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 Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:51 pm


Kellan was delighted to see her new friend and while she felt a little disappointment Nol wasn’t close behind, she knew the duty he had was no small responsibility. Understanding completely how his duty has to be first and foremost, she smiled warmly and nodded then gestured to the chair opposite her own and sat down once more pushing the scroll she’d been reading aside.

”Your company is very welcomed, Raju. It’s good to see you again. I need to take a break from reading. I’m afraid my eyes will grow cross if I read more today. Again, I can’t express my gratitude enough for your kind allowing me the gift of reading all of these tombs, scrolls and books. It’s given me a great deal of knowledge. Not to mention the time I’ve spent around the dragons here. It saddens me greatly to know such a rift was created between our species and left to fester for so long. The things we could have been learning from each other….”

Kellan didin’t finish the sentence for she knew there was nothing she could do to change the past. All she could do was look towards the future with eyes no longer veiled to the truth. While there was no miracle cure for the distance that existed between human and dragon, she at least had something to try and build on with both sides. The problem was going to get both sides to listen to anything she had to say.

”Would you like some tea?”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:31 pm


Raju listened and nodded in agreement with Kellan. As she sat she smiled and spoke, “Tea sounds delightful for me, but I am thinking as long as Nol has been in session he would prefer some wine when he gets here.”

She winked and waited as Kellan retrieved their tea. She looked out across the landscape and could see the light fading as the sun dipped into the western mists that shrouded the island in a magical barrier that kept it isolated from the world. She was just beginning to get completely lost in thought as she saw the cup offered to her and she snapped back to reality.

“My thanks to you Kellan,” Sipping the tea she looked over at Kellan and spoke, “I heard what you said and I want you to know that you have nothing to thank us for. The metallic dragons grieve at that damage done not only to our world but to the relationship that once existed between our kind and yours. It is no small undertaking that you have set out to do, and I fear to say this, but it is from your own people that you are going to feel the sharpest sting of doubt and resistance. The children of the gods (this is how Raju always referred to the dragon race) hold no resentment or hesitation in coming to the aid of Krynn’s citizens, the only real debate is whether or not father Paladin wills it. That is the decision of the High Born. There is tremendous damage done with the separation of our two species, Nol and I will only be able to do so much, a small handful of humanity knows that the metallics are returning to Krynn, and though there is great anger and drive for revenge against Tahkisis for corrupting our eggs it is not a fight that we can win on our own, the gods initiated balance on Krynn, and only through the restoration of balance can the circle come out of its distortion. Evil is not more powerful, but it is more prevalent, and its aim is to remove the balance so dominance can reign.”

She smiled softly as Kellan looked at her. Her eyes lingered on Kellan’s beautiful face and she spoke again, “I can see why Nol is so desperately in love with you…,” Just as she was saying this she turned sharply and saw the motion of massive wings and then the thunderous impact of Nol’s feet on the marble balcony. She turned and looked at Kellan with an expression of happiness that Kellan’s love had returned, “Speak of the dragon.” She winked and watched as Kellan went to Nol.



Nol looked at the two while still in his dragon form and his eyes flared with lightening. He smiled as best as dragons can as Kellan approached and put her hands on his snout. His scales burned with unnatural warmth and he inhaled her scent deeply as she pressed her flesh cheek against his. In a flash he was in his Elven form and his arms were around her. He whispered into her ear, “Si itov wux.” It was the only draconic he ever spoke to her, keeping respectfully to common for her benefit, but based on how he said it, and at what moments, Kellan had a pretty good idea what it meant.

He squeezed her tightly and then stepped back slightly, kissing the top of her forehead, then her nose, and then her lips, a habit he had taken to as they became more romantically inclined. He then turned and looked at Raju who was watching the pair with a smirk on her face. Nol narrowed his eyes at her, seeing that her thoughts were that of mischief and sarcasm. He brought his finger up and spoke, “Hush you.”

Throwing her hands up in a gesture of surrender she spoke while doing her best to sound innocent, “I said nothing cousin!” Nol narrowed his gaze and responded, “With you, thinking it is enough for punishment.”

She laughed and stood, walking over to the both of them. Nol hugged her warmly and then stepped back as Raju spoke, “So, what was the conclusion from the chamber of the High Born?”

Nol looked at her, then to Kellan and then back to Raju, “There has been no decision yet made regarding the deployments of the Dragon army, however…,” He looked at Kellan again. The look was not one of concern or fear but almost excitement. He turned back and looked at Raju, “Arvandor was summoned, he was asked to stay behind with the High Born.”

Raju’s eyes went wide and she turned and looked at Kellan with excitement in her face.


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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:12 pm


Kellan nodded to Raju as she sipped her tea as well.

”I know. Humans are very arrogant and prone to fighting against that which they don’t understand and fear. I was no exception to that at times. I can only hope someone, somewhere will have open ears, minds and hearts to listen to what I have to tell them. I know I dream big but…."

Kellan had come to know Nol’s dragon form as much as she had his Elven form and when Raju snapped her head about at the sight of the massive wings, Kellan was already getting to her feet. As Raju looked at her and smiled, Kellan smiled back, a little shyly, then moved over to Nol as he landed. It still amazed her at how warm he was to her touch and as she heard the inhale of air through his reptilian nostrils, she closed her eyes as she pressed her cheek to his silvery scales.

As his transformation happened and she felt his arms wrap around her and pull her tight, she felt the smile on her face grow as he whispered the soft, endearing words to her as he always did. While he never interpreted what they really were, Kellan was smart enough to figure them out on her own. It wasn’t difficult by far.

Once the kisses were given to her head and tip of her nose then her lips, Kellan’s hands gently cupped Nol’s face then reluctantly stepped back away from him. It was something they did each time they greeted each other. It satiated the urgent need yet still left them lingering for more.

Kellan couldn’t help but chuckle and shake her head as she watched the cousins tease each other yet again. She loved the way they interacted with each other. Of course when the conversation turned to the news from the castle of the High Born, Kellan’s smile faded slowly as she heard the news and saw the look on each of their faces. The excitement she saw from both of them was rather contagious and she looked at both of them as she spoke.

”I take it this is good news? Perhaps a step towards a meeting? But I have to ask…..who is Arvandor?

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:27 pm



Raju spoke before Nol could get the words out, “Arvandor was one of greatest Generals, he was stationed in Silvanesti for hundreds of years and the loyal companion of Prince Jerrin, first son of the Speaker of the Stars. When Jerrin was killed he returned to the Myst Isle and the High Born asked him to remain and give high level command of the Islands defenses, it was the true beginning of the separation between us and the citizen’s of Krynn. Prince Jerrin was the last rider to sit atop a metallic dragon and go to battle. Word has always been that Arvandor would not return to Ansalon or any other part of Krynn until an Ambassadorship was reestablished.”

She looked at Nol and then back to Kellan, “My guess is that next you will be summoned to the chamber of the High Born and the request will finally be made formal.”

Nol saw the look on Kellan’s face but he couldn’t read it as hesitation, relief, or reluctance, but she didn’t seem immediately excited about the news. He reached and touched her gently on the shoulder, “This is good news Kellan, it means that the High Born is hearing from Father Paladin again, it means the will of the gods is being communicated back to Krynn. I don’t know what will happen from here on, but if the High Born is speaking to Arvandor directly it could very well mean that we are about to deploy to Ansalon and meet this wave of darkness head on, it means that you are about to play one of the most important roles in all of humanity’s history.”



