Category Archives: Dragon-Maiden’s Heart

Dragon-Maiden’s Heart

A Draconian Love Short-Story

 

By

Lady Adellandra Dratianos

 

Elizabeth of Batony, infamous vampire queen, has been exiled for her crimes against mortals and immortals alike. She was sent to the Inner Realms, to the Dragon Nations, as Draconian Maiden to Lord Emperor Brakkon Dratianos and his family.

Years go by and she actually enjoys living as maiden to the Royal Family. She especially loves it when Lady Empress Locarra assigns her to her son Lord Prince Draconis as his personal maiden. The crude but mostly gentle Lord Prince grows into a Chaos-Driven Dragon. No matter how angry he becomes, or how much he yells and demands her, she falls for him, heart, mind and soul. She vows her eternal love for him one night when his mind is clouded by drink and his body bloody from battle.

Soon, Elizabeth sees the drastic change in the once-loving household after Lady Locarra passes from a mysterious illness none can cure. Draconis’ Lady Empress and mate Adellandra Dranna is suffering from the Vision-Sickness, soon taking matters into her own hands by taking their children away and disappearing. This forces Draconis’ Chaos to rip him wide open. All the while, Elizabeth stays by him, tending to his needs when his Empress disappears.

Two-hundred years later, the Empress returns. Only, she is different, stuck in an Immortal form and unknowing of who she was. Elizabeth changes her name, since she herself has changed in that length of time. She is now Elspeth Batony, Dragon-Maiden to the Lord Emperor Draconis and soon, his Lady Empress Adellandra.

The Lady is the one who now catches Elspeth’s eyes; her beauty is beyond compare, her heart and soul right and just, she has grown up considerably and now carries a different kind of magic within her – Ancient Mystic Magic. Once spending time with the Lady, who insists she call her “Adellandra” when Draconis isn’t around, Elspeth finds herself falling for her. Elspeth can tell Adellandra cares for her as well. Curiosity gets the better of them both when Elspeth joins her for a late-afternoon bath.

That’s when Draconis catches them, and Elspeth must find a way to tell them both how she cares. Will they be willing to listen to a mere Dragon-Maiden?

 

Prologue

Elizabeth of Batony

 

For one hundred years, Elizabeth of Batony, the infamous Draconian Vampire queen of the Northern Lands, has resided in Mal’estar. She has been the personal servant of Prince Draconis for half that, while the other she was with his father Lord Emperor Brakkon Dratianos.

She has been what the Draconians called a “Dragon-Maiden” for as long as she can remember in this Realm. She has served the Dratianos family for so long, she forgot ever wanting to return to the Northern Lands. She has been happy serving them, and in her heart, she has loved her Lord Draconis.

“Stop yer daydreamin’, chil’.” She heard a voice interrupt her thoughts. Elizabeth turned to see the Head Mistress, whom all the servants and maidens called “Madame”. “The Lor’ be wantin’ ‘is bath soon. Ye best be at yer post.”

“Aye, Madame.” Elizabeth supplied shyly, nodding as she left.

Serving Lord Prince Draconis had been her duty since his thirteenth summer.

Quietly, she made her way to the Princes’ private quarters to start her daily routine. Start the bathwater in his bathtub, add rose oil, light a few candles around the base of the ceramic tub, set aside a towel and fresh clothes on the side-table, and stand by the doorway, waiting for him to arrive and drop his dirty clothes on the floor.

Like clockwork, there he was, and handsome as ever. The onyx wings of his demi-form folded against his back, dark hair loosely tasseled down his spine, walking in half-asleep and rubbing his black-as-onyx eyes. When he yawned, it produced a low roar, and Elizabeth had to smile to herself.

He stripped his bedclothes, barely noticing she was there watching, and stepped in the tub, sliding himself waist-deep into the hot water.

“Is the water to your liking, my Prince?” Elizabeth asked, as she always asked before.

“Aye, Elizabeth. Thank you.” Was always his reply.

He usually would continue to wash up as she watched him, but this time, his eyes opened to see her standing there.

“Would you like to join me?” The Prince asked, smiling.

She blushed, but had to turn him down. It was the rule of the House, ‘Dare not personally involve yourself with the Family, only do their bidding.’

“I am sorry, my Prince, but I must decline.” Elizabeth supplied softly. She thought of what day it was, and reminded him. “There is no time to waste, for the Mating Gathering and Celebration is this evening. You must prepare yourself, for you have your own duties to Lord Emperor.”

“Aye,” Draconis sighed. “That I do. Thank you for reminding me.”

“You are welcome, my Prince.” Elizabeth nodded, and left him alone.

