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 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund

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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:37 pm


Pela was going to say something when she heard the unmistakable sound of heavy footsteps coming down the stairs. She glanced at the stairs then back to Saul then back to the stairs again. The look she gave Saul was nothing short of that ‘oh crap, I’ve been busted’ look as she saw the large feet attached to the large body of Bad Rock. He sealed her escape route and there was no way she could get out of this predicament without causing significant damage to the structure or to its occupants and while she wouldn’t have any trouble with that, she knew it would only make matters worse for her.

When Bad Rock ordered her to come to him, she swallowed hard. She’d never seen him this upset before and she knew she was the target of that anger. With one last glance at Saul, she whispered softly.

”I will come back again to continue our conversation”

Walking as quickly as she could, she stopped at the spot he pointed at. Her head raised enough so she could look into his face and her icy blue eyes were wide and full of concern. She was fearful, but not of Bad Rock’s ability to harm her physically. She was fearful of what punishment he might hand down to her. Knowing full well he was not happy with her, she swallowed hard and spoke in an almost childlike voice.

”Yes….Father?”

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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:50 pm



The instant Aeolis’ hand touched hers they were in their room. She released his hand and walked over to the mirror, looking at herself. She reached up and unclasped her hair, letting it fall naturally down over her shoulders and down to the small of her back. It radiated like the sun was shining and she looked at his reflection in the mirror.

Closing her eyes she turned around and leaned against the dressing table. She inhaled deeply and let out a long drawn sigh and spoke in a near whisper, “There is something, something very important that I need to tell you Aeolis. It might not be easy for you to hear, but events have made it such that you are probably going to hear and I would rather you hear it from me.”

She looked up at him, he could see the calm in her face, but she saw the trepidation in his, shaking her head she took a step forward, “It is nothing regarding you and I, please I don’t want you to think that. But, it IS about you and I at the same time, because it affects us, and I am not sure how you will take the news, though I think you will take it and not judge me, after all, you do love me.”

She looked at him again, her eyes pleading, looking for the reconfirmation of that statement. His soft gaze gave her confidence and she nodded with a sad smile, “You know of my past, and Sir Thomas, the Knight whom I shared an assignment. It was my first assignment as you know, and I was very young. I was captivated by him, and yes, I fell in love with him. We were not only lover’s, we talked about marriage, about living in the valley’s of the hill country, of having a family, and all the while, we were not being the most, well… honorable in regards to our physical relationship.”

She blushed slightly and looked at her feet and then brought her eyes up to meet his gaze again, “I mean, you know I am not a maiden...,” a slight look of sarcasm crossed her face, “OBVIOUSLY,” She then saw his cheeks flush and she continued, “But during my time with Sir Thomas, I became pregnant with his child. I was only a few weeks along, maybe 6 or 7 when we ventured into the cave on that fateful day, the day he was murdered. He was given a barter by Fifth, to die, or for his child to die. He chose to sacrifice himself to save me and the baby, or at least he thought. Fifth promised not to murder the child, but what he did was murder a piece of me instead, he drained my womb of its ability to sustain the child, and the child was so deformed and twisted in the process I miscarried two months later.”

She sniffled silently, taking a pause before reaching for a handkerchief off the dressing table and dabbing her eyes before continuing, “This means two things… you are taking on a lot by attaching yourself to me fully, but most importantly you will never have heirs, at least not by my womb. I don’t feel that you will judge me on this fact alone, but it is something you need to be aware of because for a man to not have son’s … well that is almost a crime.”

She felt the stinging in her eyes as she looked at him and through a whimper she spoke, “I love you Aeolis, I love you so damned much. I promised myself I would not love again, for the reasons I have just stated… I gave myself to a man, and I was to have that life all little girls dream of, and then the evils of this world stepped in and changed my fate. I just want you to know that it is a fate which you will inherit if we continue together, it is only fair to know that you know all this.”

The emotional exhaustion was clear on her face, he could see it as clear as day, this was what she struggled with all day, this was why her face was pink and puffy when she came to the War Room with Rayann. She looked at him, scanning his face, looking for the sign that their lives were still intertwined.




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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:06 pm


Aeolis held his breath for what seemed like forever. As Ceri began relaying everything that happened to her that day, he felt a lump form in his throat. He’d head all of this from Kali just hours ago but to hear it from Cerii now was like hearing it for the first time ever. He saw the hesitation in her eyes and the emotion in their brown depths.

He let her talk, not interrupting once and stood where she had left him when she walked over to her dressing table. He could see the emotions talking about this were draining her but he knew she had to tell all of this to him. And he let her.

When she was done, he stood where he was for what seemed like forever until finally he took a deep breath and nodded. He walked over to where she leaned up against the dressing table and reached out, letting the back of his fingers ease across her flushed cheek.

”My Ceridwyn…..your lack of faith in us is almost laughable.”

He saw the strange look she gave him and he reached out, gently setting his hands on her shoulders as his eyes settled on her gaze.

”I have never seen myself as a fatherly figure. Children are as foreign to me as the stars that dot the night skies. Do not get me wrong, I like them, but to see myself raising one as my own child….I am afraid that concept is lost to me. Call me selfish, but I prefer to have your attention all to myself and a child would simply hinder my time with you. As it is now, I have to share you with your magic.”

He smiled softly as he looked at her.

”We are who and what we are. There is not one thing about you I would turn from. You are my heart and to leave you because you could not give me a child would be the most idiotic thing I could do. No, mel’amin….you are stuck with me through thick and thin. I do not care what has happened in your past. You are m y present and my future and that is what matters most to me.”

His hands cupped her face tenderly.

”You are my lifemate, Ceridwyn Bol Shoraes. I need no formal ceremony to tell me that. For now and for always, I will love you with every ounce of my very being. Regardless of what has happened in your past. As long as I am what you want and need now and for always, I will be here for you. Forever.”

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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:14 pm


Bad Rock looked down his broad nose at Pela as she stood before him. He then glanced up to see the man at the end of the row, in his cell, looking back at them. Looking back down at Pela he spoke curtly, “To our room.”

He turned and began up the stairs, the tone at which he had spoken those three words was enough for her to know that should she choose to disobey things were going to get ugly between them. He could hear her trudging along behind her as they went into the snow. She would see he was so angry and so focused that the blinding wind didn’t even affect him. At the door to their room which was right off the main street just inside the Keep he stepped aside, the two new guards that were stationed there were huddled into the corner around a large basin that was lit with a fire that whipped and tossed with the wind.

He pulled the door open and motioned for her to go inside, he turned to the guards and spoke, “If my daughter attempts to leave tonight you have my permission to throw her in the stockade, do I make myself clear?” The men nodded and he ducked, squeezing through the door and closing it. He removed his sword and tossed it to the floor with a heavy clank, and leaned his staff beside the fire place that he never bothered to light a fire in. He moved around the room a long while, making sure everything was as it needed to be for the night, staying completely silent before finally turning to her. She was sitting on her bed roll and looking up at him.

He walked over and sat down across from her, criss-crossing his legs and staring down, directly into her eyes, “You might have sunk us today had it not been for Commander Roses patience.”

She looked up at him, almost fawning innocence in her facial expression, she was beginning to open her mouth and he spoke loudly over her, “Do you want to embarrass me? Is that your intention? Are you doing ALL you can to get us fired from this job? If not I dare you to try more of these child like games and shenanigans! I have remained silent, but word is that YOU are responsible for the guards leaving last night.

