Black & White
Join Date: Dec 2005
The next morning Hitteki and the dragons well enough to return to their lands were up early, Queen Hitteki seemed eager to get moving and to inform the council of raising the council so it could recall the members.
Hitteki had 8 dragons with her, the other 4 were still recovering from wounds and would not be able to fly out for another few days, Melina had left their care in the capable hands of Dr Sammual who was her second in command within the medical facilities at the base.
Melina was packing her bags and made sure that urgent medical supplies were packed, Vonriir would be asked to do the heavy lifting, carrying a number of items so she could set up a medical post, just in case things did go a little pear shaped.
Luckily Jack had ordered new harnesses to be made for all the main dragons at Comhaltas and this included, battle armour, battle harnesses, riding harnesses and transport harnesses too.
Jack been keen they were fully stocked for the challenges ahead and they all came on the latest transport to the facility.
Vonriir knocked on the door and was met by Forge who opened it. The cragback was wearing his cargo harness.
"Ready for the supplies," he announced.
Melina looked up and smiled at the massive dragon before them.
“Hello Von, thank’s for doing this, you sure your ok doing this for me? I promise there is nothing heavy being transported” Melina assured the Crag back.
Melina was packing all the travel medical supplies, no advanced equipment or terminals but she would carry her own tablet and scanner to ensure she could help any dragons that needed it.
"That's fine. Forge has told me it's medical supplies. Can't be too heavy." Smiled the dragon.
Melina nodded looking at the silver dragon.
“Can you load those items on the side into the pockets of the harness please Forge?, I packaged them up so they won’t break” Melina asked kindly to her guardian dragon as she finished packing her rucksack.
Forge did as requested as Vonriir clipped the bags to his harness.
"I hope we won't have need of this." He commented
"Nor do I," agreed Forge.
Melina packed up her rucksack as she thanked Vonriir who smiled and left the two of them to finish up before they headed off to the council chambers of the Syrians.
Forge seemed to pause contemplating something.
"Melina," said Forge quietly as he looked down at her. "Please don't stray far from my side during the visit. I don't know what might happen and I don't want any risk to you."
The professor looked up and smiled up at the silver dragon before her.
"You worry too much my Silver I am stronger than you think" Melina said.
"Hit me then. If I was a dragon who wanted to do you harm, how would you prevent that?" He asked her, pretending to push her with his nose.
Melina laughed lightly but out of confusion to what the silver was after from her, giving him a funny look.
“I’m not hitting you, your my dragon, why on Kilara would you want me to do that?” she asked him.
"To illustrate a point," replied the dragon. " I have no doubt that you're strong but against a creature far larger than you it is no match. Which is why I want you to stay close."
Melina shook her head lightly but she looked up at Forge with fire in her eyes.
“Carry on Silver and I will lump you one, I been going to combat training and working out as well, you seen me, so don’t write me fully off as some squishy weakling Mr Forge” Melina said assertively.
"Alright dragon slayer," said Forge. "But my request still stands. Please don't stray far."
“I stay close Forge but don’t think I wont hit you with those comments my seasoned dragon, anyways Jack will be there along with David” Melina said, trying to reassure the silver.
"Yes, yes." Nodded Forge. "And their dragons as well. I dare then to try anything."
Melina nodded as she flung her rucksack over her shoulder and tied her hair back, wearing her outdoor gear.
“Ok, let’s get to the hanger” Melina said as the two of them left their quarters.
Down in the hanger Jack was there in the normal harness and he was geared up as well for outdoor weather, Ardon looked impressive as it seemed Jack had put some polish on him for the visit to the council halls.
Hitteki was there waiting with the others of her clan, while Vonriir was patiently waiting, Melina and Forge entered as she nodded.
“Hope we did not keep you sir” Melina said to Jack.
The man shook his head lightly.
