Talbani and His New Companion

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Talbani and His New Companion

Postby Okamisan » Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:41 pm

Part One

It had been a long day under the tutelage of his teacher Master Shazier. Talbani was tired and though he enjoyed his time with Shazier he decided that he needed some time to himself. After cleaning up and putting his supplies away, Talbani left with only a flask of water and his knife.

Ahead of him was the quiet of the woodland which had been calling to him all day. A call he couldn't resist at this time. The air was warm but tolerable with a cool breeze blowing through the trees. As he walked Talbani could feel the stones and twigs on the trail beneath his feet. After what seemed an hour or more Talbani stopped, sitting on a log to take a drink from his flask. The cool water felt good on his dried throat.

Looking around he admired the beautiful green countryside. Sometimes he felt most at home in the woods instead of being cooped up in a house. Even so he wouldn't change anything in his life thus far. He had all he wanted. A person who loved him, a career in the making, and above all he had his newfound ability. He could talk to and understand dragons. Never in his life had he felt as content as he did now.

Closing his eyes he took a deep breath of the cool damp air. It was then that he sensed or rather heard the voice within his mind. It surprised the young man at first as he did not expect to hear a dragon speaking, there in the woods. It was a quiet voice. A voice that seemed to be in distress.

Sitting up, Talbani listened with all his soul. ~someone please help me~ He kept listening, and again the voice spoke. please... help me

Standing the young man started to walk deeper into the countryside listening for the voice. my name is Talbani, I mean you no harm. Please tell me where you are?

I am Krolmnite, but you may call me Krol. I was felled from the......sky. I'm sorry I must rest.

Rest, I will make my way to you. Talbani started to move faster along the path. As he moved he could sense he was getting closer. He slowed his movements so as not to startle the creature. What he found when he reached the source of the voice was a beautiful beast in shades of green with a bronze chest. He had a large wingspan that Talbani couldn't even begin to guess the size of.

He bowed in front of the majestic beast and spoke quietly. "I am Talbani. The one with whom you have been speaking with. It is an honor to meet you."

A puff of pale white smoke emitted from the beasts large nostrils. I am Krol. Thank you for...coming.

Talbani could sense that the dragon was getting weaker. "If you don't mind, I would like to examine you to see if I might help you. I will do my best to cause you no further harm."

Krol chose not to speak but rather nodded his massive head in agreement. Talbani slowly and gently approached the beast. He first laid his head on the dragon’s side, listening to him breathe and his heartbeat. Both appeared to be normal. Then with Krol's blessing Talbani ran his hands ever so gently over the dragon. As he was approaching the end of his exam he discovered the problem.

When Krol had fallen from the sky he had impaled his right wing on a large branch. The branch was stopping any bleeding, which was good. Unfortunately it was making it impossible for Krol to fly. "Master Krol, I am afraid you have injured your wing. If you will allow me, I will do my best to help you but I cannot assure you that there will be no pain. However if I don't try you will surely be injured permanently."

Talbani wasn't even sure if he could really do anything, but he knew he had to do something. Please, do want you must. I cannot lay here like this much longer. I need to feel the wind beneath my wings lifting me to the heavens.

Taking out his knife, Talbani began the long arduous task of cutting the branch that was pinning the wing to the ground. With each pull of his knife he could sense the pain emanating from Krol. After what seemed hours, but was actually only minutes, the branch began to give way. Once the branch was cut loose, Talbani was able to pull the branch from Krol's wing. As soon as the branch was clear, Talbani immediately grabbed some moss and placed it on the wounded wing.

Taking his flask of water he slowly offered some to Krol. "Please drink. You need the water to help regain your strength."

Krol opened his mighty jaw and allowed Talbani to pour some water down his parched throat.

That feels so good. Thank you little one. You have helped me when others would've run. I am forever in your debt.

Pouring some water on the moss to create a paste, Talbani stood and looked into the bright yellow eyes of the mighty beast before him. "You owe me nothing mighty one. I am training to be a healer, it is what I do. It was my honor to treat you and to know that you will once again fly amongst the clouds."

Nodding his goodbye Talbani turned and started to make his way back to the village. Shazier was sure to be worried about him, besides he was more tired than he realized. As he was walking he heard footfalls behind him. Turning to look he saw that Krol was behind him.

"What are you doing Krol? You need to rest. I can come check on you tomorrow if you wish?"

