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 BOOK 3 - CHAP 2 - A New Dawn

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Lac'Nal

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 2 - A New Dawn   Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:15 pm

SMUGGLERS INN .......HARPERS CROSSING
The Smugglers Inn was exactly what its name implied, an unsavory tavern in the tennament district of Harper's Crossing, near the rail yards and warehouse district. The establishment was frequented by thieves, smugglers, prostitutes, their agents and basically the low life of Harper's Crossing. It was samp dank and dark, with gambling, fights, free flowing liqour and other assorted acts of debautchery prevelent. Many an unlawful and shady deal were arranged in the establishment. The corrupt local authorities had established a somewhat hands off policy to the establishment. However from time to time , just to keep up appearances raids were conducted upon the property.

Scrounger , Spleavey , Billy and Gypsie , sat around a table in a dark corner of the Snugglers Inn.

Scrounger, leaned across the table and poked a boney finger at Spleavey "You an yur lot cost me plenty a copper in Fort Glory, what with loosin' tha' boy Elija an' 'is mates. An Eyez wants em back! If ya don' gets em back, it cood go right bad for ya. You catch me meaning Spleavy ol' friend? .... If eyez don' gets em back, the whle lot, an that bitch of a blacksmith's 'ead on a plate. ....Well things might jus' get right dicey what with the 'angman's noose an tha gallows starin' at ya." Scounger said with a scowl. "That boy's a natural 'ee is. Cop tha crown jewel's right from 'round tha Queen's neck 'ee could.


Speavey scowled back, but if he feared anything or anyone it was Scounger and his reach and influence in the underworld. "Eyez gets tha lil' bastard an that whore what took 'im in. Yuz gots me word on it." Spleavey then banged his cane on the table and yelled "More Gin." he then sat back and and scowled around the Inn.

Gypsie just sat silently, listened and watched.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 2 - A New Dawn   Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:03 am



The sun shone down upon vacant streets. There was no activity nor sounds of voices coursing through the narrow channels of the once thriving town. Nothing stirred, only a lone rat scurried down the street, darting from shadow to shadow then it ceased to move as a spear tip skewered it and lifted it's still wriggling body to the toothy mouth of a Ruagata'kun, the Lesser Ta'kun species. It's snake like head, inspected the tasty morsel, delighting in it's struggle, then it lashed out and it one bite gobbled down the rodent. As it swallowed down it's meager meal, it was joined by another of it's kind, larger with more angular features signifying femininity and dominance.

"Sssss... eating! How dare you not alert me!" The creature hissed and clicked in their strange language.

The smaller, male Ta'kun bowed submissively. "Forgive me. Why must we remain out here in the sun, fighting for scraps while the Brulg (Brulgta'kun, the Greater Ta'kun) stay beneath feasting upon the humans?"

The female snorted angrily. "Hold your tongue! Else, I tear from you mouth! Yassun has promised us our share and we shall hold him to it. Get back to your patrol!" She ordered and watched as he scampered off, leaping onto a low roof and from their to the higher peaks until he disappeared over the remains of what was once a library.

It has many days since the fall of Fort Glory and Lord Yassun had appointed the Lesser Ta'kun to guard the surface while he and the Greater Ta'kun remained below in the cool damp. The Brulg worked day and night searching for something beneath the palace, and were rewarded with succulent fatty flesh of the Humans while Ruaga, were forced to subsist on what they find in the stinking dwelling of the apes. Yassun had promised them fresh meat, days ago and they had yet to receive it. She would hold him to his word and allow him one more day before she demanded that he honour it, until then she resumed her patrol of the walled city.

Below Fort Glory in the catacombs beneath the palace, a man fought for his life against a much stronger opponent. The former soldier had been given the opportunity to earn his freedom, all he had to do was defeat Lord Yassun in combat.



Human servants and Greater Ta'kun looked on as the exhausted soldier successfully parried the sword of their Lord but he was too slow to counter. The Mermadon then quickly advanced with a full out attack, forcing the soldier back on his heels then finally knocking the exhausted man to the floor with a quick kick to his chest. The man hit the ground and laid prone, too tired to fight back.

