Greetings, Adventurer!


Welcome to a continent trying to tear itself apart, where people believe destiny is in the hands of brutal warlords, wicked sorcerers, deranged kings, man-eating monsters, or mercurial gods. In these ever-warring lands, dragons and humans do not mix. Refusing to accept prophecy, tradition, or the power structure of that world, a child snowdragon named Lorgi chooses instead to believe in himself. Can a child create his own good luck and help others, as his mother told him? On his first epic journey, Lorgi dispels stereotypes between humans and dragons. Battling against overwhelming odds, he earns many human friends, changing their world for the better.

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Highland Sayings
of the Month


Delfinian poetry
(oak wood-aged, single malt whiskey)   spiryóshing Delfínian

Delfinian sobriety 
(having tea along with spirits
mepáchung Delfínian
{or having ale or wine instead of whiskey}

Fine friend of the till 
(corrupt bureaucrat)
takás-zin firán-chump

Dragon of the Month


Língertong  (cloud dragon)


Least-understood of dragons, these soar at altitudes of up to 20,000 feet, flying far higher, faster, and farther than tierdragons. Streamlined, silver with steel-hard needle beaks, they glide around mountain peaks, often staying aloft all day—or a moonlit night. Using sonar, they see through clouds, measure distances precisely, and will dive-bomb through a tierdragon’s wings before it can react. Unless the foe retreats to low altitude, the Língertong will strike again, sending it to its death! Why tierdragons fear to fly on cloudy days. Língertongs also like to devour an acre of crops in minutes. Highlanders and Börltongs have always accepted such rare “visitations,” but angry hyúlems made traps, stupidly aiding the reemergence of tierdragons!

The Story

When Lorgi hatches, a seer divines fate from his shell: one day he will bring doom to his own kind, the Álukois (snowdragons). Rejecting prophecy, his mother tells Lorgi he has the power to create good luck. Abducted by a wicked sorcerer, stung by a deadly beast, and swept across the Continent by warring hordes, he fights to save human friends made on the way. Barely surviving her own battle, his mother must put aside her disdain for hyúlems (lowlanders) in her quest to find Lorgi. Both dragons’ struggles change the world. Some evils are turned to good. Using dragon strength and human ingenuity, Lorgi defeats an enemy that had been invincible to both!


What it is Not!

Not based on any other’s work, my novel is not like Rowling, Tolkien, or magic-driven. No elves, trolls, goblins, “shadows” or wizards rule here, but cultures and creatures of my own design. Characters believe sorcery or fate cause outcomes, yet it is their own actions. Knowledge, cooperation, skill, brute force, creativity and persistence brew surprising ends. Written mainly for adults, this story still avoids gratuitous violence or profanity.



Lorgi’s epic adventure fantasy takes place on “the Continent,” with its own geography, history, cultures and species. Collectively, the Yeti, Bigfoot and “Nessie” inspired the Álukois—not stereotype dragons. Even that word insults, meaning bandit or pirate in Álukop, their written language. Álukois love winter sports, star-gazing, socializing, snacking (i.e., feasting) and beer! They are vegetarians, but ferocious in defending friends, land and honor.



This tale explores human behavior, especially from an Álukoi perspective. Culture shock, moral dilemmas, prejudice, adaptation, revolution, kindness and faith play throughout. Can the stubborn Álukois adapt to survive? Can humans tolerate non-humans if they can’t stand each other? Personal determination trumps fate, adversity, magic, and tradition. Shared knowledge is power. Evil hastens its own demise. Good grows. People and words evolve across cultural divides. One word (gánsi = thank you) can move mountains—like love.


Gánsi méni, góbo nóshuls, yi góbo árgosangs!

