The Tale of Ander Collins: Chapter Seventeen

Fiction By LoriAnn // 9/11/2009


This is it, Ander thought before he was even completely awake the next morning. Today, we find Ravin. I mean, Uncle Ravin.
They flew hard and fast over a bright blue sea that day. The winds had shifted, and now blew strongly from the east, giving them a good tailwind that drove them easily toward the Scyth Islands. Ander felt a strange anticipation in his gut – but he couldn’t decide if it was excitement, worry, or a mixture of both. Adding to his confusion was the odd anger he experienced every time Jagsod glanced over at Shyllen. She seemed to be ignoring him, and Ander wasn’t even completely sure what Jagsod’s looks meant…but he knew that he didn’t like them one bit.
He tried not to think about it.
It was only early noon when the fivesome spotted the first rocky outcroppings that marked the edges of the Scyth Islands. Technically, the islands that they had camped on the previous two nights had been part of the archipelago as well – the Scyth Islands were a vast system of various-sized isles, from tiny rocks that barely cleared the waves at low tide, to the five populated central islands. Ander had learned their names as a matter of practicality while he lived in the palace – the five islands were individually governed and fiercely independent. It would have been an enormous insult to mistake the Duke of Scyth, for example, with the Baron Lukas from Carob.
Scyth was the largest of the five islands, followed closely by Clevis. Carob and Montriser made up the two medium-sized islands, and tiny Belenca finished out the five. There were several other inhabited islands around the edges of the archipelago, but mainly only by a few fishermen and shepherds.
Ander knew all of this vaguely, but had never had cause to really remember it, save when addressing one of the minor nobles from the islands. Now, flying low over the small landmasses that made up the archipelago, he wished he knew more. This was where his long-lost uncle had lived for most of Ander’s life; he felt unprepared, and wasn’t sure what to expect.
They were approaching Scyth, obviously the largest island. Ander felt a surge of excitement as the two dragons circled the island, looking for a good place to land. Spotting a cleared place in the middle of a small wood, Thraluic dove sharply down. Holding tightly to Shyllen’s scales, Ander craned his neck for a good view of the island before he was surrounded by trees.
They set down gently, and Ander leapt off Shyllen’s back. “We made it!” he grinned.
Jagsod slipped to the ground, and kissed the dirt in mock relief. “Ah, sweet land,” he said dramatically. Ander laughed, his strange irritation with the ogre momentarily forgotten.
“Ander, you and Shyllen will have to be the ones to find Ravin,” Thraluic said, settling into a sitting position, and kneeing the ground like an anxious cat. “I hate to send you off alone, but I’m a bit hard to hide, and Jagsod is almost as bad.”
The ogre boy looked disappointed.
Thraluic looked vary seriously at Ander and Shyllen, who had already shifted into her russet-haired human form. “I’m depending on you two,” he said. “You must find Ravin, and you must bring him back here. He’s sure to come if you mention my name, but just to be on the safe side…” he motioned with a great black claw at Ander’s pack. “Take the Vial with you, and your mother’s ring too. He’ll recognize both of them, I believe.”
Ander nodded, and slung his blue flannel pack over his shoulder. “Any idea where to start looking?”
Shyllen held up a hand. “I spotted a road as we landed. We’ll follow it until we find some people.”
“Very good.” Thraluic agreed. “Good luck.”
“Yeah,” Jagsod interjected. “Good luck.”
The road was paved with crushed shells and pebbles. Ander liked the way it crunched firmly under his feet as he walked. Shyllen moved more quietly, the shells hardly shifting at all under her light weight.
The sounds of the island were different than the sounds of the mainland, too, thought Ander – more than just the noise of the road itself. Unfamiliar birdcalls filled the air, and the soft shushing of the surf could be heard clearly, mixed with the full wind that blew in off the water.
“Are you nervous?” Shyllen suddenly asked, breaking their silence.
Ander shook his head – then changed his mind and nodded. “Yes,” he admitted. “I have no idea what I’ll say, or what I should say. What did you say the first time you met Thraluic?”
She waved a hand. “That’s different. For one thing, I was just a little dragonet; and for another, he wasn’t a long lost relative I hadn’t even known existed, and who might be the only hope for my people.” She cleared her throat. “If you must know, I think my first words to him were something along the lines of “hi, uncle; what’s for supper?””
Ander laughed. “He didn’t give you burnt deer, did he?”
“No, why?”
“Just wondered.”
The distant clatter of cart wheels over uneven ground interrupted them.
“Let’s see if we can catch a ride,” suggested Ander. Shyllen looked over her shoulder at the approaching cart.
They stepped to the side of the road and waved to the driver of the cart. He waved back in a friendly manner and pulled his horse to a stop alongside them. “Need a lift, strangers?” His voice had a light, sing-song quality to it; as though the motion of the tide was audible in his accent.
Ander liked him immediately. The man wasn’t much older than Ander himself – maybe in his early twenties or so. He had shaggy, black hair that looked in need of a good trim, overhanging eyes of piercing blue.
“If it’s not too much to ask,” Ander said.
“No, not at all. Climb aboard. My name is Dorlan, by the way.” The driver extended a calloused hand to Shyllen and helped her up to sit beside him on the bench. Ander simply clambered up the wheel spokes, and settled himself into a comfortable position on a crate in the cart bed.
“Where are you headed?” the driver asked, chirruping to his horse. The sorrel mare snorted and stepped out, setting the cart into motion.
“We’re looking for a fellow named Ravin Torr,” Ander explained. “It’s kind of a long story, but we really need to find him.”
The driver glanced back at Ander and cocked a brow. “Any way this long story can be condensed into a short, sweet one?”
Shyllen shot Ander a quelling look. “None that I can think of.”
The driver shrugged. “Folks around these islands, we protect our own pretty well.”
They rode in silence for a few moments. Ander met Shyllen’s eyes questioningly, and she sighed. “I guess we can tell him.”
Ander nodded. “Alright, mister – it’s like this. Back home on the mainland, there’s this evil woman who has usurped a throne that rightfully belongs to Sir Ravin. We’ve come to ask him to come back and help us fight her.” He winced. “I know it sounds crazy, but…”
“Do you know where we can find him?” Shyllen interjected.
The driver looked from her to Ander and back again. “I might…” he said slowly.
“He’s my uncle, also,” Ander added, hoping that familial relations might encourage the young man to share his information.
The driver looked startled – which struck Ander as suddenly odd. He had hardly been fazed by the news that Sir Ravin was a possible heir to a kingdom, but that Ander claimed to be his nephew?
“Great-uncle, actually,” Ander corrected himself. “His younger sister was my grandmother.”
“Lylwint?” the driver asked cautiously, his bright eyes disbelieving.
“Yes…”Ander looked at Shyllen warily. “How do you know that?"
The driver threw back his head and laughed at the sky in amazement. “Because, strange young sir,” he explained with astounded humor, “My full name is Dorlan Torr. I am your…I suppose it would be second cousin. Welcome to Scyth!”



