'Fallyn and the Dragons' by K J Rollinson

Allan and his twin sister Eileen, together with their best friend, Martin, are persuaded by a mysterious visitor, called Dorius, the Keeper of Dreams, to go to the aid of King Rudri of Outha, in the land of Nashta. In the dream world they are known as Lord Fallyn, Lady Eila, and Lord Merin. In the 'real' world Allan and company are aware of their visits to Nashta, and are able to use their conscious thoughts to aid Fallyn and company to overcome the many problems encountered in their adventures in the dream world.

King Rudri and his brother, Prince Bato, have been enemies since their father died, who left the Kingdom in the hands of younger brother, Rudri. Despite King Rudri's brother generosity in granting half of Nashta to his brother, together with titles, this is not enough for the scheming prince, who seeks to gain what he considers rightfully his, the crown and the whole of Nashta. To do this he must invade Outha with his dragons. The plot moves between the real/dream worlds.



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2. (In the land of Nashta.)

Because for some reason I couldn't finish my first chapter (whether this is because it only allows a certain number of words and/or space  I don't know. but I'll carry on here).

(Dorius is explaining to Allan some of the history of Nashta).

'You will obviously know some of the history of Nashta as Fallyn, and will know that King Rudri of Outha, and his younger brother, Prince Bato of Orla, have been  enemies since their father died.

Prince Bato is the elder brother and should have inherited the throne, but their father was convinced the younger son, Rudri, would make a far better king. Prince Bato resents this decision, even though King Rudri has been more than generous in granting his brother titles, a palace, and the whole of the province of Orla. Orla makes up nearly one half of Nashta, and includes the Forbidden land, which lies beyond the mountains of Orla. But I fear nothing will satisfy Bato until he has the throne and the whole of Nashta. I know Bato's dreams are full of spiders and webs, which means he is scheming.

Now, if I have answered all your questions, I will visit Eileen and Martin, and answer any queries that they might raise. Thereafter, you will find all of you will be in  Outha carrying out your usual daily chores.' Dorius bowed low as he said, 'Goodbye. Outha will be forever indebted to you all if you suceed in your quest.'

His figure began to dissolve and slowly disappeared into the swirling mist. Allan felt himself drifting, drifting, drifting, and he became aware he was moving through time and space.

Chapter two. (In the Land of Nashta).

Fallyn stepped into the cave to feed and water the dragons. There were only three now, a mating pair, and Drartica. She was past her prime but she was company for Drana while her mate Dratho, was hunting for food with her rider, Merin.

The last battle that Outha had with the enemy saw a heavy toll on both sides. Fallyn as a warrior, had seen many battles, and was much feared by the enemy. Drartica was his favourite mount. He coaxed Drana to one side with tasty titbits of chicken and lamb. There, nestling in the hay, were twelve eggs, although with so many, the young, inexperienced mother had difficulty in keeping them fully covered.

Fallyn stroked the dragon's neck. 'Not long now, little mother. Soon you will be able to fly and stretch your wings, once the little ones have hatched. Eila and I will see you tomorrow.' As Fallyn left the cave he fondled Drartica's ears, which she loved.

The young dragon shifted uncomfortably and rearranged her eggs. One egg rolled, gathering momentum on the sloping floor, and continued rolling until it stopped against the cave wall. The mother gazed at it with her gold, tired eyes. She knew she should get up and push it back into the nest, but the effort seemed too much; she was so tired.

Her eyes met those of Drartica, who sniffed the egg, which had rolled near to where she lay. Drartica's days of nesting had ceased, but she still felt maternal concern towards the abandoned egg.Tentatively, she hooked her wing pinion around the egg and pulled it towards her, one eye on Drana for signs of opposition. There were none. The young dragon looked unconcerned as Drartica scooped the egg under her wing.

The next day when Fallyn and his twin sister, Eila, came to check the eggs they could see only eleven. . Where was the other one? They searched the cave, suspecting the egg had rolled out of the nest. Fallyn noticed Drartica was acting strangely. She had an uncharacteristic unconcerned expression on her face, whereas normally she would have inquisitively followed their every move.

