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 Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund

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PostSubject: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:31 pm


Trystan stood on the battlements and looked out to the east. There were reports from the night watch that at precisely midnight lights could be seen in the black tower and two figures were spotted on the lowest observation deck. Trystan turned as one of his men approached, “We are ready sire, your horse awaits.”

“Thank-you Geoffery,” Trystan picked up his helmet from the wall and turned to descend the stairs. Two dozen men in full armor were in the town center waiting for him, all were on horseback. Trystan got onto his mount and turned to face them, “Men, today we ride to investigate the tower. Reports were that at midnight two figures were seen on the lowest observation deck and lights were illuminating the uppermost room. Rayann and Ceridwyn had assured us that the magic of this place was dead two months ago so we don’t expect this to be anymore then looters or squatters. Our orders from The Lady are to investigate and post 10 horsemen around the base of the tower until we can figure out how to bring it down.”

The men shifted uneasily in their saddles and Trystan looked out at their faces, “You know me men, I would not intend harm on any of you. Just as a measure of extra precaution I have asked Lady Kellan and Nol’lore to circle the area with us and assure that we are protected from above.”

The men all immediately relaxed and Trystan put his helmet on, keeping the faceguard lifted. As the groups of Knights and soldiers road out of the city gate, Lady Kellan stood in her brilliant silver armor waiting. Nol was standing in his natural form beside her, saddle affixed. As Kellan approached Trystan spoke, “Thank-you for doing this, the men are much more comfortable when they know there are dragons watching their backs.”



Lady Kellan smiled and gently stroked Nol’s neck. Nol brought his head down and looked at Trystan, “If it is a magical creature in there, what are your measures?”

Trystan looked at him and spoke, “Ceridwyn and Rayann gave a report two month’s past that there was no magical signature in the area.” Nol looked at Kellan and then to Trystan, “I assure you there is one there now.”

Trystan furrowed his brows and turned to look at his men before turning back to Nol whispering, “Evil?”

Nol glanced at Kellan and then to Trystan, “Magic is not evil, it is the wielder that makes it so.” Trystan sighed heavily and spoke, “Then is the wielder evil?” Nol looked him directly in the face, “We will know that when we discover who the wielder is.”

Trystan furrowed his brows even deeper and slammed his face guard shut in frustration, giving the ride order as he and his men pulled out towards the tower. Nol looked at Kellan and spoke into her ear, “It is Kali in there, I can feel her.”

Kellan looked at him with a small measure of confusion and concern, but her gaze was answered with one of equal confusion from Nol. She would pick up that he truly didn’t know why Kali would be in the tower, and what they were about to ride into. As she climbed onto his back Nol let out a loud, high pitched chirping sound. Three of his dragons suddenly came off the ground from an area of the forest that had not been razed and he lifted himself into the air to take the front of the formation. They circled from a short, reasonable distance and watched as the 21 riders moved towards the tower in a wedge formation.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:38 pm



Kellan wasn't sure how to take the news Kali now occupied the tower. She was familiar with how wizards towers worked from her studies on the Myst Isle and knew if the mage didn't want visitors, she would take the necessary measures to keep them all out. Even the dragons. And Kali was certainly powerful enough to do something like that. At least, she was before Piramay sent that last spell of hers. Rayann had said Kali was growing stronger with each day she recuperated and now Kellan was wondering if Rayann meant physically, magically or....both.

As the air rushed past Kellan as she sat astride Nol, she looked to the left or right and down at the approaching men then around the tower to see what, if any threat, presented itself. Ever on alert, she, like Nol and the other survivors of the battle, never let her guard down for one instant when she was outside her private quarters. It was too dangerous to do so. And now that they were circling a tower that Kali occupied, she was even more cautious.

"It would be nice if she were to come out and greet us. At least let the others know it's her and what her intentions are. I don't think anyone would have issue with her living here, if that's what it turns out to be, as long as her intentions included not causing harm to anyone or anything in the area. I think it would only be a wise for her to at least let the local citizens and Knights know what her long term plans may be."

As she watched her fellow comrades in arms below making a clear but cautious approach to the tower, she furrowed her brows.

"Of course she'd have to gain the trust of the Knights if she wished to stay. Then again, what could really be done to her if her intentions were "evil"? It's not like it would be as easy as setting up a trebuchet and pummeling the thing to the ground."

Kellan didn't like the situation and the worst case scenario outcome, but she also knew what Kali had done to turn the tide of the battle and bring down two of the three towers that threatened Heartlund and all of Krynn. She hoped, deep down, Kali was just looking for her place in this world and somehow this was where she found it. As odd as choice as that may be, Kellan thought it fit Kali perfectly.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:04 pm


Nol listened as Kellan spoke. In his heart he agreed, some news of her intentions would be a welcomed thing, however he also knew Kali, she never let on more than needed to be let on about, and she only revealed what she wanted to tell when the time best suited her and her intentions. Nol spoke through the air, his words catching Kellan's ears under her helm, "Something tells me that Kali doesn't give an Ox's dung about the Knights, or their trust. She could have wiped them all out nine months ago if that was her intention. I know Myth and Rayann, Kali would not be able to scheme and plan in their home without them knowing it. My suspicion is that her move to take this tower for her own is more complex than any of us can ever know, or then again, maybe it is so simple we are over looking it."

He glanced back at Kellan and she would see there was little fear or concern in his eyes. His body continued to move at a leisurely pace through the air, tipping his wing occasionally to bring the flight back around for another pass along the tower. He remained silent until the Knights began to close in on the tower, "On your eyes brethren, the top of the tower stirs."





A flurry of shadow appeared on the top most part of the tower. From it black robes began to swirl and take the form of a humanoid, specifically, Kali. Nol pulled up institutionally and the dragons followed without hesitation to put a little more space in case an assault was to be made, or come. Nol could feel Kellan's legs tighten slightly around his ribs, anticipating and preparing for anything he might do. He could hear her glove creak gently around the reigns that attached to the chest harness he wore and his eyes watched Kali from the sky.

The Knights stopped immediately and Trystan lifted a hand to keep them in place. He stood and looked up at Kali, and she looked down at him. He waved, even from the great distance from ground to the top of the tower he could tell it was her. Kali did not return the gesture, instead she looked upwards to the sky. She noted the silver rider on Nol's back again, Lady Kellan. She then fixed her eyes on Nol, he watched her, waiting, wondering. Her voice filled all their heads as she walked slowly across the smooth, black surface of the tower top, ~ "What is it that I have done to bring such a force against me? Am I so threatening that four dragons and a whole unit of Knights is needed? Wouldn't a couple Rangers have done just as well?~

Trystan spoke, he yelled but his voice seemed to carry across the whole area unnaturally, "No Kali, we did not know who was in the tower, we only came to investigate in case it was looters or squatters."

