Chapter 1: Ceremony

January 9, 2012
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Tessa listened to Mr. Burk along with all the other students. In one week it would be their ceremonies.

Mr. Burk continued to read from the text book, “There are many kinds of dragons.” He stepped away from the book and pointed at a stack of leather books. “Your job is to get to know each of these dragons before the ceremonies. You need to know the different breeds and their characteristics.” He smiled as all the students hurried over to the book stack to try and get the books with good handwriting in them.

Tessa grabbed a book and flipped through the pages, it was decent handwriting and she could read it fine. Grabbing her bag she stuffed the large book inside it and ran out of the school house. It was midday, Crayton Center was buzzing with activity, well as much activity as Crayton could receive.

Crayton was a small cluster of floating islands with large wooden bridges connecting all of the islands. It was a peaceful community.

Tessa continued to walk through the center towards her home. Once she was out in the open, away from the busy center she bursted into a run. Small houses began to appear in the distance, slowly growing bigger and bigger.

Skidding to a stop as she reached the front door of her flower covered home. All the houses in Crayton were built into slopes, Tessa had planted purple flowers all along her slope. She loved South Crayton, it was a good sized neighborhood not to far from the Center.

Closing the pastel purple door behind her she kicked off her cloth foot pads and slumped down on the couch. She opened the book she had received in class and flipped to the page were it started to list the different breeds of dragons.

Reaper: Reaper dragons come in an array of colors but are most commonly found in shades of yellow. Reaper dragons are known for their even temperament. They can weigh anywhere between 12-15 tons. They are one of the slower breeds of dragons but can glide great distances.

Longwing: Longwing Dragons are middle weight dragons that come in shades of blue or gray but can also rarely come in red. Longwing dragons have huge wingspans reaching up to 120 feet long. Men often wish to have these dragons because of their poison spitting abilities but Longwings only choose female riders.

Grayling: This light weight dragon is known for its speed and gliding, they are able to stay in there air with only 1 wing beat per hour. This dragon comes in shades of grey.

Widowmaker: The Widowmaker dragons are a small dragon that comes in shades of grey, do not be fooled by its small size, these dragons often have a terrible temper and have been known to even kill it’s own rider.

Copper: Copper dragons are very large heavyweight dragons that are known for their strength and ability to ram into buildings and knock them to the ground. Despite their amount of brute force, they have very docile personalities. This breed comes in shades of brown, yellow, or green.

Long Yu: These small dragons stand eye to eye with a grown human. Although they cannot be ridden because of their paper-like wings they are known to fly over 100 miles in two hours. These dragons are also very intelligent. Long Yu come in a variety of colors.

Flecha-del-Fuego: These fierce dragons have horns and frills along their body. They have unique shaped wings that allow them to make fast and sharp turns. These uncommon dragons come in black, white and red.

Kazilik: Renowned for their unruly tempers these dragons come in bright red with green and black markings. The Kazilik are covered in spines and can breathe fire longer then any other dragon.

Tessa closed the book and sighed, there were at least 50 pages left. She would read the rest in the morning, the sun had begun to set and she needed to light candles for the night. She lit a small candle near her bed before climbing into her bed and closing her eyes.

As Tessa awoke she could feel the sun shining through the window onto her face. Opening her eyes she squinted as the light blinded her for a moment. Through the night she was restless and was glad there was no school today. She threw on her white cotton dress and tied a thin rope around her waist. She grabbed her cloth bag and slid it over her shoulder.

After she blew out the candle she walks to her mirror. It had a large crack in it but it had somehow managed to hold itself together. Her silky, black hair fell just past her shoulders. Her unusual purple eyes reflecting the sunlight from the window. As she brushed her hair out of her eyes she heard a knock on her door.

“It’s open!” She yelled as she turned to face the door as it opened.

“Are you seriously just waking up?”

Tessa rolled her eyes at Arik, “It’s not like there is anything important going on today.”

Arik shrugs his shoulders, “True.”

“So, what brings you here?” She sat down on the old couch.

Arik joined her, “Well I thought we could read about the different dragons together.” He smiled, “I figure you haven’t read the whole thing yet.”

Tessa frowned jokingly, “And what if I have read it already?”

“Ha! I highly doubt that.” He smiles at her and pulls out his book, “Come on!”

She smiled back at him and pulled out her book, and they began to read about all the different kinds of dragons. There were ones that spat poison, breathed fire, swam underwater, ones the size of your fore arm and ones so large they could eat another dragon in one gulp. There were even dragons that could change color according to their environment.

By the time Tessa and Arik finished the 50 pages they were restless. Arik slid his book into his bag, “Wanna go to the edge?”

Tessa grinned at this thought, “Why not!” She walked through the door with Arik. As soon as they closed it they began to run. Their feet padding against the ground. Wind rushed around them, blowing back Tessa’s hair. As they neared a drop off the slowed to a walk, before sitting down on the ledge, their feet dangling below them.

She looked down at her feet, below them was blue sky and white clouds. “I can’t wait until I can fly.”

Arik nodded, “Same here. What kind of dragon do you like the most?”

Tessa thank back to the text book, “I really liked the Longwing.” she smiled.

“I like the Chequered Nettle.”

