Disclaimer: The only way I would ever own the Magnificent Seven is if I
win a rather sizable lottery. I haven't yet, darn it.
Archive: If you want it go ahead, but tell me where please.
Type: July Challenge Answer
Main Characters: Vin, Ezra and a little bit of Chris (Nathan is a bit
left out, which is too bad because I wanted to play with his character
Status: complete, but it may be the first in a series, I don't know
about that yet.
AU: Dragonlord AU, it's one of my original AU's and it's OPEN.
/.../ means mindspeech (in the last two parts)
This story is dedicated to my sister, whom the list knows as Caro_.
Happy Birthday, Caroline.
Dragonlord -Celesta SunStar
Maude was bustling around the room, chattering brightly about how much
fun Ezra was going to have at his Uncle Padrik's house. The
seven-year-old would have sighed, but knew from bitter experience that
his mother wouldn't like it. Uncle Padrik didn't like anyone, least of
all his nephew.
Then the door crashed open and two of the three uniformed guards grabbed
Maude and held her immobile.
A slim Yerrin man with blue eyes walked in with the last guard staying
beside him. Ezra smiled when he saw his friend. Vin smiled back and
turned his attention to Maude. "Lord Cassori isn't very happy that
you made him look a fool." He told her quietly. He stilled her
protests with a mild look. "However, I believe that we can come to
a reasonable agreement. Cassori is in the bounds of *his* law to have
you killed for this insult. However, I can... suggest that he accept
wergild from you, which I will provide, should you give me what I
Maude swallowed, she didn't think she had been playing with *that* much
fire, and then she recognized the formal attire of a Dragonlord.
Dragonlords were the Judges and the Peacekeepers of the Joined Lands.
They were humans born with the soul of a dragon along with their own.
When the dragonsoul woke, the humans were able to change into the body
of their dragonhalf at will... and become nearly immortal. They always
had Markings, something to distinguish them as apart from humankind.
Some had enhanced senses; others had birthmarks or physical differences,
such as extremes in height or a six-fingered hand.
Their word was law, never disobeyed... and Maude wasn't about to be the
first in millennia to discover what would happen to the person who did.
"What is it I can do for you, my Lord?" she whispered.
Vin looked at her downcast head with old eyes. "Ezra." When
she jerked in astonishment and met his eyes he held hers levelly.
"He deserves a better life than the one you are giving him."
She paled slightly but couldn't pull her eyes away. "Oh yes, I
know... He will be mine now, and you will have no claim on him, save
what he gives you, for the rest of his life." He let her go then,
and watched until she closed her eyes and gave a reluctant nod in
acceptance of his terms. He motioned to the guards and they released her
and left the room.
Vin eased her into a chair, not because he liked her, he felt pity more
than anything else, but because he knew his mother would have belted him
one for not being polite to a lady, had she still been around.
That done he walked over and knelt in front of where Ezra still sat on
the bed, from where he had been watching everything with solemn green
eyes. "Well Ez, do you want to come live with me and let me be your
father and your friend?"
"Will I ever see Mother again?"
"I don't know, Ezra. That will probably depend on you and her and
whatever is happening at the time."
"Will I like it there?"
"If not, I'll try and fix it until you do."
"And you'll never get tired of me and wish you had someone else as
a son? You'll never get rid of me?" Vin would have laughed if he
hadn't known that Ezra was perfectly serious. Instead his heart was
breaking at what the seven-year-old had lived through to have to ask. He
didn't need to know what it was; he had lived through similar.
"Once you're mine, you will *always* be mine, Ezra. Even if or when
you want to leave and see what kind of person you will be, you will
still be mine. Beyond the end of Time, Ezra... if you want to."
Vin waited as Ezra considered his words. He watched as the small boy
slipped off the bed and gave his mother a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
He held the small hand that was offered to him gently. And he stopped at
the door and looked at the woman who waited to shed her tears,
"I'll take good care of him. Dragonlord's Word."
