On a clear and very chilly morning high in the mountains of Altecia, young Żorn began the long and difficult attempt to wake up. Żorn's attempts at arising in the morning had become increasingly more difficult as the days had gone by. The constantly reoccurring dreams that kept interrupting his sleep were becoming a major problem. Not only were they causing him problems waking up every morning, but they kept him tired all day, limiting how much energy he had for exploring his surroundings. Not only that, but he kept falling asleep during lessons, and Ecclesiastic Dugg was beginning to lose patience with Żorn as well.
If only his dreams were clearer; but they were only bits and pieces of things, snippets of old documents written in a script that was unknown to him, yet, at the same time, tantalizingly familiar. Scenes of mountains and valleys he had never seen, dragons flying everywhere, yet there were no dragons anymore, or at least none that Żorn had ever seen. The dream that repeated itself the most was one of a temple dominated by a huge lifelike Dragon statue. Żorn was sure that the dragon was looking directly at him.
Żorn struggled to wake up that morning, after a very fitful night of chaotic dreams. He stumbled over to the table near the window and poured some very chilly water into the bowl and splashed the water all over his face. He nearly jumped out of his skin at the shock of the nearly freezing water. Once he was awake enough to walk, he then headed toward the elimination chamber to purge his body of the waste accumulated overnight. The elimination chamber was basically only a cubbyhole carved out of his bedroom chamber, with a slightly carved seat over an old volcanic vent. Basically, the waste dropped through the vent and was washed down with a bit of water. Where the waste went, Żorn had no idea, nor did he care. Once his ablutions were taken care of, he headed back to the bowl of water that he had used to wash his face. He then took the bowl and dumped the contents down the vent. Once he had placed the bowl back on the table, he grabbed a robe and headed toward the main room of his cave.
In the main chamber, Żorn headed to the fire vent and, using the bellows, quickly brought the banked coals back to life. He then carefully added a few more pieces of coal, carefully using the bellows to get them burning. Once the fire was taken care of, he moved the kettle on its hook over the fire to begin heating the water for his bath. Once that was done, he headed to a cubbyhole and grabbed a pot that he filled half full of water. He headed back toward the fire, hung the pot over another hook and positioned it over the fire, as well. That done, he went and retrieved his most prized possession, one of the few metal knives in his village. Most of the villagers had to make do with either flint or obsidian knives. Żorn took some dried meat from a basket and a few root vegetables from another; then he quickly diced everything into a fine dice. He swept the meat and vegetables into a small bowl, which he then carried over to the fire, where he dumped them into the pot of hot water. He carefully repositioned the pot, so it would simmer, not boil; once the pot was where he wanted it, he took the kettle off of the fire and headed back to his bed chamber. He then headed to the elimination chamber and grabbed a handful of soap-root. He dropped the soap-root into a large bowl and poured some of the warm water from the kettle over it. He then placed the kettle on the ledge that he had carved out of the wall for it. He hung his robe up on a protrusion of stone carved just for that purpose. He then picked up the moistened soap-root and began to scrub his body. Once he felt he was clean, he took the kettle and poured more warm water into the bowl, grabbed a small cloth and soaked it in the water. Taking the cloth, he began rinsing his body, rinsing the cloth out several times before he was finished. Placing the cloth on another protrusion Żorn then grabbed another larger piece of specially tanned leather and began wiping himself dry. Grabbing his robe, he headed back into his bed chamber, dressed, and then went to check on his breakfast. Halfway to the main chamber, he remembered to go back and grab the kettle.
After replacing the kettle on its hook, Żorn checked his porridge, which wasn't quite simmering. He carefully added a few more pieces of coal, being careful not to stir any ash into the air. Ash flavoured porridge was definitely not his favourite food. Once he had the fire burning as he wanted it, he went back to the food prep area and measured out some grain and some legumes, which he then took into the main chamber and added them to the pot of what would soon be his breakfast porridge.
While his porridge was cooking, Żorn stepped out onto his balcony and tried to piece together the hodge podge of dreams from last night. The only thing that stood out from his dreams was a small golden dragon figurine. The figurine was in two of the dreams, and maybe more, but he couldn't quite remember if it was or not. He vaguely remembered that the figurine was important, but he couldn't say why. As soon as he tried to concentrate on any part of his dream, the dream became very misty and faded into nothingness. Giving up, he headed back inside to get ready for school, shaking his head as he went.
