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 BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:52 am


With the dark waters the Mermadon caught hold of the woman and dragged her deeper into the depths of the river.

"At least I shall take you from them." Hissed a voice in Colleen's head, and she knew it was the Mermadon somehow speaking to her with his thoughts.

There was no fighting it. She no longer fight against the chilled embrace of the river and the iron grasp of the Mermadon. It was the end or it would have been if it were not for a daring rescue by two her children, but how did they reach her? By the time, Galley and Sam had plunged into the cold waters of the Rathilm, Miss Smith was floating to the surface, freed from certain death by a third man who had dove in after them.

Mallethden had his prize and he would have taken her down to the river bottom had it not been for the interference of a much older man who had come to the woman's aid. The Mermadon would not be denied this time, and reached out a hand to cast a spell upon the bothersome ape but as he did so the shadowy figure drew a sharp blade across his webbed hand with surprising speed. As Malletheden screamed in pain, Colleen was wrenched from his grasp, then Sam's feet caught the Mermadon square in the face, rendering him unconscious.

The ship's doctor was already on deck when Colleen's and Elija's cold bodies were fished out the river. He tended to the immediately, and just in the nick of time he figured. First pressing the water out of Colleen's lungs, then tending to the boy, who coughed up a mouthful of water then breathed easily. Elija was slowly becoming aware of his surroundings. He could make out the outlines of Sam and Galley beneath some heavy blankets, then the others came into focus. There beside him he was pleased to see that his mum was going to be okay, although she looked a bit like death warmed over. Then he took note of another man on his other side. He was sitting on the deck with his head between his knees while the Captain of the ship pushed vigorously. Yet another method, to remove water from a person's lungs, a method that Elija reckoned wasn't one of the better ones by the way the man complained.

"Enough. Enough already, I was better off in the river." Growled the stranger.

The sound of the man's voice made, Elija's mouth turn dry. It was a voice he thought he would never hear again — wasn't supposed to ever hear again!

The man raised his head, allowing the light to pass beneath the brim of his hat as he slowly turned his head toward Elija. Water dripped from the stern tanned face as the brim rose like a curtain at last revealing his piercing blue eyes, so radiant they shone in the shadows. Only one man had eyes like that but it wasn't possible. He was dead.

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:29 am

Elija blinked as his eyes grew wide and his mouth dropped open. "Et caun't be ..... Eyez be dream ...... ar 'ave dun gon over ta the 'ereaft'." Elija muttered then slowly closed his eyes and softly fell back against the cabin wall.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:58 pm


Colleen felt the pressure of the water pushing against her chest as she heard the Mermadon's voice hissed in her head. Knowing the creature wouldn't let her go, she resigned herself over to her fate knowing that if he had a hold of her, he didn't have a hold of Elija. The boy would live ad that was all that mattered. It was at that moment she let herself go and found peace in the blackness that swallowed her up.

Sounds began to grow louder in her ears. Things were muffled at first then slowly they began to sound more clear. The pressure on her body was still there but now instead of being constant it was only every few seconds. If this was death, it was very uncomfor.....Colleen's thought was quickly cut off by such a choking spell she thought she would cough up her lung. Water spewed from her body as it was forced from her lungs. Finally her eyes fluttered open as she looked around. She was frigidly cold and her body convulsed because of it. Suddenly realizing she was alive and on the deck of the boat by the look of the people standing around, she quickly looked for Elija and saw him close to her. As well as all the other children.

Forcing herself to sit up, she wrapped the blanket around her body and reached for Ellija. As soon as the boys hands reached for her they embraced and she felt such fear and relief all at the same time. As soon as she had Elija in her embrace she then reached for the others. The group huddled close together for a few moments before the doctor insisted they get dry, warm clothes on. That's when she heard a voice she hadn't heard in many months. Like Elijs, she thought it had been silenced forever but when she looked over to see Basha sitting there looking at her and the children, she let out a small cry.

Her teeth were beginning to chatter as she tried to talk to the man, swatting the crew men's hands as they tried to help her to her feet.

