Chapter 1- Darkness
Water dripped from the jagged teeth of the cave and pooled at the bottom of the grey rock as a pair of mandibles clashed together excitedly at the vibration that rippled across the sticky silk that was draped and spread in thick strings across the stalactites that wobbled precariously, threatening to fall from the cave roof. Eight light feet moved hastily about the web as the huge spider tried to detect which direction the promising shudder was coming from and finally the creature scurried away, eight beady eyes glowing red and huge fangs grating together as it’s monstrous, black, hairy bulk disappeared from sight into the darkness of the cave.
“What is it? What is it…?” The huge arachnid hissed as it moved silently over the rocks. Its eyes were beacons, pools of red, and they rotated around, casting light into the darkest corners of the cave. “Is it tasty…? Is it…? Is it juicy?” It whispered in a cruel, harsh voice to unseen companions. The twitching of the web grew stronger as supposedly hapless prey squirmed about in the unbreakable bonds of a trap that was meant to be the end of anything caught in it. Eventually, after minutes of hasty moving, the spider relaxed as it heard a frightened and frustrated scream come from another mouth of rock that lead to another cave system.
Rubbing its legs together greedily, the beast climbed easily up to the cave mouth and looked inside, squeezing its massive body into the hole. Suddenly, a burst of fire streamed out and hit the huge spider in the face, making it screech and jerk backwards. Inside the cave, an ebony reptile with large, green eyes and a mouth full of tiny fangs shrank back into the wall, its emerald eyes alight with fear as the angry spider began to advance to the cave mouth again.
“Oh, Aratexul, have pity!” The dragon pleaded. “You’re greatness is unworthy of a pitiful creature such as me, but oh, have pity!” It continued. The spider paused, blood red eyes gleaming thoughtfully at the dragons pleads.
“You know my name… Who are you, wretch?” It snarled.
“My name is Zolgar.”
“Well, Zolgar, how do you know my name? You’re dragonspeech is not worthy of my name.”
“All dragons are informed of the terror Aratexul that lurks in the caves of Mount Sparadaek. In Dragonspeech, your name is Faladek, meaning ‘Shadow of the Mountain.’ A worthy title?” Zolgar asked.
“… Maybe. And, Zolgar, I will let you live, merely because I want you to tell the tale of the great spider Faladek, Aratexul, or any other name you want to give me. Make sure you tell of my mercy being the reason you are still alive, and don’t twist this tale in any way.” The spider growled, backing away from the dragon. “Go, before I change my mind!”
With that, Zolgar took off, soaring through the caves like a bat and searching for an exit from blackness and an entrance to light.
Chapter 2- Royalty
“So that’s what happened.” A black dragon declared, casting his green eyes around the awed group of dragons. “Any questions?” He asked, flicking his arrow-tipped tail.
“How did you find your way out?!” Piped up a green dragon with hazel eyes. His wings were splayed and he seemed captivated by Zolgar’s story.
“Well, Loran, I had to fly around for ages, searching for even a little shaft of light. Eventually, after hours of searching, I found the exit and flew back here.
“You’re a dragon, how come you didn’t just beat the spindly bug to pieces?” Scoffed a red dragon with a spiny crest and golden eyes.
Zolgar thought about it for a moment. “One, I was stuck in an unbreakable web. Two, This ‘Spindly bug’ was four times my size!” He snarled, glaring at Falfniar, the fiery younger dragon, with distaste. “I’d like to see you beat Aratexul to pieces!” He added, lashing his tail.
Falfniar lowered his spiked head. “I’m sorry, Prince Zolgar. I didn’t know Faladek was that large…” Despite the honesty in the hot-headed dragon’s tone, there was an angry glint in the corner of his molten gold eyes as he turned away from the regal son of Zoragar. At that moment, a huge, scarred, jet black dragon walked into the midst of the much younger dragons with a joyful look in his icy blue eyes. “Zolgar, where have you been? Father has been looking for you. He’s very angry…” The older dragon said those words as if they left a sweet taste in his mouth, and he enjoyed every word.
“Oh. Well, I’ll see him at once. Thank you, Zurian.” Zolgar said warily.
“No problem, little brother…” Zurian said gleefully. Zurian was Zolgar’s older brother and despite his age, Zoragar had decided Zolgar was more controlled, thus more suitable for the throne of Draken Peak. Zurian found out that their father was angry with Zolgar for going missing and Zurian saw it as his chance to regain the right for the throne.
“Wait! Father!” Exclaimed Falfniar. “I know where Zolgar was! He was at Mount Sparadaek looking for Aratexul!” The dragon said happily.
Zolgar turned sharply to glare at Falfniar. “I wasn’t-“ He began before Zurian turned and spluttered, “What?! You went to find The Shadow of The Mountain?! Wait until Father hears about this!” Zurian snarled and stalked off towards Zoragar’s cave.
“You Snivelling liar!” A pure white dragon with icy blue eyes snarled as he turned on a smug Falfniar and advanced towards him with bared fangs. “You can’t call yourself a dragon. You can’t! Why don’t you go live underground like the miserable worm you are?!” He added viciously.
Nizia, a creamy white dragon with soft purple eyes, touched her tail to the angry dragon’s shoulder. “Cragice, leave him alone. He is a liar on some parts…”
“I did not go looking for Aratexul and I crashed into the mountains!” Snarled Zolgar.
“But leave him alone.” Nizia finished, even though she glared at Falfniar with unforgiving eyes.
Falfniar looked shocked and scared. “Oh come on-“ He began.
“Wait.” A thick, gravelly voice sounded behind Cragice. “Son, leave Falfniar to his lies. He isn’t worth it.” A huge, scared, looming adult dragon growled. He had blood red eyes and his wings were scarred and torn.
“Goryinchi! I didn’t do anything! I-“ Falfniar pleaded.
“Shut up!” Goryinchi snarled. “Away with you!”
Falfniar sighed heavily and walked away to a nearby cave, casting a look of loathing over his shoulder at Zolgar and Cragice as he went.
Chapter 3- Betrayals