Saturday, December 11, 2010

Part 56 by Taylor

Laurel walked dejectedly through the forest where the army was camped for the night, feet dragging. Mintara had summoned her to a meeting, and had told her some things that Laurel hadn't wanted to hear. "Hey Laurel, what's up?" Kyrian asked, seeing her friend's miserable look. "Mintara just told me that we will be in Zarin in two weeks," Laurel said, referring to Melkor's evil mountain where he resided. "Oh." Kyrian knew exactly how Laurel felt; a little afraid and wondering if they were really ready to fight the world's most deadly power. "At least Cerelda's okay now," Kyrian tried to comfort the distraught elf. "Yeah, I'm sure she will do fine," Laurel retorted. Kyrian saw that there was no comforting the girl, so she left after a kind pat on the shoulder.

Kyrian was worried about the battle, but she knew that it wasn't the same for her. She was going to die anyway. What did the difference of a few hours make? At that moment, she realized her folly. She couldn't possibly marry Tomas, it wouldn't be fair to either of them. It would be so short-lived, it would be even more heart-breaking to say goodbye than if they had never married at all. Kyrian was almost sick with misery over her decision, but she believed in her heart that she had made the right choice.

"Tomas?" she called as she approached his hut. "Kyrian?" He ran out, obviously excited. He pulled her into his arms, intending to kiss her. Kyrian pushed away gently. The look of hurt in Tomas's eyes pierced her soul, almost dissolving her resolve. She swallowed hard and said, "Tomas, I've been doing a lot of thinking, and I just can't marry you."
"Kyrian, what do you mean? What happened?" Tomas gripped her arms as he spoke.
"Tomas, if I married you, it would end up just hurting both of us more. And I am not that selfish."
"But Kyrian-"
"Tomas, I've made my choice!"
Kyrian buried her face in her hands and ran off into the night. Tomas was left staring after her, the pain in his heart almost choking him. He turned abruptly and walked off into the forest in another direction, eyes brimming with tears.

Kyrian ran all the way to Mintara's tent. She wasn't sure why she went there, but at the moment, she didn't really care. She ducked inside and sank to the ground by the tent flap. Wiping the tears from her eyes with the back of her hand, she looked up to see Mintara staring at her with a quizzical look. Kyrian poured out the whole story, regardless of the fact that the wizard probably didn't want to hear about it. When she finished, she looked up, expecting to see Mintara roll her eyes or tell her to suck it up. But surprisingly, the wizard looked somewhat at a loss for words! She had never known Mintara not to have a sharp remark or a biting reply. She remembered Mintara's own past with Emerion knew that Mintara could empathize with her. For just the briefest moment, Kyrian saw a flash of hurt in Mintara's eyes. "Where is Tomas now?" Mintara asked, becoming businesslike again. She pushed aside her sentimental feelings with disdain. She hated how vulnerable they made her, and she had built a hard shell around her heart.

Kyrain, seeing that Mintara was determined to show no emotion, tried to get herself under control. "Um, well, I don't really know. I mean, he ran off as soon as I left...." she let her sentence trail off. Mintara grabbed her staff. "C'mon, we had better go find him. We're very close to Zarin, and the woods are full of Melkor's minions."
"Wait! Should we bring Laurel?" Kyrian said as Mintara led the way into the dark forest. "Oh yeah, that's just the thing to do! Let's bring our only chance for success in the war against Melkor into the dark creepy forest!" Mintara's voice dripped sarcasm. "Well, I only thought her power might be of use," Kyrian muttered, but Mintara took no notice as she walked stealthily through the trees.

Meanwhile, Tomas was stumbling along through the woods, not knowing where he was going and not really caring anyway. His foot caught on a root and he fell to the ground. Instead of getting up, he just lay there, emotionally exhausted. In the bushes off to his right, he heard a strange rustling. He tensed but remained still. The rustling increased. Also, there was a weird musky smell. Tomas silently drew his sword and got to his feet. When he heard the sound again, he pounced and tackled the thing, holding the point of his sword to it's throat. To Tomas's surprise, the thing was only about four feet tall, wrinkly, and hunched. It squeaked pathetically, and screeched, "Don't! I didn't come to hurt you, no no!" Tomas didn't relax his hold at all. "Why are you here then?" he asked. "I saw, I saw what happened back by your tent with the girl," the creature said fearfully. "And I followed you here so I could make you an offer, an offer!" It cringed in terror. Tomas paused for a moment. "What kind of offer?" he asked harshly. "A way to keep her from dying, from dying!" he squeaked. Tomas's face paled. He missed the glint of cunning in the creature's eyes. "How?" Tomas asked, his voice quivering slightly. "This way," the creature said, getting up. Tomas, against his better judgment, followed the creature, but kept his sword drawn.

The thing led him to a clearing in the woods that was lit up by the moonlight. "Here is my offer," it said with a crooked grin. "You give us the Dragon Rider, and we will make sure that your girl doesn't die."
Tomas was shocked! But to his surprise, he didn't say anything. Instead, all he did was stand there thoughtfully. Tomas couldn't believe that he was seriously contemplating the idea, yet, there he was. "How do I know that you're telling the truth?" he asked cautiously. "You don't," the creature said simply. "You may do the safe thing and walk away, never to see me again. But is it worth the risk of your being wrong?"
That did it for Tomas. He sheathed his sword and said, "What do I have to do?"

The creature grinned, twisting it's hands together in front of it. "Either bring us the dragon or the rider. We'll take it from there."
"All right," Tomas said uncertainly. "But," he added, drawing his sword. "You must promise not to hurt either of them."
"Of course not! We'll just hold onto her until the war is over."
"Okay. I'll be back."

"I don't think he's out here," Kyrian said to Mintara as they traipsed through the woods.
"Maybe you're right. He might just have doubled back and went to his tent." With that, Mintara and Kyrian turned and began making their way back.

Tomas arrived at the camp and began walking toward's Laurel's tent, trying to act as casual as possible. In truth, he didn't feel well at all. He was extremely dizzy and his vision was blurred around the edges. "Why am I going to Laurel's tent?" he wondered. He couldn't seem to remember. He shook his head to try and clear it. He finally remembered and strode on with purpose.

Laurel was sitting in her tent, reading.
At the sound of Tomas's voice, she dropped her book, sat up, and said, "Come in."
Tomas pushed open the tent flap and said, "Hey Laurel, do you think you can come with me for a moment?"
"Um, sure. But why?" Laurel asked, standing up.
"Um, uh, Landlion sent me to get you."
Laurel brightened instantly. "Okay!"

Kyrian tripped over a tree root and went sprawling. "Wait Mintara!" she called as she scrambled to her feet, not wanting to be left behind in the creepy forest. "Hurry," was all Mintara said. Without knowing it, they both gradually started walking faster. Kyrian knew what was bothering Mintara, she could feel it too. A sense of impending evil so terrifying it made both of their hearts pound. The feeling grew and grew, until Kyrian felt as if she were about to suffocate. The terror was so great, her body trembled and sobs worked their way up her throat. She had never been this fearful in her life.

"In there?" Laurel balked at the edge of the forest. "Yes, this is where Landlion wanted to meet you," Tomas said impatiently. "Well, okay." Laurel hesitantly moved into the woods, Tomas following. Amazingly enough, he remembered the way to the clearing. "C'mon, let's hurry."

Kyrian couldn't stand it anymore. She didn't care what Mintara thought; she grabbed the wizard's hand and ran for her life. Mintara didn't pull away; in fact, she gripped Kyrian's hand tightly back and ran with her. Kyrian wondered desperately where the camp was.

"Is this the place?" Laurel asked, following Tomas into the clearing. "Huh?" Tomas couldn't remember anything. Why was he in the middle of a forest? What forest was it? "Tomas!" Laurel's frustrated face filled his vision, extremely blurry. "I, uh......" Tomas suddenly collapsed in a heap. "Tomas!" Laurel dropped to her knees and shook him. "It's no use, no use," a voice came from behind her. She whirled around to see a gnarled little creature grinning wickedly at her. "Who-who are you?"

Mintara suddenly stopped, pulling Kyrian off to the side with her. She ducked into a huge hollow tree stump, and Kyrian followed. They waited for a moment, and the sheer terror subsided. "We lost it," Mintara mouthed to Kyrian. The girl nodded as huge tears began to spill down her cheeks. The immense relief of being away from that nameless force of evil combined with the horror of the chase caused uncontrollable tears to stream down her face. "Hey, what's that?" Mintara pointed. Kyrian looked out and saw a clearing. Laurel was standing in the middle of it, her back to them.

"The Dragon Rider, at last," the creature squeaked. "What have you done to Tomas?" Laurel demanded. "That is beside the point. You are now my prisoner, my prisoner."
"Oh yeah?" Laurel drew a silver dagger from her belt. She could easily handle this little pipsqueak. It only grinned at her. When she tried to stab it, it dodged her blade. She decided against a fight and turned to run. Only to find another one of the creatures right behind her, grinning wickedly. She screamed and ran to the side, only to be blocked by yet another creature. Every direction she tried to run, another one appeared. Soon, she was completely surrounded.

Mintara and Kyrian stealthily crept through trees, desperately not wanting that evil to pursue them again. They saw Laurel surrounded by the creatures, her face a mask of terror. "Oh no!" Kyrian mouthed. Mintara nodded grimly. "What do we do?" Kyrian asked. Mintara didn't have an answer.

The creatures moved toward each other, blending, morphing together into a grayish mass. Laurel was too terrified and awestruck to move. The shape twisted and shifted until it took the form of a man about seven feet tall. The grayish color cleared, and there stood-

"Melkor." The name was whispered, but Kyrian could hear the despair and hate in Mintara's voice. "We have to do something!" Kyrian whispered urgently. "Like what?" Mintara asked, still looking at the scene in front of them. Kyrian sat back and thought, as a plan began to emerge.

