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 Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen

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PostSubject: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:59 pm


Ice’Rock stared at Gore’Rock as though he’d just grown a second head from his massive shoulders. Finally she glanced at Blood’Scale for a moment and knew the look on her face had to be priceless to him at that point. She hadn’t expected things to turn out like this. She had just become Chieftain of Those of the Snow. Now the size of her clan had just doubled. And so had her responsibilities.


A week later, Ice’Rock, along with Silent’Oak, Olwa (who was now being referred to as Swift’Bolt from how quickly he was firing off arrows in the fight with Those of the Swanp) The Seven from the Snow, The Seven from the Swamp, Gore’Rock, Blood’Scale, and the Shaman from Those of the Swamp, Fist’Smash, were in the main village where Blood’Scale’s home and Seat of the Chief were located. Word had spread like pollen on the wind of what took place so the members of Blood’Scales clan had come out in full force to meet their new Chieftain. it was a bit overwhelming at times and Ice'Rock would squeeze Olwa's hand a little tighter when it started to get a little much for her. He would send her a calming missive and it would allow her the moment she needed to recollect herself.

Things were still tense between the two clans but at least the fighting had stopped and there were no reported deaths since the day the fight between Silent’Oak and Blood’Scale had taken place. If nothing else, Ice’Rock was very glad for that.

She glanced up at Blood’Scale and saw the way he was looking at her. He was unreadable and difficult to gauge. Only the dipping of his brows from time to time would indicate he was not pleased with something. As the group decided moved about, Ice’Rock looked up at the massive sized Netherman to her left and spoke quietly.

”A penny for your thoughts, Blood’Scale.”

When he glanced down at her and gave her a confused look, she waved her hand dismissively and smiled ever so slightly.

”It is an expression. It just means I was wondering what is on your mind. You have been very quiet since our arrival this morning.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:57 am

Blood’Scale looked at Ice’Rock as she spoke and responded plainly, “I am dishonored among my people Chieftain, do you expect me to be overly vocal about this?”

He turned and looked out across the humongous open area of their town center and waved his hand as he spoke, “They trusted me to lead them, to be strong for them, and I was bested by a being not much larger than a bug.”

He looked at his bandaged hands and continued, “My family are warriors, we always have been the strongest and the bravest. Now because of my stupidity I no longer lead,” He turned and looked at her, “Understand Chieftain, I do not mean you ill will, you have shown nothing but kindness to my people since the challenge ended, a kindness that only a human is capable of. It doesn’t remove the pain from the wound however, I have forever altered the course of Those of the Swamp.”

He turned and looked out again, his smaller seat beside that of the Seat of the Chieftain showing his demotion in the hierarchy felt like it was compressing and squeezing him to death. He watched as Silent’Oak stood, surrounded by several dozen young females from Those of the Swamp. They were fascinated by her, touching her hair and her facial tattoos, she didn’t seem to mind one bit all their pawing and questions. His black eyes remained on her, looking from her tiny arms to her petite shoulders and small swords criss crossed on her back. Suddenly a voice broke the silence as Gore’Rock spoke to Blood’Scale, “She is a fascinating creature is she not? Ugly, no question, but fascinating none the same.”

Blood’Scale turned to look at Gore’Rock, his shiny black eyes meeting those of the Shaman’s, “Only rumor of the Elderwild ever came our way, and none ever believed the prophecy.”

Suddenly Ice’Rock touched his arm and both turned, “Prophecy?”

Blood’Scale turned and looked at Gore’Rock who’s face suddenly went slightly pale as he looked up at Ice’Rock, “I did not want to tell you Chieftain, I didn’t want it to alter your decisions.”

Ice’Rock gave him a look that suggested he needed to start talking. Gore’Rock cleared his throat softly and spoke, “Three hundred and six moon cycles ago, a Shaman of Those of the Sea, the Nethermen known for their mysticism made a prophecy. She spoke of the coming of an Elderwild. She said, “In the future, when the Nethermen are scattered even amongst themselves, when the eyes of Krynn are no longer upon them, an Elderwild, the truest of the Elves will come amongst them. She will prove herself and be elevated to a status high and respected, though she will never become part of them she will live among them. She will pave the way for one of our own, the road will be firm, wide, and swiftly built, and the Nethermen will be united under one Chieftain. Under this Chieftain many lands will be conquered, many wars will be fought, and the Nethermen will be a mighty nation.”

He looked at Ice’Rock and dipped his head slightly, “I have known my Chieftain, since the day you and the two Elves stepped into our village that your return was the beginning of this prophecy being fulfilled. Never has an Elderwild walked among us openly, if ever. I hesitated to tell you, maybe out of not wanting to influence you, but mostly to see for myself if the prophecy was true.” He turned and looked at Blood’Scale and then back to Ice’Rock, “After what happened last week, I am convinced that the prophecy is not only true, but it is unfolding before our eyes. You are the destiny of the Nethermen Ice’Rock, the seven clans will be united under your rule.”

Blood’Scale turned his head again to look at her, “Though my act was foolish it was foretold, maybe not directly Chieftain, but it had to happen to pave the way. None of the other clans will oppose you, none will challenge you now. When word spreads of the Elderwild and my defeat they will come with terms of peace between themselves and you. You asked for my thoughts, though I am crushed under the heel of defeat, I am alive to see our people elevated to a new status of respect on Krynn. We are a nation of warriors, that is our nature, YOU are a warrior Chieftain,” He turned and looked at Silent’Oak who was laughing as she exchanged hair trinkets with a Young Netherwoman female, “She is a warrior.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:37 am


Ice’Rock stopped walking and watched how Silent’Oak was interacting with Those of the Swamp. She had been accepted openly even if in a curious manner by the fiercest clan of the Nethermen. As the story of the prophecy was revealed to her, she let the news of what was unfolding before her slowly sink in. To say the least, it was staggering. Her hand clutched Olwa’s and she trembled ever so slightly.

Her blue eyes rested on Branch as she watched her laugh and exchange trinkets with the young Netherwoman. There was no doubt her dear friend found a place she could call home, even if it wasn’t back with other Elderwild. Her eyes slowly moved to Gore’Rock and Blood’Scale’s gazes and she spoke quietly.

”When my father left with me, I was extremely sad. For three days all I did was cry. He did all he could to console me but my heart was broken and he knew it was because of him. I never blamed him for the decision he made and I do not now for in looking back, I know why he did what he did.”

Her eyes scanned the families of Nethermen that moved through the village as they tried to get a glimpse of their new Chieftain but more than that, they wanted to see the Elderwild of the Prophecy.

”He knew I would never be able to truly appreciate being a part of anywhere I would call home….until I knew what it felt like to leave it and not be able to return. I did not know it at the time, but he traveled throughout Krynn with me to teach me about the world, and not just the part of it Nethermen lived in. He even let me become something that was less than honorable yet necessary to survive. We lived in the best of conditions and in the worst of conditions. Hard lessons in life that helped mold me into who I am today.”

