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 Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:09 pm


Kali nodded and spoke, "What happened at Ceri's wedding was less an act of terror and more a statement of Piramay being able to strike anywhere. Though I don't deny it affords her an opportunity, what does she gain? Of course the most dangerous thing about Piramay is her unpredictability..."

Kali's voice trailed off and clearly she was in deep thought. As the door opened and Kali saw Myth she smiled softly, despite all that had occurred, he was her daddy, and the smile was more instinctual than anything else, but it was also genuine."

Myth waited for Kali to come to him, not wanting to be presumptive. Kali put her arms around him and hugged him tightly, though briefly, and stepped back so Rayann and Myth could greet each other now that Shaer was put down. As the three sat down Kali looked over at Myth and spoke, "It is good to see you again father, I apologize for my absence, events that needed my attention warranted my silence."

Myth leveled a gaze on her that was unmistakable, and she figured that questioning regarding her involvement at Solace were forthcoming, and she would be honest with him when the time came, but she would also not apologize.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:18 pm


”OOOFF…”

Gideon briefly embraced Curtis and was completely surprised by his enthusiastic greeting. So much so that he almost rocked Gideon back a step but the knight quickly regained his center of balance and patted the thin, frail child on the back. Ever so gently he pried the young man off and watched as Tara began to move towards him. When she finally reached him he wrapped his arms around him and lifted her up so they were face to face.

He was bone weary tired and needed to clean himself up desperately but he didn’t want to wait another second of not seeing her. It was worth it. As he felt her lips and kissed her soundly for anyone to see, she knew this was where he belonged.

When the kiss finally broke and he could catch his breath, he slowly let her down so she could stand and took a moment to study her closely. He was concerned y what he saw. The dark circles, the lines of worry etched on her face and the thinness of her body didn’t go unnoticed. It was clear by the look on his face he noticed all of this but he wouldn’t mention it just yet. He would talk to her later about it when they were alone and he could discuss it with her in private. For now, he cupped her face in his still gloved hands and drew her in for another kiss before leaning back to look at her again.

”I love you too, Tara. And yes…I have returned. Forgive me for being less than presentable but I didn’t want to wait another second. I figured it would be better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission. I see I was right.”

He looked around at the children gathered near them and saw the smiles on their faces.

”I can see the Lady Tara has been keeping you all busy. Good work and exercise never hurt anyone.”

He caught a glimpse of James leaving the area and it seemed as though he was quite upset but he paid the man no more mind. He glanced over at Curtis once more and saw the way the young man watched James and the look he gave the man as he stalked off was nothing short of murderous. This also concerned Gideon. He was always very adept at his perceptions and could read people without saying a word to them and what he was reading here was obviously not good. Perhaps it was just a jealousy thing but it certainly would require some looking into.

Looking back at Tara, he smiled and touched her cheek lovingly.

”Have dinner with me tonight. I promise to tell you everything. But first, I have to go see the Commander and Sir Trystan. And get a much needed bath to get the road dust off of me after I see to Condor. The old boy had to rest up in Two Creek for a while so he could finish his journey with me and I want to have Tanjee see if she could perhaps call upon the Goddess to heal him.”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:41 pm

Tara smiled up at Gideon, "Go, tend to yer reporting and bathing.  I will wait for ye in me cabin.  I have training to finish up with then I too shall bathe."  Her green eyes were filled with her love for him as she pulled him down once more to kiss him then send him on his way.

When she turned back around it was to the smiling faces of the children, seeing their mistress happy once more.  She blushed at knowing what they'd witnessed but decided it was good for them to see love between people when so many had seen so much death and destruction.

"Okay, enough.  Back to training, ye imps!"

It was a few hours more before she was finished, noticing that James had disappeared.  It bothered her for she too felt that something was off with him but she had more to worry about than him.  The children helped her put up the training gear before she released them to head to their homes and then she headed to her small cabin and grabbed something she very seldom wore.  Her Earth green dress with the golden rope belt and matching small slippers.  She grabbed her special scented bath soaps, scented with lavender and vanilla and headed to the women's bath house where she scrubbed herself and her hair clean until her body and hair shined.  Drying off and towel drying her hair she dressed and headed back to her cabin where she went inside to finish up.  She brushed out her long hair, pulling the sides back with a Celtic barrette and then sat down and waited.

There was a knock on the door and she jumped up and ran to the door, only to see James standing there.  She tried to hide her disappointment but was difficult and it was clear by the look on his face that she'd failed.  She invited him in but told him she didn't have long for Gideon would be coming for her soon.


"Aye, I know, Tara.  Tis why I be here.  How can ye be trusting him?  He just up and left ye without any word, for weeks.  Ye didn't know where he was and we all saw the changes within ye.  Ye not eating right, not sleeping right and now that he's back ye act as if all is well again.  I doona trust it and I doona trust him."

When she grew angry with him and tried to stay calm, explaining that it was the way of things with what he was James grew agitated, pacing back and forth.  Tara began to feel uneasy as James started to go on a tangent, jumping when he brought his hand down hard enough on her small wooden table to crack it.  

"Ye need to leave, now.  I willnae have ye in me home treating me this way, James.  I love Gideon with all me heart and soul and what ye think is irrelevant.  Ye be acting like a jealous suitor instead of someone I look at as a brother."

He approached her then and grabbed her by her arms in a bruising grip.  "What of ye brother, Tara!  What of Tynen!  He needs ye to bring him back to the light and ye just left him there!  How could ye be so cold hearted to not be there for him when he needs ye the most!"  

His words tore at her heart but she stood strong, "Tynen chose his path, James.  All on his own.  I told him what needs to be done in order for me to start believing that he's begun to change back to the light."

He shoved her away from him, growling at her and for the first time she felt fear towards him, seeing something in his eyes that frightened her.  "Leave, James", she said quietly as her hand found the handle of a large kitchen knife.  She brought it around, holding it expertly at him, "Ye may return when ye have yer whits back about ye.  Until then, doona come near me, the children, nor the training arena."  

She watched as he stormed out of her cabin, the large knife dropping from her hand and clattering onto the floor as she sank into one of the chairs at her now cracked table.  There were bruising handprints on both upper arms and she rubbed at them, tears streaming down her cheeks over his words about Tynen.  Was she giving up on him?  Did he truly need her to help him find his way back to the light?

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:57 pm


Gideon walked back to Condor and instead of mounting the horse he walked him to the stable and left instructions for the stable boy to give him a good bath and a nice long brushing as well as some oats to munch on. The stable boy smiled and bobbed his head in affirmation and took the reins of the tired horse and walked him to the stall to remove the saddle and tack.

Gideon set off to the main keep knowing he would find Sir Trystan and the Commander within. No doubt they would be very interested in hearing what he found out. They would both want a written report in the morning first thing and he would gladly handle it but not before he spent some much needed time with Tara.

He heard the Dragons and the Dragon Rider were present so when he was told he would have to wait for Sir Trystan and the Commander he did so as patiently as he could. No doubt they would have something to say about his appearance but at the same time they would understand.

He walked over to a nearby window and looked out at the crowded inner courtyard and the even more crowded outer courtyard beyond. He was already wondering how there was going to be enough food for all of these people. No doubt Sir Trystan would fill him in on that as well.

After this, he reminded himself, he needed to locate Tanjee and see if she could do anything for Condor and prayed to Paladine she could. While he hated to admit his horse needed to find a grassy knoll someplace to graze and finish out his days with a sweet mare, he was saddened to think his dear, four legged companion of so many years would no longer be able to share in adventures with him. He never considered himself sentimental with animals but he was quickly discovering that was not the case. At least not with Condor.

He looked over towards the area for the children and couldn’t help but smile as he knew Tara was there. His smile faded though when he thought of what he saw between James and young Curtis. Not to mention the condition he found Tara in when he arrived. Something was going on and he was going to get to the bottom of it. And he knew just who he could talk to in order to get the most information too.

