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 Ch 21: The Fog of War

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:50 am

As the boy walked behind Larissa, he knew he was being given a privilege that didn’t come lightly, but given the circumstances; he didn’t have time to fully appreciate it. When Larissa moved out of the way and all eyes turned to look at him, he suddenly felt very insignificant and swallowed hard. He could see they were growing impatient so finally he spoke up.

”Beg pardon, Sirs…Lady….but Miss Tanjee sent me to fetch Sir Ordin here. She said Sir Gideon needed to speak to him about something very important in the infirmary. And…she told me not to leave here unless the good Sir came with me. So….unless you plan on throwing me in the stockade, I be waiting for the good Sir.”

He could see the commanders exchanging looks and he saw Sir Ordin look back at him with a hard look on his face but there was a kindness to his eyes that gave the young boy courage to remain rooted where he stood. He chanced a glance at Larissa and saw the tug of a grin on her lips then quickly looked back at the commanders to see what they were going to do.

Finally Sir Ordin nodded and spoke in his commanding voice.

”Very well then, lad, lead the way. I don’t think I want to keep Miss Tanjee waiting or Sir Gideon.”


The boy breathed a sigh of relief and turned on his heel darting out of the sacred circle as quickly as he could. He glanced over his shoulder form time to time to make sure they were still following but it wasn’t really necessary. The sound of their armor and the rattle of weapons spoke volumes for him.

In no time they arrived at the main audience hall that had been converted into the infirmary. Candles were lit to allow light to pour over the wounded. What had once been a place of laughter and camaraderie was now nothing more than an open aired hospital.

The boy craned his neck to look for Tanjee and Sir Gideon and finally he saw the Elfess stand up and make her way towards them. She smiled at the boy and patted his shoulder before tussling his hair.


”Thank you so much, Geoffery. I will take it from here. Go get yourself something to eat and drink. Your mat is still on the floor in the far corner. Get some rest. I will be fine now.”

The boy looked back up at the commanders then to Tanjee and nodded before slinking away. When he left, Tanjee turned to the commanders and bowed her head respectfully as her smile faded. She gestured for them to follow her as she led them to where Sir Gideon rested next to Tara. As they walked, she spoke softly to them.

”I do not know if the news Sir Gideon has for you holds any merit to it, but we both feel it cannot be overlooked. One of my patients gave us quite a story and we think there may be some truth to it.”

They were not too far from where Gideon was, reclined back with his eyes close next to the sleeping Tara when Tanjee stopped and turned to face all of them, lowering her voice even more.

”Sir Gideon is in quite a bit of pain and refuses to accept my healing or an elixir to ease his suffering. His knee has been badly wounded when his horse laid over on it. If he does not allow me the chance to heal him, I fear he will be plagued the rest of his years with pain and unable to ride again. If any of you could find it in your heart to convince him of either, I will be grateful.”

She gave them all a smile before turning to walk the rest of the way to Gideon. Leaning down she gently touched his hand and smiled.

”Sir Gideon. Sir Ordin has come to see you. As well as Lady Fairwind and Sir Trystan.”



[/center]

Gideon opened his eyes and immediately the glaze of pain could be seen. He blinked several times to clear his vision and he attempted to stand up. Tanjee’s gentle hands on his shoulder stopped him from getting any pressure on his leg.

”There, there Sir Gideon. I think the commanders will understand if you salute sitting down right now.”

She glanced at the three commanders then stepped away and stood at the foot of Tara’s cot. Gideon smiled apologetically and did his best to salute sitting down.

”You’ll fogive me if I cannot salute properly, M’Lords, M’Lady.”

Gideon was saluted by the commanders and Sir Ordin looked over at Tara then to Gideon.

”We understand you have some urgent news that needed our attention. What’s going on, Sir Gideon?”

Gideon went on toe explain what Tara had told he and Tanjee in her drug induced story. Tanjee added her own suspicions as well but she also cautioned it could be Tara’s own pain and suffering at the loss of her family and the stress of battle combined with her head injury that could cause the problem. Gideon also reminded them of how battle blindness can cause people to unintentionally hurt innocents and in her drugged mind think the person was Tynen when in fact it wasn’t. Both he and Tanjee strongly felt the matter shouldn’t go without investigation but knew it would be almost impossible to locate this ‘Tynen’ if indeed he were here and causing the damage Tara said he was.

”I just thought it important enough to let you know so you could take any appropriate that may need to be taken. I know it would be the perfect time for one of the dark army’s soldiers to infiltrate the Keep and cause damage from within. And given what Miss Tanjee told me about the things she was seeing, it just didn’t seem right to let it pass without proper notification.”

It was clear that by the time he got done talking the pain in his knee was quite bad. Beads of sweat had formed on his brow and his body trembled slightly as he fought the urge to scream out his pain. Tanjee stepped forward and touched a clean, cool cloth to his brow then glanced at the commanders.


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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:27 am


Sir Ordin listened to Sir Gideon as he spoke. He looked at Tanjee and knew what he was about to say would not make her happy, at least not at first, "We can not force him to be healed, if he chooses not to accept your aid that is his prerogative. It is not up to us as Commanders to issue orders such as these."

She looked at him crossly but he continued, "Understand Tanjee that we do not have the resource of a healer in every field operation, skirmish or battle we end up in, your presence here, though a welcome one, is foreign to us."

He turned and look at Sir Gideon as he continued, "Paladine has seen it fit to provide us with the resources we need to fight our enemies, but we still need to choose whether or not we accept them. All I can say to you Sir Gideon is you aren't doing much good to your fellow Knights laying on your back in an infirmary."

He turned and looked at Commander Rose and then to Trystan, "This is not my Keep or the citizens of this city my charge. I would not dare to circumvent your authority in the matter Lady Fairwind."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:35 pm


Pela was exhausted. She and Olwa had fought hand in hand over the course of the battle and as the sun went down, she felt the fatigue on her body. She’d never been so tired yet so satisfied in all her years. She had done something this day that wasn’t strictly for self gratitude. There was a higher purpose for her spell casting and fighting than just the booty of a fat purse. And as she looked over at a resting Olwa, she knew what that purpose was.

His face was dotted with dirt and grime and his ranger clothes were not much better. His blond hair had smudges of soot, mud, dirt and anything else it could collect. The wound on his head had been healed by Tanjee when she came by earlier to check on them as she made her rounds.

Pela knew they would have to leave the battlements and make their way down to the Keep proper to get something to eat, drink and at least wash their faces off. But to res on a comfortable bed would be nice too. Although she doubted anyone would get any real sleep tonight. Not with the skirmishes happening all over the place.

As she looked out over the land, she could see the horizon dotted with the enemy’s camp fires. Her eyes narrowed as she thought about how she and Olwa and the others had held them back. But how much longer were they going to have to keep holding them back? The dark army seemed to have a never ending supply of bodies to throw at the Keep. It was almost scary how many that kept coming.

Finally she reached over and touched Olwa’s hand gently. His eyes snapped open and he looked at her thinking there as trouble afoot and she shook her head.

”Nothing yet, Olwa. It is time for us to depart the battlements and make our way into the keep. Our relief is here so we can tend to our needs.”

When he looked up he would see two Elves and a Knight. Pela slowly got to her feet at the same time Olwa did. As he slug his bow over his shoulder, he spoke to this fellow Rangers in their native language then nodded. As he walked away, he took a hold of Pela’s hand. Pela smiled shyly. His hand was always so warm and she loved the feel of it around hers. Her voice was quiet as they walked off the battlements and onto the well trodden ground just below.

”It is almost surreal how quiet it is now. Like the new fallen snow when it blankets the ground. Only….there is no snow here. Only death and dying.”

She glanced over at him.

”I thought I lost you today, Olwa. I was more frightened about that then when Bad Rock died. And I do not wish to feel that way ever again.”

Her hand inadvertently tightened around his as she talked as though if she held his hand tighter, she could protect him all the more.






