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 Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:58 pm


As Keatara began her exploration the sense of eyes constantly watching her couldn’t be shaken off. Of course, there was no way to shake it off considering she was being watched constantly by several sets of eyes no matter where she went.

She had been collecting her herbal supplies for a little bit when she heard a soft feminine voice behind her. When she turned quickly to see who it was, hand on the hilt of her blade, she would see Tanjee standing there with her hands held up in surrender.

”Keatara…it is only me, Tanjee. I apologize for scaring you. I suppose I should have been a bit louder. Of course, if you ask them, I was louder than a dwarf but that is according to them.”

Pointing into the trees, Keatara glanced up but didn’t see anything there. When she looked back at Tanjee, Tanjee smiled.

”We are creatures of the forest. If we could not hide in trees properly, what good are we to our city's defenses? Come. Let us continue your search, shall we?”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:46 pm


Ceridwyn faked embarrassment as Rayann spoke of what happens in the dark behind closed doors, they shared a laugh and then walked together to the common room where the banquet of welcoming was occurring. As she saw Olwa and Pela embrace she could not help be turn and look at Rayann with a small smile. She nodded at Rayann's words and whispered, "We take it hour by hour and day by day my friend. There is no ill intent in him, it is as clear as the noon day bell, he is as innocent as she is. They have both lived isolated lives, though completely different they have enough in common that being able to relate to one another and connect was simple. It takes only a spark to put a whole forest to blaze."

She smiled and looked back as they hurried out the side entrance that lead to the balcony. Ceridwyn looked from the younglings to Aeolis who smiled at her and gave a wink that he knew they were leaving together. As he then spoke to her and referred to her as 'heart of his heart' she melted inside and looked down shyly before turning her red cheeks to Rayann. With a small, sly smile she tugged on her friend to walk with her and they made their way over to Aeolis and Myth. Ceridwyn went up on her tiptoes and embraced Aeolis more warmly than she had in the past in public and pressed her lips gently against his cheek. She whispered into his ear before returning to her feet, "The stars shine that much brighter when we share the evenings with one another."

She locked elbows with him and brought herself into him. Her elbow was locked in his and her other hand came across her body and rested on his forearm. It was clear that they were a couple. Every human male that happened to gaze upon her would see that Aeolis was who she shared her affections with, and many disappointed faces that were new to the Keep went on with their evenings and stolen glances.



Olwa beamed when Pela agreed to walk with him and sent a missive to Aeolis who gave his approval for them to leave the room. As they walked out onto the balcony and then up the stairs to the battlements. As she
spoke of not expecting to see him he could only smile shyly and respond, "Think about how it was for me, I knew I was going to see you for nine days before I could. The anticipation and the fear were paralyzing yet I was expected to do all my duties to prepare."

He paused and looked at her, his eyes sparkling in the light of the white moon, "I... I really couldn't wait to see you again. I can not thank the gods enough that the Speaker saw it fitting for me to come. It is a major break of tradition that I be able to come on such a large assignment. Typically us younger Rangers are left at Silvanost to continue in training and be the defense for the city in a safer environment. It took both the Speaker and the approval of the Prince for this to happen."

As she spoke about breaking protocol he giggled softly and brushed his hand against her cheek once again, tucking some of the stray hairs back. He allowed his fingers to rub down under her ear and down her neck to her shoulder as he had done in Silvanost. He was staring at his fingertips, wondering how her skin could be so incredibly cold. He spoke in response, "If we were at court and you were Elven someone would probably say something to you, however we are in your land and we are to acclimatize ourselves to the traditions and protocols of the human condition and emotion. So ask you my sweet Pela, did you break protocol?"

She chewed her bottom lip in curiosity and he could see she herself wasn't even sure if she had. He rubbed his index finger up her neck now and brought it under her chin, lifting her face gently so their eyes were locked once again, "As far as I am concerned, your greeting was perfect."

He smiled once again and the bowstring of his heart was restrung, the feeling of tension in his gut was broken only by the flutter of nervousness that coursed from his center through his whole body. He stared at her, his smile spread from cheek to cheek. He wasn't sure if a kiss would be appropriate and to keep to his oath and his training when spending time with the opposite sex he nodded his head and took a very slight step back to ease any tension she might have been feeling. It was his training and knowledge of proper courting, but it was fighting every single instinct in his body.

He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and stepped with her to one of the crenelations in the battlement. He stood silently with her as the towers flared in the distance, his keen Elven eyes scanning what he could see of them. He spoke quietly as he instinctually pulled her closer to himself unconsciously protecting her as he even brought up the subject, "So that is what we came to fight? Tell me, I know you were part of the initial assault... was it as bad as the rumors say?"

)) ::EDIT, removed last line that was posted by accident:: ((

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:21 pm


Aeolis embraced Ceri tightly when she came to him and he could not have been happier. As she looped her elbow under his and rested her hand on his forearm, he laid his own hand over hers in a symbol of devotion and love. He looked down at her with a loving gaze then looked over at his friends then at the many faces around the room. He could practically see the hearts breaking all over the room and he could only smile even m ore knowing the one female they had practically fallen in love with the first time they saw her was his love.

And he hers.






Pela felt the touch of Olwa’s fingertips against her skin and she didn’t find the touch offensive in the least. In fact, she liked the feel of his touch. While she could feel the warmth of his touch it wasn’t the sort of warmth that was damaging to her. And the more she felt his touch, the more she wanted it. Her heart skipped beats, her stomach fluttered and she felt a tension building within her that was about to burst.

As they reached the crenellation, Pela saw his eyes look beyond her and she turned to see what he was looking at. When she saw the Towers swirling flames and shadows, she narrowed her eyes. As he pulled her closer, she didn’t try to stop him. Leaning up against him, her back to his chest, she leaned her head back on his shoulder and was she stared at the Towers with hatred in her eyes. For the longest time, she didn’t say anything. When she finally did start talking, her voice was as cold as the icy winds that blow in the heart of a blizzard.

”Yes. And even the rumors you are hearing do not come close to what happened. We attacked the towers on the thought the third, unoccupied tower was the weak link. We were sadly mistaken. The defenses put in place by the two mages who were there proved to be far too great for mere mortals. Too much for those of us with magical abilities, even.”

”The rock golems were far too many. We would destroy three and six would rise up and take their place. There was a never ending supply of them for us to overcome. Knights and horses alike were smashed into the ground until nothing but a red stain left of them. I can still hear screams of those Knights as they were crushed by the merciless fists of the rock golems. But it was not the rock golems that caused us to retreat. It was the fire creatures that spewed molten lava from their maws. If you survived, the pain killed you. Even Bad Rock could not survive them. And had it not been for him, would have died as well. But….he threw himself over me to protect me from the molten lava that spewed forth from the flying fire creature. Even Aeolis nearly lost his life. Had it not been for Tanjee arriving the morning after the battle, he would have died.”

