“Grandmother,” Alexianne’s young voice floated across the large room on a yawn, “Will you tell us a story?”
Grandma Dragon, her head resting just inside the large “Family Den” that Sir Brandon Livingstone has built them, smiled softly at the her youngest grandchild, “Does everyone wish to have a story?”
Three dragon heads and seven human ones all lazily nodded their assent, each one in a daze of happily exhausted laziness.
So with her deep and soothing voice rounding out the words, in the way of grandmothers through the worlds and times, she began:
When the world of our ancestors was still very young, before the rift between the worlds of magic and mortal, the realms were filled with all types of fantastical creatures. You already know of the nymphs and naiads, fairies and, of course, the dragons (to name a few). But perhaps the sweetest and shyest of all mythological beasts were our own distant cousins, the Sea Dragons.
High on a misty mountain top, above a peaceful village, lived Harlan Sciathain (That is, Harlan of the Dark Wings). Now Harlan had lived on the mountain for as long as anyone could remember and was the village of Venscha’s friend and protector. He had never met another like him, not even his mother, for his egg had been a gift from Ayethni, this great dragon mother, whom the Creator had gifted with the care of such creatures.
One day, as Harlan sat keeping watch over the village below, a group of travelling peddlers came to town with their bright wagons and wares to sell. Among these travelers was a blind old storyteller and, as everyone likes a good story, each and every villager whether they were young old, rich, poor, or covered in scales gathered in the town meeting place to hear an adventure.
The bard did not disappoint, delivering a tale of great suspense and detailing the exploits of one family of dragons living to the east. As you can imagine, Harlan eagerly drank in every word. The following morning found him gone, having left his home to find a family.
To this day no one really knows what happened to Harlan of the Dark Wings during those travels. He never told a full accounting of any adventure he may have had along the way. What is known, however, is that after a voyage that lasted over a year in length, he returned to Venscha with a bride. Naphtala was a small and dainty dragon, the soft pink of her scales flushed like a sea shell, and the tinkle of her laughter like the lapping of gentle waves upon the shore, for she was a sea side dragon and had lived there with her family since birth.
Soon after their return to Harlan’s village, Naphtala found herself expecting a child. The entire village began to prepare for a bouncing baby dragon, laying in extra supplies and making cute toys to be torn up upon the littlest protector’s arrival. In the course of the year, as is the way with our kind, the egg began to wiggle and wobble and squeak and so everyone gathered to await the newest member of the Sciathain family. What happened next, though, is so rare that no one could have predicted it. When the egg began to crack and pieces fell away to allow the new generation access to the world, three pairs of eyes were peering out at their parents.
Tumbling from the confines of their cramped egg first, Aithne rolled into view covered all over in scales the color of burning flames, earning her name immediately. Following soon after, though much more slowly than his sister, Glendower padded out into the world. Glen was covered in scales the color of softened sea glass, though that was not the first thing about him that people would notice. No, the first thing that people noticed about Glendower Sciathain was that he had a graceful neck, webbing between his claws, and he was growing what looked like leaves along his body.
Sometime within the chaos surrounding his brother’s arrival, Kenn quietly slid his way out the eggshell, his bright turquoise and deep green scales flashing in the sunlight. Kenn also sported webbed claws and a long, graceful neck, and he was growing what looked like seaweed along his scaling.
Though their parents and their village loved the triplets intensely, Naphtala fretted that something had gone wrong with her boys. While Aithne grew over the next few months, learning to duck, dodge, dive, and fly with ease, her brothers stayed smaller than average and found it more difficult to maneuver quickly. Finally, not understanding why two of her children looked so strange, and fearing for their health, Napthala convinced Harlan that they should once again desert their post as protectors in order to visit her family.
As they approached Naphtala’s family home, high on a cliff overlooking the vast ocean, the triplets caught their first view of the water. Following their mother’s joyous lead, the winglings swooped down the glide through the soft waters but only Naphtala and Aithne came back up to the air. Kenn and Glendower found that their webbed toes helped them maneuver in the water like they could never do in the air. Their odd ‘hair’ growths made perfect sense as they swam among the flora and fauna of the ocean floor, and though they could breathe quite well on land, the brothers had no problem under the waves.
Ecstatic in their newfound fun, the boys refused to leave the water, but followed their family to the shore below the Murdock family caverns. Seeing their grandchildren so easily swimming, Naphtala’s parents confessed to her that their family had come down from Seadans and Ocean Nymphs. Though it was a distant connection and no one had been called in generations, every so often a wingling would be born to live in the sea and protect its creatures.
Realizing that her sons were meant for a life in the water, Naphtala tearfully came to an understanding with her family. She and Harlan were needed in Venscha, and when the time was right Aithne would take over as the village protector, so the Murdocks would now be Kenn and Glen’s guardians. Promising to meet once a year at that exact shore, Naphtala and Harlan reluctantly kissed their sons goodbye and went on their way.
As the years passed on, Aithne, Glendower, and Kenn each found their own homes, their own mates, and had their own children, often spending all of their time in the deep waters far from shore. Such is the way of life. However, each year the ever growing family met on the shores of Murdoch cliff to celebrate the triumphs and mourn the losses of their time apart.
As happened to a lot of families, when the realms split apart some of the Sciathian and Murdock families were left wandering in the mortal oceans. Over the following years, Seadans and Sea Dragons thrived in Realta (the land of magics, whose name is translated Star) while finding it difficult to continue existing within the mortal realm. Eventually all but the smallest traces of the families were left here. Though you can still find a descendent or two, they are small and almost unrecognizable as proud members of the dragon family.
And that, children,” Grandmother Dragon paused to smile around the room, noting that only Alexianne and Joseph still had their eyes open, “Is how sea dragons came into existence. Now, close your eyes my little winglings, and dream of the ocean.”