This is a piece from my new novel, Dragonfang (book 1 of The Telling of the Maal).
The piece is a tribal memory, a story passed down through the generations by word of mouth.
It is called Agortmaal (the story of Agort)
“In a time before men walked on the world, before all the things we know, the world was flat.”
Heads swung in all directions seeking the mountains in the darkness.
“Far to the north in the bleakness of the ice lived the dragon Agort. When Agort walked, it was on four huge clawed legs and when she flew it was with wings so massive they blocked out the sky. Agort’s green scales would glisten and ripple as she took each mighty breath, her red tongue would whip through the air tasting it for food and her tail was as long as a mountain is tall. She was big. She was strong. But she was alone.”
“Agort decided that she needed children to share her world. She flew south to where the world was not frozen and there she scratched at the world to build a nest large enough to hold her egg and when it was ready she carefully laid her egg in the nest and covered it. She built another nest, and another, and in each she placed her egg, sometimes two or three to a nest. Nest after nest she built until the world was covered in her work.”
“When she could find no further space for nests she flew into the air and surveyed her work. But she could see more land to the south where animals dwelled. She fell on this and with one great bite ate the rock and ground and spat it into the sea. The sea rushed to fill the bite blocking passage from the south and in this way protected her eggs. Only one small strip of land remained connecting south and north and this was far in the west in the darkness where the sun rested at night. Agort returned to her world of ice to await the birth of her children.”
“Agort waited while men came to the world to scratch their lives around the edges of her nests. She saw them but was not worried as they made no attempt to harm her nests, nests that towered so far above the men that they appeared to reach the sky. The men called her nests mountains and the scratches she had made in the ground valleys.”
“Occasionally an egg would hatch and the young dragon would blow away part of the nest with its new-found burning breath. The flames would push the rock aside, much of it running molten down the side of the nest while more was flung into the air as rock and dust and smoke. The young dragon would emerge from the nest hidden in the cloud and race north in answer to Agort’s call. Eventually the trembling of its escape would settle until once again the nest was quiet.”
“This is how the mountains were born and if a man would see these moments and if his eyes were fast enough he could glimpse the birth of a dragon. If his ears were good enough he could listen and he would hear the dragons breathing within. This is the memory of the spirits.”