Saturday, September 15, 2018

When Worlds Collide - The Book of Remy - Chapter Six

In 168 B.C. The Romans defeated Perseus of Macedonia and abolished the Macedonian monarchy. In 146 B.C. the Romans destroyed the Achaean League in Greece. Cleitus no longer had any countrymen or country to go home to. He joined the Roman army as they adopted the training methods used in gladiator schools.

Cleitus witnessed the death of Spartacus who led 40,000 fugitive Roman slaves in an uprising. He stood and listened as General Marcus Licinius Crassus issued the order.

Over the decades, Cleitus had become an unstoppable warrior. He had learned every fighting technique imaginable. But, his soul now silent began to yearn for peace. For the days of the vineyard as Zeuxis. He longed to get away. He saw the opportunity in 55 B.C. to escape at least his current environment. He joined Caesar’s army as it invaded Britain. It was during this invasion that Cleitus first came in contact with the OtherWorld.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

When Worlds Collide - The Book of Remy - Chapter Five

Cleitus’ spirit sat weeping on the berm above the ditch where his body had been dumped and covered with sand. He didn’t have to dig it out to know it was there. He could still feel the connection. The tug on his soul that kept him bound to the earth rather than flying to a life in the heavens with the Gods. How could Alexander be so cruel? How could he have failed to honor him as was called for in their culture, and as befit the man who saved his life and fought at his side for years?

He wiped his tears from hollow eyes and spat to the side in anger. His head was filled with vengeful thoughts. Revenge gripped the soul of this now troubled spirit. Cleitus would haunt his king until the day he died. Alexander could not have known that no matter what he did, what god he sacrificed to, he could never amend this fatal error in judgement.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

When Worlds Collide - The Book of Remy - Chapter Four

After the fall of Persepolis in 330 B.C., Alexander the Great saw his chance to have a unified army loyal only to him. The crisis in Greece was over and he need not worry about the home front. Now Persia was within his grasp too.

He demobilized his troops paying them handsomely with the spoils of war. He hoped to rid himself of the old guard he inherited from his father, King Philip. He wanted an army he could control. Alexander had the spoils from Persepolis. He offered a bonus to any cavalryman or infantry soldier who wanted to reenlist. What he offered was hard for any sane man to refuse. Including some members of the old guard, like Cleitus the Black.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

When Worlds Collide - The Book of Remy - Chapter Three

Remy perched on the boulder beneath the tree that gave his post its name, 'The Willow Gate' into The Realms. It was the quiet hours between midnight and four a.m. The humans were all safely tucked away in their homes. The creatures of the night were roaming, searching for food, but they were not passing his way. He was alone with his thoughts.

Many in The Realms, a parallel world to the mundane, filled with creatures humans thought were mythical or fanciful, thought him slow or at least challenged. How very wrong they all were.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

When Worlds Collide - The Book of Remy - Chapter Two

Cleitus the Black was not a Macedonian nobleman like so many others of Alexander’s Companions. Cleitus was the brother to Alexander’s nurse. He had been handpicked to serve King Philip, Alexander’s father, as one of his personal body guards. He was one of the king’s selected Companions.

After Philip’s death, Alexander relied on the knowledge and experience of his father’s Companions to raise an army and bring his dream of conquering Persian to life.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

When Worlds Collide - The Book of Remy - Chapter One

As promised, here is the beginning of a new tale set in The Realms. For those of you who have read the Shifting Books in the Twin Cities series, you will find some backstory here on one of my favorite characters. For those of you who have not read the published books, you might want to pick them up. The first, Shifting in The Realms, is FREE on my site.

Now on with the story!

The Book of Remy


Cleitus the Black, seasoned Greek warrior and Alexander the Great’s honored Companion, hacked at the Persian soldiers trying to pull him from his horse. His sword coming down in an arch which took off hands, arms, and cleaved heads in a single blow. It was the Battle of the Granicus, May, 334 B.C. Centuries before Cleitus the Black would be known as Remy, the Vampire Gatekeeper.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Books on Sale!

Hi everyone,

While you are waiting for the next Serial Story to start on August 4th, I thought you might like something to read. Pick up any of my books for either FREE or 50% OFF this month on Smashwords. The lazy days of summer are fast approaching. There is nothing I like better on a hot August day then laying in my lawn chair reading a good book in the shade.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Twenty-seven

I apologize for not posting this final chapter yesterday, but I lost my kitty editor of 18 years, and I just had a difficult time getting it ready without her. Jewel will be sorely missed. But I know she would not want me to keep you waiting any longer. So here is the conclusion to "A Gathering of Dragons."


Sunday, July 8, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Twenty-six

Fafner, Mokum, and James followed Farloft single file through the depths of his mountain home. Rivers of lava bubbled and flowed beneath their feet as they walked on stone slabs placed by nature, or Farloft, centuries ago to make a path through the semi-dormant volcano to the other side of the Westridge mountains.

