"Hhhmm, the Sleeping Sisters are also involved," Aralt realized when he recognized the bird as a magpie sitting in a tree behind the other minion. "I do wonder what this council has been up to in my absence."
As Meen caught sight of the Herald coming out of his home, she quickly jumped the last log as she tried to get back to the council chamber to alert the others of his approach. "This spying stuff is fun," Meen thought to herself. "I can actually play my favorite game of Leap without even getting into trouble." But she apparently did not need to worry too much of Aralt beating her to the council chamber. "He seems to be stopping at several of the local shops and apparently taking his own sweet time to arrive at the chamber. I wonder if he is part Pkysee like me since he seems to be playing instead of worrying about getting to the meeting," Meen pondered for a moment. Aralt even stopped by the local brewer to place an order of Dragon's Brew to be delivered to his home later today. It wasn't until he finished his tea and biscuit at the teashop that he finally started towards the chambers. "That should have given those silly council members plenty of time to arrive," he smiled, knowing that he was subtlety letting them know who will be in charge of this meeting.
"But I would have to surmise with this mix of citizens here, the Troll and the young Nyte Shade must be important as well as the older couple in the corner." As if they heard his unspoken thoughts, the older couple both turned their attention to him.
"This is Queen Ffion of the Shadows' Realm, King Dulbbe of the Trolls, Awena of the Sleeping Sisters, and Efem the Tree Mother. The others are citizens of the Realms who are here to witness this historic occasion. We also have Augustus, The Earl of Grey, who is also the editor of the local newspaper, The Bellwether, to record this news worthy event."
Aralt let the silence last a little longer when the introductions were completed. "I must show them I am in charge here," he thought as he silently walked to a corner of the room so all had to turn to see him. "I am Aralt the Herald. I speak to and for the Dragons and the Clans and will prepare the way for the return of the Dragons. Soon they will return and we must be prepared to make sure they cause no chaos nor reek havoc among the fae folk or the Outies. I will meet with their leader, the most powerful of their kind - a Wish Dragon. Upon her return I will re-establish the rules of order laid down by me in the past for their conduct. If I need your assistance, I will ask for it then. I expect you will all be available and require each of you to have a runner or setup a message system so that I may contact you when I need your assistance. If there are no questions, then we are adjourned," he finished as he started towards the chamber doors.
"But what about Hungry?" Meen uttered to Queen Ffion. "I mean Dre..." she started to add before she saw the look she was getting from all of the others. "Opps..." she muttered as she tried to find someplace to to look other than at everyone who was glaring at her.
Deciding on a new tact, he stopped just short of the doorway and turned back towards the council. "I am sorry. Being alone for so many years has made me a little brusque in my ways. I am concerned for the safety of everyone in the Realms and sometimes I do not present myself as cordial as I should. I have been gone for so long and so many things have changed, I would like to meet with all of you to see what I should know that will help me prepare for the Dragon's return," he finished as he sat down in one of the nearby chairs and awaited their response.
It was slow in coming. Actually it was none as no one wanted to be the first to speak back. "I came on too strong," Aralt realized as he waited. "I will have to start this."
"Dowager Griselda, I am honored to be met by a member of the Dragon Clan. I will rely on your assistance upon the Dragons return as you are one of the few who really understand the importance of what I need to do. We must keep the Dragons under our control if we are to maintain the peace and harmony of our way of life."
As the Dowager remembered the incident with the scroll showing her past and why the Dragon clan was formed, she knew that their decision not to tell the Herald about Dree, the Moon Dragon, had been for the best.
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."
"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.
"We have also heard from King Dulbbe and Queen Ffion about the potential dangers of a ruling Wish Dragon according to the past stories of the She-Dragon," finished Griselda.
Everyone looked at each other, waiting to see if someone would start the conversation they all knew had to happen. It was Awena who began. "We need to create a plan to minimize the chaos of the arrival of the Herald and the Dragon's return. I have searched the records of the Sleeping Sisters and have found nothing that will aid us in this problem. The only ancient text or prophesy that was discovered is extremely vague. The most we can confirm is that all realms are in danger if the Dragon's are no more and the game is lost. We have not found out what is meant by 'this game of power' nor what would make all of the Dragons disappear," she said and sat down on one of the many chairs in the audience chamber.
"You have all heard what we have found out about the returning Dragons. Do you have any further questions of the Dragon orb?" Griselda asked the others. "If not - then now is the time we must decide what we can do. The one major question we cannot answer is does Aralt know we now have a Moon Dragon here in the Realms?" What do you think of this Dree?" finished Griselda as all turned to look at the young Moon Dragon.
