The Finding of Hluin

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Unien, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. Unien

    Unien New Member

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    Now, like I said, this is the chapter that BEGINS the real plot, so sit tight!

    ~IX~
    *********
    The Golden Blade




    It begins tonight! Tamassi defeated another Gan-Chuta. Who are you?! He asked in frustration. No answer. The silver blade he held flashed and killed any Gan-Chuta that dared attack him. He heard a scream as one of the Frax-Guard were killed. Tamassi panted, the whole insanity whirled around him like a pottery wheel. In fact, he was almost dizzy.
    One by one, slowly, each tent was lit afire. The men were scattering, the Gan-Chuta were separating him. Tamassi fought along side Grah and the same curious Frax-Guardman who asked, “What the bloody void are these things?!”
    Grah grunted as he finished a Gan-Chuta with his whirling spear that never stopped rotating in a blur. “Gan-Chuta!” he managed to reply, before taking on another opponent. Tamassi focused on his own enemy, blocking a crippling blow to his knee, he pushed away the ax that swung there and then countered at the beast’s neck. It died gurgling in its throat.
    Now, an overwhelming number of Gan-Chuta charged at them, and started to push them away from the camp. The same was transpiring for the men on the other side. Then is occurred to Tamassi, where in the void are some bloody Coulani when you need them? Again, he killed a Gan-Chuta that was replaced by two more. Stars! STARS, BLOODY STARS!
    The camp was only recognizable by a small flame in the distance when he got a look. Normally his vision was blocked when he battled a burly or sometimes quite bony Gan-Chuta. They were dispatched quickly. Gan-Chuta seemed to have one fatal flaw. They had no fighting technique. They just swung blindly with their weapon as hard as they could hoping to crack the opponent’s bone and then kill them.
    They could easily be killed with the elegant sword technique that the Frax-Guard practiced. Except, now and then, Tamassi heard a death cry from a human. The cries from the Gan-Chuta were guttural now, and filled with pure rage and frustration. Grah killed another with his whirl-pool spear technique not even glancing at the corpse, just moving on to the next.
    A line of Gan-Chuta corpses stretched from where they had left the camp to where they were now. They were pushed into an intersection, and now the Gan-Chuta divided Tamassi, Grah, and the panting guardsman to three different paths. The Prince didn’t care anymore; he gripped his sword, dispatched the Gan-Chuta in front of him, and then turned and fled down the stone street. His boots echoed with a wet sound off of the ground.
    He was sure they would have been louder had cries and clashes and clangs not rang through the ruined fortress. Tamassi could hear some Gan-Chuta pursuing him, but he was gaining ground and they were losing. Fatigue gripped his legs, but he ignored it. They ached now, but he told them to keep running, to get away from the pursuers. It begins tonight! He ran on. What begins tonight? No bloody answer. He gave an exasperated sound from his mouth. It was not a sigh, far from it.
    To forget his legs’ pain he focused on the way ahead, the narrow street enclosed by high, decaying walls on each side was very linear, and when it combined with another intersection, it stayed linear from there on in. This truly was a labyrinth. He was sure it had some dead-ends somewhere!
    And there was. He nearly crashed into the ending path. A ladder broken in half would have allowed him passage up. But the ladder still attached was too high for them. Tamassi turned and gripped his sword in both hands. He would stand, kill his pursuers, and find his father. The Gan-Chuta never came. A bloody miracle!
    Something was wrong. The cool night air turned chill, and it seemed that ice floated on the autumn air. It never got this cold in Coulan. A mist appeared at the end of the dead-ended alley he was in, in Torah Noma. The mist formed a woman.
    Her hair was deep black, and hung well below her waist, it had been growing a while. Eyes of hazel stared down at him, and skin whiter than snow seemed to light up the dim alley. Her skin wore a wicked luster that was hideous and beautiful. Her lips were cherry red and a worn bridal gown with a tear or two was her garb. Pearls were sewn in at the base of the dress. I’ve seen her before. No, them!
    She stared at him, and then a sword of ice appeared in her hand in a flash of flowing, ice-coloured mist. The Maiden of the Empress—as they were named in the north, in Coulan she would be named Dsuc-Yeahwpiq—moved toward him, no floated! It seemed that she floated, but with each leisure and elegant step her sword became more raised. As she neared, she pointed it vertical from her and placed her other palm on the bottom of the hilt.
    It seemed that he was frozen in place. The chill that drifted on the night breeze emitted from her and held him in place. He was immersed in her beauty. It begins tonight! With that thought, the trance was broken and he dodges a clear blow that smashed the wall behind him. A chunk of stone fell from where she had hit the dead-end wall after a second’s hesitation. That cannot hit me!
    He moved to the side as she lunged and spread himself the cylinder wall of a tower connected to the square wall of the alley. She struck again with an icy fury. He lifted his blade to block. It did, and the silver shattered in shards large and small. They were strewn all over the alley way and he ducked from a head shot. The tower shook as the blade rang against the stone. No weapon, no allies near, stars!
    Another slash of the ice blade had Tamassi shift to the side and the tower shook more vigorously this time. It was very, very ancient. What if it topples? He asked himself looking up at the tower, decaying parapets on the top. And that’s when he saw something gold glint in the light hanging out one of the parapets. He shifted to the other side to dodge a blow and the tower vibrated making a deep rumbling sound.
    Frustration was painted across the Maiden’s face. More of what looked like a hilt and blade slid out of the lined wall atop the tower. It no longer resisted and gravity pulled the rest of it down with the revealed part.
    It fell quickly, and as the Maiden raised her sword to kill young Tamassi, he grabbed the platinum hilt of this last hope and clashed with the Maiden, holding and looking into her hazel eyes focusing on him. Hope was shining on him, but Stars he was tired! As he pushed and pushed into the clash, the Maiden broke it pushing him back and striking lower, so he parried lower and countered to create another long clash. As she stared at him, worry painted those hazel eyes, she had never before—except once—faced a sword that did not shatter from her own.
    Tamassi smirked and gave a stronger push when she lost some power wondering why he smiled. Some engravings on the blade flashed crimson and her sword shattered. The Maiden of the Empress was catapulted to the wet stony ground and panted. He lowered the tip to her chest, and she held her arms up in surrender. Eyes rolling like a horse spooked at the blade.
    “You deserve to die,” stated Tamassi, emotionless face staring down at her. He didn’t care if he scared her, she was the enemy.
    “A part of me begs to die, but I cannot!” He edged the tip closer suddenly and she gasped closing her eyes and turning her head sideways, whimpering and muttering some plea for life.
    “Apparently, you can.” said Tamassi smiling, victorious twice now. “Why do you fear this blade?”
    “You are not my master!” her head darted up at him and spat! He stepped back and avoided it, but then a flash of mist erupted and faded. She was gone.
    “Damn!” he cursed and through the blade to the ground. Everything flooded back to him. Father!
    He looked down and actually observed the sword for the first time. He knelt down to it, and placed fingers underneath its blade to bring it closer. It had a platinum hilt with an ivory sphere embedded into the hilt. Strange markings of an old language or script glinted in the moonlight. He could not read it. The blade was gold. How is that possible? Gold is too heavy and too soft for a sword! He knew there were no karats in it; a blind feeling told him so. Then how?
    Along the blade were other, larger symbols. Curves and circles that had no end, crimson light fading from them slowly. Some of the markings resembled an upside down “L” and another upside down “L” with it pointed the opposite way. Some dead language. Yet, he would keep it. It seemed valuable and he knew it was powerful. A bloody Snow Daughter fears it, which has got to be useful!
    He then looked down at the scattered shards of his war blade along the alley. You were a good sword. He said to himself. He sheathed the golden blade in his empty sheath, which fit perfectly. Good.
    Then he remembered his father and the camp again. He could see his muddy footprints and followed them along his twisting and turning path. This place is a bloody maze! I wonder how it could have fallen when the enemies would have got dizzy from trying to find a place in here.
    Eventually, he came back to the camp. The tents that had been set afire smoldered in a crumpled heap, but his tent and another were still intact. There was silence, no more clanging or cries echoing. The large fire in front of all the tents blazed and reflected off of wet walls and streets in the distance. He felt…lonely.
    Is my father dead? Most likely. He didn’t even remember how to get home from Torah Noma. He couldn’t go to the Council. Tamassi had to somehow get home and tell his mother and sister. Somehow. Which way is north? All that running through those confusing streets of Torah Noma—the ruined Gotherin fortress—had destroyed his sense of direction.
    He could search for Xuqidp Kuqi. No. But he could gather his things, leave, and somehow find someone to tell him which way to go. He ducked into the tent and looked through his things.
    Clothes might be needed. He chose some shirts and trousers, not caring about coats. His cloak would suffice. In both his and Aramin’s bags he searched for rations and found some. He packed most of it; he wouldn’t need it all, surely. His new sword would stay in its sheath. He heard trotting and whinnying outside. I guess I have everything,
    He exited the larger tent and looked around. Wind Spear came from another direction, searching left and right with a confused look. A trusty steed! Oh, I guess I would need a saddle…and reins. In the tent, he gathered all of the riding equipment and some little bags of mixed oats and grains.
    When Wind Spear spotted him, he jogged over to his master. It gave an “I’m so glad to see you!” type of nose, and snuggled it nose into his chest. He cooed and made comforting noises, rubbing his neck while placing the saddle, and getting the stallion ready to ride. How fortunate! “There we go.” he said as the saddle was tied on. He added everything else necessary, and then fed the horse a handful of the mixed grains. Wind Spear gladly crunched the food for a while.
    Tamassi kept rubbing; making sure the horse was not spooked, or nervous. Poor Wind Spear must have been really frightened when those Gan-Chuta attacked. The other horses must have fled or are dead. Finally, Tamassi felt his mount was ready.
    He attached the bags with the essentials to find out how to get home, and then hopped on the saddle. Gently, he patted the higher part of Wind Spear’s neck and whispered, “Huuy woqdi!” It was Coulanish, and he had trained in the Citadel of the Dragyari where the learning of Coulanish was mandatory. It was also said that animals’ languages were the closest to Coulanish.
    With a quick and gentle heel to the ribs, Wind Spear jogged down one of the narrow streets. It took a good hour or two for Tamassi top find the outermost walls. Eventually he found the destroyed mossy gates. Or maybe, it was another gate. In the siege, they may have all been disjointed!
    With Wind Spear, he descended the ridge. The darkness of night was growing fainter and slowly, one-by-one each star winked out of existence. I guess the Star Kings have to sleep too! It was nearing twilight when he found a road among the trees. Well, he thought, I better get started!
    Another soft, but firmer heel had Wind Spear galloping down a road. Wait doesn’t the Sun rise in---Oh! Damn Torah Noma! I can’t bloody remember my star-forsaken directions! The galloping continued, and Tamassi didn’t know if he rode north, south, east, or west.
     
  2. BBallForLife

    BBallForLife New Member

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    Whoa, that's awesome. You are my new hero Unien (sorry Wingrider)!
     
  3. Wing Rider

    Wing Rider Psychotic Cybernetica

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    *grumble grumble*
    You haven't seen my later ones, BBallforLife :D the ones I haven't posted yet, I mean
    I'm still trying to find time to read all of this, Unien...
     
