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 Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:06 pm


The magnitude of all of this was overwhelming and Kellan felt herself sway slightly. She was going to be able to live for……She was grateful for Raju standing so close as she reached out to steady herself. Once she was steady, she reached and hugged Raju tightly as she whispered in her friend, soon to be sister’s ear.

”Thank you seems so insignificant to say to you…..but thank you, Raju. I’m….speechless….”

Slowly releasing Raju, she turned to Nol then and reached for him. In an instant he was there holding her against him as she hugged him tightly as well.

”I….I don’t know what….to say, Nol….”

She lifted her face to look into his.

”Our future…..”

Her emotions got the best of her and she couldn’t say anything as she closed her eyes and lowered her head as her hands rested gently on his chest. After a few moment, she was able to compose herself and after swallowing hard a few times, she lifted her tear filled eyes to his.

”I truly owe my life to you, my love.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:52 am





Raju smiled, touched her chest over her heart and inclined her head to Kellan, "It is I who am honored."

As Kellan turned to Nol and spoke he simply smiled and let the moment pass between them, not interrupting the silence knowing that sometimes silence says more than words ever could. When she finally lifted her face to look at him and spoke of owing her life to him he shook his head and whispered, "You owe me nothing my moon and stars, nothing at all."

Raju stepped forward and with the familiar playful smirk whispered, "Nol is right sister, technically you will owe it to me."

Nol snapped his head as did Kellan and they could both see that Raju was barely containing her laughter, she spoke as she tried to hold it back, "I... I'm sorry, I just can't help myself."

All three erupted into giggles and Raju stepped in, putting her arms around both of them. Nol brought his arms around Raju and Kellan and whispered, "Our future..."

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:15 am

The festivities of the first feast never really came to an end, it just grew less quiet with less attendance as the night moved on. As the well wishers began to slip away to their homes, The Queen and Speaker of the Stars finally excused themselves from the revelry. With little fan fare, they slipped away quietly to let the others leave when they were ready.

Shaer fell asleep in Kalli’s arms after playing with, on and around his sister. Rayann saw the way Kali acted with him and she knew there was no doubt she deeply loved her brother and that gave Rayann peace. Her daughter may not be on the same path as her, but at least Kali had not lost focus on the fact she is loved and always will be.

It was with great reluctance Rayann scooped her son up from her daughter to retire to the room with Myth. With a tender kiss to Kali’s cheek, she spoke softly to her daughter before departing.

”I have enjoyed this evening, Kali. I love you. Rest well, daughter.”

At almost the same time, Aeolis finally pulled Ceridwyn away from a group of Elder Elves that seemed to have captured her attention for the last hout. With a polite excuse, he took her gently by the arm and escorted her to the door at the end of the Hall of Stars.

Smiling with all the love he felt for his bride, he reached and touched her soft skin with the back of his fingers before leaning in and kissing her softly then pulling back to look into her eyes.

”I can see you are very tired, Mela en' coiamin. I shall escort you to your chambers here and say my goodnight there.”

He saw Ceri about to say something and he had an idea what it was and he pressed his finger gently to her lips.

”This sort of celebration will be nonstop until the Speaker announces the official end of it. Come. You need your rest. I do not want you to get too tired on me.”

The mischievous glint in Aeolis’ eyes made Ceri blush prettily and he chuckled softly as he tucked her arm under his and escorted her to her chambers.






Elsewhere in Silvanesti, the sky was slowly turning from inky black to the slightest hint of blue. Pela and Olwa and traveled a good distance and as dawn began to present itself, they were both exhausted. After some searching, they found a cave well away from any trail or animal path that had been the den of some animal a while ago, but there had been nothing using it for quite some time.

With one last glance around to make sure they were safe and concealed, Pela and Olwa settled down to get some much needed rest. They had every intention to remain as alert as they could but they didn’t realize how exhausted they really were and in no time, they were both sleeping very soundly huddled up with each other. Olwa wrapped in his warm, traveling cloak and Pela snuggled up against him but outside the cloak.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:10 pm


The dawn broke and time crept slowly as the Kagonesti Elf watched the mouth of the shelter Olwa and Pela had selected. She scanned constantly with her dark eyes keeping watch remaining as quiet and still as the forest around her. As the morning passed she felt the slight twinge of hunger grasp at her stomach. She was only speculating but she wasn't sure either of the two in the cave had brought any provisions. She looked around intently, watching the forest floor and noticed that they were in good forests, she knew it was a matter of bidding her time. It wasn't long before a small covey of grouse came up over the rise and were feeding and clucking in her direction. She watched with her dark eyes, her keen vision tracking her quarry and waiting for the exact moment.

The sinister hiss of an arrow whistling through the air lasted only a millisecond and two grouse were pinned to the floor of the forest. The rest scattered and in a flash she was on top of the two birds, whispering prayers of thanks and apology, assuring that their passage was an appreciated sacrifice so she and her companions could live. With two quick movements of her dagger the grouse were dead. She field dressed them, committing their innards to the other creatures of the forest and then turned her attention to the cave. She moved slowly and deliberately, she could tell by the sun now that it was almost noon. As she came to the cave entrance and peeked inside she saw Pela resting comfortably on Olwa's chest, both wrapped in travel cloaks and sound asleep. She came into the cave and crouched low speaking in Elven to them, "Master Olwa..."



Olwa felt a presence... something, but what. He could hear words, his mind reached, the sound was familiar but distant. The light outside caused his lids to protest, but the voice, his eyes snapped open and he roused instantly, reaching for his dagger and Pela was jostled from her sleep. He felt her awaken, the cave instantly became cold with her reaction, Olwa drew his dagger, reaching forward and just missing the nimble Elf in front of him as she easily slipped away from his grasp. The silhouette held in place by the sun streaming into the mouth of the cave was familiar but he wasn't able to identify, he felt Pela gathering magic, they both had fear, but were ready to respond with violence to any threat that might meet them. The soft feminine voice broke the tension and Branch spoke, "Master... Master Olwa, it is Branch."

Olwa reached up and touched Pela's arm, her skin was freezing cold. He withdrew his hand and spoke, "Wait."

Moving forward slightly he spoke, "Branch?"

The Kagonesti Elf moved so the sun was no longer behind her and smiled softly, "Apologies my Master, I did not mean to startle or frighten you or your mate... I saw you leave by manner of the Way Gate last morrow and could not let you go so unattended."

Branch smiled softly and spoke, "Branch, I... I have told you I am not your master."

Branch brought her hand to her heart and then to her forehead before bowing her head respectfully, "Of course Master."

Olwa reached forward and touched her arm that now once again rested against her chest, palm in, "Really Branch, you do not belong to me, I am not your Master."

Without bringing her head up she nodded and spoke, "Of course Master, as you say."

Olwa looked to Pela, unsure of how else to say what he was trying to say. Before either of them could say anything else Branch reached behind her and brought up the two cleaned grouse, laying them at Pela's feet, "I brought breakfast for Master and Mistress. I will prepare a fire and see they are properly cooked."

In a flash she had taken up the grouse and was to the cave entrance, before leaving she spoke softly, "Breakfast will be ready in thirty minutes Master."

With that she disappeared out the cave entrance.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:16 pm


When Pela was awakened to Olwa’s sudden movements she knew trouble was afoot and instantly was ready to make whatever intruder happened upon them very sorry. The temperature in the cave dropped so suddenly the change in pressure actually made their ears pop and as Pela narrowed her eyes on her target, she prepared her spell.

Thankfully for Branch, Olwa’s hand on Pela’s arm halted the sorceress from doing anything she would ultimately regret. And regret she would when she realized who had entered the cave with them. She remembered the dark haired elf the time she went to Olwa’s home with him. She was kind and offered Pela a smile in the hostile environment and Pela never forgot that.

As Branch moved forward and laid the grouse at Pela’s feet, she looked down at the game and blinked then looked over at Olwa as he spoke to her. Pela’s brow furrowed as she saw the way Branch acted. She never cared for treating servants badly and it was obvious Olwa’s parents treated this elfess worse than they treated their own son.

