It had been three weeks since the protectors
defeated the red dragon and brought back Greylin. The villagers kept their
word and so far no strangers came to see her.The little dragon was a favorite
in the town unless she got into trouble. Chris was walking around the village
when he heard an angry shout. He ran towards the Inn where the shout came
"No look out!" someone yelled.
Chris ran inside to find it a shambles. The tables and chairs were all over
turned. Some of them were also in pieces scattered on the floor. Greylin
was running around the common room and keening. Jaydee and Vin were trying
to stop her. Other patrons were against the wall. The owner of the Inn went
to hit Greylin with a broom. Chris grabbed his arm and pushed him aside.
Greylin saw him and ran to his side crying piteously. He could see blood
on her nose. Chris put his arm over her neck then looked around the room.
Vin had a split lip and was glaring at two strangers against the wall. Jaydee
looked between Chris and Vin deciding what to do.
"Jaydee come take her," Chris said. Jaydee was more than happy to comply.
"Vin what happened?" Chris asked as he walked over.
"She was curious," Vin began. "She heard laughter and wanted to see. Before
we could stop her she was through the door and we followed her. She was just
smelling at the food when he stabbed her in the nose!"
Vin angrily moved towards an armored man standing against the wall. Chris
grabbed the half elf and pushed him towards Jaydee. Buck was standing with
the younger man and Chris deposited the struggling elf in his arms
"Take Vin outside while I talk to them," Chris said. Buck nodded and took
"Let me go!" Vin shouted pulling against Buck.
"I know you're angry, Vin, but I'm sure it was just a misunderstanding,"
"He did it on purpose!" Vin growled.
"Come on Vin," Buck said taking the squirming elf in both hands. "Let Chris
"Yeah," Jaydee added. "We have to get Greylin over to Nathan."
Jaydee said just the thing to get Vin to leave the Inn. Chris could see the
wound wasn't serious but he knew it hurt a lot. He hit Greylin in the nose
by accident once and she acted like she was mortally wounded. Vin explained
that baby dragon's noses were tender until they got older. Vin took Greylin
out the door and Chris turned back to the strangers.
When Chris was finished at the Inn he headed
over to the small temple. As he got closer he saw Buck and Nathan walking
"What happened?" Buck asked.
"The fighter was startled," Chris explained. "He reacted before he thought.
He had no idea she was a platinum dragon when he stabbed her. He's very sorry."
"Chris we might have a bigger problem," Nathan said.
"Oh?" Chris said dreading the answer.
"Have you noticed Vin has become sort of attached to a certain little female?"
"Yeah sure," Chris answered. "Vin wants to protect her."
"It's a little more than that," nathan said. "I convinced Vin to let me heal
his cut lip. I probed a little deeper and found a link connecting him to
Greylin. A stronger bond than he has with Mystra. He'll protector her even
if it means sacrificing his own life."
"How did this happen?" Chris demanded.
"I'm only guessing," Nathan began. "But I think it was instinctive on Greylin's
part. I think the bond is formed between the baby and its mother when it's
"Then why isn't it Jaydee?" Chris asked. "She saw him first."
"I ain't sure," Nathan admitted. "Maybe when she healed him the bond was
"Is this bond harmful to Vin?" Chris wanted to know.
"I wondered the same thing," Buck said. "It's only harmful if she is seriously
threatened and Vin does something stupid."
"Can we break it?" Chris asked.
"I don't think that's wise," Nathan said. "It might harm them both."
"Don't worry, Chris, Greylin is safe enough here," Buck pointed out." Besides
we can keep an eye on Vin."
"Where are they now?" Chris asked.
"Jaydee figured he should take them away from the village for awhile," Buck
Vin lay in the grass watching Jaydee and Greylin
playing tag. Mystra was making it difficult for Jaydee to catch Greylin by
pulling on his shirt. Vin didn't know what came over him back at the Inn.
When he saw that stranger stab her in the nose he became enraged. If Jaydee
hadn't stopped him Vin was sure he would have killed the stranger. Vin sighed
and realized he should apologize to Chris for snapping at him. Mystra landed
on his stomach and pulled his tunic.
