Realm’s caustic atmosphere prevented telepathy, but Roland could share w/ his far-distant twin his every effort to aid in the young queen dragon’s survival. When they spoke of her vital role in forging human-dragon peace, clearly she listened in.

The young dragon loops in flight, savoring pockets of warmth & chill, uplifts & drops. Gulping air from his magical allotment, Roland grips her pink scales, thrilled but appalled, fearing he’ll freeze in space & shatter in the fall.

In death a brittle wind harp, Queen Dragon yet hoards her melted mass of treasure. The youngster visits time & again to chant the song of release, tho’ no gems pop forth. Since even a young queen must guard riches, Roland returns her own (gold) egg-tooth.

Roland grasps a wing & leans over for a dragon-eye view of the commotion. Corsairs have forced the knights to the drawbridge, & the fighting is still fierce. Is this a coup? No, a quest, for King *** abducted the Suly’s son & denied his right of ransom.

Dehydrated, the youngster’s scales glowed w/ chemical decay. Roland held to her snout a nectar bowl & begged, “Just take a sip.” As he anticipated, she exhaled fire across the bowl & into her nostrils surged the heal-all vapor of moonflower.

The young dragon’s emerging sapience took the form of games, physical tricks, that left Roland uncertain about the scope of his own magic. Her favorite game was hide&seek that involved swallowing her own tail & disappearing in a fog of smoke.

??Fitting legacy of the orb of Realm, the Suly’s son was born a kaleidescope of magics, black & white, from far & near, His eyes glowed gold in starlight for he was godhead incarnate, Who whipped up whirlwind dirges for the not-quite-dead.

His cloak weave holds starlight captive to illuminate his way but grief-to-come holds him captive to black night. The dragon’s innocence & chaotic beauty evolved in the blissful interstellar deeps will coarsen among men who tread the path of hate.

On the truth rug, Roland bow his furiously busy head before the Royal Wizard. Telling a lie spells death & an evasion a cat-of-9-tails whipping, but at least there is only 1 question. “Where have you been, Roland?” His brain quiets, for geography is truth.

The dragon egg, small & uniquely violet, hummed its wonder & sang cosmic mysteries in his ear. In the cup of his palms the frail hatchling struggled from her shell & opened her eyes to his. Exalted by love and awe, he lay his soul at her feet.

FOUNDER MYTH: Lucy and her consort Hero founded Realm in the golden age. They were bold and brilliant and loved rapturously but without issue. Since breeding ensured colony survival, they were expelled but turned space corsairs, pirating children and prospering by pillage.

Tar-Jack & Tar-Roland sailed the universe on different currents, one a corsair & t’other a trainee dragon-master. But binding them close w/ each teardrop & heartbeat was a a charm at their throats, each phial holding 2 drops of his twin’s newborn blood.