Dragon Scourge ( Part 10 )

Menacing Monstrous Wall Mounted Iridescent Dragon Head Wall Sculpture  Trophy NEW | eBay

In the aftermath of the Dragon scourge, Althonyr’s body was excavated from under the rubble and his head and wings mounted and used to adorn the wall behind the Viceroy’s throne. Soon after, representatives from several magical and alchemical guilds arrived to haggle over the great beast’s bones, nearly compensating the Viceroy for the fee he had paid to Wilfred and his company of Dwarves.

A few people made any comment on the seeming differences from Althonyr’s heart and those in the jars, however.

“Now that mind,” Runny quickly announced, “be on account that they be different species. The whole beast bein’ a Purple Cavecrawler, and the others be Reds.”

“Why yes,” the Viceroy’s chief alchemist piped in, in his own bid to seem authoritative. “Quite different creatures, I assure you,” he said to the assembled gainsayers.

The result, of course, was that the matter was laid to rest by such an “official” declaration.

Later, on the Viceroy’s recommendation Wilfred was knighted, as was Runny, being dubbed Sir Runnyreer Roundbottom. The now Lady Plucky, was thrilled by the honour, though it was all seen as a nonsense to Runny himself.

Wilfred was inundated by offers from cities as far afield as Nordland and the Sultanate to come and reenact the epic Battle of the Worms. These performances netted Wilfred and the Dwarves quite lucrative honoraria.

The Dragon Hunter’s reputation was now firmly set, and he and his team were summoned by rulers and officials for all manner of mysterious dealings, most of which their distinct talents transformed into profit.

That was until they received a desperate missive from the Sealands about a sea monster plaguing that nation’s coasts. That, however, is a tale for another day.


Padre

Dragon Scourge (Part 9)

As it neared five o’clock, Shortwhisker was preparing to light the fuse of another flame effect. It was then that he caught the glimpse of movement inside the cave. His jaw dropped and he involuntarily dropped his taper as he backed away from the apparition of an eight metre purple Dragon.

Runny caught glimpse of it at about the same instant. “It’s, it’s . . . ,” he stammered.

“A ‘reality’ Dragon,” Wilfred said completing his friend’s sentence, and against his better judgement drawing his sword.

“Really?” Althonyr asked incredulously.

Wilfred looked at his sword and then back at the dragon.

“Um, yes, I suppose so,” the Dragon Hunter replied.

Althonyr’s first inclination was to dispatch these nuisances and get back to his nap, but it had been all too long since he had the opportunity to manipulate a human.

“I see you are with Dwarves,” the great beast observed. “I hate Dwarves,” he then muttered giving a side glance at Runny. “So, what do you intend to do, Sir Knight? Or is it My Lord?” the Dragon asked cooly.

“Um, it’s neither. You see I am a, ah, kind of a showman,” Wilfred tried to explain.

“How interesting,” Althonyr almost purred. “What might your performance entail, might I ask?”

“I – I, we . . . we travel about where there are reports of, um, Dragons and we put on a show of riding the place of them.”

“So, you kill dragons?” Althonyr asked accusingly.

“Ah, no, ah, to be honest you are the first we have actually encountered. As I said it’s a show.”

“How do convince your audience you have completed this monumental feat?”

“With props,” Wilfred said, backing away slightly as Althonyr stepped fully into the cave mouth.

“Props? How intriguing.”

“The Dwarves fashion things like Dragon heads and we pass them off to the guilable.” Wilfred said quietly.

“I suppose there is a market for such theatrics. After all business is business; and speaking of business, I guess it is time for me to kill you now,” the Dragon observed.

What had gone unnoticed at this point was that Shortwhiskers’ taper had continued to burn and its flame had now inched its way to the fuse of the main charge which had been designed to bring the cave down. Suddenly there was a tremendous blast which threw Wildred and Runny ten metres and caused the entire upper chamber of the cavern to collapse.

When the smoke and dust cleared the cart that had carried the props was overturned and weapons were strewn all over. At the former cave mouth, Althonyr lay trapped under tons of stone with only his left shoulder and head exposed.

“Showman, what have you done?” the Dragon gasped. “My back is in agony, and I can’t feel my legs. Dig me out, and I will spare you.”

It was obvious however that the great worm was going nowhere. One of the prop harpoons had pierced his neck with the force of the blast, and his back and wings were broken.

Wilfred rose and dusting himself off he approached the disabled beast.

“Showman?” Wilfred asked. “I’m no showman. I’m the Dragon Hunter,” he announced.

“I will pay you handsomely,” Althonyr pleaded.

“I don’t think you could match what I will get from this,” Wilfred said. “‘After all business is business; and speaking of business, I guess it is time for me to kill you now.” With that Wilfred and Runny drove the harpoon deeper into Althonyr’s neck. Thick blood spewed forth and the light went fron the Dragon’s eyes.

“I am of the mind that this looks about perfect,” Runny said. “A few details here and there, but it will do the treat.”