She let her gaze turn to Olwa then and she smiled lovingly.

”And it was because of my father I met someone who taught me what emotions were all about and they weren’t something to ignore or fight.”

Her eyes looked back at Gore’Rock and Blood’Scale then

”My father knew I needed to learn what it was to become human if his wish for me to return here and be a part of the only family I had ever known…..and lead them as it seems a prophecy said I would. But t was because of the first five years I spent with the Those of the Snow that I learned how to be a Netherman first and because I have learned how to be a human Netherman, he knew something even the prophecy did not. Being a warrior is not everything but letting your emotions alone guide you wouldn’t be strong enough.”

She looked out over the clansmen and clanswomen again before she looked back to the two Nethermen with her.

”I am but one woman. While I may be the Chieftain in the prophecy, I aone cannot lead these people. It will take all of us to do that.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:09 am

Gore’Rock and Blood’Scale listened to Ice’Rock as she spoke. They were, to say the least, perplexed at the complexity of her thoughts and how she wove everything together. Gore’Rock touched her gently on the shoulder using only his index finger as Bad’Rock used to do and spoke, “The Nethermen have always been a race with seemingly shallow emotions, but we do feel, we do understand anger, happiness, sadness, and all those things. It is from the heart that emotions flow through us, that is why we offer the hearts of our fallen. When the heart is burned the smoke lifts us to the heavens and allows all we were in this life to transfer to the next. For a thousand generations we have been taught to keep those emotions inside and move with neutrality. Perhaps this prophecy is about more than just who will lead us, but why.”

He turned and looked at Silent’Oak again who was still surrounded by females from Those of the Swamp, “She laughs openly, with no regrets or hesitation… and those around her follow her lead. Already they have begun to smile and even laugh with her,” he turned and looked at Ice’Rock, “and with you my Chieftain. Those of the Snow are already more open about the way they feel.”

Gore’Rock looked up at Olwa and saw the way he looked at Ice’Rock, how they held hands and were open about their affections. He spoke softly to the Elf, “You are worthy of better treatment, from myself and the others Swift’Bolt. I have been resistant to you because the Silvanesti Elves have never accepted us, I allowed my prejudice to cloud the truth. You have fought and bleed with Those of the Snow, and that proves you are not like your kin.”

Olwa smiled and extended his hand without hesitation, “There is nothing to forgive Gore’Rock, I grew up hearing how barbarian and savage the Nethermen were, but have learned quickly that there though there are many differences between our people we are the same in many ways.”

Gore’Rock took Olwa’s hand and shook it. He gave the slightest of smiles and nodded to the Elf.

As Ice’Rock finished speaking Blood’Scale stepped in front of her and knelt to one knee, “Humbly my Chieftain, I would ask that you give me a second opportunity to serve the Nethermen. By the writing of The Seven I cannot lead a clan anymore, that duty is yours and yours alone. But I would ask that you give me the chance to prove myself to you, to serve you and the Nethermen.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:42 am


Ice’Rock listened to Gore’Rock and looked around. She hadn’t taken full notice of the change, but now that it was pointed out to her, she saw it. And she saw how easily the Netherwomen were to laugh with Silent’Oak. Pride swelled in her heart and she felt a lump form in her throat. Was this what her father wanted?

Before she could ask or hear an answer, she saw the handshake between Olwa and Gore’Rock and couldn’t help but smile, misty eyed. If nothing else happened, she was extremely happy this moment had arrived. Now things could begin to grow.

When Blood’Scale knelt before her and asked for a second chance. This massive, battled hardened male with an intimidating glare now looked to her for an opportunity anyone else would rarely get the chance to have. Holding her hand out to him, she nodded.

’it would be my honor to have you serve me and your fellow clansmen and clanswomen. The best way I can see that happening is to grant you the authority of the Chieftain in my absence. I cannot be everywhere at once since it appears I will be traveling to the lands held by the clans. And who better to fill that role than the Netherman who protected these people before I came along? While I know you cannot be Chieftain, I believe by the writing of The Seven, there has to be an authority in place when the Chieftain is absent. By the writing of The Seven, you are that authority.”

She glanced at Gore’Rock, Fist’Smash and The Seven from both clans to get their blessings. When they inclined their head in agreement, Ice’Rock stepped closer and placed her right hand on Blood’Scale’s left shoulder.

”Blood’Scale of Those of the Swamp, as Chieftain, I hereby proclaim you warrior protector of Those of the Swamp. You are charged with protecting this clan from not just outside enemies, but from each other as well. Do you accept this duty I have charged you with?”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:17 pm

As the approval of the gathered Nethermen Elders and the Chieftain was passed to Blood’Scale and he was granted the title of Warrior Protector he looked up at her and the faintest of smiles crossed his face. He nodded and then stood before her, lifting his hands to the sky and gave a roar of triumph. Hundreds of heads turned at the sound and Blood’Scale turned to the assembled in the town center and he growled ferociously, “LONG LIVE THE CHIEFTAIN!”

The assembled roared in response, “LONG LIVE THE CHIEFTAIN!” Blood’Scale looked out and spoke in a loud voice, “I have been granted the title of Warrior Protector, know that I pledge my heart to the Chieftain! Know that I will uphold her law! Know that I will see her words fulfilled, by my life, and my death!”

The assembled roared and he turned to Ice’Rock, lifted his hand to his heart and inclined his head. As he looked up he noticed something to his right side and turned, Branch stood beside him, looking up with a smile, “Mr. Blood’Scale, let us make peace, we serve the same Chieftain, it is right that we are not in personal conflict.”

Blood’Scale looked at her with a puzzled look. It was very rare for Nethermen who had fought for both to live, in the few cases where both did live the loser became no better than a slave to the victor. As Silent’Oak looked up at him and he could see the sincerity in her face he glanced to Ice’Rock and then back to her, nodding softly, “Thank-you Silent’Oak.”

Branch nodded and smacked him on the arm, “It can’t be held against you Mr. Blood’Scale, to fight for honor and your people. I understand why you did what you had to do. I look forward to fighting with you again, only at your side instead of in front of you.”

Again Blood’Scale showed a faint smile and nodded. Silent’Oak turned and looked at Ice’Rock, inclining her head and speaking, “Respectfully Chieftain, I request that a celebration be had, to unite the clans, and to bring unity.”

Branch looked up at Pela and it was obvious in her eyes, she was more at home than Pela had ever seen her.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:13 pm


Ice’Rock heard the roar of their cheer and felt her cheeks grow warm. How strange, she thought. She used to be loathed and mistrusted; now she was being accepted, and celebrated, as a Chieftain of a group of warriors who were some of the most fear species in all of Krynn.

As the cheering stopped and Silent’Oak and Blood’Scale made their peace, she beamed with love and pride not only for her dear friend, Silent’Oak, but for Blood’Scale as well. Just a short week ago he was hell bent on killing her, now he was swearing his life to her and the Nethermen.

As Silent’Oak looked to her for an answer to her suggestion for a celebration, Ice’Rock gave it a moment’s thought then nodded in agreement, smiling brightly.

