"I was wondering when you were going to come in," said the Dragon when Drat finally entered. "I heard you when you first entered the cave but thought you already knew the way here or I would have come to meet you," Dree told him as he put down the book he had been reading. Noticing that Drat was trying to see the book's cover, Dree turned the book so that it would be easier for the Troll King's minion to see.
"I am almost done with it if you would like to borrow it," said Dree. "You will have to get it back to Granny Flare since she borrowed it from the library and loaned it to me." It was then that Dree's sensitive nose caught the smells from the bag that Drat was carrying. "Did you bring something from the Goodie's? It smells like something they cooked for me once before on my birthday. I won't take any, I swear, but they do smell good!"
Dree politely took the bag and started eating one morsel at a time - savoring each one before starting on the next. Soon the bag was empty and Drat realized that now was a perfect time to start his mission.
"You must be bored being down here by yourself," started Drat. "Do you mind if I stay for a while and keep you company? We could tell stories, play some games, even read a book or two together. Whatcha think?"
Smiling, Dree folded the bag up so it could be returned to the Goodie's (hopefully for more treats) and placed it neatly on a rock by where he had set down his book. Still smiling, he stared at Drat as if searching for something hidden on the minion. As Drat started to get nervous and was just about ready to bolt out of the cave, especially from a Dragon smiling at you for too long, Dree spoke.
"Drat, I appreciate you bringing the sweets and everything, but I already figured out why you are here. The others want to keep me away from the Dragon Herald until they can talk to him and find out what he is really doing here." This admission caught Drat completely by surprise!
"How did you know?" stammered Drat as he kept one eye on the way out of the cave and thinking "I wonder how fast he is..."
"You don't have to stay," said Dree, no longer smiling. "I understand the seriousness of the situation and promise I will not leave the caves until either Granny Flare or Griselda tell me it's time to come out. I too want to know what the Herald really wants and if he won't tell the others, then I doubt he will honestly tell me either."
Dree's admission made Drat realize that this errand might have not been so bad after all and to the minion's credit, he decided to make the most of it - I mean it isn't everyday you get to sit and be friends with a Dragon. "So Dree, what do you do for entertainment? The council isn't expecting me to come back for quite some time and if you don't mind, I would like to sit and talk to you some more."
That made the Dragon smile again as he dug out a board game that the Baron had left him. "It's called Dragons and Dungeons, but since I live in a cave, let's call it Caves and Dragons..."
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."
"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!"
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?"
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..."
"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.
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.