"Alright," he smiled as he stood up. "I'm coming."
He joined the game and became Jaydee's partner in chasing the two dragons.
The game started to get a little rough and Vin was about to call an end to
it when Jaydee collided with Greylin. The young fighter was knocked unconscious
when they butted heads. Jaydee was sprawled in the grass and Greylin gently
nudged him with her nose. Vin walked over and she chirped.
"It's alright," Vin said patting her. "It was an accident."
Vin knelt next to Jaydee and put his hand over his heart. It was beating
strongly and Vin took his hand away. Vin was trying to figure out how he
was going to sneak Jaydee back Nathan without Buck or Chris seeing them.
Normally Vin could have healed Jaydee but he didn't study that particular
spell the night before and wasn't able to use it. Greylin also didn't remember
how to heal heal after that first time when she saved him. Nathan figured
it was instinctive and she just did it. Vin slung Jaydee over his shoulder
and headed back to teh village.
Chris was sitting by the stables mending tack
when he caught something out of the corner of his eye. He looked again ad
saw Vin peering around the corner of Mary's shop and looking around. Chris
realized Vin couldn't see him from where he was and decided to see what the
elf was up to. He watched as Vin disappeared then came back carrying Jaydee
slung over his shoulder. At first Chris became alarmed but then realized
if Jaydee was hurt bad Vin would have rushed into the village calling for
help. Chris shook his head and smiled as he watched Vin trying to sneak around
followed by Greylin. She was even more comical as she tried to tip toe behind
him. Chris saw trouble coming when Buck walked out of the tavern.
"Vin!" Buck bellowed. "What the hell happened?"
Chris held his sides laughing as Vin was startled by Buck and almost dropped
Jaydee. Greylin tried to hide behind the rangers as Buck advanced on them.
"Well!" Buck demanded as he got closer.
"We were playing tag," Vin began and noticed Chris walking over. "Greylin
and Jaydee knocked heads together."
"Why didn't you heal him?" Buck asked.
"Because I didn't memorize that spell last night," Vin said angrily.
As Vin and Buck continued to argue Chris noticed Jaydee beginning to stir.
He was still slung over Vin's shoulder. It still surprised Chris just how
strong Vin was. Jaydee was a compactly built young man and had to way at
least fifteen stones. Vin was holding Jaydee like he weighed nothing at all.
"Um, Vin," Chris called.
"What!" Vin snapped.
"I think you can put Jaydee down now," Chris said smiling.
"Oh," Vin said as he placed Jaydee on his feet.
"Ow!" Jaydee said as he touched the lump on his forehead. "She has a hard
"So do you," Buck said as he put his arm around Jaydee's shoulder.
"Buck, Chris, I'm sorry," Vin said shaking his head. "I don't know why I'm
snapping at everyone."
"Nathan figured out why," Chris said.
"He did?" Vin asked confused. "How?"
"When he healed the cut on you lip he probed a little deeper," Buck laughed.
"I should have known," Vin scowled.
"Should have known what?" Ezra said as he walked over.
"That Nathan is sneaky," Vin answered.
"I could have informed you that our resident cleric was very sneaky," Ezra
said. "And what did he find out?"
"Greylin has formed a bond with Vin," Chris tried to explain. "It's for her
protection as well being."
"In other words she thinks you're her mother," Buck said with a laugh.
"You're kidding," Vin said as he absently scratched her head.
"Vin we need to make some decisions about her," Chris said gently.
"I know," Vin said sadly.
"Do we have to?" Jaydee asked. "Can't she stay here."
"That wouldn't be wide," Ezra said. "Don't forget she's going to get much
"Nothing has to be decided right now," Chris said. "We'll talk more tonight."
Vin nodded and walked away. Greylin could sense something was wrong and kept
leaning against Vin for reassurance. The others watched as they disappeared
into the woods.
"Why do I fee like I just kicked a wounded dog,"Buck said.
"I know what you mean," Jaydee said.
"I've grown fond of her myself," Ezra admitted and they looked at him surprised.
"But we know she can't stay here."
"We know," Chris agreed. "But his sure isn't going to be easy."
Vin knew the others were right. Greylin belonged
with other dragons. He wandered in the woods until he came to a small pond.
