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 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund

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PostSubject: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:17 pm


The citizens of Heartlund woke to the worst winter storm in their recorded history. The guard had been tasked with clearing the streets but the snow was coming down so hard everyone was starting to pitch in. It seemed that no matter how fast they cleared it there was more to immediately take its place. Ceirdwyn stared out the window of the room and watched the snow as she silently shoke her head. Looking over at Aeolis who was still in bed but awake she spoke, “By Solinari I have never seen it snow this hard. Even the glow of the towers is gone.”

She looked back out the window and spoke again, “I am so glad that you and Lady Kellan made it back before the brunt of this storm bore down on us, you might have been lost to the winter.” She slipped down from the step that looked out the window and hurried across the stone floor, her bare feet were like ice by the time she made it to the bed. Even the warmth of the leaves was little comfort in the cold room. She frowned and spoke as she snuggled up to Aeolis. Even the fire provides no warmth. It’s as if the gods themselves are trying to freeze the towers off the face of Krynn.

She inhaled deeply and spoke again as she pressed her back into his chest even more so their bodies could warm one another, “Tell me all about the trip mel’amin, you drifted off to sleep so quickly last night after your bath we never got to talk.”

Aeolis pulled her in close and whispered into her ear. He knew she enjoyed the details and he spent over an hour in the telling, answering her questions as they came up with patience and an occasional chuckle. Finally he came to the returning to the city, how the walls seemed to almost rise from the ground as the snow kept falling harder and harder. She inhaled deeply in satisfaction and whispered, “Well I am glad that your story ends with your return. I admit I was surprised you found them so fast. It is amazing to me to think how little distance the two of them put between themselves and Glen Durel. Perhaps they felt that staying close to the scene of their last assignment would be the last place the Dark Queen would seek them out.”

The laid in silence watching the fire for a long while and finally Ceridwyn moaned. The clouds were so dark that it was almost hard to tell it was morning, however her senses as well as her belly told her it was probably close to lunchtime. As her feet touched the ground she moaned again in protest and whimpered, “Make it go away Aeolis.” She turned and with a half smile fell back into his outstretched arms. She shoke her head and laughed, “To be so dependent on a male… who would have thought that my grand life would come to this.”

She pointed a finger at the fire place and hissed words of magic, a flare of light erupted from her hand and the fire blazed high and hot, the room was almost instantly filled with warmth and she turned back to him pressing her chest into his own, “Oppsie, I have cast a spell and must rest now, I suppose that lunch will just have to wait.”



Kali woke and was shocked by the thickness of the snow falling from the skies. She quirked a brow and got herself out of bed and dressed quickly. Thank the gods her thick velvet robes provided so much warmth. She was becoming more happy with her decision to leave her silk ones at home knowing she would have yet to wear them. The Keep was nothing like Glen Durel. Their home was always warm and required it’s occupants to wear lighter weight, comfortable clothing. Heartlund Keep seemed to be cold from the moment they arrived, and this storm was only making that worse. She made her way down to the Mess Hall and found it was mostly empty. When she inquired the Chief Cook told her that all the guard, knights and available cooking crew were out trying to clear snow and only a handful had stayed behind to run the kitchen.

She furrowed her brows slightly and nodded in thanks for the information. He handed her a plate of hot food with a smile and then reached under the counter, bringing up a large white mug, “Hot chocolate, I don’t have a lot to spare so I save it for the special people.” She smiled softly and cocked her head back, non-verbally asking what made her so special, “My grand-mum was a wizard, well, she could make things happen. She never wore the robes of a high wizard, but she could make the pots and pans in the kitchen dance like you have never seen.” He looked at her a little more seriously, “Let’s just say I’m glad that you came to help the Knights figure out what the blazes those towers popped up for.”

She smiled and nodded her head as she spoke back to him, “Let’s pray the gods we figure it out then, wouldn’t want to waste a mug of hot chocolate now would we?” He laughed and nodded in return. She turned and almost ran directly into Sir Walter. He looked down at her, without saying a word at first. She looked up at him, her eyes staying locked on his own. Finally she spoke, “Is there something I can help you with Sir Walter or do you intend to stare my hot food into ice?”

He huffed and stepped aside speaking, “I intend a word with you while you eat.”

She looked at him as she walked past, there wasn’t the least bit of fear or sense of being intimidated in her what so ever, “Then by all means, sit and talk, all you had to do was ask.” He sat across from her without a word and just stared at her, letting the silence linger between them a moment. Finally she leaned forward and gestured with her finger to bring his face closer. She spoke with a flat tone and very matter of factly, “Sir Walter, let me explain something to you. I have stood in the very presence of Tahkisis herself in her own throne room, I have removed the souls from hundreds of victims, possessed Elves and been the planner of dozens of assassinations. During my trials I faced 5 blue dragons and a Black Robed wizard of the Dark Queen who I had to kill in order to prevent from being killed by him to earn my first set of robes. I tell you this not to brag but to inform you that if you think your gruff bushy eye browed stares are intimidating or otherwise causing any kind of fear in me you are wasting your time and only fooling yourself, that sort of behavior might work on the Knights under your command but all it does to me is cause me to chuckle inside.”

He furrowed his brows and leaned back speaking in a hushed tone of anger, “That ice witch you brought is causing this storm.”

Kali laughed so hard she spit her bread into Sir Walters lap. He knocked the chunk away, clearly annoyed and spoke again, “Well I am glad that it amuses you she is slowly killing us by freezing us all to death.”

Kali finally was able to regain control of her emotions and spoke as she wiped the tears from her eyes, “Walter, that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. It is impossible that Pela is causing this weather.”

“Is it? Then explain the fact that it is snowing so hard the first day she is here?”

Kali laughed again and leaned forward, “For starters Sir Walter, it started snowing yesterday morning and Pela didn’t arrive until last night just before sunset. Secondly if in fact she had cast a spell that would cause this kind of weather my Mother, Ceridwyn and myself would have felt the pull on the field of magic.”

“And how can you be so sure that you three would have felt it?”

Kali shoke her head and spoke, “You know so little about magic Walter, a Sorcerer must draw hard on the natural magic around them to conjure their spells, and based on what I felt from her yesterday as she was about to cast and freeze Trystan where he stood every wizard in a hundred kilometers would feel it if she drew enough power to herself to cast a whole blizzard.”

He looked across at her and furrowed his eyebrows, “Well all that notwithstanding we will be keeping an extra sharp eye on her, and that creature she brought with her!”

Kali smiled softly and spoke in a sweet lilt, “Well I would hope so Sir Walter, they are Mercenaries after all.”

He opened his mouth to speak and then stopped. Closing his mouth he stood and spoke, “Very well, good day Kali.” He turned and walked away, she watched him exit and could only laugh again at his foolishness.



Bad Rock rolled over and looked out the door. The wind was whipping around so ferociously he blinked a moment before turning to see Pela sleeping soundly beside him. It was the kind of sleep he saw from here when she had been casting the night before, but surly she had not gone off into the Keep on her own, not after the fear he saw in her eyes.

He stood and walked to the door, pushing it open. There were no guards stationed outside and he knew there had been two there the night before, he had seen them just before he went to bed. He scratched the whiskers under his chin as he thought and then closed the door, walking over to a large jug of water that had been put there for them. He washed his face and under his arms. It wasn’t something he usually did but he was in the company of humans and wanted to not be completely offensive smelling, they were after all paying he and his daughter handsomely to be here.


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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:25 am


Aeolis couldn’t help but chuckle at Ceri as she rushed back to the leafy bed and curled up next to him., His arms closed around her and pulled her back against him and he inhaled her scent deeply. Closing his eyes, he relayed the entire trip to her from the beginning when they left Heartlund to the evening they returned in the middle of a winter storm. He left out the part where Pela’s ice spike grazed his side just above his hip. There was no need in causing her worry. After all, it was nothing but an angry, red line now anyway and in a few days would be totally gone. His fingers eased over her skin and he nodded in agreement with her.

”Not to mention it was still close enough to Glen Durel the occupants and Nol and his kind would certainly be able to feel her close presence. I think Bad Rock was very smart in staying close.”

He was hungry but he wasn’t ready to leave the room just yet. As Ceri cast a spell that caused the fireplace to flare and warmth flow through the room, Aeolis chuckled softly and let his fingers explore even more of her skin when she turned around.

”You will starve me to death at this rate, mel’amin….”





Pela woke to the sound of splashing water. Stretching lazily then blinking her eyes open, she looked over to see Bad Rock up and washing. She slowly sat up and stretched again.

”Good morning, Father. I trust you slept well last night.”

