Chapter 1: Thief in the City of Wyverns!

Chapter 1: Thief in the City of Wyverns!

A Chapter by E.H Kessler

The frisky brawler Via travels to a new city with her lizard teacher Lazarus. When night falls, trouble starts in the City of Aromelia!


“Hurry back! We’re already short on time!” a man's voice shouted out to his companion.


A girl with a messy bun dashed from the road, rushing down the steep hill towards the lake. Her armor sang a melody of shuttering and clanking that followed the tempo of her pace. Her steps stuttered as she reached the edge of the water. Kneeling on one knee, she filled the empty water jug. Quickly, she took large swigs of the water before needing to gasp for air. She started to fill the jug again, but this time, something out of the corner of her eye caught her attention.

She zipped her head to her right and saw a tiger-sized ferret looking equally confused at her.  Immediately after making eye contact, the ferret hissed, showing its fangs. Startled, the girl staggered back and shrieked.


“Everything alright, Via?” The man in the wagon asked.


“Ah! Its nothing! No need to-ugh, worry master!” Via called back.


The monster ferret had constricted Via. She couldn’t seem to break from its hold. Instead, Via threw her weight towards the shallow waters. The ferret immediately released Via and jumped out of the water. The combatants now stared each other down. The ferret holding the dry grasslands, while Via held the shallow waters. Her claws now exposed, and the few scales on her face now multiply in preparation for battle. She exposed her fangs to the ferret, letting out a hiss. The intimidation tactic didn’t work, and the ferret only hissed back, making Via jump slightly.


Their eyes locked and the goal was simple: get to the top of the hill and leave without getting caught and eaten.


“Get ready, my furry friend, you are about to be bedazzled,” Via said with a grin.


Via splashed water at the ferret, making it jolt back in fear. After she sprung to her right. The beast composed itself and leaped in her direction. Prepared for the assault, she quickly rolled towards the ferret, avoiding the tackle. While the ferret turned around to meet Via, she had already gotten back to her feet and was able to give a mean scratch to the ferret’s face, temporarily stunning the ferret with the surprise attack. She crawled back up the steep hill, fighting against the intense weight of her heavy armor.


“What’s taking so long?” Her master said as he appeared over the hill.


Upon seeing the situation, her master quickly fell to his knees and reached out his hand to her, “Oh! I see!”


Just as she got closer to his reach, the ferret had bit down Via’s right boot. She yelped out in shock and pain.


Her master reached out his arm, “Uspava-vrati!”, Light blue-ringed circles were gently beamed from the master’s scaly hand towards the ferret. Instantly, the ferret passed out, releasing its bite on Via’s leg. Her master used both hands to pull Via back to her feet. Her armor now covered in mud.


“Oh, we got to get you clean bef-”


“Thank you, Lazarus! That was one handy spell!” Via interrupted, jumping into a hug for her savior.


“Yeah, I only use it when my back pain gets unbearable,” Lazarus said as he hugged Via back. She must have hugged a little too hard as Lazarus winced, “my back…”


She released him from her hold, “C’mon, we got a customer to meet!” she hopped back to the wagon. Lazarus followed, brushing off the slick mud on his armor that transferred over.


The bumpy gravel road made the two travelers feel sick to their stomachs. The two sat next to each other in the back of a cramped wagon. The sun beat down on Lazarus’ green scaly skin. His red feathers around his face glowed fiery orange when ignited in the sun. Via’s brown skin glistened in the Sun. Her curls turned fuzzy from the humidity. She tried drinking from the water jug she had filled only an hour ago, but it had run empty.


“Uuuuh…” Via gagged, “I don’t know how much longer I can take it,” She held her stomach tightly.


“We have to almost be there by now,” The Lazarus said.


The wagon came to a stop. Some of the cargo slammed into the passengers, causing disgruntlement.


The driver turned his head and called out, “This is your stop!”


The two travelers slowly made their way out of the vehicle, still feeling some discomfort. Slamming into the ground with both feet, Via had almost lost balance under all the weight of the gear she was carrying. They each carried a backpack full of supplies such as stale bread, canned salmon, water jugs, and healing elixirs. On top of that, the girl was dawning heavy gray and red iron armor. In contrast, her companion wore a hooded poncho over light leather armor. His face was mostly covered in shadow by his hood, but his snout stuck out, still basking in the sun.


Lazarus walked to the front of the wagon, “Thank you for your service,”


The driver rode along the rumbly road.


