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 Ch 18: Lay of the Land

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:14 pm


Gregor got to his feet, he had fallen onto the ice and snow and landed on his hands and knees. His cloak and robes were soaked and heavy with ice cold water. Gregor stood and took his wet gloves off, the General had a slight headache, no doubt an effect of traveling through the darkness of the Black Lake. The last thing the general remembered was sinking towards the dark snake-like creature in the water, sinking down to darkness and perhaps death.

Gregor looked around him, his army was here, the soldiers were rising to their feet and shaking the cold water from their cloaks and armor. The men were getting the traumatized horses to their feet, the animals coughed and stamped their feet to rid their chilled bodies of the freezing water.

"Thanks be to you my Queen, we live to fight." Gregor said quietly as he walked to find Nidhug and Nevaeh. As Gregor walked he found Nevaeh limp but alive, the General had no doubt that she played a great part in their survival. Gregor scooped her up and walked holding her. Ice had formed on her robes and she was stone still in his arms.

Gregor spoke a quiet forceful word and blue flames traveled down his body and engulfed he and Nevaeh. The fire began to immediately dry Gregor's Cloak and robes, the flames were warm and there was no discomfort as they blazed, covering Gregor and Nevaeh head to toe.

Ice melted or fell away from Nevaeh and Gregor as he walked still looking for Nidhug. The fire burned a ghostly blue and soon both the mage woman and the General were much dryer and warmer. The flames were dying as Gregor found Nidhug, Gregor pulled his heavy wolf fur cloak from his shoulders and set it on the ground and laid Nevaeh on it.

"How many are Lost Nidhug? How many of your Draconians did not make the journey?

Gregor looked to Nidhug, the creature seemed to be deep in thought.

As Gregor spoke with Nidhug Wolfe approached, he too had lived to fight.

"General, the men are building more fires but the wood is wet my lord." Wolfe said shaking from the cold.

"I want those fires made." Gregor snorted without taking his eyes from Nidhug.

"The fires will be made general..." Wolfe stuttered.

"See to it..." Gregor said annoyed.

"My lord. it is just that..." Wolfe said his eyes turned down to the ground.

"I know Wolfe, the wood is wet and the fires will smoke, and our enemies will see that we are near." Gregor said more calmly.

"Yes, my general." Wolfe said with a bow.

"Make the fires Wolfe, let them see that we are near. Let them know the hour of their destruction. It is beneficial to consider fear, and to let it grow in the hearts of your enemies before you meet in battle." Gregor said as if he were reading from some grand old tome written by a great and forgotten warrior prince, and perhaps he was remembering just such a thing.

"Let them see our smoke, it does nothing to change the inevitable." The General finished.

Wolfe backed away from the General keeping his eyes low as he pivoted and turned to leave.

"We will not rest for long Nidhug, I am eager to see this victory come. It is what we do my friend, we are like the great wolves that prowl the forests, our hunger cannot be denied." Gregor looked out onto the army, the fires were beginning to burn, great plumes of black smoke were rising high into the air.

"If the wolf were to ever stop his running he would lay down and die." Gregor said seriously.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:27 am


Sol finally made it to the base of the Dargaurd Mountains and into the forest, where he eluded the patrol that had been pursuing him for three days. As he climbed deeper into the forest in the direction of Throt, he crested a rise. There looking east, through the spy glass he had fashioned in Northlund Keep to replace the one he had given Kellan, could seen a massive billow of smoke rising from the direction of Throt. This could only mean one thing, Throt had been over run and now must lay in ruins.
After a two hour rest, to eat and feed his stallion, Sol turned north towards Darguard Keep. Weaving his way thru the forest, climbing steadily. As he entered a high pass, Sol heard the screech of a falcon. Looking up he saw Tepes circling over head. Sol dismounted and gave out a whistle, the bird of pray, seemed to stand on one wing, suspended in the air. As Sol raised his arm, Tepes rolled and fell from the sky, flaring at the last moment to land gently of Sol's arm.

"It is good to see you my friend, what have your sharp eyes seen?" Sol said to the bird as he reached in his coat and removed a morsel of dried meat, holding it out for the bird to take in its beak.


Sol traveled north for another two days, evading his pursuers by weaving and doubling back on his own track, resting in caves and the thick branches of the trees of the forest. He trekked north across the spine of the Dargaurd Mountains until he reached a mountain pass about three quarters of the way to Dargaurd Keep. While Tepes circled and patrolled from above. At the pass, he stopped, dismounted, assembled his spyglass and looked east. It was then that his heart felt the cold grip of despair. ..... ... There he looked out on a vast army of forty thousand or more massing at the western edge of Estwilde. Scanning north his heart sank deeper, as his eyes saw the dark plume of smoke rise from the direction of Dargaurd Keep. Scanning back he could just make out the banners of the Dark Queen, Busuk and Taman.



Dismounting quickly, Sol reached into his backpack and withdrew a small leather cylinder, a scrap of parchment and a small stick of charcoal. He quickly wrote a note upon the parchment ...... "Commander Rose: .... Have climbed Dargaurd Mountain ...... On trek here, it appears Throt has fallen, as large plume of smoke arose for its direction ....... At pass near Daurgard Keep large plume of smoke visible from its location ......... Vast army of forty thousand or more massing at western edge of Estwilde .... Appears Busuk and Taman have aligned with Dark Queen ...... S.L." ...... Sol rolled the scrap of parchment up and slipped it into the leather cylinder. He then whistled and Tepes swooped down from the sky and alighted on Sol' arm. Sol transferred the bird onto his saddle and secured the leather cylinder to one of the bird's legs ...... He then transferred Tepes to his arm and said to him "Make haste to Heartlund and Commander Rose my old friend" ...... he then lifted his arm and Tepes took once more to the skies, circling once then flying southwest towards Heartlund. ....... "May the Gods give your wings height and speed Tepes. " Sol said softly, mounted the stallion and then turned southwest himself.





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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:44 am


Nidhug was on his knees gasping as he felt the reality of their arrival grip him. He felt the sweet scent of air and he took in deep breathes. He turned and looked around, many of his Draconians were there, but based on what he saw in the black lake and what he saw here he estimated that he had lost half his force. He scowled as he looked around for the witch. She was nowhere to be seen and he began to run conspiracy theories in his head about how she had done this and left. She was probably having a good laugh someplace warm right now.

He clutched at the frozen earth his claws carving deep grooves in the dirt as he contemplated all these things. Then his sharp ears caught the distinct sound of Gregor’s boots on the ground. He didn’t look up but he could tell by the slightly heavier thud that he was laden with something, or someone. A subtle sideways glance as Gregor stopped beside him caught the silhouette of the witch and his tongue flicked instinctually as his Lord spoke to him. He responded with a gravelly tone, “half my force is nowhere to be found.”

He growled slightly under his breath as Gregor laid the woman out on his own cloak and Nidhug stood and hobbled forward slightly as he watched his Draconians begin to regain their composure. As Wolfe approached and Gregor commanded the fires be lit Nidhug turned and silently watched the exchange. He was unsure what the commander was getting at by giving away their position, but when he saw the look in Gregor’s face directed at one of his most trusted Nidhug elected to not risk getting his own head broken open and chose a path of silence in the decision.

He turned his reptilian eyes to Gregor when he addressed him directly and listened. His commanders words hung between them and when he made his statement about the wolf lying down and dying Nidhug turned and looked at Nevaeh lying on the cloak of his Lord. His eyes traced her slender silhouette before returning to his commanders penetrating gaze and he spoke, “Aye sire, let us just hope that there are no traps set on the game paths that the wolf might have over looked.”



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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:34 am



Piramay sat in quiet contemplation upon her throne looking out over the landscape. She was wearing a pair of rose tinted glasses that enhanced her sight allowing her to look into the distance. A soft sigh escaped her lips as she stood descending the small set of steps. Her robes swished with the movement of her body as she approached the edge of the deck. She grasped the railing lightly focusing on the smoke in the distance. She had felt a shift in magic and she was looking at smoke that lay in the direction the sensation had come from. With a sigh she stepped away averting her eyes from the smoke looking the direction she knew the solomnic forces were.

"A great battle will be fought and the fools will clash upon each other like robid wolves. To the victor comes death by our hands..." a small ball of flame appeared in her hand as she idle juggled it around her hand absentmindedly.

