It happened surprisingly fast. It only took two days for Patel and Tallideer to locate and call in all their hunters from the field. Another day to speak with the parties involved and another to gather all of the members of the two dragon clans in the Furries lair, which was the larger of the two clan’s homes.
Tallideer and Patel stood side-by-side on a tall platform which had been hastily constructed so that all might see them and know the truth of their words.
On the whole, the Furries had taken to their sleeping ledges up on the walls and the floor was predominately reserved for the Frosties. Tallideer had furs brought in and the Frosties took up residence on piles of them scattered across the icy floor. They clustered in families. Even though they had been told this was to be a joyous occasion, there was a certain feel of mistrust with the Furries hanging over their heads and the tension of the past week. It was an unusually quiet gathering with only whispered conversation between mates or from parent to hatchling, for everyone had been ordered to attend, young to old, Fur to Frost.
“We have called you all here today to make an announcement,” Tallideer began. “You have all been made aware of the tragic event that took the lives of Morllo of the Frost clan and Trenic of our Fur clan.”
There were soft murmurs, but none loud enough that Tallideer need even raise his voice as he continued.
“Patel and I have consulted with all the parties involved and we wish to assure you that we are all in agreement as leaders of your clan, and as are the remaining family members of the two who lost their lives.”
Tallideer paused as he ran his gaze over his audience and Patel emphasized her agreement with his statement by placing a paw over his on the platform. He stepped back and she continued where he left off.
“There will be no retaliation or punishment for this act. It has been determined and agreed by all parties that it was an act based on misunderstanding and lack of familiarity or communication between our clans.”
Zodic, who had taken a place on the floor with Austere, Uland and her remaining offspring was pleased to hear this announcement did not meet with any objection. The lair remained quiet. He gave Austere an encouraging nuzzle. They had both lost dear ones, but their leaders were wise enough to see that more bloodshed would not bring them back.
Tallideer stepped forward again. “At this point, I must take partial responsibility for what occurred. Over the years following the Dragonic Wars, I felt compelled to keep my clan apart and isolated from the other clans. The war made me bitter and unable to place my trust in other dragon clans. In my endeavor to keep my clan safe I inadvertently left them vulnerable to misunderstanding due to a disconnect between our clans. Trenic was a fine youngling and would have grown to be a leading member of our clan.” Tallideer looked up at Drador and his mate on the ledge above. “And it is my fault he will not have the chance to achieve that goal.”
Tallideer found Uland and her brood in the crowd of Frosties at his feet. “It is my fault that the Frosties that came across Trenic jumped to conclusions instead of asking for an explanation first.”
There were more murmurs. Some dragons saying he should not take the blame, some saying it was true that the clans had been isolated from each other far too long.
Tallideer scanned the hall with his bright copper colored eyes and waited for the talk to die down a bit. Then he raised his wings to make sure he had everyone’s attention. Tucking them back in place, he continued.
“It was pointed out to me by Patel that some of our younglings have never met a member of the opposite clan. That you all grew up hearing the stories of the Dragonic Wars, but might not realize that Fur and Frost always fought side-by-side. That we have never been enemies. Going forward we shall make sure that there is a trust established, indeed, even a bond between the two clans.”
To the sound of approving roars, Patel motioned for Zodic and Austere to come to the platform. They rose and went to stand on the floor below their leader’s on the platform.
“Austere of the Frost clan and Zodic of the Fur will break the ground between our two clans.” Patel announced. “Zodic has asked Austere to be his mate and she has accepted. They are to be heartbound in the spring.”
The once quiet lair erupted with further roars of approval as Zodic wrapped Austere in a winged embrace. He lowered his head to her and she churred softly as muzzle caressed muzzle in a sweet dragonic kiss.
The audience in the pub applauded their approval for Trekk’s happy ending – humans with hands and dragons by smacking their empty, wooden, mead bowls against the platform tops.
Farloft watched as everyone emptied their bowl or mug and started to leave. The ending of the story seemed to be the silent signal that it was closing time.
Two of the human children who fell asleep at Trekk’s side were collected by their parents. The room slowly grew quiet as children were gathered up, and capes and hats donned, as everyone filed out.
Trekk remained by the fire. He leaned over from his platform and dampened it down with a dragonic pat of his paws.
“Aren’t you afraid you will catch your fur on fire?” Farloft asked, as he came up to the fluffy dragon. He took the platform on the opposite side of the huge fireplace.
“I can handle that,” Trekk said and shot a burst of icy breath on the tip of his paw. The crystals clung to the guard hairs until he shook them off creating a sizzling sound as they landed in the hot coals of the fire.
“Take after your mother’s side of the family, I see,” Farloft said, jumping to conclusions.
“Indeed, but Austere was my Grandmother,” Trekk clarified. “My Fur side has been diluted even further. My father, son of Zodic and Austere, mated with another Frost, so I am only a quarter Fur.”
“It is good to see the clans continue to thrive together,” Farloft said contentedly. “It was a wonderful story.”
Trekk nodded his head in agreement.
“Are you coming Trekk?” the bartender called, as he and his wife came through the lift panel of the bar.
“I think I will stay for a bit longer,” Trekk said.
The bartender smiled and followed his wife up the stairs with a hand on her waist and a light pat on her butt. She swatted at his hand, but Farloft could hear her chuckle as they drew out of sight.
Farloft’s gaze came back to Trekk lying on his platform, his duel colored eyes of blue and copper studying him intently.
“Tell me friend, where do you come from?” Trekk asked. “I bet your story is as good as mine.”
“It might take a bit of time to tell,” Farloft answered.
“We have all night. I even know where the mead is stored,” the furry/frost said with a wink.