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 14: Mixed Minds

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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:19 pm


Bad Rock got to work as Pela left. He packed their bed rolls and placed them on his massive back pack. He tended to carry all the gear, which he never minded. The fact was they truly managed to stay so mobile in their approach to things that there was never more than a hundred pounds or so, which he barely noticed.

An hour and a half went by as he erased all traces of them from the cave and he even took time to disassemble the structure he had thatched together at the entrance, scattering it around the area and making things look as natural as he could.

He was sitting on a large rock, looking in the direction of the Hamlet when his ear twitched as he caught the sound of an arrow whistling through the air. He was just turning and the arrow caught him right behind the ear, embedding in the root just below his horn. He grit his teeth but didn’t make a sound as he turned and saw a human male about thirty meters away beginning to stand and place a second arrow on the bowstring. Bad Rock stood to his full height and began to work towards the human. This rattled the man and he loosed the arrow. Dodging his head to the side it whizzed past his ear and the man turned to run, screaming. Bad Rock thrust his staff forward and a blast of energy pushed outwards like a burst of air, knocking the man to the ground. He was just scrambling to stand when the butt end of Bad Rocks staff pressed down on the back of his knee. Instantly there was a crunch sound and the man howled in pain. Bad Rock reached down and grabbed the man by the head, hoisting him up by the face while covering his mouth and picked him up clear off his feet so he could look him in the eye.

“What is the meaning of attacking someone sitting in peace?”

The man’s eyes darted to the right and Bad Rock turned quickly as a second arrow was loosed into the air, he attempted to dodge but it caught him just under the shoulder strap and buried itself deep into the soft tissue of his shoulder. He grit his teeth and squeezed, the man’s head turned to jelly in his hand and the lifeless body slide free and thumped to the ground. Bad Rock turned and pushed his staff forward again, the second man was much more agile and rolled to the side as the push of energy flattened a tree right behind where he had just been standing. He began to pursue him when he heard Pela coming up the trail behind him, her distinctive foot pattern was unmistakable to his ears. He could see the look on her face, she was furious and as she began to pursue the man he reached and grabbed her gently, holding her in place.

“I suggest we get going, the whole of the Hamlet will be on their way in under an hour, if we leave and get a lead on them we can lose them as we have lost every other pursuer that has attempted to follow us.”

The look on her face was argumentative but he gave her a stern stare and she complied. They double timed into the woods, he grabbed the bag of supplies she was carrying and simply carried them loose handed, deciding this was better for now, and he would have time to pack them later when they stopped to rest.


Trystan instinctually stood when Myth entered and though he didn’t salute he was certainly showing respect in his response, “Prince Myth, a pleasure.”

He turned to Lady Rose and spoke, “By your leave Commander I will go so you can speak with the Prince.” She nodded him off but Myth grabbed his arm and spoke to him, suggesting he wait outside for him until he was done speaking to Lady Rose. Trystan’s look of nervousness was communicated immediately to Rose as he glanced at her. The fear that he might be about to face the wrath of a father scorned was not sitting well with him, and Lady Roses’ smirk wasn’t help ease his tension.

He nodded and spoke, “Of course Prince Myth.” He exited the room and walked across the small waiting area, sitting on a wooden bench. The seat seemed harder and more uncomfortable than normal, and Trystan shifted nervously as he waited.





Ceridwyn sat across from Rayann and it was deathly silent in the battlement as the two wizards concentrated and memorized the spell. The house were passing quickly and Ceridwyn finally spoke, “It is time, by the gods I hope we are ready.”

Rayann looked at her and would understand, they simply had to risk it, the next tower flare up could be involuntary to Kali’s actions, and time was not a luxury they had. Ceridwyn motioned to a wall guard who came, “Please fetch the Lady Mage Kali.”

The man nodded and was off, returning quickly with Kali and her two escorts in tow. Ceridwyn looked at Kali with a soft smile, “OK Kali, here we go.”

She exhaled her tension and laid Kali on the table, her back was down flat on all the reagents that had been scattered earlier and she stood on Kali’s left side. She motioned for Rayann to take the right side of Kali’s head and she looked down at Kali, “It is of extreme importance that you open your mind for us. I promise you by the light of Solinari that we will not harm you. We are not entering your mind to probe you or find your weakness, we are going to shield you with holy light, a buffer that will repel the darkness that seeks to enter.

Kali nodded, the look on her face was one of absolute calm. She inhaled and closed her eyes. She whispered words of magic and both Ceridwyn and Rayann would feel Kali’s mind open to them. Ceridwyn looked at Rayann with a smile and nodded. In unison they began to hiss the spidery words of the delicate and complex spell. The ring of reagents that surrounded them shuttered and began to glow as it hissed and popped to life. A sphere of light erupted and surrounded them as Ceridwyn and Rayann worked the magic that began to fill the room, weaving it into the very pores of Kali’s mind. Finally the light exploded from the room, exiting the arrow slits and filling the sky above the tower with brilliant colors. Ceridwyn rocked forward and caught herself on the table, the magic was completely taxing and had sapped her body. She looked down at Kali as she held herself up. Kali’s eyes fluttered open and her icy blue eyes were shimmering as she spoke, “I can feel the barriers in my mind, like a song…”

She turned and looked at Ceridwyn and then her Mother, the first shred of hope in months was present in her eyes.


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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:40 pm



Myth chuckled as the door closed and he could only shake his head when he saw the smirk on Rose's face. "I believe Trystan was able to fill you in on the basics of the situation. I have just talked to Rayann and would like to compare notes as it were." He drew out Sir Walter's blade and laid it upon the commander's desk. "I also had other business to discuss with you as well." Rose eyed the sword before looking at Larissa "Could you poor us some tea...."

It would be a couple of hours before Myth emerged from Rose's office. He saw Trystan was still waiting and the man looked like an uncomfortable. Myth restrained his smile and simply quirked his eyebrow and motioned for Trystan to follow "I am sorry to keep you waiting like this Sir Trystan.... I know you have a good deal on your mind and duties to attend to. However I am certain this will be an enlightening experience." Myth simply looked at Trystan and he could still see the nervousness in the man's face. Myth stepped to the side as the form of Larissa brushed by with something wrapped in her arms. "Enlightening indeed."

Myth cleared his throat and his tone was calm but serious "You can relax... you have the gratitude of my wife for what you have done... as such you have mine as well. If I had wanted to give you a stern fatherly lecture I would have done so in the office of your Lady Rose. I am not so crass as to dress someone down in front of their comrades in arms." he was silent for a moment "Well at least as long as there isn't a lesson to be learned from the experience. To do so needlessly has the potential to damage the morale of your men and undermine your own authority, but I assume I am not telling you anything you do not already know."

They rounded a corner and it would soon be clear they were winding their way to the knight's training halls. "I am told you are an exemplary knight and that you have a good future so long as you keep to your path. Knowing this I wanted to impart upon you some wisdom that I think will benefit you. I'm not sure if you'll understand right away but in time I know you will and I will use the incident at Glen Durel to illustrate my point." Myth could feel some apprehension from the knight but he pushed on as they winded through the halls. "A leader must keep a level head and open mind when confronting all situations. They need to look beyond what they see to seek the truth behind situations that do not make any form of sense. "

Myth knew he didn't need to do this but he wanted to clear up some of the tension between the two knights because it could prove troublesome for them if things stayed as they were. "Lady Kellan has served under you and in a way under Lady Rose for a great deal of time. As one would expect attachments were made and from what I am told a commitment was made. You both arrived in my home and you were taken aback by many things that you saw. Chief among them was a young half elven woman and an elf." Myth held up a hand knowing Trystan wanted to say something "I am not blind in my own home Trystan... I saw the look in the eyes of both you and Kellan. You are every bit as guilty of ogling as she was and you had best come to terms with that. However this is not what I wanted to speak about. You noted the wild crazed look of my daughter upon her return with Nol. Quite similar to the look Kellan had when she returned as well. Kellan's only crime was leaving her post at an inopportune time and nothing more." the last two words were punctuated. "I am the lord of the glenn and nothing happens there that neither I or my wife does not know about. You would be wise to remember this Trystan."


"I am however not at liberty to speak of what did happen, I can only tell you what did NOT happen and let her tell you when and if she feels it is appropriate and not a moment sooner. I do not recommend trying to prying around for the information either." Myth fixed him with his emerald eyes making sure the point of the comment was well taken. Satisfied in what he saw Myth looked to the doors and lifted his hand to push them open." As Kellan's superior and at one point potential love you should have had more faith in her. She has served with honor and followed the code just as you have taught her. I tell you these things in hopes that you learn from these mistakes. Things are not always what they seem, people.... are not always what they seem. You must learn to look beyond what you see and in doing so it will make you a better leader for you will better perceive the illusions of the battlefield both the military and the political." He pushed the door open and grinned devilishly "Now if you will excuse me there is a knight in need of a proper lesson under the eyes of his peers." There was an almost devil like grin on Myth's face that vanished as he turned away from Trystan entering the hall. Myth frowned slightly noting the absence thus far of the one he sought.

"My potential pupil does not appear to be here just yet. It appears though that we still have time to talk... or spar" It was clear by Myth's tone he was not referring to Trystan as being the object of his potential lesson. Myth grinned ever so slightly as he glanced back at Trystan. It was obvious at this point that Myth was nod dressed in his lordly finery but in the training clothes he had seen Myth in just a couple nights past. The difference being that Myth was wearing a tunic and vest.
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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:32 am


Trystan was starting to wonder if Myth had left from a window, but he knew that the Elf Prince was still in his Commander’s office as he could hear them every now and then laugh or otherwise break the level of normal voices. He was starting to wonder if their meeting would ever end when the door opened and Rose was walking in front of Myth, escorting him back into the waiting room. Trystan immediately stood to his feet and waited. Rose and Myth exchanged a very warm and sincere handshake and Myth turned to approach him. From behind he could see the smirk on Roses’ face, it wasn’t disrespectful or mocking in anyway, but she was looking directly at Trystan, and assuring him that all was well.

As they walked and Myth spoke to him, he stayed silent, listening to what the Elf had to say. Trystan was a strong willed and proud man, but he did recognize wisdom when he heard it and Myth’s mouth was a geyser of knowledge. As he went on to discuss the events at Glen Durel and Kellan, he nodded, biting his lips slightly as Myth confronted him on his own behavior and for all practical purposes, gave him a kick in the pants that he not only heard, but also deserved. As they came to stop outside the door of the training hall he looked at Myth and with sincerity in his face he spoke, “I am not a fool Prince Myth, and I promise you that your words have not fallen upon deaf ears. I will not pry, but I will apologize to Lady Kellan when she returns. Should she see it fit to accept, or tell me anything further, I will do as you have requested and leave that to her.”

He assumed that all this had been discussed with Lady Rose as well, her glance to him as she went back into her office was all the more unmistakable in its message now. As Myth went into the training hall Trystan could only wonder who this Knight was that had already somehow gotten on his bad side, but he was grateful that it wasn’t him. As Myth looked with obvious disappointment and turned to Trystan, offering more sparing, Trystan smiled and with a nod entered the hall. There were a dozen or so Knights in training, and the appearance of Myth gave them all pause. Trystan walked in and spoke, “Gentlemen, if we could please have the floor I would request you allow us an opportunity to finish something the Prince and I started at Glen Durel. I assure you if you take an opportunity to watch you won’t be disappointed and you will most certainly learn something,” Myth turned and looked at him with a raised eyebrow but Trystan continued, “And I assure you it won’t be by anything you see come from me,” he gave Myth a wink of amusement and could see the Elf doing his best to contain his smile.

