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Dragonia: Rise of the Wyverns – Chapter 1

Year 510 D.A.

The bright orange sun flickered as a shadow blocked it. Devarius glanced up. A dragon flew in the sky, blocking out part of the orange globe before flying across the yellow sun. His body tensed. He dropped to the ground, hiding in the brush.

“Down,” he whispered.

The rest of his party fell onto the ground, hiding from view. Devarius could only hope the dragon, or its rider, hadn’t seen them. They could not be caught. If the Dragonia Empire knew what they were up to, they would all find a noose around their necks—if they were lucky enough not to become a dragon’s appetizer. The dragon circled the sky above them, blocking out both suns several times, before flying south.

“Do you think the dragonrider saw us?” Paedyn whispered.

Devarius shook his head. “No. If he did, he would have swooped down here. We’re safe, for now.”

“Why do we need to hide from them? We haven’t done anything wrong,” Aquila said.

Devarius stood, brushing off his clothes as he looked at his friend. “We haven’t … yet. Remember, we’re off to find the Resistance. They are already suspicious of everyone now that the Resistance is growing stronger. Do you think you could keep your mouth shut with a dragon and its rider interrogating you?”

Aquila gulped.

“It is best if we just stay away from any dragonrider during our journey.”

“I want to go home,” Dasyra said.

“What home? The Dragonia Empire destroyed our village searching for the Resistance. Which I’m not entirely convinced was even there. You can go back to Caspar if you want. It’s only a day’s march north.”

“How do you even know we’re going the right way to find this Resistance?” Dasyra asked.

“I don’t. All we can do is follow rumors. No one admits they’re with the Resistance, or even Resistance sympathizers. If they do, the Dragonia Empire will find them and silence them.”

“I don’t see why we’re chasing the Resistance to join. That’s what got us in trouble to begin with. The empire is searching for people like us. That’s why they attacked our village,” Dasyra said.

Devarius gritted his teeth. “They hung your mother and father and burned them, didn’t they?”

Dasyra rubbed the back of her neck. “Yes.”

“Were they with the Resistance?”

Dasyra’s head drooped. “No.”

“Did they deserve death?” Devarius challenged.

Dasyra shook her head.

“My family is dead as well. That is why I want to find the Resistance. If they slaughtered our families, who were innocent, how many others have they killed needlessly? They rule all of Kaeldroga with force. There is no freedom … only tyranny. If we don’t do something about it, who will? That is why I’m searching for the Resistance. Something needs to be done … and I plan to be a part of it. We’ll reach Kaed in another day. You can decide to continue with me, or stay behind. It doesn’t matter to me. I will continue forward.

“They did not kill my family trying to find the Resistance,” he continued. “They were killed a few years ago.”

“Why did they kill your family?” Paedyn wanted to know.

Devarius shook his head, ridding himself of the memories. He focused on Paedyn. Devarius had known Paedyn and Aquila since he was a child, but he’d never told anyone what happened to his parents. “Taxes. There was a drought that year, and my family wasn’t able to sell any crops. Instead, they had to save all their crops for us to survive the winter. Two dragonriders came and demanded money from my parents’ profits. My parents tried to explain, but it did not matter. They hung Mom, Dad, and my eldest brother at the town hall as a lesson to everyone else to pay their taxes or die.” Devarius shivered.

“I’m sorry,” Aquila said. “That must have been hard on you.” She rubbed his shoulder.

Dasyra’s lips twisted. “If this happened years ago, why didn’t you join the Resistance then?”

Devarius clenched his teeth. “I didn’t know the Resistance existed back then. It’s only recently become open knowledge, hence why the Dragonia Empire is adamant about stopping them.”

“Perhaps we should turn ourselves in. They shouldn’t harm us if we come willingly and plead that we aren’t part of the Resistance.”

“Are you so sure?” Devarius asked.

“Maybe …” Dasyra whispered.

“Let me know how that works out for you.”

“Come on, let’s stop arguing. We have a long way to go to reach Kaed,” Paedyn said.

Devarius looked at his twenty-nine companions. They weren’t warriors. Even he wasn’t a warrior. But he wanted to learn. He wanted to do something to avenge his family. Devarius didn’t know what he and his band of ragtag villagers could do, but he imagined they could be of some help. Perhaps all he chased was a dream. A dream of an incredible place full of men and women who worked together, striving to right the wrong of a corrupted government … a tyranny. It might be only a dream, but Devarius refused to give up hope. He would find the Resistance, and he would do whatever he could to aid them in destroying the Dragonia Empire. The problem was … he had no idea how. How do you defeat an army of dragonriders? Devarius didn’t know, but he wouldn’t give up hope.

“Is the dragon gone?” Dasyra asked.

Devarius studied the sky one last time and nodded. “Yes … he’s gone. Come on, Paedyn is right—we still have a long journey ahead.”


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