Son of Earl (a discworld fanfic)

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Son of Earl (a discworld fanfic)

Postby bogieman » May 6th, 2007, 7:25 am

Son Of Earl

A long time ago
On a turtle far away
There was
A little dragon Called
“Goodboy Bindle Featherstone of Quirm”
Errol for short
Who saved the a city
By plumbing his flame ducts backwards
Falling in love with the rather larger dragon
This larger Dragon
Just happened to be burning up the city
To cut a long story short
Beat the enormous dragon in to submission
In a wondrous fight
And took her off to places unknown
And to this day
They have never been seen or heard of since

I have always thought that every good story needs to start with a bang and this one is no exception. In this case the bang was attributed to the landing, quite unceremoniously, of a dragon. This became apparent as within the rubble it stood up, shaking off the bits of the house from its head as it stood up. There was quite a crowed forming as it stood up, you know all the people who automatically run towards a big bang. People like interested parties, like the people who own the house saying, just how am I going to put that on an insurance form. The neighbours who said, there go the house prices and others who said gosh, there must be people in there how many are dead. Even when the owner says no one was at home there is a roomer going round in the first 5 minutes that several hundred have perished. Then there is the do gooders, you know the ones, let? s form a human chain and dig the poor wretches out of there, you do this and you do that. Then within a few minutes the sausage in a bun salesman arrives, wherever there is a crowd he is there selling his wears. Just then someone now looking for the first time notices the dragon shaking the last of the timbers from its back. It is not one of the huge dragons of old, with big scaly bits and huge pointed talons and it was definitely not a swamp dragon as it stood at least 8 feet tall, but it had very small wings and very large nostrils. And tiny little crooked ears, not what you would call a pretty dragon at all, not one built for its looks. It shook its head and for the first time it seemed to notice that there were people looking at it. The dragon took a step towards the crowd and turned its head to look strait at them. There was a quiet hush came over the crowed, a sort of expectant look, a look of curiosity. The dragon took a deep breath and it was puzzled for several minutes after, as to where the people went, one minute they were there and the next after a bit of shouting and a lot of dust they were gone.

Well, thought the dragon that makes life different, vanishing people, then in the distance he saw a glint of light reflecting of something shiny. Then as if it had been pushed from behind, a watchman appeared at the end of the street. Now then what have we here. That’s destruction of property that is “Oh my guiddy aunt said knobby he is going to do it again” do what said “Sargent colon” “he is going to arrest the flipping dragon that’s what he is going to do”

Meanwhile enjoying their second honeymoon although it was really there first Lady Sibyl and Sam Vimes were in a couch travelling towards lancra. This is where sibyl has a distant cousin who has written so many times for them to come and visit. “And it is way past time we had a holiday Sam you know you have been working to hard again you need a good rest” .
“Yes dear but I am sure we could have found a closer destination than Lancra I mean two days in this bone shaking coach is nearly more than I can stand”. “Never mind only a few hours to go and we will be there and you can put your feet up an relax with out thinking of anything to do with ankh or the watch. They can take care of themselves for a couple of
“weeks, I’m sure that that captain Carrot will keep things in order while you are away”. “Yes dear” on that note commander Vimes took a cigar from his silver cigar case “I’m just going up top to have a smoke dear wont be long”.

“Come along now do not resist I am within my rights, willful destruction of property and endangerment of life” Said Carrot shouting as he was a long way off at the other end of the square. Just then there was a puff of smoke and a flame blasted out from behind the dragon and the dragon landed a few feet away from Carrot. Just a few feet away pressed hard against a building Colon and knobby were trying to look as if they weren’t there what do you think Fred, should we rush out and assist in the arrest.”” Well I don’t know knobby it may be going to come quietly lets just wait and see what it does next”. “Good idea Fred we don’t want to go rushing in and spoil things just as captain carrot has everything under control”. Both of them shut their eyes and waited for the whoosh, or the scream or at least something to happen.
The dragon just stood there and looked at Carrot with its ears twitching and Carrot could have sworn it was smiling. Carrot looked at the dragon and there was still some smoke coming from what was seemingly the working end of the dragon. In his mind a suspicion started to form a feeling of familiarity was entering his head.
It was cold on top of the coach and Sam Vimes sat in the middle of the luggage to keep the wind from making his cigar burn quicker. Just then a huge rock appeared from nowhere the driver screamed and the coach turned violently to the left trying to avoid it. The right hand wheel caught the rock and the coach flicked up in the air and through Vimes out in to a nearby ditch. When Vimes awoke it was very dark his head was throbbing and he wondered just where he had got the Jimkin Bearhuggers that had left him with such a hangover. It was about this time as his mind cleared; there was a vague recollection of what had happened. Then at the top of his voice he shouted “Sybil” he jumped up to run to see what has happened to the coach and fell back down with a sharp pain in his left leg. “Dame I feels as if I have broken something, Sybil, Sybil”. As his eyes grew accustomed to the dark he realized there was a lot of their luggage around him and with a bit of groping around found a staff. Using this and ignoring the pain, Vimes crawled hopped and struggled out of the ditch. Making it to the road he started to proceed along the direction in which they were traveling and promptly fell over the large rock that had upset the coach. Vimes swore violently as the pain went up his leg, it would not have been that bad but as he fell he landed on a bit of a broken coach wheel. A nightmare of scenarios passed through his mind as to what happened to the coach and once again he shouted “Sybil”. Getting back on to his feet he proceeded carefully along the road knowing the coach could not have gone far without its wheel. In the faint light on darkness he could see the outline of the coach on its side; the horses had broken free and disappeared in to the darkness. Slowly and carefully Vimes approached the coach there was a tear in his eyes as he opened the door and looked in.
“You are very familiar, do I know you” said Carrot then realizing what he has just said and the fact he new very few dragons, and they were swamp dragons and none of them this size said. “You remind me of Earl, that’s it you must be related to Earl. “What’s that” said knobby “well I reckon Captain Carrot just said the dragon was related to old Earl”. Said Colon and together, the two of them just edged there heads around the corner, just to gather information on what was happening you understand, and there was Carrot scratching the dragon behind the ears. “Well I never in all my life, it does look a bit like Earl? said Knobby” what do we do now Captain, do we still arrest it”. People were starting to gather back in the square again as the threat had moved to the other end and there was a few rumbling’s within the crowed on what should be done with the Dragon. There was a glint of weapons swords and axes were produced from nowhere and the mob now becoming braver started to edge slowly towards the dragon. “I don’t see how we can avoid it,” said Carrot. “I don’t know if you can understand me, but if you do not come with us that mob will try and kill you and I do not want you or them to get hurt so if you would just, come quietly”. Carrot produced his hand irons and chained the dragon’s finger to his own wrist he turned to the mob and said.” This dragon is now under arrest and under the protection of the watch so I would like you all to disperse and go about your own business please. The sweat formed on knobby’s forehead as the mod edged closer but carrot drew his sword and shouted.” Mr stone face and Mr Thackery I know you and you know me if you don’t stop this right now, I will be forced to arrest you all for preventing an officer of the law carrying out his duty.” On that note a few of the crowd began to slowly move off. “I am warning you it would not be a good idea to continue this type of action” “good grief said knobby” they are actually listening to him it is unbelievable if that had been you or me Sarge we would be just a grease spot on the sidewalk of life by now.” “Well let’s take advantage of the situation and head for the watch house before they change their minds.” Said Colon “Come on knobby, Fred lets get this young dragon back to the watch house where it is safe” “what makes you think it is a young dragon Captain” “Well Fred it looks like Earl but is too big to be a swamp dragon, so, I am surmising it is a fruit of the union between Earl and his magical mate.” “What’s all this talk about fruit and union” Said Knobby. Fred whispered in to knobby’s ear “Ow I see, well, Well done Earl, good for you, lucky little beggar,” Said knobby.

