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 16: For Solamnia

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Lac'Nal

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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:59 am




As dawn began to slowly broke Saul, slowly opened his eyes and stood allowing the blanket to fall off his shoulders onto the bunk, where he had slept. In the same sitting position he had the night before. Kneeling he picked it up, folded it and laid the blanket upon the bunk. He then slid off the bunk, stood on the floor. Saul then took the few steps over to the basin of fresh water that was on a long table against the wall and the clean towel that laid beside it. Dipping his hands into the water he washed his face, forearms and hands fastidiously. He then dried them, stood and backed away from the table. Saul stepped over where his coat, backpack, the bow , quiver and his blade hung , reached into his coat and removed the small morsels of meat from the coat pocket, slipping them into a pocket of his tunic. Leaving the coat behind, he walked as quiet as a mouse in a temple to the door of the room. Opening the door slowly, Saul stepped out into the corridor. Looking left he saw a young squire sitting on a chair by the door, his head bowed and breathing deeply. Gently, Saul laid his hand on the Squire’s shoulder, causing the young man to jump up standing and looking Saul in the face. The horrified look on the young mans face said volumes, as he his mouth began to move but no words would form.

Saul smiled faintly at the young Squire and said softly. “Fear not young man, none but you and I know of what transpired here.” Saul then looked at the young man sternly ... “A lesson was offered this early morning, see to it that the pupil learned it well. Now, gather a coat and escort me outside for my morning exercises , if it is your duty to see to it that I don’t get into any mischief. Or perhaps you need call a guard? If your duty is to remain here.” Saul then turned and walked down the corridor, towards the door of the dormitory. He stopped about halfway down the corridor, turned and looked at the young Squire ..."Perhaps it would be wise to send someone to inform Lady Kellen that her guest will be in the courtyard." He then turned and continued walking.

Saul focused his sight upon a spot across the compound, took a deep breath in, letting it out slowly, then took another. Bringing his open palms together at his chest, he pushed against them, slowly increasing the pressure for several minutes until his arms began to tremble slightly. He then slowly lessened the pressure, extending his arms at shoulder height. his left palm up and his right down. Slowly turning his head to the right, he slowly rotated his extended arms until his head was rotated far over his right shoulder and his right palm was up and his left down. Saul then reversed the movement slowly until his head was turned far over his left shoulder and his left palm was up and his right down. Saul repeated these movements for approximately ten minutes. Breathing slowly in and out with each cycle of movements.

Saul brought his palms together once more centered on his chest, then breathing slowly, he fluidly snaked his arms out one slightly ahead of the other, as he lifted one leg and turned to his right on his right foot, slowly placing his left foot down, lifting his right and turning to his left reversing his hand movements. Saul repeated the movements over the next ten minutes slowly increasing the spped of the movements until he seemed to move in a blur. He then leapt off the cell floor, bringing both knees up against his chest and flipped backwards, landing in a crouched position on his feet facing the cell bars. He then spun rapidly on one foot, leapt again into the air, turning a tucked cartwheel in the air and landing standing on his feet. . Brining his palms together at his chest, he bowed slightly then fluidly sat down on his heels starring at the same spot on the wall across the compound. Slowly he stood , took a deep breath and looked to the sky. Then scanned the fortress walls and spires ......... He heard a faint screech, then looked up and a dark winged shadow seemed to be circling the compound. Saul brought two fingers to his mouth and whistled, then held out his leather clad forearm.

As the morning sunlight broke through the clouds the winged form took shape
circled, screeched folded it’s wings and dove from the sky. The falcon spread its wings and flared a mere meter above Saul.s arm then landed lightly upon it. Saul reached into his tunic with his other hand, removed a one of the morsels of meat he had acquired the night before and gave it to the Falcon. “It is good to see you are well Tepes my old friend.” he said to the Falcon, who took the meat from its beak, laid it on Saul’s forearm then stepped on it with one talon and began tearing at it, eating. "Tell me my old frined what have your eyes seen, these last few days?" Saul said as he gently stroked the Falcons head feathers with one finger.
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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:28 pm


Kellan spent the evening talking to Nol into the late hours of the night. She told him of her life growing up with simple farming parents who always wanted more for their children. She explained the life she lived with them was simple but honest and there was always love in plenty of supply from her parents and brother. When Liam had been chosen to join the Knights, their parents were ecstatic but when Kellan announced that was what she wanted to do, they were less than enthused.

Nol was getting a glimpse for the first time of the internal struggle Kellan faced on a daily basis. She explained how her parents kept trying to sway her to be more....lady like and seek out more....feminine things to do with her time than running around with wooden blades and perfecting her bowman ship. When at last the day came for her to leave and become a squire in the Knights, her parents sent her off with hugs and kisses and well wishes for success but she could see the disappointment in their eyes that their only daughter had chosen a life of a soldier than the life of a pampered woman.

She often wondered if she didn't join the Knights just to upset her parents and prove there was no swaying her stubborn, set mind. But she also confessed she really couldn't see herself as a pampered woman for her independent nature simply wouldn't allow her to be waited on hand and foot. Besides, she knew she would grow bored with that kind of life and end up doing something she would seriously regret.

She told him of her life as Liam's sister and the love they had for each other. They had their moments of disagreement and fussing with each other but all in all, they loved each other deeply and had always watched out for one another. And she would give anything to have him back just so she COULD fuss at him. Kellan also told of what happened between her and Trystan on the trip to Glen Durel. She knew now it wasn't love like one thinks of love between men and women and that it was more like a brotherly love she had for him.

By the time she'd finished talking, she was tired and knew the morning would come far too soon for her. She remembered falling asleep in his arms but when she awoke in the morning, to Moira's voice, he was no where to be found. She knew she wouldn't see him before she left and that was fine. She was afraid if she DID see him she just might ask him to whisk her away to the Dragon Isles just so she wouldn't have to make this trip in the bitter cold. But, she knew her conscience wouldn't let her do such a thing so she dressed, with Moira's help in getting her armor on, and took one last, longing look around her room. She'd be back.. In a few days this would all be behind her and she could concentrate on defeating the towers.

She was getting ready to head outside when a young Squire came to her and informed her Saul was in the courtyard and performing some sort of exercise. With a nod, she walked over to see him finish then witness the falcon light on his arm. Quirking a brow, she finally stepped from the shadows and walked towards him.

"Well, now, this explains why you may know of some things that others wouldn't. It's a beautiful bird of prey."

She watched him for a few minutes with the bird then took a deep breath and let it out slowly in a heavy steam as the air outside was still quite chilled.

"We'd best go get something to eat then meet the wizards in the War Room for our send off. Literally."

She watched as he raised his arm and the falcon lifted off to gain altitude and take flight once more. Walking into the Keep, she led him tot he chow hall once more and got some food. As they ate, some of the Knights came and went but none of them seemed to worried about their presence.




Aeolis and Ceri spent the night curled in each others arms. When the light of dawn began to illuminate their room, they knew they needed to get moving but still remained locked together in silence. Finally Aeolis sighed and kissed Ceri's forehead.

"The dawn has come, mel'amin....we need to get ready."

Normally Aeolis looked forward to moving around in the open and experiencing new places but today, he would have much rather stayed right here. He took his time dressing in his usual ranger clothing and tested the bow he cherished making sure the string was perfectly taut. Once he had everything ready, he looked over at Ceri and saw she was ready as well once again dressed in her pristine white robes,. With a nod, they sat down to eat something before they left their room as neither one of them really wanted to be in the main traffic area of the chow hall.

With their breakfast completed, they walked arm in arm towards the War Room where Kali and Rayann were already there.As they walked in, Aeolis noted the look on the two women's faces and furrowed his brow. Glancing at Ceri, he looked back at them.

"What is it?"



Rayann was about to say something when Kellan arrived with Saul in tow. She glanced at the Lady Knight and Saul then looked at Ceri. There was a look on her face that said 'That.' as Aeolis glanced over at Kellan and Saul. He bristled instantly and confronted the Lady Knight immediately.

"What is he doing here? Do you not understand the impact this will have on our transportation method? It is not like the wizards have unlimited abilities and powers. You should have consulted use prior to this decision."

Kellan blinked at Aeolis then looked around the room at the others. She knew this would be met with opposition but she didn't realize how severe. She furrowed her brows then and spoke with a voice of authority.

"I didn't have time to consult you, Aeolis. I apologize for the sudden change of plans but I thought Saul's skills would come in handy on this particular trip. It seems he had a run in with some Draconians when we found Bad Rock and Pela. While thy were a good distance apart from the main army, I thought it would be beneficial for him to come to see if he could tell they were part of the same outfit or not."

She looked at Rayann and Kali then and nodded her head respectfully.

"I sincerely apologize to you for this, ladies. If I knew of some way to make up for this change of plans for your part in this, I will gladly do it."

Aeolis was ready to blow up and he opened his mouth to say something when Rayann reached over and touched his arm gently but firmly and started speaking before he did.

"It will be fine, Lady Kellan. It will simply mean I will have to gather more supplies from Glen Durel is all. Although it would have been better if we had known before now, we can still manage with what we have."

Kellan nodded again.

"Again, I apologize. I cannot thank you enough for your assistance. Without it, we wouldn't even be able to make it there and back in a few short days."

