"This check list thing can sure be useful," thought Drat. The minion had never done one before until Dulbbe had become the Troll King. The new king and former bookkeeper was a stickler for lists. At first Drat thought it would be a waste of time and just one of those ways that having something in writing could get him into trouble, but after a while he realized they really were helpful. "As long as I don't lose it and I don't make anything on it clear to anyone else but me, then I don't have to keep everything in my head," he had decided after using them for a time. Now he did it to keep his mind free for other things and to help him focus on the issues at hand.
"Of course the answer is easy," he chuckled looking at his list. "Find something else for him to eat and I know just where to go for that." Drat had heard from his own sources about the Goodie Sisters providing Dree (at that time - Hungry) with a birthday party and about how much the Dragon loved the food so that is where he decided to pick up some snacks before showing up to keep him distracted. The elder Goodie Sister, Goodiegood, was at the council meeting but the other two should be at home - at least Drat hoped.
Soon he was standing outside of the Goodie cottage, Drat could smell something cooking. "Yup. Someone is there," he smiled as his own stomach made a slight growl. "Hopefully it is something that will be tastier than myself that Dree will like," thought Drat just as he was about to knock on the door. Before he could though slowly the door opened by itself and he could hear Goodie4U calling out to him to come in. "How do they do that?" Drat had thought for more than the first time.
It was a circle of twigs above the door and for an instant he thought he saw a bunch of entwined snakes. "Why am I thinking everything wants to eat me? Is it because I must be hungrier than I realized," he told himself as he crawled out from under the table but all of the time keeping at least one eye on the twigs.
"I have a bag of sweets waiting here for you," said Goodie2shues "with a couple of extras for your trip to the caves" as she handed Drat the sack. "Tell Dree hi for us while you are there. We made him some Chocolate Haystacks that Scarlet swears by especially since we knew that Dree loves chocolate. There should be enough there to keep him from deciding if you are edible or not," she smiled at him.
Not everyone else was smiling though. Especially not the town council members who had glanced at each other when Aralt had disappeared behind his doors and now started back to the council chambers. They definitely needed to talk.
Shortly all of them were sitting around the conference table thinking about what to say at the meeting. Each of the councilors had their chief minion there in case an errand or message needed to be delivered awaiting in the chairs spaced against the wall of the chamber. Even if they were longingly gazing at the buffet table that Granny Flare and Cornelia had setup for everyone to snack on, they understood the importance of the events of day.
Finally it was the Dowager who started the conversation. "Well, that went well."
Those four words were all it took to get everyone talking at the same time. "Who would have thought he would be so short and I don't just mean in stature," snapped one member. "How can he think I will let him stay on the grounds of my castle," growled Queen Ffion. "What are we going to do now?" both Awena and Dulbbe silently thought to themselves as they listened to the others talk.
Each of the council members sat quietly, thinking about the Baron's question. Indeed, what do we do now? It was a quandary. "There is one thing we probably should do," grumbled Nemmer as he watched the others staring at each other around the table. "Maybe we need to hide Dree until we know more about this Herald business."
It took a minute, as the others were heavy in thought about the situation, before they realized what Nemmer had just muttered. "Nemmer is right," smiled the Dowager. "Dree should be hidden until we know enough about Aralt before they meet. We don't want the two of them to get off on the wrong foot. But I also don't think they should meet until we find out what the Herald's plans are first."
After a short discussion, the rest of the council agreed with the Dowager, but who to send? For they needed to distract Dree and to keep him away until the council had their chance to find out Aralt's plan and that wouldn't be easy.
"I could send Meen," volunteered Queen Ffion as Meen jumped from her chair when she heard her name.
"No disrespect to you or your minion, Queen Ffion," answered Awena, " But we need someone who might be able to distract Dree as to the arrival of the Herald but not spill the beans about him. Meen would get so caught up playing and probably tell Dree everything since she is a twiddletop when it comes to keeping secrets." The conversation continued for some time, going back and forth on who would be best to inform the Dragon, but it wasn't until Dulbbe, the Troll King, made his offer before they selected the messenger.
Realizing that his boss was both correct and actually giving him a compliment, Drat blushed slightly and bowed his head. "As you command Sire," he replied as he departed on his errand.
"Well, it got me out of what looked like a long and boring meeting," thought Drat as he darted down the street to the caves under the Baron's mansion all the time working up a plan to keep the Dragon busy without letting him know he was being hidden away again for now. "I wonder if I can get him into a game of Tic Tac Toe? That could take a while if he doesn't know that secret. But I will definitely need to let him know that it doesn't require body parts or eating."
