New lands appear. New alliances are made. Darkness once more threatens the world.
 
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 Peaces Beauty - Nano 2011

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Erosaf

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Posts : 2014
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Join date : 2010-12-31
Age : 27
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PostSubject: Peaces Beauty - Nano 2011   Tue Nov 08 2011, 17:31

Prologue - Aftermath
Auraka POV

Death had come to the lands, and lots of it. A tall male elf strode through the carnage, searching for the one he loved. Long chosolate brown tresses floated around his chiseled features, the green eyes catlike in shape, and filled with wisdom and knowledge. A powerful man he was, for he was the elves Prince Consort, and as such a lot of things rested on his shoulders. He knew that Gem was alive, but he did not know where. She had vanished from the tent that he shared with her, and Drannor had no idea how it was even possible. She had been too weak to walk after the fight with Rhothilion and Lindan Marcos. They were still camping on the plains before a smaller settlement that had only been used out of folly by Lindan Marcos in the first place.

No one seemed to have noticed that someone had taken her from the town, and not even the druids or Gaelira seemed to be able to tell where she was at the moment. It was something that concerned all of them at the moment. Where their queen was, was a serious issue. They needed her to keep everyone safe at the moment and at peace. For Gem had made a promise to her cousin, Keya, that she would help restore the peace that Keya's father, Lindan Marcos had destroyed. How could she do that if she was nowhere to be found? There was no chance that they would be able to do anything at the moment, except search for her.

"Leave searching the plains to my people," Keya said, coming towards him. "I will find Gem, I promise, Auraka."

"Are you sure? We need her as soon as we can possibly get her back, and this is not something we needed to happen in the first place," Auraka replied, looking at the younger red haired elf. She was certainly a rare thing indeed, the only one of her kind. For she was not completely elven, she had human blood in her as well, no other person he knew of was the same as her.

"I will not rest until she is found, Auraka. You know I have control of the plains now that my father is gone from the world. I harbour the elves no emnity, I assure you. There will never be one like my father again. I will never allow a tyrant like him to rise up. Go back to your forest. Perhaps she is over that way, it would be best for the elves to search the trees, am I right? I know how all of you feel about my people.

"Very well. Let us know if you find anything." Auraka sighed and then headed off in search of Drannor and the other elves. This was a serious security issue that they had at the moment. How ocould someone have done this to them, in their moment or triumph? Who would have the nerve to sneak in and take her like this? None of this made any sense. It was not something he would have thought the humans would do, not when the elves were more than likely to retaliate in their own way.

He smiled though as he moved, at the moment, he would stay strong and help his people to recover their own losses, while Keya searched her lands for the missing queen. The sooner Gem was found the better. Maybe gem was in the forest already, though how she had gotten there and Gaelira was still with the army he did not understand. Gaelira had informed him not long ago that she had not seen her Rider since the final fight against the humans.

It was distressing news for them all, but that was something they would deal with as they always had. Gem would return to the, but when she did, he was likely to give her a good telling off for scaring him like this, it was not good for any of they, the stress that she was putting them through, by running away. Not that he considered her to be capable of running away, when she had personally finished the war. She was a hero after all.

Slowly all the elves started to pack up their things for the long journey home. There was no need for speed, so the dragons would not use their blinking ability. The elves would ride their horses the whole way, seeing as there was notihng to worry about at the moment. No one for them to fear any more. This was a good feeling dor them to have after the century of warfare endured so recently.

For most of his people, he knew that they were lookign forwards to seeing their loved ones once more. It had only been a few weeks since they left Anthatal, but he knew that some of them had family waiting behind, not wanting to fight at all. He understood his people, and though he was worried about Gem's whereabouts, he knew he had to do what was right for the rest of his people as well.

Once he would have decided to just leave and chase after her, like when she was in Quinahiroo, but this time, he knew he was meant to let others do the searching for him. Ashlere would be waiting for news, to find out what had been the outcome of the war. He would make sure she was told that her cousin had not been killed. Even if that had been the case, finding Elanil Hawksong, the only other heir and at the moment, Gem's named heir, seeing as Auraka and herself had no children.

Not yet, but in a few months, there would be one child at least who was running aroudn of theirs. He knew that Gem would pull through, like she always did when it came to doing anything. This would be just another thing that happened for her. Another test that she wanted to put herself through, no matter what happened to her. That was something he was more than used to when it came to her.

Time had certainly changed the way they acted. He'd noticed how she became more serious, and much more like her mother. It was something that was happening with time, he had seen that. Her role as a Queen had demanded that of her though, so it was something that had to happen, regardless.

Gaelira PoV
Gaelira growled as she watched the humans depart from the battlefields. She knew that somewhere out there in Nuban, was her rider. Who would dare to come into the elves encampment and take her Rider though? She was considered to be a great threat to everyone, but that was something she was only too used to at the moment. She sighed as she strode along the ground with Rasjar beside her. Rasjar understood how worried she was, after all, he had all the worry his Rider had at the moment for their missing queen as well as his worry for Gaelira.

Drannor and Neldor were taking their own path in the searching, into the abandoned caves that were on Waenen Island. It would be interesting to see if they could find anything that was down there of Gem. If there was any sign of her missing rider, she hoped that it was them who found her. She herself had no idea where Gem had gone, there was no way for her to see or contact her Rider at the moment. To her, the time at the moment was as though she was a wild dragon once more, and now that she had known Gem, it was not a particularly pleasant thought. Gem had always meant the world to her, and there was no chance that she would ever risk her Rider's safety ever again.

"Don't worry so such, Gaelira," Rasjar said, eying her. "We will find her, no matter what we have to do while we search. My Rider is as worried as you are, but he knows that letting others see his worry could be an issue."

"It is not as easy for me to explain what I feel like at the moment, Rasjar. I feel like a wild dragon again. Without much of a purpose in my life. I haven't felt that way in a while," Gaelira replied, eying him herself. Her golden eyes were sad though. "How could someone do this though? And how the hell are the stopping me from seeing through my Riders eyes?" Flames shot from her nose as she spoke the last few words, it was clear that she was very much aggravated by this situation.

Her rider being missing was one that she could not stand at the moment.

"We'll figure it out, Gaelira. Have some trust in us, please," Rasjar replied. "I know you want to get out there and search, but you have to stay with us for now. Drannor will help the humans to search their part of the lands, and we will need your light to search the deepest parts of the woods."

Gaelira growled, but she understood where he was coming from at the moment. She couldn't do much like this. "Perhaps I should go and check on our eggs, hmm?"

"They ought to be safe," Rasjar chuckled.

"You can never be sure in times like this, Rasjar. I am going to go and check on them. After finding out that one of my son's has fought against us in the battle we just had, I need to check that Omaron has kept the remaining eggs safe."

The purple dragon sighed and nodded. "I'll see you in Anthatal soon then. Bring our eggs there, that way they have the protection of the elves as well."

"You just don't want me wandering off. Did I not prove to be one of the most powerful dragons in the skies not so long ago?" Gaelira chuckled. "I will bring them though. Perhaps you are right. I feel so alone without Gem in my mind. When I get my glaws on her i am going to lick her from head to toe!"

Auraka laughed when he heard that one in Rasjar's head. "No you won't Gaelira. Unless you want to risk our children." He knew how sharp and barbed a dragon's tongue was. It was needed to be able to strip the meat off of their prey. "I have my own mind about how to tell her off."

"I suppose your way would be better than mine," Gaelira growled. She then leapt into the air, soaring away from the others, in another direction completely. Only she knew where her eggs were at the moment, it was something the female dragons defended with their lives. So far though there had been no trouble for her to deal with, and her son had done well in the past.

She stopped at the first of the islands though, diving into a crevasse that should have been too small for her great size. Sun Dragon Magic though protected it, making it only accessible to the dragon who nested there. As well as her offspring. A bellow greeted her, and she saw her deep emerald green son looking up at her. She smiled as she saw him. landing close by in the den.

"Was there any trouble in my absence?" she asked, looking at Omaron.

The green dragon sighed. "A little. Meliora managed to steal a green egg while I was hunting in the lower chasm. He knew I would not risk the safety of my brother or sister by attacking when I saw him. I am sorry." The green dragon bowed his head.

"I would not have expected any more of you. Meliora will be punished when I next find him. We will move the eggs to Anthatal now though."

"How on earth will you do that?" Omaron asked. He was curious, there was no mistaking that.

“The only way Io can. Magic. I want you to travel to Anthatal. Blink there. I'll send the eggs directly to you. It won't be easy but I can do it. All of us have our own magic in side of us, my son.” Gaelira sighed. “I said I would be waiting for Auraka and your father when they got back, so I do not have that much time. Go!”

The dragon nodded and leapt for the sky, soaring up as fast as he could possibly go. Gaelira watched as her son moved away from her. Usually she would have told him not to fly so fast in such a place but she knew that this time it was something that was needed. She smiled, he was getting to be quite quick in the air. It was something that pleased her greatly.

He was soon out of sight as soon as he'd gotten out of the barrier he blinked and she knew it was safe to be sending the eggs that were going to be hidden by the other elves. She knew that the eggs were a necessary part of the dragons at the moment.

Keya POV

So, her cousin was missing was she? There were a few places that were not known in this part of the land. Though the only place Keya could think of was Nuduien, her father's dark citadel. It would have to be completely torn down and rebuilt into something new, now that the age of her father's rule was finally over. Once more that was a town that would become an icon of peace. She would see to that.

She could see everywhere that she went, that people were pleased to know that her father was gone. It was true that he had not been a liked man, but she wished that there was something about him that the other people had liked. Maybe in the past there had been, but she knew that whatever redeeming qualities her father had had once, they were long gone.

No one wanted to think about the man who lay in one of the carts being taken back to Nuduien now. She would see to his funeral, but that would be the end of him in Nuban. New laws would be decided upon, homes to be rebuilt. She knew that there was much to change in the place that was her home. And all of it had to be organized by herself.

There was no one in the human plains who could refuse her orders at this point in time. no one who could stand up to her and say that they would not do as she asked.

'What of Hycis?' Velatha asked softly. 'You know she hates you with a passion, Keya. She will never bow down to you, and you know it.'

'I completely forgot about cousin Hycis. I wonder if she had any hand in what happened with Gem vanishing like this?'

It was a good thought for her to have at the moment. No one needed to know though that she doubted her cousin right now. They would have to look into this together, and she hoped that she was right about Hycis being the one behind Gem's disappearance. It would make things so much more easy when it came to finding her cousin. She knew Hycis pretty well, now that they had spent some time with each other in the same place. Hycis was rather predictable for her at the moment. There was no doubt in her mind that Hycis was going to use the disappearance of her sister to her own advantage.

There was nothing in this world that was more important to her than finding the whereabouts of her cousin. Gem was needed at the moment and that was something that rested heavily on her mind. Auraka was counting on her to search everywhere that she could possibly look that was not within the forest itself. And it was something that she was planning on not letting him down on by doing. There were so many places, but she knew that she had the time and the resources to ensure that her cousin was found somewhere. There was no doubt in her mind about that.

Smiling to herself, she almost did not notice that one of the centaur was coming towards her now, where she rode with the rest of her men at the front of the column of humans who were heading back to the safety of their villages and towns. She had a lot of work to do, but it seemed that Eltaor was more than happy to come and talk with her when there was something that required her immediate attention.

She turned her head to look at the tall chestnut bodied centaur. "Yes Eltaor? What brings you here?" It was not a common sight to see one of the Centaur, she had thought they had left after the fighting was over, seeing as they were Gem's allies not her own. The same went for the mighty Tauren as well. Having such creatures fighting against her own people had scared her men.

"My kind will help in the search of the plains. You know that only a dragon can match our speed upon the plains. That is if you will accept our aide, Princess Keya," the centaur replied. Keya knew that he was responsible for the death of her father's greatest luitentant, the black Minotaur general, Otmin. She studied the centaur for a few moments while she regarded the offer that he had made her at the moment. It was an idea that intrigued her. Though the Centaur had not wanted to help her father, they were more than willing to help her now? That was an odd change of events, but it was also a welcome one at the moment.

"Come with us into Nuduien. From there, I will be deciding who will search where, Eltaor. You will not be harmed while you are there, seeing as my family and Gem's are allies once more. Well, with the exception of one of Gem's sisters, but now is not the time for a talk about that matter.

She smiled at her friend. The centaur nodded then cantered off once more. It was not long before she spotted him coming down one of the slopes with the rest of his surviving warriors. "Let them in!" Keya called to the others as a few of her knights drew they swords at the Centaur. Those who did quickly sheathed their swords. They would not byt the presence of the creatures who were half mana nd half horse.

Her leadership seemed to already be takign the effect that she needed it to at the moment. There was much work to be done, and she would now be able to ensure it did get done.

For she knew of the plan Gem had. For the elves to leave her people behind and set sail for a land beyond Waenen Island. It was something that she was not looking forwards to, but she hoped that there would eb a way for her to keep in contact with the elves whom she was closest to. nothing mattered more to her than knowing that she would be able to talk to those who remained of her family.

Gem was one fo the few who really understood her at the moment. She was an elf who knew what it was like to lead a whole nation. Keya hoped that her cousin would return soon so that she would be able to learn from Gen the skills she would need to get to the lifestyle that was needed for her to become a good leader. She wanted to be remembered for the things she had done to rebuild the crumbled nation that her father had ruined with all the warfare that had torn at the nation for so long.

A double century had passed and she was only just beginning her reign. She knew that seeing as she had not been raised in Nuduien all her life, she knew from an outside point of view what mistakes her father had made while he was governing his people. She only hoped that it would be enough knowledge for her to eb able to leader better.

A new age in Nuban had come, and it was the one of men, not of the elves and dragons.

'Just what are you thinking at the moment that concerns my race?' Velatha inquired.

'The elves made the Dragon Riders happen, Velatha. They are leaving Nuban, well they cannot until such times as Gem is found once more. I will not be able to keep the Dragon Riders going.'

'gem would want you to, little one,'
Velatha replied as she soared overhead.

'What if I do not have the skills needed to be able to do such a thing, I know that there is much at stake and too little knowledge in my head of the way that well respected group works. Father never taught me about them. He only taught me the thigns he thought I would need to know to become a good Queen. There was nothing about being a Dragon Rider in all his teachings.'

'Yet you fought admirably during the battle. For one who had no training in the art of fighting on dragon back, you did better than most would have done.'
There was unhidden pride in her voice as she praised Keya's efforts in the battle that they had been a part of.

'We've flown a lot together, Velatha. And that time, I had you to guide me through things.' Keya sighed as she thought about how things could have gone while they were fighting. There was no doubt in her mind that thigns were not the easy things that they had once been.

Nothing mattered to her now though. Soon they would be home in the comforting walls of the place where she had been born. From there, she would organise the search parties that would be needed to find young Gem. There were many places to look, and there was only so many people she had that would be able to search. Some of her people would ahve to be sent to rebuild Adurna from its ruins. Thatw as something that she was infuriated about. Her father had caused too much suffering in the world.

That was a town that was worth too much to her. There were so many memories gone with those ruins. She would have to see to it that the people there were properly compensated for their loses. It was something that she would have to do at the moment. She needed to rebuild her people. It was a task which was going to take a lot of time and effort on her part.

She smiled though as she rode through the plains, there were a few places she did not know overly well, but from the reports that Auraka had given her of the elves moving through her kingdom, well it was hers from now on, there was not too much damage to be seen to. The elves had left as much as they could standing so that she would not have all that much work to do.

The illness that Drannor had caused would wear off within a few days which was a relief in itself. She was pleased that the elves had, once Gem was found, offered to help with rebuilding the towns that her father had destroyed in his wrath against thosw who were insubordinant. It was something that she had not expected from them at all. Her father had been so hated by the elves, and yet here they were, eager to help her to restore her kingdom to its former glory.

Days which she had only heard tales of. Days which she now had the chance to bring back once more. And that was something she was more than willing to doa t the moment. She wanted to being back the trust from her people back to her, and to help forge a strong alliance with the elves.

Sure they were leaving her people behind soon, but she knew that Gem would always come when there was a need for her help. It was something that she knew her cousin would always want, for her to be safe and for Nuban to have many years beyond her own leadership left.

The elves simply thought that the time for them to leave was now, and that was something that would not be stopped. If they wanted to test her people out like this, they had every right. She was the leader now, and she would do everything she could to ensure that Gem's faith in her leadership was not misplaced at the moment. She wanted for her freinds to be happy, and for them to be confident in her abilities as the new human monarch. She would only be callign for Gem if there was so great a threat that she could not repel it on her own. That was a promise she made to herself, as she rode towards Nuduien.

Nuduien would be torn down though. it would be rebuilt into a new city, seeing as her father had ruined it. Once the elves had controlled the city, and until her father took the throne, it had been a place of majesty and beauty, something to be proud to call ones home. She knew that this was something that needed her to fix it at the moment. there was nothing she would not do to ensure that this happened. her people wanted their own city back and she would ensure that they got their wish. In every way, she would strive to be a better ruler than her father.

Which was something that was like a mountain of a promise to have been made. She knew that there was a lot of things that her father had done in his recent eyars that had been unwise and caused mistrust amongst her people. Not that she was too concerned by those things. Sure, they would be hard to undo, but she would do it no matter whast she had to do. The first thing she would do, was call to the elder council members and get them to stop any needed tallages. Those tallages would not be required to be paid once more and she wanted that.

There was so much that could be done at the moment, and she knwe that she would be needing Gem's help to get it all done. Of course she would not have Gem's help until she was found, so that was one of the higher priorites now. The tallages and things could wait for the meantime. Once Gem was safely back with them, she would be more than happy to deal with the bloody things. Having lived in one of the smallest of towns, she knew what a burden those things were for her people. Most of them struggled with them, when it came to having the amount needed to pay for things.

Keya sighed as her horse cantered un beneath her, Velatha soaring overhead. She knew how pleased the Dragons were to not have anyone hunting them down, they had become almost extinct.

'We're not as extinct as you think we are,' Velatha said. 'After all. Before you knew me, I was a wild dragon. So was Gaelira. We had places we could hide, and there are others out there that will come out when they find out the good news.'

'Really? How come I've never heard of wild dragons except for the few who were flying with you the day you chose me, then?'

'We have kept well hidden when we were not being found by the other races. After all, your father did hunt any dragon he found until it was eitehr serving him or dead, whichever happened. Meaning that the other dragons out there will not be too pleased to know that you are his daughter, but I am sure Gaelira and i will be able to sort them out so they do not cause you trouble.'

'You're going to great lengths to ensure that,'
Keya remarked. though she did not like the idea of the wild dragons causing her people trouble now that the trouble was over for the time being. She wondered briefly how long the peace would last. And how things were going to go when it came to the elves doing what they had to do. She knew there was one elf who she cared about as much as Gem.

At the moment, she had not seen a sign of Haemir Agrivar, but she knew he was alive, she had been able to spot Ackrond searching the land himself. The black Day dragon was as concerned as she was as to the place where his Rider's queen was. Everyone was frantically scouring Nuban, and she understood that until they either ran out of places, or Gem was found, people would continue to search for her. It was the best they could do at the moment.

Soon though she saw the walls of Nuduien rising up on the horizon, and she knew they would be there by nightfall. It was something that she was looking forwards to, getting home where she belonged. Life would be good when it came to all of this. She loved Nuduien more than she thought she would.

It was her home, and she would make sure that it became the place it had always been meant to be, from the day it was created by the elves themselves. That was in a time when the elves were not just dwelling in trees. It was a time before her people came from the sea to live here. A time when the dwarves were the original people in her homeland. And it was a time that would come again now that all the war was over for once. She chuckled at the thought. Perace was sometihng her people had always needed.

And it was something they would get soon. She would see to that. Once things settled down after people realised that they were no longer at war, things would be a lot better for everyone. The towns would be looked over and she would decide what needed fixing in each of them. The elves would help ehr to restore her cities that had been destroyed in the war. And how she knew this was that Gem had promised that no matter what Keya asked, if it was in her power she would see to it that it was done.

Her people would never have to fend for themselves again, and that was most certainly a blessing in its own. She knew that ofr her people, the amount of damage was too graet for her to be able to help the towns be defended as they were rebuilt alone. That was something that would be relying on Gem's help with. She did not have the numbers on her own. scouts had reported that when they had once had over three thousand warriors. Only a scant thousand of them remained after the battle that had happened.

She knwe that Gem has not fared as well as she had, but Gem had more men than she had never thought. The combined might of all of them working together though would make sure that things were done again. Her people would get back the cities and things they had lost. Auraka would be sending the poeople from Aduran out to find where they wanted to rebuild their town. Keya had promised that that was the first town that would be rebuilt, seeing as it had been turned to rubble for defending Gem like it had.

The town she knew was always going to be special to Gem as well. For Gem knew that she owed the town her life at the moment. If it was not for Lord Aaron's compassion, she wouild have been rotting in Nuduien's dungeons a few years ago. Thanks to him, she had sealed Lindan Marcos' fate and had brought a new age to NUban. One that was going to be great. Keya knew she would lead her people into it, but she would not be alone. That was something she was aware of. She had freinds and she had allies to help her bring her people into the new days to come.

It was something that was a pleasing thought for her.

Drannor PoV
It was odd now that there was no one left for them to have to fight all the time. Peace was something that this world was not used to in the slightest. Though peace was not something that had completely come for Drannor's my people. His cousin's absence from the rest of them was something that was causing some unrest amongst the other elves.

Right now though, Maith and Drannor would have to deal with Taror together. They were the ones who were the only possible leaders when it came to that town. Maybe Drannor would be able to take on that responsibility, for what time they were still here in Nuban. That was not going to be all that long a time, but that did not really matter to him. He found the safty of his people to be more important than the leadsership of a single town. He was not born to be a leader, it was not something he was that comfortable doing. Sure being a leader of a group of men in Gem's army was alright, it was somethign he knew. But imposing taxes and dealing with trouble makers? He'd leave that to someone else if he could.

“Where do you think Gem might be?” Maith asked as he reached the others who had come from Taror. She was glad indeed to see that her brother was safe from all the fighting. At the moment, she was making sure their mother arrived back in Taror in one peace.

“You know do you? I know that when we get back to the forest, there is one place in particular that I want to go to search. Its not one in the forest, but I do not know if Auraka or Princess Keya have thought of it.” It was true, he knew neither had as yet. “Waenen Island.” The island of the Uruohtars. The original island that the Uruohtar's had trained in, during the time of peace which Lindan Marcos had ruined by his own means. Since he and his friends had attacked, no one had been there. “Who knows what is over there now. Been two centuries since any elf has been there.”

She smiled at him. “I see. I suppose you will not be taking anyone with you then?” This was something she could tell was important to him at the moment. He had always put Gem over everything else, even his own life. She was pleased by how seriously he took his job.

“None other than I,” Neldor rumbled, looking down at both of them. “From what stories past down over time, there are places which can only be entered accompanied by a dragon.” The blue dragon snorted, lowering his head so that the glow from his golden belly would not blind the two elves as the sun touched those scales. "You have nothing to worry about though, Drannor and I will be careful, Maith."

“I would never have chosen to leave you behind, Neldor. After all, it is the place where dragons and elves and humans got along to keep the peace in our world.” I chuckled. Neldor and I had grown closer over time. We were a pair that were well known amongst most of the elves now. None of the Taror elves seemed to harbour me any doubt these days. I truly was safe at the moment.

“Indeed it is.” The great blue dragon chuckled at my words. We knew each other only too well at the moment to be able to fool each other. “For now though, we will have to focus on the journey ahead of us, back to the forest. Even though we are searching somewhere in the opposite direction.”

“What do you mean, Neldor?” Auraka asked, walking over to us. “What's in the other direction?” He had come up behind them unknown it seems. Somehow he'd gotten around the fact that both Drannor and Maith were mind readers.

“Waenen Island,” Drannor replied. “Neldor and I are interested in searching for Gem there, no matter how far fetched that idea might seem, it is somewhere it seems no one has thought to look for Gem.”

“You ought to travel with Keya then. The humans may well have a more up to date map of the island, they were a common sight there once,” Auraka replied. “Let me know if you have any news, won't you?”

“Of course.” Drannor smiled, though it did not reach his eyes. It was hard, having to say goodbye to his mother. But he was slowly getting past that. Life went on, and Drannor knew those that loved them never really were gone. They would always live on in the beating hearts of those who lived to see another day.

“Go.”

Drannor bowed, and then hurried off. Neldor snorted and he quickly climbed up into the dragon saddle. What if they were right? They could only hope that they had an idea of where she might be. Waenen Island would be the perfect place for Gem to be hidden, the elves never went there, none had set a foot there in over two hundred years. It was not a cheerful thought. Who knew what waited for them on the island?

It did not take long for Neldor to catch up to his younger sister. Velatha seemed surprised that he was there though.

The golden dragon turned to look at them before choosing to say anything a few moments later. “What is it, Neldor?” she asked, stopping where she was in the air. Her golden eyes met Drannor's as well, she knew he was here. She was smiling though, it seemed she was pleased to see them both.

It was not her brother that chose to answer this time. “We're coming with you,” Drannor replied. “Neldor and I had an idea as to where Gem might be, and Auraka told us to travel with you as far as Nuduien.” A city which no elf truly liked.

The golden dragon was silent for a while and Drannor turned and looked down at the straggling line of humans who were heading back to the capital. Then Velatha finally spoke. “Keya is agreeable.”

Drannor nodded and then whistled. He would not fly the whole way, but a mount was easily gotten. Galloping towards the other humans was a huge white stallion. Smiling, Neldor dove, and as he passed over the horse Drannor jumped towards the ground, landing easily on the saddle of his horse.

The horse continued to move under him, easily reaching the rest of the humans. A few of the remaining soldiers raised their swords. It was not something Drannor had not expected by any means. After all, they were only just out of the fighting, and they would want to defend their queen.

Another horse turned from the head of the column and came galloping towards us, as Drannor stared at all the humans, knowing that even if they tried to kill him, he would be able to get out range only too easily. “Lower your weapons. He's a friend,” Keya called and slowly the weapons were lowered, though the other men were a little wary of him.

