Dragon Wars: Land Of Myth Chapter Eight Part Seven

August 16th, 2010  |  Published in Dragon Wars  |  6 Comments

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Chapter Eight
Part Seven

Shadavar had insisted on being allowed down to the Great Hall, in spite of the dryads’ protests that he was not yet healed enough. His insistence that the entire council should be present to meet the delegation had won out and a small army of Waldhafen residents had been involved in the operation to move him down to the Hall without him having to stand, let alone walk.

“Are you sure that it’s safe to let them in here?” Daniel asked. He was sitting with Mela and Ebona in a shadowed alcove which Saeaera had created for them. He doubted it would conceal them from the approaching group, though.

Saeaera just shrugged and smiled at him. “Of course. They’ve bound themselves to a truce, so they can’t attack us unless we attack them first.”

“And the nerve of this move intrigues us,” Avellana said. “I have never heard of dragons trying to negotiate before – and yet what else could we call this?”

“There are legends among my people,” Chiara said. “They say when the first dragon appeared, she was willing to talk and even came to accommodations with some of the clans at the time. In those days, a strange new predator would have seemed nothing to be alarmed about. It was only as more appeared that we realised the true danger they posed. And renegades come from somewhere.” She preened her feathers. “And of course we have our little fictions. After all, it’s  an open secret that any time you deal with a goblin, there’s a good chance they are fronting for their parents. But this… this is far more blatent than usual.”

“Why deal with them, then?” Daniel asked.

Saesaera shrugged. “Because they have things we need and we have things they want.”

“And when communities have refused to trade with goblins in the past, the dragons have just taken what they wanted instead,” Avellana added. “Dealing with goblins is a useful political fiction.”

“And one the blue dragons seem determined to shatter,” Shadavar said. “I wonder what’s so important about Mela that they feel the need to break the illusion. I’m not sure what they think there is to talk about, but they might let something slip-” He broke off as the doors opened and the odd delagation walked in.

Their leader was a tall, slender Haltia whose dark blue hair and creamy skin indicated a water affinity. Her rich garb, regal bearing and the way the mixed group of speakers and goblins deferred to her suggested she had some importance in their draconic patron’s court. She gestured to her escort to wait just inside the door and walked forward alone. She stopped at exactly the proper distance from the dais and curtseyed formally.

“Greetings, honoured negotiator,” Saeaera said in a studiously neutral tone. “Your visit is unexpected.”

“Yes, I suppose it would be.” The renegade Haltia gave a one-sided smile. “I am sorry we couldn’t meet under better circumstances, noble councillors. Permit me to introduce myself. I am Rilletta of the Asrai, called by some the river singer, and chosen consort of Ystelyan-mirian.”

Beside him Daniel heard Mela make a startled squeak as if she recognised the name. The stunned whispered which broke out among the audience and the frozen shock on the councillors’ faces proved she wasn’t alone. He touched Ebona’s mind swiftly.

Who is she?

Exactly who she says, Ebona replied. She should be centuries in her grave…


Haltia live a long time, but not so long that they remember even the youngest of the first twelve appearing, and the first blue one is not the youngest, Ebona said. But the river singer has been in the tales from the start. His appearance myth says that she was waiting when he broke through and calmed his rage with her singing.

They also say she warned the local clans what was coming, allowing them to flee to a safe distance, Mela added. The river singer is an ambiguous figure – half traitor, half-heroine.

Hmm… Could it be a title that’s passed on– He broke off when Rilletta looked over and shook her head.

“No, that really was me, and considering it’s ancient history the stories are quite accurate,” she said. “My longevity is a side-effect of my association with Ystelyan. And I’m sorry, I know that you didn’t mean me to hear that, but I could tell that you were talking about me.” She looked back at the council. “My mission here is two-fold. The captives we returned to you – are they well?”

“They are,” Saeaera replied. “Though most are still sleeping. And the ones who have woken up are extremely scared.”

“Ah good.” Rilletta’s sigh of relief certainly sounded genuine. “After what happened at Elapyron City we were somewhat concerned.”

Saeaera didn’t comment on that. She just gave Rilletta a speculative look. “If I may ask,  why did you return them?”

“You’re worried it’s some kind of trick?” Rilletta shrugged. “I assure you it isn’t. Imprisoning them would have made them miserable and Yst prefers not to do that.” She gave another crooked half-smile. “Kyle-alran says Yst prefers his food free-range, whatever that means.”

Daniel couldn’t help snorting at that. It did make a crazy kind of sense, as well. The Council, however, looked confused.

“He cares if he makes people miserable?” Shadavar asked finally.

“Of course he does.” Rilletta’s half-smile broadened into a full one. “He’s not a sadist.”

“If that’s the case then why does he terrorize people?” Daniel asked even though the puzzlement he could feel from Ebona suggested that Rilletta was being honest.

“He ‘terrorizes people’ as you put it because he needs to eat and that naturally terrifies Speakers. A dragon can terrorize Speakers just by being close by – unless they can conceal themselves, of course.” She cocked her head at him. “But diverting as this discussion of my husband’s eating habits is, it isn’t why I’m here. I think it’s time to discuss my second reason for being here.” She walked over and smiled down at Mela. “Hello, Melusine. Darya is very worried about you.”

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6 Responses to “Dragon Wars: Land Of Myth Chapter Eight Part Seven”

  1. mjkj says:

    Wow, new insights…

    …and yes, of course the dragons need to eat, but why does it have to be speakers?

    Poor Mela, requested by the ancient blue one…

    (so blue = water?)



    PS: Typo suspected: “And one the blue dragons seem determined to shatter,” – should it not read either “And one of the blue dragons seems determined…” or “And once the blue…”

    • admin says:

      Blue with reference to Haltia (and some other speakers) colouration = water. With reference to dragons not so much. Ystelyan does have a water affinity as it happens (hence his scrying pool), but Talira (as we saw) has a fire affinity and she’s blue as well.

      And you know I’m totally taking the question about why it has to be Speakers as this weeks question since the one you asked isn’t answerable. The answer’s been hinted at before so it’s not to spoilery. 😀

      • mjkj says:

        Awww, *sighs* what a pity…

        …ok, replace the question…

        …it would have been great to know though…


        PS: I think it might have to do with the way the “speaking” works…

      • admin says:

        Oops haven’t added the link to the answer to the question page yet – but here it is http://wp.me/pKl3U-ex

    • admin says:

      Oh, and no. It’s not a typo for once. She’s saying the blue dragons as a group seem to be determined to shatter the political fiction that goblins aren’t generally fronting for their parents.

      • mjkj says:

        Ah, ok, so the “and one” is hinting for making a point (“and one point…”) – yes, that is correct. I am sorry but that did not hit me until you pointed it out (I am not a native speaker, though). It would be clearer if a comma would be placed (which is, I believe, not necessary).


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