Rhaeyne's Courage---Fanfiction Exchange for Vanilia Viking

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IrishMexicanViking's picture
Joined: 12/07/2016

Howdy everyone!


This story is a commission for Vanilia Viking, who drew my razorwhip Sergei in my signature! I hope Vanilia likes her story. :)


Chapters in all the replies.



Меня зовут стойкий жук!

*cough cough*

Or not.

What's scarier than a Cossack on horseback?

A Cossack on a dragon.

(drawn for me by my amazing sister Lissafish!)

To see my characters and dragons, drawn by the amazing artists on this forum, check out my Imgur:

IrishMexicanViking's OCs

IrishMexicanViking's picture
Joined: 12/07/2016
Chapter One

Chapter One


Summer made her sick.

Not the dragon that she had to have let go a couple years before, the Monstrous Nightmare that, to this day, caused her heart to sink in painful memory as she remembered when they had parted ways. No, the actual season of summer made Rhaeyne almost physically sick.

The young woman could not stand the heat. She would rather live in eternal snow and wind, a land of complete whiteness and void of color—at least, to those who didn't understand what a winter wonderland of snow could hold. To Rhaeyne, snow was the most beautiful thing in the world, and it held far more colors than people realized. Summer, on the other hand...

Rhaeyne Thorston rolled over onto her side and groaned, staring at the water below and wishing she had the courage to jump off the ledge she was currently perched near and go for a nice swim. Fat chance of that, she thought grimly, the idea of even crawling near the edge sending shivers down her spine.

Heights and Rhaeyne didn't go together. Jumping off of things didn't go well with Rhaeyne, either. In fact, there was a lot of things that didn't go well with Rhaeyne, and it bothered her.

The dark-haired girl's mind wandered to her conversation with her little sister earlier that day, stewing over the heated words the two had exchanged.

"Please let me ride Nightsky," her sister, Nanuru, had begged. "I promise I won't go far, I mean it! Please?"

"No," Rhaeyne had told her for the billionth time, doing her best not to lose her patience as she slapped a saddle on her blue Sandwraith. "I have told you and told you and I will tell you again, until you have passed your riding examination quiz in the school, you cannot go on a solo ride. And certainly not with Nightsky, he's not exactly a child's dragon."

"I am not a child!" Nanuru protested with a pout. "Rhaeyne, I will be fourteen soon!"

"In what, eight months?" Rhaeyne countered, having glanced down at her sister skeptically. "Nanuru, I'm not doing this to annoy you. It's for your own safety. Vanilia and I both had to pass the test before we could do solo rides. Can't you wait just a little longer?"

In response, Nanuru stalked off in a huff, crossing her arms after tossing her blondish-brown hair over her shoulder. Rhaeyne had shook her head, packing some salmon for Nightsky in the bag before mounting up on him.

She had barely taken off when she heard Nanuru yell after her, "You know for a dragon rider you certainly ride close to the ground!"

Her words were not lost on Rhaeyne, nor their meaning, as she and Nightsky flew to their favorite clearing to spend a quiet afternoon reading. Rhaeyne's eyes stung at the meaning of those words, her heart sinking to her boots.

She knew what Nanuru was talking about. Rhaeyne's fear of heights, and her terror of flying high.

Rhaeyne was brought back to the present by a nudge from her dark-blue companion, Nightsky trilling as he nuzzled her hand. He flopped down next to her, his big eyes searching her brown ones.

"It's alright, Nightsky," Rhaeyne murmured, twisting a strand of her brown hair as she stared out across the ocean. "It's not our fault we can't fly high like the rest of them."

Almost as if the very mention of heights left him with a bad taste in his mouth, Nightsky growled and shook his back, sending some loose sand he'd been rolling in all over Rhaeyne.

"All right, all right, I get it," she said with a laugh, patting his scaled head. "Don't worry, here on the clearing, we don't have to worry about anyone."

No one to talk to, no one to have to worry about pleasing, and certainly no one to tease them about not being able to fly high like the rest of the dragon riders from the school. That was part of the reason Nightsky and her got along so well, like Rhaeyne, Nightsky shared the same fear of heights as she.

