Saturday, October 29, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 15

The next day, Rugarth led his party in a wide sweep of the volcanic island below them as he roared a greeting at the top of his lungs. Farloft wondered what was in store for them. Perhaps he was going to be introduced to another clan of dragons on this mysterious island.

The volcano at its center puffed plumes of smoke and ash. Farloft could see a river of lava trailing down its side and bisecting the island in its rush toward the shelf where it fell off into the sea creating giant clouds of steam. On either side of the lava the island was lush and green with huge palms and oasis’ of little valleys with glittering pools of fresh water. It was in one of these valleys that the party landed, in a meadow, beside a pool.

“Should we go up?” Daldrath asked excitedly.

“They saw and heard us. They will come down.” Tempith tucked her wings and lowered her head to the pool for a drink.

“I’m anxious to settle in,” Aleneth spoke up.

“There will be time enough for that. Let Leath and the others have their moment,” Tempith said. “Ahhh, here they are.” She was staring across the pool as a slim dragoness emerged followed by three young dragons hardly more than hatchlings. One was black as obsidian, the other two reflected the dragoness’ coloring of bronze with a dusting of black on the muzzle, wings and paws.

“Oh, Rugarth, he looks just like you,” Zeneath exclaimed with a toothy grin.

Farloft’s wedged head swayed from Rugarth to the young black dragon by the dragoness, as the old dragon walked slowly toward her and her younglings. Farloft looked to Tempith for confirmation.

She nodded her head and grinned. “That is Leath, Rugarth’s mate.”

As Rugarth approached the new arrivals the younglings pulled back behind their mother. She churred at the old male and stretched out her neck toward him. He nuzzled her and drew back to lick her affectionately on the muzzle. She reached out a paw and caught him under the chin. The look on her face spoke of love and a reunion long overdue.

“My love,” she said at last. “Let me introduce you to your younglings.” She let go of his muzzle and using her wings she scooted the little ones forward. “This is your son, Ralgarth and your two daughters Oith and Purith. Children, this is your father, Rugarth, the leader of our clan.”

The younglings hesitantly approached their father, but were soon bumping heads and nuzzling his chest and legs as far up as they could reach.


There were five other females with young on the island. Farloft found out they would all be accompanying them home. The baskets were for the younglings to ride in. They were barely more than hatchlings and would not have had the stamina to make the long, arduous journey.

There was a cave in the side of the volcano and Tempith stood with Farloft explaining where they were.

“This is the nursery. Our clan needs the heat of the volcano to incubate our eggs, but over the years the clan population grew too large for the island to support us. We sent scouts out and they came back saying the land of the Nal was fertile and the Nal were willing to share, being the nomads they were.”

“But it’s not fertile, now,” Farloft exclaimed.

“Right…” Tempith’s ears flattened back against her head, “but we didn’t know the volcano was like the wall, it kept our demons at bay. When we moved away from it we found out about the demons. As we have told you before, it took us some time to realize we had created them ourselves. Once we found the wall we moved there permanently.”

“Perhaps in time you can learn to control the demons you have created and the land can return to its former self.” Farloft nosed around the cones of lava which rose up out of the floor of the cave. “When you get home you can teach the others.” Farloft was hoping Tempith changed her mind about staying with the Gord.

“I won’t be going home,” the dragoness announced.

“I know, I overheard you and Rugarth talking, but you are needed to help transport the hatchlings.” Farloft frowned. “I suppose Daldrath and Zeneath could carry two hatchlings, but I don’t think Mesanth or I could handle one for any distance.” The young were at least half his size.

“Daldrath and Zeneath won’t be going back with you. None of the female who came with us other than Mesanth will be going home this trip.”

Farloft tilted his head in question.

“We’re all pregnant, Farloft. We have all come here to birth, as the females who are here did.”

Farloft’s eyes grew large. “You’re… You said you have made this trip seven times…” He was doing the math in his head.

Tempith smiled down at him. “Yes, altogether I have eleven offspring with Naldareth.”

Farloft plopped down on his haunches. This was the nursery he thought was tucked away on the wall somewhere. This was where the females came to give birth and raise their hatchlings until they were old enough to make the journey home. This was the only nursery.

“My time is close,” Tempith said. “When it comes, I will place the eggs in one of these lava pools where they will be kept at the perfect temperature while I hunt and regain my strength in order to care for them when they hatch. Once the time is right, I will lift them from the heat and as the shell cools it will become brittle and easy for the hatchling to break. They will be born on this island, live and grow until the next trade mission when Rugarth will return with more pregnant females and strong baskets to carry our younglings home.” Tempith leaned forward and nuzzled Farloft. “And next time, due to your wise counsel, all the pregnant females will cross the swamp and bare their children safely in this fertile land.”


Six females and thirteen younglings were going home. One female had only one youngling so she took the third of one of the other females. Rugarth chose to carry Ralgarth himself. So the weight was equally distributed between the seven adult dragons. Farloft and Mesanth still took turns carrying Trisk. Rugarth assigned them as scouts and set them out ahead of the adults. Farloft and Mesanth had excellent memories and could easily navigate the terrain.

They made a short stop to pick up the necklace from the merchant on the island and then they were off to Gord.

The trip home seemed much faster than the trip out. They were not plagued by pirates. Either the twister demons had killed them all or they had not had time to regroup.

Dresda welcomed them back and was very surprised to receive the commissioned necklace and the announcement that Tempith intended to join them permanently with her younglings and mate if the Gord wanted her. Dresda was delighted by the idea and said since they had no caves in their farmland, they would build her family a lovely home, spacious enough for dragons.

The males who stayed behind loaded their baskets with the seeds and plants Olar and Pier collected during their stay and they were off on the next leg for home.

In Tilmor, the forges were glowing bright when they arrived. There were baskets of tools to be loaded. The Bizzle nectar had long since been consumed, but the human’s shared their mead until there were several dragons who wished they could have had another day to sleep it off before moving on to Lanis and home.

Though Farloft had experienced a wealth of events that would live on in his memory for centuries to come, he was very happy when the wall came into sight and even happier when he felt his soft things under him again in the nest bowl of his assigned cave.

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