She looked at Ceri then and the look she had was one of sincere apology yet determination.

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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:22 pm


Ceridwyn looked directly at Kellan, her eyes locked on the young Knights as she showed her determination. She spoke softly, her voice was firm yet non-aggressive, “These are the sorts of things that would have been much better discussed before the moments prior to our departure Lady Kellan. It is less a matter of consulting us to get our opinion and more a matter of understanding how much more taxing it is going to be to transport one more individual and all their equipment around. Kali and Rayann not only have to scrounge up more reagents to transport us but I too now have to go gather more of the meager amount of reagents we have left to get us back. Spells are cast with precision and balance, and bringing in another whole person at the last moment makes it so that we have to completely recalculate and plan for the components used and the amount of energy that will be sucked form our bodies in the process. There are two wizards sending us there and one bringing us home, me.”

She inhaled deeply as her eyes traveled to glance at Saul and then she turned to Rayann and Kali, “If you two would please finish and add the necessary components to the circle in order to get us to North Keep I will go to the store room and retrieve more for myself so I can get us home.” She looked at Lady Kellan and her face showed her displeasure at this lack of communication and the time set back it was causing, “If you will excuse me.” She walked out of the room, the soft rustling of her robes disappeared as soon as the door closed behind her.


Kali furrowed her brows slightly as Kellan and Saul made their way into the room. She listened to the exchanges and remained silent until Ceridwyn left. She turned and looked at Kellan and spoke, “She is right, it would have been good for us to know for planning the spell Kellan, we can’t really fault you, you don’t understand as you aren’t a magic user, but in the future changes like this would be best discussed with us instead of dropped in our laps. If you all get into a scrape and Ceridwyn is casting and then needs to get you all home, the amount of magic she will use transporting this many people could literally kill her.”

She smiled softly however and nodded to Kellan, showing that she wasn’t upset. “Come, let’s go over exactly what is about to happen while we wait for Ceridwyn to return.” She walked them around the circle of reagents that Rayann was preparing, their equipment was set in such a manner that they could grab it the instant they were there and be prepared to fight if necessary. She then turned to Saul and spoke, “I don’t know if you have traveled this way before but you are gonna be lurched through the atmospheric plain and dropped directly in the outskirts of North Keep, about half a kilometer from where the city once was. I would be prepared to vomit when you hit the ground, especially if it’s your first time. The good news is however that a 6 day journey is going to take about four seconds, which obviously saves you an incredible amount of time.”

After about 15 minutes Ceridwyn walked back into the room, she glanced at Aeolis and gave him a half smile and then walked over to Rayann and Kali, “Alright, let’s get this over with.”

She didn’t sound particularly cheerful and she made her way into the circle and stood beside the white travel pack that she had prepared with a light supply of rations, some extra spell components, her maps and some healing potions she had prepared the night before. Kali and Rayann got the rest of the party into the circle and once they saw that everyone was set Kali turned to the half a dozen escort that were in the room, “Gentlemen, you need to leave for this part, we need absolute silence so we can concentrate, please bar the door and do not allow anyone in until we exit.”

The guards nodded and left, they could hear them take up positions outside and Kali turned to look at Rayann. Her nod told Kali she was ready and they began to move around the circle, their voices broke the absolute silence as they started hissing the ancient language of magic. To those who were not magic users it sounded more like the hisses of snakes, strange and foreign beyond reason or comprehension. Their hands moved in rhythmic patterns and they focused their positioning to keep themselves perfectly across from one another as they moved slowly, counterclockwise. Simultaneously their hand began to glow and both stopped, closing their eyes and their voices elevated in volume. In a blinding instant, the reagents on the floor flared to life as if it was gunpowder and the fuse had reached it, an explosion of light erupted and the smell of burnt rock filled the nostrils of the party as it felt like they had suddenly been grabbed by the moons themselves and yanked into the heavens. Almost instantly they hit the ground, but the impact was such that their knees barely needed to flex to break the impact. The cold air of outside indicated that they were where they were supposed to be and instantly Ceridwyn reached down, grabbed her pack and slung it over her shoulder.

The morning air was chilled and they were all standing in the shadow of the forest. Ceridwyn and Aeolis were both instantly on high alert, scanning the forest with their keen hearing and eyesight. After a moment of dead silence Ceridwyn turned to look at Aeolis, he nodded his head softly indicating that he had not heard or seen anything, she nodded in response and turned to look at Saul and Kellan, her voice was barely above a whisper, “OK, the area is clear, let’s move towards the ruins of North Keep.”

Kali fell to her knees as the spell burst forth, her face was pale and she saw across from her that Rayann was affected the same. Sending four people with all that equipment such a far distance was excruciating. She inhaled deeply and stood back to her feet, the light headedness was subsiding quickly but the spell was definitely a taxing one. She shook her head and looked across at her mother through the smoke that was gently rising off the spent reagents, “How Ceridwyn is going to get them back here by herself is beyond me.” The look of concern on her face was obvious and she walked around the burnt circle to meet her mother as they headed towards the door.


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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:26 am


Saul, once again dressed in his coat, with his sword resting across his shoulder listened stoned faced and silently as the Elf Aeolis asked in an aggressive tone “What is he doing here?” Saul was about to answer, when he felt a light touch on his arm and Lady Kellan explained. His eyes turned stone cold as they traveled around the room and fell on the Wizard Ceridwyn as she spoke then left the room. He listened closely as the younger wizard, dressed in a red robe, explained what was about to happen, the time that would be saved and the danger to Ceridwyn, if something was to go wrong with the mission. This was a military expedition, planned and assisted by wizards, into the ruins of a city laid waste by agents of the Dark Queen. Of course something was going to go wrong, horribly wrong, Saul thought to himself. His face and eyes remained expressionless as he listened.
When Ceridwyn returned they all stepped into the circle, Saul glanced down at his backpack and supplies and within a matter of moments were transported to the outskirts of the ruined city. As Saul landed on his feet, next to Kellan, he tasted his breakfast in his mouth, but resisted the urge to vomit. He was determined to show no sign of weakness. Swallowing, he whispered to Kellan ....”I prefer to travel by foot or a horse.” He then turned the focus of his senses to the forest and city ruins. Looking at Kellan he pointed to his chest, then his eyes, moved his fingers from his eyes and swept them across the tree line as it bent towards the city. Saul then looked at Kellan to make sure she understood what he was signaling.
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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:33 pm


Kellan knew the news of an additional member should have been relayed to the wizards earlier and if she had been more in tune with the way of the wizards, she would have been the one to tell them herself. As it was, there was nothing she could do about it now but the lesson had been learned and Kellan would remember it.

As she stepped into the circle and waited for the spell to transport them to North Keep, she closed her eyes and let her hand rest, relaxed, on the hilt of her blade. It felt as though her stomach was pulled from her body and almost as instantly shoved back in place. SHe took several deep breaths to keep herself from vomiting as she quickly took a defensive stance and glanced around.

The air was cold here, so much so that every ones breath came rolling out of their bodies in a plume of short lived steam. As Saul signaled he would check out the treeline, she shook her head nodded towards Aeolis who had his bow in hand and ready to pull a bolt back and fire it at any moment. As she saw Aeolis signal the all clear, she signaled the direction they needed to move.

Kellan knew this land like the back of her own, She'd traveled here so often and helped patrol these lands she could navigate in her sleep. But as she picked up her pack, she looked around at the barren wasteland that used to be North Keep. She moved along slowly, cautiously but as she saw the destruction of this once beautiful place, all she saw was darkness and destruction.

She felt a lump form in her throat and she was glad the air was chilled and the caused her eyes to water hiding the tears she felt burning them. She knew she had to get her emotions in check or she would jeopardize the entire mission. Taking another deep breath and letting it out slowly, she grabbed control of her emotions.





Rayann felt herself stagger slightly then drop to her knees. It was almost the same as all the other times only this time was a little worse than usual. Transporting four individuals and equipment was more taxing than she had ever remembered but then again, she hadn't transported that may at one time before. After a few moments she heard Kali's voice from acorss the way. Nodding, Rayann got to her feet and joined her daughter.

"I agree. The only different is there shouldn't be that may supplies to bring back. But it's still going to be taxing enough."

Like Kali, Rayann had a look of concern on her face as well.

"Come on. Let's go find someplace quiet to regain our strength so I can get to Glen Durel and back before Ceri returns in a few days."









They all moved along quietly each looking around and listening. Kellan first followed by Aeolis then Ceri and Saul bringing up the rear. They walked a few meters when Aeolis made a soft, audible signal that had Kellan stop moving and glance over her shoulder. The Elf nodded towards his right, ahead and Kellan squinted, olooking over the horizon. She could barely make out the forms in the distance but she didn't need to see details to know what they were and who they worked for.

Making their way to a nearby treeline, the four slipped into the shadows of the trees. Aeolis instantly took to the trees as Kellan, Ceri and Saul took up cover behind a fallen oak. Kellan looked over at Saul then and spoke in a voice barely over a whisper.

"That looking glass of yours would be handy right about now. I need to see what their doing. I'd rather do it from this distance than get any closer for the time being."