"Remember the day we met, Nightsky?" Rhaeyne said aloud, to no one in particular but her dragon. "I just remember how scared you were..."

And how Hiccup Haddock, the chief of the isle of Berk, had personally invited Rhaeyne to come with him to help that poor dragon caught in an old snare left by their ancestors from years before.

"This dragon has an interesting temperament," Hiccup had commented once they'd freed Nightsky, who instantly flew off against the grass, only to land a couple hundred yards away and study them suspiciously. "I don't think he likes to fly very much."

"What do you mean?" Rhaeyne had asked, her eyes meeting that of Nightsky's. "He seems to fly fine to me."

"Ah, but did you see how he hugs the ground? He's afraid." Hiccup had paused, glancing over at Rhaeyne with a quiet, observant look. "Almost as if he's afraid of flying any higher."

Rhaeyne hadn't needed anymore of an initiative than that. Once struck with the idea that even a dragon might be afraid of heights, she determined to train the Sandwraith that she hoped could perhaps fill a bit of the hole in her heart from the loss of her Monstrous Nightmare.

Nightsky did more than that for Rhaeyne. Nightsky became her best friend, her confidant, and her partner in crime.

"Rhaeyne Thorston! I have been looking everywhere for you!"

Rhaeyne froze, the familiar voice of Phlegma bringing back another portion of memories from earlier that day Except those memories included a prank she may or may not have forgotten she'd pulled...

Rhaeyne scrambled to her feet and turned to face Phelgma the Fierce, also known as the Botanist on the school grounds. Phelgma stood with her hands on her hips, lips twitching, and her broad body reminding Rhaeyne how capable Phelgma was of giving someone a good beating if she put her mind to it.

"Mind telling me why all my sheep are on top of the barn?" Phelgma demanded.

"So, uhm, there was this dare—" Rhaeyne began, but Phelgma didn't let her finish.

"Don't start," she groaned, putting a hand to her forehead and rubbing it. "I can only guess, what with your cousins and your joint antics."

Despite the situation, Rhaeyne couldn't help but smile at the reference to her very wild and equally crafty cousins, the Thorston twins. Ah, the memories those three held...

"I want those sheep off my barn, Rhaeyne," Phelgma warned, fixing a finger on the eighteen-year-old. "And soon. Don't you dare leave them up there in this heat, they'll roast!"

The mention of the heat was the last thing Rhaeyne needed to hear, as she became aware again just how miserable she was outside right now. Groaning, she nodded and signaled to Nightsky, who bounced toward her in a dog-like excitement, wagging his large reptile tail.

"We're off," Rhaeyne mumbled, mounting the Sandwraith. "Sorry about your sheep, Phelgma."

With a slight nudge of her feet, Nightsky spread his wings and took off, flying through the forest as fast as he could without hitting a single tree. They had spent many an hour practicing those maneuvers, and there was no one quite as fast as Rhaeyne and Nightsky when it came to forest riding.

She could only imagine what it would be like if the two could fly the skies like the other dragon riders. No doubt they'd be top of their class for speed and agility. That day will not come, she thought with a sigh.

No matter, that was the least of her worries at the present. She had sheep to take care of, and she was pretty sure her cousins Ruffnut and Tuffnut would be nowhere near to lend a hand.

Despite the fact is was their idea to begin with.

Rhaeyne and Nightsky had barely landed on Phelgma's farm when her sister, Vanilia, came running from nearby Silent Sven's place, her face red from the sprint in the heat.

Where's Sunshine? Rhaeyne wondered, looking for Vanilia's Monstrous Nightmare.

"Rhaeyne, thank goodness you're here, it's Sunshine!" Vanilia cried, her face flushed in what looked to be a contorted mixture of anger and fear. "She's gone!"

"Where?" Rhaeyne demanded.

"Its not just her, Rhaeyne. Nanuru is gone, too!"

The color drained from Rhaeyne's face as she put two and two together, her earlier fight with her little sister coming to mind. Nanuru is...gone?

And suddenly, her summer day just got a whole lot worse. And it wasn't because of the heat.

