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 Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic

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PostSubject: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:12 pm



Kali stood and looked out across the valley that separated The human lands and those of the Nethermen. As the frigid wind whipped her honey blond hair around her face Kali squinted her eyes and starred into the white out conditions.

The weather had taken a major turn towards winter and though this hindered the movements of the human armies it didn’t affect those of the Nethermen in the least. They had continued with their plan and now were massed along the Northern border. Blood’Scale walked up to Kali and cleared his throat softly. Kali turned to look at him and gave her charismatic half smile, “Yes Blood’Scale?”

He nodded his head respectfully and spoke, “We are ready.”

Kali smiled and spoke as she turned and looked into the blowing snow, “Excellent.”

Blood’Scale stood and stayed silent for a few moments and Kali turned to look at him, “Is there something else?” Blood’Scale spoke simply, “No.”

Kali turned and looked at him and he diverted his eyes a moment before glancing back at her. Her violet and ice blues eyes looked directly into his and he spoke, “Kali… you have not yet told me how you got your scar.”

She furrowed her brows slightly and knew what this was about. Nethermen compared scars like trophies, but it was very unusual to ask, normally the information was offered. Blood’Scale had given a detailed account of all his scars over the last couple days, but Kali had not once told her story. She knew that it was a sign of trust more than anything, a way of expressing the bravery in battle, and that you would stick it out, even at the cost of your own body. Kali looked out across the landscape again, or at least what she could see of it, and then turned to look at the massive Nethermen once again, “Come.”

She walked the ten meters back to where her tent was set in the cleft of some massive cliffs. The eight Nethermen that had sworn to protect her had taken the duty completely to task, even carrying all her gear and seeing that her camp was made every night before their own. They had shown themselves completely devoted to her from the moment they had sworn themselves to her. As she turned to look at him once inside the tent she gestured for him to sit.

“It is unusal to ask Blood’Scale.”

He nodded and spoke, “Yes, and it is not because I feel you incapable of being on the field of battle Master Mage. It’s become a curiosity, all the Nethermen under your charge are wanting to here what bravery gave you such a proud mark.”

Kali sat down on some cushions beside her bedroll and reached over to the tea pot that was always kept warm. As she prepared her tea she spoke, “It was not bravery that gave me this scar Blood’Scale, I would be lying to you if I said it was.”

He furrowed his brow and spoke, “An accident?”

She looked at him with her crooked smile, “No Blood’Scale, I assure you it was received on the battlefield.”

His curiosity was painted all over his face now and she reached forward, touching his massive hand with her small one, “Bravery implies greatness and valiantry, I am neither. I set out to right a wrong, the very fabric of magic that surrounds the whole of Krynn was being threatened and I stepped forward in the only way I knew how. In the process I had to betray my family, betray those whom I had affiliated with and make myself trusted by those I joined. Once I had their trust I had to then betray them, and destroy all they had built together. It is not honorable to do what I did, but I did it because all life would have been extinguished had I not.”

“Was it not a great thing to save the world?”

She looked up at him and smiled softly, “No, it was selfish. With no world there would be no me, and I was not ready to die. Ultimately the decision to do what I did was out of self-preservation.”

He nodded his massive head and crunched his eyebrows against his eyes, “Sounds a lot like a Nethermen.”

She laughed and nodded, “I suppose it does. To answer your question, I killed one of the two wizards that I vowed to destroy, the other gave me this before she escaped, and it is my constant reminder that my work isn’t done. Maybe I will see it as a badge of honor once that task is done.”

He nodded again and spoke, “I would join you to see your task done if you asked it of me.”

She raised her eyebrows and spoke, “Nethermen don’t swear fealty to outsiders, it is forbidden.”

Blood’Scale half smiled, “You are Netherwoman enough for me.”



The three circled high over Silvanost and Nol spoke, “Silvanost is directly below, but they won’t be expecting us, we should land on the outskirt and walk in so as to not cause alarm.”

Raju nodded in agreement and the two of them dipped their wings and began to come down in unison. Landing almost simultaneously Raju took her humanoid form and she and Kellan unloaded the gear from Nol’s back and removed the riding harness. As he took his humanoid form they looked at each other and Raju spoke, “There is an eeriness to the forest this evening.”

Nol nodded and spoke, “Aye, it’s dark.”

Raju looked towards Silvanost and spoke, “The light has taken from the heart of the Elves.”

Nol furrowed his brows and spoke, “Then let’s to it, if we can get Ceridwyn back from her slumber perhaps we can relight the fire.”

Raju looked at Kellan with concern as Nol stepped forward and began leading the way. Kellan would see in her eyes that it was more than just Ceridwyn, there was something else much deeper. As the trio made their way to the gate they were immediately spotted and Nol stepped forward with his hands up, “Nol’Lore Silentclaw, Raju’min and the Lady Kellan. There is no danger.”

The guards approached and looked them over before the Captain spoke, “Come Nol’Lore, you and your company are always welcome.”

Nol, Raju and Kellan entered the gates of the city, looking towards the Hall of the Speaker in the distance. It still remained in ruins from the events of only ten days ago.”


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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:02 pm



This was the sort of weather Pela lived for. The wind whipping her white hair about like it had a life of its own and the cold, biting, frozen precipitation making her feel more alive now than it ever had in the past. She stood overlooking the territory and while nothing could be seen with the naked eyes, she knew every dip and rise like the back of her hand.

The small trinkets and gifts that adorned her attire made a soft musical like sound as the many shells, sticks and pebbles whipped about in the wind. Her arms were bare and the intricate, dark paint that drew thin lined designs upon her ivory skin contrasted as much as her leadership of a barbaric, warrior people. Yet she was as comfortable standing there in the wind and sleet as a person who dwells on the warm ocean shores.

She caught sight of a massive form moving towards her right and narrowed her eyes slightly to better see through the blinding weather. Seeing it was Blood’Scale, she knew where he was headed and with whom he walked with on his return walk back towards the encampment. As she barely saw the dark robe of Kali whip in the wind next to the massive form of Blood’Scale, she gave the slightest of smiles on her features.

“They have become close.”

The sound of Olwa’s voice brought her head around in the opposite direction to look at him. He was wearing a fur lined cloak Glub’Lug made for him to keep him protected against the elements. It was similar to the one Branch had been given, the only difference being the designs that had been intricately designed on it. Pela smiled brighter seeing his intense, blue eyes hold her gaze as she nodded.

”Yes. I am not sure if I should be glad or concerned. I suppose a bit of both. Either way, I am glad the warriors have found her presence not only tolerable but accepted her openly.”

She reached up her hand and let her fingertips tenderly caress some of his hair that peered out from beneath the hood of his cloak.

”You should not be out in this sort of weather. It is dangerous for you. Come. I will walk back inside with you.”

Taking his gloved hand, she walked back to the make shift tent like dwelling that was considered the Grand Chieftains traveling home. The warmth within seemed to envelope her instantly and she smiled as she looked over at Branch and Gore’Rock.

”I imagine we will be making our move soon. The weather will be bad for the next few days and the humans will not be moving much. Have you any reports from the scouts?”






Kellan saw the concern in Raju’s eyes and while she couldn’t place a finger on it, she too felt as though something was out of sorts here. Other than the obvious. They traveled the short distance in silence and when they reached the gate, announced who they were and were permitted within, Kellan glanced towards the Hall of the Speaker. The fact it was still in ruins caused her to furrow her brows. Surely the Elves were working hard to restore it. Weren’t they?

She glanced at Raju with mirrored concern in her eyes then looked to Nol for a moment before they started heading towards the Palace of the Speaker. Again she was silent but the overwhelming sense that something was wrong still pricked at the back of her neck and Kellan didn’t like that feeling,. At all.

Her soft voice finally broke the silence as they walked.

”It feels as though it’s more than light that has been taken. Death hangs just out of sight ready to grasp its reward in its boney, cold fingers.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:50 am




Kali woke with a start and blinked her eyes as she looked around her tent. Blood’Scale was snoring softly right near the entrance where he always slept. Sitting up she turned and reached for the tea pot, taking it gently poured into her cup. She sprinkled her herbs into the steaming water and gave it a slow stir as they hissed and popped. Blood’Scale’s right eye opened and he looked over at her, “Mistress is awake.”

Kali nodded and did not speak as she normally didn’t until having a few sips of her hot medicinal tea. Finally she swallowed and with a froggy voice she whispered, “Yes Blood’Scale, I am awake.” Seeing that she was ok he gave a half smile and spoke, “I will see to the troops.”

She nodded gently and right after the flap of her tent closed she reached and gently rubbed the outside of her throat. Damn that woman for doing this to her, damn the gods for not healing her of it… no, she was a product of her choices, and she was the better for it. Her magic was ten times more powerful than that morning at the towers, and if the price was her body then so be it. She got out of her bedroll and got dressed. Seconds after she had pulled her cloak up and around her she could hear Blood’Scale at the flap, “Mistress, I have your breakfast.”

Kali could not help but smile, Blood’Scale had become like a care taker more than a companion, and he always saw to her needs before his own. Though she would at times fuss she could not help but also feel endearment. This creature who could crush her with a half-hearted strike of his fist was seeing to it that she was always warm, comfortable, fed and satisfied before he would see to his own needs. She had known little more than the books could teach about these people before this last week but now that she had spent time with them it was more than obvious that those histories were based on nothing factual.

She looked at the tent flap and spoke, “Enter Blood’Scale.”

Blood’Scale came in and set the tray of fresh cooked venison and bread on the little table beside her bedroll, “The weather is going to break today, barely a flake falling, there must be three feet of snow.”

She nodded and smiled, “Perfect, the humans will never expect us.”

Blood’Scale smiled with satisfaction and nodded, “I agree Mistress and it will be a glorious battle. I am looking forward to watching you in action, after what Master Olwa spoke of your abilities I am eager to fight at your side.”

Kali nodded and half smiled, “I have always been in my element when in battle.”

Blood’Scale smiled proudly and spoke, “Is that why you chose to come and fight with us? Do you have some way of foreseeing that this will be a glorious battle?”

Kali shook her head and smiled, “No Blood’Scale, I have no ability to see the future, I came because Pela is my friend, perhaps my only friend, and I would like to see her succeed in her role as Chief.”

Blood’Scale nodded and spoke, “There was much resistance to her becoming Chief, many felt she was not strong enough. We would hear word of what was happening with those of the Snow, but we also knew of the prophecy, that one would come and unite the clans.”

Kali nodded and spoke, “There is much power in prophecy, whether it is true or false people will cling to it and sometimes force it to happen.”

Blood’Scale furrowed his brows slightly, “Are you suggesting the prophecy was false?”

Kali shook her head and spoke softly, “No Blood’Scale, I believe that Pela, excuse me, Ice’Rock, is the Chief your prophecy spoke of. What I meant was that sometimes a conviction or belief about an idea can be so strong that beings will modify their world to fit around it rather than allowing it to be part of their world as it already exists, does that make sense?”

Blood’Scale nodded and spoke, “We have seen that many times in the Nethermen nation, I think it is the reason our tribes have always been at war, the clans do things their own way and were not willing to compromise so we would fight to see that our ideas reached the top of the pole.”

Kali smiled and nodded, seeing that he understood where she had been going with her thoughts. As she finished her food she looked at Blood’Scale and spoke, “Thank you for bringing my breakfast Blood’Scale.”

Blood’Scale nodded, “It is my duty Mistress.”

Kali smiled and shook her head as she looked up at him, “I would prefer that you do it out of choice rather than duty from now on.”

He looked at her and nodded, “Then I will Mistress Mage.”

She nodded and led them out of the tent where the seven Nethermen assigned to her stood at attention. She waved her hand and spoke, “Today we shall become the thorn in the side of the human nations that aim to destroy you. They will know that they have begun a war that they can’t win, and we will make them regret their aggression!”

The eight Nethermen banged their chest and roared ferociously. Kali nodded and turned, the nine of them heading to Ice’Rock’s tent.



Raju barely slept as they spent their first night in Silvanost. Nol and Kellan had been given a room in a massive oak tree beside the one she had been given. She stood on the ornate balcony that looked over the city in the direction of the Hall of the Speaker and let the chilled air wrap around her like a mother’s arms. She could see that the repairs to the Hall were underway, the ruins that had not yet been cleared reminding her of the horror that day had brought them all. She could still see the massive dragon of fire rising out of the floor, the way it incinerated those around it, how the wizard atop it laughed in delight as people died unnecessarily.

