Dragon Stone: Miscellanarian

“When it comes to dragon lore be aware much of the known teachings are based on anecdotes. Whispers of myth or legend. If they were real then the one that is oft noted in Elder texts is The Black” Jeremiah Delalande.

“She hurried at his words, beset with fears. For there were sleeping dragons all around.”

John Keats

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”

J.R.R Tolkien, The Hobbit

This is another short story for this months

BLOGBATTLE prompt word Miscellanarian

Dragon Stone: Miscellanarian

“Can you hear me?” Yish whispered to the flames now alive in the fire Naz stoked.

“Yes?” he looked up questioning.

“Not you,” she replied. “I am trying to see if I can send to him rather than it always being the other way round.”

“If you asked me, which you haven’t, I’d say he comes when danger lurks. It implies he’s always watching even if no words pass.”

“No harm in trying.”

Her eyes looked wet again. Naz returned to poking the fire.


“Witchcraft or worse. Whatever hit the boy here sent him clean over the edge and down the drop.”

“Worse?” said the man with the loud heart. “What could be worse?”

On the next waking Wayland sensed his grip on the past failing fast. All save one that came to him in a dream deep inside the unconscious abyss. The girl he saw was bewitched and vacant. Her dress ripped down to the waist exposing skin and breast red with blood that seeped from two wounds in her neck. Runes were etched on each wall and upon the floor was drawn a massive pentagram whose points were connected by a circle of white.

The girl was chained to a stake in the centre and the room suffused in incense and smoke spewing from torches and candles. Dark hooded figures moved round the outside of the circle chanting in some language he knew not. The girl’s head raised upwards. He watched her mouth call out his name.

Wayland’s mind broke out and back into the wreckage of his dying body. Tara Spinlow. His mind screamed outwards in grief and remembrance. She had agreed to wedlock moments before he fell. Even in that she had seen the outcome in a dream the night before.

Wayland made an oath. If I survive this ordeal then I swear on my forefathers I will find you Tara and take revenge on those that did this.

The Black clearly agreed and let him lose the world some more. The darkness of subconscious cleared. Placing him in another dreamscape to walk with visions of other places.


The dragon was there again, ever watchful and curled up with an enormous horned tail wrapped up against a jet black body. It’s maw widened revealing long canine teeth near the front. Almost the length of Wayland’s arm, thickset at the base rising to points that would rip armour to shreds. Four incisors top and bottom filled the gap, ready to sever bone and flesh alike. In between the jaws snaked a forked tongue, blood red in colour and continuously tasting the air for scents that might need scourging of life. Behind these, and pointing slightly backwards, were rows of pointed teeth.

Vast eyes matching the tongue surveyed the ground below it’s perch. A half-moon shaped plateau outside a cavernous opening half way up a sheer cliff face nestled on the edge of a mountain that rose into the clouds.

Below rested the petrified burnt out skeletons of a village with caved in roofs and lifeless orchards. Fire had bathed this place. Sterilised it all the way to the baked mud at its roots. In the far horizon he could see the edge of a long wall of trees over which the air shimmered in a haze of heat. Between that and the mountain the land was desolate and pitted. Relics of battle lay scattered as bones and fleshless bleached skeletons lay rising in anguish from the scarred mud.

Extract from “Letters of The Amanuensis – Dragon Stone Lore.”

The Vault trail had run dry. Things turned in circles. He’d tried leaving by the oak door twice more. Both times it led down a corridor that returned him back into the library. Nothing in Rune Lore explained the conjuration or, more importantly, how to break it.

The Assassin talked in riddles. It was obvious he knew what lay inside and why the two who authored access thus far had been unreachable. Exploring tomes and parchments took him into other places. Characters from different worlds that knew even less.

Learning was creating questions with few answers.

This was obvious looking down at the mass of parchments. All scrawled with notes taken from when? Each turn of the wheel. Did he note things discovered and forget each day that repeated? Or, he thought on this, did he remember then forget he’d written the notes? Not Amanuensis, but Miscellanarian. The keeper of missives nobody would ever read save him.

He returned to his muse. Thoughts he dripped over time and again. What was he missing?

Worlds colliding elsewhere, a Black Marsh surrounded by relics of bygone ages. Ghosts and Templars. Assassins and Readers of Cards. Magicians and a High Priestess. Younglings struck by love and embroiled in events that would change them forever. Brothers in arms dwindling with each encounter.

Around them, in another place, sat a Black Dragon guarding a Stone. A Blacksmith torn from his lover, a mage wandering the same land in a different time across a genocide field seeking an Oracle.

