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 The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:44 pm

Limping through the infirmary, Miranda ignored the healer's protest to her leaving so soon, saying that Braum would be furious with them for leaving. This stopped her and she turned on them, her green eyes flashing.

"Look you miserable old miser!! I appreciate what Braum did for me, for it was more than you idiots would have done, but, I have a mission to complete and I don't have time to lay around in bed!! Braum or no Braum!!"

She turned, limping out of the infirmary and out into the night to find Kryton and deliver her message. She could rest afterwards.

She heard the healer yelling again to one of the aids to get their asses out there and find Braum. They were supposed to have gotten him the moment she woke, but the damned stubborn woman wouldn't do what was expected of her.

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:03 am



Erik couldn’t tell Shiloh his feelings were much deeper for her than just friendship. It would be life threatening for her if he did. Not to mention the fact he wasn’t so sure he could take her death. No. It was much better this way. Pushing her away and keeping her at arms length no matter what he felt for her was the only safe way to protect her from the curse that plagued him all his life. Even if it killed him to do so. At least this way he’d be able to keep an eye on her, see her on a daily basis and protect her as best he could.

As Shiloh walked away Erik saw the way her shoulders slumped knowing she’d admitted defeat. No doubt she would give into the tears he saw shimmering in her stormy gray eyes and most likely cry herself to sleep. At least one of them would get some sleep tonight.

As Sampson gave Erik a curious look, the dog watched as Shiloh disappeared through the threshold of the doorway that led to her own room. Erik sighed heavily, got up from the bed and poured himself a glass of brandy. Might as well let that numb feeling slide over him now since he was numb in all other ways.

As he sat in the chair near the fireplace, he sipped the brandy as his eyes focused in on the flames gently licking at the logs. His hand stroking Sampson’s head as he let his mind drift to the memories he kept locked away.

He was only 10 when his father disappeared. It wasn’t until a few days later when a patrol searching for him found his body and that of his Dragon’s. No one told him what happened to his father, only that Vrael had died in service to the cause. Erik didn’t know what that meant at the time and merely accepted the fact his father would never be returning home. He felt as if a hole had been punched into the very core of him that day. A hole that would never be filled again.

As he grew, he knew he would take his father’s place and become a Rider one day himself and getting there wasn’t easy. His mother, Felicity, seemed to drift further and further away from him after his father’s death. She stopped tending to the dragon eggs with the other women and slowly became a recluse in the home that eventually became her prison. Erik would try to get her to venture out but she simply didn’t feel like seeing anyone or anything. Even Kryton had come to pay her several visits only to leave a few minutes later when she dismissed him.

He watched as she went from a vibrant, young woman to a wilted old woman in a matter of a few short years. He found her, on his 18th birthday. It was as if she had gone to sleep and never woke again. Her tired face was now relaxed and the creases on her brows hardly visible. The healers told him she suffered some sort of sickness that claimed her life but Erik knew it was a broken heart that killed her.

That hole he had inside of him grew that day. As he laid his mother to rest beside the body of his father, he prayed to the Gods they had found each other again in the after life and were once more united in death as they were in the brief life they shared together.

That’s when Erik threw himself into his Rider training. Always the first to arrive and last to leave, the young man studied from books, spared with who ever would spar with him and let Mina teach him what he needed to know where she was concerned. There were many times Erik knew if it weren’t for the dragon who had been with him all of her life, he would have withered away like his mother.

During his training he befriended another young Rider with a similar story. Marcus’ father had been killed while on a mission and his mother died giving birth to him. The two became fast friends and were inseparable. They called each other long lost brothers and if it weren’t for the fact they were such a contrast in features, you would think they truly were. Marcus had a tan complexion and wavy, black hair with insidiously dark eyes while Erik was fair skinned, blonde haired and blue eyed. Both of them would spend equal amount of time in everything they did. Even when their muscles were so weak they couldn’t hold weapons they would push their bodies to the absolute limits. It just happen to be on one of their first solo missions that Erik received the scars that marred his body.

Marcus and he were patrolling the area Erik now patrols. A group of Lizonians were attacking a village and Erik and Marcus knew they had to act fast. Against both Dragon’s suggestions, the two head strong young men had them land and jumped off their rides to engage the enemy hand to hand. It didn’t take long for the dragons to see the young men were widely outnumbered and tried all they cold to protect them but even the best protectors can’t be everywhere at one time.

Marcus and Erik found themselves surrounded by the Lizonians and realized these weren’t normal Lizonians. Their heads were red and they actually spoke to the young men. With neither man wearing armor, they were helpless against the enemy. While they fought the good fight, in the end, Erik and Marcus were over taken.

Erik felt a searing, burning pain in his back and fell screaming to the ground. As he tried to fight off his attackers, he heard Marcus screaming as well. His friends screams were abruptly cut short and Erik looked over just in time to see Marcus’ head ripped from his neck and tossed about just before the red headed Lizonians began to devour his friends body. Erik screamed for them to stop and all he received as a swift stomp to the face which resulted in the scars over his right eye. The last thing Erik saw was the bright orange flash of Mina’s fire breath before he succumbed to the pain.

When Erik awoke several weeks later, he was told what became of Marcus. Once more that hole he had within him grew and he knew then he could never, ever let anyone close to him again. No matter what. There simply wasn’t anything left for him to give. Even though he would love to. He couldn’t place the person in danger. It was far better for him to just be alone, as he was obviously meant to be than take the chance of losing them as he had all the other people he’d loved and cared for.

