Potters Village

By The Story Lover

A Story Set in The Dragon Earl Universe

Preface and dedication: This story may seem familiar to you and there are reasons for that. This story is inspired by “Memories” and “A New Day Dawns” as well as the true life story of our favorite nephews THP. I want to personally thank both ACFan and Gunrunner for allowing me to write this story which infringes upon their copyrighted material. I greatly appreciate them for doing this. This story is a Fantasy it will have Dragons and Elves and sundry other Fantasy Races. It is also being written as a tribute to Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey two of my favorite Fantasy Authors. This story is dedicated to August Christopher as a continuation of his legacy.

THIS STORY IS CHARACTERS INCLUDED FROM "Dragon Earl" . DISTRIBUTION FOR COMMERCIAL GAIN, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, POSTING ON SITES OR NEWSGROUPS, DISTRIBUTION AS PARTS OR IN BOOK FORM (EITHER AS A WHOLE OR PART OF A COMPILATION) WITH OR WITHOUT A FEE, OR DISTRIBUTION ON CD, DVD, OR ANY OTHER ELECTRONIC MEDIA WITH OR WITHOUT A FEE, IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED WITHOUT THE AUTHOR'S WRITTEN CONSENT. YOU MAY DOWNLOAD ONE (1) COPY OF THIS STORY FOR PERSONAL USE; ANY AND ALL COMMERCIAL USE EXCEPTING EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS REQUIRES THE AUTHORS WRITTEN CONSENT. THE AUTHOR MAY BE CONTACTED AT: The Story Lover

 

Chapter Two - More Rope for Patoral

 

From Chapter One:

Reaching out and lifting Brion off of her lap Mama Nina gave the youngling a light swat on the rear and said, "Scoot now little one go sing your heart out to Draconis and Justin, I have dinner to make and I don't want my family mad at Me."

With a huge grin, Brion took off for the door and as he neared the door turned and said, "Luv you Mama Nina" Brion was then gone and a few minutes later was heard singing "Far Away" as he had never sung it before. [If you would like to hear what I think Brion might have sounded like, click on the song title and listen to Libera sing the song.]

As each day went on with no word or sight of Justin, the majority of the villager's simply went on about their normal lives. Everyone, that is, except for Brion and his family, the Mayor and his wife and Justin's Uncle who was franticly trying to keep up with all of the orders that were pouring in.

Brion continued his daily pattern, going to school, which he was beginning to hate, as without Justin and his mother there, school wasn't the same. With this being the end of Harvest Season, everyone in the Village was busy preparing for winter and the Village Council hadn't gotten around to petitioning the King for a new teacher. Nina was helping out as much as she could with the younglings, but she couldn't be there everyday. Unfortunately for the youth of the village, that meant 'Cleric' Patoral was still acting as the teacher. Outside of his twisted views regarding outsiders and those who were different, he actually was fairly knowledgeable as a teacher. While he lacked the charm and easy going manner of Barbara, he was still able to impart some knowledge.

Brion's problems were directly related to Dalos and his gang, as they were constantly tormenting him whenever they found him alone. They never physically abused him other than shoving him around or pushing him out of their way. Brion made very sure that whenever he went outside of the safety of the village, he never went alone. What made Brion the saddest, though, were the names and things that Dalos and his crew were always calling Justin and the fact that 'Cleric' Patoral never put a stop to their bad mouthing of Justin. 'Cleric' Patoral, rather than condemning them, would always have a snide comment to make; Patoral refrained from directly casting aspersions on Justin while he was teaching, as he didn't want to lose his chance to get his ideas across to the impressionable younglings in his care. Patoral saved the worst of vituperations for services in the Chapel as he held complete sway there. 'If only my mentor Helm Phelps were here to see me, he would be very impressed. I wonder if the rest of his flock are as successful as I have been in converting this flock of lambs. It was so easy as these people are fools. I need to discredit those abomidable sinners Lucaso and Tayledro somehow. I am going to have to find some way to get Brion to sing for me or I won't have a chance to convert the rest of the villagers; that damned Brat and his angelic voice he may be my downfall yet!' Patoral's thoughts were interrupted by the return of his charges from their recess.