Lord Yassun laughed and turned his back on the man to address the question that the Patriarch of the Brulgta'kun had put to him before his morning exercise. "So, the Ruaga are growing restless, eh? Well, then, present them with ten Humans, that should placated them for the time being." He turned slightly, when the soldier forced himself to roll onto his belly, then returned his attention back to the Ta'kun. "How are you progressing in the tomb?"

"We break through to other level." Replied the Patriarch in his guttural voice, speaking the common tongue.

"Excellent, Blood-Spear!" Praised Yassun as he easily parried the soldier's last desperate attack. The Mermadon then, exerted an unseen force over the man forcing him to drop his sword. "This is for you." He said as he waved his hand, telekinetically throwing the soldier into the air and bringing him crashing down at the Patron's feet. "Good appetite."

While Blood-Spear gathered up the screaming man, Lord Yassun turned and walked back to what was once the throne of King Dorian, which he had moved into the lower chambers of the palace. His kind preferred the dark, damp cool of subterranean lairs and the catacombs beneath the castle provided a similar environment.



"M'Lord." Said the man standing at the side of the throne, who promptly offered Lord Yassun a cool damp towel on a silver tray as he drew near. The Lord took the towel and tossed his bloody sword onto Andreas' tray and moved passed him to take his seat. Andreas looked down at the sword then to the Mermadon's back. He would be dead before he even laid his hand on the hilt and knew that it was yet another one of Lord Yassun's ways of testing him, but he had already grown accustomed to his master's tricks. Since his appointed servitude Lord Yassun had made it his personal mission to crush the will of Andreas de Pontu as if his defeat would establish the Mermadon's dominance over man but the young survivor of Fort Glory had proven resilient.

Sitting in his throne, rubbing the cool wet towel against his green, fish-like flesh Yassun, cleaned the stink that had collected during his sparring match. He waited for the the man to take up the sword against him and put and end to his suffering but Andreas remained steadfast. Disappointed, the Mermadon forcefully threw the soiled towel at Andreas and the man, anticipating the reaction caught it before it struck his face and dropped it over the sword on his tray keeping his expression blank to betray no emotions that Yassun could feed upon.

Lord Yassun glared at de Pontu with his red eyes and waved his hand before his face, nearly striking him. "Leave me!" He growled.

Andreas turned away and slowly walked across the dark, cavernous throne room and up a winding staircase and with ever step he took he thought, "My sister, how I have failed you."




A tall dark skinned man with the look of one descended from Kombura, and land far to the west, strode down the docks of Meirathal. People of his race were not often seen in the small port, yet no one turned his way nor even noticed his passing, at one point he moved between two fisherman conversing and neither paused their words or broke eye contact. A dog whimpered when he caught the strange scent of the man, but could not make sense from where it had originated. Mallethden moved, amongst the Humans and their animals protected by a suggestion that did not allow them to perceive him as he was. Instead his presence, the sounds he made, even his smell was attributed to something else; a crab scurrying across the dock, a shadow, anything but what he truly was. It was just one of the ways he prevented people from seeing him, but once in a while someone caught a brief glimpse of his form out of the corner of their eye, but when they turned and directly faced him saw nothing. None of the peasants around him possessed the skill or wisdom to break his 'suggestive-masque' but unknown to him one had when he had first arrived that morning. Bran Winston had seen him, and knew what he was despite his Human guise, but unaware of his discovery the Mermadon walked with impunity to the end of the dock and leapt into the water. There was a loud splash but those that took note of it where not too concerned when the saw that it was only a fish jumping out of the water, or at least that's what they believed it to be.



Some time later, a Mermadon rose from the sea, many leagues East of Meirathal, and walked out onto the beach where a horse drawn coach and five black cloaked figures, huddle around a partially eaten carcass. As Mallethden approached them he disappointedly groaned when he recognized that what the Lesser Ta'kun were eating was one of the horses. "Fools!" He roared in the common tongue, "Those beasts are our transportation!"

"We have three more." Hissed one of the Ta'kun, springing to his feet in the presence of his master.

