The Golden Cage

by

James Oswald

 

Although they have a reputation for terrorising remote settlements and killing people for sport, there is no reliable documented evidence of dragons ever having caused anyone intentional harm. Mander Keece’s fairy tales tell of ferocious battles fought between dragons, and of unfortunate peasant farmers caught up in the mêlée, but it is only in the later, more derivative works of fiction that dragons actually go out of their way to do men ill.

This accords well with the nature of the beasts. Few and far between, they are peaceable, gentle creatures, only their savage appearance lending credence to the tales spun around them. Dragon’s Tales by Fr Charmoise

 


 

Fate has thrown Benfro and Errol together once more, but it is far from a happy meeting. For the dragon, Errol represents all that he hates most in the world - mankind who are responsible for the death of his mother and the slaughter of the villagers he called family. He also has to contend with the ever-stronger influence of Magog, reaching out to him along the rose cord and forcing him to rebuild the collection of jewels he scattered.

Errol is beset with dreams of a far-off place, following the footsteps of his beloved Martha, but unable to reach her. She has been trapped in a great fortress, at the top of a high tower, in a cage with bars of gold. He longs to find her, to rescue her as she rescued him. But his ankles are broken, his body wrecked in King Ballah's torture chamber beyond even the healing skills he learned from his mother to repair.

Benfro has the knowledge of a dragon healer, and Errol holds the key to holding off Magog long enough for Benfro to regain his strength. Enough that the young dragon can set about finding a way to be rid of the dead mage forever.

Working together, they might just survive. Apart, they will surely perish at the hands of Inquisitor Melyn.

 


 

A downloadable file of this story will be made available soon. Please check back, or contact me for publication details.