Plot Summary Edit
Deep in a cave underneath the Red Mountains, a small gray hatchling begins to break free of his egg, and witnesses his two male sibings - a Red hatchling and a Copper hatchling - instinctively fighting for control of the "shelf" their eggs have been laid on. Although the Red initially has the upper hand; crippling the Copper's foreleg and next attacking the gray, the two siblings manage to kill him after the gray guts him with his egg horn and the Copper crushes his throat. The gray then forces his Copper brother off the edge of the egg shelf and devours the corpse of the Red with the two remaining siblings - females - whereupon their mother names him Auron, and lulls him to sleep with a song - briefly waking later when his father arrives.
A season passes, during which time Auron and his two sisters - Wistala and Jizara - begin to grow and start hunting for food in the area around the egg shelf, while their mother teaches them and sends them "mind-pictures" - memories telepathically passed on to them - and their father hunts food for them; on one occasion bringing back a live human to teach Auron how to hunt, and later taking Auron to see his metal hoard - a necessity for most dragons, metals are eaten by dragons to renew their scales. Auron is uninterested in metal as he lacks scales; instead his skin changes colour to match his surroundings.
Another season passes. While hunting, Auron discovers a group of dwarves heading for the egg shelf. Before he can warn his family, his Copper brother attacks him; revealing that he led them there in revenge for being abandoned after Auron forced him from the egg shelf. Auron manages to escape him and returns to the egg shelf, where his mother forces him and Wistala to escape to the surface - Jizara remains behind; refusing to let go of her mother's leg - while she remains behind to fight.
Reaching the surface of the Upper World - Auron having broken through an ice flow that barred their exit - Auron and Wistala decide to search for their father and begin heading west, hunting food along the way. After a few days, they witness their father returning with food, but he does not see them, and they watch as he continues into the egg cave. Auron and Wistala overhear him fighting the dwarves within - and also inadvertantly receive a mind-picture that identifys them as dwarves from the Wheel of Fire - and watch as he flees from the cave only to be surrounded by a group of camouflaged elves waiting outside. Auron tries and fails to warn his father - who escapes to the north; heavily wounded - which alerts the elves to his and Wistala's location. Auron quickly tells Wistala to hide while he draws the elves away, and to then seek out their father. Despite Wistala's protests, Auron races away with the elves pursuing him. However, they succeed in capturing him when he mistakenly attempts to flee into a tiny cave.
Auron wakes to find himself in a cage on one of several wagons; wearing a harness - emblazoned with a figure of a man in a circle - that prevents him from moving or attacking. The dwarves and elves behind the attack think him worthless - save for one elf; Hazeleye, who is kindly towards him - but take him to a Hypatian port on the Inland Ocean where they load him onto a ship destined for the "Isle of Ice" with two other hatchlings; a silver and a green. Auron briefly attempts to communicate with the two via mind contact, but he finds it too difficult to talk with the silver, and he doesn't understand the green.
A day into the voyage, Hazeleye talks with the captain about releasing the dragons from their cages; instead harnessing them to the wall of the hold. After she convinces him, she goes to Auron, and reveals she has a history with dragons; in her youth, her tutor Ilsebreadth led her on a journey to find NooMoahk; an ancient black dragon, who she ended up trading knowledge with. Hazeleye mentions that NooMoahk let slip "the great weakness of dragons without knowing it", which intrigues Auron; who remembers his father once telling him that dragons were dwindling in number.
The ship's armourer soon arrives and removes the hatchlings from their cages; securing them to the wall. Inspecting his work, Auron notices he may be able to escape. In the night, he uses his egg horn to unscrew the eyebolts on the wall, but is interrupted by Hazeleye. However, she allows him to escape, and gives him instructions on how to reach the shore. In addition to this, she tells him to remember that she let him go. Freed, Auron heads for the deck - briefly making contact with the green hatchling and learning her name; Natasatch - and dives overboard before the sailors can stop him. In the water, he manages to break the majority of the remaining restraints, and dives underwater; swimming away. After some time at sea, a storm drives Auron to land, where he falls asleep from exhaustion.