Her thoughts shifted from the joyous thoughts of laying waste to an army to thoughts of things more pressing to her, Kali. The girl was the lynchpin for their entire endevour but the fire mage had doubts. Her trust in Fifth was without question but she could not say the same for the girl. Kali was an important but unknown factor in the entire scheme. Fifth's training methods while effective had a habit of making his pupils harbor an intense hatred for him. So far such a detail had not hindered his schemes of the years, but it only took one. She sighed knowing she would have to keep a careful eye on the girl. Both Fifth and herself have risked much for this chance and she wasn't going to risk any more than she had to at this point. She ascnded the steps returning to her seat lowering herself slowly as she remained lost in her thoughts. She grasped the thread that she had fomed with Kali while in her restoritive slumber. She simply sat examining the thread of magic wondering what she could draw from it.



Myth awakened staring towards the window observing the rising of the sun. He shifted his weight slightly as his muscles ached in protest of how he had slept. He blinked away the sleep from his eyes and did his best to keep his yawn small. In his arms rested his wife Rayann still deep in slumber. He reached up moving a lock of hair from her face admiring how the light of the rising sun made her look more radiant. Never in his life could he recall a more beautiful sight. He sighed lightly and looked once more to the window and the rising sun as his mind drifted to thoughts of the previous evening.

Myth had exited the keep and looked up to the battlements. His eyes had been quick to notice Ceridwyn approaching Pela and he slowed standing near the wall as they conversed. He maid no sound and only listened happy that Ceridwyn was the first to talk to the young girl. He was a bit surprised by the offer to take the girl to Syvanost but he could understand the reason it was offered. With Bad Rock gone the girsl was going to need to learn to improve her social skills as well as her magic. Given Pela's upbrining the patience of an elven teacher would be needed to reign in the girl's rebelliousness. It wasn't that he didn't think she could find a patient enough person in the human lands. With Ceridwyn and Aeolis's help she would simply find that help faster.

As Ceridwyn descended from the battlements had Myth looked in her direction. It was clear from where he had stood he would have heard them talk. When he was noticed he had simply nodded his head offered a small grin and a wink. He remained there for some time lost in thought looking up into the night sky. An idea formed in his mind and he would talk the matter over with Rayann before taking it any further. He looked up noting Pela was rising and Myth spun on his heel and headed back into the keep.

When he returned to their room Rayann had been sitting in the chair. He recalled taking a seat near her and after a short time talking she had moved to sit with him. He had wrapped his arms around her as she sat their head against him. At some point they both had fallen asleep, and here he sat wife still in his arms greeting the morning sun. He sighed wondering what the days ahead would bring.



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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:23 am




Fifth stood on the top most observation deck of his tower, his eyes tracing the horizon line as he watched the black smoke rising like snakes devouring the clouds. A sneer crossed his lips and he felt out in the ancient magic that surrounded them, he could feel that Piramay was on her tower deck as well, he sent a missive to Kali, ~Please meet us on the observation deck of the tower of flame.” ~
Kali looked up from her study and she looked out the window. The dawn had come quickly and the dust had settled from the horizon. She stood and complied with Fifth’s request, vanishing and reappearing instantly on the deck of the tower of flame. She looked at Fifth and bowed her head softly. Then her eyes shifted to Piramay and her face turned slightly brighter. Her characteristic, beautiful crooked smile crossed her lips and she nodded respectfully as she closed her eyes. Fifth spoke as he walked to the railing, “An army of Knights approaches from the south. Another of the Dark Queen from the north…,” He turned and looked at the two ladies with him and sneered, “This should be quite a show.”

Kali inhaled deeply and glanced sideways at Piramay as she walked to the railing and looked over the landscape. She looked to the north and reached out as if she was going to grasp the skyline. Whispering words of magic a burst of green light exploded from her hand and she stood a moment. She turned back to the two of them and spoke, “Last night I scouted out the armies and the landscape with the eye of far sight. The army to the south is far outnumbered by that from the north. Her Dark Majesty is sending a massive force, far too large to be justified in just sacking Heartlund.” She turned and looked at Fifth and then Piramay, both looked back at her knowingly. She nodded and spoke again, “Pardon my lack of information on the matter, obviously until I get caught up with things the two of you are going to hold the advantage in tactical planning.”

She inhaled deeply and turned around, Fifth walked up beside her and rested his hands on the flaming guard rail, though his hands never burned, “We have not had the chance to brief you yet is all. You haven’t even been here 24 hours, we didn’t expect you to know everything immediately.” He turned and looked at Piramay with a slight sneer, “You are above the means of many, as you attune to the towers you will also have the knowledge as to their origin and purpose.”

Kali turned and looked at him and then the Piramay. She nodded and then looked to the north again, “So I take it we aren’t going to fight them?” Fifth laughed and patted her gently on the shoulder, “Of course we are going to fight them, but we aren’t going to run headlong into the fray. Patience is our ally, with two opposing forces racing towards each other in such fervor we can harvest the souls we need without spending our own energy. Yes, we are elevated in our abilities, but unfortunately until we free ourselves from the natural laws of this world we are still subject to them. However if we bide our time, and let them clash on their own principles and purposes we can still harvest the souls we will need to finish what we started.”

He reached into his robes and removed two soul wells, just like the one he had used to create the towers with Piramay. He handed them to Piramay and Kali and spoke, “The instant you touch them the knowledge of their use will enter your mind. We will need to triangulate around the battle, but this will maximize our reach. Obviously we will need quick escape portals,” He turned to Kali, “Your responsibility to prepare them for us.” She nodded. Fifth then continued, “My little Phoenix, you will be responsible for preparing fire stones if we need to create a defense perimeter. I will infuse the soul wells with the drain spells so we can capture and harvest.” He looked at Piramay who was glancing at him with curiosity, he smiled and spoke, “We cannot take on a force of this size, even with the power of these three towers we would eventually be over run, for now our power does have limits. Patience little fire flower, all great things are worth waiting for.”

He smiled and the five pointed scar on his face glowed softly as he turned towards the north, “The approaching storm will empower us, we will only become stronger as war is waged across all of Krynn, and in the end we will be the only true victors.”


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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:55 pm



Tepes flew high over the outer ramparts of Heartlund Keep, circled, stood on one wing and dove towards the ground. He swooped low over the courtyard, then turned flapping his wings as he soared up the side of the Keep, circled, letting out a loud screech. As he reached the windows he back flapped his wings, appearing to stop suspended in mid air. Slowing he drifted towards the sills, with talons extended, peering in each window, the leather cylinder securely strapped to one leg, with the message from Sol inside.


(message: "Commander Rose: .... Have climbed Dargaurd Mountain ...... On trek here, it appears Throt has fallen, as large plume of smoke arose for its direction ....... At pass near Daurgard Keep large plume of smoke visible from its location ......... Vast army of forty thousand or more massing at western edge of Estwilde .... Appears Busuk and Taman have aligned with Dark Queen ...... S.L.").


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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:11 pm



Piramay was staring off into the distance from her seat when Fifth appeared followed shortly by Kali. She allowed a smile to grace her lips as she nodded in greeting to the two before she rose from her seat to join them at the railing. Her eyes shifted off to the north for a time as Fifth talked to Kali of things. She paid attention but remained observant of other things. She agreed with the girl's assessment of the force being sent by the queen in this direction. It was far larger than was needed to take the city.

The offering of a soul well brought her thoughts back to the conversation at hand. He eyebrow was quirked up as she took the item in hand. She already had the knowledge of these items but she knew that bit was for Kali's sake and not her own. It would be like Northkeep all over again but on a grander scale. The very thought made her tingle with excitement. "I am aware of the concept of fighting against ants my dear Fifth. Patience is not one of my better virtues but it is one I am capable of employing when necessary." Her cheshire grin returned as she turned leaning on the railing.

"The stones will be an easy enough matter... they will be ready before the two armies meet on the field of battle I'll even see to it a couple of our elemental friends are tied to each one as a precaution as well." She folded her arms chuckling "After all nothing says surprise like an elemental sprouting up at your enemies feet."

The only part of this plan she didn't like was Kali being in charge of the escape route. It was simply in her nature to not rust her safety to someone unproven in their loyalty. Fifth was calculating though and he was probably taking many things into account about the matter. Still it didn't make her feel any better about things. Perhaps she was being paranoid but that paranoia had kept her alive in the Queen's service. She simply smiled and looked back out over the landscape.