Her face dropped slightly and he continued, “Do you understand the depth of this situation? This is more than being honorable in our employer’s contract, this is a matter of life and death.” She looked at him curiously and he shoke his head, “You were only half listening today…”

He reached behind him and grabbed two of the maps which he had copied for him. Laying them out in front of her he showed her the diagrams of the rift in the sky, the three towers, the scar in the land, and the notes that Kali had scribbled on the side for him, “Close contact with these towers causes nausea and other physical affects. These affects will continue to increase as the masters of the tower regain their strength. Once the masters awaken it will be their goal to eradicate magic form the planet, resulting in death for some who are tied close to the ribbon of natural magic of Krynn.

She looked up at him and he spoke, his voice was softer now, but still firm, “There are rules that must be obeyed when in a human Keep. I understand that you would not have any idea what they are because for obvious reasons I have never brought you to a human Keep, but there are rules just the same. You narrowly escaped being locked in the penitentiary today.” She gave him indignant that look again, the one that almost mocked the idea of being in bars. He knew as well as she did that she could freeze the bars and escape the second the guards twisted the key in the lock. He looked hard at her and continued, “Do you think that with three wizard’s handy they wouldn’t be able to nullify your magic? Wizard’s can cast anti-magic fields to nullify the affects of magic around them, I know form the events at Glen Durel Myth himself has a defense against magic, I watched as Rorie’s spell disintegrated as it got close to the man. You would be cast into jail, stripped of your magic, and reduced to nothing more than a prisoner.” He looked at her even more sternly, “And I would be powerless to help you escape. This many men in a confined space… they would kill me before I could get you out.”

He sighed heavily and rolled the map up, tucking it back into his belongings. Turning back to look at Pela he spoke, his voice now softer and more gentle, “Patience is not my strong suit, you know this. I am going to ask you this only one time, obey the rules of this Keep, keep yourself under the watch of the guards assigned to you, stay with me at all times, and let’s get this job done so we can go and make a new life for ourselves on the coast like we planned. We will walk away from this job with a human’s lifetime in wages more than we need to start a new, but I need you to obey the rules set before you, do you understand?”


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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:20 pm


She broke into sobs as Aeolis spoke to her and she embraced him with unnatural strength as he finished, she inhaled deeply and simply held him. Even as the wind howled outside she felt the warmth between them, the fire that was their love was moving and feeding them warmth she could not have imagined possible since her first beloved had died.

Finally she leaned back and broke the hug, taking a half step back so she could look into his eyes, “Well, there it is then.” He smiled and she cocked her head sharply, “But don’t think for a second there WON’T be a ceremony to unite us.”

She laughed and pushed herself into him again, “Now take me to bed, I need sleep and the warmth of your body shall get me there.”



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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:32 pm


Pela had never seen Bad Rock this upset and angry at her. She flinched a couple of times as he talked to her fully understanding his intentions. Obviously she’s pushed the envelope a little too far with him. And the last thing she wanted to do was cause trouble or, as he said, embarrass him. As she examined the maps and what Kali had written on them, she blinked and looked up at Bad Rock. As he explained everything to her in no uncertain terms, she understood just how important it was for her to obey him and follow the rules of the Keep. As much as she didn’t like it, she knew she would have to. Like him, she wanted only to finish this job and move to the coast and live a well pampered life.

As Bad Rock explained how easily it would be for her to end up a prisoner like Saul, she realized she hadn’t considered it until now. For the first time, most likely ever, she was forced to think of more than just herself and Bad Rock and the tight little circle they had around themselves. Finally she nodded her head. Her voice was quiet when she spoke.


”Yes, Father. I understand. I promise I will adhere to the rules of this Keep and do as instructed. I did not mean to upset you or cause trouble. I grew bored with everything and the room became very stuffy with all those people in it. But I will try my best to remain attentive from now on and go only where you or my….escorts….let me go.”

She stood up them and walked over to where he stood and gave him a hug as best she could. She didn’t know what to do. She was still so much a child yet now, she had to settle down and become an adult at what seemed like overnight. Pela had made up her mind that she liked being a child more than and adult already and her adult life had not fully begun yet.

Stepping back, she looked up at him and gave half a smile.

”If you like, I will have the guards walk me to get our dinner and we can eat here tonight.”

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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:01 pm


Larissa was waiting patiently for her query to emerge from the corridor when she heard the gruff voice of Bad Rock talking to the guards. Quick as she could she looked around and took note of the room frowning. There weren't as many places as she had thought to conceal herself. While it wasn't exactly and issue to be seen at this point she really didn't want Bad Rock or Pela to know her face just yet. She heard footsteps approaching and continued to look around and looked to the shadowed corner. "Ugh.... seriously these things are not cheap" she reached into a pouch slipping out a dark vial and darted for the corner before pouring out the contents at her feet. The shadows around her grew darker and she pressed herself against the wall. She hoped it was enough to evade the netherman's senses.

The door swung open and Bad Rock tromped in and Larissa held her breath. She saw the focused look in his eyes and the anger on his face. Larissa could not help but smile knowing the young girl was about to be in serious trouble. When the netherman entered the corridor and spoke Larissa slipped out of the shadow silent as a wraith and made her way to the door. She did not stop to listen to what the natherman had to say to his little girl. When she emerged into the room several eyes fell upon her and she smiled. "On an errand for her ladyship... tootles gents" She smiled and exited the guard house blending into the crowd outside. She would wait there and watch and follow to see what the pair would do and then make her report to Lady Rose.

The evening bells sounded and Larissa looked to the sky. They would be breaking up the meeting soon for dinner and likely convene until morning. As Bad Rock emerged from the penitentiary with Pela in tow she sighed. The girl's mood looked abysmal and she could only shake her head. Larissa could understand the boredom the girl felt but it still did not excuse her actions. The pair made a straight line to their quarters and Larrisa remained out of sight until the door closed. With a sigh she stepped into the hall and walked past the guards. She said nothing to them and wound her way to her room. She had other duties to attend and a report to make.



Myth was curious about the frequent comings and goings that were happening. At some point in the whole ordeal several explanations were sent his way via missive. He could only sigh and look to the heavens wondering what in the dark depths the gods were thinking. Walter's appearance alone was enough to disrupt his train of thought but the man was handled with great care and Myth could only chuckle when he was excused from the room. Pela's actions troubled him but when he locked eyes with Bad Rock before he left Myth knew it would be handled.

He smiled looking at Rayann and Shaer and nodded his head in agreement. "Yes, let us adjourn for the day and seek sustenance. There will be plenty more to talk about tomorrow I am certain." He offered to carry their son for the trip to the mess hall. He chuckled and played with Shaer as they walked through the halls. The boy had quite the grip and Myth could only imagine what he was going to grow up and be like. His smile lessened slightly as that thought crossed but he looked at Rayann and forced it wider. They would retrieve their meal and retire to their room. Myth was not feeling up to dining with the knight's company this evening. He wanted to spend it with the family and the family alone.


Rose could only nod to Bad Rock before he left the room. With a sigh she took note that people were beginning to depart for their evening meals. "Gentlemen I believe we are adjourned for this night... fill your bellies and get a good night's rest. We've got plenty more to go over on the morrow." Several knights came to attention and saluted. Returning their salute she smiled watch the Rayann and her husband depart with their son. Myth had taken a moment to explain to her privately and she could not begrudge them for their reasons."

Exiting the room with her guards in tow she decided she would stop by her office before making her way to the mess and ultimately her room. As she walked through the halls she was rubbing her temples contemplating having a drink brought to her room. Looking up she noted Sir Walter waiting outside her door. He was clearly unhappy and Rose could feel her budding headache growing in strength. She came to a halt and nodded to Walter before entering the room her guards stood outside and Walter followed her in.
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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:00 am


After conferring with Lady Rose and Sir Trystan, it was agreed Saul’s execution would be stayed for the time being until more could be discovered about the young man. Of course it would require the assistance of the mages if they were willing to help determine the young mans innocence or not. That, Lady Rose, decided would have to wait until the next day. Hopefully, they would be able to clear the young man and at least set him free from the cell he was currently locked in.

