Author Message

LadyLanaee

Rank 0
LadyLanaee
Joined
07 Apr 2009
Posts
166
Location
United States
PostedJul 27, 2009 4:46 pm   Last edited by LadyLanaee on Mar 02, 2010 1:53 am. Edited 12 times in total

Restoration- NEW THREAD!

I am no longer editing or adding to this story thread due to the lack of readers and writers.
Hello Very Happy
I am re-posting this story because our wonderful editor, Rodrick, has not been around for a while. So, I am re-posting it so that it can be added to and edited. Very Happy Enjoy!

PS: Keep checking back for new additions! Very Happy

Preface
This work is the result of a co-operative effort of friends within Shaiya.
Please give all credit to the writers who contributed and created such a vivid tale.

So congratulations to:
Damion Vander- Denzel Vennin
Lanaee- Jadynn
Rhain- Kaiven
Loki Aranos- Larin
Seeker Shrike/ Drazen Tor- Alteos, Orcs
Brea- Lyria
Etoile- Pebble
Rodrick- Jed
Midna- Zaieda


I hope you enjoy this first part of a truly epic story.


Restoration

Chapter 1
(Edited by Rodrick/ Interface. I edited a few minor things before re-posting chapter 1)

The warm air, thick with tension, hung about her like a blanket, enveloping her pale blue skin. Sweat dripped down her temples and she reached a hand up to wipe it away. Jadynn raised her dark face to the sky and registered the position of the sun.
"Mid-day" she thought.
Behind her the other Furies milled about, all of them tense and anxious. Low murmurs rose up from the crowd at times, but none mentioned an attack plan. It was easy to see that they were hesitant to launch an attack.

The Alliance had held the relic for far too long now. It was well past time to reclaim it. Jadynn was thirsty for blood and battle, and standing here was not helping quench that thirst.
She turned to face them and spoke with authority. "Will no-one come with me ? We've been standing about like scared animals for too long ! It's time we made a push for the Altar."

They stared at her as if she had suddenly grown another head. One Warrior, his name was Jed she remembered, stepped out from a group to her left.
"What do you suppose we do little Missy ?"
His cat-like eyes filled with hatred as he dared to question her. They knew she was almost unbeatable and foul tempered.
"They have far more Alliance over there at the moment and we want to wait for our guild leader. He will lead us to victory."

Her body tensed with rage at his words and the thoughts colliding in her head rushed from her mouth in a torrent of rage.
"Why wait for him ?" she exploded, "He is arrogant and power hungry. I can see it in your faces that you fear him most of all ! Why should you wait for him ? He does not deserve to lead us and you know it !"

Jadynn watched through narrowed eyes as Jed's hands clenched into fists and his powerful body shuddered with anger. As his eyes locked with hers and his nostrils flared, he said two words, "Leave us." and that was all.

She looked to the people behind him, her people. Some were trying to pretend that nothing had happened, others were waiting and hoping for bloodshed to erupt and others were smirking and enjoying her discomfort. They all knew the Guild leader was an evil man. Far more evil than any of them were, but the stink of corruption was upon them all, for that was the nature of their races and the Dark Goddess they worshipped.

Clenching her Staff tighter, through gritted teeth she spat one word, "Fools !" and turned to go. Her adamant stride steadily grew faster and before long she was running with the easy, powerful grace of the wild animal that she resembled.
In time she slowed to reach a hand to her temple and instantly the 'training' set to work in her brain. Sensory information flowed through her mind, but Jadynn did not attempt to analyze it or cease the flow. She pumped her legs harder and increased her speed again, letting her animal instincts take control and lead her across the battlefield.

Suddenly Jadynn stopped in her tracks. She smelled it before she saw it. In her mind the bloodlust rose and the world started flashing blood red. A prey was near !
Slowly she turned and surveyed her surroundings. Her dark eyes came to rest on a single Human. A lighty !
He stood staring at her, not moving, almost as if he was in a trance. Her eyes narrowed and she gripped her Staff tighter, preparing for battle.
He broke the tension by whispering one word to her from across the distance.
"Run."
That single word, though it seemed so wrong, was filled with meaning to her. She held his gaze for a second longer and then, she ran.

------ooOoo------

Kaiven stared at the Vail for a moment, breathing slowly, easily. She didn't look as frightened as so many others that he had confronted before.
Even more intriguing was that she was alone, so unlike those others that had come before. He stood waiting for that look in her eyes. When she would turn to see him and her determination was broken, her spirit was lost. When she came to realize that she had entered a tiger's den.

Many in his guild had often remarked that Kaiven should have been born a darky... he liked to stalk his prey and tended to give into his bloodlust, even his friends feared his rage.
As he knelt to silently check the readiness of his weapons, she stopped and Kaiven could see the tension enter her slight frame.
"Maybe her animal nostrils have caught my scent ?" he thought.
He could see her hand tighten on her Staff, one different from others that he had collected over the last couple of years. He could sense, more than see, the aura of power that enveloped it.
"Nice" he thought, already seeing it added to his collection.

The vile one turned slowly and her dark eyes locked with his, or seemed to. Kaiven didn't know how the dark ones’ senses worked, he just wanted them gone. All of them.
He stared at her, waiting to grin when he saw that moment of dread in her eyes, but it never came. He knew his guild was coming and that they would kill her on sight.
But she was his, he determined. He wanted to see the fear in her eyes. Thirsted for the life essence that he would take from her.

"Run." He whispered, as loud as he dared. The wind must have carried the word to her animal senses, for she did just that.
Kaiven smiled a wide, humorless smile, his eyes grew colder and his heart pounded in his chest.
He had found his prey, the hunt was on !

------ooOoo------

Jadynn ran as fast as she could across the broken, tortured ground. Her powerful legs warmed and her feet barely touched the ground with each graceful stride. She was fast !
Her heart and mind raced.
"Why would a lone fool like him chase a powerful Pagan like me ?" she thought to herself,
"and his eyes, they seemed to..." her thoughts seemed to pause, "...burn !"
She slowed for a second at that thought, then quickly resumed her fastest pace.
She shook the thoughts from her mind and focused on one thing and one thing alone. How to kill her enemy.

Jadynn's eyes scanned the lay of the land. The borderland was a large place with many dangers and advantages and she knew this land well. Additionally her combat training helped her read the situation without conscious thought. Her eyes took in the wild animals and the hills ahead. She skillfully avoided the beasts and continued to lead the man into her trap. Skillfully she led him on, across a bridge and then she found her place. Stopping in the cover of some massive, twisted shrubs.

She couldn't see him, but she could sense him getting close now. His scent was so strong and... pleasant ? Her mind started to wander again. "No !" was she crazy ? What was going on ? Her mind should be focused on battle, or her life would be forfeit. Why were these thoughts stealing in ? "Stop !" she thought.

She quickly re-focused her senses, she could tell he was close. He was coming off the bridge and straight towards her. That was no problem. She was already locked onto him.
He would have no chance against her skills.
She prepared the spell with calm efficiency and awesome speed. She could hear the satisfying crack as the lightning struck him, but it did not slow him. She hit him again with a spell of earth power, stopping him in his tracks.
In this short pause she prepared her next attack. She hit him with the power of wind and she saw he was instantly weakened. Very satisfying.
"Oh the sweet joy of killing a lighty" she thought.

Her delicate hands prepared the next spell, but before she could finish the incantation he was there before her. He stopped, just stopped, and the fury and hatred in his eyes burned into her, like a hot branding iron on a beast's hide. It seared her right through to her soul.
But that would not stop her.
She let her anger build until it clouded her vision and let the attack fly.

Once, twice, three times or more, she struck with her magic. She lost count, for all she could remember was his burning eyes. When he finally fell to his knees, the last of his life-force depleted, his body barely struck the ground before it was gone. Resurrected to his to his fortress by the 'Pale Witch'.

Only then did Jadynn let her anger go, and it slowly faded, like the setting sun into the ocean.
"He will be back" she thought to herself.
Those eyes would not let her get away with taking his life. He would come seeking revenge. She sighed sorrowfully and sank to her knees. The battle had drained her almost completely. Tears poured down her face and she began to shudder, as if a deathly chill was upon her.
How could she let those eyes get to her ? Why did she grieve his hatred and his death ?

------ooOoo------


Kaiven still felt the fire burning behind his eyes, the anger in his heart and the blood pounding through his veins. He could have had her, she was as good as dead.
But he had stopped.
"Why ?" he thought.
What had stayed his hand at the vital moment ?
Her eyes had burned with the same passion as his own.
"She wasn't scared."
He wanted to see the courage behind those dark pupils flee before he struck her down, wanted to see the moment when she realized her own doom.
"I will teach that witch to fear me."

Without further thought he ran out of the fortress and into the borderlands again. He needed to feel that surge again.
Never in years had he met anyone like that before, no Alliance Mage, let alone a Fury !
The determination, the passion. He hated her ! Hated the fact that he only wanted to see her again. He lusted for that moment when he would kill her... or he would be killed.
Either way, he would feel... pleasure ?

The Goddess had always been kind to him, she had always blessed his hunting and restored his life force when the battle had turned against him.
Would her Goddess be as kind and generous to her ?

He passed a few bison and one of them charged him. They were getting more and more aggressive lately. Probably due to the Furies feeding their pet lizards on their kin.
Vile creatures, all of them, bison, lizard and darky alike.

Kaiven spotted her then. The vile witch ! The beautiful, vile witch !
He followed, stalking silently he closed the range between them until he could make his dash.
Making sure he would reach her before she had time to react, he streaked across the plain like the lightning that she was so used to manipulating.
She turned, instantly ready to cast more of her spells.
He just shook his head and smiled. The fire burning behind his eyes calmed for a moment, and then flared to new heights as he felt the surge of jolts of pain through his body.
His body jerked like a spastic puppet but still his eyes held hers.
She did not glance away to see if his allies were coming.
He struck, and still she did not give the gasp of defeat. He struck again, with all the strength and power he could muster and still she never lost her strength in those dark, vile pupils.
And then it was over. Again.
He smirked as he fell.
"I will taste her defeat !" he thought, but not yet. Kaiven would have to wait a bit longer for that particular pleasure.

------ooOoo------

A column of light from the sky caught the Archer scout Larin Aloan by surprise. He gulped when he saw the Fighter Kaiven appear.
"He has the bloodlust in his eyes... lovely." he thought, slowly backing away into the shadows.
"Who got him going this time ?"
As Kaiven ran through and out of the fortress, Larin followed quietly, using his skills to remain undetected. At the first chance he got, he slipped into the cover of the forest and continued his silent pursuit.

He kept following until he saw a lone Pagan and Kaiven was very carefully stalking her.
"What is this ? Kaiven usually has no trouble dealing with this sort. Why so cautious with this one ?"
At that moment, Kaiven made his sprint and the battle began.
The hot humid air filled with the crash of thunder and the smell of burning ozone.
"She looks strong... best if I head back." Larin thought.
"Uh... I have nothing to report... best not to get on Kaiven's bad side, he scares me."
Silent and unseen, Larin entered the fortress and ran back to the meeting place. He sat down and started eating an apple, carefully ignoring anyone who approached.

------ooOoo------

Once again, Kaiven appeared in Karis Castle by the grace of the Goddess of course.
However, there was still lust in his eyes, blood lust... well… mostly.
He couldn't help but raise the left side of his mouth, forming the familiar half smirk that he was known for. That witch amazed him, as much as she made his blood boil with hatred.

As he walked further inside the castle, he noticed Larin.
"Good scout, but a little jumpy at times."
Kaiven noticed a slight grin on Larin's face that he was trying to cover with a half eaten apple.
"I wonder what’s that about ?" he thought, "He's always up to something."
He stopped in front of him, debating in his mind if he should scare it out of him.
Larin tried hard to ignore him, as if he was not standing there.

"Silly Larin." he thought.
Larin was one who saw everything and the mere fact that he pretended not to see Kaiven... well that was suspicious to say the least. Kaiven could not care less at that moment. He walked away. He would have to deal with that scout another time.
"Soon enough" he thought darkly.

------ooOoo------

Priest Denzel Vennin was hard at work, healing the unfortunate souls that would rather run from battle when wounded, than stand and fight to the end.
"Where is their faith in the Goddess ?" he thought to himself.
"Fools, all of them" he muttered under his breath.
Suddenly his work was interrupted by a rising clamor from the castle keep.

"Ah, our fearless leader has returned !" shouted the patient he was tending to.
Before Denzel had finished casting his healing magic, the arrogant young fool ran off to join the crowd.
"Wait man," Denzel called "I'm not finished yet."
But the young Archer was already gone from his range.
Denzel did not need to follow, for he already knew who it was that created such a stir.
"Kaiven has returned." he thought.

In his short time in the borderlands, Denzel had longed to join the battle. To use the power that the Goddess had blessed him with, but alas he was a healer and his sense of duty was strong.
Even so, his training had also prepared him for battle and the Goddess had given him some mighty powers. Time after time, party after party had scoffed at his abilities and shooed him away.
"Why do they doubt my abilities ?" he wondered.
The question rang through his mind like echoes in a deep cavern, as it had so many times before. His faith in the Goddess was strong, stronger than many other Priests, and he brandished the Staff of Blind Devotion with pride, for it was the proof of his faith.
If only the Alliance would give him the chance to fight.

"I'd better go see if Kaiven is injured."
The two of them were good friends, for they had trained together since boyhood in the fields and dungeons of Erina.
Of all the soldiers in this land, Kaiven was the only one that supported Denzel's dreams of battle, rather than being pushed to the side and called upon only for his healing powers. Kaiven had even given him the chance to practice the attacking spells he had learned upon some small groups of beasts and monsters. These Denzel had successfully dispatched with a little bit of careful maneuvering and some time.

Denzel chuckled as he remembered those days. He had indeed been successful. But he knew that the time it took to prepare his most powerful spells was a luxury that was not so easy to come by in battle. As he neared Kaiven he could sense already that the man was perfectly fine (the Goddess be praised) and surrounded by admiring women and men.
He sighed. "Once again I am left on the sidelines while my dear friend basks in the glory of his reputation."

It was then that Kaiven spotted Denzel in the crowd and gave him a smile and a look of recognition.
"At least he does not forget his boyhood friend." thought Denzel.
"Oh well, my duty is still waiting for me, there are wounded to tend."
With his heart slightly lighter and his devotion renewed, Denzel turned and left Kaiven and his admirers, his mind now fully focused on the tasks ahead.

------ooOoo------

With thoughts of the scout's nervousness gone from his mind, Kaiven started to think again about the Pagan. She had killed him again ! And again the Goddess had brought him back... and again he would go seek her out.
He wanted to see what she would do.
He wanted to see what he himself would do.
To fight her. To see those determined eyes.

Though not of her caliber, Kaiven had fought many with passion before, but always, their resolve would disappear.
This darky was different and he knew it.
She had the same intensity as him, he could feel it and as much as he hated it, he welcomed it.
Stony faced, he walked through the crowd. A few of them followed, trying to bask in his glory.
"Pathetic !"
He ignored them.
A young Archer ran up, clearly still injured and knelt before him, blocking his path. Kaiven debated whether he should take a side-step and continue on, or kick him out of the way and then continue on.

"Master, you have returned. Please, please help us. Furies have taken the relics and forced us to retreat. Many were killed or injured, look, they hurt so."
Kaiven stopped, breathed out heavily, making a slow deep rumble only those very close could hear. His voice didn't rise in volume, but the people around him could sense that it should have.
"Stand up."
They all fell silent, sensing the anger that was in his words.

The begging Archer felt it too and quickly jumped to his feet.
"Yes sir. Anything you say I will..."
"Quiet ! Stop groveling like a Haldeck boar. You are a vassal of the Goddess and if I were Her I would never have brought you back."
He talked with his jaws clenched.
"Go, sharpen you abilities. You might have some skills but you lack something that is vital."
“You’re wounded and you’re here in the castle, that tells me all I need to know, you ran from the battle with fear in your heart, rather than face death and put your faith in the “Goddess.”
“Keep running boy, run back to you mommy.”
"Get some guts and then come back."

The Archer, broken, stared at the ground for a minute, unable to speak.
After the initial shock and his heroes words started to sink in, water started to well up in the young Elf's eyes, along with a heat that made his tears burn.
Slowly he smiled at the harsh Fighter, nodded and started to walk off, a changed man.
"And if you ever call me Master again, you might not get the chance to get any at all."
Dismissing the young Elf from his mind, Kaiven turned and walked away, the young Archer's reaction not fazing him at all.

"You always were the kind one. Very sweet of you."
Kaiven knew that slightly mocking voice well.
"Priest Vennin, I assume you are well ?"
"And since you are here instead of in the field, I assume others do not fare as kindly and require your assistance."
"Duty, my dear friend. I am a healer after all, am I not ?"

Denzel Vennin was a devout Priest and Kaiven had known him for a long time. He used to have a passion and determination that Kaiven admired.
However, that passion was slowly diminishing in Denzel. The years of dutiful service and the undue lack of respect from others, combined with the self doubt of being un-tested, could do that to the strongest person.

But Denzel had held out longer than anyone else he had seen in that position and secretly he admired him for that. Sadly though, he had noticed Denzel's gradual assimilation into the prejudices that plagued the Alliance. As much as the Union of Fury did.
"He should be out on the battlefield, feeding his drive again, not on the sidelines, behind castle walls, healing the stupid and the weak !"

Kaiven looked at the Priest. Maybe he would let him meet his darky friend.
"Friend ? No !"
Never would he allow himself to call a dark one 'friend'.
"What was I thinking ? Why did I think that ?"
He let go of the abrupt thought and covered his moment of weakness quickly.
"So. Would you come fight ?" he asked the Priest, hoping in vain that he would accept. He saw the number of wounded continuously being carried in. Denzel had the heart of a soldier, but first and foremost he was a dutiful servant of the goddess.
He would not come to fight while he was needed here. It was another thing that Kaiven admired and also despised in his friend.

