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 Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:38 am


Rayann glanced at Cael then let her eyes drift to Kali’s. She had an idea of what Kali was doing there but she wouldn’t intrude upon her daughter’s privacy and ask why. Whatever she wanted to know, Kali would find out. Regardless of Kali’s reason to be in the Chamber, Rayann was still glad to see her. It had been a few weeks since she saw her daughter and while they weren’t as close as Rayann would have liked to be, it was still good to see her.

Her lavender eyes then drifted to the Speaker as he took his seat and waited for his son to level sentence against Cael. While Rayann didn’t necessarily like invading the minds of others, she completely understood the reason why. And now that the ranger knew the truth as the events happened was revealed, he could no longer taint the story with misleading words or outright lies.

Something her husband was no doubt going to have serious issue with.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:08 am


Looking out over the valley which was almost always shrouded in a perpetual mist, Branch crouched low and turned to look at Blood’Scale. With a nod he turned to look back at the seven Nethermen who were moving slowly and deliberately through the forested area. They were dressed like a war party, but their weapons were tucked onto their backs and belts, and though they were moving cautiously as they came to the three corners area where the lands of the Swamp Clan, Snow Clan and Stone clan came together, they were not looking aggressive. Blood’Scale looked again at Branch who brought her hand up and leapt from the tree, landing so softly it was barely louder than a leaf hitting moist ground in autumn. The Seven Nethermen were only 20 meters away and directly in front of her. The leader stopped and held his fist up so the rest halted. They immediately went to a knee and he spoke in Netherese, “Elderwild, news has traveled to Those of the Stone, we seek audience with Ice’Rock.”

Blood’Scale side stepped from out behind the massive tree he had been waiting behind and spoke, “Our Grand Chieftain would accept your audience, follow us.”

Branch turned and looked at Blood’Scale and smiled, he nodded curtly, after all he was a Netherman, and the two of them lead them up and along the winding road which led to the village. It was several hours until they arrived, but when they did the gate guard saluted by banging their chests and the nine of them walked into the village.

It had been a few days since Branch had been back, Ice’Rock had her out with Those of the Swamp helping them with scouting tasks and teaching them about survival in the forests. Blood’Scale had taken a particular liking to Branch and the two of them were investigating any movements they detected together. As branch approached and noticed the new seat which had been constructed for Pela in the village center. It was much more ornate than the last, still made of hewn logs but they were burnished slightly to give them a shine and seven long planks emerged from the back with the symbols of the six clans on them. The only one that was missing was Those of the Stone, the only clan who had not approached and sworn fealty to her. Gore’Rock stepped forward as Pela was not present and both Blood’Scale and Branch nodded their heads respectfully, “Great Shaman, Those of the Stone seek audience with the Grand Chieftain.”

Gore’Rock nodded at Blood’Scales words and he sent a young Netherwoman runner up the long hill to her domicile. Branch turned to several of the attendants that were always near the Seat of the Grand Chieftain and she spoke in Netherese, “Bring water and food for our guests, they have traveled many days to visit Ice’Rock.”

Two of the attendants bowed their heads and disappeared into the large buildings that were a short distance from the seat. Branch turned and spoke to Those of the Stone, “On behalf of Ice’Rock, Grand Chieftain of the Nethermen, I Silent’Oak welcome you to our village.” Again the Nethermen went to a knee and Silent’Oak approached, “There is no need to take a knee with me, I am not a Nethermen, I have no authority over you.”

The leader spoke, his head still down, “You are in prophecy Priestess, therefore we will show reverence to you.” Branch nodded and spoke, “Very well, but know I make no demands on you.”

The seven stood upright again as she turned to walk to Gore’Rock, “Great Shaman, Blood’Scale and I have moved along the entire border between the Swamps and the Snow, all the roads were clear and there was no unusual movement to report. Gore’Rock nodded and touched her gently on the shoulder, “It is good to have you home Silent’Oak.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:35 pm


Pela had retreated to her domicile to take a break and grab something to eat with Olwa. It was times like this, when it was relatively just the two of them, she enjoyed talking to him about everything that was happening. It was hard to believe that she was still just a young woman when she conducted business with the Nethermen clans but here, in the privacy of her quarters, Olwa could still see she was very much that young woman and not a Grand Chieftain.

Her eyes sparkled, her smile radiated and her giggle seemed like music. While all of these things were visible during her business matters, they were still subdued as she understood the fact the Nethermen were still getting used to showing emotions of any kind in public. And no one could get her to show all of these things and more than Olwa.

When the young Netherwoman came to her and informed her of the new guests, Pela immediately sent her back with word she would soon be there. Quickly gathering her composure, she made sure that she had some sort of decorative piece on that represented each of the clans.

For Those of the Snow she always made sure her shirt was white. For Those of the Swamp, she had crocodile skin over the shaft of her soft boots. For Those of the Sea, she had a dried seaweed series of bracelets adorned with small shells. For Those of the Hills, she had a belt that looked like a series of smooth rolling hills. For Those of the Trees, she had a spear made of the hardest, finest wood proportioned for her petite size with carvings of each clan in the shaft. For Those of the Plains, she had a braid of sweet grass dangling from the neck of the spear. Even her Grand Seat had been constructed of wood from the six clans that had so far come forward to swear fealty to her. And she had one in all six villages to show there was no one particular village she was partial to.

Double checking everything, she looked over at Olwa and gave him a nervous glance.

”How do I look?”

The smile he gave her made her cheeks grow warm and she rolled her eyes at him.

”I should know better than to ask that of you.”

While they were officially engaged, Pela and Olwa still kept separate rooms to show honor and proper etiquette. The Nethermen may be a harsh, primitive species but they were not so primitive and backwards they did not understand these things. And it was important for them to remain true to each other as it was for them to set good examples for the clans. Not to mention earn respect from the clans men and women at the same time.

”Come…..let us greet our new guests.”

As she and Olwa moved down the long hill to the village center, she could see the growing number of clan members heading to watch as well. As she moved through she greeted everyone with a smile and nod. Some greeted her in similar fashion (as well as Nethermen could anyway) or they quickly moved out of her way and looked at her with wide eyes and aw.

When she finally made it to the Grand Seat of the Chieftain, she saw the clansmen from Those of the Stone and saw they were being offered food and drink. She looked over at Branch and smiled, nodding her thanks at the Elderwild’s forethought in making sure the visitors were well taken care of. As soon as they saw her, they all took a knee and placed their right hand over their heart.

”Grand Chieftain Ice’Rock, Those of the Stone have come to honor you and follow in the footsteps of our fellow clans.”

As it was with the other clans when this happened, Pela felt a lump form in her throat and she had to swallow hard a few times so she could talk. Blinking a few times to fend off the tears, she nodded and spoke loud enough for all to hear her.

”We are glad you could join us. Brothers and sisters are always a welcome addition to any family. Welcome, Those of the Stone. Please…..refresh yourself while we talk. I insist.”