Unlike Farloft and James, the other two dragons did not possess an internal temperature control. Fafner’s fur was soaked with sweat and his tongue hung from his mouth. Mokum’s feathered white mane and tail hung limply, drenched in moisture from his perspiring scales.

They passed below a cascading waterfall of the hot molten rock. “It’s not far now,” Farloft offered as encouragement to the two older dragons.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Twenty-five

Farloft emerged from his lair the next morning to find all the dragons and gryphons watchfully perched among the peaks, ledges and crevasses on his mountaintop and the ridges to either side. On the plain below his home, where violets and daffodils usually sprinkled the meadow this time of year, the enemy horde was gathering. There were still several hundred. The old dragon was surprised the noise drifting up from their camp had not awakened him. He must have been more exhausted than he thought.

Snow sailed down and landed at Farloft’s side. “They found their way through the tunnels around dawn and then sent runners to the battlefield. The stragglers have been coming from there along the river’s edge to join up with the ones below.”

Saturday, June 23, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Twenty-four

On his way to the castle, Farloft spotted Arrud lying in the mud of the churned up battlefield. He landed and pulled the lifeless wyvern to his chest. He had not seen his friend go down. He did not hear any call of distress. Farloft roared his anger. While he was dealing with the Thrax clan, Arrud had given his life. The earlier victory over the red dragons felt empty.

With a swipe of his paw, Farloft knocked off the multiple arrows, which riddled his friend’s body. He picked him up and with mighty thrusts of his wings, carried him to a quiet clearing in the woods.

Farloft laid him down in the violet covered meadow. “I am so sorry, my friend.” He leaned down and head butted the wyvern. “You will be remembered and honored after all is settled in this matter.”

He heaved a sigh of exhaustion with a tinge of defeat. Two dragons had died for his cause. For his kingdom and the humans who lived here. He hoped it would be the last.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Twenty-three

Farloft started formulating a plan on how to deal with the sons of Thrax shortly after he heard of their involvement from Naza the Wise. He was determined there would be no more dragon blood shed – no more loss of life for Thrax’s family. However, he had not planned on the huge red dragon approaching from the east. He could only assume it was another of Thrax’s relatives. He looked older, and therefore Farloft hoped he could reason with him. This fight should not be between dragon clans.

Farloft hadn’t had time to tell Clearair of his plan. He didn’t want James or her to jump into the fray. He needed them to keep their distance. He glanced her direction before Graa and Kang reached him. He roared her a warning to stay put. He only hoped she would listen.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Twenty-two

The Queen and Haben led the people of Kerth through the tunnels, to the mouth of the cave overlooking the Great Divide. They cautioned them to be quiet. Haben, several of his men, and Adrian, crept forward to scout the way. They were just in time to see a large red dragon attack the boats, which were moored to carry the people to the other side. They were burnt to a cinder.

“The boats have been destroyed, your Majesty,” Haben reported to Queen Larkin when he returned. “There is no way across the river. We will have to make our stand here.”

“But if the enemy finds us, we could be bottled in from both sides.”

Larkin inadvertently brought her people into a trap. If the Baldar found their way into the right tunnel, they would capture them. If they stayed here undetected, they would all starve to death. They did not stock the tunnels with food. They stocked the dragon’s lair. That was where they were going to make their last stand – Not Here!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Twenty-one

Rymit arched his back under the soil. The ground rose and undulated beneath two of the three catapults stationed before the castle. One tipped and its boulder flew wild and over the castle wall. It teetered and fell over. Men screamed and ran. Most making it beyond the falling war machine and back into the field behind them.

The second tower rocked on its four footed base, but remained standing. Rymit backed up and with his head as a ramrod, he charged at it through his tunnel, raising up just in time to collide with its base. The second tumbled over in a screech of twisted metal and broken timbers.

Fafner and Royster descended and hit the toppled catapults with burst after burst of dragon fire. Soon they were ablaze.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Twenty

Late last fall, the people of Kerth worked hard to build a barrier across the mouth of the gorge through the Westridge mountains from Baldar to Kerth. The plan was for Clearair and James to set it on fire, preventing the enemy from entering the kingdom. That barrier lasted for about a day. Then it was overcome by a large portion of the Baldar troops, including the men and horses pulling the catapults.

Clearair kept James safely away from those killing machines. Farloft and his friends would have to deal with them when they arrived, which she hoped would be soon. She knew her mate must be on his way. She could have called to him. They were heartbound and he would hear her, but she was reluctant to have him come charging in lacking the reinforcements they needed so badly. One dragon would not make a difference against this overwhelming force. And, she did not want King Minuss unleashing the sons of Thrax on them. So far, they had not shown up and she was sure that was because Farloft was not here. It was a vendetta they wished to settle. They really had no interest in the war.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Gathering of Dragon - Chapter Nineteen

As promised, "A Gathering of Dragons" continues...
The Battle Begins!

