Dragon Earl: Potters Village

Chapter One: The Search Begins

It was a peaceful afternoon in the village; people were going about their normal daily activities. Nothing seemed amiss until late in the afternoon when Lucaso went out on a delivery run and to place an order with Justin for some ewers with Justin's special blue on blue glazing. When Lucaso got to the Pottery Shoppe he found Kyle and Justin's Uncle in a panic trying to bank all the kilns and furnaces while also trying to organize the apprentices into a search party for Justin.

"Justin? What do you mean a search party for Justin; and where is his Grandfather? Asked a very puzzled Lucaso.

Kyle was busy explaining to Lucaso what had happened when he had informed Justin what had happened to his grandfather.

"Do you have any idea where he would go?" Lucaso asked Kyle.

"None at all, he ran so fast all I know is he was headed out of the village. He wasn't making any sense and he wasn't looking where he was going, and by the time I picked myself up off of the ground he was long gone. His Uncle was inside the Pottery Shoppe and by the time he had joined me Justin was long gone. That kid can run like the wind, I guess the Potters Wheel builds strong legs." A very anguished Kyle replied.

"Okay, while you and Justin's Uncle get your search party organized, I will go get the Mayor and some other townsfolk to join us and we will meet you at the ford; we will have to move fast, it is getting late." Lucaso told Kyle and then headed back into the village to get the Mayor's help.

"Okay, we will meet you at the ford in ten minutes or so, I want to get a few torches in case we need them." Kyle replied before Lucaso had gone too far.

"Okay, I will have Tayledro grab some also, before he joins us. I hope we don't need them." Lucaso answered, as he stopped and turned back to face Kyle before resuming his journey to the village to notify his mate and the Mayor.

As Lucaso neared the Village Hall, he saw the three village troublemakers sauntering back into the village slightly disheveled with rather smug looks on their faces. Lucaso didn't spend much time thinking about them as he had a job to accomplish; he was determined to find his young friend Justin and find him quickly.

While Lucaso was heading towards the Village Hall, Brion was at the Mayor's House talking with the Mayor's Wife, waiting for Justin to give him another singing lesson. After Brion's performance at Cleric Tomas's Remembrance Ceremony, Justin had volunteered to teach Brion as much as he could of what his mother had taught him about singing. Brion and Nina the Mayor's Wife were going to do a few scales to warm up Brion's voice while they were waiting for Justin.

Lucaso entered the Village Hall looking for the Mayor and found him in his office with the Master Cooper. As Lucaso started to explain why he was there, the three heard a loud scream and then a thud from the Mayor's quarters. The three men quickly went to find out what had caused the noises, once they arrived they found the Mayor's wife trying to console a distraught Brion.

Brion in between short raspy breaths was crying out;

"Justin, Justin I need you Justin, where are you? Mama Nina we got to find him I need him!"

The Mayor's wife, as Brion had affectionately called her, "Mama Nina" was rocking Brion back and forth in her arms whispering soothing words to him.

Lucaso, who also had a soft spot in his heart for Brion; asked Nina with his eyes if he he could have Brion as he leaned down to take the sobbing youngling into his arms and then began speaking in a very soft voice.

"Brion, I like Justin also; we will do everything we can to find him, and you can help us if you would like."

Brion looked up into Lucaso's caring eyes and stopped sobbing and his eyes started to shine a little brighter.

"Can I really help you find Justin? I will help you, what do we need to do? Come on Lucaso, we gotta hurry and find Justin. I hope he is okay he is my friend and he needs my help, cause he just lost his granddaddy. Hurry Lucaso hurry." With those words Brion jumped out of Lucaso's arms and started pulling him towards the door.

All Lucaso could do was grin and move towards the door and tell the Mayor;

"Meet you at the ford"

"Brion, we need to go to my store and ask Tay to help us carry some torches, okay? While Tayledro and I find the torches, you run home and tell your parents that you will be with us looking for Justin can you do that for me? Lucaso asked his eager young helper.

"Okay Lucaso, but you and Tay hurry please." Brion let go of Lucaso's hand and headed off towards his cottage as fast as his little legs would carry him. Brion had not gotten very far when he turned back and shouted at Lucaso.

"You and Tayledro good people not bad like Cweric Patoral say!" Brion was around the corner and gone before the stunned Lucaso could respond.

