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A Shameless Info Dump on the Dragon Librarian

A Shameless Info Dump on the Dragon Librarian Aurum dreams of flying. Spreading her winds, soaring above the clouds. The whole earth laid out before her. A simpler time. All those hundreds of years ago. Everything slips away from her, all the human emotions and thoughts, wants and curiosity, and she regains that near animal simplicity. Almost, an intelligent mind with no desire to use it. She doesn’t know how long she’s been alive; she doesn’t think about it much. She is unending, she just is. Perhaps she has existed since the beginning, perhaps she will be here until the end. Or perhaps not. It’s all the same to her. Now she doesn’t even have a name. The wild forests and plains stretch out before her, the wind flowing freely under her wings. She thinks that today she will spy a deer and swoop down to grab it with her mile-wide claws, take it back to her den and devour it in one gulp. Perhaps she’ll see a man and do the same. Sometimes she’ll leave the human belongings to go through. They fascinate her, and she hates it, that lesser side of her perfectly focused, perfectly animal mind. But she always wonders: who was this person? What did they crave, and how would they go about getting it? This concept of want is foreign to her. She has everything she wants, of course she does. She has no thoughts, so what can she want? One night, while souring aimlessly though the clouds, she happened to gaze upon something strange: a human looking up at her. That in itself wasn’t all that bizarre, but the fact that they weren’t running and screaming in terror was... concerning. She thought that maybe they were slightly dim. So down she flapped, hoping to scare a little sense into them. The human, who appeared upon closer inspection to be of the male variety, followed her descent with interest almost observing her. She didn’t like it. Didn’t this man know that she could incinerate him in a breath? Perhaps he was dim. But no, she could see him twitching slightly, eyes alert to see what she would do, and she landed with a mighty boom on the ground in front of him. She roared, but still he did not move. “Are you planning on eating me?” he asked. “Or is roaring all you have?” She shifted towards him, shaking the ground with the force of an earthquake as she showed off her enormous claws. “Very impressive,” he admitted. “But you won’t actually use them.” Though she was incredibly tempted to put this small man in his place, she held back. She still wanted to know why he hadn’t run. “Are you going to speak? I know you can.” And lower herself with the tongue of humans? She thought not. Besides, it had been so long that she wasn’t sure she would remember all the words. He sighed. “No ancient wisdom to impart, hm? I heard that’s what dragons do.” Her laughter shook the heavens. Alright, she had to admit that she rather liked this one. “Legends,” she said. “Nothing more.” “So it does speak!” he smirked, his dark, wavy hair blown about by the wind produced by her words. “So it is loud and rude,” she narrowed her eyes. “I am not an ‘it’, I am a ‘she.’” “My humblest apologies,” the man bowed. “If we are to do introductions, then I am Lucius Marcellus, a traveler and seeker of knowledge. And you are...?” “I...” she paused, considering. “I do not have a name.” She’d never really thought about it before, never really needed one. A shame she could not give him a name. “No name?” he seemed taken aback. “Hm. Strange. I’ve never met a being with a concept of him or herself without a name. Didn’t you have any parents or anyone to name you?” She froze at this. That was something else she’d never thought of. Where did she come from? “I... don’t know.” “Well, perhaps you ought to name yourself, then?” “Perhaps,” she hesitated. “I will think on it. But tell me, Lucius Marcellus, why are you here?” “To see you,” he answered simply. “I’ve heard stories that dragons have ancient wisdom and much knowledge besides.” As she chuckled, her tail swished in amusement, felling several trees. “And why would you think that?” “Well, you are all incredibly old,” he shrugged. “That tends to count for something. I should know. I’ve heard that some of you even remember the ancient city of Atlantis.” Atlantis... that seemed... familiar to her somehow, though she wouldn’t have been able to say where from. All she know was that it put a sour taste on her tongue. “What do you know of Atlantis?” she asked. “Some things,” he shrugged. “But I want to know more.” “I doubt I’ll be much help to you, then,” she confessed, and his face turned downcast. “However, my hoard may be.” “Your hoard?” “I’ve collected many things from all the mortals I’ve eaten over the years. Perhaps there may be something among them to help you.” And then, once he’d found what he was looking for, maybe she would eat him too. Or maybe not, depending on how hungry she was. She was partially hoping that he’d take the hint as she grinned down at him, flashing her large, sharp teeth. But he was either very curious, or very stupid, for he just nodded and said: “Very well, how do we get there?” “My lair is not usually accessible by mortals, but climb on my back and I will take you there.” Though she grimaced slightly at the thought of letting a human ride on her back, she laid down on the ground and allowed Marcellus to clamber up her flank and onto her back. “Hold on,” she instructed. “I will not feel the slightest remorse if you fall off.” “Then I will try very hard not to.” She had no idea why she was letting this human, still alive and undevoured, into her lair with any intention of allowing him to see her trinkets. Perhaps he amused her. She’d never met a human who hadn’t been afraid of her before. Her massive wings started a shockwave that blasted the trees, and she was sure that the fragile human would be gone long before she made it back to her den. And yet, somehow, even as the forests and plains under her ceded into ocean, she