One of the heart jars was broken beyond use, but the red heart in it was transfered to the jar that had contained the purple one. That heart was in turn buried and a large rock slid by all of the Dwarves over its location. Meanwhile, Plucky was sent to the palace to invite the Viceroy and his retainers to “the site of battle.”

By the time the officials arrived the four red-heart jars were arranged two on either side of Althonyr’s head. Wilfred was seated on the overturned cart, and all signs of pyrotechnic equipment had spirited away by Digger, Breaker, and Shortwhisker. Runny and Wetwhistle wandered about the site drawing a diagram which detailed the epic battle, the death of the four Reds in the bowels of the cavern, and the final confrontation of Wilfred and the “Great Purple Worm.”


Padre

Dragon Scourge (Part Eight)

Explosion, Fire, Forest, Nature
Pixabay

Digger, Breaker, and Shortwhisker spent a good part of the evening cutting charge holes and setting explosives. They then exited the cave to prepare the pyrotechnics display that was to be viewed from the town and palace. About midnight they made their way back to the forge to get some much needed rest.

“You lads all finished?” Runny asked as they entered.

“Aye, but you didn’t but half find the hardest stone my old bones ever had to drive a rod through,” Breaker complained.

“It were as if it be tempered,” Digger added. “It be done though.”

“Good, good,” Runny said. “Now get yourselves some shut eye.”

Runny ticked a few items of his list and then went to go cuddle down with Plucky who was already fast asleep.

“Only me, My Lovely,” he said as she started. “Go back to sleep. Busy day morrow.”

The Dwarves were up a little after dawn, and spent an hour after breakfast reviewing timings for the “big show” which was to begin at about three in the afternoon. The plan called for the three pyrotechnic Dwarves to take a circuitous route to the cave to avoid detection as Wilfred decked out in shining armour would again visit the palace to announce that the operation was beginning, and again stress the need for observers to keep their distance. Then he would ride boldly towards the cave followed by Runny and Wetwhistle and the cart of weapons.

Plucky stationed herself on the path leading to the cave site and added the jars of “Dragon hearts” to Runny’s cart as it passed. All was going according to plan and at five minutes past three, Shortwhisker launched a flare that gave the appearance of a stream of flame against the back drop of the dark hills.

These pyrotechnic effects were repeated at different angles according to Runny’s detailed time table, and on three occasions during the afternoon a white illumination charge was set off to create a bright enough flash as to project the shadow of a paper cut-out of a dragon through a lens against the hillside.

In the meantime, Runny helped to spread soot in patches across Wildred’s horse, while Wilfred himself singed his cape and applied soot to his armour and surcoat.

He then settled down to enjoy a pork pie and watch the fireworks.

* * *

Althonyr woke and opened a sleepy eyelid. What is that infernal banging?

It wasn’t that he hadn’t heard noise in the upper cavern before, humans occasionally entered to shelter from a storm or to have a look about. None stayed long, nor did they ever venture deep into the interior. In fact, it must have been twenty years since Althonyr’s slumber had been thus interrupted. This was different. The banging, no hammering, was getting annoying.

Althonyr stretched and scratched under his left wing. Then pushing his great mass upright, he retreated down a tunnel to an underground stream and had a drink. He then moved down to a deeper chamber and tried to resume his nap.

Some hours later, he was once again disturbed by the ringing cracks of some kind of explosion, and by bright flashes of light which stabbed at his eyes that had become accustomed to decades of darkness. This will never do, the great purple serpent thought, and once again roused himself to investigate.


Padre

Kingdom

Jesus, Children Of God, God Is Pleased
Pixabay

A kingdom not made by hands

Not the creation of any man

A people of power united together

The Lord God at their centre

The spiritual descendants of Abraham

Younger siblings of the Lion-Lamb

Seeking first the Father’s way

Having recieved blessings they cannot repay

But it is a kingdom with a mission

Prepared to share with the world their great commission


Padre

Inspired by Pastor Vince’s first lesson of a series on the Kingdom of God.

Butterfly Visit

Peacock Butterfly, Butterfly, Leaves
Pixabay

Gracefully, you float in the sunlight’s beam

Vivid hues of brightness against the garden’s green

How is it that you ride on air?

And land so lightly, as if not even there?

You visit briefly amid your to and through

Our encounters all too brief before you must needs go

But even in brevity they mean all to me

And make me long for you again to see

I anxious await for some future day

When you from your labours and travels

Oh my Butterfly, will return to stay


Padre

Weekend Writing Prompt #219 – Vivid in 89 words

Dragon Scourge (Part 6)

Wooden Barrels, Barrel, Wine Barrel
Pixabay

————

Early the next morning, Wildred woke Connor and reiterated the plan and the agreement. He then sent the man home to tell his sister they were being hunted by dragons, and that they had to flee southwards. The Dragon Hunter then made his own way to the palace, and told the attendant that he needed to speak with the Viceroy with some urgency. The whole affair went much as planned, and with the business concluded the went to hurry Connor on his way.