  4. BBallForLife

    BBallForLife New Member

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    Well if you post it, I might change my opinions. :)
     
  5. Unien

    Unien New Member

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    ~X~
    **********
    A Strange Dream




    The arrow sang through the still air and stuck into the bull’s eye. It softly vibrated after striking and then went still as well. Lana stifled a “yes!” because her mother was having difficulties. Lana watched Nynaegwene.
    The Queen of Gotherik pulled the arrow back with the guidance of a Coulani, and he gave her instructions. Then, he let go and she held the arrow back, arms trembling. She had not perfected her arm stamina yet. Then she let go and the arrow went upwards and fell to the ground spinning in an awkward circle.
    “Better,” sighed the Coulani. He had reddish hair—very rare among them, but a blonde one was even rarer—his transparent irises looked a little frustrated, but he hid it well. A fair face and skin texture made him handsome. She, however, was not attracted. Although his eyes showed a hint of frustration he wore a smile, and her mother smiled back.
    Again, he guided her through the nocking process. Then, he let her go and he released. It sailed farther, half way to the target, and then pinned into the ground. “At least it went straight.” said the Coulani optimistically. Lana could tell he was ready to give an exasperated sigh.
    Over the day, Lana would shoot at the targets while her mother struggled. Sometimes, Lana could see a scowl on her face. And sometimes, another Coulani would comment on her shooting and Nynaegwene would grind her teeth and then totally miss her next shot. Other times, a Coulani would tell her that she had a flaw, and Nynaegwene would grin behind her back.
    At lunch, all of the archers within the workshop camp were called to have their meal. There were many young Coulani—if you could call three-thousand to four-thousand years old young. Some were fair, handsome whereas others bore some scars. Their appearance varied, but all had the colourless irises that would fill with colour after life left their bodies. Lana prayed that the da would never come.
    It was common knowledge that the Coulani were dying out. Somewhere around the end of the Fourth Era thy suddenly could no longer reproduce. No Coulani—except for a rumored one—was younger than two-thousand years or so.
    Besides the similarity of eyes, there were mostly long black-haired Coulani, male and female. The odd blonde or red, and brown seemed to be next popular colour after black. All were tall, all taller than she or her mother. Unlike elves with pointed ears, Coulani ears were hidden behind their lustrous hair and few could say what shape they were. Though, it was believed that they resembled both an elf and a human’s.
    Young Coulani were the majority at the camp, but there were a few elves mostly blonde or honey-haired, the odd brown popped through. She had never seen one with black hair. Elf eyes had colour, but had the glazed look of someone half-blind. Instead of blue, it looked a very faint aqua-blue. Brown, all the colours were faintly there, as if they were barely not Coulani. Just a hint of colour. They weren’t quite as tall as the Coulani but many were still taller than she. Fortunately though, some were the same as her or shorter.
    Elves were the weakest of all races of West-Land, except for maybe the Gnomes, except the Gnomes had great ferocity and courage. So did the elves, in their own sort of way. Their bodies were sensitive and they were easily killed. Their lives were shorter than a human’s, except for the odd few who could live as long as a Coulani. But that was extremely rare. Many conservative Coulani believed the Elves were an impurity that walked the land, and a vast majority of humans. That saddened her.
    And making the smaller percentage of those attending were a few humans. Many of these humans accepted elves. Even Lana had made an elf friend. She was kind and had red hair that hung loose and was slightly tangled. They both had passion for the bow, but sadly, Ara had to leave because her father had died.
    One of the Coulani instructors led them to a clear spot with a hill just before a large cluster of deciduous trees, mostly oak and maple. Old trees, with vast trunks and branches. On the hill were several blankets laid out with food on them. Lana and Nynaegwene took a blanket to themselves and were joined by two Coulani.
    The food today was freshly caught fish cut into neat fillets. Clay bowls of tartar sauce lay on the side of the blanket. Serviettes were in a neat pile, folded and ready for easy use. Along with the fish a loaf of bread and another bowl with fresh butter. Honey was also among the bowls.
    Lana buttered up a slice of warm, steaming slice of bread and then used her silver butter knife to spread honey. When she took a bite, sweetness flooded her mouth. “This honey tastes different. It is so good! So much better than the honey back home.”
    “That is because we do not steal from the bees.” said one of the Coulani, a male, “We bargain with them, and so they make the honey better because we are politely taking it.”
    “Not all of us can talk to animals.” said Nynaegwene, licking her fingers.
    The Coulani did not seem offended, only nodded. Lana moved on to the fish, and used a spoon to place an adequate amount of tartar sauce on the fish. Then, with a fork, she cut a piece off. There was no need for a knife, it cut easily. She took a bite, and relished it. “Mmm. Haddock!”
    The meal was fantastic. And for a beverage, other Coulani carried pitchers filled with cherry, peach wine, and grape wine. Lana laid back after her plate was empty and closed her eyes while she digested. The hot afternoon sun warmed her face and she smiled. Stars, bless my mother. Light her way. She opened her eyes and laughed. No one looked at her as if she were insane.
    For the rest of the day, they shot at targets again, perfecting their ability each time after a Coulani instructor watching them gave them a way to fix their flaws. Near evening, when dew began to wet the grass, everyone had one more chance to shoot an arrow. Lana got a near bull’s eye, and then turned to her mother.
    Determination painted her features, and she had one eye closed to aim. She trembled less after using her arm muscles all day. Her mother had failed all day, but lately she had come very close to hitting the target. Slowly, she pulled back the arrow, two fingers holding the swan feather. Then, without warning, let go. A sound much like the sound of a zipper followed as the arrow tore through the fabric of air. The arrow looked like it would miss, but pinned in the outside circle.
    The Queen lowered her bow, happiness flooding her. Her instructor looked as if he had seen a sheep take off into the air and grow dragon wings. He congratulated her, and then said, “Now we have something to work with for tomorrow! Stars! It’s a miracle!”
    Lana smiled.
    After a hearty supper of the rest of the fish and some herbed and garlic mashed potatoes with carrots and corn, Lana felt tired. She and Nynaegwene retired to their tent at the bottom of a hill where several other tents clustered around it. Inside were there blankets, pillows and their packs full of things they had brought.
    Nynaegwene lay in her bedding and sighed happily. “Ah! Finally, I managed to shoot an arrow properly! I feel so young again.”
    For a while they talked and then blew out the oil lamps. Lana lay in bed a moment, thinking over the events of the day. Poor bloody Tamassi! Has to sit in a room with politicians and world leaders. Especially after Dyan…Lana erased the thought and then immediately blinked into sleep.

    Lana stood on a floating stone shaped in a short, flat cylinder. It wasn’t very large, but she could stand there. Around her was complete darkness, and no where to go. She realized her bow was in her hand and a quiver full of arrows on her back. Then she heard a voice whispering. It echoed across the darkness, and she strained to hear.
    Rqutodi. Pwi rqutodi. Op tadp bi girp! Op zihes jedp sohwp.
    Ah! Lana understood. It was Coulanish, and she knew the language, but what was it saying. Promise. The Promise. It must be kept! It began last night.
    “Promise?” she asked. Lana felt a presence here, something or someone who could communicate with her.
    Pwi rqutodi ux Amana. Was the reply.
    Lana translated to herself. The promise of—what does Amana mean? It’s not Coulanish. She replied, “Amana?”
    Pwi zjeyi ux Samaras’Tasnian’Ghorada.
    Lana worked it out. The blade of Samaras’Tasnian’Ghorada. A promise of a sword? She replied, “Imrjeos.”
    O kessup. O usjb gsuc op zihes jedp sohwp.
    Lana nodded. “Jip ad dreig os Human.”
    The voice grew in volume a little. It was now the voice of a woman. A familiar one. “As you wish.”
    “What do you speak of?” asked Lana, slightly confused. “A sword made a promise?”
    “Amana, the Greater. The blade of Samar.” said the voice. “A promise. It begins now. You have a task, young one. Judging by your knowledge I am curious. Are you Chan’Denall?”
    “No.” replied Lana. “What is my task?”
    “Fate’s Circle begins to spin. It is at a slow pace, and can still be changed for the worse, but to have it accelerate so it takes its inevitable course and for it to complete its oath, you must not fail. Seek one who has a golden blade.”
    In the darkness, a light opened, it was a picture with great clarity. It showed a rider on a brown stallion among the trees. “He does not know his destination.” said the voice, “It is fate. He travels south, then west when he seeks north. Find him. He lies directly south, find him.”
    Lana took this all in. Is it just a dream? “Is this false?”
    “It is all too real.” said the voice. “You have found the way to a world that lies between dreams and Sisos’Lan. Find him.” The voice faded away, and Lana gave a sigh. This was extremely queer.
    The cylinder faded, and so did she. Eventually she found her dreams for the night. But in the background the voice rang. Find him. Find him.

    Lana sat up in her sheets and blankets, breathing slowly. The tent was not warm, and her mother still lie sleeping. It was still night. Her mother rolled over and faced her; she had awoken, and wore a tired face. “Lana?”
    “Yes, mother.” she replied.
    “Bad dream?” asked her mother, squinting, and fighting to stay awake.
    “Not bad,” said Lana, “just strange. Mother, I believe I had a vision!”
    “What happened?” asked her mother, sitting up beside her and growing more alert and awake.
    Lana recounted the whole dream. Starting with the darkness, the conversation, everything. “A man. I must find him. She said he lies south from here, and that I must find him.”
    “Fine then.” said her mother. “Go on your quest. But make sure you return with your head still intact. Many fools have pursued words in dreams and died.”
    “I won’t.” said Lana, determination strong in her tone. She quickly changed from a sleeping gown into an already worn blouse from before and riding skirts. Then she looped a shawl over her shoulder and slung her bow and quiver across her back. “I’ll be back shortly. But I believe that this is necessary.”
    “Farewell.” said Nynaegwene, “I’m going to get some sleep. If you don’t return today, I’ll explain to them.”
    “Thank you, Mother.” She kissed her mother on the cheek and then folded the tent flap behind her. All the tents were still closed, but a slight blue in the sky meant the sun was almost rising. She went over to the wooden posts that held the horses. She searched through hundreds until she found White Sword and Flame beside her. Lana silently saddled the white mare so as no to wake anybody. It was polite.
    When everything was in place, she untied the reins from the post and led White Sword up a southern hill before mounting her. She let the mare graze while she herself gazed down at the tents and down at another hill with the targets. Let’s hope this doesn’t take too long.
    She turned her steed southward and built up into a gallop. The land was relatively flat from here, but Lana tried to stay away from clusters of trees. It was a good thing that there was a straight, cleared road leading directly south and dodging around historically important groves. Another fortunate thing was that it followed beside a river, an untainted one the Coulani in the camp said.
    It was odd. Everywhere else, autumn yellowed plants and crops and in Coulan the grass and trees were as green as if it were spring. It is interesting how Coulan is so different. Eventually she came to a clear area, and in the distance it appeared that the green slowly transitioned into misty plains. The Mist Plains of Tache. The Voice said directly south.
    Then something her mother had said flashed in her mind. Many fools have pursued words in dreams and died. Then she remembered her response. I won’t. And she wouldn’t.
    She slowed White Sword to a fast walk and they entered the mist. Visibility was reduced to about two or three feet ahead. She said directly south, I think. As Lana kept riding on through the plains she heard a squish sound under each step her mare took. The Mist Plains were an odd part of Tache. Normally the place was a desert, but somehow, it had a swamp. Many said the ancient Coulani used the Kor-Ada to put it there. But who knew?
    A constant drumming of hooves on the ground broke the silence. It sounded like galloping, and Lana knew it was not her. Could it be the man I’m looking for? So soon? She faced the direction where the sound was coming. A dark blur could be seen among the mist, riding closer. She braced herself to see who it would be.
    As the blur came closer, details began to appear. The rider slowed, and she guessed that he or she saw her. Eventually the mysterious rider appeared and she knew him instantly. He rode upon a brown stallion, had a bushy blonde mullet to his shoulder and looked tired as hell. Tamassi! She realized that she had yelled out loud, with the hint of question in his voice.
    He dismounted, a large smile dominating his face. She dismounted as well, and they embraced. “What are you doing here?” they both asked simultaneously in each other’s ears.
    “I guess we both have some explaining.” he said, backing away. “Well, we traveled up the path until the night grew late. Our party found a ridge that lead to Torah Noma—a long forgotten Gotherin fortress from the War of Belal. We were attacked by Gan-Chuta and then I…escaped. I believe I am the only survivor.”
    “So you think father is dead?” she asked, noting the nervous hesitation he had made while telling her his tale. She glanced down as he answered;
    “Yes.”
    The hilt was platinum and looked of real value. “I think you left out a part,” she said suspiciously. “Where did you gain a new sword.”
    Tamassi’s face immediately grew pale and then he gave a nervous chuckle. “Oh, I found it in Torah Noma.” He unsheathed it, and a glorious blade of gold he rose above his head. A strange set of symbols were engraved on the hilt along with a small ivory sphere. ‘Seek one who has a golden blade.’ she quoted in her mind. Yes, but my own brother?
    She wore a smile and stated, “You look weary, dear brother.”
    Fatigue plagued his voice and he blinked, ready to fall asleep. “I am.”
    “Come with me,” she said gently, stepping closer. “You can rest properly. It is a very short ride.”
    “Then, I must know the direction north. I wish to return home.” he blurted out of nowhere.
    Lana spun around and looked at him, one eyebrow cocked over her eyebrow. “North?” He nodded. “Well, use the sunrise and sunset, or the stars!” she said with an it’s-so-obvious tone.
    “After Torah Noma, I lost my sense of direction. I’m kind of traumatized, I’ve forgotten…things.” he said.
    She looked at him with pity—no—bewilderment. “Maybe a nice, long, relaxing nap can cure you.” she offered.
    “Yes,” he replied, “I think it will.” The adjectives she used seemed to have entranced him. I can’t believe he is so tired, and I can’t believe that he’s the—enough said. Tamassi quickly sheathed the blade of gold, and struggled onto his saddle. She aided him, and he slumped sleepily in it.
    “Follow me,” said Lana, “and don’t fall asleep on the way!” As she turned and started at a slow pace towards the archer camp, she smiled at her half-joke. She hoped she had completed this queer task.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2006
  6. Unien