He smiled and nodded to Myth as the Prince took his spot and the Knights cleared the canvas mats. Trystan went to the other side, removed his vest and sword belt. He withdrew his blade from the scabbard and looked at it lovingly. It had been passed down to him from a line that spanned ten generations, the blade having been etched with the name of each new owner. It wasn’t magical by any sense or stretch of the imagination, but it was special in the way that any heirloom would be. He could literally see the souls of his ancestors etched into the metal, as if each were watching him to make them proud. He inhaled deeply and turned, walking out onto the mat. Myth starred him down and he focused, using the breathing techniques that Myth had shown him. The room was murmuring softly as the Knights made bets with one another, from the bits that Trystan was hearing most were betting on him. He could only chuckle to himself softly, how disappointed they were going to be. He was a fine swordsman, but he had felt the other end of Myth’s techniques already and he was hoping just to walk away from this with less bruises then the last time, and some more knowledge on how to do battle better.

Myth nodded ever so slightly and Trystan saluted in the traditional fashion of the Knights. He stepped into the balanced stance that Myth had shown him and the two began to slowly circle one another. Myth’s hand was resting gently on the hilt of Blue Moon, the blade still rested within its sheath. The tension that built in the room as the Knight’s watched could be cut with the very blades they trained with and finally Trystan struck with a swing to the hip just as his foot hit the ground, at the point he knew he was the most balanced in his weight. The arc of blue light that erupted between them appeared so fast Trystan wasn’t even sure it had happened, but what he did feel was the reverberation of the steel that met his own, the sparks that shot from the meeting of the blades, the spin of his counter and the feeling of Myth’s back to his own, and ultimately, the feel of the empty scabbard bouncing off his ribs, indicating a strike that would have broken multiple ribs had this been for real.

He spun out and coughed as the dull pain in his side became a reality and Myth stood opposite him as quickly as he had moved, Blue Moon was resheathed and some could be heard saying that it had never even been pulled from its scabbard. Trystan however, knew better. He looked across at Myth and focused his eyes on the warrior, his face a stern pillar of concentration. He was calm, holding his blade exactly as Myth had shown him the last time they had done this, his stance balanced and resembling much more what he was seeing across from him. He watched and the side stepped again, moving in a broad circle. Trystan was watching, waiting, knowing that he had to find that slight crack in the defense, to see the one weakness as Myth had put it, the one pin hole that revealed the whole world, but try as he might, every single time he thought he saw it Myth was two steps ahead of him.

Several passes occurred between the warriors and every time Myth came out on top. Finally, both men were in their stances again, circling. Trystan had a small laceration across the top of his left eyebrow where Myth’s blow had actually knocked Trystan’s own blade back into his face. He was sporting a large shiny bruise from the first pass and was limping slightly on his right leg from a blow that had been landed flat bladed to the thigh on their last. Myth gave slight pause, non-verbally asking if Trystan needed to break, but the Knight nodded him off, not out of pride or a need to prove anything, but because as much as it hurt he knew he was learning every second he was out on the mat. Myth gave him a proud half cocked smile as they began to circle again. Trystan watched, felt the air, sensing the tremor’s of Myth’s muscles as they tensed and released with each step, and finally, the warrior did something unprecedented, he sprang first, coming through the air like a shot from a canon. The motion was so quick and so unexpected as the Elf never even crouched or gave any indication that he was about to strike. Trystan brought up his blade more out of instinct then technique, knowing something was coming, but what he found was hands locked around his own as the twist of Myth’s body and the pull form his hands caused Trystan to drop his blade, disarmed and vulnerable. Myth was behind him and Trystan spun to find his own hilt being held back towards him as Myth held the sword by the flats of the blade. He was smiling and nodding. The look on Myth’s face said it all, “You have done well, but you are finished for today.”

Trystan took the blade and with a smile he patted Myth on the shoulder, then reached and took his wrist and thrust it over his own head, a gesture that raised Myth’s arm up and Trystan yelled, “We have a winner!!”

He stepped back and with his sword tucked up under his arm he was also applauding the Elf Prince. He bowed low, and as he began to come back up he also nodded a heartfelt thanks. As the clapping died down one set of clapping continued, slow, deliberate, almost mocking. From one of the corners emerged a Knight, a Knight that Myth recognized, the very Knight that Myth had come looking for, Sir Walter.

“Well, that was a wonderful display of Elven Aerobatics, and clearly if Sir Trystan had stuck with his training we might have seen a better outcome for him.”

Trystan turned and looked at the man with a slight glare. Sir Walter dared him to say anything. It was obvious to Myth by Trystan’s silence that though Sir Walter and he were both Knights of the Sword, Walter outranked him within that classification. Walter stared directly at Myth and spoke, “I couldn’t help but notice you with my sword after you left the Mess Hall. You think I was going to let that pretty little Elf keep it? I would have gotten it back too if you all weren’t moving in such a hurry. I hear that your daughter is taken ill, kind of funny how all that magic shit turns and bites you in the end isn’t it. I can only expect that the lady Elf is probably next, and ultimately, your wife. I guess this shows once again that in the end its steel that triumphs, not mysticism, but as a fellow of the blade I suppose I am just preaching to the choir here aren’t I Prince.”



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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:41 am



Myth remained calm and composed as Sir Walter spouted off. His opinion was quite clear and his comments were chosen to elicit a specific reaction from the target. Myth wanted to sigh heavily but he remained still as a statue. He was going to enjoy this a little to much in the end. He smiled slightly to Sir Walter before making his response. "Well we are all certainly entitled to our opinions Sir Wsalter even if they are misguided and ignorant. As a matter of point I would liked to have seen you attempt to remove your blade from my companions hands. I dare say it would have been most comical to say the least. However to save you that embarrassment I saw to it that it was returned."

Myth started removing his vest and cast it aside working to rid himself of his tunic as well. "Out of respect for the lady of the keep I will ignore the comments about the well being of my family and friends this one time." He would ignore them for as long as it took to get Walter to draw his blade.

"I take issue to your silly notion that steel triumphs over magic in the end. A rather mindless and ignorant statement, especially from a knight of the sword after the events of Northkeep. I would think you would be more mindful about how you treat a wielder of the magical arts. After all wasn't the keep taken by a pair of lowly magic users?" Myth could see Walter's face turning red but he suppressed his growing desire to grin. The man could dish out the insulting commentary but he couldn't take it very well.

"Moving on to your first point Sir Walter... Trystan actually came out of this in far better shape because he went beyond his knightly training. If he had stuck to the status quot his injuries would be far worse." Myth raised an eyebrow looking at the red faced bearded man "Unless of course you think you can do better.... you are after all his superior. I would assume in both rank and skill... or am I mistaken in this?." Myth was casting away his tunic at this point. "I would be honored to test your superior fighting ability. After all... what do you have to fear from my flighty little elven acrobatics." It was obvious to all it was an indirect challenge to Sir Walter. He could choose to walk away easily enough but it would mean ignoring a clear personal insult.
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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:37 pm


Trystan watched the exchange between the two men, he knew this was not going to go well. Sir Walter had been a sniveling conniver for as long as Trystan had known him and there were several Knights still in the order who were victims of his manipulation. He had no issue with stepping on others to promote his own agenda, but his behavior had been especially vicious since the towers had risen. Walter had never trusted magic or magic users of any kind, and Trystan could only suspect his behavior was a defense mechanism of these blights on the landscape.

Moving off the mat Trystan could see Sir Walter fuming and if it weren’t for the restraint the man had he would have already charged Myth, and would have most likely been severely injured, or dead. Trystan was learning that Myth was a man of patience and level head, but he suspected that the matter of death would come swiftly if one truly attempted to harm him.

“You come to our Keep, you bring foul Wizard’s into our fold, and now you wish to be taught a lesson Prince? So be it I will accept your challenge.”

Calmly Sir Walter removed his tunic and armor pad. He was by Myth’s estimate in his late thirties, but he looked unnaturally young, he clearly was a strong individual and when he picked up a blade from the side wall and began to swing it around it would also be apparent that he was a well trained swordsman, by Knight’s standards. He looked at Myth and talked as he warmed his muscle and stepped onto the mat, “The matter at North Keep was an issue of poor planning and tactical misunderstanding, two wizards, HUMPH, no doubt the true story is being covered up by the evil forces that perpetuated it. We all know that magic can manipulate the mind, no doubt those that managed to survived had their memories altered to produce fear so that their reputation would proceed them.”

He looked at Myth and swung his blade in circles swiftly, and then stopped, staring the Elf down. He then yelled to the men that were seated around the training area, “Alright Lads, best of seven passes, place your bets now.”

The men started to murmur to one another, and Trystan watched as they bet on the outcome. Walter looked back at Myth as his name resounded around the room. “One more thing, I would like to make a wager myself. 100 gold coins that I am the victor!”

The room went quiet, he turned and looked around, no one was accepting and he spoke again, “Do none of you wish to bet on the Prince? Is my motivation to win 100 gold coins not enough?” He turned with a sneer to Myth and whispered, “Do you see Prince, even though they have seen your swordsmanship they are still not convinced that you are a sure thing.” Suddenly a voice broke the quiet of the hall, “I will take that bet.”

Sir Walter’s head whipped around and Trystan had stepped up to the edge of the mat. He starred directly into Sir Walter’s eyes and spoke again, “Yes Sir Walter, I will bet on the Prince.” Walter laughed and spoke, “Well Lads, looks like drinks will be on Sir Trystan this evening.”

He turned and looked at Myth, his face was full of arrogance and pride, “Alright Prince, best of seven.”



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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:54 pm


Rayann took a deep breath and for the first time felt the restrictions on Kali’s mind lift. It was so overwhelming she felt the breath catch in her throat. There was so much that rushed through her own mind that she almost lost her control and broke down but through sheer will and knowing it was only with her help her daughter would have the chance to fight against the pull of the third tower was she able to concentrate on the spell she had been studying for the last six hours.

As Ceri and Rayann’s voices began to hiss the spidery words of magic, the room was filled with a sing song like sound in perfect harmony. As the spell grew in its intensity and the regents exploded into a cascade of beautiful, light erupting out into the sky beyond causing a stir of activity among the Knights and already shaken citizens, Rayann and Ceri’s voices reached their height. As the spell kept working, Rayann and Ceri felt the drain on their physical bodies. As Ceri leaned forward to support herself Rayann felt her own legs grow weak. They couldn’t stop now. They still had a little more of the spell to do before it was considered complete.

Finally after a few more moments, the spell was completed and another burst of color burst forth from the room and swirled around the sky. Raqyann smiled at her daughter as she felt her legs finally give way. As gracefully as she could, Rayann dropped to the floor and turned so her back rested against the leg of the table and laughed softly.

”Well…..been a while since I’ve ended up on my rump after casting. At least this time it wasn’t because I recited the spell incorrectly and zapped myself.”

Reaching up Rayann let her hand touch Kali’s to let her daughter know she was still there and that everything was going to be OK.

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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:55 pm


When Pela came up to find her father facing off against local hunters from the nearby hamlet, she knew they were going to have to hurry and head out. It wasn’t exactly the way she wanted to leave but it couldn’t be helped. It wasn’t like Bad Rock was easy to hide in the wide open like she was and because of that, one hunter lay dead and the other was now off running in fear for his life. She wanted to chase the man but knew Bad Rock was right. It was better to run this time. Even though her mind screamed at her to follow and silence his crazed words of a large beast who killed with a single hand.

*******

The hunter ran through the woods constantly looking over his shoulder as he tried to escape the horror he saw. His bow was long forgotten as he scrambled like the hounds of Hades were on his heels. He stumbled over the bodies t-of three more men, falling and ending up with his face just inches from one whose face was caught in an agonizing death scream.

The man screamed at the top of his lungs and quickly scrambled to his feet running as hard as he could. Finally the outskirts of the Hamlet came into view and he yelled as he came into view.