“I honestly do not think they would have been able to stop me anyway,” Drannor told her. “It's good to see you again, Keya.”

She smiled. “Most likely not, but still, I would rather not lose any more men.” She knew though that Drannor'swords were true. “The fighting has crippled both our races, therefore I got over here before another one started.” She looked at the men who had dared to block his path to her. “Never block an elf again, they can take offence to such things, you know.”

Drannor chuckled. “No offence taken. I would have been surprised if any of them did not block me. They were only doing what was well within their job as soldiers.” Though he knew she was his cousin, Drannor was not as close to her as Gem was.

“So what brought you this way? Velatha mentioned you were heading in the same direction as us, and that you were told to travel with us until Nuduien.” Keya smiled as she looked at them both. I don't know them well, but I'm sure I'll get to know them eventually, she thought. After all the elves will be a more common sight now outside the forest.

Drannor smiled as he rode towards the front of the column of humans. This was something he knew he would have to talk to her about, to see if Auraka was right. “Neldor and I thought of somewhere that Gem might be. Waenen Island. Auraka told me to travel with you, seeing as humans were the last Riders to go there.”

She nodded. “I'm guessing you want to see any charts we have of the island, right?” I suppose I can help with that, though I do not know where they are.

“Yes. He believes and I agree with him on this, that the charts you have might well be more up to date than the ones that the elves have.”

“Why would she be there?” What on earth? How could gem possibly be in that direction? No one's been there in years!

“Whoever took her, likely knows that elves do not go there any more. Well at least, we did not used to. I know that Auraka will be getting the others ready to fly there when Gem is found.”

***

It took them at least a week to get the Nuduien, and by the time they were there, he was glad to get into the city. Though what he saw upon entering was not what he had expected. The great white marble city was falling into disrepair. It seemed that even Lindan Marcos' home had been not as well cared for by its lord.

“What happened here?”

“We had a band of wild dragons come through attacking us, not long before Gaelira sent her challenge to us,” Keya replied. “We got those we could out, but we still lost a lot of people to them.”

Velatha sighed. “It saddens me that others of my race would do this. Rhothilion and I had to chase them off, and that was not the easiest of things to do. They would have fought me, had he not shown up when he did.”

Clearly this was something that was a sore memory for her. “In a way I am glad that he did help you to defend the town,” Neldor said. “It seems that this is the work of more then three dragons, all this... destruction.”

“It was. Five Day Dragons came and attacked our people,” Keya replied. “Only Rhothilion was enough to scare them away, they would have killed Velatha and driven me into madness.”

So the blue dragon had been able to help his niece? Interesting. “True. The loss of ones dragon does do that to the rider who remains alive without one.” It reminded Drannor of something that had happened to a Rider once. He shuddered. “It happened once, and I am ashamed to tell you this, but it happened to your father. Rhothilion was not his dragon, originally. He managed to steal Rhothilion's egg from Waenen Island. Queen Lauraselee was furious when she found out about the egg being missing from the nesting grounds there.”

“You mean, he might not have been so evil if he had not been tainted by my father?”

“Yes.”
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PostSubject: Re: Peaces Beauty - Nano 2011   Thu Nov 10 2011, 17:48

Chapter 1 - Fruitless Search

Drannor PoV
The dragons were relieved to be within Nuduien's walls, they had been rather tired. Drannor though was worried all the more for his cousin at the moment. Where could she be? And how big was Waenen Island itself? There were many things going on in his mind at the moment. It was going to be hard to find her on his own, but he worked better alone when it came to searching for people. Keya though he could see was happy to know that the elves were taking the disappearance of their queen as seriously as she was. Then again, Gem was an integral part in the way things were in Nuban at the moment.

"You seem rather quiet at the moment, Keya," he said as they headed into the castle. Even her head was silent to him, and that was something that surprised him. Normally, he was able to hear a lot more than what someone's ears would normally tell someone. She was silent as a mouse at the moment. Or was she shielding herself from him at the moment? If she was, it was rather odd for her, seeing as she wanted to learn to trust the elves. “Keya?”

She looked at him, startled. “Sorry Drannor, I'm just really worried about Gem.” She sighed. "I guess I worry too much. If anyone can find her, it will be one of us. She can't have gotten too far from us in this short amount of time," Keya looked at him. "I just can't help but think that someone else is involved in taking her at the moment. Who would do such a thing though concerns me, I can only think of one person, and that's Hycis. She was in the battle herself, with her green Dusk Dragon Meliora."

He thought about this for a few moments. "One who looked like Bjart?" he asked.

Velatha growled. “I still had some part in it because I helped to train her,” she sighed. It seemed to be something that the gold dragoness was not likely to forget either.

She sighed, then headed off in the direction of the dragon's areas. “Come on, Neldor.”

'You'll be alright?' Neldor asked.

'Fine,' Drannor replied, smiling at the blue dragon. He watched as the two dragons headed away to somewhere they could rest for a while.

"Now, lets see these maps,” Drannor spoke once more, turning to look at Keya.

"Of course,” Keya smiled, and headed into the palace. “They're in the study. My father was planning on restarting the Uruohtars, once he'd crushed all the rebellion going on against him.” She looked at Drannor. “I plan on finishing that plan of his, but not in such a brutal fashion as he planned to do so.”

Drannor had shuddered involuntarily at the words crushed all the rebellion it was something that sounded rather crude even for the humans to say it in such a careless manner. “You have found another route I trust?” It was something he certainly hoped for at the moment. There was no point in any more fighting between his people and hers.

"Indeed I have. Gem will be able to help me with that plan, but I cannot do anything until she is found. So helping all of you is my greatest priority at the moment.” Keya grinned. “Unlike my father, I see an age of peace coming now that it is my turn to take over where my father left off the way he did.”

"As well as learning to be a good queen, eh?” Drannor grinned at her. “Peace certainly sounds well needed at the moment. You ought to have a few loyal supporters with that idea. On both sides too.”

"Yes well, there is that as well, but again Gem said she'd help with that one too.” Keya sighed. I was not as training as any of you thought. My father barely had any time to spend with me, and when he did, he never mentioned my training. At least not when it came to being his heir. The skills of the Uruohtar's however were another matter and he drilled those into Velatha and I.”

"I'll bet he did that to make sure you were no easy target out on the battlefield. That's not something he would have done for you, but t

"Yes, she did look like Bjart," Keya replied. She sighed. "I wish that she was more like him, but she's not." It was something that did annoy her, though she was loath to admit it. "She had so much more potential, but she's a slave to her Rider's will. Unlike Velatha and the others, she has no choice in what she does."

"I'll bet he did that to make sure you were no easy target out on the battlefield. That's not something he would have done for you, but to ensure he still had an heir when the war was over. Never have any of us known him to be considerate of those who need his help.” Drannor sighed as he looked at Keya. “At least not in living memory. Queen Laura might have, but she's dead now, so she doesn't count.”

“It was known that he did have a crush on Queen Laura, but he only settled for my mother when it was clear that Laura was taken by Zelphar. He was always sour when he thought about the elves, because of that. He always thought that we would be able to beat the elves into submission, so that he would be the outright ruler.”Keya sighed. How wrong her father had been proved to be. She knew that it was not wise to attack the elves, and she never would. That was something that she was smart enough not to do without reason. She smiled at Drannor.

“I am glad you do not feel the same, Keya. Though you very well could have when Gem finished your father off. No matter what we all thought of him, he will always have been your father,” Drannor replied.

“I am aware of the past, but to me, why hold onto the past when such a brighter future is at hand now?” Keya asked. “I regret losing him, but I know that it was for the good of Nuban as a whole that Gem slew him. I cannot begrudge her the truth in that.”She managed to smile at him. “I just wish things did not have to be the way they are. If only I had not been stolen from my parents when I was. Gem wouldn't have a traitor for a sister, and I would have known him a lot more.”

“You wouldn't be who you are now, Keya, we all kno..”

“How can you know?” she cut him off. “Everyone in my family, except for Gem and Hycis are dead.” She sighed. “I'll never know them, they'd fade into shadows in my mind now that I lost all that time with them.”

Drannor shuddered at the anger that burned in her voice. Clearly there was something different about her, different to when he had last spoken to her in Anthatal. “I did not mean to presume anything, Keya. I just know that the past being different would make today different.” He held up his hands in apology.

“We'll never know,” she ended the discussion firmly. Though she was interested in finding out what could have been if that had been the way things were, instead of the way things were right now. She wanted to know her father better than she knew her. “After all, I barely remember my mothers face.”

“She looked very much like an older version of you,” Drannor replied.

"I'll never know her though. I'll only know her from the stories people tell me of her," Keya sighed. She turned towards one of the doors and entered what looked to be a massive library. "If we have any maps of the island, they'll be in here somewhere." She smiled. "I know this room pretty well, so, finding them shouldn't be too hard for us."

He nodded. "Where should we start looking?"

She did not answer, instead she headed over to where there was a frail looking old stand. "All the maps we have are on here, so this is the best place."

He nodded and took one of the stacks to search through. The maps were very detailed, and it took them a few hours to sift through the piles. There was not that long before dusk when they finally sat looking at a map of the island.

"Take this with you so you can find places. Just bring it back when you're done," Keya said after a while.

"Don't worry, it'll be returned. Though could be a few days before I come back with this. Island looks rather big if you ask me."

Drannor smiled as they reached the kitchen and a tall but elder man came hurrying over. "What can I do for you, Your Highness?"

"My freind here needs provisions and the like. Get him what he asks for." To Drannor, she added, "I'll be in the castle when you're done here." She turned and left.

The human looked at the elf. "What would you be needing then?"

"Food and water. No meat products, and enough for a week."

Snapping his fingers, Damen sent two servants running through the kitchens, to collect what Drannor needed. While they waited for the men to return, he looked at Drannor. “So do you really think she can bring back the old days?”

“Of course I do, if you mean Keya. She'll be a good queen one of these days.” Drannor paused, noting that there was a bit of discord in one of the minds around him. “have these taken out to Neldor. You'll find his saddlebags waiting beside him.” Drannor smiled. “He won't hurt you, he knows your coming.”

“Of course Dragon Rider.”

Drannor turned and headed out into the keep once more, knowing that there were places he had yet to see. It was sad to see that even Nuduien had felt the hardship of war, but that was something he expected no less to happen to. He would have been angry if Nuduien hadn't taken any damage while the other cities certainly had. Some had been ripped to the ground.

As he passed one of the buildings it shook and then came crashing down. That was something that made him jump out of the way, growling in protest as the movement jolted his spine. “Careful!” he called to the humans who had knocked the building down. “You nearly just crushed me.”

“Stay out of the buildings then,” one of the humans retorted. Drannor forced himself not to react to the words. No elf was infallible, and he knew that. He dodged the buildings, giving all of them a wide birth. When his path was completely blocked he sighed and then leaped into the sky as a hunting eagle. This was easier, he decided, to get trough the town.

Smiling, he landed back in the keep once more. Well on the outside steps, changing into his normal form as he did so. The guards parted and he hurried inside, pleased that he did not have to say a word to get them to move once more. It was a relief, and it was one that he liked not having to worry about. These humans were still a little frightened of having an elf in their home, but that was natural. Or so he told himself.

He found Keya in the castle courtyard, sparring with another human. She seemed to be enjoying herself. As did the knight who fought against her. She stopped soon though, disarming the knight.

“Looks like you were having fun,” he said, as he came over to her after she'd sheathed her sword.

"That's all it is now, fun," she said. "Though nothing like fighting elves, you're a lot more of a challenge for me. I wish I wasn't half human half elf, I feel like an outsider when it comes to strength alone."

Drannor smiled. "You can't change who you are, Keya." He sighed. "Believe me, a lot of us wish we could, but it seems that none of us have that chance anyway. So life goes on and we try to make the most of who we really are in this life. Next time, when it comes to choosing who we want to be, we'll choose again, and maybe not then like what we become. Its a game of chance really, what you become in each life."

He smiled though, knowing that that likely did not help her at all. That was something that he knew would be a problem for her, but he knew that there were some things that no one could choose for themselves. "We all choose who we want for our parents, but sometimes even that can be a mistake for us. Our strengths and weaknesses are determined by the people we choose as our parents, not what we want for ourselves. Sometimes that makes me think that I'm not a Silverleaf at all. I don't know what tells me that, but it might come down to the people I chose as a spirit to be my parents."

"I know that there are a lot of things that work into who we are now, but I just wish I'd known what was going to become of me at the moment. Things are harder now that I'm meant to become a queen. And I cant take that place until I know how to be one. Gem's the only one who can teach me, it should have been my parents who taught me, not my cousin," Keya replied. She smiled though. "At least I'm greatful to have her at least in my life. I wouldn't be here if it were not for her."

"I'm sure you would have found someone to teach you Keya, even if she had of been lost. Its one of the things that we learn to do in life. To adapt to the things that change in the future from our pasts. After all, the elves can only be here for so long before we leave. Gem will do what she can in that time to make the change over easy for you, but for that to happen, she needs to be found. I know you have her gift of foresight as well as my one for reading minds. Can you try and search her out?"

She smiled at him for a few moments. "I guess I can try."

The young half elf smiled as she started to walk towards the hall. She knew where she was going at the moment, and she knew that Drannor would be glad for a meal before he headed off to Waenen Island. Who knew what waited for him there. A glance at the elf who walked beside her though told her that he would be able to handle anything the island threw at him. It was something she was glad about because she knew that there were going to be some things that would concern him more than Neldor. That island was one she knew next to nothing about.

"Don't worry about me, Keya. That island will not be able to hold me back from finding my queen. She will be found even if it takes me a while." Drannor smiled at her. "I'm more than able to defend myself, and there is Neldor as well who can help with defending me. I know he will. Its something he is well known for at the moment."

Keya smiled, stopped at one of the doors. "I called for the kitchen to send up a meal before you left. We can eat in here." She opened the double doors, moving towards the table. Surprisingly she did not sit at the chair that was meant to be hers now that her father was no longer with them. No instead she moved for one of the other seats at the table.

"Why do you not take your father's seat?" Drannor asked. "It is yours after all."

"Not until I am queen will I sit where my father did once. until then, it is Gem's seat when she visits me." Keya smiled. "I will make do with the seat I have always had since I was found in Aduran." She smiled, sitting at the side of the table, next to the king's throne. She knew her place, but she knew that it was one that would soon be empty when she became queen. It was something that was a sobering thought.

"Do not worry about what seats will be empty when that time comes. I know that in time they will be filled once more."

That was something that would come in time, he knew that. There were many things that needed to be seen to at the moment. He knew that Keya was most concerned with the place where her cousin was at the moment. That was something that concerned all the people of Nuban, ans he knew that only too well at the moment. Their queen was a good lady, but for her to be missing was another thing entirely. Gem cared about her people, but he knew that she could not be there all the time. Gem was the one that they all needed at the moment.

There were so few people who were worthy of so many things in Nuban. Keya had a lot that would be falling on her young shoulders when his people left Nuban. She was such a good girl though, and he had no doubt that no matter what the future held for her, she would be just as much of a fighter as he knew Gem was. it was in their blood after all, with the mothers being sisters. The elves were always fighters, and he knew that they would remain so until the end of the word in which they lived.

it was something that gave him hope for the future of the people who he knew. Gem was one of the leaders yes, but with Auraka's leadership, the time endured before she was found would not be that hard on any of them. keya he knew would help Auraka where he could, and that was something that he knew his king would be very pleased with. To the elves, Keya was the best person to take on her father's legacy. She knew how things were in Nuban, and she was one who planned to fix the things that were not right in their world.

There were some things that were needed at the moment. A meal was something that was very welcome given the circumstances at the moment. He knew that things were going to be interesting when he got to Waenen Island, and that was something he was looking forwards to. It would be interesting to see the things from times gone by, to see how good condition things were in at the island.
He had heard that it was a massive island, and that the dragons used it and the other islands to sleep and things. For the main island was a city, where, only the most elite of the Dragon Riders were quartered. The islands were the Dragon Riders territory at the moment. Well, they had been in the past and he had no doubt they would be again. It was something that was needed to help the people learn to look upon the dragons with favour once more.

If they were taking their towns and homes away, there would be only fear and discomfort when any one looked at a dragon and its rider. With them on their own islands, things would be a lot better for everyone involved.

The people needed to know that they were looked after when it cam e to the riders. It was something that he knew Gem would help to establish as well..

"I can't see her." Keya's words broke into his thoughts and he looked up in startled surprise.

"Can't see who?" he asked. Then it clicked. "You can't see Gem? Are you sure?"

"Quite. There is nothing out there for me to grab onto that radiates from her. There are places though that are hidden from me, that someone or something is shielding. I don't understand why, they never blocked me before. "

"Where? Where are you being blocked? Might give me a good starting point at the moment. Could be of some use."

'Well, one is in Qualohtarie. The other just conveniently happens to be Waenen Island. The block is strongest on the island. Whoever it is that has been blocking me has to have quite the amount of strength in their minds, its hard to keep me at bay. Only the oldest of dragons can keep me at bay."

"Something I'm aware of," he chuckled. "Your mind reading is stronger than i originally gave you credit for, when I met you in Anthatal that time."

"Waenen Island, you say? Well that could make things interesting for me. I am going there after all. Was there anywhere in particular that the block seemed to originate? If I head there straight away I should be able to surprise whoever it is that is trying to block you." Drannor grinned at her. "They won't be able to withstand me after all."

"Well you are the oldest and most strongest telepath there is when it comes to mind reading, so I would think they would not stand a chance against you, Drannor." She smiled at him. "Let me search again. It won't take me long."

As she spoke, their meal came in, and Drannor immediately scowled. There was meat on his plate. Something he had not eaten in a long time and he was not about to let himself do so again. That was something that was wrong of him to allow himself to do. He had adjusted to the main elven diet without meat, so he would continue to resist eating meat even now.

"You can be different you know. You were born eating meat, weren't you?" Keya asked, looking at him curiously.

"That was in the time when I was in Taror. Over twenty years ago. I can't start eating it again now," he said.

He looked at her. "Those meat eating days are in my past now. I eat what the rest of my kind do. Eating meat made me stand out when I was not in Taror and seeing as I cannot return there, well, there is no point in keeping an old habit in my mind." Drannor smiled though. "It is not something I miss nowadays. At first I did and I questioned the family that took me in in Anthatal, but eventually I got used to it." It was something that had happened over time. And it was something that was going to stay with him for the rest of his days.

His past was his own now though.

She nodded and looked at the servant who had brought the plate . "Deal with it," she said firmly.

The older man nodded, taking the plate and hurrying out of the room, without so much as an apology. The humans certainly did not care that there was an elf in the dining hall it seemed. Or had it been a practical joke of some sort? Keya intended to find out when she could. And if it was a joke they were going to get a very firm reprimand, that was certain.

"I am sorry about that. I'll be looking into that one. You might want to check there is no meat in the supplies they gave you, just in case they've decided to do the same there."

"It is nothing. They would not be used to having their Princess on friendly terms with an elf. It was bound to happen eventually. I am not offended, well, as offended as some would have been if it was them who had found that meat." Drannor smiled at her. "I've had worse, believe me."

"Who would try such a thing on you? it's impossible to trick those who have the physic abilities. or so my people have found at the moment." Keya was studying him now.

"I chose to ignore what was going on around me. having so many voice in my head all the time gives me quite the headache at times." Drannor smiled. Then laughed at her stunned expression. "What? Can't you block the people out?"

"No. No one has bothered to help me figure out how to do that," Keya replied. "My father said why repress a gift, when you can use it to keep an eye out for trouble in the city?"

"Though he has a point about the trouble in the city, I find that if you're too clever and have a trap like that set all the time, things can turn against you. Its something I learnt once. People start to figure out that your a mind reader and deceive you by thinking of one thing to cover up what they are really thinking of."

"People do that to you?" she asked. She was surprised. "it takes a lot of power to conceal anything from someone like you or me, or so I thought."

"Gem is the only one who is infallible when it comes to her gift. No one can best where foresight," Drannor replied. "Whereas those like us who have these other gifts can be beaten at our own game it seems." He sighed. There were many things yet to be learnt for him at the moment. "I'm still working on getting my gift to be as powerful as hers, and yet she's younger than me."

That was a kick in the pants indeed for him at the moment. there was nothing he could do to stop her though from being about to beat him everything she wanted something. She was someone that was a serious challenge for him. Sometimes he was able to get around her mind gifts, but that was something that was rather rare for him at the moment. There were others who were trying to find a way around her, but they were failing.

"really? I heard she can't see around the Minotaur," Keya muttered.

"That may be true, but add the power of Gaelira and she can. It was something that was a pain for her in the war, but she has figured that one out at least. They are no longer a barrier to her sight and you would not believe how much of a relief that is for all of us at the moment."

Drannor chuckled as he looked at Keya. She was such a young woman, yet she'd had her own experience with killing and dealing with death in her family. The world was cruel to people like her. But it was cruel to everyone it seemed for Keya was not the only one who had had someone lost in the war. There were countless amounts of people who had been killed, and that was all because Lindan Marcos had become too power hungry for his own good.

He smiled at her. "Pay no heed to the things going on in my mind, Keya. There are many things that i need to think about at the moment. Like you, I face a leadership role, but it is one that I do not want in the slightest. Ever since i was exiled, well, i have wanted nothing to do with Taror's leadership. Yet fate would have it that I am my father's named heir. That is something I cannot stand being. Plus in my gut, the title does not belong to me, but to my sister, Maith. There is something off about the idea of being the leader of Taror personally at the moment."

"Maybe there is a mistake in who's son you really are? Could it be possible that you were adopted? Like Hycis was?"

"Maybe, what makes you think that?"

"Something I have seen, Drannor. Maith will find something and it will be to do with your parents, no one else. They are not who you think they were all this time. And they are alive, i have seen them after the fighting ended. They wish for me not to divulge their names though, they know you will learn the truth soon enough, Drannor."

he sighed. "I guess you are right. Why begrudge them that if they ask it if you?" he knew better than to try and get in her head. That would be plain wrong if he did at the moment. It was something he was not planning on doing either.

He sighed as he looked at her. There was so much he wanted to know about the people who were his parents. If Soora was not his mother then... who was and how had he come to be raised by Soora in the first place?

She smiled. "It will happen, when it is meant to happen, my friend." That was something she was quite sure of at the moment. There was nothing that would stop things from happening when it came to future events. Sometimes she knew they got delayed, not that was something that happened in every day life. She knew this, but she hoped that in this case, things would not be delayed. It would be nice to know that he knew who his parents were.

The servant came back now with the plate of food, this time it was meat free. "I apologise, my Lord, one of the new servants hid the meat on there before it was brought up. He has been reprimanded for doing such a foolish thing in a sensible manner."

Drannor nodded. "I hope not too badly as i was not offended in the slightest by what happened."

He smiled as he looked at Keya. "Believe me, it could have been worse. I'm not bothered by what just happened with my meal." There were some things that he was not bothered about all that easily. Drannor knew that there were others though who would have taken serious offence to the meat.

"Be glad it was not Gem who was the one being served that meal. Things might have gone badly for your servant, seeing as she'll never eat meat. Never has, never will. Thought i likely cannot say the same for Hycis, can I?"

"No, Hycis seems to like to eat the meat that it brought into the dining room. It stuns me sometimes how she can eat such things without throwing up like any normal elf would honestly have to do." Keya sighed. "She is certainly one of a kind at the moment when it comes to the elves that I know well."

"Indeed."

He decided that it would be a good thing for him to remember in case things were odd when they got their hands on Hycis at last. "She'll find she'll get no meat from the rest of her people however. Not that it will bother us, we simply won't serve it." He could already imagine the chaos that would ensue if Hycis was to take the throne. "Seeing as we're not human, we will not follow the same diet as the humans do."

"Each to their own."

At long last, they finished the meal, and Drannor stood, gathering the map up in his hand. There was much for him to see to now, and he knew that there were some things that the others would never understand about him. He was aware that the other elves would not be impressed that he was different to them, but he knew that it was something he was able to control at the moment.

Gem going missing was something that was important to him as he was her cousin, or so he believed himself to be. Keya walked out with him to where the dragons were, so that he would be able to find the way to Neldor. Drannor eyed the small pile of provisions and smiled. This was something he could do, go off on his own with Neldor. The two of them were good company for each other at the moment

"I should think we will always be good company for each other, Drannor," the blue dragon chuckled. "After all, I chose you, not the other way around."

Drannor grinned once more at the dragon. "I am aware of tat, Neldor. And I am glad that you did choose me, no matter how long you were kept waiting for me to get to the right age." He knew that the dragon was half Gaelira's age at the moment. He was still so young and gentle minded. Well, as gentle as a dragon his size could be. His wingspan was at least twenty foot from tip to tip.

He turned his attention to the assortment of food that was ready to be packed away in the saddlebags that Neldor carried. There would be plenty of time for dealing with the more mundane things such as his parentage later when he had searched the island he planned to.

At the best of times, Drannor was a cautious man, and he knew that their stay on Waenen Island would be an interesting time. The things they would be able to learn from the days of the past would be things that he would never have been able to imagine.

As such he moved quickly to pack the supplies and the map away in the saddlebags. By the time he was done, quite a crowd was gathering to watch as he climbed up into Neldors saddle. "Fino al prossimo incontriamo, Keya," he said, smiling at her from where he sat.

"Addio Neldor and Drannor," Keya replied, stepping back to give them room to fly.

Neldor sprung for the skies and within one beat of his wings he vanished out of sight directly into the cove that Drannor told him of on the map. As soon as he appeared there though, nothing seemed to come at them, so under the cover of the shadows, the blue dragon began the climb up the cliffs, instead of flying, he used his claws to get up there.

Drannor had advised him on not flying within the cove, incase there was some spell that would activate if he flew. Though it was tricky for him to climb the cliffs, the big dragon soon got himself over the edge and into the safety of a large cave. The dragon smiled as he looked around them once more. The dragon smiled as he reached the inside of the cave. Then he poked his head out of the cave and carefully shook a tree.

Drannor, in his winged form once more, soared through the sky, collecting kindling for the fire as it was shaken from the tree. Soon he had enough and he soared back down towards the cave, dropping all the wood before turning back into an elf again and starting to build the fire. once it was built, Neldor let out a tiny puff of deep blue flames to light it.