Then there sat the Paradox Man, split through time. Twins separated by death, Witch Queens and The Cloaked Man, The Physician… The Necromancer. Old as time some said.

A far cry from halcyon days when he entered the Academy to begin training in Runes and chronomancy to ascend, as the Amanuensis, into the very Library he could no longer escape.

Something was missing. A gap in his knowledge or memory. Or both.

The Smith might help solve at least one riddle.


“You can hear me?


“And you are not the dragon?”

The Black, no. That beast has cast an eye elsewhere for now.

“And Tara, where is she?”

That is beyond my knowledge at present.

“Can you find out?”


“And if you do, then might there be hope for salvation?”


“I am undone, bewitched or cursed. I hear the world, smell it’s blood, travel in a place that isn’t my world. The Dragon taunts me and all around is darkness and black. I see no night or day, breathe no air, cannot move.”

I fear you may no longer be what you once were.


That is not for me to say with certainty. Many worlds are wrong, many creatures are stirring. Chaos is returning.

“Is there nothing to turn it aside?”

Not that I have found.

“Are you looking in the right places?”


Right places and wrong places. The Assassin inferred answers are there. Yet I have been unable to locate them. I fear time is short now.

The irony was not unnoticed. The Library of Time, an ability to hunt through it, speak with those in other worlds, with the dead and those alive in the enormity of ages. Seek knowledge from anywhere, yet still unable to exit this prison. One that I first thought was of ice until the very door to escape this room curved back on itself preventing exploration out of these chambers. The Vault might as well exist in the furthest dimension of space and time for all the good it is as the Keep’s undercroft.

Worlds were turning on pivots. Genocide in one, wanderers in others seeking Dragon Stones, death, abductions, fires and assassins. Events isolated in each place, but connected throughout time to the rest. Even the Keeps sacking. The one place that could have broken the chaos in ruins with an imbecile left to uncover the truth.

An imbecile that might even have begun the end of everything. One that might even be in league with the darkness.

Why can’t I remember?

Three days left before….

Before what? Why did I think that?

Extract from “Letters of The Amanuensis – Dragon Stone Lore.”

Smith, I see you.

Wayland started. There was evil in his mind. Cold words creeping across his unconscious conscious, rich in melancholia. Glancing round he was drawn up to the plateau where The Black reared up on hind quarters unfurling huge six ribbed wings ending in curled talons. Webs of weathered skin spread out over them and leaving the horned tips protruding at the rear. It’s neck stood proud and layered with scutes whose edges shimmered in a purple haze where the sun reflected. It was the eyes that captured Wayland, for these were settled right upon his.

“You are a figment of my mind Dragon… begone.”

Deep throated laughter rippled over his mind.

You think Smith?

The Black dropped off the plateau and the wings took air lifting him upwards to circle high above the ant of a man down below.

“Run Wayland.” This was a new voice, a girl. Not any girl though. Wayland knew this one. In this unconscious realm his memory functioned perfectly.


The Dragon’s spirals dwindled as he tipped his wings and began to descend.

Ignore her Boy.

“Where are you Tara?”

“No time, get out before the beast consumes you.”

Wayland was aware a dark shadow now fell over the ground following The Black was closing.

“How? I have nowhere to run.”

He could feel panic stirring and his heart throbbing in his ears. Around him the world a desert of ash. The forest leagues away and the cliff housed the lair.

“But this is a dream.”

Are you certain of that? The dragon was taunting.

“Just wake up Wayland.”

Tara was screaming at him. In desperation he backed away from the cliff. Not that it would help, but standing still seemed nearly as pointless. The Black had him.

You are already dead in that world Boy.

Looking up he saw the beasts hind legs draw up and flex five byzantine talons, on each foot, ready to crush him. Fear paralysed his ability to move. His eyes locked onto the size of the claws. Hope fled.

“Wayland Ferrars wake up right now or you will never see me again.”

Tara roused his subconscious mind. She was pleading now and courage coursed through his veins. The Black crushed down and this world fell into shadow.

Dragon Stone: High Elf

A stone of power finds itself in the hands of a Mage searching for an oracle. Watched from the future by the Amanuensis from his prison in a conjurors bubble.
A Sorcerer that rode the Barrow Woods, survived the wights and lived beyond the realm of Dökkálfar to walk, but why?