Following the stone pathway, he let the gentle winds of memories float in around him. This was part of the Realms of Shadows' before the King built his castle above. After all, Aralt had been in the Realm long before the King of Shadows' existed and when the dragons had been nothing more than overgrown lizards.
It is when his foolish cousin gave of her power to the previously non-magical dragons that the Realms changed. Aralt had taken his home and hidden it way underground before the now magical Dragons knew where it was. He could still be connected to the energy of the ley lines but not be easily found, just the way he liked it. Aralt knew there were other caves around down here with him, for after all, he knew there should be one where the Book of Dragons was held. Why the Wish Dragon clan had decided the King of Shadows' was to guard it was still a mystery to him, but figured he could check on it later.
As he opened the door to his forgotten home, all the feeling of putting on a familiar warm fuzzy coat wrapped around him. It hadn't been his intent to be gone for so long. But when the Dragons all left the Realms in revolt, Aralt thought it was better to hide out somewhere else where the council members at that time couldn't find him. Who knew it would be hundreds of years and yet... what had triggered the Dragons coming back?
With all the chaos of the call and reacting to the call to return home, Aralt finally had a moment to ponder that question. For it truly had to be something unique to bring the Dragons home, let alone willingly.
"What are we to do now?" replied one member followed by "What do you think he will look like?" from another council member.
In the middle of all this chaotic noise, Fiddlefaddle leaned over towards the Baron. Being the Baron's all around handy man and procurator of travel arrangements he quietly asked, "Do you know where he will be staying since we don't have what the Outies call a hotel here in our small village?"
With that small question, the noise stopped instantly in the council chamber that one could have heard a pin drop if one was listening for that pin. Finally, Nemmer was the one who broke the silence. "There is a room over at the Rusty Nail Pub. I was just there this past week with my fellow archers and I am sure I heard the owner mention he had a spare room available." Which of course set up another flow of highly opinionated views on that suggestion.
"No, I don't think that is a good idea," replied Awena. "I walked by there on my way to the council meeting and heard that the little old lady that owns the place just picked up a set of Peerrots (in the Outie world would be known as parrots) that squeal 'Rise & Shine and Git Out' every morning now. I don't think we want our guest to think we don't want him here," continued Awena.
At that moment a golden coach pulled up in front of the Village Council's building. All the members stood in anticipation for the Herald to exit the coach. As he did he simple stepped down, gave everyone a cold look, paid the coach driver, and then turned towards the center of the Village as if looking for something. He then proceeded to walk off and left without a word of acknowledgement or greeting as the coach departed in the opposite direction.
So, just like the Pied Piper in tales of old, the Herald continued walking down the center of the small village neither looking left nor right with the Council members (now with a few curious villagers who were wondering where the parade was going and what was it for) all following behind him. Little did they know that Aralt was focusing on the ley lines of the area. He could feel them and though it had been many many years since being here, especially without the Dragons to feed them, the lines were still here, though very faint.
"If he thinks he is staying at my castle without an invitation or greeting, I don't think so!" Ffion growled to herself as the crowd all turned towards the Shadows' Queen castle.
They all continued walking down the road like a gaggle of geese following the Herald's lead as he walked into the courtyard of the Shadows' Queen's castle and proceeded to the back upper garden where several of those following soon realized it was the same garden where the young Wish Dragon had transformed into a Moon Dragon. Aralt then went past the waterfalls (that covered the entrance to the secret cave that held the Dragon tablet recently taken by a Borrower) towards a wall covered with bramble vines that grow only in a darker corner of the garden. With his arms raised and the stone in the locket glowing that he always carried with him, Aralt spoke. " Rise to the left. Shift to the right. Reveal these doors to my Sight."
Magically the brambles began to pull to the left with some shifting to the right, soon a massive stone door appeared that slowly opened for him. Apparently, by everyone's stunned reaction, Aralt realized that most of these simple people didn't know about the Dragons' Cave below. He finally decided to address the crowd of followers and turned to face them. "Excuse me. This is where I'll be staying. It has been a long day. I will meet with you tomorrow," and with that walked through the now open doorway with them shutting behind him. All the villagers stood there stunned with their mouths hanging open, wondering just what had happen.
Welcome to my blog. This is where I will reveal the magic of my Fae and their stories and share with you some of the success and pitfalls through the journey of doll making, sculpting, and other crafts that all come back to my dolls in many ways.