Ostola: Gold Race

Ostola: Gold Race

A Chapter by Khance
"

Couldnt decide on whether or not to make the dragons he's or its... meh, its a nice chapter i think.

"

Crowds had gathered from different cities and nations to see the display, the three dragons were perched on the gigantic platforms suspended in the air. Air magi’s circled the sand area of the dome, joining their power to keep the platforms in the air. Nobody in the crowd paid this any attention, all their eyes were on the dragon riders that called to the audience. The familiar names were screamed and people cheered on their favourite Dragon Racer. Many eyes were drawn to the unoccupied platform, the fourth dragon was missing from its perch… many had checked the parchments in front of them to see who was missing from the race, and few were surprised to read the name, Rogan.

Few racers were born with natural ability, most of the riders had to gain the trust of their dragons over years and years of training, resulting in a bond between the dragon and the rider. One dragon breeder from the volcanic city of Frego became concerned with the amount of dragon wars that were waged between warring factions within the country. He decided to take a few select eggs and travel to Lameria with his wife to start breeding his own dragons in the outskirts of the town. His only son was a boy named Rogan. The defining factor between most dragon racers is their ability to understand their dragon, some learn to use hand signals or whistled to convey their message… but Rogan never learned how to do that, he had enough problems learning Lamerian. At the age of four, the breeder’s son started to speak to dragons… and after that, it became difficult for him to speak to anyone but them. It was after the success of the breeding centre that people became to get scared of the rising amount of dragons in the area. They started to complain to the city guards about it, and eventually stories started to arise about how cattle were being stolen and how the dragons were to blame. People started to make money by blaming the winged beasts for all of their petty problems. The breeder was unable to pay the bills and eventually he went bankrupt. It was then that the Ostolan Arena came to the breeder with a proposition. Selling his dragons for the entertainment of others, until he could repay his debt to society. The breeder, fearing for the future of his family accepted, but on one condition. The youngest dragon, Whiplash was not to be sold, and was allowed to be used only by the breeder and his family. The Arena honoured the arrangement and took all the dragons to Ostola. It wasn’t long before the Breeder relocated to Ostola to see what would become of his children. Rogan was the most effected by the move, and when he ascended into adulthood, he was still untrusting towards people.
In the years that they were together, Whiplash and Rogan decided to enter the newest sensation, Dragon racing. The breeder’s son earned a small salary by translating the dragons and their riders. Every dragon that ever raced in the Arena was a friend of Rogan… and it angered him to see them roped and saddled like pets. It was probably for that reason that he decided to make enough money to buy back all of the Dragons and leave the terrible city.

However, his platform stood empty. The crowd jeered and laughed, some started to chant his name before bursting into renewed laughter. Borja sat beside the Breeder and rested his hand on the man’s shoulder before he said, “Rogan told me that he wanted you to be here for this.”
Gerar looked up wearily at the platform, at all of the dragons and wondered why his son wanted to put him through this. “I’m very sorry, but I really don’t know who you are, my son rarely makes friends… so you can understand my disposition in this situation.”
Borja smiled and readjusted his spectacles. “I’m not so much a friend, more a business advisor if you can understand!”

The crowd quietened as the herald got to his feet. “Let the race Commence!” the voice boomed across the entire stadium. The dragons roared in protest as the were guided forward by the restricting braces the riders wrapped them in. Gerar winced as he heard the noise, a tear forming in his eye.
All of a sudden Borja stood up and looked directly at a man at the end of the row. “What are the odds on 1, 2, 3 and 4?”
Gerar looked to Borja with a look of disgust and contemplated leaving before he felt Borja’s hand tighten on his shoulder. Looking up, the old man saw a mischievous grin dancing on the merchant’s lips.
“2:1 on Falcon, 5:1 on Plume, 8:1 on Karas and 25:1 on Whiplash!” the man roared back over the shouts in the crowd.
Borja took a quill from his coat and scribbled something on his wrist before he shouted to the man, “Update?”
“1.5:1 on Falcon, 7:1 on Plume, 11:1 on Karas and 78:1 on Whiplash!” 
Borja looked down at the resigned breeder and grinned, “This is where the fun really begins to start, you should watch… I think you’ll smile!… UPDATE?”
The man calculated in his head by looking at the distances the dragons were flying and how far they were from the spire at the opposite end of the city. The time between the dragons looping around the spire and returning was calculated precisely by the Wagers.
“1.2:1 on Falcon, 9:1 on Plume, 14:1 on Karas and 180:1 on Whiplash!”
“One hundred gold crowns on Whiplash!!!” The merchant screamed out.
Borja raised his arm into the air and launched a jet of flame into the sky. The crowd around the merchant were alarmed at the display and the guards around the Arena gave a stern warning, but it was another display that caught everyone’s attention.
Before the flame evaporated in the sky, a black flash tore through the clouds and sliced towards the dragons ahead with ferocious speed. Borja looked down at the breeder for a moment who was sitting in shock, “What’s wrong, don’t you recognise your own son?”