Less than half an hour later, a fairly large party had gathered at the ford, including Justin's Uncles and some cousins. Brion had brought his father and two brothers but was firmly attached to his new friend Lucaso. He was attached so tight that both Tayledro and Brion's father just shook their heads. One of the group asked where Cleric Patoral was and before the Mayor or Lucaso could answer Brion's Father did, in a very cold and disdainful voice.

"Who cares where he is! He isn't needed or wanted here; he doesn't care for Justin and has been trying to poison Brion and our family against him and his grandfather. Justin has been a good influence and friend to Brion! Also Lucaso and Tayledro are both stout upstanding members of this village no matter what that misguided Cleric says. Brion is going with Lucaso and no one of my family will be following them. Finding Justin is what is important now, so let's get formed into groups and start looking; daylight is burning!"

Brion quickly broke away from Lucaso and ran over to his father gave him a big hug while saying;

"I love you, Daddy"

The rest of the group shouted "Here, here," while looking to the Mayor for instructions.

While that was happening, Brion ran back and grabbed onto Lucaso's hand again and helped him and Tayledro pass out torches and lighting implements. The Mayor quickly sorted everyone out into four groups and assigned two groups to each side of the river. One of the groups searching the far side of the river was the largest as they were going to search the field on that side of the river. Several people were sent to the new forge to see if they could get a few soldiers to help. Unfortunately the Mayor and his helpers made one gigantic mistake they decided to search in only one direction West as that was the direction of the new forge and most of the swimming holes and forest playgrounds for the youth of the village.

Since everyone went the wrong direction, they didn't see Justin crawling slowly to the firpine where he was eventually found by the Crown Prince. Since everyone was also looking only on the ground they didn't see Gustavo and Joth as they flew over nor the escorting dragons for the flight back. The searchers were as thorough as they could be, shouting Justin's name, often using the unlit torches to push bushes and shrubs out of their way. Brion was constantly calling Justin and running back and forth looking under every bush and behind every tree driving Lucaso crazy trying to keep track of the concerned youngling.

The searchers searched until their torches only had enough light left to guide them home. A very weary and disappointed group met back at the ford and agreed to meet again at first light or at least those that could. Although the searchers were disappointed, they did have something to lift their spirits at least a little; for it seems the Mayor's Wife had been a busy bee she had organized several of the wives and mothers and with the Tavern Keepers help there were mugs of mulled cider and wine along with several pots of meat and fish stews waiting for the searchers. Brion missed all of it, as he was sound asleep lying on Lucaso's shoulder. Brion's mother took the sleeping youngling from Lucaso and told him;

"Thank you for helping my son, he thinks the sun and moon rise and set on Justin. I do hope he is okay or we are going to have a rough time with Brion."

Lucaso replied solemnly, "We will do everything we can to find him and all of us will offer prayers to Draconis to look out for him. Tay and I consider him like a son, so one of us will keep looking for him until we find him."

Brion's mother took her leave so she could put her youngest son to bed. Lucaso then took the Mayor and the Master Cooper as well as Brion's Father aside and told him about the three miscreants he saw slinking back into town earlier. Just as he finished speaking, Cleric Patoral was seen walking down the lane closely followed by the three in question.

"I will have a word with those three in the morning before we search again, and also a word with their parents, if they had anything to do with why we can't find Justin, they will rue the day they were born!" The Mayor promised those with him and then continued;

"I also think we need to compose a missive and send it off to the Imithian or Arch Prelate in Highmont about getting Patoral replaced; he doesn't fit here in our village; and the sooner he is gone the happier we will all be." The four men clinked their mugs together in agreement.

The conversation the next morning with the Mayor and the three miscreants did not go very well at all; the three boys denied even seeing Justin the day before. However, the Mayor noticed the looks the two younger boys gave their older ringleader when they thought he wasn't looking. 'Hmmm so they do know something but are afraid to to tell because of Dalos. If we don't find Justin soon, I will talk to Tice and Pawlus away from Dalos and see if their story changes. I sincerely hope that Justin has found a haven and is safe. This village is a different place without him; no matter what happens he has left us a legacy of memories. I wonder if Patoral had anything to do with us not being able to find Justin and these three not saying anything? I won't give that person the honor of calling him Cleric!' As the Mayor started to head towards the ford to meet up with the search parties, he espied Dalos, Tice and Paulus walking with Patoral towards the school.