“And you really think you could handle that?” Tessa laughed.

“I know I can handle it!” he smiled cockily.

She laughed again, “Well I hope you get one so I can watch you fail rider school.”

Arik shook his head, “Nah, I’m pretty sure I will be watching you fall off your dragon.” he grinned.

As they sat on the ledge the sun slowly went down past the horizon, the shadows of dragon riders flying above them danced across the meadows.

“We should get back soon.”

Tessa nodded her head and stood up and began to slowly walk back.

Tessa shot out of bed, her heart pounding. She knew she had slept in, but on the day of ceremony? She thew on her white cotton dress and quickly tied the rope around her waist. Running out the door she realized she forgot her shoes. Shaking the thought she ran towards the bridge that led to the Maiden Shrine.

She reached the bridge and continued to run through, even past the guards. They yelled at her and chased after her. “No! I’m in the ceremony!” she yelled back at them. Hearing the guards footsteps stop she picked up the pace. The booming voice of Herrt shot across the land. It was starting!

Tessa broke through the veil of thick trees and right into Herrt, knocking him forwards. Silence filled the island, the only sound was Tessa’s labored breathing. “I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean-“ Herrt’s laugh stopped her.

Tessa smiled back as he spoke, “I’ve got to tell you Tessa! I don’t think anyone has ever been late to the ceremony. Now go stand with the others.”

She nodded and walked with her head down to the large crowd of youths. As Herrt continued his speech, Terra sifted through the crowd to locate Arik. When she finally found him he was grinning ear to ear.

“Nice entrance Tess. Not to mention you aren’t wearing shoes.”

“Shut up Arik.” she said, half joking.

Herrt the king of all Crayton began to call up youths to the base of the Shrine, before being ushered inside.

All was silent except the shuffling of feet and Herrt’s voice. Not to long after the first person had gone in the shrine it was Arik’s turn. Tessa smiled at him as he entered the shrine. Tessa was soon ushered inside the shrine. Her heart pounded as the door closed behind her. The room was pure white all around. At the other end of the room was a small table.

Tessa approached it, her heart quickening. What was she supposed to do when she reached the table? Suddenly as if in a dream the table began to glow a bright white light. Tessa was forced to close her eyes because of the light. She could see the light getting brighter from behind her eyelids. She winced as a piercing noise drilled into her mind.

Was this supposed to happen? She had never heard of this happening. The noise subsided and she opened her eyes to find herself on the ground. Tessa stood, her whole body ached. When she turned to face the table that was once brighter then the sun a large egg about the size of a head sat atop it. She walked to it cautiously, her hand shaking as she placed her palm on it.

The egg had a soothing warmth to it, bliss radiated through her body as she placed another hand on it. The egg was beautiful, it was pitch black colored with embossed purple swirls poking out of it. As Tessa picked the egg up she was surprised at just how light it was. It was like picking up a small river rock.
Tessa spun around to see Herrt standing behind her. “I do not usually come inside when someone is meeting their dragon but I saw light appearing from the top of the Shrine.”

She held the egg tight in her arms. “That doesn’t usually happen i’m guessing.”

Herrt nodded, a serious look on his face. “It’s never happened.” Herrt shushed Tessa and guided her out the back door. “Meet the others at the training isle.”

Tessa’s mouth hung open as he walked away. What had happened in the Shrine had never happened before. But what did it mean? She walked quickly to the bridge and before long she was greeted by a rider on his dragon. “I’m Rick, and this is Taboo. The king assigns-“ Tessa cut him off.

“I know he assigns each of us a personal trainer.” she said.

“Alright then! Well since this bridge just goes back to South Crayton and there is no bridge to the Training Island I will have to fly you and your egg there.” Rick smiled and gave Tessa a hand up onto Taboo. “Just a warning, hang on tight around my waist. Taboo is a bit of a go getter, typical Parnassian.”
Tessa tucked her egg between her and Rick. As soon as it touched Rick he took a deep breath. “Whats wrong?” she asked, worried.

Rick turned his head, “That is one odd egg you got there.” He smiled, “Lets go Taboo.” on his word Taboo dove off the side of the bridge, her wings tucked by her sides. Tessa let out a yelp as they plunged downwards, her head now pressed against Rick’s back for safety.

Taboo opened her large wingspan and curved up, soon Taboo was flying smooth, her head jerking around like a bird as they flew. Rick turned in his saddle, “I never got a name.”

Tessa grinned, “Sorry, I’m Tessa. It’s a pleasure.”

Rick held out his hand and shook hers. “Its going to take a few to get to Camp. So I figured since I am going to be your personal trainer, we would get to know each other.”

Tessa nodded, “That would be great, I have a question actually.”


“What happened in the Shrine when you first met Taboo?” She bit her lip.

“Same as you and any other rider, it was just sitting on the table.” He smiled and patted Taboo on the shoulder, “My girl here had a great looking egg. Dark blue with golden specks on it.” He laughed, “She still looks the same.”

Tessa scanned her eyes over Taboo, her dark blue scales shimmering with golden flecks. “She is beautiful.”

“I just can’t wait for your egg to hatch, i’ve never seen an egg anything like that one.” He turned back around in his saddle and Taboo began to flap her wings faster. Driving them closer to camp.

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