Revision of Face-Lift 1288: The Feast of Masks, previous revision posted 4/23/17.
In legend, dragons could accomplish anything with their magic if they obtained the right treasure.
Mercenary Tali Adilrein, who once wielded dragon magic, finds one such powerful "dragon treasure" in Shimmer, a girl she rescues from kidnappers. Suspecting a rogue mage wants the girl, one who doesn't care that using her to fuel his magic will eventually damage her, Tali hires on as Shimmer's bodyguard.
What Tali doesn't realize is an ancient dragon has roused from a millennium of slumbering captivity. Cautious at first but growing more bold, the dragon sends out [Sends out? Explain.] bespelled traps to kill those who defeated its unwitting minions (the kidnappers) and recapture Shimmer: arrows it can guide to strike specific targets, a necklace that will control the wearer's mind and body, flames that move and act as if alive. [That sentence is easy to get lost in. It's Tali alone who defeated the dragon's minions, right? So all the "traps" are targeting her? So you could replace "those who defeated its unwitting minions (the kidnappers)" with "Kali." Specificity is good, but I'm not sure we need the list of traps (two of which sound more like deadly weapons than traps).]
To counter the dragon's spells, Tali will need to once again wield dragon magic. To protect Shimmer, she will need to risk accepting the girl's aid as treasure.
To fight the dragon, Tali will need to become a dragon.
Which comes first? The dragon waking up or Tali rescuing Shimmer from kidnappers? It's easy to assume things happen in the order you tell us about them, but hard to imagine the dragon has minions doing its bidding if it hasn't yet awakened from a millennium of sleep.
Maybe we don't need to know the dragon's been asleep. What Tali doesn't realize is that the kidnappers are the unwitting minions of an ancient dragon now set on recapturing Shimmer.
Those three closing sentences, all in the To ________, she will have to ________. format aren't grabbing me. Maybe something like:
To defeat the dragon, Tali will need to wield dragon magic. And for that . . . She will need to become a dragon.
Or: To defeat the dragon and protect Shimmer, Tali will need her dragon magic along with the girl's aid . . . even if it kills them both.