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 BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again

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PostSubject: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:24 pm


The days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Colleen practiced her gift each time she worked on a weapon. Of course there wasn’t much practicing. As with all the other times she crafted a weapon or worked on repairing one, she would go into the trance like state and emerge from it later when she was finished to find she had lost all track of time but the weapon was in perfect shape.

True to their word, the Coven kept an eye on the children for her when she was working. While they were an energetic lot, they were settling down into their new home and realizing they didn’t need to sneak around and hide their presence. Unlike Fort Gory, the citizens of Meirathal were welcoming to them. Colleen was finally understanding what the old saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ really meant.

Dinner was always the trying part of the day. Colleen would stop work early enough to prepare dinner for her, the kids William and Raj. In fact, it was the one time of the day she looked forward to. Except when the kids forgot their manners and reverted back to their pre-Colleen days and start grabbing at the food like it would disappear before their eyes.

Thankfully, William and Raj both would speak up and remind them where they were and the kids would settle down instantly, remembering they didn’t have to fight for survival. It was also during these times Colleen could sit and listen to Raj and William talk about this or that. When dinner was done, it was all the kids responsibility to clean up and make sure all the dishes were done properly.

Often after dinner, he three adults would walk out to sit on Williams porch then she and Raj would take a walk down by the docks to delight in the cool air that would come across the water. Colleen would find herself talking to Raj more than she’d talked to any adult in a long time. They shared common fears about the future and the unknown world of magic they now seemed to be a part of. Finally one night, she confessed something she’d never spoken to another person about.

”When I fighting those two Ta’kun in that ally, I was certain my life was over with and I was terrified. I wasn’t ready to die yet even though I had convinced myself months before that I was. But then I met Elija and….things changed. He was so…..sad. So….alone. Like me. I knew I couldn’t just walk away from him. But I would have if I hadn’t met him. Maybe it was more than just fate that brought us together. Maybe it was something much bigger than you or me.”

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:03 am

As the months passed, Elija watched as Colleen and Raja seemed to spend more and more time together. He was happy she had found someone she could talk to. He had become more and more obsessed withe the catacombs and would spend hours and hours down in them. Durring one of his journeies through the lambyinth he had sound a particular statue of a large dragon, with spead wings of gold and studded with crystals. While examining it one day, he pressed on a brilinat red crystal and the dragons wings closed, revealing a hidden passageway. Carrying the latern he always used in his explorations, Elija entered a masive chamber with twenty-four foot tall ceilings, supported by ornately carved pillars and a floor of polished marble. On the far end of the chamber was a dias and and ornately carved stone throne. As Elija crossed the threshold into the room the wings of the dragon spread and the passageway shut. Slowly Elija walked across the floor to the dias. He raised his lantern and saw shelves lining the wall of one side of the chamber. On these walls were rows and rows of scrolls. He walked over to the shelves and removed one of the scrolls. Carrying it to a table that was to the right of the throne, on the table was an ornate oil burner lamp and a crystal ball Elija sat the scroll and his lantern on the table and climbed up in a large chair, three times the size of the largest chair he had everseen. He slowly unrolled the scroll and upon it were strange markings. Elija studied the markings for hours trying to figure out what the could mean. After what seemed to be several hours, Elija's stomach began to grumble. He climbed down from the chair and carried the scroll back to where he had found it. Then walked to the place he had entered the chamber. As he stepped close to the passageway the wings folded and Elija walked through the passage as the wings spread again seling the chamber once more. He stopped abruptly as he thought he heard something in a strange unfamilar language speak to him. "Sam that be you arsin' about, ya not be gammonin' me." Elija said But no one said anymore as Elija looked around. Slowly he made his way back to the well entrance and looked up to a sky filled with stars. Centered in the shaft was a collection of stars that made a winged dragon with one star that seemed to flash red then white brilliantly where the dragons eye would be.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:09 pm



Raj Lasekura strolled about town, acknowledging the polite greetings of the folk with his warm smile, and was well aware that their respect was mainly due to the medallion about his neck and signet ring upon his left hand; the common symbols of those who held position. Over a month ago, Marshall Kallend had felt it was time to appoint himself a deputy, and it was no surprise that the position was granted to the seasoned veteran. In the beginning the appointment did not sit well with many Meirathalians, after all, he was a stranger to their world which was so different from Fort Glory or other larger centres. Kallend had been able to quell most of the dissension, and in the weeks that followed the charming and good natured warrior had quickly won over the general public in the benevolent manner in which he handled a few disputes.

The new deputy walked atop of the low wall that ringed the town and proceeded northward. He cast his eyes East, toward the green rolling hills that flowed into the ocean and admired the plateaus of orchards and vineyards that descended from the base of the wall down to sea level, like a giant stairway. The long summer day had been warm and he raised his face into the coastal wind, cooling his skin while he proceeded round the town to the northern stairway that would take him home. At the base of the stairs was a winding pathway, that meandered through a small forest beyond which were houses of Marshall Kallend and Colleen Smith.



