We continue our story today, not from where we left off, but from a place nearby. Sounds intriguing, does it not? This particular segment has actually been written *twice* but the first time I sat to accomplish the goals of my outline, everything was wrong, and getting worse. However, it turned out that the problem was simply a matter of perspective, and changing it. Therefore, I dedicate this story to my friend Sheila, who is one of the contributors at the Melt-Ink Pot blog.
On another note, today in Denver, we had sun, hail, lighting, rain and graupel until it finally settled on snow. I got home to phone and Internet connectivity issues, and have had outages of all those things. I’m hoping I can get this thing posted.
The obviously named “Council of Elders,” was concerned about a great many things, but not one of them was what they were called. There were eight members, each a representative of one of the eight races of the Mouka. While “Council of Elders” may’ve been a bit “on the nose,” it conveyed exactly what the author, (or village) intended, which is all that really matters.
On today’s agenda was yet another flare-up of tensions between the unicorns and the dragons. They were keeping an uneasy peace, which meant the arguments between Liana and Devron had achieved the status of a thunderstorm trapped under a tin can. It was, at least, manageable. The two longtime rivals had managed their ongoing animosity, but the situation threatened to tip the tin can, and Samson was determined to keep them from falling into an outright war.
Before the Council met on its own, they allowed citizens time to bring matters before them at the meeting hall, another place with a highly literal name. The council took their places with Devron standing on one end of the specially designed table, and Liana took her place at the opposite end. The hall was more crowded than usual, and Samson noted a few surprise attendees. He nudged Cornelia, “Isn’t that Hector and Marshall?”
Cornelia looked, and then glanced at Liana. “It must be. Liana seems to have gone a bit pale. Well, as pale as her kind gets.”
The Council called the meeting to order. Marshall, encouraged by Hector, stepped forward. He tripped, and rolled toward the great table. His face grew more fiery than ever.
“G-ggreat and wise Council. While at the river today, uh, a strange thing was found. We, uh, I, wish to seek your, uh, wise council…”
Devron neighed, a derisive sort of whinny. “He’s no great speaker, is he, Liana? Has your son learned to fly yet? If so, I will need to warn my bird friends. They might be in great danger of injury, either from an airborne collision, or from laughing themselves silly!”
Liana grimaced. “And what of your son? A bit undersized, isn’t he? I’m sure he’s to blame for dragging my son into this mess. What has he to say for himself? Or can he not speak? Perhaps he is a coward, like most your kind. Step forward, and make an accounting of yourself, runt!”
Hector slowly emerged from the crowd. “We did find the shiny sticks together, Marshall and I. We’d like to know what to do about them. And, if you don’t mind, you can keep your commentary to yourselves, and act like leaders for once. Just because I’m not quite as gnathonic as the rest of these creatures, doesn’t mean I am a coward!”
The Council took the shiny object from Marshall, and Liana, after carefully studying it, agreed with his translation. The Council deliberated. In the end, all thought it was best to send the pair off to return the sticks. It got them out of the realm, possibly, permanently. It was for the best, after all. They were a nuisance, with their friendship, and unfortunate short comings. It was the best way to deal with all of the problems at hand, and not actually have to deal with any of it.
The Council returned to give their decision. Samson spoke.
“Hector and Marshall, it seems you have been given a test. It was you who discovered this mystical bundle, and you who intuited the importance of this gift, and the markings on the flag. You shall embark upon a great quest. You shall find this Magic Mountain. You shall return to it its own. A mountain of magic shall surely greatly reward such brave travellers who have endured great hardships to return its magical sticks. Leave this very day, and proceed with haste, to whatever fate has been left for you.”
Originally, I had started exactly where the previous story ended, and Hector and Marshall marched gloomily to the Council, and it stalled. It was horrible. I stuck this whole thing on ice for months, that’s how bad it was. And then, I realized what was really needed for this bit.
See you tomorrow, which is looking more and more like it will be a snow day. Yay!
gnathonic / na – THON – ick / obsequious, toadying. Flattering and deceitful.