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 Ch 17: Assault

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serredeth

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:08 pm



Her laughter subsiding Piramay looked to Fifth and nodded her head "Indeed... I admit I had reservations."

Her eyes shifted back to the woman before her with an almost mirthful look. She watched the shadow and flames twist and wrap around Kali's arm. With a chuckles she stepped away to the lookout edge observing the landscape. She took in the sweet scent of destruction and let her senses stretch out. "Of course we'll will have to deal with a few distractions before we can put our plans into motion."

She looked back at the pair "Now that we have awakened the Queen is certain to make a move. She doesn't take kindly to her subordinates going off to pursue their own grand designs. I am certain a force will soon be forthcoming to convince us to return to the fold." She looked back in the direction of Heartlund with a smirk. "On that same note whomever she sends will more than likely make a move on those intellectually challenged knights first before turning their attention our way."

Her fingers tapped upon the stone as she thought the matter over further but she did not say anything else. She simply watched in silence still as stone. It was a show of patience that was quite out of character for her capricious nature. Yet there she stood silent and watchful her mind shifting and calculating. Something had changed during her seven weeks of slumber and it was hard for her to put a finger on what exactly that was. She was aware of what had happened to her after the completion of the ritual and she wondered if Fifth knew the extent of the damage the spell had caused. With a snort she brushed these thoughts aside spinning around her robes swishing as she did with a smile firmly planted and fire in the depths of her eyes.
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:49 pm


Gregor had walked to the rear of the army to the wagon that carried his things. Gregor removed what appeared to be a small bale of grass or herbs. The bale was a gray/green in color and tied with black twine. Gregor walked back to the front of the group of soldiers and Draconians. Walking to the fire nearest where the mage woman sat Gregor tossed the small bale into the fire.

The strong bitter smell of the rare incense began to build in the cold air. A dark brown smoke emanated from the fire and drifted around everyone near the fire. The smell was strong but not all together foul, it's scent was like nothing that the soldiers, or Nevaeh had ever smelled before. Nidhug knew the smell for Gregor had often relied on it's effects to bolster his spell casting abilities. The incense hung thick in the air and anyone who took it's scent in would feel their heads swim a bit but in a good way. The rare herbs had a calming effect and for Gregor the effects ran even deeper.

Gregor stood by the fire taking long breaths of the brown smoke. Gregor stood so close to the fire that he drew the smoke straight into his chest and exhaled some of it from his nostrils. Gregor's pupils crept to edge of his eyes, they seemed to be all black glowing red at the very edges. Gregor turned his eyes from the fire and incense and seemed to become aware of how truly cold it had become.

Gregor stretched his arms out to his sides and began to move his lips, the words could not be heard as Gregor cast his spell, brown smoke drifted from his lips and nostrils as he released the magic. The area around the fires were now protected from the bitter wind and frigid temperatures. The spell did not make things warm but kept the cold away and allowed the large fires to be fully appreciated. The soldiers looked around them in awe of this feat, many of them put the hoods of their cloaks down a few took their helmets off to fully take in the spectacle. The snow fell upon Gregor's field of magic as if it were sliding down the side of a domed temple, it could be seen to gather upon the invisible barrier above them and slide down to the ground beyond where the fires burned.

Gregor spoke to Nidhug knowing that he would need the Yellow eyed creature as much as he would need the young woman.
"Prepare your skills Nidhug, we will begin our journey soon."
Gregor walked near Nevaeh and crouched in front of her so they were eye to eye.
"Are your preparations nearing an end? I am eager to make history. We will be known for all time for what we are about to do here."
Gregor scooped up a hand full of ice and snow at his feet and let it slip from his gloved hand.
"Our enemies will suffer terribly in our victory and the glory of it all will belong to our Queen..."
Gregor hesitated in mid sentence and continued "...and to me."

Gregor stood again and looked out on the lake just beyond his the effects of his spell. The wind was still howling there and the snow was blowing everywhere.

Gregor was going to need his power to allow the army to pass beyond the frozen surface of the lake and into it's mysterious and dark depths, it was his hope that Nidhug would use his skills to keep the army together in the vast depths and keep them safe and last but not least Nevaeh would weave a spell to initiate their travel through the bottom of the lake and through to Heartlund.

There were many unknowns, and the risks were great but Gregor was not afraid.
The General walked back towards the lake and to everyone's surprise he stepped out onto the frozen blackness. Gregor stood still for a short moment and then kept walking out onto the dark sheet of still water. Gregor could feel the power of what lied beneath the surface, it felt as though there was a terrible storm brewing just beneath the thick layer of ice. Gregor felt an urge to stop and stare down into the lake's polished smooth top but he put it out of his head and continued walking. Gregor walked about fifty feet out onto the ice and stopped. He kept his head up, the urge to look down into the water was strong. There were some dim flashes coming from beneath the ice like lightning dulled by heavy cloud cover Gregor could see them from the corners of his eyes but he dared not look directly at them, not yet anyway..

The lake vibrated at his feet but there was no sound except the wind and blowing snow.

Gregor pulled his spell around him, the invisible barrier that kept out the wind and snow came back around him, he was now at it's center. Gregor let more of his power slip from him and whispered quietly to himself, his magic was traveling to the others now. His magic met with Nidhug's and Nevaeh's, the Draconian had experienced this before but not at this intensity, the wise reptilian was not surprised by much but took notice of this. Gregor continued to speak quietly, the words of magic that he had been taught left his lips and came to life in the air. Nidhug and Nevaeh could see the dull flashes beneath the ice they seemed to be growing in frequency.

A part of Gregor's spell took hold of the soldiers, they quietly marched forward onto the ice. They stayed in formation as they approached the General.

"Come now, there is little time." Gregor shouted to Nidhug and Nevaeh.
"We will pass through the abyss and into absolute victory." Gregor said as he struggled to keep up his concentration as his magic flowed from him.







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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:45 pm


Saul was gazing out to the north at the growing darkness, he turned to look towards the towers across the compound in the distance. It was then he saw the flash of fire from the third tower, turning to look once again to the north, Saul made a decision. Quickly turning and crossing the battlement, he decended the stone steps and walked quickly and purposefully across the compound. He saw Commander Rose decending the steps from the battlement closest to the towers. Wakling up to her, he bowed his head in respect and bought both palms to his chest, then raised his head and looked her squarely in the eyes "Commander Rose, if I may be so bold as to make a suggestion? It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on. If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself." he said softly and calmly, these were perhaps the most words he had spoken since his arrival, yet he continued. " Raising a host of a hundred thousand men and marching them great distances entails heavy loss on the people and a drain on their resources. The daily expenditure will amount to a thousand ounces of silver. There will be commotion at home and abroad, and men will drop down exhausted on the highways. As many as seven hundred thousand families will be impeded in their labor. . Hostile armies may face each other for years, striving for the victory which is decided in a single day. This being so, to remain in ignorance of the enemy's condition, is the height of ignorace and ineptitude. One who acts thus is no leader of men, no present help to his sovereign, no master of victory. Thus, what enables the wise good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge. Now this foreknowledge cannot be elicited from spirits; it cannot be obtained inductively from experience, nor by any deductive calculation. Knowledge of the enemy's dispositions can only be obtained from other men. There is a vast force approaching from the north, this we know from our expedition to North Keep, I have reason believe their numbers grow as they advance. With all this in mind I have decided, with your permission of course, to travel north on a mision of reconnaissance to gather what information I can as to the dispensation of the forces advancing for us. All I require is a fast mount." Saul then stood looking at Commander Rose awaiting her response. ....... although whether she approved his plan or not Sual had made his decision, after all he was not technically under her command.