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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:47 pm


Kellan’s smile faded as she listened to who Arvandor was and the significance of his return and what, possibly, this could mean for her. She knew this is what she’d been studying so hard for and trying to understand everything the dragons could teach her and now that the time was possibly near to her taking on this role she knew had to be taken, she suddenly felt inadequate. But Nol hit the nerve directly when he told her she was about to possibly play the most important part in humanity’s history,

The weight of her duty was about to be placed squarely on her shoulders and she was hoping she was strong enough to carry it. She had to be. If not, her world, and all of Krynn, was doomed. Her eyes drifted to the dragon forms she saw flying, walking and lounging around the isle knowing the destruction of this world was of no consequence to them. But for her….and all of the other creatures great and small, it would be the finality of life.

She glanced up at Nol then over to Raju before she slowly walked over to the edge of the balcony and looked out at the peaceful isle as the sun dipped lower and lower on the horizon. It was such a beautiful place filled with such peace and harmony. Such a far cry from the rest of Krynn. It was so different that it was almost laughable, yet there was nothing to laugh about.

Taking a deep breath and turning to look at Nol and Raju, she let it out slowly. Could she do this? Was she ready? A voice whispered in her head over and over to each question. It was one, simple word yet it made her pause and listen.

Yes.

”I’ve prayed daily to Paladin for this responsibility. It appears as though he is about to answer my devotion. I only hope I will bring him honor with his choice .”

The smile she had been wearing when Raju and Nol arrived was beginning to slowly return. Tilting her head to the left, she looked at the two cousins.

”Anything special I should know if I’m summoned?”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:00 pm




Nol watched Kellan, her body language was screaming about her feelings, the flexing hands, the slow deliberate breathes, the deep gaze that reflected the state of her mind. He stood silently with Raju as the two of them watched and waited for her to take in the weight of the situation. When she finally turned and spoke Nol listened, and when she smiled he returned the gesture with one of his own, as did Raju. He was more proud of her than he had ever been and he spoke as if he had read her thoughts, “Everything dies if Krynn dies Kellan, we too understand the importance of getting involved in this fight, but even we are not above the will of the gods, if it was up to us many metallic’s would already be fighting, but Tahkisis held us at bay with the kidnapping of our eggs.”

Raju visibly tightened at this, she had shared with Kellan months ago how she was among the many females who’s eggs had been stolen from their dens and taken to the black temple as hostages to not get involved in the war with Krynn. Her eyes got slightly teary and she inhaled deeply, forcing a smile and nodding to Kellan as Nol continued to speak.

“I will be with you every step of the way Kellan, I will not allow harm to come to you, if by my life’s sacrifice it be necessary, I will help you accomplish your mission,” “As will I!”

Nol turned and looked at Raju, it was the first time she mentioned leaving the isle to join them and he nodded with a warm smile, grasping her shoulder and giving a loving squeeze. He then turned and walked over to Kellan, taking her in his arms again and holding her tightly. As Kellan rested her chin on Nol’s shoulder she could see Raju gazing on them and smiling.

As Kellan stepped back and asked if there was anything she needed to know if summoned Raju immediately spoke, “Yeah, if you have to fart hold it in, High Born’s a fire breather.”

Nol immediately spun, his mouth a gap in shock and spoke in mock shock, “Raju!”

Raju laughed aloud and Kellan would see the immediate joy return to her, for even in the sorrow over the loss of her children she found joy in life. She walked over and grabbed Kellan tightly as she spoke, “What you do, you do for us all. Even the dragons belong here.” She leaned back and looked Kellan right in the eyes, “This is why I go with you, because I believe in you.”

She stepped back and Nol looked at Kellan proudly, “So, if my cousin is done being disgusting, the High Born is by human definition, our King. He is humble and wise, and he is the oldest among us. His physical body is no longer fit for fighting, but his communications with Paladin and his experience in this world makes him a fitting and worthy leader. Dragon’s leaders are not chosen often, so we chose carefully and wisely from the elders. As any King be respectful and everything will go just fine.”



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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:57 pm


Myth steadied himself after they arrived in Ceridwyn's quarters shaking the effects of the teleportation off. He has often believed that wizards remain as thin as they do because after teleporting anywhere they don't have any desire to eat anything. After a few blinks of his eyes Myth knew they were in the elven mage's home. Already he felt the weight of his bloodline upon his shoulders. He let out a quiet sigh as he vaguely heard Ceridwyn's words and responded with little more than a nod before she dragged Pela away.

His thoughts were still mired when he felt his wife's hands take his dragging his mind into focus. He offered a half hearted smile but knew she could see the weight of things in his eyes. They never seemed to be in Silvanost together for a casual visit. Their first trip together saw his redemption and their second saw a wedding. With a shake of his head he pushed away his misgivings and bid his wife farewell till later leaving her with Ceridwyn and Pela. Squaring his shoulders and lifting his head Myth exited Ceridwyn's residence and began the trip to his ancestral home.

Myth had been out in the open for less than two minutes before he could sense that he was being followed. The homeguard was aware of his presence and the royal guard was already following him in the shadows. The court wizards probably were aware of the portal spell and these guards were likely dispatched to investigate, and subsequently shifted from investigating to protecting. It wouldn't be proper of the royal prince to walk about with out protection, even if he was one of the most skilled men in the city. With a slight shake of his head Myth weaved his way through the streets of Silvanost. A pleasant smile upon his face as people recognized the all to familiar form of their prince. The accusing eyes long since gone as Myth had worked tirelessly to prove his worth as the son of the speaker once more. Still as much as he liked to converse with many he did not detour from his path nor did he stop for the usual casual chatter he was known for.

Finding himself before the doors of his ancestral home Myth entered. A greeting by one of the staff and a question by Myth and the elven prince made a v-line for the royal gardens. Myth thought about the time of year and the weather and a small smile crept up as he approached the gardens. Myth knew exactly where in the gardens his father was. The was a special growth area towards the rear of the garden that few were permitted to go into. As Myth approached the guards outside this small place came to attention letting the prince past. As Myth thought his father stood silently tending to one of his prized possessions. It was a rose bush with roses that grew into a deep vibrant red with silver edges. It was a peculiar plant given to his father by a wandering stranger years ago.

Myth stood silent as his father tended his plants. He was aware of the prince but Myth would wait to be spoken to, and after a few minutes the elder elf set down his tools and looked to his son. "You have something important to discuss Prince Myth'alas?"

Myth stood stoic and nodded his head in silent response before speaking. His tone was calm and respectfully low. "I have returned from the region at the center of the magical disturbance. I would like to call for the council of elders to discuss my findings your grace."

The Speaker listened as he washed the dirt from his hands in a basin of water. Aged eyes settled upon Myth assessing the prince's words. He knew there was more to his request than he was saying but the Speaker had learned that Myth's intentions were generally well reasoned and so the elder nodded. "Very well... be mindful and choose your words wisely."

The Speaker passed Myth placing a hand upon Myth's shoulder for a moment before leaving the gardens. Myth knew he was going to prepare and send out a word for a gathering. When the Speaker calls the council would come. Myth looked at his attire and knew that he must change before the assembley.
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:01 pm


Kellan knew Nol was perceptive in what she felt at all times and this was no exception. The lack of words for explaining everything to him was something she had always been grateful for but now more so than ever. Seeing the pride in his eyes when he looked at her made her heart swell all the more. Knowing this monumental task was hers to take on was a burden she had felt the weight of just beyond her grasp but now, she was beginning to feel the full affect of it, slowly but surely.