And he left.
*** (Four years later) ***
JD staggered into the room and collapsed into an armchair. "Gods,
how much energy does that one child have?" he asked the room at
large, which consisted of Vin and JD's soultwin, Buck. "If I
weren't a Dragonlord, I'd be dead of exhaustion."
Vin smiled at the tiny Dragonlord, ever since Ezra had discovered that
JD was a former tumbler, he had pestered the smallest of the Dragonlords
to teach him all of his tricks. JD had agreed to teach him, hoping that
Ezra would get tired of the unrelenting practice. Unfortunately for him,
Ezra loved it and was in the process of running JD ragged. "He's
eleven, JD. The only time that eleven-year-olds aren't burnin' a candle
at both ends is when they're sleeping." Vin laughed when his only
response was a moan.
Buck shook his head fondly and went over to start massaging his
soultwin's shoulders. "If you want, I could take the kid, and spend
the day with the Llysanyins." Referring to the long-lived horses
that only bore their chosen Dragonlord upon their backs. The Llysanyin
herd was fond of Ezra, though he was only a truehuman, and would play
with him for hours, if not let him ride.
"That would be wonderful, Buck. I could use a day off." JD
twisted to bring a particularly sore spot to Buck's attention. "Oh,
Vin watched the interplay with a fond smile, and a touch of sad envy. He
was centuries older than both of them and had yet to find his own
soultwin. The person that would complete him. Unquestioning acceptance
and undying love. He turned away from Buck and JD, looking out into the
mountains and valleys that surrounded Dragonskeep. The pairing was
always true, even if sex wasn't a part of the bond. He smiled at the
brotherly banter that sprang up behind him and knew that if either of
them were to die, the other would give himself to his dragonhalf and go
to meet his twin on the other side of death.
Vin stretched his senses and smiled when he located the boy he
considered his younger brother more than his adopted son. Ezra was in
the East wing of the Keep, asking Nathan about Healer's Lore. Ezra
wasn't his soultwin, even if they had recognized a kinship between
themselves at their first meeting. Ezra didn't fill the empty place in
his heart, and Vin wasn't a fool to try to use Ezra as a replacement for
the soultwin that had yet to come. But the friendship and love they felt
for each other would help keep Vin whole while he continued to search
for his soultwin.
*** (One year later) ***
"Do you think that Ezra might be a Dragonlord, Vin?"
"I don't know 'Siah," Vin looked over at the older Dragonlord
who had taken it upon himself to further Ezra's education. "It's
possible, but I've brought him before the Elders and not even Morlan the
Seer could tell if he was Dragonlord or truehuman. A knack for learning
and a possible Marking doesn't always signal that the person with both
is a Dragonlord."
"Morlan couldn't tell?" Josiah was astonished. "But he's
the greatest of the Elder Dragons. And even if the Elders can't always
sense when a dragonsoul is born anymore, they can tell when the person
is in front of them."
"Don't you think I know that?"
Josiah could detect a faint trace of frustration in the former
mercenary's voice, and decided to subtly redirect the conversation.
"What possible Marking have you noticed Vin? I haven't seen
Vin knew what Josiah was doing and let himself be sidetracked.
"It's not exactly like yours, Josiah." He nodded to Josiah's
left leg, which was about an inch shorter than the other, which gave him
a noticeable limp when he walked. "And not like mine, seeing and
hearing better than most people." He thought for a second, trying
to order his thoughts. "It's his eyes Josiah, in the right
situation, the right light they seem to reflect light the same way a
cat's would. And seeing better doesn't help me to see in the dark the
way he can."
"Does Ezra know?"
