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The Celebration of the Ralz Realm

By Fred LooneyPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 17 min read
Photo by Christopher Ritter on Unsplash



Reminiscent is an annual holiday in the Ralz Realm. It is beloved and celebrated with family reunions, great feasts and most importantly, Story Telling. It is celebrated in the early fall when the air is full of the smells of ripeness and harvesting. Usually the weather is great, warm enough for those full of energy and youth to enjoy the great outdoors but not so hot that the meeting houses become uncomfortable because of all the cooking. Even if the weather does not cooperate the people of Ralz will hardly notice for it is the Reminiscent that is important. This year the weather is perfect and from every cook fire, roasting pot and clay oven come wonderful aromas of roasting beasts, boiling potatoes, yams and every other root that the cooks have found a way to make delicious. And on top of it all riding the waves of mouthwatering aromas are wonderful pies and cakes.

In the covered, but open sided “Pavilion of the People” there are throngs of people. Some are dressed in their finest with bright colors and playful fashion extravagances like removable flags and cords. But most are in the true spirit of Reminiscent and clothed in the same way their ancestors dressed oh so very long ago. Simple clothing made with roughly woven natural yarns from the plants of the land in conjunction with the animal skins from many successful hunts for sustenance.

“Grandfather, tell us a story, please, it’s Reminiscent”.

“That is what we are all here for” grandfather says with glee in his eyes and looks over the youthful expectant faces. As he settles into the big chair he notices that he has the attention of many who are not what we commonly consider to be youngsters. “With those wonderful smells coming from the many wonderful cooks, I wonder if we have time right now for the story of who we are?” The kids all scream their excitement at the possibility of the most favorite and treasured tale from our history. Most importantly the story teller sees those responsible for the mouth watering aromas give the “high sign” to let it be known that they will keep the feast hot and waiting for the long story to unfold.

And so, Grandfather begins:

A very long time ago we were separate countries. We had an uneasy peace, and even though it had been many years since open hostilities had controlled our daily lives, it had not been so long ago that those hostilities were forgotten and certainly neither race had found it in their hearts to forgive.

King Nathan Samale was doing all he could to make the border open and the lands to be filled with love. His son, Prince Nicola, was the driving force for the King, he wanted all his people and especially his son to know and understand the Dragons, how they lived and how they loved.



The day was one of those that everybody wants to just sleep through. We had been having gorgeous weather, with lots of sun and evening showers. It was harvest time and the sunny days made the gathering of fruits of our hard labors much easier. Grains have already been cut and thrashed and stored for the long winter. The fruit trees were nearly ready to be picked and the last bit of water was helping to put a healthy shine and plumpness on each and every morsel of goodness. The air smells of this wonderful time of the year and is redolent with the fabulous aromas of foods being prepared on cooking and drying fires. The juicy rarity of fresh meat is going to be the dried morsels that will add those special flavors to celebratory feasts.

But today, the world is covered with a dark blanket and the smells are now of dampness, and swamps. The sounds are being created by vermin scurrying about to a making their own winter plans. And finally the breeze is gone, it has been replaced with a cold, penetrating wind. The watchword of the day is “Shiver”.

A noise in the forest gets the attention of all creatures as two people are attempting, without much success, to be furtive. One is clearly in charge barking orders quietly but with practiced authority and it is not at all the usual thing here in Kingdom of Ralitz that the leader is a woman. Even if he had known both of the individuals tramping through the fallen leaves and dripping limbs he would not have been able to identify them in their heavy coverings which bore absolutely no markings of rank. He is a border patrol and his specialty is observing, he is where he can see but not where he can be seen as he silently watches and notes as many details as is possible to remember. It was immediately clear that the woman was concealing her identity because no female human worked with so much authority after having attained a very high rank.

As they drew nearer the muttered objections of the other interloper were somewhat more intelligible as complaints about the cold, the wet, and most vigorously about the weight he was shouldering. Finally he said, this is as far as I am going, we are on the edge of boundary and we dont know if we are being watched. If the boy wakes up while we are still around then all the planning and hard labor would have been for nothing. He can’t find his way back to even a remote village from here, his screaming and crying cannot be heard by any anyone who matters and he will be quickly found by the Dragon scouts.

She grudgingly agrees and almost before she has uttered a sound the bundle comes off the big man’s shoulder and he not so gently drops it to the ground and he then commences to remove the ties that have bound the bundle and made it easier to carry. It can then seen that a young boy is the heart of the bundle and it becomes even more interesting as with the removal of some of the ties part of the wrappings are falling away. It is yet to be determined if the youngster is alive but the watcher’s instincts make it seem safe to assume that he must be and then a flap of blanket falls away and the insignias of rank are obvious. This is not just any boy, it is the son of a person of very high rank. This young fellow is the prince, the son of the king.