The burden of her duty was well worth it when she saw the sadness creep into Raju’s eyes. Knowing the Dark Queen had taken her friend’s unborn children angered the Solamnic Knight to no end. Kellan had vowed silently to find a way to avenge Raju’s sorrow and perhaps this was the way she could fulfill that vow.

Of course the gravity of the moment was washed away with Raju’s lighthearted and almost belligerent remark about passing gas in the High Born’s presence. Kellan herself couldn’t help but chuckle herself. When Nol embraced her once more she wrapped her arms around his strong frame and held him tightly, as though she were afraid she would awaken from some strange dream and find none of this was real.

Seeing Raju’s smile as her chin rested on Nol’s shoulder, Kellan smiled and knew this was a dream…..a dream come true. To somehow help humanity in this way was something no words could describe. And while her heart pounded in her chest with anxious anticipation, Kellan knew with the aid of these two magical creatures who had become an integral part of her life she would be able to face anything.

Even a dragon King.

When she stepped back and looked at both Raju and Nol, she took another deep, calming breath and nodded.

”Thank you. Both of you. I’ll conduct myself to the code of the Knights if I am summoned and give the High Born the respect he is due. I just hope I don’t forget my tongue when and if I finally meet him. Oh….and I promise to hold it in.”

Winking at Raju, Kellan chuckled softly and shook her head. Raju, it seemed, was rubbing off on her more and more with each passing day.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:26 am




Raju’s face went wide and her mouth opened as she pointed at Kellan and then started laughing at Nol. Nol looked at her sternly and then shook his head as he giggled under his breath. “I told you there was a funny side in there.”

Nol nodded and looked at Kellan. Again his smile was one of pride and love, “You won’t forget your tongue, there is much more diplomacy in you then you are willing to give yourself credit for.”

He smiled and reached up, brushing the back of her cheek with his finger and turned to Raju who was still covering her mouth and stifling her laughter. Nol shoved her shoulder and she simply stepped back and erupted into belly laughs once again, walking over and hugging Kellan tightly, “You will do us proud my friend.”



A twelve year old refugee girl, a victim of the draconian armies rampages up north huddled in the corner between two stone buildings. An old burlap sack covered her tiny body and she gazed out into the crowd with a hollow stare. She watched as people exchanged money for bread and her mouth watered for a taste. It had been days since she had eaten and her stomach growled fiercely at her.

She stood and her dirty bare feet barely made a sound as she walked through the crowds. Her eyes kept a steady watch on everyone, and everything that surrounded her. As she passed a vender cart the Baker was distracted as he haggled with a man over the price of rolls. She slipped by and her hand barely nudged the loaf that was hanging over the edge. It only fell inches before it disappeared into the bag she carried. The fabric of the bag matched the burlap of her dress and the two pieces of garment were almost indiscernible. She slipped through the crowd until she was off against the wall and say down, her hollow eyes once again scanned the crowd a moment before she fetched up her prize.

Nobody had noticed and a thin smirk crossed her face. She reached into the sack and removed the loaf. It was fairly large and she knew that she would get a whole day out of it. Tearing a piece off she stuffed the rest back into the bag and ate slowly, chewing and savoring ever bite as the taste of food filled her mouth. She looked up to the top of one of the towers and saw the owl that had for some reason taken to her. He was staring down at her and let out a shrill screech as he went aloft and circled around sharply, landing on the ground beside her. She reached forward and scratched the medium sized birds head and it nuzzled her hand. She smiled, this bird had befriended her just one day after her families death and it was now the only friend she had on this planet. She spoke softly as she rubbed the bird’s smooth feathers, “Well Peeps, another day huh?”


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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:07 pm


Kellan embraced Raju as tightly then stepped back to look at her and Nol smiling lovingly as she felt his warm finger against her cheek.

”I suppose my time of relaxation will be coming to an end soon. As my brother used to say, too much lounging a soft lady makes. I certainly don’t want to become too soft. Nol may find he prefers someone more fit for his taste.”

With a slight grin on her face from the look on both of their faces, Kellan rose up on her toes and kissed the end of Nol’s chin then settled back down on the flat of her feet and looked over at Raju innocently.

”I believe we were in the middle of tea and some wine was waiting Nol.”

She knew the three of them would have a great deal to discuss before Raju finally slipped away to leave Nol and Kellan alone. Kellan was excited yet she was very nervous as well. All of her training would be put to the test and she hoped she would be able to make Nol’s pride in her something that was not misplaced.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:12 pm


His sharp eyes scanned the landscape. With slow, intentional breathing Adair took in what had been his kingdom for longer than he bothered to remember. He watched the movements the metallic dragons of Krynn as the slicked and soared through the air. His kin, his brothers and sisters, the first children of the gods, sometimes it was overwhelming knowing that he decided their fate, and it was a task that never took lightly. He knew that there was plenty of reasons to go to war, all the metallic dragons were furious with the betrayal of Tahkisis word. The eggs being kidnapped was bad enough, but when it was found out that their children were being distorted into manifestations of evil many of the metallic dragons were screaming for war. Adair knew war, he had fought before many of the dragons on these isles were pups, and he knew the horror that laid within.

Was it worth it to send their young to fight the dragons of the Dark Queen? He sighed heavily as he contemplated these things. Paladin had communicated with him last night, that the strength of humanity had returned, that they were now ready to fight for something, that their spirit was high and victory was possible. He knew the day would come, and now that it was here he knew the gravity of the situation. He stared at the quarters where the human woman had been housed. He knew of her past, her commitment to the ancient order of the Knights of Solamnia, her dedication to the order of Paladin, all these things put his mind at ease. He was concerned about Nol’lore’s affection towards her however, but he also knew of all the silver’s affections for humanity, he was not the first to fall for one. Adair was willing to overlook it, as long as it didn’t interfere with the larger purpose of her mission, or the ultimate goal of beating back this shadow of evil that was creeping across the land, in the end he knew even the Myst Isles wouldn’t be immune from it.

He turned to his aid, a young bronze female and spoke in his deep, graveled voice, “Summon the human.”

With those words the smaller dragon bowed her head respectfully and stepped to the balcony, soaring high into the air, circling well into the clouds before arching back down and landing on the balcony of Kellan’s quarters. The three of them looked immediately at her and she bowed her head low, nearly touching her snout to the marble before lifting it again to look at Kellan. Her eyes were like glowing steel and her face was distinguished and as royal as Kellan had ever seen a dragon look. Her voice was much higher pitched and less rough than most of the dragon’s Kellan had heard speak in their native form, “Adair the High Born summons you Lady Kellan of Solamnia to an audience at the castle. You may come as soon as you have prepared yourself.”

She turned her head and looked at Raju with a friendly glance that spoke a million words in an instant, bowed her head again and turned, leaping into the air and disappearing into the mists that surround the High Born’s castle.



