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.
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From Dragon Earl Chapter Twelve:
After Justin had disappeared, Robyn worked even harder perfecting her skills and developing new glazes. She even surreptitiously helped her Uncle out with his firings by distracting him with questions when he was going to pull pieces from the kilns early.
The family finished their discussions and realized that they would be working straight through until they had finished the commission. It was determined to use all of the family members in any way possible, in order to accomplish this huge task.
The first thing the whole family did the next morning was head out to the clay pits and start digging clay, lots and lots of clay. In order to finish all of their orders they needed every type of clay that they had and a mountain of each at that. While everyone was digging clay, Robyn was making a sign for the door of the Pottery Shoppe that explained that due to very large Royal Orders, all other orders would be delayed. When she had finished doing that, she headed to Lucaso and Tayledro's General Store.
"Hi Uncle Tay, how have you been?" Robyn asked her favourite adopted uncle. Her family refused to listen to Cleric Patoral's continuous recriminations against the two Shop Owners.
"Well, if it isn't our favourite niece, how can we help you?" Tay replied as Luc came out of the back room to assist.
Laughing, Robyn replied,
"You say that to all of the girls, you can't fool me. My family asked me to let you know that we won't be accepting or completing any orders for pottery, ceramics or Chima until we have somehow completed the orders for the Coronation. We wanted to give you forewarning so you would be prepared to pick up our slack."
"Thanks, Dear, we appreciate your family looking out for us, in fact I was just on my way to offer my help, and our 'son' Brion will be coming with me as well. We will act as gofers and cleaners, so your family can concentrate on their own work. I also have a message from Mama Nina and her husband; all of your meals, from now until the orders are completed, will be supplied by The Boar's Hound Tavern. Your family can either eat at the tavern, or have the meals brought to your Pottery Shoppe. Have you found someone to make all of the special objects?" Tay knew he had the answer from the brilliant carmine that Robyn turned. He and Luc had wondered how long she would be able to keep her secret. Justin had commented several times that his male cousins had about all the creativity of a rock.
Robyn headed back to her family's Pottery Shoppe with more spring in her step than when she had left. When she arrived back at the Shoppe, she found her father waiting for her with a smile on his face; something that was completely unexpected.
"Robyn, dear, you won't believe the message we just received. It seems someone at Castle Highmont knows an awful lot about our Shoppe and our family. However, when I tried to find out how, the only answer I received was, 'We do, and that is all that is important.' I do think that your Uncle Kyle might be able to tell us more, though. It seems the messenger is an old friend of his; she used to be a Royal Messenger named Squire Witschi, now she is a Knight attached to the Lord Mariscal's personal staff. It seems that she volunteered for this job as she is familiar with a lot of the villagers. Now come inside so I can tell you the rest of the news, and you need to sit down. I really do mean that, and I have a wee drop of something restorative for you. You will definitely need it once you hear all of the message." David then turned and went inside the Shoppe, trusting his daughter to follow.
David had to work very hard to hold back the smile he felt when he saw where she had chosen to sit. 'Good, maybe our talk the other night is finally seeping in. Maybe she is beginning to believe in herself. I hope that is true because this news is going to affect her the most.'
"Okay, most of you know that we just received a messenger from the Castle and that the messenger has gone to the Armory to see your Uncle Kyle. I will now tell you the relevant parts of the message. First, we will be getting lots of help, it seems that the Lord Mariscal and Prince Joth, acting for the King and the Master Potter of the Kingdom, have ordered all of the potters in the area, between where they are and here, to be brought here by dragonback to assist us. I don't really understand the part about the Master Potter. I was just told not to concern myself about it." David stopped speaking as Robyn was waving her hand to get his attention.
"Dad, you didn't give me a chance to tell you that Luc and Tay are coming over to help us. They are also bringing their 'son' Brion..." Robyn had to stop because her entire family had started laughing at the word son.
"They also said that while we are working on the royal project, all of our meals are being provided by The Boar's Hound Tavern. The whole village is going to help us, however they can. Luc and Tay and, I assume, Brion, will take over all of the cleaning and any errands that need to be run."
"Thanks, Robyn, that is very good news; all of us need to thank any of the villagers we see. With their help, and that of the other potters that are coming, we just might be able to finish all of the orders close to on time." David was interrupted again by the arrival of Kyle and his old friend Deanna Witschi, the ex Squire and new Knight.
"Hello, everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I will be reconfiguring my blast furnaces so you can use them as extra kilns. I don't think that your Kilns will be enough. From what Deanna tells me we should have enough help to keep watch on all of the kilns. If necessary we can even possibly change the Village Bread Ovens into low heat kilns. Also, Deanna has been stationed here until the Coronation Ceremony; she will act as a messenger and go between if we need anything from the castle or anyplace else..." Kyle was interrupted by Deanna herself.
"I will also make sure that there are no difficulties between the Potters that are just arriving and your family, David. To answer your question as to how I can do that, it is very simple; I will outrank everyone who arrives..."
To say that Deanna's last statement left everyone confused would be putting it mildly. Everyone was looking at each other and trying to figure out how she was going to accomplish that.
While everyone was preoccupied with their questioning of her statement, she was preparing her answer. She reached into her sporran and pulled out a small, exquisitely tooled, leather pouch, in the royal colors. Holding the pouch above her head she began speaking again.
"This is how I will outrank them." Deanna then paused until she had everyone’s attention. Once that had been accomplished she lowered the pouch, reached inside and pulled out a very beautiful and ornate ring made of Dragon's Gold. "This is Duke William's Royal Sealing Ring; this is the one he uses when he is on the King's business and is acting for and as the King. This ring and its accompanying edict allow me to act in the Duke's name and, if necessary, the King's. I don't think I will have to use it as the folks that have just landed really want to help. However, Duke William didn't want to leave anything to chance for something this important. We need to go greet the new arrivals and show them where they will be working." Just as she had finished speaking she suddenly froze and her eyes glazed over.
Seeing what was happening to his friend, Kyle spoke up as he knew what was going on.
"Don't worry, folks, Deanna will be fine in just a few moments, there is nothing wrong with her. Someone or something is talking to her mind; while that is a bit unusual, it isn't that rare. Remember when Prince Joth made his first visit; the same thing happened to him quite often." His mention of the Crown Prince brought a glint of tears to his eyes as the mention reminded him of Justin. 'Poor Justin, it seems he was never in the village when the Prince arrived. He was either on a trip with Lucaso or Tayledro or delivering pottery for his family.' Kyle quickly pulled himself together just as Deanna's trance broke.
"Sorry about that, folks; someone decided they just had to talk to me that way with no warning. They really didn't care that they almost scared me to death or that I was probably frightening you nice folks. The news that they imparted to me, however, was very important, so I guess I will let them get away with it." Deanna paused to let everyone get their chuckles out of their systems.
"All I can say about who contacted me that way is that Draconis was involved and believe me she does get her way."
By the time that Deanna and her party arrived at the landing area, the dragons had already been unloaded. There were quite a few people milling around looking for someone in charge. As soon as they were seen, the folks who had arrived by dragonback, headed toward them. A slightly balding middle aged gentleman separated himself from the crowd. He made his way over to Deanna as she looked like she was the person in charge.
Master English made a slight head bow to Deanna in deference to her uniform and rank.
"I am Master English, these other Master Potters and their Journeyman and I are reporting for duty as requested. Are you the person in charge, Messenger?"
Deanna glanced over at David before speaking, however, David answered for her.
"My name is David Lennox, and while Deanna is in charge of the overall operation; I run our family's Pottery Shoppe. But actually, the person you will be reporting to is my daughter, Robyn." David then turned and waved Robyn forward.
Before Robyn had a chance to open her mouth, or David to continue; they were interrupted by a loud and brash voice.
"She's just a girl; why do I have to listen to her? She probably can't even turn a simple vase."
Without a moment's hesitation, David reached into his vest pocket and removed the carefully wrapped package that he had placed there for just such an occasion. He didn't say anything until he had the package completely unwrapped. As soon as what had been hidden by the wrapping became visible, Master English's eyes began to open wide in astonishment.
David then picked up and carefully handed the unwrapped package to Deanna who was waiting with her arms outstretched in front of her and palms facing up. Once Deanna had the package in her hands, David then picked up the miniature ewer in his right hand and the miniature teacup in his left. He then held them up just as the sun peaked out from behind a cloud; brightly illuminating the pieces.
"These, Gentlemen, are why she is in charge of the all the potters..." David didn't have a chance to say anything more because Master English took matters in his own hands, so to speak.
"Journeyman Bimbough, I am amazed that you even made Journeyman, and if you don't learn to think before you speak, you will never make Master. Those pieces are exquisitely beautiful and they are better than anything even I have ever created. Young Robyn surely deserves the title of Master Potter for those pieces alone, and she should probably be a Master Potter of the Kingdom as well. Now I believe that you owe her and her father an apology and it had better be good, or you will be on your way home immediately. Isn't that right, Knight Deanna?" Deanna gave Master English a no doubt nod yes of her head.
A now totally chagrined Journeyman Bimbough bowed his head slightly toward Robyn and then began speaking.
"Master Robyn, I hereby apologize profusely for my idiotic and unprofessional outburst. Please believe me when I say that I will gladly be your apprentice, even though I am a Journeyman. Those are the most creative and beautifully crafted pieces I have ever seen. I must humbly concur with Master English, as I believe that there are very few Potters of any rank that can match your skill. Master English and the rest of you; now we truly know why the last several Master Potters of the Kingdom of Erehwon have the surname of Lennox. From what we have all seen today, it looks like that won't be changing for a long, long time!" The Journeyman finished his apology by giving Robyn, then David, a full court bow.
"Thank you very much, Journeyman Bimbough, I accept your offer and will try very hard to honor your faith in me." Robyn replied with a smile and a head bow.
"Masters Robyn and David, we are all curious as to why we are here and where is the Master Potter of the Kingdom Justin Lennox?" Master English inquired of the two.
However, neither of the two had a chance to reply as Deanna beat them to the punch, so to speak.
"I am sure that David and Robyn will be able to answer those questions fully to your satisfaction while you are completing the Royal Order. In the meantime, let me clarify the chain of command so we have no complications or questions later. I am in overall command of this operation by order of the Lord Mariscal and the King. I have also been informed that Crown Prince Joth has also confirmed my position. Please don't ask me how he did that as I still have a headache because of it." Her last comment brought a few grins and raised eyebrows.
"I will be assisting Master David, Master Robyn and Master Kyle with any logistical problems or questions they may have. I will also be acting as the liaison between the Castle, this Village and the Royal Armory. Master Kyle is the Royal Armourer and is also the Kingdom's Master Blacksmith. Master Kyle will be in charge of his forges and other ovens. Masters David and Robyn are in charge of their Pottery Shoppe. Are there any questions?" Seeing none Deanna then continued.
"Seeing no questions, then we all need to get to work; because as you will soon find out, you have a lot of work and not a lot of time."
"You heard the Lady, folks, let's get a move on and get busy. Masters' Lennox, if you will lead the way."
As the now quite large party headed toward the Pottery Shoppe, Master English engaged Robyn and David in conversation. His Master Potter's mind had a lot of questions that needed answering. However, the more he heard, the more dismayed he became. He soon realized that although they might finish the creation of all of the pieces on time; there just wasn't enough time to get everything fired. Just as he was about to tell the two Lennoxes that their task was impossible, David mentioned Kyle's offer.
"Kyle, you are a genius, you had a brilliant idea for the Village Bread Ovens; your plan won't work as you envisioned it, but we may be able to turn those ovens into something far more desirable and important. David and Robyn, if you will lead everyone else to your Shoppe, Deanna, Kyle and I will see about the ovens."
Without waiting for an answer, Master English abruptly turned around and headed back to the Village Square.
"You see, the problem is this, we just may have enough kilns and enough time if your Blast Ovens are as adjustable as you claim, and if yours and Robyn's eye for heat is as good as everyone claims. For you see the problem is we can't fire any of the pottery pieces until they are completely dry and that process is very time consuming. Unfortunately, time is the one thing we don't have. However, if we can convert your Village Bread Ovens into low heat drying ovens we just might have a chance." Before he could explain anymore they arrived back at the Village Square and the Village Bread Ovens.
"These are perfect, who designed and built them?" Master English asked.
"I believe these are replacement ovens designed and built by Michael and James Lennox several years ago while James was still a Journeyman Potter." Kyle responded somewhat uncertainly.
"You are absolutely right Kyle, and these ovens make our old ones look like fireplaces instead of ovens. These ovens draw perfectly, and they hold and distribute the heat so evenly, our breads and pastries brown perfectly each and every time. Now who wants to know, and why?" Mama Nina interjected her response and question and then gave a big hug to both Kyle and Deanna.
"Mama Nina, this gentleman is Master Potter English, and he is here to help the Lennox Family and the village complete the Royal Orders for the Coronation. Master English, this is Mama Nina, actually Nina Sindaco, the Mayor's wife. However, always call her Mama Nina, trust me it is safer." Kyle answered Mama Nina and then made the introductions.
"It is very nice to meet you, Master English, now, how may our Village Bread Ovens be of help with the pottery orders?"
"As I was explaining to Kyle and Deanna, here, our biggest problem is going to be getting all of the pottery pieces dried completely so that they can be fired. With a little work and a lot of clean sand we can get the job done. We just need to do some minor modifications to your ovens; heat some clean sand and voila, a perfect set up to dry all types of pottery before firing." Master English replied to Mama Nina, and as he was doing that, Kyle's face lit up.
"You are going to warm the sand, and then pour it into the interiors of the appropriate vessels and then put them into the drying oven. That way they will dry from the inside and the outside at the same time. That is a brilliant idea, but will the two ovens be enough?"
Master English began to answer but was interrupted by Deanna.
"I can see by the look on your face that it won't be enough. How many do we need?"
"We need at least four, but five would be better and safer. Why do you ask?" A slightly perplexed Master English politely asked his new boss.
"Because I just happen to know where the supplies to build several of a similar type oven are being delivered, and I can have them delivered here instead. Will four more ovens be enough if we can have them built by tonight and functioning by tomorrow morning?" Deanna answered Master English's question and then asked one of her own.
"Great, then you and Kyle take care of converting these, while I arrange the delivery of the necessary supplies and masons." With those words Deanna headed off to find the Captain of the dragons who had transported the potters.
"She doesn't waste any time does she?" Master English inquired.
"No, she doesn't, and that is why she has the position she does and will probably be promoted again when she completes this mission. She is the preferred messenger for Duke William, the King and The Duchess. She accomplishes her missions quickly and effectively, no matter how big or small. Now we had better start planning how to convert these ovens before she gets back.
Deanna had a very good idea as to where to find the captain she was seeking. Soon enough, the shrieks and giggles of the village children along with some happy dragon bugling, proved her right. As she had suspected, the dragons and their captain and riders were at the wide spot in the river that was a favourite spot of all the dragons who visited Potters Village. The river was wide enough and just deep enough there that the dragons could get properly bathed by the energetic and very dragon friendly village children.
She quickly found the captain and explained her request, and before she could phrase it as an order, the captain became perfectly still as did his dragon. Predictably, the captain's eyes glazed over for a few moments, before he snapped awake and began speaking.
"Deanna, the supplies and their attached workers will be here in less than an hour and within an hour after that, the Master Mason and all of his assistants from the Castle will be here to assist. In fact, when I mentioned what Master English and Master Kyle were going to do, the Master Mason said to leave that to him as well. In fact he personally guaranteed that all six ovens will be built, tested, fired up and operational by six AM."
While Deanna was trying to process everything the captain had relayed to her, something was bugging her.
"Captain, do I know you? Or better yet, who exactly are you and who do you really work for?" Suddenly all of the facts clicked together as she finally looked very closely at the Captain's uniform.
"Ranulf, what in Draconis' name are you doing here? Never mind, I don't think I want to know; but you owe me a dinner and a big one at that. Now, get back to Lance before he shows up here and ruins everything." Deanna then gave Ranulf a big hug and a kiss which he returned before turning to his men and telling them to move out.
When Deanna returned to where she had left Kyle and Master English, she relayed what she had found out and accomplished.
Kyle recovered first, sort of.
"How and why?"
"All I can tell you is that the job we have to do here is very important, in fact, it is probably the most important job this village has ever been assigned. As to the how, well, let's just leave it at, I had a friend in a very high place."
A dumbfounded Kyle just had to ask, "Higher than you, is that even possible?"
"Yes, higher than even me, and before any of you ask; that is all I can tell you."
As Master English and Kyle pondered the import of what Deanna had said, she spoke again,
"I will stay here until the supplies and Master Mason arrive, Kyle, you should head back to the Pottery Shoppe and gather the crew that will be working with you. Master English, you should also head back to the Shoppe and help Master David and Master Robyn get things organized there. I will send someone to get you when your expertise is needed."
As the two Masters went off to perform their assigned tasks, Deanna turned to speak to Mama Nina. She shouldn't have bothered as Mama Nina was at least two steps ahead of her.
Fortunately or unfortunately for Mediaté Tanner, he was crossing the Village Square while Deanna was giving the two Masters their assignments.
"Mediaté, please get over here immediately!" What Mama Nina issued was definitely not a question.
Not being as dense as Dalos or Tice and Pawlus, Mediaté ran over to Mama Nina as if the wind blew him there.
"Mama Nina, I have to find Brion...."
"Never mind Brion, he is in good hands and he is very busy at the Pottery Shoppe."
Mediaté's eyes went wide at those last words.
"Now, I want you to go to the school and get all of the older kids, and then I want you to take them to your skinny dipping beach and start bringing back the white sand, and only white sand." Of course, when Mama Nina mentioned what the older younglings thought was their secret; Mediaté's jaw hit the ground in shock.
"Don't just stand there, get busy; I will have sacks brought to you to fill. Besides, how do you think you found out about that spot? Now skedaddle." Without taking a breath, Mama Nina turned to Deanna and began asking questions.
"How many potters are there, and how many masons are we going to have to feed and provide drinks for?" Out of the corner of her motherly 'all seeing' eye Mama Nina saw that Mediaté hadn't moved an inch.
"What are you still doing here? I told you to skedaddle!"
"But Mama Nina, what about Patoral?"
"You tell him..."
"Mama Nina, please let me help, as I have heard a few interesting things about that man." Deanna interrupted her.
"Mediaté, see that captain over there, getting ready to climb aboard his dragon?" At Mediaté's nod, she continued. "Run over there and ask him to come here as I need his help."
Mediaté did exactly as he was ordered, and within a few moments he was back with Captain Ranulf.
As she was explaining to Ranulf what she needed; Ranulf's expression was getting darker and darker by the moment. He immediately recognized that name and was justifiably, just as determined to get in a little justice for his friend Just' as Deanna was.
"I know exactly what to do, Messenger Witschi. He will not be a problem! Youngling, please come with me; we have a dragon to fly and a fool to intimidate!" With that, Ranulf put his hand on Mediaté's shoulder and gave him a slight shove back the way that they had come. He then gave a full court bow to Deanna and Mama Nina.
Reaching his dragon and the rest of his men, Ranulf quickly picked two of them to accompany him. He then mounted his dragon and had Mediaté handed up to him.
"Now, don't worry, youngling, this will only take a few moments, as it is only a hop skip and a jump for the dragons." With that, the three dragons made a very leisurely take off.
As the three dragons arrived at the school, they landed directly in front of it, and announced their presence with three bugling calls. Needless to say, that brought the children who had just returned running outside screaming, "Dragons, Dragons". They were followed, eventually, and more sedately, by a visibly upset Patoral.
As soon as the dismounted Ranulf saw him, he spoke.
"Are you Patoral?"
"I am, in deed, Cleric Patoral, and who do you think you are, to disrupt my school and to so rudely inquisition me?" The idiotic Patoral scathingly replied.
"I am, in fact, Captain Ranulf of the Crown Prince Consort's Honor Guard, and I am here on the orders of The King, The Lord Mariscal and The Crown Prince. Therefore, if you fail to obey any and all orders given to you; I will have you summarily arrested and charged with treason and lèse-majesté, just to start with! AM I understood?"
"Yes sir." A now very un-confident Patoral replied, shakily.
"Good, now, release the older younglings to Mediaté's care, as they have a lot of work to do. Also, I believe that the Mayor's Wife can use the help of the other younglings, so send them to her, and then you can go meditate on the error of your ways."
Meanwhile back at the Pottery Shoppe:
By the time Kyle and Master English had returned to the Pottery Shoppe, everything was under control and work was already progressing steadily. Kyle's group was fidgeting a bit, as they waited for him. It seems that as soon as the main group had made their way back to the Shoppe, the other masters had perused the Royal Orders and had made lists of what was needed. They had also made lists of what had to be made at the Shoppe and what could be made at the Armoury/Smithy. One of the first things they needed was clay, clay and more clay. In fact lots and lots more clay. David took some of the journeymen, his sons and several of his nephews and headed out to dig more clay. One of the journeymen that was going to be working with Kyle went with David so he could bring the Armsmen from the barracks at the Armoury to dig the clay for that group. Several of the Masters had momentarily forgotten what they were there for when they saw the quality and types of clay they had to work with. They were trying to negotiate purchase of the clay, until Robyn settled that issue quickly and decisively.
"Not now; we will send a goodly quantity of clay home with you as thanks if we can finish all of these pieces on time." She must have said the magic words as a second later everyone was clearing a work space, setting out tools or assembling their Potters Wheels which had arrived on the dragons with them.
When Kyle and Master English arrived, they explained to Robyn and the other Masters what had transpired while they were gone. Instantly a renewed feeling of optimism prevailed. Master English made a few minor changes to the work parties that Robyn and the other Masters had devised. Actually, he only made two small changes he put one of the Senior Journeyman who had been assigned to his group to be in charge of that group. He then added himself to work under Robyn's tutelage alongside Journeyman Bimbough and one of his own journeymen.
"Master English, why did you put yourself under me?" A confused Robyn inquired of the Master, many years her senior.
"It is very simple, Master Lennox, although you may be young and you may seem to be a bit on the frail side, you can do things that I can't, and I want to learn how. Besides, I did tell everyone else to obey you, didn't I?" Master English asked the last with a twinkle in his eye.
"Now, shall we start making the most beautiful pottery, ceramics and Chyma that the planet Draconis has ever seen?"
"Sounds like a good idea to me." Robyn replied to Master English with a slight bow.
"Well, you heard the lady; let's get busy. We have a lot of work to do!"
With that, the Pottery Shoppe became a whirlwind of ordered activity, the likes of which the old Shoppe hadn't seen in a long, long time. There were potters working everywhere there was a bit of free space, even the tables and benches outside under the tree were pressed into duty.
The Master Mason and the supplies for the new ovens arrived almost simultaneously. After a quick conference with Mama Nina, the Master Mason just shook his head, and then told her the job was a piece of cake. He then said he would walk over to the Pottery Shoppe himself as he needed to work some kinks out of his legs. His body and dragon riding didn't quite agree.
The Master Mason's conversation with Master English was a very short one. Since Mama Nina had pretty much given him the overall basics, all he really needed to know was the desired temperature and when they would have the first pieces ready for the ovens. Once he had the information he required, he said goodbye and headed off to work.
It seems that the Master Mason had a few tricks of his own up his sleeves. They had been using a similar design of oven to dry bricks before their firing, so it was really a piece of cake to modify the existing ovens design and then build the four new ones to that design. As with their own ovens, once they were built, they would fire them up to a higher temperature than would be required. That way they would dry the oven out from the inside. Once the ovens had reached the proper level of dryness, the Master Mason would have a few specially trained dragons dry the outsides. Once that was done, they would start building the insulating dome and they would be done. As he had told Mama Nina, he and his crew were on their way home around four in the morning. The ovens were at the requested temperature, and the first load of ceramics and Chyma were being loaded into them. With six ovens, they had a little spare capacity so the top shelf in each oven was reserved for the villager’s baking.
The next several days were very hectic around the village, the Pottery Shoppe and the Smithy. Poor Brion was really too small to do much but get in the way. However, that problem was solved when one of the Masters heard him singing as he was running to and fro.
"Brion, do you think you could sing us a few songs to help us get our work done?"
The smile on Brion's face lit up the Shoppe as he could finally really help. Master English and Robyn had discovered that they really didn't have enough space for everyone to work properly, so they redid the schedule and were now working two shifts and they found out that they had a one hundred and fifty percent increase in production. After the first day, Master English, Robyn and a couple of other Masters were just doing finish work and glazing. Everyone was so involved with what they were doing that they had to be dragged away to eat. Brion's singing kept everyone happy and cheerfully working on their monstrous task. Lucas and Tay were kept busy keeping track of what was finished, what was drying and what was waiting to be fired or was being fired. The six drying ovens were worth their weight in gold and the sand and the drying ovens shaved days off the completion time.
There was only one fly in the ointment, and that was the fact that no one in the village knew who Joth was going to consort with. Of course, with Deanna being virtually everywhere none of the outside help was going to say anything. That is those few who knew anything about the situation.
Back at the school several days earlier:
A very chagrined and shocked Patoral had sent all of the younglings to their new duties. That is, all except for his obsequious toadies, Dalos, Pawlus and Tice; they were probably sleeping. 'What did that Captain mean 'the error of his ways?' What could he know we had never met before?' Shaking his head, he headed off to his cottage.
Early Saturday Afternoon:
Deanna, Kyle and Master English were on their way to greet the group of dragons and their riders who had just arrived to pick up the next to the last shipment. Amazingly, they had finished everything that was needed for the Coronation Ceremony and Banquet. There would be one more pick up the next morning, as some of the keepsakes and leave taking gifts were going through their last firing.
Just then there was a loud trumpeting of several dragons, as another party was arriving at the village.
"Before we go meet the all of the arrivals, I need to tell you that the latest group is the Crown Prince and your friend Captain Neal. Let's go meet them before they decide we are all guilty of lèse-majesté" She chuckled as she said that, and headed off to the landing site, everyone following close behind.
Joth and Neal had already landed and were headed her way. When the two parties met, everyone in Deanna's entourage started to bow, but they were stopped by Prince Joth.
"Please, we don't have time to stand on ceremony while I am here, I am simply, Joth, and he is Neal. Any questions?" Of course there were none.
"Deanna, I am very confused the Lt. in charge of the transport dragons said you folks were basically finished, and had been for hours. I came to find out how much damage control I was going to have to do at the Castle. How did you accomplish everything on time?"
"Joth, it wasn't me; it was Master Mikasa here, along with Master English and the old Master Lennox and the young Master Lennox. David and his daughter Robyn are very good at what they do, and they are very good at explaining how to do things. I will explain more to you back at the Castle, as I will be there in plenty of time for the ceremony, and you had better hurry back before you know who really misses you. Before you go, though, you should know that Brion really does have the voice of an angel." Deanna informed, or should I say told, Joth what was what.
"Masters, all I can say now is thank you very much for everything you have done for Me and my family. I don't have the time now to explain to you how much this really means to us. Of course, I should have listened to William and Mathilda; they kept telling me over and over to just give the villagers a little help and they will accomplish miracles. They were right, and you did, and thank you again. I do promise that as soon as possible We will make our thanks officially. Now, I need to be off before Deanna here gives me a boot to the posterior." With that, Joth shook everyone’s hands and gave Deanna a hug before returning with Neal to their dragons.
Well, the Lennox and Mikasa Families saved the day again. The Coronation Ceremony and Banquet can now go ahead as planned. Now, I am off to work on Dragon Earl Chapter Thirteen, and The long awaited Coronation Ceremony.
P.S. Sorry A'lexii you will just have to wait.
'Til we fly again,
Sorry folks, Draconis has other plans for Brion and I am not going against her.