Last edited by Lac'Nal on Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:22 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : repeated phrase)
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:46 pm


As Rose descended from the battlements she was lost in thought contemplating their present situation. Her immediate concern was damage control if word of Kali's betrayal got out. There would be an uproar among the ranks with Sir Walter at it's head. Her brow furrowed as she thought about the man and the smirk he gave her after abandoning her to the elemental. He would pay for that affornt the moment she was able to charge for it. It was a sad case of her word versus his own as the knight she had attempted to save had been trampled in the scuffle. This was the lingering thought on her mind when Saul aproached her.

She nodded her head respectfullay when he expressed his desire to talk. He was more talkative than any other time she could recall in the last week and that alone was impressive. However not as impressive as how long winded he was when he chose to speak. She didn't consider it to be a bad rait in the least because his words spoke of wisdom beyond his years and she could only imagine what kind of teacher had taught him such things. She wondered if he truly understood the meaning of the words he spoke.

With practiced patience she let him finish and when the true point was finally made she wanted to frown. She had discussed the possibility of an attack by the Dark One's army but they had not come. She hadn't considered the fact the group may have moved to rejoin a larger contingent before starting their march. Someone could arrive within hours or days and their defenses were in shambles still. Even worse she still did not have a full reporting on who was able to fight and who was injured or dead for that matter.

Rose gave the boy a long hard look as she considered what he had asked.The boy had a point in that they needed some investigating closer to the keep, but she was reluctant to send him off alone. The look in his eyes though made it clear he intended to act upon his suggestion with or without her consent. The purpose of talking to her was clearly more a matter of whether or not he had permission to procure a horse or not.

With a deep breath her face relaxed "You intend to do this one way or another... In the interest of keeping with our initial agreement I will grant you the use of which ever horse you deem fit to take on this journey. While we have sent runners out already in the wake of the battle we should still have one or two horses adequate for the task you have in mind."

She smiled slightly and walked passed him "Come let me get you the written permission you need to take the horse from the stablemaster without question all right."

Two guards fell in step behind her as she moved through the halls making a straight line for her office. She never looked back certain Saul would follow. She surmised the reason he asked was to ensure the effort he had put in up till now wasn't for naught. She did not believe he wuold steal a horse but to embark without her consent could jeopordize his primary purpose here in Heartlund. The boy was dedicated to his cause and she admired him for that his conviction. Perhaps he would be capable of redeeming his bloodline.

She brushed her thoughts aside as she stepped into her office walking to her desk. Sitting at her desk she closed a large leather tomb shifting it to the side. If Saul stepped close enough to her desl he would see the tome itself bore the crest of his family. Rose lit a candle and slipped out a piece of parchment. She grabbed a quill dabbing it in ink before scribbling down a short message on a piece of parchment. It entitled him with a horse of his choosing and any gear he requested for a journey at her behest. Folding the parchment neatly she blew out the canndle pouring wax onto the paper before pressing her ring into the wax for a moment. She looked up and held out the folded piece of parchment to Saul.

Her brow furrowed deeply as she looked past Saul as he took the document. Outside the door her guards had crossed their spears and Sir Walter stood outside with a smug superior look upon his face. The look of displeasure vanished suddenly as she looked to Saul and smiled and smoke in the most disturbingly chipper tone "That will be all Saul... I thank you for your services and and hope your journey is safe and swift."

She looked up snapping her fingers and the guards moved their spears allowing Walter to finally enter. It was almost like all the warmth in the room had suddenly been sucked out.
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:07 pm



When Commander Rose stated "You intend to do this one way or another." Saul only allowed a faint smile cross his face for an instant then it was gone, replaced by his cold expressionless gaze. After she said "Come let me get you the written permission you need to take the horse from the stablemaster without question." he followed her through the halls to her office, stepping in and approaching her desk, he watched as she closed a leather tome and caught a fleeting glimpse of the crest upon it. The glimpse revealed something that appeared somewhat familiar but he could not recall what it exactly was. The Commander then wrote the authorization and order, sealed the document and handed it to him. Saul took the document and slipped it into his belt, bowed his head slightly with respect, when she thanked him for his service and wished him success and a speed return. Saul then turned, his eyes fell upon Sir Walter and his arrogant smirk, Sauls eyes became cold as ice as they locked upon Sir Walter's. As Saul walked past him, Saul bumped into Sir Walter's shoulder and whispered so only the Knight was able to hear "One day our swords will cross you arragont ass, one day, but not this day. I have more worthy foes to face." Saul then continued to walk down the hall, out into the courtyard and to the dormitories.


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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:50 am


Nevaeh watched Gregor from beneath the folds of her hooded robe as he used the rare incense to aid his casting. It was truly amazing to see him at work. She’d heard about him in the halls of the Dark Queens castle but she’d never been able to see the man for herself or see what he was capable of. But now, she was witnessing it first hand and she felt a fluttering sensation in her stomach, like she were meeting a secret lover for a brief but fulfilling moment.

As the spell was cast and the protective dome formed over the area, Nevaeh let her eyes drift upwards and she saw the genius in his thinking. A smile eased over her red lips as she watched everything take place. When he crouched before her, Nevaeh’s eyes settled on his dilated, glowing orbs and she nodded ever so slightly then saw the way the snow and ice slid through his gloved hand. Indeed she was ready for this journey.

Closing her spell book, the black binding swirled like living smoke and enveloped the book entirely then turned as hard a marble. She stood up with him and as he walked away, she tucked her book into her robe. She could practically taste the magic of his spell in the air and she felt that almost erotic sensation come over her again. Licking her lips with the tip of her tongue, she watched as the spell centered around him as he moved out onto the ice of the black waters.

When his magic net her own, she gasped softly then let the slightest of whimpers slip past her lips. Never had she felt something so intimate in all her life and she closed her eyes letting his magic caress her and mix with her own. When she opened her eyes she saw the dull flashes beneath the ice and she knew the time had come.

As the spell grew and gathered the soldiers, Nevaeh moved onto the ice with Nidhug and Gregor. When she reached the place on the ice where Gregor stood, she stood beside him then closed her eyes. She began to chant words of magic and her arms moved in intricate patterns. As her spell began to blend with Gregors, her voice began to rise as she recited the spell and moved her arms in the same pattern. Soon she would hear Nighug’s voice joining in with hers as the three of them worked together to insure their passage through the black waters was secured.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:23 am


Nidhug obeyed his Lord but he turned and whispered in his guttural language to his four captains before he walked out onto the black ice, “Watch the black witch, she means ill, it is in her eyes.”

