I’m afraid I have some bad news. I don’t know how to say this, but something odd seems to be happening to the book. Perhaps I’ve been tampering too much with the laws of space, time, and magic, or something about what we are doing here could be affecting it. I do not know if there is any precedent for tampering with a book such as this one, and none of my reference guides have given me any aid in interpret the odd things that are happening not within the story, but within the pages of the book of the stars itself. I’m not sure exactly what is going on, but I hope to have an answer soon.
In any case, I have transcribed the next part of the story:
“Maybe, maybe I could help you!” Gwendolyn cried.
“Help me,” the dragon asked, “with what?”
Gwendolyn realized the dragon looked amused. She pressed on, “I could help you get free from Cadderon!
The dragon chuckled, and it sounded like thunder. “And you could do that how, exactly?” He asked.
Gwendolyn’s mind raced desperately. “I could maybe talk to him, or use my, my magic… or, or something…” Her voice trailed off lamely.
The dragon looked as though he might laugh again, but instead, he eyed her thoughtfully for a time.
While he was thinking, Gwendolyn tried to figure out a way to get free. She did not know how to use the star’s tear. In fact, she had no idea if she could use it to free the dragon or free herself from. But while the dragon seemed distracted, she shut her eyes tight and concentrated on making something, anything happen to get her out of the dragon’s claws. Nothing did.
“Do you know what I would do if I were free?” the dragon suddenly asked, and his eyes seemed to burn with an intensity of flame and anger that Gwendolyn had never before imagined in anything. She could almost feel his hatred radiating, poisoning the air….The stone on her pendant glowed a soft red color, and for an instant, in her mind Gwendolyn saw cities burning. “I suppose,” said the dragon, “that you do not. But you did know how to come here, and perhaps you can release me. How much do you know about the Cadderon’s spells?”
Without waiting for an answer, the dragon set Gwendolyn down next to Fisher. At that moment, he was resting almost peacefully, though the lines on his face and the utter exhaustion there still left no doubt that he was in poor condition.
“His chains,” said the dragon, “are ordinary chains as far as I know. They are there as a precaution against his escape and are not what keeps him sleeping. If you can wake him, I’ll know that you understand what you are doing here.”
Gwendolyn hesitated, uncertain of what to do. She felt so badly for Fisher, lying there, but she had no idea how to break the spell.
Gwendolyn reached out her hand and touched Fisher’s arm. He felt cold even in the heat from the dragon and the fires around the room. She clutched her pendent tight in one hand and tried to wish him awake, and thought she saw his eyelids flicker. But then he seemed to recoil and go into fresh spasms as his nightmare infected mind interpreted her touch as something hostile, and he fell deep into a fresh dark dream.
The dragon laughed. “Little human, you do not know anything about magic, do you? You were brought here by the tear of that little witch Ariadne, and yet you know nothing of how to help her. I’ll bet,” he lowered his head to whisper in her ear, his breath hot on her skin, “that you don’t even know what you’re doing here, let alone how to wake him.”
At the dragon’s mockery, Gwendolyn felt herself grow angry. She turned to look at him and asked, “Do you?”
He pulled back, but kept smiling. "No."
Gwendolyn’s heart sank.
The dragon was clearly enjoying her dismay. “I’ll tell you what.” he said slyly. “I’ll give you a choice. You can go before Cadderon, and ask him for help returning to your home now. I’ll bet right now, you want to go back where you came from, and forget this whole thing. You could even ask him for mercy for the little star. He’s had her long enough, perhaps he is bored with her, and after locking her and Fisher away has forgotten all about them. Or…” he glanced at the tunnel entrance, “you can go out the way you came in, and try to find a way to break the spell.”
Gwendolyn looked at the tunnel. Maybe Cadderon could be reasoned with. But if he couldn’t, maybe she should take her chances going down the tunnel.
“So what will it be? Will you go before Cadderon, or will you try your luck in the world?”
Oh dear. Well, at least the dragon doesn’t seem inclined to eat Gwendolyn at this point. On the one hand, perhaps Cadderon can be reasoned with. On the other, perhaps he cannot and it would be better to try to find a way to break the spell that is on Fisher.
Please leave your comments and advise Gwendolyn of what to do. I believe this point in the story will stay open until midnight on Friday night. I’ll see if I can make sense of what’s happening to the book before then. Thank you for your assistance!