(Many thanks, fine snacks & adventures!) ~ Lorgámon of Tiefenbo

About Chasing Fate: A Snowdragon's Odyssey

Physical Attributes

Snowdragons (Álukois) have a jagged ridge of crystal back spikes, diamond claws and teeth, and a sparkling, white hide. Their relatively soft bellies can be hardened by sports, especially tumbling. Only deep cuts or burns cause scars, ranging from grey to purple, which Álukois show with pride. An adult lacking any is seen as untested. Don’t confuse scars with the blue stripes adjacent the back spikes, which in youth are pale and few. After reaching prime, about 50 years, these start growing darker and more numerous—showing an individual’s age!


Humans invariably guess an Álukoi’s weight to be 2-3 times the reality, because they are surprisingly light for their size. Smallest of the Continent’s land dragons, Álukois still reach 4-6 tons. Huge webbed paws and modest tails help them traverse snowdrifts, ice, turbulent waters, mud or sand. Monstrous claws, huge lungs, and unrivaled stamina make them the best mountaineers, and ferocious opponents in war.


The Winter Gathering

Every January, the Álukois meet on frozen Lake Arkúlosi, in the Stonelaw’s northern extreme, for their Winter Gathering. Enjoyed for 10,000 years, this month-long festival includes sports, games, tall tales, crafts, feasting and constant socializing. With only a few hours of daylight, Álukois relish the cold, the dancing ghost lights, and the assured absence of enemies—to party almost all night! The Council of Elders elects a new leader, welcomes new members having reached 250 years of age, and conducts what business it can agree upon. Most years, very little is accomplished.


The 9 Senses

While hyúlems know 5-6 senses, the Álukois enjoy 9: (1) direction; (2) sight; (3) hearing; (4) smell; (5) taste; (6) touch; (7) time; (8) people; & (9) intuition. Some humans say “people skills” are just intuition, and that a sense of direction does not exist, having none themselves! The Álukois even count a 10th “sense of senses,” senfarózen, measuring one’s own and those of others (“She hears like a fox; He is so lost!”) With the best night vision, 2nd best day vision of any creatures on the Continent, and the most durable senses, thanks to powers of regeneration, Álukois keep sharp throughout life. And have the best memory.


Magic Eyes

Focusing their huge, wide-set eyes on the horizon or a snowflake, Álukois can “switch” to fog, night, or ant eyes, using them to gauge an object’s distance and proportions. At 100 yards, they can guess the thickness and integrity of ice on a glacier or frozen lake, and whether it is safe for them or at least humans to cross. With such powerful vision, they have always studied the sky. When “putting on” snow eyes in bright light, their internal retinal shields reflect so well that sorcerers believe they make Álukois immune to spells. About 1 in 20 can develop the ability to hypnotize, or spin, using their eyes (& powers of concentration). Early on, Lorgi discovered he had this gift. However, spinners are not adept measurers (can’t have everything in one pair of eyes!)


Snowdragon Sports

Most Álukoi sports are vigorous, land winter activities. Using a trimmed log for a rugby-type game, loggering can be played on land, ice or in water. Rollering is a bowling game with huge, polished obsidian balls on a frozen lake. Disking, hurling, tug-of-war and tag-back are fine over any terrain in any season. Floundering entails running, hurling and “roaring” to thwart hyúlem logging or hunting parties. The most hazardous, yet favorite Álukoi sport remains tumbling, or belly-skiing down glaciers and snow fields on semi-sculpted paths, using the tail for steering and braking, and the paws only for acceleration.


Food & Drink

The ancient, or “plain” Álukoi diet included nuts, seeds, berries, bark, leaves, mushrooms, potatoes, root and leafy vegetables. Extensive cultivation, beer brewing and writing all began together for the Álukois (“The 3 pillars of civilization” according to some). Trading specie and gems, many quickly developed a taste for the world by importing spices, wines, tea, cocoa, cheeses, dried fruits and other gourmet foodstuffs. In Lorgi’s day, Álukoi cuisine included almost everything but meat. Refining their distilling methods, at times Álukois nearly rivaled the Delfinians. Most consume copious quantities of carbohydrates in all forms: raw, frozen, dried, toasted, fried, baked and fermented—a bad diet for humans, yet good for snowdragons!



