Sie is rescued from the raging sea by a red dragon of the Valdra Clan. The clan adopt her and she learns the ways of the telepathic beasts. The red dragons long to become part of the Dragon Alliance.
Byron is the human representative for the Dragon Alliance. The four clans have discovered the Valdra are spying on them and they believe the red clan is planning an attack to drive them from their lands.
Byron accompanies the four clans as they approach the Valdra to warn them not to consider such action. Their aggressive stance puts the red dragons on the defensive and the two sides teeter on the edge of war.
Sie and Byron convince the dragons to talk, but will they be able to come to an agreement with such distrust between the two factions? The two humans would like to get to know one another, but this is impossible when they are on opposite sides of the dragon conflict.
The sunlight shining through the cave entrance woke Sie the next morning. Cozy and warm, she stretched and yawned. Her hands touched something soft and firm. Essi had joined her in the bed and coiled herself around her visitor. The dragon still slept so Sie took the opportunity to have a good look at this unusual beast.
Her orange scales shone in the sunlight, each one neatly overlapping the next. The huge triangular head rested on the short forelegs, and the tips of large claws peeped out from under the nose. The back legs curling round the other side of Sie were strong, muscular limbs with huge feet on each end. The wings were tucked at Essi's sides hiding them from view.
Sie rose, trying not to disturb her new friend. The thought surprised her. When had Essi become a friend? The dragon had taken care of her, made her welcome, fed her, and provided garments to keep her warm. These were things a friend would do, and a warm glow of gratitude filled Sie. The Maass people insisted the beasts were friendly, but she found it comforting to experience it first-hand.
At the cave entrance she stood leaning against the wall, looking out on the sandy floored bowl below. The dragon settlement stirred with big red dragons moving into the sunlight, stretching their limbs and huge wings. Big sails of thin membrane stretched between lightweight bones, each of which was longer than the dragon's body.
Good morning. Sie turned to see Essi looking at her, the dragon's huge cat like eyes blinking in the morning light. Did you sleep well?
"Yes, I did. Thank you for looking after me last night."
You are welcome. Benare would like you to attend a clan meeting this morning. We must eat before this.
Essi shooed Sie out of cave and took her to the food enclave. This morning, Sie took more notice of the food preparation. Several large, flat rocks lay in a curve around a sandy corner under an overhanging rock. Each surface held different types of food. One for fruit, one for vegetables, and two for meat.
I hope to goodness they don't eat it raw. Sie blushed in case any of the dragons had heard her.