Clenching his jaw before he downed what was left of the brandy, he finally stood up and walked into his bedroom. Laying back on the bed, he stared at the ceiling for the rest of the night with Sampson sleeping by his side. When morning finally began to streak the sky, he got up, changed his clothes and run his hand through his hair. Rubbing his eyes to try and make the redness leave them, he walked over to the threshold that separated his and Shiloh’s room. Knocking on the door frame, he spoke quietly to her.

”Breakfast then training, Shi. Meet you on the training grounds in an hour.”

When he started to leave, Sampson tried to follow but Erik put his hand up to make the dog stop.

”No boy. You need to stay with her now.”

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:56 pm

Shiloh was not in her room, but had risen long before Erik and had been on the training grounds with RainStorm since before the sun had risen. She was putting the horse through his paces, refreshing his memory on being guided by just Shiloh's legs so that she could have her hands free to load and reload her crossbow which she was now shooting at various targets as she and RainStorm thundered by. Then, as the horse was turning on a dime for another pass, she would hook her crossbow to the special holster on her saddle and withdraw her sword, making short work of the moving dummies. By the time Erik arrived, RainStorm was in a lather and Shiloh was soaked with sweat.

She saw Erik walking towards her, not happy.

~He's probably upset because I was up before him or because my breakfast didn't meet his standards.~

Which, it wouldn't have. A piece of toast and a glass of juice was all she'd been able to choke down.

Walking RainStorm up to him, she didn't give him a chance to speak as she walked RainStorm on by him nor did she look at him. Her face, in fact, showed no emotion whatsoever.

"Let me take care of RainStorm and we can continue with our training, Rider Jordan."

Riding directly into the stables, she glared at the stable boy when he came to get RainStorm, informing him that she would take care of him. The boy, looked over at Erik who had followed her.

As Shiloh unsaddled RainStorm then proceeded to rub him down, she looked over and saw Erik standing in the stable door.

"What do you want Erik? I said that after I took care of RainStorm we could resume our training. So, what do you want?"

She continued grooming the horse, her strokes sure and graceful. She was trying hard to not show any emotion and would be able to accomplish it if he'd stay away from her except for training and patrols.

That was when all hell broke loose.

A young boy from her village came running into the compound, a bloody gash on his forehead, yelling about the Lizonians attacking their village and that he was looking for Shiloh. Hearing him, Shiloh ran out of the stables, seeing Timothy, their blacksmith's son. She ran up to him, grabbing his shoulders, calming the 12 year old boy with her look.

"What is it, Timothy? Tell me."

"Lizonians!! Attacked our village, Shi!! Your father.......he's bad!!"

Turning to Erik, Shiloh's eyes were filled with fear for her father as she ran in to resaddle RainStorm, doing so effinciently and swiftly. She was on his back and weapons at the ready when she galloped out of the stables, damn hear taking her own head off in the doorway and almost running down Erik. She whistled for Sampson and the dog came running out of the dorms, following her.

Kryton was already in full armor, bellowing for riders to mount up and get to the village. Watching as Shiloh galloped out of the compound without Erik and without armor, he yelled at her to stop, knowing that she wouldn't. When he looked over at Erik, Erik would then realize that he had heard correctly the mistake Kryton had almost made when he'd spoken to him. Shiloh was indeed Kryton's daughter and she was headed into a similar situation that he and Marcus had gone into years ago.

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:31 am



Braum observed the flurry of activity in the encampment and slowly walked up beside Kryton, as the Aide Shilo and her canine companion, galloped out of the compound. As Kyton barked orders for everyone to prepare to depart, Braum said quietly so only Kryton could hear "So much like her mother is your daughter, the same reckless tendencies. She acts before she thinks. The rider Erik has much to learn and teach Shilo, if they both live long enough." ....... Braum then looked at Kyton and a faint smile crosed his weather and battle worn face "What cotume party are you dressed up for my old friend?" ........ Then the brief smile faded and he said quietly "Do you think it wise to send all your forces? Have you not thought that this may be a ruse to draw you into a trap? Do you not think that Elghinn does not know or suspect that Shilo is here and uses that knowledge to draw the son of Vrael. Who he believes is the last of the bloodline of the original riders, his within his grasp?"

Then Braum saw Miranda cross the field and shook his head "What is in the water in these lands that makes it so difficult for the young ones not to obey what they have been instructed to do? Or is it that your healers have no means to restain thier wards?" Barum glared at Miranda and said "What good would your words from Lord Jardon do, if you were unable to return to the Varden with the answer, Miranda."
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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:50 am



Erik had followed Shiloh into the stables to help brush RainStorm down but obviously she wasn’t interested in his help. No doubt this was her way of trying to make him feel like she did. When the boy came rushing into the encampment and looking for Shiloh, Erik had already called Mina knowing there was precious little time. When he turned to tell Shiloh to wait, he was too late. She’s saddled her horse and damn near run him over on her way out of the stables. RainStorm was already winded from the intense workout Shiloh had put the horse through. The horse wouldn’t have the strength for the battle.

”Wait! Shiloh! You can’t! You’re not armored!”

Erik’s heart skipped a beat as he saw the unarmored form of Shiloh riding as fast as she could from the encampment. All he could see was Marcus floating before him and a mind numbing fear gripped the young man like never before. No…..Gods no….she’s doing exactly what he and Marcus had done. He couldn’t let her do this.

