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MAN OF GOD, RULER OF THE DRAGON

Dedication: To all future authors, if any, of the Story War. Remember never to let your pen down even if the going gets a little rough; the rewards are worth it.

"It's a Ludit!" Exclaimed Naidis, grabbing Iffley on the back. He pushed the Wizard of Bandoc toward Adena and the two of them, Enchanter and Enchantress, fell to the sand.

"You must dispose of her. Use--use anything!"

Adena characteristically raised an eyebrow. She examined the old man, remembering him as Suralio's father, and decided not to use her innate abilities to harm him. Instead she politely asked Iffley to get off of her, and, brushing some sand off her posh posterior, nodded to the obviously stunned S.F. Iffley.

"Adena," the young Iffley blurted out, "h-h-how are you?" Suralio could not think of anything else to say.

"A rather nippy, I'm afraid. This body seems to have been, well, chilled."

Both of them giggled for a moment, but stopped immediately when they noticed Naidis summoning a dragon with which to kill Adena. Suralio heroically pushed Adena out of the way and raised the Sceptre of Ozino. He changed the dragon into a giant Bronson-shaped balloon, which had the words "Raneir number one" printed on it.

"Oh, dear." Suralio giggled again, "I seem to have mis-spell-ed it." He paused, looking at his companions. "Get it Adena?"

Both Suralio and Adena immediately fell to the ground, laughing in a childlike way. Suralio began to relax and to feel at home again. But his security quickly fled and he approached his father in a temperate manner.

"Adena is not a Ludit anymore, Naidis. She was married--now she is a Ledic." Those words were hard for Iffley to say.

Naidis scratched his head. "Ledic. Can't remember Ledic. Oh, well. She seems to be harmless for now--for now, that is."

Adena oscillated her long, dark hair and again characteristically raised an eyebrow. "I don't understand. I remember the Christmases we had together--you and my parents were friends."

Naidis gave a short huff and turned around to sit on a rock. "Your father and I hated each other. However, we both realized that the long Ludit-Iffley fight must stop. We intended to pair Suralio and you, hoping to end this eternal feud. You two were not to know about the fighting for years after until, once again, the lands could be united."

Adena blushed, knowing what he meant by 'united.' Suralio's curiosity arose. "But Adena, why did you come back from your 'Rhapsody?'"

Adena stared curiously, but quickly derived what Iffley had meant. "You came to hunt for Blue, didn't you?"

The younger Iffley nodded. Adena knew about It Who Is Blue, and that was bad. Blue would be warned....

"Suralio, give it up. I...I don't understand. Why do you want to hurt me?"

**T. G. Taft**

Taft was getting better. As he held the Diadem in his left hand, he no longer needed to think immaterial thoughts constantly; he was finally getting an innate talent of controlling his Key. He felt his ghost-like form blow through the wind as he flew through the sky. So this was the Ralle that his bubba had told him about. Yeah. Impressive. He stared in all directions, admiring the landscape. But suddenly an image caught his eye as he glanced to the right. He made out a shape on the horizon; another ghost-like form was approaching him from the north. He squinched and began to propel himself toward the object. Or, rather, objects. There appeared to be more than one: Maybe two, three, no; six? Seven! Or, uhhh... there was another one! And, uhhhm. Nine. Definitely nine. By the time that Taft had counted that far, the objects were only a few yards away. Then he began to identify a few of the objects. Three of them were in the form of Archimedes Ledic. He recognized that the others were either in the form of Blue's daughter Kirstie, or of his son Kyan.

"I think that that is Taft," said BM.

"Taft? Hmmm... Weren't we told not to like him?" Said KyE and KiE simultaneosly.

"Don't be ridiculous. You should like everyone." Said BW in a powerful, deep, voice, glaring at the twin's emotions.

Taft interrupted. "Pardon me, but, you're dead."

BW touched Taft (if one could touch something that had no substance) and asked him if he, BM, and BE could talk to the famous author in private. Taft heartily agreed and went a couple of feet away from the twins. (Sextuplets?)

**T. G. Taft**

"Adena, why did you come back?"

"You came for my husband. I must try to stop that."

"I must be a Historian."

"Why?"

"That is to be explained. But Blue must have done something wrong, or I wouldn't have been asked to get him."

"How do you know that It Who Is Blue is Blue Ledic?"

"Do you know of any other Blues?"

Adena became frustrated, as she often did, and walked around Iffley. She noticed the etching that Naidis had made in the sand. "Wait. If I remember correctly, there's one line missing here..."

**T. G. Taft**

BW stared into Taft's eyes. "Don't try to pull anything, Taft."

"Please!" Screamed BE, "We're not supposed to show any hatred. We're supposed to love everybody. To show them what we're made of."

"Arrrrgh!" Screamed EM. "Contractions and dangling participles. Arrrrgh!"

"Cut the arrrrghs, BM. That's my department," corrected BE.

Taft grew bored. Yes, this was the Blue Ledic that he had known once before. It's too bad that his doctor trick didn't work. Taft glanced down to his right hand. Wait: An idea.

**T. G. Taft**

Naidis got up from his rock and approached his drawing. "Yes, Adena. This drawing goes back only a few generations. A lot of things are missing previous to the lines drawn here."

"That's not what I mean." She said, frustrated. "You're missing something from this generation--our generation. Here, let me show you."

Adena took the stick with which Naidis had been drawing and added something to the Iffley's family tree:

          NAIDIS           SUDA         EPHRYRE   ENAD, SR.

           |  |______________|            |  |______|

           |      |        |              |     |

           |  THEODORIC   TITUS           |  ENAD THE GREAT

           |                |     AMANDA  |

           |                |_______|     |

           |                    |         |

           |                TITUS II      |

           |______________________________|

                          |

                       SURALIO

Iffley gasped. "What?"

Naidis drew back. "I...I had not wanted to remember that. Oh, well. Well, Suralio, now you know the secret. You see, that is why Ephryre was barren. She had had an operation after her first child; after her first marriage. Yes, son. Though I would not like to admit it, Enad the Great is my stepson."

"But he's my half-brother!"

Adena giggled. "He's not Taft's."

Naidis drew a smirk.

Iffley fell to the ground, only to be shaken by a young man which stood in the middle of the group. "I am Clifford, the Caretaker of Reminiscence," he said to Iffley, ignoring Naidis and Adena. "You must regain your brother, Taft, from Terna. He has left Ralle, thus unbalancing the universes again."

Iffley was stunned now. "I didn't know Taft was here--and the Caretaker of what?"

"We figured he would come along, bringing his two Keys. But he escaped, hoping to become a Historian also."

Now Iffley was completely unwound. "Historian? How?"

"Taft captured It Who Is Blue by using the Sabre to create a BlueTrap: a new weapon that he invented. He then took himself and Blue back to Terna through the contact lens mirror that he had had in his pocket. Iffley, you must get Taft and his two Keys back into this Universe or else a power drain will begin again."

Suralio immediately raised his Sceptre and transported himself to a distant hilltop just as Adena began to cry at Clifford's feet. He lay beneath a tree and began to fall asleep. Things were happening too fast. How could he cope with Adena's, Naidis's and Clifford's problems--not to mention his own--all at once? But soon sleep began to overtake him anyhow. He slept soundly for about an hour. Then he awoke with a start. He had been dreaming of life that was simple, like it had once been: When all of a sudden Enad the Great had called him "bubba."


 © 1985, 

K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, A. Mann, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft

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