Dree was totally caught off guard. He had been listening to everyone's discoveries and was picturing in his mind what the other Dragons would look like and how they would act, but he had not been following the Dowager's final comments. So with a startled look he realized everyone was staring at him and waiting for his comments.
After a few gulps, he finally started to speak. "Excuse me for not paying attention at everything that has been said here, but I have been listening and thinking. I understand both from your discoveries of the Orb and from the reading I have been doing from some books that Granny Flare gave to me what it meant to be a Wish Dragon. I am just now getting my wings under me in trying to find out what a Moon Dragon may be. I am hoping this Herald can help me discover what it is that I am supposed to do," he said. Taking a slow breath Dree continued, "But, I also know that he is a stranger to me while all of you are my family. I may be a Dragon, and formerly of the Wish Dragon Clan, but you have all raised me and have helped me become what I am now so you are my clan too. I do not know if there is anything I can do to prepare for the coming of my kin, but I do feel that I should learn all that I can to be prepared for their arrival," Dree told the others.
Everyone in the room stood and bowed to the young Moon Dragon to show him their support. It was almost too much for the Dragon, but he finally did look back at them all and said a simple "Thank you."
It was then that the Goodie Sisters and Parsley entered the chamber and announced that the meal they had been preparing was ready... was anyone hungry? Dree started laughing and said "No, I'm Dree now - but I am still Hungry!"
"I need to stay calm and open my mind to this new energy," she reassured herself. "For if this helps the Village on the Wall and the Realms, I need to know." The more she stared into the crystal ball the more she felt that she was being taken into another realm. The trees were so green and she could feel their magical roots connecting under her feet as she was walked along the unfamiliar path. She was holding her crystal ball in front of her like a lantern lighting her way when she started to see the mist in the ball clear away.
She followed the new trail which led her down into a grotto with a large waterfall. As she stared at the falls and listened to the crashing of the water onto the rocks, she heard the voice again. "Enter the waterfall for there are those that have a message for you."
After seeing a few stepping stones in the water, Awena proceeded ahead hoping the waterfall wasn't going to destroy her elaborate headpiece she wore. As she was just about to step into the falling water, magically the waters parted to reveal a cave. She slowly entered in to see two Dragons laying in wait for her. At once she felt a connection to one for this was the mother of Dree. Beside her lay a white Dragon though transparent more like the spirit of a beautiful Dragon. Awena could feel in her heart that this was the Dragon that gave her magic to the girls that created the Sleeping Sisters.
They nodded their heads as she entered and she heard a melodious sound in her head. It was a different language then anything she had ever heard before but yet... somehow she seemed to be able to understand it. The Mother Dragon said "Sit Awena for we have words of strength, guidance, and love to share with you. We are here to help this change that is about to happen to your realm." Awena sat and suddenly it occurred to her that she would also talk with these Dragons. It seems like hours for there was much to learn and yet time also flew by. Soon she knew it was time to return to her world and as she rose, thanking the Dragons for sharing their wisdom, she was met at the cave entrance by another Fae. She was not sure who it was until he spoke.
"Let me say these final words to you Awena as you will never return to this vision again," said Aralt. "Sunlight may banish the Darkness away. But Moonlight is the Light in the Darkness." At which Awena awoke in her room holding her now silent crystal ball.
Seeing the look of concern in everyone's eyes, even Dree's, the Dowager realized that she was the one who was going to have to inspire confidence to them all. "I bring this up so we can prepare and be ready for their arrival. It appears from what Goodie4U has seen that the Dragons are widely dispersed. That means we will probably start seeing them either return alone or in small groups. That will give us time."
"Let everyone in the Realms know that Dree is a peaceful Dragon and that the council welcomes their return when it should happen." Seeing Snoop nod his head and start writing on the paper he held, Griselda knew that he would do as she asked since he now understood the danger they were all in.
"For the rest of you, I will be returning to the Mansion with my son. We have a lot of messages to start sending out to see who will respond. I will also call an All Clans meeting to see who will attend." For a second, the Dowager stopped talking. A very concerning thought came to her but she did not want to have the others notice so she quickly continued. "Each of you must return to your homes and start preparing both yourselves and your people as to the Dragons' return. What we did worked last time after the Great Age of Befuddlement, so it will work again. Before you go, I will talk to each of you as to what I suggest you do. But I also suggest you start thinking of what you might also be able to do in addition to that."
While the Dowager was meeting with everyone before they left, Awena and Dree were standing in a corner of the council chambers talking in a low whisper. "Dree, I think it is time for you to return to the caves under the Mansion," Awena told the Moon Dragon. "That way you will be closer to Griselda when she needs you as I am sure she will in the coming times."