As Branch quickly gathered the grouse back up and slipped out of the cave, Pela stood there for a moment then looked at Olwa.

”Well, that was the last person I thought would be following us.”

Pela’s mind was always suspicious. It was something she merely could not stop from all the years she spent with Bad Rock. Her brows furrowed slightly as she looked towards the cave entrance.

”You do not think she has ulterior motives, do you?”

She bit her bottom lip as she studied the cave mouth once more then looked to Olwa.

”I fear the influence of my upbringing is something I cannot forget so easily. I mean no disrespect to her. It is just….”

Pela shrugged her shoulders slightly trying to find the right words to let Olwa know she wasn’t mad or being mean….she was just being….Pela.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:13 pm


Olwa turned and looked at Pela as she spoke. He turned to look back out the cave entrance and responded softly, "She is the last person I would have suspected as well, but you have to remember that she raised me, her family has served mine for as long as I can remember. There are many dark facts within the Silvanesti, the worst of which is that we enslave or cousins the Kagonesti and treat them like little more than rats. Ironic that the original race of Elves are the ones now being looked upon as the savages."

He turned and looked at Pela, "We have nothing to fear when it comes to Branch, she is loyal to me because her role as nanny in the household was all she knew until I was old enough to go to Ranger school a few years back. Ever since she has been like a ship without a sail adrift on the ocean. She still serves my family because my family has never released her, and though I have tried dozens of times to tell her she is not in any way bound to me she acts like any mother would I suppose... at least any mother that loves her child."

He turned and looked at Pela, "She is a little over 200 years old, and her whole family has seen horrific treatment by mine, I am in no way proud of it. I have always tried to treat her kindly and as an equal, in fact in many ways I think she is my superior. As quiet as I can be in the forests I might as well be banging a drum as I walk compared to her. The Kagonesti never let go of their heritage of the wilds. The Silvanesti refer to them as "wild Elves" like it is some sort of insult or underclass, the fact is they are the ones who are the real Elves."

He looked at her and touched her cheek softly as she apologized, "You have nothing to apologize for my sweet Pela, if anything it is the influence of your upbringing that attracted me to you in the first place," He stopped and gave her petite frame a once over, "Well, part ways any how."

Pela looked at him with a furrowed brow and he shrugged with a chuckle, "I will gather up our gear, go out to Branch and I will be out readily once everything is packed back up."

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:41 pm


As Olwas spoke of Branch, Pela glanced out the cave. So there was a great deal of history Olwa had with this Elfess. That knowledge alone made the sorceress feel more at ease. And as she heard Olwa explain what his family had done to her, she furrowed her brows as she looked back at him. There was something in her blue eyes he hadn’t seen before.

”Then it is up to us to bring her dignity back to her and let her be who she is meant to be, Olwa. No being should be stifled into living a life that was not naturally meant for them. Even Bad Rock knew that as he raised me.”

Her eyes drifted back to the cave entrance for a moment before turning to look at him again.

”And there is much she can teach us as well, it seems. So this will be mutually beneficial. But we must let her know where we are going and what we are heading for. She may wish to go her own way when she finds out we will be entering Nethermen territory.”

When Olwa reached his hand up to touch her cheek, her whole demeanor and the look on her face changed completely. Leaning in slightly towards him and her eyes softening as the slightest hint of a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. Of course the look changed again when he glanced at her the way he did. Pulling the hood of her tunic up over her white hair, she mumbled something about males of all species being the same in some things as she made her way out of the cave.


As Pela stepped into the full, brilliant light of day, she squinted and brought her hand up to shade the sun from hurting her eyes any more. As her eyes adjusted to the brighter light, she slowly lowered her hand and looked for Branch.

The Elfess was squatted down near a fire she built and was placing the grouse on a make shift spit so they could cook. Taking a deep breath, she walked over and knelt next to the Elfess and smiled.

”Thank you, Branch, for making me feel as though I was not totally surrounded by the enemy when I visited Olwa’s home with him the last time I was in Silvanost. And thank you for taking such good care of Olwa as he grew. If not for you, I fear he would have been more like his parents and if that were the case, he would be dead now instead of traveling with me.”

She saw Branch finally look up at her with a look of complete shock on her face.

”It is OK, Branch. I will not kill him now. I love him.”

She glanced back at the cave and smiled lovingly.

”He is only the second person I have ever loved in my life. And I am very happy to say that.”

She looked back at Branch and smiled again.

”Do you need help? I will be glad to offer any if I can.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:52 pm


After Branch had exited the cave she made a small smokeless fire off to the side of the cave in an area that would not attract attention and where the wind would disperse the smells of both the food and fire quickly. After letting the wood burn down to create a nice bed of coals she removed the stones that kept the flame hidden and smoke down and put up a spit of green branches. By the time Pela had come out the grouse were cooking and Branch was squatting down looking over the landscape. Her wild red hair was blowing easily in the soft breeze. Now that they were in the open Pela would see that since the last time she had seen her Branch had woven pieces of colored twine, feathers, interestingly shaped twigs and anything else that found her fancy into her long locks. Her ear twitched as Pela approached and knelt beside her. Branch shifted slightly away from Pela and inclined her head respectably. As Pela spoke and thanked her Branch glanced slightly towards her and bowed her head as she touched her forehead and then placed her hand flat against her chest in what Pela had come to know as the Elven salute given when one is in the presence of their superior, "My thanks to you Istar'ostring, it is my honor to server the Master and Mistress."

As Pela talked about the fact Olwa could have come to harm by any means she instantly bristled and Pela would notice her hand went instinctively to the very practical looking dagger that was hanging from her belt. It would be obvious to Pela that Olwa meant a great deal to Branch but as Pela went on to say it was ok and that Pela in fact loved Olwa now Branch nodded respectfully once again, but she spoke in a broken Common, "Love is a delicate emotion, interlacing ones life into the life of another requires sacrifice and selflessness. Many of the young don't understand love... Branch still does not understand love... Branch is older than Istar'ostring and Master Olwa," She stopped and looked at Pela, "But Branch knows when words are sincere, Istar'ostring has words that are sincere."

As Pela spoke of Olwa only being the second person she has ever loved Branch nodded and there was a warm smile that spread across her face, "Istar'ostring is strong of spirit, Istar'ostring is deep of thought. Those of magic do what they do with the cunning of the wolf and the deliberateness of the bear, not to be taken lightly. Branch saw Istar'ostring's heart when she first came to the Masters home, Istar'ostring was not like the others, not like those of hand or fist or foot... Istar'ostring has her mind, and her mind is as sharp as Branches blade, aye."

Branch brought her hand intentionally and respectfully to her head and down over her heart again, giving Pela a salute of the most pure and simple respect, "Branch will not be in the Master and Mistress' way, Branch will see that Mater and Mistress make their journey safely."

As Pela offered her help Branch looked at her with a slight look of shock and then she gave another small smile, "Istar'ostring need not burden herself with the work a day tasks, Branch will see that they are done."

She turned on her heel and checked the meat, the smell was absolutely divine and when Pela looked she would see that the meat was perfectly cooked, and it was seasoned. Quirking a brow at Branch the forest Elf smiled and spoke softly, "The forest holds many secrets, I merely harvested a few of them."

Pela would see the look in Branches eyes as she tended to the food, this was an Elfess that knew the manner of survival, despite her service in the city of Silvanost she did what she did with the precision and grace that only comes from deep knowledge of the task.



Olwa came out of the cave and saw the two ladies sitting near the small fire. He smiled and walked over to them. Branch turned and stood immediately as he approached and gave the familiar salute, the same one that she had just given Pela and spoke, "Heruamin, Cormamin lindua ele lle."

Olwa looked at Branch and spoke, "And how many times will it take to remind you I am not your Lord or Master Branch."

Branch looked at Olwa, her eyes held his and she spoke in broken Common, "As many as is necessary for Branch to forget, but there is not enough or as many times as necessary."