Vin liked to come here and think. He realized Greylin was upset and decided
to cheer her up by practicing his magic. He started out with magic missiles
sending them flying into the trees and showering everything with sparks when
they hit Next he made himself invisible so she could learn to use her innate
ability to see anything invisible. Mystra thought this was fun and Greylin
found them most of the time. The last magic spell Vin used was polymorph
self. This spell enabled him to change into anything that was about his size
and weight. He couldn't change into a dragon and decided a wolf would do.
Vin cast the spell and Greylin watched him closely as he did. In a short
time a tawny timber wolf stood in Vin's place. Vin nipped her on her tail
and ran away. A wild game of tag ensued until they were both exhausted and
flopped on their bells by the pond. Mystra sat at the edge of the pond trying
to catch the fish. The wolf Vin sat with it's tongue hanging out and looked
up at the sky. The sun had set and the stars were just starting to come out.
Vin decided they better head back before the others got worried. He changed
back and looked at Greylin.
"Come lets head back," Vin called.
When they got back Vin went into the cold cellar and got Greylin one of the
many deer Vin caught to keep her fed. He heard the back door of the cottage
open and knew Chris was checking to see if they were back. He led her to
teh shed she was sleeping in and she lay down. She no longer cried when Vin
left her as long as Mystra stayed with her. The pseudo dragon didn't mind
since Greylin was still sleeping with teh gold even though it drove Ezra
crazy. When he got her settled he head for the cottage. Vin walked in to
find his friends sitting around the table eating. He joined them and Chris
handed his a bowl of stew. Vin grabbed the bread and pulled off a chuck and
dipped it into the stew.
"I've decide to take Greylin to the wizards conclave," Vin announced without
"That sounds like a good idea," Josiah agreed. "The wizards would no where
"It's what I thought," Vin said swirling his spoon in the bowl but not eating.
"Vin it's the right thing to do," Chris said touching his forearm.
"I know," Vin said looking up at Chris. "It's just."
"We know," Buck said. "Believe me we know. I'm sure going to miss her."
"Yeah me too," Jaydee said with a lump in his throat.
"Look at the bright side gentlemen," Ezra said trying to cheer them up. "It
will take as many days of travel to get the the forest of Wayrenth. Think
of all the adventures we'll have."
"Ezra's right," Nathan said. "It's not like we'll be giving her up tomorrow.
We still have her for awhile at least."
Vin nodded and ate his dinner in silence. The others continued with their
meal as they watched the elf. Suddenly Vin started to laugh and they all
looked at him.
"Can you imagine the trouble she's going to get on as we travel," Vin said
with a glint in his eyes.
"On second thought maybe she should just stay here," Chris said and everyone
The mood at the table was much lighter as Buck boisterously told Vin to pass
him the bread. Vin knew parting with Greylin wouldn't be easy but deep in
his heart he knew it was the right thing to do.
Just before dawn Buck slipped out of mistress
Jenna's cottage and back towards his own. As he neared the village square
he heard someone splashing in the fountain. He came around the edge of the
Inn to see a child playing in the water. The sun wasn't up yet but the morning
was warm. Buck walked closer and saw it was a little girl. He was even more
surprised when she pushed her shoulder length silver hair behind her pointed
"Well I'll be," Buck said quietly as he got closer.
He looked around but didn't see anyone with her. Buck guessed she couldn't
be more than five. Then again he was thinking in human terms, he had no idea
how old she was as an elf. She continued to splash in the water and Buck
smiled. She was naked as the day she was born. When she heard Buck she stopped
and turned towards him.
"Well hello little darlin'." Buck said as he sat on the edge of the fountain.
"I ain't gonna hurt ya."
Buck smiled at the quizzical look she gave him. She had beautiful crystal
blue eyes and a sweet face. Buck couldn't believe her parents left her here
"Where are your parents, sweetheart?" Buck asked and she smiled at him.
Buck wasn't prepared for her to jump into his arms and they almost landed
in the fountain. He held on to her as she leaned over and gave him a kiss.
Well, not exactly a kiss, but close enough.
