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 Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant

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PostSubject: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:50 am


Trystan awoke and blinked his eyes. The sun was up and he squeezed his eyelids to remove the blur. A Squire approached and handed him a tin cup filled with hot coffee, "To help wake you sir."

Trystan nodded and spoke, "Thank-you boy, what hour is it?"

"About one quarter past seven sir."

"Thank-you."

The Squire left and Trystan stood to his feet, the lingering smell of the burnt bodies was still hanging in the air but he and his men had worked until around three in the morning to make sure all the bodies were disposed of. Trystan turned to a passing Knight of the Crown and spoke, "Will you go speak to the Stable Master, I need my mount and three men to accompany me to the forest." The Knight saluted and Trystan walked to one of the piles of burnt bodies. He stared at the goblin skulls and sighed deeply, lost in thought.

It seemed like only minutes when three Knights on horseback came up behind him with his mount in tow and spoke, "Sire, your horse."

Trystan set the cup down on a rock, mounted up and spoke, "We ride to the place where the Goblin Leader was slain. I don't know where it is exactly, but I do know it is in the trees and based on the explosion we saw last night I assume it won't be hard to find."

The four men kicked off and trotted into the woods. As they made their way through the relatively sparse trees sure enough the area where Kali's fireball spell had been used. As they dismounted Trystan looked around. There was a pile of ash where it looked as if a table had been built and some goblin bodies were scattered around. He looked at one of the Knights, "We need to pile these bodies up and burn them."

The man nodded and the three of them began piling up the carcasses. Trystan walked slowly and kept his eyes moving, scanning the whole area. He didn't see any human bodies. Kellan had mentioned something about a family that needed attention for proper burial, and he assumed she meant here, but there was no evidence of anything except goblins. He turned and began helping to pile the corpses, a few minutes later they were pouring oil and setting them aflame. Trystan gave the order to mount up and spoke, "We need to search the area. Lady Kellan mentioned a family of humans that were needing proper burial, we need to find them, you two go that way, you come with me."

The men began riding in circles, moving wider and wider in a standard search pattern. After an hour they found nothing and made their way back to the original spot and Trystan looked at their faces, "I believe something is amiss men. Lady Kellan who is an honorable Knight among our ranks would not lie about this, I believe that the Mage did something to manipulate or cause last night events. On your honor I charge you to keep this confidential for now, but I need men I can trust to investigate with me and figure out what in the bloody hell is happening and why Lady Kellan saw a dead family last night but no evidence exists this morning."

The men all nodded in agreement and they rode back to the city. As they made their way into the walls Trystan headed to his office to write down his official report which he would deliver at noon, right when he knew Kali would be meeting with Commander Rose.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:44 pm


Tanjee was up at first light. It was her way. She took this time, when things were quiet and all was calm, to find a place of peace she could meditate and bring praises to her Goddess. Like all the other days for the last eight months, she rode out to the part of the forest that hadn’t been razed by Piramay’s nasty spell and sat among the tree limbs and tree leaves of the forest.

Thankfully the slight breeze was taking the smell of the burnt bodies away from her this morning. All night she, like the other residents of Heartlund, smelled the stench of the bodies as they were burned throughout the night. It wasn’t an unfamiliar smell. The same was done for the enemy soldiers that had fallen when the battle was over. But it was something no one wanted to smell.

She was just getting ready to climb down out of the tree when she caught sight of Trystan and his men riding out to investigate a certain area. She could see the look on Trystan’s face and knew he was deeply troubled by something but she wasn’t sure what. She heard rumblings after the fight with the goblins he had words with Lady Kellan and Kali and Lady Rose stepped in and it had something to do with the fact Lady Kellan and Kali had ventured out beyond the walls to ‘take care’ of the goblin leader. Whatever that meant, she could just imagine.

As she sat watching, she noticed the way they began searching in a circle taking a wider pattern with each pass. Obvious they were looking for something of significance and they weren’t finding it. Again her eyes drifted to Trystan and she could see the fact they weren’t finding whatever it was they were looking for was deeply disturbing to him.

As Trystan and his men rode back into the Keep, Tanjee climbed out of the tree and glanced over in the direction she had seen them searching. As curious as she was, she really didn’t want to go sifting through what was left of goblin bodies and carnage to see if she could find what they might be looking for. Besides, she didn’t know what it was they were looking for to begin with so what good would she be?

Mounting the horse, she turned the animal towards the gate and took her time getting back to the Keep. Signaling to the guard who signaled back, Tanjee rode back into Heartlund and headed for the stables where she left her horse for tending. She was going to go to Tara’s when she changed her mind and headed for Trystan’s office.

The young man he had as his aid stood up almost immediately when she arrived. She smiled at him an he instantly grew nervous and straightened out his shirt several times.

“Can I help you Miss. Tanjee?”

Tanjee smiled even more at the young man.

”I’d like to speak to Sir Trystan if he is available.”

The young man glanced over his shoulder at the closed door to Trystan’s office then turned back to look at Tanjee smiling apologetically.

“I’m sorry but Sir Trystan is not available for visitor’s, Miss Tanjee. I will let him know you stopped by and asked to see him, though.”

Tanjee looked past the young man to the closed door then to the young man and the smile on her face faded somewhat.

”I understand. Do tell him I was asking for him.”

“Yes ma’am. I will.”

Tanjee turned to go then reconsidered and turned to smile at the young man again, who had just started to relax thinking she was leaving and quickly snapped back to give her his full attention.

”Give him a message for me as well. Please tell him sometimes what we are searching for is usually right beneath our noses.”

The young man gave her a puzzling look but Tanjee didn’t elaborate. She just smiled even more and turned to leave again.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:57 pm


Trystan opened the door, he could hear enough that his aid was speaking to someone though he could not tell through the heavy door who it might be. He could tell the voice was feminine however and thinking it might be Kali or Kellan he opened the door and looked out into the hallway. His aid turned and spoke nervously, "S... Sire... I was just telling her to leave."

Trystan looked from the man to Tanjee and half laughed, "It is alright Kurt. Why don't you take a break, get some food and relax. Come back in an hour ok?"

The man half smiled nodded, "Thank you sir."

He left in haste and Trystan watched him disappear down the hall before looking up at Tanjee, "He's... well let's say he's needing some training in social graces."

He smiled warmly and gestured towards his office, "Please Ms. Tanjee, come inside."

As he sat behind his desk he pushed a parchment aside which she could tell he had just been writing on and spoke, "This is an unexpected but welcome surprise. You don't come to see me often, if ever. What is it you need?"

His voice was friendly and sincere, it was a rare glimpse into the old Trystan, how he was before the wars and responsibilities that Heartlund was pouring on him day by day.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:15 pm


Tanjee chuckled softly at Trystan’s defense of the aid. As she walked in, she glanced around his office. It was what one would expect from a leader of a group of fighting men. While it wasn’t necessarily inviting, it did have a certain appeal to it. And Trystan wasn’t one for opulence so it fit him perfectly.

As Trystan sat behind the desk and pushed the paper aside, Tanjee saw the look in his blue eyes. He was feeling the strain of his position and dealing with a freshly occupied tower by the woman he loved. It pained the Elfess to see him like this.

