill him now or find cover. I took the first choice and laid into him with one of the furry spells I had learned 'Whirlwind'. The mage fell dead and I felt the cool breeze of health flush into my body as a young White mage started healing my wounds.

I took the staff and headed back to where Anneke was safely hiden only to find her dressed in a bundle of silk and coins. The druid female was smiling next to her talking away. "What's going on?" I inquired softly as to not draw attention from unwanted ears. "Well congradulations are in order for the most part sir dragon. Your mate is pregnant." the druid spoke, the only reply she got was "MATE?!" from both me and Anneke. We both stood stareing at her shocked.

"She's pregnant?" I asked after ten minutes of silence "Yes, she is." came the only reply as Anneke walked up and nuzzled me. "Where did all of these sparkely things come from?" I asked, Anneke smiled at me and giggled "They are gifts from the druids in thanks for me letting them understand Dragon's more." I smiled at her and realized that she had just helped me complete a test without knowing it.

Me and Anneke walked slowly around the Wilderness, my adventure test was simple...Find a cave for all the treasures and silks Anneke had collected. I remembered an empty cave near Sanhae so we went there to camp and look around. It took us three travleing weeks to get to the cave with all of the sparkely things and warm soft silks.

When we finally got everything settled in, Anneke claimed the treasure mound as hers very deffensively. I wasn't sure if this was common for her race of dragon but I did as her actions demanded and stayed clear while she was awake. I brought her food and water as needed, eventually digging out a small stream connecting to a nearby river and dragging the stream back to another part of the river to keep the water source flowing.

About two weeks after we moved in, Furrys started ventureing inside as Buya and Kugnae expanded. I had my paws full fighting them off and keeping them away from Anneke. On one particular night I had just finished fighting off afew young follish furrys when my mother appeared and walked past me staring at her.

She walked back to Anneke and smiled "So this is what has kept you from coming home." she said softly "You know you're breaking the laws mating." she sighed and looked back at me when Anneke spoke up "We're not mates, just close friends." my mother turned and looked at her grining "Is that why you are pregnant with his children?" she asked silently.

Anneke looked up dumbfounded as did I, then I remembered mother had the ability to shift forms as an adult dragon. "Yes Gemstone, I was the druid." my mother responded to my silent question, Anneke blushed a deep crimson throughout her body totally embaresed as she lay there. My mother looked at all the proof giving items throught the den and noded "Congradulations Gemstone, you're now an adult and have my full blessing to mate." was her reply as she vanished from sight.

The End ~~ Or is it?~~

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