Olwa shook his head and laughed, "Since I was a child you have called me Master, but I am not your Master Branch."

Branch saluted him again, her hand gently touching her forehead and then coming to rest over her heart, palm against her chest, "As you say Master Olwa."

Olwa set the bags down and looked at the fire and smelled the meat, "You have out done yourself Branch, I can't thank you enough for for doing this and thinking of us in this manner."

Branch nodded respectfully and turned to tend the cooking meat, "It is Branches great pleasure to see to Masters need and well being. For Master is the only one that ever gave a thanks."

She looked at Olwa and then to Pela before returning to the meat roasting on the coals. Pela would see in the Elfess' eyes that her love for Olwa was more sincere than even his own mother's, and it was obvious she would serve him loyaly no matter how much they insisted she should not.

Branch looked up and spoke softly, "For your part my Master and Mistress Istar'ostring, I believe that the fowl is ready to be eaten."

She removed the spit from the heat and snapped it in half, handing one side to each of them and then inclined her head as she stepped back a half movement, "In hopes that it pleases your taste."

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:28 pm


Pela was amazed. She’d never seen anyone weave such natural things into their hair as Branch had and yet, instead of looking like some wild animal, it looked perfectly….well….natural for the elfess to wear it in her hair. And Pela was not ignorant to the body language she saw displayed by the elfess. One did not live the life of a mercenary’s daughter or as a mercenary without reading body language as though it were an audible language. And what Pela saw from Branch told her the elfess would gladly fight, and sacrifice - if it came to that, her life for that of Olwa’s. Thankfully, it wasn’t going to be the case this day.

The other thing Pela noticed was the way Branch looked when she spoke about Olwa. There was no doubt she loved Olwa, but in way different than Pela herself did. Pela knew it was the same way Rayann looked when she spoke of Kali and Shaer or when she looked at them.

The name Branch kept calling Pela was intriguing. She was familiar with a lot of the Elven language, but some of it still remained elusive to her. Knowing Istar was the Elven word for Wizard, the second part she didn't know. She was just getting ready to ask what it meant when Olwa came out to join them.

Watching Branch with Olwa, Pela smiled softly. Perhaps this was a good thing she decided to travel with them. She certainly wouldn’t be a burden. And there was always proof safety was far better the higher the number you had in your party.

As Branch gave half the meal to Pela and half the meal to Olwa, Pela furrowed her brows and blinked as she looked at the meat then to Branch. Standing, she looked at Olwa then to Branch again.

”Branch….if you are going to travel with us, then there are some rules we need to set right now so there is no misunderstanding between us. First, we will take turns with the chores of making and breaking camp. It is only fair. Since we will all be traveling at the same pace covering the same ground. Secondly, we share our meals at the same time. When one of us eats, so do the other two. And thirdly, you are not our servant. Please do not treat yourself as such. Please….sit down and eat with us.”

Pela saw the hesitation in Branch’s dark eyes and she took a small step towards her and held out her hand.

”Please…..I insist.”

She saw Branch glance towards Olwa and Pela knew she was looking for Olwa to give permission when Pela turn and pleaded with Olwa.

”Please, Olwa….tell her it is quite alright.”

Olwa finally walked over where Pela was and spoke to Branch.

“Pela is right, Branch. Her rules are fair for all of us.”

Finally, after another moments hesitation, Branch slowly reached out and took Pela’s hand and instantly gasped, withdrawing her hand when she felt the coolness of Pela’s touch. She looked wide eyed at Pela then at Olwa and Pela laughed softly.

”You will get used to it. Come….let us eat this wonderful meal you have prepared for us.”

Finally Branch sat down and began to eat with Pela and Olwa. For the first few minutes, everyone was silent just enjoying the taste of the fowl and filling their bellies. It was Pela that finally broke the silence as she looked to Olwa.

”Where do you think we are now and how much further until we get to the edge of the Mountains? It will be almost a two to three day hike before we reach the territory of my old clan. When we start the trek into the mountains, we will have to very careful. There are many clans that live there and we will have no choice but to move across their territory to reach my clan. And with the spring thaw starting to take place, we will have to be careful we do not end up in an avalanche.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:26 am






Olwa looked to the northwest and spoke, "I should say we are about two and a half to three nights journey to Sithelnost," He turned and looked at Pela, "That is where Ceridwyn is from." He turned and looked back to the northwest and continued, "We can get any supplies we need and move on. From there I can't be one hundred percent certain but I would guess another night and a half or so to the forests edge. From there things will get more difficult since we will be in the open plains The city of Pashin is a border town, maybe 5 or so kilometers from the forest, It is a rough place but if we don't overstay our welcome we should be fine. From there if we head straight west we will hit the river that comes out of the Crux. The Crix is a big split in the Khalkist Mountain Range and there is a pass that will take us up and over to the west, we will be right in the heart of the Khalkist Mountains at that point. My guess is that traveling along the river will be swifter so in total we are looking at nine or ten nights from the pass by foot." He turned and looked at Branch and spoke, "Does that sound about right to you Branch?"

Branch inclined her head instinctively and responded in her soft voice, "Master Olwa is accurate in his assessment but Master Olwa has no means of navigation once we leave Silvanesti. All Silvanesti know their forests right to the edge, but beyond the borderlands most know little, even Master Olwa, respectively, knows little for he has never been north of the borderlands."

Olwa looked at Pela and nodded, "She's right, I haven't, so I am speculating."

Branch reached and touched Olwa on the arm. He turned and looked back at her, "Master Olwa, Branch took the maps from Master Ky'ly's study room and made copies." She handed the map rolls to him and spoke, "He never knew Branch liked the maps."

Olwa looked at the maps and furrowed his brow slightly as he spoke to her, "When did you do this? Surly not recently." Branch smiled softly and spoke, "Nay Master Olwa, Branch would do it when Master Olwa was a youngling and sleeping, she would do it by candle's light as she sat beside Master Olwa's basket and watched over his sleep. Many maps Branch copied."

Olwa smiled and looked to Pela, "Well this will help tremendously."

He unrolled the parchments and as he began to shuffle through them Pela would notice that the entire continent of Ansalon was represented in these dozens of pages, as well as some of the Western Isles. Olwa picked up a stick from the ground and a few stones. He looked to the sun and oriented the stick and he and Branch watched the shadow a couple minutes, tracking it's movement. Olwa spoke, "North is that way," Branch nodded in agreement and they looked at the map of the Borderlands. The places Olwa had spoken about where there but Branch spoke to Pela, "Istar'ostring, the Crux is here," she pointed to a long valley that looked like a peninsula surrounded by the mountains, "This is the head water of the Silvan River." She traced her finger from the eastern edge of Silvanost right up into the Crux, "Master Olwa is smart and brave but he forgets that maybe Istar'ostring's tribe is not near the Crux," she looked up apologetically at Olwa and then back to the map, "Where is Istar'ostring's tribe from?"

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:22 am


Pela listened to Olwa talk of where they were and how far they had to go yet and she nodded her head. As Branch pulled out the maps and her and Olwa studied them, Pela did as well. She and Bad Rock used similar maps only not as detailed as these were but enough where they could get by. She immediately recognized the mountains and as Branch showed her the Crux, she nodded then leaned forward slightly.

”Pashin will not be an issue. I know the town well. I will be able to help us avoid the worst of it. We will have to be careful, though.”

Her finger traced the first rise of the Mountains following the Silvan River and showed the small valley they could pass through that ran through Blode.

”We pass through here and the tree covered rocks will provide us protection if anyone should try to follow us through. Once we reach tree rocks, we will be in Farn Clan territory. Their territory starts at the base of the ridge and all the way to Thoradin. Farn is not all that nice but he does understand danger when it comes to his lands. I will be able to get us through his territory but I will have to give him something in return. He does not do things he will not profit from in some way or other.”

Her finger kept moving slowly to the west of Thoradin.

