Unless I write very fast and miraculously discover how this story is to end, we’re down the last couple of chapters. The world may just have to wait to figure out how this ends (including me).
Yeah, I know — it would be so cool if I’d focus on one project at a time. Sorry, I just can’t write like that. My artist child is a 2 year old who wants to play with everything at once. And a new story is like a new toy — it gets the attention.
Aw, you know me too well! Yes, I have a new story.
For some time, I’ve wanted to write the story of when Steigan and Martias ran away to go join the Palin Wars. For Steigan, it was all pretty cut and dry. He got in serious trouble afterwards. I kept telling myself that there was no story there. A series of events do not a story make.
But on Monday, the story started “downloading” to me from Martias’ point of view. At first, I started thinking that there was no way that I could make it work from Martias. That’s not going to stop my 2-year-old artist child from whining and crying to get her way. So, I figured what the heck could it hurt to at least start writing it down and see how far it went. After the first session, I kept thinking that there was no way I could write it without giving away parts of Quest for the Three Books.
Yeah, that’s definitely not making the artist child happy. She’s stomping and demanding that she can do, that she is a big girl and doesn’t need to listen to me.
So far, she’s been right.
She’s so giving me a raspberry, big and wet, full of thththtp sounds.
We’ll see how far she gets. She just can’t tell this story without diving in deeply into Martias’ deep, dark secrets.
On the other hand, I’m getting to know Martias pretty well. I know how this adventure changes him. I’m also seeing a character arc that I didn’t know was there.
When I stop to think about my theory to “trust the process,” I realize that I’m probably needing to write this story now so that I can get back to work on The Missing Thread.
Yeah, my artist child might be very right about this. So sorry that she doesn’t want to play with Moonhunter and Balthier at the moment. Who knows though. Sometimes she surprises me. Well, let’s get you to the story.
Previously: Moonhunter was born and his novimather (dragon mother) left him in the care of an older man named Balthier. Years later, during one of there missions, Moonhunter believes that Balthier’s informant has sabotaged them and they barely escape. After they get off the planet, Balthier is trying to figure out if they were set up and, when that leads to finding it has something to do with Moonhunter, begins to dig harder. Balthier speaks to one of the saperes he trusts (a rare thing), and finds out that there is a plan for Moonhunter by some of the other saperes. They want to send Moonhunter on an off-world operation, but Balthier convinces the sapere that he should really go along. Balthier learns that they shouldn’t trust anyone. Bathier fetches Moonhunter and they head off-world. During their mission, Balthier is captured, allowing Moonhunter to get away. Moonhunter runs from the police and steals an airster (a type of flying craft on this planet). Unfortunately for him, the man who he is taking the craft from, insists on coming with Moonhunter — to him, he thinks its an adventure. Besides, if’s obvious that Moonhunter has no experience flying an airster. Ralph gives Moonhunter basic driving lessons. Though Moonhunter doesn’t realize it, Ralph seems very intuitive to what Moon needed in stealing the airster. They head to the suburb where Dr. Melstone (the target of their mission) lives. When Ralph mentions that they don’t have space travel, Moon begins to wonder why they have a dark matter mechanical scientist — the pieces don’t match. They see a long procession with security leaving the city. Moonhunter drives into the procession, pretending to be in ignorant kid. They follow the procession from below. Moonhunter thinks they have been spotted as an alarm is raised, but it’s something much worse, something coming in at top speed. Ralph says it’s Rel. Moonhunter and Ralph follow Rel, who is chasing the caravan, until the dragon hits a force field. Ralph leaves Moonhunter in the airster so that Moonhunter can go talk to Rel. Meanwhile, Balthier gets questioned about why he is back. The people holding him want him to kill the crazy Shil’mak dragon, Rel. Moonhunter breaks into the military base only to discover they are in fact hiding something. He makes a mad dash, trying to get away so that he can find out what it is. The energy coming from the Humline leads him to the basement where a sapere awaits him. Balthier continues to remain in custody while the saperes try to get him to agree to hunt down the crazy dragon. The sapere admits that his own father tried to rescue a younger Balthier from some of the horrible things that were happening to him back then. That doesn’t bring Balthier any comfort. Moonhunter is shown down into Welldeep and told about how it is a sanctuary. He finds himself surround at attacked. Ralph, meanwhile, continues to negotiate with Balthier. When Balthier continues to refuse to do the Wellkeepers’ bidding, Ralph leaves in anger. Moonhunter finds himself in a modified airster being blasted to the planet’s moon with only himself and an airtank. After crashing on the moon’s surface, he is attacked by a monster called a Grekish.