Raju was just about to respond to Kellan when the distinctive whistle of wind over wings filled the air and they turned to see the small bronze dragon land as softly and gracefully as a dragon can. As she spoke Raju’s heart swelled with excitement and fear, but it was clear in her eyes that she knew what this meant. As the bronze looked at her so intentionally, Raju nodded, as if in agreement and confirmation and the bronze disappeared into the sky. She turned and looked at Kellan, her thoughts were going a mile a minute, but she remained silent for the moment, allowing Kellan to take in the news.


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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:38 pm


Kellan immediately stood when the Bronze landed on her balcony. She had been visited by a couple of them from time to time, but never this particular one. There was something different about his particular Bronze and Kellan inclined her head respectfully before standing straight and proud. As the invitation was delivered, Kellan felt as though her body had been struck by one of Pela’s ice spells that froze her to the spot.

When the Bronze took off again Kellan remained rooted to the spot. Finally she blinked and slowly turned her head to look over at Raju who was looking at her with wide eyes. Kellan finally swallowed and forced her shaky legs to move. When she spoke, her voice was quivering slightly and barely audible.

”I….suppose I should……find something appropriate to wear.”

Kellan walked on unstable legs into her quarters directly into her bed chamber where her clothes were stored. Nol and Raju had given her a modest wardrobe, much more than she needed, and she remembered they gave her an outfit they told her would be needed on the most important day of her life. At the time, she brushed it off, but now…..

A short time later Kellan had bathed and dressed in the outfit. It was a formal, royal blue colored tunic with her Solamnic Knight crest embroidered on the chest. A wide, black belt cinched the material of the tunic at her waist and her sword hung at her left hip. Black leggings were tucked neatly into highly polished black boots and a silver colored drape pinned on the shoulders of her tunic flowed over her back looking like liquid silver when she moved. Her hair was left long in the back but pulled back and cinched by tightly braided plaits at her temples and pulled back and pinned into place. The hair pin of Paladin adorned the left side of her hair, a piece of jewelry she never went without. After one last glance of herself in the mirror, she turned to look at Raju once more and took a deep breath.

”Well…..I hope I look appropriate for his audience.”

Walking out of the bed chamber to the great room where Nol waited, she looked over at him when he looked at her and she smiled nervously.

”Wish me luck?”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:19 pm




Nol remained silent and stayed put as Raju escorted Kellan back to the dressing chamber. Just as they were disappearing behind the door Raju looked back at Nol, biting her lip and practically bursting out of her skin with excitement. As they went into the room Raju squeeled with joy and threw her arms around Kellan. Kellan didn't respond with the same enthusiasm and Raju realized it immediately, stepping back and holding both of Kellan's hands as she looked the Lady Knight in the eyes, "Understand, some of us have been waiting hundreds of years for this moment, it has been known Paladin would send a human to rebuild the link between our races."

She smiled and stepped back, waiting for Kellan to come back out from behind the screen. As she emerged Raju inhaled deeply and exhaled with a bright smile and a confident nod. She spoke, "Just be yourself, High Born is wise beyond most creatures on Krynn, and all he really wants is you to be straight with him. He isn't going to play games with you or test you, if he is summoning you it is because Paladin himself has told him to."

She walked over and opened the door for Kellan, dropping to her knee in a deep curtsy and keeping her head low as if Kellan was royalty, saying no more.

As Kellan walked out and looked at Nol, he beamed with admiration and walked over as she timidly asked him to wish her luck. He took her hand and brought it up, kissing the back of it tenderly and looking into her eyes, "All the luck on Krynn is yours."

He walked out to the balcony and stood with her as they looked out across the city, metallic dragons of all the orders were standing on the rooftops and watching for her to emerge into view. Nol turned and looked at her, his smile was as wide as it had ever been, "An emissary must arrive in style."

With that he stepped away and flashed brightly, appearing in his dragon form. He knelt down onto his front haunches and Two dragons in Elven form came, strapping a saddle to his shoulders that belted across his chest. He turned and looked at her and gestured for her to climb on. The two Elves lept into the air and flashed into silver dragons, and beat the air with their wings, rising above into the sky and taking formation with 9 other dragons in a perfect V formation, only the tip of the formation was missing. As Kellan climbed onto Nol's back and into the saddle she could feel it was made just for her, Nol spoke to her mind, ~ "I took the liberty of guessing at the measurements, if adjustments need to be made you let me know." ~

As she looked down the reigns that attached to the straps right behind his front legs she would see the incredible detail that was laced into the tooled leather, and on the top of the horn the symbol of the Knights of Solamnia was inlaid in silver. She felt Nol's muscles ripple, a sensation she was used to and knew that her stomach would be left behind only a second later. As he burst into the air the dragons all around the island roared and their breath weapons illuminated the sky, the eleven dragons above circled in a wide arch and Nol exploded through the sky circling around and coming in behind them. He overtook them and then settled into position in front of them. The flight of Dragons under Nol's command, dragons that Kellan was now recognizing that she was close to them, made several passes over the massive city, Kellan, in the lead atop Nol's back.

Finally they swung around and all tipped their wings in unison. They dove fast and then tipped again, straightening out and coming across the rooftops at blinding speed. They slowed as the passed over the walls of the High Born's castle and the elven dragons accompanying them split and burst outwards like a blooming flower. Nol descended and landed softly on the balcony of the largest tower. The same bronze dragon that had brought the summons was waiting. Her royal appearance was as dazzling as Kellan remembered and she bowed low as Kellan dismounted and Nol took his Elven form. She then too flashed and appeared as a human plainswoman, one of the races that many considered Barbarians. Her face was as delicate as a tulip and dark as if she had spent a lifetime in the sun. Her skin glistened slightly the same color as her bronze scales and she spoke with a smile, "Welcome Lady Kellan, please follow me."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:33 am

Back in Heartlund - Saul walked down the damp stone steps behind Trystan and followed him through the thick wooden door into a must smedlling chamber. As Trystan light the lamps, the amber glow relieved row upon row of shelves filled with rolled scrolls, tombs, dusty books and folded maps. A large wooden table with two wooden chairs sat in the center of the stone floored chamber. Saul placed the torch he had been carring in a stanchion on the wall and walked over to thye shelves Trystan had gestured to. He moved a stack of folded parchment about eight inches high and carried them to the table. Setting them gentely down he pulled a chair out, sat down and began immediately to carefully examine each sheet. Without looking up, his focus centered on the parchments before him, he said quietly ....... "I thank you Sir Trystan. It appears I have much to examine." ..................... Many hours passsed and the stacks of parchment on the table grew higher as he continued to study each parchment. A small voice broke the silence as a young Squire carrying a tray with a bowl of stew, some bread, fruit, a earthen glass and a decanter of wine, stepped through the door. "Sir Trystan, thought you might be hungry Sir. He instucted me to bring this to you and ask if there was anything you required. Saul looked up from the parchments and over at the Squire.
"Thank you and thank Sir Trystan for his consideration. Just set the tray down over there." Saul said as he gestured towards the end of the table. Then returned his focus to the parchments. As the Squire turned to leave Saul added "If it is permitted return and perhaps you can help me."
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:46 am


Kellan was awestruck the population of the isle seemed to come out for the monumental meeting that was about to happen. For a moment she hesitated but as Nol’s hand closed tighter around her own she found the courage to move. As he transformed into his dragon form followed by the saddle that was strapped to his form by others, Kellan was overwhelmed once more and it took all of her will to keep her emotions under control. She was a Solamnic Knight. She was trained in diplomacy as much as she was trained in the art of battle. She COULD do this.