Rose was sitting quietly going over the lists of the names of knights lost, injured, or other when she heard a tapping at her window. Her right eyebrow lifted as she looked and saw a bird just in the other side. It took her several moments to recognize the bird as being Tepes. When the realization came to her she stood and went to the window and opened it allowing the bird to come in. She saw the leather case and carefully reached out opening it taking out the note. Of all the news she could have received this was probably the worse than anything she had imagined. She quickly scratched a reply down on a scrap of parchment slipping it in the case. (Message received Saul if there is nothing more to learn return to Heartlund ~R.F.~)

She patted the bird and smiled before speaking "Return to your master Tepes.... go" Almost as if it understood her words the bird turned launching off out of the window. She watched it circle a few times before heading off. She did not watch were the bird went. Instead she called for her guards. "I want a runner up here and I want him here yesterday." The guard nodded and banished form the room. Rose dropped herself in her chair and sighed heavily "Gods help us this just got worse."
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:37 am

As Sol

traveled southwest down the mountain trails of the Dargaurd Mountains, stealthily trying to evade any advanced or pursuing party of the Dark Queens army, he would stop and double back on his own trail. Occasionally he would move north, northwest or south for a short period, then take to the trees to both travel and stop to observe, always returning to his original trek. As he moved through out the forest, Sol would stop and construct a large snares and deep pits with sharpened stakes in the bottom, making sure to camouflage then carefully with leaves and dead wood. Sol ate dried meat, berries and yaw roots, not wanting to risk a campfire, and slept in the trees. He wrapped the horses hooves with strips of leather to soften the sound of its hoof falls and to hide its hoof prints as much as possible.
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:14 pm


Nevaeh was oblivious to anything that was going on around her, except for the fact she had grown very warm. Even in her subconscious she felt the warmth of Gregors spell engulf her frigid, frozen body and could not be more thankful.

As the fires were lit and the horizon filled with smoke, she slept on. The spell had been extremely draining on her. She knew she was an integral part of the spell but she didn’t know she would become the conduit for the spell that would allow the army to pass through unscathed. Well…..mostly unscathed.

It wasn’t until the first light of the morning skies the next dawn when she finally awoke. Her dark eyes fluttered open and she startled slightly trying to remember what happened. As it all started coming back to her, she peered out from the folds of her hood and looked around at her surroundings. The first thing she noticed was Gregor and she studied the man for a long moment in her obscurity. He was an impressive and intimidating figure. And there was no doubt he would could just as easy choke the life out of someone with his bare hands as he could weave a spell that would make them suffer before they finally met death.

And she planned on staying on his good side.

Her dark eyes then drifted to Nidhug and a scowl drifted over her features. Oh these unnatural, inhuman creatures. Why did she have to be around them constantly? Surely this was a punishment for some transgression she’d done in the past. No worries, though. She would do what her Queen tasked her to do and when this was done, she would find herself higher up on the food chain than before she joined this General and his army.

Finally she began to stir and as she moved, she felt the physical strain on her body as her muscles ached in protest of her moving them. Gritting her teeth, she forced herself to move and finally reached her feet. After a few wobbles she regained her balance and looked around. A few curious glares were sent her direction, especially when she caught sight of Gregor and stared walking his direction. When she was a few feet from him, she inclined her head respectfully and bowed slightly before standing upright once more.

Pushing the hood of her robes off her head, she glanced around at the many fires and black smoke that filled the air. With a curious glance, she looked back to Gregor and arched a brow on her blackened forehead but said nothing. There was no need for words, the look on her face was quite easy to read.





Rayann and Myth had talked until the wee hours of the morning. She talked about loosing Kali,m her fears and her hopes that loss brought her. Like her, he shared those same fears and hopes. And the same grief felt when they watched their daughter walk through the wardings of the towers perimeter. It wasn’t very often she saw her husbands strong exterior crack but when it did, she knew the flood of emotions that was going to break forth. She braced herself for it but didn’t block any of it from reaching her. She needed to feel everything her husband felt. It was as much therapeutic for her as it was for Myth.

The conversation turned to another child then: Pela. Myth and Rayann agreed the girl was like a wilting flower in the middle of a bed of weeds. If she didn’t get the correct teachings, on all levels, she would eventually be choked out by the weeds that surrounded her.

Myth explained how Ceri had offered the girl to come to Sylvanost and live and while Rayann knew Ceri had the girls well being at heart, Rayann didn’t agree Sylvanost was the right place for Pela to be. The Elves still weren’t that open to a human living among them. It would be even more difficult for the girl when they realized she was a wild sorceress.

Rayann and Myth mutually agreed the best place for Pela would be Glen Durel. Rayann would take the girl under her wing and teach her magic but Myth would be key in teaching her discipline outside the realm of magic. Pela, like Kali, was a battle mage and she could benefit from Myth’s warrior skills. But they also agreed Ceri and Aeolis would be key in helping teach Pela how to live harmoniously within her world. The last thing they agreed to was meeting with Ceri and Aeolis after breakfast and see if they would come stay at Glen Durel for as long as they wished to help get Pela up on her feet.

Now, as the morning sun shone through the window of their room and Myth began to stir, Rayann’s eyes fluttered open and she remained very still. As she felt and heard Myth sigh, Rayann lifted her eyes to look into his handsome face. For a long moment, they merely stared into each other’s eyes. There were no words needed. They each knew what the other was feeling and they each knew what the other was thinking.

Life will go one and as long as they breathe, they still had a life left to live together.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:34 pm







Pela awoke to the sound of silence. No snoring. No gentle thudding of large feet as they hit the earthen floor of her room. No sounds of shuffling as Bad Rock prepared breakfast for her. No sound of him breathing as he moved about.

Nothing.

It was as if she’d been transported to some crazed nightmare where there was no one around her and she was completely, utterly alone. Even though she knew that not to be true. She was surrounded by individuals and some of them even tried to show her they cared.

The young guard who checked in on her.

The Elf Maid Ceridwyn.

Even Myth had made an effort to check on her in his own way.

But Pela felt isolated and segregated. No one really trusted her still. Even after what she and Bad Rock had done for the Knights and citizens of Solamnia. She was learning a very hard lesson in her life and she didn’t like how it felt.

Forcing herself off her bed roll, she walked over to the dry sink and prepared herself for the long, lonely day ahead. Braiding her hair then curling it onto the back of her head, she secured it in place with a pin Bad Rock had given her years ago. She lovingly caressed it with her thumb before sliding it into place in her hair.

Opening the door to her room, she saw the sun shining brightly down on the Keep and its people. A blaring mockery of how she really felt. She even considered closing the door and going back to lay on her bed roll but the sound of her growling stomach reminded her if she was going to live, she had to eat. With another sigh, she trudged through the grounds of the Keep and headed for the main building where the mess hall was located. Once inside, she didn’t bother to look at anyone as she moved through the Knights that had survived the assault on the towers.

She could feel the eyes on her as she moved through the room gathering up what she thought she could stomach to eat today. Seeing an empty table towards the back of the room, she headed in that direction. She was just setting her plate on the table when a Knight sat down and glared at her.

“Sorry, this table is taken for me and my fellow Knights.”

Pela blinked and furrowed her brows then turned and moved to another empty table. Another Knightquickly sat down and stated the same thing to her. She could feel her roiling emotions starting to churn within her but she decided to ignore the man and go seek another table. Two more times she found herself confronted by the same situation and finally she could take no more. Dropping her plate hard on the table where the Knight sat, she glared right back at him.

”You and your friends seem to take up a lot of space at tables in this room. I think you are being nothing but rude and it is time someone taught all of you a lesson.”

The room suddenly grew quiet and the Knights looked around nervously and those who had been working on Pela seemed to suddenly gather around the young girl. The guard who had been keeping an eye on her stepped up and tried to defuse the situation knowing it was very close to exploding.

“Pela…..don’t do anything you will regret. Sir Knights, please…..let the girl be. She only wants to break her fast like the rest of you.”

A voice from behind the guard let him know he was fighting a losing battle. Sir Walter moved in behind the younger knight and looked around at his growing group of supporters.

“Leave well enough alone, boy. This doesn’t concern you. Besides, the girl said she was going to give us a lesson. Let her see what she can do to us to teach us manners.”

Pela glared at the man. As he talked, Pela began gathering magic into herself and her hands began to turn a strange shade of blue. There was no doubt she was getting ready to let loose with a barrage of something and it was only going to add fuel to the tinder that surrounded her. When Walter got done speaking, Pela smiled but it wasn’t the type of smile you want to see on anyone, let alone a wild sorceress.

”Very well then……if you insist.”

The temperature in the room suddenly plunged and the stone floor began to turn to noting but ice. A flutter of activity began to happen and as the Knights tried to leave the room some of them slipped and fell while others tried to escape the frigid temperatures that suddenly engulfed the room. Others soon found themselves unable to move as the ice began to form around their feet, holding them in place.