AS Mina’s large form crested the mountain ridge to the east, Erik ran out into the clearing and waited for her to come by. As she neared, he held his hands up. As Mina glided low to the ground, she passed over Erik and where Erik had been standing, he was no more. Mina climbed into the sky then and at closer inspection one could see Erik climbing his way deftly onto her back from her powerful hind leg.

Unarmored and without weapons or saddle, Erik sat astride Mina’s shoulders and leaned as far forward as he could to make himself even more aerodynamic for the great dragon. As he frantically searched the ground, he quickly caught Shiloh’s trail and soon, RainStorm with Shiloh on his back. Erik’s eyes glowed that soft blue as he communicated with Mina again.

~We have to protect her, Mina. She’s unarmored and rushing into this without thinking. She’s letting her emotions drive her….~

~Just like yours are? You are unprotected and without weapons, Erik. What exactly do you think you can do to protect her?~

Erik’s brow furrowed deeply

~Run interference.~

~That would be suicide, Erik. You can’t honestly be contemplating that.~

~What would you have me do?

~I’ll show you~

As Shiloh came into a clearing, Mina dipped low and within a few seconds was overtop the horse and rider. Her left rear foot reached out, talons extended and plucked Shiloh off RainStorms back. Erik heard Shiloh’s screams of protest and as Mina began to climb once more, he turned and slithered over the dragon’s back. Hooking his feet at the base of Mina’s wings, he leaned down and reached for Shiloh.

”Shi! Take my hands! Come on!”

He could see the anger and fear in Shiloh’s stormy gray eyes. Again he yelled at her.

”DAMMIT WOMAN! Take my hands!”

Shiloh relented and reached up to take Erik’s hands. Erik locked his fingers around her forearms and gave Mina the command to let go. As Mina’s foot slowly released her grip around Shiloh’s body, Erik pulled Shiloh up onto Mina’s back with all his strength. Once she was up on Mina’s back, he ushered her to Mina’s shoulders and sat behind her gently pushing her forward. As he leaned with her, he spoke into her ear so she knew exactly what he was doing and why.

”Lean forward to give Mina less wind resistance. RainStorm is too winded, Shi. He won’t have the strength to protect you. Mina will get us there faster. Trust me on this. This is what I know.”

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:57 am

Kryton gave Braum a fearful look. It wasn’t wise to send the entire encampment into this battle, but DAMMIT…that was his daughter. His one and only child. He couldn’t risk losing her now. Not like he did her mother. His eyes drifted past Braum to see Erik take off after the escaping Shiloh. Seeing the young man take to his dragon, completely unarmd and without the protective aromor he needed, Kryton knew there was some truth to Braum’s words. Giving Braum a hard look, he barked out even more orders

”I want two patrols on guard here! The other two come with me and prepare yourselves for battle! I don’t want any unnecessary chances taken!”

As Braum walked away and headed for Miranda, Kryton’s dragon landed. The older man strode to the beast, climbed aboard and had the dragon take to the air. Shortly afterwards, 10 other riders took off to follow. Kryton’s face was hard set. If anything happened to Shiloh…..no. He couldn’t think that way. He had to believe Erik would protect her. But the boy had taken off without protection of his own. He couldn’t let the same thing happen to him again that happened to him and Marcus just a few years ago.

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:39 pm

As Shiloh leaned over Mina with Erik against her back, she tried not to notice his body pressing against hers, but it was damn near impossible. She had to keep reminding herself that no matter what, he'd made it clear that he didn't want her in that way.

She also had to admit that he was right in the fact that RainStorm was too winded from their training earlier. She could have caused him great harm, but this way he would return to the stables. Sampson, on the other hand, would head on to the village.

By the time they got there, it was over. Bodies were everywhere, homes were burning, the injured were moaning and others were screaming or crying. Half of the riders patrolled the area, making sure there were no Lizonians hiding, while the others searched for survivors and helped the wounded.

Shiloh jumped off Mina's back before the dragon was even halfway knelt down, damn near breaking her legs from the height. She ran towards her and her father's home, frantically searching for him, their home still burning, the flames everywhere.

"FATHER!!!!!!! FATHER!!!!!!!!!"

She saw him, laying 5 feet from the house, his shirt soaked with blood. She ran to him, sliding on her knees to a halt next to him. Picking up his head, she laid it gently in her lap, stroking his hair.

"Da? I'm here, Da. Open your eyes, please."

Jason DragonStarr slowly opened his eyes, looking up into the gray eyes of his daughter. He smiled, then coughed, blood trickling out of the corner of his mouth. There was a gaping hole in his abdomen and multiple stab wounds in his chest. He was dying and he knew it.

"Shiloh...my sweet Shi-Shi...you have been the joy of mine and your mother's lives....cough.....and you have grown to be a beautiful and brave woman.....gasp........but I must leave you now."

Tears were streaming down Shiloh's cheeks as she shook her head back and forth.

"No, Da......you hang on and we'll get you to the healer's.....you can't leave me, Da."

Jason looked over at Erik who was standing next to Shiloh, motioning for him to come closer.

"She is a gift to you, Rider Jordan..........cough..........and was meant for you.....your curse is not a curse but...........gasp........simply life.......those that have died.........cough........it was their time........not your doing........you must........cough........take care of her..........gasp........like her mother she is.......and so much like her true father."

Shiloh looked puzzled, tears still streaming down her face. She began to think that her father was delusional from the wounds he'd suffered and began shushing him, trying to get him to preserve his strength. But, he would have none of it.