”Bad Rock Clan is here. We owned Thoradin west and second mountain rise from Thoradin. Other clans around will try to catch us and offer us as gifts to other clans in an effort to gain more territory or offer us as gift to settle a debt. When we pass into the mountains, we are fair game to any clan who should happen upon us. We will have to fight our way through some places. It is inevitable. It is the Nethermen way.”

She looked from Olwa to Branch as she looked up at them.

”Do not underestimate Nethermen. They are not mindless brutes who strike aimlessly. They are cold, calculating beings who know this territory like you know Silvanost. Once we cross into the Mountains, they will know it and they will attack only after they know they have the advantage. Given Farn, I would say we will be in his territory for almost two days before he attacks.”


Pela tilted her head slightly and looked to Branch.

"What is the name you are using for me? I know Istar is Wizard, but the other word I cannot recall what it means."

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:48 am




Branch looked at Pela and her soft Elven face showed the slightest smile of apology, "Branch begs pardons, Branch thought you knew... Istar'ostring in your tongue means Wizard of Cold. Your magic is cold aye? Your skin, your hair, the very core of you is cold, Branch sees this."

Olwa and Branch listened as Pela explained the regions, the dangers, and the likely hood of what was coming. Olwa nodded and spoke, "Well, sounds like we at least have one advantage," The two ladies looked at him and he smiled, "They don't yet know we are coming, and we do. We can take precautions and at least do our best to avoid confrontations."

Branch nodded slightly and then spoke, "No offense Istar'ostring but Elves move quieter. Once we are to the pass, Branch will scout, make the path, find the route to keep our silence. Branch does understand Istar'ostring, these Netherman are not to be taken light. They love their lands as Elves love theirs, they are not going to be finding joy in us intruding. Branch wishes there was magic to just take us there."

She traced her finger on the map as if she was memorizing the route and then looked up to Pela and Olwa, she was about to speak when her ear twitched and she looked swiftly to her right. Olwa and Pela looked and she brought up her hand to stop them. Moving so quietly it was as if she wasn't moving at all she disappeared behind the rock outcropping. Approximately two minutes later there was the familiar sound of a bow string releasing and the thud of an arrow striking something in the distance. Olwa dashed at this sound and Pela was right on his heels. AS the circled around the rock they saw Branch, 40 meters into the trees and knelt down. As Olwa ran to her side he saw the small, dead deer at her knees, she was praying, asking forgiveness for it's death and thanks for it's sacrifice.

As she finished she turned and looked up at the two of them, "Apologies Master Olwa and Mistress Istar'ostring, the game was close, Branch had to take it when it was available." She turned and looked at the animal at her knees, lovingly stroking it's neck she spoke, "This aras (deer) has died so we may live..." She removed her dagger and began to field dress the animal, she spoke softly, "Will Istar'ostring and Master Olwa please gather wood and stone, if we make hot smoke we can dry this meat, it will see us at least to Sithelnost."

Olwa touched Branch softly on the shoulder, "Never have I known a hunter as keen as you Branch. You knew this deer was here before even myself." Branch stopped and looked up at Olwa, "Master is not used to hunting those who are silent as they walk, Master, like other Silvanesti, have forgotten the true ways of the Elves. It is not Master Olwa's fault, Branch tried to teach Master when he was young, but he was taken too often to the castle for lessons, Branches time with him became less and less. Maybe now, again, Branch can teach Master Olwa." There was a small smile on Branches face and her eyes were slightly glassy. Olwa patted her softly on the shoulder again, "How many times will I have to tell you to stop calling me Master?"

Branch smiled and inclined her head, "As many as is necessary for Branch remember, and there is not enough times as is necessary."

Olwa laughed softly and turned to Pela, "Come, let's gather the things Branch needs."

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:29 am


Pela was ready to attack whatever may have been encroaching on their small encampment when she saw Branch dart off. When all was said and done and she saw the deer and Branch praying over it, she respected Branch’s customs and remained quiet. Deep down, Pela was thanking the Gods for the deer for she knew it could be dried to jerky and easily carried so they could have something to eat.

When Olwa turned to look at Pela, she smiled and nodded then turned on her heel to help find the things needed for the fire. As they moved along gathering the necessary wood and stones, she spoke quietly to Olwa.

”I know I cannot be as quiet as an Elf in the woods, but I am certainly going to make an effort at it. And I want you to teach me how to use a bow. There is no reason why I should not be able to use such a thing. And with it being made of wood, it should not hurt me to use it with my magic if I need to.”

She bent down to pick up a branch and was startled when a snake slithered away and she jumped back slightly. Reacting naturally, the air around her turned very cold, almost to the point where frost began to form on the ground around and under her feet. When she realized what it was, she let out a sigh of relief and furrowed her brows.

”Slither someplace else, you.”

Looking over at Olwa she saw the grin on his face and she gave him that ‘what?’ look. He merely shook his head then turned back to gathering up the stones. When they got back to the encampment, Branch had the deer almost completely cut up. Pela blinked at how quickly she had worked getting the meat prepared and she looked over at Olwa again raising her brows. Kneeling down, she helped Olwa set the stones and wood up with his guidance.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:55 am


As the next day dawned on Silvanost, the city was almost instantly alive with activity. Guests were arriving at a steady pace now as the citizens in the farthest regions of Silvanesti began to show up. As promised, breakfast was served by mid morning allowing the new arrivals and the tired revelers from the night before to enjoy the meal together.

In the Palace, Myth and Rayann were in different areas looking for Olwa and Pela. Myth told Rayann Olwa had not shown up for his morning training and Rayann shared Pela’s bed had not been slept in at all last night…and her white dress was hung carefully on the padded hanger. Myth and Rayann agreed to try and keep the news low key but when there is so many people moving about the Palace, it was difficult to keep things from reaching others ears.

To make matters worse, Olwa’s mother was livid when she realized Branch was gone. She fumed at Ky’ly for not being stricter on the elfess but deep down, Allawana knew the responsibility was hers. She just didn’t like to admit she had failed in this particular field.

As Rayann and Myth finally joined the others for breakfast, the whole city was abuzz about the missing young ones. Rayann knew they couldn’t keep it quiet for very long but she didn’t want to ruin the celebration either. When the Queen heard the news, she quickly intervened on her son and daughter-in-laws behalf and sent a squad of Rangers out to see if they could locate the missing adolescents and bring them back to the city proper. Patting Rayann’s hand, she assured her son’s wife they were fine and had most likely lost track of time exploring the city and surrounding area due to Pela’s deep interest in the Elven world.

Using her mother-in-law’s actions as guidance, she smiled and assured Ceri and Aeolis everything was just fine and Olwa and Pela would be located within the hour. Ceri knew there was more to the story but before she could grill Rayann about it, more guests arrived from her home town of Sithelnost.

When Kali arrived, Rayann walked over and hugged her daughter lovingly then spoke to her mind when she saw the look Kali gave her.

~It’s nothing….really. But it seems Olwa and Pela can’t be found this morning. I’m sure the Queen is right….they got carried away exploring Silvanost and the outlying area.~

Smiling, Rayann spoke aloud to Kali.

”Did you sleep well?”





Tanjee and Tara arrived just as a group of Knights were making their way through the Portal from Heartlund. Commander Rose led them through and she was greeted by Myth, Rayann, The Queen and The Speaker. There were almost two dozen soldiers in all that made their way through dressed in their finest uniforms. Yanjee could see Tara practically straining to see the faces and when she heard her friend gasp slightly, she knew Gideon had arrived.

As the formal introductions were made and the Knights welcomed, they were excused to explore the city on their own. Instinctively Gideon made his way over to where Tanjee and Tara stood. Tanjee grinned and leaned over whispering in Tara’s ear.

”Breathe, friend. You will pass out if you do not.”

As Gideon approached, he looed to Tanjee and nodded then focused his attention on Tara. As he spoke, his eyes never left Tara as he took her hand in his and brought it to his lips to place a soft kiss to her knuckles.