"Well hello to you too," he said with a laugh as she pulled on his mustache.
"Ow! Now don't go pulling on Ol' Bucks mustache."
She smiled and hugged his neck. Buck had a hard time holding the wet little
bundle as she squirmed in his arms.
"I think I better take you home with me," Buck said as he stood and headed
for the cottage.
As he walked she pulled on his ears and poked his nose. She was about to
poke him in the eye when Buck grabbed her hand and gently scolded her. She
smiled and hugged him again. Buck laughed and hugged her back. When he got
to the cottage he entered quietly so he would wake the others and headed
for the room he shared with Jaydee. The kid was still sleeping and Buck placed
his burden on his bed. He told her to stay put as he rummaged in Jaydee's
chest looking for a shirt. As soon as Buck turned his back she climbed off
the bed and padded over to Jaydee. He was sleeping on his stomach with his
right arm hanging off the bed. His face was away from her but not his hair.
She reached up and took a handful and pulled.
"OW!" Jaydee yelled as he rolled over. "Damn it Buck what the hell you do
"Watch you're mouth kid," Buck called over his shoulder.
"Who the heck is that?" Jaydee asked in confusion as he sat up and saw the
"Don't know," Buck said looking at Jaydee. "Found her playing in the fountain."
Jaydee reached down and picked her up. She touched his upper lip and pouted.
Jaydee smiled and she touched his teeth then every part of his face.
"Be careful Jaydee," Buck warned but it was too late.
"Ouch!" Jaydee exclaimed and covered his eye. She threw her arms around his
neck and kissed him. "Damn, Buck, now she's licking me"
"I know," Buck laughed as he watched Jaydee try to contain her wiggling form.
"I guess that's how she kisses. Come her little lady."
Buck took her from Jaydee and dressed her in the smallest shirt he could
find. It was huge on her and Buck tied it up as best he could. Jaydee got
out of bed and pulled on britches and a tunic.
"You think she's hungry?" Jaydee asked as he glanced out the window as the
sun came up.
"I don't know," Buck said as he swung her up in his arms. "Let's find out."
She smiled as Buck swung her around but didn't make any noise. Buck thought
that was odd but they'd have to wait for Vin to find out more about her.
They took her into the kitchen and Jaydee held out some bread. She sniffed
it but wouldn't take it. They tried fruit and porridge but she wouldn't eat
"She's a little young for you isn't she," Josiah said as he walked in. He
was surprised to see an elf child sitting in Buck's lap.
When she heard Josiah's voice she looked up and held out her arms. Josiah
laughed and took her from Buck. She played with his hair and went through
the same routine of touching his nose and lip. Josiah was quicker than Jaydee
and grabbed her hand before she poked his eye.
"What are we going to feed her?" Jaydee asked.
"There's some sausage left in the cold cellar," Buck said. "We can try that."
"You can't feed her that," Josiah said.
"We tried everything else," Jaydee shrugged as he headed for the cellar.
An hour later Nathan and Chris joined them in the kitchen. They were both
surprised to see an elf child sitting in the middle of the table with a sausage
in both hands. Even more surprising were the three men she entertaining her.
"Where'd you find her?" Chris asked as he sat down at the table.
"Found her playing in the fountain," Buck said. "There was no one around
and I brought her back here."
Ezra stumbled into the kitchen and was about to admonish his colleges for
the racket they were making when he looked up and saw the elf child. Ezra's
eyes got wide in shock.
"Good gods!" Ezra said just as Vin walked in the door.
"Chris! Chris she's gone I can't find her any....." Vin stopped in mid sentence
when he saw the little girl.
"Vin what's wrong?" Chris asked when he saw the shocked look on the ranger's
"How'd you do that?" Vin demanded as he moved to the table and picked her
"What's going on?" Jaydee asked confused.
"Gentlemen don't you recognize her?" Ezra inquired.
"No," Nathan said. "Should we?"
"Oh my," Josiah said as it dawned on him. "Is that who I think it is?"
"Josiah how'd she do it?" Vin asked in alarm as the little elf played with
"Wait a minute," Jaydee said shocked. "Don't tell me that's Greylin."
"What?" Buck said. "How?"
