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Empress of the Dragons

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The human laid the last egg up against the three others. The pink of the shell complimented its blue and purple companions perfectly and the dragons gathered around to stare at the completion of the collection. Leaning against Glaucio’s sturdy structure, she gazed at them too. As she did, their colors began to meld together, the surrounding cave blurred. Would she ever be able to come back?

A dark silence had enveloped the cave; no one was able to speak. The adult dragons held their magnificent heads low while even the hatchlings had ceased their bantering and playful fights. There was no doubt about it, Muriel would miss them, all of them. Had it not been by her hard work that they stood there this gloomy day? Zylarra scooted closer and swung her glistening neck over Muriel’s shoulder. That was all it took. The tears came hard and fast. Sorrow reached at Muriel’s chest and squeezed with a relentless grip. The woman placed her slender hands over her eyes, trying to pin back her emotions with that ever present wall of strength, but found that the barrier had crumbled completely under the weight of her grief.

Something wet soaked through Muriel’s boots and she looked down to see that large silvery tears were rolling off of Zylarra’s cheeks and splattering onto the cold stone floor. Even Glaucio held his ruby eyes clinched shut as though fighting off a wave of emotion. Estrilla lay curled next to the fire, huge silent sobs wracking her body and Bullet stood next to her, dark head lowered to the ground. Muriel didn’t look to see where Millintica and Albayne were. She knew if she saw their faces, she wouldn’t be able to do it. She would stay in the cave forever.

Slowly she turned towards the mouth of the cavern. When at last she had regained her voice she murmured softly to Zylarra, “Take good care of them,”

The large creature only nodded, but it was enough. Muriel strode to the opening and looked out. Large white flakes had already started falling from the clouds and she knew the time had come. Cautiously, she began to pick her way up the slippery path. She didn’t look back, but she knew if she did, she would see nine pairs of eyes following her every step. She had left them, and she could never return.


Although I'm just writing this for fun, constructive criticism is appreciated, but please back it up with reasons. I want to learn as much about writing as I possibly can.

Edited by Zephyrgirl

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That is a nice prologue you have there. It is well written, you're a pretty good writer! The only thing I am going to say is you went a teeny bit too over-descriptive. This may cause readers to get confused, but overall, I love it!

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Wait...that Muriel is a human and the others are dragons? I'm confused. You should make it clearer who are who.



Leaning against, Glaucio’s sturdy structure, she gazed at them too

That comma is unnecessary, I believe.


It's always better to be a little over-descriptive than under-descriptive. I can handle a little too much description. Can't handle purple prose, though.


A few tips:

-Run a Mary Sue litmus test on your main character. She seems fine now but one might never know.

-Always, always research things you don't know or aren't sure of. Made-up things about real stuff are never any good.


Make things plausible and believable. How would you react and what would you do? Logic is your friend.

-Think your steps through. Ask yourself about every new chapter 'How does it carry the plot forward?' 'What does it give to the story?'. If some things are unnecessary, leave them out.

-It never hurts to have a critical person to read through your work.


Read through your work. Let it sit for a while, forget about it, then read. You'll notice much more things than when writing it.

-Keep in mind that your readers are not six-year olds. They can deduce stuff on their own.

Edited by LwyllasLaVey

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Thanks so much for the advice! I'll go ahead and edit the prologue to make it less confusing. Actually the character in the prologue isn't so much the main character, but will play a fairly major role in the story.


Here's the first part of chapter 1:


The wind was fierce and bitter. It cut right through the thick cloth of Adriel's cloak, ignoring her chattering teeth. With thin white fingers, she struggled to tug the mantle tighter around her to no avail. She didn't have to look to know that tiny bumps were covering her arms under her sleeves and her whole face had gone numb, she sniffed, but her nose seemed to have disappeared. Every step, her toes came into contact with her thin shoes and stung as though the snow itself was biting them. Only one word ran through her mind, "Hurry!"

Hurry where, though? Shelter should not be so hard to come by in a busy citadel such as Marden, but every time she began to scurry towards a structure, some piercing glare would find her. In the worst cases, Adriel had even been beaten by whatever handy object her foes could find. It was hard enough just being an elf, let alone an orphan and a beggar.

At long last she spotted it, a tiny abandoned lean-to towards the city gates. There were a couple of dark colored blankets stored there and an old fire pit that had been piled with snow. It wasn't much, but it might at least keep the wind off. With her consent, her legs began to jog beneath her, then stretched out in an all out sprint. The place was deserted! No one would catch her this time!

"Thief! Thief!" She was wrong. The guard's yell filled her ears and left them ringing. With those definite words of doom, blackness began to close in, licking at her vision with its icy fingers. No! She would not faint. Adriel kept running.

"Come back here, you little waif!" The gruff voice was like a stinging slap to her face.

"After her!" Cried another.

The hunt began. Adriel knew only one place to head. The water gates where the Naida river flowed out of Marden. Though she felt as though her knees might buckle at any minute, the yells and footsteps strengthened her determination. Blurred buildings swept by, bantering filled her ears. For once she was grateful for the numbing cold on her nose. The stench of rotting manure and dried sweat barely registered itself in her mind. As she ran, her senses began to dim. Even as her sight and hearing faded though, she could feel the raw wind as it jerked her grey hood away from her head and let her hair fly loose.

Screaming echoed over the city walls as a horrible realization gripped Adriel's thoughts. The guards had horses! Pounding, deafening and deadly came from behind. It was hopeless! The gates! She had to reach the gates! Churning her legs harder than ever, the breath began to rush from her lungs. The chilling air filled them instead. A cough shook her slender frame nearly causing her to fall and it felt as though a knife had run through her chest. She gasped, but every intake of air was excruciating.