IrishMexicanViking's picture
Joined: 12/07/2016
Chapter Two

Chapter Two


By the time dusk had come to the isle of Berk, it was apparent to all that Nanuru had decided to try her first solo flight alone. On Sunshine.

And had not returned.

Rhaeyne, Vanilia, Mum and Dad stood in front of their little village home, Dad putting a slightly chubby hand to his eyes to peer into the setting rays of the sunset. He shook his head, brown eyes roving the sky in futile efforts. Nanuru was nowhere to be found on Berk, and no one had seen her.

She had left the island.

Rhaeyne kicked at a rock, perspiration dripping down her forehead as she fingered her brown hair. It's all my fault, she lamented. If I hadn't been so censored her...

On the other side of the coin, Rhaeyne was feeling pretty sore at her little sister. Ordinarily they got along pretty well, but the fact Nanuru had taken Sunshine on a solo flight was such a blatant disregard for the rules it made Rhaeyne mad. Rhaeyne had been very clear as to why Nanuru wasn't old enough to fly solo, and yet off she went, and on a Monstrous Nightmare, no less! They weren't exactly known for being the easiest dragons to fly.

"She's not coming back," Mum said with finality, glancing at her other two daughters with a frown that was quite clear. She had never really bought the whole "dragon rider" gig, especially since her three daughters all aspired to be so involved. "I think she may have tried for another island."

"Yes, but which?" Rhaeyne said with a sigh, turning to the house to retrieve her map. Stomping up the stairs to the small bedroom she and Vanilia shared, she searched her drawers for the map she'd copied off the one Hiccup had hung in the great hall.

Vanilia was not far behind her, coming to stand by Rhaeyne's side as the girl threw her nick-knacks every which way. "You should consider organizing more," Vanilia commented.

In response, Rhaeyne grunted and dug deeper.

"Why do you think Nanuru took off like that?" Vanilia asked.

"We argued earlier," Rhaeyne replied, at last finding her map. She spread it across the floor and flopped down, Vanilia sitting a little more gracefully beside her. "What do you think, Eruptodon island or maybe even Dragon Island?"

Vanilia wasn't about to drop the conversation, though. She gazed down intently at her younger sister, Vanilia's hazel eyes searching Rhaeyne's brown ones. "What did you argue about?"

This isn't going anywhere...

Running her fingers through her hair, Rhaeyne shrugged, propping her chin with her palm as she rested her elbows against the floor. "I told Nanuru she wasn't ready to fly solo. She's not old enough."

Vanilia snorted, the tall blonde letting a small smirk cross her face. "Like that ever stopped us when we were her age."

"Well, I just don't want her to get hurt," Rhaeyne argued. "She's smaller than we were, younger, and, and—"

"And every bit of a Thorston like the rest of us," Vanilia reminded her younger sister. Standing, she surveyed the room until her eyes rested on something in the corner of the bedroom. Rhaeyne followed her gaze and saw it as well. Rhaeyne's sword. "Toss that to me, will you?"

Rhaeyne crawled forward and grabbed the sword, throwing it behind her. Vanilia caught it with ease, swinging the blade around and testing its soundness. She eyed Rhaeyne thoughtfully, running a finger down the blade. "We're warriors, Rhaeyne. Nanuru, too."
"You mean you and Nanuru are warriors," Rhaeyne corrected, her mind in rebellious stagnation at the thought. "You especially. I, on the other hand..."

She didn't finish, they all knew the truth. Rhaeyne was fast, Rhaeyne was fierce, and Rhaeyne could tame any animal one threw across her path. What Rhaeyne was not, however, was an active fighter. Inventor, dragon trainer, animal tamer, explorer, and active prankster, but not a warrior. That was Vanilia's forte. She was the warrior every viking girl dreamed of being—tall, blonde, athletic, and a hardcore trainer. No one stood between her and her quarry, if Vanilia was on a mission, she got it done. She was sociable, too, and very popular amongst their peers. She was everything Rhaeyne was not.

And Rhaeyne knew it, too.

"You're a fighter too, Rhaeyne," Vanilia said firmly, nodding to the sword once more. "And that's our sister out there. I don't care what you think or what others say, today you're a viking warrior and you're going to help me save our sister."

