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Book Three Pt 1 - The Reckoning

Written by - Vylia Page 20 Book 3

Keeryn was on edge, it was easy to tell. Her ears were moving around like they were on a swivel, and her body was tensed, ready to pounce on anything that came out. She was angry at herself for not noticed that robed man wander right into Mavigan. Certainly he had managed to get past Wilhelm and his group, for her keen vision had caught a quick sight of them when they had peaked around a corner, but she should have been more alert... some bodyguard she was, her charge kidnapped right before her eyes, and then nearly attacked right next to her.

She kept eyeing Sabbatine as well, wondering when the undead was going to stop holding herself back and attack her. She knew what the beast was thinking in that rotting mind of hers, Keeryn had caught every minor glance the undead had given to her. And she still didn't trust Teran, he had spirited Mavigan away without a word to her, and now when they came back he looked younger than before. There was obviously magic involved, and Keeryn had ceased to trust their kind when one of them had destroyed her people.

She checked the whip at her belt with her left hand, making sure it was secure, but not so tight that it wouldn't come loose with a good tug. Certain it was set well she continued her surveillance of their surroundings as they moved deeper into the tunnels.

Written by - Vylia

"I trust the girl to your care. I will not be far - only through these trees - so you may call me if you need me." He paused, placing his hand on the closest tree and speaking over his shoulder. "I thank you, for myself and for the girl, for your assistance today. It is good to meet another of our world. Please, sleep - I do not expect any further interruptions tonight."

Even with the dwarf's words Vylia decided it best to be sure. Just because one does not expect interruptions does not mean they will not arrive anyway. Staying with these two meant she had to sleep on the ground, and so that meant someone keeping watch for intruders. It was obvious it was no longer completely safe in these woods. With her keen hearing she was still able to hear the dwarf, even as quietly as he walked, which in itself was unusual for his kind.

The fact she had found a dwarf from her homeworld unsettled her slightly, though she refused to show it in front of either of the others. It meant she was yet again in a time that great deeds would be performed, yet another world in need of rescue. The first time she had spent more than a hundred years looking for Pandarrion's champion, and when she had finally found the one she believed was him, he had vanished before they had left the world to it's own devices.

The fact the Hands had left had shaken her faith in the gods to a degree, but she still believed that what they had done was the right thing. There was obviously no means of saving that world, and if the gods had helped them all reach this one, which was becoming more and more likely, then this was apparently the world she herself had sought the champion for. Vylia still believed that Turin was the one, even though she had given up the powers she had gained from being one of the All-Father's paladins, to believe that when the time came he would come to them, and no amount of searching on any of their parts would make him arrive any faster.

And there she sat, prodding the fire with a nearby stick, when Pharsalus came back to the camp, followed by a second mysterious looking individual...

Written by - Aethelwulf

"AGAIN!" Alaric motioned to the drill sergeant to reposition the cohort back into the double wedge formation that they had spent a good part of the day practicing. Grimacing at the slow response of the weary soldiers, Alaric's voice rose in anger. "MOVE you sullen dogs! YOU think the ORC'S are going to allow you time to just mope along? MOVE!"

The Drill Sergeant quickly stepped up and ushered the cohort into the double wedge formation, barking orders at the troops. Alaric smiled at the renewed vigor of his men, and nodding to the Sergeant, he turned and left the training field. He had something to attend to. Something that had been a burden on his heart of late. Something that troubled his dreams.

Nodding in return of the salutes he received, he quickly made his way trough the throng of soldiers that were encamped about the citadel. Soon he found himself standing next to the field where Ithramir's elven troops were encamped.

"You there, where might I find Lord Ithramir?" Alaric's question was directed at an elven warrior who was in the process of honing the edge of his sword. A look not unlike disgust flashed across his face as he looked up at this insolent human, who had dared to speak to him. Quickly though, his countenance changed as he recognized Alaric.

"My Lord General, the Lord Ithramir can be found either at the campfire in the center of camp, or at his office" With that the warrior quickly returned to his work.