"He knows that there is a chance that he might be a Dragonlord. We
talked about it the other day... neither of us really knows how we feel
about it. Sometimes he's too grown up for his own good Josiah, he came
in earlier, said he'd been thinking about it. Told me that as long as he
wasn't a Dragonlord, well he wasn't a Dragonlord; and if he was, we'd
know how we felt when the time came." He was quiet for a bit, then
chuckled. "Then he hugged me and left to play a practical joke on
Vin's knowing smile had Josiah roaring with laughter as a familiar
enraged bellow echoed around the Keep.
*** (Three years later) ***
"I have to do this Vin. You know I do." The fifteen-year-old
spoke without turning around, knowing that his dearest friend and mentor
had entered the room.
"I know you do Ezra." Vin echoed. "I just wish you didn't
have to leave to do it."
"I wish I didn't have to leave either." The boy turned and sat
on the bed. "This has been my home and people here my family for
the past six years. I don't want another home or another family, but I
can't be here now."
"I just wish you didn't have to go alone. There are always dangers
in the Joined Lands. The natural ones as well as those presented by
"Which you have prepared me to handle for the past six years. Vin
I'm not helpless. JD and Buck taught me a trade, such as it is. The
tumbling, juggling, and conjuring can easily fit with the things Maude
taught me before I left. Josiah taught me about languages and history
and people. Nathan taught me how to use the natural world. And you
taught me how to use all of that to defend myself."
Vin couldn't think of anything to say that would sound right, so he
didn't say anything at all.
"And besides the fact that I feel the need to do something with my
life, the Elders don't know whether I'm to be a Dragonlord or not. The
presence of so many Dragonlords, especially during a Change can provoke
an early Change for a Dragonlord who isn't ready for it yet. And the
Dragonlords Changed early frequently go mad. Neither of us wants that. I
know the warning signs for the initial Change, I'll stay away until I
Change, or for long enough to know I won't."
Vin enfolded the young man in a hard hug that was returned instantly.
"You be sure to let us know how you're doing."
"Of course," Ezra stepped away and caught up his pack and
saddlebags, since one of the Llysanyin herd had insisted on going with
him. He turned at the door for a final word of parting. "You've
been my father, my brother, and my friend Vin, that will never
"Forever, Ezra, till forever and beyond." Their eyes held for
a moment and Ezra left.
It was a long time before Vin did the same.
*** (Five years later) ***
/There's a new Dragon coming in!/ The mind call went out to all of the
Dragonlords who started to gather to welcome their newest member.
It wasn't Ezra; Vin knew it immediately. The mind was male. The gathered
Dragonlords could tell that much, but not much more, he seemed to be a
rather guarded individual.
The great black dragon glided in and landed more or less gracefully. Vin
nodded to himself, a great deal of a Dragonlord's abilities was more or
less instinctual... a couple had to be practiced a little bit. The
dragon dissolved into red mist and formed again into a tall, slim blond
dressed in black.
Vin knew immediately who it was, and strode forward to meet him even as
the Lady drew breath to welcome him to Dragonskeep.
/Soultwin... we have found each other at last./ They gripped forearms
for a moment, then Vin drew him closer for a short, hard hug. After a
quick request to the Lady, who sighed and agreed that they could do a
formal introduction later, Vin steered his soultwin away into the south
wing of the Keep. His close friends followed them to his apartments,
Nathan detouring to pick up some meat, cheese, bread, and wine for them
to eat while they talked.
"So, what's your name?"
He got a smile in response, "Chris Matheson, no..." he
corrected himself, "It's Larabee now, right?" Vin smiled in
Vin and Chris were alone now; it had been a long day and Nathan had
nearly shoved the other three Dragonlords out of the room in response to
Vin's growing snappishness. They were quiet, letting the bond grow
between them. Vin couldn't help but wish that Ezra was there, his
adopted son knew how long Vin had waited to find Chris...
"I met him." The quiet words were startling.
"You did? When?"
"Before I Changed, he helped me through it the first time."