Slowly seating herself across he desk from him, she studied him closely and when he asked her what it was she needed, she tilted her head slightly. There was no smile on her face now but her words were soft and sincere when she spoke this time.

”It is not what I need that brings me here, Trystan. It is what you need.”

She saw the puzzled look cross his face and she elaborated.

”When was the last time you talked to someone? Truly talked to them? I have been watching you around here since the battle. You are on the verge of total exhaustion. Even the best healers cannot help you if you do not take care of yourself. And before you start telling me about how you have to make sure this and that get done, let me remind you that even Paladine himself needs rest from time to time.”

”Something troubles you, even now. I do not need to know what it is to see it weighs heavy upon your heart and mind. Remember, Trystan, you are not alone here. Even though it may feel and seem like you are, I assure you, you are not.”

She glanced down at her hand for a moment then looked back up at him, her green eyes so much like her brothers it was almost uncanny.

”I saw you this morning. I was out meditating like I am each morning and I was getting ready to return when I saw you and your men ride out to the trees. I have heard the rumblings of what Kali and Lady Kellan did last night and I know there was some question as to what Lady Kellan and Kali did to bring an end to the fighting. And I can see, by the look in your eyes, whatever it was you did not find troubles you more than anything.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:37 pm


As Tanjee spoke and mentioned rest Trystan's automatic replies began springing up in his head, but she disarmed him quickly, removing them from his repertoire of rhetoric. he leaned back in his chair and sighed heavily, she could see the absolute exhaustion in his face as he looked back up at her. His mind was reeling and for the first time since he could remember, someone genuinely wanted to know how HE was doing.

He took a moment to collect his thoughts, focusing on her face, her delicate, beautiful Elven face. His lip curled into a half smile and he leaned forward, "You aren't just a healer of physical bodies are you?"

She smiled softly and he nodded, "I should not expect less, you are a called healer of Mishikal, you want not only for the bodies of your treated to be made whole but their minds as well." He laughed and shook his head, "Very well, I concede, but please know what I am telling you is speculation and I have no evidence to back up my theory."

She nodded and looked at him, leaning in closer as he was about to speak. Trystan took a breath and leaned forward onto his desk, "Something is amiss with this 'battle' last night. I have fought Goblins, I know they won't fight if their leader is killed, but doesn't it seem strange that Kali would show up all of a sudden, unannounced and uncalled for? That she would know what to do, how to do it and who to take? Kellan? She is a dragon rider, why not mount Nol and take to the skies? I have watched Nol battle from the sky, he was NEVER exhausted after two blasts of his breath weapon. He was removed from the battle before it even began. Conveniently Kali shows up and takes Kellan with her into the woods, fifteen minutes later...," his hand tapped gently on his desk, "...the battles over."

He leaned back looking across the desk, "Kellan told me there was a human family, desecrated by the goblins in the woods, murdered by the horde and in need of proper retrieval and burial... there was nothing out there, no bodies except for those of the goblins."

He leaned forward again, "All this right after Kali takes residence in the blight to the north of our City and Keep. Doesn't it seem strangely coincidental that several thousands goblins show up the same day she does? Doesn't it seem odd that not one of my patrols saw hide or hair of them and they were able to take us completely by surprise? The dragons never smelled them coming? We never heard them or saw the smoke from their fires? I don't know Tanjee, something just seems off."

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:02 pm


As Tanjee listened to him tell her of his suspicions she noticed he left out any mention he had solid proof Kali was behind any of it. There was strong suggestion she had something to do with it and he deducted quickly given the facts that were set out before him the mage had a hand, if not two, in everything that took place last night. And as Tanjee sat there listening to him lay this out like he did, she had to admit she could see how this looked from his point of view.

”I can se why you are troubled, Trystan. When you lay it out like that, there is little room for argument. But what if there was a totally logical explanation for all of this.”

She could see the look Trystan shot her.

”I have heard the men who return from patrol speak of attacks on remote villages and farms since the battle. We would kid ourselves if we thought all of the Dark Lady’s forces were driven from Ansalon entirely. And these random attacks are proof they have not left yet. But who would be so brave as to bring a horde of goblins to attack a Keep protected by a flight of dragons?”

Tanjee could see the wheels turning in Trystan’s mind as she spoke.

”And where was the rest of Nol’s flight? It was only Nol who came to the aid of the Keep last night. Dragons are not invincible. They suffer wounds as well as anyone else. Especially if they hits are in the right place.”

”I do not know Kali well at all. I only know that I have been told and what I hear others speak about her. I know she now wears the robes of black and while others instantly mark her as being ‘evil’, she is not. The only thing that makes her evil is what she uses her magic for. If she had anything to do with what happened last night, why did she not cause more damage if that was her goal? Ceridwyn has told me Kali is quite possibly the most powerful mage she has ever met and she told me Kali’s mind thinks more tactical than most military officers. It is the blood of both mother and father flowing through her veins that make her that way. And the life she had in the past. If Kali had something to do with what happened last night, there had to be logical reason for it. It may not seem logical to you or I, but there was a purpose for it all.”

She took a deep breath and sat back then, tilting her head slightly again.

”But I am not telling you anything you have not already considered. It is the ‘why’ you need answered. And only Kali can give that to you. The only thing I can offer you is this; I do not get the sense Kali is looking to harm anyone here in Heartlund. I believe she is trying to make a point. If she did indeed have something to do with the events of last night.”

Tanjee smiled a little more at Trystan and glanced at the coffee cup on his desk then back to him.

”Have you broken your fast? Coffee does not a breakfast make.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:27 pm

Keatara was still sporting stiff muscles from Gideon's tackle, but had he not tackled her, she would have been a pin cushion......a dead pin cushion. Now she was back to training the kids and James had come by to help her. She smiled and waved at him as he entered the training area. Curtis, on the other hand, was glaring at him. Something about the man just didn't sit right with the boy.

"I heard about what happened, Tara. Are you okay? Thank the Gods that Gideon got to you in time!"

James have her a sisterly hug, then looked her over for any wounds, much the way Tynen used to when she was little and had gotten into a scrape. She hugged him back then smiled at him. "Are you ready to train these hooligans some more? They've been chomping at the bit ever since the attack."

For the next few hours, James and Keatara worked with the children, Curtis taking joy in going up against James only to be knocked back a few feet time and again. Finally, James looked down at the boy, his eyes now hard and cold, "Boy....I know you don't like me and I don't like you.....hell, I don't like any of you little brats. But, if you don't want to see you're sweet, little teacher's heart get broken again, then you will curb your attitude towards me. I remind her of her lost brother and it would break her heart for me to leave because you can't find it in your selfish little mind to accept that I am here."

Curtis' eyes narrowed, but he knew that it would indeed break Tara's heart if James left and after what James had said, the boy was now afraid that his beloved teacher would blame him and his dislike for the man. He nodded his head then accepted the hand that James offered to help him up. "Wise decision, boy."