It was too late for them to start to search the island. They would do so in the morning when there was plenty of light to look around.

"It's best you stay here where you won't be seen," Drannor said.

"Hmm, and let you get caught by something up there?" the dragon growled.

"Nothing can slip up on me, nor sense me if I use the shadows like you did before. I know the spell you use and I can get it to draw its needed energy from the earth that I touch instead of from me," Drannor replied. He smiled at Neldor.

"Hmm, very well, Drannor."

Hycis PoV
"A dragon rider arrived, my lady," one of the Minotaur guarding the island snorted, coming into the room where Hycis was. It was in the tunnels, with a high ceiling, tall enough to accommodate the green dragon resting on one side of the room.

Immediately Hycis rose to her feet, before the words were out of his mouth. Losing General Otmin, Lindan Marcos' favorite Minotaur was something that made her somewhat unsure of the Minotaur now. She had enjoyed the company of the other Minotaur, and she had known he was one who could be trusted no matter what he reported. "A dragon rider, eh? What color was the dragon and did you get a good look at who the rider was?" Hycis questioned, looking at the Minotaur in annoyance. How dare a dragon rider come here, to the place that she had claimed for her home. This would not be born, not at all.

The Minotaur watched with bright eyes as she approached him. It was something he was used to her doing when he brought a message from one of the scout towers. "It is not Keya, a Dawn Dragon would not have been able to fool the towers into thinking they were not there. I suspect it was one of the Dusk flight, to have gotten in undetected. They shadow meld, am I right?" The Minotaur waited for a response from the golden haired elf before him.

It was then that Meliora raised his green head from the ground. "Indeed we can," he replied. "Though few would be powerful enough not to be easily sensed by those towers. I shall go to investigate this." He surged to his feet. The green dragon was growling. "It will be one of my kin. I will find out exactly who it was very soon."

His rider looked at the Minotaur instead of the dragon as she spoke. "Be careful, we do not know if they are friend or foe," Hycis said. "In either case," she looked at the Minotaur. "Prepare my prisoner for travel. We leave as soon as Meliora returns from his scouting trip." It seemed she had no concern for the dragon's safety. Something that would inevitably cost Meliora his life eventually.

Gem PoV
She heard someone come into the tiny cell she was in. There was enough room for the iron bed she was lying on, as well as a person on either side of her. Well, maybe a great ugly Minotaur on either side. It was something that made her blanch, just to see the great ugly brutes come into her cell. They were so uncivilised unlike the Tauren she knew.

Neither of them spoke as one neatly knocked her onto her side and caught her hands in its hairy ones, which it then moved behind her back. The other snorted and even though she struggled futility, bound her wrists behind her back.

"Let go of me," she growled at the brutes.

They laughed, and then one grabbed her head raising her up so she was sitting. She glared at them as the creature forced her mouth open and the other quickly stuffed the material gag into her mouth, tying it in place at the back of her head. Last but not least, a blindfold was placed over her eyes so she could not see anything. Just when she thought it was over, she felt another coil of rope wrap around her legs.

Grunting in what seemed to be approval, she felt the ground shake as they locked the door once more behind them as they left. Well, now what's happening to me? Gem thought as she lay there. The monsters had taken no heed of the fact she was pregnant, instead tossed her about like a rag dog.

It was not long before she heard the others coming back to her cell. This time, she heard Hycis as well. "Well now, looks like our dear cousin Drannor decided to come and search the islands. Too bad for him that he triggered my watch towers sister." She laughed and Gem shivered at the evil nature to the sound. Somehow she hoped that Drannor would not be that far from them that he wouldn't be able to pick up on her mind.

"And I was well prepared for his mind reading ability. I've cast spells that will keep you from his gift, as well as from that Keya's foresight ability. They're running blind when it comes to finding you."

Gem knew from the tone of voice that Hycis was feeling very smug at the moment. She would be only too pleased to have Gem at her mercy at the moment. A feeling that was not in the least bit wanted at the moment.

"Bring her," Hycis laughed, and then Gem felt hands picking her up, carrying her not too gently through the corridors. Eventually they stopped though, and one of the Minotaur threaded a rope around her waist, the other end which she felt being tossed somewhere. then something pulled her into the air and she came to a stop, her cheek resting against hard scales.

More ropes were added, binding her to the dragon underneath her. Well, by now the injury over her heart was screaming in protest. And that was something that her own mind was thinking as well. Did they have no concern for the children growing in her belly either?

She winced as she felt the others moving her on the dragon, making sure she wouldn't be able to escape. Things were hard for her to put up with at the moment, but she knew that she would eventually deal with these traitors. She would just have to bide her time. And that was something she was good at doing when it came to the other humans who were against her and Keya.

Keya would not be pleased when she found out that the Minotaur were not loyal to her, but to Hycis. They posed a serious threat for her at the moment, and it was something she was not going to be impressed about.

The dragon suddenly jolted towards the sky and Gem winced as he did.

It was an odd feeling, knowing that she was flying with a dragon but being unable to communicate with the creature in anyway. The creature was flying, she could feel the wings beating, and she could hear them as well. She would have loved to know who the dragon was, and who exactly had her, for she had not seen the face of the person who was her host. And from what words the Minotaur used that she understood, they never gave a name. It was always the Mistress, or her Ladyship. Never a good name that she would be able to put to a face.

The dragon snorted and she felt the cold feeling of blinking to another place entirely. Oh she knew that the elves and Keya's people were searching for her, but there was no chance she had of communicating with them. Never did she manage to get a word out with her mind, every time she tried, something very painful seared through her mind, rendering the attempt impossible. She missed her family, and she knew that constantly being tied up and other things was not good for her health at the moment.

The dragon dove suddenly, and she gasped, though the sound was buffered by the gag in her mouth. It was something that was annoying her greatly. Whenever the so called mistress of the Minotaur was dealing with her in person, Gem was always gagged and blindfolded. Two more weeks of this treatment and she would be dead. A sobering thought for her, though her captor did not give a damn about her health.

What did I do to deserve such rough treatment? she thought, shaking her head. But as soon as she made the movement, someone slapped her face. It was the typical reaction if she made any movement that was not wanted by whoever had her. The dragon growled in a warning fashion as well, and she remained still at that reaction. It was best not to anger a dragon. She knew how deadly they could be at the moment.

How many had she been fighting of late? More than enough to know about the different types of dragons and what they could do when they had to do such things. It seemed that time was something that brought knowledge and that knowledge was not always something nice to have discovered. No, most of the time she was hurt for finding out things. It was a thing that she hated a lot now that things were not as good as she had thought defeating Lindan Marcos would be.

Only three days after she'd stabbed through his heart, someone had come while Auraka and the other guards were searching for anyone else who needed to be healed. That someone had moved too quickly to gag her with magic and had thrown her over the shoulders of a dragon. She had not seen anything but the cell she had been in moments before since the time that happened. It was something that insulted her greatly.

So the question remained for her, who had taken her from the other elves? And who would go to such lengths to hide her mind and everything else about her from the rest of the people of Nuban? It was through her blood being shed that Lindan Marcos had been slain. It seemed that she was now liked by everyone for doing such a thing. Embarrassing as that was, she knew that there were many things that she had to worry about.

Sure, while she was in that tent of hers, she had not been able to do much, but she had still given the other elves commands as well. She had been able to get them to do things, and she knew that even the humans had been interested in taking orders from her at the time. Everyone was glad that evil had been shorn from Nuban. At least they thought it had. It seemed that a new evil had risen, ans this one was not interested in giving back the things that it was taking with it.

There were many people she knew that might not like her, but to do something as horrid as this was something that annoyed her. Why was she the one who was copping it from the others for being who she was trained to be? And why would they do such things when everyone was happy now.

She knew that there were a lot of people who did not like her. But that was the way the world worked at the moment. Everyone was bound to have enemies, even if they thought they had some. At times you never knew that you did because they never confronted you about it. But at other times, she found that they were people who would confront you, and when they did, all hell would break loose for you. Sometimes she knew it was a thing that the others did not believe, but as one of the elves, she knew that grudges were very real things for her.

She had had many people attack her when it came to things she had don wrong. Even when she was new to the orphanage in Aduran. She remembered those days, and they were the ones she thought of most frequently at the moment. There was nothing else for her to do, but think of the people she'd met, the lives she had helped to change. There was so much that most people did not know that she had done in the past. And she was not one to brag about the things she had done.

Gem sighed as she felt herself being untied from the dragons back. the loop of rope was tied around her waist again and this time, she was left on the ground, lying down on her chest. Really an uncomfortable place to be at the moment. She felt the rope being changed to a slim chain which was wrapped around her wrists in place of the rope that had been there before. Then one of the Minotaur hauled her to her feet after they had been unbound. She heard a horse moving nearby and the rope was raised above her but in front.

A female voice spoke to her. "Move she-elf, or the horse will drag you." The rope was tugged on and she moved uncertainly after the creature, not wanting to be dragged. She was moving slowly though, because of not being able to see. The horseman seemed frustrated, because the blindfold was removed from her eyes.

She blinked to clear them. She seemed to be in a tunnel. The walls were stone and carved into intricate scenes of drawven history. It was not the walls she was interested in though, but the person on the horse. Of all the people in Nuban, it was her sister, Hycis. She growled through the gag and someone swatted the back of her head in retaliation.

"Less growling, more walking, my darling sister," Hycis sneered as her horse moved through the corridor. None of the people around her seemed even bothered that she was here at the moment. Nor did they seem to care that she was the queen of the elves. Things were certainly bad for her at the moment. Something did not sound right in the younger elf's voice. It seemed she had something planned when it came to Gem.

What was her sister planning to do with this? They stopped outside a hard iron door. Hycis leapt from the saddle of the horse and grinned at her wickedly. "End of the line for you, my sister." She smiled and shoved open the door. Then she pushed Gem into it, though Gem was not happy with her for doing so.

Someone hit her in the back of the knees and she fell to her knees. Hycis then slapped at her, knocking her onto her back once more. Gem continued to glare at her sister, as two of the Minotaur shoved her into a groove on the ground, shaped to fit someone's body. Then her hands were freed and shifted so that they followed the grooves made for arms, stretching them out to above her head on either side.

Sharp iron manacles suddenly dug into her flesh, biting every foot down her arms. She screamed in pain but the gag stopped her from managing any sound that was tangible as a scream at all. Why was she being tortured like this? Then the Minotaur grabbed her legs, moving them so she was spread eagled on the ground in the groove. Again she shrieked as they were bit into by the metal.

"That's just a taste of what I have planned for you before I leave you to starve to death, my dear sister," Hycis laughed. She then left the room, locking the door as she went. The Minotaur sneered in at her through the barred door. Then she was alone and still gagged. Gem sighed, suddenly finding that she could not even raise her head either. If she tried to move, things bit into her, and that was something that annoyed her. How would she be able to escape from this?

It seemed that luck was certainly not on her side at the moment.

This was humiliating, lying here in this pit and not being able to move. It was not something that she was easily able to do, staying on her back the whole time that she was here. It was most uncomfortable, considering that she was pregnant, and she knew that there were many things that she knew ought to have been taken into consideration but had not been.

She was not in the best of shape for such things as this, and she knew that the bandages around her chest were old and dirty. which meant that the wound that was there would be getting all the more worse at the moment. She knew that for the meantime it would not fully heal. Not until she could get herself to another healer, and she knew Hycis would not care about her that much.

She sighed as she stayed as still as she could. It was not the easiest of things to do, but she knew that if she couldn't, she risked hurting her self more than she wanted to do at the moment. Her body ached from the strains that Hycis was putting it through, but she knew not to complain, and how could she with this gag on her face still? There was no sound she could make at the moment, other than something that sounded half strangled.

She turned her mind back to before she had been taken, trying to remember what kind of creature had stolen her away. She found that the memories of that time were not all that pleasant, she remembered only the pain from the stab wound. Then a lot of fog, and being carried through it. She remembered someone saying that they were taking her into Nuduien so that a healer could see to her there.

But then there was the struggle and she had been unable to defend herself as someone else attacked the people who were taking her to Nuduien. nothing like that made her pleased at all. She had wanted to help, but her guards had been outnumbered. They were all gone now, she was sure of that. The people who attacked her would have made sure that no one would have been able to say who took her from them. It was something that pained her to even think about. Her guards had spent their lives trying to defend her.

Fate was cruel if it thought to get rid of the people who were faithful to their leaders in such a manner. The odd thing, she mused, was that she had not seen the attack coming, or she would have refused and told them why she could not be moved at that particular time. It was something that made her very uneasy at the moment. She knew it was news that no one wanted to hear, but she knew it was also needed. She sighed, thinking about the things that had happened at the moment in her own life.

Hycis seemed convinced that she would die here. Well, Gem knew she could not allow her sister to get what she wanted. It was something that the elves did not need. She sighed as she stayed there though. She would have to think of a way to get out of this pit thing, without having the metal biting into her skin once more. She knew that any movement made things hard for her. And that was something she was greatly annoyed at. Things were not pleasant in this cell. She would find a way out of this though, she knew she would. there was no one who could stop her once she began to think of a way out of such situations.

Hycis be damned, she would not allow her people to be taken over by that sister. Things were not good at the moment, and she knew that Hycis planned to weaken her greatly. It was a thing that she was not impressed about. And leaving her here to starve to death? That was not a friendly thing to say either. Time seemed to pass quite well at the moment, she knew it had been a while since Hycis had said that. What was going to become of her when the time came for her to finally deal with Hycis once more?

For she intended to punish her sister in the same way she had Lindan Marcos. Both of them were traitors to her people, and it was Hycis that was the worse of the two to have to deal with. She was her younger sister, and she remembered from that first week of her life, her mother asking her to keep her sisters safe no matter what the cost was. She knew that she could no longer do this.

Hycis had turned against them too far for her to be able to brought back into the way things were meant to be at the moment. it was not fair that a family should be so wreaked by the hatred of one man, but it was the way the world had decided to treat her family. Gem knew she was the only Hawksong alive who knew what it meant to be a leader. And Hycis on the other hand? She thought she knew, didn't she? She was going to find out that things were not as easy as she had been told!

Gem knew that she could only hope that Auraka and the other elves would see though whatever artful intrigue that was planned by her sister. if they could not, then she knew there was going to be a slim chance that she would be able to reveal Hycis to be the traitor she truly was. And that was something that she hoped it would never come to. Oh she would fight for her throne once more, that much she knew. But to fight against her sister? There was hardly a time for that. Nor did she have as much of her strength as she would like to of had at the moment.

Drannor PoV
The sun rose quickly on the island it seemed. Drannor yawned as he got to his feet, smiling at the still snoring Neldor. It seemed his dragon was still tired from the battle against Lindan Marcos' forces. It did not worry him though, he would be able to deal with whatever the island sent as a threat to him. Checking that Zarken was in its sheath he smiled. Whether or not he had to fight today, he knew he was going to enjoy searching this island. If that magical barrier's source was here, he would destroy it, no matter what it took.

Smiling to himself, he started to search for a way up out of the cave onto the main land. There seemed a tangible climb, but he knew that there was still a way to get up. He sighed, and transformed into his natural bear form. Carefully he began the climb up the cliff face. It was easier he found to climb up in such a form, the path he followed seemed to have been made to accommodate an animal as it was.

Drannor smiled as he climbed, grunting every now and again when he momentarily lost the path he was using. It never took him long to search it out once more, and he knew that there was no chance anyone was going to keep him from finding that magic source. He could still sense it and that was something that made him pleased. The climb was a long one, but when he finally pulled himself up onto the top of the cliff he stood there, sniffing at the air, searching for traces of anyone who had been there of late.

It seemed that the island was deserted at the moment. That was something he did not believe in the slightest. Someone had to be here, else he would not come here himself yet. Keya had not been able to sense anything about this island that was normal, and he was the one who thought about the island as a possible place for Gem to be. Had he not well, if she was here, she would never have been found until it was too late. That was something he could not have allowed to happen.

If it was one thing he knew he was. It was being a loyal follower of the way things were doing under Gem's leadership.

Snorting, he changed back into an elf and smiled. He seemed to have climbed up under an old stone archway, the top of which was high enough even to accommodate Gaelira's size itself. There were other pillars and thigns here, but they were crumbled and broken. It was something that was a pity, but in the years of fighting, many places had been broken and left to fall into disrepair. Smiling to himself, he started to follow the barely made out path.

Perhaps I should cast a spell to get this to return to its former glory, he thought as he dodged a third hole in the ground.

'But then again, you might trigger whatever enchantments are on the island stopping Keya from seeing this place,' Neldor quipped in his mind.

'Morning, sleepyhead,' Drannor chuckled. 'Don't worry I wont do anything to get that thing to activate. It's just hard to imagine what this place must have looked like back in those days. There are so many holes in the ground now though. I keep nearly falling in them.'

Neldor chuckled as he heard that. 'Then be more careful, my dear rider.'

Drannor snorted. He moved though, continuing down what seemed to be one of the more easily made out pathways in the trees. it wove between the glades, and he found that every now and again, there were different pathways that split off of the main one. One of them he stopped and looked around. he could sense that there was a building down it, and that the building was better off than any other place on the island.

Nodding to himself, he turned and began to follow that path. He jogged along, watching where he was going and listening to his surroundings. There was something in this direction, he knew. What though, he knew not. It was something that made the hair on the back of his head stand up as he moved.

'Be careful Drannor. It might be a trap,' Neldor said. 'I can see where you are, I'm flying now.'

'You be careful, something tells me we were seen last night when we arrived. I can feel it.'


The dragon chuckled and Drannor moved on, knowing that there was something he had to deal with here. This was a magical place this island, and he was stunned when he saw the golden walls rising up in front of him. A hall? he thought.

The door was old and rusty, but it seemed to have been used very recently, for it moved easily, despite being heavily built. Snarling dragons adorned the door, two mighty beasts, one of them he blinked at the sight of. It was Bizandra. It seemed that this was a very important place indeed when it came to the Riders of old.

Who would put up such a piece of art on the outside of a door. Walking towards the door, he shoved it open carefully. the door gave a loud creak, and several bats flew out of the opening. He smiled. Muttering a word, he caused hidden lights to suddenly flare up for him. It was good to know that he was safe at the moment. The magic still worked in this building, so he wondered who had been here recently.

As he moved he noticed that the walls of this building were carved with images of mighty dragons and their riders engaged in epic battles. One of the works of art though caught his attention. It was of a hatching day, when dragon eggs were presented to potential riders.

A time before his time as a Rider it seemed.

He stared at the scenes on the walls, this seemed to be a room where all the hatchings were recorded. He could see a young gold dragon hatching from its egg, as well as a grey and a green. He blinked at the faces. Two of them were his old Prince Consort and Queen. That meant that the human was none other than Lindan Marcos.

I thought Rhothilion was Lindan Marcos' true dragon? he thought, studying the pictures on the walls. Moving along though, he noticed that Bizandra and Bjart, and the unnamed grey dragon were a lot older, at least three years old by now. They and their riders were happily hanging out together. He noted the stress lines on Laura's face, and knew that something had happened to cause those as well.

He backtracked, this was rather interesting. Looking over the wall again between what he had looked at, there was no indication of what had happened to Laura. There was nothing there. Sighing, he continued to move along the wall. The Lindan Marcos who was on these walls seemed so happy, and the silver dragon that was ever present clearly loved his Rider.

'Shouldn't you be searching for Gem?' Neldor asked.

'I will, once I've figured out some of this. This is our history, from a time before Lindan Marcos attacked us the first time. It's fascinating.' Drannor smiled as he looked at the walls. This was something from a time when none of the war that happened had affected all of them.

Eventually he came to a scene that was, surprisingly, back in Anthatal. He recognised the golden hall that was depicted on the wall. It was the hall of Sudryl, the hall of the elven rulers. Gem's grandfather had built it himself, and it was truly a masterpiece. Then the scene moved to inside the hall, and he saw a scene not unlike Gem's own coronation.

He smiled as his eyes ran over all the elven faces. So this was about two hundred years ago. Hmm. Interesting. The next scene depicted Laura sitting on the throne, looking very solemn and ladylike. It seemed she had been crowned. It showed Lindan Marcos and Zelphar both cheering with the rest of the elves. A small smile played at the edge of Laura's lips as she looked at the two.

The grey dragon was still there in the picture, and Drannor noted that not once had he seen a crown or circlet of any description on the humans head, until this particular picture. It seemed that they were all growing up now, and things were going to get interesting too. He could not help but notice the lust on Lindan's face as he studied the elf who sat on her parent's throne now. It seemed that the human had a crush on Laura or something along those lines.

Time seemed to speed forwards now as he moved along. Lindan stood before the Dragon Rider elders, Laura being one of them, Drannor noted, and seemed to be pleading for something. There was no grey dragon in the room. The scene to the right showed a blue dragon hatching from its egg for a young girl. Somehow, Drannor knew that this was Rhothilion.

Wise old Gaelira seemed to be watching everything that happened for the riders at this point, so she likely knew the history as well as these walls did. The blue dragon continued to grow into a fine young male. When all of a sudden it was not portrayed in such a good light. There was a new face in place of the rider who it had chosen. Lindan Marcos.

"What did you do to her?" he muttered, staring at the picture. "What did you do to his rider?" For the first time in his life, he actually felt pity for the blue dragon.

he was amused by the things he was learning from this. it seemed to coincide with the things that had been told of their history, which was something that amazed him. There was no point in denying that Lindan Marcos was a bad man, but to think that Gem's parents had been friends with him for so long was something that completely stunned him at the moment. How could they be friendly towards a man who knew thought but hatred in his heart nowadays?

It had led to their destruction, Drannor knew that much. The wall continued to show the history, and he saw a sour looking Lindan Marcos staring at a couple standing before their people. Laura was wearing a long white dress, Zelphar looked very handsome in a suit.

He could only imagine what Lindan Marcos was thinking, he'd seen the same expression on Haemir's face when Gem chose Auraka as her king. He decided to remember that, and keep an eye on Haemir when he got back to Anthatal. He knew that Haemir hated Auraka with a passion, though the elf had not done anything to deserve such hatred from another elf. At least, as far as Drannor knew he had not. What could be the cause of the unnatural hatred that Haemir had for him then? And what would it cause in the long run at that?

He hurried through the corridor now, knowing what had happened from that point on. There was no point in him overseeing the rest of the tapestry at the moment. He jogged through the room,s searching for any trace of magic that was in any way malicious. At the moment, he could not find any, and there was no trace of Gem's mind either within the walls of the hall.

Sighing, he returned to the outside area and started to search for another building. It was then his mind felt the presence on something other than Neldor. He shifted into a bear and charged in that direction. he would soon find what was blocking Keya's sight. And most likely Gem's.

It was a strange blue orb. Not unlike the size of a dragon egg. But there was no dragon inside the egg, he could see it was hollow, for the magic he had picked up came from within the egg. It was mainly a storage place that meant. Neldor snorted.

'Be careful how you deal with this one, Drannor,' the dragon advised. 'We have no way of knowing its true power.'

Drannor chuckled. 'I will be. Its almost like a Dusk Dragon egg, only its hollow.' Drannor reached out, and tentatively touched the egg. A surge of magic shot through him and he had to carefully force it back out of him, back into the egg, compressing it and locking it out of harms way of anyone else.

The egg seemed to shake as he did, and he knew that it did not like what he was doing to it at all. As he did though, he became more aware of his surroundings as well. It was something that surprised him at the moment. How this could be what was blocking Keya and himself. It was an amusing thought that someone would engineer something like this. How could they use and egg against him though?

And how could he not have fallen for it, at that? What was doing this to him? He exercised a bit more strength and the egg shattered, and he felt the spell withdraw into nothingness. As it did, he became aware that Neldor and himself were the only ones on the island.
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PostSubject: Re: Peaces Beauty - Nano 2011   Thu Nov 10 2011, 18:00

Chapter 2
Velatha's PoV

It was strange, how Gem had gone missing from the tents the elves had set up. Velatha knew that the elves had always had a guard posted outside the tent. She knew that the pointed eared people were very protective of their queen, so for one of the rounded eared people to get Gem out like this was not something she would have thought possible at the moment.

She growled as she flew with Keya towards Anthatal, going there to meet up with Auraka to discuss where else to search. There had been no sign of the young queen anywhere in their lands as yet. The golden dragon was worried for her sister's Rider, she knew Gem had to be out there, else she would not be able to talk to her sister the way she had been.

"I might go to the mountains to search. You said there was a disturbance there as well, did you not?" Velatha asked. She remembered hearing Keya telling Drannor that she had not being able to see part of the mountains due to something blocking her sight at the time. It was something that Velatha wanted to look into.

"On your own?" Keya seemed surprised that Velatha wanted to go off searching on her own. It was not like the dragon to want to do things away from her.

"It will be easier to search if they believe me a wild dragon than a Riders dragon. They would not suspect me, in that case," she replied. "You forget do you, that I was wild until you returned to Nuduien that first time?"

"No, I was just surprised by the idea of you leaving me here while you go off to the other side of Nuban. Don't worry, I'll be fine now that I know. How long have you been thinking about this?"

"A while, little one."

She sighed as she flew towards the mountains once more. She knew that there was something over there that was going to be an issue for her. It seemed that whatever was going on at the moment with the other magic force that was blocking her rider from being able to see one part of the mountains, it would not withstand her attacks. There were some things that magic could not withstand when it came to the full force of a dragons attacks.

She knew that there were other things though that would be hard to break for everyone but Gaelira. For Gaelira had the luck of the sun on her side, and its strength. it was something that she knew she had to get done at the moment. Gaelira was remaining behind in Anthatal at the moment, for she knew that Auraka needed her their at the moment. He was having a hard time maintaining the other elves and keeping them from despairing at the disappearance of their queen. it was something that worried them all at the moment.

For Gem was certainly needed at home at the moment and didn't whoeever had her know it. They were not making it easy to find the elf, and that made people all the more stressed at the moment. Soaring up into the sky, Velatha dove. before she hit the trees though, she vanished, blinking forwards to her destination.