    Unien New Member

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    ~XI~
    ***********
    Ijopi




    Srol passed into the archer’s camp, happy that he had returned home at long last. Now his next objective was to reach Xuqidp Kuqi. But he decided he would rest here tonight. No longer did he wear the scruffy delivery clothes he had worn to The Valley, now he wore an adamant chest plate, leg guards, a skirt-like black leg silk with the sigil of Coulan—a giant oak tree surrounded by the larger house sigils. House Ghorada, formerly House Sokari, and House Talros. His arms also were armored in adamant but his head was unguarded.
    His Coulanish double-bladed spear-sword was slung cross his back. He was a Guardian—that was why he wore such powerful armour. They were higher in rank than even Ijopi and they guarded the Kayae and Kayai. It was also unique that no one except Coulani ever wore the substance as armor. That was why they were greater. But not the only reason.
    One of the perimeter guards of the camp noticed his garb and recognized that he was one of the Haeqyoes—or Guardian. He barked to his partner and pointed as he approached. They stared back at him with their colourless eyes the same as he had. Both cried in unison, “Honored Haeqyoes!” giving a deep and formal bow.
    He waved them to stand, and they stood at attention. “Stop that!” he barked with a tinge of anger. “Dispense with the formalities.”
    Immediately, both snapped to at ease. Srol was ready to smack his face and theirs too. “Stand as you normally would, act as you normally would—unless I tell you too.” he said with an amused grin at his joke. “I only wish for a place to stay the night. Can you direct me to the leader of this encampment so I can have a tent arranged at the right price?”
    They slowly and nervously nodded, and with a fierce look from Srol cried, “Yes!”
    “Good,” he replied.
    One of them bowed to him and then turned around, and walked along the flat grassy space leading up to a hill. Srol gave a slight bow of the head to the other and followed his leading man. His skirt-like covering his leg guards scratched against the tall, green, dewy blades of grass. It seemed for every one-hundred blades of grass there was one or two wild flowers among them. The day was glorious and beautiful, as most days were within Coulan.
    Following the man, they ascended the hill and came another set of two men carrying bows with half-full quivers. The leading man explained to them who Srol was, and they did not doubt him when they saw the trademark armour. After they topped and descended the hill to the white encampment, the leading man gave another bow and directed him to a larger white tent. Srol thanked him and moved on.
    Inside, was the chief of the encampment—also Coulani. He noticed Srol and nearly jumped out of the roof of the tent. He gave a very deep bow and said, “M-may I offer you a tent, honored Haeqyoes?”
    “Exactly what I was going ask of you.” said Srol. “Here.” he tossed the man a Gold, and winked. “Make sure it has—a little something extra.”
    “O-of course!” stuttered the man. “Regardless of the coin!”
    After business, Srol left the chief tent and decided to look around. Two tall and young Coulani—two thousand years of age, about—left to set up his tent. The Haeqyoes breathed in the sweet, natural air and then looked around. Star Kings! The heat gets to you in this bloody armour!
    When he dove deeper into the camp he saw an extremely young human—of about twenty years, he guessed—lying on a blanket snoozing quietly outside of a tent with the Gotherin banner outside. He had a blonde, bushy mullet and a handsome face. Hmm.
    Beside the child’s bags gleamed a sheath, and a platinum hilt with an ivory sphere embedded. Old Coulanish symbols were engraved in the handle. He thought he could read the first word; This.
    He wasn’t one for snooping, but it wasn’t everyday you encountered an old Coulanish blade. When he slid a small piece of it out, and saw the golden blade, he gasped. Worthy news for the Kayae—needed to be delivered now!
    Srol hurried over to the chief tent and asked for a piece of parchment and a bloody quill. He received them in haste and began writing a hasty message.

    Kayae or Kayai,
    What we’ve waited and searched for, for five-hundred long years has come. The Archer camp near the River Samantia has a Gotherin guest within, bearing the Golden Blade. I know that names are not needed.

    —Srol

    Normally his writing was neat and organized but he was in haste and couldn’t help about some blotches. “Send this,” he said to Chief, “to the Kayae. But don’t read it; I will know if you do!”
    Srol left the tent, hoping his message would arrive fast to the Kayae, wherever she was.

    The days at the archer camp were very uninteresting to Tamassi. He could not and would not shoot a bow, so he didn’t. Instead, whenever some other Coulani or elves chose to go for a short hunt, he joined them, or he stayed inside Lana and Nynaegwene’s tent studying his golden sword.
    Wondering what made it possible for it to battle. He would weigh it and sometimes try and read the symbols on the hilt. Once, he could almost say that the sword whispered to him! Stars!
    Through his boredom, he tried to occupy himself for the next three days. The first day was easy: he slept all day, recovering much lack of rest. He would wake up for supper and then take another long nap. Even after all of those hours of sleep, passing out at night was extremely easy.
    The next day, though, was an issue. He lacked fatigue. But after taking a short hunt with an elf and two young Coulani, he managed to get a job of fletching some arrows. The Coulani Fletcher even payed him a few Bronzes for his help. By then, it was late afternoon, where he studied his blade while no one was around.
    The third day came, and there seemed to be nothing to do. Except, of course, more fletching! There was always need for that. After obtaining a few more Bronzes, the Fletcher offered him a job, but Tamassi declined. Hopefully, he would leave soon. However, he had worked longer hours, and now evening had arrived. Another short hunt was what he did to kill another hour or two.
    And then came the fourth day. Tamassi rode with Lana and Nynaegwene and broke his fast with them. It was a fine Coulanish delicacy that he had never eaten before. It was very good and filling, and filled with flavour. After, he said his farewells to his mother and sister until night came. Apparently, the Queen of Gotherik was growing in skill and could almost match her daughter, with a little practice.
    Tamassi, again, spent time with some hunters and returned around lunch. At the lunch tables, they were served clam chowder with herbs and spices, with bread. After lunch, Tamassi walked with Lana before lunch break was over.
    A shout was heard in the distance. “Ijopi!”
    From the west, a rather large band of riders approached at gallops. They were blurs on the horizon, but as they came closer, you could tell they were Coulani. The large group reined in near the camp and others watched in awe. The leader wore all adamant armour except for a helmet and had a skirt-like black silk covering over his legs with the sigil of Coulan. The others wore a bluish armor that glinted in the sunlight. All appeared honored among the Coulani, as some Coulani gave formal bows and curtsies to the band of men.
    It was then that the leader searched the crowd, passing over any that did not interest him. He had long, jet black hair that covered his mysterious Coulanish ears—as did all Coulani hair—and had a very handsome face. Age had not touched his skin yet except for a deep scar that diagonally crossed from his left forehead, across his nose to the right of his chin. A double-bladed spear-sword was slung across his back, and under his elbow he held a lance, as did his other riders.
    Those searching, colourless eyes finally found what they wanted when he focused on Tamassi. “You!” His black-leather gloved hand not holding the lance pointed at him. “What is your name?”
    Lana blurted, “He has done no crime!”
    The leader ignored her. “I know he has done no crime. What is your name, lad?”
    Lad? He looks barely older than me! Tamassi eradicated the nervousness and confusion in his voice. He stepped out from Lana and spoke, “I am Prince Tamassi Frax of the Gotherin, blood-heir to the throne of the far north!”
    The leader gave a slight bow of the head—which seemed a Coulani thing—and replied, “I am Sama’Sis’Ghorada, Kayau of Coulan, son of Cir’ous’Ghorada and also High Sword of the Ijopi and Haeqyoes.”
    Indeed, Tamassi noticed that this Sama’Sis’Ghorada had a short braid that reached to his chest over his shoulder, marking him the next Kayai of Coulan when the time came. So, this is the “Prince” of Coulan, you might say.
    “But you may call me Samasis,” said the young leader. Tamassi knew there was no Coulani younger than around two-thousand years. “Tamassi, you have been summoned by the Kayae, Ayenna, and Kayai, Cirous to meet with them. You have the rest of the day, but I plan to leave with my men and you before sunset.”
    “And take me also, Kayau!” came a voice. Their attention turned to another who wore the same garb as Samasis. He thought his name was Srol. Samasis seemed to recognize him.
    “Yes, you may ride with us Srol.” answered Samasis, “As long as you are ready by sunset.”
    Srol bowed with a hand before his chest and then departed into the camp.
    “Tamassi.” said Samasis, “May I speak with you alone…among the tents?”
    “Yes.” said Tamassi, “I want an explanation.”
    “Then one you shall receive.”
    The crowd separated and the archers went to resume their classes. Samasis followed Tamassi into his tent and they sat cross-legged on the ground, across from each other.
    “The Kayae has summoned you because of something very important. I believe I know what it is, but she never told me. All I know is that she asked you bring your sword.” said Samasis.
    Stars! They know about my sword? I wonder if they want it back because of the symbols or something. Well they can’t have it! “Okay,” replied Tamassi. For a while, they sat in the tent conversing over matters. They were equals in royalty, and one day might even rule lands together.
     
  7. BBallForLife

    BBallForLife New Member

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    Yup, still my hero. :)
     
  8. Unien

    Unien New Member

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    ~XII~
    ************
    A Message Delivered




