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 13: The Coming Storm

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:37 am


Aeolis drew Ceri into his arms and let her cry. What else was he to do? Besides, he liked holding her like this. It reminded both of them neither was immune to emotions which separated them from some of the other creatures on Krynn. Resting his chin on the top of her head, he felt her body shudder as she cried and he tightened his hold. Carefully opening the door to their room, he slipped them both inside and closed the door behind them.

Reaching down he scooped Ceri up in his arms and carried her over to the leaf like bed she had created for them. Laying her down on the soft leaves, he laid down beside her and held her until he felt her shuddering slowly ease away. His fingers eased over her hair and he whispered softly to her in Elven letting her know he loved her as well and reassuring her he would be just fine.

When her crying ceased, he looked down and smiled as he saw her sleeping. The combination of spell casting and emotional draining had taken its toll on her physical body. Even though she rested when they arrived, he could tell she needed more and while he didn’t want to let go of her, he needed to find Myth and talk to him about Bad Rock and Pela. Aeolis needed to know about the large mercenary in order to approach the creature carefully and prove to him Aeolis wasn’t sent by the Dark Queen.

Kissing Ceri’s forehead tenderly he slowly eased himself out from under her. Reaching down to brush his fingers to her cheek, he sighed softly before he silently slipped out of the room promising her he’d be back before she awoke. Glancing at the guards he nodded to them.

”She rests peacefully. Make sure it stays that way.”

With a sharp salute, the guards nodded then settled back down to remain at either side of the door. Aeolis walked silently away from the room and through the Keep. Seeing the guards posted on either side o fMyth and Rayann’s door, Aeolis approached, nodded to the guards then knocked softly and called out in Elven to the occupants within.

”Pardon the intrusion, Prince Myth’Alas, but I need to know how to approach the mercenary and his daughter to make sure I make it back alive with them in tow.”




Rayann and Myth watched Kali as she walked away after being summoned by Trystan. Rayann glanced up at Myth and shook her head.

”Something is not right with our daughter, mel’amin. She’s purposely blocking me from her on different levels. I won’t push her but I hope I find out what it is before it’s too late.”

Myth furrowed his brows and nodded then took Rayann gently by the elbow to escort her back to their room. The guards followed behind and couldn’t help but feel a bit intimidated by the look Myth had given them. Looking down at Rayann he responded with his mind to hers causing Rayann to nod.

The conversation remained that way until they got into the privacy of their room. Once there, Rayann walked Shaer over to his room and laid him down in the cradle that had been borrowed for him. Smiling, Rayann leaned down to kiss his forehead before she glanced at the Elven twins and nodded. Returning to the room she and Myth shared, she closed the door to Shaer’s room and walked over wrapping her hands around Myth’s torso and laying her had on his broad chest. Her voice was whisper soft as she spoke to him.

”Listen to the quiet, my love. Isn’t it beautiful?”

Raising her head and tilting back to look up into his handsome face, she smiled coyly.

”We have some time before we are to report for dinner. I believe I know a way we can use it wisely.”

Rayann was sleeping with her head on Myth’s shoulder when Aeolis knocked on the door. The Prince heard the Elf approach even before he knocked and was already getting dressed when the knock came. By the time Myth opened the door, he was fully dressed and looking as though he’d just come from the meeting room. Stepping outside the door and closing it quietly behind him, he nodded to Aeolis and the two started walking away from the guards and the door to a place more private they could talk.

Aeolis felt bad interrupting Myth’s time with Rayann but he knew he needed to be prepared for this mission. He told Ceri not to worry and he would be fine but he knew this was not going to be as easy as he was making it sound. Bad Rock and this ice wielding sorceress weren’t going to be as cooperative until Aeolis could prove to them what he was there for. If he lived long enough to get that far with them.

”I am sorry to take you away from your family. I know your time shared with them is too little. But I would like to leave at first light with Lady Kellan. I have a feeling it will take me a few days to find them and convince them to return here with me.”

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:35 am



Kali returned to where her parents were and found they were gone. “By the gods Trystan,” She looked around, the look on her face caused several of the town citizens to side step her and she flipped her hood up over her head walking through the streets of town. Knowing they had most likely gone to their room so her brother could sleep more comfortably she made her way to the front gate.

When she arrived she looked at the contingent of guards who stood vigilant watch over all who came and went. Clearly they were on high alert, not surprising considering what humanity had endured over the last couple weeks. She walked out the gate and looked around at the surrounding area. The humans had clear cut everything for several hundred meters, not surprising as it allowed them visibility if any enemies approached. She inhaled deeply and looked out towards the woods, her half-Elven eyes scanning the shadows. She turned her head to the right and looked to the east, the tops of the towers could be seen just beyond the hill. She turned to one of the guards and spoke, “When do you close the gate?” “At dusk ma’am, but the eye is open all night, because of the refuges coming in.”

She turned and looked at the heavy wooden and steel gate. The small “eye” on the hinge side provided access to individuals that came after the main gate had been closed. She half smiled to herself knowing her questions was mute anyway, she could get in no matter how tightly the sealed things up. She nodded to the man, “Thank you.” He smiled and nodded, his eyes dancing over her delicate features a brief moment before turning to watch the trickle of people making their way into the safety of the walls. What false hope this stone offered, none of them knew that these walls would last a total of five seconds if Heartlund was the goal. She turned and started to walk on the road, heading east towards the crest of the hill. She was wanting to get a closer look at the towers and up over the hill looked like a good vantage point.

As she walked up the hill she heard hooves pounding the ground behind her. She stepped to the side of the road to let the rider pass but then the hooves died down to a walk and she turned. Trystan sat on his mount and looked down at her with a smile, “Well, fancy meeting you here Kali, where you heading?” She looked up at him, furrowing her brows slightly she spoke, “Wow, strange coincidence. You were up on the battlements looking east, no chance you could have possibly seen me walking east on the road now is there?” He shoke his head gently and spoke, “Come on Kali, let me give you a ride to the top of the hill, it’s further and steeper then it seems.” She looked at him again, “Is it now?”

Before he could blink she was gone, standing at the very top of the hill between the row of trees that had been cleared to build the road. She turned and continued walking east, “You little minx,” he whispered to himself and gently nudged Glaive into a gallop. He rode up alongside her again and spoke, “That was fancy, kind of funny too.” She didn’t take her eyes off the road in front of her, “I am glad I could amuse you Trystan, now if you please I would like to be alone.”

He nudged his horse up in front of her and turned him sideways, blocking her path. Sliding off the saddle he stood in front of her and bent down so he could look at her eyes under the hood, “It’s not safe to be out here alone, I can’t in good conscious allow you to be wandering outside the city walls without an escort.”

She flipped her hood back and looked at him, the scorn in her face would have melted ice, “You soldiers and your escorts. Kellan wants me escorted IN the walls, you want me escorted OUTSIDE the walls, do you really think me unable to protect myself from the squirrels and rabbits? That’s all that’s out here you know Trystan, there are no Draconian armies just over the rise.”

He was simply memorized by her beauty. It was drawing him in, with each word he imagined himself pressed against her mouth, breathing with her as they exchanging the very air of life itself. She looked at him and the annoyance on her face was obvious. “Kali, come on, seriously, I am in charge of the city guard, I am tasked with aiding in the defense of Heartlund.” She looked him directly in the eyes, “Then go protect your city. Do you seriously dilute your instincts enough to believe that two wizards built these towers to invade Heartlund? They sacked North Keep and killed several hundred Knights with the flick of their wrist, do you think Heartlund deserves such pomp and circumstance as THAT to fall as well?”

He turned and looked at the towers, she was right. Heartlund would already be destroyed if that was the goal. He looked at her, clearly his mind was empty of a response. She looked him in the eye, “That’s right, you finally understand. These towers are not here for Heartlund, Heartlund is a pebble on the beach, simply stepped over, or on. The Wizards are not after anything you hide behind those walls.”

Trystan spoke, “What do you think then?” Kali only laughed and shoke her head. “It doesn’t really matter what I think Trystan, what I think doesn’t amount to squat.” He turned and grabbed her shoulders, moving her to look at his face, partly in an attempt to engage her in more conversation, but also so he could set up a kiss between them, “It DOES matter Kali, that is why we brought you!” She winced slightly, the tug on her shoulders was painful. She looked him in the face, her eyes going slightly soft. He smiled back at her and he felt as if perhaps, he had gotten through to her, she was going to allow this. She slowly lifted her hand and pressed it into against his chest armor, he inhaled deeply in anticipation. Her small hand suddenly became so hot that he squealed in pain and leapt back. Glaive protested and stomped the ground as Trystan looked down at his breastplate. The imprint of her hand was melted into the steel. He looked up at her in shock, his face a combination of fear and awe. Her finger came up and she pointed it directly in his face, “Don’t grab me like that EVER again.” He backed up a step and nodded softly as he looked down at his feet, “I am sorry.” “Are you?” His face snapped back up to look her in the eyes again. She turned and walked east, followed but at a distance this time.

****

Evening came quickly. Sir Edward stood in the main dining hall of the keep. All manner of food had been prepared and he watched as the chosen Squires moved about to prepare the room for the meal. He turned and looked at Sir Thomas, “I sure hope this all works out. I am not sure the Knights have EVER hired mercenaries.” Thomas nodded as he gently stroked his beard, “I agree Edward, it’s a risky move at best, unfortunately we don’t have a lot of choice in the matter. Do you know anything of this Bad Rock?” Edward shoke his head, “Only rumors. Supposedly he and his daughter work together, mixing magic and sword. Seems highly unlikely.” Edward nodded in agreement and turned to watch the Squires. One of them approached the two and saluted sharply, “Everything is in order sirs.”

“Thank you Gilly.” The young Squire saluted again and the whole lot of them headed to the kitchen. Edward turned to Thomas and with a grim expression spoke, “They should all be arriving soon, I only hope this more relaxed session provides a more open atmosphere.” Thomas nodded and lazily ran his finger across the surface of one of the tables, “Time will tell.”


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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:36 pm



The meeting had gone about as well as Myth could have hoped when he considered the two men in attendance. Humans could hold a grudge with the best of sentient beings and knights in particular held it harder still when honor was involved. Myth had met both these men at some point in time or another on the field when forces clashed. The assurances of both Ceridwyn and Rose had ensured that things had remained chillingly civil. He did not feel it necessary to accept the offer verbally since it would be assumed he would be in attendance if Rayann was attending.

He offered a slight bow to the commanders before turning to his wife and daughter. As Kali exited with the messenger who had come calling his brow furrowed in response to his wife's words. "I do not possess your powers of insight mel'amin but I to can tell that since the night of the high moon that Kali has been.. out of sorts. I to hope we discover what is going on as well. Perhaps I'll broach the subject with her this evening."

The clicking of the armored guards was grating on Myth's nerves and at one point a particularly obnoxious creak in the right knee of the left guard made Myth look back uncontrollably with a hard stare as he grumbled to Rayann mentally. "By the gods could they at least have taken time to properly tend their gear..."

Myth did his best to keep his complaints about the guards to a minimum and tried instead to focus more on more important topics such as Kali and Shaer. As they arrived at their quarters Myth stepped inside while Rayann tended to Shaer. He was tired of the stuffy formal attire and took in a deep breath as he unbuttoned the top most clasp. Taking in a sigh of relief Myth was removing his formal clothes like a cast off skin. He offered Rayann a smile when she entered the room to join him. With her arms sliding around his torso he enfolded her in his arms and nodded in response. Indeed silence was a most blessed thing and he could not help but give her a coy smile at her next suggestion.

Myth lay listening to the sounds of the keep with Rayann resting upon his shoulder. His elven hearing picked up every footstep within range and Myth remembered why he hated fully loaded keeps. One set of footsteps had a ring of familiarity and as they padded down the hall leading to Myth's room Myth grumbled slightly but knew who was coming down the hall. Aeolis's steps were easy to make out in the place and the ranger would not bother Myth's time with Rayann unless it was important, and with some reluctance Myth slid from the comfort of his wife's embrace and dressed once more in his formal attire. The knock came and in moments Myth was answering the door with Blue Moon at his side looking as if he had been waiting all along.

Myth waved off the apology almost immediately "Aeolis you are one of very few people whom I know will not interrupt unless you felt it was absolutely important." Myth scratched the underside of his chin lightly

"From what I gather Bad Rock is fairly straight forward to deal with. Don't be fancy with words and greetings, just get straight to the point. You have come offering a business proposition for him and his companion. Now Bad Rock being loyal to his coin like most mercs will not be keen on taking a job that would bring him into opposition with the Queen. After all she is a lucrative source of income. So I recommend you also get that point on the table as quick as possible. Only tell him what he needs to know... who it is for and who it isn't. As odd as it seems just be honest with him but try not to divulge all the details of the job."

Myth simply looked at Aeolis to gauge the others response.



Rose excused herself from the proceedings as soon as she was capable of. She knew that she had a great deal to discuss with Sir Thomas as she was taking the reins of his now former post. She was delighted at the prospects of this opportunity but at the same time she did not envy her predecessor for the tasks he would be undertaking. Most likely the meeting would wait until the morrow as there were other things to deal with first.

Taking her time getting back to her quarters Rose took a tour of the battlements. At some point she spied to figures in the distance but paid it little attention. a couple figures on the road were not of much note and if they were she would have been informed already. As she drew near her quarters she was greeted by a familiar smile. Larrisa stood outside the door with a hot cup of tea in hand. "Welcome home commander.... I hear congratulations are in order."

Rose could only shake her head as she slowed reaching for the tea. "So it would seem Larrisa... so it would seem..."