"Shi, you must know the truth.........cough..........I am not.........gasp,cough........"

Jason tried to hold on to tell her the truth, but fate had other ideas and as he lay there, his head in her lap, he succumbed to the wounds from the Red Lizonians who had attacked the village.

Shiloh's grief knew no bounds as she rocked back and forth with her father in her arms, the same way she had her mother.

As Kryton landed, the sight reminded him of what he'd seen when Eleanor had been killed and he had turned back only to be too late. The sight of his only child rocking back and forth, grief striken on top of his one and only love dead in her arms, was almost more than he could bear. Now, he was watching again as his daughter's heart was being ripped out and there was nothing he could do. He couldn't even go to her, hold her as a father would for he'd heard Jason, shocked that all of these years, he'd known and yet had loved Shiloh as his own. He'd died before he could tell her the truth.

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:03 pm

Miranda glared at Braum, trying to hide the pain she was in, carrying her sword and dagger within their belt.

"Do not worry about me, Braum. I will return to the Varden alive and well. And the next time you use your magick on me to subdue me, I will retaliate. I have been wounded before, Braum and made it just fine."

Looking around her, she heard bits and pieces of conversation as the remaining patrols set up a perimeter around the compound.

"So, Aide Shiloh's village was attacked. And, you are not there helping, because why?"

Giving an exsasperating sigh, she began to head for the stables, yelling at the stabeboy to saddle a swift horse for her. She was strapping on her belt around her waist when a running aide accidentally knocked into her. Miranda stood there, breathing through the pain in her side from the Lizonian bolt as well as her leg. Once it subsided enough for her to continue, she gritted her teeth and continued to limp to the stables.

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:01 pm



Braum stood silently at the stable doors, watching Miranda saddle her horse. \"There is not that can be done, and those that can help are either healers or diggers of graves. But you go ahead and try and make it through to the village. That is if you can make it out of the compund before you collapse from the toxins that have not yet been purged from you body. Then I shall take your body back to Jordan and the Vaden and tell them because of your foolish pride the words intrusted to you were never delivered. Because you did not full fill your mission, countless more could die. But you go ahead and seek your glory.\" Braum said with anger and frustration filling his words. Then he turned and walked across the compund and barked orders to the healers to be prepared for refugees and the injured. He then barked orders for some of the riders to extend their patrols and look for those in need of assistance. To the remaining aids and trainees he barked \"Go and gather water, cloth for bandages and food. The dragons will need food as well. Have the cooks prepare stews and breads, The survivors and the riders will need sustanance.\" He looked at a young rider and barked \"You, what is your name?\" The rider stopped and said \"I ....I.....\" Braum glared at him and said \"Spit it out boy, or have you forgotten your name?\" The young riders eyes grey wide and said \"I am called Argon son of Barthalamew.\"

\"Well Argon son of Barthalamew ..... you see to it that all is prepared for those returning. If anyone gives you grief.....You tell them that they will answer for it.\" Braum snapped.


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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:07 pm

Resting her head on the side of the horse, Miranda breathed through the pain, admitting that Braum was right. Her father had always told her that her stubborness would get her killed one day.

Watching Braum walk off, barking orders, she told the stable boy to unsaddle the horse and apologized to him for her lack in thinking. Then she limped after Braum.

Reaching him, she grabbed his arm.

"Braum, wait a minute. You're right, but don't let it go to your head. When this is over with the village, I think you and I had better have a talk. Now, what do you want me to do here?"

And talk to him she would. She wanted to know how in the hell he knew about her and the Varden. She wanted answers.

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:28 pm



Turning to Miranda he said "I wish that you go to the healers. Tell those idiots to prepare the herbs I same herbs I gave to you earlier into a tea. Then you drink it then sleep. When you awaken you may help with the refugees. When I return your questions will be answered. THose that need to be." He then reached out with his mind to Temeraire. ....... "We are needed my winged friend." Temeraire reached into Braum's mind and said "Look up and extend your arm." A shadow passed over Braum as he raised is arm, Temeraire clutched his arm in one of her talons lifting him off the ground. Braum climbed up her leg, clutching her scales and climbed onto her back, as she banked and rose higher into the air turning out towards the village.
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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:33 pm

Miranda had never in her life met a man so infuruating. Her green eyes flashed at him as he took off with his dragon and she turned and stormed, the best she could, back to the healers, telling them what Braum had told her to tell them.

Once they'd prepared the tea, she drank it and settled down on the cot. She tried to think about how she was going to talk to Kryton but her thoughts kept drifting to Braum.

~For an older man, he is nice on the eyes, but his demeanor needs work, the arrogant ass.~

That was her last thought as she drifted off into a dreamless sleep.

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:34 am



As Erik watched the scene before him he felt his heart ache for Shiloh. He didn’t want her to go through this yet now, she was feeling the worst pain she would ever know. His face was hard as stone unwilling to let any emotion fill his features. He knew if he did, he would lose himself to the bottomless pit of emotions that threatened to swallow him up.

As Shiloh’s father called him over, Erik knelt next to him and took his bloodied hand in his own. Grasping the mans weakening grip, Erik felt the lump form in his throat and he swallowed several times to make it go down. As he heard Jason’s raspy words, Erik once more fought back the emotions that threatened to over take him. He couldn’t do this now. He had to stay strong, for Shiloh’s sake. But he heard Jason loud and clear and his words settled deep into the young mans soul. While he wasn’t sure how he as going to handle this, he knew he’d find a way. Somehow.