”Hello again, Ladies. It’s good to see you both. I never thought I could see a more beautiful sight but I was sadly mistaken.”

Tanjee chuckled softly and looked from Tara to Gideon then rolled her eyes.

”Well, I know when three is a crowd so if you will excuse me….”

She saw Tara tear her gaze away from Gideon long enough to look pleadingly at her and Tanjee merely grinned as she walked away. Tanjee was making her way through he people when she saw Kali and Rayann talking to each other as she made her way towards them to wish them both a good morning.

”’Quel amrun, ladies…you both look….”

The closer she got she could see the concern clearly etched on each of their faces.

”Worried….not exactly what I expected…..may I ask what is wrong without intruding into a private conversation?”

Tanjee heard the news about the young ones and she knew it had something to do with that. Question was….just how much truth was there to the rumors and how bad was it….really?

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:34 pm




Olwa could only chuckle as Pela was so startled by the snake and as they continued to gather what they needed he spoke to her, "Though your thought to learn the bow is a good one I feel it would be better if you concentrate on your magic. It takes years to learn how to properly use a bow, with our traveling it would be impossible to even teach you to sight properly down the arrow much less range estimation, wind adjustments, proper form and technique, and the like. Please understand Pela I am not trying to discourage you, in fact if you are serious once we are at our destination and safe I would be happy to teach you, but for now we need to concentrate on what we know best and not bother with learning new things.”

He smiled and gave her a loving look as he continued to forage for what they needed. Once they reached the camp and saw the fast work Branch had made of the small deer Olwa too looked at Branch in amazement, he knew how to clean and debone an animal, but not in near the swiftness that Branch had just demonstrated. Branch gave them some instruction on how to stack the stones and build the coal base as she finished up the meat stripes and once everything was in place she sat back and looked over their makeshift smoker, “It is simple, but will work.”

Both Olwa and Pela were amazed at the tiny amount of smoke that was able to escape, keeping the wood smoldering within the cooking device so it could flavor and dry the meat. As they sat in the late morning sun Olwa spoke, “Mother and Father probably know we are missing by now, I am sure they have sent Rangers to find us by now. I fear we might be caught before we make it a day…”

Branch looked at Pela and then to Olwa, her voice was soft like a spring breeze, “Master need not worry, Branch followed and covered the tracks of Istar'ostring as she followed.” Turning to look at Pela she spoke apologetically, “Please no offense meant to Mistress Istar'ostring, it is just that you cannot help being heavy of foot, it is how human bodies are designed.”

Pela would see that Branch was not trying to be offensive or hurtful in any way. Branch looked at Pela and continued, “Branch has an idea, a device she can make that will help Mistress Istar'ostring step lighter. Branch will work on it as aras is drying.”

She inclined her head respectfully and touched her forehead, then her chest and looked up at them both. Her lips moved ever so slightly into a small smile, “Branch will return shortly.” Pela would see it in her eyes, this gesture was as much to leave the two of the alone as it was to do this task.



Kali listened as her mother spoke to her mind and gave Rayann a cross look as she responded in missive, ~ “We both know that is a lie. This is the city Olwa was raised in they are as likely to get lost in Glen Durel.” ~

She turned and looked in the direction of Olwa’s parents home. She did not know the place, nor his parents but she knew some of the stories. She turned and looked back at her mother and spoke in missive,~ “Olwa and Pela left. The news of Ranewen’s betrothment to Olwa was all over the streets last night. Look into the logic of the situation mother, what on Krynn makes more sense than the fact that these two who are in love, a love that has been encouraged by you and father, were not disturbed so much by this turn of events that they fled. They are young, impulsive and hasty, there is no other conclusion.” ~

Kali could see in her mother’s eyes she agreed and knew Kali was right. As Tanjee approached Kali nodded her head respectfully as they were in her city. As Rayann explained that Olwa and Pela were missing Kali turned to Rayann, “I will go and find them.”

Rayann was about to protest and Kali cut her off, “Please mother, we both know that I am the least welcome guest here, at least by the inhabitants of this city. Ceridwyn will understand, if anyone would that do-gooder is at the top of the list.”

Rayann could see in Kali’s eyes that she would not be convinced otherwise. It was not a secret that Kali liked Pela a lot and would have taken the young girl as an apprentice if she had been willing to pursue High Sorcery. Though Kali wasn’t showing a single hint of emotion Rayann would know that deep down Kali was at least slightly concerned for the girls well being.

Kali turned to Tanjee, “Tanjee, do you know the stable master?”

Tanjee nodded, “Excellent. Since every wall guard in this city despises me thanks to when I redecorated their main gate would you be kind enough to secure a mount for me while I go pack my things?”

---
Ky’ly looked sternly at Allawana, “Dare not to speak to me in that tone.” Allawana recessed slightly and spoke, “But this is our son, the news is already all over the streets. The rumors are also that the ice witch is missing.”

Ky’ly turned to Allawana, “I can’t believe that Olwa would allow himself to break protocol and follow that little human witch so easily.”

Allawana looked at him and spoke with watery eyes, “She has bewitched him, hexed him somehow. We have known this from the start! She is more than she seems, she reeks of magic whenever we have been near her, even as she sat on that chair I could feel how dangerous she was! She means to see our house torn asunder. This is what happens when the Prince is allowed to marry a human! They are like a disease, they are infesting our lives, this is only the beginning Ky’ly, our family is only the beginning!”

Ky’ly looked as his wife buried her face in her hands and then stepped to the window. He spoke softly, “I have heard the Mistress of the Stars has dispatched a contingency of Rangers to track them. I am forbidden to leave the city as security is necessary for the castle and its inhabitants. Tomorrow if the Rangers have not returned with our son I will take my own men and we will find them. I will return with our son and the body of the ice witch.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:15 pm


Pela sat watching Branch carefully. How she set the meat over the fire, how she had sliced it think but not too thin. It was amazing to watch her, even if for a short time. When Olwa spoke about the Rangers following them, Pela glanced in the direction they had come from and then looked back to Branch and blinked. Glancing at her feet, she looked back at branch and furrowed her brows.

”Oh….I never thought of that….”

It was painfully clear Pela, for all her magical abilities, wasn’t as adept to moving about like the Elves were. But she accepted the fact she was human and this was simply a difference in the races. One day, she promised herself she WOULD be as good at moving on the ground as they were. And she would learn how to use the bow if it was the last thing she did. But Olwa was right. They needed to stay focused on what they knew now and learning other things would come once they reached their destination and established themselves.

As Branch slipped away, Pela glanced at Olwa then slipped over closer to him and laid her head on his shoulder.

”I will not let them catch us, Olwa. I will do whatever it takes to not let them take you back to that place. Your heart is too free to be shackled to a life you did not choose for yourself. You have the right to live however and where ever you wish. And as long as you want me to, I will live it with you.”





Rayann touched Kali’s forearm gently as she turned to leave. When Kali snapped her head back around to look at her mother, Rayann let her hand remain on Kali’s forearm.

”Be careful, Kali. I know you can take care of yourself, but I still worry….you are still my daughter and I’ll never stop worrying about you as long as I draw breath.”

Rayann saw the look in Kali’s eyes and knew she understood where her mother was coming from. Nodding, she slipped away quietly from her mother to prepare for her journey to seek out Pela and Olwa.



Tanjee found Tara and Gideon once more and apologized for her interruption.

”Sorry to interrupt but I will be traveling out of the city for a little bit. Do not worry. All is well, We are going to retrieve some wayward young ones who have lost track of time. Now…carry on with you….how did Trysten put it…Oh yes! Canoodling.”

Shaking her head, she laughed softly as she turned to go to the stable then slipped to her own home to pack a small bag and change her clothes. By the time Kali arrived, Tanjee was already astride a light tan mare with a black mane and tail and she had a chestnut colored mare for Kali with a star shaped white mark on the forehead.

Tanjee was dressed in typical Ranger clothing and sported a bow with a quiver of arrows on her back. Seeing the look Kali gave her, she shook her head.


