"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.
Dree excitingly started reciting. "See there are Fire Dragons, Water Dragons, Air Dragons, and even Crystal Dragons. Wouldn't these all be like cousins to me?" asked Dree. The Baron nodded his head in agreement and further explained that these would be the Elemental Dragons as the Crystal Dragons would represent the Earth energy. But then something started to tickle his mind. What was he missing here?
As a gatherer and caretaker of many creatures small and large over his many years as an adventurer, the Baron understood the ruling government of a pack. There was always an alpha that was a leader. Even if a lesser alpha choose to join with another alpha, there was always just one leader that ruled over all and often alone.
Here in the Realm Dree had been the last of the Wish Dragons before he transformed into a Moon Dragon. He was also the only Dragon since all of the others had left many many years ago. The tickle that had been playing in the back of his mind was continuing to gnaw at him - would there be any Wish Dragons returning as well as the other Dragons? Would there be an alpha among them that would assume it would still be alpha in returning to the Realm? How would that affect Dree?
All this thinking was starting to make the Baron's head hurt. After talking to his mother, The Dowager, he now knew that a Moon Dragon was a rare and very strong magical Dragon. Therefore, by rights, should be an alpha or leader over ALL of the Dragons including the Wish Dragons. But Dree was young and untrained.
"But Dowager," answered Fiddlefaddle, "How will we summon so many? I don't speak Bee-G and nobody but Parsley knows how the Mushroom Line communicates..."
Before he could continue Griselda cut him off. "That is not your problem. I will take care of that. You will just need to give them the messages when they arrive. Make sure that the right messenger gets the right message. If I tell you that it has to go to a cave, make sure that the Root Connection make the delivery. If the message is going to a mountain peak, then make sure the Twitter Birds get it. I am sure that between the two of you, you will be able to figure out the best way to send the message. Now I have to get busy writing messages. The Baron has his own tasks to do." Knowing when they had been dismissed to get on with their work, both bowed and left the parlor.
"If the Dowager was writing the messages, what could be my task? thought the Baron. Since just returning from the Council meeting, it struck the Baron that maybe someone should check on Dree. As he brought the subject up to his mother, she realized that he was right. No one had thought of how the one Dragon that was already in the Realm would feel if everyone else thought the Dragons' return was to be a dangerous situation. Given the fact that Dree was a new Moon Dragon and unaware of the powers that he possessed, now would be a good time to make sure he was not upset or scared. Upset or scared powerful Dragons could cause a few problems - especially when they are only partially trained.
For that the Baron was grateful. "I have walked enough today without having to go searching for Hungry, oops, Dree, somewhere in the Shadows' Realm," he thought as he reached the bottom of the stairs. Opening the door to the secret caverns below his mansion, he could tell that they had another visitor. "Even the dirt on the floor is clean," he chuckled to himself about the house brownie. "Granny Flare must have been here."
Soon the Baron was in the chamber where Dree was sitting on a stack of pillows and reading a book. At first the site of it surprised him, but after a moment, he started to chuckle. "Why not?" he decided to himself. "His teachers would be proud of how well the new Moon Dragon was applying himself to learning."
It was the chuckle that alerted Dree to the Baron's presence as he looked up from the book. "Good day Baron. Have you read this book yet? It's fascinating! It's all about Dragons. Granny Flare left it for me to read."
Deciding that it would be a good way to start the conversation he knew he would have to have with Dree, the Baron answered. "No, I have never seen that one before. What can you tell me about your kin?" Soon Dree was telling the Baron about the different types of Dragons and the things they could do... "Now, this one is a water Dragon and he can swim and use water to build things with. Won't that be neat? If I could do that I could make blocks of water with fish in them and then stack them up along that wall," as he pointed to a wall in the cave, "and watch them swim around without getting hurt."
"It's funny that you said that," replied the Baron. "Dree, you were at the Council meeting today and heard what the Dowager said. Do you understand why we are all so concerned about the Dragons returning?"
The question made the young Dragon stare at the Baron for a minute. Then he put the book down on one of the pillows and stared at the wall he had pointed to only minutes before, not saying a word. After a short silence, Dree finally turned to look at the Baron and answered. "Yes, I think I do. You are afraid that with the return of the Dragons that whatever made them go away might happen again. But maybe this time it will happen after something bad occurs. You are here because you don't know what I will do now that I am a Moon Dragon."