"Calm yourselves," Ezra said. "Platinum dragons are known to shape change."
"Yeah but Ezra she's too young," Vin said worriedly as Greylin licked his
cheek. "And she'd have to be taught the spell."
"Vin it's alright the spell won't hurt her," Josiah said trying to calm him.
"Actually it's extremely fortunate she learned the spell," Ezra added.
"How do you figure that?" Chris asked
"It will be much easier traveling with her in this shape," Ezra said. "She
will attract less attention."
"Ezra's right," Nathan agreed.
"But how did she learn the spell!" Vin said angrily.
"Easy Vin," Chris said wondering what had the ranger so up set.
"Has she been watching you or Ezra practicing?" Josiah asked.
"Not I," Ezra said.
"Oh no," Vin said as the color drained from his face. "She was watching me
the other day."
"Josiah how long can she remain in this shape?" Chris asked trying to get
to the bottom of Vin's behavior. Greylin had her head on Vin's shoulder and
she was falling asleep in his arms.
"It depends on the individual," Josiah explained. "Some druids can handle
the change better than others. You see when you change if you don't take
control of the animals instincts you can become lost in the change. There
is a danger if you stay too long in a particular form that you might lose
"Vin how long can you stay in a shape?" Buck asked.
"She can't stay in this form," Vin said avoiding the question as he hugged
Greylin to him.
"Vin what is it?" Chris asked in concern.
"I just don't want her to be stuck in this shape!" Vin said angrily.
"Vin," Josiah said standing up and placing a comforting hand on his shoulder
when he saw his distress and guessed the cause. "How long were you transformed?"
Vin shuddered and closed his eyes. "Six months," he answered.
"Six months!" Ezra exclaimed losing his normal cool.
"What happened?" Chris asked as Josiah guided Vin to a chair and sat him
"I'll take her," Buck said indicating the sleeping Greylin.
"No!" Vin yelled hugging her tight.
"It's alright Vin," Chris said.
"I'm sorry Buck," Vin said resting his cheek on the top of Greylin's head.
"I'm afraid she won't be able to turn back."
"It's alright, imp, I understand," Buck said with a smile.
"What happened Vin?" Josiah asked again knowing Vin needed to talk about
it. "How did you get caught in another shape for so long?"
"It was my first time," Vin said with a sigh. "My teacher showed me the spell
then changed into a cat. He wanted me to change into a cat also but I got
"No?" Buck said in mock surprise. "You?"
"Yeah me," Vin chuckled. "I decided a cat was too simple. I wanted to try
something more wild so I changed into a wolf. The only problem was it was
mating season and the wolf's instincts took over before I could control them.
I ran into the woods before my teacher could stop me. They hunted me for
six months. Finally one of the older rangers captured me. It was just in
time too, my thoughts and memories were almost gone."
"What would have happened?" Jaydee asked nervously licking his lips.
"Our over zealous young elf would have remained a wolf forever," Ezra answered.
"The druids were able to turn me back but I was sick for a long time," Vin
shuddered. "That's why she can't stay like this!"
"Well she's asleep," Nathan said. "I don't think it will hurt her for a few
"Nathan's right," Josiah said. "When she wakes up we'll see what we can do."
"Why don't you put her in my bed," Chris suggested.
Vin nodded and walked out. Once he was gone Ezra wanted to know what was
for breakfast since he was awake at this ungodly hour. Josiah offered to
make porridge and they all gave him a hand. When Vin didn't comeback after
a short time Chris went to check on him. He opened the door to find Vin sprawled
across the bed asleep on his back. Greylin was still in his arms lying across
his chest. Chris figured Vin must have been up early and when he couldn't
find her searched the entire county. Thrown on top of that was the emotional
strain and Chris wasn't surprised he was asleep. He quietly closed the door
and headed back for the kitchen.
"Where's Vin?" Jaydee asked when he came back alone.
"Asleep," Chris answered as he sat down.
"Well, gentlemen, this new adventure has gotten off to a most interesting
start," Ezra said dryly as he took a sip of his tea.
"Yeah, I can't wait to see what happens next!" Jaydee said excitedly.
"I can," Chris growled and they all laughed.