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Update WRITING SAMPLE SHUKE'S WAR - SCI CO

Update WRITING SAMPLE SHUKE’S WAR

Posted by Dana Phelps

Dana has to report that an imposed medical collapse has been engineered by an abusive family member. He has accused his brother of beatings, homicide attempts, rape, fraud, psychological abuse ever since he was a kid. At this point the same person is mishandling an estate issue and saying that money which has been drawn for medication off it for more than two decades is not something  can do anymore until he finishes with the estate business. In other words, Dana has no money for medication and no backup plan during the Holidays?

For the last month Dana has had to deal with extreme abuses from his mother who is elderly and extremely mentally abusive. She did things aggressively with the budget which caused medical pain and loss of food (Dana has a disability and the government does not allow savings, there’s no backup plan…). SCi CO is doing its best to make profits so Dana can be independent of the system and the brother and mother are working against him for some reason!

Thus we’ve had serious delays. Dana has not been hospitalized but only because a large effort on his part to use coping mechanisms which have improved his overall conditions. Dana is mostly working on Shuke’s War which is about 40 pages from being completed in its third edit. After that will be line editing, or grammatical or syntactical mechanical fixes rather than content. When the issues are resolved this time it will be a permanent fix and no more interruptions from this same issue will occur again.

 

Camille Spain is being stalked and is having problems with housing issues. She’s resolving them while she works 10+ hours a day. We have a meeting scheduled for the video post. We are delayed, this cannot be avoided. Even with SCi CO’s efforts to cinch up on scheduling, this is beyond our control and medical, financial issues, legal which we must confront in real time.

 

The movie is in good shape, we’re confident that we’ll get a lot of plays on Netflix.

 

 

*** SHUKE’S WAR SAMPLE CHAPTERS****

THIRD DRAFT

©SCi CO BOOKS 2018 DO NOT REPRODUCE

 

CHAPTER 7

T’hurlk led the band of tribal woodmen out of the forest for the first time they’d ever been and it was exhilarating for them. Their natural gargantuan size and humble intellect made them adept followers and the fierce bond they held to each other synced them like lemurs of Earth, moving together as a pack making decisions sometimes instantaneously but invisibly. They all possessed new weapons— hammers. The pounding instruments were made of stone from within their home forest and though the stones themselves which were used to form all of the hammers had no special quality to them while it was found in their habitat, but outside the great area of trees from where they came the rock itself on the new weaponry would was much denser, more hard than anything like it from outside where they came from. As their great new leader charged out of the forest, his hair had changed from copper to blonde! The woodsmen needed a beacon in the new surroundings perhaps and T’hurlk had adapted.. The muscular miner began to encircle the outside perimeter of their former forest with his army in position behind him. They slowly moved around the entirety of the forest which lasted from one day into the next until they had finally and completely surrounded the edges of it, returning all the way back to their original position. Then T’hurlk reversed himself and led the wood tribe the other in the opposite direction so they could go all the way around to reach the same position only this time they marched slightly faster to wind up in the same position where they began.

T’hurlk’s followers were tireless and by the time they had reached their starting point for the second time again, they appeared revved up for more rather than to need a rest. The fair haired chief started to climb up one of the outermost trees at the place where he’d first entered the

forest after escaping from the underground prison he’d been sentenced to. The wood warriors followed him upward and pounded on tree branches with their hammers to break the tree limbs off to make use of them as makeshift ladders. When they wound up at the very top of the tree they climbed, the group began walking over the dense tops of the trees which were so thickly formed in their bushy upper extremities that all their running and stomping atop them barely shook them at all. They were thousands of miles up if using Earthly measurement and T’hurlk led them circularly again, this time at the same point as where they had started to move around the expanse of the circular wood only they were as high now as they could go. He moved them around the whole length of the forests top edges, stomping on the richly adorned treetops with reckless abandon to expediently deliver themselves to their point of origin only in reverse again.

When T’hurlk and the troupe arrived finally at the position where they had begun they all paused and finally began to show some formal sign of fatigue with sweat and even one of them doubling over (though he was laughing at something and not panting). Something about the elevation, the ritual of doing this roundish formation from top to bottom in the precise manner in which they did had triggered the magic of the forest to create a beam of golden light which appeared hazily above the center of the treetops in a nimbus which was the shape of the inner sanctum below, an identical form to scale hover above them now as light between the sun and the treetops beneath their rugged feet. The group joined together at the shoulder in seated positions, knees in front of them as they happily socialized after the ringed dance over and below the treetops they had done about long time home. The radiant light above them was overpowering and healing all at the same time with a sense of solidarity, warmth and love that was amplified by their own magnificent feelings they already had for one another. It was altogether innocent and majestic to behold, and the reason it occurred if you had asked Herdoles or Frabagalarangus would be that it happened because they believed it did together.

The tremendous beam of golden warm light was accompanied by rapidly curling swirls of white fog which ran unnaturally across the sky. A pink and golden cloud appeared flickering in and out of sight suddenly right the center of the treetop forest. T’hurlk recognized this as a gate to return to his home world and rising to the task he ran toward it then raised his hammer for all his followers to come with him! He was roaring loudly now in a barbaric yowl, free and empowered from his former state. But what was on the other side? Leaping through the rumbling gold pink cloud which had green arcing sparks flickering about it dramatically, T’hurlk closed his eyes and remained faithful. When he bounced out of the cloud from the other side, he recognized his old home world immediately. It was as if no time had passed there whatsoever since he had been gone. One by one the wood men landed on the ground after him, abruptly groaning and clutching themselves where they temporarily ached from the fall.

When the thousands of wood warriors were all there they appeared to adapt effortlessly to being within their new surroundings. They had no women in their tribes and the way they reproduced was a process unique to that forest where the sunlight, special waters and moss from one of the trees grew them after being fertilized by insects native only to that forest which feasted on the decomposing leaves. Their form was refined over many variations during their long evolution from tree form, to animal like and eventually to this appearance of being mostly human but physiologically they had almost nothing comparable with human beings other than how they looked.

There was a sudden change in the sky, a black tendril of energy crackled above like lightning only it was pitch black with purple flares that violently and sharply whipped about about as the rapidly repeating black lightning sizzled through the air. T’hurlk and the tree tribesmen all woke

up from their confusion at the same time and the massive army of wood people began to chuckle and chortle to themselves spontaneously, sounding something like you might believe a cavemen or early hominids might sound like, as a cross between grunting and guffawing.

The masters of the rare ore, the tribal folk from underground on T’hurlk’s home world rarely sent more than a pair of any visitors at a time to the surface to do anything whatsoever. Their need for the holy ore wherever the plunderers from T’hurlk’s civilization had been removing every bit of it they could was within the scope of the foundation to their forms of machinery connected through geomancy to round structures they made on different parts of the planet. T’hurlk’s people had never been to the architectural spheres but understood they existed through some distant observations past unreachable terrains and from legendary whispers about strange artifacts located in various regions where their divine ores were mined. What they were not aware of was how the race underground, which we might use the word ‘“Tafhelijeos” to describe, was using the roughly formed pink crystalline spheres (much like the material from a stalactite yet very rounded over the entire surface but caked over with various elements of its surroundings after millennia of upholding to the conditions of the planet). If the truth were known to T’hurlk’s people what the pink crystal spheroids represented to the Tafhelijeos, then there would be no doubt they’d evacuate the planet and remove all their stores of ore and attempt very quickly to return each minute portion back to the locations from which they were originally found! Planetary vibrations which was most of their focus they leveraged to help balance star systems— and that was just the beginning of their designs! In reality their responsibility was so great compared with what T’hurlk’s civilization was understanding themselves in working to achieve that the mining society would have looked at the Tafhelijeos in their tenure of power as so godlike in their cosmic relevance. This would of course have been very wise indeed because the Tafhelijeos were few in their appearances (who knows how many there really were, but they

would be able to reproduce themselves instantly to suit any quest or battle situation) yet each command powers way beyond those in the scope of Herdoles and Frabagalarangus should they become offensive. But the kindly subterranean people had no ego to deal directly with such a planetary species until they became some kind of a threat upon the planetary cycles themselves which were used by the Tafhelijeosians to stabilize their cosmic magical efforts as a foundational tool for them.