~No my young friend. I am now indebted to you. So, where you go I too shall go. When I have healed you will be on my back as we fly to the clouds.~

Looking at Krol, Talbani just shook his head. He had a feeling there was going to be no talking this majestic beast out of anything. He turned and again began his journey back to the Lair. His main concern was what in the world was Shazier going to say about him bringing home a dragon. It wasn’t like Krol was a little puppy. He was a majestic green dragon with a mighty wingspan. Definitely not a house pet.
If you've got eyes to rhythmatize / Bring your flat hat and your ax / 'Cause tonight at ten / We'll be working again / At the teahouse on the tracks
--Donald Fagen, "Teahouse on the Tracks," from the album Kamakiriad
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Re: Talbani and His New Companion

Postby Okamisan » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:18 pm

Part Two

He reached the back gate of Aurgath Lair, which was still open, the rider on watch and his dragon, a battle-scarred steel, sitting together relaxed in front of it. They both stood up straight as Talbani and Krol approached.

“Ho, Talbani, what’s this?” the rider asked. His name was Talon Oculont, and he was nearly as battle-scarred as his dragon, with a gruff exterior but kind once you got to know him.

"Master Talon, this mighty dragon is named Krol. As I went for a constitutional in the countryside this evening I came across him. He had been injured and as a healer of sorts, I felt it was my duty to help him. He now feels indebted to me."

What is wrong little one? Shall I eat this person so you may pass?

No Krol. He is doing his job. He is making sure no strangers enter and that those inside are safe.

Krol pushed Tal in the back with his large head, causing the young man to stumble. Talon saw this and stood stiffer. "Its OK Master Talon. He's just anxious to get home. I've been gone for sometime and I'm sure Shazier will be worried. Please sir, may we pass?"

“Of course, come inside. I’d suggest taking Krol with you to the infirmary. And as soon as you’ve done that, find one of the Talonleaders and let them know about this. I think you’re in for a little notoriety, friend Talbani.”

"Thank you Master Talon. I shall do as you suggest immediately." Tal looked at Krol and spoke, "Follow me. We are going to take you to the healers where they will do a better job at fixing your wing."

You fixed my wing just fine. I think I shall stay with you. Krol spoke in Talbani's head, something the young man was going to have to get used to.

Heading toward the infirmary, Talbani could hear Krol behind him. He also hear the dragon asking questions like a little child.

Why do you live here and not in the woods? Why are we going to this infirmary? Why do you have to find the Talonleaders? Who are all these people staring at us?

Trying to keep his composure and keep walking Talbani replied, "Why do you ask so many questions? I told you why we were going to the infirmary. We have to make sure your wing heals properly so that you may once again fly."

With you on my back? I'll have no other!

"I suppose that is up to the Talonleaders. Let's take one thing at a time. First your wing then we'll figure out the rest." He certainly hoped the leaders would let him ride Krol even though he really wasn't a dragon rider.

They soon reached the infirmary where Talbani hoped to find Shazier.

Who is this Shazier you keep going on about Tal? Is he your dragon?

"No, silly. I do not have the honor of being bonded with a dragon. Shazier is a master healer, my teacher and the love of my life. I know you will like him as I do. Now let's go find him and get you healed."

As Talbani started to search for the healer he felt Krol nudge him persistently. Tal, I am your dragon now. You are my rider. I will take no other. In this you can trust.

They approached the large shelters which marked the edge of the Lair’s infirmary; these were the areas set aside for the full grown dragons who could not be housed indoors. At the moment, they were all, thankfully, empty, as was most of the main infirmary building. Shazier, the Lair’s master healer, was standing at the edge of the outermost shelter, setting a lit torch into a sconce.

He took one look at Talbani and Krol walking behind, and his hazel eyes went wide. “I was beginning to wonder what had happened to you,” he said. “Now I see you’ve come back with a full-grown dragon! This must be quite a tale.” He smiled, to let Talbani know he wasn’t angry.

I can see why this one would be the love of your life, Krol told Talbani.

"It is indeed quite a tale. A tale that had I not experienced myself, would be hard to believe. But before I continue introductions are in order." Pausing to catch his breath Talbani soon continued. "Master Shazier may I present Krolmnite or Krol for short. Krol this is Master Shazier."

Why do you call him master? You said he was your love.

"It is a sign of respect Krol. He is also my teacher."