still felt him clinging to her metallic scales. Her jetstream whistled around them, and yet he was still there. A thought occurred to her quite suddenly then: was he... really human? Finally, as the moon began to slip down the sky, an ivory tower, half-submerged in the sea, revealed its presence on the horizon. It glowed in the light of the moon. “Gods above,” Marcellus whispered. “I never even knew this was here.” “That’s the point,” she grumbled. “Do you know what this is?” she could hear him grinning. “I simply took up habitation here. I have no knowledge of its past.” “I could be wrong,” he admitted, “but it looks for all the world like a piece of Lemurian architecture.” “What is this... Lemurian?” she asked, something she couldn’t quite describe growing inside of her. She really wanted to know. What was that feeling called? Marcellus paid no heed to her changing mood and immediately began to speak. “It’s the continent that sank under the waves, of which Atlantis was its biggest city. This could have very well been some sort of astral observatory, considering how high up it must have been.” “Like on top of a mountain?” “Exactly.” Within another minute, she had touched down under its rounded top, through a rather large hole in the side. Under the dome, the sounds of the sea were oddly muted. She could see just fine in the darkness, but Marcellus was struggling a little. Oddly not as much as any of the other humans who had still been alive by the time she’d brought them here. He didn’t seem entirely in the dark, but nonetheless he had to squint. Reaching into his pack, he pulled out a torch, then held it up to her. “Would you be so kind?” He bowed slightly. She sighed, but took a deep breath and set the torch alight. Marcellus searched around for a moment, before finding an unoccupied sconce in the wall. This—somehow—seemed to be all the light he needed. “Wow,” he said, looking around now at the massive piles of treasure that crowded the dome. Gold and silver sat in piles, heaps even, glittering against the dim torch light. Swords and other weapons were thrown haphazardly atop and buried within the depths. “May I?” he asked, taking a step towards a particularly impressive sword. She waved her tail in consent, seeing as he was practically itching to get his hands on her hoard. Strangely, he ignored the jewels and the gold entirely, focusing exclusively on the weapons and other artifacts. “How did you possibly acquire all of this?” Marcellus wondered out loud. “The weapons and gold are mostly from travelers I have eaten,” she grinned. “The rest came from the tower itself.” Watching with curiosity, she scoffed as Marcellus systematically went through all of the interesting pieces and spread them out on the ground. Her stomach growled, but she was transfixed on what he was doing. After some time had passed, he stood and admired his handiwork. “What have you done, human?” “I’ve sorted it,” he beamed. “Everything was all in disarray. Look:” he added, as she still seemed confused. “I’m not expert, but I am familiar with a lot of design conventions.” She was surprised to find herself mostly keeping up with him. “These ones over here seem Greek to me,” he pointed to a small collection of spears and the like. “Over here are obviously Roman implements,” next to a large pile of weapons and general belongings. “I presume these are most of the things you’ve taken from travelers.” To be honest, she hadn’t often paid much attention to the things she’d collected, but they did look familiar, so she nodded. She was starting to wish she had. “There’s some Carthaginian and Persian things mixed in here from foreign travelers I assume, but these things...” he motioned to a final, decent-sized pile. “These things don’t quite match up to any empire I’ve seen. There’s some vague similarities to Celtic designs, see?” he grabbed an axe and pointed out the knotting, twisted vine on its hilt. “But is simply shouldn’t be possible for the Celts to create a design so complicated. You’d need highly advanced machinery... or magic.” She froze upon hearing that. Something, a single image, passed through her mind. Someone, a long time ago, with fire coming from their hand. She felt the heat on her scales, each arched out of her body in fear. “Are you... alright?” Marcellus looked concerned. “I...” her voice came out hoarse. “I would like to know more about this Atlantis.” He just laughed. “So would I. But, I think maybe we could help each other.” “Me?” she scoffed. “Work with a human? You do realize I’ve been contemplating how best to eat you this entire time?” “But you haven’t.” He gazed up at her. “And how do you know I’m human?” ~~ o ~~ Aurum opened her eyes slowly, gradually becoming aware of her current, fragile human form and lack of wings. She’d been dreaming of flying nearly every day for, well, months. Part of her missed it, she admitted, the thoughtlessness, the freedom. But she had made her choices, and certainly didn’t regret them. She’d never been quite able to answer all of her questions, but she and Marcell were getting closer by the day. When she tried to stand, she got the human legs a little tangled and fell on her face. A second later, Servus peaked through the door, almost looking concerned. It had been bizarrely uncanny the last few months, ever since Adelaide’s. “Okay?” he asked. “Yes, Servus, I’m fine,” she smiled, picking herself up. “Just had a tumble, that’s all.” He nodded, and made to leave, but Aurum stopped him with a word. “Servus,” she began. “Do you ever... remember anything? From before we met?” After a pause, he shook his head. “Would you like to?” This time there was an even longer silence. More than anything he looked confused, as if he couldn’t think of the right word. “You don’t know?” she offered. He looked up at her, and nodded. “Well, I suppose you won’t really know until you try. But I think, Servus, if we’re going to figure all of this out, we’re going to need some help...”

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