Farloft growled, and then roared his displeasure, as he approached Kerth and saw that the battle had already begun. Earlier, when he arrived where all the dragons and gryphons were to rendezvous, Mokum and Arrud were missing. He waited as long as he thought he safely could, but as he had in the past, he could hear Theresa’s soul calling him. She was determined, but frightened. Her anxiety seemed more than just the thought of the approaching battle. He was right. The battle was upon them.

Farloft made a quick visual assessment of the area between the gorge, that ran through the Westridge, to the castle on the opposite mountaintop. There were thousands of men pouring through the canyon like ants out of a disturbed nest. Wisely, Clearair was keeping herself and James out of range of the catapults and concentrating on the enemy horde. She and his son were doing their best to stop them before they could make it onto the field of battle.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Eighteen

There will be a slight pause of Two Weeks after this post.
We will return to our story on Saturday, May 19th.
Please join me then for the final chapters of
"A Gathering of Dragons"

Until then, you can find more exciting Farloft Adventures in
"The Farloft Chronicles"

The first of his series, "James & the Dragon" is FREE!
Pick it up, and find out the secret to James and Farloft's first encounters.
They weren't always 'family.'

If you enjoy that adventure check out the rest of

The Zonguldak Ruby's magic is affecting everyone in the Kingdom of Kerth.

"Dragon Deception"
Farloft and James are being pursued by Dragon Hunters.

Farloft and his family are threatened by a powerful dragon from the East.

"Three & a Half Dragons"
Farloft has found an enchanted mate. What will their youngling be like?

"Dragon Memories, Dreams & Reflections"
Farloft tells a jealous Clearair why his bond with the Healer is so strong.

Now on with the next chapter in
"A Gathering of Dragons"


The humans were not idle during their confinement. Queen Larkin had the forge in the village and the one at the castle producing armor as quickly as possible. It didn’t have to be perfect, it just had to fit together well enough to hang from a stand. The walls of the Great Hall were now lined with the armor men. The plan was to put them in motion against the enemy if the walls of the castle were breached. The ‘fake’ soldiers could be dispatched to the courtyard to keep the Baldar at bay while the people of the kingdom escaped through the tunnels.

Theresa and Sarah spent hours memorizing the incantations and casting them over, and over again to make sure they had firm control of the armor soldiers. The only thing they had to be sure of was that all the residents of the kingdom were safely in the tunnels before the fake army was unleashed.

*** 

James raised his head at the faint sound of the DragonCall. His neck spikes flared.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Seventeen

Farloft and his clan had always been friends with gryphons, but there were dragon clans that avoided or even chased gryphons from their territories. He chose to sit at a safe distance and wait while Snow scouted out the rookery and made first contact. He chose a peak overlooking the nesting area and sat where everyone could see him and know he did not pose any threat. He also could be summonsed from this peak, or fly in and defend Snow if the gryphons chose to take offense for finding him fraternizing with dragons.

The rookery was huge. There must have been over one hundred pairs in the flock, in addition to younglings and hatchlings. It had been a den of churrs, chirps, and squawks before the guards, posted at the perimeter, announced their arrival. All was deathly quiet now.

Farloft could see Snow, where he stood at the bottom of the cliff peppered with nests. He was followed in by two of the guards – large coal black gryphons with bright orange beaks and claws. Several more guards were dispatched. They were posted around the rookery to keep an eye on Farloft, and to look out for any other uninvited guests.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Sixteen

The ocean crossing was easier this time. Farloft and Snow made their way through the dappled sunshine filtering through the trees of the Shadow Forest. They were seeking Soary and Sanna, the tiny forest dragons. It didn’t take long before the two sisters found them. They, unlike the others, did not take any convincing. They were eager to join.

“We have never been so far from home. It will be wonderful to see more of the world. Like a Dragon’s Youngling Trek,” Soary said, her delicate butterfly wings, of iridescent blue spots on coal black, pumping with excitement.

“It will be a hard flight that far, but I am sure we can do it,” Sanna added. Though they were sisters, her wings were a pattern of yellow brightening to orange on the tips.

Soary’s wings continued to pump with excitement. “We will start right away.”

Saturday, April 7, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Fifteen

James was helping fortify the bridge across the Great Divide from the farmland to the village in Kerth when he noticed the sea dragon’s approach. He jumped to the obvious conclusion Farloft had sent it. He could not tell from the submerged shape whether it was a male or female dragon, and when he landed on the shore to try to speak with it, its only reply was to study him with huge opalescent eyes, which made him exceedingly uncomfortable. He decided to go get Clearair. Perhaps she knew how to communicate with the stranger. 


