Long and hard was the travel, in the direction where the wolf woman had pointed the Dragon.  After a while, the Lady and the Wizard were so exhausted they didn't even take note of their beautiful surroundings.  Good thing they had the Dragon, who, with his unerring
sense of direction,
would be able to safely
bring them back to the
cave through which
they had entered the
valley.  As a matter of
fact, without the
Dragon, there was no
way they could have
navigated the last few
steps of their journey
as they led straight up
a steep ravine full of
fallen boulders over
which water tumbled
into a pool below.
     ThunderWings had
them on his back and
up the rock, and before they could let out another groan he had deposited them in front of what could only be their destination --  Wench Val and the Blue One's swimming hole, their Secret Cove!
      Lady S. was ecstatic!  Forgotten was the soreness in her feet and the pain of the bruises she got during her first trip through the cave, and she could hardly feel the burning scratches that the brambles had left on her along the way.  But bramble bushes was something she was well used to anyway, having made intimate acquaintance with them before, during the last treasure hunt through the Kingdom.  Soon, the torn shoes were shed and Lady and Wizard alike delighted in treading in the warm, fragrant waters, then they just sat there dangling their feet as ThunderWingd brought them more berries and nuts and edible roots.  They had themself a regular little picnic in the Cove.  "Oh, if the Wench could see me now" mused Lady S., and even the Wizard forgot to be grumbly and cackled gleefully.
The High
Price of
Legends, Sagas & Fairy Tales Index
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 in an on-line chatgroup.

Lady Shaishana Doll by Lady Shaishana.  Wench Doll by Lady ThistleWing.
Landscape pictures from Webshots except the Secret Cove,
which was scanned off an old calendar.   Wizard from Castletrash.com
Background by Valkyrie, dragon tube from Blaufalke's Bonepages.

Part Four in the Saga of Lady Shaishana and Her
Quest for Wench Val and the Blue Gargoyle's Secret Cove

(by Valkyrie)
As the sun began to set, they knew it was time to make their way back to the cave and return to their home.  Travel this time was going to be a lot easier, on the back of the Dragon all the way.  Lady S. just couldn't wait to bust into the Ale House and do a "Nyah Nyah Nyah Nyah Nyah" on the Wench.
       The Dragon stretched his mighty wings and soon they were back at the mountain from which they had emerged.  Unerringly, he steered toward the little ledge and came down.  Human and Wizard slid off his back and Lady S. turned toward to Valley for one last look before returning home.
      Then she heard a horrible, choking sound.  She walked around the Dragon and looked at the Wizard.  The old man had turned white as a sheet, his body frozen in horror, his half-open mouth emitting the most woeful sounds, his staff pointing toward a blank mountainside.  There was no sign of the tunnel through which
they had come.  "Wizard," cried Lady S., quite alarmed now by what she
saw, "my dear Wizard, what tomfoolery is this???  Do something!!!"
      The Wizard tried to hold on to his staff as he sank slowly to his
      "Gargoyle Magick," he choked, "I am powerless against Gargoyle
     "What do you mean, Wizard, Gargoyle Magick?"  Lady S. was
puzzled.  Then, with hope in her voice, she added "Maybe this just
isn't the same place from which we came this morning?  Surely
there's more than one mountainside with a ledge in this valley?"
      "Oh, but it is," groaned the Wizard, then "NO" as he violently shook his head.  "Not IS,
WAS.  For it is no longer the same mountain that we entered just this morning, Lady.  We have fallen into the Gargoyles' trap.  This valley only exists in an alternate dimension, and the entrance has been sealed behind us.  That is the true nature of the spell.  You see, for untold ages now, Gargoyles had to protect themselves against  those who sought them harm, who plotted their destruction.  This is one of their Havens, and right now, I have NO idea how to get us out of here and safely back home."
NOTE: Some pictures illustrating this story are stored on Photobucket... which sometimes goes down.  If that happens, please excuse the empty spaces!