Kyle was getting very busy, so busy in fact, that in between working on orders he was trying to find another apprentice, especially one he could train to become a journeyman. His two apprentices that he had now were only good for menial tasks and had no ambition in life at all. Kyle wondered how much longer he could keep going at this pace. Trying to be armorer for the kingdom and blacksmith for the villager was daunting enough, but he was also working on the sword that Michael had dumped in his lap. Kyle's sleep was constantly being interrupted by incessant dreams of the sword in all its radiant beauty. The majority of the dreams were of the sword flaming as if it was a living flame. Mostly the dream showed Justin dressed as a prince of sorts but many of them showed him dressed as an Ecclesiastical Warrior. The latest dreams had a feeling of restlessness to them, as if there was some sort of impending danger. For some reason, Kyle also had the nagging feeling that he needed to finish the sword as soon as possible. The blade was almost finished and he was very glad he was almost done with that part of the job. Now, all he had to do was somehow find the perfectly shaped 'Dragon's Eye' for the pommel. Although Michael had said he would receive the cap stone the next day, it hadn't shown up. He was finding it very hard also to draw the block of Dragons Gold thin enough, for the wire he needed to embellish the pommel the way he wanted. Of course, if he had a journeyman he could trust, it would be much easier. Well, it was time to get back to work.


Although the majority of the villager's didn't have time to actively hunt for Justin, he was always on their minds. Except of course for the newer residents who had fallen under Patoral's evil influence as they believed Justin wasn't worthy of their time. At least one of the Tanner Males was always available for search parties. All of the village's hunters kept an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. Each child did their part whenever they went into the woods or nearby fields gathering nuts and fruits, by keeping an eye peeled for Justin.

Brion's father had about had it with Patoral's insistence on Brion's singing for him at the service's. He was seriously considering sending another letter to the Prelate Council to get Patoral replaced; the last straw happened this afternoon as Brion was on his way to see his Mama Nina when he was accosted by the three thugs. Dalos gave him a really bad time about not singing in the chapel telling that singing in the meadow was for losers. Tice tried a different approach by saying;

"You probably aren't good enough to sing in the chapel anyway, and Draconis wouldn't like your singing either.

Dalos and his two cronies were astonished when Brion pulled himself up to his full height of four feet tall and in as strong a voice as he could muster bellowed.

"I can feel Draconis when I sing in the meadow, and she CAN hear me..." Brion was cut off as Dalos grabbed him by the front of his tunic and was preparing to shake the living daylights out of him when a strong male voice interrupted them.

"Brion, aren't you supposed to be at Mama Nina's for your singing lessons, and I believe you three are supposed to be either cleaning the Pottery or The Stables right now, so get going before I find some more work for you to do." The Coopers booming voice started all of the younglings moving in the appropriate directions. Brion ran a few steps then stopped, turned around and waved thanks to the Cooper, before heading to his Mama Nina.

The Cooper made a mental note to mention this incident to the Mayor, but got sidetracked by a farmer who had a leaking barrel of Pear Cider1 that needed immediate repair.

Unbeknownst to the Cooper and the three miscreants, everything that had just been seen and overhead by friends of Misha and Justin. The three miscreants had no idea that everything they said or did was being noted for future use. None of the villagers knew that Justin's woodland friends were keeping tabs on the villager's. They were also trying to protect any of the searchers, especially the children, while searching for Justin. The villagers noticed a little more small furry creature activity, but paid them no attention. The only person who really paid any attention was Brion, who chatted away with all of the birds who came and visited with him while he was in his tree singing. The birds were trying to tell Brion that his Justin was safe and sound, but he couldn't understand them of course. Brion loved it when some of the birds joined him in his singing.

Mama Nina had decided to try a few different things with Brion's voice today; she had decided to work on his softness. She was going to have him sing as quietly and softly as he could, while still putting all of his emotions into the songs. She was going to work with him on Lullabies and then some Ballads. Nina really wished she had some more Sheet Music so she could teach Brion more songs; she especially wanted some Elven Songs to teach him. She would have to speak with Lucaso and Tayledro and see what they could do for their 'adopted son'. Nina fervently wished that Justin would be found soon, so he could sing with Brion now that Brion's voice was even richer than it was before. Many of the villagers had succumbed to the belief that Justin was either dead or taken by a roving band of slavers. Nina wasn't sure herself, but deep down she knew Justin was safe and would return, plus the fact that Brion had told her that 'His Justin' was still alive and would be back. Well, she could hear Brion running up now. Nina quickly straightened her apron and put her biggest smile on her face and then, placing her hands on her hips, said to the opening door.

"Quit running, Brion, you are already late so only one cookie instead of two!"

As soon as Brion had entered Mama Nina's Kitchen, he threw himself at her, sobbing.

"Mama Nina, hold me, hold me Mama Nina, hold me, please?"

Nina quickly pulled the sobbing youngling into a loving hug while rubbing his back with soothing gestures and telling him that everything was going to be okay.

Nina had to listen very carefully for Brion's response, as his voice was muffled by her apron and skirts.

