"Beyond" by Chris Tilton

Save the Dragons Campaign


By Buffydk

The storm was moving in quickly and camp was destined to be pitched soon. My traveling companions were watching the sky with dread as I stumbled behind dreaming of a dry warm cabin at the end of a trail. These mountains could be rather ruthless in a bad storm unless you could find a decent stand of fir to set up under and level ground was at a premium. The warm autumn day had passed in a calming haze. With each step up the sinuous trail I could feel myself compelled onward conscious of the feeling that I neared an end or a beginning. Was this the last or first day of my life? This feeling had pursued me the long climb up the rocky trail.

I heard thunder in the distance as the sky transformed into a sea of smoky gray. Studying the dried leaves and twigs dashing around in whirls of storm driven wind, I noticed ahead that they had found a campsite for the night. Setting up camp with anxious efficiency, we were barely in our tents when the first drops fell. Again I thanked my senses we had chosen to use separate one-man tents. This evening, I wanted to be left to my thoughts and this potent storm allowed me the solitude I craved.

After finishing off some rather unidentifiable trail fare I settled back to listen to the sound of the now waning storm. Closing my eyes I allowed myself to drift deeper inside to search out and give name to this "other" awareness I felt invading my mind. Echoes of passing memories flashed brilliant behind my eyes and few of them were mine. Did I now travel the thread between life and death, seeing my own past lives flicker by or was I on a path to my own destiny? Precariously I proceeded deeper into my being, driven toward the source, the "other" voice I now heard drawing me nearer. The smell of stale spices filled my senses as I felt the ground beneath me fall away. Panic ceased my breathing, as I knew I was no longer in the tent and my spirit sped through the clouded darkness.

A quick intake of fresh air filled my starved lungs when my feet hit the ground and I struggled for my balance. Reaching out my hand to steady myself on a nearby ledge I peered through the glowing shadows of darkness. Soft yellow light spilled out around the corner of a passage ahead. Looking down at myself I noticed my clothing and boots were the same as I wore in the tent. Heart pounding with fear and excitement I started off slowly edging my way carefully in the darkness toward the lighted passage. The cavern where I found myself magically transported was pervaded by the tang of spices. The "other" voice was now a booming vibration no longer inside me but calling out to me. Feeling less frightened by the soothing voice which was somehow familiar; I neared the entrance to the lighted passage.

Somehow my rigid limbs moved me forward, one hand brushing against the cool cavern wall; I turned the corner into the brightening passage. Further ahead I could see an enormous underground chamber washed in the same soft yellow light that filled the passage. A rumbling voice murmured words I couldn't understand, a language so alien and soothing, I felt drawn deeper into the labyrinth of stone. My fear seemed to vanish as I felt a mental "touch" in my mind as I calmly moved into the chamber. I saw movement above a stone ledge to my right and my eyes searched above into the amber stained shadows. Not believing my senses, I could only make out the form of what I thought looked like a darkened dragon's form. Blue light flashed above as my eyes focused on the majestic and inspiring figure of a legendary dragon. Instantly I knew it was alive since I could feel its touch within me.

I had never seen eyes so blue, so crystal blue or so huge. Her hide, and yes I knew it was a female from her intimate contact with me, was a thousand shades of blue and darkened near the tail which swished lazily on the ledge as she watched me with avid interest. Meeting her gaze I felt my own soul exposed. My darkest secrets, my fondest wishes, my private desires were all open to her. She knew me.

"Mistress", she murmured as her head bent lower to inspect me, "you've come".

A nervous giggle escaped my lips as I peered up into her soothing crystal blue eyes. Mistress? Amazing I was able to speak out loud as my astonishment was replaced by curiosity. "Who are you? Where am I?" I stammered. "I feel I know you but it can't be. I'm sure I would have remembered meeting you." I jokingly allowed.

Moving nearer to the edge of her ledge she answered reverently, "You have returned to me once again and I greet thee with unwavering love and loyalty my lady Mistress." Pulling up on her powerful hind legs she reached behind her with a forearm and held out a deep green silk pouch to me. Long sharp claws extended near me as she dropped the pouch into my open hand. "Open it Mistress. It holds your answers." she finished.

Pulling gently on the golden cord, I poured the contents into my other hand. A gleaming silvery chain ran into my palm like cool water and along with it fell a rather large sparkling sapphire with a tiny bright star illuminating within it. Instinctively I pulled it over my head and felt the gem settle warmly against my skin. A surge of power coursed through every fiber of my being as my long awaited wakening shocked my senses.

Aware now that BlueStar watched me with as much amusement as concern, I lifted my head to meet her gaze. "BlueStar, my dearest heart," I began, "again we are united in our bond and my soul is joined with you once more." My joy was complete, my timeless destiny continued with BlueStar. Her Dragon Mistress had returned with a new form after the death of her old and the joining was done.

"The magic is as strong as ever Mistress," hissed BlueStar, "the bond brings me much pleasure. "You have been missed." she confessed.

We spoke for hours, she and I. We passed the night sorting though my new life's trappings and reliving my past lives' adventures. Knowing I must return soon to camp and my companions, I realized the predestined meeting had once again altered my life. Knowing I could summons her with the sapphire star jewel at any time made the parting bearable. She guided me through the passages to the cave entrance where she flew and hunted from and I clamored down the rocky embankments to our camp in the early morning light.

My new path was an old path I had traveled many times and lives before. The new day I greeted was the first day of this life with BlueStar. No telling where I will be tomorrow.

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