    The arrival of the Ijopi and Samasis was large news. But, yet another messenger rode from the north, breaking through a grove of trees and following one of the few dirt roads in Coulan. Thomas had to find the king! He had found a trail, which led to a decaying fortress, but then all the confusion for nothing when tracks led away from the place. What had troubled though, were the Gan-Chuta carcasses.
    How and why are they this far north? He had to deliver his message. The tracks of the horse, or possibly horses in single file, turned west, so he followed them along the Tachean-Coulani border. Why the hell are they playing around? Isn’t the…meeting…in Tache. That Radra woman and this…Helen…reminded him of people he had seen when his father had taken him to Tras Namar once. Nobles surely.
    Along the border, the land started off smooth, the grass starting to die because it was not within Coulan. The further west he rode, the wetter the ground became. Eventually, it produced a squish sound whenever his horse’s hooves drummed the ground. A large cloud of mist lay ahead. The Mist Plains of Tache.
    He, more than a tad reluctantly, entered. However, the footprints stood out more now that there was more mud beneath his feet. It took half an hour to find that this rider or riders met up with another and traveled back north. Gah! This is a wild bloody Somina Bird chase! That thought had some harshness.
    There was a poem that had been written as prophecy after Belal had been usurped at the end of the Fourth Era. It said that the land would be freed when the Somina Bird sang—which had been extinct since Sa’Tavon, the Empress, had killed them all—Belal would be freed from the eternal snow and sorrow. Like the Selenar tree though, the Somina bird would never return. Sad thoughts.
    Fortunately, the new path the now certain riders had taken led down another dirt road. There was the odd hill, and the path—as straight as it was—curved around the odd grove. Coulani loved nature, and had been reluctant to carve paths in their land, but alas, they needed some sort of economy.
    Many considered Coulan an underdeveloped nation because it had little technology and only one city. The population roamed and barely ever had a home or a place to go. Yet, in some ways, Coulan was greater than any nation. The hands of the Star Kings sheltered it, and even in late winter, not a flake of snow touched it and everything stayed green. It was hard to say—and he had no opinion on the matter—he loved Coulan.
    He had kept his hair combed back since leaving the village. Riding alone—especially into the land of the Coulani—he cared not that he revealed he was an elf. Back home, though, he feared that everyone would consider him an impurity like a large fraction of humans. Tom spat on the ground at that thought. Damn them! Damn them all to the Void!
    It wasn’t just the human’s racial view that irritated him—nor the conservative Coulani’s—but also how long this bloody chase was going to last. The day progressed slowly, and he felt tired and sore after riding in a saddle so long. The hoof prints stayed on the path—and for that much he was thankful.
    The dirt road suddenly faded a very vegetation-dominated path that curved up a hill. When he topped the rise in the ground he looked down to see a small encampment. Bloody Void! How many men does the King need to travel to a damned meeting? He would soon find out.
    With a sharp, gentle heel to the ribs his mount snorted and descended the hill in a half-run. As he came closer he picked out elves—and Coulani! This is very, very strange. To the side, archers in a very long row shot at targets while others settled for a quick supper. Among the blankets he picked out that woman…Radra…eating alone. Maybe I can talk to her again.
    A Coulani stableman approached. “Good afternoon, sir. May I take care of your horse?”
    “Sure,” said Tom, only half-paying attention. He tossed the boy a Silver and hopped onto the ground. The young Coulani bowed and took the reins without another word. Slowly, through the cluster of blankets he made his way to Radra. Then he sat cross-legged at the foot of the blanket. She looked shocked.
    “You!” she exclaimed with automatic recognition. “What are you doing here?”
    “I followed the King’s trail,” he replied, “Lady Radra, and it lead me here.”
    “Well, he’s not here. My son is though. He claims Aramin’s dead, but I don’t believe it. There are Coulani searching around Torah Noma as we speak. Why the hell are you calling me Lady Radra?”
    “Why?” he exclaimed. “Because, you told me that was your name!”
    “I did?” she asked. “I’m sorry; I only remember your face, elf. Our meeting doesn’t really stand out, but I remember you and your task. I am Queen Nynaegwene; I told you Aramin was my husband a moment ago. Did you get the clue?”
    Thomas knew that his eyes must have bulged and shock etched into his face. “Oh. Well, my Queen, I will deliver the message to you.” Nynaegwene bent to listen. “The villages on the eastern coast are being destroyed and raided by Gan-Chuta—or so a…storyteller said. Anyway, we are low on troops, and one-by-one the band of Gan-Chuta moves farther north, and they will destroy the villages. We need aid!”
    Nynaegwene sighed. “If I could help, I would. But, I have no access to soldiers. However, there is one way I can help you. My son is going to be traveling with Coulani Ijopi—or Elite—and so is my daughter, to watch out for him. I don’t want to put him without someone he can trust. Anyway, you can go with them. They are answering a summons to the Kayae. It will be quicker to ask if she can send troops before I can return home and send some—even if I leave now.”
    Tom understood, and slowly nodded. “Then I will travel with them.” He said.
    “You have to be ready before sunset, or they will leave without you. You had better ask Samasis permission too, now that I think about it.”
    Tom bowed his head, still sitting cross-legged. “Thank you for the advice.”
    Nynaegwene looked off into the distance, and sighed. “I will leave tonight, for home. I cannot forsake my people for an entertainment activity such as this. I shall sprint my horse until I reach Tras Namar and send troops to defend your villages.”
    Tom smiled. Soon he would be successful. He stood up and straightened his garb of wrinkles then bowed. “My Queen.”
    He turned away and had his horse saddled by the same chap as before. Riding his steed he sought this…Samasis? He found a group if men in blue-coloured armor getting horses ready and two men in adamant armour all but their faces covered. They both wore skirt-like black silk coverings over their leg-guards with the sigil of Coulan on them.
    One, he recognized, was Srol. He made a bow; these men must be important and said, “Excuse me. But, I am looking for a man named Samasis.”
    “You’ve found him,” said the other man clothed like Srol. “Why do you seek me?”
    “I ask that I may ride with you. I have business with the Kayae.” replied Thomas.
    Samasis answered quickly, “Whatever an elf-child would want from the Kayae, I do not know, but I will respect your privacy. Very well, you may ride with us, but do not slow us down. Ijopi wait on no one, people wait on Ijopi. It is the same for Haeqyoes like Srol and me. Anyway, be ready, we are leaving soon.”
    From around the corner of the hill rode two humans. Both had brown eyes, but one—a female—had brown-turning-black hair that hung to her waist. She wore a read blouse and a looped, woolen shawl. A silver-painted bow with a half-full quiver rested on her back. The other—the male—had a blonde, bushy mullet that hung to his shoulders, a handsome face and a sheathed sword at his belt. A cloak bearing the sigil of Gotherik and of House Frax hung around his shoulders with a rearing griffin brooch.
    The woman—who he guessed was Princess Lanalell Frax—rode a white mare, as fair and divine as the rider. The man—he guessed must be Prince Tamassi Frax, blood-heir to the throne of the Gotherin—rode a brown war-bred stallion that stamped impatiently. They joined the band of…Ijopi? He figured that was the name. Some Coulani names were odd.
    Samasis lined up every rider in rows and columns and put all three of the Gotherin together. Tom was able to ride beside Lana—which he seemed to like more than completing his dire task. Without warning, the band of Ijopi began riding and they kicked the horses into motion—an immediate gallop transitioning into a dead sprint.
    Their destination: only a few of the Ijopi knew.
     
  9. Unien

    Unien New Member

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    ~XIII~
    *************
    Arrival at the Jhana Pool




    About fifty horses’ hooves pounded the grass and trampled it, but soon it stood up again, so great as Coulan was. Along with the many Coulani Ijopi, were two humans and an elf. Eventually the order of the riders was scrambled and friends rode along side each other conversing.
    Tamassi rode beside Samasis and Srol while Thomas chatted with a golden-haired Coulani—very rare, that—and Lana talked with another Ijopi. Every now and then, a rise would come before them, or a low hill. They did not travel by a dirt road, for this part of Coulan—as most of it was—was uncharted. The only thing maps would have shown for this was a symbol for many trees, and a lake in the middle marked “The Jhana Pool”.
    And a map could also show the stream Hazar flowing from Dorarak Forest down to the Jhana pool and then fusing with the Belalathin’e at a river mouth. That would have been all. But something else—that Grah had once said—scratched at the back of Tamassi’s mind.
    Then he asked, “Samasis, are we traveling to Xuqidp Kuqi?”
    Samasis gave a short chuckle and then cleared his throat. “No, young Tamassi. Few other than Coulani have ever seen it. That is why it is never on a map! Oh, sure, there have been expeditions for it, and groups of men have tried to search every inch of Coulan to find it, but have either given up, gone insane, or perished in the harsh forests and tropical jungles near the centre.
    “In short, no Master Tamassi, we are not going to Xuqidp Kuqi. You would need special, very special permission from the Kayae or Kayai. Even being Kayau I have not the authority to give it to you.”
    Tamassi nodded in understanding. He knew “The Heart of the Forest” was a dear treasure of the Coulani and would not push just to see. If he did see it one day, he would see it. And that was that. Samasis smiled. “Have you ever met the Kayae?”
    “A few times.” replied Tamassi, “I attend the Council of West-Land meetings with my father and she attends it too—with Cirous. She is very fair.”
    “Yes, she is.” said Samasis, half day-dreaming. “She is reaching her four-thousand five-hundredth ageday. I love her, as her child, and would protect her if I had to travel to both ends of the world twice.”
    “And she the same for you?” asked Tamassi.
    “No,” said Samasis, “She and my Father would both travel end to end four times!” replied Samasis with a light chuckle.
    The band rode on, green and trees blurring past them. This ride that had lasted two hours felt only half of one. The sky was in deep evening and stars appeared. Then Samasis asked Tamassi, “Do you know of the Star Kings?”
    “Yes,” said Tamassi, “them and other stories and lore were taught at the Citadel of the Dragyari.” Tamassi pointed to the brightest star to prove he did. It was an extremely bright star and the largest in the entire night sky. “That is Zeur.”
    “Very good,” said Samasis, they still rode, but while talking the journey seemed faster and the pace seemed slower. Samasis pointed to a star this time. It wasn’t as bright as Zeur—the Supreme Star King—but it was large and bright and had a hint of a pinkish glow. It was the closest to Zeur of a ring of seven around the great star. “What star is that?” asked Samasis, already knowing the answer.
    “Aphroni.” replied Tamassi, “I am sure. It is Aphroni.”
    Samasis smiled, “Correct. I am surprised that a human—who is not Chan’Denall—knows that little of Coulanish lore.”
    The Chan’Denall were human and lived by Coulanish customs and such. They lived and thrived near Lake Chan’Denall and had a city floating on the water. It was named Aetlintis. Males normally wore blue silk robes and female purple. It was a part of their own custom. They were the closest a human could ever become a Coulani.
    “Thank you.” was all that Tamassi said to that. For a while they tested each other’s knowledge—more so Tamassi’s—and asked to repeat tales and names in lore. They spoke of Apolan and Maris. Diartem. Atherva and Cemes. Aphroni and Hephae. Bacchysus and Hermcur. Nepeid. And of course Zeur and Heno. Up in the sky with the ring of seven closest stars to Zeur, Heno and Aphroni were of equal distance.
    According to Coulani lore, it was because they had both competed for Zeur’s love, but had never received. Unlike Heno who now dwelt alone, Aphroni was said to have then fallen in love with Hephae a renowned Angel of Namaheimas. Hephae—when the angels had supposedly still lived on the continent of West-Land—was the Highest of them and so was considered a Star King, a half-mortal one.
    They also spoke of other tales such as the Trojhor. Eventually, the sky grew very, very dark and they came to a large cluster of trees that they could not see the end of. Samasis stopped and shouted, “Draw rein!” All of the riders braked and stared at the large tree cluster. They were in a clear part of Coulan, where naturally, no trees grew. So, this cluster of trees felt out of the ordinary after riding with no trees surrounding you for a while.
    “The Jhana Pool,” stated Samasis. Lana, Tamassi, Thomas stared. They had never been to the Jhana Pool before. Though, Lana and Tamassi had studied it. It was a large lake of completely pure water—the only one of its kind—and it was where the Cien—the crowns of the Kayae and Kayai were blessed each time a new one was raised. “Let us enter.” said Samasis, “We were instructed to enter as soon as we arrived.” He turned to the Gotherin. “The Jhana Pool is located within the large ring of forest. It is not as thick as the others in Coulan though. Within we have paved walkways that lead to the beloved pool. It is sacred enough to change nature that much.”
    The horses’ speed was reduced greatly to a slow walk as they approached the trees surrounding the Jhana Pool. Once they were under the first few trees they slowed even more, following a thin paved path. Along it hung the occasional lantern in the branches lighting the greatly darkened path. In the trees they glimpsed the odd Haeqyoes patrolling or watching them. A little deeper into the trees, but still shallow, were some three tents. A fire burned in the centre of the tents off the path.
    Samasis stopped as the Kayae—Ayenna—approached wearing light green silk with an ivory necklace. Her hair was coloured like honey and short-banged, except for the tips at the ends. They hung to her shoulder blades. The dress Ayenna wore had no collar and the neckline began just before her cleavage. The back of her hair was tied in a bun, and she smiled. She was escorted by two Haeqyoes in their ceremonial garb of adamant.
    All of the Ijopi dismounted, along with Samasis and Srol. They all came before her and knelt on their knees. The three strangers followed their lead, Tamassi in the front row with Lana beside him. Then the Ijopi shed all of their weapons and lay them in a pile before them—as Tamassi and Lana did, Thomas followed as well further back—and then bowed their head and torso to the ground.
    This was Coulani custom. It was believed that every time you killed, sin tainted your weapon. Before the Kayae and Kayai, a warrior with a tainted blade dishonored them, so if your weapon was tainted you followed this procedure. If the Kayae or Kayai gave their blessing and forgiveness, your weapon was cleansed and purged. No longer dishonoring them. If the Kayae or Kayai had a tainted weapon they asked the Star Kings their blessing.
    “All is forgiven,” said Ayenna, her voice was sweet and liquid—soothing, “‘may your blades be purged and pure again. Your sins are forgiven and forgotten. Bathe and bask in the light of the Star Kings.’” She smiled down at the blade in front of Tamassi. By custom, a weapon could only be cleansed if it was not hiding—in this case, unsheathed.
    Ayenna continued, “I have summoned Tamassi Frax of the Gotherin for good reason,” she looked at him as she spoke and then turned to Lana. “I would wish any of our honored guests to dine with me as midnight falls. I hunger.”
    Everyone who had need of being cleansed—for there were some Ijopi among the band that had not slew since the last time they had been before the Kayae or Kayai. Tamassi and Lana moved toward Ayenna. Tom began to move away with the Ijopi when Ayenna said, “Thomas Ghored. I wish to dine with you, also. I sense that you have business with me.”
    Thomas whirled around, amazed, and followed Tamassi, Lana, and Ayenna. They found a spot deeper into the forest off one of the paved paths where a white silk eating blanket was laid. Ayenna took a seat cross-legged and gestured for them to sit with her. “Come and dine, my guests.”
    All three of them sat at the edges of the blanket and servants out of nowhere wearing smooth silk carried trays. The first had a pitcher with four goblets, all polished silver with not a scratch and jewels embedded at the top. Then, one-by-one, starting with Ayenna, they filled everyone’s goblet to the top with wine.
    “Now,” said Ayenna, “drink, to your journey and to your health.”
    In unison, they all took a large sip from their goblets. It tasted like red wine but with a hint of peach, avocado, and cherry. It truly was delicious, and then they lowered their goblets. “You must be hungry after such a long ride…” continued Ayenna.
    As if it were their cue, the servants returned and brought silverware and clay plates. The last servant brought a platter filled with a variety of meats,—smoked ham, turkey, chicken, and black forest ham—cheeses,—mozzarella, cheddar, marble, and all at different ages; as far as Blue cheese—and pickles, dill and sweet. They filled their plates and ate, and soon found it was only the appetizer.
    A servant always stayed near so that whenever someone’s goblet needed refilling, it was in haste. Another server brought a large platter with a rather vast chicken—roasted and steaming. The scent of it filled their nostrils and they hungered for it! The chicken was carved with a sharp knife by the server and then the slices were given to all.
    After the main course, there was a pause. Then Ayenna spoke, “And what is a meal, without dessert?” Their stomachs were already filled to bursting but they accepted. Another tray filled with dainties and pastries. “Eat as much as can fill your stomachs. The uneaten leftovers are given to the servants, who are paid very well besides.”
    Thomas ate a piece of chocolate cake with sweet icing, and then moved to a small scone, and then was finished. Lana had a small square, and then was finished; Tamassi ate none and sat beside his sister.
    They all chorused, “Thank you, Kayae.”
    “You are welcome, my fine guests. When you are finished, you can return to your tents, your things will be unpacked and you will each be shown to your own private tent.” Ayenna stood up, and brushed some grass of her dress and then walked down the lit walkway deeper into the forest.
    The servants still stayed, giving each of them toothpicks, which they used gratefully. After they had digested, and talked among themselves and introduced themselves. They did not know Thomas very well. They returned shallower into the forest and found the campsite. The encampment was far larger now, for every Ijopi had his own private tent, however small it was according to rank.
    More fires danced near the dimly lit forest path, some meat roasting on a spit. The Coulani that had traveled with them were just beginning to eat after setting up the camp that stretched even farther into the uncleared trees, probably close to the next cleared path.
    A Coulani that was a little older than ones they had seen lately—closer to Ayenna’s age—approached them and showed them to their own tents, which were right beside each other. They all made sure their tent was ready and then did as they wished.