To her own startled surprise, she noticed that there seemed to be nothing blocking her as she soared over the mountains slowly, searching with her mind for anything that seemed in the slightest bit to have some sort of magical force blocking her or Keya. She knew what the source was like, she had sensed it through Keya when she was searching with her mind to find the other elf.

What was keeping gem here was the main concern for Velatha at the moment. As she soared over where Carran Pinnath was though, she thought she saw something. There were people moving in the tunnels there. Snorting, she dove to where she thought the exit was. Snarling as she saw the cave in she smiled afterwards.

“Trying to block me with an illusion are we?" She growled and then expelled a great amount of magic into the barrier blasting it into nothing. She smiled. It was only too easy for her to poke her head inside and then enter.

"Wild dragon! Flee!" shouted a voice that seemed to have some command to it.

"What about the prisoner?" asked another voice. That voice seemed to show some confusion. Velatha growled, smirking as the sound made her sound a lot more vicious than she actually was. Not to mention more like the wild dragon she was posing as at the moment. There was no point in stating that she was a Rider's dragon at the moment, she knew that would only make them attack her. Right now, she just wanted to search the area and leave, without a fight if that were possible.

"Leave her. She'll slow the beast down. It'll be worth a meal for this dragon. Dawn Dragons I am told love to eat elves." The first voice seemed to be the one of authority and she sighed about that. Growling, she pushed her way through the tunnels, chasing the humans and Minotaur with raging flames from her mouth. She stopped at one of the doors though. She could see someone in there, lying in a groove in the ground.

She knew it was no illusion. And that was something that annoyed her. Snarling, she raised one foot, and wrapped it around the door, and yanked it off.

Her eyes moved straight to the figure on the ground before her. It was a tall woman, her belly rounded with an unborn child. Long blond hair, bloodstained and dead looking wrapped around the hole where her head was. The eyes were open, which she saw to be as blue as the sky always was, when there were no clouds, watching the doorway with fear, though that fear soon turned to surprise, then quickly to recognition. "Gem!" The young elf was bloody and looked rather weak, and did not seem to be able to move at the moment. Hard leather straps were nestled around her neck, wrists and ankles, and she could see sharp metal points in the grooves around her various limbs. It seemed to be a place where she could not easily get out of. Velatha smiled though as she saw Gem. "Its about time someone found you," she said, looking in at the elven queen. There were bloody tracks down her skin, all over her arms and legs, not to mention her torso and some on her cheeks as well.

The young elf, well, older than Velatha's own rider, looked up at her with her eyes as she spoke. "Umm, yeah, I'm glad someone has at last. Things were starting to get a little odd in here. I know who took me too," Gem replied. She winced. "Umm, a little help here?"

The dragon eyed her for a few moments, looking at the pit which Gem seemed to be in."Can't you get up?" Gaelira asked gently. What was keeping her other than the leather? Normally Gem was strong enough to break that, surely?

The elf before her sighed as she heard the words that Velatha spoke. "No. If I so much as move, these spike things bite into me. Really painful. Talking is all I can do," Gem replied, though her voice sounded rather hoarse at the moment.

Velatha growled at the thought of Gem being stuck here while someone else was off doing whatever they pleased. Thinking for a moment, she said one thing. "Stay still." With that she focused and then unleashed a wave of magic over the pit Gem was in. She snorted though as it recoiled. Her strength increased and she managed to block the spikes. "Now can you stand? I've disabled them for enough time to get you out of the room." She smiled though as the leather holding the young queen vanished as well. That had been easy to remove, but the spikes she could not permanently disable.

Again Gem sighed. "I don't have the strength, Velatha. I don't know how long I have been in here, but the whole time I have had nothing to eat. I think they were instructed to keep watch over me until I died."

Velatha snorted. Then she reached in with one foot and gently lifted her up into the corridor in front of her. "That solves that." She growled though as she saw how bad Gem was at the moment, energy wise. "If you want, I can heal you enough that that blood you've lost won't be as much of a problem. But you really should see one of the elven healers."

"Do what you can. I know where Hycis is now, and Anthatal is exactly where I need to be."

Velatha nodded. "We'll be stopping at Nuduien so that someone can at least see to your sword arm. You've taken a lot of damage in that area, and I won't be able to fully heal you." She wondered though why Anthatal was where the young elf needed to be at the moment. There had to be a reason for that, but she knew it was likely that Gem just wanted to get home and help her people to do they things that they were needed for. The dragon sighed, thinking for a moment. She knew that first and foremost, Gem needed a healer regardless of where she was meant to be.

Gem sighed as well. "Very well then, you know whats the best thing to do at the moment, after all."

Velatha smiled. Then she reached down with one foot, gently lifting Gem up onto her neck where Keya's saddle was. As she did, a wave of energy rushed from her into Gem. "That at least will help you stay up there until we get to Anthatal."

"Thank you, Velatha." Gem tightened the straps as a huge golden dome seemed to form around them.

"I'm going to fly right now. This dome thing I've created will cause the roof to simply let us through as if it were an illusion." Velatha spread her wings and then leapt into the air. As she did she spoke with Keya.

'Found her, Keya.'

'How? I'm staring right at her. You can't have.' There was clear confusion in her Rider's thoughts right now.

'Uh oh. We'll see who the real Gem is very soon.'

She smiled as she flew, knowing it was not far at all from here to Nuduien. "I have flown in these mountains often, Gem. You're in safe hands now. Rest if you want to." Velatha rose through the skies, carrying her Rider's cousin through the skies, twisting gracefully through the mountains as easily as the wind would.

Gem laughed. "I think I will stay awake for now."

Velatha nodded, understanding that there were some things that were needed at the moment. Gem needed time to think about what had been happening to her down there in that cell below the ground. "Who had you?" she asked. It was something she needed to know at the moment. "Everyone has been worried sick about you."

Gem sighed as she looked at the dragon below her. "Hycis. She intended for me to rot down there in the cell. She knew that Drannor came looking for me on Waenen Island. I shall have to speak to him about that one, seeing as it was a failure."

"Do not been too hard on him little one. he was most distressed at not being able to find you at the time." Velatha sighed, diving once more towards the ground. Even as she did, Gem could see other people running to clear space. As soon as she was on the ground, there were several human guards coming to her.

"Hail, Velatha," one of the human guards called. "What news do you bring?"

"I need a healer out here at the moment. Preferably female. Queen Gem of the elves is with me, and needs some attention." The golden dragon chuckled. She at least seemed at ease with the humans who were crowding around her.

She turned her head to look back at Gem. “Hop on down, my dear.”

Gem nodded and carefully climbed down to the ground. It was obvious that she was not so trustful of all the humans that were around her at the moment. Then again, things were only just turning to peace at the moment, and that was something that would take a while to come.
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PostSubject: Re: Peaces Beauty - Nano 2011   Fri Nov 11 2011, 23:05

Chapter 3 - Forever Scarred
Drannor PoV

He stood in the middle of the sparring grounds, laughing as he worked once more against one of the other elves. This was something he enjoyed, to be able to spar with the others and always come out unbeaten. Except for the one time Gem had beaten him, of course, he was not a beaten elf. There was no one else who stood that kind of chance against him.

'Drannor, look to the hilltop,' Neldor rumbled from overhead. Then he roared, blue flames shooting from his navy snout into the air.

The tall elf looked across the field towards the hill and stopped completely. Sahar. She was there. He blinked once and then started to run, not caring that the vampire speed he ran with would startle her. He had to get over there and fast she looked dead on her feet. Auraka would not be happy if he saw his sister in such a state at all.

The closer he got to her, the worse off Sahar looked, but it was not just at her that he looked. Cyara was there. As were the twins. His children. The children he had thought a monster like himself would never have once. Now he knew better, and he was pleased to see all of them were safe. He had missed them terribly.

Then he was there, in front of all of them. “My family.” Then he frowned at Taeron. "And when will you learn to stop being so impatient, Taeron. Patience is a good thing to have!"

She blinked, standing unsteadily as a black haired blur sprinted towards her. Never had she seen him move at such a speed, but she had always guessed he could, but never did so not to scare her away.

Unable to stop herself, she fell into his arms with a sob and hugged him tightly. "Drannor!" she cried, so glad to see him. To touch and feel him once more, it was as if all the hard work from the last weeks had paid off, now that she was safe once more in his arms. She pressed her lips against his chest, sighing as he told Taeron off. "Hush," she murmured "we are tired, hungry and haven't slept in days..do not scold him for acting out...he is normally a good boy."

Taeron shook his head but shrugged "sorry father," he said, bowing his head low in respect "I didn't mean to...be so impatient in my ways. Please, forgive me." The words were stiff and formal, as if he was afraid of being in more trouble.

Kasinda took no heed of the words around her, merely leapt off Cyara's back and threw her arms around her father's neck. "Daddy!" she sobbed, joining her mother in the hugging-fest as Taeron stood slightly apart, not wanting to be drawn into a sobbing mess.

Cyara lifted her snout in greeting, letting loose her own set of bright flames in Neldor's direction and half-smiled. "Neldor," she called to her mate, glad to see him once again "I have missed you dear one."

He was pleased to see them. “How can I stay angry at any of you? I spent the last few weeks thinking all of you were dead,” Drannor exclaimed, wrapping his arms around them. He was not crying, that ability was gone from him, ever since Gem had nearly killed him and forced him to be what he was.

There was a loud thump and Neldor was there as well, licking at Cyara's cheek. “Dont you dare do that to either of ever again,” he said sternly, but there was a mocking sound to the Dusk Dragon's reprimand.

Drannor chuckled. “You'll learn, Taeron. Now get over here and give me a hug,” he said, looking over at his son. Clearly there was nothing to forgive. He smiled at all of his family. “Now let us get you all home, so you can rest and recover. Later you can tell me what happened to all of you. Last thing i remember was seeing Auraka telling me to get Gem out of where we were, and not seeing any of you since.”

The young woman sobbed harder at his words, clutching his body tighter to her own. " am so sorry Drannor..." she whispered, soft green eyes watching him as the tears fell silently, "I...I will tell you later our story."

She looked at the twins with a gentle nod, not wanting them to hear the truth of what had happened. She had saved them the best she could, half the things they didn't know about or merely didn't understand. Only her eyes spoke of the untold horrors that had been forced upon her.

Taeron smiled sheepishly at his father, before allowing himself to be pulled into the family hug. "Let's go," Sahar agreed softly, knees shaking gently from the weeks worth of travel finally catching up with her. But she refused to be carried, she had walked this far...she could walk a little more.

Cyara hummed in content, rubbing her scaled nose against his coloured scales. "Of course not Love, then I wouldn't be able to see you would I?" she whispered warmly, glad to be home at last. She knew what Sahar had been though, and what she would face. And the other possibilities that could occur. But for now, it was all smiles. Just glad to be home. "Any news of Rasjar and Auraka?" she questioned Neldor after a moment "and how fair's Gem and the little ones?"

Drannor knew she would never ask him to carry her, though this time he was not about to let her do any more walking. He could tell that there was something heavy on her mind. He did not pause to ask, instead he simply lifted her up into his arms. “Your not walking another step,” he said, not taking any put me down's from her this time. “You've walked far enough, Sahar.” Though he knew that he would have startled her, he didn't care this time. “You're nearly dead on your feet. Would be cruel of me to let you walk.” He chuckled lightly. He looked at Cyara. “They were born yesterday. Two little girls and a boy. All of them are healthy which is surprsing considering Gem nearly died not long ago.”

Neldor laughed. "Auraka and rasjar appeared home yesterday, not long before the children were born."

Cyara snorted, shaking her dark head with laughter. "Of course," she muttered, pacing after her rider and mate, the children following behind.

Sahar gasped with complaint, wriggling and complaining to be put down but it was quickly clear that he had no intentions to. So, blushing a deep red to match her hair, she was carried down towards their house.

He chuckled as he held her tightly in her arms. "Have you never learnt that struggling against me will never work?" he asked, lowering his head to kiss her gently on the forehead. "I would have thought after all this time you would have learnt to give up when it comes to this." He was amused that she still tried to get him to put her down. Eventually she stopped and he smiled at her. "Plus I couldn't stand not having you in my arms any longer, its been too long as it is." That was also very true. She was everything to to him.

"Yeah," she whispered, smiling as his lips brushed her forehead "I have missed being in your arms..." She blushed at her words slightly, tilting away but was unable to keep her gaze from his handsome features for long.

As they pulled into the familiar yard, she blinked and took in the sight of home. A long six months, almost 7 months had passed since she had last set foot on these lands. So much had happened, so much she had to tell the one who held her tightly in his arms. She lived in his touch at that moment, knowing their was a chance she might never touch him again. Not when he knew the truth of what happened.

“You're hiding something from me,” Drannor chuckled. He knew there was something, but also that she was worried of the reaction he might have. “Trust me, there is nothing you could possibly say that would end us being one family, Sahar.” That was something he was well aware of at the moment. He opened the front door, only putting her down on one of the couches in the lounge room. No sooner had he done that, he sat down himself next to her, wrapping his arms around her. He'd grown too used to her smell, the last few months had been hell for him.

Neldor chuckled as they moved. “I'm glad you're back. You dont know what its been like with him moping over Sahar. That sorta effected me too.” He smiled though as they headed towards where they normally slept. Things were finally back to normal.

She hesitated, not meeting his eyes for a moment and nodded once, sharply but then looked at the children, indicating she wouldn't talk in front of them if she would at all. But then she sighed deeply, her gaze returning to Drannor's. "I don't know about that," she whispered, leaning into his cool embrace and sighed against his chest "I am so sorry Drannor."

Cyara hummed, lifting her head and nuzzled just under his chin before rumbling with laughter. "Yes," she whispered, large eyes blinking "I know how that feels...but, you can't say you weren't missing me can you Neldor?" She teased him gently and tugged at his tail as she followed him towards their den "you didn't miss me at all?"

Drannor nodded, then looked at his children. “Why don't you two go and freshen up while we take?” he suggested. He did want ton know what had happened to his wife, he really did. She had sparked his curiousity now. And he was not going to let that rest. He smiled at both of them, knowing how proud he was of them. “You both have done well over the last few months, I know that much because you're still with us. I couldn't be more proud of you both than I am now. Of any of you actually.”

Neldor laughed. “Of course i missed you, Cyara. Why would you think i did not?” he chuckled, looking back at her as he dove once more. “And you know i hate it when you pull my tail.”

"Well I like tugging on it," Cyara teased playfully, tugging it once more gently before leaping into the sky and swiftly disappearing into the clouds with only a shadow. "Come on Neldor!" she roared, dark head popping out between her soft white friends "let's go to the den!" She felt young once more, not that she was as old as many, but at the feeling of being home she felt more relaxed then ever before. And she wanted to speak with him.

Sahar watched in silence as her twins nodded, seeming to sense something was going on, and didn't fight to stay.

At the sound of a door softly closing, Sahar turned to her husband and instantly broke into heart-wrenching sobs.

She didn't want to tell him. She didn't want him to know what she had gone though. She didn't want to have to repeat the many horrors she had been forced with. Only years of practise kept Drannor from her mind, not unleashing the terrors that had happened.

Slowly the sobs turned to hiccups, but she still couldn't form the words she needed to tell him.

So, instead, for the first time in years, Sahar opened her mind completely just to him. Pulling and tugging the memories from her mind and showing him, just what she had been though. She didn't want to, but he had a right to know what had happened to his wife. A right to not want her any more.

Two tall figures entered the room, both human and covered with cloaks. It was the same every time. Sahar forced her twins behind her, refusing to allow them to see the men who treated them all so badly. They were only 10! They had no say in this war, no right to be put though the torture of others.

Oh how she had begged the first few days, to let them free. She would do anything they wanted if they would just let her children free. But humans had no mercy, at least these ones did not. They just told her to shut up and move on, to be happy that they didn't have the same fate as her.

She showed him images of being beaten, almost to death, only her years of a healer allowing her to keep them alive. Alongside the strength of Cyara from a distance, which she had to share with the twins. She showed him everything...apart from the last, which she refused to share. Instead she locked eyes with him, pushing away from his embrace and shuddered at the suddenly loneliness she felt.

Get used to it, she muttered to herself, you'll be alone soon once more.

He was completely aghast at the things that she was showing him in her own head. More than once he shuddered, recoiling before continuing to watch. “They dared.” He growled, and one hand turned into a wolf's paw before he quickly got in control again. To become a wolf with her this close would be disastrous. When she stopped though, he did not need to her to show him, he knew already what they might have done.

“This changes nothing between us, love,” he said, pulling her tightly to him. “Yet what on earth can I hear that's not one of you... well, it is, but its odd, no one has two heartbeats.” he was not going to let her go this time. No a chance. “You know you can tell me anything.”

Green eyes widened with horror at his hands turned into paws, her face turning even paler if possible. But she wasn't scared, merely surprised. She would never push herself away from him, only he could her. Teary orbs gazed at him before she whispered the fatal words. "I'm pregnant," she sobbed "with a human's baby!" She cried against his chest, letting the past six months fall away from her and into tears. Never during that time had she cried, having stayed strong for her children. But now safe in her husbands arms, she couldn't contain herself. "I was....forced...Drannor!" she managed to get out "they tried in the room with the children, but the begged them not to let them see! I didn't want them to see it Love..I couldn't let them see them do that to me!" She shuddered roughly at the memories, suddenly feeling dirty and used.

“Ssh, I would never hurt you,” he murmured, seeing the fright that came when his hands changed into paws then back to normal hands again. He knew though that he was weaker than he normally was, he'd learnt animals were not as nourishing as humans or elves, not that he would mention it. Though there was a growl in his throat from the wolf in himself, he knew that was the only thing that showed the fury he felt towards the humans. “I think a few humans need teaching a lesson, though I'll have to talk with Keya first, seeing as they are her people.”I doubt though that she would say no, she is extremely fond of all of us elves, seeing as she is half one herself.” He wrapped his arms around her gently, “Don't think about it any more. What's happened is in the past. You know the child will be well looked after here, even if you didn't want one in the first place.” gently he kissed away the tears that came from her beautiful eyes.

How could she be so lucky? How could she, a once orphan that grew up with humans, have a man such as Drannor as her husband. Finding her true self, as one of the elves, had been the best thing she had ever done. "Thank you," she whispered, nestling deeper into his chest "can you...can you please not tell anyone?" She peered up at him with glassy orbs and half-smiled "I..I don't want anyone to know!" She didn't want anyone to know that she was carrying another's child, to think differently upon her due to her misfortunes.

“Don't worry, no one will know but us and likely our dragons. I know Neldor's been listening in, but I don't have it in me to block him from my mind to be honest.” He smiled softly. “He's been the one who's reminded me to hunt every now and again. He's the one who's kept me alive really.” It had not been himself.

He was ashamed to admit it. He had not hunted in at least a week, but for some reason he was not bothered by her proximity. That was something he could not really understand.

"Cyara already knows," she whispered, looking away in shame "she helped me as much as she could, but the distance made it hard..." At the mention of needing to hunt, she lifted her gaze to his once more again and searched his face. "You must hunt Drannor," she scolded, noting the coal black orbs with worry, but smiled softly that he hadn't hunted the animals she held so dear "but thank you..." Propping herself up and slightly away from him, her arms rested comfortably around her waist and she turned to him. "Drink now, then we can go help the children...they have missed you dearly, and have their own scars to heal....then I think it best we go and visit Gem and my brother."

The eyes widened at the words that Sahar said. “No not from you. I'll make do with something else. You've been too much, it would be fools play if I drank from you this time. I won't be long.” Again there was no chance of him backing down. “Much as it goes against what you like to hear, animals have been the only thing I've hunted over the last few months while you were gone.” Not even humans had he considered, they had reminded him too much of Sahar so that was something that had been out of the question. He had had to find something else to hunt, and that was something that had not been easy for him to do at all. She had no idea how weak he had let himself get. He stood after shifting her back onto the couch. Then he was gone from the house, out into the woods. He did not stay out there very long, only a deer did he need at that. Soon he was back in the house, and hugging her again. “Done.”

Sahar sat their, eyes peeled out the window as she awaited his return. She knew he wouldn't change his mind, but it still saddened her to know what he was doing out in the woods. But there was nothing she could do to change it, nothing that would make her feel differently about her chosen mate.

Nothing at all.

"Welcome home," she whispered as he re-appeared, forcing her mind away from the poor animal he must of hunted in the woods.

He sighed as he came back in. he was not as strong as he was when he fed from her, but the strength was still noticeably more than that of a normal elf. It was something he was glad of, the strength was something he was getting used to very much so now. “I guess we best see to our children then,” he added after a moment. He wrapped his arms around her. No, it was not the same, but it was something he had grown ever so used to at the moment. She was the only one that knew that though.

How he wished she had never been taken away from him, but he knew that things happened for a reason, always. He was concerned though for his family. They had been through some hard times. “And I must see to Taror eventually. I will have to talk to Maith about that one. She knows where I stand on that issue, but I can't deny the laws of my old home.” Only a male heir could take that throne.

"You make that sound like a bad thing," she teased, shuffling to her feet in a tired fashion and wiped her tears away, trying to hide all evidence of her breakdown. Her children didn't need to see that. At the mention of Taror, her birth town she had just found out about, she nodded sadly. They had talked about it a while ago, about having to move and rule there. At least Drannor had to, and Taeron would be the heir as their eldest son. "Let us recover and then we can speak of moving," she said softly, moving her way up the stairs and into the twins room.

"For me it is a bad thing. My home is here, in Anthatal, not back there. Yet I know i have to go home." He sighed, looking down at Sahar, he had easily caught up to her on the stairs. This was his home, and there was nothing that was going to change that right now. He smiled at her. "Maith is keeping things in check for the meantime, but soon I have to go back and deal with my people on my own mind."

Sahar nodded with a soft smile. "I know Drannor, I feel the same way..." she said sadly "but one must do what they must, no matter what they feel like."

"Most of my remaining family lives here, but i must go to Taror. Thank goodness we're leaving Nuban soon, so we'll all be together again once more." Drannor chuckled as he followed her. He knew where the children were, though he knew that what he was would complicate matters in a few moments. If either of the children were bleeding that was.

"If I leave the room, you'll know why." Blood was a serious issue around him, though he had not been feeding right. That would have something to do with it as well. Sahar nodded silently as they moved up the stairs, tugging the door open and into their room and put a smile in place before allowing her eyes to grow wide. Kasinda was sitting behind Taeron, placing herbs and oil onto his scabbed back. The scabs were crackled and some where bleeding, looking somewhat likes lash strikes. "Oh Taeron!" Sahar cried in her motherly worry, dashing beside Kasinda to help. "Why didn't you tell me they opened!" Healer's instincts kicked in, gathering the herbs and speaking to her daughter in gentle tones, sharing the knowledge she had been training her in. Kasinda, like her mother, was a healer. And for her 10 years of age, well she was doing damn well.

he blinked and with an apologetic glance at his family he immediately stopped breathing and stepped out of the room. It was too much to be able to smell his own son, and that was something that shocked him. Was he really that weak that his own son was too much for himt o handle? He had thought that he had mastered his own self control. And yet a ten year old was that hard to resist that he had to leave the room. he growled, shape shifting into a wolf and stalked down into the study, shutting the door behind him, with a shove of his head. he was furious with himself.

Sahar sensed her husband leaving and knew why, but it tore at her heart that he couldn't stay. She didn't blame him, it wasn't his fault he was what he was, but that didn't make her wish they could be a family once more. But every time things got close, more like a family, something bad happened. Something to pull them further apart. Tending the wounds on her sons back, she kissed his forehead and then hugged her daughter before leaving her to it, going to find Drannor. Small feet led the way around the corner, following the sounds of Drannor as she went. It seemed he was in the office. Gently, she knocked on the door and sighed, finding the door locked. "Drannor?" she called softly "are you okay?"

He sighed as he heard someone knock on the door, though he knew who it was. Thinking one word, the door unlocked but did not answer. He growled, and though it was a wolf sound, it was not angry towards her, but towards himself. How could he be so stupid. At least he had been able to walk away from his son, but still, to have to do that when its was his own flesh and blood was extremely aggravating. How could they be a family if he couldn't handle certain things like that? It was something he was not impressed by, and he knew things would be hard for him, but this was ridiculous. Sahar knew he loved the kids, but having to walk away when one of them had broken skin was stupid. He snarled as he sat there, quite angry with himself. Not to mention he was ashamed as well of the reaction he'd had. When she came in, it would be the wolf she found nothing else.

“I know there's nothing that can be done from what happened earlier. But you don't understand what it was like for me to have to leave. For the first time since I changed... I nearly lost control and our son nearly paid for my lack of control.” He sighed. “There's something you don't know about, something I hoped I would never have to tell you.” He looked at one of the book shelves, trying to figure out what he was going to say. “You remember how I was banished from Taror?” Then he winced and growled in pain. His back was not facing Sahar. Turning his head, he sniffed once. “Anima!” several other curse words came from his mouth but those others were said too quiet for her to hear them. “This shouldn't be happening.” He could smell his own blood, and he knew where it was coming from. The oldest scar on his body... the one that covered from his left shoulder to his right hip and his right shoulder to his left hip.

Sahar's facial features grew more worried as he spoke, nodding at his words. "Turn!" she commanded as he swore, scenting the blood on her less sensitive features and knew he was bleeding, or something was wrong. As she forced him to spin, her mouth dropped and gently hovered over it's length. "What happened Drannor?" she whispered with horror "did this happen while I was away? It looks new..."

“Actually, its a few decades old.” He sighed. “This is the only thing my father ever gave me. He was drunk, I'd gone out on my first hunt on my own with his blessings that morning, when he was still sober.” He shuddered at the memory. “I was only seven years older than Taeron is now. I just turned fifty yesterday, so its been a part of me a while, you could say.” No one had known though that it was his birthday yesterday, he had not told anyone at all. Birthdays were not important to him anymore.

He paused thinking back over the painful memory the scar gave him. “Back in those days a bow and arrows was a common sight on me. I loved using them, and sometimes I fought using them. That was before my first hunt. I turned seventeen the day before.” He winced. “I had to travel a fair distance into the woods away from Taror to find anything worth hunting. I did not know that someone else was out on their first hunt as well. One of my best friends, Taeron Findarel. I was... over confident back then. I set the few snares and things I would need for traps. I thought I knew it all back in those days. Later I checked the traps and a buck was caught in one of them.”

