Gonna take a step away from TADL for a little bit. This is a short story that came to me about a week ago. It has nothing to do with Drinaris. Some names might be reused, but they won’t have the same meaning as in TADL. About the title, I’ve read in a few places half-demons and half-dragons called “demon-get” and “dragon-get”, most of the time this is used to insult them or used by them sarcastically. In the places I’ve read, they don’t seem to care if they’re insulting or not (I’d imagine that if someone truly insulted the half-blooded child of a dragon, they wouldn’t live long enough to regret it). That being said, let’s get into it.
Henara Rashee strutted through the doors of the Adventurers’ Guild, to the cheers of everyone gathered. Henara was a svartalvan dragon-get, meaning she was half dark elf, half dragon. Her usual appearance was of a dark elf, inheriting her mother’s dusky tanned skin, thin willowy frame, and long pointed ears. She used magic to die the silver hair she inherited from her mother with streaks of purple and kept it short, only down to her chin.
But there was always a reminder that she was her father’s daughter, as she inherited his red cat-eyes which held vertically slitted pupils, and her eye teeth were sharp enough to be called fangs.
She had a showy personality, which was at odds with her specialty as a rogue. This didn’t seem to stop her amazing ability to blend seamlessly with the shadows. She had claimed the title of one of the two greatest rogues on the continent of Argus.
She walked up to the receptionist in her black clothes and black leather armor, her twin short swords were in their sheaths crossed over the small of her back. The only other color seen was the red sash on her waist, bearing her father’s insignia of a black dragon entwined with a star-pentagram.”Hey, Cassie, how’s it going?”
Cassie, a young human woman, and the receptionist of the capital’s Adventurers’ Guild Headquarters smiled, “Well, Henara, someone famous just came in from the countryside. A warrior by the name of Micheal. Apparently, he has quite the record.”
Henara raised her eyebrow. “Anything I should keep an eye out for?” She knew enough to recognize when Cassie dislikes someone, and as far as Henara was concerned, anyone Cassie didn’t like, she didn’t like.
“Only so far as he’s a womanizer and a prick.” a new voice cut in.
Glancing at the new voice, Henara grinned. The newcomer was the other contender for the title of the greatest rogue of Argus, the werecat Fiora Shadowclaw. Her tawny hair and amber eyes made her unusual for a werecat, who usually had a lighter shade of brown that was almost blonde and green eyes. Her slim frame was wearing plain brown clothing and leather armor. She had four matching daggers on her belt, and, Henara and Cassie knew, several dozen throwing knives secreted away within her armor and clothes.
When she looked at Henara, her face grew more stern than what was usual for the ultra serious 19 year old woman. But Cassie always noticed that when she was around the dark elf, Fiora’s ears would slightly perk forward, and the tip of her tail would swing faster. Likewise, Henara was always in a more uplifted mood when Fiora was around, and usually teased her and pulled more pranks on the werecat than she did with others.
Neither young woman seemed to notice these things, and Cassie wisely kept these observations to herself. Just the thought of what these two would do to her if she voiced her opinion of their relationship caused her to shudder.
Henara responded to Fiora, “So he’s an asshole, but he’s not dangerous. Got it. Now Fiora, I’m surprised. I didn’t even notice you, have you been practicing? What have you been up to?”
Fiora scoffed. Both she and Cassie knew that Fiora couldn’t hide her presence from Henara, just as the opposite held true for Henara’s presence. They’re skill levels were just too high. No matter what, the two of them always knew whenever they were in the same vicinity. Which was one of the many things in contention between the two, not even including their contrasting personalities.
Fiora responded with, “I’ve been working, which I’m pretty sure is more than I can say for you, Miss ‘Dragon fae’.”
Fiora’s jab was referencing Henara’s name, Rashee. It was originally from the Draconic language, and in Common it translated to ‘dragon fae’.
Henara flinched, and muttered, “Right where it hurts, huh?”