She grew silent again for a moment then turned to let her eyes look into his. Her hands rested on the front of his shoulders near his collar bones as she stared into his clear blue pools.

”But you were not brought here to fight the Towers. No one can fight them and think they will win. It would be suicide. You were brought here to help fight against the army belonging to the Dark Bitch. We received word there is a large force heading this way from the North. It is believed they are going to try and convince the Mages to return under her favor again but at the same time try and annihilate the Knights here at Heartlund. They are a combined force of Draconic and human forces and will stop at nothing to kill all of us. So when the time comes…..fight. Do not stop until you are dead because if you do, you will die and…..”

She seemed to catch her breath for a second as moisture formed in her eyes as she looked into his eyes. When she spoke again, her voice was full of the emotion she was feeling.

I….do not want anything….to happen to you. To think of you……dead…..it is too much for my mind to understand. Please, Olwa….please promise me you will do all you can to protect yourself. And if I am near you, I will do all I can to protect you as well. And I will make anyone sorry for ever thinking of harming you.”

Tears slipped down her cheeks and she broke contact with his eyes as she realized she lost control of herself. Sniffling softly, she spoke in a barely audible whisper.

”Forgive me…..I did not mean to make such declarations. I…..I am just trying…..”

She took a deep breath and swallowed hard then shook her head slightly as she looked down at her hands that now rested before her at waist height.

”I do now know what I am trying to do.”




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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:37 pm

Keatara quickly removed her hand from the hilt of her blade and smiled at Tanjee, looking around her and up into the trees seeing nothing, but not doubting her friend's words of the elves. She smiled again upon finding out that Tanjee was going to assist her in her search for the herbs and healing plants she needed in order to teach the children. Before she started looleking again though, her green eyes turned to the trees once more, "I may not be seeing ye....but I thank ye for presence and watchfulness. Ye all are a blessing from the Goddesses." She hoped that she didn't offend any of them, but she felt the need to stay what was in her heart.

Turning back to her search, she and Tanjee found what was needed: marigold, thistle, purple and white clover, ginger root, blackberry leaves, etc. Then she found starts of each plant to begin growing them herself so that she wouldn't have to take from the Earth anymore than she needed. She also took the time to enjoy the forest in all of it's beauty, something she'd not done since her family had been taken from her. She'd always loved the trees and the animals and had spent many a day just lounging beneath the canopy at her home. Again, the thought of Tynen came to her mind and she felt the guilt nagging at her for being comfortable when there was a chance, slim though it may be, that he was still alive. She pushed it to the back of her mind, smiling to Tanjee who looked at her with concern.

Once finished, the two women headed back to the keep where Keatara got her starts into water to begin to root. When Tanjee told her about the dinner she didn't hesitate to decline. "I thank ye for letting me stand with ye when yer fellow brethren came through....it was a great honor. But, I be filthy from traipsing out in the woods and digging in the soil as well as sweaty. I don't think there be enough time to clean up and still make it to the dinner." When she saw the look of stubborness cross Tanjee's face, she knew that she was going to the dinner whether she wanted to or not. Sighing, she gathered a clean set of clothing and her new boots and followed Tanjee to the bathhouse, shaking her head and smiling. She was beginning to look at Tanjee as the sister she'd never had and was grateful to her for her friendship.

Once finished with her bath, her long hair partially dried by brushing it by the fire, she was ready. Her clothing was simple yet was decorated with the Celtic designs from her homeland. A small wolf lay over her heart and a bear over her right breast. Her boots were also decorated in the same manner and the coloring of the outfit was a forest green, making her lighter green eyes stand out. She smelled of lilacs, her favorite scent and walked with Tanjee to the dining hall....clearly nervous. She was a simple farm girl and dinners like this were not something she had ever gone to. But, she was also excited to be there as well.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:30 am


Tanjee was waiting for Keatara near the main entrance of the Keep. She was dressed in a soft, silk blue shirt with similar silver thread that was on her robes. The waist was pulled in by a thin, silver belt that had a long drape on her right side and the symbol of Mishakal was embroidered in that silvery thread near the left side of the collar. Soft, silken leggings that weren’t true white and a pair of soft, high boots crafted for her feet. When she saw the dark haired Northerner, she smiled and waved in greeting.

”Well, I am glad to see you decided to come after all. I was concerned you would leave me standing here all by myself. Do not worry about the amount of people milling about. They are more interested in talking about battle strategy and sharing stories of victories than to be bothered with us.”

Tanjee saw the look on Keatara’s face when she saw the amount of people moving about the Keep and reassured her it was quite alright. Looping her arm under Keatara’s, she started walking towards the main audience room where most of the noise of conversation was coming from.

”Apparently this is an informal meeting between the Knights and the Elves. The commanders from both sides thought it would be a good idea for everyone to meet and get a good idea of who they were aligning themselves with. I could not agree more. It has been far, far too long since the Elves have ventured outside Silvanesti lands for anything other than just being curious. And even those trips were few and far between.”

As they rounded the corner and stepped fully into the main audience hall she felt Keatara hesitate slightly. She paused long enough for the woman to gather her composure before walking slowly into the crowd. Several of the gathered Knights and Elves nodded and greeted them both with smiles. Tanjee knew many of the Rangers and had gotten to know some of the Knights. She introduced Keatara to several of the Elves and they were very gracious to the woman.

Tanjee was slowly weaving their way towards Aeolis and Ceri when a rather large frame stood in front of the two women. Blinking, Tanjee looked up to see the smiling face and twinkling eyes of Sir Gideon standing before them. He was dressed in a fine shirt and trousers looking more relaxed than either woman had ever seen him thus far. He nodded to Tanjee then to Keatara.

”M’Lady Tanjee. M’Lady Keatara. It’s good to see both of you could make it this evening. The night is complete now.”

Tanjee smiled and nodded in greeting.

”Sir Gideon, how many times do I have to correct you? I am not a Lady. Please…just Tanjee is fine. And please do not give me the line of proper manners. I believe my own personal preference trumps your rigorous training.”

Gideon laughed softly and nodded.

”Very well then…Tanjee. I shall remember your personal preference from now on.”

He looked at Keatara and smiled again. Tanjee glanced from one to the other then slowly released Keatara’s arm and took a small step away. Grinning, she quietly excused herself.

”Well, if you two will excuse me, I see my brother over there. I think I will join him and Ceri.”

