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 3: Trials by Fire

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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:38 pm



"He was here a moment ago Tanjee, he has gone on his way now."
Kwinn said with a grin. The ranger held the she elf for a moment when she embraced him, he waited for her to break the hold, he held his cheek against hers until she pulled away.

The two went inside, again the elf woman made a modest but fine meal and prepared the parlor room for him to sleep in. Kwinn had not asked many questions of Tanjee as they talked after supper and many hours until they parted company to sleep. The ranger new the elves well enough to know that they opened up when they felt that the time was right and not a moment before.

Tanjee had talked a bit about she and Aeolis' mother and the fine home she had left for them. Tanjee did not speak much on the topic of her sour brother, it seemed a sore point and the ranger did not push to subject.

At the next dawn Kwinn arose early, like he used to in the wilds, the two nights in the Sylvan city had done him good, he was well rested and sharp again. Kwinn slipped his boots on quietly and exited the home without waking Tanjee, in the pale early light the ranger walked to the site of the ruined white tower.

Kwinn looked the at the raw destruction before him, not one lone stone was still in place. The ranger knelt down and held one of the white fragments in his hand, it seemed to hum with energy.

"Put it down thief." Barked an elf in royal gear, he was walking by with a second elf in the garbs of royal guardsmen.

Kwinn dropped the small stone and stood to face the guards.
"I am no thief, I came to pay my respects."

The men had long thin halberd type weapons, they brought them down, pointed them at the ranger and began to walk to him.

"You will never catch me in those fancy stiff britches." Kwinn snorted as he pivoted and dove into a well manicured hedgerow vanishing from the sight of the elf guardsmen. The ranger made a few wild turns and twists between the lovely elf structures just to make sure he had eluded the elves.

After a while the ranger was walking near some gorgeous gardens, the ranger treaded carefully among the colorful plants and shrubs until he came out into the center of the round gardens. Crouching low at the edge of the flora the ranger was surprised to see Rayann studying nearby, not far from her stood another matched set of the humorless elf guardsmen.

Kwinn picked up a pebble and tossed it up near the stone steps at the top of the gardens, the elves walked up the polished white stone stairs to investigate.

Kwinn left the cover of the gardens and walked nonchalantly to where the Mage was sitting. He sat across from her, plopping onto the decorative pea gravel with a thump.

"I must say, the way the light strikes these gardens at dawn it is a little breathtaking."

It took a moment for Rayann to come out of her spell book and acknowledge the ranger.

"How fares the prince priestess? Tanjee is terribly worried about all these events, I hope he is well."

Kwinn looked over his shoulder, the guardsmen were not returning..yet.
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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:46 am


Rayann wasn’t one to be caught off guard quite so easily but she was concentrating so much on her spell book that she didn’t even realize she had a visitor until Kwinn had spoken to her and was patiently waiting for her to acknowledge he was there. Finally lifting her head and looking at Kwinn, Rayann blinked then noticed the guards were clearly missing. Glancing around to see where her escorts had gone, she looked back to Kwinn and noticed a certain twinkle in his eyes as he also looked around. Closing her book and returning it to the folds of her robes, it seemed to disappear entirely. A small smile appeared on her face as she spoke quietly to the Ranger.

”Prince Myth’Alas fares well, Kwinn. In fact, he awoke from his induced slumber and is….sorting things out. With so much that’s happened, I guess we both had to seek out a place where we could sort things out.”

The sound of the guards drew her attention again and Rayann glanced the direction the noise was coming from then back to Kwinn as her smile grew a little more.

”I wondered where my keepers went. I don’t suppose you had anything to do with that, did you? Don’t answer that. The less I know the less I’ll have to evade the truth.”

Just then the guards spotted Kwinn and brandished their halberds as they came rushing over.

“You there! What are you doing here?”

Rayann stood up and put her hand out to make the guards stop.

”He is here to see me. I apologize if it was against any law or rule to have him come here.”

The guards didn’t seem to appreciate the fact Kwinn had gotten into the gardens while they were distracted.

“You should have asked for permission first.”

Rayann gave them an apologetic smile.

”I promise to do so from now on. You both seemed to be busy elsewhere so I didn’t wish to disturb you. I thought since you left me alone that perhaps I was free to go where I wished. Or have a visitor.”

The guards exchanged glances with each other and one stammered as he spoke.

“We…heard a noise and after everything that’s happened….”

The other one finished.

“We didn’t want anything to happen to the Prince’s…..guest.”

Rayann noticed the sneer the guard tried hard to hide. Knowing this was going to be the way a lot of the citizen’s of Silvanost was going to treat her, she smiled brightly and nodded.

”Well….we’ll just keep this little…..situation….to ourselves. I’m sure Kwinn here will be sure to hold this in his confidence as well.”

The guards looked rattled now and slowly lowered their halberd and nodded. Rayann looked to Kwinn and nodded towards the gardens again.

”I need to exercise my legs. Care to join me in a walk around these beautiful gardens? I’m sure our escorts are getting tired of standing in one place as well.”

The guards gave a rather curt nod and Rayann could tell they weren’t all that happy with their assignment or her request but they weren’t going to deny it either. As they started walking, the guards stayed back a few feet as she and Kwinn walked at a leisurely pace.

”So I take it things are going well between you and Tanjee. That’s good to hear. She seems to like you. You can report back to her to hat the Prince is doing well and she should start seeing more of him in his official capacity soon. We just have to get some things sorted out. Once we do, I have a feeling the people of this beautiful city will start to see he’s more than just an official title.”

Looking over at the Ranger, she smiled again.

”You look well rested, Kwinn. Would that be Tanjee’s doing or the serenity of this beautiful city and these beautiful people? Even despite all that’s happened over the past day they seem to be able to maintain a sense of dignity and calm unlike any place else I’ve ever been.”

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Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.
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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:17 am


"Agreed priestess, the elves have a spirit like iron, and hearts of gold."

Kwinn said as he walked along side Rayann.

"I was at the tower ruins this morning and I wondered what kind of being posses such raw power that they could destroy Nim'Sul and tear his tower down. I fear that this same threat may come for others here..."

Kwinn was thinking of Tanjee, once again he felt powerless when it came to these matters of high magic.

"When something seeks me out, that is when a beast stalks me to my death I would strike where it lives, catch it sleeping and kill it.
Maybe the elves do not entertain such behavior, they seem to think much on their actions."


"I think that Elf and man alike best prepare themselves for a bloody time ahead..."
The ranger said as he looked at the ground.

The guardsmen behind them were frowning but they said nothing.