“So, what kind of epic quest are we goin’ on today?” Via asked.


In front of the two adventurers was a beautiful city full of pillars and castles in the distance. The warm yellow glow of the setting sun beamed in from their left, gently kissing the city. Rows of hills laid between them with seas of autumn-dreading golden-green grass.


“We have a client to meet in this city, Aromelia,” Lazarus answered. The two adventurers starting walking towards the city gates.


“The person we’re meeting is a very influential man, I expect you on best behavior Via,” Lazarus lightly scolded.


“Can’t say my ‘best’ behavior will be ‘good’ behavior,” Via winked while both hands pointed at Lazarus.


Lazarus sighed. Without saying anything Lazarus continued walking, with Via following close behind.


Upon reaching the entrance, the ugly tone of the city started to show its face. Decaying wooden panels, moss-grown stone, broken windows. Worst of all was the sewage that lined the sides of the street.


“Oh! Gross!” Via held her nose.


“Ugh, the city of Aromelia, “The City of Scents”, I suppose it didn’t mean the good kind!” Lazarus commented.


As far as they could see, the only signs of life were the rats digging through the mounds of trash. There was an eerie quietness; only the sound of ruffled bags and squeaks from the rats made a sound.


“Oh! Oh! Is our client secretly-” she paused for dramatic effect “from beyond the grave!” Via wiggled her fingers at Lazarus. He chuckled lightly.


“No weirdo-” The two warriors started walking down the main street towards their destination, “the Azdajans here are a bit nocturnal. This city is home to the highest population of the wyvern people in the Commonwealth,” Lazarus explained. The Azdajan people are descendants of dragons. The wyvern gets their name from their ancestors, the wyvern dragons.


“Ooh,” Via understood, “I don’t think I ever met a Wyvern before,” Via claimed.


As the two continued their conversation, a giant puddle of water in the center of the road was coming up.


“They aren’t common in the Commonwealth,” He punned, Via fake laughed and rolled her eyes. Lazarus went around the puddle, while Via walked through it.


“They prefer to stay in their independent lands” Via jumped at the center where it was deepest. Her golden-brown boots were soaked to a dark brown.


“What do they look like?” Via asked. Her boots now squeaking with each step.


“They are shorter than most Azdajan and have purple scales” Lazarus answered, “and they usually have bags under their eyes,” he added.


“We made it,” Lazarus turned to the apartment building to his right, “our client lives on the top floor,”.


The building was much nicer than what the buildings looked like when they first entered the city. It was sturdy, cleaned, and polished.


“Wow! This building’s huge!” Via exclaimed in excitement.


They entered through the dark varnished door. The small room was lit by lightbulbs. A complex pattern of vines and flowers patterned along the walls. Via's eyes widened at the incredible sight.


“Good Morning! How may I help you?” The receptionist greeted them both.


“Good morning to you too! I am looking for a Mr. Talo?” Lazarus said.


Via rose a puzzled eyebrow towards the receptionist. He was about the height she was, and she was by no means a short woman. Via was 6’4 and still growing. The receptionist didn’t have baggy eyes either.


“He is in his room on the top floor, apartment 203,” He nodded “Mr. Talo has been expecting you, Hero of Ages!” his eyes beamed in admiration towards Lazarus.


“Thank you,” Lazarus headed towards the door right of the reception desk and straight in front of him.


Through the doors was a vertical hallway. Just as in the last room, the hallways were lit with small lightbulbs at head level. The same flower pattern continued along the walls. To the left down the hall were the stairs.


“That guy wasn’t a Wyvern, was he?” Via questioned.


“N-no, he’s Drakian like you,” Lazarus answered.

“I thought you said this city was full of Wyvern?” Via continued her investigation. They started to move up the stairs to the 4th floor.


“Well, yes, this city has a lot of wyverns-” he paused “they are mostly refugees from their homeland. The war has been taking a heavy toll there recently. A lot of families had to leave,” Lazarus admitted the hard truth.


“That was where they’re living, at the edge of town, right?” Via said solemnly.


Lazarus swallowed, “yeah”.


There was an awkward silence until they got to apartment 203. Lazarus knocked on the door firmly three times. There was a brief pause.


“Come in!” A voice called out from the door.


Lazarus twisted the doorknob and stepped in with Via following behind. The man they were meant to meet stood over by the window reading a letter in his hand. He looked up at the two heroes as they entered.