For the remainder of the day, she helped the House prepare for the Gathering, staying busy and trying not to think of her secret love for the Prince.

 

That evening, Elizabeth stood at her place beside Madame, who was head of the Maidens standing by the Lady Empress’ Throne. The Lady Knight Sheena stood at the Lady’s right as Madame was to her left, with the main Maidens standing in a row beside them.

They all gathered and watched as the Emperor’s brother-like bodyguard Sir Airemus approached the Emperor, Empress, and Princes Draconis, Drakkar, and Dranus. On either side of him were his Dragonwolf daughters.

There was a booming male voice announcing their arrival.

“Announcing Sir Airemus Dranna and his lovely daughters Adellandra and Adarramena!”

Elizabeth watched the two beauties in front of her. Her heart thumped at the sight of Adellandra Dranna.

Long, reddish-blond hair and when she could see, silver eyes, furry dragon’s wings and wolf’s tail. She was dressed in a long, silvery gown that brought out the color of her eyes.

There was something about her that piqued her interest. Something magical that just couldn’t be explained. Without even knowing her but a moment, Adellandra and her sister shone true beauty.

When Elizabeth was given a chance to look into those silver-eyes, she saw nothing but innocence, trust and love.

Sir Airemus spoke, interrupting her thoughts. “May I introduce my Kanas, Adellandra,” Adellandra bowed as she was taught, “and Adarramena Dranna.” Her sister bowed as well.

“It is a pleasure, my Lord Emperor.” The twins chorused, keeping their heads down and bowing their eyes from their positions.

“Rise ladies, and meet my eyes.” The Emperor Brakkon Dratianos supplied.

That’s when the twins looked up, and Elizabeth could see the surprise on Adellandra’s face when she met that of Draconis.

Draconis only smiled and laughed under his breath.

The Emperor looked to his son and asked. “What is so funny, Kano?”

“Natorishda,” Draconis shook his head. Nothing. He whispered in his father’s ear, just loud enough for Elizabeth to strain her hearing to listen. “Adellandra Dranna is my mate and I love her. We met in Sebastian’s shop and I wish to take her as my lover and mate.”

Lord Brakkon seemed to consider what his son said, and turned to the Draconis’ twin Drakkar. “Do you go along with him as well, Kano?”

Lord Drakkar was staring at Adarramena! Elizabeth thought.

“Aye Dratyr, that I do.”

“Very well then,” The Emperor stood and motioned for the Princes to stand beside the Dranna twins. Brakkon stood back, eyeing them, amazed into silence. Once the Princes took the twins’ arms, Draconis’ in Adellandra’s and Drakkar’s in Adarramena’s, the four of them turned to the crowd of onlookers. “I hereby announce to all of Mal’estar and the entire Dragon Nations that my twin Kanos have finally found their true mates in Adellandra and Adarramena Dranna! Huzzah!”

“Huzzah!” The crowd chorused.

Elizabeth feigned excitement, while inside, her heart was breaking. Now there was no hope for anything but maiden-ship with Draconis, and it depressed her.

Who am I kidding? I’m just a mere maiden. I never could catch his eye. Elizabeth supplied sadly.

She didn’t hear the rest of the audience, wrapping herself in extra duties. She didn’t want to risk crying in front of the Royals.

It wasn’t long before Elizabeth buried herself in duties and forgot all about her obsession with the Lord Prince. Eventually, she grew solemn and quiet, unfeeling and numb. Each day ran into the next with no end in sight.

The only action that stirred interest in anyone at all was when the Demon Lord Archimond attacked Mal’estar’s defenses, using powerful magic from both demons and what the Dream Realm called Dominionites. He’d teamed up with the Dominionite Master, Lord Orthos from the Mystic Realms, which was a very bad thing. Orthos’ brother Lord O’Dell was Guardian of the Mystic Realms and a personal friend of Lord Brakkon’s, but not even he could stop his twin’s path of destruction.

Soon, the Lady Locarra needed her more than Draconis, for Draconis had Dranus at his side and both brothers were deep in battle. Locarra was suffering from an illness not even the most powerful of Healers could touch. Elizabeth lost herself in duties to her former Empress while the present Empress Adellandra tended to her side, hoping to find a cure. Elizabeth helped take care of Locarra, watching Adellandra write everything Locarra had told her into a volume.

She watched by the day as both Empress Locarra and Adellandra grew paler and drained of magic.

One day, Elizabeth had to say something. It was her only chance. Locarra had fallen asleep from another of Adellandra’s spells and the Lady held her hand, eyes closed and head down.

