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 Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:20 pm

Tynen was brought word of Tierza's fit or antics, depending on one's point of view. He gave a low growl of frustration as he left his tent to find her and remind her of who's camp this was. He found her sitting on a log, parts of body goo dripping from her while she ate whatever his cooks had been able to prepare. He grabbed her arm in an iron grip, not watching his Goddess given strength as he did so, pulling her up to stand before him.

"Have you forgotten your place, Tierza? This is not your camp nor your men to just callously slaughter! I expect more from you then a child's antics and tantrums!", he said in a harsh whisper. "Mind your place in MY camp or leave!" He took a deep breath to calm himself, "I expect more from you than this. You will have plenty of subjects to obliterate soon, my sweet." He raised a hand to gently wipe some goo from her forehead but his eyes remained hard and cold. "These are my men, Tierza....I would appreciate it if you would ask me before you go killing them at will. It would be a pity if you weren't around to enjoy the fruits of our sacrifice." His added gifts from the Dark Lady kept him somewhat protected from Tierza's own gifts and he could easily snap her neck with a flick of his fingers. "Now....go clean up. You stink of my cook."

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:02 am


Tierza watched as Tynen approached and she could tell by the look on his face that he was displeased. A smirk crossed her face and she prepared for what she thought was going to be some playful banter between them.

When he grabbed her arm and squeezed aggressively however, her mood immediately changed from soft and playful to iron. Despite the fact that he was immensely stronger than she was physically she flexed the muscle under his hand in defiance and listened to him without a word as he reprimanded her. Her face turned stone cold and her yellow eyes hardened. As he went on she simply looked at him with an emotionless gaze and when he finished his little speech and released her she stepped back and spoke softly with an icy tone to her voice, “You forget yourself Tynen, I am not yours to command. I report directly to the Dark Lady herself, and though I accompany you, share your camp, your tent, and your bed, you are not my superior. These men are not yours, they are soldiers in the army of the Queen of Darkness whom YOU serve. What she gave she can remove from you like that!” She snapped her fingers, a small spark that smelled subtly of sulphur popped between her middle finger and thumb as she did so. The gentle lines of her face seemed to fill with shadow and she reached down towards her bowl.

She brought up her spoon and flicked some food that landed near his feet. Hissing words of magic she waved her hand and the lump of venison instantly fizzled and sparked with white sparks and began to wiggle and grow, moving like a worm, then a branch twitching in a violent wind, and finally turned into a copperhead snake. It hissed violently and snapped at Tynen’s boot, missing intentionally, before twisting itself up Tierza’s leg and wrapping itself around her chest so it’s head was resting on her left shoulder, its yellow eyes filled with hatred staring right at him. She looked defiantly at Tynen and spoke again, “Brute strength and ignorance are the tools of your trade. My place is not dictated at your discretion, all that I have was given to me by the Dark Mistress, not you, and we are equal components in her eyes, as such I will decide where my place is. What you may or may not expect of me is irrelevant and unimportant. As for your not so subtle threat on my life to not be around to enjoy the fruits of this venture, I dare you to make the attempt.”

She narrowed her eyes and turned, walking away from him to the area where those she commanded were encamped. There was commotion, then rustling, and finally the hasty sound of a hundred individuals which comprised the entire magical presence of this army, packing their horses and preparing to leave. Tierza’s number two, a high ranking cleric of Tahkisis named Azook approached her as she stood beside her jet-black horse putting on her riding gloves, “The group has rolled their beds and tucked their rations, but the tents…” “Leave them. Let the pig deal with them.”

Azook nodded with immediate compliance and grabbed the reins of her mount so she could climb on. As soon as she was in the saddle she took the reins and swung the horses head around and she, along with her hundred, rode north.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:35 am

Eyes that shined, reflecting the rising sun stared just above the northern horizon. Kali concentrated with intent and focus, her vision locked as the brisk morning air pressed rosy red into her cheeks. New snow had fallen last night and the whole area was blanketed in an inch of fresh powder. Kali shivered involuntarily as the cold bit her, even through her heavy cloak. She whispered softly and the steam left her mouth in tendrils, “My lord, I will do as you ask. I knew this was coming.”

She felt the dragon in her heart rattle its cage and she hissed as she felt its presence. Snarling her mouth slightly she spoke, “You are not my master any longer.”

She felt the echo of laughter in her mind and the dragon responded, “I will always be your master, there is no escape from that which you are.”

Kali furrowed her slender brows into a v shape and spoke, “We choose the path.”

The dragon echoed again her mind, “But we do not choose our selves, that is the one choice we never get to make.”

Kali clicked her tongue softly and looked back at the northern horizon, Nuitari, though not visible to those who did not serve him, blared directly at Kali. She felt as if he was looking right at her, as if his gaze was locked directly on her. He was the only power left that would see her survive this world. She closed her eyes like a child who needed the gaze of their parents to comfort and support them. She felt herself beginning to long for her gods touch around her, to embrace and hold her like a child, to give her a moment of reprieve and safety from this world. She opened her eyes again and watched as the very top of the black moon winked off the horizon and dipped into the shadow of Krynn, hidden now even from her eyes. She inhaled deeply and leaned on her staff, rising to her feet.

Turning towards the city, Kali looked down at the walls that they had breached only a week ago. The Nethermen had mad the city their own already. New gates, stronger many times over than the humans had in place and designed in the style of the Nethermen hung proudly on  iron hinges. The battlements were covered with the massive, hulking forms of the soldiers in Ice’Rock’s army. Kali felt a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth, to see something accomplished was enough for now… though the goals of her own aspirations still tore at her like meat hooks shredding her very soul, she knew that what was done here, for perhaps her only true friend, would echo through the history of Krynn for many hundreds of years, and her name would be tied to it.

She turned and rubbed the neck of her horse and whispered gently into her ear, the mare tucked her head, seeming to understand the half-elf, and Kali placed a foot into the stirrup and swung herself skillfully up onto her mount. She had just began to flick the reins and turn when a soft voice split the cold air, “Kali not gones to say good-byes?”

Kali looked up, any surprise that should have been on her face at the sudden voice was buried deep within her from a hundred years of experience and she simply glanced up to see Branch crouched in a tree, bow in hand. Kali let her eyes linger on the Elderwild a few seconds before she spoke, “I informed you of my leaving.”

“There’s many whoms might have liked your goodbyes.”

Kali kept her eyes locked on Branch and spoke, “It is not your place to teach me in the ways of social graces, and it is best I leave in the manner that I have chosen.”

Branch furrowed her brow slightly and spoke, “Best-es for who? For yous?”

Kali looked up at her and almost hissed her response, “Of course for me! Why else do anything upon this wretched world?”

Branch slipped out of the tree and landed with so much grace that not even the snow beneath her feet seemed to become unsettled, “Theres’n many reasons, yous have shown yous not always so selfishness.”

Kali watched as Branch stepped over and rubbed her mare along the cheek bones, the black horse closed her eyes responded positively to the Elderwilds touch. Branch kept her eyes on Kali who looked down at her from under the dark hood of her robes and cloak, “For all the wisdom of the Elderwild, you are wrong Branch. I have not done a single thing here the did not benefit me.”

Branch nodded and spoke, “This’n true… but its also was affecting others with whats you done.”

Kali shook her head, and spoke, “I assisted a friend, who frankly did not need my assistance, but I will need hers soon enough and there fore I offered my favor in exchange for one to come.”

Branch nodded and spoke, “What’s Kali sayin’ is truth, but what’s also truth is Kali was affecting the destiny of a whole peoples in the process.”

Kali sneered slightly and spoke, “We are now in the ream of perspective, and that can not be argued. Yes, the destiny of the Nethermen is now set on a new path, but what comes of it is not my doing, that burden rests entirely on them… and their Chief.”

Branch nodded softly and looked up at Kali, “I’ms… I’ms sorry for misjudging yous, Mistress Kali.”

Now, there was surprise in Kali’s expression and she looked down at Branch without speaking for a few seconds. Branch spoke again, “I’ms not knowing what it is you and Istar’ostring agreed to, yous services for hers later… but whatevers it is, Branch would like to come alongs with yous when that time come’n.”

Kali looked at Branch and spoke, “You understand of course, giving your promise to a High Sorceress…”

Branch nodded knowing and spoke, “It’n not these first times Branch be doing so.”

Kali smiled thinly and spoke, “No, I imagine it isn’t.”

Branch nodded and spoke, “No in elenath hîlar nan hâd gîn.” May all stars shine upon your path.

Kali knew what Branch was doing, and she obliged, “No veren Na lu e-govaned vin.” Farewell until next we meet

Branch smiled and looked at Kali, “Yous rembering whos you is.”

Kali’s face turned cold and she responded flatly, “I am Nuitari’s daughter, nothing more.”

With a gentle nudge Kali turned her mount and silently slipped away from Sanction.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:51 am

Kali rode long enough to get out of the vicinity of Sanction before she stopped, dismounted and took a loom around the forest. The road she was taking was very narrow and rarely used. She had seen it two weeks back when the group was moving in for battle and placed its memory in her head so she could come back here when the time was right. With the snow it barely looked like a road, more like a wide spot that wove through the trees. Stroking her horses neck she moved to peer into the forest, her keen eyes scanning for any red silhouettes that would show her signs of life. With the exception of a few birds and rabbits, she saw nothing.

She turned and looked at her horse and whispered as she stroked her velvety muzzle, "Are you ready?"

With a flick of her head, as if replaying, Kali rubbed a dark brown powder along the horses body from head to tail, and then back up the other side. She then stood at the horses head again and began to hiss spidery words of magic the came from her mouth like a dry sonnet. In a sudden flash nothing was left but footprints in the snow.

Kali inhaled deeply as she stood in the courtyard of her tower. She unbridled the horse and unbuckled the saddle, letting it slide off the horse and placed it on a stand beside the tower. She gently rubbed the mare once more before waving her hand and the door opened just enough for her to enter. The tower was warm and inviting, as if someone was still in residence, but in fact this was all in motion yesterday before she departed. A fire blazed in the massive stone hearth that rested along the wall in the main room and she slipped out of her travel cloak, and then her heavy robes, hanging them on hooks beside the door. She stretched like a feline and smiled softly as she looked around her home. It had been too long, but now she was back, and she must get to work as soon as possible, but not before a pot of hot tea and a well deserved bath.

--

In a couple hours, Kali was in the topmost room of the black tower. Her books were sprawled out right where she had left them, a hot mug of tea was sitting beside her and the cold and dirt form the last couple months had been washed from her. She lay on a comfortable reclining chair, naked from her bath but wrapped in a thick black blanket that covered everything from her neck down. She sipped the medicinal tea with a soft sigh and felt the warmth of the fire on her.