'You know something, I can tell.' Eila chuckled, stroking the dragon's ears.

Drartica knew she could not lie to them, for she loved them dearly. She reluctantly raised her wing, revealing the egg. Her head drooped for she thought the egg would be returned to Drana. To her surprise Fallyn laughed.

'I guess Mum didn't want it, eh? You keep it old girl. We'll see what happens when  it hatches shall we?'

Drartica could understand the human voice, as did all the dragons. She also recognised the kindness in  Fallyn's tone and saw the understanding in Eila's eyes. It was with relief she realised the egg wouldn't be taken from her.

Fallyn and Eila checked all the eggs for fissures, for they knew from experience when small cracks appeared that the eggs would hatch within twelve hours. They decided to return to the cave early evening, and ask Merin, their best friend, to accompany them. They liked to be present at the hatching, as sometimes they helped to remove the shell from an exhausted dragonet, although they had to be very careful because an overprotective mother could lash out with a talon or tail. Fortunately, the fire-breathing capabilities in the female were suspended during the hatching, which was one danger less to worry about.

Within a few hours all the eggs started to crack open and little shining dragons' heads emerged; their eyes gleaming like diamonds. As they broke free from their shells they flapped their tiny wings, turned to their mother, cheeping to be fed. Drana offered them regurgitated food and gave some to Drartica to feed her little adopted hatchling.

The trio only had to help two of the dragonets that were struggling to discard their shells. One of them was so tiny that Eila thought she would keep a special eye on him and make sure he received enough to eat. The other was a plump female, who looked too lazy to even try to get out of her shell. There were five males and seven famales. The females followed their mother in colouring and ranged from pale gold to a dark gold. The males were all bronze or brown. Fallyn could not help but smile at Drartica who was so proud of her little male dragonet.

Eila picked a piece of shell from the tiny dragonet.

'What are we going to call them?'

Merin rubbed his chin thoughtfully. 'Shall we wait until we know their characteristics first? That one,' he pointed to a baby pushing herself forward and demanding to be fed. 'I think should be called Piggy - sorry I do apologise,' he hastily added when he saw Drana's hurt expression, remembering too late that the dragons could understand what was being said.

'I know what to call Drartica's little male. Fallyn knew that each dragon's name should start with the letters DRA, but something compelled him to ignore tradition in the case of the little abandoned hatchling.

'How do you like the name Solo for your baby, Drartica?' Fallyn enquired, stroking her nose.

Drartica nuzzled Fallyn's cheek in agreement, indicating she was perfectly happy with his choice.

'I think he will grow up to be the bravest of all the dragons.' It was now his turn to apologise to Drana when another hurt expression crossed her face. 'Oh, sorry, Drana. I got carried away. Just a figure of speech, you know.'

He ignored Drartica's indignant push in the middle of his back as he was trying to placate Drana.

                                                                            *

One day two soldiers approached the cave, tethering their horses to nearby bushes. Fallyn recognised them as the King's bodyguard, and he noticed they had three additional horses with them. He went to meet them and found they had been sent to request them to attend the King urgently. Eila was anxious that the dragons and dragonets were not left on their own, so it was agreed she should stay at the cave.

Upon arrival at the palace Fallyn and Merin were swept through the sumptious ceremonial rooms and ushered into the King's private quarters. They exchanged glances, both realising that this meeting must be very important and secret to be allowed into the inner sanctum with none of the King's advisers and guards present.

King Rudri came into the room. His hand lay reassuringly on the shoulder of a young girl, who looked very apprehensive at being in  his presence, not to mention the subject of so much attention.

The King spoke without preamble. 'This girl has had two visions. She's had them before, and when they have been deciphered they have always been proved right. Unfortunately, the latest two have not been readily understood, but because one of them involve dragons, I thought you may be able to shed light on the interpretation.'