She saw the look Keatara shot her and she merely grinned, winked then step around Sir Gideon and headed towards Aeolis and Ceri.


”Of course, M…..Tanjee.”

Gideon caught himself before he could make the formality of a title then smiled. Turning back to Keatara, he smiled again.

”Can I get you something to drink?”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:48 pm

Keatara watched Tanjee leave, her heart beating as if it would jump out of her chest. She almost began to fan herself with her hand and stopped herself just before she actually did. Taking a deep breath, she smiled up at Gideon reminding herself that she liked this man....a lot and if she was going to get to know him better she had to get over her jitters of being around him.

"Aye, Sir Gideon, a drink would be nice." She gave him a blinding smile, her green eyes sparkling when her hand instinctively went to her scar over her right eye and she looked away from him only to feel his large yet gentle hand take hold of her hand and pull it away from her eye. "It is a part of you, m'lady....and does not even begin to mar your beauty. If anything, it enhances it, drawing attention to your beautiful green eyes." Keatara blushed a deep pink, smiling up at him again, "Thank ye, Sir Gideon....for yer compliment. And please....call me Keatara or Tara." She looped her arm into the crook of his and let him lead her to the table where they were serving punch and wine. She asked for a glass of wine, thinking that it would help calm her nerves and he did the same then led her to a quiet area where they began to get know each other better. By the end of the night, Keatara was no longer a bundle of nerves and was completely relaxed and laughing along with Gideon who was finding this small woman was full of courage.

She told him about her family, growing up a farm girl with 5 older brothers. She told him about the antics they would play on each other and caring for her nieces and nephews when everyone was out in the fields and how ornery they could be, although she was usually the one who put the children up to the jokes. She touched briefly on the attack, her eyes filling with sadness. Gideon stopped her and gently told her to concentrate on good times....she could always tell him about that some other time.

All in all, she enjoyed herself immensely, sitting with Tanjee during the meal and then she was back with Gideon afterwards, even dancing with the gentle knight with the sparkling brown eyes.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:06 pm

Gideon enjoyed sitting and talking with Tara a great deal. She had courage and brains to match the beauty and there wasn’t a lot of that to be found in a good woman. No doubt if things had been different and someone in the Knights ranks had gotten a hold of her at a younger age, she would have been recruited into the ranks. But the Knights weren’t exactly looked at with honor much these days. Perhaps that thinking would change when they regained their honor for facing off against a foe no one wanted to face.

Hlaughed at some of the tales Tara spoke of involving her brothers and could imagine what it looked like to see the animated stories she spoke of. He could see the underlying sadness in her eyes but he also saw the spark of life. She had suffered a great loss, like the Knights had, and like the Knights, she was finding a reason to keep on living.

As the night wore on, he found the Cleric would stop by from time to time and share a story or two with he and Tara. He was discovering Elven childhood was not much different than human childhood with the exception of a few things. She took the time to introduce different Rangers to him and Tara as they stopped by to talk to her. He founf the native language they spoke to be both elegent and somewhat mucial sounding to his ears.

And speaking of music….a few of the Knights who had musical talents struck some chords and played songs for everyone to dance to if they so wished. One of the first ones outon the dance floor was the Cleric and she was dragging some poor Elf Ranger with her. Of course he couldn’t tell her no and that was all it took before others joined in. They were upbeat tempo songs that kept everyone moving.

No one dared to over imbibe and you saw many tankards filled with water as you did ale. Even the Elves were mindful of the wine they drank making sure they did not over indulge either. Everyone knew they couldn’t let a night of drinking and dancing be the reason they were ambushed by the enemy.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:07 pm

Keatara found herself dancing with Gideon more than once, laughing more than she had in the past few years at her clumsiness for she didn't know the dances and stepped on his toes more than once. She saw Tanjee smiling at her and reminded herself to thank her friend for giving her the nudge she'd needed to give this man a chance.

Finally, she had to call an end to a perfect night as she had the children returning in the morning and was now unsure as how to tell Gideon good night. She opted for the most direct route, "Gideon..I have thoroughly enjoyed meself and ye have made it so. But, I have the children returning in the morning and have a busy day scheduled for them. I fear I must call it a night and retire." She accepted his offer of walking her back to her small cabin at the children's training area.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:05 pm

Gideon enjoyed the company Tara provided and laughed at watching Tanjee dance with a good number of the Knights and Elves both. There was no doubt she saw this night as a celebration for her people even though their arrival was for dangerous and even deadly purposes. She still embraced the life they were living fully and made sure they did as well.

At one point she coaxed Trystan and Sir Ordin to dance with her at different times. She tried to get Myth to join her but he merely laughed and shook his head telling Tanjee his wife would not approve. Of course they all knew it was his way of politely saying he would rather not and Tanjee accepted that.

By the time Tara said she was turning in for the night, Gideon was ready as well. His duties started earoly the next morning and he wanted to be well rested. He escorted Tara back to the quaint, cozy cabin that had been constructed for her and he stood at the door with her.

”You’re doing a remarkable job with the children. I see you from time to time working with them and I must say, they have a well versed instructor. They will learn a great deal from you.

He took her hand in his and brought the back of it to press his lips against it gently then settled it back down at her side. Smiling softly, he nodded once more.

”Thank you for a wonderful night, Tara. I hope to be able to share more with you. Good night to you. I shall see you on the morrow.”

With that, Gideon turned on his heel and headed to his own quarters with the other Knights he shared them with. As he walked away, he whistled one of the tunes they had danced to.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:06 pm

Keatara couldn't remember when she'd been happier and she couldn't help but watch Gideon walk away hearing the tune he whistled. She smiled, recognizing it as one of the songs they'd danced to. Once she could no longer see him, she stepped inside her small, but cozy cabin and tidied up a bit, laying out her clothing for the next day. She then stepped back out going to the storage shed to lay out the wooden training weapons they would be using. She laid them on a table just inside the door so that when the children got there they would be easy to collect. Next were the herbs, mortar and pestles, small jars, etc. for the children to begin to learn how to care for wounds and ailments. She planned on beginning their teaching in that area after the had their noonday meal tomorrow. Once all was in order, she went back to the cabin to prepare for bed.

Within minutes she was beneath the blankets, thinking about the night and a tall knight with gentle brown eyes and adorable dimples. She was smiling as she fell asleep.

Keatara was walking by her old home and all was as it should be. Nothing was burned, no dead bodies laying around, and not stench of rotting corpses. She smiled, wondering if it had all been just a horrible nightmare and she would see her mother in the garden and her father and brothers returning from the fields. In the blink of an eye, though, it all changed and once again her little nieces and nephews were laying in a heap, their small bodies broken. Her parents and brothers were all mutilated and staring at her with lifeless eyes. Her head was moving back and forth as she kept closing and opening her eyes, hoping that it was not so.