Her sight cleared enough to see one thing. The watergate! With every last spurt of energy she shoved each foot from the ground. The hooves were blocking everything else from her ears! They were close!

She leapt for the wooden door and shoved it open. To her amazement, it swung back quite easily.

She didn't bother to even close it behind her. The passage was too small for horses, but soon the men would dismount. Guards who had been raised to pursue would be chasing her in a few minutes.

Her feet found an old, worn trail and followed it. Needles began to pierce through her woolen cloak, but Adriel kept up her pace, never slowing even as the sleet thickened. By now, both ice and snow were being dumped from the sky in a blinding curtain.

It didn't matter. Nothing did anymore. The dulling pain was taking its course. Darkness was at long last winning the victory. Adriel felt her feet sliding out from under her, but ice had deadened her scream. She was falling, but never had the chance to feel the fatal pain that followed.

Edited by Zephyrgirl

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Scene 2 of Chapter 1:

"Gluacio, we can't just leave her out in the storm!" A voice echoed from the darkness.

"You have no idea who she is! She could be out looking for Muriel or even us for that matter! I say no!" Some one was replying in stern tones.

"She can't be that harmless, why, look at the poor little thing. Dressed in rags as she is, she’ll freeze to death if we don't help her!"

It took a few moments before Adriel realized they were talking about her, but where was she? What was going on?

As consciousness began to return, so did the pain. However something was notably missing. The cold had been chased away by a soft glow flickering beyond Adriel's eyelids. Her lungs no longer felt as though a dozen spears of ice had exploded within them, instead, she was breathing in the comforting scent of wood smoke.

Strength had fled from Adriel's limbs, but she did manage to crack her eyelids. Through blurry vision, she could make out flames dancing cheerily over ample logs. However, she could see little else and the strain on her sight was intensifying her head ache. She tried to roll over, but could only groan when pain filled her side.

"She's awake!" A shrill female voice didn't help the throbbing any, "Where is Albayne when we need him!"

"I believe he went out to fetch more wood," These words were stated in a lower, but still feminine voice.

"I sure hope he hurries back soon!"

"Then again, maybe it's good that he was delayed," Said the stern one.

After those words, Adriel faded back into darkness. She had no idea how much time passed before she woke again, maybe minutes, perhaps hours, even days, but her surroundings hadn't changed much.

"Hello, there," A soothing male voice echoed off of stony walls as Adriel opened her eyes. She felt oddly refreshed, even energized. All pain was gone, but one emotion replaced them all when she saw the owner of the voice. She recoiled and felt her eyes grow wide, so wide she was sure they would pop out any minute. Her breath caught in her throat. There standing before her was a gigantic reptilian figure. It was a dragon! Was that a smile carving over the majestic face? Perhaps not, maybe she had only imagined it.

"Wh-wha-who are you?" Adriel sputtered.

"My name is Albayne, if that's what you're asking. As to what I am, that should be rather obvious, though by your reaction I take it that you're not used to seeing the likes of me."

"N-no, I'm not," It was all Adriel could say, her speech nearly being stolen by shock. Dragons? Was she dreaming?

"I'm afraid I've not been informed of your name or your business yet," The dragon was eying her, perhaps a bit suspiciously as though sizing her up.

"Of course, forgive me," Adriel decided she should at least try to be polite, "I'm Adriel. As to what I'm doing here, I don't even know."

"She was running rather frantically when I found her," Another dragon emerged from the shadows contrasting Albayne's white color with her ebony scales.

"Yes, I suppose I was," It was coming back to her now, the yells, the screams, the ice, "With good reason, too. Some guards saw me seeking shelter and thought I was stealing instead. When some one is caught thieving in Marden they seldom return."

"That makes sense," The dark one said, "I thought I could make out the glint of armor."

"Albayne, good, you've finally healed her," The voice was so cold it nearly sent Adriel shivering again. She looked up and saw a stone structure moving towards them. It took her a moment to realize that it was a dragon, too, "Is she ready to leave us yet?"

"Leave?" Adriel asked, squirming to her feet. "I-I suppose I can, if I must," She added suddenly realizing she had no right to stay, but where would she go? She was already wanted in Marden and begging was a hard life. It wasn't till then that she noticed that she had been secretly hoping to be offered a home in this desolate den.

"I don't believe we should turn her out yet. First of all, we don't know what she's overheard and secondly, if she is indeed a spy she could still tell of our location," The black dragon stood tall, looking into the stony one's ruby eyes.

"Then what do you suggest, Bullet?"

"Perhaps we should hold her prisoner until she proves herself innocent."

Adriel gasped, "Prisoner? I ran here to escape, not to be captured again!" She followed Bullet's example and glared right into the crimson gaze. It didn't falter, instead the mouth seemed to quiver as though fighting back mirth, then the stone dragon turned and walked away.

"Don't worry, small one," Albayne whispered, "You'll be treated well if I know Glaucio and it is far better than being turned out into the cold."

The white dragon had a point. Adriel merely nodded, but she was definitely not going to let anyone, even a dragon ten times her size rule her around!

"Bullet!" The gruff voice filled the entire cave, "Keep an eye on the girl!"

"I will!" The dark one replied then turned to Adriel, "Come with me and I'll show you your quarters."

"You won't lock me up, will you?" She could hear the quiver in her voice despite her efforts to sound at least a little confident.

"No, as long as you cooperate and don't run off."

"Like I have anywhere to run to," Adriel muttered under her breath as Bullet led her towards a large tunnel in the rock.

Edited by Zephyrgirl

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