Sorry it's taken me so long - but here it is: Enjoy!

BTW - how do you like the pic up there? Did it myself. :)

LoriAnn | Wed, 09/16/2009

So Ander has a cousin--second

So Ander has a cousin--second cousin--whatever, another relative besides Ravin. Cool! Wow, the little party just keeps getting bigger and bigger. :0)  Now you have me on pins and needles waiting for the nxt instalment!

And I do like the pic, btw. Totally cool--wish I could draw my characters! All I can do are maps and weapons, and occasionally dragons.


~*~Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia~*~

Heather | Thu, 09/17/2009

And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

how very fitting

on the very day I decide to pester you about posting, you post!

It's an excellent chapter, though it is something of a cliffhanger. I already like Dorlen, but what is going on with Jagsod? And what will Uncle Ravin be like? And will Ander say something clumsy? And, out of idle curiousity, will we ever hear more about the princess and her bodyguard? And, more importantly, what will Shyllen's role be like in the upcoming chapters? more soon.

Annabel | Fri, 09/18/2009


LOL - got that up just in time the, didn't I Annabel? :)

In answer:

I'll post more now, though it may take a while to get up. I've actually written up through chapter 21, so I've got a cushion to fall on for a while now.

Jagsod is...complicated. I still haven't figured him out completely yet. To be honest, he was not one of the characters that I ever really thought about much, so I don't even know what his role will be. I guess we'll find out together. :)

Will Ander be clumsy? Ah, the power of an author over her audience. I think you'll just have to wait. LOL

As for Princess Raina and Carlos...we'll see. They will appear again, but I'm not quite sure how yet.