"Like anyone else in this blessed place I have much to lose now, I will stand with the elves and battle this threat."

Kwinn shot the armored elves a sly look and then continued walking with the mage.
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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:19 am



Ceridwyn was sitting off in a small covered pavilion, ornately decorated as the Elven people constructed all things, studying her spells when she saw Rayann walking in the garden with two guards. She sighed and rolled her eyes gently, when would these Elves learn that they can trust a white robe that has passed the trials. She smiled gently to herself, shaking her head and closing her book. She tucked it into the intricate folds of her robes and it vanished from sight. She stood and prepared to walk over when she saw the two guards turn their attention and march off. A human ranger appeared seemingly from out of nowhere and sat beside Rayann. Ceridwyn was too far away to hear him, but he was chattering away with no regard to the fact that Rayann was in the middle of her studies. She could not help but smile and walked over to where the two of them were.

The guards returned swiftly and brandished their weapons, she was about to blink herself across the distance when she saw Rayann calm them and the four began to walk, Kwinn and Rayann in front the two guards following five paces behind. She was simply amazed at how ignorant her people still were despite being on Krynn longer than anyone else. She closed the distance and came up behind the guards, they heard her and spun swiftly, brandishing their halberds and shouting, “HALT!”

She cocked her eyebrows and looked at them curiously, seeing the expression of horror and shock on their faces at who they had just pointed their weapons at, they immediately snapped back to attention and the superior of the two spoke, “Our apologies Mistress, we…” She brought up her hand and stopped him. “You need to calm yourself, both of you.” “We have orders to escort Rayann around the city.” Ceridwyn looked past the guards; the look in her eyes was as close to rolling her eyes as she could get without actually doing it. “Well I tell you what, I will dismiss you and escort her myself, and then you can go do whatever it is the Commander has you do all day when you aren’t escorting guests of the Royal Family around.” The guards looked at each other and then back to Ceridwyn. “We have to follow our orders Mistress.” Ceridwyn smiled sweetly and spoke up with no hesitation, “Well how about since you can only do what you are ordered to do, you go fetch us some bramble berry honey tea and meet us at that pavilion over there. See, now you have new orders to follow.”

The adorable look on her face was irresistible and the two guards were obviously caught in limbo. They hesitated a moment and the superior of the two spoke, “Umm... that pavilion over there?” Ceridwyn looked over her shoulder and then back at the Guards, “Yes, that one there.” “Very well ma’am.” The two guards walked off and were obviously whispering to one another.” “OH! AND GENTLEELVES!!! PLEASE DON’T FORGET SOME FRESH FRUIT AND CAKES!”

Ceridwyn turned back and smiled a mischievous smile to Rayann and Kwinn, it was obvious that the high ranking Archmage was not nearly as stiff necked as her Elven kin, or of the white robed Magi. She walked over to the pair and spoke with a softness to her voice, “Well, that should keep them busy for a few minutes.” She turned to Kwinn and smiled, “Greeting Kwinn, I know your name but you know not mine, I am Ceridwyn.” Rayann would most likely notice that there was no formality in Ceridwyn’s voice, nor was she throwing around titles, she was simply, Ceridwyn.
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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:30 am



Kwinn smiled when Ceridwyn appeared and dismissed the guardsmen.

"They should go and have their britches let out." Kwinn chuckled as the elves walked away.

"It is nice to meet you priestess."

Kwinn held out his hand, though the ranger knew much about the ways of the elves he was still prone to act in a common way.

"I thought that a detour trough these pretty gardens was just the thing to start my day Ceridwyn."

Unsure how his flawed etiquette would play out the ranger held his tongue for a moment.
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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:58 am


Rayann spun around when she heard the guards halt and order someone to halt. When she saw Ceridwyn standing there Rayann couldn’t help but raise her brows at the way the guards reacted to her presence. All too soon it became apparent the guards had bumbled, again, and were now trying their hardest to prevent any more mishaps from occurring.

She couldn’t help the smile that appeared as she watched Ceridwyn expertly dismiss the guards in a way that made them keep their honor and duty as they were ordered to do. When they were left alone once more, Rayann actually laughed softly. Once Ceridwyn and Kwinn made introductions, Rayann looked to both of them and smiled again.

”It’s wonderful to see you again, Ceridwyn. Thank you for last evening. I’m not sure I could have handled the situation if it had been someone else that had informed me. Your kind words and sincere heart was the honey needed to help swallow a bitter pill. The weight is still heavy but I don’t carry it alone now and because of that, I know there will be hope when it seemed we had none.”

Rayann didn’t want to divulge any information about the truth to Kwinn. It wasn’t because she didn’t trust the Ranger. She didn’t want any unwanted ears hearing the news. She was too afraid of how others would react to it.

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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:18 am



Ceridwyn smiled and nodded to Kwinn in a friendly manner, “My dear Kwinn, you could not have spoken truer words about your hosts, and please, call my Ceri, no need for such formalities when among friends, and besides, technically I am not a Priestess.” She smiled and looked at Rayann with a wink. There were many Wizards who would have scoffed and scolded Kwinn for daring to suggest that they were lowly Priests, it was obvious that Ceridwyn simply took things such as this in stride.

“Well my friends, since our lovely guards will be returning with snacks soon, why don’t we go to the pavilion and get comfortable.” She smiled warmly and turned, leading the way. As they sat she looked over at Kwinn and smiled, her eyes seemed to glisten in the shimmering light of Silvanost. “So, Kwinn, tell me about yourself.”
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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:57 am

Myth sat quietly amongst the garden his back to the ancient tree. Time had ceased to mean anything to him as he sat in silent meditation. In most cases Myth would have been welll rested after only a few hours but he had spent much longer than he had expected in the restive state. His emerald eyes opened glancing at the morningin sun as it began to flow into the gardens with a smile upon his lips.

He could not count the number of times he had fallen asleep beneathe this ancient tree in his youth. However this time there was not a guard standing there looking down at him angrily for causing a stir. Looking around Myth could see his escort had left at some point in the night. He wagered they had determined he would not leave and dismissed themselves. If Myth had intended to leave he would have already done so. With a sigh he rose from his place of rest and stretched his limbs.

A sound caught his attention as he yawned cause him to stifle it. He listened quietly noting the voices of some guards and otheres. Quiet as a cat Myth approached and watched things between his friends and the guards. He could only shake his head and chuckle when Cerdiwyn became involved. With a sigh he straightened his garents before making his approach to the group as they sat at the pavilion.
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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:45 pm



Ceridwyn’s keen Elven ears detected the sound of movement, and she turned, seeing Myth at a distance. She knew immediately that he was heard only because he wasn’t trying to be stealthy and she smiled warmly to him as he approached.