Getting up she walked over to the wash basin and stripped out of her clothing. Like Bad Rock, she took the time to wash but went into a little more detail than he did. It was nothing different for her to do but Bad Rock would notice she wasn’t so much a little girl anymore and more a young woman. When she was done, she redressed in fresh clothes and combed her hair, pulling it back into the band that made it look much shorter than it really was. Her ice blue eyes seemed to twinkle this morning and she looked over at Bad Rock with a bright smile.

”I do hope they have good food here. I would love something to eat as I am quite famished this morning. Shall we see what sort of breakfast we can get?”






A knock on Kellan’s door woke her instantly. She sat bolt right up in bed and looked at the other side of the bed. It was empty. No indication there was ever anyone laying there, but she could have sworn Nol was there with her all night. Rubbing her eyes, she heard the knock again followed by Moira’s voice from the other side of the door.

“Lady Kellan? You’re needed in the stockade, Ma’am. Sir Trystan has been sent for as well.”

Kellan found this news most disturbing and she was out of the bed as she spoke.

”Come in, Moira…please….what’s happened?”

As Kellan dressed with some help from Moira, the girl explained about the intruder found at the stables the night before. Kellan asked if the horses had been checked for signs of injury as well as their food supply and Moira assured Kellan everything was well. Still, Kellan made mental note to check for herself.

Once she was dressed in a pair of black leggings and a bright blue tunic cinched at the waist by a wide, black belt and highly polished black boots. She brushed her hair hastily then glanced at the hair pin. Grabbing it and tucking it into the small pocket on the inside of her belt, she grabbed her blade and was still strapping it on as she left her room.

Moira came rushing behind her with her cloak and was trying to get it on Kellan’s shoulders as they hurriedly walked through the halls. Finally Kellan clasped the cloak around her shoulders and walked to the entrance to her barracks. When she opened the door she was greeted by a rush of bitter cold air and snow and sleet pelting her face.

”What in the name of Paladine…..?”

She drew the hood of the cloak up over her head and trudged out into the snow. The walk to the stockade wasn’t the most pleasant she’d ever had but she finally made it. Once inside, she shook the snow off her cloak and pushed the hood of it off her head. Trystan had arrived just a few moments before she did and she followed his voice to where the cells were located. HE was asking someone what their name was and where they were from.

When she arrived at the cell, she nodded to Trystan then looked at the occupant in the cell. He appeared to have some Elven heritage but otherwise, he looked human. A bit wild, but human all the same. Her brows furrowed and she looked the young man up and down. He had infiltrated the Keep and had managed to elude several guards. This wasn’t good. Snow storm or not, they had to be vigilant and obviously they had fallen lax on their duties. The only good thing that came out of this was now they knew what needed to be done to insure this didn’t happen again.


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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:49 am


Saul sat in the corner silently as the human bombarded him with questions of what his name was, where he came from. Not once did he ask how he had managed to enter the fortress or what he was doing here. "Does the incompentance of this place never cease?" Saul thought to himself. Just then he heard the door to the cell block open and the sound on boots on the stone floor approach. Looking past the human he saw the face of the Knight that had accompanied the Elf, the Netherman, and that untrustworthy girl, that had facilidated his capture.

Standing has the female Knight approached his cell door, Saul placed the palms of his hand together in front of his chest and bowed his head slightly. Then raised his head, dropping his hands to his side and looked the Knight squarely in the eyes. "I am pleased the young witch did not leave you a frozen statue for the snow birds to perch upon. Although I would not put much trust in what she says. I would keep a close eye upon her actions, and nocturnal activities as well, if I were you. I trust your Elven companion is well?" he said calmly and softly.


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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:11 am


Rayann woke early this morning. She could tell by the howling wind the weather outside was nothing short of miserable. Not to mention the fact the room had chilled greatly the night before. She wanted nothing more than to stay huddled under the covers of the bed with Myth and on this rare occasion, Shaer.

In the middle of the night she padded over to his room, to the twins surprise, and gathered her son up and walked back into her own room. Aassuring the twins she was merely taking her child to sleep with her and Myth, she brought Shaer back to the bed and lay him between her and Myth’s bodies. The child stirred slightly then quickly settled back down when he realized he was with his mother and father.

For a long while, Rayann lay in the quiet darkness of the room with the soft light of the fire casting a warm amber glow to dance off the ceiling and walls listening to the sound of Shaer’s steady breathing. Already she could see his hair taking on a reddish color and knew his father’s characteristics would be most dominant in his features. She couldn’t help but smile at that thought. He would have his hands full with the girls when he got older.

Finally, in the wee hours of the morning, Rayann closed her eyes and drifted back to sleep. But now, as the dawn of a new day began to take shape outside, she awoke with a heavy heart. Today she was sending Shaer to his grandparents in Sylvanost and it was quite possible she would never see him after today. Closing her eyes, Rayann swallowed back the sadness that made her feel.

Moisture collected behind her eyes and when she opened her eyes, she saw the emerald gaze of her husband looking at her. She knew, without saying a word, he knew how she felt about this. It wouldn’t be easy, but it was what was best for Shaer. Reaching over and touching Myth’s cheek with her hand, she gave him a smile as best she could then looked down at the still sleeping Shaer. Kissing her son’s small head, she looked back up at Myth and whispered softly.

”As much as this pains me, I know it’s for the best. I pray we’ll be able to see him again.”

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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:00 pm



Trystan smiled and nodded as Kellan approached. He spoke, “I don’t know how much you know yet but this individual penetrated the walls last night during the storm. He has refused to answer any of my questions so I have sent for Kali to aid in the extraction of information. Lady Rose has also been informed of the breech and the two soldiers who were patrolling in that area have been pulled off duty and will be dealt with soon.”

Looking back at Saul there was clear dislike in Trystan’s eyes and he spoke to Kellan again but looked directly at Saul, “I have also issued an order for execution, we are at war and as such we don’t have time for dealing with lengthy proceedings. Once we have any information he can provide about his origins I will see to it personally that he is dispatched and no longer a problem.”

He turned and looked back at Kellan and she would see in his eyes that he meant every word. They were at heightened security, the towers had caused that as well as the sacking of Northkeep. As was the way of the Knights there would be no quarter given if someone penetrated the line of defense, no matter who was responsible. They had a whole region of people in the walls to care for, keeping an enemy alive and fed was one less child that would be able to eat, and as far as the Knights were concerned their duty was to keep the people alive, not the enemy.

He glanced without feeling or remorse at the man again and walked over to the guard desk. He was still well within ear shot but had no more business with the man until Kali arrived to help get what he needed from the man’s mind.



Ceridwyn finally pulled herself from bed. Aeolis’ touch was too inviting and she would have stayed all day if the guests hadn’t arrived. She and Aeolis were supposed to meet Bad Rock, Rayann, Myth, Commander Rose, Pela, Kali, Sir Trystan and Kellan in the war room at 2:00. Byt the rumbling of her stomach she knew it was well after noon and she peeked her head out into the hallway speaking to one of the guards, “What time is it?” He smiled and responded. “1:00 Miss Ceridwyn, we wouldn’t let you be late to your appointment. She smiled and thanked him, slipping back into her room.

“Out of bed you lazy bag of bones, we have guests to inform and prepare with.” She winked and slipped off to bathe quickly so they could run and grab food, knowing it was SHE that was responsible for their running so far behind.



Bad Rock looked at Pela and smiled as best his face would let him. As she washed and prepared to leave their room he turned to give her privacy but spoke to her, “Did you hear the guard leave this morning? I am surprised they are not outside the door, it is common for the Knights to have escorts with anyone not affiliated with them inside their Keeps. I leaned out this morning to ask about where we can find food and they were both gone. I could have sworn they were there last night when we went to bed.”

As Pela turned to look at him he was now looking at her, his eyes scanning her face. He was asking as much as digging for information out of her, she would see he was suspicious about something and his question was pure idle curiosity. The look on her face gave her away and he shoke his head, obvious disappointment in his voice, “My Pela, what in the abyss have you done?”



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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:56 pm


Myth could feel the cool chill of the morning air as he awakened from his slumber. Rayann was looking upon Shaer and had yet to notice he was awake and he was aware of an extra body within the bed laying between them. Myth looked upon his son with a proud smile and after feeling the chill of the morning air decided to skip his morning exercises in favor of spending these quiet moment s with Rayann and Shaer. Finally he saw her eyes lift and he could see the worry and sadness therein. He didn't need to be empathic to know how she was feeling.

"We will do all within our power to make sure that we do mel'amin. Many are the challenges laid before us by the gods however we will pull through and be stronger for it."

He to had the same worries but he was not about to let it show physically or emotionally. He remained strong so that she could draw the strength she needed. in these times of worry. He would sooner sacrifice his own life than let her perish in this ordeal. This was a promise he had already made to himself and it would be one he would keep at all costs. The well being of his family meant more to him than his own life and he would pay the ultimate cost in their defense if it was asked of him. This was a promise locked away in that one place in his mind no one went because he knew what the reaction would be. He did not want to cause undo worry or distraction in the battles to come.

