Mercury - "Release," - Nadrig's Last Word - Part 1 - THE DECISION
"And we are absolutely CERTAIN he is dead?" Questioned Eaglemoss, shell shook from the sudden demise of his best friend.
"Yes, we saw him fall into the water. Then, they bringed, I mean, brought him up out of the water," came the shaky voice of the new widow, Cressida Selfovet. She began to weep her sorrows away along with her friend on the wooden boards of Berk Docks as the ships continue to pass on through, without a blink of an eye.
During the next six months, the news had gone around easily. The role of chieftain fell right upon Cressida but the decision was made by many that Nadrig Eidleviess, the ex-Dragon Hunter, should also help. Nobody really knew why but Qu.E.R.Y voted that she should and so she did. And so when Cressida fell pregnant and was sent away to Berk hospital, it was Nadrig's job to take charge of the island.
At the moment, there was little to do. You see, it was just turning Spring and nothing really happened on Afar in Spring. It get's a bit lighter, that's all. And so the long, drawn out days were spent reading up on the Archives of Afar for Nadrig. She would find an Archive, read the first page and see if she liked it. She often dropped them into Cressida to help her pass the time, as well. Miss Eidleveiss had read everything from 'A Secret Organisation' all the way to 'BOA'. She learned everything that Peter (Estowick) Selfovet knew about Mercury and the lake and the Dragon Hunters and Nadrig herself. That Spring did start off rather well. That was, however, until early March.
Nadrig was standing, staring into the never ending waters of Icestorm Island when she saw small bubbles rising from the ground. The bubbles began to get bigger and bigger. Recalling her memory, she tried to figure out what this may mean. All she could think of was that either they were air bubbles from beneath the surface or Mercury had awoken. She dismissed the idea and went on to find something else to read. The next book she picked up was tattered, and covered in scribbles and scruffy handwriting and was called 'Shine Some Light on the Subject'. After opening, a student enters Nadrig's room.
"Sophie? Are you okay?" She enquires.
"Yes, ma'am. It's just. I'm scared," came the shaky, quiet voice of Sophie Sedama.
"What're you worried about, lovely?"
"The Attacks there have been on other islands," she says.
Nadrig looked blankly at the girl, obviously obnoxious to these so called 'attacks'.
"You know, on the Xzantium, Louse. By a man they are calling 'The Armstrong' Do you think he will come here, ma'am, to Afar?" She questioned.
"Well, that's news to me," she begins, "I doubt ANYBODY would come here, Soph, there's nothing here they would want."
"Not even Mercury?" This got the cogs and mechanisms working inside Nadrig's brain.
After a long silence, the girl butts in.
"Huh? Ah yes. Urm, there- there's no need to call me ma'am, just call me Great and Powerful Leader or something subtle like that. I need to go and have a word with the elders," she eventually stutters.
"I have recently been informed of major attacks on other islands by an unknown enemy called 'The Armstrong' which got me thinking," announces Nadrig at a meeting of the elders in one of Icestorm Island's school extensions, funded by Esvivin, " I think by having Mercury on Afar we are endangering ourselves."
Small mutters of disgust and conduct are heard from around the boardroom.
"By keeping such an almighty weapon in our midst, we are making ourselves one of the most vulnerable islands in the archipelago," she says, tension and anger levels rising throughout the room.
As the volume rises, the what will soon be argument is interrupted by ex- Head Boy at the school of dragons- Toultons.
"Wait, wait, give her a chance. What do you plan on doing to help Berk and Icestorm Island?" He questions, calming the voice.
She nods at Toultons in thanks and brings out a brown, ripped piece of paper.
"Thank you, Toultons. While going through the Archives of Afar, I was introduced to this piece by Estowick. I will read a passage for you. As acting chief of Afar, if the Beast of Afar is in danger or is endangering the people of Afar, then you must follow these strict instructions. You must release Mercury. It goes on explaining what we must do, but as Spitelout, here, can vouch for me, it is signed by the late savior."
Spitelout grunts in approval.
"That settles it then," exclaimed Gobber after a few minutes, "Mercury must be released. Case closed."
Frowns could be seen throughout the crowd but as the chief was leaving, a smile shone itself right through the people. Toultons' smile.
"Well done up there," he congratulated, "If you need any help with this release thing, I'd be happy to help!"
Nadrig nodded and followed her back home.
That night, the two of them stayed up past the Witching Hours looking into the solution to the problem and came upon one recurring one.
If the tide is raised enough in the lake of Afar, then Mercury will wake and find an easy way out.
That was the basic gist of it. However the problem the two of them faced was how in the name of Thor could they raise the tide in a non-tidal lagoon? This also had one answer.
"I know someone who might know how to, actually," suggested Toultons.
"Really? Where is he? Would we be able to get him now?" Questioned the acting chief.
"We should be able to. You see, he's at Outcast Prison."
"Really? What's his name? I might know him," she bragged.
You may or may not know who Neegoling is yet. Neegoling was first seen in 'A Secret Organisation' where he was a wealthy Dragon Hunter who hunted and sold Terrible Terrors. He owned a huge landmass of very flat fields with small brooks and creeks running between them called Neegoling's Quanteerienzic Range of Terrors. It was an incredible place with many an underground cavern, hidden by the streams. Oh and one small detail that hardly disabled Neegoling at all was that he was blind but he knew the places so well that he could walk around fine.
The first light was soon to hit the peak of Outcast Prison as the couple arrived on a large ship known as the Infamous Berkian on one side and on the other – Estowick's Avengance. It was a Grimbourne-class ship with a dark green strip running around the rim. It had three tiers and three sets of sails. It also included seven catapults, four walls for the archers to make use of and a fire surging device. Designed, built and funded by the great Afarian, himself.
Stepping onto the pebbles and small rocks on the pointy little island of the Outcasts', Nadrig looks at Toultons and smiles, understanding how much work he is putting in to this.
"Hey, mate. You 'ere visiting someone, are ya'?" Enquired a random Outcast standing near the gate with a short beard full of grit and grime.
"No, sorry sir. I'm here to hand myself in for stealing a piece of fruit from Lord Kelquenor's Garden," joked the female.
"Oh, right. Have you been to a court ruling and appealed and all of that, do you 'ave an officer wiv' ya'?" The guard misunderstood.
"She is joking, my good friend. We are here to see Neegoling?" The male pointed out.
They were gestured in by the man and directed toward his cell.
"NEE!" Greeted Toul.
"TOULY! So good to see you!" Replied the madman.
The two chatted for a small while, until the prisoner asked," What do you two need, then?"
"Well," started Nadrig, " We need to find a dragon. A dragon which can," she paused.
"Change tides," the two acquaintances said in unison.
"Ah, right. Then you're looking for Bakunawa. The Dragon of Philippian origin that eats moons, therefore changing tides," he explained. "Now, to find it, you need to go to The Shivering Shores, alright? Behind the cliff at the Shivering Shores is a house-" he was cut off by Toultons.
"Look, sorry. But we are never going to remember any of that. Is there any way we could take you with us for a day or two, on lease or something?"
"No," he started, "But there is a way I can come with you."
Less than half an hour later, the three had made an escape from Outcast Prison with the imprisoned without a single person noticing. A very rarely seen thing- An Escape from Outcast Prison. They returned to Afar just as the sun rose over Berk and the Ship Graveyard and started a day that would change a lot.
Over the other side of the Barbaric Archipelago, the Armstrong stands, watching a huge fishery heave and tug at their rods, raring for his master plan to take shape.