The four Captains removed their bows but held them hidden behind their backs. Their yellow eyes fixed on her for any motion that was suspicious. As Nidhug walked out onto the ice his claws clicked and scratched the surface and he finally stopped beside the Gregor. As Gregor began to weave his magic he waited his cue, and then began to weave his magic with theirs. He could feel that Nevaeh was a powerful sorceress, or whatever she was, but he could not focus on her anymore, he had to keep his mind and his attention on his own spell lest he ruin the entire magical presence and ruin his Lord’s plan. He knew he had the Draconians behind him to cover his back should the witch try anything while he was under his trance and he closed his eyes, hissing the ancient language of magic.

The magic began to swirl and twist around the three of them, and Nidhug felt his spell interlace with the other two, now he held his place, his clawed feet dug gently into the ice below them and he waited for Gregor’s lead to advance the magic.






Fifth and Kali walked up beside Piramay and looked out across the landscape with her. The towers crackled with raw power and Kali’s half elven eyes stared at the battlements as the soldiers moved back and forth preparing. She spoke and felt Fifth and Piramay turn to her, “The Knights won’t attack again, they are all but broken. 856 died in the assault, leaving just under 150 to mind the Keep. They are in no condition to try anything, they are barely surviving as it is.”

The two of them looked at her curiously and she spoke, “Commander Rose is stretched to her very sanity, she sleeps maybe an hour a night. There is massive dissension within the ranks, Knights are fractioning themselves off and the infighting will tear them apart soon enough.” She inhaled deeply and continued, “Sir Walter, a high ranking Knight of the Sword seeks to usurp her, it’s obvious in his interaction with anyone not in his camp. There is Trystan, a mid level Knight of the Sword, he is pure of heart and therefore most likely our biggest threat from the leadership, though we can’t count Rose out simply because she is exhausted. There is an unnatural strength in the woman, it would not surprise me to see her come out on top when all shakes loose.”

Fifth looked at her with his mirror slick, silver eyes and spoke, “Are you suggesting we leave them to devour themselves from within?” Kali turned and looked at him, “I am merely giving you the information I have regarding the Keep at Heartlund. I am telling you that if we did decide to destroy them it would be a walk over.”

Fifth and Piramay both burst out laughing simultaneously and Kali looked at them curiously, “You weren’t there for the razing of North Keep, you have no idea HOW easy it would be, even if they were at full strength,” Fifth winked at Piramay as she wiped a tear from her eye and he turned his attention to the South.

“They dispatched riders after the battle, and now…” He pointed and both Piramay and Kali turned to look, a soft cloud of stirred dust was in the air and Kali furrowed her brow. Fifth spoke with a twisted sneer, “The nation of Solamnia answers the call, they are reinforcing and mounting up.” He turned and looked at the two of them and his smile became twice as sinister, “I say we let the Queen’s army have at them, let’s see what kind of leader she has sent to discuss agreements with us, let us see if he or she is strong enough to mount an effective attack against a hardened, dug in force… THEN we will decide whether or not to send his head back to the Queen.”

He smiled and turned to look to the south again, judging by the size of the dust in the air he guesstimated that the force must be in the multiple thousands.






Trystan sat in the war room. He was tracing his finger over Kali’s handwriting, the scribbles all over the map where she had written out contingencies and scenarios. He felt his eyes welling up and he inhaled deeply as he felt a gentle hand touch his shoulder. He turned and saw Ceridwyn and she reached up and touched him gently on his cheek. Instantly the tears came and Ceridwyn reached out and pulled him in to a long hug.

“How? How could she do this to us?” Ceridwyn simply shook her head and she pressed her cheek into his chest. “I don’t know, but she made a choice, and we have to move on.”

He pushed away from her and looked at her angrily, “How can you trivialize this?!” She furrowed her brows and spoke back, “Trivialize? Trivialize the loss of my dearest friends daughter? Trivialize the loss of one of the most powerful wizard’s to ever walk Krynn to the darkness? Or maybe you feel I am trivializing the fact that ALL our hearts are broken at the memory of watching her walk through a warding that just devoured almost a thousand soldiers within its walls?”

Trystan bowed his head, “I’m sorry.” Ceridwyn inhaled deeply and sighed, “Apology accepted Sir Trystan. You need to keep in mind that your pain is a moon cast shadow to what her parents are feeling right now, yes you love her, but that is their child.”

He looked up and nodded understandably. He was about to speak when she cut him off, “I came to tell you that an army approaches from the south.” He looked at her hurriedly and she grabbed his shoulder, “You don’t understand, they are Solamic, the bulk of the army rides to Heartlund. The runners have rallied the forces and they are coming here, now, and there is much to be done.” Trystan’s face had a slight air of positivity as he nodded and the two of the exited the room. From the shadow a pair of eyes blinked and then vanished in a swirl of thick smoke.



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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:50 am


Rayann sat in her room for a long while staring at the flames in the hearth as the fire consumed one log after another. She was right in sending Shaer away to be with Myth’s parents. Especially with the way things turned out with Kali.

Kali.

Rayann felt the moisture welling up n her eyes again and this time, she couldn’t stop it from escaping. Even Myth was unable to console his wife and Rayann knew he felt this pain as much as she did. Again she felt helpless knowing there was nothing she could do to help ease the pain her husband felt. Her heart constricted in her chest and as she felt the utter heartbreak of her and Myth’s loss. The same way it did when she realized she’d lost her brother once and for all. She knew this was always possible and she thought she’d prepared herself for it but when it actually became a reality, she realized there was no way she could have ever been prepared for it.

While Kali’s birth had never officially happened for Rayann, there was no doubt the girl was her daughter and there was no less love for Kali then there was Shaer as far as Rayann was concerned. It took a while for Kali to realize that from her mother but Rayann knew deep down Kali felt the love her mother had for her and somehow, Rayann hoped Kali kept that tucked away somewhere deep within her heart.

Balance had to be kept. Rayann knew this, but for the life of her she didn’t see how balance could be maintained with Kali as the third point of the triangle of towers Fifth and Piramay had erected. There was something more to all of this and it perplexed Rayann to no end.

As Myth left to check on the remaining Knights, Rayann assured him she would be just fine. Besides, she didn’t want him to see her cry like this. He deserved better from her. But right now, she needed to grieve the loss of her daughter and knew this was exactly how she felt the first time Kali had been taken from her and Myth.

Everything had come full circle.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:04 pm



Everyone was now on the ice, Nevaeh and Nidhug's magic combined with Gregor's and the ice rumbled and vibrated at their feet as their magic penetrated it's dark depths.

The ice they were standing on began to sink, it was not breaking apart nor was it melting, it seemed to be settling lower into the vast lake in one piece. As the ice sank, frigid black waters rushed from the sides of the lake and poured over the ice. It wasn't but few seconds and the cold water was at everyone's ankles.

Gregor did not seem to take notice of this as he continued to chant his magic, the general looked straight ahead with his arms outstretched.

The water continued to rush and flow, some of the human soldiers moved around on the ice, the water was at their knees now and fear was beginning to take hold.