”Hep! HELP! It’s…it’s huge! It killed Rupert! IT was huge! And crushed his head like a….like a……like a melon. I hit it! I stuck an arrow in it’s head and it still kept on going!”

A crowd gathered and started listening to the story the crazed man was relaying. After a few moments it was decided to get a group together and see what the man was talking about. It was difficult to take a raving mad mans word on anything without seeing the proof of it for themselves/

With the man as their guide, the group was led through the woods. The first thing they came across was the three highwaymen/ It was strange that two of them had holes in their bodies but no sign of what made the holes. The thisr had lost his arm and it lay in thousands of pieces of flesh like it had been shattered. But how was any of this possible? Finally he led them to the last place his friend was seen and several of the villagers vomited. Murmurs and shocked whispers went through the group like a shockwave. Obviously the man was telling the truth. If this thing did this, then it could easily attack the Hamlet. It was agreed they would return to the Hamlet and do what ever they could to defend their homes. Including having a watch around the clock.

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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:05 am



Myth could barely resist the temptation to roll his eyes. His days on the field had brought him into conflict many times with knights like Sir Walter. He was pompous, prideful and arrogant beyond belief. However Myth was not about to under estimate him because of these traits. He was confident in his ability to prevail but he remained mindful of an untested opponent. As Sir Walter called for bets Myth could only shake his head ever so slightly. He looked over to Trystan and it was clear that Myth wanted to sigh in disappointment. Ignoring the boasts of the knight Myth took his place on the mat and actually drew Blue Moon from its resting place and waited.

Myth's eyes remained focused on Walter and he was silent as the grave. It was clear he was not going to be trading barbs with the man verbally. Closing his eyes Myth centered himself and his breathing and smiled slightly as he readied himself into a stance. Though they had only sparred a couple times the stance Myth took was not his preferred one. In fact it looked down right wrong in many different ways. His sword was out, his weight was heavy on one side and the positioning of the blade seemed... sloppy. More to the point the positioning of his hands seemed to be favoring Myth's off-hand.

"Guess you don't have any witty comebacks for that do you... fine then."

Walter settled into his stance and examined Myth's carefully. He had not watched with to great an interest when the prince was trading blows with Trystan. What he was looking at made Walter wonder how lax in his training Trystan had been to have been worked around by sucha sloppy swordsman. He took note of the distribution of Myth's balance and smiled as he watched elf make the first move. Myth's blow was heavy to the right and Walter moved easily to avoid it bringing the flat of his blade up slapping the prince in the right shoulder. Leaving a pronounced welt from the impact. Walter grinned spinning around bringing himself back to the ready as Myth came around as well.

Again he saw that the stance was sloppy but this time Myth's weight seemed more evenly distributed. "Hmmph..." Again Myth led off the charge but this time the stroke Myth's blade was blocked and again the flat of Walter's blade found its mark just beneath the previous one. Something seemed a bit odd almost like the blow was restrained in some way. Still Walter grinned "Two for me prince... are you going to even try?"

Myth's balance was now where it should have been but his stance still left holes that could be exploited. Walter frowned a moment noting the subtle changes. Again the pass was made and Walter was able to nimbly escape the blow that Myth tried to make but this time there was a slim scratch running up the prince's backside. "Oh... I do apologize... seems I miscalculated the angle of my swing..." Myth turned looking at the man slowly. What ever humor might have been there was gone. "Best be mindful prince... would hate for you to have an accident. Oh... and thats 3 to nothing."

Myth eyed Walter and his eyes focused and his breathing slowed. A contest of blows and the man deliberately decided to scratch his opponents skin and make a veiled threat. Myth simply smiled slightly and bowed "I will keep that in mind Sir Walter."

Myth now settled fully into the stance Trystan was familiar with and sheathed his blade. To a person with a good eye it would be clear that Myth had decided to stop playing around, but whether it was because of the score or the scratch on his back was a mystery. Walter frowned looking at the stance as he readied himself. There was something very different about the situation. Myth waited and watched for several seconds eying Walter examining the knight carefully. The man was braced for an oncoming assault and had his weight in all the right places if Myth stayed with the same attacks as before. He could see it in Walter's eyes that he could see a difference in the situation. Myth smiled as he dashed forward bolting like he had been fired from a cannon.

To Walter's credit he brought up his blade expertly to block Myth's arcing blade as it came from the sheath. A metal ring echoed through out the room as their blades clashed. Walter had not anticipated the strength or speed of the attack so it left him over balanced which Myth in turn used to throw the man further off and smack him with the flat across his backside. Myth knew he had caught Walter by surprise because the last attacks had been so sloppy. He also knew the man would be better prepared for the next attack. He was frowning now but there was still that arrogant look upon his face, "Even prince's are entitled to strokes of luck I suppose."

Settling themselves once more Myth watched and waited this time. Walter growing impatient moved in much more nimbly than Myth would have given him credit for, but it was a clear feint and Myth shifted spinning away again swinging out with the flat of Blue Moon smacking Walter's hand hard enough the man almost dropped his sword. Myth nimbly danced away sheathing his blade once more raising an eyebrow. He could see that Walter was now giving things serious thought as the man readied himself once more. Myth didn't even hesitate launching into the offensive the moment Walter was ready.

The knight barely had time to bring up his blade but there was a satisfying ring of blade against blade right until he felt a hard blunt strike to his ribs. The pain was enough to cause him to step back and away. In one hand Myth held his drawn sword but in the other he held his scabbard like a second weapon. Myth had deliberately let him block with the blade and struck with its sheath instead. Myth didn't smile he only set his sheath in place once more and slid his blade in dropping to his stance once again. "Seems that the score has evened up... how are your ribs?"

Myth managed to contain his smile as he saw Walter's face turning red with anger. "You seem a little red Sir Walter, not a color befiting a knight of the sword."

"trying to embarrass me in front of my fellows eh? " Walter went silent shifting himself to a different stance that appeared to favor the offensive. Myth let the smile drift from his face and slipped his feet into place. Already his mind was mapping teh steps it would take to achieve his goal. This last round was going to be more than a simple dash and strike. Myth could see that Walter had caught on and was determined to not be made a fool. Already there was murmuring among the knights and the crowd had actually grown.

Both warriors started forward but Myth kept his sword in its place as Walter bore down on him. The anger was clear in the man's eyes and Myth shifted spinning away as Walter's strike came down. However the knight had anticipated the move and twisted bringing his blade around to catch Myth. There was a smirk on the prince's face as he spun around and struck out with his sheathed sword. Walter's sword connected with the wood and the there was a dull thud followed by the sound of a drawn sword as Myth twisted fluidly drawing Blue Moon his blade sang as it whipped through the air and came to a halt with the cold metal of it's edge grazing the back of Sir Walter's neck. Myth and Walter stood there as if frozen for several moments.

All was silent as Myth reached for his sheath and put away his blade. He leaned in close to the now ashen faced Sir Walter "I recommend for your own health you mind your tongue and your actions. Whatever issue you have with the those who are here to help you and your fellow knights had best be forgotten. If you have an issue with the decisions made by your chain of command I suggest you voice them to your commanders, and not make veiled threats to your comrades in arms."

Myth stepped away and was starting to walk away when he stopped a moment and looked back "I never make a mistake when I swing my blade especially in defense of comrades and family... I suggest you remember that sir knight." A young page brought Myth his tunic and vest. There was a respectful nod to the page as Myth walked away leaving Sir Walter and the other knights to their thoughts.
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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:49 am


Kali felt her mother’s touch and swung her feet off the table, the now brittle and dried reagents snapped and crackled under her as she stood and helped Rayann stand. Then she walked over to Ceridwyn and helped her stand as well. Knowing the taxation of physical strength magic had as well as the two of them Kali looked and them and spoke, “I think we need to get you two to bed.”

She signaled to a couple of the wall guard that had been stationed outside the room and spoke, “Can you see that these two women are brought safely to their rooms please? They are both exhausted from the spell they just cast.”

One of the guards looked at her and spoke, “What sort of magic was that? The whole town is buzzing with positivity, those lights were some of the most brilliant and amazing things I have ever seen!” Kali looked at the man and half smiled, “Well sir, I personally don’t know, the spell was cast by these two women and as you can see neither are really in a condition to be discussing it. Miss Ceridwyn is quite warm and friendly however, and after a nights rest I am sure she would be willing to answer all your questions.”

She winked at Ceridwyn and Ceridwyn could only shake her head as she smiled back at Kali. The guard saluted and the four of them split, two going with Ceridwyn and two with Rayann. Kali spoke to their minds as they left, ~ “Thank you… both of you. I feel stronger than I have in a long time, and especially since the rising of the towers. Please rest and I will see you soon.” ~

She turned and walked along the battlement. The sun was down and the moons were rising from behind the towers. She leaned on the wall and looked at them. She could feel their magic still, the dragon in her heart, though encased in a shield of light now, rattled the door, thrashing its tail and smashing into the walls of its cage. She spoke quietly to herself, “Calm Kali… rest now in this solace, find peace in the light your mother and friend have given you… at least for now.”



“You know, if you keep talking to yourself people will think you have gone mad.” She turned with a whip of her honey blond hair and Sir Trystan stepped up to her. Her cheeks flushed with embarrassment and she walked over to him, resting her head on his chest, “I missed you Kali. I tried to come to your room earlier and the guards blocked my entry, even when I tried to pull rank they refused. I can only assume your parents asked I not be let in because only the out ranking of a child’s parents could have put that kind of fire in their bellies.”

She laughed and nodded as she spoke into his chest, “Yes, you were to be kept away from me until the spell had been cast.”

He chuckled and spoke, “I saw the lights, well, I should say I think the whole region saw them. If what they did to you was half as amazing as that spectacle then I can only guess that you are cured now.”

She laughed, knowing he barely understood magic. She spoke again as she slipped her arms around his waist and drew him in even closer, “There is no cure for what is happening to me, but there are protections that can be erected and I lacked the magic to do it myself. My mind is more… susceptible to darkness due to my upbringing and training. It’s not an easy thing to explain but in short my penchant is towards darker magic where my mothers and obviously Ceridwyns is more towards the light.”

He furrowed his brows as he held her and spoke, “I don’t understand, why can’t you just chose to follow the light instead of the darkness.”

She inhaled deeply and responded, “It’s not that easy. We get that choice at the end of the trials, but once a Wizard has chosen their robes a change in allegiance always comes with consequences, even if that change was divinely inspired. Though I stood face to face with Lunitari herself I am not immune to the consequences of my decisions. My mother has had to deal with this a lot less than I as her change in affiliation was from a servant of light to a servant of magic where as I moved from being a servant of myself to a servant of magic, it’s complicated.”

He squeezed her tightly and spoke, “No, I think I understand.”

She traced the insignia on his tunic as she continued to keep her cheek pressed into his chest and after a small pause he spoke, “OH, I forgot. I was coming to your room to tell you about your Father.”

She immediately stepped back and looked at him, “What? What happened? Is he alright?”

Trystan laughed and grabbed her shoulders, pulling her back into him, “Of course he is. He taught Sir Walter a lesson early this afternoon though.”

Kali leaned back her head and looked up at him, finally noticing the cut over his left eye. She furrowed her brow slightly but ignored it for now. The look on her face begged for him to tell her and he complied giving her the entire low down on the exchange between Walter and Myth. After a good giggle she leaned her head back into his chest and spoke, “Well, I suppose that’s that then.”

Trystan shoke his head and spoke, “I am afraid not, even now he is gathering Knights behind him who see things his way. He has always been a man of great sway and there are many in the Knighthood that would like to see him elevated to Knight of the Rose. He has aspirations and goals beyond simply serving the cause of the light and Paladine. I am afraid it’s not over, not yet anyway, if anything Myth has done nothing more than piss him off and strengthen the man’s resolve against all your being here.”