"M-Melkor?" Laurel stammered. A nameless terror was washing over her, giving her the almost uncontrollable desire to scream and wail. Laurel willed herself to stand.
"The Dragon Rider, at last," he said in a deep voice that somehow sounded like thunder. "So easy to capture, I am disappointed."
"Are you going to kill me?" Laurel asked, tilting her chin up.
"Yes," Melkor said, drawing his sword. He advanced toward her when a piercing wail cut through the forest. Melkor spun around and looked to where a white figure was emerging from the trees. Laurel tried to run, but Melkor's power held her firmly rooted in place. "Why?" the figure screamed. "Mintara," Melkor growled. Mintara nodded. "Why did you leave me?" she demanded. Melkor looked slightly taken aback. Then a fury of old lit his face.
"Why did I leave you?" A harsh laugh escaped Melkor's throat. "I find that amusing. You are the one who destroyed us! You and your, principles." The last word was spit out bitterly.
"Don't blame it on me! You knew that your excursions into dark magic were wrong! You always knew!" Mintara yelled back.
"You left me, joining up with that Emerion," Melkor gritted through his teeth. "He always was the straightforward little wizard, wasn't he? Never doing anything wrong."
"I had to leave you. You were becoming....THIS!" she pointed at him in disdain. Melkor slowly advanced toward her. "After you left, I buried myself in my studies. Dark magic controlled my life, made me stronger. My whole rebellion, was because of you. I was going to make you suffer. And I did." Melkor gave her a bitterly twisted grin. "And let me tell you something else. When this war takes place, I am going to capture that unicorn and kill him. Do you hear me?"
"Melkor, please. I never meant to hurt you, I just-"
Melkor raised his sword and ran it through her. Laurel screamed. But Mintara stayed on her feet. In fact, there was not even a rip in her white garment. She began to change. She no longer looked solid, she looked as if she were made of a fine mist. Melkor swiped his sword at her again, but it just passed right through her. She smiled up at him, then suddenly disappeared. The real Mintara stepped out on the other side of the clearing. "Clever, Mintara," he whispered.

Suddenly, a rush of wings sounded above them, and Cerelda hovered above the clearing, Kyrian on top. Two ropes were dangling from the dragon. Laurel caught one and Cerelda leaned flew down enough to grab Tomas, then shot into the sky. "I never was sorry!" Mintara said to Melkor with quiet anger. "And even if you do kill me, you will never find my necklace."
With a cry of fury, Melkor rushed at her with his sword drawn. Just in time, Mintara caught the rope hanging from Cerelda and was whisked out of range of Melkor's sword and his fury. "So, you have a friend, Mintara," he said, looking after Kyrian. He suddenly smiled wickedly. "Excellent."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Part 55 by Emily

   Kyrian sat quietly, so very quietly that no one knew she was there. She heard the sounds of the army milling around through out the forest. Shouts echoed all around from the battling soldiers, the swords clanged as the met in 'battle' and the bows twanged as their arrows left them. There were thuds as men and women fell to the ground, tackled by their opponents. Healer's chanting, practicing the mending of the wounded, droned on and on.

    She was safe here in her little hollow, with the light streaming in through the green leaves. The trees wrapped their branches around her like arms, keeping her from harm. This had been her hideaway hollow ever since she was a child. She always came here to think and reflect on tough decisions or to cool down when mad or upset. I'm glad to be alone. The army life wasn't at all like she thought, the early morning jogs, the hard battle sessions.There was never a moment to spare for yourself. It wasn't at all like the glamor her kinsmen had sung about the battles of old. Why'd I say yes to Tomas when I know I have to die when the war is over? It will only break his heart when I pass. I'm practically a ghost right now. She looked down at her armored arm. She was solid, present, yet she wasn't. It hurt her head to dwell on it for long. Tears shimmered in the corners of her eyes, grief overwhelmed her. I wish some one could help. She laid her hand in her palms and let the tears roll down her cheeks. She wept openly now, not afraid of what the other's might think. There was no was they could find her here. No one had ever found her in her hideaway.

  "Silly girl, don't you know crying never helps anything?" Mintara's dark voice broke her silent world. Kyrian slowly looked up. "How'd you find me here?" She asked baffled at the wizards ability. "Look, I know how you're feeling." Mintara sighed. her voice was almost sympathetic almost kind. "But we have an army to run and an evil wizard to overthrow. Melkor won't wait for you to solve your problems before he strikes again. Now that Aelysha has been taken care of he and Stepheneis will be on the prowl. Get your problems taken care of." Her tone was brisk and in charge.
 "Look Mintara, I understand. It's just that Tomas asked me to marry him and I said yes." She wiped the tears from her face, and breathed deep.
  "You told him you would marry him? Silly girl! I thought you knew better then that." Mintara shook her head sadly. "You must do it now. There's no use breaking his heart, even though we can replace him easily." She paused, letting her words sink in. "Get it over with, and don't be a silly love bird when it's done." With a quick twist she broke back through the trees, leaving Kyrian alone. I guess Mintara's right. She sighed as she slowly arose from her log. "I better get back to business." With a sniffle she walked out of the forest.

    "Kyrian." Tomas greeted her as she walked on to the archery grounds. She jogged across the field, taking care to be behind the archers. "Hello Tomas." she said as he wrapped her in his arms. She breathed in deep, he smelled of sweat and hard work. He kissed her lightly on her forehead. "Where have you been?" he asked as she pulled away from his embrace. She grabbed her bow from by the tree. "Thinking." she answered. She fit the arrow to the bow and pulled it back. Her form was perfect, she let the arrow linger at her ear for a spilt second then let it loose. With a twang the arrow struck the middle of the target. Tomas clapped. "Good job sweetheart."
 "Look Tomas," she lowered her bow. "I feel that it would be best if we got married either really soon-" she choked on her words. "or never." she whispered under her breath. "I really do love you." his face was skeptical," I do really." she added quickly. "I'm just so young- we're both young. I don't know if it will last and-"
 "It doesn't matter Kyrian." He stepped closer to her. "Our love will see us through."
"Age helps." she said. Tomas's green eyes sparkled mischievously. "Oh really?" he asked. "So if I were a thousand you would marry me?" She slapped him on the arm.
 "No silly! It's not that it's just-" she took a deep breath, "How are going to feel after the war?" Tomas's face dropped, he turned away. "It doesn't matter."
 "It does and you know it. I'm sick of this drama Tomas. Should we do it or not?" Kyrian's tone was commanding. He turned back to her, his emerald orbs shimmering with happiness. "Yes." was his one word reply. "Let's not think about the future for now. And if we do, it's about the Kingdom not us." Her deep blue eyes sparkled, "Lets." She spun away from him and trotted back to the village.

    "Sire." The squire bowed low before the king. His large violet feather bobbled up and down on his tight cap. Stepheneis laughed silently at him. "What is it squire?" he asked as he played with his finger tips. Over and over he repeated a pattern, as if knitting or weaving. The young man gulped nervously, also partially out of nausea. "It's the queen Sire. She's gone missing." His body started convulsing, and sweat beaded at his forehead. "We know that she's been stolen, taken by the rebels. They nabbed her this morning."
 "Really?' Stepheneis feigned surprise. "My sister is missing? How dreadful!" Sad little witch. She played her part perfectly, not that she knew anything about it. He let out a low chuckle. The kingdom is mine, I've completed father's goal and gotten rid of that sorry excuse for my sister. She was nothing but a worthless pawn. Ha, to think of me as stupid takes a dense skull indeed.
 "Yes Sire." the squire barely could barely utter his words loud enough. "Do you want a party sent out to hunt for her?" He stood with his gaze locked on the king's fingers. His nausea grew more and more the longer he looked upon them. "No, it will not be necessary. Even if it were I doubt you could find her. You're dismissed." He flickered his cold black eyes towards the door. The squire stood, not moving, barely even breathing. "I said go." Stepheneis said harshly. As the squire forced himself backwards towards the door Stepheneis smirked. Slowly, so very slowly he left the room. The doors closed with a small creak, he heard a retching then a thump onto the floor. Perfect. His smirk turned to a grin. Melkor will be pleased. He looked down at the sparkling object on his lap, it shimmered darkly. To the mortal eye it was invisible, to the elf eye too, yet to the eye of a Dark Wizard it was as clear as day. To think of what Aelysha would say would be pity. She would have been astounded at my craftiness. On to Melkor's castle.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Part 54 by Emily

Aelysha sat in a cold dank cell. It's funny how fate turns. she thought bitterly. At least I killed one of their rebel scum. There was a movement in the cell beside her, King Ire. He belongs with the scum. She wanted so much to zap herself out of here, out of her misery, but Mintara secured her with magical bonds so she couldn't. the door to her cell grated open, she didn't look up to see who it was. "Hello Aelysha." came a familiar feminine voice, full of bitterness. She looked up, No! she screamed in her mind, This isn't possible! I watched her die with my own eyes. I saw her body lie limp, dead on the ground. I cut her head off on the chopping block after I gave the order for her to be shot. Why is she here in front of me? As much as she tried to she couldn't help but show an expression of shock on her face.
  "Such a twist of fate, huh Aelysha?" she asked as she swung an arrow around. Aelysha grimaced and said,"Not so much, you filthy scrap!" Kyrian shrugged the insult off like it was a fly on her shoulder. She grabbed the bow from her back. "You might call this revenge, Aelysha. But I call it-"
 "Justice." said Tomas stepping out from behind her. Held a bottle in his hand, full of the poison to kill Aelysha. Kyrian smiled a loving smile at him, and unscrewed the lid of the poison as he held it.