"B-b-basha.......I th-th-thought w-w-we lost y-y-you. I'm s-s-so glad t s-s-see you again."

Finally the doctor used his authority to get Colleen's attention.

"Ms. Smith. I insist you get yourself and these children out of these wet clothes. If you remain in them much longer you will all come down with pneumonia. The crew men will escort you back to your cabins and remain on guard until you reach Baloc as it appears your escort has gone missing. Now please...."

The reminder Raj perished at the hands of the foul Mermadon made Colleen's eyes well up with tears. She looked at Basha with pained and grief filled eyes before she nodded and looked away. She would have to break the news of Raj's death to the man in the morning. But not right now. Right now hos loss was too raw and too painful for her to even think about. She allowed the crew men to help her up and as they began to move away she quickly gathered all the children with her and did a head count to make sure they were all there. As they began walking away, she glanced back at Basha once m ore then disappeared in a flurry of quiet activity.

The doctor stood there for a moment longer and watched the woman and children go then turned his attention to Basha.

"It's a good thing you happened along when you did. The amount of water pushed from her lungs should have killed her. You sure you don't need me to check you out? I believe our crew man Roy has clothes that are big enough to fit you. There's a spare cabin near the infirmary you can stay in until we can get all of this sorted out."

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:26 am


If Basha Mandek was surprised that he had once more crossed paths with Miss Smith and Elija he didn't show it. The man's face in general didn't show a lot of emotion and so it was difficult to get even an inkling of what the man was thinking most of the time. It was, however, rather extraordinary that he just happened to be passing by at that exact moment, or was it really just mere chance?

Basha tightened his blanket around him and smoothly rose to his feet. He tipped his hat to Colleen and acknowledged the passed out boy with a slight flick of his flaming blue eyes. There really wasn't much to say at the presently. They were all cold, wet and tired, not exactly the best time for a reunion, so without a word the old soldier turned his attention to the doctor. He accepted the offer of the cabin and that also answered his question, whether or not anyone saw him dive into the black waters from the high ridge on the west side of the river. They were well aware that he was not a passenger but his hero's status warranted some hospitality on their part. Basha was thankful for that. He had simply reacted and hadn't properly thought out what he was going to do after the fact and so the cabin and change of clothes were well appreciated.

He waited for the crew men to usher, Miss Smith and her children to the upper deck before he followed the hefty crewman known as, Roy.

Meanwhile...

Mallethden, swam along the bottom of the river, trailing in the wake of the river boat. His hand was already healing, as his kind mended quickly while within water. He had not wished to travel to the ancient city of Baloc — to that most sacred place of his makers. It was taboo to for Dragon-kin to tread upon the soil and swim the waters of such places, but Yassun would be most displeased if he returned empty handed and so he pressed on. In the city he was confident that he would be able to acquire the assistance of some unsavory Humans, they were so corruptible. Driven by greed and lust, the Mermadon was confident he would be able to find ample aid in the slums.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:28 am

As the door to the cabin opened Puddin' stood in the middle of the room rubbing his eyes. "Whize yuz all wet?" he asked sleepely.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:09 am


Basha gave a nod to the crewman who had lent him his spare clothes and the doctor before closing the door to the cabin offered to him. It wasn't much. About as wide as he was tall and maybe twice that in length, but it was warm and dry and that's all that mattered to the old soldier. Chilled to the bone he tossed the spare clothes onto the bed and quickly removed his wet ones, draping them over a chair as he replaced them with the dry ones. That felt much better and already his movements were less rigid.

In the corner of the cabin was a small stove, the chimney of which most likely linked up with a network of piping that connected all the other fireplaces on the ship, Basha figured. He tossed a few sticks of wood from the small pile next to it, threw in some tinder and lit up. He then pulled chair that served as a hanger for his damp clothes closer to the heat and fell back into the bed. Already he was feeling much better, but what about Miss Smith and Elija? They appeared none the worse as they were taken back to their cabin and now that the Mermadon had been dealt with, Basha could rest easy.