It was becoming more and more common for her to refer to all of these clans as brothers and sisters and the term was starting to catch on. After all, in Pelas mind, she saw all of these different clans as different brothers and sister, much like Kali and Shaer were different yet the same.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:23 pm


Olwa was just settling in with Pela when the Netherwomen came. He was slightly disappointed as since their return from the territories of Those of the Swamp they had gotten very little time together. The other clans were coming one by one and pledging loyalty to her as Grand Chieftain. It was overwhelming for him but also brought a great sense of pride to see the woman he loved, apparently one who had been predicated hundreds of years ago in prophecy, become what she was becoming. It all came with the territory and he never complained knowing that Pela had a great deal of responsibility.

As the visitors were announced Olwa stood immediately and went to gather the few things he could get for Pela while she dressed again. When she came from her bedroom and asked how she looked Olwa smiled and spoke, “Fierce enough to lead the Netherman, beautiful enough to be remembered for it.”

It was becoming his standard words when she asked him how she looked every time a new piece of clan representation was being added to her outfit, an outfit that was tailored together with some of his artistic help. As he handed her the staff that was made to represent Those of the Trees, he gestured for her to lead the way with a wink. It was the custom that she proceed any of the clan which were not her guardian escorts, which Olwa was not. As she came out the main door of her domicile the four Netherman guards that were always stationed there went ahead of her and lead the way down to the village center. Glug’Lug, the same Netherman who once mocked her and bullied himself and Branch now beamed with pride as he lead the Grand Chieftain down the street. Olwa could not help but smile at this.

Olwa too had cast away his Elven garb and was now dressed like many of the Nethermen were. He didn’t show as much muscle or tear holes in his clothing to reveal the scars on his skin like they did, but his clothing was similar in its tailoring and look, but still had a touch of Elven to it, and it always would.

As they reached the village center and Those of the Stones swore fealty and then were greeted with the same words Pela, now acting as Ice’Rock, had given to every clan that came to her village, the entire crowd which was quickly assembling broke in to cheers and whooping. Those of the Stones stood and their Chieftain bowed his head, “We thank you for this welcoming Grand Chieftain, we like the other clans know of the words of the Great Prophetic Shaman and have awaited this day with anticipation. We live side by side with Those of the Sea, sharing our longest border with them. We were the first of the clans outside of Those of the Sea to know the prophecy, and we have always believed.”

He then turned to look at Branch, “When we came into your territory and the Elderwild dropped out of the sky to greet us, we had all the confirmation we needed to swear fealty to you and complete the circle of seven.”

He turned back to Ice’Rock who was looking at Branch with a smile after hearing about how she ‘dropped from the sky’, “I am Grey’Slab, Chieftain of Those of the Stones, and with my words I pledge the loyalty of the clan to you, and we will heed your words as long as you lead the Nethermen nation.”

Again the Nethermen cheered and banged their weapons against their armor. Olwa turned and looked at Branch who turned and looked at him with a small smile, their glance exchanged their feelings, never had they thought accompanying Pela back to her home would result in all this.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:25 pm


Pela practically beamed as she heard Grey’Slab’s words followed by the cheering of the assembled clan members. More and more she was starting to believe the prophecy that had been spoken many, many long years ago. After all, what else could explain why these clans of Nethermen were starting to come together as one when all they did in the past was fight and kill each other? Trust, Branch told her, was what she needed and trust was what she was learning.

Stepping down from the Grand Seat of the Chieftain, she walked to stand before Grey’Slab. Reaching out her chilled hand, she laid it gently on his large shoulder. As he lifted his head to look at her, their gazes locked as she repeated the same words to him she had all the other Chieftain’s who came to her.

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

She could see the pride in his black gaze as he spoke.

”I pledge my heart to the Grand Chieftain! Know that I will uphold her law! Know that I will see her words fulfilled, by my life, and my death!”

The entire village erupted with cheers of “LONG LIVE THE GRAND CHIEFTAIN” filled the air. Pela couldn’t help but laugh at the excitement. As the seven rose to the full height, she took s small step back so she could see all of them better. The cheering settled as all eyes once more focused on their Grand Chieftain. Pela’s eyes sweet over the crowd and she realized, almost suddenly, what had just taken place.

All seven clans of the Nethermen were now under her rule. She was barely a teenager and responsible for thousands of lives. Could she do it? As her eyes looked around then to Branch and Olwa, she knew she could. And she had the best people to do it with. Finally she aised her hands, still holding the spear in her hand, and yelled at the top of her lungs.

”WE ARE NOW ONE NATION! LONG LIVE THE NETHERMEN!”

The cheering and celebration was so loud it was deafening and it went on for almost a full five minutes. She walked back up to where Branch and Olwa stood and she embraced both of them feeling the emotions wash over her.

”I am so glad you are both with me now. There is no way I could ever do this alone. With you…and all of them, I know we are going to do great things. No more will others think us inferior. We will prove we are stronger than ever if anyone should try to force their will upon us.”

She looked back over the crowd then leaned towards Branch.

”Thank you….for everything.”

Already Pela could see the fires being lit. Another celebration, this one sure to be larger than all the others, was about to take place. Now that the lines of borders were no longer considered infractions, there were clansmen from all seven clans mingling about, just as it was in the other six clans now. She looked over at Olwa then and smiled.

”I would say the next thing we will be celebrating is our wedding….from what I can gather from the time you and Gore’Rock have spent together, you should be well versed in Nethermen courting rituals by now.”

There was definitely mirth and mischief in her gaze now and she did nothing to subdue or hide it from those surrounding her. In fact, she saw the grin (or as close as it could be) on Gore’Rock’s face when she glanced at him and shook her head as she laughed softly.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:46 pm




Gore’Rock returned Ice’Rocks gaze and he nodded with a smile. Turning to look at Olwa he spoke, “Swift’Bolt will never be strong enough to full understand the courting rituals of the Nethermen, luckily his soon to be mate is smaller than he. I fear that a true Netherwoman would eat him… literally.”

He huffed with laughter as he slapped Olwa on the back and sent him stepping several times to catch his balance. He stepped forward quickly, “I am sorry Swift’Bolt, I still forget that Ishould be softer when I do that.”

Olwa looked up at him and laughed, “It is alright Gore’Rock, one day I will be used to it.”

They laughed and Gore’Rock turned to Ice’Rock, “I leave you for my duties Grand Chieftain, may your day be long.”



He nodded to her, Olwa and Branch before disappearing into the crowd. Branch walked over and spoke, “He is a good Shaman, he cares about his people more than anything.” She turned to look at Pela and spoke, “More importantly Chieftain, he respects you.”

She saw the smile creep onto Pela’s face almost instantly and she spoke, “Now that we know part of the prophecy is fulfilled, we can only wait to see when the rest will be.”

Pela and Olwa turned to look at her and she spoke, her face a little more solemn now, “The coming of the Elderwild, the ascension of a Grand Chieftain, the unification of the Nethermen into a nation, these have all come to pass. The prophecy continues however stating that under the Grand Chieftain ‘many lands will be conquered, many wars will be fought, and the Nethermen will be a mighty nation.’”