“May I speak freely, my Lady?” Elizabeth started softly.

Lady Adellandra took a deep breath and looked at her. Her face was as white as a sheet, she was taking her Immortal form rather than her Dragonwolf and she Felt exhausted. Even her silvery eyes were faded to grey. “Oh, aye. Go ahead.”

“Have you rested at all lately?”

Adellandra shook her head. “No time, no energy. Mutyrna’s slipping fast, and I am doing all I can to help her.”

“Have you recharged your energies at all? Eaten? Rested, even for a few candlemarks?” Elizabeth asked.

Again, Adellandra shook her head. “Too much to do here.”

“What of the littles?” Elizabeth asked. “Young Kronin may be only three summers old, but the kits still need weaning from their Mutyr.”

Adellandra sighed. “I know, and I feel terrible, but there’s not much I can do for them. There are visions haunting my mind, interrupting my sleep. I fear for the Nations, Elizabeth.” The Lady’s voice lowered, but her eyes stayed on Locarra. “I am suffering from what my Matéré calls ‘Vision-Sickness.’ Nightmares of the future plague my dreams, and I find blood-stains on my pillow. It has gotten so bad; I cannot even sleep beside my beloved, for fear him finding out just how scared I am. I must do something to save the Nations, but I know not what.”

After a moment, Elizabeth couldn’t stand the sadness in the air. “My Lady, please. If you must take to your own quarters, do so. You need to recharge your magic and self, or you will be no use to anyone, least of all my Lady Locarra.”

Adellandra looked up at her and blinked, speechless.

Elizabeth took charge and told her. “I will watch over my Lady while you rest. I will have Madame send someone with something to eat in an hour.” Adellandra continued to stare. “Please, I worry for your health. I mean no disrespect or insolence, but I can only stay silent for so long.”

Adellandra let go of Locarra’s hand and nodded. “Thank you, Elizabeth. At least one of the maidens has any sense to speak up when they know something is wrong.” She stood and smiled, her grey eyes showing nothing but appreciation.

Oh my Lady, what sort of visions do you have that make you work yourself to near-death and your mate bury himself in anger and battle? Elizabeth shook her head, taking Adellandra’s position.

Little did the House know, she had her own kind of healing magic. She grasped Locarra’s limp hand and touched the pulse of her own wrist. “I apologize ahead of time, my Lady.”

With a sad sigh, she nicked her own wrist with her fangs. The blood slowly pooled to the surface. She let it fall to Locarra’s slightly open mouth.

In the only way she knew how to heal, she shared her life-force with Locarra.

 

Chapter One:

After the Dragon’s Fall

 

The Dragon’s Fall, as the Demon War was soon referred to, sparked so much chaos within both Lords Brakkon and his son Draconis that nothing could stop them.

Lady Adellandra regained only a little of her strength, but it was enough to take matters into her own hands. She gathered the children one night and left her mate, and Mal’estar, behind. Draconis soon turned from battle with Lord Archimond and Master Orthos to find his own mate and children missing. That’s when he turned Chaotic.

Brakkon’s mate Locarra was soon lost to the Summerlands, and he turned into a male not even Elizabeth recognized – a terror-driven evil Chaos Dragon named Thorn. In the middle of battle, it was war between the evil Thorn and Chaos Dragon Emperor Draconis. In a single spell, Draconis exiled Thorn from the Nations, taking his Dratyr’s body and mind with him.

The Dragon’s Fall went on for at least one hundred years, and Elizabeth hid herself in safety, knowing she would either die if she fought in the war or before it was over. When it ended, she returned to the Empire of Mal’estar.

Nothing was left; bodies were charred beyond recognition, all remnants of war, blood, swords, bodies, the stench of burning flesh mixed in the acrid air. It was enough to make her ill. She returned to the castle’s grounds and found a single tombstone marked “My Empress” in the garden.

She closed her eyes, touching it and thinking of all those lost to the Nations and her former home. She reached out in her mind for any survivors of the House, and found only one sibling still lived.

How did Countess survive the carnage? Elizabeth asked herself, following her sensors to Monarch’s Glen.

The Countess Dracora Dratianos was silent when she saw Elizabeth bowing to her.

“Elizabeth – how?” Dracora asked, racing to her and hugging her. They had been friends as well as maiden and mistress.

“Same as you, I suppose.” She replied softly. “There’s nowhere for me to go. I have no home, either in Mal’estar or the Northern Lands.”

“You are more than welcome to join the House of Monarch’s Glen.” Dracora said softly, touching Elizabeth’s cheek.

She smiled, bowing. “Kateea, Countess.”