Once the Mayor reached the ford, he quickly assigned the searchers into two groups one for each side of the river. This morning they were joined by some of the soldiers as well as Kyle and his journeymen and apprentices on horseback. The Mayor decided to split Kyle's group and the soldiers into two additional search parties and sent them in both directions along the River Road tasking them with searching the road and the forest and fields bordering it. The Mayor had to chuckle though when he went over to have a word with Tayledro, Brion's Father and The Master Cooper. Brion was holding one of Lucaso and Tayledro's hands and was trying to pull them towards their section of the woods.

"Brion, please go ask Mama Nina for my lunch?"

Brion took off like a flash towards his beloved Mama Nina, the Mayor couldn't understand why Lucaso and Tayledro were blushing crimson and why Brion's Father Harold was grinning so broadly and The Master Cooper was just shaking his head.

"Okay guys, what did I miss? Why are you two embarrassed and Harold, why are you and the Cooper laughing at them?" Inquired the curious Mayor.

"Well it seems that Brion wanted to make sure that he didn't miss searching for Justin without us......." Tayledro paused while blushing an even deeper red if possible.

"Okay, so what is wrong with that; he likes you two and you two adore children?" An even more curious Mayor asked.

"Well it was sometime early in the morning before the sun had even begun its daily trek. Since Misty our White Movadan Mastiff loves children as much as we do, she let Brion in without waking us....." Tayledro paused and looked over at his partner Lucaso for help and not getting any.

Tayledro continued his embarrassing tale; "Well we sleep as Draconis birthed us, and we are still healthy males who suffer the common morning affliction. Brion came into our bedchamber undressed and crawled into bed with us. Several hours later we were awoken by him measuring us while asking if he was ever going to get that big. Needless to say, we both jumped up wide awake in shock and there shortly wasn't as much to measure."

Harold began speaking, "It gets worse Stefano, as soon as Brion saw me this morning he had to tell me the results of his measuring in complete detail. Luc and Tay thought I was going to kill them, but I just started laughing. I had to tell my son that what he did was something he should do only with younglings his own age; and it is something you don't go blabbing in public. I also told him it was rude to do something like that without asking permission first. Brion just stood there with a contrite look on his face and then he gave me a huge hug and said 'Daddy, I love you' I told him I loved him too but he owed Luc and Tay an apology......"

The Mayor was confused as to why Harold had stopped speaking and now was blushing as much as Luc and Tay.

Before the Mayor could ask his question Harold continued his tale of Brion's nighttime adventures. "Brion turned around and started walking back towards Luc and Tay and after a few steps he looked over his shoulder at me and in a loud whisper said 'It's okay Daddy you bigger den them' I just looked at Luc and Tay and grinned and then shook my head. I also want to apologize for Brion's actions and any embarrassment he may have caused you Luc and Tay. It is actually all Draconis and his oldest brothers fault; you see his middle brother is actually a little bit bigger than the oldest where it counts and they are always measuring and comparing to see if the oldest has caught up. So you see he comes about his curiosity naturally. The funniest thing is that his brothers wont let him measure with them cause he is developing faster than them. He really is a good kid though and I really hope Justin is okay and he either returns or we find him soon. Brion is head over heels in love with Justin and he will be broken hearted if anything happens to Justin. Although Brion loves Justin like a brother there is something deeper there also and it is because his Justin had brought his voice to life and given meaning to his life; up until Justin encouraged Brion to sing, he was unhappy because his older brothers were always better than him at everything. So that is why I am here and will be with Brion until we call off the search. My Wife and older sons are working the hides and our Tannery while Brion and I help find Justin. Again we are both sorry for any embarrassment he has caused you."

Tay responded quickly as Brion was headed back; "It is okay Harold; it was more shock than embarrassment and now that we understand about his brothers, we're ready if there is a next time. And I am sure that there will be a next time because your charming son has attached himself to us like a leech because we are two of Justin's closest friends. He seems to think that that if anyone finds Justin it will be us with his help. However, the next time he shows up in our bed, we will make sure you know where he is......" Tay was interrupted by Stefano.

"Tay don't say another word it isn't needed Harold, Coop and I know that Brion is as safe with the two of you as he is with his parents. Don't forget we have eased both of your sorrows over many a mug of ale while the other one was on a trading trip. All of the intelligent people in the village know that you two only love each other and have no interest in anyone else, especially children. If Michael or James were here they would be smacking you for even thinking you needed to say anything! Now put on a smile here comes the human leech."

"Mayor here's your lunch and Mama Nina says, 'Get moving you old slowcoaches' everyone else has left!'" With that Brion gave the Mayor his lunch and then again grabbing the hands of Lucaso and Tayledro started the search leaving his father and the Mayor standing there staring.