"I hadn't thought about that," answered Dree. "I would like that. I will let the others know also so if they need me they will all know where to find me."
"Dowager, I don't mean to be rude, but I don't know why a dragonfly is so important," he said when it was quiet again. The Baron realized that he should say something as his mother seemed to sometimes think that everyone else should just 'understand' what was going on.
"Maybe later, what's important is that they understand the importance of receiving a Dragonflyye," answered Griselda. "What all of you must understand is that when the Dragons were here and plentiful, there were several of the Great Fae who helped the clans keep the peace between Dragons, Fae, and the Outies after the Great Age of Befuddlement. Most of these Fae are now gone (who knows where... but we hope they are having a good time), but a few are still here in the Realms in case the peace is disturbed again."
As Griselda paused, it was Awena who now spoke. "According to the ancient scrolls, the Great Fae used Dragonflyyies to send important messages to the Dragon clans. These special Dragonflyyies were one of the few creatures that could speak both to Fae and Dragons. Only the 'Outies' could not understand the messages they would deliver."
Nodding her head, the Dowager continued when Awena paused. "That is correct. As a member of the Wish Dragon clan I would routinely see the Dragonflyyies delivering messages to the clan elders. I was so shocked to have one appear at the Mansion before leaving to this meeting that I almost forgot about the meeting."
Snoop pointedly asked, "What did the Dragonflyye say and who sent it!" When he realized what he had just done, blushing from embarrassment, he quickly apologized to the council and sat down but not without having his pencil out and paper ready to write it all down.
"Before the interruption," Griselda glared at Snoop, who continued to shrink further into his chair, "I was about to say that the message was very short. All it said was 'They are returning' and it was signed Aralt the Herald."
"Dowager, who is returning and who is Aralt?" Queen Ffion asked as she was just as confused as the others in the council chamber.
"That my dear, is a long tale that I need to tell all of you so everyone understands the dangers that are coming to the Realms. It all began when Goodie4U appeared before me while I was enjoying my favorite tea..."
The Baron sat on the left of his mother, the Dowager Griselda, while Awena was on her right side at the front of the room. Everyone else gave respect due to the new royalty of the Realm - the new Queen Ffion and Troll King Dulbbe, who sat facing towards the head table wondering what this meeting could be about. The Gooblin King was not into protocol. He preferred to sit off in the grey hidden shadows of the back of the room observing what was going on. He told others that he preferred to be off to himself, but most believed it was because he couldn't stand all the bright lights.
In the section reserved for the minions (so they could be called upon to deliver edicts from the council) Arnie had taken one of the seats because she had never sat at council before. It's not like a 'Borrower' is invited to many functions since they have a tendency to 'find' things that they take with them when they leave. Leaning over to Meen she asked in a low voice "What's so important about a dragonfly? I chase them all of the time when I am not out borrowing."
Meen whispered "I am not sure if it's the same thing. It could be I suppose, but I remember once that the old King of Shadows' referred to having a relic of one posted in an ancient scroll. It was an ancient way of sending important messages when the Dragons where around."
It was that new style of cleaning she had shown to some of the other house Brownies at her last convention that he had written about. She called it 'vak-u-ming' (whatever that was). "It will never replace the broom," Snoop thought as he continued watching her clean. "There must be a meeting going to happen today," he realized when he also saw the brewing tea pot and cookies. "There sure are a lot of cookies and cups, so it must be for a full council meeting. Maybe even some VMPs (Very Magical Persons) " Snoop muttered to himself.
"At least the tea is better than what I brew at the Bellwether," Snoop thought while he slowly sipped a little. "I might have to make this cup last a long time since it doesn't appear that anyone has arrived yet but Granny Flare."
"You were right," Dulbbe said to Drat. "It was uncomfortable besides being dirty too. I don't want to have to use that route again unless we absolutely have too. I mean, I can usually see well in the dark, but not in that pitch black hole you took me through. I don't know how you did it because I could not see my hand in front of my face! And don't tell me what was making that sound when were were walking around down there... I don't even what to know who or what it was," Dulbbe finished with a shudder as he brushed his clothes with his hands.
"Sorry Sire, but you did say you wanted to get here fast," Drat answered (but not before Snoop noticed that the rat had answered with a small smile on his lips). Still smiling, Drat stepped aside and motioned for his King to enter the council chamber first as he followed.
"Interesting," thought Snoop. "I wonder who else will appear." Just as he said that, the coach with Queen Ffion pulled up being pulled by no less than four Nytemares. "She must have been in a hurry," he decided. "This must be important!"