She glanced around, watching the empty streets. The sadness the Elves were feeling from that day was still thick in the air. She didn’t know if it was because Ceridwyn still lay in a coma, or if their city had been breached so easily. Whatever it was, she felt as if the very spirit of the Elves was broken, she could feel it as if it was her own sadness.

All night she stood on the balcony, wearing barely enough to keep any elf or human warm, but more than enough to let the cold air move around her and rejuvenate her. As the sun began to peek through the trees Raju turned to see Kellan on the deck of her own quarters. As they made eye contact she smiled softly and spoke to her mind, ~ “Sister… it is the sadness of the Elves we feel. They mourn and lament, though I have many ideas why it is hard to pinpoint the reason. Today we will visit Ceridwyn and see what we can do to aid her.” ~



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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:34 pm


Deep in the mountains of the southern reaches she slumbered. Wrapped in the warmth of the earth shielded from the harsh winds and cold that raged in the lands above her. Here she was shielded from the outside world and those who would seek her. A place of power that had been carefully chosen, or so she originally thought. The journals and tombs left by her former companion had revealed that despite having chosen this place Fifth had also been drawn to it. The lines of magic did not cross upon this place but there was power her, she could feel it.

There was a familiar warmth that Piramay could not describe that infused the caverns of this place. Days had been spent looking over the tombs and books Fifth had left here. She had gained great insight into the construction of the minor soul stones they had used to fuel the original spell to create the three towers. It took some time but utilizing Nid'hug she had been able to create her first stone, and much to Nid'hugs surprise shattered it. With a calm face she simply smiled telling the draconian that she had seen a flaw and let the matter drop.

The truth was much simpler but she would not divulge it to the mage. For days she had resisted a very powerful urge to rest but she refused to do so until they had met with success. She was not about to succumb to that urge and leave Nid'hug with a soul gem in his possession while she slept. She did not feel the draconian was a threat but she got the sense this slumber would not be a short rest. Defenses would be put into place but there was no sense in leaving temptation.

With the key components locked away she retreated to one of the primary lava chambers with Nid'hug in tow. She placed her staff into a sconce in the center of the room and carefully removed her robes stripping herself bare leaving only the necklace around her neck and the greater soulstone in her hand. Nid'hug was ordered to take her things and place them neatly at the base of her staff as she succumbed to her compulsion fully letting her instincts guide her as she felt she must.

Leaving the draconian to his task Piramay approached the pool of magma to the side of the chamber. A soft mutter laced with power escaped her lips in an ancient draconic tongue. Rocks rose from the pool hot from the liquid they had come through as Piramay stepped out over the rim. There was a slight his as her feet touched the stone but her skin did not burn. She seemed to follow the stones as if in a trance until reaching the center of the pool.

Slowly she lifted off the pool and turned 180 degrees so that she was facing the her staff. Her eyes were closed but her sultry voiced filled the air with the words of power as the stones she had walked upon vanished leaving her floating in the air. Cupping the soulstone in her hands she brought the cupped item to her chest and started to curl curving her back and drawing up her legs as the magma churned around her. The liquid shifted and swirled and started to rise moments before the mass around her exploded into the air. The pool churned faster and the mass that had risen shifted and molded around Piramay's body and began to cool and looked like she had been wrapped up in a great set of dragon wings made of stone. Slowly the churning pool beneath her floating resting place cooled as well locked in its motion looking as if it was frozen in time.

Inside as she rested she felt an intense warmth surround her that she had not felt since the creation of the towers. It wrapped around her and she new that it would defend her, but also there would be change. So she slept dreamless in her cocoon of molten rock and mystic power. A small smile spread on her lips as the last thought that passed as consciousness slipped away was that Fifth's soul was probably watching this.

Piramay's slumber would last for two weeks to the moment. Upon reaching that moment the great stone wings would come to life and begin to unfurl and spread extending out filling the cavernous room. The form of Piramay would still float curled in the air for several moments before she to began to stir. Slowly she extended herself till she floated in the air standing with her hands still cupping the soulstone to her chest. Her eyes slowly opened as she gently lowered to the ground. They blazed with fire and a grin was spread from ear to ear.
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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:16 am



Ice’Rock, Olwa and Branch were already up and moving about with Gore’Rock in the tent that held the Grand Chieftain. With Gore’Rock’s approval, Blood’Scale and Kali were permitted inside. Ice’Rock greeted them both with a smile and a gesture for them to join her at the center of the tent. Her light blue eyes drifted past them and lingered on the entrance of the tent for a moment as she spoke before settling on both of them.

”The weather will break soon. Already the ice and snow has stopped falling. I imagine the snow is rather deep….for humans. But we will not be hindered by it. In fact….it will make our approach more quiet than usual. I take it the warriors will be in place and ready to begin within the hour?”







Kellan found it difficult to sleep. It was as though she could feel the oppression that greeted them when they arrived like a heavy, sodden, woolen blanket. Even the feel of Nol’s warmth as his arms held her close to his bare chest couldn’t comfort her enough to let her sleep.

Finally in the wee hours of the morning she drifted off into a fitful rest. Dreams she had thought long released came back to her. Troubled memories of Liam and his fate and the moments following the attack that literally took her life haunted her vision. Finally as the first light of dawn began to chase the shadows of the night away, Kellan rose, slipping the pillow from beneath her head into Nol’s arms to satisfy his need to hold her. It had her scent upon it so it would allow him a few more moments of peaceful slumber without her there.

Reaching over and touching his handsome face, she smiled lovingly at his sleeping form then slipped out of bed to dress into regular clothes and out of her nightrail. Once dressed, she slipped out onto the balcony and felt the cool air greet her. Instantly she felt Raju’s presence and she turned to look upon her sister. Sharing the smile with her, Kellan nodded then turned to make her way out into the Elven city.

Today held many unknowns for her and she was both excited and a little anxious. The High Born made it obvious she was key to reaching Ceridwyn through the strange sleep she was now in, but for the life of her, Kellan had no clue how she was to accomplish this important task. And the last thing she wanted was to disappoint the High Born with failure to do what he had tasked her to do.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:20 am


Nid’Hug did as his Mistress had commanded. As he watched her perform her ritual and produce what she called ‘soul stones’ he paid attention and committed everything to memory, the last step however, he never could seem to remember. He watched over and over, and at the last step his mind would get fuzzy, and then she would shatter the stone.

He was still not certain what the significance of these stones were, though he had an idea, and there was one in particular that she always had adorning her body, hanging like a pendant from her neck. It was a magnificent purple color and it pulsed ever so softly. He observed how at times she gazed at the crystal affectionately but with a devious smile, almost as if she was mocking it at the same time.

Finally the day came that she had been preparing for. Piramay had him follow and as she undressed and walked across the lava, Nid’Hug placed her clothing and possessions as she had instructed along the edge of the magma pool. She gave him one last glance as she hovered above the molten rock and the ritual began. He watched in awe as she was wrapped in a cocoon of rock and disappeared from sight. She had told him it would be two weeks, and had given him very specific instructions to follow. She had told him they would be leaving on a journey afterwards, and that he was to build a soul stone while she slept, but this one was different. To modify the effectiveness of the soul stone and test a new theory she needed a drop of his draconian blood entered into the magic at a specific point in the procedure.

He worked diligently, and with conviction, wanting nothing more than to please his Mistress. She was kind enough to take him in and teach him as her apprentice, and he did as she asked without question. Finally the day came, and Piramay emerged from the rock, her naked body floated across the magma pool and Nid’Hug was waiting. He draped her robes over her shoulders and when she was dressed he knelt and held a soul stone of his own making, per her precise and detailed instructions, finally he had been able to focus and remember the last step while she was asleep, “My Mistress, as you have commanded me, a soul stone infused with the draconian blood that flows in my veins.”

He looked up at her as she smiled and took the soul stone from his hand.





Blood’Scale and Kali entered and listened as Ice’Rock spoke. Kali stayed silent, allowing Pela the opportunity to address her Nethermen and do her duties as Chief. Kali was understanding of being respectful in these situations, and only responded when spoken to. As Ice’Rock turned and looked at her, asking her question Kali stepped forward and responded, “Yes Ice’Rock, your warriors are ready to move at your command.”

As Ice’Rock gave her approvals Kali and Blood’Scale left the large tent and walked to the area they would deploy from. Blood’Scale spoke to Kali once they were alone, “I have never seen the Chief in battle, this will be a day to remember.” Kali turned and looked at him with a smile on her face and responded, “With all this cold and moisture in the air I assure you that you are about to be amazed Blood’Scale.”

The Nethermen moved out after the short hour. The front line scouts went out first, their snowshoes were ingenious, leaving barely a mark on the snow despite the massive size of those who wore them. Branch and Olwa were so nimble of footing that they were able to walk on top of the snow without making a footprint, and Kali, being half-elven was able to move easily as well. They hadn’t moved but a mile when word came back that the first of the human encampments were just over the rise, and they were only a half mile from Sanction. Thousands of Nethermen from their respective tribes were spread out over the ridge and Ice’Rock, their grand Chieftain stood behind the mass of them.

From the outer edge of the line where Kali was poised she could just make out Ice’Rock. She watched the Chief with her keen eyesight and waited. Ice’Rock looked outwards, left and right, and screamed. All at once the entirety of the warriors exploded in unison, charging the distance to the still waking encampment. The edges of the three mile wide line enclosed like a scorpions pincers and almost immediately the humans were surrounded on three sides.

The sound of metal clashing and the screams of the humans dying filled the air. From the side Kali moved quickly with her contingency of Nethermen and she screamed over the sounds of the battle, “Blood’Scale, push into the center, we must find the leader!”

Blood’Scale was like a juggernaut of death, anything that came within his swing radius was instantly killed. Kali moved behind him and was unleashing small spells that aided in clearing the path and breaking through the mass of humans scrambling to find anything to defend themselves with.



Raju got dressed and found Kellan as she made her way into the city. She could see Kellan standing at a reflecting pool and staring with thoughts clearly on her mind. Raju approached quietly and gently placed her hand on Kellan’s shoulder. Kellan turned with a start and looked at Raju.

Raju smiled lovingly and gave Kellan’s shoulder a soft squeeze, “What vexes you sister?”


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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:57 am



Ice’Rock charged with her warriors. As they closed ranks around the human encampment, she saw how her united clans worked as one and swarmed the humans like ants did enemies near their hives. Olwa and Branch were fighting alongside the giant forms of the Nethermen and Ice’Rock was awestruck for a moment at how barbaric both of them looked in the throes of battle. With the paint that adorned their faces it made them look almost other worldly.

Her attention was drawn quickly back to the battle as she moved with the wave of Nethermen as they pushed further into the human camp. Firing off quick spells of ice spikes and blasts of ice cold wind that instantly froze the humans only to be shattered like blood filled globes when the massive might of one of the Nethermen hit the immobile form.

Like her father before, Gore’Rock had practiced moves with her and as she began to engage closer with the enemy, she used his massive form to launch herself off and over on many occasions. It was like watching a precision ballet and their moves were perfectly choreographed. Gore’Rock would charge then suddenly lean to the right and Ice’Rock would use her forward momentum to run up his back then launch herself over his left shoulder hurling a spell at the humans who tried to fight them.

As the mass of huge warriors pushed forward into the heart of the camp, Ice’Rock saw the black robe of Kali contrasted against the pristine snow that was quickly becoming red. Her friend was still very much alive and still very much casting spells.

Hearing a noise, she turned her attention to Olwa and saw him firing off a bolt. As the arrow flew through the air, Ice’Rock cast a spell upon it and when the bolt hit the target, the human froze in mid strike then began to shatter like fine crystal from where the bolt struck. By the time a Nethermen reached the man, all that there was left to do was swipe the shattered from out of the way.

The look in Ice’Rock’s eyes was nothing short of wild. This was what she loved about her magical ability. The chance to use it as freely as she wanted to do whatever she wanted to do with it. Letting out another war cry, she pushed her way towards Kali to join her friend.