He dowsed the lantern on the bedside table and laid his down on the pillow. A pale stream of moonlight spilled into the dark cabin from the small window above him while the flickering firelight of the stove danced across his the bed. There was yet another source of light in the cabin as well. A greenish glow emanating from beneath, Basha's shirt. Curious, he reached down his neck and pulled out a very old looking medallion and stared at the glowing jewel in its center. He ran his thumb over it a couple of times and listened intently out his partially open window. The jewel went dark and the soldier thought no more of it and went to sleep.

That night the captain and the crewman would have much to discuss before they returned to sleep. A Mermadon! Many had never seen one in the flesh and already rumors of its presence began to spread through the ship. By morning, most of the passengers would have heard of the nights events; of the woman who traveled with the many children; the disappearance of her escort; and of the strange man who appeared in the night.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:16 pm


Colleen shivered and convulsed as she quickly worked to get Elija, Sam, and Galley out of their wet clothes. Each one of them protested for different reasons but in the long run Colleen had won out. Reminding them she was still the adult in charge, they relented and allowed her to help them to a certain point. Once the clothes had been exchanged for drier ones, she herself changed into drier clothing opting for a pair of trousers, blouse, and boots. Draping the wet clothes around the cabin Raj and the boys were to share, she had the entire group of children come stay with her and the girls in their cabin.

The events of the night wouldn’t allow her to sleep but more than that, the loss of Raj cut deeper than any blade she’d ever felt. And she couldn’t help but think if she was cursed. After all, the men in her life died or disappeared.

Angus. Payden. Raj. Elija was almost lost to her several times. What was it about her that made the Gods so mad at her they let her start caring for someone only to have them ripped from her life so violently she was left with nothing but a gaping hole?

Tears slipped from her eyes as she remembered the courage Raj had displayed so many times yet the gentleness of his nature was always there shining though. His loss, she realized, she felt just as bad as she did Angus’. While the relationship she had with Raj was strictly platonic, she still loved him deeply regardless.

By the time the morning sun was beginning to pain the sky a lighter shade of blue, Colleen had cried until there was no more tears left to cry and had not closed her eyes once. She couldn’t wait for the boat to dock so she could get the children off the thing and secure in a place William had set up for them.

William! She needed to send word to him of what had occurred. He was rather fond of Raj and would take his death hard as well. Perhaps she would even be able to get some advice from the good Sherriff. If there was any to give at this point.

Finally, as she heard the sound of voices outside, she knew the guards were changing and that meant other passengers were up and moving about. The children were still asleep when she tip toed to the door and opened it o a crack. The crewman who had replaced the one looked back when he heard the sound of the door. Seeing Colleen’s pale face, flushed cheeks, puffy, red eyes with dark circles around them he knew she didn’t get much rest if any. The woman reminded him of his sister and he instantly took a liking to her. Keeping his voice low, he stepped closer to the door.

”Ms. Smith is everything alright, Ma’am? All things considered?”

Colleen looked the deck up and down then looked behind her at the bodies of sleeping children strewn all over the cabin. Finally she stepped out onto the deck and pulled the door closed quietly behind her. The morning air was chilled and she rubbed her arms for warmth for more than one reason. Tucking the hair behind her ear she nodded to the crewman.

”Yes. As fine as fine can be right now. Thank you. I don’t suppose I could get some breakfast delivered up her, could I?”

The man gave a small smile and nodded.

”That won’ be a problem at all, ma’am. In fact, the captain had anticipated such a thing and sent word for yours and the children’s breakfasts to be prepared and sent up within the hour. Is there anything else I Can get for you in the meantime?”

Colleen looked up at the man and just stared at him for a long time. There was lots he could get for her, if he could. But there’s no way to bring Raj back. No way to assure her she and the children would be just fine. No way to bring a sense of security back into her life now that the truth of herself and Elija had been revealed to her. Finally she shook her head.

”No. Thank you all the same, though.”

The man saw the look that crossed her face and in her dark blue eyes as she stood there staring at him and knew her thoughts were of other things. He merely nodded instead.