Myth reluctantly sat himself up and took Shaer carefully into his arms holding the small one. He smiled softly as he noticed the red streaks of hair starting ot emerge. "I spoke to the twins last night about returning to Syvanost with Shaer before I came to bed. They will be ready to depart this afternoon with him." His smile brightened slightly "They also promised to continue to watch over him until we return to Sylvanost."

He looked over at her noting the look on her face. "I was somewhat surprised by that so I decided to talk with them at length on the matter. While they agreed there are certainly more glorious duties to be had they did not feel right leaving him anyone else's care while we are away. While some would see their duty as dull and degrading they have felt honored performing their duties no matter how mundane. You are a powerful user of magic I am a master of the blade and because of that they believe that being hand chosen to be the guardians of our child is nothing short of a great honor. They understand the amount of trust we have placed in their hands when we are absent for any reason for any length of time."

Myth released a small sigh "Those two never cease to amaze me. I admit it gives me great peace of mind knowing they will continue their vigil."
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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:32 am


Rose was staring out the window of her office in quiet contemplation when she heard the door open. "Just set it on my desk Larissa..." she did not have to look to see who had entered into the room. There wasn't a single person in the keep allowed to enter without being announced first. Things were silent and Rose could hear Larissa pouring a fresh cup of tea. Reluctantly she pulled her eyes away from the window and returned to her desk. She had been tied here for days now pouring over the details of her new post and getting things back in order from her days spent away from the keep. She sat down slowly looking up at Larissa giving her a slight nod in thanks.

"Lady Kellan and Sir Trystan are interrogating the prisoner that was found in the stables last night. Your presence has been requested though I am not entirely sure why since Sir Trystan took it upon himself to sentence the man to execution."

Rose reached out and grasped her tea and took in a deep breath drawing in the scent. The faintest hint of cinnamon tickled her nose and she sighed contently after she took a sip. Setting her tea down Rose looked up at Larissa and raised an eyebrow. "How about unofficial business?"

Larissa frowned "Sir Walter is stirring things up among the knights. The morning weather coupled with the mercenary Pela's specialty has given him some fuel to add to the fire so to speak. Also the guards that were assigned to watch over Bad Rock and said mage left their posts last night."

Rose frowned hearing this news "Do we know the reason that these guards abandoned their post in the middle of the night leaving these mercenaries unattended?" Larissa shook her head in response indicating she did not know. "They claim that they fell ill in the night and were forced to head to the infirmary. They are obviously not being truthful about the situation which limits the possibilities of what may have happened."

Rose nodded her head "They were either scared or driven off and do not want to admit to it." Rose sighed heavily and took another sip from her tea before standing from her desk. "That will be all Larissa." the young woman bowed and was heading to the door when Rose spoke up "Keep an eye on our new guests.... particularly the young women. I have been assured the netherman can be trusted to keep his word so long as he is not threatened. My concern is the young woman" Larissa nodded without a word and vanished from the room. Rose grabbed her cloak swinging it around her shoulders and grabbed her sword. Taking in a breath she exited her office and entered the cool hallways of the keep and wound her way to the stockades.
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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:12 am


Kellan stiffened at what she heard the stranger say. Narrowing her eyes, she knew now this was the man Nol had seen following them. The last thing she wanted was to let anyone know what happened to her at Pela’s doing and now, he’d let the cat out of the bag, so to speak. She saw Trystan looking at her from the corner of her eye but she didn’t bother to look at him. He would see the truth as sure as she was standing there. Ignoring the mention of her ordeal, she spoke to the man with a hint of authority in her voice.



”It appears the only one with nocturnal activities around here is you. But the creature and young woman are none of your concern. Right now, your concern is answering the questions posed to you. I would suggest you start answering them. It could mean the difference of life and death for you. Now….why don’t we start over. My name is Lady Kellan Longblade. Sir Trystan has already introduced himself. What’s your name and where do you come from and more importantly, why are you here and why did you feel the need to sneak in? We're not in the practice of turning those in need away so long as their need is legitimate.”

She didn't want to see the man put to death but in these times, it was a just punishment due for the nature of the crime, especially with things being the way they were after the towers appearance.




Aeolis sighed and reluctantly left the warmth of the bed and Ceri's body to wash up and get dressed. He knew Commander Rose would be looking for information regarding their trip to get Bad Rock and Pela and the last thing he wanted to do was keep the woman waiting. Finally he was dressed and ready to go wearing a tunic with the crest of the Sylvanost Elves upon it as well as insignia of his rank. He walked silently beside Ceri as they moved through the Keep. He could tell the weather was horrendous outside and couldn't help but wonder if Pela had something to do with it.




Pela looked at Bad Rock with eyes wide and clear.

"What? I did not kill the guards. I could not sleep so I did some sight seeing. They did not object to my leaving. I suppose they decided we were quite capable of taking care of ourselves when I returned. By the way, did you know they have quite a few horses in their stable?"

She opened the door to walk outside and saw the blizzard that was causing so much havoc on the land and her eyes twinkled merrily. Running out into the howling wind and snow, she seemed to spin around in a dance as she reveled in the falling, blowing snow.

"I have never seen it snow so much so early, Father! Surely this is a good omen for us!"





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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:33 am

As the one named Tystan, who had been asking the questions looked at Saul and said “I have also issued an order for execution, we are at war and as such we don’t have time for dealing with lengthy proceedings. Once we have any information he can provide about his origins I will see to it personally that he is dispatched and no longer a problem.” Saul glanced a the human's parting back and said "I have seen and touched the Gates of Death before and have lived to see many more dawns."



Saul then turned his attention the the female knight, stepping close to the cell bars, he spoke in a whisper so that only she could hear. "The next time you speak with your mysterious friend, who knows the ancient art of melting silently into darkess, give him these words from me {he then spoke in the ancient language} " Ist artmir artha forrelisteldanirda ."

Stepping back from the bars and focusing his eyes on the female knight's eyes Saul, brought his right fist to his heart, bowed his head slightly said "Lady Longblade, I am Saul Argetlam I come from the border lands of The Plains of Dust, Silvanesti and Icereach. If I had intended malice towards your people or was an agent of your enemies, then you would have discovered no less than a score of dead soldiers in the snow this dawn. With no evidence as to who was resposible. I will say only that gold cannot not always purchase loyalty or seal a bond of trust."



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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:35 pm


Trystan half listened as Kellan and the stranger talked. He hardly had time for these sorts of distractions and now he had to juggle the administration of a prisoner on top of keeping the wall guard on duty in a blizzard. He let out a long sigh as he signed the order of execution, intending to give it to Commander Rose for her approval the moment she arrived so he could be done with this whole mess.

The sound of boots thundered down the steps and he turned. The two men that had been assigned to escort the Mercenaries were being held at sword point by two other guards. He furrowed his brow and spoke, “What in the Abyss is this all about?”

“These men abandoned their post last night watching the Netherman and his… um…. Companion.” Trystan looked hard at the man, “Call her his daughter, that’s what he calls her, us repeating it doesn’t make it any more weird.” The man nodded and Trystan rubbed his temples, “OK, put them in that cell there.”

The two guards were put in their cell and Trystan turned to the two who brought them down, “You two go to Bad Rock and Pela, I am reassigning you to them.” He could see by both their faces they didn’t want the assignment but he looked sternly at them, “None of us want to do what is asked of us, but we are soldiers and we have a duty to the citizens of Solamnia do we not?” Both men nodded, “Very well.” He softened slightly, “I appreciate it, I will see to it that you are compensated this evening at the pub with a drink.” The two men smiled and he nodded, “Very well, off with you then.”

He turned and caught the end of what Saul was saying to Kellan, about Pela not turning her into an ice statue. He furrowed his brows and looked at the two men who had expressions on their faces as if they had seen a ghost, “What happened?”

The two men relayed their story, about their mouths and head being frozen and unable to move until she released them. He turned and looked at Saul and then to Kellan, he could see her stiffen slightly as he made eye contact, “Lady Kellan, is there something you need to tell me about what happened out there?” She looked at him and his gaze as well as his voice softened, she could see the incredible amount of stress he was dealing with, “It would…. It would certainly help me sort all this out if I had all the information.”





Kali received the summons as she stood hunched over maps in the war room. She shoke her head slightly and turned to Ceridwyn, “Apparently I am needed in the Penitentiary to help question a man that broke into the Keep last evening.” She sighed heavily and slammed her hand on the table, Ceridwyn reached and touched the back of her hand. Kali looked up at her and Ceridwyn spoke softly, “I will go Kali, you have enough to do here planning the assault, I am sure that whatever assistance you could have provided I can do as well, I assume you weren’t going to go as far as to invade the man’s mind.”