Dracora turned to the male behind her. “Trenor, take Elizabeth to the maiden’s quarters. Have Helena show her the ropes and get her settled.”

Trenor Lakota smiled at Elizabeth, who blushed. He held his arm out. “Shall we, my Lady?”

Elizabeth took it and nodded.

 

Before she knew it, Elizabeth, who was now calling herself Elspeth Batony, fell into another wonderful routine. The House of Monarch’s Glen may not have been the grand palace of Mal’estar, but it was cozy and warm. The servants treated each other as friends and family instead of the usual hierarchy. They worked together with Dracora and her people, and the Household was cheerful. She was allowed to eat her meals with the Countess and the rest of the main House.

“There’s a strange prisoner in the dungeons, Countess.” Terrantis Montoya, Dracora’s advisor supplied, out of breath.

Elspeth had been at Monarch’s Glen for two years. She had been talking about remodeling the Throne Room with Dracora when her advisor rushed in.

“Calm yourself, my friend.” Dracora stopped. “How strange is strange? Tell me about them.”

“She has eyes the color of Earthbound Ancient Mystics and claims she’s lost.” Terrantis explained. “If she were in Dragonwolf form, she would have looked identical to the Lady Empress Adellandra!”

Dracora and Elspeth gasped, sharing a look. Elspeth knew Dracora and Adellandra were very close before the Dragon’s Fall and the Empress’ disappearance.

“Aura and all?”

“The Young One has a certain magical quality the Empress was known for. Could it be her, after all these years?”

“Could she have survived after all?” Elspeth asked Dracora.

“I would not be surprised. I was there when the Mystic Sisters and O’Dell blooded the Dranna siblings.” Dracora supplied. “It’s possible she survived in the Outer Realm.”

“That was what — ten years ago?” Terrantis asked. “She would be about the same age the prisoner is now, a Young One of fifteen summers.”

Dracora nodded. “Just in case, Elspeth, have Fiona and Darkov set the guest quarters for her. I’ll deal with her when she is ready.”

“Aye, Countess.” Elspeth nodded and was on her way.

She was only able to turn on her heel before the Countess supplied, “Stop.”

She turned to the Countess, who had her finger up and was staring into the air. “Come out of the shadows and into the light. Introduce yourself.”

Elspeth froze in her spot, waiting and listening. She stared as a young woman with long reddish-blond hair and silver-blue eyes walked up to Dracora and knelt.

“I am a Dreamer, lost in this world.” The young woman supplied. “Can you tell me how to get back?”

Dracora looked at her curiously. “To know of Dreamers is to know of the Realm of Dreams.” She pointed out. “Dreamers themselves do not know their status amongst the many Realms of Companions and creatures. They believe their adventures as mere dreams.” Dracora smiled. “Now tell me who you are, Little One, or prepare to die in this Realm.”

Elspeth knew the Countess was bluffing. If this young woman was truly the lost Empress in another form, Dracora wouldn’t hurt her.

“I am called Ariana Moon that is all.” She gulped, introducing herself. “I came from the Outer Realm.”

“Have you special abilities that allow you to travel through the vast Realms of All the Worlds?”

Ariana Moon nodded. “Yes, Ma’am.”

Dracora sighed. “I feared as much. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Dracora, Countess of the Dragon Nations.”

“The Realm of Dragons?” Ariana Moon asked, eyes widened in recognition.

Dracora nodded. “Aye. This Realm houses the undead at rest as well as the Draconian People.”

Ariana Moon thought for a moment. “Undead, as in vampires?”

“You would call us vampire, aye.” Dracora stared, patiently waiting and watching the young woman’s every move.

Ariana held her breath, frozen and staring at Dracora in fear.

Elspeth, carry out my prior orders. Dracora supplied in Elspeth’s mind. She turned to Terrantis. “Leave us.”

“Aye Countess.” Both Elspeth and Terrantis bowed and left.

Terrantis went to his own duties while Elspeth carried out her orders. In less than a candlemark of time, she was finished and called back to Dracora’s Chambers.

“You called me, Countess?”

Dracora had Ariana Moon beside her. “Elspeth, why don’t you show Young Guardian to her room?”

With a nod, Elspeth repeated. “Aye, Countess.” She turned to Ariana Moon. “Follow me, my Lady.”

On the walk, Elspeth had to know. My Countess, is this the Lady Empress, return to us?

I am afraid so, my friend. Dracora supplied. The only problem is that she knows nothing of her true self. I sense she has the Mystic’s Empathy, which will serve me well in delegations with King Yorn.

You will not need Advisor Terrantis’ guidance? Elspeth asked.