Knowing the answer already, Kaiven turned and walked off. It was time to prepare for battle. He noticed that Larin was no longer around.
"Probably causing some mischief somewhere."
A half eaten apple lay in the scout's usual spot.
"Odd, he usually never leaves food behind."
The fighter could have used the scout to help find his dark witch.
"His ?"
Another moment of weakness. He hated her for that. The flames grew stronger and more wild within his eyes. He set out to hunt for her again.

------ooOoo------

Larin slowly set down the half eaten apple, staring after Kaiven with a shiver.
"I don't like that look he was giving me." he thought.
"I’ve seen that look too many times before."
"Some poor darky is gonna get pummeled, but good."
Larin picked up the apple again, stared at it for a while and then dropped it, his appetite gone.
"Do I dare follow him again ?"

He shivered. Stood up and started slowly and carefully working his way out of the fortress. Now he was even more cautious in his scouting. He wanted to no-one, friend or foe, to see his exit.

He found the Pagan again, still squatting in the same place, still alone. And there was Kaiven, coming up to her cautiously, to within an arms reach of her.
"What's going on here ?" Larin thought.
He hunkered down and watched cautiously, ready to spring up and dash away if trouble should show.

------ooOoo------

Jadynn glared at him with her dark eyes. He did not move or even blink. His eyes, burning with fire blazed into her soul yet again. He lifted one side of his mouth creating that seemingly familiar smirk of his. Her nostrils flared at his smirk but he stood his ground.

Her mind raced. She thought of magic attacks to use, perfect ways to kill her enemy, and his smile. What ! She was now thinking of his smile ? Of all things...
"Oh help me goddess" she thought.
Her eyes re-focused on the man in front of her and she decided then to speak.
She did not for the love of the goddess know why she had decided this, but speak she did.
"So we meet again foolish Human."
"What, has defeat become a drug to you ?"
"Why are you standing here before me when you know you cannot win ?"

Her words hung in the thick air for a minute or so as he seemed to scrutinize the intent of her words.
Then he laughed. Just laughed.
She could not believe this man ! He was laughing ?
She hissed at his outburst, flashing her menacing fangs.
"You dare to laugh at a powerful Pagan ?"
"Fight me. Show me what you are made of, but be warned you will lose."

Her mind and hands prepared for battle, but still he stood there, sizing her up.
Suddenly he was upon her, his dual swords slashing through the air as he attacked with all his strength and dexterity. They fought for a full half minute (it seemed much longer to them), when suddenly she heard her own voice ring out with a powerful command.
"STOP !"

And he stopped. He stood tensed, chest heaving heavily.
Her heart raced with adrenaline and sweat dripped down her spine. But still his burning eyes bore into her, right down to her very soul and it hurt !
Why did his eyes get to her so much ? What was it about him that made her weak ?
His rough voice cut through the silence. "I have not fought such a worthy opponent in years. I am truly amazed at your skill and agility."
Her heart pounded even faster at the sound of his voice.

------ooOoo------

It didn't take long for Kaiven to find her as she was still in the same place, as if she knew he would return and was waiting there for him. He couldn't help but smirk as he realized her senses were turned inward and she was as yet unaware of his presence. He began to stalk her slowly, carefully.
How close would she let him get before she panicked and used her magic against him ?
Then something happened that he was not expecting nor used to, she spoke.
"So we meet again, foolish human. What, has defeat become a drug to you ?"
"Why are you here, standing before me, when you know you cannot win ?"
She spoke !
There was a wild sugar in her voice. It was so alien to listen to, feral and uncivilized. Kaiven's training helped him translate the words, though he could never understand how they could form sentences without stumbling over their snarls and growls.

Never had one gloated at him like this !
Well they had, ...but only briefly. None had survived long enough to carry out their threats.
How was she doing this to him ? Was Larin right ?
Did he enjoy the killing too much, to the point of lunacy ?
How could a mere vile Pagan, that he could squish without a second thought, make his blood boil and his heart freeze at the same time ?
Then Kaiven laughed. Just laughed.

The dark one's nostrils flared and then she hissed, small sharp fangs showing.
She ranted more, but Kaiven did not listen to the words. He stopped laughing and concentrated on the melody of hatred and admiration in her voice.
It confirmed one thing for him, he must be crazy !
He had allowed this charade to go on for too long. It was obscene.
A creature such as this should not have such an effect on someone like him.
He hated himself for his weakness at that moment and for that he loathed her.

He was on her without another thought. They fought in what Kaiven could only describe as a vortex. A flash and flurry of might and magic.
Their hatred and frenzy for each other seemed to calm their souls, which stayed at peace, as if in the eye of a tornado.
"STOP !" he heard.
And he did. Enraged as he was, Kaiven was still impressed by the power and skill of the woman.
Woman ? It was the first time since his family had been taken that he had thought of a dark one like that.

"I have not fought such a worthy opponent in years. I am truly amazed at your skill and agility."
His own words made him sick. He should hate himself for saying them, for believing them.
The two stood, face to face, recovering.
Each waiting for the other to break the silence, or make some small movement.
Then, both noticed a movement close by. He recognized him even after such a long absence. It was Raven the Darkslayer.

They had fought side by side in the past, but he had somehow remained a mystery and not much was known of him, other than the odd, but powerful, staff he carried and that he had a passion for battle that almost rivaled Kaiven's.

Raven started to raise his Staff.
"No !" he thought, "She is mine."
Protectiveness ? Of a darky?
Then he noticed the witch make a similar effort to stop the mage, He was confused, but not for long. Before he knew it he was falling to the ground, his last view was of the Pagan's face falling with him.

------ooOoo------

From a mountain top he observed the two mighty champions, Alliance and Fury, fighting in a fast and furious brawl. One a Vail female, a powerful Pagan and the other a Human male, a Fighter. Hmm and an Elven Ranger, hidden from them, watching them both closely.
"Heh," he mused. "The fools. Always fighting their never-ending war for power. Little do they know that something truly more terrifying is coming for both their world's."
"Hmff, try and warn them and they will not listen. No, I need live champions, not dead heroes."

As quiet as a leopard on the prowl he slipped up behind the scout, and with casual ease, rendered him unconscious. He covered the Elf in a cloak of shadow, so no harm would befall him while he 'slept'.

He then strode casually up to the two combatants, their battle now paused.
To her, he was a powerful Pagan Magister known as Lightbane and to him, the mysterious Mage known as Raven the Darkslayer. Each looked at him as if at a friend.
He raised his powerful Crystalline Staff and slammed them both with a blast of energy that rendered them unconscious but unharmed.
With a wave of the Staff over his head, he warped them instantly to his keep, hidden deep within the once mighty fortress, known now as Maitreyan.

"Those fools of the Alliance think that these orcs guard this fortress for the Union of Fury."
"They are wrong. They guard it for me."
"For this is where the first true battle for this world of Light and Dark shall take place."
"This I know, for I am Alteos Rend and I was once counsel and equal of the goddess, when she was one..."

------ooOoo------

Much later... Larin awoke from a daze.
"What happened here ?" he thought to himself.
He vaguely remembered watching Kaiven and that Pagan do battle and then... nothing else. He stood and instantly felt dizzy.
"Ergh ! I need to be more careful."
Cautiously, he started on the long journey back to the fortress. Hesitating at the vast plain between his hiding place and the safety of the walls, he summoned his skills and set off at a run at a speed not many could match, covering the ground in the shortest possible time.

Larin stumbled into the castle, short of breath and with the sweat dripping off of him.
"I should... see the... healer, just in case." he whispered softly to himself.
He made his way to Denzel Vennin.
"Master Healer... I believe... I was attacked... by a monster. Could you check me for evil spells ?"

Denzel sighed and began his healing rituals on Larin.
"Poor sod." Larin thought.
"He wants so badly to join the battle, but no-one will take him... maybe I will ask him to come on patrol with me later."
Once healed, Larin walked up to the altar of the Goddess of Light and knelt down.
He started praying to Her and asking for guidance.

------ooOoo------

Jed, the Nordein Warrior, strode through the camp taking in the sights, sounds and smells around him. His grossly scarred face twisted into an evil grin. The battle had gone well today. The relics had been taken and his axes had drank deeply on the Alliance blood.
They had seemed weakened somehow, as if some vital strength had been missing from their ranks. But he knew also, that his own force had been diminished. There had been no sign of Jadynn since their confrontation and still she was nowhere to be seen.

Perhaps the Dark Goddess had removed her blessing and Jadynn had suffered the ultimate death, the final one that removed her from the world forever more.
This thought gave him some cruel pleasure.
"That witch was getting too powerful anyway, how dare she challenge the guild leader's power ?"

He knew his duty was report her absence to the Oracles, for if there was time, they might still be able to find her and resurrect her with their powers.
"Bah ! Let her rot."
He needed to head for the blacksmith and get his equipment repaired, and then he would eat and drink, and then collapse and sleep. Yes, that was what he would do, why should he worry about that Pagan ? After all, with her gone he would be that much higher in the rankings, and that much closer to the power he lusted after.

With the smile still fixed on his face, he strode across the compound, thoughts of Jadynn completely gone from his mind. For like most of his class, Jed was mighty in strength, but lacking in intelligence or wisdom.

------ooOoo------

Larin looked around cautiously.
"No sign of Kaiven yet, strange." he thought.
"I guess that's a good thing, I get to stay healthy a bit longer."
He pulled out another apple, then quickly slipped it away again.
"I guess I should save them for emergencies. Why'd the Goddess have to make them taste so good ?" he frowned.
"I should go out scouting again... but I really don't feel like it." He frowned again.
"Something seems off here...I can't quite put my finger on it though."

Mind crowded, rubbing his temples, he walked to the altar and knelt to pray.
"Goddess I beseech thee !"
"What am I missing ? What is setting my caution on high?"
"Milady please give me a sign."
There was a bright flash of light and within it he could just make out the ghostly form of the Goddess. Larin trembled and quickly dropped his head to the floor, afraid to look upon Her.
He felt a ghostly hand brush over his hair gently, and then the light returned to normal.
"What just happened ?"
He looked around, blinking.
"It must have been a... hallucination... yes ?"
"I must still be weak from the attack, I need to get some sleep." he thought.
Dismissing the apparition from his mind, Larin rose and headed for his quarters.

------ooOoo------

Larin turned restlessly in his bed, if you could call a thin mat of straw a bed. Suddenly awake, he sat upright as a familiar bright light filled the room.
"G-Goddess ?" he trembled.
The Goddess smiled.
"Goddess why do you visit me ? I am just a lowly scout." he said.
Something wasn't right, the Goddess seemed... paler, less substantial.
"I am here because of Her." she said weakly.

"You speak ?" he said, his filled with awe.
"There was a swirl of shadows around the Goddess of Light and then, in her place stood the Dark Goddess.
"What ?"
"Where is the Goddess ?" Larin demanded.
"I am the Goddess." She said.
"Where is our Goddess ?" Larin demanded again.
"Hold you tongue boy." She hissed, placing a finger on his forehead.
"What.. have.. you.. done.. to.. me ? Witch !" Larin gasped, struggling to speak.

"I want to talk to you boy. Now LISTEN !" She commanded.
"Why ? Where.. is.. the.. Goddess.. ?" he coughed.
"She is safe, quite safe. See ?"
She held out an orb and inside it was the Goddess of Light.
"What.. have.. you.. done.. to.. her ?" Larin growled.
"I needed her out of the way, so that I could talk to you." She sneered.
"Don't worry so, boy it is a temporary situation. Her power is weakened now. My servants hold the foundations of power. But She is still too strong to be held long by such a simple device."
"What... do... you... want ?" he panted, clearly growing weaker.
"You. To kill your ally Kaiven." She growled.
"Me... why... me ?" he asked.
"Because the others would resist, I know you will not." She said.
"How... do... you... Know… that ?" Larin demanded.
"I am a Goddess boy ! And you are confused about where you truly belong."
"What do you know of your mother boy ? Did they tell you anything about her ?"

His mother ? What was She talking about ? Larin knew his mother had died giving birth to him and that his father had sent him back to Erina to be raised by his Aunt. What could this black hearted witch be talking about ?"
"If... I... refuse ?" Larin growled.
"Then I will force you to watch as I slowly kill your beloved Goddess, and then I will take great pleasure in killing you." She said, with an evil smile playing on her lips.

"And.. if.. I.. cannot.. kill.. Kaiven ? If.. I.. should.. lose ?" Larin asked cautiously.
"Simple, I will use your Goddess' powers to resurrect you, although, when I drain Her to restore you, while She is weakened, it will harm Her." She said.
"I don't think you want that, do you boy ?"
"So in other words, either way I become a traitor." Larin thought.
The Dark Goddess grabbed his chin and dug her long nails into his cheeks.
"You will either kill Kaiven and be known as a traitor for a while, or disobey me and you will go down in history as the one who caused the death of your Goddess, and the destruction of your precious Alliance."

Larin attempted feebly to get away from her grasp, but he was still unable to move.
"I will return tomorrow night for your answer. Choose wisely boy." She hissed.
Brushing the hair from his eyes, with something that came close to affection, the Dark Goddess slowly vanished and Larin began to regain the movement in his body.
"So.. I either betray an ally, or betray everyone in the Alliance ? No pressure."
Larin sighed, falling heavily back onto his mat.



------ooOoo------

Alteos entered his scrying room. It was a large, incredibly well lit room, with highly polished floors and walls draped with tapestries from a time long gone. A time when there was but one Goddess. Alteos' hand tightened on his Staff and head over the scrying pool he waved the Staff over the still water within. In a shimmer play of light and verdant green a scene began to play out before him.

Bands of Alliance troops in their separate guilds marched toward an equally large force of Furies who were camped around the relic in Cantara, as it had once been known to him.
"They fight for the relic as they call it."
"Fools !"
"Together they could unlock it's true power, but they fight for only a pittance of it's true nature."

The creatures around there had long since mutated from their once harmless forms into horrible, twisted caricatures of their former state. Each side thought the other was responsible for this and never came close to understanding what forces were truly at play.

"Where is it ?"
He continued to scry, searching for the true key to the relic.
"Hmm... not there." Alteos said in a quiet voice to himself.
Slipping deeper into his trance Alteos continued his search, sending his mind's eye across the lands of Shaiya.

Then a searing pain struck Alteos' mind that sent him reeling for a second. Shaking his head to clear the pain, Alteos could sense the Cryptic One approaching.
"Goddess let there be time." he whispered aloud.
Waving his staff again, the scrying pool stilled and the images faded to nothing. It was time to check on his 'guests'.
"The Vail first."

"You two with me." Alteos commanded two of the Orcs patrolling the halls of Maitreyan Deepen.
With Alteos leading, they headed toward the Vail's sealed room.
"Wait here. " he barked. The two guards took up positions on either side of the doorway.
The beautiful oak and iron door slid quietly to the side. The room was softly lit with glowing crystals.

Alteos watched the sleeping Vail. her breathing was quiet and rhythmic. He raised his Staff over her and quickly checked for injuries or ailments... none.
He then exited the room and the door slid quietly back into place.
"Now to check on the Human."
He entered the room in the same manner, both rooms being identical in appearance. As with the Vail, he checked the Human's health.
"They are young, strong and healthy, despite bearing the scars of battle."
"Continue with your duties." he commanded the Orcs

After releasing the guards back to their duties, he headed to his study.
"There is something familiar about those two... something elusive... ?"
He needed time to think, time to try and recall what once was.
"Something more is needed ?"

Alteos entered his study and sank into a large, ancient leather bound chair, near a heavy oak desk at the far end of the room.
Bookshelves lined two of the walls, filled with ancient and obscure volumes and shelves filled with hundreds of scrolls lined a third.
Behind his desk hung a large, detailed map of a world long gone, as brilliant as the day it was made. Alteos sat staring at the map, his mind now deep in the past.
“So many memories, so many years have passed.” he said softly.

Hours passed without his notice, he was deep in his mind now, searching for the elusive memories from the ancient past.
It came to him like a flash of lightning, he sat upright and slammed his fists on the desk.
"Yes ! The Rings of Algerion ! That is it !"

------ooOoo------

<br> Check out my DeviantArt page!
Advertisement

LadyLanaee

Rank 0
LadyLanaee
Joined
07 Apr 2009
Posts
166
Location
United States
PostedJul 27, 2009 11:35 pm   Last edited by LadyLanaee on Dec 26, 2009 7:45 pm. Edited 1 time in total

Chapter 2

Edited.
Many hours ago in D-Water Borderland, Jadynn and Kaiven had danced in battle, but now they stood, warily glaring at each other….

------ooOoo------

Jadynn stepped back and let her eyes linger on the fighter’s face.
It was almost as if she could see the wheels in his head turning.
Not sure of what he was thinking, she let her mind focus on slowing her heart and thoughts.

Breathing in deeply, his scent broke her concentration long before she heard the miniscule sound of his entrance upon her meeting with the lighty.

Her vivid purple eyes turned to meet his deep grey ones and, in the corner of her vision, she noticed the handsome fighter stiffen and sway slightly.
Lightbane, by far the most powerful pagan in Teos, gave her one look and then her body began to convulse with the energy from his powerful attack.

As she crumpled to the ground, she watched, satisfied, as her enemy fell with her and then everything went black.

------ooOoo------

Several hours later….

------ooOoo------

Darkness.
She was surrounded darkness.
Pure black, suffocating darkness.
It covered her body like a thick blanket and shrouded her thoughts like a veil over one’s face.
After a few long moments, the cloud in her mind lifted slightly so she could think, but this simplest of actions required so much energy.
Light pulsed like a heart beat behind her closed eyelids.
Though her mind struggled to fight the darkness, she found that she could not open her eyes for they seemed far too heavy to do so.
In defeat, she let the darkness engulf her mind once again.