"It was them again; they were going to beat me up for not singing for 'Cler... Patoral' Dalos started to grab me but, luckily, 'Coop' saved me. They said I can't sing Mama, they tried to tell me I wasn't good enough to sing in the chapel for that... that person. I told 'em I sing where Draconis can hear me and that she likes my singing!" Brion never let go of Mama Nina's apron while he was replying.


While Brion was being consoled by Mama Nina, a Royal Messenger came thundering into the village and headed directly towards Lucaso and Tayledro's General Store. When Tayledro answered the ringing of the bell, he was astounded at the heft of the Message Bag he had to sign for. As soon as he signed for the bag, the messenger saluted and flew off to his horse to continue on his rounds. When Tayledro brought the bag into the office, Lucaso looked at him as if to say 'where is the fire'.

"This just came by Royal Messenger and it is addressed to both of us."

"Well, what is inside it?" Lucaso asked.

"I haven't opened it yet; I wanted you to have the honor," was Tayledro's sarcastic reply.

"Well, open it up and let's see what is inside it and then we can get on with our inventory," Lucaso replied to the love of his life with a loving smile.

Tayledro gave in and broke the seal on the bag and then began dumping the contents onto their desk. They were both amazed by the number of parchment rolls that came pouring out of the bag. They decided to open the biggest one first. It took them several minutes or so it seemed as that roll had a lot of ribbons and seals to cut through first.

When they finally cut through all of the red tape and started reading, they were stunned at what they were seeing. It seemed that they had orders to supply a coronation at the castle with lots of different items and this was the authorization for payment of the other rolls. They had no idea who was being crowned, as the authorization didn't state.

"We need to get this inventory finished, so we know how much stuff we have to order; of course how we are going to get it in time, I have no idea. I will finish the inventory while you tally all of these orders and then we will go from there." Lucaso told Tayledro as he got up from his desk and headed towards the storeroom, but not before hugging and kissing his soul mate.


Meanwhile at the Pottery Shoppe, Justin's Uncle was pulling his hair out. He and his apprentices were having a very hard time keeping up with all of the orders that had already arrived and the new orders that were still arriving. They were rapidly running out of all the finished pieces that Justin and James had completed. The family had rapidly improved the quality of their everyday work, due to Justin's instruction before he ran off. The higher quality of materials they were now working with didn't hurt either, nor did the excellent tools that James and Justin had acquired. Unfortunately, no one in the family had the skill to duplicate or even come close to any of the freestyle Ceramic or Chyma creations of Justin or his father. With a lot of trial and errors, Justin's Uncle and one of his son's were able to turn out passable Chyma and Ceramic Dinnerware, but without the decorations and flair of James and his son. Due to the fact that Justin and his dad had finally decided to document their formulas, the glazes and Chyma and Ceramics were actually very close in composition. Poor Kyle, though he knew basically nothing about pottery, unlike Michael; and he had a very hard time teaching Justin's Uncle how to use the Kilns and Blast Furnaces in the Pottery Shoppe.

If Justin's Uncle thought things were bad now, he was in for a very rude awakening as the Royal Messenger that had driven Lucaso and Tayledro into a tizzy was just approaching the shoppe now.


Far to the North East of the village, nestled among the semi active volcanoes of the Montanha's Arco-íris, things were getting very busy at the Convento Mattias Aoire as their weekly shipment of food and supplies was due. The Thebesian Monk who acted as quartermaster for the Monastery and Hospice, perched high on a table top peak. The peak was a spire soaring majestically over the valley below the next nearest peak, several thousand feet below and nearly that far away. The top of the peak was unnaturally flat, as if the top had been cut off with a single swing of a giant sword or Battle Axe. The only way on or off the peak was by Dragon, and at that, only the largest of Dragon's with the most courageous of riders ever attempted that trick. The winds and thermals which swirled through the neighboring peaks and Mountain Ranges were very, very treacherous. The Monastery or Convento, in the tongue of the Olde Folke, had been there since at least before the days of the Dragon Lords. The peak was riddled with Volcanic Vents and Hot Springs of many different mineral composition. There were also several crystal clear icy springs also, and although the top of the peak was virtually flat, there were several openings that led deep into the innards of the peak. Unknown to most folks, there was also a surprisingly high concentration of magical and magnetic ley lines that were located in and on the peak's surface.

Doktor Bazaar was preparing to leave, after a short visit to refresh some of the skills he had learned there as a student, many years before. Doktor Bazaar had been lucky enough to have been sent there for a portion of his Medical Education, by his Tia Clara. His Tia Clara was one of the very few women to even set foot on the grounds of the Shepherd Monastery; let alone stay there. The Thebesian Monks, although adhering to the overall worship of Draconis, worshiped the masculine side of Draconis, and normally shunned contact with females.