“Not at all but Queen Hitteki is keen to return to the council and get this all under way, she fears there could be more surprise attacks or traps by the mountain dragons” Jack said to the professor and to Forge.
"We will ensure that an attack will not happen while she has us as escort." Replied Forge.
“Xerrus and David will come in the night and do night patrols, we best be off the advisor seems to be getting anxious we move so we best ride” Jack said.
Forge nodded, "alright. I am ready to head out." He looked down at Melina and offered a paw to lift her up onto his shoulder.
Melina took the offer and got on board the silver, once she was settled the dragons began to leave, the Syrians left first and then Jack took off with Ardon, then Forge with the large Crag back taking off last.
Jack noticed that the wings of a Syrian were slightly shorter and they seemed to fly slightly lower than they could with the wings beats quicker than how Ardon or Forge did to keep airborne.
“Seems they flap harder to keep them airborne due to their wings being a bit shorter, seems they aren’t too quick either” Jack commented to the gold.
"Yeah. they dig tunnels so I guess they are better suited for life lived mostly on the ground," replied Ardon.
Jack agreed as the man observed as they flew in a defensive formation as they took a course back home, Jack had to ask Ardon to slow down so they could be keep in a escort position, Forge had done the same with the large crag back at the rear.
Melina was reading the report that Ucluelet had sent for Forge to read as she studied it while having a drink from her flask.
“I think first port of call will be this Khan fellow, see what the lay of the land if and see what he knows of the whole situation here, perhaps he knows some tactics you could play as the negotiator” Melina said to the silver.
"Yes. I agree. He will have to be informed anyway if Queen Hitteki is to hold council." Replied Forge.
Melina agreed, any help would be most useful.
“Reading the report from your niece, it’s going to require all your expertise and cunning in diplomacy here, it seems the bickering has been led by feuding factions, how this council has stayed together is a miracle in itself, reminds me of early humanity at times” Melina replied back to the silver.
"We will have to see if we can set thing right to start repairing this mess," hummed the silver.
“I agree and some luck to go our way” Melina replied back as they continued their flight towards the Syrian lands.
The Forest Syrians as the name suggested lived in the vast stretch of thick forests on the eastern side, the network of tunnels ran underneath the forests and woods, allowing them to move swiftly around their territory.
The council was based on the outskirts of the lush forest and seemed to be based in a rocky area at the end of the woods, trees had thinned out and the area seemed a little sandy for normal forest life to grow, though there was running water running off one of the rocks, feeding some hardy planets near the water’s edge.
Melina guessed they went for as neutral and representing all the clans as possible, from the air it did not look like much but she guessed it was grand under the earth.
The Syrians began to lower and Jack gave a gesture to the other dragons to come into land, as the Syrians landed one by one.
“We best land by there, Von will need space” Melina said to the silver.
As was custom, the largest dragon , being Vonriir, landed first. Forge then swooped in after him, flaring his great silver wings before landing softly with Ardon following behind.
Once the dragons had all landed Hitteki approached with her advisor close in tow, it seemed they were eager to continue to inform Khan of what had happened and to call a council meeting.
“We require you meet the law keeper and neutral earth Syrian who knows the council laws and Syrians laws for ages, please follow it will be underground” she said to the Silver.
"Will, will there be enough room?" asked Forge. His breed and Vonriir were far bigger than the Syrian dragons.
Hitteki nodded lightly to the question put before her.
“Our tunnels are large and deep, for structural purposes, we tunnel properly Forge, your largest dragon Vonriir maybe a bit compacted but I think he need to try” Hitteki said.
Melina had been allowed off Forge as Hitteki spoke to the silver, listening to the conversation.
“I think its best if Vonriir tries first and if he can’t fit it have to be you Forge with Ardon” Jack said.
"I will wait out here," replied the crag back, sitting down to guard the entrance.
"We'll return shortly," replied the silver, descending into the tunnel.