She looked at Pela and spoke, “You are the leader of warriors, not pacifists. It is only a matter of time before war will come, whether by the aggression of the Nethermen, or a threat from outside. When word spreads that the Nethermen are unified and working together, it is certain that outsiders will attempt and disrupt all this.”

Branch looked around and then back to Pela, “It is the way of the world to fear that which you don’t understand, it is why the Silvanesti and Qualanesti enslave my kin, it is their misunderstanding and forgetting what Elves really are. They fear our return to teach them, so they oppress us. The Nethermen are no different, the world fears them but has forgotten them when they were contained within their own borders. A lion can only stay caged for so long Istar’ostring.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:12 pm


Pela understood exactly what Branch was telling her and she nodded.

”I know, little mother. What the prophecy does NOT mention is the loss of life these warriors will suffer in an attempt to keep what is theirs. And even expand some. I only hope that when the time comes, I am strong enough, and wise enough, to lead them into the battles we will inevitably fight. While we will not be able to avoid fighting all the time, you and I both know there are ways of fighting that requires no weapons other than a sharp mind. But when the time comes for us to fight, we will do so with honor and dignity.”

She looked over at Olwa and smiled then looked to Branch again.

”Until that time, I hope we are able to enjoy at least a little time of peace. These people have been fighting for so long; I want them to have a taste of what it is like to not have to fight day in and day out for what is their’s.”

Her gaze drifted out to watch the new comraderie that was starting to take place among the different clans and her smile grew. She turned to Branch and Olwa with that same smile then inclined her head towards the celebration that was getting started.

”Shall we join our clans men and women?”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:52 am

The celebration was raging late into the night after the loyalty of Those of the Stones came to pass. Nethermen from all seven clans had gathered into what was a rapidly becoming the ‘capital’ of the Nethermen nation. The village had been renamed “Icemoore” in honor of the Grand Chieftain only a couple days prior and plans were being drawn to create a new great wall around the entire valley. All the clans had pledged to contribute efforts to this end and in return new walls would also be built around every old village centers that were once the clan capitals.

Swift’Bolt and Ice’Rock were dancing in the middle of the bonfires, the music of the Nethermen rising to the sky as the night embraced the celebration. Suddenly near the main gate there was commotion, and then the sound of a rallying cry. Olwa turned and looked at Branch who was sitting beside Gore’Rock and was already grabbing her bow and dashing to the main gate. The guards on the gate were shouting in Netherese for whatever was out there to halt and it was obvious that something was whipping them into a frenzy. As Olwa, Pela and Branch got onto the battlements and looked out onto the large field which opened up outside the wall a lone figure in black stood.

Her hood was pulled up over her head and she stood in complete silence. They could tell by her robes that she was a wizard and as Ice’Rock came up beside the leader of the gate guard he spoke to her, “She just appeared my Chieftain, out of nowhere, like a shadow that needs no light!”

Olwa touched him gently on the back and spoke, “She is Princess Kali, of the Silvanesti.”

“Another elf?!” several of the Nethermen had seemed upset by this news, they were accustomed to Swift’Bolt and Silent’Oak but they were in no way ready to accommodate more Elves amongst themselves, and most likely would never be. Branch looked sharply at Kali standing there and turned to Pela, “She is of dark nature Istar’Ostring, there is nothing good in her heart.”

She looked back at Kali suspiciously and waited for Ice’Rocks command.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:59 am


Pela was enjoying the celebration with Olwa, Branch and those of the Nethermen nation. It was good to be able to celebrate so openly and enjoy the music and dancing. While she had never been one to dance much since her maturing, she did so all the time as a child and tonight, she was that dancing child once more.

As the sound of alarm began to drown out that of celebrating, the music died and all available warriors rallied to prepare for a fight. While they didn’t know what they were fighting or who they were fighting, they were still ready.

As Olwa and Pela joined Branch and the Nethermen, Pela’s eyes narrowed when she saw the lone, black robed figure. Her eyes remained riveted to Kali’s slender finger as the reports were given to her about the sudden appearance of the figure. Now the question was: Did Kali come as friend or foe?

If she came as foe, Pela was almost certain the village would be nothing but rubble and ash right now. The fact she stood, alone and silent, just outside the gate, gave Pela the impression Kali wasn’t there to do harm. Glancing to her left and right, she looked back at Olwa then to Branch and spoke quietly.

”Do not let the package cause you to make a hasty judgment, my dear friend. Sometimes what is wrapped inside of it is not what you expect.”

She placed her hand gently on Branch’s shoulder and nodded slightly before she turned and made her way down to the mighty gates. Glug’Lug stood there and gave her a disapproving look that was more out of caution for her safety than anything else. With a nod, she assured the warrior it was alright.

”It is OK, Glug’Lug. I know this wizard. Open the gates so that I may greet her personally.”

Glug’Lug still stood there a moment longer before he moved to open the gate. As he did, he spoke to his Chieftain.

”Against my better judgment I will do as you command, My Chieftain, but know I will gladly make this wizard nothing but a stain on the ground.”

Pela looked up at him and gave half a smile.

”Trust me when I tell you this, great warrior, You would never be able to get close enough to fulfill that promise. But I appreciate your words all the same.”

The large gates creaked and groaned as the large Nethermen opened them just enough to allow Pela’s petite form to slip outside the protective barrier. Slowly she approached Kali and let her eyes remain on where she was certain Kali’s mismatched colored eyes were.

”Greetings, Princess Kali. To what do we owe the honor of your visit to Icemoore?”

Pela wanted to run to her friend and hug her tight but she knew Kali wasn’t the touchy, feely type of woman not to mention it would not set well with her Nethermen family if she were to conduct herself anything other than proper in public. In private, that was a different situation. But for now, she a=would adhere to strict tradition.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:17 pm

Keatara had returned to Heartlund to find her children in good spirits under James' care and teachings. The man greeted her as if she were his long lost sister which melted her heart, reminding her of her lost brother Tynen.

"How do you fare, Ketara? Was the wedding as beautiful as I would believe it to be?"

"Aye...that it was, James. Until Piramay showed up and destroyed it all." She knelt down to speak to little Clara, a beautiful child with wide, blue eyes and black eyes. Standing back up, she looked around her training arena. "You've done well in me absence, James. I thank ye fer caring fer the children fer me." She looked over to Curtis who was sitting by himself yet again and her brows furrowed together. "He still hasna' come around to ye?" James simply shrugged his shoulders, "He hasn't been a problem, Tara....perhaps it's just a simple conflict of personalities." Ketara nodded her head, "Aye...perhaps tis all it is."

She didn't say anymore as she became reaquainted with the children, smiling at each one and telling them of the wonders she'd seen in the elves' homeland. The young girls especially, listened to her hanging onto her every word. James stood back, letting her have the time with them, knowing that soon it would come to an end. He looked up to the sky, knowing that with Tanjee not around to keep watch and Gideon still in Silvanost the time to strike would be soon. He'd visited Tynen while Tara had been gone and had his orders. Before the elves returned in force to help guard Heartlund, Tara would be gone. And she would either join her brother or become a sacrifice to the Dark Lady.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:51 pm

Branch looked at Pela and spoke softly, “It is not the outward appearance that has me concerned Istar’ostring, there is darkness that surrounds her like a living shadow. She worships the dark moon, the moon that some say doesn’t even exist.” Pela looked at her with eyes that attempted to reassure her, but nevertheless Branch did not relinquish her expression of concern at this wizards appearance on their doorstep.