The search that day, as well as, the next couple of days, was just as unsuccessful as the first day. With each successive day that past the search teams became smaller and smaller as the villagers had to return to their jobs or farms. It is hard to feed your family when you aren't working or tending your crops. The Village Hunters vowed to keep an eye out for Justin during their hunts for game. The Village Council drafted a message to send to Castle Highmont notifying them of Justin's disappearance and asking for help in finding him.

Meanwhile Brion was inconsolable, crying constantly and eating nothing. The only person who could calm him down and slightly get through to him was Mama Nina.

"Brion darling, we only know that Justin is missing, he may still show up, so please don't give up hope. You need to keep up with your lessons and your singing. You know Justin will be very disappointed if you aren't ready when he returns." Mama Nina continued rocking the miserable youngling back and forth in her arms; occasionally giving Brion a kiss on his forehead.

"You know that everyone who can spare the time is still looking for him and I have a wonderful idea; every day after your lessons you can go climb the Golden Oak at the edge of the ford and keep an eye out for him. You know you can see almost to Roxio and Castle Highmont from that tree or at least that is what you boys always say when you think I am not listening. You can sit up there singing and saying prayers to Draconis also that way you will be the first person to see Justin when he returns...."

Mama Nina was stopped by the huge hugs and kisses Brion was giving her. "Mama Nina, I love you so much thank you I am going there right now."

"Don't be late for Dinner!" Mama Nina said to the youngling's back as he ran out the door.

Everyday after school you could find Brion perched high in the branches of the majestic golden oak that was the tallest tree for miles around. Brion had even cadged a primitive telescope from Lucaso, who called a far looker. It was only a rolled tube of stiffened leather with very primitive glass lens at each end. The device was virtually worthless but it gave Brion hope. Every now and then when the breeze was right you could hear bits and pieces of Brion's angelic voice singing. While Brion was watching and singing he was hoping that he wouldn't be 'sentenced to life' without Justin. One of his favorite songs was called 'Far Away'.

Other than Brion the village soon went back to its normally slow daily routine and the hope of finding Justin slowly faded away. The Village Council was a bit perplexed as to why they had not received an answer to their message.

The King's Messenger was very hot and tired as he had been riding for days now on the circuit between Castle Highmont and Roxio. He was finally on his way home and he was hoping for a leisurely ride home until he stopped at the Lennox Forge. Upon his arrival at the forge, he had been handed a message for the castle a water skin and a bag of food and sent on his way again. As he was riding along he noticed a small copse of trees near a bend in the river and decided to take a short break. Several minutes after leaning against a tree he was snoring away; meanwhile overhead a large ghostly Golden Dragon was circling unnoticed. While the messenger was in dreamland, a small furry creature stole into his saddlebags and removed a single message.

Several days later, Kyle was awoken from his sleep by a very vivid dream that left him unable to return to sleep;

'All that could be heard was the screams of War Eagles and the roar of dragon's as they dove to attack the enemy. The dragons were shooting large streamers of sulfurous smelling flames at any enemy that got in their way or wherever their riders directed them. The enemy had started to advance forward when suddenly diving out of the clouds was an extremely large Orange Dragon with Royal Burgundy Markings. The rider was wearing the Battle Dress of The Justiciar Prelate and was waving a Flaming Sword that seemed to send lances of flame towards the enemy...........'

The one good thing about the dream was Kyle now knew that Justin was alive and that gave him the will to get back working on his newest creations. Kyle decided to go ahead and give up on sleep and try and refine the design of his latest new shield. Kyle shrugged into his clothes turned up the lamp wick and headed towards the forge. Arriving at the forge, Kyle unbolted the single door inside of the large double door and went inside. Once inside he lit all of the lamps and fired up one of the forges and for some unknown reason decided to fire up one of the Blast Furnaces also. Kyle was working on a full length body shield that was hinged so it would take up less space when transported. Kyle's problem was adding the hinges making them lock without adding too much weight.

Meanwhile in town Brion was jolted out of his sleep by the same dream that had awoken Kyle as well as Joth, Just' and Jonah at Castle Highmont. Of course no one in the village knew that. Brion started to wake up and started to scream, but as soon as he saw that it was Justin on the large dragon, he relaxed and watched the dream. As he watched the dream a feeling of peace and contentment overtook him and he fell sound asleep.

The large ghostly Golden Dragon circling over the village and the forge dipped her wings in salute and let go with a trumpeting announcement that if anyone had heard would have said "my job is done".