Like Shiloh, Erik caught the last part of his words. ‘so much like her true father’. While he knew the truth, after what happened with Kryton at the encampment, Erik merely nodded to the man and tried to give him peace before he passed on to the next life. His voice soft and soothing as though he were speaking to an infant, Erik let his eyes settle on Jason’s fading gaze.

”She will be safe with me, Lord DragonStarr. Fear not for her safety for I will protect her with my very life.”

Erik let go of Jason’s hand then and slowly stood up beside Shiloh once more. He heard her father try and explain the truth to her only to die before he could finish. Erik bowed his head and said a silent prayer to the Gods asking them to welcome Jason with open arms to the after life and reunite him with his wife.

Giving Shiloh a few minutes to cry over Jason’s now still form, Erik slowly reached down to pull her to her feet. Shiloh fought him like a she cat and Erik let her hit, kick and punch him all she wanted. In the end, he won and he pulled her into his embrace, wrapping his arms around her and letting her weep into his chest, holding her up with his strength. His hands stroked her hair and he spoke soothingly into her ear to try and calm her down.

He felt her grief as though it were his own. He knew what it was like to lose a parent and that grief never left you, it merely stayed buried until the next time it was reawakened. And right now, it was raging like a mad bull.

Looking over at Kryton, Erik saw the elder mans face streaked with tears. Something he’d never witnessed from the man before. If there was any doubt in Erik’s mind about whom Shiloh’s father was, it was erased when he saw Kryton’s reaction. As Erik looked around, he saw the devastation the Red Headed Lizonians wrought and felt his blood boil. These beasts would pay for what they’ve done, he vowed silently. But first, they had to clean up the mess and build funeral pyres for the dead.

Picking Shiloh up and carrying her over to Mina, he set her down on the ground near the dragon’s bowed head. Kneeling down to brush the hair from Shiloh’s face, he wiped the tear stains from her cheek with his thumbs and spoke softly to her.

“Stay here, with Mina. We’ll take care of the village. I’ll come get you when it’s time, Shi.”

Erik saw the far off look in her eyes and knew she was in shock. She was limp and near lifeless as she sat there, leaning up against Mina’s shoulder. The dragon wrapped her front legs around Shiloh in a protective gesture and laid her head next to the young woman. Human emotions were not unlike her own and she knew what it was to grieve for a loved one.

A few hours later, Erik returned to get Shiloh. His shirt was stained with blood and dirt. A perfect V shape formed in the front and back of his tunic showing the sweat he’d worked up. His unruly blond hair was smudged with dirt and wet from sweating. Mina lifted her head so Erik could get to Shiloh and Erik knelt down to take Shiloh by the hand and help her to her feet. Shiloh was numb now, Erik knew, and walked along without hesitation to where ever he guided her.

Erik stopped before several pyres that had been constructed for the dead. Jason’s pyre was in front of all the others and he was dressed in his finest battle gear. His sword rested in his hands and laid on his body with the end pointing at his feet. The blood had been washed away from his body and he looked as though he were sleeping. But even in her numb state, Shiloh knew her father was dead.

As Shiloh walked up to bid her final farewell to her father, Erik stayed behind her with his head bowed. When she was done, she fell into another fit of silent sobs as she laid her head on Jason’s shoulder. Erik walked up behind her and gently drew her away from the man before walking her over to Kryton who reached out to take her in his embrace as well.

Erik picked up a torch and walked to the end of the pyre and held the torch to the dry wood. He did the same on both sides and at the head of the pyre. Once he lit Jason’s pyre, several other riders lit the others behind Jason’s. As the flames engulfed the dead, Erik tossed the torch onto Jason’s burning body and walked back over to take Shiloh from Kryton. By now, the hour was growing late and the sun would be setting shortly. They had to get back to the encampment and soon soon.

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:30 pm

Shiloh couldn't seem to stop the tears, they just kept falling. She didn't even find it strange when Kryton pulled her into his own arms. She simply wanted to go back to not feeling. It was easier that way.

As she sat on Mina, in front of Erik, Shiloh couldn't stop the dark chasm that seemed to growing inside of her. Both parents were gone, both in the same way, both dying in her arms. Erik didn't want her, not the way she wanted him, and Sampson seemed to have chosen Erik over her. Even her best friend, Sheala was gone, one of the other riders having found her body next to her father's. What survivors would have been left had been taken.

Once they reached the compound, Shiloh let Erik help her off of Mina and guide her to her room, where she walked over to her bed and lay down. She didn't notice when Erik helped her sit up to remove her weapons belt nor did she notice when he removed her boots and covered her with a blanket.

She lay there, staring at nothing and yet everything, her mind a whirl of memories that wouldn't stop coming. When sleep did come, it was filled with blood and screams and both of her parents always out of reach as she raced to catch up to them, only to watch blood pour out of their bodies and stain her hands.

Shiloh would wake screaming and crying more than once that night.

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:01 pm



Each time Shiloh awoke screaming, Erik was right there. He knew what the night was going to be like for her. While he never woke screaming, he would wake with terrors he could never seem to shake. When she awoke the last time closest to dawn, he took it upon himself to run a tub full of the warmest water he could run without scalding her. While it may not be proper, he cast properness aside and stripped her of her stained clothes then picked her up and carried her to the tub and sat her down in the soothing water.

