Saturday, October 1, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 11

After almost an hour of walking they finally approached the main settlement of Tilmor. All the teams of working animals had been brought in and put in their corrals. There was no one visible except for a single female human standing in the middle of the town square with her hoe in hand.

“It is Dresda,” Tempith said with a sigh of relief over her shoulder to the younglings. “She is wife to the leader we dealt with last time we were here.”

Rugarth pulled up at the edge of the settlement, the rest of the dragons came to a stop behind him. He churred to Tempith and she advanced to his side.

“I think you should take the lead,” he said to Tempith and nodded in the direction of the human.

Tempith moved forward into the open square where Dresda stood. The dragoness stopped and extending her wings, she bowed to the woman. When Tempith looked up, Dresda nodded to her.

“It is good to see a friendly face,” Tempith said, as she settled down on her haunches. She could smell the anxiety and sense the fear in the air around the human. “I am sorry if our arrival brings you discomfort.”

“We were attacked late last fall,” Dresda offered. “Our stores were raided and many of our men killed.”

“I am very sorry to hear that.” Tempith shook her wedged head. “Man can be so irrational at times, but you know we dragons come in peace and will do what we can to assist you as we have in the past.”

“Meritt was killed.” Tears sprung into Dresda’s eyes.

“I am so sorry... He was a good man.” Tempith had liked Dresda’s mate. He was fair in his dealings with the dragons. “Tell us what you would like us to do.”

“I would like you to roast all the Gord to a crisp, but I know you will not interfere in our squabbles. So, I would have you do the same as you did for us in the past…help with the harvest and the burning of the fields. For that you may have the pick of the seed to one third the crop.”

“You are fair, as always,” Tempith consented. “Will ten dragons be enough?”

“Yes,” she responded, and she seemed to relax her stance.

“And during their time here, they will see that no harm comes to you, yours, or your crops,” Tempith assured her.

Dresda nodded and pointed toward the large barns in the distance. “The larger five are empty and can be occupied by your party until we are in need of them for storage.”

“Thank you, Dresda. We will talk more tomorrow.”


“This changes things,” Rugarth said that night, as he lay in the barn with Tempith, Farloft, Mesanth, Trisk and one of the other females, Baleth. “I think you and Baleth need to stay with the others.”

“But, that is not why we came all this way,” Baleth protested. “Our part is to be played in the Isles.”

“I know… I know…” Rugarth shook his head. “I just think that you and Tempith would be better emissaries with the Tilmor than any of our males. He looked to the other female. “What do you think, Tempith? When we return, I could go back to the Isles with you and Baleth. Send the others home under Leath’s care.”

“Dresda is frightened and anxious. She would be more at ease with one of us.” Tempith shifted uncomfortably in the hay they were laying upon as though it were over a pile of sharp rocks instead of several layers deep over a smooth earthen floor. “I too would be disappointed to be left behind, but someone has to stay to harvest and burn the fields.”

“Why burn the fields?” When all the adults turned toward Farloft he wished he had kept quiet. It was just, he didn’t understand a farming community burning their crops.

Rugarth was always patient with the youngling. He looked down his long muzzle. “After the seed fields are harvested, they are burned in order to keep the insect population and fungus under control. It keeps the land healthy and it is quick work for the dragons, whereas it is very long and hazardous for the humans. We have been doing it for them for centuries.”

“Oh,” Farloft said in understanding. So it was after the harvest. “I could stay and help,” he offered. “I am not near as big as you all are and I bet Dresda and I would get on just fine.” He had seen the disappointment Tempith tried to hide and he wanted to spare her. Whatever was in the Isles of Ryland was very special and all the dragons wished they could go.

“No,” Tempith spoke up before their leader could. “You need to go. I can stay.” She laid her head down on her crossed paws. “Dresda trusts me. No need for Baleth to stay either. Just leave me the other nine males and Olar. We’ll be ready when you return.”


“Rugarth, may we speak with you?” Pier asked, as she came up behind the old dragon.

Rugarth turned to find Pier with Olar and Dresda in tow. “What can I do for you Pier?”

“We three have been talking.” Pier sat down on a bale of hay in front of the dragon leader. “I heard about your decision to leave Tempith behind and I explained to Dresda what our ultimate mission is and she does not want the Tilmor to be the cause of our dragoness being left behind.”

“I will be fine with you leaving the males here. It isn’t like we haven’t had them here in the past. I was just feeling a bit overwhelmed.” Dresda shifted from foot to foot. “Pier said if it was okay with you, she would stay with Olar.”

“I am young,” Pier said. “I can see the Isles another time. Perhaps even on dragon back with Olar.” She reached out and took the young man’s hand. He grinned and pulled her off the hay bale and into a side hug under his right arm. Romance had not only budded on this trip, it was in full bloom.

Rugarth nodded his agreement. “Why don’t you go tell Tempith the good news. I am sure she will want to thank you all. She has been looking forward to this trip for many years.”


The final ten dragons left on the wing. Their baskets were light with only the industrial grade diamonds for trade with the Gord and the best of the small gem stones for trading in the Isles beyond.

The party now consisted of Rugarth, Tempith, Baleth, Farloft, Mesanth, Trisk and four more females, Daldrath, Aleneth, Colith, and Zeneath.

Rugarth and Tempith took the lead. The other five females flew as a group and chatted away like younglings on their first trip out of the nest. Farloft, Mesanth and Trisk brought up the rear and dawdled along chasing Dibs, but never letting the older dragons get out of sight.

Rugarth said, by flying, they would get to Gord in time for the evening meal the following day.

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