Farloft was playing. He was gliding between the ridges of what the humans in the area called the Northern Steeps. He would tuck his wings to plummet swiftly toward the ground, then half way down pop them open to be shot in an exhilarating, stomach dropping, flight back skyward by the currents spiraling up the sides of the mountain range. It was fun and something he did on occasion to entertain himself while traveling alone.
He left his mother and father’s home several years ago. All young dragons had a desire to explore, to stretch their wings. Many returned to the area where their clan resided, but not before seeing a lot of the world. A few years back, Farloft’s parents produced a new hatchling. It was time for him to move on and leave them to raise and train the little dragon. One day he would return home and meet his sibling, but not today. Today he was a young dragon living wild and rough - eating off the land, sleeping where he chose and meeting all manner of beast and human alike. It was the perfect way to grow up.
He had been in and around the Northern Steeps for several months exploring. He liked this wild, virtually untamed area of many layers from valleys through hills to towering peaks. There were numerous uninhabited valleys with meadows and fresh running streams to drink from. He found a lovely lake at a lower elevations deep enough to swim in. The forests were not too thick to navigate through if he walked and there was game readily available. He didn’t know what they were called, but they were dappled gray and big enough to satisfy a young dragon’s hunger. They migrated from the high peaks above to the grassy valleys below.
Farloft recently found a secluded cave in the side of one of the taller mountains. It had an ideal rock shelf for a landing area outside which extended into the cave mouth making a nice slate floor clear of dirt. He hated getting dirty. It affected his buoyancy in the air. Yesterday he finished airlifting cedar boughs up to his new little hideaway for a nice soft, fragrant bed. His mother taught him the rewards of using cedar. It not only smelled good and was soft, but it also repelled the little insects so the bed was free of vermin.
He landed on the rock ledge outside what he was beginning to think of as his lair. At least it would be until he got the urge to move on. He hadn’t made it to the ocean yet and longed to see it based on the stories Skylark told. She made it sound so awe inspiring. A body of water so vast even a dragon could not get high enough to see the far edge. A body so large you needed to navigate from island to island in order to cross it without your wings tiring to the point of plunging you into its depths. Yes, that would be his next stop. But for now, he was happy here.
It was late-afternoon. His stomach deeply rumbled as he stood and surveying the land before his lair. Yesterday morning was the last time he ate. It was time to make another kill. Being a young dragon his hunger reared its head more often than it would for an adult.