Glug’Lug huffed as his Chieftain spoke her words and as she touched him lightly on the forearm and walked alone to the wizard every Netherman present gained a tremendous amount of respect for her. The fact that she bravely stepped into the presence of a black robe wizard without hesitation was more than most Nethermen would ever do.

As Pela spoke Kali looked up from under her hood and practically hissed her words, “Never address me as Princess, I am no more a Princess of those pathetic, pale, narcissistic Elves than you are.”

She looked up at the massive wall and the hundreds upon hundreds of black eyes staring at her with contempt and suspicion. The thin, charismatic, crooked smile crept up the right side of her face and she looked at Pela, her gaze had softened from only seconds before and she spoke, “So I was right about you.”

Pela looked at her curiously and she continued, her voice softening with each word, “I once offered you an apprenticeship because I could feel within you the yearning for power. I was also wrong though, I mistook that hunger for power to be a desire of magical knowledge, I see now that your aspirations were more… physical.”

She looked back at the wall of Nethermen who would rush her without hesitation and gladly risk losing their lives to overwhelm her at the will of their Chieftain. Kali knew it wouldn’t even take Pela’s word to do so, just the slightest flick of her finger and Kali would be swarmed in seconds, even as powerful as she was she wouldn’t stand a chance. She looked back at Pela and spoke softly, “I suppose it is your move Chieftain. I am a wizard, the most untrusted sort among your people, so do you welcome me within your walls at the risk of causing a public disturbance? Or do you do so to test their metal, to see if they truly trust you implicitly, regardless of their own prejudices and judgments?”

She could see it in Kali’s off color eyes, even though this was a visit of an old friend it was also a test of strength, the only thing that Kali truly respected. How would the young Chieftain handle a challenge such as this? Nethermen believed in their strength, their weapons, their speed. When it came to magic they feared and distrusted it as much as fish respond to dry land. With rare exceptions to the rule, they would avoid magic and those who used it with every breath, it was the very reason they despised Pela when she was young, it was the very reason they attempted to kill her in the woods, and ultimately it was the very reason her father Bad’Rock left his home, his village, and his place of power to see her grow into a young woman instead of killed.

Kali stood silently and waited, her eyes watching Pela. There was no malice or mistrust, as usual Kali was doing what she was doing for her own reasons, and no matter what Pela decided, in time those reasons might or might not be revealed.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:09 am



Myth sat in silence as Rayann revealed the truth of the ranger's journey to both himself and the assembled council. Myth was disheartened that it had come to this but it had been a necessary course of action. As the matter was laid at his feet Myth rose and stepped out to address the council.

"This matter as a whole saddens me greatly. I am sure many here do not at this moment envy the decisions that lay before me." Myth was silent as he stepped up to the ranger holding the elf's attention with his emerald stare.

"I will not punish Cael or any other ranger for following Ky'ly into the netherman lands. I will however levy judgement on him for lying to The Speaker, the Council, and Myself. Three months confinement, reduction in rank, and he will be removed from the homeguard and placed into the general military structure." Myth kept his eyes locked on Cael "However he will be allowed the opportunity to one day rejoin to homeguard if he proves worthy of it." Myth looked to the guards at the door.

"Remove the ranger... the rest of these proceedings are not for the ears of a lowly forward scout."

As Cael was escorted from the room Myth now turned and faced the council. "As for the matter of Ky'ly and his incursion into the Netherman lands. From a strict military stance the punishments for the General's actions have clear cut consequences."

"Ky'ly abandoned his duties and took twelve able bodied soldiers with him that led six of them to their deaths. These actions could have severe political ramifications." Myth heard some muttering and thought upon his earlier conversation with Cael. "I had this same discussion earlier with Cael... he was kind enough to point out I would have done the same if it had been my own son taken. I would agree with him if my son were a helpless whelp, but Olwa is far from helpless physically and mentally. This I can verify by the actions of my own hands since I have seen to the boys personal military tutelage while he has been serving as my aid." Myth let that thought sink in a moment.

"What Cael and other rangers were told was that the boy had been bewitched and spirited away. The truth was that Ky'ly's son left of his own volition, there was no enchanting or sorcery involved. Olwa is of noble elven blood, and while the girl Pela is a spell wielder of no small ability she is not so strong as to bypass the magical resistance to charm spells we elven nobles have. This could be verified by a member of each color of high sorcery without question. That being the case this means Ky'ly took twelve men to retrieve his own son in foreign hostile lands by force with orders to needlessly kill a young human woman as well. It is on these grounds that the punishment of Ky'ly will be based upon." Myth shook his head.

"Given the service Ky'ly has given to these lands over the course of his career I would seek advisement from the assembled council before considering his fate." It was Myth's way of accepting his father's advice. As a soldier Cael's punishment could be dealt with as an afterthought, but Ky'ly was a high noble and there were political issues to be considered as a result. It was a way of letting the council members think they had some degree of influence on the matter.
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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:31 am




The Speaker listened to his son and though it was a masked presence Myth would see that he was proud of him for his decision making and mindful thought to these matters. He turned and looked at the Council who all had very concerned looks on their faces over the facts being brought to the chamber and their decisions would certainly ripple through the community.

Cael looked at Prince Myth’alas as the guards came and removed the coveted ranger insignia from his right shoulder. He inhaled deeply and defiantly looked at the Council of Elders as they all looked on in an approving manner. As tradition dictated the insignia was brought to the Prince and placed in his hand. Cael looked at the Prince and there was clearly shock and anger in his eyes, “I did not lie without reason Prince, this is a matter of long time coming! The Nethermen penetrate our borders almost daily scavenging and probing us for weaknesses! You would know this if you still moved with us but you sit in a chamber making distant decisions instead of being in the forests doing the trench work of the soldiers you once led! I would rather be a forward scout doing something than the leader of the armies of a whole land and people leading from afar!”

The highest ranking court guard struck Cael on the mouth and hissed, “You DARE speak to your Prince in that manner!”

The Speaker of the Stars stood and spoke, “Kelish, stop. He is still Silvanesti and though I do not approve of his manner of tone or words, both as Speaker and as a Father, he does have the right to have his opinion,” he turned and looked at Cael, “…even though it is wrong.”

Cael looked at the Speaker and his eyes dropped in defeat, “Speaker, I apologize for my tone and words, however this is a growing threat, daily we encounter tracks or have direct contact with Nethermen on our lands. The treaty is not breaking it has been broken for years. We send reports to the Council and they are ignored. We encounter contact with the filth of Nethermen on our lands constantly and they are allowed to roam unchecked in their aggression and thieving. It is only a matter of time before they march on Silvanost itself, and it will happen despite our giving you warning without any response for preparation.”

