They repaired to the center of the wilderness in silence. Poxig was in the habit of counting his steps, since the heroes were deep in enemy territory. They would have to be extra careful if they wanted to elude the gryphons that inhabited these parts. Tefl lay down on the ground and began to pray to master control. He did not know how he would defend himself with only a cloak and staff. He put a finger to his mouth to hush Poxig. He could already hear the imp cotillion advancing in the woods, and it sounded like they were headed for them.
“Let us go now to the cave beneath the cataract! That is the only place that we can be safe from these demonic hordes,” said Tefl.
Tefl ushered his friend to the safety of the cavernous reaches. Outside of the rushing of the waterfalls, they could hear the advance of Garlang’s army. They were petrified, but they mustered some courage. Unless the enemy knew of their whereabouts, they would be completely unharmed.
They decided to stay the night there, without a fire because of fear that it would give their position away. They had to reach the Naughright guild by daybreak, and they knew that their foes would be on the lookout for any disturbance.
“I have been to the circle of sages before,” said Tefl. “I could by no means reach the inner circle. But I was headstrong and young.”
Poxig spent that cold night thinking about his options. Maybe with Tefl, he would be able to infiltrate the circle and at least find the source of the ORB’s power.
When the morning came, they set out for Naughright, and they were careful not to alert even the squirrels as to their presence. The sun shone in the sky overhead, and the wind bellowed through the trees. They cloaked themselves as they approached the city walls of Naughright. While they were on their way to the entrance, they heard a strange sound, like the screeching of a bat, and the rustling of leaves. There, right in front of them, was a dragon whelp, no larger than the size of a small horse. The dragon, moaning, called out.
“Oh! Oh me!”
“Who be you?” asked Tefl.
“I am Truliso,” he said, “and who are you?”
“We are poor wanderers on our way to Naughright. I am Tefl Broadsword, and this is my companion, Poxig of Excelsior,” said Tefl.
“I am also on my way to Naughright” the beast barked. “I have been sent from the Cardia Islands. It has been a long flight to here.”
“I knew a girl named Jane Lampion who had visited the islands. They are inhabited by dragons, but much larger than your size,” said Tefl.
“Well, then you must know that they sent me to find a way to the wizard’s guild, for it’s time for the prophecy to be fulfilled,” roared Truliso.
“Do you know of the light warriors?” asked Poxig.
“I have come from Cardia to meet them! I have important instructions from the king of dragons, Ramut.”
The knight withdrew from his knapsack a loaf of bread. He put it before the dragon who greedily ate it. In exchange for the snack, Truliso agreed to tell them the dragonite prophecy: a poem. He told them that he had been wounded by a human who shot him with an arrow, but he had survived and flown thus far. His goal was to take the poem further than the reaches of the island as a messenger to read the prophecy.
The earth is rotting; the seas is wild,
As dragons call to sages in the guild,
Time is out of sorts, and chaos looms amidst
The forests of Elvira, the chosen one sits
Among the holy four, who can go beyond
The pale of the floating continent, and along
The place where the Earthlink reaches the sky
The chosen four will atone for the sins of mankind.