Alaric smiled and patted the warrior on the shoulder. "Thank you my friend. I think I shall try his office."

Making his way into the Citadel, Alaric soon found himself standing outside of the offices of the Lord Ithramir, and even as he returned the salute of the guard at the door, he turned to see Ithramir walking at a rapid pace down the hall.

Seeing his friend, the Elven General smiled. "Ah! Good afternoon Lord Alaric! To what do I owe the honor of your visit?" Alaric laughed as he followed Ithramir into his office.

"Tis I who am, honored old friend!" Alaric moved to take a chair near the fireplace. "I am pleased to report that my cohort's training has progressed quite well. They are now able to move quickly into a wedge formation from just about any other formation. They are still having a bit of a problem with the saw maneuver, but I think they will master that soon enough."

Ithramir smiled wanly as he poured drinks for them both. "That is good news. We will need them ready soon enough. How about a bit of Twin Oaks Brandy?" The General handed a glass of the amber liquid to Alaric. "Now then, I am certain that a report of your men's readiness is not the only reason you have come calling friend."

"Ah, you are ever the perceptive one." Alaric smiled as he took the brandy, and raising the glass in a toast, he then took a deep sip.

"Well then, there is something. I have been having these dreams of the one known as Lord Turin. In them he seeks to and fro for something dear to him. For some odd reason he seems incomplete without this item, and he is desperate to find it."

Alaric sipped quietly for a moment as he pondered his dream. "And then there is this, well, Archon"

Ithramir listened intently as his friend spoke, and raised an eyebrow slightly at the mention of the Archon.

"An Archon Alaric? Really. Did this creature speak to you?"

"Aye friend, it did, well after a manner. In my dream, I saw it talking to this Turin fellow, and then it looked up at me, and pointed to him, and then to what I perceived to be the northwest." Alaric stood. and moved to a window. "I think it means for me to find Turin, and that he is in the northwest. Which to me, means, Westgale."

Ithramir sighed, and swirled his brandy a bit in his glass. "So then, does this mean that you will be leaving your post here? And what is this item that this Turin fellow needs?"

"Aye my General." Alaric turned to look at Ithramir. "I am asking for a leave of absence, and for the relic that I know you to have in your keeping. The sword of Turin."

At the mention of the sword, Ithramir's eyes narrowed. "Ah yes. THAT relic. It was given to me by Ardwen for safe keeping." Ithramir rose and moved to a cabinet. Reaching in, he removed a long object, wrapped tightly in grey and blue cloth.

"Here friend, take this." Ithramir handed the object to Alaric, and then reached back into the cabinet for an envelope, that was sealed with wax. "Ardwen also left this letter, to be delivered along with the sword. Take them both friend, and return to me quickly. Your skill and sword will be needed sorely in the coming days."

Alaric drained his brandy, and then took the sword and the letter. "I thank you old friend. I am certain that there are forces at work here that are beyond us both, and I shall indeed hurry to complete the task they have placed before me."

Alaric saluted his General and then moved to leave the office.

"Hold friend." Ithramir spoke again. "Westgale is a good 800 miles from here, and if you are indeed to return to me quickly, you will need some help. I suggest that you seek out the Druid Dalomir in the Temple quarter of the city here. I am certain that he can help you." Ithramir then brusquely clasped his old friend in a quick embrace.

"May the God's give wings to your feet Alaric."

Alaric moved quickly to his quarters, and gathered up his woodland travel pack. He then quickly wrote out a set of orders for his cohort, and gave them to a guard to deliver them to his adjutant. Then with haste, he made his way out into the city surrounding the Citadel, and soon found himself at the door to the Druidic temple. Raising his fist, he knocked hard against the dark walnut door, and waited.

Written by - Tempyst

After Alaric left, Ithramir worked on the rest of the paperwork and various appointments that had sprung up. He made sure to send a page off to let Renalis know he was expected in the morning in his office. But now, he realized, he had to ready himself for his dinner with two of the heros of the battle, Lucant and Tempyst. He was looking forward to setting down with them, but dreading it all the same. After all, their unborn daughter had sacrificed herself to save him. He sighed, still unsure why she would do such a thing. WIth deep thoughts, went to his room, changed and made his way back to his office at which time, Lucant and Tempyst were just about upon him, coming down the other hall.