A wave of panic began to move through the room then as they realized the girl was about to unleash her fury on all of the people gathered in the room. All of them began to shiver and some of them tried to call out to reason with the girl to spare them but Pela was beyond reasoning with.






Rayann and Myth had finally gotten themselves up and ready to face the day. It was getting to the point where you never knew what was going to happen from one minute to the next around the Keep but one thing was for certain, it wasn’t going to be boring.

As they were making their way to the mess hall they ran into Aeolis and Ceridwyn heading in the same direction. Rayann smiled and hugged her friend dearly when they met. Aeolis greeted Myth with a clasp of forearms as the women greeted each other.

”How are you this morning, Ceri? Did you sleep good?”

Before Ceri could say anything Rayann felt the pull of magic and she furrowed her brows., As the sensation grew, she thought at first it was Kali and the other two mages getting ready but it was different than Kali and what she felt from the towers. Finally it dawned on her. As she looked at Ceri they both said the same word at the same time.

”Pela….”

Rayann grabbed a hold of Myth’s arm and Aeolis felt Ceri take his hand and in a flash they were outside the mess hall. As soon as they walked in they saw Pela’s hands raised getting ready to unleash a massive spell that was sure to obliterate the Kights who were quickly freezing where they stood. Just as Pela unleashed the spell, Rayann cast her own as the room suddenly filled with her commanding voice.

”MIACHT!”

The spell Pela had finally unleashed was quickly absorbed b y the spell Rayann cast. Pela whirled around to see who had dared to stop her and when she did, Rayann quickly cast another spell and the room was engulfed on a warm glow and instantly Pela knew she would be in trouble if she remained here.

”NO! You should have let me finish the job! They deserved it!”

Rayann furrowed her brows and shook her head.

”No, Pela. You can’t turn on these Knights.”

Pela felt tears sting her eyes and she angrily brushed them away as she stood there taking deep gulps of breath to try and contain her emotions.

”They refused to let me sit and eat in peace!”

Rayann glanced angrily at the Knights who were starting to come out of the frozen fright they had been in and file out of the room. She glanced atCeri and Myth then before she looked back at Pela.

”We will take care of that, Pela but you cannot lash out like this all the time. You’ll find yourself held prisoner in a magic negating cell or worse, dead.”

”PERHAPS I WANT TO DIE!”

Rayann blinked then as she felt the girls unleashed emotions. Pela had no idea how to express emotions and she was hurting deeply from the loss of the only person who had ever been in her life. Taking a deep breath, she picked up the hem of her robes and walked towards the girl. When she was in arms reach of the girl, she reached out and pulled the girl into a hug. Pela resisted at first then she couldn’t hold back any longer and she clung to Rayann as she began to sob into the soft, red velvet of Rayanns beloved robes. As Ceri walked over Rayann looked at her best friend and felt tears stinging her own eyes.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:57 am


Ceridwyn smiled and hugged Rayann warmly as they greeted one another in the hall. She was just about to answer her question when they both snapped their heads and looked towards the mess hall. They all ported to the area and immediately the situation was clear to them. Ceridwyn moved back and got near the door as the Knights became locked in place. Rayann handled the situation and calmed Pela down. As Ceridwyn scanned the area she saw Sir Walter stumble over as the ice melted from around his feet. She first heard Pela as she spoke to Rayann and then she heard Walter as he turned to one of his subordinates and whisper, “I will see to it that the little ice bitch pays for this!”

Ceridwyn’s face flushed and any of her companions that saw the instant glow to her cheeks would know she was now beyond reason and any attempt to stop her would be futile. Walter was lifted off the ground and thrown across the room as Ceridwyn extended her hand and a beam of flexing golden light whipped around him and flung him like a rag doll. He bounced off the wall and fell face first to the ground. Three of his lower ranking supporters rushed at Ceridwyn and with her other hand she scattered sand and spices into the air as she hissed words of magic, they instantly slumped over and clattered in a heap as the sleep spell stopped them dead in their tracks.

Walter attempted to stand and she flicked her wrist, the golden beam of light still wrapped around his waist. He was pulled off his feet again and flung into the pile of dirty dishes, a massive gash appeared over his left eye and he howled in protest as he impacted the wall behind it. Again he fell over and rolled onto his back. She heard the sound of more booted feet and still holding the beam of light that connected her with Walter she spun and brought up her hand. The six Knights skid to a halt as they looked at her with wide eyes. Her face was twisted with anger and her eyes were burning as if a fire had been lit underneath them. Her voice came out more like a growl and she spoke to them, “If you wish to provoke my anger gentlemen by all means, keep moving forward. I am not subject to the laws and protocols of the Knights of Solamnia and so help me by the gods I will weed out the stench of this man’s corruption in my own way.”

They looked at her and one of them spoke after a few seconds, “He is our Commander, we won’t let you…” She narrowed her eyes on the young Knight, “Won’t let me what? Won’t let me allow him to continue and abuse one who shares MY talents and path? How long did you think we magi would simply stand around and allow this scrap of filth to abuses us? It ends now!!!”

The Knight who had been speaking began to advance and a golden orb burst from her palm and hit him square in the chest. He oscillated wildly as he hit the ground and went into convulsions. Rayann would feel an incredible amount of rage building in Ceridwyn, the emotions that had been buried over the loss on the battlefield, the defecting of Kali, the pain and the death, it was all bubbling to the surface and she spun as she grasped the beam of light that surrounded Walter. She squeezed her hand and the lariat of light began to squeeze him around the chest and he screamed in pain as it tightened. It would be obvious to Aeolis, Rayann and Myth that she was not going to stop, not until his body snapped in half.

Aeolis lunged forward and grabbed Ceridwyn, shaking her and she snapped to coming out of her rage and stared at him. He looked at her with his soft eyes and spoke, “Mel’amin, he is not worth it, don’t allow his tainted blood to be on your hands.”

Her eyes welled as she felt his love and she released her hand and Walter gasped as oxygen began to fill his lungs once again. She collapsed into Aeolis’ arms and wept softly. The dead silence in the mess hall was only interrupted by the violent coughing and wheezing now coming from Sir Walter who lay in a heap on the floor.



Kali was up early and she prepared three items of teleportation for the three Wizards of the towers. She reached out and felt that Piramay was awake. With a whisper she spoke through the magic and her voice filled the air around the fire mage, “May I come Piramay?”

She heard the response which permitted her access to the tower of fire and she appeared in front of Piramay. The fire mage looked at her and Kali reached out with her right hand, holding a platinum chest pin that could be fastened to the robes. Kali was already wearing one that looked exactly like it on her own lapel. “The device will respond the magic word ‘Klisht’cha’ and will return you to your tower.”

Piramay took the device and held it in her delicate, slender fingers and as she looked back up Kali immediately could see the distrust in her eyes. She spoke softly, “Perhaps in time we will find common ground to stand on but I assure you that if you wish to go test this device for secret enchantments or to insure it will do as I said it will you will find I am being truthful. I made a choice to come here, despite your communicating with me while you slept, it was ultimately still up to me. Perhaps this small trinket will give us our first step towards being a united front.”

Piramay only looked at her and after a second of silence Kali simply nodded and faded from sight. She reappeared in her tower and looked across her scrolls where she had just been working to make the teleportation devices. She set her staff down and inhaled deeply. She had been in this environment before, the constant distrust, the jockeying for position, the keeping of your accomplices at arm’s length and never allowing full trust. She was just getting used to the idea of working side by side with no holds barred but she would have to readjust. She knew that Fifth and Piramay would not trust her completely, and why should they. Their plan had been the action of many months together, many years of planning behind that. She had only been among them a couple days so it was natural that they would hold her off for now.

She touched her scrolls and frowned softly, she knew, in time, they would trust her.


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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:16 pm







To say things were tense in the mess hall was an understatement. As Aeolis arrived with the others and saw Ceri’s fury unleashed on Walter, he knew this wasn’t going to set well with the other Knights who had once supported the magi. While he could have called a halt to it sooner, and he would have if Myth’s hand on his arm hadn’t stopped him from moving to Ceri, he waited to let the superstitious and suspicious thinking Knights see just exactly why you should never get on the bad side of a mage, no matter how sweet, nice and beautiful they seem. When he looked at the Prince he saw the slightest shake of his head telling him to let Ceri go for a moment.

Finally, when it had gone on long enough and before Ceri could actually hurt Walter that a couple of days rest wouldn’t cure, Aeolis stepped up and gently shook Ceri’s shoulders to bring her back to the present. What had started out as a hopeful day seemed to spiral downward into the abyss faster than anyone could think.

