Shazram: The Missing Book

Short stories about Shazram who lives in the realm of Fracture on a small island far away from everyone. (art by Doug Hills)

There was a loud noise. Not exactly a crash or a bang, more a sort of very loud grinding. Regardless of what it was, it was annoying Shazram. Loud noises often suggest one of two things. The first that he forgot to lock cellar door and the wind blew it open. Not a big problem mostly just annoying. The second thing meant trouble. Not the simple trouble that’s fixed with stern word, no the kind of trouble that’ll mean sleepless nights.

Shazram already suspected it was the latter but resigned himself to getting out of bed and actually checking. Lighting a candle he got up and put on his robes. The purple official ones for extra effect. In case the loud noise was caused by someone easily impressed, and consequently sent away.

A check if everything was in order and he squared himself in front of his door. With a quick motion he threw open the door. “Who dares disturb my slumber?!” he bellowed.

He was greeted with a lot silence. There was no one there. Waste of a good bellow that was. This meant he’d have to go outside. With a deep sigh he stepped outside into the full burn of the noon sun.

Looking around he saw no direct source for the loud noise. Perhaps it was the cellar door. Walking to the side of the building he could see it was securely locked. This would suggest trouble was around. But he couldn’t really see anything, until he looked up.

“Oh. It’s you.” he sighed.

Sitting atop his house, dislodging thatches no less, was the great dragon Scribus. Guardian of the academy and it’s repository of rare and arcane tomes. Mostly Shazram knew him as the annoying that lizard that was far too protective of his books, which he hoarded like treasure.

“Greetings Shazram, it has been a while since you have been to the repository.” Scribus responded, his head snaking closer to face Shazram.

“You know I want nothing to do with those stuffy old geezers.” He looked up at the dragon with arms akimbo. “So what brings all the way out to my little island.”

“I have come with the gravest of warning.”

“This had better not be a warning that leads to a quest of sorts. You know I hate those.”

“The book of Taranis is missing from the library. If it were to fall into the wrong hands!”

“Oh that one, give me a moment.” Shazram wandered back into his house. The dragon tried to peer inside snaking his head lower from his perch upon the house.

There were some noises from inside as something apparently fell over followed by a loud curse from inside. Shortly after Shazram came outside again carrying two books.

“Here it is,” he said as he held it up, there was large square dent in the cover, “I was using it to prop up one of my desks. Bit of a boring read really.”


“Pfff please.” Shazram waved him away. “I haven’t been in the academy for over a hundred years. The only reason you noticed it went missing is because your new librarian is very zealous in his inventory. Guessing he started a twe weeks ago?”

“Three.” The dragon answered. “Nevertheless you know I don’t take kindly to books being taken from my library. Not to mention the overdue book fee.”

“Look you have your book, it didn’t fall into the wrong hands, just take it back with you and leave me alone. I’ll throw in this ancient tome from Alcarus if you want.” He held up the other book he was carrying.

“A tome from Alcarus? What’s it about?” the dragon lost his tempter at seeing something new and shiny.

“I haven’t been able to translate it, but based on the drawing I think it’s about female anatomy.” Shazram held up the book open on a few pages to show the dragon.

“Oh those are nice pictures.” The dragon cooed. “Very well, I shall take these with me. But there had better not be any other books missing.”

“Yes yes, now shoo I have things to do.” Shazram waved the dragon off.

With a loud gust the dragon took off back to his Grand Repository where he can lord over his collected items. Shazram looked as the dragon flew away. Was a shame about the book, he rather liked looking at the pictures.

But he could always get a new one when the trader airship visited his island in a few weeks.

With Scribus gone he could go back to doing more useful things. Like taking a nap.

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