Suddenly her eyebrows perked up and she looked to the north as if a voice had called to her. Furrowing her brows she stared, as if seeing the event she was feeling, but there was nothing the room. "Trystan." She whispered the name and stood to her feet, walking to the balcony window and looked north, she could feel his heartbeat, something that hadn't happened for a very long time.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:42 pm




Ice’Rock knew Kali was leaving.  While the dark robed wizard never said the words ‘good bye’ Ice’Rock saw the look in her mixed colored eyes and knew she was leaving and soon.  It was the nature of who Kali was.  She understood that more than most others what transpired during the time Kali had been in the midst’s of theNethermen.  

A favor for a favor.

Exactly what the price of that favor would be was yet to be revealed and Ice’Rock could only hope when the time came to call that favor in, She would be ready to respond as readily as Kali had offered her assistance.  

The new fallen snow brought a freshness to the city of Sanction and with it a sense of rebirth.  From high atop the lone tower Ice’Rock stood as the cold wind rustled her hair and dress as she watched the lone figure of her friend as she departed from the city.  The black robes of the wizard draped over the chestnut brown of the horse, the steam that came from both the hood and the horses’ nostrils as they moved as one.  The hoof prints left in the snow by the horse as it walked along carefully to ensure it did not slip and upset the rider.

Ice’Rock watched until there she could no longer see Kali then turned and made her way back down the tower.  She had a full plate today and she had best get started on it right now.  After all, no better time than the present.





The next morning as Trystan was preparing his mount for another day f rising, along with Terra and James, his horse snorted and its ears perked up at something it was smelling on the horizon.  As Trystan searched the area with his eyes and prepared to battle whatever was headed his way, he finally saw the shadow of a horse and rider approaching.  He knew instantly who it was by the blue velvet cloak the rider wore, even before the gloved hand reached up to slip the hood off her head.

”Is that any way to greet a friend, Sir Trystan, with your hand upon the hilt of your blade ready to strike e down?”

There was mischief in her green eyes as Tanjee slung her right foot over the saddle horn and dismounted with a grace of a seasoned rider, landing noiselessly on the ground then walked towards Trystan.  The blue of the cloak she wore spoke volumes of her allegiance to anyone who met her, but it was the blue gem that seemed to hang heavy around her neck suspended by a silver chain that left no doubt.

”Thank the Goddess you were not riding as though the Dark Lady’s mongrels were on your heels or I most likely would not have been able to catch up to you.  And the fact you were not trying to hide your trail.  Of course that would not have been easy to hide from me.”

She greeted the Knight with her hands on his upper arms as she rose up on her toes to give him a feathery kiss to his cool cheek before settling back down again to the flats of her feet.

”I heard there are missing children.  This does not bode well.  Especially with such restlessness abounding in the land lately.”

She saw Keatara walking towards her then and she greeted the woman she considered as close to a sister with a warmth a true sister would greet.

”Tara….I heard you were accompanying Sir Trystan.  I knew you would not sit idly by while the possibility of children being cold and alone existed.”

As she caught sight of James, her smile faded slightly and she cast a quick glance to Trystan before recovering and smiling at the man and nodding her head in greeting.

”James.  It is good to see you again.  You seem to be fairing well in this cool weather.”

She once more cast a quick glance at Trystan and saw the way he looked back at her.  In that quick moment, Tanjee knew the Knight and she were thinking along the same thoughts.  But just as quickly as they shared the look, the mischief returned to her gaze and she smiled brightly at the trio.

”I do not suppose  you all would be interested in a bite to eat before we head out, would you?  I have brought some delightful delicacies from Silvanost I am certain you all would be interested in.  I figured I had to remove them before my brother and Ceridwyn devoured all the food in the land.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:42 pm


Trystan's instincts were to go to his sword, but when he saw Tanjee he was so surprised that he forgot to remove his hand from his blade. He flushed pink as she playfully called him on his gesture of trust, and flushed red when she rose to kiss him on the cheek. It was no surprise, after all most human men would give more than their right arm to win the hand of an elven woman, and Tanjee was no exception to the rule that elven women were among the most beautiful ladies in the land.

He bowed respectfully at her and spoke, "Perhaps forgiveness is necessary my lady elf, but to approach from the morning without heed or warning, is that not too a crime?"

He winked, knowing she would understand the ribbing and was very grateful in his heart to have her with them. He stood aside as she made her greetings to the others and was paying close enough attention to catch her quick glance when she saw James. They both felt the same uneasiness, it was obvious... but he did not dare let a single shred of it show on his face. He had been wrong in the past, and he would not allow his own feelings to drive his actions as he had done two other times in the past.

When Tanjee mentioned Ceridwyn eating all the food in the land he suddenly perked up and turned to her, "Ceridwyn? The lady Wizard is awake?"

Though he had not been at the wedding, Lady Rose had, and she had relayed all the information about what transpired in the Hall of the Stars that day. He had known that Ceridwyn was under some sort of spell or something, and that the best wizards in the city had not been able to revive her. "Please do tell!"

Tanjee relayed the story about Raju, Nol'lore and Kellan's arrival to Silvanost. How they somehow, behind closed doors were able to revive Ceridwyn, and how she was rapdily getting her strength, and her attitude back. He smiled, but also there was a hint of sadness... Kellan. She was Nol's now, he had blown that relationship too... How is it that he had not thought of either of the ladies he had courted and fallen in love with for weeks, no months... maybe even a year, and then BOTH were brought to his mind in the last twelve hours. He looked up and saw Tanjee was looking at him with concern and he cleared his throat before responding, "That is great news! GREAT news. Paladin be praised!"

The four of them ate and the conversation was light hearted, despite the grave purpose of their mission. In these dark times, it was a small relief to have a moment of quiet from the storm.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:49 pm


Tanjee helped the trio pack up their makeshift camp to help them start their trek sooner.  James didn't say much to her but Tara was rather chatty.  She knew the woman missed her beau and she prayed they would be reunited sooner rather than later.  

As they mounted their mounts, Tanjee set her horse in a pace along with Trystans.  As James and Tara rode on ahead of them, eager to locate the children and get them back to Heartlund (Tara at least anyway), Tanjee left her eyes on the mans back as she spoke quietly to Trystan.

"So what do you think happened to the children and who do you suppose took them?"

Before Trystan could answer, Tanjee once more held his gaze as she spoke quietly again

"who ever it is would be quite the sinister person to stoop so low as to harm a child.....or use them for ulterior motives"

Once again that look surfaced in her eyes.  That unspoken message she shared with the Knight certain her own suspicions were close to his own.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:40 pm

Tynen sighed heavily, his first instinct to retrieve the minx and punish her but he was a leader for a reason and he knew that she held the Dark Lady's favor.  It would be foolish for him to do her harm and he was not going to do anything to anger the Dark Lady at him.  It was bad enough the dark haired she-demon was miffed at him.  But, she was gone for now and he found that instead of being furious at her he was actually relieved.  While she'd been a wild and vicious bed mate he would not miss her tantrums.  He turned just in time to see a rider approach and gave a sadistic grin.  It was getting close at hand, the taking of his sister but what made the smile reach his eyes was the missive that the she-elf was now with the party.  He gave a cold laugh out loud, causing his men near by to stop and look at him fearfully.  

"Finally...the Dark Lady smiles upon me once more.  Have the men make ready....we leave within the hour."  

He knew exactly where to ambush them.  In between his camp and the small group with his sister as an area with thick growth of trees and brush on one side and trees and boulders on the other.  In between was a semi-trail that was about 6 feet wide.  Here was where he would take his sister and the she-elf if he could take both.  If not, his sister would do for now for he had a feeling that the she-elf would not be left out of the search for Keatara.  He quickly wrote out a message on a piece of paper and gave it back to the scout to get it to James.  On it were his plans.





Keatara all but squealed upon seeing Tanjee, her friend that was more like a sister to her than just a friend.  She hugged her, anxious for news about Gideon.  Her green eyes shown with love for her knight and she gladly took Tanjee's teasings.  She missed the look between Tanjee and Trystan, so happy was she at seeing her best friend.  James, though, did not and knew that the knight and the healer were suspicious of him.  He put on a friendly face towards Tanjee, acting as if nothing were amiss.  

Soon after, he and Tara were walking their mounts ahead of Trystan and Tanjee and his conversation turned towards Tara's brother and encouraging her to tell him more of the antics she and Tynen would get into as children when he spotted something up ahead.  "Tara....I have need to relieve myself.  I will be right back", he said with a blush.  Keatara nodded her head, stopping her mount as he rode on ahead to have some privacy.  When Trystan and Tanjee caught up she explained to them what was going on.  

James made sure he couldn't be seen as he seemed to be doing exactly what he said he'd needed to do.  Deftly and without drawing attention to himself he took the small, rolled up note that had been tied to a branch.  The note itself was small, only about 3 inches long and tied to the branch with a matching cord.  He took it, reading it and smiling as he did so.  He quickly crumpled up the paper, putting it into his mouth and swallowing it.  Turning, he made his way back to the small group.  "Much better....I am sorry, but nature called."  

Tara smiled at him, "Tis of no bother, James," she said to him, smiling to Tanjee.  After re-mounting, she and James once more were riding in the lead, within two hours ride of the ambush spot, James laughing quietly at Tara's stories of her and Tynen.  

Keatara all but squealed upon seeing Tanjee, so happy was she to see her best friend who had become like a sister to her.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:46 pm


As the four of them packed Trystan made one last sweep of the campsite to ensure that everything was cleared that might show they had been there. The task was quickly and easily accomplished as they had stayed with the minimum necessary impact.

As they rode out and Tara rode ahead with James Trystan turned when Tanjee spoke to him. He listened and nodded his head slightly at her words, “I agree Tanjee, it would require a sinister individual to inflict harm on a child, physically or mentally.” He furrowed his brows softly at the thought and they rode on.

He looked over from his conversation with Tanjee, and she did the same as they both heard James horse hurry into a trot so he could pull away form the group. With quizzical looks on their faces they came up alongside Keatara and she explained the purpose of their pause. Trystan turned to look and watched as James dismounted and stepped off the trail a step and a half so he could do what he needed to do. Half watching him and turning back to Keatara he spoke, “We should begin diligently watching for any signs of breaking off the trail from this point on, the reports were that the child was last seen about four miles from here. As Keatara nodded and he saw the grave look of concern on her face he smiled and reached forward, touching the back of her hand, “Worry not my friend, I am sure we will find her.”

As James galloped his mount back to them and spoke Trystan turned to him and listened as he spoke, with a nod he smiled and spoke, “Aye friend, happens to the best of us… and the worst.”