She frowned slightly but maintained her calm. Finally she spoke, “Well, Father is perfectly capable of handling those affairs, but should it come to a conflict I can’t say to you that I won’t get involved.”

Trystan laughed and spoke, “What will you do Kali, turn him into a frog?”

Kali leaned back and pushed his chest, “No you buffoon, something far worse.”

She smiled coyly and then pushed away from him completely, walking backwards a couple steps, “You know Sir Trystan, I still need to test this spell on my body, to insure it took hold and is shielding me from the darkness that covers these lands.”

He looked at her curiously and cocked an eyebrow, “I’m afraid I don’t understand.”

She stepped forward with a slight smile on her face, “Both times I have had episodes have been right after I kissed you, so as I said… we need to test the spells resilience.”

He shoke his head and spoke, “No, I don’t think that’s a good idea. Your Mother and Ceridwyn have been taken to their rooms, if something goes wrong there would be no one to calm you and bring you back down.”

“Ahhh, but you forget, it was both times YOU who brought me back and cooled my fever, they only showed up after to see my torn up robes.”

He flushed slightly and shoke his head again, “I still don’t think it’s a good idea.”

She nodded her head slightly and spoke, “Well, I am not going to beg you to kiss me, if you don’t want to.”

He laughed and shoke his head, “I never said I didn’t want to, I just said they should be awake enough to assist should you have another bought of fevers.”

She laughed and shoke her head, “Very well then noble Knight. If you won’t kiss me on the battlements in the moons light then could I at least request an escort to supper?”

He laughed and took her by the elbow, “Of course.”



Bad Rock and Pela moved until nightfall. They had doubled back a few times to mix up their tracks and throw off any pursuers but they had both been listening intently all day, watching the passes and hills behind them, and never once did they see anyone following them.

Finally they stopped at a cave and Bad Rock turned to look at her, “I will check it and let you know if it is safe.”

She gave him a stern look but he waved her off, despite the fact that she was capable of fighting with him he still had an instinct of protection regarding her. He went in and looked around, the cave was shallower then it had appeared and he turned after only a few steps, “We’re ok, it only goes here in a small hook shape.”

He heard her come in as he turned and went to the back of the cave. Dropping his pack he flinched slightly as he reached up and finally removed the arrow that was buried under his strap, it had completely slipped his mind in his haste to get them away from the Hamlet. Pela walked over and looked at the injury, the movement of the days travel had caused it to open and peel back exposing more muscle then if he had not carried the pack. She frowned at him and he waved his hand, “Stop looking at me like that, this is nothing compared to other injuries you have seen on me.”

He laughed and reached, untying their bed rolls and laying them out as Pela cleared the area of small rocks and such. After adjusting them he reached into the bag she had brought back from the Hamlet and handed her some of the rations and then leaned back against the cave wall. She looked at him sternly again as he hadn’t grabbed some for himself, “Stop Pela, I will hunt in the morning and find myself something. For now you eat, you will need strength if you need to cast this evening, I can go days without food if need be. There’s not much in the bag so I want to make sure you have enough.”

He looked at her with sad eyes, she could see that he was wishing better for her and he half smiled, “Go ahead, eat, worry not about me.”



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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:56 am


Pela frowned as she looked over at Bad Rock.

”I can eat in a moment. Right now, I need to tend to your shoulder.”

She saw Bad Rock start to argue with her and she quickly cut him off.

”No father. This has to be done now or you risk further injury to your shoulder. You know I will be careful.”

Bad Rock sighed and nodded.

“Very well then.”

As Bad Rock leaned forward, Pela walked up to his side and moved the strap out of the way. Her frown deepened as she saw how much damage the arrow had already done. Shaking her head to herself, she reached up and curled her hand around the now broken shaft of the arrow. Closing her eyes, she hissed words of magic and the arrow grew very cold. In the next instant, she pulled the arrow out cleanly. Bad Rock winced and groaned and Pela dropped the arrow as though it had bitten her. Blood began to trickle from the wound and Peal quickly covered the hole with her hand and again whispered spidery words of magic. Bad Rock would feel that cold sensation again focused on the wound and the blood stopped flowing. She stepped back away from him then and smiled.

”You should start feeling better soon, Father. I will take a look at it in the morning before we leave to make sure it is OK.”

She walked back to her bed roll and sat down. Icing up her hand, she let it melt then used the water it created to wash the blood from it. Picking up the rations Bad Rock gave her, she nibbled on her food and glanced at Bad Rock then down at the cave floor as she tried to think of what they were going to do.

What if she couldn’t find work? What then? She glanced at Bad Rock again as he began to drift off to sleep and knew that she would do whatever it took to protect and provide for him as he had done for her all these years. It was only fair she repay him for saving her life. Any way she could.



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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:58 am





Aeolis and Kellan started out early the next morning. He told her the night before about a small Hamlet about half a days ride from Glen Durel where they could stop, rest the horses and do some inquiries there as to rather or not someone had seen Bad Rock. He told her to be prepared for strange looks from the inhabitants to see an Elf and a Knight riding together but they were fairly harmless.

The horses were well rested and as Kellan prepared them for travel, she inspected their limbs and back, she was satisfied they were no worse for wear and were actually enjoying the grueling pace despite the fact. AS soon as they were ready and their makeshift camp broken up and no sign of them ever being there, they took off again at the same breakneck pace.

They were on the outskirts of the Hamlet when Aeolis pulled his horse up to a sudden halt causing Kellan to almost run her horse into his. If it hadn’t been for Smokes training that would most likely have been the case. Kellan noted immediately the way Aeolis was frowning and the way he was looking all around with his eyes. Taking deep breaths to calm her breathing, Kellan began to look around as well and the first thing she noticed was how strangely quiet it was.

As they glanced at each other, Aeolis nudged his horse forward but at a slow pace. Kellan did the same with Smoke and as they started moving forward, she drew her cloak in around her a little more. Her gloved hands held the reins in a relaxed hold but her legs told a different story. Smoke felt the pressure and knew his mistress was now using her legs to let him know what direction and how fast she wanted to go.

Something was off here but what, she couldn’t tell right away. Finally she saw Aeolis looking at her and when she glance at him, his eyes traveled past her and he gave a nod that was hardly noticeable. As though she were just turning to look back in the direction they were heading, she let her eyes travel a little further to her right and saw what he had noticed. A man perched in a tree watching them. He wasn’t easy to spot and if it hadn’t been for him moving his head, she most likely would not have seen him at all, but the Elf’s keen eyes had most likely picked up on the man a while back. Aeolis’ voice was low as he spoke to Kellan.

”Just be calm. It appears as though he is only watching us for now. He holds a bow but his aim is not as accurate as you would think. Still, we best not test his accuracy if we do not have to.”

Kellan nodded slightly.

”How the hell can you see his bow? I barely saw him.”

Aeolis smirked.

”It is an Elf thing. You humans would never understand.”

Kellan chuckled softly and shook her head.

”Sometimes I wish I had been born an Elf.”

Aeolis quirked a brow and smirked.

”Then your career as a noble Knight would never be, dear Lady Kellan. In fact, I doubt you would even pick up a weapon to use it. Your days would be spent doing needle point and gathering nuts, herbs and berries.”

He saw the look on her face and couldn’t help but laugh.

”Dare I say be thankful for what you have been given?”

Kellan nodded.

”Indeed.”

She was just getting ready to say something to him when the Hamlet came into sight and they both pulled their horses up short. It looked more like some sort of fortified war camp than a Hamlet. Hastily erected fances had been put up as well as rockes piled up in other places. As Kellan looked around, she noticed how spaced out the fences and rock piles were then urged Smoke to the right.

”Stay here. I want to check something out.”

Aeolis furrowed his brow but nodded all the same. She was, after all, a capable soldier and he had to trust her instints as well as she did. He looked all around and could hear the shuffling of feet and the whispers of voices. He knew where they were and had caught glimpses of them from time to time. They were giving the position of both himself and Kellan to others.

As Kellan walked along with Smoke, she observed the rock piles and fences. They were strategically placed around the perimeter of the Hamlet and when she finally turned Smoke to head back to Aeolis, she let the horse trot gently back to the Elf.

”The fencing and piles of rock are placed perfectly with different buildings along the Hamlets outer perimeter. Looks as though they’re trying to defend against something. I take it things weren’t like this the last time you were here?”

Aeolis shook his head.

”Not at all. In fact, a group of traveling performers was here entertaining the inhabitants. They were quite welcoming. Something has happened to frighten them so. I suppose we need to find out what.”

Kellan nodded.

”Let’s see what the good citizens can tell us.”

They nudged their horses onward and wove through the fencing and rocks until they reached the well traveled path people used to enter and exit the Hamlet. As they moved through, several people stopped what they were doing to stare at the strange travelers that had come into their village. Aeolis looked around and spoke softly again.

”For once, it is not me they stare at. It is you”

Kellan blinked then looked over at him.

”Me?”

When she looked back at the citizens now, she noticed they were looking at her more than Aeolis. Furrowing her brows, she was suddenly self conscious and looked over at him.

”Why are they staring at me?”

Aeolis opened his mouth to say something but another voice cut him off.

”Because it’s been a long time since a Solamnic Knight traveled through our humble Hamlet, let alone one who bore the rank of Warrior of the Crown.”

Kellan snapped her head around to see an older gentleman standing with his hands on his hips and looking up at her. He had a thick mustache and curly brown hair that had streaks of gray through it. He had a slight bulge in his belly that showed he was a little softer through the middle than a few years ago. His face showed wrinkles especially around the outside corners of his one good eye. His other eye was covered with a black patch. He held himself proudly but not arrogantly so and when Kellan applied pressure with her legs, Smoke halted before the man. Her brows furrowed and she tilted her head as she looked down at him.

”Only someone familiar with the Orders of the Knights would know this. I’m afraid I don’t know of you, though good Sir.”

The mans eye twinkled and the hint of a grin tugged at the corners of his mouth.

”I expect not, Lady Knight. After all, I had been sent to pasture most likely when you were still having your diapers changed by your mother.”

Kellan’s frown increased.

”Sent to pasture?”

Aeolis leaned closer and whispered soflty to her.

”It means he was forced to retire.”

Kellan glanced at the Elf and the look she gave him told him she knew what it meant. When she looked back at the man, he took a few steps closer and she could see the terrible limp he had. He bowed as best he could from the waste then stood upright again.

”The names Randall Burgess. Sir….Randall Burgess. Retired Knight of the Sword. At your service Lady Knight.”

Kellan blinked then glanced over at Aeolis then back to Randall. Dismounting from Smoke, she walked over and gave the man a smart salute before she reached her hand out in greeting and smiled.

”Sir Randall. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I am Lady Kellan Longblade and this is my friend, Aeolis.”

Randall accepted the offered hand and was shaking it when he stopped at hearing Kellans name. He still held her hand as he furrowed his brows and took a small step closer.

“Longblade? As in Liam Longblade?”

Kellan nearly flinched at hearing Liam’s name and she merely nodded. Randall noted the reaction and then glanced at the elf who had now dismounted and walked over to join Kellan.

”Y-yes. Liam was my brother.”

Randall’s thick eyebrows rose as he noted Kellan’s use of past tense then looked at Aeolis who nodded as if to confirm the man’s suspicions. Randall patted the back of Kellan’s hand with his free one then slowly let go.

“Liam was my squire when he first came into the Knights. Smart lad. He had a bright future ahead of him in the Knights. I am sorry to hear of his passing. Krynn has lost a true noble Knight.”

Kellan gave a quiet thank you as she felt her throat constrict and she took a deep breath to regain her composure. Randall quickly changed the subject for her benefit and crossed his arms before him again.