The Speaker turned and looked at Myth who gave his father a reassuring glance that what was just said would at least be looked into. The Speaker barely nodded in response to their nonverbal exchange and he turned to look back at Cael, “That notwithstanding Scout Cael, you did lie to the Prince in private session as well as to myself and this Council.”

“According to a human.”

The Speakers brows narrowed at this comment, Prince Myth’alas visibly took a slight lean forward at this insult towards his wife and Rayann seemed fairly unshaken. The Speakers upper lip tightened and he spoke, “If it is not above me to accept that my son has found true love in whatever form the gods have granted it to him, who are you to cast such words.”

Cael looked at Rayann who was looking directly at him, and even though he had just spoken harshly about her she had a soft look on her face, one that was almost expectant of it, “There is no place for non-Elves to lead Elves my Speaker.”

His eyes drifted from Rayann back to the Speaker of the Stars who was visibly undone by these words, “This ‘non-elf’ is the only reason your Speaker Expectant is even back amongst us Scout Cael. You would be wise to remember that. For thousands of years the Silvanesti have done things our way and assumed it was correct, maybe it is time we look at the world through a wider lens and understand it has progressed without us. If the gods made us as the first race to lead this world we have done a very poor job living up to that responsibility. When the messengers lose their way and fail to do their jobs, the ones giving the messages will find new paths to follow so they can be heard.”

The Speaker turned and looked into the shadows right where his granddaughter stood. It was obvious by his gaze that he had known she was there the whole time, “However I still feel there is no place for darkness amongst us, that is where I as Speaker must draw the line, even if it cuts me to the bone.”

He turned and looked at the guards again, “Please see that Scout Cael’s sentence is carried out per the words of the Prince.”

Cale didn’t struggle as he was led away. The Speaker turned to look at Myth’alas and then Rayann briefly before turning to the Elder Council, “My sons words regarding the General are nothing but truth. We have political ramifications of this situation that will ripple through both societies involved. The White Sorceress that moved among us a short time is not Elven, and she has no loyalty to us. If it is true that she leads a tribe of Nethermen we have a potentially serious situation on our hands. The Nethermen have always held an attitude regarding our borders that ebb and flow on their assumption they can step onto our lands without ramification while we cannot dip a toe onto theirs. We have kept quiet for the sake of peace,” He turned and looked at Rayann and Myth’alas, “Perhaps now that one who was under your care sits on the Seat of the Chief diplomatic measures between our people can be established.”

He inhaled deeply again before speaking, “Which brings us to our encroachment. They will not accept that this group of Rangers was a rogue element, to Nethermen it doesn’t matter the manner of the trespass, what matters is that it happened. Being a revenge driven culture it would not surprise me if they were already preparing harassment raids or even potentially the sacking of a border city to make their point. What Ky’ly has done is unacceptable by any standards except if we were under a declaration of war with the Nethermen, which we are not.”

He turned from the Council back to his son, “My son, I would ask that you and the Princess go personally to talk to Pela, the White Sorceress and find out what her intentions are. If she is truly the new Chieftain of Those of the Snow you two are the best suited for this mission. I understand it puts you in considerable danger so it pains me to ask, but if it is more than you wish to undergo it would be acceptable given your rank amongst the Silvanesti to decline. As Speaker Expectant and Queen Heir if you decide to decline this mission it would not be seen as a negative by this Council.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:17 pm



Myth watched as Cael was led out of the chamber letting out a subtle sigh turning his full attention once again to his father. The young rangers claims would be looked into and if they was any truth to the matter Myth would endeavor to look into why he had heard nothing of this. He had to wonder if he had been spending to much time behind the walls of Silvanost, but it was a thought he put away for the moment. Rayann would undoubtedly ask him his thoughts about the matter later.

As his father moved on to the topic of the netherman he began analyze his options even before all attention shifted to him. Myth looked to Rayann and they both knew they would go even before the Speaker had finished. Myth looked back to his father and bowed his head slightly. "I agree that we are both suited to this task and I can speak for us both when I say that we accept." Myth made it a point to look upon all those gathered watching them "I would not ask another to take on a task that I am capable of doing no matter what the danger might be."
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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:25 pm


The Speaker looked at his son with the subtle glimpse of pride Myth was accustomed to seeing since his vindication by the Ceremony of Darkness. With a nod after Myth’s words the Speaker spoke, “Your judgment in matters such as these is unquestioned by the Council Myth’alas, it will be as you say, that only yourself and Princess Rayann make this journey unless the council has objections…” He turned and looked at the Council of Elders, all of whom nodded their heads once in agreement to the terms being presented. The Speaker turned back to Myth and spoke, “Be it by the words of the Prince, the Speaker and the Council that this matter will move forward as presented.”

He turned and sat back down at his seat. Looking at Myth who was still on his feet he spoke, “Give yourself one week to prepare, and I would suggest not using magic to transport yourselves there, it will only arouse further suspicion and distrust. The Nethermen are not a species that appreciates the finer implications of magic, only that it is destructive and dishonorable in combat.”

He turned to look at the shadows where Kali had been and furrowed his brows slightly that she was no longer in the room. It was unclear if he was more upset that she was gone or if it was that he had missed her departure. There was a mild look of concern on his face as he shifted his glance back to Myth and Rayann, but he said nothing on the matter.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:12 am


Pela studied Kali for a moment as she listened to the wizard. She knew Kali would not be happy with her choice of words so her sharp retort was no surprise. Instead, she leaned in closer and spoke softly for Kali alone to hear.

”Sometimes, Kali, formalities need to be adhered to when dealing with strangers. Especially those who cause such a stir upon their arrival alone.”

She leaned back and listened to what Kali said to her. There was no doubt Pela knew she was being tested. Exactly why, she most likely would never know. Then again, it could be just to see how far Kali could go before she met opposition.

Remaining silent for a moment, Pela studied Kali closely and then glanced over her shoulder at the Nethermen who were ready to pounce at the slightest nod from their Chieftain. Weapons were in hand, fingers gripping and relaxing on the hilts and handles, breaths being taken in controlled measure and black eyes boring into the black robed figure that stood before their Chieftain. Finally Pela turned her attention back to Kali and nodded ever so slightly.

”Trust is earned, Kali. Even you understand that. I respectfully ask you to refrain from using your magic while you visit with us as a sign of good will to my clans men and women. In turn, I will insure your safety while you are in our lands. Do you agree?”

Pela knew if Kali didn’t agree she could easily eradicate everything she saw right now but at the same time, Pela knew Kali wasn’t so vicious she would attack, unprovoked, someone she knew or the Nethermen. And while Pela was glad to see her friend, she knew Kali always had ulterior motives in almost everything she did. So what was her real purpose for being here? Pela was curious to find out.



Rayann watched Cael as Myth gave his sentence. There was no surprise in her when he reacted the way he did to her being there and what she reported. If anything, she felt sorry for him. While she knew how many Elves felt about her and the fact Myth had chosen her over an Elf Maiden, she also knew there were others, like the Speaker, who had come to accept her not just for what she did to help Myth and what she was, but for who she was as a person.