He heard some noise behind him and turned to see the guard walking towards him letting him know the Commander and Sir Trystan would see him now. Finally, he thought. The sooner he finished his reporting the sooner he could get a bath, save and get his hair cut and the sooner he could go to Tara.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:27 pm


The guards brought Gideon into Trystan's office and Trystan came out form around his desk and embraced Sir Gideon, patting him sternly on the back. He leaned back and looked at his friend and spoke, "One can only wonder what roads you traveled to wear your cloths to the threads as such."

Gideon furrowed his brows and Trystan laughed, "It is GOOD to have you back friend, your presence has been missed, and your absence noticed. I also heard immediately that you were in town, and that you chose to go see Tara before reporting back to your Commanding Officer."

Sir Gideon looked like he was about to say something in his defense and Trystan laughed heartedly, clapping him on the shoulder, "Fret not my friend, you made the right choice, she is much prettier than I am. Between you and me, I would have done the same thing."

Gideon smiled and shook his head as Trystan laughed again. He motioned to his Squire and spoke, "Please assist Sir Gideon with his armor so he can get that weight off of him."

He also turned to his assistant and spoke, "Bring us some hot tea and food please."

The assistant nodded and left the room with haste. Trystan looked at Gideon again and smiled, "I know you have a report to give, as does Lady Rose. She is engaged currently, the guests of honor have started to arrive and the diplomacies of her station demand her attention. For now however, I don't want you to feel immediate urgency in your report, we do need it, and anticipate what you learned, however with the festivities and the plate spinning we are all doing I am not sure either of us will have time to review it in the next few days. Take some time, a couple days to gather all your thoughts on paper, and get it to me when you are able, but do it before you forget important details."

He winked and Sir Gideon huffed. One of the man's talents was rarely forgetting details, it is why Trystan valued him above all his other Scouts, he always knew the information was most accurate from Sir Gideon, and it is why he was specifically chosen for this mission."

Trystan sat behind his desk as the Squire of the Crown tugged and worked Sir Gideon's armor buckles. Folding his hands on his desk Trystan looked up at Gideon and spoke, "In the meantime, are there any highlights or pertinent information you want to verbally tell me before you write your formal report?"

News from a credible source was deeply needed, it was why Gideon was sent in the first place. Trystan and Rose needed accurate information so they could make a good decision regarding Pela and her Nethermen, and though Trystan was acting relaxed and trying to give Gideon some time to decompress, it was clear on his face that he was also extremely interested to hear what the man had to say.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:37 pm



Offering a soft chuckle and a wink Piramay nodded her head in agreement. "This will turn out o be quite the celebration indeed..." She had learned the male's name was Nol but she did not know the priestess, at least not by name. As the procession moved to the keep Piramay shifted their path more towards the marketplace of town.

Doing her best to feign casual interest in their surroundings. Piramay would part from Rorie and strike up a casual conversation with a seemingly random person. She talked about the wares that the happy couple had brought to town. After a brief discussion should offer a small sample from her robes and a free bauble on other occasions. In truth she was gathering an idea of where a person might settle in the city and the baubles were magical stones. She simply offered a smile after she had given out the first one "Spreading some precautionary cheer my dear."




Rose emerged from the chapel of Paladine feeling refreshed and renewed. Through her communion she knew that Nol, Kellen, and Raju had arrived. Certain there would be a crowd following them Rose made her way to the front gates of the keep to greet them personally. Her armor shined in the sun as she exited the front doors with her guards and Larrisa in tow behind her.



Myth had kept himself nauseatingly busy in his study tying up a few loose ends before the trip to Heartlund. It was both a diplomatic outing as crown prince and a chance to get away from the confines of Sylvanost. The situation within the Netherman lands was of growing concerns. Myth and Rayann were forced to put their journey to assess the situation on hold when word had reached them of Sanction's fall. Kali's presence at the battle had not go unnoticed.

He felt his beloved as she approached the doors and roused himself from his work leveling his emerald eyes upon the doors as they opened. The sight of Kali and Shaer was a heart warming one, and brief as it was the genuine smile on his daughter's face eased his troubled heart. He had not seen his daughter since the wedding and their parting had troubled him greatly. He embraced his daughter when she allowed it and let out a soft sigh of relief.

Joining his wife and daughter Myth leaned back into his seat. He knew that tone in his daughter's voice when she spoke of being busy. She knew that the matter of aiding Pela was going to come up and was prepared for it. He let his gaze soften slightly before speaking "You are a caster of renown and a grown woman Kali, there is no need to apologize for your absence."

"However I would like to know how young Olwa and Pela are doing." While not a direct approach to the netherman issue it was the approach that would be less confrontational. He was able to accept that Kali had aided Pela for her own reasons and she would not shirk away from that fact or apologize for it. Myth knew that it was a pointless approach to ask about her own involvement and instead was interested in what had happened and led to the sacking of a human city.
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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Sat Jun 21, 2014 12:12 am


Rorie nodded, his eyes lovingly gazing at her so that any watching would be convinced these two were no more than a loving husband and wife. As Piramay began handing out samples of their 'wares', Rorie began to do the same, offering samples to the ladies. He explained the scent, a proprietary blend of thedir own making, one that smelled so unique and beautiful that it would ensnare the senses. The women were immediately drawn to it, and began to gather around the two of them, giggling and sharing what was given to those whom were lucky enough to get close to the two peddlers.

As their supply was depleted and the crowd listened Rorie spoke, "Good people, ladies and gentlemen of Heartlund and beyond. My wife and I have plenty more of our balm, regrettably we did not anticipate such a warm reception, but I promise you, tomorrow we will be at the town center, and for one silver a bottle, we will have more than enough for all who are interested."

The crowd started to disperse from around them and Rorie looked at Piramay with a smile, "A most... profitable endeavor this will turn out to be."


Kali looked across at her father and listened to his words. She smiled softly as he spoke to her and she answered with only one word as he asked how Pela and Olwa were, "Formidable."

She looked at him with a fierce smile and he gave her that fatherly stare. Despite her age, he was still her father, and she did respect that. She looked at him and after a moment of silence she spoke, "Before you, either of you," she looked at Rayann and then back to Myth, "Make any judgments, you need to know that Pela did everything in her power prevent this war. It was the humans that provoked the Nethermen to war, it was the humans that refused to recognize their inability to win, and it was the humans that would not yield until they were beaten back so severely that they had on choice but to beg for assistance. I would urge you, not as your daughter, but as one that shares your mind for strategy, do not bring the Sylvan to bear against the Nethermen in alliance with the humans, though you might find victory in the end, it would come at a terrible, terrible cost. Pela and her Nethermen fight for honor, not for pride. They fight for their land, and their right to exist. The acts they perform are cruel, no question, but it is the only language that the humans understand... anything less and they would keep coming, Pela and her united tribes deserve to live and exist in peace."

Myth looked at her and she leveled her gaze on his, "As for my involvement, that is my personal prerogative, and I will not apologize for helping a ... friend in need."




As Rose approached, Nol smiled and bowed in respect of her position. As he stood upright he could not help but catch the look of welcome in her eyes. It was Raju in classic fashion however that immediately embraced Rose and smiled softly, "Thank you for the invitation friend, it is an honor to be here!"

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:33 am



Piramay could only chuckle as she gave out the last of her wares listening to Rorie make his proclamation. "Indeed husbad this will be a most profitable endeavor in more ways than one."




Rose was nearly bowled over by Raju and she laughed as the woman released her grip. "The honor of course is all mine my friends. I formally welcome you to Heartlund's May Festival. Though this goes without saying for you..." Rose winks at Raju "Paladine bless you while in my walls, and I wish you cheer and high spirits while you are here." Rose lifted her hand to her chest and bowed them. "Now that the formalities are out of the way come let us find a place to talk and we can catch up."





Myth met his daughter's eyes and after a moment he nodded in response. "I would not expect you to apologize either Kali. Given the aftermath of Kyly's actions and what I learned from that excursion. I was certain that there was a reason for Pela and her people to march upon Sanction. Humans are no less arrogant and bull headed than the Sylvanesti at times." Elven arrogance was legendary but all the races were stubborn in their own ways.

