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Neidal and his Hoard

"Momma, can you tell me a story?" An Amethyst earth dragon prodded their mother with their snout, horns clicking against their mother's larger ones. Moonlight filtered in through the entrance of their den, moonlight bouncing off of their lavender scales. The young one's mother shifted in their den, looking down to her child. "Of course I can. If I do, will you finally go to sleep, Gh'rail?"   Gh'rail nodded, eyes shining. "Please? I'll sleep!" She flashed her fangs, using her claws to dig a little deeper into the cool desert earth. "See, I'm all ready for bed...!" Their mother chuckled, and lifted her head up. With an exhale, a gout of purple flame spilled from her maw, licking at the roof of the cavern. Its sparks sprinkled down, glimmering in the light.   "This is the tale of Neidal, the Jade dragon..."  
 
Neidal was a young dragon when his parents were hunted down by the Knights of Valor, leaving the dragon alone with no family to care for him. With hate and anger in his heart, he vowed that he would not let anyone hurt him again, and that all he needed in his life was riches. He would collect a hoard better than all the rest, and become a fierce and powerful dragon. "Gems and rare items can't be killed," Neidal grumbled, looking at the hoard he had started. Neidal thought he could replace the hole in his heart with a hoard.   In a new den, high up-- higher up than he'd ever seen another dragon, Neidal made his home. He amassed coins, gems and strange items of all kinds, his jade scales glimmering among his treasures. But instead of the solace he sought, Neidal simply became lonely.   But one day, that changed.   One day, Neidal's den was entered by someone other than him. A frail and weak human, clad in rags and wounds crawled into his cave. Neidal didn't know what to do: he'd only seen humans when his parents had been taken away from him! Neidal thought about throwing the human out, or to gnash him with his teeth.   "Please, oh great dragon," the person rasped. "I have been hunted, chased by my own people for a crime I have not committed. I seek sanctuary. I can offer you everything I have, I will polish your hoard, clean your scales--"   Neidal scowled. "You are bleeding on my den floor. You will be patched up, and you can spend the day. It's too hot to wander, I don't want your corpse stinking up my territory." Neidal's tail lashed slowly as he watched the human, doubt in his heart. "I will care for you, but when we are finished, I want your most valuable possession."   "Of course, great dragon. I will give you everything."  
  The human--Ash was their name-- took a great amount of time to recover. They were too sick to leave the next day, and Neidal kept him in the back of his den. Water and magic flames helped clean wounds, and as promised, Ash did everything they could for Neidal.   As time passed, Neidal found himself getting used to the human. However, the people that Ash were running from eventually found Neidal's den.   "Dragon! We are looking for a human. Hair of umber and pale skin, they would be wearing ragged clothing. They are wanted for terrible crimes."   Neidal for the first time, panicked, as humans walked closer into his den, closer to Ash who was resting in a back cavern. "I know no such human!" He pushed parts of his hoard toward them, knowing humans were just as greedy as dragons. "For your inconvenience, take this. Take this and never return to me, humans! I wish to be undisturbed!" He hoped that his hoard would be enough, and in the end it was. The humans took Neidal's hoard, leaving him with nothing.   That evening, when Ash woke from their rest, they saw that Neidal had done. "Neidal, you gave up everything for me...You've lost it all."   The dragon turned toward Ash, his eyes glimmering. "No, I haven't. I still have what you will give me. Companionship."   Ash and Neidal stayed together, Neidal learning that as much as he thought that his hoard would replace the hole in his heart, it was love and friendship that was the real treasure he desired...
  The dragon mother looked down, hearing grumbling. Gh'rail was snoring, flopped onto her side. Her mother let out a soft sigh, and rested her head down.

Summary

Neidal is a Jade earth dragon, an orphan due to humans hunting down her parents. He decides that he doesn't need anyone in his life, and that all he needs is riches.   Neidal lives alone in a high cliff face, alone for hundreds of years, amassing coin and gems of all kinds. Eventually, a frail and weak human makes their way to his cave. They were seeking shelter to hide from people chasing them. Neidal begrudgingly accepts to take care of them in exchange for their most valuable possession.   It takes time for the human, Ash, to recover-- but before they do, the people chasing them find the cave. Neidal in a rush of alarm gives the humans his riches, claiming that he has seen no such human. When they've gone, Ash states that Neidal has lost everything he collected. Neidal shakes his head, and tells Ash that he hasn't. He still has what Ash is giving him.   Companionship.

Related Species
Alterations Different dragons typically use their own species when telling this story, changing the setting to something that makes more sense for their species. The names typically stay the same.

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Cover image: by ChaosTearKitsune

Comments

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8 Jul, 2018 19:57

:) cute! <3 I like the theme.