While the dream was waking Brion and the rest, the same dream was occurring to several members of Andreu's Village, however, Sammy intercepted the dream somewhat, so Andreu only absorbed it into his subconscious he was able to sleep through it. Sammy, on the other hand, was very interested in the dream as he understood its significance far better than most of the two-legs would.

In another humble abode in Andreu's Village, Margè was also awakened by the dream and quickly placed herself in a slight trance state to fully absorb and live the dream. When the dream ended she arose from her bed full of energy and determination.

The large ghostly golden dragon quit her circling and instead of flying away as usual, formed an arrow shape and dove directly into the mountains.

As she was getting dressed she was heard to mutter "It has begun, all praise Draconis." From this day on, Andreu would find his days and nights much longer and fuller; for Margè, with Sammy's help, would now commence teaching Andreu everything they could about the complete history of Erehwon and all of Draconis with an emphasis on the "Olde Folke" and "The Dragon Lords" of old. Margè was dearly hoping she could get past Sammy's overprotective nature and get his willing help as she was sure Sammy had access to knowledge that she did not have. Once Margè had finished a quick breakfast, she prepared two teas one a very strong restorative and the other a very relaxing tisane to help her enter a deep trance state. Once everything was ready, Margè left her room and headed towards her one secret spot that even Andreu did not know; she was headed towards a fissure in the cliffs just outside the village that lead to a very small opening in an old lava tube. The opening was perfect for Margè as it had a small crystal clear spring, an overhanging ledge that protected her from most of the elements; and in winter the residual heat from the nearby volcanic vents helped keep her warm with only a small fire.

It only took Margè a few minutes to get prepared once she had her small fire going, she put her pottery tea mug with the tisane just far enough away from the fire to warm; while the tisane was was warming Margè went through a few simple stretches to loosen up her muscles for what may take several hours. Once the tisane and stretches had done their job, Margè began clearing her mind and began the journey inward to the center of her being; once there, she reached out and began her communion with the entity that was the planet Draconis. Just before she made the connection, she felt someone or something touch her mind with a feather light touch; stilling herself slightly, she opened that section of her mind to the touch and received a surprising message from Sammy.

'You are right wise one, it has begun and I will help as much as I can, and yes you are correct the Dragon Lords have returned. However, if the Dragon Lords have returned, than so have who they stand against.' Sent Sammy with full of concern and sincerity.

'Thank you my friend, I appreciate your offer and will need your help.' Sent Margè warmly.

Margè repeated a mantra for a few seconds and then reached out and resumed her communion with Draconis.

Kyle had finally roughed out a new design for the hinges and headed to the bin with the rough stock he needed. As he passed the Blast Furnace he had fired up a motion inside caught his eye and he stopped and looked inside the furnace; what he saw nearly stopped his heart. Floating inside the furnace and rotating slowly was the "Flaming Sword" of his dream or at least its image. Kyle was mesmerized by the beauty and workmanship of the sword; for what he saw was the object of his dreams the masterwork of all masterworks. If he could create something like that, Kyle would be a Master Artisan of Master Artisan's. The sword he was looking at resembled swords made eons ago by Elves, The Dragon Lords or the very mysterious and little known "Olde Folke". As Kyle stood there staring at the sword, more and more details became apparent just as he turned to grab something to write with, he felt another presence in the room with him. He turned to his right very slowly and there stood his old boss and partner just as if he had never died. Kyle felt his body quiver and his knees begin to buckle when he heard these words in his head;

'Peace Kyle, I am only here to do the bidding of Draconis she needs you to finish a project I was working on for her, and now I know who is destined for that sword. Please follow me and I will explain everything as we walk.' Justin's grandfather, Michael or at least his shade spoke to Kyle in his mind and then he started walking away without waiting for a reply.

'I hope this is not something I will regret in the morning;' thought Kyle to himself as he followed Michael back towards the special stock cabinets. When they had reached the back of the forge where all of the expensive and special metal stock was stored, Kyle found Michael waiting patiently and pointing at the cabinet where only the finest pieces of blank stock were stored.

'Please go ahead and unlock the cabinet Kyle, and remove what is inside.' As if Michael could read Kyle's mind he continued; 'Please trust me Kyle, all will be clear shortly.'

Kyle quickly removed the few remaining pieces of stock from the cabinet and placed them on the floor. Once that was finished, Kyle stood staring into the empty cabinet, trying to figure out what he was doing and what was next. Kyle could have sworn he felt someone tap him on the shoulder so he turned and there was Michael pointing to a small notch near the rear upper right hand corner of the cabinet.

