(Wow…you guys are awesome! We have had such a positive turn out for this first little chapter that we rushed to get this second chapter done midst all the other things we have going on! Thank you all for the kind words for the first chapter and hopefully we’ll keep this going for a good while. If all goes as planned I hope to make some of these about the various events and such. For those that have not yet seen part one please go here http://draxisweb.com/dwp/?p=2875 . My inspiration for this chapter came as I listened to the Sweeney Todd Soundtrack and thought that the song “My Friends” would make for a great scene with revealing the eggs after so long. Hope you all enjoy as much as you did the first one.)

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The Islands of Atlaua were covered in a deep mystical fog. Nothing stirred on these islands and hadn’t for the past ten years. Ever since the Blackbloods, led by Gustav, had invaded no one dared stay here for long, not even animals. All of that was about to change however, as we see a blood red dragon winging slowly towards the island from the south east. As the dragon swung closer, one could see a white cloaked figure riding it if there was anyone on the islands.

The dragon came in for a soft landing on the main island and the cloaked figure slid off of it’s back and looked around slowly.

“What happened here? The day is too late for this sort of fog, too warm too” she said in a gentle whisper.

“War fog spell. Must have been cast by a powerful caster for it to have lasted this long, either that or it keeps getting renewed” was the answer that came in her mind. The hood of the cloak shifted a little as she nodded.

“Can it be gotten rid of?”

Of course, but one this dense and so large will take time and need several dragons more than I to burn it away.”

Slim hands reached up to push her hood back revealing delicate features of a young woman only about 18 years old. She had long red hair the color of flames. She moved to the dragon and laid her hand on his shoulder.

“Oh Draco…it has been so long…” soft sobbing could be heard in her voice as she leaned against her dragon companion.

“Draco?…Can it be? Have you returned?” Came a soft voice from behind the ruins of a building. Out of the shadows came a woman holding a staff, ready for battle if need.  “Who are you lass? Why have you come to this forsaken place?”

The young woman looked closely at the older one with the staff and blinked as she recognized her. “Ashe? Tis me Raelin! I have come home finally…..but why are you still here? There is nothing much it seems left.”

Ashe would turn her head and spit on the dusty ground, “Aye the Blackbloods destroyed most everything. But I remain here… Atlaua is my home after all. I was born to it and I will bleed for it. I imagine that is why you have returned as well?”

Raelin would nod and smile, moving forward to meet Ashe in the open and give her a huge hug. The two women cried in each other’s arms for a time. They took a renewed strength in their bond, the fact that there were other survivors, that they had found each other, and in the fact that the Dragon Queen of Atalua had come home.

“I promise you Ashe, I will rebuild this place and then we will see to my Uncle.”

“Raelin you have no idea how powerful he has become. You would need an army of dragons to stand a chance against him!”

“Well then, it is an army of dragons I shall raise from the dust and debris of my home.” Raelin answered and moved to Draco. She patted his side softly and walked off and he fell in behind her as she made her way towards where the hatching grounds used to be.

The old building had been built into a dormant volcano that still held heat but had no signs that it would erupt any time soon. Ashe fell in behind them wondering what Raelin had in mind for raising this dragon army and why she seemed determined to come here first.

“You won’t be able to get in. It was one of your fathers last commands to bring down the entrances to the egg rooms. Many have tried to dig it out over the years, but there is just too much hard rock and dirt in the way to move.”

Raelin smiled slyly and moved to one of the outer walls where a well was. She tied the bucket up and Draco moved in to move the pulley out of the way with his snout. No one had ever used these wells. It was said that something had contaminated the water for Dragon and Human consumption both. Raelin moved to the side of the well and pressed in several places and the cover over the well fell away.

“Perhaps Ashe but they had not been told all of the hatcheries secrets like I had been. Draco if you could put a good amount of flame down the well please.” Raelin and Ashe moved back as the large Dragon moved forward to do as he was asked.”You see, when the hatchery was built it had fail safes built into it. Down below this well is a room that runs under all of the tunnels that are blocked. The roof is being held up with Ironwood…very sturdy and can withstand a lot of pressure, such as a lot of rock pressing down on it from caved in roofs. However, it melts and burns with dragon fire. Once the supports are gone…”

A rumbling below their feet started as though on cue. The supports had melted away and the floor of the collapsed tunnels fell into the vaults right below them thus filling with stone and freeing the tunnels to be used again though now the rock filling them was an uneven floor. Raelin smiled and laughed softly at Ashe’s expression as she finished the explanation while walking into the hatchery. She stopped short though when she saw the dragons eggs all covered in the dust from the last decade. Raelin’s eyes appeared to go far off as many voices all crowded her mind at once. Oh yes, the dragons had survived all right and it had been so long since they had felt their friend’s presence, and oh how they had missed her! Raelin began to speak once more though it came out almost as a song as she divided her attention between the dragons and Ashe.

“Go get a bucket of warm water.” Asked Raelin of Ashe as she moved into the room crooning softly to the various eggs she encountered. It took only a moment and soon they were moving through the room washing the eggs revealing their leathery shine that had not faded a bit in all the years they were trapped.

“These are my friends…” Raelin spread her arms indicating all of the eggs her voice soft and lilting as she almost sang the words to Ashe in her joy.

“See how they glisten…” She passed a torch that Draco had lit over the now clean shell of a golden egg. “See this one shine…How he’ll smile in the light!”

“My friends, My faithful friends!” She called out in joy, “Speak to me, friend. Whisper, I’ll listen!”

Raelin bent down putting her ear to one of the various eggs shells and gently ran her fingers over the rough leather. “I know, I know! You’ve been locked out of sight all these years!”

She would stand and she threw out her arms once more addressing all of the eggs “Like me, my friend! Well, I’ve come home…to find you waiting…..Home! And we’re together!”

Raelin gave a large smile to Ashe that had Ashe believing every word she was saying to these dragons, a thrill ran through her as Raelin next spoke.

“And we’ll do wonders….Won’t we? You there, my friend…come, let me hold you…”, she moved to a small red egg that looked like it belonged to a hunters breed of dragon and picked it up bringing the chilled little thing close to her face.

“Now, with a sigh…. You grow warm in my hand….My friends….My clever friends!” She laid the egg back down with a soft sigh remembering she had a lot to do before she could release her friends.

“Rest now, my friends….Soon I will hatch you…..Soon you’ll know splendors you never have dreamed of all your days…Will be yoursMy lucky friends” She started towards the exit of the room her fingers trailing along an egg here and there. A steely look came to her eyes and a grim smile played over her lips a she thought of the uncle who had driven her away.

“Till now your shine…. is merely silver…” She pictured those silver fangs and claws dressed in battle armor ripping into the Blackbloods and her smile widened. “Friends, you shall drip rubies…You’ll soon drip precious rubies…”

As she got to the door she looked back on the room of eggs and whispered softly, “At last, my soul is complete again!”

She turned and moved out of the room heading to the room where the hatching ceremonies usually took place. She had an Altar to fix among other things before she could hatch her army.

“Come along Ashe we have a lot of work to do.”