She smiled and patted Kali on the shoulder. Wrapping her cloak around her tightly she spoke, “And the fun part begins.” She turned to her two escorts and spoke, “Gentlemen, the Penitentiary if you please.” They looked about as thrilled to be venturing out into the snow as she was, but the lot of them went forth. It took a while to trudge the distance, the snow keeping visibility down to just a few feet, but they made it and entered. From below Trystan felt the cold of the door and waited. Ceridwyn came down and unwrapped her scarf, “Sir Trystan, I came in Kali’s stead. She is occupied with things in the war room.”

She could see the disappointment on his face and half smiled, “There, there Sir Trystan, I will do what I can, and believe me when I say…,” She leaned in so close her ice cold lips touched his ear lobe as she whispered, “The Lady Mage misses her lord as much as he misses her.”

She leaned back with a smile and looked at Kellan and nodded respectfully, “Lady Kellan, I want to thank you so much for bringing Aeolis back safely to me.” She smiled and bowed this time, a gesture that Kellan had never seen her make, not even to the Prince of the Silvanesti, Myth. She then looked over Kellan’s shoulder at the man in the cell, her breath caught in her throat though she showed no sign of it outwardly. The man’s face, the lines of it were so familiar, but it was impossible.



Bad Rock watched Pella, he could tell that there was something she wasn’t telling him. She was changing the subject purposely and spinning in the snow in an attempt to get him to stop talking about it. He complied, for now, but only put the conversation to the back of his mind, she would most certainly be hearing about it again.

He grabbed his staff and strapped on his sword. He walked out of their room and into the snow, speaking as he passed her, “We have much to do today daughter, let us be to it.” She could tell by his voice he knew there was more to her story than she was telling him, but their duties for the day were taking precedent at the moment.


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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:29 pm


Rayann was glad to hear the twins would continue with their vigilant duty of watching over Shaer. It lessened the weight of worry on her heart, but not all of it. Seeing the way Myth looked at his son, she felt pride in knowing she had given him a son he would forever be proud of. Regardless of the fact he was half human, Shaer would forever be Myth's first son and there was much to be said about that.

Finally with a great deal of reluctance, Rayann dressed for the meeting that was to take place between the Knights, the magi, Myth, and the Mercenaries. She didn't want to miss one moment with Shaer today so she decided, albeit at Myth's slight disapproval, to take her son with her. It would be strange seeing an infant at such meetings, but today would be the last day for some time she would see her son and hold him again.

With the escorts and twins following along as always, she and Myth slipped into the mess hall and enjoyed a breakfast together, something they had not done in some time. When the meal was over, they were led to the war room where Kali already poured over the maps. When the summons came for her to go to the stockade, Rayann raised her brows. As Ceri took her daughters place, Rayann smiled at her friend and then looked over at Kali. As Ceri and her escorts left, Rayann and Myth and Kali poured over the maps as they waited for the others to arrive.





The words the man spoke to Kellan were completely foreign. Why Aeolis would know this language, she had no idea but she tucked the phrase into the back of her mind and made mental note to ask him later when she saw him. The arrival of the guards at sword point was doing nothing for the tense moment in the stockade now. But when Kellan heard what they were being brought in for, she knew Pela had done something. If the look on their faces didn't prove it, the bluish tint to their lips did. She knew, more than anyone, the little ice witch was capable of causing anyone lose their nerve and turn to run.

When Trystan turned his suspicious gaze on Kellan, she once more stiffened and when he asked her point blank what happened, she didn't care for the tone in which he used. But when she saw the softened look he gave her, she felt a familiar tingle and sighed, rubbing the back of her neck. Her eyes settled on Saul once more as she relayed what happened, although not in detail.

"Go easy on the guards. Pela is capable of causing anyone to lose their nerve. And you know as well as I they wouldn't have abandoned their post without good reason. And she can give very good reasons. without saying a word."

She looked back to Trystan and gave him a look that told him she would explain all in detail later. Thankfully, Ceri chose that moment to arrive and Kellan was more than thankful for her timing. As she thanked Kellan for her return of Aeolis, Kellan smiled and inclined her head respectfully.

"Trust me when I tell you if it weren't for Aeolis, we wouldn't have returned. His sense of direction is remarkable and I look forward to learning more from him."

When Kellan noticed Ceri's attention to the man behind her, she turned to level her gaze n the man again.

"His name is Saul Argetlam and he is from the borders of the Plains of Dust and Icereach near Silvanesti. He tells us if his intentions were malice we would have seen evidence of it. He did follow us back here from where we found Bad Rock and Pela. Sir Trystan has called for his execution and in these times, he is well within his rights."

She looked at Ceri and noticed the mage was staring at Saul. She glanced back at Saul then back to Ceri and lowered her voice as she spoke softly to Ceri.

"Perhaps you can find out more information for us. Make him realize he has precious few moments to save his own life if he is truthful and forthcoming with us. We need to know his intent."

Kellan looked over at Trystan then and stepped back to give Ceri some room to speak with the young man.





Pela danced the whole way through the blowing snow. She noticed some guards being led by sword point into a building and she couldn't help but giggle. She recognized them as the men who were charged with standing guard outside their quarters the night before. She turned to look at Bad Rock and noticed the look he gave her and her mood dampened slightly. She hadn't seen him this upset with her before and it bothered her to know he was disappointed with her. All she ever tried to do was please him so she could be happy. But obviously she'd done something he didn't like. She'd find out what it was and perhaps make amends for it later.

Before long, she noticed a new pair of guards had taken up walking just behind them. Furrowing her brows, she looked back at them and saw them both swallow hard in fear at her glance. Great, she thought, more guards. Well.....she would just show them later they weren't welcome company. She and Bad Rock had always been free to come and go where ever and how ever they pleased. No guards were going to tell her what she couldn't and could not do.

As they walked into the Keep, she looked around for a moment then looked back at the guards. Might as well get what she could out of them before they were sent running as well.

"Where can we get something to eat?"

One pointed down the hall.

"M-mess hall, Miss."

Pela glanced down the hall and there were many doors. Finally she turned and glared at the man, putting her hands on her hips.

"Well, it would be nice of you to show us. We're new here. Remember?"

The guard nodded and made sure to walk well around the pair giving them plenty of room. Finally when he was in front, he led the way down the hall to the mess hall. When he walked in followed by Pela and Bad Rock, the mess hall got deathly quiet. Not that there were a lot of people there to begin with, but those where were ceased their talking and even got up from their tables, abandoning their food to stand along the wall.

Pela loved this. She could see the fear in their eyes and knew it was a combination of both her and Bad Rock that caused it. She let her icy glare meet each of the Knights and her smile was as cold as the wind that blew outside. When they reached the food table, she glanced around and her mouth watered as her stomach grumbled. Picking up a plate, she picked a few things out then turned to look at Bad Rock. Her smile faded instantly as she realized there was no raw meat here for him. Setting her plate down, she walked over to him and patted his large arm lovingly.

"I shall get some for you, Father."

She looked around and pointed to a nearby Squire. The young man's eyes grew incredibly wide and he trembled. The other Knights took a collective gasp waiting for the boy to be frozen where he stood.

"You there. We need some raw meat brought here right away. My Father is hungry and your food supplies are not what he requires."

the young man swallowed hard and blinked.

"R-raw...meat, Miss?"

Pela furrowed her brows and let her hands rest at her sides.

"Are you deaf? Yes. Raw meat. Now."

She couldn't resist it and she let a devious smile grace her features.

"Unless you would like to offer yourself up as his breakfast."

The young man shook his head so violently Pela was certain his eyes were going to fly out of his head. He quickly skirted down the wall as she rushed off.

"No Ma'am....I would not. I'll get the raw meat you ordered right away."

Pela watched the young man until he disappeared behind a door on the opposite end of the mess hall. urning back to look at the other gathered Knights, she furrowed her brows again.

"What are you all looking at?"

Several Knights looked away and turned, exiting the mess hall but a few stayed, moving about to position themselves in strategic places along the walls. One, in particular, was Sir Walter. He watched the creature and the girl with a hawks gaze. Pela let her ice blue eyes settle on the Knights and there was something about his look that made her hold back taunting him. But she did notice the way the others positioned themselves and knew a defensive maneuver when she saw one. She glanced over at Bad Rock and he shook his head so slightly no one would have picked up on it but Pela knew he was telling her to stand down.

Walking over to pick up her plate of food once more, she moved over to an abandoned table and sat down to eat. She had just started eating when the young man returned with a slaughtered goat in a wheelbarrow. He glanced around then looked at Pela as he cautiously approached Bad Rock. Leaving the meat within arms length, he quickly turned and exited the mess hall as quickly as he had, if not faster, than the last time.