Kali laughed aloud. It would be obvious that the laughter was not mocking or cruel, but she generally found what he said funny. After a moment she composed herself and spoke to their minds again, ~ "Naive Trystan, so predictable that you would assume this building able to be occupied by any rabble that wandered along. No dear Trystan, this tower is far more capable of protecting itself than you might think." ~

She looked up at Nol and his small flight of four, her voice entered their minds again as her head slowly moved to follow the arc of their flight, ~ "Since a representative is needed I will choose one of you to be my ambassador. One who has already proven she can deliver a message to the Knights without causing too much of a stir." ~

Kellan instantly vanished from Nol's back. He felt the wind rushing over him and he could no longer feel the grip of her strong legs. He looked down in horror, Kali was no longer on the roof of the tower. He dove, making a bee line to land on the top of the tower but every time he and his flight got 300 meters away they were instantly transported a kilometer above the tower. He grit his teeth and whispered under his breath, "By the gods Kali... why do you do things like this!"

--

Lady Kellan instantly appeared in a very comfortable room. Kali stood near a blazing fire and stared at her from across the room. She spoke as she gestured to one of two large, comfortable high back chairs, "Remove your armor so you can be more comfortable and have a seat, there is much we need to discuss."

The look on Kali's face was not one of malice or kindness, it was rather, indifferent. She had the look of one who was doing what had to be done so she could move on with her business.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:30 pm



As the figure appeared on the towers observation deck, Kellan instantly recognized the figure and knew it was Kali. Even with her robes shrouding her body, there was a certain way Kali held herself Kellan knew it was her and no one else. As she listened to the mages voice in her mind, she kept a wary eye on the surroundings of the tower knowing Nol had his eyes on Kali herself. It was just another way they had of making sure they were protected from every angle. As the short conversation kept on, Kellan snapped her head around at Kali's last words and had just tightened her grip with her hands and legs and Nol heard her utter words under her breath just before she disappeared.

"Son of a...."

The last thing Kellan expected was to have herself transported to anywhere, let alone someplace alone with Kali. But when she suddenly appeared in the room the first thing she did was quickly glance around as she took several deep breaths to calm her nauseated stomach. When she heard Kali's voice, she looked over at the mage then at the chairs Kali indicated then back to Kali.

While it would have been against her better judgment in other situations to do so, Kellan took the time to remove the parts of her armor she needed to in order to sit down. Leaving the pieces set neatly against the wall, she walked over to one of the chairs and sat down then looked up at Kali. She wasn't afraid of Kali but she was definitely wary of the mage. Kellan knew very well if Kali wanted to kill her, nothing would stop her. Especially not her armor. Now dressed in the soft leather she wore under her armor, Kellan wore the leg pieces of her armor and tucked her gloves into her belt. Her light brown eyes studied the scars she could see from beneath the hood of Kali's robes and felt a pang of regret knowing the pain Kali must have gone through...and still did.

Kellan spoke and when she did, her voice was soft and even but not disrespectful in any way. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Kellan respected Kali and what she was very capable of doing.

"I'm listening. As your chosen ambassador, I'll relay your message to the ones in command."

She paused for a moment and her eyes seemed to soften.

"But before you start, I want to thank you for what you did. The outcome would have been much different if not for you."

Then she was back t all business.

"Now. What is it we need to discuss?"

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:57 pm


Kali waited patiently as Kellan removed her armor and then sat down in one of the chairs. She watched as Kellan studied what she could of Kali's face from under the shadows of the hood and then suddenly, she seemed to soften. Kellan's words lingered between them and Kali stood, motionless, for a moment before slowly removing the hood from her head.

Kali lifted her head high as the hood fell behind her, and Kellan would see that she was wearing the scar like a badge of honor, an accommodation for bravery in battle, she had even pulled her hair back on that side and tucked it neatly with an ornate hairpin. She looked down at Kellan in a way that the Lady Knight had never seen her look at someone else, there was almost a hint of vulnerability and openness, and then she spoke, "I only did what had to be done."

She turned and was about to walk over to a stone table but she stopped and spoke when her back was turned to Kellan, "You are welcome." She walked and waved her hand over the stone, a tray of hot tea and some of the most delicious looking cakes Kellan had ever seen appeared. Kali motioned with her hand again and the tray floated through the air and settled on a table between the chairs. Kali walked over and placed the end of her staff on the ground beside the chair, it stood upright, unassisted, almost as if suspended from invisible rope. She tucked her heavy velvet robes around her and sat, looking across at Lady Kellan.

Kellan would most likely notice immediately that Kali's eye on the side where she was scarred was exactly like Rayann's now. One eye was a brilliant, crisp blue like it had always been, the other was dark lavender and piercing. As Kali looked at Kellan she studied the Lady Knights face a moment before speaking, "A lot of change in you since the first time we met. You are much more sure of yourself, that much is obvious, but there is something else, something that can only come from the heart."

Kali motioned to the tray, "Please, have some refreshment. I know that black robes scare the piss out of anyone, but I assure you that my intentions are far less sinister than the Knights, and even you might imagine."

She saw the way Kellan looked at the cakes, and despite her best efforts to remain stoic and proper in her Knighthood Kali could see the desire in her eyes to taste them, "There is no more formality here than we chose to bring Lady Kellan, please."

The softness in Kali's voice was almost eery, it was far different than Kellan had ever heard her speak, "My intentions in coming back here are my own, and will remain confidential. What I do need however is for you to relay the message that they are not to bring harm to the Knights nor to Heartlund, I didn't save Heartlund so that I could come back and destroy it all by myself. If I wanted Heartlund destroyed I would have done so when the effects wouldn't drain every ounce of my strength and leave me vulnerable to a counterattack. I do intend to make this tower my home however, and though it's geographical location is most likely incredibly undesirable to those who make Heartlund their home, they will have to live with it... at least for now. They will see things they may not want to see, but they will be safe, relatively speaking, and I intend to be a quiet neighbor, again, for the most part."

She reached into her robes and removed a small velvet bag. She scooped some of the contents into a cup of hot water and it hissed and bubbled. She lifted the herbal mixture to her nose and inhaled, "For the pain. Ceridwyn made it, though I won't be needing it much longer. The magic of this tower is already accelerating the healing process, I suspect I will be right as rain in a week or so. In the meantime...," She reached into her robes and removed a small silver ring. She handed it to Kellan, "This will give you access to the warding of this tower. I lifted it when I felt all of you coming, but I assure you the effects will be replaced once everyone leaves. Only you will have access, and only you will be permitted to relay messages from the Knights, and to them unless I chose otherwise. To that end please let Commander Rose know that I seek an audience with her, in Heartlund, so as to put her troubled mind at ease over my inhabiting my tower. I know her well enough that this is the sort of event which won't sit well with her."

She looked over at Kellan and suddenly a small smile appeared on her face, "So... tell me how you and Nol are getting along."

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:50 pm



Kellan, if nothing else, was always a good diplomat. As she studied Kali like Kali studied her, she noticed a slight change in the young woman. Kellan could only guess a change was inevitable after going through what Kali went through. Something Kellan herself could relate very closely to, in fact. And it was in that common ground Kellan found herself able to relax.