After Kellan left the Commander and Sir Trystan, she went about making sure the guards understood what their duties were to be and admonished them for allowing someone to slip past them while they were supposed to be keeping a vigilant eye on the Keep. This usually fell on Trystan’s shoulders but he was quite busy with the others in the War Room so Kellan handled this for him.

She stopped in to check on Saul a little later and discovered he had a visitor that was both unexpected and unwelcomed, the evidence of it still being repaired. Shaking her head, she brought Saul his dinner and some fresh water and fresh water for his basin should he want to wash up and collected his empty plate from earlier in the day.

”Rest up tonight, Saul. We’ll be back in the morning to discuss things further with you. As of right now, your execution has been taken off the table but that could change if it’s discovered you’re not being 100% truthful with us. We’re not trying to be cruel here. Put yourself in our boots for a moment and see how this all looks from our point of view. We can’t be too careful when it comes to the safety of our citizens. We all took an oath to protect them and we take that oath very seriously. Something tells me you understand that.”

She left the young man alone then and made the trip back to the main keep and dropped off his dishes before she made her way to her room. The day had been exhausting, to say the least and trudging around in knee deep snow was not something she really liked to do but it had to be done. When she stepped into her room, she saw the fire blazing in the heart and felt the warmth of it envelope her.

Shedding her cloak, she hung it up near the fireplace so it could dry in the warmth of the fire. Glancing across the room she saw the tub filled with steaming water and she made note to than Moira for her thoughtfulness. Of course, it could have very well been another who had been this thoughtful and that thought made her smile.

As she stripped out of her clothes, she removed the hair pin from the small pocket in her belt and rubbed her thumb over it tenderly. It was still incredibly warm to the touch and she smiled again. She hadn’t seen Nol all day and it was very likely she wouldn’t see him tonight either as the hour was already late. Somehow she hoped he would know she thought of him often today when she didn’t have more pressing issues to deal with and that she thought of him now

As Kellan eased herself into the tub of hot water, she leaned back and let her tired muscles relax as she let her mind wonder. She was still confused over their relationship. They were two very different creatures yet they had developed feelings for each other. Kellan still wasn’t sure if Nol was just infatuated with her because she was a human or not but she knew his feelings for her were genuine. And any kind of future seemed so far away right now that she wasn’t sure she should even entertain the idea. But she did have the here and now and she knew that was just as important as anything. Yesterday was gone, never to be had again and the future was not promised to her. But right here, right now was a definite. Perhaps that’s what she needed to focus on and not worry about the future as far as they were concerned. Whatever will be will be.

The water was starting to chill when she finally forced herself out of it. Once dry, she reached for her usual sleeping clothes and as soon as her hand touched the large tunic she usually wore, she noticed it was softer than anything she’d ever felt before, save for when she felt the clothes Nol wore. A small smile eased over her features then and she brought the tunic to her nose and inhaled as she closed her eyes. His scent filled her senses and she opened her eyes as she let that breath go.

Once she was dressed in the tunic and her oversized leggings, she walked over to the desk on the far side of her room and sat down to write her report of the events that took place today for record. Tomorrow would come far too soon for her and she needed to make sure she wrote the report while her mind was still able to function on her duties. As she wrote, she would occasionally bring the tunic to her nose and smell him again allowing it to feel as though he were right there with her.








Rayann and Myth enjoyed a quiet meal together with Shaer. Myth played with his son for a good while once their dinner was done and Rayann felt a sense of pride fill her heart at seeing how her husband loved his son. She was glad she had opted to dine in their room privately for this allowed her husband to drop his formal presence and relax.

All too soon, though, the hour was growing late and she knew she had to send Shaer along before Kali settled down for the night as well as disturb Myth’s parents too much. With a sigh, she sent a missive to Kali asking her to come to their room. When Kali arrived, Rayann saw the confused look on her face and Rayann explained.

”We’ve decided to send Shaer to stay with his grandparents until this is all over with. We don’t want him here when the fighting starts. And we wanted to give you the opportunity to say goodbye before we sent him away.”

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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:45 am


Saul heard the door to the cell block open and then unmistakable sound of armour and boots upon stone growing louder. He opened his eyes just as Lady Kellian approached his cell, stood in what appeared to be one fluid motion, brought both of his palms together at his chest and bowed slightly. He could see that a guard stood behind her with a tray of food, drink and a large picher of what he assumed was water, from the aroma. When she told him that his exectuion had been stayed and explained their reason for their caution, Saul said quietly "I thank you for whatever influence your words have had on the decision to stay my execution." he bent down, retrieve the tray of plates from his previous meal and held them towards the cell door. The guard set the tray he had brought upon the chair outside of his cell, unlocked the cell door and opened it. Saul handed the used tray to the gaurd and stepped back away from the door, keeping his hand open, with the palms out at his side. The guard took the tray, out then brought the fresh tray in and sat it upon the floor of Saul's cell. He backed out of the cell, shutting the door and locking it. Saul smiled faintly at Lady Kellian and said calmly and quietly. "I understand your caution and would have reacted the same way had the boots been upon my feet. I assure you my have been words truthful." Saul thought for a moment, then said in a quiet and calm tone "There is a great evil that needs vanquishing, perhaps I have talents that can be useful. ........ I can see by your eyes and face the events of this day have been taxing for you. May the Gods allow you peace this night, so that you may awaken refreshed, clear of mind and your strength restored." ....... With that said Saul bowed again in his usual manner then in one fluid motion sat on his heels again, poured some water in the basin, washed his hands and face. Drying his hands and face on the small towel the rested on the tray. Folding the towel, laying it aside, Saul brought his palms together at his chest, bowing his head and chanted in a whishper of thanks for the food he was about to partake of.
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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:53 pm


Bad Rock looked at Pela and he smiled. He had her go and get food and return, but the time she was back he had cleaned and tidied the room, something he often did while she was out running their errands to keep himself busy while she was away. She placed the food on the table, a slaughtered goat for him and a warm bowl of stew as well as other foods for herself. He scooted the table chair aside and sat on the floor, he still had to reach down a ways but it was more comfortable this way.

They ate and then set in for the night, talking and laughing with one another, the bond between them as father figure and “daughter” being repaired. Finally he looked to the door and yelled, his gruff voice penetrating the howling wind, “Guards! Come in please!”


The two men entered, they looked miserable and frozen cold. He looked at Pela and then back to the guards, “Though my daughter and I are very accustomed to the cold, and actually enjoy it I know that your human flesh isn’t suited for it. Please continue to stand guard inside tonight, light a fire and make yourselves comfortable.” The two men looked at him quizzically, as did his daughter, he looked from the guards and then to Pela as he responded, “Yes, a Netherman that recognizes the discomfort of others.” He looked back to the guards, “If you are tasked with watching over us you might as well be warm while doing it.”

He looked at his daughter and spoke, “Good night my Pela.” Rolling over on his bedroll he was snoring away within seconds.



Kali came as soon as she had ported Trystan out of her room and into his own. She brushed her hair and smoothed her robes before going to her mother and father’s room. When they gave her the news of sending her brother to Silvanost, she was sad, but she didn’t protest, it was understandable given the events forthcoming. She took her brother in her arms and kissed him softly on the forehead. The moment she did he started fussing and pushed Kali’s face away from his. She quirked her eye brows and tried to shush him but he began to cry louder and finally was thrashing in her arms.

