Entry No. 5Return to: The Lore of Sudiva – Fan Fiction Contest 2012.
Entry No. 5
A ring upon a scaled claw; from its diamond gem, held up to one glowing eye, hard white light projects from it and without warmth flickers pale luminescence across the dark grey walls, just as it had a thousand times before. The eye looks down at the claw, as if somehow unsure whose it could be, and then back to the gem. The empty dance of light begins again, and with a sound too mournful for the magnificent throat that makes it, Sudiva the dragon lies down in her cave deep beneath the Dungeon Covetous, and turns slow thoughts towards sleep
Except, as she lowers the gem, this time one light doesn’t fade and die as they always do; it expands, became an oval, and from within step out two figures. A human, in battle tested armour, and upon his shoulder, a small mouse. The figures stand before Sudiva, both quiet at first, until the smallest suddenly breaks the solemn scene and squeaks “She looks so sad!”
A slothful stare, then “Sad?” sighed Sudiva, unsurprised because what could be unexpected in this oppressive place, “You are but a tiny mouse. What can you know of the scale of my loneliness? I have cried tears enough to fill these caves a myriad times over, and yet these cold walls still contain nothing but echoes of my own avarice. Your people don’t even come to understand my suffering any more; they only steal the fish from my lake there, or occasionally torment me still for sins it seems I cannot escape.”
Thought crossed Sherry the mouse’s small countenance for a moment before she replied, “Methinks it’s true, I hath the body but of a weak and feeble rodent! But I hath too the heart and yes, the stomach of a king! And whilst we lack a true monarch at the moment…” She paused, and gave a quizzical smile towards the man upon whose shoulder she sat “… were we to find one again, I would have his ear as well!”
Dupre the Paladin briefly returns the smile, and continues “What my companion means to say is, we come to you today not with swords drawn and driven by greed, as I know so many from our currently chaotic lands have come to this darkness, but instead with swords sheathed, and our arms opened in compassion. We wish to help you once and for all escape the chains of Asteroth…”
“We want to offer you Love!” squeaked Sherry excitedly
“I hath loved many things…” growled Sudiva, turning suddenly and whipping her tail across one of the piles of gold nearby, scattering them in a hard, discordant cascade across the floor “… but all have proven to be worthless. I have had so much time alone with these baubles, and neither has passed the test of time. You even made baubles of my tears…”
Raising herself enthusiastically onto her hind legs, Sherry interjected “So we want to take you away from all of this!” Dupre nods, “We know that avarice has dragged you down into it’s sterile depths. Do you dare yet believe that you can find for yourself a more uplifting muse?
Please tell me… have you heard of a place called the Serpentine Pass?”
“Serpentine…? Like of my own kind…?” Long extinguished fires inside the dragon’s breast suddenly gave off a little smoke…
“Oooh yes!” said Sherry, and twitched her whiskers enthusiastically “It’s so pretty there, and there are such lovely fountains and statues, and an old tower with books full of knowledge to read and magic to play with, and of course, lots of fair and kind dragons live there too!”
The mention of other dragons again, perhaps similar minds… “You mentioned Love,“ repeated Sudiva tentatively, uncertainty mixing with the most precious gem of all, hope in her voice. “How will I find Love in such a place?”
“Well!” Sherry jovially replied “if not with one of the dragons there, I know where there’s another Wyrm who has lived alone for far too long now, and we could…!”
“Hush now Sherry!” scolded Dupre. “Sudiva, I apologise. She speaks of Destard, whose darkness we have yet to venture into, much less discovered what the future may hold for those trapped within. But my companion has a pure heart that embraces the whole world, and has love for all that live and breathe beneath its dome; and such love can open any door, eventually.” Here it was Dupre’s turn to sigh, although good naturedly “Including alas those of too many pantries and store rooms to mention. But then what is food, without good friends to share it with, to laugh with… and to love?”
Solemnly, Dupre takes from his belt a small moonstone, and flicks it into the air. As the hungry eye of Sudiva follows its arc, the moonstone glints briefly, impossibly alive in the reflected light of her gaze… “What will be beyond, we cannot promise you, for it’s value must ultimately come from within. But you will not find it here, alone and unspent. Will you follow this dear mouse, spread your wings and fly this prison, see how much else there is to be loved with free heart?” As the moonstone touches the floor, it spins mysteriously on its side, and a blue gate springs up again; the white marble revealed within almost dazzling in the gloom here. Man and mouse step inside, turn around and beckon…
Sudiva takes a single step towards the gate, hesitates… Then a second heavier, more confident step, which sends plate and jewellery scattering out from beneath her claws, bouncing with hollow sounds into the dark, cold corners. With each foot forward, she feels the chains of gold that weighed her down snap loose; and with one joyous swish through the moongate, Sudiva escapes at last the curse of Covetous, and strides into the priceless brilliance of a different future.
Last modified: June 15, 2012