I still don't understand but will trust what you say is true.

“Krol has an injury to his right wing. I tried to repair it as best I could. I would appreciate it greatly if you would take a look at it.” Talbani stood next to the great beast hoping his instructor would find his work at least adequate.

“Of course,” Shazier said. “Welcome, Krol. Please allow me the privilege of looking at your injury.”

Krol dipped his head and stretched out his right wing partway, and Shazier stepped up and looked at the wound. “You’ve done an excellent job with this, Talbani,” he said, “especially given you didn’t have any supplies with you. I think we can do a little more to ease the pain and speed the healing, though. If you would guide Krol to the innermost shelter -- closest to the infirmary wall -- I’ll go fetch my kit and meet you there.”

He looked up into the dragon’s face. “Talbani here has saved your life, I should think,” he told Krol. “I’m guessing you already know that. The shelter is only a few more steps away, and once there, you can rest, and we can treat the injury further, and bring you food.”

Giving Talbani a firm pat on the shoulder, Shazier headed off quickly toward his own workshop.

It did Talbani's confidence a boost to hear such words from his teacher. He looked up at Krol and started to speak, "See I told you he was an excellent teacher. Now if you would be so kind as to follow me to the shelter, Shazier can finish healing you."

Turning Talbani started off in the direction of the shelter. He knew Krol was following him because every few feet the dragon would nudge him in the back.

Why might I ask are you pushing me along with your snout? He asked Krol as they were walking.

Krol snickered as only a dragon could. Because I can and besides it’s fun. Do I need another reason?

"No I suppose you don't but you can stop now as we have reached our destination."

Talbani and Krol stayed where they were waiting for Shazier to arrive. Talbani watched as Krol looked around the cavernous settlement.

What are all those "holes" in the sides of the walls?

"Those my giant friend are lairs of other dragons and their riders. I'm sure Shazier can explain it all to you. He is very smart and knows many things. Why he puts up with me I'm not quite sure."

Perhaps he feels for you as you do him.

Talbani looked at Krol and grinned slightly. Perhaps, just perhaps.
If you've got eyes to rhythmatize / Bring your flat hat and your ax / 'Cause tonight at ten / We'll be working again / At the teahouse on the tracks
--Donald Fagen, "Teahouse on the Tracks," from the album Kamakiriad
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Re: Talbani and His New Companion

Postby Okamisan » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:34 pm

Part Three

The shelter for healing dragons was like a large tent or pavilion, with a roughly-woven cloth suspended from poles set deep into the ground. The cloth would protect the dragon from rain and shade the sun. A stone couch which would allow the dragon to rest comfortably occupied the center of the space, while a large tank and a gigantic stone bowl or trough sat nearby for food and water. There was also a space where another tent could be set up under the shelter roof, to allow a dragon’s rider to sleep nearby.

Shazier came back with his healer’s kit in a large leather satchel. “Krol, would you be willing to settle yourself?” he asked the dragon. “It will make it easier for me to treat your wing. And are you hurt anywhere else?” He looked toward Talbani, already accepting that he could “hear” the dragon’s mental voice, and that the dragon would speak to him.

Krol looked at Tal then back at Shazier, he then began to sniff the stone couch. Finally deciding the couch would do he unceremoniously plopped himself down. Once he settled himself Krol sniffed the basin of water before taking a rather large swallow.

That tasted so good. I didn't realize how thirsty I was. I think I shall call your friend Shaz for short. No?

"No Krol you cannot call him Shaz for short. He deserves your respect and as such you will call him by his proper name." Talbani shook his head incredulously, "My apologies Master. Krol is being...somewhat childish."

I am not childish. snorted Krol. The green beast extended his right wing so that Shazier could look at it better. I am not hurt anywhere else.

"He says he is not hurt anywhere else, Master. He is also willing to let you heal him." Talbani kept his hands on Krol's face, holding it as to comfort him. Please behave Krol?

Just for you little one!

Shazier simply laughed. “Definitely not childish. But dragonlike, to be sure.” He set to work on the wound, cleaning it out thoroughly, applying some painkilling and healing salves, then redressing it.

“As silly as this sounds, Talbani, you’ll have to help feed Krol until he can fly again. Usually a rider makes an arrangement with another rider and dragon to help with the hunting. And I don’t think you can be considered a Candidate any more. You’re a dragonrider now.”