He could see that James immediately found the meaning within his words and as he clicked his tongue and rode ahead with Keatara once again Trystan turned and looked at Tanjee with a cocked eyebrow. He wished that he had the ability to speak to the mind as Kali used to do with him, this was one of those times that it would have been extremely helpful to communicate with the she elf in private.

The ride was smooth, save the low temperature, and Trystan was watching the road intently for any signs of a horse or footprints that would give a hint as to what might have transpired. There was nothing, in fact the road showed no signs of having been traveled in quite some time. More and more he was beginning to feel uneasy about this situation and with a very subtle change he exchanged his riding glove on the right hand with his sword glove. It wasn’t as warm, but it was also not as clunky and would allow him to fight better should a response be necessary.


Tierza looked down over the cold north face of the mountains, looking at the road that wound it’s way through the wide valley below. The target would be on this road, today, and she smiled a soft, wicked smile.

Azook approached and spoke softly, “The scout reports they are two miles down the road.”

She nodded without turning to him, “The stage?”

Azook again nodded has he spoke, “Set.”

She turned to him this time, “Our friends?”

“Moving on schedule, there ambush spot is another two miles up the road and they aren’t scheduled to be there for another fifteen minutes,”

She smiled and rubbed her finger on his cheek, “Most excellent work Azook.”

Azook lowered his head deeply and stepped back without a word.

Tierza slipped off her horse gracefully and handed the reigns to her number two. He held them fast and she spoke, “Stick to the plan, at all costs.”

He nodded and placed his hand on her, hissing words of dark, twisted magic. She disappeared in a puff and appeared at the road side, a slain man, freshly killed lay in a pool of blood caused by the stab wound that went up beneath his ribs. Tierza smiled in satisfaction and hissed words of magic as she moved her hands delicately in the air, her face twisted and her body flexed as she spun and fell into the soft, wet dirt. She rolled on the ground and turned over, panting loudly as the face and body of a ten year old girl turned to look at the sky above her. She grabbed the bloody knife and got enough of the blood on her to convince even the keenest eye that she had killed the man beside her. Her arms showed bruises, her lip was swollen and a cut formed over the top of her left eye as she rubbed mud onto her dress and clothing. Finally, she settled down a few meters from the man and began to sob softly.

It was Tanjee who’s sharp ears picked up the soft sobs a good three quarters of a mile off, and as she turned to relay the information to Trystan the four of them burst into a full gallop, thundering down the road. As they rounded a tight turn through some trees and over a frozen creek Trystan was off his horse with the ringing sound of steel releasing form the scabbard and ran up to the little girl, sword in hand. He looked at the dead man, steam rising off his recently slain body. He turned to look as Tanjee and Keatara dashed up beside the young sobbing girl and then stood to walk over to the dead man. Kicking him over so he could see his face, Trystan did not recognize him, but his brutish face was enough to convince him what happened. The knife wound was just below the bottom rib and the angle of the thrust showed he was most likely baring down on whomever stabbed him. The dagger, just by the look, was his own. Trystan turned to look as Tanjee and Tara were helping the young girl sit up, wiping the dirt, mud and blood from her face.

Trystan, sword still in hand looked at James who seemed to be shifting a little uneasily and his eyes darted from the forest to Trystan as he faced him. Assuming that James was leery of other attackers he spoke, “Worry not James, if there had been others they would have over powered her for killing their companion instead of running.”

He walked over and knelt beside the young girl, “I am Sir Trystan of the Sword, Knight of Solamnia and Captain of the Wall Guard in Heartlund Keep, we will not harm you little one. What is your name?”


The little girl, her eyes and face as innocent as wind driven snow, spoke softly through the remnants of her sobs, “I am Tierza my Lord.”

He smiled with a nod and turned to look at Keatara who had a look of joy, compassion, and relief on her face.”

Trystan turned to Tierza and spoke, “What happened?”

“That man… he took me four days hence from Heartlund, said I was to be his little girl… I, I tried to fight him, but he was large, very large.”

Trystan placed a calming hand on her shoulder and nodded, “Go on, what just happened here?”

Tierza inhaled a sniffle and continued, “Well sir, right there he said he heard something in the woods, so when he looked I reached and grabbed his knife. He didn’t like that, I just wanted to go back him to Heartlund. He kicked me, knocked me down onto the ground and then he came really fast, he was reaching for my face, I don’t know what he was going to do, so I just put the knife up and he yelled loud, then he stood, turned and took a couple steps and fell over dead there.”

Tanjee turned to look Trystan and he nodded in confirmation, the evidence in the immediate area was almost a perfect collaboration to her story, The spray of blood and the way the man fell, the point of insertion of the blade into the heart, his only being able to take a couple steps before dying… it was all accurate.”

He smiled and reached, taking the knife from her hand, “Worry not little one, you rae safe now.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:26 pm


Tanjee was glad she decided to return to Heartlund.  If she had not, she would not be here, with Trystan and Tara once she found out where they had gone and why.  As she helped Tara get the girl to sit up, she smoothed back the hair on her head to try and soothe her fears and stop the tremors she could feel the girl suffering for both shock and cold, she listened to the events the girl described locking gazes with Trystan from time to time.  

But something didn't feel right here.  As the girl relayed her story about what happened, Tanjee began to grow increasingly uneasy.  There was a scent on the air she was familiar with that was of great concern to her.  Sulfur and ozone were always heavy in the air when certain spells were cast or had been cast by certain types of magic users and while the crisp air had pretty much depleted the worst of it, her sensitive nose could still pick up a hint of it in the air.  

She glanced around to see the girls story did add up as far as the trace of movements, but the hairs on the back of her neck stood up when she heard the girl say the man yelled loud.  When they reached the area, the steam was still lifting off the warm body which meant. The killing took p,ace very recently.  With the chill in the air, the body would have begun to cool rapidly and there would be no steam.  Plus, If the man had yelled, Tanjee would have certainly heard it and alerted the group long before she heard the girls sobbing.

Perhaps she was being overly paranoid but she knew something wasn't right here.  How to tell Trystan and convince him was the trouble.  He trusted her, yes, but she also knew he relied on facts he could see with his own eyes.  And she knew he was still leery of accepting the word of someone who delved in magic.  Albeit hers was not actually magic as far as casting spells and more of channeling the abilities of her Goddess for healing and the good of all creatures, but it was still magic in the eyes of many of the Solamnic Knights, except when it benefited them, of course.  She just hoped Trystan would let his instincts and gut feeling she KNEW he had about this James guide him more than what his naked eye told him.

Slowly standing and leaving the girl in Tara's capable hands, she walked over to Trystan, making sure James could not see the look on her face by using Trystans own body to block his line of sight.  Keeping her voice low, she spoke to Trystan quietly.

"I believe the girl has had quite the time, Sir Trystan.  Perhaps we should prepare Tara's horse to accept a pair of riders for the journey back."

Her brows were dipped in concern and she prayed to the Goddess the Knight would pick up on the fact she called him by his formal name and not by the familiar name she used in most cases when speaking to him.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:19 pm

Tara listened to the child's tale, also uneasy by her tale of the man yelling loudly with them only a short distance away. She too could feel that something was amiss....something didn't fit. She helped her up, turning to see Tanjee and Trystan talking while James seemed to be keeping watch. "Come, lass.....we be getting ye taken care of. Shush ye'er crying now.....ye be safe." She helped the girl to her feet but quickly let go of her arm as if she'd been burned. When the girl cast her a quizzical look she smiled at her, smoothing back her hair. "Just a small sore, lass...from a thorn." But it was a reaction she'd never had before yet her instincts told her that the girl was not what she seemed.

She led the child away from the body and set her down not far from her horse, telling her to stay there while she got her water bag. While she was at her horse, she looked at her right hand wondering why she'd felt as if she'd been burned when she touched skin on skin with the child. And why did she suddenly feel as the child wasn't what she appeared to be.

James came over to her then, "Tara....is anything amiss? You look as you've seen a ghost or something." He was smiling to her, but he'd seen her reaction to Tierza and a story Tynen had told him once came back to him. He was now wondering if the story was actually true.

Tynen's aunt, sister to his father, had shown up in the middle of the night carrying a small bundle. She was pale and looked close to death, that was when she'd told them that she'd been poisoned and did not have long to live. She pleaded with her brother and his wife, Tynen's parents, to take the bundle and care for it. As she lay dying, her story came to light. She'd fallen in love with northern man who was half wood elf. He was also the son of the leader of the northern wood elves, his father having fallen in love with his human mother. They'd been together and as a result they had a daughter. His parents were pleased about their grandchild and made plans for their joining. But there was a she-elf that thought herself in love with the half-elf and grew insane with jealousy. She made a pact with followers of the Dark Lady, to rid herself of the human woman and child in order to have the male half-elf to herself. She was given the necessary poison to do what she needed to do, nicking the human woman with the tip of her small dagger that morning. But the elven village was attacked by the very followers she'd made a pact with and the male half-elf was able to get his human wife and child away but not without losing his life in the process. The jealous she-elf followed, screaming with rage as he was struck down. She found the human woman and child hiding, the human woman already growing weak from the poison. With her own mortal wounds, the she-elf knew she was dying but she took great joy in telling the human woman what she'd done to her and how her daughter would die of exposure if the wolves didn't get her first. That was when Tynen's father looked closer at the bundle, he and his wife uncovering it to find a beautiful, baby girl with green eyes looking up at them. They raised the child as their own...this one quarter elfen child, loving her as if she were their own. They named her Keatara.

James knew little of the northern wood elves, but he did know from what Tynen had told him that some of them had been able to sense darkness with a touch. He now wondered if Keatara carried that very gift for even though he'd met Tierza i n her adult form, he did know about this form. James had always thought that the story Tynen had told him was nothing more than that.....a story so he could deal with what he'd done to his beloved 'sister'. Now he was not so sure.....in fact, he now strongly suspected the story to be true. And Tara carried that very gift, although late in developing.....and probably now as strong as it would be if she'd been full elf, but still.

Tara nodded at James, "Aye...I be find, James. Just.....I am not sure.....but something is not right. With the child.....something be off with the lass", she said with a whisper. She didn't tell him about the burning sensation she'd felt, worried that he would think her crazy but she looked at Tanjee, knowing that she could tell her. "Would ye be kind and take this water to the lass, James? I be needing to speak to Tanjee for a moment."

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:18 am


Trystan knelt over the slain man, checking him for any sort of identification. There was nothing save the empty sheath on his belt, a very light weight cloak, and thin leather shoes. He traced his finger over the chest, looking at the wound under the torn shirt, noticing that there was only one layer of medium weight fabric and then bare skin. He looked over as he heard Tanjee approach and stood up to his feet. She called him Sir Trystan, immediately he was aware of this breech in protocol, she had not called him that since they first met almost two years ago.