The gentle and harmonious underground tribal people had met with numerous races in their excursions under the ground and often times through travel of their own or through visitors from many different worlds. The planet they were on now had seas mainly of red and the clouds appeared a yellowish green in the sky with constant formations of fog rolling through the wild winds all over the howling winded surface of it. There were plethoras of birds in some of the clouds feasting on the unusually plentiful electricity in there which attracted certain fish from the seas who would be capable of “riding the lightning” upwards by bonding to the conductive channel with their own innate magnetic attraction. An extension growing on their bodies like an antenna gathered electrical currents from the air and stored the power, charging themselves up for an eventual release. Eventually, they would be able to hold no more in and with a brilliant display of flashing electrical arcs all about their flittering bodies, they would fly out of the water— always at the same time as a burst of lightning from the cloud formations would strike. Lots of the fish would die an a magnificent display of bursting electricity and light flashes, dead instantly with hot smoke erupting all over their fried bodies. But some of the luckier ones would adhere to the lightning and literally be sucked up by it, or as it would appear. They’d attach to it like a tractor beam and instantly be channeled upward to the clouds where most of them were fried to bits (providing a lot of nutrition for the numerous birds to enjoy the fresh toasted treats). A few of the most lucky would return to the water and spawn with electrically powered intensity. This

entire ordeal of the fish charging themselves, then firing upward or dying along the way was a ritual for them which happened often enough that there were frenzies of feeding flocks charging in and out of the clouds timing their next meals to the rhythms of the electrical ocean air and the flurry of fishes below.

Some of the various races the Tafhelijeosians had dealt with in their pursuits were from distant star systems. To them it was not very far away at all, as friends were always close! The benevolent underground tribe were also shape-shifters who only revealed themselves in a form welcomed by whomever it was they appeared before. The Tafhelijeosians were powerful enough to be comfortable across the bog and in the most treacherous haunts of the dragon land over there. Ironically, being under the ground where they were generally could be as dangerous as the harsher lands where dragons roamed, but the difference was that the other side of the bog was fraught with dangers constantly without much chance for peaceful co-existence above or below the ground for even the powerful Tafhelijeosians. They harnessed the raw forces of cosmic fountains which were inherent to binding many galaxies together if one was capable of witnessing the interstellar natural formation enough to begin an understanding of their functionalities. The Tafhelijeosians were reverent to in their work and took their responsibility with the planetary alignments as a celestial mechanical dance they participated in. The knowledge and connection they had with the power of suns was profound and direct, more deep reaching than any wizened lore seeker or learned magic user could know or learn. This was one of the reasons the Tafhelijeosians had managed to harness the power so readily for the transference of T’hurlk to and from that distant world of “Thebos”, to name the planet where Herdoles, Frabagalarangus, Gaelron, Guhkthl and the other goblins were presently disposed. In the sun was more than a gateway and life support system for them but a network of souls

aligning to all the points in the distances of space or time. It was a vehicle to preserve and manage as they used its facilities with friendliness and mastery.

The way they broached the surface of a planet they worked and dwelled beneath was to envelop themselves in soot like appearances beforehand, as if they had just come from the inside of a burnt tree and every bit of them was covered by the black-grey ashen innards. Then they affixed yellow stones over their eyes which were rounded out so to appear somewhat like Earth spectacles, though there were no frames holding them in place. This unusual appearance had been the cause for attacks from primitive tribes while they were wandering along in their garish state, doing their planetary business. Whenever this happened the two ambassadors simply melted and seeped into the ground below the surface, leaving behind their yellow orbs in a pile of black sooty dust. These stones became worshipped items eventually to most of those tribal peoples who nabbed the rounded rock eyes from the sooty pile on the ground once the Tafhelijeosians were gone, though they did not ever understand them (or what they could do if a fraction of their power were actually harnessed).

The aboriginal people who found themselves in possession of these sacred Tafhelijeosian eye- stones found themselves telling strange stories of the shadowy humanoids who maintained the house where the spirit of the sun resided. It was somehow known to those peoples who had been frightened and perhaps posed a threat to the Tafhelijeosians that the yellow stone eyed people lived underground and went from world to world, learning in the dreams of all the sentient beings. The experiences would be harnessed and deposited as energies recorded into the eye-stones which would emanate the power of dream seers. The tunnel they had to the sun needed to maintain its position to the planet with delicate grace is what the tribal folk with artifacts and stories of the Tafhelijeosians believed. Some of the threats the yellow stone eyed

sun magicians dealt with in their work of cosmic harmony were beyond the realm of conjecture for most who knew of the Tafhelijeosians existence. The sun mages had evolved mysteriously and settled into the design of the continuum gently adjusting to the the magical mechanisms of inter-stellar composition.

When the underground duo who had sent T’hurlk to Thebos witnessed the event of the wood tribesmen and T’hurlk falling into view from a bright orange sky onto the reddish brown clay surface where they were landing, the Tafhelijeosians reverted back beneath the soil. The pair rapidly diminished into nothing as they dipped below the clay surface leaving their classic signature of blackened ash and yellow rounded rocks to serve as the only real clues they were ever there. T’hurlk noticed something off in the corner of his eye just as he was coming to from the daze of his travels through the cloud from the other world. He grabbed the yellow eye rocks left by the Tafhelijeosians and rubbed the sooty black stuff laying underneath it onto his face, making a mark under each of his eyes which sparkled with a dancing aura of white light momentarily then burned forever into his skin. They were thick black strips, two each under the eyes and at the same time the markings were burned permanently below his eye sockets, his irises went from ice blue to golden with white pupils! His hair also began being blown by a breeze which would accelerate when he was worked up, making him constantly appear on the move with flowing golden locks. The two rounded yellow stones liquified after they had helped T’hurlk’s new eyes change and turned to bright crisp blue flames that danced briefly before turning to tiny red puffs of smoke.

The tribe of wood people stared off into the distances of their immediate surroundings, the new environment being completely alien and truly wondrous to behold. These tree men did not have traditional humanly logical intellects but were capable of understanding what was put in front of

them with ease and humor. Generally, they operated on sensorial instinct more than premeditated anything but also swayed in their temperaments with the moods of the winds and the seasons as all trees did, as they had come from. They saw T’hurlk rise from the ground looking a bit more enthused and the tribesmen stood up slowly. Without pausing to confer, they began collecting themselves in a circular formation around him, beckoning their leader to guide them for the next phase of whatever they were going to do.

T’hurlk tossed his hammer high into the sky mightily which twirled several times before descending down in a spiral. His fist made circular motions in the air, bringing the hammer down in a controlled spiral using newly harnessed powers to control the weapon with the force of his energy! The weapon landed with a dull crunch onto the ground handle first and then he jumped on top of the stone on it, stamping it into the ground in a firm position. He then raised his hand to the sky with his right index pointed up at the sun and a high piercing sound erupted over his head which was overpoweringly clear, startling, alerting yet also pleasant for his tribal followers to hear. The men bred from special trees on Thebos were feeling uplifted and their magical solidarity with T’hurlk that was already natural present transcended into a more enlightened form of attuned motivations, a rhythm which began at the piercing sound and would continue on. The wood men may help somehow to bridge the two worlds of the one they were on with that of Thebos, however it may achieved and in whatever timing. Their existences connected somehow to the civilization of T’hurlk’s former life and the pursuit of his people for the exotic ore. T’hurlk was now feeling like he could mine light itself instead of ores and would be able to convince his people to use their powers for harmony as solar musicians rather than as hunters of metals.

T’hurlk created a flaring gold light beam from the tip of his finger which burst forth and led all the way up to the sun with energy wrapping in a warm glow all around the beaming digital

protrusion. The pillar of magical illumination became a shaft up through the entire reaches of space to hit the center of the sun, like a rope of light challenging those who could climb up to the top to climb in to the next world if they could reach it. T’hurlk closed his eyes and his fists at the same time while uttering a gutteral sound which stopped the beam of power instantly. Then he hopped on top of his hammer head and let out a heaving, satisfied sigh. As sweat poured from his head onto the ground the droplets broke apart into splotches of white light.

The huge beacon in the sky briefly connecting sun from T’hurlk’s fingertip had sent a clear signal to all who were on the surface of the plane, including the multiple millions of his civilization. They took it as a sign from their gods and ramped up their efforts to mine, to build, to explore where they could with newfound confidence. T’hurlk just went to sleep resting his head against the shaft of wood of his stone hammer which was still planted in the ground. The weapon had changed and now the stone at the top appeared almost like ice as it was utterly clear with a liquid inside of it that changed the appearance of what was cast through into a filmy refraction of colorful blurs. There was a golden radiance to it around the surface of its edges which sparkled tenuously, amplified by the currents of the ether it drew its magical energies from. The haft of the tremendous mallet was the appearance of wood but the color of a metallic gold.