He paused. “I sent one arrow at it, knowing that my aim was true and it would be dead. Somehow it hit something else. I let the buck go of course, my attention was on whoever had cried out. It seemed my arrow had hit someone else.” he shook at the memory. “When I found them... it was Taeron.” He couldn't continue.

She studied the wound in great detail, seeing the age now as he spoke. Decades old? It looked nothing near that old, maybe that was due to the currently bleeding. "Does it re-open often?"

"Happy birthday," she said with a small smile, squeezing his hand to try and break the tense air but failed, instead choosing to listen intently and gasped at the mention of their son's namesake. Pulling him gently closer, she hugged him tightly though took care of his back so not to hurt and waited for him to continue. "What happened then Drannor?" she asked softly, wanting to know and knowing he needed to get this off his mind.

“Most people would run away if they did the thing I did then by accident. I went home, to talk to my father before some other elf reported the death. I knew to tell the truth, he would hear from Taeron's parents soon enough what happened, and I wanted him to know what happened from my own point of view first. I told him, but as my story reached the end, he got very angry.” He winced at the memory. “he was drunk when I told him. His sword was nearby, it was a wicked weapon, and when it strikes someone it does a lot of damage. Normally if your get hit by it, you die. I'm lucky to be alive. A few times I managed to dodge, his aim was off because of the drinking. Then he managed to hit me, and well, that was agony beyond anything anyone's felt before. It rebounded, causing the scar from my left shoulder to my right hip the second time.”

He paused. Again he was shaking and he seemed to recoil as he spoke of the sword hitting him, as if it had just hit him. Clearly this was an avid memory for him. “Soora came rushing home, she healed me, with magic. I think its because she died when we besieged Quinhiroo that the magic she used is wearing off.” He sighed, then chose to answer her question. “This is the first time its reopened. Every year, the day after my birthday... did you remember I left for the day annually? I did not want you knowing what had happened. Only one other person knows this story, and they are gone now as well. Ashlere's mother. Every year, this seems to hurt me, and it handicaps me for the whole day. Before I met you, while it was still raw, on those days, I used to want to die. You don't know the agony its causing me, and I'm glad you don't. I just hope Taeron does not get as over confident as I am.”

Her green eyes locked with his, worry deep within their warm depths. She herself was reaching into her thirtieth year, some twenty years younger then her husband, not that either of them minded, and found herself a whole lot wiser with such things. Her small hands rubbed his arm in comfort, as if to help him speak the words and let him know he wasn't alone any more. "Maybe I can try and re-seal them," she said softly, almost to herself before listening once more.

She gasped though, at the mention of him disappearing every time on the day after his birthday. "Why didn't you tell me?" she asked, feeling wounded that he hadn't trusted her. She just assumed that he had left early for work, Gem always had him doing things at odd times for odd topics. But now that he mentioned it, he was always gone for a while longer then normal. Normally he tried to be home by a certain time, for a chance with her and the kids. "Why didn't you tell me? You didn't have to suffer alone Drannor," she said softly and turned away, upset "why didn't you let me help you? I am your wife after all!"

He sighed. “I didn't want anyone to know about it. It is my burden alone. To admit something like this, even to you is a huge blow for me.” His pride was broken at the moment. “You can't tell anyone. If word of this gets out... no one would trust me. Not even Gem knows of it, and I know that's true because she's never thought of it.” He moved over to her and gave her a hug. "I am sorry I never told you. That was wrong of me. I thought i could handle it on my own, but that was because it never gave me too much trouble. Not until now anyway. This is the worst its been since before Soora healed me."

He looked down at her. "I forgave my father for this. Before the incident that caused this... would you believe, we were the best of friends. he was always there for me. But as my mother feared, Wistari lashing out like that drove a wedge between my father and I, one which never healed, though on my end it did. I was his favourite child. Maith spent most of her time with Soora, learning to be a healer. It was something that suited her personality, and it still does."

He sighed. “Maybe I was his favourite because I was and am to this day, his heir. I don't know. Seventeen years of good memories ended that day, and he never made an effort to reconcile with me, though I was willing to do so, not long ago. Then when we visited them, a couple of years ago, he tried to kill you, and I was forced to kill him.” His knees gave way then, and he fainted.

Neldor PoV


Neldor laughed and then dove, down straight into their den. It was good to have her back and she knew he was happy to have her with him once more.

Cyara chortled with his laughter, ducking down after him and into their den, instantly entering and moving to her old resting place, falling tiredly to her side. She was tired, but she had missed home to much to complain. But first, before she could rest her eyes, she wanted to talk to him.

"Neldor," she murmured "you know, mating season is in a few weeks." Her dark scaled tail flickered back and forth, a glint in her eye as her studied him.

"So, are you planning on having a clutch with me this year?" she asked, wondering and silently hoping. She wanted to have children so bad, especially after Sahar had. She had always been a motherly soul, and now just over a hundred years of waiting, she wanted her own.

He laughed. “I would be more than happy to, Cyara. You know I did not last time because of the battle to come, my love.” now it was behind them.

"True," she hummed softly, happy of what the future would hold and nuzzled closer to his warm side "now..I must rest, I gave Sahar and the children to much of my strength to keep them alive."

“Rest, and I shall got for a hunt,” he said. “I'll bring you something back.” neldor smiled at her, then he left the cave.

Cyara nodded her thanks, curling tighter into her scales and sighing at the feeling of warmth and safety overflow her. Six months to long since she had laid to rest in this place.

"Hurry back to me."

Neldor did not take long to hunt, and soon there were a few deer with him which he left on the ground in the cave, while he waited for her to wake up again.

The black scaled sniffed the air, tasting it with her forked tongue before allowing her large eyes to snap open. The scent of food and blood had awoken her. Grunting as she shifted weight onto her tired claws, she crawled towards the meat and quickly pulled it apart with her barbed tongue.

He chuckled as he saw her awaken once more, and waited while she ate. He at least had hunted regularly, unlike his rider. That was something that could be a pain at times. He knew what it was like for Drannor not to hunt. "If you're still hungry I can catch you another."

She yawned lazily, rolling onto her back and rubbed her belly with a claw before rolling back around. "No thanks, that was more then filling," she said with a toothy grin "I might head out for a hunt later." She bobbed her head pleasantly and cocked it to the right. "So, what has happened in our absence?"

He chuckled. "At least you don't have to worry. Drannor and Maith have been talking frequently to do with Taror's leadership. Thats the main thing. Oh and gem turned up out of the blue though she'd been missing."

"Gem was missing?" her attention clung to those words and her eyes opened wide "I thought she just had children with Auraka?" Sadly, she shook her head. Their world was a mess at the moment. Missing people showing up, all of their key leaders gone for a reason or another. "Poor Gaelira."

"Aye, she was, but she's home now, so there is nothing to worry about. My sister is extremely annoyed at whoever dared to take her from her tent like that."

Cyara nodded her noble head "of course she is."

He chuckled. "She'll find out who that was soon enough I have the feeling."

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PostSubject: Re: Peaces Beauty - Nano 2011   Fri Nov 11 2011, 23:08

Sahar PoV
"Drannor," she scolded "I was apart of your burden from the moment I met you, and then put this ring on my finger!" She lifted her hand as if to prove a point, "and of course I wont tell anyone Drannor, I love you to much to break your trust." She kissed his cheek gently, pulling away with a sigh and rested her head against his shoulder. "Next time, please let me know...."

She allowed him to pull her into a hug, loving the way such a simple touch still brought sparks to her skin, even after almost 10 years of marriage. "I love you Drannor..." she whispered and gasped, at his side in an instant as he crashed to the floor. Faint.

"Drannor?" she called "Drannor?" She shook him, desperate to try and get a response from him. But none came. Healer's instinct's kicked in, yelling for Kasinda to bring her, her basket. Which appeared within moments, but Sahar refused to allow her into the room. Telling her to go play with Taeron outside.

Pressing small bundles of herbs against his wounds, she muttered in the ancient language to heal them, or at least seal them. "Come on Drannor, I can't loose you again..."

He grimaced when he revived. What the hell happened? Since when did a vampire faint? Strangely, his eyes were a burning red colour, and that was not normal. For the first time in his life as a vampire, he lost control. The wolf burst from him, and before he could regain control of himself, one huge paw slashed up at her face, catching the right side. Three different parts caught the blow, each from a separate claw. One line pulled down the corner of her eye. The second middle claw yanked at the side of her mouth tearing down towards her chin. And the other clawed from her hair down to her eye.

Almost immediately afterwards a huge black wolf leapt in through the window, shoving him away from Sahar. He growled but did not attack. It was Maith. She phased. “Leave!” she growled at him. He didn't argue he was furious with himself. “Don't come back till I find you, Drannor!” not to mention he knew she would attack him if he didn't. Shooting Sahar an apologetic look he leapt out of the room.

Sahar screamed with pain and surprise, the force of her blow sending her reeling backwards and against the wall with yet another wince. Her eyes stung with tears, but the salt like tears couldn't fall due to the wounds. Bright orbs struggled to stay open, staring at Drannor in shock as her hands lifted, resting on the wounds as if to stop the bleeding trail and cupped her chin. "D-drannor!" she called after him but could barely form the words and turned her attention to Maith, struggling to get to her feet. She needed to find Drannor! She knew he would be beating himself up over this, that he wouldn't want to look at her again, maybe not even touch her again. "Mmmm-Maith!" she forced the words out with a wince "bb-bring himm bb-back!"

“No. Not until I've healed you. That's one nasty injury he gave you. You're lucky I turned up when I did. Phasing so close to you could have killed you.” She sighed. “As soon as I have healed you, I'll bring him back. Right now, you don't need the distraction, I know what you smell like to him. Lucky for you its not the same for me, else you'd be in trouble.” Maith was the one who had not found that person yet. She looked at Sahar. “I'm sorry I didn't get here sooner.” She helped Sahar over to the chair. She was not breathing that much herself, only enough to be able to talk. Blood still got to her, but it was not half as bad as it was for her brother. “I was coming over to talk some sense into him as it was. I was not expecting to see you here though, I thought you were missing...” She chuckled. “Let's get this healed then the three of us can talk about this.”

Sahar tried to protest, but the blood was spreading and she knew that it would only be worse for Drannor if he attacked her because of the scent and his hunger, so sat still and allowed Maith to tend her and took her arm gratefully, falling into the comfortable chair with a sigh. "Gg-got b-back tt..." she winced at the words "today." She knew it would scar, she had seen wounds like this before. Well, she couldn't actually see it, but she knew it in her bones she would never recover from it fully. "T-thanks."

“I'm sorry I wasn't here to stop him before this happened. What brought this onto you?” Maith asked, as magic flowed from her hands. The skin she was able to heal, but she could tell that even magic wouldn't remove the scars, much as she had hoped it would. “Well that would be my normal luck I guess.” she hadn't thought her brother would do something like this though and it vexed her greatly. As soon as she was done, she called Drannor in her mind, knowing he would not be far from them as it was.

"He fainted..." she managed to say without fumbling "and was...bleeding, so I went to tend his wounds. But he woke and...shifted, I think." She sat in silence after she finished, wanting to scratch her face but knew it was just the magic doing it's work.

As the door opened, she turned and smiled sadly at Drannor. She had been right, every-time things started to get close, they were broken apart again. But as he froze with horror, she froze as well. Surely she didn't look that bad? Only a small scar or two.

He came back, but he was hesitant as he entered the room. As soon as he saw Sahar's face though... he seemed to freeze into stone.

He stared at her, unable to hide the horror that he felt when he saw what he'd done. And yet he had had no control over it at all. He was glad Maith had been here... though how that was even possible he did not know. Had she not, things could have been a lot more serious for Sahar... maybe even fatal.

“Auraka's going to kill me.” he knew the promise he had made Auraka. That he would never hurt Sahar. And there on her face were marks that could only come from him. No other wolf had the same claws. One hand turned into a paw and he snarled at it, before it changed back to a hand. “I'll understand if you don't want to see me again.”

Maith growled and then one of her own paws smacked him on the nose. She only had one arm that of a wolf. “Don't you dare leave her. Can't you see that you're hurting her by standing there like an idiot? Grow up Drannor!”

He recoiled away from his sister. “I can't.... you know what she's like to me.”

“I healed her the best I can. Soora taught me a lot of things when it came to healing. You know that. There's no blood left on her, I saw to that,” Maith replied. “Now do I have to hit you again?”

He winced. "I think Auraka is going to hurt me enough next time he sees her."

Sahar smiled slightly at his first words, surprised at what they were. "Do not worry about my brother Drannor," she said softly, stepping closer towards him and noted the horror in his eyes, but pushed the feeling of worry down. Was she really that horrible to look upon? "Drannor...." she whispered when he spoke of never seeing her again "Drannor...no, please..." Tears bubbled into her green eyes, shakily standing and moving closer to him. Not scared of him at all, she knew it was an accident and not done on purpose. "Drannor, no...never," she protested "I promised I will stay by you, no matter what! And I don't break promises..." Her pale hands outstretched, taking his in hers and gently squeezed them. "Forever am I yours."

Auraka PoV

[justify]
They had been spending the day together, away from all the work they needed to catch up on, but at the news of his sisters return home, they were rushing to see if the news was true. Auraka hoped so, but he didn't want to set his hopes to high. But he broke into a huge grin at the sight of his niece and nephew playing outside. "Kasinda! Taeron!" He pulled his giggling twin niece into a hug before dragging Taeron into it as well, looking up at the lighted house, heart lighter then it had been in days.

"She's home Gem! Finally, she homes," he muttered to his wife and hugged the children tighter before turning his attention to the words of Kasinda.

"Don't go up their Uncle Auraka," she was saying "daddy hurt mummy, Aunt Maith is up their now." Auraka's eyes narrowed at these words, looking at Taeron who just nodded slightly, before moving away with a glare at the house. "Get down here Drannor!" he yelled with a challenge, "how dare you hurt her!"

He winced, his bad back forgotten. Things were about to get difficult. Maith stiffened as well. “I can hear them coming... Gem and Auraka,” he murmured. “I promised him I would never hurt you. And now I have. He'll know it was me. No one else has the same claws as I do, so it would not be anyone else. He'll know that already. This is not going to be easy to explain, to him at least.”

“You know I'm not going to let him hurt you, don't you Drannor?” Maith asked.

“No. You can't intervene this time, Maith. I know what I have done and I will face what comes on my own. I can defend myself against him, he's newer to what we are. This is something I brought upon myself.” She growled, but she also headed towards the stairs. She was the first to leave the house and as she did, she was a huge black wolf. Her hackles were raised, her teeth bared at Auraka in warning. “Back off Maith!” She shot Drannor an angry look. “Maith, this is mine to deal with. Don't make this any harder than this already will be. Just make sure no one else gets hurt.” the black wolf snarled, but backed behind him. She couldn't deny his orders, and he knew that. Drannor then turned his eyes on Auraka and Gem. “Let me explain alright? Then we'll fight.”

His eyes narrowed, growing darker as he approached and felt his fingers curl into claws. To say he was anger was an understatement. To say he was beyond pissed might be slightly closer. "You. Hurt. My. Sister!" he growled, forcing himself to stay where he stood "Explain!"

He had always respected Drannor, always had a close understanding with and trusted him dearly. Of course he had, he had allowed his sister to marry him hadn't he? He had enough respect for the man to hold his ground and wait for reasons before throwing himself at him. And if the wounded look in this eye was anything to go by, he already felt bad for it. But a promise was a promise, and Auraka and made his swear never to hurt Sahar.

"Drannor!" Sahar cried "no.... please... Drannor!" Her small feet hurried with thumping sounds, but she was still somewhat slow and dizzy from the blood loss. But finally she made it, standing in the doorway in a daze and allowed her eyes to flicker back and forth between her brother and mate. "Stop it!" she screamed "stop it you two!"

The screams brought Auraka to turn his head and look upon his younger sibling, but what he saw was not what he had been expecting. The scars, the ugly scars upon his beautiful sister. "You pig!" he growled, lowering himself into an attacking position.

Sahar felt a wave of calm overpower her, as if all the emotion she had held moments before suddenly disappeared. And then the pain began and the loud snap of bones quickly followed.

"To explain what happened, I guess you need to hear a bit of my past, from back in Taror." He looked at Gem. "Don't worry, I'm letting you hear this as well, seeing as you're caught up in the middle as well, even though you're not from our home. Sahar, Maith and Auraka are though so they don't need permission to hear this, though the do need my permission to tell an ... outsider..."

He paused, wanting to get the whole story out before Sahar came downstairs. He could hear her coming. “You remember how I was banished from Taror? I was only seven years older than Taeron is now. I just turned fifty yesterday, so its been a part of me a while, you could say. Back in those days a bow and arrows was a common sight on me. I loved using them, and sometimes I fought using them. That was before my first hunt. I turned seventeen the day before. I had to travel a fair distance into the woods away from Taror to find anything worth hunting. I did not know that someone else was out on their first hunt as well. One of my best friends, Taeron Findarel. I was... over confident back then. I set the few snares and things I would need for traps. I thought I knew it all back in those days. Later I checked the traps and a buck was caught in one of them. I sent one arrow at it, knowing that my aim was true and it would be dead. Somehow it hit something else. I let the buck go of course, my attention was on whoever had cried out. It seemed my arrow had hit someone else.”

As he had when telling Sahar, he shook. “When I found them, it was my best friend... Taeron. “Most people would run away if they did the thing I did then by accident. I went home, to talk to my father before some other elf reported the death. I knew to tell the truth, he would hear from Taeron's parents soon enough what happened, and I wanted him to know what happened from my own point of view first. I told him, but as my story reached the end, he got very angry. he was drunk when I told him. His sword was nearby, it was a wicked weapon, and when it strikes someone it does a lot of damage. Normally if your get hit by it, you die. I'm lucky to be alive. A few times I managed to dodge, his aim was off because of the drinking. Then he managed to hit me, and well, that was agony beyond anything anyone's felt before. It rebounded, causing the scar from my left shoulder to my right hip the second time. My mother, Soora came rushing home, she healed me, with magic. I think its because she died when we besieged Quinhiroo that the magic she used is wearing off. This is the first time its reopened. Every year, the day after my birthday... did you remember I left for the day annually? I did not want you knowing what had happened. Only one other person knows this story, and they are gone now as well. Ashlere's mother. Every year, this seems to hurt me, and it handicaps me for the whole day. Before I met you, while it was still raw, on those days, I used to want to die. You don't know the agony its causing me, and I'm glad you don't. I just hope Taeron does not get as over confident as I am.”

He sighed. It was a memory he hated very much. “I never wanted anyone to know about the scar. Only one person knew, and she's dead. Sahar healed me again, but after she did, I fainted. She tried to wake me, and for the first time I've lost control. As soon as I woke up... I changed into a wolf and she was too close.” he bowed his head. “You'll see why she was too close in a moment.”

He sighed, as he heard Auraka snarl at him. “I guess I deserve this, but don't expect me to just let you hurt me.” he growled, it was a deep sound a warning. Then the huge russet wolf exploded from him, causing Gem to gasp and then faint herself, it was too much for her. Clearly he was ready to defend himself.

Maith however was watching Sahar. She blinked, it looked like her sister in law was about to change and she knew that was painful the first time. She hurried in that direction, knowing what was going on. “Sahar... try and calm down.”

Sahar's body shook and her eyes were wide with fear, not understanding what was happening nor why it was hurting quiet so much. Another snap filled the air, seeming to echo around them but no one other then Maith seemed to notice. Her mouth opened in a soundless scream, her body falling to the ground as more bones clicked and cracked, unable to support her frail weight. "Mm-Maith," she whispered, panicked eyes looking at her for help "ww-what is happening!"

Kasinda gasped as Gem's body grew limp, seeming to fall to the ground in slow motion. Standing as close as she was to her, Kasinda barely managed to catch her limp body and lowering it gently to the ground. "Aunt Gem?" she whispered, checking her pulse and sighing with relief to find it there, weak but still there. "Gem?" she called once more, sighing and knelt by her, trying to get a response.

Auraka snarled under his breath "fight me like a man!" he challenged as his body shook. The excuses he rattled off where impressive, and he knew most to be true. He had been in Taror when the death had come around, and the trial had been something he had watched as a kid. But hurting his sister, that was enough. He would fight, maybe not to the death, but he would fight. With yet another roar, his body shook and suddenly shifted. Much like Drannor had, but rather a wolf, he shifted into a huge white lion. Rare not only in colour, but in the shifting species, Auraka's long body seemed only slightly smaller then Drannor's of not the same size. His maw opened, a yowl escaping to finish his challenging cry and he slinked around to face Drannor and raised a huge paw from the ground before charging him.

“You're... changing, Sahar. I know its painful, but only the first time is painful. You'll be in control soon,” Maith said, catching her sister and holding her in her strong, unbreakable arms. “Don't worry if you claw me... you wont hurt me. Someone like Gem or the twins would be hurt, but not Drannor, Auraka or I.” She sighed. “Don't fight it. Rather try and stay calm and it wont hurt as much.”

Drannor growled, waiting until just the right moment before leaping, past Auraka, whacking him on the back with his paws as he did. Then he turned and bit hard into Auraka's mane. Oh he knew what he was doing. Everything that he did though was not meant to hurt but to warn. A white lion. It figured.

Sahar gasped, her normally neat red hair spilling in all directions to mingle with the stains of blood from before. "Changing into what?" she begged, sobbing and seemed to be the weak inner being she tried to rarely show. As a healer, you had to be strong. You had to tell people that they would be okay, even if they would most likely die. But lately, everything she had been though, she was a blubbering mess. Not even half the things she went though when kidnapped was this bad. "Make it stop," she pleaded, curling into a small ball "make it stop..."

Kasinda sighed with relief as Gem stirred, sitting up in a daze but growled under her breath as she fell back once more, seeing Auraka shift into a lion. Surely she had seen that before? "Come on Aunt Gem," she sighed "wake up please."

Auraka snarled with protest, bucking his hide legs to scare Drannor loose before spinning to knock him off. The blood poured from the wound, the teeth marks surely leaving a scar, but he pushed the pain aside, focused on his enemy. He wasn't as seasoned warrior as Drannor, in fact he had bet the older elf in many duels. Before the vampire and shifting half had appeared in their lives. But that seemed it was just an unfair boost to Drannor, once again. He danced forwards, claws extending to swipe at his face, much like he had Sahar before leaping back, slinking and circling the older wolf.

He dodged the claw swipes, moving easily enough. He knew that he had to end this though, he did not want to really hurt Auraka. Rearing up, he snatched out at Auraka's paw, catching it in his own. His paw pinched down hard on the pressure point in that paw, knowing it would knock him out.

Drannor had taken a few knocks himself, nothing serious though, his skin seemed to knit back together easily.

Maith sighed, muttering words under her breath to try and make this less painful for Sahar. "You'll be what your mother was. I think she was a wolf. Drannor should have been a bear, would have been one if father did not do what he did. Drannor's a bit of an abnormality."

His legs buckled, face planting into the dirt of the floor with a tired moan before falling silent, much to Taeron's horror. "Uncle!" he cried, running to his side and winced as his back tugged at the wounds "what did you do to him dad!"

Another scream echoed though the landscape as fur burst from Sahar's skin, red and white mix. She moaned loudly, hands clawing at Maith and wanting help. Why did it hurt so much? Why was it happening now of all times, she wanted to be their to stop her husband and brother from fighting, but she couldn't even see the fight with her blurred vision. "Sstop them..." she whispered as another snap echoed and her back arched high, her nose growing longer and her hands shifting into small paws. Her ears grew flopped, and she seemed to be standing on four legs. Last but not least came the tail, long and curled but it made a painful growl rumble from her stomach. She was a dog, not quiet a wolf but not human either. She blinked, seeming in a daze and showed her bright green eyes, the only part that could be linked to her other half. Looking at her feet, she yelped in shock and jumped with a wince, bones still sore, and turned her head, seeing the tail that seemed to follow her. She looked to Maith, eyes wider then ever before for answers.

Drannor hadn't escaped out of the fight unscathed himself. he sighed though as he changed back into a normal elf. "Nothing permanent. He'll recover in a minute." Drannor sighed shaking his head at Auraka. he knew Auraka could hear him. "Again you try and fight me and lose. Will you never learn?" He smiled. "Another hint for you, learn to defend the weakness of the animal you chose. Just like I just used the pressure point in your paw against you."

Maith looked at Sahar. "You know you're from Taror. However learning to become an animal before becoming a druid like the rest of us is a little surprising. Never in our history has something like this occured, nor has there ever been... a collie. Most choose a wolf, bear or normal lion... not a tame dog.."

Taeron knelt by his uncle’s head, shaking his gently. “Wake up uncle,” he demanded, worried that something was actually really wrong. Never had he seen his uncle, his role model beaten so easily. He was the strongest fighter he knew, never defeated in his eyes... until now and by his own father.

Auraka moaned in response, calmer now and gripped his nephew’s hand and squeezed it gently. “I’m fine Taeron,” he muttered, sitting up and looking at Drannor with a frown. “You don’t fight fair,” he grunted, standing and making his way over to Gem, worried now that he saw her out cold. “She’s fine Uncle,” Kasinda told him “but the two of you fighting, or shifting...made her faint.”

Sahar blinked, looking down at her paws again and lifted it waving it back and forth as if to see if it was really her. With a small whine, she lowered her maw to the ground and laid down with a faint ‘thump’ and sighed loudly. So she was a collie, different from her brother and husband. And something rarely seen. Great.

"I do not!" Drannor chuckled. "Trust me, there are others that even I can't beat when it comes to this. Maith for example." He sighed.

"That's the second time you've attacked me. Learn anything this time? I seem to recall I keep beating you, and I fight completely fair. You just don't know my weaknesses either. Oh and no, I did not use your mind against you either. I can't hear someone when they are in their animal form. Just like Gem couldn't see me when I scouted ahead as an eagle on the way back to Ciarbera."