Talbani looked at Shazier in utter shock. "Me...a dragonrider? All I did was stumble across him. How does that make me a rider? And what of my teaching with you? I've still much to learn. I'm not ready to be a rider."

See, I told you no one would sit on my back but you. You should listen to your elders.

And you should learn to speak when spoken to and not just blurt things out.

"Master Talon did say I should find the Talonleaders and talk to them. Do you suppose they would help hunt for Krol?"

“I’m sure they would. And what makes you a dragonrider is that the dragon chooses you. Granted, that almost always happens on the hatching ground, but it’s not unheard of for a dragon to lose its first rider and survive, then bond to a new rider of its own choosing. Krol can correct me on this, but I’m guessing that’s what has happened here.”

Long story, but he’s basically right.

“You still need training, but we can continue that, never fear. I’m not letting go of you that easily.” Shazier grinned. “Now go find the Talonleaders. It’s dinner time, so maybe you’ll be able to find one in the refectory.”

You keep mentioning food. I am hungry, you know. Krol opened his mouth to emphasize the point.

"All right, already,” sighed Talbani. " I'm going to go see if I can find you some food." You had best behave while I'm gone. Please?

Yes little one. I will do my best to behave.

With a nod to Krol, Talbani spoke to Shazier, "I will be back as soon as I possibly can. I hope he doesn't give you too much trouble."

That said Talbani started to make his way to the refectory in hopes of finding someone who would be willing to hunt for Krol. Of course he hadn't a clue as to how explain that he now had a full grown dragon.

The refectory was indeed busy. The candidates’ table, where Talbani most often had his evening meal, was nearly full, with the six candidates he already knew -- Shara, Fayal, Maranda, Faidlay, Irino and Tressa -- and two others who must have just arrived. At another table nearby, he saw not one, but two of the Lair’s four Talonleaders: Melleryn, rider of bronze Hestia, in charge of candidates; and Zhaviera Ravenlock, rider of the crystal Sentoryu.

Talbani slowly approached the table with the Talonleaders. Reaching the table he bowed his head and spoke softly, "Mistress Melleryn, I am sorry to bother you during your evening meal but I am somewhat desperate."

He took a deep breath before speaking again. "I do not know if you have heard of my adventure today or not. Essentially while walking along in the countryside I stumbled across a full grown green dragon named Krolmnite. I call him Krol for short. Anyway, he was injured and I did my best to heal him. He is currently in the infirmary being treated by Master Shazier. However, if it is at all possible I was wondering if you and Hestia would be able hunt for food for him. I would be very grateful as he is quite hungry."

Talbani stood there with his hands behind his back and his head still bowed. He was hoping no one was going to bite his head off.

“We’d heard only that a new dragon had come through the gate,” Melleryn said, “but none of the details. A full grown green? Riderless? That’s remarkable. Of course we will help to feed him.” She looked at Talbani. “It’s all right, Talbani, there’s nothing to be worried about. You have done a great thing -- not for the first time, it seems.”

Sighing Talbani looked at Melleryn, "Thank you mistress. I greatly appreciate your help as I know Krol will." Talbani wasn't sure what Melleryn meant by saying this wasn't the first time he'd done something great. After all he'd merely gone for a walk and done what any other healer would've done. "If it meets with your approval I will head back to the infirmary to tend to Krol." Talbani stood waiting to be dismissed.

“Of course,” Melleryn said. “I might come by later to pay my respects. I wouldn’t be too surprised if some others in the Lair do as well.”

As Talbani was walking back through the refectory, passing the candidates’ table again, one of the candidates called out to him. “Talbani! Wait a moment, won’t you please?”

Talbani stopped and turned at the sound of his name. It was Tressa Starbinder, one of two female elves in the group. She and Talbani had worked together in their training, and while they had always been friendly, he couldn’t say he knew her all that well. "Yes Tressa, what is it? I'm kind of in a hurry." What could she possibly want now? he thought. Besides Krol is waiting and not going to be to happy if I don't get back soon.

“I’m sorry, I don’t want to bother you,” she said. “I just wanted to know if it’s true, did you really rescue a full grown dragon?”