When he wakes, Auron discovers he is on an island inhabited by another young dragon, who promptly drives him back into the water. Swimming to the east, Auron encounters a pod of dolphins, who guide him to another island in the same chain, although this one inhabited by humans. He hides and rests until nightfall, at which point he seeks food, and the next day he explores the island and gets an idea of his environs before coming up with a plan. Hiding in the shallows near an area of the island where the humans wash their clothes, Auron abducts and devours a young girl, causing the inhabitants of the island to come after him. Auron then leads them across the sea back to the island he initially landed on, and tricks them into pursuing the other dragon.
Auron spends several weeks on the islands, regaining his strength, and beginning to gain the wanderlust that would have driven him away from the egg cave if he hadn't left. One day, a storm washes a sea turtle to shore, and Auron converses with it, learning that the entire Inland Ocean isn't a safe place for most creatures, prompting Auron to head east in an attempt to get back to land to find his father and Wistala - although he is also intrigued by Hazeleye's story about NooMoahk revealing the "great weakness" of dragons. Auron swims back to the other island, and searches for fish for his journey. While doing this, he witnesses dolphins being hunted by humans. Enraged by the fishing nets, he attacks and destroys them, but is spotted as he surfaces. The humans come after him, and Auron eventually manages to escape by spitting his first fire - signalling his his growth from Hatchling to Drake - at them and their ships; destroying two, before fleeing for the cliffs of the shore - on the way, killing a boy rescued by dolphins so he can eat.
Despite his hunger, Auron wanders east for several days, eventually encountering a pack of wolves, who promptly attack him. Auron manages to kill all but one wolf, who he convinces - via beast speech - not to fight him. After some discussion, Auron and the wolf - named Hard-Legs Black-Bristle or "Blackhard" - come to an arrangement where they will work together, and Auron will join Blackhard's pack - the Dawn Roarers.
Auron and Blackhard travel east together; Auron picking up wolf speech along the way. One night, as they listen to other wolf packs howl news at one another, Blackhard announces Auron's existence to the other packs. Auron then joins the howling; requesting safe passage to the Eastern Fells. Three packs request a "Thing" be held to properly know the news, and around a thousand wolves gather as a result, ultimately deciding to name Auron as one of their own; granting him the name Long-Tail Fire-Heart - or Firelong. As they go to continue on their journey, two females - Bright-Star Fey-Bark and Way-Nose High-Star - offer to join their pack, and accompany them east.
Towards the end of their journey, as they discuss a recent hunt, Feybright inadvertantly reveals that she has heard of a man - from his pack of dogs - who calls himself "the Dragonblade", and has reportedly killed six dragons so far. In the night, a wolf pack reports hunters on horses, and Auron guesses they are after him. Auron plans to leave, but Blackhard and the others decide to accompany him for one more day to ensure he remains ahead of the men.
The next day, after bidding farewell to the Dawn Roarers, Auron is spotted by a dog, who alerts men and more dogs to his location. Initially running and hiding, Auron manages to set a trap; ambushing and killing his pursuers. Later hearing the sound of hoofbeats, Auron continues on - briefly stopping to rest - and discovers his path blocked by watch fires and a wall. Auron decides to try and dash through the area, making his way for a cliff on the other side. He begins climbing, but the men firing arrows at him cause him to fall.
After attacking a man on the ground, an injured Auron flees into an adjacent maze of rocks, where he encounters the Dragonblade, who has been pursuing him since he attacked the fishermen at Sarsmyouth, and boasts that he has recently killed two dragons, who Auron assumes are his father and Wistala. The Dragonblade attacks Auron; cutting off a third of his tail, but before he can kill him, Blackhard arrives with the Dawn Roarers - worried for Auron, and offended by the dogs who marked their territory throughout their lands - and one of the Dragonblade's men convinces him to let him go, lest the wolves destroy their valleys. The Dragonblade agrees to do so, but tells him the hunt will go on.
