This excerpt is from the working draft of The Six and the Dragon Realm, the sequel to The Six and the Magic Circles. The book is still on the drawing board.so please be aware that this is a draft and may or may not appear in the book as is presented (and may not be in the book at all, in fact). As a book is written it evolves, so not only is it possible this passage will change, but the working title may not even remain the same. Nothing is definite until publication.
Excerpt, The Six and the Dragon Realm:
“Wow! Look at us.” Leyton was wide-eyed. “We age shifted again. What’s going on?”
The kids examined each other. Then Mady looked at Anusha and said, “When we picked you up, you already looked little older than you did on our quest for the golden flowers, but you haven’t changed after going through this portal. Why did the rest of us change?”
Magus explained, “When you went through the faery portal to Falhaven, you became ten years old. That’s what faery portals do. Coming into Falhaven you become ten, leaving Falhaven you revert to your actual ages. You not only left Falhaven but traveled through a unicorn portal to reach Ormorlin, so you returned to your actual ages.”
“But Anusha . . .”
“Anusha is an elf,” interrupted Magus. “The ages of magical beings are not affected by portals.”
“Okay. So now only Garrett is 10,” Leyton said. “I’m 9, Mady is 12, Grayson is 16, and the Will and Grant are 13.”
“Yeah, Sherlock. Just like Magus said, same as at home,” said Grant.
Garrett nodded curtly. “Just checking.”
Gray grabbed him and knuckled his head. “How will I be able to concentrate on the problems of this realm if I have to babysit the rest of you?”
Garrett laughed and said, “Babysit! Hah! We all have powers and none of us need babysitting.”
A chorus of “yeah” and “he’s right” came from the rest of the group.
Grayson grinned and said, “Just kidding. I know you have powers, and I remember you saved my bacon more than once on our last quest.”
“Last quest? Don’t you mean our only quest?” laughed Grant. “I remember only one.”
With the age question resolved, the kids began to notice their surroundings. They all stared wide-eyed as they slowly turned, taking in the healing camp in Ormorlin. A river ran through the center of the cavern allowing boats to pull right into the middle chamber. That is, when the huge flow-through gate protecting the entrance was opened.
As in the camp they had just left, ornate lamps similar to old English gas street lamps lit the cavern as brightly as daylight. This was dragon land where magic is powerful, so the kids wondered if the lamps were gas lights or magic lights.
Bridge-like stairs wound up both sides of the cavern leading to doorways, some with actual doors and some without. Along the river in the central chamber were lovely resting areas, like comfortable indoor parks. Bridges with ornate railings spanned the river. Fancy, decorative carvings and columns added to the splendor.
“Looks like a river, but that big body of water we flew over looked like an lake or a sea,” said Will. “If it is, this is not really a river but a sort of inlet.”
“This can’t be a temporary healing camp. It seems more like an ancient village,” said Grant as though he’d not heard Will’s remark.
“You’re both right,” said Magus. “We call it a river, but it is not. And this really is a healing camp, but it’s in the Hidden Village of the Nabolians. I believe the village has been here for centuries. I think perhaps larger creatures than the Nabolians built it and lived here in the past.”
Just then a group of hairless round people came out of one of the upper doors and paraded down the stairs on thin legs, smiling from ear to ear, tall ears twitching and wiggling. It looked like Nabs had cloned himself. Even the females looked like Nabs.
“Welcome, welcome,” they said, each speaking over one another.
Immediately the kids felt comfortable. The Nabolians were friendly little people.
“Follow us to your rooms,” they said, speaking over one another again.
“Rooms?” questioned Mady.
“Yes,” said Magus. “We’ll camp here for a short time. In the morning, the War Council will meet with you and explain some things. Meanwhile, you should get some rest. Oh, and the mountain elves have made warm, mountain outfits for you. They’ll be in your rooms.”
“Will it be that cold?” asked Mady.
“If you go up into the mountains, and I believe you will. But that has not been decided. Still, you must be prepared.” Magus nodded at the smiling group of Nabs. Half of them escorted the kids and Anusha to adjoining rooms on an upper level. The other half led the critters away.
It was late and the kids were exhausted after their trip, and all fell asleep even as they were wondering if they were capable of whatever was expected. Could they do what was necessary to save Ormorlin and stop the evil wizard?