Żorn dutifully tried to pay attention in class, so he wouldn't have to listen to Ecclesiastic Dugg berate him in front of the class again. For the most part, he was able to escape Ecclesiastic Dugg's attention, until it came to writing practice. Żorn and the rest of his classmates couldn't understand why they had to learn how to write High Temple Script perfectly; they were never going to use it. Low Temple Script was perfectly adequate for everything that they wrote, either cursive or printing. Trying to get all the swirls and curlicues perfect in High Temple Script was almost impossible. If that wasn't enough, they also had to get all of the seri... thingies, or feet, all of the same size as well. Żorn's head began to ache, as did his wrist, as he erased his mistakes in the sand and began to copy the same paragraph for the fifth time. As he was finishing up the second sentence, a shadow loomed over his table, and he began to flinch.
"You are finally getting it, Żorn, congratulations; we might make a copyist out of you, yet!" Ecclesiastic Dugg's voice boomed in his ear, shocking Żorn.
"Ahhh, thank you, Ecclesiastic Dugg..." The rest of Żorn's comment was cut off by the Ecclesiastic's next comment.
Patting Żorn on the shoulder in a sign of accomplishment, Dugg's next words stunned not only Żorn but the rest of his classmates.
"You have done enough work for today, Żorn; you can take the rest of the class period off and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts."
Żorn quickly scrambled to his feet, and muttering, "Thanks," and was out the door before Ecclesiastic Dugg could change his mind. Once outside of the cave that housed the school, Żorn quickly headed towards his favourite thinking place.
Meanwhile back in the classroom, Ecclesiastic Dugg was proving he wasn't the dimwit the children thought he was.
"Okay class, if the worst 'copyist' in the class can get this lesson right, so should the rest of you."
The chagrined class went back to work with very determined looks on their faces. One couldn't tell whether the determination was to get even with Żorn for humiliating them or to get the lesson right, so they could get out early, as well.
Żorn was sitting quietly, overlooking his home hamlet of Altecia, just soaking up the sunshine, and, before he knew it, he was sound asleep. Luckily for Żorn, his back was against the mountainside, as it was a long way down to the valley floor. As the sun rose and began to shine directly into his closed eyes, he began to dream again.
He was walking along a path that led away from the village, and not toward any place he could remember. As he had never been on this particular trail before, he kept his eyes moving back and forth, sweeping the trail for anything out of the ordinary. He had been walking about fifteen minutes or so, when the trail abruptly turned to the left and became very steep and winding. After about ten more minutes of strenuous climbing, he came to a small valley with some ruins at the far end. Pausing for a few moments, he took a look around the pocket valley while catching his breath. Near the small pile of ruins that gave no indication as to what they might have been, Żorn saw something shiny and headed toward the glint....
A cloud scudding across the sky cast its shadow on him, causing him to awaken with a start. As he sat there trying to clear the cobwebs from his sun- and sleep-addled brain, he suddenly remembered where that trail from his dream might start. Carefully climbing down from his vantage point, he headed to where he thought the trail began. When he arrived at the spot, he began looking around, as he couldn't see any new trail. Looking closer, he found a small pile of rocks that looked like a very old rock slide. Since he had nothing better to do, he began to clear away the old rock slide. After about a half hour of heavy and sweaty lifting, a trace of an old trail began to appear in a cleft or fissure that wasn't previously visible. Checking the sun, and seeing that he didn't have time to do any more exploring, he replaced some of the larger rocks, in an attempt to re-hide the trail until tomorrow. Once that was done, he headed back to the village to help with the preparation of the evening meal.
Żorn decided that, since he had such a wonderful day, he would prepare his family's special bread recipe for dessert. The recipe had been in his mother's family for many generations and was a village favourite. He stopped by his cave on the way to the village and picked up some of the dried fruits and the sweet nuts that he would need. Next, he stopped by the village miller and picked up some of the special nut flour that the village used for their sweet bread. His next stop was the apiary, where he got some of the wonderful wild honey for which his village was known far and wide . Once he had everything he needed, he headed to the village kitchen, which was half inside and half outside a large ground level cave. The food prep and grilling area was outside, under a vented roof, while the ovens and spit roasting areas were inside, using volcanic vents for both heating and venting purposes.
