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part three.

Part Three
The sea air currents are especially refreshing. Itís with some regret that the black cloud emerges from it and glides smoothly down to the glistening rocks, shimmering and rippling. The smoke lengthens and splits, and where the two ends meet the ground they grow outwards and divide each into five uneven branches; the top splits into three, with the middle one blowing round like a bubble and the two to the side dropping down and growing outwards. Within a matter of minutes, where there had only been an opaque black haze there stands a man Ė a tall, handsome man, wearing black trousers and a shirt but no shoes or socks. His floppy black hair has grown longer, but otherwise he looks much the same as he did the day he vanished from this world. Tanned skin, intelligent black eyes and a strong jaw contribute to his distinctly Mediterranean appearance, and both in the magical and physical senses he radiates an aura of power and strength.

Mallos slips his hands into his pockets. Useful things. Heís missed them.

Gull Isle is seldom used in Shaman. A kinder fairy would say itís because the mutual respect and friendship between the territory leaders means that no one ever attempts to steal anotherís members; a less kind one might say that no leader can be bothered to row or swim out to the little island. Mallosí opinion, extreme as it is, is that fairies no longer possess the intelligence to construct riddles or the ambition to expand themselves beyond the mediocre. That will change.

Original fairies do not have wings - itís one of the main visible differences between them and ordinary fairies (it would seem that at the beginning of time, no fairy had wings; ordinary fairies evolved them, much in the same way as other winged creatures. Originals never evolved wings because Originals never evolved Ė they do not reproduce and they are all immortal, so they are largely unchanged from the day they arrived on the planet). Itís far easier for divinity to lift Mallos than it would be for him to unfold a weighty set of wings and take off in the traditional style. This he does, with great elegance and little effort, until heís a safe distance up.

Let the fun begin.

Gull Isle shifts. Several rocks from further out glide towards the island, snapping into place along a central spine which shivers with life. Beneath the surface of the water, more rocks shift and smash together, groaning under each otherís weight or grinding against one another.
The general body is the first to take shape. The spine wriggles. Next comes the tail, which snaps the water several times, and the claws feet. Last to come together is the head, complete with hollow eyes and a gaping jaw lined with granite fangs.

The rock-dragon crouches in the sea, thrashing its tail about furiously. Gull Isle is gone, for it is Gull Isle; the very island has transformed into a living, breathing creature, formed entirely of land mass. Proving it has functional vocal cords, the rock-dragon roars so loudly that several smaller stones from its own body quiver and dislodge themselves.

ďThe Amazon-Queen is gone,Ē Mallos tells it calmly. ďBut she left behind a legacy. Take my revenge on the first-born son of Twinge.Ē

Enlivened by its mission, the enraged rock-dragon roars again and takes off. Itís incredible that an island could possibly fly, but the rock-dragon is, of course, held together by fine strands of magic; its capabilities go well beyond that of any ordinary mythical creature.

Two down, one to go. Mallos smiles, turns back towards the land and fades once more into the air.

      • part four. -

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