Aeolis helped Ceri make it back into the Keep proper hoping like hell he didn’t stumble himself in the process. The day had been grueling at the least but it had been even worse on Ceri. Her casting had left her so close to passing out he was certain he would have to carry her back to the Keep. The relief came just in time. Ceri couldn’t cast another spell if she had to.

His bow slung over his shoulder he wrapped his left arm around the small of her back and held her right hand with his so he could support her better. They were both covered in murk and grime from their fighting and as he approached, he saw Myth and Rayann approaching as well.

”My Prince and Princess. It is good to see you both. I am glad the dark forces were unable to extinguish the light from your eyes. Although I see you are both a little worse for wear as we all are. No offense Princess.”





Rayann’s body screamed for rest. By the time the sun went down, her muscles ached, there was a terrible pain in her stomach and she thought she was going to vomit at any time. If it hadn’t been for Myth’s strong arms practically holding her up, she would have fallen over the moment they descended the stairs of the battlements.

Her eyes, like Ceri’s bore dark circles around them and her face seemed sunken in. It was the same look on Ceri’s face when she saw her friend and Aeolis making their way towards the Keep as well. It was the terrible toll of casting so much for so long. Each spell took a piece of them each time it was cast and they had cast quite a bit today.

Rayann winced as another pain shot through her stomach and she did her best to hide it. All she needed was to rest a few hours and she would be good to go. As she looked over at Ceri, she reached out and touched her friends hand as Ceri extended it. They hugged tightly and Rayann whispered in her friends ear.

”It does my heart good to see you, Ceri. I’m so glad you made it bak here.”

When Aeolis apologized to her for remarking she looked a little worse for wear.

”Aeolis, I would hope I DO look like that. Otherwise, I would not be doing my job well if I didn’t.”





The sound of others approaching drew their attention and they saw Olwa and Pela coming in. Rayann felt tears well up in her eyes as she saw the young woman. She was a little dirty (and who wasn’t after this day) but all in all, she looked good. Rayann could see she was tired but there was a small sparkle in her blue eyes as well. And Rayann noticed the two younger ones didn’t bother to let go of each other’s hands either.

”It’s good to see you two. I was worried about both of you today”

Pela released Olwa’s hand to walk up to Rayann and hug her. Rayann was caught off guard and for a brief second wasn’t sure what to do but then her arms wrapped around Pela and she hugged the girl tightly. Pela then turned and hugged Ceri8 before she stepped back, next to Olwa and took a hold of his hand again.

”I will not lie, we had some close calls, but as you can see, we were able to overcome and defeat those who meant us harm.”

She looked over at Olwa and smiled before looking at the others.




Aeolis noticed the way Olwa held Pela’s hand when they approached but he didn’t say anything. After all, the young Elf had earned the right to hold the young woman’s hand. And who was Aeolis to tell Olwa he couldn’t? Not when he stood holding Ceri close to him? He reached out and clasped Olwa’s shoulder and smiled.

”You have kept your word, Olwa. Even in the face of overwhelming odds. That says much about your character. And that you care more than just for protocol.”

Aeolis glanced down at the locked hands then raised his brows smiling broadly. Seeing Olwa’s face pinken slightly, he laughed and shook his head.

”Come, tired beings. I believe I smell something akin to food and I do not know about all of you, but my back could use a good rest.....as well as the rest of me.”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:49 pm






Tanjee wanted to give Sir Ordin a piece of her mind. She wasn’t looking for the man to ORDER his Knight to accept her healing. That would be too arrogant of her. Her gift was nothing more than what the Goddess gave through her. Oh the man was rather rude.




As Sir Ordin spoke to Gideon, the Knight glanced at Trysten and Rose then back to Sir Ordin. He read between the lines of the man’s words and knew what Ordin was saying. With a barely noticeable nod, he let his commander know he would do whatever it took to get back out on the fighting field as soon as possible.

Tanjee stood watching as Rose pondered what had been reported. She glanced at Ordin and Trysten then gestured for them to follow as she turned and spoke.

”I believe this will be better heard back in my office.”

As Sir Ordin turned to follow, Tanjee took a step directly behind the man and was about to say something when a firm but gentle hand on her arm stopped her. Snapping her head around to glare at the one who dared to stop her, she saw the hand belonged to Trysten. Her eyes snapped to his and she saw the weariness in his gaze as he shook his head and spoke softly to her.

”Don’t Tanjee. The message was given and received.”

He glanced at Gideon who nodded and Tanjee blinked as the scowl left her face.

”Remember, we aren’t accustomed to what you’re able to do. We have to take things in stride. But it doesn’t mean we aren’t receptive to suggestions.”

The hold he had on her arm slowly relaxed and Tanjee glanced at Gideon then to Trysten again. She studied his face for a long moment before she spoke again.

”May the Goddess bless you, Trysten. I will pray for you and the others. I will take care of Gideon. I give my word.”

He smiled tiredly and nodded.

”I expected nothing less.”

He turned then and waked back out of the infirmary to join Rose and Ordin to discuss the unsettling matter of a possible infiltrator in their midst’s.





Tanjee watched him walk away before she turned to Gideon and smiled.

”I promise, this will not hurt.”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:50 pm



Olwa spoke to the two Rangers, he told them where the movements had been, before he had drifted away a few minutes ago, and then departed with Pela. As she spoke and talked about almost loosing him he stopped and looked at her with a soft smile, "Thank-you for all you did, I will be sure to not step so softly tomorrow, for surly, there will be a tomorrow, and more fighting."

He looked at her and it was clear on her face, they knew the gravity of this whole thing, despite how young they were this was the real deal, and if the dotted landscape was any indication they had only dented the Dark Queen's forces. He reached up gently with his left hand, still holding her right, and touched her cheek softly. Swallowing hard he leaned in and placed a soft kiss on Pela's forehead. The cold of her skin was electrifying and as he leaned back he thought he might have seen the slightest of blushes on her cheeks.

As they made their way to the others he noted the look on their faces. His Commander's words aside, they were all in need of some food and rest.

At Aeolis' suggestion they made their way to the food station. The meal was meager, but enough and as fast as everyone ate they barely tasted it.

Ceridwyn was glad to know that Rayann and Myth had made it through the day. Her robes were filthy from the fighting, what were once pristine and white silks were now a mixture of dirt, soot, blood, mud and anything else that had been flying around outside the walls. If it had not been for Aeolis Ceridwyn would have surly collapsed on their way in and as she ate her food her face became more and more stretched with fatigue. Finally she leaned over and laid her head on Aeolis' shoulder as he was finishing his food and slipped into unconciousness.

Olwa watched as Ceridwyn fell asleep and turned to look at Pela. She was sagging right behind Ceridwyn's example, and Olwa reached over and tucked her head into his shoulder, whispering into her ear, "I will take you to your room."

He stood and helped Pela to her feet, "Herumine, I will escort Pela to her quarters and will see you at first light."

Aeolis nodded and Olwa turned to salute Prince Myth'alas and his Princess before scooping Pela up and carrying her to her room. She fell asleep before they made it and he tucked her into the bed. He was actually amazed that there was still a bed left, soldiers, Knights and servants were sleeping all over the place, trying to get some much needed rest before the next day's sure to come battle arrived. He looked at Pela as she inhaled and exhaled softly and he brushed his lips on her cheek, "Until tomorrow, mel'amine."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:10 pm







Rayann watched as Olwa scooped Pela up and started carrying her away. There was no doubt the young Elf cared for the young woman. So much so that he’d seen to it she returned safely after a long day of hard fought battle. She glanced over to see Aeolis turning so he could lift Ceri at the same time he stood up. Turning to look at his Prince and Princess, Aeolis nodded to them both.

”My royal friends, I am taking my bride to be back to our room for some much needed rest. I suggest you both do the same.”