As surprised to hear that the Dragon did understand his concerns, the Baron knew now was the time to ask his other question. "What will you do?"
"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?
"Something always seems to happen to my friends and it's because of me," the Dragon sniffled. "Even my Spite (The CAT) was taken," he cried silently to himself. "I should leave but where would I go?" the Dragon was thinking just before the tingling came over him. Just like Ffion, the tingling started in his claws but was soon spreading over his entire body. "What is this?" he thought. Was it something else that would take away another one of his friends?
Almost as soon as it started, the tingling stopped and the Dragon was himself again. "I need to be going now before something else happens," he told himself and started for the doors. He had only taken a couple of steps before he was blocked by the Goodie sisters. They had been watching him as if they already knew that he was going to leave. "Excuse me," he said as he tried to get around one of them to leave, but they kept finding some way to always be in front of him.
Releasing the Dragon's paw, Goodie4U continued where her sister left off. "The prophecy told of two outcomes. One for good and the other for evil. The sacrifice of magic from a Nyte Shade was what was required for the mixture (transformation) to be complete. Your father offered himself when we thought it would be from you, but in doing so, he also gave both you and Hungry (his old self) a great gift."
As Goodie4U paused, Goodie2shues continued. "You and Hungry have been magically joined just as a dragon was when a Nyte Shade sacrificed her powers to her friend. This is what created the first magical Dragon. We were not sure at first if the ingredients would mix (the joining), but when we saw both of you a few minutes ago surrounded by the blue aura, we knew it had happened."
Before the Queen or the Newborn Dragon could ask what it all meant, Goodiegood again spoke. "My Queen, as both you and the Dragon's powers grow you will both find that future events will need the two of you jelling together. What those events will be, we cannot say," as she looked at both Ffion and the Dragon, " but you also both share the magical powers of the moonflowers."
Now they were even more confused than before!!! "We really don't understand what you just said," started the Dragon, but before he could finish the sentence Ffion did. "What you are telling us is that we are magically joined?" finishing the sentence. Startled, the Queen and the Dragon looked at each other. As one started to speak, the other would either nod their head yes or no. Each one knew what the other would say.
Realizing that another crisis was over, the Goodie sisters smiled at each other and started leaving to return to their cottage. Before they could get to the door, this time the Dragon stopped them. "Before you go, can you at least tell me what happened to me? What am I?" he asked the sisters.
"Why you are one of the most powerful Dragons ever known. Your transformation has changed you from being just a Wish Dragon but to a Moon Dragon," Goodiegood told him. "As Hunter told you that if you ate the blue rose you would no longer be 'hungry'. He did not mean that you would not want to eat, he meant that you will change and become someone greater. You are now Drai'ochtluan (pronounced - dree-ach-loo-am), the Magic Moon."
"Cool!" replied the Dragon, "but I think I like to be just Dree to my friends", winking at the sisters and Ffion.
"When a certain student decides not to disappear to go off and play... not too bad," answered Dewin with a disgruntled look. "We were supposed to have a belching class this morning but he skipped out somewhere. I have been looking up some more information for his studies in my crystal ball for when he returns. He will wish he had attended the class instead of going off to play by the time I get done."
It was when looking up from the crystal ball that the wizard noticed that his three visitors all looked a little more than just concerned about the absence of the Wish Dragon. "What's going on?" asked Dewin. "Is there something I should know about?"
The Baron started out and then Hewy jumped in to explained their concerns about Hungry's safety. "Yes," said Hewy, "the Troll King has been asking a lot of questions about Dragons and that he was hearing about a Dragon tablet. We're concerned about what the Troll King might do if he could capture Hungry."
"Recently I was looking over some old scrolls, preparing for a lesson with Hungry, when I found a reference to a Dragon Transformation ritual. It was just a small note scribbled on the margin that I just took as a pondering note, but now it makes some sense."
The others did not interrupt the wizard, so he continued his ponderings. "It mentioned a disaster with the Dragons. Something about how a Wish Dragon was undergoing the transformation when a bird interrupted the ceremony. From the sounds of the note, things did not go well for the Wish Dragon. That is all I know about it as sadly what happened wasn't written." The three visitors concernedly glanced at each other and made a decision.
"We need to find Hungry now to make sure he is safe and well hidden from the Troll King until we have the tablet," said the Baron to the others. Even the wizard nodded his head in agreement since it was now not just finding a truant student, but possibly the future of the realms.
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.