Raj, raised his arm and waved to Marshall Kallend, who as usual was sitting on the veranda reading a book and enjoying a hot cup of tea. His usual pre-supper ritual. Kallend raised his head to acknowledge the young man who he could just about set his watch to. Nearly every day, at a quarter to five, Lasekura would emerge from the small groves that surrounded the property and join his host for a spell before Colleen called them to dine.

"How did your day go?" Asked William as he shuffled himself over to the other side of the outdoor sofa, next to a pedestal table upon which an ornate chess board with a game already in progress.

"No incidents." Reported Lasekura and took a seat opposite Kallend who was eagerly studying the chessboard.



Marshall Kallend nodded. He hadn't expected there to be any real trouble while he was away, other than the usual disputes down at the docks. "It's you move." He reminded his opponent.

Lasekura leaned in and surveyed the battle, it seemed that in his absence for the past two days their match had remained fresh in Kallend's mind. "How was Baloc?" he inquired curious why the Marshall did not have a few stories to share.

"Noisy." Replied the Mashall.

Raj nodded as he moved his knight to more fortified position.

The Marshall smiled. "I knew it." he said leaning to back to pick up the tea pot on the silver tray before him. "You can learn a lot about people by the way the play." Kallend stated as poured a cup of tea and offered to Raj who bent down over the low table and added some cream and honey to it before raising it to his lips.

Raj, smiled. Kallend was always testing him it seemed. He didn't mind it, in fact it was a trait of his that the soldier had come to admire, because he applied it to everything. "I trust then the market was profitable?" Raj further inquired.

"This was just an introduction of some of Meirathal's new labels. We'll know in a week or so if there is profit to be had." Explained Kallend.

That actually clarified a lot for Raj who never understood why they took so little of their product with them. "I caught a Moon-fish, this morning." mentioned Raj to change the subject since it seemed to boring the Marshall.

William's face lit up. "You must 'ave been up early, m'boy!"

Raj feigned a yawn while stretching then, his face stretched into a proud smile. "Told you I would catch one. I am going to throw it on the fire as soon as Colleen is done stuffing it. We'll eat like kings tonight."

The Marshall smiled graciously. "I eat like a king every night, Raj. Well, except when I'm away.", he stated then his face grew serious, "Those two days, I really missed Colleen, the kids and you. All of you have made me rich beyond anything you can imagine, Raj."

Raj, really didn't know what to say, except that perhaps this was something he should be saying to Miss Smith, but Kallend didn't expect a reply, in fact he held up a staying hand when the soldier fumbled with a response. "I know we talked about this earlier, but..."

"... but nothing has changed." Interjected Raj, who knew exactly what the Marshall was once more alluding to. "I cannot marry outside of my blood or religion. It is forbidden."

William raised his hands in surrender and told him, "I'm sorry, Raj. Won't mention it again. I respect your conviction." then he checked the time on his pocket watch, "Well it's nearing five 'o' clock. Where is Elija and the kids?" he wondered.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:42 pm



Colleen stepped out onto the porch and looked over to see the men sitting there at the chess game and talking. Giving them each a smile, she walked to the edge of the porch and yelled for the children to come in and wash up for dinner. When she turned around she gave both of the men another smile.

”You two as well.”

As the children seem to materialize from nowhere and scramble into the Marshall’s house, Colleen was close on their heels and delivering orders. It was a controlled chaos to say the least but by the time they sat down at the table, they were washed, their hair was combed back into place and they sat eagerly anticipating the meal.

The Marshall’s dining room was fuller these last few months than it has been in years. When Raj and William finally sat down at each end of the table, Colleen began dispensing the food. The grown men got their’s first then the children then herself.

The conversation at the table was always lively with the kids chirping about the things they had done that day. Of course they still used a lot of their street slang but Colleen had done wonders in getting them to use normal talk when they were in not in the privacy of their rooms.

Laughter was most often the sound that was heard most and there was no doubt everyone was in good spirits. When everyone started eating tonight, Colleen made an announcement the kids didn’t particularly like and took the men a little by surprise as well.

”I’ve made arrangements with some of the other citizens of town to help me teach you all school lessons.”

The kids looked at her as though she’d lost her mind while the men looked at each other, looked at Colleen then watched the faces of the kids seated at the table. Colleen saw the looks she was receiving from everyone and chuckled softly.

”It’s not the end of the world. You all need to learn how to read and write as well as simple math problems.”

The kids all started piping in their objections at once and Colleen let it go on for a moment or two before she stood up and stomped her foot.

”I won’t hear another word of it. My decision is made and that’s all there is to it. I won’t have you going through life a bunch of illiterate buffoons. You’re education is the only thing in life that’s free.”