Rayann only half heard Aeolis. Try as she might, her body demanded rest and it was going to get it one way or the other. Even if it meant dropping her head in her nearly empty plate. Thankfully, though, Myth made certain that wasn’t the case. As Rayann began to sag forward, he reached up and tugged her shoulder backwards letting her fall into his arms. Like his two comrades before him, he lifted his wife up as he stood and walked out of the mess hall.

The night was going to be too short and the rest they needed would end far sooner than they wanted it to.



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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:25 am

Tynen didn't rest for long, but then again, he didn't need to. After Tahkisis had rewarded him with his greater strength and prowess, he'd not needed as much sleep as before.......that is, if he didn't overtax himself. If he pushed himself to his limits, which took some time, but had been done before, then he was out for days to regenerate so to speak. But, as he'd not done this he only needed about an hour of rest.

Upon rising, he quietly made his way out of the unused stable and staying to the shadows, went in search of someone to cut his hair. It would be difficult at this hour and with the number of knights and elves roaming around. But, he always prevailed and this time would be no different. He made his way to the citizen part of the keep, still keeping to the shadows and moving slowly and carefully. He'd taken out two knights already, slitting their throats as he came up behind them. One he'd been able to hide behind some barrels, while the other one he actually stole his clothing as he was close to his own size. He changed quickly, hiding the body in the shadows between two buildings, knowing that both would be found by morning. The knight he'd stolen the clothes from would be difficult to identify as Tynen had carved up his face pretty badly.

Upon entering the citizen part of the keep, he nodded to passing knights looking solemn and tired to them and making it look as if he were also doing rounds, making sure all was as it should be. Finally, he found what had to be the barber and knocked softly, having seen the candle light through the window. He heard some shuffling around and grumbling before the door was unlatched and cracked open. Looking behind him to make sure no one was watching Tynen burst through, knocking the elderly man onto his back. As the man opened his mouth to scream, Tynen had him by the throat and was holding him up with one hand as he quietly shut and latched the door with the other.

"It would be in ye best interest to keep quiet. Understand?"

The barber nodded his head, his face turning red from the pressure Tynen was putting on his throat. As he let him down and released him, Tynen told him what he wanted. "Ye will be giving me a clean hair cut and shave and I will pay ye well for it. But, it must be done quickly and quietly. Do ye understand?" His blue eyes were cold as was his voice and the little man didn't argue, instead he just bobbed his head and lead Tynen to a chair where he gathered his supplies and began to trim up his hair then shaved his beard and mustache. Once done, he cleaned off the shaving cream from Tynen's face and handed him a mirror. The big man looked at himself in the hand held mirror, turning his head from side to side, finally smiling a chilling smile.

Tynen stood up, looking at the small barber and spoke, "Ye have done well, barber....very well indeed." He reached to his side as if to reach for coin and instead brought out his serrated dagger, thrusting it into the man's gut and twisting. "And here is yer pay.....I release ye from this hell and send ye to the next one."

As the little man lay dead on his own floor, Tynen used the towels from his shaving to clean the fresh blood from his knights uniform that he'd 'borrowed' from the knight he'd killed. Tossing the bloody towel onto the body he laughed at him then walked out. He didn't keep to the shadows now as he looked completely different. His face was smooth, his long, unkempt hair now clean, cut and short. He moved around acting every bit as a knight who was to patrol the grounds and keep the peace during this trying time. Now.....to wait for the next battle and begin taking lives once more and find Keatara. He'd sensed her pain and felt no remorse for being the cause of it. If she'd agreed to go with him right then and there then he'd not had to have clubbed her like he did. So, as far as he was concerned, she'd brought it onto herself. Smiling again, he set out to find something to eat and drink.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:25 am


Saul had searched through so many maps, drawings and texts that his eyes were bloodshot and burning. He had not eaten in days and his head ached. He was about to cease his search, when the young page brought him an ancient, brittle scroll. The young boys was weary and weak, but had not faltered once. Saul smiled at him, then rubbed his own eyes ..... "You have done well, my young friend, your loyalty and services shall not be forgotten."
Saul then carefully unrolled the scroll .......... there before his eyes were the ancient survey and architectural drawings of the keep. Saul carefully shifted the parchments and found a map of the lands before the keep was built. They showed a small river, actually no mere than a stream that had once ran through the center of where the keep now stood. It ran northeast into the larger river beyond the towers. Shifting through the texts he discovered that this stream had been tiled and covered to act as a sewer and drainage aqueduct to an outlet beyond the outer walls of Heartlund.
“There my young friend, we have found it, come quickly we must give this information to the Commander we have found both a weakness in our defenses and a possible weakness in the enemies as well. Saul gathered the ancient scrolls and headed towards the door, the young page fast on his heels.
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:40 am

What Saul and the young page found when they emerged from the recesses of the Keep was a world that had changed drastically since they both slipped underground. The signs of battle were evident all around them. What Knights patrolled the Keep were armed to the teeth. The smell of smoke drifted in the air as the night breeze brought the smoke of the enemy campfires towards the Keep.

Elves roamed about as well as they made trips from the different areas around the Keep and there was a tension so think they could have sliced it with a rusty, dull knife. Even the smell of death hung heavy in the air this night and the young page looked around like a young fawn out on his own.

An eerie quiet had settled over the Keep, save for the sounds of small skirmishes happening here and there on the other side of the Keeps protective walls. The one thing that still remained unchanged was the Towers. That ominous cloud of darkness and flames still crackled and hummed with power.

As Saul made his way through the deathly quiet Keep, the light of the twin moons reflected off of something strange. Partially shining, partially dark. When he stopped to investigate, he saw it was a knife. A rather large one with a serrated side. And the darkness was blood. And the distinct craftsmanship from the Northern area of Ansalon.

Question was…..whose was it and why was there blood on it inside the Keep?

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:12 am


As Saul and the young page walked through the keep, Saul slowed and rested his hand upon the young mans shoulder. "Steady lad, this I fear is but a prelude to what your eyes shall see, if we do not embrace our courage and hold to our course for freedom and trust in the gods. As Saul stepped over a fallen knight a glimmer of light caught his eye. Stopping he knelt down and picked up a serrated knife. Resting on one knee, he examined the knife closely then handed it to the young page. "A weapon of the North, but not that of a soldier, that is a weapon of the common folk." Saul then examide the body of the striken Knight, there at the base of back of his neck was a puncture wound the edges of which were torn, not smooth. "Return that knife to me young man." Saul then slowly slipped the blde into the wound then removed it. "This wound was made by such a weapon my young friend. We have an enemy and a spy amongst us. This Knight did not die in battle but was murdered." Saul then rose and extended his hand. "Come we must make haste to Commander Rose." They both then made there way across the courtyard, towards the Commanders quarters.
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:42 pm


As the earliest sliver of dawn broke the quiet of the evening was replaced with the pounding of war drums. Horns blared as the Dark Queens Army moved into their positions and Nidhug stepped forward as the bulk of the forces advanced towards Heartlund. He had positioned himself with several of his Generals and his own elite guards to a ridge-line which gave him a more advanced view of not only the city and the field of battle, but also the three towers. He was feeling a strange sensation of attraction to these monoliths of power and he yearned to be close to them. He had not shared this with any of his comrades but secretly he hoped with a tingling anticipation that the wizards of the towers would reveal themselves today.

Like a black tarp the Army of the Dark Lady broke into the front lines of the Solamic defenders. Metal scraped and screams filled the air as the battle began once again. Through the night scouts that had been able to infiltrate and return back had given him much more detailed information about the defenses, what was encountered and where the troops of the opposition were stationed. From this information Nidhug and his top field Commanders had devised new plans that would allow them to break through today and allow them to overwhelm the defenders of Heartlund. Secretly through the night a massive force had been dispersed to the southeast, carefully circumventing the warding shield of the towers and were now advancing across the eastern flank of the town. Because of the lower density configurations of defenders Nidhug and his top planners wanted to hit this side particularly hard and spread out the limited resources the Solamic Knights had. The movement was undetected and was now beginning to crest the hills as the very earliest cracks of light began to glow off the horizon. The ominous silhouettes of heavy battle formations marched and beat their war drums. The ground thundered and the bells of Heartlund began to toll loudly, as assessed, first light brought first blood.