Hitteki led the way as Melina, Jack and Ardon entered the tunnel, it was brilliantly carved out of the earth and was pretty big but Jack would of assumed the Crag back would of gotten stuck.
They descended down gently, Jack admired at the tunnel building skills of the Syrian dragons, although not big, it was still tolerable for Forge as they slowly descended down, losing the natural light.
Ahead the earth tunnels seemed to be now stone, with carvings embedded in the rock itself, looking like Syrian guards as Jack could basic fire torches lighting up the tunnel.
“The Council was made with the help of all the clans, we dug the earth tunnels leading down, then the mountain dragons did the stone tunnel and sculptures you just past, there will be green plants and moss covering a few as gifts from the forest clan and we cross an underground river to the main hall” Hitteki explained to the comhaltas team.
"Very unique," noted Forged, looking around as they walked.
"Seems like there was peace between the clans at once point if they all came together to create this." said Ardon.
Hitteki nodded lightly to Ardon’s question.
“I was told by my parents that the leaders worked tirelessly on this place to make it an icon of Syrian dragon clan unity and peace, being tribal made us easier to pick off for other dragons, this represented a big step, as you can see the mountain dragons contributed a lot, making the walls and floor smooth with their hotter fire and to make it use the most of the fire torches placed here” Hitteki explained, pointing out old Syrian leaders made from the rock as they seemed to head towards the centre of Syrian democracy.
"Your majesty, what rules should we heed to while in the council chambers. We do not want to make a misstep, especially during the early stages of this negotiation," asked Forge.
Jack had to agree, they did not want to make a mess of this before it even took off the ground, they needed to get on the right foot.
Hitteki looked up at Forge and spoke.
“Our law holder and council Syrian will help you, there is no council session being held, there would be a pyre lit outside to signal the clans meeting, we are nearly there, save your questions for Elder Khan” Hitteki said.
Forge cast a brief glance to Melina before nodding at the dragoness, "Of course, Queen Hitteki."
Melina sensed Forge’s concern and she gave him a smile and a thumbs up as they continued forward.
Soon a vast cavern opened up and a circular chamber appeared, beautifully decorated in carvings and fire torches lit up the chamber well, it was went down where there was large stone slabs in a circle with clan symbols spread round in a circle.
Jack was impressed at the detail, the slbs were obviously for the council members to sit and the raised platforms were stone slabs on top of one another so the leaders of the council could speak.
Melina seemed in awe at this place, this was the pinnacle of Syrian culture and it was very impressive.
"Oh woah," marvelled Ardon as they stepped into the council room.
"This is indeed impressive," hummed Forge.
Hitteki smiled slightly.
“Welcome ot the council chamber, please wait here while I go locate Elder Khan, he will be in his chambers please bear with me” Hitteki said she and her advisor left to the left and disappeared down a tunnel to find the elder.
“Well, seems you have a good audience here Forge, if they allow us to intervene” Jack said.
“Reminds me of the old Greek councils back in Ancient times” Melina added.
"You had gathering places like this on earth?" Ardon asked Melina quietly. "That's cool."
“Well, not exactly, think outside not underground and grand marble buildings, a brilliant white and people would gather to debate and vote, birthplace of democracy on Earth from Greece” Melina explained to the gold.
Ardon nodded, he liked learning about the place from which jack and Melina had come from. He realized he should save his questions for another time as there were more urgent matters to attend to.
Soon Hitteki returned with another Syrian, he looked a lot older than the others the team had seen, he had Grey fur leading from his back to the very tip of his tail, he was a brown coloured Syrian but some scales were looking dull in places, he was marked with blue markings on his side that led up to his neck, his eyes a brown colour as they saw the guests before the old Syrian.
“I’d like to introduce you to elder Khan the oldest and longest serving Council Law keeper to the council, he is neutral sworn to neutrality in the name of peace and democracy for our clans” Hitteki said as Khan gave a bow, his movements slow.