Letting a moment pass by before she sat back down, she smiled at Raj and William.

”More peas?”

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:46 am

While the other kids protested about having to learn to read and write, Elija just sat there quietly with a distant gaze on his face . He idelly played with his potatoes and peas with his fork, deep in thought. Elija had not heard a word that was said. Nor did he hear Ferret say " Wot I gonna do wit readin an' writin' an them numbers gits all fouled up in me lump."

Sam piped up and said "Ain' no wonder, ain' nuthin' in yur lump to stop em." Ferret then threw a dinner roll at Sam and said "Bugger off!"

Elija set his fork down and picked up a dinner roll, then just sat there with the distant stare on his face and slowly ate a dinner roll
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:46 am



As the other kids piped up about the reading and writing Colleen had announced she noticed Elija was strangely quiet. When things settled back down again, she shot William and Raj a concerned look then looked back at Elija.

It was no secret the boy had been spending quite a bit of time in the catacombs, but this was the first time he had seemed so….distracted after returning. Finally Colleen called quietly to him from across the table but he seemed to be in a very thoughtful moment. Calling to him again with no response, she finally grew concerned enough o get up from her place at the table and walk over to where he sat. Kneeling down between him and Sam, she reached out and gently touched his hand that held the dinner roll.

Elija? Is everything OK?”

There was a hint of fear in her eyes as she saw the trance like state his eyes held to them and she wondered if somehow the Mermadon that had been spotted skulking around had somehow done something to him. Once m ore the dining room got quiet enough you could hear a pin drop as all eyes turned to Elija as Colleen tried to reach him.

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:19 am



A silence ensued after Raj took on the role of disciplinary, which he often assumed when Colleen wished to provide some personal attention to the one of the children. The warrior quickly stood, darting his eyes about the table, a spinning bottle of rage that none of the children wanted to point at them. It was all an act of course, but it was at times necessary. At first Colleen had objected to the tactic, but then she noticed how just the notion of punishment kept the children in line, a powerful notion that could only be imposed by the threat of a warrior's hand. Raj knew she wanted to take all that away from the children and he agreed that they had thus far not had the most idealistic upbringings, but unfortunately is was what they knew. "It will take some time before these wild children can venture unbridled." he had told her and so she had accepted his tactic for the time being.

Raj's bright green eyes settled on Sam and the young man sank in his seat and dropped his head while Marshall Kallend and Colleen moved round the table to see to Elija.

"I expect more of you, Sam." Lasekura sternly told them. He burned his stare into the boys mop of red hair a little while longer, then motioned his head to the door. The children, quickly followed his gesture and scampered into the hallway between the dining room and the parlor where they lined up against the wall like soldiers awaiting the retribution of their Sergeant.

Lasekura stood before the children, hand on hips. "All of you look up at me." He commanded, "The guilty bury their eyes in the dirt...."

While Raj, lectured the children on their behaviour. Marshall Kallend and Colleen gathered round Elija. Kallend kept his distance, but remained supportive to the concerned Mother. He suspected that the boy had at last discovered something in the caverns, but he did not let on just how anxious he was to learn of the boy's progress. Only Elija could unravel it's mysteries, which is why he never discouraged his expeditions. There were dangers, in the ancient ruins of course, especially for one so young, but he had Maeve keeping her 'Eye' on him and would know well before the fact if the boy were threatened by anything fixed in time. Unfortunately, Maeve could not predict the dangers of living things that moved through time, but that was what Kolldothaur was for. The Taerjen would battle to the death to protect Elija and so the Marshall remained confident that Elija could explore the ruins safely.

Colleen had yet to emerge from the dining room but Raj had already dealt with the children. After his long lecture his face softened. The children had understood and that was all he asked and in return for their consideration he promised to take the out on the sea the next day on his new boat. "If you remain well behaved." he reminded them, "I want you to especially good, to Mrs. Smith this evening." The children looked to one another and promised. It was worth the extra effort to ride the sea like pirates. They excitedly scampered off and their short memories were reminded to slow their pace by Raj's deep voice echoing through the hallway, "Slowly.", he told them, shaking his head futilely. When they were out of sight. Raj curiously peeked into the dining room to see what was going on with Elija.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:14 am

Elija sat there silently for a few moments. Then he jumpded slightly, blinked and turned his eyes to first Collene then to Marshall Kallend, then back to Collene "Wat eyez' ain't done nuthin!" he exclaimed ....... "Whar 'as all me mates gone off ta?" he asked

Looking at the only two adults in the room he said again "Eyez swares eyez ain't done or blagged nuthin, eyes swares it eyez do. Eyez put it all back right and proper eyez did."
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:59 pm



Colleen furrowed her brow at Elija’s words. While she knew he spent a good deal of time in the catacombs lately, she was worried something happened this time and it frightened her to think she was right and she wasn’t there to protect him.