"How?" Rhaeyne lamented, getting to her feet. Her eyes trailed to the sword, not relishing the idea of trying to wield it with the ease her sisters seemed to be able to. "Nanuru could be anywhere by now."

"So we're going to have to find her," Vanilia confirmed, heading for the stairs. She paused and glanced back, her lips pressed together in a frown. "Also, we're going to need Nightsky. Think he's up for a night ride?"

Rhaeyne swallowed and didn't answer, her mind becoming numb at the thought. Night...ride?

The night part wasn't the problem. Rhaeyne was afraid of complete darkness, but a starlit night sky was, well, like nothing else in the whole world. The night brought her real side out, the fearless Rhaeyne she wished she were always. Its why her dragon shared the name of her favorite time of the day, the night.

What Vanilia was suggesting wasn't just your casual midnight flight. Rhaeyne shakily followed her sister down the stairs, trying to push back the fear that Vanilia was going to make her and Nightsky do what they dreaded more than anything else.

Fly search for Nanuru.

Up high.

Please, Vanilia, no, she groaned inwardly.

Tonight was not the night to see of Nightsky had overcome his terror of heights, and she wasn't about to test herself, either.




Vanilia was able to secure her own ride once Rhaeyne finished exploding her pent up emotions and protesting an attempt to take Nightsky across the waters to other islands. With a simple but curt nod, she coaxed Gustav to let her borrow Fanghook. The boy had somewhat of a crush on the older girl, so he gave up his dragon without a fight. Instructing Rhaeyne to fly the island one more time, Vanilia took to the skies and left for Eruptodon Island, in search of the youngest Thorston girl and her dragon, Sunshine.

Rhaeyne was left feeling rather sore with herself and full of guilt, ashamed as she and Nightsky flew the island one more time in search of her sister. We'll never see anything unless we fly high, she lamented.

She knew that. Vanilia knew that. Her big sis was just trying to make her feel better about herself. Mum and Dad had gone to check once more with all the villagers to find out if anyone else had maybe seen Nanuru. Chief Hiccup appointed several of the student dragonriders to form search party and go looking for her. Only Rhaeyne flew solo, searching through the dark woods like only she and Nightsky could do in such slim starlight.

Rhaeyne cued Nightsky to land on the ledge they'd perched on earlier that afternoon, her eyes strained as she tried to see across the ocean. Somewhere out there is Nanuru, and now Vanilia. What if they need me?

A cry escaped her throat. She leapt off her dragon and threw the nearest rock she saw, into the depths below. That was her soul, she decided, as she watched the rock plummet until it hit the waters with a soft splash. Her heart was like that rock, falling, falling, falling into the waters of despair and hopelessness. "I'll never change," she murmured. She kicked another rock, ignoring Nightsky's puzzled licks of her hand. "I can't be like everyone else. I'll never be like anyone else. What is wrong with me, Nightsky?"

Nightsky, his dark blue skin blending into his surroundings, nuzzled her and cooed, like only a dragon can. He sat up on his haunches and peered down at Rhaeyne, eyeing the waters below somewhat suspiciously.

"You're afraid too," she whispered, patting his broad nose. He closed his eyes and sighed deeply. "We're both afraid. Nightsky, what are we going to do?"

Nightsky dropped to all fours, strutting over to the edge to peer down, something even Rhaeyne wouldn't do.

"Nightsky, come away from the edge," she ordered her dragon, turning to go back into the woods. "Let's go see what Mum and Dad have found."

A growl came from Nightsky's throat. Before she knew what was happening, he had caught the edge of her tunic and pulled her back, dragging her towards the edge of the cliff. "Nightsky!" she screeched, clawing to get away from him. "Nightsky, stop it!"

But he didn't. He pulled and pulled until they were at the very edge, and, despite her screaming, plummeted forward and dragged her down with him toward the water.

Rhaeyne had barely any time to react, she simply threw herself around Nightsky's neck. At the last second he spread his wings and dipped the tips in the water, flapping until he was about five feet from the surface. Rhaeyne scrambled up onto his back, cursing the day she had ever chosen this dragon as her companion. "What are you trying to do, get us killed!" she yelled into the wind.