The hospice at the Shepherd Monastery was dedicated to treating those for whom all other methods of treatment, including magical ones, had failed. With a combination of herbal and other medical treatments, including the use of the different Mineral Hot Springs and Volcanic Ash Mud Baths, the monks were able to succeed, where others had not. The only females who were allowed to stay, under normal conditions, were those who needed stabilizing treatments before being transferred to other hospices. There were several abbeys across Draconis, run by Thebesian Monks, but this one was the only one where the majority of the monks were living in life long partnerships with another monk. The Convento Mattias Aoire, more commonly known as The Mattias Shepherd Monastery, never lacked a full complement of monks, in spite of its location far from any populated area.

Doktor Bazaar was in a hurry to get back, so he could check on Just' as he had found the reference book he was looking for on Neurological Symptoms and their treatments. He would be leaving as soon as Master Sargent Ramero and Alejandro showed up; this was the other reason for all of the hustle and bustle. It was an extremely rare occurrence for two dragons to show up at the monastery, let alone one of the Kings own Royal Dragon Guard.

Brion's family really didn't know what to do; they really couldn't afford the man hours for one them to keep searching for Justin, but they didn't want to let Brion down. One of the reasons they were able to keep searching was that Harold had learned some new and faster methods of tanning and preparing leather. Harold had stopped to visit Kyle, and deliver the new Tool Belt that Kyle had ordered and he had run into an old soldier who worked as an Assistant Quartermaster and started a conversation with Harold. Realizing that the old soldier was a font of information, Harold invited him back to their Tannery for dinner. Before that could happen, Harold dutifully searched his search area as he was not going to face his Brion without doing that. On the way back to the village, Harold and his new friend took a slight detour and stopped right in front of the hidden path to Justin's hideaway but sadly, never saw the path.

Harold gave his friend a quick tour of the village, on their way to the Tanner's, they arrived home at nearly the same time as Brion, who nearly pulled his father off of the horse he was riding. Harold was very glad to see his son smiling and laughing again, if even for a short time.

"Brion, could you please do me a great big favor and go over to your other dads' house and bring me back a new writing stick and one of those book things to write in? Also, please invite them to dinner, as your 'Uncle' Kyle sent us plenty to eat, in payment for his order. Tell Dad Tay and Dad Lucas that we have Pear Cider from Elvandia..." Poor Harold never got to finish, as Brion gave him a big hug and kiss and muttered something that sounded like "I love ew" and then Brion was running towards the General Store as fast as his little legs could carry him.

While they were waiting for Brion to return, Harold gave the soldier a short version of the story, leaving out the Patoral information. When he got to the part about Lucaso and Tayledro, the old soldier knew who they were and had met them before and he had also met Lucaso's Grandfather Norweg years ago and was looking forward to seeing the two rapscallions as he called them.

Brion arrived shortly thereafter with a flapping of feet and boyish shouts;

"They are coming, they are coming, and so is Misty!" Brion ran in his house dumped some stuff on his dad's lap, ran and gave his mom a hug and a kiss and in seemingly the same motion was back out the door hollering,

"Hurry up Dad's, hurry up, I am hungry."

Everyone in the house was laughing hysterically except for Mikela as she was too busy trying to fix her family's dinner. Mediaté went out to try and save Lucaso and Tayledro from his overly exuberant brother; but Misty had other ideas and decided it would be fun to play chase Mediaté. Eventually, everyone made it inside the house and had a wonderful dinner. The old soldier was a Hammerian and Lucaso and Tayledro both recognized him, although it had been quite awhile ago. It seems the Hammerians had developed methods of tanning leather from a vision sent by Draconis. The new methods were as nearly non caustic as they could possibly be. The four men retired to Harold's Office and started devising plans to convert the Tannery to the new methods. By then, Brion had fallen asleep curled up with a very contented Misty as both Mediaté and Brion had saved some of their meat for her.


The Royal Messenger who arrived at the Pottery Shoppe, of course asked for Master Potter Justin Lennox. When Justin's Uncle told him that Justin wasn't there, and they were looking for him; the messenger just asked who he was and when Justin's Uncle answered, the messenger handed him a parchment and said sign here. No sooner then Justin's Uncle had finished signing, than the messenger handed him a bag.

"What's this, what did I sign for?"

The messenger replied, "it is orders for Ceramic and Chyma commemorative pieces for the Coronation."

"But, but I am just a common Journeyman Potter; I can't meet those orders" Justin's Uncle replied.