”No. I will not so do not even speak the words. You are powerful and know the area well, but I know the Rangers well. So mount up. The more we stand here debating the more distance they put between us.”


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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:25 pm



Gideon found Tara even before they stepped through the Portal into Silvanost. She looked radiant and he figured she must be caught up in the whole wedding celebration thing herself. There was just something about weddings and the birth of a new baby that brought out the best in people. As Commander Rose dismissed them, he made his way to Tara and took her hand in his and had not let go since.

Making his way around the city admiring the beauty of the Elven craftsmanship he was surrounded in, he glanced down at her and couldn’t help but smile when he heard her talk about things she had seen since her arrival here.

When Tanjee found them again, he was sitting in a colorful garden with her enjoying a quiet moment in almost complete privacy. Of course they were still out in the open and in clear view. He made certain not to compromise her or himself in any way so as not to tarnish their reputations. Standing when Tanjee approached, the Elfess gently admonished him for his manners and he chuckled softly then sat down.

AS she explained what she was doing, Tara immediately started to get up to join her when Tanjee quickly made her exit leaving Tara to stare after the Elfess. Chuckling, he shook his head then looked over at Tara before watching Tanjee’s retreating back.

”That Elfess is like a summer storm. She blows in, blows out and somehow leaves you feeling as though it was the best thing that ever happened to you despite the chaos in between.”

Looking back at Tara, he smiled softer.

”So how did your hunt the other morning go with James? From what I could tell, it was successful.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:54 pm


Kali looked at her mother as she spoke to her. Kali’s eyes were calculating and already focused on the journey at hand. She spoke in response to her mother’s words, “I know you worry, but you waste your worry on me mother, if anything I should be worrying about you, trapped in a life of court and proper etiquette.”

She looked to the castle and then back to Rayann, “We both chose our paths, and I need to walk mine.”

She turned and left. Tanjee looked at Rayann with slightly raised brows right before she left to secure horses. Kali was already leaving the party mentally, the small glimpse of last night was gone. Kali was cold at times, calculating and abrasive, but it was who she was. Her life was one that wouldn't be tied down in any sense, it was the very reason she chose not to take a male into her life, it would satisfy a small itch but in the end it would only hold her back from doing all the seeking she desired. Her inky black robes disappeared into the castle grounds.

She arrived at the main gate to find Tanjee mounted and ready to ride. Kali looked at her from under her hood and listened to the young Elfesses words. Kali narrowed her eyes slightly on her and spoke, “You assume much Tanjee, having you along will be useful.”

Her words were complimentary but also strange, as if keeping secrets, yet there was really no secret to be kept. Kali looked at Tanjee as they exited the gate, she spoke softly, “My guess is we head towards the Khalkist Mountains.”

Tanjee looked at her curiously and Kali turned to look at her with a small, knowing grin, “Pela was raised by Netherman, the Khalkist Mountains is her home. It is the most logical starting point.”



Olwa welcomed Pela against him and he spoke in response to her words, “I am a High Elf, as much as that title sickens me… they are sure to come, especially knowing my father. He is not going to take this lightly, his entire life is tracking and finding those who don’t wish to be tracked or caught. He won’t stop, not until he finds us dead or alive.”

He turned and looked in the direction Branch had gone, “It is lucky we have her, she is the best I have ever known in the wilds. It has been thirty years since I was in the forest with her, but I can remember the amazing knowledge she possesses.”

He put his arm around her and pulled her close, “As for how long I want you to be with me… and eternity would be a good place to start.”


Branch moved deliberately and slowly through the Silvanesti Forest. She moved with a grace uncommon to even the most trained Silvanesti, for though they could walk the forests silently and without detection, their ways had caused them to forget their true abilities. She gathered the things she needed and then found a nice place to rest. She sat, watching the forest, feeling the breath of the every creature around her. She inhaled deeply and placed her hand into the soft soil, smiling as it’s cool moisture touched her fingertips. She brought the moist dirt to her face and rubbed it under her eyes, creating a makeshift camouflage but also attuning herself to the earth under her feet.

After a long while she wove the components she had gathered and then made her way back to Olwa and Pela. The two of them had fallen asleep near the small cooking stones and she smiled softly. Walking over to them she placed her hand on Olwa’s forehead and brushed the hair off his forehead. She then looked at Pela and dared to touch the Frost Wizards skin again, it was ice cold and instinctively she unstrapped the wool blanket from her pack and laid it over the young human girl.

Branch moved near the edge of the small ridge, unsnapped her bow and removed an arrow from her quiver. Sitting herself down against a tree she watched the landscape below, listening and staying on vigil as her companions slept peacefully.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:45 pm


Tanjee had forgotten Pela had been raised by a Netherman. Even now the notion seemed foreign to Tanjee but she remembered what Pela was like when she first came to Heartlund. A wild, impetuous child who cared for little more than what she could gain in profit from her current job.

What a difference a war makes.

Tanjee saw the change in the woman/child under the patient hand of Ceridwyn, Rayann and Myth’Alas and saw the woman the child had become. And she saw the way she and Olwa acted towards each other.

”If it is the Khalkist Mountains they are headed for, then the Rangers will only go as far as the edge of the forest. Beyond that, they do not know the territory. And neither do we. They left in such a haste, they will no doubt have to stop for supplies and the closest place for them to do that would be….Pashin….a rough and tumble border town.”

Glancing ver at Kali, she gave a small smirk.

[i]”Should be interesting.”


As they began moving north west through the forest, Tanjee rode beside Kali and spoke quietly letting her eyes move about the forest.

”Do you think the sudden announcement of Ranewen’s betrothal to Olwa has caused this?”

Seeing the sideways glance Kali gave her was answer enough.

”I see the way Olwa and Pela act towards each other. It is obvious Olwa had no idea of his betrothal to Ranewen. If he had, he would not have gotten so close to Pela. He is honorable and good.”

Her brows creased as she added.

”Allawana and Ky’ly are too self centered at times to think their only son would not wish such an arranged marriage. It is like taking a wild song bird and sticking it in a small cage expecting it to sing the beautiful song it always has. Fools.”





Pela felt as if she were suffocating. Something large and heavy was holding her down stealing all the air it could from her. And the heat it was producing was making her feel sick. And weak. She tried to move. Tried to struggle and get out from under the suffocating beast but every time she tries, her arms were too heavy to lift and her body felt as though the weight was growing heavier and heavier.

NO, she tried to scream. NO. It’s too hot! She was saying but her words simply weren’t coming out of her mouth. Why couldn’t she talk? What was wrong with her? And why were her eyes not opening? HELP! SOMEONE HELP ME! So….hot….s-so….hot….

Finally her eyes fluttered open but she couldn’t see clearly. Where was she? Slowly she reached her arms under her to push herself up and her trembling arms had barely enough strength to do so. Blinking, her eyes looked around for some sort of sense of where she was but she was too disoriented.

Closing her eyes, she tried to draw magic to herself to somehow cool herself down but all she did was end up making herself even hotter. Groaning, she felt something beside her and turned her head to look. Olwa’s face was swimming before her and the look on his face made her worry.

Finally she remembered where she was and who she was with. His voice was distant in her ears and she could barely hear it over a buzzing sound. She thought she was screaming but her voice was barely audible.

”Too…..h-hot…..n-need to….cool down….fast….”

As she talked she tried to force herself up to her feet. The water she heard when they stopped was not that far away. If she could just reach it……

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:10 pm


Kali looked at Tanjee when she mentioned the betrothment and she saw that Tanjee immediately understood what her look said. Tanjee started speaking and Kali just listened, taking in all she said. Once she mentioned Olwa’s parents Kali spoke, “Perhaps Olwa knew all along and chose to ignore it, perhaps the very rebellion in his spirit against following the path set before him as a member of the upper class of the Silvanesti Elves was enough for him to conveniently forget long enough to have a tryst. As the general over the Royal Guard, answering only to Myth’alas, Ky’ly is a member of the upper echelon of your society, whether Olwa knew or not is no longer the issue.”