Nightsky let out a sharp roar, picking up speed as he hugged the waters and continued going further and further away from Berk.

"Nightsky, come on, let's go home," she coaxed, patting his head and trying to cue him to turn.

Instead, he shook her hand off and flew faster, until Berk was only a small speck of land mass behind them.

Rhaeyne had no choice but to settle back on her dragon helplessly, wondering where this stroke of heroism was coming from.

One thing was for sure, though. Despite the fact they were farther than they'd ever traveled from Berk, Rhaeyne felt...peace.

True, they were far from any landmass or safety, but despite all she felt a sort of freeing feeling come upon her. Almost as if, as if...

They were leaving all of those fears, despairs and failures behind. They may not have been soaring the skies, but they had left the island.

They were on the waters.

And they were going to find Nanuru, no matter what it took.

Filled with determination, Rhaeyne leaned forward on Nightsky's back, patting the Sandwraith's blue head. "Alright, Nighty, let's give it all we got. Vanilia is searching Eruptodon Island, let's take it a step further. We're going to Dragon Island."

Nightsky let out a satisfied roar and shot out a sandy fireball, gracefully cresting the waters as they left the safety and comfort of home and traveled for the unknown.

They would not rest until they found Nanuru, or at least what happened to her.

IrishMexicanViking's picture
Joined: 12/07/2016
Chapter Three

Chapter Three

It was Rhaeyne's first time on Dragon Island.

And she didn't like it.

For one thing, the whole island was in a rather precarious position, the dormant volcano looming over the beaches as if to warn anyone that dared set foot on its land that it could go at any time. Eerie dragon calls came from all directions, and the sky seemed darker than it had been on Berk. A fog had surrounded the island, so thick it was hard to breathe. Rhaeyne had kept her face on Nightsky’s neck, while he slowly navigated the shipwrecked viking vessels and towering sea stacks, until they landed on the island itself.

It was very, very dark.

Over on the beach was a massive skeleton, a tinge of a rotting corpse smell still on it. Rhaeyne knew without an explanation what it belonged to—the red death, the dragon that caused chief Hiccup to lose his foot many years before. The dragon that would change everything for all vikings, for in fighting it the people of Berk came to realize dragons could be their allies instead of enemies.

"We owe a lot to that monster," Rhaeyne murmured, patting Nightsky when he began to growl in the dead beast's general direction. "Come on, Nightsky, let's go."

The fog swirled around them, blocking the sky above from view, only to retreat to give them glimpses of the mountain above. They had come this far, there was no turning back now.

Now to find Nanuru.

Mounting up on her Sandwraith, Rhaeyne and Nightsky flew about five feet from the ground, skimming the rocks to ascend the volcano. Don't look down, don't look down, Rhaeyne told herself.

Instead, it was Nightsky who made the bad decision to eye how far they'd gotten.

Nightsky looked down and screeched, shoving himself against the cliff edge of the volcano until he got a hold of it, letting out little dragon calls of horror.

"Nightsky!" Rhaeyne exclaimed, hugging his neck to keep from slipping from the saddle and down below. She happened to catch a glimpse of how far they'd gotten up—and at once regretted her mistake. The fog had receded to give them a nice view of the ground far, far below. "Auggghhh!"

Nightsky scrambled a little higher up, still clinging to the side in a desperate attempt to keep from falling. Rhaeyne, too, held onto the dragon's neck with all her might, her heart pounding against her chest. She couldn't think, couldn't breathe properly, she didn't know what to do but hold onto Nightsky like her life depended on it.

Which, it did, and that just made the whole situation worse.

"Snap out of it, Nightsky!" Rhaeyne cried, slipping farther and farther down the reptile's back.

Her feet were out of the stirrups, she was halfway down Nightsky's back. If he didn't get a hold of himself, she would plummet to her death and he not far behind her.

But Nightsky was in a full-blown panic attack, he wasn't thinking at all. Rhaeyne squeaked when he whipped his tail around, grabbing hold of a rock with the end to hug the side of the volcano.