Kellan blinked when she looked at Raju. She didn’t realize she had been so deep into her thoughts until her sister touched her shoulder. With a small shake of her head, Kellan smiled slightly and looked back at her reflection in the still waters of the pool.

”It’s strange how things you thought were dead and buried have a way of unearthing themselves when you least expect them to.”

She looked over at Raju’s concerned look and smiled, leaning in to hug the creature that had given her eternal life.

”It’s OK, Raju. It’s nothing I can’t handle.”

She pulled back and squeezed Raju’s shoulders gently as she took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

”Especially with you and Nol by my side.”

She looked towards the Palace and then to Raju.

”I suppose we should see if the Speaker and his family are awake and will allow us to visit with Ceridwyn. And perhaps see Aeolis as well as I’m certain he is still by his bride’s side.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:30 pm





Blood’Scale roared as the two guards rushed him. With one sweep of his axe both their heads rolled to the left and their bodies slumped lifelessly to the ground. Kali was on his heels and stopped as the General of the encampment stared at her with wide eyes. He spun and attempted to run away but Kali brought her hand up and a sticky web like substance burst from her fingertips catching him around the feet and up his legs. With a thump he fell into the snow and struggled as the webbing crawled up his body and finally stopped at his neck.

Kali and Blood’Scale walked up to him and bloodscale flipped him over with an effortless slick of his foot. The grey haired man, clearly experienced in battle looked up at the two of them and roared, “You will win this day, but you will be defeated in the end!”

Kali looked at him and knelt down in the snow. She stayed silent as she starred into his eyes and he glared at her. Turning to Blood’Scale she spoke, “This one is named Rebus Henderson, he is the General of the Sanction defensive force.”

The man looked at her and hissed, “How do you know that?!”

Kali turned and looked at the man with a thin smile, “The mind can only hold secrets when they remained locked General.”

Standing back to her feet she saw Ice’Rock approaching with Branch, Olwa, and a large group of Nethermen lead by Gore’Rock. Blood’Scale and his eight saluted respectfully at her approach and Kali nodded her head respectfully and spoke, “General Rebus Henderson of Sanction, Chief Ice’Rock.”

Gore’Rock took a step over and looked at the man before turning to look at the battlefield all around them. In 15 minutes 85% of the human force that was poised to invade from the Nethermen’s Northern border were annihilated. He turned and looked at Ice’Rock and spoke, “What is your wish with this one Chieftain?”

It was the Nethermen way to not take prisoners, except to lynch information out of them before dispatching them. Under their new leader however, Gore’Rock was not sure how she would want to handle it. The Nethermen around stood, bloodied and satisfied with their victory, awaiting Ice’Rock’s orders.




Raju looked at Kellan and nodded knowingly, “I understand sister, it is often in the quietest of moments, when all seems at peace and right in this world that I think about my children who were stolen from me. Knowing that the eggs I had laid were stolen and taken to be corrupted and turned into Draconians… it breaks my heart.”

She smiled sadly and continued, “But there are things that can’t be helped, that we must endure in order to survive this world, and we don’t get to choose our trials, we only get to choose how we will face them.”

She reached and took Kellan’s arm under her own, and they walked towards the palace. As the spires of the great trees rose before them the gate guard moved aside and they entered the great entrance, a Paige moved quickly to announce their arrival to the Speaker.



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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:17 am



Once again Ice’Rock was straddling a fine line. Traditions of the Nethermen required her to do something with the leader of their enemy but knowing they were turning a page in their history, she needed to help move them forward as well. She was still buzzing from the thrill of the battle and her chest rose and fell as she gathered her composure to think with a mind clear from the battle haze. Still, her eyes held a wild look to them as she stood and looked down at the human General.

When Gore’Rocks voice finally seeped into her mind, Ice’Rock blinked a few times then turned her gaze to her uncle’s for a moment before she looked around at the faces of the warriors surrounding them. Black eyes focused on her expectantly and she turned her gaze back to the human General.

”Strip him naked.”

Ice’Rock heard a series of voices around her mumble but she seemed undaunted as she spoke to the General as his clothes were stripped from his body.

”You are a General of nothing now, except a decimated force of warriors. And as the General of nothing, you shall have nothing. Except what the Gods saw fit to give you when you entered this world which was the skin covering your bones.”

As the man stood naked before her trying his best to conceal himself from her and the others his eyes burned with humiliation and hatred. Ice’Rock stepped closer but kept her voice strong for all to hear her.

”You made the mistake of thinking the Nethermen were nothing but barbarians who did not have a brain among them but you have discovered that is not the case. Now, for your arrogance and ignorance you shall pay the price.”

She stepped back away from him and her eyes bored into his heated gaze.

”You shall be escorted to the highest peak in our territory and then released. If you survive the weather AND the many Nethermen patrols of protecting out lands to make it back to Sanction, then I will grant you the honor of facing any one of the warriors in the arena. Including myself if you so wish.”

She looked at Gore’Rock, nodding her head then looked back at the General one last time before he was unceremoniously escorted away by two warriors as he screamed and cursed her. Finally she looked up at her uncle again.

”Prepare the warriors for the next phase.”

She looked over at Kali and gave the slightest smile.

”Sanction is waiting for warriors to return and we shall not disappoint them.”







”It is good to see you again, Raju’Min Silentclaw. And you as well, Lady Kellan.”

The feminine voice of the Lady of the Stars greeted them as she entered the room quietly from behind them. When they turned to greet her formally they could see the weariness upon her delicate, mature features. Gesturing for them to sit across from her in the parlor they had been escorted to, she seemed to flop down into her own chair rather than sit elegantly.

”You are up early this morn. I am certain it is not for a social call so you will forgive me if I disperse with the pleasantries and get right to the subject matter. What can I do for you ladies this morning?”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:20 pm




Kali watched as the Nethermen gathered and awaited their Chief’s orders. Kali was mildly aware of Nethermen tradition, having worked with some in the past as assassins and muscle for Tahkisis. She did know that keeping survivors was rare at best, and when the slight tension filled the air she remained quiet. She knew that Pela might be hesitant to slaughter the man as he sat in the snow, but then again she wasn’t sure, she had personally witnessed the young ice sorceress’ abilities and seen her cruelty early in their relationship. Pela, like Kali however, had changed. Though they once were known for murdering in cold blood those days were behind them.

As Ice’Rock gave her command, had the man stripped and marched off naked in the snow to the highest point in the territories Kali half smiled. Her move was nothing short of brilliant in every way, and she knew that it would satisfy the Nethermen as well as Pela’s desire to not slaughter the man for the sake of murder. As Ice’Rock turned to look at her, Kali gave a very approving nod as to how she handled the situation and she spoke to her mind so her thoughts could remain private to Pela alone, ~ “Well played my old friend, you have managed to satisfy both the Nethermen and your own instincts. Surly the man has been sentenced to death, but not in an obvious or messy manner.” ~


As Ice’Rock gave her next commands Kali nodded and turned to Blood’Scale, “We are now the tip of the spear my friend, it is our pace that will advance the armies of the Nethermen.”

Blood’Scale pounded his chest and spoke, “It will be an honor to die with you this day Mistress Kali!”

Kali looked at him and spoke, “And why would you believe that we are to be dying?”

Blood’Scale looked at her matter of factly and spoke, “We are to lead the assault, to march right upon the gates themselves with no protection from their archers or hot oil and fire. I accept that I will die for the nation I live in, and I am prepared to see the battle to its glorious end!”

Kali reached up and touched him gently on his broad and muscular shoulder, “I assure you Blood’Scale, you will not die storming these gates.”

Blood’Scale had a curious look on his face and turned to look at Ice’Rock who nodded confidently. Kali was already several paces ahead of him and the whole of the Nethermen army fell in behind the eight Nethermen that surrounded Kali. The line marched quickly through the forests and emerged outside of Sanction. Immediately the horns of warning began to blare and the bells tolled at their arrival. They stopped just outside of the archers range and Kali spoke. Her voice boomed unnaturally, much as it had when she stood outside the gates of Silvanost all those years ago, “Citizens of Sanction, we have come to accept your unconditional surrender!”

The hundreds of men lining the wall which had never been breached laughed and insults began being hurled. The Nethermen, hearing the things being said began to stir themselves into a frenzy and bang their chests. Kali glanced at Ice’Rock who with one slight glance and nod gave Kali the go ahead. She spoke to Blood’Scale, “Watch me, for I will be at my most vulnerable.”

Blood’Scale gripped his enormous axe in his hands and nodded as Kali turned to look at the gates. The Nethermen had arrived with no trebuchets or catapults. No siege towers or ladders, just a massive showing of muscle and tenacity, and a petite, black robed mage.

Kali began to chant and the hair on everyone’s necks immediately prickled and stood on end as she began gathering magic to herself. Her eyes were closed and the spidery words hissed and rolled off her tongue. Branch watched and instinctually touched her skin as she felt the magic coursing through the area begin to build and surround Kali. Kali moved her hands in rhythmic patterns that followed her chanting exactly in time with each syllable and word, as if she was directing musicians in an intricate and balanced performance. For over a minute she continued, squeezing her eyes tightly against the effects of the immense power that was building all around her, until finally she went dead silent, and she buzzed like a metal pole about to be struck by lightning.
Kali’s eyes suddenly sprung open and her hands thrust forward from her body as a massive ball of fire exploded into existence and hissed as it crossed the distance between them and the gate. The guards laughter and mocking suddenly died, and the four seconds it took for the fireball to cross the distance were dead silent except for the sizzle of the fire ball as it grew in size and heat until it burst across the gate like stormy seas smashing into the rocks of the shore. In an instant the gate was shattered and burning shrapnel shot in all directions. The impact was so intense it lifted the towers on either side up off their foundations and they toppled over in a massive cloud of dust and thundering noise creating a massive gap in the wall.

Kali leaned forward and felt a strong arm grab her as she began to fall. With extremely fuzzy hearing she could hear Pela’s small voice scream out the word, “NOW!” as the thunderous sound of thousands upon thousands of Nethermen feet pounded the ground and headed straight for the breached city of Sanction.



Raju looked at the Queen of the Silvanesti Elves and spoke softly, “We come your highness on behalf of the Highborn.”

Instantly The Queen’s eyes showed life and she sat up in her chair, “The Highborn himself sent you?”

Raju nodded softly and spoke, “He believes that we can assist Ceridwyn.”

The Queen nodded, almost instinctually and stood, “Yes, YES. Very well! Let us go there with haste then.”

Raju turned to look with a small smile as she and Kellan stood up and followed the Queen to Ceridwyn’s chambers. As they reached the door Raju reached up and gently grabbed at her chest, the darkness of the magic she felt was unlike anything she had ever known and she gasped audibly as she touched the wall beside her to steady herself. Kellan came to her side and she whispered to her mind,~ “I will be fine sister.” ~

The Queen turned and looked at them, coming to Raju, “Are you alright Raju’min?”

Raju nodded gently and whispered, “Yes your highness, I will be fine.”

The Queen wasn’t buying it and pressed, “What is it Raju’min?”

Raju looked up at her and spoke, “There is dark magic here Queen, much more than I have felt in ages. It is a magic that isn’t natural however, it’s almost… sickening.”

She looked at Kellan who was furrowing her brows and had wrapped her arm around Raju’s back to help keep her on her feet. She looked at the Queen, “There is only one way to find out what is going on.”

She gestured to the door and the Queen opened it. Immediately Aeolis came and saw the two ladies with the Queen. He was pale, thin and there was little life left in his eyes. Raju stood to her full height and spoke softly, “Aeolis, Kellan and I have come by request of the Highborn… we have come to assist in recovering Ceridwyn back to this world.”



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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:49 pm



When Kali began to regain her senses she would be aware of a few things right away. She was in a warm place with something soft beneath her. The sound of voices speaking in low conversation. The sound of feet shuffling as people moved about. And the unmistakable feel of a large presence near her. As her eyes fluttered open she would see the large face of Blood’Scale looking at her with concern in his black eyes. When he realized Kali was awakening, he quickly called for Ice’Rock.

“Chieftain! She awakens!”

Pela made her way towards Kali and there was equal concern in her gaze as well. Her clothes bore the evidence of battle as blood and bits of flesh peppered her attire and even a little in her hair. She knelt beside Kali and took the mage’s hand in her cool one as she spoke softly to Kali.