Ceridwyn and Aeolis had been awake about an hour before first light when the bells began to ring. Together they sprinted to the battlements once again and the sight of troops marching met them with no welcoming. Ceridwyn studied the formations and whispered, "May Solinari protect us..."

Aeolis looked and could see her concern, in front of the advancing columns of humans were dozens upon dozens of Mountain Trolls, 30 feet tall and carrying massive weapons that looked big enough to crush a horse and rider in one blow. Ceridwyn looked at Aeolis and he could see the concern in her eyes. Suddenly the bells rang to the East and she looked, circumventing the warding was a massive conglomeration of heavy troops and as they crested the hills, even in the darkened silhouette of first light she could tell by their steps what they were, "As if the Trolls weren't enough..."

Aeolis would see it immediately as well, minotaurs were advancing as their drums beat. The 12 foot tall half man/half bull creatures with their slightly glowing red eyes were narrowed on the Eastern walls of the city. It made sense, Minotaurs had very little if any fear of magic, they were a logical choice to run around the warding of the towers. Ceridwyn turned to look at Aeolis, "We need to get word to the Commanders."

Aeolis pointed and she looked, already massive reinforcements were working their way around to meet the incoming enemy. By Ceridwyn calculation they would be up against the first defensive line in no more than five minutes. She looked at Aeolis and her eyes stared directly into his, "I love you mel'amine... no matter what happens today, know that."



Olwa and Pela were already in position when the bells started to ring. He looked up from rechecking his bow for damage. The helmets of the minotaurs appeared and he could see the hatred instantly flare in Pela. He had never really pieced it together since the situation had never arisen, but it made total sense. Pela was raised by a Netherman, Nethermen and Minotaurs were mortal and bitter enemies, often going well out of their way to kill one another. For the briefest of moments he could almost feel her seething. He reached and she moved her head quickly to look at him, the anger and hatred clear in her eyes, "Calm Pela, we can't help each other if we loose our heads."

She brushed off of him and stepped forward, leaning hard onto one of the wooden emplacements as she watched the advancing minotaurs. Olwa could actually feel the hairs on the back of his neck bristle as she began pulling magic to herself. He inhaled deeply and stood, walking up beside her knowing that he was going to have to be more alert of her actions now, she could potentially go into a battle rage and loose her cool.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:33 pm

Saul briefed Rose, Ordin and Trysten about what he discovered. Once he left the room, the commanders realized what they had been called to the infirmary for earlier was indeed a fact and not some injured woman’s ramblings. The order was given to increase the patrols for shorter lengths of time to prevent pulling too many soldiers from getting the rest they needed. Rose sent for Myth and when he arrived, she explained what happened and asked he send word through the Elven ranks of what was being done.

Night dragged on for Heartlund and all too soon, the occupants found themselves facing the bitter truth again for a second day. The Dark Lady’s army was relentless and as the first streaks of light began to change the sky, the drums of war beat, horns blared, thundering ground rumbled and soldiers from both sides prepared to meet each other in the deadly dance of combat.







As Aeolis and Ceri made it to the battlements, he looked out over the horizon and narrowed his eyes. The sight of Mountain Trolls turned his stomach. Of all the creatures he ever faced, the Mountain Trolls were the worst. Their skin was tougher than any human or Elfkin and their size brought a new sense of danger. Not to mention the spiked clubs they carried to inflict even more death and injury.

When the horns blared to the East, he snapped his head around and saw what Ceri was referring to. His eyes widened as he saw the Minotaurs distinctive outline and immediately he felt a prickle of warning. He looked to Ceri and shared her concerned look.

”I pray Pela will remember your training, mel’amine. If Bad Rock infested her with his hatred for such creatures…..”

He didn’t need to finish the sentence for he knew Ceri was well aware of the rest. As she looked into his eyes and spoke her love for him, he reached out and drew her close, holding her tightly as his lips found hers in an almost bruising kiss. Ending the kiss and keeping her close, he whispered in her ear.

”And know my love for you soars as high as the stars in the sky, mal’amine. And always will.”

Reluctantly he released her as they both turned to face the enemy. Knocking an arrow on his bow, he pulled the string back as tight as it would go and waited for the trolls to grow closer. Closer. Closer…..NOW! He yelled at the top of his lungs to his fellow Elves in their native language.

”Aim for the eyes and under the arms as much as possible! DEATH TO THE ENEMIES OF SILVANOST!”







When the horns sounded on the East Pela snapped her head up and glanced towards the sound of the drums. Almost instantly she felt hatred fill her very being and she took a step only to find Olwa’s hand gently touching her forearm. She turned that hatred filled gaze upon him and while she heard his words, they didn’t really register. Minotaurs were advancing. The most hated of all enemies she had. She would do anything she could to bring them down. Make them suffer. KILL THEM ALL!

As the Mintaurs advanced, Pela began to draw magic into herself. She wanted to send a powerful, crushing spell to hit them square in the center and obliterate them from the face of Krynn but she knew if she used her magic for one powerful spell, she would be useless against the other forces.

But perhaps there was a way she could do both…..

A sinister smile graced her porcelain features as she began chanting her spell. As Olwa felt the pull of magic, he would see what her target was. Under the Minotaurs feet a solid sheet of ice began to form. Much like the sheet of ice she cast to make Ceri trip and fall to miss Fifth’s spell, she cast this one much broader. The Minotaurs who didn’t wear boots began to slip and fall as their hooves found it impossible to find solid footing. Those that did wear boots were only slightly better off.

As the Minotaurs began to fall, the others behind them began to trample over their fallen comrades and advance towards the Keep. When they came within range, Pela looked at Olwa, that sinister grin still on her face.

”Fire away Olwa!”

As Olwa began to fire at the Minotaur, Pela screamed at them in Bad Rock’s native language.

”DEATH UPON YOU ALL!”

Ice spikes began firing at the same speed as Olwa’s arrows trying to stem the flow of the advancing Minotaur soldiers.


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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:56 pm


Olwa saw the spell that Pela cast and he responded, letting arrows loose on the Minotaur that slipped onto the ground. He was firing as fast as he could and the Minotaur were beginning to compensate for their situation. Several in the front called a halt, the Minotaur that had clubs bashed at the ice and broke it up, creating paths for the rest to follow, their heavy hooves breaking up the bashed ice even further.

The ice spikes and Olwa's arrows, as well as the arrows of the other soldiers were biting into the ranks of the advancing Minotaur, but for that too they also began to compensate and unslung their massive shields creating a sort of Phalanx which protected them from the incoming shots. Though several hundred were already dead the advancing columns of Minotaur still extended beyond the hill line and the roar of their distinct sounds could be heard loudly. Suddenly they bashed into the outer line of defenses and their superior strength as well as their amazing military skills came into play. With each impact a soldier took he flew several yards before hitting the ground in clumps and heaps. They broke into smaller groups, continuing to create a barrier from the arrows over one another with their shields. As Olwa found cracks in their defensive maneuvering he would thread an arrow through and score a hit, but the heavy steel was proving too impenetrable. Without a change in tactics the minotaur were surly going to break through if given enough time.



Ceridwyn heard the sounds of battle beginning to the east and Aeolis could see she was itching to go assist. She didn't budge but she was definitely aware of the seriousness of the situation. This instinct was quashed instantly when the sound of Aeolis order to fire pierced the air. She turned and vanished from sight, reappearing near one of the forward defensive emplacements. Aeolis cursed under his breath at her hasty departure, however she was what she was.

Ceridwyn gathered several of the troopers that were behind the emplacement and began to speak to them, "We don't have much time, gather quickly."