Tynen had just finished with a young woman from the latest village they'd attacked and ordered one of the men to remove her from his tent and pass her around. If she lived, then she would satisfy the men until they themselves were finished with her. He'd just received word from James that he and Keatara had grown close. The time was coming to make his move.....soon. He knew about the Goblins attack and chuckled. They were stupid creatures....but they served their uses as well. Perhaps it was time to offer them something....something they would want, in exchange for battering Heartlund, over and over. Keep them busy when he was ready to make his move. James had also reported about an elfen maid that was with Tara often....the two apparantly good friends. His thoughts began turning and a smile formed. His Dark Lady just might enjoy the elfin lady. Especially if she truly was a healer.......a follower of whatever that Goddess was called. Taking both of them just might be in his favor. Tynen smiled.....a smile that would have chilled the most cold-hearted of creatures to the bone.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:27 am


As the students broke for their mid day meal, Gideon came for a visit. He was still worried his tackle had been a bit rough for Tara, even though she seemed to shake it off. He saw her speaking with James for a moment then her eyes caught sight of him. He smiled at her and when James turned to see who Tara was smiling at, Gideon caught the barest glimpse of something in the man’s look that brought a flicker of concern to Gideon. As Gideon approached, though, James gave him a wide smile and extended his arm to Gideon. Perhaps Gideon was just overly protective of Tara. How could this jovial person cause him concern? Shaking the feeling off, Gideon smiled broadly and extended his arm, clasping forearms with James and nodding.

”Nice to see you again, James. How goes with the kids?”

James chuckled softly and shook his head as he released Gideon’s forearm.

“It goes. They are a rather tricky bunch. And they land blows from time to time that leave me a bit….tender, shall we say?”

James reached around like he was rubbing his bum and Gideon threw his head back laughing then clasped James on the shoulder soundly.

”Ah yes. If nothing else, they will make sure the enemy isn’t able to sit and enjoy a good meal anytime too soon.”

James laughed and nodded in agreement. He glanced at Tara then to Gideon and grinned.

“Well, I best be getting to my meal lest Miss Tara put me back to work without properly eating first.”

Gideon grinned and winked at James.

”She is quite the slave driver that way, isn’t she?”

Gideon was rewarded with Tara punching his bicep and he winced giving a heartfelt ouch then looked over at him with a twinkle in his dark eyes.

”What did I say?”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:22 pm

Tara looked up in Gideon's brown eyes and smiled, "A slave-driver, huh? You just wait.....once James and I are done training these hooligans, I'll turn them loose on you and your knights." She was laughing as Gideon bent down to kiss her, whispering into her ear, "So long as you are the one attacking me, m'lady." Tara blushed a deep red but molded her body to his as he put a protective arm around her. Her stomach growled and he chuckled leading her to her small cabin where they could eat their lunch.

Curtis watched Tara and Gideon walk away, wanting so badly to say something but not wanting to see Tara hurt by his dislike of James. Since James had come along, his teacher was laughing even more than before and he liked seeing her smile. Then the boy looked over to the shadows of Tara's cabin and saw James standing there.....staring at him with a knowing look. His head down, Curtis turned and walked away not seeing James' smug look on his face.

Ketara was enjoying her lunch with Gideon....the two of them stealing moments alone when they could. As she ate, Gideon fed her a piece of fruit, making her blush again. He seemed to enjoy doing that to her...making her turn pink and her green eyes twinkle. But, lunch was over too soon and with a lingering kiss, Gideon escorted her back to the training area where the children were waiting. Along with James, who was standing next to Curtis, his arm around the boy.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:00 am


Gideon placed his hand protectively over Tara’s as he escorted her back to training area as she looped her elbow with his. When he got there he saw James and Curtis standing there. You could read a lot by a person’s body language and Gideon was a seasoned fighter so he was more aware of it than Tara was. Something didn’t set right with the picture that was being displayed but Gideon couldn’t quite put his finger on it. He smiled friendly enough as he approached the group of waiting students.

”Well, I place your teacher back into your protective hands. Remember, if anyone gets a bit out of control, I’ll be the teacher then.”

As he talked his brown eyes looked around the gathered students but as he finished, his eyes seemed to bore into James and Curtis. Reluctantly releasing Tara’s hand, he brought it to his l ips and kissed the back of her knuckles before bowing ever so slightly.

”M’Lady……until we meet again.”

He gave her a playful wink then turned to look directly at Curtis again, still smiling.

”Take good care of my lady, young gentleman.”

Turning on his heel, he walked back out of the area and let Tara to her instructing. The smile he had plastered on his face left the moment he spun around. Something was amiss here but damned if he could figure out what it was. He’d be certain to let Tanjee know so she could keep an eye on things as well. He learned the Elfess had an uncanny ability to be very intuitive and he learned to trust her instincts.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:25 pm



Rose had decided to keep conversation with Kellen and Nol light and focused on matters other than business. She apologized to Nol for her comment that morning and for deciding at the last moment to put off what she wanted to talk to the two of them about. After the evenings events she felt the matter could wait one night. The two of them deserved a peaceful night’s sleep. There would be time to talk on the morrow before her next meeting with Kali.

Rose had risen early to the surprise of Larrisa and was almost fully dressed before the woman had arrived to awaken her. "Lady Rose... this is quite the surprise..."

Rose looked up and smiled briefly as she laced her boots. "I have a couple important meetings this morning and I have a driving need to stop by the church for prayer before I attend either of them."

Larrisa nodded her head "Prayer before a meeting, my lady feels that these are important matters indeed. Shall I have your meal ready in your office then?" Larrisa began packing things back up before Rose answered knowing good and well what her answer was. Rose simply looked up and smiled and shook her head.

"Larrisa I do not know how you do it.... You've been more than honest with me about your past and who you are yet you still insist on remaining here diligently tending to my every need at times."

With a slight shrug the young woman smiled "As I always say Lady Rose... my reasons are my own. Though I admit they are vastly different now than they used to be. " She winked as she spun in a rustle of cloth before vanishing out of the room.

Rose could only shake her head as she finished with her boots and reached for her cloak. That girl was the strangest elf she had ever known but she was ever grateful for her aid. Larrisa was a godsend and she did her best to treat her right. With a sigh she exited the warmth of her room into the cool morning air. The sun was just beginning to creep up upon the horizon as she wound her way to the church. She did not know why she felt so compelled to go but she did not question it. She left her morning guards Laustrom and Ella at the door entering alone closing the doors behind her.

Rose walked slowly across the room admiring the architecture as she always did. The sun was just entering the windows shining upon the statue of Paladine at the end of the walk way. Rose's steps slowed as she drew near the great piece of stonework. She slipped her hammer from it's casing bringing it before her and kneeled down before the statue lowering her head.

"Merciful Paladine, he who is just and righteous. I pledge myself to thee and on this day seek your guidance so that I to may walk the path of the just.”

The halls of the church were surprisingly silent and as this donned on Rose she felt a presence fill the room. It was a presence that was familiar to her but never had it been this strong. She could sense the presence of a figure but as much as she wanted to she dared not look up. A calm voice filled the air, it was soothing but commanded power. "You have thought long and hard and weighed the consiquences for better or ill. Are you confident in the decision you have reached."

Silence fell over the room and Rose could tell that the presence waited for her answer. She swallowed lifting her head enough to make her voice clear but her eyes remained cast down. "I am resolute in my choices Lord Paladine. I feel that the choices are for the greater good and the just ones. I am confident in them even if others are not."

There was a long pause and Rose could only wonder what thoughts were being considered. She felt a hand upon her shoulder and a warmth spread through her body before hearing two words as the presence of Paladine faded from the church "Be Strong..."