    Lana, after unpacking, had gone near a lonely Haeqyoes—which meant Guardian—near a spitfire and he had conversed with her. Eventually telling her tales. “…tell me more!’ exclaimed Lana.
    “Well,” began the Guardian, “It is a cliché story. But, why not tell it, if there are ears eager to listen? Such a thing has not happened for many years. Well, it begins long, long ago. A woman, the fairest woman you had ever seen, would walk the forests each day. And every day, the same conversation was had with a squirrel;
    “‘Hello, fair Sienna, how has the day fared you?’” would ask the squirrel,
    “And always she would reply, “‘I am fared well, Mr. Squirrel, my father is well too.’”
    “She was Sienna, the youngest princess of Samar and Elien, and had fine black hair that hung to her bare shoulders, and her dresses were always White or Emerald. Her skin shone like the sun, and every man traveled even from Gotherik to ‘attempt’ to become her husband.
    “But her father, Samar, knew many only loved her for her beauty, and her wealth, and tried to protect her from the parasite men. He was wise enough to know that she would be harmed emotionally and maybe even physically after marriage.” The Guardian paused a moment and then continued;
    “And then a young lad, by the short-name of Salza came to Belal. He wished not for love, but happened to be in the forest that day. He heard the cry of a maiden, and saw a wild boar was attacking this fair, fair lady. He knew not her name, or of her nobility or wealth. And he could never leave a woman for dead.
    “He took his bow and quiver and shot the boar between the eyes. She thanked him, and that night they camped atop the Forest Hill, eating bacon, and singing and dancing and telling tales of the old times.
    “Their love grew, and they shared their first kiss atop that very hill. But tragedy struck, and Belal was taken by the Elite, and so she was killed. But he was rescued by the last of the Somina Birds before they were all destroyed.”
    Lana held a look of horror and then smiled, cheeks colouring. “How embarrassing! I have forgotten to ask you your name this whole time. What is your name?”
    The Guardian fell silent. His eyes looked at nothing in the distance in thought and in grievance. Then he murmured quietly, “My short-name is Salza.”

    At the same time, while Lana had spoken with Salza, Tamassi had spent time smoking his pipe with Thomas—who seemed very friendly. Tamassi had never known an elf personally, but he was one who never thought them an impurity. They had conversed and shared the pipe weeds they had loved. Both seemed to enjoy Enchanweed.
    It had an odd property. It was a favourite of story-tellers because when you smoked it and told tales, the wisps of smoked became the scenes you told of. Then Tom took his pipe out of his mouth and blew out a wisp of smoke. “I hear they’re growing a new pipe weed down in Corussus and Tache. They call it…Marijuana.”
    “I don’t know.” said Tamassi, “I’m not much into trying new things.”
    “Me neither.” agreed Tom.
    Before conversation could spark again, a Haeqyoes with a scarred up and solemn face approached and positioned a fist parallel from his chest. He made a slight bow and said, “The Kayae summons Master Tamassi Frax to the Jhana Pool. She asks that you bring your sword as well.”
    Tamassi nodded, and the Guardian walked further into the camp. No doubt going to his own tent. The Prince of the Gotherin stood up lazily and said to Tom, “Until the next we meet,” said Tamassi. He handed Thomas some of his best pipe weed and Thomas did the same to Tamassi.
    “Until the next we meet,” replied the elf.
    Tamassi ducked inside his tent and looked through his belongings until he found his sheath. He recognized the hilt and gave a sigh of relief. Lately he had been nervous about someone stealing it. Tying the sheath to his belt, Tamassi re-organized the pile of luggage in a neat pile with his other hand. Coming out of the tent, he took one last look at his first elf friend, and then set off down the paved path. Along the way he passed by many tents and some Ijopi or Haeqyoes still eating near spits. Some meat was still roasting.
    When Tamassi looked upward, the pale moon gazed down with a milky glow. Now Tamassi recognized the voice from Torah Noma as it spoke again. Ayenna said within his mind, it has begun.
     
  10. Unien

    Unien New Member

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    ~XIV~
    **************
    The Story of Hluin




    The path to the Jhana pool was very linear, never swaying or curving like the dirt roads in other parts of Coulan. And, it was paved! The lanterns still hung in a patterned amount of trees to light the path. It would have been darker than a Tachean left in the desert with no shade or clothing. His boots made a faint sound on the path, but the rest of the sound was masked by a beautiful chorus of singing voices. He guessed they were female. Where are they coming from?
    He would look left and right off the path and would see no one among the trees. Except maybe the slight movement of a Haeqyoes. They would be nearer to wherever Ayenna was. Which he guessed was the Jhana Pool. He never really saw anything on his way except for endless trees—as most of Coulan was.
    The path then just suddenly stopped before a wall of long cattails and reeds. He parted them and stepped through on to grassy bank. The rest of his sight was a large body of the clearest water he had ever seen. Some floating lights drifted here and there among the water, and then the other bank barely visible on the other side.
    In the middle stood a woman with her back to him. She was naked and her hair was loose and wet. The top of her shoulders and head were visible above the water. To his side, lying on the bank was Ayenna’s dress. That is Ayenna? Why is she naked?
    The water shifted a little around Ayenna she turned toward him. “Welcome to the Jhana Pool, Tamassi. Where I was initiated as Kayae, and where the Cien blessed anew each time a Kayae is crowned.”
    Then he hesitated and asked, “Kayae, may I ask why you are in the nude? I am meaning no offence.”
    She wore a smile and closed her eyes, stifling a chuckle at his ignorance, and then looked back toward him on the bank. “It is custom,” said Ayenna, “anyone who enters the Jhana Pool cannot have a strip of clothing, and it protects the Jhana Pool’s purity.” Tamassi gave her a questioning look. “Do not fear,” he soothing voice was a honeycomb, with magic that could calm you easily, “I will respect your modesty. If you do not wish to enter the Jhana Pool, then I can speak to you on the bank. It is your choice.”
    Tamassi considered it, and then replied. “No, I shall enter. I have never done it before anyway.” He thought he saw a smile flash across her face. Slowly, he stripped until he wore nothing and a little more than slowly entered. Surprisingly, the water was chilled but warm.
    Finally, in the centre of the Jhana Pool, they stood across from each other, Tamassi holding the sheath with the golden blade. Ayenna raised her right hand, which bore many rings. Some were silver, some gold. Some were diamond littered, or had strange symbols in strange languages. “Do you know how the Coulani award their kin and people?” she asked with a questioning look.
    Tamassi knew much about Coulanish lore, but very little about custom. Yet, he knew a little. “They give them rings, normally representing the deed they performed. That is all I know.”
    The Kayae smiled and then replied, “Tamassi, with a little more studying you would make a fine Chan’Denall. But yet, that may not be possible.” Then she continued, “And yes, you are correct, young Gotherin.” Those colourless eyes looked at him with praise. “Do you wish to know about mine?”
    “I would be honored, Kayae.” responded Tamassi.
    “You receive rings for all sorts of purposes.” She pointed to a small ring with a symbol engraved; /^). “I was given this, from Cirous. It is custom, that in the Cycle of Love, the woman receives Three Rings. This is the ring, to alert me that he had an attraction to me.” Her finger ascended to the ring above it, it was silver, and had symbols of Coulanish, and a small diamond. “I received this for engagement to wed my Cirous.” she said, half to herself in memory, “It was on June the 22nd, atop the trees in the Cottagewood. The symbols translate; ‘I wear this ring, for I shall marry…Cirous of the Kayai.’”
    Her finger slid up to the ring above it, it was gold and had four gems. One was a ruby, one was a sapphire, and one was an emerald. And in the centre was a huge diamond the size of three on the one before. “This is the ring I received on our wedding day; it is to signify that I am Kayae of all the nation of Coulan. And most importantly,” she began, her finger traveled to a ring much the same, but all four gems were diamonds, and the centre was a Sapphire, “my wedding ring. I am a Sapphiri, the Coulani that lived along the ocean in the days of the First Ones.”
    His eyes darted to her index finger, which had a green band with a small engraved crocodile; its eye was an emerald. And under it was a silver band with a small sapphire. Ayenna gave a mischievous smile, “The green ring was for my honor. I was given it, after I defeated the giant Crocodile, Golian, after he killed many along the River Samantia. The one below it was given when I became a handmaiden for the Kayae prior to myself. She was the sister-in-law of Cirous and I. But we have greater things to speak of here, than of my past, and my awards and rings.”
    Tamassi looked once more at the floating lights above the Jhana Pool. Then asked, “What are those?”
    She smiled again. “These are the Water Nymphs. Once, long ago the Nymphs and the Sprites lived in harmony with the Angels and the Coulani, but once…certain events…occurred they were only welcome in our realm, and Belal. But Belal no longer is sanctuary for them. Most of them were killed, and they are a dying race. The Sprites thrive, though, but in hiding. It is sad truly…” Ayenna was lost in her words, looking at nothing. “The Blue Sprites have joined Sa’Tavon recently, and I had wept for that.”
    Her eyes glimpsed the sheath he held out of the water and then she spoke, “But, we have more important matters to speak of.” As she spoke, he struggled to look at her face. Her face is north! North! Yes, her face is home, I am happy with home! Don’t look south…yes…Belal is south! Heh, heh. Yes, Belal is south! Then another thought entered, But Coulan is just a little ways south. He felt a tingle. Stars!
    “Unsheathe the blade, Tamassi, and I shall educate you about it.” He listened, and brought out the shining, golden blade. Ayenna stared upon its glory, wordless, for a moment, and then regained from her amazement. “Do you know what this blade is, Tamassi?”
    “No, Kayae.” he replied.
    “Well,” she said, still staring, “you hold in your hand the blade Hluin, sword of Sarasou. Have you heard the name? Its history?” Tamassi shook his head. “We will start at the beginning then, near the beginning of the Third Era. During this time, the Five Cities of the Coulani still thrived—and technology this world shall never see again also lived among them. The Coulani lived peacefully among the Angels and Nymphs and Sprites. The Star Kings, for the very beginning, warned them never to settle in the Deep South, and so they did not.
    “Darkness lived in the South, Four Kings of a race unknown. Dark Kor-Ada flowed from their hands and they ruled all in the South. But in truth, they envied the Coulani, and so with envy came hatred. Raising an army great and terrible, the Four Kings of Suka-Durasil marched with their abominations and atrocities of life and creation, and sieged the Five Cities one-by-one.
    “Fearing the worst, the Ancient Coulani were driven back to their last city—Xuqidp Kuqi. They would not lose it; it was their greatest treasure now. With much strength they hid it, and then fled into the mountains. The Four Kings were sure of victory, needing only to find the last city.
    “But within the mountains a brave Coulani, a strong Coulani—Samar son of Amar—instructed Hephae—the greatest of Angels and Craftsman—to forge him a blade. Hephae had never met Samar, and rumors said he was a giant. So, with twice as much materials needed for a normal sword, Hephae set to work. Before forming the blade, however, he met Samar and realized his mistake. He used most of the platinum he had melted to create the blade and a little of the gold.
    “This was now the sword of Samar—Amana, the Greater—but Hephae was not one to waste. So, taking up his anvil and forges used the rest of his materials to forge a blade of gold with a hilt of platinum. Knowing gold was too heavy and too soft for battle—and wishing not to add karats—Hephae used a great art of the Kor-Ada to make it tougher and lighter.
    “He gifted this blade—Hluin, the lesser—to Sarasou, brother of Samar. The two most powerful blades now belonged to House Ghorada of the Coulani. They were ready. Stepping into their ruined land, a vast army of Coulani observed the destruction used to search for Xuqidp Kuqi. When they met the army of the Four Kings, they clashed, and battle occurred. For four days the armies killed and butchered each other, Amana and Hluin leading the army of Coulani.
    “Eventually, Samar dueled the Four Kings and slew them. This was in the Valley of Chomasi, which now lies in Belal. But anyway, the dark clouds in the sky parted and the Star Kings smiled upon them with a glorious sun lighting their barren, ashen land. A great rain fell for forty days, and rested in the night. Vegetation grew again, and the world was pure, rid of the scum of Durasil—the land the Four Kings ruled.
    “Samar took what had been Durasil and renamed it Belal, naming himself King and Sarasou his co-ruler. Then it was that Samaras’Tasnian’Ghorada met Elien and she became his queen. Before the death of Amar, his wife, Yalissa bore a last child—Cirous. My Cirous. After the Third Era passed and Humans came and the birth of the Elves and the rising of nations, the Fourth Era came.
    “Harmony and bliss was the aftermath of a great many wars in the Third Era. But, the High Seat of the Dragyari, Sa’Tavon, was somehow corrupted and she took Belal in a great many ways. Some, I cannot remember. I was very young then. But let us get back to Hluin.
    “Sarasou defended Samar and fought the rest of the Elite in the Valley of Chomasi, dying in song and bravery, Hluin was lost and hidden under the deep snow that came. Years passed, and the Loss of the Five Princesses transpired. Do you know the poem?”
    Tamassi was amazed at the mouthful Ayenna had spoken and replied, “No, I do not Kayae.”
    Ayenna recited;