The dozen men that were there huddled up around her as she sprinkled reagents on the ground and started to chant. The magical powder exploded to life and she spoke, "Inhale the smoke, quickly!"

The men huddled tighter and began to inhale the quickly dissipating smoke rising off the reagents. As they did their skin began to harden like diamonds and shimmer in the same manner. At first they were alarmed but rapidly understood what the white robed wizard had done. They looked at one another and rallied under a battle cry, "The spell will only last one hour, so go and do as much damage as possible!"

The 12 men dashed towards the approaching enemy and met them with unnatural strength and impenetrable skin. Ceridwyn breathed in deeply and signaled for another group of 12 to come over, they did quickly and she repeated the spell, loosing the enhanced men onto the field. She had enough reagent to do one more set of 12 and vanished from where she was, appearing to the west behind another forward emplacement, repeating the process.

She turned and looked at Aeolis on the battlements, his concentration was focused and he was letting arrows fly into the Trolls as the men with the crystal skin enchantment were able to hit them harder and create openings in their armor. It was still difficult to hit the softer spots of their skin, but like the skilled archer he was Aeolis managed to deliver two death blows to the several dozen Mountain Trolls that were now actively engaged in battle, the advancing army was nearly on top of the main defensive line.

As one of Aeolis' arrows passed over head Ceridwyn hissed words of magic and it shimmered suddenly as it passed through her magical sphere. The arrow exploded into multiple copies of itself that glowed like gold and found their marks, felling a dozen men with one shot. She closed her eyes and reappeared beside Aeolis, collapsing at his feet and breathing heavily. He stopped and reached down to her, she shook her head and touched the back of his hand, "Keep firing mel'amine, I am fine, I just need to rest after all that."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:52 pm



Pela was frustrated the Minotaurs were able to defend against the arrows and spikes. To see defeat at her feet was not something she liked seeing. If only they could…..

Her eyes widened and she looked over at Olwa. She could clearly see the frustration on his face as well. For a well trained archer nothing pissed you off more than to have your projectiles so easily deflected. She saw him glance at her and noted the puzzled look on his face. Obviously. She was grinning from ear to ear. Not exactly what he expected to see from her in the throngs of battle.

She turned and faced the advancing Minotaurs again. Knowing she would have to have a clear line for her spell casting, she climbed on top of the battlement wall and began chanting. She heard Olwa yell at her to get down but she had already started chanting and therefore she had to stay where she was.

Olwa fired bolt after bolt after bolt keeping her protected as did the other Archers around them. Pela’s chanting continued and Olwa could once more feel the draw of magic centering around Pela’s body. Suddenly the ground began to rumble and even the Minotaur had stopped their war cries as the felt the ground beneath them tremor and shake. Suddenly, from beneath their hoofed and boot covered feet, razor sharp spikes of ice projected up out of the ground as Pela quickly shoved her hand up into the air.

The screams of death and dying now filled the air as each time one of Pela’s hands snapped into the air, more spike projected from the ground skewering Minotaurs with it. Pela could see victory in her sights. These beasts would not come between her and winning this battle.

But with her standing there like a piece of raw meat being dangled in the lion’s cage, it was only a matter of time before she became too tempting of a morsel to pass up. Pela never saw it coming. She was standing on the battlement wall and the next thing she knew she was trying to stand up after being knocked back onto the battlement wall.

Olwa was screaming at her but she couldn’t really hear him. All she heard was a loud roaring in her ears. And this terrible burning sensation in her left shoulder. When she looked down, she saw the shaft of a black arrow sticking out of her leather armor, below and to the left of her left collar bone. She looked back up at Olwa and saw the stark terror in his eyes and she smiled at him, touching his cheek.

”It is alright, Olwa. I will be fine. Help me up.”

When she saw him shake his head in protest, she furrowed her brows. Finally she could hear him as he spoke to her.

”You need to see Tanjee, Pela. Now!”

Pela shook her head adamantly. Reaching up, she grabbed a hold of the shaft and using her thumb as leverage, she pulled down on it with her fingers. The pain was incredible and she screamed out but the shaft broke right where her thumb was, all in all about two inches out of her armor. As she struggled to get to her feet, Olwa helped her up, still protesting. Finally she put her right hand on his shoulder.

”Do not try to make me stop now, Olwa. There is still quite a bit I can do and the longer you stand here arguing with me, the more time the enemy is advancing.”

She was in considerable pain but she didn’t want to let Olwa see just how much. She knew if she did, he would leave with her and therefore risk allowing the enemy to breech the walls. And she couldn’t let that happen. While he was just one Archer in the middle of many, she knew his skills far surpassed his human’s colleagues around him.

Forcing herself to the emplacements, she cast a spell that sent more ice spikes down upon the Minotaurs. When she cast, she gasped and saw stars. The wound increased in pain ten times but she knew if she pulled the arrow out, she would bleed much more than she was now. She would just have to work through the pain as best she could. But how long that was going to be, she didn’t know now. She saw Olwa give her another terrified concerned look and she smiled slightly to ease his fears. But inside, Pela knew she was growing weaker with each casting of a spell as her physical strength was being drained like the blood that slowly seeped from her wound.






Aeolis cursed under his breath when he saw Ceri casting the enchantment on the men. How could she have ported herself there without him? He HAD to protect her. It was his sworn duty to do so. Not to mention he felt the icy fingers of fear grip his heart seeing her so far away from him in the heat of all this fighting.

When she finally returned, he reached down to help her but she brushed his hand off. He knew she was going to be tired, especially after yesterday. He nodded at her knowing she was right and he stood almost over her keeping her protected from any harm.

He glanced over to see how the younglings were doing but he didn’t see them right away. Fear gripped his heart and he thought the worst when he saw Olwa’s blond head soon followed by Pela’s white one. He saw blood smudged on her left jaw line and it seemed as though she and Olwa were not in agreement of something but before he could see anymore, he heard the sounds of more horns letting them all know the next wave of the dark army was on the way.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:54 pm


Olwa was picking off Minotaur warriors now that there was confusion in their ranks, Pela's ferocious attack was stunning them and many of the archers dug in and the landscape was covered with the dead and dying. The end of the advancing Minotaur horde was finally breaking over the hillside but at best Olwa was figuring only about half were dead, and half of those were by Pela's own spells.

He was simply amazed to fathom how much power such a young human had, how was this sort of thing even possible, it was as if the gods themselves were breaking their own rules of balance and had allowed an individual to surpass even the most advanced arch magus. He wasn't sure if it was something being drawn from the unnatural magic of the towers or if Pela was truly this talented in magic, but whatever it was she was certainly taking a toll on the advancing minotaur forces.

Olwa was scanning the landscape for targets and he screamed as the archer from behind the minotaur lines loosed his arrow. Pela was right in the path, Olwa could easily see that. He pulled back and fired, his arrow missed the incoming arrow, just hitting the fletching and knocking one off, it was a desperate move but with Pela in concentration he knew that to distract her could have dire consequences. The arrow that would have most likely hit her in the heart was deflected enough to hit her in the shoulder, knocking her back into the battlements and crumpling her to the ground. She brushed off his attempts to get her to Tanjee but after a few more smaller spells were cast he grabbed her and brought her down behind the wall. Her eyes were lulling back slightly and she was paler than normal.

He shook his head and spoke over the sounds of the clashing battle all around them, "That's it Pela! You must be healed! Better to be out of the battle an hour than be out because of death!"

He slung her over his shoulder and moved swiftly to get her to Tanjee, she was barely able to assist and she felt like dead weight. He moved quickly to the triage area to get her patched up.



As Aeolis looked at her with concern she furrowed her brows slightly and spoke to his mind, ~ "Fight on Aeolis, I told you once that if I am to be a house maiden what good am I! This is a battle, it is dangerous, and sometimes risks are worth the reward!" ~

She managed to get to her knees and looked out across the battlefield, several of the Mountain Trolls were now down, the crystal skinned warriors were able to get in close without fear of as much damage and make a difference. Several of them had been too confident and were still able to be crushed with the Trolls massive maces, or be stepped on and crushed, but the others quickly picked up on this and were being more cautious, the crystal skin enchantment was more for slicing weapon deflection, but it did offer a much higher level of protection than mere armor.