As Ceri dissolved into sobs against his chest, Aeolis looked around at the Knights that now had regained their senses and were hurrying to stumble out of the thawing mess hall. Exchanging worried glances with Myth, Aeolis knew it was only a matter of time before they were in the presence of the Commander and she wouldn’t be the least bit happy about all of this.

Holding Ceri close to him, Aeolis looked over at Walter as the man struggled to his feet and with the aid of one of his subordinates he was escorted out of the mess hall. If looks could have killed, Aeolis would have shot several daggers through the mans body.


Rayann was just as angry as Ceri was and if she didn’t have her hands full of Pela, she would have joined her friend in cleaning out the garbage that littered the mess hall. When Aeolis finally brought the mage back under control and the Knights began to filter out of the mess hall, leaving Walter the last to leave, Rayann looked back at Myth.

”Well, I would say we’re about to wear out our welcome.”

Pela had been reduced to quiet hiccups as she sobbed against Rayann. She heard the exchange and was barely aware of anything that happened around her except for the pull of magic she felt when Ceri cast her spells. When it was all said and done, she could hardly stand on her own two legs but she forced herself to in order to keep from dissolving into a pile of flesh. Finally she sniffled and wiped the constant stream of liquid falling from her ice blue eyes as she lifted her head from Rayann’s shoulder.

”I…I should not have….but…..I could not take any more….”

Rayann wanted to be stern with the girl but all she could do was sigh and shake her head.

”It was bound to happen sooner or later, Pela. We’re all a bit on edge and our emotions are as raw as they can be right now. At least we prevented any loss of life and that will count when the chips fall.”

Aeolis, and Myth turned their heads at the same moment towards the door as they heard the distinct sound of boots hitting the stone floor of the hallway in a rather hard and hurried fashion. Aeolis glanced at Myth then to Rayann.

”And from the sounds of it, the chips will be falling very soon. Rose is headed our direction. And if her her foot falls are any indication of how she feels, she is not happy.”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:41 am




Larrisa watched the situation unfold from the doorway as Walter's subordinates started to harass Pela. All she could do was bite her lip as she prayed the men wouldn't push her to far. Her hopes were dashed once Walter decided to call young Pela's bluff and the young mage began to lash out. She found her feet frozen fast to the ground and she cursed under her breath. The situation was growing bad very quickly. She was starting to feel panic when Rayann and company appeared out of thing air. She watched Rayann quickly defuse what ever it was that Pela was about to do. As the ice melted away from her feet she quickly escaped the mess hall making a v-line for Roses office she never saw what Ceridwyn did.

Larrisa moved like the dark goddess herself was on her heels. She barely came to a halt in time at Rose's door to avoid bowling over one of her guards. Excusing herself quickly she burst in startling Rose at her desk. Larrisa was out of breath and it took her a moment before she could speak. "Sir.. Walter... finally pushed... one of the mages.. to far... ma'am." Rose didn't respond in words as she shot up from her desk understanding exactly what Larrisa meant.

With guards in tow they were quickly making their way to the mess hall. En route several knights where quickly heading the opposite way they were. Rose's scowl grew with each knight when they finally came upon Walter. The man saw her and began to stammer out an explanation as she drew near. Rose wasn't even paying attention really all she heard was that it wasn't his fault right before her fist lashed out landing a hard right hook into his jaw sending the man stumbling into a wall. She looked at one "Pick him up and bring him.... he'll have just as much to answer for as the mage will when this is all over." then turning to her other guard "You get Tristan..." Rose didn't even stop to wait letting her guards do as she ordered while she continued on with Larrisa in tow behind her. The doors to the mess came into view quickly and Rose shoved them open with force. Her eyes took in the scene before her but her frown remained.

"I would like to know what went on in here and I won't to know quickly before I start calling for men in arms."

Myth was the only one not pre-occupied with seeing to any one person and he was thus the first to speak. "I am unclear as to what went on before our arrival but I can assure you had we not arrived when we did there would be a greater problem on our hands." Myth looked past Rose seeing Walter being hauled back to the mess hall. "I believe though that you may want to talk to Walter and Pela about what happened here first and then we can move on to what transpired after that."

Rose only crossed her arms waiting for Walter to be brought inside the room. "Very well then..." she looked at Walter giving him a glare before looking back to Rayann. "If I am to question people about what went on then I want to be sure the truth is being told. Is there a way for you to ensure this Lady Rayann?"
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:04 am

Saul looks to the sky as he hears the faint cries of vultures. He scans the horizon and sky. There in the distance circling over the distant plains he saw the scavengers. Slowly he makes his way towards the field through the dense forest, at the the base of The Dargaard Mountains. The undergrowth had been beaten down by many shuffling feet.
Saul knelt and laid his hand upon the earth, examining the foot prints left behind. “Doppelgangers have traveled this way, heavily armed and in pursuit of something or someone, three maybe four days ago.” he said to himself. Standing again, he looked around and listened intently. Then proceeded forward following the trail. Stepping lightly to remain silent as he traveled towards the circling scavengers.
Soon he came upon the remains of a campfire, kneeling, placing his hand on some of the exposed burnt ends of branches and the exposed ashes in the disturbed soil. “One maybe two days old.” he thought “ Hastily covered.” As he knelt and looked out over the field, he hears the familiar screech
of Tepes.
Saul cupped his hand to his mouth made a sound, mimicking the sound of a wounded rabbit and held up his arm. Tepes’ head swiveled, his sharp eyesight scanning the ground. Seeing Saul and his raised arm Tepes flapped his wings once, then tucked them close to his sides. The falcon fell from the sky like a stone until he reached about thirty feet above Saul arm. He then extended his wings, breaking his decent and extended his talons. When he was about three feet above Saul’s out stretched arm, Tepes flapped his wings, and appeared to hover over Saul’s arm then float down and resting on it gently.

Saul reached into his coat pocket, with his free hand and extracted a strip of dried meat, giving it to the falcon. “What news have you my good friend.” Saul said as he untied the leather cylinder attached to one of Tepes’ legs. Transferring the falcon to his shoulder, Saul opened the cylinder and extracted the small piece of parchment. Unrolling it he read the message from Commander Rose, .... Message received Saul if there is nothing more to learn return to Heartlund ~R.F.~. Saul knelt and removed a small piece of charcoal from his pocket, turned the note from Commander rose over and wrote “As you wish Commander ..... evidence of a small party of Doppelgangers at the base of the Dargaard mountains on the border of Nightlund ........ will make haste .... arrive in two or three days time. SL.” Saul then rolled the parchment back up, inserted it in the cylinder, he then sat Tepes on a nearby low branch and tied the cylinder to one of his legs. “One more task my friend, then you can rest for a while. Take this with all speed to Commander Rose.” Saul said as he held out his arm and Tepes stepped upon it. Lifting his arm, as he reached into his pocket, extracting another piece of dried meat, giving it to the falcon. Saul then raised his arm higher and said “Go.” the falcon took immediately to the air. Tepes circled once then flew off towards Heatlund.

As Saul watched the bird fade from view he to began his treck across the plains of Nightlund.[justify]
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:13 am







Pela quickly wiped the moisture from her eyes as Rose came into the mess hall. She knew this woman would either seal her fate or allow her side of the story to be told. Her eyes darted from Rose to Walter to Myth, Aeolis and Ceridwyn then finally to Rayann. Gulping, she hoped these people would at least not feed her to the she wolf she now saw Rose looking like.

Aeolis knew Rose was highly upset and when he saw Walter being hauled back into the mess hall, and saw the way his jaw had a red blotch starting to form, he knew some sort of confrontation had taken place. Unfortunately, what started with Pela had ended with Ceri and he knew despite everything, Rose wasn’t going to be happy or take too kindly one of her Knights, regardless of his own involvement, had been the target of a mages outburst.

Rayann turned to face Rose as she entered and when she saw Walter being dragged back into the mess hall as well, she knew what was going to happen even before Rose said anything. There were two sides to every story and someplace in the middle was the truth. Glancing at Ceri then to Aeolis, Myth and Pela, she looked back to Rose and squared her shoulders, nodding.

”Yes. I will be able to tell who speaks the truth and….when they are trying to conceal something.”

Pela looked around at what was happening and when Rose wanted Rayann to find out who was speaking the truth, she felt better knowing her side of the story would be heard, truthfully and with an open mind. Rayann stepped aside and looked to Pela and nodded.

”Since this seems to have all started when you arrived, please tell the Commander what took place before we got here from your point of view.”

