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 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics

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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:32 pm


The question Nol posed to Kellan took her completely by surprise. That reality registered in her eyes and for a brief moment on her face but her body language remained calm and relaxed. Still, she glanced at Trystan and Rose to see if they were listening to the conversation she was having with Nol. When she glanced back at Nol there was a curiousness she’d not seen on his face before now and something told her the answer was more than just a passing fancy.

Like all Squires, she’d heard the story of Huma and of the powerful Dragonlance and that he had ridden a mighty dragon himself but now the Knights didn’t see dragons as anything but evil creatures who were not to be trusted. And while Kellan didn’t like to think about it, the reappearance of dragons on Krynn told her if ever they needed a powerful alliance with mystical creatures of old, it would be now. But everyone knew there were no dragons who wanted to aid mankind with anything. They were all under the Dark Queens rule and as such, they were only out to kill mankind. Certainly not aid it.

Lowering her voice so it didn’t echo around the hall, Kellan spoke truthfully knowing that if she did so otherwise, Nol would know she wasn’t being exactly truthful with him.

”It’s been a long time since dragons were seen dotting the horizon of Krynn, M’Lord, but there is n o doubt they have returned. As mighty and as many as the creatures of Krynn are, rather they be man, Elf, troll or Orc, we still are no match for dragons. Even if we banded together for a brief period of time to fight them. In the long run, we would only be postponing the inevitable. Without the mystical Dragonlance to aid us, we wouldn’t be able to win.”

There was a short pause and she cast her eyes down at her plate before she looked back at Nol. Her light brown eyes leveled on his shimmering gaze and her voice seemed to grow quieter as she leaned slightly towards him.

”Legend tells of dragons helping mankind beat back the Dark Queen long ago. If such a thing were true, why then have we not seen evidence of these dragons now? While the evo; dragons have made themselves known, the other dragons have ether refused to return or have truly been killed off. And if that is the case, then I fear we are only fooling ourselves here. But….if by the slimmest chance such dragons truly existed, perhaps then we might have a chance. Even if they did nothing but advise us. Sometimes the greatest weapon we have is our mind and when you know you are out muscled then you have to use your brain to fight the brawn.”

She sat back up slowly and let the slightest, whimsical smile ease over her face then as she barely shrugged her shoulders.

”But who am I to say if a legend is real or just a story made up to inspire others? Either way, we are in for a long fight. The Dark Queen obviously has plans we aren’t privy to and I don’t think we are in her future. At least, not her long term future.”

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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:42 pm


Nol listened and could not help but smile as she spoke of “legends” and “stories”. He moved easily in his seat and leaned a little closer, his voice was barely a whisper but she could hear him as clear as a bell, “Sometimes Lady Kellan, things aren’t what they seem. Perhaps it is not the dragons that have turned their back on the creatures of Krynn but the creatures of Krynn that have turned their back on the dragons.” He smiled and swirled his wine gently and swallowed the last bit before placing the goblet down on a stone topped table beside them. He stood and reached down his hand, offering her assistance and escort. “Would you accompany me Lady Kellan? I have a feeling that what I wish to discuss with you would be better done in private.”


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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:00 pm


Kellan blinked and let her gaze shift to the offered hand then back to Nol’s face. There was something hidden behind the handsome features but what she didn’t know. One thing was for certain, She wanted to find out. She wasn’t afraid of him and maybe she should be and while others would have been contnt with that, Kellan knew it was odd. At this point, she was not even the least bit concerned about him and that should have concerned HER. But it didn’t.

Still, she hesitated as she glanced at Trystan and Rose. They were both engaged in conversation of their own and she knew it was rude to interrupt but to not allow herself to be excused was an even bigger infraction. But was she still in formal capacity to both of them at this very moment? Perhaps not. But her formal dismissal hadn’t come yet from either of them.

Turning to look at the offered hand once more, Kellan chewed on her bottom lip as she debated on what to do. Finally she made her decision and slowly reached out her hand to let it rest in Nol’s as she stood from the table. Sometimes it was better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission. And this was one of those times. With a slight smile upon her face, Kellan let her eyes settle upon Nol’s once more and nodded ever so slightly.

”Lead on, M’Lord.”

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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:42 am


Nol smiled warmly as she took his hand and he walked outside with her. The sun was just beginning to make its final descent in the skyline and he walked with her out into the emerald grass. Despite the fact that a winter night was setting in it was remarkably comfortable and warm. “I love the sunsets in Glen Durel. There is no magic enhancement, it’s simply a perfect location.”

He turned and looked at Kellan, the orange and red light hued her skin so that she seemed to be glowing. He traced the soft lines of her profile with his eyes and when she turned to look at him he smiled again. It was an infectious smile, the type of gesture that drew you in and refused to be looked away from. He brought up his elbow in a gesture to escort her and when she slipped her arm under his he began to walk. Each step seemed to take them a hundred meters. There was no strange sensation, no feeling of magic like when Kali ported them into the castle, nothing out of the ordinary, but with each step the landscape whizzed by and they were significantly further along than they should have been. Finally he stopped, they were overlooking the sea from the white marble cliffs that bordered the north side of the Glen. His voice split the silence and he turned to face her, “There is an incredible amount of courage in you. It seeps from your pores like honey from a honeycomb. I am about to share with you something that cannot be told to your Lord or your Commander, not yet anyway.” Her curious look of naivety didn’t go unnoticed and he brought his finger up, gently pressing it against her lips as she was about to speak. His finger was like fire, warm and inviting, even just against her mouth. His skin seemed to burn with an unnatural warmth that she would instantly crave the second he released it. “I know what you are thinking, there is protocols in the Solamnic Knighthood that I am well aware of, but I think you are strong enough to understand once you know the truth.”

Her eyes were full of curiosity and he could see she was puzzled. He simply smiled, and though it seemed impossible for him to become more handsome, in the dying light of the day, as the orange of the sun spread its arms across where they stood, his features were more deeply set and masculine then they were only a moment before. His eyes flashed and shimmered like the purest silver a brief instant before turning to their normal light grey color. Then his hair seemed to sparkle in the orange light as if inhabited by fireflies before returning to its snowy white color. His Silvanesti features again seemed to be enhanced and he cocked a half smile as he took a slight step back from her.

“The dragons have not abandoned Krynn, and the chromatic dragons do not serve the dark queen. The metallic dragons of Paladine, your god and patron god of the Solamnic Knights, are still aligned with him and still care more about humanity then you can ever imagine. There are in fact some that prefer the company of humans even over their own kin. Some might see this as a weakness, others a fascination,” He paused a moment as his gaze shifted to the sea and he continued, “I prefer to see it as a deep love that can’t be quenched.” He turned and looked at her again. Her face was still wrought with confusion and deep seated interest in what he was saying, “Lady Kellan, Knight of the Crown, Sister, Daughter, Niece….” He took a step towards her and felt her tense. He stopped and smiled, “I will not harm you.” He stepped back from her now, taking that alluring, burning skin with him. He turned and walked a small distance from her and then turned to face her again. “So, about this matter I prefer stay between us.”

There was a flash of light in his face, and a line formed between his eyes about a centimeter in length. It was a perfect line and silvery light poured out from within, he looked at her speaking warmly, “You are very brave, stand firm Knight of the Crown, hold fast and keep your place…” The line split him in half from top to bottom and then flashed outward so brightly she would need to cover her eyes. She was half blinded by the glow that had come and gone in an instant and her vision would be obscured. She heard a loud sound, a swooshing sound that moved the ground under her feet and then a deep, gravely voice. The voice was not menacing or offensive to the ears, in fact despite the harshness within it there was an undeniable pull of warmth. As her vision cleared Nol’Lore Silentclaw, Silver dragon of Paladine stood before her. He looked at her with his massive, slit eyes and a smile crossed his scaled face, “We have not abandoned you Knight, if anything, we have only drawn ourselves closer to you.”



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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:44 am


Kellan was amazed at how brilliant the sunset was here. Somehow it brought her a sense of peace she hadn’t felt since she learned Liam’s fate. And it was nice to leave the ever watchful eye of her superiors. While she loved being in their company for she knew she would learn a great deal, she really had not had time to herself since the terrible happenings back in Heartlund. Now she took a deep, cleansing breath as she felt the warm air drift over her.


Looking over at Nol and returning the smile she couldn’t seem to refuse to give, she glanced down at his offered elbow and smiled even more as she slipped her hand under it. The fact they were covering a large quantities of ground with each step they took didn’t go unnoticed but the uneasy sensation she felt when Kali transported her to the castle from the stable was missing this time. What was happening here?

When Nol stopped at the cliffs overlooking the sea, Kellan let her eyes take in the violent beauty of the water as it crashed against the bottom of the cliff she stood upon with Nol. The sea always fascinated her. How could someone love something so unpredictable and unforgiving?

As she heard Nol’s voice she turned a curious gaze upon him. Before she could say what was on the tip of her tongue she felt his finger press gently against her lips. The warmth she instantly felt seemed to seep into her very being all the way to her center. It was unlike anything she’d felt before. It both frightened and comforted her at the same time.