"I've already been informed of dinner and have your attire for the evening laid out for you and have a bath being drawn as we speak. Can't have the commander showing up looking fresh off the field of battle. Flint also requested I retrieve your gear for what he classified as... alterations befitting a lass o her status. Seems word of your promotion was being spread the moment it left the lips of the commanders.

"I think a good soak will do me some good Larrisa but first I want you to retrieve Lady Kellan for me." Larrisa raised her eyebrow slightly before nodding her head. "As you wish m'lady." Larrisa was gone in a blink and Rose entered her quarters. It would take a little time and Rose detached pieces of her armor and set it aside before heading to her table to wait patiently. She stared at the paperwork assembled neatly on her desk and began to read the reports that had piled up in her absence. She was deep into an intelligence report from the towers when Larrisa lead Kellan in. Rose never even looked up from her paperwork when she spoke. "That will be all Larrisa... I will call for you when we are done."

Rose remained silent as she finished reading the report letting Kellan stand there waiting in silence. This was a talk that they both knew was coming and while Rose had her intuition she was not above letting a subordinate stew about why they were there. Even Trystan was subject to this treatment when it was warranted. Finally Rose set aside her paperwork and looked up at Kellan. She fixed Kellan with a hard gaze and her face was like stone. She simply sat there and stared for several moments before motioning for Kellan to take a seat.

Her look remained solid for several more moments before it softened slightly "Kellan you have put yourself in a very dangerous situation. Your actions at Glen Durel cast a serious shadow over an otherwise spotless career as a knight. I will not tolerate another slip up like this, but I assume you have brought yourself to that conclusion."

Rose sighed "You and Trystan have served under me faithfully for many seasons and because of that I know things are not as they appear. You have always strive to follow in Liam's footsteps and I know you wouldn't through that away to go frolic in the hay with some elf while abandoning a post. If it were that simple you would have fessed up to it the morning before we left Glen Durel." Rose reached for her glass and sipped from her tea. "There is something about that elf that does not feel right to me. My intuition tells me there is more to him than I can see. I am to assume that you know something about him now that I do not."

Setting the glass down her hands came together and her fingers interlaced "My trust in this is the reason you sit were you do Kellan. I will not ask you to divulge what it is you know. I have a feeling you swore to keep your mouth shut just as I would have in your place." She smiled noting the look on Kellan's face. "I didn't make it to wear I am today Kellan without learning how my knights worked. Nothing short of a sworn oath would make you betray Liam's memory. Because in truth you would be holding yourself to his standards and in fact not be doing that."

Rose's demeanor cooled as she leaned forward. "Unless there is something you would like to discuss with me Kellan you are free to go. Also worry not about Trystan... he and I will be having a long chat on the morrow about the trip to Glen Durel where I will address his short comings as well." The was an unmistakable glint in her eye as she spoke about the matter. She was disappointed with them both because of their behavior but Kellan at the least had a reason for her greatest transgression.
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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:38 am


Aeolis listened to everything Myth told him and nodded. He thought it as much as coming right to the point, but he wanted to be sure before he took a step in the wrong direction and found himself attempting to tread quicksand. Furrowing his brows, he crossed his arms before him as he let all of this news settle into his mind. Finally he nodded again.

”Very well. I shall keep all of this in mind. And I shall not answer a question that has not been asked. Even if it has been asked, I shall choose my words wisely when I answer it. I shall share this information with Lady Kellan so she understands as well. She is a fast learner and I trust her instincts. I just pray his daughter does not prove to be the wild card in all of this. While it goes without saying, the cold makes me have a most foul mood. I would not want to be the cause for the negotiations going awry because of my lack of control. I shall speak with Ceridwyn to see if there is anything I can do to protect myself against becoming an ice statue.”

He smiled slightly then and inclined his head respectfully as he stood at attention then relaxed.

”Thank you for your time. Now, I believe both of us will need to prepare for this evenings meal. Not to mention I left Ceri sleeping and promised her I would return before she awoke. If I were to break that promise…..”

He quirked a brow and left the sentence open for completion but knew the Prince would understand. With a grin, Aeolis walked back towards the room with Myth and once more thanked the Prince for his time before leaving Myth to his privacy with Rayann once more.

With silent footsteps, Aeolis returned to his own room and slipped in as silently as he left. Easing his frame onto the bed next to Ceri, he leaned in and whispered softly in her ear as his finger lazily traced the contore of her profiled body as she slept on her side.

”You are beautiful when you sleep, mel’amin. But I love looking into your eyes more when you are awake then seeing them closed in slumber.”







Kellan had not even completely settled her things into her room when she had to move them back out and take up residence back in the former barracks she had just left, only now, she was in a larger room that depicted her rank. Once more whispers followed her the whole way but again, she ignored them and walked proudly.

She was just finishing up getting her things put away when Larissa came to summon her for an audience with Lady Rose. There was a moment of sheer panic hen Kellan pushed that panic down and nodded. Smoothing out her tunic, she double checked her new insignia to make sure it was placed in the correct position before she turned and followed along behind Larissa.

Once she arrived, Kellan brushed some errant hair from her brow and stood at attention waiting for Lady Rose to instruct her as to what to do. When Larissa was excused and Lady Rose still studied her papers, Kellan began to wonder what was about to happen. Her mind began to think of all the things that were unpleasant and her panic began to rise once more.

Finally Lady Rose addressed her and Kellan’s gaze immediately snapped to that of Lady Rose. Kellan saw the hard look on Rose’s face and she couldn’t help but swallow hard. Kellan sat down as instructed and as Rose began to talk about what took place at Glen Durel, Kellan’s panic began to grow. What if Rose asked her to tell her what happened between her and Nol? She didn’t want to out right lie. It wasn’t in Kellan’s nature to lie and she was terrible at it whenever she tried, even though all other times had been to help with a surprise for someone. And that panic was rising higher as she heard Rose say she felt there was more to Nol than what appeared to be evident.

But when Kellan heard Rose’s words, she blinked and felt her mouth grow slack. Rose…..knew she had sworn an oath of silence? As Rose explained she was no inexperienced leader and the fact she knew Kellan would never do anything to disgrace herself or Liam’s memory and holding herself to Liam’s standards, Kellan closed her slightly opened mouth and clamped down on her jaw. She had just dodged a huge quagmire of trouble and she couldn’t stop silently thanking Paladine enough for that.

Taking the opening she had been offered, Kellan shook her head then stood up and saluted Rose.

”No, Ma’am. I need to get back to my station and prepare for the trip with the Elf, Aeolis.”

She turned and walked to the door and reached to open it then stopped and turned to face Lady Rose again.

”Thank you, Lady Rose. I didn’t think there was anyone who could be as good a leader as Sir Trystan, but I find you proving me wrong. I can see where he learned his leadership abilities. It is an honor to serve under you, Ma’am.”

Turning once again, Kellan exited the room and made her way back to her room. Her mind was whirling about everything that had happened in the last thirty six hours. Her brother had been murdered. Trystan had feelings for her and showed them to her. She traveled to a most magical place where peace and tranquility abounded, despite all the trouble that existed outside the protective walls. She had been privileged to see – and ride – a dragon. She felt her heart crushed from the weight of hurt seeing how Trystan treated her after the magical night they shared when he met Kali. Had been demoted and threatened with a court martial only to find out she’d been promoted to the top of her division. Now she was getting ready to embark on a trip to retrieve a mercenary and an ice wielding sorceress.

Kellan was afraid to ask what else could possibly happen next but yet she still wondered what the future would be for her. For all of Krynn.

Sighing deeply, Kellan walked into her room and looked around. It felt foreign and empty. While she was honored to be given the rank she’d been awarded, there was no one to share the news with and because of that, she felt utterly alone in the middle of all of these people she had taken an oath to protect. Even when the odds were seriously stacked against her.

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:54 am




Kali and Trystan walked back through the main entrance of the Keep. It was getting late and dinner was in an hour. The guards could not help but notice the handprint, melted into the armor Trystan wore, but being only city guard they exchanged only short glances with one another. Kali walked half a pace in front of Trystan to avoid his annoying conversation and when they finally got to where she knew he would need to turn to take his mount to the Livery he spoke, “Umm, Kali, one second please.” She stopped and turned as she inhaled a breath to calm herself, biting her tongue behind her teeth.

Trystan turned to a patrolling guard and handed him Glaive’s reigns, “Please see my mount to the Livery and then continue with your patrol.” “Aye sir,” came the man’s immediate response with a sharp salute and he took the majestic horse off the main street and towards the stables. Trystan turned back to Kali and smiled, “Well, to your room then.” She stared coldly at him and he took half a step back. “NO, umm, I didn’t mean it like that, just that I would escort you to the door.” She regarded him with a stiff glare and spoke, “I am tired of this nonsense, I can find my way to my room without you padding along behind me.” Trystan looked at her and spoke, “It’s protocol Kali, you and your mother and Ceridwyn are too important to not be unescorted, it is the way and custom of the Knights of Solamnia to provide you assigned escorts while you stay with us to insure…” “Then bloody well assign them and be on with your duties!”

Trystan recoiled slightly, afraid of what she might melt this time. He narrowed his eyes and moved in closer when he saw that her hands remained at her sides, “Please Kali, let me see you to your room.” She stood motionless a moment, and without a word she turned on her heel and went across the drawbridge of the Keep and through its gate. Ascending the stairs she stopped when she reached her room and turned to look at him, “Very well Trystan, you have seen me to my room, should you come in now and see if the sheets have been turned and tucked properly?” He was about to speak but the look in her eyes suggested he should keep his innuendos to himself. He simply nodded and responded, “I will see you at the dinner this evening, 50 minutes.” She sighed and pushed the door to her room open and slammed it behind her. Walking to her bed she flipped her robes off over her head and went to the bathing area. How she missed the running water like they had at Glen Durel, how she missed her home and its fragrances and fields, the flowers, the green grass and the calm it brought her, at least to the extent she FELT calm anymore. With a sigh she touched her finger to the water that was in the rub and hissed words of magic. In an instant the water was steaming and hot, she smiled and eased herself in, letting the soothing heat relax and calm her.

She dressed herself in a blood red dress that was a little more formal and appropriate for a dinner party. With a quick look she brushed the few wrinkles out, tucked some spell components into the hidden pockets and made her way to the door. She opened it and across the hall stood two city guard at full attention. “By the GODS,” They looked at her and one spoke, “We are assigned to escort you lady.” She slammed the door behind her practically shaking the torches from the walls and spoke, “Then do as you must.” They looked at each other uneasily and then turned, moving down the hall and bringing her to the main dining hall. It was decorated ornately with banners and flowers. The far end of the hall had three magnificent banners that hung from the high ceiling and almost touched the floor, one for each order of the Knights. On the left side was the banner of the Crown, on the far right was the banner of the Sword and in the center was the banner of the Rose. Much to her surprise the room smelled fantastic, unlike the stuffy must smell of the rest of the place this hall smelled of wildflowers and well prepared food. She felt a smile cross her lips and stepped in, looking around. Many had already arrived and the hall had about 100 people in it, talking and drinking fine mead as they exchanged laughter. She turned and caught sight of her parents, they were off to the side talking with Lady Rose.

Rose was smiling, and actually seemed to be enjoying herself as she talked informally with her parents. She took a step towards them and Trystan stepped out from seemingly nowhere. “My, aren’t you looking incredible this evening?” She looked at him and responded, “I don’t know Trystan, that’s sort of a matter of opinion isn’t it, as subjective as the art that hangs on the walls.” He laughed at her sarcasm and responded, “Well I think you are the most visually appealing thing in all of Krynn.” She actually felt that one, and she looked up at him, the expression on her face was softer and she flushed in her cheeks slightly. Clearing her throat she looked into his warm eyes and a smile eased across her face. He spoke again, “Let me get you something to drink, perhaps some mead? Heartlund Keep is known for its mead, best in all the land.” She smiled but shoke her head, “No thanks, I don’t drink anything that clouds the mind, but I would love some hot honey mint tea if you can round some up.” He smiled and nodded, “In fact I can Kali, wait here, I will be right back.” He returned with a cup of tea and handed it to her. “Thank you Sir Trystan.” She smiled and nodded as she sipped the delightfully warm beverage and watched him over the rim of her cup.


Ceridwyn slept tucked tightly in the large, warm leaves of the bed she had created for herself and Aeolis. The bed sat on roots that supported it above the cold stone floor and sprouted into massive leaves that would roll and tucks themselves around whomever laid upon it. She had in fact slept so well she never heard Aeolis enter their room and it wasn’t until his finger was brushing across her that she roused. She heard his voice and she smiled as she responded, “To truly love your lady is to let her sleep mel’amin.” She giggled softly at her own wit and rolled over, putting her arms around him and drawing him into herself. The feeling of his warm body soothed her and she spoke, “Why can’t it just be like this, no missions, no war, just this.” She inhaled deeply and held him a while as she woke up from her slumber. Finally she leaned back and brought her face up to his, kissing him gently and brushed the leaf off herself as she groaned that it was time to wake.

Standing she walked over to the wash basin and splashed water on her face. She rubbed some of the perfumed oil from Silvanost on herself and then put her white robes back on. Turning to look at Aeolis she smiled as she spoke, “How do I look?” His compliments made her blush and she walked over to him, hugging him tightly she took his hand and he escorted her to the main dining hall.

Upon arrival she was astonished at how elaborately decorated it was, especially for a human Keep. There were flowers everywhere and the room was very inviting. There were people everywhere and laughter could be heard echoing off the walls. Speaking to Aeolis’ mind he could hear the slight edge of concern in her voice at first, ~ “You would never think that just outside the walls looms the greatest threat to Krynn that has ever existed.” ~ Her voice then softened a little and she spoke to his mind once more, ~ “Then again this is where humanity out does the Elves, the ability to blow off the stress and simply enjoy one’s self, if even for just a night. To forget the problems you are about to face and simply enjoy the company of your fellows. Where we retreat to shut the world out they embrace it, despite the problems.” ~ She looked up at him and smiled as she slipped her arm around the small of his back.