Living in isolated, mountain halls, Álukois get few visitors, making such events special. Highland hospitality begins with a huge, gourmet “snack” (góbo nóshul) upon arrival, offering one’s best, seeing to guests’ needs, entertaining with games, stories, tours of the hall and countryside, and feasting. A human visitor will be given a small guest room with a fireplace, bed & blankets—and non-stop conversation with the host, especially concerning food, current events and árgosangs (adventures). Álukois love to expound on their hobbies; especially distilling, sculpting, stargazing, floundering and rewooding (planting trees where hyúlems have cleared forest).


Everyone dines in the main room, with humans seated nearest the fireplace, on vegetarian cuisine and home-brewed ale. To avoid offense, guests must compliment these. All will be served too much of both! Dinner always includes stories, news, and expansions (sharing art or knowledge), which Álukois consider as gifts. Spiced tea, spirits and dessert always appear two hours later. If weather and constitutions allow, stargazing may follow. Unless guests beg to retire, the host may keep them up all night—and sleep most of the next day until time for another feast!...yoih!


Snowdragon Facts

Many humans say breakfast is the day’s most vital meal. To the Álukois—whether on adventure, at the Winter Gathering, or for Hospitality—every meal is that! Unlike humans, they can safely go 2-3 days without food (God forbid!). Despite living at high latitudes & altitudes, Álukois are vegetarians, enjoying all they can grow or trade—smoking, pickling, fermenting, freezing or drying items for later use. Myriad herbs, oils, spices, & alcohols are used generously in seasoning. The Álukois have always crafted their own beers and spirits, but must import wine, coffee, cocoa, tea, cheeses and spices from distant lands—a costly but high priority for gourmets with a “taste for the world.”


Like humans, the Álukois love to eat, but cook less when alone. Anticipating visitors, they will delay a meal for hours so all can enjoy it together. If friends arrive unexpectedly, even just an hour after a meal has ended, then it is already time for a nóshul (snack)! In fact, any time one wakes from a dream, finishes a project, chore, or game, sees a shooting star, thinks about food, or friends start talking, day or night, is always a perfect excuse for a right tasty góbo nóshul (fine, generous “snack,” or impromptu feast), washed down with a home-brewed, well-paired beer. Chónribas!



Buckwheat Pancakes with berries & Highland sauce, roasted nuts and tea

Royal Dunchesa omelet with Lendish sauce, muffins or scones, and hot chocolate

Hoplar’s cheese melt with sautéed onions, mushrooms & herbs on sourdough; honey-

mustard cole slaw; dark roast coffee with brandy, whipped cream & cinnamon!

{More likely for lunch or dinner, but if one is in the mood, why wait?}


Lunch (or góbo nóshul)

Roasted peppers & veggies “sauced” in herbed oil, garden cheese pie & ale, fruit in season

Potato boats (with everything on ’em), vegetables & spicy dip, roast nuts, ale, chocolate

Delfinian lunch pies with spinach & herbs, wine or beer, ice cream with liquor & berries

Grilled sandwiches with cheese, peppers, onions, estate mushrooms, etc., & stout beer!



Harvest stew with oat bread & herbed butter, ale, rum cake with berries & whipped cream!

Wheat noodles with seasonal vegetables, estate mushrooms & cheese, beer, ice cream

Barley-bake with herbs & estate mushrooms, Salad Dolanzia, wine, & pieberry-cream

* for a FEAST, everything on this page & more may be on the menu   yoih! *


Supper (or Vólping nóshul)

Salad Akromilot, sourdough bread, cheese, nuts, red wine, berries & dark chocolate

Potato plunkers with sour cream, vegetables & dip, any type of beer, long-apples

Smoked nuts, toasted bread with smoked cheese dip, radishes, Delfinian whiskey

Corn crispers or toast with spinach dip, wine or beer, fruit or Granshire nut pie


The Snowdragon Diet

Dragons of the Continent

Álukoi  (snowdragon)

Last to reach the Continent, yet first to build, the Álukois take great pride in their culture, language, hospitality, and love of nature. Spending years building underground halls, each will add features to make his or hers unique. Some enjoy carving fanciful monsters, castles and portraits into the walls. When on adventure, they may leave written mementos in stone. Although vegetarians, Álukois are fierce, adorning their halls with trophy heads of slain monsters, and will stop at nothing to protect friends, lands and honor, or to obtain justice. They can recall the face, voice and scent of everyone they ever meet. Due to isolation, the Álukois and lowland humans (hyúlems) have always been profoundly ignorant of each other.