Something was afoot here and the one thing that kept running through her mind was that she only had the small hand blade tucked into her boot. But as he talked about dragons not abandoning Krynn and how the chromatic and metallic dragons are not under the Dark Queens rule, her began to truly understand why he didn’t want to discuss this in front of Trystan and Rose. If they heard him talk like this they would not take to it kindly. IKellan knew she should dismiss his words but there was something about the way he was talking that made her want to stay. He didn’t strike her as someone who was spewing words out of his mouth to impress another. There was a sincerity to his voice that touched her.

When he took the step towards her she tensed in preparation for something but what she was unsure of. All she knew was that he had her undivided attention right now but she wasn’t going to allow herself become a victim of anything either. She could take care of herself very well and she wasn’t going to let him take advantage of the situation.

As the crack formed on his face, Kellan’s expression turned from deep set interest and curiosity to horror and disbelief. Before she could ask him what was happening she saw his body split in half and such a brilliant light flash before her that she had to close her eyes and raise her hands to protect her sensitive eyes from the brilliance of it. Kellan felt the ground beneath her move and she felt fear slide down her spine again. The last time she felt the ground move beneath her feet the Towers were seen shortly afterwards.

As her vision began to clear, she blinked several times to help it along as fast as she could. When her hands moved away from her face she looked to where she last saw Nol standing and all she could see was silver. Blinking again she swallowed hard and slowly let her eyes rise up. As she heard the voice and saw the massive dragon that now stood before her she felt her legs grow weak and she stumbled back a couple of steps before she helped herself sink to the ground on her knees. Her light brown eyes were wide and her voice was a shaky whisper.

”By Paladine….I have to be dreaming….”

Swallowing hard again she now knew exactly why he insisted she not speak a word of this to her superiors. Tears welled up in her eyes as the impact of what this meant to her, and for all of Krynn. They weren’t alone anymore.

There was hope. And hope was a powerful weapon.

Kellan blinked her eyes to make the moisture go away and swallowed hard several times to make the lump in her throat go away. Finally she bowed her head and spoke in an almost childlike voice to the massive dragon before her.

”I pledge my oath to you, Lord Dragon, I shall not utter one word of this to anyone. Even if faced with my own death.”

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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:59 am


He watched her reaction, it was expected and he understood, his dragon form was intimidating and ferocious, as all Dragons were. Luckily he had the rumor of the chromatic dragons reputation as agents of Paladine behind him. As she bowed her head and made her vow he smiled gently and stepped forward, each step caused impact tremors and as she looked up he laid his body down in front of her and rested his chin on the ground. At this angle they were exactly eye to eye, “I appreciate the oath of your silence on this matter. Rose is an able Commander but she couldn’t handle knowing this yet, and Trystan,” he paused a moment and half-smiled, “Well let’s just say he couldn’t handle it either.” Of course Kali, Rayann, Myth, Ceridwyn, and Aeolis already know of my true form. I was sent to protect Myth’s family, their path is directly tied to the life or death of Krynn and to put it mildly a higher authority asked that I maintain a vigilant watch over them.”

He smiled warmly, even in his dragon form the kindness in his eyes was evident and obvious. “So tell me Lady Knight, I assume that since this is your first dragon sighting you have never ridden a dragon… what do you say? Care to see Ansalon from a new perspective?”



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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:40 pm


Kellan was afraid to move as she felt the ground tremor with each step the dragon took. She knew he was moving closer as she could see in her peripheral vision his movements drawing him closer to her. When his head laid on the ground before her making him eye to eye with her, she lifted her head to look into his eyes. His strange reptilian like eyes still held a kindness to them she never thought possible. Hesitantly she reached her trembling hand out to barely let her fingers touch him.

”They couldn’t have a better guardian.”

When he suggested she take a ride she blinked and gave him a look of total surprise. Ride? A….Dragon? Her? She thought back to a time when she was younger and dreamed she was soaring high overhead, even above some clouds. There was a freedom she felt in that dream that she’d never felt before and even now, as she thought back about it, she could still remember what that freedom felt like.

Without thinking, Kellan got to her feet and slowly walked down beside Nol’s neck until she reached his shoulder and climbed onto his body as though she’d done this hundreds of times. As soon as she was settled she felt his muscles ripple beneath her as he lifted his massive form up off the ground and took to the air.

Leaping off the high cliffs he dove down towards the water then caught the air currents and quickly took off for higher elevations. Kellan clung to Nol’s neck using her legs like she did when she rode her horse. As the dragon leveled out and eased across the sky Kellan dared to let her hands relax as she began to look at the land below.

”It’s beautiful…..like virgin land before the farmer tills the ground. Pure and unstained.”

As Nol banked to turn, Kellan easily adjusted her weight to maintain her balance. As the air drifted over her body she felt that freedom from the dream return again and this time it was no dream. As the sun began to dip into the horizon, Kellan looked at the orange ball sink as Nol drifted on the air currents.

”Why would anyone wish to destroy something as beautiful as this?”

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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:50 pm


He smiled slightly as she complimented him, and though he didn’t answer his head was full of thoughts. As she touched him he felt the electricity from her skin and she would feel the incredible warmth coming from his scales. She moved along his body and climbed onto his back without a word, and as soon as he felt she was sitting astride him he launched into the air. The sound of his wings was like a hurricane and his body rippled with the strength and power of his kind.

They soared high and long across the cliffs that ran the length of the coast. The sea violently broke against the rocks below and Nol dove swiftly towards the vast ocean. He felt Kellan’s legs grip his neck tightly and he could feel that she was an experienced rider. The strength in her legs was vastly different from when Kali was on his back, she was able to remain completely steady as he moved through the air which allowed him the opportunity to not only fly faster than he ever did with Kali but also maneuver in much tighter circles and patterns. Finally he leveled out and the two of them drifted over the landscape, high above the ground and in the fading light everything looked so quiet and peaceful. She spoke and he responded, speaking directly to her mind, he wasn’t sure if she had ever heard a voice via missive before but he knew that if he spoke into the rushing wind she wouldn’t hear him. He had the advantage of his acute hearing to compensate for this but being human he did what he thought best, ~ “I can’t answer that Kellan, the gods set the order of good, evil, and neutrality in place so as to not cast the dice in anyone’s favor. Their quarrels about the affairs of this world and how to best handle them are above any of us to judge. What I do know is that Tahkisis has begun a war not only on this realm but in the celestial plain as well, and she has all manners of creatures aiding and fighting for her. This war is far more wide spread than her first attempt to conquer Krynn when Huma beat her back, this war is meant to destroy rather than conquer. The best way to destroy a father is harm his kids, it is the only logic to her attacks against Krynn’s citizen’s. As for the towers, something is off about them, I can’t say what as I myself don’t know, but I have never seen Kali and Rayann so on edge, there are deeper rumblings then just their appearance.” ~

He turned gently and she could tell by the twilight sun they were starting to head back towards Glen Durel. Suddenly however, Nol dove and landed on the top of a very high mountain, void of any trees and they could see for dozens of kilometers in every direction. In the distance the three spires of the towers could be seen, swirling in a strange red and purple haze that hung dreary and low across the landscape. Suddenly in a flash she was standing beside Nol in his Elven form and he touched her shoulder as they stared. “It is a reality that we will be facing, but from this perspective, they don’t seem as dangerous.”

He turned and looked at her, his silver eyes shimmering brightly and his hair swirled delicately around his shoulders. The faint glow of his red and blue swords cast upwards causing a strange, purple light that criss-crossed along his features. He smiled to her and spoke, “So beautiful, the human form is, by certain the gods got that right." He reached up gently and touched the bottom of her chin and he felt her shiver despite the almost erotic warmth of his skin, or perhaps even because of it. He stared at her with a deep gaze that pressed itself lovingly into her eyes and he spoke, “It’s always a mystery, the things that happen in the dark, one can only wonder.”

He moved his face towards her, closing his eyes and preparing for the kiss, the kiss that he wasn’t sure she would answer…


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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:05 pm


The voice in her mind was a surprise but not entirely unwelcome either. The words were both comforting and disturbing at the same time. The presence of him in her mind was what was comforting most of all. There was something about him she seemed rather taken to. Perhaps it was the infatuation of his true self or the fact he could make himself appear to be the most appealing male she’d ever seen before. But Kellan wasn’t a simple girl out on her own for the first time. While she wasn’t ‘worldly’ she was rather level headed for the most part and knew it was something even more than that.

”What ever they represent I can assure you it’s nothing but ill. I hope that somehow, some way we are able to help the mages defeat this blight that’s appeared and never have to see them again. I know it won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination but nothing worth fighting for is ever easy.”


When Nol suddenly headed in another direction and landed on the barren mountain top, Kellan looked at the Towers from this vantage point and furrowed her brows. They were a disgrace to what would have been a beautiful landscape but now it was ugly and marred. She thought of how Liam and others were used to create the hideous structures and she felt a burning ache inside of her causing her to silently vow to bring justice for the wrong done to the fallen.

When she turned to look at Nol she was caught off guard by the way his eyes shimmered and the purple light caressed his features. She felt mesmerized and when he reached up to touch her skin she couldn’t suppress the shiver that slid down her body at the feel of his warmth. It would be easy for her to lose herself in that warmth. Very easy indeed.

As he leaned forward and closed his eyes, Kellan tilted her head slightly and leaned forward as well but when her lips were to press against his, he felt only the soft brush of them as she whispered softly to him.