”How are you feeling?”

As Kali began to come out of it even more she would see the room she occupied was a lush bedroom and she was the lone occupant of the over sized, over stuffed bed. The door frame had been enlarged to accommodate the hulking form of Blood’Scale. As Kali’s vision focused even more Pela let a small smile ease over her features.

”The battle is over. We took Sanction in a little over three hours. We could have done it sooner but we wanted to make sure we took the city carefully without leaving it in total ruins. What good would it do to have a city that was of no use to us? What humans survived have surrendered and are now being held in the stables on the east side of the city. I have not decided yet what I will do with them. Perhaps I will let them worry about that a little while longer.”

Blood’Scale left when they started talking but returned soon after with a glass of cold water and a cup of hot water on a tray with some fruit, meat, cheese and crackers for Kali that he sat down on the small table next to the large bed. Pela looked up at him and smiled proudly, nodding before looking back to Kali.

”Blood’Scale never left your side the entire time. He fought his way through until he found this lovely place then took it for you. Once the battle was done, we decided to stay here until you regained consciousness and we could patch up our wounded.”







Aeolis gave the women a hollow eyes look and it took him a few seconds before he realized who was there and who had escorted them into the room. He gave the Queen a respectful bow then looked at Raju and Kellan before he looked at Ceridwyn and gave a mournful sigh.

”I have prayed, nonstop, since the day it happened but still she remains too far away for me to even reach her.”

He turned his hollow, pain filled gaze to Raju and Kellan.

”Please tell me she is still within reach for the Gods to bring her back to me.”





Kellan felt her heart constrict in her chest and a lump form in her chest. She could only imagine what Aeolis was feeling and as she tried desperately to swallow down the lump, she did her best to reassure him. Touching his shoulder with her hand, she gave him a sincere look and spoke with a voice filled with emotion.

”We will do all we can, Aeolis.”

Leaning in closer, she spoke softly as though she were sharing a secret with him.

” Est Sularus Oth Mithas.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:28 pm




Kali looked Pela over and a bemused look covered her pale face. She coughed hoarsely and listened as she was given the brief synopsis of the battle. With a nod she spoke softly, “Very well done Chieftain, you have proven yourself to the standard that your people hold you to this day, I am sure they look at your outfit with great pride.”

She saw as Ice’Rock looked at her own blood spattered clothing and the two exchanged smiles. As Blood’Scale came with water and food Kali went to sit up and he quickly reached for her, “No great wizard, allow me.”

She raised an eyebrow as she turned to look at Ice’Rock. Blood’Scale was not allowing her to even move her own body up into a sitting position. She knew of Nethermen loyalty, but not to this level. Blood’Scale then handed Kali a cup and the water, “It is already hot master wizard, should you have your magical powder I can make it for you.”

Kali’s face softened and the large creatures offer and she spoke softly, “Blood’Scale you have done enough for me this day, congratulations on your victory, I wish to hear of your advancement into the city.”

Blood’Scale beamed. It was the honor of Nethermen to have their superior request a retelling of their battles. As Kali took the cup and hot water and made her tea, she and Ice’Rock listened as he spoke with thunderous prose of how he and his seven best fought the humans, killing hundreds with Kali slung over his back like a sack of potatoes. Fifteen minutes later he finished and Kali’s face never lost interest, “You have done you family, your lineage and yourself proudly today Blood’Scale. I must insist now that you go and eat, enjoy the spoils of the taken cattle and livestock, eat to your fill, and I will see you in the morrow.”

Blood’Scale whooped and banged his chest with pride, “Thank you great wizard! On the morrow then!”

As he turned to leave Kali spoke, “Oh and Blood’Scale,” He turned to look at her, “Thank you.”

As he left Kali turned to Pela and spoke, “Word will spread quickly that we have taken Sanction, the humans will not be please to say the least. This is one of their gems, a multi-faceted port with 10 roads that lead to the provinces. This town is far more valuable to them strategically than it is to us, but psychologically it is the finest pin prick to the heart we could have ever accomplished. I am sorry that I was unable to do more, I just hope the hole I put in the wall can be repaired quick enough for the counter attack which is sure to come.”



Raju’min listened to Aeolis and said nothing as Kellan had said all that needed to be said. The playful look in her eyes was gone, the sarcasm, with, clever language that defined who and what she was in every social setting Kellan had ever seen her were suddenly out the window and in their place was a dragon with a look of deep concern and seriousness on her face. As she stepped up to Ceridwyn she listened to the shallow, rattled breathing and spoke softly in Draconic, “Gresh’takr zadxest hexdrextrashta brasnestizzexna”

Ceridwyn’s body shuttered softly and Aeolis’ eyes went wide and he dove to her side, it was the first movement he had seen in weeks. He looked at Raju and his eyes were sick with madness, “What did you do?!”

Raju looked at him and spoke, “I have only spoken to her, to the her within her.”

He furrowed his brows and stood to his feet stepping up to Raju aggressively, “Whatever you did DO IT AGAIN!”

Raju turned her head calmly and looked at Aeolis, “There is more to your Ceridwyn than even you can dare to know Aeolis.”

“Why are you speaking to me in riddles!?”

Raju looked at Aeolis. She understood his attitude and demeanor, with a calm to her voice she spoke, “Your Highness.”

The Queen stepped forward, “Yes Raju’min?”

Please take Aeolis outside for some air, he needs to feel the cool on his cheeks.”

“The Hell I do…”

Raju looked at him sharply and spoke, “In this matter of dragons, mortals have no say.”

It was the most authoritative Kellan had ever seen Raju get, but there was no doubt she meant what she had said and her face more than suggested she would have her way on this matter. Suddenly the door opened and Raju spoke without looking, “Perfect timing cousin. Please assist the Mistress of the Stars in escorting Master Aeolis for some air, Kellan and I are to be undisturbed no matter what the circumstances.”

Nol nodded and Raju looked at him, “I don’t care if Tahkisis herself appears in the town square and all seven of her heads start blowing the place to the Abyss, we are NOT to be disturbed, or we will loose her.”

“LOOSE HER? WHAT THE H…”

Nol had a look of regret on his face as he drew back his hand which had just struck Aeolis hard enough to knock him unconscious, “Please see that he is taken to a bed and given food Mistress of the Stars, the poor man has clearly not eaten in weeks.”

As they left Raju turned to look at Kellan, there was deep sadness in her eyes, “Sister… feel.”

She reached her had to Kellan, the instant Kellan touched it she would hear the same sinister laughter they had heard on the evening when Piramay struck the Hall of the Speaker. There was fear, anger, pain and angst. All followed by a sickening feeling of dark magic. She looked at Kellan and knew that the dragon life force within her sister would protect her from all of it and she spoke, “There is another connected to her… look deeply.”

Kellan looked at her curiously, almost as if she was unaware, “Feel sister, use your new heart, your new blood, and feel.”

Kellan calmed herself and closed her eyes, Raju spoke, “Yes… feel sister… you and I are of the bond…”

Kellan and Raju stood in the center of Silvanost, looking around. The streets were empty and silent except for a slight moaning in the distance followed by thin, hollow laughter. With a glance they walked, hand in hand towards the sound. There was not even sound with their footprints, it seemed so real, but yet so hazy. Raju squeezed her hand gently and spoke, “We are in the trance sweet sister, though we stand, we are outwardly mobile.”

Everything of the conscious world was gone, save for the source of the dark magic. The rustling of leaves caught their attention and then a moan of pain. They stepped again, walking in the direction, winding between tree homes and through the shadows until they came to a park deep set off the paths of the main streets. Leave rustled once again and a slight orange glow could be seen. Raju gently released Kellan’s hand and moved forward, moving the leaves. A young Elf Maiden, no more than one hundred and twenty lay in a smoking heap, alive but dead, twisted and broken but breathing, her face an exact match of Piramay, but also flashing to that of her true self. Raju furrowed her eyebrows and looked at Kellan.



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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:28 am



Pela nodded and there was pride in her gaze.

”It is being repaired as we speak. I knew the humans would not be pleased with what we have done and their retaliation will be to attack us, even if it means they would march on their own city to do it. It is what we would do after all. Those of the Stone are well equipped to repair the damage your spell did. And there is no need to apologize for something so powerful, Kali. While we would have eventually broken through the gates, your spell did in only a few moments what would have taken us hours to do. And with little loss of lives to our forces. If not for you, we would still be battling for control of this fair city.”

Pela stood up then and moved to get herself a drink of water before she returned to Kali. She was tired as the toll of casting of her spells could clearly be seen in her face. But all in all, she still had energy about her that spoke volumes of how she really felt.

”While the city may be strategically invaluable to us, it does hold value in other ways I think we could capitalize upon. Of course it would mean coming to an understanding with those who decide to stay. But I will present the terms in such a way they will have to seriously consider them before outright dismissing them completely.”

Obviously the Grand Chieftain had a plan for the now besieged city of Sanction.







Kellan was heartbroken to see Aeolis carted away in such a fashion but it was far better to have him leave quietly as he did than cause such a disturbance to disrupt what she and Raju had to do. Giving Nol an understanding look, she followed Raju to Ceridwyn’s bedside and the instant Raju touched her hand, Kellan understood what Raju was saying.

When she opened her eyes and looked around, she gasped softly. She recognized the area but it felt….different. The sinister laughter echoed softly all around them as they made their way through the deserted Elven city and Kellan could not shake a feeling of complete dread as the sound of maoning now began to reach her ears.

AS they wound their way through the city and the sound of rustling leaves reached them, Kellan was curious yet frightened all at the same time. What was the moaning and why did the laughter not stop? Was this Ceridwyn’s trance? Would she ever escape it?

When the twisted and broken body of the Elf Maiden was uncovered, Kellan felt her stomach lurch. Swallowing hard to keep herself from getting sick, she let a look of complete horror pass over her face before she studied more closely. As the features switched between Piramay’s and another’s Kellan knelt down next to the poor soul. Something was amiss here.

Without hesitation, Kellan reached her hand out and as gently as she could, touched the face of the suffering elf maiden. The instant her hand touched the face, Piramay’s features dropped away completely and nothing but the true self of the person came into view. Another moan escaped swollen lips and Kellan felt a lump form in her throat.

”She suffers terribly, sister. Death so close yet unable to cross over entirely.”

Kellan lifted her pain filled eyes to Raju then.

”Is there nothing we can do for her?”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:14 pm


Raju watched as Kellan touched the woman, she inhaled deeply and spoke, “There is nothing we can do for her, but perhaps the grace of Mishikal can.”

She placed the silver and blue medallion that she always wore around her neck onto the chest of the Elf maiden and she began to pray. Her words were soft and soothing to the ear. After a brief few seconds the medallion began to glow and her hands pulsed with the blue light of Mishikal’s touch, and the maiden gasped as the color came back to her cheeks. She coughed and attempted to sit up but Kellan touched her to keep her from moving too much. Raju opened her eyes and touched the young Elves forehead, “You were behexed, but Mishikal has seen it fit to give you healing.”

The young elf blinked her eyes and looked at the two of them. She reached up and her hand passed right through Kellan, and then through Raju, “Wha… I don’t understand? Are you angelic beings? Are you goddesses?”

Raju spoke softly and stroked the young elf’s hair, “No little one, we come without being, though we are in the city we are not moving physically, it is the dragons trance.”

The young elf nodded her slender head, almost in understanding, but whether she understood and was acknowledging it or just agreeing to not look stupid remained a mystery. Raju looked at her, “What happened to you? Who struck you down?”Raju felt she already knew the answer they would get, but wanted to confirm.

“It was… well, she was, a woman of fire. She was twisted, her smile was beautiful but at the same time sinister and vicious. She came with a sweet voice but a harsh tongue… She struck me with fire and darkness… I know not her name.”

Raju smiled again and spoke, “Very well sweet little one, go now, you need food and water. Go to your parents home, I am sure they are worried sick over you, maybe even fearing you dead.”

The young elf got to her feet and spoke, “Thank you, both of you.”

The instant she started to move she vanished from sight like smoke. Raju turned to look at Kellan, “Piramay was somehow linked to this one… she must have been the conduit through which she entered the city… but that doesn’t make all sense.”

She stood and looked at Kellan, “I fear that bringing Ceridwyn out won’t be as easy, but at least we have confirmed the source of this magic now.”

