Dragontide's Daughter by Strewnpapers | World Anvil Manuscripts | World Anvil

Chapter 10: Draconic Connections

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“Don’t sell yourself short, El,” Tyler said. “You’re one of the bravest, most caring people I know. If anyone’s worthy of keeping that sigil safe, it’s you.”

Ellie glanced down at the ring on her finger—twisting it absently.

“Mara.” Ellie lifted her gaze. “Do you know how to use the sigil? How I’m supposed to follow its path or whatever you mentioned?”

“I’m afraid my knowledge only extends so far. But we do have a visiting archaeologist from Ravensport who would likely know more—Dr. Miles Kendrick. He’s an expert on such ancient relics and their origins.”

No sooner had Mara spoken the name than a man in a rumpled field vest and wide-brimmed hat came bustling through the door, his arms overflowing with books and papers. He didn’t seem to notice the small group at first, muttering under his breath as he struggled to keep his precarious stack from toppling over.

Too late—the man’s foot caught on a raised floor tile, sending him stumbling forward. Books and loose papers exploded in all directions as he barely managed to stay upright.

“Oh! Dear me, I’m dreadfully sorry!” The man adjusted his spectacles as he surveyed the mess at his feet. “I’m afraid I’ve made rather a muddle of things. You must be the faculty meeting I’m late for—my apologies, everyone, I got turned around in the east wing looking for Professor Angstrom’s office and—“

“Actually, Dr. Kendrick,” Mara said with an amused look, “the meeting hasn’t started yet.”

Ellie and Tyler crouched down to begin gathering the scattered documents as Professor Angstrom held out a hand. “I’m the professor you were searching for.”

Kendrick extended his own hand eagerly, giving Angstrom’s hand an enthusiastic pump. “Ah, wonderful to meet you at last, Professor! And might I say, your reputation precedes you.”

“The young people who are kindly gathering your belongings are Eloise Harper and Tyler Green. And they’ve come into possession of a rather interesting artifact that you might be able to shed some light on.”

“Is that so? Well, I’d be delighted to take a look!” Kendrick leaned over. “Here, let me give you a hand with those, young man.”

Tyler handed him an armful of papers. “No problem, Dr. Kendrick. Glad we could help out.”

Ellie handed Kendrick a leather-bound book, then she held up the compass, lightly pulsing its blue light. “This is what we wanted to ask you about. Do you know how it works?”

Kendrick’s eyes widened behind his spectacles as he caught sight of the sigil. He very nearly dropped the book, fumbling it in his hands before clutching it tightly to his chest. “Great whales! Is that . . . could it be?” He leaned in, peering at the relic with an awed expression. “Where on earth did you come across such a thing?”

Once again, Ellie explained how she and Tyler had discovered the compass frozen within an iceberg.

“Extraordinary. I’ve only read accounts, but never dreamed I’d lay eyes on the real thing.” He met Ellie’s gaze. “Might I . . . examine it more closely?”

Ellie passed the sigil into Kendrick’s outstretched hands. Despite changing owners, the artifact’s ethereal glow dimmed only slightly.

He made his way to a nearby desk, gently setting down his books and papers before hunching over the relic. The others gathered around, watching as Kendrick examined the sigil from every angle.

Kendrick cradled it reverently, turning it over with utmost care as he scrutinized every etch and groove. A hushed murmur of amazement escaped his lips as his fingers moved over the sinuous dragon form coiled around the sigil’s casing.

“Ingenious craftsmanship . . . and still glowing after all this time.” He looked up at Ellie. “Do you have any idea what you’ve discovered, my dear? This is the legendary Seafarer’s Sigil—a relic of unparalleled historical and cultural significance!”

“My grandpa said the same thing—that it was the legendary Seafarer’s Sigil. But he didn’t know how to use it.” Ellie paused, then asked, “Can you tell us more about how it works?”

Kendrick leaned back. “Well, as I mentioned, the Seafarer’s Sigil is a creation of the ancient Drakken Lords—a powerful, mystical race with a deep connection to the primordial forces. They were dragonkin, you see, with mastery over the elements and arcane magics. Some say they still exist but live far away from Dragontide.”

He ran a finger along one of the etchings. “It’s said they fashioned these as a compass of sorts, but one imbued with their own draconic energies. A tool for navigating not just the physical world, but the hidden realms that lie between.”

Ellie gripped the edge of the desk tightly. “You mean . . . like magic realms?”

“Precisely. The Drakken Lords were able to attune the sigil to those mystical planes, using it to guide their ships across uncharted metaphysical waters. With a mere thought, they could will the artifact to illuminate the path to any destination—be it a secluded island paradise, a realm of pure elemental energy, or draconic lairs overflowing with untold treasures.”

Kendrick cleared his throat. “Of course, I’ve never actually seen the sigil in use, nor witnessed its full capabilities firsthand. These are just the accounts I’ve studied over the years. But if the legends are true . . .”

Kendrick’s voice took on a wistful tone. “Well, who’s to say what secrets and wonders it may yet unveil? The Drakken Lords were a supremely advanced race. There could be entire worlds hidden just beyond our perception, waiting to be rediscovered by those with the right key.”

Ellie then realized it might help her find the ingredient she needed for the Elixiron. “Do you think . . . the sigil could lead to finding Dragonscale Moss?”

Tyler looked at Ellie. “What are you thinking, El? You’re not seriously considering going back into those woods, are you?”

“What? No, of course not! I was just asking out of curiosity.” Ellie knew Tyler did not believe her.

“Well, if this sigil does indeed have the power to locate hidden realms and treasures . . .” Kendrick stroked his chin thoughtfully. “Then it stands to reason it could pinpoint something as rare as Dragonscale Moss.”

Ellie perked up at this. “You mean it could lead us right to where the moss grows?”

“So the legends would suggest,” Kendrick replied. “Though around these parts, I’ve heard tales that the moss is found within the lair of a great dragon—Aurathorn. But those are just rumors, mind you. I can’t say for certain.”

“What I can tell you is that, in theory, one who has forged a connection with this artifact should be able to will it to reveal the location of whatever they seek—be it a rare plant, a lost city, or a path through the veil between worlds.”

Ellie hid her excitement at the prospect. If the sigil could guide her to the Dragonscale Moss, she might finally have a way to obtain the Elixiron needed to cure Grandpa Joe.

“But how would someone know if they have that . . . connection you mentioned?” she asked, trying to keep her voice casual. “Is there a way to tell?”

Kendrick’s eyes drifted down to the dragon pendant resting against Ellie’s chest.

“Why, I do believe you may already have an inkling,” he said with a smile, pointing toward the necklace and its glass bubble filled with a glowing red liquid. “This looks very much like a trace of draconic essence. Tell me, has this been passed down through your family?”

Ellie nodded. “It’s been in my family line for generations, though I’m not sure where it originally came from.”

“Well then, there you have it!” Kendrick said. “With a tangible link to the draconic forces, I’d wager you have as good a chance as any of forging a connection to this remarkable artifact. The potential to wield its power may already course through your veins, my dear.”

Dr. Miles Kendrick (archeologist)
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