 "Any last words Aelysha?" she asked as she began to dip the arrow. Aelysha thought quickly, "Tomas!" she screeched, "Why are you helping her kill me? She's the enemy! Dump the poison on her!" Every word out of her mouth she looked and sounded more and more like Kyrian. "Please my love! I beg of you!" She began to weep. Tomas's face twisted into a look of confusion.
 "But, Kyrian." he looked from one version to the other.
"She's the witch! She pretended to have me die so she could change into me and steal all the plans we have." And in Tomas's mind the real Kyrian was turning into Aelysha. He took a step towards Aelysha, "Is this true?" he asked.
 "Yes, yes, every word! Now shoot her before she kills us both." Aelysha begged. Kyrian quickly submerged the arrow in the amber liquid, and took it out. Tomas rushed to Aelysha, dropping the flask in the process. "Why would she do this?" he asked, Aelysha, now Kyrian.
 "Because she wants to rule the world and separate our love." Aelysha told him, "Now come loose my bonds so I can be free." Tomas moved to cut her bonds.
  "No!" the real Kyrian screamed. She fit the arrow in the bow, and began to loose it. Tomas moved closer to Aelysha. "Kyrian, will you marry me?" he asked kneeling to the ground. But his Kyrian had no way to answer, for an arrow was sticking out of her neck.
 "Yes, Tomas, I will marry you." the real Kyrian whispered. In that instant all of Aelysha's tricks and sorcery were washed away. And Tomas found himself staring at the now dead Aelysha. Then she started to dissolve into nothing. Tomas scrambled back, a new form was filling the void she left.
 A whinnying unicorn solidified. "Emerion." Kyrian breathed. Tomas quickly scrambled to his feet, "It worked!" Tomas and Kyrian ran up the stairs and into the daylight, Emerion following close behind. "You did it!" Laurel shouted as she leaped up from beside the large tree. "I knew it would work." Landlion said as he wheeled his way over in a wheel chair. The unicorn stood in the sunlight for a moment, then broke into a canter towards the army camp. "Well there he goes, back to Mintara." Tomas said, then he pulled Kyrian over, away from the group. "Did you really mean it when you said you'd marry me?" Kyrian gulped, then looked up into his green eyes. "Yes, I meant it."

*Sorry that this was such a short post. I promise I'll write more next time.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Part 53 by Taylor.

"Kyrian, Laurel, Landlion, Cerelda, Tomas, and Goricnal, please report to Mintara's tent," a young man shouted.

They found Mintara waiting for them impatiently. "Good, I'm glad you hurried," she said sarcastically. "This is an urgent mission. Remember Emerion?" Several heads nodded; Goricnal didn't know what she was talking about, but he didn't especially care either. "Well, we still have to kill Aelysha with that arrow tipped with the special potion. Unfortunately, in order to work without killing Emerion, the potion must be fresh. It is too fragile and precious to be carried with." She looked at all of them sternly. "You realize what this means, right? Aelysha will have to be brought here." Their mouths dropped open. "And just how do you propose we do that?" Goricnal sneered. "Well, I wasn't counting on you going along. We need taller people," Mintara snarled back. Kyrian and Laurel exchanged amused glances; Mintara and Goricnal had never been the best of friends. "I'm plenty tall!" Goricnal snapped. Mintara sighed in exasperation. "I thought this would happen. That's why I got you these." The wizard pulled a pair of stilts from behind her. Laurel and Kyrian couldn't hold it in any longer and laughed out loud, joined by Tomas and Landlion.

Two hours later, Goricnal, Tomas, Kyrian, and Laurel were marching through the rain towards Aelysha's castle. "I can't believe we're doing this," Tomas muttered. "It's our only chance to save Emerion," Kyrian said, her voice muffled through the metal helmet. "I feel completely ridiculous in this outfit," Tomas complained, tugging at his chain-mail shirt. "You think you feel ridiculous?!" Goricnal growled. Laurel had to laugh, the dwarf did look rather unsteady on his stilts. They soon approached the gates. "Come on guys, we really need to sell this," Tomas whispered. They all straightened up and looked important as Tomas raised a hand and knocked loudly.

Landlion lowered his telescope and sighed. Not only was the rain depressing and miserable, it was hard to see through. He wished he was with them, but it would be stupid. Who ever heard of a limping guard? He glanced over at Cerelda, standing nervously, staring with her excellent vision at Laurel, who was held firmly with hands bound behind her.

Tomas heard someone banging into stuff behind the gate, then some swearing. Finally, a head popped over the top. "Whaddya want?!" the man snarled. Tomas looked at Kyrian with fear in his eyes. She leaned over and said, "Go for it." Tomas took a deep breath. "Who are you to be addressing me like that?!" he shouted angrily at the man in a powerful voice. "I be Rithnos," the man said, still spitting mad at being woken up. "And just who are you?"
"Commander Rondel," Tomas yelled. The man swore softly. "I'm sorry sir, really, I am. It's just that-"
"Spare me your explanation," Tomas rolled his eyes. "Just open the gate."
"Yes sir, right away sir." They heard a chain rattle, then the gate slowly raised up. Rithnos was waiting, a fake and forced smile plastered on his face. "Oh, what have you got?" he asked gleefully, eyeing Laurel. "A prisoner?" Tomas leaned close as if confiding something important. "Not just any prisoner. This is the Dragon Rider." Rithnos's eyes widened. "Well congratulations, sir! I'm sure you'll get some awards for this."
"Confidentially, I expect to get a promotion out of this," Tomas winked. "Well, don't let me hold you up, General Rondel," Rithnos snickered. "Thank-you," Tomas said dismissively with a wave of his hand.

"Wow Tomas!" Kyrian exclaimed when they were out of earshot. "That was awesome!"
"You certainly had me convinced," Laurel agreed. Tomas grinned and bowed grandly. "Many thanks, but as underlings, you should address me as Commander Rondel." He grinned at Kyrian, his normally blonde hair hanging in his eyes.

Outside the city walls, Landlion set his telescope down and looked at Cerelda. "I can't just sit here. Do you wanna go for a ride?" The young dragon nodded her head vigorously. Landlion limped over to her and pulled himself into the saddle. Cerelda shot into the air and glided down around the city.

Tomas and his troupe had no problem gaining admission through anywhere they needed to go. No one thought to question them or be suspicious. Outside of the throne room, they all took a deep breath. "Here goes," Tomas whispered. He flung the door wide open.

"A little closer," Landlion murmured. Cerelda skillfully maneuvered closer to the tall stone walls, then landed lightly. Landlion nervously fingered the wet leather saddle, waiting.

"Your Majesty." Tomas and his "soldiers" bowed low. Glancing around, Kyrian began to have hope that their plan might work. Everyone was preparing for battle, there were only four bored guards. "Where is King Stephenies?" Tomas asked respectfully. "He is briefly absent," Aelysha answered absently. She gloated at Laurel. "So this is the Dragon Rider," she sneered. "I expected you to be a little more formidable."
"Well, I wouldn't want to disappoint you," Laurel said quietly.

Quick as a flash, Kyrian cut the rope that bound Laurel's hands behind her, and the elf jumped to her feet. Tomas tossed her an extra sword, and Goricnal kicked of his stilts. They charged the guards, who had barely reacted to all of this. Aelysha screamed and drew a sword from the arm of her throne. She charged at Tomas, who frantically countered her blows.

The others finished with the guards and ran to help Tomas. But Aelysha proved to be a match for them. Spinning and flipping, she dealt blows to all of them. She was so unpredictable, that everyone was unsure of how to fight her. She swiped at Tomas's feet. He jumped over her sword and tackled her to the floor while she was off-balance. She went down with a shriek of hatred. Laurel was ready with the rope. "Go!" Tomas grunted, hefting a bound and gagged Aelysha over his shoulder. Goricnal lifted a curved horn to his lips.

The sweet blast echoed through the city. Landlion nudged Cerelda, and the dragon quickly flew up and over the walls. Landlion lowered a rope and tied the end to the saddle. This would be tricky. Cerelda could only carry so much weight. Suddenly, he had an idea.

Tomas and the others ran to the top of the palace. "Come on, come on!" Tomas muttered under his breath.

"Are you sure you can do it by yourself?" Landlion wanted to make sure. In answer, Cerelda snorted and took off, leaving him standing on the ground.

Cerelda soon spotted her friends waving at her. She slowed to an almost hovering position above them.

Tomas tied Aelysha on first, then the other quickly grabbed on to the rope. Without thinking, Tomas wrapped his arm around Kyrian's waist and helped to keep her from falling. Cerelda managed to clear the walls, then collapsed.

Meanwhile, Landlion had hobbled over to where they had hidden the horses and was now bringing them over at a gallop. "Let's go!" he shouted. Tomas left Aelysha tied to Cerelda, double checking the ropes that held her, then jumped on his horse. All five of them rode off, and Cerelda flew the struggling Aelysha to the army, and the waiting Mintara.

Part 52 by Tessa

Laurel sat away from camp in the dark contemplating all that had happened.  "I can't believe that happened to Kyrian.  It's all my fault.  If I hadn't been so selfish she wouldn't have to die again and Thomas and her could be together.  Oh, why do I always think about myself and what I want?"  she whispered.
"It's not your fault."  Landlion said as he sat down next to her.
"Yes, it is.  I didn't have to ask her to do this.  If I would have left her out of it we all would be okay."  she sobbed.
"Kyrian doesn't blame you."  he said holding her close as she cried into his shirt.  When she had no more tears to cry she lifted her face, the tears making little paths on her cheeks.
"Are you scared?"  she asked turning her eyes to him.

He looked into her inquiring eyes, shining with tears and moonlight.  "Yes, I am."