Once Żorn had arrived at the village kitchen, he quickly went to work. First he headed to the proofing oven and made sure that it was at the temperature he needed. He then grabbed one of the large mixing bowls, added some of the nuts and all of the dried fruit. He then grabbed one of the leather bota bags out of the chill cave that the village used for their fruit juices. He had to be careful not to grab one of the white wine bags. 'I wonder how far away is the glacier that supplies the chilly water that drips down the wall of the chill cave and keeps it so cold?' he thought, as he carried the bags of juice to his work area. He then poured some of the fruit juice over the dried fruits and nuts to rehydrate the fruit and add a little more sweetness to them. Putting the juice down, he then added some of the honey to the bowl as well. He then grabbed another large mixing bowl into which he added the flour and the special ingredients that would help the bread rise. Żorn then stirred everything together, next he proceeded to get a small cooking pot to which he poured in a little bit of fruit juice and honey. Once the pot had the right amount of juice in it, Żorn then placed the pot at the very outside of the cooking fire to warm it slightly. While the juice was warming Żorn checked the proofing oven again and decided that it needed a little more coal under it. He quickly added a few pieces of coal from the pile he and his friend had stored there yesterday. Żorn then decided that the fruit should have soaked long enough so he went over to that mixing bowl, picked it up and carried it over next to the bowl of flour. He then reached under the table and found his favourite wooden spoon and gave the fruit and nut mixture a good stir. Then while stirring the fruit mixture with his right hand, he began scooping up small handfuls of flour with his left hand and slowly adding them to the fruit mixture. He didn't add the next handful until the previous one had been completely incorporated. Once all of the flour had been incorporated, Żorn then headed over to the pot of warming juice. Sticking a finger in, he decided that the temperature was perfect.
Meanwhile, school had finally let out for the rest of Żorn's friends, and several of them were looking for Żorn. Of course, they were only looking for him to make him suffer for leaving them stuck in the classroom. The three friends first headed to Żorn's cave. Not finding him there, they then headed to his favourite spot, which Żorn thought was a secret. However, almost everyone in the village knew about it; some secret! Once his friends had reached the spot, they realized that Żorn wasn't there, either. Tomm looked down into the valley and spied a plume of smoke from the ovens. He realized that it was too early for any of the adults to have started preparing dinner.
"Guys, I think he is down at the village kitchen; maybe he is baking bread." Tomm's stomach began grumbling in anticipation, as did his friends'.
Without another word, they made a mad dash down the mountainside. If any adult had seen them, they would have received a tongue lashing that would have left marks. Once they reached the valley floor, they began a race to the kitchen. Several times, though, Larl or Sebastian had to mutter:
They raced pellmell through the mothers and children going about their daily lives in the village. The mothers just shook their heads and muttered under their breaths, "Children!!". The younger children laughed merrily, as the teenagers wove their way through and over everyone in their way.
Just as Żorn was about to ladle the right amount of bubbly stuff into the warmed juice, his three friends came charging into the kitchen. Unfortunately, the ladle of bubbly stuff never made it into the juice. It went everywhere but into the pot. Luckily for Żorn's friends, it was a small ladle, as most of it hit them. Of course, now they would smell like a brewery or a bad batch of bread.
"Fardelsticks!!!!!!!!!!!" Żorn yelled at his three now smelly friends.
"If you three want some of this bread tonight, you had better bring lots of cress, wild Fungo Porcino, lion's mane mushroom and sauvage oignon. Did you forget our fathers are out hunting cervo?"
"No, we didn't, Żorn. We just wanted to come help you make your special bread, 'cause we know how hard it is for you to make by yourself," Sebastian replied, while trying to wipe the bubbly stuff off of his face. Luckily for the three friends, it was only a small ladle.
"Go, now, get out of here, and don't forget to bathe before dinner." Żorn dismissed his friends and turned back to the bubbly stuff.
"Bye, Żorn, see you at dinner," his friends replied, but he wasn't listening.
Żorn deftly got another ladle of the bubbly stuff and brought it over to the juice again, where he very slowly added it to the juice. He then took the juice and ladle over to his dough, where he very carefully and slowly added the liquid into his dough. When he had added all of the liquid and just a touch more flour, he grabbed another bowl, took half of the dough from the first bowl and put it into the second bowl, then covered the bowls with a cloth that was specially woven just for bread making. He picked up one of the bowls and carried it over to the proofing oven, where he placed it just so. He then did the same with the second bowl. One of the things that drove all of the village cooks and bakers crazy was Żorn's innate ability to know just where in the oven or grill the temperature was ideal.