He gently pushed the nervous girl forward to speak, before taking his position on a red velvet chair.

'Hello, I'm Fallyn and this is my friend Merin.' Fallyn said, pointing to Merin ,who stood at his side. 'Would you tell us your name and about your visions?' Fallyn smiled encouragingly at the girl.

The girl raised her head, encouraged by Fallyn's warm voice and smile. 'M-my name's Kalla.'

'Hello Kalla. Now, tell us about your visions...Take your time and describe every little detail, no matter how unimportant you may think they are.'

As Kalla commenced to speak her appearance changed. The room darkened. She stood erect, her dark hair framing her oval face. At first, her black eyes seemed to shine with a fire from within, and then they looked like dark, unfathomable pools. Her figure glowed and pulsated. She changed from the small urchin-like figure, dressed in peasant's clothes, into a beautiful young woman, clad in a shimmering full-length golden gown, with a long train clasped at her shoulders by two small gold owls. The owls swivelled their necks searchingly and their piercing eyes seemed to penetrate Fallyn's soul. She began to speak in a low clear voice, so unlike the nervous tones of her previous speech.

Dragons small hold an hourglass,

the sands of time stand still.

Twice the buds of spring pass,

Wait for time to fill.

Wait 'til spring thrice appears,

and sands begin to fall.

Wait 'til fire dragons fierce,

                                                              and dragons big and tall.                                                        

Kalla stopped speaking, but no one interrupted, sensing she was to begin her second vision.

'In the second vision I see two flowers - one red and in full bloom, dripping blood. The other flower lies white and wilting.'

Kalla knew ler listeners were waiting for her to continue. 'I'm sorry...that's all I see in the second vision...No, no, I've remembered. I know it may sould ridiculous, but I get the impression the white flower was trying to speak...I know flowers cannot speak, but that was the impression I gained.'

Kalla seemed embarrassed by her last statement, and lost her air of quiet confidence. Gradually her golden-clad figure disappeared, and she returned to her former timid self.  The last image to fade was that of the golden owls, until they too disappeared, leaving two pairs of piercing eyes, before they slowly faded away.

Before her listeners could speak, Fallyn gave a startled cry and clutched his hand to his head.

'Oh no! No, no!' He turned to Merin. 'We must get back to the cave immediately. Eila has been trying to get through to me but couldn't because I was so intent listening to the visions.'

Fallyn bowed to the King. 'You must excuse us, Your Majesty. We have to return immediately. My sister and the dragon Drana together with some of her babies have been captured by Prince Bato's troops. Fortunately, Drana's mate was hunting so he wasn't captured, but Eila doesn't know what has happened to Drartica and three of the dragonets.

'May dragons' fire be heaped on Bato's head, my brother has gone too far this time. My troops at your command, Fallyn, whenever you decide to send a search party, or wish to attack.'

Fallyn and Merin quickly mounted fresh horses and galloped as fast as they could until they came to the foot of the mountain. At the summit the dragons' cave lay concealed behind a row of stunted trees, which hid the entrance from below. Fallyn and Merin slowed to a walk and allowed the horses to pick their way along the uneven path.

Suddenly, Merin reigned in his horse. 'Did you hear that, Fallyn?' Something is happening at the cave.'

'What did you say?' Fallyn's mind had been concentrating on getting into thought-contact with Eila. 'Oh yes, I hear it now. We had better dismount and approach the cave on foot.'

As Fallyn and Merin drew near to the cave they were surprised to see Drartica's back, outspread wings, and forked, lashing tail completely blocking the entrance. Angry growls, snarls and cries of pain could be heard from Drartica and her assailant within the cave.

Merin ran towards the cave. 'I recognise Dratho's snarls and roaring, but why are he and Drartica fighting?'

Fallyn quickened his pace. 'I think she's trying to stop Dratho flying after his mate. He could get himself killed or could jeopardise the safety of Eila and the dragons, and Drartica knows this.'

'We have to stop them. Quickly, Fallyn. You call to Drartica to stop, and as she turns I'll dash into the cave and urge Drato to do the same.'