Mallethden grit his small pointed teeth and angrily grabbed the Ta'kun by it's throat. "Leave the horses!" He commanded to them all then focusing on the squirming snake within his grasp with his pale, milky blue eyes tossed him to the ground and handed him a scroll case. "You! Take this message to Lord Yassun and make haste, else I decide to add you to the menu!" He ordered and the Ta'kun took the scroll and ran East as fast as it legs would carry him. Mallethden then retired to his coach and awaited to hear from his Lord.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 2 - A New Dawn   Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:18 am



A thousands questions raced through Colleen’s mind, all at the same time as she walked back to Marshall Kallend’s home with Maeve. She could….enchant. That thought was still very foreign to her. And just HOW did she know those words? Why didn’t she realize what she was able to do before this woman showed her? Did that mean ALL her work was….enchanted? Or was it only that spear head? How did she go about doing that for all the weapons she crafted to make them give even more protection to the one who used it? Was she expected to know how to do this now without being taught? What EXACTLY did this mean for her?

And then there was Elija. The boy could….talk…to the Dragons? Was HE aware of HIS ability yet? Were they both expected to join this….Coven? He was just a child. Surely this Coven didn’t expect him to give up being a child because he had some special ability. Did they? If they did, then Colleen would have to seriously consider making the Coven understand they had to leave him alone. At least for now. But what if they whisked him away in some sort of unspoken rule that sent him to some strange….magic school to learn his abilities? No….surely they wouldn’t separate them now. He wasn’t her son by blood but he was in every other way possible.

Colleen blinked and suddenly realized she was standing back in Marshall Kallend’s home with the rest of this Coven looking at her again. She didn’t remember the walk back to his home nor did she remember walking into the house let alone back into this room where these people sat looking at her again. Her dark blue eyes darted around looking for a familiar, kind face and found one. Raj’s handsome features suddenly focused in and he gave her a reassuring smile and a slight nod to let her know he was indeed there.

Taking a deep breath, Colleen tore her gaze from Raj’s and looked at the Coven once more. Swallowing hard, she tried her best to apologize for her actions earlier.

“I….I’m sorry for my outburst earlier. I’m afraid….I can’t help myself when I get upset. Please forgive me if I offended any of you. It was not my intentions to do so.”

____________________________________________________________________________________
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 2 - A New Dawn   Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:09 am



Marshall Kallend sauntered over to Colleen and smiled. "No, Miss Smith, it is we who should be apologizing to you. You see we've been aware of you and the boy for some time."He looked over at the old seer then back to Colleen, "Maeve foresaw your coming, which is why we never too concerned with fall of Fort Glory."

Hearing this revelation Colleen cast a hard stare at the man, "You could have warned us!"

Anticipating her response the Marshall had already raised a hand in a submissive gesture to hold her accusations and began to wander over to retrieve something off of the top of his stand up piano. "We did. We sent many messages to King Dorian and the man did nothing. We even dispatched a rider to one of you newspapers." He said as he took procured the item and handed it to Colleen.

It was a copy of the Capitol Tribune, dated one week prior to the attack. Raj moved behind her to see for himself, but there was nothing written on the front page.

"The back page." Kallend told them.

Colleen flipped to the last page of the paper and found an article about a 'quack' in Meirathal predicting the fall of Fort Glory and that those country folk were most likely partaking in too much of their own wine.

Kallend raised his eyebrows and sighed. "You see, people are not ready to have us meddle in their affairs, but you have reminded us that we still have to try, which is why we are inviting you and Raj into our coven." He gestured to a door was usually locked, "Please, we have much to discuss."

Raj approached the door which was midway between the parlor and the dining room and opened it for Colleen but they were both surprised to see that it was only a closet. Both of them looked to Marshall Kallend for an explanation and he in turn offered his own surprised look. "Raj. I thought you at least would not be fooled." He then waved his hand before the closet and the illusion faded revealing a downward stairway.