27 thoughts on “Dragon Stone: Miscellanarian

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  1. “The girl he saw was bewitched and vacant.” was my favorite line. What a perfect and scary description.
    Is Wayland Amanuensis? Still looking for whoever did this to his love? Would make for quite an amazing love story.
    The imagery involving the dragon was impeccable here.
    The bit about Yish and Naz didn’t really fit for me with the rest and could be skipped. However, since these two are really becoming fan favorites, I appreciate you sharing them with us.

    1. I have the odd moment Sam haha. Wayland has his own story line. It’s titled Dragon Stone Originalis and is on here somewhere. The Amanuensis is an arc with Yish. Wayland’s is another complex one. Both are now embedded in the WIP which I’ve finally started alongside two others in this world. The sequel being co-written alongside Dragon Stone itself with all the letters of the Amanuensis being compiled in their own edition.

      The Black as you probably know teases about quite a bit. It’s pretty much how the concept started forming years ago.

      Yish and Naz could have been skipped I agree, but in truth I started this one with them and it ended up swerving so I left it in. Again because I do enjoy their discussions 🙄

  2. Still being new to the images and characters of your worlds Gary, I felt I was reading a formidable montage of scenes unfolding to me an observer upon another plane.
    Yish and Naz are becoming familiar, their interactions and journeys, they struck me also an observers, whereas Weyland, Tara, The Assassin and The Dragon were also moving in a complex pattern of motivations and fates. And there’s that Paradox man.
    Quite enthralling as times and locations passed before me in the narrative.
    You have an impressive, colourful world (worlds?) build here. Tales within tales all criss-crossing, sometimes merging. Always something new for the reader to consider.

    1. What you are seeing start to happen is the actual WIP filtering in….. which means I’ve started writing it haha. The Assassin is part of the Keeps guilds, and this one is Guild Master. Wayland is included in it and I’m currently with Dökkálfar where an exiled keep wizard is learning about the genocide, the crow and… quite a bit more. The Paradox Man I’ve now edited three times too. It needs a sequel mind. That said I now know what the crow is as a dark elf just told me 🤔

      Amazing what you learn during a narrative talking about history.

      Thanks Roger, always look forward to our new prompt discussion 😂

      1. Ah, the cosmic process, all of the elements drawing to together and moving around each other until the mutual gravity draws them in to the stage of fusion.
        (Writing – star birth- all part of the Cosmic Wonder)

        This sounds fascinating Gary, keep at it. I’m pleased to read that some of the characters are helping you along. Nice of that dark elf to lend a hand!

        This blog is giving me impetus to try out new variations. 👍

        1. I’ll find a short taster except Roger. Just to see said elf reciting part of the tale. I’m around 30k into the WIP now and the new character Elijah had just learned the Magi of Enigma may he hunting him. That’s from a BB piece of the same name now finding a place in the world build proper 😳

          1. The interlude with the dark elf would be interesting to read Gary. I look forward to that.
            The world build is definitely filling up with interesting characters, I daresay they will be able to fit in…. The fun of a good world build! 😀

        2. Elijah knew the name, “That is The Black is it not Raenisa?”
          She nodded, “It is and was. Legend says it still haunts and yet the place, like many things is now lost in time.”
          “But what of the stones?”
          “It is said each dragon caste was led by powerful wyverns. The Elder Mages could bind with these using Stones that were created to connect rider and beast. These were the Dragon Stones. With them the wyvern could be summoned through portals too small to allow direct passage. Craft now legend and yet you carry the one that…” she trailed off.

          1. Very lyricall account of a history or legend (?), made even stronger by those final words, “Craft now legend and yet you carry the one that…” and then tailing off.

            1. One can’t divulge too much, but again a twist has been encountered that I think adds some political gambits in. Though I was apprehensive about starting this I’m actually enjoying it. That said it’s detached from the amanuensis at present. Although it is drawing off them quite a bit now

              1. A good twist is always a welcome flavour to a narrative, and there’s the challenge of making a twist with is perfectly rationale to that narrative.
                Keep on with it Gary. 👍

                1. True unless it makes the plot even more complicated 😂. Which it just did. Still The Emerald dragon is almost in play now 😳

                  1. Complicated plots…my not so secret-vice. Too much reading of factual history in which nothing is ever simple has been a great (dubious) influence on me. Particular ones involving conflicts.

                    1. I hear you. In my case it’s mythology and legends. For politics I just think of Yes Minister and conclude that covers most bases over here irrespective of who’s supposedly in charge.