She leaned back against the wall and looked out to the east. She saw Olwa carrying Pela over his shoulder, blood all over her cheek and her body semi-limp. She knew that to leave her post could mean death for many and she needed to stay put and rest herself to maximize her effectiveness. She could tell that Pela was alive and the arrowhead sticking out of her back was behind the shoulder, it wasn't a mortal wound, but it was a big wound well enough. She whispered a prayer that Solinari would protect them, that they would make it through and see tomorrow.

There was a scream from Aeolis and the other archers on the wall followed by a sudden impact that shook the wall and she was thrown forward onto her belly. Aeolis got to his feet and grabbed her, pulling her to her feet and dashed with her to the inner edge of the battlement. She spun, turning to look, humungous trebuchets had been brought up and now dotted the hills. More Mountain Trolls were at work loading the super sized seige weapons that were flinging boulders the size of cattle into the walls of the city. Men under the wall who happened to be standing along the Glacis resting suddenly found the intended deflection of the projectiles was now to their determent, several were killed in the immediate moments but they were scattering to avoid more of the same from the second wave. Ceridwyn turned to Aeolis, "We have to do something!"

The smaller trebuchet of the city wall and the larger ones along the Keep wall didn't have the range to reach the massive enemy siege machines, she knew that they needed to act quickly or the wall would be breached, even the massive wall of Heartlund wouldn't be able to take substantial pounding from boulders the size of these.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:45 pm



The battle rage Olwa feared had come in a different form than he thought. The spell Pela cast to try and obliterate the Minotaurs was one that should have been way too powerful for her and as a result, her body was barely able to sustain her basic life support let alone try and continue to cast even more spells.

When Olwa forced her down she was on the verge of passing out; possibly forever. Her hatred of these foul beasts had caused her to use up much of her own physical stamina. Try as she may, there was no way she could fight Olwa's insistence anymore and as he slung her over his shoulder, she faded in and out of consciousness.





By the time Olwa reached Tanjee, Pela was barely conscious. The healer clicked her tongue and gave Olwa a concerned look then spoke softly in their native language.

”I will take care of her, Olwa. I promise.”






Aeolis cursed loudly as the trebuchet’s began sending the boulders towards Heartlund. There was no way the Knights could defend against something like…well…flying boulders. They needed a way to somehow disable the trebuchet’s or protect against them. Neither one was a viable option right now as the enemy was literally knocking on the gates.

Aeolis’ keen eyes heard the release of another boulder and he yelled for everyone to take cover. As the boulder make contact with the outer wall, mortar, stone and anything else in the area became flying projectiles.

He felt a burn in his right bicep and looked down to see a piece of stone sticking out of it. Gritting his teeth, he reached up with his left hand and pulled the projectile from his skin. Blood flowed freely but it wasn’t a deep enough wound to cause any real concern. It would pain him for a time but it wouldn’t debilitate him in the least.

He looked out at the advancing army and then back to the trebuchet’s once more and then to the tree line. From where he was on the battlements, the archers didn’t have the range with their arrows to reach the trebuchet’s but the Elves in the trees just might.

He looked towards the trees and furrowed his brows as he communicated with his ranking Rangers to spread the word for a long ranged attack on the trebuchet’s. He received many affirmative answers. While the Elves were engaged in trying to maintain their own line of defense, many of them knew if they didn’t at least try to ht the long distance targets, they would end up crushed by the flying boulders being slung at them.

A few moments later, a volley of arrows arching high into the sky flew from the trees. Further and further they traveled and as they started making their descent, Aeolis held his breath. Were his Elven kin strong enough to send the bolts to true targets?

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:01 pm




Myth had chosen to enter the elven reverie (meditation) to replenish his strength and was up and moving again in only six hours. He was up and moving a couple ours before the first light of morning and had taken time to look over the defenses and make adjustments that would go into effect before dawn. They would not be in full effect at first light but alterations would be well underway. With some of the reserves funneled out for defense he set out on his next task. As he exited the courtyard he slipped through the halls to the outer gates and then into one of the guard houses where Larrisa waited next to a dead scout and a large box. She bowed her head but her eyes remained averted from the prince. "The items you requested m'lord prince."

Myth nodded his head as he bent down looking over the body carefully. A note had been left on his door that an intruder had been killed in the night and it was one of the reasons Myth had been making alterations this morning. "This one was likely a decoy... there were probably five or six others at the least who infiltrated last night. This one was meant to draw the knights eyes while the others took stock of our defenses and supplies." Myth looked up and could see the Larrisa as usual was averting her eyes from him.

When she felt his eyes upon her she turned towards the doorway acting as if she was checking on something. Myth took in a breath and decided that the charade had gone on long enough. "I have to admit Larrisa that necklace you have around your neck is quite... unique. My father showed me a picture of my sister recently and she was wearing one exactly like it. I thought the likeness of the jewelry was... uncanny." His eyes remained on Larrisa and he could see she had gone tense.

Though reluctant she began to turn and face Myth "It was a gift from the Lady...." as she came around fully she stopped mid sentence because Myth was standing right in front of her. She had never even heard him move and she found herself looking up at his eyes which was a big mistake. "Cut the crap with me Cela... I know it is you hiding behind an illusion built into the jewelry."

The young woman stood there mouth wide open. She wanted to tell Myth he was full of crap but she knew that the jig was up. With a sigh she stepped back walking away from him. "All right... I never had much luck hiding from you even as children. Those damn eyes of yours are to damn good. What gave me away." She walked to the box and began popping the lid off as she listened.

"At first it was the way you were the only person in the entire keep that would not look me in the eye.. It made me suspicious about you and so I payed close attention whenever I did see you. Despite your illusion you still retain several elven mannerisms and a couple of highborn ones as well. Your of duty leathers look human but I could see several elven trademarks in their construction. I initially thought that you were a simple spy but father asked if I had seen you since the ceremony. When I mentioned I hadn't he showed me a recent family portrait. In it you were wearing that necklace... the one I had commissioned for you before I left Silvanost in disgust. I had forgotten about it till father said something about it."

With a sigh her hand came up tot he jewel and she whispered the elven word of reveal to the jewel and the illusion faded. Her elven features became clear almost instantly as she looked at Myth. "I suppose this was a give away as well..." She ran her slender fingers through her own hair that matched Myth's. "So what are you going to do now big brother? send me home to father?"

Myth shook his head "As much as I would like to Cela I could use your help here. Our enemy has had people inside the keep and now I think it is time for us to have men in theirs.1" Myth stepped over the the box and withdrew several pieces of dark tahkesian armor. "I thought the armor I used to walk among the troops incognito would come in handy. I could use an assistant skilled in the art of stealth to help me gather information and cause trouble." With a chuckle Cela nodded her head. "What about Rayann?"

"I left her a note detaling my plans for the morning including our little errand. She won't be happy but she knew I brought the armor for a reason. I asked her to keep her exposure light until our return. I do not intend to spend more than a few hours amongst the enemy. While my face is known this armor was not. People always though that the person who used this armor was my personal problem solver. If I wanted to off a fellow commander this armor is what was seen. It is a secret I even managed to keep from the dark one herself."

With a collective chuckle they both slipped into the gear and when they were done they looked the spitting image of dark servants. The gate guards had been briefed about their mission and they were paid no mind when they exited the guard house and exited ovcer the battlements into the darkness before the dawn.
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:28 pm


As Aeolis screamed and they ducked she heard him verbally as he winced in pain. She reached, and seeing the wound was more superficial than debilitating she tucked her chin and looked at him from under her eyebrows, "I thought we promised to stay safe?"