In the meantime, Runny scouted the hills north of the late forest and found a suitable cave. He then scribbled some instructions in Dwarfish onto a small pieces of parchment and tied the notes onto the legs of two pigeons which he set loose. His labours done he made his way back to the smithy, and sized-up the resources available there. Noting some deficiencies he jotted down some additional orders and set off his last two pigeons.

“Saw the birds leaving,” Wilfred said as he entered the forge.

“Took all four of ’em,” Roundbottom said. “Found a good dragons’ lair though, and we had near ‘nough all we needed here.”

“My visit with the Viceroy went swimmingly,” Wilfred said. “Connor and Annabelle are heading south as we speak, and I am fairly sure we will not see them again.”

“Good, good,” the Dwarf said. “Always best to keep the amateurs at a distance for work like this.”

“I was an amateur when I met you,” Wilfred said with a chuckle.

“A right clever one,” Runny said, “and more true and canny than most human-folk.”

“Why thank you Sir Dwarf,” Wilfred said with a bow.

“None of that,” Runny said in a dismissive tone. “We got work to do.”

And work they did, they made a big show of making flimsy but rather spectacular looking harpoons and lances which they arranged outside the smithy for the benefit of any nosey bystanders. The real work, however, began two days later when three Dwarves arrived with a wagon-load of pyrotechnics. Later that same day a fourth Dwarf arrived with a pony-cart bearing a large barrel with Nordlandic writing on the side.

“Better cover that scribble-up” Runny instructed as three of the newcomers unloaded the barrel.

The following morning, a female Dwarf arrived with a cart loaded with six large glass jars packed in straw.

“Morning Mr. Wilfred,” the She-Dwarf said as she climbed down. “You seen Runny?”

“He’s in the forge,” the Dragon Hunter said with a smile. “How was the journey?”

“Bit rough, glad I bringed an extra jar. These folk need Dwarfs to be laying a road for them, as they have more holes than path I tell ya,” Plucky Roundbottom observed.

Just then Runny stepped from the smithy and embraced Plucky. “How’s me old-girl doing?”

“I don’t know about your old girl, but your gorgeous wife is fine,” she said giving him a thump on the chest.

“Glad to see you, My Lovely,” Runny said. He then turned his attention to Wilfred and said, “Looks like we have everything now. We should be ready to go after them there Dragons in the morrow,” he added for the benefit of two passers-by.


Padre

Whisper

Milky Way, Galaxy, Night, Sky, Stars
Pixabay

A whisper?

Faint breath upon the evening breeze

Wordless voice of speaker unseen

You have captured my fascination

Though but why I have no explanation

Yet my ear seeks again your voice to hear

Perhaps to catch your message clear

Do not taunt me with silence now

As I latch upon the chance – your whisper to recieve

I, your devoted auditor avow

That your utterance shall be held precious

If you but once again grace my ear


Padre

Dragon Scourge (Part 5)

Smithy, Anvil, Medieval Smithy
Pixabay

“Here is how I understand your story, and it is how I will recount it to the Viceroy: You and your brother-in-law, Brian were clearing dead wood when a wyer of dragons appeared and carried off your brother-in-law, and the pony. You stood your ground and the beasts circled you before a purple worm struck you with its tail, sending you flying. You landed in a stream, and thus moistened survived the airborne blast of the wyer. They departed northwards, and you were able after a time of recovery to make your way to the palace to report the encounter, and the loss of valuable woodland,” Wilfred summarised.

“Um,” Connor began.

“Just say yes,” the Dwarf instructed.

“Ah, yes.”

“Perfect,” the Dragon Hunter declared. “I, of course, under such circumstances, and with your newly acquired intellegence of the vindictive and unrelenting nature of dragons toward their quarry, recommend that you and your sister remove yourselves southwards, away from the last known heading of the beasts. I will use my position with the Viceroy to secure you and your sister’s pensions in full for such a journey, and I recommend that you leave as soon as I provide that purse for you. I don’t see that there will ever be a need for you or your kin to return to these parts, as some other details of your confession might under such an eventuality be recalled by me in the future. I assure you, however, that such revelations are safe with me, and Runny here, as long as you stick to the agreement.”

“I . . .” Connor said hesitantly.

“Agree, is the word you are looking for, Furster,” Roundbottom interjected.

“I . . . agree,” the forester said a little uneasily.

“Perfect,” Wilfred said again. “Let’s get you to sleep-off some ale, and we will get you and your sister packing in the morning.”

“And my pension?”

“No worries there, Lad,” Runny said. “We will get ya the silver in the morn.”

Soon the forester was snoring away.

“So, a meet’n with the palace folk?” Runny asked.

“I don’t see why not. Most of the village heard you warn the man, and I’m sure news of it has already reached the Viceroy’s ears. If I know his type, and I think I do, he will happily hedge his bets in case we fail to kill the dragons, by getting them to go southwards looking for Connor rather than staying in this realm.”

“I reckon you’re right there,” the Dwarf said. “I will send a message to the lads in the morrow while you is seeing the Viceroy feller.”


Padre