The council meeting broke up as soon as everyone learned that Aralt had managed to leave Meen behind. With him disappearing the Dowager immediately sent Meen to warn Drat that the Herald may be heading towards the caves where Drat and Dree were supposed to be hiding out.
Awena also wasted no time and went directly to her library to find the Dragon's Return prophecy to see if there might be a clue to reveal what Aralt's power over the Dragons might be. As she sorted through the many prophecy scrolls, more than once she thought that they should have some sort of index to be able to find the one she was looking for faster. "Once this is over, I will have to meet with the staff to figure something out," she told herself as she put another scroll aside in her search for the right one.
Normally Efem would almost dread having to enter the Sacred Grove to talk to the ancient trees but not this trip. Since learning they could speed talk, she hoped they would respond quickly to her requests for knowledge that only they knew from the roots of the Realm's past. "I hope that the Ol' Yew is not asleep," she thought as she approached the mighty tree. As she stood next to it and looked upon it's shiny green foliage, Efem was awed by a random thought of how much it must have seen during its life cycle. "I remember my mother bringing me here to see the Yew when I was a young sapling and the Yew was ancient even then." As she silently waited for the tree to notice her so she could ask her questions about Aralt the Herald, Efem was contently lost in her own memories of the past.
"One of the stories of the ages and I don't know where to start," thought Snoop as he sat at his desk in the Bellwether and tried to put quill to parchment. "I promised the Dowager that I would not print anything that would give Aralt a clue as to Dree, but I have to print something!"
It was his pile of the Herald newspapers that came crashing down from a shelf and just missing hitting him on the head that made him think... "Herald! That's it! I need to write about what we know about Aralt the Dragon Herald. That way I won't give away what we know about Dree. Plus I can get the word out that he has returned. This will be a terrific article!" Right away Snoop was lost in his writing and not even wondering any longer if Aralt might have found the caves where Dree was hiding.
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."
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.
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..."
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?
"I am loosing my touch! Some of the biggest stories in the past several years let alone decades and I wasn't there! I didn't even know about them until afterwards," he grumbles. "And that came from one of the minions who was there when I wasn't!"
"How could this have happened?" Snoop thought as Meen went on and on about the events of the past couple of weeks that were unknown to this roving editor/reporter.
Somewhere towards the end of the telling, Meen remembered what she was supposed to be doing and bounded off leaving Snoop just standing on the street corner in shock. "I must get this confirmed!" thought Snoop as he ran into the Bellwether office and hollered "Stop the Presses!"
"It was me who first reported the possibility of a Borrower finding a Dragon Tablet. I even was the first to report when the Elifant escaped!"
As he started for the door to check it out more, Snoop's unbridled curiosity took over - little did he realize that this time his story may be more than he was looking for...
The Dowager is also pleased with the article about her but is also wondering if anyone noticed the dandelions.
Most of the others who where there at The Wishing Well wondered where Snoop had been hiding since they didn't remember seeing him. Nemmer kept muttering that even though he wasn't there at the Well, he knew the Dusty Mytes must have something to do with it. Of everyone in the Realms, the only two occupants that were not reading the paper were the Spites, Sprigg'n and The CAT, instead they were swapping funny stories about Wizards and Dryads.
"Now wait a minute. Sorry to interrupt but I am trying to figure this out," cut in The CAT. "If Hungry is the last of the Wish Dragons and he has been lost for this whole time... sounds like to me that he would certainly be starving. Also sounds like he might be in need of a teacher too. Okay, please continue."
Hewy then continued his song.
"Whoooh!" said The CAT. "That sure sounds like the wizard here. He almost prevailed with trying to get his wish. Not that I am saying you are evil, mister wizard, as I don't know you that well. But it sounded like to me that the wish you were asking for could have changed things not only here in this Realm but where you were from too."
"As they both must gain the Dragyn 's token."
Silently everyone gathered around the little Wish Dragon. Dewin was the first to speak. "I am sorry for misleading you Hungry. I just wanted to go home, not realizing that maybe I am already there." After that, everyone agreed that Hungry needed to learn more about the powers of the Wish Dragon. It was decided that Hewy and Parsley, having gained the Dragon's trust, would be responsible for starting those lessons. The CAT was happy he was also going to be returning to familiar surroundings, as he now had to have lessons too apparently as the Dragon's Spite.
Sprout was thrilled to hear that Hungry was going to be heading home with him as her heard his mother tell the Wish Dragon that she would be his teacher. Until Parsley added, “and you will not be alone for Sprout will take classes with you.” “WHAT?” exclaimed the startled Dryad.
It was only The Wishing Well who noticed after everyone had left Snoop rushing from the bushes he had been hiding in to hurry back to the Bellwether to get out the scoop of his career. A Dragon had returned to the Realms!!!
“I am afraid it doesn't work that way. I have tried but no matter how much I try to do something, it somehow always seems to not come out the exact way I pictured it to be,” answered The CAT. “Look Hungry, bad things can happen even when trying to do good.”
Dewin had his own plan here and being interrupted by this CAT wasn't helping it, but before he could stop The CAT, another spoke first.
“You're his Spite!” Sprigg’n exclaimed excitedly at The CAT. “I wasn’t sure at first, but after listening to you speak, the feelings we experienced when we first met, and now meeting Hungry, I realize that you ARE his Spite. That is Good... I think."
“What do you mean 'his Spite'?” Hungry and The CAT, both being surprised and confused, replied together. Now everyone was listening for Sprigg'n's answer, even the Wizard. Since Sprigg'n still hadn't answered, Dewin asked again, "What do you mean? How is The CAT the Wish Dragon's Spite? You told me before that Spites only appear with a Wish Dragon and a wish."
Shaking her head at the wizard, Sprigg’n finally answered. “Hungry and The CAT were both born at the same time. Hungry must have been from a wish that was answered, and don’t ask me how it was answered or by whom cause I don’t know. But, The CAT is Hungry’s Spite, take it from me.”
“But what does that mean?” pleaded the Dragon. “Will he help me make the right choices so that evil won't reign?”
Before Hungry could grant the wish though, Hewy jumping in with a loud "NO!" which distracted everyone. "Is that why you have been looking for this Dragon, Wizard?" Hewy stared at Dewin. But before he could answer, Hewy turned to the little Dragon and said "Hungry, before returning Dewin to his own land think about what could be the downside of his wish. It could just as easily be that he will loose all the magic he has accumulated while here or that his life may end. The magic here has kept him alive for far longer than he normally would have lived in his own realm.”
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.