**********

Breakfast was, if nothing else, interesting for Pela and Bad Rock., The Knights didn't say one word to them as they ate and their conversation was done on Bad Rock's native tongue. To say they received dirty looks was an understatement but for the most part, they ignored the Knights. When they were done, they were escorted to a large room where Kali, Rayann, Myth and Aeolis were already gathered looking over some maps.

Pela glanced around at the people in the room then her gaze settled on Kali. How did the woman know she was drawing magic to herself yesterday? Was there any way to hide that fact from her? Just to test the waters, Pela started gathering a small amount of magic to herself for a spell to create a small snowball in her hand. Keeping her hand at her side as though nothing were happening, the snowball began to form as Pela's eyes seemed to study the map before her.

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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:41 pm


As Kali watched Ceri leave she turned and looked at her mother with a slight relief in her eyes. She spoke with authority, the kind of authority that would be recognized not as words to simply fill the air, but the strategic planning that came from years of experience. It was even amazing to her parents to see her like this, to see a side of her that had not yet come out, a side that was born many many years ago when she was in the service of the Dark Queen, planning the invasion of some place or another.

She was instructing high ranking Knights as to where and when they were to move their troopers, that she and her mother and Ceri would create a holes in the rift using ambient magic against itself. She would be the conduit, Ceridwyn and Rayann would cast through her and the magic would bore two holes large enough for their men to move. Though many of the Knights didn’t understand with time they began to see, the magic surrounding the place was like an invisible wall, it ebb and flowed but was only so thick, and once breeched they would be able to take up their formations and move in. Pela would aid in the casting of ice spells on their blades, and would also use her magic to freeze whatever elementals began to come in too close.

Pela and Bad Rock suddenly came into the room, she turned and looked at them before going back to the map and pointing out the strategic points of attack against the third tower. Suddenly she began to feel the pull of magic again and glanced sideways to look at Pela. The young girl was conjuring snow into her hand. While she continued to talk Kali pushed back against her, it was as if someone was beginning to lean on Pela and the snow ball suddenly melted to water in her hand, sloshing water onto her robes and shoes. When Pela looked up indignantly Kali looked at her and spoke innocently, “Something wrong?” Bad Rock nudged Pela to pay attention and Kali looked at her with a sort of “nanie nanie boo boo” sort of look and Kali’s voice entered her mind, ~ “Cheap parlor tricks will get you coin in towns and hamlet’s but they will do nothing to contribute to this battle. ~





Trystan listened as Kellan spoke to her and then looked over at the two guards. He nodded and spoke, “You two are lucky this is such a precarious situation facing us or I would have you locked up for a year. I want you both to go home, get some rest and report directly to me for duty in the morning. Is that clear?”

The two men nodded, almost stunned that they were getting off so easily, “Good, now go.”

He opened the door and they scampered out, all to glad to be done with that. Trystan turned to Kellan and half smiled. She had told him truthfully what she could and he was showing thanks in his glance. He watched as Ceridwyn moved towards the cell and looked at the man.

Ceridwyn’s eyes traced the lines of the young man’s face and she spoke, “Greetings sir, my name is Ceridwyn Bol Shoraes. I assure you that I will not harm you, but I have been called because if necessary I can cast a spell over you that will give us all the information we seek. By volunteering this information your life might be sparred, but that will be to the discretion of Commander Rose. Unfortunately you have breeched the walls of a Solamic Knight compound, and as amazing a feat as that is, I cannot interfere when it comes to the carrying out of their laws. What I can tell you is that I am here to help, and if you cooperate I will let Commander Rose know upon her arrival, she is literally the only one that can save your life at this point and cooperating is the only thing that will help you.”



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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:59 pm



There was the unmistakable sound of armor clanking as Rose entered with two of her guards in tow behind her. There were obvious signs that the armor had seen a few minor tweaks from her favored smith. The most obvious change was that her armor now displayed her proper rank. She looked around noting the presence of Trystan, Kellan, and Ceridwyn. Everyone snapped to attention and Rose saluted letting them go back to their business. Her eyes drifted now to the prisoner in the cell and she quirked her eyebrow slightly.

Rose had a good idea why Ceridwyn was present and she hoped the man was cooperative. This entire situation was wasting precious time that could be spent on other things. Almost out of hand she held her hand out palm up expecting the writ of execution to be placed in her open palm. When she spoke her tone was pleasant and casual. She was more curious about the situation and her pasture made it clear was taking a relaxed approach at least for the moment. "Please carry on Lady Ceridwyn, I am most curious to hear his reasons for skulking around in the dead of night like a common thief."

When she felt the weight of the writ lay upon her hand she nodded to Trystan and looked it over rolling it up for the moment. One of her guards brought her a chair and she sat down leveling her gaze upon the man in the cell again. She remained silent and merely observed for now wanting to observe their guest.



Myth was as reluctant to depart from the room for the day but he knew there was business to attend to. While he did not entirely agree with bringing Shaer to the proceedings he was not about to deny Rayann these last precious hours with their son. He remained vigilant and watchful as they ate their breakfast knowing that Walter was particularly found of causing a scene in the mess. Today Myth was surprised by Sir Walter's absence. He put it from his mind and enjoyed the meal with Rayann and Shaer. It wasn't until they were leaving the Walter finally appeared and to Myth's amusement the human never even looked crossways at Rayann while Myth was present. Myth nodded to the human and the response was guarded.

They wound their way to the council room that they would be spending the next few hours in. He noted the absence of a few individuals. Kali's handling of the situation was impressive but not entirely unexpected. He knew her teachers, he knew she had his strategic mind. She acted exactly as he would expect and the smile on his face was obvious. He did offer advice in a few places as far as formations and movements. The small exchange between Kali and Ceridwyn was short and when the white robe left Myth was quite curious. Answers would come later and for now he focused on the battle plan before them.
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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:01 am


Saul looked over Lady Kellan'shoulder as the white robed woman approached the cell and introduced herself. For a instant rage flashed into his eyes and then quickly was gone replaced by a cold hard stare. ...... "Help? Help? That is twice today I have been told that all I had to do was accept help from those within these walls. First ask for help from the Solamic Knights, the same knights that quickly abandoned my great grandfather and his family. And know from You ..... You who not only abanded him and his family, but did not even defend him or use your magic to see that his family was not thrown out in disgrace and banished to the wilds ...... shamed, homeless and penniless." Saul reached into his tunic and withdrew a scared, burnt, dull silver and gold medalion.



"Recognize this, Lady Ceridwyn Bol Shoraes?" he asked with restrained disdain then continued.

"Oh I am postive if I had asked for admission to your fortress aand asked for a warm bed and perhaps food to stave off the cold and blowing snow. Once my idenity was known I would have been welcomed with open arms. Like the returning prodigal son. But instead I stealthily scalled your walls and "skulked", to use your words to a stable to seek shelter and what warmth I could find. I was not the only nocturnal visitor to that stable last night. A visitor, that could easily have stayed in a warm sheltered room. Perhaps you should ask your new female guest what was her nocturnal purpose in the stable. Planning to take your gold and run?

Perhaps I would have been better off to allow the agents of the Dark Queen to follow your emacaries to the location of your new guest, instead of dispatching them to the abyss.
So kill me and purge the last of Sir Thomas Etwin's line from the face of Krynn." Saul then took a tep back fron the bars and stood proudly looking steadily and coldly into Ceridwyn's eyes.
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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:00 am



Trystan had the order ready and the moment Rose set her hand out he had it in her palm. She looked it over briefly and tucked it away for now. Trystan, his face all business, turned and watched Saul as Ceridwyn approached him. His mind was reeling with all that he had to do today, the blizzard had complicated matters around the Keep and the whole of the city immensely and he wanted nothing more than to be done with this so he could move on with the duties he had to perform. It was mid-day and he felt like he had accomplished nothing but stomp out fires.



Ceridwyn watched Saul as the anger brewed in his eyes. She remained calm and focused, as he put his attention on her. His words to her caused her to cock her head back slightly, how his family was ‘abandoned’ by the Order of the Solamic Knights but when he blamed her directly she almost felt herself smile, who on Krynn was this man that he would start pointing fingers simply for the sake of proving his innocence. She was just about to say something when he reached into his tunic, even though she was certain he would have been searched and stripped of weapons she stiffened slightly as well as caught the sound of every leathered glove in the room tightening its grip around the handles of various weapons.

He withdrew a medallion and held it in front of her. Instantly she let out a soft, audible gasp and the face that stared back at her, that face she thought impossible just moments earlier, the lines of the human male she had fallen so deeply in love with was truly staring back at her. She had caught the resemblance but shoke it off, it was impossible, Sir Thomas had no children, he was a Knight of the Sword certain enough, and when the two of them had been sent on their assignment together never once did he indicate that he had any family besides the Knighthood. She spoke, her voice was shaky and try as she might she was visually shaken. Her shock suddenly turned to anger however, this was impossible, completely impossible, surly Sir Thomas’ grave had been desolated, she had seen his buried herself after his murder, “By the gods how did you come upon that you two-bit thief?”