As she easily climbed onto Nol’s back as she had many times before, she settled into the saddle and was amazed at how well it conformed to her body. As she heard his voice in her mind, she shook her head slightly and spoke softly to him.

”As always, it’s perfect….thank you so much.”

As she took a brief moment to admire the saddle, she saw the incredible detail that had been painstakingly done to the saddle and she felt a lump forming in her throat. These creatures had taken the time to make sure her commitment to her Knighthood was never forgotten.

As she felt Nol’s muscles ripple indicating he was about to launch, she crouched in the saddle and held onto the reins with her gloved hands. As she felt his massive form take flight and her stomach temporarily outside her body (or so it felt) she took the time to look around the isle, high and low. As she saw the dragons lining up to honor her for what she was about to undertake.

As Nol overtook the dragons in formation and took the lead, Kellan glanced to her left then to her right to see the dragons flying with them. They were so close she knew she could easily reach out and touch them if she truly tried. But there was no time, The High Born’s castle was quickly approaching and before she knew it, Nol was descending and landing. With a graceful dismount, Kellan was once again on her feet. Instantly Nol was beside her in his Elven form and she was more than grateful. She wanted to reach out and take his hand for strength but she knew, from this point on, she had to show she had the strength to accept the responsibility she was about to take on.

As the Bronze who brought the message of her summons transformed into her human form, Kellan couldn’t help but think it was so appropriate for her. She was, like all the others she had met, beautiful and graceful. With a respectful incline of her head, Kellan looked back at the Bronze.

”Thank you.”

Kellan fell in behind the Bronze as she was led into the castle. Her booted feet thudded softly on the highly polished marble as she walked across the floor. She couldn’t hear Nol walking behind her but she didn’t need to. She’d spent enough time around him she could sense his presence. Keeping her head straight ahead, she let her eyes look around the grand castle of the Dragon Leader. What she saw was unlike anything she’d ever seen before.

Ornate tapestries lined the walls, each one depicting different times on Krynn. Some were peaceful in nature while others were scenes of battles and death. Kellan knew it was the ebb and flow of life. Not all things were peaceful and calm. Chaos and death touched all lives eventually. Rather one wanted them to or not.

As they moved through the castle she noted the dragons standing at attention as they kept a watchful eye on the human that now walked through the home of their King. Kellan kept her shoulders square and her back straight as she walked letting her training instinctively guide her through this process. It was important she maintain an air of confidence but not so much so that she seemed arrogant. It was a thin line she had to walk but one she was used to walking.

After one last turn down a hallway, Kellan noticed the guards increased and the hallway was more elaborate than the others. They were close to what she presumed would be a kin to a throne room and when they stopped before a set or very large, double, golden doors, the Bronze looked over at one of the dragons on either side of the door and nodded. The doors opened slowly and when they were fully opened, Kellan looked inside the large, bright room within and took one last final breath to calm herself once more. As the Bronze led her into the room, Kellan’s eyes instantly focused on the large, gold dragon that sat regally at the other end of the large, open room. She saw his eyes settle on her and she felt as though his gaze was penetrating right to her heart as she walked towards him. She could hear nothing but the beating of her heart in her ears as she walked forward.

When she was about twenty feet away from him she saw the Bronze dip low in a bow of respect then announce her arrival.

”The Lady Kellan Longblade, Warrior of the Crown of the Order of Solamnic Knights.”

The Bronze moved to the left and Kellan took one step forward then dropped to one knee bowing her head respectfully. Her voice was soft yet held a tone of confidence to it when she spoke. Placing her right hand over her heart, Kellan waited for the High Born to grant her permission to rise.

”I am deeply honored and humbled by your invitation, Your Grace.”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:51 am


Trystan left Saul to it, knowing the man would be perfectly at ease in the surroundings. Before he left he unclasped the key to the door and placed it in Saul’s hand, “I’ll need that back when you are done, but for now come and go as long as you need to Saul. Paladin be with you during your search.” He nodded to Saul and went back to his duties. Before he did however he went to one of the Keep Squires and gave him instructions to bring Saul something to eat at lunchtime.





As Nol walked behind Kellan he remained silent, this was her moment and he respected it. As the three of them entered the chamber of the High Born Nol gave the traditional bow in reverence to their King’s presence, and then walked with Kellan and the High Born’s aid until they came to a halt in front of his perch. Nol bowed low and stepped to the side of the massive room.

The High Born’s eyes followed Nol a moment before going back to settle on Lady Kellan. He watched her as she spoke and then responded with a deep, graveled voice that was full of wisdom. “It is also my honor Lady Kellan Longblade, Paladine holds you in very high regard or you would not be standing before me. In the history of our Isle only three humans have ever stood in the chamber of the High Born, two under my reign. Your heart is pure, but there is also a sadness that will consume you if you don’t let it go. The circumstances of your life are not your doing, but they have made you who you are, if not for what you have endured this moment would not have existed.”

He watched as her head came up and he locked eyes with her. The glowing gold of his slit pupils stared directly into her but there was no fear associated with his gaze. He stepped down towards her and when his front foot hit the floor after the last stair he flashed and turned into a white haired human male who looked to be about 100 years old. He moved slow, his joints seeming to respond just like an elderly man would and he walked with a limp until he was standing eye to eye with her. His deep eyes were still fixed on hers and a thin smile crossed his lips.

“For almost 600 years the bridge between the Dragonkin and the humans has been severed. Not since Sir Huma Dragonbane rode into battle on the back of Gwyneth has there been true unity between our races.” He thought moment and then continued, “If my memory serves me correctly Huma Dragonbane was also a member of the Order of the Crown, how fitting.”

He turned and looked at Nol, his eyes flashing slightly and Nol stood, approached and knelt humbly before the High Born, “You know how the relationship between Gwyneth and Huma ended,” Nol nodded somberly, “Still you wish to pursue this course.” Nol stood to his full height and looked at Kellan with a soft smile, then back to the High Born, “I am committed to what I have told you earlier.”

Adair inhaled deeply and placed his hand on Nol’s shoulder, “It is not my place to prevent the free will of another, though I am the High Born I do not dictate the directions of individuals lives. Paladine be with you Nol’lore.”

Nol looked at Kellan and could practically read her thoughts, he simply smiled with reassurance that all was well and bowed his head respectfully to the High Born once again as he stepped back to his place beside the massive stairs. Adair looked at Kellan and his eyes glowed softly from within, “This is your charge Lady Kellan Longblade… Nol’lore Silentclaw has committed to be your mount as you face this darkness. You will train with him, you will learn from him, and you will then bring the pledge of the dragons to your people. His flight will accompany you to Heartlund Keep where you will bring the message that the Metallic Dragons have returned to align with the Knights of Solamnia. You will then train the new riders who will ride atop the eleven other dragons in Nol’lore’s flight.”

He could see Lady Kellan swallowing hard as he spoke his soft words. He gently placed his hand on her shoulder and spoke softly, “These words are not from me Lady Kellan Longblade…” He stepped aside and behind him at the foot of the stairs was a human figure, glowing with a white hot light. His crystal blue eyes pierced Kellan’s and he was smiling warmly. Instantly the whole audience bowed in reverence and there was a feeling overwhelming peace and warmth that filled the entire, massive chamber. Paladine stepped forward and reached down, taking Kellan’s hand and bringing her back to her feet. He kissed his finger and placed it on her forehead, and then spoke, “If you are going to defeat the dragons of Tahkisis, you will need this.”