As the interlopers were turning to leave the forest erupts in noise. The noise when coupled with the unpleasant smell of dragon fire instantly identifies the source of the new commotion.

A very large Blue lands in the clearing and leans toward two running figures. His ground shaking bellow is permeated with smoke with the stench of dragon fire and it stops the two cold. The big man turns and drawing his long sword screams at the dragon that he is on the wrong side of the boundary.

Fire erupts from the dragon as he roars at the sky and the tops of the tallest trees around and behind the big man explode in raging flames. There is a deafening roar as two more dragons land beside the first and soon the man is dropping his sword and going to his knees. As a smaller Red moves in to take a closer look the foolish man grabs his sword and tries to skewer the dragon’s snout. The ever excitable and ready to fight Red simply bites the man in two and spits the mangled sword on the remains of the fool.

Suddenly two things happen simultaneously, the big Blue bellows “Where is the other” and cries of terror erupt from the boy on the ground.

He sees the familiar look of dragons communicating with each other without making sounds. The late arriving White has taken command and the others all have their heads slightly lowered as they scan in all directions for the “Other” and any threats. Finally the White looks directly at the watcher where he is hidden, but not as well as he thought he was, and says, to the astonishment of the other dragons, “Did you see any of my family cross the boundary without being provoked?”

He mustered all his dignity and allowed his training to take command. He then spoke is what he sincerely hoped was not a whimper by answering simply, “No”. As the White nodded his approval, the watcher simply dissolved into the trees and left to dragons to take care of dragon business.

The White nodded again and turned back to his job of problem avoidance. He had the remains of the big man removed to the dragon side of the boundary and the ground scorched gently to erase any traces of there having been an altercation on this side of the boundary. Then gently turned to the boy and quietly asked him if he would like to ride on a dragon? The scared boy had been told by his Father that the dragons were friends and he should not fear them but he was still shaking when he nodded to the elder dragon who then helped the young fellow onto his neck and told him how to sit and where to hold on.

Then the Elder White pumped his enormous wings and rose slowly and gently, taking great care to keep his charge safe and comfortable and as they seemed to almost melt into the clouds.



The Dragons:

Reds - The fiercest of all Dragons, they are quick to anger and slow to forgive, they breath fire but only once or twice before having to ingest more fire stone.

Blues - The backbone of the Realm, the Blues are slow to anger but steadfast and they never give up. They are also the largest of all Dragons and carry a large amount of fire stone so that they, seemingly, never run out of fire to breath.

Whites - These are smallish in comparison to even the Reds, they are the thinkers of the Realm, the Whites are usually in charge but usually will capitulate to bigger and more ferocious types when confronted with battle. The Whites tend to rule to Realm in times of peace.

Greens - These dragons do not easily fit into a single description, they can be fierce or soft hearted, some are very smart while others seem to be missing the ability to think. The Greens do not breath fire and in fact are missing the part of their body that produces the fire.

As the kindly White known as Mynder, settles into an area where there are many dragons along with not a few people Nicola looks around wide eyed wonder and says I didn’t know that so many people lived where you do.

Mynder tells Nicola how to get down, explaining in detail where to hold and where to step. As Nicola begins his descent he thanks the old dragon for a wonderful ride and expresses his concern that he may hurt the dragon by stepping wrong on his descent. Mynder roars in laughter and says, Nicola, you have a good heart and you are now and will always be welcome here in Dragon’s Realm, you cannot hurt me but I thank you for your consideration.

Nicola is greeted by a young girl, who, judging by size and demeanor, is about the same age as Nicola. She quickly extends a hand in greeting and introduces herself as Marny and she explains that she will be Nicola’s guide for as long a he wants. She further explains that her father sent word ahead of his arrival and Marny’s mother was busy preparing a place to Nicola to stay with them for as long as he is in Dragon’s Realm.

Nicola asks why he cant just go home and Marny tells him that her mother said that he must stay here until it is safe for him to return to his father and that is all she knows.

Then Marny starts showing Nicola all the “sights” of the community starting with the caves. It was then that Nicola first noticed that he was in a large valley with high mountains on 3 sides and the walls are very steep. All over the walls are caves and in many of the caves Nicola sees dragons, of all colors, lounging in the sun or busily at work doing things that he could not understand from his view point.

Nicola asks, “How many Dragons live here?” Marny isn’t sure so she just says, “A Lot”. Then she explains that there are 4 different types of dragons here, which is usually determined by the color of the neck scales.

Marny tells him that all the dragons are friendly, some are more friendly than others, just like people. She pointed out that the Reds are known for having a quick temper and the Whites are considered the smartest. The Blues never give up. And the greens are, well, different. The greens dont have fire and you can never guess what they are thinking, some say that the greens are really smarter than the whites but that is a point of great disagreement.

