The Riders were making their way back to Berk; they had gotten word that Trader Johann was heading back to their home island for one of his stops and trades. He might have one or two things for their Outpost; and maybe information about Dagur, islands that they might want to see.... or Heather’s well being.
It’s been hard for Hiccup and Astrid since they and Heather learned the truth of her origins. The last time they saw Heather she had trained a Razorwhip she calls, Windshear and the two of them were attacking ships so they could feed their home village.
Dagur attacked their island and killed her family and the two set out on their own so they could avenge them and on the way they ran into Hiccup and the other riders. It was great to get to know the new Heather and her dragon, but Hiccup missed the old sweet Heather. Also before Johann told her where Dagur was heading and she and the riders set out to find him, Hiccup brought Heather’s horn to his father and he told him who Heather truly is. The long lost daughter of Oswald the Agreeable and Dagur’s younger sister.
It was hard for all of them, especially for Heather; she was glad that she finally knows who her father is or was, but her ‘brother’ killed the ones who took her in and raised her as one of their own. She almost became just like him when she tried to kill him for what he did. It was a good thing that Hiccup told and stopped her just in time. Even when she and Windshear were still welcomed in the Edge, they still left to be once again on their own.
Hiccup knew that the truth would hurt her, but she needed to know before it was too late. Astrid had told him that not only Johann helped Heather bring the goods she ‘got’ to her village; he also helped her locate Dagur with his trading and he knows where to find her, so he could tell them how she and Windshear are doing.
Toothless sensed that his friend was sad and was concerned for his Heather friend and tried to cheer him up. Hiccup saw this and patted the Night Fury on the head.
“Thanks Bud” Hiccup smiled.
Hiccup’s smile grew when Berk came into sight and as they were gaining closer they heard a loud bang and what sounded like water freezing?
“What was that?” Hiccup asked.
“Someone doing our Loki work for us while we’re at the Edge?” Ruffnut hoped.
“YES, more followers of Loki on Berk!!! We should start a club?” her brother, Tuffnut cheered.
The other riders were hoping the opposite; two followers of Loki are enough, but the sound was still troubling them so they flew faster, hoping that it wasn’t something too worrying.
As they were flying over one of Berk’s beaches they saw Trader Johann using a plank of wood to keep him afloat while he swam to shore, away from his frozen ship. The riders helped Johann back up on his feet the moment they landed; they wanted to know what happened and why his ship looks like someone placed an iceberg on it?
“Oh my ship,” Johann wept, “This is the second time that a forest has to be cleared to fix it!”
“Johann!” Hiccup got his attention. “What happened to your ship? Why is it.... the way it is in that ice?”
“No idea Master Hiccup? I was just making my way here with new treasures from my latest travels when ALL of a sudden a huge blast came from within the ship’s hold and covered it in all of this ice! I wish that I could be more accurate, but that’s what happened.”
“So this wasn’t the work of fellow Loki followers?” Tuff asked, hoping that it wasn’t true. “I was hoping that they could help us build our Loki statue!”
While the riders tried their best to put together what Trader Johann told them and ignored Tuff’s comment, Meatlug was eating any rocks she could find on the beach. But she stopped and pricked her ears up when she got closer to the sea, where Johann’s frozen ship stood. Toothless saw this and joined her, his ears also pricked up.
Hiccup turned when he heard Toothless calling for him! “Toothless?”
“Meatlug?” Fishlegs asked, when he saw his dragon hover over to the ship.
Toothless gently pushed his rider closer to the water, telling him to join the Gronckle that was sniffing the ice before wagging her tail. It was possible that both Toothless and Meatlug maybe know the source of the ice and by the way the Gronckle was acting, it must be safe and harmless now.
Johann and the other riders watched Hiccup as he climbed onto the dragon’s back so the Night Fury could swim him over to the ice covered ship. Toothless didn’t bother shaking the water off once his rider climbed over the ice; it wouldn’t be long before he goes back into the water. Hiccup walked over and patted Meatlug before looking down to see what excited her and caused the ice. The riders saw Hiccup gasp for a second, before kneeling down and playfully laugh at his find. They saw him stroking it before picking up a small blue dragon in his arms.
The riders got a better look at the dragon once Hiccup brought it back to land; with Toothless and Meatlug in tow. The dragon looked like a baby Gronckle with icy blue skin, a fin tail and small icicles on it’s chin.
“It looks like Johann had a stowaway; we found egg shells near where we found this little guy!” Hiccup explained, as Toothless handed Astrid a shard of the egg shell.
Astrid examined the shell the moment she took it from the dragon’s mouth. It looked at bit like blue crystal and the pattern on it looked like a crystal version of the Gronckle’s rocky egg shells. In other words this dragon is part of the Gronckle family, it covered the ship in ice when it hatched and Trader Johann must have mistaken the egg for kind of treasure; like they did with Changewing eggs.
“Where did you find the egg?” she asked the trader.