He moved his hand forward and a beam of light shot from his palms, extended side to side and stopped when it reached 18 feet in length. The light materialized into a platinum lance and Kellan would know immediately what was being handed to her. “The dragonlance can pierce the scales of the dragons, however you MUST believe in its powers, or it will shatter.”

He handed her the weapon which was as light as a feather and placed his hand on Lady Kellan’s shoulder, “I will be with you daughter.”



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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:00 pm


The sound of the High Born’s voice reminded her of her grandfather many years ago. It held that same, slight frailty to it yet a strength and wisdom that came from years of experience. As he gestured for her to stand, Kellan slowly got to her feet. Listening to his words, Kellan knew this wise leader knew more about her than she could ever tell him. She knew the sadness he spoke of and she also knew his words to be true. Every day she sought to relieve herself o fit but it always remained just beyond her grasp. Perhaps now she would find the way to release it.

When he transformed into his human form she wanted to reach out and help him move but she didn’t want to insult him by giving the impression she thought him weak. It was just her nature to want to aid another who appeared to need it. Instead, she remained where she stood and waited for him to approach. As their eyes locked, she listened to him again. Indeed, Huma Dragonbane HAD been from the same Order as she was. The fact he remembered such a detail made Kellan smile slightly and she nodded.

When Nol stood, walked over then knelt before the High Born once more, Kellan watched then listened to the exchange between the men. She knew all about the legend of Huma and his dragon, Gwyneth, but she didn’t understand what that had to do with Nol. Until she heard what the High Born explained to her.

As she listened to each word the elderly dragon spoke, she knew this was the duty she’d been studying for since her arrival and resurrection. Never, in all of her life, had she been given such responsibility and while she knew it was a massive task she had been charged to accomplish, she dared a glance at Nol and the Bronze before she swallowed hard and glanced back at the High Born.

But what happened next was something Kellan was completely unprepared for. As the High Born stepped aside and revealed the figure of another. As the contact was made with his eyes, Kellan immediately knew who this being was and she instantly dropped to her knees before her God. AS her hand was taken and she stood back up, she was still in shock at the presence she was in. All else faded from her vision as she saw nothing but the piercing blue of Paladine’s eyes holding her gaze.

When his finger gently touched her forehead, Kellan felt a warmth radiate through her body that reminded her of what Nol’s skin and scales felt like when she touched him. The overwhelming peace she felt seemed to wash all of her doubts and fears and….sadness away. While she knew it was an uphill climb to do what she was going to do, she knew that as long as her devotion to her God, and the help of the metallic dragons behind her, she could accomplish this weighted task.

As Kellan watched the forming of the weapon that came straight from the hands of Paladine then handed it to her, she reached out a steady hands to accept the gift and felt the warmth of the lance’s shaft as it rested in her hands. This weapon….this one, single weapon was the weapon Knights of all Orders sought for but never found. And now, she possessed the one, single weapon that could pierce the scales of a dragon. Something no other forged weapon could do. Never, in all her life, could any training prepare Kellan for this and she knew now just how important her role in this world was about to become. Her eyes slid up and down the Dragonlance admiring it and when she felt Paladine’s hand rest on her shoulder, she let her light brown eyes settle on his piercing blue ones then nodded.

”By my faith in you, great Paladine, my faith of the Dragonlance shall never falter.”

Setting the Dragonlance on its end and holding it with her left hand then kneeling before her God, Kellan once more bowed her head respectfully and placed her right hand over her heart.

”This I pledge. My honor is My Life.”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:26 pm


Paladine said nothing more, the light simply faded and the room seemed to exhale all at once. Adair walked over to Kellan once again and offered her a hand to aid in her standing to her feet. He smiled warmly and spoke, “Arvandor will be joining you, he has a history of fighting amongst humanity. You know your charge, and I wish you the best of luck.”

He turned his head and looked at Nol, his eyes flashed softly and Nol bowed respectfully. Adair nodded and the second his first foot hit the steps he flashed and turned into his dragon form. Going up the stairs it was more obvious that he walked with a limp in his dragon form as well. He settled to the top of his perch and laid down, a look of exhaustion on his face. The Bronze dragon walked to the end of the stairs and looked around. Her scales were flashing and sparkling in the light of the room and she spoke, “This session of the High Born is concluded.”

The dragons in attendance all nodded and stepped back, leaving through their respective exits. She turned and looked at Kellan, her eyes burning like steel that had been removed from the furnace. The High Born was already asleep behind her and she spoke, “Our hopes rest on you Lady Kellan.”

She nodded and began to walk, passing Nol she paused and spoke, “I hope you made the right decision, you are thrusting yourself into waters that will potentially and most likely will lead you to sadness.”

Nol looked at her and spoke, “If I don’t follow my heart what is left Elaasha?” She looked at him a couple seconds and responded, “I suppose there is nothing left.”

She turned and looked again at Kellan and nodded, turned and exited the chamber. Nol walked over to Lady Kellan, they were now alone in the immense hall and he beamed at her with pride in his eyes, “I don’t think under the circumstances you could have handled that with any more dignity than you did.”



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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:46 pm


Kellan was still in a state of shock when everything quieted down and she heard Nol and Elaasha exchange words. Nodding to the Bronze more out of training than actually knowing she was dismissed, she glanced up at Nol as he stood beside her looking at her with pride filled eyes. Glancing at the now sleeping Adair then at the Dragonlance then to Nol, she leaned closer and spoke softly.

”I…..need a few moments alone, Nol. Could you please take me….”

Without waiting for her to finish, Nol nodded understandingly and took her by the hand. He led her out of the castle and back to the place where they landed when she arrived. In a flash he was back in dragon form and Kellan easily climbed onto his back, Dragonlance still in hand. As Nol took to the sky once more, the sun had set and the sky was almost completely dark. Kellan looked at the twinkling stars overhead then closed her eyes letting the night air wash over her as she had so many times before.

Nol landed a short time later on the top of a mountain Kellan had found a spot that offered her peace, quiet and solitude from the others. There seemed to be an unspoken courtesy from the other dragons that they never ventured close to her or Nol when she was in this spot. Once more she dismounted gracefully from his back and while he was still in his dragon form she closed her eyes and pressed her forehead against his cheek.

As her hand tenderly caressed the warm scales, she took a deep breath then walked a few feet away from the dragon she had fallen so helplessly in love with almost from the first time she’d met him. Glancing at the Dragonlance once more, she carefully set it down in the soft grass then walked over to the large rock she always knelt before and folded her hands, closing her eyes. Nol remained where he was, as he always did when she came here. He understood the importance for her to pray to Paladine and he honored her wished until she was finished.

She felt tears slowly slide down her cheek and for once, they weren’t tears of sorrow. As many times Nol brought her herr, it was always to release her sorrow at the loss of her brother and for the others she cared for that were lost to her now. But now, as she felt the sadness and sorrow wash away from her like the tears she shed, Kellan knew Paladine had relieved her of her emotional burden of the past. While she would never forget the events that happened, she no longer let the scars weep. Today, the scars healed. Today, she felt the weight of her emotional anchor lifted allowing her to look towards the future with open eyes and more importantly, an open heart.