”I cannot think of a better way of announcing the unity of the clans. Blood’Scale, gather up a hunting party to send out with Silent’Oak to bring back some fresh game for the celebration. Tonight, we will celebrate a new beginning of unity between Those of the Swamp with Those of the Snow!”

More cheering filled the air and the tension that had been present when they first arrived was melting away with each passing second and in its place a sense of excitement filled the air. Ice’Rock looked to Olwa and smiled before she turned and hugged him fully, whispering in his ear.

”I never thought, in a thousand centuries, we would be standing here, celebrating with Nethermen.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:06 pm



This was not a meeting that Myth never wanted to have, but knew it was inevitable. When the remnants of the party appeared he knew exactly how they had returned. Rayann could feel the distinct imprint of Pella on the wake of the spell. Ky'ly had caught up to the pair and something had happened. It was clear from the initial calls for aid that something had gone very wrong for the small contingent of rangers. Now he sat patiently waiting for a report that held the answers that he wanted. Soon the light footfalls of a nervous ranger echoed in the halls. Myth never let the knock come, he wanted answers now.

When Cael entered Myth was presently seated behind a desk facing the doors fingers laced laying on the table before him. His eyes were hard and the grim look on his face was a clear indicator of his mood. Despite his clear displeasure his tone was calm as he spoke to Cael.

"I would like details about why the ranger general is in such a critical state. Who did they encounter, how many were lost."

Myth's hands parted as he sat back in his seat awaiting Cael's report. "I would like to know what I have to tell several prominent families about the deaths of their sons and daughters Cael."
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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:25 pm

Pela turned and looked at Blood’Scale and he nodded ever so softly. He had requested that he personally go with Silent’Oak to hunt, while many other parties were sent to different areas. The game was plentiful in the area and it was certain that there would be plenty of meat for the potentially thousands of Nethermen that would come to the gathering. Of course, the village had plenty of food and other provisions, but it was tradition to send out hunting parties to gather food before celebrations began.

With a single hand gesture Blood’Scale moved to his side and the massive stag turned to investigate the movement he thought he saw, and the familiar thump echoed through the woods as he fell in his footprint, dead from a shot right into the heart. Silent’Oak walked over and checked him for signs of life, there were none. She looked up at Blood’Scale who knelt down with her and watched as she stroked the great animals neck and whispered in Elven. When she finished and opened her eyes he looked at her with his head slightly cocked and spoke, “Why do you offer these words? Though I don’t understand them it sounded like a prayer.”

Silent’Oak smiled and spoke, “Where I come from, we offer the spirit of the creature back to the heavens so it can ascend and live among it’s kin again.” He looked at her and then to the stag, “Like you do with the tress…”

She smiled softly and touched his arm so he would look back at her, “Yes, that is right, like the trees. There is life in everything, and the Elven people see and respect that.” He crossed his eyes and shook his head, “You are incorrect Elderwild, the Elves to the east do not respect all life, they do not respect Nethermen.”

Silent’Oak nodded softly and spoke, “Not all who call themselves Elves are truly Elves Blood’Scale. The Sylvanesti believe they are the highest of the Elves and enslave their own kin, it was their arrogance that started the Kinslayer Wars and divided the Elves across Krynn. It was their pompous attitudes that caused them to look down on the rest of the Elves, and it was their inhumanity that caused them to feel they had the right to enslave my people.”

She turned and looked at Blood’Scale, “The Kagonesti were the ones who walked from the Greystone, the eldest race outside the dragons ever created by the gods, and now we are the slaves of those who claim their dominance over all. They are architecting their own demise.”

Blood’Scale reached and took his blade, etching a thin line on his palm and squeezed so a small drop of black blood ran out the crevice. He took a finger from his other hand and pressed it into the blood and rubbed it on Silent’Oaks palm, “By my blood, I will not see you harmed by them Silent’Oak. I will destroy any of these Silvanesti that try to lay claim to you.” She smiled and nodded, “You may be fulfilling your vow sooner than you think great warrior.”

He reached for his sword and looked around. Silent’Oak laughed softly and touched his arm, “Not today though.”

Blood’Scale and Silent’Oak entered through the main gate. Blood’Scale carried the stag in one arm while Silent’Oak had a whole string of rabbits and grouse hanging off her shoulders. They walked to the Chieftain and laid the meat before her, “Great Ice’Rock, my Chieftain. Silent’Oak and I have returned, and we provide meat for the celebration!”

The clan roared and cheered in delight, the meat for the Chieftain had arrived, the celebration could officially begin.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:38 pm


Cael stood and listened as Myth’alas spoke to him. As the prince made his expectations clear Cael spoke, his face was still as proud as any Elf’s ever was, but his eyes showed his nerves, “My Prince, General Ky’ly asked for volunteers to go and find his son. We traveled for three days and tracked the lad, the white whi… er, Pela, and the servant of the house of Ky’ly across the great valley and into Nethermen lands. We tracked behind them, but we were ambushed by the beasts my Prince. They killed many of us and drew the rest back to their village in the high mountains.”

His eyes were darting nervously and he continued, “We were treated with great hostility my Prince, tied to a pole in the center of town and beaten. The next day we were to be killed per a sentence of death, but Pela, challenged the Chieftain of Those of the Snow to a duel for the leadership of the clan. He had to accept because she produced branded skin that entitled her to have her challenge accepted. She won and the first order she gave was for Ky’ly to be slain.”

He had just lied to his Prince… lied for the sake of his master General Ky’ly, lied for the sake of his honor, and ultimately for the sake of the Silvanesti. He hoped and prayed for nothing more than for the Prince to declare a state of war so that he personally could go and stick a sword through the Elderwild. He looked up and watched the Prince, wondering what his response would be.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:25 pm



Myth observed every twitch of motion that Cael made as he delivered his report. His face remained an emotionless mask as he sat there listening carefully to the pitch of Cael's voice. When the ranger was finished the prince let silence linger and said nothing for several long moments. To the eyes of Cael Myth would appear calm and serene, even contemplative. However anyone who knew Myth could recognize the glint of anger at the very edge of his eyes. Slowly and carefully Myth stood from his seat slipping his hands behind his back before stepping away from his desk turning away from Cael. If Myth had not knowm Olwa or Pela he might have believed Cael completely, but one detail in the elven ranger's explanation made Myth question everything.

"Indeed this outing proved quite disastrous... An attack upon our ranger general and his men who were in peaceful pursuit of an deserting soldier and two others. Such an act could be considered worthy of declaring war if viewed from the proper perspective."

Myth turned with a thoughtful look upon his face "However this was not mission sanctioned by the Speaker nor myself, and the soldiers who accompanied Ky'ly did so as volunteers." Myth took a moment to nod his head in contemplation. "So a group of Sylvanesti elves of no small number embarked on a mission without the rulers sanction, violated the borders of the Nethermen and were treated in accordance with the Netherman's own laws regarding trespassers. This could also, from the right perspective, mean diplomatically we owe the netherman an apology and explanation for why our Ranger General and several of his most loyal and arguably best scouts were in their lands pursuing a mere boy soldier and a girl who for all rights and accounts is a member of their clans." Myth let these facts sink in before he faced Cael fully the stern look returning to his eye.