While other women would have been ashamed of the scars they sported like Kali did,Kellan noticed the way Kali seemed to be displaying them for all to see. Much like the Plains People did when they survived an ordeal. And as Kellan watched Kali move towards her and talk about the change in her, Kellan couldn't help but hear the words "that which doesn't kill you....." echoing in her mind.

When Kali sat down and started talking to her, Kellan noticed the change in the mages eyes. It was uncanny, to say the least. And while she knew it was rude, Kellan tried not to stare. Finally she remembered who and what she was and she diverted her gaze tot he delicious looking and now smelling cakes. Her mouth watered as she saw the treats and only after Kali's insistence did she take one and nibble on it. And sure enough, it was even better than it looked.

"Thank you. They are very good. I wouldn't give this recipe away if I were you."

Kellan gave Kali a genuine smile as formality was more or less abandoned the more Kali talked, Kellan relaxed even more. Kellan knew Kali was right in everything she said. If the woman HAD wanted Heartlund destroyed, she would have done so when she had the chance, What would it prove to destroy it now? Nothing. As Kali laid out her intentions of returning to the tower, Kellan listened closely. It was important she relayed all fo this to Commander Rose, Sir Trystan and Nol to make sure they all understood there was no ill will intended towards anyone.

When the velvet bag was pulled out and the mixture added to Kali's tea, Kellan could instantly smell a variety of scents the doctored tea now held. It reminded Kellan of her mother and she couldn't help but smile slightly at the memory it invoked. When the silver ring was handed to her, Kellan reached over the table and accepted it. She studied the light reflection off of it before she slid it over the ring finger of her right hand. Instantly she felt the warmth of it and she knew there was no ill intent towards anyone in Heartlund in anything Kali was doing here.

"Thank you, for the ring and for trusting me. I give you my word, I won't use this privilege in any ill fashion. And I'll relay the meeting request to Commander Rose. your right. She won't be thrilled but she will honor your request. I will accompany you if you would like me to."

Sipping the tea, Kellan sat back and studied the ring for a moment and when Kali asked how she and Nol were doing, Kellan looked up at Kali and the smile that eased over her features was unmistakable.

"He's opened my eyes to many things, Kali. I owe my life, literally, to him and his cousin Raju. If he hadn't broken protocol and taken me away from North Keep, I would be rotting flesh right now. But he's taught me so much about life...and love. And for once in my life, I know what it means to really, truly love another. And I would gladly lay down my life if it meant he would be spared death. And he still cares for you. I could tell it hurt him when he thought you had joined the other wizards, but I also knew deep down he was hoping it wasn't true. Like him, I'm glad his hopes came true."

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:52 pm

Tynen was smiling, having received the message from James. Keatara was not as nervous as she had been, not looking over her shoulder as often. Within in the few days of returning, he'd begun to win her trust, putting on a friendly face with the children and gaining their trust as well. Except for the boy, Curtis. He didn't trust James any further than he could throw him and was constantly getting reprimanded by Tara for his rudeness to James. As it was, the few days that he'd been back to Heartlund, he'd become like the brother she missed.


James was filling a hole Tynen had left and Keatara found herself smiling more and more and looking over her shoulder less and less. Her days were spent with James and the children as he had become her helper. She'd taken on even more children than before and was grateful for his help. Her evening's were usually spent with Gideon and that had become her favorite time of the day. Gideon made her laugh and blush. He also made her feel like a woman and made her forget about her scars.....the ones inside as well as outside. But, she still stayed mostly to herself when she wasn't with the children or Gideon. She'd seen little of Tanjee and even less of Aeolis but she knew that they were busy with their own people.

The children were catching on fast where sword-fighting and healing were concerned and she couldn't have been more pleased with them. James had proven to be a God-send, especially with the older, more arrogant kids.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:41 am


Kellan would see a look of understanding on Kali's face, one of the softest smiles Kellan had ever seen from the mage crossed her lips and she nodded with understanding, "Nol is rare among men, and dragons. The Silvers are known for their penchant for humanity, they prefer us over their own kind even. It is comforting to hear that you love him so deeply, he deserves a woman that can be all he desires."

She looked at Kellan and her eyes traced the lady knights face, "I understand that he stills cares for me, I can feel that, but I want you to know that I have no desire to unseat what you and he have, honestly, that is the among the reasons I brought you here and not Trystan, to put your mind at ease over it. You have so much responsibility as a lance bearer, I understand that, but I require the service of liaison from you, at least for now, I appreciate your willingness to assist me. In return I wanted to let you know that though I do love Nol and always will, my pursuits require that I have no shackles on my life, especially those in the realm of love. I think that as two women it is important to put these words out there so there is nothing between us. I may need you and your dragons and some point, I hope that I can count on you when the time comes."

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:15 am



Kellan felt her cheeks color slightly at Kali’s words and she shook her head slightly in response.

”I’m not sure I can be all he desires, but I will certainly give it my best shot. I know there will come a day when he will go on without me, but until then, I intend to give him all I can each day we do have so he knows just how much I do love him.”

As Kali spoke of the possibility of her taking Kellan’s place, there was a moment of uncertainty, but the absolution in Kali’s voice told Kellan Kali was indeed pursuing something that couldn’t afford the distraction of something other than her desire to study her Art.

”There was a time when you and I would be having a much different conversation than we are right now. In fact, I remember when you were a hares breadth away from making me disappear from Krynn entirely. Funny how time changes things between two people, isn’t it? I thank you for your honesty, Kali. That’s all I ask for. In turn, you will receive the same from me. I believe the truth needs to be heard, even when you don’t want to hear it. It’s what keeps us both on the same level. I will offer my services in any way I can to you as long as it doesn’t contradict with the oath I took and I will let Nol know you may be in need of his and his brethren’s services as well. While I don’t see him having any trouble with that, I can’t speak for him. But I also know he’ll want more information as to what sort of need you’ll have for them before they commit.”

She looked around the room then back to Kali and let her gaze settle on the mages.

”The conversation we’re having here now will go a long way with the others. It will show your sincerity when you tell them you aren’t looking to harm anyone. Even though your actions were a little….unconventional. Just promise me that if you don’t have to, you won’t transport me in that way. I still get a terrible nauseas feeling.”

She paused for a moment and it was obvious Kellan was looking for the right words to say to Kali. Finally she spoke again and there was a softness to her voice that let Kali know she was setting business aside.

”With all of that being said, I want you to know, if you ever need anything, anytime, don’t hesitate to contact me. We may come from different backgrounds, but when you strip down the robes and armor, we’re both two women with a least that much in common. I know your pursuit leaves little for interaction with others, but total isolation isn’t good for you either, Kali.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:04 am


Kali listened to Kellan and her face remained expressionless, until Kellan mentioned one thing in particular. Kali's brows furrowed slightly and she spoke almost through a hissing whisper, "I never said my intents were not to harm anyone, I said they were not to destroy Heartlund or harm its inhabitants."