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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:03 pm


As the group began to move Ceridwyn glanced at Lady Kellan and could see the grief on her face. She knew little about Kellan's past really, but she did know that she was once stationed here and that her brother had died when North Keep was destroyed. Suddenly the problem with not being told they were bringing Saul along semed irrelevant and as the group walked Ceridwyn managed to get up beside her for a brief moment. She didn't say a word as silence was the parties ally at the moment, but when she touched Kellan on the shoulder and the young Knight turned to look at her Ceridwyn gave her a reassuring glance and a soft smile. As she stared into Kellan's watery eyes she squeezed the plate armored shoulder and released her grip, letting Kellan know non-verbally that she understood.

The group fell into formation and moved slowly and silently, even Kellan's metal armor was quieted, the young lady Knight had learned much from her voyage with Aeolis. Ceridwyn noted this and though Aeolis had no idea what she was thinking or the motivation behind it, she turned and looked at her lover with a proud smile.

Ceridwyn saw the figures half a second after Aeolis and she froze dead in her tracks. All the snow was blending with her white robes which seemed more like camouflage than wizards garments in these conditions, she got low and moved as the party spread out behind the fallen oak and prepared to assess the situation. Ceridwyn's ears caught Kellan's whisper to Saul and she looked from the two of them to the Draconians on the horizon of the hilltop ahead of them. She looked for only a second before she turned to look at Aeolis. Her voice filled his head and she spoke in missive, ~ "Blessed be our sight that we don't need a device to see it is a patrol of five Draconians, and they are walking straight towards us." ~

Ceridwyn got low and reached into her robes, almost instantly she brought out a small pinch of reagents and leaned heavily against the log. The group was still quite a way's off and they were moving extremely slowly, partly due to the deep snow and partly because Ceri suspected they were doing the patrol out of orders and not because they expected to find anything. North Keep had been abandoned since the place was razed, even looters were avoiding it due to the nature of it's destruction and the rumors that the wizard's who did it cursed the land before they left. Of course this was all gossip and rumor but nothing was done to change that opinion to maintain respect for those that perished here.

Ceridwyn looked up at Aeolis. Because of her position and where she leaned against the oak tree she couldn't see the troops, but Aeolis' hand gesture told her that they were still a very long ways off. She inhaled deeply and calmed herself, allowing herself to feel the magic in the air which was flowing freely around her.

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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:32 pm



Saul noded as Kellan nodded towards Aeolis, Saul nodded, unslung his bow and fitted a bolt to the string, placing a sencond bolt between his teeth and fell in behind, swiveling his heas from side to side and over his shoulder guarding their rear, as they moved. When Ceridwyn and Aeolis suddenly froze in their tracks, Saul crouchd low, bent over like a rock out crop and did the same. Then slowly duck walked in the deep snow slipped into the shadows of the trees, taken cover behind a fallen oak with Kellan and Ceridwynn. When Kellan whispered that she needed his looking glass, Saul rolled over, reach into his coat and withdrew a square of leather and two pieces of concaved glass, one large than the other, These he positioned on opposite ends of the leather square and rolled it into a cylinder. This he secured with leather thongs and handed it to Kellan, whispering to her to place the small end to her eye. He then sat back against the fallen oak, He replaced the arrow in his teeth, and refitted the first arrow to the string of the bow. Pulling the string and bolt back, he laid the bow across his lap, facing away from the ruied city, scanning the deeper forest, to their rear.
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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:40 pm


The gesture of Ceridwyn's understanding was more comfort than she would ever know. Kellan felt as though her heart was being ripped out from her chest as she saw the destruction that used to be North Keep. Here, Liam lost his life along with all the others stationed here. As she saw the leveled ground, she knew the Knights never had a chance, no matter how much they tried. She prayed to Paladine it was over quickly. She tried to keep her mind from straying to the to the fact Liam's soul had been used to fuel the creation of the towers blighting the land in Heartlund.

As Saul fashioned the looking glass for her, Kellan brought the smaller glass of the device to her left eye, closed her right and peered through it. She found the Draconians after a few seconds and watched them for a little bit. They didn't seem too concerned with what they were doing. They weren't even in any sort of formation. they seemed to spread out at times then come back together. She didn't see their elongated mouths open to speak so she assumed they were communicating in their guttural, grunting like language.

She lowered the glass and furrowed her brows then raised it again and this time she followed the trail the Draconians had left behind to see what sort of troops and what they were doing beyond them. She could see others moving, some were definitely Draconian while others were human. They all bore the crest of the Dark Queen on their uniforms and it made Kellan shiver involuntary. She moved her search closer to the tree line and it appeared as though the troops were on the opposite side of the area. She lowered the glass then handed it back to Saul and looked over at Ceri. Keeping her voice a hushed whisper knowing the Elves would be able to hear her just fine, even with Aeolis in the tree above.

"If we stay in the trees, we should be able to move closer without being noticed. Of course with Aeolis an Sauls combined skills, we should know of any enemy in here with us before they know about us."
She looked to Ceri then.

"If we're spotted at any time, get what ever you need to transport us back ready to go. I'm not risking our lives when we have no chance of getting out unscathed. If we don't fond anything we don't find anything."





Aeolis wondered how much of what he taught Kellan would be remembered and as they moved, he was proud of her. Her armor was as silent as held ever heard from an armored body. Even her chain mail had been wrapped in soft cloth to keep it as quiet as possible. When he first spotted the Draconions in the distance he alerted Kellan in thesame way he had on their last mission. When she stopped moving and immediately crouched low, once more he realized how well she learned everything he taught her last time.

As they moved into the trees, he shimmied up the tree to get a better look from up high. The Draconians were not in a hurry for anything nor were they concerned with their surroundings. Not like they had to be worried about enemy troops or scavengers. They had this place all to themselves. Until now. As he heard Ceri's voice in his mind, he responded in kind not taking his keen eyes off the enemy.

~Aye.....we do not realize how blessed we are to have such abilities until we see how the humans are not.~

As he heard Kellan's words, he nodded and sent Ceri another missive.

~Tell her I will keep to the trees and patrol from up here. If I see anything, I shall signal."

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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:01 pm


Ceridwyn looked at Kellan and whispered, she wasn't sure if Kellan would be open to hearing her in missive so she stuck with verbal speech, "That spell is one that will require a small amount of time. I have transcribed it onto a scroll so I wouldn't have to memorize it, but it will take a few minutes of preparation to cast. I have plenty of experience casting while hell is breaking loose around me, but if it comes to it I will need to be protected while I channel the magic as I will be vulnerable."

She saw Kellan nod in understanding and then she glanced up to Aeolis who was perched in the trees. She listened to his missive and turned to give the message to Saul and Kellan. Gesturing for them to come close she spoke, "Aeolis is going to remain in the trees and patrol form there. He will let us know if he sees anything we need to be aware of. From what I can see the Draconians are not in a hurry nor are they even expecting to see anything. From my understanding North Keep has been abandoned since it was destroyed."

she turned and looked at Kellan, seeing the young Knights eyes begin to glaze over again as she mentioned it. She touched her gently on the arm and whispered, "Easy lass, mourn later, concentrate on the events of the moment. One mistake or moment of not concentrating and we could be dead."

She patted her gently on the forearm and then spun on her heels and moved across the fallen oak. She peered around the edge of the log and now switched to mind speak, the time for being concerned with people's comfort level of having a voice directly put into their mind was over, besides, she was too far away from them to whisper now. Her voice went to all three of them at once though she knew that Aeolis would be the only one with the ability to respond to her, ~ "They are moving towards us but are currently zig zagging in a meandering pattern...." ~ Her voice went silent and as they turned to look at her she was gone, her tracks were barely visible in the snow and her light footedness made it so she wasn't heard. In what seemed mere seconds she was 50 meters away and crouched beside a scorched Vallenwood tree. Her white robes and cloak were pulled over her and she stayed low and as such she virtually disappeared. It might become apparent to Saul and Kellan that though she was a wizard, she was still an elf, and as such was quite comfortable in the forest and natural surroundings.

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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:34 pm


Kellan tried as best she could to keep control of her emotions but it was difficult at best. Still, these souls were depending on her to be a leader and she couldn't let them down. No matter how much her heart constricted in her chest. Once again she pulled her emotions under control ab be the Warrior of the Crown.

As she watched Ceri move through the snow, she was amazed at how quiet and invisible she could make herself. As she heard Ceri's voice in her head she blinked, startled but she didn't mind it. In fact, Kellan wished she had the ability to communicate like that. It would certainly make hand signals obsolete. She glanced up at Aeolis but she couldn't see or hear the Elf. It was like he'd just become a part of the tree and while she'd seen him blend in like that last time, she still found his ability to do that amazing. Just like Ceri's ability to sneak through the snow and blend in with the snow covered landscape.

Kellan looked over at Saul then and motioned for him to move up a little further and observe from that location. If all four of them had different prospectives of the same area, she was certain it would be more beneficial than if they all stuck together in the same place. Besides, if they split up just enough to keep contact with each other, they prevented the entire party from being ambushed and taken hostage. Or worse....

Pulling the hood of her cloak up over her head, she peered over the fallen oak trunk and peered out into the sun bathed snow and squinted. Her light brown eyes almost hurt from the glare of the sun on the bright, white ground just beyond the trees. It was bad enough seeing that North Keep was leveled to nothing but flatness, she was glad the snow covered the actual ground itself as she was certain the ground would be charred. Already she could catch a hint of that burnt, charred smell on the air.





