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 13: The Coming Storm

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PostSubject: 13: The Coming Storm   Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:57 pm



When Kellan heard they would be ported to Heartlund her stomach dropped to her knees. It would be a most unpleasant experience for her and she was not looking forward to the whole ordeal. Her biggest concern, though, was how the horses were going to be affected. Knowing they were tried and tested war horses, she knew them to be less flighty than normal steeds. Still, a magical travel could be a bit to take for them.

And her instincts were right. As soon as they arrived at Heartlund, it was all Kellan could do to steady the horses herself and her fellow Knights were using. With a gentle but firm hand she was able to ease their fears and bring them back to the animals she knew them to be.

As Trystan and Rose mounted up, Kellan followed suit. As Ceridwyn let the Commander know the mages would rest and seek her out when the time was right, Kellan was given her orders. With a smart salute, she led the visitors to the main keep and escorted them to their quarters. The guards assigned to the infant would not hear of anything but remaining with the babe so Kellan found a set of adjoining rooms. One for Myth and Rayann and the other for the babe and his escorts.

As soon as Kellan made sure the mages were settled for their rest in the quarters she’d shown them, was to take care of her own quarters. With her demotion to Knight Postulant she could no longer remain with the other Knights of the Crown so therefore she had to move her residency as well.

As she gathered up her things from her room, she noticed the way her once roommate watched her. It was fairly obvious what was happening by the lack of insignia and crest now missing on her attire but the girl simply couldn’t bring herself to ask what happened. And Kellan wasn’t offering any information either.

Once her things were gathered and others noticed what was happening, she saw others begin to whisper among themselves as she walked by. For once, she was glad Liam wasn’t alive to get wind of any of this. Still, she held her head high with dignity as she moved from her room into a smaller room with the rest of the Knight Postulants. She knew the truth and that was all that mattered to her now.







Rayann checked on Shear and his guardians before she felt the tug of sleep pull her to her own bed. Within moments, she was fast asleep giving into the demand of her body for the rest it needed after casting the transportation spell with Ceri and Kali.

For a while, Rayann rested in the blanket of blankness. No dreams. No memories. No visions. Just silent, peaceful sleep. But slowly, things began to change. The landscape began to fade into view and what she saw was frightening.

Smoke drifted skyward from many fires that dotted the horizon. All around her the ground was charred and the acrid smell of it filled the back of her throat and she coughed trying to catch her breath. Placing her hand over her mouth, she began to walk through the devastation that surrounded her as she began to look for survivors. She desperately needed someone to tell her what happened here.

As she walked through the remains of the land, she saw bodies littered on the ground. It appeared as if they were Knights at one time by the barely recognizable armor they all wore. Their charred faces seemed to be stuck in the most horrific moments of their lives and Rayann felt her stomach lurch. She wanted to be sick at what she was seeing but she simply couldn’t.

Moving onward at a quicker pace now, Rayann began to realize that was she was seeing were the Solamnic Knights. A sinking feeling began to settle around her as she realized what she was seeing. Finally in the distance she forced her eyes to lift from the death on the ground to see three ominous spires dot the horizon. The destruction seemed to be centered around those towers and travel across the land from there.

Walking with a mindless numbness to her body now, Rayann moved closer to the towers as if drawn by some unseen force. She didn’t want to go to them but something was calling her to them. Something so strong she couldn’t ignore it.

The sky crackled with purple lightning and as her eyes focused on the towers, she saw that on one of the towers, figures stood, looking down at her. Right away she recognized the two mages responsible for the towers creation but there were two other figures she didn’t recognize right away.

Finally her eyes focused and she saw, with perfect clarity, who the other figures were. One was Kali and the other, while older and handsome looking, she knew to be Shaer. Rayann froze, unable to move from the spot she stood in. The look on her children’s faces was enough to keep her where she was. The sheer terror that shone in their eyes caused her blood to turn as cold as the ice waters of the stream in winter.

The male mage, Fifth, grabbed Kali by the hair and dragged her to the ledge. Hoisting her over the edge, she dangled there like a rag doll in the mages hand and Fifth sneered as he looked down at Rayann with those silver like eyes of his. Kali struggled desperately to get her hair free from his grip but she was too weakened to try.

In an effort to help his sister, Shaer charged at Fifth in a rage drawing a blade and lunging it towards the mage but instantly his body burst into flame and Rayann heard his agonized, pain filled screams from where she stood. Piramy, the female mage stood by and smiled as she watched Shaer burn to death.

Rayann screamed and dropped to her knees. She looked up at Fifth with tear filled eyes as she felt her heart constrict in her chest. He raised Kali up into the air and spoke to Rayann and Rayann felt the piercing pain of his voice in her mind.

~Thanks to your daughter, we now have the knowledge we were looking for. We weren’t sure something like that could happen, but now….we know it can. Pity it had to be a Silver but at least we were able to put it out of our misery. So now we’ll just wait for your next egg sack and when the time is right, we’ll be back for her too.~

Fifth yanked Kali back up onto the ledge and pushed her down to where Rayann couldn’t see her. Rayann screamed again and as she tried began chanting the words to her spell, she felt a constricting hold close around her throat, choking off her words and her air. Rayann felt her shoulders being pressed down and with one last effort was able to choke out the whispered words of a spell.

Kellan went flying across the room with a painful cry and was stopped suddenly by the wall. She felt the air painfully forced from her lungs and an instant headache when the back of her head connected with that wall. She thought the electrical jolt that coursed through her body was bad enough but now, she wasn’t so sure. Stars floated around her eyes as she pushed herself to her feet and staggered to remain standing where she was as she forced herself to breath shallowly to regain the precious air her lungs were demanding. Immediately she took on a defensive stance not sure what good that would do against a mage that was obviously in the throws of a nightmare of some sort.

Rayann heard the painful cry and was instantly awake, coughing as her hands went immediately to her throat. Hearing the crash she saw Kellan getting to her feet. Her lavender eyes were wide with stark terror and now disbelief. Was it really Kellan who had been trying to choke her to death? But...why? A crowd had gathered outside her door and she saw curious eyes peer inside to see what was going on. Her hand made a quick gesture and the door to her quarters slammed shut, locking Kellan inside with the distraught and disoriented mage. Whie Kellan couldn’t feel it, a magical shield had been placed around the room preventing anyone and anything from gaining entry.

Kellan swallowed hard and looked over at Rayann slowly easing her posture to a more relaxed one and she spoke softly, soothingly to the upset woman.

”M’Lady Rayann….it’s me, Kellan. I heard you scream and came in to check on you. I apologize if I upset you. I assure you, that was not my intent. I was merely trying to make sure you were alright.”

Rayann was quite ready to deal with Kellan on a different level when she blinked and glanced around fully understanding where she was and why she was there. The dream was still quite vivid in her mind but she was slowly realizing what happened. Moving so she could get off the bed, she saw Kellan stiffen, readying for another attack and instantly Rayann felt heartsick at what she’d done.

”Oh Kellan…I’m so sorry. Please forgive me. I never meant to hurt you in any way. I was just….I just….the dream…it was…..so lifelike.”

Kellan breathed a sigh of relief then and nodded.

”I know. Since those damndable towers showed up, others have had nightmares too. Only, no one around here has ever been able to defend themselves quite like you can.”

Rayann winced.

”I’m so sorry. I didn’t meant to hurt you. Are you alright?”

Kellan relaxed more now and rubbed the back of her head.

”I will be, yes. Nothing I haven’t had to heal from in the past, I assure you. But I think next time I’ll let Lady Ceridwyn or the Lady Kali be the one to awaken you from your dark dream. I don’t think I can handle much more of that.”

Rayann walked up to the young woman and reached out to touch her when she saw Kellan visibly stiffen again and she retracted her hand.

”Please forgive me.”

Kellan smiled softly.

”Lady Rayann, you were forgiven the instant I felt that jolt course through my body. Like I said, you’re not the first to experience such dreams. Will you be alright if I leave you to your own now?”

Rayann arched her hand over her head from left to right and nodded.

”Yes. I will. Thank you and again, I’m so sorry I lashed out at you.”

Kellan nodded then turned to face the door. Glancing at the doorknob, she was just reaching to open it when the door opened by itself. Glancing back at Rayann, Kellan saw the slight nod from her letting her know the mage opened the door for her knowing she was worried if she touched the door handle.

As the door opened, the hallway was now filled with many people including Lord Trystan and Lady Rose. They had pushed their way to the door and when it was opened, they were the first faces Kellan saw. She blinked at seeing Trystan’s face then clenched her jaw tight and stood at attention after a smart salute. Her eyes drifted to Lady Rose and she reported what happened in the room and requested to be excused. Looking over Kellan's shoulder at Rayann who now stood behind Kellan and slightly to the right, Rayann smiled and nodded.

”She speaks the truth, Commander. I’m afraid I had quite the bad dream and Kellan was merely trying to awaken me when I lashed out at her. Although, I would suggest a walk to your physician to make sure the bump on her head is OK.”

Rose and Trystan looked to Kellan questioningly and Kellan furrowed her brows, shaking her head.

”It’s not necessary. I assure you. I’m quite alright. If I’m no longer needed, by your leave, M’Lady, M’Lord.”

Rose nodded dismissing Kellan and the young woman walked down the hallway leaving Trystan and Rose at Rayann’s door. Rayann smiled pleasantly at both of them and nodded. Movement behind the two Knights drew Rayann’s attention and she saw the concerned face of Ceri. Instantly Rayann reached out for her friend and in an instant. Ceri took her hand. Rayann glanced at Trystan and Rose and smiled again.

”I’m fine. Really. If you’ll excuse us, I need to discuss something with Ceri. We shall be along shortly.”

Without waiting for a reply, Rayann stepped back into her room with Ceri and gently closed the door. As soon as the door was closed, she dissolved into tears and through soft hiccups relayed the dream to Ceri.

”I don’t understand what Fifth was saying to me. Before I could find out, that’s when all Hades broke loose.”







Aeolis and Myth walked through Heartlund as the women went to rest. As they walked through, Aeolis pointed out the strengths and weaknesses of the Kepp itself. Knowing the Prince was already well aware of them, Aeolis took Myth to one of the higher walls so he could look out over the land for himself. As the two elves stood there looking at the towers, Aeolis spoke to Myth in their native language.

”I have never been one to turn and run. I distinctly remember as youths you telling me to turn and run admits defeat but I have to tell you, My Prince, I am not sure we can defeat these towers. Even with the aid of magic on our side. There is something most sinister about them. Something I have never felt before. I cannot help but wonder if we will all survive this coming storm.”

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Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.


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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:46 am


The disturbance that literally rocked her world to the core seemed to have settled for now, but just exactly how much longer, she didn’t know. Something catastrophic was approaching. She could practically feel it in her soul and she didn’t like that feeling. The initial onset of nausea was debilitating but soon that sensation began to ease and she was able to move around.

The quiet figure that was always close by kept vigilance over her until her illness passed and for that, she was eternally grateful. Once again she was glad she decided to disobey the direct order to destroy him. A soft smile eased over her troubled features and she touched his warm cheek tenderly. If not for him, she was certain she would have perhaps died from lack of nourishment.

But that was past. Now she had to get to work and find out what happened to cause this disturbance that seemed to have disrupted the entire magical essence of Krynn. The visions from her scrying pool were bleak, to say the least. Many of her visions were unfocused and she couldn’t clearly make out what was happening. All she knew was that Heartlund, the land of the Solamnic Knights, seemed to be the center of the disturbance and that perplexed her to no end.

Then, as though a veil was lifted, she saw with perfect clarity what caused the disturbance. The three spires rose from the earth like festering sores grown from the suffering land itself. Gasping, she watched the sickening darkness swirl about the maniacal creations. Her hands clutched the side of her scrying pool in a death like grip causing the knuckles of her fingers to turn white.

Who would be arrogant enough to do something like this? And why? Didn’t they realize what it was doing to the magical force that existed on Krynn? It was only a matter of time before all others who used the magic, like herself, found nothing but a dried up pool and thus destroying them.

”By the Gods….”

Her voice was barely audible but it was enough for him to look over at her with another concerned look upon his handsome face. Her hands slowly released the scrying pool as she stepped away from the sight before her. Shaking her head negatively slowly, she began to tremble.

”No….this cannot be happening. It simply cannot.”

She looked at him and felt her trembling increase. Her legs grew weak and before she could hit the floor, she felt strong arms pick her up and carry her away from the pool as the vision slowly faded away. The vision of mirror like eyes looking back at her.

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:24 pm


Ceridwyn pushed past the Knights as the door open and as she made her way in front of Trystan and Rose she regarded them with a look that suggested, “This is Wizard business, despite it being your Keep we will need to be left in priavte.” Trystan nodded curtly but regarded Lady Rose with a look that spoke volumes about how uncomfortable he was with all this. Though he was not the head of the guard here, with all the death’s and disappearance he was close and had stepped up tremendously to maintain order and organization with those Knights below his rank.

As the door closed Ceridwyn listened to Rayann’s dream and held her friend close. As Rayann choked out her statement Ceridwyn nodded and her face turned very grave. She turned and walked over to the window, opening the shades and staring out towards the three menacing spires she breathed in deeply before speaking, “These towers are unnatural, they are not of this world but are now a part of it. I have been doing my best to shield myself from the disruption in the magic field, but they have only been here ten days and already I can feel the strain to maintain my wardings around myself. This is magic unlike anything that has ever been, or should have ever been on Krynn. Fifth and Piramay have taken it upon themselves to circumvent the will of the gods and bring forth something which was not intended to be.”

She turned and looked at Rayann and it was the darkest Ceridwyn’s face had ever looked. “We are up against more than foreign magic, we are up against our own emotions. Both of us have experienced deep lose as a result of this maniac who is responsible for these towers. He took my child’s life as well as the life of my husband and your child’s childhood. I know that Rorie took her from the castle, but from what I have pieced together it was Fifth that forged and trained her. This is not a man, this is a creature of absolute darkness and by the gods he will be eradicated from the face of Krynn. He has declared war for far too long, and it is time his madness came to an end.”

Rayann would see an almost wild look in her eyes, the checks on her emotions, which was always loser than most Silvanesti but she still held herself proper most of the time, were gone. She was pacing the room and when she turned to look at Rayann there was a wild look in her eyes. “We must be the pillar for the other Rayann, this is going to come down to more lose and pain, these towers are the authors of a new brand of death, and I fear to tell you but I don’t have a good feeling about how Kali will handle it. Her mind is already unraveling, she is either going to go psychotic or get herself into trouble for killing innocents in a fit of rage. If she had killed Nol she would have answered to the Dragon Council, and they would have executed her for murdering him.” She narrowed her eyes slightly and the distinctive almond shape seemed even more pronounced than normal, “You understand what I am saying?”


Kali slept peacefully, her mind was at ease as she rested and recovered from the transportation spell. When she woke she yawned and stretched her body. The bed was comfortable and she barely remembered laying down. She stood and walked across the room, opening the shade and staring out into the streets of Heartlund. Her glassy eyes wandered over the people of the township and then across the walls to finally find the towers. She stared at them idly, taking in the sight of them. They were certainly as menacing and formidable looking as she had imagined.

The first and closest to the town seemed to throb with flames that swirled and engulfed the building behind them, yet the building was not consumed. Its architecture was graceful, feminine, and elegant. Based on what Rose had told her it was obvious this was the residence of the Lady Mage, Piramay. Beyond that she could see the second tower, it was smooth and without edge, completely perfect in the circular shape that rose from the ground. It was as shiny as a mirror and swirled in purple and grey shadows the appeared to be alive and breathing. The third tower that completed the triangle had qualities of both the others. It was smooth and elegant, without flow, swirling with flame and shadow in a memorizing dance of ambiguous harmony. Light and shadow intermingled seamlessly, and it was dazzling while disturbing at the same time. She stared at the tower, something seemed normal about it, more so than the other two. It was the one that made sense to her and almost seemed like it belonged.

She shoke her head and stepped back. Snapping herself from her thoughtful daze she wrapped herself in her outer cloak and opened the doors. Two Solamic soldiers stood just off to the side at full attention. She looked at them curiously and spoke, “Can I help you?” One of them looked at her and spoke, “We were assigned to protect and guard you.” She burst out laughing which caused the two guards to look at each other curiously. When she caught her breath she spoke, “Well you are dismissed.” The one who initially spoke responded, “Sorry Miss, only she who gave the command or one above her is able to dismiss us from our duty.”

Kali looked at him and furrowed her brows slightly, “And who is it that gave this order?” With a slight hesitation he responded, “Lady Kellan.” Kalis eyes sparked in anger and she responded, “Did she now?” He looked at her and flexed his hand slightly on his spear at the sudden flare of emotion in her face, “Aye Ma’am, she assigned guards to all the guests.” Kali nodded slightly and turned to look at the other guard, then she reached into her robes and removed a small handful of sparking sand, “Would you gentlemen please hold this for me?” The two of them looked at her curiously and one extended a hand, “You too please.” The second looked at his colleague and then to the Red Robed Wizard, slowly extending his hand. She sprinkled half the sand into each of their hands and stepped back they looked at her curiously and she spoke in the spidery language of magic, the slumped together and then fell onto the floor in a mixed heap, their spears clattering to the ground as they fell to the charms of her sleep spell. Stepping over their bodies without remorse she walked down the spiraling staircase and into the sunny streets of Heartlund.



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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:08 pm



Rayann saw Ceri as she’d never seen her dear friend before. It was almost as if Ceri had reverted to her barest, basic nature: A wild child of nature. Rayann thought she was both beautiful and dangerous all at the same time. Rayann found comfort in Ceri’s words as well as need for concern. There was no argument this fight was going to be difficult like nothing else they faced before, but to know they were going to have to fight their own emotions at the same time was going to make it even more dangerous.

But Ceri was right about what she said. Each one was going to have to be the pillar for the other. It was the only way they could have even half a chance of defeating the opponents they were going to go up against. Just knowing Fifth was able to reach places no one had been able to reach before frightened Rayann to no end but she had been studying more and more with her minds ability and knew she had grown stronger with its abilities.

Still, she was going to have to be even more vigilant. But like Ceri, she was feeling the pull of magic on her own self. Even with the wardings she had in place, she felt the slow drain upon her. And it was growing with each day, especially now that they were nearer the towers.

And with Kali’s erratic behavior as of late, Rayann knew she would have to put herself on guard with her daughter as much as the creators of the towers. Nodding that she understood what Ceri was saying, she took a deep breath and let it out slowly to regain even more of her composure.

”I can’t understand why Kali is acting so irrational lately. I know the towers are causing all of us to be on edge, but it’s something more that I can’t put my finger on. I can tell she’s blocking me from things but I haven’t pried her to find out what the problem is. She’s a grown woman and she’s entitled to her privacy, but to say I’m worried about her is an understatement. She’s always been tempestuous but the last few days it’s been bordering on and even crossing over into outright hostility. Much like she was when I first saw her. I can’t lose her again, Ceri. It would crush Myth and I. Not to mention the bond she’s already formed with Shaer could be devastating for him as well. I pray to Lunitari we are able to discover what it is before it’s too late.”







Kellan was just exiting the training grounds when she saw a red robe walking among the people of Heartlund. Instantly she saw Kali’s honey blonde hair then Kellan noticed the lack of her guards. Knowing she was the one responsible for the well being of the guests, she sheathed her sword into the scabbard on her right hip and walked with a purpose towards the younger mage.

Kellan’s head began to throb again where the knot swelled out of her head. Reaching up and rubbing it gingerly and wincing slightly as the tenderness reminded her of what Kali’s mother had done to her, Kellan was a bit concerned having to confront the young woman.

Kellan could only guess what happened to the guards that had been posted outside her door. Frogs now, for all she knew. And since they weren’t with Kali, she knew the guards weren’t simply ‘dismissed’ as they had strict orders to remain with her at all times. Clenching her jaw tight, she suppressed her anger and approached the mage from the right. As she got closer, Kellan called out to Kali softly . She would do this as quietly as possible to keep the people from being on edge even more than they already were and to keep from causing a scene. As she spoke to Kali, Kellan kept her voice calm and quiet.

”Lady Kali……where are your escorts? You shouldn’t be walking around without them to escort you where ever you need to go. Please. Come with me and we’ll find them so they can make sure you may walk around Heartlund safely.”

Kellan knew Kali was very capable of taking care of herself but it was ordered by her superiors the guests were not to be left to their own in an overcrowded Keep not to mention standard policy to have guests escorted where ever they wished to go.


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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:35 pm


Ceri looked at Rayann, her face was suddenly sad. “Kali is going to have to face her own demons and deal with her past, if she doesn’t it will kill her, literally.”

She saw Rayann’s face go pale and she nodded softly, confirming Rayann’s thoughts. “I do not want to be a barer of bad news, but there is war going on inside her, as you said, she is a grown woman and all we can do is aid her if she requests it. I have warned her, she knows there is a dangerous time approaching when she will have to make a choice, but it is not our place to step in, or all our lives are in danger.” She looked at Rayann almost sternly, but her face still held the compassion that Rayann always knew, “She is more powerful than you and I put together, even if we WANTED to stop her, we couldn’t.”

Ceridwyn stood and walked over to Rayann who was shaking slightly. “Rayann, you know I love you, and your family. I would never intend you harm or wish it on any of you, unfortunately it was I who was tasked with giving you this information, Solinari gave it to me through his personal messengers, they have been coming in my dreams and I was to tell you once we arrived in Heartlund. Restrain your motherly instincts towards Kali, she is your daughter, but she is also a Wizard by her own right, like all of us of the Art, she has to walk her own path.”


She hugged Rayann tightly and leaned back, “We need food, and tea. There is a nice little market café not far from here, let’s at least get a good meal in us before we face the storm.”


Kali stopped dead in her tracks and turned deliberately as she heard Kellan’s voice. Her eyes immediately locked with the Lady Knights and she listened, her face was as hard as iron. She spoke, there was obvious dislike in her voice, “My escorts? You mean YOUR escorts, I never requested nor required them. They are sleeping on the job no doubt, fine samples of the astute and prestigious soldiery of Heartlund.” Kellan made her request to come with her and Kali narrowed her gaze slightly as she responed, “No thank you Kellan, I am perfectly safe on my own and won’t be needing the service of your escorts. I have walked the streets of places far more dangerous than Heartlund and I assure you I have been perfectly safe and at ease.”

She turned, her soft, heavy velvet robes swishing behind her as she began walking away.


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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:55 pm



Rayann didn’t like hearing what Ceri said but she knew she had to hear it all the same. Kali needed to find her way in this world. AS much as Rayann wanted to keep her close and nurture her like she never got to when she was growing up, she knew that nurturing would only happen when Kali wanted it to happen. Until then, Rayann could only stand by and advise as much as she could.

It still didn’t make her feel any better. Knowing your daughter was heading down a self destructive path yet unable to steer her away from it. It went against every grain of her being to let this take place but no matter what Rayann did, it wouldn’t matter if Kali didn’t request the help she so desperately needed.

Taking a deep breath, Rayann nodded slightly as Ceri suggested they seek out some food and tea. While she didn’t like to admit it, Rayann knew she had to eat if she were to keep up the strength she needed for the days ahead. A storm, Ceri had called it and Rayann couldn’t think of a more appropriate word for it.

”Very well. Let me get Shaer and we’ll head out into the fresh air and get something to eat.”







Kellan clenched her jaw again but maintained a pleasant look upon her face. This was a guest of her Commander and she needed to treat her with respect, even though Kellan felt Kali didn’t deserve any right now. When Kali mentioned the guards sleeping on the job, Kellan got a bad feeling. The wizard had done something to them, obviously. But what, she was afraid to ask.

As Kali turned and headed away from Kellan, Kellan quickly flagged down a Squire that was walking by. In a hushed tone, she ordered him to go check on the guards that had been posted in the guest quarters of the main Keep. As the Squire jogged off to do his errand, Kellan quickly caught up with Kali and stood before her, blocking her way. Again she kept the pleasant look upon her face.

”I’m afraid I have to insist, Lady Kali. Or at least, allow me to escort you where ever it is you’d like to go. I’ll be glad to accompany you.”

Kellan stood to the side and made a sweeping gesture with her arm, bowing slightly. She needed to try and keep this situation from getting heated so therefore she knew she would have to be the one to keep level headed. If that were possible. As it was, she was quite upset with Kali thinking she did something to harm her fellow comrades. Wiping her damp hair from her face, she silently wished she’d had the chance to wash up after her swordsmanship but as it was, she wasn’t going to be afforded that luxury.

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:23 pm


Ceridwyn smiled and nodded, waiting patiently for Rayann. When she returned with her son, Ceridwyn leaned in and kissed the child on the forehead, he cooed excitedly and grabbed the star jewel on the side of her head that was keeping her hair clipped back. He tugged on it and Ceridwyn winced slightly as the hair was pulled underneath it. Rayann was about to protest and was reaching to stop Shaer when Ceridwyn’s hand gently reached up and touched the back of Rayann’s, “It’s fine Rayann, it’s fine.” She then reached to the side of her head and unclasped the ornately crafted star jewel, standing to her full height she placed it in Shaer’s little hands as he giggled with delight. Rayann had never seen Ceridwyn unattached to this brilliant piece of Elven jewelry, it was in fact the only thing Ceridwyn EVER wore that showed a hint of Elven heritage. She brushed Shaer’s cheek and looked up at Rayann, “It’s time we ALL start letting go of pieces of our past.”

She lead the way down the stairs and out into the street, leading the way towards the café she had seen on the way into the Keep.


Kali inhaled deeply and let out a long, frustrated sigh as Kellan appeared in front of her. She looked at the woman as she made her sweeping arm motion and then stood, brushing the sweat soaked hair from her face. With a soft glance Kali scanned the woman’s face and didn’t speak for a moment. It was obvious that Kali was searching her, looking for anything in the surface of her demeanor that would crack. After the long silence Kali finally spoke, her voice was quiet and strong, “You may go where you wish Kellan this is your home, not mine. If where you go happens to be where I am so be it, but I can assure you there won’t be any other males to sweep out from under me.”

Her last comment was full of obvious bitterness, and the look she shot at the Lady Knight was anything but friendly. Turning Kali walked to a small baker’s cart, purchasing a small loaf of bread and a mug of tea. She then walked up one of the wall stair sets and up to the battlements, staring out across the landscape at the towers as she chewed.


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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:01 pm



Rayann blinked when she saw Ceri remove the jewel from her hair and hand it to Shaer. As soon as he could, the baby brought the elaborate hair clip to his face and studied it before he put it in his mouth and chewed on it with his toothless gums. Rayann chuckled softly and shook her head as they headed out of the quarters Kellan had shown them to. There were two guards for each woman as well as the twins that never left Shaer’s presence. Rayann quirked a brow at the guards that took up walking a respectable distance from them and looked over at Ceri.

”I’m sure these poor young men would rather be doing something other than escorting us where ever we went.”

They had just turned the corner at the end of the hall and before Ceri could say anything Rayann saw a rather pale faced young man kneeling beside two guards who appeared to be….sleeping. The guards assigned to Rayann and Ceri reacted and surrounded the women in an effort to protect them. Rayann would have appreciated the gesture but all she could do was shoo them out of the way in an irritated manner. Quickly walking over to where he knelt next to his comrades, Rayann checked both guards and sure enough, they were sleeping soundly. Looking into the panicked face of the young man, she touched his shoulder gently.

”It’s alright, young man. They are merely asleep. Find some of your companions to carry them to their quarters. They will be asleep until mornings light.”

The young man blinked and looked at his friends then back to Rayann.

”I don’t understand. They would never fall asleep on the job. Kellan would only pick those she knew to be only the best. She won’t be happy at all when she finds out they fell asleep.”

Rayann glanced over at Ceri then gave the young man a reassuring smile.

”Don’t worry. We’ll take care to let the Lady Kellan know they are not to blame for this one.”

The young man looked confused and opened his mouth to say something when Ceri quickly reminded him his friends were lieing in the floor.

”Young Squire….I think it best you get your friends out of public view before it’s too late.”

He quickly nodded his head and got to his feet then trotted off to find others to help him with his friends. Rayann looked at Ceri and there was no need for communication of any kind. Each woman was well aware of what the other was thinking. Rayann glanced at the guards and smiled apologetically.

”I’m sorry, gentlemen. This isn’t going to be pleasant at all.”

Before the guards could blink, Ceri and Rayann touched hands and they, along with their escorts, were transported to the busy streets of Heartlund near the café Ceri had referred to just a few moments ago. Several citizens jumped and yelled as the group suddenly appeared. The Solamnic Knights wobbled to keep their balance and when they got their feet under them couldn’t suppress the urge to throw up. The Elven twins moved in close to Rayann and Ceri as the women started moving through the streets.

They had to find Kali, where ever she was. It was frowned upon to be unescorted in the Knights Keep. At least until they got to know them better. Rayann searched all over and finally she was able to pick up on Kali’s presence, standing on the wall of a battlement with Kellan standing nearby to Kali’s back. Kellan stood with her hands clasped behind her back; feet shoulder length apart and her blade resting on her right hip. The wind blew both women’s hair across their faces and neither seemed to mind.

Rayann felt her breath catch in her throat. From this distance, if Kali struck out at Kellan there was nothing they could do to help the Lady Knight.






As Kali stared at Kellan, Kellan never flinched. Her eyes remained focused on Kali the entire time. While others may have been intimidated by what Kali was doing, Kellan merely found it rude. Still, she refused to give into Kali’s intimidation and when Kali finally spoke, Kellan let out the breath she’d been holding.

When Kali made the biting remark about sweeping males out from under her, Kellan clenched her jaw tight to keep from saying what she really wanted to say. She was a Solamnic Knight. Correction….a Solamnic Knight Postulant aiming to get her Knighthood and she would not allow herself to succumb to this woman child and her snide remarks.

As Kali made her way to the bakers cart then up the stairs of the battlements, Kellan followed along at a respectful distance yet close enough should Kali need assistance, she could easily reach out and touch her. As they reached the landing of the battlements, Kali stopped and chewed on the bread she got and looked out at the towers.

Kellan let her eyes sweep over the towers again. An uncontrollable shiver slid down her spine as she remembered what became of Liam and the fear that gripped her when she attempted to get closer to them. She knew it was unnatural but try as she might, she couldn’t bring herself to move any closer. She wanted to run away screaming like some of her fellow Knights had, but she forced herself to not do such a thing. Even her horse demanded her to do so, but she maintained control over the animal, barely, and turned to return to Heartlund with her head held high.

Kellan stood motionless just behind Kali to the right of the mage. The wind blew across the battlements blowing her hair across her face just as it was doing with Kali’s own hair. Still, Kellan remained the steadfast guardian moving only when a gust of wind was strong enough to move her. She would stand here for how ever long Kali stood here as it was her duty to make sure the guests of Heatlund were protected and well taken care of and she would not forsake her duties for a strong willed young woman.


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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:39 pm


Ceridwyn aided to steady one of the guards as he wobbled and smiled as he nodded that he was ok. “It’s harder when you are wearing armor, the metal acts as a conduit for the magic so you get sapped a little.” He looked at her curiously and could not resist the gentle Elven face that was both a blessing and a curse in human populations. He was about to say something and Ceridwyn turned to follow Rayann. Rayann was moving with purpose and Ceridwyn simply followed, knowing the she would be much more likely to track Kali down through their family connection as opposed to simply wandering about.

Rayann came to a halt and her feet practically skid on the cobblestone. Rayann turned to face Ceridwyn and then stared back at Kali, she was about to move when Ceridwyn reached and gently caught her by the arm. “No Rayann, don’t... wait.”


Kali could feel Kellan’s eyes on the back of her head, the woman was simply like a plague for which there was no cure. She put the Knight out of her thoughts and began to focus on the towers. Her eyes scanning the third tower in curiosity. From this vantage it was even more fascinating, the shadow, a constant lingering darkness swirled with the fire, and though the two cohabited the area around the towers surface they never mixed, the belonged together but pressed away from one another all at the same time. As the dance continued she was drawn in and studied the formation, the layout, the height, everything she could take in about the three towers before her.

She turned to Kellan, her shimmering blue eyes looked as delicate as crystal, as if they would fracture at just the slightest touch. She spoke, her voice was soft, “Kellan, come, look.”

Kellan’s face was full of obvious doubt and distrust but Kali practically stamped her foot and responded, “Whisht girl, I could have killed you a thousand times already today if I had meant you harm. We have been up here for fifteen minutes without another soul to stop me, now come here.”

Kellan complied and came to stand beside Kali. Kali pointed to the tower of fire, “Look at the base”. It was surrounded on all sides with thick, flowing magma but the building would not be consumed. Flares of molten rock and gas exploded into the air making it impossible for anything to get close should it come on foot. Then Kali pointed to the tower of shadow, its slick, shiny surface reflected the void that surrounded it. The area below it was a massive gaping hole and the tower was floating in it. Then finally Kali pointed in the direction of the third tower, the base was surrounded by what appeared to be massive creatures that could not be described any differently as humongous molten rock creatures stitched together by shadow. They moved and could easily be mistaken as just more floating and bubbling molten rock. At first Kellan wouldn’t see them and then Kali spoke, “There, on the south… there, north now.” Kellan saw them and turned to look at Kali.

Kali also turned and her eyes sparkled in the sunlight, though there were still lines of anger in her face, however it was hard to distinguish them through the sheer beauty that radiated from her, “Stop looking at me like that, we will have time to hate each other later if we live through this. We still have a job to do right? Like it or not we are going to HAVE to get along despite what you did.”

She turned away, missing the look of anger on Kellans face, but frankly she didn’t care, there’s was a matter of the heart and this, these towers, was a matter of magic. In the end, she was much more interested in these towers than Nol.


Ceridwyn turned and looked at Rayann as the two ladies on the Battlements started talking in seemingly friendly tones. From this distance they could not be heard, but Lady Kellan had walked up and stood beside Kali and Kali was talking and pointing as Kellan was nodding her head and speaking back. With a smile she spoke to Rayann, “Perhaps, a small break in the weather.”

She touched Rayann’s shoulder gently and turned to their guards, “Gentlemen, we are hungry, please take us to the café and arrange for seating.” The guards moved, taking the two ladies and the child to the café, and did as Ceridwyn requested.


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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:36 pm



There were so many things Kellan could have said to Kali as they stood there together. For starters, Kellan couldn’t hate Kali. While the emotion wasn’t foreign to her, Kellan knew it was a powerful emotion that could cloud ones mind. She was angry at Kali for playing games with Nol for it was obvious the dragon loved Kali deeply and to Kellan it seemed as though Kali had just discarded him until he took interest in another. In Kellan’s mind it was as if Kali didn’t want Nol but she didn’t want anyone else to have him either.

And Kellan could have argued with Kali until her face was blue that nothing happened between Kellan and the handsome Nol but she knew it wasn’t an argument she would win. Kali’s mind was made up, just as Trystan and Rose’s minds were made up about what happened when she and Nol left for a while.

Then there was the whole 'I could have killed you if I wanted to already' statement. Kellan wondered if Kali knew just how childish that really sounded, regardless of the actual truth to it. It made Kellan want to grab Kali by the shoulders and shake some sense into her mind but that was something Kali would never do. Putting her hands on Kali was a death sentence if not from the mage herself then from a capitol Court Martial.

But as Kali pointed out the creatures moving about the towers base, Kellan blinked and felt her mouth grow slack.

”By Paladine…..I’ve never seen anything like that before. They’re quite ominous looking to say the least.”

Kali nodded in agreement.

”Of course they are. They’re meant to be. And if you try to attack them they’ll crush you like a pebble under their feet.”

Kellan furrowed her brows as she mumbled under her breath.

”I sort of know what that feels like.”

Before Kali could say anything, Kellan pointed to the creatures again as she studied the towers base.

”Large beings such as those would not have speed as an asset. Not that they would be as slow as snails, but we could use our maneuverability to our advantage against them. But how does one fight a moat of molten earth or a deep chasm that may have no end?”

Kellan’s voice grew quiet then.

”I never looked at these towers like this until now. I’ve only ever seen them as the unnatural creations they are and loathed their creators for the destruction they caused and the lives they took to help create them.”

She glanced over at Kali then looked down as she adjusted her footing then looked back at the towers swallowing hard.

”Perhaps it simply took a fresh pair of eyes to look beyond the obvious.”






Rayann sighed as she saw the two younger women standing and talking about the towers in the distance. As Ceri instructed the guards and they complied, Rayann glanced back at Kali and Kellan to see the two of them talking again.

”Perhaps your right, Ceri. A break in the turbulence before the real storm hits.”

As the guards escorted them to their table, Rayann set Shaer on her knee. The child continued to study and gum the hair clip Ceri let him use. Rayann laughed softly at his antics as time to time he seemed to get very excited over something and flail his arms and kick his legs.

Needless to say, he was quite entertaining for the human guards that were keeping vigil over the two mages. The twin Elves stood just off to the side and watched everything like the sentinels they truly were.






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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:44 pm


Kali listened to Kellan. As she spoke of the speed of the creatures she shoke her head slightly and responded, “It has nothing to do with speed, it’s numbers. The three are one, there strength, that is, the strength of the towers, comes from the unity between them. As for the creatures, your swords would be useless, they are of magical origin, and believe me, we are seeing a few but there are most likely hundreds below the surface.”

She sipped her tea and after a moment she spoke again, “It’s not so much fresh eyes that is the issue, these things probably weren’t here until recently. They are growing, like children, but what is more curious is the existence of them. These towers weren’t created to manufacture Elementals, they are guardians.” She turned and looked at Kellan, her eyes scanning the face of the young woman. “They exist to protect and defend the tower… which means one of two things.” She turned her head to gaze at the towers again, leaning forward on her elbows as she continued, “Either they exist to protect the towers if they are attacked, or they exist to protect only that one tower. Being that the other two towers already have adequately deployed defenses I think it is safe to say they are there to protect only the one, but what is more curious is this.” She turned and faced Kellan again, reaching her hand towards the Knight Postulate she noticed Kellan retract slightly, “You need to trust me if you want the whole story.”

Kellan regarded her a moment and then nodded, moving her head forward to where it was. Kali whispered soft words and then gently placed her fingers over Kellan’s eyes. When she opened them again the world around her was a dazzling display of dancing lights, almost like the stars above but ebbing and flowing like a river across the land, swirling into the sky and coursing around everything it touched. It was dazzling to behold and mesmerizing. “Look now at the towers.” Kellan snapped back to reality and upon gazing at the towers again saw that there was a dark ribbon of energy being cast between the towers of shadow and flame, but the dark ribbon of energy that emanated from the two towers towards the third dissipated quickly and was completely gone when it was half way between. Kellan seemed to truly take this in and turned to look at Kali but there was still confusion on her face. Kali regarded her and spoke, “The tower needs a master. The chain is not complete and therefore, there is a weak link. Three towers, two masters, and thus the weakness that we can exploit.

Kali waved her hand and spoke words of magic, the sight into the magical realms left Kellan’s eyes, and her face showed a moment of disappointment. Kali turned and looked at the towers once again, “Perhaps not as grave as I first predicted.”


Ceridwyn sat with Rayann and enjoyed an hour of weather, the towers out of sight behind the wall, at least for now. They enjoyed watching Shaer and there tea. After they had finished Ceridwyn looked at Rayann with a smile, “I suppose we should be getting to Roses planning room. I assume she will be introducing us to the heads of the Order of the Rose and Order of the Crown. Knowing the politics behind the Solamic Knights I think it is safe to assume there is no newly elected head for the Order of the Sword.

She stood and her escorts turned to face her, she regarded them a moment and spoke, “Please escort us with all speed to the ready room for Miss Lady Commander Rosealynn.” The two Knights were about to move and then turned to look at her again, “Oh come now, sho sho! Let’s get a move on, we haven’t all day.” She winked and they seemed to get that she was messing with them. Turning to Rayann she smirked and gently rolled her eyes, the jovial side of Ceridwyn was resurfacing.


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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:46 pm



Kellan listened to Kali explain the creatures around the tower and the towers themselves. It was fascinating to hear the perspective of a magical user as opposed to a strategic warrior. There was a whole other side of situations Kellan had never considered. She couldn’t help but wonder if Trystan had ever been privy to such a conversation and is so, would his thinking be any different as Kellan’s was beginning to be.

The thought of Trystan caused Kellan to furrow her brows. She was still quite hurt at the implications he threw at her when he punished her for leaving with Nol. Of all the people she expected no judgment from, it was him. But he’d proven her wrong and for some reason, that disappointed her more than she ever thought possible. She’d held in such high regards until now and truth be told, she wasn’t sure she ever could again.

Pushing those thoughts from her mind, Kellan concentrated on what Kali was saying. If these….guardians….were somehow multiplying, how long before there were numbers beyond that which they could defeat? All the strategy in the world couldn’t help if you were simply out numbered. Kali’s words were making more and more sense as Kellan listened. But when the young woman reached over to touch her, Kellan drew back slightly, fully expecting her touch to, if nothing else, inflict a great deal of pain upon her person.

When Kali told her to trust her, Kellan was skeptical but relented all the same. So far, the young mage had not done anything to hurt her so she offered up a peace offering in this gesture. While Kellan was expecting almost anything, she wasn’t expecting the things she saw. The brilliance and beauty of the dancing lights she could now see flowing through everything was like watching mystical fairies dance in the dark if night.

Kellan smiled as she witnessed what she presumed only mages could see. It was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen. As Kali drew her attention to the towers, Kellan saw what Kali was referring to and her mouth opened in a silent O.

All too soon the beauty of the sight she’d been granted was taken away and while she was disappointed, she was grateful all the same for having the opportunity to see something most normal people would never be able to witness. Blinking, she nodded in agreement to Kali then furrowed her brows.

”Why three? If there are only two mages, then why did they construct three towers? If a tower needs a master, then who are they waiting for in the third one? It doesn’t make sense they would build such a thing and expect it not to be occupied soon. And if they are expecting it to be occupied soon, whom will the third be? While I hate to ask that question, it needs to be asked all the same.”

Suddenly Kellan blinked and looked towards the sky then looked back into the Keep. Turning to look at Kali, she stepped to the side then gestured towards the steps.

”We need to go now, Lady Kali. The metting between my superiors and your mother and Lady Ceridwyn will be taking place shortly and I had best not be late with your arrival. Please….we can come back here once the meeting is over with but you really need to let me escort you to the meeting.”






Rayann stood up and settled Shaer in her arms in such a way the baby could look all around. As Ceri made her request to the guards in her mirthful way, Rayann couldn’t help but laugh softly. She was seeing her old friend returning and she had to admit, she liked this side better.

Glancing towards the battlements where Kali and Kellan were, Rayann saw Kellan gesturing towards the steps and saying something to Kali. Rayann had a feeling it was to try and get Kali to join the meeting that was getting ready to take place and Rayann said a pray to Lunitari that Kali would agree and not cause the young woman any trouble. While Rayann didn’t know exactly what happened to Kellan she was well aware of the missing rank insignia and crest from her attire now.

As the guards started escorting them towards the meeting lace, Rayann looked over at Ceri and smiled. There was no doubt things were about to get serious. Very serious. And while she wanted to return to Glen Durel and raise her family, she knew if she didn’t join this fight, there might not BE a Glen Drel for her to return to.

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:49 am


It was with some reluctance that Myth left the presence of his family to walk the streets of heartlund. With Aeolis at his side Myth's eyes wandered as they inspected the walls of the settlement. It was exactly what he had grown to expect from the architects of the Solomnic Knights over the decades. Admittedly though he found fewer holes in these walls than he was accustomed to which was a blessing in and of itself. He made a note to compile a list of recommendations for improvements that he would give to the commander.

Standing upon the upper walls Myth stared intently at the towers in the distance. His emerald gaze settled upon each tower for several seconds and he could only shake his head. The two mages had managed to brew up something so completely unnatural it left even Myth himself speechless. When he considered some of the vile things he had seen both do over the years he was impressed and disturbed all at once. Lost so deep in his thoughts he barely caught what Aeolis had said to him and it took a few seconds to process the comment.

Myth could only offer a sheepish smile and chuckle before responding in elven as well. "Words spoken in my youth when I knew nothing of true battle or the real world Aeolis... In truth there are some cases where retreating is truly the right thing to do. However..." Myth gestured to the towers "There are some fights that you simply can not back down from."

Myth shifted averting his eyes from the towers settling them on the smaller frame of the elf next to him. "The fight we see before us will alter the course of the world. With that being the case the option to turn a blind eye to the matter is non-existent. I would be a fool though to not admit even I feel somewhat ill prepared for this fight."

Myth shifted his eyes once more to the towers and grew silent. The look on his face was one that was well known amongst his family and friends. Myth was working through things in his head planning and debating. "However this is a fight we an not afford to back down from. This is a fight we must overcome even if it threatens to claim our lives. The consequences for failure is nothing short of the loss of the world." Myth looked at Aeolis for a brief moment. "Our roles in this are going to be quite small but at the same time no less significant compared to that of out mage allies."

Myth continued to think about the more mundane defenses of the city and debated with Aeolis about such matters till he was informed of the need to head to the meeting. There was a reluctant sigh as he pulled his eyes from the towers. They caused him a great amount of unease and that was no small feet. Myth knew himself to be of strong will and he could only imagine the effects these structures were having on other people in the keep.
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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:12 am


A young blue eyed adolescent appearing to be of Asian / western decent about nineteen or twenty summers old. With semi-long unruly sandy hair and eyes of sapphire blue. Around his neck hangs an ancient rune, the meaning of which he does not know. He wears a black sleeveless tunic of leather, black trousers and boots. On his elbows are black and silver elbow guards, on this hands, black fingerless leather gloves, a black tattoo on his left bicep and arm. Stood on a ridge on the west side of a fortress city, just within the edge of a cluster of tall pines.

He reached into his rucksack and removed a tattered folded map. Tracing his finger along the symbols of a tree line. Then across a ridge line to a barren field to the symbol of a fortress. Beneath the fortress symbol in runes was scribed Heartlund. Saul refolded the map and placed it back in his rucksack. From the pack he removed a leather package. Unbinding the leather thong from around the package he opened it. Inside were two round glass discs, one large than the other. He placed the discs on opposite ends of the leather square and rolled it into a cylinder. Bringing the smaller end to his eye, he studied the massive wall of the fortress. From the main gate he transverse up to the parapet. Soldiers patrolled the battlement. “This will be difficult.” He said softly to himself, as he continued to study the fortress.


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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:13 am


Aeolis narrowed his gaze as he too observed the towers from the battlements. If they weren’t such a blight to the land, he could admire their construction and the sheer beauty of them. But these towers were as deadly as they were admirable. Crossing his arms in from of him and taking a deep breath to let it out slowly, Aeolis nodded in agreement with Myth, still using their native language to talk.

”Aye. I cannot see how anyone with half a brain could turn a blind eye to these things and what they are and will do to our world. Even the most evil of mages have to realize if they do not do all they can to defeat these towers and the mages within, they will not have anyone to pester with their petty squabbles anymore. I pray that somehow the counsel of Wizards finds a way to put their differences behind them and come together in a united front to battle these mages and their abominations.”

As they stood looking at the towers, Aeolis noticed movement around one of the towers. Large, lumbering figures seemed to patrol the perimeter of the tower. He glanced at Myth and saw the Prince was seeing them as well. Shaking his head, Aeolis muttered under his breath.

”As if battling two powerful mages wasn’t enough….now we have their twisted guardians to deal with as well. By the Gods…..I hope these mages learn the saying the humans have.”

When Myth turned to look at him with a confused look on his face, Aeolis let a small smile ease over his features.

”What goes around, comes around. I believe it means to be careful what you do to others for it could be done to you as well only worse.”

A young Squire hurried to the Elves and announced it was time for the meeting. As the young man hurried back off Aeolis looked at Myth and quirked a brow.

”Well….I believe it is safe to say the women have rested and are ready to get down to business. Perhaps we are about to discover if we will be able to make that saying come true. After you, My Prince.”

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:13 am

Sir Edward Rawley sat in his chair, the chamber used for meeting of the council had been modified to accommodate the meeting with the mages. As head of the Order of the Rose he also was the overseer of the Council meetings, but this meeting was different, it lingered in the air and he stroked his moustache as his thoughts drifted. Movement caught the corner of his eye and he turned to look, Sir Thomas Hawk entered, the Head of the Order of the Crown. The two had gotten along relatively well over the years and exchanged handshakes as the gap closed between them. “A shame about Liam and his Knights at Northkeep.” “Yes, he was a good man, a brave Knight and his loss will be felt for a long time.”

Normally for these types of meetings the whole Council would assemble, but with so many scattered and still unaccounted for the rules of crisis had been implemented. Runners had been sent to notify the other members of the Council to return to the Keep as soon as possible, and in the absence of any the decisions made would be honored regardless of attendance. As the two men stood chatting Rayann, Ceridwyn, and their escorts entered the chamber. The two men, their insignia’s showing them as leaders of the orders approached and made introductions. Sir Edward Rawley spoke, “On behalf of the Knights and all the orders, not to speak for you Sir Thomas, I welcome you to Heartlund Keep and welcome your assistance in this matter.” After Rayann spoke Ceridwyn added her own words, “And we welcome this opportunity to create an accord not only between Knights and Wizards, but also between humans and the Silvanesti. He nodded with a smile that was mostly masked behind his bushy moustache and nodded, “I will admit, we weren’t expecting Elves to be involved.” Ceridwyn nodded and spoke again, “And right you were, there has not been a true unity between our races for hundreds of years. The Speaker of the Stars is a decent man, and though there are still lingering ribbons of prejudice running through the royal houses of the Silvanesti Elves, I assure you, you have allies.”

He nodded and turned to offer them seats when suddenly Rose and Trystan entered the room. Rose and Trystan saluted the two Superior ranked Knights and then both Rawley and Hawk went to Rose, extending their hands and shaking hers firmly. Sir Thomas spoke first, “It was a major break in protocol to take on this assignment yourself, especially considering that Sir Hawk and I still hadn’t arrived, you left the Keep without a Commander.” He looked at here and there was a slight gleam in his eye, “But you made the right decision Lady Rose.” He smiled and nodded, as did Sir Thomas. He then turned to Trystan, “And of course, Sir Trystan.” He reached and took Trystan’s hand, shaking it and speaking, “We received your report Lady Rose about the Warrior that will be joining us. I admit, I have apprehension considering his past, but again, I feel you made the right choice.” Ceridwyn interrupted, “I understand it is a break in manners to not only interrupt you but also speak on matters of the Knights. I give you my personal word as a witness to the Ceremony of Darkness that Myth’alas is a redeemed Elf.” He turned and looked at her, his brows raised, but he nodded silently all the same.

The door to the room opened again and Aeolis entered. He was your typical Elf, his graceful steps like that of a cat, and every movement seemed planned out. Then entered Myth’alas, son to the Speaker of the Stars, champion of Silvanost and Prince of the Elves. His stature took him above many of the humans in the room and Sir Thomas turned to Sir Edward with raised eyebrows. They exchanged pleasantries and though the introductions between the Knights and Myth were chilled it was civil. “Let us all take a seat.” AS the group began to sit the door opened and Kali, her hood down on her shoulders, entered the room. She looked around and noted the arrangement. Without a hesitation she made her way and sat beside her Father, only nodding slightly to him and he to her as she sat. She looked across the table at the two male Knights, noting that they were both Knights of the Rose but one was head of the Order of the Rose and the other was Head of the Order of the Crown, first and third in ranking over all the Knights. She noted too that there was a chair to the side which was obviously to house the head of the Order of the Sword, a man she knew had been killed at Northkeep per Roses’ telling of that story while they were all at Glen Durel. Kellan was right behind Kali and took a place at the back of the room with the other escorts.

“Lady Kellan, if you would please.” Sir Edward had stood and was gesturing to an empty chair beside Sir Trystan’s. He noted the slightly apprehensive look on her face but she moved to the table and with a slight look of curiosity on her face she took a seat. Sir Edward sat back down and slammed the gavel on the table. “First things first, Sir Thomas,” Thomas stood and faced Edward, “It is unfortunate that we have to make these adjustments, but as such a time of war calls that we move on and wait to mourn the honorable dead. You are hereby promoted to rank Commander of the Order of the Sword.” He reached and shoke hands with Sir Thomas, patting him on his arm. “Which still leaves us without a Commander over the Knights of the Crown.” He turned and looked at Lady Rose who suddenly had a small crack of surprise cross her face, “On behalf of the Council Lady Rose, I hereby promote you to the rank of High Justice of the Rose and Commander of the Order of the Crown.” Trystan’s turned and smiled, he knew in his heart that if anyone deserved this, to be third in command over the Knights of Solamnia, it was Lady Rose. He watched as she stood and shoke his hand, accepting the signet of command to be worn on her breastplate and then moved to sit in the seat of Command.

Edward then turned to face Trystan, his face was quiet, “Because we only have two Knights with any knowledge of these towers beyond the intelligence we have gathered ourselves, we need leaders. Sir Trystan, you are hereby promoted to Warden of the Sword.” Trystan’s eyes went wide, he had been promoted through four ranks. He stood and couldn’t believe what he had just heard, “You will also have field command should it be necessary, giving you tactical command when you are on an assignment which will superseded any rank on that assignment.” He swallowed hard and reached a slightly shaky hand, taking his new insignia. “Thank-you sir.”

Finally he turned to Lady Kellan. “I have spoken to Lady Rose regarding the events at Glen Durel. Though you made a mistake, we do not have the luxury of unlimited resources. Sir Thomas and I have discussed this matter in great depth and because you have acted honorably in all situations in the past, and given that we are about to be in the middle of a war facing unknowns, we need Knights that can be counted on and who will serve with honor. As such, we are restoring your Knighthood and promoting you to High Warrior of the Crown. You will also be removed from under Sir Trystan’s command and will report directly to Lady Rose from now on.” He handed Lady Kellan her insignia, it was representative of the highest rank in the Order of the Crown. He nodded and shoke her hand as did the heads of the other three Orders. Trystan stood and congratulated her, but his demeanor was slightly chilled.

“Well, now that all that business is out of the way, we can begin.” He turned to the group and produced maps of the area, showing them the lay of the land and the complications regarding the known defenses of the towers. After a few minutes of speaking he stopped and looked up at the group. “Unfortunately, our intelligence on the matter is that limited. No one can get within half a kilometer of these things.” Kali turned to look at Kellan and then back to Sir Edward. “If I may, Lady Kellan and I were up on the battlements before the meeting observing the towers and we discovered something that you didn’t mention. There are Elementals protecting the third tower, the one of shadow and flame. As of now, their purpose is unclear, but by their movements I can tell that they are in their infant stage, growing. It won’t be long before you see them walking the area. Now, I don’t believe they are meant to be used in an attack, it would seem more that they are guardians, being born to protect the third tower. There is also a broken band of energy moving between the tower of shadow and the tower of flame to the third. The power of these towers is as of now, incomplete.”

The Knights looked at her curiously, half of what she said seemed to go right over their heads. They looked at one another and then Kali spoke again through a sigh, “The power of the towers is in the whole, not the pieces. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and the ‘project’ if you will is incomplete. There are three towers and two masters, which suggests that there is another master coming.”


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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:00 am



When Kellan arrived with Kali to see the doors closed she felt her heart sink. She was late getting Kali to this meeting and as such, she’d be reprimanded for it. All these years and she had not received one repirimand and in the course of two days she not only received a reprimand but had been demoted, threatened with a court martial and now she was looking her second reprimand in the face.

Ever so carefully she opened the door and ushered Kali inside then walked in behind the young mage. At least she delivered the young woman safe and sound and that was all that really matter, at least as far as Kellan was concerned. As soon as Kali was seated, Kellan saluted her superiors then turned and joined the others in the back of the room but when Sir Edward called her to the table, she felt a moment of panic slide down her spine. Her eyes quickly darted to the others gathered there before she looked back at Sir Edward.

He gestured to the empty chair beside Trystan and ordered her to sit. Her mind was whirling as she settled her frame into the chair at the table. If this were her reprimand, it was the strangest she’s seen yet. But all of that was forgotten as her superiors were promoted. If she could have read Trystan’s thoughts, she would have realized they were along the same line as her own. There was no better than Lady Rose to take the role of High Justice.

As Trystan was also promoted, Kellan knew he had earned that promotion not only for the extraordinary acts he did when the towers came into being but for all the many he did up to that point as well. She was happy for him and knew he would command with a level head. She would have been even happier if things weren’t so strained between them right now. But she was happy for him all the same.

But when they turned to her, Kellan was completely taken by surprise. Were her ears deceiving her? Had they just restored her Knighthood AND promoted her to…..Warrior of the Crown? Her light brown eyes glanced around at the others gathered and as the hand was extended to her for shaking while the other handed her the insignia of her promotion, she reached out as well. She glanced down at the insignia then up into Sir Edwards face then quickly at the others before she sat down and clasped her new rank with both hands thinking that somehow this would repair some of the damage to her reputation but it wouldn’t repair the damage done between her and Trystan. While she was glad to be out from under him now that things were not as smooth as they had been, she felt a since of disappointment knowing he wouldn’t be her direct superior anymore.

As the meeting finally got underway, Kellan studied the map and listened to what Sir Edward was saying. When he got done, as though she could read Kali’s mind, Kellan glanced at the younger mage and nodded ever so slightly. When Kali got done, Kellan spoke up.

”It’s there we need to concentrate our effort. It’s the weakness we can use against them. The guardians we saw are creatures of magic and therefore our weapons would be useless against them. We will need to aid of the mages to handle them. Our forces will have to be used as a distraction to keep them occupied so the mages can cast against them without interruption. . We will need to strike hard and fast. Anything prolonged will be too taxing on the mages. Unfortunately, we don’t know what they’re truly capable of unless Lady Ceridwyn, Lady Rayann or Lady Kali could offer some insight into them.”

As Kellan said each name, she looked to each mage for some possible help.




Rayann watched the official business of the Knights as she sat with Shaer on her lap. The baby had grown tired of his playing and had fallen sound asleep in his mother’s arms. His tiny hand still clutched onto the hair clip Ceri had removed from her hair.

As each Knight was promoted, Rayann felt a gladness wash over her and when Lady Kellan was promoted, she felt a sense of justice for the young woman. Regardless of what happened at Glen Durel the young woman had been nothing but polite, intelligent and, as Sir Edward pointed out, honorable.

As the meeting officially got underway, Rayann studied the map and surrounding landscape on it. Her brows furrowed and she was still studying the map when she heard Kali’s voice. Both brows raised when she looked up to see Kali and heard her daughter refer to Kellan without the usual venom dripping from her words.

To Rayann’s surprise Kellan chimed in as though on cue making it look as if Kali and Kellan had been practicing their lines. The news they brought was disturbing yet hopeful. If the third tower was incomplete then they did have a small chance of exploiting that weakness against the masters of the other two towers. When Kellan asked if they might be able to give some insight to the elementals, Rayann spoke up softly.

”Elementals, like all creatures, have weaknesses. From what I can gather from your report it sounds as though they are earthen elementals. Unfortunately, they have an unlimited supply around them with which they could easily resupply their numbers. The key will be not only striking the creatures themselves but cutting off their supply line as well. It will have to be a multi faceted attack.”


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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:48 am

Ceridwyn listened and after Rayann had spoken she also gave her two coppers worth, “Rayann is right, we will need to hit from multiple points, but if what you say is true Sir Edward, that no one can get within a half kilometer of the towers this obviously complicates matters immensely.” She turned and looked at Sir Edward, “What happens when people get within the area of the towers?”

Sir Edward’s face went grey and he looked at Sir Thomas before speaking, “It varies, some scream in fear and cower for days on end, about half recover, the other half…” He paused and then stepped over the matter, “Some have burst into flames, others have turned on their fellow soldiers and attacked them, others have simply vanished in puffs of putrid smelling smoke.” He shrugged slightly and looked at Ceridwyn. She leaned back in her chair and nodded as she looked over at Kali. There was a long silent stare between them and then Kali nodded. Turning back to the group Kali spoke.

“The warding is a complex series of layered spells, cast with the intensity of ambient and ancient magic. It is also woven with elemental magic, I assume because of the influence of Piramay. My feeling is that if we attempt to breech this magic with our divine magic it will be negated and devoured, possibly making the warding stronger.” She stood and looked at the map, turning it to face her. “Kellan is right, your weapons will be useless even if we do get through the wardings, at least, as they sit. We need to determine the proper counter-spell to their creation, and we can enchant the weapons of the Knights so when they strike it will actually do some damage. The problem is, you will have to get within striking range, and that means your Knights will also be in striking range of the Elementals.” Sir Thomas huffed slightly, “That is what we do young mage, we strike up close.” Kali’s eyes narrowed, “First off Sir, I am twice as old as you, second, Elementals wield magic as well as brawn. Therefore you will be fighting both their physical strength as well as their elemental magic, in this case, fire. On top of that, our magic will be limited in so much as they are going to have resistance to earthen as well as fire magic, limiting us to inertia spells and maybe, spells that cause extreme cold. Again, this is just a theory.”

She leaned back and turned to look at Myth, “It is obvious we are going to need more resources, and by resources I mean those capable of wielding magic,” She turned to the Knights, “No offense meant.” Sir Edward nodded with a grim expression and Kali continued, “We do know that Ceridwyn has spoken to the Wizard council, they are prepared to aid us. With the power of the three conclaves we stand a good chance of finding some way to penetrate the barrier but…” She simply shrugged. “There is also, the rogue element.”

She turned and looked at her father. I seem to remember, when Rorie made his appearance that you made a connection with the large mercenary who came with him, the one who had the ice queen as a companion. Clearly the work for money, if we offered them enough…” She looked at Myth, his face showed his pride in her thinking and nodded softly. “A woman that can wield ice magic as formidably as that woman did could certainly come in handy right now.”

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:26 pm



The morning had been a very busy one for Rose since her arrival at the keep. Almost the moment she had entered her quarters she was informed of the high commander's arrival and had been pulled into a meeting with both him and Sir Thomas. This outing had started with such promise and she had been very happy to have Trystan and Kellan accompany her to this important meeting. Her mind was still plagued by the events of the previous evening and the long term effects it was going to have on two of her better knights.

Even as she sat delivering her report to Sir Edward she was reluctant to broach the matter because she had not been able to look into the matter more thoroughly. The first impression that had crossed both her mind and Trystan's had not been and endearing one and it border lined outright insubordination and breached more codes of protocol than Rose could even bring to mind. Yet there was a lingering doubt in her gut that told her there was more to this situation than she and Trystan were privy to. Kellan had always been a loyal and honorable knight and the idea that she would cast that all away for a roll in the hay with some elf was preposterous. Unfortunately the codes of protocol and her initial impressions had forced her hand in the handling of the situation at the time. When Rose was finally forced to comment on the situation she was true to her instincts.

"Lady Kellan has always proven to adhere strongly to the codes and has always conducted herself in a manner that would not bring her shame or more importantly shame to her now deceased brother Sir Liam. My instincts tell me there is more to things than Trystan and I were aware of but Kellan has as of yet not seen fit to tell us exactly what that is. We find ourselves short of capable knights and this is one I believe is worth saving. I do not know what happened but I know what my instincts tell me. Her record of service should speak volumes for her character and I would rather overlook this incident till such a time when the truth comes out."