"How could ye forget, Tara? How could ye be so happy when they are all dead and I am lost? Have ye forgotten me?" Keatara turned around to see Tynen standing behind her, his eyes accusing and filled with pain. "I have never forgotten, Tynen. I remember every day what happened to all of ye. And I have searched for ye.....but have not even come close to finding ye. The children here need me as do the rest of them. They need me to look after the wee ones. Mother and Da would want me to be happy, Tynen. Please....don't be angry with me." But he was angry with her and she knew it. Her heart broke at the thought of Tynen still alive and lost, maybe even hurt or worse, captured only to be tortured. "Ye have stopped searching for me, Tara. Ye have forgotten me in yer happiness with the knight. Ye are not me sister....not the one I knew." Keatara gasped at his harsh words and ran to him to hug him to her only to step through him as if he were a wisp of smoke. "I may as well be dead, Tara. Ye have stopped yer searching of me, so I may as well be dead." Tara shook her head in denial, "I don't even know where to look for ye, Tynen. Ye must give me something...anything so that I know ye are alive and where to search!!" But her words fell on deaf ears as Tynen faded. "TYNEN!!!! NO, DON'T GO!!! TYNEN!!!"


Keatara woke to her own screams, her face wet with her tears. She sat up in her bed, her small body shaking from the intensity and pain of the dream. She pulled her knees up to her chest and cried, knowing that she couldn't leave the children and yet wanting to continue to search for her brother.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:37 am


The change in Pela's tone was not missed by Olwa's keen Elven ears. He understood, he knew that the Netherman known as "Bad'Rock" was her adopted father and she lost him in the fight. For her to speak so menacingly about the towers was not in the least surprising.

He hung on her words, taking in the details and locking them in his brain. She turned and looked up into his eyes almost lovingly and he half smiled as she spoke about the reason he was brought here. He looked up over her shoulder at the towers and spoke softly, "Not all of us were brought to fight the Dark Queen's Army."

He looked back down and she had a look of alarm and was shaking her head slightly. He inhaled deeply, "Worry not Pela, the news of the disaster at Towers was not lost on the ears of the Speaker of the Stars. I was there last week when Prince Myth'alas briefed the war council on the death which is surly to be wrought upon those who attempt a frontal assault on the towers. I am an exception to the rule being allowed to come, but I was brought less for the fight against the Dark Queen and more to aid in the destruction of the towers. I will be fighting the army approaching from the North if they reach a certain perimeter, but my orders are to hang in the back, just as if I was still in Silvanost and collect information and data about the towers and relay it to the higher command. My highest marks were in stealth and bowmanship during my Ranger training, the perfect combination for two jobs, scout and sniper."

He inhaled deeply and looked at the towers, "I need to figure out a way to get more information about the towers. I need to aid in finding the weakness and exploiting it. Mages are powerful thinkers and can wield destructive powers but they aren't invulnerable. There has to be a way to get in there and investigate."

He looked back down at Pela and spoke again his voice was like a whisper now, "Tell me more about Kali, the daughter of the Prince and Princess. I heard she defected to the towers but the whole situation is very taboo and no one will discuss it. Tell me about her. What was she like? Why did she defect to the evil of the towers?"


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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:31 am


There was a momentary sense of relief that washed over Pela when she heard he wasn’t going to fight against the Dark Army, but that relief was short lived when she heard him talk about getting into the towers protective barriers. The look on her face surely spoke volumes of just how she was feeling right now and for the first time in her life, she felt a nagging fear nip at her at the possibility of him being smashed into red mush by the rock golems that patrolled the towers grounds.

Tuning her back to him once more, she looked at the towers that loomed on the horizon again and stared at them like she had every night since her arrival here. As she listened to him reason why he needed to get closer to the towers and find a way in, she was beginning to understand his thinking.

When he asked about Kali, she bristled slightly at the mention of her name but she didn’t say anything as to why she reacted that way. As her eyes studied the towers, she felt his words slip over her like a caressing breeze. Blinking, she tilted her head slightly and stood staring at the tower that was both flame and shadow. When she spoke, her voice was just as quiet as his making it seem like she was almost afraid to break whatever spell it was they were caught in.

”Powerful. She has the ability to sense the use of magic like all magic users do, but she uses it more like a targeting device than others. She helped plan the attack upon the towers. Her strategic and tactical sense was unlike anything Bad Rock said he had seen before. He said he was not sure if she got it naturally from her father or if she had somehow been trained in such things. Either way, she had a way of looking at the situation that rivaled the best military minds in Heartlund.”

She grew quiet for a moment and when she spoke again, there seemed to be sadness to her voice.

“She was devastated by the losses the Knights suffered. Not unlike the rest of us, mind you, but it was almost as if she blamed herself because she was the one who led the charge into the towers defenses. But none of us were prepared for what we found inside. Not even Kali. And when she left the Keep to go into the towers, it was almost as if she had no choice but to go. When she looked back at the Keep and saw her parents and Sir Trystan watching her and yelling for her to stop, it was as though she knew this was the way it had to be, despite how badly it would hurt those she loved and loved her in return. And it was shortly after that there was another large disturbance in the magical field that caused all of us sensitive to the magical field on Krynn to grow nauseous and feel weak. It was also then we noticed the unoccupied Tower that showed no activity suddenly was shrouded in shadow and flame. Just as it is now. A week or so later, she returned to Glen Durel, her mother’s ancestral home, and removed all of the spell books her grandfather and grandmother had stored there. Needless to say, Rayann was dealt another hard blow from her daughter again.”

”She was tutoring me before the assault took place. I have never been under any formal training before I arrived and she took it upon herself to teach me how to read spells, memorize them and create my spell book. She has a wealth of knowledge that seems to be never ending. She is very focused and relentless when she has a task that she needs to complete. No matter what the task may be. I was in hopes she would be the one to continue to train me, but that was not to be the case. Not that I mind being Ceridwyn and Rayann’s apprentice, but there was something about Kali I was able to relate to on a level I could not begin to explain.”

Turning her head to look over her shoulder at him, she let her eyes make brief contact with his before turning to look at the tower again.

”I heard Ceridwyn and Rayann say I am a lot like her when it comes to my abilities with magic, but I believe that is where the similarities end. At least, as far as I can tell. I did not spend a great deal of time with her outside of her tutoring. I wish I had but the assault took place shortly after we arrived. It was shortly after then she went to the towers. And an ominous cloud seemed to form over the Keep and those within.”