He listened to what she had to say and made no visual reaction, by the gods he wished he could speak into her mind however. He glanced over at Tierza and then back to Tanjee and nodded slightly as if reacting to her words. He spoke softly, "She's not the only one that has had quite a time of late, one can only be left to wonder how two can survive in weather such as this without a warm cloak or even a bedroll between them."

He saw her eyes immediately go wide as she looked down and see exactly what Trystan had meant. The man who lay dead at their feet was dressed for late spring time at best, without a proper weapon, food, clothing or shoes for travel at this time of year. Trystan inhaled deeply as he looked over Tanjee's shoulder at Tierza who was drinking from the water James had given her. Keatara was walking over towards them, rubbing her hand as if massaging out pain, he and Tanjee had been so engrossed in their conversation they had both missed her reaction to touching the young girl.

Trystan made a very subtle, non-verbal gesture to her as she approached, telling her to not say a word. Tara would see by the look on his and Tanjee's faces that the three of them were in like mind, something was off, in fact the only one of the party who didn't seem concerned about Tierza was James.

"James."

James looked over at Trystan who had stepped between him and the two ladies, "How is the young lass doing?"

James responded, saying she seemed to be getting her feet back under her and Trystan nodded. He spoke again to James, "Please see that Keatara's horse is set to hold two riders, move the food and water skins onto the other three mounts, and tuck the bed roll under the rear of the saddle with the roll towards the hind haunches so little Tierza can sit comfortably for the journey back."

Tierza looked over at Trystan and spoke, "I have never ridden a horse sir."

Trystan smiled and responded, "Not to worry little one, Keatara will be handling the mare, you will simply be along for the ride and I assure you we will do everything in our ability to make you comfortable."

Tierza stood on wobbly legs and spoke, "I am still afraid sir."

Trystan, still smiling, responded, "I know lass, I know, but I promised you that you were safe now, my honor is my life, I will see you back to Heartlund safely."

Tierza smiled and gently bowed her head, she turned and looked at Keatara's mount as Trystan turned back to Keatara and Tanjee. He spoke in a very low whisper, "Anyone else notice the lass has naught but bedroom slippers on?"

With his sword still in hand, Trystan turned and spoke, "Let's be off, we are burning precious daylight and we have a good day and three quarters until we can be back in Daggershire. Tierza, do you need help getting onto the horse?"

"No sir, it won't be necessary."

Trystan cocked his head and responded, "Of course it is necessary lass, we must ride."

Tierza's crystal blue eyes flashed yellow and she spoke, "No, we must stay."

Immediately Trystan turned as he heard the woods come alive with motion and voices, ominous, dark voices and the hair on the back of his neck stood up as the air was filled with strange energy, magical energy, the same feeling he had when he fought alongside Kali at the Battle of the Three Towers. The signature was not as strong as when he was beside the Archmage, but it was certainly in the air, and it was coming from all over. He turned to Tierza and furrowed his brow, "So the veil is lifted."

A twisted, sick, malicious smile crossed the little girls face and she pointed at Keatara, "I just want that one, give her to me and the rest of you can go... well, almost the rest of you."

She turned and looked at James, "This one I must kill on principle."

James look of shock reverberated through the group and Tierza brought up her other hand, pointing it at James, "Your choice Sir Trystan, one dies and one comes with me, or all die and she still comes with me."

Trystan looked at Tierza and the leather of his glove creaked softly as he tightened the grip around his sword hilt, "I am afraid I can't live by those terms."

Tierza looked at him and her little child face became twisted with anger and rage, "I command 100 wizards and Clerics of Tahkisis! If you will not yield, then you will die!"

She reared back and hissed words of magic as she thrust her hand towards him, "Trystan shifted his weight and his shield slid around from his back and locked onto his arm, the shadowy spell smashed into the seemingly plain steel and exploded in all directions as it dissipated harmlessly around himself, Tanjee and Keatara. Tierza's look of shock would have been priceless to behold had the stakes not currently been so high.


In a flash, Tierza took her normal form, a slender, comely woman, dressed in sheer blacks stacked one on top of another in what seemed to be an unending number of layers. She snarled at Trystan and it was clear to everyone in the group that she was not entirely sane. Her eyes danced with calculation and her pull on the river of magic was strong. She hissed, "COME!" and the woods behind her came alive as Clerics in robes decorated with the symbols of Tahkisis and Black Robed Wizards with sheer sleeves and the seven headed dragon stitched in silver thread on the center chest began stepping forth.

Trystan realized that Tierza had not been exaggerating, there was easily a hundred with her and she suddenly smiled a sweetly venomous grin as she looked at Trystan, "That shield is impressive, but not wide enough to stop us all I would wager."

Trystan nodded and stayed surprisingly calm. He spoke, his voice was suddenly elevated in volume, "That is true Tierza, it is not wide enough to stop all of these magic users spells, however I know a little about magic, and though it is powerful, it drains the body of strength, of sure, you may be able to cast four, or five, or maybe even six very powerful spells, but if I can stop enough of them and get to you when you become weak you can bet on my blade removing your head form your shoulders."

She snarled, in a twisted and dangerously beautiful manner. She liked this one, he was different than most Knights she had encountered, "Perhaps that is true Sir Trystan, but the fact is that mathematically we still hold the advantage."


Suddenly on the ridge behind Trystan a horn blasted and 24 mounted Knights of the Sword looked down into the valley, banners flapping in the light breeze. On either side at least 30 soldiers and behind then two dozen archers. Keatara's heart lept in her chest for sitting astride his mount at the very tip of the wedge formation was Sir Gideon.


Trystan turned to look at them and then back to Tierza, "Looks like the odds aren't completely in your favor."

She screamed and hissed words of magic as she thrust her hand forward again, unleashing a spell towards James and another from her other hand towards Sir Trystan, the battle was underway.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:33 am

Tara's eyes filled with tears and love when she looked up after hearing the horn and saw Gideon.  Turning back around, she drew her short bow and was firing arrow after arrow, firing faster than any mere human should be able to, her arrows hitting their marks every time.  She was still reeling from Tierza's words that she wanted her.....trying to figure out why.  She looked to where James had once been and wondered why Tierza wanted to kill him.  Staying out of Trystan and Tanjee's way so they wouldn't worry about possibly injuring her she made her way to a small group of boulders, wanting to get up higher so that she had better sight for her arrows when she was grabbed from behind.

****************

James leapt out of the way just in time to only get singed by Tierza's spell, thinking every foul name he could of her as he did so.  But then he saw his opening and secretly thanked the hussy for now he could get to Tara while everyone else was occupied with fighting.  He made his way around, coming up behind her right before she got to the small group of four to six foot tall boulders.  He grabbed her, causing her to lose her precious bow, squeezing as she began to struggle, feeling two of her ribs crack as he did.  "Shhhh....Tara, it's me."  When she quieted, he grinned behind her, but if one were to see his eyes they would see nothing but lust in them.  "I received a missive while I was relieving myself.  From Tynen.....he needs you."  Tara was deathly still then, "Tynen?"  James grinned again, "Aye....I don't know how he found us, but his missive said that he needs you.  He fears that he is dying and is ashamed at what he has done."  Tara looked at the battle yards in front of her, seeing glimpses of her friends and Gideon.  She shook her head, "Nay...I canna leave them in the middle of a battle, James.....Tynen would understand."  

James wanted to shake her.....beat her, something to get her to come.  Instead, he used words, "You told me that there was still good in Tynen...that you knew there was.  He needs to hear that from you....I think that's why he wants to see you before he dies.  They will be fine....they have reinforcements."





That was when she saw him.....Tynen.  He was standing on one of the boulders, one of his scouts having heard the battle and reporting back to his master of what was going on.  This pleased Tynen greatly, thinking that the bitch would take care of his enemies for him and he would simply come in and take his sister while she was doing so with none the wiser.  He held out a hand to his sister, "Tara...my little sister."  

Tara's eyes filled with tears that rolled unchecked down her cheeks.  "Tynen?  Is it really ye?", she asked him, wanting so much to believe that he'd come back to her.  But then she looked at his eyes and saw the emptiness in them and knew it wasn't so.  "No.....the darkness still has ye in it's hold, brother.  I willnae come to ye.....for ye are not me brother."  

His face grew hard as stone, his eyes turning to ice as he stared at her.  Rising, he jumped down off of the boulder to land behind James.  He whispered something in the man's ear and then stabbed James with his dagger.  It was more of a flesh wound, the blade sliding easily through skin and tissue in the fleshy part of his side.  James released Tara, falling to the ground with a grunt.

Tara cried out, drawing her short sword and facing her brother.  "Ye are not me kin.....ye are not Tynen!!!", she cried out her soul breaking at what she saw before her.  Tynen drew his own sword, "So ye wish to fight ye're own brother.....so be it then."  But instead of fighting her, one of his men came up behind her and grabbed her, holding her as Tynen came to stand before her.  He looked over at the battle, seeing Gideon's face as the knight caught sight of Tara in the grip of his man and James laying on the ground bleeding.  Tynen smiled at the knight, mockingly bowing at him before the hilt of his sword was brought down onto Tara's temple, knocking her unconscious.  

But, it was to be a short-lived victory for James grabbed his own dagger and sliced at Tynen's leg, laying it open.  Tynen's man, who had a hold of Tara, let her crumple to the ground as he went to defend his master but he never made it when another knight was suddenly there, fighting Tynen and his man back.  Tynen disappeared, the speed and agility granted to him from the Dark Lady making it so that he was gone just as quickly as he'd come.  His man, on the other hand, was not so lucky.

Tara lay on the ground, blood trickling from the deep laceration at her temple, her breathing labored from cracked ribs.  James made his way to her, his hand covering his wound as he made as if he were trying to wake her.  Inside his mind, though, he was smiling for it was what Tynen had whispered to him just before stabbing him.  James made as if to lay over her, to protect her in her unconscious state from the battle waging around them.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:43 pm

Tara wasn't unconscious for more than a few minutes....but she was slow to move. Her head felt as if it had been split in two and she groaned, feeling a heaviness on her. She opened her eyes, regretting it as soon as she did so but seeing James' face over hers. "Hey....can you stand?" She could hear his voice, see his face but what he was asking was slow to register. It was then that she realized she could hear the sounds of battle and she started to remember. "Tynen?", she asked James as she slowly sat up. "He's gone, Tara. He left." She got to her feet, seeing James' bloody side and remembered her brother stabbing him. "Ye be hurt. How bad is it?", she asked him as her hand went to her head while she closed her eyes to the pain pounding through her brain. "I'll live, Tara. But Tynen hit you pretty hard. Let's get you somewhere safe. You're in no shape to help in the fight."

