Artwork by Saurian-Shade
Keeping Lisbeth on her toes is Zhain’s way of reminding her how small and vulnerable she is.
I was awakened by a loud ‘thud’ and a vibration that shook the floor beneath me. Years of training kicked in and I scrambled up to a crouched position, feeling for the blade that should be at my right, beside my pack.
My fingertips felt only a cool stone floor. Shapes came into focus in the dim light.
And then I remembered.
I wasn’t Lisbeth, captain of the guard any more. I wasn’t even Lisbeth the rogue thief any more.
I was ‘little mouse,’ the captive and plaything of an ancient dragon named Zhain.
Actually, ‘Lord Zhain,’ as he preferred that I call him.
My pack and blade were long gone. I was naked, with a heavy iron collar about my neck and a thick chain securing me to the floor of his dungeon.
‘This is what thieves deserve when they try to steal from a dragon,’ he often told me. ‘You are fortunate I choose not to just immolate you or consume you.’
Then he would pause for effect and remind me: ‘But I could change my mind at any moment.’
The noise and vibrations meant that Zhain was back from raiding or terrorizing or feasting, or wherever he went. He rarely chose to tell me where he’d been.
But now that he was back, it meant one thing: playtime.
Playtime with his ‘little mouse.’
This artwork is by my friend and collaborator Saurian-Shade
Give him a look on his DA page or other links, and he’s worthy of your subscription budget at Patreon.