“Thank goodness you’ve come!” he started walking towards the common area, “Sit. We have much to discuss.”


The room was lavishly decorated. High walls covered by paintings. Two white cushioned chairs stared at each other from the far-side of the living room; in between them was a low rise, square table made of golden-brown oak. Behind the table, closest to the wall, was a matching white cushioned sofa that could seat three people. On the wall adjacent to the front door was an unlit fireplace. Atop the table held many items: jewels, ink, paper, a brush, a hand-held mirror, and a large book. The whole room was enlightened by the window on the far left. Via twitched her nose at the strong smell of perfume in the air; she couldn’t describe the smell herself exactly, other than, well, like perfume. Lazarus didn’t seem to mind the smell.


Lazarus and Mr. Talo sat in the chairs while Via sprawled out on the couch. Talo shot a stern look at Via. He looked across from him at Lazarus and cleared his throat right before looking down. Laz coughed out a laugh and gave a gentle jab to Via’s head. She got back up to sit, although slouched back. This was good enough in Lazarus’ book.


“So,” Lazarus started to break the tension, “what do you need, Mr. Talo?”


Mr. Talo crossed his legs, his eyebrows still slightly furrowed, “A very important item was stolen from me, a ring for my betrothed. I need you to get it back for me,” His voice raised and lowered in strings of superiority.

“Do you know who might have taken the ring?” Lazarus asked.


“Is it not obvious champion? The underworld itself edges into our world at the cities borders, it is being exchanged by hands there as we speak,” He spit at Lazarus.


Via couldn’t stand the way he spoke. She couldn’t stand his assumption that a wyvern stole his ring without evidence. She couldn’t stand the high-class life he lived while hundreds lived in the filthy edges of Aromelia. It nearly made her burst out at him, but she held back, for now, hoping she and her master would be leaving soon.


“We will start our search there then,” Lazarus leaned forward, “What does the ring look like?”


“It’s a silver ring, with a brilliant green emerald in its center, on the sides of the emerald are roses sculpted from ruby,” Mr. Talo recalled fondly.


Lazarus started to get up, as did Via and Mr. Talo.


“We will be off then,” Lazarus concluded in a friendly tone.


“I will keep my promise to reward you handsomely when you find it,” Mr. Talo remarked, not looking at Lazarus or Via but looking at the note in his hand.


Laz and Via walked out of the apartment; Via couldn’t be happier.


Night fell and the Wyvern people were buzzing. Streetlights rowed the streets. Shops, street food, and gambling filled the market streets on commerce. Via eyes glowed at the transformation of the streets.


“Wow! I can’t believe this is the same place as before!” Via face dropped, “I mean, it still stinks, but it looks pretty now!” Via exclaimed.


“We’ll have better odds of finding the ring if we split up,” Lazarus turned to Via, “Sound good to you?”

“Yes sir!” Via whizzed down the road in excitement.


“I knew you were going to say that,” Lazarus smiled.


Via tumbled down the stone brick roads. She saw many wondrous sites. A man losing all his money and an eyepatch in a betting game. A lot of vendors selling produce, although the fruits had gotten a bit old. She saw a vendor in a hood that shadowed his face. The man was selling venom and poisonous herbs. She speed-walked past him, avoiding eye contact.

 What caught her nose, was the smell of roasting meat coming from a nearby street food vendor. She walked over to the vendor.


“Don’t see much of your kind around here!” the vendor’s raspy snake voice called out while cutting up more meat. He was about 5’10, had light purple scales around his face and shoulders, and had dark bags under his eyes. Yup! He’s definitely a Wyvern. The vendor wore a white chef’s apron and headband. His sharp eyes glowed a menacing yellow. Via frowned slightly at the comment.


“Aye, I’m just pulling your strings curly head, what’ll it be, I got savory cow tongue, fall off the bone whale ribs, smoked lamb chops-“


“I’ll just have… one of everything please!” via said with a bit of drool dripping from her mouth. The man looked shocked for a moment while Via played with one of her curly locks.


“ho-ho! Let me get you your food before you eat me!” He smiled and fixed up her order.


“There you go! Your protein platter,” Via stared in awe of the mountain of delicious food made for her.


She started to dig in without mercy. Making a complete mess. The vendor started preparing more food for other customers.


“You’re not from around here are ya,” He asked.


“What gave that away?” At that moment, Via could feel the many people that were giving her looks.


“Oh,” Via’s face sank in realization. The vendor laughed. He got back to manning the grill to Via’s left.