Tanjee looked at her and Kali continued, “Ky’ly is used to getting his way… this situation is long from over. He did not earn his name for being passive.”

Tanjee would know exactly what Kali meant, Ky’ly was Elven for “Emerald Tiger”, a name given him as a child due to his tenacity. Kali looked up the path and spoke again, “It is the job of the parents to set their child on a path, it is the job of the child to choose or deny that path as they pass into adulthood. This is a dance that has been played out over and over through the history of life on Krynn. The response of the parents can scar or support, unfortunately for the upper class of the Silvanesti the chose tends to be forcing the child into the parents mold, no matter what the shape.” Kali looked at Tanjee again, “My guess is Ky’ly and Allawana could care less about the song bird and more about the condition of the cage in which he lives.”

Kali and Tanjee both stopped instantly, they had been talking and heard it too late, three Rangers stepped from the trees and with arrows drawn the Captain of the scout group spoke, “We could hear you from a thousand paces away.”

Kali looked at the Ranger and spoke, “Lucky for you, otherwise we would have snuck up on you.”

The Elf slowly let his bow down and spoke to the others in Elven, commanding them to keep their arrows on their targets. The captain took a step forward and spoke to Kali, “And lucky for you we are on the hunt and decided to ask questions before putting arrows through your foreheads.”

Kali looked at the elf from under her hood and spoke, “Tsk tsk, that would have been most unfortunate, for you.”

The Ranger narrowed his eyes and spoke, “An evil Wizard and rogue Elf, the forest would barely weep as your bodies hit the foliage.”

Kali and Tanjee simultaneously removed their hoods and the man’s eyes went wide, all three went to a knee and spoke, “My apologies Princess Kali, Tanjee… we did not recognize you.”

Kali looked at Tanjee and gave her half cocked, crocked smile, “I take it that you are the Rangers sent by my Grandmother to find the lost younglings…”


Branch heard the commotion and her head whipped around. Instantly she pounced from her rock and in a flash she was on top of Pela… Pela was in and out of consciousness, she was crawling, but to what… Branch did not know. She made out the word ‘hot’… Hot? It was 4 degrees Celsius … she still grabbed the blanket and pulled it from the young wizard. She then heard ‘water’… she spun on her heel and reached, grabbing the water skin from her pack and held it over the young human girl as she spoke softly, “Shhhhh Istar'ostring, shhhh, I have water here… feel, touch…”

She reached and took Pela’s hand, it was hot, almost as if it had been in fire. Branch furrowed her brows and wasn’t sure what to do. She opened the skin and poured some drops of water onto Pela’s forehead, hoping it would snap her from whatever was happening.”


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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:36 pm


Tanjee raised a delicate brow as she looked at the leader of this group of Rangers. Her eyes scanned the area but heard nor saw anything. Finally she looked down at the ranger from atop her horse and spoke softly.

”It is a good thing for you and your men you did not shoot first and ask questions later. I would hate to have to be the one to report back to the Queen part of her beloved Rangers was incinerated. And you would have been had you attacked.”

She leaned forward slightly and narrowed her gaze at the Ranger who was in charge.

”Right now I am thinking the human phrase ‘do not judge a book by its cover’ is rather appropriate.”

The Rangers, all three of them, seemed to fidget slightly at what Tanjee was saying but they didn’t say anything to her about it. She was right and they knew it. Finally, she sat back up straighter and looked around again.

”Have you found anything yet?”

The Ranger spoke up again and shook his head.

”Not yet. It is as if they disappeared into thin air. We would have thought the human would have left some trace behind but we are only seeing small disturbances that do not indicate human disturbance.”

He glanced over his shoulder and looked around slightly before turning back to look at the women.

”We have others further out than we are making a wide sweep of the area. The only thing we know is they left by the Way Gate. It was the only way they could have slipped out undetected by any of the guards. The soil at the gate was disturbed showing use lately, but it was difficult to tell if it was from last night or a few nights ago.”

He furrowed his brows then and nodded his chin towards them.

”What are you two doing out of the city, this far? You should be back joining the celebration and leave this to us.”

Tanjee practically groaned at his words and she looked over at Kali seeing the look on her face.





Olwa’s voice…it sounded different. It was….feminine. And his hair was dark….as were his eyes. Who was this person? The question was left unanswered when Pela felt the sensation of water on her forehead and she closed her eyes. All too soon though the sensation was gone and Pela felt the heat returning only not so quickly.

She had to get herself cooled down or she would die, it was that simple. Something happened to drain the cold from her body but she didn’t know what it was. All she knew was that she had to get herself cool. Opening her glazed eyes, she looked at the dark haired, dark eyed unfocused face before her.

”More….p-please….more….”

As Branch brought the water skin forward again and started pouring the water on Pela’s forehead, Pela reached up and took a hold of it. With a concentrated effort, she focused on the water skin somehow knowing the water within would help her. Her trembling hand rested on either side of the skin and she drew magic to herself.

As the pull of magic grew slightly, her hands grew cold again and as Branch began pouring the water on her forehead, Pela used her magic to turn the water as cold as she could. As the cold water began to wash over her face and head, she felt some relief. All too soon the water skin was drained but Pela still had to cool.

AS her senses began to sharpen, she saw the face before her was Branch and she reached out to the elfess. Licking her lips, Pela swallowed hard a few times and spoke in a pained whisper.,

”B-Branch….I have….overhea…ted…..I need….need to get to….the water…..Please….help me…..make it….”

She saw the hesitation in Branch’s delicate face and she pleaded with her again.

”P-please….Branch…”

She felt Branch’s hands reach for her and help her to her feet. In the back of her mind Pela thought Branch was much stronger than she gave her credit for and she would be wise to remember that. Branch helped Pela half stumble and half dragged the dazed and confused sorceress through the area until the sound of the water grew louder. As Branch used herself to help support Pela she would feel the heat the now seemed to escape from the sorceress clothes.

The stream that flowed quickly through the trees was an estuary off the main river and with the recent spring thaw, the water was colder than usual and flowed a little stronger than normal. Reaching the streams edge, she blinked to clear her vision. As Branch led her to the streams edge, she let go of the elfess and dropped to her knees letting her hands rest in the water. Using the rest of her energy, Pela crawled over the rocks into the rushing water and turned to lay on her back. The ice cold water rushed over her form and instantly her breathing began to slow and return to normal. In a few minutes, it looked like Pela had fallen back asleep in the icy water using the rocks as her bed to cradle her form.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:57 pm

Branch sat and watched over Pela as she lay in the water. Indeed this was the strangest thing she had seen in a long while. A woman who had to keep her temperature down in order to survive was simply amazing to her. Knowing Olwa was probably fine where he lay Branch decided to stay with Pela until she woke.

An hour later Pela’s eyes fluttered and Branch looked down at her, the look on her face was nothing short of concerned and she spoke softly, “Istar'ostring, I am so sorry… my actions… Branch did not know the heat would harm you… Branch was only trying to help Istar'ostring, she did not mean to harm her. Branch is so sorry.”

Kali could not help but roll her eyes at the Ranger’s words. She glanced at Tanjee and then back to the Ranger as she spoke, “Our business with the younglings is our own, but one might consider that the authorities higher up are dissatisfied with the progress being made and sent out support.”

The Ranger’s eyes went wide and he spoke to Kali, “We will double our efforts Master, er…. Princess Kali. I… We, will see that the younglings are returned unharmed.”

Kali glanced at Tanjee again and could see the Elfess keeping a laugh hidden behind her mouth as best she could. Kali looked at the Ranger and spoke, “Send a missive to the rest of your party that we are passing through, we don’t want to deal with anymore incidents, do you understand?”