All the wood men looked at each other spontaneously and gesturing with their hands while smiling and chuckling they all decided to go to sleep, following their leader. They chattered without words, clicking their teeth (which were in appearance like bone but were a form of petrified wood much harder than any bones) as they laid to down to dream. The wood tribe already was of the dreamy astral world so this was sort of the inside joke between them that they would go through the motions of closing their eyes and dozing off to get there!

When T’hurlk awoke he could see the huge amassing of an entire society of people, millions upon many millions gathered in various formations as far as his white pupils could see. The land itself was barren around him and the desert became filled with his people who were alive with a new order. They were gathered in moving swells like insects around the reddish clay plains.
The transmogrification of T’hurlk from a warrior of their people to a demigod of the sun had brought them out from their stacked stone structured cities. Their ways of life were all central to gathering ores and their whole world was to change with this spirit of ascension into a new ideal. The population amassed on the landscape gradually formed two rings, the outer one moving in opposing direction with the inner. T’hurlk agreed with their movements, his wood men remaining slumbering, snoring comically loud while babbling animal sounding gibberish in their sleep. The people encircling each other held hands by the multiple million and within the battery of their energies, all of their skin began turning into a yellowish gold while their hair became frizzy and angularly pointed in many directions. The great golden eyed sun warrior blinked a few times and yawned, gathering in his eyes what was going on before drifting off in a dream.

The circular motions being made by the hand holding civilization were beginning to make a difference in the fabric of the magic of the planet. The wood men all suddenly awoke, rubbing their eyes while curiously assessing with urgency what they were waking up to. The hilarious tree people were amused already by most anything and there was always a subtle hint of mockery or humor underneath whatever they did, as if a hidden wit was present underneath their rather dimwitted exterior. Two shafts of light began emerging from the former mining people’s formations, circles of golden amber light rising up as walls erupting from their bodies. It was as if their souls were coming out adjoined to some singular purpose! The people merged together as one while their physical forms were becoming hotter, growing bigger and changing

their molecular matrixes to light. All this was reinvigorating their genetics into some kind of new species and with patent alacrity. T’hurlk did a handstand on top of his hammer and then raised a pointed foot up into the air. A red beam with golden encircling streaks appeared out of his toe which connected all the way to the sun and made his whole foot waver from visibility into nothingness, then ultimately disappear but come back as an identical form but made of pure light! Slowly the rest of his body was reorganizing itself as a chain of light reaching toward the heavens. Eventually his entire body became a light form without skin or flesh but would otherwise have appeared identical to the previous incarnation of the human being T’hurlk. Three dancing vortexes of light spun around from the tip of his pointed light foot and the shape of him in his new light form and the light man himself became an unidentifiable property resembling liquid, plasma and light itself, then he joined with the sun in a streak of multihued light.

The walls of circular light made by the moving body of the millions of his people blended into the trinity of beams trailing T’hurlk’s light bridge to the sun form and they reformed together into a round wave encircling the center of the spectacle, spinning nebulous in a brilliant white light whirlpool. The tribal wood men morphed suddenly from flesh to wavering green light and they began seeping into the churning light pool. The giant light show was whipping into a frenzy now, beautiful and controlled but appearing unpredictable in how its power was so rapidly growing. When the frenzied motions of the whirlpool of spinning white with green light reached a climax, it began drawing upward toward the sun until it disappeared altogether, apparently sucked in by the solar orb. All of the structures the miners had built of carefully placed stone (some reaching very high into the sky, stable through all weather and temperature changes) were gone instantly after the glorious ordeal with magical lights for evolution was over. The spherical pink crystalline structures were unchanged but the event was a shift in the planetary stability that the Tafhelijeos

survey constantly and it was not lost upon them that the matrix of the planet was shifting into a place with much more suitable conditions for dragons to thrive.

The Tafhelijeos rejoiced in the paradigm alteration and continued about their labors underground. The routes of transport which they used appeared as oases of blue which were similar looking to a controlled miniature electrical storm, functioning similarly to the concept of worm holes. The two ambassadors who had sent T’hurlk across galaxies to help with his evolution and so the Tafhelijeos could preserve their soul stones with minimal effort reached a lair deep under the clay surface where the light evolution had taken place with T’hurlk’s population above. The little cave tucked deep under the ground was dripping with soupy green liquid, a cavernous chamber of green crystal stalactites that was thick a patient and eery tranquility. The vast pool of water inside was covered with life resembling algae, a rich amber colored version. The source of light illuminating the place from some unidentifiable location was bone white and the reflections (with whatever subtle magic encouraging them) gave the secret hideaway a shimmery display of constant movement. No exit or entry way was visible from the inside but the duo of Tafhelijeosians safely emerged from their conduit of blue arcing electricity to be in the center of this magnificent retreat and they floated about as shadows to a gigantic sleeping creature buried beneath a veil of shadows. The two sun mages reformed themselves from their ethereal electrical form which they assumed to travel through their blue portals. Now they resembled stringy humanoids but with a red eye in the center of their face instead of all other features. Their entire bodies were otherwise a spindly gathering of darkness forming a skinny pair of humanoids.

What was in the murky pools water just ahead of them as they stood on a green issue of crystal rock was submerged at a point where it would be easy to predict there was something

magnificent there. There was a crystal green collection of rocks surrounding a giant portion of the lake and the special crystalline rocks all were sparkling magically, perhaps dangerously. There was an orange muddiness to the water within the green crystal rock pool, indicating something was different in there, some kind of life form was probably lurking below. The magical sun ambassadors traversed carefully along the slippery green crystal outcropping and got as close as they could to see whatever was inside the orange tinted water. Standing perfectly still at the best place they could find to gain a vantage for their perspective, they indeed noticed that a majestic dragon was resting with its head deep down in the murky pool and it was either previously asleep or in some similar stage of tranquility for the great head was beginning to raise up from its underwater position, apparently to inquire about the two beings who had managed to make their way into the magically sealed underground lair.

When the dragons eyes opened one of the larger green stalactites in the distance suddenly cracked and begun depositing huge chunks of green crystal into the remotest reaches of the vast cavern. Golden boiling liquid poured off where the fallen stalactite was, apparently the utility of its placement being to seal in the unusual liquid. The boiling juice resembled something like melted gold but was much runnier and glowed mysteriously. As it rushed down from some hole in the rock ceiling, the impact of the oozing material met with a hiss and steam on the dark waters then the stuff crystalized instantly into a honey colored rock crystal with angles and reflections somewhat like a stalactite or stalagmite. Some of the golden bubbling liquid had splashed just next to the Tafhelijeosians and that quickly formed into a small island for them, so they floated themselves over to that tiny formation and stood patiently with their red eye fixed on the amazing dragon.

This dragon leaned its enormous head back on a craning neck and with a slight tinge of arrogance sucked in a breath then let out a snort. Orange murky water flew all about as the massive form of the dragon head whipped back in its effort to come up for air. Some water blew out of one of its massive flaring nostrils which were greenish and scaly black on the outside. The sloppy mucus-like liquid from its scaled nose fell into the pool where his head was previously at rest and the surface became covered in a warm fog that rolled in from nowhere. Electrical activity with golden then green currents appeared dramatically across the airy space in the cavern until the dragon’s eyes were all that remained visible to the Tafhelijeosians while they rested on their honey crystal oasis. The dragon’s grand eyelids were marked by a greenish light that was entwining both in unison with the same rough appearance as a “∞” symbol, almost like a pair of spectacles in how the slippery green magical energies were wrapping around the dragon’s eyes. It blinked dramatically, playing innocent at the grand scene as it rolled its gargantuan tongue around while appearing to muster up some sort of socially graceful attempt at communication with its guests. A thunderous laugh broke out through the great cavernous halls, hot rushing air radiating in a blast outward from the crazed looking dragon’s mouth as the laughter was experienced. The dragon dipped its head back into the water with a salacious grin and scooped up a cluster of eggs up from deep in the bowels of the murky well.

