~Three years earlier
I awoke under a pile of tail, scales, and wings. My brother, Cherrith, shifted on top of me, letting out a loud snore. I tried to roll my larger sibling off of me, but only succeeded in getting myself more stuck. "Cherrith you pig! Get off!" I said as loudly as I dared without waking the rest of my family. My protests, however, were answered by another loud snore. Luckily, my younger sister, Ezra happened to be awake. She had apparently heard my cry, and came to help me get Cherrith off of my back. "He did it again, didn't he?" Ezra asked as she carefully began pushing him to the ground. Once I had some room, I wiggled my way out to freedom, and stretched myself out. "Thanks for that Ez, I would've been stuck for another hour or more had you not come to the rescue." I whispered in gratitude. She simply nodded her head in reply, sleep obviously still holding on with warm, cozy fingers. Our brother let our another snore, and I rolled my eyes, heading out into the main chamber of our cave.
It was a fairly large den, with a main hall that had a single entrance, and then three sub-caves that served as rooms for the sisters, brothers, and parents. Each room could fit about three or four full size dragons, had a pile of grass and leaves to sleep on, shelves that been carved into the walls, and a small slit in the ceiling to let sunlight in. The main hall was nearly three times larger than any of the rooms, and had a small pool of water filled by stalagmite runoff, a stone table to eat on, and a large pocket in the wall to hold our stash of gold in it. Other pots, bowls, books, and other items lined shelves against the sides of the cave, but many of the novelties weren't ever used. I headed towards the entrance, intending to get some fresh air, but stopped short when I heard my name. "Seben! Wait up! I wanna go with you!" Sirrah, my twin sister, was jogging behind me. I waited for her to catch up, then continued to walk with her beside me. We stepped outside, and I watched as the sun peaked over the horizon, spreading its light across the landscape before the cave. Out home was positioned three quarters up a mountain, giving us a perfect view of the land. To the east, or directly ahead, was the forest of trees so thick that it was difficult to see the sky when beneath them; to the north lay the great sea, or so father told us. The mountains around us blocked the view. To the south, plains of green and yellow stretched on like the ocean to the north, and other mountains lay behind us to the west.
The golden rays gleamed off of my sister and I's light blue scales, and bathing us in warmth. My nearly identical sister shared many physical traits with me, the only real difference in appearance being Sirrah's elegant, female form compared to my slightly bulkier male build. "Sleep well?" My sister asked.
"Not too bad, except when I awoke Cherrith was crushing me again." I replied, still sore from earlier.
"Well maybe it would help if you actually worked on getting stronger. Then you could just push him off whenever he lays on you."
"Yea, and become another hulking beast like the rest of the dragons? No thanks, I prefer speed over power." Sirrah smiled and shook her head, and I smiled back. After the small talk we simply sat and enjoyed the morning sun; eventually Ezra joined us on the outside ledge, also coming to absorb the warmth. Her scales were a blueish green, and while it didn't reflect light very well, it was a helpful disguise when she was in the forest hunting.
I heard some noise coming from inside the cave, and went to find out what was happening, my two sisters following me curiously. Upon entering the main hall, I saw Cherrith gathering water into a pot that Sirrah had made a few years ago from a large stone. "Hey guys, care for something to eat?" Our older brother asked, taking the pot in his front claws and moving it out of the fountain of water and onto the table. Apparently he didn't realize he had been crushing me just a few moments before, or he decided to ignore it. "I thought about making some herbal water and then catching some mountain goats for breakfast." Both of my sisters nodded their heads enthusiastically at the mentioning of breakfast. I, however, was less impressed with my brother's offerings, simply because he was always doing more than me, and being better at it too. Frustrated with his extra efforts, I nearly declined his offer, but grudgingly agreed once my stomach let out a loud grumble. "Ok! It's agreed then. We'll make the brew, then Seben and I will go get breakfast." The two dragonelles cheered, glad that they wouldn't have to be doing any of the hard work. I again was less than enthused about hunting with my superior sibling, knowing that Cherrith would pester me most of the trip about what I was doing wrong, even if I made no obvious mistakes.