Rogan squinted his eyes as he levelled his weight along the scaled spine of the dragon, his entire body was relaxed as he evaluated the air currents. Whiplash barrel-rolled to the right to avoid Karas as the black dragon spiralled towards the first relay loop. The dragon rider screamed in protest as Rogan quickly overtook him with such a stylish manoeuvre. The crowds were dumbfounded at the display and the Wager started to splutter and make excuses, but Borja was already prepared for that. “You all heard me say it loud and clear, I asked for Wager update confirmation and he screamed the odds! A reneged consent for amounts over two thousand gold crowns is an offence worth a life-time sentence!”
Gerar looked up at the bearded young man with the spectacles and wondered how Rogan could have possibly gotten mixed up with him.
It was only on the second lap of the three that the Wager stopped updating, bets were closed after the initial lap. The crowds were now looking at the dragons that passed the stadium, indicating that they had started a new circuit. Falcon was in full flight, his wings extended to their full and his rider leaning into the wind as they powered across the Arena. Plume wasn’t long to follow, his rider held on tight and seemed to be in a crouched position, his own saddle customised for his preferred method of flight. Rogan however got the most surprised screams as he passed as everyone noticed that he wore no straps or harnesses. He was flying the dragon without any safety measures… his stance was a relaxed one and the most memorable moment for the crowd when he passed was the smile on his face.
Karas darted after the black dragon, its red wings beating furiously as it tried to gain on the huge mount.

Borja took his seat and watched both the face of the Wager as well as the race in the sky. “This is why I love business, can you believe I actually thought of being a doctor?”
Gerar was completely lost for words, he was witnessing a side to his son that he had never seen before. Maybe it finally was time to let him spread his wings and let him chose his own path in life. The breeder watched the fierce battle in the sky and realised that he didn’t really know his son at all. Where had he been when Rogan learned to fly like that? “Some father I turned out to be… I lost the children I brought up and missed the chance to raise my own son by living in regret!”
Borja stopped smiling as he grabbed the man’s shoulder one last time. “You’re a better father than most get, trust me. The fact that you care and he wanted you to be here shows you that he knows how much you care!”
Gerar got to his feet and shaded his eyes with his right hand, he was able to tell by the flight pattern and the stances, that Rogan was applying all of his knowledge to winning this race. “I have to say, I don’t really like how you make your money, but I think that I can understand why he needs someone like you around him.”
Borja grinned, “Trust me, this is the initial investment, after this tactic, you’ll start to see a change in this City. I’m only ruthless when there’s a need for it.”

At the start of the third lap, there was only heartbeats separating Falcon and Whiplash. Rogan was laughing now and smiling at his opponent who was sweating profusely and screaming at his dragon to fly faster. Falcon started to feel the strain of all the straps that bound him to the rider and soon the restrictions started to take their toll on him. The crowd wondered why the black dragon had faltered in its race to the finish line. Falcon was the fastest of all the dragons, “… you also had to be the most stubborn, you know you cant race in those things… why did you try?!” Rogan screamed at the orange dragon beside his own.
The rider was alarmed when his own dragon roared back at his opponent, who merely laughed.
“I forgot you were as stubborn back then when Whiplash beat you at the lake… don’t worry, you were always stronger than Whip, just not as fast!” Rogan said with a laugh as Whiplash launched into a barrel-roll over the orange dragon. The rider screamed as he thought he was being attacked, but when he opened his eyes, what he saw amazed him. Rogan, using his legs to secure himself to his black dragon, was reaching his arms over his head to graze the neck scales of the orange dragon.
Moments later the black dragon was beating its wings on the opposite side of Falcon, thundering ahead. The crowd were on their feet at the amazing display. Arena officials watched with interest as the crowds reacted to the new rider. It was an alien thing to care for such a monstrous beast, why was the boy so fearless?

Whiplash sent a jet of pure red flame into the sky as he sliced across the final platform, indicating the end of the race. The crowd exploded into cheers as Rogan raised his hands into the air, his smile directed directly at Borja who put an arm around the Breeder and nodded. The young dragon rider cheered again at the sight of the smile on his fathers face. Whispering almost to himself, the young man said to Whiplash, “Our life can finally change now… we can go home!”
 



© 2008 Khance


Author's Note

Khance
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Great chapter! Really liked how the dragon race was done, you don't go overboard with detail and leave plenty for the imagination :) I think going with 'his' is the right choice, it gives the dragons a nice sense of identity :D
Can't wait to read more!

Posted 10 Years Ago


Haha now this is awesome! I liked the black dragon addition, and Rogan is a guy I can respect, athletic and yet grounded to the dragons, I enjoyed his go betweens with Falcon and Whiplash, that was interesting.
and yet another rapier sharp turn of events, my , my my how DO you keep them all straight? haha, jk.~P

Posted 10 Years Ago



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Added on October 27, 2008


Author

Khance
Khance

Dundalk, Ireland



About
People are reassured when they think you know what you're doing... Being honest, I make all of this up as I go along... When somebody complains, then i might stop :D more..

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Altitude Altitude

A Chapter by Khance