Saturday, September 24, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 10

It was another five day’s trek before they saw the smoke billowing up from the forges of Lanis. Rugarth led the way, making sure he presented a powerful presence to the strong Lanis.

Paalsar was the leader of his people. He came out to meet them in his leather apron, his hammer still in one hand and the blade he was working on in the other. The man was built like a dragon without wings. His arms and legs were huge and muscular, and his chest a barrel which made his voice low and powerful. The muscles of his arms rippled as he placed the hammer and blade down on his anvil. A woman, Farloft later found out was Paalsar’s wife, Medeev, came to stand by his side. She rivaled her husband with her muscular arms as she folded them across her chest to listen in silence as Rugarth and Paalsar greeted each other.

Rugarth was the first to speak. “It is good to see you, my old friend.”

Paalsar’s face broke into a grin and he advanced on the dragon. “It has been far too long between visits.” He actually threw his arms around Rugarth’s neck. “I have missed you, my friend.”

Rugarth rumbled a deep purr and huffed over the human’s head. “And I, you, as well.”

The smithy stepped back and his gaze traveled over the whole company of dragons. “You must be hungry and thirsty,” he offered. “Let’s fill some bowls, sit down and chew-the-leather.”

The rest of the community had started to gather around the new arrivals.

“Close down the forges, my people,” Paalsar called out. “Our dragon friends will help us restart them tomorrow. For the rest of today, and tonight, we rest, eat and enjoy our guest’s tales.”


And, many a tale was told that day and night, as bowls of both Bizzle nectar and mead were passed about and consumed. Paalsar proved he could keep up with the largest of dragons in his consumption of the nectar. Farloft was fast asleep far before the older dragons and human were finished for the night.

By the time Mesanth and Trisk woke Farloft, the community was abuzz with activity, forges were being dragged into new positions and tools were being packed by Pier, Olar, and the humans, into several of the sturdy baskets traded for in the forests of Gildon.

“Rugarth says that ten of our trading party will stay here with the Lanis until we return. It seems dragon fire forges the hardest steel and makes the best blades. Ten will stoke the fires and help the Lanis build up a surplus of the valuable metal.” Mesanth had taken it upon herself to bring Farloft up to speed. “We will pick them up along with our tools on the way home. The tools Pier and Olar are packing now will be delivered to the Tilmor in exchange for the plants and seed we are to bring home for the Nal in our community.”

Farloft consumed some breakfast and even though Mesanth and Trisk wouldn’t allow him to help drag forges, he did assist the community by keeping the children at bay. Many of the human’s younglings had never seen a dragon and they were very anxious to pet, pat and stroke the scales of their new found friends. Farloft was tired at the end of the day from giving rides and demonstrating fire breathing, but it was a satisfied tired. He, Mesanth and Trisk had made a lot of friends being the goodwill ambassadors of their dragon party.

“We will move out tomorrow,” Rugarth said, as he pushed a large table aside so he could lay down by the huge bonfire the humans had built in celebration. There had been more drinking and eating and storytelling. “We will need to move on in order to rest.” The old dragon chuckled under his breath. “These humans certainly know how to show dragons a good time.”


The following morning the Lanis all turned out to bid the dragons goodbye. Rugarth gave some last minute instruction to the ten left behind regarding proper behavior while he was gone. He had chosen the ten youngest in the group. He needed the most experienced with him for the second leg of their trade mission.

“Don’t try to match Paalsar in Bizzle nectar consumption or you won’t be able to keep up our end of the bargain for the tools we need. You all have to be bright and clear-headed each day to keep the forges going.” Rugarth looked at them and grinned. “I know I can depend on you. You were all handpicked for this detail. Make me proud.”

One of the youngest in the group of ten gave Rugarth a wing salute. Rugarth’s brow furrowed, but he grinned more toothily. “Work hard,” he added.

Everyone was packed up. Rugarth asked Farloft to join him in the lead. “The loads are a bit lighter. We will fly today.” He nudged Farloft with his wing. “Are you up to it after all that play yesterday?”

“Ready when you are,” Farloft answered, as he spread his wings for takeoff.


It took another week of flying and walking to make it from Lanis to Tilmor. They were in no particular hurry. The weather was good and the hunting was even better.

Farloft liked stalking and chasing the little beasts Tempith called Dibs. They were fast and clever, and he liked the challenge. He tried not to resort to his wings, but instead stayed on his feet. Often they would take refuge beneath a pile of rocks and would have to be dug out. Farloft tried to catch them before they got that far, but they were pack animals and always had a lookout on duty who raised the alarm when his big shadow crossed their trail.

Each night, as in the past, Rugarth assigned watchers in rotation to make sure none of the dragons fostered any of the twister demons from their nightmares. Most evenings were quiet. There was little to upset the dragons and therefore their dreams were sweet.

On the seventh day of travel from Lanis, Rugarth announced they had reached the edge of Tilmor. He needn’t have bothered. It was evident they had entered a cultivated land. The fields were crops much like the ones the Nal raised back home, but with some exceptions. There was produce that even Olar, as experienced as he was, could not name. He longed to try some of the items he did not know, but did not want to upset the Tilmor by pilfering from their crops. In any case, he had no idea if some of them were even ripe for the picking yet.

As they traveled closer, Farloft and Mesanth took to wing and enjoyed the sight of the various colored fields below them. They ranged from pale yellow to deep orange, and lime green to the dark green of a shaded forest. They stretched on for miles and miles into the distance. When the two did eventually spot the human settlement, they circled back to join the dragon party.

“Why aren’t they working the fields?” Farloft asked Tempith, as he walked by her side.

“The Tilmor are weary like the Dibs. They have scouts out and knew the minute we first set foot on their land.” She ruffled her wings. “They live between the Lanis and the Gord. Though both are friends to us, they often raid each other’s territory and the Tilmor are caught in the middle. We must tread lightly each time we come here. Often Tilmor are killed in the exchanges between their neighbors, so we never know who will be in charge. Trading with them is essential for us, so we must make a good impression.”

Farloft tucked his wings in closer and fell back beside Mesanth. Trisk flew back from off Tempith’s back in order to be with the two younglings.

“Doesn’t sound like they will be as good a company as the Lanis,” she said softly as she landed on Mesanth’s shoulder closest to Farloft. She templed her wings and sat very still.

“I’m sure it will be alright,” Farloft assured his tiny friend. “Rugarth has experience dealing with these humans.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you'd like to get a heads-up on my latest book releases, sales, and freebies, make sure to sign up for my newsletter! And you don't have to worry about getting a bunch of junk - I only send it out when I really have something you might want to hear about.

* indicates required