Looking over near the Banner of the Sword she spotted Lady Rose, Rayann and Myth’alas. She tapped Aeolis gently in the ribs and pointed, “There is our Prince, shall we?”


Kellan made it to her room and her look was sad. From the shadow behind the curtain he studied her face and when it appeared she was about to shed tears he whispered, “How lovely you look.” Her snap of surprise and the sound of steel leaving the scabbard caused Nol to smile, “And how deliciously capable.”

He stepped from the shadow, his body covered in formal clothing made from the finest silks she had ever seen. He was without his swords and his face seemed to glow as he walked up until her sword tip was only a millimeter from his chest, “Do I dare challenge you to extinguish the intruder in your quarters?”



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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:02 pm


Rayann was escorted to the dining hall with Myth by her side. She knew it grated his last nerve to have these constant escorts go with them where ever they went but he did understand why which is the only reason he tolerated them in the first place. She chose a blood red dress with silver accents around the scooped neckline, cuff of the long sleeve and an intricate braiding design at the hem. On her feet were the soft boots Myth had given her when they first met. It was the one piece of clothing she refused to give up no matter what occasion it was. Her hair was pulled back from her face on the sides and clipped in the back by the delicate rose hair pin Myth gave her. Her ringlet, almost white hair hung down her back and over her shoulders and she looked ever bit as regal as the Elven Prince she was married to. She heard the gasps and whispers when they arrived knowing both of them were the cause of the reactions.

Her grip on Myth’s arm tightened slightly as her apprehension of mingling in large crowds began to take over. With a reassuring pat from his free hand, she glanced up into his emerald gaze and saw the warmth and softness he had when ever he looked upon her and knew she had nothing to fear as along as he was with her. With a smile and slight nod, she let him know she would be fine so long as he was there with her.

When they began to speak with the gathered Knights, Rayann began to relax even more as she realized they were more interested in talking with Myth instead of being enamored with her. It was a change of pace for her and she was more thankful for that than anyone, excluding Myth, could know.

She and Myth were having a wonderful, relaxing conversation with Lady Rose when she heard a sudden quiet fall over the room followed by similar gasps and whispers she heard when she and Myth arrived. When she looked up she saw Kali had entered and dressed in a similar colored dress, saw the affect her daughter had on the gathered Knights. Rayann understood their reaction for she thought her daughter was more beautiful now than the last time she’d seen her. When she saw Kali look at her and Myth, Rayann smiled and nodded letting Kali know she was more than welcomed to join them. But when Trystan appeared before Kali, Rayann felt a reaction from her daughter that made her gasp softly. It was only momentary bt it was so intense she knew it had something to do with Tryatan. When Myth gave her a quick, concerned glance, Rayann shook her head in a way that was barely noticeable but mentally she was telling him she would explain later.





Aeolis melted against Ceri when she pulled him down to lie with her. He curled in against her and wrapped his arms around her holding her close to him as she held him close to her. He loved these moments with her and they were far too few to even think of missing one, no matter how close to dinner time it was. When she finally spoke and kissed him, he returned the kiss and reluctantly released her so she could prepare for the dinner ahead.

He watched her lazily for a few minutes then slid from the leaf bed himself to dress properly as well. While she chose her white robes, he chose formal Elven clothing that had the insignia of his rank and the crest of the guards of Silvanost on the tunic. His clothing was earthen colored and only a small silver band around the right shoulder was any form of decorating.

When Ceri turned to him and asked how she looked, Aeolis let her know in no uncertain terms just what he thought of how she looked and it caused her to blush deeply. He couldn’t help but laugh when he realized held left her speechless for once in his life. Drawing her close and kissing her soundly, Aeolis chuckled again.

”Remember, mel’amin, I am a guard and sometimes we drop all of our formalities and just be males.”

As soon as they stepped outside their door and made their way to the dining hall with their escorts, Aeolis was all business. Like Myth it irritated him to no end that these guards were their constant companions but he knew why they were necessary. As they stepped into the dining hall and saw all the camaraderie that was taking place,m the lively conversations and the bright atmosphere, he agreed with Ceri and nodded as he spoke to her mind as well.

~I envy their ability to release themselves from their troubles at times like this. Perhaps I will be able to do so this night as well. Only I will not imbibe in the spirits as humans have a tendency to do.~

As Ceri found the others and suggested they join them, Aeolis nodded in agreement again.

”The new rank fits Lady Rose well.”




The male voice in her chambers caused Kellan to forget her troubles and instantly react. It was strictly forbidden that a member of the opposite sex enter the private quarters of another and to hear the male made her think if the person had no regard for the rules then they were not there for honorable purposes. The voice was not foreign to her and when she saw Nol step from the shadow and walk toward her, she felt her breath catch in her throat. Her light brown eyes traveled over his form until they returned to his eyes.

Realizing Nol was in her room and the door w2as closed behind her, Kellan finally let the breath go that had gotten caught and smirked slightly. With her sword raised, she pointed it right at Nol’s chest knowing it was a futile attempt but the intent was very clear. When he asked her the question about the intruder in her room, Kellan arched a fine brow.

”Intruder indeed. I would ask how you got in here without being noticed but I believe I know the answer already. I’m sure you’ve got quite a few tricks up your sleeves. After all, you’ve had a few years to perfect them. And extinguishing you is the last thing I would do. Not that I could…”

Slowly lowering her blade, she slid it back into her scabbard then unbuckled the belt that held it strapped to her body and set the blade carefully on the right side of her room. Unclasping her breastplate, she began to remove her training armor, one piece at a time.

”I didn’t think I’d see you again. Does Kali know you’re here?”

Sitting down in the chair next to the frame that held her training armor in place, she looked up into Nol’s handsome face and felt her heart thud faster and harder in her chest. He was very handsome in this Elven form and she had trouble believing he was a dragon, but the fact he was a dragon made her logical mind remind her they were two very different creatures and not meant to be anything but…..

But what? Friends? Acquaintances? Ally’s? What exactly does one become with a dragon? A sad look crossed Kellan’s face again as she realized there was no chance a relationship she and Nol cold ever be anything more than what ever it was they were going to be. Even though she could already tell she had developed feelings for him dispite the fact he was a dragon.

How pathetic was she? A man she had been in love with for a long time finally revealed he had feelings for her as well and she risked everything to be with him only to have him reject her after she had given him the one thing she could give to without demand. Then she meets this incredible Elf who is quite possibly the most handsome male she has ever laid eyes on, has a very masculine presence about him and could handle her profession only to find out he wasn’t an Elf at all but a powerful, experienced dragon. With a sigh, she leaned over and started removing her shin guards. Did the Gods toy with all mortals like this or was she an exception? And what good did it do to dwell on it? There was nothing she could do about it anyway so she had best just stop feeling sorry for herself and pour herself into her work,

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:20 pm


“Tricks, techniques, call it what you will,” he smiled softly as the response left his lips. He ran his finger along Kellan’s blade as she withdrew it and looked at her with a wink, “One is never truly sure what or what they are not capable of unless they try, but I will admit that your lack of confidence in yourself is somewhat unbecoming.” He smiled when she looked at him and he sat as she began to strip her armor. When she mentioned Kali he shoke his head and responded, “No, she does not know, but that is immaterial, she is not my lady and therefore she doesn’t need to know my comings and goings.”

She turned and looked at him and he shrugged, “We have been over for almost a year, and she is not interested in me, at least not until I found you. Suddenly she wants things both ways, and that is juvenile as well as unrealistic. Besides, she has moved on, she fancies Trystan, it’s only fair that she let me do the same and find someone knew.” Kellan’s eyes told it all and he suddenly realized, “I… I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you had feelings for him. I suppose I should have known, it’s very common for a lady to fall in love with her superior and a superior with his female assistant. It has to do with the created instincts of men and women, she helps him and therefore completes him and thusly he falls for her…” he paused and realized she was giving him such a queer expression she was undoubtedly bored, or completely confused. “Again, I apologize.”

He watched her and the silence between them spoke volumes. He traced his finger along the elegantly carved arm of the chair and as she sighed he looked up again. Her armor was completely off at this point and he nodded softly as her figure was more pronounced now in the slightly sweaty clothing she wore. He looked at her eyes and smiled warmly as he spoke, “You are contemplating the differences between us aren’t you?” Her look said it all as she sighed, “I assure you, there is nothing to hinder our relationship based on what species we are. I am willing to overlook such things if you are, but if it pleases you, I will leave and never return. I do not wish to cause you discomfort or confusion, it’s simply a matter of interest, you are extremely beautiful, quite soft on the eyes and quite frankly, I think you are one of the most beautiful humans I have ever laid my eyes on. I don’t want to play any games with you, so if you would like me to leave, please just say the word, and I will.”




Trystan smiled as Kali looked at him and he spoke, “Perhaps I have cracked the shell?” Kali rolled her eyes and spoke, “Trystan, listen. You are a handsome man, that is certain.” He interrupted, “And you are a beautiful woman, see we already have something in common.” She could not help but smile but continued, “The fact is, we are about to go to war, and this war is going to be costly, trust me when I say lives are going to be lost, on both sides. What we are about to face is beyond anything that has ever surfaced on Krynn, and we have to be realistic about what is happening.”

Trystan nodded and spoke to her, his eyes tracing her face, “I know what we are up against, I may not know the details, and I might not know the scope, but we are up against evil, and by my sword I will defend the innocent of this world from it. However, without a purpose what is the point?” His statement caught her ears and she looked up at him, “And what purpose would you fight for?”

“Love.”

The conviction behind that one spoken word caused her ears to twitch slightly and she felt her breath catch in her chest. She knew immediately what he was getting at and she shoke her head, “No Trystan, you cannot love me, not after only 48 hours. Besides, Kellan is obviously in your heart.” Shaking his head he responded, “I thought she was, but she was easily swayed by Nol, if her love is so frail then how can I know it is a love that is true? No, Kellan was an interest of mine, but I have realized it was more out of knowing her from such a young age, I knew very few women the way I knew her, but I would be betraying Liam if I pursued things with her, besides, she is a Knight and for two Knights to have a relationship is well beyond the protocols or honor we uphold. It was unrealistic to think we could make it work, Lady Rose was willing to let us try, but you saw how easily that fell apart. I still have a good talking to coming I assure you of that.”

Kali glanced over at Lady Rose and then back to Trystan, “I am sure, and you deserve it.” His eyes snapped to hers as she spoke that comment and she was hiding her grin behind her cup, pretending to sip but he immediately saw that her cup was empty. “You’re trouble you know it?” Kali brought the cup down and responded, “My dearest Sir Trystan, you have NO idea.” His eyes filled with hunger and he leaned forward, “Would you like to go outside onto the balcony? The landscape looks absolutely brilliant from the balcony adjacent to this hall, especially under the mixed light of the moons. They are still quite bright being only a few nights past High Moon.”

She looked at him and nodded softly, “That sounds pleasant, lead on.” He smiled and nodded in return, “Good.” With a smile he gestured with his arm and led the way to the balcony, the two of them disappearing from the room.


Ceridwyn smiled as Aeolis spoke and the two of them walked over to Rayann, Myth and Lady Rose. “Good evening Prince.” She nodded ever so slightly, a gesture that Myth had seen her give to very few Elves of high command, in fact she rarely did it even to his Father, the Speaker of the Stars. With a smile she turned to Lady Rose, “Nice to see you again Commander, Aeolis and I were just talking and the promotion fits you well, it is good to see that a person of honor was recognized and given her due.”

Finally she turned to Rayann and her smile became warmer than it had been to the other two. It was obvious the affection she had for her dear friend. “You look lovely tonight Rayann, you rival the Elves.” She smiled and hugged Rayann tightly. As she withdrew a Porter approached with a tray containing tea for Ceridwyn and Aeolis. She took it with a smile and sipped, inhaling the scent deeply as she did so. “There is nothing is delightful as a good brew of tea don’t you think?” The others gathered could not tell who she was talking to in that moment, if anyone. She opened her eyes and flushed slightly, “I apologize, for my first love has always been the strained liquid off of leaves.” She winked at Aeolis and then turned to the group as the conversation continued.



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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:13 pm


He may have looked humanoid but he had much to learn about others feelings and how to handle them. Especially when they were fragile as Kellan’s were right now. However, she was learning very quickly what Liam told her long ago about growing a hard shell for herself. Nol so mater of factly stated everything that Kellan could find no argument to refute anything he said to her. While that should have been liberating, it felt more like a shackle around her heart. Was that exactly what happened between herself and Trystan? He’d developed feelings for her because he felt she completed him because she helped him? Why wouldn’t it be the reason he developed feelings for her that was so easily dropped?

”Well….if he fancies Kali then who am I to hold him back and tell him he can’t do whatever it is he wants to do? I’m nothing but his protégé. Or at least was until a few hours ago. At any rate, apparently what we had, or what I thought we had, is no more. Perhaps it never was in the first place.”

She’d never met a being that was so perceptive as Nol was and the fact it seemed as though he could look into her heart and see exactly what she’s thinking and feeling was just another reminder he was something much more than what he appeared to be. Kellan was dirty from head to toe after a very extensive workout and she desperately needed to get ready for this formal dinner. A dinner she really didn’t want to attend yet now was required as part of the duties of her new station. Worst of all, she would have to see Trystan and Kali together and right now, that’s the last thing she really wanted to see. But she was learning quickly she had to swallow her pride and perform her duties to the best of her abilities. And she would prove to them all she could come face to face with her heartbreak and hold her head up with dignity.