"Kyrian!"  Mintara yelled across the sea of soldiers, healers, elves, and horses.  Kyrian nodded and headed through the crowd.  "Kyrian, you have to lead these troops.  Landlion is taking over the soldiers on horseback but no one has these."
"Okay, so Landlion has horseback, I have archers and foot soldiers on the east side and Thomas as the west side, and Laurel fights wherever she is needed the most.  Where are you?"  she asked.
"I've gathered a group of wizards who have at least a minute sense of magic.  Very frustrating.  They all are beginners and most not that great but I have secured a few with talent.  We'll stand somewhere where we can see each part and help with our magic."
"Mintaaaara!  Little help please?" yelled a young blond girl.
"As I was saying, they don't know very much.  I'll talk to you later."  Mintara said exasperatingly before walking off to help the other wizard.  Kyrian shook her head.
"Where in over our heads with this job.  I don't know how we will get ready before tomorrow."  Kyrian headed back toward her parents house.  "Maybe my mom is ready now."  she thought tears glistening in her eyes.  She tried to compose herself before she met anyone but failed.  Thomas ran up beside her.
"Kyrian I know that you---are you alright?"  he asked concern written all over his face.
"I'm fine."  she snapped harsher than she meant to.  At his hurt face she said "I'm sorry.  I've been on edge all day."
"Let me know if I can help.  I'll be here for you Kyrian.  Never forget that."  he said letting go of her hand, which she hadn't noticed he was holding.  She watched him disappear in the forest.
"Was I right to say no?"  she questioned herself.  "Stop!  You said no and that's it.  You don't want to hurt him more than you already have."  she disciplined herself but she knew she was hurting him more by saying no.  There was her parents house.  She squared her shoulders and walked in.
"Mom?  Dad?  Are you here?"  she said peeking around the doorframe.
"I'm over here Kyrian."  her father said stepping out of the bedroom.
"Is she---okay?"
"No, she was crushed past repair when you---died.  I don't think she'll ever be right.  But you never know.  Go try again."  He said and walked out the door, shoulders quivering as he tried to hide his tears.

Kyrian tip toed into the room where her mother sat staring into space but seeing nothing.  "Mom?"
"Kyrian?"  Rachele asked with a hint of desperation in her voice.  "Is that you Kyrian?"
"Y-yes, it's me."  Kyrain had tears filling her eyes, threatening to overflow.
"No it can't be you.  You died!  Stop leave me be!  You're gone!"  Rachele screamed eyes wide as she backed away.  Kyrian came forward and wrapped her arms around her.  Rachele screamed and tried to struggle out of Kyrian's arms but soon slumped in defeat.
"Is it really you?"
"Yes, I love you."
"I love you too Kyrian." she said and laid her head on her shoulder and cried.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Part 51 by Emily

 "Tomas!" Kyrian yelled as she ran to his fallen figure. She quickly dropped to the ground beside him and lifted up his head. "Wake up my dear." She whispered. His eyelids started to flutter, they soon opened. "I-" he started, "Am I dead?" he asked Kyrian.
 "No you silly goose! And neither am I!" she exclaimed. Tomas pulled himself up to a sitting position."But I heard you die. How- how'd you live?" his voice got choked up with emotion.
 "Shh." she said, "Dwell on it no more. After all I didn't come all this way for people to moan about how I'm dead!" Kyrian grinned then stood up. "What's the first order of business?" she asked.
  "You should probably go and see your parents." Mintara said, "They're in mourning for you right now."

 With Mintara's words Kyrian took off to her house. She sped down the path as fast as she could. With out stopping she flung herself through the open door and into the house. "Mom! Dad!" she yelled, "Where are you!" She heard sobs coming from her parent's bed room. "It's almost like she's here again." her mother said, "Why did she have to be taken away so soon? Poor Tomas, he wanted to marry her so much." Then she broke into sobs again, "He should really be here now." she whispered.
 "There, there, Rachele." her father comforted,"Everything will be okay." There was a sorrow in his voice that Kyrian had never heard before.
 "Mom! Dad! I'm alive!" she yelled as she ran in. Her mother screamed, "Be gone from here you specter!" then she fell onto her pillow, the sobs racking her body. Her father stared at her wide eyed, unable to speak. "But it is me." she said softly as she sat at the edge of the bed,"I'm alive. Can't you see?" Her mother screamed again,"Ven get rid of it!"
 "Is it you Kyrian? Is it really you?" he asked, with his blue eyes full of tears.
 "Yes, daddy, it's really me." She gave him a hug,"I'm alive."

  His eyes lit up,"Rachele! It's really Kyrian! She's really alive!" he yelled as he shook his wife. "Stop it Ven! You're hallucinating." she returned coldly. "But mother," Kyrian said softly,"it really is me." she stoked her mother's long brown hair. Her mother refused to look at her, "Send it away Ven." she croaked hoarsly. Her father looked at her with eyes full of compassion, "I think you should go away for a little while. Your mother can't handle much of anything right now." Kyrian hugged her father then left her home. She sat out by the big oak tree and cried. Her own mother wouldn't even speak to her, even though she came back to life. She heard footsteps coming her way but didn't even bother to look up to see who it was. The person sat down beside her, "What's wrong Kyrian?" Tomas asked.
 "My mom still thinks I'm dead." she said as she looked up at his green eyes. He sighed,"Oh."
  "I heard while I was in there something interesting though." she told him.
  "What is that?"
 "That you're aiming to marry me." Tomas blushed, and smiled at her. "I was trying to keep that a surprise." he told her, "Would you want to marry me?" he asked.
 "Yes!" Kyrian squealed with joy. Tomas's eyes sparkled in delight. Then she remembered what Simar told her, her face fell. "What's wrong?"
 "I can't." she said as she turned away. She couldn't bear to see his face when she told him. "I'm only allowed to stay here until the war is over. Then I must go back to-" she almost said Royal City, but she knew Tomas wouldn't understand,"the land of the dead." she finished. An awkward silence consumed the space, "You can't?" Tomas finally croaked.

  "I can't." she sobbed, "It was my deal. I wasn't supposed to die then, it was evil that interfered and messed up the plan. And now I live here to finish my part in the plan, and then when it's done I die and go back to the City and-" Tomas grabbed her face and made her look at him, "Until then, we can be married." he said.
 "But I'm so young Tomas. I don't think it would be a good idea." she tried to pull her face out of his grip, but he was to strong for her.
   "Please." he said, Kyrian saw a longing in his eyes.
 "I'm sorry Tomas." a tear dripped down her face.
  "Then let me do this." he said as he leaned in towards her.
 "Tomas no." Kyrian whispered. But it didn't stop him from kissing her.

  "Oh my." Came Laurel's voice. Kyrian and Tomas pulled apart, they both blushed. "It-um-" stuttered Tomas, "I better be going now." he said. He jumped up and jogged away.
 "What was that about?" Laurel asked. Kyrian brushed a strand of hair away from her face.
  "Tomas asked me to marry him." she said sadly. Laurel grew excited, "What'd you say?" she asked.
 "No." tears came pouring out of Kyrian's eyes.
 "When the war is over, I have to die again." Kyrian explained, "I didn't think it would be a good idea." Laurel grew still, "You have to die?"
  "It was agreed that I would go back to the City at the end of the war. I have a feeling I would have died then any way." Laurel gave Kyrian a long hug.
 "It's okay Kyrian. You'll be fine." she said.

 Tomas burst into the hut he and Landlion shared. "What's wrong Tomas?" Landlion asked from his chair.
  "She said no." he threw himself into the other chair and started to peel an apple.
  "I asked her to marry me and she said 'no'." He attacked his apple angrily with his knife.
 "Why did she say no?"
  "She said that at the end of the war she has to die, again." his voice started to choke up. Landlion looked at him full of wonder. "She has to die again?" Tomas didn't respond to Landlion.
  "Well why don't you ask her again?" Landlion asked,"Maybe at a different time she'll say yes. You have to pursue her." Tomas now stared at his friend in wonder. "Do you really think she'll say yes?"
 "Maybe."  Tomas leapt out of his chair and went to the door. "Where are you going?" Landlion called after him.
 "To asked her again!" Tomas called back.

Part 50 by Taylor

Mintara and Tomas went back and picked up Landlion, slowly making their way back to the army. Landlion was severely depressed about his limited mobility, but he no longer seemed suicidal. Tomas was walking around in a fog, he couldn't feel anything, nor did he care to. He felt almost as if he had killed Kyrian. "I should have stopped her, I should have stopped her, I should have...." the words kept repeating themselves in his head. He had known that she and Laurel were up to something sneaky, he knew Kyrian too well to miss it. Or, should he say, he had known her well enough. He could feel tears welling up in his eyes again, and he blinked them back with an effort.

Kyrian felt as if she were floating. She had heard the command, had seen the archers release their arrows, and her vision had blacked out. I must be dead, she realized suddenly. The concept at first terrorized her. Everything around her was white. She could barely discern something ahead of her. It soon revealed itself as a spectacular golden city. She seemed to be floating toward it. It looked vaguely familiar, but she couldn't quite place it. Besides, there were much more fascinating things to occupy her mind. She saw people clad in beautiful flowing garments walking the streets below. She continued on to a higher place.

She could see another section of the city, but it seemed much more grand and spectacular. This section was smaller, but even more beautifully made and designed. She floated down until she touched the street directly in front of a magnificent house with huge, arching doorways and pillars.

A lovely young woman clothed in purple walked out of one of the side arches, intent on a sheaf of letters in her hand. She glanced up suddenly and saw Kyrian standing there awkwardly. "Kyrian?!" she exclaimed in disbelief. "Um, yes?" Kyrian said uncertainly. "What are you doing here?!" the young woman seemed shocked at her presence. "Um, I don't really know," Kyrian began. "I think I died." She felt ridiculous saying it.

The young woman continued to look shocked, then suddenly grabbed Kyrian by the hand and marched up the long hallway of the palace. She threaded her way through several passageway, Kyrian in tow. Finally, they reached a large, open room with tall, arched ceilings. "Father!" the young woman called. A tall, handsome man quickly walked up to them. There was certainly nothing about his features that made him look old, he was about middle-aged, but there was an oldness about him that Kyrian couldn't identify. "Escathyst! Who is this?" he questioned, looking at Kyrian.

Suddenly, it all came rushing back to Kyrian. She had seen this lovely young woman before in the dream about Mintara and Emerion. She was Mintara's sister! She had called the man "Father". This must be Simar, the Chief Wizard. "This is Kyrian!" Escathyst said, glaring at the man accusingly. "Kyrian? What is she doing here?" he exclaimed. "That's what I was wondering!" Escathyst said, placing her hands on her hips. "Young lady, why don't you come over here and tell me how you got here?" Simar said calmly, ignoring Escathyst's sassy behavior.