                      Onwards and upwards though. Almost tidied up a bit connecting two unconnected parts of the same chapter. Why do I leave stuff for years before thinking I’ll just crack on with that?? 🙄

                    2. “Why do I leave stuff for years”….a common question amongst indy and starting out writers Gary.
                      Professionals, be they top of their game or at the other end populist hacks that churn it out have the motivation of Income and Renown to keep them going.
                      In between are modestly successful folk who have picked up a momentum which keeps them moving on and hopefully upwards.
                      For us working in our little places looking for just the right theme or flow, it’s an irregular thing. We can get pushed of course dealing with the distractions of Life. Without those aforementioned factors it’s not so easy. Love of writing will take you a long way and keep you moving, but it’s often an irregular thing.
                      We pick it up when we can and on we go.

                    3. You speak true Roger. Without the pro contracts its sits more as a hobby while day today stuff takes priority. Most of my stuff book wise was done in 2016 and its only now I’m back on it. The only new stuff is BB or the WIP and part of that is patching in things that were written before the concept hit home. It took the Amanuensis to actually piece it all together.

                      Still, it is what it is 🤔

  3. Lots of great imagery throughout this one! I, too, wondered what might be worse than witchcraft, and the description of two wounds in Tara’s neck made me wonder if your vampire made a return. Wayland’s interaction with the dragon did have me wondering if he was actually with the wyvern or if this was just a vision, and yet it might be a little of both. And when ‘this world’ falls into shadow at the end, I hoped he survived in the real world and only lost the visionary world … but I’m not so sure about that. 🙂 Also liked how you briefly mentioned all the other ‘realms’ the Amanuensis has investigated.

    1. Thanks Abe, creatures do dip in an out a lot. Tara was snatched from path as Wayland proposed. The answer your hope is already written and on here starting from Dragon Stone Originalis. By the end of part three his destiny is explained plus his connection with the Black wyvern. That was where I first wrote about the stones and the genocide of dragons I often refer to.

      As for the Amanuensis… what else do you do in a prison haha

  4. Enjoyed that very much. I’m obviously behind on a story that already has a lot of depth and character development. Can you give me a cliff notes version of all the plotting in your mind? I was struck by the dark moments and shafts of hopeful light attempting to peek through and love how you describe places. You do well with the five senses and helping readers feel and/or see what the character feels. I’m so happy to be back reading your stories, Gary!

    1. Thanks Rachael. A cliff notes version could fill a blog post haha. What I’ve done is use BB and prompts to write excerpts dotted around the world build. Collectively that’s about 150K now. It helps me work out characters and their behaviour before going into the WIP. IMO it gives each greater depth. I also draw influence from quite dark music such as Fields of the Nephilim. Try their track Requiem III. It’s mood music and puts my head into the right place when creating narratives.

      I also have a deep rooted interest in ancient civilisations and how they collapse along with myths and legends and conspiracy theory. Each of those allows me to think outside the box as it were.

      Dragon Stone itself has also been a bit like Kings Dark Tower. It’s been with me a a concept for years. In truth when I did an A to Z challenge the idea there was to use an interviewer going through all my characters or places. That created the Amanuensis by the letter C. After that everything changed and the interviews became his character and the idea originally was him scrying from outside our world and trying to make sense of where he was.

      That became a conjurors bubble (trap) that put him out of time creating BB pieces like Prison of Ice. From that it back storied to the Keep and then to Yish and Naz.

      There it tied in everything I’ve written to be cross linked. Example there is I’ve just run a third edit over my very first novel and used a lot of DS to flesh it out. The reason for that is the Paradox Man that gets referred to loads is fundamental to that book.

      That and a blacksmith that’s buried alive and guarded by the Black (also referred to a lot). The reason there is the smith has the black dragon stone. All these things interconnect and reinforce how I now write.

      Even the book I am prevaricating about publishing has core set of characters that bleed across.

      It helps having a central location too. Mine is Houghton Fengrave and a pub called the Royal Oak where the landlord is not quite what he seems.

      This is where the concepts flow. I don’t write linearly. There is a lot of chronomancy and multi-level worlds that obey different laws. eg ours is science, others are filled with sorcery and creatures of myth such as Strigoi Viu, wyverns, shadow people (cf google) and epic battles, genocide and the antagonist who is a necromancer.

      To really explain goes back to needing a full post haha

      1. Yes! I knew I recognized some of it but I couldn’t place why. It IS connected to past stories I’ve read. And especially stuck in my head is Amanuensis. I love this overview of your writing process and the history behind your stories. Now I’ll be looking closer for all the connections, and that’ll enrich them. <3

        1. The Dragon Stone part evolved in a story called Dragon Stone Originalis. That was a chapter posted in three parts and where the Black first appears with the Blacksmith before he’s interred. If you’re interested in the origins its pretty easy to find

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