Börltong  (beerdragon)

Originally called Léndragons, the Börltongs happily adopted their nickname, as the first to brew beer—even before hyúlems! Ever foremost in the art, these gastronomes have always grown their own crops, starting with barley. Speaking Lendish or Akrolay, these southern cousins to the Álukoi are 3 times larger, inhabiting the Korlatem Mountains. Contrary to hyúlem myth, Börltongs do not horde treasure, eat humans, or breathe fire. Yet by using alcohol and flint, they may drive away trespassers with “fire burps.” Emotional, they have strong tempers, love humor, music, drama, and crave social interaction with any creatures smart or bold enough to befriend them. Hedonists, they have a weakness for human vices...


Lárkong  (seadragon)  {Sudlisea or Mitersea Monster}

A Legend says giant monsters expelled these amphibians from the ocean. Twice the size of an Álukoi, the Sudlisea Lárkong is slightly larger than the Mitersea type. Both have leathery hides that change hues with mood or need. In prehistoric times, giant balkotars and tierdragons—when not killing each other—drove these shy herbivores nearly to extinction. Assumed to be long gone, Lárkongs suddenly reappeared in Lorgi’s time. Humans have kept looking for them, not to hunt, but in hopes of actually seeing the mythical creatures. By legend, anyone who does earns an extra year of life. Lovers who do so stay united forever.


Língertong  (cloud dragon)

Least-understood of dragons, these soar at altitudes of up to 20,000 feet, flying far higher, faster, and farther than tierdragons. Streamlined, silver with steel-hard needle beaks, they glide around mountain peaks, often staying aloft all day—or a moonlit night. Using sonar, they see through clouds, measure distances precisely, and will dive-bomb through a tierdragon’s wings before it can react. Unless the foe retreats to low altitude, the Língertong will strike again, sending it to its death! Why tierdragons fear to fly on cloudy days. Língertongs also like to devour an acre of crops in minutes. Highlanders and Börltongs have always accepted such rare “visitations,” but angry hyúlems made traps, stupidly aiding the reemergence of tierdragons!


Márpotong  (sandragon—yes, one word!)

Native to the Tamchizu Desert, these giant serpents can reach 100 feet in length. Despite their frightful appearance, they are long-lived vegetarians, like the Álukois. Always able to find underground water, they have saved parched humans many times. Márpotongs do not make fire, but can dissolve stone with their saliva, carving out huge dens. They will travel vast distances at great speed, even weighed down by tons of goods. Kibak and the Tuzanchim made great use of this by “gifting” choice items to the Márpotongs in return for their services. Compulsive collectors, they keep enlarging their dens and yards to accommodate thousands of disparate items—JUNK—even when having no actual use for any of it!


Shíntarkong  (rainforest dragon)

Smallest of the 3 air dragons, the Shíntarkong has a wing span of just 15 feet. Found only in the Shaumwood, these rare nomads keep moving their nests among the top forest canopy, avoiding humans and their ancient enemies: tierdragons, swamp dragons, and balkotars. Herbivores, they have leathery green hides, which change hues with need or mood. They do not throw fire or collect things. Expert spinners, they can mesmerize faster than the most skilled among the Álukoi, then brew vapors to either help or harm, after judging an intruder’s intent.