"One thing bothers me about your report Cael... if you had already been sentenced with death then why would Pela bother to challenge the Netherman's leader just to declare it herself?" Myth stepped towards Cael with his hands still held firmlly in the small of his back and raised his right eyebrow "Perhaps there might be an important detail or two that you may have left out Ranger Cael?" Myth made it a point to punctuate the elf's position and name.
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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:08 am


Cael looked up as Prince Myth’alas responded and he nodded. Suddenly his face was more stone hardened and his eyes became more resolute, “I don’t need to confirm your being correct my Prince, our mission was not sanctioned, however it is not the custom of our military to seek sanction to retrieve every soldier that deserts us. General Ky’ly of course had a special interest in seeing this mission through as it was his son who happened to be the deserter, it was not only his position as General of the Ranger Corp but also the fact that his own blood had gone missing. I could only assume you would do the same if it was your son who went missing.”

He could see the look on Myth’alas’ face, the complete lack of amusement in bringing his own son into the discussion. Cael inhaled slowly and continued, “We only violated the borders of the Nethermen because that is where the tracks led us, we would not have ventured into their lands if our quarry hadn’t ventured there first. If anyone owes the Nethermen an apology it is the three whom we were tracking… of course as it turns out Pela now holds leadership over them.”

He looked up as Myth’alas brought up the death sentence and he nodded in response before speaking, “I agree Prince, it is odd, I myself thought we had respite once she had killed the Chieftain and taken control of the clan. Her words still ring in my ears however, the order to kill General Ky’ly. I can only assume that she did so because there is bad blood between them. General Ky’ly had his son betrothed, as soon as Pela found out about this she bewitched Olwa and left with him, why the Elderwild went with her I don’t know, but Olwa was under a spell, we had to retrieve him, for the sake of all our people. The General was very open and honest with us about Pela and how she used magic to manipulate and control others. Olwa is under her control, General Ky’ly recognized this and perhaps she wanted to erase all evidence of her spell over him by killing those whom she knew could sense it. With the bad blood between them, perhaps it would bring Pela more satisfaction to deliver the death sentence herself rather than see it carried out by another. Revenge will make people, especially humans, do some very strange things my Prince.”

He inhaled deeply and spoke, “I don’t agree that we need to send an apology, what we need to do my Prince is send our army into Nethermen lands, retrieve Olwa and bring the Elderwild and Pela back to Silvanost so they can face justice for putting an arrow through your best general.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:20 pm


The next few hours were spent in preparation for the celebration. Excitement filled the air as both clans of Nethermen began to get to know each other. Already Ice’Rock could see they were trading not only well wishes but she saw how they were trading ways on how they did things. There was no doubt each clan had something to offer the other and she couldn’t help but think of Bad’Rock as she watched the exchanges taking place. He dreamed of such unity but knew it would take time to bring his brethren together. Now, here she stood, a mere woman/child still in the eyes of many, and found herself the leader of not only one but two....and possibly more....clans of one of the most feared creatures in Krynn. When she took time to think of it like that it was almost too overwhelming for her. But she was determined to see these people brought together in the vision of her father. It was to his honor she gladly accepted this responsibility.

As the smell of food began to fill the air, the excitement grew. Ceremonial drums began to beat softly and Ice’Rock knew before the night was over, they would beat a lot louder and faster. The only rule she placed on the gathered clans was not to over indulge in drinking and for the most part, she knew it would be followed. With Gore’Rock, Blood’Scale, Trunk’Smash, and Grub’Trunk keeping close eye on everything, she knew no one would step out of line too much for fear of retribution from them let alone from her.

She saw the bright sparkle that appeared in Silent’Oak’s eyes as she returned to the village with fresh kills for the feast. It was as if her dear friend found a place she belonged and then some and Ice’Rock couldn’t be happier.

Well…almost…

Looking down at the ring on her finger again for the hundredth time, she felt the smile she couldn’t help wearing tug at the corners of her lips once more. This made her happiest. Olwa had proclaimed his love for her in a way she never thought possible. And in doing so, pledged himself to her and by accepting his token of love, she had pledged herself to him. They were now betrothed.

Feeling her heart swell, she looked over to see Olwa looking at her and she felt her cheeks grow warm knowing he’d been watching her the whole time. She walked over to join him where he sat, and took his warm hand in her chilled one.

”Do you make it a habit of spying on me all the time?”

Leaning in closer, she kissed his cheek softly before leaning back to look at him again.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:42 pm






Olwa could not help but smile as Olwa came to him and as she kissed his cheek he brought her left hand up and kissed it softly, “I do make a habit of spying on you as much as possible.”

He looked up and saw Gore’Rock coming to them, tankard of beer in one hand and a large chunk of meat in the other, “My Chieftain, Swift’Bolt, this is a grand affair to be certain!”

He turned and looked about as the Nethermen of two clans danced around dozens of massive fires in the large open area. As a gesture of good will the swamps had been chosen for the location of the celebration, though most of the supplies had been packed in from the village of the snow, a place that was becoming known as “The Grand Seat” by many of Those of the Swamp, a phrase never known but what was becoming spoken to describe the capital of their recently formed union. Turning to look back he looked at Olwa and spoke, “It seems that you need to be thinking about another upcoming celebration little brave one.”

Olwa looked at him and then to Pela before looking back, he spoke in Netherese, having begun to pick it up and speak it conversationally, “I am sorry Gore’Rock, I don’t understand.”

Gore’Rock laughed heartedly and smacked Olwa on the shoulder, though he was intent on doing it softly the sheer difference in size caused Olwa to almost fall to his knees. Only his natural ability to stay centered on his feet kept him from doing so, “Well if I am not mistaken that ring on our Chieftain’s finger is more than a decoration yes?”

Olwa looked at the ring and went flush, “Yes Gore’Rock, I suppose that it is.”

Gore’Rock nodded and spoke, “A human and elf tradition, but a tradition none the less, one that needs to be celebrated and planned. I propose that you come to my quarters in two sun rises and we shall discuss how NETHERMEN get married yes?”

Olwa laughed and slapped Gore’Rock on the shoulder, the impact barely even causing the skin to sink, “I would very much enjoy that Gore’Rock.”

Suddenly Branch appeared beside Gore’Rock and slipped herself under his massive arm, her hand settled gently on the small of his back as she looked up at Pela and Olwa. There was nothing but life and joy on her face, “Don’t let this one fill you with too many stories, gods knows he has too many to keep reference of.”

She laughed as Gore’Rock growled at her words and grabbed at her. She easily slipped from his arm and bounced across the steps they were standing on and looked at him, “You cannot deny the truth Gore’Rock.”

The Shaman laughed as he took another swig of beer and nodded, “Sadly, the Elderwild speaks the truth.”