Rhaeyne fell backward, catching Nightsky's tail, kicking with all she had left against the volcano to try and get some footing.

She had nothing.

He's not thinking.

How was she thinking, she wondered. She was about to hidein the worst way possible, falling, to her death off a volcano's ledge.

And yet her mind was calm, despite the fact her heart felt like it would explode. Nightsky wasn't thinking. But she was.

"Nightsky," she said quietly, and to her surprise, her dragon stopped writhing and glanced back at her. "It's okay, boy. You're going to be okay. Just think. Think hard, breathe, and act calmly."

Nightsky groaned, putting a hind leg up on a rock. His paw slipped, the rock plummeted, and Nightsky screamed again, fighting to climb up.

Rhaeyne barely managed to avoid slipping by bouncing her feet off the ledge and getting a better hold of the blue dragon's tail. "Nightsky," she said sharply. "Calm down!"

He rested his head on the rock he was gripping, groaning like only a dragon could.

"I know you're scared, and I am, too. But try to hold on, boy. Try to think. Look around you, what is the best way out of this?"

Nightsky took in a deep breath and looked up. Rhaeyne, too, eyed the edge they were stuck on, her gaze catching sight of a little ledge that looked able to hold both of them on it.

"Nightsky, see that ledge?" She nodded up with her head. "Try for that ledge!"

The dragon looked at her like she was crazy, moaning.

"I know it's higher, but if we don't try for that we're going to fall to our death. And I for one cannot fly. Come on, Nightsky," she coaxed, "at least try."

Nightsky clamped his mouth shut and focused on the edge.

Then jumped up in the air and spread his wings.

"Nightsky!" Rhaeyne screamed, his tail wrenching out of her grasp. She slammed her shoulder against a rock and bounced off, falling, falling, falling down to her death and the ground below that was so very far—

Until a scaly paw snagged her leg and ascended into the sky, inches from her hitting the ground. Rhaeyne, crying and screeching with joy all at the same time, looked up at her savior and caught her breath in shock.

Nightsky flew to the top of the volcano and set her down, panting, then knocked her to the ground to lick her face.

"Nightsky," she choked, hugging the neck of the large reptile. "Nightsky, you flew away from the ground! You flew high! You did that... for me."

Her eyes watered, she grasped the dragon in the biggest hug she could muster. In response, Nightsky licked her back since he couldn't reach her face anymore, and she laughed.

"We did it, boy, we're on the volcano." She shakily stood up, glancing around the top of the large mountain they'd managed to fly up.

She had never been so high in her life, and it was making her dizzy. But if Nightsky could fly up a volcano to save her life, she could manage a little discomfort and swallow some fear.

The fog had drifted back to the water, giving the island a quiet, walled-in feeling.

"We can see everything up here," she marveled. "Well," she said, after looking around once more, "everything that isn't dark, that is. Which, is everything."

Nightsky leaned into Rhaeyne, closing his eyes to avoid having to look down at the ground.

It was dark, too dark to make out any figures that could be a dragon and its rider. Rhaeyne felt her heart sink, a little annoyed they'd risked their lives to ascend this volcano only to not be able to see anything below them!

Except that fire on the far side of the island.

"Nightsky," Rhaeyne whispered, staring at the little orange glow. "Nightsky, do you see that?"

Her dragon opened one eye to peek across the expansion, then snorted.

"Do you think that could be Nanuru and Sunshine?"

Nightsky growled.

Caution overcame Rhaeyne. Her hand went to the hilt of her sword, having brought it along for safety. Could it be a reclusive dragon hunter? Or some other foe out there? She didn't know. She supposed that the only way she would know is if they investigated...

Which, after their flight up a volcano when both dragon and human feared heights, seemed a little less perilous. She supposed there was nothing to fear, they could handle themselves.

"We have to go back down there, Nightsky."

Nightsky screeched and buried his face against the ground, clawing his head with his paws.

"Nightsky, we have to," Rhaeyne insisted, staring at the glow. "We have to know who that is. We can do this, Nightsky. Nanuru could be out there, anywhere. It's up to us to find her. Please, Nightsky?"