Of course I will; I just need to measure just how much she knows she can do. Dracora’s mind-voice supplied. If need be, I will have to give her a little ‘push’.

Push, my Countess?

We will see what the future brings. Dracora supplied. For now, I can sense she is tiring and needs to rest. Return to your duties when you are finished with her.

Aye, Countess.

Elspeth returned to her present task, looking at the frightened, yet strong young woman named Young Guardian Ariana Moon. They’d reached the guest quarters.

“My Lady, this will be your room.” Elspeth announced.

“Thank you, and please, call me Ariana.” Ariana smiled. “I’m just a mere Earthbound helping your Countess in return for safe passage back to the Realm of Dreams.”

“As you wish, Lady Ariana.” Elspeth smiled. “Rest for now. You will need your strength.”

“I agree.” Ariana said, keeping her smile. “Again, thank you Elspeth.”

Elspeth nodded and left, knowing Dracora was right; this was the Earthbound form of the “Lost Empress”.

 

A month of delegations with the Mortallan King Yorn and Ariana was exhausted.

Through the fighting and delegations, the Countess herself had forgotten to Feed and Elspeth caught her at Ariana’s chamber door.

“Are you sure that is wise, Countess?” Elspeth whispered.

Dracora looked at her eyes, and Elspeth saw the red in them. “Not only wise, Elspeth, but necessary. I cannot leave the Nations and return to the kin-Clans in the Outer Realm. I must Feed, and she is the only Earthbound here.”

“Are you not afraid what that will do to her?”

“I am not afraid. After all, she is still our Adellandra; she’s just in a different form. The blood that flows in her veins is the same as it was when she was my Empress-Sita. I must Feed.”

“I will stay silent and keep watch for you, Dracora.” Elspeth nodded seriously.

Dracora smiled. “Thank you, Elspeth. You are a true friend.”

“Always have been, and always will be.” Elspeth responded, watching as the Countess shifted to the mists and flew through the bottom of the door.

 

The next morning, Elspeth was helping to set the table for breakfast when she Felt a very angry Ariana Moon storm in.

“You Fed from me!” She confronted Dracora, who was seated at her place. “Without my consent or knowledge!”

“I Fed, aye, I admit that.” Dracora supplied without emotion. “I also replenished you.”

Ariana’s lips were pursed, angry. “May I ask why?”

“I suffered from the Hunger.” Dracora pointed out softly. “So, I Fed and I made certain you were replenished.” She paused. “In time, you will see what I did was a blessing, rather than a curse.”

“Lord Guardian’s not going to be happy about this, once he Senses what you’ve done.” Ariana told her, folding her arms.

“I would think not.” Dracora supplied, again without emotion. “I will tell him, though.”

“When you feel like it, I take it?” Ariana sneered.

Dracora merely smiled. “Do you not need to be returning? I am sure you are sorely missed.”

“Show me how to get back to the Realm of Dreams, as you promised.” Ariana demanded. Elspeth held her breath, waiting for a reprimand from Dracora that never came. “Delegations are over, the two of you made a pairing of it and my services as an advisor are no longer required.”

Dracora grinned, nodding.

“Trenor, show her the way to the Borderline.” She announced, turning to her bodyguard. “The weak point of the FireWall should be near the Dream Realm’s Province Wood.”

“Aye, Countess.” Trenor supplied. He turned to Ariana, who was still frowning in anger. “Come, Young Guardian.”

Huffing, she rolled her eyes and followed.

Elspeth waited until they were gone before saying anything. “Countess?”

Dracora was staring into space where the two of them had left. After a moment, she snapped out of her daze. “I am sorry, Elspeth.”

“Thinking about Young Guardian?” Elspeth asked.

Dracora grinned, nodding. “Aye.” She said. “I can Feel it in her blood. Her Dragonwolf self is still there, just hidden. I put a compulsion spell on her when we exchanged. It will take a while for it to become fully effective, but when her mind and body are ready to accept the information and magic, the compulsion will be lifted.”

“That is good, Countess.” Elspeth supplied.

After another moment of silence, Dracora supplied. “Take the night off, Elspeth. Enjoy yourself in the marketplace. I will see you again when morning comes in the Outer Realm.”

“You will be returning to the kin-Clans?” Elspeth asked.

“For a visit, aye.” Dracora told her. “I have been gone for too long. Emerald and Diamond need to tell me how Ramon is doing with his nightly studies.”

“In that case, I wish you Pleasant Journeys.” Elspeth grinned. “Say Sulheya to Shem for me, will you?”

Dracora now grinned. “Of course I will, when I see him.”