Read The Blind Dragon Online

Authors: Peter Fane

Tags: #Fantasy, #Ficion

The Blind Dragon





The Blind Dragon


A Tale from the Canon of Tarn



Peter Fane


This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.



Copyright © 2016 by Peter Fane

All rights reserved.


Published by Silver Goat Media, LLC, Fargo, ND 58108. This publication is protected by copyright, and permission should be obtained from the publisher prior to any reproduction, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or likewise. SGM books are available at discounts, regardless of quantity, for K-12 schools, non-profits, or other educational institutions. To obtain permission(s) to use material from this work, or to order in bulk, please submit a written request to Silver Goat Media, LLC, PO Box 2336, Fargo, ND 58108, or contact SGM directly at: [email protected]


This book was designed and produced by Silver Goat Media, LLC. Fargo, ND U.S.A.

SGM and the SGM goat are trademarks of Silver Goat Media, LLC.


Cover art: Kan Liu,
Truth and Honor
© 2016 SGM

Cover design: Travis Klath and Kristin Langerud © 2016 SGM

Author Photo: Tamara Weets © 2016 SGM


ISBN-10: 1-944296-02-6

ISBN-13: (Silver Goat Media) 978-1-944296-02-5


A portion of the annual proceeds from the sale of this book is donated to the Longspur Prairie Fund.


Peter Fane is on Facebook and Twitter. Let's talk dragons!










This story is for Anna –

sister, friend, dragon rider.










," Master Khondus growled. "This isn't right."

Anna Dyer stopped in her tracks and looked over her shoulder.

"Shall I wait, sir?" she asked.

Anna held a covered basket in front of her. It was woven from silvery reed and just heavy enough to make her lean back against its weight.

"No." Master Khondus scratched at his grey stubble. "No waiting. Maybe I'm mistaken."

Anna nodded, but she was confused.


When it came to dragons, the Master didn't make "mistakes."



the lower stables' largest birthing stall, on the western side of the High Keep. The stall was warm and smelled of straw, dragons, and blood. Two flickering lanterns, hung from wrought hooks on either side of the door, lit the scene with warm, orange light. Straw lay knee-deep across the flagstones, glimmering like spun gold. Somewhere above them, on one of the Keep's ancient ramparts, a massive chain clattered, a flight ramp thundered open, and a dragon leapt roaring to the sky.

Anna started to ask another question, then thought better of it. She was fourteen years old. She'd worked in the lower stables since she was nine. And she'd assisted with over a dozen birthings. She knew what she was doing.
At least she thought she did.
She most certainly knew that the Master of Dragons didn't suffer fools. So she leaned her basket against her hip, hitched up her leather apron, and continued through the straw to Nightlove and her newborn dragon foal.

Nightlove was a big dragon, their finest broodmare. Her scales were ghostly white. From nose to tail, she measured over forty paces long and barely fit the birthing stall's length. She lay in the golden straw, her huge white wings folded flat against her sides, her long tail curled back at the stall's corner. Even under the lanterns' glow, her scales seemed to make their own light; she shone like the moon.

Nightlove's dragon foal lay by her hips, still covered in its bloody birth skin. It was barely moving, but it seemed fine. Its birth skin was completely intact, its limbs looked well, and it was a good size, about the size of a smallish horse, if you didn't count its long, serpentine tail. Not Nightlove's largest foal—not by a stretch—but hardly a runt, either.

Anna frowned and smoothed a lock of dark hair behind her ear. The foal had been late in coming, and the Master had been worried about that. But there hadn't been much birth blood. And that was usually a good sign.

So what's wrong?

What did the Master see?

Anna knelt in the straw, set her basket beside her, and put her hand on Nightlove's flank. At her touch, the big dragon gave a deep sigh. Her scales were smooth and very warm, almost hot to the touch.

Anna waited a moment to be sure Nightlove was comfortable with her presence. Then she took the cover off her basket, turned to the foal, and began removing its birth skin, starting with the foal's snout, peeling the slippery membrane away from its nose like a veil, dropping the slimy shreds into her basket. Beneath the birth skin, the foal's scales were pure white, just like its mother's. With a warm cloth, Anna wiped some blood from the foal's mouth, nostrils, and the nubs of its horns. It twitched and gave a wet snort. Its eyes were clamped shut. A silvery film glossed its eyelids and bits of gold straw stuck to its nose. Anna finished cleaning its face, then continued peeling the birth skin from the rest of its body, being especially careful not to bump its delicate facial scales or the fine hairs on its pinkish nostrils. When Anna pulled the birth skin away from its wings—wings that were surprisingly well-developed, she noticed—the foal began to murmur and coo, its white tail coiling in the straw as its crest and wings touched fresh air for the first time. It took Anna only a few more moments to finish.

"There we are," Anna whispered.

The dragon foal went still at her voice. Then it snorted and swiveled its snout towards her. Its eyes were still shut. Its tail quivered and its nostrils flared. A menacing growl rose from its chest.

"Easy there," Anna said gently. "Easy." She placed her palm on its forehead, applying calm, steady pressure between its eyes. The foal went quiet, gave a satisfied snort, and settled back against Nightlove's flank.

And then it opened its eyes. They were big, blank, and sightless. Like white, silvery moons. The baby dragon had been born blind.



her shoulder.

Master Khondus said nothing, but his eyes were dark.

"What do I do?" she looked back at the dragon foal.

The foal cocked its head at her, its big eyes wide. Then it cooed, like a question—a question posed specifically for her. Anna frowned. Like all noble-born squires of Dávanor, she'd worked with dragons since she was a child. But this was a question for which she had no answer.

Master Khondus stepped up, looked the foal over, then knelt beside Anna in the straw. He cradled the foal's white jaws in his scarred hands and looked into its face. The foal went still, staring back at the Master, unblinking, as if it could see. Master Khondus licked his thumb, wiped some of the silvery film from beneath the foal's eyes, inspecting it. Then he sniffed it, tasted it with the tip of his tongue, and frowned. He glanced under the foal's tail.

"Male." The Master shook his head. "Nightlove's getting older. And this is Voidbane's first siring in three years. Should've been more careful with them both. Great misfortune."

Anna nodded.

Nightlove gave a deep groan.

"There's a good girl." Master Khondus patted her huge side. "Good girl."

"Shall I open the window, sir?" Anna cleared her throat. "Some morning air, sir?"


Anna shut her mouth and waited.

For a long moment, the Master neither spoke nor moved. Finally, he put his hand on the foal's chest. His fingers were thick and calloused, his wrists and grey-haired arms permanently scarred by the tell-tale pattern of dragon gauntlets. His hand rose and fell with the swell of the foal's breath—up and down, up and down—the rhythm deep and strong.

Some years ago, Master Zar had told Anna a story about Master Khondus's great grandfather, the legendary Jonathan Khondus, and how that great warrior had subdued Voidbane, House Dradón's largest war dragon, with his hands and eyes alone. "No goad. No tools. No harness." Master Zar had nodded, his purple eyes sparkling. "Just knowledge, courage, and will. The reputation of Master Khondus's people is ancient—and well-earned." There was no family of Dragon Masters more respected on all Dávanor. That meant there was no family of Dragon Masters more respected in all the Kingdom. Master Khondus was more than a great captain of House Dradón; he was one of the greatest captains of the entire Realm.

Anna put her hand on the foal's chest, right next to Master Khondus's, careful to copy the Master's stance and position exactly. At her touch, the foal turned its white eyes to her, pointed its snout at her heart, and gave a wet little burp. More gold straw stuck to its snout. Anna reached to clean it off.

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