The passage way was wide enough for two to walk a breast and so Colleen and Raj descended into the darkness side by side while the others followed behind them. At the bottom, they found a corridor illuminated by dim lanterns hung along the walls and neither of them could be sure if someone had previously lit them or they somehow magically ignited. They made their way slowly down the shadowy passage until they reached a double door made of black metal. The same metal used by the Ta'kun! Both, Colleen and Raj recognized it straight away and both of them began to grow anxious when they considered how and why these people were using such a cursed material, but regardless, they each opened a door ready to face what ever was beyond.

Through the doorway they could see an underground chamber in the center of which was round table with eight grand chairs around it. The table was of a highly polished dark wood, just like the lower half of the walls into which were carved many strange and beautiful symbols and above they were simply painted a deep red to match the velvet upholstery of the chairs. At the far end of the room was a grand hearth constructed of the same black metal and as they crossed over the threshold, the fire place burst into blue flame, casting eerie shadows about the room. Images of dragons that decorated the fireplace were cast along the walls and over the shimmering table as the other filtered into the room and sought out their seats.

Marshall Kallend beckoned the two newcomers sit beside him before the fire and when all were settled, Gwyndolyn whispered something and all the candles within the great chandelier above the table ignited shedding light all around the room. The fireplace remained of blue flame, but it's unnatural lights was obscured by the bright white above the table.

"When flame burns blue the magic of one's essence is true." Recited Kallend, then he proceeded to tell Colleen and Raj that magical fire turned blue in the presence of magic-users. Then each member of the coven took turns sharing information with them about Meirathal and Maeve's predictions.

The first thing they clarified was that the men referred to themselves as warlocks and the women, witches and that their coven and the magic of Meirathal surpassed the existence of the Mermadon who were created all those ages ago by the Dragons, but not those of the ancient city. The Tiann city of Luan Chen upon which Meirathal lied, was once the seat of magic in the western world and possessed it's own benevolent weir of Dragon-kind, but a corrupt and malevolent weir waged war upon them burying the city in a great avalanche after destroying it with a deluge of ocean water. Many years later then, the town of Meirathal was built over the ruins and was only rediscovered three hundred years ago by Katherine Kallend before she had ever met William.

They then went on to explain the nature of magic. That everyone gifted with magical abilities learned their own 'mystic language'. Through study and practice they would develop more insight into their own magical tongue and eventually use it to cast spells. In Colleen's case, however, she was already unconsciously tapping into her ability and producing enchanted weaponry a sign that her powers were far more advanced than a mere novice. She also learned that Katherine Kallend, who had been the leader of the Coven for centuries was also an Enchantress, and that she was able to imbue many kinds of items, mainly jewelry with magical charms and could also sense and decipher the enchantments of other magical items. The entire coven believed that it was no mistake that she should happen upon Meirathal after the death of their Mistress.

In the end they spoke of Elija. "He is very special." Said Maeve, then went on to explain that he possessed the ability to learn the language of the Dragons. An ancient tongue that no Human or Dragon-kin could learn which was spoken with the mind. Even though they all could hear the thoughts of the Dragons, none of them could make sense of the language nor speak it back with much success. They believed the boy was the key to ending this war, thought they did not know yet how, but it was their intention to provide the boy with all of their ancient texts so that he might learn Dragon-toungue. Maeve then inquired of Colleen if she had ever seen Elija exhibit any connection to the Dragons, aside from the tragedy that befell him those few years ago?
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 2 - A New Dawn   Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:26 am



Colleen listened to everything they told her as though she were in a dream. There was so much information she wasn’t sure she absorbed it all, yet somehow, she did. While she couldn’t recite everything word for word, she knew deep down in her heart that if she should ever need to recall any of this, she would be able to do so without trouble.

Needless to say, it still made Colleen sit there with a look of complete astonishment on her face. Her dark blue eyes looked at each member of this coven. They wanted her, a woman who had no clue how to do what ever her gift was to do, to join this coven and become a part of their society.

On top of that, Elija has some ability to learn a language no other human has ever been able to learn before? He could be the key to ending this war between human and dragon kind? Could such a thing really happen? It was the one hope Colleen found to keep that spark alive within her.

Colleen swallowed hard and cleared her throat softly again.