"Hmmmm, that wasn't supposed to happen." Simar stroked his beard thoughtfully after Kyrian finished telling him her story. "Did I do something wrong?" Kyrian asked anxiously. "No no, sweetie," Escathyst comforted. "It was just a mistake. You weren't supposed to die yet. You're still needed down there."
"What's going to happen to me?" Kyrian asked. "That is being decided," Escathyst said, pointedly looking at her father. "What my daughter means is that I am deciding whether or not to send you back," Simar said. "But few who come to the Royal City ever want to return to their old lives. Also, this is only temporary. The only reason I am giving you the option to go back is because you must serve an important part in the fate of the world. When you have served your purpose, and the war is over, you will return to the Royal City. In the history of the Council of Wizards, only five have had the option of returning to their world. All of them declined. It is a very serious decision."

Kyrian suddenly found that she didn't want to leave. The whole atmosphere of the golden city was beautiful. She was sure she could lead a wonderful life here, without the rigors and pain of life on earth. But she loved her friends back home too. She struggled with her decision for several moments. Escathyst and Simar knew what she was going through. "Take your time, dear," Escathyst said, smiling.

Kyrian suddenly thought of Tomas. Her choice was made in that instant. She would rather endure the hardships of life and be able to spend a little more time with Tomas back home then spend many years waiting for him in the Royal City. "I will go back," she announced in a clear voice. "I knew you would!" Escathyst exclaimed joyfully. "Very well then," Simar smiled. With a wave of his hand, Kyrian's world faded to black.

She again experienced the floating sensation. She was dropping towards a forest. She landed lightly in a small clearing. Glancing around, she saw the army through the trees. Her eyes widened and she ran towards it with a huge smile. Did she ever have a story to tell!

Tomas, Laurel, Mintara, and Landlion were sitting in another place specially designated for the leaders of the army. Mintara was trying to hold their attention with battle plans, but no one really cared at the moment. Landlion was dejected about his leg and how he would never walk normally again. He didn't think that leading an army was a possibility anymore, but everyone insisted that they needed him, and he could ride a horse, not that he wanted to. Tomas was still so grieved over Kyrian's death; his dull eyes didn't focus on anything. Laurel couldn't rid herself of the guilt that gripped her soul over leaving Kyrian and Landlion behind. She felt she should have done something. The only slightly active one was Goricnal, who was trying to hide his sadness.

Mintara sat down with a sigh. "You guys haven't heard a word that I've said, have you?" she asked tiredly. A couple of heads shook. "You guys really ought to pay attention when someone talks to you." Kyrian stepped into the clearing. Mouths dropped open as they stared in shock at her. "Kyrian!" Laurel was the first one to recover. She ran up and hugged Kyrian so tight she couldn't breathe.

When Laurel finally released her, Kyrian turned to face the others. Landlion was smiling broadly, though he couldn't get up to greet her because of the cumbersome bandage on his leg. Goricnal came up and offered his hand. Kyrian dropped down and gave him a bear hug, which flustered the little man, who pushed away. Mintara was looking at her with a little smile and a look of disbelief. Kyrian made a mental note to talk to her later. Then Kyrian looked at Tomas. After he had seen Kyrian, he promptly fainted.

Part 49 by Taylor

Kyrian woke up as a guard opened her cell. "Time for your judgement," he snickered. Kyrian recognized him as the mean soldier out in the woods. He grabbed her roughly by the arm and yanked her to her feet. "Please keep your filthy hands off of me," Kyrian said. "I may be a prisoner, but I still have a measure of dignity."
"Keep your filthy hands off me!" the man mimicked. He grabbed each of her shoulders in a quick movement. Kyrian drove her knee up into his stomach and kicked his shins as he doubled over in pain. She wrenched his hands off of her and knocked his legs out from under him. Smoothing back her hair, she said, "If I were you, I wouldn't do that again." 

He rose cautiously, but still was full of nastiness. He bowed grandly to Kyrian and sneered, "After you, your highness." They left the dungeon and came out into the sunlight, which momentarily blinded Kyrian. Two soldiers met them and shackled her hands behind her. Quickly, they escorted her through the streets lined with people who apparently hated her. The soldiers tried to maintain order, but still, Kyrian frequently had to duck objects that were thrown at her. They took her up to a stand above the heads of the people, where an execution block sat, dried, blackened blood staining the wood and cobblestones around. Aelysha and Stephneis sat on two regal thrones under a red tent. "This should be interesting," Stepheneis smirked. Aelysha smiled, she had waited a long time for this moment. "Prepare the prisoner!"

Landlion dragged himself along until he reached a tree stump. Pulling himself up, he managed to stand and hobble a few steps at a time before having to rest. Suddenly, he heard a commotion in the woods in front of him. Looking around frantically for a weapon, he scooped up a good-sized rock. Tomas burst out from the trees. "Tomas! It's you!" Landlion breathed a heavy sigh of relief. Tomas stared at Landlion's crippled leg with horror. "What happened to you?!" Landlion disdained to answer, trying to hide his deformed leg behind the tree. "Where's Kyrian?" Tomas asked, suddenly remembering his mission. Landlion averted his eyes and lowered his head. That was answer enough.

The guards forced Kyrian to kneel and lay her head on the block. Aelysha suddenly spoke up. "I would rather see a shooting," she said maliciously. The guards dragged Kyrian to her feet and pushed her over to a wall with bloodstains on it. "Your Highness, a moment while the archers arrive," a man in royal clothes bowed.

Landlion hobbled along through the woods painfully. The army was still several miles away. After only a hundred yards, he knew he wouldn't make it. Agonizing pain gripped his leg so that he couldn't breathe. Collapsing on the soft leaves, he promptly blacked out.

Tomas ran frantically through the woods at full speed. Reaching the tree line, he saw the castle up ahead. He didn't know what he was going to do, but he had to do something. Suddenly, a rope coiled around his foot and jerked him off his feet. A trap.

The archers filed out in single order, a quivers full and bows ready. There were about seven, from what Kyrian could tell. She tried to act brave, but was, in reality, terrified. "Halt!" the captain ordered. "About face!" The archers turned simultaneously and faced Kyrian. "Ready arrows!"

Tomas struggled, but couldn't free himself. He suddenly remembered his knife and dug it out of his pocket. He was in such a hurry, that it flipped out of his hands and landed in the leaves several feet away. He stretched and tried to reach it. His fingertips brushed the polished handle.

It was clear that Aelysha was going to give the command to fire. She rose from her plush throne and walked over to where Kyrian waited to die. "Are you afraid?" Kyrian didn't answer, she couldn't even if she had wanted to. Her throat was constricted with tears so that she couldn't speak. "It seems a shame to kill you so quickly. But, we don't always get the things that we want." Aelysha spoke to the whole crowd. "And it would be pointless to postpone your death now! We've gotten all the information that we need!" The guards and noblemen cheered. Kyrian knew she hadn't betrayed a single word, but still, it hurt to hear her name smeared.

Tomas strained, almost pulling his leg from the socket, but the knife still stayed out of his reach. Suddenly, a boot clamped down on it. Tomas knew it was over. He glanced up.

Aelysha smirked once more at Kyrian, then stepped back behind the archers. "Aim!"

"Mintara! What are you doing here?" Tomas exclaimed in shock. "Helping you rescue Kyrian," she answered, cutting the rope. He scrambled to his feet and they both ran towards the castle. There were no guards on lookout, everyone had been summoned to the execution.

Aelysha purposely withheld the command that would end Kyrian's life, savoring the moment, the fear on the girl's face. Kyrian was disappointed in herself. She had hoped that she would be braver in the face of death. She bowed her head and closed her eyes.

Mintara and Tomas ran desperately. They knew they were out of time.

"Fire!" The archers loosed their arrows.

Mintara and Tomas heard the shouts and cheers and skidded to a halt. Tomas's eyes were wide; he couldn't comprehend what had just happened. Mintara lowered her head and softly spoke a kind of prayer. "No!" Tomas shouted, eyes clouding with tears. "It can't end like this!" He looked at Mintara wildly; the wizard only returned his gaze sadly with a shake of her head. "It's out of our hands now," she said, laying a hand on his shoulder. Tomas burst into sobs and sank to his knees, covering his face with his hands. Mintara wiped a tear from her own eye, not bothering to try and hide it. "Come," she finally said. "Landlion needs us, and so does the army." Tomas didn't answer for a moment, then nodded and wiped his grief-stricken face as he followed the wizard away.

*Okay, I know that this is really bad, but if I may write the next chapter, I promise that you all will be....sorta happy? Satisfied? Something better? =D 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Part 48 by Emily

"What are we going to do?" Kyrian asked Laurel frantically. The red head girl stood staring at the spot were the men were sure to come from any second. Her face was grimacing in pain, "I must go with Cerelda." she swallowed hard, as if making a big decision,"She's hurt so badly and the war- Mintara- I must leave now." Kyrian stared at her friend, it was as if some one else had possessed the girl. Tears were pouring down Laurel's face, "Be brave my friend." Then she turned and mounted her injured dragon and flew off. Kyrian's mind raced, what should she do with the injured an unconscious Landlion?