“Sybil” empty not a sausage the dark recesses of the coach gave no hint of anyone being there. “Sybil are you there”. No answer was the sweet reply Vimes started to look for signs of where Sybil had gone, it was not easy in the dark. As he felt his way round the coach he kicked something soft he felt down it was human or at least had been at some point. Sam struck a match it was the coach driver and he had an arrow in his back. “This strikes me as a bandit attack.” In the last flickering light of the match there are two parallel lines heading of in to the dark and just at the edge of the dark one of Sibyl’s shoes. Anger filled the captain’s mind the thought of someone dragging of his Sybil away from his arms in to the night. “Well they won’t get away with that,“ Vimes removed the belts from the harness left from the horses and used them to splint a couple of bits of carriage wheel to his bad leg. Dislodging one of the front lamps of the coach and lighting it with a match Vimes went hobbling of in to the night following the drag trail.
Back at the yard there is quite a discussion going on about son of Earl who had curled up in the corner of the main hall and fallen asleep. “What are we going to do with him Captain he cant stay here“ “I don’t see why not Fred Earl was quite happy here“ . “ Yea“ said knobby “but he ate nearly everything in the entire yard, including the kettle“ “true but we can’t just chuck him out he would be lonely“ said Fred. “No I don’t suppose we can,“ said Carrot. At that son of Earl woke up and started to sniff the floor and move along the corridor followed by Carrot Colon and knobby. Turning right and heading for the stairs up the stairs along the corridor and in to Vimes office. Their son of Earl stopped and sniffed all over the office up the walls over the furniture and stopped at the chair behind the desk. Son of Earl lifted his head and let out a howl that turned blood to wine. It nearly made the watchmen’s ears bleed “gosh” said Carrot “I think he came all this way just to meet Commander Vimes I don’t know how we are going to tell him he is not here.” “Perhaps Angua can tell him Captain” “I don’t think so knobby that’s canine not dragon theirs a subtle difference.” Son of Earl crawled under Vimes desk and lay their whimpering “lets just leave him there for a while” said Carrot and the three of them went back down stairs to the main office. Angua comes in to the watch house “what’s up with you lot you seem to be in a bit of a mood” Carrot relayed the story of son of Earl to Angua bringing her up to date with the story. Angua and Carrot went up the stairs to Vimes office to make sure son of Earl was ok, and to make sure he was not eating the furniture. As they entered the room son of Earl was perched on the window ledge and smoke was protruding from the working end. Son of Earl looked back and flared his nostrils taking a huge input of air and with a slight puffing of his lips a jet of flame filled the room.
As Vimes proceeded along the road he could here some one singing well it could have been singing in the broadest sense of the word. It had to be someone trying to sing an animal would not make as bad a noise as that. It was coming from the woods with pain in his leg and a fire in his heart Vimes set off through the woods in the direction of the noise. As he got closer to the sound there was other noises mixed in with the singing “you just wait till my Sam gets here he is the Commander of the Ankhmorepork City watch he will sort you out”. “That’s Sybil thought Vimes thank God she is all right in the distance there was a light glowing in the dark. They had lit a fire well that was one advantage he had probably the only one at this point in time. Vimes slowed down so he could approach noiselessly as he new if they herd him coming he could never better them in a fair fight. Nearer and nearer he got till he could see there was five of them all sitting around the fire and Sybil was tied up to a tree some way off. “If I could just get round there and cut her free we may just get out of this alive” thought Vimes. It was a long way round and seemed to take forever but eventually Vimes was level with Sibyls tree. The light of day was now starting to creep through the Discworld as morning approached. The bandits were now asleep, as was Sybil so quietly he put his hand around her mouth. Sybil sunk her teeth in to his hand it took Vimes all his self-control not to scream Sybil smiled embarrassingly as Vimes put a finger from the other hand to his lips. Using the dagger from his belt he cut Sibyl’s bonds and helped her to quietly get up. All stiff and soar Sybil manages to stand and starts to move slowly towards the depths of the Forrest. Just as they get together a voice booms out “where do you think you are going then,” said the bandit.

Carrot only just managed to push Angua out of the way before the flame filled the office and shot out of the door. “Gosh, that was a bit inconsiderate of son of Earl, he nearly fried us there” said Carrot, as they looked in to the room everything was covered in soot and was slightly singed. “Commander Vimes will not be pleased at all when he sees what earl has done to his office” said Carrot Angua looking out the hall window at a rapidly receding flame said “perhaps if we get the carpenters guild in tomorrow they can sort it out before he comes home.
“Never the less said Carrot I think we had better send a clacks to Lancre and let Commander Vimes know son of Earl was here as he seemed to be going in that direction.

Vimes turned slowly to face a crossbow and four swords he stood there and took a cigar out of his case and lit it. I’m sorry about this dear but when I say so I need you to hit the ground. Vimes hand moves slowly to his dagger and thinks if I can get the guy with the crossbow we have a chance otherwise we are dead. Slowly Vimes removed his dagger getting ready to strike.
An unceremonious landing right on top of the bandits stirred up a dust and smoke cloud the size of the unseen university tower and it was shaped like a big mushroom. Vimes taking advantage dived in to the cloud as lady Sybil shouted, “get them Sam”. Sam emerged from the cloud with the crossbow and one of the swords, then leaning against a tree waits for the dust to settle. As it settles he says, “Earl is that you” “oh my Sam it looks like him” “he’s bigger than I remember” “that’s because it’s not him it looks like him but it is not him”. Son of Earl comes out of the dust and sniffs Vimes up and down, looking at son of Earls face there looks as though there is a smile forming. As son of Earl rubs his head across Vimes chest Vimes scratches him behind his ears. “You know Sybil I have a feeling that this is one of Earl’s offspring”. When the dust cleared the bandits were in no fit state to cause a problem so Vimes and Lady Sybil got on the bandits horses and rode of in to the dawn following the irregular flying antics of son of Earl.
The next Day

Knobby walks in the Pseudopolis yard very agitated and almost dancing from foot to foot “Captain Carrot Captain Carrot are you their Captain” “yes Knobby what is it” says Carrot coming from his office as he looks over the balcony in to the main hall knobby tells him “they never arrived captain they never arrived” “slow down there knobby who never arrived” “commander Vimes an lady Sibyl they never arrived at Lancra it was on the clacks” Angua walks in to the yard and catches the tail and of the conversation and looks up at carrot “what are we going to do then” said Angua “I do not know I will have to think about it”

In a small inn just off the Lancra road Vimes and Sybil wake up refreshed and ready to go there horses are fed watered and fresh and “Earlson goodboy treebite semi-nobelous” (Sybil had decided he needed a name Earlson as he is the son of earl goodboy as that was part of his grandfathers name and treebite from his grandmothers side and as his mother is a drako-nobelous that makes him semi nobleous it all makes sense if you think about it) or sonny for short had spent the night in the stable and was up at the crack of dawn nostrils in the air and sounding off like a foghorn much to the disgust of the other residents of the coach house after paying for the small fire in the stables and there room bill they mounted there horses and set off again heading to Ankhmorepork.

Carrot had come to a decision he called Angua Colon and Knobby in to his office “I have decided that Angua and I are going to look for Commander Vimes and Lady Sybil there are a lot of bandits on the road to Lancra and we will just make sure they are all right that makes you in charge Sargent Colon we will only be gone for a few days we will take lance constable Bellerica and lance constable Taffergirl” so it was decided that Colon was in charge and Knobby his second in command and Carrot and Angua set of on the road to Lancra to look for the commander and his lady.