Fallyn called loudly to Drartica. 'Drartica stop! I know what you are trying to do. Merin will stop Dratho escaping.'

Drartica half-turned at the sound of his voice, which enabled Merin to dash into the cave. He avoided Dratho's teeth as he was preparing to sink them into her flank. On hearing Merin's loud anguished cry, Dratho hesitated before he could twist and guage a huge piece out of Dratica's side, which would proibably have killed her. Even so, a large gash appeared in the female's side and she fell heavily.

Fallyn dashed into the cave, hoping that Eila had not taken her herbs, pills and powders, which she used when the dragons returned injured from battle. To his relief he found them, and rushed back to Drartica to tend to her. Merin laid a hand on his shoulder.

'I'm sorry, Fallyn. I did try to get to Dratho before he lashed out.'

'I know you did, Merin. You look after Dratho. Knowing Drartica, even though she is getting on, he'll not have come out of their fight without some injuries.'

Fallyn was so concerned about Drartica, he realised he had not given a thought as to what might have happened to the young dragons who had escaped Bato's clutches. It was then he heard plaintive cries coming from the back of the large cave.

He made his way to the back of the cave and found himself in an area he had not explored for years. The cave wall seemed to end, but at a height of twelve feet, there was an opening into another cave. Fallyn realised that Drartica must have known this, and had managed to climb and hide herself and the youngsters when Bato's men had attacked.

He scaled the rocks and scrambled down on the other side. There was some daylight entering from a hole in the roof, and he could just make out three small shapes huddled at the back of the cave, looking very forlorn. He recognised Solo, and two other little dragonets, they had called Drablo, because he belched a lot, and Dracito, the smallest dragonet. Fallyn picked them up one by one with some diffculty, because at six months old they were quite heavy. By pushing and coaxing them up the steep wall, they eventually made their way to the entrance.

Drartica made a valiant effort to pull herself into a sitting position so as not to distress Solo too much. Fallyn had stemmed the blood from her wounds, so apart from both dragons looking very exhausted, the worst of their injuries had been treated. Dratho being younger had been more fortunate than Drartica, but still his wounds were sufficient that both dragons would be incapable of carrying their riders for some time.

Dratho was very distraught, not only because of his anxiety for Drana and her stolen babies, but now his earlier hot-headiness had cooled, he was feeling terribly guilty for inflicting serious injuries on his old friend.

Merin tried to soothe him but finally called on Fallyn to help. Fallyn went to Merin's side, squatted down, and laid his hand on Dratho's neck. Drartica crawled towards Dratho and gently licked his nose. He opened stricken eyes to show he appreciated their efforts to forgive him.

'Dratho,' Fallyn said. 'It was natural that you wanted to save Drana and your dragonets, but I know you realise now it is necessary for us to wait until we have a plan of action. So don't worry if we have to wait for both your injuries to heal.'

At first, when Fallyn spoke it was to sooth Dratho, but he realised there was sense in his words, as they would have to wait until the dragonets could fend for themselves.

They all crawled into the back of the cave, and with the young dragons nestling between Dratica and Dratho, they settled down in an attempt to sleep.

The next morning they heard a call at the entrance of the cave. Fallyn saw one of the men who had previously summoned them to the King.

'What are your future plans so I may report back to the King?'

'Please give our apologies to King Rudri for any worry we have caused him, but I'm afraid we were all too exhausted to think of returning. The dragons, Drartica and Dratho, are injured. We will not be able to do anything until they've recovered. Fallyn didn't tell the man the cause of the dragons' injuries, as he felt it would not have been completely understood as to why they had been fighting.

The rider made his farewell, his anxious looks having disappeared when he saw the two friends in good health.

A frown creased Fallyn's forehead. 'I'm worried I can't seem to get through to Eila. I tried earlier but without success.'

Merin hid his concern but he too was wondering whether some mishap might have befallen Eila.

 

 

 

 

 

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