Shúmerkong  (swamp dragon)

The Continent’s biggest land predator, “Tyrant of the Tirsud,” the Flood Lands and Durheim coast, the shúmerkong needs a warm, wet climate. Devouring whatever can fit between its jaws, it may grow as large as a Márpotong! Fortunately, these serpents do not live nearly as long, are slow-breeding, slow thinking, and a favorite prey of the most daring tierdragons in winter. The shúmerkong is the oldest, most primitive dragon form. After a horrific storm, a dead one may wash up on one of the Sudlendish Islands, whose enterprising human natives immediately convert it into myriad commodities, available for immediate sale!


Tierdragon  (giant fire dragon)

Most dreaded of all creatures, these really do throw fire, hoard treasure, eat humans, sleep for decades, yet can live 500 years. Growing 6 sets of teeth, they die when the last wear out. Death brings celebration throughout a tierdragon’s reach (hundreds of miles) and a violent race for its riches. Adults can spark and throw fire 5-6 times a day, but the very young or old cannot. Their only enemies are other dragons and giant balkotars, but only when a greedy tierdragon lands in a trap. Requiring fresh meat every 2-3 days, they avoid hunting on cloudy ones (see Língertong). With the mightiest wings and day eyes, they claim vast dominions, only tolerating their own kind when mating. One may steal from another, or kill it for its possessions. Copying hyúlem despots, the most powerful tierdragons may own several lairs, many miles apart, in order to hold the most territory.



Like people most places, Álukois appreciate foreigner’s attempting a few words of their language, no matter how badly! The “first paw” or 5 most important words to learn in Álukop: akúa (hello), belsíng (please), gánsi (thank you), bélkam (you’re welcome) and firám (friend).


 Always call an Álukoi a péncher (person), but never a drágon (pirate)! The hyúlem (lowlander) term “snowdragon” is acceptable for the ignorant. Make friends with a góbo nóshul (BIG, gourmet “snack”) and a sanánbörl (stout beer)—chónribas! (cheers!) Wish friends góbo árgosangs (fine adventures) and kámur páu túzim vir (may peace be yours).




Unlike Lendish, Álukop is phonetic! But it has no sounds for q, th, or w. Álukois trying human languages may confuse hard and soft  c, sound  qu  as  k,  th  as  v, and mangle  w  several ways. Pronounce every letter. Exception: ee is one sound; no other letter appears twice in a row.



Choose The Right Word!

Álukop distinguishes between good and bad guides, doctors, cooks, etc. with the endings –jín or –chúmp. Apply these to any title, skill or profession, including bureaucrats, lawyers and politicians—as Álukois have since the earliest times! One exception is redón (a good landlord) versus logáng (a typical bad one in Lorgi’s day). Bélesmak (cook), bélvur (bake), and bélasang (art) are used only in a good way! Péncher (person) and pebálen (people) refer to any intelligent, civilized (potentially) life forms.


The word drágon has always been an insult to Álukois. The creature’s proper generic term is tarkóng, but it is far better to specify (tíerdakong, shíntarkong, etc.). When speaking of ice, snow, avalanches, glaciers, clouds, soup, cake and beer (börl), one must specify, as Álukop provides many types of these things, all of which the Álukois take rather seriously. Especially the BEER!





The Álukois reached the Continent as an ice age was waning, settling the mountains of the northwest. Their written language emerged when the Delfinians, or “short people,” arrived 40 centuries later, to help form the Stonelaw. Both peoples—human or snowdragon—called themselves highlanders and got along so well that Álukop and Delfinian partly merged into highlandish, marking the Stonelaw’s Golden Age.


Delfinian traders took highlandish south, where it mixed with Old Lendish (why Lendish has so many cognates with dragon-speak). As the indomitable Lendish spread out, their enriched language became the standard for all the Castle Lands north of the Korlatem Mountains.


While highlandish resisted change, Lendish evolved with each generation of the aggressive, but short-lived hyúlems. By Lorgi’s day, Middle Lendish had become impossible for Álukois without real study, and lowlanders called Álukop “dragon gibberish.” Visiting Gruneborg, Lorgi heard several dialects of múshlish (“alley” Lendish mixed with another tongue).