He continued, his words were like poison filling the air between them, but then he mentioned the man’s name, and she went pale. So it was true, that crest was the very one cut from his armor. She knew it before he mentioned it, the scars in the symbol hit her like a brick the second she had seen it, there was no doubt in her mind that it was the very symbol from Sir Thomas’ chest plate armor. He finished and stepped back, the symbol disappeared back into his vest and she cleared her throat. Completely speechless she turned and looked at Rose, Trystan and Kellan. This was the first time the three of them had seen her face and she whispered, “Will you excuse me… I am not… feeling well.”

Her face was as green as grass, her eyes were dilated and she was clearly about to pass out, Trystan reached forward thinking to catch her when she disappeared from sight in a puff of sweet smelling smoke.



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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:20 am


Pela stood amazed once again. How the hell did she know? And how did she get her voice in her mind like that? What was even more confusing was the fact the woman’s mother was looking at her now. They both felt it. Pela HAD to know how that was possible. The fact she would have to ask the young woman grated her last nerve but it seemed to be the only way to find out. Unless…..the older one could offer some insight.

As Bad Rock gave her a pointed look, Pela furrowed her brows and turned her attention to the layout of the maps before her. As she began to really take notice of them, she found that three towers and two mages were, well, rather odd. As Kali pointed out the third, unoccupied tower was the target, Pela had to agree. While she didn’t know that much about wizard towers, Bad Rock had told her a while ago that the towers were created for wizards and a tower without a wizard was something of an anomaly.

Moving closer to the map, Pela began to study the map intently. Somewhere, and she couldn’t even remember where, she saw something similar to this layout. It had to do with the triangular shape the towers created and the exact proximity they were with each other. Without realizing what she was doing, she began to calculate the distance between the towers with her fingers and as it all added up, she stepped back and furrowed her brows even more.

She would give anything right now to remember where she’d seen that same design but for the life of her right now, she simply could not recall where she had seen it or why it struck such a chord of familiarity in her. Finally she blinked and saw everyone looking at her and suddenly felt very singled out. Furrowing her brows, she looked rather cross then stood back next to Bad Rock.





Rayann was, to say the least, simply amazed at Kali’s strategic planning. It was clearly evident she’d spent a great deal of time with others who had done the same as well as her own inherent ability of such things from her father. Looking over at Myth she could see the pride in his gaze as he watched his daughter explain to the Knights why her strategy was the best case scenario.

When Pela and Bad Rock walked in, she saw the way the Knights moved to make sure there was some distance between them and the two newcomers. She returned to concentrating on Kali’s plan but then felt the pull of magic and looked over towards Pela. The girl was doing something. Finally she saw the way Kali looked at her and the way Pela gave her daughter an indignant look. Something was amiss there but exactly what, Rayann wasn’t sure yet.

When Pela moved closer to the maps, Rayann watched the girl. Even Shaer, who had been softly blabbering grew quiet as he looked over and saw the girl. When she leaned forward and began to move her fingers between the towers as well as quickly calculate things in her mind, Rayann quirked a brow then glanced at Myth and Kali.

Pela had picked up on something but what, Rayann wasn’t sure. When Pela suddenly realized everyone was looking at her, she became self conscious and stepped back beside Bad Rock. Rayann glanced at the creature and saw he was wondering as well but didn’t say anything to the girl. Whatever it was, it would be nice to know what she’d discovered.

”Pela? Something strike a chord with you?”

Pela looked over at Rayann when she heard her name spoken but when the question was asked, she glanced at Bad Rock then at the rest of the faces around her. When Bad Rock nudged her slightly, she glanced up at him again and when he nodded slightly, she sighed and looked back at the map again.

”The triangular shape….I have seen it before. The towers, if you were to get close enough to measure them, would have the exact same distance between them creating a perfect, equal triangle. There’s significance in that….but….I cannot remember why. I cannot even recall where I saw this same shape on a similar map all I know is the design is familiar to me.”

She shrugged her shoulders slightly then.

”I suppose it does not mean much when that is all I can offer.”

Rayann glanced at Kali then back to Pela and smiled softly.

”Quite alright, Pela. Perhaps it will come to you eventually and we can understand more about it.”

Pela shrugged again then went back to looking at the map as though she wee bored but her eyes kept straying to the three towers.





Kellan watched the young man’s demeanor turn quickly and she was suddenly glad he was behind bars. She was certain he would try to physically attack Ceridwyn. When he reached into his vest to produce the medallion, Kellan instinctively reached for her blade and her hand gripped it ready to pull it free from the scabbard. When the medallion shown, she saw the symbol and furrowed her brows. She recognized it as a breast plate crest right away, but it was rather old and very marked up. When she heard Ceridwyn gasp, she moved closer to assist the mage.

Kellan;s eyes quickly darted to the young man’s face then as he spoke of Pela being in the stables with him. It was quite possible the girl did something to her guards and then went out on her own. With the snow blowing the way it was, her tracks would have been covered up in a matter of moments leaving no evidence of her even being there.

But it was the fact he stated he killed agents of the Dark Queen that caught Kellan’s attention. Had Aeolis known about the agents and had simply not told her because they were able to stay far enough ahead of them or where they tracking Bad Rock and Pela and they were considering taking out Kellan and Aeolis as well?

Of course when the name Sir Thomas Etwin was uttered, those within ear range shifted and murmured among themselves. That name hadn’t been heard in many years and even then, it was with a bit of distaste. This young man was part of Etwin’s bloodline? And he’d found his way back to Solamnia?

When Ceridwyn turned and looked at everyone, Kellan instantly knew something was wrong and like Trystan, she reached out to aid the mage but all she ended up doing was practically falling into Trystan’s arms. She caught herself before she fell against him but only with the aid of his hands. She quickly righted herself and looked over at him and felt the color rush to her cheeks. Cursing her own reaction, she quickly looked at Commander Rose.

”Your orders, Ma’am?”





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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:12 am


When the Lady Ceridwyn called Saul a two bit thief, he stepped forward and looked directly into her eyes. "THIEF? I am no thief, my Grandfather gave me this madallion the day he died. He also told me he found and retrieved the medalion from a cave north of Julien. A cave he sought shelter in while he was trying to find the truth of what happened to his father."
Suddernly the woman turned pale green and vanished before his eyes. Saul stepped back and muttered bitterly "Wizards and Mages." Saul then tucked the medallion back into his tunic and stared out from behind the bars of his cell.



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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:44 am


Trystan helped Kellan to her feet. He nodded softly as she looked at him, it was a look of friendship and the want for peace between them. He glanced back at Commander Rose as the name Etwin was mentioned, they exchanged knowing glances and then he turned to Kellan. He knew she would hear the significance in that name. There were very few disgraced Knights in the history of the Order, so those that had fallen from nobility were known, and the reason why. The story of the adulterous Knight of the Sword who bedded more women than he had slain enemies was notorious among their histories. The lessons were often told not to disgrace the families of the fallen Knights but to educate Squires and Postulates the dangers of this world, and how “My Honor is My Life” was more than a vow, it was to truly be a way of living.

Trystan turned to look at Saul, his blue eyes narrowed on the man and he stepped closer to the bars of his cell, “By the gods sir, I pray you aren’t lying because if you are and you are and somehow using a story of a fallen Knight to bring shame to the Knighthood or in some way disgrace the Elf Ceridwyn I will personally so to it that…,” The sharp voice of his Commander cut him off, “That is quite enough Sir Trystan!”

Rose had heard the rising anger in his voice, and he immediately stopped and turned to look at her, staying silent but nodding his head respectfully in obedience of her command.



Kali watched Pela and then the exchange between her mother and the ice sorceress. She too was intrigued to know what Pela was seeing, but took the route of her mother’s word, they had time, for now. The snow wasn’t going to allow any sort of attack as of today, or even the next week, but time was of the essence and though she was unsure as to how long Fifth and Piramay were going to remain dormant she knew it wasn’t indefinite. They constructed these towers to do SOMETHING with them, and she was pretty sure she knew what, so they had to strike before they awoke from their recovery.

As Pela began studying the maps again Kali walked up beside her and spoke, “I too know there must be significance to the orientation of the buildings, but like you I am having a hard time figuring out what it is.” She pointed to the third tower and traced her finger along the parchment to the other two, whispering, “Nothing is done for insignificant reasons, not where Fifth is concerned. How he managed to pull this off is still a mystery to me. What I can tell you is that there are fire elementals at the base of this tower,” Her finger went back to the third, “That is where we are going to need you the most, your skills with ice are going to be invaluable in defeating the fire walkers.”