The rest of the conversation was spent discussing strategy and formulating plans to present to the council at the meeting. Rose was eyeballs deep in work when Trystan finally came for her and informed her of both the meeting and the incident with Kali's guards. Likely the young mage had taken offense to having a posted escort. With a sigh Rose made a note to talk with the lord and lady as a matter of principle than necessity. Putting the matter aside Rose accompanied Trystan to the meeting with her superiors.

What happened those first minutes after the assemblage had gathered left Rose's mind reeling. It took every ounce of her will to remain calm and composed before her superiors and before their guests. She accepted graciously before she took her place in Sir Thomas' former seat. While she was happy to receive such a promotion and she felt honored that her superiors felt she was worthy of it she wished it were under better circumstances. Her face remained impassive as both Trystan and Kellan were both elevated in position themselves. Despite everything both were quite deserving of the positions they received and it brought a small amount of relief and disappointment when Kellan was placed under her direct command, but she knew this was for the best. Rose sat in silent contemplation as the meeting progressed from that point.

While not fond of the things that she heard it made the situation seem less hopeless than they had all feared. There was a weakness and if approached right they could make an attempt to exploit it. The idea of getting near the towers made her nauseous but they would do what was required of them to bring these mages to justice.



When Myth entered the room he had spared a glance to his wife before greeting the commanders of the order. It was a chilly reception but it was not unwarranted as Myth had met these men on the field of battle in the past. Myth had left his past behind him and he could see through some effort that these knights were attempting to give him the benefit of the doubt. Myth remained an impassive presence through out the entire meeting. He simply analyzed the maps before him and contemplated their options.

Myth was no stranger in dealing with magical defenses and was familiar with some of the spells employed in the defense of these towers. Fueled by the ambient and ancient magics these spells however had made these spells far stronger than Myth had ever heard of. It was disconcerting but given the architects he could not help but think how easy they were getting off.

Myth remained lost in thought and it took the mental prodding of Rayann for him to realize Kali had spoken to him. Myth never let it show on his face and Rayann was kind enough to fill in the blanks for him. His brow furrowed slightly at the mention of the warrior from the assault on Glen Durel and his partner. "You would be referring to the merc Bad Rock and his daughter Pela..."

Myth scratched his chin thoughtfully "They are both capable in their own right but a bit unpredictable. Bad Rock is loyal to his coin which makes him fairly predictable. I am told once he takes a job he will it it through to the end and won't relent. Unless of course he is out right lied to and he discovers it." Myth's hand fell away from his chin. "I am told as well that lying to him can prove... fatal."
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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:16 pm


Rayann remembered the strangely paired couple from the attack Rorie executed on Glen Durel and she shuddered remembering the way those two worked as one yet independently of each other as well. Bad Rock’s size alone was enough to make most people turn and run away but Pela’s use of her magical abilities coupled with Bad Rock’s fighting abilities made them a pair to be reckoned with on many different levels.

While Rayann didn’t like the idea of facing them again simply because of the fact it was Rorie’s plan to destroy her family, she had to admit, the two would be a welcomed addition to the cause. If….IF….they felt it worth their while to work with the Knights and the Mages from all three conclaves.

”My daughter and husband are correct. Pela’s use of the ice magic she wields would be an asset alone but to add Bad Rock along with her would be an even better asset for all of us. You’ll have to make the offer something they couldn’t turn away from so I’m afraid the offered purse will have to be quite large. And from what my husband has said, you will have to show proof of your intended payment if they accept the job.”





Aeolis sat listening to all of this. When Kali mentioned Bad Rock and his daughter Pela, the Elf quirked a brow. They couldn’t be serious about considering asking those two to join in. Could they? But when Myth agreed with Kali Aeolis looked over at the Prince like he’d grown a second appendage. His eyes settled on Rayann as she spoke then and if it wasn’t clear before, it was crystal clear now. They were actually going to find Bad Rock and Pela and ask them for help. Glancing at Ceri, he saw the way she was looking at him and the barely noticeable shake of her head that told him not to argue the point.

While he never questioned anything they were discussing up to this point, Aeolis had to wonder if they had really considered the flip side to this. They all knew Bad Rock had worked for the Dark Queen in the past and if she could somehow outbid the Knights, it was quite possible they would turn on the Knights and other Mages to do the Dark One’s bidding. Aeolis could only hope these gathered few had a plan to deal with that if something like that came to pass. Finally he spoke up from where he sat.

”I will help scout to locate them. I suspect they will be someplace close to population to offer their services to potential customers. Ones like those two should not be all that difficult to locate.”

He looked over at Ceri and shook his head slightly thinking he just might have offered himself up for a fools errand but he would do it all the same. He couldn’t sit by and let this fall on the shoulders of the Knights and Mages alone.





Kellan listened to Kali and her parents refer to these two people who could possibly aid the cause. Her brows furrowed as she thought of the chances they were taking but Kellan knew they couldn’t afford to be choosey about who they received aid from. It was a time to put some differences aside and come together for the common good.

When Aeolis offered to help scout them out, Kellan caught the looks between Ceridwyn and Aeolis. They couldn’t afford to have Ceridwyn separated from the other mages. As Sir Edward and Sir Thomas contemplated the news, Kellan spoke up again.

”I will travel with Aeolis as the representative of the Knights. If it will help convince them we are serious in our offer then it's the least I could do. With only two people traveling we could cover more distance at a faster pace. And time is of the essence. We can’t afford to waste it. But I shall do whatever the Council decides.”

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:29 pm

Sir Edward looked at the assembled as they spoke of these two, Bad Rock and Pela. He had never heard of them but when Myth called them by what they were, ‘mercenaries’ her furrowed his brow. At first it seemed he was going to refuse, but as the conversation lingered, as individuals stood up and made their minds known to the assembled, as well as volunteered to find them, he relaxed his thoughts and listened. Finally he spoke, looking first to Myth, “You are a warrior and by whatever honor you have been bound, it was honor none the less. Though it will take more than this meeting for us to fully trust one another I have the word of this lady Elf and I don’t have the luxury of time to ponder much before making these sorts of decisions.”

He looked around the room as all eyes were on him and he spoke, “My instincts tell me no, but my logic tells me yes. We asked for the assistance of the Wizards and if this is one of their recommendations we need to respect that they know more than we do in matters such as these. I do this with great hesitation however,” He turned and looked directly at Kali, “I hope to Paladine that you are right.”

He turned to Kellan and spoke, “I have no problem with you accompanying the Ranger, so long as your new Commander has no other matters for you to address. I will leave that between the two of you. The Solamic Knights will provide the gold to hire them, Kellan, if your Commander agrees to your going I will put you in charge of negotiating the fee.”

He turned to Ceridwyn, Rayann, and Kali. “If I might ask the three of you to start investigating and figuring out how to best tackle these elementals, I would greatly appreciate that effort. If there is a way to hurt these things, we need to know what it is.”

“With that, I think we can adjourn until tomorrow. Our guests, if you would like to join Myself, Sir Thomas and Lady Rose tonight for dinner you would be most welcomed.”

He punched the gavel to the table and ended the meeting.


Ceridwyn listened to Sir Edward and as he addressed her she nodded softly and spoke, “Not to speak for the three of us Sir Edward, but we didn’t come here for just the pleasantry of your Keep. We will do what we can.” She turned and looked at Rayann and Kali, both he nodded in agreement.” She turned back and smiled as he offered the dinner invitation, “Now I will only speak on my own behalf, I would be happy to join you for supper.”

As the meeting was ended she stood and walked over to Aeolis, the look on her face was sorrowful. She looked at him and spoke empathically, ~ “It frightens me that you are leaving, and that you volunteered so hastily before discussing this with me. I do understand however, I can feel you wanting to be involved in all this, and I know your heart is pure. I just don’t want anything to happen to you.” ~ She didn’t embrace him, not here in front of the leadership of the Knights, but he would see that she wanted to.




Kali stood as the meeting adjourned and nodded to Sir Edward, “I will be there.” She turned and looked at her Father and Mother, speaking as the meeting room cleared, “I know it’s a major long shot with those two, but a Sorcerer that concentrates on nothing but elemental magic might be what we need. With her on our side we might stand a chance against fire.”

She inhaled deeply, “It’s all just theory mind you, I don’t even know myself if this will work, it’s all speculative on IF these things haven’t been pre-warded against cold.” She shoke her head and there was definite uncertainty in her face, “I just hope I am remotely right.”


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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:10 am


As the gathered members of the meeting rose, Aeolis nodded to Sir Edward.

”I shall join you as well.”

As the people started filing out of the room, Aeolis saw Ceri walking towards him. He could see the look in her eyes and knew what was on her mind. It didn’t take long for the subject to be broached. Like her, he didn’t reach out to embrace her but the look in her eyes made him want to.

With a barely noticeable nod of his head, he offered her his elbow to escort her out of the room. The guards that Kellan had assigned to Ceridwyn followed along behind Aeolis and Ceri at a respectable distance. Glancing over hs shoulder at the unwelcomed escorts but understanding why they had been assigned, Aeolis reverted to their native language.

”If I had discussed it with you, mel’amin, you would have done your best to talk me out of my decision and I would have been hard pressed to offer up my services. Now that I have committed myself to the job, I cannot go back on my word.”

There was the slightest hint of a smile on his face as he glanced down at her. Covering her hand with his, he shrugged his shoulders slightly.

“I am more at home outside a wall enclosed city where there are so many people one cannot move for bumping into someone. Besides, an experienced tracker is needed for the mission. And with Lady Kellan accompanying me, we will be able to travel very quickly. I’ve seen the way she observes her surroundings and with a little guidance from me, she will be a good tracker as well in no time. Not as good as me but good for a human.”

Again that hint of a smile eased over his features. Glancing down at Ceri once more, he spoke to her empathetically now.

~We will be fine, Ceri. We will return with Bad Rock and Pela before you can shake the dew off the morning lily’s. And knowing you await my return is all the incentive I need to make sure I return safely. The warmth of your embrace is enough to make any male fight all the beasts from the Abyss. So this mission will be relatively easy to complete.~





Rayann nodded to Sir Edward then glanced at Myth. When he gave her the slightest nod to the question no one else could hear, she looked back at Sir Edward and smiled warmly.

”We would be glad to join you, Sir Edward. We look forward to this evening.”

