As he dozed his mind wandered to his first Dragon encounter a long time in the past. It was on a walk through woods like he was traveling through now when it happened and that walk changed everything for him.
Nothing young Aralt liked better than to go exploring out in the trees behind the village where he lived. Aralt grew up in a small elven community that bordered along a river where huge ancient trees surrounded it. It was with those trees that Aralt learned many things.
For the trees were his tutors and their grove was his school ground as well as where he played. One day he came across this little creature. He looked snake-like but it also had a large head and legs. His curiosity was stronger than being safe for he bent down and picked up the strange creature and started to stroke it.
The spring soon gave way to summer and as fall approached with it's every changing colors, Aralt spent what few free hours he had with the Dragon as his studies with the trees continued. He was now up to the study of the language of Runes. As the trees taught him about them they would tell him where to go to see the Runes for each had a purpose for where it was placed.
He decided to follow the dirt path it was near to see what he would discover and maybe learn more about it's meaning. As he continued down the path, another Rune appeared and then another. What Aralt did not know at that time was that he had discovered the pathway for Dragonet's to find their way home after being born. Dragons were like salmon, for after being born each needed to return home to become the Dragon it was meant to be. Home to a Dragon was returning to a Dragon community, for only there would they learn their part in the magic or they would be destined to become a mere dragon again as before they were changed by the Nyte Shade.
When Aralt realized that the strange creature he had discovered earlier in the year, now his closest friend, was actually a Dragonet and that it wouldn't evolve or change unless it was able to follow this river back to its home he knew what he needed to do.
So it was with a sad heart that the next day he placed his little Dragonet into the stream by the path so it could continue its journey home that had been interrupted when the elven boy discovered and befriended it. But it wasn't long into the stream when the Dragonet remembered the love the boy had given it which was stronger than the call to return home. It decided to stay the way it was and remain with the boy, forsaking the calling. It turned back to the elven boy and they agreed they would stay together.
Little did they know that this one simple act sent a ripple through the Dragon's world. For no Dragonet had ever not returned since receiving the magic from the Nyte Shade. This was unacceptable!
One day as Aralt and his friend where playing outside, two golden and very tall Dragons carrying spears in their hands appeared. They came upon the Dragonet playing with Aralt, picked it up and simply walked away towards the path with the rune never to be seen again by the surprised young elf.
It was those mornings where he could enjoy his drink in silence that helped focus and energize him. "I still have those blasted chimes going off in my head," grumbled Aralt. "I just might need a double shot this morning," he thought to himself.
"Dragon's will be the death of me yet," he growled as he continuing drinking. It wasn't as if Aralt talked to himself more than anyone else. It was that since he was a herald, he found out long ago that he talked out loud more than others. "So what if I talk out loud," he told himself, "it's not like I hear strange voices telling me what to do." The problem was that occasionally he did hear voices in his head. Dragon voices. "It's all because of that emerald," he told himself as he was deciding what to wear and what else to pack for the journey. "I better check to make sure I have packed the emerald dragon heart," he reminded himself.
While she had been trying to buy Aralt's favor, she didn't realize she had actually given him the perfect portal for controlling her Dragons. "If that cantankerous old she-demon of a Wish Dragon only knew what her bribe did," smiled Aralt. For every Dragon had their pile of gold to sleep on knowing that gold was a perfect conduit for magical energy to pass through. It was this extra power that also increased Aralt's mind-talking ability to her dominions giving him the ability to persuade them.
"I am the only thing that keeps these Dragons from creating total chaos and havoc in the Realms," he told himself each time he used the corolla and the Dragon Heart stone together. "And I am the only one who knows what's best for them too," he said as he took one last took in his room and started out the door with his packed bags.
Ffion gave him a quick glare and then realized that the orb did not immediately go into its standard response of "Your question is incomplete..." Returning her gaze back to the orb, it stopped flashing and began to speak.
"The Herald, Aralt, is preparing his travels now and will return to this Realm before the Dragons arrive. Once he has returned the Dragons will be able to follow his path."
"How long will that take?" asked Ffion to the orb.
"The Herald will arrive soon. How long after that for the Dragons to arrive will depend on what the Herald does to summon them," the orb answered.