She grew silent again and for the longest time, she didn’t say or do anything but stare at the Tower she knew Kali now occupied.

”Before I came here to help fight against the Towers, Bad Rock and I worked with her uncle to try and attack Glen Durel. We were hired by the Dark Queen to assist in retrieving Kali and return her under her uncle’s care. It was not until we were in the middle of the attack we discovered he was using us for his own personal revenge against Rayann. And I am sure he would have tried to kill us when the job was finished. But we did not give him the chance. As soon as Bad Rock realized what happened, we left him to face his sister and her husband and their daughter alone. I fought against her then and I still remember the pain of her spell. I am very glad I did not have to fight her very long.”

She blinked and took a deep breath then looked back at him again.

”If she has a weakness, I do not know what it is. But I am certain she does. If, as you say, she and the other two are not invulnerable. At least, I pray to whatever Gods will listen to me that is the case.”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:10 pm


Olwa listened as Pela spoke and he didn't say a word until she was done. He looked at her and then back to the tower of shadow and flame. After several minutes of silence he spoke again, "That explains the silence in the matter regarding the Prince. She has gone to the darkness, and the way the Silvanesti deal with that is to simply stop talking about it. They bury their feelings and hide them from the world. Not that it's anyones business really, but in a way it is, this is not just a family affair."

He looked down at Pela who was staring back at him, "I don't mean to talk disrespectfully about the Prince and Princess, I am grateful for the Princes invitation to come here and be a part of the cause."

She half smiled and he spoke again, "I will need to penetrate the warding somehow, I assume that it was the magi who created the rift in the barrier?" Pela nodded her head, he spoke again, "Do you know where?" Again Pela nodded her head. Olwa smiled ever so slightly and looked back at the towers.

"Can you show me where?"

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:10 pm


Pela glanced at the towers then back to Olwa, chewing on her lip. Nodding once more, she looked both ways on the battlements they stood upon then took his hand in hers. Heading towards the towers, she made sure she kept to the shadows as she crept along quietly. She was no where near the stealth being Olwa was, but she wasn’t bad for a human either.

Whenever they came close to one of the guards posted on the battlements, she would slip into a shadow filled crevice and wait for him to pass by then she would slip out when his back was turned. It was a game for her. One she played almost nightly. Even before Bad Rock was killed. She would make her way around, through, over, and under the guards that patrolled the battlements. It was her way of keeping sharp to the world around her.

In no time, she had them on the wall that faced the towers. From here, the towers seemed incredibly huge. And the crackling of magic couldn’t be mistaken. Not to mention the pull of magic Pela could feel. And being this close she could feel the ill effects it was having on her but she never let Olwa see that. Instead she clenched her jaw and forced herself to work past the nausea.

While the hill obscured the very bottom of the towers, she still pointed to the location between the towers where the wardings had been breached when they attacked the tower.

”There. Kali cast a spell that was dark magic. When it grew to a certain size, Ceridwyn and Rayann cast spells. Kali’s spell channeled through them and combined with the spells they cast and in doing so, a large whole was created in the wardings. It allowed the Knights to rush through along with their mounts.”

She swallowed hard then looked up at the three towers letting her eyes remain on each one for a moment before moving to the next. She could practically feel the heat coming from the tower of flame and she could almost see the dark emptiness of the tower of shadows. When her eyes settled on the tower of shadow and flame, she swallowed again. Blinking, she looked over at Olwa then and smiled slightly. Her voice was a whisper so no one but him could hear her.

”I did not help in breaching the protective warding on the towers. Bad Rock and I engaged in battle. We were to take care of the rock golems and what other things came after us.”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:32 pm


Olwa moved with Pela. As they dodged and ducked away from the guards he could not help but be impressed with the young human's abilities to remain hidden. As they made their way along the battlements he kept looking towards the towers, using them as a guide for what direction they were going. Finally they came to the spot Pela was leading them and she spoke. He listened and watched the towers.

Each seemed to be alive with it's own power and almost self aware. They flared and and flashed or in the case of the one of shadow, seemed to almost shimmer in and out of existence. A very real darkness seemed to ebb from the area closest and Olwa was able to observe not only the towers but the fact that here there were no guards. They seemed to avoid the area. He could only surmise that from here the threat was all too real, and the slight nausea he was feeling was also a good reason to avoid it.

He looked where she pointed and he could see even in the darkness the remnants of the attack. There were markers and broken pieces of what were the guides for the Knights to follow. Two larger poles were visible and he nodded more to himself than to Pela. That was where they made their charge, he could still see the beaten ground from the hooves of the horses and the soldiers booted feet. He studied the area for a couple minutes and then finally turned to Pela, "Thank you for all you have told me. I am anxious to see it up close and feel the ground for what might have occurred, and how I might enter."

He turned and looked back towards the main Keep. The light coming from the main audience hall could still be seen, though they were a considerable distance away. He turned and looked at Pela, his eyes sparkling slightly in the moon light, "I... I would like to go tonight. The white moon is nearly waxed and the red moon sits low on the horizon. It is a perfect condition for stealth in the night. I don't mean to cut it short with you because... well I just need to take advantage of the conditions."

He inhaled deeply and looked back towards the balcony. She could see his face yearning for her to volunteer to come with him, but it was obvious he would never ask her to participate in something so dangerous. He looked back and he whispered softly, "I will escort you back to the party first, it would be impolite and rude to leave you alone... not to mention completely improper."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:44 pm


Pela let her eyes scan his for what seemed like forever. Was she hearing what he was saying? Of course she was. And she was weighing her options right now. Her calculating mind was always working like this. It was the one thing Bad Rock had programmed into her that she would never be able to forget or stop doing. It was as second nature to her as it was for any living being to breathe.

”And have me leave you alone? In a place you are unfamiliar with? And what exactly will I say to Aeolis and Ceridwyn when they see me return alone? No. I will go with you. It is the only way to make sure you shall make it back alive.”

Something told her she was going to regret this when the dust settled but there was no way she was going to let Olwa venture that close to those dreaded towers alone. Just exactly how was she going to explain herself if anything happened to him? Glancing towards the sky then back at the lighted audience hall, she looked back to Olwa and nodded.

”Shall we?”

Truth be told, it had been too long since she was able to do anything impulsive and as she made the decision to do this with him, she found it to be like a something she couldn’t give up or stay away from. No matter what, she knew she would always find a way to push the limits, just like she is now.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:06 pm


Olwa felt his heart release along with his breath... she had volunteered to come along. He nodded with a bright smile and whispered, "Let us to the forest first, I need to get my bow. We are almost the same size, I will give you some of my clothes to borrow too, they are black and perfect for stealthing."