Jadynn’s eyelids flew open with a start.
She couldn’t remember what she had been dreaming about.
It lingered just out of reach, now a fleeting memory forever lost in the bottomless depths of her mind.

Shaking her head, she let her eyes scan the dank room.
Soft glowing crystals hung on the walls.
The bed she was lying on, she noted, was soft and very comfortable.
She rolled over onto her side.
The use of her stiff muscles caused her to cringe at sharp pains shooting up and down her body.
Her breathe left her in a long hiss.
She hadn’t realized she had been holding her breath.

The room was small, bare and devoid of furniture except for the small wooden table at the foot of the bed and the large chest positioned against the wall next to the door.
The door, she thought. I wonder if I can open it.
Unfortunately, from what she could see, there was no handle or any other means of opening it except for some magical incantation of some sort, or so she thought.
She sat up and let her thoughts and eyes linger on the door, hoping for a miracle where the door would open on its own accord.

Her thoughts suddenly ceased when she heard footsteps coming from outside the room.
Three sets she thought, one much lighter and more precise than the others.
The clank of armor told her that the light footed one’s companions must be orcs or something of its kind.
She heard a sliding noise as if a panel had slid open and then it slid shut taking the sound of the footsteps with it.
Her eyes bore into the door, willing it to open but unwilling to get up and try to open it herself.

Not more than a few moments later, she heard scuffling brake out in a room adjacent to hers.
There was a grunt and the sound of a body slamming against a wall.
A harsh squeal of pain rang out catching her attention.
A few moments later, muffled sounds of fighting and wood breaking could be heard.
Her breath caught when all went silent.

What in the goddess’s name was going on?

------ooOoo------

He felt something brush the back of his ankle and he heard a slight squeak.
Kaiven woke with a start, his brow wet with beads of sweat.
He was lying down on a small bed in a room that was dark and damp.
Slow drops could be heard echoing in the distance.

It was a small room, bare mostly, other than the small wooden table at the foot of the bed and a large chest next to the door on the opposite wall.

Kaiven noticed that his armor had been removed as well as his weapons.
He released a low, almost imperceptible growl.
The last thing he remembered was the face of that creature that he had become obsessed with.
That vile witch! She must have done something!

This wasn’t the first time the stoic fighter had been in an ominous situation.
He quickly crouched beside the bed and sped along the walls to the chest. Empty.
He scanned the room once again.
The stone, the smell, and even the silence between the drips seemed all too familiar.
He had been here before.

As Kaiven stood from the chest, he noticed a slight crack on the side of the door.
Enough space to look through, he thought.
He edged up slowly to the door and peered into the crack.
A slight movement in front of the door told him there was guard.
A grunt followed by a quick deep growl told him it was an orc.
Easy enough.

Kaiven prepared to knock on the door, but stopped suddenly when he heard footsteps approaching.
He quickly went back to the bed and laid down.
He would have to be careful.
Without his armor, his weapons, or his potion pouch, he would not be a very thorough or successful killer.
He let his muscles flex with rage as the door open meanwhile holding his demeanor of calmness.
Anger made it easier to think, or at times it made it easier NOT to think.
Either way, this was his chance to escape.

He rolled over so that he was facing away from the door, meanwhile, monitoring his breaths so that they were completely controlled.
Kaiven registered three sets of footsteps
One at the door, probably the orc guard, and two more a few paces behind.
One of the footfalls seemed to be heavier than the others.
Another orc, he determined.
That left the third.
A lightweight, dainty and swift footstep.
The witch pagan. Must be!
As the door opened, he rolled over in one abrupt motion and kicked the orc nearest to him.
The force if his kick sent the orc crashing against the opposite wall and causing Kaiven to stand up from his bed.

It was then that he noticed the smaller figure next to the orc who was indeed a woman, but not the pagan.
A human.

Her hair fell around her soft face in curls like wisps of honey and gold.
She held a tray of bread and cheese, which she placed on the end table.
She was apparently undisturbed by his attack unlike the orcs who charged him again.
A human with orcs?
Kaiven was only confused by this notion for a split second when one of the orcs slammed into him. These orcs were working for that dark pagan, and she must have taken the girl captive, he decided.
How long had she been working for them? Was she their slave?

Kaiven, determined to rescue the young woman from servitude, leapt to the closest orc.
A quick jab of his fist and a slight twist of the orc’s wrist left Kaiven in possession of a small axe.
He tripped the now weaponless creature and, as it fell backwards, Kaiven used his knee to kick into its jaw, causing the orc to bite off part of its tongue.
A squeal of pain erupted from its vicious mouth.

Kaiven wasn’t proficient in using an axe as a weapon, but he would make do.
Kaiven swung the axe toward an orc, but he was quick to block his attack with the handle of his spear. Splinters from the wooden handle of the other orc’s spear flew everywhere.
He let go of the now useless spear and it clattered to the ground as Kaiven was shoved backwards and onto the bed.
Great! He thought. I needed that spear.
It’s the only other weapon that I could use when I escape from this dungeon.
He used the weak axe to stab a nearby orc then attempted to fight off the other as the injured one fell to the ground.

It was then that he noticed the young woman near the door again.
She stood with her back against the frame.
Her eyes were the color of deep ice, but they showed warmth.
He could see no fear in those piercing eyes.
She seemed unperturbed by the dying orc that now lay in a slow forming puddle of crimson blood just a few feet away from her, nor was she excited to see that he attempted to ride her of her captors.

Oddly, the remaining captor suddenly slowly backed away from Kaiven, his hands raised as if he was protecting the woman.
Kaiven began to smirk when he noticed the woman weaving her hands.
She was a spell caster!
He prepared to assist her when she completed her magic on the orc.
A ball of white energy, which seemed to absorb the heat in the small room, formed between her palms.
She remained calm as Kaiven slowly got off the bed.
The orc warily watched him, his fists still poised at chest level.
Kaiven smirked again knowing that the magic would soon come.

She looked up at him then released the ball of energy.

Kaiven’s heart stopped and his breath slowed.
His body froze as the seconds ticked by.
He could barely lift his arms or move his body.
He stared at the woman with a face still contorting into turning into shock and confusion.
Why?
The woman giggled slightly as she and the orc departed from the room, but as she left, he noticed that her eyes were deeply sorrowful as she turned away, almost shameful.

------ooOoo------

Lyria closed the door behind her and stooped to pick up her second tray.
I can't wait for Orc bath day, these guys are really starting to reek.

She trailed behind the remaining orc to the pagan's room, meanwhile, wondering if this visit would be as interesting as the last.

------ooOoo------

A slight scuffling sound in the corner gained no attention from the room's occupant.
In any fortress, rats were expected, living deep down in their morbid dungeons.
Rats were a common nuisance, harmless little creatures really and hardly worth the time and poisoned bait it took to get rid of them.

Pebble peeked over the top of the boot in which she hid, the fine strands of her sensitive whiskers twitching imperceptibly.
Something was amiss tonight.... She could sense it in her long gray tail.
Her shiny little eyes peered and blinked, determined to locate the source of the feeling.
She skittered her way out of the boot and across the floor like the slight flicker of a shadow and climbed the bed post.
Clinging to the musty wood, she was startled to see a man lying on the bed covers, his body limp in sleep.
No one had occupied this room in a very long time.
How odd, she mused.
With a soft thump, she landed on the blanket beside his foot.
With a little luck, he might have something in his pocket... something tasty!
She licked her paws and stroked her whiskers then squeaked in anticipation, “maybe even a cookie!”

Her squeaking must have woke him because she suddenly found herself flying across the room, her little black eyes wide with surprise.
She hit the wall and slid back into the boot she had previously emerged from.
People! She thought to herself as she struggled to her feet.

She poked her nose back over the top of the boot.
The man leaped up, his whole body on edge, and began to search the room.
Searching for what? She pondered.
Maybe he lost his cookie.
She didn't know, but she hoped that he would find it.
Find it and then share it! Yes! She squeaked happily to herself while sinking back into the boot to wait.

Suddenly a commotion erupted. Pebble cowered in the boot.
Oh noes! She thought.
She peeked out.
New arrivals! Why were they fighting him? Were they fighting him for the cookie?
She squeaked in distress while thinking about of her lost portion of a cookie that might have been shared.

As the fighting became worse, she stuffed herself farther into the boot to wait for things to quiet down. When they did, she slowly emerged.
The man was asleep again.
Oh well, she thought. He must be tired after all that fighting.


She climbed up the bedpost and skittered up his body.
Finding a pocket, she crawled inside.
She was not a very large rat, more mouse-like in size really, which meant no end to the teasing from the other dungeon rats.
Her tiny form hardly made a lump beneath the soft cloth of his clothing.
The warmth of the man's body was pleasant and pervasive and Pebble quickly found herself becoming drowsy.
Checking the pocket for tell-tale cookie crumbs, but finding none, she curled up instead and closed her eyes.
If he was going to take a nap, she would too.

------ooOoo------

Jadynn's hands gripped the edge of the bed as she waited for a sound to break the tension, any sound would do.
She stood and pressed her ear to the door attempting to hear what was going on.
She heard voices.
A girl spoke, but what she said, she couldn’t tell.
The door was too thick.
A man’s voice responded to the girl’s and then a deep guttural voice spoke.
The man answered this too.
Her concentration was broken when footsteps approached her door.
“Blood and ashes!” she cursed.
She turned and jumped quickly toward the bed.

Her eyes met the icy blue ones of a dainty human as the door swished open.
Golden blonde curls framed her heart shaped face and the pagan’s heart twinged with jealousy.
She emanated a sense of confidence and her eyes seemed to hold a secret that only she knew.
A smile played at the corners of her mouth.
Too bad she did not clue her in on her little secret.

The girl’s eyes held hers for a moment then she moved to set a tray of bread and cheese on the table.
Jadynn hesitantly let go of the edge of the bed and watched as the girl and her orc partner left the room.
As they crossed the threshold, she rushed to catch the door before it shut, but its hard surface greeted her face.

So much for that idea, she thought.
She let out a sigh that sounded more like a feral hiss to any normal human being.
Her ears, oddly shaped and very attentive, caught the sound of a man’s voice chuckling in a room adjacent to hers.
That was when her mind began to wonder about her human.
Her thoughts cringed at the thought of him.
HER HUMAN!
A growl escaped from her lips coming from deep within her throat and emanating from her whole being.
I sure hope he is suffering in some deep dungeon in this goddess forsaken place.

------ooOoo------

Alteos reached out a hand toward his staff.
It leaned forlornly against his ornately decorated desk.
This simple, but well practiced, action had progressed into more of a reflex than a thought.
He stood up and proceeded to head back to the scrying room to search for a clue, anything that might show him the way to the location of the rings.

A crash and a scream from down the hall brought him out of his stupor.
Kaiven, he mused.
This ought to be interesting.
Alteos headed toward Kaiven's room.
Lyria should be bringing my guest’s their meals right about now, he mused.
The sound of his guards and Kaiven fighting brought a grim smile to his lips.
He couldn’t have his guards killed off just for doing their jobs.
As he arrived in front of Kaiven's door, it slid open to reveal Lyria.

She smiled at him as she walked out with an orc guard in tow.

"Lyria, where is the other orc guard I assigned to assist you?" he asked.
"Dying." She said with a half smile on her face.

Alteos just looked at her with bewilderment for a moment longer then nodded for her to continue on with her tasks.
Upon entering the room, he took in the sight of Kaiven sprawled out on his bed unconscious.
Turning his attention to the dying orc, he said, “You’ll be fine.”
Alteos waved his staff, healing his orc guard to his former state.
The orc rose unsteadily at first, and then stood before Alteos with a look of shame upon his morbid face.

"I am sorry master. I failed you," the orc said in a deep guttural voice with his eyes down cast.
"It’s okay. If you had bested him then he wouldn't be the one I seek. Now go and aid Lady Lyria. Draks, before you go, send G'nash and V'rak to guard this door."

The orc nodded then closed the door behind him.
Alteos walked to the foot of the bed and stared at the unconscious Kaiven.
With a wave of his staff, he woke Kaiven.
He sensed him become aware of his presence, but instead of waking, he pretended to continue sleeping.

"Sit up Kaiven. You’re a guest and not a prisoner." He said with a slight chuckle.

------ooOoo------

Kaiven woke again.
It was as if his mind slowly faded into consciousness.
For a moment, Kaiven remembered the day when he was taken prisoner along with his father.
He thought back to how he would wake knowing that he was going to be beat, whipped, or burned.
He stayed still and his back tensed as he sensed the presence of another person in the room, but the lashings didn’t come.

“Sit up Kaiven. You’re a guest and not a prisoner.”
It was a familiar voice, but somehow it sounded new.
He wasn’t an idiot. He knew that those words had no merit.
How many times had he heard lies like that before?

Kaiven rolled over suddenly and, in one quick movement, bolted from the bed, ready to defend himself or rather, ready for his opponent to defend against his attacks.
As he took in the sight of the man before him, his mind suddenly reeled with recognition.

It was Raven the Darkslayer.

“Some way to keep a guest! Locked up and surrounded by orc guards. Is this what you have been doing Raven? We see you fight alongside us all, but then you are gone for days on end. You’ve been taming orcs and taking innocent people captive? Answer Me!”
His rage spoke, as usual.
And as usual, it made him calm.
He stared at Raven with hard, cold eyes and waited for an answer.
Which, he thought, would most likely be lies.

Raven did not answer, but instead he turned toward the door, allowing his back to face Kaiven.
Trusting isn’t he?
He noticed that the orc he had killed earlier was taken away and its blood was now caked and half dried on the ground.

Odd, usually dragging a dead body away would leave a trail.
Raven turned back around to face Kaiven with a different face.

Where there had once been wrinkles, there was smooth skin.
His jet black eyes that always seemed to be framed with dark circles were now clear and dark circle free. His once pepper grey hair had faded to a silvery grey.
Raven stood before Kaiven with an air of wisdom that comes with old age.
Although the real Raven looked older than this new Raven, the new figure emanated old age.

This new sight caused Kaiven’s blood to churn wildly while his mind flitted between shock, confusion, and regret at his last outburst then, utterly flabbergasted, he sat back down.

Kaiven waited silently.
The next move seemed to be his own; however, he didn’t know what to do or how to proceed.
Just as Kaiven opened his lips and breathed in to demand what the meaning of all this was, the new Raven spoke.

“Come,” was all he said.
“G’nash,” he said to the door.
It slid open and he walked through.

Kaiven followed close behind this strange new man.
He noticed the orcs standing guard by his door. Two of them now, he noticed.
There only used to be one.
He fought to control his urge to fight them both.
No, he told himself. I need to find out what is going on first.

The wall across from his room had a door identical to his.
It suddenly flew open to reveal the human girl he had tried to save earlier.
She took a few steps, leaving the safety of the threshold, with an orc following close behind her.
She looked up to meet his gaze.
Her reaction was strange.
Kaiven was usually very good at reading people, or so he thought; however, at this moment he couldn’t tell if she was calm or distraught.
Maybe both, as if she was trying to hide her emotions from someone.

She walked away from them after a quick nod from Raven.
His puzzled eyes lingered on her fleeting form as she and the orc made their way down the narrow hallway.

Returning his attention to the situation at hand, he said, “Not a prisoner, huh?”
The old man just chuckled and shook his head slightly at his remark then motioned with his impressive staff for Kaiven and the orc’s to follow.
He was well known for his unique staff.
The two orcs that had previously been guarding Kaiven’s door began to walk and Kaiven was forced to walk with them mostly because they each had taken up a position on either side of him.

------ooOoo------

Pebble stirred, awakening slowly from her delicious sleep.
Her whiskers were stiff and her mouth tasted like pocket lint, but it had been one of the best naps she had ever taken.
This pocket is awesome! She thought to herself.
Licking her paws, she flattened her ears and brushed her face.
Her tail twitched suddenly.
She smoothed it down.
That was odd.... But the tail knows best!
Pebble heeded its warning and poked her head out of the pocket to check if anything dangerous was afoot.

She found herself being carried down a long hall, poorly lit and badly furnished.
Tacky tacky, she tisked.
Ugly orcs walked on either side of the man in whose pocket she sat.
All three were following behind some crusty old guy who carried a big stick.
Looking at him, Pebble's tail twitched again.

She pulled her head back down into hiding, ill at ease.
She had seen him before, walking through these halls, but she had always done her best to stay away.
There were rumors that rats tended to disappear when he was around.
Some childhood friend of Pebble had once whispered to her that those missing rats had ended up in some strange concoction.
Not knowing exactly what that meant, Pebble had always dismissed it, but some part of her knew that was a bad thing, so she kept her distance anyways.

She kept herself very still, hoping not to be noticed.
When they had stopped moving and no one was looking, she would make a sneaky getaway.
As she waited, her little head churned with thoughts.

Where were they going?
What had happened while she was curled up against the warmth of this human?
What had she missed while she slept?

------ooOoo------

Alteos’s only answer for the wild eyed, glaring fighter was to intently return his stare.
His face held no expression.
Instead, he dropped his Raven guise allowing him to see a glimpse of his true self.

He watched the fighter, studying his face.
Hm, he has suffered something in his past. I must train him to shed the inner rage or else the Cryptic One will use it against him.
It is time to give him some explanations, but not here.

Alteos motioned for Kaiven and his orc guards to follow.
They all headed down the long hallway leading towards the Inner Sanctum.
He could feel Kaiven's gaze upon his back and sensed his emotions of rage and confusion.

"You are wondering where you are and how you may make an escape, are you not?
Please do not attempt it.
I need you awake and conscious and you need answers.
You will have them, I assure you, but not here."

Alteos led them to a small room at the end of the hall into which they all entered.
A warm emerald light seemed to fill the air as the door of pure clouded glass closed after them.
In a moment, they were moving downward at an incredibly fast rate.