Ardon looked to forge to introduce them, seeing as he was leading the involvement of the negotiations.
"We are honoured to meet you, Elder Kahn. " he introduced himself, Melina, Ardon and jack as well as made mention of Vonriir outside. "We have come, representing Comhaltas , to help alleviate the tension that seems to have grown between your clans."
The Old dragon nodded lightly and gave a small smile.
“Pleasure to meet you all, forgive me, an old dragon like me has not seen Humans before, forgive an old dragon for staring in curiosity” Khan said to Jack and Melina.
“Of course, we want to be here to help solve the issues here, we were asked to come in and help with the rising tensions” Jack said.
Khan scratched his chin.
“Ahh yes, the current issues, her majesty Hitteki has mentioned it, please, follow me to my chambers, it is big enough and we can discuss more” Khan said as Hitteki spoke.
“I need to make arrangements with my Syrians, I shall leave you here in Khan’s care, I shall be back in a day or so, scouts will be dispatched” Hitteki said bowing lightly before leaving.
The comhaltas group bowed in return before following the older dragon towards his chambers. "Thank you for meeting with us, Elder Kahn," said Ardon.
The old Syrian was slower than his other counter parts, Jack noticed he seemed to be breathing heavier trying to keep an acceptable pace as they followed him to his chambers as they left the council chamber through another tunnel.
"Forgive me I am not as fast as I once was, old age has crept up on me, the mind is sharp but the body weakens" Khan said.
"We have time, do not rush on our account," said the silver.
Khan nodded, appreciating the silver’s comments as he carried on talking.
"Always so much to do and so little time, has her majesty explained my position with the council?" the old dragon asked.
"Yes she did explain," nodded Ardon, "you're a neutral member to ensure council law remains intact."
Khan did not answer straight away as they entered his chambers, again it was massive but instead of it being purely his chamber, it was for his position and station on the council, there were drawings on the walls and seemed to be a large map drawn using basic colours and inks got naturally.
Melina seemed in awe as they had developed a basic type of documentation, far before any other dragons around, she only wished Ucluelet was here to record it.
Elder Khan made his way to his large bed in the corner and lay down upon it, slowly lowering himself onto the dried grass as he spoke again.
"Yes, I can advise you and let you know the lay of the land but cannot take sides or break my oath" Khan said as the dragon rested on his dried grass bed looking a little out of breath.
"We wouldn't dare ask that if you, Kahn. We just want to make sure that we do not cross any lines with our involvement. Your guidance and knowledge would be greatly appreciated." Said Forge.
Khan gave a small smile.
"That I shall do, I also know a few tricks to delay the council in sticky situations " Khan replied obviously knowing some little diplomatic games to play to allow him more time.
"Those would be good to know," said Forge, "we hope that with our help there can be peace among the clans again."
Elder Khan nodded as he spoke again to explain what was going to happen.
“I best get down to business, scouts have been sent to all clans to meet here, it is an urgent point of order which all Syrians must attend, the council will be full of delegates in about 2 days’ time” Khan explained.
Forge nodded. "How many do you expect to be here?"
“It will be a full house, representatives from all clans, Water, Mountain, Forest, Ice and desert and Earth will be here, each clan has 20 seats in a council chamber of 120, it was designed for fair and honest representation, well that is how it was supposed to be” Khan said with a heavy sigh.
The silver tilted his head, "was how it was supposed to be? That sounds like past tense, Kahn. Is is not so any more?" He inquired.
The old dragon shook his head and seemed to have a heavy heart.
“I am afraid not, it seems for some reason, the mountain dragons have been gaining extra seats, most from the water clan, over 8 of their representatives stepped down and relinquished their seats to the Mountain dragons, meaning the Mountain dragons now have 28 seats and I think a few more will follow” Khan explained.
“How is that possible is there no rules to stop that?” Melina asked to old dragon, confused why the water clan would give up their seats so easily to the mountain dragons.