Auron remains with the Dawn Roarers for six days, before taking their advice and heading south on an old road; having decided to seek NooMoahk in the hopes of discovering the "great weakness" of dragons, which he will then share with his future mate and their clutch. After avoiding several travellers on the road - one of whom wears the familiar symbol of the figure within a circle - Auron encounters a travelling dwarf, who he wakes to request aid in removing the remnants of the harness he was wearing during his capture. At first, the dwarf assumes he has come to raid him and throws him coins to eat, but when Auron convinces him otherwise, he agrees to help in return for Auron retrieving the coins.
After this is done, Auron and the dwarf - Djer, a journeyman of the Chartered Company of the Diadem - sit and eat sausages together. Learning of Auron's desire to go east, Djer reveals that a trade Caravan goes east, but has to be protected by hired guards, which eats into their expenses. Djer notes that if Auron accompanied them, he'd be fed and carried east, and would only have to sit atop treasure and look fearsome. Auron agrees to do this, after first confirming that there will be plenty of sausages to eat.
After some time on the road east to the Delvings - the heart of the Chartered Company - the two arrive at the village of Irr-on-Slackwater, where Djer keeps Auron hidden from the men looking for him. The men also attempt to get Djer to stay, but Djer refuses and continues on. An hour later, they are again interrupted as the thane's own men assault Djers wagon out of hostility, but Djer is able to fix things up and continue; eventually passing the area where Auron was born, and reaching a village where Djer meets a group of dwarves from the Diadem and arranges for transport on a barge.
While on the barge, Auron remarks to Djer that dwarves aren't what he'd expected; having previously relied on his father's mythological story that stated all other humanoid races had been created to kill dragons, after the spirits of the world became jealous of them. In response to this, Djer retells an old legend about a dwarf named Dwar, who discovered a tree that gave gold while searching for a land for his family, only for his children to chop it down after his death in the hopes of getting rich quick by harvesting the golden trunk. He notes that there are many stories like that, and that particular one is about the virtue of hard work.
Not long afterwards, Auron and Djer arrive at the Delvings; where Djer manages to convince the dwarves within that they can trust Auron. When inside and discussing the proposal to have Auron act as treasure guard, Auron reaffirms that his bargain is with Djer. Since only a Partner of the Chartered Company can make a deal with a non-dwar, Auron demands they make Djer a Partner. After some negotiations with the two remaining senior Partners, Djer is made a Partner, and they begin making arrangements to join the Caravan at Wallander; Djer deciding to take Sekyw - his former superior - along with them.
On the journey to Wallander, Djer fashions a shield-claw to fit on the stump of Auron's tail. Upon arrival, Auron, Djer and Sekyw go to meet with the Partner-in-Charge to inform him of the changes; he tells them that he will terminate the contract with those who would normally guard the Caravan, but tells them to pay them and see them off. They do this, but Hross - the leader of the guards - claims that Auron can't do as good a job as them, and that one of his men could kill him in a fight; in response, Auron offers to duel all four of them without using his fire, and does so; ultimately killing two before Hross surrenders. Auron notes that one of the surviving men - Naf Touraq - seemed to be a good person, and that he lost his appetite for the dead men after dueling him. Following this, Auron, Djer and Sekyw board the "travelling towers" of the Caravan - vast armed towers that move on tracks - and their journey east begins; Auron eating dinner with Commodore-of-the-Caravan Stal, who tells him many stories.
Some time later, the dwarves notice that their coin tallies don't add up. Auron and Sekyw are the only possible suspects, but Sekyw has been searched already. Auron denies eating any coins, and they send for Sekyw again as Auron notices riverbank sand on the floor. Sekyw arrives and denies stealing the coins, but Auron can smell gold in his walking stick, and they break it open to find it hollow. Sekyw soon confesses that he stole gold and buried it to put the blame on Auron, as he was jealous of Djer's quick rise to power, and the others note he will be tried for his crime.