She looked up and caught her father staring at her from the corner of her eye. Turning her face to him she tucked some loose hair back behind her ear and smiled, returning the look of affection he gave her. With a slight nod she turned back to Pela, “I don’t know to what extent you can cast, but I assure you when this storm breaks and we begin preparations you, like the rest of us magic users, are going to be taxed to our very limits, I hope you are up for it.”



Ceridwyn collapsed onto her bed. Reaching off the side she grasped at the trash bin and pulled it to the side of the bed, vomiting into it. She spit and began to sob uncontrollably. Her heart felt as if it was being twisted in her chest and she clutched at her robes as her body convulsed. The flood of memories came back to her and hit her like a tidal wave, crashing down over her mind, filling her with the emotions she had kept under control for so long. Saul’s face kept appearing in her mind, if he was some other being under a magic spell it was the best magic she had ever seen. It had to be, there was no way on Krynn that Saul was a descendant of Sir Thomas. Sir Thomas had pledged his life and his love to her, that he had never loved and would never love another again. They had spent so many amazing nights together, emotionally and physically she had never felt the sort of devotion and connection as she had with her noble Knight of the Sword.

Hours went by and Ceridwyn remained isolated in the darkness of her room. The leaves on the bed seemed to curl and comfort her, but the cold in her body was a direct reflection of the cold outside the window. She felt numb, but had concluded that this Saul was lying to her, that somehow he had gotten a hold of Thomas’ medallion, that he had done his homework and figured out who she was, and that he was somehow attempting to connect the pieces and profit from all this. She felt anger in her heart and stood when she had no more tears to cry. Splashing water on her face she looked at her puffy red eyes and cheeks, staring at herself in the mirror she whispered, “I will not allow your name to be disgraced my love!”



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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:24 pm


Pela snapped her head around to look at Kali when she heard the young woman’s voice so close to her. Her icy blue eyes searched Kali’s face as she spoke then she turned to look at the maps again. AS Kali pointed out the place where the fire elementals were located, Pela studied the map carefully.

Hearing that fire elementals were guarding the tower made her furrow her brows even more. Chewing on her lip, she looked up at Kali again then glanced over at Myth when Kali looked at him. When Kali turned back to look at Pela again, Pela glanced at Myth then at Kali. When Kali questioned her casting ability, Pela was rather self confident in herself and let the young woman know.

”I am a good caster. Do not worry about that. All I need to know is what you need and I will make sure you get it.”

Pela lacked the refined manners most young women would have received while they grew up but what she lacked from manners she made up for in confidence. It was a double edged sword, for certain, but at least she wasn’t afraid to accept the challenge that had inadvertently been laid out for her to take.

AS she studied the maps, she began calculating the distance between the Keep and the towers. Tilting her head slightly, she looked over at Kali again.

”Is this an accurate representation of the distance between the Keep and the towers?”

When Kali nodded, Pela once more used her fingers and then stood back, shaking her head.

”It is too far for me to make any significant damage to anything. If you need me to help, then I will need to be as close to the target as possible. My accuracy will be far better as well as the intensity of the spells I will use.”

Pela looked up into Kali’s face again.

”The Knights will be on the ground fighting, correct?”

There was a hesitant nod from everyone and Pela said what they didn’t want to hear from her.

”Then that is where I will be. With them. It is the best way to get me as close as possible.”





Rayann watched the interaction between her daughter and Pela. The girl lacked manners but her confidence in herself was to be admired. Rayann could tell she wasn’t putting on a brave front. She truly felt she was very capable of handling this mission set before her. That was a blessing and a curse. She could be overconfident and that in itself would present problems. Perhaps between herself, Kali and Ceri they would be able to teach the girl to hone her gift and become a better Sorceress. Gods willing, of course.

When Pela stated she would do better up close, Rayann saw the look pass through the gathered Knights and knew they were very uncomfortable with having a magic user in among their ranks. Knowing they were getting ready to shoot the plan down, she quickly stepped forward and spoke.

”Well, then, Pela, if that’s the case, I would say we need to make sure you can work among the Knights without hindering their ability to fight as well as make sure they don’t hinder your ability to cast. I would say we need to set up some practice time with many of them just to let everyone get used to the idea. It will be a huge change for all involved but we all need to do hat ever is necessary to insure Krynn’s existence.”

As she s poke, her eyes settled on each Knight that was in the room.

”Besides, what better way to surprise the enemy than having something totally unexpected in the middle of attacking Knights?”





Kellan looked at the angry young man then at Trystan and Rose.

”Give me some time alone with him.”

She saw the quirked brow from Rose and the strange look that crossed Trystan’s face. She stepped closer to the two and lowered her voice as she spoke to them now.

”He seems to have formed some sort of strange detached friendship with me. Before we sentence him to death, let me talk to him and see what I can discover. Besides, the two of you are needed more in the war room than I am. I will stay here and talk to the young man while you two go plan the attack against the towers. Just brief me on what my duties will be and I will make sure I’m there to perform them.”

She saw a look of concern pass between Rose and Trystan and she reassured them both.

”We’ll stay on the same side of the bars. I give you my word. But sometimes you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. I’d at least like to try Liam’s theory to see if he was right.”

Her light brown eyes drifted from Rose to Trystan then back again.

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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:48 pm


Kali listened to the young sorceress and smiled as she spoke. There was a lot of confidence in her words, but Kali being experienced just nodded her head and responded, “Confidence is a wonderful thing, but remember, you have never had to cast like I am going to demand of you. Your body is going to be pressed to its very limit,” She leaned in very closely and whispered so only she could hear, “and I assure you there will be no more energy at the end of the night for wandering around the Keep unescorted.” Leaning back she winked and turned to look at Rayann.

I think that is a fantastic idea, in fact we will schedule it for the moment the storm breaks and use the courtyard, it is large enough to accommodate our needs I think. Besides, you and I and Ceridwyn are going to need to practice too, what I am going to ask of you is something neither of you have ever done before.” Rayann looked at her curiously and Kali smiled, “Not unless you have served the Dark Queen that is.”



Bad Rock mostly listened, allowing Pela the opportunity to be involved in the talks and be part of the planning. He listened intently to everything and when Pela finally stated that she would be in the mix of things on the ground with the Knights he beamed with pride. She was a battle castor, she always had been, and she was standing toe to toe with her fear. He nodded with pride and took a step forward as Rayann spoke. When she had finished he added to her words, “I assure you that my Pela is an accomplished magic user. Do not judge her by her age, I have been with her since she was a baby and we have fought many battle together. If she says she wants to be on the ground with the Knights, that is where she will be best utilized, and I will be there with her.” He looked at her and smiled as best his gruff old face would allow him to.



Trystan hesitated but after Kellan’s insistence he nodded, though with hesitation. He could see that Rose was giving him authority to make the call and he responded, “Very well Lady Kellan, but I am stationing two guard at the top of the stairs in case you need them. She looked at him and was about to speak and he interrupted, “That is the conditions of my allowing this.”

With her nod he nodded in return, “Very well then.” He turned to the two men that were still present and spoke, “OK, you two will remain behind, Commander Rose and I are needed in the War Room.” The lot of them walked up the stairs and the wind whipped and howled as they opened the door. It slammed shut and things became deathly quiet above.


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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:06 pm


Pela looked over at Kali and blinked. How did she know that? The guards weren’t going to say one word with the htreat she leveled at them so how was it she knew this? As the conversation quickly took on a new topic, Pela grew more interested. She was a scrapper, no doubt about it, and when ever there was talk of casting and fighting, she was always interested.

When Bad Rock spoke up that he would be there with Her, Pela looked up at the creature that had been her life line for her entire life and smiled lovingly at him. Reaching up and touching his arm tenderly, she smiled even more as she saw the twinkle in his black eyes.

”That is an excellent idea. I have been needing some exercise. I cannot think of a better way to do that.”




Rayann was pleased with the way the events were unfolding. Even Shaer seemed to be rather enthuse and squealed several times with excitement. She received a few odd looks from the Knights when she arrived with Shaer in her arms but not once did anyone ask her to take him away. Not that they would have. Myth made his presence in the room very clear without saying any more than a casual greeting or adding his own suggestions on how to proceed.

”Well, then, as soon as the storm finally subsides, we’ll meet at the Courtyard and practice with the Knights. Now we just need to let Commander Rose and Sir Trystan know what we’d like to do and hopefully gain their blessing on it. I’m sure they’ll be along soon.”

Rayann was wondering what was taking so long. Ceri should have been back by now but it seems as though things were taking longer than expected with the stranger that had been caught the night before.