He could see the consternation on Ffion's face, but she was her father's daughter and he had taught her well about being a ruler. The people of her realm must come first.
"You are right," she answered. "I am sorry... but I worry so about my father and I miss him so!" she said with a tear at the corner of one eye. It was at that moment that Dulbbe wanted to take her in his arms and comfort her but still he hesitated. "I still am just a bookkeeper," he thought to himself. "I will one day be worthy."
Turning to the orb, Dulbbe asked his next question. "Tell us what you can about this Herald."
Ffion and Dulbbe looked a little confused at each other as neither had ever heard about this Herald before. They were both surprised also to hear that a Wish Dragon was the ruler of Dragons. Before Dulbbe asked his next question, Ffion asked hers. "I thought Dragons did not have a ruler per se. How did a Wish Dragon become their ruler?"
"The Wish Dragon is the most powerful Dragon until a Moon Dragon is born. No Moon Dragons exist," the orb answered. Startled by this information, Dulbbe and Ffion both looked at each other thinking the same thought. Dree, who was a Wish Dragon before his recent transformation, was now a Moon Dragon.
As the orb continued, both listened intently on what it was telling them. "The Herald helps the ruling Wish Dragon in keeping the continuity of the magic the Dragons use so as not to disrupt the harmony of all. In the beginning when dragons first received their magical powers and became mystical Dragons, they did not control what magics they did. Many mundane and magicals were hurt and destroyed. The Wish Dragons were among the mightiest of all magic welders! They could grant wishes that could change anything. The consequences of many of these granted wishes are still present here in the Realms."
Both Dulbbe and Ffion knew that this was information that the others needed to know right away. If the Dragons were really returning and a Wish Dragon would be their leader this would be a whole new world for them to return to. For they did not know that a Moon Dragon now existed. Also how would this change things for Dree (a.k.a. Hungry), the newly wet behind the ears Moon Dragon?
"You keep the orb talking," Ffion told Dulbbe as she headed towards the doorway. "I will send a flutterby to the Dowager and Awena. They need to know what we have found out."
"Her growling at the orb won't solve the problem," he thought to himself since he knew better than to say it out loud.
"You stupid thing! If you know where my father is - tell me!" she hollered at the glowing green orb. The only response she received was "Your question is incomplete. What knowledge do you seek?"
"Queen Ffion, how about if I attempt something," Dulbbe asked. Ffion just waved her hands at the orb as if dismissing it and stepped back. "Okay !! See if you can get this stupid thing to work," she told him.
"Is the Shadows' King safe?" he asked the Dragon face in the orb.
"Safe is a perspective concept. What knowledge do you seek?" answered the orb. "At least we are getting partially somewhere," Dulbbe muttered to himself before changing his next question slightly. "Does the Shadows' King have a way to find his way back to this castle?"
It took a minute and the orb flashed bright green several times before answering. "Yes," said the orb. Before Ffion could interrupt, Dulbbe asked his next question. "Is there anyone with him that can help him to return and who are they?"
Again, but taking a bit longer to respond, the orb answered. "Yes. A Spite and a Dragon."
Dulbbe knew that The CAT was Hungry's (oops - Dree's) Spite, but another Dragon was helping the Shadows' King? "That was interesting indeed!" mused Dulbbe. But then he remembered, as he was so focused on wanting to have Ffion appreciate him, that they were here to see what information they could find about the Dragons returning.
"What!!!" cried Ffion as she stepped back up to the orb and peered into its glow.
"Your question is incomplete. What knowledge do you seek?" answered the orb.
While Efem and the Dowager Griselda were working to find out more information about Aralt the Herald, others were following up in another direction. But Dulbbe being the multi-tasker that he was also was thinking of Queen Ffion and how much he adored her. "When I was a bookkeeper, it was a distant dream," he thought, "but as a King, who knows?" Because of this, Dulbbe was taking every opportunity to cement the relationship between the new Shadows' Queen and the Troll Kingdom. This meant that he would find some pretense to visit the Queen's castle every chance he got. One day it would be for something he forgot in his old rooms and the next day it was because he wanted to maybe borrow a book to read. It was the book idea that reminded him about another opportunity he could use to help on the Dragon's return.