“Prince Myth’Alas, what a delight to see you this morning.” Hearing the tone and the words coming from Ceridwyn one would never suspect that the ivory tower of Silvanost had been destroyed the day before and that Nim’Sul had been murdered. “Please come join us.”

As Myth sat she perked up as the guards returned with their refreshments. “Ahh, thank-you soldiers of Silvanost; I think it’s safe to say that for a change the morning became more delightful with your presence.” The jab was obvious, and the expression on the faces of the guards was that of being less than amused, however they dared not cross their boundary or speak a word. Ceridwyn looked at Myth and the twinkle in her eye about ribbing the guards was obvious.

“Well, this is delightful.” She smiled and looked around at everyone, her non-verbal communication indicating clearly that all should dig-in. She poured herself some tea and inhaled its perfume deeply before sipping. “Ahhh, it’s the little things where we need to find a measure of comfort.”

She spoke to Myth through a missive ~’It is good to see you rested and ready Myth’Alas, the road ahead is a dark one. I cannot penetrate the veil of darkness that has been cast over our clairvoyance; I think it is obvious that things are being manipulated to prevent us from seeing so we can make a plan.’~

There was emphasis on the word plan, she could feel that Myth was calm, however she knew that Rayann had given the news of his being a Father, that his child was stolen and manipulated to fight against him. Ceridwyn was aware that as any Father might, he might leap before he looked when it came to protecting his children, no matter what emotions she was currently feeling from him.

She looked at Rayann and smiled, but there was suddenly a more serious look on her face. She then turned to Kwinn and spoke. “Ranger. As you know, last night there were events which altered the landscape and the path of Silvanost forever, to say the least. It turns out that Nim’Sul’s protégé was in fact a disguised agent of the Dark Queen of Chaos. She manipulated the magic of Krynn, as well as Myth’Alas and Rayann, and Nim’Sul was murdered. I am not sure of how much you are aware, but in broad brush strokes that brings us up to speed of the current situation. I have offered my hand should it be needed to assist, but as of yet, I am still simply an advisor.” She glanced to Rayann with a slight smile. Looking back to Kwinn she continued, “As of now, the whereabouts of Shulamite are unknown, but we suspect she is north of us since that is the direction the wind blew last night. Unfortunately since she was able to travel magically to make her escape she quite literally floated off, using the same magic to clear the air over Silvanost as the vehicle to get away.” Turning to the group she spoke again, this time there was obvious concern in her face. “What none of you know yet is that Nim’Sul’s staff, the Staff of Winds, was stolen. It is obvious that this was not the intent, but an incredible target of opportunity. As you know Rayann, the Staff of Winds is one of the three relics of the Greystone, which means it contains within it a tremendous amount of power. As you all know, magical items are not intrinsically good or evil, it’s the way in which they are used that makes them what they are. The fear at this point is with Shulamites obvious magical abilities, the Staff of Winds is going to make things even that much more complicated once we find her and engage her.” She paused and looked at Rayann, “And engage her, we shall, whether we want to or not.”
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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:00 pm


Rayann lifted her face to the warming rays of the sun and took a deep breath before she followed Ceridwyn and Kwinn to the pavilion. It was the dawn of a new day and while things were indeed dire, they weren’t without hope and sometimes that tiny spark of hope was all that was needed to help make a raging inferno.

As Ceridwyn looked at Kwinn and asked the Ranger a little about himself, Rayann found the topic interesting and was just settling down to listen to the man’s story when she felt a familiar presence. Slowly standing from her chair, Rayann glanced around and focused her attention on one particular area and when a figure emerged from the foliage a smile slowly eased onto her face and soon rivaled the sun for its brightness.

Without a word, Rayann walked away from Ceridwyn and Kwinn and started walking towards Myth. Her eyes never left his and her smile grew even more, if that were possible. She could see the clarity in his gaze and knew, like herself, he accepted the truth but held out hope there was a chance they could somehow find a silver lining to this darkness.

When Myth was close enough, Rayann held her arms out and wrapped her arms around his waist to embrace him. Laying her head on his chest and closing her eyes as she heard his steady heartbeat, she knew there was nothing the two of them couldn’t face as long as they had each other. Slowly loosening her hold on him, Rayann looked up into his handsome face and smiled.

”It’s a new day, Myth.”

That one, simple sentence spoke volumes for her and she could see in his eyes he was of the same mindset. Releasing her hold completely, she turned and started walking beside him as they walked towards the pavilion Ceridwyn and Kwinn were seated.

”We were just getting ready to have something to eat and drink. I’d love it if you could join us but I would also understand if you had things you needed to see to.”

Tilting her head to look up at him again, she smiled that beautiful smile she reserved just for him.

”I’m glad we came here, Mel’amin…..despite all that’s happened.”

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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:03 pm


Myth simply smiled as Rayann stood from her seat and appo\roached him. He could see that she was refreshed and it lifted a weight from his shoulders. The coming days and weeks would be taxing but at least they would face them with renewed strength. They had endured much but he knew they could endure more with a united front.

He wrapped his arms around her as she did him plaing a light kiss on the top of her head speaking to her mentally. "I new day with new challenges we will overcome."

He began to walk as she released him and looked to the pavilion when she made the invitation. "I have no pressing matters to attend to. Father has yet to send for me. I am certain I will have much to discuss buit it will be in do time, and I am glad we have come as well..."

As they neared the pavilion Myth bowed to Kwynn and Cerdiwyn. Sitting down with Rayann he ate quietly as the elven mage began to bring Kwinn up to speed. He wasn't to sure he cared for other ears hearing about Shulamite but at the same time there were many that knew before him. He could not help but wonder how long this plan had been in motion. His mind began to reflect on his last few months at the castle.

Cerdiwyn's tone shifted and Myth brought himself out of his thoughts to pay attention. "I am not entirely surprised she made off with the staff. There was no way she could have resisted taking such a prize. It will make it difficult to subdue here but not impossible with the right planning."

Myth smiled slightly "She is to sure of herself and her abilities and that will be her downfall. She had the advantage of a great deal of planning in the tower yesterday. The same mistakes will not be repeated..."

It was evident in his eyes he was already begining to examine his options. Myth's mind was at its best when it came to strategies. Dealing with Shulamite would indeed require a great deal of strategy.

Myth looked from the group at the table to the guards. "You are dismissed... your services are no longer needed. Cerdiwyn and I or more than capable of attending to things."