“Clearair!” James called, the minute his feet hit the landing outside the lair. “Clearair!”

Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Fourteen

Snow sat in the shade staring out over the lagoon as the dragon lay snoring at his side. He saw the ripples traveling across the water when Lemira entered around the spit of sand that divided the bay from the open sea. He rose up and watched her as she glided into the lagoon. It was as if she were flying underwater. Her wings thrust down and back, and with each thrust, her head crested the water, followed by her back. She was a beautiful shade of blue-green with spots of lime green, which glowed in the dusk of evening, on her wings and fanned-fish tail. When her head rose out of the water, she gazed at the shore with huge opalescent eyes.

“She’s here,” Snow announced with a tap of his soft paw on Farloft’s head.

The dragon snorted and came to his feet. “Oh, yes…” He stretched out his front legs and rocked back on his hind ones to get the kinks out. “Come on. I’ll introduce you.”

Saturday, March 24, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Thirteen

Snow swooped in and grabbed a lightning bolt in his talons before it had a chance to strike Farloft. He tossed it aside and went back to gathering up the clouds overhead and folding them together to push them away like blankets into a closet.

It had been fun when the storm first overtook them as they were crossing the Ateaa Sea. It was warm then, but it had stopped being a game about an hour ago when the rain turned to sleet in the higher elevations of the storm, and the sea became so rough the pair could not lower themselves out of the colder air mass. Both Snow and Farloft were becoming weighted down by the accumulation of ice on their wings, and the only place to fall was into the water below.

Snow flew up beside his friend. “How much further to the island?”

Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Twelve

Clearair huffed smoke as she stomped across the meadow in front of Theresa’s cottage. “How could you be so reckless? I told you not to leave the valley!”

Anna cringed under her mother’s heated glare. “I’m sorry.” She had already explained to Clearair, James, Theresa, and Sarah why she left and what happened. It only seemed to make her mother angrier. She did it because she was worried about Adrian. She could only say she was sorry so many times. “I know I was wrong to disobey you.” She was in her human form, tear stained and hugging Sarah.

James leaned down to whisper in the Healer’s ear. “I tried to calm Clearair down on the way back.” 

After the initial relieved greeting between the three, when they ran into Anna headed back home, Clearair had turned into this raging smoke breather.

“She’s just upset. Anna gave her quite a scare,” Theresa whispered back. She was in sympathy with the mother dragon, but there was nothing they could do about it now. It was over. They needed to put it behind them and move on. Theresa walked out past Anna and placed her hand on Clearair’s shoulder to stop her pacing. “She made a mistake, but obviously what she went through, and what Adrian impressed upon her, has sunken in. I don’t think she will be disobeying again.” Theresa turned toward Anna. “We have your promise on that, right?” she doubted she needed it from Anna. The child looked almost as scared of her mother as she must have been by the slavers who abducted her.

“Yes,” Anna said. She sniffled and clung tighter to Sarah. “Yes,” she repeated.

Clearair huffed smoke, but made no counter proposal to rectify the problem. “Perhaps you are right, Healer,” she said to Theresa. She turned to Anna. “Come with me. You’re to stay by my side until I say differently.”

Anna morphed into her dragon form. She pressed her head into Sarah’s chest. Sarah gave her a kiss on her muzzle. “She’s angry at you because she loves you and you worried her. You worried us all. Keep that in mind and do as you are told. She will forgive you.”

Clearair sprang into the sky and Anna followed at a safe distance.

“Boy, am I glad I’m not Anna,” James said.

“Me too,” Sarah agreed.

Theresa sighed. “Me three.”

*** 

The Great Hall in Kerth was quiet except for the footsteps of the three women. Queen Larkin, Theresa and Sarah intended to investigate the tunnels beneath the castle that Farloft revealed to them. The dragon said they were a maze and that he was not sure which led to the river and which spider-webbed their way further into the mountain.

All three women were dressed for exploring. They had on pants, tunics, boots, and heavy coats. The Queen had the kitchen prepare them each a pack with rations for three days. The cook did not feel it her place to question the Queen’s need for the supplies.

Larkin informed her Captain of the Guard, Haben, what she intended to do. She had to put her foot down when she said she was leaving him in charge while she was gone. He wanted to lead a troop of men in to investigate the caves, but the Queen did not want the knowledge of their escape route to go any further than her Captain. She ordered him to stay and she chose to take Theresa and Sarah because they heard the original plan from Farloft prior to him leaving and were already sworn to secrecy.

The women proceeded to the far end of the hall and up to the podium. Farloft told them the entrance lay beneath the dais, and the secret of how to access it. Queen Larkin placed her fingers on the eyes of the king depicted on the base of the podium and pushed. The top of the dais slid to one side revealing a wide stone staircase, which descended so far it disappeared into the darkness below.