LoriAnn | Fri, 09/18/2009

How lucky is that?

What a coincidence...but whether or not it's cliched depends on what happens next...Can't Thulraic shape-shift too?

Julie | Fri, 09/18/2009

Formerly Kestrel

This is so good. I was

This is so good. I was wondering what happened to this story. Great picture by the way.  There was just one spot where it said "vary" instead of "very". Other than that it's fantastic!

airlia | Sat, 09/19/2009

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived."
General George S. Patton



“I don’t know if you are aware of this, Ander, but younger dragons can shift into human form for short periods of time. It is a lesser-told piece of dragon lore, and it’s not surprising that you would have never heard of it. At any rate, I’m too old to do it now."

--Thraluic, in Chapter Seven

LoriAnn | Mon, 09/21/2009

I love the picture and the

I love the picture and the chapter.  I should draw all my characters sometime.  I've already drawn one... Anyway, I know you said Ander liked Dorlan immediately, but I have a strange feeling... but it's probably wrong.  Pay no attention to me.

Bridget | Mon, 09/21/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya


Bridget, you have captured my thoughts exactly! Be careful what you say, Ander!!!!

Anyway, excellent chapter as always! I was getting so into it and then *boom* end of chapter! *weeps* Why do you continue to end it just when it gets good?!?! It really makes me sad! JK lol!!! I have been wondering about the couple in like *thinks* the very first chapter. They seem to have disappeared...gone...poof...disentigrated...bye, bye. Were are they pray tell. AHHHHHH!!! Now I've got myself thinking again with all this typing! Stop it, Leira! Stop thinking! Leave it all to the author...she'll resolve it all! Won't she?

Ariel | Tue, 09/22/2009

"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville


I just love the power an authoress has over her audience...Mwa-ha-ha-haaa! Fear me! LOL.

I don't know what I said or did to make you all distrust Dorlan so, but I assure you that he is a man of high class. I have a little destiny planned for him...*evil laugh--though not directed at Dorlan...*

As for the couple in the first few chapters. Yes...we'll get back to them eventually. Princess Raina and Carlos are patiently waiting in the wings (or endpapers, whichever) for their grand re-entrence, but it will be sort of a "Return to the Shire" kind of thing. Poetic justice and all that.

Be patient! Right now, as the writer, I am much more interested in what Ander is doing in Scyth, not the exploits of fancy-skirts Raina back in Arkeman.

LoriAnn | Wed, 09/23/2009


 "Poetic justice and all that" - you crack me up, LoriAnn.  I'll tell you what cracks me up even more, though, is the idea of a boy and an ogre competing for the affections of a dragon.  If anyone ever accuses you of being cliche, throw something soggy at them - a wet dish towel would do nicely : )

Loved this chapter!  Put up the next one soon!!!!

Mary | Wed, 09/23/2009

Brother: Your character should drive a motorcycle.
Me: He can't. He's in the wilderness.
Brother: Then make it a four-wheel-drive motorcycle!

 Oh - and another thing that

 Oh - and another thing that cracks me up (I must be in a really odd mood today to see everything as so funny) is the fact that Ander thinks that Dorlan's hair is "in need of a good trim", considering the haircutting disaster that so recently befell Ander. LOL

Mary | Wed, 09/23/2009

Brother: Your character should drive a motorcycle.
Me: He can't. He's in the wilderness.
Brother: Then make it a four-wheel-drive motorcycle!

Sorry its taken me so long to

Sorry its taken me so long to read this chapter. I think its great. Though Shyllyn and Jagsod are kinda... wierd. I like Dorlan! Hopefuly the next chapter wiil be ready to read soon...:)

Kay J Fields | Wed, 09/23/2009

Visit my writing/book review blog at

Mary, Mary quite...well, you know...

LOL - Thanks for the towel idea (*threatens to lob a towel at Kestrel*) And you don't think the idea of a "love-triangle" (though I hate the phrase...) between the three of them is odd? I've been a little worried about that...

And what do you mean, you think it's funny he should notice Dorlan's shaggy hair? Ander got his hair cut after all, even if it wasn't a good haircut! LOL

As for the next's waiting. I've done my part, now it's up to our wonderful webmaster.

LoriAnn | Wed, 09/23/2009