She handed him back to Rayann and he immediately calmed down and started playing with her hair, his eyes beginning to drupe slightly as he was getting tired. Kali smiled but there was sadness in it. She inhaled deeply and let it out slowly, turning to look at the snow blowing violently outside the window. She spoke, “He feels the war within me…”



From behind her, Kellan heard Nol gently clear his throat to get her attention. She turned and smiled, about to get up, he shoke his head and walked over to her, placing his hands on her shoulders as she sat in the chair before the fire. He gently rubbed the muscles, the heat from his hands like fire, yet amazingly comforting, especially against her sore muscles. He looked at the tunic and smiled as she closed her eyes and moaned softly at the touch of his hands.

“You are tense Kellan, understandable but I hope it’s not because of me.” She shoke her head in a ‘no’ and he laughed, “I suppose I could say anything right now and you would barely be listening,” She smiled playfully and nodded her head ‘yes’, but still said nothing. After a short while he stopped and walked around, kneeling in front of her and placing his hands on her waist, looking up into her eyes. “This weather has prevented me from lingering on the hillsides around the city to keep an eye on things, I was on the Dragon Isles most of the day taking care of some things there.” His face suddenly saddened a little. She looked at him curiously and he spoke, “The dragon armies of the Dark Queen are on the move again. They are moving up by the ruins of North Keep, sweeping the area and razing everything in their path. We can’t figure out why, but it is hundreds of miles from here, so for now this area is safe. The reports are not that they are sweeping and clearing, it looks more like they are searching for something, as of now we don’t know what. Their formations don’t look like a battle line, but more like a massive search party, it’s strange.”

She quirked her eyebrows and he shoke his head, “I am sorry, I don’t mean to burden you but I thought you might like to be in the know. I don’t think the information affects you, but somehow it might be connected, who knows, but now you have it.”

He smiled softly and whispered, “But enough with business.” He laid his head on her stomach and just lay there, breathing softly and feeling her body move under his head as she twisted her fingers through his long silvery hair.


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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:42 pm


As soon as her father was asleep, Pela looked over at the guards curiously. Both of them eyed her warily as though she were getting ready to turn them into ice statues. Finally she sighed and got up from the table and walked over to the fireplace and proceeded to build a fire. Once the task was completed and she felt the heat of the flames, she backed away and walked over to the guards. Her voice was hushed when she spoke so she would not disturb Bad Rock.

”I suppose if we are to be around each other for hours on end I should at least accommodate your needs to the best of my abilities. I do not understand the customs of your people but that does not mean I cannot learn. And do not look at me like that. I will not lash out at you unless I am given good reason for doing so. I promised Father I would mind my actions and I never break my promises.”

She glanced back at the fire then at the men again.

”Stay warm, Knights of Heartlund. Good night to you both.”

As she turned to lay down next to Bad Rock, the guards watched her walk away then looked at each other as though they were in some sort of strange dream. After a while they realized she was asleep and slept peacefully next to the gian creature she called her father and they moved closer to the fire that had been prepared for them, chasing off the cold that seeped into their very being.






Rayann understood what Kali meant and shared a glance with Myth. She handed their son to his father and within moments, the child was sleeping soundly, the peaceful sleep that comes with no worries. She saw the way Myth looked at his son and knew this was as difficult for him as it was for her.

She walked to the room where the twins stood silently and motioned for them that it was time. When they walked into the room, she gently took Shaer from his father’s arms and kissed his forehead and held him close to her. She inhaled his scent before slowly handing him over to the twins. As the one took hold of her son, she felt the lump form in her throat and the tears sting her eyes.

”Protect our son.”

Both twins nodded and Rayann stepped back. Her hands made a wide circle a few times and a portal appeared. ON the other side they could see Silvanost, With a glance at Myth, Kali and Rayann, the twins stepped through the portal one at a time taking Shaer to the home of his Elven grandparents for safe keeping. They turned and looked to Rayann then glanced at myth. As the portal closed, they nodded to him letting him know they would remain true to their oath of protecting the child.

AS the portal finally closed and disappeared, Rayann stood for a moment in the silence that followed, staring at the place the portal had been. Finally she took a deep breath and turned to look at Kali and Myth. There was moisture in her eyes but she refused to let the tears fall.

”This can’t end soon enough now….”





Kellan often wondered if he was affected by the weather and now that she knew, she would make sure she would do all she could to make sure he didn’t have to be out in it for long. The news he relayed about the Dragon Armies wasn’t good. What on earth were they looking for? There was n othing left there to pillage. It was something to think about, that much was for certain. But not now.

As he lay his head on her stomach, Kellan smiled and immediately her fingers eased through his hair. It was as soft as everything else about him and she marveled at the fine, silkiness of it. Was there nothing perfect about him? After a while, she finally called his name softly and when he lifted his head, she leaned down and pressed her lips softly to his then whispered against them.

”Come rest with me. It’s been a long, hard day for both of us and I don’t want to think of anything but your arms around me as I fall asleep.”

She saw the smile he gave her and she couldn’t help but smile back. As he stood up and helped her to her feet, she held his incredibly warm hand as they walked over to her bed. Drawing the blankets down, she laid down, drawing him down with her. Pressing her back against his chest, she felt his arms instantly wrap around her and she felt like a warm cocoon had just enveloped her. As the fire snapped and crackled in the hearth, she sighed softly as she felt her eyelids grow heavy. The next morning was going to come far too soon.

”All we have is right now, Nol. I don’t want to miss out on anything thinking it can wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow may never come.”

It most likely didn’t make sense to him, but to her it made perfect sense.

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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:47 am



After following Pela to her room Larissa returned to her own quarters and changed into her regular attire for wandering the keep. She pulled out one of her plain pale blue dresses and quickly changed. Bits of her leather armor were strung out all over her bed. She chuckles thing about the fact she wouldn't forget to put it away before she retired for the evening. Grabbing a heavy gray cloak from the hook she donned it and exited into the cool halls once more. She knew her lady well enough she would likely have stopped at her office before heading retiring to her room for the night.

Larissa's first stop was the kitchen to fetch Rose's dinner and then the mess for a mug of ale. She winded quickly through the keep and as she approached the doors she could hear elevated an elevated voice from inside the office. Larissa frowned noting it was not Lady Rose's voice. As she drew closer the voice went silent and as she nodded to one of the guards the door opened and Sir Walter stormed out. He shot her a menacing glare before stalking off down the hall. Larissa could only quirk a brow as she slipped into the office with tray in hand. The door closed quietly behind her and she padded across the room setting down the tray.

Rose was standing behind her desk taking in a deep breath before she sat down and managed a smile when she saw Larissa. Tray in hand she could only sigh heavily as she dropped into her chair. "The arrogance of the..." Rose cut herself off not wanting to utter a word and only shook her head. She looked at the tray of food and the mug of ale. Chuckling she nodded her head slightly "Thank you Larissa..."

Staring at the meal for a moment she reached for the mug "I am to assume that the young girl behaved herself while she was skulking about the keep."

Larissa sat down in the chair next to the desk neatly folding her hands in her lap. "She appears to be adept at sneaking around to some degree. I assume that is some of the training her father has imparted upon her." She had emphasized on the word as it was rather odd to call the netherman a father.

"Her choice in disguises was fair and had she chosen to take a cloak she would never have caused a single person to second guess her presence, even Sir Walter." Rose nodded her head. Larissa was frowning slightly "After her encounter with Sir Walter she made her way to the prison." Rose quirked an eyebrow and let Larissa continue "She gained entrance and after creatively taking out a lock paid our new guest a visit. Their conversation appeared to be casual and mostly one sided."

Rose was setting down her mug and noted the troubled look on Larissa's face. "Is there something about this that troubles you?"

Nodding Larissa spoke but quieted her voice "Their conversation does not cause me any concern ma'am. However the ease with which she acquired a the clothes necessary to parade around the keep.." Rose interrupted her finishing her sentence "It brings to question just how secure is the keep and whether we any spies in our midst." Larissa only nodded.