    “‘Pray for those unlucky ones,
    Who wandered in too far,
    Thinking that their foolishness was really nothing but great fun.

    Taken to the Empress, five there were, now six.
    The women were taken one by one and given the Wench’s Kiss.
    Their skin grew pale, their blood now cold,
    And they knew now they could not grow old.

    Immortality, they received, and were bound to her forever.
    For when they felt the kiss,
    They lost their bliss,
    And died and were reborn.

    Now her name is Eena,
    For all six are named the same.
    There once were five, but now are six,
    Fear the Maiden’s Kiss.’”

    Then she continued, “But we are almost finished with the tale of Hluin. So, after the Sixth princess—Eanai—was finally taken, the Army of Vanchalon—an army with soldiers from every race except Tache—marched on the Gates of Suka-Durasil, the Four Mountains. Where within those Four Mountains is her great fortress—Suka-Durasil. The army was destroyed ruthlessly.
    “Prince Ralian—brother of Shaayla, now one of the Dsuc-Yeahwpiq—battled with his father’s army of Gotherik. When chance came, Ralian’s hand found Hluin and he drove away the Army of Shaayla. Though they were pushed back again by the combined forces of Shaayla and Payena.
    “Ralian’s father—King Arenn Frax III—was killed and Ralian became king. In the War of Belal he constructed Torah Noma within our lands. Then…events occurred…and he was killed, losing Hluin—for what we believed—forever. Until, Coincidence…or Fate’s Circle brought you to Torah Noma. I believe it was Fate’s Circle.”
    Tamassi took it all in. In his hand, a blade of great heritage reflected in the clearest possible water in the world. For a while he stared at it, and the lines engraved along the blade glowed crimson for a moment. He swore that it whispered to him. He could not make out the words, but it was whispering in his mind.
    “Do you know of Hluin’s importance to us?” asked Ayenna, breaking the link of concentration between Tamassi and Hluin.
    “Its heritage?” he guessed, having no idea.
    She slowly and solemnly shook her head. “Far, far more than its history, Tamassi. You may not know this, but Sa’Tavon gained immortality after the Corussus territory was first established. Only two forces had ever harmed her. Hluin has slashed her, when she watched Sarasou take his final breaths and sang before dying. Another, Amana, set a scar on her as well before Samar died. Do you understand?”
    “No, all I know is that I hold a blade that has harmed Sa’Tavon…” answered the Prince of Gotherik.
    “Then I shall explain,” said Ayenna. “With immortality, you still have one weakness. ‘Even the strongest of walls bears the tiniest crack.’ So, the only blades that can harm her are Hluin and Amana—they have marked her—and can ‘split the crack wider’, so to speak. There is also a prophecy in a poem that states this;

    “‘Fate has split the swords of old,
    One is Platinum,
    One is gold.
    And they shall seal the fate of the millennia.

    One of a King, now long gone,
    the other,
    his brother’s,
    Who died in song.

    When reunited, they bring a new dawn,
    And shall re-alight the skies that shone.’”

    “The first two verses were prophesized when the Kayae prior to me died. The last part added later. When they are reunited a miracle is said to happen, but only then! Hluin must meet its twin again! They long for each other. Like a magnet stone, they wish to be drawn to one another.” explained Ayenna.
    “So,” said Tamassi, “we must find Amana?”
    “Oh, it is already found.” said Ayenna, “Sa’Tavon holds it in her fortress, but she cares not for Hluin. As long as she holds Amana, and the Somina Bird never sings, she is invincible. But, there is another matter I wanted to show you…”
    “What?” asked Tamassi, still gripping Hluin tightly.
    “Do you wish to see your future with Hluin?” she asked, face expressionless. Is she begging? Or…no! Look North! Not South! The tingle returned. NO!
    He considered it again, and then replied, “I am curious. So I will accept.”
    “I shall hold Hluin, then.” she said, and offered her hand out to take it, not a hint of lust for it was on her face. A friendly offer. She doesn’t want to keep it.
    “Follow me,” she said as he handed her the golden blade and its sheath. He followed her naked form, a silent sigh of relief now that he no longer fought himself to gaze at her body from the front. This part of the Jhana Pool felt deeper, and then she placed her index finger on his forehead, slowly lowering him into the water. His shoulders, neck and head—unused to the water—shivered at the mix of hot and cold changing constantly.
    They dipped under, and then Ayenna’s index finger left and he seemed to sink lower, eyes closing. Under the water, he heard the singing he had listened to on the way to the Jhana Pool, the lyrics louder. They sounded like Old Coulanish—a long dead language. Strangely enough, his lungs felt like they had unlimited air, and then he saw a glowing female face smiling at him.
    Her eyes were golden and her lips silver. Her hair sailed in the water and flashed blonde, lighter than his own hair. He felt a desire for her. As he sailed down her body, he realized her chest was bear except for some sea weed hiding her breasts in a bra-like shape. From her waist down was a large fish-like tail with lustrous scales of white and silver. A mermaid?
    Others like her, but with different hair colours and lengths surrounded him. Welcome Human. The Kayae tells us you are friend not foe. Worry not, we are allies.
    The first mermaid he saw floated right beside him, her arms under his and her head lay on his shoulder, mouthing words into his ears, followed by a sweet voice in his head. Two futures follow you.
    He glimpsed some male-chested Merren. For in the tales, that was the name of all merfolk, representing Mermaids and Mermen. The clear water acted as a screen and a large window with great clarity—much like the water—appeared.
    This path is uncertain. It is not guaranteed. After that, the screen stirring with the water showed what she spoke. You will use Hluin to hunt down the Dsuc-Yeahwpiq believing you are greater than they. You shall face all six at once and die, only slaying three. The screen showed this. Your sister, Lanalell, shall end her own life in grievance and mourning. The screen showed Lana atop a hill and she plunged a dagger into her heart crying, “O xujjuc bua, Zqupwiq!”
    “NO!” gurgled Tamassi, watching the rest.
    The mermaid continued, the great city Tras Namar will fall to the Gan-Chuta. Every man, woman, child massacred and butchered like cattle. And along with the death of Humankind after, shall come the demise of the Coulani. Hluin will be shattered, and Amana forever in her fortress of Suka-Durasil, and forever, will the land be scorched, and iced over, as Belal fell. Will the great sacrifices be in vain?

    Tamassi’s hands struck at the screen and scattered it, but it reformed and showed the land at what Ayenna had described after the fall of the Coulani’s Five Cities—well, except for Xuqidp Kuqi of course! With a thrust of his legs he swam upward, swimming away from it all. The mermaids, the future. How far did I sink?
    Eventually he broke the surface and gasped for air. He turned to Ayenna, and the ground under him seemed whole again. What? No matter! “How can I prevent it from all happening?!” he shouted desperately.
    Ayenna’s eyes were closed when he had resurfaced, and now they slowly opened to him. “I see also the horrors. That is one path, and the choice is obvious. Will you bear Hluin? If you leave it with me, for the time being, it will be safe and kept well. The darkness ahead would be delayed and chance would favour us. And then, when the time comes, you would have Hluin again.”
    “Yes! Anything!” yelled Tamassi, “Another woman—especially Lana—will not die because of me again!” An image of Dyan flashed in his mind.
    Ayenna handed him the sword and said, “Then follow me once more.” He did, and they walked through the water to the other side, naked forms exiting the water. There was a cluster of aged vines hanging from the trees above, and Ayenna moved them. In front of them was a stone altar, long enough to hold Hluin.
    Ayenna crossed to the other side and said. “Place it upon the altar.” There was a slight commanding in her tone, but very little.
    He held the blade in his hand and his hand trembled. Now drop it! But he didn’t, his hand just continued trembling holding it. Ayenna said with a smile, “Hluin has a strong will. If it is set down, it will help, and we will use it when it is needed. You are its master, not the other way around!”
    Yes! The blade fell from his hand and struck the altar, sparks flew and the Prince of Gotherik covered his face.
    “In return, so you may trust me, I shall gift you one of my blades to trade when we next meet.” said Ayenna. She revealed a sword from nowhere, a little shorter than Hluin but still a sword. The handle was curved and carved masterfully, the blade was light silver with blue, red, and white veined across it like a spider-web. “It shall serve you well.”
    He took it and murmured his thanks. Then, they entered the Jhana Pool and crossed to the other side both had entered. Facing away from each other, they dried off with towels given by servants. Then they redressed and left the clearest lake in the world behind.
     
  11. Wing Rider

    Wing Rider Psychotic Cybernetica

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    This is so good...although I need to read it in more detail, it's harder to read it when it's on screen. I like this story a lot. Keep writing!
     
  12. BBallForLife

    BBallForLife New Member

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    OMG! I love it. If it gets published, you'll have to send me the first copy. How's it feel to have your first groupie!
     
  13. Unien

    Unien New Member

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    Sorry to burst your bubble BBall, but my brother already called the first copy. :) Oh well, eh? Maybe the second? LOL.

    I'm really glad you like it, BBall.
     
  14. BBallForLife

    BBallForLife New Member

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    Well your family will probably all want copies, so I'll settle for the tenth. LOL. Seriously though, have you looked into publishing yet, or do you want to finsh the whole book?
     
  15. Unien

    Unien New Member

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    I want to finish the FIRST book of FOUR and then send it in for publishing. That was my plan, anyway. I did some more writing on the later chapters. Chapter 33 is very close to completion. So, I'll load up the next chapter!
     