Everyone froze at the loud roar, and while I was unhappy about hunting with my brother, it seemed that we all had worse problems. "ALL I ASK IS TO SLEEP IN PAST SUNRISE FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE" our father bellowed as he groggily stumbled out of his room. Sirrah and Ezra lowered their heads to the ground, knowing that it was they who had woken the great brown dragon up. "Prothes, please, we talked about yelling so early in the morning." My mother said softly as she followed father out of their room. Rays of sunlight caught her bright red scales, shining gloriously and causing father to stop and stare. "Aretha! My love, I apologize... I should not have let myself get angry so fast." Father replied sheepishly, unable to argue with mother in her present state. "Now then, you kids go and do whatever you were going to before your father interrupted you."
"Ok, sounds like a plan. Seben, you ready to go?" Cherrith responded, turning to leave the cave. I nodded and hurried to catch up with my brother.
When I got outside, Cherrith was already in the air waiting on me. "So, what are you in the mood for this morning? Fish, deer, goat, whatever you want." My brother asked me. I leapt up and flew next two him, pondering the question. "Hmm... How about deer?" Cherrith grinned, as though he knew that I would choose my favorite meal. "Alright, wanna race down to the forest?" I mirrored my brother's smile, and took off towards the trees in the distance. My older sibling may have been larger than me, but I had always been faster. The wind howled past me as I streaked through the sky, my second, clear, eyelids allowing me to see. Once I felt that I was far enough ahead, I chanced a peak behind me to check where my brother was. It took a second to find him, but he was surprisingly close, apparently using his weight to his advantage and diving much faster than me. I looked back ahead and pulled the air with my wings, edging farther away from Cherrith. We were only about three-tree heights away from the ground, and my larger sibling would have to pull up soon to avoid crashing. Victory was mine.
Once close enough, I opened my wings, catching the air and slowing to a stop at the edge of the forest. Shortly after I landed, Cherrith landed with a soft thud, beside me.
"Great scales Seben! For three Suns I practiced that technique, and you still beat me!" My brother praised after we recovered from the race. "I think you might be the fastest dragon in all the lands!" I blushed, praise was not something I took very well. "That's about all I'm good at, you're an expert at nearly everything." I snapped back, trying to hide my embarrassment. Cherrith simply shook his head and entered the forest, with me following closely behind.
We stalked through the forest for quite a while, nearly silent so we didn't disturb any wildlife, until I finally spotted a group of deer grazing in a small clearing. Cherrith nodded towards the far side of the clearing, and I began to sneak through the grass to get across. I had to focus on staying behind the bushes and treading quietly as to not disturb the peaceful creatures. I turned towards my older brother, and felt a pang of jealousy because of his dark bronze scales that helped him blend in with the foliage around him. Once I got to the opposite side of Cherrith, I flicked my tail against a tree branch above me, making a loud crack. The deer instantly snapped their heads in the direction of the noise, away from my hidden brother.
He sprang from the brush, landing on the buck closest to him. The other does and younglings took off away from the carnage, but I cut them off. While some of the faster deer escaped, I was able to trip a few slower ones and put them down with a quick bite to the throat. After all the deer had either ran away or been killed, Cherrith and I began to gather them all into a pile, counting them as we went. There were five deer total; a full grown stag with antlers the size of father's entire head, a younger buck, and three does who ranged in maturity. While we didn't always get along, my brother and I made a great team when hunting. I began to push the stag onto my back with my snout, but Cherrith quickly grabbed it in his jaws and threw it with the other male and one female between his wings. "Hey! I was going to carry that one!" I complained once the animal landed with the rest. "Don't worry, I got this. I'm the stronger out of the two of us, so it only makes sense that I carry the heavier load." my brother replied. Before I could make another remark, Cherrith was already heading back home. Since the journey back would be much longer without flying, I decided simply to carry the last two deer in silence.
When I finally caught up with Cherrith, he was already waiting for me at the edge of the forest, hunched over and apparently watching something beyond the trees. I quickly jogged the short distance to get up next to him, but he snapped his head towards me when I got close, his tail in front of his snout, glaring at me. "Shhhh! There's something out there!" He whispered, and I crept up beside him as quietly as I could. Cherrith was looking in the direction of our cave, a look of both surprise and fear on his face. I turned to see what he had spotted, and I quickly realized the reason for the fear on his face. In the distance, there was a group of two-legs clad in metal, and they were headed directly towards the mountains that our cave was in.