Aeolis perched in the tree and watched the approaching Draconians in the distance. They were using a wide, sweeping pattern in their movements but they didn't seem to be paying much attention to what ever it was they were looking for. He furrowed his brow as he watched them. It was obvious they were looking for SOMETHING but what, he didn't know. He'd love to get close enough to one of the humans to hear some of their conversations so he cold possibly pick up on what they were looking for.

As Ceri moved across the frozen white ground, Aeolis felt pride in his heart as he saw her Elven heritage kick in. Even he found her footprints hard to find. As he heard her voice in his head, he glanced down at Kellan and Saul. As he saw the young man move forward, he found the young mans stealthiness impressive for a human. As he returned his attention back to the approaching Draconians to make sure they weren't going to get too close to the Heartlund party.


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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:55 pm



Saul 's expression change subtely as he heard Ceriwyn's voice in his head, he looked around then over at Kellan as she motioned for him to move east to another position. He noded the reach into his backpack and removed a curved, concaved, polished piece of wood with a small slit carved out of the center. He placed the object over his eyes so that the enlongated ends rested on his ears. Saul then removed them, then passed them to Kellan, motioning for her to put them on. {for general explaination: these are like primitive sunglases, used to prevent snow blindness and cut down on glare from the snow, they were also used in the deserts for the same purpose to cut the glare off the sands.} He then motioned for her to retain the spyglass, as he rolled over and bellie crawled silently and slowly further to the east, where he too climbed a trees and hid himself within the branches a few feet off the ground. There he settled against the trunk with the bow across his lap, an arrow in his teeth and one notched and drawn tight on the bow and looked out across the snow covered plain to the north, towards the runined city.


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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:02 am


Ceridwyn watched as the Draconians meandered around. Their relaxed attitude towards this patrol made it obvious to her that they weren’t expecting to find a thing. As she remained low and kept tabs on where the rest of her party were she suddenly felt a slight butterfly in the pit of her stomach. The five Draconians had come together and were standing in a circle, talking and motioning in different directions. She was close enough to them now that she could hear the clicks and grunts of their guttural language and though she couldn’t understand a word of it she could tell in the in fluctuations they were not communicating about anything urgent. She exhaled slowly, keeping the hood of her robes up over her heard as well as her snow white cloak to hide the breath coming from her lips. She knew the Draconian scouts had no clue they were here, which was good.

She chanced a slight peek over towards Aeolis. He was still perched in his tree but had stayed still as the Draconians had shifted their path. The four of them were spread out in a manner now that created a slight semi circle and if the Draconian’s kept on their path they would end up right in the middle of them. She moved her eyes and caught the silhouette of Saul in the trees, he was nearly straight across from her, about one hundred meters away, perched in a thick pine tree. She had to admit, she was impressed with his ability to sneak and hide, few humans were truly good at it, but she could see that he knew what he was doing. She turned again and looked for Lady Kellan. She couldn’t get her eyes on her but knew she was somewhere between Aeolis and Saul. She continued to scan the snowscape when suddenly the sound of laughter filled her sharp Elven ears. She turned her head as quickly as she dared and saw one of the Draconians leaning back and laughing. For the first time she was able to make out the insignia on his scaled metal armor. She didn’t know the ranking marks of the Dark Queens army, but this one had three slanted lines on his breastplate over where she figured his heart was. As she scanned the other four she only saw one. He must be the leader. Other than that small thing they all wore identical armor and could barely be told apart. She inhaled deeply and suddenly felt a ting of panic. The wind had shifted, she could no longer smell them. She watched nervously as a small blade of seeded grass shivered in the cool breeze and bent towards the Draconians. It only took two seconds when all five heads whipped in her direction. The one she had identified as the potential leader grunted and the sound of five swords being drawn from metal rang across the field. Ceridwyn sank low, allowing her white clothing to blend even more with the snow drifts.

She glanced from the Draconians to Saul in the tree. Then her eyes darted over to Aeolis. They were aware of the change and they had both obviously seen the five draw weapons. She swallowed hard. She knew Aeolis’ skill with a bow was nearly unmatched even among the Elves, but she prayed that Saul knew what he was doing. The Draconians were a good 65 to 70 meters from where he was, a far shot by any standards. The five of them spread out and began walking slowly towards her, sniffing the air and grunting back and forth. They were still about 30 meters away, she simply stayed put, she refused to panic, she watched their dark, slick eyes darting back and forth as their tongues occasionally flicked out of their mouths.



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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:51 am





Kellan used Saul’s spyglass to observe the Draconian patrol from her vantage point behind the fallen tree trunk. If she could have tapped into Ceridwyn’s thoughts’ they would have been along the same lines when she finally could see the insignia of what she was certain was rank on their armor near their hearts. With four of them having only one slash and one having three, it didn’t take an intellectual to figure that out.

As she observed their interaction with each other, she saw their relaxed approached to everything and knew this suty was nothing but mundane for them. She was certain they were discussing having a better duty to do than patrol for enemy that isn’t there. If they only knew, Kellan thought.

As Kellan watched through the spyglass she felt the wind change from blowing in her fact to switching to behind her. The hairs on the back of her neck rose in warning and she pulled the glass down to look in Ceri’s direction then back to the Draconian soldiers. When she lifted the spyglass to her eye, she cursed softly under her breath.

”Shit…”

She couldn’t hear the grunts and clicks she’d heard from them before but with the wind in the wrong direction now, she didn’t expect to. As she watched the blades being withdrawn and the lizardmen head directly for Ceri, Kellan knew she would have to give the order soon for Saul and Aeolis to let their bolts fly. Dammit…she wanted to keep this as covert as possible but obviously that was tossed into the creek now. Knowing Aeolis could hear her, Kellan spoke in a whisper to let him know what her plan was going to be. She didn’t want Ceri to expend any unnecessary energy casting defensive spells as it looked like her energy would be needed to get them the hell out of here quickly.

”Tell Ceri to get the hell out of here as soon as you fire the first bolt. Have her run towards the clearing we arrived at. We’ll meet her there. Have her get ready to send us back. Have her send a missive to Saul letting him know when I draw their attention away from her, he’s to start firing with you.”


Aeolis watched The Draconians and listened to their guttural language. They were a strange lot. Walking on legs like men with arms as well yet they had the head of lizards. He shuddered to think these things were so many in numbers they could help make up an army. And from what he’d seen so far, they weren’t to be taken lightly. While they didn’t seem to be very organized right now, he saw they moved with a purpose. Albeit slow, but a purpose all the same. And from the rank insignia’s on their armor, it was obvious they understood what rank and file were all about. As well as following orders.

When the wind shifted, Aeolis darted his eyes towards Ceri then back to the Draconians. As he saw them stop talking and sniff their air with their forked, reptilian tongues, he cursed silently to himself. He heard Kellan utter a curse as well and knew she’d seen the change.

As he received her instructions, he pulled the bolt he had knocked back and felt the feathers brush his cheek as he took aim and sent Ceri the missive Kellan asked of him. He followed the Draconians along and waited, breathing slowly. When he received Ceri’s missive back she understood and had sent Saul the message, he knew Kellan heard Ceri’s response as well and waited for the signal.

When Kellan heard Ceri’s voice in her head, she took a deep breath and stood up. She wished she’d brought her bow with her, but she decided to leave it behind and carry just her blade. Pulling the blade out, the air sang as the metal was freed from the protective scabbard. The Draconians glanced over at her then as she stepped out to the edge of the tree line. Instantly they turned her direction as she whistled shrilly.

As the Draconians started heading for her, Aeolis let fly one of his bolts and was rewarded when it struck into the neck of one of the advancing Draconians and saw it turn to stone instantly. He spoke to Saul then hoping the young man could hear him.

”Aim for places the armor does not cover them.”

Pulling his string back, he prepared to let another bolt fly when something in his peripheral vision caught his attention. He looked further up from where this patrol was and saw another emerging from the opposite tree line. They were still about 30 meters away when he saw one of them bring something to their elongated mouths then heard the sound of a war horn split the cold, crisp air.

It was only a matter of time now before they were swarmed with Draconian and human soldiers as he could already see them cresting the hill. The white ground soon turned dark as they rushed forward to aid their comrades. Cursing loud, Aeolis let another arrow fly towards the Draconians and yelled at the others over the sound of more war horns being blown.

”They have alerted the entire army! Clear out!”

He jumped from one branch to another until he could jump to the ground where one of the patrol had met up with Kellan It was the first time he’d seen her in combat and he had to admit he was very surprised as he watched her duck, block, perry then swing with the killing blow.

The Draconian’s body turned to stone instantly and fell forward nearly striking Kellan as it fell. She quickly joined Aeolis and Saul as they started making their way through the trees to join Ceri. They were still far enough ahead of the next closest patrol that they should meet up with Ceri and be gone from here before anything happened.

That was, until she saw Aeolis pull his bow up and fire another bolt. Blinking, she looked to her right and saw two more patrols coming at them from that direction in the trees. Apparently they had been out on patrol earlier and were returning when they heard the horns call for action.

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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:52 am

Saul felt the slight shift in the wind, as he observed Draconian soldier with a red cloak, raise his arm and the other three stop suddenly.