"Next time, warn me if you're going to change like that," Gem muttered as she stirred. "Both of you." Though her voice was weak, the reprimand was still there.

"Sorry Gem," Drannor replied. "I did not exactly have time with that mountain of a lion your husband is stalking me like that."

Gem shuddered. then she looked at Sahar. "Am I the only normal elf here?"

“Do to,” Auraka muttered under his breath “I used to be able to beat you, now with all this ‘shifting’ and ‘drinking’ shit, you’re better than me.”

“You deserved it this time,” he said, turning his head to face Drannor once again from his kneeling position “you broke your promise and I know how to block thought from you.” But at Gem’s words, he leapt back around and smiled sheepishly. “Sorry love,” he whispered, kissing her forehead “are you okay now?”

Sahar lifted her muzzle to the sky at Gem’s words and sighed, shaking her head and stood, padding softly to Drannor’s side, not even making his hip. She was small in size, much smaller then Drannor’s wolf form. Most likely the smallest of shifters, even compared to her children. Maybe something was wrong with her, she looked to Auraka who stared at Sahar with wide orbs.

“Impossible...” Auraka was muttering, shaking his head “mother was a lion as well....so was father.”

Well, there was her answer.

"We choose the creature, Auraka. I was meant to be a bear, woulda been too, had something not driven a wedge between father and I." Sahar knew what Drannor meant by the wedge between him and Wistari. "Now I'm a wolf like my mother. How.. odd." Though something had felt different that time. Had his tail been shorter? "Something was different that time though."

Gem winced. "I never want that happening again. Scared the living daylights out of me." She sat up, and smiled at him though. "I wish you could control that anger though, Auraka. You're going to give me grey hair."

Drannor looked over at Sahar. "You're lucky you're not another wolf. There seems to be too many. Not enough bears though." He sighed. He knew why that was. "There's a reason most choose the wolf or bear. Because of the old stories of our people." Stories he could not share with them at this point. He was not the one who knew them. "I'm yet to hear of them though."

Sahar whined, licking his hand gently in comfort and nuzzled herself closer into his leg and felt the wave of comfort flow over her.

It will be alright Drannor, she whispered within the mind-link and inhaled his scent deeply, but this is really weird...I didn’t choose to be a...dog. A mutt. I didn’t get a choice at all. And what about the children? Will they be mutt’s like me, or wolves like you? Or something completely different? I don’t like this Drannor, why can’t our world just be like normal, no more of this shape changing madness.

Auraka ducked his head, feeling somewhat ashamed.

“Sorry Gem,” he murmured “I never used to have one...” he drifted off, seeming distant in thought and then flinched violently before snapping back with a gasping pant for hair, kneeling over once more before forcing himself to act like nothing had happened.

Drannor sighed as he looked at Sahar. She had no idea what was going on in his head at the moment. “Only in time will we know what they are. Taeron though I know is a wolf.” he smiled. “I might not be able to read you as well as I once could, but Taeron is another matter entirely.” I could shut him out, but he couldn't shut me out. My mental strength was too much for him to last long against. We both knew it too. “Something was different this time. I didn't seem to know what i was doing for a little bit. I think my form's changing. Into what? Who knows.”

Gem smiled as she managed to sit up again. Seeing Sahar though, she laid down again, feeling weak again. She really did not like having all these animals bursting out of the people she loved so very much. Things did not seem normal any more. “I wish none of this happened to you guys. Its driving me nuts.” She sighed though, knowing that there was nothing she could do about it. Right now she felt so insignificant.

“Gem you're the most important out any of us. How could you think you're insignificant?” Drannor asked.

“I'll never understand you Taror elves,” she shot back. Clearly she was not too pleased about being the odd one out. “All of you are animals. I never will be.”

"You might be," Drannor replied. "Remember we are cousins. My mother was one, your father was not. Good chance it skipped him."

"I don't wanna be one."

Who knows....she repeated mentally, red furry cheek pressed against his leg and huffed a sigh, sitting heavily on her haunches and feeling quiet weak from the before changes. How...how do you shift back? she questioned, peering up at Drannor's huge height.

“By thinking about becoming an elf again. It comes naturally after the first two or three times and you won't have to think about it any more.” At least one of them was somewhat like a wolf. Something Drannor was gladdened by. But the thought about Taeron had come to him. What if Taeron changed to be a bear as well? That would be hard for him to explain when he knew not the reason himself.

Sahar nodded her head quickly, closing her bright green orbs and imagined her elven self. She felt herself shift, her legs returning back to their comfortable number of two and her tail shrinking back into her body as well as the russet coloured fur. "Thank you," she breathed, glad to be back to her normal self "that was...different."

Drannor chuckled lightly. “Takes some to get used to. Anima, it took me over a week to figure out how to change back.” He'd been gone the whole week which had been out of character for him. “I know what you mean though, that is something that is not the easiest thing to believe is possible. He looked over at Auraka now. It seemed that the younger elf had managed to contain himself at last. “Your brother will never learn.” He knew that he meant by that. Twice now, Auraka had fought him, and both times, Drannor had been the victor.

Auraka snorted proudly, glaring playfully at his brother in law. "You cannot say you didn't deserve that," he muttered "and I do learn, for I must every day... it is you that cannot keep the promises and vows you make."

"Auraka!" Sahar snapped at her brother with a glare "it was an accident, nothing more."

"Sure sure Sah, but don't come to me next time it happens," he muttered, helping Gem from the ground. "And I used to be able to beat him," he added after a moments thought "only because of all these magic and shifting things that he can beat me... or maybe I'm just getting lazy." He shrugged his shoulders but moved to Sahar's side, kissing her wounded cheek. "Take care and do not harm yourself... or let him harm you."

Drannor laughed, shaking his head. “Again, it was an accident... she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. You know me better than that.” There were some things that would never change there. “Plus I seem to have some things happening that should not be. You would have noticed I was a bear, did you not? Last time, you saw me in my animal form I was a wolf, was I not?” He was smiling though. “it's not going to happen again, I assure you.”

“And you have to learn to stop exploding out of your skin like that without warning me,” Gem scolded Auraka. “I do not wish to faint again because of you doing that.” She frowned at him, clearly not impressed with that.

Sahar smiled warmly at her mate, glad to see that he was not as upset as before and laughed softly as Auraka was scolded by his own mate.

"Sorry love," Auraka said sheepishly "I'll tell you next time...." He knew he would try, but it wasn't often a thing he was able to tell nor predict. If he was to change, it was in the heat of battle. Never much time to tell her what was happening. "Now, we should start heading home."
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PostSubject: Re: Peaces Beauty - Nano 2011   Fri Nov 11 2011, 23:23

Chapter 4 - A Traitor Revealed
Hycis PoV
She knew that what they were going to do had its worries for all of them. There was nothing that they feared more than change. Yet why should it be so? They were the elves and they had come here from somewhere. Eventually this had become their home but it would not be any more.

She sighed as she waited for all the other council members to appear. This was the last meeting they would have in Nuban. Keya sat on her fathers throne now, with her blessings of course. Nuban would be hers at the end of the week.

Haemir looked around, it was sinking in that this was maybe one of the last few times he would see his home. He walked to the great halls in which his people had resided in for close to a millennia, a seat in the council which his family held for over a thousand years. He took a deep breath and walked in looking to Hycis standing he nodded his head and smiled, "First one here as usual."

"You'll never beat me here though, that is something you ought to get used to." She smiled though looking over at her cousin now. "Thank you for finding me, Keya. I really do appreciate it."

"Don't mention it." Keya smiled.

For Hycis herself had taken Gem from her tent after the battle with Lindan Marcos, and imprisoned her in Waenen Island. She never planned on being caught.

Drannor came in then and even he was smiling though he had never replaced Sahar and his children yet. "Well I guess this is it. Good to see you again, Gem, Keya, Haemir." He'd come all the way from Taror for this.

"I've been used to it Gem." Haemir smiled at sat down at his seat on the right hand side of Hycis, he nodded to Drannor and Keya, "I fear this is the last time we will be sitting in these halls of our ancestors." he held the armrests of his seat and looked to Hycis and smiled knowing that the new land would lead to a new start for them. "Let us begin?"

Ashlere also entered, she knew what was coming at least. "It's going to be difficult to leave Nuban, all of us have family who remain behind." She knew that Drannor, herself and Gem did at least from the battle for Nuban.

"Be as that may, Ashlere, I made a promise to Keya and I am not about the pull out of it," Hycis replied. She knew what she was leaving behind, her parents, plus two uncles and two aunts. Not to mention Keya. Her cousin. She looked at Keya. "At least you know we will come back if there is need for help here, but only in dire need."

"I know. I'll send Velatha if I need help."

She sighed, knowing this would have to be dealt with eventually. "Though all the half elves remain here, when they find a human worthy of their title they will be brought across as well. This land will only have us elves in it, and all the nobles will be given cites to govern over, but they must answer to their weyrs demands."

She paused. "I unearthed a map earlier today that tells up of our new home, there are 5 islands, each with a place suitable for its weyr."

Haemir nodded, "Why did our people leave originally? They must have had a good reason to do so.”

She thought about that and sighed, "I've been looking through all the scrolls on our history, Haemir. I have found that the thing that forced us out came here as well. The Minotaur are the trouble makers. If we use the dragon's abilities to blink there, instead of ships, then there is not a chance they can take chase of us again. By the time they find us, we will be settled and thriving there."

Hycis paused. "Their numbers have weakened considerably since they came across the ocean after us. We have killed more than they expected to lose."

Keya chuckled. "They would not dare to attack you, knowing that they hold an alliance with me, though I have told them I want nothing more to do with them. tell me if they do come after you, and they will find that i will give chase."

Auraka sat heavily in his seat and broke into a half-smirk before turning to Gem. "Did I miss much love? Sorry about that," he said, propping his feet up on the desk in a relaxed fashion.

Haemir's eyes narrowed and anger rose as a fire when fed oil, his hand moved to his sword's hilt. “Put your feet on the floor before they are separated from you." he pulled his sword out an inch from it's sheath ready to strike. His eyes flashed to Hycis and back to Auraka, he cracked his knuckle on the table still enraged by Auraka.

Hycis was stunned for a moment when Auraka came in. He was alive was he? Well that was certainly news and her face showed it. She hadn't known there was any chance of him getting out, and Haemir knew she had not known this was possible at all. Though at Haemir's words she glared at him. "Put it away or you'll find it on the ground before its even out of its sheath, Haemir. Calm down!" she commanded. "This rivalry must stop once and for all. Auraka never did anything to you, if anyone did it was me, I chose Auraka as my mate, he did not force me into that decision."

She knew that it was time Haemir knew about that. "Now can we please get back to what were were discussing?"

Auraka lowered his feet slowly and glared at Haemir, scoffing under his breath before nodding to Gem with a more relaxed smile. "Of course Gem, please... what have I missed in these passed months?" he said, pointedly ignoring Haemir and his temper.

She shook her head warningly at Haemir. There was no chance that Auraka was going to get hurt from him. Not without him having to go through her. Though she knew who all of them were, they were in for a surprise sometime soon.

"Hang on a moment." Drannor spoke, staring at her. "You're not who we all think you are, are you!"

"What on earth are you talking about? Of course I'm Gem!" she replied.

"No. Your not. You might act the same, look the same but your mind gave you away!"

Haemir snarled and sheathed his blade and moved to Auraka,"Your lucky your mate is hear to protect you from me." he sat down and looked at Drannor, "How could this be?"

"Let me explain why I just said that. You look and sound like Gem. You act like her. But there is one thing you did not factor in to your little scheme, which we'll find out in the long run. Your mind. Didn't take me long to figure you out. We all knew Lindan Marcos raised you, Princess Hycis Hawksong. Your mind just triggered me into realising you are not Gem, you thought about him, instead of what was going on here."

Drannor smiled as he looked at her. "You even had me fooled yesterday, but no longer."

She laughed. "As if I'm anyone but her. have you lost your damn mind?"

"I don't need Gem's protection," he said stiffly "if you remember, my title includes 'Queens Best Guard." He smirked, seeming oddly out of character with his spiteful nature towards Haemir "but thanks for the concern." His eyes flickered up to Gem at Drannor's words, worry instantly filling him and his worded battle against Glenawing completely forgotten.

"What?" he said in desperation as he searched his mate's face, trying to find some difference that would tell them apart. Even their scent was the same, no noticeable differences. He had to trust Drannor's mind reading skills for this one. "Are you sure Drannor?" he whispered "how can we be sure...and if this is Hycis, where is Gem?"

Gem PoV
Something hard hit one the doors, and they swung open not even scratched, revealing one long golden tail shifting away from them. Then Velatha's big golden eye was looking in at them. "Oops. That was an accident."

"But I am no mirage," Gem said, striding into her own hall. She glared at the other elf who looked just like her. "I believe you can give me back my title, traitor." Clearly she had no time for a traitor, even if it was her own sister.

"Who are you going to believe, me or her?" Hycis challenged.

Drannor sighed looking between the two of them. not a single hair was different. both had blue eyes, both had golden hair. Then he blinked. "Very clever of you, Hycis. Changing your eye color to copy Gem's so we wouldn't see who you really were."

“If you really wanted me out of they way, you should have killed me. Not locked me up and then forced every memory of Anthatal out of me just so you could fool everyone into thinking you were me.”

“I even fooled Auraka,” Hycis replied smugly. “He wasn't hard to fool, simpleton.” Before Hycis could even dodge, one of Gem's hands struck out, slapping her across the face. “How dare you!”

He was confused, staring at one and then the other. Her scent, Gem's scent, flooded the room and overpowered his nose. His mind turned into a haze and he had no idea which was which. Not at least without moving closer. And then one slapped the other. Auraka broke into a delighted grin, now able to easily tell which was Gem and which was her sister. "Gem," he nodded to the one that just entered the room "impostor."

“Once I wished you were never taken by Lindan Marcos from our crib when we were one week old. Now though it seems he got his claws too deep in you for there to be any change,” Gem muttered, rubbing her hand from where she'd hit Hycis. It throbbed. And it did not help that she was still injured from the fight with Lindan Marcos. “You gloat too much, Hycis.”

“You still have not proved who you say i am,” Hycis taunted her.

Gem laughed. “This next thing will.” All her council memebrs knew that a Rider's sword could only be drawn from its sheath by the one who it was made for. Or their chosen sucessor who rode the same colour dragon. She spotted her sword hanging on its hook in the wall quickly. “If you beleive you are me, then you'll draw Corellon from its sheath.”

Haemir he raised his eyebrow and said, "This just got interesting." he folded his hands together grinning, he leaned back in his chair. he smiled as the one that had walked in slapped the one next to him, "That's Gem indeffinately," his hand moved to his pommel and then his grip ready to draw at a moment, he rolled his shoulders and cracked his neck and grinned.

“I guess you could say that sword knows who wants to use it.” Gem chuckled. Then she looked at H and the others, “I'm not finished with her yet. Don't need any help right now. She does not have a clue what trouble she's put herself in this time.” And as her sister was about to find out, payback was a serious pain in the ass. Would Hycis take the bait I had laid with my sword? Would she try and draw it only to have it not come out for her?

Hycis chuckled, thinking Gem was clearly mad, seeing as she certainly believed she was Gem, and that the other was the imposter. Drannor walked over with the white blade in his hands, anyone could carry them while they were in their sheath. He offered the hand grip of the sword to us both. Hycis reached out, wrapping one hand around the hand length blade and tugged.

Corellon stayed where it was, not moving a single inch.

“My turn,” Gem replied. Hycis certainly got out of the way, she knew things might get a little difficult for her to deal with right now. Gem stepped towards the sword, she could feel the life in the scales that made up the handgrip. Her hand wrapped around the handgrip and she shifted her shoulder muscles the tiniest bit. Out came the sword quickly, as if there was nothing holding it in there.

Hycis glared at her, though she got an equally angry glare back. “So what? It proves nothing!”

“Oh but it did. It told everyone else that you're not who you've been saying you are, Hycis Hawksong!” She did not add the Princess title, right now Hycis did not deserve that. “And I'm not finished dealing with you either.” Though Gem was still hurt from the fight with Lindan Marcos, she knew what she had to do, to deal with this once and for all. “I suggest you find your own sword, as I intend to fight you myself.”

“You think me a fool, sister? I know there are few handier with a blade than you.” Hycis scoffed. “I'm not a fool with that one.”

“Think you so? Even with a wounded shoulder in my sword arm?” Gem turned so that the bandage beneath her white shirt was obvious. “Look, even now, blood is soaking through the padding. I am a wounded woman, Hycis, and yet you are too cowardly to fight me?”

“I shan’t fight you, wounded or no.”

Gem laughed, though it was not without mirth. “Coward then, are you?”

Hycis glared at her. Clearly she didn't much care for all the insults she was getting at the moment. Something was clearly starting to stir her up.

“I know one thing you would fight me for, having put so much effort into it.”

“Oh yeah? Like what?”

“Who have you been posing as for the last two months?” Gem asked.

“What say you, sister?” Recognition seemed to shine in her sister's eyes this time. Then the smiled. “You challenge me for the throne of Anthatal? You know this won't be a fair fight for you, you know.”

“Aye.”

"Gem," Auraka whispered, relief clear in his tones. He had been missing, alongside her it seemed. How could he not of noticed? He could blame it on the tiredness, and the relief to merely look upon someone with her form and build. And even now, they looked identical. Auraka only knew which was which because of the way she acted, it was clear now.

And the way the sword reacted.

But now worry was drawn to his mind, worry that his wounded and tired wife was about to fight her sister. To the death, as well, he had no doubt.

"Gem," he murmured once again, black orbs peeled against her with worry. "Don't hurt yourself any more, please..."

But he knew her honour would not allow her to step aside and allow someone else to deal with her. She would, as she always had, soldier on. She was the true Queen of her people, in the way she acted in everyway.

But then his eyes darted to the bloated stomachs, rounded fully to welcome children into their void and he growled under his breath. "Do not harm our children Gem," he said softly "or I will not stop to jump in the middle and take a strike for you."

“That will not be needed, Auraka,” she replied. She smiled at him for a moment. There was no way she would let her sister hurt the children who were growing inside her. They had been hard enough to keep alive through all the torture Hycis had been putting her through.

Hycis grinned, she seemed pleased at the moment, and her sword came out of its sheath easily. Everyone saw that it was green, and most certainly a Rider's sword. Gem blinked, wishing that it was a trick. But no, it was still there, when she opened her eyes again.

“Where's the dragon?” she asked.

“Hidden away from here. Part of the plan I used to fool the lot of you.” She grinned. “ Come then, sister. Let us see who the next Queen of Anthatal shall be in truth.”

With a reassuring smile at Auraka and the others, Gem stepped forwards, ready to intercept her sister's attack.

Grinning, Hycis hawksong held aloft her blade, and sank into a fencer’s stance. Gem stared at her as if at one demented. Gem was not a fencer. She was a fighter. Her blade was heavy, and she swung it purposefully. There was no feinting in her technique, no parrying. Thrusting was all she knew, and she did so, aggressively.

But her opponent was not a soldier. The younger elf was lighter on her feet than Gem, and faster, too.

That much became evident when Gem, irritated by Hycis' bouncing back and forth upon the balls of her feet, wielded her blade in an arc meant to lop off her opponent’s head. Hycis easily ducked the swing, and laughed triumphantly as she danced away from Gem, unscathed.

“Getting tired, sister?” Hycis teased.

“Tired of watching you bob about like a puppet on a string,” Gem growled in response. “Why don’t you stand still, Hycis?”

“So you can run me through? I think not.”

Several times Hycis' sword came very close to cutting off Gem's head, but she always dodged at the last second.

Anyone could see that gem was tiring already, that it was harder and harder for her to lift her heavy sword. What could she have been thinking, challenging someone in her condition? And yet Hycis’ skills with a weapon were nothing compared to Gem’s, war-weary as she was. Had Gem not been suffering from that injury to her sword arm, she would have felled the younger elf in a single blow…or at least, that’s what she told himself.

Anyone would have thought she was the weaker one, but it appeared that in strength, the two were thus equally matched…until, of a sudden, Hycis began to fade. Gem, with a burst that indicated that she’d only been conserving energy throughout the fight, pressed her adversary back against the wall of the room. Then there was a clatter and Hycis' sword fell to the ground. She couldn't bring herself to do it though. She could not kill her sister.

Both were bloody and torn in more than one place from the fight, but as she had promised,nothing came close to where the children were.

Auraka watched on with worry, the others around him forgotten as he watched Gem and her sister battle. Following the blur of parries and strikes easily, his advanced eyesight giving him no problems at watching the fast-paced battle.

Several times he had to stop himself from leaping into the midst, worried for Gem and his children, but knew it was best Gem handled it herself. Never would she intentionally harm herself. Then again, she had never lost a battle, other then against himself.

As the green sword dropped to the floor, both bodies panted and Gem had her sword pointed at her sister. But he knew she wouldn't kill her. Knew that she couldn't kill her. "Let the council deal with her Gem," he whispered smoothly "you don't have to kill her now."

His orbs ran over her bleeding form, small cuts and bruises forming all over. But, true to her word, none had touched her stomach. Which was surprising, due to its large size. She had to be due soon, and he wished he could of been there for her during it. "Come on Gem, let's get you to the healer's."

“I don't know why I can't finish you off, as much as you deserve it. You definitely fooled a lot of people, but you would never have been able to fool them once I stepped in, Hycis.” That was something she was extremely thankful of. Slowly she lowered the white sword, though it was once more covered in blood. She was shaking from the exercise she'd put herself through, but it had been worth it. She knew she'd used all the strength she'd had in the fight, and that had been not much to begin with.

Corellon fell to the ground as she let go, unable to hold it any more. She had never thought she would come to this, almost killing her cousin. “Looks like you might get another chance at me, though Drannor know's what that one will be like. You won't stand a chance, I'll have all my strength back when that happens.”

She looked at Drannor. “Can you pleased get her out of here?”

He nodded, then moved forwards resting one hand on Hycis. “Come with me.” At first she tried to refuse but he growled, and forced her out of the room. He knew what to do with her this time. He was going to the same jail he was the one in charge of, the other Hawkblades would not let her out, he would ensure that.

It was not long before he came back into the room where the others were, but as he did, Gem fainted.

***

Auraka caught her in his arms before she could hit the floor, cradling her to his chest he looked to Glenawing quickly. "The meeting will continue on later in the week," he said gruffly, before he was out the door with his injured mate and in the healing wing. One thing he did not expect to see, was his sister. "Sahar?"

The red haired elf lifted her head at the name, smiling warmly at the tones of her brother but instantly frowned at Gem in his arms. "Oh my! What happened?"

Swiftly moving Gem into a bed, she looked over the wounds with a practised eye. "She'll be fine... and the children," she said to her worried sibling "I'll just patch her up the best I can and let her rest, she might be out of it for a while." Auraka nodded with relief, falling heavily into the chair, unable to make himself leave. He wouldn't be going anywhere until he knew she was awake and well.

She was tired, anyone could see that at the moment. There was nothing that had been more painful for her, and she knew that many scars from the main battle with Lindan Marcos had opened in the fight with her sister, but that had been inevitable. She knew that the healers would be able to get her better though. All she needed herself was plenty of sleep. Oh she was tired, but she knew that she could not stay in bed all day long. That was something she knew. She had to figure out how much trouble exactly Hycis had caused while she'd been in that cave. One that was over with it would be easier to deal with Hycis at the trial.

That was something she was looking forwards to. She hoped though that Elanil was safe, it seemed unlikely. There had been quite a few people on Waenen Island when she had escaped, but she had not had the time to check that her other sister was not a prisoner as well. She had been too concerned about the safety of the rest of her people to spend any more time on Waenen Island. The Dragon City would need rebuilding there, as would the Dragon Riders. That was something she would see to before they left Nuban. She knew that things would happen in time, but that it would take a while to get things back the way she had planned for them to be.

Two hours after she had fainted she woke up once more, but she was not sure what to think of the things that happened. She knew what had happened between Auraka and Hycis, though she could not blame him. “Drannor should not have stopped you yesterday. Would have saved me from having that fight with her, though in a way I'm glad he did. I know you thought it was me, and I can't blame you, she fooled a lot of people.” What had happened was in the past now, she was back and he knew that. “I am surprised though that you're still here waiting for me, Auraka. The smell must be aggravating you.”

A tall hooded figure entered the room and stopped at the end of the bed she was laying on at the moment. "Does the damage incapacitate you, Your Majesty?"

“I had no choice but to do the things I just did, Auraka. Saved everyone, again.” She sighed. She wished that there was no more fighting to happen, but she knew that as a warrior, she had no choice but to fight for things when needed. For now though, Corellon would return to its sheath, and stay there for a while. There would be no more fighting for her, and she knew that. She had had enough war for a good time now. “I've done everything I had to for my people. But why does it not feel like its enough.”

She sighed. Things always seemed that way for her at the moment. Then her eyes moved to the figure entering the room behind Auraka. She knew almost immediately who that was standing there. “Where the hell have you been Xander.” she was not pleased with him for vanishing. “You have some explaining to do.”

"Your majesty i have been away for ..... personal reasons. You are the only ones to know of my return. Not even Corath knows and you know how hard that is to achieve." He looked around and saw Gem's sword in its sheath. Blood shone around the lip. "So it was you who was in battle Gem."

She stared at him for a moment. Then she shook her head. “You should know by now that you can't hide from me that easily. I knew you were coming the moment you set foot inside the hall.” She tapped her forehead. “Foresight remember? Don't run away like that again.” She sighed, thinking of the other thing that he mentioned.

“Yes, it was me, against my traitor of a sister Hycis. We had a fight, she has done some things things that are not exactly forgivable.” She thought for a moment. “Like stealing me away from my tent after I killed Lindan Marcos and locking me in a cave. Having me tortured so she could steal all the memories I have of home so she could fool them into thinking she was me.”

She paused.

“I only arrived back two hours ago and set things straight. We fought, but though it was meant to be to the death, I couldn't kill her. I showed her mercy when she I know she would not have done so. She's not my sister any more, she's Lindan Marcos' daughter now. Though she has no claim to his throne, that is Keya's by right.”