At the mention of the battle, she turned to see Trystan, Tanjee and Gideon along with his soldiers fighting Tierza and her band. "Nay....I be fine and they be needing me help, James." He tried to force her to come with him, but she jerked away from him, wincing at the new pain in her ribs. She looked at him, "Ye squeezed me a bit harder than ye needed to, don't ye think", she said to him her suspicions growing. "Forgive me, Tara....I didn't realize my own strength", he said looking down at his feet attempting to look ashamed. Tara nodded to him, looking around for her shortsword and picking it up once she found it. She stumbled a bit but she also spotted her short bow and quiver of arrows where she'd dropped them when James had grabbed her. The world spun as she turned but she was determined to make it back to the small group of boulders where she could inflict the most damage on their enemies and help her friends and love get out of this alive.

"James.....ye be losing blood. Come and ye can hid within the boulders", she said to him as she stumbled to the large rocks. James shook his head at her, his eyes growing cold with rage at her independent nature but she did as she requested.

Tara wiped the blood from the side of her face where it was trickling down from the deep gash in her temple. She didn't know how she made it to the top of one of the boulders but she did. Now she had to stay put and not fall off as she stood there, closing her eyes to the dizziness. Opening them once again, she saw where her friends and Gideon and his men were and opted to fire at the wizards and Clerics furthest from them so she didn't risk hitting her loved ones from her dizziness. She notched her first arrow and fired, but instead of a killing shot she only maimed the Cleric drawing his attention to her. She fired again, this time killing him but not before others saw where she was. She wiped at more blood as it began to run into her right eye then notched another arrow.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:57 am




Gideon’s detachment rode into the fray and began to engage the enemy. However this was an enemy that was evasive, fast and well versed in warfare. Many of the Clerics were able to simply vanish from sight and reappear a distance away, the wizards blew knights right off their horses, or simply engulfed them and their mounts in hellish fire. However the Knights knew no fear and to disengage would be a dishonor, they pressed into the forest and began to flush the magic users into one another as best they could. Gideon lost sight of Keatara and began to scan for her. Finally he caught sight of James snatching her from off a rock and saw another very large fellow in thick animal skins disappear behind the rock with them.

He screamed in anger and charged, two of his men peeling off with him to pursue. It was a decent distance but on horseback they crossed it in seconds. AS the three Knights dismounted and ran behind the rock they saw no signs of the large animal skinned man. Keatara was determined to stay in the battle, despite the blood pouring down her face, but Gideon could tell by the paleness of her skin that she was going into shock and he needed to get her wound tended to and keep her calm.

“TARA!” she turned and he reached for her, to help her come off the rock. She winced with pain, though he did not know if it was the wound on her head or something else. She said something about fighting, and he furrowed his brows, “You have done enough! Come before you cause yourself further harm!”

A bolt of fire smashed into the rocks above them, several Clerics and two Magi having zeroed in on them, “For Paladin’s sake!” Gideon got Keatara down and as she whimpered in pain and grabbed her ribs again he rubbed his hand along her side and knelt beside her. He turned to one of his men, “The healer, Tanjee is her name, see if you can find her!”


Trystan charged at Tierza as she cast at him baring his shield. The magic broke like water on rocks and exploded all around him. She snarled and hissed words as her body whirled like a cyclone and disappeared in a dizzying display of strokes of black. His sword passed through where her body had been and he spun looking for her. A Cleric hissed and lifted a silver symbol in the form of the seven headed dragon of chaos. AS the magic left the unholy relic Trystan brought his shield to bare again and the spell smashed into the metal, shuddered and dissipated. Trystan had a brief second of thought, thankful that Kali had done whatever she had done to his shield the night before the Battle of the Towers. Trystan charged and the Cleric, still caught off guard by her spell being so easily countered, took the full blow of Trystan’s shield bash. He ran her through as she lay on the ground, piercing her heart and killing her instantly. He spun as he heard the spidery hissing of magic nearby and ducked just as a fire ball flew over his head. The heat was so intense that Trystan could feel the warmth in his metal armor well after the magic had passed over him. This caster was a Wizard of High Sorcery however, and his seasoning in battle was obvious. Without hesitation he whirled his hands over his head and hissed, Trystan’s shield whirled in his hand and as he tightened his grip the magic drawing his shield whirled him around and flung him into the air like a gnat being swatted from behind the ear. He hit the ground with a thud and the Wizard was again chanting and moving his hands in a down sloping motion. Flicking his palms over he lifted them upwards and the ground beneath Trystan buckled and thumped. The only feeling Trystan could equate it to was being on the back of an unbroken horse. Every time he tried to get to his feet the dirt beneath him flexed and threw him once again to the ground. Even with his armor on the pain racked him and he groaned with each impact.

Finally as the spell ended Trystan tried to stand but the pain in his body and the dizziness associated with being tossed around caused him to stutter step and the Wizard closed in like a blink. He looked Trystan directly in the eyes as the little knife the Wizard kept up his sleeve slid between the seam between his breastplate and the Culet which wrapped around to the small of his back. Trystan grimaced and grit his teeth as the pain hit him, he pushed hard with his legs and threw the wizard aside like a rag doll. He could see the knife, it was only about three inches long and the blade was only bloodied about three quarters of an inch. He knew the wound was superficial but the pain was still there. The Wizard spun and hissed words of magic, aimed not at Trystan but at the blood on his blade. Suddenly Trystan was hit with a searing pain more intense than any thing he had ever experienced. It felt as if all the blood in his body was boiling and he fought as hard as he could, but ultimately went to his knees. The wizard reached into his robes and removed some reagents, threw them at Trystan and hissed words of magic, darkness came over him instantly and he slumped to the ground unconscious.


Tierza had reappeared on the other side of the battlefront and was looking intently for Keatara. She saw Tynen fleeing and ordered three of her wizards to follow him. She then turned and focused on the rocks he had come out from. She smiled knowing that must be where she was. She ran in a sprint and circled the outcropping to see a Knight knelt over her and she spoke, “How touching.”

Gideon looked up and grabbed his sword, standing to put himself between the sorceress and Keatara. Tierza let a hollow laugh escape her lips and she spoke, “My you’re a handsome one, it will be a waste to dispose of you.”

Gideon looked at her and spoke, “Say what you will, I will not be moved.”

She laughed and spoke, “That’s what they all say.”

She brought  up her hands and hissed, Gideon charged. The spell missed him by centimeters as he closed the gap, making it difficult for her to aim. Tierza’s eyes went wide as he moved towards her so quickly, but in a fast motion she spun and her body turned to a mist still shaped like her, and then back to her solid form as Gideon passed right by her. She ran towards Keatara and stood over her as Gideon spun to retaliate. She screamed, “STOP!”

He did in fact stop and looked, she was holding her hand over the semi-conscious Keatara and looked at Gideon, “Awww you did as you were told, that was a mistake.”

She touched her fingernail to her wrist and a single drop of her blood fell and landed right in the open wound on Keatara’s forehead. She flexed on the ground and Tierza laughed once again as Gideon charged, in a puff of blackness Tierza vanished.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:28 pm

Tara watched as if in a daze as Gideon protected her from Tierza, concentrating on just trying to breathe through the pain in her cracked ribs.  She watched as Gideon charged her and suddenly Tierza was above her.  She saw her smile....heard her words and then felt nothing but excruciating pain slam through her head and course flow into her body.  She screamed as her body flexed and convulsed.  The pain seemed never-ending, her organs on fire, her head as if it were splitting in two.  The blood seeping from the gash at her temple began to turn black and her eyes caught Gideon's as he knelt over her.  They were the brightest green from the pain and filled with agony and tears as her body seized for a full minute, her cracked ribs completely breaking.  She felt Gideon's hands on her, holding her down to keep her from doing further damage to herself and yet the convulsions from the intense pain all but threw her out of of his grip.

When the pain subsided for a brief moment, she looked into her love's eyes with her own tortured gaze, "Gideon?  What did she do to me?  Make it stop", she whispered out before another wave slammed through her slight body, her back arching brutally from the agony coursing through her body as she screamed again.

**********************************
James heard her screaming and winced at the tortured sound.  He didn't know what the sorceress, Tierza had done but even his hardened heart cracked a little at the sound of her screams.   He looked around and saw Tynen coming towards him then kneeling down next to his injured body.  "The story I told ye about Tara was all true.  It is why she is reacting so to Tierza's blood.  Tell Gideon."

Tynen let his men worry about Tierza's three wizards as he doubled back to where he'd left Tara.  What he saw chipped at his cold, black heart.  Tara was screaming and writhing on the ground in agony the blood from the head wound he'd inflicted turning black.  To see the girl he'd called sister for most of his life in this state was enough to begin to seep into his blackened soul.  But only begin....not infiltrate his soul.  Not yet.

He looked around for James and spotted him not far from Tara and her knight.  Making his way to him, making sure he wasn't seen he knelt next to his injured man and whispered into his ear to tell Gideon about the story and that Tara carried the blood of the royal, northern wood elves.  That her true father was the half human/elf son of the king and his human queen from the north.  Then he was gone....returning to his men to deal with Tierza's wizards and continue his quest to serve the Dark Lady.  Before he was gone though, he turned to cast a longing look at his sister/cousin, regret showing in his eyes for a split second.

*******************

James rose from his spot, his hand covering the stab wound in his side that Tynen had inflicted.  He saw the glare from Gideon and raised his other hand in surrender.  "Please....hear me out, Sir Gideon.  Tara carries the blood of the royal northern wood elves...the ones who were all but wiped out.  Her father was the human/elf prince.  Tis why she is reacting so to Tierza's blood."  He knew he would have to explain how he knew this later but for now....hopefully, it would keep her alive until Tynen could get to her.

*****************************

Tara vaguely heard James' voice through the haze of pain as she screamed again, her back arching violently to the pain coursing through her slight body.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:22 pm





Sir Gideon looked at James and did not want to believe him, however his captain was down and his men were doing their best to fight, but things were chaotic, even for battle standards, and he turned to his two men, "Secure him!"

The two men instantly responded, shackling James. He rubbed his hand on Tara's forehead as she lay in pain and he grit his teeth watching her writhe in pain. He looked at one of his Knights and spoke, "Stay low, protect her, watch him, anyone comes around this rock wearing black, you cut them in half!"

His man nodded and Gideon tapped the other Knight on his breastplate, "Let's route these agents of darkness!"