Tempyst and Lucant walked down the hall laughing but when Tempyst saw Ithramir, she turned silent, feeling a wave of emotions flowing over her. She was unsure of whether she should cry or be happy, her emotions mixed at seeing the elf her daughter sacrificed herself for. Ithramir seems a bit uncertain as well. "Tempyst, Lucant, I am so glad you could make it, please, come in, dinner should be ready for us." Ithramir opened the door to his office and waited for his guests to enter.

Lucant looked over Ithramir, his own emotions mixed as well. He too was unsure of how to act. He did not truly know his daughter, but yet, within the elf he could sense her. "It is good to see you up and about Sir, I am glad you survived." There was a thick silence in the room.

Ithramir took a deep breath. "There is no easy way to get around this. So please, let me speak now. First, I have a message for you, from Tirigil. She wanted me to tell you she loved you both very much. Now, what can I say to you two. Your daughter, Tirigil, so well named by the gods we serve, she gave up her mortal life for me. Who am I for her to save? I did not ask for her sacrifice, but I will not dishonor it. Thank you both, for creating such an amazing, amazing girl." His voice choked up as he spoke. "I can never, never repay you, or her, for the choice she made. The best I can do is make sure my life is not wasted with pettyness and dishonor. I promis you both, that I will always, always treat this gift I ahve been given as somethign precious and unique. I will not waste it. And the both of you, as well as your daughter, will always be welcomed at my home, my table, at my side, always. We are family." He held out a hand to Lucant, and the two shook hardily.

"Thank you Ithramir." Lucant responded. "Thank you for those fine words and they touch my heart. I echo your feelings and look forward to serving together as family and friends for many years to come. Our daughter is indeed, an extraoridnary individual and am honored she had the courage to share herself as she did. I am glad it was someone as fine as you that she chose to serve as well."

Tempyst said nothing at first, but walked up to Ithramir, then placed her arms around him and hugged him tightly. When she finally let go, tears filled her eyes. "Family." Was the only word she could say, then she hugged him some more. The parted only as the door opened and the servants brought in the food for dinner.

Now, all three seemed to be at ease, which was a relief for all of them. They ate and drank, then, when dinner was done, it was down to business. First they spoke of what had happened, the business of the demon, and the formation of a demon hunter team. Lucant had to interrupt and let Ithramir know that they were no longer the demon hunter team for Nyrondis, but that he, was now the Avatar for their god anda new demon hunter had been promoted. Ithrmis looked slightly embarrassed. "Ah yes, how could I have forgotten, I was there last night when it happened. Forgive me, it has been a long day. I will get together later with Kaya and speak with her." he then looked at Lucant's side. "So, if you do not carry A'lanthear now, what sword do you weild. And your armor, it did not come from my armory; I have never seen such a well fitted suit."

Lucant smiled. "The suit I made myself, during my training with Argus Stoneshaper. As for the sword..." He pulled forth his blad and let Ithrmir examine it. "I found it locked in a chest in your amory. I hope, I hope it was alright to claim."

Ithramir looked over the sword, then handed it back to Lucant. "By all means my friend. It came to be in our possession when it was offered as a gift from a village up way up north. The village had been overrun by orcs and a battallion of my elves freed the place. The Mayor gave the sword to the commander as payment.what they had. He asked the mayor where the sword had come from and was told it was found on the orc leader after the last battle. The ambassador accepted the sword graciously. The only thing they knew of the sword was that it had been found on the body of the Orc general. Then, when the battallion returned here, my ambassador that had been with them, and who had taken possession of the sword, he presented the sword to me. I sensed it's age, and its power, but it is not an elven made sword, it is human made, and thus, did not feel right in my hand or in any elf's hand. If you have found it, then you are meant to possess it. Congradulations."