It was the 'we' that made Dulbbe smile. "She thinks of us as a 'we'," he happily thought with a dreamy look. "It was in the library," Dulbbe answered as he gazed at Ffion with a sappy smile. "In Room 101."
"Did the orb glow green?" she asked Dulbbe as she passed through a doorway. Surprised for a moment from her question, the Troll King stopped in his tracks and looked at her back as she continued walking to the library. Realizing she was not going to stop, he hurried to catch up with her "How do you know that?" Dulbee asked.
"I delivered a meal to my father before everything happened and he was yelling at a green glowing orb with a picture of a Dragon's head in it," she answered. "I forgot all about it until you mentioned the room that he was in. Room 101."
As they neared the room, it was Dulbbe who noticed the green glow emanating from under the door. "It must still be there," thought Dulbbe. Ffion quickly opened the door and stepped in with Dulbbe following. "I found the orb on the third shelf in row four..." said Dulbbe but as he entered the room and looked towards the shelf, he realized it was no longer there. It had been placed on a ledge near the doorway by the King when Awena and the Dowager had told him that the Dragon tablet was on it's way to the castle carried by a Borrower apparently forgotten. Ffion picked it up and walked towards a table to set it on. As she placed it down, she turned to Dulbbe. "How does it work?" she asked.
As Ffion waited for it to say more, the orb only continued to glow. Exasperated, she growled, "What to you mean 'yes'?"
The only response she got was "Your question is incomplete. What knowledge do you seek?" Dulbbe knew that this was going to take a little time...
The Root Connection ran deep and far. The only problem was that it was slow. Most messages sent via the Root Connection were answered by some other service like the Flutterbys or the Bee-Gs since this connection was even slower than Snailmail. The only reason anyone used this approach was that the Root Connection's knowledge ran very very deep. The ancient Yew was thousands of years old and had heard lots of gossip (news) in it's many years. This is what Efem needed. "Knowledge from the past," she mumbled to herself as she walked to the stone platform in the center of the grove and stood, waiting for the trees to acknowledge her.
Sometimes she had to wait days for the trees to notice her as their world ran a little slower than hers. "At least I am not trying to talk to rocks," thought Efem. "I am sure I would be waiting longer," she figured, "but then again, I wonder what we would talk about? Would I take what they say for 'granite'?" snickered Efem as she thought about how many other puns that would fit in the conversation. "I wonder if the rocks would even notice the puns?"
It was as she was thinking about rock puns, that the Willow spoke to her. Surprised because they have never noticed her this quickly before, she bowed her head and waited. "Efem, we knew you would not be late... Your coming here, was it just desperation or fate?" The question caught her by surprise making her forget the questions she had made up on her way to the Grove. "Desperation or Fate? What did the Willow mean and how should she answer?" Efem wondered.
It seemed like a long time that she thought about the question, and maybe it was, but the Willow did not seem to notice. Finally, Efem knew what she had to answer. "Great Elder..." she started but stopped when the leaves of the Willow started shaking and a giggle could be heard on the wind.
"Great Willow maybe it is both fate or desperation... but with the Grove's help and ancient knowledge, maybe you will be able to give me the much needed information," answered Efem.
With this answer the ancient Yew spoke, surprising Efem as she had never heard it talk before. Usually it would sit and listen and in the many years she had been a Tree Mother visiting the Grove, this was the first time it ever spoke. "The time is coming that a great change may occur. We do not know if the return of the Dragons is what starts the change, but they are players in the game." It took Efem a minute to realize that the Yew had spoken plainly and not in rhyme or verse.
"You spoke plainly. Why have none of you done this before?" she asked.
"We did it because we thought that is what you wanted. It's a nuance to have to make everything rhyme like the Wishing Well," answered the ancient Yew. "Do you want us to go back to rhyming?"
"No... uhm... no thank you. I would prefer this way. Now, can you tell me more about this game that is being started and how the Dragons may be part of it?" as Efem sat down on the stone platform figuring this was going to be a long visit and happy that she remembered to pack a few things in her satchel.
Now she could focus on the real problem. She realized what she needed to do. "I should have thought of this earlier," she mumbled to herself. "Maybe it's time to talk to the trees. After all they were here when the Dragons were plentiful. As a Tree Mother, I should have thought of this before now," Efem continued to herself. " I will make time now to go to the Sacred Grove."
