Sunday, August 28, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 6

Farloft stood with the others at the side of Laroth’s body on the Northern peak of the mountain range. He had walked up with the Nal of the blended community. It was slow, but with Trisk on his back his wing did not hurt any more then when he started the trek.

Mesanth carried his stone balanced on her back between her slightly raised wings. He was told that each member of the colony, both dragon and Nal would place a stone to help finish covering Laroth’s body.

Mesanth and Trisk introduced him to both humans and dragon as they took to the trail. Some Nal flew with their partners to the top, but many of them were farmers from the community walking up to pay their respects. There were even dragons that chose to walk. One voiced the opinion that they were doing it with respect to Laroth’s broken wings, and the fact that had she been there among them, she would have been walking.

Farloft was a youngling in his clan, still under fifty years of age. He would not leave the nest for another fifteen years. He had never witnessed the death of a dragon and his heart was heavy.

“In my clan we have funeral pyres.” He looked toward Mesanth. Their stones, one blue sapphire and one emerald had been removed from her back by Pier and placed on the growing pile over Laroth. “But, I’ve never seen one.”

“No dragon has ever died in your lifetime?” Trisk asked with interest.

“No.” He shook his wedged head.

“We have lost many during my lifetime.” Trisk seemed to huddle down closer to Farloft's neck between his shoulder blades. “Always when one of the large Moreth dies, one of us follows.”

Farloft turned his head so he could see the tiny dragon on his back. “What do you mean?” His brow wrinkled in concern.

“The legend says that Trisk’s clan came into existence from the pleasant dreams of the Moreth,” Mesanth explained, “so, when a Moreth dies their dreams die with them.”

Farloft looked at them both in shock. “No! That is a tale for younglings. It can’t be true.”

“I am afraid it is,” Trisk assured him. “It is part of the magic that runs through us all. It is the same magic that allows us to heal and soothe pain.”

Farloft’s neck spikes rose in alarm. “Which of your clan will die?”

“We never know. The Moreth live longer than we do, so any one of us could have been fostered from one of their dreams.” Trisk nuzzled Farloft’s neck. “Don’t worry. It is as it has ever been. We are all connected. If we looked back far enough we would probably find that you too are connected to us in some way.”

Rugarth moved to the side of the stone mound that now covered Laroth’s body. He draped his wing around Pier’s shoulders and nudged her head affectionately with his nose. He huffed into her hair. It seemed to calm here. This was not the first time Farloft had witnessed this action being done by the old dragon. In fact, he had huffed over Farloft a few times the first days when he arrived. The action seemed to clear his mind and relax him.

“We have come together to assist Laroth, winged one to Pier, in her passage to her life among the stars. She was a family to a few and friend to many.” The old dragon wing hugged Pier. “We shall all miss her.”

Pier patted Rugarth’s wing and leaned into the hug for the emotional support. Farloft could see by her red rimmed eyes that she had been crying.

“Tonight, when the moon rises full, we will watch her ascension and celebrate her, and her dream's passage,” Rugarth continued. “Until then we will honor her, as we have honored others fallen before her, as we take to our wings and soar.”

Starting from the back of the gathering, as though it were choreographed, Farloft say the dragons beginning to lift off. As the ones closer to the front took wing the skies were filled with color. Mesanth and Trisk joined the clans as they rose up to circle the burial mound. The larger dragons formed a flying circle on the outside, while the tiny dragons formed the smaller, inner circle.

Farloft had not noticed the Nal were all carrying bells as well as their stones. They rang them in a series of notes that echoed off the cliffs. Kennoith struck a large gong he carried. With each strike, a pair of the dragons, Moreth large and small, would land and be lovingly greeted by the Nal around them. That group would then start down the trail to the aviary or plain below.

When all the dragons except Mesanth and Trisk had left the sky, Kennoith struck his gong one last time. Mesanth landed and Pier broke free of Rugarth to come to her side. Kennioth came forward to stroke the young dragon’s neck as Trisk landed once more on Farloft’s back. Rugarth joined them and they all started down the path.


The meal that evening was eaten in silence. It was as if the colony was holding its breath. Mesanth and Trisk brought Farloft out on the ledge in front of his nesting cave afterward. Farloft could see Pier on the level above standing with Rugarth and Kennoith as they looked toward the mountain peak where you could see the burial mound as the full moon slowly rose behind it.

“Watch,” Mesanth whispered.

The air above the mount began to swirl and became visible as a pale blue mist with a sprinkle of green rose. The colors reflected Laroth’s scale colors in life. As the air swirled there was a cry from the audience of dragons and Nal a level below. Farloft and Mesanth rushed to the edge to peer down. On the lower level several Nal and a large Moreth, who Farloft knew to be named Sivath, were all huddled around the ochre colored body of a fallen tiny Moreth.

As Farloft watched, he saw the body morph into a swirling ochre mist which rose up to join the air mass above Laroth’s burial mound. The two formed one, and as they did, the dragons - fifty or more strong, roared their farewell. The mist formed a spear of light and shot off into the heavens.


Farloft’s dreams were troubling that night. He was looking down on his own body as he watched the green mist rise from it. One minute Trisk was standing by his prone body and the next, she was just a blue mist rising with his green. He woke up in the middle of a roar, his neck spikes erect and his nostrils flared.

Rugarth appeared at the entrance of Farloft’s cave. He tucked his wings and bowed his head in order to make his way in.

“You are sleeping restless tonight,” he rumbled, as he made his way to Farloft’s side.

“I’m sorry if I woke you,” he apologized. He felt like such a youngling.

“You didn’t. I very rarely sleep after a rising.” The old dragon made his way across the slate. “Would you like some company?”

“I would.” Farloft moved over in the hollow of his nest.

Rugarth stepped down into the soft furs that lined the rock bowl and worked his large body around the edge until he was cradling Farloft in his paws at his chest. He was careful of the younglings broken wing. He huffed over Farloft’s head. “I imagine it is difficult being so far from home and family,” the old dragon said softly. “When I was your age, I had never been off the wall or past the plain. I was twice your age before I was taken on my first trading mission.”

“Do you go far when you trade?” Farloft ask, as he snuggled closer to the old dragon. He could almost imagine his father’s arms around him. For the first time in days he was beginning to relaxed.

“Oh yes, we travel over the mountain peaks to the North and far beyond the valleys to the south, depending on what sort of gems we are trading. The humans of the North buy mostly the clear stones in just about any grade we have to offer. However, the humans of the South prefer the colored stones. I enjoy visiting the South. They are a lively people with much to offer in trade, but it is also more dangerous to venture South. The further you go the more likely you run into the unsavory element of the human race.” Rugarth huffed again.

Farloft’s eyes blinked and he lowered his head to rest on his paws. “Unsavory?”

“There are sky pirates.” The old dragon smiled knowingly. He huffed a third time. “They roam the skies in vessels made out of steel with wings that flap like a bird's and weapons that sting like lightening. But, if you can get past the pirates, then you come to the Isles and there…there you find the true treasures.”

Farloft’s neck relaxed and his head rested more heavily on his outstretched legs as his eyes fell slowly closed. “Hummmm…”

“You have never seen such a place as the Isles. They are both magical and mysterious. The beings there are neither dragon nor human, but something quite different. I am sure your world has nothing quite like them.” Rugarth huffed one last time. Farloft let out a deep sigh of relief. “Perhaps you will see them one day, youngling.” The old dragon laid his head down beside Farloft’s and closed his own eyes. “Perhaps one day…”

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