All four laughed and Gore’Rock turned to look out across the massive party once again, “It is just as my brother imagined it would start…”

Branch looked at Pela and Olwa before looking at Gore’Rock, “How what would start Mr. Gore’Rock?”

Gore’Rock turned and looked at Branch with a smile on his massive face, “The union of the Nethermen nation! It was foretold in prophecy, it is coming to pass, and it will finish rapidly… that is what the prophecy says, ‘Once it starts it will happen swiftly’ … I am paraphrasing of course.”

He turned and looked at Ice’Rock and spoke, “It is why Blood’Scale was so quick to bring the clan into unison under your rule, we all know the prophecy, and we are resistant to change until we see it is the right path. Once we see the path is strong and sturdy, we move with full conviction. I dare say, this is only the beginning, Bad’Rock would have loved to witness this.”

He looked out and nodded as he walked back into the fray, Nethermen cheering as he walked into their midst and the fires were added too. The deep orange glow ascended into the sky, illuminating it like the dawn.

Branch looked at Pela and touched her hand to her heart, then her head in a salute of pledge, “Branch always knew there was something special about Istar’ostring, but Branch never imagined it was that yous were to be the leader of a nation.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:14 pm


Ice’Rock couldn’t help but chuckle softly at Gore’Rock and Olwa. It was like watching an odd theatrical play she had seen a few times in her travels. The large, lumbering one and the smaller, agile one. And when Branch showed up, it was all the better for her. Her chuckle turned to full fledge laugh as she watched how easily Branch moved out of Gore’Rocks reach and to see her uncle’s face lit up in its own way.

Her blue eyes drifted out, beyond her uncle and Branch to see the clans celebrating. As Gore’Rocks words repeated in her head, she took a deep breath then slowly looked back to Branch and blinked. She was right. It was far beyond the leader of a clan or two….from what it sounded like, according to the prophecy, she was going to lead a nation. A nation of often violent, war minded creatures who would just as soon rip a being apart then to negotiate with them.

But…..they were doing anything but ripping each other apart right now. Would she be able to keep this from happening in the future? Would she be able to lead these people into the future and onto a new path? She would never take away their ability to fight for what was theirs. She merely hoped to teach them HOW to fight for it. If she learned nothing else the past few years it was there were other ways to fight then using brute strength.

She looked at Branch again and shook her head in disbelief.

”I cannot believe this is happening. I merely wanted to save Olwa and his father from fighting each other.”

Her eyes turned to Olwa then and she squeezed his hand again.

”I had every confidence in you to win but I did not want to put you in that position.”

She looked back at Branch then.

”I had no idea it would lead to this. And I know the Nethermen are a superstitious lot, but I do not know if I believe the prophecy they speak of.”

Her eyes returned to those of the celebrating Nethermen and she grew quiet for a moment then her smile slowly grew brighter.

”But if it helps them on the road to healing and becoming one, then I will allow them to believe it and do my best to live up to it as well.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:05 pm


Branch looked out across the massive open field, sprawling with Nethermen and Netherwomen, the majority of whom were slowly ignoring their Chieftains directive to not drink too much and she spoke. Her voice was quiet and matter of fact, “Istar’ostring, it is often in the disbelief that the most amazing, and unbelievable things happen.”

She turned and looked at Pela as the fires cast their unearthly orange glow all around them, “Istar’ostring, if a prophecy was spoken, and it was a true prophecy, then it matters not what anyone believes, even the Chieftain. Absolute truth is absolute truth. Think of it this way, if one says, ‘I don’t believe in the gods’, the gods are still there, despite ones belief in them. So whether Istar’ostring believes in the prophecy or if she does not, that doesn’t negate its existence and ultimately its fulfillment.”

She turned and looked back across the enormous celebration erupting before them and her silhouette was like a face that had been hewn from fine porcelain and polished to perfect. Only the gentle movements of her twisted and braided hair gave away the face that she was alive, “Branch is not certain that Nethermen ever needed healing Istar’ostring, what they needed was a strong leader. Not the type of leader that theys think they needed, but the kinds of leader that could see beyond just small bickerings and the need to strike back at small injustices. The kinds of leader that could produce hope in the heart and strength in the mind, the kinds of leader that brings a lifetime of experiences and that can relate to every walk of ones life,” she turned and looked at Pela with her deep brown eyes, “the kind of leader that Istar’ostring isn’t yet, but is willing to become.”

Pela looked at her curiously and Branch could see on the young humans face that she was wondering what she had meant by ‘the kind of leader she wasn’t YET’. She smiled and spoke before the question could be asked, “Istar’ostring still doesn’t believe in her own people. Istar’ostring said she don’t know if she believe their prophecy, that they are suspicious, and Istar’ostring is willing to let them believe so they can heal. These are good things, but they are not trust. Istar’ostring, you know Branch loves you, very much, Branch worries that this burden is much for such young shoulders, but if there is a prophecy then it cames from something higher than us. If it came from higher beings, then they believe in Istar’ostring, but if Istar’ostring isn’t believing in just the prophecy, then she certainly won’t believing in the higher things when she needs their strength,” she looked at Pela very seriously, “Because to lead a nation of Nethermen, Istar’ostring will at minimum needs the strength of the gods.”

“Branch believes that Istar’ostring will get there however, Istar’ostring has been nothing but a marvel for Branch to watch since her arrival to Olwa’s house. Istar’ostring is the strongest human that Branch has ever seen.”

She smiled and leaned forward, kissing Pela on the forehead with her soft lips. She brushed her palm against Pela’s white cheek, stood without another word and walked back into the fray of Nethermen who cheered as she approached and swallowed her into their mass so she disappeared from sight.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:46 am


Pela listened to Branch and while her words didn’t sink in completely right then and there, she did absorb them. As Branch disappeared into the throng of cheering Nethermen, Pela stared at the area branch had disappeared into before she let her gaze cross over the celebrating mass of Nethermen and Netherwomen. This was going to be a learning process. From all sides. She looked back at Olwa and let a smile ease over her face.

”Well….I am certainly glad she made this journey with us, Swift’Bolt. I do believe I would be lost without her…..and I KNOW I would be lost without you.”

She leaned in and kissed him softly before reluctantly pulling away and watching the celebration again. For the next few hours Pela, or Ice’Rock as the Nethermen called her, mingled about them sharing their stories and delighting in this lighter side of such a fierce people. In her childhood, she didn’t remember too many of these sorts of celebrations taking place but then again, she was more focused on playing and having fun like most children.

As the celebration wore into the night, Pela finally felt the tug of exhaustion and couldn’t fight it off any more. It had been a rather emotional day for her and she was in dire need of some sleep. She refused to take Blood’Scale’s home and opted for a guest hut that had been erected for guests as it was in all Nethermen clan villages. Early the next morning, she woke and slipped quietly from her bedroom and walked out to see Olwa sleeping peacefully on the pallet he made the night beofre. Placing a soft kiss to his cheek, she walked silently out of the hut to greet the new day. The morning sun had not fully risen yet and as she looked around at the bodies that littered the ground, snoring peacefully, she chuckled softly and shook her head. So much for following the chieftain’s orders of not drinking too much, she thought.