'Take your Number One Chisel and place it in the notch carefully, and then push gently until you feel a click. Once you feel that click, then reach down and push on the bottom of the cabinet until it drops a few inches.' Were the words from Michael that bounced around in Kyle's head.

As Kyle followed the mental instructions, he was amazed at what happened; as the bottom dropped several inches, his chisel which he had left in the notch started to wobble as Kyle reached for the chisel he accidentally pushed against the back of the cabinet; nearly falling into the cabinet. As soon as Kyle's hand pressed on the back of the cabinet it swung open on hidden hinges; revealing a hidden cabinet. As the back of the forge was not well lit, Kyle could only see some vague shapes inside as he turned to go and grab a torch Michael spoke again in his head.

'Put out your left hand palm up and think "Light".'

Kyle did as he was told and almost jumped out of his skin as a small glowing blue globe of light appeared in his upturned palm. Very shakily Kyle extended his hand forward and examined the interior of the hidden cabinet. Inside the cabinet were several bundles now visible in the shaky light supplied by the glowing orb in Kyle's shaking hand. There was a long slender bundle wrapped in an oil soaked cloth and several smaller leather bags.

'Take everything out and place them on your workbench; once you have unwrapped them, I will finish my explanation' Michael said to Kyle in his mind.

Kyle picked the slender bundle in one hand now extremely curious because it didn't weigh what he thought it should. After making several trips back and forth to his workbench, he was finally ready to see what Michael had up his sleeve.

'Now what do I do with this globe of light?' Thought Kyle to himself, while hoping Michael would hear him also.

'Just say or think "Out",' was the laughing reply bouncing around in his head.

'I hope this kinda stuff doesn't happen too often,' was Kyle's next wistful thought.

'It will only happen when you need it to, or when Draconis decrees it necessary!' Was Michael's serious reply.

"Out," to Kyle's surprise the globe of light dissipated into nothing and he carefully checked his palm for scorch marks; finding none, he shook his head and then proceeded to unwrap the mysteriously light long thin package. Once the package had been unwrapped, Kyle received yet another shock; for wrapped in the oiled cloth was the most beautifully roughed out sword blank he had ever seen. The metal gleamed softly with a lustrous silvery sheen unlike anything he had ever seen before. The blade was half the width of a broadsword yet nearly the length of one. The blade was beveled and rough sharpened on both sides and instead of coming to a point in the center; there was a flat spot approximately two inches wide. He could see the watermarks from where the blade had been heated and folded many thousands of times.

'Go ahead and pick it up; you know you want to,' echoed in Kyle's head precisely echoing his own thoughts.

Kyle carefully picked up the blade after putting on his leather gloves so as to not leave fingerprints on the shining surface. He took several minutes examining every square inch of the remarkable blade; when he was finished he started to lay the blade down on his workbench when Michael's 'voice' stopped him.

'Don't set it down yet; there is something I need to show you first.'

Kyle stopped putting the blade down, waiting for further instructions.

'Hold the tang in your left hand and place the point of the blade on your bench and then place your right hand on the middle of the blade and push down while holding the tang still with your left hand.' The instructions from Michael followed almost instantaneously.

Kyle could not believe what happened next; as he pushed on the middle of the blade, the blade flexed and kept on flexing. When his left hand began to tire and ache Kyle carefully laid the blade back on its wrappings. He then reached under his workbench and pulled out two wooden clamp assemblies; these clamps were designed to hold pieces of flat stock for finishing. Kyle quickly loosened the clamps and then inserted the sword blank between the top and bottom pieces and then tightened them down. Once he was satisfied Kyle again place his hand on the middle of the blade and pressed down; again the blade flexed and bent downwards. Kyle then placed both hands on the blade and put all of his weight into pushing on the blade; all that happened was the middle of the blade touched the surface of the workbench. Kyle, still slightly shocked, abruptly removed his hands from the blade and watched in amazement as it sprung back in place and then quivered slightly. What was even more amazing was the wonderful sound the blade made when released. It was a very pleasing shimmering chime. Kyle had never seen or heard of anything like it in his life.

'You cant chip it or break it either Kyle, I know I tried enough times. It will cut or shave every metal I have tried; about the only thing it can't dent is 'Ceramic' so our shields are still safe.' Michael sent to Kyle, nearly causing him to stumble as Kyle was still staring at the mysterious and wonderful blade.