Alteos said nothing as they descended, but rather, began to sink deep into thought.

Meanwhile, G'nash gazed at the human and wondered why he was so important to master Alteos.
He looked like any other human fighter whose only goal was to attack any creature that got in his way, yet, he too could sense something different about this human.
Something familiar. But what?

Then the human, sensing G’nash’s gaze, turned his head to look at him with hateful eyes, but he neither sneered nor insulted him.
G'nash met his gaze with a cool and calm serenity that master Alteos had trained him with when he was just a youngling.

He had lived a long, full life filled with war and peace.
He had been there when there was only one Goddess.
Teos was a land of peace then.
But when she fell, there was war and unrest among the people.
In battle he had defeated Elf, Human, Vail and Nordein alike for the protection of his Goddess, Deepen Mait and its outposts throughout the realms.
He had become a true warrior for his Goddess and he felt peace because he warred for her, but now he felt an uneasiness in the fabric of life.

Something terrifying that he could not give a name.

------ooOoo------

Jadynn turned from the door in defeat and grabbed the hunk of bread and the water pitcher from the table.
She sat on the edge of the bed and took a swig from the jug.
Her vision began to cloud and her eyes became heavy.
What in the goddess's name?
Sleeping powder.
Will I ever get peace from this darkness they so enjoy tormenting me with?
Her mind blacked out and she lay half on and half off the bed with the jug in one hand the hunk of bread in the other.

------ooOoo------

Alteos began to focus his thoughts. He touched Draks's mind with his own, forming a link through which he could convey information.

"Draks, please inform Lady Lyria to escort the Vail to me in the Inner Sanctum within the hour. Remember that the protection of Lady Lyria and the Vail is your priority."
"As you command, Master Alteos." He quickly replied.

Draks then proceeded to inform Lady Lyria of Master Alteos's requests.
"Your ladyship, Master Alteos requests that the Vail be made ready to meet him in the Inner Sanctum within the hour."
She nodded in reply and moved gracefully down the corridor.

Clad in the best of Adamas armor with a short halberd in hand, Draks followed the diminutive human.
He was very respectful of the Lady.
Lady Lyria was well known in Deepen Mait.

They stopped in front of the lady’s chamber door.
"Thank you Draks. Please wait by the Vail’s door until I am ready."
Draks stood at attention and bowed slightly then he proceeded to walk down the hall towards the Vail’s room.

------ooOoo------

"Thank you Draks. Please wait by the Vail’s door until I am ready."
Lyria closed the door behind her after watching Draks bow then walk away.
She turned and gave a small smile to the empty room.
At least the Vail didn't attack, she thought.

Her cobalt eyes swept the room and paused over her weapons.
If we're all being called together, it wouldn't hurt to be prepared.
She picked up a dagger, a gift from her father before she left the temple that last time, and slid it into the sheath hidden inside her right arm’s billowy sleeve.

She took a deep breath and closed her eyes slipping into a light, meditative trance.
She forced her emotions out and her ever incessant thoughts back into the deep recesses of her mind where no one could access them.

When her eyes opened, she was simply Lyria, a priestess that worked with Master Alteos.
A dainty hand slipped around her staff resting against the frame of the door as she left the room.
As the door shut behind her, she headed off down the hallway to collect the Vail.

------ooOoo------

Jadynn's eyes flitted open and she sat up to see the pretty human again.

Her thoughts raged and filled with anger and...jealousy?
HA! Was she crazy? Why would she feel jealousy for this human?
Her mind spat these words out while a soft growl began to form in her throat causing the human to hesitate for a split second.
But the slight disturbance did not faze her.

"Get up Vail. He wants to see you." She spoke.
Her voice was musical and sweet, but firm and strong.
Jadynn's growl deepened and gradually became louder.
"Oh do shut up. I'm not going to hurt you. I'm only doing his bidding, so get off your rump and follow me or do I need to send for the orcs standing outside your room?"
She smirked at her with those perfect lips.
Oh how Jadynn loathed her from her very core.

She stood up, unwillingly, and watched as the girl moved her hand over the door.
It slid open to reveal a dimly lit hallway and an orc standing guard.
"Come," she said and Jadynn did so, not wanting to inflict the wrath of the Orc even though she knew she could easily take him.
She had killed many Orcs in her lifetime.

As she walked, she appeared to be calm, but her mind raced behind her flashing eyes.

“I know what you are thinking Vail.
Please do not attempt anything.
Draks and all the other Orcs in Deepen Mait excel in their trainings.
Draks here was trained by Master Alteos himself who you will get to meet shortly.
Besides, Master Alteos brought you here for a purpose.
No use in getting yourself killed over a little contempt for the races we harbor here.”

The girl led her to a small room at the end of that hall into which they entered through a door of clouded glass.
The room was lit by a warm green colored light, but she could not find its source.
Then, suddenly, the room began to move.
Or at least that's what she thought it was doing.
Before long it seemed to move very fast in a downward decent.
The ride was smooth and unhindered.
Finally, it stopped and the doors opened once more.

------ooOoo------

Lyria raised her right hand and motioned for Draks to take the rear as she led the Vail to the Movement Room.
She could sense contempt and rage emanating from the beautifully wild looking Vail.
With a tight smile on her face, Lyria guided the small group.

“I know what you are thinking Vail.
Please do not attempt anything.
Draks and all the other orcs in Deepen Mait excel in their trainings.
Draks here was trained by Master Alteos himself who you will get to meet shortly.
Besides, Master Alteos brought you here for a purpose.
No use in getting yourself killed over a little contempt for the races we harbor here.”

Without another word, Lyria continued on towards the translucent glass door at the end of the hall.
It slid open as they approached.
The door closed behind them.
Draks moved to stand guard near the door, staring straight ahead and ignoring both Lyria and the Vail, or so it seemed.

"Lyria make sure you take the Eastern and Shaman Halls," Alteos relayed to Lyria by touching her mind.
"As you wish." She replied in the same manner.

Why does he want us to go by the Shaman Halls? Lyria mused to herself as she gave the Vail a sidelong look.
Like the human, she sensed something familiar about this Vail.
Something elusive.

An odd look on Draks’s gnarled face caught her attention.
She turned her attention back to the Vail and saw that she too had an odd expression.
Lyria shuddered a little.
Draks, without warning, suddenly raised his halberd to cast a shielding spell over them all.

“Lady Lyria, are you okay?
I need you to help me...it’s an attack...I...can't...hold...this for long..!" Draks said in a deep guttural voice while clearly struggling against the unforeseen attack.

Catching her wits about her, Lyria added her own shield to Draks’s.
She too could feel the immense power of the unseen attack.
Sweat began to pour down her back and bead across her brow.

"Help us you stupid Vail or we will all be dead.
We can't hold this on our own for much longer!" She yelled at the Vail.

At the behest of the human, Jadynn seemed to shake off her moment of disorientation and added her own shielding spell to the fray.
The force of the attack caught her by surprise.

"Master Alteos! We need you!" pleaded Lyria as she attempted to make contact with Alteos.
"I am sorry my child! It’s bad here too," Master Alteos replied in a strained voice.

Finally, reaching its destination, the movement room came to a stop and the door slid open to reveal chaos all around.
Orcs, Dwarves, Elves and Humans all fought together against an army of figures clad in black bearing purple glowing blades.

Out of the fray came four Orc Shamans and a Human Mage.
They created shields around their small party of three forming a semi circle at the entrance to the Movement Room.

"Move it!" Draks growled as he led the small band to a large group of Deepen Mait defenders.

"Draks!
By the Goddesses what is going on?!" the Human Magister asked, the strain of him holding up his shield apparent on his face

------ooOoo------

Jadynn waited patiently as the room slowly descended downwards.
Where were they taking her? She thought.
Her mind toyed with the answer to her question.

Her thoughts were interrupted when she saw the human give her a sidelong glance.
The Orc to her right made a slight movement that caused her to look his way.
He had an odd look on his face.
It was then that she realized something was wrong, very wrong.

Suddenly, he was raising his halberd and a shield spell surrounded them.

The orc spoke in an ugly guttural voice, “Lady Lyria are you okay? I need you to help me...it’s an attack...I...can't...hold...this for long..!"
Jadynn turned to look at the human and her curls bounced as she lifted her own staff to add a protection shield to the Orc’s.
They were under attack, she realized in disbelief.
Or at least somewhere in the place someone was under attack.

The girl wiped sweat from her brow while anxiously saying,
“Help us you stupid Vail or we're all dead...we can't hold this at bay for long!”
She shook off her apprehension and added her own powerful shield to the fray.

By the Goddess what is going on?

After a few moments of tension and intense silence between each member of the group, the room came to a stop and the doors parted.

------ooOoo------

As Alteos and his party approached the Inner Sanctum, the air seemed to change.
Alteos halted without warning and his party looked at him oddly.
He began to look up at the high ceilings and down the halls from whence they came.
"By the goddess what is going on?" he thought to himself.

Unexpectedly, Alteos raised his crystalline staff over his head and a powerful shield encased the small group just as a bolt of pure black energy attempted to strike them.
With a loud cracking sound, the powerful bolt sent showered sparks as it was deflected by Alteos’s shield.

"EVERYONE TO THE CENTRAL CHAMBER!" Alteos roared to his group as he began to run.
The others followed closely behind.

They ran into the Inner Sanctum and were greeted by a fierce and vicious battle.
Alteos quickly surveyed the chaos then pointed his staff before him.
A bolt of pure golden energy shot towards the defenders and intruders sending the darkly clad men flying and mysteriously healing the fallen.

"EVERYONE TO ME! FORM RANKS NOW!" Cried Alteos.

In what seemed like an eternity, but in reality was only a few seconds, the unusual band of varied races fighting together in the Crystal Chamber formed ranks directly in front Alteos and his band.
Kaiven can't fight like that, he thought as he noticed Kaiven who had become lost in the chaos of battle.
He pointed his staff towards Kaiven and, in a flash of emerald light, Kaiven found himself clad in his own armor with dual swords in hand.


"Kaiven take command of the left flank. G'nash the right is yours. Now move it!” Commanded Alteos, “This is just the beginning."

"Master Alteos! We need you!" Suddenly, Lyria was mind speaking to him.
Her plea was almost heartbreaking.
"I am sorry my child. It’s bad here too." He replied with evident regret.
There was nothing he could do for her.
At least not now.

In the central part of the chamber, a figure clad in black armor, softly glowing purple robes stood at attention.
In his right hand, he wielded a long sword that glowed purple.

Explosions of magic, shooting arrows, bolts of energy, shouts and screams all coming from many different races came together in an intense battle scene.

I can't fight like this, Alteos thought to himself.
Raising his staff over his body, Alteos revealed his true appearance.
An appearance that had not been seen since the fall of the Goddess.

Now he stood before his Deepen Mait comrades clad in Emerald Myth armor.
His staff was now a tall crystalline halberd embellished with an embedded emerald glowing brightly in the center of the blade.

When the change was complete, Alteos charged through the chaos and engaged the enemy commander in battle.

The war was on.

------ooOoo------

Lyria’s curls bounced as she shook off Alteos distracted reply to her plea for assistance.
She looked at the Vail.
She was trying very hard not to get caught up in the prejudices between their two sides.

"Here," she said as she tossed Jadynn her staff, "I'm not much of a fighter, but you can do us all a favor. Attack the ones in the black armor!"

Lyria tilted her head back, saying a quick prayer to the goddess, before pulling her own dagger out and focusing her healing spells on those within her range.

------ooOoo------

Loud noises erupted, shouts of fury and incessant cries of pain permeated the fighter’s pocket.
The air smelled of singed hair and the scent of violent magic that burned through defenses and impacted shields.

Pebble cowered, suddenly finding herself squeezed tight between something solid and the man’s rock hard body.
Barely able to breathe in the tight space, she knew she had to free herself and escape.
Maybe she would find a wall where, hopefully, she would find a way out of this mess.

Moving as fast as she could, her little paws scrabbling, she wiggled herself free and fell to the floor.
Blindly she ran, dodging feet and falling bodies, her tiny heart pounding in her ears.
She could taste fear on her tongue, a salty sickness like tainted blood.

Something luminescent and purple caught her eye.
Oh pretty! She thought. She clawed the hem of the garment and began to climb, enthralled by the purple glow of the gear.

Wheeeeeeeeee!! She screeched as she swung around on the garment.
Man he moves a lot, she squeaked to herself.
Stars exploded in her head as she thunked against something hard, lost her grip and fell.
She rolled, her tail knotting itself painfully.

Grabbing the nearest thing, she climbed for her life to escape the crushing feet all around her.
Oh purple again!
She found herself on someone’s leg.
She climbed higher, sneaking deep into the folds of purple material.

Pebble's eyes grew accustomed to the strange glow surrounding her and then widened in horror when she noticed that the skin she was touching was mottled and black.
Her knotted tail began to twitch painfully.

Panicking, she started to bite, sharp little teeth and claws drawing pin pricks of bitter blood, desperate to fight her way free.

------ooOoo------

Kaiven felt the change before he saw it.
He looked down to see that he now held a sword in each hand.
He moved them about, testing their weight and length.
The sight of familiar nicks and scratches on the well worn hilts confirmed his ponderings.
These swords were his alright.
He then proceeded to check the armor he was now wearing.
It was in better condition than his last set, he noted.
How nice, the old man decided to give me a shiny new set to play with.

The faint remnant of green light that had just surrounded him was slowly disappearing along with the tingle of magic running from his head to his toes but one slight tingle still remained close to his heart.
The tingle moved of its own accord down his left arm.
Kaiven quickly raised his left arm as the odd feeling crawled toward his wrist.

The sudden movement, along with an almost habitual tight grip on his sword, deflected an arrow that surely would have pegged him right between the eyes.
After the arrow crunched against his sword, Kaiven crouched into his natural fighting stance.
The shock of the arrow’s silent attack was gone but his heart continued to pump almost uncontrollably.
Then, he allowed his rage to control his thoughts and actions.

Somewhere in the chaos of battle, the old man gave an order.
Left flank was his?
Or did he hear right?
Kaiven was commanded.

One thing Alteos should have known before hand was that Kaiven never took well to orders.
A group of battle warriors looked at him as they waited for orders.
Many others ran past them, fighting till death.

Kaiven hated leading.
He never wanted to be known as a leader.
He snarled at the Orc waiting for his commands, something Kaiven was not accustomed to doing.
Odd, he thought, I’m starting to sound like that witch girl.

As he glared at his flank, he knew with all his being that he could not, would not fight alongside such lowly creatures as the Orcs standing before him.
He would rather kill them all then throw away all he had worked for.

As his inner thoughts raged, he turned to see many dark figures wielding large swords.
Their very presence seemed to emanate a deep purple hue.
Now they are worthy opponents.

Kaiven’s body seemed to automatically move straight for a darkly clad figure.
I will deal with the Orcs later, he reasoned with himself.

He left those waiting for his command behind him as his body was driven to the new figure.
His swords longed for bloodshed.
All the chaos, people and creatures seemed to disappear.
Some seemed to follow his lead and attacked, defended or attended to the fallen and injured.

Even though pure anarchy surrounded him, he felt normal.
Safe.
This was where his heart was.
In pure, dangerous, bloody battle.

The dark figure was tall and large, but moved swiftly.
As Kaiven charged him, a defender pulled up beside Kaiven and attacked with him.
She taunted the large enemy and readied her shield, but strangely, the foe seemed to focus solely on Kaiven.
She paused for a moment, thrown off by the enemy’s unresponsiveness to her taunt.
For his final blow he plunged his right sword up into what should have been the creature’s chest.
As he fell to the ground, dark bile and toxic gas began to ooze from his mouth, eyes, ears and wounds.

Kaiven heaved a large sigh then nodded to the defender beside him.
She ran off to decapitate a black armored enemy and Kaiven turned to survey the room’s situation.

His eyes stopped as he beheld the old man, now clad in emerald Adamas armor bearing an impressive looking halberd that Kaiven had never seen before.
He was locked in combat with what looked to be the dark army’s leader.

Huh, he thought in disbelief, He fights alongside orcs and humans alike and in return they defend him at all costs.

Magic began to flow from the man’s palms.
Kaiven had never seen magic such as this.
So he’s a powerful sorcerer and a duped up defender.
He’s been holding out on us.

------ooOoo------

The doors parted.

Before them lay pure chaos.
An intense battle raged between Orcs, Humans, Elves Dwarves and men clad in black armor wielding glowing purple swords.
Neither side seemed to gain much headway in the battle as Jadynn watched dumbfounded.

A semi-circle of four Orc Shamans and a Human Mage ran up to them as they stood staring.
Together they raised up a shield around Jadynn and her party.
An Orc growled, “Move it!”
To Jadynn it sounded more like a grunt and growl, but she got the picture when his half crazed eyes met her own.
They headed towards a party of Deepen Mait defenders.

A Human Magister spoke to the Orc, “Draks, by the goddesses what is going on?!”

Meanwhile, Jadynn just stood at a loss for something to do.
She was weaponless which rendered her unable to fight decently, but even with a weapon, she was not able to distinguish who or what she was supposed to battle against.
Was this even a battle she could take part in?

She stared at the Orc, Draks she thought, and waited for a command.
She could see the strain on his face from keeping up a shield.
Jadynn was used to holding magic for long periods of time.
She reached into the back her mind to feel the threads of magic that tingled with anticipation.
The strain of holding up a shield only caused her to have a slight headache.

To her right a bolt of gold shot towards a group of defenders and darkly clad men.
The bolt sent the black man flying against a wall and seemed to heal the fallen and injured.

What kind of magic is this?

From where the bolt came, she saw LightBane.
Her mind flew back to her encounter with him before she was taken to this place.
The human.
Where was he?
She had forgotten about him.
LightBane shouted something that sounded like, “…to me!” Form ranks!” And as one, the defenders moved to surround Lightbane.

