Prior to Arcane Solutions:

The dragon waited at the entrance of its cave, watching the shuddering of air and land as the realms melded together. “There will be much confusion.”

“Yes.” A man walked out of the darkness behind it, to stand next to one of the great beast’s clawed forefeet. “Can’t be avoided. I’ll be busy, so I need you to keep an eye on something for me.”

“Something, or someone?”

“Someone. Use your inner sight, once the Melding’s complete.” With that, the man disappeared from sight.

The dragon sighed, smoke curling from its nostrils. Moments later, it walked out of its cave as the last shudders faded and the world grew still. The dragon turned, surveying the land surrounding the cave, then glanced at the entrance and muttered a single word.

The entrance became solid ground, hiding the cave from sight. With a grunt, the dragon shook itself, unfurled its wings, and crouched to launch itself into the dark sky.

It flew towards the glow caused by thousands of lights, and soon came upon a city. With an internal flick, its eyes were able to pick out the various spots where others’ holdings had come through the Melding.

After a third circle around the city’s boundaries, the dragon noticed a small group just outside the outskirts. Their green and brown aurus marked them as shifters. The dragon folded its wings to land near them. “Your clan land didn’t come through.”

One of them, a tallish young man with dark hair and eyes, stepped forward as the others closed ranks around a young girl. “We were just establishing it.”

“Ah, well, you’ll have to begin anew.” The dragon cocked its head to one side. “I’d suggest waiting before entering the city. Let things settle.”

“I planned to.”

The dragon grunted. “It will be safer to send your young queen back to her family clan for the time being. I have something I must do, and after that, I’ll return to take her to them.”

“Thank you.” The young man inclined his head, some of the tension in his bearing dissolving. “I’ll be in your debt.”

“Yes, you will. I’ll return.” The dragon launched itself into the sky again, returning to circling the city. This time, it focused on a scattering of small golden glows, and picked out the brightest of them.

A thought decreased the dragon’s size as it folded its wings and dove, to land in the branches of a tree overlooking the source of the glow. A young, dark-haired girl lay unconscious on dry, yellow grass. The woman kneeling beside her and the man urgently speaking into a small device must be her parents.

“She passed out. I don’t know why, and we can’t wake her. Why can’t you send someone…What?” The man paused before resuming. “Then we’ll bring her in.”

He put the device away. “We’ll have to drive her. All the ambulances are out on calls. Sounds like the city’s gone crazy.”

“Okay.” The woman grabbed a nearby blanket. “Let’s go.”

They bundled the girl in the blanket before the man picked her up. The dragon leaped from tree to house top, keeping them in view, until they entered a covered vehicle. It followed by air as the vehicle wove through streets, vaguely noting the panic in various spots as vampires and other denizens from its previous realm were seen by humans.

A large, white complex of buildings proved to be the destination of those it followed. The dragon watched them carry the girl inside one of the buildings, and realized the building must be for healing.

Satisfied, the dragon turned away and flew back to the group of shifters, returning to its normal size before arriving. “She’s old enough to sense her mother, isn’t she?”

The young man nodded. “Yes.”

“Climb aboard, little queen.” While the child obeyed, the dragon assured the others it would return with the location of the other clan after delivering her.

“Fare thee wells” resounded as the dragon took to the sky once more, his small passenger holding tightly onto a neck scale.

Life had been boring for too long. The dragon looked forward to the changes and future challenges resulting from the Melding.


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