The blonde clerk interrupted before the conversation could devolve further, “Now, now, I’m certain we all know you two have been working the exact same amount. And it’s a well established fact that Henara’s father doesn’t have any talent with giving names, let’s just be happy her mother insisted on her first name being Henara, the gods only know what oddity her father would’ve come up with.”
Henara laughed at that. Most people would’ve felt awkward mentioning her mother, considering she died in childbirth, the same as every other female who gives birth to a half-dragon. Cassie didn’t seem to have any problems with understanding that Henara doesn’t feel much about her mother’s death, because she just doesn’t have any memories of her. The only thing Henara grew up associating with her mother was the hatred of everyone in her village. They blamed her for her mother’s death, and eventually drove her out, calling her a monster and no better than what an adventurer would hunt and kill.
A week after leaving the village, Henara met Renon, her father. He had been on his way to the village to bring her with him. He had planned to do it sooner, but lost track of time. Hearing what had happened to Henara, he quickly grew enraged. The dragon picked her up, and flew back to the village. As they landed, Renon roared out for the village’s leader to appear before him immediately. As the dark elf ran to Renon, the dragon growled out, asking if what he’d heard about how they treated his daughter was true. The leader was shocked, and he stuttered out something about it being dishonorable amongst dragons to run to one’s parents about any wrongs committed against them.
Having dragon customs preached to him by an outsider caused Renon’s rage to rise higher. He roared out, correcting the elf that that only applies if the hatchling can defend themselves, which the village had prevented by forbidding Henara any combat practice, even going so far as to punish her for practicing on her own.
As the elf tried again to find excuses that would appease the dragon, Renon finally became fed up with the cowering man, especially because this elf was Henara’s own grandfather, and swallowed the fool. Leaving with Henara, he let out a final roar, warning the entire village that they’d better pray that Henara doesn’t feel the desire to return and slaughter them all in repayment of how they treated her when she has come into her own power. Henara hasn’t been back since.
Finally getting the two adventurers to stop taking verbal shots at one another, Cassie was able to give Henara her reward for the job she just completed. Henara said goodbye, took the opportunity for a parting shot at Fiora, and left the Guild.
6 weeks later
Henara entered the Adventurer’s Guild, looking more tired than usual. As she approached the desk, Cassie commented, “This is rare. Was that job really that tough?”
Henara chuckled dryly, “Not at all. It was just tedious, and nine-tenths of the time, I just wanted to shove my swords up the client’s ass. I hate working for nobles.”
Giggling, Cassie started the paperwork for giving Henara her reward. As her human friend was doing that, Henara glanced around. “Fiora’s still not back? It’s been what, five weeks? What kind of job did she take, anyways?”
Cassie got a worried expression on her face. She had also started to worry about the werecat, but she had kept quiet because Henara hadn’t started to worry. The fact that the dark elf was bringing it up meant that Fiora really had been gone too long. “I don’t know. Let me check.” She wasn’t technically supposed to show Henara another adventurer’s information, but when Henara or Fiora had wanted to do jobs that they couldn’t do alone, they had always partnered with each other, so they were in the same party. Their relationship wasn’t nearly as bad as most people, or they themselves, thought.
As Cassie read the job that Fiora had taken, her face grew increasingly grave. Noticing this, Henara grew tense. “Well? Don’t keep me waiting. What is it?”
“It’s the Droy bounty.” Cassie replied.
“WHAT?! That’s the largest bandit group in Argus! That’s not a job someone can do on their own! What the hell’s she thinking?! Who the hell gave her permission to go?!”
“It says it was Frederick. He just got back from a four week trip to his home town. I’ll call him up here.”
As Cassie went to get the clerk in question, a voice interrupted them. “Where are you going, Cassie?”
A gruff, gray haired dwarf walked up to the two young women. Cassie nodded her head in acknowledgement, and said, “Guild Master Godrik. I’m going to get Fred. There are inconsistencies in Adventurer Fiora’s paperwork that only he can explain.”
As Godrik looked over the paperwork, he said, “Hmm. I’ve already asked him about it. According to him, she was quite insistent that she take the job alone. And the witnesses collaborate it, that Micheal and his party.”