”Very well. I’ll knock when the food arises. Why don’t you see if you can get some rest until then? It’ll be about an hour.”

Colleen wanted to tell the man she would never be able to rest again in her life but instead she just nodded and turned going back inside her cabin with the sleeping children. It was going to be a rough day ahead of her.

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:35 pm

Elija slept fitfully as the image of blowing snow and the feel of bitter cold filled his mind. Images of kneeling in the snow and digging with his hands into the frozen earth until he had dug a hole large enough to lower his dead sister into the ground. He covered the body with his hands and knelt freezing ...... the the images of standing shivering, wet and staring out at the surf as it cashed over the rock shelves of the beach as it rolled in. His eyes suddenly caught a glimpse of something red floating in the surf. He heard himself scream "Basha! I see Basha!" as he ran into the surf. When he came closer to the red object his heart sank, there floating in the surf, caught on a rock shelf was the torn, tatterd and bloodstained red jacket, with the remnants of a leather strap and the white sash, Basha had worn. He frantically search the surf and water, but to no avail. He bent down, picked up the jacket and clutched it to his chest, as he turned, stoned faced and walked back to the others. He sat sullenly on the sand holding the jacket. Slowly Elija spead the jacket out on a rock to dry and searched the pockets. Inside one of the inside pockets, he found a few coins, a letter whose ink had run to an unreadable smear and an old faded photograph of a woman holding a boy in her arms. The boy held up a wooden sword. In another pocket he found a sewing kit, with needles and various small spools of thread. In the last outside pocket, Elija found some bullets and a folding multi bladed knife. He carefully laid the articles out to dry on a rock, weighing the papers down with a small stone. He just stared blankly at the Captain's Tunic silently. Then Elija bolted up straight in his bunk and screamed "Captain Mandek
!!!!" He sat there staring at the doorway.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:07 pm


Colleen quickly rushed over to Elija and hugged him tight as she sat down next to him. His dreams were fitful as she heard him moan from time to time as she watched his little body twitch and jerk with painful memories. More often than not she sat letting him know she was right there as he worked through another nightmarish image in his mind.

As he sat up and yelled the good Captains name, she was by his side instantly once more. Tenderly brushing the hair from his brow, she gave him a sad smile and nodded.

”Yes. It seems the good Captain is very much alive, Elija. From what I understand, if it hadn’t been for his help, we would have drowned at the hands of that…..creature.”

Colleen shuddered as she remembered what happened to her and Elija because of that thing. Even now she glanced towards the door fully expecting to see that thing crashing through it and trying to get its slimy hands on her and the children.

Looking back at Elija, she leaned forward and kissed his forehead before she pulled away and looked at him again. The dark circles that surrounded his eyes were an exact match to her own and she couldn’t help but feel a pang of regret pass over her heart. Speaking quietly, she tried to be brave for his and the children’s sake as she heard the sounds of others slowly waking from their slumber.

”Why don’t you go ahead and get dressed, Elija. Breakfast will be here soon. Once we’ve eaten, I’ll see about sending a telegram to William to let him know what’s transpired.”

She felt tears stinging her eyes and she blinked several times to make them go away as she swallowed hard.

”And to let him know Raj…..is gone.”

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:42 am


"Good morning, sir." Greeted the Captain as Basha entered the crewmen's mess hall, "Please, join me at my table."

The old soldier nodded and sat down. The other man that had been sitting with the Captain moved over to give Basha some more room. He acknowledged the doctor with a quiet, "Thank you."

In no time a heaping plate of food full of the usual breakfast stuffs was placed before the old soldier, far more food than the others had received, the old soldier noticed. As he began to eat, Basha glanced around the room. Many of the crewmen were stealing looks at him, and both the Captain and the doctor weren't hiding their eagerness very well as the sipped at their morning tea.

The food was good, but with so many eyes pressing upon him, Basha found it difficult to eat. Finally he took a swallow of water to chase down his bacon and sat back in his chair, his smoldering eyes looking from the doctor to the Captain. "Have ya got something you'd like to say?" he curiously asked.

The Captain spoke first. "Is it true, that you are from Fort Glory, sir?"