The Caravan arrives in Wa'ah and their journey ends, but Auron remains with the dwarves for over a month month as they trade; eventually touring the markets with Djer. One morning, Ironriders of the Kun-Dhlo attempt to assault the dwarf camp, and the dwarves rush to set up a defence. Auron is told to remain inside while the others fight, although Djer notes they are inexperienced; their towers haven't been attacked in generations. Auron gives them advice on what to do; using memories passed down from his grandfather, and they eventually manage to repel them. In the aftermath, the dwarves find a unique battle standard left behind; showing the familiar image of a figure inside a golden circle, which only Djer recognises, although he does not know whom it represents.
In the aftermath of the attack - the dwarves ended up being some of the few traders in Wa'ah who escaped with their wares attack - Auron and the dwarves begin making the return trip. Eventually they stop at the Iron Temple; the tomb of Tindairuss - who Djer recalls was connected with NooMoahk in some way - who was the last to try to subdue the Ironriders. Auron bids farewell to Djer; who gives him his emissary ring, which will grant him assistance from any member of the Chartered Company, and also a specially crafted chain called a dwarsaw, which can be used as an escape weapon as it becomes sharp when pulled tight.
After a long time in the wastelands, Auron encounters a vulture, from whom he learns of an oasis controlled by waste-elves - outcasts - who have recently robbed a caravan. Auron tells the vulture to bring his relations to the oasis for a feast, and heads there himself, arriving at night and making plans to drive the waste-elves away. Eventually, Auron kills and mangles several of their sentries, before hiding amidst the bodies. When the vultures arrive in the morning, the others are alerted to the carnage, and Auron bursts from hiding, claiming to be the "Revengerog"; a monster summoned as a result of them stealing cursed treasure, causing them and their animals to flee. Despite this, one man remains; Naf, who split with Hross and ended up with the robbers before he knew what kind they were - they only took female prisoners, as the man who fathered the most children was held in the highest regard. Naf reveals that he has rescued a child from them; a four year old girl named Hieba, who he presses Auron to take care of lest the elves realise the "Revengerog" isn't real. Auron eventually decides to take her to people of her own kind before finding NooMoahk - who Naf believes is long dead.
Auron and Hieba - who doesn't speak Parl; a shared humanoid dialect; leading Auron and her to develop a new language blending Parl and their own native tongues - end up journeying together for a long time due to failing to find a settlement. After some time, they inadvertantly encounter NooMoahk at a river, and Auron manages to talk with him. Although NooMoahk is initially uninterested in Auron's story, he permits him to stay when he seems to recognise a name in Auron's ancestry and assumes he's a relative. Auron introduces Hieba next, and is forced to do so again after NooMoahk rests and fails to recognise them when he wakes. NooMoahk leads them back to his cave; located near the ruins of the Uldam city of Kraglad, which Auron finds contains many wonders, including a crystalline statue known as the "sun-shard" by the local blighters.
Auron and Hieba - who Auron still means to take west - remain with NooMoahk for some time; Auron taking food offerings from nearby blighters meant for NooMoahk. During a discussion about burial customs of various species, Auron brings up Hazeleye, attempting to learn about the "great weakness" of dragons she mentioned. Auron suggests it could be their love of precious metals, but NooMoahk disagrees and reveals his own hoard; a cavern filled with scrolls and books of knowledge. Although initially skeptical about some of the information NooMoahk tells him, Auron requests NooMoahk teach him, and he spends several weeks in his tutelage. During one lesson, NooMoahk's eyes cloud over and he forgets who Auron is, and goes to attack him, only for Hieba to distract him. NooMoahk regains his memory before he can attack her. He goes to rest, and Auron, alarmed at the thought of NooMoahk killing Hieba, takes her westwards until he can find a village; telling her to remain there and gifting her the shield-claw from his tail. Hieba is unwilling to leave, forcing him to roar at her and chase her towards the village.