“Seriously?! You’re not going to look into it anymore than that?!” Henara was getting more agitated by the minute.
“QUIET GIRL! There is nothing more to look into. She took the job against the advice to bring someone along, and that’s that. Now quit causing a scene. Do you think you’re doing her any favors by causing such a fuss? You’re just making her look like she can’t take care of herself and needs you to babysit her.” Seeing the hurt and slightly panicked expression on Henara’s face, Godrik sighed. Cassie and Fiora had grown up in the Guild, he viewed them as his own granddaughters, a position Henara, troublemaker and prankster that she was, quickly won as well when she arrived. The three of them were the same age, and Godrik truly loved them, so he knew he’d be comforting the half-dragon as soon as he started scolding her. His stern expression softened. “Listen. She can take care of herself. She knows better than to pick a fight she couldn’t win. Just go home and get some rest. She’ll be back soon enough.”
Nodding, Henara said her goodbyes to Cassie and Godrik, and left for the day.
The next day, Henara wasn’t feeling any better about the situation. As she walked into the Guild, she heard sobbing and she quickly ran in.
She saw all of the adventurers with pained expressions on their faces, Godrik with his fists clenched and tears running into his beard, and Cassie on her knees, her being the source of the sobbing noise. Running up to her, Henara asked in a panicked voice, “Cassie? Godrik? What’s wrong? What happened?”
Looking at Henara, Cassie just sobbed harder. Godrik finally managed to answer her. “It’s Fiora. They found her body. Those bandits. What they did to her.” He couldn’t get anymore words out.
Henara shook her head, “No. She can’t be dead. You said yourself that she’d be fine.” she started speaking vehemently, trying to deny his words with everything she had.
Everyone was surprised at her reaction. Nobody had ever seen Henara like this, and they never would’ve thought that the death of Fiora, who they all believed was nothing more than a rival to Henara, would bring this about.
An adventurer stepped forward. “I’m afraid it’s true, miss. Me and my party were escorting someone from the next town, and we spotted the body. When we saw the adventurer tags, we decided to bring it here. She’s around back.”
Henara quickly started running for the door, Godrik and Cassie behind her, trying to get her to stop. Some part of Henara had decided that everyone was trying to play some big joke on her. She decided that if that were the case, she’d tell them all off, and refuse to speak to them for months.
As she rounded the corner, she saw the human shaped bundle on the ground. With the dwarf and the human trying to stop her, she uncovered the body. And her heart skipped.
To protect her sanity, her mind tried to tell her that what she was seeing couldn’t have been Fiora. The catwoman’s body was broken. There was no other way to describe it. It was obvious that the adventurers who found her tried to clean her body, but that just made everything, every little bruise and laceration, visible. She had obviously been tortured, her body was mutilated, and there was obvious evidence that she was raped.
As Henara stood there staring at Fiora’s body, Cassie and Godrik caught up with her. Cassie tugged at Henara’s sleeve. “Henara, please. Let’s go inside. We’ll make plans. We’ll bring them down. Just, please.”
Tears were running down Henara’s face. Her breathing had grown rough. By now, everyone in the Guild had arrived behind the building. Suddenly, Henara moaned in pain, and she fell to her knees, clutching her chest over her heart.
“”Henara?!”” Cassie and Godrik ran to her at once. Cassie started casting her healing magic, not understanding what was happening. “Henara, what’s wrong?!” She was close to panicking at the thought of losing Henara as well.
“I-It hurts…my heart…i-it f-feels like it’s…breaking…” was the pained response.
‘Breaking her heart? Was she in love with her? I knew they cared about each other, but that much? Wait…broken heart?!’ Cassie’s confused thoughts quickly turned to horror, as she remembered that every story that involved a city disappearing into a sea of dragon fire began with a dragon or a dragon-get having their hearts broken by their chosen mates being murdered. Henara and Fiora might not have spoken their feelings for each other, but that doesn’t change what they were…or what Henara is.