“So? To what do we owe the honor of your visit? From the looks of you and the fact you’re traveling lightly, I’d say it’s not a social call. Have anything to do with that big creature seen around these parts yesterday?”

Kellan and Aeolis glanced at each other then looked back at Randall.

”Big Creature?”

Randall looked around at the gathered crowd and saw the anxious looks on the faces of the villagers. Furrowing his brows he nodded.

“Why don’t you join me inside for something warm to eat and we’ll discuss it there. I’ll make sure your mounts are well taken care of and fed and watered in the meantime.”

Aeolis and Kellan glanced at each other again then looked at Randall. Kellan nodded.

”Your hospitality won’t be forgotten, Sir Randall.”

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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:59 pm


Morning came quickly and Ceridwyn rolled over to the empty space beside her. She sighed heavily and though she felt physically renewed she still felt exhausted. There was a soft sense of contentment however, to love someone enough to fear losing them was something she had not experienced for a long time, and though it hurt a little it was a wonderful feeling to care for someone on that level again.

After she dressed and made herself presentable to the people outside her door she walked into the hall, her two guards standing across from her door. “Good morning noble gentlemen, how are you both doing today?”

They looked at her and both could not help but smile. The felt fortunate that she was the one they had been assigned to, at first she was merely eye candy, they both felt they had received the most attractive assignment of the three lady Wizards, but more and more they were appreciating the way she treated them, like more than just guards but as individuals who had feelings and dreams. “Things are well this morning Miss Ceridwyn, shall we escort you to breakfast?”

She smiled and nodded thankfully, “By all means.”

They turned and walked ahead of her but she noticed quickly that they were not heading to the soldiers mess facility, “Excuse me gentlemen, not to sound condescending but I believe that you might have lost your way.”

One of them turned and with a wink spoke, “Please mind your tongue madam, we are professionals and we know what we are doing.”

With an amused smile she nodded, “Very well good sirs, then lead on.”

They wound through the streets and made their way to a small park that Ceridwyn didn’t even know existed. It was small, and the greenery was mostly dormant, but off to the side was a table set with warm food and to her surprise a tea pot. She instantly recognized the scent and turned to look at the men with genuine gratitude on her face, “Honey mint tea! You have by all means out done yourself on my behalf! But I must ask why?”

A young girl stepped out from behind the table and spoke, “Your guards are my brothers ma’am, and when they told me of your coming to their defense in the mess facility yesterday we wanted to do this for you.”

Ceridwyn turned with a smile and spoke, “I see, and what is your name miss?”

The young girl who couldn’t have been more than 16 spoke, “Aspen ma’am.”

Ceridwyn smiled as she responded, “Well that is a delightful name. It is a pleasure to meet you.”

She turned to her guards, “And you two have some explaining to do. For starters you never told me you were brothers, second you should NOT be squandering what pay you earn on tea for me.”

She looked at them both sternly but then her expression softened, “However, I must say that I appreciate this act of kindness beyond what words can express, so as humbly as it sounds, thank you so very much for touching me with this blessing.”

She looked at the table and saw there were four chairs set and she smiled, “I assume this table is set for all of us?”

Aspen nodded and Ceridwyn spoke, “Very well then, let us enjoy this delightful meal.” The four of them sat and the meal was eaten with laughs and the exchange of stories so they could further get to know one another.

After an hour Ceridwyn looked up at the sky and spoke, “Well my friends, as much as I hate to say it, my duties call.” She turned and looked at Aspen, “Let me help you with the dishes please.”

Aspen shoke her head and spoke, “No Miss Ceridwyn, that is part of the gift of this meal.” With a smile Ceridwyn reached and touched her face, “Again, my humble thanks to you.”

She turned to her escorts and spoke, “I need to find Rayann, please lead on.”



Kali was walking in a circle on the street outside the building that housed her and her family. She was waiting and finally Rayann appeared from the doorway. She smiled and spoke, “Good morning mother, I was waiting so we could eat together.”

She hugged Rayann and they went to the mess hall together. As they entered and got their food she could feel all the eyes on them, some suspicious, some critical, others thankful. She bit her lower lip gently and spoke to her mother through missive, ~ “Got any other spells in your book that can hide us from all this? I am getting a little tired of all the eyeballs on me all the time.” ~

She half smiled as she and her mother sat. As she was about to start she noticed behind Rayann the Knight that had spoken to Trystan on the balcony at the dinner party, the same Sir Walter that was then taught a lesson by her Father the day before. She met his eyes with her own and he broke his glance, turning back to the men he was sitting with. Kali looked at her mother and spoke again through missive, ~ “That Sir Walter is a schemer, something is going on behind the mask he wears.” ~



Bad Rock woke early and went out into the frigid morning leaving Pela as she slept. In a short time he was able to hit a very small, young stag with his staff’s spell and get to it. Breaking its neck he slung it over his shoulder and made his way back to the cave. Pela was awake now and he dropped the animal on the ground as he spoke, “Good morning my Pela, I hope you slept soundly.”

He smiled as best he could and went to the bag, grabbing out some rations and handing them to her. “We need to eat and get moving as soon as possible. The coast is a two day walk from here, I think it’s safe to say that we aren’t being followed so we can go at a more leisurely pace than yesterday.”

He reached and patted her softly on the leg and then reached with those same hands and tore the stag in half, chewing on the raw flesh.


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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:28 am


After the casting of the spell with Ceri yesterday, Rayann was so tired she slept through the night. As the first streaks of light begant o pain the sky brilliant colors, she was up, dressed and had Shaer in her arms. She thanked the twins for the constant vigilance over the child then turned to slip quietly out of her room. Myth was already up and gone as was his way. She remembered her husband’s warmth next to her the night before, despite how exhausted she was, and how instinctively she curled up against him. Even now she couldn’t help but smile at the comfort and peace that brought her.

When she slipped outside she saw Kali already there and waiting. Giving her daughter a bright smile, she hugged her tightly then proceeded to the mess hall with her. Like Kali, she felt the eyes upon them as they walked in. It was unnerving the say the least and she would love to do nothing more than turn and seek her meal elsewhere. But if she did that, these skeptics would win and Rayann wasn’t about to allow that to happen.

The guards Kellan had assigned to Rayann and Kali were also aware of the looks the ladies were receiving. They looked around at their fellow comrades and felt the tension build in the room. It wasn’t going to be a good experience in the room with the ladies, that was for certain.

Rayann saw the looks passed between the guards then looked around at the others again. As Kali pointed out Sir Walter and the ones immediately in his company, she looked at Kali and spoke with her mind.

~Even the most beautiful flower can wilt and die if it doesn’t receive enough sunlight and fresh air. If they wish to stare, then let them. Be strong, Kali. As much as I want to turn and run, we can’t. It would only fuel their mistrust of us. And Sir Walter will only have more heat to fan the flames of doubt he’s spreading throughout the ranks.~

Rayann looked over at Sir Walter and held his gaze for a moment without flinching. In the past, she would have looked away but being married to Myth had given her some much needed self confidence not to mention the courage to find her inner warrior and defend herself and her family from those who sought to harm them in some way or other.

When the man looked away, Rayann looked at the guards with her and Kali and saw the nervous glances they were making at the others and each other. She leaned in closer to them and whispered softly.

”Worry not, noble Knights. We won’t cause any trouble. All we wish to do is get our food and eat in peace then we’ll leave here and give the room back to your friends.”

All four guards took a breath of relief but still felt the tension. While they had come to know Rayann was of a peaceful nature, they also knew she was a mother and the fact she was a magic user coupled with being a mother could be trouble.

As Rayann and Kali sat to eat, she noticed Sir Walter and a few of his comrades would glance their way then start talking among themselves in a hushed tone. It grated Rayann’s last nerve but she refused to let it show outwardly. And Shaer was enough to take her mind off anything. He was happy, full of life and very energetic. He giggled at everything and was fascinated with anything that caught his keen eyes. He was able to eat regular food now so each meal brought a plethora of new tastes to his pallet he seemed to enjoy tasting. Of course there were some things he didn’t care for and he let his mother know quickly with a sour face and ridding his mouth of what was in it.

When they were finally done eating, Rayann and Kali stood and walked out of the mess hall. As they walked by Sir Walter’s table, all of the occupants watched the women with hawk like gazes. What ever they had been talking about came to a halt. Rayann and Kali had just passed by the table when she heard a voice speak up loud enough for her to hear what was said.

“With the display from yesterday they wonder why we don’t trust them.”

Rayann stopped moving forward and slowly turned to face the table of Knights. Some of them glanced at Sir Walter while others looked around and others still looked at her with contempt. Her lavender eyes pinned each one fo them to the seat they sat in before she spoke.

”I wonder how many battles could have been avoided if you had simply asked what was happening someplace instead of assuming the worse. Much could be learned if you but took the time to inquire.”

Sir Walter spoke up again, this time in his normal voice.

”Do you know how many battles we’ve been in because someone lied to us? Nay, I think it best we assume the worse. It keeps us alive that way.”

Rayann quirked a brow and gave half a grin.

”Well, Sir Knight, I prefer to remember what my father taught me when I was young.”

Sir Walter smirked.

“To use what nature gave you to land yourself a Prince?”

Rayann could feel Kali’s anger and gently laid her hand on Kali’s arm. Rayann smiled sweetly and seemed to actually laugh at Sir Walter’s insult. When she spoke again, her voice was sugary sweet and anyone who knew Rayann knew that was when she was angriest.

”Oh no. He simply told me never to assume. It makes an ass out of you men”

She saw Sir Walter’s nostrils flare and the anger leap into his eyes. He stood from his seat and Rayann had to look up at him but she never backed down. The guards assigned to protect the women moved into action as well and took up defensive stands around them. The twins Elven guards charged with protecting Shaer also stepped up. Walter stood where he was as Kali moved to stand beside her mother again. His angry glare went from mother to daughter to guards then back to mother again.

”Whatever your issues are with magic users, I assure you they will be tenfold if you seek confrontation with them like this. We don’t want to be here anymore than you want us here but we have come to aid you, all of you, any way we can to protect all of Krynn from what has happened. Not just a select few. Perhaps you should remember that the next time you choose to throw insults at us. Good day to you, Sir Walter.”

Rayann turned, bringing Kali with her with her free hand and continued towards the door once more. Kali glanced over her shoulder then looked at her mother. Rayann kept her eyes straight ahead and head held high. Once they stepped outside the mess hall, Rayann let go of the breath she’d been holding. Glancing at Kali, she spoke to her mind.

~Dare I say this Sir Walter will be a thorn in our sides until we leave here.~






Pela rubbed her eyes and nodded at Bad Rock as she yawned. Stretching like a lazy feline, she gave him a small smile as he handed her something to eat.

”I slept very well, Father. Thank you. How did you sleep? How is your shoulder today?”

She nibbled on the food as he explained they could take a more leisurely pace today. She was glad for that. She liked to practice her skills on unsuspecting animals and vegetation as they moved along and at the pace they traveled yesterday, she was unable to do that. She gave him a loving smile as he patted her leg.

”Good. I like our slower paces better. It gives me the chance to practice. And it gives you the chance to tell me about the coast.”

When their breakfast was over, Pela helped Bad Rock clean up and pack their things away. With another check of his shoulder, she placed her hand over the wound and caused the cold to seep into the wound and numb it enough to where it wouldn’t hurt. Once they packed up, they left the cave and headed out for the coast. The sun was bright in the sky but the air was still very chilled and a light haze filled the area as a slight thaw began to take place. Pela giggled softly as she saw the air escape Bad Rocks nostrils in plumes of steam.

”You look like a smoking dragon, Father.”