With a sigh Rose sat back in her chair pondering that question "This is a matter that will have to be looked into. With everything that has happened I think we could easily miss things."

There was a knock and she could hear it was Trystan and Kellan. Larissa said nothing she only stood and bowed. She glided silently across the room and smiled to Kellan and Trystan slipping out as they entered. Rose smiled seeing the two but she knew it was to late to discuss the issue of security. Instead she spent time talking of the prisoner and agreeing to hold off on his execution for the time being. It would be a long thought filled night for Lady Rose.


He could not help but notice Shaer's reaction to being held by his sister. It made his heartache to see the boy react like that but he knew why before Kali even said anything. He more than anyone in that room felt her struggle the most. It was a struggle of the heart that could affect them both in ways the elven warrior could not imagine. The bond was a secondary reason to send Shaer to Silvanost. While neither Myth or Rayann would say it aloud he knew Kali had probably considered it as well. It was with great reluctance he relinquished his son to Rayann's arms.

Control over ones emotions was key to keeping a level head on the battlefield. Myth had spent decades perfecting his control over his emotions. It made him seem heartless but it also made him very hard to read on the field of combat. Yet as he stood there holding his son for what could have been the last time he felt the iron bands that he had forged around his emotions weaken. He had always freely shown his happiness and love for his family but his sadness and despair had always remained hidden even under the most extreme circumstances.

Looking at his son he felt sadness and a hint of despair, but looking upon the twins he managed a smile and nodded to them as they took his son. They would be in good hands and in the end that is what mattered to him. Their son was safe and live to see a good long life regardless of what happened to his parents. Emerald eyes settled upon Rayann as she finally looked from the portal. He reminded himself that as long if only one of them were going to make it out of this alive he would move heaven and earth to make sure it was his beloved.

Myth took both wife and daughter into his arms and gave them a mighty hug. He sighed heavily stepping away and kissed Rayann upon the forhead. "I am going to the training hall to run through my forms and stretch. I shall not be gone more than a couple of candle marks mel'amin." He looked then to his daughter "Do keep your mother company until I return Kali." With a nod from Kali Myth grabbed Blue Moon and departed for the halls. They both knew that he was going to settle his mind and center himself once more as was his way. He would have preferred to have simply spent the entire time with them both. However both of them knew how his mind worked and that when his mind was troubled and out of focus it could be disruptive. Not because of his mood, but rather because of Rayann's empathy and their bonded souls. His peace of mind gave her peace of mind, and when his was in chaos it had a tendency to bleed over. He would be good on his word return before Rayann would be ready to bed down for the evening relieving his daughter from her charge.
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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:47 am


Kali watched in silence as her brother faded into the portal with the twins. She watched as her father showed a rare outpouring of emotion and then hugged the two of them. She felt her eyes well up ever so slightly as he asked her to remain with Rayann. A silent nod confirmed his request and he knew she would honor it.

As he left Kali turned and looked out the window, her back to her mother. Rayann’s empathic abilities would pick up on Kali’s emotions, and then she would see evidence of them as her shoulders rocked softly under her robes. Then the sound of her soft sobbing came. As Rayann came and put her arm around her Kali leaned sideways and rested her head on Rayann’s shoulder and whispered, “If I die I don’t my last memory of my brother to be him thrashing in my arms.”

Rayann looked at her in slight shock and Kali stepped back from her and shoke her head, “You know this is the gravity of the situation as much as I do, there is no guarantee that any of us are going to make it out of this, that’s why Shaer isn’t here now, because we are all facing a danger larger than any we have ever come up against.”

Rayann’s face reflected confirmation of what Kali was saying and Kali inhaled deeply. She looked out the window into the howling snow and spoke again, “The bond in my head, the one you and Ceridwyn put there, it is temporary, it won’t last, magic rarely lasts a lifetime.” She turned and looked at Rayann again, “I pray that it lasts long enough that we can do what needs to be done.”



Nol stroked Kellan’s hair and held her as she spoke. He didn’t fully understand what she was saying but listened and hugged her tightly. He could hear her breathing beginning to slow and could tell she was almost asleep when a knock came against the door. “Lady Kellan, we have been summoned to Commander Roses quarters.”

She woke with a start and there was panic on her face as she turned to look at Nol. It was bad enough he was in her room but they were laying in bed together. Even though their clothes were on and nothing happened this would not be good if Trystan saw. He knocked again and spoke, “Lady Kellan I am coming in.” The door began to creak open and Nol faded from sight before Trystan could have possibly seen him, his voice echoed softly in Kellan’s head, ~ “And the duties of a Knight call without ceasing. I love you, I will see you soon.” ~



Trystan edged into the dim room and saw Kellan sitting up quickly, he whispered, “It’s Trystan. I apologize Lady Kellan, I did not mean to wake you or barge in like this. We have been summoned to Commander Roses quarters, I don’t know why. I will wait in the hall until you are decent.”

Trystan went back into the hall and closed the door. It only took her a couple minutes but she emerged ready to go. As she tucked her hair up against the top of her hair and clipped it with the silver hairclip in the shape of the symbol of Paladine she asked if he knew what this was about, “No, I don’t, there was no urgency to the summons, save that it was at 11:00 o’clock at night. Commander Rose wouldn’t call us this late if it wasn’t important, however I was to relay to you that we were summoned, not a second runner.” He shrugged slightly and the wove through the castle together.

“I ummm… I love that new hairpin by the way, it really looks good in your hair.” He got the words out just as the arrived at Roses’ door. He knocked and they heard movement within. Larissa opened the door and gave them each a nod as she exited the room. Trystan and Kellan entered, saluting sharply as they responded to her summons.



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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:15 am


Rayann felt her daughters turmoil and it broke her heart to know her child was torn in such a way. It was times like this she despised Rorie for what he did to Kali. If the girl had been left alone and allowed to live her life normally, her daughter wouldn’t be suffering like this. But Rayann knew sometimes the bigger picture called for things to happen she didn’t agree with but knew ultimately it’s what had to be done. That was the hardest thing for her to learn wearing the Red Robes of Lunitari but with Kali’s help, she was able to see the full picture. It still didn’t make things easier for her, but at least she understood.

Looking out the window with Kali, Rayann sighed softly and nodded then looked back at her daughter and tucked some hair behind her ear.

”I never thought things would get like this on Krynn. I know the balance sometimes gets swayed one way or the other, but something like this….it’s unnatural and we’re all paying the price one way or another. Some of us even more so.”

She looked at Kali then.

”It’s my hope….my wish….my prayer that we all come out of this alive but I’m also a realist and I know that won’t be the case. We can’t go up against the likes of something like this and come out unscathed. It’s impossible. Yes, your mother is admitting the possibility of leaving this life, as difficult as that is for me to consider, it’s a reality. But I promise you this, Kali, I will do all I can in my powers to make sure we have half a fighting chance. But know this, daughter, your brother loves you as much as your mother and father do and we always will. Regardless of what happens.”

Rayann was never sure of what words to say to someone when they were upset so she said what she felt in her heart. And while her heart was breaking right now, she knew she was surrounded by the love of family and friends and her heartbreak was not suffered alone. Wrapping her arm around Kali’s shoulders, she laid her head on the top of Kali’s and looked out the window at the howling snow.

”I love you, Kali.”