The peculiar eggs were bright orange and numerous by the thousand as demonstrated by the huge portion the dragon was feasting on. Whatever fish was below making this food was conveniently producing the stuff for whenever the dragon happened to awaken. Once the nourishment was imbibed wholly the dragon who we will name “Olighraciolousneasat” focused hypnotically on the pair of subterranean cosmic spell weavers. The two were thoroughly enjoying the treat of conferring with a truly great dragon, their work largely in itself a divination of dragon worship and the idea of seeing this godly being was splendrous. It was true that dragons

adored treasures but they were not always in the form of jewels, gold or other flimsy humanoid engineered things. The dragons most powerful always held natural stores of planetary or cosmic materials. These riches were beyond the perception of most human beings but those who understood like the Tafhelijeosians had all attained the power to change their material energy at will for any kind of travel. Olighraciolousneasat was situated around an enormous deposit of dragon ore (which is not the same material as what T’hurlk and his mining population sougt— this stuff was fundamentally chaotic in its state of matter and this created an instability with tremendous raw power, no human could touch it). The stuff was always in a liquid form and continued to exist at a like temperature of the local sun or sun, whatever planetary system the dragon was one. The matter would behave uncontrollably around all elements with unpredictable results. To convert the liquid into a solid metallic form was only possible if a dragon breathed on it. That honey crystalline stuff the pair of Tafhelijeosians were settled upon now had formed with the vapors of Olighraciolousneasat’s breath to make a little floating island to accommodate their visit on. The tiniest bit of this hardened material could create a true weapon of power if the wielder were not ripped apart themselves by the turbulence of the chaotic object, for it contained dragons magic. For right now all Olighraciolousneasat wanted to do was to eat some more fresh eggs.

The great thing dipped his maw one more time into the seemingly bottomless depths of the dank liquid and came forth with a massive dose of the wet orange balls, the meal he needed to wake himself up properly. The dragon feasted intently on the caviar and this time a series of tongues appeared from someone inside his gigantic maw and wiped down his outer lip. The lips itself were great yellow strips of flesh with red fleshy spikes that appeared to be the perfect aid to scooping up and attaching all kinds of eggs to. The tongues were all connected to a greater inner one and functioned together as a way to retrieve all the possible food material from

whatever meal was being taken in. Finishing up the feast, the dragon leaned back cockily then coyly rolled its eyes back, still encircled by the infinity symbol like formation of green light. Slowly, all the green stalactites changed in color to a pale gold and a flame appeared atop the surface of all the water, sweeping all around and cleansing the ether.

A true dragon’s egg slowly rose from under the water and surfaced within the fiery blaze! It floated over toward the pair of sun magicians who grabbed it quickly out of the hot flames present at every turn. The Tafhelijeosians set the dirty honey colored egg with great green and purple splotches all over it into a oval shaped honey crystal formation which was already formed on the crystal rocky island they rested upon. The little crystal incubator had formed next to them as soon as the egg had been born up from the pool of flames. They each gripped an end and funneled through their blue electrical passage with it, hauling off with the goods unceremoniously to their next location deep underground.

The proud dragon slipped his head back into the water in a hurry, apparently having enough of the festivities and eagerly returning to another eternally long sleep. The flames on the water died down and the stalactites returned to their previous green color only ever slightly more shiny and lighter than before. Olighraciolousneasat snored briskly which brought bubbles up to the surface filled with green smoke. The bubbles burst and their green smoke clouds seeped upward into the stalactites where they broke apart in a green shower of sparks. The energy seeped through the rock cavern and up to the surface where it manifested into a cousin of the Earhtly cannabis plant (which were all over the cosmos). This new plan life marked an expectation that there would be a new society of people up there once the new habitat was stable enough to breed the predictable life forms. Rarely could humans and dragons co-exist in

proximity, and it was a sure bet that some interesting histories would be pursuant to the birth of the new world.

The two Tafhelijeosians set down the golden crystal cradle with their egg (which was now a very dark shade of green with no markings of any kind visible on it) in it under a canopy of rock. The formation they arrived on was an outcropping on the mountainside where the lava falls were that curled inward giving some solace and a retreat from the hostile magma. Just outside was a trail of molten flows of lava surrounded by black rocky terrain and marked in the distance with a backdrop of splashing lava at the base of enormous falls. The intense heat of the location would help the dragon inside the egg to maintain an optimal temperature and the habitat would make an ideal surrounding for the new lifeforms to be since there were few predators scavenging or hunting for fresh meat. When a dragon first unfurled its wings to launch into the air it was a crucial moment in its maturation which if it failed could be lead to the dragon returning to the egg, sometimes never to even hatch.

The first movements of any dragon to just break free of their shell was the only time usually in their lifespans (which were infinite) where vulnerable to common predators. If they were mauled or maimed, or if the lucky beast to attack the newborn baby dragon had believed the dragon to be dead, this was not actually the case but the dragon would sometimes appear to be dead for a while, mostly from the disappointment it would have to take the time to consume the monstrously disrespectful beasts who had presumed to feed upon them that way. This was because dragons would not really ever die and their first moments were mainly a test for how interesting or comfortable their new environment would be for them— and not any other way around. Predators who gobbled up a new dragon successfully would wind up eventually growing into the dragon’s stomach slowly and over an amount of time which would long extend that of

whatever critter had failed to yield to the dragons power. Also during the dragons first hours, they would not be able to defend themselves against any hungry predators as their eyes were closed and their wings not capable protection yet, and they would be preoccupied by learning the first motions of life outside the egg with every ounce of their focus. The smoke from Olighraciolousneasat’s snore bubbles which all the way up from deep beneath the soil had formed some cannabis cousin plants which moved instinctively to create a barricade around the honey crystal cradle which held the newborn baby dragon. The lush weeds formed a sturdy shield and would protect from any lava spew should there be an overwhelming splash from somewhere in the distance making its way close enough to the crib to be a threat. Also the motion capable dragon cannabis plants would be able to rock the honey crystal cradle back and forth lovingly as needed. In short the wonderful vegetation friends would do anything needed to help the fledgling dragon reach a state of maturity enough for its own independence and survival.

The reformation of the surface of the planet was completed and a serenity followed which was tinged with a sense of freshness, newness and ancient innocence. It was an indistinguishable amount of time for the planetary matrix to shift and become stable— perhaps years or perhaps eons. The tiny dragon inside the little dark green egg was safe and warm within its womb, protected by friends who would tend to it and nurture it amongst those heavenly hot lava falls surroundings. When things atop the surface had finally settled, the dragon egg broke apart and set free a beautiful red little dragon with yellow wings and bright twinkly green eyes. The lava falls were gone now and the terrain was transformed to hostile mountains, pastures, forests. Beasts began to roam and an especially fast, loud breed of aviary beings became fond of a mountain with a crack in it’s side which connected to a crater like hole (formerly lava falls mountain) which was now covered by red snow. The peculiar formation had changed entirely

and now it reached halfway to space as a black crystalline mountain and atop that mountain formed a volcanic glass tower which was not traditional or mathematical in its structure as if engineered by sentient beings but a natural construction of the gods which had created it leaning heavily to one side, with a bend that was almost a curved arch in how it jutted from space below. It was bowed the most at its apex and offered a perch for the larger birds of the most capable speed and strength to linger to reach and make use of the lovely giant crystal nest. One of the great birds who’d managed to reach the area of the black crystal perch flapped its wings proudly and soared from there toward where the dragon hatchling had recently been born. The little dragon had meat on its bones and it would make a fine treat for the bird who had smelled the fresh dragon babe.

The dragon was slowly examining and then carefully unfurling its yellow wings which were moist with residue from the form of amniotic fluid which was keeping the little thing nourished while inside the shell. It was a long moment for the dragon and considered to be a very special moment to dragonkind. The little critter was lurching its shoulders in a rotation to get used to idea of having wings to use and also to help release some of the fluid still dripping from its leathery appendages.

The lithe swift bird from the black crystal tower sailed mystically through the air emitting a high pitched squawk which pierced the air from a very great distance to deliver the sound waves all the way to the dragon hatchling! The screeching war cry triggered an alarm for the cannabis species which we will call “Henguan”. The plants began weaving a barrier up and around the hatchling as the newborn dragon wandered off into an open space of a rocky expanse of black crystalline rock with a trickle remaining of a lava flow from some unknown location. The Henguan formed a ring of protection around the infant dragon, a ring that was designed just

above the height of the dragon baby and with openness above, so that it may launch up into the air in its first flight. The deafening warrior bird approached was speeding toward the dragon youngster and seeing the Henguan defend the dragon was not enough to deter it. There was still plenty of room to get in at the vulnerable prey and spike its delicious neck with its sharp beak, giving a rich meal to the bird worthy of the energy to glide all the way down from so high above. Dive bombing through the air and swooping in on the little critter beak first with its tremendous speed advantage, the bird went all out against the defenseless, blind little dragon— it was going to be a close call!