The newest Dragonlord shuddered and fingered a scar on the inside of his
wrist, "I thought I was going crazy. I probably would have killed
myself if he hadn't been there. I tried to... but he stopped me, thank
the gods. When I met him we were friends. It was just that simple. I
knew I could trust him with my life. We traveled together for about a
year before I Changed, and he sent me here. It was hard to think of him
as five years younger than I."
"An old soul, our Ezra." Vin replied with a fond smile on his
"I'll miss him until he comes back here again. He sends his
/He'll be back soon./
*** (Four years later) ***
Chris and Vin had escaped to one of the quiet valleys that surrounded
Dragonskeep. Sometimes there were just too many people around for the
two to be comfortable. It was beautiful and one of the places Ezra
particularly loved. Both Vin and Chris missed him desperately. Vin was
telling Chris about the first time he had brought Ezra there when a mind
voice interrupted the story.
/I take it you both missed me then?/
/Well who else would I be?/
Vin saw him first, and pointed out the small, dark colored dragon to his
soultwin. As Ezra winged past them to land in the small clearing, he
passed through one of the rays of sunshine piercing the cloudy day. Each
of his scales shone with varying hues of sapphire, emerald, and ruby.
Very different from Chris' solid, imposing black or Vin's dark,
/That's just like him,/ Vin mused to Chris /he can blend in just about
anywhere, but once someone actually sees what he's like, he stands out
'cause of his multifaceted personality./
Chris groaned, shaking his head.
/Vin, even JD would acknowledge that pun as a bad one. But I do thank
you for the compliment./ Ezra coalesced out of the red mist and was
immediately engulfed in a double hug. /I missed you Vin, I missed you
both. I didn't even realize how much until now./
They held on a moment longer, then Vin drew back to get a good look at
the man he hadn't seen for more than nine years.
He saw red.
Chris chuckled, "A bard, Ezra?" Ezra blushed a bit and
self-consciously adjusted the red cloak until it hung straight.
"Well, it seemed to fit. I rather like being a bard in fact."
Vin ruffled Ezra's hair and grinned approvingly, "It looks good on
"Thank you." Vin felt his soul warm when Ezra gave him one of
his mischievous smiles, and blinked in shock when he realized that Ezra
was as much a part of his soul as Chris was. Then he felt the echoed
shock and amazement as both of them also realized what had happened.
Then slowly, there was the acceptance of their triple bond and a ghostly
echo link to JD and Buck, and Nathan and Josiah.
/No wonder I didn't feel you as a soultwin, Ez. Chris was missing. And
we were both missing you./ Vin told them.
/Now we're complete./ Chris added.
/And we will be forever, beyond the end of time./
The Dragonlords are near immortal, they age very slowly until they tire
of life and let their own personality fade away. Their dragonhalf then
becomes a truedragon, which I have refered to as the Elders.
After a Dragonlord's first Change, he or she takes their dragonhalf's
name as their last name. The name of Vin's dragonhalf would be Tanner.
The Guys, their Markings and their Dragonforms
Nathan - has a white stripe through his hair. His Dragonform is an
elegant zebra pattern in burnt orange and orange-red, (I don't know why
it's like that, but I think that it would be really pretty.) Nathan is
also a Healer, they denote rank by the complexity of the vine tattoos on
Josiah - his left leg is shorter that the other, giving him a noticable
limp. His Dragonform is red, which makes him a very impressive sight.
JD - is about the size of a ten- or twelve-year-old. He is not a midget,
he just didn't grow beyond that size. His Dragonform is bronze.
Buck - has a six-fingered hand. His Dragonform is a very bold blue.
Chris - his Marking is his speed, he sometimes has to consciously slow
himself down to interact with truehumans. His Dragonform is a soild,
impressive black, like onyx.
Vin - has a very sharp sense of sight and hearing, even for Dragonlords.
It's gotten him in trouble a couple times. His Dragonform is a dark
Ezra - has eye like a cat's and can see in the dark. His Dragonform is
jewel-toned. (Biased? Me? Of course I am.)