Kellan was just getting ready to say something when Nol stated he would leave and never return if that’s what she wanted. She felt her mouth grow slack as he continued to talk and she couldn’t do anything but stare at him for a moment. Finally she recovered from her surprise and she shook her head rather adamantly.

”No, no….please….don’t leave. I just…..I’m just a bit overwhelmed right now, Nol. Really….The last thing I want you to do is leave. I don’t know what to do…..My life has been quite the strangest the last thirty six hours. My brother was murdered. I thought I had someone to love and love me in return. I discovered….well….YOU….I’ve been demoted, threatened with a court martial only to be promoted to the top of my division. Now I have to attend a dinner that will have everyone of importance there and I’m not even ready so I’m going to be late yet again.”

Kellan turned her back on Nol as she struggled to gain control of her emotions once more. She couldn’t help but laugh softly as she thought of the way he told her she was quite beautiful a few moments ago.

”Some beautiful human I make right now….”

Taking a deep breath she turned around and took a deep breath.

”Something tells me I’m going to need you and not just because you’re a dragon. I don’t know what to think about you and me. All I know is that I’m really confused right now and I can’t…..”

She felt her throat constrict and she gasped for breath as she rapidly blinked back tears that threatened to form in her eyes. When she spoke again this time, her voice was hushed and full of emotions that threatened to drown her again.

”I can’t give my heart away so easily again.”





Rayann smiled warmly when Ceri and Aeolis appeared. She continued to watch the exchange between Kiali and Trystan but when Ceri arrived and addressed Myth then herself, Rayann hugged her dear friend tightly and spoke to her mind.

~I’m so glad you arrived. I fear I’m not much of a military mind and while I’m so glad someone is occupying Myth’s attention, I feel like a weed in the middle of a flower garden.~

Rayann glanced over at Kali as she saw her daughter move out of the main dining room with Trystan and head towards the balcony. Looking back at Ceri, she smiled warmly and took the cup of tea the porter also brought for her.




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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:57 pm


He stood and walked over to her when she turned away. He heard her lilting giggle and when she turned around he was right there to look her in the eye. "I would say yes, you are the epitome of a beautiful human, your emotions are part of what makes you so delightful, it's more than physical appearance, it's the whole package."

She went on and he smiled when she confessed that she felt she would need him, but her last statement is what caught him and he only smiled, "I am not asking you to give your heart away Kellan, but I would request that when you are ready, when you feel it is right, that you would trust me to protect it, to look after it, and to defend it. I am not one to easily love and leave. I admit, I loved Kali, and on some level I still do, but she left me, and I don't see that being repaired, she has made her thoughts and feelings known to me, both through her words and her actions. Believe me when I say, it is over between us." He brushed a small tendril of moist hair from her cheek and nodded his head, "My statement stands, you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen."

He stepped back, he wasn't about to put any sort of undue pressure on her. "You need not worry, the dinner is an informal one, there is no late, there is only the attendance that is required of you." He reached out and took her hand, bringing it up he placed a small hair clip in her open palm. It was the symbol of Paladine, the god they both served. "Wear this in your hair, it will bring you comfort in knowing that I am watching over you, and should you need me, whisper my name to it, I will hear you. For now, I should go so you can bath and change, there is no excuse in forcing you to struggle with your feelings while I am in the room. Know my heart, and my heart is one of honor, I will never do anything to harm or betray you."

He pressed the hair clip into her palm. It was warm from his unnaturally warm skin and he smiled deeply. She would immediately see the cleverness in disguising this trinket in the symbol of their god instead of a dragon, it would be completely innocent and appropriate to show the support of her patron god, none would be the wiser of what the clip truly was. He smiled and rubbed a finger on her cheek, it's warmth was like fire, yet inviting beyond measure. "Though I intended to be there if you wanted me to be, I will not attend tonight, there is no need to bring unnecessary drama into an already fragile situation. But know that I am near should you need me."

He stepped back into the shadows, his eyes shined like silver orbs for a brief moment and then flickered like a blink, she could feel that he was gone.





Kali stood beside Trystan on the balcony. He was right, the view of Heartlund was exquisite from this vantage point, and because the towers were on the other side of the Keep not even they disturbed the tranquil view. She inhaled deeply and glanced sideways at him. He was a specimen to behold, she had to admit. She had seen it initially but her annoyance with him had kept her from truly looking. His long blond hair was blowing in front of his face in the soft, unusually warm winter evening, and she felt her heart beat slightly faster in her chest. She diverted her eyes and looked out across the city again, speaking to him as they both stared into the distance, "So how long have you been stationed here?"

He spoke as he watched two city guard moving across one of the battlements, "Just under 4 years, before that I was stationed with Liam at North Keep. I was also his Squire, so it was natural to continue under his tutelage. Once I was promoted to Knight of the Sword I was moved here under Commander Edwards, and then Commander Rose. There has been a lot of shifting lately as the assignments for experienced Knights increased. Rose was Mistress of the Keep and because I had such extensive knowledge of the defenses here I was given orders to stay behind and assist her." She turned and looked at him, "Do you like it here?"

He turned and looked at her, "I do, I mean, I did more before the towers, but yes, all in all the landscape is beautiful, the Keep is less confining than many others due to it being the central command headquarters, and I enjoy the men and women under my command." She looked him in the eye, "Especially the women?"

He raised his eyebrows and could not help but chuckle, "No, I am not that type of man. Yes, I am capable of love, but it would be dishonorable to behave in such a manner." She looked at him, "But you have thought about it?" He laughed again and stood upright, leaning heavily on his left arm as he stared at her, "I think about it no more than any other man." "So around 500 times a day then?" He laughed aloud and she shoke her head. He responded, "Sadly no, my duties keep my much too busy to ponder on romance that often, besides, I wouldn't have that kind of energy." She laughed and looked up at him, her eyes sparkling in the soft pink hue of the moons mixed light, "You are truly a thorn in my side Trystan, you know that right?" He brushed a portion of her honey blond hair aside and tucked it behind her ear as he leaned in closer and whispered, "I sure hope that I am."

His lips were as warm as fire and she pressed herself into him like she never had for any other man. How was it that this man whom she could not stand was suddenly the most interesting man she had ever met. Was it his persistence? Was it his dedication to something more than himself? Whatever it was she didn't really know, but what she was sure of was that her stomach was full of butterflies who were all active beyond measure and she could not get enough of his warmth. She brought her hands up and pressed them into the back of his head, pulling him in as tightly as she could, the moist sensation of his lips all she could concentrate on. Finally there was a noise behind him and she released, stepping back slightly as two other Knights walked onto the balcony, drinks in hand, talking and laughing loudly. She stepped back as she bit her lip, looking up at him. The hunger in his eyes was undeniable, but his restraint was testimony to his training and discipline, he did not edge a millimeter towards her while his colleagues were behind him. One of them finally spoke to the two, "Sir Trystan! How good to see you, congratulations on the promotion!"

Trystan turned and smiled, Kali peeked over his shoulder as the two Knights approached, "Greetings Sir Walter, Sir Brennan. Thank you for the well wishes." One of the two looked around him and spoke, "And what have we here?" Kali stepped aside and revealed herself fully, the two men stopped and had looks of unease on their faces once they recognized her as the younger of the two red robes that were in their presence the last 12 hours. "Gentlemen, allow me to introduce Kali of the Order of Red Robes. She is the daughter of Rayann and Myth'alas whom we solicited for aid in the fight of the towers."

The two Knights exchanged uneasy glances but remained cordial, "It is a pleasure to meet you Lady Kali." "I am no Knight sir, please do not address me as lady, and it is also a pleasure to meet you." He smiled uneasily and nodded, "Very well... Ms. Kali. I can't say that I am looking forward to battling whatever created those things, but it is a nice assurance to have mages on our side." She looked at him with her crystal blue eyes that seemed to bore right into his heart, "Is it? Your sense of unease and nervousness around me suggests otherwise. Lies are not becoming of a Knight of Solamnia." The Knight smiled nervously and simply regarded her a moment before chuckling what was an obviously hollow laugh, "Well then, it was a pleasure seeing you both, enjoy your evening. Sir Trystan, they just brought in some roast lamb, you should try it, spectacular and tender." "Thank you Sir Walter, we will."

The Knights turned and whispered to one another as they made their way back inside, Trystan turned to her and spoke, "You shouldn't talk to them like that, the Knights of Solamnia don't trust wizards enough as it is, you will only turn them against you in the end." She regarded him and spoke an almost immediate response, "I don't really give a damn what they think Trystan, it is not in me to face someone without being myself. If they are uneasy with my presence then perhaps you should have never come for me." He looked at her and furrowed his brow slightly, "We didn't have much choice, we needed your assistance." She responded, "Then I suggest you start explaining to your fellow Knights that we are here of our own accord, and that we can be trusted." He nodded and then a smile formed across his face, "Perhaps you are right."

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:17 pm


Rayann would feel Ceridwyn's laugh, though none would see it. She spoke to Rayann's mind in response, ~ "I admit, I too am one who gives little regard to the affairs of military men, but somehow we both managed to fall in love with one. That's what you call a paradox." ~ She smiled and winked as she reached and grabbed Rayann by the hand.

"Gentlemen, if you will excuse us, we have business to attend to." She smiled as she pulled Rayann from Myth's side and walked with her to the food table. "And now, the real fun begins." She nudged Rayann and handed her a plate as she grabbed one for herself. She saw Aeolis look at her with disappointment, knowing he would have gladly gotten her food for her, but she smiled and shoke her head, telling him non-verbally that he needed to be among his comrades and that she and Rayann were quite fine. As they walked along the banquet table she spoke softly, "Kali is calm, I can feel it though I have not seen her. It is a strange calm however, almost as if she is conflicted, yet comfortable. Have you seen her?"

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:27 am


If any other man had reached out towards Kellan, she would have tilted her head away from him and quite possibly swatted his hand away but Nol was not just any other man. That split second of touch she felt from his fingertip caused her to suck in her breath silently and hold it. When he moved the hair from her cheek, she wanted his touch to remain but she dared not tell him. She was afraid she would open up a door that couldn’t be closed and right now, she wasn’t ready for that. At least not yet.

She felt her cheeks grow warm when he complimented her again and while she wanted to turn away from him, she simply couldn’t. There was something about the sincerity of his words that told her they were exactly how he felt. They weren’t just hollow words to try and gain her trust. But when he stepped back, she was both thankful and disappointed all at the same time.

Once again she was about to say something when he reached for her hand. As before, the warmth of his touch caused her suck in her breath and hold it. The feel of his warm hand over hers brought a sense of comfort and excitement to her she’d never felt before. Not even when Trystan…..Kellan immediately stopped herself from comparing Nol to Trystan. They were two very different men and it was not fair to either of them.

When she felt an object in her hand, she glanced down and saw a hair pin in the shape of Paladine. Looking back up into his shimmering eyes as he explained what it really was, Kellan glanced at the pin once more and then curled her fingers around it protectively. He left her speechless. No one had ever given her such a beautiful gift and no one had ever been so honest with her regarding her emotions. It was raw and like an open wound yet it didn’t hurt her in any way. She felt very vulnerable and very empowered all at the same time.

The warmth of the clip coupled with the warmth of his touch made her sigh softly. It was a contented sigh yet one that seemed to want more as well. Kellan instantly wanted to explore that firey touch to see if it felt that way on other parts of her body and her cheeks flushed once more at the path her thoughts were taking. Closing her eyes and savoring the feel of his touch for a few seconds, she opened her eyes to look at him once more. The look in her eyes was undeniable and for a brief moment, he saw that raw emotion within her. Finally she blinked and her light brown eyes watched him step back and disappear from the shadow he had emerged from.

Looking down at the clip he had given her, Kellan curled her fingers around it once more then brought it close to her heart and let it rest there as she closed her eyes again. He made her heart do flips in her chest, her stomach quiver and every nerve ending in her body tingle.. That wasn’t natural yet it felt so right. When Kellan opened her eyes, she took a deep breath and walked over to her dresser, setting the hair pin down with some reluctance before she started to strip out of her clothes. Pausing as she started to remove her tunic, she glanced around her room once more to make sure Nol was really gone then berated herself for thinking he was anything but honorable.

”Silly female….he would never spy on you like that.”


An hour later, Kellan was approaching the doors to the dining hall. She could hear the sounds of conversation, laughter and gathering echoing from the walls of the place and down the hallway. She was nervous as this was her first public outing in her new rank. She paused at the end of the hallway and looked down at her attire once more, smoothing out the fitted tunic once again. She was dressed in dark brown leggings tucked into highly polished black boots that thudded softly when she walked, a light brown, fitted tunic that accentuated her femininity cinched at the waist by a wide, black belt. A small crest of the Knights of Solamnia rested at the center of her chest and on her shoulder lapels were the chevrons that signified her rank. Her dirty blonde hair was pulled back from her face on the left side and secured in place with the hair pin Nol had given to her earlier.

Taking a deep breath to try and calm the nervousness she felt, she reached up and touched the pin, felt it’s warmth and felt herself calm knowing Nol was there in spirit if not in person. Settling her arms at her side, Kellan squared her shoulders and walked the short distance into the dining hall. Her eyes scanned the gathered crowd and she noticed Trystan and Kali both were missing. For some reason, she felt herself deflate but quickly dismissed that and descended the steps into the throng of fellow Knights and guests. She was congratulated by several of her fellow Knights as she passed by them making her way to Lady Rose as she stood talking to Rayann, Ceridwyn, Myth and Aeolis. She was halfway there when her path was blocked by one of the Knights that had spoken to Kali and Trystan earlier.