Basha furrowed his brow and remained silent, wondering how these men knew where he was from.

"You are Captain Mandek are you not?" The doctor finally inquired.

Now he was doubly concerned but before he could speak the doctor pulled out an old news paper. It was the Capitol Tribune and it had been opened to an article written before the fall of Glory. It was a story about his reinstatement of rank in the service of Glory and of Captain McBhaird's death, there was even a picture of him, one that he remembered posing for prior to the battle.

"How was this even printed?" Asked Basha, knowing all to well that nothing of Fort Glory remained.

"So you are him." Figured the Captain by the way the man recognized the all that was written in the article.

"Yes. I'm Basha Mandek, former of Captain of the Crimson Dragoons, former Captain in the service of Fort Glory." he replied, "You still haven't answered my question."

"The Capitol Tribune relocated to Baloc, and a one Teddy Hook who survived the battle, escaped to write this most extraordinary story." Answered the doctor, "Mr. Mandek, if you might share with us the details of your survival. In the story, Mr. Hook, quoted some of your former soldiers who believed you had most convincingly died."

Basha was quiet. He read the article he was taken back to that ill fated day. He had never known what had become of his men and a part of him had always believed that some of them, at least, had survived; had lived on and were perhaps even in Baloc. He imagined one day running into one of them, Raj or even Sandy Graves and sharing a pint or two over some light stories of happier times.

It was only then that the doctor gasped, "My word! You've never known what became of your men, did you?"

Basha rose from his seat without saying a word. He dropped he paper on the table and slowly left the mess hall, the crewman looking on with the upmost respect for the surviving Captain of Fort Glory.

So much death. So much loss. Sometimes, Basha didn't know why he went on, but he just did. Leaning over the side of the ship, staring out at the brilliant sunrise that painted the river gold he whispered an apology to an old friend, "I'm sorry, Raj. Sorry I wasn't here for you. I didn't know... didn't want to know."

Basha hung his head low and closed his eyes as he listened to the sounds of the riverboat as cleared his mind and tried to forget.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:41 pm


”Didn’t want to know what, Captain Mandek?”

The soft feminine voice spoke quietly from a short distance away. Colleen stood just a few feet away looking at Basha. After the children had eaten she decided to come check on the man who helped save her life when she saw him come out of the place the crew ate their meals. She was about to say something to him when she saw the look on his face. Something made her pause and just watch him for a moment. That’s when she heard him apologize to Raj then say he didn’t know and didn’t want to know.

She saw the troubled look on his face and knew something was bothering the man. She walked up beside him and looked out over the water as she leaned her arms against the railing. Her voice was quiet as she spoke to him now.

”Since we left Fort Glory, so much has changed. So much I don’t even know where to start. All I know is that Elija and I have discovered things about us that don’t make sense yet apparently others seem to think we are more of a threat than they can allow to live.”

She took a deep breath then stood up straighter and turned to face Basha fully. Moisture began to fill her eyes and she blinked several times to prevent the tears from falling.

”Raj made a vow to protect us from harm and it cost him his life. So please….if there’s anything you can tell me to help make sense of all of this, I would be forever grateful.”

Reaching out her hand, she gently touched Basha’s forearm as her eyes pleaded with him.

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:57 am

Elija stood silently as he watched Basha and his adoptive mother talk quietly. As she touched Basha's fore arm Elija walked up softly and held out an oil cloth bundle bound with a strip of leather. In a soft small voice, with his eyes cast down, Elija said "Ize thought yuze was dead, so Ize saved these Ize did. Thaze b'longs ta yuze. Ize thanks yuze, Ize do, fur savin' Mum an me." He handed the bundle to Basha then turned suddenly and ran off down the passage way. Inside the bundle was few coins, a letter whose ink had run to an unreadable smear and an old faded photograph of a woman holding a boy in her arms. The boy held up a wooden sword, a sewing kit, with needles and various small spools of thread and some bullets and a folding multi bladed knife.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:41 am


Basha was surprised when the usual feminine sounds that approached from behind him were accompanied by a familiar voice. He straightened and slowly turned, acknowledging Mrs. Smith with a stone faced nod. As he listened to her attempt to fill in the gap that had formed since they last parted ways, Elija came running down the deck placing a small bundle in his hand. As he ran away as quickly as he had appeared, Basha rolled the cloth in his his hands and knew its contents without looking. A slight smile tugged at the corner of his mouth as he continued to hear, Mrs. Smith's words.