"As it stands I have no intention of involving the Sylvan in this battle. If a request comes from the humans I will look into the matter, examine both sides and give them our answer. However my sources tell me that at present tell me that for the moment the occupation of Sanction is being accepted for the moment. Obviously this could change considering that the various leaders of the knighthood will be present at the festival in Heartlund. Lady Rose will likely try to disuade her compatriots from asking for help in this matter but she isn't the highest ranking commander of the knighthood so she may have no choice. Either way I have made up my mind on the matter but I have to play along with the politics." His brow furrowed slightly.

"The matter of Sanction aside... how is my daughter?
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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:46 pm


Sir Gideon was glad for the assistance the Squire offered.  He didn’t realize just how tired and weary he really was until he stood before his friend and ranking officer.   He chuckled softly as he heard Trystan’s good hearted conversation about Tara and while he knew it was not exactly protocol, he knew his friend would understand.

As the Squire finished and Gideon sat in the chair letting the comfort of it surround him for a moment, he explained everything to Trystan.  From his scouting the base of the Khalkist Mountains to the time he spent just outside Sanction to the rumors and stories he heard in Two Creek while he waited there.  As the tea and food arrived, he gladly ate the freshly prepared meal and drank the tea slowly to savor the taste.  As he did so, he told more of his scouting.

”When I was outside Sanction, I heard no such screams of agony coming from anywhere.  What I did see was something I never thought possible.  The Nethermen are a barbaric race, and that has not changed any at all as far as their appearance.   But we cannot judge any creature on appearances alone.   What has changed is the way they treat each other and the humans in which they have taken into the city.  Anytime I observed the Nethermen in the past, they were bickering and fighting amongst themselves to see who would gain the upper hand or be the stronger of the group but I saw none of that.  In fact, what I saw was a unified people not unlike the Knights or the Elves.   There was purpose to everything they did.  Not once did they strike out without provocation.  It was strange.  It was almost like they went out of their way to avoid confrontation at all costs.  What fighting I did see was over before it even began.  A few rogue bands of humans would try to take on one or two of the Nethermen.  They would goad and try to bait the warriors into fighting with them and when that didn’t work they outright attacked.  Of course that was their downfall.  One does not simply attack the Nethermen without grave consequences.  There is no love lost between the Nethermen and the Knights.  It appears the contingent that was sent, and ultimately destroyed, left a bad taste in the Pela’s mouth.  I honestly don’t know if the gap can be bridged now or not.  But I can tell you this, while her methods are cruel and quick, they are not done for sport.  She inflicts punishment only when others try to harm the Nethermen.  I even saw some of the infirmed and elderly humans she has taken in being carried gently by the massive warriors in and out of the city.  The peace that is existing there right now is fragile.  I’m not sure how much longer it will last if the humans continue to provoke the Nethermen.   My biggest fear is the Nethermen will grow tired of such antics and further their reach around the city.  That would not bode well for anyone.   I can only hope Commander Rose has a plan for somehow extending a peace offering.  If the Knights and Nethermen were to ever work side by side, we would be a formidable front to the enemies we have in common.”

Finally he sat back and leveled his gaze to Trystans.

”I am willing to be Commander Rose’s messenger if that is the path she decides to take.  Of course it all depends on what the ranking officials decide to do but in my own opinion, they would be foolish to try any other approach with Pela and her clans.”



Kellan watched Raju and the commander.  When they stepped apart, she saluted her former commander and smiled.  It was good to be back in Rose’s company because catching up with her meant more than idle chit chat.





Rayann listened to Kali talking to Myth but kept quiet.  There was no need to say anything.  Rayann knew Kali did what she did for reasons that may never be revealed but she also knew Pela well enough to know the young woman would never do harm to another if there was not cause to do so.  While Rayann was a little worried about her methods, she did understand why and would not judge Pela or Kali for any of it.

As she looked around, she saw that her family was together again.  A rare occasion anymore and she smiled to herself seeing the unity of the family and basking in the moment.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:42 am


Kali looked up at her father as he asked his question, 'how is my daughter' ... MY daughter... the words rolled around her mind a second before she was sure she had heard them. She not over emotional, neither was Myth... he was certainly more touchy feely since he and Rayann had gotten together, that was for sure, but Elves in and of their nature were rarely over emotional creatures. 'My', acknowledgment of his patronage, 'daughter', undeniable heritage to his line. She stared at him a second, she felt their bond, all of them, a family.

She looked at Rayann a moment who smiled lovingly at her and then back to her father who sat, level gazed as always, waiting with patience that was capable of withstanding a thousand lifetimes before it would interrupt her thoughts, and she spoke, "To be honest father, I am uneasy. This is the eye of the storm, we are sitting in the calm, but the second terror is coming, it is out there, and it will strike when we least expect it. SHE is still alive, she proved that on Ceridwyn's wedding day, and if she is only one thing, it is tenacious. She will strike again, and it will not be as mild as what she did at the wedding ceremony, it will be bold, brutal, and etch her name into the mind of every single person on Krynn. Why did I assist Pela? Because I believe that Pela and a united Nethermen nation are the only hope when the other shoe hits the floor. Pela would see the world burn, she would see every being in it consumed with her flames, and she is much more powerful than she ever was, Fifth saw to that. I do not believe she bedded him, she has more dignity than that, however like myself she took all she could form him, grew in power and ability, found the angle in everything he said, and used his desire for her to glean all she could from his twisted mind. He was a piece of work, but he was amazingly powerful, and he shared many, MANY secrets with the both of us. Neither of us took any of that for granted."

Myth and Rayann looked at her and she inhaled deeply, "We will need more than just our collective strength, even more than the Nethermen and Pela, though they will be a great asset in the coming conflict, we will need to travel to Ice Wall, and recover the Everwinter."

Myth leveled his gaze on her and she knew his mind, there was only one way to Ice Wall, and it meant a confrontation with the Sons of Thunder, who had never been defeated by the most powerful armies. Four brothers, demi-gods in their own right, who guarded the city and it's secrets. Kali's face remained calm and resolute, "Without the Everwinter, I do not see how we can stop her. I have already spoken to Commander Rose, she is willing to assist us, and I have also mentioned to Pela that she will need to assist me, but I would also ask that you and mother consider this, despite its risks. I also intend to discuss the matter with Nol'Lore and Raju'min, one can not underestimate the benefit of having silver dragons in the freezing cold."

She leaned back in her chair and exhaled, she rarely fully expressed her feelings, but it was something she saved exclusively for her father.



Trystan nodded as he listened, writing down a few bits of the information he had heard and leveled his gaze on Gideon, "So if I am hearing you correctly, the Nethermen are not seemingly interested in pushing their territory any further north?"

Gideon shook his head and Trystan nodded. He had a concerned look on his face and looked directly into Gideon's eyes, "I trust you above all my other scouts, you have proven above and beyond the call of duty when I have asked anything of you, so I will share with you what I have heard. The Knights of Solamnia are planning to march on Sanction in force, they are planning on soliciting the assistance of the Silvanesti, and their plan is to attack from two fronts, the Knights on the West, the Elves on the East." He looked at Gideon and his face was troubled, "This brings many issues to bare on Commander Rose. She is apposed to the war, for many reasons, but mostly Kali's council. Kali, as you know, never does anything without a reason, so anything we hear form her has to be filtered and evaluated to ensure we aren't walking into a desire of hers while fulfilling a need of our own. Though she has proven to be reliable in her information there is always a reason she will chose or not chose to give it. We know she was heavily involved in the sacking of Sanction, she in fact was the wizard that blew the gate to splinters which allowed the Nethermen to enter, and we know that she killed a high ranking White Robe Wizard and his Protege during the battle. Clearly she was fighting the Knights. What I also know of Kali however, is that though she is a black robe wizard, she is not what I would consider 'evil'. Yes, she does things for her own gain, but I have never witnessed any act of cruelty towards another unless she was acted upon first... in fact, I saw her do one of the most noble acts of selflessness I have ever witnessed, and she bares the scar of that decision on her face to this day."