Bringing the bow up slowly, he watched as the Draconians spread out and began to advance on where he knew Cerdiwyn was hiding. Bracing his foot on a branch, Saul drew a deep breath, let it out slowly, then took another in. Pulling the string back until the head of the arrow nearly touched the bow, his eyes focused down the shaft of the arrow, aiming it at one of the soldiers, who had what club like object in his claw like hand. Centering on the exposed space between the body armor of the Draconian soldier and his elongated jaw.

.

When he heard the missive in his head, Saul let the first bolt fly, then with the speed of a buzzing mosquito, he brought the second arrow from his mouth, notched it, pulling the shaft back until the tip nearly touched the bow and let it fly. The first arrow had just struck the Draconian in the throat when the second struck just slightly lower. The Draconian turned to stone and fell forward. As Saul leapt from the pine to the ground he was already reaching for another arrow, having it notched as he his feet hit the pine needle covered ground, taking aim at another soldier that was running towards Kellan as he ran. He heard the war horn, as he saw Kellan fell a Draconian. Turning his head as heard Aeolis yell ”They have alerted the entire army! Clear out!” as he let loose with a flurry of arrows. As more war horns sound and echoed across the field. Saul looked around as he witnessed Aeolis’ arrows fell several more Draconians. Saul slung the bow over his shoulder and drew his blade as he ran towards Kellan and the advancing Draconians.

He swung his balde, as a Draconian soldier, who had advance on Kellan's back, as he raised his war mallet to strike. Sauls blade cut cleanly through the Draconians neck severing it's head. The beast turned instantly to stone and fell to the ground.

“Do these things sprout from the very rocks? he asked and then added “I think they know we are here Lady Kellan.” Saul said.
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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:11 pm


Ceridwyn heard Aeolis’ calm voice enter her head and she sent back a single word that hit his and Kellan’s minds, ~ “Yes.” ~ She remained exactly where she was as Kellan caused the diversion and she saw arrows begin to fly from Aeolis and Saul. The moment the attention was off her she sprung to her feet and began to bound across the snow, keeping an eye on Kellan, Aeolis and Saul. Her petite frame and light footedness made her look like a deer fleeing from a predator as she quickly ran over the top of the crusty snow. She was about half way back to Aeolis when the horns began to blare and she felt her stomach knot up for obvious reasons… this was not good. She caught the sight of Aeolis springing from the trees and he saw Saul do the same almost simultaneously, both heading directly towards Kellan who was now engaged in hand to hand combat with the Draconians. She could hear the horns beginning to sound out all around them, just what they needed, a whole small army of bored soldiers who suddenly had something to kill.

She was closing in on the fallen oak when she felt an arrow pass through her robes. It never hit flesh but the sound of the fabric tearing caused her to miss her step and she hit the snow with a heavy thud and the air was knocked from her lungs as she slid to a halt. She looked up and to her right, the direction that was behind her as she was laying down. A group of five more soldiers, all human were bearing down on her fast, one was reloading his bow while the other four were charging her with swords drawn and the thirst for blood in their eyes. She threw the handful of reagents that she had drawn from her robes long ago into the air and hissed words of magic, the four soldiers rushing her fell face first into the snow, hit directly by the sleep spell. The fifth however had been out of her line of sight due to the advancing four and was unaffected. As his comrades fell his face became enraged, not knowing if they were dead or just unconscious, but Ceridwyn had just made herself priority target one to any of the advancing army by revealing she was a wizard. The man let his arrow loose and Ceridwyn ducked. It was an errant shot due to his anger but she knew his next would not be. She scrambled to her feet and began to bound across the snow again, taking cover behind the fallen oak where the man could not see her.

She spoke to all three of their minds simultaneously, ~“My plan was to pre-prepare the circle so we could come back to it and escape quickly… so much for well laid plans. I will prepare the spell back here so I have the best amount of cover and I…. by the gods…. BEHIND US!!!! FROST GIANT!!!” ~

The thundering of feet began to shake the ground with impact tremors as the 15 foot tall, heavily metal armored creature seemingly appeared out of nowhere. He looked more like a wall of moving metal than a living things by how much armor he was wearing. In his right hand he held a massive battle mace that looked large enough to crush a human and have him disappear unseen under it’s might head. He had six humans with him, all heavily armored as well and the group was bearing down on them. They were still about 120 meters away but were closing as fast as they could in the half meter deep snow. The Frost Giant however was closing in faster as his long legs allowed him to run over the top of the snow.

Ceridwyn felt her heartbeat increasing in her chest and she forced herself to calm down. The Giant was looking right at her, his black eyes focused on the white outline of her clothing against the dark log. An arrow whizzed over her head from the human that was approaching from her right and she knew she didn’t have time to prepare the transportation spell with all this going on around them. She could hear the sound of metal smashing against metal as Aeolis and Kellan engaged the Draconians and reinforcements head on and she spoke again in missive, ~ ”No time to prepare the spell, we will need to take care of the Giant and try to move back to a better defensible position!” ~ She realized what she said was completely stupid, they were surrounded on all sides by enemies she could SEE and the soldiers that were rallying to the call of the horns could be heard in all directions. She swallowed hard and turned to look back at the Frost Giant. He was no less than 70 meters away now, and closing fast.

She reached into her robes and removed a handful of reagents and released them into the air as she hissed words of magic. The inertia spell left her hands and the snow bustled underneath it as the energy moved between herself and the Frost Giant. The spell hit him and he grunted as his progress was slowed. He stumbled back but was only affected about two seconds as he lurched forward again, heading straight for her. He was still well out of striking distance but he grabbed the mace with both hands and brought it up over his head, obviously intent on crushing Ceridwyn with one single drop of his weapon.




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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:42 pm





Kellan knew things were going to get a lot worse before they got better. Right now, all she wanted was to make sure Ceri made it to a location she could get the regents sprinkled and concentrate on casting the spell that would allow them escape. However, as she saw the soldiers now swarming them from all sides, the direness of the situation just grew expeditiously.

Kellan glanced over to see Ceri stumble and she felt a moments panic rise in her chest but the wizard was crafty and she saw the soldiers fall to the ground, their faces buried in the snow. However, the last one was still charging and firing bows at the wizard. Kellan caught the Draconian’s blade in such a way he couldn’t get it back right away and she yelled over at Saul.

”SHOOT HIM BEFORE HE SHOOTS HER!!”

And then she heard Ceri’s missive. As the ground began to shake beneath her feet with each step the massive giant took, she glanced over the shoulder of one of the Draconians she was fighting to see the thing making double time across the deep snow and headed directly for Ceridwyn. Her sword crossed that of the Draconians several more times and the air was filled with shouts, the sing song of metal striking metal and the whiz of arrows being fired from taut bows.

Aeolis had to forget his bow now and engaged blade for blade with the Draconians and soldiers that were now advancing from all directions. He knew they had to hurry and get the hell out of here before it was too late for all of them. As he heard Ceri’s missive, she spun and saw the giant heading down the hell towards her. He was quickly reminded his enemy was not dead by the sharp pain that erupted on his upper arm. A thin line of blood appeared on his tunis sleeve and he charged the beast slashing and hacking.

As the Draconian fell and turned to stone, Aeolis looked back to see the beast raising his axe to crush Ceri when he reached her. As Kellan fell another soldier, this one human, Aeolis ran behind her.

”Cover me!”

Without thinking, Kellan quickly engaged the soldiers and held them off for Aeolis as he instructed. As the sound of battle erupted around him again, Aeolis drew his bow and brought the pointed tip of the arrow to his lips. He hissed words of magic and the bolt erupted in flame, but not just any flame. He drew the bolt back and took careful aim on the Frost Giant as he stomped across the ground all of his attention focused on Ceri.

With one last tug on the string, Aeolis let the bolt fly. It left a trail of bright light in it’s wake making it look like a shooting star zooming across the sky. As the arrow arched through the sky, he held his breath and prayed silently to Solinari his aim was true. As the arrow began its descent, the Frost Giant reared back with his mighty axe just as the arrow embedded into the ground a foot in front of him and instantly erupted into blinding light.

The beast howled in pain as the light burned his eyes coming to a sudden stop and lowering his axe to shield his eyes from the light that hurt him so badly. It was but a moments reprise as the light from the burst would be fading soon but it was enough to keep the thing from charging Ceri. Aeolis quickly sent a missive to her then.

~GO MEL’AMIN! IT IS BUT A MOMENTS SET BACK!~

Kellan’s cloak and armor were spattered with blood and ichor from the fighting she was doing with the soldiers. As the brilliant light erupted behind her, she dared not ause to look but her opponent did and it was his undoing as her blade found that one place along the side that made the man vulnerable. As he gurgled and blood erupted from his lips, she used her foot to shove him off her blade then went to engage another only to feel Aeolis’ hand tug her shoulder.

”Come! We need to try and put some space between us so we can hold them back for Ceri! SAUL! This way!”

As Saul turned to run Aeolis fired a bolt over the young man’s shoulder striking a human soldier between the eyes and knocking him down instantly. This was certainly not the way Aeolis had hoped to end this mission and he was certain Kellan was feeling the same way right now.