Accent Mark

(teg léndisang)

Álukop requires an accent mark for all multi-syllable words, except those with ee or ö which gets the accent unless marked elsewhere (ee trumps ö in a word with both). Some words have a movable accent, shading meaning, from mild to intense. Bíluzor = a mild blister, while biluzór = a severe one. Pásolo = early afternoon, pasólo = midafternoon, and pasoló = late afternoon (all fine times for a góbo nóshul!). In a dictionary, such words have an asterisk (*).


Some Álukop words are verbs and nouns. Accent the first (or middle) syllable for the verb, but the last for the noun. Álukop dictionaries list verb forms first. Bróva = to brew (verb); brová = a brew (noun)—chónribas! If confused, have a góbo nóshul!





Álukop’s 30 letters each have a single sound: 10 vowels (separate letters for long and short a, e, i, o, u); 12 paired consonants: b-p, d-t, f-v, g-k, j-ch, m-n); 6 free consonants (l, h, r, s, y, z); then two combinations (each are one letter in Álukop) ng and sh. Note: ng and ö never begin words, so are not headings in an Álukop dictionary. Lendish readers need one with Lendish alphabetical order for both languages. Some Álukois need a  börl before consulting a dictionary!


About Álukop (Dragon-Speak)

Here is a conversation between an Álukoi & a human exploring the far north.

* For maximum authenticity, have a snack and a beer when practicing it! *


Álukoi: Greetings, far traveler!  Shalrómen, tragía-jin!

Human: Hello, good Dragon. Where am I?   Akúa, góbo Tarkóng. Vyer éom?

Álukoi:  You’re lost.  Tum lotzé.

Human: I need directions. Íye nési vyérchungs.

Álukoi: See the sun’s position?  Zar pozíchung sol-zín?

Human: About noon. How does that help?  Atóbe hápsol. Ihú das válta?

Álukoi: Always a perfect time for a snack!  Dálembre témbre korshón pyar nóshul!

Human: Thank you, but I really am lost.  Gánsi, áper éom verzaví lotzé.


Álukoi: You’re welcome. Stop being lost.  Tum bélkam. Pósok virónda lotzé.

Human: How? Where are we?  Ihú? Vyer vir úli?


Álukoi: Here, just in time for a fine snack.   Móni, lóme témbre pyar góbo nóshul.

Human: Right. Where exactly is here?  Vyer punvartévi vir moní?


Álukoi: Have you ever seen more beautiful mountains, woods, lakes and rivers?
Háveb zar tum moténs, borshónen, lars, yi zárongs móser shónfols?

Human: No. What do you call this place?
Nok. Vya nim dis salénpa?


Álukoi: Home. Welcome to my mountain.  Welcome to the Stonelaw.
Hazél. Bélkam tu motón iyézin. Bélkam tu Zoténdok.

Human: I’d better find my way back home.  
Íye mus fída roné bek hazél.

Álukoi: First you need a fine, generous snack for perspective.
Yó-sheng nési góbo nóshul pyar perótofim.

Human: What kind of perspective?  
Vya táspi perótofim?

Álukoi: Ale, stories and joy to go with our grandest, finest, generous snack! 
Áröl, skíbasongs yi júva myit góbo nóshul granzílga ulzím!

Human: That sounds like a big long lunch. 
Súnde bíme gran-habélsten lúnga.

Yes! May you always have such fine, generous snacks and adventures!
Han! Kámur tum háveb dálembre zuch góbo nóshuls yi árgosangs!

Human: Thank you again, but I still just need directions.
Gánsi yagín, áper Íye lóme belár nési vyérchungs.


Álukoi: Only after a proper lunch. That’s Highland Hospitality.
Lomé tobrán habélsten polpér.  Vir Bélhosang Shelílam.

Álukop for Travelers

Copyright ©  2014 Chasing Fate: A Snowdragon's Odyssey. All Rights Reserved.