Sybil said “Sam it has been a while since I saw sonny he seems to have wandered off on his own I hope he is ok” “lets face it Sybil he managed to find us all the way out here from wherever Earl and his mate made there home I should think he wont get lost now” “AAAAAWWWWWAAAAAWWWWW” “what was that Sam” “AAAAAWWWWWAAAAAWWWWW” “That’s Sonny Sam he’s hurt” “AAAAAWWWWWAAAAAWWWWW” “he’s being killed Sam do something” “Good grief Sybil calm down it’s coming from over there” Sam and Sybil trot of towards the sound “AAAAAWWWWWAAAAAWWWWW” the noise was terrible it did sound as if something had Sonny in the grip of death as Sam and Sybil rounded the corner at a gallop there was earl sat on top of a rock perched on two legs head stretched upwards flared nostrils in the air sounding off in that terrible ear shattering wail. As Sybil approached he
settled down but kept looking from Sybil and Sam to the direction he was wailing to. “You
know Sam I think he is trying to tell us something” Sam took out his cigar case and lit up one of the foul smelling little cigars and paused for a second” I think he is trying to tell us he wants us to go that way sort of follow the leader” “what are we going to do Sam” just then there is the sound of horses coming through the woods” quick Sybil get in the brush that could be the bandits they may have re grouped” Sam and Sybil pushed in to the undergrowth and watched the little clearing as the sound of the horses became louder, Sam drew back the string on the crossbow he took from the bandit and sighted along the arrow towards the clearing quietly waiting.

Back in Ankhmorepork Colon and Knobby are in the mended drum having a meeting “another drink Mr in charge Sargent” “Don’t mind if I do Mr second in charge Corporal” “here Sarge them chaps hobbling down the road I’ve seen them before somewhere” “and where would that have been knobby” “there is just this inkling in the back of my mind from olden days I just don’t remember them being all broke up like that” “here knobby that trunk they have looks familiar” just at that point both of them realized it was Commander Vimes and lady Sybil’s trunk as one they dropped there drinks (an act that will be out down in legend and told to disbelieving hardened drinkers for years to come) and ran out the door after the crooks swards drawn the onlookers said later that the sight of Colon and knobby would have frightened the jeheebas out of the undead.

As Sam looked on the horses slowed as they approached the clearing “well if it isn’t Earls son” said Carrot to Angua Carrot dismounted and scratched Sonny behind the ear and said “was that you howling there my lad what’s the matter” both Carrot and Angua jumped as Commander Vimes spoke “I think he is homesick and wants us to go with him in fact if I am not mistaken I think there is a problem at home and I for one am going to see what it is” after a short discussion it was decided that the two lance constables would take Sybil home and Commander Vimes Captain Carrot and Lance corporal Angua would follow Sonny home and find out what the problem is. There it was that lance constable’s Bellerica and Taffergirl escorted Lady Sybil back to Ankhmorepork and Vimes Carrot and Angua followed Sonny in to the unknown.

One look at Colon and knobby and the bandits all five of them sudden forgot there injuries there hobbles became trots that became runs they dropped the trunk just as they went past gods street, at that moment Detritus was just proceeding down god street as they ran past Colon shouted to Detritus grab that trunk and take it back to the watch house and rally the men we need to catch these guys the funny thing is they were running down short street which just happens to be the longest straightest street in Ankhmorepork and the bandits ran straight at this point in time we will never know if it was because they were terrified by Colon and Nobbs or just rather stupid. On they went past the street of small gods it’s a funny thing adrenaline at the time it happens it helps a great deal your muscles move faster your breathing increases to match you get this feeling that nothing can stop you. On and on went the bandits past the street of cunning artificers still going at a fair rate but not quit as fast as they started off at things were being cast off it started with half empty bottles then kit bags and even a couple of swards anything to make the run easier. By now Colon? s face was turning very red I mean it was always red to start with but it was scarlet now and the old saying buy now pay later was making its mark and knobby was having a job keeping the dog end in his mouth as he was gasping for breath just as they passed merchant street Colon’s body gave up his legs turned to a mixture of cramp and jelly he tripped, as anyone knows when a nearly round shape hits the ground at a respectable speed it does not stop there round things roll and this is just what happened to Colon there were ten people just out side the new pizza shop as Colon rolled through them someone shouted “Strike” and all the flew in to the air Colon did stop as he hit the wall just as the momentum stopped he managed to say “ger em knobby” and that was the when the pay later took its toll he passed out. Passing the church and beginning to wish he had not got up that morning knobby realised if they got past Endless street and out the Widdershins Gate then they would just split up in to the brush and the likelihood of catching then would be slight and the junction of Endless street was coming up fast and as he swerved around some coats that had been discarded and the rest of the bandits weaponry knobby thought well that’s it they’ve gone now I’ve let the commander down.

If you go rimwards on the widdershins side of the disk turnwise about thousand miles of Krull there is a small group of rocky islands it is such an insignificant batch of craggy lifeless rocks no one has even bothered to name them it’s a group of about 20 small outcrops of rock of which the largest is about 125 miles long by 40 miles wide desolate and windswept this is where we go now because there is something happening on that forgotten island there are two groups of people there as we approach there is a group of twenty in a circle they look like women but as we approach we see that they have on very pointed hats and some of them have long beards there are stars and siggles sown on the what we now realize are robes these guys are Wizards in the centre of the circle is a large dragon Sonny’s mother “keep the chant up there we are succeeding” “nofireadragon outofamouter nofireadragon outofamouter nofireadragon outofamouter nofireadragon outofamouter” blue flames were emanating from the fingers of every wizard and sonny’s mother who was struggling furiously was being suppressed by the magical field being produced by the wizards suppressing the dragons ability to fight slowly but surely she is reduced to a heap of weak scales and inert muscles she is caught “well done Belisar well done when you came up with this idea after finding the dragons magical field in your
research I did have my doubts as to whether or not we could catch it well done” “thank you Master Antrophar we must secure the dragon with the spell of lethargicness and we can then go to the next stage of the plan did you succeed in capturing her mate alive” “yes as you suspected there is not much magic in this one if it was not for the fact that the female is here and has an extremely high magical field I would have sworn it was just a swamp dragon we will do some experiments on it as we proceed home”. The wizards brought the Dracous Nobleous (Earls mate) down on to a huge flat cart built for the purpose it had exquisitely carved siggles stars and planets and shapes that seemed to move if you looked at them too long at each end of the cart there was an alter shaped like a grotesque bird with large pointed wings Belisar and Antrophar took there place one to each alter each wizard had a diamond in there hands the size of a coconut holding the diamonds in the air with the backing chants of nofireadragon outofamouterstill being chanted by the other wizards they as one started enchanting “drako nobilous fire in the south keep the fire from leaving it’s mouth drako nobilouswings in the air down on the cart keep her there” this was repeated over and over again as it was repeated the diamonds started to glow slowly turning from red through all the color spectrum till an octerin glow exuded from them at that point as one the two wizards placed the diamonds in the mouths of the alter birds the octerin glow spread to the entire cart which glowed with the eerie octerin glow slowly as the glow spread to the alter wings the tips of the wings shot out an octerin beam that met in the middle between the two alters and formed a cage of octerin light that encompassed the dragon she was trapped.

Meanwhile commander Vimes, Carrot and Angua had reached Chimera and were currently in the main port looking for a ship with a captain and crew willing to follow a dragon they had arrived last night and Sonny had perched himself on the edge of a rocky outcrop and bayed his mournful cry out to sea after a few hours sleep and a good breakfast of bacon and eggs they were in a fairly good mood and ready to barter commander Vimes had been to one of the local Bankers' Guild where he withdrew a thousand Ankh dollars just about enough to buy the whole of Chimera and still have some change. After a discussion in a local tavern our intrepid trio found a name who might just be willing to undertake this type of journey his name was Captain Bleeder a ships captain who in the normal course of his work moved cargo from place to place without the attention of the harbor guard and not always fussy as to the type of cargo either “sounds just the sort of chap we need” said Angua and off they went to find the ship The Alourous the captain of the alourous was quite interested in discussing the journey “well said Vimes five hundred dollars now and another five hundred dollars when we return what do you say” “arr you have yourselves a deal we sail on the three o’clock tide don’t be late” commander Vimes Carrot and Angua had a walk round the city and purchased a few necessities for the journey and sent a clacks back to Ankhmorepork to let the rest of the watch know what was happening come three o’clock the captain shipped anchor and the journey began with Sonny perched on the Bow of the ship nostrils flaring in to the wind wings such as they are outstretched just like an intricately carved figurehead embodying the spirit of a ship.