It’s OK, Elija. No one said anything about you not putting things back where you found them. But….what sort of things did you find that you had to put back where they belonged?”

She was very careful in what she asked the boy. Obviously he discovered something and the last thing she wanted was for him to think he was in trouble when that was the farthest thing from the real truth. Casting her worried glance to William then to Raj, Colleen gently placed her hand over Elija’s and smiled softly reassuring the boy he was not in trouble.

“Think you can start from the beginning and tell us what you found in the catacombs today?”

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:46 am

Elija looked at Colleen then at Marshal Kallend, then back to Colleen and swallowed hard......"Eyez was lookin about them caddycombs when eyez found a bloody big dragon of stone, whit a symbol like on a soldiers shield, on wings of gold an sparklin rocks. Me lamps seed red shini' roch so eyes giv's it a bash an them dragons wings closed, a right hid passageway was b'hind them wings. Eyez follwed it an what ya think it be takin' me ta a digs bigger than dis house of Masrshal Kallend's. Whit carved pillars an' a floor what ya could see your fac in an smoooth as ice........ At da end of tha digs was stage an' on it was a and carved rock throne like whot a Royal would sit. When eyze gots in tha room the wings of that dragon spread an' the passage was gone. As me lamps clamped on the walls eyez sees rows an' rows of rolled up papers."........ Elija stopped for a moment and thought hard and a glazed look crossed across his face. "Eyezswalked ov'r to them shelves an' took one of them rolled papers down. Eyez took it ta a table, bigger than this un. It was sittin next ta tha throne, on tha table was a lamp like at Gypsy's digs an a glass ball Eyes laid tha rolled paper and me lantern on the table and clumd up in a chair, three times the size of the largest chair me lamps 'ave evar clamped on. Eyez slowly unrolled the scroll and deeze markin's was writ on em. Eyez tried ta read whot they meant. Then me Derby Kelly went ta growlin' So eyez put the rolled paper back right an proper........Eyez swears I did." .......... Eyez gots back ta wings an whot ya think? thez folded right up an outs I went....then them wigs the slammed shut just like a Bucket And Pail Flowery Dell ( Jail Cell ) Eyeze stopped when eyez heard something in a strange language speak to me. Eyez thought it was Sam arsin about. But he was nowheres about. so eyez comes back ta the well and looked uo and what ya think them stars they was right enough in the middl' of the well an thays looked right enoungh like a winged dragon wit' one star that flashed red then white brilliantly where the dragons eye would be." Elija the stopped and looked down at the table for a few momwnts and muttered "I swears they did."

As Elija had been talking he had reached in his jacket and took out a small pencil. With it he drew pictures absently on the table cloth of the symbol on the wings, the lamp, the crystal ball, the symbols and the stars.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:44 pm



Raj had almost come to believe that the boy was not the one until he mentioned the ruby eyed dragon and the way he instinctively found the release to the secret chamber beyond. After months of patiently waiting, he had at last found the Hall of Miang Dhowja, the scribe of Gallenthdrah.

Marshall Kallend looked to the doorway but by the time he had, Lasekura was already gone and on his way to the buried Tiann ruins beneath Meirathal. He walked with purpose, ignoring Sam's calls as the warrior made his way to the well and quickly descended into the darkness. At the bottom he found the stash of lanterns that amassed in the main chamber and took one. Lighting it, he made his way though the maze of tunnels, following the well trodden trails left by Elija and the other children. Constantly stopping and listening for any who might be following him, and even doubling back on his trail a few times he traveled further into the buried ruins of the lost Tiann city called Luan Chen.

Lasekura wasn't the best of trackers but he was skilled enough to follow the boy's trail. It lead him to one of the larger caverns where the boy had apparently scampered over the collapsed buildings and wormed his way through some tiny opening. Too small for even a woman to fit through. He scanned his surroundings to get a bearing as to where the other area that Elija had found might be and as he explored a little further he found the remains of two enormous doors buried in the rock. At the base of the giant twisted doors, he dug around, throwing aside rocks and pushing away dirt with his hands until he located a depression. Clearing away the dirt from bronze and black metal, he found the top of a smaller sized door within one of the greater ones, an entrance for Humans in a Dragon sized world. As he cleaned the area over the door he found ancient Tiannese writing which confirmed that it was indeed the doorway to the Hall of Miang Dhowja, the place where he scribed the words of the Great Dragon Queen Gallenthdrah.

"Damn!" Exclaimed Raj, when he realized that he would have to return with tools in order to clear away the debris in front of Human-sized doorway. It was already growing too late, though. By the time he went back and returned with excavating tools it would well into the night. He didn't want to arouse any suspicions, especially of the Coven and so Raj, figured he could return the next day.