He took her hand and they made their way undetected out of the Keep and to the forest where the Elves were staying. Most of the Rangers were in the Keep and the few that were there ignored them for the most part, content to do whatever they happened to be doing. Pela would see that the area the Elves had prepared for themselves was in complete harmony with the natural settings they were in, it was as if they literally became part of the forest and it would remind her so much of Silvanost.

He brought her into his small thatching and brought her some clothing, "Let me grab my stuff and I will wait for you outside so you can change."

She nodded and he could detect the very slight blush that came to her cheeks. He changed into a heavier leather armor quickly, gathered his bow and his arrows and touched the back of her hand ever so gently as he made his way outside without a sound. In a moment she was beside him, the clothing was just barely too large for her but she managed to cinch it up. He nodded and had her turn around. As she did he reached around and brought the vest he had just been wearing up against her chest and buckled it on. He gently turned her around and made sure it was snug but still loose enough for her to move. He whispered, "As a rule wizard's aren't to wear leather, but you are not a wizard are you," he winked slyly and spoke, "It won't impede your casting, it is made specifically for allowing the body to move while remaining perfectly silent."

He turned and Pela would be able to catch the slightest scent of him on the armor he had just put on her. He lead the way and the two of them walked just inside the treeline, skirting the shadows that were barely visible by the white moon.

After about 20 minutes they were on the edge of the dense forest that face the towers. He peeked out and looked. This was the closest he had yet been to them and he felt the slight nausea that Pela had mentioned. It hit him again like it had on the wall and he swallowed hard before turning to look at Pela. She was absolutely darling in his clothing and he could not help but smile at her as he reached back. She touched his hand and silently indicated she was ready. The two of them moved out under the darkness and towards the markers where the ward had been originally breached.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:29 pm


As the nausea washed over Pela again she took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Swallowing hard, he fought it back and touched his hand to let him know she was ready to move forward. As they moved closer to the markers, Pela felt her senses were high once more as she was back in the field, so to speak, and taking risks. It had been a while since she had done anything like this and she had to admit, she missed these feelings.

As they moved closer to the markers, the ground where the horses had trodden over was bare and several ruts were still visible. She was thankful her years of sneaking around had taught her how to use all of her body as a sensor to anything that might impede her moving. She could “see” anything without ever having to take her eyes off of her surroundings.

This close to the towers, Pela could practically hear the hum of magic that created the wardings around the towers. Glancing skyward, she saw the ominous towers and felt another wave of nausea wash over her. Gods she detested feeling like this. The sooner they found what Olwa was looking for, the sooner she could put the necessary distance between her and the towers and get rid of this terrible ill feeling.

There were a mere fifty feet from the area the wardings had been breached and Pela pulled up short, reaching out to touch Olwa’s hand once more to let him know they were dangerously close now and her body was letting her know. Her usually ivory complexion was now even paler than usual and it seemed as if a slight darkness was starting to form around her eyes. She furrowed her brows and nodded towards the towers letting him know this was where the breach had occurred and they had best hurry.

Glancing back over her shoulder, she nodded towards the wardings once more and then turned so she could easily keep watch on both sides of the protective barrier to warn him if any trouble from either side may be approaching. As she stood there, she fought back the urge to get sick, forcing herself to stay strong. She had to in case Olwa needed her abilities. All the while, Olwa's scent drifted to her nose and she took comfort in knowing he was close to her by way of the vest of his she wore.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:58 pm


Olwa felt her touch his hand and he immediately clasped it. He turned and looked at her and nodded with a look of seriousness, it was in fact the first time she had seen him this serious, suddenly he was not the young, handsome Elf, she saw the Ranger and he was on the job, tracking and piecing the bits together to solve the problem. He saw the paleness of her skin and he too felt the nausea that was causing her palm to sweat slightly. Swallowing hard he moved them forward and the buzz of magic in the air caused the hairs on the back of his neck to tingle as if lightening was about to strike.

The inched forward until they reached the markers. Still holding her hand Olwa got low and felt the hoof marks where the Knights had rushed in, the markings were deep, it was obvious these were the prints of the war horses carrying their armor laden riders into the fray. He inhaled deeply, the scent of the hooves was still lingering ever so slightly on the grasses and he pressed his cheek onto the cool ground. After a moment he looked up and stared at the marker. It almost called to him and he crept them ever closer, he whispered to her mind, ~ "The magic here is intense, and dark... unlike anything I have ever felt...," ~

They seemed to move an inch a minute now and he was just at the large wooden pole that marked the barriers edge. They were both on their hands and knees now and he touched the grasses. He felt with his palm and noticed that the blades actually bent in towards the towers, he turned and looked at her, pointing silently at the grass. With a slight nod he reached out and she could see what was going to happen the split second before it did. As his finger hit the warding they both vanished in a swift puff of purple and black smoke.

--

Olwa felt a pounding in his head and looked around. It was dark as pitch and he blinked. It only took a few seconds for his keen eyes to begin to adjust and he sat up swiftly but silently. He felt for his bow, he had it, and his arrows, they too were there. He turned and saw the pink hue of an outline, the same life sight that all Elves had. He could make out the figure on the ground about 30 feet from him. It was Pela, she was obviously unconscious. He crawled towards her as quiet as a shadow and knelt beside her. He could see that she was breathing and her pulse was strong, but she was definitely not conscious.

He cursed himself inwardly, knowing that he had just made an incredibly stupid mistake and now Pela was in danger, as well as himself. The air was dank and musty with a slightly fowl smelling moisture. He drew Pela in and rested her head on his lap as he sat and looked around. Everything outside their immediate perimeter seemed to be swallowed into absolute darkness, as if there was nothing but eternity in all directions. He needed to revive her and he stroked her cheek softly, his eyes filling with moisture. He sent a quiet missive to her as he rubbed her face, ~ "Pela... wake up... please... Pela, I am so sorry." ~

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:43 pm


As Pela crept along with Olwa she was trying with all her might to prevent herself from getting even more ill than she already felt, but she wouldn’t dare leave him alone. Not now. Not when he was so dangerously close to the protective barrier of the towers. Unfortunately, her need to stay with him was the one thing that would be the one thing that would cost them.

Before Pela could stop him from doing something foolish, he had already done it. She had no idea how all this mind communication worked but she tried with all her heart to stop him.

~OLWA! N……~

Incredible pain racked her body for a split second before everything faded into blackness. The next thing she knew she heard a soft voice in her head. Her head that hurt incredibly bad right now. She felt a soft touch to her cheek but the pain in her head was incredible and she groaned as she began to regain her senses.