Knobby got slower and slower as he got closer to Endless street when his body gave up and collapsed in a heap as he looked up to see them disappear from view and instead he saw ten sets of feet shoot up in the air he slowly stood up again and hobbled towards the heap of bodies as Detritus, stronginthearm and Pygama appeared from nowhere they had jumped on the hurryup wagon and shot down upper Broadway and along endless street at maximum speed and set a rope across endless street pulling it tight and now they were chaining them together all that you can here is the very heavy panting of five absolutely knackered very hot and sweaty bandits lying in the road Detritus went and brought the wagon over and as Pygama and Stronginthearm opened the door there was a scream as knobby made contact with the first of the bandits and the second before Detritus reminded him “come on now knobby they were now under arrest and in protective custody leave then alone” “sod that” said Colon as he struggled to breath after his long walk to catch up “for once I agree with his method of getting his own back” he sat down and knobby joined him “these sods had commander Vimes luggage trunk and with him and lady Sybil missing I reckon they have done something to them” Detritus said “there ok we received a clacks about an hour ago they were attacked but ok lady Sybil is on her way back and the commander Carrot and Angua are going to Krull” “you mean” said Colon “we busted a gut chasing them guys for nothing” “no” said knobby “not for nothing they are going to be charged with unlicensed thieving and I reckon we could be lenient and let them go sort of later like just outside the pseudopolice yard on bail you know after someone has informed the thieves guild of why we arrested them like” as they all climbed aboard the wagon and proceeded to the watch house there were groans of pain in the back and a rather terrified mumbling that was just audible “you don’t think they would turn us over to the guild do you” “no surely not” “I don’t know about that they are certainly miffed with us” “yes but the guild you know what the guild does to unlicensed thieves” “yea something to do with nails knees and the Ankh” “surely they wouldn’t be so heartless” on and on they muttered and in the front seat Colon and Knobby sat quite content with a smile in the knowledge that only they knew whether or not the crooks were going to end up in the hands of the guild.

Earl was in a state caged up in a steel solid box with a chimney venting upwards all the flames that he could muster which meant them blowing harmlessly in to the atmosphere unable to move more than an inch in any direction the wizards carried him on to one of there ships and chained him to the deck that was the easy bit earl was only a few hundred pounds easily carried by half a dozed good strong chaps. Now she was different “twenty tons if I am not mistaken” said Belisare “just as I predicted” all the wizards pushed and pulled the cart towards the second ship this ship had a flat bottom like a barge and was designed to take the big cart there was a ramp from the ship to the shore ready to take the dragon cart and a serious of ropes and pulleys ready to haul the cart on board you could see by the preparation that the wizards had prepared for this for quite some time and new what they wanted and what they wanted was Drako Nobelous the noble dragon and they had gone to an awful lot of trouble to secure it. Slowly the cart rolled up the ramp this was the moment of truth for Belisare as he designed the barge and said it would tale the full weight of the dragon as it reached the correct position the securing ropes were in place the ramp withdrawn and the barge pushed off the shore the main toeing rope attached the oars shipped and off they went to the Be Trobi islands.

On there way to the rocky outcrops of lets call it dragon island and although Vimes, Carrot and Angua didn’t know where they were going Sonny did midnight tolled on the ship and Sonny started to get a bit agitated as the ship started to veer away from the way he wanted to go in the captains cabin there was a meeting “right we are now about a thousand miles out and free from vision it is time to introduce our passengers to Mr shark he he he” there were twelve crew on board the Alourous and they reckoned that was just about right to throw three travelers off the side of the ship removing the weight of the gold so they didn’t sink quite so quick “ok lads I reckon you five take the big lad us four will sort the skinny one with the craggy face and you three should manage the girl slowly they crept to the rooms where they were sleeping the full moon lit the deck and things went smoothly till they opened the room doors “one two three GO” said the captain and in they rushed in commander Vimes room there was a short set of four dump noises and then four thumps on the floor in Carrots room four shot out the door horizontally and one through the port hole straight in to the sea taking most of the port hole with him in Angua’s room as the moonlight flooded in was very quiet the three men looked at the empty bed and turned as one to look at where the growl was from as Vimes was coming out of his room to make sure Angua and Carrot were ok he swore the three men from Angua’s room did not put one foot on the floor between the room door and the edge of the ship before there were three splashes ten minutes later all the crew was in the sea and swimming away at speed as sonny dive-bombed them in fun it had to be fun as he kept missing them commander Vimes put some water and food in a life boat with a lamp and set it off in to the night in the direction the old sea dogs were last seen traveling “there they have a chance now lets try to get this old hulk turned back towards where Sonny is flying”

Sybil Bell and Taff were progressing quite nicely in fact Ankhmorepork was in site this gave peculiar feeling to Bell it was the end of a holiday and back to work it had been an enjoyable journey as Bell liked dragons and chatted quite happily about it all day she learned swamp dragons can catch scrofula, stagers and about three hundred other diseases any of which cause them to explode and the mating habits just fired up the imagination all that energy to keep flying and the concentration the male had to use on the flame so it was the perfect temperature and the slightest deviation from perfect and it was all over in fact
Bell was amazed they ever managed to perform the whole act ever and could not quite hold them in awe the fact that there were still swamp dragons in existence. Where as Taff that was a different story she was glade to be back the journey was a nightmare she hated dragons and spent most of the time thirty feet behind saying she was guarding the rear Taff could not wait to feel the cobbles of the streets under her feet she wishes she had gone with commander Vimes now that was excitement swashbuckling conflict now that was the life in fact Taff thought she was really in the wrong profession what she really wanted and dreamed of was to be a Hero the trouble is there were not many female hero’s there were some barbarian females and assassins and thieves and every other profession but not the hero business it’s not that she had not tried I mean her and knobby set about a band of unlicensed muggers in Easy Street one night seven of them there was all big suckers all armed to the teeth attacking this lady shop keeper as she went home with her takings Taff waded strait in while knobby gave her lots of advice and the muggers were beat in to submission and chased of and what happened next thank you kind sir thank you corporal Nobbs you are my Hero I don’t know what would have happened if you had not come along not thank you miss or thank you lance constable Taffergirl no the girl never gets the credit so slowly and quietly she rode on thirty feet behind quietly contemplating the future and practicing the one and only move she learned from nobby that was any use the swift kick in the right place and use it she would on the first sucker that crossed her as she is proceeding on her rounds. Where as Sybil was having a tremendous time she had stopped several travailing salesman and purchased food drink clothing and even a pack horse to carry it all home in and all this without a penny in her pocket it was amazing one word from her and the strongest most devious seller of fine wares cringed under the effects of lady Sybil Vimes and talk it was a long time since someone was as interested in dragons as this young constable but all the time in the back of her mind was Sam and Earl she new in her heart that Sonny had not come to seek out his fathers former keeper for fun something had to be very wrong and Sam, Carrot and Angua were walking right in to it.