Glancing over at Godrik, Cassie saw the same realization on his face. “Henara! You have to get it under control! If you don’t, the city will burn!” Cassie screamed.
Tears were running down Henara’s face as she moaned in pain, feeling like everything was coming apart inside of her. “…I…c-can’t.” As she felt the draconic magic that’s always been running in her veins go berserk, she knew she had no chance of control. Henara looked up at Cassie and Godrik. “Run.”
It took them everything they had to leave her there, but they knew that she would never forgive herself if she hurt them now of all times. As they began running for cover, Godrik yelled at the gathered adventurers, “RUN YOU DAMN FOOLS, RUN!”
As they rounded the corner of the building, Henara let out a scream, but halfway through it, it became an animalistic roar. Everyone who heard it was reminded of the mournful howling of a wolf that lost it’s pack mates. It was almost as if they could feel the pain, grief, guilt, anguish, anger, rage, and hatred that the the one who it originated from was feeling. Then, there was an explosion of power. Violet flames and bolts of purple lightning flew in all directions. Finally, it stopped, and everyone looked around the corner.
There were pockets of burnt and burning ground. Small violet colored flames continued to burn, and where the lightning had struck, the ground had turned into glass. The only thing untouched was Fiora’s body. But the biggest change was with Henara.
Being only half-dragon, she didn’t have the ability to become a full sized dragon. Because she was able to use her magic to enhance her strength to compete with dragons in their true forms, there have been no problems. That being said, she can shift into a half dragon form that looks more like the shifted forms of weres, and that’s what form she was in at the moment.
Red scales covered most of her body, shifting seamlessly into skin across most of her face. They were smooth and glossy, not the rough and jagged scales most dragons have. She had also grown large wings and a thick tail, both with the same glossy red scales, and they didn’t have any spikes or a club at the end of the tail that could sometimes be seen on dragons. Her nails had grown out to become obsidian claws, and ram’s horns spiraled out of the side of her head just over her ears, the same beautiful obsidian as the claws. Everyone who sees this form agrees that if she had been born as a full dragon, she would be the type that is built for stalking and ambushing her prey, which makes most people wonder if her instincts as a dragon influenced her abilities as a rogue.
Henara could freely shift into this form, her clothes and armor were said to be gifts from her father that would allow for the shift without damaging them, and she would often lounge around the Guild in this form to annoy Fiora, creating no small amount of entertainment for everyone else. So most people there have already seen her like this, but that was only when she was playing around. Neither Cassie nor Godrik have seen Henara in the mental state that she went into during work, so the look in her eyes was a shock to everyone.
It was as if the bright light and laughter that had always shined from Henara’s eyes was snuffed out, and replaced with a dark flame that spoke only of hatred and rage. The only reason some of the weaker adventurers there didn’t die just from her gaze was because her anger wasn’t directed at them. To add to that violet flames and lightning danced and jumped across her body, and as she stood there, the ground beneath her feet began to burn.
Cassie could see that her friend wouldn’t listen to reason anymore. She was going to do as she wished, and if anyone tried to stop her, may the gods have mercy on their souls, or at least, what’s left of their souls, for Henara might not be so kind as to leave them intact.
Henara looked at everyone, until she finally saw the adventurer who brought Fiora’s body back. She walked toward him, leaving a trail of burning footprints in her wake.
Another adventurer stepped forward, “Henara, calm down. Let’s all go b-” He was interrupted by Henara, as she backhanded him, sending him flying. He was fortunate that the Adventurer’s Guild was built with wood, as he didn’t even slow down when he flew through the wall. His fortune stopped when he continued flying across the street, and through the Church’s stone walls. He continued being unfortunate when he crashed through the outer wall of a governmental building also of stone, where he finally stopped after going through two rooms. He was still alive by some miracle, but he’ll be unconscious for weeks.
As the adventurers saw this, they knew that the dark elf rogue they had known until then was gone, and standing before them was the daughter of the dragon Renon. This Henara was merciless and would remove any who attempted to get in her way. As she approached the adventurer that was her target, he trembled in fear.