The stench was overwhelming and she coughed then turned her head to wretch. The pounding in her head increased and she let out a soft ’ow’. She could feel hands reaching out and drawing her close again and she struggled against them not knowing who or what it was. Her moves were sluggish and her strength seemed to be sapped from hr limbs. Finally she spoke to whatever it was with her.

”Stop….leave me alone……”

In her pain fogged mind she tried to cast a spell that would have caused intense cold to be surround the being but all she could do was cause her hands to get colder than usual for a brief moment. Blinking her eyes, she tried to focus in on something but all she could see was….blackness. Finally she heard Olwa again and she knew it was him and her heart started beating wildly as panic began to set in on her.

Everything came back to her in a rush then and she gasped then held her pained head. Drawing her knees up to her chest, she held her aching head in her hands and tried to stop the pain. He voice was a harsh whisper as she spoke.

”Are you isane? What in Krynn possessed you to touch the warding? After everything I told you?”

She was frightened now and she was lashing out at the first, and only thing, she could. Unfortunately, that was Olwa. And unfortunately, she was completely unaware of how upset he was over what had happened. As the pain began to subside, she realized what she did and she lifted her head to try and see where he was as her hand reached out for him, whispering again.

”Olwa?”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:18 pm


She stirred in his lap and he exhaled with relief, but then she demanded he leave her alone. Her voice was different, harsh, uninviting.

He deserved it, deep down he knew he did. She then seemed to calm and after a few moments she finally spoke, still berating him. She did tell him to avoid the warding, not directly, but she certainly had made it clear that it was a dangerous thing to mess with. He had let his stupid curiosity get the best of him and now he feared more for her than for himself.

She moaned as he held her and then reached up. His night sight saw her hand and he reached, taking it in his own. He whispered ever so softly, "I am here Pela."

There was silence between them for a long time. Pela was still panicked but she was calming a little. He estimated about thirty minutes had gone by before he finally spoke, "We need to try and find a way out of here."

A sly voice came across the air and like the softness of silk being pulled across the neck she spoke, "There is no way out, not without the will of the Mistress."

Olwa was still on his knees but he felt Pela spring to her feet and then stumble but steady herself. He could see the outline of her in the pitch darkness, she was in a ready stance, her hands were out and loose at her sides and he heard her breathing calm to a delicate whisper. It was obvious Pela knew how to conduct battle, everything about the image he could see was that of a seasoned warrior, someone who knew how to go to action. He immediately sprung to his feet as well and withdrew his blades, scanning the area with his keen eyes. He searched and searched for the soft pink glow that would reveal anyone who happened to be in the area, but there was nothing.

Suddenly the same sultry voice filled the air again, and this time it was obvious to Pela who was speaking to them, "Your Elven eyes are useless here, there is nothing permitted to be seen except for that which the Mistress allows."

The voice seemed to come from everywhere at once and Olwa looked around, he resheathed one of his blades and grabbed Pela's hand, it was so cold it stung even through his glove and he withdrew it, feeling the pain subside slowly. She was obviously prepared to cast, and he began to feel the magic around them, but it was different, there was not much to feel really, it was as if what natural magic there was was being slowly sucked from the room. He knew that without the natural current of magic Pela would be a sitting duck.

"Show yourself!"

A laughter that was almost like the soothing sound of a bubbling waterfall penetrated the area and the voice came again, "You are in no position to make demands Elfkin."

He quirked his brow though no one would see it in the darkness. Still not knowing where he was he began to feel tension. Was this a Drow Magi? A Dark Elf that would do anything at her power to kill a Silvanesti? The Silvanesti would never call a Drow kin but a Drow would do so in mocking... he backed up slightly so he could feel Pela against his back and he waited.

Finally a slight pink hue appeared to his Elven eyes and he snapped his head drawing his bow and letting an arrow sing through the darkness. The arrow flashed and disintegrated into a thousand shards of purple light, "Tsk tsk Elfkin, I have done nothing to harm you, despite the fact that I could destroy you both with out even leaving something to clean up after."


Pela touched his arm as Kali came into view, the sinister glow from her staff illuminating her face, again her hand was so cold that Olwa had to move his arm to avoid almost immediate frostbite.

Kali turned and looked at Pela, "OK little frost mage, time to turn you off."

Kali moved her hand in a small crescent motion and every single remnant of natural magic in the room was instantly gone. Even Olwa felt it and he reached back to grab Pela, placing himself between Kali and herself. Kali watched the action and smiled. Her smile was crooked and she seemed to almost be touched by this gesture of self sacrifice Olwa was showing to protect Pela.

"You are awfully young to be falling in love don't you think Elfkin?"

Olwa narrowed his eyes at her slightly and his hand tightened on his bow. Kali turned and looked at Pela next, there was no malice in her voice, instead she seemed more disappointed, "And you Pela, I thought you had decided to only find magic attractive."

It was as if Kali was seeing right into Pela's heart. She walked around the pair in a wide circle, there was no sound coming from her feet and it was then that Olwa noticed her pointed ears and noticed the resemblance to Rayann, he whispered, "Kali..."

Kali continued to walk in her wide, slow circle and merely smiled with a nod. Olwa continued to side step, keeping himself between Kali and Pela. "What are your intentions with us?"

Kali stopped and raised an amused eyebrow, "My intentions? My intentions were to study and sleep this evening, it is I who should be asking you that very question Elfkin. I am not the one who ventured outside our walls and touched the warding. If anything you should consider yourselves lucky that there was magic in you and you were brought to me, if you were a Knight you would have been sent to Piramay and most likely you would be roasting in your own armor by now for disturbing her."

She looked past Olwa to Pela, the light from her staff increased by about double so that a good deal of the immediate are could be seen now. She looked at Pela for a long while and then finally spoke, "Since I know you but I don't know him, what were your intentions this evening?"

Pela would understand exactly what Kali meant, she would know immediately if Pela was lying.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:12 pm


Pela was ready for battle in an instant, and in an instant, the magic she needed to cast her deadly spells was gone. She felt weak, so much so she thought she was going to fall but she forced herself to stay on her feet. As Kali walked around her and Olwa, Pela’s eyes followed her but she never moved her body except to breathe.

They were in a very dangerous situation right now and Pela knew they had to play their cards right if they were to get out of this situation alive. Or at all, for that matter. They were in a precarious situation here and at any time, Kali could easily snap her fingers and Olwa and her would be gone, forever.

She listened to Kali taunt both herself and Olwa and while she wanted to dispute things with the mage, she knew her best option right now was to remain silent. As difficult as that was for her right now, she called upon every ounce of training Rayann and Ceridwyn had given her to date.