At this moment in time Sam, Carrot and Angua were fighting the elements there was a gale that was pushing them at a tremendous rate of knots Carrot was at the wheel as he was the only one able to hold it as Vimes and Angua lash it solid “we have to get the sails down or this wind will tare us apart” said Vimes not an easy thing to do at the best of times when you don’t know what you are doing “a mast each would be my guess” suggested Angua and so it was each one of them took a mast and started climbing the wind blew them all over the place and non of them went up in a strait line the rain battered down on them making them cold and there hands so stiff it was hard to hang on far less undo sail knots but on they went in the rain there was salt from the sea whipped up with the wind and was stinging there eyes so badly seeing was non to good ether even Sonny got in to the spirit climbing across the wind and water swept deck and chewed his way through the anchor rope letting the anchor drop in to the sea slowing them down as it dragged through the
water slowly but surely the sails came down and the three intrepid would be sailors battened down the sails and secured the main brace and the ship was still being pounded as Vimes the last to come down entered the cabin and shut the door “here you are sir I came across this barrel of Rum and thought a small nip would be appropriate now we are sailors” said Carrot “good idea that man” said Vimes there was a cast iron brassier in here and Sonny fired some appropriate flame in to the front and up the chimney till it glowed red and together they sat and supped till they fell asleep. Vimes woke up and unstuck the side of his face from the table that had been his bed the room was empty he could here Carrot out side “this must be it Angua Sonny is so excited it has to be” “I think you must be right” said Angua and there he was hooting and bellowing all over the place the ship had stopped now anchored on the sea bed about half a mile of the largest island and there was Sonny flying in his typically erratic fashion up and down the leant of the island in the distance Vimes, Carrot and Angua launched the life boat and rowed to the shore by the time they arrived there Sonny was no longer anywhere to be seen there were tracks big heavy deep tracks leading right to the edge of the water following the tracks they came across Sonny head in the air nostrils flaring standing over a dead dragon it was similar in size to Sonny with slightly different markings Sonny howled “there there” said Vimes and scratched Sonny affectionately behind his ear and said “I think we are too late” Angua said “no the tracks say they took at least mum alive these tracks say a large cart was hauled to the shore and I would bet on to a ship” “ok Sonny its time for you to use that nose of yours to good use go on find them” said Vimes with the ship following Sonny they sailed off towards the unknown.

The unknown was about two days in front of them sailing with a fair wind behind them the head wizard Antrophar and his assistant were attaching various cables and pipes to Drako Nobelous (Sonny’s mum) the pipes had great needles on the end draining the magical life force out of the dragon and storing it in glowing urns “it works it works I told you we could drain the magic from the beast Antrophar” “yes Belisare you were right this is going to give us a great advantage in the war against the solar wizards of the Sun a great advantage indeed” and so the experiment proceeded and as the urns were filled Drako Nobelous was drained in fact the effect was quite startling there were wrinkles forming on her skin and some of her amour plating was beginning to fall off and her color was diminishing from the bright beautiful colors to dull pastels and gray’s in fact if you stared at her long enough you could swear she was just starting to become very slightly transparent tone of the other wizards called Sheflar was given the task of retrieving the magic from Earl using pipes and cables as well he was not getting on so well I suppose one of the reasons was well Earl just wasn’t magic no matter what he tried there was nothing in fact the urns had blood in them the Be-Trobi islands were in sight home of the wizards of the moon on shadow order of the sanctified incarnation the wizards shipped the oars on the barge and started rowing the barge to the shore where other similarly robed figures were waiting the cart was slid on to the shore and the procession set of towards the foot of Mount Raruaruaha the city of the moon when they arrived at the city there was celebrations and dance and a feast befitting the intrepid expedition with it? s victorious return a return that was proving fatal to Earl and Drako Nobelous by the next day Earl was so weak that he could hardly stand in his box and his flame had gone out he just lay in the shaped box and whimpered as for Nobelous the color had gone completely she was grey from the tip of her nose to the end of her tail “Antrophar” said Sheflar “yes” “the little one has no magic at all we have tried everything we know he is just a swamp dragon nothing more” “then leave it and concentrate in converting the urn’s in to the distilled magic we can use against the solar wizards” “what will we do with the little dragon” “it is of no consequence just leave it where it is” and so Earl was left to die.

Knobby was standing looking in to the cells he had been there for some time just staring at the bandits they were in a very nervous state the staring knobby was getting to them they really did not know whether or not the watch was going to call the thieves guild and let them go they new that could be fatal “stop that knobby you know we are not supposed to do psychological torture once they are in custody they have rights” Said Colon “I know it’s just that what they did to lady Vimes I mean her a proper lady and all that it’s not right it’s not right that” said knobby and as he was just about to turn and leave he rattled the cell keys “well I never” said Colon “I would never have believed it you got a confession with out a kick in the Vulnerables well done knobby” “yes but what are we going to do with the information I mean he’s a big man in the city” said knobby” “and a bigger man in the guild” said Stronginthearm “well he has broken the law and has to pay for it hiring bandits to attack a stage coach and kill the occupants is a crime and we have to act on the information given” Said Colon “yes well I think we should wait for commander Vimes and Carrot to come home” said knobby “but we don’t know how long that will be I mean I am not sure I want to be the one the says yes commander we knew it was him and did nothing about it you know I mean just think what he would say” said Colon they sat and thought about it for a long while the thought of interviewing the head of the assassins guild about a gang of thugs that claim he hired them to kill the commander sent shivers down there spines was it a legitimate assassination because it was initiated by the head of the guild or was it a common murder because there was no honor between the bandits and no contract the only place in the city where there could be an answer was in the unseen university and the book that they tried to bury only a few years ago when Earl was fighting his mate the Laws and ordinances of Ankh and Morepork and the only thing that stood against them and the book was about three hundred pounds of orangutan and when it came to books you could do anything you want as long as you don’t touch them or read them he had a strong view that books will were out if you read them and strong arm to enforce this if he was not happy so off went Colon and knobby to the university library “hank on a minute Sarge let’s stop here and buy a few bananas it wouldn’t hurt” after a visit to the fruit shop they
proceeded slowly towards the university library in the library the librarian having his afternoon nap and was a bit upset on being wakened up you can always tell when an orangutan was upset it sort of started with the growling noise and then as the lips recede showing a set of teeth that looked like they could take a leg off if the owner was aggravated knobby rallied first and held up his badge “this is official watch business and you being an honorary member of the watch we will be relying on your complete co-operation in this matter” the lips returned to there natural state and three hundred pounds of sacking tried to stand to attention “it was actually quite impressive” said Colon later “he almost took shape” that was when knobby put the boot in metaphorically speaking and bought out the bag of Bananas this had the desired affect and the librarian took knobby gently by the hand and led him in to the depths of the book shelves there was a bead of sweat on knobby’s brow ha had heard about the books in here how some students went in to study and a few screams later were never seen again he jumped as chains rattled in there shelves the librarian gently squeezed knobby’s hand as if to say you will be all right with me eventually they stopped and the librarian pointed to the book that knobby had asked for the laws and ordinances of Ankh and Morpork nervously knobby took it from the shelf a rustle of paper rippled through the shelves and knobby felt a thousand eyes were watching him as he gently opened the book and read the appropriate law he read it allowed as his finger traced the words across the book “n o per son li v ing or d e a d shall out s i de the au thor ity of the g u i ld ca u se or e n t i c e the ca u se of death by u n n a t u r a l me a ns” “rats” said knobby as he placed the book back on the shelf as he let go the rustling stopped and the chains from the more dangerous magical books being led back to the front desk knobby was thinking about the trouble that was going to ensue in the next few days and whether the watch would survive it.
“Commander Vimes look at that there are flames in the sky” said Carrot “gosh there beautiful” said Angua “volcano’s” said Vimes “seen them before they send gas from fishers that go deep in to the disk and the red hot lava ignites the gas shooting it high in to the air very impressive in the dark like this it must mean there is land over there we had better drop anchor so we can see where we are going I would not like to sink our new ship would I”
in the daylight they could see the islands after launching the life boat they started to row for the shore where Sonny was flying above back and forward searching for mum and dad suddenly a blue flame shot out and hit Sonny as he spiraled towards the ground another blue flame hit him and Sony fell the rest of the way limp and lifeless Vimes, Carrot and Angua hit the shore line at a gallop jumped out of the boat and ran toward the stricken animal “gosh he must be hurt he fell quite some distance” said carrot just as they got to Sonny there was some wizards ran out the woodland and all stopped facing each other there was one of these deathly silences “who are you” said one of the wizards “and what are you doing with our dragon” “your dragon” said Vimes “just what makes you think he’s your dragon” “we shot it down” Angua who was checking Sonny over said “he looks a bit
stunned but he is still breathing” “of course it’s is breathing” said the wizard “we only stunned him it’s the first dragon we have ever seen” “well that means it was not you that kidnapped his mum and dad then” said Vimes “kidnapped kidnapped what possible reason could we have to kidnap a dragon” “we were hoping you could tell us it could be the same reason you shot Sonny down” said Angua rather angrily “no you have it all wrong we stunned it so we could get a really good look at it without getting burned we were only curious” “well he belongs to us and we are taking him with us” said Vimes “ok allow us to assist” “no Angua and Carrot will take him back to the ship and you and I will talk about this” Carrot and Angua loaded Sonny in to the life boat and rowed him back to the ship he was very heavy and it took some time to row the short distance to the ship once at the ship they connected the life boat to the pulley system and hauled the little craft aboard that took even longer bit by bit and every inch took it’s toll eventually they managed to get him on board and comfortable he had fallen a long way and there were strange noises coming from his stomachs “he must be rearranging his plumbing so he does not blow up they can do that you know I read it in one of lady Vimes books it was fascinating” said Carrot” well I hope you are right it would be disastrous if he exploded here on board I think he is as comfortable as possible lets go and see what commander Vimes is doing” said Angua