The blue reptile peeked between his paws, let out a big huff of air, and slowly stood up. She mounted on his saddle and stuck her feet firmly in the stirrups, closing her eyes to breathe in. This was going to be the worst thing she had ever done in her life.

"Fly, Nightsky."

She only peeked once to see if Nightsky was actually looking where he was flying, but when she saw her dragon had closed his eyes, too, as he leapt off the volcano, she decided it was best to hidewith one's eyes closed than with them open. She squeezed them shut and screeched the whole way down, only pausing once to think about how much Ruffnut and Tuffnut would enjoy this. Good thing they're not here, she thought.

With a sudden whomp! they landed, sending Rhaeyne forward and onto Nightsky's head. The sandwraith shook around a bit, throwing Rhaeyne to the ground.

"Thanks, boy," she growled, sending him a glare.

Nightsky snorted, eyes dilated and breath coming hard.

"Sorry, I guess that was harder on you than me."

Rhaeyne stood and felt for her sword, ready to confront the person behind the fire not far away—only to find her sword was no longer with her.

She had lost it during the descent from the volcano.

"Stupid, stupid, stupid!" she moaned, doing a facepalm. Nightsky pushed her forward, wagging his tail. "Not you, Nightsky, I mean me. It's...oh never mind, I suppose we'll just have to see what's out there and plot as we go. How's your firepower?"

In response, Nightsky let out a fiery, sandy blast. Rhaeyne nodded, pleased, and tossed her long brown hair behind her shoulder.

"Let's go, boy. That fire isn't going to discover itself."

Together, dragon and girl traipsed through the sand around the island, Rhaeyne feeling a bit too shaky after their descent and Nightsky too riled to fly anymore. Two sea stacks and a cliff edge they walked around, until the fire was visible once more.

No one was in sight.

That's suspicious, Rhaeyne thought, wishing she had the weapon on hand.

Oh well, she'd have to trust Nightsky to protect her. He bristled his scales and sniffed, eyes roving for danger.

"Hello?" Rhaeyne called timidly.

In response, a dragon roared.

It sounded like a Monstrous Nightmare.

"Nanuru, Sunshine?" Rhaeyne called again, stepping fully around the corner and cautiously making her way toward the fire. "Nanuru?"

"Rhaeyne? Rhaeyne!"

"Nanuru!" Rhaeyne cried, sprinting forward toward the small figure peeking behind a rock. "Nanuru, its me!"

Out of nowhere, Sunshine came crawling sheepishly from the waters, like she had been hiding as well. Nanuru leapt over the rock and raced forward, screaming and crying all at the same time. Rhaeyne threw out her arms and caught her little sister up, giving the girl a big bear hug.

"Rhaeyne, Rhaeyne, I'm so glad you found me," Nanuru sobbed, hugging her big sister tightly. The young, dirty blonde looked up at Rhaeyne from a tear-streaked face, her muddy brown eyes searching Rhaeyne's. "I'm so sorry I disobeyed and left. I wanted to try and fly and then we got lost and Sunshine hurt her wing and I didn't know what to do, and, and—"

"Shh," Rhaeyne soothed, patting Nanuru's head. "I'm angry with you but I'm too happy to care right now. You're safe with us, Nanuru. It's going to be okay. I'm so glad you're alright. Nothing is hurt?"

Nanuru shook her head, glancing over her shoulder at Sunshine. "Sunshine can't fly, though."

"I'm sure we can fix that," Rhaeyne told her.

"Are you sure?" Nanuru asked anxiously, looking up at Rhaeyne much like a hesitant pony.

Rhaeyne laughed, a sort of strange mix of relief and happiness coming out in her chuckles. She looked back at Nightsky, who was sniffing Sunshine's brown wing to see where the injury was. "After what we've been through tonight to find you, I'm pretty sure we can handle anything."




Rhaeyne lay on her back in the cold forest, staring up at the trees in contemplation. She wasn't sure if it was cooler in the woods like she'd hoped, or if the trees were retaining the heat of the summer and smothering her. Either way, she was miserable, but there wasn't much she could do about that.