After a while, Kellan collected herself and turned to Nol. In a flash he was in his Elven form and she rushed to him, throwing herself into his arms. Burying her face in his chest and feeling his arms wrap around her and hold her tight against him. Her eyes closed and she breathed in the scent of him before she reluctantly released her hold and stepped back to look up into his handsome face. Her eyes shimmered with moisture again but she refused to let the tears fall this time. Instead, she gave him a smile that was filled with the love she felt for him. The first true smile she had given him since they met.

”Thank you, Nol. Thank you for everything. If not for you….”

She simply couldn’t finish the sentence as a lump formed in her throat, She swallowed hard then stepped back further taking his hand in hers and walking over to the edge of the plateau they were on. She let her gaze look out into the darkness as the warm breeze drifted past her. Her hand squeezed his and she turned to look at him again.

”What you and your flight have done…..I know the commitment you made. And I know what it means. For all of you. I promise, my love….I won’t let any of you down.”

She took another deep breath and let it out slowly as she looked down at the twinkling torches that marked the perimeter of the High Born‘s castle. Looking back up at Nol, the sadness returned to her gaze but for a different reason entirely.

”His strength is almost gone, Nol. I could practically feel it draining from him as I stood close to him The decision to have me as the ambassador for his kind was not an easy decision for him to make. Even with Paladine’s council. What he did took great courage by placing the hope of his own kin in my hands. . I pray to Paladine I’m able to bring pride to him while he still lives.”

She looked out over the Myst Isle as darkness finally over took the land completely.

”I hope Arvandor will be as gracious as the rest of the dragon kind have been here.”

Already her mind was beginning to switch into tactical mode as she began to think of the training that lay ahead of her. She walked over and picked up the Dragonlance once more, admiring the weapon and letting her hand caress the shaft and wonder at the lightness of the weapon again.

”Many Knights have yearned to have such a weapon. I only pray they will realize the importance of it and not seek it for their own glory. While Knights they may be, they are still men at heart and want of another’s possessions has sometimes blinded them to what their true goal should be. And you know as well as I do the Knights are very political.”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:02 pm


Nol waited patiently as Kellan went to pray. He was used to this place, to the fulfillment it brought her, and he respected that. As she finished and ran to him he held her, feeling the new life that had been pumped into her. He was glad to see the breakthrough that had been made and to know that she was beginning to realize that there was life beyond the loss.

As she spoke of the High Born he nodded and spoke, “High Born still has many years ahead of him Kellan, you need not worry about his being around to show him you are up to this task. I promise you.” He brushed some of her hair behind her ear and spoke again, “Arvandor is a decent dragon, wise, strong and trustworthy. He is more stiff necked than I, but of course he is a gold and they are known for their royal ways. He was once the mount to the Prince of the Silvanesti Prince Jerrin. After the Prince’s death he returned to the Isle and has been council to the High Born. I have no doubt that since we are about to go to war he will be made a general in the flights once again. He has a wise outlook, all will be well.”

He watched as she picked up the dragonlance and he smiled again. He walked up beside her and put his hand on her shoulder as she admired the elegant weapon. “You need not worry, all 12 of the dragons in our flight will have them, and there can be no politics where there is the will of Paladine, trust me, you have an alliance with the patron god of the Knights themselves, no one will argue with you.”

As she turned and looked at him curiously about the other lances he smiled, “You have the greater lance, there are eleven lesser lances in our vaults, they are not as long but will get the job done.”

He pulled her in tightly and held her as she sun faded behind the mountains, like the setting of the sun so had set her sadness and a new day was coming.


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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:16 am

She was tired, dirty and grouchy. She wanted a bath, food and a bed and in that order. Keatara Ulengard had been traveling hard for 4 days, guiding a small party of refugees to Heartlund. She'd protected them, hunted for them and kept them safe...but not without cost to herself. Her left leg was all but dragging and it took everything she had to make sure that it didn't show. The battle with a small group of bandit the day before had taken it's toll on her as well, but again, it didn't show.

They came out of the treeline and stopped. There, four hundred meters in front of them was Heartlund. They were almost there. She looked back to the small party of ten....three men, four women and 3 children. Three of the four women were mated to the men and the children belonged to them. The fourth woman was a widow...an elderly woman whom the three couples had taken to. She watched the children, who ranged in age from four years to eight years old, while the adults went about chores and helped Keatara keep them safe.

As she began walking again, Keatara wondered about what she would find here in Heartlund. Her green eyes were always scanning her surroundings, always watching and she was hopeful that perhaps here she could take a small reprieve. She smiled, thinking about a hot bath. It would be worth the coin that she'd already collected from the party of refugees, having learned a long time ago to collect half of her pay up front. She smiled again, thinking of the children behind her and how for a few days they had made her smile and she them as she'd played with them when she wasn't on guard which wasn't often. Especially the little four year old girl with the brown curls and bright blue eyes. She called her 'Cherub', a nickname that had stuck as now everyone called the little girl that.

A while later, the party of ragtag refugees and the female 'ranger' leading them made it to the gates of the city, entering after proving to the guards that they were what they said they were....refugees. They were all dirty and tired but alive and that counted for something within itself.

Keatara took her pay from the oldest man, hugging the children to her and stroking Cherub's plump little cheek. "Ye mind ye're mama an' da now...ye 'ere?" Standing up, she smiled to the rest of them, hugging the older widow who had reminded her of Madge. "Ye ken who I be, Ulna. While I be 'ere, if ye need me just come a looking. I will be 'ere for ye." Her voice was soft, her eyes as well as she looked into the elder woman's watery brown eyes before turning away from them and disappearing into the city to find where she could get a bath, food and a bed. As she walked, she absently rubbed her left thigh, kneading the knotted muscles.


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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:50 pm


Aeolis stayed behind in Heartlund to offer his services any way he could to the mass influx of soldiers and some of the straggling refugees that still found their way to the Keep. He had been helping some young squires find ways to double and triple up horses in the stalls of the stables when he heard of a new group of refugees that just arrived.

Knowing the Knights had their hands full in getting things situated he took it upon himself to be the unofficial official greeter to the refugees. As he made his way through the Keep he arrived just in time to see the refugees go their separate ways and the one who appeared to be the leader walk away with a slight limp. Noting the way she rubbed her left thigh and the fact that same leg seemed to be her weaker one, he furrowed his brows.

Approaching from her left, he let his eyes assess her as he approached. She was confident in herself and her abilities, of that he cold already see, but he could also see a weariness in her green pools that he, and almost everyone else, knew all too well. He was about three feet away from her when he stopped and nodded his head respectfully, smiling.

”Greetings, Lady. Welcome to Heartlund Keep. It’s a bit crowded but I’m sure we can find accommodations for you.. My name is Aeolis and I‘m here to assist these kind souls any way I can. And from what I can see, it looks like you could use some assistance.”

He glanced around then let his gaze settle back on her.

”You are alone.”

It was a statement more than a question. Before she could answer, he glanced down at her leg then back to her and furrowed his brow slightly.

”We have a healer here, Lady. She would be more than happy to see to your discomfort if you would like. Would you like me to escort you to a place where some space is available for you to stay while you’re here?”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:36 pm

Keatara never heard him approach and for that she mentally kicked herself, blaming it on her weariness and the pain in her leg. She'd also noticed that he'd approached her on her weak side and that had her instantly on guard, her hand going to the hilt of her dagger. Her green eyes then assessed the elfin male standing before her.