The dragon hatchling had still been drying its wings and managed to lift itself off the rocky black ground by flapping innocently. It was up a bit in the air for a moment then landed back on the black rock to stumble about and fight though another attempt to open its wings again. Its salient green eyes would remain blind until it could fly successfully for a while as the muscles in its wings would trigger a reaction for the eyes to be used to help it fly (the dragons eyes would always be magically activated and attuned to more distant worlds when in flight than what was in front it and when their eyes could see what was before them for the first time, they would also very suddenly be blitzed by many other worldly perceptions, too many for any mere human to comprehend). The bird broke made something like a sonic boom only it was magical and high pitched as a result of it achieving perfection in its flight path, acceleration and velocity through a particular air pocket on its predatorily descent toward the vulnerable dragon spawn. The beak of the tenacious birdie was pointy and moist with a quick acting poison that would knock out almost any prey unlucky enough to make contact with it. As the ravenous white bird made its final bee line at the dragons neck for a kill, the little hatchling’s wings began beat together for the first time in a rhythm which would carry its weight through the air! The assailing bird managed to graze the neck of the dragon but did not cause any serious damage.

The fledgling dragon launched itself into the air instinctively, springing up from coiled talons and bolting into flight with amazing speed, strength. Suddenly the little dragon was able to see from those deep green eyes and the vision of an infinite number of worlds invaded its inner sight while it sailed across the twilight of a red sky. The dangerous bird which attempted to slay the dragon baby before its first flight finally returned and pierced through the Henguan barricade but got stuck in it at the beak! He spent the next moments of life attempting to get out of the trap and was getting pretty close before being eaten by reptile with exotic feathers sprouting from all over its thick scales. The feathered lizard creature ravaged the bird meat while the bird was still moving until it was finally over and the reptile moved on to digest and seek more prey.

The new dragon flew toward the high mountain peak with the rich red snow and located the black crystal nest with its sloped perch. There perhaps thousands of the frenetic and loud birds within the little lair itself and all over the magnificent black crystal area which had many expanses surrounding the arched formation. The dragon was fresh from its first flight and just out of the egg thus needed food badly. The mark on its neck was feint but burned all the same, a slight wound which was more of a stinging insult than a serious injury. He found the multitude of fresh birds in their massive flock to be a very tempting treat. These birds all appeared well fed and accustomed to the sanctuary of their enormous black crystal territory on the highest peak of the enormous mountain where no other life was around. The area had natural expanses which were long and flat, many regions which were secluded and tucked away behind oddly shaped black crystal, some little caves and then the grandest feature of all which was the towering nest. The red snow was really pouring down now in a slanted forceful blast from the skies and as it bounced off the black crystal mountainside, burst into pockets of steam like powdery red rain.

The little (for a dragon) dragonling we may name “Shuke” edged closer to the first row of warmongering birds before him. All Shuke could see was soft tender food and a sweet revenge on the species which nearly destroyed its first precious moments of dragonhood. The hunger was raging now in its belly and commanding all its instincts for immediate satisfaction to hunger. The tiny dragon slammed a wing onto the first bird it could connect with, a beefy white winged beast which was unaware of the presence of the newborn dragon babe. Without much effort, Shuke had weaved a little spell as it began to rapidly beat its wings together in a battle stance. The magic would wind up guiding its flight path and also allow the dragon to harness forces in the air with special hollowed chambers in its bones that could function synergistically with the magic in the air pockets (and Shuke’s bones would have appeared like a black glass to a typical human eye). Right now the young dragonling was also using a trick of turning the ether just around him into a dark mist which it by flapping its wings in angular motions which formed shapes out of the black mist. This tricked the eyes of many of the birds species and created a large distraction while Shuke’s right wing swatted the nearest bird on the back of its head lightly, which spilled bird brains all over the place.

The chief of the birds burst forth with a magnificent cry for war— the whole nest was under attack! Thousands upon thousands of teeming feathered warriors variously began directing themselves at the young dragonling in an all out assault. They were coming at a blinding speed at the small dragon, who was much larger already than any of the birds but was beginning to grow now that it was feasting on fresh bird brains (dragons grew instantly from meals when they wanted to, and always in their first meals after they hatched from their egg). Shuke went on a rampage and devoured bird after bird after bird. Each meal led Shuke to grow into a larger threat with more exponentially intensifying menace, might and ferocity. Thickly muscled bird

necks dissolved into Shuke’s hungry jaws, proud bird chests were crushed by Shuke’s immense wings, feathery bird wings were ripped apart by sharp dragon talons which would grow sharper each time they clawed through flesh. Indeed whole rows of birds were wiped aside with a swishing of the dragon’s elongating tail which was threatening to become its deadliest weapon of all.

After hundreds of kills and a ravenous bloodthirsty feast, the dragon grew ever larger and it began to appear possible to the chief that the whole nest could be taken over quickly and with the bird flock entirely out of the way, the glorious black crystalline lair would become the dragons personal retreat to perch on. The chief got ready for the final stand of his brood and with a chirping ‘bird’ whistle drew hundreds of his best hunters in formation. The valiant hunter birds sailed just above the black crystal surface of the nesting tower and they attempted a dangerous maneuver of spinning around and around with increasing speed in an attempt to succeed with a very dangers magical maneuver! Shuke was nestled in the black crystal nest awaiting all incoming attacks. The spinner birds would either implode from the risky stunt its attempts to control chaotic magical pressure or it would successfully destroy whatever foe (or so they believed) upon impact. The crazed hyper spin was only done as an act of final desperation and only the hardiest warriors of the flock were capable of even making the attempt!

The former dragon hatchling was now fast developing into young maturity with the victory meals it had digested, and from the experiences in the tumults of embattled savagery. The dragon sensed the corkscrewing hunters by their magical disturbance and efforts to wrestle with the invisible fabrics of chaos and Shuke became enraged at the aggression then raised its wings above itself while turning around feverishly. The rear end of the immense dragon was like an impenetrable wall to the roaring bombardment of spinning birds and one by one they were

crisped to flames as heat from the young dragon’s wings ripped into hot flames which rippled toward them in blazing roar. Where there were no charred birds, there was bloodied bird parts all over the place. Some of the red blood managed to splash onto one of Shuke’s magnificent wings and Shuke felt the blood mark seep in, allowing it to become a permanent mark of battle. Once the spinner birds offensive ended with their complete and utter defeat, the heroic chief valiantly raced up to the dragon and confronted the great creature in defense of his family. The Chief had a trick or two which might have some effect against a dragon, some battle skills which he had learned in his avian explorations though most would underestimate the wisdom, intelligence and power of a common bird.

The chief of the mighty birds approached Shuke as it turning around with wide open sparkling green eyes. The dragon did show some respect for the leader as the daring chief waddled on its talons toward the now gigantically huge Shuke. Determined to use any advantage, the defiant bird Chief squawked many odd sounds which meant things to friends of many varieties, many species, most outside the world of birds alone. This was an effort to speak to the dragon and alert it that there were others who would know what transpired here, that the birds Shuke had gobbled up in a great battle were connected to many others in the natural world. The dragon listened intently and manifested its very first malevolent grin. It was a test of good versus evil, mercy versus malice, respect versus a death knell for the species of the bird’s entire kind potentially. Shuke decided to allow the chief to survive with a small number of females (which were all huddled out of sight, shaking from fear in little hiding places throughout the black crystal rock lair). The dragon imparted a psychic message to the Chief that should the humbled leader kill off his remaining males personally as a display of sport for the dragons entertainment, that the Chief would be allowed to breed with the females into a new flock which would serve Shuke. The chief decided this was the best chance for his bird brood to survive and he chirped out

harsh and hurried orders for all the males to come forward. The most fertile females made intensive burbling sounds at the excitement in the art then came out from their various hiding places and nestled together to watch the activities! The remaining males knew what to do and began immediately by the hundred to attack their own chief. Shuke was undisputed master without even bothering to kill off all the predators himself.