As she silently made her way through the village, she saw a few scattered others that had risen and were getting ready to start their day. As she passed by she was greeted with a respectful incline of their heads and she smiled, inclining hers in return offering quiet morning greetings to them. Finally she reached her destination which was a small, clear pool of water secluded from the main village but not too far away so that she could bathe. As she bathed, she heard Branch's words once more. Pela knew Branch was right. She didn't fuly trust them yet. And she couldn't fully lead them if she didn't start trusting them. Easier said than done. But starting today, Pela was determined to do just that. Learn to trust them. It was where she HAD to start if she was going to lead these clans, as the prophecy indicated.

About half an hour later, she was making her way back through the village as more people were waking and greeting the day. Several of the celebrants were coming around as well, one of them being Gore’Rock. He was curled up on his side, his right arm under his head for a pillow and looking innocent. Well, as innocent as a fierce, fighting Netherman COULD. Leaning closer, she let some of her white hair drape forward and tickle his broad nose.

”Good morning, u’mesh.”

He peeked one eye open and looked at her, grinning at him, and groaned before he put his left hand over his face to block out the reality of the sunlight. Pela chuckled and was getting ready to say something to him about looking like a child curled up when the sound of a horn blew twice alerting the village to others approaching. Pela snapped her head towards the sound then looked to Gore’Rock.

”Rouse the warriors in case we need them.”

She started towards the village entrance when she saw a large shadow approaching from her back. She recognized it right away and looked up when Blood’Scale, complete with the crocodile skull, stepped up next to her and began walking with her.

”Good morning sunshine. I wonder who has come to visit.”

As they grew closer to the entrance she saw fourteen warriors had already made their way to the entrance and were standing ready to attack at her command. Unable to see, she used two of them to climb upon and look over the wall to see 21 members of another clan. One stepped forward wearing a necklace of large, razor sharp teeth and seemed to be wearing drapes of dried seaweed. Pela glanced back at Blood’Scale and saw he was eyeing the visitors warily but he recognized the one that stepped forward. She turned to look back at the large Nethereman and greeted him.

”Greetings, clansmen. I am Ice’Rock of Those of the Snow and Those of the Swamp. To what do we owe the pleasure of your visit?”

The tooth bearing Netherman spoke up, his voice deep and booming much like Blood’Scale’s.

”I am Shark’Slayer, Chieftain of Those of the Sea and we have come to seek counsel with the Grand Chieftain of Those of the Snow and Those of the Swamp.”

Pela glanced back at Blood’Scale and saw his slight nod then glanced to Gore’Rock who also nodded. The village was secure and ready for anything. She looked back at Shark’Slayer and nodded, giving him a small smile.

”We welcome Those of the Sea into the village of Those of the Swamp. Please…come.”

By now Olwa and Branch had joined her at the wall and she easily jumped off the shoulders of the two nethermen she used as a shelf and looked to them, smiling.

”It appears we have visitors from Those of the Sea. Come…join us in greeting them.”

As the gate was opened allowing those of the Sea to enter, Pela saw the warriors from all three clans were on alert, as she expected, but the tension was nowhere near as bad as it was when Blood’Scale came to the village of the Snow clan.

As Shark’Slayer walked in, he saw Olwa and Branch, stopped and blinked then looked to Blood’Scale and Gore’Rock.

”So the prophecy is true.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:27 am




Branch watched and listened as Those of the Sea exchanged greetings with Ice’Rock. When Ice’Rock bid them enter she slipped down into the crowd and stood beside Gore’Rock who was waiting near the main gate. He looked down as she came up beside him and he gently patted her on the shoulder without taking his eyes off the massive doors.

With a mighty pull the gate was opened and Those of the Sea entered. They were a smaller lot than Those of the Snow and Those of the Swamp, leaner as they spent much of their time swimming while they hunted. Those of the Sea stuck mostly to the coasts, rarely venturing into land much. They were a relatively peaceful tribe compared to many of the others, but they were still Nethermen. As Shark’Slayer stepped forward and looked at Ice’Rock and then to Gore’Rock and spoke his words Gore’Rock nodded his head and responded, “None of us were certain until a week ago, but the One to Whom We Can Look has arrived, there is no doubt.”

Without hesitation Shark’Slayer and all those with him went to a knee and Shark’Slayer spoke, “I vow to Ice’Rock, the pledge of The Seven, that Those of the Sea will serve her loyally, and without hesitation. As Chieftain I submit our weapons and are wills to you.”

Branch smiled softly and looked at Pela, the astonishment on her face was priceless and she turned to Gore’Rock, “Branch thinks your niece may have just seen a glimpse of the truth.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:32 pm


Sometimes, when the truth struck you so soundly, everyone around you knew when it happened. Pela was no different this time. As she watched the Sea clan swear fealty to her, her right hand settled on the center of her upper chest and she blinked then looked at Branch then to Gore’Rock before her eyes moved back to the Sea clan Chieftain. Stepping forward, she moved to stand in front of Shark’Slayer and touch his shoulder gently. She saw the look cross his face when he felt the chill of her hand and she smiled.

”You will get used to it.”

Taking a small step back, she looked out at the 21 members of the Sea clan, including The Seven, and nodded her head then looked at Shark’Slayer again.

”As Chieftain, I pronounce you, Shark’Slayer, Warrior Protector of Those of the Sea and charge you with protecting them from not just outsiders, but from each other as well. Do you accept this duty I have charged you with?”

Shark’Slayer lifted his face and his black eyes met Pela’s light blue ones. Standing, and like all Nethermen, towered over Pela, he raised his hands to the sky and yelled for all o hear.

”LONG LIVE THE CHIEFTAIN!”

Those with him, including The Seven, stood and did the same. Lifting his right hand to cover his heart, he inclined his head and spoke confidently.

“I will uphold your law and know I will fulfill your words, by my life, and my death”

Pela smiled and stepped to the side gesturing for him to walk with her.

”Then welcome, Those of the Sea. Tell me all about your clan. I am eager to know all about them.”

A roar of cheering and weapons banging filled the once sleepy village as the new arrivals walked into the village. Olwa walked on Pela’s left side while Gore’Rock and Branch walked on her right. Already the members of the other two clans were starting to welcome the Sea clan members and it made her proud her people would do so. She glanced up at Shark’Slayer as they walked through the village.

”You seem to have journeyed far, Shark’Slayer. We had a celebration last night so I’m certain we can find meals for you and your people. You can tell me about Those of the Sea while we break our nightly fast.”

She looked around at the bleary eyed Nethermen and chuckled as they scrambled to try and conceal their throbbing heads and churning bellies.

”Besides, I believe many could use a day of resting before we get too far into too much discussion.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:50 pm



Myth was impressed that Cael was keeping his wits about him, but he was certain that the ranger was lying about events. As much as he would have liked Myth resisted the urge to drag the truth out of Cael. Taking a deep breath Myth returned to his seat and sat down. As the humans would say, there was more than one way to skin a cat. Myth laced his fingers together again and looked at Cael once more.