She almost stepped forward herself to defend him when the Speaker spoke up. While Cael was entitled to his opinion, it didn’t mean he could not speak it freely. As she watched him being led away, she sighed heavily then looked to her husband and her father-in-law.

As the Speaker asked Myth to visit Pela in Nethermen territory, Rayann let her gaze settle on Myths and the non verbal acceptance of this task was given. As the Speaker sat down and dismissed them, Rayann glanced to where Kali had once been. She didn’t even notice her own daughter had slipped away, to which Rayann was certain Kali wanted it that way. Furrowing her brows, she joined Myth as they walked out of the Hall, her voice drifting softly through his mind.

~Well, we have come full circle, Mela en’coiamin. Once more we strike out on an adventure. One I would not miss out on for the world.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:25 am


Kali observed and smiled thinly as Pela spoke. Her suspicions about Pela were being confirmed with every moment, this young lady was special in so many ways, and though she had formally declined to become her apprentice Kali had it set in her mind to teach her anyway, it was just that the teaching would have to be done in round about manners. Besides her brother, Pela was the only person that Kali truly trusted, and even felt comfortable around. They had such similar stories, though by different means. Raised by people other than their parents and who were also in their own ways, monsters. Her uncle a monster by his inner self, Bad’Rock, in a much more literally sense as the world was concerned.

She looked at Pela and her eyes flicked gently as the torch light bounced off of them, “I can accept your terms with one exception, if I am attacked I will not hesitate to defend myself and you know as much as anyone that if it comes to that I will ensure my safety comes at the sake of anything that gets in my way,” she glanced at the wall and scanned the black eyes of the Nethermen, stopping as she looked directly at Olwa where she paused a second before looking back at Pela, “and I do mean anything.”

There was no sinister intent in her voice, it was simply that her self-preservation was her priority. This wasn’t anything that would be new to Pela, it was the one constant about Kali that Pela would have most likely seen and understood from the beginning. As Pela nodded in agreement Kali smiled, but this smile was different, it was in fact the most friendly smile Pela had ever seen given to anyone besides her own brother, “Very well then my friend, let’s go meet your Nethermen.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:10 pm


Pela let a smile slip onto her features.

”I think you will find them a bit interesting to say the least.”

Pela turned and looked at the gathered Nethermen as she raised her voice and spoke in Netherese.

”Welcome my friend Kali. She has come to visit me and get to know the Nethermen.”

She heard the rumblings move through the gathered mass and saw the exchanged glances of her warriors. Her light blue eyes met black orbs and she saw the concern in their eyes but they still opened the gates for both the Chieftain and wizard to pass through.

The warriors, as with all visitors arrival, created a wall of bodies that stretched from the gates to the Seat of the Chief in the center of the village. The warriors consisted of members from all clans as equal representation was given to the Grand Chieftain from the seven clans. While some of them were not as big as others, all of them were rather fierce looking and they gave Kali suspicious looks while giving Pela a look of concern yet admiration at the same time.

As they passed by the warriors, Pela took the time to introduce them each and let Kali know what clan they were form. It wasn’t difficult to figure out, though. Each clan had their own unique signature that practically screamed which one they belonged to.

The mass was rather curious about Kali and while it would have disbursed by now to return to doing their usual chores and work, they remained steadfast and seemed to be even more interested in her than the usual visitor. Of course, Kali was anything but usual.

When they reached the Grand Seat of the Chief, Pela walked up the steps so she could see the gathered crowd and speak better. She smiled to them all as she turned in a small circle and relayed the story of her and Kali’s friendship knowing they enjoyed stores and wanted their curiosity satisfied.

”Kali and I got to know each other when my father and I were asked to go to Heartlund to help the Knights of Solamnia. It was an interesting time for I was still a rather headstrong girl and it was through her I learned better use magic. And it was her knowledge of magic that pushed back forces that stormed the Knights hold. She helped saved all of Krynn.”

As the words sunk in the clans men and women began to understand what the last part of her story really meant. Again rumblings rippled through the gathered mass and glances were exchanged. Pela looked down at Gore’Rock and nodded. With an announcement, he let the village know the Chieftain was going to entertain her guest in her home but would gladly accept visitors if they chose to stop by.

As the crowd began to slowly move about returning to their daily work, Pela looked over at Olwa as he approached and took his extended hand exchanging a soft kiss with him. Branch, though, was still standing off a bit and not quite as happy to see Kali as Olwa was.

”Come…..my home is just up the hill from here. We will be more comfortable there.”

She glanced at Branch

”You’re company would be a welcomed presence, Branch. Join us, please?”

Pela knew Branch was more than welcome to do as she wished and was under no obligation to join the others in visiting with Kali but secretly she wished she would.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:49 pm






Kali walked with Pela as the introductions were made. She would look each warrior over in a manner that was very much like they were looking at her. With each individual they sized one another up, they met each other glance for glance and nodded softly as satisfaction in the others strengths were acknowledged.

Kali knew little about the Nethermen, but she was certainly not ignorant of them. The Dark Queen often hired Nethermen to do her bidding and though she had never met Bad’Rock during his service to the Dark Queen rumors of what he and Pela did floated around the castle.

As Pela invited her to her home she spoke, “That would be a good idea given the nature of what we need to discuss.”

Branch stepped slightly forward as she heard this and looked at Pela as a look of reassurance came back from the Grand chieftain. Branch furrowed her brows slightly and looked back at Kali with obvious suspicion and unease, but spoke softly in Elven, “I will join you Istar’ostring, if for no other reason than to see you remain safe.”

Kali raised an eyebrow and smiled thinly as Branch suddenly realized that Kali, as a half elf and the daughter of the Prince understood Elven fluently and knew exactly what Branch had just said. Looking back to Pela she spoke plainly, “And what is life without a little tension in the rope yes?”

They departed from the central area and began walking up the long cobblestone hill towards the Chieftain’s domicile that overlooked the entirety of the four peak valley. Kali could not help but notice that the ‘cobblestones’ of this street were huge and must have weighed hundreds of pounds each. They were precisely laid and had minute seams between them. The buildings too which lined the wide street were unique in character and architectural interest, not what one would expect of barbarians or savages as the world saw these beings.

Netherchildren scampered along, most sticking close to the edges of the road and looking on with curiosity and suspicion, the few brave ones managing to dart out and touch the hem of her long black cloak that drug behind her. Kali didn’t seem to take any offense to this, in fact it almost seemed that she enjoyed it slightly.

As they reached Pela’s home, Glug’Lug gestured to take Kali’s cloak and she gave it over. She looked around at the warm home which was clearly scaled to accommodate a being much larger than Pela and she spoke, “Clearly this home was inherited rather than built for you.”

She meant no offense by this, it was merely observational. Branch slipped to the side and sat near the hearth, warming herself by the fire and laying back for now, but listening to everything and anything that was about to be said.

Kali looked at her a moment before finally turning to look at Pela and Olwa, “It seems that you too have caused quite a stir. After sending the Rangers home Cael was put on trial and convicted of false reporting to the Elder Council, to the Prince and most importantly the Speaker of the Stars. Any one of these charges individually would be serious, all three together got him a hefty punishment and reduction in rank to the lowest level of the Silvan Military system.”

