- #1 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Bound Fey
- #2 Co-Writing With AI Dungeon: Lore and the Trip to Market
- #3 Co-Writing With AI Dungeon: Lore and the Great Palace
- #4 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Lady with White Eyes
- #5 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Wizard’s Familiar
- #6 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Palace Crypt
- #7 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Restrained Demon
- #8 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Library Chase
- #9 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Library Vault
- #10 FINALE Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Court Wizard
- #1 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Nero and the Black Wolf (New Story!)
- #2 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Nero and the Black Wolf
- #3 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Nero and the Black Wolf
- #1 Co-Writing with NovelAI: Amuin and the Dragon Kingdoms (New Story!)
- #2 Co-Writing with NovelAI: Amuin and the Dragon Kingdoms
- #3 Co-Writing with NovelAI: Amuin and the Dragon Kingdoms
- #4 Co-Writing with NovelAI: Amuin and the Dragon Kingdoms
- #5 Co-Writing with NovelAI: Amuin and the Dragon Kingdoms
- #6 Co-Writing with NovelAI: Amuin and the Dragon Kingdoms
- #7 Co-Writing with NovelAI: Amuin and the Dragon Kingdoms (Finale!)
- #1 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: The Palace Not-Cat (New Story!)
- #2 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: The Palace Not-Cat
Tansy gasps. She backs away, turning to run. “Get away from it! Don’t let its magic touch you!” she yells. She rushes past them, ears flat against her head.
Amuin doesn’t watch her go still drawn to Hali’s eyes.
A moment later, their gizzard fill with fire.
Amuin tries to repress the flame building in their chest but cannot, and before they can so much as turn away, they belch out a torrent of flame which strikes Hali in a ferociously hot blast.
The statue is instantly engulfed in flames. It’s not only the statue that burns, however, for a fireball blasts out of the grove, sending up columns of smoke and debris, scattering the trees. Amuin spreads their wings to fly, panicked by whatever is happening.
As they take off into the air, the black stone of Hali’s statue body begins to crack and melt, fissures of heat and steam breaking out across its surface. Amuin barely spares them a glance, instead gaining height and looking for whatever had sent the second fireball. The idea of a hostile dragon in these parts terrifies Amuin.
However, there is only Hali, melting and steaming. The trees rustle; the ground shakes. The melted remains of Hali explode, sending liquid rock flying in all directions. And from the spot, a fire-red bird of liquid rock flies up into the air.
Hali, now resembling a phoenix more than ever, laughs at Amuin. “Thank you for your fire, dragon,” they say. They spread their massive wings and soar upwards, towards the island’s peak.
Amuin watches, wide eyed. They feel terribly drained; the blast of fire burned up almost all of their stored sunlight. But worse, they feel used. Just like everyone else, Hali only cares about what Amuin can do for them. Amuin doesn’t know how, but they stole that fire from them.
They don’t know what it means that Hali is now a free creature and not a statue, but they are terribly, terribly tired. They land back down in the clearing, still smouldering from the fire, and try to find Tansy. When they don’t see her, they assume she’s run away.
They are alone. The only noise comes from the grove. Amuin decide to explore through the trees, hoping to find something to eat or drink. As they pass a large boulder, however, their gizzard tingles, and they realise someone is watching them. They freeze; there isn’t much cover here, so whoever it is must be behind one of the boulders.
There is a rustling as whatever it is approaches, but they are cautious. There could be more people on this island after all. “Hello?” Amuin calls out softly.
“Oh, thank the skies!” Tansy exclaims. She gives Amuin a relieved look. “You scared me for a moment. I thought you were that cursed statue.” Her expression hardens to annoyance. “I told you to run , but you didn’t. I heard an explosion … what happened?”
Amuin tries to explain their encounter with Hali, who has been restored by phoenix magic and flies above them. They say nothing of how Hali’s golden eyes had seemed to suck the sunlight out of them.
“You freed it?” Tansy takes a half-step back, looking horrified. “Do you know how dangerous that statue was when it was trapped? Somehow it would hunt me around the island, trying to catch me in its spell. And now it can fly?” Tansy shakes her head, ears flapping. Her tail curls around her leg protectively. “I knew you were bad news.”