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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:10 pm


Saul, with his blade still held aloft, heard Ceridwyn's voice in his head again and turned around to see the Frost Giant approach, stagger back as it was hit by a blast of snow. The stagger forward raising it mace above it's head. Saul quickly sheathed his word, reached up and unslung his bow. With his other hand he brought an arrow from his quiver, fitted the bolt to the string, pulled it back and let the bolt fly. The arrow flew straight and hard striking the soldier, advancing on Ceridwyn in the eye. He fell forward in a pool of red snow. Then suddenly there was a brilliant flash of blinding light. As he heard Aeolis say "SAUL! This way!”, he turned to run he felt the feathers of an arrow brush his cheek. Turning his head slightly he watched as a human soilder fell to the ground. Saul turned his head back around without loosing stride and nodded his thanks to Aeolis. Saul followed, firing bolts as rapidly as he could, as he followed Aeolis and Kellan. It was then that he felt a sharp pain in his left shoulder, looking down the point of an arrow protruded just below his collar bone of his bow arm. Reaching around he grabbed the bolt of the arrow in one hand, placing his thumb against the shaft grimmacing, he snapped the shaft down. Breaking it off and throwing it to the ground, leaving a portion of the shaft in his shoulder with the point proturding.. Without loosing a stride he continued to run and fire.
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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:46 pm


Ceridwyn began to move again, because of her position and the fact she was the only one not directly engaging the enemy soldiers she was quickly out front. The Frost Giant was reeling around clutching at its eyes and the soldiers that were behind it split as one of them pointed at Ceridwyn. Four headed straight for Aeolis, Kellan and Saul while two peeled off and started making their way through the snow to cut her off. Fortunately she was able to move quicker across the snow due to her small size and natural nimble abilities however she wasn’t paying attention to how much distance she had in fact put between herself and the rest of the party.

She heard the two soldiers shouting as they were attempting to catch her and then suddenly a sharp pain surrounded her mid-calf and wound down to her ankles. The impact of the metal balls on the ends of the snare hit her ankle bone and she gasped in pain. She struggled to untangle herself but the hemp rope was tight and wouldn’t budge. She spun onto her back and saw the two men closing fast now that she was on the ground and she reached into her robes and flung two polished stones into the air and hissed words of magic. The stones glowed softly and shot out towards the two soldiers, before they knew it the stones and smashed into their chests and both men fell over, coughing blood and crawling in extreme pain. Their plate metal chest pieces had stopped the stones from penetrating but both were now going to have to nurse several cracked and busted ribs. She reached into her belt and removed the small dagger she carried and cut herself free from the snare and get back to her feet. Her ankle bone was horrifically sore and she began to move as fast as her wound would allow her.

She circled around so that the Hill Giant was between herself and the party. The massive lumbering creature was flailing around, swinging its hands and growling loudly. She couldn’t see what was happening as the Giant was obscuring her vision but she assumed Kellan, Aeolis or Saul was engaging the creature directly. With a shaky hand she reached into her robe and removed a medium sized purple velvet bag. She began to pour out the contents in a wide circle, large enough for all four of them to stand in and she kept pausing to look up at the battle around them. The snow was bright crimson and green from the blood of the dying and dead. Ceridwyn caught the wound on Aeolis’ arm and for the first time realized he was injured. She hurried as best she could while making sure the circle was precisely as it should be and she stood and began to move towards them.

She screamed as the arrow caught her in the back of the thigh and she went to her knees as the arrow head sunk about two centimeters into her flesh. Luckily she had been wearing such thick clothing that the energy of the arrow was absorbed quickly, but she was still penetrated and the pain was intense. She felt involuntary tears streaming down her cheeks and she got to her feet, spinning to face the human who was standing in the clearing and was drawing a second arrow. He was dressed in much lighter armor than the other soldiers and carried only a short sword, obviously his specialty was striking from distance. She could see his eyes narrow and she could hear the tightening of the string against the limbs of the bow. In what seemed like slow motion he released the arrow and it sang with a whistle as it arced rapidly through the air, aimed at the center of her chest. She brought up her hands and hissed words of magic, a half sphere of light erupting from her palms and filled the space in front of her with shimmering golden light. The arrow came to a halt and hovered in the air as the light passed over it and the man’s eyes went wide. He reached back and withdrew a third arrow from the quiver on his back and set the noc to the string. He was pulling the string back as Ceridwyn drew her hands back and then thrust them in his direction. The light exploded forth and shot in a wave across the landscape in front of her. The man was blown back and hit the ground as the arrow was loosed into the sky above him, his eyes instantly turned to grey as his life left his body.

Ceridwyn reached up and pointed her hand towards the arrow in the sky. She closed her hand into a fist and the arrow arched downwards and continued to fly. She spun and thrust her hand towards a human that was closing rapidly unseen on Saul as he was running towards her. The arrow whizzed over Saul’s head and hit the man directly in the left eye. He collapsed in a heap on the ground, his sword falling softly into the snow. She noted the arrow sticking out of his collar bone and shook her head, this was getting worse faster than they could keep up.

A quick survey around the landscape and there was now about 40 soldiers, both Draconian and Human coming to bare on them. The Frost Giant was beginning to regain his composure and was looking for his weapon. She realized that she was wrong, none of them were engaging the creature, he was simply flailing blindly to keep anything from getting close, now that he was able to see again he was enraged, picking up his massive mace he spun and was preparing to come at them again.

Ceridwyn moved as fast as she could, the blood starting to soak through her white clothing and she took up position in the circle. She was exhausted from casting and knew she was risking it by doing what she had to do, but better were the odds to save three and die than all four die in the snow. She inhaled deeply and yelled, “FALL IN AROUND ME!! CREATE A DEFENSE I AM GOING TO BEGIN CHANTING THE SPELL AND I CAN’T BE INTERUPTED!!!”

Before they were even in the circle she reached into her robes and removed the scroll with the complicated transportation spell written on it. She inhaled deeply again and her voice began to penetrate over the sounds of battle, metal clanking, and horns blaring. She began to hiss the ancient tongue of magic and had marked with small stick three x’s in the snow where the rest of them were to stand when they arrived.



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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:52 pm





Kellan cursed under her breath with every step she took. They had to give Ceri what ever time she needed to get the spell ready to get back to Heartlund but at this rate, they’d never be able to get back. Great, she thought, some good spy I make. I can’t even last a few hours near the enemy without causing trouble bringing down the whole force on our heads.

As they began to thin out the soldiers that had come up behind and to the right of them, Kellan began to feel a little bit of breathing room could actually be gained. If they could just get far enough ahead of the masses to find a place to hide so Ceri could get them back. That’s all she wanted at this point. Commander Fairwind would have to be happy with the information Kellan had to give her, which wasn’t much. Other than the enemy had some Giant working on their side. Why couldn’t they play fair? Was that asking for too much?

Kellan didn’t have time to debate that question as she saw clear forest ahead of her and heard less noise of the enemy around her. It meant they were going to be able to find that place to stand off so they could protect Ceri as she prepared the casting of the spell. Kellan was glad too. She was by no means out of shape but fighting like this in deep snow then trying to run through it took a toll on one’s body and she was starting to feel her muscles begin to ache.

On top of that, she was going to be sporting some bruises from the hand to hand fighting she’s been doing with the soldiers. Not all fighting is with swords. From time to time her enemy lashed out with fists and maces as well. One in particular got her attention when she felt it slam into the armor that kept her back protected. It hurt to take a deep breath sometimes and she was sure it was going to have a rather good sized bruise there. Oh well. It went with the territory. And while she would never admit this freely, something inside of her needed this release of anger upon these enemy soldiers. Since the news of Liam’s death after the appearance of those terrible towers, she’d felt like she would burst at any moment hiding her grief and anger inside. All she needed was an outlet and by the Gods if she hadn’t found one.

By now, Ceri had put some distance between them and herself and for that Kellan was glad. Hopefully she was able to give the wizard the time she needed. But as fate would see to it, things began to change again and Kellan saw that small window of opportunity starting to close yet again. Dammit, I can’t let this happen. Not now. She looked at Saul and Aeolis, They were both injured and weakening. They had to quickly get out of here.

Yelling at the top of her lungs, Kellan ordered them to fall back and quickly.

”FALL BACK! Lay down suppressing fire with your bows! Use already used ones if you have to but we need to quickly get to Ceri!”

Sheathing her sword, Kellan picked up a bow from a fallen soldier as well as his quiver of arrows and started firing into the oncoming soldiers. She wasn’t aiming at any one soldier, she was just aiming into the group to pick off as many as she could at one time between turning and running in the direction she saw Ceri run in.

Aeolis was growing tired. More mentally than physically. He was frustrated these soldiers descended upon the small group like dire wolves who hadn’t eaten in days. They attacked almost blindly and he could see excitement in many of their eyes, like they had been bored for far too long and now had something to play with. As he heard Kellan’s orders, he looked over at Saul ans nodded back towards the way they had come.

”Do not bother to aim now, Saul! Just shoot into the group! Our bolts will find targets on their own!”

He began firing and then turn to run for a little ways before turning to fire again. The three of them worked like a well oiled machine. Kellan would run as Saul and Aeolis fired then Aeolis would run and Saul and Kellan fired then Saul would run and Kellan and Aeolis fired. They did this all the way to the point where Aeolis saw the trap Ceri had triggered. His heart sank as he saw her tracks and how she favored one foot over the other.