The two awoke from the trance, their bodies had never left the room, they were still knelt at Ceridwyn’s bedside, hand in hand. Raju looked up at Kellan and spoke, “We will need to draw this magic out like poision, but I wish to capture it, to hold it, and then find Kali, the Princes daughter to see if she can analyze it for us.”

She saw Kellan’s look of agreement, “How to capture magic though… that is the trick.” Looking around the room she found nothing appropriate. Chewing gently on her bottom lip she stood and walked over to Ceridwyn’s dresser, looking along its surface and seeing nothing there as well, “I don’t know enough of magic vesseling to create something.”

She stood a moment and turned on her heel to a door just off the bed chamber on the far side, “What do you bet that’s her lab?”

Kellan smiled in agreement and the two of them went and opened the door gently. Sure enough a dark room and the smell of all the sweet and putrid reagents of magic hit them, released after weeks and weeks of not being used. She looked at Kellan and spoke, “We need to find something appropriate, surely she has something in here that would work, come, help me look.”



Kali nodded softly and now that she was regaining her strength she stood to her feet and walked to look out the window. The city was bigger than she imagined it would be, but smaller than a typical capital. She could see the docks which actually resided within the city walls and were guarded by a massive iron gate system that would have been literally impossible to navigate unless they were withdrawn for passage. They were also staggered in a manner which would have not allowed them to be targeted easily by canon fire. Massive gun emplacements were also on the walls pointed out to sea, clearly larger than anything that would be carried on a ship and would allow the defenders to well outrange anything that might approach. Kali raised her eye brows, clearly impressed. She sipped her tea and turned to look back at Pela after hearing that there were captives.

“What exactly do you mean by ‘those who decide to stay’?” She took a step towards Pela and she spoke, “If you are referring to humans, I would caution you to not introduce any element of the enemy into the city, whether they appear agreeable or not. I dare to step over my bounds Pela, but this is war, you have to put emotion aside, and you have to lead like a Netherwoman.”

She furrowed her brow slightly as she continued, “You have earned the respect of your people, they are behind you, they adore you and they obey, but they are Nethermen, and they respect strength and brutality over all things. Nethermen have never kept captives, nor have they allowed prisoners to remain in a sacked city. Albeit they have only sacked each other’s cites, but that notwithstanding they don’t allow survivors to remain. It is a cruel hand to play, but face it, in this case it is the right approach. You were diplomatic with the General, and I respect you for that… but you cannot allow survivors, not for the sake of your leadership, nor for the sake of the war effort and the potential of disgruntled former citizens becoming guerilla’s and creating sabotage and mayhem in the background.”

She looked at Pela, “You have to let go of your compassion if you wish to lead these people… you were raised without emotion or compassion, you fell in love, it brought emotions back into your life. Very well, so be it, love like a barbarian, let those feelings for Olwa be expressed in mad expressions of affection however you see it appropriate, but don’t let it seep into your leadership, for your lifesake, you cannot or another Nether will challenge you, there is always someone looking to stand on top of the pile, that is the way of the Nethermen, it is always how they have lived. It’s a miracle that you managed to claw your way to the top as it is, don’t allow that to be compromised by going back on their traditions and manner of warfare.”



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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:22 pm


Kellan watched Raju working on the Elf Maiden and was amazed, as she always was, of the gift Mishikal granted on those she found to grace her gift with. Kellan herself was one of the lucky ones and she could never thank the goddess enough for what she did for her. As the elfess faded into smoke, Kellan looked back to Raju.

As they awoke from their trance, Kellan blinked and took in a breath as she gained her bearings and saw they were still in Ceridwyn’s chamber, still knelt at her bedside. To say what she just experienced was surreal was an understatement but she didn’t have time to dwell upon any of it.

When Raju opened the door and the scents from the room escaped and swirled around Kellan, she had the distinct feeling she was about to traipse where few others who did not practice the magical arts would ever be allowed to set foot. With a slight hesitation, Kellan teetered at the threshold of the door for a moment as her eyes looked around. Finally she crossed the invisible barrier and stood inside Ceridwyn’s lab looking all around in a mixture of childlike wonderment and adult curiosity.

Snapping herself out of her start gazing, for lack of a better term, she forced herself to seek out something Raju could use to….capture the magic that was inside Ceridwyn. While she was no magic user by any stretch of the imagination, she was accustomed to gathering up things and sealing them for transport. This was the same basic principle only it was a far more dangerous cargo and therefore, the vessel in which it would be transported must be equal in its ability to contain it.

As Kellan began looking through, over, under and around the things in Ceridwyn’s lab, she lost the feeling of trespassing and soon found herself working on the mission at hand. It wasn’t easy. She either found something that was not strong enough, too small or already contained something within and she refused to release it for fear it would have terrible consequences. She was just about to give up when something caught her attention out the corner of her eye.

It twinkled ever so slightly and Kellan found herself drawn to it. On the far shelf in the far back corner of Ceridwyn’s lab sat what Kellan thought to be a stone but when the light hit it just right, she could see it was a lovely gem, oval in shape, about the size of the palm of her hand that was covered in dust. Picking it up, she felt immediately felt it was rather cool to the touch. More so than what she thought it should be. It weighed almost nothing yet there seemed to be a silent strength about it Kellan could not describe. Bringing it to her lips, she blew the outer layer of dust off of it. She could see the gem was blue in color and she used her fingers to remove the remaining dust from the gem. When most of the dust was removed, she held the gem in her hand and felt the coolness it radiated grow even stronger. Turning to Raju, she held the gem in her hand and looked over at her new sister.

”I’m not sure what this is, or even if it can be used, but it’s rather cool to the touch and if there is nothing else I know about the cold, it slows down just about everything. Perhaps if we could somehow use this, we could trap the magic inside and the cold would prevent it from escaping. Then again, I am way out of my league when it comes to these sort of things. But it’s about the only thing I have found that even might give us a chance to do what we need to do.”




Pela listened to Kali and when the wizard was through, she smiled ever so slightly.

”What you say is correct, Kali. I assure you I have taken all of this into account. And I have spoken to Gore’Rock at great length about this as well. I think you will find my proposal as interesting as he did.”

She moved to the other side of the room and took up a scroll then walked back to where Kali stood, handing it to her. She saw the quizzical look on Kali’s face and the slightly arched brow as she unrolled it and began reading. As Kali read through the scroll, she would see the leaders of the city had turned over control to the Nethermen after the battle came to an end. The signatures of all of the leaders were written in blood. When Kali lifted her eyes to look at Pela, Pela told Kali what was behind the signing of the scroll.

”They were all executed after they signed the city over to us. And as for those who are left, they have the choice to either stay…..and meet the warriors in the ring of fighting or be transported to the Nethermen villages for those who stayed behind to guard over our territory to……enjoy. There are 40 men in all that are in the stables. It will give the warriors something to look forward to over the next two days.”

Pela looked out over the city from the same window Kali had looked out of a few moments earlier before she turned her gaze to Kali’s multicolored eyes again. Her voice was calm and low as she spoke matter-of-factly .

”We spared no one, Kali. Men. Women. Children. Even infants were executed. I knew if I did not, the Nethermen would not take me seriously. And neither would the humans. But I also know the humans would show no mercy upon us either if the situation were reversed. Kill or be killed. It is the way of the Nethermen. It is the way of my people. It is the way of their Grand Chieftain.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:46 pm


Raju reached and took the gem in her hand. She could tell immediately just in touching it that this was a magical vessel of some sort, but of what sort she could not say. Though as a dragon she had the very heart of magic within her, there were mysteries that were still known only to those of High Sorcery. She turned the gemstone over and over in her hand and finally she looked up at Kellan with a look of semi-assurance, “I saw nothing in the room that would work better than this sister, we will do what we can.”

She turned and looked at Ceridwyn again, stepping over to the bedside and looking down at her. She was like grey porcelain, ashy and cool with no sign of life save for the very faint rattle of her breathing. Raju motioned for Kellan to come and she had her kneel opposite. Very gently she spoke, “Sister, we will unite as one, and attempt to draw this magic out, with the power of Mishikal we will do our best to heal her and bring her back to us.

With the look of compliance on Kellan’s face Raju reached across and the locked their hands together. Raju again began to pray and placed the gem on Ceridwyn’s chest. The soft blue glow appeared almost immediately and the room began to buzz with power. Raju focused and pressed her will onto Ceridwyn, feeling for any sign of life. She felt as if she was shouting into an empty well, hearing her voice echo off the walls all the way down and then back again to the top with no response except for her own syllables. Suddenly the gemstone rocked on Ceridwyn’s chest and began to glow softly. Raju opened her eyes as she felt the new energy and before she could even gaze upon it a blast like lightening exploded between them and threw them both backwards.

Raju smashed into the wall and moaned gently as the pain racked her. She coughed and reached for the back of her head which was now pounding and bleeding slightly and she looked up at the gem on Ceridwyn’s chest which shivered gently and the light within it died.




Kali read the words on the parchment and then listened as Pela spoke to her. With a nod she gave her familiar half-cocked smile and responded cooly, “Not that you ever needed my approval, but you did the right thing.”

After a short while of sitting together Pela and Kali went out of the room they were in. Blood’Scale came immediately to meet them and bowed low to Kali, and then slightly lower to Ice’Rock before straightening up again, “My Chieftain, word is spreading that a new contingency of humans is approaching from the East, coming up the pass between Khur and Busuk. We have no estimate of numbers yet.”

Kali turned to look at Pela and nodded softly, “It was as I said, this city is a gem among the cities of the humans, they will not surrender it so easily.”

She saw the resolve in Ice’Rock’s face and knew with that one glance that the Chieftain of the Nethermen would not surrender it back so easily. With a devious smile Kali turned to Blood’Scale, “Prepare the units for battle.”

Blood’Scale whooped and nodded as he went to relay the message. Kali turned to Pela and spoke, “Looks like I awoke just in time for the party, Chieftain.”


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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:23 pm


Kellan knelt beside Ceridwyn and locked hands with Raju. It was strange when the contact took place for Kellan felt as though she became one, physically, with Raju. It was difficult to tell where she stopped and Raju began. And it felt as though it had been this way for all her life instead of just a few short days.

With anod, Kellan closed her eyes and began to pray with Raju. Whiule Mishikal was not the deity she normally prayed to, Paladine was closely connected to the Goddess and knew that if anyone could relay her words to the Goddess, it would be her God. Light and healing was what she prayed for in this dark, empty place she now found herself in with Raju.

Kellan heard the echoed voice of Raju as well and her fine brows furrowed ever so slightly. Kellan looked around the emptiness for a sign of anything that resembled Ceridwyn but all she saw was…..nothing. It was as though Ceridwyn had left nothing but the shell of who she was. And it pained Kellan to see and feel this.

AS the Gem began to rock, Kellan felt the surge of energy and she began to smile. But all too soon, the smile quickly turned to concern and before she knew it, she was being tossed about the room she occupied in the real world like a rag doll. Her combat training kicked in and she tucked into herself as quickly as she could to try and protect herself from any real damage. Still, when her body hot the opposite wall Raju did, she felt the pain of air forced violently from her lungs.

After a few seconds, she groaned and coughed as she heaved huge gulps of air into her anxious lungs. =Finally she gained control of herself again and looked over to see Raju pulling herself together as well. The concern on Kellan;s face was twofold now. For Ceridwyn and her sister.

Finally regaining enough air to speak, Kellan looked over at Raju as they knelt next to Ceridwyn’s sides once more.

”Well now…..that was quite unexpected. What was it, Raju? I thought we had broken through to Ceridwyn…..but now I’m not so sure….”




”Remind me next time to make sure I tone down the guest list next time I throw a party. These uninvited guests can be quite bothersome.”

There was the hint of mischief in Ice’Rock’s voice when she spoke but it was clear she was already thinking of her moves and how she was going to handle this. As they moved through the city streets, she was joined by Olwa and Branch and she gave them both a confident, full smile. She and Olwa even had the chance to hold hands for a brief time as they walked towards the East.

As she walked, Ice’Rock instructed different leaders where to position their warriors and prepare for the inevitable sneak attack from the rear as well as the other sides. She knew the humans thought the Nethermen were too stupid to understand tactical maneuvers. She wanted to make sure t remained that way until it was too late for the humans.