  16. Unien

    Unien New Member

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    ~XV~
    ***************
    Flight Down the Hazar




    When Ayenna and Tamassi appeared further down the road, Lana was relieved. Four Haeqyoes, upon seeing their Kayae waited for her to come to deliver the news. Lana and Thomas had already packed, prepared after the message had been announced.
    Ayenna sensed the mood around the Guardians and rushed over, Tamassi not far behind. The Kayae’s colourless eyes asked the question for her. Samasis—one of the four—stepped ahead of the other three and said, “Kayae, Haeqyoes beyond the outer tree line have reported Wolves—unfriendly ones—approaching this way. I think they may be after our guests.” said Samasis, looking at Tamassi, Lana and Thomas in turn.
    “I would wonder why.” said Ayenna. “Perhaps they do not seek our guests, but I should have them out of here.”
    The other three turned around and gasped. The Kayai—Cirous—rushed toward them and the Haeqyoes bowed as he came closer. “Ayenna!” he cried. The Kayai passed ahead of the Guardians and repeated, “Ayenna.” He looked bruised on the cheek. “There are wolves entering the forest, me and some of the Ijopi and Haeqyoes managed to scare them off, but now, half a mile away they are forming packs, and regrouping. These packs are watching every side of the forest.”
    “Our need is dire,” replied Ayenna, she turned to Tamassi and then looked at the others behind Cirous. She then spoke to Cirous, “Ci kuajy pqb Keniqs ux Sodvenn.”
    “Yu ci qodg op?” asked Cirous, sounding a little worry.
    “Bid.” she replied. Lana watched as the Kayae looked at her, then Thomas, and then Tamassi. “Would you three wish to leave by the means of a secret passage? It leads to Dwarvi, and then you can reach the Citadel of the—”
    “Citadel of the Dragyari?” exclaimed Tom. “Why?”
    “It feels right,” responded Ayenna, “as if Fate is speaking to me. Yes, that would be the best choice.”
    “I will go,” said Lana.
    “I will go,” said Tamassi.
    Tom hesitated and then said, “I feel it as well. Something is pulling me to travel with you two. It’s kind of creepy.”
    “As you will,” said Ayenna, “all three of you, follow me.”
    Cirous followed as well, not to mention three of the four Guardians. They traveled more than quickly down the paved path, and Lana could spot the odd Haeqyoes that wanted to be seen. She had also packed Tamassi’s things as well, and Lana knew that the Guardian that had not followed immediately was grabbing their horses. When they reached the Jhana Pool, Cirous ordered a servant to ready a raft. They did so in haste, and a large raft of carved marble shaped as Ram of House Talros was placed in the water.
    “Do not fear,” soothed Ayenna, “this is a special marble.” The raft was veined with gold and red, with the odd slash of green. The fourth Haeqyoes from before, as Lana had predicted, sprinted up holding the three horses with him. Ayenna and Cirous waited until Lana, Tamassi, Thomas, the horses and the four Guardians boarded. Then they did as well.
    Two Guardians held wooden oars made for traveling through water like fins. “Stay along the Hazar.” said Ayenna to both of them, “Take us to Sodvenn.”
    The rowers nodded and set to work, having the raft drift across the clear water. They came to a turn that went west and they took it. A faint mist gradually escalated to a deep one above the water. Another turn going north allowed them to travel downstream.
    Lana noticed that Tom stared down at the clear water blanketed with fog. Ayenna looked at him and said, “I sense that one of you has drunk from the Hazar. But fear not, Thomas Ghored, you are not addicted as Eanai was. The Hazar connects with the Belalathin’e deeper south when it curves through Tache and into Elfi.”
    Tom looked ready to vomit when he heard that it connected with the Belalathin’e. The river drove straight north, with forest on either bank. Dark howls and growls grasped their attention and the two idle Guardians pulled out longbows loading them. Lana seized the opportunity and did it as well. Finally! I can shoot at something real, and for good purpose!
    Large wolves, too large to be normal, stared at them with deep yellow eyes and large, grey furry heads. “Werewolves…” came Cirous’ voice. “The Wolves of Belal. Shoot them!”
    One leapt super-humanly from the bank at them, but a swift arrow caught in the neck and it yelped as it fell into the flowing, deep river that eventually became a stream at Dorarak. Others appeared on the bank, and the Guardians—with Lana—shot arrows into them, preventing the werewolves from reaching them. But the wolves were not idle, they walked along the bank, retreating into the trees and following.
    “It truly troubles me that they managed to get this far into Coulan without notice,” said Ayenna grimly, the Guardians watching both banks, scanning for threats to their rulers and guests.
    “The Hqiis’Zjeyi have a way of blending in greater than a normal human.” replied Cirous. Lana, nor did anyone else, ask. Another werewolf sailed from the trees and was shot down, closer to the raft this time.
    One of the Guardians cursed in Coulanish.
    There had been three attempts for the wolves to reach the watercraft in the next hour. Lana had stopped two of them, the other stopped by a Haeqyoes. The Princess was proud of herself. This is frightening but fun! She kept on the look-out. Tamassi held a new sword out and ready, it was a beautiful sword with veins in it. Lana was transfixed before she heard a growl, a whiz of an arrow, a yelp, and a splash. She turned. Another attempt from the west bank.
    Another half-an-hour of traveling downriver and then the rowers stopped the raft, tied it off to a large rock and took up their arms. After everyone had exited the craft, a boulder sat in front of a large rock wall stretching to the horizon. A Haeqyoes moved the boulder effortlessly and then Ayenna and Cirous turned to them.
    “This is the Cavern of Sodvenn.” said Cirous, “an old passageway that leads under the Sodvenn natural rock formation. It divides Coulan and Dwarvi. A network of old tunnels lie beneath, and traverse them with caution.”
    “Yes,” agreed Ayenna, handing Tamassi a shining shield, “This is the Shield of Yulis. Use it well when the opportunity arises. A far greater evil older than Sa’Tavon and far more wicked dwells within, but if you stay together I am sure you will be safe. May the Star Kings light your path.” Ayenna handed Tamassi a shining silver shield with Old Coulanish characters engraved. He strapped it to his arm.
    “What of the horses?” asked Lana.
    One of the Guardians unloaded them and whispered in all three’s ears. Ayenna answered, “They are wise. My Guardian has given them instructions; they will meet you on the other side of Sodvenn.”
    They all said their farewells, and then the three of them entered the opening. A howl was heard in the distance, and the visible Haeqyoes turned to their right and readied their weapons. Lana wished she could fight along side them.
     
  17. King Eduardo

    King Eduardo yo mama's

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    wow this story is great if u get it published i will definately buy the book even tho ive already read it.
     
  18. Unien

    Unien New Member

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    ~XVI~
    ****************
    The Cavern of Sodvenn



    It became obvious that the Haeqyoes were battling the wolves, but one of the four swiftly shut the boulder, veiling all light entering the cavern. Pitch darkness surrounded the three within the cavern entrance and a faint drip, drip echoed in the distance. Tamassi could hear his fellows breathing; there was nothing else to hear.
    “What now?” asked Thomas.
    By his ears, Tamassi was positive Thomas was to his right. He turned that way and answered, “Well, if we could find some sort of light…”
    From his left he heard Lana, “I packed some flint in my bags, and I brought the bag with it because the food is also within. There should be a piece of firewood we can use. Spark it on your sword and we’ll have a torch.”
    “Great idea!” said Tamassi, as loud as he dared so his sister could hear where he was. He heard rustling to his left and then it stopped. Two footsteps echoed and then he felt the form of Lana against him.
    “Oops! Sorry. Here you go.” he felt her hand, and for a moment they held hands like he had with Dyan while they exchanged the flint.
    Tamassi held the flint tightly, and with his other hand unsheathed his sword. “Okay, Lana,” he said, “do you have the firewood?”
    “Yes!” she answered and felt her way through the darkness to him. She held the future-torch near to his sword
    With power he slid the flint down Ayenna’s blade. A shower of sparks erupted and one or two hit the piece of wood. They tried again; with another powerful arm movement he shot the flint down the blade. Another shower of sparks erupted. This time he had struck the two metals closer to the wood. Most of the sparks hit the top of the wood and then a flame out of nowhere lit up the space around them as the torch was finally lit.
    This tunnel had either been rushed in the making or was naturally formed. Around them were several stalagmites and stalactites, some were the origin of the rhythmic drip, drip. The top of the tunnel was a good two heads higher than they were, and before them was a dip like a small staircase descending a little further into Sodvenn’s natural, massive rock formation, almost a mountain.
    “Well,” said Tom, “let’s go!”
    Tamassi lead the way, holding the torch. Lana was second, holding her bow and other hand ready to nock. Tom fingered a dagger at his belt and his other hand a dagger hidden in his coat, both longing to twirl them. When they had descended the five-stair drop it seemed a little more damp in the air and the stalagmites and stalactites bordered the walls of this tunnel. “I thought she said a network of tunnels.” said Tamassi, a bit of arrogance in his voice.
    “Just wait.” said Thomas.
    They walked along this tunnel for what seemed like hours, torchlight reflecting off of some water droplets on the walls. The tunnel stopped and the three came to a divide of three tunnels. Beside each one were shattered wood with faded Old Coulanish and Human characters. Tamassi bent down to try and read one. “I cannot read a single word!”
    He walked back to his companions and looked at the three caves. “Which one will we take?” asked Lana.
    “Well, we can’t split up!” said Tom. “Who knows where these tunnels lead? And, you must not forget about what Ayenna says dwells in these tunnels.”
    Tamassi stepped up to one directly across from them that continued the tunnel they had just walked. “I believe the fastest way is from point A to point B, my friends.”
    Lana started to walk into the right one, and then turn back to her companions. “An urging tells me to take this one.”
    “The same for me.” said Tom, except he strode into the left entrance.
    “Well, I believe in my way, and I have the bloody tor—” began Tamassi.
    The cave rumbled and shook. A first layer of the ceiling before the cross-road caves fell into it splitting into several large rocks. All three dived into the caves they stood in front of and took cover. When the cave finally stopped rumbling, they were split apart.

    Tamassi sat up from the cave wall he was leaning against and looked around. He still had his torch, but he worried for Lana. Words from his mind made it worse. The memory of Ayenna’s words. A far greater evil more ancient than Sa’Tavon and far more wicked dwells within, but if you stay together I am sure you will be safe.
    He wished the Star Kings would blast Tom into the Void, and him too. He should have stayed with Lana. His words from a while ago flickered in his mind. Another woman—especially Lana—will not die because of me again! He had to find her! If she died, he would kill himself. That’s what she did for me on the other path I took with Hluin.
    For a while, he stepped along the tunnel, boots echoing in the awkward and slightly frightening silence. Alone. When he moved the torchlight he saw a glint on the wall. When the Prince of Gotherik looked closer he saw a niche in the wall, and within was a mirror. Curious, he picked it up. The edge was silver and dirtied. At the top, a snake swallowed its tale, and all around the side was fashioned to look like scales.
    On the back were some odd symbols, and he thought he heard the air whisper;

    A mirror to wield and open a door,
    It was made in a land now a distant shore.
    Use it wisely, finder and bearer,
    It was hidden, and now helps against a dark terror.

    Odd. He fingered it and weighed it. How much was it worth? Maybe if he polished it up it could be worth a lofty price, especially with those ancient runes engraved on the back. Tamassi decided to keep it. He placed it inside his belt by his sword sheath and kept walking, using his torch for light.

    Thomas felt his way through the darkness. He had been walking for only moments since the cave collapse and was wondering how the others were. Tamassi had the torch, and he knew how Lana was navigating the darkness of the caves. His foot caught an uneven stone and he tripped, face hitting the cold, rocky ground. He gave a yell of pain that echoed along the walls and down the narrow passage. His hand felt something. It was smooth, but felt a little dirty.
    He brought it to him. It was a goblet, a little larger than the average mug, with a thin stem and a bowl-shaped and wide drinking part. And on that part of the goblet were eight carved snakes, with their heads pointing over the edge. What he had tripped over was no stone. He looked back and saw a statue lying across the stony corridor, staring up horrified. It was a statue of a man, and his hands were up in the air as if to stop something from hitting him. Odd, He thought. He stood up and had one of his daggers ready in his hand.

    It was growing chill, and Lana shivered. The moisture in the cave’s air was getting to her, and she huddled, leaning against the cave wall. What was she going to do? She huddled together and held her arms as she shivered. Just a small break, nothing too long. She thought of the tales of Sodvenn she had heard. Of the evils that dwell here, and fear was beginning to well up inside her.
    She began rocking back and forth trying to warm up. She heard a hiss, and stones cracking beneath feet. Good, she thought, they’ve reached the end and have found me! She burst up, but then saw a hideous creature and screamed, falling to the ground. It was drawing closer.
    Its hair was snakes, all facing her and hissing. The creature’s mouth was open and showed hideous fangs in a long jaw. That long jaw spoke in a grotesque tongue of gagging, hissing, and breathing. When its tongue was revealed, it was a tiny little snake staring at her, and she gave another scream. The thing’s eyes were yellow and she knew they were evil and began to weep. “Go. Leave! Tamassi!”
    It was impossible, but for a moment she thought she understood the creature.

    “Come in through the gate and stairs,
    And wander into my lairs.
    There are three,
    Which do you choose?
    Choose the Coulani, Man or Dwarf,
    You should have stayed near the wharf!

    Now my gaze shall freeze your bone,
    And turn you into staring stone!”