"General?..." Wolfe said loudly trying his best to cover the fear in his voice as the waters reached his waist.

"Do not be afraid, it is only victory or death's embrace and we should fear neither." Gregor barked as the water pushed up all around him.

The general continued his spell as the waters rose, only a few seconds had passed and the level was at his chest. Gregor's magic seemed to be keeping the full effect of the waters cold away. Gregor could feel the cold but he knew it was nothing like it would be without his power. The general imagined that without his spell that the cold alone would threaten to take a man's legs out from under him and drag him into the shadowy waters.

Nevaeh was already almost completely covered by the water but she never faltered, Gregor studied her face as she vanished beneath the dark tide. If the woman had fear in her heart she did not show it, Gregor was more than impressed by her backbone. A number of Gregor's soldiers thrashed and fought the rising waters but it was impossible to swim in the armor they wore and they were quickly resigned to placing their heavy boots back down on the sinking ice platform and watching as the waters passed over their heads.

Gregor and Nidhug were the last to succumb to the water level. The general looked to Nidhug, he could only imagine how the cold water even though dampened by magic was effecting the Draconian. Nidhug kept a calm face as the waters rose, but those damned lizards always seemed calm, it was hard to read their true emotions.

"We make our journey now Nidhug, may our Queen watch over us." It was all there was time to say as the water rolled overhead. As soon as Gregor and Nidhug sank beneath the water the ice disappeared and now 500 soldiers, 200 horses Nevaeh, Nidhug and Gregor were floating in a black silent abyss.

Gregor could see everyone floating and sinking around him, everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. Small flashes like lightning were going off all around and when these did Gregor could see the soldiers near him very clearly. Gregor could see something else in the water too, something darker than the water was moving nearby, something massive in size. A shadowy serpentine form curled in the water, it's size was so that you could not see the head or the tail just a large section of it's black body.

The dark creature came close to Gregor, a massive coil that spread far around him and those near to him.
If Gregor could trust his eyes it looked close enough to touch, the general reached out and found it was no more solid than smoke or the water around him.

They were still falling, slowly they descended into the depths, the large form seemed to slither and swim near them turning and thrashing.

The shadow moved near a group of Gregor's men, it covered them with it's dark coils and the men were gone. The screams of the men could be heard but their voices sounded strange and terrible in the water.

Gregor pushed his mind, keeping up his concentration in the midst of these developments, he was going to play his part and he hoped he and the others would live to play theirs.

The dark coils appeared again and turned and swam near Nidhug and his Draconians, the long body of the thing wrapped around a large group of the mounted reptilians and they vanished too, the guttural sounds of their destruction echoed through the water.

Gregor could not give into fear, the general still chanted, his magic flowed from him, his eyes glowed red in the dark depths. Each time the shadowy creature took anyone it vanished briefly too, appearing in a different place when it returned. Gregor kept his eyes open as he wondered who it would take next.

Gregor was not giving in to fear nor was he losing faith, there were always sacrifices to be made for glory and a part of his army was a small price to pay for the victory that lie ahead. These thoughts bolstered his strength as the serpentine form appeared just below him, Nevaeh and Nidhug. It coiled and twisted silently in the water as they drifted towards it.
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:27 pm


The frozen surface of the lake gave way and Nidhug’s claws buried themselves into the black ice as they began to descend into the icy waters below. He kept his focus and maintained the flow of his magic, channeling it into his Lord’s body and holding true to his part of the equation. As the water began to rise and Wolfe’s voice erupted over the sound of rush, Gregor spoke his words of encouragement and Nidhug continued to focus.

Gregor looked at him and he glanced back, his slick yellow eyes blinked under the scaled lids a brief second and then his head was below the surface. As long as he maintained his focus he did not feel the need to breathe, but he too saw the slithering black shadow and watched as it consumed some of the men. He narrowed his eyes, maintaining his channel of magic but could not help as it flicked back into existence and his Draconian’s drew swords. It was a mistake that claimed half of his force. 50 of the Draconian guard under his command were gone in less than a second, and the slithering creature disappeared with them, only to appear again below them.

Nidhug’s eyes slid to the right and he narrowed his gaze on Nevaeh, she was in her casting trance, she was pushing magic out all around her and Nidhug felt the contempt for her grew even deeper. He did not know how, but he knew somehow, in some way, she had planned for the death of his Draconian brothers and he would address the General in private as soon as possible about this black witch.



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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:49 pm


Nevaeh felt the water on her feet and slowly move up her body. She knew there would be some trial with this traveling method and while she had a good idea of what it was, the feel of the liquid rapidly rising over her body was rather foreboding. Still, she didn’t let that break her concentration. Her eyes were closed and she still chanted her words of magic and weaved her arms in the intricate pattern required for the spell.

As the water slipped over her head, she took her last breath and kept with her spell casting. She could no longer chant the words but they were no longer needed for the rest of it. Her arms still moved and as she felt her body take on a weightless sensation, she lost herself in the sensation. Her arms moved as though she were in some sort of weightless suspended ballet.

She felt a dark force near her and instead of cowering away from it or being fearful, she actually reached her hand out to touch it and just before she would have made contact with it her hand pulled back to weave another portion of the spell.

Around her she heard the gargled screams of Gregor’s army and knew a sacrifice had been made. One couldn’t use the waters powers without some sort of payment. It was just the way it had to be. She understood now what her Queen meant when she told her the toll for their passage would be taken care of.

Everything grew very quiet then and Nevaeh felt the dark force once more, close at hand. Her arms still moved in the intricate weaving of her spell and she felt her lungs beginning to burn as the precious, life giving air she needed to breathe was cut off from her. Finally she curled her knees up into her chest and drew her arms into her body, curling into a black ball that floated in the black depths.

As she heard Gregor’s voice suddenly rise in the murky, black depths of the lake, Nevaeh thrust her arms and legs out as magic erupted from her entire body. She felt Nidhug and Gregor’s magic flow through her and she screamed as her body was racked with piercing pain.

The sensation of their stomachs being left behind hit everyone at the same time and the next thing they knew they were falling a short distance onto the snow covered ground, coughing out water and choking to quickly gulp in the air their bodies needed.

The cold penetrated their very being as their wet clothes suddenly clung to their bodies. All around the air was filled with the steam from their breath as they panted and huffed to regain their bearings. Nevaeh, Nidhug and Gregor were the last to fall to the ground close to each other. She forced herself to her feet and she struggled and staggered to stand, her wet hair falling down around her shoulders. Her black robes weighted down with the water were almost too heavy for her to stand in but she did.

Coughing like the others, she stood and gulped in air and looked around as she shivered. They’d made it. Her face broke into a smile and she actually started laughing, a soft, musical lilting sound. They made it!!! Of course her celebration was short lived as she felt the toll of her spell casting. Her ears began to ring and everything around her was swallowed up by blackness.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:47 pm


Saul made his way to the quarters that had been assigned to him swiftly and quietly. There was no one else there as he gathered his backpack, the bow and quiver Kellan had given him and his coat, laying them on the bed. He went to the small table that sat between his bunk and the one next to his and withdrew a peice of parchment. Taking the quill that sat beside the small stack of parchments, he scribbled a note to the young squire that had been practising the excersizes Saul performed every morning. "Keep your focus, young squire. Stand tall and draw your strength from your cougage. We shall meet again, may the Gods be with you. ...... SL. " ....... Saul rolled the parchment and tied it with a length of leather thong. He then walked over and slipped it under the young squires pillow.