She could not help but smile and shake her head. Even in the thick of battle Ceridwyn was capable of finding humor. As she and Aeolis moved along the battlements she heard his call to the Elven Archers. Within a a dozen seconds the volley erupted from the trees and the closest trebuchet was battered with arrows. The crew scattered and the Troll, now loose from his commander, lumbered towards the trees, swatting at the arrows screeching in at him as if they were annoying flies. He took several in the nose, mouth and finally both eyes were blinded. He staggered around as a soldier ran up and hacked him behind the knee, the beast howled and dropped, as the soldier moved around for the kill an arrow sunk into his back and he fell forward hitting the ground beside the Troll. Feeling the soldier next to him the Troll reached, grabbed the man and squished him like a bug. Lifting his head proved fatal as two soldiers came up and stabbed the massive creature in the throat.

Ceridwyn averted her eyes seconds before the man was crushed in the Trolls hand, one look from Aeolis told her the beast was dead but she refused to look, "That's one, eleven more to go."

She rolled her eyes and reached up, grabbing several of his arrows from his quiver, "Mel'amine, stand behind me, hold my body up."

Aeolis looked at her with concern, he knew the cause, she was going to spend energy she probably didn't have but it needed to be done. Placing the arrows on the ground she sprinkled reagents on the tips, then down the shafts and finally on the fletchings. Hissing words of magic the reagents burst in an array of colors and faded, disappearing into the arrows. She slumped forward slightly but managed to stay on her knees with a little of Aeolis' help. She spoke to his mind as she weakened from the magic coursing through her, "I need to rest now mel'amine..."

She crawled to the back of the battlement and rested her cheek on the stone, falling asleep almost instantly. Her breathing was slow and steady, Aeolis would know she needed at least an hour, maybe two to recover.

As Aeolis reached for the six arrows he would feel them buzzing with power, though they looked no different visually he knew that it was up to him to use them effectively.



Olwa looked at Tanjee, her reassuring gaze and words told him that all would be well and he nodded, knowing he needed to be back on the battlements ASAP he sprinted towards Aeolis to check in before making his way back to the eastern side. He made his way to the Northern wall stairs and went up. He dashed towards Aeolis, seeing Ceridwyn on the ground, asleep. Knowing the reason why he gave a quick check to simply see she was breathing and then turned to Aeolis, "Heruamin, Pela is with Tanjee, she over taxed her body and was on the brink of death. What are we going to do about those trebuchets?"

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:01 pm



Piramay sat patiently upon the rail of the Fifth's observation deck. As the morning sun lifted into the sky the battle had begun again in earnest. A smile spread from the center of her lips running ear to ear as she watched the dark forces crash upon the knights. The forces moving in from the south east were not a surprise given the fact that they had done little the previous day. The queen's men were determined to topple their age old enemy before facing the traitors. A soft chuckle escaped her lips as she swung her legs over the railing and put her feet back upon the floor.

Even the presence of Kali this morning did little to diminish her smile. The fact she had managed to convince Fifth to shift their plan of attack at the last minute was the source of that smile. It was certain to put a kink in any plans the girl had formulated while they had set up their plans. It also meant she wasn't turning her back to someone she didn't trust as far as she could spit. Sour thoughts were pushed away as she thought of the destruction she would rain sown upon the elves in the western forests. Her arms reached for the heavens as she stretched with a yawn before stepping away from the railing.

She flashed a sinister smile at Kali as she passed the woman "I am heading to the western forests so that I can prepare to give your kin the warm welcome they deserve. Should I give them your regards Shulamite?" Piramay didn't even wait for a response as she walked away chuckling lightly.
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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:15 pm


Kali stood slightly behind and to the left of Piramay as they looked out across the battlefield. Kali was breathing slow and deliberately, keeping her eyes on Piramay as much as she dared. Last night things got tense between the two as each argued their case to Fifth regarding the time to enter the fray. Kali insisted they need to hit together from the middle, not being so separated and that she should go up the middle. It was the same thing she had told Fifth the day before, her planning was based on this placement. In the end Fifth sided with Piramay and ever since the fire wizard was silently rubbing it in. That coupled with the fact that her favorite activity, the burning of people alive, was only a few hours away and the flame bitch was in good spirits.

Fifth had yet to arrive and as the two watched the beginning of the skirmish and then the unfolding of the advancement of the armies into a full blown clash of forces she could see Piramay's smile growing even from this angle. Finally she swung her legs off the railing and sauntered by Kali and spoke her chiding remark about Kali's kin. Kali looked at her and spoke, "They are no longer my kin... you are."

Piramay seemed hardly rattled and disappeared. Kali walked over and leaned heavily on the ledge, the loss of life was happening to both sides at an alarming rate, but she kept her cool, and her sinister stare, watching and staying within her act. One never knew when eyes were upon them and she knew that Piramay was doing what she was doing to tip Kali over the edge. Unfortunately for Piramay Kali's will and resolve were just as tough and she refused to even hint at cracking, she was doing what she needed to do, she knew there would be death first, possibly even her own family, but for the good of all of Krynn, sacrifices needed to be made, perhaps even for her.



Fifth approached, she felt his presence and he stepped up beside her, looking down, "Good, the fools are at it already... today is the day we let the whole world know what magic really is! Today through demonstration and practice will all of Krynn know that the ancient magic, the magic of the gods is controlled not by moons, but by us! With the power of these towers and the rift we will usher in a new era for Krynn."

Kali never looked at him, staring into the battle. He spoke, "Come now Kali, I thought you would be more excited, this is our time, our moment!"

Kali turned and looked at him, her face dark and sinister. He spoke, "Oh come now Kali, you are not still upset about last night?"

"It's easy for you to side slip it so easily Fifth, I am being set-up to fail."

He leaned back slightly as he laughed, "How so?"

"For months we planned our movements, our attack, where we would be when, the coordination of the soul wells to harvest the dead. Over and over we went through the plan and for a shot at Piramay in the sack you side with her."

Fifth's hand came up so quickly that Kali didn't have even the slightest second to react. Her head lulled back and she felt the sting of his knuckles on her pale cheek. She barely winced as she let her head hover a second where it was before bringing it back to stare at him defiantly, "Force, the first response of the ignorant."

She could see the look of regret on his face, "I ... I apologize Kali."

"Do you."

He looked at her with his evil, silver, pupiless eyes and she could see the regret, "I did not mean to..."

"To what? To undermine the very potential success of our operation or to strike me?"

He flashed his smile and spoke, "For striking you of course, it was inappropriate and uncalled for."

"Not to mention it almost got you killed."

He raised his eyebrows and smiled all the more, "We won't fail, we are the most powerful force on Krynn, and as I said our strength is in our trinity. One can not exist without the others now, we are attuned and the whole is completed by the parts. I know you suspect Piramay but she is only being who she is, we both have to deal with her chiding, it doesn't make her any less our ally. She needs us as much as we need her, and she knows it."

Kali looked at him. She kept her hands at her side but her cheek throbbed and burned from where he had struck her. At that very moment Rayann would feel the slightest pain in her cheek as well, though it would be a mystery to her as to why.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:53 pm

Tynen was not pleased. He'd not been able to do a damned thing on this new day except keep a low profile. There were too many knights and elves constantly on the move. Just when he thought he had a target and would begin to stalk him, two or three would suddenly come along. Finally, he gave up and chose to keep a low profile for now. One thing was working for him and that was his knights uniform that he'd taken from the one he'd killed as well as his hair cut and shave. Even Keatara would have a hard time recognizing him now.

Sighing, he moved around, sticking mostly to the shadows and yet helping where he was needed on occasion. It kept his identity hidden to give aid to those in need, even though all he wanted to do was silence their whining.