He inhaled deeply and leaned back heavily in his chair, "The Knights from the region of Throt are resolute on taking back Sanction, they have convinced the Knights from Nightlund to join them and Commander Rose is trapped in a political struggle that I would wish on no one. She is not the highest ranking Knight in Solamnia, therefore if she is ordered to war, we will have to go to war or be branded as traitors to the Knighthood. I can not tell you how much I cringe at facing the Nethermen, for we would also be facing Kali and Pela, and whatever brand of magic they would pour out on us. Your full, written report will go far Sir Gideon, and I thank you for being so diligent in your scouting."




Raju, Nol and Kellan followed Rose to the large sitting room that was used for guests. As they sat and refreshments were brought Raju could not help but notice the look on Rose's face. Such burden and pressure. Though the High Commander of Heartlund was excellent at keeping a mask on her emotions, Raju could see it, the woman's thoughts were going a mile a minute, she was facing touch choices, and it would not be easy.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:47 pm



As Rayann listened to Kali and Myth’s conversation. The trip to Ice Wall wouldn’t be easy for anyone except Pela, Nol and Raju as they could tolerate the extreme cold temperatures there. She looked at Myth but didn’t say anything verbally or mentally. She was keeping herself shielded from the others as she thought all of it through for herself. While this was a huge undertaking, there was no doubt more than just the elemental challenge. The Sons of Thunder were formidable to say the least. She looked to Myth again and finally opened her mind to him.

~no doubt she has thought this through for quite some time and to bring it to us now, she must know time is of the essence. When she faces the Sons of Thunder, and she will, she will need all of the help she can get. Nol and Raju will be strong allies but even they will have their hands full with the foursome. And I know she’s right about Piramay. That wizard will stop at nothing to rule Krynn, if she lets it remain. But we would need make sure Shaer is taken care of while we are gone and if we don’t return. While I know you are fully aware of all of this, A’maelamin, it still needs to be said between us.~






As Gideon listened to Trystan he furrowed his brows and shook his head back and forth. The praise and confidence Trystan gave him was overshadowed by the news Trystan shared with him regarding a possible attack on Sanction.

”That’s a war we won’t win and if the ranking Commanders order our High Commander to take up arms against the Nethermen and Pela, they are more arrogant than I ever imagined. And that is clearly what is fueling their decisions if it gets that far. I can’t help but wonder if they have forgotten there is more at stake here than their reputation. Sometimes we have to know when to restrain from fighting and take a more diplomatic approach in settling a matter than raising a sword or staff and killing ourselves and our enemy. While Sanction was taken by force, it seems Pela is willing to meet them halfway with a compromise that would be beneficial to all parties involved.”

He shook his head again in complete exasperation.

”If the Knights can somehow convince the Elves to join forces with them, and the attack takes place, I fear Pela will push further North just to make a point and that would be disastrous for the entire region. The clans that are occupying Sanction are not the entire lot of them. There are those spread out among the Khalkist Mountains still protecting the Nethermen Territory. They won’t hesitate to join the others at Sanction if need be. What then? There’s no way we could gather enough forces to combat that many Nethermen in one place. Not to mention the fact Kali could join them again.”

He scratched his thin beard and furrowed his brows even more.

”I pray the Elves will be more sensible to this matter than those within our own ranks who make the final decisions. While I know they can be arrogant in their own ways they often let the ‘lesser’ creatures fight their own battles and keep to themselves.”

He leveled his gaze to Trystans once more.

”Whatever you need me to do, I will gladly do it. Especially if it means saving the lives of my fellow Knights and other innocent civilians in the region.”








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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:49 pm


Rose sighed seeing the look upon Raju's face and shook her head. "Judging by that look on your face Raju I have not masked my weariness very well. At least not from the keen eyes of a priestess or more importantly a dragon." Rose set aside her cup of tea leaning forward placing her elbows squarely on her knees. She looked up to the soldier at the door and nodded slightly. Metal sounded against metal as the guard saluted Rose before exiting the room with the remainder of Rose's retinue. When the door was closed Larrisa slipped over and after a moment nodded to Rose. With a sigh the facade she had built up faded away leaving her looking worn and tired.

"It has been left to me to make some decisions that will not come lightly nor willingly." She looked to Kellan, to Nol, and last Raju "What I tell you I do as comrades and as friends to myself and the men in these walls."

"The knighthood has not reacted well to the taking of Sanction. Despite one disastrous attempt already to retake the city I am being told that the knights from Throt and Nightlund are already joining in an attempt to formulate a strategy to try again. Heartlund is to join in this joint action if it is deemed necessary by the military advisers. It has also been recommended that I seek aid from the elves as the prince will be attending the festivities and that would make a reasonable window to make the request. Suffice to say this has put me in a very difficult spot."

She could see Nol thinking things over as she sat back "I am opposed to this venture for more reasons than I care to count. Chief among those reasons is that I was advised it would not be a good choice by Kali herself." She held up her hand "While I agree with her freely given advice I agree with it for reasons that have nothing to do with her advice." "

I have fought Nethermen raids and I know the fury they bring to the battlefield. Bringing them together as a unified front and eliminating the inner clan turmoil is nothing short of a frightening prospect. I honestly do not think people understand the magnitude of this fact. What  is one to do when placed between duty and madness?"



The very mention of Piramay's name was enough to cause Myth's blood to boil. Ceridwyn's wedding had been an absolute disaster of the highest magnitude. Repairs to the chamber were still ongoing and would remain so for quite some time. It was a masterful blow to the morale of the elven people and Myth knew that Kali was correct in that it was only a matter of time. A familiar thought driven look fell over him as he considered his daughter's words as well as his wife's

His mind reached out to Rayann as he looked to her for a moment. "I know this all to well my dearest. Shaer will remain in the royal palace while we are away. We have always been prepared for the likelihood of having to venture forth into the world to face great evil. This is definitely an evil we can not ignore. In the event that something did happen to one or both of us he will be taken care of, The Speaker will see to that."

His attention returned in full to Kali "I always said that Piramay would one day be a troublesome shrew. Even in my days in the dark court I could tell she held no loyalty to anyone but herself. The mistress gave her free reign to do as she wished so long as it did not interfere with the greater plans. Ultimately joining with Fifth has payed off in spades as you have stated and she is indeed more fearsome than I ever imagined."

With a sigh he stood from his chair and walked to the far wall lined with ancient tombs and texts and began running his thumb over the surface as if scanning them. "I agree that the Everwinter could be a powerful tool, but obtaining the relic from the Sons will be... difficult." Myth's hand stopped finally and slipped the book from the shelf and turned towards Kali the emerald color of his eyes were vibrant. "I assume that you have a plan in mind already for this seemingly impossible task. It is the only reason you are going to the festival in Heartlund. Everyone you need to tackle this quest will be in attendance." Kali had a reason for everything she did and Myth would never fault her for it. It was a trait ingrained into her by her wizardly training and blood. He stepped away from her handing her the book he had pulled from the wall. The title had long since faded but they both knew it was a collection of tails about the Sons.
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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:21 am

Keatara sat waiting for Gideon, her mind in turmoil over what James had said and his violent behavior towards her. She hadn't seen Curtis standing outside her window, neither had James but he'd been there and he'd heard everything. He'd seen the bruises forming on her upper arms after James had left in a rage and his thin body shook with his own anger.

He was having a hard time believing that Lady Keatara would have been meeting with her brother secretly but he also understood after what he'd heard. He knew the story about her past and her brother who had turned to the dark ways and knew that his teacher loved her brother very much. He too had a younger sister, the one Tara called 'Cherub' and he would do anything to help her if she were in trouble. He'd heard Tara tell James that her brother had chosen his path and she wouldn't help him until he'd turned himself in. He so wanted to go to Sir Gideon with the news but he was also worried that the knight would be angry with Tara for meeting in secret with her brother whom was an enemy of Heartlund. At the same time, to see her sitting there at her small table, tears streaming down her cheeks with bruises appearing on her arms. He knew he needed to get to Gideon and talk to him, he just wouldn't say anything about what he'd found out about her meeting her brother. From the sounds of what he'd heard, she wouldn't be doing that anymore.