At her short height, only five foot 2 inches tall, she looked up into green eyes much like her own. Her own bone structure and facial features indicated elven blood somewhere. As she spoke, her accent was clearly heard, "I thank ye, good sir...but there is no' a healer in the land that can help me. As for accommodations, help in that area would be greatly appreciated. Bath, food and a bed and in that order. I may be a needin' two baths just to be presentable for the food." The last part she said with a smile, a little light of mischief shining in her eyes before quickly fading.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:23 am


Aeolis saw the reaction she had when he approached and he wasn’t sure if he was wary or impressed by her. Obviously things had not been easy for the young woman and he could understand her initial reaction, but he would have to warn her about that sort of reaction among the Knights. It would definitely be frowned upon.

As she relayed her refusal of the healer and what order she wanted to find her comforts, he saw the twinkle of mischief in her eyes and the smile and he couldn’t help but chuckle softly and nod.

”Very well. The accommodations you seek are right this way.”

Aeolis turned on his heel and started heading towards the inner most part of the Keep. His pace was slow so the young woman could keep up with him without bringing too much strain to her leg. As they walked, he pointed out different buildings to her and what significance they held. From time to time a Knight would stop and ask him something and he would direct them in the proper direction before turning his attention back to the young woman.

He noticed her features and instantly caught onto the fact there was some Elven blood in her but it looked to be far removed now. Still, the slight angular features and the barest almond shape of her eyes couldn’t be mistaken. Especially for someone like him. He also took note of the bow she sported and saw there was a great deal of similarities in it as with his own beloved bow. There was definitely more to this young woman than what met the eye.

He also took the time to explain how things worked with the Knights and what her actions and reactions should be around them. He wasn’t trying to be imposing, he was just stating the facts as they needed to be for her.

”The Knights of Solamnia are a disciplined group of men and women. You have the Order of the Crown signified by the crown in their crest, the Order of the Sword signified by the sword in their crest and the Order of the Rose signified by the rose in the crest. Their rank is in that order as well. The Order of the Rose is where your higher ranking Knights will come from, but each Order has a specified leader as the head. Sir Trystan Celeste is the leader of the Swords and Lady Rose Fairwind is the leader of the Roses. Both of them are honorable Knights and hold themselves and the men and women who serve under them to the highest regard. And now that we have been flooded by the call for aid from the other commanders in the area, we have more Knights running about the Keep than we can keep count of. Not to mention the squires and support staff they bring with them.”

His keen eyes looked around as he walked and talked with her, guiding her through the mass of people and animals moving about the now busy Keep.

”Considering the events that have taken place recently, it is only understanding why these tried and true warriors are a bit on edge when it comes to new comers. And far be it for me to instruct anyone on how to conduct themselves, especially one who has proven they are quite resourceful and capable of handling themselves, but I do feel it is my duty to give words of advice.”

He glanced over at the young woman and his eyes seemed to bore into her for a moment.

”While I am certain the journey here was not pleasant, know you are among those who have sworn their lives to protect any and all who have come to this Keep seeking refuge. So when you reach for the hilt of a weapon of any kind, it will be frowned upon and you could find yourself in a rather precarious situation.”

He saw her britsle slightly and he smiled reassuringly.

”No one will take your weapons from you, Lady. Not unless you show you are aggressive to those who have offered aid. I am merely trying to explain the way things could be interpreted incorrectly and make you more aware of your own reactions.”

They finally stopped before a building and Aeolis looked over at her and smiled once more. It was a warm and welcoming smile followed by him standing straighter and nodding his head respectfully.

”We have reached your first destination, Lady. Inside you will find many tubs filled with clean, warm water and a variety of fragrances. There are chamber maids within to see to your needs if you so wish it. No men will enter as this is the bathing house for the women. Not to mention these two young Lady Knights guard the door to prevent such things from happening.”

He gestured with his hand and she would see that indeed they were before the women’s bath house and there were two female guards, both wearing the insignia for the Order of the Crown, on their clothing. When she looked back at him he was smiling again.

”There will be someone to assist you when you emerge to take you to your next destination where you will be able to fill your stomach. The food may not be as lavish as many Keeps would serve, but it is good tasting and nutritious. I will meet up with you later after you have rested. In the meantime, feel free to wonder about the Keep as you see fit. No one here shall bother you.”

With another nod, Aeolis turned once more on his heel and like before, he left as silently as he arrived and blended in with the sea of bodies moving around within a matter of seconds.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund   Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:15 pm

As Keatara watched the handsome elf disappear into the crowd of people, she realized that she'd not introduced herself to him as he had done with her. ~He must think I be a rude one now.~ Sighing, knowing that she couldn't make it right until she saw him again later, she didn't ponder over it, instead she headed into the bathhouse, the two female knights nodding their heads to her.

Upon entering the bathing house, Keatara was almost overwhelmed by the sights and smells. It was very clean and she could feel the moisture from the hot water in the various tubs placed behind wooden partitions. Almost instantly, a young girl came to her, smiling at her.

"Greetings, m'lady. I am Gwendolyn and am here to assist you if you need it. While you bathe, I can have your clothing washed and dried for you as well. Your weapons can stay with you, so you will not have to worry about those. Would you like some assistance?"

Keatara smiled back at the young girl of perhaps fourteen years old and decided to take her up on her offer. "Aye, Gwendolyn. Ye're help would be greatly appreciated. I would indeed like a bath and my clothing cleaned." She followed Gwendolyn down a hall until they came to cubicle with a large tub in the middle of it. It was already being filled with hot water by two other young girls and various scents and oils were being laid out.

"We have various scents, m'lady if you'd prefer something." Gwendolyn told her what scents they had and patiently waited for her to decide. "I be liking the soft scent of jasmine, Gwendolyn. 'Tis not one I doona get verra often." She turned away as the two young girls filling the tub giggled at her accent and her way of speech, but quickly stopped at Gwendolyn's harsh look. "Don't mind them, m'lady. They are simple-minded girls who know no better."

Once finished, Gwendolyn sent the girls away as Keatara had mentioned that she would need her assistance and she began to help her out of her clothing, laying them in a neat pile where another girl gathered them and took them to be cleaned. She helped her into the tub, saying nothing about the scars on her leg or torso having seen worse, but she did say something about the bruising on her ribs, seeing that it was severe enough to have a healer look at it. "M'lady...if I may....allow me to call one of the healers to come and take a look at your ribs. They have salves and poultices that would help with what must be painful." Keatara groaned as she sank down into the jasmine scented hot water, feeling the heat soothe her knotted thigh muscles. "I be fine, lass.....'tis just bruising." But Gwendolyn wouldn't take no for an answer and Keatara finally agreed to have the healer come and take a look, but not until she'd had time to simply soak. She'd paid for two baths, the first one to bathe in and wash off the grime, dirt and sweat and the second to soak in. By the time Gwendolyn had finished scrubbing her clean and her hair was squeaky clean she was rinsed off with clean water and then taken to another tub of clean, hot, jasmine scented water where she could soak to her heart's content. While she did so, Gwendolyn went to fetch the healer.

Keatara laid in the tub, eyes closed and her head back, her long, dark hair hanging over the edge and the ends all but brushing the floor. Before she knew it, she was fast asleep.

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Ch 19: Fortress Heartlund
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