"Clearly you are quite passionate about what has happened Cael, but I can not simply declare war because my best general did something fool hardy. In his place I would have ventured out after my son, but I would have done so alone... I would not have asked anyone else to go with me." He pointed at Cael "You would be wise to remember that."

With a sigh Myth sat back "You will meet with the Speaker and myself in two hours to present your report. Only the Speaker can truly decide if there will be any large scale retaliation in this matter... You are dismissed." Myth pondered whether or not Cael would so willing to lie in front of the speaker and the council.

Myth looked up as Cael was leaving calling to the guard. "Tel'ar could you please send for Lady Rayann..." Myth simply smiled
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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:58 pm


Cael felt himself shrink in his seat as the opposing form of the Prince leaned forward and pointed directly at him. He felt as if Myth’alas’ very finger would fire itself into his heart like a dagger and pin him to the chair. As Myth’alas sat back and sighed, instructing him that he would report in two hours to address the council, the Speaker of the Stars and the Prince once again, he hid the dryness he suddenly felt in his throat. This was getting out of hand, why would the Prince not just declare war and get it over with?

He stood and nodded as he was instructed to and heard the Princes voice tell the guard to call the Princess. He looked at the guard uneasily and moved down the hall with haste… he needed to figure out what to do.

Two candle ticks later Cael stood before the imposing archway of the Hall of the Speaker. They had been repaired since the wedding day a few weeks back, but the stone work was still under construction and massive gaps that rendered the door useless to keeping people out were everywhere. He inhaled deeply as he thought about that day, watching Ceridwyn, one of the purest Elfess’ he had ever seen subcumb to the evil that came into their midst. He was lost in thought when he suddenly snapped to, hearing his name being spoke forcefully. He looked up and the guard was glaring at him, clearly not happy about having to repeat himself several times to get the Rangers attention. As the Crimson armored guard swung the door open and he was announced Cael looked around at the massive repair work that was still underway, though it had been paused for this meeting, he felt sadness rip his heart at what happened to his beloved Silvanost.

All this tied back to the White Witch, he knew it in his bones. He looked forward, there was the Speaker, the Prince, Rayann, the rest of the council members and a small gathering of elders. He swallowed hard as he noticed that none of the other Rangers who had come back were present, only himself. He held his head high and walked proudly and boldly, he would convince them, show them, tell them why they needed to go to war and retrieve Olwa… the HAD to believe him! They HAD to trust in the Rangers!



From the side of the hall, half tucked in the shadows, a dark cloaked figure watched as the Ranger made his way down the aisle. She watched with her unmatching eyes, a crooked smile that rested almost in a sneer. As the princess heir she was allowed to be here, however she had no interest what so ever in the report this Ranger brought, in fact she cared almost as little as she did in the throne that she was heir too, a throne she would never possess anyway, the Elves, no matter what their begrudged acceptance, would never allow a half blood to sit on the throne. The battle that would be fought for her brother to actually sit there after she refused it was something she was planning for.

She walked in parallel to Cael as he walked down the long aisle. Stopping when he finally did at the front. Only her father and mother noticed her in the half shadows, the rest of the Elves more focused on the Ranger than the movement in the sides of the hall. As her Father looked at her with a sideways glance she nodded softly, and then did the same to her mother. Rayann looked at her curiously, she could see the conflict in her, to stand and come hug her daughter, or remain seated as protocol demanded and wait until it was over. She almost delighted in the struggle she was observing, not that she cared about the hug, or her mothers affection… it was more that it was fun to watch the battle.

“Cael Aeradel reporting as ordered Prince Myth’alas.” Kali listened to what lie underneath, as she knew her mother was doing. His voice hung softly, there was confidence and strength, a lingering conviction and of course arrogance, something that every Silvanesti carried with them. Kali turned to watch her Grandfather as he stood and began the meeting.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:34 am


Rayann did not question why she had been called to attend this meeting with the Speaker, members of the counsel and her husband. Obviously something she could provide was needed. Wearing her formal Red Robes, she took her place at front of the Hall and watched as the Ranger walked forward. The slightest of movements from the corner of her eyes caught her attention at almost the same time she felt the presence.

Her eyes moved to the movement and she saw Kali slinking about in the shadows. Her heart immediately started beating more rapidly and she felt the maternal instinct to jump up and run to her daughter and enfolding her in her arms but protocol required her to remain where she was. For now, Rayann settled for the slightest of smiles and a barely perceptible nod of her head.

Rayann calmed herself and turned her attention to the Ranger, Cael, and listened to what he said. But it was what he wasn’t saying she was paying particular attention to. No doubt, this was what Myth had her attend the meeting for.

As the meeting began, her eyes remained fixed upon Cael. His voice was soft and calm as he spoke but there was something beneath the surface that belied his calmness. Knowing the Elves had the natural ability to know when magic was being used, Rayann had to rely on her empathetic ability without casting any spells. While the spells she could use would make it easier for her to get what she wanted sooner, the natural ability she possessed would be far better because he would not be trying to purposely conceal anything. The tricky part was going to be linking Myth into what she was seeing. His presence could sometimes be detected this way but she remained focused and confident she could keep him masked from Cael and allow him to see what he needed to see for himself.

As with all people, Rayann didn’t ‘hear’ words in their minds. She could actually see the events unfold in their minds as though she were there when it really happened, watching it from a third person stand point. The difference is she could feel the emotions of the person as though she were them.

Her lavender eyes narrowed slightly as Cael’s words didn’t match what she was seeing. But at the same time, she was seeing two different scenes play out in his mind. One he was relaying, but the other was different in MANY ways. Her brows furrowed as she saw the differences in his story. Still, she remained silent on the matter and would relay until she was asked to speak on the matter. Most likely it would never come to that since Myth was able to see everything she was and therefore removing her ‘prejudice’ from the equation entirely.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:54 am






Kali listened as Cael told his story, the challenge by Pela and the ultimate ascension to the Seat of the Chief, the execution order, the strike of an arrow by an elf named ‘Branch’. She allowed the thin smile to creep on her face again, the strength she had seen in Pela were coming to pass, the strength she saw that caused her to truly reach out to the only person she had ever done so, offering Pela an apprenticeship. As Cael finished the Speaker cleared his throat and stood.

He turned to look at Rayann, knowing that the Prince had brought her for her ability to see without seeing. Bypassing the Prince since he had already heard what the Prince had to say on this matter before the meeting had started the Speaker of the Stars looked at his daughter-in-law and spoke, “Rayann, there is no question as to why you were summoned by my son to attend this meeting. He has already shared with me the meeting he had with Ranger Cael prior to this formal report.”