He quietly left her cabin, his thoughts troubled by what to do. He carried a heavy burden on his thin, 13 year old shoulders. He looked up to Lady Keatara, saw her as an older sister and would do anything for her but right now he was torn.

Keatara wiped at the tears that had trailed down her cheeks, mentally chiding herself for letting James upset her like that. Gideon had returned, it should be a happy time and she would see to it that it was. Her love had returned to her and he had sought her out first, before reporting to Sir Trystan. That in itself spoke volumes to her heart.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:36 am




Raju scooted in closer to Lady Rose as she let her mask drop. As she began to speak Raju leaned in close and listened. Though Raju was known for her antics and pranks, she was also known for taking on complete seriousness when the time came, and now was one of those times. She watched the Knight Commander as she spoke her words, she reached and touched her softly on the knee and let her healing comfort enter Rose, as much as it could right now anyway. As Raju sat, taking the role of comforter and supporter, Nol stood back, his hands folded behind him, watching her. His silver eyes flashed softly in the light and he spoke when Rose had finished, "We made several sweeps over the area of Sanction before coming here. The High Born asked us to meet with Pela and discuss her intentions, however we did not find an opportunity that would not compromise our safety. There is constant war, human incursions are almost a constant, coming in small waves, some heavily armed, others seem to be no more than Farmers... it is a very volatile situation. One thing we did observe however, is that it was not the Nethermen who were the aggressors. From the look of the forests, they were, at one point, when they moved on Sanction. The forests are cut like a jagged scar from their High Seat right down to Sanction, the remnants of their camps scattered like dots on the lands, but then at Sanction, the movement ceases."

He stepped to the window and looked out a moment before turning to look at them again, "Sanctions importance is not deniable, it is a trade hub off of New Sea, and it, or was, a military stronghold for the Knights of Solamnia. I don't think that is why the Nethermen took it however. They have wiped out the Knights in that area, they could advance 100 kilometers in any direction without real resistance from anyone, but they ceased any movement beyond Sanction." He looked at Commander Rose and spoke, "I think, or I should say, we think," he looked at Kellan and Raju, "That they took Sanction to make a point more than anything else. The bits we were able to pick up from the locals was that the Knights were about to begin a major campaign into Nethermen territory, and they made a tactical mistake in leaving their underbelly exposed. Kali would have been able to immediately pick up on this, she has her fathers mind for tactics, and most likely was the advisor of the attack."

Rose looked at Nol, and then to the others. The look on their faces solidified their agreement. Nol continued, "Pela is without a doubt a powerful Sorceress, but she is no tactician, it would have taken someone like Kali to press that forward. My point Lady Rose, is that if Kali is giving advice, though I am not anxious to follow it, in this case it might be accurate, and advisable to heed it."

He furrowed his brow at his own words, the thought of aligning his mind with that of a Black Robed Wizard, even one he once loved, gave him pause, but he looked up at the group, and then to Commander Rose specifically.

Raju leaned in and spoke, "We will assist you in any way we can Lady Commander, with the aid of Mishikal and Paladin, we will find a way."

She leaned back slightly and spoke, "You said the Prince, Myth'alas is coming to the festival?"

Rose nodded. Raju smiled softly and spoke, "If he is coming, surly his lovely wife as well... and Kali?"

Rose looked at her and saw the slight glint in Raju's eyes, with a nod to Raju, the silver dragoness continued, "The I will speak to Kali when she is here."

Nol stepped forward, "I think it might be better if..."

"...If you remain silent and allow me to do what I can to assist?" Raju's eyes were like fire and Nol furrowed his brow as he continued after being cut off, "I just feel that it would be more appropriate that I talk to her."

Raju stood up calmly, smoothed her shimmering blue dress over her belly and walked up to Nol, "Do you think you could keep your emotions out of it?" Nol furrowed his brows again but remained silent, "I can speak to her, female to female, I have no former connection with her nor do I distrust her to the extent that you do... no, in this case I think it is a much better plan if I speak to her."





Kali took the book and a slight smile crept up one side of her face, she looked at her father, stood and hugged him softly as she whispered, "Knowledge will always serve us well. Thank you, I will read this with haste."

She stepped back and looked at Rayann, her eyes even and leveled. She could see that Rayann wanted desperately to hug her daughter, and Kali shook her head slightly as she spoke, "Come on..."

Rayann got up quickly and ceased the opportunity, grabbing her daughter tightly and Kali returned the hug, though not as enthusiastically. After a few seconds she pulled back and looked at them both, "My guess is we have about five candle ticks before the portal master opens the rift to Heartlund, I am going to go get ready."

She looked at both of them again and inhaled deeply before turning to leave. As she entered the hall and the door closed behind her she looked at the book. It was old, worn, but almost seemed to buzz with knowledge and information. She smiled lovingly at the worn spine and brought the book to her chest, holding it like an infant and made her way to her chambers. As the time passed she packed the book into her bag of holding, tucked the bag into her heavy silk robes, and looked at her self in the mirror. She had pulled the hair up on her left side, showing the scar like a badge of honor, and stared into her own eyes. She looked deeply and spoke, "A library of knowledge awaits, and only the Sons of Thunder stand in your way... if one does not gamble, one can not win... if one does not venture, one never gains... Knowledge, that lays in wait, will serve us well, if we can attain it."



Trystan looked at Gideon and smiled, "My old friend, for now, you have done plenty. Go and get cleaned up, put on some fresh clothes and be with your lady. You have earned some rest, enjoy the festivities."

Sir Gideon smiled and stood as Trystan did. Trystan looked at him and spoke, "Though you are off duty, I would ask that you wear your leathers, and please be armed... if something does happen, I am going to need all of us ready."

Gideon nodded and left. Trystan looked at his notes and inhaled deeply as he picked them up. He left his office and headed up to Lady Roses meeting room. He knew that some of the guests of honor had arrived and that she would most likely be there with them.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:08 pm


Kellan listened to everything Rose said and like Raju, she felt the need to comfort the High Commander but she let Raju handle that aspect for now. There would come a time when Kellan would step up to that role but not at the present moment. She listened to Nol explain the sweeps they did and nodded in affirmation of his news when Rose looked in her direction. When the conversation turned to who would speak to Kali and Raju refused to debate the issue with Nol, she stepped over to him and touched his shoulder gently as she looked up into his bright eyes.

”I have to agree with Raju on this, Nol. She needs to be the one to talk to Kali. Things could get misconstrued by you and her if you were to talk to her considering the past you share with her. It’s best to let Raju, someone who is unbiased, talk to Kali about all of this so that perhaps we could all be one step closer to solving the mystery of her involvement. While we all speculate as to why she did what she did, we won’t really know unless Kali would be a little more forthcoming, if any at all, with Raju. I don’t feel as though she would be as forthcoming with you if you were to be the one to talk to her.”

It wasn’t jealously that was speaking for Kellan as there was no reason for her to be. She was confident in her relationship with Nol and Kali both. It was honesty that was speaking and she knew Nol would understand why both Raju and her knew Raju was the best person to speak to Kali.

She turned her attention to Rose then letting her hand slide down Nol’s arm and gently interlock her fingers with his and squeezed gently before releasing them.

”It appears as though you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. Something not uncommon among the Knights. I’m sorry you are being placed in this situation, M’Lady. If there’s anything we can do to assist, please let us know.”




Rayann felt the warmth of her daughter and smiled softly before reluctantly releasing her. While she would have given almost anything to be able to share in her early life from infancy until now, she knew that was not the case and she would accept what she had been given. At least she had her daughter now. That in of itself was blessing enough.