Rose stood from her knees looking to the statue of her god. She bowed deeply before spinning on her heel heading for the doors. Her guards must have heard her foot steps because the doors were opening as she approached. Her eyebrow quirked when the two guards spun around with a bewildered look upon their faces.

"Come... " She walked past the pair and proceeded down the hallway. She passed many knights who were starting their day sparing a moment every so often to wish her troops a proper good morning. Even then she it was not long before she stood before the doors of her office. She sighed staring upon the crest that adorned the heavy door before pushing it open. As she had instructed her meal sat ready and warm. She knew Kellan and Nol would be along shortly. Sitting behind her desk she picked lightly at her breakfast. For some reason she did not feel all that hungry.
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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:53 pm


The events of the night before plagued Kellan until the wee hours of the morning. Of course the fact Nol had gone to the area Ceridwyn had created for them to cool off once more had something to do with it, she was certain. But she spent a great deal of time in the silence of her quarters thinking over her decisions and what the ramifications were going to be. Thankfully Rose had decided to call it a night as well and gave her the night to think over everything that happened and write down the events as they unfolded in her report.

When Nol finally arrived after the midnight bell and before the first lights of dawn, Kellan felt her exhaustion come full circle. Everything seemed to overflow and she rested against the dragon in his Elf form and cried silent tears for the family that had been lost to the goblin shaman. But what she wept more for was the fact she had wanted so desperately to kill the creature. And she wanted to for the sheer reason she could.

Nol never asked her what she saw and she didn’t tell him either. It was just too painful for her to recount right now. In time she was certain she would be able to let him know. Perhaps when she gave her report to Lady Rose in the morning but not right now. All she wanted to do right now was seek blissful, mindless sleep. And she did.

When she heard the morning bell she blinked her eyes open and groaned at the bright light filling her room. Peering to the other side of the room, she saw Nol sitting there looking at her and smiling. It was the standard greeting he gave her each and every morning he was with her. She pulled the covers over her head to try and make the blaring reality of a new day go away but Nol would have none of that. Reaching under the blanket he grabbed a hold of her ankle and pulled until she was about to spill out of the bed.

”Rise and shine, sleepy head. A new day awaits.”

Kellan scrambled to try and get back onto the bed but Nol’s hold on her ankle was quite secure. AS she felt that split second moment just before she ended up on the floor approaching, she grabbed the blanket around her and ended up sitting on the floor next to her bed. Her hair was all askew and she was trying hard to look mad at Nol but she simply couldn’t.

”You’re lucky I love you else I’d be looking for my blade right about now.”

Nol laughed and gave her a devious look.

”And what makes you think you’d beat me at that?”

Kellan tried to look as dignified as she could.

”Because I would use my feminine wiles on you.”

This time Nol threw his head back and laughed heartily then looked at her grinning again.

”You MIGHT win with that.”

With an exasperated sigh, Kellan got to her feet and proceeded to get ready for her day. First things first, she would have to report to Lady Rose. A little while later she was dressed and ready to face the day. Opening the door to her room, she and Nol stepped out into the hallway and she closed the door behind her.

She was quiet as they moved through the hallways and even when Kellan stopped to grab a bite to eat, she didn’t say much to anyone. A few pleasant hello’s here and there but that was about it. Finally she made her way to Rose’s office and walked intot he outer room where Larissa seemed to be waiting for her and Nol. Kellan glanced at the closed door and the seal upon it then looked to Larissa and offered a warm smile.

”Good Morning, Larissa. Nol and I are here to report to Lady Rose as requested.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:07 pm




Tanjee had finally gotten Trysten to agree to eat something and was just leaving the Keep from her visit with him when she saw Gideon coming towards her. She smiled brightly as she saw him approach.

”Ah….Sir Gideon. I can tell by the color in your cheeks you have just come from a visit with a certain dark haired lady warrior.”

Gideon chuckled softly and nodded, quirking a brow at the Elfess.

“Is it really that obvious?”

Tanjee grinned and leaned forward slightly, lowering her voice.

”As the nose on your face, kind Sir.”

Gideon chuckled softly again and shook his head. He looked back at Tanjee and the smile faded slightly from his face.

“Might I have a word with you, Miss Tanjee?”

Tanjee noticed the smile was gone and Gideon seemed serious and she nodded then guided him to an area just out of ear shot of the mainstream.

”Absolutely. My ears are open to you, Sir Gideon.”

Gideon glanced around for a moment then looked into Tanjee’s green eyes.

“I’m not exactly certain of what I’m about to tell you. All I can tell you I know for sure is that something just isn’t right. The boy, Curtis, when I visited Tara today, it seemed as though there was something amiss but I was unable to stay longer to see if I was either correct or just being paranoid. I don’t think the trouble is with him. I believe it may be James. And for all I know it could be a case of jealousy at who has the teachers favor right now. But….”

Tanjee cut him off before he could finish.

”You would like it if I could keep an eye on things when you are not there.”

Gideon nodded. Tanjee listened to everything Gideon told her and as he was explaining things, she felt it was just a case of his own protective nature coming out in him. She’d spent plenty of time around the children and James and she had not seen any trouble. But, she had learned to trust Gideon’s instincts and she would at least offer to be another set of eyes for him to feel more at ease about.

”I would be glad to do so. Things have slowed down here and most of the planning is complete for Ceridwyn and my brother’s wedding back in Silvanost so I can spend a little more time with Tara. If I see anything suspicious, I promise to send word right away to you.”

Gideon seemed to sigh relieved and smiled revealing those dimples again.

“Thank you, Miss Tanjee. I appreciate it.”

Tanjee smiled and touched Gideon’s elbow, nodding.

”If nothing else, I shall put your fears to rest once and for all. But I think it is sweet that you care so much for Tara. I am glad she has found someone who wishes to protect her after all she has been through.”

Gideon nodded again.

“Aye. I’m glad I am here to do so.”

Gideon smiled once more then nodded.

“Well, I need to get back to work. Thank you again.”

Tanjee smiled back and nodded.

”Anytime, Sir Gideon.”

As she watched the Knight walk away, she smiled all dreamy like. Turning, she headed for the area Tara was training the children so she could watch and observe for herself to see if anything seemed….odd.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:42 pm



Larrisa smiled and bowed to the pair when Kellan greeted her. She sat the stack of papers in her hand down and motioned for the pair to follow. "I believe her ladyship is awaiting you inside."

She tapped on the door three times waiting for a few moments before Rose bid them entry. Again Larrisa smiled as she reached for the door to let the pair into the room. Rose sat at her desk looking over a large leather bound book. Rose looked up and smiled as she closed the large tome and stood motioning for the pair to join her. "Come, please take a seat..."

Rose waited for the pair to sit and she took note of the report in Kellan's hands. "Just set that on my desk Kellan. That is a matter that can wait for the moment."

As Rose sat Kellan would have a chance to notice a few things at the desk. To the side sat a tray with the remnants of breakfast. This usually indicated that Rose had spent her morning in the church. Any knight that had spent time under Rose knew this fact. The second glaringly obvious item was the large leather tome that now sat on Rose's desk. Kellan would recognize it as the Book of Names. Every knight that entered and left Rose's service had their name and length of service entered into the tome.