She stared at the fire, her eyes watching the dancing flames as she mentally left the room for a moment. Slowly and deliberately her eyes came back to Kellan and there was no apology in her expression as she continued, "I tell you this so you are aware, you are the chosen bearer of the lance, though I was not there I understand how the gods work their assignments having been on the end of one myself at one point. Know that you are being used for a purpose, and the results must be fulfilled, even if it means your death. Huma was assigned the lance hundreds of years ago and it resulted in his death, but the purpose was fulfilled. The gods are not above killing one to save many, Huma died to bring a result, I was supposed to die to bring a result... often the service of the gods comes with great power, and power comes with a great price. The gods do not like when their system of balance is disrupted and they will sacrifice anyone who threatens to tip the scale, if they are able to do so. Sometimes however, things don't go even as they planned."

She looked at Kellan in an almost mystical way, "So tell me Lady Kellan, are you prepared to leave this world at a young age once the task you were set out to do is complete? Will you lay your life on the altar of Paladin and allow your young life to be snuffed out when there is so much more on the line, including your love for a silver dragon? Do you think Nol will allow it? Or do you think he will do something drastic to ensure YOUR safety."

She leaned back in her chair and sipped her tea, her eyes closed as she inhaled the scent of the herbs and then she opened them, staring at Kellan over the brim of her cup, "I have no doubt Nol will do as I ask when the time comes to ask it. Nol is wise and his broad view of the world is not in question, the real question will be how much you allow him to make those choices, will you resist, or will you put yourself in harms way?"

She set her cup down and looked at Kellan in a manner that wasn't unfriendly, but it was certainly serious, "You and I were at odds not because of anything you did but because of what you represented at the time. There has been many changes, in both of us, changes that can and will be mutually beneficial if we see this scenario out to its final conclusion. You do have my honesty, but you will also have to deal with my bluntness, and I am sure you won't always like what I have to say, few, if any, do. Too many curtains veil the eyes of Krynn's inhabitants, they hide in their cities, behind their walls, in their halls of celebration, they don't understand that there is a looming wave of destruction still hovering, just over the horizon, waiting for the right time to devour all that there is. Piramay is alive, she is out there, and she has her own dragons now, beasts that are more evil than the darkest black dragons of chaos. It is for these reasons that I know Nol will want to fight, he can't tolerate evil."

She leaned forward as Kellan mentioned contacting her if she needed anything. With a small smile Kali nodded and spoke, "There is a reason you possess that ring Lady Kellan, there are only four in existence, and there won't be more."

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:48 am



Obviously Kellan realized she chose her words incorrectly and for that Kali made her very aware of it. While Kellan may not agree with her way of delivering her message, she did agree with the fact she was honest. Even her bluntness could be overlooked for that. Kellan would just have to find a way of accepting that from Kali without being too offended by it. Even though Kellan’s own training required her to practice more tact in how she said certain things.

As Kali spoke about the Gods and their plans and the sacrifices one had to make in order to wield the power they had been given, even if it was a Dragonlance, Kellan furrowed her brows. Her time on Myst isle wasn’t spent living a life of leisure. It was spent studying from books, tomes and scrolls written in languages Kellan could understand. And while it was never clearly written out for her to see the words, Kellan read between the lines of all the words. And she didn’t appreciate the mage making reference to Kellan trying to stop Nol from doing anything either.

”I believe I’ve already proven I’m willing to sacrifice my life to preserve others. I’m not as naïve as one would think me to be, Kali. I know there will come a time when I will have to make a decision. Regardless of what Nol will allow to happen, he won’t have a choice. It won’t be easy but he’ll know it’s what has to be. Just as I know the same for him. Like you told me, you did what had to be done. He and I will do what needs to be done by us when that time comes. As I said, he taught me a great deal about many things. It’s why I live the life I live with him. The choices we make aren’t easy, Kali. For any of us. But we all know it’s the difficult choices that will make the difference.”

As Kali mentioned Piramay, Kellan realized why Kali had returned to this tower in particular. Two of the three mages were still alive but only one of the towers remained standing. It could only have one owner. Nad Kali was claiming it for herself. It also explained why Kali snapped at Kellan the way she did when she spoke about not harming anyone. Kali had every intention of harming someone, at least, and that someone was Piramay. Which ultimately meant there could quite possibly, in all likelihood, another showdown at Heartlunds doorstep. This news, in particular, wouldn’t set well with Lady Rose. Kellan understood then what challenges lie ahead of her on this path as Kali’s ambassador. From where she sat right now, it was all up hill. She looked down at the ring when Kali made reference to it then looked back at Kali and nodded.

”I understand. Again I thank you for the honor.”

Kellan knew things were about to get very complicated and difficult for her and she could see the faces of Lady Rose and Sir Tysten now when she told them all of this news. They would be even less pleased when they realized she was the only one able to come and go to and from the tower without formal invitation.

Ah…the life of a Solamnic Knight. Did it get any better than this? Kellan didn’t want to know the answer to that question just yet.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:35 pm






Kali half smiled as Kellan took a more defensive stance on the life she and Nol were living. Kali let it be, there was too much to do and the time was not right for certain things to be said. Kali turned and looked out the windows that flanked the fireplace, "When the time comes, we will all know where we sit in the order of things," she looked back at Kellan and whispered, "All of us."

Kali looked up and shook her head. Looking back at Lady Kellan she smiled and spoke, "Nol has just made his fifteenth attempt to get through the wardings, if anything he is persistent. Perhaps he doesn't trust me as much as I thought. I have taken the dove of his life and put her in a cage, and he doesn't like it."

She sipped her tea and then spoke again, "Unfortunately there are only two ways out of this tower, off the balcony or the way you came. It is just something you are going to have to get used to."

As Kellan finished her cake and tea Kali seemed to withdraw into herself and didn't say much more. She walked over with Kellan and helped the lady knight put her armor back on. As Kellan turned and looked at Kali the half-elf black robed mage looked at her and spoke, "I expect we will be seeing more of each other soon. Tell Lady Rose I will come tomorrow at noon bell." Suddenly Kali looked up and then back down to meet Kellan's eyes, a small smile on her lips, "Sixteen."

Without a touch or a movement she suddenly found herself on the ground outside the tower, about 200 meters from the base of the tower. Trystan and his men moved to her quickly and Trystan was off his horse in an instant, "Lady Kellan! Are you alright?"

A massive thud hit the ground and all the Knights spun, several drawing their weapons instinctually, Trystan included. Nol changed to his native form and sprinted, grabbing Kellan. He hugged her tightly and then drew back, looking her over before quickly settling onto her eyes, "Did she harm you? What happened?" Nol turned to look at the tower. Kali stood on the upper observation deck looking down at them before withdrawing back into the black walls.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:13 pm



As Kellan found herself outside the walls of the tower and back in the open air once more, she felt the nausea come to her again and she took several deep breaths to calm her stomach. As Trysten and the other Knights approached, she glanced at them and spoke under her breath.

”Next time I’ll refrain from eating anything.”

As she suddenly found herself practically surrounded by Trysten and the Knights soon followed by the tight embrace of Nol, she did her best to maintain her composure. Her arms looped around Nol’s neck and she did return the hug, but her stomach was still settling and she wasn’t as enthusiastic as she should have been. Not to mention the color had practically drained from her face.