Pela swallowed hard and cleared her throat. It was clear by her voice she was uncertain what the outcome of this would be but she wasn’t about to not get her chance to tell her side.

”I came in here to get some breakfast. When I put what I wanted to eat on my plate, I went to sit down at an empty table. As I tried to set my plate down, a Knight sat down and informed me the table was reserved for he and his fellow Knights. Again I found an empty table and again as I set my plate down, another Knight sat down and informed me the table was reserved for he and his fellow Knights. The same thing happened a third and fourth time. By the time the fourth came to be, I knew what they were doing. So I decided to show them they should not bother me.”

As Pela relayed her story, Rayann locked her eyes onto Pela’s and slowly eased herself into the girls mind. Like she does with Myth, Rayann not only heard what Pela was saying but she could see the events unfold from Pela’s point of view and there was nothing the girls said that conflicted with what Rayann saw. Looking over at Rose, Rayann nodded letting Rose know Pela was indeed telling the truth.

As all eyes turned to Walter, his eyes darted around to those gathered then he looked at Rose.

“You’re going to let one of their own determine if I’m telling the truth or not? That’s a bit like letting the fox watch the chicken coop if you ask me. I won’t have any part of this. It’s a mockery of who we are.”

Rayann had enough for one morning from one person. She furrowed her brows and put her hands on her hips.

”Sir Walter. Either you relay what happened in your own words and allow me the chance to see what truly happened or I assure you I will do it without your consent and it won’t be pretty. All Rose has to do is give me the word and I will bore my way into that pea brain of yours and extract the truth rather you want me to or not.”

Rayann glanced at Rose and waited to see if the Commander would give her the nod but she didn’t have to. Walter snatched his arms from the guards that still held him and he straightened his tunic, holding his head proudly.

“Very well. I have nothing to hide. Look all you want.”

He glanced at those around him then leveled his glare on Rose as he relayed what happened.

“I was sitting over there and I saw the ice witch come in. She made her way to the food table and started piling her pate with food. As she moved about seeking a place to sit, another Knight sat down either at the same time or just before she chose the spot. Given who and what she is, no one really wanted her to be near them so they made sure she was aware the table was not welcoming her to them. Apparently she took offense to my fellow Knights wanting to distance themselves from her that she became angry like the child she is. She lashed out at us, all of us, and if it hadn’t been for the Lady Rayann I fear we would have all perished. But my story doesn’t end there, like the girls did. When the she elf magi showed up, she instantly drew the conclusion that I was to blame somehow and she lashed out at me. She tossed me about with a magic rope of somehow as if I were a rag doll of some sort. I was merely trying to make my way out of the mess hall and away from the out of control ice witch.”

As Walter spoke, Rayann entered his mind. What he was relaying was the truth as he wanted to tell it, but what she actually saw had some added things Walter didn’t include in his version of what transpired. As Walter relayed his story, Rayann caught flashes of him seeing Pela come in and him giving an order to the Knights that sat at his table. She also saw the part where Pela’s guard tried to come to her defense only to be brought down by Walter. And she saw what had triggered Ceri’s sudden reaction.

When Rose looked at Rayann, Rayann shook her head causing Walter to lunge at her in a rage.

“You lying red robed BITCH!”

Before anyone could react, Walter found himself suspended from the air and Myth’s powerful hand grasping his throat cutting the air off from him causing Walter to claw at Myth’s hand as he struggled to get air. As Myth said something to the Knight she couldn’t quite understand, Rayann looked to Rose again.

”He told his followers to do that to Pela. And when we stopped Pela, he was going to make sure Pela was to fully blame for what happened. But you don’t need to take my word. Pela’s guard tried to defuse the situation but Walter used his rank to intimidate the younger Knight.”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:45 am


Ceridwyn pushed herself away from Aeolis slowly as she heard the door burst open behind her. She turned and looked at Rose who was taking control of the situation and giving orders left and right. Slowly Walter was drug in behind her and she furrowed her brows as he glared at her. His body still bore the marks of her anger as well as a new welt on his cheek, about the size of Roses’ fist, she could only smile at this.

As the events unfolded and Rayann’s empathic abilities were used to determine the truth Ceridwyn moved herself slightly behind Aeolis and observed, keeping her mouth shut and simply allowing her eyes to take in the events. She wasn’t an empath, she was more a scryer, therefore Rayann was more the center of this stage and she didn’t in any way want to take away from her expertise in this situation by interjecting anything.

As Walter lunged at Rayann her hand instinctually gripped her staff tightly and she was about to stun him when she heard the gurgled snuffing of his breath as his feet left the floor and Myth’s arm lifted the man from his feet. Walter dangled helplessly and the look on the Prince’s face was nothing short of determined to protect his wife. Ceridwyn could not help but linger on the thought that if this was happening anywhere else, without Commander Rose present Walter might have just as easily found himself staring at the lower half of his body as the top half was cleaved clean and the remaining oxygen in his brain gave him a few precious seconds to realize that he was heading to the Abyss.

Ceridwyn relaxed slightly and her soft brown eyes shifted to look at Rose. She was curious as to how the Commander of Heartlund Keep was going to respond to all this.



Trystan was in the livery brushing checking on the injuries some of the horses had sustained on the battlefield when a lower ranking Knight of the Crown came with haste and slid to a halt as he saluted. “The… Commander… Commander Rose… she summons you to… to the Mess sir… Mages, Sir Walter… there was an incident.”

Trystan’s face turned pale as he considered what this cryptic message meant, and he handed the scrolls he was holding to one of the Livery Masters and dashed to the Keep. He dashed through the halls and made his way downstairs into the Mess, slowing down only when the massive double doors came into view. He jogged up and arrived just as Walter lunged at Rayann, he grabbed his sword and saw Walter lifted into the air. He shook his head and released the blade and watched. Due to the circumstances that he witnessed just in the few seconds he had been here he knew this was no minor manner, and he didn’t announce to Rose that he had arrived, knowing she would have heard him coming and had a much stiffer situation to deal with. She would ask of him what she needed when she was ready.




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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:55 pm




A look of calm washed over Rose's face as she Pela prepared to give her side of the tale. She noted a look of relief that had crossed the young girl's face when it came to light Rose wanted this to be as truthful as possible. With practiced patience Rose listened to Pela's tale remaining silent and stone faced as she did so. While her knights had the right to their opinions it did not excuse the way they were acting. She had guesses as to how things likely happened but she would wait to hear all sides in the matter. As Pela finished Rose bowed her head slightly to the girl ":Thank you Pela."

Her attention then turned to Sir Walter and she did her best to ignore his protests. Rayann made the point to him clearly enough. The hard part about being the commander was remaining impartial until the very end. In this matter she had a long list of reasons to ignore everything Walter said out of hand. She was certain there would be ommitted details and when she looked to Rayann for verification of that fact she was caught off guard by Walter's sudden attempt to attack Rayann in response to her damning his confession. She was in even more shock by how quickly Myth had interceded. She had not even seen the elven prince move. She blinked and Walter was hoisted off the dirt as if he were a doll.

It took Rose several moments to recover from her shock before she stepped up to Myth puting a hand on his outstretched arm. She simply looked at him shaking her head before Myth lowered Walter setting upon the floor but his grip remained iron clad holding the man in place. Rose was thankful for at least a partial consession on Myth's part. If they had been in any place but a solomnic keep Myth very well would have ended Walter's life, of that she was dead certain.

"Larrisa is Walter's accounting of events here in the mess missing any important details?"

Larrisa cleared her throat before speaking "It is as the lady mage says Commander. They did indeed recieve instruction to cause problems. The men were warned that should they persist in their actions there would in fact be trouble. Ms. Pela's guard did attempt to intervine but Walter employed use of his rank to force the issue and make the young man stand down."

Rose frowned looking at Walter "There... backed by one of our own Sir Walter."

Rose stepped away walking towards Trystan lost in thought trying to decide on a course of action. "This entire mess leaves me in a difficult place. Knights under my command have engaged in conduct unbecoming. I also have to consider that magic was brought to bare against my knights as well by our guests." She looked up at Trystan searching his eyes looking for answers to questions.

She turned looking back at the group her face had returned to a stone mask. "Lord Myth if you would please unhand him now. I think he will behave himself for the time being." Her eyes locked with Walters and she almost dared him to make a move as Myth released his grip. The man inhaled deeply drawing in the air to fill his empty lungs.

Rose let Walter catch his breath before she started to speak. "Sir Walter you are stripped of your rank and are to be confined to the stockades pending a court marshall by your superiors." The defiant look was returning to his eyes and as he was about to speak Rose cut him off.