Rose's fingers laced together as her hand came to rest on the cover of the book. "I have thought long and hard about what I have to say to you both today. Being a leader can be a difficult task, especially when you have to make decisions for the great good. Decisions that are hard to make and harder still for others to accept."

Rose shifted her eyes to Nol "Nol, you and your kin have been a godsend and I can not thank you enough for what you have done. You have been here these past months helping us rebuild and somewhere we forgot that fact. You are here out of your own kindness to lend aid. Your presence has been taken forgranted and I can not apologize enough for that. By my estimates with your aid the repairs would be done in a matter of weeks. I will leave it to you to decide if you and your brethren wish to stay until completion. After that I would ask that your presence here be lowered, but only because I think it would be better for the people to not depend on your being here." Roses eyes looked at them both "I am not the most eloquent person with my words Nol but I think you understand what I mean. We humans have a habit of being a selfish forgetful breed and we tend to forget our place when we grow complacent and comfortable. You and your kin deserve more respect than that."

Her eyes then shifted to Kellan "Lady Kellan... your life has taken an interesting turn and you have been given a divine purpose. I recognize that this could put you at odds with the code of the knights, and because of this I am honorably discharging you from service effective the moment Nol and his flight are prepared to leave Heartlund. In short you are a knight until your path leads you from these halls. You will be free to pursue your divine charge, but will bring no dishonor to yourself or your family name for doing so. I will see to this personally." Rose smiled "Of course should you find yourself any place that is under my personal banner you will be welcomed with open arms as a Knight of the Crown with all rights and privileges that title entails."

Rose sat and patiently waited for Kellan to collect herself. Rose had just handed her a get out of knighthood free card. She hoped that they would see the wisdom behind this gesture. It was not likely to go over well with some of the knighthood, but it was clear Rose was more than prepared to deal with the matter. Kellan was a dragon rider of Paladine now and not a knight of the ancient order. Her calling was higher and as a paladin Rose knew what that meant more than anyone else. She wanted to let Kellan answer that calling without hesitation or regret and she hoped that they could see this.
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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:46 pm


Kellan was very observant. She always had been. And that particular trait had grown with her time in the Myst Isle so when she noticed the half eaten breakfast she knew Rose had been busy already this morning. And there were still a few more hours yet to go in the morning.

When her eyes saw the Book of Names, she wondered what Rose had been doing with it out but never questioned. There could have been a number of reasons and Kellan had no right to pry into those affairs. After all, she was a Warrior of the Crown, at least for a little while longer anyway, and not a commanding officer as Rose was.

As Kellan sat listening to Rose speak to Nol, Kellan sat straight in the chair. It was obvious Rose had been in thought about her words but Kellan never expected to Rose more or less say the same thing Nol himself had spoken no less than 24 hours ago. What a difference a day makes Kellan admired Rose for speaking so matter of fact. It was one of the many things Kellan admired about Rose. She glanced over at Nol and saw he was glad to hear Rose say what she said and Kellan felt a small smile tug at the corners of her lips.

When Rose addressed her, Kellan felt almost like she was getting ready to be placed under a microscope but when she heard what Lady Rose said, she was frozen in place like a statue. She had even stopped breathing. It wasn’t until she heard Nol’s voice in her mind that she finally made any indication she was still among the living.

Blinking, she took a deep breath and felt tears sting the back of her eyes. Her hands had grabbed a hold of the end of the chair arms so tightly her knuckles were turning white. As the news sunk in and Kellan realized what Rose was doing for her, she glanced quickly over at Nol then back to Rose.

”I…..I don’t…..know what to say, Lady Rose. I-I mean thank you seems so insufficient and yet….I can’t begin to thank you for what you’re doing. In all honesty, I was going to announce to you this morning I had planned on leaving the Knighthood. Not because I no longer cared to be a part of such a time honored tradition and calling, but….simply as you have indicated. I feel as though my calling is for higher purposes. What you’ve given me….given my family….is nothing short of a miracle. And I can’t help but feel as though my prayers have been answered. Again.”

Taking another deep breath to calm herself as best she could even more, she glanced over at Nol and saw him looking at her with pride and love in his gaze. She looked back at Lady Rose again.

”Thank you, M’lady. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:33 pm



Rose's smile spread from ear to ear as she inclined her head towards Kellan. "You are most welcome Lady Kellan. I know this decision will not make some of our number happy, but in the end it is my decision." Rose reached for her cup sipping from her drink "I would also note that this decision has the backing of the the heads of the other two orders as well."

She could see the raised eyebrow of Nol and the questioning look in his eyes. "I have paid close attention to Kellan since she returned on the day of the battle Nol. Her tasks were performed to the letter as I expected but the enthusiasm had disappeared from her. Her time away from the knights has allowed her to approach it with more open eyes allowing her to see the things that I see every day. Her new path could not have stayed in line with the knights forever. I knew that eventually they would be in conflict so I discussed my options with the heads of the Sword and Rose on their last visit a month ago. After what happened yesterday morning I decided that the time had come to grant Kellan her freedom."

Rose sat back in her chair letting out a sigh. "I should have done it some time ago honestly. There will be one less person present in this keep that I can trust implicitly, and thanks to the battles nine months ago there were already to few as it is." Rose managed a smile

"Be thankful you were never put in a formal command position Kellan. The political games that are taking place at any given point in time are mind boggling. There are always people jockeying for promotion and gods only knows what Larrisa and Trystan will dig up for me by the end of the month. Right now I know of two knights attempting to pull strings and acquire favors to be chosen as a rider candidate." Rose sat back rubbing her temples. "The fools have no clue the degree of scrutiny I will place upon them and anyone else who's name comes across my desk."
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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:23 pm

Keatara was putting the children through their paces, laughing at their antics whenever one would decide to try to overtake her or James. She noticed, however, that Curtis was hanging back which was odd for the boy. He was usually outgoing, rambunctious, and ornery. The past few days though, he was quiet and reserved.

Leaving the children paired up, she walked over to him, not knowing that James was watching closely. Smiling at the boy, she spoke to him, "Curtis...is everything okay? Are ye feeling sickly?" It was a few moments before he answered her and she waited patiently. "Yes, ma'am. I'm okay...just have a lot on my mind, is all." Tara chuckled at him, "And what would possibly be weighing heavily on ye mind? Especially tha' of a thirteen year old lad?" Curtis looked up and saw James' staring at him, the gaze of the man sent chills down the boy's spine. "I'm just worried about my family and whether or not I can protect them when the next attack comes, that is all. You know that my father was injured the last time. I just worry about them and my little sister."

Tara sat down next to Curtis, deciding that he needed for her to speak to him like he was a man instead of a young boy. "Curtis....with all the training I be given ye...there is no guarantee that ye will be able to protect those ye love. If tis their time, then they will be called over to the other side. All ye can do is love them in the here and now. Make sure that they know that ye love them." She thought then of her own family and how she'd lost them, her green eyes filling with sorrow. Curtis' little sister was the little girl she'd nicknamed 'Cherub' and she too worried about the girl, but she also knew that she could only do her best and no more. "Curtis.....how about if we get ye'er little sister in here. The youngest child here is ten....mayhap we should go younger. What do ye think about that?"