As the sun began to set, Saul, donned his coat, slinging the quiver over his shoulder and slipping the scarrab of his sword in his belt. Saul picked up his back pack and the bow, turned and left the room, closing the door behind him. He walked down the hall and out across the courtyard to the livery, wher he presented the sealed orders to the stable master. Sellecting a bay stallion with a blonde mane and tail,
Saul asked the stable master to have him saddled, with enough grain and oats placed in one of the saddle bags for three days. He then walked over to the door to the kitchen, slipping in he asked the cooks for two loaves of bread, some salted pork and a small slab of raw meat. Wrapping them in a cloth, Saul walked out the door and back to the stable, where he placed the food in the saddle bags, secured his back pack to the back of the saddle and mounted the stallion. "I thank you Stable master, may the Gods be with you." he said. Then as darkness began to grow Saul rode slowly and quietly to the north gate.

He looked coldly at the young sentries that stood at the closed gate and said "Open the gate."
One of the young guards looked at him and asked "By whose authority and where did you get that horse?" Saul reached into his belt and handed him the parchment, Commander Rose had given him, silently. The guard read it, handed it back and said "Open the gate, it seems the rat is fleeing to save his skin, before the cat comes."

The gate slowly opened as the other guard glared at Saul and spat on the ground ..... "Good ridence, Sir Walter was correct, it seems his family's blood has gained no honor over the years."
Saul stiffened but rode swiftly north, out into the growing darkness, across the snow covered plain and towards Vingard Keep. South of Vingard Keep across Nightlund, then northeast towards the Dargaard Mountains.


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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:55 pm


Fifth and Piramay went to their respective towers, the plan was for the three of them to reconvene on the morrow after Kali had a chance to get acquainted with her new home and rest up from the battle the day before. She inhaled deeply as she stared at the Keep, her eyes traced the walls and she smiled softly.


As she become more attuned over the next few hours to her tower her robes began to change, the red shimmered as if ruby dust had been sprinkled into the fabric and the darkness in the folds puffed dark smoke whenever she shifted or moved. The smoke engulfed her in a thin veil of constant dark steam that rose up and swirled around her, dissipating quickly as it moved off her robes. Her eyes maintained their crystal blue color but her hair looked more like it did when she was in the service of the Dark Queen. Her shiny honey blond hair was woven with braids of shadow that swirled and moved with her head movements.


She sat in the massive room just below the observation deck and sat in a high backed chair that was upholstered in fine red silk intertwined with black velvet threading. Where the four feet hit the marble floor the glow of flame spread out and quickly wisped to black smoke. She stared out at the Keep, her eyes fixed on the northern most tower; the one where she had first confronted and kissed Trystan. She inhaled deeply and her blue eyes twitched with each slight movement. Even from this distance she could make out the faces of the guards, and she watched with constant vigil for Trystan to show up. After several hours she stood and walked to the window, staring out across the field, the dead bodies were glowing softly as the ground below them started to heat up. The completion of the triangle had caused the full power of the rift in the sky to begin to pour out pour over the immediate area and the whole landscape was reacting.


The temperature had increased dramatically and the air was full of evaporating snow, the steam swirled and rose in twisted tendrils that reflected the flowing magma that coursed and poured from the scars in the landscape. Her tower glowed red from in the dying light of twilight and she turned to look at the dust cloud of the moving troops that was now spreading across the skyline with the breeze. She reached out with her magic and cast far sight, channeling the power of the tower and a twisted spiral of light and shadow erupted from her hand, shooting across the landscape like a meteor. It flashed over the horizon line and she observed the landscape below. There were hundreds of fire surrounded by thousands soldiers. Truly the Knights of Solamnia were rallying to the cause, and Heartlund was soon going to become a heavily fortified center of operations. The colorful banners of the factions and families that represented thousands of years of Knighthood and lineage waved in the dim light and as the eye of far sight burned out she saw hundreds of the soldiers look up and point as her vision vanished with the spell.

She turned and looked at the Keep and a think smile crossed her face, “So it is war they want…”



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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:30 am



Myth had spent some of his time in the past weeks studying the knights codes and rules. It was something that had proven useful in the aftermath of the battle. There were a couple of the higher ranking knights that trusted him and he used that to his advantage offering suggestions on what they should be doing while Rose had been resting and recovering. With Rose now up and moving Myth decided it best to stick to the training hall. His wife needed some time to clear her mind and as did he. He took in a deep breath as he side stepped an oncoming attack swinging the practice sword hard into the knight's abdomen. He went down and Myth let him catch his breath before hauling him up. "Attacks like that only serve you if your opponent is off balance and not capable of taking advantage of your opening" he tapped the man's stomach.

There were few who would step up to him on the mat currently. Normally he employed a patient and fair hand when sparing with the nights but today he was brutal and efficient. His mood remained calm and collected but he was clearly not holding back anything. One knight had called him on this and his response was blunt but calm "The only way you learn is from your mistakes and some mistakes are more easily remembered when pain is a result of failure. I haven't debilitated a single man that has stepped up to me. They each learn a lesson and the pain makes them take it to heart so they do not repeat it again. It is a harsh way to learn but effective."

To his credit the few men who did step up to him a again did learn their lessons and didn't make the same mistake twice. After a couple of hours Myth laid down the practice blade and left the knights to their training. So few were present compared to what he was used to seeing the hall felt dreadfully empty. However the men he saw were determined and this gave Myth some hope for their future. The only knights he pitied were those who were turning to the side of Sir Walter. The failure of the overall plan had given him new ears to spew his venom into and Myth new it would only be days if that before something happened. To much had happened and with the state of the force here at Heartlund it was the perfect time for the knight to cause issues. With a sigh and the thoughts fresh in Myth's head he made his way to Rose's office. She had been reluctant to take visitors but today he felt it was pertinent they talked. As he approached the door the guards crossed spears "Sorry Lord Myth the commander is.."

Myth cut them off with an authoritative tone "She will see me..." he eyed each of them with a stern gaze "one way..." his hand slipped to his blade "or another." He continued to eye them as they contemplated the matter. Both stared wide eyed for a moment as if surprised by his willingness to threaten them. One of the knights sighed moving his spear he stuck his head in the door and spoke quietly before nodding his head. He looked to the other knight and nodded before looking at Myth "Apologies m'lord you are apparently an allowable exception to her orders."

Myth nodded his head easing his body visibly and approached placing his hand on the shoulder of the knight who had moved and spoke quietly "I would not have seriously drawn on you for doing your job." Myth heard the man let out a long breath of relief.