Marshall Kallend had seen Raj listening in but had not lead on that he was aware. When Elija, had finished telling his story, William patted the boy on the back. "Thank you for being honest with us, Elija" he commended, "That is a very interesting story. Could you show me where it is tomorrow?"


________________________________________



Raj, did not return until a few hours later. With his clothes damp and soiled with earth he made his way across the front yard of Marshall Kallend's house and stepped onto the veranda quietly so as not attract any attention. He was exhausted and was looking forward to a hot bath and then bed.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:15 pm

Elija looked at the Marshal and said "Yur welcome, sir ....... Mum tells me ta always be honest sir, she does." When the Marshal asked him if he he would show him to show him where the room was tomorrow, Elija looked a little startled an expression of incertainty crossed his face. Then Elija looked at Colleen to see if she thought it was alright and for approval, because other than Sam and the other Shoddy End Gang, she was the only person alive he trusted totally and unquestionably.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:09 pm



Colleen gave Elija a reassuring nod and smile to let him know it was quite alright to show Marshall Kallend where the room was. With that out of the way and Elija now a bit more relaxed, Colleen cleaned off the table and with Williams help, cleaned all the dishes and put them away. The children had since been excused to finish the chores they needed to complete before they took baths and headed for bed.

Not realizing Raj had disappeared, Colleen began to worry when he didn’t show up for the cup of tea they shared just before they both turned in for the night. Of course Raj was a grown man and quite capable of taking care of himself but that didn’t stop Colleen’s mind from imagining the worse.

The sun had long since set and the crickets were singing loudly when Raj finally returned. Sitting very still on the porch of her own home, she blended in with the shadows. All Colleen could see was his shadow slink across the lawn and up onto the porch of Williams’ home. Not knowing where he had been, she thought he’d gone to see a woman. Especially with the way he eased up on the porch. It was obvious he was trying to be as quiet as possible.

Why that hurt her, she didn’t know. It wasn’t like Raj had she had anything other than a friendship. He never once made any overtly moves or comments to her that would indicate otherwise but there was no doubt she had feelings for the man. Of course she would never tell him that either. It just wasn’t…..proper. When she saw him go inside and close the door softly behind him, she slowly stood up and walked into her own home.

Colleen had long since given up on men. They were simply too complicated for her to figure out. Ironic, really. To hear them talk it was women that were the difficult ones. With Angus, things were very different. He seemed to just…know who she was and what she wanted. With a heavy sigh she shook her head and made her way upstairs.

Checking on all the children, she made sure they were sound asleep, giving Elija a soft kiss to his forehead, before turning in herself. Tomorrow was another day and there was much she had to prepare for. The children were starting their lessons and Elija had something to show them in the catacombs. Once her bath was done, Colleen practically fell into bed and closed her eyes to sleep.

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:17 am

The following morning, after breakfast all the Shoddy End Gang, except Elija trudged off to their lessons. Elija, Koldothaur close at the Elija's side, escorted Colleen, Raj and Marshal Kallend down into the well and through the lambreth of passageways to a pile of fallen stone wall and a small opening, just large enough for Elija to crawl through and too small for Koldothaur. The stones all had symbols and runes etched in them, worn slightly with the passage of time. "It be thru that 'ole it be Marshall Sir." Elija said as he began to crawl thru the space between the fallen stones. The ground trembled and the stones shifted, some rolling from the pile and others falling to the floor. As a fine dust waifed out of the opening Elija had crawled thru. .......... Just before the ground trembled Elija had crawled out into the lager chamber an stood before the masive stone dragon winged gates.



The gates became more apparant and detailed than Elija had remembered them and glowed with a firey radiance. "Bugger me." Elija muttered as he looked upon them transfixed with awe. Into Elija's mind a low rumbling voice sounded "aldoer darastrix lexi jaci svaust ulph coanwor confn ekess meage udoka tenamalo." Elija jumped back, shook his head and looked around. He had no idea what the words meant or who spoke them.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:51 am

Slowly the gates parted, the oil lamps flickered to life and Elija crossed the threshold. As he passes the gates slowly closed behind him, shutting with a resounding thud of stone meeting stone. Elija walked slowly towards th dias and table, as he stepped upon the dias the lamp on the table flickered to life and once again he heard the low rumbling voice say "Mobi acht wer desk ui vi mapatdrachim ekess wer goawy svaklar wux geou ehtah wer irthir batobot wux sweekmon." Elija stopped and looked around the empty chamber lined with shelves upon shelves of scrolls to the table. There lying spread on the table, weighted down on the cornes by silver dragon teeth was a map. Stepping closer Elija observed ancient draconic runes and names he could not read, yet the lines that lead from one name to another seemed familiar to him. There was the coast line, the mountains, plains, rivers that he seemed to recognize. As he studied the map, the dragon teeth moved, the map rolled itself up and slid across the table towards Elija. As if in a trance Elija reached out picked the map up, holding it in his hand he stepped away from the table and off the dias. As he turned and started towards the doors they slowly opened as the lamps slowly dimmed. Carrying the map Elija crossed the threshold again and out into the outter chamber. The massive stone doors slowly shut with the same solid thud of stone meeting stone. Elija looked down at his hand holding the map and then up. Standing before him were Colleen, Marshal Kallend and Raja, as the glowing doors faded back to a solid stone gem and crystal studded wall.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:04 pm