“So let me get this straight” said Vimes “you are the sanctified order of solar wizards of the sun you are at war with the sanctified order of the wizards of the moon on shadow and have been for years it started because you were running out of space on the islands and since then thousands have died but now all that’s left is the level nine mages and nether of you has the power to kill the other sounds like a few wizards that I know don’t you think that now you have less people it’s a bit pointless fighting” “I am afraid it is a matter of principle now it has nothing to do with the land it’s a power struggle” said Vondor head of the solar wizards” and now they have a Drako-noblous in there possession I think the balance of power may just have been changed” “in that case” said Whendor the second in command “we will just have to kill the dragon” Vimes rose to his feet “that’s my dragon and no one is going to kill it” “I don’t see as we have much choice I think you may go now Vimes” Vimes put his hand on his sword and started to draw it Carrot and Angua were wandering up the trail when splat a large heap of commander Vimes landed in front of them “are you all right commander” said Carrot “that is a rather stupid question Carrot of course I am not all right I feel like every cell in my body is dancing and I am not in the mood” Carrot drew his sward and was about to attack when Vimes said “leave it Carrot they are wizards you wont get close enough to use your sword before they do the same as they did to me or worse lets just find a quiet spot and make camp” in a small clearing they started a fire and Vimes recounted the tail of the war of the wizards and what the solar wizards were now planning to do “kill her we cant allow that can we” said Angua and both Carrot and Vimes agreed.
Wizards all over the disk were very similar they were all pompous know it all’s with an arrogant manner that looked down on everyone and everything they sat down every day to a meal that would feed a family for a week did most of there work (if you call standing in a circle and chanting in a dress work) at night and slept till lunch as in there opinion breakfast was hardly worth getting up for and here on the Be-trobi islands they were no different. In there camp Vimes, Carrot and Angua were sleeping restlessly when the sky lit up they jumped up swords drawn ready for battle standing back to back they circled slowly Vimes kicked soil over the fire knowing if there was light there it made them a target the light flashed again “it’s just lightning” said Angua” then where’s the thunder with the lightning that close we should be getting deafened” more flashes blues and reds and greens actually quite spectacular if it was not so close after a bit there was a common consensus that none of the action was aimed at them so they decided to get a better view they made for the nearest hill from there they could see the battle there the wizards were standing in two straight lines staffs raised it was actually quite peculiar there only ever seemed to be one staff going off at a time and they took turns about at attacking in fact it was almost civilized a wizard from one side would become more animated than the rest and vocal swing his arms and point his staff then there was a great thunderbolt would emanate from the staff and a wizard from the other side would do something similar and the two bolts would meet somewhere in the middle and the fireworks from that lasted for ages then the defending side would become the attacking side and it would all start again from this Vimes worked out that the intermediate bit was when the wizards were charging themselves up and as they watched it was becoming clear that the Solar wizards were on the loosing side as the moon wizards were recharging faster and every so often would get a shot in that had no one to defend it and when that happened the resulting explosion sent one of the Solar wizards exploding in to, well nothing I mean even when you get incinerated by a dragon there is still a small pile of what you used to be a few shards of dust and a few remnants of the clothes you were wearing and a bit of softly bubbling metal where there had once been a sword but at least someone with a brush and shovel could sweep you up all sight you couldn’t call it much but at least it was a burial your remains were actually somewhere, but this it was an explosion of bright white light and then what was left seemed to float away like sparks from a firework “Commander” said Carrot “the moonies seem to have glowing vases at there feet and as they are waiting there is a sort of soft glow from the vase I reckon they are using them to fire faster” “you mean like an extra quiver” said Angua “the bastards I bet they have found a way of siphoning the magic from our bloody dragon well they are not going to get away with it I don’t know how but we are going to stop them” said Vimes.

As Knobby, Colon, Stronginthearm and Detritus were having a mug of strong tea Knobby told them “the law says that the head of the assassin’s guild has broken the law and if Carrot were here we would already be marching over there to arrest him so the next question is
what are we going to do” there followed one of these dead silences where universes came and went worlds lived and died and time was on an endless loop

The window joined them not just a little bit but the whole window frame and all it showered broken glass everywhere no one was immune to the blast even Detritus had a few shards of what was once the nails that held the window in place impaled in his back “is everyone ok there” said Colon “just a few scratches on the old helmet” said Stronginthearm “just a few nicks here and there how about you sarge” said Knobby “same here knobby what about you Detritus you took most of that on your back” “I don’t know sarge I have a strange tingling in my back but apart from that I seem to be ok” said Detritus “what happened” “said Colon Knobby looked out the, well what used to be the window on to the courtyard “sarge” “yes Knobby” “the ER cells sarge” “what about the cells Knobby” “there not there anymore sarge” slowly all four of them looked out the gap to see, well in fact not to see the cells all three cells on this side of the building were gone there was rubble everywhere “what cell were the prisoners in” asked Stronginthearm “well I could give you three guesses” said Knobby “one things for sure we wont be needing the dinners we ordered for them” as they looked on in stunned silence a small bit of paper floated down and landed on the cobbles Colon went out and picked it up “ah” he said “Official assassination By order and on commission of Dr Cruses this assassination was carried out by lord Malikite explosives expert NO JOB TO LARGE OR TO SMALL” “well what do we do now that our witnesses are spread all over the yard” said Stronginthearm “call a builder” said Knobby

As the fight went on the moon wizards vases slowly lost there glow and the fight became very even again although there were a few less solar wizards they were keeping up and slowly the energy of all started to run out the staffs range was less and less until the fireballs stopped reaching the other side Vimes Angua and Carrot wondered what would happen next would they put the boot in as Knobby would say or get there swords out and get stuck in as Colon would say or just what do wizards do when the magic runs out but none of that happened, they just turned round and went home Vimes found that his mouth dropped open “they just walked away” said Angua “it’s as if they have finished a days work and the bell for the end of the shift has just rang” said Carrot “amazing” said Vimes “if they did that in Ankhmorepork they would get more than a hundred yards before someone mugged them” said Carrot “and that is when they will be at there most vulnerable” said Vimes “quick lets follow them” Off they went following the moon wizards they went turn wise through the woods and as they came out on the other side the wizards had gone “where the devil are they” said Vimes “Look” said Angua they have a horse drawn cart we will never catch them now” “no but we can follow them” said Vimes lets go” it was dark
and cold and it was starting to rain but the trail was easy to follow and long very long miles and miles and miles exhausted cold wet and angry on and on they went you know how there is in sport a sort of pain barrier that every sports person needs to go through well they reached it and discovered there was a second and a third as daylight oozed sluggishly over the hills legs aching feet soar eyes feeling as if they are propped open with match sticks when there in front of them in the distance was the moon wizards village all quit and peaceful by the time they got near it the sun was rising in the sky and there was a few people walking about and the smell of breakfast, “breakfast when was the last time we ate” said Vimes “I still have some dwarf bread left commander” said Carrot so there they were a mile or so off the moon wizards village bedraggled soar cold depressed and eating dwarf bread well chewing dwarf bread not sure of there next move but still with a bit of determination in there hearts slowly one by one they fell asleep.