In the past, Kellan would have loved getting any visit from Trystan but tonight, his timing couldn’t have been worse. She was nearly asleep when he knocked on her door forcing Nol to quickly disappear. His voice in her head was comforting and when he told her he loved her, she felt as though she'd been physically jolted by something. The thought both excited and scared her. She was so afraid to even think of loving anyone after what happened between her and the man knocking at her door. Somewhere, deep down, though, Kellan knew it wasn't love she fet for Trystan. At least not in this sense. Obviously she had deep feelings for Nol, the question she had to answer now was; was it love? That answer only took a few seconds to come to her. But now, Nol was gone and immediately Kellan felt a chill causing her to furrow her brows. Next time she had the chance to talk to Nol, she'd let him know everything. After all, all she had was right here, right now. As the door opened and Trystan stood there, she sat up quickly and glanced over at him.

Once dressed, Kellan exited her room looking as though she’d never been about to fall asleep. As she twirled the hair around her fingers then pinned it with the pin Nol gave her, she glanced over at Trystan when he commented her about it. Quirking a brow, she would have said something but they reached Rose’s door and were shown inside.

Kellan had an idea this had something to do with the prisoner and perhaps even something to do with the guest he had but she waited for Rose to finish looking over some paperwork and take a sip of ale before looking at her two subordinates.

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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:13 pm


Saul finished his meal of stew and tea, faciduiously cleaned his wooden bowl and spoon, with some of the water in the basin then placed them on the tray. He slid the tray to the cell door, returned to the basin, poured the dirty water into the slop bucket in the corner of his cell. Saul then stepped to the opoiiste corner of his cell,unfolded the balnket that the gaurd had brought him, knelt down arranged some of straw and sat down on his heels upon it and pulled the blanket over his shoulders. He gazed out past the cell bars, focussing on a chipped stone on the wall opposite his cell. His breathing deepened and slowed, after approximately one hundred and twenty beats of his heart, he slowly closed his eyes.
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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:06 pm


Kali listened to her mother, she nodded as she spoke and Rayann would see that Kali was struggling with it all too. She spoke as her mother finished, “What’s worse is we are the ones making the decisions, and though I used to plan stuff like this and not give a damn about the ‘expendables’ that I sent in the front line, now I want to minimize the loss of life. Every man that will die out there as a result of my plan is one husband or son that won’t be returning home. That’s a lot to carry. At the same time, some will day but hopefully in the end it is to save the lives of thousands.”

She inhaled deeply and looked at her mother, her eyes welling up again, “Death for someone else due to my decisions… that is the hardest pill to swallow.”

She shuddered slightly and turned to look out the window. She heard her mother approach and then felt the touch of her arm around her shoulders. As Rayann laid her head against Kali’s and spoke those words, Kali broke into tears, her voice was quiet and racked with sobs, “I love you too Mom.”

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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:00 pm



Rose motioned for Kellan and Trystan to sit in the chairs before her desk as she pushed her drink to the side before clasping her hands together. "I apologize greatly for pulling you both from your slumber at such an hour. I wanted to deal with the matter of our prisoner before the dawning of a new day. I find that I have little time to deal with matters of import like this during the day. Between my duties to the order and the aid in planning the offensive on the towers my time has become... precious."

She smiled apologetically to them both. "I find myself in need of making a decision about our prisoner. His reasoning for coming here is sound, but his approach is is what is at the heart of the matter. I wanted to get your opinions on the boy before I made my decision."

She was curious about their overall impressions of the youth. Trystan had not spent a great deal of time with Saul but he was a fair judge of character. Kellan had spent a fair bit of talking to the boy a couple of times that day and might have some insight as to the boys intent. Based on what had transpired when she was present at the interrogation Rose was not inclined to put the boy to death.

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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:57 am


The lands around the Tower of flame were scorched and barren. With each day the taint reached further consuming the lush life that had once spread over the lands of Krynn. There was no sound except for the constant and steady roar of the flames that en-wreathed the tower. Resting deep within the bowels of the tower was the delicate form of the fire mage Piramay. Her body suspended in the air held aloft by white hot fire that caressed and licked her slumbering form. The once pristine porcelain skin was ashen and scorched. While many sorcerers and wizards grew physically weak as they expended power she did not. Physical weakness was the balance of most spell casters but for Piramay the balance was her very life. Her power flowed and her body remained strong but it also consumed her very being. It was the physical proof of the power she had poured forth into the casting of the magical creation of the towers.

As a result she was as much a part of the tower as it was a part of her.The fires of of the keep fanned with each breath she took, and there was a deep rooted thrumming that matched the beating of her heart. The ritual had pushed her to her very limits and had brought her closer to the brink of death than she could have ever known. Yet even though the tower was not a living entity it worked tirelessly to renew her. The master was drained and the magic infused into the tower sought to sustain and heal her frail body. Power flowed though her infusing every fiber of her being. It molded her and reshaped her as she was slowly rebuilt from the broken pieces that had remained of her broken body.

Deep in her slumber she was aware of a change but not what. On the day the red robes arrived in the keep at Heartlund the mage of flame stirred but did not wake. There was a presence at the keep that called out to her slumbering form. Passionate desire called and the unconscious mind of the fire maiden reached forth from her tower. She could feel the embers of desire in the heart of the one she sought. She grasped that ember and touched it with her essence and delighted as the ember exploded forth in a raging inferno. The connection was fleeting because of her slumber and so her grasp slipped away and she felt the fires die away.

Waiting patiently the ember flared once more but this time she was ready. The seed was planted and it made the second attempt all that easier. Yes she was certain this was the one that was sought. This time there was resistance to her attempt to influence her target. The hold was partially relinquished. It was enough to grasp onto but not enough to be felt.

However it was not to last as a test of the bond met with a shield of righteous light. For a time the presence thrashed at the barrier but soon relented. The seed was nurtured and then Piramay's mind pulled itself away returning to a restful state. Already her body was recovering from the damage wrought by the casting. The skin of her body was returning to its once pristine form. Though her body was still riddled with patches of scorched flesh her face was already restored. Hair like fire hung to the floor untouched by the white hot fire that held her aloft. A smile crept across her face as a contented sigh escaped her parted crimson lips. The mage of flame continued to rest peacefully.
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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:08 am


Kellan nodded to Rose then glanced at Trystan before she looked back to Rose and made her verbal report on the young man in the cell in the stockade.

”Apparently Sir Thomas has a connection to Miss Ceridwyn. I’m not exactly sure what, but he indicated the man died to save her. He didn’t elaborate and I didn’t seek further information. From Miss Ceridwyn’s reaction, I would say there is definitely some truth to that. He told me, in detail how he entered the Keep and if the guards on duty had been paying more attention they would have most likely seen him. He told me his scabbard for his blade fell and when I went to investigate, I found it buried under some snow.”

”He knows there’s something not right here and I believe it was a combination of things that brought him to this area. One was to clear Sir Thomas’ name and the other has something to do with the Towers. He’s adamant about clearing Sir Thomas’ name and he’s full of anger which isn’t helping his situation any.”

“He described Draconian soldiers perfectly to me when he told me about the Dark Queen’s agents. Apparently they were tracking Pela and Bad Rock and not Aeolis and myself. And from some intel I received later in the day, it appears as though he is being truthful about that as well. Apparently the Dragon Armies are swarming what’s left of the ruins of North Keep. There was no other information passed along other than that.”

“Pela visited him earlier today as well. He doesn’t seem to have any connection with her other than she was in the stables last night when he was discovered. I wouldn’t put it past the girl to use him as a distraction to make her own escape. He hasn’t told me exactly what happened between them, but whatever it was, he wasn’t happy about it. She can be quite determined when she thinks she’s going to be caught. As we’ve seen, she doesn’t like to stay in one place very long.”

“I checked in on him before I returned to my quarters and he was polite and nonaggressive. He doesn’t like being locked up but that is true with any of us. As I stated earlier, my gut tells me the young man isn’t a threat to us but his ways of gaining access to the Keep was unnecessary. I believe he would be an asset to our cause but he would have to supervised directly in order to make sure he didn’t get out of hand. Much like our younger guest who has trouble with authority other than her….father.”