"Well, yes I suppose it’s true. I was walking minding my own business when I heard someone or something calling out for help." He wondered how many more times he was going to have to repeat his story. "When I found the source of the voice I discovered it was indeed a full grown green dragon. His wing was injured, which I tried to heal to the best of my ability. He followed me back here so that Master Shazier could finish healing him. Now he says he will have no one ride him but me and Shazier says I am now a dragon rider and that Krolmnite has bonded to me. Now I don't mean to rush, but I must get back and let him know that food will be forthcoming."

With that said Talbani increased his pace and continued to make his way out of the refectory. As he crossed the open center of the Lair, in the last of the twilight he could see a large bronze dragon taking to the air and crossing overhead, heading toward the northwest, where a large dhalat herd was maintained just outside the Lair’s wall.
If you've got eyes to rhythmatize / Bring your flat hat and your ax / 'Cause tonight at ten / We'll be working again / At the teahouse on the tracks
--Donald Fagen, "Teahouse on the Tracks," from the album Kamakiriad
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Re: Talbani and His New Companion

Postby Okamisan » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:40 pm

Part Four

After Talbani had left to find the Talonleaders, Shazier finished bandaging the wound to Krol’s wing. “I may not be able to hear you speaking to me, Krol,” he told the dragon, “and for that I apologize. I was a candidate for dragonrider when I was young, but through several hatchings I was never chosen … so I focused on healing and magic instead, and I think I have lost whatever gift for telepathy I ever had. But if you are willing, I would enjoy talking to you.”

Krol took his rather large snout and shoved it into Shazier. You've not lost it. You just haven't used it enough. Krol closed his eyes and thought on it a moment. He then took his foot and made nine marks in the ground. He then stomped the ground so Shazier would notice. That is how old I am.

Shazier nodded, understanding the gesture even if he couldn’t hear the dragon’s thought. “So you are nine,” he said. “That means you were hatched early in the war. Not here in Aurgath -- we both would have remembered that. Perhaps you will be able to tell Talbani where, and how you came to be alone. You’re incredibly lucky, several times over.”

This is so frustrating. How do I make this make this man understand me?

Krol shook his head yes to the comment of his age. Looking around he saw some twigs and a thought came to him. Using his good wing he pushed all the twigs together. Once he had a good pile he pushed Shazier back. With the healer out of the way he took in a deep breath and blew on the twigs, setting them on fire. He fanned the fire with his wing until it was raging. At that point a tear formed in the corner of his eye. He hoped Shazier would understand that the fire was how he lost his rider.

Shazier nodded. “I understand. A fire was how you lost your rider. That sort of thing happened a lot during the war, to be sure.” He reached up and patted Krol’s head. “I’m glad you survived, and I’m glad Talbani found you. He is a good young man, strong and brave. Perhaps you will be able to give him the one thing he lacks -- a greater faith in himself.”

Krol was getting frustrated and wished he could speak to Shazier as he did to Talbani. I thought he was quite confident. Krol wanted to know how Shazier really felt about Tal but wasn't at all sure how to get it across.

He moved himself around until he was facing Shazier. He lowered his head until he was looking the healer in the eye. He stared as if he was looking into the healer’s soul. Are you sure you can't hear me? Concentrate, Shazier, concentrate!

Backing up Krol made some rudimentary marks in the ground with his claw. If one looked hard it might look like a heart. Krol stomped his foot at the picture then nudged Shazier. Hopefully he was getting his message across.

Shazier closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and concentrated. He found himself reaching back across many years, to the day he first came to Aurgath Lair as an eager young Candidate. I’m trying, Krol. If you can hear me, please try to speak to me one more time.

I can hear you Shazier. I knew you had it in you. You just quit using your ability. Tal speaks very highly of you. Can you tell me more about him? If he is to be my rider I must know him
. Krol looked at Shazier and for a moment he thought he saw a tear form in the older man’s eye. Are you all right, Master?

Yes. I was much as Talbani was, once, but a dragon never chose me. I rarely think of it any more. He is wiser than he knows, he learns quickly, and has the gift to be a great healer if he chooses. I cherish him deeply, though he is in the springtime of his life and I am approaching the autumn of mine.

You are both quite similar. He also cherishes you and worries not about age. You have taught him many things and you have much left to teach him. It is because of this that I feel he is conflicted. Had he not come across me and used the skills you taught him I shudder to think what might have become of me.