”But it’s what doesn’t happen that insures we will live to see if we are strong enough to do it all again the next day.”

Moving her head slightly to the right her lips barely made contact with his cheek before she pulled back again to look at him. When he opened his eyes he would see there was the slightest of smiles on her flushed face and a small twinkle in her light brown eyes. She reached up and let her cool hand touch his handsome cheek and again she felt that warmth he had and it caused her to inhale sharply then let it out slowly. Her voice was quietly soft as she spoke to him again.

”Far be it for me to end this magical evening I’m having with you, but if I don’t return soon, my superiors will not take kindly to my prolonged absence. I can’t thank you enough for trusting me with your secret. I don’t know how I could ever repay you, M’Lord.”

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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:01 pm

He felt her lips and then heard her voice, to say he was disappointed was an understatement, but he could not help but smile at the wit in her words. He nodded, his soft cheek brushing against hers and when her lips touched his skin he himself was the victim of a shiver up the spine. She was all that he had imagined a human woman could be, even more so then when he would kiss Kali, and the feelings in his heart and head were dancing circles in his stomach. As she pulled away and spoke her quiet words he looked at her, knowingly, but there was a distant hunger in his eyes, as if the meal was just out of reach. She could see the disappointment in his face but also the understanding.

“No Lady Knight, far be it from ME to keep you from your duties, the duties of a Knight serving others to the discomfort of them self, such is the ways of the Solamic Knights.” He smiled slightly and stepped back from her lest he take her by the shoulders again and make another attempt at tasting her, “There are no thanks necessary, one of you needed to know that you weren’t in this fight alone.”

He turned and faced Glen Durel and in a flash was in his dragon form once again. As she silently climbed onto the back of his neck again he snorted the air, catching her scent and lingering on the mystery of her kiss. He inhaled deeply again, stomping the ground with one of his front feet, a thunderous shudder caused the rocks all over the mountain top to shiver and he thrust himself into the air, his wings beating a heavy wake of turbulence behind them as the two of them went aloft. The Glen was in sight within minutes, the glow coming from the distinct architecture of the castles windows was immediately recognizable despite the fact that Kellan had never seen them from this angle. Nol cut to the right and swung down low along the cliff face, avoiding the eyes of any that might have been looking out the windows (to avoid either of the other two Knights to see him), and he lifted up off the sea breeze to land gently on the thick grass along the top ledge of the white marble cliffs.

Kellan dismounted and still in his dragon form he turned his head to make sure she was on the ground and safe. There was a flash of white light and he turned quickly to see Kali standing about 20 meters away, her face was set in shadow and she was staring at Nol.


He shifted form and looked over at Kali. Kellan would not feel the slightest sense of unease from him, but there was a look of obvious anger on Kali’s face. “What is it Kali? Is everything at the castle alright?”

“Is everything alright? Are you serious?”

Nol turned and looked at Kellan, the expression on his face was one of obvious confusion and he turned back to Kali, “I am afraid I don’t understand, I am serious, is everything alright?”

Kali turned her gaze and if her eyes could burn holes in objects (at least without magic) they would have bored right through Kellan. She then shifted her gaze back to Nol and spoke, “I would have to say no Nol, things are not alright.”

Nol turned and looked at Kellan and spoke with a soft, almost apologetic whisper, “I think perhaps you should get back to your Lord and Commander, I will join you shortly.” “YES, he will join you shortly Lady Kellan!” Nol turned back to Kali quickly, his eyes scanning the lines of anger on her face.

As Kellan left she would hear Kali’s voice. It was obvious she was beyond seething and the venom escaping her lips was worse than what she had heard in the meeting room when she exploded at her Father. The last thing she would remember hearing was, “You are acting like a child Kali, 10 months ago you told me you did not love me and that there was nothing between us!”

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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:44 pm


Kellan took no delight in seeing the disappointment on Nol’s face. It cut her to the core to know she’d disappointed him by denying him the kiss he seemed to be wanting. No, needing from her. But as much as she wanted to discover more about him by letting herself kiss him, she knew it would be opening a door that would be better left closed. Besides, he was a dragon, for the Gods sake. She was nothing more than a solitary human who could in now way give him anything he was looking for. Besides, he seemed fascinated with her due to the fact she was human. Still…..

The memory of his warm touch brought another shiver to her and she hoped he didn’t feel it as she sat astride his massive shoulders near the base of his strong neck. As they approached the Glen, she once more admired the beauty of the land and the wild fury of the sea just beyond. To see it form high above brought a new found respect for the peace the Glen held for its visitors.

As Nol landed Kellan easily dismounted and found sliding down his silver scales was much like sliding down a slide like she did when she was a child. The sensation was so unexpected that she actually laughed softly just before her feet hit solid ground and she steadied her slightly wobbly legs. Her laughter was short lived when a bright flash of light caused her to whirl around swiftly and reach for the blade that was not at her hip. When she saw Kali and the look on her face, Kellan knew right away she’d crossed an unspoken boundary she should not have crossed.

Nol, for all of his ancient years, was at a loss when it came to the human females mind and heart. It was obvious by the look on his face when he turned to look at her with a totally baffled look. She would have offered him some advice on the matter but when Kali practically bore holes right through her, Kellan furrowed her brows and clamped her mouth shut. This was not her battle and she had no business getting in between the two of them. Obviously there were feelings between them and she’d done nothing but stir up a hornets nest. A hornets nest controlled by a powerful mage at that. Kellan suddenly felt as though a target had been placed upon her and Kali was weapon holder. Needless to say, she was more than glad to excuse herself when Nol suggested she return to the castle.

As she turned to leave, bowing her head respectfully to Nol, she heard the outright venom in Kali’s words and knew things were not going to bode well for the handsome dragon. As she left she heard Nol’s words and it all suddenly became clear. With one last glance over her shoulder, Kellan sighed softly and kept her feet on the path that would lead her to the castle. While she felt the need to go to Nol’s aid, she knew she would be overstepping her place and thus she had to force herself to keep moving in the direction she was moving in.

As she neared the castle, she wondered how she was going to handle the situation with Trystan and Rose. It didn‘t take long for her to meet back up with them and just judging by the look o their faces, she knew she was in for a good talking to at the least from each of them. They had all moved frm the dining area into a larger room that was set up as more of an informal gathering hall. Comfortable furnishings sat about inviting visitors to sit in them while a fire blazed warmly in the large hearth.

Much like Kali earlier, she suddenly felt self conscious as she saw the looks on their faces. Of course it didn’t help that her hair, while not nearly as long as Kali’s, had that same tempest look to it Kali’s did when she returned from her flight with Nol earlier. Taking a moment to smooth her hair and clothes out, she made herself as presentable as she could. Quickly walking over to where Trystan stood, she bowed her head respectfully and stood at a relaxed attention.

”Is there anything I can do for you, M’Lord, M’Lady?”






Rayann sat opposite Rose in an overstiffed chair while Ceri sat to her right. The three women had talked about anything but battles and war strategy. It was obvious Rayann was aware the Commander and Sir Trystan were worried about their younger comrade and where she could be. Even after Rayann had assured them she was perfectly safe with Nol and that he was most likely giving her a full tour of Glen Durel the two Knights still seemed a bit concerned. AS the time stretched on with no sign of the Knight or Nol returning, they seemed to grow restless and judging from the glances they cast to each other, they were not going to be all that pleased with the Lady Knight when she returned.

To add to the tension Rayann could now feel growing among her guests, she could sense irritation bordering heavily on out right anger coming from Kali. Soon after Nol left with the Lady Knight she saw her daughters mood slowly turn darker and darker. The moment she felt Nol’s presence return she saw the way Kali reacted and in a huff quickly excused herself. Rayann glanced at Myth knowing her daughter was about to confront the two of them and while Rayann wanted to intercede, she knew this was something Kali and Nol had to work out on their own. Unfortunately, Lady Kellan was going to be in the middle of all of this.

When Lady Kellan returned and she saw the disheveled way she looked, Rayann’s heart sank. That was exactly the way Kali looked when she would return from a flight with Nol. Had the dragon exposed himself to the Lady Knight? With a quick, concerned glance at Myth, she knew her husband would recognize her concern right away. As Kellan reported to Trystan, Rayann practically held her breath waiting to see what was going to happen now.





Aeolis watched Nol elave with Lady Kellan a good while ago and like all the others, as time stretched out with no sign of them, she was beginning to wonder just exactly what was going on. From time to time he caught Ceri’s glance and could seethe growing concern in her chestnut eyes as well. Hopefully there was a valid explanation for all of this.

Cari had relayed to him Kali’s irritation and as he saw the young woman practically brooding just on the outskirts of the shadows of the room, he couldn’t help but think she was acting more like a spoiled child than a grown woman. But then again, in a way, she still was a child.

When he saw Kali suddenly stand and excuse herself, he knew Nol must have returned from where ever it was he went with Lady Kellan. But when Kellan walked in looking rather…wild, Aeolis’ mouth almost dropped open. Surely the dragon hadn’t……

Had he?

Aeolis slowly looked over at Ceri and without a single missive passing between them Ceri would know the bringing question in the Elf’s mind.