Curtis looked over at James then back at Tara and knew that he didn't want his little sister anywhere near the man. "I don't think that is a good idea, Miss Tara. Maybe as young as seven or eight, but four I think is too young." Curtis was sitting up a little straighter now, Tara having treated him like a young man instead of a young boy and asking him for his opinion on this matter. "Okay...mayhap ye'er right, Curtis. Four be too young. But, if ye ever need someone to chat with....about anything, ye know I am here for ye....no matter what it is. Okay?" She patted him on the shoulder as if he were an adult and went back to the group, smiling at James as she did.

"Is the boy okay, Tara?"

"Aye, he be okay, James. Just worrying about things with his own family, tis all."

She then started sparring with the children again, occasionally looking over at Curtis to make sure he was okay, not forcing him just yet to get back into the training routine.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:22 am


Kellan listened to Rose and knew the decision she made wasn’t an easy one to come to. Just as Kellan’s own decision wasn’t easy. It seemed both women were thinking along the same lines at the same time but had no clue about the other. She glanced over at Nol and saw the look in his eyes and she felt her lips tugging in a small smile before she turned her attention back to Rose.

”You couldn’t be more correct than if you had privilege to my thoughts, Commander. The time I spent away from the Knights HAS opened my eyes to things more prevalent than the Knights and our society. While I know we took an oath to uphold good and defend the defenseless, there are times when I will have to strike first without provocation. But that doesn’t mean the enemy is innocent. It merely means I had the upper hand. And I will use that to my advantage each and every time I can.”

She glanced at Nol then back to Rose.

”Acquiring favors won’t make a hill of beans to become a dragon rider. Nol’s flight can easily weed out any and all potential candidates who won’t be able to hold up to the pressures of the training. And they can do it in a few short hours. It’s ultimately your decision but if they think they can handle the rigors of training, let them try. There will be a pool to select from and the sooner we start weeding out the candidates who can’t handle it, the closer we are to gaining those who can.”

Kellan’s gaze settled on Rose’s then and she spoke in a soft but sincere tone.

”And just because I’m leaving here eventually doesn’t mean I’m unreachable. Whenever you need me, I will come to you. It’s the least I could do considering all you’ve done for me.”





Tanjee slipped into Tara’s training ground quietly, virtually unnoticed by the attention of the students Tara had. She took Gideon’s words to heart and made it her mission, right now, to keep her eyes on James. And to see how Curtis interacted with him.

As Tara worked with the class, Tanje noticed how far the children had come. It was the right decision of getting Tara to work with the kids. She had a natural way about her that made the children feel at ease and eager to learn. Especially when learning from a woman who had as much experience as Tara.

Tanjee saw Tara speaking to Curtis about how he was feeling and Tanjee was thinking perhaps the young man was overworked. She thought about walking over to see for herself but she remained where she was. No one had taken notice of her thus far and she really didn’t want anyone to do so now.

As she watched Curtis talking to Tara, she saw the way he looked at James a few times and the way James looked back to him. Tanjee was no warrior by any stretch of the imagination but she wasn’t born yesterday either. Especially after watching her brother all that time influenced by a dark force. Tanjee knew when there was something amiss.

Perhaps Gideon wasn’t being paranoid. Until she had more proof, though, Tanjee had to make sure her allegations would hold up and to do that, she had to become a ranger like her brother….only….she wouldn’t be in the woods.

Her mind made up, Tanjee sat still and observed the kids as they sparred for the afternoon.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:35 pm

Tara was working alongside James in sparring with the children, her laughter drawing smiles from the children. James kept glancing over at Curtis, as he sparred with them. Finally the day ended, the children were tired but smiling. James walked over to Curtis and sat down next to the boy as if they were old friends, "You are worrying her, you know. I wouldn't think that you would like to see your teacher worry about you. Tomorrow, get back into the training." He patted Curtis on the shoulder in a brotherly fashion, leaning in to whisper into his ear, "We wouldn't want anything to happen to any of your family, now would we, boy?" Curtis sat there, not looking at him...not moving. He just stared at his folded hands in his lap and muttered a 'yes m'lord'. James smiled at him, "Good then...you and I will spar tomorrow and show Tara what you have learned." He left the boy as he headed for his room above the eastern stables.

Keatara had been watching from inside the door to the storage shed, her gaze worried at Curtis' lack of reaction when James sat down next to him. Something wasn't right, but she couldn't put her finger on it. She liked James....he reminded her of Tynen, before he changed. Before he turned dark. But, she felt that Curtis didn't like him and wondered if he was jealous. She suspected that Curtis had a crush on her and she didn't want to hurt his feelings, knowing how hard it was to be his age, but she also didn't want their to be hard feelings between Curtis and James. She sighed, finishing putting away the wooden weapons when James came over to her.

"Tara", he said with a smile and a twinkle in his eyes, "I was thinking about heading out tomorrow to do some hunting. What to tag along? The children could possibly use a break as well. Time to help out at their homes....play, be kids instead of training. What do you think?"

She smiled, "That be a sound idea, James. An' I be likin' a bit of huntin'. I be ready at dawn, James and waitin' for ye outside the gates."

"Good....we will help stock the larders at the dining hall with fresh meat for the cooks to cure. And you can also look for fresh herbs if you like for medicinal training for the children."

James walked away from her, the look on his face one of happiness and contentment. But inside his mind, he was thinking about getting work to Tynen. Tomorrow was just one of the first of hunting trips with Tara. Soon, he would deliver her to her brother.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:50 am


Tanjee made sure she blended in with her surroundings as best she could. It was a natural ability Elves seemed to have. Even when they weren’t in the woods, they adapted as best they could to their environment. And Tanjee was no exception.

As she sat observing the interaction of the children with each other and Tara, she saw the admiration and respect in their eyes as well as the drive to do well under her instruction. Her green eyes flickered to James and Curtis from time to time as she watched them interact with each other in particular.

As they day was drawing to a close, Tanjee sank further back out of the way and observed Curtis and James when James approached Curtis. The best thing about being Elven is that people forget just how remarkable your sight and hearing are. So when James walked over to Curtis, Tanjee made certain she was focused in on the two of them.

She heard everything James spoke to Curtis about, except for when he leaned in closer and spoke to the boy in a whisper. At that point, she could only gather snippets of the conversation. But it didn’t take an alchemist to know there was something very off with the two of them. Especially given Curtis’ reaction to whatever James said to him.

She was just getting ready to go talk to Tara about it when she saw James approaching her friend and decided to stay put. Her eyes narrowed as she watched James. On the surface, he seemed rather…..nice. But Tanjee, more than anyone, knew a wolf could don the hide of a sheep and fool even the best. As she heard what James proposed, Tanjee knew she would insert herself into the hunt, and if she couldn’t, she would make sure to follow along and watch the man even more.

As James turned and walked away, Tanjee emerged from the hiding spot she’d been in for most of the afternoon making it seem as though she’d just arrived. As she approached James, she gave him a small smile and nod of the head as she walked past him on her way to see Tara. After she passed by the man, her smile faded and her brows furrowed. Walking to the storage shed, Tanjee walked in and smiled slightly at her friend.