“I….I don’t know what to say. I’m…flattered that you wish to bring me into your coven but I haven’t the slightest idea on how to do what it is I do. You say I’m an Enchantress….OK…I’ve given myself over to that. I’m an Enchantress. But….I don’t know HOW I do what I do. Obviously, as you have said, I tap into this mystic language when I forge a weapon but if you told me I had to do it right here, right now, I would be at a complete loss. As long as you all understand this and accept that I can’t willfully cast these spells, yet, then….I will gladly do what ever I can to aid you all.”

Colleen’s look grew a little harder than.

“But in return, I want you all to consider taking a more active roll in trying to prevent Meithral from ending up like Fort Glory did. Sitting back passively is no way to handle the situation. I’m not saying we go looking for a fight, but when the fight reaches us, and it will, we should be prepared to defend this mystical city.”

Colleen glanced over at Raj and her look softened a good bit.

“You have someone here who knows how to fight the Ta’Kun. Who, I know, will fight them again should they try and attack this city.”

Colleen turned her gaze upon the coven members again.

“I ask you please….don’t sacrifice him. We should all be behind him and show these lizards we are not going top let them have us.”

Blinking, she looked over at Maeve then and furrowed her brows.

“I don’t know how significant this is, but just before the Ta’Kun attacked Fort Glory, Elija drew a picture showing a weapon I had forged being used against the dragons. The picture he drew was quite detailed. A bit more for a young boy, I thought. I contributed it to his traumatic encounter with the dragons but now, after hearing what you say about him, I’m not so sure….perhaps there is something to it…”

____________________________________________________________________________________
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 2 - A New Dawn   Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:42 am

Sam sat across from Elija as he ate and absently drew.

Sam looked over at Ferret, Frankie, Shinner and Puddin and whispered "Thar 'ee goes agin drawin' them dragon pictars. When heeze doin that, ain't nuthin else goes on 'round 'im."

The rest of the "Shoddy End Gang" nodded in agreement and continued to eat quietly. They had seen Elja like this before and many a time at the orphanage or with Scrounger, Elija would get his ears boxed to snap him out of his trance like state to pay attention.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 2 - A New Dawn   Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:49 am



Marshall Kallend smiled warmly when Colleen expressed her concern for Meirathal. She had the spirit of his wife, there was no doubt of it, but she had much to learn. "Miss Smith," He cordially began, "This town is and has always been our foremost concern, we will never let it fall. Unknown to the people of our fair Meirathal, we cast a spell that wiped the presence of it from the minds of the Ta'kun raiding up and down the coast. How is it do you think that the scavengers never caught wind of us? All the refugees from Fort Glory would have surely lead the hunting parties here, yet nothing came."

Kallend could see the wheels turning behind the eyes of the two young ones. "Yes." He answered their questioning expressions, "We protected our town, but we regret that we did not act sooner for the sake of Fort Glory. Perhaps our assistance could have made a difference, I can't be sure, but what I can be sure about is that together we can do wondrous things but we have for quite some time been incomplete." He gestured to Raj, "We now have our Sword.", then turned his eyes to Colleen, "Our Enchantress, and now a Voice that will one day speak the tongue of the Dragons. Which is why we feel that right now it is time to act."



"Aye," Added Bran Winston, "Now IS the time to act, but we must not cut corners, we have to be patient and let your abilities unfurl on their own."

Marshall Kallend and some of the others nodded in agreement. Then Maeve peered into Colleen's face and smiled sweetly, "Your weapon serves a purpose in this war. You must complete it and in the mean time you may trust your children to the Coven. We will watch them in you stead when required." Offered the grandmotherly woman.



The remaining three all agreed to help then followed Kallend's motion as he rose from his seat. The Marshall gestured for Raj and Colleen to stand, then they all reached out gripped their hands together, forming a circle around the table. Each spoke in a strange language to one another and when they broke their grips the entire Coven parted by speaking something in a strange language and as they filtered out of the room, Marshall Kallend requested that Colleen and Raj stay.

"Go about your business as usual. Explore the town and allow your talents to progress naturally and we'll look in on you from time to time." Advised the Marshall, before he ushered them out of the secret chamber. "Farewell for now."
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