The Ranger saluted sharply and backed out of the way. Tanjee and Kali proceeded and Kali spoke to Tanjee’s mind, ~ “So we have a human and a young royal ranger who can’t be tracked… I am not too up on my training protocols within the ranger corps but it seems that Olwa is a too young to have been taught concealment yet…”~

She looked at Tanjee, curious as to her thoughts on the hyphthesis.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:36 pm


When Pela awoke this time it was as though a switch had been turned on. She felt invigorated. Of course the fact she was in freezing cold water was somewhat of a mystery to her but as the foggy events came back to her, she understood what happened and was glad Bad Rocks training for her came back instinctively.

Making her way over to the shore, she made her way out of the water and proceeded to ring her hair and clothes out as best she could. When Branch started apologizing, Pela quickly knelt down next to her shaking her head and took the Branch’s hand gently, reassuring the elfess all was ok.

”It is OK, Branch. Really. It is only a normal reaction for others to want to protect me from the cold but it is the cold I need to live. I do not completely understand it and neither did my father. It is why he made our home in one of the highest elevation in the Khalist Mountains. When we traveled, he always made sure we were near water in case I got overheated. And it seems to happen more since….since….well….since….other physical changes have happened to me.”

Her cheeks colored a deep pink and she looked away from Branch for a moment before she drew up the courage to look at Branch again.

”As long as we stay near the water as we travel I will be fine. Once we reach the Mountains, I will know the path to take that will keep us closest to the water there. “

She let Branch have her hand back as she reached up to wring her hair out again.

”Thank you. For staying with me while I recovered. I am glad you did.”

She smiled and got to her feet and watched as Branch stood as well.

”Shall we get back to Olwa now?”

AS they walked back to the small encampment, Olwa was still sleeping peacefully where they left him. Looking skyward, Pela saw it was late afternoon now. IN a few more hours the sun would be setting and they could start traveling again. Until then, she would sit and talk with Branch until Olwa awakened.

Lovigly pulling the blanket up over Olwa, she smiled softly and let her hand linger on his shoulder. His breathing was deep and even telling her he was resting peacefully. She looked over at Branch and whispered softly to the elfess.

”I never knew loving someone would make me feel this happy but it does. And Olwa makes it very easy to love him. Tell me something, Branch…..how is it Olwa turned out the way he did when his parents are so…..nasty? He could have turned out like them but he did not. Is it because of you?”





As Tanjee gently urged her mare onward, she glanced over her shoulder at the Ranger then turned back around to watch before her. Pulling the hood of her traveling cloak back up over her head, she answered Kali in kind sending the missive to her mind.

~No. Not for another 30 years or so. However, if one had a wild Elf bringing up the rear and covering their tracks, it would make sense. I heard whispers the house servant for House Pilininge has gone missing as well. A fact Allawana will no likely find blame on someone else for her lack of ability to keep her house in order. At one time she was Olwa’s nanny. And she just happens to be Kagonesti.~


~If this is indeed true, I fear Ky’ly will seek to remove the smear from his House and in doing so….he could seek revenge on who ever he thought was to blame for all of this. No matter how high in society that went.”

Tanjee glanced over at Kali from beneath her hood and saw nothing but the shadows that concealed Kali’s face in her own hood. Still, she knew exactly what Tanjee meant. Of that there was no doubt.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:04 pm

Tara couldn't have been happier with Gideon at her side and the sparkle in her green eyes said as much. Sitting in the garden with him, chatting about nothing and yet everything she was glowing. When Tanjee showed up and mentioned what was going on and that it involved it youngsters she was quick to rise to go with her, but the she-elf was quick to leave her standing there wondering what was happening. She chuckled at Gideon's statement agreeing with him.

"She does indeed. She has been me best friend since I arrived to Heartlund and whenever she be near I always feel better. Not as good as I feel when ye be with me, though", she said with a blush and turned away. Gideon laid a gentle hand on her cheek, pulling her face back around to look into those beautiful green eyes of hers. "And I feel the same, Tara." He chuckled as she blushed again. "I know you want to help, especially when it deals with youngsters, but these not our lands and we could be more of a hindrance than helping."

"Aye, Gideon...ye be right and I know it. Tis just hard for me when it be children involved." She smiled at him, so glad that her understood her and how she was when it came to children. He rose, offering her his hand. "Come...let's go explore more of the beautiful city." She gladly followed him, they walked hand in hand through the pathways, admiring the beauty of the Silvernost.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch 4: Wedding Bells   Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:49 am

Branch sat with Pela and watched as she put the blanket on Olwa. She smiled softly as Pela looked up at her and they walked over to check the venison. Branch took several layers of green leaves and tied them to her fingers. Reaching over she removed the topmost layer of rocks and removed a piece of the meat. She allowed it to cool and then handed it over to Pela, “Istar'ostring, please taste, tell Branch if it is good.”

Pela took the venison and bit off a small piece. As she chewed her face brightened into a smile and Branch’s face lit into a small smile, “It is good to see Istar'ostring smile. Istar'ostring has had many troubles in her life, Branch can tell. Istar'ostring walked with Netherman, had to prove herself aye?” Pela looked at her with a slight look of surprise but nodded her head, “Branch knows the Netherman, all Elves do, especially if they live in Silvanesti forests. Netherman often invaded the forests along the Borderlands looking for food, valuables, and peoples to trade to their other tribes and make tribute. It is how Branch lost her sister.”

Branch inhaled deeply and poked at the meat, removing the last of it from the rock pit and looked up at Pela, “Branch does not blame Netherman, they do what they need to for surviving, but Branch sure would like to see her sister again.”

She smiled and the sadness seemed to almost immediately melt away, “But Istar'ostring needs someone to talk to aye? She is of the age of changes, all females go through it and Istar'ostring is no different. Branch went through it too, makes you feel different, sometimes vulnerable, but other times empowered aye?”

She smiled and watched Pela, her deep, dark eyes scanning the young woman’s pale skin, “Branch is thinking about Istar'ostring’s question about Master Olwa, his being not like his parents. Maybe Istar'ostring could find answer in heart, maybe if she looked she would see that she and Master Olwa are not that different. Here is Istar'ostring, pledging her love to a Silvanesti, but was raised by Netherman. Netherman do not love, especially not Elves, but here is Istar'ostring loving an Elf.” She looked at Pela and the slightest of smiles crossed her lips, for the first time Pela heard a tone of humor in Branch’s voice, “Almost as strange as Pela loving a Minotaur aye?”

Kali listened to Tanjee but didn’t respond for a short time as she pondered the words. She responded but kept her eyes on the road, speaking to the Elfess’ mind again so as to not break the silence around them, ~ “A Kagonesti, a wild elf. This just gets more and more interesting. There is no doubt that Ky’ly will kill her if she is involved, the Silvanesti see them as little more than Gully Dwarves, he would call her and think nothing of it. Ironic that the original race of Elves are the ones seen as the inferior. I had a run in with Kagonesti once while in the service of the Dark Queen…” ~ She paused and turned her head to look at Tanjee, ~ “That was the most frightened I have ever been.” ~

Tanjee looked over at her and from under Kali’s hood she would see the seriousness in her eyes, ~ “They seemed to appear and disappear in and out of thin air. Arrows took down my companions faster than I could react to put up any kind of protection. It was only the shadow ward that protected me, and even then they were on top of me before I had a chance to fire off a second spell. It was only their fear of dark magic that saved me, they had me dead to rights, but I managed to spark a fire in the trees above them and they scattered.”
“Sure, Ky’ly is a fantastic swordsman and warrior, but I would still put my gold on the Kagonesti if he challenged her, they are savage when they need to be, especially when they have something to fight for, which she does.” ~


She looked at Tanjee and could see the understanding in her eyes, if the Kagonesti was Olwa’s nanny and raised the boy she most likely saw him practically as her own. Kali looked up the road and watched the shadows, her Elven vision picking up small shapes here and there, ~ “My suspicion is they are traveling by night and resting by day. Pela told me that is how she and Bad Rock used to travel. It also makes the most sense so they can stay concealed. How much more do you have in you?” ~

They both could see the sun beginning to descend and begin it’s dip into the horizon line. Night was coming, the younglings would probably be on the move soon.

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