    Lana shut her eyes, trying not to meet hers with the creature’s. But its hands took hold of her cheeks, and they felt like rocks. Her eyes began to pop open when a whiz was heard. She opened her eyes. There was a blood-curdling hiss that sounded like a scream that shook the passageway.
    She pushed the ugly, headless body off of her, and lay there panting. What in the Void has just happened?! When she looked up, a male stood above her. He seemed to only reach a hand higher than her sitting. He had a chubby torso and a beard that looked like silver lichen hanging from a tree. It hung down to his belt. In his hand was an ax; in the other was the head of the abomination of a creature. His glove held it by the withered snake-hair and the face was stuck in a silent scream. He had a blocky brow and bushy eye brows of black-brown turning silver.
    “’Ello there, fair ’un. This place ‘tis a tad dirty fer a beautiful maiden such as yerself.”
    She blinked at the sight and stood up. She was so much taller than this…she didn’t know what he was. “Pardon me, but what are you?”
    The short…man?...gave a guttural chuckle. “Why, lassie, I be a Dwarf!”
    “A Dwarf?” she asked in disbelief.
    “The last ’un,” he seemed to sigh in sorrow, “me name’s ‘Tarn Buckle a’ Last-Dwarf’, at least that’s what them Coulani call me!”
    “So the rumors are true,” said Lana, “there really is one Dwarf left!”
    “Yes, lass. But maybe we should get back to me place and we can talk.” answered Tarn. “By the way, call me Tarnie if you wish.”
    A Dwarf! A bloody Dwarf! Tarnie held a torch, and she followed him. A light reflected off the wall, and he bent near it. She picked whatever it was up. It was a bow! A long- bow! It was silver, and it was cut to look like scales. At the top was a carved serpent’s head, and from its fang was the bowstring that connected to the tail, where the end was slightly bent to hold the bowstring. She pulled and released the string a few times, and Tarnie turned.
    “Aye, lass, I found that there bow long ago. I don’t trouble meself about them Coulanish things! I prefer an ’eavy ax over a bow meself!” said the Dwarf. Every word seemed to come right from the pit of his stomach, a deep voice.
    They continued, with Tarnie leading the way. She looked around nervously, and worried for her brother, and for Thomas. Before long, along the wall was a door that was wooden, and painted a dull brown. In fact, some of the paint was thinning and ready to fall off. The doorknob was of old craft, and nicely done too! He opened it, and allowed her to enter first, saying; “Aye, Maidens first.”
    She saw that on the exterior of the door were carved Dwarvi Symbols. She knew what they spelled, seeing as she knew how to speak Dwarvi. It read; Welcome to the home of Tarnie, may many happy memories be born within these stony walls. It was rather nice to look at. The furniture was wooden, and finely hand-crafted with gold embroidery on the cloth and cushion. Beside the chesterfield, was a cozy little rounded fireplace where coals were burning, and beside it a neat log pile.
    A round table made for four was near the sitting area, with dirtied plates still lying atop it. And above the fireplace, on the mantel were some other old artifacts with carved silver serpents. There was a metal disc, he said he used for hacking the logs to burn, and several other different things.
    Above, on two hooks, lay a fine battle ax, and a plaque of gold lie beneath the hooks saying in Dwarvi; Here lies the ax Tarnitine, waiting for the day he can return to battle. The ax blade was fine polished silver, and was obviously treasured by Tarnie; the handle’s hand grip was bronze, while the rest of the handle was polished gleaming steel.
    Before the fireplace was a rug made of lynx, the head was even still attached, and it seemed flat like a flapjack, lying before it to seek heat. And on top of it was a nice hand-crafted foot stool before an arm chair beside the chesterfield.
    On the walls of painted tan and yellow were paintings, marvelous ones. One of a lightning storm above the plains of Dwarvi. Another was the feasting halls of old, when the dwarves thrived. “Did you paint these?” she asked astonished. They had been painted with the most exquisite oils.
    “Yes,” replied the Dwarf, a little embarrassed. “Me dad, ’e told me many things about the ancient Dwarf ’alls and cities, equal in caliber to the Coulanish Five. Two-’undred years ago ’e died, and I painted them in his memory.” The Dwarf sighed, “’ow I long to join my ancestors and see my race before the War of the Four Races utterly destroyed them.”
    “They are breathtaking,” she said still staring, and then she sat on the couch.
    Tarnie flopped into his arm chair. “I was informed by Ayenna, that three were coming, where are the others?”
    At last Lana thought about her brother and Thomas once more, “We were separated. At the passage crossroads. The ceiling caved in.”
    “Aye,” said Tarnie laying back in his chair, and bringing a pipe from his pocket, “those foul beasts will go to great lengths for food. Ya see, they don’t encase ya in stone for nothin’, they suck yer very soul!” He whispered in a dark voice, “But let us not speak of abominations such as this, in my ’ome. Let us be merry, and speak of things as such!” He lit his pipe, and gave a sigh of relief as he puffed out the smoke, “Are ya ’ungry?”
    “Yes, very.” replied Lana, “but I want to see my companions first.”
    “I shall go out and find them then!” said Tarnie, leaping up, and taking one of the many axes leaning near the door, “I’ll be back with the others. I think I may know where they are!”
    He fetched a green cloak, and before going out said, “’elp yourself to the ice box!”
    Lana waited for Tarnie, as she sat; he had been gone for a good five hours. She was polite, and had waited for him so all four could eat together. After an hour, the starvation was unbearable, and she went into her own rations, eating some dry Coulani berries still left over from a meal at the Archer Camp.
    Before she knew it, the door slammed open, and saw her brother and Thomas enter, with Tarnie following behind. They all laughed, and all three hugged, for they were reunited again. And then Tarnie shouted, “And now we shall feast! I am thinking mashed potatoes, and fresh peas, and best of all, spiced pork!”
    And so they all sat down to a hearty meal, to the satisfaction of Lana, who had been starving for hours. They dug in, and sang merry songs, and told of each other’s cavern passage adventures. And then after they ate, and their belts were undone (if they had one, like Tarnie), they all sat in the sitting area. And Tamassi and Thomas were treated with Dwarvi fern leaves for their pipes. (For Lana did not like smoking, or have a pipe.)
    They all sat down, telling tales, and listening to the old times when dwarves thrived, and man and elf were never seen. And how the Coulani and the dwarves had built vast empires of mines and castles and of the beautiful islands the dwarves had visited, and where the ancestors had been born. How when the sun set, the moon would rise, and the creatures of the wild would awake, and dance merrily until they grew too tired and fell asleep in the dewy, soft grass.
    He would drift off, and then say how he had wished he could someday build a boat and travel to the island, and maybe, just maybe, some dwarves still lived there. And he wouldn’t be alone anymore. Their questions never ended, and finally they learned they had stayed up well into the next day, and all went to sleep. The three knew the journey would continue, but they would rest here awhile, and spend time with their new friend Tarn Buckle a’ Last-Dwarf.
     
  19. Unien

    Unien New Member

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    Okay, this is a turning point in the story. For all of you fans of Tamassi and Lana and all them, you will not be seeing them foir a while. This is the second half of the book. If you have came to this point, you have successfully read through:

    ACT ONE: The Finding of Hluin

    From here on in, you will be reading ACT TWO: Journey into Belal

    If I anger anyone, I am sorry...but trust me...in my outline, these new characters will play a very large role in the next three books along with Tamassi and them.

    Well...here it is, the ACT TWO Prologue...


    PROLOGUE
    “Five There Were, Now Six”





    The sky was a deep, peaceful blue, and summer winds held a faint cool to them. A soothing cool. Soothing from the summer heat. A molten golden sun hung in the air and struggled with the mid-summer breeze. The Corussian Territory had finally become an official nation, and its king was now Vanchalon. Today was a fateful day.
    Below the marvelous sky knelt Eanai, who had just recently became Princess of Corussus. She was a luring young woman of eighteen. Her hair was sun-golden and hung well below her waist, her skin like a pale peach. And sparkling sapphire eyes that could ensnare any man to her bed if she chose to live like that.
    She had fled the capital, Noca’e, as she did all the time when she was angry. Now she knelt by the river Belalathin’e on a bridge in the middle of Cocáe. It was sometimes called the second-capital. The water of the Belalathin’e was as clear as diamonds and was chill in her hands. In truth, once every week she snuck out to Cocáe to drink from this river that flowed southward to northward.
    She bent to take another sip. It filled her mouth with flavour—it did not even taste like water at all. It was so delicious. The sound of a voice broke the moment. “Eanai?” It was a very familiar voice.
    She turned around to see her recent lover—Coman, well, the Elves called him Co’Man’Mayar, and so did Coulani. Her previous lover had become too jealous when Coman—a newly raised Shemar, and the first Elf to train at the Citadel—had come into Vanchalon’s service.
    Coman—as she called him—had stunning black hair like a jet combed back in the royal style. With his hair combed back, his Elf ears showed. It was sad really, conservative Coulani and most humans thought Elves an impurity, but she loved them. They had not the heritage the Coulani had—nor were they as strong—but they had passion and courage. Her Elf lover had a beautiful face with those half-Coulani eyes all elves had that just had the tiniest hint of colour. Coman had brown.
    “Eanai, the Belalathin’e is no such place for foolishness, especially not for drinking. It comes from Belal, it is cursed and tainted!” said the elf.
    Without warning, Eanai flew into the water and resurfaced, hair wet, and her dress outlining all the curves her body. Tight and wet. “Ah! But how refreshing it is, Coman. Come, bathe with me, my father would mind not! He picked you over Minos.”
    Neither Eanai nor Coman liked to think about Minos. He was the favourite of Vanchalon, chosen to wed Eanai on the day of her eighteenth ageday. But alas, when Eanai had fallen for Coman, Minos had attempted to kill the elf, but had failed and had exiled himself before authorities could capture him. He had fled to Belal.
    “I worry for you.” said Coman, holding his coal-black man-tall quarterstaff, jet black as his hair. It was his Shemar staff, to name him one at least. “Get out, please?”
    There was more command then question in his tone. She stayed in the water, putting on a playful pout. “Come, my Coman. Swim with me.”
    The water had stayed calm for a moment, and then man-like figures made of water rose up from either side of her. Eanai screamed as they caught her under the arms and started to drag her south. The Belalathin’e flows north!
    Coman held his staff tightly and cried, “EANAI!” He started to run along the bank. He was a Shemar of Water. He mouthed and murmured incantations and strong words—but to no avail. Nonetheless, he followed after the screams of Eanai and the loud thrash of the water holding her. “EANAI!” he cried once more.
    Something hit him, and he was catapulted to the ground. Breath leaving him. The wind had literally been knocked from him. When he regained breathing he saw a tall creature with skin that looked scorched and yellow eyes with slitted pupils. Long hair hung messy and in braids with beads. Their fangs were sharp and they held only axes and spears. There were seven at the most. Gan-Chuta!
    Calling the Kor-Ada within him, Coman commanded water not under the sorcery carrying Eanai’s influence to send a rush of water into his opponents. It worked, and he hopped up, grabbing his staff. He made a stroke to between the leader’s legs. A deafening cry splitting his ears—or almost anyway. Another stroke of the quarterstaff met a spear. Coman slowly began speaking words to aid him,
    “Cepiq eoy ti os tb xohwp!” More water sprayed at the other Gan-Chuta closing in and caught them off-balance. Using this, he made swings that sent them under the water, and then had the water hold them under and drown them. When he looked ahead, Eanai’s screams were distant. He followed them to the best of his ability.

    The river had sunk back to its original form, and invisible hands held the girl afloat, in her beautiful white dress. Alas, the journey was over, and the river was weary. Eanai’s unconscious head slowly bumped against a piece of wall, the official end of the river Belalathin’e.
    Five women, the five princesses, who all looked the same, came to see their new addition. All five had pale skin, paler than snow, and rose red lips and long black hair that was untidy. The tallest and oldest, who was once called Shaayla said, “Alas, no princess is fairer now that Eanai is the mistress’.”
    They all carried her up the flight of stone stairs into the back way of Suka-Durasil, and placed her on an altar. Soon, that brilliant gold hair would fade to black, and the skin would be pale. And then the Empress entered to give her a kiss, and they all chanted;

    “‘Pray for those unlucky ones,
    Who wandered in too far,
    Thinking that their foolishness was nothing but great fun.

    Taken to the Empress, five there were, now six.
    The women were taken one by one and given the Wenche’s Kiss.
    They grew pale, their blood now cold,
    And they knew now they could not grow old.

    Immortality, they received, and were bound to her forever.
    For when they felt the kiss,
    They lost their bliss,
    And died and were reborn.

    Now her name is Eena,
    For all six are named the same.
    There once were five, but now are six,
    Fear the Maiden’s Kiss.’”

    And so it was that Eanai became the last Dsuc-Yeahwpiq.
     
  20. Wing Rider

    Wing Rider Psychotic Cybernetica

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    And I had just started to like Tamassi and Lana...you have angered me!
    Anyway, the story is still really good! I like Elves, it's good to see some entered in right here...