“Where did you find her?” As she asked the question, her eyes never left his.
“T-t-the Dreford Forest. T-three days to the west.”
“I see.” Turning to look at Cassie, she asked, “Is that where Droy’s band is hiding out?”
“Yes. It is. Be careful. I can’t lose you to.” Cassie responded, knowing she couldn’t stop her.
Henara nodded, and walked to Fiora’s body. “I’ll bring back his head. I promise.” With that, she spread her wings and jumped, using her draconic strength to ensure her the height needed to fly. Within minutes, she was out of sight.
four days later
The day Henara left, a massive column of smoke appeared in the sky to the west. A force was sent to examine it and find the cause, what they found when they arrived, they almost had no words to describe. Dreford Forest was gone, and in its place was scorched earth. Some things were still burning with violet flames, and there were wide swaths of ground where the flames were so intense that the earth had turned into glass. Even though most of the destruction was finished, and the fires were mostly gone, the heat was still too much to even think of entering. But this news wouldn’t reach the city until a full week had passed since the fires began.
The Adventurer’s Guild was quiet when Henara walked through the door. Everyone who had anything to do with the Guild was there, they had just buried Fiora the day before. Everyone looked up as Henara walked in, and they all froze.
She was still in her dragon form. Her clothes were ripped and torn everywhere, as well as covered in ash, and she had small cuts across her face. She had Droy’s head in her hand, she was grabbing the dark elf’s head by his hair.
Henara stopped in the middle of the room, and just stood there. Cassie quickly ran up and hugged her. “Thank the gods you’re safe,” she whispered to her.
“Yeah. I got him. Is everyone here? Including the newbies?” Henara responded with a quiet voice.
“Yes, everyone’s here. What’s wrong?” Cassie had grown worried. This wasn’t like Henara.
Henara raised her voice so that the entire room could hear. “I tortured him. To find out how he managed to capture her. He told me some interesting things. He had help from people within the Guild.” This caused some adventurers to mumble amongst each other. “She didn’t go alone. She went with a party, long time partners of his that had done these things with him before, and they had someone here cover their tracks and prevent questions. Droy named them both. Isn’t that right, Micheal?”
Everyone fell silent as she named the adventurer that had just arrived in the city. Micheal scoffed, “Have you gone mad?! Are you really going to take a bandit’s word on this?!”
Henara nodded, “I was skeptical as well. Until he named the person that you had recruited to cover your tracks. It was a name a bandit who’s just arrived in the area couldn’t have known. He named Frederick as the other person.”
At that moment, Frederick lost his nerve, and he started screaming. “It was Micheal’s idea! He-ugh!” He stopped as a dagger was thrown and planted in his stomach. Everyone could see that it was Fiora’s, and guessed that Henara had recovered them from the bandits.
Suddenly, with a blur of movement, Henara was standing behind Frederick, one of her short swords in her hand. The curved metal that looked like an animal’s fang gleamed like obsidian glass looking sinister when held with the expression on her face. “I don’t care who’s fault it is. Just die.” And with that, her sword swung, separating Frederick’s head from his body.
Instantly, she moved again, proceeding to be head Micheal’s party. When she reached him, Micheal attempted to draw his blade, but before he could get it half out of the scabbard, she had removed his head.
As Micheal’s body fell, Henara picked up his head. She then walked over to Frederick’s head and picked it up as well. Holding the three heads she walked up to Cassie. “Can you take me to her?”
Nodding, Cassie wrapped one arm across Henara’s shoulders, and began guiding her to Fiora’s grave.
When they arrived, Henara situated the heads at the foot of Fiora’s grave. She then kneeled on the ground at her headstone, sobbing with her head on the ground. “Please. I’ll wait for you to be reincarnated. So please. Don’t leave me alone forever. I promise, I’ll be better. I won’t tease you so much, and I’ll take my work seriously. Just come back to me. I love you.”
Cassie fell to her knees beside her, and gathered Henara into a hug. Together, the human and the greatest rogue of Argus cried.