“You’re alright outsider, most of your folks try to rush past this part o’ town durin’ the day to avoid us. I’ve even seen them make camp outside the city just to not pass through here at night!” The man sighed.


Via took the last bite of her lamb-chop, “That’s horrible!”


“Eh, it’s the way life is,” he turned back to her, “Galreg’s light! You finished already!” Via awkwardly laughed.


“Well, you better pay up, that’ll be 1,200 coins!” Via continued to awkwardly laugh.


“ugh… Let’s call it ‘first-time discount’ then?”


“That sounds good to me!” Via was cleaning her mouth with a napkin when she remembered.


“Oh, yeah! Have you seen a silver ring with an emerald and ruby roses on the side of it?” Via asked out of the blue.


The man uttered shocked for a moment, “No, doesn’t sound familiar, why?”


“I’m on a quest to find it for someone,” she answered.


“You better get up off that chair and look for it, before you get hungry again,” the man laughed.


Via chuckled.


“Hey! Stop that thief!” a shadowed figure pushed market-goers out the way as he made a mad dash down the street. With pure instinct, via got up and chased after him. The figure, knowing he’s being pursued, knocks down crates and barrels of fruits. Via slows down to the road blockade.


Via’s face quenched as she awkwardly scooted past the chaos, “Sorry, sorry”.


 She picks up speed after which, attempting to close the large gap created. The thief makes a sharp right turn into an alleyway. Via let out an oomph as she nearly missed the turn, having to lose speed again to turn back down the alleyway. The tight walls made running for via difficult. Gradually, the thief faded into the bright light at the end of the alley. That didn’t stop Via; she pushed onward towards the light. She came out the other side and saw the thief already on top of a building, she started to climb up the ladder with all her might.


Once she got on top of the building, she saw him leap to another. Her dragon blood was beginning to pump. Her breathing got heavier as her irises narrowed. As she touched down from landing on the next building, her claws sprouted out. The distance was beginning to close between her and the thief. They continued to jump from rooftop to rooftop. The thief was leading further away from the edge of town.

The thief jumped to the next rooftop. His skinnier build and lack of armor aided him in the chase. But Via still hounded him with thunder in each step. The roof had collapsed beneath via with the force of her jump. She was stuck halfway between the roof and the floor beneath. She used her upper body strength to get out of the hole. Ultimately, this caused the sinkhole to get larger. She fell to the floor beneath.

The family living inside were stunned to see her. The mother held her children close to her while under a blanket. This shocked Via. The family is not only terrified of her but also were freezing in their home that she just redecorated.


“No no no no, it's alright,” Her dragon features softened.


She started to collect the wooden rubble from the destruction she caused. By the snap of her fingers, a tiny flame was ignited over her index finger. The family was amazed by this. Via lit the bundle of wood she formed to make a fireplace over the hole in the ceiling. The family huddled around the fire.


“Thank you for your kindness,” The mother told Via.


She left the house through the front door. She scaled up to the roof of the next building over. Looking over the horizon, trying to find the thief.


“Wow, today's not my day,” she said to herself, she sat down at the edge, cupping her cheeks in her hands. The brilliant yellow lights of the inner city clashed with the blue glow of the out city behind her. Her many loose curls from her bun danced in the wind “I can fight giant ferrets, but can’t chase down a common smuggler,”


“Hey now, did you forget about me?” The familiar deep voice caused her to swish her head back. Lazarus stood behind her, holding the thief by the back of his cloak. The thief struggled desperately to be free. Via’s whole face took on a big grin.


“How did you find him!?” Via shouted as she got up from the edge.


“I was always with you, the whole way,” Lazarus said. Via’s facial expression softened, now dawning a soft smile.


His face was still hidden by his cloak.


“Let’s see who this common crook is!” Via pointed at the man.


He struggled to get out of Lazarus’ grip, but with Lazarus' strength and height leverage, his efforts made no difference. Lazarus pulled back his cloak to reveal his face. Both of their eyes lit up and mouths opened.


“No way…” Via said. The thief was a Drak.

© 2021 E.H Kessler

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Author's Note

E.H Kessler
Hope you enjoy the first chapter :P

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Added on April 13, 2021
Last Updated on April 13, 2021
Tags: fantasy, adventure, magic, dragon, action, fiction


E.H Kessler
E.H Kessler

Azdaja Azdaja

A Book by E.H Kessler