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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:44 pm

Ceridywn watched Kali closely and when she disappeared from the room she immediately felt the pull in the magic flow as she left the castle, looking at Rayann her face was covered in concern and she inhaled a deep breath before taking a long sip of her honey mint tea. She looked over at Aeolis as she set the cup down and his glance drew only a shake of her head.

Kellan walked into the room looking like she had just gone 10 minutes with a Draconian and Ceridwyn looked at Lady Rose speaking, her voice was suddenly full of command and though it wasn’t forceful it was certainly filled with more urgency than at any other part of the evening, “Hold nothing against her in regards to the matter, if she broke protocol for her station as a Knight of the Crown so be it, but as for the affair’s of the heart she is innocent.” She looked Lady Rose dead in the eye and though not intimidating in the least there was a sincerity and message of “Please leave this one alone” communicated between the two women.

She watched as Kellan crossed the room and suddenly Trystan was standing with Lady Rose. The younger Knight gave her formal presentation and asked her question, Ceridwyn turned to look at their response when suddenly her face went pale, instantly she turned to Rayann and with her eyes as wide as saucers she hissed words of ancient magic and disappeared in a cloud of sweet smelling smoke.




Nol looked at Kali as she paced the grass, her hands were squeezing opened and closed a kilometer a minute and he shoke his head in frustration, “What in the Abyss is the matter with you?” She charged towards him and slammed her hands into his muscled chest, he didn’t flinch nor did the impact move him in the least, “YOU BASTARD!! YOU BASTARD OF HADES!”

He stepped back and spoke, “I don’t understand! You want nothing to do with me! You tell me that there is nothing between us and all I do is give another a ride to prove to her that the dragon’s are her allies and you flip the ledge! By the gods Kali I am only doing as you said, leaving you alone!”

She turned, her face was beat red and she poked a finger in his face, “You bait me and take me to the horizon’s this afternoon and then do the same for another this same day?! How in the name of the Abyss do you expect me to react?!” He looked at her sternly, “I don’t know? Perhaps like it was nothing more than that, a ride across the horizon? We followed the shoreline, we perched atop Bald Mountain, we gazed at the tops of the towers, nothing more happened!” Obviously he was omitting the attempt to kiss her, the brush of the cheek, the lightening touch of Kellan’s fingertips. “If anyone should be upset here Kali it is I. You practically ignore me for nine months, you break things off with me and tell me that you can only love your magic, and when my eye finally catches the sight of a beautiful woman whom I might be interested in you completely flip off the bridge!”

She spun, her hair swirled in shadow and her brilliant blue eyes burst forth in glowing power as she drew her hands back and screeched the words of her spell. Ceridwyn appeared and hissed magical words, the barrier crossing the line between Nol and Kali in just the instant before the devour spell hit the dragon dead in the chest. Nol leapt back in shock and spun on his heels, never drawing his blades but he was surly on the defense now. Kali spun towards Ceridwyn and was clearly mad with grief and anger, she was reaching into her robes for heavens knows what when the gentle voice of Ceridwyn broke the air, “Rashmada Bi’jish Draskala”. The reagent filled sand sparkled ever so briefly in the night sky, illuminated by the nearly full moon of Solinari and Kali slumped over onto herself face first in the grass. Nol stepped forward and Ceridwyn spun on her heels looking like a tempest scorned, “CEASE! Just go Nol, return tomorrow, we leave for Heartlund and we will need you.”

He was about to speak and she yelled with such a forceful tone Nol recoiled and for the briefest of seconds forgot he was a dragon, “GO! NOW! Return in the morrow!”

Nol vanished in a puff of silver and Ceridwyn could feel the frustration in his emotions as he left the scene. She turned and Rayann had now appeared, for how long she didn’t know, but she was kneeling beside her daughter, the look on her face said it all. Ceridwyn spoke, her voice was loving and tender, “I know friend, I know.”

Ceridwyn didn’t need to explain that it was a sleep spell, Rayann would know immediately and as the two of them gathered up Kali there were no words. Together they touched palms and transported the three of them into Kali’s room. After redressing her and tucking her into her bed they embraced. Ceri could feel Rayann’s pain and simply embraced her friend for a very long time, allowing her time to grieve and know she had the comfort of a friend.


Trystan approached and watched Kellan make a half assed attempt to right herself before she approached and presented herself to Rose and himself. Rose, a true champion of the chain of command simply gave a look that spoke volumes to Trystan. Yes, she could have stepped in and reprimanded Kellan herself, but she, more than most Knights in her position, recognized the chain of command and simply excused herself to retire for the evening, leaving the matter in Trystan’s hands. Trystan in return also understood that if he did not stand at this moment and do what his duty required of him there would be hell to pay from her. On her way out of the room Rose gave Trystan a glance that suggested this matter was NOT in any way closed. Trystan turned and looked at Kellan sternly, his face was not that of the loving man who had kissed her only 60 hours prior, this was her Lord, her Commander of the Sword, and she was nothing more than his subordinate at the moment.

“Lady Kellan, you will report to your quarters and clean up. You will get some rack time and then you will meet me at the Livery at dawn tomorrow. I cannot suggest any stronger that you not be late!”

He watched with furious eyes as she responded and retired to her quarters. Trystan turned and looked at Myth’alas, the Silvanesti Prince with an apologetic look. The Prince nodded silently as Trystan had seen him do several times during the course of the day but he could not help but notice the grim look on his face this time. A line, and Trystan did not as of yet know which one, but a line somewhere had been crossed, and Trystan would see to it that this matter was thoroughly discussed with Kellan in the morning.

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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:06 am



Myth sat at his place near the hearth and welcomed the company of Aeolis and Trystan. It was not often he found himself in the presence of a fellow elf and as well as a human swordsman. In a round about manner Myth poked and prodded with endless questions about different scenarios so as to gauge Trystan's grasp of field battle. Much to Myth's surprise the knight was fairly knowledgeable. Myth looked up upon his daughter's arrival and just gave her that wink when he saw that look in her eyes after speaking to her mother. There would be words later but for now she was forgiven. He knew her pain better than he would like to admit but it was a matter best discussed later.

As the evening rolled on Myth's ears and eyes were always alert listening to everything in the room. Yes here in their home of Glen Durel Myth could never let his guard down completely. The occasional look between Trystan and Kellan did not escape Myth's notice. A small frown could barely be perceived as Nol went to talk to the young lady knight. It was a frown derived from the conversation more than anything. His he knew better than anyone she was doing the exact same thing he was and was certain she was listening to the two.

Myth dared not shake his head as Kellan excused herself from the room hooked to Nol's elbow. Not wanting anything to break up the evening Myth posed a question about solutions to sieging a moated fortification to keep the knight's eyes focused on Aeolis and himself. In time her lack of presence would be noted. Myth hoped Nol would keep the outing brief. His eyes had shifted once more to Kali and he could feel her mood darken. He didn't need a band to know these things. He was her father and he was an expert at reading body language. He had not asked about the relationship between the two but he had assumed that after a flight out things had come together in some way, but for how long.

Time passed and Myth could feel the tension emanating from Trystan and Rose about Kellan's absence. It was growing more difficult to keep Trystan's mind off the absence of his companion but Myth knew she was safe with the silver dragon. Kali's mood had grown quite sour and when she puffed into a ball of smoke he knew something was afoot. A look to his wife told him her mind was coming to the same conclusion and he said nothing as she disappeared. There was a constricting feeling in his gut and Myth knew that trouble was brewing. His intuition about sch things never failed him. he talk between Nol and Kali was likely getting bad. He looked up as Kellan entered and he could not help but quirk and eyebrow. That singular motion caused Rose and Trystan to look to the door. Things were going bad and fast.

He knew the look all to well as he had seen Kali like that many times. Nol had taken Kellan out for a flight and while that in itself was not so bad the fact her superiors knew nothing of Nol made her look speak another story all together. There was a brief moment of disappointment in Rose's face when she first looked at Kellan but it was gone. Instead she looked at Trystan in a manner that even gave Myth pause. The time these knight's was now apparent more than ever as Myth noted the silent moment of communication with just a look.






Rose had been enjoying the conversations with Rayann and Ceridwyn most of that evening. When she did notice Kellan's disappearance it gave her pause and soon she had noticed that Nol was gone as well. Her brow furrowed slightly and when asked about it she smiled and shrugged the matter off. At some point she caught a glimpse of the young Kali brooding and that feeling in her gut began to creep out. That feeling that told you something was amiss and to be weary. She tried to push the thoughts away but as the even grew later it grew.

Rose had not even noticed Kali vanish but she had been looking to Trystan when they both notice the prince quirk his eyebrow. Both looked and saw Kellan. Rose felt her heart sink and it took every bit of her will to remain seated and keep a composed face. She could not believe the state that Kellan was in. Her attire was all out of alignment and her hair looked absolutely wild. Her mind drifted back to earlier in the day and remembered Kali had the same look when she returned with the elf Nol. Several facts about the evening were coming to mind and Rose felt the control on her temper beginning to slip. Her unseen hand clenched slightly as she looked to Trystan fixing him with a look he knew to well but saw very briefly.