“you know what Carrot would do Knobby don’t you” said Colon “yes” said knobby “he would go round to the assigns guild walk right up to the door knock and ask to see Dr Crusses and when he saw him he would say you are under arrest and take him back to the cells we have left” said Knobby they stared in to the devastation from the explosion around the cells for a long moment “and just what do you think would happen if we did that” said Colon they thought for another long moment when Detritus said “I think they need to use a bucket, shovel and a brush to take us to cemetery” they stood and looked again for a long moment when Colon said “this is not right this is just wrong these guilds think they can get away with anything hiding behind there rules it’s just not right and I think we should do something about it” slowly Knobby recognizing the way things looked like they were going slowly backed away when Colon looked over and said “that goes for you to Knobby call in all the guards night watch day watch and the reserves there must be fifty of us in total send out runners to all the city gatehouses tell them to shut the gates and report to the pseudopolis yard at dawn in full amour and armaments we are not going to take this lying down”

Lying down at this moment was Vimes, Carrot and Angua when suddenly there was a whinny from a horse all three of them were on there feet and ready to fight then as one realized this was the wizards on there way to the next night fight dropped in to the brush so they were not seen the wagon moved past full of wizards and glowing vases as they watched they noticed each vase was attached to a wizard lots of with cables they were attached to there heads there shoulders and ran all the way down to there fingers each cable seemed to have a light running along it from the other end of the cables which went in to the top of the vase and seemed to be held there with rope with every illumination that ran along the cable the wizards were physically pulsating like a heart beat there eyes staring like gimlets boring in to the distance one of them turned and looked strait at Vimes well
actually strait through him the eyes were so sharp a pain entered his head and he closed his eyes and tried to bury his head in the dirt “are you all right commander” whispered Carrot” “I think so it’s as if he looked right through my head and didn’t see me in the middle come on lets go see who is left in the village” when they got to the village they could see Nobelous in the cart that was specially designed to hold her around the cart were three wizards one seemed to be chanting at the alter on the front of the cart the other two were standing at several vases with interlocking cables with the same pulsating light filling the vases “that pulsating light is her heart beating the life from her” said Angua at the side of the cart was another box a sort of square metal box with a sort of chimney at the back “that must be Earl” said Vimes slowly they made there way round the back of the village as the night started to fall suddenly the sky lit up in the widdershins direction vast blues and yellows and greens it was so bright that Vimes, Angua and Carrot through long dark shadows against the tree line of the woods behind them and the noise started bigger and louder than last time it banged and crackled and hissed and seemed to come from everywhere Vimes spotted the two wizards going in to a shed with a glowing urn “Angua and I are going in to the shed to sort out these two you see what you can do with the cart” it was a big shed and as Vimes and Angua slipped in the door the wizards were nowhere to be seen at the far end there was a faint glow what ever happens we need to stop them raising there staffs there were footsteps coming along as they got close Vimes and Angua jumped out at the wizards swords raised Vimes swung his sword at the wizards head and hit him full force with a lizard his sword turned in to a lizard and Angua found herself trying to stab the other wizard with a snake although this may in most circumstances seen as a disadvantage a disadvantage all Vimes and Angua did was change tactics although it was no longer a sword it still hit the wizards head with a resounding and satisfying thump followed by a second and a third at the same time the business end of the snake had gripped the other wizard in knobby’s boots favorite place and as he bent over on his knees the lizard hit him on the back of the head so hard his head hit the ground and bounced meanwhile Carrot was at the rear of the cart he thought to him self this workmanship is excellent and the wings are exquisitely carved now Carrot he told himself that is not what you are here for he looked over and at the other end of the cart the wizard was still chanting and waving his hands at the other alter as Vimes and Angua looked on Carrot spat on his hands and rubbed them togeth
At the very worst time of there lives the very least we can do is our very best.
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Location: UK