The senior guard went to open his mouth to protest but the glare on Myth's face caused him to shrivel into his armor slightly. "Y..yes m;lord."

As the two guards started to stumble off Myth smiled brightly looking back at his guests. "I bored my escort away..."
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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:48 pm



Ceridwyn listened to Myth and nodded gently as he mentioned Shulamite, but when he spoke of her downfall her face changed slightly and she responded, “Perhaps she is too sure of herself, but please do not overestimate your advantage Myth’Alas, keep in mind who trains her, and why. I whole heartedly believe in your abilities as a tactical and combat planner, but you are facing a situation unlike anything you have ever faced, and try as hard as you like, there WILL be an emotional attachment. Please understand, I am not trying to be critical, but she is engrossed in a philosophy of battle that welcomes death over failure for as you know displeasing the Dark Queen is a death sentence, and not just your body but your tortured soul in the Abyss for all eternity. Don't for a moment think that if necessary and if we are getting too close that the Dark Queen won't cut Shulamite down herself and send her to the Abyss simply for the sake of torturing the two of you for the rest of your lives. Our hands are tied and without the advantage of her possible death during the course of the battle is only going to complicate matters. I will honestly tell you Myth that I don’t think Rayann and I together will be able to counter the power she has for long. She draws from the ambient magic of Krynn, and we are fairly certain…”

She stopped and her chin dropped slightly. There was obvious sadness in her face and she looked up again, her eyes full of moisture as she looked at Rayann. Her lips quivered and it was obvious she didn’t want to share the news she had, many moments of complete silence passed before she was able to speak, and even then her voice was barely above a whisper, “We think that Rorie may have been able to reestablish a mind link, with Shulamite. We are doubtful it is as strong and complete as what you and he shared, but if it exists on any level she will not only be able to remain in battle longer, but also with the advantage of tandem casting with Rorie.” She looked at Rayann a moment and spoke again, “And you of all people know what kind of offensive casting Wizard Rorie is.”

Ceridwyn inhaled deeply and set her tea down, suddenly uninterested in it. “I agree, the advantage of a long thought plan is gone, but none of us should consider for a second that there wasn’t a plan post-operation. The Dark Queen is not going to let this advantage slip, and I guarantee that Rorie has a plan in place to deal with things after the tower was down and Nim’Sul was dead. This wasn’t a one time, pin prick, hit and run type of operation. This whole thing was one piece of a much more elaborate puzzle, and if we begin to think otherwise we will lose any advantage we have, and deserve the fate that awaits us. There is too much at stake Myth’Alas, much too much.”
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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:52 pm


Aeolis left the human at his sister’s door then left to tend to his own affairs. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could continue the ruse of being the human’s friend, but he would do so until he had no further use of the man. Of course it wasn’t so bad that he had all the other guards he was in charge of convinced the man was somehow involved in the events that took place over the past day. They were under strict orders to watch the human’s every move when he strayed close to their territory. The fact he had a friend on the Royal Guards helped plant seeds of mistrust as well so Kwinn was being watched where ever he went.

The fact his sister seemed to be taken with the human didn’t set well with Aeolis at all. he thought she’d use better judgment than that but he was being truthful when he told Kwinn she was a grown woman now and responsible for her own actions. Of course he would be sure to offer words of discord and deceit to make sure she was looked at in an unfavorable light as well.

Making his way towards his own quarters, he made sure he stopped and talked to different people. Once he was in his quarters, he stayed there for a short time before sneaking out and heading back to the forest. He retraced where the Ranger had been and everything Kwinn had set up, Aeolis undid. In some cases, he removed anything the Ranger had put there in the first place. Of course he was extremely careful and made sure no one could see what he was doing. Most of the time, he made it look as though Kwinn had purposely done something wrong to make sure no one suspected anything other than the human was unreliable.

Nothing made for better suspicion than someone who seemed eager to help only to find out they had not a clue as to what they were doing. Or worse yet, seemed as though they were purposely trying to cause harm to the Elves. A sinister smirk eased onto Aeolis’ features as he thought about how this was going to make Kwinn look. The fact the people of Sylvanost will not trust him was reward enough, but to think it could have possible capitol consequences was an added benefit. Aeolis highly doubted Tanjee would be so ready to throw herself at the human then.

Of course it was all for naught if there wasn’t a victim to Kwinn’s treachery. That would not be difficult for Aeolis to provide either. A master at being undetectable in the forest, Aeolis waited for the right moment and when the hapless guard moved by noiselessly, Aeolis silently dropped down from the tree he was crouched in and snuck up on the guard. With a mighty swing, the Rangers large, oaken fighting stick crashed down on the unsuspecting Elf’s head. The Elf crumbled like a rag doll and laid, sprawled out on the forest floor. The stick had a soft glow about it until after the Elf fell to the floor. Aeolis was rather crafty and had enchanted the stick with a spell to make it look as though Kwinn was the one that had done the deed.

Aeolis approached carefully and checked to make sure the Elf was s till alive and indeed he was. When he woke up he was going to have one hell of a headache. As he stood there, Aeolis grinned maliciously and threw the fighting stick down on the ground next to the fallen Elf. As silently as he had gotten there, Aeolis disappeared back into the forest and snuck back to his quarters.

When morning arrived, he was awakened by an urgent knock on his door. Knowing what it was going to be, Aeolis stifled the grin on his face and opened the door.

“Hisime was found in the forest. It looks like the human ranger attacked him. We found this next to him when we found him.”

Aeolis looked at the fighting stick and narrowed his gaze.

”Find the human. Most likely he will be with my sister. Bring her too. If she knows anything about this, I will find out.”

The guard left and Aeolis closed the door and grinned. He’d be rid of that human before too long. Then all he had to do was make sure that human woman with the Prince was sent packing. A little while later, Aeolis was standing at Tanjee’s door and demanding she open the door.



Tanjee opened the door and gave Aeolis a cross look before turning that cross look on the others gathered with him. She was dressed in a pair of dark brown leggings, a light tan, sleeveless tunic with a belt, high soft boots and her hair was pulled back away from her face but left to hang free down her back.

“What is the meaning of this, Aeolis? Why do you interrupt my morning meditation? Cannot find anyone to play with you this morning?”

Aeolis glared at his sister and reached forward, snatching her arm with his hand and speaking through gritted teeth.

”Seems your human pet has been busy last night. After everything that happened yesterday it appears your dear human attacked one of my men. Where is he?”

Tanjee blinked and looked at Aeolis as though he’d lost his mind. Yanking her arm out of his hand, she took a step back and straightened her tunic, glaring right back at him.