Colleen was both anxious and excited to see what Elija had found in the catacombs. While she knew the boys had stumbled onto something unique, she also knew there was danger in visiting the underground tunnels. So as Elija led them deep into the tunnels Colleen kept her worried to herself and tried not to dwell on the awful things that could happen down in them.

Unfortunately, her worse fears came true. When she saw Elija slip intot he small opening that led to the secret chamber he found, Colleen almost reached out to stop him and make him stay with her but she knew she had to let him go. It was important to the boy ad the others as well.

When the ground trembled and more or less buried Elija beneath them, Colleen felt a scream strangle in her throat. Her eyes grew wide and she lunged at the now what appeared to be closed entrance. Colleen just knew the boy had been crushed beneath the heavy stones.

“NO! ELIJA! ELIJA! CAN YOU HEAR ME?”

Colleen was frantic and tried to move the stones herself. Marshall Kallend grabbed her firmly but gently by the shoulders to stop her, trying to be the voice of reason for her. Even over her frantic calls to Elija they could hear and feel what sounded like very large, heavy stones being moved beyond where they stood.

“Colleen…COLLEEN! Stop. Listen. I don’t think he’s hurt at all. Listen….you hear that?”

Colleen had stopped struggling and quieted down to take notice of what William was saying. She heard the sound and gave a hopeful look to both he and Raj.

”By the Gods…please tell me he’s OK.”

William gave her a reassuring smile and nodded.

“I believe so…..”

The minutes seemed to tick by like hours as Colleen waited to see if Elija was indeed alright. With each noise she heard she prayed it was Elija emerging from his underground tomb. When the stones finally parted to allow Elija exit from the inner chamber, Colleen stepped back and watched in awe as Elija emerged from the other side. In his hands was a piece of parchment but Colleen didn’t care one bit about it. All she knew was that Elija was unharmed.

Kneeling down and drawing Elija into her arms, Colleen gave way to her tears for a few seconds. Gathering her composure once more, she slowly, reluctantly released her hold on Elija and sat back on her heels to look into his face. Tears still shimmered in her eyes but she refused to let them free.

Are….are you alright, Elija?”

____________________________________________________________________________________
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:33 pm



As the great wings parted once more, Raj who had been carefully inspecting them, backed away. He looked in awe as the boy re-emerged and in his hands he carried that which he had been seeking since he left his home in Tiann. Looking to Marshall Kallend, it became apparent to him that the ancient man had known of his quest all this time, and it suddenly seemed pointless to perpetuate the charade.

"Gallenthdrah's map." Lasekura stated, and the Marshall confirmed his declaration with an all knowing nod. Then he went on to describe that the ruby eyed dragon was the guardian of Miang Dhowja's chamber, the place where the scribe created the dragon runes that captured the words of the great Dragon Queen Gallenthdrah. "I had almost lost hope and began to believe that the map was just a myth but by Gods and Dragons, here it is!" Raj exclaimed, his eyes wide, revering the ancient scroll.

Immediately then Raj placated Colleen's incredulous glare with a gentle staying hand. "Forgive my deception, Mrs. Smith but I suspected how special Elija was from the beginning. The Dragon's of Tiann foretold of a man-child who would find the lost map and unite the Wyr's and now, I believe that without a doubt Elija is the one."

Raj kneeled down beside Elija and gently placed his hand on his shoulder. "You have done well, Elija. Know now that I have been sent from afar to be your guardian. You are only at the beginning of a tremulous path and I alone have been chosen to see to your safety." As ended his words he quickly rose, fearful that his Mother might have a few words to share, but nothing would change the course that had been set that day.

____________________________________________________



Marshall Kallend knew that Colleen's words were burning her tongue, but begged her to hold them for a moment while he spoke. "It's time now, that you all left Meirathal." he sadly told them. He then moved closer to Elija whose young eyes could not yet fathom why they would have to leave the peaceful place, the first true home he had ever known. Looking down he offered a pleasant smile assuring the boy that he had done nothing wrong. "You are special Elija, and nothing will ever change that, but because your different people will fear you and some will try and control you. Trust in your guardians, " he advised gesturing to Raj and his Mother, "They make you far stronger than you can possibly be on your own."