Amuin’s feathers ripple. This is not going at all according to plan. They were supposed to have a nice visit, get some food and leave. A break from the dangers and politics of the villages. But now, they feel like they’ve just done something wrong. “We’ll find somewhere else to stay,” Amuin says weakly.
“No, we won’t,” Tansy snaps. She turns on her heel and marches off towards the beach.
Amuin scrambles to catch up, bounding after her in a few quick leaps. “I’m really sorry,” they say. “I didn’t mean to do it. And I didn’t know Hali was bad. But I really can take you somewhere else, if you want. Once I rest and refill my gizzard.”
Tansy throws Amuin an irritated look, but she can’t outpace Amuin’s long stride. Amuin hunkers down and lowers their feather-tufted ears, looking as sorry as possible.
Tansy sighs. “This island was perfect, you know,” she tells them. “Apart from the cursed statue, it was paradise. And at least it kept visitors away.”
Amuin nods along, although Tansy probably doesn’t see. They aren’t sure what to say so they go quiet again. Tansy looks behind her.
“I should warn you,” she says. She rubs the side of her muzzle in irritation. “I am not a happy traveller.”
Amuin perks up at this. “So you’ll come with me? Well, that’s fine! I will be happy enough for both of us.”
Tansy shakes her head, making a muttered sound of disgust.
She shows Amuin to a shaded rock where she takes shelter for the night, but Amuin climbs up and curls atop the rock instead, hoping to catch what sunlight they can when the morning sun rises. Their dreams are full of fire and black rock, and a pair of burning golden eyes.
The next day Tansy seems in a better mood. She doesn’t have much to say, however, which makes Amuin nervous. Amuin browses the shrubs and ferns in the area for breakfast. Nearly everything here has a slightly bitter taste, but they don’t mind. They eat their fill and rejoin Tansy when they’re done.
Tansy finishes wrapping up little pouches of berries and dried meat and puts them in her pack. She looks up as Amuin approaches. “You’ve been looking at me strangely,” she says accusingly.
“Sorry,” Amuin mumbles. They back away from Tansy. It wasn’t her fault, but they feel terrible.
“Well, no need to cringe and cower about it,” Tansy says irritably. “You accidentally set a cursed being loose on my home. It’s done. Can we go now?”
Amuin nods. They crouch down and lower their wings, making it easier for Tansy to climb on. Tansy clambers up Amuin’s tail onto their back; they take off into the air without saying another word.
Tansy doesn’t speak until they reach the ocean. “So where are you taking me?” she asks. “It had better not be a village.”
Amuin shakes their head. “We’ll find somewhere else. I, uh, didn’t have a great experience with villages either.”
Tansy harrumphs, but seems satisfied by this.
Before long, they see what Amuin meant. Just across the water is a dark island that looks like nothing more than an outcropping of rock, except for one thing: at the tip, there are three large towers. Their black stone surfaces glint in the morning sun, and Amuin can tell it’s not natural rock.
“Are those… dragon sanctuaries?” Amuin wonders aloud.
Tansy frowns. “I don’t know what that is,” she says “but I have no interest in meeting any more dragons. One has been plenty.”
Amuin glances back at her. “Thank you!” they say, touched to be Tansy’s favourite dragon.
“I didn’t mean … bah.”
“Dragon sanctuaries are a thing my parents told me about,” Amuin says. “But these ones are weirdly dark. There should be fires lit on top of the towers.”
“Maybe they’re empty?” Tansy suggests.
Amuin flaps their wings thoughtfully. “They could be abandoned,” they muse. They think back on what their parents told them about dragon sanctuaries. Dragon sanctuaries are always located near some sort of power source, so it makes sense they’d be built close to water or other energy sources. They are used for resting between long flights, and perhaps as a place for dragons to learn new magic if they can master it. Perhaps the magic at these sanctuaries is old magic?
Amuin lands on the little bit of rock beside the towers, and Tansy slides from their back. This close up, the towers are enormous. Their glassless windows are wide and black, with no light or movement coming from inside.
“Well, let’s have a look,” Tansy says. “I’m up for anywhere there isn’t people.” She starts up the path toward the first tower.
Amuin hesitates and follows. Something doesn’t feel right about this. A shiver runs down Amuin’s tail.
The sun is still low in the sky when Amuin arrives at the first tower. It looms over them like a dark mountain.