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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:29 am


Kali was fuming by the time Rayann touched her. It was a gesture that brought her back to reality, until it happened she was running through a number of spells she could throw into the mix of Knights that would shake them to their core. As Sir Walter listened to Rayann’s words and they turned to leave Kali looked back at him. The fire that ignited behind her pupils caused the man to flinch slightly, she could see the fear in his eyes, it was something she was trained to look for. Though he was doing his best to hide it she could see it as clear as day.

When they left the mess hall and her mother spoke to her mind she responded almost immediately, ~ “Fear of the unknown will make people do the strangest things. He is lashing out at us because he does not understand us, not to mention we are fighting hundreds of years of mistrust of our kind. It matters not, once we get this problem taken care of we can leave this filthy hole behind.” ~

It would be obvious to Rayann that the military compound life was not something Kali was taking a liking to. As they left the confines of the Keep and into the city proper her mood changed slightly and she was feeling happier. As they walked along the streets she heard a voice she recognized. Looking up she saw Ceridwyn coming towards them, her two escorts a pace behind her. Kali smiled and nodded, then was practically tackled by a hug from her white robbed friend. Kali caught the scent in her nose and looked at Ceridwyn with a jovial expression, “Now, if you don’t tell me WHERE you found honey mint tea I will have to retaliate with extreme jealousy.”



Ceridwyn laughed and turned to her two escorts, “My gentlemen were kind enough to have their sister prepare me a private breakfast. After the events in the Mess Hall they felt it would be more appropriate.” Kali shoke her head and laughed, turning to glance at Rayann, she responded with an air of humor, “Ahhh you Elf Maidens, always hooking the human men to your favor.”

Ceridwyn gave a mock look of shock and responded, “I say dear Wizard, you are not one to talk!”

They both laughed and Kali turned to look at Rayann, “Well, I get it from my mother.” She winked and then turned back to Ceridwyn. “So, what is on the docket today?”



Bad Rock and Pela made the cave look as normal as possible and then headed out. He was grateful for her attending his shoulder, but would have soldiered on just the same. He was not a complainer and would have never even brought it up if she hadn’t. They began making their way towards the coast. It was two full days in good weather, and though it was crisp and clear this morning, nobody really knows what the next 48 hours might bring. They found a moderately smooth cart path that looked like it would provide them easier walking without the hassle of main roads.

He turned and looked at Pela with his rough smile, “Starport is a nice place, I think you will like it. There are many softly rolling hills to the East where we can find shelter and maybe I can even build you a house. I won’t have much else to do while you are off working.”

“Most Port towns offer much in the way of employment, and Starport is large enough that you should find ample opportunity. The docks always need educated people to keep books on the shipments, and the pubs would also allow you employment. I am not sure what it is exactly that you plan to do, but we might even find work for those in our trade. It’s hard to say, things have been severely rattled since the dragon armies started invading again. Truth be told I won’t be surprised if I can walk openly in Starport, they have probably seen their share of strange creatures.”

He laughed gruffly as she mentioned he looked like a smoking dragon. Shaking his head he responded, “Well let’s hope that when we get to Starport we are not welcomed like they would welcome dragons, eh?”



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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:17 pm


~Glen Durel is certainly much more conducive to our peace of mind than this place is, that’s for certain. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to returning. Not to mention the fact Shaer will be able to explore at his leisure and not have to worry about getting in some one’s way. When this is all said and done, you and I are going to take a much needed break and think of nothing but when we will eat next~

When Rayann heard Ceri’s voice, she smiled brightly and laughed softly as the three women exchanged ribbing about how the thre of them have wiled men to their favors. Rolling her eyes, Rayann shifted Shaer in her arms as the child babbled on in his own language and looked at the world around him with innocent eyes.

Rayann looked at both women and shrugged her shoulders then looked to Ceri.

”Oh…..I don’t know. When was the last time we sat down and discussed our own details of strategy? These strapping men with their clanking armor are doing that each day. I think it would do us some good to at least study this a little more before we’re thrust into the fires of Hades to fight the forces that will try to destroy us. That’s just my opinion anyway”

She glanced back at her guards as well as the other guards that had assembled around them.

”Gentlemen? What do you think? Would you like to sit down with us and go over a plan of attack on these dreaded towers?”

The guards all exchanged looks with each other before looking back at Rayann.

“Ma’am? You want us to sit and plan with the three of you?”

One of the brothers charged with escorting Ceri spoke up then as his brother readily agreed.

“Don’t let their petite form fool you. What they lack in brawn they make up for in brains. Besides, it would give us a better understanding of how a mages mind operates. Lady Kellan told us all before we were set to our duties we were to not only guard them but learn as much as well could from them as well.”

The guards Rayann and Kali had on a regular basis glanced at the brothers then at each other and shrugged.

“Very well. We’ll escort you where ever you need to go and sit to discuss the towers with you.”

Rayann beamed then looked at Ceri before she looked at Kali with her smile fading slightly. Reaching out to touch Kali’s arm gently, she made sure her daughter was ready for this then looked at Ceri.

”Well, ladies? Shall we allow our handsome escorts to take us to study the towers and come up with a plan that’s far better than just casting randomly?”





Pela listened to Bad Rock describe Starport and when he mentioned about keeping the books on the dock for shipping companies or working in a pub, Pela actually stopped and stared at him as if he’d grown a second head. When he turned to look at her he would see the look of disgust and total disbelief on her face.

”Father…..do not think for one moment I will stoop to working in a pub. Imagine what would happen the first time one of the male patrons decided to touch me. How would I explain to the proprietor the death of one of his customers? Of course the fact the man would have it coming and would not be able to do that to another female would be over looked. All they would see is that a man was dead and I was to blame.”

She started walking again and shook her head.

”And keeping books recording shipments would have me going crazy by the end of the first day. When have you known me to sit still for very long? No. I believe I will try to find someone who is in need of some help with…..persuasion. You have said it yourself, I can be very convincing. There is always a debt to collect and one to be paid. I believe my talents would be well used for the right person. Of course I will not sell myself cheap. After all, they would not want me unhappy.”

When Pela looked up at Bad Rock she batted her eyelashes at him and gave him a coy smile then laughed softly.


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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:18 pm





Aeolis and Kellan talked to Randall for about an hour. The man was full of knowledge and didn’t beat around the bush with any of it. He got straight to the point and kept it there. His answers to their questions were short when needed and detailed when called for. His former life could clearly be seen in the way he handled himself. Once Aeolis figured they had enough information to pick up on where Bad Rock was last seen, he and Kellan decided to leave.

As their mounts were returned to them, Aeolis and Kellan bid the former Knight farewell. He wished them well on their journey and hoped Paladine would light their way. As soon as they were clear of the Hamlet, they set out at a quick pace. Aeolis reached the point Randall had told him then dismounted. Kellan followed suit and started walking behind Aeolis.

The Elf was now in his element. He walked like a stalking panther and his eyes were everywhere all at once. He was as quiet as a mouse in a temple and from time to time he stopped to study something he saw. Kellan was clueless until he started pointing out subtle differences in the terrain around them. Once he taught her what to look for it was like a veil had been lifted from her eyes. She could see things differently now and what she saw amazed her.

They came across the bodies of the highwaymen and Aeolis studied the wounds and severed arm carefully. He knew it wa Pela’s work and he explained why to Kellan. Seeing the deadly accuracy of the holes in the men’s bodies, Kellan knew she couldn’t underestimate this ice wielding wizard. As they moved on they came across the body of the hunter who had his head crushed. Kellan felt her stomach lurch but she was able to maintain her control. From there, Aeolis was able to track Bad Rock easily.

The Elf led them to the cave Bad Rock and Pela had used as their home and when he walked inside, he stood there for a moment unmoving. Finally he started looking around at the things that were out of sorts. The untrained eye wouldn’t pick up on any of it but Aeolis had it pegged from first sight. He even pointed out the fact Bad Rock had eaten recently before he and Pela departed so quickly.

Exiting the cave and getting back on the horse, he led the way letting the horse have some rein but not as fast as they had been traveling. There were a couple of times he stopped and studied the area before he pointed them in a different direction. When Kellan pointed out the trail seemed to go the opposite direction Aeolis would explain to her Bad Rock was circling back to throw people off his trail. When Kellan questioned why the Elf wasn’t so easily fooled, he grinned and explained to her he was not your ordinary tracker.

About mid day Aeolis drew them up to a halt and dismounted again. He was extremely cautious now and explained to Kellan the trail led to a cave in the distance. Kellan studied the landscape and for the life of her couldn’t see any cave. Aeolis pointed it out again and still she was lost. When he slipped away from her, he made his way silently through the woods. When he reached the opening of the cave, he pointed it out to her and finally she saw it. It had been camouflaged so well she couldn’t see the opening. He slipped inside for a few moments and Kellan felt every muscle in her body tense up as she waited for him to emerge again. When he did, he signaled for her to join him.

When Kellan walked to the cave, Aeolis pointed out they were quite close. The blood from Bad Rocks last meal was still wet and had just started to dry. With this news, Kellan and Aeolis mounted up again and rode out following the trail Bad Rock left behind. He told her it wouldn’t be long before they came upon them as the pace the two were using was not quite as fast as it had been the day before.

Remember, Kellan, be honest and forthright with the creature. His size will be frightening to say the least but if you do not threaten him he will not attack. From what Myth’Alas has said, Bad Rock is loyal to one thing, his purse.”

Kellan glanced over at Aeolis

”And the daughter?”

Aeolis shrugged his shoulders.

”I cannot say for certain. Not much is known about her other than she is quite formidable at casting ice spells. As you saw what she did to the highway men. I am certain they had no idea what happened before it was too late.”

Kellan furrowed her brows.

”Great…..a large monster and the Ice Queen. Lovely.”

They rode for a short distance when Aeolis quickly pulled his horse to a halt. Aeolis dismounted and signaled for Kellan to do the same. He put his finger to his lips in the universal signal for quiet. Kellan nodded her head and watched her companion. As he slinked through the woods, Kellan lost sight of him and couldn’t see where he’d gone. Kellan was so focused on finding Aeolis that she didn’t see the way the horses ears had perked up. If she had, she would have been able to prevent what happened next.

Aeolis’ horse snorted loudly then pawed at the ground with his hoof and bobbed his head up and down. Kellan felt her heart sink to her knees as she quickly grabbed a hold of his velvety muzzle and clamped down on his mouth to prevent any more sounds from erupting from him.

Looking around, she still couldn’t see Aeolis so she decided to take cover behind some bramble bushes to shield herself from unseen eyes. She looked at the horse and furrowed her brows. Of all the times to do something like that, she thought.

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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:59 pm




Kali smiled softly to her mother and as she spoke about their ‘handsome’ escorts she spoke with a lilt of humor to her voice, “Really? I’m telling dad.”

Rayann looked at her quickly and Kali laughed. She then continued, “I don’t know mother, sometimes random casting can be a lot of fun.” The guards looked at each other uneasily and Kali whistled innocently. Ceridwyn started busting out laughing with such an infectious tone the whole group would not be able to contain themselves and finally with a shake of her head she spoke, “It would seem that our spell has done its job.”

She turned and looked at Rayann with a raised eyebrow of satisfaction and then to Kali. Kali smiled and nodded but in her heart she felt the dragon stir, his yellow slit pupil eyes staring out of the confines of its cage. Clearing her throat gently Kali spoke, “There are some empty rooms for discussion and planning in the Keep, why don’t we all go there?”

The whole group agreed and Kali led the way, her escorts right behind her. As they crossed the small drawbridge and went in Kali turned down the main hall and stopped in front of the council chamber. One of the guards spoke, “Ma’am, that’s the council chamber, we can’t use it.” Kali turned and looked at him with a soft smile, “Why not?”

“Well, it’s reserved for use by the council.”

