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Old 04-01-2020, 03:06 PM   #33
Desultory Dwimmerlaik
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Join Date: Mar 2002
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On the way . . .

“We’re going to be late, you know . . .”
A small voice stage-whispered in the Pio’s ear – this time with an added flick-flick of scaled tail against the Elf’s neck.

Not missing a step, Pio swatted at the insistent tail. “And we would not have been, you dreadful wyrm, if you had not eaten the horse!” Shrugging her shoulders, she adjusted the rucksack back into a more comfortable position. The sudden jerky movement dislodged the small, golden-scaled dragon from her perch.

With an irritated flutter of wings, Angara resettled herself on the Elf’s other shoulder, digging her claws in just a wee bit for emphasis. “Hmmmmmph!!” she snorted. “I was hungry! It was a loooooong flight to get here. What was I supposed to eat – the scrawny Elf who owned it?” Stretching her neck out, Angara peered into Pio’s face, fixing her with a green-gold eye gone wide. “I could have, you know.” She poked at the Elf’s cheek with one nail. “You don’t eat enough . . . too rangy, too bony! That horse, though, now that was a toothsome delight.”

Getting no response, other than a raised brow and a disbelieving snort, Angara turned her attention to the small rucksack. Poking her nose in it to open it wider, she riffled through the scant contents. Some lembas, a stoppered bottle of Old Gammer’s Elixir (bearing four XXXX’s on the label and an assurance of “Good for Whatever Ails Ya or Don’t” – no doubt from the back storeroom of the Green Dragon), several sharpening stones, some oil, a number of knives carefully wrapped with leather. She hopped round to look Pio in the eye, once again. “It’s a party, you ninny! Where’s your party dress?”

Hoping to divert any further questioning of her lack of beribboned finery, Pio grasped her small companion, and placed her on the pine-needled track. ‘So, here’s an idea – why don’t you just fly us to the party, dear heart.” She smiled sweetly at the wyrm. “You don’t want to miss all the meats and pies and honeyed pastries that are sure to be there, do you”


Grown to full size, Angara made flight to The Barrow-Downs with record speed. “Just land up there on that rocky outcropping,” Pio instructed as they circled the Downs from on high. “Let’s not raise a fuss among the party-goers.” “And besides”, she thought to herself, “I want to get the lay of the land before we go down.” “Of course, you do – wary as ever, I see,” Angara replied silently.

Dismounting from her perch behind the dragon’s neck, Pio looked down at the gathering crowds of people of all sorts. She stomped against the rocky ground - dislodging some of the trail dust off her boots. Smoothing her leather jerkin, she brushed what dirt she could from it. Her leather leggings looked adequate enough to her mind. Her long dark hair she loosened from its braid, combing it as she could with her fingers. Motioning for the now-again-small dragon to perch on her left shoulder, the two companions walked toward the site of the celebration . . .
Eldest, that’s what I am . . . I knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless - before the Dark Lord came from Outside.
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