Finally she reached the eastern wall and made her way up to the battlements, standing and watching the humans advance. She could see there were hundreds, perhaps thousands of them. A small smile eased onto her face as she gestured with her left hand. Gore’Rock was t her side in an instant and she spoke ever so softly with him.

”Are the catapults constructed and ready for use, Uncle?”

With a nod, her uncles black eyes looked down at her then back out at the humans who had now come to a halt a few hundred yards away. He could see one of them on a fine white steed as he rode up and down the ranks shouting orders she couldn’t quite understand but heard his voice lifted over the noise.

”Good……make sure they are in position and ready to use at my order when the time comes. I do not want to reveal them too early. I want to save them for that moment when they think they are about to rush us and overtake the city. Our warriors will fight viciously this day….and be remembered for their prowess on the battlefield.”

She looked up at Gore’Rock and the smile was gone from her face. Her eyes held the intensity of a leader ready for battle. Turning she looked over at Kali and nodded.

The time had come. On one side were the humans preparing for battle. On the other were the Nethermen who stood silently, muscles quivering in anticipation of the upcoming battle. Adrenaline coursing through their huge frames and causing them to shake with the need to kill their enemy. An enemy that had underestimated them for far too long.

As the wind whipped her white hair all around her, Ice’Rock turned back around to see the leader of the humans approach. He stepped a few yards from the gates and remained mounted on his steed as he called out to her.

”I am Sir Lindfield of Khur and I have come to offer you the dignity of surrender. Return the city back to the proper rulers and there will be no battle this day. Refuse and you will bring the wrath of humans down upon you!”

Ice’Rock stepped forward and stared at the man for a long moment. The silence that grew between them was uncomfortable at best and when it began to grate the man’s nerves, Ice’Rock finally raised her voice to answer him.

”My father once told me nothing is ever certain in this life except for death. You, Sir Lindfield, have placed a great deal of faith in the future. I do hope your fellow soldiers are as confident in their death as you are. As for me and my warriors, death is but one leg of our journey. If this day ends one chapter and begins another, then so be it. But we are not afraid of death. And we are certainly not afraid of you and your soldiers. Go. Prepare your soldiers for death. We will prepare for battle since death is nothing new to us.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:46 pm



Raju rubbed her head and after a couple minutes of compression got the bleeding to stop. She looked down at Ceridwyn a moment before turning to Kellan, “We obviously need a High Sorcerer like Ceridwyn here, someone who understands magic and it’s temperament. Thought I can sense magic, feel it, even use it, I chose the path of Mishikal, and even for dragons there are unlocked secrets.”

She inhaled deeply and looked at Kellan, “Either Rayann or Kali, they are the only two I know well enough to make this request, and frankly I’d rather have Rayann than Kali.”

Her words were pointed, and really the first time she had said anything of that nature about Kali. Even though they all felt it at times the fact that she was Rayann’s daughter kept them from saying what they all felt about one who wears the black robes. Furrowing her brow slightly she spoke, “The real question now is where is Rayann, and how do we get her here?”




Kali followed with Ice’Rock as she moved through the city streets. As they made their way to the eastern wall and had a moment to assess the situation Kali remained silent, only nodding in return as Ice’Rock gave her gesture.

The leader of the human contingency came forward and spoke his bold words. Kali watched him, her face was plain and unemotional as he spoke. His eyes kept darting from Ice’Rock, to Kali, to several of the Nethermen that were stationed along the wall, and finally he settled back on Ice’Rock as she gave her response.

Had Kali not been training herself her entire life to remain composed she would have laughed aloud at the facial expression the Lord gave in surprise at Ice’Rock’s words. He swiftly turned his mount and galloped back to the lines of his troops in obvious frustration. Kali watched him and leaned over to Ice’Rock, “I guess he was hoping you would just open the gate and let him stride right in.”

Branch chuckled at Kali’s words and spoke, “Hims not thinking we’s have the abilitys for keeping a city… hard lessons often come with hardships and pains.”

Kali turned and looked at her, the stone face broke softly into a smile, “Truer words were never spoken Elderwild.”

Branch smiled with a small nod and turned to look back out into the forest. She leaned forward slightly and pointed along the upper ridge line, “Mistress Ice’Rock… the treeline on the ridge.”

The distance was great but her sharp Elven eyes had picked up the movement and was able to point it out, thousands of human troops were beginning to move out of the cover of the dark forests, cross the spance of open space and pour into the forests that surround the city. Branch turned to look at Ice’Rock, “There are thousands Mistress.”

Kali could see them too, her half-elven eyes giving her an advantage over her human counterparts, she stared and watched as the soldiers seemed to just keep coming and coming. Turning to Ice’Rock again she spoke softly, “Looks like more of your guests have arrived for the party.”

With a slight wink she turned to Blood’Scale and spoke, “Well my friend, how feisty are you feeling?”

Blood’Scale let out a roar that was rapidly echoed by the entire company of Nethermen who stood all along the battlements. The sound was so loud and full of blood lust that the entire valley echoed with the deep and menacing sound of the ferocious Nethermen. The entire population of Nethermen warriors inside and outside the city began to shake with anxious anticipation, all they awaited was the solitary word from their Chief that would unleash the kinetic explosion of pent up energy just waiting to be unleashed.



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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:07 pm



It was uncanny, really. The sense Rayann had something was amiss. Of course the fact she could feel disturbances in the delicate balance of the magical flow that was a part of Krynn was also a good indication. She was with Myth in their private chambers preparing to leave and go to the lands of the Nethermen to talk to Pela and Olwa but just as she reached the door. Myth met her at that same point and stilled her hand from touching the latching handle and cautioned her to wait until he was certain it was safe. While they were well within the walls of the Speakers home, things were still not exactly back to normal yet. Myth was taking no chances the sounds he heard from the opposite side of the door was were nothing more than friendly. Finally, after a few seconds, he nodded and Rayann reached for the door opening it just as Kellan raised her hand to knock. Rayann gave a puzzled look to Kellan and glanced up at Myth before looking back to Kellan.

Kellan gave an apologetic look and inclined her head respectfully before looking back to Rayann and Myth.

”Prince. Princess. I suppose this is rather odd, this time of the morning, and I apologize for the intrusion unannounced, but Raju and I are in need of your assistance. Your…..magical assistance.”

Rayann quirked a brow and looked at the guard just beyond Kellan who had an apologetic look on his face. He stepped up and started to stutter his apology.

“I tried to stop her, Princess, but she was rather insistent…”

Rayann held her hand up to quiet the guard and smiled.

”It’s quite alright. I know just how persistent she is. Obviously there is something rather urgent she needs to speak to me about.”

Kellan nodded.

”Indeed. It seems Raju and I have hit a slight…..snag as we are trying to help Ceridwyn. It seems we are in need of someone who has more skills in the magical department.”

Rayann glanced up at Myth who nodded and Rayann quickly donned her red robes and followed Kellan down the hall followed by Myth and the guard who was trying to do his best to keep up. A few moments later, Kellan walked into Ceridwyn’s quarters with Rayann and Myth in tow. Rayann smiled at Raju and walked over to embrace her warmly.

”I understand you are in need of my skills. So tell me….what can I do for you two ladies?”




As Ice’Rock heard the roar of the Nethermen, she knew it was time to unleash them and let them have their battle. As she looked out over the gathering masses of humans, she let out a war whoop that left no mistake what was happening. As the gates opened up and the Nethermen soldiers pressed forward to engage the humans, Ice’Rock was joined by Olwa as they once more paired up, Blood’Scale paired up with Kali and the battle began.

The sound of clashing metal, shouts of commands from the humans, screams of agony and the roar of Nethermen filled the air. Soon after the air was filled with the smell of blood, sweat and death. And the morning was just beginning.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:50 am


As the Prince and Princess entered the room with Kellan they would immediately see the look on concern on the dragon’s face. She received Rayann’s hug warmly and them spoke, “We tried to enter the dream so as to locate Ceridwyn’s spirit and draw her out. I have watched elder dragons use a magic well to capture magic and we attempted to do so, however the result was… painful.”

She turned and showed the goose egg on the back of her head, along with the dried blood that was still in her hair. She turned to look back at them and her face was sad and concerned, “There is dark magic within her, I can feel it like my own heartbeat, and I was hoping to capture it and have Kali analyze it for me.” She paused a moment, realizing she had just inadvertently said, ‘your daughter is a master of dark magic” … she inhaled deeply again and spoke, “We found this vessel within Ceridwyn’s lab, it appeared to be a magic vessel of some sort and we attempted to use it as a means of drawing the magic out and capturing it, however the results were a rather violent manifestation of power which threw us both back into the walls.”

She looked down at Ceridwyn and spoke again, “Our hope was that in having the magic analyzed or somehow identified we might be able to track it’s source, though I understand we all know who it was that did this, I am also aware that magic can be back traced, and though it is a marginal at best plan, perhaps we can even locate her.”

She looked up at them and handed the object they had used to Rayann, “This is what we thought would make a good vessel for containing the magic.” The instant Rayann saw the object she knew what it was. Ceridwyn had talked to her once in conversation about an artifact she had been entrusted with, an item she referred to as the “Ice Star”. The item she was now holding matched the description exactly, a palm sized gem that shimmered in the light, cold to the touch, and fortified not only with an extremely powerful magic, but also a conscience. Less than .1% of magical items had a conscience, and Rayann would know in a split second that this item not only held incredible power, but was watching her, and all those in the room. It would be immediately clear to her that this object was of a lawful good alignment, though it could not ‘think’, it could recognize the dark magic, and it was aware enough to defend itself from the potentially damaging power.






Kali moved with Blood’Scale and his seven warriors right into the fray of the battle. The devastation they wrought on the battlefield was already becoming known through the ranks of the other Nethermen. Her magic, combined with their muscle, and they way they worked in harmony created a blood storm of death. As Kali moved just in front of them she would disorient or distract those in front of them, and the eight massive Nethermen Warriors behind her would sweep in and cut a trail of destruction through the lines.

Kali was fast, agile, and not easily knocked off her feet. She was after all, half-elven, and as such she had many of the physical characteristics and advantages afforded to the elven people. As they approached a group of about 40 human soldiers she swung her staff wide in front of her and hissed magical words, instantly the whole group of them dropped their weapons and became so dizzy that they could barely stand on their feet, and the Nethermen crashed into them, hacking them to pieces. A second group saw what had happened to the first and charged in from the left flank, Kali leapt up onto Blood’Scale massive shoulders and released dried nettle vine seeds into the air, hissing magic again. The seeds exploded in all directions and root bound the men’s feet to the ground. Without the ability to move and evade, the Nethermen with her killed every single one of them.

She knew that Ice’Rock had a trick up her sleeve, that she was wanting to deploy the cities catapults. Ice’Rock had told her to push the humans back into the woods and then the retreat half way back to the city walls. They didn’t have time to discuss the details, and though Kali was curious she nodded in agreement that it would be done as she requested.

After fifteen minutes of fighting, the human lines began to buckle, and the push to get the humans back into the trees was a success. Kali amplified her voice and spoke to the Nethermen line she had been commanding, “Half back! Half back!”

They knew exactly what she meant, and the Nethermen ceased their advance and with haste they moved backwards, resetting ranks in the open fields half way between the wall and the forests.



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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:43 am




Rayann listened to what Raju relayed to her. It explained everything clearly. No wonder she could feel the tug of magic that caused the disturbance. Bringing the gem up to her face a little closer, she smiled and spoke to the thing.

”They did not know. They were doing what they thought was right. I will see to it you are returned to your waiting place.”

She saw the look Raju and Kellan gave her and she chuckled softly, shaking her head.

”I shall explain later. For now, I shall place this lovely gem in my pocket.”

She moved over to Ceridwyn and glanced down at her dear friend. There was no doubt she was pained by what she saw. Rasing her lavender colored eyes to look at both women, she gave a sigh.

”I think I have what you need, ladies. While you had the right idea, you simply chose the wrong object. I will help any way I am able. I’ve tried many time to reach my friend, but I can tell she is unable to break free. Why I didn’t think of this sooner, I will never know. Perhaps I was too emotional and not thinking rationally.”

