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Book Three Pt 1 - The Reckoning

Written by - Tempyst Page 17 Book 3

Kaya watched Renalis and Leov stand there, waiting to see who would make the first move. Then she noticed another girl, a young elf, run into the grove. After glancing at her, she turned back to see if the sparring had commenced. Then she heard a whisper inside her head. At first she jumped and stiffened, for before the voice in her head had been that of the demon, but now, it was a gentler, more re-assuring voice and she had to get used to A'lanthear's method of communication. I sense danger and anger from that elf mistress, you should be prepared. "Thank you A'lanthear." Kaya whispered under her breath. Then she heard it, the twang of an arrow being released. She pulled A'lanthear from his sheath and then counted...

"1...

2...

3..."

Kaya suddenly spun to the side and whipped A'lanthear down through the air sharp and quick, catching the arrow mid-shaft and snapping it in two. The arrow would have pierced her heart if she had not been wary of the elf.

As the arrow fell to the ground, Kaya stood straight again and looked at the girl with eyebrow raised and a slightly annoyed smirk on her lips.

Written by - Trinni Shannon

"What the...?!"

Her arrow... she had made the beautiful arrow herself... was cut in half by that girl! How'd she do it?

Narrowing her eyes as the creepy girl smirked, she muttered, "Fine, you wanna play? Let's play miss thang."

Pulling out all the stops, she reaches for her quiver and withdraws not one, not two, not even three, but four arrows. Nocking them in place in her special amazing super "Trinni-four-arrow-grip", she quickly releases them.

"Let's see you block four you she-devil."

Written by - Renalis

The man yawned again and stretched, bringing his arms down behind him on his sword's hilt and scabbard. "No one special. Besides, what does it matter?" He calmly drew his blade - which seemed to sing with joy as it was pulled from the scabbard - then let his arms fall lifelessly to his sides.

Taking one step back, The man threw his arms open and said Renalis, "C'mon son... I'm waiting..."

Renalis decided to take the man up on his offer and make the first move, bringing Azurewrath back Renalis charged in and swung low. His blade was deftly blocked by the man's quick movements, "Hmmm," Renalis thought to himself, "this guy isn't half bad" Renalis then jumped back a pace, then quickly sprung forward and renewed his assault. The two proceeded to trade blows for a few minutes, and the winds began to blow harder and harder. The man was blocking every one of Renalis's attacks and thus Renalis began to up the tempo, putting more and more into it. It was then that he began to notice it, Something wasn't quite right. He could feel that it was almost as if the winds themselves were guiding the mans blows, they were coming faster and truer than Renalis had seen out of any ordinary person, but that was not all. His blows were being pushed, and slowed, as if the wind itself was with this man. There! Something else, he could feel it...something...divine. Yes it was definitly divine energy, but on him? On this 'pirate'?

" 'NALIS! GET DOWN!!!!"

Renalis heard Trinni's voice just off to the side, "the hell? what's Trinni yelling at..." Just as Renalis pulled away from the man for a second, an arrow wizzed past his face. "Holy crap!" was the only thought that could enter his mind as he followed the arrows path toward Kaya. She moved to the side and cleaved it in twain. Looking back, Trinni was anything but finished. Loosing another 4 arrows simultaneously, Renalis knew he had to act. Renalis put his hand up, causing a small shimmer to appear in their path. As the arrows impacted it, stopping and then falling harmlessly to the ground.

"Trinni!" Renalis yelled to her, hoping that she would pause for a second to hear rational thought...

Written by - Lucant Dolvan

" 'NALIS! GET DOWN!!!!"

As the arrows flew by, Leov waited to see what would happen. The fierce wind at his back had given him more than an edge - and one he had not wanted.

The mage quickly brought his hand up, causing a small shimmer to appear in their path. As the arrows impacted it, stopping and then falling harmlessly to the ground.

Seeing that the mage's guard had dropped, Leov clenched his plated left fist and landed a solid punch on his temple - sending to the ground like a sack of hammers. "You let your guard down, son. I thought you were better than that," he said matter-of-factly. Then he replied to his unwelcome aid: "I don't need your or anyone else's help to fight my battles..."

He then turned to their convenient interruption. "What is it about this place? Can I not pick at least one decent fight without getting interrupted!" The wind was blowing even fiercer now, as if a reflection of Leov's own temper. "If it's not you, it's that glasses guy, or the damned citadel guard or a band of drunken vigilantes! The only decent action I've had around here is those lizard things out at sea!" A full gale was now howling through the trees. "If I thought you could even pick up a sword, I'd even give you a go!" He eyed the situation a moment, still making sure he was aware of everything going on. "I've had it up to here with this place. I've got much bigger things to take care of than a few over zealous children..."