The dragon made itself comfortable for the spectacle, curling up on a pile of bloody and charred bird carcasses which Shuke had left to rot once he had his fill. With one eye open, the dragon lazily regarded the events as a somewhat better option than sleep and began to lick at the bloody mess of sopping bird bodies before it, savoring the moment with relish. The chief was fighting with his own trained soldiers now, mercilessly devouring all those he could with impressive speed and tenacity. The Chief was the oldest of them all but also one of the first of his kind and he possessed immense fighting prowess for the variety of monstrous animals native to the new planetary habitat. The chief had enormous conflict with what he was doing but like a savage machine was tearing through his breed with alarming severity and terror. There were only dozens of surviving males by the end of his ferocious and impressive assault. None of these appeared to phase the dragon, who was appearing to fall asleep. Shuke’s one remaining open eyelid began to close, its head resting comfortably on the heap of warm bodies he was recently enjoying as food.

Suddenly and without any warning, the dragons tail whipped around and sliced the head clean off the chief! Shuke managed to sever the bird skull from its neck in a way which made the decapitated noggin fly toward the dragons jaws which were opening just in time to catch a delightful morsel to snack on. The chiefs eyes were open and aware during his last moments when going into the mouth of the dragon, believing in his last living microseconds that the

suicidal traitorous attacks he had made on his own bird family was enough to save the last remaining males and females who could live on to breed again.

The remaining birds were in fact allowed to survive or at least that seemed to be the deal because Shuke gently cradled itself back on the mound of corpses and settled in for a long unworried nap. The females where whisking themselves away with the remaining males urgently. The defeated birds all flew out of the extremely high altitude black crystalline mountaintop and disappeared into the sky. After some searching and circling about. they found a position upon the mountain a bit lower down than Shuke was and it looked similar enough from where they had just come from that they made an easy transition and soon found it a comforting and familiar home. The decapitated white head of the tremendous bird Chief was placed comfortably deep inside the dragon’s innards now which gave another advantage in battle to Shuke who would be endowed to call upon the bird head for knowledge which was contained in the undigested brains of the former Chief. A space in the dragon’s stomach was generated just for the storage of the honorable addition, designed by the dragon in a magical self-surgery to compartmentalize his permanent guest (all dragons could change their innards at will but rarely saw the need). It was exceedingly rare for a *young* dragon to do this but Shuke was already something of a wunderkind for even the first stages of a dragons combative first deeds of life. The bird chief would serve Shuke from then on and the dragon, typical for its kind would hearken upon any individual opportunity if it bred some sort of dry humor and irony. The Chief had lost its head after rebelling against his own kind, killing off what Shuke was too bored to finish eating himself. This was a nice way to begin as a dragon, because the victory would be embellished by the constance of the presence of the Chief bird to experience the moment as the bird head matured over endless spans of time.

***

Herdoles conspired with the goblins in the dematerialized world of the nether. Eyes, lips and ears of the demonic goblins were forming visibly in their underworld abyss, a beacon for other spirits and evil kinds present to communicate in the otherwise ever lonely haunts of the place with no existence and some existence, with nothing and everything, a stretched place which was never good but always there . The spell the wood sorcerer was weaving to impart upon the goblins began reaching its climax and soon the dangerous trio would be enabled with new powers when they reached again outside their netherworld existences and reformed as physical beings beyond the nether-hole. All three goblins knew they would reach the spire of Herdoles separately but in similar time.

The sardonic sorcerer had prepared a special room for the goblins in his high wood spire tower with baths of fermented fruit juices that would act to neutralize the festering odor of the disgusting goblins. Otherwise their wretched stench would contaminate the living spire and hinder the sorcerors fermentation process which aligned with the qualities the wood deposited into the air within his hollowed home. What was being decided presently by the murmuring Herdoles while the three goblins remained suspended in their nether abyss was how to use what the goblins had recently experienced in their twisted and dank perceptions. It was magnificent information which the dazzled sorcerer inherited as the goblins were floating between themselves and the physical fabric of nothingness the abysmal nether was comprised of. The flower forest was of particular insight and considered dangerous by Herdoles for just

knowing about it was bound to unsettle powers within that mysteriously overpowered place that would not be welcoming to Herdoles, he believed. That was the way of sacred knowledge and the goblins were safe from the powerful forces feeling their vibrations from the eery flower forest only because of their arrogant disinterest in anything but the most immediate evil they could invoke at will. It was clear they had succeeded in their missions and were now poised for a new task which would finalize all their preparations.

The three goblin became alight with a greenish glow and a chain of light formed that beamed outward from each of their ears and into the ears of the other goblins, from their mouths to each others mouths and then from their eyes into the others eyes. The eye in the hand of Herdoles melded with the confluence of nether magics, idling with them in a pact such as conductor to instrumentalists and it traversed through the nether present in all living things then directly to the source of the goblin beams. The demonic trio of goblins hovered gracefully in a protective bubble until they began to quake and shake from the energy they were boiling over with together and Herdoles working his focus into their transitory powers. The goblins materialized on the other side of the hole with a suction sound and stood in equidistant formation with their backs to the nether hole.

Herdoles appeared from off in the distance of the nether hole in a leisurely stroll to his minions. He grabbed the silver speck that was suspended over the nether hole and the colorful ring burned up in green electrical smoke instantly. The silver fleck bonded with the amber eye in his palm and became a new iris on the petrified pupil inside! Guhthl’s green rock floated up before them and running into a red light emanating from the palm of the wood sorcerer turned it into a flaky green powder which traveled through the air to spread all over the flesh of the goblins. They all sparkled magically with a green aura. As they clenched all their muscles of their bodies

(the closest word we can use describe that portion of their anatomy would be like muscles but in truth the resemblance was mostly appearance only), they could all feel a new strength that grew as Herdoles interacted with the nether hole in a sorcerous dance. Using a finger to press against a nostril, he sucked in the black nether hole with his other nostril which completely removed it from the forest floor. Herdoles let out a sigh and then shuddered with delight at the succulent magical source of energy, feeling an ebullient magical climax which momentarily sent him into a drunken stupor. When the sorcerer had recovered, a bracelet of black nether fabric wrapped around Herdoles wrist with the amber eye in his palm.

Suddenly, with a flick of his wrist the dark nether band slinked off and formed a whip right into the palm of his hand! He cavorted about with it then slashed into the air which carved a tear in the fabric of the reality of forests space. Some of its reality was severed visibly, exposing a pitch black nothing behind what used to be objects in a lush forest. It was as if the sorcerer had used Earth scissors to cut out a piece of physical space itself to reveal the nether vision of Herdoles with abysmal planar roots and disregard for dimensional consequences of shape, mass or time. The goblins leapt into the spatial anomaly and disappeared! Herdoles grabbed hold of a ‘piece’ of the warped space, physically removing the matrix of the symbiosis nature held with the rhythms of the planet like a painter would remove a section of a work of art by scrunching fingers and taking off a piece of canvas. Where there used to be a section of trees, sky, brush, etc. there was nether, as if fabric from a curtain were ripped out rather than a natural setting. The garish sorcerer leapt through the tear in spatial realism then appeared in his new location to be pushing the rip of visual reality into itself, pressuring the form to its previous incarnation which was in this case A fresh tear in space was pushed back into itself as Herdoles reassembled it from his new location.

The goblins had dropped out the opening of the fresh nether passage created by the mad wood sorcerer and they plopped into warm gurgling liquids with fizzing bubbles, heat vapors rising. The way the sorcerer’s spell on them had functioned was by the help of a beetle who chewed around the spiritual corners which connected the physical matrix with the invisible minutia ever- present within all visible fractals. The insect performed this task in a unique geometric pattern which was in fact a strong resemblance to a specific constellation which was in turn due to the fact that the beetle co-existed on a spatial level with his tiny form and his celestially grand body. When Herdoles would trace a pattern like the beetle’s movements through the air with some of the unusual beetle’s specially prepared stringy sap which had been infused with honey, the insect would eventually come to the wood sorcerer something like a beagle being called by a human with a whistle. Once the beetle arrived it would chomp away delightedly at the meal created by his good friend and host Herdoles, the restauranteur of the space between the nether and a physical world. It was this beetle which made it possible for Herdoles to complete and master with complete control his spell weaving of removing spatial reality to transport from one area to another, no matter how far on the planet between the points of origin were.