AS the others filed out of the room, Rayann stood and glanced at Myth and Kali. Myth reached out and took his sleeping son from Rayann’s arms and cradled Shaer’s tiny frame in his massive arms for a few minutes before returning the baby to Rayann’s arms once more. Rayann smiled softly at Myth and settled Shaer back in her arms once more. Nodding in agreement with Kali, Rayann also took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

”It’s been a while since I have seen a purely elemental caster. Not that they are rare but most others prefer to study under the tutelage of more experienced Wizards. I’ve never heard of her until we met her at the Glen so I have no idea where she studied to lean her art. I just pray she isn’t fickle and lets her mood determine what she will do from one day to the next. Of course if the tower has been pre-warded against cold then obtaining her services may be all for naught. With any luck it will be the one thing overlooked. Piramay may not be expecting a purely elemental caster and therefore that would be to our advantage. But that only takes care of one tower. We have yet to figure out how to deal with Fifth’s magical preference. That may be worse than Piramay’s since his playing field tends to be the mind.”




As the meeting was adjourned, Kellan slipped outside and waited for Lady Rose. When she walked out, Kellan followed in line, in step behind the newly promoted Commander. As they moved away from the others, Kellan spoke up softly.

”Thank you, Lady Rose. I will do my best to perform my duties as well as yourself and Sir Trystan have taught me to do.”


Kellan was no fool and she knew if things had not been as dire as they were she wouldn’t be saying thank you for a promotion. She would most likely be standing before a counsel for her court martial. Then again, if things weren’t so dire, she most likely would not have broken protocol and spent time with Nol and abandoned her post. Still, Kellan was sincerely grateful for this opportunity to redeem herself and she was determined to make them forget about what happened in Glen Durel if that were even possible.

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:48 am


As Saul scanned across the battlements, across the eastern horizon past the fortress, he saw three towers. Lower his glass, he slowly knelt and dismatled the spy glass packing it away carefully. Deep in thought, he slipped back into the forest.

There he set three snares, He dug a shallow hole in the trail. Then drove a forked stick (fork down) into the ground on each side of the hole on the same side of the trail. He selected two fairly straight sticks that span the two forks. Positioning these two sticks so that their ends engage the forks. Placed several sticks over the hole in the trail by positioning one end over the lower horizontal stick and the other on the ground on the other side of the hole. He then covered the hole with enough sticks so that the prey must step on at least one of them to set off the snare. He tied one end of a piece of leather lace to a to a stone weight suspended over a tree limb. Bent the twitch-up or raise the suspended weight to determine where to tie a short trigger. Formed a noose with the other end of the leather lace. He routed and spread the noose over the top of the sticks over the hole. Placing the trigger stick against the horizontal sticks and routed the leather lace behind the sticks so that the tension of the power source would hold it in place. He adjusted the bottom horizontal stick so that it will barely held against the trigger. He then spread pine needles hapazardly around the disturbed ground. Then moved off a short distance to set another snare along the animal trail.

( )

After setting the snares he moved off and prepared a sight for a small cooking fire. Then clinbed into a nearby pine, concealing himself in the brances and waited, watching his snares.
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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:58 am



Ceridwyn listened to Aeolis and nodded, there was obvious sadness in her face but she knew that he was right. He was the best suited for the job, and with Lady Kellan to accompany him as representative of the Knights Ceridwyn was glad to know that he was at least not going alone. However, the accompaniment of a human could make the situation more dangerous, being that an Elf knew how to disappear into the forest more quickly.

She shoke these thoughts from her head and once they were finally alone in the hallway outside her quarters (with the exception of her escorts) she turned to him, speaking in their native tongue, “You are a grown man Aeolis, I cannot, nor would I tell you that you can’t go, but you are right, I would have tried to talk you out of it, and for purely selfish reasons I do admit. I just…” She inhaled deeply and pressed her cheek into his chest, placing her right hand over his heart she closed her eyes and felt the beating in his chest. He was calm, centered, focused on all that must happen. She wished she was so calm. She shivered at the thought of this heartbeat being extinguished, to feel that loss again. With a deep breath she felt his arm come across her shoulder and pull her in tightly, and that was when she began to cry.

Speaking in her native tongue she whispered, “Amin mela lle Aeolis, coiamin reslasha sii’ tanya lle a e’sh (I love you Aeolis, my life is complete now that you are in it).” He could feel she wanted to say more, but she stopped, pressing her cheek as deeply into his chest as she could get it, and she simply held him.


Kali listened to Rayann and nodded softly. “As I said, it is a long shot at best, but at minimum having them at our side will be advantageous, so long as they don’t bail for whatever reason. I know that they have done work for the Dark Queen before, but I had never heard of them. Father knows more about them than I do, but from the little he has shared with me Bad Rock’s loyalty to coin is absolute. He did back out of the kidnapping, which suggests that the beast does have SOME sense of right and wrong. I am banking that since he is now most likely a target of the Dark Queens forces he might like some allies. There is a very good chance they are in hiding right now, Father knows as well as I do, deserting his duty mid-mission is an automatic death sentence, there is no way he isn’t on the hit list.”

She turned and looked at Myth, smiling she spoke, “Thanks for backing my play Father, you didn’t have to, but I feel you agree with me regarding these two. They might be rogue, but we have the advantage of knowing they aren’t in the Queen’s graces, it might be enough to employee them.”


Trystan brushed past Kellan and nodded smartly to Lady Rose as he made his way out of the assembly hall. Making his way to his small office of operations he looked in the mirror and fastened the signet of command on his collar and looked, still in disbelief over the promotion. He sat at his desk and began to look over the maps and intelligence. Gathering the maps he moved to the Battlements and went into one of the archers towers. Turning to one of the guards he spoke, “Please have a table brought up, and a few chairs.” The guard snapped a sharp salute and left with all haste, returning after a few minutes with a few other men carrying the requested items. Setting them down Trystan nodded a thank you and positioned them so he could see out the arrow-slit. He was staring directly at the third tower, and the hulking movements of the elementals could be seen. They were too far off that he could truly make them out, and he assumed that Kali could see them due to her enhanced vision. Turning again he spoke to the guard, “Optics please.” The guard nodded again and went to a small locker off to the side and retrieved one of several telescopes that were stored within. Trystan took it and studied the tower, watching the Elementals as they thrashed in the lava that surrounded the base. He shoke his head and whispered, “By Paladine!” Removing the scope from his eye he looked down at the map and roughly sketched the Elementals near the base. He turned again to the guard, “Please fetch the red robe mage Kali, ask that she join me here.”

The guard saluted without a word and disappeared. Ten minutes later he returned, the sound of Kali’s soft red velvet robes could be heard and he looked up from his work. He smiled and was about to speak when Kali interrupted, “What is this about Trystan, to have me taken from my conversation with my parents this had better be important.” He was suddenly taken aback, swallowing hard he offered her a seat, “Please, sit, I would like to discuss the towers with you.” She looked at him curiously and then to the towers. Noting the maps and optics she smiled a half crocked grin and sat, “Doing your due diligence and trying to get a leg up on the enemy Sir Trystan?”

He looked at her curiously as he leaned back in his seat. His eyes traced the delicate lines of her face and she immediately noted the longing look in his eyes thinly hidden behind the mask of business. She inhaled deeply and looked at him, an obvious flash of impatience crossing her face, snapping out of his trance and realizing that his normal advances weren’t going to work he cleared his throat and sat up straight. “Sir Trystan, do I look like I was born yesterday?” He looked at her, lying with poor execution, “What do you mean Lady Kali?”

She leaned forward and tapped her finger on the map as she looked straight into his eyes, “I am 122 years old, and I am not of your Solamic Knights, so please don’t address me as ‘Lady’. This charade, the setting up in post to attempt and lure me into your presence is sad and quite frankly childish.” He acted taken aback and she continued, “Drop it Trystan, you think I haven’t noted the way you look at me since the moment of our meeting? I am not a fool.”

He sighed and leaned back, dropping his head slightly, “You are right Kali.” He looked up at her, his eyes staring directly into her own, “I am trying to work, but I admit, I am trying to lure you in, unsuccessfully as it were.” She leaned back in her seat, the cross look returning to her face again and she made a motion as if she was about to get up and leave. “Please, I am sorry. Don’t leave, I really am sorry. I just… You are simply the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I just, I can’t help these feelings I get in my gut when we are together and I wanted to try to get to know you better, and I admit, I used our work to do that.”

She looked at him, almost pitying his cheap attempt to make romantic advances. “Sir Trystan, is it appropriate to make a play at me as the looming war approaches like a wave of destruction? Is it appropriate to play this school yard games with a grown woman? Is it appropriate when you are clearly in a relationship with Kellan?” His face went pale, by the gods how did she know, “As I said, I am not a fool, clearly you are turning your back on her to make a play on me, and then you wonder why she went off with another.” The flash of anger in her eyes was unmistakable and he recoiled slightly, partially because he had seen her outbursts, and partly because she was a Wizard, and Knights simply did not trust those of magic, no matter how much he was trying. “You make me sick Trystan. If you need ‘assistance’ please feel free to call on my Mother or Ceridwyn, I am sure they would be happy to give you whatever information you need. On my word they are knowledgeable and as accomplished as I am in the ways of magic.”

She stood and turned, he grasped for anything he could say, “Please…. Kali….,” She turned and looked at him, “This conversation is over Sir Trystan.” Turning, the soft sound of her velvet robes swishing with her movements faded quickly as she disappeared from the tower and down the stairs. He felt his face flush and he banged his fist on the table, whispering to himself, “Damn!” He looked out at the towers, his eyes scanning them but his thoughts lingering on Kali. Her fire was undeniable, and he only desired her more.



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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:01 am


Saul sat in the pine and dozed lightly for a couple of hours, then slowly and silently climbed down. With steps that were both light and careful he approached one of his snares. Seeing it had been tripped, he removed a medium sized rabbit from the snare's noose, twisted it's neck quickly and laid it aside. He then re set the snare and moved to check the other snares. The second of the three remained still set. In the third hug a squirrel. He removed the squirrel, twisting it's neck as well and reset the third snare. Saul then moved silently to the place he had prepared for a small fire.

He knelt down, laying the rabbit and squirrel aside beside the prepared small pile of broken twigs and dried grass, surrounded by stones. On either side of the stones were two forked limbs standind with the forks up stuck into the grouned. Saul removed his knife from the scabbard on his belt and began to strike a hard, sharp-edged rock edge with a his knife. When a spark caught in the tinder, he blow on it. Soon the tinder burst into flames. He then added a small anount of slightly larger sticks until he had a small fire started. Saul then skinned and cleaned the rabbit and squirrel. Scewring the two small annimals onto a stick of wood, he placed them over the fire, turning them slowly. Soon his meal was prepared and he began to eat.

After his dinner he burried the bones and dicarded pieces of the carcases. After the fire had been extingushed, Saul threw dirt over the ashes and poured a small amount of water from his water skin, then added more dried dirt. He then stired the dirt and scattered some stones and debris over the cooled site. Saul then returned to his perch in the pine. There he sat deep in thought staring out in the direction of the fortress and the towers beyound. Slowly a light sleep overtook him.

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