Together the two Knights turned the corner around the rock and charged back into the battle. Immediately they made their way to Trystan who was starting to come to, but was in no way able to return to the battle. Gideon grabbed Trystan's shield and spun, charging back into the center of the battle. He brought the shield to bare against several of the wizards, cutting through their magic and his sword found it's mark, cutting them down. He moved across the line and got the men reorganized, and finally he spotted Tierza on the far end of the field. He was focused on her, and she was focused on the man in the animal skin cloak.

It was not the way of the Knights to seek revenge, but Gideon went red, and his focus on the Wizard was intent. He would not kill her, only do enough to get the information out of her that put the poison in his love. He charged, two men on either side and he cut down two more Clerics as he closed the gap. Tierza heard the screams and she snarled a wickedly evil grin, "Ahh... true love comes to seek it's due."

She lifted her hands and thrust them forward as she dropped reagents on the ground, instantly the dead leaves and twigs twitched and swirled as if a heavy wind was blowing across them. Gideon knew little about magic, but he knew that whatever she was doing was not going to benefit he or his Knights and he screamed, "TAKE HER NOW!"

The five of them rushed and Tierza lost concentration, the five Knights, weapons at the ready, came at her in a dash. She stopped the chant and switched her words, pressing the magic around her into a wall of protection. The Knights smashed into it as if a stone wall had been erected, all except Gideon who's shield caused a rift in the magic and he pressed through, his momentum was slowed but he continued with his swing. Tierza's eyes went wide as she tried to side step, but the tip of his blade cut through the fabric of her layered black dress, and the rending of the cloth ended with the stiffer resistance of flesh. Tierza's gasped as the pain gripped her and she thrust herself backwards more instinctively than with any sort of skill.

Reaching down and grabbing her side combined with feeling the warm stickiness of the fresh blood gave her pause. She could do little more without her ful concentration. Her Wizards and Clerics having heard the scream of their Mistress and seeing her recoil from the wound were already vanishing in puffs of black smoke and mist. The army of magic users reacted so swiftly to this that it was obvious they knew exactly what to do and within seconds those that were still alive, were gone. Tierza herself faced Gideon and spoke, "Perhaps you feel you have raised Hades?"

Gideon took a half step forward, "I am not the one that started this."

Tierza laughed and coughed, "Such noble words, but are they true?"

Gideon furrowed his brows and spoke, "No games."

Tierza laughed a hollow laugh and hissed, "It's all games Sir Knight, all of it!"

He just caught the movement of her hand as she dropped a sparkling black powder and vanished into the ground. Gritting his teeth Gideon cursed and immediately turned to get to Trystan. As he arrived he knelt beside his Captain and spoke, "She got away sir."

Trystan looked up at him and nodded, giving him a pat on the shoulder, "Worry not my friend, I am sad to say I am sure we will get another shot at her."

Gideon half cocked his eyebrow and shook his head, "But how much more damage will she do before that?"

Trystan looked at him with understanding. Gideon helped him to his feet and spoke, "Tara, she's severely injured... that harpy did something, I know not what."

Trystan looked at him and spoke, "Where is she?"

Gideon pointed to the rock outcropping and they went as fast as Trystan could go. When they arrived Keatara was on the ground, the pain seemed to have ceased for now, but the area around the wound in her head was black under the skin, like an infection. Trystan looked with concern and turned to one of his Knights, "Find Tanjee, tell her it's Tara and it's urgent."

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:58 pm

Tara was still.....almost too still when Gideon returned with Trystan.  Her eyes were glazed with fever as the infection slowly spread, a blackness slowly making it's way down her cheek and into her neck.  She remembered hearing James' words about her having elven blood but in her fevered state it was like a dream.  Her breathing was shallow from her broken ribs as well as the fever and every few minutes or so she would groan in pain or mutter something about her brother.  

When Gideon arrived and knelt next to her, she felt his soft touch as he smoothed back a lock of her hair, checking the wound.  She turned her fevered eyes to him and weakly lifted a hand to touch his cheek, "Tynen.....he was here.  He was here", she whispered to him.  "Gideon.....I love you", she whispered again before her hand fell back and her eyes closed.  She was alive.....but even in her unconscious state the pain reached her for she would moan and whimper as the poison spread.


Tynen watched as the knight attacked Tierza only to have her vanish.  He looked towards the boulders where Tara lay and again felt a twinge of remorse and sorrow.  Tierza was insane at best and he knew that what she had done would be difficult to undo, but there was nothing he could do for her now.  He did know one thing....the first chance he had, he would kill Tierza.....for interfering and for harming what he considered his.  Tara was his to turn to the dark.....to give to James....to sacrifice if need be.  But until then he would return to his men and press on.  He would have Tara back.....but as he continued on he wondered at the wetness on his cheek.  Wiping at it, he looked at his fingers and saw that they were wet with his tears.  Tears?  Again he turned to look back where he knew Tara lay and his heart felt heavy for what she was suffering.  He turned away angrily, mentally berating himself for even thinking about caring.  She was a means to him climbing higher with the Dark Lady.  That was all she was.  And yet........

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:42 pm


Trystan watched as Tara and Gideon exchanged words. He felt beyond helpless as Tara spoke and then slipped into a sleep of sickness. Gideon's face revealed his pain and Trystan turned as Tanjee approached, kneeling beside their friend.

As Tanjee wiped Tara's hair back and assessed the wound, her face looked grim and she gave Trystan a sideways glance that did not boast confidence. She laid the silver medallion on Tara's chest and began to pray. The medallion gave a soft blue glow, and then flickered and its light went out. Tanjee's eyes opened suddenly and she looked at the medallion with confusion, clearly the magic had been there, it had flowed through her, but something had interfered with its movement into Tara's body.

She looked at Trystan and as he stepped forward Tanjee whispered, "She is beyond my help... Mishikal wishes her to be healed, but there is something deeper, and darker preventing the magic form doing its work."

"What is that supposed to mean!?" Gideon had a cross look on his face and slid forward, looking at Tanjee almost aggressively. "Hold Sir Gideon."

Trystan's voice was stern and authoritative, "Tanjee is doing all she can, if there is interference she is not to be held responsible."

Tanjee placed a gentle hand on Gideon's shoulder and whispered, "I am sorry."

Gideon's face did not reflect a single ounce of understanding and he grabbed Tara's limp hand, bringing it to his lips and kissed it. Her skin was clamy and cold, as if there was barely any life left within it. "We must do something!"

Tanjee looked at him and spoke, "If she is willed to be healed, but the healing can not move through her, then she is beyond what I am capable of doing."

She looked at Trystan and could read his face immediately. She spoke at him with concern in her voice, "No Trystan, no."

Trystan looked at her and spoke with a quiet resolve in his voice, "Do you see any other alternative?"

Tanjee looked at him and then to Tara before responding, "No, but she will not do it without a price, She does nothing unless there is a price."

Trystan spoke as he looked at Tara, "There is compassion within her, maybe..."

Tanjee looked at him so hard that he turned his head to make eye contact and he sighed, "Whatever her price, I will pay it myself."

Tanjee spoke, "It doesn't work that way! The price will be what SHE deems it! There won't be any negotiation or bartering, she will make an offer and it will be ours to take or leave, there will be nothing more or less."

Trystan looked at her and then back to Tara, "Perhaps, but I will talk to her."

Sir Gideon stood and spoke with immediacy in his voice, "Captain! Sir! With all due respect sir, what is this about!?"

Trystan looked at him and spoke, "We will take her to see Kali."

Sir Gideon immediately began to shake his head, "No sir, I am sorry, no. She is a wizard, an Archmage in fact, besides her craft being twisted and evil, if a healer of the good goddess Mishikal can not see her healed, how is a servant of darkness to assist her?"

Trystan turned to look at Tara, "By darkness this was done, perhaps by darkness it can be undone."

Sir Gideon's face did not reflect a single sliver of agreement in the decision, however he obeyed as any good soldier would and he nodded in compliance. Sir Gideon turned to the men that were assembled and spoke, "Built a litter to put her on and..."

"That won't be necessary Sir Gideon. See to our dead and wounded, Tanjee and I will bring her to the tower, and it won't require a day and a half of riding."

Sir Gideon looked at Trystan with confusion and stepped back as his Captain removed the small red gemstone from within his pocket, "Sir I..." "You need to trust me Sir Gideon. Tara is my friend, I will not allow any harm to come to her."

Sir Gideon furrowed his brows slightly and nodded in compliance once again, turning to his men and ordering them to begin gathering the wounded and burying their dead. Trystan turned to Tanjee who was giving him a look of incredible disagreement and he whispered as he squeezed the gem in his palm, "There is no other solution."

Tanjee did not seem to agree, however she moved close and knelt beside him as he placed the gem on Tara's chest. He thought long and hard and he finally remembered the words that Kali had taught him. He gestured for Tanjee to touch the gem, he placed his own finger on it and then whispered the words. In a jerk of movement that seemed to leave their stomachs behind, the three of them were instantly transported to the bottom floor of Kali's tower. The room was large, warm, comfortable and welcoming, however there was also a coldness to it that seemed to hang on the air like a bad dream.

Trystan coughed as he recovered from the instant journey and he spoke to the room, "Kali... Kali, it is Trystan."

From seemingly no where Kali stepped into the room. Oddly there was no doors or stairs of any kind, but her appearance somehow made sense. She furrowed her brow slightly as she looked at the scene before her and she spoke, "The gift I gave you was not a trinket to be played with for your amusement Trystan, to bring..."

He cut her off and spoke, "I know Kali, and I am sorry. Tara, she is injured, a Sorceress, Tierza is her name, placed some sort of spell on her. Tanjee tried to heal her but the magic did not work, like it was blocked somehow."

Kali looked at them and spoke, "Mishikal does not always grant the gift of healing, perhaps Tara is not meant to survive this."

Tanjee shook her head and spoke, "The magic was present, the grace to be healed flowed through me, but it would not enter her body."

Kali had a look of concern on her face. She looked at Tara and observed the wound from where she stood and spoke, "What makes you think that I can save her? I am not a healer, I do not even serve the gods who grant it."

She turned to look at Trystan and the expression of desperation on his face told her all she needed to know. With a deep inhalation of breath she looked at Tanjee and then back to him, "Let's bring her to the bed on the third floor."

Trystan looked at Tanjee with a glimmer of hope on his face, but the Elfess did not reflect his feeling of optimism.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:22 pm

Tara could hear them speaking....but it was as if they were far away. She had felt Tanjee's presence and felt the push of healing from her but then nothing. It was as if the healing had hit a wall inside of her and could go no further. Inside her mind, where her spirit lay trying to dodge the pain and poison she wondered at all she'd heard. James had mentioned that she was not Tynen's sister....in fact, she was a quarter northern wood elf. But how? She grimaced as a wave of pain washed over her spirit, her physical body whimpering with t he pain.

