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The Dragon Nimbus Novels: Volume III: Volume III

The Dragon Nimbus Novels: Volume III: Volume III

Titel: The Dragon Nimbus Novels: Volume III: Volume III
Autoren: Irene Radford
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Prologue
     
    Midmorning of Saawheen, the Holy Day of Remembrance, in late autumn of the second year of the Reign of Quinnault Darville de Draconis, Dragon Blessed King of Coronnan; a meadow west of Coronnan City
     
    S hayla stretched her wings wide, catching a shift in air currents as she cruised the length of the waterway humans call the River Coronnan. Her twelve dragonets had just eaten a bemouth, one of the ferocious fish that inhabited the depths of the Great Bay. Even though her babies drowsed with full tummies, she knew they’d awaken again soon, clamoring for more fresh meat to feed their growing bodies. In the meantime, she took this rare free time to enjoy a few moments of peace and freedom, allowing the air currents to guide her constant search for food.
    She scanned the ground for likely game. All of the cows and sheep the humans had set out as a tithe for the dragons looked too scrawny to feed her hungry babies.
    The nimbus of dragons had agreed among themselves to allow the herds to increase before culling. Generations of war and privation had taken a toll on both dragons and humans. They would all thrive better if the dragons hunted wild game for a few more years.
    Shayla, oh, Shayla, I need your help. A human mind called to the dragon. Shayla, hurry. I need you.
    Shayla listened closely to the summons. The plea of a woman with a deep problem. A problem dragons couldn’t ignore.
    She knew the mind calling her away from her leisurely glide around the Great Bay. The female named Maarie Kaathliin, called Katie by those close to her, had mated with dragon-blessed King Quinnault at the same time Shayla had flown a nuptial ritual with five male dragons. Queen Katie had proved to be a formidable woman nearly worthy of leading a dragon nimbus.
    (How may I assist?) Shayla banked her wings and circled until she located Katie. The queen stood at the edge of a large field, cradling her baby in her arms. Shayla recognized the other humans who rested nearby after a meal. She grabbed the meaning of their word “picnic” from the mind of King Quinnault. She still didn’t understand the difference between eating in the lair or eating in the field. Dragons did both and had no word to separate the two.
    She narrowed her telepathic communication so that only the queen could hear her. King Quinnault and his sister Myrilandel were openly receptive to dragon thoughts. Powwell, the fledgling magician who played with Myrilandel’s daughter, could hear less. Yaala, a descendant of the renegade dragon—who shall forever more remain nameless—could hear all too much if she opened her mind to her heritage.
    Shayla grieved a moment that Nimbulan, Myrilandel’s husband, had lost his magic and thus his ability to communicate with dragons. The loss of that magic had aged and saddened him greatly this past year. She had enjoyed his logic and humor—which often mimicked wisdom.
    Shayla, I have explained and pleaded with these people for many moons. They refuse to recognize a danger that threatens us all. Can you give them a dragon dream of great import? Katie asked.
    (Dragon dreams are dangerous, to yourself and those you hold dear.) Shayla backwinged, puzzled by the request.
    I know that, Shayla. I do not ask for a dream that will lead them astray, only teach them a valuable lesson.
    (Such as?)
    Take a memory from me and make it real to those around me.
    Shayla saw the terrible images within Katie’s mind and nearly fled to the void between the planes of existence. (Why do you wish to share this memory? You should flee it as you fled your homeworld.)
    The same danger I fled is on its way to this planet unless we stop it now. We must not destroy this world called Kardia Hodos as my people destroyed Terra.
    (Agreed.) Shayla fought her own reluctance to relive the memory in vision form. This was a lesson the foolish humans must learn—now, before they made grave mistakes.
    (The dragon spirit within Myrilandel makes her immune to dragon dreams,) Shayla stalled. (She is influential among many of those you must reach with this lesson. The woman-child, Yaala, needs to live this vision more than most, but her dragon ancestry will make her immune as well. She lives apart from their society and does not know how to value the nimbus of humans.)
    Myri can pluck the memory of this dragon dream from Nimbulan’s mind, Katie replied. Her thoughts bordered on frantic. Powwell, the journeyman magician, will share his knowledge with Yaala,

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