He headed towards the part of the village where the young children were being watched. As Żorn got close to the children, several of them got up and ran over to him, screaming his name in joy. He picked several of them up and swung them around, making them scream even louder with glee. Dragging several of the kids with him, he finally made it over to where the rest of the kids were gathered. He told the mothers watching them that they could go take care of their other chores, and he would watch the children. Żorn kept the children busy for the next hour or so by telling them stories and playing games. When it became time for him to get back to work on his bread, he took the children to their caves, where their parents were waiting for them.
Back in the village kitchen, Żorn checked the bowls and found that they had doubled perfectly. Carefully removing the bowls one at a time, he then turned the dough out onto the table which had been sprinkled with flour. He lightly kneaded the dough before separating the lump into many smaller pieces. He then lightly kneaded the smaller pieces, before shaping them into round loaf shapes. As this bread didn't need to rise again, he began putting the individual loaves into the low temperature oven. Once this was done, he made sure that he had cleaned up all of his work area and headed back to his cave. As he was leaving, he passed several of the women who would be fixing portions of the village meal.
Żorn decided that he had better get in some work with his staff before class on the morrow, as he had a test to see if he could advance to master grade. His village was a very peaceful one, but with the wild predators, everyone in the village had a modicum of weapons training. Since Żorn did a lot of exploring alone, he had requested, and been given, extra training in the village's main choice of weapons, the bow, the staff, and the slingshot. Although the village did have a few metal swords, Żorn didn't care for them. He went through his warmup exercises and then began the strenuous kata he would be tested on in the morning. Today was Żorn's lucky day; his body and mind worked together and the kata flowed in perfect symphony. When he had finished, he felt very good, but was also very sweaty and needed to wash up before heading to dinner. He needed to hurry, as his bread would be done very soon as well.
Dinner that evening was better than expected; the hunters had brought in several more cervos then were needed, along with a few wild porcos. Some of the extra cervos would be salted and then placed in the chill cave, and the others would be smoked, along with the porcos. Żorn's friends had found a new patch of cress that they harvested, and, as usual, they also carefully uprooted a few younger plants and then replanted them where the villagers normally gathered their cress. Żorn's village was a combination of hunter-gatherers, but they also did a small bit of farming. They didn't actually till the ground and plant crops; they only took the minimum they needed from the area of wild plants they found. As they found small crops farther away from the village, they would take some of those plants and replant them closer to the village. They coexisted with nature, rather than exploiting it; this explained why the village didn't have to move like some villages and why they didn't have to continually expand their hunting and gathering regions. Since they were able to stay relatively close to home, they rarely came into aggressive contact with any neighboring villages; thus they could maintain their peaceful ways.
Żorn's bread was a big hit, as usual, and there was enough left over for breakfast the next morning. Since Żorn had helped prepare the meal, he didn't have to participate in the cleanup. He decided to head to his cave and pack some supplies for his exploration on the morrow, providing he passed his test on the staff. While he was busy doing that, his friend Larl came to visit. As Żorn and Larl were becoming very close friends, they spent a good portion of the evening snuggled together, talking. When it was time for Larl to head home, he gave Żorn a warm and long-lasting hug.
"Larl, stay the night, so we can cuddle some more and become closer," Żorn asked his friend.
"Sorry, Żorn, you need to get plenty of sleep, so you can pass your Master's test on the morrow. If I stayed, we would just talk all night, and you would fail. Goodnight, my friend, and peace." Larl gave Żorn another peck on the cheek, and then left before Żorn could protest.
After taking care of a few domestic issues, Żorn undressed, washed up quickly and headed to bed. He woke the next morning surprisingly refreshed, as he had slept straight through the night with no dreams. Skipping his usual morning wash-up, Żorn instead went and started his porridge, and then headed out for a quick stretching and then a run. He needed to have all of his body in perfect working order for his test.
Żorn was pleasantly surprised when Larl, Tomm and Sebastian joined him on his run. Surprisingly, they kept up with him and pushed him when he started to lag a bit. When they were done with the run, his three friends said they would be with him at his test to give him moral support. Żorn quickly ate his porridge, washed up, and then dressed for his test.
Żorn thought he was well prepared for his test; however, he was in for a big surprise. He arrived at the large cave that was used for all of the weapons training. He was stunned when the Weapons Master asked him to surrender his staff, and then told him that he had one hour to go to the woods and find and prepare a new staff. Finding and preparing a staff wasn't that daunting a challenge, as it was a beginner's lesson; the problem was that Żorn had been training with his staff for several years, and it was an extension of his body.