She was not sure what codes of conduct Kellan had just violated but she was in no mood to deal with it at this moment. No it would be handled in the morning while she sat thinking the matter over through the night, She stood from her seat and politely excused herself maintaining a forced smile till she was facing away from her subordinates. She took a moment to steel herself before walking away. If the look on her face could be channeled into a spell it could have taken out over half the glen in one casting. Rose exited the room not even sparing a glance to her knights.

Myth could only give a sympathetic look to Trystan as the man gave his orders. However he was wondering what in the abyss Nol had been thinking taking the woman out like this. He could feel his wife's emotions and knew things were just as bad were she was if not worse. His face was a grim visage of annoyance that made it clear the lord of the home was not to happy himself. Myth rose from his seat and placed a hand on Trystan's shoulder as he passed the human. His voice held a hint of sympathy for the knight's plight but it was also firm and serious.

"If you have trouble finding rest this evening sir knight I recommend a trip to the training hall to work out your frustrations in a constructive manner." Myth's hand slipped away and his sword scabbard was clearly in his hand. It did not take much to determine that if Trystan found his way to the hall he would find Myth there as well.
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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:12 am


As if Myth had spoken a prophecy to him Trystan tossed and turned. The silver light of Solinari pierced the room but there was no rest granted by its soothing rays. He grabbed his sword belt and stepped quietly into the hallway. Quietly he made his way to the training hall, though he had never been there, somehow he knew the way, indeed this place was a strange mystery to him. He turned a corner and found himself in a long corridor, lit with a dozen torches. A large door at the far end was cracked open and there was light coming from inside. He felt a sense of ease and peace, and he began walking to the end of the hallway. The door was covered in strange runes and silver words that he recognized as Elven though he couldn’t read them.

He pushed the door open and noted the exquisite training facility before him. It was not only massive it was equipped with anything one might want. In the center of the room there was a large training mat and seated dead in the center, his back to the door sat Myth. His legs were criss-crossed and his sword was laying across his lap. His massive, bare shoulders were gently rising and falling with his slow, deliberate breathing and his hair was tucked up neatly in a tight half knot which kept most of it off his back.

“It is good that you have come Trystan.” Myth’s voice was strong and echoed off the walls of the training hall. Trystan nodded and as he began to step onto the mat Myth sprang to his feet and turned to face him, “It is in training that balance is truly found. I have often found I can not only think clearer after a good training session, I can also focus more precisely.” Trystan nodded and he felt a slight pit in the center of his stomach. From the moment he had laid eyes on the Elven Prince he had desired to be standing in this very spot, about to spar with him, but now that he was here Myth seemed twice as large, twice as powerful and twice as intimidating. Trystan was not one to back down, but he was clearly uneasy.

“Relax yourself Trystan, begin with your breathing.” Myth demonstrated a balanced breathing and nodded quietly as Trystan picked up the technique and adapted to it quickly. Closing his eyes he could hear Myth speaking to him, “Very well done Knight. Release the thoughts that plague you and focus only on your opponent, trace his form in your mind, look for the weakness that you can exploit to gain the advantage over him.” Trystan pictured Myth in his mind, but damned if he could find a single flaw in the man. He felt Myth’s hand pat him gently on the shoulder and when he opened his eyes and looked into Myth’s face he saw a smile that was genuine and real. “Let’s see what the Knights have taught you.”

Trystan nodded and stepped over to the place Myth gestured toward on the mat. He removed his sword and tossed the scabbard to the outer line of the mat. He saluted Myth in the traditional way and set himself to fight, taking his stance. Myth bowed and the sing of metal as Blue Moon was drawn from its scabbard filled the hall. Trystan’s fingers flexed slightly on his hand and a half and he watched as Myth leaned back into his stance. Myth’s eyes barely flicked as he immediately assessed the man’s stance, it was well balanced, but there were obvious gaps in the way Trystan held himself, the first pass would be over in an instant.

Trystan waited, his eyes locked on Myth waiting for him to make a move, but Myth only stood, his arms locked like marble pillars, his eyes focused dead on Trystan’s face. Several long moments passed and Trystan began to feel sweat forming in the palms of his hands, his arms quivered slightly from holding the sword aloft like a club, and finally there was a crack in his face and he charged with a shout. Myth spun so fast Trystan barely had time to bring the strike down, he felt the flat of Myth’s blade come up and under his left arm and slap him with enough force to cause an unmistakable sting against five of his ribs. The blade slide back and disappeared behind his back. Trystan spun and his hand instinctually went down to where he had been hit. It was tender, and there was a welt. He could see by the impact mark if they had been doing things for real he would be cleaved cleanly in half right now. Looking up, Myth was in an exact replica of the stance he had just been in, only facing the other way. Trystan furrowed his brows and brought his sword around and up, taking a more aggressive assault type stance. This time he did not wait for his muscles to fatigue, figuring that was why Myth was able to overcome him so quickly.

Myth noted the new stance and immediately assessed its weaknesses, as every stance has one. Trystan lunged towards Myth, His sword coming low to high in a an impressive fast arc that was designed to cleave through the leg at the knee and come up through the groin and into the guts. Myth parried with a downward slap of his scabbard, leapt into the air and over Trystan’s sword arm. The scabbard bounced up off the blade and using its momentum Myth slide it up into Trystan’s armpit, twisting it and bringing the arm up and over. The natural movement of his body caused his arm to flip up and over, and with a second blow from the scabbard across the wrist the nerves instinctually released and his sword clattered to the ground. It was at that exact moment he felt the dull, back end of Myth’s sword across his throat, the cold of the steel stung and he swallowed hard. Myth stepped back, patted him on the shoulder and picked up Trystan’s blade, handing it to him. He looked at Trystan and his eyes narrowed, “Focus!”

Trystan nodded apprehensively and stepped over to his spot on the mat, as he turned Myth was already in a new stance, an almost cat like grace came from the line of his body and he stood with blade in one hand and scabbard in the other. Trystan simply could not find the flaw in his stances, he could not see where to strike. In frustration he went back to his aggressive stance, hoping to overpower Myth and he stepped, faking a blow to the left, Myth responded and Trystan thought he had him, with a quick flick he switched the path of the sword and in a thrust motion went to the right. Myth was no sucker and had himself faked the block, the stance had clearly favored striking from the right in the first place. With a fast parry, using the scabbard to knock the blade safely aside Myth spun up the blades length and his sword stopped a mere centimeter from Trystan’s nose, Myth’s face was no more than four centimeters from Trystan’s. Trystan’s eyes were so wide at not only the speed but the sheer control he only swallowed hard again. There was clear frustration in his voice as he spoke, “I can’t beat you.”

Myth stepped back, “Why not?”

Trystan looked at him, his frustration growing, “I don’t know… you’re… you’re too fast, too skilled.”

“You won’t last long on the battlefield with that attitude.”

“I am not used to this one on one stuff, we as Knight fight with companions, we use the strength of our ranks…” He paused, the look on Myth’s face told him everything he needed to know. Swallowing hard he spoke, “They don’t teach us to fight like you do, clearly it is based on speed where as we fight with muscle. I can see how it would give you an advantage.”

Myth shoke his head and firmly grasped Trystan by the shoulder, “The advantage is here,” He tapped Trystan on the side of the head, “And here,” he pressed his hand into Trystan’s chest. “This doesn’t matter in the end.” He reached and grabbed Trystan’s sword arm, squeezing the bicep and then patting his arm. “Strength is an illusion, there is always a bigger, stronger opponent. One Ogre out strengths you and I times 10, and they are a lot faster than most give them credit, but muscle can be overpowered with stronger thinking. You are impatient and under confident, that is why you lost.”

Trystan swallowed back his words and nodded. Hearing critique was hard, but he was a willing student, he always had been. He inhaled deeply and looked Myth in the eyes, Myth spoke, “Again?” Trystan nodded and walked to his place on the mat. He took his more balanced stance this time and Myth, instead of taking his place walked over, bringing his hand up to say, “Freeze.” Trystan did and Myth walked around him in a narrow circle, “More weight on your back foot.” Trystan leaned back slightly and remained facing forward, “Tuck this elbow down, you aren’t swinging a club, it’s a blade and it will only cut if you allow it to cut. Control your weapon, don’t let it control you.” He smacked Trystan’s elbow and Trystan tucked it in. “Bring this shoulder up, use the power of your whole pendulum. Think of your body as a spring, wound and ready to release in one fluid motion. All you motions need to be deliberate before they can be instinct, you need to think through your attack, from the moment your adversary shows his face until the moment you resheath your blade. There is no strength in a flawed technique or approach to the battle.” Trystan nodded gently and Myth walked in front of him, standing at his full height and then with a nod he took his cat like stance again. Trystan felt awkward in this stance at first, it was foreign to him and he felt he had to keep his thoughts more on his position rather than that of his opponent, but then he felt it, the balance of his body was perfectly centered, he could feel his muscles relax, for what was the natural position of his body, this position, was all that was foreign. He had been forcing himself to be in an awkward position, and his body had compensated. Myth nodded and whispered as he stared Trystan down, “Better.”

Trystan watched and waited, Myth’s face was like stone and finally, without even a hint of indication he sprung, his blade sung as it crossed the air between them and Trystan reacted, bringing his sword down and blocking the blow easily. Spinning since he was perfectly on balance and finding himself turned 180 degrees and facing Myth again who was standing in his follow through position. Without turning he spoke, there was a sort of pride in his voice, “Good Trystan, much better.”