Earlier, before Nemmer delivered his good news, Efem had received a Flutterby from the Dowager. Griselda told her about the scroll and how she had seen the Herald named Aralt in her vision. "I'm old, but even I don't remember anyone named Aralt," Efem thought. "Maybe this Herald can help us when the Dragons arrive."
Now that she had a plan, Efem started her preparations. "One doesn't just walk into the Sacred Grove and ask questions." she mumbled to herself as she started looking for some necessary items. "First I need a small satchel bag to carry everything."
Nemmer would not admit it to anyone, being a little stubborn, but sometimes he liked fighting with The CAT. "Now that stupid CAT has me thinking about him just because he had to go and do something noble," Nemmer grumbled to himself with a slight pang of annoyance and a touch of nostalgia rumbling around in his chest.
"Durn fool CAT. Why did you let that stupid troll pull you into that portal? You could have blinked out of there and gotten away," growled Nemmer as he was thinking about what the others told him had happened. "If I had found Hungry, then I would have been there to save you," Nemmer whispered to himself as he leaned his back against an old oak tree.
So, that was it! Nemmer was feeling guilty about not being there and possibly saving The CAT. "If I was a better hunter, I would have found that Dragon first," moaned the archer. "Maybe I am not as good as I thought I was," he said as he slumped down the side of the tree to sit on the grass by the trunk.
While he was standing under it and trying to see through it, another apple fell out and almost hit him again. "Ha! Missed!" crowed Nemmer prematurely as another one fell out of the portal and smacked him again before it closed and disappeared.
It was as he was rubbing his sore head and looking at the last apple that had hit him he now was holding in his hand when the realization struck him. "He's alive! That blasted CAT is okay! I've got to tell Cornelia and Efem. They will both be happy to hear that their CAT is still out there causing mischief and mayhem." It was with that thought Nemmer picked up the rest of his arrows (for an Archer of the Elfshot Guild would do no less) and started out to the cottage he shared with his wife Cornelia.
And where was The CAT and what mischief was he getting into... well, that is another story.
I am not called Snoop for nothing as I realized this could be another story for the newspaper. Granny then started to tell me about a frog family that has lost it's lily pad. She was trying to help them move into a tree stump by the river by raising funds to make sure their new home would be safe and secure. "Especially by flooding," she told me as I was leaving. But I couldn't leave until I knew her secret in staying cool in this heat as she certainly looked tidy. She too winked at me and said "My secret? I spray it on first thing in the morning and it keeps me cool and comfortable." Not wanting to get more details in her grooming technique, I left it at that for if I stayed another five minutes by her ovens I might be the next heat victim
Thinking of what Granny had told me about this poor frog family, I decided to check out the river. Would anyone be down at the local swimming hole trying to keep cool? When I got there, it was empty. Not a person in site, but when I put my foot into the water I understood why. Even that was hot! Out of the corner of my eye I did see Meen, the Pyksee, bouncing from toadstool to toadstool in a nearby meadow but she disappeared before I could talk to her about how she was staying cool.
"We should all have something like that!" I realized. "Instead of sitting in a tub of water, we could have cold water poured into a bucket with a bunch of holes in the bottom and have it drip down. I'll call it a 'shower'. This is brilliant!"
Snoop then rushed off to Ironmonger's Hammer and Spike shop to pick up his bucket list of supplies to build his own 'shower' to keep cool.
Standing up and walking around the library she slowly made her way over to the wall that held ancient scrolls. The very old ones were stacked on the shelves, written down before Snoop brought in his magical machines that made printing possible into the now familiar book format.
"Maybe I can find one about who this herald is that calls himself Aralt," mused Griselda. She started scanning and looking through several of the old scrolls until she found one that was still rolled up and sealed with an unbroken golden seal. She could feel the magic within the scroll as she touched it and especially behind the seal when she ran her fingers over it. "I have heard about these types of seals," whispered Griselda in awe for actually seeing one herself as she was unaware her son had one in the library. "It's to keep the scroll in mint condition for future generations so as to not lose the knowledge within."
Deciding that it was time the scroll be read, the Dowager broke the seal. As she did, she felt the powerful magic released seeping into the room. Time started to fade away and she was transported back to where the scroll began.
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.