“Kwinn was here all night, for your information. And he would NEVER do anything to hurt anyone, let alone one of us.”

Aeolis glared at his sister for a few more moments before looking past her and seeing the lounge still made for Kwinn to sleep on. A smirk appeared on Aeolis’ face then as he looked at Tanjee and barked orders to his men.

”She does not know where he is. Spread out and find him. He will have to answer for his crimes against the people of Sylvanost.”

Tanjee felt fear grip her heart and she demanded Aeolis tell her what he was talking about.

“What?! Are you insane, Aeolis? Kwinn has done nothing to hurt anyone. Stop your babbling and tell me what is going on here.”

Aeolis grinned sinisterly.

”Hisime was found in the forest last night. It seems your human pet struck him on the head with that large stick he likes to carry around all the time.”

Tanjee blinked and had a look of total disbelief on her face.

“Wait….Kwinn would not hurt Hisime. If anyone would hurt him, it would be me. To accuse Kwinn without finding out the truth is absurd. Honestly. You are too quick to judge, Aeolis.”

Aeolis turned to his sister and glared.

”So you are admitting you attacked Hisime?”

Tanjee shook her head.

“Now I know you are losing your mind. I did not say I attacked Hisime.”

Aeolis tilted his head slightly.

”Yes. You did. You stated if anyone would hurt Hisime, it would be you. Perhaps you should come with me so you can formally explain what you mean.”

Tanjee couldn’t believe she was actually hearing all of this. When Aeolis gestured to his men to take tanjee into custody, Tanjee snatched her arms out of their hands.

“Wait…stop.. Aeolis! This is ridiculous. I will help you find Kwinn and we will clear this mater up.”

Aeolis glared at his sister.

”You will be taken to the Hall where you can tell your side to not only me, but all who will decide what to do with your human….and possibly you.”

When the guards reached for Tanjee again she stepped back and held her hands up for them to stop.

“Do not touch me. I will come with you freely for I have nothing to hide nor am I OR Kwinn guilty of anything.”

The guards that had been dispatched to find Kwinn were scouring the area looking for him but totally unaware he was in the royal gardens with Ceridwyn, Myth and Rayann. It wouldn’t take them long, thought, to discover his where abouts. In the meantime, Tanjee was escorted away form her home and marched before the people of Sylvanost who were already up and moving about like she was some kind of common criminal. Still, the she-Elf held her head proudly and walked with all the dignity she could muster. It still didn’t feel nice to hear the whispers as she walked by. She could only imagine what they were saying about her.

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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:15 pm


The idea that Rorie was able to establish a link with Shulamite and use that as he once used with her shook Rayann to the very core. It meant anything they were going to do would have to be so far from normal it would take both Shulamite AND Rorie by surprise. But it also meant Shulamite would be able to cast faster and more powerful than she would if she were working alone. An advantage that was clearly something Rayann would have to work at. Rorie might have been able to re-establish a mind link with Shulamite similar to the way he had with her, but Rayann was granted the ability to have both halves of the whole that had made her and Rorie so formidable. Now all she had to do was figure out how to use it. She’d only been one side of it before. Being both sides was a different way of thinking now.

There was a moment of wavering when Ceridwyn gave her the news, but Rayann refused to give into the despair that threatened to swallow her whole. It was dark times, no doubt, but Rayann wasn’t about to give up and throw in the towel. There was an answer to this but she had to find it first. With a slow nod, Rayann swallowed hard and looked to Myth then looked back to Ceridwyn.

”This plan was thought out and enacted in such a way that we would never be able to see it coming. No matter what we did. Rorie was very efficient in his planning. And you’re right….it’s just a tip of a much bigger plan. And while we may not know what that plan is we at least know the players involved. Shulamite is formidable, yes, but even the greatest of mages are not infallible. She’s very confident of her abilities, and rightfully so. And while Myth and I may not have raised her, she will have something from us Rorie could not train out of or into her. Her drive for perfection. Her plan was flawlessly executed this last time because she had the gift of surprise on her side. But I know of one thing she won’t be able to handle very well. As much as she thinks she can, I know what will upset her more than anything. It’s that trait we will use to our advantage.”

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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:40 pm



Ceridwyn listened to Rayann and when she finished she spoke. “I did not mean to imply that we are up against impossible odds, but we are definitely at a disadvantage. Surly the Dark Queen will be keep tabs on things, especially once she knows we are moving against Shulamite, and she will destroy her before she allows us the chance to remove Shulamite from her service. All I am saying is that we have to be precise, and surgical in our plan, and we will only have one chance.

She reached into her robes and pulled out a small scroll, it was pristine white and wrapped with a white ribbon. There was a broken seal from the counsel; obviously Ceridwyn had already read it. She placed it on the table and leaned back in her chair. She spoke quietly.

This was the latest communication between me and the Counsel. If you care to read it, it shows the latest collaboration of data, and where we think Rorie is. If he is there, Shulamite will be too.
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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:19 pm


Rayann studied the scroll for a long moment. It was news of her brother. The only person she had ever been close to before things went astray. Where exactly was this going to take her? Did she really want to know? Her eyes focused in on the scroll and ever so slowly, her hand reached out to take the news.

Even after she had it in her hand, Rayann stared at the scroll and seemed to be debating on what she should do. How would she take the news? Could she handle any more news if it were not good? Finally she lifted her eyes to look at all three who sat with her.

”Ceridwyn….any help you or the Council can provide would be greatly appreciated. Truth be told, I don’t see how we could face this without your help. I still have a great deal to learn and while Nim’Sul taught me a great deal…..his knowledge is a devastating loss not just for me but for all of Krynn. If there was any way for him to communicate to us from the other world, now would be a time for him to do so. But since we’re unable to get his advise, we need to see what we can do….together. All of us.”

Rayann’s hands trembled slightly as she looked back down at the scroll. Her brother and daughter ‘s where abouts could be revealed to her by unrolling it and reading what is written about them. Glancing at everyone nce more, she took a deep breath and slowly, painfully unrolled the paper to see what news had been gathered about Rorie and their daughter.

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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:40 pm



Ceridwyn watched Rayann, she knew that this was going to be difficult, and though the scroll did not reveal the exact location, it certainly put them in a specific area of very rocky mountains, a perfect, hard to access location where they could operate. Ceridwyn spoke to Rayann in a missive.