Rayann wrapped her arms around Kali and held her close, letting her cry as hard and as long as she wanted to. This whole day had been trying on all of them and it was only natural to break down like this eventually. No matter how much they tried to not do it. Rayann knew even Myth was troubled thus his departure to the training hall. She knew he needed to find his center again and right now, his emotions were in too much of a turmoil to let her feel them.

As Kali shook with her sobs, Rayann let her own emotions go and cried with her daughter. She’d sent her son away and she missed him already. Knowing things were going to get even more difficult from here on out, she had to give herself this moment of weakness before she recovered and regained her strength. And right now, she didn’t have to go through it alone as her daughter was there with her this time.




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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:10 am


Trystan listened to Kellan’s report, it was the first time he had heard it as well and he stayed silent as she spoke. One small nugget of information perked his ear and he tucked his question away until she was done. He turned to Lady Rose and spoke, “Commander, I would have to yield mostly to Lady Kellan’s judgment on this matter. I admit, I have not seen any real malice in the man, save for when Ceridwyn was in the room with us. He did have a hatred in his eyes when she was present and I agree with Lady Kellan, her hasty departure when he mentioned Sir Thomas and produced his chest emblem leads me to believe he isn’t lying. She was definitely disturbed by the news and her reaction was out of character, we all know what a level head she tends to keep and the news set her off balance for sure.”

He looked then at Kellan, his eyes locking straight with her own. There was no accusation in his voice however he was questioning something she had said and the tone in his voice was purely curious rather than accusatory, “Everything you have mentioned makes sense as far as his story goes except for one thing. You mentioned that he described Draconians of the Dark Queen and that they were following Pela and Bad Rock and that he was tracking them. Ceridwyn mentioned in the War Room that Pela and Bad Rock had traveled South of Glen Durel and were staying outside a Hamlet when you and Aeolis found them. How is it that Saul knows about Draconians at North Keep then? North Keep is just over 300 kilometers from here. How is it he had this information. Unless he can fly like a dragon I don’t see how he would know that.”

He turned and looked at Commander Rose. Again, his face was purely curious about this part of her report, “That’s the only thing that doesn’t add up for me.”



Kali and Rayann stayed together in relative silence for a long time. Finally they sat by the fire after all the crying they could do was done and Kali poured them each some tea. She sighed heavily as she looked into the roaring fire. Her red robes shimmered in the fire light and while looking into the flames she spoke to Rayann, “I have made such terrible mistakes Mother. I… I don’t regret that I broke things off with Nol, in fact I think it was best, especially considering the timing of things, in hind sight I still feel it was the right thing to do.” She turned and looked at her Mother, “Something else equally astonishing has happened however, though I vowed not to I have fallen in love with a Knight, an annoying Knight at that,” The slight hint of sarcasm and self denial were evident in her voice. She looked at Rayann and could see her mother fighting back the smile, “Stop it Mother, I know that you have desired for me to find love…. But… I don’t know. I can’t say I want to deny myself that experience, but somehow, love keeps managing to find me.”

She sipped her tea and looked at Rayann who was now leaning on her elbow and covering her mouth with her hand to hide her smile, Kali could tell she was doing everything in her power to not burst out laughing. Kali grabbed a small pillow and threw it at her mother and laughed as she spoke, “I said stop it! Trystan is the most annoying and most wonderful man I have ever met, he defies logic!” Rayann started laughing so hard tears formed in her eyes and Kali followed suit, shaking her head and speaking… “This life…”


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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:40 am


Kellan never blinked. She held Trystan’s gaze as she clarified the information.

”I never stated it was the prisoner who relayed the information. It’s no secret we have refugees coming here each day. Even in this terrible storm it’s been proven they are still reaching us. Saul is proof of that. I stated it was intel I had received.”

She looked over at Rose then.

” In fact, I would have dismissed it as nothing more than an over active imagination if I hadn’t known the information Saul gave to me earlier. And given the fact Saul saw Draconians for himself, even though they were well separated from what appears to be a larger army, I wouldn’t have said anything about it had I not known both pieces of the larger puzzle that still has yet to be solved.”

She glanced at Trystan then back to Rose. She didn’t want anyone to know Nol was here and she didn’t want to lie either. At least this way she wasn’t lying and she felt she could keep his presence here concealed. While it would be no problem since he is part of the Padraig-Thel’Redin party, she still didn’t want anyone to know. Deep down she knew it was her own selfishness making this decision for her but she felt it was also the better way to protect Nol at the same time.

”The cold and troubled times can lead to stories coming to life and it takes some time to read between the lines but I don’t believe in coincidence and to hear both pieces of news on the same day couldn’t be overlooked. I think it requires some investigation when the weather permits in the very least. We could not only be dealing with the mages in the towers BUT a force coming at us from the North as well. We’d at least need to know for certain.”


She glanced at both of them again.

”I will even volunteer to go if that is your decision.”




Rayann couldn’t stop giggling, even as Kali threw the pillow at her. In spite of the heaviness in her heart, she was delighted to know her daughter had found love and despite her best efforts, Kali couldn’t stop it from happening.

”…is full….of surprises?”

Rayann was smiling through different tears now.

”The hearts wants what the heart wants, Kali. We can’t stop it and we can’t control who it attaches itself to. Your father and I are proof of that. He was on a mission to take me to the Dark Queen herself when his heart stepped in the way and prevented him from completing his mission. And I was a naïve young woman who had no idea what the real world was like and I trusted a complete stranger with my life. As despite the fact I discovered the truth about him, I couldn’t deny the fact I loved him.”

She wiped her eyes and smiled even more.

”Don’t fight it and don’t deny yourself, Kali. Live each day in the here and now. It’s all we have.”

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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:57 am


Trystan looked over at Kellan as she explained and when she had finished he nodded apologetically, “You are right Lady Kellan, I apologize for assuming the information came from the same source.”

He went quiet, but his face showed he was still trying to piece everything together. When Kellan then volunteered to go north after the storm broke he furrowed his brows slightly and turned to look at Commander Rose, wondering what she would say. He was no longer able to make those decisions concerning Kellan, it was the will of the council that Rose be her direct commander despite the fact she was not yet a Knight of the Sword, which only spoke deeper of their intentions to promote her soon. There was that small part of him that didn’t want her to go, almost in a big brother sort of way, however, he was not, and needed to let it go but it was a 8struggle for him. He had the thought to volunteer to go along with her, but at the same time he knew that with the defenses of the wall being compromised so easily by Saul he was most likely going to get the directive to work up a new plan.



Kali tossed another pillow at her mother, “Stop it with the sagely wisdom Mrs. ‘I’m always right.’” She laughed and shoke her head.

“Even still, it is hard to know that I have to keep so much in the balance, it only complicates matters, but you are right, of course, I will do more harm than good if I don’t allow myself to sink into this.”

She stared into the fire and smiled, clearly lost in thought a moment before she snapped out of it and turned to look at Rayann, blushing slightly. “How much easier would it have been if we just took off our robes and decided to become basket weavers.”

She turned back and looked at her mother. Her eyes were somewhat sadder suddenly and she spoke, “The towers are stirring, I don’t know if you have been feeling it too but I assume you have been and we have both just been staying quiet. It’s been a few weeks since they rose. I don’t know how long Fifth and Piramay will need in the recovery time, but we need this storm to break so we can assess our battle plan and strike as soon as possible. Once they awaken the matter will be complicated beyond measure.”

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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:05 pm


Kellan smiled at Trystan and nodded.

”Quite alright. I can see how it could have gotten misconstrued.”