Rayann reached into her pocket and retrieved a large, blood red stone. She and Kali had several of them knowing there was be a time, just like this, they would be needed. They were not easy to create but once created, they would serve their purpose. She didn’t really care for some of the other ways other wizards used them, but she understood they were necessary for many purposes. Including her own. Laying the gem on Ceridwyn’s chest, she looked over at Raju and Kellan and nodded.

”Let’s get started, shall we?”

She waited for Raju and Kellan to take their places knelt next to Caridwyn then she stood holding both of her hands out over all of them. Closing her eyes, she concentrated and began to mutter soft, spidery like words of magic. The red gem began to glow slightly and Raju and Kellan could feel the pull of magic starting all over again. Rayann kept repeating the words and the gem grew brighter and brighter. Finally there was a breakthrough of some kind and the words Rayann whispered changed.

Kellan closed her eyes and joined Raju’s hands and as Rayann started whispering the words, she drifted into the dream world with Raju. Once again tit was dark and desolate and they could =hear Rayann’s gentle words. The words kept repeating and with each time, they could hear something rattle in the distance.

Kellan looked over at Raju with a concerned look in her eyes and was about to say something when it felt as if the whole world was going to shake them to death. There was definitely something happening now. Kellan reached for Raju and held her sisters hand tight as the shaking grew more violent. Suddenly there was a shadow that floated about looking more like ink when it hit clear water.

”What….is THAT?”

The inky blackness moved as though it was being forced to take this path. A few times tendrils of the inkiness reached towards Raju and Kellan and before it could reach them it acted as though it had been burned and was forced to pull back away from them and returned to the path it had to take. A path that moved up over their heads and seemed to reach up until they could no longer see it The flow of the darkness began to increase and Rayann’s words seemed to be growing in volume. Rather they really were or not they didn’t know but one thing was for certain, whatever she was doing was causing this.





Ice’Rock and Olwa made the formidable team on the battlefield once more. When she wasn’t casting spells, she was shouting at the Nethermen and urging them forward, using their blood lust as a weapon in itself. As they pushed the humans back, which took longer than she thought, she saw the opportunity for the weapons she had in the catapults. Turning, she shouted at the Nethermen.

HALF BACK! HALF BACK!”

The Nethermen pulled themselves back to half the distance they had advanced on the humans. Turning, she looked to the Nethermen manning the walls.

”LAUNCH! LAUNCH!”

She heard a loud thud and turned to see Gore’Rock had used a shield to stop a bolt that was aimed straight for her when her back was turned. She also saw the Olwa firing a bolt of his own in the direction the bolt came from. Following the bolt she saw it hit the target and she turned to smile brightly at Olwa.

Just then she heard the sound of the heavy catapults free from the burden of the strain they were under. As the massive balls flew through the air, she shouted to Kali then.

”NOW!”

Kali cast the spell and just as the balls began to descend on the humans, they burst open. Instantly the sounds of screaming and agonized shouts of pain filled the air. Two more balls from the catapults were launched to the other sides of the city where the humans had advanced from. Like the first ones, the balls exploded as they descended and the screams and cries filled the air from those directions.

The humans began to scramble and escape the horror that had been unleashed upon them. Their horses raised up in fright dumping their riders and them trampled bodies and the equines tried to escape the chaos all around them now.

Over the noise of the battle you could hear the unmistakable buzz of insect wings. The humans began to run and try and escape the flying death that now moved through them, stinging them with deadly venom. The balls were hornet nests from Those of the Swamps lands. Hornets whose venom was toxic to everything but Those of the Swamp. Ice’Rock had cast a spell on the hives to cool them enough to make the insects think it was time for hibernation. When they were launched, Kali cast a spell that broke the spell Ice’Rock had cast and caused the hornets to attack the human as they defended their hives.

She stood there, chest heaving from the exertion of battle, and smiled as her plan for the catapults came to fruition. As the humans began retreating and taking the hornets with them as the insects pursued, Ice’Rock looked up at her uncle then looked over at Olwa.

”Let’s finish this.”

Raising her right arm in the air, Ice’Rock gave another war whoop letting the Nethermen know it was time to finish the battle. Any human found alive now would not remain so for long. It was the way of the Nethermen, It was the way of their Grand Chieftain.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:29 pm




Kali hissed and thrust her hand out, the arching purple magic bolt tore through the hives and the hornets exploded out, lashing at anything they saw. The screams of agony rang out across the valley, and the mass of humans began to move back. As the Nethermen moved Kali advanced with Blood’Scale and the other seven Nethermen she had been fighting with. As the pushed around the flank of where the hornets had been released to pick off stragglers Kali felt it. She looked up along the ridge line and saw an explosion of white hot light that incinerated all the hornets around it. Her keen elven vision immediately picked up the source. A wizard wearing snow white robes was yelling at the troops, rallying them around himself, and she felt the pull of magic again as another burst of white hot light exploded out and cut a wide arc of light through the air, clearing the way of hornets so the humans could rally back. Then about a hundred meters away another figure in white appeared. Though they were too far off to be certain, and they both had their hoods pulled over their heads, it appeared as if the second was female, most likely an apprentice.

She saw the look in Blood’Scale’s face. Her influence and presence over the last weeks had caused him to have very little if any fear of magic anymore. He was ready to charge but she touched his arm, “No Blood’Scale, you stay, rally the Horde, keep watch for a second push.”

Another pull in the field of magic and a burst of light exploded off the ridgeline, though the wizards had back up and were no longer visible, the spells effects arched up and over the rock, creating a rainbow spray of color. She looked over and saw Pela, they made eye contact all the way across the field, she knew that Pela had seen and felt the same pull in the field of magic. She sent her friend a missive, knowing her thoughts immediately, ~ “Do not risk it Chieftain, your Nethermen need you more than they need me. I will take care of them.”

She could almost feel Pela’s resistance to her request, but she hoped that Pela would put the leadership of her people above her own desire to fight this battle. With a look of concern from Blood’Scale she spoke, “Worry not friend, our days of fighting together will not end this day.”

With a flash of her crooked, charismatic smile, Kali flicked her hood up over her head and disappeared into the forest.


Raju ducked as the shadowy figure pressed over them, they were back in the dragon dream, this time with the support of Rayann. She turned and looked at Kellan as a long, wisping stream of shadow continued to move above them, drawn by the will of Rayann.

The two walked through the darkness hand in hand as purple mists swirled along the ground covering their feet. Up ahead they saw a faint light coming through the mists. They could not see the source, however they looked at one another in assurance of what it was.

As they made their way, Ceridwyn lay on a large, flat, white marble stone. Her hands were crisscrossed over her chest, her body rose and dropped softly as she breathed, her face like porcelain, eyes closed, remained motionless. Raju looked at Kellan and spoke softly, “It is her spirit, the good news it is still at rest, the tougher news is that she won’t respond to mere words.”

Together the knelt beside her once again and Raju spoke, “Give me your hand.”

As Kellan complied Raju removed a small dagger and put a small cut across Kellan’s hand. She went to withdraw it and Raju grabbed her wrist, “No sister… trust me.”

She then brought the knife up and put a cut on her own hand, in the exact same place as she had put the cut on Kellan’s. She brought her hand up, palm facing her sister. She nodded and Kellan brought her palm up in the same manner. Raju closed her eyes and pressed her hand against Kellan’s, their blood mixed and a slight glow appeared between their hands. Raju whispered, “By the innocent blood of an elf maiden were you ensnared, now by the blood of dragons which flows in your veins, may you be freed!”




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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:58 pm


Ice’Rock felt the pull of magic instantly. As she watched how the hornets were incinerated, she grit her teeth and clenched her jaws. She hadn’t thought of wizards on the opposite side. Lesson learned. She would not be caught by surprise by that again. She was getting ready to move when she looked over and saw Kali looking at her too. Even after the missive, she wanted to charge straight forward and blast the white robed beings. Had it not been for Olwa yelling at her to draw her attention back to the fighting, she would have. But her attention was now drawn to the humans who had found a way to regroup and were starting to push forward yet again.

She focused her anger and frustration at her enemy and found herself reinvigorated as she charged forward with the Nethermen and Olwa. Swords clashed with shields. Battle axes clashed with clubs. Bodies crashed into bodies. Roars of battle mingled with the war cries of humans. Screams of pain and torment mixed with the thundering sound of large, meaty fists slamming into the ground over and over.

The battle was back in full force yet again. Ice’Rock remained focus on her fighting channeling her energy where it needed to go. It was the only way she knew she would fight reach the other side. As Olwa drew back a bolt and let it fly, she hissed magical words and when the bolt hit the target, it instantly shattered the humans upper body into pieces of frozen shards. As the shards touched others around them, those bodies too did the same. The spell weakened each layer it hit but the results were still devastating and covered a good 50 foot radius.

She heard a roar and turned to see several human soldiers had advanced onto her uncle and without thinking she charged forward. Olwa saw her turn and run just in time to stop his advancement and run with her. Once she reached her uncle, she shouted over the noise of the fighting in their native tongue to him.

”Shoulder attack uncle!”

Gore’Rock roared loud again and turned just as Ice’Rock reached him. He crouched in such a way that his massive legs and feet were used as a ladder for the petite human woman to run up his back with a few sure steps. She exploded over his shoulder with a flurry of ice spikes that erupted from her fingertips and sliced through the soldiers that were hell bent on bringing her uncle down. Landing agilely on her feet and crouching like a staling feline, she looked for her next target.

Ice’Rock stood to charge forward when she felt a red hot burning sensation in her upper back towards the right just as she felt a hard, quick push forward. Everything seemed to slow to a crawl and the noise around her faded and all she could hear was the sound of her heart beating in her ears. Blinking, she looked down and saw something protruding from her right shoulder just below her collar bone.

Reaching her left hand up, she felt the razor sharp tip of the arrow and saw her fingers now stained red with her own blood. The sound of a several loud roars drew her out of her stupor and she saw seven warriors coming to surround her. That’s when she realized what happened and she lifted her hand to make them stop.

”NO! Turn your rage upon the enemy! CRUSH THEM!!”

The warriors, trained as they were, stopped and watched as their chieftain before roaring once more and doing just as she said. She saw the way their need for revenge seemed to spread throughout her warriors. They were tired, yes, but now they fought as though they had just come to the battle field.

Not wanting to leave, she looked up at Gore’Rock and gave hium a pointed look that brooked no argument.

”Break it off and remove it. Now”

There was a moment of hesitation but when he saw the look in her eyes, he knew he had best do what his Chieftain ordered. As Olwa approached, he looked down at the Elf Lord and nodded before grabbing a hold of the arrows shaft and breaking it off close to her back. Ice’Rock let out a gasp but that was all. Gore’Rock moved to face her and reached up, grabbing a hold of the pointed arrow tip and yanked it from her body. Again Ice’Rock gasped and it was clear she wanted to scream out but she didn’t. She then reached up and cast a spell that placed an ice like bandage over her would and stopped the bleeding and numbed the pain. It was very rare she cast spells on herself but when she did, they were always something like this.

Now she could refocus on her warriors and fighting. Before too long, she was fighting once more alongside her Nethermen only this time she was a bit more careful of what she did and where she was. The Grand Chieftain had just been reminded she was not invincible and it was a humbling experience.

She hoped Kali was having better luck than she was.





Kellan was confused when Raju cut her hand. She had never seen her sister do such a thing. When she asked Kellan to trust her, Kellan did and watched as things unfolded before her. When their hands were touching and Raju said the words, Kellan watched as a single drop of blood fell onto Ceridwyn’s hand. Followed by another and another and another.




Rayann worked at weaving the spell to draw the darkness out of Ceridwyn. It was not as easy as it looked as the magic had a strong hold on her friend and it was all Rayann could do to pull it up and out of her friend. Of course when it realized it was being drawn out of Cerirdwyn and into a gem, it became even more difficult. Thankfully Rayann was able to keep her concentration and pull the magic up out of Ceridwyn slowly.

Suddenly it was as though whatever the darkness had been holding onto gave way and Rayann felt the darkness suddenly flow into the gem. Her eyes snapped open and she blinked a few times, teetering slightly. Myth stepped forward and steadied his wife who gave him a grateful smile. Looking down at the gem on Ceridwyn’s chest, she picked it up and saw the cloud of darkness swirling within. She had captured it. Placing it in her pocket, she would set it aside until later. Now it was up to the other women in the room to do what they needed to do.