They all spoke some more, including plans for Lucant and Tempyst's committment to accompany the army to the next battle. But soon, Ithramir stood. "Well, I am sorry to call this to an end, but I do have some other business to attend to before getting some rest. Thank you both for your time. I do hope we can have some more down time like this again." They said their good nights and after the two humans had left his office, Ithramir quickly gathered up an unopened bottle of wine and went off to find his beloved.

Written by - Tempyst

Alaric knocked again, impatiently. Then the sounds of footsteps could be heard. "Who is there? Who is using the temple door?" A voice spoke out as the doors opened. "Most just come to the grove proper." The druid looked the ranger over. "What can I do for you sir?"

"I am here to speak to Dalomir. Commander Ithramir said he might be able to help me with some travel plans."

"I see, well come this way. As it is, you are in luck, Dalomir is in between appointments and teachings. I dare say he has been busy as of late. But what with the battles, the demons and everything else, how can one not be busy?" The young, talkative man led Alaric through a couple of corridors into the Sacred Grove then motioned for him to wait. Within moments, a distinguished, but tired looking druid approached ALaric.

"Greetings my friend, how may I help you?" As Alaric explained his need to reach Port Westgale, Dalomir listened intently. When the young ranger was finished, he placed a hand on the ranger's shoulder. "I do believe we can help you, in fact, you can help up as well my friend. Our new demon hunter has told me of her intent to travel to the same destination you wish to go to. Perhaps, you two can travel together.

Alaric grunted with approval. "Alright then, as long as we can get there faster than normal travel. I need to get there as soon as I can."

"Well, it won't be like this portal in our grove, but it will only take a day or so, instead of weeks to get you there. Now, I am needed for a ritual at the moment, but if you would like to go meet Kaya, she is in that house over there. Please, just let yourself in, I think she may be relaxing and might not hear you knock. Besides, we are fairly infomral here." Dalomir nodded at Alaric, then walked off towards a gathering of other druids. Alaric shifted hib pack back on his shoulder and walked over to the small house Dalomir had pointed out. ANd, as the druid said, he opened the door and walked in.

As his eyes adjusted to the dimmer light, he was greeted by the site of a slender, naked woman stepping out of a bath. She looked over and smiled. "Well hello there my friend, if you are in need of the bath, the water will be changed shortly, but be my guest to sit and wait."

Written by - Lucant Dolvan

"Awaken, o Wanderer Beneath the Stars... the time is come, and you have many miles yet to go."

Owen Kastellan woke with a loud yawn as the morning sun crept across the floor. Immediately, he grasped his right hand in pain. He sat at the edge of his small bed - doubled over in pain - for a moment before rising and getting dressed. "Ho...ho...hummmm," he said yawning, "I wonder... what she meant by that. Oh well... I'm sure I'll find out... soon enough."

Trying to put the rude awakening behind him, Owen quickly got dressed and headed out to the vast fields outside the town of Banwall on the island of Kassal. The harvest season was at its peak, and the Ironskane occupiers kept a vigilant eye on the farmers of the island nation's heartland.

Owen made sure to put on a pair of tipless leather gloves before went outside into the share-cropped wheat fields. When he arrived, he was handed a scythe by one of the overseers. "Move your ass, cur!" Owen took the scythe with a pleasant, unassuming smile and went about his thankless worth.

Written by - Aethelwulf

"Well hello there my friend, if you are in need of the bath, the water will be changed shortly, but be my guest to sit and wait."

Alaric bowed deeply and kept his eyes to the ground.

"Forgive me lass, I fear I may have entered here in error. I have come seeking the one known as Kaya. Might you be this lass?"

Written by - Tempyst

Kaya reached for a towel and began to dry herself off. "Aye, I am Kaya'Talas, what can I do for you." As she waited for the man to respond she proceeded to dry, then dress.

Written by - Aethelwulf

The winsome lass moved gracefully, and out of the corner of his eye, Alaric gathered far more information about her comely form then was considered seemly. He smiled and looked up as the lady dressed.

"Ah, well then lass, I must make haste to the city of Westgale, and I have been told that you might be able to assist me. And I fear I must beg your forgiveness, as I seem to have forgotten my manners."