"I can't help you sir; I am already late and I have a lot more deliveries to make. This coronation has the whole castle in an uproar." The messenger paused for a moment and then looked around the shop as they had stepped inside so Justin's Uncle could sign the receipt.

"I wouldn't say that sir; those pieces over there will be perfect!" The messenger then bowed slightly and headed towards his horse and then off to Kyle and the Armory and a change of horse, before heading to Roxio.

Justin's Uncle turned and looked at the bench where the messenger had pointed and mixed in with the castoffs were several miniature ewers and teacups. Some of them were made of Chyma and some of them of Ceramic in several different colors. Justin's Uncle stood there in shock, as no one in his family was capable of creating such works of art, outside of Justin. Justin's Uncle walked over to the bench and carefully examined several of the pieces and knew in his heart that they were of master quality not quite artisan, but very close. 'I wonder why I never saw these before' were the thoughts going through his head; at that moment a cloud obscured the ray of light that was illuminating the pieces. Justin's Uncle then carefully walked towards the doorway carrying two pieces into the light to examine them for a Craftsman's Mark. Turning the pieces over and over every way but loose, he finally gave up. He set the two pieces down on the outside table and then turned back towards the Pottery Shoppe to lock up. As he turned around, the cloud moved on its way and the beam of light re illuminated the shoppe's interior again, but the beam was nowhere near the bench. 'That is really strange; we put the castoffs on that bench because it is useless to work on except in the summer because the winter light doesn't reach it.' Shaking his head in amazement, Justin's Uncle began closing and locking the doors to the shoppe and then headed home with the miniature ewer and emerald green teacup.

While Justin's Uncle was wracking his brain, Patoral was penning his weekly missive to Helm Phelps in Puritania. 'I wonder why I haven't had any responses to my previous messages regarding those Verdreht Storekeepers and their catamite nephew.' Patoral was busy penning his report and his mind kept going back and forth over Justin and Brion. 'Well, if I can't have Justin to sing for me, I will have Brion come Metnal or high water.' Little did Patoral know that this missive would actually reach Helm Phelps, and the consequences of that act would reach all of Draconis in one way or another.

If Patoral had known what had happened to his previous missives, he would have needed the services of a Cleric himself. It seems that for some strange reason, any missives of Patoral always seemed to disappear the first time the messenger stopped for a break. At the same time, any messages regarding Justin addressed to the palace also disappeared.


The Royal Messenger arrived at the Blacksmithy and gave Kyle his bag of orders, and Kyle then signed his receipt and turned around and headed back to work. Kyle had only taken a few steps when he felt a light tapping on his shoulder, but no sound. Kyle turned around and was nearly blinded by the light reflecting off the gossamer wings of the two faeries who were carrying a small leather pouch between them. Kyle reached out slowly with his palm face up and before he could even open his mouth; the pouch plopped into his hand. Kyle reached over with his other hand and opened the pouch, reached in and pulled out an absolutely perfectly shaped capstone of Dragon's Eye. Kyle was so busy looking at the stone, he never noticed the faeries leaving. Kyle stood there for several minutes, staring off into the sunset, trying to figure out what had just happened.


Andreu's training in the pocket valley was going faster than he believed possible; Margé was feeding him knowledge faster than Andreu thought possible. A lot of the time, he had no idea what she was trying to teach him, and then what he thought were dreams started. The second morning after the dreams started, he was able to answer Margé's questions with an ease he hadn't been able to before. The most surprising thing happened on the fourth day; Margé asked Andreu a question and he answered it, but in a tongue he had never spoken before. After that, Margé kept speaking in the same tongue as if they had always been speaking it. Andreu continually caught Sammy staring at him and Sammy just sent; 'What'?

The days of intensive training passed swiftly and soon it was time to return to the village. On the way back, Andreu was amazed at how much he knew about the planet and the surrounding mountains that Margé hadn't taught him. Andreu also felt many small inquisitive minds brushing his on the way home but when he tried to respond, the contact was broken.


TBC.

Dragon GifAuthor's Notes:

I hope this chapter filled in a few more gaps in the larger story and didn't create too many more. This chapter was written as extra credit for Cliff Hanger 202 as punishment for several chapters that Str8mayb has been working on and has been terrorizing me in.

Who is Helm Phelps and what has Puritania to do with Patoral? Will Kyle get the sword finished in time? Stay tuned for more answers and more questions in the next chapter.

TSL

1Cider is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting fruit juices. Non Alcoholic Cider of any fruit is just juice unusually unfiltered. Apple and Pear Ciders are among the most common types.

Comments greatly appreciated at The Story Lover

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