Glancing up at the tower when Nol released his hold on her, Kellan saw Kali for a brief moment before she disappeared. Looking into the anxious faces of those gathered, she nodded her head finally and spoke. Her voice wasn’t as strong as she wished it to be, but there was no doubt she was just fine. She looked at Nol and Trysten both.

”I’m fine. Really. And Kali was nothing but a gracious hostess. And there’s no need to worry. For now, anyway. But there is a great deal that needs to be discussed. By all of us.”

”But first things first, I need to get a message to Lady Rose. The sooner the better.”

She could see the look on all of their faces. The men who rode out with Trysten glanced at each other and Kellan could see the concern in their gazes. Trysten and Nol had similar looks but there’s also contained some of the confusion she saw in their gazes before. She looked over at Trysten knowing his men were paying very close attention to what she said.

”There’s no threat here, Sir Trysten. I give you my word on that.”

She saw the way the men glanced at each other taking a sigh of relief. She could see Trysten relax as well but he, like Nol, knew there was more Kellan WASN’T saying and it was that fact that kept Trysten and Nol from relaxing as much as the others.

As Trysten gave his orders for the knights to mount back up and ready to head back to the Keep, she saw the way Trysten looked at her and she lowered her voice for his ears alone to hear.

”I promise. I will relay all that I know to you when the time is right. But I speak truthfully when I say there is no threat here. Let’s get back to the Keep and find Lady Rose. It’s important.”

Trysten nodded and reluctantly walked away leaving her and Nol standing there. When Trysten was out of earshot, Kellan glanced up at Nol and saw the way he was looking at her. She turned to face him and placed her gloved hand tenderly on his cheek.

”I swear on my love for you, Kali had no ill intent towards me, Nol. If she did, she wouldn’t have delivered me unharmed back to your arms.”

She could see the relief her words brought him but she could also see he wasn’t all that happy with what Kali had done either. She squeezed his arm gently.

”Come. Take me back to the Keep. Please? The air will help me regain my composure and help my stomach settle. You know what travelng like that does to me.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:52 pm


Trystan rode with his men back to the castle gate, they were silent in their words, only the pounding of the hooves echoing through the air was heard. The Gate Guard called for open and Trystan with his men in tow galloped through and went straight to the Keep.


Nol gave one last glance at the tower before looking back at Kellan, "I know your words are true, Kali would not have returned you if she intended harm, it is her manners of doing what she wants, when she wants without thought as to what it does to others that bothers me."

He inhaled deeply and then quirked a brow, grabbing Kellan's right hand he brought it up and looked at the ring. Looking at her quizzically Kellan withdrew the hand and gave him a look that told him she would explain later. He simply nodded and whispered, "My moon and stars, let us fly."

He flashed into his native form and roared in Draconic, the three dragons that were still circling responded with one short, loud response and split like fingers moving into a glove, disappearing quickly from sight. Nol turned his large head back and looked at Kellan, waiting for her to mount up. As she did he felt for the two buckles to be fastened, the instant he heard the second click he sprung into the air and circled the tower quickly as he looked down at the shiny black stone. He could suddenly feel the pulse of magic coming from the tower in waves, it literally pushed them back like hot air rising off the landscape catching under his wings and suddenly he and Kellan were over a kilometer high. He looked back and spoke, "Apparently Kali was just waiting for us to leave to set her wardings."

He tipped his wing and gently swung to the south and then circled wide and slow towards the main courtyard of the Keep. He landed gently just as Trystan and his men were arriving. Kellan dismounted and Nol flashed to his Elven form. Trystan stepped up and spoke, "I don't like all this mystery Kellan, and neither will the Lady. I expect a little more tact from you in the future."

Nol stepped up between Kellan and Trystan, looking the Knight Commander sternly, "You are none to question Kali's actions or give response to Kellan for something she hasn't done. Might I remind you she is the chosen rider of Paladin? Though you still have higher rank on your breastplate you don't command her, only Lady Rose commands her."

Trystan did not back down from Nol and looked the silver dragon dead in the eyes, "I am second in command over the safety of this Keep Nol'lore, I will question what needs to be questioned to ensure the safety of Heartlund."

Nol took a step towards Trystan who suddenly felt his stone facade break away as his eyes went wide. Nol looked at him and spoke, "As Kellan said, there is no threat here. I have known Kali a long time, trust me, if she wanted Heartlund destroyed it would be destroyed. She does not do things the way any of us would like, but she is a Wizard and even the most lawful of Wizard's do things in their own timing and for their own purposes. One thing I can tell you however is that Kali has never been anything but truthful since her break with the Dark Queen and if she told Kellan there was no threat, there is no threat."

Trystan's face furrowed slightly and he looked at Nol with hard eyes. His attention then turned to Kellan and he spoke, "Come."

The three of them walked across the drawbridge and into the Keep to speak with Lady Rose.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:42 pm



Kellan was getting ready to say something to Trysten when Nol stepped up to the Knight. Clamping her mouth shut, for now, she let the men have their words, but when the time was right, she would let both of them know what she thought about this whole conversation that just took place. The last thing she needed was for anything like this to take place after the strange meeting she just had with, of all things, a black robed mage.

She remained silent as they walked across the drawbridge that led them into the Keep. The sound of thudding boots hitting the wooden planks was a familiar sound to anyone and this was no exception. But for Kellan, she didn’t hear them this time. She kept hearing Kali’s voice in her head as she went over the conversation to make sure she remembered it clearly so she could relay it to Lady Rose, Sir Trysten and Nol.

She was so deep in thought she didn’t realize they were outside Lady Rose’s door and Larissa was showing them all inside. Lady Rose sat behind the desk and Kellan could see she wasn’t all that pleased with this new turn of events that was now taking place in her back yard. With a smart salute, Kellan began to relay her story.

She was able to follow the conversation from start to finish and relay the information Kali needed her to relay. She watched the expressions on their faces, the looks in their eyes and the way they exchanged looks with each other and could tell they were none too happy with her report. While no one interrupted her as she gave her report, she knew there were questions abounding and she would be bombarded with them soon enough. When she got to the point where she had to let them all know she had been chosen, by Kali, to be her ambassador, she took a deep breath and looked at the four faces looking at her.

”Kali has given me the ability to walk in and out of her wardings whenever I need to. She gave me this silver ring and it will work only for me. She wishes for me to relay any information from the Knights to her and her information back to the Knights. In that capacity, I need to inform you she will be here when the noon bell chimes to have a meeting with you, here, in Heartlund, Lady Rose. I will be accompanying her as well as her ambassador.”

She let her gaze rest a moment on Lady Rose before she looked to Trysten and saw the disapproval in his face. She also saw the way he glanced at Nol then back to Kellan. She glanced at Nol then and saw the look he gave her.