Inwardly Kellan was breathing a sigh of relief and knew she had to be very careful relaying any information Nol gave her. While it was important to do so, she knew she’d have to make it appear as though she had heard it from a conversation she wasn’t exactly a part of but overhearing.

She could see the look on Trystan’s face when she volunteered to take on the mission of going to North Keep if that was decided. Why did it bother her that it bothered him? Perhaps it’s because she still felt a small amount of hurt at what happened between them. She knew she’d have to talk to him about everything that took place to cause them to pull away from each other. While she was hurt by that, she knew it merely led her to another door that she could never possibly open if they had not been torn apart.

As she looked back to Rose, seeing the way the woman took all of this news into consideration, she knew she would make a decision that was fair to everyone. And protect the citizens of Heartlund. Kellan could also see the weight of such responsibility on Rose’s shoulders and knew this new rank brought with it things Rose would find both taxing and rewarding.






Rayann thought about what her daughter said for a moment before she looked over at Kali and smiled softly.

”We certainly wouldn’t be here right now, that’s for sure, but how boring a life would that be? I mean, look at us….we’ve spent time on the Dragon Isles, gotten to know the dragons that live there, learned new spells, spent time with Lunitari and hopefully, somewhere along the line, enriched some lives we’ve touched.”

When Kali mentioned the towers stirring, Rayann took a deep breath and let it out slowly, nodding. Looking down at her tea cup that was now empty, she looked back up at Kali.

”It’s what brought me to make the decision about Shaer sooner than I thought I would make it. We both know a wizards tower is one of the most powerful structures to come across but when they’re towers created by Fifth and Piramay….complicated doesn’t even come close to what it’s going to be for us. Especially for you. I know you’re fighting the influence. Even with what Ceri and I did for you. Believe it or not, my biggest fear is that we’ll end up having to fight each other. I pray it doesn’t come to that because quite honestly, I’m not sure I could defeat you. You’re the most powerful Mage I’ve ever met and that makes me both proud and frightens me to death.”

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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:25 pm


Kali looked at her mother as she spoke. When Rayann raised her eyes to look at her as she finished talking she would see in Kali’s face that in no uncertain terms she agreed with what she was saying. “I know that the decision to remove Shaer from the area was partly due to my condition, and behavior.”

She looked down at her lap, there was a sullen expression in her face and she looked back up to Rayann, “I don’t blame you, I can’t guarantee what is going to happen once we get close to the towers, I am as likely to fight them as you… I have actually felt it might be best if I don’t advance to the towers with the rest of the army.”

Her words would most likely confirm Rayann’s deepest fears, but most of all, the Kali had been aware of it all along, and that her struggle was more deeply set than she was letting on. She looked up at Rayann again and whispered, “Shaer could feel my struggle, I know it, he was aware of it, despite every effort I made to shield his little mind, I’ll be honest, I was tempted to sever the link… but I know that would have been wrong. It is best for his safety that he was removed from my presence, if I end up out of control his is the first mind I would attack.”

She looked at Rayann, the mixed expression of horror and understanding she was seeing confirmed her words, Rayann knew all this, but the hearing of it wasn’t making it any easier. “Nothing good will come if I have to fight you and Ceridwyn, for any of us. You have to make me a promise though, if something goes wrong out there, if I do end up turning on you, you have to promise me that you won’t hold back, you will have to kill me to stop me, it will be the only way. Promise me that you will kill me mother, because if Shulamite rises from her ashes, she won’t hesitate to kill you and everything that stands in her way…”

The words echoed around the room as mother and daughter sat looking at one another. Kali inhaled deeply and finished her tea, closing her eyes and making the awareness of her surroundings become part of her. She could hear the dragon which was locked in her heart laughing at her, mocking her…




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PostSubject: Re: 15: Winter Wonder Heartlund   Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:05 pm


Myth's time on the training halls of the keep passed swiftly. The knights were respectful enough to give him his space so that he could meditate and practice his forms. He felt eyes upon him at all times always from different directions. Myth was an imposing figure in both size and structure yet he moved with the fluid grace one expected of an elf. Every movement made had a purpose and every motion was fluid as water. From the slow twisting motions of his arms to the steps upon the earth. The warrior moved with a silent grace that spoke of years of martial training. Myth's breathes were steady and his mind was drawn to silence. The troubling thoughts that swirled in his mind were swept away with each motion.

Myth had expected to be interrupted at some point by Sir Walter or anyone of his knights, but to his amazement not one person had approached him. Looking around the room he noticed that their were only a handful of knights in the room and it he frowned slightly. One noticed that Myth had finished with his exercises and was looking around the empty hall. The man looked about twenty or better winters in age. The knight bowed respectively as he approached. Myth returned the gesture before looking at the boy with curiosity.

"A few knights were getting uppity while you were meditating Lord Myth. You looked as if you had a great deal on your mind and me and some of the other knights We took the liberty of clearing out the hall of prospective trouble makers so that you were not disturbed."

Myth was actually quite surprised and it showed despite his efforts to remain stoic about the matter. With a smile Myth bowed once more "I thank you then Sir?" The man bowed and smiled "Sir Corvain..."

Myth continued to smile "Then I thank you for that Sir Corvain. I understand that we are the source of great turmoil among some in the knighthood. Your gesture is appreciated and I will be sure to mention it to the commander."

Sir Corvain shook his head "No need to M'lord Myth. We were simply seeing to it that your peace was not sullied by those with narrowed minds. It would be an affront to the honor of the knighthood for us not to ensure your right to peaceful repose as you are here as honored guests and allies."

Myth only chuckled and held out his arm clasping Sir Corvain's. There was not another word spoken as Myth departed from the hall. He could hear the young man telling his companions to open the doors to the hall once more as he departed. Surely there was going to be some amount of complaining to be had by some parties but Myth had a feeling it would amount to nothing. He still made a note to mention the matter to the lady of the keep in the morning.

Myth twisted through the halls feeling slightly chilled as he made his way towards his quarters. He had not bothered to grab his cloak and was now grumbling because of that fact. The evening air was bitter and was worsened by the fact he had been working on his forms. Some were not to soft and gentle kind and entailed a great deal of exertion. Still he endured as he approached the room. Rayann and Kali were still talking and he could hear the tale end of the conversation. His brow furrowed slightly as he plainly heard about Kali's worry, and the task she asked of her mother. Myth's hand was resting on the door and he stared at his hands for seconds before entering.

He was silent in his steps moving like a wraith. He saw the troubled looks upon both the face of his wife and daughter. What Kali asked of Rayann was not something he felt she could bring herself to do. Such a choice would kill her in more ways than Myth cared to think of. He cursed his own existence and practical mind as his voice broke the silence. "You ask your mother to preform an insurmountable task my child. A task that neither one of us cares to consider."

Myth moved past them and was setting Blue Moon upon it's place of rest before turning to look at his daughter. "Your worries however have a great deal of merit." Myth was silent as he looked into his daughter's eyes. He looked upon her with the loving eyes of a father but also the eyes of a warrior dedicated to his cause. "I would not ask your mother to preform this task Kali. A mother should never be asked to do such a thing, and as such by my word I forbid it." He saw Kali about to protest but Myth fixed her with his stern emerald gaze. "Forbidden Kali... if you wish to convince me otherwise then we will talk more about the matter in private and that is all I will say further."

Myth's mind poured into Kali's "I understand your concerns my daughter and I will talk to you about this but not in front of your mother. I wish to save her the heartbreak of what I have to say to you child... please be patient and my intent will be clear in due time." His face remained stern but it softened at the end of his message before he spoke allowed again. "Please... resprct my wishes in this matter my daughter." He could see the turmoil of her heart in her eyes but he was certain she understood his intent. They would talk of things and he would present a viable option for her.

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