  She hid his body in the brush and scribbled a hasty note to him telling him which herbs can heal leg wounds and to stay hidden. She also laid her bow nearby his prone figure. She had barely done that when the first solider came into the clearing. "Stay where you are!" he ordered Kyrian. She stared him down as he blew a blast from his trumpet. The rest of the troop came bounding in. Kyrian heard murmurs of,"Could she be the killer?" "No, she's just a girl." "Why is she here?" "How'd she get the cut on her leg?" Kyrian knew she had to act fast, she burst into tears. "Oh Tomas!" she wailed.
 "Are you alright miss?" The lieutenant asked her. Kyrian dropped to the ground and wailed again. "No! They've taken my poor Tomas!"
  "Who has him, miss?" he asked moving closer to Kyrian's weeping form.
"The rebels!" She screamed, "They've made him work for their army!"
  "It's alright miss." the man said while he laid a hand on her shoulder. She looked up at him, his face was kind and you could see genuine concern in his eyes.
 "But they've taken him!" she sobbed again.
  "Do you know where?" a voice from behind the lieutenant asked.
 "To the southern forest!" she let a new stream of tears fall down her face.
"We should take her back to head quarters to see if she knows any more." the other man said. Kyrian peered around the lieutenant and saw the man. He was short, and had a greedy look in his eye, a lust for blood and money. Kyrian shivered at the sight of him, he seemed like a man who would mistreat women.

"Do you know anything else miss?" the lieutenant asked.
 "Only that they moved their after fleeing Kalorn." she wiped tears from her eyes.
"Kalorn? The elven forest? Why did you use it's native name?" Kyrian's eyes grew wide, she knew she had slipped up big time. "I-I-"she stumbled, her acting couldn't save her here. The greedy man walked up with some ropes,"Here you are sir. To arrest the young lady." he sneered. The lieutenant took the ropes and bound Kyrian securely. They made her hobble back to the castle at a fast rate. Once inside they did a through search of her person.

 Kyrian knelt in a cell, waiting for her judgement to come. She knew she would die, she was sure of it. A guard came to the door of the cell, "Your judgement awaits." he opened the door and cut the bonds on her legs, freeing her to walk.  Her hands were still tied tight behind her back, and she had no way of freeing herself so she thought it best to be complient. They walked up the familiar passage ways from her adventure of freeing Landlion. She wanted to cry, but she needed to be brave as she faced death. After walking up countless flights of stairs they finally came to a throne room. the doors were already open and one figures was seated on the throne. They forced Kyrian to walk until she was within ten feet of the person. The bile started to rise in her throat, Aelysha sat on her throne smiling smugly. "Kneel before the queen." the guard hissed. Kyrian wouldn't, no, couldn't do it, so the guard forced her to kneel. She dropped her head in defeat. "Kyrian." Aelysha hissed, "It's so good to see you again my dear." she started to cackle. "Now you are at my mercy. And that is a sad occasion for anyone." Here she got up and started to pace. "I swore I would get revenge on you one day. And that day is today." She smacked Kyrian across her face with the scepter, making Kyrian's nose bleed. The point cut her below her eye, she wanted to scream in pain, but she sat immobile, unaffected on the outside.

  "You don't know, do you? You think I want revenge on you because of the fight in Locien. But oh no my dear! I want you dead because you killed my father!"
  Kyrian looked at her in shock,"Your father?" she croaked as blood dripped into her mouth.
"Exron." Aelysha growled. Kyrian knew that Aelysha's power was strong, and so was her hatred for her. She began to grow woosy, "Exron?" the words had barely left her mouth before she blacked out.

 Landlion awoke in the forest, the dawn sun was barely peaking through the trees. How'd I get here? he wondered. I don't remember anything. He opened his hand, inside was a piece of paper. He read the first line, It's a note from Kyrian.
  "Landlion." it said,"I don't have time. Laurel flew, left me and you. I captured, you hidden. Greenlight, Forest Oak, Waterleaf heal wound. Be brave. Kyrian."

   It all came back to him. Laurel and Kyrian burst into his cell right after he tied the noose around his neck.  Laurel cut it and dragged him out and to the dragon. He and Kyrian hung below Cerelda as she flew. Then he blacked out as they landed. They saved my life in exchange for Kyrians. He was touched by the kindness they showed towards him. He read the last part of the note, "Greenlight, Forest Oak, Waterleaf heal wound. Be brave." She thought it was something that could be healed. He thought sadly. If only she were right.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Part 47 by Taylor

Laurel and Kyrain walked quietly through the evening dusk towards Cerelda and Rhovanion. "We'll have to travel a little slower since you're riding a horse, but still, we should get there in plenty of time." Laurel chattered as they walked. Kyrian was beginning to be a little doubtful about the wisdom of their plan, but still, she followed Laurel's lead.

An hour later, they reached the castle in Lylle where Landlion was imprisoned. Kyrian had pushed Rhovanion hard the whole way, and the tired mare was glad to stop. Cerelda landed heavily a few feet away, and Laurel motioned for Kyrian to come. Kyrian grabbed a long coil of rope from Rhovanion and fashioned a harness for herself. Cerelda grasped the other end in her claws and took off. Kyrian gasped as she suddenly shot into the air, unprepared for the sudden jerk. She lost her grip on the rope and flipped upside down with a scream. Laurel yelled, but she couldn't really do anything. With an intense effort, Kyrian righted herself and grabbed the rope tightly, breathing hard from her frightful experience.

Although she was careful never to let anyone know, she had a fear of hights. She had tried to keep her courage up by not thinking of what she planned to do, but her upside down ride had dissolved all former confidence she might have had. She couldn't believe how Laurel rode that dragon without so much as a rope holding her on. She was tempted to yell up to Laurel to call off the whole thing, but she decided against it. Besides, Laurel wouldn't let her back out now anyway.

Suddenly, Cerelda cupped her wings and came to an abrupt halt in the air. Kyrian flew forward under the dragon and was jerked to a stop twenty feet ahead. She moaned and held her stomach where the rope had practically cut her in half. "What was that all about?!" she yelled at Laurel. The elf didn't answer, just wheeled Cerelda around in the other direction at full speed. "Ow!" Kyrian was jerked violently in the other direction.

Cerelda dropped swiftly, and Kyrian screamed as the ground rushed up to meet her. "Oof!" She hit the dirt hard and lay face-down, not moving. Laurel jumped off of Cerelda and ran to Kyrian. "Are you all right?!" Laurel asked. "No, I am not all right," Kyrian's muffled voice came from the ground. "I'm dead." Laurel couldn't help but laugh. "Seriously Kyrian, are you okay?" Kyrian sat up with a groan and glared at the elf. Laurel shrank back.

"Why did you do that? That wasn't the plan!" Kyrian said vehemently. "Kyrian, the plan is impossible. They must have figured out that we came over the wall last time when we captured the king," Laurel answered. "What do you mean?" Kyrian asked. "The whole city is heavily fortified, with many soldiers on the high places specifically looking for anyone trying an air raid."

Kyrian didn't say anything for a moment. Neither did Laurel. Both were lost in thought. "I might have an idea," Kyrian said slowly. "Oh, what is it?" Laurel asked eagerly. "It's risky," Kyrian cautioned. "Who cares?" Laurel shrugged. Kyrian sighed. Typical.

The moon was merely a sliver in the sky, a distinct advantage to some extent. Although, it would hamper one prospect of Kyrian's plan. The two girls were hidden at the edge of the forest which was a little ways from the walls. They could see soldiers pacing the wall, bows ready, eyes searching for intruders. "Ready?" Kyrian asked Laurel. "Ready." Laurel answered, bow poised. "Now!" They both loosed their arrows, each one finding the mark. Two soldiers cried out and fell to the ground far below. Quick as a flash, they shot again, with perfect accuracy. Two more men mysteriously screamed and dropped. Yells echoed through the city as soldiers ran from the barracks to investigate.

Through all the confusion, the girls continued to pick off soldiers. Laurel shot a soldier through the heart, but instead of dropping, the man behind him caught the body. By the angle of the arrow, he was able to determine the general direction that it had come from. "Run!" Kyrian shouted. Both girls dove out of the way just as the whole area around them was peppered with arrows. Laurel narrowly escaped injury, only made possible by her elven qualities. Kyrian wasn't so lucky. "Ow!" Laurel twisted around to see Kyrian rip an arrow from her lower leg. "Kyrian, are you all right?!" Laurel crawled over to her. "Yeah, I'll be fine," Kyrian said with an effort. But Laurel was not fooled. "What kind of plant will help this?" she asked. "Um...." Kyrian tried to think, but was a little light-headed. "Greenlights blossom," she finally said.

Laurel ran off into the woods to search for the plant. Time was running out, their plan was working, but was now working against them. The soldiers were pouring out of the city to squelch the rebel uprising. Something caught Laurel's eye; a miniature forest of small, plain, pale green flowers. Without hesitation, she ripped up a handful and ran back to Kyrian.

"Is this it?" she showed the plant to the wounded girl. Kyrian's eyes widened in surprise. "Yes, that's it! Where did you find it?!"
"Just over there," Laurel answered off-handedly, applying the plant to wound. Kyrian was still shocked, Greenlight was not known to grow in those parts. She had just sent Laurel away so the Dragon Rider wouldn't be killed. "Can you walk?" Laurel broke into Kyrian's thoughts. "Um, yes." Kyrian struggled to her feet with Laurel's aid. Once she was up, walking became easier, and she soon ran with Laurel.

They ran far away from their hiding place, all the way to where Cerelda waited. "Let's go!" Laurel jumped onto the dragon's back and Kyrian whipped the harness around herself. This time she was prepared when Cerelda took off, although she still wasn't comfortable with the height.

They flew around to the side of the castle, where the advancing troops wouldn't see them. A lot of the troops had left, but still, there were many at the castle. "I hope this works," Kyrian whispered to herself. They flew over the wall where the soldiers used to be. Kyrian felt Laurel slide down the same rope she hung from. They could see a high rooftop rushing towards them. As soon as they were over it, Laurel cut the rope, and they dropped silently to the roof.

Once they were down, Laurel knew right where to go. She had badgered the poor formal King Ire until he had told her where the dungeon was. Winding through the narrow streets, they finally reached a barred door. Kyrian quickly and quietly subdued the guard and tossed the keys to Laurel, who tried one after another until she found the right one.