Summer was such an awful season.

Out of nowhere, the large head of a Monstrous Nightmare appeared in her immediate vision, licking her whole body. Rhaeyne squeaked in protest, shoving Sunshine's head away. "Vanilia!" she scolded, glaring at her big sister.

Vanilia laughed and dismounted from the dragon's neck, coming to flop down beside Rhaeyne and Nightsky. "That splint you set Sunshine up with did wonders for her. She's almost back to flying normal." Vanilia glanced over at Rhaeyne, her lips twitching in a small smile. "You know, I used to think because you and Nightsky couldn't fly the skies like the rest of us that you two weren't much use for anything. Boy was I ever wrong, I cannot navigate these woods without crashing into something. How do you do it, sis?"

Rhaeyne beamed, the compliment not lost on her. "Hours of practice. It's hard to avoid flying high!"

"Well if it weren't for those skills you would have never made it to Dragon Island," Vanilia remarked. The blonde sat up a little and gazed on Sunshine, her playful features relaxing into a more sober, mature look. "For that matter, you would have never found Nanuru."

"But we did, so no use fretting over it," Rhaeyne remarked, also sitting up. She patted Nightsky on the head, trying to block the memories of that night out of her mind. "You didn't come out here to tell me all of that, did you?"

Vanilia turned to Rhaeyne, her blue eyes sparkling. "No, no of course not. I just thought you should know that Chief Hiccup was talking about you today."

At the mention of their leader, Rhaeyne stiffened. "He...he was?"

"Yeah." Vanilia picked a flower, not talking for a good long while to draw out the suspense. "He used you as an example in today's lesson."

A million and one so called "examples" flashed through her mind, the final one being her failure to still fly the heights like everyone else in the dragon academy, despite the fact she and Nightsky had ascended the volcano on Dragon Island. Failure settled in her chest, she imagined the teasing she'd receive for not braving her fears and still choosing to fly low near the trees.

"Hiccup told everyone you were the perfect case of someone who conquered your fears, and how everyone should follow your example."

At this, Rhaeyne jerked her head up, staring at Vanilia like she'd gone mad. "What? But, but I didn't conquer my fears, I still fly low and—"

Vanilia held up her hand. "That's not the point, Rhaeyne. The point was, despite all, you and Nightsky chose to fly out to Dragon Island. You flew that volcano because you had to. Conquering your fears doesn't mean you don't still have them, it means that if the need arises for you to take action, you will. And that's what true heroism is."

Vanilia stood, smiling down at Rhaeyne like only an older sister can, a mixture of teases and pride with a tad of bossiness all in one. "You certainly were something out there, Rhaeyne. And don't you forget it."

And Rhaeyne wouldn't. Not in the years to come, or in the numerous adventures and perils Nightsky and her faced. For it was that day she learned that bravery wasn't reckless.

Bravery was being scared to death but flying anyway.

She patted Nightsky on the nose and leaned back in the grass. Summer was still killing her with this heat, but it seemed a lot more bearable now.

Rhaeyne closed her eyes and sighed with happiness. Nightsky lay down next to her and laid his head on her chest, cooing.

"We may never be like the others, Nightsky," Rhaeyne murmured, stroking his head, "but I think we've earned our right to be called dragonriders."



Starke Raving Madmen's picture
Starke Raving Madmen
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/03/2016

You are a talented writer! Stellar job!










Vanilia Viking's picture
Vanilia Viking
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 08/06/2014
Nightsky come here!! Look at this!!


I have no idea how to say thank you for this... Three chapter????? I think that was a huge over trade... :D :D

I love every piece of it. It's crazy accurate, and perfect. It's like I always imagined, but I couldn't put it in words. I just freaking love it!! You're super talented. Ahh... Just imagine a speech here. I'm not good at this, but THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!! :3


Welcome to my short siggy. :D

Rhaeyne and Nightsky drawn by chameishida. :)


My main dragon, Nightsky (M, Sand Wraith) drawn by ScarfyWings. :3


Story time: Rhaeyne's Courage by IrishMexicanViking. ^^


Profile picture was drawn by Fireflash. :3