He was huge. Broad of shoulders, deep of chest, legs like pillars as he continued his challenge. The rest of the clan began roaring back, malevolence filling the night.
~Who is he?"~ Why would anyone challenge a dragon?
~Professional dragon hunter.~ Rhaelgyr's voice was chilled.
~Really?~ I was intrigued. Rhaelgyr no longer intimidated me. Much. But I knew him. We'd become friends. If not for that, I'm sure he'd still scare the beejeebus out of me. ~People hunt you on purpose?~
He laughed, the mood of the memory changing slightly. The warrior was less intimidating, even as he lifted his axe over his head. A dragon blew fire on him, and the flames slid off his armor to puddle at his feet. This really should have been frightening, but it wasn't.
~Not all of us could be controlled. Some broke free. Some clans had hidden and were never enslaved. Warriors were needed to deal with them, and magic was developed to guard against fire and claws.~
Dragons hovered, growling and seething. The warrior continued roaring, and two clan members answered him. They held the note, landing on the edge of the balcony. They looked similar, though the one on the left was much larger and bore a scar scross the snout.
~Mother and Faelgyr. He was the war leader, but he came with the clan to defend us.~ Faelgyr lifted his scarred muzle high, combustible saliva dripping, sputtering in a golden pool. ~Later, I figured he was too old for the real war, and was sent as an honor guard.~
His mother took a step forward, shifting to human form. She was taller than the warrior, with braided hair down to her ankles. Dressed chin to toe in leather, she cut an impressive figure. A growl lingered in her voice as she addressed the killer. "Marlyra demands you declare your intentions."
The warrior fell quiet, staring at the dragon matriarch. "To kill everyone." His graveyard tone elicited hisses in response.
Marlyra narrowed her eyes, fists on hips. "You'll never get all of us." He cocked his head in response, resting the head of his axe on the balcony. "Honorless dogs such as yourself will never beat us."
"Honorless?" The warrior stiffened, reaching for his helm. "You call me honorless?"
~What am I missing?~
Rhaelgyr sighed softly. ~The hunter was Galdonian. They fight for honor, seeking the greatest prey. They would never fight an unworthy opponent. Mother is about to accuse him of cheating.~
"What else should I call someone who hides behind enchanted armor and sneaks up on helpless women?" The gathered dragons hissed. A few growled.
The hunter removed his helm, revealing a square head and dark skin. Short-cropped hair and deep eyes lurked in shadows. Mysterious and dangerous, he stared down Marlyra.
"Then I shall kill you one by one." His helmet clanged as he dropped it.
"Remove your armor," the dragon queen countered.
"Remove yours." The hunter reached for the buckles on the side of his breastplate.
She laughed, long and triumphant. "That won't do anything to save you."
His breastplate fell. "Nor will it save you." He wore only a mesh shirt beneath, highlighting the wealth of muscles. He adjusted his bracers, removing them as well.
Faelgyr shifted, stepping forward. In elven shape, he was old and grizzled. "I'll go first."
I feared for his chances.