Auron then returns to NooMoahk and attempts to immerse himself in his studies - during one such lesson, NooMoahk cautions Auron about magic, telling him of Anklamere, a wizard who controlled a huge area of land, but who was ultimately slain by Tindairuss; a friend of NooMoahk's. Years go by, and Auron continues to grow - and regrow, in the case of his tail - as he lives with NooMoahk; who eventually realises that his wings will rise soon and he will need to find a mate. NooMoahk gives him advice on the matter, and ends up talking about dragon hatchlings; noting that they will recognise the first creature they see as their parent. He mentions that Hazeleye was very interested in this detail, and Auron eagerly finds her notes on dragons; spending several months reading them - also briefly practising sorcery, which he finds dreary.
Eleven years after abandoning Hieba, Auron inadvertantly tears open the stretched skin over his wings while pursuing a buck, which prompts him to free the other wing with his teeth. After his wings dry, AuRon - as his name will be rendered ever after - takes flight for the first time, thus signalling his growth from Drake to Dragon. He spends some time over the next few days flying and thinking about what to with NooMoahk - now so old that he won't survive if AuRon leaves him - and what he could do for the remainder of his life; either distance himself from hominids like NooMoahk largely has, work with humans and serve rather than rule, or find a group of similarly minded dragons and try to convince them to work together.
Coming to no conclusion, he returns to NooMoahk's cave with food, only to find blighters attacking NooMoahk. AuRon manages to drive them into a pit at the end of the cave, but NooMoahk once again fails to recognise AuRon, and chases him out of the cave. AuRon takes flight, but NooMoahk unexpectedly does too, continuing after him. Realising that he will not be able to escape NooMoahk, who will try to kill him, AuRon leads him to the Iron Temple, and tricks him into crashing into it; causing him to impale himself on a sharp pole adorning the tomb. Dying, NooMoahk regains lucidity and notes AuRon has his wings at last. AuRon tells him what happened and where he is, and NooMoahk; unaware that Tindairuss had such a tomb, requests that AuRon bury him with his old friend so that no wizards will come for his bones. NooMoahk then passes away; AuRon farewelling him and becoming teary-eyed.
After burning NooMoahk's body and burying the bones around the Iron Temple, AuRon heads south to negotiate with the blighters in the area; having decided to live out the rest of his life alone in NooMoahk's cave, so that he won't have to go through the agony of losing any more friends or family.
Reaching the blighter village, AuRon calls parley, and requests to speak with the elders. AuRon claims the ruins of Kraglad and the surrounding area, and offers in return to leave them and their herds along, to aid them against their local enemies, and hunt for them if they suffer from famine or disease. The elders disagree, as Kraglad is a sacred location to them, and they signal the blighters to attack. However, AuRon manages to kill two of the elders, and appoints Unrush - a young blighter - as an elder in their place, and secures his claim with him. AuRon flies off to hunt and rest, and wakes to learn that Unrush has killed the remaining elder and convinced the other blighters to let AuRon live as their ally.
Many years pass; Unrush's village growing immensely and becoming the seat of a paramountcy. At one point, AuRon answers Unrush's petition for war against men of the south who are trying to drive them away, and aids him by advising they launch an attack at night to make their numbers seem bigger. In the aftermath of the battle, AuRon briefly muses that he could potentially rule the land all the way to the Southern Ocean, but decides after surveying the battlefield that he has had enough of such wars.
In time, AuRon gets the urge to find a mate, and finds himself attracted by the smell of human females at a river; instinctly flying towards a village and fleeing after causing a commotion. Several months later, on the anniversary of their battle with the men of the south, Unrush brings AuRon a human female as a sacrifice; who AuRon recognises as Hieba. AuRon dismisses the blighters, and properly reunites with Hieba.