It was then that she saw him.

Her eyes settled on his muscular form and handsome face.
He was not wearing his armor she noted.
Then before her eyes he was suddenly fully clothed in his armor wielding a sword.
Jadynn’s breath caught in her throat and her heart gave a slight twinge.
What in the Goddess’s name?
Why did he have to look so good.
She shook the feeling away and began to focus on the chaos surrounding her.

Kaiven moved to join the battle and was lost in the fray almost instantly.
Jadynn was left empty and alone.

Arrows flew, bolts of energy crackled, sparks showered, screams, growls and screeches rang out.
The air was thick with sweat and stank of death.

“Here”, said the Human girl standing next to her and tossed Jadynn her staff.
She caught it singlehandedly, staring at it as if it were a foreign object she had never seen before.
It was a wooden staff, long and smooth with a loop at the top where a green emerald glowed at the base of the loop.
Her fingers tightened around it and she looked up to follow the human.
“I’m not much of a fighter. Do us all a favor and attack the ones in the black armor!”

So she did.

She prepared a spell and let it go on a poor, helpless, darkly clad man.
He lay on the ground, not moving.

Her feral instincts kicked in and the thirst for blood rose quickly after that first attack.
Nostrils flaring and breathing even, she began to kill swiftly and quickly any black armored enemy she could see.

An interruption from the blonde girl caused Jadynn to hesitate for a moment.
Then she found herself being dragged to a dark corner and being pushed behind her dainty figure.

Kaiven trotted over to her.
No, not her.
To that loathsome human doll standing near her.

She stepped to the side and watched as he let his eyes linger on hers.
Her anger towards him began to rise so fast she could not hold it back.
Jadynn began chanting and weaving a magic spell with the intent of killing him yet again.
His eyes held the emotions of anger, lust and shame.
Odd, she thought, why would he feel in shame?
She could not answer herself because he was almost on her as soon as she raised her staff.

“WAIT!”

------ooOoo------

Kaiven advanced on a group of dark armored enemies.
He withdrew a little when a age along with three Orcs teamed up on his mob of enemies.
They massively slaughtered them in less than fifteen seconds.

Even though the event was expertly executed, Kaiven could not get over the fact that these creatures were normally viewed as his enemies, not his comrades.
He had to get away.
Let them deal with their own troubles.

Kaiven began to attack his way to the nearest exit, or what he thought was the way out.
Black surrounded him along with flashes of that deep violet hue.

Theses adversaries were so different than the many foes he had battled before.

As he moved closer and closer to what looked like the exit, the darker the area around him became.
The glowing purple quickly began to look more like thick smoke wafting though darkness.
Kaiven did his best to slash and hack his way through the intense massing of bodies.

That was when Kaiven saw her.

The woman with the blonde curly hair and eyes the color of ice.
The light within her features was amplified by the darkness that stood between them.
She stared boldly at him as his gaze lingered on her face.
Behind her, he caught a slight movement.
His eyes began to search the darkness for what had caught his attention.

As she continued to openly stare at him, Kaiven motioned for her to turn around, but it seemed as if the woman was in a trance.
It was then that he saw what the movement had come from.

Her.

That vile witch.

She held a staff.
She raised it slightly, as if to cast a spell while standing behind the woman, who still stared, unsuspecting of the witch’s evil intentions.
That witch must have brought these new vile creatures with her.

Was it a new ploy from the dark side?
Did the Fury tame these creatures to command?

The blonde woman motioned for Kaiven to come to her.
Her body seemed to move as if she were being controlled.
The witch is controlling her too?

Kaiven ran up towards them, meanwhile preparing to save the blonde woman.
Or at least attempt to, he thought remembering his last attempt at rescuing her.

Unexpectedly, as Kaiven reached the two, the dark one stepped back and lowered her staff.
Surprisingly, he felt relieved that she was still there and almost excited that he could see her again.
He felt almost happy that they could once again dance in battle together.
This time, the prize was the life of the beautiful woman standing near her.

The pagan seemed to feel the same way.
She began to chant her vile magic and raised her staff to attack.
He was on to her ploys before she had a chance to finish her spell preparation.

This time he would not hold back.
And this time he would make sure that this woman who had broke through his heart of stone would see her Goddess and do nothing but writhe in shame before her.
This time she would die.

Kaiven readied his sword as the pagan raised her staff.
Anger, lust, and shame in both their eyes.
This time only one of them would walk away.
He knew this would be their last time.

“WAIT!”

It was the blonde woman.
Kaiven turned to face her, her eyes as cold and passionate as theirs.

------ooOoo------

It was strange enough working with the orcs in Deepen Mait, watching them fight, healing them when needed.
But when it came to trusting a Vail who just happened to be casting dangerous magic next to her, well it was almost too much for Lyria to handle.

One cast in my direction and I’m just about toast…

Her skin began to crawl and she didn’t think it was going to quit crawling anytime soon.

A group of the Deepen Mait defenders cut across her vision, causing her to notice another file of invaders heading towards the two casters.
Somehow, the Vail and Lyria had been separated from Draks and his team.

Goddess help us, I’m too young to die.

Lyria offered up a prayer to her goddess before pulling the pagan with her as she dodged behind a group of Orc Guards.

She shoved the girl behind her petite frame as they ducked back into the shadows of an obscure wall.
Her icy eyes scanned the hall.
She purposely skipped over the ebony clad invaders before settling on the handsome fighter.

The fray surrounding her seemed to slow and the Vail’s ominous presence behind her was forced from her mind.
The rage in Kaiven’s eyes was all she saw.
She beckoned to him.
Her compassionate heart wanted to soothe away his anger and the frustrated crease upon his brow.

He responded by running quickly towards her, causing the chaos to crash back and overriding her senses.
It was almost too much to deal with.
She picked up the faint sounds of the Vail chanting behind her.

Idiots! She spat in her mind.

“WAIT!”

Lyria’s outburst seemed to surprise them enough to distract them from their murderous intentions.

“Fight against each other later if you absolutely must, but, if you haven’t noticed, we have bigger problems at the moment.” She said with her hands on her hips.

------ooOoo------

<br> Check out my DeviantArt page!

LadyLanaee

Rank 0
LadyLanaee
Joined
07 Apr 2009
Posts
166
Location
United States
PostedAug 23, 2009 7:14 pm   Last edited by LadyLanaee on Jan 21, 2010 7:47 pm. Edited 2 times in total

Chapter 3

Edited. 1/21/10
Meanwhile, our archer Larin wakes up after an interesting spat with the Union of Fury Goddess.

------ooOoo------

Larin sat up and shook his head to clear his vision.
"What the heck just happened!?" He thought.

He looked around at the bright room.
About a yard or less in front of him stood the dark goddess leering over his beloved Goddess of light.

"Oh, you made it! So nice to see you again. Now, I believe I said I was going to force you to watch the death of your Goddess, hmmm?"
Larin stared in horror.
His Goddess lay unconscious on a cement block glowing with what seemed to be a light that came from within her frail form.
The Goddess of the Union stood over her, a sharp dagger in hand.

"Step away from her witch!" Larin growled.
“What are you going to do? Kill me!?” She laughed evilly at the very thought.
“Fool! Have you forgotten already? I am IMMORTAL!" She shouted.

"Leave her be! What has she done to deserve this fate?” Larin shouted back angrily.
"Oh you fool!” She stared at him in mock pity. “It was SHE who split the dark from the light!".
She pointed to the unconscious form of the beautiful Sleeping Goddess.

"Lies! It's all lies!” He retorted, “that’s all you do! Lie! Even to your own people!" Larin screamed back.

"Fool!” She began in a passionate rage, “You disobeyed me. You did not kill Alteos’s chosen hero like I instructed you to. So, now you suffer. And your beloved Goddess right along with you!" She smiled evilly at him.

She lifted her magic infused blade and thrust it into the Goddess of the Light's chest.

Larin yelled out as he woke. He panted, his heart still beating at a fast rate.
Sweat ran down his face and he reached up a hand to brush it away.

"A dream, it was only a dream,” he said in an attempt to calm his thoughts.
“Maybe it was a vision,” He shuddered at the thought “No, more like a nightmare if I don’t’ say so myself.”

He looked up at his precious bow.
It hung with apparent care in a glass case on the wall.

"I suppose I have only one choice now. To kill him. Kaiven.
Or allow my Goddess to be killed; meanwhile, losing my life in the process. “
He gulped nervously.

------ooOoo------

Back in the fortress known as Karis…

------ooOoo------

"I can’t take this anymore!"

Denzel Vennin stood in front of a semi-circle of people.
They formed a party of six bickering soldiers, one from every race and class.

A slight twinge above his brow.reminded Denzel of the headache they were giving him.
Not the mention the fact that the Blessing of the Goddess had not been granted for several hours and his dear friend Kaiven seemed to be M.I.A.

The Fighter and Defender were playing the blame game while the Archer was moping by himself.
The young Ranger, who he recognized as the ranger he had attempted to heal earlier that day, was leaning forlornly on a young priestesses shoulder.
The only party member that seemed slightly sane was a lady Mage sitting quietly near him.

"Silence, all of you!" Denzel shouted.
Surprised by his outburst, they did as instructed, giving him their undivided attention.
"Now, who is your party leader?” He asked.

The priestess stepped forward leaving the archer behind.
"I am, master healer." She said in a soft, meek voice.

It figures, thought Denzel, when a party is in danger, more often than not, they will throw leadership on the one who is most likely to stay alive the longest.
"Add me to your party Priestess. I want to get a better look at everyone."
She did so without hesitation and he was shocked by what he saw.

Everyone's health statuses were critically low except for that of the priestess and mage.
With no bless, it was a given that they would not recharge.
Why do they not sit and rest? He thought. He was bewildered by their apparent stupidity.
In addition, each member had been struck by not one, but several defensive debuffs.
The priestess was empty of magic energy and the archer was out of arrows.

Denzel lowered his head in disappointment.
As he considered what he should do to help, determination began to replace the disappointment.
He focused his magic energy to cast a powerful healing spell.
Within seconds the party's life energy was completely restored, leaving only the debuffs, which he cured by casting a debuffing spell.
They didn’t call him Master Healer for nothing, he boasted to himself.

"Now, all of you, go eat and rest.” He said in a stern, fatherly voice.
They gave him one last look then left without so much as a thank you.
Curiously, the mage stayed. She stared at him and openly studied his face.

He looked at her quizzically before asking, “Is there something else I can help you with?"

After a short pause, she spoke, "Tell me Master Healer, why do you remain here when you dear friend Kaiven is missing?"
Denzel was taken aback by her forward question.
Of all the things she could have asked, why that?

The lady Mage took advantage of his prolonged silence as an opportunity to say more.
"I know of you Denzel Vennin. You long to join the fight and prove you worth not only as a healer, but also as a soldier."

"Pardon my question, but how do you know all this?" he replied. In a more fierce tone he said, "And, yes, I do long to join the fight. In fact, I would gladly take a more active role for the Goddess’s sake, but what party would have me?
Too many in the alliance believe that the only good priest is one who stays on the sidelines of battle; meanwhile, dutifully throwing around heal spells!"
He finished his ranting then glared at her for a moment to catch his breath.
She gazed at him with her big sapphire eyes but said nothing, waiting patiently for him to continue.
"I am sorry," He said in a much softer tone, "but what party ever wanted a battle priest? They care only for the ones that heal. That is why I stay here, healing the injured and the sick."

She smiled ever so slightly and said, "Then maybe it is time for a change, Battle Priest."

The tone of her voice made him shiver.
"How do you mean?" he asked.

Clutching her staff tightly, she stepped closer to him and whispered, "It just so happens that I may have an idea as to the whereabouts of your dear friend Kaiven."

Denzel's green eyes widened with surprise "What? how…” he stuttered, “How do you know this? Please, you must tell me, I fear he may be in great danger!"

"Calm yourself, Battle Priest.
I do not know exactly where he may be, but I overheard a Fury speak of a great happening around Maitreyan just before I summoned a lightning bolt to fry his brains.
And it just so happens that the party you just healed was headed that way before we were ambushed."
He watched as her innocent smile turned into a smug look.
"I plan to return there, but not alone."

"And, you want me to tag along, is that it?"

"Indeed. With your strong magic and powerful healing spells, I am certain we can make it."

Denzel thought for a moment, If I join her then perhaps this is the chance I've been waiting for. My chance to prove my worth to the Alliance and my Goddess.

------ooOoo------

Larin looked around the center city.
He watched as people milled about, staring at him behind hair and eyelashes.
They were afraid, wary and very cautious.
It seemed lately that everyone was afraid of him.
Personally, he wouldn’t blame them.
He had become very…aggressive over the past few nights.

His recent change in personality was all because of that cursed goddess of the Fury.
She had been haunting his dreams and his everyday rituals lately and he desperately wanted it to end.

His most dominant emotion as of late was anger.
He also had a strong passion to kill and destroy any who looked his way.
But, he couldn't.
He was a scout in the Goddess’s army.

The city guards were already aware of his change of personality.
They now watched him warily.
He looked around at the guards staring at him.
He clenched his fists at the undying rage that began to well up inside him.
All too often, when his anger began to flare as it was now, he heard voices.
Sometimes, it was a slight whisper in his mind.
The whisper of a Goddess.
Other times, he would hear the sound of an angelic voice, which he assumed was the Goddess of Light, being drowned out by the demonic cry of the Goddess of the Fury.
I'm going crazy! He muttered to himself.

He walked into an alley way.
There stood a foolish trainee attempting to lure a cat with a dead sardine.
He was far too….negligent of his surroundings, thought Larin.

His bloodrage was beginning to rise again at the sight of such an innocent human.
He glared evilly at the lad then silently pulled out his bow.
After he had knocked an arrow he let it fly straight for his heart.
The boy choked once then fell sideways.
Larin waited for a few seconds then walked to the dead corpse.
The recruit lay with his mouth and eyes open in a permanent look of shock.
Larin grabbed both of his cold, lifeless hands and drug the body to a trash heap at the end of the alley.
The area was shadowed enough that the body wouldn't be found for a couple of days when it began to smell like rot.
He quickly ran back to the fortress.

As he ran, he let out a wild yell.
It sounded halfway between a yipping sound and a screech.
He reached the door to his apartment and slid silently into his empty room repressing the memory of his recent act.

He sat down on his cot and began to unlace his deerskin boots.
The voices taunted him in the back of his mind again, but quieter.
For now.
But that wasn't new.
They haunted him wherever he went.
He had hoped that the voices would leave after that first killing, but they did not.
He needed more bloodshed.

------ooOoo------

<br> Check out my DeviantArt page!

LadyLanaee

Rank 0
LadyLanaee
Joined
07 Apr 2009
Posts
166
Location
United States
PostedAug 23, 2009 7:36 pm   Last edited by LadyLanaee on Jan 21, 2010 8:03 pm. Edited 1 time in total

Chapter 4

Edited. 1/21/10
By the Goddess! He is strong! Alteos exclaimed to himself.

Locked in mortal combat with the most dangerous foe he had fought since those dark days so long ago, Alteos and the Dark Commander fought toe to toe for what seemed an eternity.

He could feel sweat dripping down his back and sides and the clanging sounds of metal hitting metal rang out loudly as he fought ferociously.
It was almost a war between his body and his mind as he fought to ignore the things happening around him.

Alteos had almost completed a full three sixty after successfully blocking a skillful slashing of the Commander’s glowing sword, but stopped when his opponent began to spasm slightly.
It body seemed to convulse as he desperately reached for something at the back of its neck.
This slight distraction was all Alteos needed.
With an empowered magical thrust from his halberd, Alteos skewered the dreadful being.
As it sank to the floor, he turned to survey the area.

In a blinding flash of bright purple light the corpse was gone and in its place sat a mouse.
No, wait, he thought.
A small rat.

Exhausted, Alteos knelt and gently lifted up the little creature.
Sensing the fear, pain and agony of his little savior, Alteos closed his eyes and healed the little one with his abilities.
He touched its mind telepathically and the image of a shiny pebble greeted his entrance.

"Thank you, my little friend. You helped me to destroy a most horrible creature today.” He said with a smile.
The rat looked up to meet his gaze.

Pebble is what he decided he would call her.
He placed her into the safety of his pouch.

With the Dark Commander destroyed, Alteos saw that his army had begun to destroy the remaining enemy forces, sweeping the area clean.
He surveyed the proximity.
V'rak and G'nash ran up to him followed by a few Deepen Mait defenders.

"V'rak, G'nash. Take command of the Defenders and get this area secured.
No telling what still may be around. Oh, and if you find anything unusual, have it brought to my study rooms."
"Yes Master." Both Orc warriors answered almost in unison.
"Oh, and don't attempt to hunt down our guests and Lady Lyria. I don't need dead champions." he said as an afterthought.

Both Orcs gathered up all the Defenders in the hall and went to do as ordered.

Alteos headed for his rooms.
He was very tired and felt that this would be his last chance to rest before more attacks came.
There were also some pressing matters that needed his immediate attention.
The mystic shields surrounding Deepen Mait needed to be strengthened and the Rings of Algerion needed to be found.

Oh yes. And then there's Lady Lyria. She’s up to something. But what? he mused.
He didn’t allow himself to ponder this thought for too long. He needed to recharge his energy, heal his wounds and eat.

Moments later, in his private chambers, Alteos removed his armor and set his halberd into its display case mounted on the wall.
He grabbed the pouch where his little guest rested and headed for his private kitchen.
He prepared himself a meal of cheese, bread, meat, light wine and apples.
Before he left the kitchen, he grabbed a knife laying on the counter and a wooden block.

He went to his favorite chair in front of his elaborate fireplace and sat down with a sigh setting the tray of food on a table next to the armrest.
In his lap, he folded a small cloth into a square and laid it on the table too.
Reaching into the pouch, he carefully brought out his savior and placed her on the cloth.
He then took the block, knife and apples from the tray and began to cut the fruit into small slices.