“Well, ladies,” the Queen said, “are you ready for an adventure?”

Theresa grabbed a torch from one of the sconces on the wall behind the podium. She extended it to Sarah who tapped it with her staff magically igniting its flame. The Healer turned back toward the gaping hole. “Ready when you are.”

Queen Larkin stepped to the wall to retrieve her own torch, which Sarah lit. The Sorceress preferred to keep one hand free, so she merely spoke an incantation and the dragon on the top of her staff began to glow with a light as brilliant as the torches in the other women’s hands.

They began the descent slowly down the stairs.

At first, the walls to either side of the walk were the same stone as the castle and mountain, but as they went deeper, the walls turned to an ebony color with a shine as if they had been polished. Once they reached the bottom of the stairs, the dais far above their heads closed, as if it knew they were on level ground.

“That is unsettling,” Larkin said as the opening ground closed with a thud.

“I guess we won’t be going back that way,” Theresa added.

“I feel like we have been buried alive.” Sarah raised her staff to have a better look at the stone roof above their heads.

“Farloft said there was a way out and he is rarely wrong,” Theresa said with confidence.

“Rarely…” Sarah said with a raised brow. “I would like the sound of that better if you had said, never.”

Theresa smiled in a relaxed way. “Well, even dragons can be wrong on occasion, though they hate to admit it.”

Larkin raised her torch and they could all see that there were five separate tunnels leading out of the main cave at the foot of the stairs. “Let’s hope this is not one of those occasions.”



They decided to stay together and explore as a group. They also chose to start with the furthest tunnel to their left. It made since that one would run parallel to the river and eventually spit them out by its side. However, that was not the case. They marked the walls with chalk every fifty feet or so, and after wondering around for what seemed like hours, they found their own marks on the wall. That tunnel went in a circle.

They sat at the foot of the stairs and ate what they thought to be lunch, but there was really no telling in the dark of the tunnels. Luckily, someone had equipped the main cave with over a hundred sconces with torches sitting in them, so the women would not be without light.

“Do we just continue on around and do the next tunnel,” Sarah asked.

The Queen swallowed the then answered, “I think keeping to an orderly fashion is best. What do you say, Theresa?”

“I agree.”

The rest of what they thought might be the remainder of the first day they looped around through the ups and downs of the second tunnel, only to come out back at the cavern through the entrance to the third tunnel.

“Well, that was fun,” Theresa said. “I don’t know about you ladies, but I am tired and ready for some sleep.”

“I will join you after I eat something. My stomach thinks my throat has been cut,” Sarah said, as she dug into her pack. “Oh bless the cook,” she exclaimed when she pulled out a paper wrapped parcel. I’ll bet anything these are her brownies.” She opened the package to reveal four plump squares of chocolate goodness. “I am in heaven.”

“No,” Theresa said. “You are in a cave and you best only eat one of those in case we are stuck here longer than three days.”

Sarah was already enjoying the first one. “Or, I could eat them all and die a happy woman.” She grinned through chocolate stained lips.



The next full day was spent following the twists and turns of the fourth tunnel. They were all disappointed and a bit concerned when they came up against a rock fall, which blocked them going any further.

Larkin said out loud what they were all thinking. “I certainly hope that was not the way out.”

“Surely, Farloft would not pick this time to be wrong,” Theresa countered. “We still have one tunnel to go.”

“But it’s the furthest from the river,” Sarah pointed out.

Larkin turned to lead the way. “We won’t know until we can get back to the entrance.” She had to find an escape route for her people.



They were about to begin what they hoped was the last day of wandering in the caves.

“At least we don’t have as heavy a pack to carry today,” Theresa said, trying to look on the bright side.

“But it will be further to walk if that far tunnel is the one,” Sarah added.

“Well, we won’t find out sitting her.” Larkin rose from the foot of the stairs. “Let’s see where it leads us.”



There was a steep incline to the tunnel almost immediately and it kept climbing for what seemed like a couple of hours. The women needed to stop and rest to catch their breath on occasion.

Eventually, the tunnel took a sharp left and leveled out. The walking was easier now, but seemed to go on endlessly. Theresa’s torch went out first, followed later by Larkin’s. They had only Sarah’s magical light to guide them.

After several hours the tunnel began to gradually descend and eventually level out again.

“Is that light up ahead?” Theresa asked, trying to see past Sarah’s staff.

“It is!” Sarah said in a relieved voice.

“I hear the river,” Larkin said in an excited tone.

Within another few minutes, they were at the mouth of a carver. It was covered by hanging vines, and trees set out from the entrance about ten feet, which obscured the setting sun through their dense branches.

When the women emerged on the other side of the trees, they could see the river a couple of hundred feet below.

“We made it,” Sarah exclaimed.

“Farloft was right.” Theresa leaned back against a tree. “I have lived her my whole life and never noticed this cave.”