With a quick bow and the words "At once, Master," Żorn was gone.
While he was out searching for his new staff, or cajado1, things had gotten a little tense in the training cave. Żorn's friends were outraged at what they thought was a totally unfair test of their friend. In a very terse tone of voice, verging on disrespect, Tomm asked the question that was on the three friends' minds.
"Master, why did you give Żorn this unfair test? You have never done this to anyone else trying to become a Cajado Master."
"Because this is not about Żorn's mastery of the cajado; it is about his ability as a Weapons Master. We all know that Żorn's skills with the cajado eclipse my own and his skills with the bow and slingshot are better than all of the rest of you. The other Masters and I have decided to see how good Żorn really is. To be a true Weapons Master or true Master of anthing, it is the heart, the brain and the body that have to be the master. The weapon itself is immaterial. A true Master can pick up any weapon, including one he has never used, and defeat anyone but another true Master." By the time the Weapons Master Azeencha had finished, the cave was silent, as everyone present processed what Master Azeencha had said.
Meanwhile, Żorn was busy preparing his new cajado and like Żorn it was different from the cajados of the rest of the village. While everyone else choose either zoak or hawtorn, Żorn choose zorkle which was a cross between zoak and zaple. Żorn liked the resiliency of zorkle, as it tended to throw his attackers off balance when their cajado's rebounded from his. Unlike zoak or hawtorn, which were very hard and didn't bend or flex, zorkle, although also extremely hard, flexed slightly, and it was this slight flex that Żorn loved. The slight flex disturbed the rebound of attacking cajados just enough to give Żorn an extra advantage.
Żorn arrived back at the training cave, and his testing began. The first round of tests was against students of all different levels, singly, in duos, and then in groups of three or more. Even with his brand new cajado, Żorn quickly dispatched all who came against him. He then faced off with the four top students, and although they scored a few blows to his body he defeated them, as well, barely breaking a sweat. There was a short break and then the tougher tests began; he had to fight against each of the four other Masters, singly and all together. Bruised and nearly exhausted, Żorn again remained undefeated; when the bout was over, the cave erupted with cheering for Żorn and his display of skill. However, the joy was quickly still, when the Weapons Master raised his hand for silence.
"There is one final test, and this one is the test of heart. Candidate Żorn, please hand your cajado to your friend, Larl."
Without hesitation, although shocked, Żorn complied with the strange request. Everyone stood in shock, when Master Azeencha reached behind his back and withdrew something and tossed it to Żorn.
"You will use this cajado against me," Master Azeencha announced in a firm voice, as one of his assistants handed him his cajado of hawtorn with metal caps on each end. This final battle was not unusual, except for the fact that the cajado Żorn now held was half the length of Master Azeencha's weapon.
The cave went silent, as all of the students knew that Żorn stood absolutely no chance of defeating the Weapons Master.
The two combatants approached each other, bowed and then took the requisite ten steps back. Each combatant then glanced skyward, beseeching assistance and confidence. Żorn glanced into his opponent's eyes, and, although he saw determination and confidence, he also saw respect. Reaching deep into his inner being, Żorn found the confidence and knowledge he would need. The beginning of the battle seemed to take forever, as each combatant tried not only to stare the other down, but also to look for the slightest glimmer of weakness. Finally the battle was on, and Żorn began to dance and weave to avoid the masterful strokes of his trainer. Time and time again, Żorn was able to raise his short cajado at just the proper moment to deflect a blow that would have crippled him. Suddenly, Żorn slipped into the zone that all Masters try and describe but cannot teach. Żorn knew what he had to do, and history would be made.
Żorn now began a masterful new dance; first he would dart a little closer than he had before, and then, before Azeencha could react, he darted back again. This new pattern went on for a few minutes until Żorn finally darted back so far that Azeencha's stroke caused him to slightly lose his balance. At that instant Żorn darted back inside again, only this time he was now inside the reach of Azeencha longer cajado. With a brilliant move he used his cajado to continue Azeencha's cajado stroke, and then, in virtually the same motion, he placed the end of his cajado against his master's throat, ending the match.
Żorn now knew that it wasn't the physical weapon that made a master; it was the heart and soul of the individual. Żorn bowed to Azeencha, in honour of what he had just learned. While the cave was erupting with cheers for Żorn, the ex-student and his Master were hugging each other, and on another plane of existence entirely.