Looking over at the small creature, he noticed that she was shaking.
He could sense her hunger and fear.
"Easy little one. You are safe and none here shall hurt you," he said as he placed a little bit of bread and apples before her.
"You know, you made a difference out there today. A big difference"

Then he poured a little wine into a saucer and set it down next to the cloth.

Leaning back in his armchair, he began to think deeply.
Now, what to do next?

------ooOoo------

Pebble woke from sleep and looked up to see the human asleep in his chair.
She sat there totally astonished.
This human... he…he had saved her!
Picked her up from the floor and tucked her safely away!
Now he was feeding her! She couldn't believe her whiskers!

She licked her paws, cleaning them and picked up a slice of apple.
It wasn’t long before all the slices were gone then she turned her attention to the bowl of liquid.
She lapped at it happily and before long, it was gone too.
Her head began to swim and her mouth felt as though it was filled with dandelion fluff.
What the heck was in that bowl? She thought in a daze.
She reeled unsteadily, spinning once on her back paw then fell from the table to the floor.
Her vision flashed white on impact, and the world went black.

Pebble's mind swam through the darkness, sometimes surfacing briefly before being pulled back into the abyss.
Shapes began to form, voices floated about her like dust motes drifting through a sunbeam, sudden and bright, then gone.
Her vision cleared, revealing a cold, damp cave overgrown with moss and dripping with water.
The scent of earth and rot was overpowering.
Muted light filtered through from an entrance nearby that softly illuminated the area.

In the center of the room rested a perfectly circular basin carved from rough stone.
Water fell like a waterfall into it from somewhere above.
It sat in a shallow hole as thought it had formed right there in the ground.

Pebble crept towards the basin, her little paws sinking into the damp carpet of moss.
She felt a presence, several of them actually, as she drew closer to it, but she couldn’t see who or where they were.
Her soft grey fur on her back stood on end as an eerie chill creeped up her spine.
She poked her little nose over the lip of the bowl.
Something silver flashed at her.
Oh! And something gold! She exclaimed to herself.
They reminded her of little fish. They seemed to spin around each other at the bottom of the bowl in a never ending game of tag.
As she continued to watch in a daze she began to wonder, Were they actually fish or something else?
The water was slightly murky. They could be anything.

Suddenly, she had a premonition, as though her tail were whispering truths to her that she hadn't known she knew till now.
They were rings.
And she was here to get them.

She looked around, remembering the presences.
I don’t think they can see me.
She looked back down at the rings.
She was quite small.
So small that the rings could fit around her neck.
She would take them to where they belonged, she decided.
The water seemed to burn her as she reached her tiny arms down into the bowl.
She paused. No, wait. They felt both hot and cold. How odd, she mused and twitched her whiskers.
She resumed her quest, deciding to ignore the odd sensation.
She needed those rings.
It was like her whole being was suddenly filled with a sense of purpose.

It was as she was reaching towards the rings that the cave began to fade to black.
Pebble plunged back down into the darkness of drunken sleep and the dream faded like the mist of early dawn at sunrise.

Pebble woke, but kept her beady eyes tightly shut.
She was dimly aware of being watched closely.
She opened one eye to see the man looking at her curiously.
Quickly closing her eye, she curled into a tight ball, pulling her tail into the safety of her paws and body.
She was safe now and warm.

------ooOoo------

Back in Deepen Mait…

------ooOoo------

Lyria quirked a pale eyebrow at Kaiven before he could object,
“You have two choices right now. You can stay here and fight or you can follow me while everyone else is distracted.”
She motioned to the fighting, “I think they’re better equipped to deal with the problems here than we are. I’m ditching this battle,” she said pointing at the war raging around them.
“Come with me if you’d like. I would appreciate the assistance, but the choice is yours.”

After a quick glance in Alteos’s direction, she took off down the hallway behind her.
Her full lips twitch into a smile when she heard the echoing footfalls of Alteos’s guests behind her.

Lyria led them through a confusing maze of passages and up a few flights of stairs into an area that seemed to have been forgotten over time.

She knew Deepen Mait as well as any of the rats scurrying for cover in the dimly lit passages.
Early on, when she first began to work with Alteos, she had searched out the secret passages she had heard about from the Orc guards.
She had originally intended to find them in case she ever needed a quick escape route since Deepen Mait was hard to find in the first place.
She now thanked the Goddess that she had the forethought to do so.

She came to an abrupt halt when she rounded the last corner.
The exit before them glowed softly with natural sunlight, but was blocked by a small party of invaders.
Lyria signaled for the Vail and Human to pass her as she rained ice down on the invaders.
She then focused her healing touch on her associates.

------ooOoo------

The pretty blonde heaved an exasperated sigh.
“Fight against each other later if you absolutely must, but, if you haven’t noticed, we have bigger problems at the moment.”
She placed her dainty hands on her hips and stared at them.

“You have two choices right now. You can stay here and fight, or you can follow me while everyone else is distracted.
I think they’re better equipped to deal with the problems then we are.
I’m ditching this battle." She paused.
"Come with me if you’d like. I would appreciate the assistance, but the choice is yours.”

Jadynn contemplated her words for a few seconds then decided against killing the human.
For now at least.
Maybe this will give me a chance to kill both of them then leave this place.
The girl ran towards a dimly lit hallway, away from the chaos that was the battle.
She watched as Kaiven nodded then followed her out.
Bone and Ash, she thought. I have no other choice.
She snarled and ran after her.

Their path twisted and turned in a never ending maze of passages.
Secret passages, she thought. They must be.
The girl halted at a corner and Jadynn looked to see a group of invaders.
She motioned them forward as she rained a shower of hail on the invader’s heads.
The sickening crack of an energy bolt rang out an instant after the hail cleared.
A man fell to his knees.
Kaiven raced forward, his face a mask of concentration.
His sword severed a man’s arm and then he turned to decapitate another.

Oh how he made her heart flutter.
NO! I cannot give into this feeling.
Her thoughts turned to stone and animal instinct took over.
Magic attacks flashed while her chanting never ended.

Finally, the invaders lay all around them, surrounding them with the stench of death and sweat.
Light engulfed Jadynn and she was healed completely.
The girl then raced towards the exit and out to the light.
They followed, their footsteps the only thing breaking the silence.

The sun was high in the sky and Jadynn had to cover her eyes to let them readjust to the bright light.
Her heart skipped a beat when she felt him stop just beside her.
He too had to cover his eyes.
His breath was uneven and short.
She could see that he was tense and wary of her.

He has every reason to fear me,
she mused, but I don't sense any trace of natural fear in him.

------ooOoo------

<br> Check out my DeviantArt page!

LadyLanaee

Rank 0
LadyLanaee
Joined
07 Apr 2009
Posts
166
Location
United States
PostedSep 17, 2009 2:15 pm

Chapter 5

The next morning…

------ooOoo------

Larin woke exhausted after a night full of nightmares.
He had to do something this morning to satisfy his craving for bloodshed.
He stalked precariously out of the fortress.
Before long he found himself standing in the middle of a field of Wyvern.


So what if he was just a scout.
A scout was meant to scout out things not kill.
"Bah!" He thought. "I can kill a whole lot of things, people included." He said to himself as he watched a lone Wyvern drift in his direction.
And maybe, if he fed his new found desire, just maybe, the voices would leave.

He lined up a shot and let the arrow flow towards the beast.
It slammed into its ear and the animal gave a loud shriek of annoyance.
It reached an arm up in an attempt to pull the embedded arrow from its right ear but was unable to grasp the think pole.

Instead, it turned around and stormed toward the Larin.

Larin laughed maniacally, then turned and lured it towards the gates of the large castle.
As he half-ran and half-walked, he let off snap shots.
The Wyvern swung carelessly at these, as if they were flies.

As it charged after the archer, it's left shoulder slammed into a guard tower.
The gaurds began to ring the alarm bell and Larin could here the sound of people screaming and crying out in fear.
Larin began to grin evilly as he watched the angered Wyvern trample the helpless crowds of onlookers.
As the beast became lost in the chaos of the town square with all its shops, tents and people, Larin silently slipped into a dark alley way.
He watched from the shadows, enthralled as the the Wyvern wreaked havoc on the people in the fortress.

Moments later, a fighter intervened and slayed the angry beast.
Larin began to fill with rage, but did not allow it to boil over.
He surveyed the damage left in the Wyvern's wake and was quite pleased to see how destructive it had been.

Satisfied with his doings, he ran back to his room, the voices softer in his head.

------ooOoo------

Alteos closed his eyes and began to cast his inner vision around Deepen Mait.
In a bit, the magic barriers will be back up and much stronger than before.
He chuckled as he sensed Lyria, Kaiven and Jadynn make their way through the secret tunnels below Deepen Mait.
I will find them later…when they are truly needed.

As Alteos continued to check the area, he suddenly felt a change in the fabric of life.
Something was very wrong.
He noted that the blessing of the goddess had not been granted recently.
There must have been a shift in power.
How odd.
Normally there was a balance in the granting of the blessings upon the followers.
What has that fool goddess done now?! He thought angrily.

Alteos reached out his hand in the direction of his halberd and it flew from its mount straight into his waiting grasp then he turned and headed to his scrying room.

She didn't succeed in her idiotic plan did she?"
Alteos mused over the Furian Goddess as he headed up a twisting staircase.

"She better not have."

He had known of her attempted plans for a while now, but had not thought that she would go through with them. Or at least not any time soon.

The battle with the Cryptic One's aspect tended to wear him out quickly, but this situation needed his attention immediately.

Alteos crested the ever rising staircase and reached for the handle of the door before him.
It opened easily for being such a heavy door and he rushed through to stop at the glassy scrying pool.

Is there another outside influence? One other than the goddesses and the Dark One? Alteos wondered to himself.
"No, it must just be bad timing." Alteos replied out loud to his own thoughts.

He waved his halberd over the water and it clouded over then cleared to show a battle scene then shifted to show a brilliant blood red dragon flying peacefully over a mountain range.
There was Lyria and he band of renegades also my heroes.
The vision continued to change until it stopped on something odd.

A Wyvern attacking a castle. Those creatures are strong, but not stupid.
They wouldn’t just attack the castle without being antagonized.
Something set it off, but what?

He watched as mayhem broke out amongst the citizenry.
Casting his Alliance of Light glamour over himself once more, he looked in an oval mirror mounted on the wall and Raven Darkslayer stared back.
He was ready to intervene.

He gave one last look at his reflection then shook his head.
“I don't have time for this," he said angrily.

Focusing on the image of the Wyvern, Alteos raised his halberd, now a fancy looking staff, above his head and teleported with practiced ease to the chaos therein.

In a blinding flash of light, Alteos entered the chaotic atmosphere of the village.
The piercing sound of the screaming villagers greeted his ears. He walked out from the alley way he had teleported to and watched as guardsmen endeavored fruitlessly to stop the powerful creature.

He raised his staff as the Wyvern turned abruptly to see him and as it began to charge, a fighter clad in Myth Armor began to attack it.
After a few skillful attacks, he thrust the blade where its heart should have been and it fell over, blood dripping from its mouth.

Small fires burned everywhere.
Alteos looked around and the destruction left in the Wyverns wake.
He zapped the flames with elemental bolts of ice.
They smoked profusely before going out completely.
He watched, pleased, as healers and guards began to take control of the situation.
The fighter turned to look in Alteos’s direction.
They nodded in greeting then the fighter moved to help a woman up from the ground.

"Master Raven, thank the goddess that you arrived.” Said the Captain of the Guard as he walked up to him.
"Why did that Wyvern attack the fortress?" Alteos asked.
"We are unsure as to why it attacked. But it is odd how one minute it was frolicking in the field over there,” he pointed in the direction of the field of brush and dirt, “and the next minute it was over here attacking the castle." He said in a country twang.
"Can I have a look at it? Maybe I can figure out why it was driven to attack.”
As they walked in the direction of the dead beast, Alteos looked to see an arrow embedded in its ear.
“See the arrow embedded in its’ ear? It’s not enough to kill it, but enough to enrage it profusely.”
He raised his impressive staff over the creature and closed his eyes in deep concentration.
He sensed a magical residue.
He drew closer to the being and examined the arrow.
Definitely an archer’s arrow, but the magic used to shoot it was wrong….or tainted.

"Captain,” he said, motioning for the captain to draw near.
“Has anything odd been going around here?" He queried.
"Nothing odd, but we have not been granted a bless since this mornin’ which is very unlike the goddesss. " Replied the plump captain.
"Hmm….Nothing else? Are you certain?”
"No, nothing else has been reported." He answered with a worried look on his face.
Tossing a Vox Crystal to the Captain, who expertly caught its shiny form, Alteos said, "If anything out of the ordinary occurs, no matter how insignificant it may appear to you at the time, contact me immediately.”

" Yes sir." The Captain replied.
His face suddenly very pale and aged.

“I’ll take care of the beast for you before I leave.”
He raised his staff and hit the corpse with a powerful bolt of lightning.
It burned quickly and all that remained was a pile of ashes.

------ooOoo------

Back in Karis Castle, Denzel stood with a lady magister.

------ooOoo------

After careful consideration of the lady mage's proposal, Denzel had made his decision.

"Yes," he said. "I will help you. But know this. I go for Kaiven's sake. I believe he is in great danger."

“Good choice,” replied the elf with a smile. "Let us be on our way. We have already lost precious time."

Just as they turned to enter a portal, Laran the archer sprinted through the front gates into the center square.
Denzel thought of stopping to ask him what was the matter, but he was too far away and didn’t feel like yelling.
Suddenly, a large Wyvern crashed through the wall.
Shocked and awestruck, the priest and mage could do little but dodge the raging beast's fireballs.

Wham!

A fireball hit the ground a few meters from where they both stood.
The force of impact caused Denzel and the mage to be thrown backwards.
As one, they slammed into the wall behind them and then Denzel began to sink into blackness.
Before Denzel’s eyes closed completely, he saw a curious flash of light and…“Raven?” he spoke in a weak voice.
Then all went black.

When Denzel came to, the elf mage was slumped awkwardly on top of his lower body.
His body resting in a sitting position against a wall.
She must have slammed into me after I hit the wall, he thought.
He winced in pain as he gently tried to push the mage off of his aching body.

Broken pelvis, he noted as he rolled into a sitting position. He cast a powerful healing spell on his body then on the mage’s sleeping form.
As he got to his feet, the mage woke and looked about in a daze.

"Mmm... what happened?" she mumbled as she sat up.

"Good question." Replied Denzel as he surveyed the destruction at the center square of the fortress.
"Can you stand?"

"Yes, just give me a moment."
He reached out an arm to her and she grasped it gratefully as he pulled her light frame to her feet. "Thank you." She said with a smile.

Denzel looked around once more then rested his worried eyes back on the mage.
He watched as she carefully dusted off her skirt.
"If you can walk, we should probably depart before some else attempts to stop us.”

------ooOoo------

Later that evening…

------ooOoo------

Traveling through a small canyon, Denzel looked over at his companion.
She really was quite beautiful.
"I don't believe I got your name." He said with a smirk.

She chuckled. Her laugh reminded him of bells tinkling.
The perfect sound for such a lovely lady.
"I didn't give it," she said with a smile, "but you may call me Zaieda."

"Call you...Zaieda?" He repeated the name, testing its pronunciation.
It left a tingle in his lips as he spoke her name. "What do you mean…call you? That is your name, is it not?"

Again she chuckled and the tinkling sound gave him goose bumps.
"No, not really. But I like it. It makes me feel...human." She said as she gazed up at the sky.
Her eyes began to glimmer with unshed tears.

"Human? But, you’re an elf."
Her gaze shifted to the ground at her feet and an odd expression of irritation flitted across her face.
“I know!” She said sharply. “But I’m not completely elf….I’m….a half elf.”
"Half elf?" he repeated bemused.
"You see, my father was an elf of noble standing, but my mother was a simple peasant from Beika, the human village.
Their meeting was...accidental, to say the least.
From what mother told me, Father stumbled into one of Beika's pubs one night, quite drunk and very disoriented.
Silly fool thought he was in Aelbeageu.
One thing led to another and, well, here I am." She finished with a slight smile.

"Yes, so you are" Denzel replied giving her a look of kind understanding.
They held each other’s gaze for a long moment then were interrupted by the tumbling of a stone.
It fell from the cliff next to them.
They stood about a foot or two apart from each other and the stone stopped oddly in-between them.
Denzel’s instincts were suddenly on high alert. He quickly looked up to scan the cliff face.
A faint flash of red flickered once in the back of his perceptive mind then was gone.
He looked back at Zaieda who opened her mouth to speak but he shushed her with a slight gesture of his hand.

Grabbing her arm, he pulled her close against his chest and whispered in her ear.
"Don't move.”
He watched as a blush spread across her pale cheeks.
She shied away from his face, embarrassed by his closeness.

Denzel took one step back from the half elf and expertly began to cast a spell.
He let the spell go and his vision was suddenly brighter and more in focus.
He looked around at everything as it glowed with an unearthly brightness.
This light was invisible to the naked eye but with his powerful spells, he could see it.
He could only see the light when his eyes were closed, but even though they were closed he could still see.
It was as if a vail had been removed from his eyes.
He quickly surveyed the surrounding area looking for the danger that he knew was there.
He spotted it quite quickly.

Denzels eyes snapped open as he targeted the assassin hidden by a stealth spell.
One shot and the Vail’s stealth guise dropped.
The impact of his spell knocked the Fury from his perch on the cliff and he tumbled to the ground to stop at the feet of both magic users.
Zaieda was already casting a rooting spell before he climbed to his feet.
Deadly vines entwined around his legs and feet causing him to fall again.
Denzel ,seeing his advantage, slammed the assassin with a high energy sonic bolt.
Zaieda began to ready another attack but Denzel raised his staff to stop her.
She stopped.
"Kill him!" She blurted impatiently.
He ignored her.
He reached down, grabbed the assassin's tunic and pulled him to his feet.
He aggressively pressed the tip of staff against the enemies neck just below his lower jaw.