Finally they could see Ceri and as she yelled at them to gather around, Aeolis immediately saw the drops of crimson staining the ground under her. He fired three more bolts then turned and ran the rest of the way to reach Ceri just as he heard her begin the incantation of the spell.

Kellan heard Ceri’s shout and she yelled at Saul.

”MOVE IT! NOW! Get to the Elves! I’ll hold them off! Cover me when you get there!”

There was no room for argument in her words and the look she gave Saul told him she would shoot him herself if he didn’t follow her orders. She dropped to one knee then and fired a few more bolts and glanced back over her shoulder. She saw Aeolis firing again then shouting at her to hurry up. She turned and started running towards the Elves seeing Saul and Aeolis stand in two of the three spots Ceri had marked out for them.

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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:08 pm


"I have sworn to protect you and your allies." Saul stated in protest, then saw the look in Kellan's eyes, he nodded and ran to the circle, knelt on one of the crossed sticks, reached into his quiver and withdrew an arrow. He notched it to the string. pulled back and let the arrow fly, then reached for another and repeated the process rapidly after about a dozen, he reached back and felt nothing. The quiver was empty, cursing, he dropped his bow and drew a throwing star from his belt. Throwing it side armed with his right arm. The instant it left his hand he reached for another, then another. The color in his face began to drain as his vision blurred. Yet he stood firm and continued to throw yet another star.
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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:43 pm



Ceridwyn was beginning to channel the spell, the scroll lay on the ground between her knees and she was focusing her casting on the circle. She knew she had one chance to get this right, the lives of all those around her was at stake, there was no way they could maintain this sort of attack for much longer. She could feel the exhaustion in her body, the throbbing pain in her ankle and leg was trying as hard as it could to distract her, to cause her to lose focus and slip in the precise words and hand motions that were necessary to get them back to Heartlund. Her face was pale and her voice cracked softly through the words, but she pressed on, she was going as slow as she could to buy time for the three of them. She saw Aeolis take position beside her, and then Saul.

She watched, concentrating on the scroll, glancing up every few seconds as she saw Kellan making her way towards them… her mind was screaming as she stayed the final words, maintaining the gentle flow of magic that was intensifying around them. Ceridwyn’s body was quivering as the kinetic power of the magic built inside her, she felt her eyes watering as she looked across the field, Kellan was coming… she was coming… Kellan turned and fired her last arrow and made a mad dash, 20 meters, ten… eight… Ceridywn’s heartbeat was causing her mind to sway, her mouth was dry and she began to hiss the final words, the reagents around them flared to life…. six meters…. four meters… yes Kellan, come, the timing is perfect, we are going home.

The thud of a mace ricocheting off Kellan’s armor sounded off in the crisp morning air like a gong. The ring rose above the sound of the battle and echoed off the trees as the spell fired off, the column of light shot to the sky, Ceridwyn had that one brief second to see Kellan’s face as she spell finalized. She saw the look of anguish in Kellan’s face, her eyes going desperately wide as mace bounced off her side, as she reached for the circle and her chest hit the snow, the pain in her face as her ribs snapped and punctured her lungs, the cough as blood splattered across her rosy lips. Ceridwyn’s scream didn’t escape her mouth until her feet were back under her two seconds later and the three of them were standing in the courtyard of Heartlund Keep. Ceridwyn screamed and clutched at Kellan, her hand grasped at the hand that was just there and found nothing but snow… Kellan had been left behind.

--

The soldier saw what was happening, and though he was aiming for the wizard the trajectory of his heavy, two handed weapon caught the soft spot under the arms of the Lady Knight. Several of the soldiers cheered and sprinted towards her. Kellan’s slide came to a stop dead in the middle of the circle, the smell of burning reagents filled her nostrils and the blur of the pain and the smell of the smoke caused her head to become fuzzy. She could hear the muffled sound of dozens of feet coming at her, the heavy thuds of the lumbering Frost Giant as he approached, the cheers and the excruciating pain in her side as the massive dent in her armor which tore open her flesh throbbed with every beat of her heart.

The soldier who threw the mace reached her first and flipped her over, his eyes were hungry for blood, but were also hungry for her. He laughed ferociously as he grabbed her by the throat and he howled with delight, “LOOKS LIKE WE GET A BLOND PRIZE IN THE END LADS!!!”

The man’s head lifted off his body and disappeared into the sky as the sound of thundering wings suddenly filled the air and the impact of four massive feet on all sides of Kellan rumbled across the ground. The lifeless body slumped over and fell to the ground and Kellan’s world was suddenly engulfed in a soft shadow. The sun blotted out and all she could see were the metallic scales of a silver belly above her radiating comforting heat. The scales rippled and flexed as the body of the dragon standing over her twitched and assessed the situation.




The light suddenly returned to Kellan’s eyes as Nol charged the Frost Giant first. It took less than two seconds for the 15 foot tall creature to die three feet shorter, its massive head rolling across the ground as the body fell with a loud thud. Next Nol came back in her direction and the dragon fear was now beginning to grip the humans. They had dropped their weapons and were scattering as the natural aura of fear that all dragons possess radiated outward from him. The Draconians however were unaffected and a dozen charged at once from all sides. Nol was a blur as wings, tail, head and front claws lashed in all directions, the screams of dying Draconians filled the air as the heat from his heavy breathing began to melt the snow under his chin. A sudden blast of cold shot forth from his mouth and the last four Draconians were frozen solid in their tracks.

Kellan’s limp body felt the cradling of Nol’s grasp as he put his two front claws gently around her body and the thumping of massive wings caused the earth below them to shudder. His body lifted off the ground, Kellan in his grasp and he flew South East towards his home.



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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:08 pm


Saul saw the pain and anguish if Kellan's face just after the mace fell upon her side. He started to leap when everything around him turned to a brilliant aura of lite. The next instant he was on one knee with his sword drawn, an arrow in his hand, the tip stuck in the earth of the fortress of Heatlund. "NOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!" he screamed, as he glared at Ceriwyn, then the world spun and he fell face down in the courtyard. The world turned grey then black as he passed out from lack of blood.
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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:15 pm


Kellan felt the air rush from her lungs as she saw the ground rapidly coming towards her. The soldier's hit with the giant mace to her side so forceful she felt as though she'd been knocked into another place and time. Someone was screaming at her but all she could do was struggle for air back into her lungs. She could hear a gurgling sound and she felt something warm ease from her lips.

When the thudding boots reached her and she heard the sound of the mans voice talk about the prize they had just won and turned her over, she groaned in a feeble attempt top scream in pain. A warm, sticky sensation began to creep around her midsection and with every short, panted breath she took she heard more gurgling and felt a sharp, piercing pain in her side.

Her armor suddenly felt constrictive and she was trying as hard as she could to claw the metal off her chest as she felt a heavy weight on her restricting her breathing. Her bleary eyes saw the mans head leave his body and she stopped struggling with her armor to watch his head for as long as she could.

As the sun was bocked out, allowing her to see better (when her vision cleared that is) she saw the silvery scales and felt the heat that was so familiar to her. Her left arm reached out to touch the heat but she was too far away and every time she tried to move her right one she felt excruciating pain once more and she winced to keep from screaming out in pain.

She drifted in and out of consciousness as she heard and watched the fight as best she could. She began to shiver as she felt the warm stickiness engulf her midsection. Her body began to shiver involuntarily and she coughed. The pain was even worse in her side now and when she coughed, she felt a foam like substance on her lips then trickle down her cheek.

She was dying, that much she knew, And she knew who the savior in silver was. She tried to smile letting him know in someway she was aware he was there and she was more than thankful. Somewhere on the horizon she heard her name being called and she dared to look beyond the red and green stained snow to see Liam standing on a hillside. He was so far away she couldn't make out his face but she knew it was him. Tears stung her eyes as she saw her brother standing proudly. If he was standing there then he was not suffering. Of that she could cross to the other side now.

The ground turned crimson around her and as Nol lifted her in his claws and gained altitude, blood poured ominously from her armor and stained the ground even more with her precious life's fluid. As she watched the ground below her growing further and further away, she whispered hoarsely into the air knowing Nol would hear her.

"I....love you......Nol....."

Blackness overtook her then.






Aeolis continued to fire at the enemy until he had no arrows left. As Ceri chanted the spell, he yelled for Kellan to keep moving and not stop. He was so focused on her reaching them he didn't see the soldier come from his left side and swing his giant mace at Kellan as though he were batting away a pesky bug.

He heard the impact of the hit and saw Kellan's body instantly stopped by the impact of the hit. He heard the air rush from her lugs and the cracking of several bones. He screamed and reached for her at the same time Ceri did but all he got was a handful of snow when they appeared in the courtyard of Heartlund.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

He looked around at the startled people that had been scared witless when they just suddenly appeared out of no where. He saw Ceri reaching for the snow as well and looked around frantically. He saw a young squire staring at the wide eyed and he snapped the young man out of his stupor.

"GO GET SIR TRYSTAN AND LADY ROSE IMMEDIATELY! AND FIND THE OTHER WIZARDS!"

He looked at another soldier just standing there and snapped at him.

"YOU! Help the young man. Bring him and follow me."

Gathering Ceri up into his arms, Aeolis forced himself to his feet and started for the Keep itself. His arms trembled and he choked back tears, swallowing hard. He kept his vision focused on what was ahead of him.