Written by - Tempyst

Kaya watched as the young, foolish elf let loose another barrage of multiple arrows. She brought up A'lanthear, not afraid of taking a hit. Then Renalis turned from his fight with Leov and did some sort of magic, stopping the arrows in their tracks. I could have handled it my friend. Then she felt the wind pick up, it seemed to be coming from Leov. SHe looked back over just in time to see him land the punch on Renalis. Well my friend, you did turn away in the middle ofa fight, no one to blame but yourself.

She could see that fight had ended, but that the elven girl still had that look about her. Kaya moved from Crystal and started to make her way to Leov, knowing if anything were to go down, it was his side she would be on. After all, I owe him my life.

Written by - Renalis

Renalis caught the glint of silver in his peripheral vision, but it mattered not, he had to stop this before it started. The barrier had worked, and the arrows died in their track. Renalis then felt the contact of the Man's gauntlet again the side of his head, a slight flash of light as his armor absorbed the majority of the blow, but the blow still sent him to the ground with a resounding 'thud'. "You let your guard down, son. I thought you were better than that," he said matter-of-factly.

Renalis stood up, Crystal had rushed to his side and he say Kaya going to the side of the Man, as he took off towards Trinni."What is it about this place? Can I not pick at least one decent fight without getting interrupted!" The wind was blowing even fiercer now, as if a reflection of Leov's own temper. "If it's not you, it's that glasses guy, or the damned citadel guard or a band of drunken vigilantes! The only decent action I've had around here is those lizard things out at sea!" A full gale was now howling through the trees. "If I thought you could even pick up a sword, I'd even give you a go!" He eyed the situation a moment, still making sure he was aware of everything going on. "I've had it up to here with this place. I've got much bigger things to take care of than a few over zealous children..."

"Stop." Renalis had taken a step forward, his sword readied, his eyes blue, solid, as saphires, and glowing slightly.

"You shall not harm her."

Written by - Lucant Dolvan

Leov yawned again, unimpressed by the mage's overreaction. "See? That's exactly what I'm talking about," Leov scratched his chin calmly and continued, "Not once have I threatened her. I'm more than a bit angry, but not once have I raised my sword to her. You need to calm down a bit son." He staggered around a bit, growing restless. "Like I said, I've got much bigger and more important things on my mind than you fools. The only reason I'm here is because some druid or something wanted to see me."

Leov sheathed his sword. "There? That better now," he said to the mage, each word dripping with sarcasm. "Now, who wants what so I can get out of here?"

Written by - Tempyst

"Now, who wants what so I can get out of here?"

Kaya reached Leov as the words came from his lips. "I needed to speak with you Leov. But perhaps out here is not the right place. If you would follow me, we can talk somewhere with less interruptions."

Written by - Tempyst

Kaya smiled. "Well Leov, you left in such a hurry last evening, after asking me what I knew of demons, that I did not have a chance to ask you why you were so interested. As the new demon hunter in these parts, anything you may know, would be of a great service to me. I need to know all I can. And as a bonus, anything you tell me could help me find out more information, which in turn I would share with you." Kaya turned towards the elf chick who had tried to impale her with her arrow. "That is, if some people would not jump to conclusions and find out that I have been pardoned and am one of the good guys." She turned back to Leov. "Now, can you see why I asked if you would like to go someplace more private to discuss this matter?"

Written by - Trinni Shannon

Trinni watched the events unfold with an increasing amount of confusion, not to mention frustration, and was barely able to restrain herself from attacking the weird man who whacked Renalis. O'course, Renny can take care of himself, but still...

She lowered her bow at the snappy words Ms. more-personalities-than-you-can-shake-a-orc's-leg-at-without-runnin'-out-o'-breath said. But half the fun would be the detaching of the leg, but those suckers are so thick it'd take a fair amount of energy out of ya just doin' it. So, really, that's not a lot of personalities, but still! More than any one lady should have, honestly.

Throwing the bow over her shoulder, Trinni puts her hands on her hips and glares back and forth between the guy with a rag on his head and at her.

"Would someone tell me what in the green fields is goin' on? How'd she get out? You aren't gonna try to kill anyone else are ya? 'Cause if'n you do, it ain't gonna happen so easy missy. I mean, c'mon, you're an elf for cryin' out loud. Shouldn't you know better than to go around bein' as mean as a grizzly bear woken up in the middle o' winter? I mean, you might have a good reason, and I hope so, and if you do then I'm all sorry and stuff to have shot some arrows at you, but how was I supposed to know because no one tells me anything, and if you don't have a good reason, well, then I'm not sorry at all. And YOU, Mr. Big Shot, too naughty to be around people with some manners and common decency."