"Everything that has happened here was a result of YOUR actions. YOU gave the orders, YOU provoked the mages, YOU abused your rank over a fellow knight who was doing his duty." She took ina breath before continuing "There is also the fact you made an attempt to attack an ally, whom I will add is the wife of an elven prince who is in fact here as a foreign dignitary as well as bodyguard. Do you even understand just HOW close you came to death just by that very act alone? DO YOU?" She folded her arms glowering at Walter "I can also add promoting desention among the ranks, and dereliction of duty on the field of battle." She watched for a reaction on his face "Or did you think I forgot about that little stunt on the battlefield were you left me to that damn beast."

"Your games are done Walter... consider yourself lucky I am not excersising my right to court marshall you on this very spot as is my right."

She looked at Trystan her anger was very clear and it was obvious she was controlling the brunt of it. "Get this piece of trash out of my sight. If he so much as utters a complaint I want him in irons, gagged, and tossed in to solitary. Also I want it known among every knight still manning this keep that if they so much as utter a word in protest or cause on shred of trouble they will be locked up with him. This ends today..."

Looking away from Trystan she looked at the rest of the group her face still hard. "You all fall outside of my authority but I will make this clear. Tensions are high and I understand that but you can not allow yourselves to be baited. Things could have gone very badly and from what I understand they nearly did. I can not apologize enough for Walter and his men. However I must adive a word of caution from here on out. I will not tolerate anymore trouble from ANYONE in my keep.

Myth could only stand there a bit suprised that Rose was handling herself considering how angry she was. Her body language indicated that her anger was barely being held in check. The minor outbursts of anger were indeed mild compared to what they could be. He simply said nothing looking to Rayann and then to the others individually before turning back to Rose.
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:34 pm







Pela began to come to her own defense again.

”I would not have….”

But before her words could be finished, Rayann whirled around and pinned the girl with a pointed look.

”Enough, Pela. The Commander has spoken. Her word is law in this Keep and we will obey it. ALL of us.”

Pela blinked and looked at Rayann for a moment before she shrunk back down and lowered her gaze muttering a soft yes ma’am before lifting her gaze to look around at the others. Rayann looked at Myth then the others then to Rose and nodded her head.

”We will all do what we have to in order to make sure we keep ourselves in check, Commander. I thank you for allowing these informal inquisitions occur.”

As Walter was led away, he cast another hateful glare at Pela and made a quick motion with his hand at his throat and Pela merely glared back. She wasn’t afraid of the man, regardless of what he may think of her.

With the situation done and over with, Rayann looked to Myth then looked to Ceri who was doing her best to hide behind Aeolis. She’d never seen her friend lash out like that and she knew now Ceri may ot regret what she did (and Rayann didn’t blame her) but knew she had gotten out of control. But, with everything that had happened, it was all understandable. All but Walter’s insubordination and general mischief making.

It was time to move on and moving on meant trying to put their minds together and figure out what needed to be done next. Clearing her throat softly, Rayann inclined her head slightly to Rose.

”Well, Commander, since we’re all here…..would you care to have a meeting of the minds, so to speak?”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:29 pm


Trystan listened as Rose sorted the situation out and nodded as she gave the order to have Walter removed. Two guards escorted him to the entrance of the Mess and Trystan followed, once they were outside Trystan spoke, “I have him from here men.”

They turned and looked at him and he nodded, “You are both dismissed, I don’t think our former Knight here will be much more trouble now that he is in manacles.” The men turned with a salute and left, Trystan watched as they left and the hall was empty now. He turned and looked at Walter who glared at him and Trystan stared back with eyes that showed no love or compassion. “You have brought this on yourself Walter.”

Walter looked at him and growled, “Sir Walter.” Trystan shook his head and spoke softly, “Tsk tsk Walter, not anymore.” Walter’s face went flush and he took an aggressive half step towards Trystan who immediately placed his hand dead center in Walter’s chest and shoved him back into the stone wall. Walter impacted the wall and huffed as the air was slightly knocked out of him. He looked up as Trystan reached down and removed a dagger that Walter always had hidden in his right boot. It was an heirloom, the handle was lovingly crafted and bore the Stoneblade family crest. Everyone in the Keep knew this was Walter’s blade and Trystan twisted it gently in his fingers as he looked at it.

He looked up at Walter who was sneering at him and he nodded as he spoke to Trystan, “Good call, I would have most certainly used that to make my escape the first chance I had. If you and that Commander of yours think I was going to just sit tight in a cell and await the decision to see my hanged you are all sorely mistaken, not to mention caught in a state of disillusion.”

Trystan looked from Walter and then back down to the blade, he huffed through a half laugh and responded as he spoke to the blade, “Ironic isn’t it?”

“Ironic that what?” Walter furrowed his brows as he responded.

“Ironic that the very blade which you were concealing and were certain would be the tool of your freedom is now the piece of evidence that will seal your fate.”

Walter cocked and eyebrow and spoke to Trystan through a laugh, “What are you getting at boy?”

Trystan looked up at Walter. He looked at him as if he was staring at nothing more than a bowl of fruit, “When you attacked me with it and I had to defend myself, and you died in this very hallway.”

Walter leaned back and turned his head slightly sideways, “You wouldn’t!”

Trystan stared back at him with a look of steel resolve in his eyes, “Oh by the Abyss I would Walter.”

He brought the knife up and slipped it in the crease of the light leather armor he was wearing and narrowed his eyes on Walter, “This is for Lady Kellan.”

He thrust the blade and stabbed himself just over the ribs, letting the knife skim across the top of the bone and create a superficial but convincing wound. Walter’s eyes went wide as he watched Trystan remove the knife through the slightest grimace of pain and drop it on the floor. Walter screamed and hide the sound of Trystan’s blade exiting the scabbard, singing through the air and sliding with ease across Walter’s throat. He clutched at Trystan as he slumped forward and fell sideways to the floor with a loud thud. Trystan grimaced slightly as the pain in his side gripped him and he looked down at the lifeless eyes of Walter. There was the slightest sound and he turned his head sharply to the right and caught Larissa looking down the hall at him. He cleared his throat and wiped his blade and returned it to the scabbard. He locked eyes with Larissa’s gaze as he called out, “GUARD! WALTER IS DEAD!”



Ceridwyn had stowed herself slightly behind Aeolis to stay out of the way, but when Rayann looked at her she felt her friend was feeling her motivations were different. She stepped forward as Commander Rose made her statement and she furrowed her brow slightly. She cleared her throat softly and Rose looked over at her.

She looked at Rose and stepped forward once again, her brown, doe like eyes were full of resolve and unrepentant, “Commander, you are right, it is your Keep, and there are rules, but with all due respect if those rules had been enforced sooner this would not happened. Pela is dealing with the loss of the only family she has ever known, and Walter’s actions have been inexcusable since the moment we got here. I know it is not my place, this is a human place, in a human region with human leadership, but this was not an act of impulse, this was building for some time.”

She watched as Lady Roses’ eyes brows furrowed and she turned to look at Aeolis a brief moment before turning back to Rose. “I agree that it went too far, but I also believe some of this has to do with the fact that we were never really welcomed here in the first place. It is our wish to aid and assist, but I will not remain here if things don’t change. Take it as an ultimatum, or simply as a wise and experienced old Elf finally speaking her mind… because I have remained silent for too long. You have a very dire situation on your hands, and if I was in your shoes, I would not be making threats to the only real allies you have left.”

She inhaled deeply and turned to the others before looking back at Rose, “If you need me I will be in study.” With that she turned and was about to head down the hall when she heard Walter scream, Larissa was nowhere to be seen and Ceridwyn only half glanced back at the group before dashing down the hallway. She rounded two corners and found Larissa standing beside an injured Trystan, the lifeless body of Walter on the floor at their feet.”