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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:01 pm


Nol felt her blood dripping down his claws and he looked down as she whispered. His Draconic face looked with concern but a smile formed and he spoke to her mind, his voice was as soft as she ever remembered, and she began to feel the warmth of magic surround them, “Hang on my love… my gift... hang on…!”

There was a silver flash of light as the dragon and the human in his claws disappeared from sight, a Draconian Officer standing the middle of the ruins of North Keep hissed to his second in command as they vanished, “Gather the troops… we are heading out.” He stroked his scaly chin as he continued to look into the sky where the silver dragon just was and whispered to himself, “So the metallic dragons have decided to get involved, Her Dark Majesty will want to know this.”

Nol and Kellan appeared over the city of Claren Elian on the Misty Isle, also known as the Isle of Dragons. It was hidden by centuries of enchantments and only those permitted were allowed within its proximity. Nol called to the dragons below him as he landed, “Call the healer! Call her immediately!”

The dragons, most of them choosing to use their humanoid forms stepped aside as he landed and shifted to his Elven form. He unbuckled Kellan’s armor and threw it aside as she weakly looked up at him trying to smile. Her eyes barely opened and he knew she was still unconscious and simply fighting death, the act of her smile was most likely a reaction more than an intentional act. He inhaled deeply as he cradled her in his arms and pressed his hand to the wound in her side. He whispered over and over, “Hand on Kellan, help is coming…” She woke and looked up at him, attempting to lift her arm and speak, he grasped at her hand and listened as a small gurgle escaped her lips and the light of life left her eyes. Her hand fell limp to the stone and her head rolled softly to the side as her vacant eyes stared across the courtyard.

He could feel the shattered bone and his hand was warm with her blood. He sobbed softly and finally after what seemed days he heard the sound of feet hitting the ground approaching rapidly. He looked up through his tears at Raju, the Priestess of Mishikal arrived. He spoke through his grief, his voice soft and grief stricken, barely an audible whisper, “She is gone.”

Raju looked at Nol, her piercing grey eyes focused on his and she whispered, “Yes Nol, she has left this life. It will only be by the will of the goddess should she be healed.” Nol inhaled deeply and pulled Kellan into his chest, his sobs erupted through the finely laid marble courtyard and Raju knelt beside him as she placed a hand on his arm, “She is strong, that much is obvious in her face, by Mishikal’s will she will live again. Set her down.”

Nol laid her down as gently as he had ever held her, his eyes looking at her blood speckled cheeks and gritty forehead. The gash in her side was massive, how she managed to live as long as she did was a mystery to him. He looked up at Raju as she pulled back the sticky, blood soaked fabric. Reaching to her chest, Raju grasped and lifted the medallion of Mishikal from around her neck and placed it on Kellan’s chest. She closed her eyes and placed her hands on Kellan, one over her heart, the other over her head. She began to pray in a whisper, [i]“Mishikal, long ago you graced all of Krynn with your Priests and Priestess, the embodiment of your divine, healing light. You charged us to go into the world, to heal, cure, ease the load and reduce the suffering on our world. In your mercy, and by your will, if this Lady Knight of the Order of the Solamnia is to walk further still and her light was snuffed out early, restore her broken body and return her from the Abyss.”

Nol grapsed desperately at her left hand, he watched her face as Raju prayed and he saw the Medallion of the Priestess begin to glow with a soft blue light. It pulsed gently and began to flow over Kellan’s body, her stiff, cold fingers began to feel warm again and Nol watched as the gaping wound in her side closed itself up, stitched back together with new flesh and without a scar. Nol’s eyes went wide and he sobbed softly as she moaned and reached up, her hand grasping and finding the robes of Raju, wrapping her fingers around the soft, silken embroidery and she began to breathe again.


Trystan came running, he burst into the infirmary and saw Aeolis huddled over Ceridwyn as the surgeon was pulling back the numerous layers of clothing to look at her wounded leg. He also saw Saul, unconscious and being attended to by another set of medics. He ran over to Aeolis, “WHERE? WHERE IS KELLAN?!?”

Aeolis said nothing, his bloodied face simply sank and Trystan felt numb. He spun and flexed his hands open and closed. He inhaled deeply and turned again, Aeolis looked up at him and Trystan spoke, his voice calm but full of extreme concern over the answer he knew he was about o hear, “Is she dead?”

Just then, before Aeolis had the chance to answer he heard the door open behind him and the sound of boot steps on the wooden floor, boot steps he recognized as his Commander, Lady Rose.



Kali had just sent Rayann to Glen Durel when a Squire came running into the War Room, “Miss Ceridwyn, please come! HURRY!”

She was taken aback immediately and lifted the front of her robes so she could keep up with the young man. Her head was pounding as it was from exhaustion, she was barely able to keep up and was winded as they stopped out in front of the Infirmary. She looked at him and her face went pale… “By the gods no…” She dashed forward and pushed the door open, practically knocking Lady Rose over as she burst into the room, quickly assessing the faces she saw her eyes began to well up almost immediately when she didn’t see Kellan. One look over at Trystan and her suspicion was confirmed, she walked over to him and grabbed him, holding him tightly.



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PostSubject: Re: 16: For Solamnia   Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:05 pm


There was nothing but darkness. All around her. She felt as though she had fallen into an endless cavern of nothingness. No sound. No air moving. No light. Kellan wondered if this was death and if so, where was her family to greet her? She wanted to se them all again. After all, it was only fair they were reunited in this life. But apparently that wasn’t to be the case.

She heard a voice in the distance and she recognized it as Nol’s and several times she tried to call for him but something kept her from vocalizing. She was growing angry at the fact she couldn’t talk to him and she began to panic when his voice faded. What in the name of Paladine was going on here?! , she thought. I have a right to know! It’s my death!

Just then she saw a faint light that slowly grew brighter and brighter and bluer and bluer. In fact, it was growing so bright she had to lift her arm and shield her eyes so she could keep looking at it. AS the light intensified, Kellan felt a warmth begin to penetrate her very being. It was almost as though she had immersed herself into a tub full of warm water but there was no liquid.

Finally the light grew too bright for her to look at and she closed her eyes tilting her head back to bask in the warmth of this beautiful, blue light. It was so comforting she took a deep breath and let it out slowly, allowing a contended moan slip past her lips.

Her hand reached out to see if she could touch this warm light and she felt a soft cloth and her fingers instinctively curled around it. It wasn’t as soft as Nol’s tunic but it was still soft all the same. Nol….she felt tears sting her eyes at the fact she would never see him again. If this was death then why was she so sad and crying? You weren’t supposed to cry when you die. Are you?

Another deep breath and her fingers released the grip on the soft cloth as she began to feel an incredible, almost sensual warmth from her side. Her head lulled and she could hear a heartbeat and she smiled, swallowing softly. Something terrible tasting in her mouth made her cough and she furrowed her brows. You coughed when you died?

The blue light still surrounded her as she heard the soft sobs of another slowly getting louder. Her brows furrowed again and she wondered who was crying so heartbrokenly. She heard a soft, feminine voice now almost chanting softly. All around her she began to pick up on things of a conscious mind and Kellan fluttered her eyes open to stare at……..people?.

She felt a hand holding her left one and her fingers instinctively curled around that hand. Finally her eyes began to focus a little more and she turned her head slightly to see Nol…..covered in blood. Her eyes flew open and she tried to sit up as she called his name, her right hand frantically searching for the wound she knew he HAD to have.

”By the Gods, Nol……are you alright?!”

She saw his tear filled eyes and his wet cheeks as he looked down at her smiling, nodding. Things began to come back to her then in a rush and she felt as if she were going to vomit. It was through her sheer will she kept herself from doing that. Looking down at herself then she saw all the blood that still covered her but the pain of her wounds was almost completely gone. She saw the woman kneeling next to her and looked over at Nol confused.

”The others? Did they….make it?”

She was dreading hearing the news but she knew she had to hear it. That’s when it really hit her. She looked down at herself again and then looked up at him with wide eyes. Her face, while it hadn’t been restored to it’s normal coloring, seemed to grow pale again. She saw the woman’s robes and the color of them and then saw the medallion that now rested in her lap.

”What happened to me?”
She knew what happened to her, but she needed to know what happened to her AFTER she had been struck.






Aeolis couldn’t bring himself to face Trystan but he knew he had to. He shoved the medical staff off him and ordered them to focus on Ceridwyn and Saul. His wounds were not as bad and could easily wait. As he saw Trystan’s hurt filled gaze pin him to the spot, he’d just opened his mouth to tell Trystan about Kellan when Rose entered the room followed shortly there after by Kali.

AS Kali grabbed a hold of Trystan and held him tightly, Aeolis looked to Rose, straightened, saluted her and bowed his head respectfully. He glanced to Trystan then to Rose as he spoke in a choked voice about the last time he saw Kellan.

”When we left, she was still alive, but she would not be for long. Her wounds were mortal, of that I am certain. I pray to the Gods she passed to the next life before…..”

He could not say the rest of the sentence and he silently begged Rose and Trystan to let him off with just that.

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16: For Solamnia
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Bifrost Bridge - Best Storytelling :: PORTALS OF ASGARD - Other worldly tales :: Shards of Krynn :: Shards of Krynn Book 1-
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