December of 1591. The winter was cold and harsh in the mountains of Germany. Klingenthal, a town on the Czech border, had a rich iron-ore deposit nearby. In this year, a large hammer mill was established to help the blacksmiths, builders, and miners. Two young shapeshifter dragons resided here. The elder brother was secretive, very careful of the humans they lived so close to. His younger brother was more adventurous, and much less careful. In the harshest snowstorm of that month, the younger brother was flying above the mountains and heard miners calling for help. Using his dragon sight, he saw the three men shivering at the entrance to the newest mine. He dove, his intention to help them. He landed , his wings spread to block the harsh winds. To show he had not meant to harm them, he lowered his head with his eyes closed and blew a single puff of smoke from his nostrils. The men were weary, but one cautiously approached the beast. When it made no move to attack, he relaxed a fraction and rested his hand on the tip of the giant lizard's nose. Iron was poison to dragon kin. And the fresh iron ore, that the young brother had not thought of, burned his sapphire-scaled skin. He winced, growling and drew back his head to let out a cry of pain, in hopes that the frigid snow would ease the horrid burn. The miners thought he was meaning to attack, and drew their weapons, such as they were. One shot arrows at the beast's neck, the arrows coated with the iron dust. The iron ate away at his scales, so the next arrows could penetrate the raw skin. These arrows caused a horrible infection. The younger brother, knowing better than to attack the miners, flew off to find a save place where he could, hopefully, heal from the ordeal. The elder brother, in human form down in their meager house, had heard his brother's cry in his blood. He frowned as he looked towards the direction of where his brother was crying for help. "My brother," he murmured as he hurried to where his winter dressings were. When his coat, boots, hat, and gloves were on, he ran out the door and closed it behind him. Thankful that the other townsfolk were too afraid of the blizzard to open their doors, he ran out of town, as fast as a young man can run through two feet of snow. When he was sure that no one would be able to see, he let his true self show. Claws began to emerge from his boots and gloves. Two lumps formed and grew under his coat until they broke through, two dragon wings emerging as they spread wide. His neck elongated as ivory-colored horns emerged fromt he top and sides of his head. His nose and jaw grew longer and sprouted scales as a tail emerged from his pants and grew. Within a matter of two minutes, he had gone from a young man who was not yet twenty, to a nearly full-grown dragon with scales as black as the blackest night. He roared and took to the sky, letting his brother know that he was on his way. By the time the black brother had finaly found his sapphire brother, the younger one had reverted to his human form, gasping for air. The infection was horrible, spreading from the spot on his nose and now reaching his cheekbones, and the wound on his neck swollen and spreading out to reach his chest. "Edban, what happened," the older brother demanded, shrinking back into a man. Both were naked now, their clothes having been torn to shreds from transforming to their true selves. "Alek," the young one gasped. His voice was ragged, horse, and weak. "I tried to help them..." his expression was begging his brother's forgiveness "They were at the mine." "Hush, brother," the older one said, understanding the rest. "You've done nothing wrong," he tried to sooth his only kin. Dread filled his chest, as he knew he could do nothing for his suffering sibling. He spoke of only light-hearted topics for the rest of their time together. In the middle of the night, the wolves howled as the younger dragon's spirit faded away from the physical world. Alekel bowed his head as he held onto his brother's now lifeless hand. "I love you, my dear brother," he whispered. He let his true self show once more and with great remorse, breathed fire on his brother's body. The flames turned the same color as his scales, a beautiful sapphire. Alekel waited until there was nothing but ashes, and swept them out into the storm with his tail. He let out one more cry for his brother and flew off. He left his beloved town, the country that his mother had reigned over, and the entire continent. He flew over the ocean and finally rested in the giant hills that were the Appalachians in the New World. Eventually, living as a human, he had worked his way to Massachusetts over the course of about a hundred or so years before he settled in Salem Town. He lived by himself a few miles out of town, close enough to be considered a citizen, but far enough where he had plenty of privacy. He wasn't exactly revered in the town, but he made sure the people knew he was an honest man, if not a quiet one. His aging process had slowed dramatically shortly after his brother had passed. He seemed to be a man of his early twenties for the past century or two. Thankfully, not many people paid attention to the solitary young man, save for the occasional girl who would attempt to swoon him when he went into town. These attempts never worked. He sighed as he reached his house and put his groceries away. Today would make the hundredth year of his brother's death. "Edban, you've been gone a whole century," he murmured as he looked out the window of his small house. Once the groceries were away, he sat down on his bed, rested his elbows on his knees. He thought he might be lonely, but decided that any companionship he would truly want, would be one of his own kind. Alas, he could find none. There seemed to be no dragons in this area; he had not caught sight or scent of them since he arrived on this land.