~ ‘Calm yourself Rayann, focus on what you know. I cannot ask the Council to help, they have other issues to deal with and it will require their full attention. This war is on us, the Eastern lands are under attack, and the Wizards have committed significant resources to that effort. I however, am available to you, and I will do what I can to aid in the recovery of your daughter, but I must warn you, we risk much in doing this.’ ~
“There is a very real chance that this whole thing was less an assassination on Nim’Sul and more an attempt to draw the two of you into a trap. Myth’Alas, we will need your tactical ideas on how to best formulate a plan. Kwinn, your tracking skills will be needed, however your involvement will have to be purely voluntary. It will obviously be extremely dangerous, so I leave it to you to make a decision.”

She turned and looked at Rayann, her deep, dark eyes suddenly flaring with a deep power. “Rayann, you and I have important business, meet me in the Dueling Grounds at mid noon.”

Myth would know the Dueling Grounds not as a place of actual dueling, but a room off the main castle where the Wizards of the city could train and practice. She stood and nodded gently before walking out of the gardens. Rayann would feel a strange energy coming from her now, as if all the informal behavior was melting away. There was a sense that the playful tones would be eliminated. Rayann could feel the magic around Ceridwyn changing, almost how it feels when a mentor enters the presence of their master.
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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:37 pm



Kwinn went with the mages to the pavillion, Ceridwyn was a gracious and comforting elf. Kwinn was charmed by her plain way and happy to see that not all of the Sylvanestri had a stick up their backsides.

The ranger was was preparing to share his story with the Elf when Myth came through the gardens. Kwinn stood as the prince came to the table, Ceridwyn began to tell of the happenings at the tower and the death of Nim'Sul.

Kwinn listened intently as Ceridwyn told of the stolen daughter raised by the false brother, Kwinn could not imagine such betrayal. But the ranger did understand the nature of evil, even a simple man such as Kwinn new of the dark queen and her minions. Kwinn realized for the first time who the real enemy was, followers of the dark queen wore robes as black as their hearts. These black mages did not simply kill without cause, they sought to destroy the minds and hearts of their enemies as well.

Kwinn wanted to be among those who stood against this evil, it would be a pleasure to wipe these enemies from the face of Krynn. Kwinn wondered if the will of an immortal such as the dark queen could even be undone by mere mortals, let alone by a handful of elves, a human woman and a simple ranger. Kwinn looked at Myth and Rayann, would they be able to stand against their own flesh and blood?

There was much to consider, the ranger thought it was wise to listen to the elves of Sylvanost. The ranger's heart was heavy as he tried to imagine how he was going to add his growing affection for the she elf Tanjee into this tangled mess. The ranger would not abandon her in this dark time, but maybe she did not feel likewise, perhaps she could not justify fighting along side her kin and making room in her heart for the human.

For the first time in an age the ranger found his proverbial plate quite full.

Kwinn watched as 'Ceri' handed the white scroll to Rayann. As the elf mage explained that all of them would be needed to do battle against these threats, Kwinn was filled with purpose.

"I am happy to fight along side the prince and this fine woman." Kwinn said.

"The mountains eh? How I love the mountains!"
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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:48 am


Myth visibly bristled at the mention of a mind link between is future daughter and Rorie. The more information that was laid out before them the more annoyed Myth was getting. The situation seemed to worsen with every piece of news but Myth kept his calm. There was not any foe that could not be taken down with the proper planning. As things stood it was going to require very careful planning. With a sigh he picked up the tea and drank listening to the women converse about matters.

He admired Rayann's strength in the growing adversity before them. This was going to be a painful endeavor for them both, but more so for her. While Myth felt a deep pain in his heart for his future daughter Shulamite, he did not share that feeling for Rorie. Myth respected the man for the power he once wielded but now Myth held nothing but contempt and pity for the man. He knew that Rayann cared deeply for her brother and this situation weighed upon her far more heavily than he. However they would endure and he would be her anchor in the growing storm.

Myth reached out taking the report from Rayann looking over the news there in. A small smile crossed his face as he read the contents. A plan was beginning to take shape in his mind. Myth's eyes looked up to the table and he nodded to Kwinn in acknowledgment of his services. His eyes then shifted to Cerdiwyn as she rose to excuse herself. His elven sense alerted him to the shift in Cerdiwyn's demeanor as she spoke to Rayann and started to walk away. He could only smile looking over at Rayann. "I would say that you have some training ahead of you... she may not be the best in Krynn but she is the head of the council for more than just her political ability..."

Cerdiwyn had vanished from sight and the group was finishing their meal when a contingent of guards came tromping into the garden grounds. Myth had heard them coming from quite the distance and dabbed his mouth with a cloth before standing as they emerged into view. He noted that these men were armed for a fight carrying halberds and swords at the ready. One guard in particular Myth recognized from their escort into Sylvanost. This made Myth's nose tingle slightly as he stepped away from the table to greet the men.

"I would hope that the home guard has a good reason for tramping their feet all over the royal garden." He raised an eyebrow as the commander of the troupe stepped forward.

"Pardon Prince Myth'alas but we have orders to detain and escort the human ranger Kwinn to a hearing before the courts."

Myth crossed his arms looking at the group with a stern eye. "On what grounds?"

The man cleared his throat "Sabotaging city defenses and assaulting a member of the home guard... m'lord."

Myth's gut told him Aeolis was involved in this mess. It was to conveniently timed and though Myth had not known Kwinn not more than this week he was an excellent judge of character. The commander of the home guard had been spoiling for a fight the entire trip to Sylvanost and more to the point Myth had seen sparks of interest between the ranger and Tanjee. There was also no mistaking the barely hid grin on the one guard Myth recognized.

"I will escort the ranger to the courts myself then..."

Myth was quickly interrupted "Pardon m'lord but commander Aeolis was very adamant that we escort the..."

Myth had seized the elf by the loose cloth of his collar pulling him close to his face and kept his voice low to only the man in his hand. "While I admire your adherence to duty in this matter I find it extremely suspect. You'll excuse me if my time away from home has made me forgetful of some of the protocols of duty, but I believe I said I would handle the man's escort myself." Myth's tone elevated for all to hear "Unless of course you think that I am incapable of keeping track of a lowly human ranger captain?"

Myth released the elf captain and after stammering a few seconds he signaled to his en it was time they moved on. Grumbling as the guards filed out of the gardens Myth looked at Kwinn and Rayann. He saw that look upon her face and he nodded his head holding up his hand. "It would appear that Kwinn and I have business in the courts and that you have a meeting to keep with Cerdiwyn. We can meet at my home this evening." He offered Rayann a smile before looking to Kwinn.

