A poor cousin to the dragon, my wyvern is plenty of good for me.
|Most of my peers decided to become Dragonmen and women. I chose another path. Wyverns are smaller and more temperamental, they are like the donkeys of dragon kind. They only have the two legs but their wings are as strong and capable as any dragon's. My hunt for my mount was more perilous, and that was another reason that it was the less taken path. Why hunt down a wyvern's nest up some ancient and half fossilized old tree, when you could just pluck a dragon egg out of practically any cave, or if you were lazy, you bought one from a dragonman who's mount had not hidden their clutch.
I crossed a wasteland full of fumaroles and geysers. I hunted through a dead forest for over a week before I found the tree with the nest. After finding the nest it took me another week to get the parents' patterns down to know when and how long I needed to get up the tree, steal the egg, and get to cover. I had a tight window, the parents were very attentive. When I reached the nest I discovered why. They only had the one egg. I felt guilty, I didn't want to steal their only egg, but I didn't know how much longer it would take me to find another nest, and I couldn't be certain it would have any more eggs than this one.
I snatched up the egg and nestled it in the large carry basket on my back before repelling down the tree. I left the rope and ran as hard as I could. I was a good three miles from the tree when I heard the mother wyvern's cry of despair. It almost had me return the egg, only knowing she would rip me apart on seeing me with her egg stayed my course. I stayed in the cover of the forest and skirted the edge of the wasteland. It took me several more days to get back on the path for my home that way but it meant I had a little cover from being spotted from above. I needn't have worried. The parents searched deeper into the forest, they didn't search in the direction I was traveling. I sincerely hope there isn't a human settlement in that direction, but that wasn't my problem.
I arrived victorious in my village, but my feat of bravery went unacknowledged. Some rotten snot-nosed elitist had managed to bring home a golden dragon, it had cost him a year's wages, but he was a dragonman. I petted my little egg and felt a shiver and a crack. I was quick to lift it from my carry basket. I set it on the ground in front of me. It rocked and bounced a little before it split from top to bottom and a golden ball of scales rolled onto my feet. It was a golden wyvern, they were a hundred times rarer than golden dragons. She squawked her hunger at me and drew the attention of the crowd.
I was pulling jerky from my travel pack for her when everyone rushed over to get a look at her up close. The coos of admiration more than made up for the trouble of finding her. Several people rushed off to bring me raw meat to feed my precious little treasure.
"Mr. what is her name?" A child asked. It was the first time I had been addressed as a man.
"Salia, after my mother," I answered the child.
"That's a good name son," My father stated unexpectedly beside me. He had never supported my goal of being a wyvern rider. The pride on his face told me he had changed his position.
I fed little Salia and remembered my mother and her wyvern Stratus. They had died unrecognized heroes driving back a storm that would have killed everyone in the village. Few people noted the sacrifice, they attributed the act to the heroic dragonmen and women, even though everyone knew wyverns stayed until the job was done.