Larkin smiled. “When, if, the Baldar pursue us through the Great Hall, I hope they make the same assumptions we did and take the tunnel on the left first.”


Light at the end of the tunnel by Elizabeth Babicz

Saturday, March 10, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Eleven

“Remember your manners,” Farloft instructed.

“I don’t need to be reminded to be polite,” Snow retorted with an indignant ruffle of his wings. “You are as nervous as a hatchling on their first flight. What has gotten in to you?”

Farloft stopped and looked back at the gryphon as they walked up the stone staircase leading to the shrine. “Naza is possibly the oldest dragon on our world. We need to show her respect.”

“I get that, but didn’t you also tell me she was one of your oldest friends?” Snow asked from behind him.

The staircase was narrow, suitable for humans and horses, so Snow had no trouble with it, but Farloft was larger and blocked the way.

“Yes… Yes…” Farloft conceded. “But I haven’t seen her in a long time. I am not sure she will remember me.”

Snow patted the dragon on the tail to soothe him. “Who could forget Farloft of Kerth?” he asked in a cheerful chirp.

Farloft noted it was the first time he had called him by his actual name on this journey. It didn’t help relax him in the least.



Naza lived, and was cared for, by the monks of the temple of the Flying Fans. Her home was in a cave on the top of the mountain retreat the monks lived in. The long winding staircase through the mountain’s core led to the dragon’s lair. The monks saw that the ancient dragon had all she could wish for, food, drink and comforts.

When Farloft and Snow finally made it into her presence, the old brown dragon lay on her pile of soft things, her tattered wings spread out to her sides as the monks palmed soothing oils over the membranes softening them to prevent further splitting.

Farloft stepped forward, extended his wings and bowed to the ancient dragon. “It was kind of you to see us, Naza.”

Naza waved a wing. “Nonsense, Farloft, you know I would always grant you an audience. What news do you bring me? I hear you have trouble brewing in your kingdom again.”

Farloft was always amazed at how much this elder dragon knew even though she never moved from her place in this cave.

“Yes, I am afraid my kingdom will soon be under siege, my dragoness.” Farloft shook his head in dismay and his neck spikes rose in anger. “The Baldar threaten us once again.”

“I told you to roast them the last time your human called you to battle,” she clucked her tongue dismissively.

“It was not Farloft’s fault,” Snow spoke up, even though he had not been officially recognized as part of the conversation. He had heard the story from his grandfather. “The King of Kerth was a kind-hearted man and hoped that just showing strength would keep them at bay.”

Naza’s lavender eyes cast over the gryphon. “See how well that worked?”



The monks brought food and drink for the two dragons and the gryphon. It was a privilege to have another formidable dragon visit their retreat. Naza and her guests settled down to talk well into the night.

After hearing of what Farloft observed about the Baldar King’s preparations for war, Naza stood in an unsteady stance and rearranged her soft things before settling down again. “I am afraid I have more troubling news for you.” She let out a deep sigh. “I heard of your battle with Thrax.”

Farloft’s neck spikes rose at the mention of the eastern dragon’s name. The battle had been vicious, and James was caught in the middle. Had it not been for the monk, Sim Chuk, who accompanied Thrax to Kerth, both Farloft and James might have died.

“He wouldn’t listen,” Farloft started to defend himself. It was not right for dragons to kill dragons.

Naza shook her head. “Calm yourself, Farloft. I heard all that happened from Sim Chuk. He told me how he had to intervene. We all know Thrax was out of control. He had let his hate fester and grow over so many years. Even his mate, Du, could not calm his heart.”

“He took a mate?” Farloft said with surprise. He had not known.

“Yes. They were not heartbound. I do not think Thrax ever really loved any dragon other than the forest dragon he lost his heart to when you first knew him. But he did mate and had two sons. Their mother died shortly after their birth, so they were raised by Thrax on stories of your misdeeds.”

Farloft didn’t like where this was headed.

“Graa and Kang heard the call from King Minuss. They are going to join his forces against Kerth.”

“Why didn’t you tell us sooner,” Snow asked in a puzzled chirp of objection. “We’ve all heard the story of the battle at the Great Divide between Farloft and Thrax. We have to move quickly to stop them, or at least hurry to gather the forces to move against them.”

“I did not impart my knowledge sooner because you cannot confront them here – they have gone into hiding. And I have been told that they are not due to join the king until the snows melt in the High Reechs.” Naza placed her paw over Farloft’s. She could feel his fear and concern. “You now have a firm timeline. The king will not go to battle before Graa and Kang join him.”

Farloft heaved a big sigh. She was right, as always. He now knew exactly when the troops, and dragons, would move against Kerth. He also knew it would now be a battle between dragons.

“Do you have any space in that pack for something small,” Naza asked eyeing Snow’s backpack.

“I suppose so. If it’s not too heavy.” Snow rose and opened his pack to show Naza what room existed.

“Good… Good…” the old dragon intoned. “Sim Chuk sent something for you when he heard about Thrax’s sons, in case you two came this way.” 


Snow ruffled his feathers. The day had turned into night, and the night back into day. He had dozed a bit while the two old dragons spoke, but what he did hear gave him the impression that the old dragon had magic at her disposal. She knew things she should not have known, stuck on this rock in the middle of nowhere. Even the monks assisting her could not explain her insight and knowledge of a world so vast. They had learned she knew Farloft and Snow were coming before they came within sight of the monastery.


Naza reached to her side and opened the lid of a large trunk. She pulled out a medallion on a gold chain, and a small red book. “Sim Chuk told me to tell you to give this to your Healer. She will be able to help you with the combination of it and the book. Do not lose it and you must return it when the battle is won.”

Snow liked the positive sound of that. She did not say, ‘if’ the battle was won.

Farloft reached out for the medallion. He recognized it immediately as the one Sim Chuk came to Brownbriar to retrieve from Theresa years ago. It possessed incredible power in the right hands. He handed it to Snow. “Keep it safe. It is very precious.”

Snow turned it in his claw. He could see his reflection in the large pink center stone, and smaller reflections of himself in the red jewels surrounding the pink. It was very pretty, but it also made him uncomfortable. He thought he could feel it pulsate.

Naza handed him a small piece of leather. “Wrap it in this and tuck it away. It is not for you, Bird.”

Snow folded it up in the cloth and placed it and the red book in his pack. He felt a sense of relief when it was safely packed away.

“Where will you travel next?” Naza asked.

“I thought to see if I could persuade Lemira to join us. As you know the Great Divide runs through my kingdom. If the enemy seeks to use it as a way to bring troops into the land by water, she would be invaluable.” Farloft looked to the wise old dragon for her approval of his choice.

Naza nodded in agreement. “It will be hard to get her to agree, but if anyone can, you are the dragon.” She reached out and wing bumped him in encouragement. Her skeletal touch feeling like a butterfly’s caress.

*** 

Farloft sat with the monk Naza sent to assist him. The scribe brought his table, stool and writing instruments.

“I am ready,” the young man said with his bamboo pen in hand.

“Please write small. This will have to be concealed,” Farloft said before he started to dictate.

The monk nodded at his instructions.

“Dear Theresa,” Farloft began. “I have learned that Thrax has two sons. They intend to join forces with King Minuss. The siege is set for late May. Sim Chuk sends his regards and the enclosed. Love, Farloft.”

The monk finished writing and set his pen down.

“Please fold it as small as possible and give it to Snow.” Farloft nodded toward the gryphon. “Snow, put it with the other two things Naza gave us in your pack.”

After the monk left, Snow turned toward Farloft. “I am not leaving you to deliver the medallion to your healer friend. You need me, even if you think you don’t. You would have starved coming over the pole if I had not been there. Who knows what could happen to you in the South or West of this world.”

“Calm yourself, Thunder-butt. I am not sending you away. I have someone else in mind for my delivery mission.”


Naza - by Elizabeth Babicz

Saturday, March 3, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Ten

Mokum hovered above, his blue scales and white feathered mane and tail blending with the morning sky full of wispy clouds. He was hunting. When he spotted the elk, he glided down on silent wings and breathed his paralyzing gas over the animal. It only ran another hundred feet before collapsing to its knees and on over to its side.

Mokum landed in a clearing close by, tucked his wings and wove his way through the trees to the sleeping elk. Its death was painless. One flip of his massive paw and the elk’s neck was broken.

***

Farloft landed with Snow not far from Mokum and his kill.

“Excuse us, we don’t mean to interrupt,” Farloft said.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Nine

Farloft sat on a rock outcrop he had cleared of snow and heated with dragon fire. “To your left.” He waved a wing at Snow.

The gryphon was hard at work, out on the snowfield before the large green dragon, who was leisurely laying on his rock in the sun. Snow was hunting midgins tunneling beneath his feet. “I can hear them, Dinosaur Brain,” he retorted in a sarcastic tone.

“Well, you’re not acting like it, Snowdrift.” Farloft cocked his head. “You let that one get away.”

Snow’s tail switched in agitation. “You know, you could come out here and hunt them yourself.”

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Eight

Anna struggled, but she was no match for the two brutes who grabbed her and were dragging her through the mud further and further away from the tent where she last saw Adrian. She was getting all turned around. She was going to lose track of the bard. This side of the gorge was so full of people. She could hardly breathe.