Krol paused a moment as if reflecting back on his past. As you have figured out, my rider was killed in a fire. Why I did not die is a mystery to me. I wanted to die, to not be alone and riderless. I did stupid things like fly too high and recklessly, which is how I ended up impaled on that branch. It was then I sensed an innocence. A pure heart full of love and joy. Not one of hate or evil. You have given Tal those feelings. You have made him who he is today. I said that no other would sit on my back but I was wrong. You and Tal are a team and as such I would be honored to have you both upon my back. That is if you will have me Master?

Krol again lowered his head and nudged Shazier. You are a good and honorable man Shazier. You have much to teach Talbani and myself. Given the chance I feel Tal has much to teach us and much love for us both.

We shall all learn together.
Shazier smiled and patted Krol’s snout. “Ah -- I think Talbani is returning.”
If you've got eyes to rhythmatize / Bring your flat hat and your ax / 'Cause tonight at ten / We'll be working again / At the teahouse on the tracks
--Donald Fagen, "Teahouse on the Tracks," from the album Kamakiriad
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Re: Talbani and His New Companion

Postby Okamisan » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:44 pm

Part Five

After what seemed an eternity, Talbani finally made it back to the infirmary and to Krol. "Master Shazier, Mistress Melleryn and Hestia are going to hunt for Krol. I hope he wasn't too much trouble for you?" I hope you behaved yourself Krol. Melleryn and Hestia will have food for you soon. "The leaders said they would be stopping by to meet Krol. What should I do? I'm a healer, or at least trying to be one. What do I know of being a rider? I'm sure there are more qualified than I."

What are you talking about Tal? You are my rider now. I have chosen you.

"But Krol I know nothing about being a dragonrider. There are more qualified candidates who have worked hard to become a rider."

That doesn't matter. I have chosen you and no one else will sit on my back but you.

"Master, please explain to this stubborn green beast that I am not a rider. There are others more qualified than I."

Shazier chuckled a little. “The stubborn green beast is right, that doesn’t matter. In the end, the only qualification that matters for becoming a dragonrider is that the dragon chooses you. If Krol has decided that you are to be his rider, his rider you are.”

Talbani was at a loss for words. The day had started out as any other day but had ended in an entirely different way. A way most unexpected. "But I know nothing of being a dragonrider. I barely know anything about being a healer. I still have much to learn in that regard. Now you say I am a dragonrider. What am I to do?"

Don't worry Tal. I will teach you and I'm sure Shazier will help as well.

“And there are many in the Lair who will help teach you as well, even as they would had you been chosen by a hatchling dragon,” Shazier said.

Talbani looked at both the man and the dragon and shook his head. "Shazier, how am I to continue my training as a healer and learn to be a rider? I'll not give that up!"

Tal, no one is asking you to give up your passion. Just think how much faster you will be able to get to those in need whilst riding on my back. Much more efficient don't you think? Again Krol nudged Talbani with his head, almost knocking him on his behind.

He could sense Krol chuckling. "That is not funny. You can't just go around knocking people over."

Not people, just you. As the dragon chortled, small puffs of white smoke curled up and out of his nostrils.

“You need not give up your training as a healer,” Shazier said. “Look at Darnot -- he was still in his training days when he was chosen by Koulani. They have only become stronger in the partnership they have formed. Trust me on this. Trust Krol. And, most importantly, trust yourself. You can do this.”

They could hear dragon wings beating, and hear the call close above. As they looked up, Hestia passed close overhead, blotting out the stars and even the moon for a moment. She circled, then passed even lower, dropping the body of a half-grown dhalat at the edge of Krol’s shelter before sweeping back up into the sky and away toward the caves along the edge of the Lair. The camel-like dhalat was large -- even this half-grown one was the size of a horse -- and it looked like it would make a fine meal for Krol.

Krol was almost drooling at the sight of the food in front of him.Talbani looked at the dragon and smirked. Now try not to be to a sloppy eater. I think Shazier and I are going to let you eat and drink and most importantly rest.

Yes my young rider. I will be here when you return. Enjoy your time with Shaz!

Talbani just shook his head and started to make his way to Shazier’s quarters. What had started as an ordinary day certainly didn't end up that way. Talbani was extremely exhausted and overwhelmed. He didn't know what to do. Maybe Shazier would have some answers or something.
If you've got eyes to rhythmatize / Bring your flat hat and your ax / 'Cause tonight at ten / We'll be working again / At the teahouse on the tracks
--Donald Fagen, "Teahouse on the Tracks," from the album Kamakiriad

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