Of course she didn’t say anything about the personal side of the conversation she had with Kali. I n Kellan’s mind, that was no one’s business but hers and Kali’s and she wondered if Trysten’s disapproval was fueled by that or the fact Kali was coming into the Keep for the meeting. Either way, she knew Trysten wasn’t all that p leased with the way things went but for now, he wasn’t going to pull rank on her. Not with Nol standing there as well.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:58 pm


Nol stood and listened. His thoughts were many but he kept silent. He would look at Trystan as the man looked at him but he said nothing and showed little in his face as to what he was thinking. Nol gave her a look of pride, she had done what she said she would do, her honor was her life, truly.

Nol looked at Trystan and then back to Lady Rose. She sat back heavily in her chair and he waited for her response before interjecting any words of his own.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:13 pm


The reconstruction and fortification of Heartlund had kept Lady Rose Fairwind very busy in the last nine months. The arrival of Nol and his companions had helped their efforts. Rose was also in the process of looking over the candidates for rider training to join Kellan and Nol. All on top of her regular duties of running and maintaining a well trained force of men. Larrisa's had been busy with personal matters and had only recently returned to Heartlund. Rose was grateful for the young woman's return as her replacements had been severally lacking.

The mornings reports of movement in the remaining tower had caused her no small amount of concern. She stood upon the battlements watching the group of riders returning from their mission. As the gates opened she descended into the keep heading for her office to await Trysten and Kellan's report. A fresh cup of tea was waiting for her when she returned to her office. Kellan, Nol, and Trystan arrived shortly after she did and Rose slipped from her tea as Kellan delivered the details of her report. As Kellan wrapped things up Rose put her tea to the side and laced her fingers together with her brow furrowed. The displeasure was apparent in her voice as she spoke.

"Quite frankly I want that infernal abomination removed from these lands. Torn to the earth stone by stone and shipped piece by piece to the furthest reaches of Ansilon. The very sight of it sickens me and makes the people of this city nervous. When word gets out that a wizard once more occupies that tower, regardless of who it is, they will not be very happy."

Rose took in a breath to calm herself slightly before continuing "Now with that being said... It is clear by your accounting that Kali intends no ill towards this city and it's people. If you believe this I am inclined to trust in that but it doesn't make me feel any better. I should be happy though knowing it is Kali in that tower and not someone else such as Piramay herself." Rose was taking note of the glances between Nol and Trystan. She knew tensions between them popped up when it came to what each felt the others duty was and who was right in any situation. She knew this entire matter most likely had Trysten on the defensive and Nol was likely trying to sooth that tension but it generally only did more than to cause the two to fume for a couple hours in the long run. She was not in the mood to deal with it today.

She fixed both of them with her eyes when she spoke rather bluntly. "If you two don't mind we are in the middle of a meeting right now. Do we need to take a break so you both care to step outside to continue with your non-verbal dick measuring contest?"

The look on the collective faces of the group was enough to almost make her want to laugh.
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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:33 pm





Sir Trystans eyes turned immediately to Commander Rose and he swallowed hard as he looked at his boots. Never had he meant to offend or give off the perception that things were bad between he and Nol, it was true that they butted heads from time to time, but Trystan always figured it was more that Kellan and Nol were romantically involved than anything else. He looked back at Commander Rose and then turned to look at Nol, he had a look on his face as if he was about say something when Nol looked at him and then turned to glance at Rose. He half smirked as he responded, "Between Trystan and myself, there is no contest Rose."

Nol's words were uncharacteristically aggressive and as the Keeps Commander looked at him with a raised brow Nol looked back without a shred of regret in his eyes, "If my dragons and I are unwanted in your Keep by all means we will leave, it was never my intention nor the intention of the High Born that we be a burden to you or your soldiers and Knights. I have thousands of years experience on the lot of you put together and though I deeply respect you I come and go without your orders or your commands and I certainly don't deserve to be spoken to in that manner. I am a dragon, a child of the gods themselves and I purposely choose not to throw that in the faces of those whom I spend time and break bread with. However if my presence and the presence of my dragons is unwelcome in Heartlund Keep by all means I will depart and leave you to your short lives," His eyes flared softly, a white blast of ice moving behind the pupils.

He looked slowly over at Lady Kellan who was berating him with her eyes but she could see it in his face, he had had enough of the politicking and such that always seemed to follow the Knights, and he was most certainly put off by Commander Roses disrespectful comment. He turned back to Rose, "Despite your wishes if you move on that tower you will be most sorry, a wizards tower is not a target of opportunity, and it takes wizards to destroy them, even at that the collective better be stronger than the objective, a wizards tower won't die easily."

The group turned and looked at him and he nodded, "That's right, wizards towers are not inanimate buildings that can just be knocked down, that buildings in particular was grown from the ground up, not assembled and then enchanted like the other three wizards towers on Krynn. The black tower represents a new age of magic and you are most certainly correct in your thank fullness of Kali's occupation within it rather than the alternative."

He looked at the faces of those in the room and then spoke his last, "Now, if you will excuse me I have eleven dragons under my command waiting for THEIR daily orders, if anything this mornings excursion was little more than a nuisance than anything else."

Nol turned without another word or glance at any of them and exited the room, the door slammed loudly behind him.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:24 am


Rose simply sat in silence as Nol made his peace before leaving them. She let out a sigh and shook her head slightly after the door closed. "I would say something brash or witty but I think I've opened my mouth enough for the moment. Clearly we will simply have to accept Kali's presence since we clearly can not do anything about it. Perhaps tomorrows meeting with Kali will go better but I somehow have my doubts."

With a sigh she looked first to Trystan "I want you to see to it that people are not to alarmed by activity in the tower. The tower has simply been occupied by one of the wizards who worked to take down the previous occupants. We have been assured there is no cause for alarm."

She then looked to Kellan after sipping from her tea. "If you would be so kind ask Nol if he could spare a moment of his time to speak with me later it would be much appreciated. Clearly I have offended him and proper decorum demands that I apologize for it." Rose tapped her chin a moment and shook her head "Scratch that... I will simply seek him out this evening myself. If I truly wish to be sincere in my apology I should seek him out myself and not ask another to do it in my stead..

Rose stood from her seat signaling this meeting was over and as Trystan and Kellan stood she saluted them both "Carry on with your regular duties... you are dismissed."

With a nod of her head Rose was leaving the room with Larrisa in tow behind her. She would see to her afternoon rounds of the keeps repairs before taking a walk through the city proper itself. She would seek out Nol after the evening bells had tolled.
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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:09 am



Kellan was ready to do one of two things; one – crawl under a rock somewhere and never come out again or two – explode. Thankfully neither occurred. It was obvious the strain of everything was weighing heavily upon all in the room and it felt like she was the common denominator for most of the tension that now existed.

She was torn. Her obligation for the oath she took for her Knighthood and her duty as the chosen lance bearer. Kali was right, she would have to make a decision soon. Somehow Kellan thought it wouldn’t be quite this soon. Then again, maybe it was a good thing it was. It gave her little time to think about it.

Her light brown eyes shot daggers at both Nol and Trysten during Nol’s air clearing speech. As Nol spoke his peace then walked out slamming the door behind him, Kellan sat straight in the chair. Inside she was churning and soon she would have her own peace to say.