As Kali left, she looked over at the still resting and angelic form of Shaer. Walking over to kneel beside him and stroke his red hair, she looked up at Myth with a mixture of sadness and determination.

”I hate to leave him alone right now but I know the journey will be too dangerous for him to accompany us. He is only small once and I dread missing anything in his life. But I know the journey we’re about to take is necessary if Krynn is to survive.”

Standing slowly, she brushed her clothes off absently before walking over to where Myth stood. Wrapping her arms around his waist, she laid her head on his chest, closed her eyes and listened to his heart beating for a moment, feeling his arms gently hold her close to him. Finally she sighed and lifted her head to look up into his emerald gaze.

”I will quickly finish preparing for our departure and meet you outside your rooms.”

Rising up on her toes, she kissed his cheek lovingly then slipped from his arms and his rooms before heading to her own rooms to prepare for their journey to Heartlund when the portal was opened.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:22 pm


Gideon saluted Trystan before leaving his office and made his way to the baths. When he emerged, he was clean shaven, his hair was cut to a respectable length and he was dressed in clean clothes. His sword hung at his hip as he made his way through the crowded alleys of Heartlund heading for Tara’s little cabin. The sun was starting to set and long shadows filled the Keep as he made his way closer.

When he arrived, he didn’t see the thin, gangly spy that observed everything between Tara and James. He knocked on the door softly but when there was no answer right away, he furrowed his brows and opened the door on a crack.

”Tara?”

As he opened the door more he finally saw her sitting and her shoulders jerking as she cried. He quickly crossed the floor and sat down beside her taking her in his arms to soothe her, stroking her hair with his hand.

{i]”Shhhh….Tara love…it’s alright. I’m back and I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. Why are you crying?”[/i]

He hadn’t noticed the bruises yet. IN the dim light of her little cabin they weren’t exactly visible. As she cried into his chest, he felt hopeless and confused. He thought she was happy he was home but now….

When her tremors finally ceased, he slowly leaned back and gently placed his finger under her chin to lift her face. He smiled down at her before leaning in closer and gently kissing her wet eyes and cheeks before placing a soft kiss to her lips. The salt mingled with the sweetness of her on his lips was almost intoxicating and he knew he could get lost in that feeling if he wasn’t careful. Finally he pulled away and stroked her cheek with his thumb.

”What troubles you, my love? I thought you were happy about my return? Surely I haven’t upset you that much, have I?”

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:19 pm

She clung to him, her face buried into his chest as she softly cried only to feel his lips kissing away her tears. She gave him a shaky smile, wrapping her arms around him in a vicious hug.

"Aye, I am more than happy that ye are home, Gideon. More than ye could ever know. Tis just that things have not been easy since ye been gone."

She wanted so badly to tell him about Tynen but she was afraid. Afraid that he would turn against her if he knew that she'd met in secret with her brother on a few occasions. Afraid that she would lose his love if he knew. And then there was James and his violent behavior just an hour before Gideon had come. She wasn't one to cower from a fight but he'd left her shaken and frightened of him. She'd seen a light in his eyes that she'd seen before....in Tynen's eyes.

"I love ye so much, Gideon", she said before she pressed her soft lips to his, pouring all of her love for him into that one simple kiss.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:36 pm



Nol looked at Kellan as she spoke to him, and at first he was slightly hesitant, however he softened as her fingers laced with his and Raju giggled as the glimmer of mischief returned to her eyes, "My my sister... I am going to remember what powers of persuasion you have over my cousin."

Nol shot her a look and she laughed aloud, touching her hand to her belly as he shoulders rocked at having gotten his goat yet again. With a shake of his head Nol looked to Lady Rose and spoke, "My cousins penchant for inappropriately timed humor notwithstanding, as Kellan has stated, we will assist you in any manner we can."

Raju walked over to Commander Rose and touched her gently on the shoulder, "You have all three of our pledges my dear friend. I will speak to Kali as the timing makes itself appropriate. In the meantime take a small bit of friendly advice, allow yourself at least a small respite from the stresses of all that lies ahead, without a small bit of relief you are sure to break down. You are a strong woman, but even the Velvet Hammer needs to relieve the pressure."

She smiled and turned to Kellan and Nol, "Sister, I will need your assistance," Kellan stepped forward and Raju continued, "Keep this big lug away from Kali until I have talked to her, I don't care if you have to take him into the bushes and ravage him, just keep him away." Kellan went as red as a rose and Nol's mouth went a gap, Raju ducked back as Nol looked like he was about to thump her.



Kali went to the departure portal. She watched as her parents approached, hand in hand. The formidable frame of her father, dressed in his diplomatic robes dwarfed the dozen royal guard that surrounded him. Rayann looked at Kali lovingly as they approached and the portal masters began the spell that would open the magical gate, one that would transport them instantly into the portal that Rayann and Pela had created from ice almost a year and a half ago. As the image of Heartlund appeared Kali looked at the massive crowd that was gathering as the magic flared to life.

She inhaled deeply and smoothed out her formal robes. They were as black as pitch and hid every curve in her petite form. The edges all around were trimmed in blood red runes that were interwoven with golden thread and hummed with protective enchantments. Her scar was displayed prominently and she watched as 12 Elven guards from her fathers elite regiment came to surround her. She furrowed her brow and spoke, "I will not need your escort." The guard stopped around her and refused to leave, she looked at her father who simply smiled at her, communicating that protocol demanded it and that he would not call them off. She shook her head in annoyance but offered no more resistance in the matter. Stepping aside, 120 Elves of the Royal Princes Guard began their procession, stepping through the portal and into Heartlund, as they marched by Kali waited, she would step in right behind the guard proceeding the Prince and his Wife, and then another 120 Elves from the Princes Royal Guard.

The last of the first line had gone through, they formed a massive ring at the opening. Joined by members of the Heartlund Guard she could see Trystan staring at the swirling portal. Though she could see him, he could not see her. She watched his handsome face, his shimmering blue eyes set deeply in his face. Once upon a time, but not any longer would she allow it to move beyond just that glance at him.

With a look to her father who nodded, Kali stepped through the portal and into the town center of Heartlund.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:23 am


(Yeah I had a much longer post for but my browser wigged and I lost it and was to tired to redo the whole thing again)

Rose enjoyed observing the discomfort that Raju liberally applied to her cousin. She managed a heart felt chuckle and finished off her tea setting the cup to the side. "It seems as of late there always seems to be another storm forming on the horizon. I will take your advice to heart Raju and try and enjoy myself during the festivities." She managed a smile before her attention was drawn to the sound of blaring horns from the courtyard.

Rose lifted herself from her chair straitening the wrinkled cloth of her uniform. "I do believe Prince Myth and the Lady Rayann are do to arrive. Would you care to join me in greeting the lord and lady?"



With Rayann at his side Myth stood ready to make their entrance into Heartlund. He was dressed in his formal attire wrapped in the summer shades of the forest. The battle worn armored bracers were on his arms as always and his ancient blade hung from his waist. All was in order when the portal whirled to life he spared a brief glance to his wife and smiled lovingly before they moved up behind the royal guard. He shared Kali's sentiments about having an escort of any kind but even Myth could not escape the formality of this visit.

Myth stood tall and walked with the royal grace of his lineage as he emerged from the portal arm in arm with his wife. The sun drew out the deep red of his hair as they descended from the portal. He kept his eyes forward but watched the world around them all the same.
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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:45 am



Gideon wasn’t the most experienced man when it came to women but he knew enough to know Tara was not being forthcoming with him.  It troubled him greatly to wonder what pained her so much to bring tears to her eyes as well as cause her to cling to him as she did.  He would get to the bottom of it sooner rather than later.  While he wouldn’t force her to do anything she didn’t want to, he could be very persuasive.