As Snoop continued to sip on his tea, he was able to observe several more arrivals for the meeting. There was Hewy, Hir'aeth the Gooblin King, the Goodie sisters, Awena from the Sleeping Sisters, the Baron and his mother the Dowager, and even Dewin the Wizard. All VMPs indeed! It was the last guest that appeared the made Snoop realize that he had to get into the meeting somehow. It was that young Wish Dragon who had transformed into a Moon Dragon, Drai'ochtluan. "I am glad that he likes to go by 'Dree' for short," Snoop sighed to himself. "I would have to look up the spelling every time I want to write it down."
Not realizing that Snoop meant it as a bad thing because she liked to jump everywhere, she shrugged his comment off and pulled on his sleeve again. When she thought she had his full attention, she delivered the message she was sent out with. "The Council asks if you would join them in the council chamber. They said they did not want to start without you."
Snoop was flabbergasted... how did they know that is exactly where he wanted to be?
Gently he sat her on one of padded chairs to recover as Awena continued. "The question is, what do we do now?" It seemed that no one had an answer.
Finally it was the newly re-born Dragon who spoke. "It's all my fault," he said with a tear in his eye. "If it wasn't for me none of this would have happened."
"Nonsense! Now listen everyone... this was but one of two possible outcomes from the moment the Dragon tablet was found. With what it foretold would happen long ago, I am glad for one that goodness prevailed," said Goodiegood. "It could have gone either with a new beginning or a recipe for despair and the ending of the Realm. We should rejoice that the Shadows' King gave us a new beginning!"
Realizing that the Goodie sister was right, the Dowager decided it was time to start that beginning. "Goodiegood is right. The proper time for mourning will come when we know for sure that those who entered the portal are truly gone."
Both surprised and flustered, at first Ffion did not know what to say. Seeing everyone bowing was a shock to her. "This is an honor for my father, not me," she thought. It is when she looked at Hir'aeth looking at her and seeing him nod his head is when she realized that she would have to make some decisions - she was now the Queen of the Shadows' Realm!
Slowly raising from the chair, she started to speak but it came out more like a squeak. After taking a breath and a few swallows (which also gave her another second to gather her thoughts) she began. "I thank you all for your allegiance and your good wishes. In the absence of the King, I will do my best to keep our Realm prospering. My first acts are to make the Dowager Griselda one of my advisors and as my father had requested that Awena of the Sleeping Sisters be the royal tutor."
Deciding this would be the best time for him to act, the Gooblin King waited until the Princess (" I must remember she is the Queen now," thought Hir'aeth) had finished - he made his move. "Queen Ffion. With the absence of the Troll King, someone should take his place to guide his kingdom. As the nearest monarch, I offer my services until his return."
"Ah... the politics begins," muttered the Dowager. As she was sitting near Ffion, it was only the new queen that heard her. Being raised in a royal household, the new queen smiled to herself as she had learned quickly what to do from the many times of watching her father.
"Oh great King. I thank you for the offer of your service, but another has already been selected to replace the Troll King. A distant relative of Druzzy is already here in the room. Hewy, I ask if you will be the acting Troll King until his return?" Ffion said as she looked at the startled troll.
"It must be Dulbbe!" she whispered so that only the Queen would hear. Shocked at hear this, Ffion turned to look at Dulbbe who was still bowing and looking at the floor. "Dulbbe, is this true?" she asked.
"Yes my Queen. It is. I am the younger brother of King Druzzy," the troll answered, still not taking his eyes off of the floor. "Your father knew but he told me when he made me the keeper of his accounts that it was because of my skills with numbers and not because of who I was. That is why I told no one else. Hewy, being a troll knew because he often would perform at the Troll King's events and would see me there with my brother."
This revelation surprised even the Gooblin King, but before he could speak again, the Queen asked her question now to Dulbbe. "Will you be the acting Troll King until his return?" Not wanting to let her down and only now partially realizing that as a King he might actually have a chance at winning her heart, Dulbbe finally looked up at her as he told her "Yes, I will do as you ask."
At this announcement the crowd began to stand and clap as Dulbbe walked to Hewy and shook his hand, while Hewy, being the only other troll in the group, bowed to his new sovereign. "Ahh, the fun begins anew," smiled the Gooblin King wondering how this adversary will 'add up' (accountant humor).
It was during the clapping and applause that the new Queen noticed a feeling that she had not felt before. It first started as a tingling at her fingers which soon was covering her whole body like the magic that flowed through her when she was at the Goodies cottage. Soon the others in the room also saw the glow forming around her as the room became quiet. As all eyes were looking at her, one set of eyes was watching another who was having the same issue. "As the prophecy stated - forever joined by the sacrifice of magic will they be," smiled Goodie4U as the glow slowly disappeared around Queen Ffion and the new Moon Dragon.
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.