Olwa furrowed his brows and looked at Pela before turning back to Kali, “What of my father?”

Kali smiled thinly and spoke, almost seeming glad to break the bad news, “He will live, but Mishikal did not see it fit to grant him her healing, so it will be a long painful road before he is better. In addition the Elders and the Speaker are going to have him stand trial for what he did. Indirectly you three caused quite a stir by leaving.”

Branch stood and stepped forward, “We did nothing wrong.”

“Did I say you did?”

“Your implication…”

“MY WORDS… are only that of letting you know what transpired, at no time did I pass judgment on what you did.” Kali’s voice was serious and strong, much more than Branch was expecting and she relaxed her stiffness slightly, but not her resolve.

Branch was quivering with anger as she responded, “And what do you think Princess?”

Kali looked at Branch and her brows furrowed slightly in anger, “I am no Princess of the Elves, they have made it clear they don’t want me and I certainly don’t want them so if this hostility is based on your personal prejudice and contempt regarding the way the Silvanesti have treated the Elderwild you will need to resolve it within you that I am not one of them, nor have I ever been.”

She left it at that and Branch glanced sideways at Pela who was giving her a look of pleading to calm down. Kali looked at Pela and spoke, “I will say this Pela, you have certainly not only begun building an army the world will fear, but one that is loyal as well.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:16 pm


Pela observed everything Kali did and how she interacted with the Nethermen. She saw the way Kali sized herself up to the different warriors she was introduced to and knew the woman was looking for, and mentally noting, weaknesses she found in them. Pela didn’t find it the least bit offensive as she herself would have done the same thing. But she could tell the warriors were not all that pleased by it. Being the warriors they are, Pela saw they were viewing it as a challenge and she hoped they would not react defensively about it. Each time she saw them glance at her and she would give a small shake of her head to let them know now was not the time for this sort of challenge.

Of course things grew even more interesting when Branch stepped up and spoke about making sure she was safe, Pela could instantly feel the tension thicken all around her and she pleaded silently with Branch to remain calm.

When they reached her home and Kali made her assessment, Pela nodded in agreement.

”I did inherit it. And who ever defeats me will inherit it as well and they can chose to do with it as they wish. It is the tradition of the victor who becomes Chieftain.”

Again as Kali spoke about what happened after Pela sent the Rangers and Olwa’s father home, Branch became defensive and Pela understood why. But Pela also knew Kalil and knew she always chose her words carefully and when Branch reacted the way she did, Pela knew it was what Kali was looking for. Not so much the type of reaction but that it got a reaction from Branch.

When Kali mentioned her army and its loyalty, Pela had a good idea why Kali had come to visit and she smiled slightly at Kali’s words.

”Yes. It seems as though I have. Although fear of us is not what we are looking to gain. We simply wish to not be taken advantage of anymore. But that will be a thin line we will have to walk for a while until others realize we are merely standing up for ourselves and not looking for a fight with them.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:48 pm


Kali looked around the home again as Pela talked about how this home would be passed on to the one who defeated her in a challenge for leadership and she raised her eyebrows slightly, "I pity the one who tries Pela. To be blunt about it however, there is more loyalty in their eyes than I saw in any Solamnic Knight towards Lady Rose, and she is revered amongst her own. No, there is something more to these people and their regard for you...," her eyes became very serious and she spoke softer, "They would follow you to their deaths, not because they had to but because they are willing. There is no greater power that that of resolve and will, and your people have it in spades when it comes to you. Don't think it was lost on me that at the slightest flick of a finger you could have had two hundred Nethermen tear me to shreds, I would have been powerless to stop them."

Branch and Olwa exchanged glances and looked at Pela before looking back to Kali. Kali glanced at them with her violet and blue eyes before turning back to Pela who was looking at her with almost curiosity as to what all this meant. She inhaled softly and spoke, "The world does fear you, even as we speak word is spreading like a grass fire in Silvan Winds, the nations that border your world particularly the humans, are massing in force to invade along your entire northern and eastern borders."

The two Nethermen still in the room, Glug'lug and Gore'Rock immediately stood to their feet and roared indigently. It wasn't clear if it was Kali's news, or Kali that they were more upset with, but when she turned sharply and they saw the dragon fire ignite in the back of her eyes they both immediately calmed down and she spoke, "I have come not only to lend you this news, but to offer my assistance."

She turned to Pela, though the others in the room merely saw this as a gesture of aid Pela knew Kali well enough that any favors received from Kali would come with a cost.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:48 am



Adair, the High Born of the Metallic Dragons looked out across the city before him. He was in his human form a practice that the dragons had all taken to doing when Kellan was around. It was easier on Kellan so she wouldn’t have to constantly look up, and it was easier on the dragons, so they didn’t always have to look down. He watched the sky, dragons in full flight formations circled the city and the metallic banners of each flight were pulled behind in a ceremonious manner. Each banner shimmered and seemed to be alive, a fitting visual given what was about to take place.



He turned and looked at Raju who had stepped up behind him. Her bare feet made barely a sound with each step they took on the warm marble tile and she smiled softly, bowing her head respectfully as she approached the ancient golden dragon who even in his human form had a glow around him that caused those in his presence to feel the wisdom and authority of his existence, “High Born.”

Adair smiled softly and extended his hand. Raju took it and stepped up beside him as she looked out across the great city of dragons and inhaled deeply with an amorous lilt to her voice she spoke, “It is beautiful.”

Adair turned his head and smiled as he spoke, “It has only happened two other times in our history daughter, fitting that we celebrate Kellan’s passing in such a boisterous manner.”

Raju smiled and turned to look at him as she nodded, “This is true High Born.”

He smiled and the wrinkled skin around his eyes showed all the wisdom and love he had for each of the dragons under his care. He spoke, “You are ready then?”

Raju nodded enthusiastically and spoke, “As I have never been before High Born.”

Adair smiled again and spoke, “You have chosen a fitting human for this daughter, she is not only strong of heart and body but she has a strong mind which will be open to the knowledge of the ancients when your heart is transferred to her.”

Raju nodded softly and looked out across the city again, “They come.”



Adair turned and saw the familiar form of Nol’Lore and Kellan on the horizon. Nol’Lore swung up high into the dragon flights, weaving his way through the hundreds of metallic banners, getting close enough that even with Kellan laying belly down on his back they barely missed her head. He was laughing, as was Kellan, as he turned, rolled, spun and navigated them through the gauntlet of shimmering fabrics. It took a while for Nol’Lore to reach the balcony and when he did Kellan slid quickly off his back and Nol’Lore took his human form in a flash of shimmering silver. Raju immediately ran over to Kellan and hit her so hard with her hug it almost knocked her over. Raju squeezed her tightly and the reflected warmth coming off her skin was inviting and very resembling of how it felt when Nol hugged her. She whispered into Kellan’s ear as she embraced her in a way that felt like she would never let her go, “Today we become sisters!!”