The boys eyes still did not understand why they had to leave Meirathal, but Raj understood. He knew that now that the boy had entered the chamber of Miang Dhowja, a chain reaction of events had started, one that would bring the Mermadon to the peaceful sea-side village. As strong as the Coven was, they could hide the town forever, nor combat an entire Ta'kun army, all they could do to protect themselves was to remove that which they sought.

William Kallend then turned to Colleen, his eyes saddened that the inevitable parting had come so soon.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:24 pm



Colleen slowly stood in stunned silence when she heard Raj’s words. For some reason she felt…betrayed. While he hadn’t lied to her, he concealed the truth form her and that hurt almost as much as out right lying to her. When her shock wore off, Colleen carefully shrugged out of Raj’s touch and took a small step back away from him. Her dark blue eyes grew stormy and just when she was about to give Raj a piece of her mind, William’s firm but gentle voice kept her from saying anything.

They were now being forced, more or less, from the home she had built with the children. What ever words she was going to say to Raj were quickly swallowed with the reality they would have to pack up everything they now owned and move to a foreign place. While William’s reasoning was completely valid, Colleen still found it difficult to accept, but accept it she did.

Colleen’s eyes searched Williams as he spoke then she blinked and looked to Raj. Both men knew this was coming and yet here now, it had blind sided her. Again. And yet, she knew she was powerless to stop any of this from happening. For the first time in her life Colleen knew she couldn’t fight this. She would have to accept what ever happened from this point forward.

Glancing down at Elija, she saw the look on his face and it broke her heart. He didn’t understand why they had to leave now. He understood he wasn’t just a normal child anymore, but to up and leave his now home was beyond his thinking. The one thing she wanted most to give him had been stripped form him by fate and what other else you wanted to call it. Now, all she could do was, somehow, help him as his life progressed.

Looking up at Raj she knew he would be an integral part of Elija’s life now. Fate, it seemed, had a twisted sense of humor she didn’t care for. Especially right now. But it was when she looked into Williams sad eyes that she felt the lump catch in her throat and stay there. Tears welled up in her dark eyes once more and she struggled to prevent them from slipping down her cheeks.
Taking a few deep breaths, she tried to regain her composure. Her voice was thick with emotion when she spoke, trying to hold William’s gaze.

”I wish we didn’t have to leave, William. I understand why but it still doesn’t stop me from wishing there was another way. We just got here and settled in. Just promise me we will be able to visit from time to time. We…..I would like that.”

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:40 pm



Marshall Kallend smiled warmly at Colleen. "You will always be welcome in our homes my dear." he told her as the great bear of man gently placed his arms about her in a fatherly embrace, then he chuckled, "And this is not good bye. Nooooo, " he cooed, "We shall see each other from time to time, 'cause you're headed to Baloc."

He released her then to see her expression and glanced over at Raj then to Elija then back to Colleen. "My last trip to the city really had nothing to do with selling wine." he admitted, "We all suspected that Elija would eventually find the chamber and decided to make arrangements for your departure on that day. In Baloc, a smithy awaits you, " Kallend said to Colleen, "It's not much, but its quaint and it'll keep the rain off your head and provide you with a place to work... and please don't go on about trying to pay us back, we've been acquiring money for hundreds of years. There should be enough room for you and the children, but should you choose they are all welcome to remain here among us."

Kallend then looked down to Elija. "I am very proud of you young man," he praised him, "and there's nothing more I want than to have you stay here but you will be far safer in the great city of Baloc. The Mermadon and Ta'kun will think twice about bothering you there, even the Dragons are wary of their defenses and so that is where you should be."
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:16 pm



Colleen blinked back more tears as she heard William’s words. Her pride was telling her to decline the offer of the smithy but her heart was telling her it would be a huge sin if she did. Finally her heart won and she merely nodded slightly, sniffling softly.

“I’m sure it will be just fine, William. I trust you and know you wouldn’t put us anywhere that wasn’t comfortable for us. Nor do I think you would send us away into danger. I know, deep in my heart of hearts, you are doing what’s right for all of us. Including the citizens of Meirathal. We’ll head back and start packing today. Something tells me the sooner we leave, the sooner the threat to Meirathal will cease to exist.”

Looking down at Elija, Colleen gave him a reassuring smile then indicated they should head back to the house and start gathering the few things they had accumulated since their arrival from Fort Glory. With a quick glance at William, she then glanced to Raj and headed back out the tunnel the way she came. She had a busy day ahead of her and she wanted to get as much done as she could before the children got home.

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:26 am



The sad task of packing was well underway. The children slowly gathered their accumulated possessions under the guidance of Mrs. Smith, until the inevitable and most difficult parting drew near.

At the Kallend House, the Marshall had prepared a grand lunch, and they and the Coven gathered in William's dining room. A few of the elders unable to find a place at the table, sat in the parlor, connected to the festivities through the open french doors.




