Name:  Unknown, aka “Red Claws”

Type:  Midnight Stalker

Birthdate:  Born on September 9 in Zandadorian year of 3393 during Calvin the Collector’s reign

Current Age:  807

Status:  Wild Dragon

Residence:  Cave in Midnight Territory

Personality:  Mean, Violent, Territorial, Domineering, Shrewd

Favorite Food:  Bear meat

Biggest Fear:  Thunderstorms (the noise of the wind, rain, and thunder overpower his sensitive ears)

Unique Fact:  He is the tallest, strongest, largest dragon ever to live, and his red claws and red eyes make him appear extra ferocious.  Only one other dragon has dared threaten Torkan’s territory or status as the preeminent dragon in Zandador:  Silverspike.  These dragons battled one another for hundreds of years until Javan’s great-great-great grandfather Kenton managed to collect Silverspike. 

“Red Claws” is one of two new dragons introduced in The Dragon Hunter.  The following is an excerpt from the book that highlights his appearance.

Micah grabbed the reigns as he jumped on Mertzer’s back.  The jerk of the reigns woke the dragon.  “Get me to the Midnight Stalkers.”  Mertzer shook himself awake from his head down to his tail, stretched out each leg, and took off toward the fighting dragons. 

Past the soldiers.  Through the snow.  Over rocks.  Around trees.  Until they reached a clearing.  The Midnight Stalkers whose scales were slowly turning from grey to black circled each other.  Every time one attempted an approach at the prize in the middle—a dead bison—the other would breathe a bolt of electricity to keep the offender away. 

Serenity did not appear to be winning.  She had a stripe of missing scales along her right side and was favoring her front left leg.  The other dragon bore no battle scars and appeared to be in perfect condition.  Its red claws matched its red eyes.  Considering its size, Micah was surprised Serenity was still alive.

The dragon was a good ten feet taller than Serenity and made Micah feel like a midget sitting on top of Mertzer.  Midnight Stalkers weren’t supposed to be as big as this one was.  And they certainly weren’t supposed to have red eyes.  If Micah could capture this unusual and frightening dragon, his father wouldn’t just forgive Micah; he would be bound to surrender the throne to him.

Micah’s breath hung in the air as he watched the dragons battle over their dinner.  He could hear the stampede of approaching soldiers behind him and was aware of Vasilis’s presence above them.  Neither Midnight Stalker seemed to notice the commotion.  They were too focused on dinner.  As much as they hated noise, that focus wouldn’t last much longer.  Micah needed to take advantage of this opportunity while he could.

He maneuvered Mertzer so that he was standing sideways to the Midnight Stalkers rather than facing them.  Micah drew his sword, stood on Mertzer’s back, and waited.

Red Claws was approaching from Micah’s left with his long tail dragging along the ground behind him.  All Micah had to do was jump on the dragon’s tail and slice through it.  Then the dragon would be his.

“Come on, come on, come on,” Micah muttered.  He had practiced this tail-jumping move thousands of times.  Even so, Micah felt his heartbeat kick up a couple of notches.  The real deal was always more exciting than training.

The black tail inched closer.  “Almost…”  Micah made himself wait another second, then jumped. 

His feet landed exactly where he wanted them, right in the middle of the tail.

The dragon’s scales were slicker than he expected.  He slid a few feet but managed to stay on, drop down, and wrap his legs around the thick tail.

“You’re mine!”  With both hands on his sword handle, Micah reached up.  Just as he was about to slash the sword through the dragon’s tail, a bolt of lightning hit the sword, shooting it out of his hands.  “What the…?”

Micah couldn’t finish his sentence.  Not when he was staring right into the flaming red eyes of a hungry dragon.  );