Striding over to Leov, she doesn't even take a breath as she walks right up to him, undaunted, and pokes him in the chest. "What's the big idea hittin' someone when they weren't lookin'? Didn't your momma ever tell you that's not nice? I mean, y'all weren't really fighting, you were play fighting. Do ya feel all big and bad now? That was just... just... not nice ya big meanie head! Do ya have to win by cheating? Didn't you have enough advantage with all that weird wind-stuff goin' on? Are ya afraid you can't win fair and share? I mean, I can understand your fear, you yellow stomach person. Renny here is pretty tough. And I didn't mean you really have a yellow stomach, that's just supposed to mean you are all scared and stuff. You should be ashamed of yourself. Maybe that's how humans act, but here we're taught a little better."

Nodding, she puts her hands on her hips again and takes a deep breath, finished her chastising for the moment.

Written by - Lucant Dolvan

Leov turned to Kaya: "Give me just a minute here. I can't pass something like this up."

Leov glared down at the little elf girl. "Where to start... where to start... so many points to go at...." He reached up and stretched towards the bright morning sun, "Well... I suppose that's as a good a start as any..."

"There is no such thing as "fair" in fighting, little girl, "play" or not. There's only victory, regardless of how it's achieved. You either win, or you die. You can sit there and preach about "fairness" all day long until you're blue in the face, but it still won't change a damn thing. Where was the "fairness" when Beridane's dogs sailed in to our ports on the bloody wakes of our ships? Where was "fairness" when his armies slaughtered our rulers in front us? There is no such thing. It's just a myth."

His voice took on a grave seriousness. "As for how humans act... you don't know me. You don't know what I've been through. You don't know my reasons or my intentions. I think you'd do well to try and see things from a different perspective before casting your high and mighty elven judgement on others. But what do I know? I'm just some barbaric human."

Written by - Trinni Shannon

Tilting her head to the side to regard him, she looks sorry for the man in his bitterness. Then, quite softly, she replies, "If we all forgot about fairness, about what's right, about bein' good... well, I guess we'd be no better than that orc's rear-end that went and stole Queenie Mavigan's home, that kills loads of people all the time for no reason, that seems to think the rules don't apply to him. I wonder how your rulers would feel to see one o' their people turnin' out just like their murderer. That stupid man will get what he deserves one day, and one day soon, but where will that leave you?"

Written by - Turin Wallace

As the rhythmic pitter-pat of snow falls onto the roof of the abandoned inn, the once roaring fire now reduced to glowing red embers, a robed figure enters and kneels beside the old warrior. Reaching out with a slender hand, the figure gently takes him by the arm and gives it a gentle tug, enough to rouse him from slumber. Slowly, the man opens his sleepy eyes, and while his vision may still be blurred, he instantly recognizes the figure before him.

Before he can say a word, the figure quickly places a hand over his mouth, then says,

"Shhhh, do not wake the others, I would speak with you in private."

Nodding in agreement, the figure releases his mouth and says,

"Turin, it seems there is a more present need for you. I have come to tell you that your friends are arriving here, all brought here at this time, a crucial moment in this world's history. Westgale has become the den of an evil, vile man. Even more, the lady Ariana has arrived once more and is in dire need of assistance. A few of those you knew within the Hands are already in pursuit, you should try and meet them as soon as possible."

Pausing momentarily, the female figure says,

"Other than that, how fare you, my champion?"

Blinking in disbelief a moment, Turin replies,

"Siluriel, it has been a long time since I have seen an Archon of the All-Father, you in particular. A man of lesser faith would have thought he was abandoned. Other than that, I seem to be no worse for wear, though I am on a path to find my child that was snatched from me at birth. Then, now, you bring this news to me. It is a lot to consider, lady Archon."

Siluriel responds,

"If you were abandoned, dear Turin, you would have passed from this world a very long time ago. However, we both know you are not a man of so-called lesser faith, don't we?"

A smile then graced the lady Archon's face, as she continued,

"Never-the-less, you must continue your path alone. Send your guards, our sister and mother on to find your child. Westgale is not kind to elves now, since they are at war. All will be made clear in your trek, though it will have it's own danger's."

Leaning his head against the wall, Turin retorts,

"Ah, what a thing to be a pawn of a god, no? Alright, lady Archon, I will make my way to Westgale and aide Ariana in any way possible. Tell me, how has Westgale fared these last few hundred years? I remember when nothing was there, when I was unceremoniously plopped down near that bay, naked I might add. I suppose for old-times sake I should make my way back and enter the gates naked! Nay, mayhaps not, the throngs of swooning women would impeded my progress.