As Rose, Trystan and the others departed, Kellan watched their retreating backs as they climbed the steps. When the door closed behind them and all grew quiet, she looked over at Saul as he stood, defiant, in the cell. With a heavy sigh, she pulled up the chair Rose had been seated in and sat down just out of reach in front of the cell. Gesturing with her hand, she motioned for him to sit down as well if he wanted.

”Well, Saul, it’s just you and I now. Do you realize how close you are to dying right now? It would serve you well to level with me and tell me everything. I give you my word, I will do all I can to stay your execution but bear in mind, the final decision isn’t up to me. I can only tell them what I think of you. And right now, I have to say, I’m not convinced you’re here merely seeking shelter from a bad storm.”

Kellan leaned forward and ran her fingers through her dirty blond hair and looked down at the floor before she finally looked back at Saul again.

”Did you come here to seek to clear Sir Thomas’ name ot did something else bring you here?”

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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:47 pm


Saul watched as the others left and Lady Killian drew up a chair and sat down. When she gestured and suggested he sit, Saul knelt doWn on his knees, then rocked back to sit on his heels, Studying her eyes and considering her words for a few moments. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes and brought the palms of his hands together at the center of his chest, exhaled slowly and the repeated the process. When he opened his eyes again there was a serene expression on his face and the fire had dissapeared from his eyes. "It was and is my intention to clear the name of my great grandfather, Sir Thomas. However now that I am here another mission calls to me. Your people are faced with a threat greater than you realize. Not all is as it seems and there are those within these walls that are not as loyal to Krynn and it's people as you and some of your fellow knigths." Saul said calmly and quietly. "There are some that seek more power than they have already.

I never knew my mother or father, and my grandfather only on the day he died. He taught me many things as he lie dieing. One of the last thing he told me was that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. ........ It was then that he told me that my Great Grandfather was no saint and a lover of many women." Saul paused for a moment as if debating as to whether he should continue .....

My Great Grandfather was not the most faithful of husbands to my Great Grandmother but he was good to her and provided well for her and my Grandfather. It was then that my Grandfather told me of the death of my Great Grandfather and the circumstances surrounding it, and who was with him when he died."

I will not plead for my life at the expense of another's reputaion or standing. That is an issue that they and I must find a solution to, when the time is right. I seek to clear my family's name and the memory of a noble, if imperfect knight." Saul then sat silently and looked into Lady Killian's eyes steadily. She would see total and complete honesty in his words.


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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:13 pm


Kellan had to give the young man respect in tenacity. He’d traveled a long way on what seemed like a fools mission for nothing. But then again, Kellan had just completed one herself. Or so she thought. She was fairly convinced, before she left the Keep, the mission of tracking down and retrieving Bad Rock and Pela was about as useless as it could get. But when she survived the ordeal and returned to Heartlund Keep, she knew it wasn’t all that fruitless.

She listened to what he told her. It was important for her to understand this young man and determine if he were indeed a threat or not here. Her gut told her he wasn’t but she had to give Rose something more than just a gut feeling. She had to give Rose irrefutable evidence the young man was honorable and had no malicious intentions towards the citizens of Heartlund.

”Your grandfather sounded very wise. But you could have gotten that crest from anywhere. Even robbed a grave for all I know. And everyone knows of the sort of man your Great Grandfather was, Saul. His prowess in the bedroom was as well known as his fierceness on the battlefield. Unfortunately, it was that extracurricular activity that wound up costing him his career and his good name.”

Kellan sighed and let her gaze settle on Saul’s.

”Look, Saul, I am not about to tell you what you want to do is impossible. More like improbable. But if you really want to try and clear his name, you can’t come into a secured Keep and expect to be welcomed with open arms. It simply doesn’t work that way. Especially with times being the way they are right now. We’re all on edge right now and the last thing we need is someone arriving here under less than what seems like honorable intentions.”

She found the news about those within the walls not much of a surprise. It was to be expected when you get a mixed bag of individuals closed into a cramped space. There would always be those who would do all they could to keep contention at the top of the list.

”Where did you see the Dark Queen’s agents and how did you dispose of them? And where did you gain entrance into the Keep? I need to have a look around that area to see if we need to make repairs to the physical structure or of we need to make personnel changes. Give me something here otherwise I can’t make any recommendation to the Commander.”

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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:25 pm



It was a long while before Kali had realized that Ceridwyn was not back yet. She had been away hours and she walked over to Rayann speaking quietly, “Ceridwyn has been gone longer than I would have expected for an interrogation, do you think everything is alright?”

One glance from her mother said it all and Kali nodded with a half cocked smile that showed she knew exactly what Rayann was thinking, “Shall you send her a missive or shall I?”



Trystan pushed the door to the war room open just as Kali was speaking to her mother about sending a missive, she turned and smiled to her mother but her smile faded quickly as she noted the look on Trystan and Roses faces, as well as the fact that Ceridwyn wasn’t with them. Looking at Rayann with concern she approached Trystan and took him aside, speaking so quietly that no one would hear. As Rayann watched she saw Kali gasp quietly and cover her hands with her mouth. They continued talking and the non-verbal physical gestures Kali was using were an indication that this conversation was anything but a good one. She finally turned to look at Rayann, her face was deeply saddened and she hurried over to Rayann. The look in her eyes said it all and she spoke in missive, ~ “Apparently this young man claims he is the descendant of Sir Thomas Etwin and Ceridwyn left the room very shortly after. No one has seen her since.” ~

She went on to tell Rayann what Trystan had told her and finally finished, ~ “Go find her and talk to her, I will stay here and speak with Commander Rose and Trystan about what we have discussed and our plan to use the courtyard. Please send me a missive the moment you have found her.” ~



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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:52 pm


Rayann glanced at Myth as Kali and Trystan talked. She could tell something was very wrong and while she knew she couldn’t interrupt, she was growing impatient. Finally, As Kali walked over to her and let her know what happened, Rayann nodded. Turning, she glanced at Myth and sent him a missive as to what was happening. She didn’t even wait until she was outside the room before she disappeared in a wisp of smoke that hinted of roses. As she disappeared, her escorts looked at each with that ‘oh great, not again’ look before they were quickly leaving to try and locate her.

Rayann appeared at Ceri’s door and knocked on the door and called softly to Ceri.

”Ceri? May I come in please?”

When she received no response, she glanced around then opened the door without being invited to come in. Ceri would just have to forgive her later. When she walked in she could feel the emotions in the room like a wet, woolen blanket and it caused Rayann to gasp and shelter Shaer. After a moment, Rayann was able to ward herself and Shaer against the worst of the emotions and call out to Ceri.

”Ceri? I heard. Please….don’t isolate yourself from your friends. We’ll do all we can to help you.”

She slipped up beside the bed and set Shaer down on her lap as she reached out with her hand and brushed the hair away from Ceri’s forehead.

”I’m sure Lady Kellan will be able to find out more from the young man and put all of this to rest. We’ll get to the bottom of this.”

Ceri still didn’t respond and Rayann sighed.

”I’m so sorry, Ceri. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I’d be a fool to even think I could.”







When the lady knight arrived with the male knight from the night before, Pela looked from one to the other. The lady knight that arrived with him must have been important because everyone saluted when she entered The male knight looked even more handsome today than he did the night before and she couldn’t help but wonder if she would be seeing more of him as the days progressed.

As Pela watched the animated conversation between Kali and the Knight, Sir Trystan, she was able to tell something was wrong. Her brows furrowed and she looked up at Bad Rock to see if he could hear what they were discussing but he shook his head. Looking back a the pair she raised her brows when Kali walked over to Rayann and without saying a word, the woman just disappeared. This COULDN’T be good and she glanced up at Bad Rock with apprehension in her eyes again. She didn’t like it when things happened around her and she had no clue as to what was causing it.

What ever it was it wasn’t good, that much Pela was certain. Her eyes moved around the room and she saw the faces of everyone., It was clear they had picked up on the fact the news wasn’t good either. As things began to settle once more and Kali walked over close to her, Pela leaned closer and lowered her voice as Kali had done earlier.

”Bad news I take it? Are we in danger and need to prepare for a fight?”






Aeolis had been standing back letting the others make plans. He paid close attention to everything that was said and as Pela announced she wanted to be in the mix with the Knights, he raised his brows. The young girl had fight in her, that much was certain. And from what he heard and saw for himself, she was quite capable of handling herself in the thick of things, but it would be watching her interact in a close group of Knights that would prove most interesting.

When Trystan and Rose finally arrived without Ceri, Aeolis grew worried. Even more so when he saw the animated conversation between Trystan and Kali then Kali and Rayann and Rayann’s sudden departure. He glanced over at Myth then to Kali and without so much as an excuse me, he slipped out of the War Room and headed towards his room. When he got there, the door was closed but he could hear Rayann’s voice from the other side talking to Ceri. He stood and listened to see if Ceri was alright and if there was anything he could do to help her.

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