Postby bogieman » May 6th, 2007, 7:26 am

together he drew his sword and swung at the alter there was no noise and nothing moved then as if in slow motion the alter slid back on to the ground the blue light holding Nobelous very slowly became shorter and shorter and as the light bars released her there was movement at the front the wizard was concentrating on his work so hard he didn’t quite notice the engulfing light was waning and just as the last flickers of light disappeared in to the alters wings he looked up and straight in to Nobelous’s mouth Vimes swore later that the man had a grin on his face just before he was emulsified in to glass mixed with the sand he had been standing on Vimes, Angua and Carrot ran over to the steel chest and undid the locks and as one of the sides fell over Earl rolled out on to the
sand in a heap Nobelous raised her self on to her back legs and with outstretched wings drew in a breath that nearly knocked Angua, Carrot and Vimes over there were sparks emanating from the very air and a jet of pure white flame hit the shed with the urns in it with a slight crackle the shed was no more and as she took in the next breath a pale pulsating light crossed from where the shed was and seemed to be breathed in by her as she breathed the color seemed to return and she started to move her wings beating slowly and firmly in a timeless effort Nobelous raised of the ground inch by inch upward she went then with a gasp of air that moved the trees she soared in to the air up and up she went and disappeared through the clouds “is he breathing” said Angus at that Earl opened an eye and his tongue slowly licked Vimes face there were tears running down Vimes cheeks and he scratched him behind his ears “look at that” said Carrot as they looked towards the sky Nobelous lit up from the wizards battle was heading in a strait line towards mount Awayawa and the heart of the battle the light changed from multi colored sparkly light to the brightest light Carrot, Angua and Vimes had ever seen it was so bright they had to cover there eyes “I think our wizard problem has just evaporated” said Vimes slowly Earl managed to get on his feet and even ate some dwarf bread and had a drink of water he was still weak but it looked as though he would be ok Nobelous came back and landed at the side of them and gave Earl a few nudges and a lick or two just to make sure he was ok.
Nobelous lay her long neck down at the side of Vimes, Angua and Carrot with a slight nudge to Vimes that knocked him of his feet “ouch you know I think she wants us to climb aboard” said Vimes, slowly one by one they climbed on to Nobelous’s back just a minute said Vimes and jumped of and ran in to a nearby hut and came out with a rope he showed it to Nobelous “I hope you understand what I am going to do girl” said Vimes and he proceeded to wrap the rope around her neck Nobelous did not complain and let him finish he then mounted the dragon beside Angua and Carrot as Nobelous raised her head Angua said “hang on” and with out stretched wings she slowly raised off the ground, gently she lowered her talon’s lifting Earl safely in her grip then with a whoosh they rose in to the night sky from there position on Nobelous’s back they had a grandstand view of the islands and over where there had previously been a village and some fighting wizards there was a large black mark light up from fires around the edges and what once had been was no more. Up and up they went almost to the clouds and Nobelous turned towards the ground Angua said “good grief I hope she does not go any higher” “no” said Vimes “it looks as if she is turning to go back downnnnnnnn AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” Nobelous neck extended wings slicked back went in to a dive towards the island Vimes, Angua and Carrot were hanging on for there very lives the wind pulled at there faces giving them expressions of terror and fear all rolled in to one downwards they went as they went over the moon wizards village a jet of brilliant white light sprouted from Nobelous the heat singed everyone’s hair a bit and all were a bit hot and then it was gone and so was the village Nobelous had removed all traces of the warring wizards from the face of the disk and up
she flew in to the night the cold night being high in the sky and with the wind rushing over them Vimes, Angua and Carrot huddled together and shivered hoping there journey would be over soon.
5:43 am and pseudopolis yard was heaving with guards 43 of them to be precise the full complement all in amour all armed to the teeth all wondering what they are there for they new something was going on as there had never been a full watch meeting before and everyone was a bit nervous and a low chattering between guards was only just audible over the noise of rattling amour. Sergeant Colon stood on the steps of the watch house surveying his troupes “men of the watch” he started “this is a day that will go down in the history books of the watch today we are going to arrest the head of the assassins guild for breaking the laws and ordinances of Ankhmorepork” Colon went on to explain the reasoning behind the arrest to the men of the watch. Up on the rooftops a shadow moved away from the yard towards the assassin’s guild everyone in the yard agreed that Dr Cruses of the assassin’s guild had broken all the laws of both the city and the guild but the guild would not do anything as he was the head honcho so it was up to the watch. Over in the guild of assassins the shadow was making his report to Dr Cruses after which an emergency meeting of the guild elders was called the elders were not happy “how can we back you when you have ignored the rules” said Dr Barnstone “because if you do not the antidote from the poison in the coffee will be thrown away” said Dr Cruses the look of the elders would normally have killed but the thought of the now high in there minds antidote for some reason took control and the guilds members were dispatched in to a defensive grid around the guild house. Meanwhile back a pseudopolis yard a plan had been formulated and half of the guard marched down one end of Filligree Street and the other half from the other direction one group led by Colon and the other by Knobby they came together outside the guild gate to find it guarded by a dozen assassins “what do you want” said the assassin closest to them “bring Dr Cruses here now or stand out of the way and let us go and get him” said Colon, from the wall above the gate the voice of Dr Cruses boomed down “Take your petty little troupes away from here you have no right to be making any demands from us” with a wave of his hand the buildings around them had dark shadows moving in to place the watch drew there swords and 6 men ran in to the doorways of every building with a shadow the Troll squad moved in to a defensive position around the others the dwarfs drew there throwing axes and prepared to throw and the human members cocked there crossbows Dr Cruses said “my men are far higher trained than the watch you will not survive if you attack” knobby replied “we have justice and courage on our side as well as determination” Colon looked at Knobby and said “where did that come from” “I donno sarge it just seemed to be appropriate at the time” Colon raised his arm and on the battlements of the guild Dr Cruses raised his arm.
It had been a long night Nether Vimes Carrot or Angua knew where they were going or how long they would be before they got there they were inside the clouds and all there clothes were dripping wet and there were droplets of ice forming on the end of there noses
through the night they had tried to get some sleep but non of them did so they were so tired it was a struggle just to hold on now the rope was covered in ice and hard on there hands that were soar and cracked just as they thought that they could not continue Nobelous broke through the clouds in to the daylight and sunshine it was still cold at that height but it is amassing what a little sunshine does for the heart and soul life flowed back in to them looking down they realized just where they were that was the stow plains below them they were heading for Ankhmorepork they were being taken home the relief on Vimes face was a picture there was even a glimmer of a smile there everything was clear from that height there eyes picked out the river Ankh as it flowed through the cabbage fields of the Sto Plains towards Ankhmorepork closer and closer they moved towards the city Carrot was first to notice something was not quite right “Commander there seems to be an awfully lot of people outside the assassins guild in Filligree street” he said “you can see that far” said Angua “yes, in fact it looks like guards” “guards outside the assassins guild what would guards be doing outside the assassins guild I would have thought Colon and Knobby had more sense than that” said Vimes” “it is definitely guards commander it looks like they are taking an attack posture against the guild some of them have just entered the buildings around the guild and it looks like Dr Cruses is directing the assassins from the platform above the gate of the guild” “what the hell are they playing at the assassins will kill anyone who gets in the way well not on my shift they wont” said Vimes. Vimes grabbed the rope and with the strength of ten men pulled hard on Nobelous’s neck Angua and Carrot were surprise as the great beast turned towards the guild and started to descend towards the street “do you know what you are doing commander” said Carrot “I am making sure we have a watch to go back to that’s what I am doing” replied Vimes Colon arm raised and ready to signal the start of an attack that he was not sure he could win was the first to see the dragon and froze in his tracks “now Fred” said knobby “its now or never, what’s wrong you cant be worried about the conciseness now we have come this far” “look” said Colon knobby followed his gaze “well ill be a monkeys uncle” said knobby “I always new there was a bit of the ape in you knobby” Colon turned to the rest of the watch and at the top of his voice shouted “RUN everyone run clear the streets get out of here come on move that’s an order” at first the watch were unsure as this was not quite what they had planed but took the hint by the panic on Colon and knobby’s face and ran for it. From the top of the wall Dr Cruses started to laugh out loud and said “it’s no use running it’s time we taught the watch just where there place is in this city and that place is the gutter” he shouted “ASSASSINS get ready” just then he herd a rush of wind and slowly turned Nobelous was just flying over the top of the guild house neck extended and Dr Cruses could see Vimes just over the top of the dragons head then lowering his eyes it became clear to him the attack was over “______” he said Vimes dug his heels in to Nobelous’s neck with a force that made her wince there was a puff of white flame that engulfed Dr Cruses and hit the street where the watch had occupied just a few minutes before.
Dr Cruses opened his eyes “it missed” he said looking down there was a pair of boots with smoke coming from them “I THINK WHEN YOU GET DOWN TO THE FOOT OF THE PROBLEM YOU WILL FIND THAT HE DID NOT MISS” “you you are death aren’t you” “IT’S THE SCYTHE ISN’T IT SORT OF GIVES THE GAME AWAY” DEATH swung his blade and Dr Cruses floated away from the boots “what now” “IT IS DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE TO SOME IT IS A START OF A NEW ADVENTURE TO OTHERS IT IS AN ENDING OF THIS ONE” someone else joined them “ah I have been waiting for you Dr Cruses” “who are you wait a minute I recognize you its Dr Bernard I poisoned you in order to become the head of the guild” another person appeared then another and another they surrounded Dr Cruses who started to scream as they raised what looked like weapons and as they slowly disappeared in to infirmity it looked like for all intents and proposes that they were stabbing the screaming Dr Cruses and then they were gone.

Nobelous laid Earl down and made a perfect landing lowering her neck Vimes Carrot and Angua dismounted as Earl looking a bit better struggled to his feet as Carrot removed the rope from her neck Vimes scratched Earl at the back of his ears “good to see you up and about lad” and then he turned to Nobelous and said “you to girl it’s nice to see you looking back to normal” at that Bell Taff and Sybil rode in to pseudopolis yard and you could see on her face the look of surprise and wonder dismounting from her horse she hugged Sam Earl and Nobelous in that order although Sam Vimes was not sure if Earl could have come first if he had been nearer.
Over at the assassins guild the elders were standing around and looking at a pair of boots on the battlements one of them said “do you really think he poisoned the coffee” another said “we will never know” another said “no but if we don’t wake up tomorrow there will be anarchy in the guild” another said “we will cross that bridge if we come to it but until then I suggest we keep it to our selves” Knobby and Colon were watching from an ally and knobby said “I don’t reckon they will be causing us any trouble for a week or two do you” “no I think with the demise of Dr Cruses we may just have a quieter time from them for a while lets get back to the yard it’s your turn to make the tea” “no it’s not I did it last time “no you didn’t I did and besides I am the superioror officer” “ok I’ll make the tea Fred”

There was tea and stories all round and while they talked Earl ate the coal the poker the table the coal scuttle and even two mugs including the tea that was in them with a rumble and a few practice flames Earl shot in to the air and blared out like a foghorn Nobelous began to purr like a twenty ton kitten she took one last look at Vimes, Carrot and Angua stretched her wings and slowly raised in to the air to join Earl and with an other blast like a foghorn the two lovers flew off in to the sunset. “Now there goes a noble dragon if ever saw one and I am not just talking about Nobelous” said Vimes to Sybil and hand in hand they walked in to the watch house to join the party.
It took Nobelous and Eric about a day to return home and as they approached the rocky outcrops that they called home they were met by the sound of Sonny bellowing the now familiar greeting the three Noble dragons went home and there where they left him was the other child who had died in the fight with the moon wizards the three dragons stood side by side over the body of there family member and raised there heads in the air if you had been watching them the noise would have deafened you, as they bayed at the moon Nobelous took a deep breath and the white familiar flame became the funeral fire after which all three of put there heads together and as a family blew the ashes in to the wind.

The End
At the very worst time of there lives the very least we can do is our very best.
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