And wait and worry.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:31 pm


Raju was breathing slowly, softly, steadily. Her blood, mixed with Kellan’s fell in seven drops on Ceridwyn’s hands and was immediately absorbed into the skin. Opening her eyes she looked at Ceridwyn, then to Kellan. She stayed silent, there was a look of uncertainty in her eyes and she gently bit her lower lip as she slowly turned her gaze back to Ceridwyn.

Time was passing, slowly. She watched Ceridwyn’s face, and she was still holding Kellan’s hand, even though the wounds had closed and healed. Suddenly, her lower lip twitched slightly and a deep inhalation through her nostrils. Her lips parted slightly and a breath exhaled from her. Raju released Kellan’s hand and leaned forward, bringing her face close to Ceridwyn’s, “Sister, are you within?”

Ceridwyn’s eyes moved slowly under the lids and her voice broke the barrier of her lips, “I am… within… sisters.”

Raju smiled and looked at Kellan with hope. Looking back to Ceridwyn she whispered, “Your heart is all that sustains her.”

“Yes sisters… the dragon heart… my heart…”

Raju’s eyes began to well up and she spoke, “Is there hope sister?”

There was a brief pause and Ceridwyn’s eyes opened swiftly, “Yes… hope, and restoration.”


Suddenly, as the room that Kellan, Raju, Ceridwyn, Rayann and Myth were in filled with golden light, Ceridwyn’s chest rose off the bed and a shimmering mist in the head of a silver dragon emerged. The shape and horn pattern were obviously not that or Raju, and this dragon looked as if was much older than her as well. Looking around the room it’s eyes turned to Myth and lingered on him a moment, locking eyes with him, clearly watching him, sizing him up and assessing who and what he was. Then the eyes shifted and looked to Rayann, the same piercing stare of evaluation observed and passed its judgment. Turning to Myth again the dragon spoke into the room, it’s voice reverberated around, like a ghost, the mouth of the mist never moving, but clearly it was watching them both, “The grasp of dark magic weakens us, but the faith and diligence of our friends who refused to see us to the grey grip of death has found us within our own tomb. My thanks to you both.”

The head of the dragon swirled into a massive cloud and dissipated rapidly, the voice speaking and slowly fading, “Ceridwyn’s secret has been revealed to you, but do not share it, not even with her mate… her secret must remain locked…”


Suddenly Raju gasped and her head snapped up, as did Kellan’s. Blinking she looked around the room and then to Ceridwyn who opened her eyes and inhaled deeply and softly. Her eyes welled up and she stared at the ceiling as she spoke, her voice barely above a whisper, “Aeolis… where is my Aeolis…”


Olwa ran to Pela’s side as she was injured. Immediately the Nethermen in the area formed ranks around her and created a defensive perimeter. Several other broke off with Branch and dashed into the woods, Olwa’s arrow hissed over Branches head, missing by millimeters as it found its mark. The archer who had loosed the arrow was hit, but Olwa had purposely fired to hit him in the exact same place he had hit Pela, the only difference was that the arrow pinned him to a tree as it exited.

Branch and the three Nethermen with her came up to him and one lifted his massive axe, the size of a house door to dispatch him but Branch spoke, “Hold… Swift’Bolt made his aim for a purpose… this one needs to be brought back to Ice’Rock to pay for hims crime!”

The Nethermen whooped and one of them grabbed him, yanking him violently from the tree, snapping the shaft in the process. He screamed in pain and was thrown to the ground violently. He attempted to escape but found his way blocked by two massive, bare feet. Looking up one of the Nethermen shook his finger and grabbed him by the back of the shirt, lifting him off the ground and carrying him back across the open battlefield towards Ice’Rock.

Branch nodded to the other two and spoke, “Branch goes to hunt, tell the Chieftain.”

The other two Nethermen nodded and ran back into the fray, anxious to add notches to their axe handles.


Kali moved through the woods like a ghost, her elven skills and her dark cloak against the shadows of the winter woods made for a perfect opportunity for stealth and quiet. As she made her way up to the ridge she paused at the top, getting herself into a small cleft and taking a moment to breath. Her lungs were burning, the soot imbedded within them felt like a thousand daggers. Her face burned at the scar and she grit her teeth whispering softly to herself to take this pain and deal with it, to not succumb to it.

After a moment she inhaled deeply, and reached into her pouch, taking a pinch of the herbs that Ceridwyn had taught her to make to ease her pain and cough. She placed the pinch of the herbs under her tongue and after wetting them, swallowed them whole. It wasn’t as good, but it would do. She moved again, finishing the short climb to the top of the rocks.

Moving along the ridgeline and out of view of the Nethermen below, the wizards apprentice was leading a small contingency of soldiers, maybe a hundred or so, along the rock line, clearly with the intent of bringing them down to where the rock meets the road a kilometer or so away to attempt and out flank the Nethermen. Kali smiled a sinister and evil grin. She hissed words of magic and pressed the end of her staff into the rock, burying it half way. Removing the staff she reached into her robes and removed two different bags of reagents, pouring the contents of both pouches into the hole she had made. Placing her hands over the hole she began to hiss words of magic, the spidery language causing the air around her to buzz with static, and suddenly the rocks shuttered and bucked and her hands.

She opened her eyes and spread her arms out, hissing more words of magic and lifting her arms over her shoulders and clasping her hands in a massive clap. The reagents in the hole flashed in a puff of grey smoke and the face of the rocks on the other side erupted in a massive explosion, sending razor sharp shards and massive boulders in all directions, engulfing the soldiers and the wizard apprentice below. Swiftly she grabbed her staff and went down the cliff side, ignoring the dead and dying soldiers and found the wizard. She grabbed the girl who was stunned, bleeding from many wounds and coughing. She looked the young human girl in the eye and spoke softly, “To hades with you for taking these Nethermen for granted.”

The girls eyes went wide as Kali’s dagger entered between the fourth and fifth rib at the exact right angle to pierce her heart, the life left her eyes within second and she gurgled softly as Kali released her hair and let her head drop to the ground. She cleaned the dagger and replaced it in the hidden sheath up her sleeve and quickly entered the trees. Now those who had attempted to out flank, were out flanked themselves.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:52 pm


Rayann gasped softly as she beheld the sight before her. Never in all her years had she seen such a thing. And she doubted she ever would again. As the dragon leveled its eyes on her and Myth, she instinctively reached for his hand and felt her fingers covered by his larger hand and squeeze gently. Like her, Myth felt no fear or threat from this creature but there was no doubt it held power.

AS the dragon spoke, Rayann’s gaze drifted to Ceridwyn then back to the dragon. Realization dawned on her and she stood there, mouth slightly agape. She had no idea. And now that she did, she was utterly stupefied. So many questions filled her mind that she wanted to ask but before she could even utter a single word, the dragon disappeared and with its fading voice, her dear friend awoke from her coma.

As Ceridwyn’s weak voice filled the room, Rayann blinked as tears instantly filled her eyes. She dropped to her knees at Ceridwyn’s side and took her friends hand in her own and pressed it to her forehead as she let herself give way to those tears. After a moment, she looked up into her friends face and smiled through her tears.

”Oh Ceri……you don’t know how good it is to see you.”





Kellan watched everything that happened and she stood awestruck by what she was witnessing. She glanced at Raju and shared a knowing smile with her sister. As the dragon gave specific instructions to Myth and Rayann, Kellan knew her and Raju’s secret was still safely intact.

When Ceridwyn spoke and Rayann moved in to see her friend, Kellan stood and gave the princess her space. As Ceridwyn asked for Aeolis, Kellan spoke softly to the room.

”I believe I know where to locate him. I shall retrieve him”

Slipping silently from the room, she found the guard still in the hall and she inquired as to where Nol had taken Aeolis. As the guard escorted her to the room, she found Nol keeping silent vigil with the fitfully resting Aeolis. AS soon as she saw him she smiled brightly then rushed into his arms as he stood to greet her.

”It was a success. But not without the aid of the Princess. I dare say Raju and I were lucky she was here and not at her ancestral home. “

She leaned back to look up into his eyes and smiled again.

”And Ceridwyn is asking for her dear Aeolis. Do you think you could help with that?”





Ice’Rock was in pain. Not as much as she would be if she had not taken the time to numb most of it. But she was still in pain. And being in pain made for a not-so-nice Grand Chieftain. SO when the archer that had shot her was delivered, she squinted her eyes at him.

”I have just the thing for you.”

Turning, she made her way back towards the city, leaving the fighting to her warriors knowing she would be of no use to them in combat now. Besides, she saw they were doing just fine without her. When she reached the city walls, seven warriors came up and closed ranks around her again as she walked a few feet in.

”Bring the prisoner to me.”

Turning, she saw the archer dragged mercilessly towards her. She could see the wound in his shoulder was excruciating and she smiled sliglty as she reached out to touch her finger to the bleeding hole. He screamed in pain and she pressed her blood stained finger to her lips to shush him.

”Shhhhh…..you must save your voice. You will need it. Or should I say……you will have no choice but to use it.”

She looked over at one of the warriors and barked out an order.

”string him up, naked, between two poles and then place that pole near the walls. He will be a shining example of why you should not injure the Grand Chieftain but more so, why you should not underestimate the Nethermen.”

As he was dragged away screaming again, Ice’Rock felt herself sway slightly. Had it not been for Olwa’s quick reflexes she was certain she would have stumbled and fell. When she caught the concern in his eyes, she smiled reassuringly at him.

”It is alright, my love. I will be just fine.”

She was getting ready to say something else when she heard a loud series of roars coming from the battlefield. She quickly made her way up to the battlements to see what was happening when she saw her warriors once more pushing the human soldiers back further into the forests beyond the city. She smiled and raised her hands before giving a war whoop letting them know how proud she was of them.

When she turned to look back into the city, she saw archer being brought to her. He had been stripped down, as instructed and his hands were held high on either side of his head. He was begging for them to stop and let him go since he was just following orders. Ice’Rock furrowed her brows and walked up to the vulnerable man.

”You are a coward. Instead of dying like a man you chose to place the blame on another. Your superior at that. There is no honor is such a thing. You are a soldier. You should be proud you were able to fight and now die like one. “

“No…no….please….I beg you. Have mercy. Please….”

Ice’Rock frowned even more.

”You beg for mercy from me yet if the Nethermen had lost, you and your kind would show none. No. Mercy is not what I show. What I DO show are examples of why you should not try and wage war against Nethermen.”

She looked at the Nethermen holding the poles and nodded. He was carried away, dangling from his suspended arms, to the battlements. Once there, the poles were set and shored so they would stay in place. He was facing the battlefield so he could see everything that was happening. He saw the Nethermen once more gaining ground on his fellow soldiers and how they were being smashed into the ground.

”And now….you shall sing the song of death for all to hear.”

Taking out a dagger from her belt, she walked up in front of him. Reaching up, she made an incision at his left wrist enough to go through the layers of skin but not into the muscle, She cut around the wrist then sliced up towards his elbow. He could feel the pain of the slices she made but that was nothing to what she did next.

Using the tip of the knife, she began to peel back the skin from his wrist just enough so she could slip the knife under the skin. Slowly, deliberately, she sliced the skin away from his wrist area and worked her way up to his elbow as though she were skinning a deer. His screams could soon be heard over the sounds of the battle and before long, the battle began to die down as more and more of the humans were pushed back and the Nethermen would pause to hear the sounds of their enemy screaming.

When she finished the forearm of his left arm, she handed the knife over to a waiting Netherman.

”In one hour, remove the skin from the upper part of his arm. Then do the same to his other arm and legs making sure you take only part of it each hour. Understood?”

The Netherman snapped a sharp salute and inclined his head.

[”As the Grand Chieftain says, it shall be done.”

Nodding, she left his to his task. She looked up at her uncle and spoke to him.

”Let them witness his slow death. Do not stop until his skin is completely gone and strung out over the walls to dry.”

Gore’Rock nodded his head and placed his right fist over his heart.

”As you wish, Chieftain.”

She turned to leave when she felt her head spin and she reached out for something to steady herself with. Olwa’s face swam before her and she gave him a small smile.

”I….do not feel……so good…”

A load roaring filled her ears and the world faded to black.










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