He caught a glimpse of the bruises forming on her arms and his brows furrowed.  He gently pulled away from her and carefully took her arms in his hands, letting his thumbs ease gently over the discolored marks.  He raised his eyes to hers and found her eyes diverted.  Alarms began sounding in his mind and he knew her anguish was not caused by him in the least.  Something happened to her.  He was about to say something when he heard the sounds of the trumpets announcing the arrival of even more honored guests.  He cursed softly under his breath and slowly stood, bringing her up with him.  He turned her to face him and lifted her chin so she would have to look at him.

”Tara….love….I have to go.  The honored guests from Sylvanost are arriving.  Come….it will do you good to get some fresh air and spend some much needed time with me.”

It was not a request or a question.  In his own way, Gideon gently let her know he would not take no for an answer.  When she nodded her agreement, he gave her time to collect herself and splash some cold water on her face.  With a reassuring smile, he offered her his elbow and they quickly made their way to the center of Heartlund.  By the time he reached there the Royal Guard was starting to proceed through the portal.  He quickly took his place among the Knights and kept Tara close to ensure her safety.

As he watched the impressive sight of the Royal Guard moving through he was already calculating how many were arriving and how strong a defense they would be added to the Knights should anything happen during the festivities.  As the Royal family stepped through, he, like the others, paid respect to all of them, noting the almost sour look on Kali’s face before she quickly replaced it with a blank look.  Her black robes seemed to swirl around her form like a black fog.  The large form of Myth seemed to fill the portal and the red robes of his wife seemed to shimmer in the sunlight.  He was fully expecting to see the young Prince but when the child did not come through, he thought his parents had made the choice to leave him home as a precaution.  He glanced back at Tara and gave her a soft smile as he could imagine her being just as cautious with the children in her care.



Rayann watched the exchange between Kali and Myth and couldn’t help but chuckle to herself inwardly.  While her daughter was headstrong and had come into her own, she was still not immune to the particular protocol of the Elves when it came to formalities such as this.  As she watched the Royal Guard proceed through followed by Kali, she shared Myth’s look then stepped through the portal with him.  

The excitement of Heartlund buzzed all around her and she caught whiffs of different foods as they were being prepared by the many merchants who had come from near and far to pedal their wares.  It reminded her of her youth and the times she and Rorie would go to the local festivities of Palanthas, Godnest or even as far south as Hargoth.  While she knew she had to remain reserved during her visit, her inner child wanted to explore the local fare all the same.  It also brought a pang of regret that Shaer wasn’t here with them.  She would have loved taking him among the activity to let him experience it as she had been able to as a child.

With a soft sigh, she returned to the present and gathered her thoughts.  While she was here to enjoy the festivities, that was not all she was here for.  Trouble was brewing somewhere, she could practically feel it crawling on her skin like a pesky gnat, and there were no doubts the planned meetings that were surely to take place would be long and contentious at times.  Whole the itch to play was strong, the need to remain focused and take part in what they were no doubt all there to discuss was stronger.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:28 pm






Tara looked at her arms where Gideon had looked and frowned herself when she saw the bruising.  She'd not even noticed what James had done at the time that he'd grabbed her.  At the sound of the trumpets and then Gideon's words she was somewhat disheartened that she wouldn't have any time alone with him but as quickly as the look was in her green eyes she hid it, taking his hand as he helped her up from her chair.  She followed him to the portal and it didn't escape her that he kept her close.  She looked around for James, seeing him standing not far from her and shivered at the look in his dark eyes.  He was still upset and it showed the way he was glaring at her.  She turned back towards the procession and was in awe at what she saw with the elves.  Myth and RayAnn were beautiful, ethereal.  She turned back to look at James and saw that he was gone.


James saw Keatara and seethed inside.  He saw the bruises he'd left and he felt that he was justified in leaving them.  She didn't listen to him so she had to be punished.  Now, to just figure out how he was going to get her away from Gideon.  It was clear that the damned knight was keeping her close to him and that infuriated James even more.  He had to get word to Tynen.  It was then that he smiled as he walked through the market stalls.  The idea he was coming up with just might work, especially if what he knew was true.  Tara loved her brother even though he was dark now.  Would she come to him if she thought him injured....mortally wounded?  It was something worth looking into for he didn't want to act too hastily.

Keatara looked back at Gideon, smiling at him as the thought how handsome he was.  She shyly touched one of the two scars on her face and was still amazed that he would still find her beautiful.  She loved him more than she knew was possible and it showed in her gaze for all to see.  Again, though, she looked around, trying to see James and where he was, becoming worried when she still couldn't find him.  Her gut instinct told her that he was up to something but what.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:37 pm


Rorie stood watching the portal, his fingers laced together with Piramay's as they played the role of husband and wife. As the portal swirled to life he could instantly feel his sisters magical signature flowing forth from the archway. He narrowed his eyes slightly, and watched. The Royal Princes Guard came through, their formal armor glistened and shimmered with such brilliance it was almost blinding, intricate down to the smallest detail, even the small latches that held everything in place were decorated and designed with the elements of the forest.

As the guard formed a large circle, Kali stepped through the portal. He could feel Piramay tense slightly at the sight of her, and he smiled, feeling the same anger and seething hatred for his Niece. She moved like an elf, her steps completely hidden from view by her robes, and her body lacked any kind of movement so it looked like she was floating. Her eyes scanned the crowd and Rorie could see it instantly, what seemed like a pass over was a tactical assessment of the entire area. It occurred with speed and efficiency, but he knew that Kali knew every rock and tree, every house and brick in the road, there was no detail she would not miss.

Then more guards, the pomp and circumstance of this dog and pony show was enough to make him sick to his stomach, but he maintained his colorful, curious grin, and even ahhed at the final guards who came through with massive golden pikes, covered in the royal symbols of the stars. Myth and Rayann stepped into view. Rorie bit his tongue so hard he could taste the blood. Myth looked at formidable and dangerous as ever, and his sister...

Her blood red robes, the signature color of her new goddess. He could not help but remember their trials, how they went together to the tower at Palanthus and waited to be taken in, one at a time into separate areas so the Arch Wizards could have their way with them. He remembered his trial to test his loyalty, how he had to fight six dragons to reach his sister, naked, bloodied and barely breathing in a barren valley of waste and filth. He almost died in that trial, his only thought was to get to her, to give it all should he need to, his entire life.

His eyes narrowed on her and he felt the fire in his heart, he had been willing to give it all, and she was willing to take it, so much so that when she had her chance she did, severing the connection between them, killing his affinity for magic in the process. Well now he was back, now his dark path was full of more ambition and power than it had ever been, now he would...


...lips, soft, warm, delicate like a rose petal pressed against his. He blinked, the red curtain in front of him lifted and he stared into Piramay's eyes. She looked at him, her eyes doting and warm, "Husband, I spoke your name three times..."

He looked at her, and it was then he realized the truth in her words, he was losing control of his emotions. She lifted her hand and rubbed her wrist, the marks from his fingernails deep enough to leave bright pink lines. Her gaze changed, he knew he needed to focus and maintain his self control. Turning again he watched as an assembly of soldiers, and a female commander came and greeted the guests formally, this must be the Lady Rose he had heard so much about.


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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:47 am

The pomp and circumstance of the royal arrival was almost exactly what she would expect from the elves. The soldiers were a show of force and friendship for the festivities as they would be dispersed to aid the knights in keeping civil order during the festival. She paid little heed to the rabble as they marched through the portal only paying attention when Kali emerged followed soon there after by her parents. She saw the woman cast her glance and Piramay could only smile when her gaze didn't hesitate in the slightest. She almost missed Rorie's rage building except that she went to make a comment and he did not respond.  

The tightening of his grip on her arm prompted a slight more vocal response before she stepped in front of him and broke his focus in the most direct way she could. With a sweet smile Piramay reflexively opened and closed her hand as she let it lip back to her sides. The very sight of Rayann had sent Rorie into a seething rage that he barely managed to keep hidden. She was thankful that  she was able to finally break his blinded focus before e did something noticeable that drew attention. A look into his eyes told her that he had complete control of himself once more. At least the white robe had not been present in the procession or things might have truly gone sour. Rayann alone was a destabilizing enough issue without the mage who had snuffed his life out present as well.

