A little girl climbed up on her grandfather's knee, her face serious and ernest. "Grandpapa," she said. "Have you time for a tale?"
He smiled. "Of course, child. What tale will you have?"
The girl scrunched up her face and twirled a dark wisp of hair before her face brightened.
"Tell me of Griswaen, Grandpapa. Was she not the last of the dragons?"
"She was the last of the Malach. Or so the old tales go. And I suppose there could not have been any of the more unsavory dragons left, or they would have attacked us, once there were no Malach left to oppose them."
The girl nestled down a little more comfortably against the old man's chest, as he took a deep breath.
"Are you ready?"
"Let's see...once upon a time, during the Aels of late
harvest when the first snows had just swept over the
mountains, a dragon crawled from her egg. Ordinarily, no
one would have remembered the birth of one small
dragon. But Griswaen was different, for she was
covered in the most beautiful tiny scales anyone
had ever seen, even among the already-magnificent