“At all times?”

“Yes.”

Kali turned and looked at Rayann and Ceridwyn, the undeniable mischievous sparkle in her eyes was blaring at them, “Well we are conducting a war council, so then we are legit.”

She turned and looked at the guards who were shuffling uneasily and she responded, “Congratulations soldier, you made it on the council!”

With a push of her hands the door unlatched and swung open. The massive room was completely empty and Kali shoke her head as she looked at Rayann, “What an incredible waste of space as refugees are sleeping in the streets outside.”

She motioned to her two guards and the brother’s, “Let’s get this table scooted over here and have some chairs set about it.” She turned to Ceridwyn and smiled, “It’s dark in here, do you think maybe you could…,” Ceridwyn smiled and nodded, going right along with this little intrigue, “By all means Kali.”

Hissing words of magic the whole room was suddenly filled with a soft glow and an undeniable warmth. Kali turned and looked at the guards, “See, random casting.”

The guards laughed and continued their work, soon the table with 11 chair was set and Kali looked at the group with satisfaction.



Bad Rock and Pela were enjoying their slow paced walk. This day was reminding him of when she was young and he would take her to the fields that ran near their first home. He would look at her from time to time and could not help but smile as he remembered her as a young girl.

He stopped suddenly, dead in his tracks and reached, grabbing Pela gently by the shoulder. She turned quickly knowing exactly what that touch meant and she would see that his ears were perked and he was listening intently. He whispered, “Two riders, close.”

He turned slowly as he lowered himself to the ground and placed his ear to the ground. His hand touched the mud and he closed his eyes. He spoke softly, “They are slowing.”

He stood and eased himself and Pela off the cart path and into the woods, though they could not see anything yet he was not about to drop his guard or allow them to be ambushed. He turned and looked at her curious gaze as she sought more information from him, her human hearing not nearly as acute as his, “Could be merchants, could be guard, it’s hard to say, but it sounds as if one is wearing armor.” He looked back down the path’s direction. A person wearing armor wasn’t necessarily a suspicious thing, but again, he was taking no chances. He was deathly silent for a long time, keeping his eyes focused on the path that had been behind them and looked at Pela occasionally to non-verbally communicate that he hadn’t seen anything yet.

After an hour she saw his ears perk again and the wind shifted ever so slightly, he whispered, “Two horses, one human and….,” he paused and looked at her with a furrowed brow, “One Elf.” He eased his pack off his back and placed it softly in the snow and gripped his staff tightly as he got as low as he could. Several hundred meters off the two finally emerged from the shadows of the thick forest. He could see that Pela could see them too and he nodded in affirmation. The Elf then did something strange and entered the woods, but on the opposite side of the road. Bad Rock looked at Pela and signaled for her to mount his shoulders. She did, using the technique they had practiced so often and he moved with cat like silence through the woods. Suddenly, one of the horses started getting nervous and made a fuss. Bad Rock stood still as a statue and watched as the female herded the horse off the trail and crouched low. He signaled to Pela and started moving again.

They were getting closer, the woman was only 40 meters or so away. They were close enough that Pela could cast now and she would feel the muscles in Bad Rocks shoulders tighten as he gripped his staff and lowered himself into a crouching position. He held, watching, listening, waiting…



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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:53 pm


Pela had learned at a very early age to trust Bad Rock’s acute hearing. It had saved their lives more times than she could count on her fingers and toes combined. So when he suddenly stopped and touched her to do the same, she knew something was wrong. When he explained what he was hearing, she drew her brows together as she frowned.

Every nerve in her body was on edge and as she waited for Bad Rock to give her more information, she felt as though she would burst open if something didn’t’ happen and soon. Finally he was able to let her know what it was. A human AND Elf? They didn’t normally travel together. This was odd indeed.

As Pela mounted Bad Rock’s shoulders, her balance was perfect. As the large creature eased forward, Pela could see the human woman who wore a traveling cloak over her armor. Armor? Why does a woman where armor? She’d seen women wear leather armor before but never the sort of armor Knights wore.

As Pela felt the muscles in Bad Rock’s body tense, she prepared to cast her first spell. But it wasn’t at the person she was looking at. A voice behind her caused her to blink and freeze.

”We come in peace, Bad Rock….Pela.

Pela turned her head to look at the hooded, slender figure that must have been the elf traveling with the woman. Her iridescent eyes glared at the figure.

”Who are you? How do you know our names?”

Without waiting for an answer, Pela jumped off Bad Rock’s shoulders and spun sending ice spikes headed for Aeolis but the Elf was quicker than she anticipated and her spikes whizzed through the air.

”The Dark Queen sent you, didn’t she?! We will not go so easily, fool!”

Aeolis felt a piercing pain in his side and cursed his lack of speed. Glancing down he saw a small stain of red on his tunic appear and his finger eased into the small hole. Thankfully it was a glancing hit so it was nothing more than a flesh wound, but still painful.

Kellan had been crouched low with the horses when she heard the voices. Aeolis had slipped in behind the two of them and was now being targeted by the wizard. Standing up, she looked over at the pair and felt her heart fall to her knees then quiver in her chest. By the Gods she had never seen anything quite like Bad Rock. Finally she forced herself to move after taking a deep breath and swallowing hard.

”He speaks the truth! We come in peace. And we were sent by Prince Myth’Alas and Rayann his wife. On my honor, I give you my word. We do not wish to harm you in any way.”

Pela whirled around to see the human woman now. She had a strange crest on her armor and when she stood up, she raised her hands in a surrender motion. The ice wielder hissed words of magic and Kellan felt a sudden cold at her feet. Looking down, she looked back up in terror as the ice crept up her legs. It was both painful and extremely cold causing her body temperature to drop rapidly as her armor was becoming an ice box.

”N-no….p-please…d-don’t…..”

Aeolis saw what was happening to Kellan and in the blink of an eye, he was dashing past Bad Rock and Pela to stand beside her. She reached for him but he knew if he attempted to touch her he would fall victim to Pela’s spell as well. He snapped his head around to glare at Pela and Bad Rock.

”We are prepared to pay for your services. Call off your daughter now.”

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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:12 pm



The voice came from behind and Bad Rock spun so he was standing perpendicular to the two. He remained silent as Pela took action, this was no different than any other of dozens of situations they were in and he remained where he stood.

As the Elf shot by he still didn’t move, noting that he was well out of any kind of striking distance. Bad Rock watched as the woman was slowly being frozen to death and Aeolis made his offer. Bad Rock had turned and was now facing them and leaned down to speak to Pela, “Freeze his feet to the ground and then hold.”

Without even a glance she nodded softly and Aeolis’ feet were captured in thick ice, the numbing cold that had been traveling up Kellans spine subsided and Bad Rock reached, grabbing Pela around the waist and hoisted her back up onto his shoulders. She was kneeling with her feet held fast behind her by special stirrup like leather thongs that were attached to the back of Bad Rock’s vest. It would be obvious to Aeolis and Kellan that this was a very well rehearsed dance and they were not dealing with amateurs by any stretch of the imagination.

He spoke as he stared at Kellan, pointing at her chest. “What does a Knight of Solamnia and a Silvanesti Elf want with us or our services?” Aeolis look of surprise caught Bad Rock’s attention and he turned to stare at him, “That’s right Elf, I know your heritage, an Elf of purity traveling with a woman that obviously took her vows to the doppelganger of Tahkisis, now speak, what do you want with us?” They would be able to see in this creatures eyes, he might be huge and bulky but by no stretch was he stupid.


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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:28 pm





Kellan’s lips were turning blue and her teeth chattered as her body shivered. She was unable to talk now. All she could do was listen but even that was almost impossible. With her plummeting body temperature she was having trouble keeping a grip on reality. All she knew was that her body was so cold….colder than she’d ever been in her life and all she wanted to do was sleep….blessed sleep….to make this pain go away. Forcing her mind to remain lucid, she grit her teeth and focused on Aeolis.


Aeolis felt the painful bite of the cold around his feet and ankles as they were encased in thick ice. He glared at Pela but when Bad Rock mentioned his heritage, the Elf couldn’t hide his surprise. He glanced at Pela again then at Kellan who nodded through her shivering.

”Your services at Heartlund are needed. Three towers have been erected at the cost of many lives. Mages Fifth and Piramay have created the towers and it was determined Pela’s expertise in ice magic would be a benefit. But the strength of her father would be as asset as well. Lady Kellan was sent as a representative of the Knights of Solamnia. She is the Warrior of the Crown and has their authority to offer you payment.”

He glanced at Kelln who blinked her eyes slowly then looked back at Pela and Bad Rock.

”Release us and we will explain the details”

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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:41 pm


Bad Rock noted Aeolis glaring at Pela and he then listened as the Elf spoke his purpose. When Fifth and Piramay were mentioned he glanced up at Pela. Both of them had never dealt directly with the two magi but their names were certainly familiar. As he heard that they had erected towers he simply shrugged and looked at Aeolis, speaking with his deep gravely voice, “You’ll be released when we know it will be safe to do so, or you will die, either way we are in control of this scenario for the time being and you are in no position to make demands.”

Pela’s eyes sparkled like snow as he spoke of their death and he continued, “You ask us to enter into a suicide mission against the Dark Queen’s minions? I think we prefer living as an alternative to your proposal. I have no idea or cause to know what or why these towers were erected, most likely it is part of her ongoing war with Krynn, how does it benefit us to be killed fighting her… I don’t see how it does.”

He looked up at Pela and then back to Kellan and Aeolis, “We will leave your feet frozen to insure we don’t continue following us, good day.” He turned and prepared to depart.



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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:22 pm







Aeolis was certain the negotiation would take this turn as was prepared for it. He was getting ready to say something when Kellan’s weak voice broke through the void.

”One th-thousand gold p-pieces”

She saw how Bad Rock stopped and turned to face them again. Kellan’s vision was blurring and she had to blink several times to regain her clear sight. Her skin was taking on a slight purplish hue now as the cold sapped her energy level. She would have fallen if the ice holding her in place wasn’t so thick.

Pela’s icy eyes sparkled anew. She jumped down off Bad Rock’s back and strolled leisurely over to the Lady Knight. Her delicate finger slid around Kellan’s neck and frost appeared on Kellan’s skin. Pela smiled delighted in the reaction Kellan had as she shivered uncontrollably and winced anew with fresh pain.

”And we are to believe you carry this with you now?”

Aeolis tried to move to help Kellan but his feet were stuck and he was now feeling the affects of the cold around his feet and ankles. The pain was quite bad and he grit his teeth to keep from falling victim to it.

”Stop it. She has done nothing to you to deserve this treatment.”

Pela looked over at Aeolis as she started walking around Kellan again. She didn’t care for the way Aeolis was looking at her. Grabbing a hold of the back of Kellan’s hair, she yanked hard and jerked Kellan’s head back. Pela’s free hand was poised at Kellan’s exposed jugular now and Aeolis could see her index finger looked more like a razor sharp knife now.

Kellan groaned when Pela pulled her hair and yanked her head back painfully. Her eyes grew wide when she felt the cold at her throat. She tried to raise her hand to pull Pela’s hand away but Pela put an end to that quickly. Kellan’s hand quickly became encased in ice and frozen in mid rise. Pela smiled as her fingers wrapped Kellan’s hair around them for gripping.

”No, no now. We must not try to stop me from having fun. Remember. A happy Pela is what you want. Now….you were saying about gold pieces.”

It was Pela now who glared at Aeolis.

”Either produce these gold coins now or your Knight dies.”

Aeolis glared even more at the woman but when he felt the ice leaving his feet, he was thankful to Solinari for some miracles. He motioned to the horses and let Pela know what he was doing.

”It is with the horses.”

Pela motioned with her head for Aeolis to retrieve the money.