Myth turned and looked at Trystan, bowing respectfully and returning Blue Moon to the scabbard. “You have learned much tonight Trystan, and quickly. I am pleased to see that.”

Trystan could not help but smile and he was about to salute when he felt it more appropriate to bow as Myth had done. Bringing his blade down he bowed respectfully and spoke as he stood upright again, “Thank you Myth, I hope we can do this again.” Myth nodded and spoke, “As do I.”

Trystan walked over and picked up his sheath. He looked it over, and pondered a moment before returning his blade into it. He began to walk out of the room and saw that Myth was already back in a posture of meditation, his sheathed sword laying across his lap. Trystan smiled softly and exited the room, leaving the door in the same position he had found it. He went back to his room and laid on the bed, his eyes focused on the silver moon as it hung in the sky. He could tell it was about one o’clock and he would need to be at the Livery in a few hours to deal with Kellan, but his body and mind were at peace, and he drifted to sleep almost immediately.

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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:09 pm


As Trystan ordered her to her quarters, Kellan never dropped her gaze from Tyrstan’s own heated look. She knew her Commander and Lord were not pleased with her in the least and whatever punishment they were going to level upon her was justified. She’d broken protocol and that was all there was to it. As she made her way to her quarters, back stiff and shoulders squared, she walked quietly through the castle. When she’d reached her quarters, she stepped inside and closed the door behind her. She stood there for a few minutes with her hand pressing against the door then bowed her head and closed her eyes.

The looks Kellan saw on Trystan and Rose’s face cut her deep. The last thing she ever wanted to do, was disappoint them in anyway. All of her life she’d stayed on the path of the straight and narrow and done everything she’d been told to do. Now, though, it seems she was hell bent on stepping outside of those lines. And it all started with what happened between herself and Trystan.

Raising her head, she looked at the back of the door following the grains in the wood when she sighed and turned to move further into her room. Was that the beginning of her downfall? Will she look back on that moment and realize she’d thrown everything away beginning with that one act? Perhaps. But something told Kellan she was beginning to see what life was actually like instead of the sheltered shell she’d been living in for so long.

As she removed her formal attire and slipped into her sleeping clothes which consisted of a loose fitting, white tunic and loose fitting, light tan leggings, she sat down in front of the mirror at her dressing table and stared at her reflection as she took a brush to her hair. The face looking back at her seemed different now. Not like the innocent young girl she’d seen just a few short days ago. Now she could see there was something different in her eyes. Something only the emotions she’d experienced in the last week could bring.

Kellan sat the brush down and kept looking at herself for a moment longer before she stood up and walked over to the bed. Looking at it longingly she knew she’d not get any sleep this night. Instead, she walked over to the window and pushed it open then climbed onto the wide sill and leaned her back against the frame while she pulled her legs up and wrapped her arms around her legs. The cool, night air drifted over her causing her to shiver slightly.

The light of Solinari seemed to rain down upon her and she was thankful for his presence right now. Her emotions were in such a turmoil right now that she didn’t even know where to begin. There was no doubt she loved Trystan, and had for some time. And the night they shared with each other was all she had hoped for and then some. So why was it she was so easily enraptured with Nol? He was a magical creature, yes, but there was something more she couldn’t put her finger on.

She thought back to the flight she took with him and a smile eased over her face as she felt that freedom she’d only dreamt about in years gone by. It was even better than in her dream. She would love to be able to do that again someday, but it was what happened between her and Nol on the barren mountain that she couldn’t get out of her mind. She wanted to kiss him. WANTED to kiss him. So if she loved Trystan, why did she want to kiss Nol? Even now her body shivered at the remembrance of his touch and the warmth she felt in it. Not to mention the way her stomach flipped upside down when she saw he was aiming to kiss her. But something held her back. And she knew what that was.

To hurt Trystan was something Kellan simply couldn’t do. He’d done so much for her and given so much of himself to her that she couldn’t step away from that. And she had her oath to the Knights to consider as well. What would Liam think of her if she were forced to leave her beloved brotherhood all because she couldn’t control her own emotions? He would be very unhappy with her and that tore through her more than anything.

But there was the situation with Kali to consider as well. Obviously Nol and Kali have a past that Kali seemed to want to abandon yet could not seem to let go of. And Gods bless Nol but he really was a fish out of water in this particular subject. Perhaps she should have said something to Kali to make sure the young woman didn’t get the wrong impression about what had occurred between herself and Nol. But if she had, how would that look to her Commander and Lord?

Kellan furrowed her brows and rubbed her temples. Her head was starting to hurt with all of these thoughts running through her mind. Nol had stated her duties were to serve others at the discomfort of her own self. Right now, she was fully understanding what that meant. With another sigh she slipped off the window sill then decided to try and get some much needed sleep in the bed. The light of Solinari still spilling into her room, Kellan closed her eyes and tried to get the rest she knew she was going to need.

The morning light would bring with it her punishment and yet, if she had to do it all over again, she wouldn’t change a thing.





Rayann appeared with Ceri, Kali and Nol and watched what transpired between her daughter, Nol and her best friend. Feeling her heart constrict in her chest, Rayann knew no matter what she did there would be no comforting her daughter on this matter. She loved Nol but felt she couldn’t be with him yet Kali didn’t seem to want him to find anyone else either. Kali couldn’t have it both ways and she was unable to handle it. Unfortunately, Nol was at a loss on this one.

Rayann gasped and was about to cast her own blocking spell when Ceri beat her to it. It Ceri had not intervened Rayann was certain Nol would have fallen victim to Kali’s spell. As Kali slumped to the ground when Ceri cast her sleep spell on her daughter, Rayann walked over to Kali and cradled her gently.

As Ceri sent Nol away and when her friend turned to look at her, Rayann knew her dear friend was all too aware of everything. With Ceri’s help, they picked Kali up and ported to her bedroom then proceeded to get her ready for the night of slumber she was going to have. Once Kali was taken care of, Rayann allowed herself the comfort of Ceri;s embrace then went to find her husband.

Rayann found even more comfort in her husband’s arms as they discussed the events that unfolded this night. Obviously Kali needed to understand she couldn’t lash out at Nol when another woman caught his eye. Even if nothing happened between Nol and the Lady Knight. By the time Myth left for the training grounds, Rayann was settled and holding her sleeping son in her arms as she rocked him gently in their room. She would lay the child down to sleep eventually but right now she needed Shear’s calm presence.





Aeolis waited for Ceri to return to their room and was glad he had. She was quite tired once again from casting and when she relayed what took place, he furrowed his brows and shook his head.

”The mind of females will never cease to be a puzzle we males will never be able to figure out. I think the Gods have done that to us on purpose just to see how hard we would try.”

***************************************************************


The morning sky was just starting to change colors when Kellan slipped out of the comfortable bed and dressed, readying for travel. Slight shadows formed around her eyes indicating her sleep was not at all restful but she didn’t say a word about it to anyone. She made her way quietly through the castle and outside then to the stables where the horses were waiting.

Carefully saddling each horse, beginning with Rose’s, she prepared each horse for the travel back to Heartlund. The fact they were returning to a place of such despair made Kellan sad to be leaving such a magical, peaceful place such as Glen Durel.


As she prepared each horse for travel, she rubbed them down to make sure there were no troubles to be found with them. Not that there should be considering they had been resting comfortably since their arrival, but still, she wouldn’t dare think of leaving out on a horse that wasn’t fit for travel.

Trystan would be there soon to formally reprimand her and let her know what her punishment would be for her insubordination the day before. Whatever it was, she would accept it and deal with it accordingly. After all, it was only just for her actions.

But even as she thought that, she thought back to Nol and what transpired between them. Try as she may, she couldn’t stop the small smile that eased over her features as she let it all play out in her mind once again as she performed her duties.

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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:23 pm


Ceridwyn walked into the room, exhausted and a look of obvious hurt on her face. She walked over to Aeolis and grabbed him without saying a word. As he spoke about the differences between men and women she laughed into his chest, despite her pain she felt the humor in his words. She responded, speaking into his chest without looking up, “Oh I suppose we have it easy? Dealing with the brutish, impulsive, hard headedness that seems to constantly flow from you men.” She laughed again and then started to cry softly. He held her a moment and then she released her grasp on him and sat down. Looking up at him she shoke her head.

“It’s not good Aeolis, Kali has been an emotional wreck since these towers appeared. It’s affecting her in her heart and she is teetering on the edge of ruin. I don’t feel it is my place to say anything, but perhaps I should. I don’t know. Her parents don’t see it, which means Kali is either masking it or it is too obvious. Rayann and Myth are sharp, so I am going with Kali is hiding it from them. She was raised to hide her weaknesses, to not allow them to show lest they be exploited.” She turned and looked at Aeolis who say listening attentively on the edge of the bed, “She attacked Nol.” Nodding at the look of shock on Aeolis’ face she continued, “He never saw it coming, it was pure dark magic, a devour spell, despite his magic spirit it was strong enough that he would have been dead in seconds. My counter spell barely stopped it, by the grace of Solinari’s nearly full moon I had the power.” She sighed and shoke her head again, “I don’t know what this means for our journey tomorrow. Getting closer to these towers could escalate her condition, she’s paper thin, as it is, and based on what I saw tonight if she explodes it will be a horrific display, and Kellan might be the target of her rage.”