The assassin glared and snarled at the priest, but Denzel did not even allow himself to flinch.

“If you value your life then you had better answer me quickly! Where is Kaiven, the fighter, tell me! Tell me NOW!!" He shouted at the laughing assassin.
The assassin sneered back a reply in his heathen tongue then spit in Denzel’s face.

------ooOoo------

Zaieda watched, unable to understand the conversation.

Whatever Dezel was saying, he certainly got the tone right, the strange words made her skin crawl and the assassins beastly cackling didn't help.
Why doesn't he just kill the thing already? She wondered slightly annoyed.

They exchanged a few more harsh words and “the thing” spat at Denzel’s angry face.
The assasin’s words were ugly and filled with bloodlust.
Very impressive for one with such a small brain, the thought with a smirk.

The assassin began to laugh maniacally and Denzel glanced at her, a look of displeasure upon his face.

He looked as though he were about to give the rude assassin a final blow when his evil laugh was cut short.
As it sputtered and sunk to the ground with a final screech of anger, Denzel turned to stare at her in shock.

An arrow jutted out from his back and crimson blood began to soak the assassin’s white tunic.

Her eyes slowly moved from the dead Fury to meet Denzel’s shocked gaze.
Her mouth gaped open and she raised a hand to her head.
She began to get dizzy from shock and disbelief.

------ooOoo------

Denzel dropped the sputtering captive in surprise.
He turned to stare in shock at Zaieda.

After a few seconds the shock wore off and his training set in.
He stepped back and began to scan the area. His eyes laid to rest of their mystery archer.
On the cliff opposite from the assassin’s most recent perch stood Larin.

"Larin!?" Shouted Denzel.

The archer jumped from his vantage point, landing gracefully a few meters from where they stood.
The two magic wielders hurried over to him with cheerful greetings and relieved sighs.

"Hey guys! I hope I didn’t just interrupt anything important."
Larin smiled at the couple.

With Denzel's detection spell was still activated, he stopped abruptly.
His spell was picking up an odd aura around the archer.
He racognized him to be the archer he had attempted to heal earlier in Karis Castle.
Then he had looked fine and healthy, now he stood before them with a dark shadow lingering about him like a cloud.
How odd, he mused.

Zaieda, at the sight of the archer, halted near them forming a perfect triangle.
She acknowledged the archer with a slight nod then they both turned as one towards Denzel and spoke as one.
"Friend of yours?"

Denzel flinched at the sound of their query.
Shaking his head once to clear the fading effects of the detection spell, he replied, "Uh..yea. Zaieda, this is..."
"Larin." Said the archer.
"Yes, Laran," he paused, "Laran, I'd like you to meet Zaieda. She's a half-elf."

"Half-elf eh? Pleased to meet ya m’lady." He said with a smile. "So, where are you two going," he paused, "all by yourselves?"

Larin smirked mischeviously making Denzel begin to squirm.
"Zaieda and I are going to Maitreyan. She thinks we might find Kaiven there."

Larin's playful expression oddly disappeared as Denzel spoke.
It was replaced by grave look, too serious for this once cheerful archer.
"Kaiven," He repeated.
His voice sounded strangely hollow.
"Is that so? Well then, do you mind if i join you?"

"No, not at all! Please do!" Quickly replied Zaieda cutting off Denzel mid breath.
"We could use all the help we can get. There's no telling what we might run into along the way."

Larin turned his immediate attention to Zaieda.
As she spoke, he boldly gazed at her with hungry eyes and a cold, lifeless smile.
"Thank you. I'm looking forward to a good fight." He said to her.
His stare shifted to Denzel on whom he fixed the same cold smile.
Denzel shifted his weight from foot to foot anxiously.
"Why does he look at me that way? I have a bad feeling about this. Goddess help us all." He said to himself.

------ooOoo------

Larin walked with his new friends, or so they thought.
However, he didn't quite trust the half-elf, then again, he really never trusted anyone, but that was his job as a scout.
"Never trust anyone," was what they told him in training.
He followed this principle well.

He was pleased to see the priest again.
Not because he was a priest and friend, but because he too sought out the one he was meant to kill.
This made his job easier.

"But, if Denzel becomes a nuisance after my goal is complete, I will simply destroy him.
I may end up being marked as a traitor, but I would rather save my goddess." He thought to himself.

The half-elf, standing to his right, turned to look over at Larin who quickly flashed a smile in her direction.
She smiled back warmly then returned her attention to the map she was intently studying.
With a short, "Ready?" from Denzel, they were off.
Heading towards their goal...or possibly their doom.

------ooOoo------

Vvvvrrrrroooooossssssh

In a flash of blinding light, Alteos teleported to his study back in Deepen Mait.
He walked to his chair and sank onto its hard leather seat setting his staff to lean against his desk.
A deep slumber began to engulf his mind and in moments he was dreaming.

He dreamt of a library.
The Lilipus library.
Long and forgotten.
Hidden somewhere in the territory of the Light.
As he dreamt about the library, he suddenly felt a deep sense of purpose.
I must get to that library, he said to himself.

"Master Alteos. Sir?"
Alteos woke with a start, awakened from his deep slumber.

He looked up to see his Captain of Magic.
She stood there respectfully, waiting for his response.
Her query still hung in the air.

"Yes?" Alteos said as he shook the fatigue from his mind.

"We have just recieved word that a small party intends to breach Maitreyan within a few days.
It was also reported that there seems to be something odd about them."

"Odd you say? Interesting. Shall we go to my scrying room?" Alteos replied as he stood. He reached for his staff and proceeded to head to the room with the captain in tow.

As the captain shut the heavy ancient wooden door behind them, Alteos began to wave his staff over the scrying pool.
An image began to form within seconds.

The odd trio, made up of an elven archer, a half-elf mage and a battle priest trudged through the endless desert of the borderlands.

"I see what you mean," He said as they watched the trio.
"There is something odd about them." Alteos confirmed.
He used his mind to search them out.
When his thoughts reached the group, he examined each one in turn.
The archer seemed to emit a taint. An evil taint,he thought as a chill went up his spine.

"We need to keep an eye on them. Especially the archer." He said to his captain.
"Captain see to it they find their way to our Crystal Chamber and make sure nothing happens to the battle priest and mage. I sense that there is something amiss with this bunch of travelers."

"Yes Master." The Captain of Magic bowed then left the room allowing the heavy door to close on its on behind her fleeting form.

Alteos continued to stare at the trio, meanwhile, forming a plan.
That archer may be very useful to me.
I definitly have a use for this battle priest and mage.
These two would be a great addition to my forces.

Alteos turned from the scrying pool and headed back to his rooms.

I need a meal and some sleep.
As he walked, he pondered the taint he had seen surrounding the archer.
That taint was the same that covered the arrow I found embedded in the poor Wyvern's ear this morning.
"Odd," he said quietly to himself.

<br> Check out my DeviantArt page!

Kazmac

Rank 0
Kazmac
Joined
04 Jan 2008
Posts
9
Location
San Diego United States
PostedOct 22, 2009 1:41 pm
great story and i thought mine was good :p

LadyLanaee

Rank 0
LadyLanaee
Joined
07 Apr 2009
Posts
166
Location
United States
PostedDec 23, 2009 1:13 am   Last edited by LadyLanaee on Dec 23, 2009 2:21 pm. Edited 1 time in total

Chapter 6

Sorry this took so long! Here it is! Finally!
In another part of the realm of Teos, a victorious party defeats the powerful Pharos.

------ooOoo------

A loud screech filled the hall as Pharos fell to the stone floor.
Her body convulsed for a few seconds then lay still, now a cold, lifeless corpse.
The victorious party threw up their arms as one and shouted with a triumphant roar filling the halls of the dungeon.
All around her dead form lay her brave cohorts and protectors.
A sad bunch of guards, the whole lot of them could not withstand against a well trained party.

The group began to probe the bodies for any useful loot to sell or keep for future use.
They had stacked up a large pile in the middle of the room within minutes.
As they began to stow the items, the fighter broke the concentrated silence.

"I didn't think she'd ever go down."
"Aye! She be a tough wench. Those **** skel'tins din'a 'elp the situation much ei'der." Replied the defender in a thick accent.
"Hey guys, find any good items from this raid?" Asked the second fighter.
The dainty priestess piped in with, "I can't wait to take a hot bath at the inn."
A silly grin of pleasure crossed her weary face.
"Me....uuuuuuh" began the ranger but was cut short as a bolt of pure energy tinged with purple struck him squarely in the chest. He fell over, no longer among the living.

At the sight of their fallen comrade, the others scrambled about, fumbling for weapons.
A swarm of darkly clad figures began to charge the room and the party members took up their customary defensive positions.
Metal clashed against metal in a short battle that left the party lying, scattered about the floor.
These were no ordinary enemies.

A shocked and terrified priestess shook in a corner, her body huddled and curled into a tight ball against the cold walls.
Tears of pure terror streamed down her face as the sickly foes drew near to her.
Their ugly forms stopped a foot away and waited as if they expected her to attack or scream.
As they watched her cry and shake in terror, more armored figures came and surrounded Pharos's dead corpse.
A Tall dark figure clad in black armor that glowed a sickly purple approached.
It began to chant in a low guttural voice.
The sadness of his song seemed to shake her from her terror.
Her tears ceased and she watched in a calm trance as his voice ebbed and flowed life back into the horrid creature that was Pharos.
His ugly words, sung in a foreign tongue, continued to rise and fall, pulling her into an even deeper trance.
She was so enthralled by the scene before her that she forgot about the guards standing above her.
Suddenly, the dead body began to glow with a purple light and slowly rose from the floor.
It seemed to right itself then its eyes opened with a flash of blinding purple light. She smiled once at the priestess and the world was instantly back to normal.
Her head screamed in terror as she watched the now alive Pharos breath a new breath of life.

The Dark Cleric greeted the evil figure before him in a silky smooth voice, "Greetings Pharos. The Master has a use for you. Come, we have work to do."
He turned abruptly and motioned to his guards.
Pharos followed dutifully, a trail of purple light followed her large form as she left the dungeon.

As he approached the entrance to the chamber he turned to the priestess who stared back in pure terror.

"Well little priestess it seems you remain. How unfortunate for you. I have greatly missed having a pet." he said to her with a devious look in his dark eyes.
He laughed at his words then motioned for the guards to bring her along.

She screamed in protest and terror as she was thrown rudely over a shoulder of a guard.
The procession of warriors moved to the door and once through, dissapeared in a flash of blinding purple light leaving death and carnage in their wake.

------ooOoo------

The Crystal Chamber, Deepen Mait.

------ooOoo------

Alteos gazed at the company of his best troops assembled before him.
A legion of Alliance of Light and Union of Fury filled the vast chamber.

He stood before them, his glamour now gone, clenching his Halberd Goddess Heart in his right fist.
He wore dark forest green Anduin Geld Battle armor that had been forged long ago by the ancient Dwarven smithies of yore.
Tucked into the crook of his arm was his Anduin Geld helm with its smoke colored crystal visor.
This vision of pure nobility and strength was Alteos Rend, once known as the Grand Marshal and General Supreme to the Goddess and her followers.

His eyes scanned the soldiers.
There was each of every kind of race. Each believer worshiped the one true goddess.
Commanding each platoon were his Captains of War: Aria of the Vail known as the Captain of Mystics, Greyheart of the Elves known as the Captain of Special Stealth Units, G'nash of the Orcs known as the Captain of Shocktroop 1, V'rak, also of the Orcs, known as the Captain of the Shocktroop 2.
All commanders were clad in their respective battle gear but each were emblazoned with gold gelding signifying their rank and status among Alteos's subjects.
Alteos had made sure that this elite force was equipped with the best gear that Deepen Mait's armories could forge.

The room stood silently, waiting to hear the great words of their fearless leader.
"Today is the day we hope to find the 'key' that will lead us to the path of restoration.
I pray that the Great Library in Lilipus lied still unspoiled and its secrets untouched."
Alteos wondered.

"My loyal followers!"
His first words echoed throughout the large chamber and left the room breathless, waiting for what was to come.

"Today we shall invade Lilipus and retake it for the one true Goddess!"
A cheer rose up from the crowd and then all fell silent as Alteos raised his hand to silence them.
"Today we shall retake the key to our victory and begin our mission to restoring the Goddess to her truest self!"
Silence greeted these words.

"Today we destroy the unbelievers and followers of the Cryptic one!"
He paused again.
"Today is the day that we make ourselves known to Teos!" The crowd began cheering again but more loudly this time.
Alteos's strong voice rose above the din of the excited believers.
He raised his impressive halberd above his head and finished with, "So let us go forth now and make a name for ourselves! A title in the name of the Goddess!"
The roaring and cheering crescendoed into a chant.

"ALTEOS! ALTEOS! FOR THE GODDESS! FOR RESTORATION!"

Alteos waved his Goddess Heart and a magnificent iridescent colored portal appeared behind him.
Through the portal, Alteos and his assembled forces marched with grim determination showing on their somber and grave faces.
This was a battle they did not want to fight, but they had to.
For the Goddess.
For Restoration.

------ooOoo------

On a hidden mountain outpost south of Lilipus

------ooOoo------

At an old abandoned outpost of the Huigronn Stronghold, the atmosphere parts with an earsplitting ripping noise and a massive portal fills the void.
Alteos walks through, his grand entrance and glorious appearance is enough to take the breath from your lungs.

A stream of soldiers begin to file through the large portal, marching to from ranks near the entrance.
Before the early morning sun kisses the tip of the tall Huigronn mountains, Altoes make way to their predetermined positions near Lilipus.

An hour later, the Special Stealth units are in place with all Mystic Units precariously positioned behind them.
The 1st and 2nd Shocktroops stood on either side of the units, ready and anxious for battle.

"Wait until the sentries are in the middle of their shift change and then take them down," said Greyheart to his stealth teams. His strong voice rose above the clatter of metal and heavy gear.

As the defenders of the Lilipus began their hourly guard change, they were hit by a Huigronn raiding party.
The small party took down about a third of the Lilipus sentries before making a break to escape from the now alerted Lilipus defenders.
Their raid successfully pulled many of the sentries and defenders away from the library.

Alteos watched, uneasiness upon his face. "Ah, well no such thing as having a plan ever work out exactly as you have it planned. Not to worry though." He said to himself.
Because Alteos was not one to squander an opportunity, he quickly changed his plan of attack.

"First Shocktroops! Hit the sentries from behind! Second shocktroops! Hit the Lilipus Barracks!" He roared.

"Mystics and Stealths! We take the temple!" His powerful voice carried far and wide.
As he roared out other instructions, all around the sergeants and leaders roared out orders of their own.

As one, the 1st Shocktroop slammed into the rear of the defenders and sentries chasing the Huigronn raiding party.
They quickly overwhelmed and wiped them out.
After quickly regrouping, together they began to sweep through the barracks and the Lilipus guard post.
The battle ended shortly after, but was very vicious and bloody.

Meanwhile, Alteos and the units accompanying him, hit the defiled Temple of the Goddess and engaged the powerful clerics and dark crusaders of the Cryptic One one in bloody battle.
This too was a swift and nasty battle.

A couple of hours later, Lilipus was finally under the control of the Goddess's troops and commanded by Alteos.
The Mystics were instructed to begin the cleansing and purification of the Temple of The Goddess.
Others collected any artifacts or random items that looked as though it could be studied or deciphered.
The Stealth units were instructed to set up guard posts around Lilipus.
The 1st and 2nd Shocktroops began preparing the Lilipus Barracks for their occupation and set up makeshift prison cells for the few prisoners that remained where they would remain until transported to the dungeons of Deepen Mait.

Outside the guard post, funeral pyres burned intensely and the bodies of all the fallen were burned.
Alteos himself began to assist in the erection a commander's post for himself and a base of operations in the Library.
He ordered for guards to be set at the doors of the Great Library and for a special unit to scour the building for any leftover enemy troops then turned his attention to his Vox Crystal.

Through his Vox Crystal, he spoke with two of his commanders, "G'nash and V'rak, have your second in command take over. I need you both to start tracking that party with the battle priest, mage and archer."

Alteos sat down in a chair his troops had found him and began to think about his latest conquest.
Without trying to, his brain slowly wandered.
"I wonder what Lyria is up to?" His curiosity got the better of him and he picked up his scrying mirror from his new makeshift desk.
An image of the trio appeared on the glass surface.
He chuckled as he watched an interesting scene unfold.

Kaiven had the two ladies pinned under his body. Their faces were clearly perturbed by his actions.
Moments later, he watched as they skillfully avoided a Maitreyan spider. He watched for a while longer as they made camp and prepared to sleep for the night.
He then turned his scrying focus to the party of Battle Priest, Archer and Mage.
"Hm, still making their way into Maitreyan." He said quietly to himself.

After spending a good amount of time scrying Teos, he turned his immediate attention to his current goals: turning Lilipus into a fortress of the Goddess.

Alteos began by sending out orders through various commanders to pull constructions teams from the solders.
With some hard work and magical manipulation, Lilipus would have a strong defensive wall before the month was out.
In about three months, he planned to have a completed Keep that would add extra protection to this new site of operations.

With his new plans being initiated, his mind turned to other matters such as replenishing his strength with food and rest.

------ooOoo------

In the distance, a Huigronn raiding party watched as Lilipus was assaulted by a small, but powerful, army from the mountains.
To their horror, it was then assaulted by yet another large army. In a short amount of time, the great library was overwhelmed and its defenders annihilated.
A banner that had not been seen in centuries rose slowly above the village's traditional flag marking their victorious conquest.

It was an ominous yet oddly refreshing sort of sight.