”Ah. Lady Kellan. Congratulations on your promotion. I’m sure Sir Liam would be very proud of his sister. After all, it’s not every day one is promoted so quickly to such a high rank. Especially when it appeared as though you had been demoted when you returned from your trip to retrieve the Mages. Perhaps I was mistaken in thinking this.”

Kellan felt her back stiffen and she took half a step back away from the man. Putting a pleasant smile on her face, she politely spoke to him but her words were chilled at the least.

”Thank you, Sir Walter. Perhaps but I believe all that matters right now is that we have restored some semblance of order to the Knights so we can concentrate on the true issue at hand and not who has or has not been promoted. We will need all of our clear thinking minds to deal with the fight we will be engaged at sooner than we think. I for one am looking forward to aiding my fellow Knights. Aren’t you?

Walter took another pull from his tankard as his eyes narrowed slightly looking down at Kellan. When he lowered the half full tankard, he swirled the contents a moment as he looked at it.

”I am. I just hope my fellow Knights have the courage that will be needed to lead those who are beneath them.”

Walter lifted his gaze then to level it on Kellan’s. She felt herself bristle at his remark and knew what he was referring to. She had been overcome byt the fear that struck her when she went to investigate the towers but unlike the others, she was one of the few that had been able to recover from the experience and return to duty.

”Actions always speak louder than words, Sir Walter. Now if you will excuse me, I need to greet my commander and our guests.”

Kellan brushed past Walter and the man glared at her as she walked away. His gaze bore into her back until she stopped next to Lady Rose and greeted her as well as the rest of the bunch of misfits. He got an uneasy feeling and when he glanced at the Elf, Aeolis, he saw the Elf Lord looking at him with an intense gaze that seemed to pin Walter where he stood. Finally Walter took another swig from his tankard and turned to seek out more welcoming company.





Aeolis was enjoying the tea and conversation with Lady Rose, Myth and some other Knights who were not too afraid to join them. It was true that Myth created an air of intimidation around them but Aeolis soon found the Knights were more interested in his strategic knowledge than anything else. Plus the Elf enjoyed watching the humans interact with each other in a relaxed atmosphere. He marveled at the way they laughed so easily considering all the hardships they had been through recently and the difficulties that lie ahead. He found himself smiling as he watched their camaraderie.

He spotted Kellan the instant she walked in. It wasn’t difficult. The woman held herself proudly but not arrogantly so and she was a bit taller than most women her age. He watched casually as she made her way through the gathered people and graciously accepted her congratulations from her fellow Knights. He was looking forward to talking to her so he could discuss plans with her about their journey when he saw her way blocked by one of the other Knights. He couldn’t hear the conversation because of the fact there was quite a bit of conversation going on around him but he could tell from Kellan’s reaction whatever the man had said to her was not something she liked. While she maintained a pleasant air about her, Aeolis noticed her body language was defensive and it caused the Elf to furrow his brows. Finally he was able to zero in on the conversation and he heard the last words they spoke to each other. The man was questioning Kellan’s ability to lead in more than one way and Aeolis didn’t like the mans tone at all. Aeolis’ eyes bored into the mans back and never left him as he watched the man glare at Kellan as she made her way to where Aeolis stood with the others. When the man looked at Aeolis he would no doubt see the look the Elf was giving him. When the man noticed Aeolis looking at him he turned and went on his way.

AS Kellan greeted the others, Aeolis looked over at her and smiled warmly.

”Lady Kellan. Just the person I was looking for. I believe you and I have much to discuss. I have already asked Lady Rose if she would release you from your duties here at the Keep to travel with me at first light so we can complete our task quickly.”


Kellan smiled at Aeolis and nodded.

”Well then, come. There is an empty table we can sit down at and plan our mission and I can get something to eat as well, if you don’t mind.”

Aeolis smiled even more then nodded.

”Quite alright. I will be honored to join you.”

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:28 am


Rayann was more than grateful for Ceri pulling her away towards the food. As they walked along, she chose her food carefully. As Ceri spoke, Rayann nodded.

"Aye. I have. I saw her with Sir Trystan just a little bit ago and they walked towards the balcony. There is something going on between them, though I’m not sure what. When Trystan stepped up to Kali when she entered the dining hall, there was such an intense feeling I got from her that it took my breath away. I can’t say that it was bad, just….intense.”

Rayann paused as she glanced around to make sure no one was within ear shot then leaned in a little closer to speak even softer to Ceri.

”I think she is developing feelings for the Knight but she still houses feelings for Nol. I believe, Ceri, she doesn’t know what to do and she is trying to navigate uncharted territory in her heart and mind.”

Rayann chewed on her bottom lip before she shrugged slightly.

”I hope she doesn’t end up doing anything erratic as has been her way lately. I would hate for Sir Trystan to be the target of her anger.”


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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:59 pm


Ceridwyn regarded Rayann a moment and nodded. She spoke softly so as to keep their conversation more private, “We know she is of mixed emotion right now, but she is also a young woman and for a human, Trystan is a bit easy on the eyes. If my memory serves me correctly many months ago you are the one who told her to not stifle her feelings for others.” She winked at Rayann and patted her gently on the arm, “Maybe we should have more faith in her and allow her to walk her path. If we shelter her she will only wish to break out. Kali is a free spirit, and she resists constraint at any cost, even to her own peril. Maybe it is time we both let go of the rope and allow her to fly.”

She smiled warmly and they took their plates of food to an empty table. She looked over and saw Kellan and Aeolis sitting halfway across the room at a different table. Her heart sank, knowing they were discussing their upcoming mission. She inhaled deeply and when she looked back at Rayann the obvious sadness that had now come across her face was difficult to view. “I fear for him Rayann, this is no simple task, and he is going to solicit the assistance of two very dangerous individuals. I pray the gods he comes back, I pray they BOTH come back.”




Kali leaned against Trystan as the air grew colder. He wrapped an arm around her and pulled her in close. “I need to refresh my tea, and get into the warmth of the room.” He nodded and escorted her back into the dining hall to the notice of many in attendance. He leaned in, “Disregard them, they are more curious about what you are rather than who you are.” She responded semi-coldly, “I am not concerned about their thoughts or feelings towards me, it matters not in the end, my assignment here is temporary.” He turned and looked at her, “Is it?”

She turned and looked at him with a furrowed brow, “Of course it is Trystan, this is not my home, Glen Durel is my home.” He half smiled and spoke, “Glen Durel is your parents home, and your ancestral estate, but how long can you live with your parents?” She leaned back slightly, first there was a look of annoyance, and then a flat look of silence crossed her face, he was right, how long COULD she stay. She never had really thought about it. The last couple years she had stayed because it was the ancestral estate of the Padraig’s, and she was the granddaughter of Lachlan and Annette, but technically it was Rayann’s home for now.

She looked across the room and saw Rayann sitting with Ceridwyn, and she felt a sense of pain in her gut. Turning and looking at Trystan she spoke, “I feel a little faint, can you take me to my room please?” He began to nod when she suddenly went pale and fell forward. He caught her and gently laid her on the floor as people started to gather around, “WATER, GET WATER!” A Knight returned quickly with a tankard of water and Trystan brushed it on her head. She was as hot as fire and he looked up, Rayann was hovering over his shoulder and coming to kneel at his side. He looked at her, “I don’t know what happened, she just suddenly fainted.”

He picked her up and carried her gingerly to the sleeping quarters and up several flights of stairs to her room. One of the guards that accompanied them opened the door and he walked in, laying her gently on the bed. He turned to the guards and dismissed them, “I can handle it from here, I will call you if I need you.” They nodded and turned, leaving the room and closing the door behind them.

Trystan got a basin of water and a towel. He brought it to the bedside and after wetting the towel he rung it out and touched it to her head, the heat coming off her skin was so intense the water actually started to steam. He leaned back and looked at her curiously, her eyes fluttered open and she gasped softly. He reached down and touched her cheek, “Easy Kali, you fainted.” She shoke her head and clutched at her dress, “No… dress…. Get it off me please.” She was panting and he flushed at the thought, but her hands were shaking so bad she couldn’t unhook the buttons. He swallowed hard and did as she requested. The dress was wet with perspiration and he removed it from her body. The sight of her was beyond anything that he could have imagined, she was literally perfect in every way and he felt himself breaking down his own walls of restraint, but he berated his own mind and wet the towel, placing the cool water on her stomach and chest. He fetched more towels and wet them as well, putting them on her body to cover her as well as cool her. After several minutes she started to cough and moaned softly as the heat subsided.

She reached up a trembling hand and cupped his cheek. Her hand was still hot, but not like the fire he had felt earlier. She coughed and whispered, “The fire mage, she is stirring in her slumber.” Trystan leaned back and looked at her, “The fire mage of the tower?” She nodded weakly and could not maintain her hand on his face, dropping it loosely at her side. “What does this mean?” She shrugged and rolled onto her side, whispering, “I don’t know, she is not awake, but I can feel her, as if she is beside us in this very room.”

She looked up at him, her naked body barely covered by the wet towels he had laid all over her. “I suppose this is a break in protocol?” He laughed softly and brushed the wet hair from her face, “Yes, I suppose it is.”




Ceridwyn was talking to Rayann, she had not noticed when Kali and Trystan entered until the sound of commotion filled the room as Kali fainted. Rayann was up like a shot and Ceridwyn was right behind her. Trystan was tending to Kali and Rayann was knelt beside him, doing what she could. As Trystan stood Rayann was about to leave with him when Ceri gently clutched her arm and held her back, “No Rayann, I know she is your daughter but you can’t always be the only one who aids her.” Rayann turned and looked at Ceridwyn with a look of defiance at this statement, but Ceridwyn’s own gentle glance met her. She let go of her friend and spoke, “It’s your choice, but there is nothing you can do. When do you let her be a woman? She is not your baby anymore, and there are others capable of tending to her.”

Ceridwyn turned and walked back to their table. She sat and rubbed her temples. Clearly she was in conflict herself, and she felt her own cheeks begin to flush. A single tear fell from her eyes and she brushed it away absent mindedly as she felt the pulse of magic in the room.


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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:34 pm


Rayann was enjoying the time with Ceri in the dining hall. She would occasionally glance over at Myth and catch his eye on her before they both turn their attention to the person with them. She felt safe knowing he was right there with her. While not directly by her side, she knew if she needed him, he would move hell and high water to reach her.

As Ceri spoke of Kali, Rayann nodded sadly. She knew what Ceri was saying was correct but she couldn’t bear to think of Kali moving on without her. She had just gotten Kali back in her life and now she was going to have to let her go to be her own woman? Was this something all mother’s experienced? The circumstances with which Kali came to be with them were extra ordinary but she was still her daughter, all the same. Oh if ever she needed her mother, it was right now.

”I suppose you’re right, Ceri. I just…..never thought it would be so soon after bringing her into our lives. It’s now when I am most mad at my brother for robbing Myth and I of watching her grow into the woman she is now. Perhaps then I would be more open to the idea of her moving on with her life. But I just got her back and now, to have her leave our home so quickly……”

Rayann could do nothing but shake her head at the idea. Kali? Moving on? Making a life of her own? Rayann knew she was a grown woman but in her mind, she was still a child. That was the thing Rayann knew she would have to get past in her own mind and it was proving to be most difficult.

Seeing where Ceri was looking and the look on her face, Rayann glanced over her shoulder and saw Aeolis and Kellan talking. She could tell by the way they were moving their hands around they were discussing different scenarios they could possibly encounter and Kellan was very eager to listen as much as she was to add her own input to the conversation.

”They will, Ceri. They will. Bad Rock will not be able to turn down the purse Kellan will offer him. I’m sure the Knights will be quite generous. I suppose it’s Pela who will need the most convincing.”

She turned back to look at Ceri.

”She’s quite the wild thing when she wants to be, from what I’ve seen of her…”

The conversation was interrupted by Trystans bark for water. Immediately Rayann was up on her feet and taking steps to go to Kali before anyone could blink their eyes. As she knelt next to Trystan and reached out to touch Kali, she immediately felt how hot her daughter was to the touch. Her brows furrowed and as Trystan picked Kali up to take her to her quarters, Rayann was already of the mindset to go with them. And she would have if Ceri’s hand on her arm had not stopped her. She whirled around to confront the hand that held her back then blinked when she saw Ceri’s face.

As Rayann heard what Ceri said, she glanced at Kali’s retreating, prone form then back to Ceri and felt her throat constrict, threatening to cut off her air. Kali was her daughter. It was her instinct to go and tend to her. But she also knew Ceri was right. She wasn’t always going to be there to tend to her daughter and she had to learn to trust that others would do so as well as she herself would.

While it took every ounce of restraint she could muster, Rayann felt her feet plant in the floor where they were. She glanced towards Myth and could see he was already making his way towards her. Without thinking, she reached out for him and the instant she felt his hand take hers, she grasped it tightly.

”Kali fainted. Sir Trystan took her back to her room. We should finish up here with the Knights and I will check on her when we retire for the night ourselves.”

There was something else amiss here but Rayann couldn’t put her finger on it just yet. She could feel the pulse of magic as it pulsated throughout the room. What did it mean? What was causing it? Was that wahat affected Kali? She was determined to find out what it was and she would do so how ever she needed to.




Aeolis was enjoying the conversation with Kellan. He discovered she was quite accomplished with a bow and was now in the process of becoming efficient with a lance. She wouldn’t budge on leaving her traveling armor behind and while he was frustrated with her stubbornness, he also understood her reasoning for insisting on wearing it. After all, how could she represent the Knights if she didn’t look like one? They had a plan on what route to travel and they would actively begin looking for the couple.

They had just finished up finalizing their plans when a commotion was heard from across the way. Kellan immediately got to her feet as did Aeolis just in time to see Rayann rush over to the landing that led to the balcony. It took a few moments but finally Kellan saw what the excitement was all about. She saw Trystan leaving with Kali in his arms and Rayann wanting desperately to follow. Kellan furrowed her brows then looked over at Aeolis.