As she spoke, Colleen had the strangest feeling that Basha Mandek was more familiar with what had transpired during his absence than possible. Was he too one of those gifted with magic? The truth was made know to her when she paused after her pleading question concerning the late, Sergeant Lasekura.

Basha's eye's fell to Colleen's hand as it touched his arm, as if a hot poker rested upon it, threatening to melt his icy carapace.

"I know only what your friends in Meirathal told me about him." Answered Basha. He continued on then even before the woman could completely process the information, proceeding to add to his own mound of dirt to the gap between them.

"A week after the Fall of Glory, I woke up at the fireside of a man by the name of Angus O'Bryan." Basha kind of huffed and grunted then, apparently his version of a laugh, "Damn I cursed him for ever pulling me out of the sea. I was ready to die. I had made my peace, and I think a part of me did die when I plunged head long into that black pit. So I left everything behind me, I gave it all up and started working for my savior as soon as I was strong enough.

"Angus lived in Eyrdronis, a fishing town like Meirathal, but many of it's citizen labored in the mines of the Black Mountains, and so did he. A generous man, he offered half of the spoils of whatever he and I unearthed and it seems the Fates were smiling on us, because I hit a vein that made us rich. With money in our pockets, Angus and I decided to go to Baloc. A few weeks ago, I bought another brewery through an agent and so we loaded up our wagon and set out for the River City.

"About midway between Eyrdronis and Baloc, I'd say, we had a run in with a man who introduced himself as Marshall William Kallend of Meirathal and there was also an older woman, named Maeve who accompanied them. It was strange that they were traveling on foot, but I dismissed all my questions when they began to speak about you and Elija. The woman, Maeve, told me that you and your boy were in terrible danger and that Raj would soon be dead."

Basha then pulled out from under his shirt an ornate, bronze medallion on a chain. He pulled it off round his head and handed it to Colleen. "Your friend, William gave me this. The stone shines green when you get close to a person whose name you know and whose blood you have. It's yours now. I've no need for it."

As Basha passed off the magical medallion to Mrs. Smith, the horn of the ferry sounded and a crewman announced, "Baloc, ho!" and started to ring the docking bell. In the distance were the great river gates. The only way one traveling by boat could enter the city via the Rathilm.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:24 pm


Colleen called after Elija as he ran off.

”Please lock the door, Elija!! I’ll return shortly”

Thankful for the crew man who accompanied the boy, she nodded her thanks to the man as he turned and scurried after Elija hearing the sound of other crew members anno0unce the boys where abouts.

As she listened to Basha as he recounted the events that happened after Fort Glory fell, she took interest in what he told her about William and Maeve. She wasn’t as surprised as she thought she would be with this news. The Coven of Meirathal was mysterious at best and she learned not to question anything they do or how they did it. Accepting only that they did what they did through ways she had yet to learn how to use for herself.

She found comfort knowing William and the rest of the Coven were still looking out for her and the children. She just wished there was a way she could have protected Raj from his demise. But if nothing else, Colleen had learned a long time ago death was as much a part of life as living was. It was, in short, inevitable.

As Basha handed her the medallion, she gave it a puzzling look and was about to ask Basha what he meant by the having a persons blood when the announcement about arriving at Baloc sounded. Curling her fingers around the medallion, she glanced around quickly then looked at Basha again as she placed the medallion around her neck for safe keeping for now. Knowing she had to get the children ready for leaving the boat, she couldn’t leave without knowing something.

”I need to get back to the children. But I need to know…….what will you do now, Captain Mandek? Do you have plans once we dock?”

____________________________________________________________________________________
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.
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BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm
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