She heard Gideon's voice then....he was angry but at what? Who? Why was he angry at Tanjee? She would help....she would find a way. Tanjee was the best healer Mishikal had.....at least in Tara's opinion. And Tanjee was like a sister to her....she wouldn't let her die. Another wave of pain washed over her as her spirit tried to dodge it. But she had little room to move as the poison slowly moved through her.

What was happening? She was floating...or flying. She wasn't sure but then it stopped. She groaned in pain as fire coursed through her body, her spirit not giving up in trying to keep away from it. She heard Trystan speaking....saying a name. Kali? Why had he taken her to Kali? That was when her spirit started looking closer at things. At the poison.....at the true spirit of herself. Only....it looked different. She looked different. Her ears had delicate points....her eyes a brighter green....she looked more elvish. Then she, or her spirit, was facing someone....two men and a woman. The older man was clearly elven....the woman human and the man a mixture of both. They all smiled at her, the younger man coming towards her. He floated...and then she realized that he was truly a spirit. Was she dead? She looked around, suddenly more scared now then she was back in her mind watching the poison spread through her body.

[i]"Don't be frightened, me daughter. Ye not be dead and Mishikal willing, ye willnae be anytime soon. I be your father, Keatara...I e Galahand, prince of the Northern wood elves. These be me parents, ye grandparents....Malachai, King of the Northern wood elves and Primrose, Queen of the Northern wood elves. And aye, she be human."[i]

Tara stared at them, "Am I dead?"

[i]"No, child.....ye are between worlds for the time being. Until it is time for ye to return. I can not tell ye all that ye wish to ken, just that ye are loved....always. And in time....ye will learn about us and yeself. But for now....just ken that ye will live and all will be revealed to ye in due time."[i] He stepped back to his parents, who were both smiling at her, their eyes filled with love as they looked at her. Then they faded into nothing.

"No....wait!!! If you be me father...then.....then....who am I?!"

Now she was back in that small place inside her mind, only now she was safe from the pain...somehow. She was so confused and lost, but she told herself that for now, she had to concentrate on healing, living and finding her way back to Gideon and Tanjee.

Her physical body though was not so lucky to dodge the pain as she whimpered from time to time, her brows furrowing together in pain as she mumbled things about an elven father and incoherent things about the northern wood elves whom had all but been wiped out by the Dark Lady and her followers.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:13 am



Keatara was laid out in one of the bedrooms on the third level. Kali had several of these rooms, though they were almost never actually used. Trystan and Tanjee stood on one side while Kali, now clothed in a long black dress, stood on the other side. Kali looked down as Keatara moaned uncomfortably once again. She made very little movement however, simply standing and observing. She looked at the wound, watching as the blackness under the skin seemed to pulse and move as if it were trying to creep along. She inhaled deeply and furrowed her eyebrows slightly.

She stood upright again looked over at Trystan. The expression on her face made it very clear that there were few to no people on this entire planet she would even have accommodated, much less allowed to stay. Trystan's face was grateful, but also uneasy. The words he and Tanjee had exchanged before coming here kept ringing in his brain, "She never does anything without a price" ... It was true, to an extent, because he also could now see the massive scar that covered a good portion of the left side of her face, that was a price which was paid by her for something she had done, and in the process of receiving that payment she had saved Olwa from certain death.

Kali turned to a small table that was beside the bed. On it were dozens of different herbs, lotions and salves which she kept looking at before returning to the wound. She never applied, or even seemed to make an attempt to apply any of them, she simply kept watching. Finally she turned to look at Tanjee and Trystan, "If you will excuse me." In a flash she vanished from the room. Trystan turned to look at Tanjee who looked back at him uneasily. There were so many things she wanted to say but did not knowing that this was a wizards tower, anything she said would surly be heard anywhere within these walls.

After several minutes Kali reappeared, giving Tanjee and Trystan a start, and she flipped open a black, leather bound book which looked very old and well used. She thumbed over a couple pages before turning it to Trystan and Tanjee, "It's the rot."

Trystan cocked his eyebrows and snarled his nose in confusion. He then tilted his head sideways and turned to Tanjee who was now ghost white and had a look of horror on her face. Kali flipped the book back around and moved her finger along the page, reading a moment before she looked up at them again. Trystan spoke, "So... what does it mean?"

Kali looked at him over the binding of the spell book and spoke, "It means that if you hadn't brought her here she would be dead by morning." Trystan turned to look at Tanjee who was staring at the book intently, "That is a Book of the Black Touch, a book of Necromancy!"

Kali slowly looked back up at her and with a half sneer she responded, "Yes Tanjee, yes it is."

Tanjee's face showed immediate concern and she spoke, "So have you taken to studying that evil as well?"

Kali inhaled deeply and closed the book, leaving her finger in the place where she had been reading, "Is the pursuit of knowledge wrong?"

Tanjee's face turned slightly angry and she spoke, "Yes, if it is the wrong sort of knowledge."

Kali cocked a half crooked grin once again and spoke, "I would argue that there is no wrong sort of knowledge, there is only knowledge, it is the manner of usage and the casters motivations that would require the labeling good or evil."

Tanjee's face turned pink and she spoke, "Spoken like a true worshiper of Nuitari."

Kali smiled again, this time it was a more gentle smile, a smile that a little girl might have when a proud word had just been spoke about her papa, "And that is what I am, so why should my responses resemble anything else?"

Tanjee was about to speak again and Kali lifted her hand to stop her, "We have little time, so I will save you the breath Elfess, You are standing in the former tower of Fifth, an Archmage and well versed Necromancer in his own right. When he died his book did not descend into Hades with him, they were left behind for whomever to find them. Since I became the Mistress of this Tower by the rights of my magic, I also inherited the contents within it. Do you think if I had been diligently pursuing the dark arts of necros it would have taken me so long to return? I remembered this book was in his library, or should I say, MY library, and a good thing too, because it is exactly what we need to save your friend."

She flipped open the book again and Tanjee fell silent, Trystan had nothing to add to the exchange, knowing that in this situation he would have no knowledge to defend his words with ... he would just have to trust Kali.

As Keatara continued to speak Kali froze and looked over at her, "She speaks the ancient tongue... the language of the Elderwild."

Tanjee had picked up on it too, and both of them looked at her curiously. Trystan spoke, "The one that was with us, James, he told me right before we left that she was part of the, um, the 'Northern Wood Elves.'"

Tanjee and Kali exchanged knowing glances and Kali spoke, "That is the world's term for them, but the Elves know them as the Kagonesti, the Wild Elves, or more respectfully, the ElderWild. They are the true Elves of Krynn, the first created, the very first to walk from the Grey Stone and set foot on Krynn." She paused and looked back at Keatara, "And it would seem that she has some of their blood flowing in her veins. It is why the curse is affecting her so sharply, but it is also why she is fighting it off."

Tanjee and Trystan both looked at her and then to Keatara, Kali moved close and pointed, "The darkness was over here past her eyebrow when you brought her, but now it has already begun to recede. The spell is too strong for her to vanquish completely, however with these ingredients, I can mix something to help her along. I am not gifted like Ceridwyn in the ways of mixology and potions, but I can follow instructions well enough."

She flipped the book closed once again and at the table she put together the ingredients that were called for, mixing them into a carrier lotion and then handing it to Tanjee, "You are the healer, though I am the creator of this mixture, it would not be right for me to apply it. I assure you, just touching her will not cause the infection or curse to spread."

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:55 am

Keatara felt the softest of touches at her temple....felt the coolness of the lotion and the healing properties seeping into her pores. She was slow to awaken, slow for her eyes to focus and she felt weak and confused. The sickness was leaving her, the blackness receding but there was a scar at her right temple, about 2 inches long right at her hairline. Her breathing was still somewhat shallow due to her broken ribs, but her fever was gone. She raised a shaky hand to touch the side of her face and grimaced for it was still tender although now it was the normal color of her skin.

She didn't know how much time had passed, if it was the same day as the battle or after. Everything was jumbled and slow to right itself in her head. She felt the bed beneath her and moved her hand over the blanket that covered her. Her head still ached, but not with the splitting pain of before and she realized that she also lay on a pillow.

Looking around, she saw first Tanjee standing next to the bed, smiling down at her. Turning her gaze, she saw Sir Trystan on the other side and at the foot of the bed stood whom she assumed was Kali. "Thank ye, m'lady", she whispered in a voice hoarse from her recent screams of pain. She then saw the scar on the side of Kali's face when the woman turned, moving the hood she wore and Tara touched her own scarred eye. "Kali....I remember ye now. The beauty is still there, m'lady......and I thank ye again for allowing it to show, even if for a short while." Tara spoke with all the sincerity of her heart when she spoke to Kali and she was truly grateful to her for giving her aid in her time of great need.

She turned to Tanjee who was smiling at her friend. "Tanjee...my sister by heart. Thank ye." Turning to Trystan, she spoke again, "Sir Trystan, my brother by heart....I thank ye for giving the Kali the chance to let her true beauty shine through." She was growing tired and also more confused. She'd called Tanjee her 'sister by heart' and Trystan her 'brother by heart'. The words felt ancient and it was then that she realized that she'd spoken to all three in a different language. One she didn't recognize. She turned a tired gaze to Tanjee...her green eyes filled with confusion, "What language did I speak? How do I know it?" Her eyes closed as exhaustion began to overtake her, her last words of Gideon and how she needed to see him as she succumbed to the healing sleep. As she did so, she saw the faces of the three she'd seen when she'd been between worlds, muttering in the ancient language a thank you to Malachai, PrimRose and Galahand...her father and grandparents.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:04 pm


Tanjee waited with baited breath and Tara began to recover.  She cast a glance from time to time to Kali and Trystan but her main focus was her friend.  As the color returned to Tara’s face and the darkness began to recede, she felt a little more at ease and began to relax ever so slightly.  

When Tara awoke and spoke in her weak voice, Tanjee blinked and looked over at Kali, who was equally as surprised but didn’t show it near as much, then looked to Trystan.  So it was true, the Elderwild blood was present in Tara’s veins.  That or something else even more bazaar was happening now.  Tanjee decided she would rather not know if it was something more bazaar and felt better thinking it was the Elderwild blood.

When the surprise was just as equal to Tara, Tanjee decided she would stop questioning anything and merely accept it for what it was.  At the moment anyway.  After all, they were in the tower of a High Wizard where Necromancy was the favored practice of the previous owner.  For all Tanjee knew, it was the spirits of those unfortunate souls tortured by Fifth.

As Tara drifted off into an exhausted but needful sleep, Tanjee took a deep breath.  The events of the day were wearing on everyone, including Kali.  With a respectful nod, she turned to face the wizard.