Throwing a serious look at her, briefly, they both burst forth into muffled laughs and snorts at the thought. Once they both compose themselves, Siluriel speaks,

"The arrival of others, including Ariana, began a building process. This was after I had placed that sleeping enchantment upon you, in that cave to the north, and were awakened only by the arrival of your family. Who, I might add, were a pain to lead there. Of course, it didn't help that those who built Westgale built a small barracks in your memory. Which reminds me, I think you may enjoy knowing what happened to it. However, a city was built by those of the Hands who arrived, including Ariana herself. It is her lineage that has ruled until recently."

Turin ponders a moment, then replies,

"Ah, well, I knew of the city, and I figured it was built by the Hands. Especially after I heard of the candle symbol emblazoned everywhere. Hmm, a barracks in my honor eh? All-Father only knows what goes on in there now, care to tell me?"

With a mischeivous grin, and a lilting laugh, she replies,

"It was a barracks, seems that it was turned into a brothel not all that long ago. Somehow, it smacks of poetic justice, no?"

Turin's face grew red, but then gave in to the temptation to laugh, saying,

"Well, it seems a sort of "sparing" or "training" still goes on, so I won't complain too much."

Winking, he continues,

"Now, as for Ariana, that's surely news to me. I never thought that girl would be, for lack of a better term, loose enough to allow room for a husband and children! Good to hear, however, she would make some young man very happy. It is bitter news about what has happened to her descendants, and if she is in need, I will answer the call. What else would an old friend, and a Crusader do, other than answer the call?"

As he finished, he beamed a smile at Siluriel, who then says,

"Then, your task is at hand, Turin. You have laid low long enough, once more you shall bear the titles "Crusader of the All-Father, Soldier of Grace." As such, I believe you will be needing these..."

Pointing to a nearby corner, an area he had not been paying attention to, his eyes brightened as he looked over the aged dwarven smithed armor. Standing, he quietly walked over, his hands picking up the gleaming, polished steel and bronze pieces. It was the armor of a Crusader, more than that, he reached into the socket that held arm to chest and found a very old, tattered piece of cloth. Though it was old, it still had a tint of yellow in it. Looking to Siluriel, he says,

"Tis my old armor, and your mark of honor still held fast after all these years. I have missed this old suit greatly, so many memories it has. Much like me, I suppose..."

Turning back to the armor, Turin slowly and quietly began to don the pieces of armor on. Finally, after some length of time, he turns around to ask the lady Archon how he looks...however, she is gone. In a whisper, he says,

"Thank you again, lady."

Moving to his spot by the door, Turin rested until morning. Once light was upon them, and everyone was awakened, Turin commands,

"Mother, take Nica and the guards and head to Lothiel-Gadith. Find my daughter for me, I will be along as soon as I can. My path leads me a different way, the Hands, or what remains of them, need my aide. If I can help, then by the All-Father, I shall."

The party had noticed the new armor, yet had said nothing all morning. After giving his orders, Deluwiel responds,

"My dear son, it seems someone either gave you a gift or you had a magic pack somewhere. Shall we assume a certain divine being had intervened in your affairs again?"

Nodding, Turin replies,

"Aye, the lady Archon has graced me with my old armor, and mission worthy of a re-born Crusader. Too long have a lived a life not meant for me. In my heart, I have always been a Crusader, and I fear I will never know another life again. However, I will find that bridge in due time, then decide to either cross or burn it."

With a smile and wink, he mounts his horse, then finishes by saying,

"Be safe, mother, sister and friends. You can be assured you will see me again, for like a bad copper piece, I always turn up!"

Spurring his horse gently, Turin moves off by himself, soon obscured by the falling snow. Then, under Deluwiel's direction, the party heads toward Lothiel-Gadith, left to wonder what fate awaits them all at their chosen destinations.

Written by - Tempyst

Kaya looked at the youngling. She is so idealistic. Boy, does she have a lot to learn about the world. "You, young one, need to learn to watch your words. You might be know how to use that pig shooter there, but that does not mean you know about everything else. But to say he didn't fight fair? HA! Life isn't fair. Sure you can play by a moral compass, but sometimes you have to take what shots you can. They were sparring sweety and Renalis let his guard down. Perfectly fair in a fight for Leov to get a shot in. YOU however, taking up arms against me and shooting me without good cause, is not fair! Just because you didn't know I had been pardoned is not excuse. Did it not occure to you that if I was dangerous, Renalis and Crystal here would be after me? Or that the fine druid of this grove would be here to watch over me?" Kaya took a deep breath, then started up again, taking a few steps towards the young elf. "Also youngling, you said something about how humans act. Well stop being so high and mighty, being an elf does not make you better than anyone else. We are all here and we are all equal. Just by having that attitude makes you as inferior as you believe a human to be. It is attitudes like that that will be an end to the elven race, and a a prejudice I fight to destroy. Now, I think you owe some people an apology, or is that beneath you as well, elfling." Kaya's eyes were flashing, and for the first time in a long time, she felt like her old self.

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