Hieba tells her story; she remained in the Dairussan village he left her at until she turned fifteen, when Naf - now in the service of the Ghioz; who rule over the Dairussan - arrived at the village and realised who she was after seeing the shield-claw AuRon left her with. Hieba reveals that she and Naf have since fallen in love and are to be wed. AuRon questions why she sought him out, and she tells him that they need the advice or aid of a dragon, due to events involving dragons across the Red Mountains. AuRon decides to talk with Hieba about this later, and flies with her to meet with Unrush, who requests his aid in an upcoming and vast war between them and a magus from the north; AuRon states he will need to think about it as it is an offensive conflict rather than a defensive. In the night, Staretz - a blighter magus - arrives, and reveals a vision of conquest of the lands that once belonged to blighters in the days of Great Uldam. Unrush states he will need to consult AuRon first, who convinces him to avoid war, AuRon then gifts Kraglad to Unrush, having decided to aid Naf and Hieba.
The next day, Staretz leaves, but Unrush is fatally attacked by Korutz - a lieutenant of another blighter leader. AuRon plans to avenge him, but another blighter captures Hieba. Korutz uses her to bargain with AuRon; who notices the still-living Unrush moving towards the blighter holding Hieba. AuRon pretends to negotiate with the familiar symbol of a figure in a circle - which the blighters identify as being the sign of the Wyrmmaster - allowing Unrush to free Hieba and allow AuRon to annihilate the others before leaving with Hieba.
AuRon and Hieba head west to Dairuss, and Hieba tells him many are fleeing through it to escape a group of dragons who are being ridden into battle by men. Reaching the city of Zanakan, AuRon and Hieba meet up with Naf; in the company of Hazeleye and Hischhein - a counselor of the Queen of Ghioz; who Naf briefly suspects plans to sell the Dairussan out. Hazeleye reveals that a war has been started by the Wyrmmaster in the north; a race war determined to wipe out all non-human races, and adds that he is using dragons to accomplish this. Hischhein tells AuRon that they want him to join and infiltrate the Wyrmmaster's army and kill him; in return, the Queen of Ghioz will grant him lands on their southern border. AuRon is initially unwilling, but decides to do this after Hazeleye points out that Wistala may still be alive on the Wyrmmaster's Isle of Ice, as he placed high bounties on female hatchlings.
AuRon heads north, passing Wallander and arriving at the Delvings, where he plans to warn the dwarves of a potential attack by the Wyrmmaster. The dwarves within briefly mistake him for one of the Wyrmmaster's dragons, until he produces Djer's ring, at which point they take him inside and reveal that they have already been attacked. AuRon is taken to the dying Djer - horribly burnt and blinded when trying to save others - who requests he kill him out of mercy. AuRon grants him this, and prevents them from burning his body out of necessity; telling the remaining dwarves to bury him and the other dying dwarves in the Hallowhall reserved for dead Partners.
AuRon continues on his way, eventually reaching the Isle of Ice, where he gives his name as NooShoahk and requests to be allowed to serve the Wyrmmaster. The Wyrmmaster himself arrives, along with Eliam; the son of the Dragonblade, and AuRon tells him he seeks vengeance against elves and dwarves, as they slew his family. [[The Wyrmmaster notes they have had such volunteers before and accepts him, before arranging for AuRon to participate in a number of matches against the other dragons of the Isle. In the final contest, AuRon defeats Ramshard; one of a few breeding dragons, who promptly flees. AuRon takes his place, and finds out that Ramshard will be demoted to fighting stock and castrated, so that he can live alongside other male dragons without fighting.