Dragons of Wellsdeep
by Dawn Blair
Balthier had to guess that the man next coming into the room was a low ranking military officer from the lack of badges or brass on his uniform. He wasn’t quite sure what to expect, making him doubly surprised when the man took some keys from his pocket and began unlocking the cuffs holding Balthier to the table. “Let’s go,” he said in a voice not nearly as gruff as Balthier was expecting. This man seemed full of surprises.
“Where are we going?” Balthier asked back.
“Off base. My instructions are to release you as soon as we are outside the force field. After that, what you do is your own business, but we highly suggest you get yourself off world and back to your own.”
“That right? Why?”
“Kill orders, I suspect. You’re marked as an enemy of the state now. Not safe for you to be here. Why stay where you’re not wanted if you have the option to leave?”
Balthier stood and followed the officer. With his hands still cuffed, they weren’t treating him as if he were much of a threat. Might as well let that play out. He looked around as much as he could, taking in the details of the base he saw, without looking like he was actually scoping the place out. He sauntered as much as he could, trying to delay, trying to sense Moonhunter’s presence.
As they were nearly out of the building, Balthier saw Ralph taking to a sapere. “Hey, where’s Moonhunter?” he shouted.
Ralph glanced casually over his shoulder at Balthier, then returned to his conversation with the sapere.
Balthier moved in their direction, making the officer he was with change course suddenly. “Where’s Moon?”
The officer grabbed his arm and tugged him back. Balthier wasn’t going to let this go. He fought against the officer’s hold.
“Where’s Moonhunter?” Balthier hollered again.
Ralph broke away and walked toward Balthier. He motioned with his hand for the officer to release the novihomidrak and back up a bit. “Moonhunter is gone. He has been sent away from here. Go home.”
“Where’s he gone? Where did you send him?”
“No where that you will be able to help him. He is on his own.”
That familiar tingle from the Humline ran through Balthier again. “Where is he?”
“He’s on the moon. He has truly become a hunter on the moon. He’s going after the Grekish.”
“What’s this Grekish?”
Ralph shrugged. “You had your chance to help. You denied it. Officer Madison, take him out of here. Deadly force is authorized.” He started back toward the sapere once more.
“Get me there,” Balthier yelled. “Let me go help Moon.”
“There is no help for Moonhunter. It was a one-way trip. His trip took all the resources we had. We don’t have enough to get you there as well, or for Moonhunter to return.”
Balthier morphed, his dragon teeth coming down, claws extending. His dragon lids cast a red color over the room, sharpening details. “There has to be a way. Let me help Moonhunter take on this Grekish. He’s an apprentice and can’t do it alone.”
Ralph jerked his head. “The mission is done. And so is yours.”
Balthier felt a sharp jab in his side, along with a jolt of electricity. He began to turn, ready to mock the wielder that the tip of the shock dragon tail was weakening and it would take more than that, but his world spun out from beneath him as he fell. He realized as he started to slip to the floor, that the shock dragon had only been the means of delivery for a tranquilizer and wasn’t supposed to be extremely potent. He hit the floor, bounced, then slipped away into the blackness waiting to welcome him.
When he woke, the startle brought him to a sitting position. His novihomidrak aspects responded to the alarm. He growled, bringing himself to his hands and knees, one hand raised to attack with his extended claws. A flood of memories from long ago conflicted with his thoughts about where he was now.
The nearby birds and crickets grew quiet.
The silence calmed him enough to gain awareness of where he was. They no longer had him at the compound, but he was outside. On grass. Among many trees as far as he could see in every direction even with his dragon vision.
A sight through the branches caught his attention.
The moon glowed with a pale white in the sky above.
Moonhunter was there. And he was here, now outside the military compound. He couldn’t help Moonhunter from here.
But there might be someone who could. Unfortunately, it was a Shil’mak.
Balthier got to his feet. Time to go talk to this crazy dragon.
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Dragons of Wellsdeep – copyright © 2018 Dawn Blair Published by Morning Sky Studios Cover and layout copyright © 2018 by Morning Sky Studios Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios Cover art copyright © Ingus Kruklitis | Dreamstime.com, © Digitalstormcinema | Dreamstime.com, and © Kalcutta | Dreamstime.com
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