Finally Rose dismissed them and Kellan couldn’t WAIT to leave the stuffy room. As Rose exited with Larissa, it left Kellan and Trysten in the room alone and as Trysten turned to leave, Kellan spoke up.

”Sir Trysten. A word with you, please.”

Kellan didn’t ask; she gave the man no choice. When she saw the look he gave her when he turned to look at her, she held her hand up to stop the words from slipping past his lips before they were even spoken.

”Save your breath. I know I’m out of line, but the lines aren’t as clear as they used to be with me. We both know it. I respect your position but I would appreciate it if that same respect was given in return to me. My rank is still below yours as far as the Knights are concerned and because of that, I know where I stand as far as my place in the pecking order. But I’m no longer a member of any squad, platoon or legion. Things have changed. For all of us. But you know me. I would never withhold anything from you on purpose, if I knew it wouldn’t upset those who were already on edge. I saw the way the Knights with you were acting. If what I spoke here in Rose’s office was spoken in front of them, they could have returned to the ranks and repeat it, in their own words as they interpreted my words for themselves. You know as well as I do words taken out of context can infect the ranks with distrust faster than a wildfire can consume dry brush. The last thing I want is to upset the delicate balance we’ve all been able to restore these past nine months.”

She paused and took a deep breath before continuing.

”With all of that being said, I now find myself in a precarious position. If Nol decides to leave, I will go with him. But then I will no longer be able to be Kali’s ambassador. Something she will definitely need. And I don’t trust anyone else to be her ambassador. Anyone who doesn’t know her will be too afraid of her. And those who do know her will either hold hard feelings against her, despite what she did to save us all, or they would be too emotionally attached to her to be clearly objective.”

Kellan knew Trysten would understand what she meant by all of that and she reached out touching his forearm gently.

”We’re all under a great deal of strain, Trysten. It’s understandable the pressure has to be released and sometimes it’s done in ways that could cause friction. Please understand that’s the last thing I want between all of us. We’ve all come too far and we have a very long road ahead of us. All fo Krynn depends on all of us. You are and always will be a very dear and close friend to me and I don’t want to see that friendship destroyed.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:05 am


Trystan returned Lady Roses salute and was about to leave when Kellan spoke to him. He turned, she saw little more than exhaustion in his eyes at this point and as he was about to speak to her and dismiss himself she stopped him and said what she needed to say.

He listened, watching her face as she spoke. One thing he always knew about Kellan was her honesty, despite it all she was as honest as a person could come, and so he took to heart what she said and when she had finished he spoke, "I understand Lady Kellan, not only that you are in a unique position but that you have duties and obligations above and beyond that of the Knights of Solamnia."

He looked down as she touched his forearm and his face turned sad, "You are my friend, and you always will be. Unfortunately I made mistakes that caused us to never be more than that."

As he looked back up at her he smiled sadly and nodded, "Thank-you Lady Kellan I have men waiting for me."

He turned and walked to the door, pulling it open he exited the room without another word.



Nol and his dragons were in their humanoid forms and stood along the high rocks, looking out across the landscape. They were several kilometers from Heartlund where they normally lived. The shade of the rocks were cooler than the plains below and Ceridwyn had enchanted the area to protect the dragons who loved the cold even more. Nol finally turned to his dragons and spoke, his eyes scanning over each of them, "Today we will take some time off. We have worked a month for the Knights and I am proud of all of you for your efforts. Go see your families, enjoy some rest and time to yourselves. Return in three days and we will continue with the efforts to rebuild Heartlund."

The dragons all smiled, though they were immortal beings they too got tired. Nol saluted and they saluted in kind, taking their dragon forms and launching into the air. A portal had been set in the sky, hidden behind the clouds that would take the dragons back and forth between the Myst Isles. The eleven dragons flew and were visible for a brief moment and then disappeared behind the clouds.

Nol turned and looked at Heartlund once again. He was inhaling deeply and calming himself. He had the thought a few days back to send the dragons for a break. They had been working hard and had earned it, but he was leery to do so with all that still needed to be done in the rebuilding. The new wall design required stones that were too large to be moved by human methods and as the dragons brought them in teams of stone cutters would hew them and the dragons would move them into place. His dragons were showing the exhaustion of moving such large boulders all day every day and Nol had it on his mind to start giving them breaks but in shifts. His confrontation with the Knights this morning however gave him a change of heart and he needed time to think about their position here. He wasn't going to do anything rash by any means, but he truly felt stung by the disrespect he was beginning to sense from many of the Knights, Commander Roses words were just the fuse. He was beginning to feel they were all being taken advantage of, as well as taken for granted, and he was not in a position to allow his dragons to be treated like that, ever.

He inhaled deeply once again and looked at the wall, there was enough stone to keep the hewers busy for a couple weeks, surly a break would not only give his dragons time to rest but also give him time to think about the right thing to do.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:59 am



As Trysten excused himself, Kellan stood in the room for a moment to collect herself. She had a good idea of where Nol went and she would give him time to settle and clear his mind before she went to look for him. It would give her time to change out of her battle armor and into something a bit more relaxed.

When she emerged from her quarters, she was dressed in a soft, tan tunic and leather breeches with her highly polished boots. Making her way through the Keep, she greeted others with a friendly smile and nod as she made her way towards the stables. While she loved soaring among the clouds with Nol, she felt guilty for neglecting her trusted steed. Almost the instant she entered the stables, he recognized her scent and started calling to her.

Ears perked high, eyes bright and curious, his soft grumbling reached her ears and Kellan couldn’t help but smile. By the time she reached his stall, he was pawing at the ground and bobbing his head up and down. Chuckling softly, she prepared her old friend for a ride, loving affixing the saddle to his back and sliding the bit in his mouth. She hadn’t even swung herself up into the saddle completely when he started to move and she laughed softly at his anxious antics. Leaning down to pat his neck lovingly, she whispered in his ear.

”Soon, my old friend. Soon.”

The horse tried to maintain his anxiousness as they weaved their way around bodies that were moving about the Keep but when he cleared the gates, Kellan released her hold on his reins and gave the horse his head. His hoofed feet stomped on the wooden drawbridge alerting anyone close by the fast moving equine was on the move.

Leaning low in the saddle, Kellan let the horse take the lead and go where he wanted. He naturally avoided the area around the tower. She wasn’t sure if he had a way of telling him there was danger there or if he could sense the magic. Either way, he started heading in the direction she was almost certain Nl had gone.

The horse eventually slowed his pace and finally started walking naturally. His ears were constantly perked and he looked around at his surroundings. His hours of training had never left him as he stood idle in the stable while his mistress was out consorting with dragons. But the leisurely pace gave Kellan time to clear her own head and heart. What happened between Nol and Trysten was bound to happen sooner or later but Lady Rose’s off colored remarks made Kellan realize that perhaps the Knights were starting to look at the dragons as something less than what they really were. And that concerned her greatly.

Kellan took exception to the idea the Knights might be starting to fall into their old ways and treat the dragons with less respect than they deserve. The dragons had abandoned mankind in the past because of such actions and when they had finally decided to come to the aid of mankind again….Kellan’s brow furrowed as these thoughts ran through her mind. She could imagine how Nol might be feeling right now if he was thinking along the same lines as she was.

