His memories of that last trek through the ice-cold chasm, knowing they wouldn't make it as they were burdened by the wounded woman his mother had refused to leave behind, were hazy at best. But at least Koy had some recollection of what life was like in IceLand. 
Lately he and the other IceLandic Kids, as they'd been dubbed by the Laedrysses, had come together to talk about the trip they were planning to IceLand. Koy wasn't sure it was such a great plan. After all, going on dragonback would mean they'd need to ask the help of their parents. And he wasn't so sure they'd be thrilled to have them gallivant around the dangerous pine forests of Southern IceLand. Koy was 20 years old, but the youngest among their group, Xandrya, was only 12 and far from being able to fend for herself. Heck, he wasn't even sure he'd trust himself with the band of younger kids.

Looking out over the cliffy shore of northern Lantessama, Koy gazed toward the place he knew IceLand to be. Maybe it was a genetic peculiarity, but all of them could at any given time pinpoint where IceLand was. Koy sometimes fancied that the vast expanses of snow tugged at his soul, but that was too romantic a thought. It was more like a part of him was still there. 
"Koy, there you are. I need to ask you a question" the voice of Laedrys Trix interrupted his thoughts. 
Koy looked up expectantly to wait for further explanation.
"You see, there is a Winter Gather event that has requested an envoy. I can't attend, but I thought you might be willing to take my place." Trix continued.
Koy was stupefied. He had zero experience, he wasn't even an official Lantessama resident. He didn't have a dragon. How was he even going to get there?
"How... why..." he stammered before he composed himself, "Why me?"
The Laedrys sighed, "there are reasons. Just believe me when I say it won't be that bad. You just go there, offer our greetings, stay for the event and enjoy the walking dinner. You won't even have to mingle too much." The Laedrys was starting to sound desperate.
"You're not helping", an icy voice sounded.
Koy looked around and suddenly spotted the small patch of silver peeping out from behind the edge of the cliffs. Once spotted, the Silver Rys-Hathian Flurry dragon Dreaem
stepped out in the open.
"What the Laedrys should be saying, is that I requested you go as my escort." Dreaem continued.
"Why do you want me to go with you?" Koy asked.
"Well to be fair, you're quiet and won't be much of a bother."
Koy shrugged and waited.
"I intend to find a mate at this event and I might need someone to help me. I'm sure the people there will understand me, but having someone who can fetch me things or who can help me when I find my mate would be a lifesaver."
"Oh, I guess I can relate to that." Koy said, thinking of his own problems trying to organise the outing that was doomed to fail.
A whisper like a soft blanket of snow sounded in his head, and he knew in his head alone: "If you help me now, I'll help you when you want to go on your trip. Think about it! Having 2 dragons who'll be able to carry all those children AND who'll be able to protect you, should make it easier to get a pass from your elders."
One could wonder what the Laedrys thought of this silent exchange, but she waited expectantly and seemed to notice the tension leaving the young man.
"Then I'll go with you." Koy said.


Several days had passed as Koy readied the things he would need on his journey. It wasn't much. A spare set of clothes, some valuables that could act as payment, a book to read and some snacks his mother had put in his pack. 
Dreaem helped him mount, leapt in the air and with a small gust of air they were gone and re-appeared above a bustling square with stalls, Christmas trees and lights. The present people, dragons, creatures numbered in the hundreds and all were busy talking, singing, shopping. The air smelled of warm wine, cinnamon and anis. 
Dreaem swerved, started the descent and landed at the edge of a large field where other people apparently had done the same. Dragons were exchanging greetings and people were calling out to each other. Though overwhelmed, Koy couldn't stop looking, smelling, listening. Sounds and smells were everywhere. The air was biting cold and he longingly looked at the stalls advertising warm beverages. 
Dreaem chuckled and said: "Get me a hot chocolate while you're at it."
Wandering around the gather fair, Koy had a bag of goodies in no time. Sipping from his hot chocolate, he wandered on. 
Suddenly he heard a commotion. He walked closer and saw a woman holding out a basket of eggs. 
"You, young man," the golden-haired woman said, "I'll give you one of these for free." and shoved an egg in his hands. Before Koy could object, the woman turned and strode away. Puzzled, Koy looked down and saw that the egg had started to crack. Before his eyes, shards started to chip away and a golden brown head appeared. Blinking the firelizard that looked suspiciously like gingerbread, locked on to Koy, chirped and nuzzled his hand. 
"Now what should I do with you?" Koy asked.
The nearby people laughed and said: "why feed it of course, he's yours now."
"I guess you'll need a name now too, right?"
The firelizard chirped lazily and tried to get into the bag of goodies Koy had bought. Succeeding, he started to munch on some cookies.
"Oh, the salesman said these were called "speculaas" in his native language. Guess I'll call you that."

Gingerbread Firelizard from X-mas '20 Winter Gather
Drawn by Yakima from Isla Weyr


Continue to the Winter Gather Hatching
Start reading what happens after that

STATS: [Koy] [Vaughny] [Yavis] [Theyan] [Giye] [Rakyu
[Yishia] [Renylde] [Keryk] [Havoy] [Durya] [Guryn] [Xandrya]

Lantessama Isle.