Trystan arrived to find Kellan working on the horses. His own and Lady Roses’ were saddled and ready to go and she was working on her own. He walked up without a word and checked the buckles and saddles, everything looked good. He waited in silence as she finished tending to her own mount and when she finally turned and nodded that she was finished he spoke. There was not the slightest hint of emotion on his face as he began.

“What you did last night was completely and utterly inappropriate, not only for a Knight of your rank but also for your duty to your Commander who you were acting as escort. You know the Measure that sets the expectation of our conduct as well as I do so we can assume that this was a conscious decision and not a mistake on your part. You took the oath of the Measure, “My Honor is My Life.” How honorable was it for you to be escort out of the room and leave your Commander and your Superior?”

He paced slowly, his lighter traveling armor clanking softly as he took his steps, “As that you are a Knight of the Crown and had skipped the rank of Crown Postulant due to your marks during your Squirehood I can only take you down one rank, which has already been done, but I assure you if we were not about to go to war without whatever made those towers I would call the Assembly to court martial you and strip you back to Squire for a few years.”

His words were firm and he turned, pacing again. After a moment he turned back and faced her, his face now was not that of her Superior but that of the man who had kissed her, “I mean? What in the name of the Abyss were you thinking going out with him? What in Hades happened? You returned looking like you had rolled in the barn, which I am only left to assume at this point because I can’t see ANY other likely scenario that would have your clothing and hair so tasseled!” There it was, the accusation had been laid without being openly spoken. Her appearance had left little that could be imagined, and obviously Trystan had it at the forefront of his mind. He stared at her, obvious hurt on his face. It never occurred to him that he had been practically fondling Kali with his eyes the whole day, that he too had betrayed Kellan, that she too might be feeling some hurt and betrayal… those thoughts were far from his mind.

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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:51 pm



Aeolis found the fact Kali had attacked Nol quite disturbing. If she attacked a dragon outright, she could be quite the danger to everything. And if the Lady Kellan would be Kali’s target of rage….Aeolis shuddered at the thought. If the girl attacked a dragon with a devour spell, then what was to stop her from attacking Kellan when her ire rose again? It was a dangerous situation all the ay around.

Furrowing his brows, Aeolis thought long and hard about the situation and finally he needed to himself then looked at Ceri.

”You have to talk to Rayann and Myth about this. They are her parents and as such, need to see what others outside the inner circle can see. I cannot help but think if someone had said something to my superiors about my behavior, all the trouble I caused could have been avoided. If they are warmed, then they can be on the look out for anything that may indicate Kali is a threat instead of an ally. It is far better to be prepared and not have to do anything than have to do something you are unprepared for.”



Kellan stood rigidly straight as Trystan reprimanded her. Everything he pointed out was correct. She’d abandoned her post as her Commander’s escort and as such she deserved to be punished. The fact he’d stepped her down a rank hurt but she accepted this as opposed to the alternative court martial he mentioned. If she were to be brought up on formal charges like that, her career in the Knights was done. Never to have the chance again.

But when he accused her of having an intimate, physical encounter with Nol, she blinked and felt her mouth slacken slightly. She would never do something like that. Ever. Surely he knew her better than that. He’d trained her for all this while and he knew her even before that. Never once had she done anything like that and she never would. It was immoral and against the Code by which she lived by. By which he himself lived by.

But what hurt more than anything was the fact he was upset because it hurt HIS feelings. Did he not see how hurt she was when she caught him looking at Kali the way he did? Didn’t he understand she was not some play thing to be set aside when he saw something else that caught his eye? And to think he was more upset at her because of his own personal pride hurting and feelings being bruised over the fact she abandoned her post cut deeper than any blade could have done.

Kellan recovered from her surprise and stood even straighter and swallowed several times. She took her eyes off Trystan and focused them dead ahead of her at the wall of the stable. She refused to let him see how much he just hurt her, no matter what. If he thought her a harlot, then he didn’t know her as well as she thought he knew her. After a moment of uncomfortable silence, she finally spoke in a formal tone.

”The punishment is justified for my actions, Lord Trystan. I shall be more vigilant to my duties and responsibilities as a Knight and not disappoint you and the Comomander again. If that will be all, Sir, I need to finish preparing the other horses for travel.”

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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:40 pm

Ceridwyn looked at Aeolis and her eyes reflected the fact that she agreed with him, at least in so much as she HAD to say something, however there was a definite conflict in her face but she nodded and spoke with a shaky voice, “You’re right.”

She looked up at him and spoke, I will give them council in the morning before we depart. I will make sure they at least have my words and warning, whether they accept it or not is their choice. I feel however, that my words won’t fall on deaf ears, Rayann knows me and understands that I wouldn’t speak so out of place unless it was necessary, and the Prince, his family has accepted my Council for hundreds of years.

She stood and walked over to him, he was sitting on the edge of the bed and she placed her hand on the front of his shoulders and pushed him onto his back and laid on the bed, putting her head on his chest. “The storm is coming Aeolis, and it’s going to be a big one.” Her breathing almost instantly slowed and she was asleep in seconds, the lack of rest from the day before as well as having to exert herself so forcefully at the cliff’s caused her body to finally pull the plug on her consciousness.


Trystan listened to her and in a cold tone he responded, “Well I am glad I have your permission to punish you as such. You are right, finish attending to your duties and then meet at the castle for chow in ten minutes. I don’t know yet what our departure schedule is, unfortunately Myth and I couldn’t get to that after what you did last night.”

He turned on his heels and left, the last stinging comment hanging in the air as he put distance between them. He inhaled deeply as he walked back towards the castle, his eyes focused on the entrance, and as he entered he sat heavily at the long stone counters near the kitchen. The food seemed as far from appetizing as possible and he leaned forward on his elbows, looking out the window towards the sea.

There was a noise near the entrance and Trystan turned his head, he saw his Commander and he stood, saluting formally and then waited until she sat. He sat across from her at the stone counter and she spoke first as she grabbed a cup of hot tea that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Neither of them even made a gesture, just expecting that this sort of thing happened here. “Well?”

Trystan was slightly caught off guard, in fact he waited a few seconds before answering, expecting she would follow up that one word with more. He cleared his throat and spoke, his voice was stern and unwavering, “I have busted her to rank of Crown Postulant. If it wasn’t for the looming fight coming I would have called a Court Martial to bust her to Squire, but we are going to need every Knight in the field when this thing finally bubbles over.”

She closed her eye as she sipped her tea and nodded her approval and then she spoke again, “And?” Trystan looked up, rubbing the finger of his glove hand nervously along the natural lines of the stone that made the countertop, “I uh…. I don’t know about that.” Rose looked at him sternly and his face finally sunk, “I couldn’t bring myself to ask, I mean, I suggested what we suspect, but I couldn’t ask.” He looked up at her, his eyes were reflecting it all. Rose set her cup down forcefully and Trystan was shocked it didn’t break. She stood and turned her back, looking out the window. After a long while of silence she finally spoke, “Very well Sir Trystan. We will meet concerning your involvement in this matter after we return to Heartlund.”

Trystan groaned internally but his answer didn’t reflect it, “Aye Commander.” He watched as she stepped away and as she went outside to calm herself he had a feeling that Kellan’s rank might not be the only one in jeopardy after all was said and done, she was here mostly on his recommendation after all.


Ceridwyn rose, Aeolis was gone and the sun appeared as if it had already been up an hour. She cursed herself for sleeping in and cleaned herself and got ready as fast as she could. When she descended the stairs the whole assembly was gathered in the dining and common area. The mood was somber at best. Trystan sat with Myth, the two were talking in hushed tones but of the whole gathered seemed to be the only ones at least mildly enjoying their conversation. Lady Rose was out on the massive stone deck, a small plate of half finished food on a table beside her. Ceridwyn could see her leather bound journal open on her lap but whether she was reading or writing was unclear.

Kellan, dressed in her travel armor also sat alone, and when she looked up at Ceridwyn she was greeted with a smile. Kellan half smiled back but her eyes broke contact fairly quickly and she went back to whatever she was reading. Rayann was sat near the hearth with Shear bundled in her arms. Ceridwyn walked up and sat with her, the exhaustion on Rayann’s face made it obvious that she hadn’t slept the night before. Reaching out Ceridwyn patted her hand and with a non-verbal asked to hold the young child. Rayann smiled warmly and handed him over. Ceridwyn bundled him tightly towards her chest and kissed the baby gently on his forehead. He cooed slightly and rolled his head to the side.

Looking over at her friend Ceridwyn sent her a missive and also sent it to Myth despite his being in a conversation. She told them everything she had spoken to Aeolis about the night before and her concerns. Rayann’s face was grim, but she nodded softly, indicating that she and Myth already had deep suspicions regarding these matters, and had noticed the timing of her flair ups with the appearance of the towers. Ceridwyn reached and grabbed Rayann, pulling her close she hugged her tightly and whispered in her ears, “I am sorry Rayann, I am not trying to be out of line, you know I would never interfere in your family affairs unless I truly felt it necessary. We must keep vigilant watch on Lady Kellan, she is the likely target if Kali snaps again.”