At a later date, after the Wyrmmaster introduces AuRon to several of his allies, he takes AuRon aside and tells him of his origins and how he obtained his first dragon; Revenan, thirty-seven years ago by rescuing him from his nest on the Isle of Ice when he lost to his brother after hatching. The Wyrmmaster then shows AuRon the rooms where they keep the hatchlings and drakes - separated from their mothers and tricked into bonding with humans wearing green to mimic their mother's scales. The next day, he sends AuRon to the dragonelles to breed, where AuRon unsuccesfully attempts to find Wistala. However, Natasatch is here, and recognises AuRon as the hatchling who fled into the sea, and AuRon talks with her; learning that eggs are taken from the perpetually-restrained dragonelles immediately after being laid. AuRon soon witnesses this first hand when one dragonelle; Nereeza, attempts to destroy her eggs to prevent them being taken, and ends up slain by Eliam; who taunts AuRon by telling him of all the dragons he has slain.
Three days later, the Wyrmmaster sends AuRon to deliver a number of messages to his allies who are refusing to invade any further south. While being fitted with a carrier for the messages by a man named Varl, AuRon meets Starlight; a venomous and stunted dragon who is the island's ranking dragon - and whose venom is used on the daggers of their men - and is warned not to make an enemy of him. AuRon delivers the messages, and recognises one of the interpreters as Hross, who he notices is staring intently at his shortened tail. As AuRon goes to leave, he is given a message to take back to the Wyrmmaster, which he fears may be his own death warrant; however, he decides to return to the island rather than abandon Natasatch and the others.
On the Isle of Ice, the Wyrmmaster reads the message from Hross, and tries to catch AuRon off guard by addressing him by his real name, rather than NooShoahk. AuRon recognises the trick, and manages to convince the Wyrmmaster that that isn't his name, before casting suspicion on Hross by claiming he could tell he had elf ancestry. The Wyrmmaster assumes that elven deception is the cause of his allies refusal to invade south, and thanks AuRon before sending him to rest, where he is warned by others that Eliam may be planning to provoke him into a fight.
While dreaming of Natasatch, AuRon inadvertantly makes mental contact with her, who tells him she expects trouble as three dragonelles are ready to lay. Eliam's arrival forces him to end the conversation, and AuRon learns from him that people have been sent to find out if Hross truly has been decieving them. Eliam eventually hurls a dagger towards him, but is stopped from going any further when Varl arrives to take AuRon to eat. AuRon learns of Varl's past as they eat, and discovers that he only works with the Wyrmmaster because he admires dragons.
Following this, AuRon begins his plan to stop the Wyrmmaster; first by luring Varl away from the island so that he will be safe, and later by entering the dragonelle's cavern and releasing them from their bonds with his dwarsaw. When Eliam and the other men come to claim the newly-laid eggs, the dragonelles attack and annihilate them. Eliam manages to kill one dragonelle with a poisoned blade and then turns on AuRon, but dies when AuRon retaliates in anger with a intense roar that fatally overwhelms his body. AuRon and the dragonelles then make for the exit, and manage to convince the other dragons and hatchlings to side with them in ridding the island of the Wyrmmaster.
After the majority of the work is done, AuRon takes Natasatch to fly, and the two mate in the air. However, as they go to land, an enraged Starlight - who AuRon recognises as being the silver hatchling from the ship - attacks AuRon; claiming that he was using the Wyrmmaster to free the world of all hominids for dragonkind. Starlight poisons AuRon's tail, but he rips the end off it off with his feet before crippling Starlight's wings, causing him to fall to his death. AuRon then goes with Natasatch to deal with the Wyrmmaster, who warns AuRon that elves and dwarves will kill his kind in time, before he stabs himself to death.
In the aftermath, many dragons decide to remain on the Isle of Ice to raise hatchlings - some dragonelles even taking castrated males as mates to be adoptive fathers for the eggs. Natasatch lays a clutch of five eggs, and AuRon decides that he wants to prevent the male hatchlings from fighting and teach them to work together. Natasatch notes that male dragons have always killed their brothers, but AuRon states that dragons will need to change in order to survive.