On a tropical island, deep in the twisting jungle, coiled in a cool, dark, secluded cave, Richter slept,
nestled in a bed of fine silks and furs he'd salvaged from various wrecks and abandoned ruins over the decades (though many pelts were from animals he'd hunted himself).
His tail flicked idly, as he turned over, in a brief moment of semi-consciousness as he was caught up in a dream.
He absently scratched his hip, his sharp claws doing a fine job of dislodging pesky loose scales and flaking skin where the last bit of his recent molt was sloughing off.
Shedding always made him restless. He reflexively flicked his wing when a fly landed upon it, shooing the insect away. All in all, it was a peaceful, lazy morning for a dragon like himself.
That is, until something new stumbled into his territory.
His first warning was a faint whiff he caught on a breeze, a faint odor that he hardly noticed, and, if he even did, shrugged it off as a part of his dream.
His second was the uproar of animals, calling to each other as something passed through their part of the rainforest.
And his final warning, the one that finally coaxed him to open his eyes, was the crunching of the underbrush outside his cave. What he saw when he awoke sent a chill through his entire body.
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