”I will see you at first light in the livery, M’Lord. If you will excuse me, I’ll check on Kali to make sure she is OK.”

Aeolis bowed slightly to Kellan.

”By all means.”

As swift and silent as a deer, Aeolis made his way over to Ceri and immediately noticed her brushing away a tear. He was by her side in the blink of an eye, holding her free hand and looking at her with deep concern in his eyes. Speaking in their native language, he tried to find out what was going on.

”Mel’amin? Why do you cry? What has happened to Kali? Will she be alright? And why is Rayann not following along to be with her daughter?”






Kellan made her way through the crowd. It was like trying to weave ones way through an upstream current. Not at all pleasant and very tiring. Finally she reached the stairs that would lead her out of the dining hall. She had just turned the corner down the hall when she was blocked once more by Sir Walter. She could tell he had a little more to drink this time and she was quickly ;losing her patience with him.

”Running off to make sure Trystan doesn’t have fun with the mage, are we?”

Kellan furrowed her brows and glanced around. They were alone. No one anywhere in sight. Immediately she took a step back away from him and shifted her feet so she was balanced equally on both legs.

”We? I don’t have a mouse in my pocket so I don’t know who WE are. And I am merely going to check on our guest as it is my duty to do so.”

Walter chuckled softly and shook his head.

”You know, a strange thing occurred to me. I noticed you and Trystan were promoted just after your jaunt with Rose. How did that happen? I mean, there are other capable Knights who could have easily stepped up into those leadership roles. Don’t you find it interesting it happened when it did?”

Kellan felt her hand curling into fists.

”Well, I suppose it’s because Sir Edward and Sir Thomas knew we would be able to keep a level head about us if we returned safely with the mages in tow. After all, not all Knights are skeptical of magic users. There are some that are actually willing to aid us.”

Walter laughed again and this time it was a harsh sound.

”Or maybe….just maybe….it was something else. Hm? Maybe Trystan showed he was capable of taking care of two women and now a third. Perhaps THAT’S why.”

He took a step closer to Kellan and leaned closer, pressing his finger into her shoulder with each word he spoke.

”And now somebody’s jealous.”

Kellan looked down at his finger as it pressed into her shoulder then glanced up at him with her eyes.

You’re crossing a line you don’t want to cross, Sir Walter. I suggest you collect yourself and realize what you are doing. I will report you to your Commander if you insist on pursuing this conduct with me. Like it or not, I was promoted to Warrior of the Crown. While you may not like that fact, it still remains true.”

Walter sneered and stepped back.

”How correct you are, Lady Kellan. Forgive me for overstepping my boundaries. I shall be more diligent in the future to not offend. But….

He leaned in a little closer again, lowering his voice, he brushed her lapels off as though they were dusty.

”Do be careful. I wouldn’t want to see your sparkling reputation tarnished and thusly tarnishing Liam’s.”

Kellan glared at the man and was about to say something when she heard Sir Brennan behind her.

”Ah…there you are Sir Walter. I wasn’t sure where…”

When Kellan turned around he saluted her quickly.

”Forgive me, Ma’am. I didn’t realize it was you Sir Walter was talking to.”

Kellan turned to look back at Walter again and smiled pleasantly again.

”Quite alright, Sir Brennan. Sir Walter was just congratulating me again. Have a good night, gentlemen.”

Quickly brushing by Walter, Kellan was seething mad. Would no one ever take her seriously? And the nerve of Walter! The man was incorrigible. He had the manners of a Billie goat. He needed to get a handle on his drinking or he would soon find himself removed from the Knighthood.

When Kellan arrived at Kali’s door, she stopped and tried to remember why she was there. Finally she remembered what happened in the dining hall and was just getting ready to knock on the door when she heard Trystan and Kali’s voices coming from the other side. She leaned closer and turned her head so she could hear better at what they were saying.

All she could make out was something about a mage in the tower and it not being awake. She then heard Trystan state it was a break in protocol and now Kellan didn’t want to know what was on the other side of the door. She stepped away from the door and looked up and down the hallway to make sure no one else was there. Seeing no one, she stepped back from the door, looked at it once more then turned and headed down the hall again. What ever was happening between Kali and Trystan was going to happen. Regardless of anything she felt for her former immediate superior.

Moving through the keep and then back out into the night sky, she was grateful for the cooler air and took a moment to lean her head abck and just breathe it in. While it was still a little warmer than usual for this time of year, it was still cooler than the inside of the Keep not to mention it was helping to cool her heated mind off as well.

Opening her eyes, she glanced up at the sky and saw the stars twinkling down at her. Finding the brightest one she could find, she closed her eyes and made a wish knowing it was juvenile but she liked to think it reached someone’s ears all the same.

Finally she made her way through the now quiet grounds to the barracks of her order. Quietly stepping into her room, she closed the door and leaned back against it, locking it from the inside. Closing her eyes and leaning her head back against the wood, she took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Blinking her eyes open, she walked over to her wardrobe and undressed. Sliding on a pair of leggings that were a little bigger than her usual size as well as a slightly larger than usual tunic, she walked over to the vanity and sat down.

Looking at her reflection in the mirror she saw a woman she wasn’t sure she recognized anymore. There were a few wrinkles beginning to appear around the outside corners of her eyes that hadn’t been there a few weeks ago. Her eyes seemed dull now and the corners of her mouth that were usually more inclined to curve upwards were now more apt to curve down.

A glint of light in her hair caught her eye and she looked in the mirror to see the hair clip shimmering in the dim light of her room. Reaching up and tenderly removing it from her hair, she brought the hair pin before her and studied it intently. It was still as warm as the moment Nol gave it to her and she couldn’t help but smile. He told her he wouldn’t play games with her but is that what she was doing with him? And how could she be thinking of her ‘love’ for him when she had only known him a very short period of time?

More questions she had no answers for and tonight, she wasn’t ready to let her mind dwell on these things. Rising from the small stool at the vanity, she walked over to the window and opened the shutters. The cool air spilled into her room and once more she looked out at the night sky. Was Nol one of those twinkling stars she could see in the sky? Easing her frame onto the window sill, Kellan sat back against the window frame and pulled her legs up to brace her feet on the opposite side of the window frame.

Glancing at the hair pin again, she remembered his words that if she spoke his name into the pin, he would come to her. Did she dare try it now? With a sigh, She brought the pin to her lips and tenderly pressed her lips against it then cradled it in her hand as it rested in her lap. Yes, she wanted to see him again before she left but once more she wasn’t sure if it was the wise thing to do. What if he did come to her? What then?

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:09 pm


Ceridwyn felt Aeolis approach and she smiled sadly when he touched her. “Kali will be fine. The towers, they are pulsing magic. I suspect it is something we should come to expect, I don’t know… I…”

She sighed and rubbed her temples, he would be able to tell that she was as confused as the rest of them right now. In all her hundreds of years she was able to find the answers she needed to the questions asked of her, but this, well there was no answer. She looked up at him and smiled again, her face was sad though the beauty of her smile radiated outward, “Rayann is letting Trystan tend to Kali, he assisted her up, and Rayann is seeing that it might be time to let some of her motherly duties go. She is hurting, her heart is having a hard time letting go, which is natural. Kali has only been with them shy of 18 months, they were robbed of her childhood as much as she was.”

She turned and looked at Rayann who was being held tightly in Myth’s arms. She looked back at Aeolis. “There is more, I am sad to see you go, I admit. Promise you will do all in your power to return, I can’t lose you, I swore that I would never allow myself to fall in love again after my husband was killed, and here I am, sobbing as you are about to embark on a mission to help save our world. I know you need to go, and you HAVE to go, but promise you will stay as safe as you can.”




Trystan brushed the hair from Kali’s forehead. She was still as hot as fire but her temperature was regulating again. He turned as he heard a sound at the door, but then there was no knock or follow up, he assumed it to be guards passing through the hall. He looked down at Kali and noticed she was looking towards the door too, her head barely off the pillow. She looked up at him and smiled weakly. “I think I will be fin Trystan, you can leave if you need to be getting back to the party.”

He smiled as he gently brushed the back of his hand down her cheek. “But who will care for you?” She giggled and coughed as she shoke her head, “I will be fine, besides, you have seen enough for one night, I am not about to stand and let these towel’s fall off of me and give you a second showing.”

He glanced across her curvy figure and responded, “Well as much as I wouldn’t mind an act two, I certainly understand. I know you are going to hate me for it but I will have two men stationed outside your door in case you need me.” She sighed and rolled her eyes as she smacked him in the chest, “Just what a girl wants to hear you twit.” He laughed as he recoiled from the blow and spoke, “I will be readily available, just send one of them for me should you need anything.” She raised an eyebrow, “If I need anything or YOU need anything?” She was suddenly feeling anxious about getting him out of here as soon as possible, her temperature was back to normal and now she was beginning to shiver, but she wasn’t sure if it was the cold that was causing it.

“Thank you Trystan. I will see you in the morrow.” He smiled and touched her cheek, “By your leave then.”

He stood and walked to the door, opening it softly he exited the room. She watched as the door closed and she suddenly felt her face flush with the embarrassment she had been withholding form his sight. No man had ever seen her naked, not even Nol, and now Trystan had been given an eye full. Though she wasn’t completely naked under the wet towels, there was certainly little left for him to imagine. She sat up and then stood on weak, shaky legs, making her way to the sink. She poured some water into the basin and splashed it on her face, looking at herself in the mirror. Shaking her head at herself she let out a long breath and whispered, “What in hades are you doing?”


Nol heard his name. He had been sitting on the roof top of the Keep, veiled in the shadows of one of its spires. In an instant he was inside her room again. He stepped from the shadows and saw her sitting in the window ledge, her feet drawn up. She was adorable in her baggy clothing and he whispered softly, “You called my Lady?”




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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:55 pm


Aeolis could see the confusion in Ceri’s dark brown eyes. He knew it had to be troubling in the least to not have the answers you were so used to having. He reached up and touched her cheek tenderly then smiled softly at her.

”Letting the baby bird fly from the nest is the hardest thing a mother can do. My mother fretted terribly over Tanjee and myself when it was time for us to leave and seek our own lives. But I know Kali will not leave her mother without coming back to her when she needs her. It’s the uncanny instinct sentient beings have, to return to the nest. And in the case of humans and elves, we happen to have the added luxury of returning to the parents. I’m sure all will sort out just fine, mel’amin.”

When she turned her sad eyes to him and spoke of her sadness and worry of his leaving, he leaned in and pressed his lips to her temple as he wrapped his arm around her and drew her into him.

”I swear, by the blood that runs in my veins, I will return to you as soon as we have Bad Rock and his daughter bought and paid for. As soon as that happens, Kellan and I will make haste back to this Keep and I will hold you in my arms once again. I promise this to you with the air I breathe, Ceridwyn. Nothing will keep me from returning to you.”

He leaned back and once more brushed her cheek with his fingers and gave her a soft smile.

”Many years we have known each other but many years do we have yet to spend in each other’s arms. I shall not let anything rob me of that pleasure and honor.”





Kellan knew the instant Nol was in her room, even before he whispered to her. She still looked out the window at the stars for another moment before she looked over at him. She could see the shimmering in his eyes and she glanced down at the hair pin. Looking back at Nol she eased herself off the window frame and padded on bare feet over to where he stood. He was taller than her and she looked up into his handsome face. The fact he called her 'my Lady' was not ignorred and she knew what he was telling her by addressing her like that. She was so close she could feel the warmth coming from his body from where she stood.

Without a word, she stepped closer, closing the gap that existed between them and slowly, gently wrapped her arms around his torso, resting her hands up near his shoulders. Her head laid on his shoulder, turned away from him and she closed her eyes breathing in his scent. She stayed like that for a few moments before her quiet voice broke the silence that enveloped them.

”I fear what I feel for you yet I want to explore it all the same.”

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:10 pm


Ceridwyn smiled and nodded as her eyes welled up. “I know you will be fine mel’amine, but all the same I fear our time apart. My lose in the past was a simple mission, a few days was all, and then hollow emptiness for two hundred years.”

She sighed deeply and shivered slightly. “I need sleep, and the sooner we can escape this stuffy room the better.” She looked up at him and smiled tenderly, her soft brown eyes scanning the handsome lines of his face.


Nol put his arms around her as she crossed the room and embraced him. He could feel her heart beating against his own chest as her body pressed close to him. She would feel the unnatural and inviting warmth of his body radiating out. He didn’t speak, he only held her. When she finally spoke he smiled and nodded, “I understand, it is a scary business to dip your toes in the river for the first time. The water looks so inviting and yet all the same you can be caught in the frigid current and sucked downstream.”

He held her tightly and didn’t move. Finally she rubbed her head slightly on his shoulder and he leaned down as her neck was exposed from under her dirty blond hair. He pressed his mouth just off center of her spine and the fire that erupted from his lips was even warmer than his touch. The breath from his nostrils ran tingles down her spine and he released, a small, ‘smick’ sounding as he did. He brought up one of his hand and placed it on the back of her neck, holding her head gently against his shoulder as they rocked softly in the dim light of the room.

“You know, I hear it told that the Lady Knights are not to have men in their quarters, nor the Man Knights ladies in theirs. How is it that the newly promoted Lady of the Crown finds herself breaking the rules so quickly after her promotion?” She would hear the jovial sound in his voice, the quiet calming of a joke to break the tension between them, “Perhaps I should inform Commander Rose of your infractions so I can then steal you away to the Dragon Isles for a long life of luxury and pampering.”


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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:42 pm


Aeolis didn’t need her to say anything else. He stood and helped her to her feet. Tucking her hand protectively under his elbow, he made his way towards the dining hall entrance, stopping by Rayann and Myth on the way.