Hycis was safely down in the dungeons, Drannor had popped in to let her know that.

Xander chuckled and smiled a slight smile. "And here I thought I had found a way around that." He lowered his hood and rolled his neck. The last time they had seen him his face was as perfect as theirs but now a thin scar traced his jawline. and His eyes seemed brighter. "Your majesty nobody knows i am here not Corath not the Siron Force and I'd like to keep it that way for a while... .I'm not sure but Keya might have noticed me in the meeting hall. Anyway until i have regained my bearing in civilisation I cannot be called upon.... unless it its very urgent."

“I'm afraid people will find out, Xander. I wouldn't be surprised if Haemir didn't see you coming in as well. He was in the same room as Keya, and I do not think he was the one deep in thought. Keya was busy thinking so you might have avoided her, unless her own foresight saw you as well. Again though, I don't think she'll say anything to anyone. I trust her.” Was a sorry day when one trusted a cousin more than their own sister.

She sighed. Things were hard for her at the moment. “There won't be much time left here though I'm afraid. We're leaving Nuban, Xander.”

Haemir looked at Gem still angry and he scowled, "Why would you leave a thorn in your hand Gem and let it fester you should have killed her when you had the chance." he looked at Xander grinning, "Always late as usual General?" and he shot an angry glance at Auraka, with his hand still on his blade.

His eyes shot up, locking with hers before sighing with relief. "Thank the gods," he murmured, quickly moving to her side and grasping her hand in his "how are you feeling?" His free hand rubbed his forehead, shaking it gently and looking upon her with sad, lost eyes. "I'm sorry...." he whispered "I didn't want to do it in the first place, and I nearly almost did..."

Shaking his brown head once more in response, he half-smiled having not even noticed the mouth-watering scent until she mentioned it. "I honestly didn't even notice," he mumbled, kissing her forehead.

His head lifted and silenced his next words, drawn at the entrance of Tirach and merely followed the conversation between him and his wife. At the mention of leaving Nuban, he frowned. Hell, he didn't even know that he had kids on the way until yesterday, well actually they were Hycis's kids, but Gem was pregnant as well.

His mind was so confused, but he pushed the questions aside for a later use.

Then Haemir entered and the tension filled the air, a glare rising in Auraka's gaze as they landed on the hand rested on the pommel of the sword. "Time and place Haemir," he muttered "and this is not the time, nor the place."

"Well if im not late how will you recognize me? Now, are you really going to fight in the Health wing?" Xander scratched his scar. "Gem I can only assume that we are leaving because Marcos is dead?" His head twisted around, there was a noise....

“Haemir, you don't realise do you that this is the first time I've seen her in thirty nine years? How was I meant to know she would end up being like she is?” Gem shook her head. “And I have to agree as well, there is a time and a place for a fight. Now is not the time nor the place.” She grimaced. Then she looked at Auraka. “I'll be fine. I'll heal fast enough.” She smiled at him. There was no doubt she wanted everything to just calm down for once.

It was then Drannor happened to come into the room. “She's safely locked away, Gem,” he said. “I honestly don't know why she fooled even me.” He was smiling though, he at least did not have anything spiteful to say to anyone, but that was the way he had always been since he'd first come to Anthatal.

“Don't worry about it, Drannor. Though the idea of Hycis being a rider is an issue. We can't kill her without killing the dragon. Any idea if the dragon is the same mind as her?” She sighed. There was so much to consider when she had to make choices, but she knew someone had to make those decisions. And it was always her that had to.

“No, he's not. She's completely blocking him from her, and I met him on the way back. He's a good dragon, much more likeable than, begging your pardon, your sister.” Drannor shook his head. “Green dusk dragon. Meliora is his name. He's one of Gaelira's children. He seems much like your father's dragon Bjart.”

“No offence taken. I know what you mean.” She smiled. She glared at Haemir. “What right do you have to tell Xander off! Only I have that right, or Auraka! Not you!”

She looked at Xander. “We are leaving because I think our time here is over.” She looked at Haemir. “I think Keya needs to talk to you.”

Auraka sat in silence, following each of the conversations and chatted mentally with his bonded, Rasjar.

"Rasjar thinks the...'green dragon' is nice, which is odd normally he is jealous of Gaerlia's sons and daughters," he said and broke into laughter as Rasjar roared with protest. But he fell in silence at Haemir's words, glaring at him as he spoke harshly. "Do not speak to my wife that way," he hissed, shifting to his feet and towering over the other elf "Now go, or I will fight you for her honour."

Sahar entered the room with a swish of her long skirts, her long red hair pulled back into a tight bun and the lines on her face making her seem a lot more then her 19 years, almost 20 years. The young mother seemed tired, but not of her healing job nor from her children, but the relentless months of torture she had endured. "How are you feeling Gem?" she asked, ignoring the others in the room but favoured Drannor with a smile "I've stitched up those wounds, mostly the one on your shoulder... you still need to rest, I'm not strong enough at the moment to heal it completely."

She sighed, resting on hand on Auraka. “Calm down. He's said things like that before, I've learnt to ignore him.” She was annoyed though. “But he does have a point, Haemir.. You do not have the right to talk to me like that. Now go and talk with Keya!”

She sighed, this really was a fine mess she'd come home from. She saw Drannor smile back at Sahar when she entered. “Thank you Sahar, for doing what you can.” She smiled at her red haired friend. She knew that Sahar was her sister in law, but did things like that truly matter all the time? Not really. Sahar had always been a sister to her, even before she met Auraka.

Keya sighed as she sat in the room, she did not notice everyone else leaving, she was too deep in thought at the moment. What was she meant to do?

Haemir looked at Auraka, "I've been fighting for her for longer then you've known her." he looked at Gem, "Then you have no right to to call me a friend Gem." he walked away to Keya.

Auraka breathed though gritted teeth at Haemir's words, but ignored him. Though it was hard. He trusted Gem's judgement, and refused to rise to the bait. He needed to be the bigger person, the one to rule with a level head at all times. Gem needed that, her people needed that.

Sahar smiled, shrugging her shoulders. "It's what I do Gem," she said simply, giving her hand a squeeze before turning to the people crowded into the room.

"Please remember this is a healing centre, keep your voices down and allow Gem to rest if she says so, she should be any ways!" she said firmly, nodding to Drannor once more before turning on her heel and leaving the room.

"You go too far," Gem muttered, clearly that last sentence from Glenawing had hurt. He was her freind, but he did not seem to understand that there were some things he had not control over at the moment. "To think I was going to give you something when we reach the new land," she muttered. He was going to be one of the ones in control of a weyr, but right now, things did not look good. She sighed, as she relaxed a little. Then there was a thump and her head spun in the direction Tirach was in. "What on earth..." A human? "What the hell are you doing in my city!" she growled, glaring at the human.

Auraka rubbed Gem's hand in comfort, seeing the way the words hurt her. "I'll talk to him later," he murmured gently and kissed her cheek "for now, rest up love." His head snapped up at the thump, eyes wide as they landed on Tirach and the human. "What the hell!" How had he not noticed that? He couldn't allow his concentration to slip, not anymore. "Speak human, before I make you!"

“Ssh, leave him be for the moment. Something must be wrong for him to act that way, I know that much,” Gem said, looking up at him. “As for that human, do what you want there. He's not one of Keya's people, I know that much."

"What the hell'd you do with Hycis, bitch?" the man growled. He seemed angry. "I know you did something with her, and I want to know what!"

"Why should I tell you. Insults like that don't get any anthing," Gem replied annoyed. Could she not get any peace for five minutes of her life?

Auraka rose to his feet once more, his tall frame towering over the short human and held him still with a glare. "Do. Not. Speak. To. Her. Like. That." The words were growled, his eyes flickering darker with anger as his other side came into power, but he fought it, not wanting to loose control. "What do you know of Hycis?" his eyes narrowed, waiting for a response.

Gem sighed, looking at the human. "Wait a minute. She's the one with your children, isn't she?"

"Indeed I am their father. Keya will never take the throne as long as Hycis and I live. Most of the other humans will never accept her as a queen."

He blinked, somewhat surprised and somewhat not. He felt bad for the human, to a certain degree. He knew how hard it was to be away from a pregnant lover, even if they didn't know they were pregnant... But what to do with him? He couldn't be put with Hycis, who knew what they would get up to. Maybe in the same area though, but humans were simple to keep under guard. He shrugged, allowing Gem to make the choice.

"So you're the one who's been helping plant doubt about my cousin's right to eb the new queen of the humans. I would have guessed there was a human behind all those lies. And yes, I know the lies, I've heard them countless times when I've helped destroy a town. You won't be seeing Hycis again, though you will be locked up.” She was extremely tough on those who made things hard for her family. "You have no idea who you're messing with, human." There was no chance for him. "Maybe I'll let you see her. Once. But after that time, she'll likely be dead."

He walked up to the human and backhanded him. Nobody spoke about his queen like that. He raised an eyebrow. The fact that lies were being spread about Keya was disturbing." Your Majesty, the Siron Force knows how to conceal themselves as humans. If you wish you can have them got to the humans and try to put good things into their minds. As for this filth," He motioned to the man, "I believe the only proper punishment is to watch as Hycis is killed." Weird he would never had said anything like that before. He was different now but why?

"True," Auraka said, passing on the message Rasjar gave "and watch out for...Anglath?" He shook his head at the cryptic words of his bonded. "Gaerlira's other son, was bonded to one and now seeks to bond with...Hycis, but she was already taken," he frowned, hoping the words made more sense to Gem then they did himself.

She smiled when Xander came into the room. "I have a job for you Xander. I want you to take the Siron Force and find my other sister, Elanil. Seeing as Hycis is likely going to die, I wanT to know where Elanil is. I know she was not in Nuduien with Hycis, so at least she might be freed from Lindan Marcos' influence." She hoped he would do this for her.

"Of course your Highness. I will do this for you." However Xander wasn't sure how he was going to do this for her. "Do you have any idea where she might be at the time?"

“Thank you, Xander. Try the mountains. She may be in that direction, I remember seeing something a long time ago, before I realised what I was seeing. Back when she was originally taken. Mother and father and father told me it was just a dream, but turns out it was not.” it was a long shot, forty years had passed since Elanil was taken. She knew it was unlikely her sister was alive, but this was the best she could do. “If I see anything while you're gone, I will send Gaelira to you. I know it seems like a long shot, but if she's anywhere, she'll be there.”

"Thank you, Xander." She smiled at her freind. There were some things that were hard to deal with. "Only be careful Hycis might try and stop you from finding Elanil. I have no idea where Hycis is at the moment, so please be on your gaurd against her." Gem smiled. She knew this was not going to be the easiest of things for Xander to do. "If you do happen to run into Hycis, let me know immediately so i can come and deal with her as she deserves to be dealt with."
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PostSubject: Re: Peaces Beauty - Nano 2011   Fri Nov 11 2011, 23:35

Chapter 5 – Who is she?
Rhyllae-Ash PoV
Why was it that she knew so little of her family history? She lived in what seemed to be an orphanage, there were so many children of varying ages. Those who were older though knew the truth, that they were all related in some way or another through their mother, Manora Wolfrider.

Each set of children who were full siblings were told a different story though about their father. None of them believed the story another pair were given. Only Rhyllae-Ash, the third oldest, seemed to know her mother was lying. She alone, knew her father. He was a human, known as Jackson Slenderbow.

She hoped to emulate neither of her parents, for Jackson had had an affair with her mother while he was still married and had four kids with his true wife. Things seemed a little unreal there. Her mother had had four partners, she was the last of the group. She even knew her step mother, Bianca. Bianca had taken her on, though she knew that Rhyllae was the result of her husband's affair.

In a way, Bianca was the mother that Rhyllae wished her real mother could have been. She had a pair of step sisters, Gisele and Elena. These two were very close to her, they were happy to have her in the family. Though she was the odd one out, seeing as she was half elf while the other girls were purely human. So were the three half brothers she had from her father, Mason, Colin and Ryan. They were all one happy family though.

The family she had never truly had. Though she knew she could never be like the others, there were some things that she needed to understand about her own life. What sort of style of a home was she looking at when she was older? Would her mother really even care that she was growing up now? She rarely saw Manora.

"I want my daughter back. She is not yours!" she heard Manora yelling at someone. More than likely it was Bianca.

"I raised her. I consider her mine more than yours. You ran off with another man, Manora. Rhyllae loves me like a mother, though she is not really my own."

Rhyllae winced. She had been about to go inside, but she chose not to, instead heading towards the sparring fields. She did not want to be the object of another argument. One that Manora could easily win. It did not take her long to head back to the sparring fields for more practise and to find herself a new opponent.

She laughed as another human found himself disarmed. Once she would not have dared to reveal that she was part elf to all these humans. After all this was Nuduien. A place where elves had been scorned for a long time. And she was not the only one who had elven blood in town these days. No, the Princess herself had the same parentage of this, and they were firm friends now. Not that she had been anticipating such a thing.

She smiled though as a huge golden dragon landed nearby and the Rider leapt down. "Good morning Velatha, Princess Keya." She curtsied though there was no need and she knew that. But in front of all these other humans she had to be careful what she did. It would not do if they found out that their Princess was a friend of one of the commoners. Of course it was common knowledge that Keya was a half elf, but Rhyllae had always protected her own heritage.

"Thought we might find you here, Rhyllae-Ash," Keya replied, inclining her head as she normally did in these crowds. "I need to talk to you about something important."

"Any time," Rhyllae replied. She smiled at her friend. "When do you want me to come and talk to you at the castle?"

"As soon as you can. This is rather urgent," Keya replied. Velatha growled, spotting a huge snow leopard in the woods. Keya looked at her dragon, and there was silence for a moment. Dragon and rider seemed to stare at each other for a few moments in silence. Then Keya looked back at Rhyllae. "I have to go, Velatha scents a threat to me. Come as soon as you will, won't you?"

Rhyllae nodded, smiling. "As you wish, Your Highness."

Keya nodded and then mounted her dragon again. Rhyllae was left staring as Velatha soared away. She sighed, noticing that the others had hurried off to do other things.

Always when things seemed good, something had to happen to her. It sucked.

She heard the creature coming towards her and jumped backwards. This snow leopard was huge. She stared at it for a moment. “What... do you ... want?” she stammered, staring at the creature that was coming towards her. She had every right to be frightened... the size of the thing was unnatural. He seemed to keep coming towards her, but she could stand it no longer. She bolted towards the city gates. If it wanted her, it would have to catch her. Her horse was nearby and she scrambled gracefully up into the saddle, before letting the horse canter back to the city. She was frightened of leopards. One had.. attacked her once and she had never gotten past that.

The horse cantered into the city gates, weaving back to her house. She would rather deal with Manora than this. Manora though was no where to be seen. One of her brothers looked up though.

“What's gotten you scared?” he asked. He was tall and slender, but he was the strongest of her brothers. Not to mention the oldest, though he was in truth only a half sibling. Their father being the common denominator there.

“Snow leopard, Ryan,” she replied.

“Show me where it is,” Ryan replied. He had been the one who had helped her get away from the one who had caused her fright last time.

She searched for a moment, staring as they reached the meadow she had been in. “I don't understand. It was right here...” she shook. Where was the monster this time? Waiting to leap out at her? She hoped not.

Ryan sighed wrapping his arms around her. “Maybe it didn't want to frighten you, little sister,” he said. He knew that some animals understood human emotions better than they realised. “Come on, lets head back to the farm. “You've still got chores to do.”

She laughed, whacking at his shoulder, but she ran back with him. There were some things that did not change with time. He was one of them. Ryan always knew what was going on.

***

Back at the house though, she happily went about the things that she had to do.

"So, what was this snow leopard that frightened you?" asked a voice.

She jumped. Then realised it was only one of her sisters. She looked up from the mare she was brushing. "Massive, bigger than the normal ones that seem to prey on our sheep," she replied.

"Heard you had a run in with the Princess."

She swore.

Her sister looked at her. "What?"

"I was meant to go and see her."

"Go!"

She sighed, and left the barn. She hoped the leopard would not show up again. Little did she know she was going to see the leopard again.

It did not take her long to find her way through the long but familiar streets of the city. There was so much happening. She dodged out of the way as a building came crashing down, blocking the path behind her. The city was being demolished, and rebuilt not far from where they were now. Laughing to herself, she reached the marble stairs and started climbing.

Keya was standing on the balcony not far from the top of the stairs. She waved, turned and vanished into the castle. Rhyllae did not have to knock, she was allowed in straight away. She was a familiar face in these walls at least. Keya came to meet her.

“What did you want to talk to me about?” she asked, after greeting her freind the right way.

Keya did not speak at first, instead she turned and headed back towards the balcony she always talked to Rhyllae at.

“The Dragon Riders are coming. They bring eggs with them, Rhea.”

She felt her mouth drop open. Dragon eggs were coming? And she was the right age too. Could it be possible that she would be one? If she was, then she would finally be able to get out of Manora's clutches.

“There is a chance you might become one,” Keya chuckled. “It would be really good if you were, then you'd be a noble like me.”

"Will you spend the night here, or at your farm?" Keya asked.

"Here if that's alright." She glanced out the window. Night had fallen. "I never go outside at night unless with my family."

"I'm sure something can be arranged for you, Rhyllae."

Keya sighed as she looked at Rhyllae. “Someone was following you here.”

“Really? Who?”

“An elf. Velatha is bringing him up here.” They had moved, into one of the few guest chambers. “Said something about wanting to get to know you.”

It couldn't be one of the others who had bedded Manora could it? Rhyllae could not help thinking it.

A young male elf entered the room then. "La stella lusin ni fin gia du lye engame, Umanu Keya Ava..... Dina nar Nuduien," he greeted her, leaving off the last name from the old human king, she was much better then him and deserved much better then having his name and blood. One fist clasped over his heart as he bowed his head slightly with a slight bow to his back. He had respect for her, and unlike many other humans, knew that she had a good heart. The elven queen wouldn't allow her the throne if she wasn't.

Greetings finished, he turned to Rhyllae, nodding deeply to her as well, not wanting to scare her with the knowledge that he already knew her.

Keya turned around, looking at the elf who came into the room. He was a little taller than her, and that was saying something, she stood taller than the humans who were loyal to her. She knew though that Rhyllae was slightly shorter than her, but not too much so.

He greeted her, and to her surprise she did not hear her last name used in her title. She smiled. “Welcome to Nuduien. What brings you here?” Generally, she was respectful of the elves, unless one did something that was not trustworthy.

Rhyllae stood off to one side behind her. She was silent, simply watching.

"I have been wandering," he said simply, searching his mind for the correct words to continue "for years now... without much purpose or task." With a sigh, he ran a hand though his longish hair and eyed the young woman before him. "But today... for the first time in years, I found a reason to live, my princess..." his gaze flickered to his beautiful angel before returning to Keya. "But.. I wish to speak to you alone first, if I may be so brave..."

Keya and Rhyllae Ash both looked at each other for a moment at his request. "I'll give you some space," Rhyllae told her, curtsying before leaving the room. All she knew was that this elf was a messenger from Queen Gem, and that was something she had no business hearing about. She was only a farm girl after all. "Call me when you want me back here."

Keya PoV

Keya nodded with a small chuckle and Rhyllae-Ash left the room. Then she turned her eyes on the elf in front of her. "What is it you wished to speak to me of? Did you really have a message for me from Gem?" She was curious, she had not met many of the elves really. Only a handful.

"I fought for her once, with her as well," he said after a moment, but bowed his head, somewhat ashamed that he had lied to the guards and the princess. "But in truth, no I do not have a message from Queen Gem, merely a quest to know the truth and find some more about a certain soul which had captured my eye."

His gaze flickered to the door which had just closed softly, his heart thumping at the distance between them and the leopard within him instantly wanting to close it. "Rhyllae-Ash, I believe is her name, is like no other I have ever met... and her scent, it calls to me. I do not know if you know our ways, but I am half a Taror elf, my princess, meaning I have... certain abilities, and due to these... abilities, I am led to believe that Rhyllae is my true mate, my soul mate."

He allowed his dark blue eyes to roam over the princess, eyes blank despite softening slightly at the mention of her name.

"I wish to know more about her, and how I should approach her with such topics.. I think she must be elven, or at least half... but I cannot risk that chance, I do not wish to scare her away..." he murmured "again..."

She smiled, she had known that he had lied from the moment she heard the guards confusion at the gates. "I knew that you only said you had a message to get in, but in truth, my men should not have stopped you the way they did. So in a way the fault there is mine, not yours."

Keya chuckled at his words appreciatively. "I have heard of the Taror elves, and have spoken frequently with two such elves. Your current Prince Consort, and General Drannor. Someone had to help coordinate the search for Gem when she was missing and I dealt with that alongside those two. Gem herself has told me what she can, that she ahs been permitted by Drannor himself."

She smiled, not moving from the bed she sat on. "I must caution you though. Rhyllae-Ash Slenderbow, though not a noble of any sort is one of my dearest friends. Do not insult her in any way, or you shall hear from me. However, she is a gentle girl, but there are some things about her family that are not reasonable as they would not be normal. Be careful how you speak to her." She shuddered at a vision she had had. "Beware you her mother, or things may turn ill for you."

Kiiron shook his head in quick protest.

"I would never harm her," he said gently, knowing it was true. Never could he harm her, it wasn't a simple he wouldn't, it was a strong he couldn't do it. Not even if she asked for it, he would never hurt her.

He hesitated for a moment, taking the warning with a nod. "A final question," he pushed "or two..."

"Do you know of her fear with Snow leopards... and why is she so afraid of them? And is she half-elven, or something else..." He didn't really care of her bloodlines, but he wished to know more about her. Anything she could tell him would bring a smile to her face. "Do you think you could introduce her to me...?"

"She is different, but like me, yes, she is half elven, and half human. Her mother, Manora, was once the Lady of Mirthim, but then her family was removed from their title after the slanderous way Manora's father started to act. Sadly, it became her mother's way, and for an elf to act in such a way is often unspoken of, Kiiron. Her father is one of the farmers here in Nuduien, and she is said to be Manora's third child."

Keya sighed, thinking for a moment over all the things her freind had spoken off to her in the years they had known each other. "She has a fear of snow leopards. This I know because I was the one who got her safely back to her father, Velatha helped of course. There were three of them that attacked her, they mauled her something terribly. It was feared at the time, that she would not live to see out the night."

She shuddered at the memory. "We were only ten at the time. The amount of pain she was in at the time is still a vivid memory for me, you see. It was risky getting her to her father, seeing as, as you know, my father was still in power and had that anti-elf thing going on. Eventually I had to cast a spell that would hide her true lineage from anyone except those who knew her well. To us we would see the half elf, to someone like my father, they would see a human girl. It was necessary at the time, but I have since removed the spell, seeing as my father's time is over."

It was somewhere she was unwilling to go. "The only reason she is not scarred is because Velatha stepped in and healed her with her healing fire. She was completely out of it and had been for two days, before someone had the courage to ask for help from Velatha and myself. Even then, we were uncertain if she would recover from the leopard's attacks."

Then she chuckled. "I know why you ask. She was thinking of the snow leopard she saw in the forest not far from here, when she came in. I'm guessing, from what I know of the Taror elves, that the snow leopard was you?"

Kiiron listened it intently, hanging onto every word the princess said. This was his girl she was talking about, his poor angel seemed to come from a hard life. But with him, that would all change. They would live wherever she wanted to, have whatever she wanted. He would gladly give his life for her, if that meant she would be happy. But at the mention of the snow leopard fear, his eyes widened with anger and shock. How could someone do that to her? "Was it possible...that the attacker was elven? Or do you know if it was truly a leopard..?" he asked, hand running though his hair with worry and gave her a sad smile. "Aye, I am the leopard, I have spent the last several years roaming, this is the first I have been myself again," he said softly "I did not mean to scare her...I just wanted to see her better."

"I know that there are leopards around here, but for one to bring others and try and attack her is out of the normal for the creatures. There may well have been another elf responsible for the attacks. The fear of the creatures has been long set into her mind I am afraid. You though might be able to help her get past that. I would think that if something was going to happen that she is not pleased about, she would tell you, once she gets to know you. It seems that her mother is trying to take her back from her father, but her father knows Rhyllae does not want to leave him. Eventually, I am going to have to step in there myself and deal with them."

Clearly she was not looking forwards to that one. "I know that Manora does not see me with the same respect as most pure elves seem to. She has lost all respect for the nobles. That's why Rhyllae-Ash is staying here for the night, apart for another reason. Gem, Auraka and Drannor are coming here tomorrow, with a batch of Dragon eggs. It will be interesting to see who gets to be the riders. I know there are four eggs, therefore I will be watching one of them myself. Will you stay here or find a room at an inn somewhere? I'm sorry that Nuduien has little to offer, we're currently rebuilding the city into something untainted by my father."

"I agree, it does seem odd..." he murmured, shaking his head. Maybe it was a sought of attack against her sleeping around mother. It wouldn't surprise him. Elves were rarely such creatures, they took love and mates seriously. "I will try, I do not want her to fear me, nor my cousins," he promised and paused, an idea coming to mind. It was far fetched, and not traditionally elven, but he was willing. Willing to get her away from the awful life she currently struggled with.

"I know this might sound odd, but what of a arranged marriage? Is that not a human tradition? You could say, as a close friend of yours, you wish to strengthen the bond with another group, and if she is willing, she would get away from here and that mother of hers. But I would never force her in such a way, the choice would be purely hers."

"Will you introduce us Princess? Please?" he pleaded.

At the mention of Queen Gem ans her mate, Auraka, his ears pricked. They were coming here? It had been years since he had seen his close friend Auraka. He wondered if he even remembered him. "I would be honoured to stay here, if you will have me and have the room."

She laughed. "Of course I have the room, you're standing in a castle." She smiled.

"Her mother is not one that will be easy to fool, though I think that Rhyllae-Ash might go along with that, after she's known you for a while though."

