TITLE: DRAGON’S HEART
It begins with a song.
It was not a particularly cheerful tune, but neither was it melancholy. Instead the keening melody of a sailor’s whistle danced upon the wind like a bee among flowers, sure evidence the player’s mind loitered elsewhere. It merely waited, marking time until something more interesting came along.
Trevelan Keep graced a steep hilltop in the center of an island adorning the center of the bluest, most perfectly round lake in creation. Ringed around the island’s coast lay a harbor town before which ships constantly came and went, pleasure craft skimming along the surface with sails dyed raucous color combinations. The High Chieftain’s keep served as the lodestone of comfort and security for all.
The breeze carried the simple tune over a blooming meadow to the ears of a lone rider on a narrow, winding road leading from the town sheltered in Trevelan’s wake to the keep itself. He had been away much longer than intended, but returning the favor of a close friend was not a duty that could be consciously foregone. A handsome man of middle years—black of hair, green of eye, and usually appearing younger than his age—his exhaustion showed in lines about the face hewn deeper than he would like.
The music had a magical effect upon him. His head lifted, following the sound as a sunflower reaches for the sun, and his eyes, dull with fatigue, gleamed new life.