Taking the time to wash her hair and sponge off her body the best he could, he talked to her in that same soothing voice he used back at the village. If circumstances were different, he would have enjoyed discovering her nude body and finding all the places she loved to be touched, even when she didn’t know them yet herself, but now was not the time. Even if he were a rake he wouldn’t have been able to bring himself to take advantage of her. When the water was getting cool he helped her out of the tub, dried her off and slipped the soft night shirt over her head.

This was the way things went with them for the next few days. Erik never left her room unless it was to get a quick bath himself. Night after night and day after day he took care of all of her needs making sure she was bathed and fed even if it meant suffering her wrath. He was her punching bag, the person she spit venomous words at and the shoulder she cried on, literally. And he took it all. Gladly.

Kryton stopped by to check on her a few times and each time Erik could see the pain in his eyes to see his daughter in the throws of a grief so deep she wasn’t the same young, vibrant woman she was when she first came to the encampment. He would try to give Erik words of encouragement but they both knew there were none he could give. Erik was watching Shiloh go down the same path his own mother was going down and he felt helpless.

Exhausted beyond words, Erik sat beside Shiloh’s bed the morning of the fifth day and when she laid there, looking at the wall as she rested on her side with her back to him, Erik felt his shoulders begin to tremble. He was loosing this battle of emotions and there was nothing he could do to stop it. His pained voice spoke softly to her hoping he could somehow reach through the thick fog that trapped her mind and get her to realize she still had a life to live. With him.

”Shi…..you have to come back. Please. Don’t let this take you away from me. Please. I’m so sorry for what I’ve done to you. I thought I was doing the right thing by pushing you away. Your father….he….he said I wasn’t cursed. But yet….I can see you….drifting away. You can’t Shi. You just can’t. I don’t know what I’ll do if….if you leave me. Please….I don’t…..don’t want to be alone anymore. I realize now what your father meant when he called you my gift. You made me feel alive again….and….I don’t want to lose that. Please….Shi….don’t go.”

There was a pause before Erik’s voice, in an anguished whisper, spoke again before he bowed his head and buried his face in his hands.

”I love you, Shi…”

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:10 pm

Erik's words slowly sunk into Shiloh, sifting through the grief until they finally reached where her soul lay huddled, trying to escape the grief. "I love you Shi."

Shiloh blinked a couple of times, hoping and praying that she wasn't imagining those words, for if she was, she would curl up and die.

Slowly, as if coming out of a deep sleep, Shiloh rolled over, her gray eyes, while missing their spark of vitality, looked into his blue ones.

"Please....don't say those words unless you mean them, Erik. I couldn't take that."

When he repeated the words, Shiloh felt tears coming again, only this time, while they were tears of sadness for what she'd lost, they were also of joy for what Erik had said.

Sitting up, she wrapped her arms around Erik's waist, holding onto him tightly, weeping into his chest, repeating the words over and over again.

"I love you, Erik.......I love you."

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:34 pm



The walls had been torn down that kept Erik’s heart sheltered away form those around him. As Shiloh turned to look at him and he let his gaze settle on hers he repeated the words he’d just confessed to her. He saw the glimmer of hope in her gray depths and in that moment he knew he never wanted to be without her ever again.

When Shiloh wrapped her arms around him and began to weep repeating her words of love as well, Erik felt tears sting his own eyes and try as he might, he couldn’t blink them away. The damn had burst and soon Erik’s own tears mingled with Shiloh’s.

After a time, their tears ceased and exhaustion overtook their drained hearts, minds and bodies. Erik didn’t have the strength to get up and walk to his room, not that he wanted to anyway, so he laid down on the bed with Shiloh, making sure she was under the blankets and he was on top of them.

Settling down with Shiloh curled up next to him, Erik finally drifted off to sleep so soundly nothing could have awakened him. And it didn’t. Erik and Shiloh both slept until dawn of the next day. When the sun drifted into the window and peeked in on both of them, it found them still laying in the same position they had fallen asleep in. Shiloh’s head resting on Erik’s right shoulder and Erik’s right arms wrapped around her back while his left arm wrapped around her right arm.

Even before he opened his eyes, Erik furrowed his brows. How dare the day interrupt his sleep. And why was his right arm so numb. When he tried to move it and he felt the dead weight on it, she snapped his eyes opened and looked down to see Shiloh’s head resting on his shoulder. He’d done it. He’d confessed his love for her and she for him. He should be elated but instead he felt terrified. What happens now? He’d never been in love before.

Unwilling to move for fear of waking her up, Erik remained very still and looking at the ceiling. They’d work through this. There was simply no other way to do it. If they cared this deeply for each other, then they could work through the bumps in the road they were surely bound to face. Right? What if the bump was more like a mountain? Or what if she woke up this morning and turned on him with her grief stricken wrath like she had the past few mornings retracting what she’d said? Surely she wouldn’t do that. Would she?

His left hand reached up and stroked her hair. No. He was letting unfounded fears rule his mind and he couldn’t let that happen. He had to take things slowly with her. She was still grieving for her father and after the things Erik had put her through since he’d met her, there would be no rushing of anything from them. It simply HAD to be that way. Not only for Shiloh, but for him as well.

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:45 pm

Shilon woke to the feel of Erik's hand stroking her hair, a contented sigh escaping her lips as she snuggled in closer, not wanting to wake from the first good sleep she'd had since the attack on her village and the death of her father.

Finally, she opened her eyes, her gray ones still holding sadness but now there was hope and happiness as well in the depths. She looked up at Erik, unsure as to what to do now.