She smiled at him. "She's coming back now as it is, so do not be worried for her, she'll get to know you eventually."
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PostSubject: Re: Peaces Beauty - Nano 2011   Mon Nov 14 2011, 18:18

Chapter 6 - Dragon Eggs
Rhyllae-Ash PoV

The sleep she had that night was one of the easiest ones she had had in a long time. It was something she had not anticipated, and she woke up once more at dawn. She knew what was coming and she hoped that she would be chosen. The only people who outranked the Dragon Riders unless one themselves were the royal families.

If she could become a Rider, then the trouble she had with Manora would be hopefully over. No one was allowed to deny a Dragon Rider anything, but would that stop Manora from being the beastly elf she was? Rhyllae knew that the family on her mother's side had once had a lot of honour to its name. Now it was nothing. Well, she would just have to do something about that, mightn't she?

Smiling though, she freshened herself up to wake up and then muttered something in elfish. The well crafted longbow was always ready for a bit of work. She smiled, running her hand down the fine horse tail hair strong. It was like a hawk was carved into the wood, and it was very ornate. A little too ornate for a farm girl. But she had fought for Gem, and as a token of her thanks, Gem had given her the bow and its oddly shaped red quiver.

She slung the bow over one shoulder, and the quiver over the other. Like so, she headed out of her room. The long black hair was carefully fixed out of her eyes, and the clothing she wore now was more of the elven kind. She was ready to face the day, like a true warrior would.

"Rhyllae-Ash," he greeted, bowing his head to her, but his restless orbs never seemed to be able to look away for long "are you heading towards the dragon choosing room?"

She smiled as she moved through the hallways until he crossed her path, making her stop. “After a bit of archery practise, yes. Keya and I usually meet up at the sparring grounds each morning, she knows what an asset I was to Gem in the fighting.”

It was not something many could say. She knew that Keya saw her as much more than a simple farm girl, but it was something she was yet to make it official. “I normally train there for an hour, as does she.” She smiled at him. There were some things that she could not say. One would not reach their goals if they did not do what was needed.

“Did you want to come?” she asked. “Once I've been there, yes I am going to the dragon room, its being held in the throne room, of all places.”

"I would love to," he said, breaking into a relaxed smile and turned to follow her strides towards the sparing ground. He couldn't wait to see her fight, he had no doubt that she would be strong and unforgiving with her weapon.

They walked in silence, making their way along the trail towards the training grounds before he just wanted to hear her voice, for it to fill the silence. Not that it was awkward at all, he just wanted to hear her vocals lingering in the silence of the grounds.

"Tell me more of yourself, Rhyllae-Ash," he said softly, dark blue turning to her to plead.

She was about to say something when there was a loud roar of welcome from Velatha, which made her jump. It was a sound not due for another two hours and yet there was Velatha, sitting on her back legs, wings outstretched to their full length in the weak early morning sunlight, staring at something in the sky.

A glance told Rhyllae-Ash that it was the Riders. “Maybe no practise for me after all. They're early.”

It was then that Keya came rushing out to her dragon's side. She did not appear to see Rhyllae-Ash or Kiiron, for she leapt up into Velatha's saddle lithely, and the golden dragon leapt into the sky.

Soon they saw the huge white dragon, plus a purple and a blue behind her. There was also a black dragon behind them.

Velatha stopped to hover in the air as Gaelira changed her path to face her personally.

“It is good to see you again, my sister,” Velatha chuckled.

“And I you, little sister,” Gaelira chuckled.

The two riders also exchanged the right greetings, the only different being their titles.

Then Keya finally said, “You're early... more than half my city was asleep until Velatha roared her greeting.”

“Better early than late,” Drannor replied.

Kiiron chuckled, peering up into the sky and made out the small forms of the flying grounds, easily able to see their forms and which was which. The purple and black dragon though, he had no idea who they were.

"I guess we should head back," he said softly, somewhat disappointed that he would not be able to see her train today.

Cyara dipped in the sky, the smallest of the dragons, and pulled up beside her mate, Neldor and eyed the approaching golden with bright eyes.

Rasjar nodded his head to Gaelira's sister, his bright colour constrasting against the rising sun.

"Greetings Velatha," he said to the older dragoness "how have you been?"

The red head peered over the landscape of her birth, many of the vast landscapes looking different from a dragon's back. She was a changed woman now, her life turned to the best. Her scar's, three across her face, still stood out brighting in the place of freckles, but everyone knew better then to mention them around Drannor and Sahar herself. Behind her, rested the twins. Tens years in age, Kasinda was growing into a smaller version of her mother, despite the deep chocolate brown locks that were her fathers. And Taeron was as much as father, despite the fiery locks of his mother, but had his father's eyes of ocean blue.

"Was this were you grew up Mum?" Kasinda asked softly, eyes wide as they took in the beautiful lands.

She spotted the two children and smiled. “I was not told there would be children coming,” Keya commented, looking at Gem.

“That was a last minute decision. You should have seen them coming,” Gem replied. She smiled though. “A gift like yours should not have been fooled by that.”

“I haven't had any visions for a while, Gem,” Keya replied. She sounded concerned, it was not like a gift to simply stop happening.

“We can talk about that later,” Gem replied. “After all, today is a very special day isn't it in Nuban?”

“Most certainly.” Keya smiled though and Velatha flipped backwards, leading the way back to Nuduien. She landed easily, retreating into her den while the others landed.

Rhyllae Ash smiled. “I suppose so.” She was in truth a little disappointed about not being able to practise. She turned and headed back into the walls where it was safe from the landing dragons.

Kasinda waved hesiantly, while her brother just fully grinned at Keya. He loved being the center of attention, which suited his quiet, younger sister perfectally.

"Yes, they decided that they wanted to come along and see the dragons, it shall be their turn in a few years," Sahar said in a motherly fashion, nodding to Keya polietly.

Rasjar and Cyara followed suit, landing softly upon the open field and allowed their riders to dismount with ease and the twins looked around with excitement.

As it was, Auraka hurried to help Gem dismount, even though he knew she still could. He worried for her and the three extra bodies she was carrying.

Gem chuckled as Auraka helped her down. “For someone who once had a huge fear of heights, no one would believe me that you had that nowadays.” She smiled at him though as her feet touched the ground. “And you know I can handle getting down perfectly well on my own.” Gem was surprised though, when Keya moved over and gave her a hug. She smiled, returning the gesture. They had been friends Keya's whole life and it was something not so well known.

“Been a while, cousin,” Keya said.

“Yes well you know, its been hard work making sure things are working smoothly before today came. I trust everyone knows why we're here?"

"Of course, and there are a lot of people who are interested in those eggs." Keya smiled. "Though I am more than aware that they are not the only reason for you coming here."

"Of course not, you have to take your place today, you know that," Gem replied.

"A better queen we couldn't ask for," Drannor added. "You are everything these humans need, when we leave."

Rhyllae-Ash chuckled as she moved out towards the other elves. She knew most of them by name, except for the red haired one and the children. She greeted Gem, knowing what was expected of her.

"So this is where you've been hiding?" Gem asked.

"Yes my queen. Half my family lives here."

Auraka chuckled, kissing her cheek gently. "I almost forgot about that," he said sheepishly and held her hand a's they moved towards Keya and Rhyllea-Ash.

"This is my little sister, Sahar and her twins Taeron and Kasinda. Sahar is married to Drannor."

His eyes widened, maw dropping to stare at the sight of the elven man trailing behind her. "Kiiron?" he asked, studying the blue-eyed, black haired male "Is that you?"

Kiiron relaxes, easy smile breaking though his emotionless features.

"Auraka, brother, long time no see," he said, pulling the elf into a hug and smiled warmly at Sahar "I see you found her? How many years did it take you?"

"Around 19," he admitted, hand brushing back though his hair "she was engaged and pregnant by the time I found her."

Kiiron chuckled, "heard you got married a's well," he said before turning to Gem. "My queen," he murmured, shocked at himself for ignoring his queen while welcoming back his long lost friend, and frowned a's Auraka broke into loud laughter. "What?!?" he asked, wondering why he was laughing "what? What did I do?"

Auraka struggled to control himself "you haven't changed at all! And you just met my beloved wife, Queen Gem."

Kiiron couldn't help but laugh at that. "So you're a prince now? You're helping to rule the elves?" he chuckled before smiling at Gem "interesting choice my queen."

Sahar watched on with shock, having rarely seen her brother so relaxed and carefree. Never before has he mentioned this Kiiron.

One eyebrow rose as Auraka and Kiiron spoke. It seemed this was another family member perhaps? “Yes he would be helping me. Auraka is doing a good job,” Gem replied. “I do not think I could have chosen a more worthy elf.” gem smiled as she walked over to the two men, wrapping one arm around Auraka.

Drannor chuckled at the conversation. Then he moved back to his family. “It would seem another family member is revealed.” He smiled at Sahar. “I don't think Auraka was expecting to see Kiiron here.” He was smiling though, as he watched what was going on. A few times though his eyes roamed the walls of the courtyard, seeing the humans starting to come out to stare at all of them, as well as the dragons in interest. “You'd think the humans hadn't seen and elf or dragon before,” he murmured to his family.

Rhyllae-Ash shrank backwards, she was not good in a crowd of elves. This was something she was not able to handle all that well at the moment. Kiiron and Keya seemed to know everyone here, but she knew this was not a gathering that was likely to be any good for her to interact with. For she was the daughter of the elf who got around.

“Rhyllae-Ash Slenderbow! Get yourself back over here!” shouted a woman and Rhyllae shuddered. She knew it was Manora but did she care? Not in the slightest.

“You don't have to go anywhere, Rhyllae,” Keya replied. She looked over at the red haired female elf who had shouted out. “She does not control you if she did not raise you, which I know she did not.” It was true, aside from visiting on Rhyllae's birthday's, Manora had been mixing from the family.

Likely travelling and seeing other men, Rhyllae thought, scowling at her mother.

Auraka laughed good naturally, arm wrapping tightly around her waist and pressed his lips against her soft hair.

"I think I chose pretty well myself," he chucked, twinkle in his green eyes.

Sahar blinked before turning her attention towards her husband and wrapped her arms around him, chin resting on this chest and the slight bump of her stomach pressed against him.

"So it seems," she agrees absently "and could be possible love, with their old king, our kind would be rare and the only dragon they saw would most likely be blue."

Kiiron watched Rhyllea with worry, eyes running over the horrid elf she called a mother and felt the overwhelming need to comfort her and save her from the awful woman. The look on her face said it all, and he silently thanked Keya for saying the words he so despartly wanted to.

She looked so out of place with the elves, so uncomfortable within her own kind that his heart leapt up to comfort her. Auraka noticed the expression and nodded with a knowing nod, seeming to know what was on his mind.

“Velatha was also a common sight, Sahar. So no, not only Rhothilion was seen here when my father was in power.” She smiled. “I and my dear departed mother, as well as Hycis were the only elves welcome here in Nuduien, so how Manora even got in here is beyond me,” Keya remarked.

Rhyllae sighed. “Likely by hiding what she really was?”

Keya chuckled then. “No need to thank me, Kiiron, I am only looking out for my people here.”

Drannor smiled. “I know who Manora used to be, Shame really, her family was once a family of nobles, but due to her behaviour, and her father's, they have lost their honor.” He chuckled, rubbing Sahars belly before kissing her scarred cheek. He would never forgive himself.

“no need to remind me,” Rhyllae replied, speaking for the first time.

He chuckled as she hit him, knowing that he did not really get hurt from the movement. "Sorry love," he replied, kissing her gently. "But Manora's family used to be freinds with mine, until we lost contact."

"Drannor isn't t?" Rhyllae-Ash replied.

"Yeah thats me," he chocolate brown hared elf replied.

"I remember stories mother told me of your family," she replied.

Then Sahar screamed and Drannor looked down at her. "Whats wrong love?" He growled though, moving in front of her worriedly. What had frightened his wife like this? Neldor' s great head moved about as well, looking, as he settled in front of Cyara.

Almost straight away, most of the elves were on edge, including Gem and Gaelira.

Cowering behind Drannor's safety, Sahar made sure the twins were out of sight. But she only had eyes for the human man before them. His baby blue eyes, his crooked nose...the scar that ran along his cheek could only belong to one human. The reason she was now carrying a human's child. Not wanting to tell the others just yet of her shame, she opened the mind link to Drannor and sobbed internally. "It is him."

He growled, turning to glare at the human. Keya seemed to realise what had happened, for Velatha moved out fo the way, as did Rhyllae at a signal from her. Drannor was not pleased to see the human who had done what he had to his wife.

Keya knew better than to get in the way when it came to something like this, though Sahar's secret was safe with her right now. Remembering what had happened last time he was this close to Sahar, Drannor took several steps away from her, though he was badly shaking at the moment.

The human seemed to notice and seemed to run for it as a huge golden bear exploded from where Drannor stood. He seemed to be twelve feet long and four feet wide. Surprisingly he was not brown any more, but a huge golden furred bear. He roared and he was surprised for a moment before he leapt after the human.

Kiiron blinked, watching his sister cower behind her husband and looked to Auraka in surprise. "What's wrong with Sahar?" he sake softly but Auraka shook his head, shrugging but the worry was clear in his orbs.

"I don't know...." he whispered "I don't know..."

Sahar stood stock still, green orbs filled with horror. "Drannor!" she screamed "Drannor stop it!" The twins stood behind her, peering around her curves and watching their father with something close to fear. Never had they seen him like this, sure they had seen him fight before, but never like this.

He did not know what was really going on this time, but the human seemed to have ran off somewhere he wouldn't be able to get to him. He doubted the human would dare show himself around them again. He did not have to move far to scare the human off it seemed, he'd only taken a few steps. He shuddered though as he realized what kind of animal he'd become. A bear? No! The howling noise that left him this time was not one meant to frighten anyone, but one of sheer horror.

He was his father's creature and that was something he could not handle at the moment. how could he let this happen? Why hadn't anyone told him that he was changing in appearance when he was this creature. Though he could hear Keya getting people to keep moving and not stare at him, he knew it was no use. His father was the most hated of all the elves, and right now, he looked like his father, except for the color of his fur. Small luck that was.

Rhyllae-Ash seemed to stare at Drannor for a moment before turning her eyes elsewhere. There were some things she knew that did not want her attention, and she knew this was likely one of those times for Drannor

Sahar slowly moved towards Drannor, hand rubbing his snout and buried her face into the golden brown fur. "Hush Drannor," she whispered "come on love, change back so we can talk about this." She pressed her lips and patted his cheek gently. "Come on love, it's not bad," she murmured " there will be a reason behind this."

Kiiron's eyes flickered to Rhyllea, noting the distant look. She seemed to look away from Drannor, seeming to understand his pain. "Are you alright?" he asked softly.

Drannor growled unhappily. How could this happen to him like this? He sighed though, changing back though he refused to look at any of them. Clearly there were issues with what his animal had changed to. "Once I would have been pleased to be what my father was. That was a long time ago." There was nothing in this, nothing in being a bear for him. He wanted his wolf back, that much was clear.

Rhyllae-Ash sighed. "I know what he's thinking about. I remember his father, and I have a feeling that being a bear is not something Drannor wanted. Plus, a creature someone is does not just change like that. There had to be a reason."

Sahar knew, she understood. She had been with him long enough to understand at least half the conflict around him. "Drannor," she sighed and kissed his cheek gently "calm down, we'll figure out why later, but we have other things to do now..." Looking to Keya, she nodded her head "yes, and we will find out why and find a way to change it Love, but not right now." She squeezed his hand gently and gestured towards the castle. "Best we see if any new riders will be running around soon?"

"The moment Velatha roared that greeting to all of you, a few of the others went down to the lower town areas to let people know that you're here. There's at least twenty youths the right age this time," Keya replied. She smiled and glanced at Rhyllae-Ash for a moment. She knew that Rhyllae was the right age herself. "Please, come with me."

Keya smiled, turning away and moving through the walls towards the huge throne room. Though the room was bare at the moment, except of course for her throne and a few tables, it was ready for what was happening.

"Those tables are for the eggs."

Gem smiled, moving back to the bag attached to Gaelira's saddle. This she detatched, and carrying it carefully over to the tables, she rested it on the floor. Four eggs ccame out. Two were blue, one was cream and the other was a brilliant white.

"A sun egg?" Drannor asked.

"Yes, and thats the one I'm watching. You and Auraka have the two blues. Keya has the cream one."

Auraka smiled brightly at the sight of the sun egg, among the other. A rare honour if it would hatch, and a new, strong rider to join the ranks. Moving to his position behind the blue egg, his hands ran over the smooth surface. Head lifting as Kiiron came to stand beside him, he watched in awe as the egg rattled slightly and Kiiron's hand brushed against the egg beside his own. Drannor's charge. "Ah...Kiiron?" he asked, for his brother hadn't seemed to have noticed "touch the egg again..."

Kiiron frowned, wondering what the hell Auraka was on about, but complied. The egg rattled again, so his hand quickly snapped backwards. "Auraka!" he said, eyes wide. He didn't want to be a rider, not that he hadn't wanted to as a child, but he knew he was content with a life on the ground. "Surely not..."

"Drannor?" Auraka asked his brother-in-law beside him "it seems we are down to three already."

"The dragon chooses the rider, Kiiron," Drannor replied, studying the egg. "The dragon chose you. Wanted or not, you are a rider." Or at least one in training.

A human male was picked by Keya's cream egg.

Keya stepped back as had Drannor now that their eggs had chosen someone. Now it was Rhyllae's turn.

"Rhyllae-Ash Slenderbow!"

She moved forwards, greeting Gem first and rested her hand on the Sun dragon. It zapped her and she quickly withdrew the hand. She was the last of the people wanting to try out. She turned to Keya and smiled. Then her hand moved out to rest on the egg in front of Auraka. Instead of the unfreindly zap she'd gotten from the Sun Dragon egg, this egg felt warm under her skin. She removed the hand and it shook, hard.

Kiiron bowed his head slightly at Drannor's words, knowing it to be true but still unable to understand why he. Why was he chosen? He was easily one of the oldest here, at least among the humans and most dragons chose young riders. But, alas, he was one now.

Auraka grinned as Rhyllae approached, for his egg was still unhatched and he hoped that it would, for it seemed that the sun egg wasn't going to hatch today, maybe not even any time soon. "Well done," he whispered as it rattled and shook, claiming her as it's rider "wait for it to hatch and give it a name."

He stepped back, joining Drannor and Keya.

Kiiron watched the shuddered egg with awe, breaking into a small smile as a little head broke free from the tough shell, black in colour with a streak of purple across it's spine. "Laiadion," he named the squeaking hatchling, hand brushing against the little head and he sighed with relief, he was glad to have been chosen, not that it had been a planned thing.

“My daughter's rider has not been born yet, I do not think,” Gaelira replied, as Gem carefully packed the Sun Dragon egg away in the bag it had come from. She was smiling though at the few riders who had been chosen. She had known that Rhyllae-Ash deserved a dragon, but Kiiron and the human? They were a surprise for her right now.

Rhyllae blinked as she looked down on the egg that had chosen her. It was something she had not anticipated. She only glanced up at Auraka at his words before the exploded, revealing a house cat sized dragon. It chirped at her, looking up out of huge silver eyes. She smiled looked down at the little one.

“Onyx. His name is Onyx.”

For the first time in history, a male dragon had chosen a female rider.

Kiiron smiled over at his soul mate, not that she knew it yet, and sighed with relief. She deserved to be a rider, her strong soul and personality suited the role to perfection. "Well done," he whispered, shifting closer to her, his little black hatching on his arm and blinking up at him with purple eyes "and I think the name suits him." He half-smiled, rubbing the chin of his own and sighed, looking to Auraka who nodded slightly with a boyish grin.

Auraka turned to Gem, wrapping his arms around her waist and tugged her close. "Think we are done here love," he whispered and kissed her head.

She only really had eyes for the little dragon that had climbed up onto her shoulder, wings wide open. How could she have become a rider? Sure she had felt lured to the egg, and certainly more than a tad jealous when others touched it, but who cared about that. “You too,” Rhyllae replied. She knew that there would be nothing more important to her now than her dragon.

Keya smiled as she looked at the others. She understood only too well how the new riders felt as their dragons broke their eggs open. She looked at Gem though and then headed out of the room, though Rhyllae knew she wanted to talk to her alone. “I'll be back later,” she told Kiiron. Then she quickly headed from the room.

Gem smiled as she looked at the others who had come with her. “Yes, our work is done for the day. But tomorrow we're here anyway.. Keya knows its time for her to become queen.” She chuckled. “She still has much to do.”

Auraka nodded at Gem's words, rubbing her arm with a smooth palm and knew only how much she had to stand up and act. He was raised in Taror, never to be a king or think of ruling. Then, for some odd reason, Gem ended up being his. Someone he wasn't planning on letting go. Ever.

Kiiron watched Rhyllae go with a heartbroken expression, not even the little chirping hatchling on his arm could snap him out of it, though it got a scratch in reply.

Auraka eyed him before gesturing to Gem, knowing the look only to well. "Brother," he called to no reply "Kiiron..."

"Kiiron!" he yelled, finally making the elf snap out of it, turning to stare at Auraka with wide eyes "is there something you haven't told me yet?"

Kiiron blinked, shaking his head and frowning slightly, wondering what he hadn't said. "About a certain pretty lady?" Auraka continued, earning a low growl from Kiiron and watched as his fists clenched. "Are you married?"

"No," he said shortly, finally understanding what Auraka was going on about "she doesn't know yet and does not look upon me in any such way."

Keya laughed for a moment at Auraka's words, though her face was carefully calm when Rhyllae entered the room behind her.

“You wanted me?”

“Yes, I did actually. I know your mother's type, Rhyllae. Somehow I don't think she'll stop trying to control you. We're going to have to do something about that, you know,” Keya replied.

“I know, but there is little that can be done. She never wanted me to get to know other elves, nor to be able to settle down and live life the way I want. I know something bad is going to happen, but I don't know what. It's just a feeling I have at the moment.”

Rhyllae sighed. Her mother was going to be such a pain for her.

“I have been considering things for a while, Rhyllae. What if I made you a part of my guard? She would not be able to touch you without insulting me, that way.”

“Do you think that will work?”

“For a time perhaps. Indefinitely, I do not know,” Keya replied. “And I am glad you have Onyx as well. That should make her think about things before she tries anything. You already outrank her, you know.” She smiled. "I think we better get back to the others."

With that the two friends headed back to the other room.

Kiiron heard all the words Keya said, and felt his heart leap slightly. Maybe she was going to propose his idea...but much to his dismay she had another. A guard? A royal guard? He felt his heart sink a little lower at the idea, it was just something else to keep her further apart from him. But then his own idea came to mind, maybe he could become her guard as well? He had nothing better to do, and already finished his knightly training. He had been fully knighted at only 16, making him one of the youngest ever. Maybe Keya would allow that... He sighed, but smiled as they re-entered the room again.

Keya knew that there was little chance that Kiiron would go with the other elves when they left Nuban. not while he was thinking how he did about Rhyllae Ash. She knew that she would have to do something about that so he did not have to worry about being apart from Rhyllae. Though it was something she rarely would have done, she knew she would have to. She looked across at Kiiron now. "Kiiron? Could I have a word with you?" she indicated back the way she'd come with her head.

At the call of his name, Kiiron's head snapped up and landed on Keya. Bowing his head, allowing the longish locks to cover his blue eyes once more, he nodded and stood to follow her from the room. "You wished to speak with me, princess," he said formally, the little black hatchling resting on his shoulder, tail curled around his neck and squawked in protest at the sudden movement before nestling into his pale neck.

A couple of guards moved passed them in the corridor as she lead him over to the other room where she had talked to Rhyllae-Ash. “There was something I wanted to ask you, in reference to something I heard in your head. I know you're aware of the trouble Manora is causing for Rhyllae-Ash. I have decided to do a few things, so that Manora cannot get to her without going through me. I know that I gave her a place in my Yellowjackets, and that you think this will keep her away from you.”

This was not the easiest of things to do, to make sure everyone was happy with what she gave them. “Know that I am not doing that to separate you two. So, instead, I was thinking of offering you a place in my Yellowjacket Gaurds as well, Kiiron. What do you say?”

Kiiron listened intently to her words, feeling somewhat ashamed that she had assumed from such things. "I only meant, princess, that training as both a rider and a knight if very time consuming, meaning she will be able to spend very little time with anyone, and she barely knows me, so why would she waste spending it with me?" He sighed, but instantly brightened at her proposal. "I would love nothing more, I have always been a knight and it has been something I have dearly missed in my years of roaming," he said softly, eyes shining with gratitude "thank you." Making a split second decision, he knelt before her with his head bowed. "Please accept my as your vessel, and loyal servant," he whispered "I am yours to command."

She smiled as she looked at him. "I know that training her will take time, but I think there are some things that are hidden even from you when it comes to her." She smiled. "I have known Rhyllae a long time, and I know that once she gets to know someone, there is no one more loyal. That was why I offered her a position as well. Well,a s well as to stop her mother from getting in the way on her all the time."

For a moment she thought about things. "I accept you into my service, Kiiron."

"Thank you," he whispered fervently "my princess."

Shifting to his feet, a new power shining into his eyes, he agreed easily. "I have no doubt, she is so beautiful, so powerful and strong," he said "she would of had to be with a life such as hers, and I only hope she will be as loyal to me as I will be to her. Whatever she needs, be it a friend, lover or something else completely, I will be there for her..."

He smiled weakly, opening the door for Keya to return to the other room "I hope she will one day feel as I already do."

“Though it is not fair of me to say it, I dare say she will, in time. I know not what she needs other than to be freed from her mother's influence. It is the only thing that troubles her, and I can only do so much to stop things from turning ugly there.” She smiled, and headed back towards the rest of the group.

When she got back there, she asked, “Where's Rhyllae?” For the dark skinned half elf nor the silver hatchling were there at the moment.

“She went back to her room, she said she was tired,” Drannor replied.

Kiiron instantly frowned, worry flooding him as she drifted from his sight. "My princess, I must...go," he said urgently "I will report to duty first thing in the morn."

With those words, he turned stiffly on his heel and marched out the door, not knowing why he felt so worried. But something must be wrong if he was feeling like this, something must.

Heart heavy, he followed her earlier words of where her room was and paced softly down the halls. He didn't want to scare her with his forwardness.
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