Just then the first colors of the sunset appear at the canyon rim and suddenly all the dragons raise their heads and simultaneously begin singing. The song is long and melodic but with words that Nicola does not understand and after a while the singing ends with a large Blue straining a final long wavering note that feels both sad and hopeful and then most of the dragons breath a long fiery end to the serenade and all is very quiet for a long few seconds.

When Nicola looked back at Marny she was just smiling. She said, “Beautiful isn’t it?”, It happens every evening, even when the weather is bad and we cannot see the sunset, the dragons know when it is time to thank creation. They won’t tell us everything about the End Song but they have explained that it is to honor all those who have come before and the welcome those who have not yet come to be. It reminds the Realm of who they are and why they are here. If you listen closely you will find that each day is bit different but every dragon seems to know exactly which version is right for each day. The legends say that the only time it is not sung is if there is a battle happening or if a battle looms. Marny goes on the say that she has heard it every day of her life and wonders if the legend is even true.



The days have passed quickly and actually Nicola has lost track of how long he has been living with the the dragons and Marny’s family. There has been so much to see and so many things to do that he is ready to put his head on the pillow almost as soon as the “End Song” has been sung every evening.

Today is a bit different, the air feels like the season is changing soon and it is cloudy to the point of being foggy and it has been that way all day long. Marny has been helping Nicola make something out of long leather straps as he has learned how to measure and cut the leather properly. Then how to punch the correct holes in the leather as they are specified and finally, the most fun had been sewing the leather pieces together. Nicola has asked Marny what they are making more than once and she just smiles and says that he will understand when it is finished. They are just getting ready to apply a colored protective finish to the leather when the now familiar sound of wings begins to get louder as a dragon prepares to land nearby.

Nicola and Marny are delighted to see Mynder and then they notice that a man is riding on Mynder’s neck. All of a sudden Nicola yelps with joy as his father descends from Mynder and Nicola runs at full tilt to him, and he takes Nicola into his arms for a giant hug that Nicola had not even realized how much he had been missing.

King Nathan and Prince Nicola take a long time walking about as Nicola explains all the inner workings of the community and introduces everyone he knows to his father. It is a fabulous family reunion and filled with smiles, laughter and generally a great amount of love.

When they are settled in a small arena Nathan looks at his son and says that he must ask him some questions. Don’t be nervous just tell me what you remember and know that no matter what the answers are you must be truthful and know that you are greatly loved and missed.

How did you get into the woods on the day you met Mynder? Nicola, furrows his brows and begins to think back about that day. I finally answers that he is not sure how it happened. I remember having a late breakfast with Aunt Stella, after we ate she suggested that we go on a short walk and while we were walking I began to feel very sleepy. Then I seem to remember being wrapped up in a blanket that was not at all soft and then being hoisted to an uncomfortable position. I almost woke up once and when I asked where I was and said I was thirsty a big man sat me on the ground and gave me some water to drink. After we sat for a while he again wrapped me tight and complained about how heavy I am as he picked me up again.

Did the Big Man ever talk to anyone else? his father inquired. I remember once he said “How much Further” and someone whispered something I could not understand.

After that the next think I remember was being in the glade and there being dragons, my eyes were blurry and there was a lot of noise.

Nicola then got a super great bear hug from his Dad and was told how much he is loved. Dad also told him that he was very brave to have ridden Mynder and done everything exactly like Mynder asked him to do.

Dad then said, “Nicola, I need you to be very brave and do more now. I need for you to stay here with your friends while I figure out who was trying to hurt you and then make it safe for you to come home. I don’t know how long it will take but I will visit as often as I possibly can while making sure you stay safe. Can you be very brave and do that for me?”

Nicola, nodded yes with a few tears leaking from his eyes before telling his Dad that he must stay safe also.

Soon after that conversation Nathan once again climbed upon Mynder and was taken back to the kingdom.

And in this way, Nicola’s training with the dragons began.



Everyone in the room is on the edge of their seats, even those who have heard the story many times in the past are still anxiously awaiting the next scene. The youngest children are squirming because they have been sitting so long and the excitement of the story has them on edge. Several of our future leaders are holding each other for comfort and reassurance.

Suddenly, the song of dragon pierces the air as the whole of Ralz is cradled in a song of great emotion and strength. It is being explained to the youngest ones that the End Song on Remembrance is special, it has both dragon words and the common speech of all woven together in much the same way that the people have become intertwined. Neither part can exist on it’s own. The song tells of strife and great loss, it regales us with praise for the times brave leaders, like Nathan who was King of Ralitz and his son who was to become king and Mynder and Teesha who were great leaders of the dragons.

Then everybody about the singularly important business of celebrating with a great feast.


About the Creator

Fred Looney

My first lifetime, I wrote in the language of computers. Now, in my "Retirement" I want to express my thoughts and feelings to other humans.

Please join me in this new adventure while I explore what I have been hiding in my subconscious.

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