Rose had kept to herself since they had all watched Kali enter the wardings. She managed to deflect Walter's questions about what she intended to do about the situation. The rings under her eyes were clear as day to anyone that looked at her. It was obvious she had not seen a decent nights sleep in days. The stress of the situation was not helping her state of mind any either. When the knight looked and informed her Myth was there to see her she had quirked an eyebrow. "He is an important dignitary why haven't you let him in?" The knight responded quoting her orders verbatim and she sighed nodding her head in response.

"I'm sorry I had forgotten to mention any exceptions... thank you... let him in."

She finished looking over the report that had just arrived from the approaching solomnic force and put on her best smile as Myth entered the room. She was always impressed with how intimidating the man could appear just by entering a room. His face was unreadable as always and it left her wondering what it is he wished to discuss. She stood from her seat and offered a slight bow before motioning to one of the chairs in front her desk. "Please have a seat Myth, tea?"

She left out any formal title since they were talking in private. He had expressed his disinterest in such things early on and she respected his wishes. Myth sat in the chair shifting to find a suitable position before responding to her offer of tea. "I'll pass for the moment Commander."

Rose nodded pouring her own glass before sitting down setting the glass in front of her. "I am certain this isn't a social visit sine you convinced my guard to actually stick his head in the door. It seems I forgot to mention there were a few exceptions to my orders." She took a sip of her tea settling her eyes on the elf lord. "What is on your mind Myth'alas."

"I am concerned with the situation here in the keep. The failed assault has made a particular knight more arrogant and I fear that trouble is soon forthcoming. I also have a concern of an ominous cloud of dust on the horizon. I would wager it is a rather large force moving this way but I do not know if it Solomnic or another." Rose lifted her hand with a tired smile "A large bulk of the solomnic army is marching to Heartlund. If things went badly I had left orders for a report of the situation to be sent out in the event of failure."

Roses face hardened and her voice had a tired but noticeable edge "Sir Walter is playing a very dangerous game at a very bad time. I find myself against the wall with few options in how I can deal with the man. I find it... curious that a substantial number of the surviving men from the battle seem to be favorable towards him and his thinking." She leaned forward groaning slightly as she reached up rubbing her temple lightly. Myth raised an eyebrow at this noting her body language as well and shook his head.

"When was the last time you had a good nights rest Rose?" She look up and shook her head muttering "Not since before Northkeep"

Myth took in a breath and regarded her for several moments taking in a new measure of her character. He remembered hearing about the events at the keep from her guards one day in the mess hall. She was an able commander that much he had seen, and he also knew her to be an exemplary leader as well. Most of her men respected her to a level not many could admit to. "You took the loss at Northkeep very personally didn't you." Rose didn't look up at Myth staring only at her glass of tea.

"You aren't having nightmares because of what happened... you are having them because you blame yourself for what happened." She looked up from her tea slowly "If I had been able to convince that Knight of the Sword to stand down..."

"The commander of the sword was killed by those mages Rose. You could be the best orator in the world and still you would have failed to change the mind of that commander. If you had been in his place do you think you would have acted any differently." She was silent and only stared at Myth. "You need to let the battle go...take some time, meditate, clear your mind of the blame and guilt." Myth was standing up from the chair looking at her.

"You achieved your rank and position by being a leader unlike any other. If you let that battle eat you alive any more than it has then you will fall. These men need a true leader right now and it is up to you to step up to the threshold and lead them, and you can't do that as a walking corpse." Rose sighed standing from her seat not wanting to say anything. She only nodded as Myth made his way towards the door and there was a light chuckle that escaped her lips. "You remind me od someone." Myth looked back and Rose was smiling.

When Myth stepped outside he was face to face with Rose's aid Larrisa. The girl almost jumped and when he looked at her their was the faintest hint of shock and alarm but it was gone as fast as it appeared. Myth looked at the items she carried and quirked a brow looking at the crystal vial then to Larrisa as he reached out taking the item. "This will do her more harm than good m'lady..."

Myth quirked an eyebrow looking at her for several moments and glanced at her necklace before looking back at her. He said nothing else to her as he moved past her to head down the hall. There was something about the girl and her necklace that looked familiar but he could not put his finger on it. He sighed putting the matter from his mind as he moved on to his next destination. Pela would be his last visit for the night before returning to Rayann's aide.

*******************

Larrisa let out her breath as Myth walked away. Watching his back before slipping into Rose's room. She was thankful that he had taken the sleeping draught but wondered how Rose would react. Rose looked up and offered a tired smile as her food was placed on her desk. She looked things over and raised an eyebrow noting the absence of her evening sleep aid. Larrisa expected he to say something but Rose instead simply thanked her politely and nibbled at her food. She asked Larrisa to sit and give her report on the situation around the keep and Walter's movements. She may be fatigued and suffering from a lack of sleep but she was far from being a beaten dog.

Their talk would be long but not late and Rose would retire to her room. She took a few pointers from Larrisa to quiet her mind and focus her inner turmoil and for the first time in weeks Rose slept. It was by no means perfect but for one she slept the entire evening undisturbed.
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:07 am


Pela was rarely seen since the day after the battle. Rayann had given Bad Rock an honorable send off and Pela couldn’t have been more appreciative but she didn’t know how to express it. There were moments when she wanted to lash out at anything around her and more than once she trashed her quarters. The lone guard that was still keeping watch over her spent most of his off time with her as well trying to help her but there were times when she simply couldn’t be reached.

When she did venture out from her quarters it was usually well after the sun went down and she would walk to the far side of the Keep and sit on the western battlements. She didn’t want to sit anywhere near those cursed towers or look at them so she sat looking out over the vast expanse away from the Keep.

She didn’t know where to go or what to do now. Bad Rock was the one that had always made the decisions of when and where they were going. Without his guidance she was like a cloud floating in the air at the mercy of the breeze that blew her around.

This night was no different. She slipped out of her quarters after she insisted her guard go home and spend time with his family and made her way to the battlements on the western side of Heartlund. She could fit easily between the stone pillars the archers used to fire at the enemy when she pulled her knees up and leaned her back against one side. The guards had gotten used to her showing up at different times and would just make sure she was still there when they walked by but they never bothered her. It was like the understood her on this basic level and knew she was lost.

The cold didn’t bother her and as the wind whipped past her, her white hair, that was left free of any confines, flowed around her like a cloud of snow. She wore only a short sleeved tunic and simple leather leggings tucked into soft boots. Her ice blue eyes looked out beyond the Keep searching for something she knew would never come walking over the hills again.

But still she searched.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:37 am




Aeolis made his way through the Keep as silent as the Elf he was. He was on his way to join Ceri in their room but he had to make a detour first. Since her arrival, Tanjee had been quite busy and he hadn’t had the chance to talk to her about anything. He finally decided to make the time for her this evening. If she was in her room, that is.

Approaching her door, he saw the faint glow of light coming from the crack at the bottom and knew she was inside. Rapping softly on the door, he called out to her in their native language. He heard her quiet footsteps moving across the floor and she pulled the door open and practically jumped into his arms. He chuckled softly and hugged her tightly leaning back to pull her off the floor. A pair of passing guards saw the exchange and looked puzzled. Aeolis released Tanjee from his hug and gave them a broad smile.