Kali suddenly appeared and the two Knights instantly stiffened as she walked into the room. She walked past Trystan and leaned in, kissing her father softly on the cheek and then walked over to her mother and Ceridwyn. Rayann leaned in and exchanged good mornings with her and then Kali bent in to kiss Shear on the head. She looked at Ceridwyn and spoke, “I am not sure if I should thank you or curse you for that sleep spell.” Ceridwyn half smiled and spoke, “Aye, the after effects are worse than a hangover.” Kali looked at her and simple responded, “Hmm.” She turned and walked towards the stone countertop. Ceridwyn looked at Rayann and furrowed her brows slightly, wondering if Kali even remembered what she had done last night.

The answer came when she walked past Kellan. She didn’t even glance at the Lady Knight, in fact she moved as if the woman wasn’t even there. Ceridwyn looked back at Kellan sympathetically but Kellan could not hide the anger in her face as she looked away from Ceridwyn’s gaze.

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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:17 pm


It was fairly obvious what everyone thought she’d done the night before in Nol’s company. Kellan had never felt so singled out in all her life. Fine. If this is the way people were going to perceive her to be, then so be it. She would simply perform her duties better than she ever had before and prove to them she was still the loyal knight she was prior to her outing with Nol. If they didn’t realize by her actions she was not what they concluded her to be when she finally returned then there was nothing more she could do to change their minds.

Barely picking at her food that morning, Kellan couldn’t wait to get on the road back to Heartlund. As much as she dreaded returning, she knew there would be plenty there to keep her busy and not dwell on anything but the work laid out before her. When Ceridwyn joined them all and gave Kellan a warm smile, she felt a little more at ease knowing at least one of them didn’t judge her.

It was better this way, anyway. At least she didn’t have to make up a story about what she really did with Nol. Yes. She finally realized it was better for them to do this to her than put her in a situation where she would have to evade the truth. It was with that new mindset that Kali joined the group.

Kellan watched her closely but didn’t make it obvious. The younger mage was moving around as though she’d never done anything to upset the apple cart, so to speak. When Kali finally greeted everyone and walked over towards Kellan then ignored her, Kellan clamped her jaw tight to keep from saying anything inappropriate. She was already walking on egg shells and she didn’t need to aggravate the situation. But the last thing she’d heard Nol say to Kali before she was out of earshot kept playing over and over in her head.

When Kellan glanced at Ceridwyn she knew the Elf saw the anger Kellan was feeling right now and Kellan quickly looked away. By the Gods….if ever she wanted to fly away from a place on the wings of a dragon, it was right now. At this point, she was certain she would never see Nol again after everything that happened. While she didn’t know what took place after she left, she did know something happened that caused Ceridwyn and Rayann to get involved. And it didn’t help that she was at the center of that controversy. But she had taken an oath to protect his secret and she would stand by that oath, no matter the consequences it brought her. It was far more important for her to keep his secret than anything else, right now.

Finally with a sigh Kellan stood up from her chair and took her plate over to set with the others. Walking to Trystan and Rose, she saluted smartly and requested to be dismissed.

”By your leave, M’Lady, M’Lord. I shall go make sure the everything is ready for your travel.”

With a curt nod from both Trystand and Rose, Kellan turned sharply on her heel and walked out of the castle to get the horses lined up and ready to travel amking sure her own steed was the last in line knowing that’s where she would travel for most of the trip. And for once, she was quite grateful she would be alone and undisturbed.





As Rayann listened to what Ceri told her about Kalli, she knew her own suspicions were right. Her daughter was experiencing some sort of reaction to these towers creation. It frightened Rayann to know her daughter was so unstable and wished beyond all hope Kali would accept her emotions and know they weren’t weapons to be used against her but they could be used as a weapon for her own benefit.

Glancing at Myth, she nodded ever so slightly letting her husband she knew what he would do if it came to that. All Rayann could do at this point was watch her daughter carefully and make sure nothing happened. And that was even more important knowing Lady Kellan would most likely be the target of her ire.

Especially when Kali walked into the room and walked about greeting everyone acting as though nothing happened. Did she even remember? But that question was answered when she saw how she outright ignored Kellan. Noting the look on Kellan’s face, she knew the Lady Knight was doing all she could to control herself. When KLellan requested to be excused, Rayann actually breathed in a sigh of relief. If there was some way to keep them separated, then that was what would have to be done. Once more she glanced at Myth letting him know she was thinking along the same lines he was right at that moment.






Aeolis was trying to engage Trystan into some thoughtful conversation when Kali entered the room. There was already quite a bit of tension in the room to begin with considering the fact Kellan was sitting alone on the other side of the room. He could only imagine what happened to her that morning and felt sorry for her.

But as Kali entered Aeolis immediately saw the change in body language both Trystan and Rose had as well as Kellan. He watched Kali carefully to see how she would react to Kellan being there but when Kali totally ignored her, Aeolis knew it would only be a matter of time before they went head to head, especially considering the look that crossed Kellan’s face.

Aeolis glanced at Ceri when Kellan got up and was permitted to excuse herself to go outside. This was going to be an even less pleasant trip back to Heartlund than it was originally thought to be. He just hoped they all survived the trip to make it there alive.

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PostSubject: Re: 12: Opinions, Protocol, Politics   Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:51 pm


Ceridwyn stood and with a loving glance at Aeolis silently excused herself from beside him and walked over to Rayann. She spoke very quietly to Rayann and the two moved aside exchanging words. Rayann looked up at Kali and nodded. With a stare towards Kali she turned, looked at her mother and then walked over to join them. Trystan noted this silent exchange, somehow they were communicating with… their minds? How on Krynn was this possible? Of course how was it possible that food and drink appear from nowhere.

Ceridwyn spoke to Kali, “Time is a luxury we don’t have right now, we need to port the party to Heartlund, we can’t journey for two days, not with events as they are.” Ceri leveled a glance at Kali and Kali responded with a curt glance of her own. Furrowing her eyebrows she spoke, “You realize what condition that will put us in don’t you Ceridwyn?”

Ceridwyn looked at Kali sharply and the young woman recoiled slightly, “Don’t take me for a fool Kali, of course I do, but it will be no worse than we will feel after two days of travel. A good nap after the spell is cast and we will be ready to begin preparations this evening. Kali turned and looked at Rayann, of course Ceri was right and with a slight shrug from Kali Rayann nodded in agreement. “Very well then.”

Turning back to the group who were all trying to avoid looking at the three women but doing a lousy job of hiding it (all except for Myth who seemed perfectly at ease with the three women talking in private) Ceridwyn spoke, “Friends, time is too precious to simply spend it riding. We can avoid unknown dangers as well as the hardship of travel if we teleport ourselves to the Keep at Heartlund. I have discussed the matter with Rayann and Kali and though any one of us could do this alone we will work together to reduce the amount of drain on our bodies as well as to work the spell quicker. We will need about an hour to prepare. Trystan, I will need you to go and assist your Lady Knight, we will need the horses and all the belongings to be within a 10 meter circle.”

Trystan looked curiously at Ceridwyn but nodded in affirmation of hearing her words and then turned to Rose, “By your leave Ma’am.” She nodded silently and he excused himself, heading out to assist with the gear and mounts. Ceridwyn turned to the group, “The three of us will go prepare, we will meet you in an hour.”
**
The three Wizard’s appeared and walked to the area where Trystan and Kellan had prepared.” Ceridwyn, Kali and Rayann all made sure the party was gathered within the area they intended to cast and then began sprinkling a large circle of reagents that smelled like licorice and mold. As they formed a massive circle and finished it they stepped inside and standing in positions that would have drawn a perfect triangle the three began to chant in unison. Their strange spidery language rose up and the ground around them began to swirl gently beneath the feet of the assembled. The powder that formed the circle glowed and sparked and as the final words of the spell were chanted the area illuminated in a brilliant flash. In an instant the whole group was standing in the town center of Heartlund, right in front of the main gates of the Keep. The guards immediately responded but ceased the instant they saw Commander Rose. She mounted her horse, followed by Trystan and Kellan.

“Commander Rose.” She turned to look at Ceridwyn. “When we are rested we will come meet you to discuss our course of action. “By all means Ceridwyn. Kellan.” She turned to face Rose, “Please see to it that our guests have the appropriate accommodations and that they are treated with the same comfort and hospitality they showed us… minus the magically appearing food of course.” Ceridwyn exchanged a smile with the Commander and then turned to Rayann shaking her head gently at the wit of a woman under an extreme amount of pressure. Kellan led the group into the Keep and showed them to their quarters as well as assigning a personal Squire to each of them to provide whatever was needed. Ceridwyn turned to Aeolis and kissed him on the cheek, “Please go on with your business a’maelomin, I will find you after I have rested.” He nodded and turned to Myth, a glance exchanged and the men were off to attend to their business. Turning to Rayann and Kali Ceridwyn spoke, “I will see you both after we have rested.”

The three wizards exchanged farewells and retired to their respective quarters. Kali walked in and looked around, it was a comfortable room, cozy and inviting. She lay on the bed and clutched at her stomach, the pain was slowly increasing, the furnace of her heart was leaking and she could hear the dragon whispering to her from within.

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