”Thank you, Kali.  If not for  you then Tara would not still be with us.”

She turned to say something to Trystan and saw the look that crossed his face.  She had seen that look many times after battle.  It was a mixture of fatigue and pain.  Her keen eyes quickly assessed his condition and she furrowed her brows and clicked her tongue.  He was quite dirty from the battle but there was no doubt he was injured…somewhere.  But the armor made it almost impossible for her to figure out where.  She let her eyes drift to his and she spoke rather firmly yet gently.

”Try to hide it all you wish, Sir Knight, but I can tell you are injured.”

She turned to look at Kali again.

”With your permission I would like to heal him.”

Kali nodded and Tanjee turned her attention to Trystan.  He tried to protest but in the end, he could not with a take charge Elfess.  She convinced him to strip down to his tunic and was glad she had.  The wound was not very big but it was in a place that would be slow healing and easily lead to infection if she didn’t help him.  Once he was prone before her, she looked down at him and gave him a rather mischievous smile and wink.

”We should preserve this day for posterity.  I was able to talk Sir Trystan out of his armor and get him to lie down for me.”

Seeing the color in his cheeks caused her to laugh softly and then she became very serious.  Taking the amulet from her neck and laying it on his chest, she closed her eyes and prayed to her Goddess.  She felt the magic flowing through her as she had with Tara and the amulet began to glow softly.  Trystan could feel the comforting warmth begin to flow through him as well.  In a matter of a few moments, the wound was closed and the pain from it no longer evident.  

As her eyes opened, the amulet stopped glowing and she helped Trystan sit up.  Once he was seated, she stood back and saw the way Kali was surveying the situation and Trystan.  Glancing at the both of them for a moment, she could feel the awkwardness building and cleared her throat softly.

”Well.  If you will excuse me….I will check on Tara.”

It was obvious there were things they needed to discuss.  Things she did not need to hear or be a part of.  Turning once more, she left the two of them alone as she walked back to where Tara rested peacefully thankful things had not turned out differently this day.  Casting a glance back towards Trystan, she furrowed her brows again.  What price would he be required to pay for calling upon Kali?  That worried her to no end.  How would she be able to do anything knowing he could be harmed trying to repay a debt to Kali?  Turning back to Tara, she sighed heavily.  That was for her to worry about another day.  Right now, she neded to make sure they all made it back to Gideon so he and Tara could be reunited properly.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:16 am



As Keatara began to recover Kali stepped back and observed. It was not surprising how fast her body responded to the salve that was prepared. Though Elven blood was not magical, Elves themselves had an affinity to magic that other creatures on Krynn simply did not, and as such a magical infestation would be more easily fought off.

Keatara began looking around and taking in her surroundings, she turned and spoke to Kali, thanking her. Kali gave no expression of happiness, but did nod softly in a manner that said, ‘you’re welcome’… but it was the next statement that gave Kali pause, and at first it filled her with indignation. ‘The beauty is still there…’ … The dragon in Kali’s heart festered with each syllable of those words, it roared in defiance and hissed into Kali’s soul, “Who are any on this world to judge us by our physical appearance?”

She said nothing externally, in fact there wasn’t even the slightest hint of expression on her face as the words hung in the air. She simply turned to her table and began to organize things back to their original locations. Though she was no longer facing them she listened to the exchanges that were made as Keatara expressed her love and gratification to Trystan and Tanjee. As she questioned her own speaking a foreign tongue, Kali turned to look at her again, but before she could offer an explanation or an answer, Keatara fell into a deep sleep.

Tanjee turned to Kali and offered her thanks. Looking at the Silvan Elfess Kali gave a slight nod of welcome, and there was something in Kali’s face, a slight hint of satisfaction, however it was quickly masked by her hardened expression of choice and chance, the stance she usually took when it came to these sorts of matters.

Tanjee turned to Trystan then and spoke, revealing that she knew he was injured. Trystan spoke, “It is nothing Tanjee, I will be fine.”

Tanjee’s insistence to heal him was less a question and more a statement. He knew better than to resist, and as Tanjee turned to Kali and requested permission to perform a healing within the tower, he knew he had no choice in the matter, the servant of Mishikal was going to have her way.

Kali gave an expressionless nod, however the flirtatious words that Tanjee spoke towards Trystan pricked at her ears and she felt the dragon in her heart kick against the walls of its cage, rattling her from within. She turned back to the table where the organization of the reagents was well and done, but she needed a moment of disengagement to collect her thoughts.

As Tanjee flirtatiously spoke of getting Trystan’s armor off and getting him to lie down Kali gently slammed the book closed. Though it was a very subtle action, it reverberated around the room and the atmosphere immediately changed. She did not witness Trystan’s face turn red but she could sense it, as if it were words she had said that caused his cheeks to flush and fill with warmth. As Mishikal began to heal Trystan, through Tanjee, Kali turned and watched.

Tanjee turned to Kali and could immediately see the look on her face. Kali knew she could sense the awkwardness and as she cleared her throat and dismissed herself Trystan also cleared his throat and several times wanted to say something but found no words.

Finally Kali broke the silence, her voice was stiff and flat, “You know the means by which to get here, just the same you know how to leave by the same manner. Once she is able to get out of bed please take her to Heartlund for the rest of her recovery.”

She looked up at Trystan who was staring back at her, “I can’t think you enough… and I know there will be a price for your service, I…”

Kali scowled and through her furrowed eyebrows that almost made a delicate V in the center of her forehead she spoke, “Yes I am sure that was the concern, what will the wizard charge for this, but she was worth the risk of what I might or might not ask of you. It’s painted all over the both of you.”

Trystan’s face immediately showed his guilt and he spoke, “No… I mean, yes, we did discuss that but we knew that Keatara needed the help, she was worth the risk.”

Kali looked at him and almost hissed under her breath, “I was not talking about the risk being associated with Keatara.”

Trystan leaned back, Kali could see right through him, his feelings for Tanjee had grown over the last several months as he had worked side be side with her in Heartlund. It almost killed him when she had to leave of Sylvanesti, though he tried to hide it from her, and himself, it was the truth. He looked up again and his eyes locked with Kali’s, she spoke, “Your honor is your life Knight of Solamnia, so you want to know how you can repay me for what I have done. Well take these words with you as you leave, ‘I don’t want anything from you.’”

Trystan’s face echoed his confusion and he spoke, “I can’t bring myself to believe that.”

“Then wallow in the emptiness of doubt for all I care.”

Trystan’s face changed slightly and there was clear annoyance, “Now hold on Kali! You have never done anything without reason, so there had to be a reason you helped us with Keatara.”

Kali looked up at him and responded, “You are right, there was a reason, but that reason doesn’t have to be putting you, or either of them in my debt. I know it’s easy to go there when dealing with those you don’t trust, but the assumption was obviously not strong enough to let her die, so then why? Why did you bring her here? There are other herbalists and healers that could have attended her. Why did you come here with your new Courtier. So you could flaunt your budding relationship in my face? Is this how you wish to stab at me?”

Trystan stepped back slightly and spoke, “Hold on Kali… how is this suddenly about you?”

The dragon released in her heart and Kali’s face turned dark, her eyes flashed brilliantly from within like a fire had been lit behind them and she lashed out, “No YOU hold on! You come into MY home and then she puts her hands on you not in a manner that is not of just a healing nature. There was love, and attraction and flirtation dripping from her like honey from a comb! You ooze innocence and decency and justice and well mannered behavior! Do you think I don’t know that to say something like that to you transcends playful banter?!”

Trystan spoke swiftly, “What if I have started to move on? It was YOU that ended our relationship, at Glen Durel! Have you forgotten that?”

Kali looked at him and her eyes narrowed as her eyes grew darker, “Of those in this room we both know which is the more intelligent, how could I forget what I did in the past?”

Trystan cocked his eyebrow in confusion and spoke, “So I don’t….,” suddenly there was a look of understanding on his face and his face went slightly pale, “Wait… do you still love me?”

Kali’s face became even darker and she reached forward quickly, touching Trystan in the center of the chest as she hissed words of magic, there was a loud popping sound and in a flash he was gone.

Tanjee came rushing in from the other room and there was a look of horror on her face, Trystan was gone, the red gem he had used to transport the three of them gently rocking to a stop on the floor where his feet just were. Kali looked up at Tanjee and the darkness around her eyes spoke volumes.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic   Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:30 pm


It was impossible for Tanjee to ignore what was being spoken between Trystan and Kali.  Her Elven ears could hear things humans could not.  As the conversation kept going, Tanjee felt tears sting her eyes.  Her feelings for Trystan were not to be revealed, to anyone, especially him.  She always kept things light between them to prevent anything from happening as she knew he was not over Kali yet.  But when she heard Kali’s voice talk about the feelings he had for her, Tanjee felt as though she had failed him somehow and it was her fault he had feelings for her.

She blinked back her tears and spoke softly to Tara telling her friend everything would be OK and they would make it back to Heartlund.  Gideon was waiting for her and before long, she would be back in his arms again.  She wasn’t sure if she was reassuring her friend or trying to reassure herself.

When both voices raised in anger, especially Kali’s, Tanjee felt a cold chill run the length of her spine.  It was not good to raise her ire like this and it seemed Trystan was doing all he could to do just that.  She was turned and go to them and ask them to please stop when she heard Trystan’s surprised voice ask Kali if she still loved him?  She had been right to try and keep her feelings for him hidden and now she wasn’t sure what hurt more.  Him knowing Tanjee had feelings for him or that he seemed to be feeling the emotions he still held for Kali.

When she saw Kalil reach her hand out and touch Trystan sending him away with a popping flash of light, she knew something bad was about to happen but could not move fast eno0ugh to reach him. Gasping she ran towards him but came to a screeching halt when he suddenly disappeared and stood there staring down at the red gem gently rocking back and forth on the floor of the Tower.  She was completely horrified by what had just occurred and she stood there slowly bringing her wide eyes filled with the fright and disbelief she felt to cast her gaze on Kali.  Instinctively she took small steps back away from the wizard as she put her left hand out in a stopping gesture.  Whatever words Tanjee was going to say about controlling her temper was swallowed down quickly.  Kali was angry, and very much so.  It was not wise to say or do anything that would cause Kali to lash out at her, if it was not too late already

”K-Kali…..please.  I have done you no harm nor would I do any harm to you.  Please let Keatara and I leave peacefully and we shall not bother you again.  I give you my word we will leave here and not disturb you.”

Tanjee swallowed hard to try and keep herself calm and focused.  She was a rabbit in a fox’s den right now and she had to step very gingerly or she would end up dead….or worse.  Not considering what would happen to Keatara….

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Book 2: Ch 8 - Black, Magic
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