"Did you mean it, Erik? Did you mean what you said?"

Gods, she hoped he didn't recant it now, not when her heart was beginning to find it's wings again. After everything that had happened since they'd found each other, she was leery of trusting his admission of love, afraid that she'd simply heard what she'd been dreaming of hearing.

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:58 pm



Erik’s light blue eyes held Shiloh’s gray gaze for what seemed like an eternity. Finally he nodded his head and looked more shy than anything. Definitely uncertain and perhaps even a little apprehensive, but he didn’t back down from what he’d told her.

”Yes….I did mean it Shi. I do love you. While that terrifies the hell out of me, I won’t deny it anymore. Not after seeing you start to wither away like my mother did. I just couldn’t….bear it. Not again. I knew I had to face the fact and in doing so I had to take the chance of letting you in close. And now that I have, I’m scared to death something will happen to you just like it did the others and if it did….”

He couldn’t finish the sentence. Instead, Erik clenched his jaw tight and flexed the muscle in his lower jaw as he looked to Shiloh’s hand as it rested on his chest. Covering her hand with his own, he didn’t say anything else. Not that he cold right now anyway.

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:07 pm

Laying her other hand on the side of his cheek, Shiloh smiled gently up at him.

"Then I would suggest, Erik, that you make sure I am trained and trained well so that nothing does happen to me. And so you know, I am just as scared and elated at the same time."

She layed her head back on his chest, listening to his heart beat strongly in his muscular chest, her eyes closed.

"What now, Erik. Where do we go from here for I have no clue."

She was just as scared as he was and just as terrified at the thought of losing him now that they were together. Then, her brows furrowed together as she remembered something her father had said to her. Tilting her head back, she looked up into Erik's face, confusion in her eyes.

"What do you think my father meant when he said that I was so much like my true father? And what was he trying to say before he.....before he died........when he said that 'he wasn't'. Wasn't what?"

Shiloh saw instantly that Erik knew what her father had been trying to say before his face went blank.

"What is it, Erik? Please, you must tell me."

Erik was at a loss as to what to do. It wasn't his place to tell her but did he even have the right to send her to Kryton and would Kryton tell? Would she even be able to handle the news so soon on the heels of her father's death?

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:04 pm

Miranda had spent her days since the attack doing whatever she could to help the riders and aids, which wasn't much considering there weren't any refugees. She was hoping that things would calm down enough so that she could speak to Kryton, but he had his hands full with the rider Erik and his aide Shiloh. She was in bad shape with her grief and Miranda felt for the girl. She knew that Shiloh would now have to grow up and face the horrors of the world without either of her parents to cushion the the blows. It was something she herself had had to go through not long ago. Even though she was younger than Shiloh, her eyes showed that she'd seen much, much more than Shiloh.

Seeing Braum walking around, barking orders, she quickly made her way to him, grabbing his arm and before he could protest, pulled him to the rear of one of the buildings.

"I want answers, Braum and I am demanding them. Now, how do you know about the Varden, the area around here, and me?"

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:08 pm


Serena stood up on the hillside, watching the goings on in the rider compound. The thick trees hid her well, as long as she didn't move too fast or too much. The attack on the village had gone well and had apparantly delayed in her niece giving Kryton her message from the Varden. Her smile showed white, even teeth but it didn't reach her green eyes. It was as cold as her heart.

She looked down at the Lizonian sitting next to her feet. His red head bowed to her in submission. She knew she had to be careful when dealing with these creations of the wizards for they were smarter and more agile than the greenish/blue skinned Lizonians.

"I will enter the compound later today. If I play my cards correctly, I will draw Miranda out by day's end, so make sure you and the others are ready. She must not live to deliver her message or return to the Varden."

The red headed Lizonian smiled, showing sharp, serrated teeth.

"Assssss you wisssshh, misssstressss."

Pulling her hood over her head, Serena headed down the hill, towards the compound. Once there, she stopped when she heard a guard call out for her to halt and identify herself.

"I am Serena McKellar, aunt to Miranda McKellar. I have grave news of her mother."

Serena slid her hood back, showing her dark red hair, green eyes, her face that of an angel. The guard, after consulting with his fellow guard, nodded his head to her and had the gates opened enough to allow her to pass.

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:16 pm

It had been five days since the attack on the village and Braum and Temeraire had left the compound. Temeraire bugled a mighty roar as they swooped low over the compound, she spireled upwards in a tight corkscrew then spread her wings ahd seemed to hang suspened three thousand feet above the center of the compound. Braum heard the sound of an intake of air, felt Temeraire's lung expand beneath him , she the roared again, exhaled and shot a finger of flame a thousand feet towards the ground. She lazily rolled onto her back, tucking he wings tight to her side and plummeted towards the ground. Five hundred feet above the earth she spread he wings again, leveled off, flapped slolwy twice flying over the compund and executed a slow barrel roll. Dropping one wing she seemed to pivot an a wing tip spinning back around flaired her wings and landed gently in the center of the compound.