"Okay old man, time for some answers and I hope you have a lot of them. Who is this sword for and what am I supposed to do with it? And why was Justin flying a dragon and carrying a sword in my dream...? Wait a minute; Justin is missing how could I dream of him older and dressed as a Warrior Cleric and why was he wearing a Coronet?" A now very confused Kyle asked the apparition of his old friend very pointedly.

'As to whose sword it is, you already know that; it is Justin's as you surmised. As to where he is, that I can not answer at this time other than to tell you that he is safe in Draconis's hands and all will be revealed in time.' Michael quickly continued as Kyle was having trouble breathing. 'I said he was in safe in the hands of Draconis not in "The arms of Draconis", so relax and breath again. You will not mention to anyone that Justin is safe; you will continue searching for him also. Your task is to finish the sword, and yes you were right it will be your masterwork and it will be a Sword of the Ages. The other bags contain the necessary stock to create the hilt and grip as well as the necessary pieces to secure them to the tang. There is one bag that is very special as it is full of the finest Dragon's Gold you will ever see and that is why I am here tonight. You saw Justin's sword flaming did you not?' Michael paused until Kyle nodded his head in acknowledgment.

'Well your job is very simple, besides finishing the sword, you are going to make it "Flame" and more.'

'What is he talking about, how can I do what he is asking?' A very confused Kyle thought to himself trying not to think too loudly.

'You will use the Dragon's Gold and inlay it in the shape of a flaming lightning bolt on both sides of the blade using a technique that you will be given when you need it. The lightning bolt will be inlaid on the flat section in the middle of the blade, that is its sole purpose. You will also use the same technique to inlay runes of Elvish and Olde Folke on the beveled edges. The runes you need are on a piece of parchment in the bag with the Dragon's Gold. My time is nearly up here; just remember, trust in yourself and trust in Draconis. You will receive additional instructions in time, and you will receive another package tomorrow containing the cap stone for the hilt. Good bye my son, until I see you again.' With that Michael faded away leaving Kyle with his jaw on the floor.

Kyle started to open the other pouches and found some parchments and leather sheets with diagrams and instructions on them; not everything he needed but enough to start. 'Justin is going to have the best sword on Draconis by the time I am done.'

Deep within the bowels of the Planet Draconis, primordial forces began to stir and awaken. An intelligence that had been sleeping for aeon's began the slow and laborious process of coalescing into it's physical form, one which had not been seen since before the passing of The Dragon Lords. Those above on the planet's surface and in its skies felt the stirrings below differently. Some such as Margè, Gustavo, Sammy and Matty knew what the stirrings portended and absorbed the new knowledge that was now available from Draconis. Andreu and Jonah only felt a slight strangeness and tingle pass through their bodies and never noticed the increase in their senses or the other changes that had occurred in their bodies and minds. Of all those across and above Draconis who were affected none were more affected than Just'! Not only did he receive the same physical changes as did Andreu and Jonah, he received them in far stronger strengths. His brain was bombarded with new knowledge and changes also, his brain strove to understand what was occurring without overwhelming or overloading Just'. Many of the mental changes and most of the new knowledge was switched off or stored in mental cubby holes until they were needed or triggered by events in the future.

When Just' woke up from his nap later that afternoon, he noticed that his vision was crisper, colors more vivid and that the air smelled fresher and cleaner. Just' decided that it was because his head injuries were finally completely healed.

While most of those who were aware of the stirrings followed the light of Draconis there were also those of the dark who began to make their own plans to counter what they believed was coming

Now that Kyle knew that his good friend was still alive he redoubled his efforts to complete his forge's work so he had more time to spend on "The Sword". Kyle still maintained the fiction that Justin was missing so no one would know what he was planning. Kyle sent either one or both of his apprentices to search whenever he could, and any day he could leave the forge to his journeymen, he did. Kyle had several disturbing conversations with Lucas and Stefano regarding Justin's disappearance and Patoral. It seems that not once did Patoral or the three miscreants ever volunteer to help search; additionally, when Patoral was asked to offer prayers up for Justin's safe return, he only went through the motions. He used the correct words, but there was no emotion behind them; it was if he didn't care if Justin ever returned. Patoral was continually rebuffed by Brion and his family in his attempts to get Brion to sing at the services Patoral was leading. Brion had told his family he would never sing for Patoral ever again and didn't want to be near him ever! It seems that Patoral had been overheard muttering about Justin and his ways and that Brion had been corrupted by Justin.