Alaric bowed yet again. " I am the one known as Alaric, of the Queens Army."

Written by - Tempyst

Once dressed, Kaya approached the man, holding out her hand and shook his. "I am Kaya'Talas, demon hunter for Nyrondis." She then motioned for him to follow her outside into the waning light. "Tis true I plan to go to Port Westgale. It is my desire to find Beridane and question then slay him. He ws the one who placed the demon inside of me that was sent to kill Ithramir and I intend to find out where he got it from. As for assisting you to go with me, I am in need of assistance myself. but I am told that by the morrow, there shall be one here that should be able to help us both. I hope it will not hurt your plans to be delayed until then? I am sure the druids here can put you up for the evening."

Written by - Aethelwulf

"Ah lass, I have my own quarters in the Citadel, to which I shall repair. I will need to see to some military matters in the early hours of the morning, but I shall be free and able to return to you here soon after that. And with that, I shall take my leave of you. I am honored, and indeed shall be indebted to you for your assitance. Good eve to you lass."

Alaric smiled once more, and tilted his head slightly as he turned to leave. Kaya was indeed quite winsome, and the thought occured to him that this might not be such an unpleasant journey after all.

Written by - Tempyst

Kaya smiled. "Come back about noon tomorrow and we shoudl find out about our travel arrangements Alaric." She watched the man depart and was glad she would have company on the trip. She had been alone for far too long and anyone to talk to, would be a blessing. Now, to find dinner. she thought to herself, and she wandered off to find some food.

Written by - Lucant Dolvan

Owen kept a steady pace beneath the beating sun, which didn't seem to bother him at all. The other soldiers and farmers, however, were put a bit on edge by the blistering heat.

"Whaddaya mean I can't get a drink!? The river's just right over there!"

"You HAD your chance to get a drink hours ago cur! It's your own loss if you didn't take advantage of the opportunity."

"Taking advantage, huh? You Ironskane snakes are ones to talk. A few more months and this place will be nothing but scorched earth!"

Owen yawned again as he looked over to the fighting. "Oh man... I hope this isn't it... sure does look like it, though. Or at least the start of something." He walked over to the crowd gathering around the fighting men. The farmers of Banwall where one side, between the fields and the city, and the soldiers were gathering opposite of them.

He positioned himself on the right flank of the crowd and sat the head of his scythe against the ground as he leaned lazily against the long oaken handle. "I really wish she would've given me more of a warning..." he thought to himself as he watched the two men exchange shoves and harsh language.

The fighting went on for a few little while longer and the crowds grew increasingly tense. Both sides stood on the razor's edge as Owen simply sat back and watched them jump over it. He stood there in a reverie until the arguing soldier put his hand on his sword. "Hmmm... I guess that's my cue. It's really not my place to strike the first blow in matters like this, but I don't see him around anywhere, so I don't guess he'll mind," Owen said to himself.

Effortlessly, he kicked the head of the scythe up from under him and twirled it calmly before slamming it into the the lower jaw of the one of the opposing guards, straight up into the brain. He quickly removed the blade and took a readied stance.

Thus was the first blow to signal war. Thus was the first blow to signal revolution.

Written by - Tempyst

"So, do we go north?" Tempyst looked to her husband as she layed naked across the bed.

Lucant sat down by his wife and patted her bottom. "Hmm, well, you have told me that your father is coming from the north looking for you and now I find out that this sword I have hails also from the north, I think it is a good plan. Besides, fighting a few more orcs, this time without the emergency of killing a demon should be a vacation!" He laughed and pulled Tempyst to him, kissing her deeply.

Tempyst responded in kind, enjoying the laughter and feel of her husband. After the deep, heartfelt kiss, she hugged him and beamed. "Then north it is my love."

Written by - Tempyst

Ithramir knocked, then poked his head inside the door. He smiled seeing his beloved asleep at her desk. He stepped in, placing the bottle of wine on her desk softly. How beautiful you are my love. How very beautiful. He leaned over and softly kissed her eyelids in order to awaken his beauty . . . .

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