”The evening has been productive, Prince Myth’alas, but I fear taxing on Ceridwyn. If you will excuse me, I shall escort her back to our room so she can retire for the night. Rayann. Lady Rose.”

Aeolis nodded respectfully to the women then bowed slightly to Myth before he was once more escorting Ceri out of the dining hall after some farewells to the gathered elite of the Knights. When at last they cleared the dining hall and were headed for their quarters, Aeolis moved as swiftly as he could without going too fast for Ceri. He knew she could keep up but he didn’t want to cause her any more tension than necessary.

When at last they reached their door he was just opening it up when he heard their escort making their way around the corner. He ushered Ceri in and grinned when he heard the one guard tell him he should have waited for them to escort them back to their room.

”if I thought you could keep up, I would have, but as we have just discovered, not only could you not keep up but you lost sight of us several times. Tsk tsk. You should be more mindful of your surroundings. Now. Good night, gentlemen.”

He closed the door behind him and locked it form the inside. He was back at Ceri’s side in a heartbeat helping her shed her beloved robes and the rest of her outer clothing. When she was done, he helped her lie down on the leaf bed before he took care of his own undressing. AS quickly as he could, Aeolis stripped out of the formal attire he had to wear for the dinner then joined Ceri in the bed, sighing as he felt the leaves curl around him. Pulling her close against him, he breathed in her scent and closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened his eyes once more, he pulled back and looked into her dark brown orbs.

”I love you, Ceridwyn. With all my heart and soul. I shall return to you soon. I promise.”




Kellan felt the quiet calm wash over her as Nol held her close to him. When he kissed the back of her neck, she couldn’t suppress the shiver that slid down her spine at the warmth and tingling she felt from his lips. Her body reacted instinctually by pressing more against him. She was being completely open with him at this moment and he would know she was terrified yet unwilling to give into her fear.

When he broke the tension between them with his comments, Kellan leaned back and looked into his eyes with half a smirk on her lips.

”If you want to spend time with me, informing Lady Rose is NOT the way to go about doing that. She would have me thrown into the stockade and you would not see me for a long time.”

She thought about that for a moment then chuckled softly.

”Like that would stop you.”

Reluctantly Kellan released her hold on him and went to sit on the edge of her bed. Already she could feel the coldness of her room slip over her and she unconsciously rubbed her arms to ward off the chill not being close to him brought.

”Perhaps when this whole war thing is over with I will take a small sabbatical to your Dragon Isles. If I survive, that is.”

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:06 pm




Ceridwyn was grateful to be in her bed, and she was groggy almost immediately. As he spoke she nodded her head in approval, the evenings events had been taxing and she kissed his neck softly, her lips barely pressing against his skin. “And a promise is a promise.”

She was breathing softly and drifted into a deep sleep.


Nol smiled as she spoke. “Do you think I would do such a thing and THEN allow you to be put into the stocks? You would be whisked away before they even caught sight of you.”

He smiled and when she sat he sat down across the room from her. His silver eyes were fixed on her as she spoke. He saw her shiver and unclasped his cloak. Standing he walked over and wrapped it around her shoulders. It was still warm from having been on his body and it was the softest material she had ever felt. He patted her softly on the shoulder and then returned to his seat. His brows perked up as she spoke of the Dragon Isles and ‘if’ she survived. He leaned forward a moment and spoke, his face was deadly serious, “What on the whole of Krynn makes you believe that you would out live me should some attempt at harm come your way?”

There it was. He had just spoken his vow, he would die in her stead, he would protect her even to his own death. When she looked up at him she would see it in his eyes, he was fixed on her, locked like a cougar fixed on its prey. There was not an erotic hunger in his eyes, but a commitment to follow up on his words. He smiled softly and spoke, “I know you share my feelings, I can feel it, not that I need to, it is obvious in your body language. I also understand the conflict in you, and it is understandable. I have known many humans who have committed themselves to lifelong pursuits of nobility or justice, but so many oversee the true nature of this world. Good, the cause of light, the pursuit of justice across the land… it can’t happen without the existence of evil. The gods set the balance of the world at the creation, they intended for the whole of Krynn to be a place that thrived and grew on this equilibrium. The pendulum swings from the heart of the neutral and sways from side to side. In the end, balance always finds a way, despite what we do. The King Priest learned this the hard way, and when he made his demands to the gods the smote him where he stood, sending all of Istar to the bottom of the Blood Sea. They were so blinded by their pursuit of justice, but what is justice really? Evil can never be eradicated, for Good would cease to exist as well.” He looked up at her, his eyes shining like silver orbs, “That is why you need the help of Red Robed Wizards in this fight, even Ceridwyn knows it… in the end, Good can’t win.”

He leaned back and looked at her. His eyes brushed her face as he scanned the delicate lines and features. He smiled softly… “I am sorry, my mouth has run away with me again.”



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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:38 pm


Kellan was taken aback by Nol’s oath to her. She blinked and felt her throat constrict slightly as emotions threatened to run rampant again. She swallowed several times to regain her voice. No one, aside from Liam, had ever promised to protect her. Her brother died fulfilling that promise to her and the other people he had taken an oath to protect. Her heart soared then dipped as she thought of the fact Nol could possibly die protecting her. She clutched his cloak tighter in her hands and tried not to dwell on those thoughts. But she was a realist and knew it was certainly possible.

Kellan huddled into the warmth of Nolk’s cloak when he wrapped it around her. It was much larger than her own cloak but the softness and warmth of it all was exactly what she needed. As she listened to him talk about the delicate balance that needs to be maintained and the reason why there has to be good and evil, she found his explanation informative and intriguing. And the fact he explained why the Red Robes were called upon for this particular task. It troubled her to know good would not prevail exclusively, she did understand why it couldn’t. When he said he let his mouth run away, Kellan shook her head negatively.

”Please. Don’t apologize, Nol. I need to hear this. I helps me understand things so much better. I’ve been following orders all my life and while I know why order is needed I also think that sometimes more explanation needs to be given to educate the masses. I didn’t know that was the reason why we had to retrieve the Red Robes. While it troubles me to know good won’t win exclusively, I do understand why. If we allow the blance to get too far one way or the other, Krynn will suffer the consequences. I can’t let that happen. There are too many innocent people who would bear the brunt of those bad choices.”

She grew quiet and it was clear she was deep in thought. Finally she looked into his eyes and blinked as though a connection she was having trouble making was finally complete.

”I understand what Liam was trying to tell me now. He told me balance was the key to all things in life. When that balance was upset and dipped too far one way or the other, things would happen that would change our lives forever. Even for Krynn that rang true. He knew, Nol. He knew something monumental was going to happen and it troubled him to know he was helpless to stop it yet he accepted his fate.”

Kellan settled into Nol’s cloak once more and grew thoughtful again. She let her mind play over everything he’d told her, from the moment he arrived in her room. She looked over at him again and let her eyes settle on his gaze once more. She felt her throat grow dry and she licked her suddenly parched lips.

”You…..know how I feel??

The realization of that suddenly made her feel incredibly vulnerable yet as she looked at him, she didn’t feel victimized by that fact. Again she licked her lips as she looked at him.

”I don’t know rather to laugh or cry about that.”

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:57 pm


He nodded when she mentioned Liam, he had never met the man, but he wished he had. He had heard a lot about him over the past couple days and knew the he was noble. He looked over at her as she licked her lips and he smiled softly, his sharp Elven features seeming so much more pronounced in the dim light. "I have heard the Knights say many good things about your brother Liam, it would have been an honor to meet and know a man of such high standards."

He leaned back in his chair and began to speak again, "There is a time to fight evil, don't get me wrong, when evil tries to tip the balance in its favor, that is when we fight. But yes, the issue is a balance in magic. For over 100 years magic has been swayed to the darkness, evil has run amok and it is up to those who hold the banner of light above our heads to fight back not to extinguish evil, but to strengthen the light. The funny thing is, as harolds of the light we always walk into the fight with the advantage."

She looked at him curiously and he smiled, "Let me explain. In a dark room, if one lights a candle the darkness retreats instantly. If a closet is adjacent to a hallway, the light from the hallway pushes into the closet, not the other way around. Darkness ultimately must flee from the light, but that doesn't mean darkness is to be underestimated, when surrounded by darkness one can succumb to it easily. Darkness can either seduce you into its folds or drive you mad with fear and grief. Just because we fight for the light doesn't mean we are immune to its effects on us, in fact, if anything, we are more susceptible to it because we don't fully understand it. That is where the Red Robe Wizards truly have the advantage, they walk the line between good and evil, if someone has to die for balance to be maintained, they will allow it, without regret or remorse for they see things only in terms of keeping the equilibrium in the center position."

He smiled again, he could tell by the look on her face that she was fascinated, and he felt somewhat humbled by her expressions of interest. When she spoke about him knowing her feelings, she saw for the briefest moment that his cheeks flushed ever so slightly and he nodded with a whisper, "I only know because I share the same feelings, and it is easy to spot that which you are accustomed to, there is no magic in that, it's simply a matter of recognition."

He looked across at her, she licked her lips again and he stood, going to the water jug and pouring her a drink. He brought it to her and sat beside her. As she drank the water he responded to her words, "Perhaps it isn't a matter to laugh or cry about, perhaps both of us just need to relax and allow ourselves to feel these emotions, but cause I can relate to everything you are saying." She looked at him and he smiled knowingly.

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:00 am



Myth left Aeolis returning to the room so that he could get ready for dinner that evening. There was a great deal on his mind and the elven prince did his best to keep those thoughts arranged and under wraps for the moment. The coming days and beyond would prove troubling and taxing and he wished his wife a pleasant evening. With a deep breath he entered the room and found that she was dressing for dinner. The light of the room was just right enough to illuminate Rayann's form in the all the right places and Myth could not help but smile. "Truly there is not a sight more beautiful in all of Krynn"

Myth took the time to change to something more befitting of the occasion and changed to a set of deep black trousers with matching boots. An almost silvery white shirt that matched his wife's hare and a silken red vest that matched Rayann's dress. Silver leaf patterns adorned the red vest. Much as Rayann would expect Myth was wearing his forearm armor as always. While wearing armor to such a dinner could very well turn some eyes it was Myth's way. The way the armor blended with his overall attire though usually ensured it was an overlooked detail. Strapped at his side was his the blade of his family also never far from reach no matter the occasion. However this evening there was a silver leaf chain draped over the blade as a show of peace. When they were ready Myth took Rayann's arm. The presence of the escort was getting less annoying but Myth respected the rules of the keep and had ceased complaining about them.

Their arrival certainly did not go unnoticed when they entered the dining hall. Myth as always was surprised by the humans ability to decorate for an occasion. While it lacked that elven touch it certainly was a pleasant atmosphere. All eyes were upon them and soon he found attention shifting from Rayann to himself. He did his best to make himself pleasant and approachable to the knights assembled. Knowing his wife's apprehension about mingling in crowds he was looking at her with a soft smile and gave her the reassuring pat she needed as they moved through the room eventually winding up in the company of Lady Rose. He took note that she had opted to wear the formal attire of a commander and noted the new rank displayed.

Try as he might most of the conversations with the lady commander and the other knights that dared to approach him always seemed to focus on strategy and military related topics. He knew this was beyond his wife just as talk of the higher arts of magic were lost upon him. There was a break in the discussions as Myth and the room looked to his daughter when she entered. He nodded his ead to Kali and smiled before drifting back to a discussion on tactics to break a siege. While he focused on the conversation at hand he did note the interactions between Trystan and Kali. It made him slightly curious but he pushed that curiosity aside when he heard Rayann react to something his eyes had shifted back to Rayann but she gave him that knowing nod and missive and he nodded in return. His eyes shifted back to Trystan and he frowned slightly but it faded quickly. Something in the man's body language nagged at Myth but that was something to pay attention to later.

Rose was enjoying the opportunity to relax and hear a different perspective on many different tactics she had observed in her years as a knight. She had a new respect for the military mind of the elf that towered over her and a good many of her soldiers. Twas a sad thought thinking that the owner of such a brilliant mind was a servant for the dark one for many years. She was certain that this elf's hands were partially accountable for some of the knights more surprising defeats. However she kept these thoughts to herself. Bowing slightly to Ceridwyn and Aeolis as they approached she tanked them humbly for their congratulations. "It was a surprise to say the least and I have some large boots to fill but my superiors know I am up to the challenge." She reached up brushing away a curled strand of chestnut hair and took a sip of her drink.

Rose had followed Myth's line of vision when she noted his look extended beyond the group and she saw Trystan talking to Kali. She had scarcely seen him most of that evening. She sighed inwardly as she thought of the talk that would be coming soon between them. Her smile wained slightly as the pair exited to the balcony and she forced the matter to the back of her mind as another knight approached to congradulate her. Her smile renewed she returned to the world of now and piped up her opinion on the siege scenario Myth had lined out. She seemed rather bubbly about the topic and was soon in good spirits again.

When Ceridwyn excused Rayann from the gathering Rose bowed slightly as did Myth. She could see the depth of the elven warrior's love for this woman as she walked away. She reached for the pendent beneath her shirt letting her thoughts drift to her fallen knight. She remembered seeing that look in her own love's eyes. Rose was more confident than ever in Myth's motives and allegiances. This woman was the reason this elf turned from a life in the service of darkness. That look that passed between them spoke volumes about the two of them. Their love was a strong bond and she was curious about the story behind it. Perhaps Rayann would be kind enough to tell her the tale one day if she asked. She realized she had closed her eyes and when she opened them she saw the quirked brow on Myth's face. She could only nod slightly and put the pendent back in its place. She said nothing and it was clear by the look he would not ask, he only nodded in understanding. She wondered if he could read minds or something and chuckled slightly.