Cold stone steps led down into the damp darkness below. Laurel recklessly ran down the stairs, Kyrian following more carefully. Once their eyes adjusted to the dimness, they were able to depict a row of filthy cells. As they walked, they tried not to touch the dripping walls. "Landlion," Laurel whispered into each cell. Kyrian couldn't see as well as the elf could, she mostly relied on sound. "Landlion!" Laurel cried, rushing to a cell. Kyrian blindly followed. She could hear Laurel frantically flipping through the keys, trying to find the right one.

Finally, she got it, and flung the cell door open, almost hitting Kyrian in the face. "Kyrian, help!" Kyrian rushed in and felt around for Laurel. "Where are you?"
"Over here!" Laurel sounded almost hysterical. Kyrian groped her way around, finally hitting Laurel with one of her flailing hands. "Give me a knife!" Laurel yelled. Kyrian reached in her pocket and handed over a blade. Laurel snatched it and started cutting something; Kyrian could hear fibers snapping. "What are you doing?"
Laurel didn't answer. Landlion moaned slightly as Laurel shook him. "Laurel? Kyrian? What are you doing here?" he asked groggily. "We're rescuing you!" Laurel said firmly. "No," he said feebly. "Here Kyrian, help me get him up," Laurel instructed, ignoring Landlion's protests.

Kyrian grabbed his arm and hoisted him up with Laurel's help. Landlion couldn't seem to support his weight very well for some reason. "Laurel, what's wrong with him?" Kyrian said with an effort. "His leg is injured," was all Laurel would say. They managed to get him to the dungeon door. Where they were immediately confronted by five armed guards.

Laurel and Kyrian couldn't reach for their weapons without dropping the wilting Landlion. Besides, it was too late. Each man had his sword drawn and pointed at the invaders. Suddenly, a huge rock dropped from above and crushed them instantly. Laurel and Kyrian looked up and saw Cerelda flying overhead. The dragon swung around and flew low over the city. When she came directly over them, she flapped slowly, hovering. The rope, still tied to her, fell on Kyrian's head. The girls tied the dangling rope to Landlion and themselves, an  action that cost them precious time. The troops had quickly discovered that no one was in the woods, and were swiftly returning to the city at the shouts of their comrades. Arrows whistled by them. "Go!" Laurel screamed to Cerelda.

With a great effort, the young dragon lifted her precious cargo into the air. Her wings worked overtime to get clear of the wall. Laurel knew that Cerelda couldn't go for long with such a heavy load. Suddenly, one of the whistling arrows hit Cerelda in the underbelly. Normally, the arrows just bounced off her hard scales, but this one came from behind and nosed under the tip of a scale, piercing flesh. The injured dragon let out a scream and, despite her best efforts, lost altitude. Laurel felt her dragon's pain, and quickly untied herself, pulling herself hand-over-hand up the rope to her faltering dragon.

Kyrian knew they were about to have a rough landing, and she braced herself accordingly. Cerelda spread her wings as she fell, landing more gently. Still, Kyrian and Landlion rolled on the ground upon impact, Landlion crying out in pain. Kyrian didn't cry out. "I must be getting the hang of this landing stuff," she thought wryly.

When she checked Landlion, she found him to be unconscious. "Just as well," she thought. "I'm sure he's more comfortable this way." She ran over to Laurel and Cerelda. "Is she all right?" she asked Laurel. The elf turned a tear-stained face up to Kyrian. "I don't know what to do. She's in such pain! I don't know what to do." Laurel kept repeating that she didn't know what to do, biting her knuckle and trying to keep her tears back. Kyrian suddenly whirled around when she heard a terrifying sound. Shouts of men coming after them.

Hey guys! I know this is kind of a cliffhanger and may put the next writer in a tight spot, but my part is already huge, so I thought I had better stop. If, of course, you want me to write some more on this part, I certainly can. =D

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Part 46 by Tessa

"You expect me to die my hair that color? That's hideous!" Laurel said disbelievingly.
"Um, yes." Kyrian said looking down at the bowl of dye in her hands.
"Fine, let's get this over with." she sighed before sitting down. "I just hope it washes out."
"Well, Mintara's orders are well, Mintara's orders. It might help us with you know what." Kyrian implied.
"You just might be right." Laurel said turning around to reveal a big Cheshire grin on her face.
"Turn around and sit still you goof!" Kyrian said stifling her laughter. She grabbed the bowl and started transforming Laurel from a red-head to a nasty brown.
"Cerelda is never going to let me live this down!" Laurel thought giggling to herself and upsetting Kyrian who dropped the bowl directly on the middle of her head. Kyrian took one look at Laurel with the bowl on her head and dye running down her face and started rolling on the floor laughing.

"What's so funny?" Mintara asked as she walked into the tent. In one glance she sized up the situation. With a straight face she said "Oh, well you look wonderful Laurel. Just the look we were going for." Before letting a smile tug at her lips. "Hurry up and clean this mess up before meeting me in my tent." she said leaving Laurel and Kyrian staring after her.

Laurel and Kyrian finally finished cleaning up the dye mess and now were waiting for Mintara to finish talking to Tomas. When Tomas came out he smiled at Kyrian before saying, "Oh, you have to talk to Mintara too? Well, good luck. After the news she just got she, well we'll just say she isn't in the best mood."
Mintara was looking at a map of the land surrounding Xerob. "I believe you have something to tell us Mintara?" Laurel questioned.
"Yes, I do and you aren't going to like it Laurel. I'm moving you two and a few others to the trading port of Sine. Now before you object as I see you are about to do let me finish." she said raising her hand in a motion which generally meant shut your mouth and sit down.
"After we kidnapped the king I got word from one of our spies in the city. She told me that they already have a new ruler. King Stepheneis and Queen Aelysha. I'm getting the idea that they are getting orders from someone bigger than themselves. Can you guess who that could be? Melkor." she said before giving them a chance to guess.
"He knows that he needs to get rid of you first then he can deal with the rest of us. So to put you out of the danger zone which you find yourself in more and more frequently, I have decided to send you to Sine."
"Okay."  Laurel said calmly.  "Can I go now?"
"Yes, go ahead."  Laurel and Kyrian walked out talking.
"They're up to something.  I know it."

I'm not sure which city they're ruling...if you gotta change it go ahead...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Part 45 by Emily

   In the large chamber hall, where the royal throne was, the guards stood at attention. The gentlemen and the ladies-in-waiting also stood ready. They had been called to the throne room on short notice that morning, it was amazing that they all looked fashionable in the short time span they had to get ready. A priest of Sharron stood in between the two mahogany thrones. The large doors at the end of the immaculate hall were thrown open, and trumpets were blown. The people-in-waiting gasped as a young man, dressed in silks took the first step into the room. They started to murmur in low voices, so very low that they could barely hear themselves. "Is this the king's son?" "No, he didn't have a son." "Did he even have a wife?" "Who could this man be?"

  They all fell silent when right behind the young man stepped a breath-takingly-beautiful young woman. She was dressed in a wonderful lavender silk dress, that showed off her eyes, and her figure. She and the young man strode forward until they reached the steps to the throne. "Behold!" The old priest cried,"The new rulers of Lylle!" The guards and the people in waiting bowed low as the priest placed the crowns on their heads.  As the King and Queen straightened up they turned around. "Behold King Stepheneis, and Queen Aelysha!"

 Laurel laid in her bed sobbing, Kyrian sat on her own offering words of comfort to the heart broken Dragon Rider. "Laurel,"she pleaded,"everything will be okay. We just need to follow Mintara's plan." Laurel's head snapped up right. "Mintara's plan? Mintara's plan! All that wizard thinks about is herself! She doesn't care about others, especially Landlion!" Kyrian thought Laurel was done, but she raged on. "I bet if Tomas was where Landlion is instead, she would let YOU lead a rescue party to save him. She almost cares about you more than that stupid unicorn she bred! I'm glad he's dead." Laurel spat, and with that she fell back down on her bed and a new series of sobs racked her body.

  Kyrian rose off of her own bed. 'That isn't true!' she thought vehemently,'Mintara wouldn't allow me to be that reckless, and jeopardize the entire cause.' Then she realized she had once been like Laurel, determined to save some one she loved from pain and misery. "Laurel," she whispered,"I'll do anything to help you." The red headed girl sprung up. "Good. Now listen closely I have a plan."

  Aelysha sat on her luxurious throne looking smugly down on the scribe. "Now," she said rising from the throne,"my first law as Queen of Lylle is that all the people serving in an army other than the army of Lylle must return to their houses at once. If they do not return in a timely manner." she grinned,"Their items will be confiscated and their families will be taken into our prison. If they fail to return at all, we will seize their estate and their family, and burn them all." She broke into a fit of hysterical laughter. The scribe finished the document and had Aelysha stamp it with her royal seal. "Send out a decree about the new law." she ordered,"And have it sent to every city. Every house hold if we have to." The scribe bowed in respect for the new queen, then bolted out of the chamber.

  "The Royal Highness wants copies of this law to be sent to every town and city in the land of Lylle!" he cried sprinting into the room full of scribes. He handed his paper to the fastest writer,"Write fast so that we and our families might live." The woman nodded at him then speedily dipped her quill in the ink and started writing.

"Well done my sister." Stepheneis said with a laugh. "We got rid of that fool of a king Melkor set up all those years ago. It was easier than taking a necklace from a Dragon." The twins heard a boom behind them, they turned to see what had happened. A tall man swathed in black stood there, "Well done my servants." he said,"You've done much better in the past week than your father had done in his whole life."
  "Melkor," they said bowing, "We are so happy you are pleased." Stepheneis told him.
 "Now, the next thing I need you to do is find the Dragon Rider. And kill her." Then as soon as he came he left.
 "Great." Aelysha said sarcastically,"We need to kill the Dragon Rider."