Nol walked over to Adair and bowed his head respectfully, “High Born.”

Adair extended his hand and squeezed Nol’s shoulder affectionately, “It is good to see you my son.”

Nol looked up and smiled with a proud nod and turned to grab Kellan from Raju’s embrace, “Come now cousin, let her go so she can give her respects to our High Born.”

Raju let go but she was practically jumping from her skin, bouncing on her tips toes with excitement. Kellan walked over to Adair and bowed her head as he spoke, “Today you arrive as a human, but you will leave as a daughter.” Raju muffled a squeal of excitement and Adair turned to look at her with an amused look on his face, “You always bring a thread of life wherever you go Raju, this is one of your gifts.”

Raju nodded her head in thanks and then grabbed Kellan’s hand, pulling her towards the Hall of the High Born, practically yanking her off her feet with each step. As they got to the massive hall, designed and built to accommodate hundreds of dragons in their native form, Kellan would see the completely countless number of shimmering banners and twinkling lights that were spread throughout the hall in such a manner that it would blind her human eyes. Raju leaned in and whispered words of magic into Kellan’s ear, her eyes instantly adjusted so she could take in the absolute splendor of it all and Raju spoke, “The Passage is not a ceremony we celebrate often, as I told you months ago, this will be the third time ever. As the High Born just told me a few moments ago, it is fitting that we honor you in such a way.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:01 am


Pela took Kali’s news about the growing force of humans intent on invading the Netermen lands in stride as though it was no new news to her. In fact, it wasn’t so much as news she found disturbing but more that the humans were building forces and attacking so soon after the uniting of the clans. As Glug’Lug and Gore’Rock settled down and Kali offered her assistance, Pela leveled her gaze to Kali’s. A price would be paid for such ‘assistance’ and Pela had to figure out if that price was worth paying.

”The decision to go into battle is not mine to make alone, Kali. It’s a decision that will need to be made by the United Seven as it will affect all of their clans and the Nethermen nation as a whole. We will convene the counsel right away and speak of this invading force that is being built against us and decide what the best path for the Nethermen will be.”

Pela didn’t accept the assistance Kali offered nor did she turn it down either. She turned then to Glug’Lug and instructed him to send word to the United Seven so the counsel could gather right away, as she stated, to discuss the matter among them. When Glug’Lug left, she turned to Gore’Rock and leveled her gaze to his then to Branch and Olwa before she turned to look at Kali.

”What makes you think we need your help in the first place? As you stated the seven clans have united and in doing so, our warriors have come together as a single force. A large force. Unless…..there is something you are not telling me. And of course, I must ask before any acceptance is given, what price will be paid for your assistance, Kali?”

Pela’s words were not disrespectful nor was she trying to goad Kali into anything. They were simply her thoughts voiced and true to Pela’s style, there was no dodging the real issues. She dove right into the middle of it and wanted nothing but honesty in return, just as she had given to Kali.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:20 am


Kellan had never seen such fan fare in all her life. Not even for the formal ceremonies that took place for the Solamnic Knights so all of this celebration, at such an exorbitant amount, was something she was delighting in. Even if it was in her honor it was being done.

As Nol dipped, dove, rolled and swooped through the colorful, metallic banners streaming behind the flights of dragons, she laughed like a small child. Flattening herself against his warm, silver scales yet still feeling the banners skim over her back only to quickly rise to a seated position the laying back against his scales and letting the next banner slide over her torso and repeating it all over again for the next. It was a way for her to practice their combat moves while having fun at the same time.

When she felt Nol turn and dive, she looked and saw Adair and Raju standing on the large balcony. Taking a deep breath and preparing to greet the High Born, she let the warm air of the Myst Isle drift over her. When Nol landed and she slid off his dragon form and he instantly changed into his human form, she was immediately attacked by Raju as she hugged her tightly. Kellan wrapped her arms around the female dragon and held her just as tightly and smiled when she heard her words.

As Kellan was pried from Raju’s hug, she walked over to the High Born and bowed her head respectfully as she heard him speak to her. When she lifted her face to him, she smiled once more and the twinkle in her eyes spoke volumes.

”It has been my wish to serve the dragons with all of my heart but never in my life did I ever dream of such a gift would be given to me. Thank you could never be enough to say, High Born.”

She turned to smile lovingly at Nol when Raju whisked her away and she practically ran to keep up with the excited dragon. When they entered the grand hall, Kellan squinted then closed her eyes entirely to prevent them from hurting as the shimmering lights of the banners were too painful for her human eyes. As Raju spoke the words to allow her to see the fine decorations, she gasped in awe as Raju led her through the hall. Kellan couldn’t help but tip her head up and look at the splendor all around her as though she were a child.

”Oh Raju…..in all of my life, I never expected anything such as this….”

Kellan’s hand tightened around Raju’s as her emotions began to register everything that was about to occur this day and it was almost too overwhelming for her to accept.


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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch. 7: Rise of the Nethermen   Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:14 am


Kali watched as Pela remained cool and collected. She was more than impressed with her leadership and her ability to keep a steady head as she began positioning her leadership to meet and discuss the situation. As Pela turned and spoke to her she merely smirked and responded, “The decision to go to war has already been made young Pela, and not by you or any of your Nethermen. What matters now is how you choose to respond.”

Kali narrowed her gaze on Pela and watched her eyes carefully. Almost as if Kali was reading her mind she spoke about the swiftness of the human response to the Nethermen uniting, “It is easier to pull an Oak tree from the ground when it is a sapling, when given enough time the same tree is nearly impossible to remove from the ground completely, and even then it takes hundreds of hours of work.”

She saw the immediate understanding in Pela’s eyes and she turned to look at the two massive Nethermen in the room who seemed to understand as well. Then Pela hit her with the real showing of leadership and Kali seemed hardly upset, more amused and pleased by the words that came from the young girls mouth. With a very matter of fact tone in her voice Kali responded, “The truth is Pela, you probably don’t. You have over a hundred thousand Nethermen, the knowledge of these lands, and an army who’s mere presence will cause normal men to piss themselves before dropping their weapons and running. But the one thing you don’t have is experience in leading an army of this size. Yes, you have shown great prowess on the battlefield, you have even shown a minute amount of talent and ability when it comes to leading soldiers in battle, but you are still sixteen.”

Kali’s eyes drifted from Pela, to the Elves and then to the Nethermen before returning to Pela again, “Having the false confidence of a large army and vast numbers has been the downfall of many of Krynn’s great leaders Pela, it is the mindset of invulnerability that has caused many to walk the path which leads to destruction.”

She looked at the two Nethermen again and then back to Pela with a thin smile, “You are correct however, should I survive the battle there is something I would like you to assist me with. We can discuss the details later but to give you the short version, I would like you to accompany me to Icewall, you and whomever you wish to come along. Lady Rose of Heartlund has already agreed to join me, she is preparing as we speak.”

Pela would see in Kali’s eyes that she was being honest. Kali was many things but she never lied. Giving one last look to Pela she spoke very plainly and matter of factly, “However, I have no desire to be where I am not wanted, and should your choice be that I leave, I will.”

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