”Am I not allowed to show my sister I am happy to see her?”

The guards smiled then and nodded then kept moving on their way. Tanjee stepped back into her room and closed the door behind Aeolis when he walked in. He looked around her room and saw that while it was small, it was just exactly what he expected for her. Finally he turned to look at her. She’d changed. Her youthfulness blossomed into a beautiful woman and he could tell by the things that lay around her room she was a devoted cleric of Mishakal.

”I see you have finally taken your calling seriously.”

Tanjee chuckled and sat down in a chair near the hearth then gestured for him to sit in the chair opposite her.

”Of course, brother. I just had to sow some wild oats, as the humans are fond of saying.”

Aeolis studied his sister for a moment then broached the subject of a particular human.

”I fully expected Kwinn to be with you. Did you two part ways badly?”

Tanjee’s smile faded slightly and she got a longing look in her eyes as she shook her head.

”No. Not really. Kwinn is a free spirit. I knew that. I still love him but he grew restless in Silvanost. I knew he had to leave or he would start resenting me for keeping him in one place too long. I will see him when I return to the forests near our home.”

Aeolis nodded but didn’t say anything more about it. He couldn’t. Tanjee was a grown woman capable of making her own decisions now and he would support her in whatever she did.

”How are things back home and how did you know where we were?”

Tanjee smiled and waggled her finger at him.

”Now brother, a lady must keep SOME of her secrets. Things back home are….changing. I am not so sure if it is good or bad yet. I pray they will be good. It is just that since the attack on our home, we are more careful. And considering how things went here, I would say that is not bad.”

Aeolis sighed and ran his hand through his hair and nodded.

”I have to agree with you there, sister. As long as our people continue to thrive I suppose we should see it as a good thing.”

He studied her closely.

”How is the Speaker’s wife?”

Tanjee smiled.

”She is doing very well. She had a brief moment when her back hurt but I was able to help her with that.”

Aeolis’ face slowly broke into a smile that spoke volumes. Tanjee suddenly realized what he did and her face registered her shock and she shook her head.

”That was unfair!”

Aeolis laughed then

”I knew it! She is still rather chatty when the right company arrives.”

Tanjee shook her head and stuck her tongue out at her brother.

”You cheated.”

Aeolis laughed even more.

”How? I simply asked a question to which you freely offered up the answer freely. That is not cheating, that is just excellent deduction.”

They continued to talk for a good many hours and finally Aeolis stood up.

”I need to get going. Ceri needs me and I do not wish to keep her waiting any longer.”

Tanjee stood as well and walked over hugging her brother and kissing his cheek.

”I am glad to see you two have allowed your feelings to grow for each other. You both needed someone for a very long time. Tell her I said hello.”

Aeolis nodded.

”I will. Rest well, Tanjee.”

Tanjee nodded.

”You too, Aeolis.”

Slipping out of his sisters room, he made his way quietly back to the room he shared with Ceri.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:01 am


Ceridwyn couldn’t sleep. It was late in the evening and Aeolis was still off with his sister. She was still feeling her guts wrenched by the image of Kali disappearing into the warding. She felt no warmth from the fire and decided to take a walk. She didn’t have guards assigned to her anymore, there was such a shortage of soldiers after the battle that most of the guests of the Keep were relieved of the sound of boots clacking along behind them everywhere they went.

She grabbed her snow white wool cloak and slipped out of the room. The fabric was warm and she felt a small sensation of joy in that little comfort. She walked across the Keep square and up the battlements, something was telling her to not stare at the towers anymore, what was done, was done and she had to let it go. She decided to go to the west tonight, to simply walk the long stretch of inner wall that formed the secondary defense line of the city. This wall was twice as high as the city wall, but only half as thick. It wrapped around a large chunk of land that contained all the soldiery and Knights of the Keep. The Keep was naturally at its very center along with the Magistrates mansion, of course Heartlund hadn’t had a Magistrate for nearly one hundred years, the Knights had a military rule system in place that was nearly perfect. Since this was a major base of operations all governance was accomplished by the Knights of the Rose.

Ceridwyn walked slowly, watching the white glow of Solinari as the snow shimmered under his silver light. She stopped a moment and closed her eyes. Her soft pale skin reflected the light of her gods moon back into the night and she didn’t feel the chill, only the warmth of his presence. The silence was broken by the sound of chain maille as booted feet slowly approached. She turned and saw a wall guard, his face still bore a long, jagged wound from the battle and she bowed her head softly speaking in common, “I hope the night finds you well.”

He stopped and gently rested his spear on the wall as he blew into his hands to warm them, “Aye Miss Ceridwyn, but it is frigid, the bite of this cold is unworldly.”

She smiled and spoke again, “What is your name soldier?”

“John Geer Miss Ceridwyn.”

She smiled again and reached forward touching his hand, “Call me Ceridwyn, or Ceri, there is no need to be so formal.”

He smiled and nodded, “Very well Ceri.”

She spoke again, “Hold still.” He looked at her curiously and she closed her eyes, hissing words of magic. The very moons light seemed to intensify for a split second and the hand that was on top of his glowed softly. He felt a warmth unlike any fire could provide enter his body and he looked at her with wide eyes. She opened her eyes again and smiled, “That should keep you warm for the remainder of the evening.”

He nodded his head and spoke, “Thanks. I have never understood all that magic stuff.”

She giggled softly and nodded but remained silent. He turned and looked down the wall and then back to her whispering softly, “Hey, I don’t know if there is anything you can do but that girl, the one who came with the big fella, she’s been sitting over there for a few hours. I don’t understand what was going on between them but they seemed to have a special bond. I know he died in the fighting…”

Ceridwyn looked around the soldier and saw two booted feet sticking out just into the walkway, about 50 yards down the battlement. She looked back and spoke, “Thank you John, I will go talk to her.”

He smiled and grabbed his spear. He was just about to leave and continue his patrol when he spoke, “Ceridwyn?” She turned to look at him as she was stepping away, “Do you think we will live through all this?”

Ceridwyn looked at him and could not help but see his vulnerability, “I don’t know John, I honestly don’t know. What I can tell you is that if we don’t keep fighting we definitely won’t survive. If we sit on the sidelines death is inevitable, but if we face the enemy and die, at least we die trying.”

Hey nodded and turned, continuing on his patrol but with a new magical warmth in his belly. Ceridwyn turned and looked at the booted feet of Pela and walked over to the girl. She sat down beside her without saying a word at first, in fact, she didn’t even make eye contact, she simply looked out into the field of shimmering snow and took in the moonlit landscape. After a few moments she spoke, “You know Pela, I won’t patronize you with how are you feeling type words. I know that the loss you experienced went to the very heart of you. What I can tell you is that you are not alone. Many of us have lost people we care about, and you don’t have to be alone if you chose to allow others into your life once again.”