  "So are you in?" Laurel asked Kyrian. The brunette paused for a moment,"Yes, I'm in." she told the red head. Laurel gave her a hug, "Thanks Kyrian. I knew I could count on you." The two walked out of their tent, and into the bright prairie sun. The army was located on the plains many miles north of Hale and Pearson. It was better for them to be there than in Locien. Mintara strode up to Kyrian,"We're moving Laurel."
 "What?" Kyrian asked incredulously.
 "We're moving Laurel to the city of Sine. A small trading port by the northern mountains. She'll be safer there."
  "Who's going with her?"
 "You of course, and a small group of others."
 "Like who?"
"Tomas, Cheryl, Quintan, Ernest, Michelle, and Dale. You ask to many questions."
  "Okay. When do we leave?"
 "Later tomorrow, I think Laurel has had enough drama for today." Mintara started to walk away. "Oh," she said turning around."She needs her hair dyed." Kyrian stared at the white headed wizard, 'Laurel needs her hair dyed? Oh great."

Friday, July 30, 2010

Part 44 by Taylor.

Laurel silently crept toward the gates, slinking in the shadows. So far, it seemed to be going pretty well. Reaching the hard metal gates, she saw Kyrian, Tomas, and Landlion on the other side. Laurel searched for the lever that would raise the gates. Finally finding it, she pulled on the crank with all her might. The gate rose with a loud screech, making everyone cringe. Laurel immediately released the lever.

The gate had risen enough to let the others wiggle under. Kyrian went first, sliding under with no difficulty, and Tomas also had no trouble, being rather thin. But Landlion had a hard time squeezing through, not that he was fat, but he was more robust than Tomas. Laurel would have considered this a good thing at any other time, but now, she sighed and rolled her eyes. Grabbing the gate, she pulled upward a little, allowing Landlion to work his way under. "Um, sorry," he said bashfully, standing up. "Nice," was Laurel's comment. "Come on guys!" Tomas whispered from across the square. Laurel and Landlion ducked down and ran awkwardly across the open space.

"All right," Kyrian whispered. "Tomas and I will go up to the king's chamber. Laurel and Landlion need to stay here and keep watch and take care of anyone who finds out." Laurel and Landlion groaned, but Kyrian was boss of this mission; Mintara had made that very clear. With some grumbling, Laurel and Landlion took their positions in the shadows opposite the gate. "Come on." Kyrian motioned for Tomas to follow her, and they ran silently up the stone steps into the castle.

They managed to avoid guards and sentries as they made their way along. When they reached the king's chamber, Tomas silently drew his sword. "Remember the plan," he whispered. Kyrian nodded solemnly, and fitted a smooth arrow to her bow. Tomas tried the door and found it unlocked. As it opened, it let out a horrific loud screech. Kyrian gasped and shut the door quickly, barring it behind them. "That was simple," Tomas commented. "Yeah, almost a little too simple," Kyrian answered warily.

King Ire was still sleeping soundly, even through the terrible sound. Tomas quickly strode over and shook the sleeping man roughly. "Time to wake up, your highness," he hissed. "Hmmm, oh, what?" In a flash, the king took in the entire scene. "What do you want?" he cried, sitting up. Tomas didn't answer, just grabbed him by the back of the collar and dragged him out of the bed. Kyrian peered out the windows, no sign of activity. Tomas shackled the king's hands behind him. "Is that really necessary?" Kyrian asked timidly. King Ire seemed harmless enough, in fact, almost docile. "We can't take any chances," Tomas answered firmly.

He pushed the king up against the wall and said, "All we want to know is where Aelysha is."
"Who?" the king said innocently. Tomas sighed and nodded at Kyrian, who raised her bow and let loose an arrow in one, fluid motion. It quivered in the wall inches from the king's face, but Tomas's hand kept him still. "She's here! In the castle!" the king hollered. Tomas clapped a hand over his mouth, but it was too late. Kyrian heard the shuffle of feet outside the barred door. "Tomas!" she cried in fear. Tomas quickly ripped a piece off of his sleeve and gagged the king, lest he cause any more mischief. Kyrian threw the window open and made a complicated set of loud clicking noises. A blast of air and a rush of wings greeted her. The young dragon perched on the ledge outside the window, and Tomas all but threw King Ire out. Cerelda grabbed him in her talons and flew silently away, the bound king struggling fiercely, his voice muffled through the gag.

"Let's go!" Tomas produced a length of rope and tied it to a large metal statue. He helped Kyrian down first, then quickly followed after. He could hear the guards trying to break down the heavy wooden door.

They ran as fast as they could down to the square. Laurel and Landlion were looking around as the alarm spread. "Go go!" Tomas yelled, all discretion gone. All four made a break for the gate. Kyrian and Tomas slid under at the same time, then Laurel. Landlion was having a hard time again. An arrow whistled by his ear. Laurel had already run ahead with the others, assuming that Landlion was right behind her. He pushed hard, and managed to get most of the way through. Just then, the gate came crashing down, the large spikes touching the stone walkway on either side of his legs, pinning him there. He saw Laurel skid to a stop and turn. Her eyes widened in horror when she saw his predicament. She started to run towards him, but he could already hear the soldiers approaching behind him. "Go!" he shouted. Laurel paid no attention. She grabbed the iron gate and tried to lift up, but it was no use, the gate was closed. She looked around frantically for something to pry them open. "Laurel, get out of here!" He couldn't believe how stupid she was being. He grabbed her with his hand and said, "I'm not important. I can be replaced. You can't." Laurel looked undecided. Landlion heard a rush of wings, and saw Cerelda land behind Laurel. He looked the young dragon in the eye, and she nodded, before plucking Laurel up and flying away.

They all met back at Locien, Laurel crying uncontrollably. Kyrian cried with her, and Tomas busied himself with the prisoner so no one would see his pain. He put King Ire in the Locien dungeon, then went to a meeting with the others, Mintara, Kyrian, Laurel, Cerelda, Goricnal, and himself. "With the loss of Landlion, we'll have to replace him with another," Mintara began. "How can you be so cruel?!" Laurel exploded. "Landlion's gone, and you're already talking about replacing him?"
"We have an army to run," Mintara said coldly. "The army can wait!" Laurel cried. "What about me? What about how I feel?"
"What do you mean, how you feel?" Mintara sneered. "You think this is bad? You've seen nothing. Nothing!" Only Kyrian knew what she was referring to. Laurel didn't however, and she sulked in her chair. "Now, we have King Ire," Mintara continued as if nothing had happened. "We'll hold him for ransom, and hopefully lure Aelysha out. The people will be outraged if he is killed, so we have a good chance. And, if Landlion is still alive, then we'll trade him in too." Laurel's head snapped up.

Landlion lay in a cell at the castle in terrible pain. They had tried to make him tell where the dragon rider was, but he had refused any information. He glanced down at his leg, the main source of all his pain. The evil guards had cut a crucial tendon, rendering his leg useless. No amount of healer's medicine or magic would heal it. They had literally cut it out. He pounded the dirt floor in frustration. He wished they would just go ahead and kill him. Without a leg, he was nothing. His gaze wandered over to a piece of old rope in a corner. He dragged himself over and fingered it. Just long enough to tie around his neck.

Part 43 by Tessa

Laurel tried to explain to Cerelda why she wanted to ride that "idiotic land-bound horse" but as usual Cerelda was not getting it.
"Why you want to ride that...thing is beyond me! Anyway we need more practice before the battle. You don't want us to lose the battle just because you wanted to ride a horse, do you?" she said as she cast a disgusted glance at the horses.
"We are not going to lose just because I take one trip on a lowly horse instead of a majestic dragon like you!" Laurel hissed back trying not to get to loud but failing miserably.
"Having troubles Laurel?" said Goricnal as he poked his head out of his tent (Kyrian had persuaded him to give back her tent much to his discomfort.)
"No I am not...okay maybe a little...but I have it under control!" she stated.
"Oh sure you do. You have it so under control that you're standing here yelling outside my tent and waking me up. Yes, you definatly have it under control." He said laughing.
"Oh clamshells! Fine I'll ride you Cerelda but we better get going or else Kyrian is going to leave without us and it's going to be all your fault!"
"Yes, I'm sure Kyrian is going to fall for that." Cerelda responded chuckling.
"Oh be quiet! Let's fly!"

Laurel and Cerelda glided over the forest scouting the area in front of the party below them.
"Hey Cerelda?"
"Why did you hatch for me? I mean I'm not very talented. Maybe you haven't noticed but I've become very good at ruining things. I'm still a child in everyone's eyes. Just a child that for some reason was chosen to be a Dragon Rider even though I still play the part of a child. I just don't get why you picked me."
"I picked you because you were right for me. You're not stuck up and arrogant like most of the others who's hands I passed through and you are the chosen one. It doesn't matter if everyone thinks of you as a child who messes everything up because you're going to show them wrong when the time comes. You wouldn't be picked as the chosen one if you weren't capable of what was in store for you. Keep your focus off you and on others. Put all your focus on helping your comrades finish what we started and never ever do anything that goes against what you believe in. Always listen to what others have to say and if you do that I think you'll be okay."
Laurel lifted her face to the wind and smiled. "I may be childish in others eyes but I'll make it through and we will win this! And I'm going to be there to help."

Cerelda spiraled to the ground and landed heavily in a clearing jarring Laurel out of the saddle and to the ground. Laurel sat up and shook her head before standing up and went to stand by Cerelda as Kyrian and the rest of the riders rode to meet them.
"Have you seen anything from the air Laurel and Cerelda?" Kyrian asked urgently.
"Yes, we can see Xerob. The city is heavily armed which could prove a problem. But I have a good idea on getting those gates open. We could..." and Laurel started to tell Kyrian of her plan.

"I can't believe she let us do this." Laurel said to Cerelda as she dangled from her claws. She had her sword drawn and her bow and arrows slung across her back.
"Yes, I am quite surprised that she went along with your reckless idea but she did and now it's your turn to show them what you got. I'll fly low into the town square and drop you. Then I'll go create a distraction while you open the gate. Ready?" Cerelda asked.
"Ready as I'll ever be!" Laurel said before falling and sprawling out in the town square. She leaped to her feet and started running toward the gates.
"This is going to be a piece of cake!"