”How did the training go today, Tara? I just saw James walking away and he looked rather happy about something. Don’t tell me you’re thinking of letting Gideon go. You two make such a wonderful pair…..”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:12 am



Rose simply smiled and shook her head. “Indeed I am certain that Nol and the others will sort out the weeds quickly, but I would be lacking in my role as leader to not strip away some of the trash first. In the end I know that only the just men worthy of Paladine’s favor will be chosen.” Rose sat back in her seat looking to the window watching the rising sun. The noon hour was approaching and she knew that Trystan and Kali would both be arriving before too long. Letting out a long sigh Rose shook her head looking at Nol and Kellen once more.

“Our other guests will be arriving soon. I am unsure of how the meeting will progress.” Rose looked directly at Nol “Kali… has a proposal to make. We talked briefly about the matter last evening before the battle took place. I would appreciate your opinion on the matter after the meeting if you don’t mind Master Nol. Your knowledge of the world might give you better insight into things. I wish I could say more but I don’t believe we have the time for a full explanation.”

Rose reached for her glass once more and drained the contents. Despite Kali’s words she was certain there was more to this expedition than was being revealed. Mages were complicated and their reasons for their actions equally so. A mage like Kali rarely did things on a whim. She was every bit the thinker that her father was, and that alone was enough to trouble Rose’s thoughts. Rose did her best to keep conversation pleasant while they waited, sharing some of her more embarrassing stories from her days as a squire in the knighthood.



The frigid winds howled as they blew through the snowcapped mountains of the southern lands of Krynn. Piramay listened to the howling winds as she stared out a window into the cold darkness. It was an unpleasant and lifeless place and it brought a smile to her face. Fifth had planned this little retreat well putting it in a place no one would ever think the fire mage would go. Of course it was meant t be a sanctuary for them both but it was funny how things worked out sometimes.

Her eyes lowered to the soul gem that rested in the palm of her hand. It pulsed rhythmically as she watched it before holding it up to the window. “It is a shame you aren’t here in body to appreciate this place Fifth.” The memory of his face when the realization of what she was going to do to him set in was still fresh in her mind. She could not think of a more gratifying look at any point in her life that brought her this much joy. Her hand clasped around the gem and she returned it to her pocket as she spun on her heel stepping from the window.

The place she resided in now had been carved into the side of a mountain. The spot had been chosen do to a volcanic fissure that was nearby and that was where the heat for the tower was drawn from. Piramay could honestly say that despite the weather outside the keep, she was quite comfortable inside the walls around her. The past few months had been spent sorting the place to her liking as well as studying much of the material Fifth had brought here. It was like he had anticipated their failure all along. An amusing thought to say the least of the matter, but unsettling as well.

If he had only listened to her warnings the girl would have never had the chance to turn the tables on them. His own arrogance had blinded him to the truth and had cost them considerably. The one consolation was that Kali had not escaped unscathed. Piramay doubted the girl was dead and because of that she exercised due diligence and had been busy planning and studying.

She had lost access to much of the power she had gained from the towers she was still far stronger then she was before the towers were summoned. In fact her power had nearly consumed her very being, and while Fifth only needed to rest, she had to let her body heal as well. It was a curious feeling as she recalled being wrapped in the tower’s magic as her former abode pieced her together again slowly and purposefully. To her knowledge though it was something Fifth had not expected as there was no mention of it in his notes.

It was an issue for another time though as her thoughts were focused on the need to find a worthwhile aid. With Fifth dead there were few wizards capable of assisting her with her plans and fewer still that would willingly aid her risking the wrath of the Dark One. Piramay entered her study and with wave of her hand brought the candles in the room to life. She walked up to her desk and scanned the various books spread across the top and shook her head. The whistle of a tea kettle drew her attention away from the tomes.

The flame beneath the kettle died away upon her approach. Kali had introduced her to the wonders of tea, and despite her complete and utter disdain for the young woman she could not deny the pleasant aroma and taste of the concoction. It was quite the study aid when she felt like burning a candle into the darkest hours of the night. Taking her cup of tea Piramay sat down at her desk and began pouring over the tomes. Late into the night as the flames flickered in the hallways of her new home a soft chuckle drifted through the halls.
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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:10 am

Tynen and his followers were slowly making their way to the keep. He was leaving a bloody path in his wake, his evil growing stronger by day. The Dark Lady had bestowed upon him great strength and speed and no one had been able to best him. Not even the knights dispatched to protect the villages. He was now being called Tynen the Merciless for he killed without mercy, whether it be man, woman or child. He often thought of his sister, Keatara and the elfen woman she called friend. James had sent word to him that Keatara's trust was growing rapidly and they would be starting to hunt together. Time was drawing nearer for when he would have her in his grasp and she would either join him or be a as he sacrifice to the Dark Lady.

On this day, he'd just finished with a large village and had rewarded his men with the spoils.....any woman of their choosing, so long as they were disposed of once they were finished with them. He turned to the dark haired wench laying upon his floor in his tent. Her sightless eyes staring at him as he smiled at her. He called for two of his men, having them remove her body from his tent as he made further plans for when his sister was in his grasp.




Keatara woke early, making sure that word was sent to the children and their families that today there would be no training so that they could have a day of rest. She was anxious for the upcoming hunt with James, eager to be out from behind the protected walls of Heartlund. She made sure everything was ready and in perfect working order, having oiled her bowstring the night before and sharpening her arrow heads. Once everything was readied, she made sure she was dressed for hunting, donning her breeches and tunic instead of her normal armor.

She ate a quick breakfast of bread, cheese and wine and the slung her bow and quiver of arrows over her shoulder. She left her small cabin just as the sun was rising, heading for the main gates where James was waiting for her. "I'm glad you came, Keatara. A short hunting trip is what is needed I believe, to break the monotony of every day training."

Keatara smiled at him as the gate guard, having already been informed the upcoming hunt, opened the gates to allow them out into the forests. "Aye...I agree, James. I be needing a short reprieve and a hunt is perfect. Thank ye for thinking of it."

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:45 am


Nol listened intently as Rose spoke, watching her facial expressions and also watching Kellans. He locked eyes with Rose as she spoke and he smiled when she finished, speaking with a soft tone to his voice, "Commander Rose what brings you honor in your strength is a moon cast shadow compared to the honor brought you by humility and vulnerability. Your apology is accepted with my full heart, and the matter is forgotten. I have sent my flight to their homes for a rest, they have earned it but they will return in three days. I appreciate your words and know that I made a commitment to you that I will not break, even if the air was foul between us my intentions were to stay and see the new wall built. Your men can not move the stones, we still have a months worth to bring, we are willing to do what it takes."

He reached over and took Kellan's hand in his own, the heat coming off his scales was intense, it was the what she always felt and it was part of the paradox of what he was. Though he was a creature that craved and needed cold his skin constantly shed the heat inside his body, the result was a constant warmth to those who touched him. He continued speaking to Rose, "As for your request, I would be happy to stay and listen in on what Kali has to say."


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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:50 am


Kellan enjoyed sitting and talking with Rose in an informal setting. It did her heart good to see the woman was not so out of touch with the world around her for all the decisions she had to make and work she did to try and maintain order among her Knights while maintaining peace with the dragons. Not that the dragons would ever harm the Knights, but as things clearly showed earlier, tensions do grow between the two species and sometimes, a separation of the two is needed.