She noted the arrival of the Solomnic commander Lady Rose. "If I were to wager to guess my dear I believe that is the Lady of the keep. I think they call her the Velvet Hammer or some such thing..."



As Rose approached the ring of elven soldiers they parted letting her and those who joined her pass. She stopped a foot from Myth and had to look up at his tall frame. No matter how many times she was near him she could not fathom how an elf had grown to such proportions. She imagined there was no way for the prince to not look imposing.

"Greetings Prince Myth'Alas and welcome to Heartlund. As always it is a pleasure and an honor to have you and your kin join us. I do hope you will enjoy the festivities."

Rose reached out and clasped hands with Myth before breaking away to embrace Rayann. "It is good to see you both. I have everything prepared for you and I look forward to catching up with all of you. "

She offered Kali a friendly smile and nod knowing the woman's dislike of physical contact. With a wide smile and a wave of her hand Rose motioned for them to the keep so that they might settle in.
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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:36 pm


Rorie looked down at Piramay and apologized with his eyes. He looked back up, the blue swirling around the dark of his pupils as he watched Myth, Rayann and Kali disappear into the city surrounded by the Heartlund Guard as well as the Princes Guard. Inhaling deeply he looked down at Piramay again and without saying anything thanked her for bringing him back to not spoil their plan.

Looking around at the massive crowds, cheering and making merry he smiled, almost warmly, and spoke, “I think that tomorrow is a good day to begin selling our wares,” He looked back at Piramay and smiled, “After all, it has a 48 hour shelf life once the seal has been broken.”

She would know exactly what he meant, and where he was going. Offering his arm he felt her slip hers into the crook of his elbow and they walked to the center of town where the May Pole stood, tall and proud, looking up at the massive symbol of the celebration.



As the procession made their way to Keep Kali walked quietly, her thoughts going a mile a minute. She looked up and to her surprise saw Nol’Lore, Kellan and Raju’min waiting behind the gated area. She was slightly taken aback that they would come to a celebration like this, but then again, knowing the Silver Dragons affinity for humans it was simultaneously making sense to her.

Nol walked up and smiled. The way he was approaching gave her pause, thinking he was going to embrace her, but then he extended a hand and a half forged smile, “It is good to see you again Kali.”

She took his hand and shook it politely, looking over his shoulder at Kellan who had approached as well but stayed a step back. She smiled more genuinely at Kellan and spoke, “It is good to see you Dragon Rider, it has been too long.”

She stepped around Nol and offered a hand of friendship to Kellan and nodded as they touched. She turned as she caught movement and saw Raju approaching now as well. She turned and bowed her head respectfully, though not too low, they did afterall, serve opposing gods. Raju, ever the vivacious and bubbly personality smiled warmly and spoke, “It is a pleasure to see you Kali, as always.”

Kali quirked a brow and spoke dryly, “As always?”

Raju smiled and nodded, “Of course Kali, we are bonded by sharing the experience of a battle, that can never be taken away or come between us.”

Kali looked at Raju and smiled softly, “I suppose not…”

She let her eyes drift from Raju to Nol, and ultimately to Kellan. The three of them were instrumental to her plan, but she still was forming her plan, how to ask them, how to make them see they needed to go. Her mind was racing when she felt her mothers hand on her shoulder. Turning she looked into Rayann’s lavender eyes and listened as her mother told her that Lady Kellan had invited them all to dinner, and that she and Myth had matters to attend to prior. With a nod she said nothing but acknowledged that she had heard.

Too lost in thought to really pay attention any longer she turned and almost barreled over Sir Trystan. He stepped back and threw his hands up in a submissive way, smiling and speaking, “Whoa there I surrender!”

Kali looked up at him, unamused and inhaled deeply though her nose. He cleared his throat and spoke, still smiling, “It is good to see you again Kali!”

She looked around a split second and responded, “Yes, it seems that my presence has been missed more than I would have ever anticipated, I am hearing that a lot since I arrived.”

Trystan smiled and spoke, “Well of course Kali, we all know you would never allow harm to come to Heartlund.”

Raising her eyebrow and smiling in a mocking manner she spoke, “Then why is the guard always double on the wall between the city and my home?”

Trystan flushed slightly pink and spoke, “Kali, I have to do what my duties demand of me, and the people who live in Heartlund are still not convinced that a Black Robe Mage living just off the city wall is a good thing. We, your friends know who you really are.”

She looked at him dryly and spoke, “Well it is a true joy to my heart and warms me greatly to know I have your endorsement Sir Trystan, I am not sure I have ever felt so welcome.”

He flushed again and spoke, “Kali please I…”

“I think this conversation has extended well past its expiration point Sir Trystan, why not stop before the hole you are digging gets any deeper.”

He inhaled deeply and spoke, “Kali, I really do want to be your friend, truly.”

She looked him over and after a moment, “And Tanjee is alright with this? A Black Robe? An ex-love interest? She’s a strong woman, but jealously can bite even the most secure of us. You and Nol both would be wise to remember that.”

She looked over Trystan’s shoulder at Nol and then back to the Knight Commander, “Yes… I was right, this conversation is well past its appropriate end point.”

She turned and walked into the Keep, a guard gesturing to show her to her quarters.

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PostSubject: Re: Book 2 - Ch10: The Retrospection Before the Storm   Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:48 am


Rayann felt it again but just as she felt it, whatever it was, it seemed to disappear.  Was she being overly cautious bordering closely on the paranoid side?  Or was there really something amiss?  Or was it plain old cabin fever?  At this point she wasn’t exactly sure.  Either way she greeted Lady Rose formally and nodded her greetings.  There was no doubt she would be able to discuss things with Myth later to see what his perspectives were.  As she glanced over at her husband, she noticed the expressionless look on his face knowing exactly what that meant.  Yes, she thought, we would have a lot to talk about later.




Kellan watched the exchange between Kali and Nol.  While other women may have issue with their current love meeting up with and talking to a former love of theirs, Kellan had no such reservations.  She knew exactly where her relationship with Nol stood and was confident there was nothing to be concerned about in that regard.

She greeted Kali formally and made note of the wizards demeanor.  Kellan knew Kali didn’t care for such ceremonious dealings, even less when a large crowd of people were milling about so closely.  There was no doubt in Kellan’s mind Kali had already assessed the situation and took note of anything she deemed interesting.  After all, Kellan had done the same thing as they moved through the city.

As she watched Kali move on after greeting Raju, Kellan watched the exchange between the wizard and Trystan and couldn’t help but raise a delicate brow.  Feeling Nol’s hand on her shoulder, she blinked and turned her gaze to his and saw the half smile on his lips.  Leaning in closer and returning her gaze to the retreating back of the black robes, Kellan leaned slightly towards Nol’s shoulder and spoke softly knowing Nol’s ears would hear her words when others would not.

”I can see why you were attracted to her.  Perhaps I shall take some lessons from Kali to see if I can weave my web even more around you.”

When Nol’s gaze drifted to Kellan’s face, there was no expression to be found but the look in her brown eyes spoke volumes.  Before Nol could say anything, she looked over at Trystan walking towards them and smiled warmly, extending her hand in greeting to him.

”It’s good to see you again, Trystan.  Where is Tanjee?”






A voice piped up behind Trystan.

”Here!”

Tanjee was breathless as she approached, embracing Kellan, then Nol and then Raju, letting her embrace squeeze the dragoness tighter.  When she stepped back everyone was able to get a good look at her.  Her hair was left down and small braids were woven in an intricate pattern all over the top layer.  In the braids were small crystals that sparkled in the light.  She was attired in a beautiful blue dress that flowed freely over her body.  It was contoured perfectly to accentuate her femininity without being overly suggestive.  Around her neck on a delicate silver chain hung the blue amulet of Mishakal.  Its color against her ivory skin matched the dress almost perfectly.

”My apologies.  I had to say my greetings to the Prince and Princess.  It is good to see you all again.”

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