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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:07 pm

Tepes, flew west southwest across the Nightlund plains and the boarder of Vingaard, turning south southwest following the Vingaard River to where in skirted the border of Solmania. He then turned south, crossing the border, circling east to Heartlund. There he skirted the ramparts of the keep, screeched and circled the tower, that held Commander Roses office and quarters, once and landed upon the same window sill he had landed before. Once again he screeched and tapped at the windowpane with his beak and peered through the pane. Seeing no movement, the falcon leapt from the sill, dove down the side of the tower and began circling low over the compound, screeching. As he swooped low over the compound a mere five feet above the ground, Tepes’ keen eye spotted a ferret scurrying across the compound towards the mess hall. ( a meal that must for another time)

{Message Strapped to his leg :“As you wish Commander ..... evidence of a small party of Doppelgangers at the base of the Dargaard mountains on the border of Nightlund ........ will make haste .... arrive in two or three days time. SL.”}


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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:35 pm

Saul waited until dusk before he moved cautiously out of the cover, what little there was of it, of the forest and onto the open plains of Nightlund. He had decided to move mostly under the cover of darkness across the plains. He traveled speedily west, thru the light of a full moon. When he reached the Vingaard River, he turned southwest along the eastern Kellendos boarder. There east of Vangaard Keep, Saul halted at what appeared to be the sight of a battle. Twenty five or thirty bodies were strewn about, the exact number was difficult to determined. Some appeared to have been ravaged by wolves and other carnivores. They appeared to be the bodies of men, from what Saul could ascertain. Several weapons, swords, lances, shields and pieces of armor were also strewn about. Saul knelt and picked up a dented and blood stained shield . He examined it closely, but could not remember seeing or hearing of a description of the emblem upon it. He took the shield over and hung it on the saddle of his horse, mounted and continued southwest along the river to its fork, crossed the boarder of Solmania, southwest in the direction of Thelgaard Keep. He intended to approach Heartlund from the west.


Last edited by Lac'Nal on Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:02 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : visual correction (pic))
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:42 pm


Kali sat in the study of her tower. The last few days had given her the opportunity to truly acclimatize to the new power she been given access to and she felt a perpetual grin crossing her face. She set her spellbook down on the end table beside the large study chair and walked to the bookshelves looking over the vast space that had been provided but still needed to be filled. She turned and looked instinctually to the North, her eyes scanning the horizon through the large windows.

She stared over the top of the Keep towers and into the invisible distance. Nodding her head she felt the pull of the library of her ancestral home, she felt the crooked smile slip across her face and in a whirl of robes she turned, picked up her spellbook, grabbed the Staff of Cells and hissed magic into existence as she disappeared from her tower.

She appeared In the Tower of Glen Durel, the magic wardings in the air recognized her presence and released themselves to give her access to the room. She walked along the massive bookshelves, the vast amounts of knowledge that had been collected and left in sanctuary here by Papa staring back at her. She walked along, rubbing a finger along the spines of the books. They hummed with power, responding to her touch and she felt the tingling sensation as magic floated off them like leaves scattered in the autumn breeze. She stopped and looked at the magical portrait that hung over the mantle. The four figures watched over the room, her Father, his arm protectively reaching over Rayann’s shoulder, her brother propped in Rayann’s arms, and herself standing shoulder to shoulder on the opposite side holding the Staff of Cells, the same staff that Rorie had stolen and she had recovered. She turned and looked at that very staff in her right and squeezed it tightly. Looking back at the portrait she walked over and reached up, touching the rendering of her brother on the cheek and rubbing her finger softly over the canvas. His emerald eyes seemed to almost stare back at her and she whispered his name as she rubbed her finger over his mouth.

She inhaled deeply and turned, looking out into the massive room that was the top of the tower. The familiar smell of dust and leather filled her nostrils as she stood a moment before getting to work. She walked over to the bookshelves again and knew that this knowledge must be taken and protected. It could not fall into hands that would alter her plan or compromise her objectives. She began to sprinkle reagents along the edges of the shelves. She knew her presence here would be felt by her mother, if it hadn’t already, and she moved quickly to get done what needed to be done to transport all the magical materials and books in the tower to her tower of shadow flame as quickly as possible.




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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:44 pm



Rayann stood near Pela andMyth as things began to settle in the mess hall. Of course as the news of Walter’s demise came to light, Rayann couldn’t help but wonder if there was something more to the story. She hoped and prayed Rose wouldn’t ask her to find out for certain. As she stood with baited breath waiting to find out for certain she got a sudden strange sensation. She furrowed her brows then looked up at Myth as the sensation grew and then her face took on a look of disbelief.

Why hadn’t she thought of this? Perhaps it was because she didn’t think Kali would come back to the Tower of Glen Durel. Or perhaps it was because she knew Kali would and it would be her chance to see her daughter again. What ever the reason, Rayann knew one thing for certain, whatever Kali was doing there couldn’t be any good.

With a slight touch to Myth’s arm, she turned and in the blink of an eye she was gone in a rustle of red velvet material and the smell of lavender. She appeared in the Tower of Gen Durel behind Kali about 20 feet away. She didn’t say anything as she watched what Kali was doing and saw the changes in her daughter.

Kali stopped moving and for a moment she didn’t turn around, Finally she slowly turned to face her mother and Rayann let her eyes meet her daughters. Taking a deep breath, Rayann let it out slowly then glanced at all the books before looking back at Kali.

”I was hoping we’d be able to see each other again, Kali. I don’t suppose you’d want to tell me why you want to remove Papa's books, do you?”

There was no malice in her words and she was really curious as to what Kali was doing.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:05 pm


Kali was so busy working she didn't realize the moment her mother arrived. Normally she would be more attuned to her presence but in her haste she had missed the arrival. When she did realize it she stopped and turned around slowly and looked at her mother.

Kali's robes still had a deep red hue to them but they were now woven in shadow. From within the folds vaporous wisps of smoke escaped with each slight or subtle movement. The smoke smelled like jasmine and heather flowers, fragrant to the nostrils and a delight to take in. Within the depths of her crystal blue eyes a soft glow escaped from the pupil and just barely illuminated her face around the sockets. Her hair had taken on a slightly redish tint and again there was wisps of smoke that fluffed from within as she moved her head.

Looking at Rayann there was no piercing look or threatening stare, she simply faced her mother tracing the lines of her face and finally locked on to Rayann's own violet eyes. She had a look of strange calm and didn't seem startled even though she had in fact been taken by surprise. "These are no longer Papa's books mother and to get to the point I am taking them with me back to my tower."

Her face was resolute as she saw the slight flinch of reaction in her mother's face and Rayann would instantly know that Kali was in no uncertain terms telling the truth. Rayann would feel a power coming from Kali unlike anything she had ever felt from her before. It was like she was radiating magic of her own making, as if magic was being created and originating from her daughter. Her soft velvet robes rustled softly as Kali shifted slightly and gripped the Staff of Cells tightly. Rayann would recognize it as Kali's stance of ease, she was not preparing a spell, she was not secretly reaching to grab reagents from within her robes, she was relaxed, calm, and motionless.

After a short silence she spoke again, her voice was eerily laced with a soft sternness, yet had an innocent lilt to it, "These books will do more harm than good in the end, I am removing them for everyone's protection, especially for THEIR protection. I also have a sentimental attachment to these books as a result of the fact that they belonged to my Grandfather. I do not wish for them to become collateral damage if Glen Durel becomes a target for eradication. It would be a shame if Papa's lifelong legacy were to become nothing more than ash, and I assure you that they would become nothing more than ash. We are not interested in the magic contained within these books, it is meaningless now compared to the power of the rift. I strongly advise you not to try and stop me Mother, this is going to happen whether you want it to or not. Better to save your strength and fight over something more worthwhile when the stakes are worth the sacrifice. Even in this place, with the ancestry of our family behind you I promise you that you will lose if you attempt to stop me."

Kali looked at Rayann, unmoving and unwavering, Rayann could see nothing but the utmost seriousness in her daughter's eyes.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 18: Lay of the Land   Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:30 pm



Rayann didn’t move. She simply stood, looking over at Kali as her daughter talked to her. She let her eyes lovingly gaze at the books once more then she looked to Kali again,

”Are you trying to convince me or yourself that you are protecting them? And who would they cause more harm to Kali? You and the other two mages or those of us who know the knowledge housed within them is more precious than any power seeking mage could ever understand? If you aren’t interested in the magic contained within them, why don’t you just leave them here? After all, of Glen Durel becomes collateral damage, then there would be no place on Krynn to protect them. Not even your tower. The books don’t belong to you and they don’t belong in your tower, they belong here where Papa put them. But you are right about one thing. I’m not going to fight you for them. If you think the only way to protect them is to steal them away where no one else can have access to them, then I won’t stop you. The truth will be revealed. I just pray it won’t be too late for you to see it.”

Rayann glanced at the books once more time and closed her eyes inhaling the scent of the room deeply. Finally she opened her eyes and looked over at Kali again. The look she gave her was one that couldn’t hide the hurt she felt from watching her daughter enter the wardings of the tower and the hurt she felt knowing her daughter was going to spirit away the only thing of her father’s she had. Swallowing hard, Rayann nodded ever so slightly. Her voice was hushed whenshe spoke now.

"Do what you think you must do.”

Turning, she walked out of the room to let Kali do what she was doing.

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