Finally, the students and other Masters broke into Żorn's and Azeencha's moment of contemplation, by basically hugging and pounding them both on the back in congratulations, because of what they had just witnessed. Never in anyone's memory had they seen such skill demonstrated against such odds.
No one ever gave Azeencha the chance to actually announce Żorn's Mastership, so he just slipped the ring onto Żorn's finger, just before they were separated by the jubilant crowd. Shortly thereafter, the cave was invaded by most of the village, and a party began. Żorn stayed for a while until the geas like compulsion of his dream made him want to leave. He mingled a bit but, as soon as he could, he slipped out to begin his exploration trip.
Quickly hurrying to his cave, he grabbed his pack, threw in some nuts, dried fruits and some smoked cervo, grabbed a bota of water and was off exploring. The one other thing he took was his cajado, which he had found mysteriously just inside the doorway to his cave. His cajado just' happened to make a perfect walking staff. Żorn headed for where he had found what he hoped was the mysterious trail. Once he arrived, he removed the rocks he had used to re-hide the trail. As he entered the trail, he turned around and pulled some of the rocks back over the entrance. As he started hiking along the trail, he found his dream playing itself out in real life.
He reached the pocket valley just slightly faster than in his dream, due to the fact that this time he knew where he was going. Once he got there, he found a nice flat rock just inside the valley that made a perfect table with a smaller one nearby that made a perfect seat. He took the food he had packed from his pack and began to eat; all of the cajado bouts had left him famished. While eating his lunch and occasionally taking a few sips of water to rehydrate himself, he took in his surroundings. While he was looking around the clouds in the sky moved just enough so a beam of the sun lit the area. Sure enough, just like the dream, at the base of the small pile of ruins was a glint of gold. Finally finished eating and his strength replenished, Żorn got up and walked over to the ruins.
When he got there, he could see that the glint of gold looked like a small figurine of some sort. Since the rocks that made up the ruins had some sharp edges Żorn reached into his pack and pulled out his work gloves and began removing the rocks, which were actually broken building blocks. After about a half hour or so of removing the blocks, Żorn could finally see more of the figurine. It seemed to be vaguely dragon shaped. At last he removed the last of the blocks covering the figurine and it was breathtakingly beautiful. It was a golden dragon with wings outstretched in flight, it had eyes of sapphire and what looked like a breast plate made of emeralds. Taking a deep breath, Żorn reached down and picked up the figurine. Suddenly his head was spinning, and he lost consciousness, crashing to the ground. Luckily for him, he landed on the grass, and not on any of the rocks; he was only unconscious for a few moments. When he awoke, his head was spinning with flying dragons, strange people, and words and runes he could now understand. Stunned, he dropped the figurine, and his world stopped spinning.
This is a story that wouldn't let me sleep for several days until I started writing it. Where this story is going or how long it will continue, I have no idea. I just hope that you enjoy it.
At this time I don't know if it will be included in The Dragon Earl Universe or not.
The Story Lover
To start with, I really like Żorn. He seems quite strong, smarter than anyone gives him credit for, and just plain lovable. He has found something that is quite remarkable. It looks as if he is one of the few that can take what they learn in dreams, and use it to full advantage. I think that he has even surprised himself at the level that he has reached.
I would like to see this story enfolded into the Dragon Earl Universe. I believe that Żorn and his friends would fit quite nicely there. In any case, I can see this story becoming something much more than even TSL envisioned.
Of course this story belongs in the Dragon Earl Universe. It may not have our favorite Dragon, 'Goos' but that won't stop us.
I do like Żorn. He seems to be picked on by some and he has withdrawn into himself. The town bullies need to watch out as the new weapons master he could probably clean their clocks. I am very interested in just where this is going. I'll be watching for the next chapter.
Northeast Editor's Notes: This promises to be a most interesting story. There is something more in the ruins of the old temple that our hero has yet to discover. The little gold dragon will be his guide.
I was particularly impressed by the character of the Weapons Master, Azeencha. He knew what his student had in him, and he skillfully drew it out, so that the student, too, realized who and what he was.
And how does Larl fit into the picture?
We'll just have to wait and see what our author has in store for us in the next chapter, won't we?
Okay, you win I surrender; I will add this to the Dragon Earl Universe.
1Cajado - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarterstaff