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.

Mokum looked up flipping his fluffy white mane to one side out of his eyes. He smiled, showing a deadly set of teeth. Snow backed up a bit and spread his wings ready to fly. He saw how the dragon dispatched the elk. He had no defense against the paralyzing breath of the dragon. His only chance would be to outrun him.

Farloft huffed to soothe the gryphon.

“It is good to see you again, Mokum.” Farloft templed his wings and bowed politely. “It has been a long time.”

“Indeed, it has.” The large blue dragon returned his bow, his stubby horns nearly touching the ground. “What brings you to the Valley of the Reechs?”

“We are emissaries of Queen Larkin of Kerth. This is my friend, Snow.” Farloft waved a wing in Snow’s direction. “We are traveling from clan to clan asking for assistance in defending her kingdom against the Baldars.”

Mokum sat down on his haunches. “And you thought I might join in?”

Farloft tilted his head in a questioning way. “I thought you might be persuaded.”

“And why would I do that?” Mokum pointed to the elk before him. “Life is good here. There is plenty to eat, and no one bothers me.”

Farloft made himself comfortable on the grass of the continent of Nahlee. “I thought considering your history, you might be willing to join us.”

“You are correct. Killing humans might appeal to me, but not for the benefit of other humans.”

“How about for the benefit of dragons? My family in particular. I have a mate now. We are heartbound and we have a youngling son and daughter.”

“Heartbound?” Mokum asked. It was the strongest commitment any dragon could make to another. If one died, then the other soon followed. “She must be special after your years of being single for centuries.”

“She is and so are my offspring. I would not wish to leave them orphans.” Farloft knew he was striking hard at Mokum. The dragon had been parentless after humans killed his mother and father. He was forced to fend for himself. Farloft met him ages ago when traveling as a youngling in this native land. He knew the horror story of the blue dragon’s youth.

“Join me in a meal and we will talk.” Mokum pushed the elk toward Farloft. “I have not had company in many years. Are you still as good a storyteller as you used to be?”

“Please, don’t get him started,” Snow said with an eye-roll.

The two dragons chuckled and fell into eating.


Mokum suggested they hunt together the next day, and the next, and the next. That led to the three hunting, playing and generally visiting until Snow refused. He pulled Farloft to one side.

“Come on, Big Green. It’s been over a week. How long do you intend to babysit this dragon. He’s acting like a youngling.” Snow criticized. “Either he commits, or he doesn’t. We’re wasting time here. Playing wing-tag with him is not going to change his mind.”

“It may.” Farloft smiled knowingly at the gryphon. “He’s lonely. Look around. There are no other dragons here. The humans killed them all off and if that wasn’t enough, then they just moved on.” Farloft studied the blue dragon off in the meadow chasing his own tail for entertainment.

“Why would the humans kill them if they didn’t want to settle on the dragon’s land?” Snow asked in bewilderment.

“Why do they try to drive anything into extinction… even themselves? Sometimes, as much as I love my human friends I wonder at their insanity.”

“Are you coming?” Mokum shouted with a flip of his white tuffed tail. “Bet I can beat you two-out-of-three tags, you lazy old lizard.”

“See what you have done,” Farloft said with a frown. “Now he is calling me names.”

“I have accomplished my mission,” Snow chirped. He reached out and wing tapped the bigger dragon. “Tag! You’re it!”


It took over a week to convince Mokum to join them. In the end, Farloft actually promised him some reward from his personal hoard.

“His paralyzing breath will be extremely useful. It might even mean the difference between winning and losing,” Farloft explained to his companion as they flew on to meet with Naza the Wise. “I would have liked to stop this war before it even began, but since I was unable to, I want to win it with as little bloodshed as possible.”

Mokum by Elizabeth Babicz

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