When Nol reached for her hand, she marveled at the warmth she always felt in his touch and gently curled her fingers around his hand. It was something she still was getting used to. Not the warmth he exuded but the fact he was such a contradiction of a creature. He needed the cold to survive yet he gave such warmth to others.

She looked over at him and smiled softly, giving is hand a gentle squeeze. The news Rose gave her releasing her from her Knights duties was more than Kellan could have ever hoped for. While there was a time Kellan would have been appalled at such a thing, now she saw it as a blessing.

Kellan would always and forever be a Solamnic Knight at heart, but her duties now lay with Nol and the other Dragons. And to the High Born. He entrusted her with the knowledge of the Dragons and their riders to find others like her so they could fight against the Dark One.





On the other side of the gates, concealed in the remaining tress the elves occupied prior to the battle, a lone figure crouched and watched the pair of hunters exiting the Keep. It was not unlike Tanjee to be in the trees and forests near Heartlund. But what was unlike her was the fact she wore earth tone colored clothing. And her normally visible amulet of Mishakal was concealed beneath her clothing to prevent it from catching a stray ray of light from the morning sun and reflecting it to the hunters.

She needed to be utterly invisible to the hunters. And as an Elf, she could do so naturally. While she wasn’t the seasoned ranger her brother was, she had spent enough time in her natural environment, as all elves do, to be able to become one with the world around her.

And for some reason Tanjee had a nagging feeling that would not leave her alone until she decided to follow Tara and this James. As a precaution, she had slung around her shoulder the bow Aeolis had taught her to use when she was younger. While she was no crack shot like her brother or Olwa, she was fairly accurate and had brought down several rabbits and deer in her lifetime.

As the hunters moved further away from the Keep, Tanjee used the trees to move and follow them from above. When the time came for her to descend, she would, but until then, she would remain within the foliage the leaves of the trees provided.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant   Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:53 am




Nol suddenly quirked a brow and interrupted the conversation, "It appears as if our final guest has arrived."

Rose and Kellan turned to look at him just as a small knock came to the door. Before Rose could answer the door opened and Kali stepped inside. A chill entered the room as she looked to the three faces greeting her. Lady Rose began to stand and Kali spoke barely above a whisper, "Don't get up, this is your space but there is no need for the formality of the Knighthood, let's keep things simple."

Nol furrowed his brows slightly and glanced to Kellan and then to Rose. Rose seemed completely unaffected by what Kali had just said but Kali's backhanded words always seemed to affect him more than the others. He was doing his best to take it in stride and stay civil as Kali shifted her eyes to his face. Kali sneered slightly seeing that she had gotten the best of Nol yet again and then looked at Lady Rose as she motioned to a third chair against the wall, "May I?"

Rose nodded with a smile and Kali lifted her hand and pointed at the chair. She moved her hand towards the desk and the chair moved across the floor and stopped in front of the desk. Nol tightened his jaw as he watched Kali, this was nothing more than a show of power, there was no need to move a chair magically except to gain the upper hand mentally in a room and he could see right through what Kali was doing. Kali didn't even make eye contact with him as she walked over to the chair and sat with cat like grace. She looked at Rose and spoke again, "Might I trouble you for some hot water Commander?"

Rose nodded again and spoke to one of the guards outside the door to bring some hot water and a mug as Kali gave a slight nod of thanks. She cleared her throat and spoke, "Lady Kellan and Nol, thank you for being here, what I have to say Lady Rose is already aware of but I will need your aid as well so it is serendipitous that you are here." Nol furrowed his brow deeply and interrupted, "We are not here as servants of the Lady of the Black Tower Kali, our purpose is..." Kellan squeezed his hand just enough to snap him out of what was surly to become an explosion of words and he stopped himself.

Kali smirked as she locked eyes with Nol and spoke again, "I beg your forgiveness ancient of ancients, I chose my words poorly. Of course you are free agents and the choice is yours if you wish to accompany Lady Rose and I on our expedition to the south."

Nol quirked a brow and turned to Lady Rose who returned his gaze and gave a slight nod that she was in fact planning on leaving with Kali for some yet to be revealed purpose. Nol looked back at Kali and spoke, "Fine, I'm listening." Kali smiled, this time her facial expression was softer. Roses aid returned with the hot water and Kali looked up at the young woman, "It's Larissa yes?" Larissa nodded and Kali spoke, "Many thanks to you Larissa, I simply can't seem to function anymore without my tea."

Kali removed the pungent smelling bag from within her robes and scooped out a small amount of the shimmering powder into the mug before she poured the hot water in. The smell of whatever she had put into the cup filled the room, it was pleasant yet strangely foul all at the same time. Kali lifted the cup to her face and sipped before looking at Nol and Kellan, "It is for the pain, Ceridwyn was kind enough to mix it for me and give me the recipe." Clearly the scars on her face were only the beginning of her suffering due to the incidents nine months ago.

She cleared her throat softly and looked back to Nol and Kellan, "So where was I... ah yes, the expedition to the south. As you both may be aware Piramay is still a threat to Krynn. Once she finds out that I have claimed the remaining tower and brought it under my control she is sure to seek revenge. The heart of Piramay is one which does not take kindly to defeat and surely she will see my occupation of what she and Fifth created as a slap to the face. In the end however I can assure you that I will make a much more amiable neighbor to Heartlund than she would. That notwithstanding this entire region is not safe, at least not yet. If I know Piramay, and I know her fairly well, she will be back once she has regained her strength and formed a plan, a plan which I am certain will revolve around razing Heartlund to ash. When we were part of the collective mind we learned and adapted to one another, she and I and Fifth. Where this puts us at an advantage is I have a much clearer vision of who she is and what ambitions lie in her heart. The downside is she too has insight into me, and therefore we are truly equals. Fifth's mind was immaterial as I lived among them, he was her puppet all along and it took every ounce of charm I had to keep his attention focused on me instead of her. Fifth's weakness always was women, I am not sure if Piramay knew that, but as I was his student for almost a hundred years I had figured out exactly what to say and how to say it in order to bend him to my will. So in that respect he revealed to me many more secrets than he did to her, which again would put us to an advantage over her."

The three of them seemed to perk up slightly and she took another draw of her tea before continuing, "However...," She glanced at the three of them, "I have strong evidence to suggest that Piramay possesses Fifth's soul." Kellan and Rose looked shocked at this news but Nol only kept his eyes locked on Kali and responded, "The soul wells..."

Kali looked at Nol and nodded, "Yes, the soul wells. What was Fifth's most powerful creation was ironically also what cost him his own body. Fifth is too powerful even without a body to be released from the soul well, I am certain Piramay knows this, she is much more cunning and intelligent than Fifth gave her credit for where he saw her as an enforcer I was able to see through her facade and discern a sharp and cunning sorceress. Having access to my mind and my Father's inherited ability for strategy only made her more powerful, it was a calculated risk I had to take in order to defeat the towers. Unfortunately since she is in possession of Fifth's soul it is only a matter of time before she will be able to unlock more of his secrets and grow in strength, a strength which I assure you is quite considerable already."

"I spoke with Lady Rose last night regarding an artifact which may be in the ruins of Icewall castle in Icereach."

Nol interupted, "The Everwinter?"

Kali turned and looked at Nol with a smile, "I see that the lore of mortals is still on the mind of the ancients."

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Book 2 - Ch 3: The Remnant
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