"I apologize for the comments my dear friend... my people are not known for their exaggeration of ones skill and as such I am inclined to respect what you can do based on what I have heard. I was simply making a point to put the captain into a tough position so he could not easily refuse my request without insulting me." Myth bowed respectfully. Myth was laying out the foundations of trust and he did not wish poor words to taint that foundation.
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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:57 am



Kwinn was not expecting the arrival of the elf guards to be at his expense. Kwinn got to his feet as they stated their business, the ranger regretted leaving his weapons in the Parlor at Tanjee's mother's home.

For a moment the ranger contemplated picking a fight, but he remained calm. Myth had a few words for these guards and soon they left with tails between legs. Kwinn would still have to be seen by the courtisans but his fear was much less walking beside the prince.

"I took no offense Myth. I appreciate the escort, however i am not sure what they think I have done, i have harmed no one and have carried no arms while in the city."

Kwinn worried much as they walked, he hoped that the word had reached Tanjee and that she would know of this turn of events.

"That Aeolis wears two faces, I fear he has turned the screws on me."

Kwinn said to Myth with a mixed tone of anger and sadness.
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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:36 am


As Rayann heard Ceridwyn’s missive, she merely nodded her head slightly to acknowledge she understood what the Elf said to her. Again so many thoughts were swirling around her mind Rayann had trouble maintaining focus on things like she normally did.

When Ceridwyn stood and told Rayann to meet her at the dueling grounds, Rayann recognized the change in the Elf’s demeanor as well as the shift in the magic she felt emanating from Ceridwyn. Rayann once more nodded then looked to Myth and smiled back.

”She just might be the best now. I learned a while ago it’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for. Take you for instance. You were very quiet when we first met.”

The playfulness in Rayann quickly left when she saw the guards coming towards them. Obviously something has happened and she held her breath as she tried to figure out what it might be. When the guards explained they were there for Kwinn, Rayann furrowed her brows. Something wasn’t right here and she was glad Myth decided to stand up for the Ranger. When the name Aeolis was mentioned, Rayann’s brows deepened even more. The fact Kwinn had spent much of her time with the human and the fact Aeolis didn’t seem to like it made Rayann think there was something foul in the air.

When Myth turned to her, Rayann gave him a knowing look and when he held up his hand, she knew he was thinking along the same lines she was. Returning his smile, she nodded.

”I’ll see you later this evening then.”

Looking to Kwinn, Rayann offered him a smile as well.

”You couldn’t have a better person standing with you, Kwinn. Things will be cleared up before long.”

As Myth and Kwinn left with the guards, Rayann took a deep breath and let it out slowly before she turned to join Ceridwyn in the Dueling Grounds. She needed the practice to help her focus. Besides, other than the confrontation with Shulamite, she hadn’t really practiced her skills in a while.

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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:39 am


As the guards preceded Myth and Kwinn into the courts, Aeolis narrowed his gaze at Myth. It was no surprise the Prince would somehow find a way to find out what was happening to the human. No problem. Aeolis would be able to twist this around. It was what he did best.

Off to the far side of the room Tanjee stood surrounded by three guards. Two before her and one behind her. When she saw Kwinn enter the court, she took a step forward only to find her path blocked by one of the guards. Still, she called to him from where she stood.

”Do not worry, Kwinn. I am sure this will all be cleared up soon and we can be on our way.”



Aeolis snapped his head to his sister and spoke in their native language.

”Quiet. You are not the one who will pass judgment. What ever this human has done he has done while under your watch. If he is found guilty then you will have to answer for your lack of responsibility for him.”

Tanjee glared at her brother but said no more.

Once Kwinn stood before the officials and Aeolis, the charges against him were presented.

“Prince Myth’Alas, we are honored to have your presence in this matter. We will speak using the common language so the accused will understand what he is being charged with. Kwinn. You are being accused of sabotage and assault against the citizens of Sylvanost. This hearing is to determine your innocence or guilt. We will begin with testimony from members of the home guard patrol.”

The first to take the stand was one of the guards that had been with Aeolis when the group of travelers were first discovered.

“Please tell us what you saw, Verthorian, when you came across the devices set by the human to be early warning system for the patrol.”

Verthorian nodded then looked to Kwinn.

“The device that had been set by the human was set in such a way that it would never have warned us if the perimeter were breeched. There were several I found to be either set in correctly or not set at all. It was almost as though he were trying to make sure he left an opening for anyone to cross and be close to the city before they were detected.”

“Were you the one who discovered Hisime?”

“No. Keithina was the one who discovered Hisime.”

“You are excused. Keithina? What did you see when you discovered Hisime?”

“When I did another sweep of the territory I was responsible for, Hisime and I always made sure we came within ear shot so we could let each other know all was well. It is the way we all do during our patrols. When I did not get a response back form Hisime, I went looking for him. When I found him lying on the forest floor, he had blood coming from a wound in the back of his head and a nasty bump where the blood was coming from. I checked to make sure he was still alive then I went to get help. I had gone a little ways when I came across a large, oaken stick that was laying on the ground. I thought it was odd to just be laying there and when I picked it up I saw it had blood and some hair on it.”

The fighting stick was brought forward and laid out for all to see.

“You are excused. Next we will call Aldavual. I understand you recognized the oaken stick that was discovered.”

“Yes. I recognized it as the stick of the human ranger. Tanjee was carrying it due to an injury the human suffered just before we came upon them.”

The courtesan turned to Tanjee then.

“Tanjee? Do you recognize this stick?”

Tanjee glanced at the stick then looked around at the eyes looking at her. Her gaze settled on Aeolis’ for a moment and there was a hurtful look in her eyes for a moment before she looked at the courtesan and nodded.

“Yes.”

“Does it belong to the human ranger, Kwinn?”

Again Tanjee nodded.

“Yes.”

“Thank you. Next we will hear from Aeolis.”

Tanjee blinked then spoke up quickly again.

“Kwinn would nev…”

The courtesan held up his hand for Tanjee to be quiet.

“You have answered the questions asked of you. If you should be called on in the future, you will be able to say your piece then.”

Tanjee clamped her mouth shut even though it was not what she wanted to do and glared at Aeolis. With a wave of his hand, the courtesan nodded to Aeolis.

“Proceed.”

Aeolis looked to Tanjee and smirked slightly then turned to the gathered with a serious expression.

“The human, Kwinn, and I set out after the fateful events the evening before to set early warning devices up for the guards that patrol the outer edges of the territory. I was with him for the first few devices he set and saw he knew what he was doing. Thinking he was trust worthy, I set out to set devices of my own and form time to time would come across Kwinn as he set some other devices. Again, he was setting the properly and I saw no reason to stand over him continuously. When we returned to the city, I escorted him to my mother’s home where my sister, Tanjee, has taken up residence. Tanjee had offered to take responsibility for the human so I entrusted him into her care. It seems as though the human was merely waiting for the opportunity to deceive us and make my sister look a fool when she practically threw herself at the human.”