When Kali looked past Olwa to Pela, Pela glanced at Olwa then to Kali. This was the make or break part of this initial meeting and Pela knew she had to make it, not break it.

”Certainly not to end up here, I assure you.”

Pela appreciated what Olwa was doing by trying to put himself between her and Kali but she also knew it was pointless. Kali could kill her with or without Olwa in the way.

”Suffice it to say ones curious nature is why we are here. We in no way intended to interrupt or disturb you. Or the other two mages. It happened before I could stop it. And I apologize for both of us.”

Pela could see Olwa and she knew he was not all that happy by the way she was referring to him but she was being completely honest. Even if brutally so. She had ever been one to lie and she wasn’t about to start now. Not with this woman, anyway.

She wanted to reach out and take his hand but she was afraid to move for fear her legs would finally leave her. Instead, she remained as still as a statue as she waited for Kali to decide her and Olwa’s future. If they had one at all.

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SinTara
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:35 pm

Keatara didn't know how long she remained there with her knees pulled up to her chest, but it was long enough for her to become cramped. She winced as she stretched her legs out, knowing in her heart what the dream meant. She'd failed....Tynen was lost to her. He was either dead or turned, she didn't know which, but it didn't matter. She was without family of any form now.

She raised her green eyes, shining with tears, up to the ceiling and prayed. "I have yet to know which Goddess I follow, so I speak to all of ye except the dark one. If Tynen is alive....please watch over him and keep him safe. If he has turned to the darkness, please give me the strength to do what much be done if I meet up with him. And if he has passed on, please embrace him for he was a good, kind soul." She bowed her head then, tears trailing down her cheeks as she remembered the dark shroud that surrounded Tynen in her dream. She knew......she just didn't want to admit just yet, but her brother was alive and he had turned to the darkness. They'd been very close, her and Tynen having been born exactly two years apart. The same date and the same time only two years apart. Their mother used to joke that they shared each others souls. She was beginning to wonder if her mother had been telling the truth, only didn't know it.

Keatara lay back down, curling up beneath the blankets, her head aching from the unshed tears. She closed her eyes, but she knew that sleep would not be coming back to her this night.

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Judge not nor fear that or those which you do not understand, for it or they may be someone or something that will aid you in the trials of your life.
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:47 am



Myth was happy that his arrival was without incident and he even managed to keep a pleasant smile upon his face as they did their best to keep the formalities as brief as possible. Myth had reached an agreement with Lady Rose and Sir Ordin via messenger to keep the welcome as formal but brief as possible. He meant no offense but the more time they spent parading around was less time they could plan. Thankfully the two knights agreed and despite the heads of the order being present the formal greeting was short.

Myth made the introductions of his commanders except for the one in charge of the contingent of rangers. The commander had yet to receive his orders as they had just arrived via messenger with the other rangers. However he would be joining them after he received them and briefed his men. There was a quick wink to Rose and Ordin and Myth was fairly certain that they would know who the would be joining them in the future.

With introductions made and a few spoken words the group left the grounds heading towards the war room to plan. By evening the distribution of the elven contingent would be mostly planned out but finalization would have to wait for the next day while they waited on scouting reports and input from Aeolis For the moment Myth pushed away his thoughts and instead focused on his beloved wife as they met up in the dinning hall to enjoy the festivities. Humans may not have an eye for beauty like the elven people but they did know how to enjoy life even in the darkest of times.

With Rayann at his side Myth enjoyed the evenings festivities. Company consisted of his fellow commanders both human and elven. All traded stories of war except for Myth who listened graciously. When asked of his own stories Myth only smiled politely "Alas I have no tales of valor or glory to share my friends. At least none that should be shared in such polite company as this." He offered a somber smile and took a sip of his ale. Those around him knew exactly what he spoke of. Any tale he had would involve fighting the knights or even his own kin. Still he did his best to enjoy himself and partake of the festivities. He was greatful to see his friends enjoying themselves this night.
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons   Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:47 am

Meanwhile, back on the Myst Isle.....





Kellan had been put to the test since her meeting with the High Born. Arvandor, true to his word, had been relentless in her training. And she accepted anything and everything he threw at her. Quite literally at times. The most difficult thing for her to learn was how to properly maneuver the Dragonlance while on the back of a flying dragon. While it was relatively light for its size, it was longer than any other weapon she’d used while on a mount of any kind and it took a few times for her to get the whole thing down. Not to mention a few tumbles off the back of Arvandor’s back in the process.

It was also during this time she learned how to work with Nol’s flight as a whole as well as individually. On those times when she was sent tumbling off Arvandor’s back during flight, she would find herself snatched up by one of Nol’s flight members. While most times it was as easy as they could, there were a few times she was left with a bruise or scratch. It was all acceptable, of course. It was all a part of the learning process. And she was beginning to realize she wasn’t as young as she used to be.

Add to all of this her armor was not what she was used to wearing. It was a special set Nol had made for her to use for training. It was slightly heavier than what she was used to but she knew it had to be to help her build endurance. Still, she never complained about any of the aches and pains she was feeling knowing it was minor compared to what could happen if she didn’t learn how to fight on the back of a dragon.

Arvandor’s enormous size still intimidated her but she didn’t let it show outwardly. She couldn’t. Not that she would show weakness, but he explained to her there would be dragons his size and possibly bigger they would eventually face and it was important for her to get accustomed to his size. So now as she tried to move around his rather large, talon tipped feet as part of her training wearing this heavier armor, his size was even more intimidating.

One more thing, she realized, was that he was much quicker than she ever gave him credit for in his true form. She would have never guessed he could move this quick while being so huge. And her heavier armor was slowing her own movement down to the pint she could feel the wind of his feet as he attempted to stomp on her. While getting this close to a dragon was unheard of, Arvandor told her, you had to always be prepared for anything.

Weaving her way around his large form, she had to out maneuver him or she was going to literally find herself under foot. Still, she pushed herself as she moved under Arvandor’s under side while keeping the Dragonlance close. She was looking for that one, tender spot she could do the most damage with the weapon. While the tip had been covered to prevent it from actually penetrating, the intent was all the same.

Finally she lost her footing just as she reached that vulnerable spot and as she shoved the Draogonlance towards him with all her strength she felt the heaviness of his front foot shove her to the ground. Kellan fell forward and the lance tumbled away from her. Her armor clanged as she felt her body impact with the ground. Arvandor’s claws straddled her prone form holding her in place. Her forehead rested on the cool ground as she lay there catching her breath. She knew better than to let herself get that careless and if this had been a real battle, it would have been a fatal mistake. Her voice was muffled as she spoke to the General.

”Checkmate?”

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Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.
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Ch 20: Of Towers and Dragons
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