The bath was gently intoxicating to the goblins. With some creative license you might say they found a certain ‘peace’ though lolly-gagging in their immediate surroundings which for them meant allowing their natural instincts to manifest as nightmares they would enjoy as the most powerful demons in their separate little worlds. They each dreamt of hollowing the flesh of goodly creatures, of devouring whole villages, of viciously ambushing whole populations of children in tribal villages. Though they were all in the same hideous dream together, only H’aru was envisioning himself flying on a dragon. Fermented juices of various fruit delights made up the hypnotic dream baths and one such fruit was found in the form of a greenish ball which was formed with a thick skin around it so dense that only a dragons jaw could crack it open (or a

pinch of the special insect power the sorcerer made use of which would encourage the fruit to open itself up instead of having brute force be used). The three goblins basked in their purifying spas and dreamt on, presently with Blixighisk eating endless mounds of fresh fat from slaughtered beasts which were almost as obese as he was.

Herdoles was assigning new dreams for his dragon born goblins. Their mission would not be a conscious plan to them but the masterful sorcerer knew they would play their roles out to the bitter ends under his guidance, without the necessity of consciousness. There was a nemesis of the grand sorcerer involved, some great magical foe with powers to rival the great wood sorcerer’s own but there was no clear idea to the goblins whom this anti-hero was yet. In one of his visions the sorcerer had seen that beneath a great mountain peak there would be a spectacular battle and this second sight transferred over to the goblins who were able somewhere to understand that their thirst for battle would finally be sated with a glorious war.

The goblin baths suddenly open at the bottom with their trapdoors! Herdoles had rigger a clever contraption into them which sent the goblins flying downward in some ensorcelled chute and led them quickly out of the spire, falling groggily from near the very top of the spire. Each one of them landed onto the ground at the same time, making a small impact crater when they did but the sorcerer’s spell work had aided them in landing so that they would not be injured, despite their great fall. They set off from around the perimeter of the tree in a deft stride, traveling in opposing triangular formation away from the spire. Running along separate paths to get there, they each wound up at a grotesque stone fountain which was spewing blood instead of water! The strange geyser was surrounded by igneous rock and was about the right size for one of them to take another bath in by themselves. There was no telling where the blood was coming

from or from what beast or other source it could be of but the red stuff was flying in a continuous stream which made them feel a moment of beatific reverence together.

Herdoles arrived from out the darkness in a hazy green mist behind the strange fountain, a gaunt shadowy figure emerging from space. He dipped his hand deep into the blood pool while effervescent red vino sprayed generously at him (which was being deflected by some form of magical seal around his body). Feeling down in the warm depths of the thick sanguine liquid, his amber eyed palm touched upon a stone vessel submerged in the blood basin. The large bottle was something crudely crafted from a hollowed rock and was made staunch by a very dark green mushroom cap which had hardened by some special magical preparation. The goblins swayed back and forth, hypnotized at the idea of a divine sip of the precious liquid with such inordinate quantities right before them. The blood in actual fact was that of a dragon which Herdoles had found in agonizing pain from a wound made on it by another much larger dragon. This was the similarity to the births of the goblins which was needed to make the sorcerer’s spell function properly and as he lifted the object from the blood pool then uncorked the green fungus cap of the stone jar, the goblins all let out involuntary sighs of thirst. The three stuporous demonic dragon spawns began salivating a sickly green and grey dribble and Herdoles set the beaker down for them to enjoy.

H’aru’s speed got him to the dragon blood enchantment first, grabbing it with blinding speed then pouring some all over himself in a grandiose bloodbath before the fountain. The other two followed suit and began rolling around on the ground with pure bloody indulgence after they’d emptied what was left in equal proportions for each other to have. They were all as innocent as kittens in their evil delight, sprawling over each other with mischievous depravity. They basked in the glory of their dragon bloodbath together with grunts, and guffaws, howls and whoops. This

went on quite a while before a bright shaft of silvery moonlight crept over the fountain and hit all three of them at once with its reflective light! The sorcerer closed his eyes while smirking broadly, humming a dark quixotic tune. Their goblin blood began to boil inside of their own bodies and their skin began to manifest the bubbling kinetics of veins filled with boiling blood! The mad trio gleefully slid around together like hogs in mud getting all they could from the opportunity to bathe with fresh dragons blood. Herdoles replaced the green mushroom cap on the stone jar and a crackle of thunder from above was heard.

The bubbles were continuing in their veins and began to ripple outward, with no portion of their skin soon not bubbling as it it were boiling itself. Soon the three goblins flesh began to swell up and spit out little goblins of various deformed looking builds, and these packs of misshapen mini-gobs began to grow rapidly! Some of the new goblin horde were bark skinned like Guh’thl with thicker legs and a smaller but thicker neck, others were stubby and obese like Blixighisk, and the rest were more slender with huge yellow fangs and lithe muscled limbs. All of the new goblin lifeforms had captured some of Guh’thl, Har’u and Blixighisk’s genetics and the dragon’s blood of the morose fountain provided the catalyst to Herdoles magic for the production of such a malformed army of goblin spawn. The horde of imperfect warrior goblins began to grow — so many it would be impossible to count but at least tens of thousands. Scarily, they all were much, much, *much* larger than the three originals! The huge goblin warriors spread out around their leaders in formation, awaiting fresh orders with a dim expression. By the time progeny of imperfect goblin fighters was ending with their maximal sized being attained, H’aru, Guhkthl and Blixighisk were starting to look more like themselves — without bubbling blood or skin. But they did change by the end of their birthing ordeal and that change was that their flesh had changed colors! Instead of green dark skin they now had deep red skin like lava and yellow markings under their eyes, in their nostrils, surrounding their lips and on their ears (yellow was usually

found in dragons blood if you managed to get some fresh enough but if you saw that then you would probably not want to remember what happened next). There maybe were more than a million of the goblin soldiers by the end of this all, pouring outward from the hideous fountain (which had been bled dry) into the shadows of the deep forest. The red goblin leaders all rose and began bashing each other wildly in celebration and preparation for their next mission. Each goblin then put a hand over one of the others facial nether features: mouth, ears and eyes. This completed the spell and Herdoles simply vanished.

CHAPTER 8

Gaelron had only ever used his dragon horn once before. That was because he never wanted to use it again after being bestowed the treasure as a gift when he was a child. The present had come from a bizarre passerby who appeared to have the head of a bird but the body of a winged reptile. Once the horn had been given to Gaelron, the unusual creature returned to a human like appearance very similar to those of Ulojhr. The majestic dragon horn was not actually made from the horn of any dragon but from a beast on the dragon side of the bog which would resemble most on Earth a “Moschops” (which was a fleshy large dinosaur something resembling the cow of the dinosaur world). The poor creature on the hostile end of the great horrifying bog had somehow defied the odds and aimlessly wandered into a dragons lair—then again this rare critter lasted long enough to notice something was moving inside the cavern with him. Then a clawed sunk into its skull. The hole in the head of the Moschop like beast created the perfect cavity for the black dragon who had killed it to slurp up the interloper’s brains. Yum! The cow like dino beast was flung out of the cave and Frabagalarangus was just outside to catch it. He knew the little animal would be quick work as it wandered in and the dragon he knew was inside would not allow its kill to rot in the cavern while it went back to full sleep (the dragon would have been only partially awake enough to deal with a quick meal, they all had

many levels of sleep). The opportunistic wizard chopped at the dead beasts neck and dislocated its entire skull. Though it was a magical thrashing, the mage was adept at physical defenses and amazingly strong and agile. Frabagalarangus threw the bloodied head at a nest of swarming hornet like insects with scaly reptilian bodies surrounding their hive.

The sword he used to cut the felled beast was made from the spine of a fish which was common to the streams surrounding the grazing pasture for the Moschops-like animal. Another blade might not have penetrated the beefy hide so easily because the fish had developed a natural defense to being eaten by the cowy beasts and they had special angles to their bones which could sometimes allow them to violently whip about and cut through the stomach to escape. The feisty reptilian hornets were enormously fuzzy at the stinger with bright orange leathery hairs and their scaled bodies had red with black stripes. The nest quickly devoured the bloody wet flesh down to the bone, consuming most of the flesh on the entire dripping head before had finished rolling around on the ground. When the cranium was reduced to pure hot white bone under the huge blazing triple suns in the sky, the flying banqueters flew back up to their hive without pausing to savor their meal.