Braum touched he mind withe his and sain "Show Off." She retuned the connection and said to him "Yes and you loved it." Braum laughed and Temeraire hummed a low bass note deep in her chest. As he scratched under a small scale behind her ear. Braum untied a course woven bag from one of Teneraires spikes and stepped down onto her foreleg then to the ground. He was dusty and dried blood stained his cloak, streaks of soot and dirt covered his face as he strode to Erick and Shilo's quarters. Ascending the two steps he pounded on the door, then opened the bag and turned it upside down. A soild thump could be heard as the Red Head of a Lizonian fell out onto the floor of the smal porch infront of their door. Braum then desended the steps and was acosted by Miranda. Holding up his hand he said "And you will have the answers I wish to give you. ..... But not right this instant. First Teneraire and I are going to bathe, then we are going to eat and then I am going to give a report to Kryton. ......... Then Miranda of the Varden we shall talk." Braum then calmly walked towards Kryton's office.
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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:07 pm


Serena walked along, observing the compound, keeping mental notes inside her head. When she saw Braum, she recognized him for what he was, a rider of old and one to steer clear of. Keeping to the shadows, she watched as Miranda grabbed Braum and the two exchanged words only for Braum to walk away from her. Clearly the girl was vexed from the look on her face, but she nodded to Braum out of respect and went into the stables.

This was where Serena found her, grooming a beautiful steed, a look of longing on her nieces face. She quickly to the side of the stables, waiting and listening.

"Ms. Miranda, excuse me, but the head guard sent me to tell you that your aunt has arrived with dire news of your mother."

Miranda stopped grooming the horse, looking puzzled. She knew of no aunt but the news of her mother brought worry to her expressive green eyes.

Coming into the stable doorway, Serena flashed her beautiful smile at both of them.

"And here I am. Oh, Miranda, I haven't seen you since you were a babe. Look at how you've grown and so beautiful as well. Just like your mother."

Miranda looked completely puzzled and leery of this strange woman, the young guard having caught on to Miranda's uneasiness gave himself more room to maneuver just in case.

Serena caught this subtle movement but didn't let on that she'd noticed as she kept on smiling at Miranda.

"You wouldn't remember me, child. You were but a toddler when I had to leave home, but I thought of you and my sister, your mother, often. I just came from her village and was so sorry to hear about your father. Your mother loved him dearly."

Miranda studied the beautiful redhead standing before her, who looked so much like her own mother and wondered if what she saw was real.

"I don't mean to be rude, m'lady, but is there any way you can prove you are who you say you are?"

Serena chuckled, having expected no less.

"But of course. When you but 4 years old, you had a favorite toy. A stuffed dragon that you called Herman. He was a rainbow dragon and you would sleep with him every night."

Miranda's face lightened with a smile when she knew that this woman had to be her aunt for her to know such a thing, especially his name.

"I am you Aunt Serena, your mother's sister. I have grave news for you Miranda, news that will break your heart. While I was visiting you mother, she became very ill and even with my knowledge of herbs I could not save her. I am sorry, Miranda, but she passed away 10 days ago."

Miranda couldn't believe what she was being told. Her mother couldn't be dead. She was healthy the last the time she'd seen her, but that had been how long ago? A year, maybe longer. Leaning up against the horse, she felt the hot wetness of tears as they ran down her face.

Serena came around to her, wrapping a supportive arm around the grief stricken girl, speaking soothing words to her.

"I have brought something with me that your mother wanted you to have, Miranda. It is waiting outside the gates. Will you come with me to collect it when you are ready to do so?"

Miranda nodded her head, turning away from Serena, laying her head on the horse's side. Satin's death stilled weighed heavy in her heart and now her mother. What was this world coming to. First Satin, then Shiloh's father, no her own mother, all within the span of a couple of weeks.

She looked over to Serena, seeing nothing but the compassion of her long lost aunt in her face.

"Give me a few moments and I will come with you. There is enough daylight left that it will be safe. Can you tell me what it is or why you didn't bring it with you to the compound?"

Serena waved her hand in the air, chanting low in her throat, her eyes turning black, casting a spell over Miranda so that the girl would follow without questions. She coudn't risk anything spoiling this. Seeing the blank look come into Miranda's green eyes she smiled before drawing a poisoned dagger and throwing with skill to lodge into the young guard's throat, silencing his scream. Once he was dead, she drug him to the far stall, covering him with straw. As she led Miranda out of the stables, she steered Miranda towards the gates, talking to her as if they were catching up on old times. Once to the gates, she smiled to the guards, telling them that they were going to collect her things so that she could stay with her niece. The guards smiled at the beguiliing woman, opening the gates and letting the two women pass, warning them to be back before nightfall.

"Oh, don't worry, good knights. We wouldn't dream of being out after dark. Not with those nasty Lizonians lurking around."

She led Miranda away from the compound, heading towards where the lizonians were waiting.

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PostSubject: Re: The World of Drakonia--Dragons and Riders   Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:16 pm

Shiloh heard the thump while Erik was bathing and stepped out of their adjoining rooms to open the door. She was still filled with grief and where there was joy of life, now the horrors of the world had begun to show in her gray eyes, but there was also the spark of love shining in them now, and the Gods willing, that would grow to push back the horrors she'd already witnessed, where even though they were few compared to most, they still had a profound effect on her.

The smell assaulted her first, it was horrid, the smell of something moldy and full of mildew. Looking down, she saw the head of one of the red headed Lizonians. Covering her mouth with her hand to keep from retching, she didn't know whether to vomit or dance a jig at seeing at least one dead red headed Lizonian. Looking around, she saw noone walking away and couldn't tell who would have left it there.

Closing the door, she headed back to their rooms, just in time to see Erik get out of the bathing chamber. Her heart sped up and she had to take a deep breath to calm herself. Once she had herself back under control, she told Erik what was on the front porch to the dorms before she herself when to bathe and clean up to head out to the training area.

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