Conversation caried on and Myth continued to answer and pose questions to the knights. He was aware of Kallen's arrival and had noted that she was making her way to see her commander when she was stopped. Myth took note of the man's deliberate motions to intercept the young lady but he made no motion that he was paying attention to anything. It took a moment to focus on their voices and what Myth heard was not entirely surprising but still inappropriate none the less. He was making veiled accusations and he could see Kellen trying to control herself. He also saw that Aeolis had been watching as well. Myth made note of the man's name and carried on with his discussions.

Kali's return to the room did not garner a great deal of attention until Trystan's voice rang out calling for water. Myth looked up almost imediately and his eyes zeroed in on his daughter on the ground. There were to many people in between him and his daughter at that moment but he began to shoulder his way threw. As he drew near he saw Trystan hoist up his daughter and carry her off. He saw Rayann begin to move but Ceridwyn held her back. He frowned as he made out snip-its of what she said. She was right to a degree so he decided it would be best to comfort Rayann now and worry about Kali later. His arms were already waiting for Rayann when she saw him. She grasped his hand and pulled her close to his chest wrapping his free arm around her.

"Indeed we will mel'amin..." he shifted his speaking to elven. "Something doesn't feel right my love." Indeed as he had drawn nearer to the place that Kali had collapsed at he felt the hairs on his neck stand on end. Every sense in his gut that warned him of magicks was ringing and it unsettled him. He looked back and saw a concerned look on Rose's face and he could only shake his head and shrug. He could see the concern in the commanders eyes and knew she already was developing a list of questions herself. Myth was aware of Kellan moving to follow and saw her stopped by that same knight again. This time however Myth heard everything with his elven hearing. His first thought was to say something to Rose about the man but it was in truth not his place as a guest of the keep. He grinned slightly as the man moved off and an idea formed in his head.

With Rayann at his side once more he guided her once more to Lady Rose and offered a slight nod to the commander who was clearly concerned. "Kali has apparently taken ill... Trystan is seeing to her to her room and making sure she is cared for. I am sure he is as capable soldier as any to see to things." Rose nodded knowing that was all that would be said.

Myth took the moment to speak to Rayann in missive For the moment mel'amin we will have to endure here for a short time. I am as anxious to leave as you are but if things are dire I am certain Kali herself or Trystan will call for us." He looked down at her and met her tear filled eyes and offered a warming smile. " For now we must remain calm and sociable. It is a great deal to ask of you however as her mother. However as her mage partner you must remain and show a strong face to these knights. Solidarity in adversity... we remain calm and collected and the knights present will not question what has happened here." She could feel the struggle deep within being held back by the training of his royal blood. Myth often commented he hated the choices political protocol made him choose and she could see this was one of those time. He gave her hand a gentle squeeze and returned to reassuring Rose and the others that things were well and that Kali had simply was recovering from some intense training and had over exerted herself.

In time Myth and Rose both noted the return of Trystan to the party but neither ever saw Kellan. She was seen leaving following Trystan most likely to make sure all was well with Kali as it was part of her duties till she left with Aeolis. Both frowned but said nothing just waited patiently. Myth could tell by the knight's body language he was in no rush. He gave Rayann a reassuring look and continued with his talks but his eyes were constantly shifting about. Whatever had happened had sent his senses into overdrive and he was not likely to relent in his observations for the rest of the evening.

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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:58 am


Kellan smiled when Nol mentioned Liam. She glanced down at the warm pin still in her hand and brought it up for him to see as well. There was half a chuckle to her voice now as she spoke.

”He would have warned me about handsome Elf Lords bearing beautiful gifts such as this. He would tell me you would be expecting more than a heartfelt thank you and a peck on the cheek for such a precious jewel.”

Her thumb tenderly slid over the pin as she looked at it again with affection in her gaze. Her voice was hushed once more as she spoke.

”I would tell him there is nothing to worry about and assure him of your honor and intentions towards me.”

She felt her cheeks grow warm and she glanced quickly at Nol before she lowered the pin to cradle it in her lap once more. As he explained more about the dark and light as a way to describe the balance between good and evil, she became very interested. Kellan was always an intellect but she had the rare ability to be physical as well. It was a trait her and her brother shared. It was the one thing that seemed to set them apart from most other Knights. The analogy of the candle in the dark room was perfect and as he explained further, she was able to put many puzzle pieces together that were scattered about in her mind. She knew they all fit together but until now, she could never match them up correctly to get the full picture.

”It’s a fine line we walk, then. Making sure we give just enough light to push the darkness back so it doesn’t overwhelm us.”

When he stood and poured her a glass of water then walked over to sit next to her, she graciously accepted the glass and took a few drinks. Her hand trembled slightly because of the way he made her feel. Excited. Apprehensive. Curious. Cautious. Empowered. Restricted. They all conflicted with the other and as she set the glass on the small table next to her bed, she was aware of his warmth yet again with his closeness.

Her thumb caressed the pin once more as she looked up into his handsome face. He was, by far, the most handsome male she had ever laid eyes on and to think he felt the same about her was enough to make her head spin. She had to force herself to take several deep breaths to calm herself and when he told her they should relax and allow themselves to feel these emotions between them, Kellan couldn’t help but return the smile he gave her. Nodding, she looked down at his hand and reached her hand out to touch his. She hesitated a moment just before she touched it but then she finished her initial thought. As always, she was captivated by the warmth of his touch and her thoughts began to delve into an area they had never gone before. Finally she looked up at him again.

”I knew I would need you. Thank you, Nol. For everything you have done thus far and everything I know you will do in the future. I will be leaving at first light with Aeolis in the morning. For once, I’m wishing it had been someone else to make the trip so I could remain here and spend time with you. Hopefully we will return in a short time.”

Her gaze left his and returned to the pin in her hand as her voice was barely over a whisper.

”I miss you already.”






Rayann never left Myth’s side after Kali was taken away. His missive struck home for her and she knew he was right. She had to remain and stay strong in the face of this upsetting development. Their hands remained in constant contact with each other when they returned to talking with the Knights about what ever topic of conversation came up. At one point, Rayann was asked by a Knight what she thought her, Kali, and Ceridwn could do to help the situation. All eyes turned to her at that moment and she suddenly felt very small. Glancing up at Myth and seeing the smile he gave her and feeling the gentle squeeze of his hand on hers, she found the courage to tell the Knight her answer.

”Balance, Sir Knight.”

When she saw the confused look on his face and the faces of others, she went on to explain.

”It’s obvious that right now, the scale is unbalanced in the favor of darkness and evil. It has been for quite some time now. When that scale becomes unbalanced as it is now, all of Krynn suffers. In many ways normal humans, such as yourselves, cannot understand.”

She heard a voice from somewhere back in the crowd ask another question.

”So we are to think we offer no aid in this situation?”

Rayann couldn’t see who it was but she quickly spoke up.

”Your role in all of this is crucial. While you may not possess magical abilities, you provide the one thing magical users cannot provide to the citizens of Krynn. A face of stability to the common men and women. It goes without saying we mages are both feared and revered where ever we go not to mention suspect to many superstitions we are forced to separate ourselves from the common folk living throughout the land. Because of that, we tend to lose touch with the world around us until it directly affects us. When something as grand as this occurs, we are called upon to assist and yet, still looked at with trepidation. Especially when mages are the cause of the trouble. I assure you, Good Knights, we are sentient beings as well who have emotions just as you do and when something like this happens, it affects us as much as it does you as well as in ways unlike yourself. We must quickly find a way to balance out the scales or suffer from the lack of it.”

Another voice chimed in.

”In what ways do you suffer, M’Lady.”

Rayann glanced at the faces now looking at her. Many of them seemed truly interested while a few still seemed rather skeptical.

”What just happened to my daughter should be quite evident. The magical force that is as much a part of Krynn as the air you breathe flows through me and others like me. Right now, there is a pulsing of magic I can feel that none of you can feel and that pulsing is most unpleasant. We have taken precautions to ward ourselves against the affect of the towers but after a while, our defenses deteriorate and we have to try harder to prevent the unbalance from affecting us adversely. It takes a physical toll on our bodies just as your fighting does because we are constantly fighting to maintain balance within ourselves when the natural balance is out of sorts. Kali was just affected adversely by the now pulsing of magic we can feel and her physical body could no longer take it. Now she’s forced to rest.”

”So you can only help for a certain amount of time then we are left to our own defenses once again?”

Rayann shook her head.

”Not necessarily. We are but three mages. There are thousands of mages throughout Krynn and they are all affected by what has happened here. It will only be through a united front we will be able to bring balance back to Krynn. It won’t be easy but as someone once told me, anything worth having you have to fight for. I don’t know about you but my world is certainly worth fighting for.”

She saw understanding now on many faces and as the conversation began to turn to other things, she released the tight grasp she’d been holding onto Myths hand with and took a deep breath. There were still those who were very skeptical of her and the others but perhaps now she had reached enough to help them understand mages weren’t all bad.



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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:19 am


Nol nodded softly and spoke as she looked down at the pin, “As I said, I am a breath away.”

She looked up at him with a sad smile and he gently touched her under her chin the warmth in his finger could be felt all the way to the back of her skull, “Never underestimate the power of darkness, though we have the advantage the powers which reside within the darkness are not inferior. Do not focus on the balance of things, focus on the fight and what you fight for. Through your efforts to bring the light to Krynn balance will be restored naturally. It is and always has been the way of the world.”

He stood and walked to the window. Looking out into the night sky he spoke, “I miss you too, sadly I am stuck in the void. It would not be right for me to accompany you and Aeolis on this mission, and yet I am not truly welcome here. I can only assume Kali’s parents blame me for their daughter’s behavior. If I was to show them my face again it would be with skepticism and would lack the focus needed to make the best of our time.” He turned to her, she would see that even a dragon can experience sadness, “They are a good family, and I truly hoped to maintain my friendship with them. But alas, such is the way the dice have fallen.”

He stepped over to her and leaned down kissing her gently on the forehead right below her hairline. The warmth of his lips was like the pleasant feeling of fire on a cold night. The sensation against her skin tingled and went deep. He stood upright and nodded. “Be safe. Aeolis is a fantastic tracker, one of the best the Silvanesti have ever produced, and he is a woods elf beyond Ranger standards. He can teach you a lot. I will be waiting for you.”


Trystan made his way back down to the dining hall. He was in good spirits which would give silent indication to any that were concerned about Kali that she was fine. The group started to focus around Rayann and as question were thrown at her she responded with all the wisdom he would expect from one of her kind. As the crowd began to break apart again he made his way to her, waiting for a couple Knights to finish talking to her before addressing her. “Kali is fine. I took her to her room and set two guards that will come get one of us should she need anything. She was exhausted when I left her, I would dare say she is probably already asleep. I broke her fever with cold towels, but it took some doing. I don’t fully understand what happened, but what you just said is making it a little clearer.”

He looked at her and was about to say something else, but instead he just smiled and nodded. Behind Rayann he saw Lady Rose off to the side talking to a young Knight of the Sword, one of her new subordinates. He recognized the man and looked back at Rayann, “Please excuse me, I have yet to give Lady Rose my full congratulations for her promotion.” He walked over to Lady Rose and waited until her conversation was concluded.

She turned to him, and he could see in her eyes she was disappointed in him, or at minimum she was not completely happy with him. Clearing his throat softly he spoke, “Congratulations again Ma’am, you deserve the new rank, as well as the recognition.”




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PostSubject: Re: 13: The Coming Storm   Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:47 am


Kellan thought she would never get used to the warmth of his touch and that made a pleasant shiver slide down her spine again. She nodded letting him know she wouldn’t underestimate the forces of darkness and be true to her fight. As he walked over to the window, she watched him the whole way and marveled at the way his moves were as fluid as a smooth running stream. Kellan could actually feel the sadness in his words as he explained the separation between himself and Kali’s parents. She felt her own heart constrict in her chest knowing this affected him the way it did.

When he stepped over to kiss her forehead, Kellan closed her eyes and took a deep breath in then let it out slowly. Again the warmth she felt at his touch traveled deep into her very being and she knew that for as long as she lived she would crave and cherish these moments with this being. When he stood upright and told her to be safe, she stood as well. His cloak draped to the floor and she shouldered out of it and draped it back over his own shoulders, clasping at the base of his throat.

Her eyes drifted to his and for a moment she did nothing. Finally her hands reached up to cup his face and she rose up on her toes. Her lips touched his and lingered there for a moment before she reluctantly pulled away. Her thumbs caressed his cheeks as her eyes opened and she looked up at him again.

”Then I shall make haste to return as soon as the mercenary and his daughter have been secured.”

Her hands lowered from his face and she took a hesitant step back away from him. If he could read her mind right now he would know it was the last thing she wanted to do but the one thing she had to do.





When Trystan approached, Rayann nodded.

”It affects each of us differently, Sir Trystan. I’m glad you were there to aid my daughter when she needed it. Thank you.”

She could tell the man wanted to say something else but he held back. Rayann was curious as to why he felt the need to not tell her whatever it was and if they had been in a less public place, she would have most likely pressed the issue but Ceri’s words came back to her and she knew she had to give her daughter privacy. She was, after all, a grown woman capable of making her own decisions.

As Trystan excused himself to speak with Lady Rose, Rayann’s eyes followed him and when he saw the way Lady Rose looked at him, she knew the Commander was not happy with him for something. What she wouldn’t give to be a fly on his shoulder to hear what she was going to say to him. Alas, Rayann returned her attention to her surroundings and she glanced up at Myth and smiled slightly. She could tell her husband was deep in thought about the Knight as well.

Sir Trystan had just gotten himself more attention than he bargained for.

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