She desperately wanted to turn into her dragon-self and just fly back home, but after the incident when she was younger, she couldn't. She promised her mother and father she would never morph into her dragon form in front of anyone who didn’t already know her secret of being a shifter. That severely limited her. She could only change before her immediate family, Farloft, Clearair and James, and her extended family of Theresa, Sarah, Adrian, and Queen Larkin. She certainly could not change in this overcrowded clump of humanity, no matter how desperate she was.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Seven

Back in Kerth, the fall weather was providing the kingdom with a brief respite from the rain. Sarah sat on a bench in the castle’s orchard waiting for the arrival of Adrian. He was late. She could only linger a bit longer before she would have to return to her assigned duties preparing for the battle to come.

She held her face up to the gentle fall sun. It was warm, but not the overpowering heat of summer. So many things troubled her mind. Not only the war that was soon to come, but also her increasing feelings toward Adrian. She knew his reputation. Every woman from puberty to old age, in the many hamlets, villages and towns of the kingdom, were in love with the traveling bard. He turned women’s heads and made grown men jealous of his magnetism. He was charismatic. His deep brown eyes in a darkly tanned face, surrounded with a mane of black hair, were not easy to resist and he knew it.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Six

“I grabbed at him, but I missed!” Farloft shook his head in dismay.

All the dragons in the hall were hanging on every word of his tale of the Zonguldak Ruby and the fate of James. Not a word was said. Not a single wing rustled.

“He plummeted faster and faster toward the ground. He was going to die… crushed on the rocks below.” Farloft let out a big sigh and hung his head. He could feel the anticipation of his audience. Unlike the folks at home who knew that James made it through this ordeal safely, this gathering thought the story might have a sad ending. The tale of the ruby has not been hopeful thus far.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Five

Snow turned from side to side in front of the full length looking glass the humans brought in at his request, when they asked if there was anything he needed. “How do I look?”

“For the umpteenth time, you look fine,” Farloft huffed. “You spent the last two hours preening. How else would you look?”

“Well, I would hope better than fine.” Snow went back to working on the plumage of his right wing. “We are meeting royalty, after all.” He pulled at a stubborn pin feather losing the quill. When he looked up Farloft was gazing at himself in the mirror. “You could use a bit of a tidying up, Big Green.” He stepped forward. “Here let me help.” His head shot forward. He grasped a loose scale on Farloft’s back and plucked it off with his beak.

“Hey!” Farloft growled. “That was not ready to fall off just yet, Nitpicker.”

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Four

Farloft sat on his haunches patting his paw impatiently on the floor. “If you take much longer packing I will have wasted the week I made by ‘jumping’ here, Snowflake.”

Snow squinted his eyes at the old dragon. That had been a pretty good 'name shot.' He would have to think up a good one in response. He tossed his fire making tools of flint and iron into the tubular pack he inherited from his Grandfather Storm. “You can’t expect me to just take off without the proper supplies.” He ruffled his feathers. “You’re the one who said you thought we could be traveling for up to six months. Or have you forgotten, Dinosaur Brain?” He grabbed two large furs off his sleeping platform and began to roll them up. “What happens if we get separated? Unlike you, I am not a walking torch. I need fire-starter and a few comforts from home.”

“You keep this up and you won’t be able to get off the ground with that load.” Farloft waved a paw at the pile the gryphon was creating in the middle of the floor. “And I, for one, do not intend to help you carry it.”

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Three

The next morning the younglings came again to bid him farewell. Clearair stood back. They had already said all they had to say last night. Farloft decided to make this an exciting exit and something the younglings could learn from.

He was going to ‘jump’ to his first destination. He had the idea last night that he really didn’t want to go on this mission by himself. He thought he knew just the one who would be smart enough, skilled enough, and lend an additional aspect to his search for help. He was going to go see if the grandson of his old friend, Storm, would join him.

The gryphons were shorter lived then the dragons by almost a third, but they were more than a match for the task. Sleek, fast and quick witted. Snow had inherited many of his grandfather’s abilities including his talent to manipulate the weather, his sharp tongue, and the habit he picked up concerning playful name calling. Farloft ruffled his wings. He would enjoy the wit of the gryphon’s company.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

A Gathering of Dragons - Chapter Two

Farloft roared out his pleasure at returning home to his family as he glided across the meadow to the entrance of his lair.

Clearair, James and Anna heard the call and were outside to greet him as he landed. Clearair let the younglings welcome their father first. Anna was so excited she kept shifting from human to dragon form, not knowing which was best to give her father the love she wanted to show him. James wing bumped his father as the older dragon extended it over his daughter’s head to him.

“It is so good to see you all.” Farloft pulled James into him.

James seemed to have grown while he was away. There was a more mature set to his stance and he looked his father straight in the eyes rather than shying away like a hatchling. Farloft felt good about the way James had adapted to living as a dragon and how hard he worked to please his dragon family.

“It is so good to have you back.” James reached out a paw and wrapped it around Farloft’s front leg. “We have all missed you.”

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
Close