”So. Do not try anything heroic or she dies.”

Aeolis walked slowly to the horses and untied the bag from Kellan’s saddle. Walking over to Pela and Bad Rock, he slowly set the bag down opened it up. Inside was a good sized box and he slowly pulled it out.

Pela yanked Kellan’s hair again causing Kellan’s to wince again but she refused to cry out.

”Careful, Elf. No tricks or your friend has seen the last of her days.”

Aeolis glared up at Pela again.

”No tricks.”

Aeolis shook his head.

”I am showing you we are telling the truth.

He pulled the box out and opened it. They could see the gold coin within and it shimmered in the light filtered into the forest. Rolled up in the box was a scroll sealed with a wax seal. Aeolis frowned as he saw the parchment. Taking it from the box, he held it out for Pela to take.

Pela roughly pushed Kellan’s head away from her and snatched the parchment from Aeolis’ hand. As she turned away from Aeolis, he felt his feet grow extremely cold once more and when he looked down, he would see his feet once more encased in thick ice. She held the parchment up for Bad Rock to see the seal. When he didn’t recognize it right away, she broke the seal and unrolled it as she climbed back on top of his shoulders. She cleared her throat and read the note written within.

”Bad Rock and Pela,

You don’t know me other than the brief time we faced off against each other when you came to my home with my brother, Rorie, to kill me and my family. I know you are most likely thinking you have nothing to gain by returning with Aeolis and Lady Kellan but I beg to differ.

That nauseating feeling you are susceptible to will only grow. Eventually you will be too weak from warding yourself against its affects that you will lay, weakened and withering where you fall. Hopefully it won’t be in the wilds or you will become food for the nearest wild animal looking for a meal.

The towers are the cause of the nausea and eventually your death. And the death of Krynn. While I know you are not champions to any cause but your own purse, I know self preservation is also a high priority on your list, evident by the way you abandoned my brother when you realized you had been lied to about why he wanted to kill us.

Consider your aid to Heartlund and the Knights as well as myself, Ceridwyn and Kali an all expense paid trip of self preservation you will also receive a stipend for. A very substantial stipend.

I invite you to return to Heartlund with Aeolis and Lady Kellan to discover for yourself how profitable your services can be. If you are not satisfied with the offer made to you, you and Pela are free to go.

Sincerely,
Rayann Padraig Thel’Redin


Pela slid gracefully off Bad Rock’s shoulders and stood on the ground just a foot step ahead of him. She rolled the parchment back up and tucked it into her belt then raised her hands, preparing to cast.

”I shall send them our answer, Father.”

Kellan grit her teeth and prepared for the spell Pela was getting ready to send their way and Aeolis narrowed his eyes as he glared once more at the ice wizard. He should have known better than to think they would consider helping.

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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:24 pm



Bad Rock looked at the note and read it with Pela, as she slid off his shoulders and was preparing to cast he looked at the two and then slowly eased his hand on to Pela’s shoulder. Patting it gently he whispered, “Hold my Pela… hold.”

He saw the look of disappointment in her face and spoke, “You said you wanted an opportunity to be a persuader, that you might find employment in the service of one who needed to collect debts…. Perhaps this is that opportunity.”

He walked over to Aeolis and stared hard at the Elf, looking into his eyes, then turned and looked at Kellan. He sniffed the air and nodded his head. Looking at Pela his eyes asked that she trust him and he then turned back to the two and moved his staff over their feet. The ice evaporated almost immediately and he looked sternly at Aeolis, “We could have killed you as easily as accompanied you. The bodies of an Elf and a Human would have been long lost to the frost in these woods and we would be in Starport with your coin.”

He turned his gaze to Kellan who was now on her knees, weak from the cold that had been gripping her body. Turning back to Aeolis he spoke, “You know we have no reason to trust you except that you are a creature of the light, understand that if this is some sort of trick and your purpose is to lure us into a Keep so that Rayann and Myth can see to it that we are repaid for coming to their home unexpectedly my daughter and I will tear down as much of that place and the lives of as many people as possible before we die, and if we do escape I promise you by the gods it will be the longest winter Solamnia has ever experienced.”

Aeolis nodded and Bad Rock nodded as well, he reached his hand forward in a handshake gesture and Aeolis’ hand disappeared into his palm as they shoke. “Then we have an accord. Now if you please, I need a moment with my daughter.”

He turned and looked at Pela, grabbing the box of coins as he made his way back to her. He could see by the look on her face that she was furious with him but he sat and spoke in his native tongue. She knew the language, he had taught it to her as she was growing up. He knew there was no way the Elf was out of ear shot and to keep their conversation private he did this, “Calm yourself my Pela. There has been disturbances in the magic field, you and I have both felt it. If this note tells the truth then we owe it to ourselves to at least investigate the claims. We already have the coin, if things look shady before we get to Heartlund Keep we can kill the two and slip away.”

He reached up and touched her on the shoulder, his massive hand completely covering the upper half of her body, “We have nowhere else to go Pela, we cannot return to the Dark Queen, after the failure at Glen Durel she will have us killed or at best punished indefinitely. Perhaps this opportunity is exactly what we have been needing.”



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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:57 pm







Aeolis glared at Bad Rock as he approached. With every ounce of dignity the Elf could muster, he accepted the handshake offered to him from Bad Rock.

”If I had my say, I would not be here right now to retrieve you.”

As the creature went off to talk to his daughter in the strange language they spoke, Aeolis knelt down to assist Kellan.

”Can you stand, Kellan?”

Kellan didn’t answer right away and when she looked over at Aeolis it was clear she was on the brink of passing out.

”Breathe slowly. In through your nose and out through your mouth. The blood flow will stabilize itself.”

Through the haze of confusion, Kellan focused on Aeolis’ voice and concentrated on breathing as he told her to. She was still frightfully cold and her body shivered even though the ice had been removed. Finally after a few moments, she was able to look at the Elf with more coherence in her gaze.

”I…can stand….now….

Aeolis reached out to help her but Kellan pushed his offer away gently. Her voice was whisper soft as she spoke to him.

”I need….to do it….on my own…please…”

Aeolis nodded and stood up giving Kellan the space she needed. Slowly but surely she got her legs beneath her and was able to stand, albeit wobbly, but stand all the same. Kellan drew her cloak around her and couldn’t help but wish she had Nol’s cloak around her once more.

The circulation was returning to her extremities and the pain that brought with it was almost unbearable. Gritting her teeth and clenching her jaw, Kellan stood next to Aeolis and watched the exchange between Bad Rock and Pela. It was clear the ice wizard was angry simply by her flailing arms and curt words in that strange language they were speaking. Kellan leaned in a little closer and without taking her eyes off Bad Rock and Pela, she spoke softly to Aeolis.

”Remind me to thank Rayann when we get back to Heartlund.”

Aeolis was watching the two in kind when he nodded and answered.

”Indeed…




Pela glared at Bad Rock when he accepted the offer from the Knight and Elf. When he turned and started talking to her in his native language, she waited for him to finish before she let loose with abarage of her own.

”How could you?! You know as well as I do this is a trap. As sure as I breathe we are being herded into a stronghold so they can surround us and kill us, FAHTER! Oh I have never been so mad in all my life. Just let me kill them now. We can take their coin, dispose of their bodies and be in Starport before anyone knows they are missing. And we can be living a very comfortable life.”

Bad Rock shook his head.

“You know as well as I do someone will come searching for them and know who was responsible for their deaths. Then we would not only have the Dark Queen to deal with but the Solamnic Knights AND the Silvanesti Elves. No my Pela. It is better we take this route and see what they can offer us. As I said, it will give you the chance to use the skills you have been taught and have learned over the years.”

Pela aced back and forth as she glared at the Knight and Elf. Crossing her arms in front of her like a spoiled child, she finally stopped and glared up at Bad Rock.

“Fine, then. We’ll travel like sheep to slaughter with these two and when they are bearing down on us, do not think I will refrain from saying ‘I told you so’”

Finally she stomped her foot in one last show of disagreement then climbed onto Bad Rock’s back into the specialized seat they had constructed for her and sat pouting like a disappointed child.

Aeolis cleared his throat as he saw Bad Rock and Pela were ready to go. Kellan looked over at the Elf wondering what he was doing then realized they were all looking at her for leadership. They were, after all, heading to Heartlund. Taking a deep breath, she stood straight and turned to walk to her horse when she stumbled and started falling forward. She caught herself before she could fall completely and took a moment to regain her balance and composure.

Walking slowly over to Smoke, she mustered up the strength to haul herself into the saddle and swing her leg over the horses back. Her moves were sluggish and labored, an indication she was still suffering from the affects of hypothermia as she took Smoke’s reins and turned him towards the direction they had just come from.

Aeolis mounted his horse and turned it to follow Kellan. Noticing the horse walk in a zig zag pattern he knew Kellan was unable to control the horse normally. He rode up beside her and took the reins. When she glared at him he merely nodded and spoke softly to her.

”Just until you are ready to take them again,. Lady Kellan.”

Unable to fight Aeolis, she let go of the reins and held on as tight as she could to the saddles pommel for stability. In all her life she;d never felt anything like this and all she could think about was the warmth of Nol’s touch and how much she wished she had delved into it more before she left.



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PostSubject: Re: 14: Mixed Minds   Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:23 pm



Bad Rock listened and didn’t say a word as Pela went into a temper tantrum. He simply stood and stared at her and for a creature that looked like he was designed and created for little more than killing he was surprisingly calm as he listened to her. Finally when she had climbed onto his back he spoke in his native tongue, “Perhaps you are right, perhaps I am, but in the end death is coming closer every single day, would you rather continued to be hunted like rabbits by the Dark Queen or face her head on?”

He would feel her shaking with anger on his shoulders and did as he usually did, he ignored her. She was only 14 ((taking a liberty, you had nothing in her profile and she is acting like a spoiled teenager… besides it makes her being so powerful with ice that much more intriguing Wink) and he had learned years ago to just let her calm herself, she would come to him eventually and apologize, she always did. He walked up to Aeolis and Kellan and spoke, “Lead the way Elf.” As he began to walk he turned and looked up one of the rocky hillsides, and far off in the distance, too far to make out the person completely he saw a lone figure standing with long flowing hair. He stared at the person for a brief moment before what appeared to be a flash of silver, and the creature was gone. He blinked his eyes and furrowed his brow, he wasn’t sure if what he saw was real or an illusion, and his memory was slightly fuzzy as to what might have even just occurred.

They traveled slowly for a while until Kellan got her strength back and when she did Aeolis turned and asked Bad Rock a question, “How fast and long can you go without a break? You are laden with all that coin and a person.”

Bad Rock only laughed a gruff sound of amusement and spoke, “My daughter and supplies and these coins are hardly laden Elf, if haste is what you require get those ponies up to a gallop and see what I can do.”

Aeolis cocked his eyebrow slightly, partly out of curiosity as to why this creature kept referring to the young woman on his shoulders as “daughter” and partly out of pushing this challenge to its maximum. He turned to Kellan who was more then happy to attempt and bring some strain on the creature and they nudged their horses into a gallop. Bad Rock’s legs kept in stride and Pela barely seemed to move on his shoulders, his movements were fluid and precise. With a kick Aeolis and Kellan brought the horses to a fairly fast pace, just under a run and Bad Rock copied their speed. They kept this pace for over an hour and Bad Rock kept in stride.

Finally they stopped half an hour after sunset and the four of them set their camp for the night. Bad Rock and Pela moved off to the side, about 30 meters or so away from them and watched in amazement as Bad Rock set enchantments around the area they were to sleep. He looked over at them without a word and removed Pela’s bedroll from his pack. She was still not speaking to him but all the same he laid down beside her and she cuddled up against his back. The two of them were quickly to sleep.



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