Frabagalarangus reached down and with one hand scooped up the skull, magically bonding himself to it for life. Thanking the insects for their help in preparing it (which they would have done to him if he had got close enough if he had no spells of protection), he grabbed some insects wings which were laying on the ground and stuffed them into the hole in the skull which the dragon had made with its clawed talon. The hive was resting on a black leaved tree limb outside the dragon cave and it was business as usual for them as the whole tree shook violently in the midst of the return of the dragon like stinging insects.

Frabagalarangus returned to the other side of the bog by ‘playing’ his hair as if it were a harp. Holding a few strands at the end of his fingers then plucking it gracefully allowed him to ‘vibrate’ himself back to position at the end of the bog where he had crossed from. This took him all of his life to hone as a magical skill and it was something only a dragon born human could probably do (though what is impossible?). The adult wizard could only accomplish his musical transit when the timing was perfectly right, when the energy he had stored for the task was enough. After he had traveled this way it would always leave him feeling very exhausted, weaker and more vulnerable without a long rest. The hole in the skull he clutched made the perfect sized mouthpiece for his lips and he affixed a dried leather (from the scrotum of a beast local to the area which was a hybrid of something like a hyena and hippopotamus if Earthly definitions were ascribed) underneath. The fixture made a billowing accordion appendage for the horn which would emit a shrieking high note when blown into with the proper technique by magical lungs. The sound would be audible that the accordion device made but a silent energy would feed the black dragon from the lair where the skull had been pitched. The screeching sound of the horn itself was mostly a way to clear local wildlife in the area before a dragon would be arriving. This would help massive multitudes of animals and birds survive who would definitely not otherwise have been fast enough to flee.

Gaelron was presented with this magnificent dragon horn gift when Frabagalarangus met the young boy just outside the sunken castle entrance. The elemental wizard was wandering along while looking for tasty bright green mushrooms along the nearby river and happened upon the little round stone obtrusion which led to the underground lair below. Gaelron was already full grown by then but had the face and bodily features of a boy. The horn was in the mages hand prepared to pass off right at just the right time into Gaelrons overly large boyish hands after Frabagalarangus had noticed the man-child humming to himself by the river. The magician had

recently awaken from a deep slumber after playing his hair and vibrating back to the nicer side of the bog from the dragon end. It seemed befitting of the gent he was seeing, a man-boy who was dimpled heavily with an aura of fun and ease, innocence with wondrous intensity. The wizard had made the magical horn only recently and it was better off in the merry boy-man’s hands to alert the black dragon across the bog for any reason. The logic of this by Frabagalarangus was that if he himself had concerned himself with gaining the attentions of any dragon, it would surely not end well for him thus it was much easier for him to instill the horn as a toy or tool of some sorts to a very innocent personage.

The wizard was lucky enough to happen upon youngish Gaelron in perfect timing to pass off the new musical instrument and forget all about it until the time was right to remember it again. This activity all connected to the maneuvering for a grand spell. Both Herdoles as well as Frabagalarangus would spend lifetimes weaving certain magical results and the way that they did it could be subtle, fast or long, it could be wild and seem totally insane to any reason or rationale to the situation they were in…but also they held numerous spells in their facilities to draw from as needed for battles, for fun, for utility such as transportation and levitation, to help with survival in the elements or hostile environments, etc. The longer the spell, the more powerful and the magic would swell each time they practiced any kind of it.

Gaelron seized the moment and blew right into the spout on top of the dinosaur like skull the instant he got it, forcing the leathery balloon at the bottom to expand and squeeze the air out in a high pitch squeal! All the birds within a huge radius flew briskly out of the way to escape the blaring sound assault. The black dragon would feel a tickle whenever the horn was used and it made no difference how close or far it was. When Gaelron had blown into the horn for the first time the great dark dragon fluttered is wings slightly but did not awaken. The man-boy was

aware that he had reached an entity in a distant place with his new music and he was not too interested beyond that to know much more. Gaelron stuffed the horn away into his cavern of treasures beneath the castle (his storage facilities were a naturally occurring stone which was mostly filled with rocks and moss, fish scales and flower petals…the rocks being libraries for him and the others more personal treasures for remembering or contracting friends). He forgot about it until the time came, which was about now!

A fully grown man at this point and unwittingly caught up in the tides of a massive deformed goblin army which was brewed for a battle, Gaelron blew mightily into his musical possession. Instead of a quick fluttering of tickled wings, the dragon awakened immediately this time and exited its lair in a jiffy. All dragons could reach the other end of the bog without much energy or effort and this was because the bog had a way at some point of blending all directions into the other, with all sight and sound seeming no different from any side. When the dragons would deal with this surreal standard of its location, they would usually simply move in all directions at the same time which would instantly make them arrive wherever they intended to be. Gaelron had a sense that something was coming to visit and they had to labor quite intensively to make the visit.

The red eyes of the great majestical dragon were surrounded by a blazing fire. This feature replaced eyelashes and its eyes themselves churned as a flame in a variety of deep reds and oranges. The whole massive dragon was completely black from its scaly tail up to its sizzling eyes and below his flaming eyeballs in its omnivorously equipped jaw were yellow-brown diamond like teeth which had magma flowing in minute amounts between them. Leaking smoke at every visible scale on its abundantly proportioned body, the flaring black magical beast encircled the friendly man it had located after a travel over the bog and descended in a slow

spiral over him. Gaelron tossed the horn aside, probably never to use it again or to perhaps find it upon his return to the castle (it would be invisible to any who would look besides Gaelron because the dragon would be with him in spirit and it only wanted him to see it). He extended his two fists upward as the dragon tail edged closer to him then he reached upward and caught hold of one of the scales, which gave the absolutely gigantic black dragon an opportunity to toss Gaelron up into the air to land perfectly onto the top of its pitch black head. The mans feet were warmed by the heat from the fiery eyes below him and he was stuck to the position he was at by a sappy residue which was oozing with a sweet pungent odor from between the scales. Those scales all had a quality to them like shark skin where running a hand up them one direction might be safe or feel relatively pleasant but running in the opposite direction caused cuts which could be serious if continued for more than a tiny moment (that’s if the dragon allowed you to be touching it all, which was infinitely rare but then the human being would have to be able to withstand the magical pressures of dealing with dragon flesh— even more infinitely rare). In this dragons case rubbing the scale in any way but the right way caused the flesh of whatever it was interacting with its fine scales to roast crisply to the bone in an instant. Gaelron needn’t worry because he was in tune with his dragon buddy and had no way to touch it wrongly if he even knew what that could possibly mean to try.

The horrifically large black dragon soared upward as Gaelron leaned back and enjoyed the sensation, unworried about being dislodged since he was magically bound by the sap and the love of the dragon (yes, dragons were capable of love but to get anything like that out of a dragon was about as possible as it giving up any of its treasure— for any reason). Racing into space once outside the planet’s red layer of atmosphere, the pair burst across the local solar system like a shooting star! There was no word for the kind of fun Gaelron was having, it was sort of like exuberance met with hilarity in a climax of innocent joy which never ended. After

several typical lifetimes on Earth worth of this good fun (though again, time itself was not always relevant for a dragon as it was relative in a way *to* a dragon and any companion with a dragon would not have concerns of normal capacities), they arrived into the new world where the high mountainside was with Shuke who was busy resting in his black crystal lair.

The great black dragon parked itself on a platform directly beneath the level where Shuke lay slumbering, the lower position a natural show of respect for the young master dragon within his own domain. Gaelron unstuck himself with a sucking sound from the gelled form of the sappy stuff emanating from between the dragon scales and leaping off managed to land on the black crystal surface of the new location. The immense red eyed dragon we will call in a word “Ardugaknathal” slithered into a curling position to catch a nap as fast as possible. It was evident to Gaelron that his magical dragon friend was not entirely happy with being startled out of a deep sleep but was not harboring any grudges about it either.

Shuke remained passive and did not seem to notice any changes to its surroundings which as a dragon would be aware of on some level to any subtle differences within its territory. The two dragons slept on the highest points of the highest mountain on the planet, one the most massive and ancient dragon perhaps that there was (there was no way to know) and the other dragon comparatively tiny and new. Blue clouds gathered in the red sky above and they quickly turned to blackened smoke, a sign that Ardugaknathal was now traveling about himself as a magical spirit loose amongst the hidden ether of the local region which is one of their more jubilant forms of dream travel.