Keatara woke to her head still hurting, but not the pounding pain that it was. Her cheek still ached, but at least it wasn't broken according to Tanjee. She looked around her, her head still fuzzy from the sleeping drink Tanjee had given her the night before, and smiled when she saw Gideon resting in a chair next to her cot. Then she heard the the commotion and knew that the battle had begun again. Keeping one eye on Gideon, she swung her legs quietly, putting her feet onto the floor. She looked around her again, seeing that the healers and their helpers were all busy with the injured and knew now was her chance. Taking one last look at the sleeping Gideon, she quickly gathered her things and headed for the door to go back to the battle and to search for Tynen before he killed again. She stopped a nurse, asking her where she could collect her weapons as she'd been released.

She had her longbow, quiver of arrows and sword and was making her way to the exit when she felt a hand on her shoulder.

"Where do you think you are going?"

Turning, she saw Gideon, "I am rejoining the battle", she said her eyes narrowing. She didn't know that he'd overheard what she'd said to Tanjee about Tynen, so she left the part out where she planned on searching for him.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:51 pm


Aeolis detested the fact Ceri was affected so much by her casting. If she’d had adequate rest the night before and hadn’t taxed herself so much the day before, she would be able to last a little longer than she had today. Then again, the spells she cast today were a bit stronger than the ones she cast yesterday sp that left him wondering if he was right or not.

The sound of quickly approaching, Elven steps drew his attention to Olwa and his brow knitted in concern. As he heard the youngling explain what happened, he nodded. As Olwa asked him what they were going to do about the trebuchet’s, Aeolis looked down at the arrows in his hand then glanced at Ceri as she still slept then he looked at Olwa again.

”Knowing Ceri she has given these arrows quite an impact. And given the power I can feel humming through them, I would say it is going to be quite significant.”

He looked out at the trebuchets , glanced down at the arrows in his hand and curled his fingers around them then looked up at Olwa.

”We need to get these arrows closer to the trebuchets. The only way to do that is to leave the walls of the Keep. But the only way to do tha….”

The shouts of warning interrupted his words and he quickly sheltered Ceri’s body with his own. Soon after the rumble of the ground as another large boulder hit near the base of the wall causing the entire area to tremble and dirt sprayed all around them.

He cursed again as he stood up after checking Ceri. The arrows still held tight in his grasp. He looked at Olwa and finished his thought.

”We need to get closer to the target. Watch over Ceri for me. I will make the trip.”





When Rayann found out what Myth had done, she was quite perturbed. Not because of what he was doing but because he’d left without saying goodbye to her, that she heard of anyway. It was a petty thing, granted, but if she didn’t see him again…..

No….she couldn’t let herself think like that. He was Myth’Alas. The mighty Warrior Prince of the Silvanost and if anyone knew how to move about the Dark Army, it would be him. But that still didn’t stop her from worrying.

So when the fighting started, she took her place back on the battlements without Myth there. She enchanted the arrows of the archers, even used the same enchantment spell on some of the Knights Ceri had used granting them temporary hardness to prevent them from becoming soft targets.

She was growing weary knowing the rest she needed wasn’t near enough after taxing herself so much yesterday and after casting the spells already, she knew she would have to rest sooner than later or risk killing herself.

She was just getting ready to cast another spell when her cheek began to ache. It was enough that she lost her concentration and reached up to touch her cheek and it felt almost bruised. But,……there had been no contact with anything. So why did she feel this?

Without thinking, she turned her lavender gaze towards Kali’s tower but her attention was quickly back to her immediate area as she heard the shouts of warning. She crouched down behind an impartment just as a boulder impacted the ground. The trebuchet’s were doing a number on the forces, not to mention the Mountain Trolls and Minotaurs.

Wiping her brow with the back of her hand, she set about casting the spell she had intended before she felt the dull ache in her cheek.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:00 pm


Gideon never let his gaze waver from Tara’s. His usual soft, brown eyes were hard now. He was every bit the Knight he’d been trained to be.

”Nice try. But you aren’t leaving my side. If Tynen is in fact here and aiming to harm you, he’ll stop at nothing to get to you. So you stay with me. Come. There’s room for us on the western battlements.”

He walked past her without so much as a limp now. It was all she could do to keep up with him as his long legs were wider strides. He made one stop before he headed for the battlements and that was to get his armor placed upon his person. He grabbed his bow, blade and helmet then looked at her and gave her another hard look.

”You are NOT to leave my immediate area. Understood?”

He saw she was getting ready to protest and he took a menacing step towards her and looked down at her lowering his voice.

”If you do not do as I have instructed, I’ll throw you in the stockade myself. Care to try me?”

He saw her swallow hard and shake her head slightly and he smiled his most charming smile.

”Good. Now….let’s go.”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:18 pm

Keatara couldn't remember when she'd been so angry. She followed Gideon, but her walk and look told everyone that looked upon her that this was one very angry woman. A few of the knights even cast sympathetic looks to Gideon, seeing the fire in Keatara's green eyes as she glared at his back after he'd collected his armor.

"Gideon.....ye don't seem to understand. I am a damn good shot with me bow and just as good with me sword. They need every available body out there fighting. As for Tynen....ye hiding me won't make a bit of difference. He'll find me....he always has. It's a connection we have. Just as I can find him if I concentrate hard enough."

When he didn't stop, she grabbed his arm with her small hand and forced him to face her, her gaze not leaving his as she glared at him, "What are ye going to do, Gideon? Leave the battle to guard over me? That is ridiculous and ye know it. I need to be where I can fire me arrows, not in the midst of large, heavily armored knights. And ye are needed to fight, not be guarding me from me brother. Think about it."

Gideon's brown eyes never left hers and she saw that he wasn't going to budge on this matter. It was then that she realized that she meant more to him then just a someone to pass the time with and impress. He truly cared for her and she then knew that she felt the same towards him. It wasn't love....it was too soon for that, but the attraction was there and it was strong. Sighing, she stopped glaring at him as she stepped closer to him, her hand cupping his cheek as she reached up. "Gideon.....promise me that you will remain safe when me brother comes for me...for he will come. And know that if ye are the one who has to kill him, I will not resent ye for it. The man I saw yesterday was not me brother......he was a monster." She gave him a sad smile then, "Okay...lead the way."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 21: The Fog of War   Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:17 pm


Olwa listened to Aeolis and took one look at Ceridwyn as he gave the order to watch over her. He furrowed his brow and just as Aeolis was about to leap from the wall he spoke, "Heruamin!"

Aeolis turned and looked at him and he stepped forward, "With all due respect Herumain, I am the best bow in your Rangers, I am no good here."

He turned to two of the wall soldiers and spoke, "Take her to the triage, tell Tanjee she is not hurt and just needs rest, GO!"

The two soldiers saluted and gently picked up Ceridwyn and carried her down the stairs and around to the underside of the wall. Olwa looked at Aeolis and spoke, "With all due respect Heruamin, I am better use to you at your side, and she is better protected under the battlements. I do not mean to disrespect or disobey your orders but if I let you go and something happens when Ceridwyn wakes up it will be Hades to pay for me."

Aeolis could not help but chuckle, here the youngling had only been around Ceridwyn a week and he was understanding what she was like. With a nod Aeolis turned and Olwa was right on his heels. The bounded across the field, bows in hand, stopping briefly to fire shots over one another and clear their path. They made their way within range of the trebuchets and Olwa yelled over the sounds of the battle, "GO HERUAMIN! I HAVE YOU COVERED!"

Aeolis peeked over the defensive wall they were behind and Olwa stepped up, with lightning fast precision he began to draw and fire one shot after another, each arrow finding it's mark and felling one of the enemy. Aeolis came up behind him and leaned forward as he drew back and let one of the arrows Ceridwyn had enchanted fly. As it flew through the air it burst into flames and grew larger and larger until it was about one meter across. When it hit the trebuchet it exploded in a massive fireball that engulfed the area, setting the whole crew on fire and breaking the trebuchet to splinters before burning it to a crisp. Olwa turned and looked at Aeolis wide eyed and Aeolis shrugged as he spoke, "Ceridwyn mystifys us yet again."

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