“I came across it in my travels and thought that it was the Orb of Frozen Future, a mystical treasure that allows you to see into the future. I thought it could help you find Dagur and if I had known that it was a dragon egg I woul-”
Hiccup put his hand on the trader’s shoulder. “It’s alright Johann, you didn’t know it at the time and we appreciate the thought. Also has there been word from Heather?”
“I’m afraid not, Master Hiccup. She left me a note saying that she ‘needs time to figure something out, to be alone and that she has moved camp,’ but she did promise to tell me where she is when she’s ready!”
“Ready for what?”
“I don’t know.”
Hiccup did, at least he think he does. He wished that he knew that his friend would cut all contact when he told Heather of her origin. But right now they have a ship to fix and a baby dragon to look after.
After the riders filled Stoick the Vast in, the chief got the villagers to make Johann’s ship sea worthy again, save and restore his surviving treasures, while the riders played, looked after and studied their young guest in the Great Hall. They decided to call it a ‘Groncicle’ and as they put it in a tub of water to keep it cold, the water around it started to slowly freeze as it splashed around. Meatlug also took the Groncicle in as her own hatchling.
“Looks like Fishlegs is now grandpalegs” Snotlout having one of his teasing jokes.
“I would happily become this little one’s grandpa; just look how happy they look!”
Fishlegs was right, Meatlug adored the young dragon and it looked up to her like she was his mother.
“She was the first on the ship and it hasn’t been long since it hatched!” Astrid added as she fed the Groncicle small chunks of fish.
“And we aren’t the first to come across him!” The riders turned to face Hiccup as he was coming up to them with an old notebook. “The moment we got it settled down, Gobber told me that it looked familiar and showed me old documents that were left behind by ‘the Archaeologist!’”
“The ‘Archae’ who now?” Tuff asked. He never heard of a Viking called the ‘Archaeologist.’
“One of our own that left many years ago” Stoick explained, as he, Gobber and Johann walked into the hall.
“And he’s been gone for so long and the way he kept chasing after the past, we all have forgotten his name!” Gobber added, “We also forgot about him until your little friend jogged our memories about him and how he kept rambling on about ‘Frozen Gronckles’, a frozen island, a lost tribe and treasure before he left!”
“TREASURE!?!?!!” Snotlout and the twins asked with a cheer.
“Aye and that journal we just gave Hiccup was his. We waited for him to come back for it, but he never did. Shame really, he was a good man and he helped us understand our tribe’s history.”
Hiccup flipped through the journal to find ‘the Archaeologist’s’ notes of the ‘frozen island.’ “And it’s all here! Look he wrote how he came across the legend, heard about its dragons and Vikings that made it their home and how he found two pieces of an old petroglyph that got him to go and find the island!”
Hiccup showed his friends the drawings and notes the Archaeologist did in his search for the island. He drew what he believed the ‘Frozen Gronckles;’ the Groncicles looked like, what the Vikings would have worn and what was on the ‘petroglyph.’ The top part had Vikings sailing their ships to land and the bottom one was of some kind of treasure room.
“Does it say how to find the treasure?” Snotlout tried to grab the journal.
“No, that’s why he left; so he could find it. But if we combine his notes we can make a map so we can use this to get the Groncicle home!”
“Home?” Fishlegs asked.
“Fishlegs look at him, Berk is too warm and isn’t cold enough for him. The ice he made on the ship and in the tub means that he needs to be in a cold environment or else he could get sick.”
Fishlegs turned to face the little Groncicle before turning back to his friends. Hiccup was right; the Groncicle can’t survive in Berk’s rare heat waves. He needs to go home, where his real mother and grandpa are waiting.
Johann helped the riders with the map and supplies that they would need for the island like winter clothes and tools. Stoick watched them from afar as they were getting ready. He knew that he can’t stop his son once is mind is made up, like it was when he first showed them the Dragon Eye. But what troubled him was that his only son was trying to find an island that one of his own man never returned from.
The riders spend the night at their original homes on Berk, it was getting too late for them to fly back to the Edge and it would make it easier for them to find any winter adventure items that could help them in their houses. It also gave Stoick some time with his boy.
“Are you sure that’s necessary, Hiccup?” Stoick caught him packing a travelling sleeping animal skin.
“Well we just can’t leave the Groncicle to find it’s family the moment we land! Spending a few nights there could help us understand him better in his own habitat and if there is really treasure, I would like to find it before Dagur does. If the Archaeologist could find the island by putting stories together then so can Dagur.”
Stoick understands that the young Berserker’s armada has grown stronger, larger and has dragon proof chains on hand, thanks to the treasures from the Ship Graveyard and why his son wants to stop him before it gets any bigger.
“Just make sure that you and the others come home!”
Toothless nuzzled his rider to say to the chief, ‘don’t worry, I’ll keep him safe,’ and Stoick replied a ‘thank you’ with a chuckle.