He turned to look at Cael, “A very serious and potentially volatile situation exists right now. A tenuous peace between ourselves and the Nethermen has always existed. Because we share borders with the ones known as Those of the Swamp and Those of the Snow there has been an unspoken but understood agreement between our people, that any crossings of the borders would be dealt with inside those borders. Any time we have discovered Nethermen who have ventured into our forests we have killed them, and offered no quarter. As such they have done the same. It is a crude and primitive method to keep the borders established, but against a primitive culture like the Nethermen it is effective because it is a language they understand.”

He walked slowly along the marble steps and looked to the counsel assembled behind him, “The decisions we make today will etch a path into the history of Krynn, if what Cael has reported is in fact true, then the logical response would be to retrieve he who is our own, return him to his home and see that the infraction, no matter what the source is dealt with.” He was of course, speaking about Pela, and her death.

Cael felt a smile cross his face and he thought for sure that the Speaker was about to declare a state of response, “However,” the speaker turned now to Cael, “If what you say is not the truth then there is a much more serious issue, and that is dissension within our ranks, and at our highest levels.”

The Speaker walked across the stairs again, this time towards Rayann, “Princess, as I said, your presence here is not by accident, and I applaud my son for thinking that your being here would be beneficial. You have heard the testimony and report of Ranger Cael, I ask you, what are your thoughts on this matter?”

Rayann would immediately know that in his soft words what he was saying was, “Is Cale lying?” But the constant diplomat that he was covered that harsh question with one much softer and open ended. His grey eyes looked at her lavender ones as he waited for her response.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:40 am


It was the last thing Rayann expected, to be called upon for her to speak at this counsel. The Elves had made it clear they were not happy about her attending in the first place but Myth, and The Speaker had insisted upon it. So now that she was called upon to relay what she knew to be the facts, she found it shocking, to say the least.

Her lavender eyes held those of The Speaker for a moment then glanced to Myth who gave the slightest of nods. Taking a deep breath, she returned her steady gaze to the Speakers, knowing she had to handle this situation with kid gloves, so to speak.

”There are different sides to every story, Your Excellency, as we all know. There is what one wishes to believe, what is perceived by the listeners and then there is the actual truth. I heard the same words as all of you and I listened to them carefully. But I was also able to see what none others could. None others with the exception of the Ranger, Cael.”

Her lavender eyes drifted to the Ranger and she held his gaze then. She saw the confused look in his eyes and knew he wasn’t fully understanding it yet. But he was about to. Her eyes remained fixed upon the Elf as she relayed what she knew to be the truth.

”Much of what he has told you, is the truth. He did help the General track Olwa, Pela and what appears to be an Elderwild Elf into the Kalkhist Mountains and they were indeed taken prisoner by the Nethermen after a short fight. Some of his fellow Rangers were killed in the process. He and the other survivors of the fight were taken prisoner where they were subjected to less than decent treatment. But there were some things he left out of his story.”

Her eyes went back to the Speaker then.

”It appears the former Chieftain of the clan of Nethermen had ordered General Ky’ly and his son, Olwa, to fight to the death as opposed to carrying out the General’s execution. That was when Pela stepped up and challenged the Chieftain to a battle to the death. But, as a condition of her fight, it was agreed that if she won, all of the elves, including those of General Ky’ly and his men, were to be released and allowed to return to Silvanost. The Chieftain agreed to the terms and she defeated him.”

Rayann turned her gaze back to Cael then. She was starting to see more pieces of the story as he began to remember them in more detail, even though he was starting to realize what was happening.

”Apparently Pela was the new clan Chieftain, according to the laws of the Nethermen. Immediately she was challeneged to the death by another member of the clan but she refused to fight him. In fact, she called for unity among the clan members and threw her weapon to the ground at her opponent’s feet. When the opponent did not fight her, she graciously spared his life and asked him to help her. It was then she had the Elves released from their bonds, in fact, she admonished a Netherman for treating General Ky’ly harshly. When she pointed out to the General how lucky he was for having his life spared, the General’s response was to insult her and lash out at Olwa when the young Elf Lord refused to return to Silvanost with his father. In a blind rage, the General lunged at Olwa but was stopped by the Elderwild when she pierced his flesh with an arrow fired from her bow.”

She could see the look in Cael’s eyes then and saw he fully understood why she was there now. Turning to look at the Speaker, she relayed the rest of the story.

”It was Pela, in fact, who ultimately saved the General’s life by casting a spell that lowered his body temperature and slowed the blood in his veins. She took it upon herself to then create a portal by using stones, perhaps enchanted by her earlier, to create a portal to send not only the General, but his remaining Rangers, back to Silvanost with him. She even asked Cael to please tell the Prince and myself what happened there.”

”Ranger Cael was trying to protect his General, your Excellency. In his heart, he felt he was doing the right thing and in doing so; ultimately uphold the reputation of the Rangers and Elves of Silvanost. If I may be so bold, Your Grace, I would ask for leniency. While his actions may have been less than honorable, his love for his people, and his General, are what steered him down this path.”

Inclining her head respectfully, she knew she did what she was expected to do and had spoken truthfully. The rest was up to The Speaker, The Prince and the Counsel.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:19 pm




As the counsel shifted at his asking Rayann’s opinion he immediately turned and looked at each of them. They silenced themselves and he turned back to Rayann, listening to her insight and wisdom. Before he said anything he turned and looked at the counsel of elders and spoke, “My brothers and kin, open your ears and your hearts to what was said. I do not hold it lightly that she whom I have accepted into my home is still being refused to enter only your minds.”

He glanced from each elder to the next, one at a time in a slow deliberate manner, “Prejudice serves nobody but the self.”

He turned and looked at Rayann once again, “Thank you Rayann, your assistance in this matter is very much appreciated.”

As Rayann inclined her head and stepped back behind the throne Myth’alas sat upon beside his fathers the Speaker then turned to look at Cael who’s face was less than bold and strong now that the full story had been revealed, “Ranger Cael, in light of the words we have heard from you as well as from the Princess, I am to say the least disturbed. Though you acted in a manner conducive to one who was loyal to their General remember that even a General is bound to the honor and his own loyalty to Silvanesti, and its Elves. The General that you are so loyal to has shown disloyalty to the Prince who is the leader of our military as a whole, this includes the Rangers. His disloyalty has trickled down into the very veins of his whole regiment and as such there is a sickness pumping through the lifeblood of the whole division.”

He turned and looked at Myth’alas and in one statement made it clear regarding his trust for his sons leadership and judgment, “Prince Myth’alas, Commander General of our military. This matter falls without doubt under your verdict. This is a military court matter, not a counsel matter. However, now that we are assembled I offer our thoughts should you request them, however we will remain silent until such time you request our feelings on the matter.”

Cael, to say the least, was in a state of shock, to hear his very memories sounded back to him, to relive each moment as if he were still lying in the cold mud of a Nethermen village near timberline in the Khalkist Mountains, to see the look in Rayann’s eyes reflecting the absolute certainty of her words, to hear the Speaker give his words and then to see him pass the matter to the Commander General… his entire body reflected his heartache and shame. He looked at the floor and waited to hear Myth’alas’ words.

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