Marshall Kallend began with an inspiring speech that forever solidified the bonds between them all and raised his glass high to the 'honor and preservation of Gallenthdrah'. He then sauntered over to Colleen and Raj and presented them with tickets.

"As fate would have it the riverboat awaits you on the Rathilm, just north of town. She arrived this later this morning and departs in a few hours. The Baloc Belle, journeys straight on back to the city from here and you should arrive in Baloc tomorrow morning." Explained William. He then looked to the children and in an effort to raise the spirits told them about the trip ahead of them, "Have any of you ever been on paddle wheel boat?" he asked them excitedly.

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:02 am

Elija was standing on the porch with Koldothur sitting at his side surrounded by the few pocessions that Coleen, Elija and the rest of the Shoddy End Gang had accumulated during their stay,when the Marshall handed the tickets to Colleen and Raja. Elija rested his hand on Koldothur's head, looked at the Marshal. "Koldothur an me we be mates. He's comin' ta Boloc ain't he?" Elija then looked at Colleen "Hw won't be a bother, Eyezs and me mates we look ta him won't we mates?" And Elija looked at the rest of the Shoody End Gang and the all nodded their heads and ran up to surround Elija and Koldothur.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:35 am



Colleen actually enjoyed the lavish luncheon with the Coven, Raj and the children. Now that she had resigned herself to the fact there was nothing she could do to prevent any of this from happening, she decided to accept this strange twist of fate and try and embrace it with everything she could give. William, true to his nature, portrayed the host to the hilt and Colleen found he rather enjoyed these sort of gatherings. In fact, she was certain he did this from time to time to somehow honor the memory of his beloved wife.

As things began to wind down and he presented her and Raj with the tickets they would all need, Colleen found her heart sinking a little at the thought of leaving them all behind. She had just gotten to know all of them and understand their strange ways. As she looked to William again she saw that sadness slip into his gaze and knew if she didn’t do something, she would give way to tears yet again. Reaching out she embraced the man who had been kind enough to open his home and heart to her and a bunch of orphaned children.

”Thank you again, William, for all you’ve done for me and the children. I don’t know what we would have done if not for you.”

Her voice was nothing more than a whisper in his ear but the emotion she was feeling couldn’t be hidden. As she released her hold on the big hearted Marshall, she blinked back tears yet again. He next thing she knew, the entire Coven had stepped up and were embracing her, wishing her good luck and offering her words of encouragement. They all told her to come and visit often with the children after she got herself settled and her business up and running.

As she stepped out onto the porch, Elija was there with Koldothor. When the child asked if the large beast was coming with them, Colleen wasn’t sure what to do. How would they get such a ferocious looking beast on a paddle boat full of passengers without causing an out right panic?

”I’m sure he won’t be a bother, Elija…but…..I’m not sure how we would get him to Baloc without causing people to be afraid of him. And I don’t want to upset the life he’s grown to love here. And it won’t be like you’ll never see him again.”

Colleen gave William a pleading look to help her with trying to tell Elija he would have to leave Koldothur here in Meirathal. Or did William have other plans?

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:39 pm

"Alrouight Mum, eyez guess ya bees rauight." Elija said with a dejected look, yet ther was just a hint of a devious glint to his eyes and a very faint almost untistiguishable smile of his face. Sam started to protest along with the other boys when Elija gave them a slight glare, that told them to just be quiet.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 3 - Learning to Live Again   Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:06 pm



It was a beautiful day. The sky was a bright blue, clear of clouds and a warm breeze danced across the River Rathilm. Many of Meirathal's folk had gathered at the dock to send off the group whom they all considered to be a part of their tranquil home by the sea, and even those that were met in passing shed a tear with their farewells.

Rajinder Lasekura had not experienced such a caring send off since he had left his home in Tiann, but what made it all the more special was the fact that these people had come to treat them as family after their short time among them. It was all very moving, but the warrior was not one to become sentimental in the face of change. Transformation was part of life, and this new leg of their journey he believed was set long before they ever arrived and it had been only a matter of time for it to come to pass.

"Good journey, m'boy." Wished William as he shook Raj's hand and gave him a manly hug. He then tapped his temple a few times to remind the young 'warlock' to trust in his abilities and to study the manuals the Coven had given to he and Colleen.

Rajinder smiled warmly at the fatherly soul and thanked him for everything he had done for he, Colleen and the children. He then reached across and petted the great Kauldothar, "Thank you, as well." he said to the beast, and the Taerjen looked at him with such intelligent that the man knew his words or the feeling behind them were understood. He then said his farewells to the rest of the Coven and made his way aboard the Baloc Belle, carrying all that he owned in a few bags slung across his back. Crossing the gang plank, he walked across the deck to where he had previously assisted in carrying the possessions of Mrs. Smith and the children and awaited them to join him.
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