Pela turned her head and looked at Ceridwyn. Ceridwyn gasped softly as she saw that Pela’s tears had actually frozen to her face and looked like little diamonds stuck to her cheek’s. She also now saw what she was wearing and could not help but be amazed that the young girl was completely comfortable wearing a summer type outfit. Ceridwyn smiled lovingly and wanted to take the girl in an embrace, but she refrained. Instead she spoke and looked Pela right in the eye as she spoke, “I too lost someone more dear to me than words can ever explain. I know that loss, I know that pain because I have experienced it firsthand. All I am really trying to tell you is that if you ever want to talk, I will listen. No judgments, no conditions, ok?”



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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:23 am


Pela didn’t glance at Ceridwyn when she approached then sit up next to her on the wall. She heard Ceri’s words and she knew the woman meant well but Pela couldn’t connect with some of what she was saying, except for the loss of another. Sniffling softly as she turned to look at Ceri, she didn’t realize her tears had frozen to her cheeks and she reached up brushing the frozen droplets from her face.

Looking down at the ground then looking back into the sky as she felt fresh tears forming in her eyes. Her chin quivered but nor from the cold. Her emotions were as raw as the cold air that whipped around them and her voice was full of that emotion she felt.

”I detest feeling like this. I have not cried sine I was a small child and only then because I scraped my knee terribly. But this…..this…..loss I feel feels as though I shall have the very breath I take taken away from me. I miss Father and I wish he could come back but I know his death is final. I have never been without him and now….I do not know what to do. Or where to go. I just…..do not know.”

She lowered her head and looked down at the moonlit snow and took several deep breaths. Finally she picked her head up and sniffled again then looked over at Ceri.

”I suppose I shall stay here until I am no longer welcomed then I will find my way back to the higher elevations before the heat of summer sets in. If I survive what is to come next.”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:48 am


Ceridwyn felt her own heart breaking as she looked at the young girl. She knew the feeling and Pela’s words could not have rung more true. Ceridwyn reached over and gently placed her hand on the young girl’s knee and looked out into the snow covered landscape.

“Unfortunately death is as much a part of life as living it. There is no comfort in the loss of one we love, and though it will bring you no comfort right now you will heal in time. I know that is almost a terrible thing to say, but I have healed from the loss of a lover, and child. It’s never easy, but it does soften over time.”

She inhaled deeply and squeezed Pela’s knee gently before tucking her hand back into the folds of her robes. “I don’t expect you to answer right away, and obviously the choice would be completely up to you, but you would be welcome to come back to Silvanost with Aeolis and I. I warn you it’s not the kind of place where you would be welcomed with open arms, the Elves are not the most endeared to humans, but under our word you would be welcomed into the city, and there would be no guards tromping around behind you. We could get you a place to live and study, and from there, who knows.”

She turned and looked at Pela who was now staring at her with her icy blue eyes. Ceridwyn smiled and nodded softly, “It’s up to you, but the offer is there, I would hate to see you simply wandering the countryside alone, at least you would have a bed and food. Think about it.”

She stood up and looked down at Pela as she brought her hood back up over her head, “Until the morrow Pela.”



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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:37 pm


Pela looked down at Ceris hand as it rested on her knee then looked at the Elfess. She found some understanding in her words and knew, if nothing else, she wasn’t alone in how she felt. Of course the invitation to return to Silvanost was met with a blink and raised brows.

”Thank you. I appreciate your offer. I shall think about it. Good night, Ceridwyn.”

She watched the white cloak as Ceridwyn walked down the battlements until she could see her no longer then turned her attention back to the landscape beyond the Keep. For the first time since Bad Rock’s death Pela brought her hands before her and created a small ice ball she rolled around in her hands making it seem as though it were dancing, It was always a habit she did when she was alone and couldn’t sleep.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:22 pm


Saul rode hard, as if all the demons of the underworld were in pursuit, first north across the border of The Plains of Solmania and the Vingaard River, following its northern bank to cross the border of Nightlund south of Vingaard Keep. As he rode well north of the towers he could see the red glow on across the plain well to his south as the nights unnatural darkness engulfed him. Crossing the Vingaard River once again and stopping on its eastern bank, Saul dismounted, allowing the black stallion a few moments rest. He kept the horse a short distance from the rivers edge, to allow him to cool down before leading him back to the river bank to drink. Saul knelt, cupped his hands and drank of the clear water slowly. After drinking he led the stallion to a grove of willows, where Saul allowed the animal to eat a small amount of grain, gently rubbing the horses neck and speaking to him softly in Elvish; “Lle naa belegohtar, cormlle naa tanya tel'raa. Lle desiel?” (Translation: You are a mighty warrior, your heart is that of the lion. Are you ready?) That said Saul walked around and sprang into the saddle and they were off like an arrow loosed from a taught string. As they broke from the willow, birch and reed lined river bank, Saul heard the shouts of startled men, the grunts of Draconians and alarm horns. Looking to his left Saul saw the campfire of what must have been a scouting party and the scurried action of the surprised warriors, as they hurried to mount a pursuit. Saul kicked the ribs of the stallion with his heels, bending over the horses neck and whispered “Rima” (Run), as a shower of arrows fell around them, they were off across the plains of Nightlund.
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 17: Assault   Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:09 pm


When Ceri returned to their room, Aeolis had a fire lit in the hearth and the room was as warm as the glow from the fire looked. He wanted to make sure the room was warm when she returned. He didn’t know exactly where she went but he knew where ever it was took her outside by the fact her wool cloak was missing.

When she walked in he was sitting near the fire and looked over, smiling. He stood and stretched then walked over to help her take her cloak up and hang it near the door. Rubbing her arms to bring some heat back to her, he leaned down and kissed her forehead then leaned back to look into her beautiful face.

Dare I say the night has gotten rather chilled this night?”

He could tell by the look on her face and how rosy her nose and cheeks were she’d been outside for a little while anyway.

”Tanjee sends her greetings. I never thought I would say this but I was very glad to see her hovering over me when I opened my eyes. It seems she has finally embraced her calling. Even though she may still have a bit of a rebellious streak in her, I am honored to see her follow in our mother’s footsteps. Perhaps she will find a good to settle down with and pass down her skills to her daughter one day carrying on the family tradition.”




Rayann started a fire in the hearth to make sure Myth didn’t have to bother with it when he returned to their room. Her tears were done falling for now and all she could do now was pray Kali would come back to her one day as her daughter. In that same thought she prayed she didn’t have to face her daughter in combat. For starters she wasn’t sure she could defeat her and secondly….well…it was her daughter.

Taking a deep breath, she let it out slowly as she watched the flames dance over the logs in a deadly embrace. It reminded her of the tower of flame just outside Heartlund. Only these flames in this hearth would consume the logs with a veracious appetite that could never be satisfied, no matter how much wood was given in sacrifice.

Glancing towards the windows she could see the glow of the tower and she furrowed her brows. Hopefully Kali wasn’t going to be a sacrifice to the fire mage that called the tower of flame home. And Rayann hoped Kali could protect herself from Fifth’s mind intrusions.

Finally Rayann bathed and put on the tunic she ‘borrowed’ from Myth and a pair of soft, loose fitting leggings then curled up in one of the soft, easy chairs next to the hearth to wait for her hair to dry. Once more her thoughts drifted to her brother and a more pleasant time in her life before everything turned upside down.


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