Their Father had told them of the dangers on the mountains, of the hidden mine entrances, the babbling streams that would turn to torrents in minutes after the slightest rains and of the terrible things that call the harsh mountainside home. In evenings around campfire, after supper but before bed, he would spin wondrous tales of Knights and Kings, battles between the great armies of the neighbouring kingdoms which once owned these lands and stories of mythical beasts which stalked children in the night.
It had not stopped them sneaking out of camp in the quiet before dawn. Silently they gathered their things and some food and headed away from the small gathering of tents that had become their nomadic homes. It was a noiseless forest that they crept through as the first rays of sunlight clipped the tops of the huge beech trees that surrounded them. It wasn’t long however before the woods thickened and progress became more difficult. Branches clawed at their clothes and brambles scratched their legs as the fought to find a path through the maze of the forest. Fallen trees barred their way and they had to clamber over some and crawl under others. By the time the ground started to rise and the trees thin they were filthy and tired and it was welcome relief to climb out of the wooded valley and out onto the open mountain.
They rested here, and looked back the way they came. They could just make out the cluster of tents they had left behind and knew that their Mother would be looking for them by now. They set out again, striding up the ever steeper slopes of the mountain. They had been climbing steadily for about an hour when they first spotted it. Two distinctive columns of smoke rising high above them from just below the summit of the mountain which could only mean one thing. DRAGON.