on’t clear it,” the sorceress
said, “I found an unnamed island with some Notimum flowers growing on it.
I need your help to retrieve some.
“Worry not, my friend, it is nearby and we should be done and back by nightfall. Then, you can leave next morning and I shall be EVER so greatful!”
Woodbead politely kept looking at the compass to study the gears, hiding his grumbling displeasure over being shanghied into a flower hunt.
“Ok.” He said politely.
Ayeesha hugged him, “Thank you. I will owe you a favor for this. Just start rowing your boat to this location and I’ll catch up in an hour.” She walked briskly back to the carved staircase inside the pilliar to reach the drawbridge into the main isle.
Leaving most of his stuff packed on the seashore, for this island at least had no theft, Woodbead started rowing towards the direction that the compass pointed. He managed to find some currents that were going that way on this day, which reduced the time greatly. Woodbead was very schooled in his arts, and could have used majick to speed the wind, but he was worried about the large belly that he had had since puberty, and made futile attempts to “exercise” now and again.
As if there would be any doubt Ayeesha would follow him, Woodbead noticed a dark shadow moving rapidly in the sky. And the shadow increased in intensity and a great wind blew, churning the mist and the water. Truly, Ayeesha’s mount, the dragon she maintained, was indeed magnificent. It’s wings, red and yellow spanned easily the length of six rowboats such as Woodbead had. It radiated strength and grace and obeyed her willingly, though none knew it’s name, nor how she had tamed it.
Although dragons indeed loved to sleep on beds of gold, they could not be easily hired. King Argo Zodenan himself had sent several emmissaries to attempt the employ of on in his struggle against the Dread Lord Beautiful SunShiny Flowers. To this date, some have gone missing, and none have been successful, much to the relief of his realm’s accountiments.
The Dragon passed over him quickly, the massive rush of air trailing it, to land on an islet a few hundered meters away from one with a large plataue, which was obviously his destination.
Watching the event, Woodbead noted that the dragon had more landed on a sandbar than an islet, for it shuffled it’s feet in the muck and grumbled. Ayeesha patted its cheek and re-assured it as she carefully dismounted. By that time Woodbead had reached the island’s shore, and he wondered why she had landed so far off, for it had enough room on the beach to easily acommidate her ride. He waited patiently as the sorcoress walked through the bank of submerged sand and silt that connected the islet to this small island.
“Hmm, should have gone barefoot, I’ll have to have these washed.” she said, noting her feet when she came close to Woodbead. Like the rest of her clothing being more decoration than clothing, her feet had soft cloth coverings that kept the heel and toes visible. The beautiful intricate patterns of gilt were now caked in sand. As if she feared he would stare forever at other places on her body, she told him the full of her desire.
“Now, thanks for coming all this way, here’s what I need from you: I need you to go to the top of that plateau and get some of these plants for me.”
She pulled out a page that had been removed from the mechanical binder of pages that was her “Spellbook” of botanical knowledge. It detailed the Lilath plant, of use in making a scar removing cream. It started out as a purplish white flower with three pointed leaves at its base. The leaves then closed up after polination and fleshed out, gaining many tiny packets of fluid that would eventually turn into seeds when dry. The resulting “bud” resembled much like a citrus fruit, though was not edible. The knowledge was of little use to him, for he knew not of alchemy nor potion making, but he could understand the principles.
Given her selective promiscuity, her choice in majicks and studies was quite well chosen. She could make creams and lotions to aid beauty in any climate. Others would help attract or prolong an intimate relation. Also, Ayeesha was very good at brewing potions that both kept away sexual disease and prevented any other result from her encounters, such as pregnancy. Besides personal use, her sales of these brews made her the richest mage on the island, even though she was among the least skilled in true magick.
“You see, Woodbead, I was flying back from Misttown and I noticed these on top of that plateau there.” She patted a small, compact telescope case hanging by her side. “I don’t have that plant in my greenhouse and I get charged grossly for its extract. It’s really easy to grow, but they got in such demand a century ago that they were harvested almost to extinction. If I just had one seed bud-”
Woodbead almost got mad at this, but asked politely “Um, can’t your dragon just land up there?” while wondering why she made him come all this way.
Ayeesha opened her telescope case, and extended the palm-sized device to about a foot. “Well, just look on top, but I don’t know if you recognize it.”
Woodbead took the spyglass and looked towards the top of the plateau. Indeed, it seemed covered by those plants, some in flower, some in bud form. There was also the generic tallgrass and some puffy white flowers that looked almost like dandilions.
The red clad sorceror gasped, then looked again, focusing on one dangling from the side. It’s puffy head was like a dandilions, but it had a long thin fernish stem with bunches of threadish leaves every six inches. Any sorceror, even one who knew nothing of Alchemy, nor it’s related disciplines knew of this plant.
“Dragonsbane!” Woodbead shouted.
As he shouted, Ayeesha gestured for him to be silent. Her dragon immediately lurched up and howled a long, loud wail in agression. She waved her arms at it and made some signs, calming the dragon down.
Woodbead, now quieter, but more urgently talked to the sorcoress. “Forget the Lilath flowers, do you have any idea how much those other plants are worth!?”
Indeed, Dragonsbane was the golden dream of any Dragonslayer. A single touch or inhaled whiff of scent could drive a dragon mad. So mad that it would dash madly, even into the ground or into sheer cliffs. They could be grown artificially, but the seeds took forty years to mature. This, however, was not the reason that the smallest bit of the plant cost almost as much as a Dragon’s horde. Rather, it was the habit of Dragons burning every bit of the plant growing in nature that they could find. Despite the close range danger, they could easily vomit firey acid at it from a high altitude, or drop heavy objects on a caravan foolish enough to have it.
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