Tanjee lunged forward then and yelled at Aeolis.

“How dare you! You know that is not what I did!”

The courtesan pounded the table before him and raised his booming voice.

“QUIET! Quiet I say!”

Turning his gaze to Aeolis, the courtesan nodded then waved his hand dismissively.

“You are excused.”

Turning his eyes to the Prince.

“Prince Myth’Alas. You have come with the human. Is there something you wish to say?”

Aeolis narrowed his gaze as he looked at Mtyh but said nothing. He would wait to see how things played out.

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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:28 pm


Myth stepped forward looking at the head of the court, and briefly to Aeolis before speaking. He kept his tone steady and loud for all to hear. "From my personal observations of various activities and events I find this situation to be highly unusual. To be quite honest I thik that this entire matter is a set up."

The was murmuring and Myth could feel eyes upon him. He appeared unaffected and continued on.

"Upon discovery by Commander Aeolis we were greeted most unpleasently. Now this could be argued off as it being simply because of my presence but the commander and his troupe regarded our human guests with an unusually high amount of disdain even for an elf."

Myth took a look at Aeolis for a moment before returning his look to the courtesean. "When Tanjee offered to show Kwinn around Silvanost Aeolis was quite hostile abotu the matter. Hostility which despite Aeolis' best efforts to hide were plain as day to someone as versed in reading an individual as I am."

"Based on this I find it curious that Aeolis offered to let Kwinn come with him to lay out defensive measures all. Unless the standards for achieving his post have changed since I left, as head of the home guard he should be able to spot a flawed trap or measure with a passing glance. This tells me he saw the flaw and ignored it or there was nothing wrong with Kwinn's work."

Myth cleared his throat. "Based on the facts at hand I can only conclude that either Aeolis is clearly lacking in his skills to do his duty or someone deliberately sabotaged Kwinn's work after the fact. Which means there is a traitor amongst the home guard. In eitehr case it tells me the head of the home guard is incompitent and not fit for duty. As for Kwinn's staff someone could have easily stolen the item in the night. Kwinn has shown nothing but respect and caring for the people of this city and I am disenclined to believe he would do the things he is accused of."

Myth began to return to his seat before stopping "I would like to make one thing very clear for the court's consideration. I met Kwinn only hours before I met Aeolis. As such I have no pre-existing relation to either man. My opinions are based purely upon things I have observed since my return to Silvanost.\, and what I have seen is conduct unbecoming of the commander of the home guard. That is all I have to say... for the moment."
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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:07 pm

moved below for story sake


Last edited by zinsk on Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:12 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: 3: Trials by Fire   Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:11 pm

The courtesan listened to Myth but his facial expressions were unreadable. It was clear he wouldn’t let on anything he was thinking. When Myth mentioned Aeolis’ name, a passing glance was given to the glaring Elf, but other than that, the focus was on what Myth had to say.

As Myth spoke about Aeolis’ incompetence, the commander of the Home Guard clenched his jaw several times but didn’t say anything. He would have his time after these accusations were leveled against him. Of course he would have to choose his words carefully. Myth may have been recently accepted back into society but he was still the Prince. That in of itself held a great deal of weight to it.

Still, as Myth leveled the accusations against Aeolis, the room rumbled with whispers and glances were shot in all directions. The courtesan brought the room back to order so Myth could continue. Aeolis didn’t bat an eyelash and he didn’t verbally lash out at Myth. Aeolis knew there was a place and order for everything here.



When things quieted down and Myth took his seat once more, Aeolis stepped forward once more. He leveled his gaze to Myth then looked to the head of the court once more.

”It has been many years since Prince Myth’Alas has stepped foot into the city. He does not understand the things that have occurred since his departure, some of which I am certain were because of who he was. When the Prince turned his back upon his people, we had to take precautions to insure our home was guarded against intruders meant to do us harm. Thus the enactment of the increased authority the Home Guard was granted in an effort to deter those who saw us as an ‘easy’ target. It is no secret that many humans in the Dark One’s employ were sent to our homeland and had it not been for myself and those whom I command, they would have made it to the city to do Gods know what. But, because of our intervention, we stopped many from reaching our fair and fine city. The hostility shown to the Prince and his traveling companions was a bit more than usual, yes, but given the past circumstances, we treated all intruders, human or other wise, the same way. No matter who they are. Had it not been for the fact I recognized the Prince himself, we would not be standing here having this hearing. You even said so yourself that desperate times called for desperate measures. Clearly, the events that occurred over this past day prove my actions and the actions of my men were justified. And now, with the death of Nim’Sul, the destruction of his beautiful Ivory Tower and the fact one of the Dark Ones minions was able to destroy it so completely adds weight to how we deal with…..strangers. As for my abilities to see a flaw in something the human did, I stated I saw no flaws in the things Kwinn did when I was with him. I did not go behind him to double check his work on the ones I did not bear witness to his craftsmanship. I was merely attempting to extend a courtesy to the human in an effort to regain the trust I lost for strangers after some of the events that happened after the Prince left us. And for Tanjee’s sake as she seemed to have….affection…for the human. It appears my lack of trust for strangers is not unfounded.”

“I find it rather odd, though, that Nim’Sul was attacked AFTER the human mage the Prince brought into our city as his….partner…..entered into the Ivory Tower. And that they survived while Nim’Sul perished. Why is that? How can we be so certain this human mage did not plan this all along? The Prince was cleansed with the Ceremony of Darkness but the human woman who travels with him was never cleansed. How do we know this….human mage is not working with Kwinn, the other human, to somehow thwart our plans for defense and aid the Dark One on her quest of total domination?”


The courtesan saw the look on Myth’s face and quickly intervened.

“Prince Myth’Alas, you are reminded that here is not the place for physical confrontation. If that should be required, there is a place for such things. I caution you to keep yourself in check. We will get to the bottom of all of this before this hearing is adjourned. But all things you and Aeolis have spoken are valid points we must take into consideration and come to a conclusion on. You have my word on it.”

Kwinn was not forgotten and the courtesan looked to the human ranger. Again his look was completely unreadable as he spoke to the human.

“Kwinn, these accusations, and charges being leveled against you are serious in nature. If you are found to be guilty of sabotage and assault against a citizen of Sylvanost, the punishment could be harsh. Prince Myth’Alas has spoken in your defense as has Tanjee. What do you have to say for yourself?”

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3: Trials by Fire
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