Cleric Patoral was growing more and more incensed every day; he was extremely upset with his plans to win back the villager's trust by convincing Brion to sing at the services. No matter what Patoral did or how much he pleaded, attendance at his services continued to dwindle. On the other hand, the attendance at the services of the Army Chaplain continued to swell. The villagers were much happier with the simplistic services of the Army Chaplain and the fact that his messages and preaching were more in line with what they were used to. Cleric Patoral nearly had an apoplectic fit when Harold told him in no uncertain terms that Brion was free to sing whenever and wherever he wanted. Patoral tried the old "Draconis can only hear you in a chapel" routine but was cut down by Harold and Stefano stating that Draconis could hear prayers and songs better with out a roof between her and the singer. They also reminded the stunned cleric that Draconis created the meadow the services were held in and the chapel was created by MAN. The two men left before Patoral could think of a response.

The day after Brion was awakened by the dream he woke up feeling much better than he had in days. He knew somehow that Justin was alive and would come back for him; he also knew that not everyone would believe him, so he made up his young mind to carry on as before, but know he would sing his love and hope to Draconis with a lighter heart. Brion had to tell someone and he decided to tell Mama Nina that afternoon before he headed off to his tree.

Brion entered the Village Hall and carefully listened to see if anyone was around. He looked in the Mayor's Office and it was empty and he couldn't hear any voices other than Mama Nina's as she sung to herself while cooking her family's dinner. Brion entered the kitchen and wrapped his arms around Mama Nina.

"Mama Nina, I love you."

"Well thank you little one, I love you too; but why aren't you up in your tree looking for Justin?" Mama Nina asked Brion who was unexpectedly smiling like he hadn't in days.

"Mama Nina, I have a secret to tell you an you hav to bewieve me!" Brion told the surprised woman while staring deep into her eyes.

"Okay Brion, come over here and sit in my lap and tell me." Mama Nina replied, while leading Brion over to her favorite chair in the kitchen.

Brion dutifully walked over to the chair and climbed into Mama Nina's lap and after a kiss on her cheek began telling her of his dream. Mama Nina sat there spellbound as Brion began to weave a tale unlike any she had ever heard. Brion's voice took on a tone and timbre only heard when he was singing from his heart, and Nina swore to herself she could see the dream as if it were her own. If anyone had entered the kitchen then, they would have seen a golden glow surrounding the two and heard nothing.

"Brion, for some reason I believe you, when you were telling me your dream, your words came alive and I saw Justin exactly as you described him. I don't know what is going on or where he is, but I believe with you that he is safe. I hope Draconis knows what she is doing for this surely must be her work. You are right though, you must go on waiting for him in your tree and we mustn't say anything to anyone else. For all of our sakes especially yours, I hope that Justin can return soon." Mama Nina then gave Brion a big hug and a kiss on his forehead.

Reaching out and lifting Brion off of her lap Mama Nina gave the youngling a light swat on the rear and said, "Scoot now little one go sing your heart out to Draconis and Justin, I have dinner to make and I don't want my family mad at Me."

With a huge grin, Brion took off for the door and as he neared the door turned and said, "Luv you Mama Nina" Brion was then gone and a few minutes later was heard singing "Far Away" as he had never sung it before.


Dragon GifAuthor's Notes:

I hope you enjoy this story about Justin's birthplace, "Potters Village" will be the continuing story of the village. It will chronicle the events and persons living in the village. So stay tuned for the continuing story of Kyle, Lucaso, Tayledro and the rest.

Til we fly again,

TSL and 'Goos'

Dragon GifEditor's Notes:

Once again TSL has brought us a beautifully heartwarming chapter. This excellent spin off of Dragon Earl in the Dragon Earl Universe brings us some answers we have been waiting for for some time. I am glad to see that Patoral is not getting his way. I was also glad to see more of Andreu and Margè Please, Uncle TSL, bring us more chapters of this and other stories so we can understand better what is going on in this beautiful universe.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher

Dragon GifAnother Editor's Notes:

Very well done. This did indeed answer a lot of question from Dragon Earl but it has still managed to leave enough unanswered and even create more that I for one am looking forward to more. I'm so glad to see Andrue, Sammy and Margè again. I was hoping they were more than just a short story and I see now they will be major characters here.

Excellent story telling TSL, 'Goos' is coaching you well. Grin.

Str8mayb AKA Evil Author & Master of Misdirection


Comments greatly appreciated at The Story Lover