"Is that even allowed?" Asked Ardon, thinking that was terribly unfair.
Khan coughed and then spoke.
“There is no rule against it, the water clan can decide what they do with their empty seats, it seemed odd they hand it over to mountain dragons, recently the water dragons have sided with the Mountain Syrians, on every vote, if you look at the map there you see why” Khan said, pointing his claws to a wall map of the whole Syrian clans and their territories.
Melina and Jack looked at it in awe, it perfectly laid out the clans territories, it was done very methodically, the Syrians lands as a whole group stretched miles and Jack understood why the map had to be detailed to prevent any arguments or bickering among the Syrian clans.
“Very diverse lands” Jack said to Melina who nodded.
Melina looked at the map and could see the water clan was very close to the Mountain Clan’s territory, she noticed a vast waterfall leading into a massive lake on the plains.
“The water clan are at their mercy, the large waterfall here is fed from the mountains, if they cut it off the lake could dry up” Melina said as Jack looked at it and nodded in agreement, no wonder the water dragon’s were terrified of voting against the mountain clan.
"There is something more afoot, I think the mountain Syrians have discovered or made something that has the water clan scared, they always vote with them...never votes against anything" Khan replied.
"What do you think is the cause behind all this?" Inquired forge, trying to figure out what Kahn thought of all this.
Khan gestured to the whole chamber with his paws and the sculptures in the rock of old Syrian dragons who had been law keepers of the council before Khan.
"They are the crafters and makers of the Syrian world, you seen what they can create, I fear they built something to destroy and intimidate others" Khan said to the silver.
"But why? What would they have to gain going against the other clans?" asked Ardon.
Jack sighed lightly at the question shaking his head, the same old story and Ardon always saw the world in magical fairy dust where everyone was happy.
“Why do anyone do anything to intimidate and harm others, same with dragon battles and wars , same on earth one group want more power and control over everyone else, once in power they stay there, the mountain clan are no different terrify and manipulate the other clans and control the council, have that power” Jack said
"They can't do that," huffed Ardon.
Forge put up a paw to halt the gold's temper.
"That's why we're here, Ardon. We need to help restore balance. One clan cannot bully the others especially because of want or desire."
Melina nodded, pleased with Forge’s reaction to Ardon’s temper, they needed cool heads here.
“I wish it was simple, Hitteki has issues a point to order about getting you guys in as independent negotiators, it still needs the approval of the council and votes” Khan commented.
The silver dragon nodded, he had expected as such but just hoped he would have enough support from the other clans to gain their vote. "I understand."
“How many seats on the council?” Jack asked.
Khan seemed to go quiet as he appeared to be counting in his head.
“120, with 6 Syrian clans” he replied back.
“So that is 20 seats each” Jack said trying to work out how many votes Forge would need to get the backing, knowing 40 votes were already against him but Maths wasn’t Jacks forte.
Melina smiled knowing the answer.
"Forge will need over 60 votes to win the vote" Melina said as Khan nodded lightly.
"Do you think there are enough dragons on the council that want the mountain clan to stop to garner me enough votes, Elder Kahn?" Asked Forge.
Khan looked up at the silver from his bed and replied back.
"I believe so but a fear has gripped the other clans apart from the forest clan, they may oppose the Mountain clan but may not speak up, I propose a speech to be made by you to perhaps turn the tide a little, don’t expect any help from the water clan, they are too terrified to vote out of line" Khan warned the silver.
“Damm, gives them 40 Votes already” Jack said.
"I would expect as such. If I am allowed to address the council before the vote I will do so." Replied Forge.
Khan nodded lightly.
“I ensure you do, your name is known here, it will carry weight but there maybe others who need convincing, expect no cooperation from Mountain or Water sadly, some may join with them in fear of reprisals but we can only see and hope my friends” Khan said as Jack nodded.
“Well, let the fun of politics and diplomacy begin” he said folding his arms.