The onlookers stared in an odd sort of shock.
What was more astounding were the invaders themselves.

They were a mixture of orc, dwarf, human and elven warriors along with the Union of Fury's very own Nordein and Vail warriors.
They all fought side by side, not as enemies, but as allies, almost as friends.

"By the Goddess! Who in the dark are they?" The lean priestess exclaimed.
She led the small band of raiders.
"Dunno....but they crushed them like they were nothing" an elven archer replied.
"We have to let the Stronghold know what has happened." a fighter mentioned, his well hidden fear causing his voice to waver slightly.
"Lets avoid them and get to the fortress before they spot us." said the Priestess as she turned to look at her party.

------ooOoo------

Lilipus: Southern Base Command

------ooOoo------

Using magical manipulation and several construction teams from Deepen Mait, the new Lilipus slowly turned into a military base.
Lilipus's new walls were almost finished and mostly in place. They were 20 feet thick from base to rampart.
Every 30 ft, a large platform sat atop where the trebuchets would be mounted.
A large gate and portcullis system with openings for boiling oil and murder holes marked the way in.

As the building processes progressed, security teams, set up by Alteos himself, thoroughly checked the Great Library of Lilipus for any hidden Lilipusians.

Meanwhile, the Goddess's Temple was purged of The Cryptic One's magics.
The dwarven and orc clans to the West and East of Huigronn Stronghold were rounded up and brought in to bolster the forces assembled in the new base of command.
Over 600 troops were now stationed there, including auxiliaries and a small cavalry detachment.

Alteos stood before his manuscripts of plans to build more support buildings, expanded armories, additional barracks and training facilities.
He noted in one of his dairies that the old storage building was gutted and a large cellar added. It was also on its way to being renovated.
All the new building were made of stone and covered with slate roofing.
Any existing ones were covered with stone and roofed in slate also.

In the midst of all the chaos, he had changed V'rak and G'nash's orders. They were to monitor the trade roads between Huigronn and Asgartes.
They each were instructed to take a cohort to assist them in their mission.
He ordered a small booth to be built at a high point near the trade route that was equidistant from Huigronn and Asgartes in an attempt to control the entire road.
Tolls would be collected from the merchants and from any who sought to use this vital route.

One thing was certain, there would be resistance unless he did something to deter this.
He contemplated this thought for a short while and suddenly it came to him.
Mystic towers. Towers to aid the patrol.
They would only fire upon hostile forces, of course.

He motioned for the guard at the door and quickly wrote him a note to pass on to his commanders.
He wanted mages sent with V'rak and G'nash to help erect these special towers.

The guard left and he sat back in his chair and began to ponder his work.
Something was going to happen soon, but he was not sure how soon.
He needed to get to Deepen Mait and question the prisoners from Lilipus. They new something and he needed to know what.
Even if he had to rip it from their very minds, he had to know.

Oh yes, and Lyria and the Battle priest needed checking up on too.

For the first time ever, Alteos shivered inside.
Something bad was going to happen.
Something very bad.

He stood suddenly, told the second guard that he would be going to pay the prisoners a visit then raised his Goddess Heart to create a portal.
The now permanent portal in his new office led to Deepen Mait.
He stepped through, pure determinations on his face.
He needed answers, and he wanted them now.

------ooOoo------

Far south of Karis, a dark tower lay hidden by both mist and fog.

A lone figure was confined to a small room atop the ominous tower.
A petite priestess lay curled in a tight ball against a dark corner if the tower room.
She lay on a bed of filthy straw covered by a thin, tattered balnket.
The young priestess cried softly, her frail body wracked with intense sobs of agony.
Her lips moved over and over, speaking prayers to her goddess.
She prayed for a rescuer, for an excape. Anything to free her from this living Hard.
Her once beautiful priestly robes were now covered with blood and grime and her once strong faith was slowly eroding away only to be filled with despair.

Outside the tower room stood a lone guard clad in black armor and a dark purple surcoat.
He held a two-edged sword that shimmered with a deep purple glow.
He could hear the girl softly crying through the thick wood of the door.

The guard immediately stood at full attention as a figure in black and purple robes wielding a staff of ebony approached the landing.
His face is elven in appearance yet his skin is mottled and grey.
His evil eyes look like that of a viper and he proudly wears a twisted grin upon his face.
His name is Theradrin. This evil is in the form of a human is something that has not been seen on Teos soil since the one who cannot be named sealed it away a long time ago.

In the room before him, he kept a new "pet" locked away. She needed taming before he could let her roam loose in his castle.
But for now, he wished to play with his new "pet."
At least she was good for something, he chuckled to himself.

The guard opened the door and the young priestess looked up to meet his intense gaze. She screamed and madly attempted to force her body even closer to the wall.
Her terrifying captor entered her room and terror rose up to fill her gut and her heart.
Her head spun with panic, hatred and fear.

"Oh Goddess of The Light....help me.." she whispered through a sob.
"Your goddess cannot help you now my pet." Theradrin said in a hiss.
He forcefully grabbed her arm and pulled her to her feet with barley any effort at all.
"Please! Let me go! Just let me go! Please!" she begged agonizingly.
" No, I think not my pet." He said with a sickening chuckle. "What is your name, pet?" he asked her in a cold and stern voice.
"Ca..ar..iss..sa" she stuttered.
"Well now, isn't that a very nice name." he said mockingly.
"Your new name shall be....Carminda. In the ancient tongue...it means...slaaave." He told her with another sickening hiss.
"Now tell me my pet. What is your name?" He said with more force. He positions his cold, clammy hand around her slender throat.
" Ca...rr..iss..ssa." she stuttered again.

Theradrin slapped her with as much force as he could muster and let her go so she fell.
She fell back and hit her head against the cold hard stone of the tower wall. She rolled over to lay face down atop the filthy bed.
Her body racked with pain as she sobbed once more. She could taste the metallic taste of blood in her mouth.
Theradrin grabs her by the hair and pulls her to her feet once again. He pulls her close to him and whispers into her ear.

"What is your name again my pet" he says slowly through gritted teeth.
"Ca..rrr..rmi..nda." she finally stuttered as tears streamed down her pale face..
"Very good Carminda. Very good." He replies in a sick, pleasant tone.
"Now, lets move on to more...interesting things." he said with a lothesome chuckle and threw her back on the bed.

Outside the room, the guard closes the door and Carissa's screams fill the tower.

One thing was on Theradrin's mind.

Revenge.

Revenge upon the one who defeated him, the one who sealed him away.
Alteos Rend.
Yes.
Sweet Revenge.

------ooOoo------

<br> Check out my DeviantArt page!

Pandaemoniumx

Rank 3
Pandaemoniumx
Joined
31 Dec 2008
Posts
1113
Location
Florida United States
PostedDec 23, 2009 10:13 am   Last edited by Pandaemoniumx on Dec 26, 2009 9:54 am. Edited 1 time in total
I've been waiting to critique this, thinking to wait until the next update. I almost gave up after the long break between the chapters, but nice to see it is still up and running.

Reserved

EDITED FOR CRITIQUE

Alright, you can read my first critique on Rodrick's original story post.

A few points I'd like to add to this.
One of which is the issue of proof-reading. There seem to be a few spelling errors, as well as the random letter that isn't part of a word. The story is completely readable, but it's like eating off a plate of fine china except you missed a spot while cleaning it. Wink

Another issue is the credibility off of it. The first chapter shows that Kaiven and Jadynn can be resurrected upon their death, which a scene where Kaiven has an argument with a coward Scout who decided to run away, proves that. Later though, an Archer is Killed by the Bolt of purple and he dies... forever. There's a bit of conflict between these two things happening, and there was some conflict on whether or not it would work out right on the original post by Rodrick.

Regardless, I am still loving the story, and it's still happening like a movie in my mind. Characters still rock, even though Alteos suddenly became less epic in Chapter 5, but he slew a Wyvern and some other things. Thumbs up for you.

Most interesting point of the story would be beginning and ending of Chapter 6. I'm interested how that relationship between Theradrin and Carrisa (or Carminda) later in the story.

Keep up the good work Landaee, just be a bit more wary of typing and always read it again when you're done to see if there's anything you'd like to change.

Hope you keep going! Alteos ftw!


Panda

LadyLanaee

Rank 0
LadyLanaee
Joined
07 Apr 2009
Posts
166
Location
United States
PostedDec 23, 2009 2:07 pm
Sorry!! i know! That took way too long! I was trying to get through college...but I am trying to work on as much as I can during my break! Actually, the story is continuing to grow even though I'm not posting here. haha If you'd like to check it out, feel free to register for the RhainsWorld Forum.
http://rhainsworld.freeforums.org/index.php
And search under the creative writing tab for our "Epic Story" Section.

<br> Check out my DeviantArt page!

LadyLanaee

Rank 0
LadyLanaee
Joined
07 Apr 2009
Posts
166
Location
United States
PostedDec 23, 2009 3:56 pm

Chapter 7

Chapter 8, I'm hoping, I can post before Xmas! If not, Merry Christmas!!!!
------ooOoo------

Back in D-water

------ooOoo------

Denzel, Zaieda, and Larin had been walking for several hours.
It was difficult to tell, in the annoying perpetual overcast of D-water, just what time of day, or night, it really was.
As Denzel stared at the dark swirling clouds above, a sudden chill spiraled around him.
It was a feeling only he himself had felt apparently, because the others seemed completely unaffected.
He looked from Zaieda to Larin then back to Zaieda.
Nothing.
How odd.
Neither of them seemed to have noticed.

He stopped abruptly as his companions continued walking, too tired to notice.
He put his hand to his temple and closed his eyes, letting his magic gently expand.

Zaieda stopped, finally noticing that Denzel had fallen behind. She looked back at him over her shoulder. Her eyes widened slightly in panic and she quickly called to Larin to halt. "Larin, hold up!"
The scout jumped at the sound of her voice and ceased his slow pace.

Without looking back at the half-elf, Larin gritted his teeth.
What was she shouting for now! He said angrily to himself.
He counted to ten to slow his anger then looked back to see why she had stopped him.
Zaieda had run back to a pale Denzel. She called to him again. "Larin, something is wrong with Denzel! Come here!"
Larin glanced again at Denzel as he rubbed his temples. He stood awkwardly and his forehead creased to with concentration.
"Denzel, what is it? What’s wrong?” He heard her say to him.

The sound of her sweet melodic voice was a pleasant distraction to Denzel.
He looked up at her through his tousled bangs. "Someone is scrying us." he said as Larin finally joined them.

When Larin heard this, his irritation progressed into a rage. He grabbed Denzel's shoulders wildly and gave him a sound shake. "Who!" he demanded. "Who is scrying us? Why are the scrying us? What do they want?" He yelled at Denzel.

Zaieda placed a hand on Larin’s shoulder and said in a stern voice, "That’s enough Larin. Shaking him isn’t going to help."

Larin let go in a huff and walked a few paces away from the two.
Denzel took a step back, brushing the new wrinkles out of his ornate tunic.
"Thank you Zaieda." He paused for a moment and gave the scout a stern look.
"If I knew who it was Larin, I would tell you.
The presence is gone now, but I'm sure whoever it was had a good reason for spying on us.
However, I am too tired to attempt a tracking spell right now.
It's late and my body tells me it's time to break for camp. May I suggest we take cover in that group of rocks over there?" he pointed to a cropping of large boulders that seemed to form a small alcove.
A perfect spot to make camp.
He didn't wait for them to reply.
Sleep was the only thing on his mind now.
He was completely drained from the walking, the stress and the exertion of dealing with other magical influences.
He made a quick b-line for the center of the rock formation.
He began to formulate a plan. They needed a fire, some dinner and a lookout schedule.

Without waiting for them to decide who took the first shift, Denzel lay down to sleep using his pack as a pillow and was gone within minutes.

------ooOoo------

Larin frowned deeply, he was sick of these fools holding him back, but he had no one else to turn to. Unfortunately, he had no choice but to deal them.

"Hmm.” He began. “Zaieda, sleep. I'll take first shift." And if your lucky you'll wake up late.” He added in his mind.

"You sure?" Zaieda asked a little worried.

"Well, someone has got to take the first shift. Preferbly someone who isn’t very tired. I’m not very tired. So I can take the first shift. I enjoy the night air and scenery. You could say I’m like a night owl." He replied

“Alright,” She said while frowning at him.

Larin turned away to hide his look of amusement, and began climbed up onto a rock.

His thoughts began to pick up, I would enjoy killing these fools now, but I cannot.”
He cast his gaze over the horizon, trying to see if there was anything worth looking at.
“Eh, nothing.”
All he saw was a drab, overcast desert.
He glanced down at the sleeping priest, and the half-elf.
His eyes lingered on her sleeping form.
He smiled in spite of himself, but quickly turned away.
I should not have feelings for half-breeds, or anyone for that reason. They are just my way of getting up the ladder of success, closer to my intended goal. he reasoned.

As the night grew old, he watched warily as a few dark skinned foes passed almost unnoticed. They did not pose a threat to their small camp. In fact, they seemed to be totally unaware of their presence.
Perhaps the goddess had something to do with it?
“No, why would the goddess protect him?” He reasoned in an attempt to shun the notion.

He began to contemplate his mission. A crease formed between his dark eyes.

His thoughts were interrupted as he heard a slight rustle float on the crisp night air.
It was too large and noisy to be a small hare.
“Must be a human. I don’t smell the stench of dark ones.”
He stood now alerted and knocked his bow. His trained eyes scanned the ground below.
There. A slight movement in the darkness. He aimed at the site where he had seen the movement.
But before he let the arrow fly, his keen eyesight beheld a strange sight.

A young elven child, not much older than the child squires of Karis walked out from a think elderberry bush. He quickly clambered down the rock and approached the child.

"Child? Why are you out here alone?" He asked softly.

"I..I…smelt…fff…ood...s..ssir" The child stammered out.

"Do not be afraid. What is your name?" He smiled.

"I…I..I am called..Errr..rinia." the child replied softly.

"Erinia? That is a girl’s name…" He began.

"I am a girl!" She interrupted in a harsh voice.

"Ah, my bad, your hair is just so short." He chuckled.

"It got caught on a branch and I had to cut it.” She explained. "How did you cut it?" He asked slightly puzzled.
"With this!" She said in excitement as she quickly pulled out a small dagger and flashed it about.

"Ah, I see.” He said with amusement in his eyes. She held it pointing towards him and he pushed the tip of the dagger down and away from his body. “Best put that where it can’t hurt anyone Erinia. Are you hungry, little one?" Larin asked as her belly rumbled loudly.

“Ah, I think so.” He laughed loudly.
She looked down in embarrassment and he quickly said, “You may have some of my portion. I have yet to eat any of it.”
Larin smiled slightly. As much as he hated to admit it, he always held a soft spot in his heart for the young.

"Thank you kind sir." she bowed low, her short hair bobbing slightly.

"No bows, daughter." Larin said softly as he pulled a package from his pack. He unwrapped a loaf of bread and a hunk of cheese from which he cut a large slice. He handed her some bread and the slice of cheese and she devoured it quickly.

"How long have you been out here?" Larin asked.
"Uh...I'm not sure."Erinia she said thoughfully.
"Well, judging by your looks, I'd say...at least two weeks." he replied.
"Could be...." She said absentmindedly.
"We should get you new clothes. You’re filthy. You also need a hot bath.” Larin he said as he scanned her dirty rags.
"I have nothing else to wear." Erinia she said sadly.

"Of course you don't. Still, you should at least wash your face." He said. He pulled from his pack a soft cloth and poured some water onto it from his water sack.
He reached over and scrubbed her face gently.

"Please mister,” she said annoyed. “I am not incapable of cleaning myself." She snatched the cloth and began to clean her face.

"Sorry." Larin smirked.
She finished then handed the now dirty cloth back. As she did so, Larin heard a slight stirring from the campsite and he jumped up to investigate. Erinia was followed close behind.

"Mmm...Larin? Who are you talking to?" Zaieda asked while rubbing sleep from her eyes.

"Uh, nothing...nothing at all." He quickly replied, but a little too quickly

"Do not lie to me Larin. Who is it?” She glared at him.
“I’m Erinia!” The child piped in.

"Oh, yes. She was wandering the desert alone. So I gave her some food and washed her face.” He added.

Zaieda stood. "Ah, nice to meet you Erinia. I am Zaieda." She said with a slight bow as is the custom of elves. "Pleasure is mine." Erinia smiled and bowed also.
"I suppose that since I’m awake now I can take the second shift." She said to Larin.
"I could stay up longer..." He said looking down at the smiling child.

"No, I am sure miss Erinia is tired. She can use my pack as her pillow and cover up with my blanket." Zaieda said as she smiled at their new guest.

"Fine.” He said finally. “I will stay here with her and make sure she stays unharmed." Zaieda smiled and nodded slightly then walked out of the safety of the rock formation.

"Uh, master Larin?" The child said as she tugged on his tunic.
"Yes?"
"Can I sleep closer to you?" She asked shyly.
"I suppose so”
"I get…rather cold at night. These rags are not as warm as they used to be.” She explained.

"Very well. But be warned. I may snore.” He said with a chuckle and a smile.

"Oh, thank you mister Larin!" She smiled brightly and hugged him.
Larin was caught off guard for a moment then gently placed his arm around her to return her warm hug.

"Now sleep child, we have much traveling to do tomorrow." He told her.
With that, Erinia curled up under Zaieda's blanket and drifted slowly to sleep. Her breathing evened out and she was fast asleep.
“This child,” he thought, “she reminds me so much of my sister. My beautiful sister who I lost in the war so long ago. Perhaps she is the embodiment of her spirit? Her spirit sent by the goddess to comfort t him?”
With these thoughts rolling around in his mind, he settled under his blanket and soon fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.

------ooOoo------

<br> Check out my DeviantArt page!
Display posts from previous:   Sort by: