Traipsing the
Legends, Sagas & Fairy Tales Index
It wasnít long before Lady S. had readied a charge of gunpowder against the Cave entrance to widen it enough for the Dragon to make it through.  But before she could light the fuse and do major damage, the Wizard stopped her as he suddenly saw his staff, leaning against the rocks as if somebody had propped it there for him to find.  As he reached for it, a slight tingle in his fingertips stopped him in mid-motion. "Lady," he wispered, "I sense danger here.  I beg of you, let's abandon this quest and return home while we still can!"  "Nonsense," laughted Lady S., "you're turning into an old woman.  Pull yourself together and give me a hand, why don't you?!"  For Lady S., who also prided herself on being able to sense magick, had felt nothing.  No sense of danger, no sense of anything amiss, nothing but wild anticipation. "Perhaps you're right," the Wizard agreed, "Wench Val wouldn't do anything to hurt you."  The sense of foreboding wiped off his mind as quickly as it had come upon him, he once again took charge of his staff.

      Lady S. was now all set to light the fuse but a sudden rumble, a quivering of the staff in the Wizard's hand, and the cave widened in front of their eyes, walls smoothened themselves, they could even see bright sunlight shining through from the other end.  A breath of relief from the Wizard, "I have broken the spell," he rejoiced, all in all pretty well pleased with himself.

      And in they went.
Story and page design copyright Valkyrie Grant.

The writer would like to thank Lady Shaishana for her friendship
and for the inspiration for this story, which came about during their
friendly teasing in an on-line chatgroup.

Lady Shaishana Doll by Lady Shaishana.  Wench Doll by Lady ThistleWing.
Landscape pictures from Webshots except the middle
one which was scanned from an old calendar.
Background by Valkyrie, dragon tube from Blaufalke's Bonepages.

Coming from the cool darkness of the tunnel into the bright midday sun that made even the blackness of ThunderWings shine golden in the light, neither Lady S. nor the Wizard noticed the blue haze that had enveloped them for just a moment, a shimmering fog through which they stepped as through a curtain.  If they did, they surely attributed it to the soft spray of the waterfall that cascaded into the depth of the valley way beneath the ledge onto which they had emerged.  Only the Dragon sensed a slight disturbance in the air, a shiver of coldness he felt deep in his bones, then it was gone and he was immediately enchanted by the warmth and brightness of the sunlight and the happiness on the face of his Lady.  Nobody bothered to look back at the mountain.
Part Three in the Saga of Lady Shaishana and Her
Quest for Wench Val and the Blue Gargoyle's Secret Cove

(by Valkyrie)
For a while, it was tough going, but they soon figured out that if they let the Dragon lead where the brush got very thick, he cut a great path for them to follow.  Still, their feet really weren't used to this kind of terrain, the sharp rocks and the mud had played havoc with the soft leather their shoes were made from.  Only Black ThunderWings was undaunted, stopping here and there to nibble a few leaves from a delicate little bush or the fresh shoots from a tall you tree.  Truth to tell, the Dragon was having the time of his life!  The only thing missing, as far as he was concerned, was his little feline friend, Miss Farnaby, the Ale House cat.
      Every so often, the Lady and the Wizard had to stop to take a drink of the fresh, cool water and eat from the fragrant berries that ThunderWings had sniffed out for them.  Not that she would have admitted it out loud, but there were moments when even Lady Shaishana wished to herself that she had let secrets be secrets ... she longed for nothing so much as her confortable chair in the Ale House and the biggest coolest tankard of Ale that the Wench could afford her.  ThunderWings, sensing her mood, took off now and then for a reconnoissance round over the valley.  He struck pay dirt when he stopped to assist a wolf cub that had become separated from its mother.  Depositing the youngster with the worried wolf woman, she told him a strange tale of a blue creature who used to live in a cave in this very valley, but lately, they had only seen him fly over the valley on balmy nights, carrying a human woman.  She soon pointed the Dragon in the direction of what could only be the Secret Cove.
NOTE: Some pictures illustrating this story are stored on Photobucket... which sometimes goes down.  If that happens, please excuse the empty spaces!
    Once gain atop the Dragon, Lady and Wizard flew on, over a valley that was more beautiful than any place that they had seen before in the Kingdom.  Breath-taking waterfalls vied for attention with the most amazing flora, thick underbrush gave way to shady groves of young trees, then rich green meadows before there was once more rock and the ever-present water.  Black ThunderWings flew slowly, in ever-widening circles.  Where, oh where, was the Secret Cove?

      "Letís follow the water to its origin," suggested the Wizard.

      "Great idea," agreed Lady S., who soon realised they would have to  pound some shoe leather if they were ever going to reach their goal, for the thick blanket of lush forest more often than not made it impossible to see the ground or the water.