It took some doing, but Kellan began to think more like a dragoon than a human on these sort of matters and even after their arrival at the battle and the months following, Kellan kept her company more with the dragons than with the Knights. For two reasons, actually. Nol was the biggest factor but a lot of her fellow Knights kept her at arm’s length since her return. While she understood why, she was hoping for a bit more….understanding.

Finally she could see the spot Ceridwyn had set up for the dragons coming into view. While she was still about a kilometer away, she could see a lone figure standing there and even from this distance she could see it was Nol. She pulled her mount up and sat looking at him from this distance and she knew he was looking at her. She heeled her horse gently but her old friend could feel his mistresses anxiousness and it bled into him. He took off like a shot and Kellan leaned down over his neck and felt the wind rushing past her again.

When they reached the base of the rocks, the horse slowed and Kellan found the path the horse could use to reach where Nol stood. Winding through the rocks she finally turned the last corner and saw Nol standing there. She dismounted, letting the reins slack across the horses neck. The horse instantly found a patch of grass to start grazing.

Kellan walked up to Nol and then stood looking up at him. Taking a step forward, she reached up and swung her arms around his neck, hugging him tightly. She felt his arms come around her and hug her tightly in return and she closed her eyes, turning her face into his neck and inhaling deeply. Finally she reluctantly released him then stepped back, keeping a hold of his hand in hers.

”Lady Rose will be looking for you this evening. She wishes to apologize for her behavior earlier.”

She turned to look at the Keep in the distance and sighed heavily.

”I understand now.”

Turning to look at him again she saw the confusion in his face.

”Why you and your kind kept to yourselves all these years. I’m so sorry, Nol. I wish we humans weren’t so…..pig headed.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:39 am


Nol could see Kellan the instant she came out of the gate, rider and horse were moving as one and he could not help but grin. Like the horse he knew the feel of her legs, the tight grip as her muscles held her fast in the saddle and how she leaned to each movement in precise unison. He would catch her from time to time as she came into small clearings in the trees and then finally she was in the dense forest. He knew exactly how long it took her to move through it, if she was seconds off he would fly and find her.

She emerged and he continued to keep his eyes on her until she finally made it through the rocks and dismounted. There were no words at first, she simply walked up and embraced him. He held her fast and tight as she spoke her understanding. He looked at her quizzically and then she cleared her statement. He only smiled and brushed a soft, warm finger across her cheek as he responded, "There is nothing to apologize for my moon and stars, humanities emotions are what makes them so attractive."

He turned and looked at Heartlund again from this great distance and he spoke rather matter of factly, "I have sent the flight on rest for three days. I need some time to think on other matters regarding our place here however. The small arguments with the Knights have become more frequent, they were more than accepting of our words and advice right after the battle. We pulled their hands from the fire and they were appreciative but now they grow arrogant again, especially Trystan, there is something he does not like about me, and I can only suspect what it is," He turned and looked at Kellan, "But I have a pretty good idea."

He turned around and walked into the protective sphere Ceridwyn had created, it was snowing softly despite the air temperature outside it being sunny and warm, "Whatever happens, I want you to know that you are under no obligation to follow me. Just because you ride me now does not bind you to me. You can ask any other dragon and they would be honored to have the bearer of the lance on their back... though I admit, selfishly I hope you never ride another."

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:10 pm



Even after this time together, it amazed her at the sensations his touch invoked within her. It was almost like tiny explosions happened in the pit of her stomach and every nerve ending was coming to life all over again. And she craved more of it each time she felt it. The brush of his finger was no exception and she couldn’t help but close her eyes for a moment and let herself experience it all over again.

When she opened her eyes, she turned to look at Heartlund with him. His words came as no surprise to her. She was well aware of how things were happening between the Knights and Dragons and it hurt her to see this taking place.

”History repeats itself….”

She spoke the words more to herself than to him but she knew he heard her and knew he understood what she meant. As he walked back into the sphere she remained where she was. Since her ordeal at North Keep she had a strong dislike for the snow but knew it was an integral part of his very being. Besides, the sphere was for the dragons, not her and she gave them their space, including Nol.

”And you are on target with why Trystan is being the way he is with you. During our trip to Glen Durel to get Kali and Rayann’s help, we had a…..moment in time. But it was fleeting. When I returned to the castle after you showed me the truth, he thought the worst of me and he came to his conclusions without bothering to ask me what happened. And I wasn’t going to explain myself either. If a man can’t trust the woman he says he loves then there’s no solid foundation for any sort of relationship to grow. So….he returned to being my commanding officer and I his subordinate.”

She’d never spoken of it to Nol before now and she felt the need to explain Trystan’s actions knowing he would not. While she knew it didn’t excuse his behavior towards Nol, it did bring some clarity to them. When Nol mentioned about her riding another, she was shaking her head even before the words were out of his mouth.

”And you’d be right to hope that. If you think for one moment I would take another dragon as my mount, you’re sadly mistaken. While I know any of the others would gladly step up, I couldn’t bring myself to do so. No, my sun and sky, you are who I belong with. But, if you choose to leave, I will only ask you not to do so before Kali is settled here.”

Again he gave her a quizzical look.

”She needs me as her ambassador right now. There’s not another soul in Heartlund capable of being that for her. Anyone who doesn’t know her will be too scared of her and those who do know her will not trust her due to her magical abilities or they’re too emotionally attached to her to be objective. Maybe by then we’ll find someone who can be her ambassador in my place.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 2: The High Wizards Tower of Heartlund   Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:14 pm


Nol looked up at her as she spoke of Trystan, he smiled and nodded his head, so much was clearer with that one little piece of information, "So he regrets that he made a mistake and now the new man you have chosen is at the tip of his blade."

He laughed quietly to himself as he traced a shape into the snow with the toe of his boot, "I said that it is human emotion that makes your kind so attractive, it can also be what makes you the ugliest."

She looked at him and he locked his eyes with her, "Especially men."

He half smiled again as she spoke of remaining true to him and he spoke with matter of factness, "Kali doesn't need you, not in the sense you might think. Kali is a Wizard, they don't need, they leverage, Kali most of all. You are the best option, that is why she is choosing you. I don't meant that in a disrespectful way, you are right in what you say about the other people out there, but ultimately she will do what is best by her."

She looked at him and he slightly shrugged, "That is what she is and what she does."

He inhaled deeply and now that he was cooled off he walked out of the sphere of cold and walked up to her, looking into her eyes, "No, about the matter of you swearing loyalty to me..."

He leaned in and kissed her with strong lips. It was loving and pure, all the wonderful thoughts he had regarding her were transferred in that single meshing of lips, and despite his need for the cold, the sensation was warm. Though the core of him was cold, his scales were hot to reflect back the heat and not cause leaks in his system. As he leaned back and looked at her his eyes had changed to that of his dragon form, though his body was still that of an elf. He looked at her, a flash of white erupting behind the pupils and he spoke, "Are you sure you are willing to walk away from the Knighthood to love a dragon?"

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