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!"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Part 42 by Emily

Laurel and Cerelda flew high above the army, practicing aerial maneuvers. She and Melkor were the only dragon riders alive, Laurel felt a pang of sadness. She had been told a few weeks back that her birth mother had been a dragon rider. Laurel didn't know what had become of her. 'Cerelda, do you know anything about my mother?' The dragoness remained silent for a few moments then said, 'Not much, but what I do know may comfort you.' The two spun into a dive. 'I know what the strange mist told you, that she looked like you and had the same fiery spirit, and little more. Her dragon's name was Wayland, he was my sire. She was chosen to be a Rider as a young child, and grew up in the court of Lady Hopernal. When the first war against Melkor happened she was your age, she fought valiantly but she and her dragon were not strong enough to defeat Melkor. Wayland and Yelinda had two eggs, one of which was me. The other one mysteriously disappeared one night, and no one knows where it is.' Cerelda paused for a moment. 'After that your parents and the Dragons left and never came back. And that's all I know.'  'Thanks Cerelda. Can we land now?' As soon as they landed Laurel leaped off Cerelda and sped towards the Calvary.

  "Mintara!" She yelled. The wizard spun her horse around, "What?" she asked the Rider,"Did you see danger?" Laurel slowed down, "No, but I-,"
  "Then what are you pestering me for?" the wizard growled.
 "I was wondering if you could tell me anything about my parents."
  "Why would I know anything about your parents? Go ask Kyrian's mother about her, she knew them better than I did." Laurel walked away from Mintara, her mind full of questions to ask Rachele. She found the company of healers in the middle of the army. Kyrian's mother was sitting beside a fire warming a pack of herbs. "Hi Laurel." she said looking up from the pack, "What brings you here? Are you hurt?" she started to rise from the fire.
 "Oh no." Laurel told her,"I was actually wondering if you could tell me anything about my parents." A look of shock came over Rachele's face. "No one has asked me about Laurea in years. What would you like to know about her?" It was now Laurel's turn to be shocked, "My mother's name was Laurea?"
 "Why yes, it was. We were best friends as young adults." Rachele's eyes got misty. "We fought in in the first war against Melkor together, well she did the fighting and I did the healing. I met Ven there, and we fell in love. But that's a whole different story. Laurea was engaged to Tylar, another Dragon Rider. And they fought very well together, even though we didn't win the war against Melkor. Tylar was injured badly, it took many of us healers to heal him. Even after we healed him he wasn't quite the same Tylar. The next spring they got married at a wonderful wedding, it was one of the most beautiful I had ever seen. Laurea and Tylar traveled a lot over the next decades. They came to Ven and I's wedding, then I didn't see them for awhile until Melkor and Exron started lashing out again. I was with child when I saw Laurea for the last time, it was around seventeen years ago. She had you at our house then she and Tylar went off on their journey to defeat Melkor. I never saw or heard from them again." Rachele was sobbing gently, as was Laurel.
  "Do you think they are dead?" Laurel asked. Rachele took  the pack out of the fire. "I don't know," she told Laurel,"I'm hoping that they aren't."

  Laurel got up and walked around the camp for awhile, thinking about what Kyrian's mother had told her. 'My mom must have been really old when she had me.' she thought. Oh wait, she's an elf so she wasn't at all really old. She was probably considered really young.' Laurel not paying any attention ran into Kyrian spilling the contents of the bundle she was holding. "Oh, I'm so sorry Kyrian! I'm such a klutz!" Laurel dropped to the ground to start picking up the blankets, cloaks, and packages of food. "What are these for?" she asked Kyrian.
  "Mintara wants the Special force to ride ahead and scout out the land, and when we reach Xerob we will infiltrate the palace and take the king hostage. Would you like to come with us?" Kyrian asked with gleam in her eye.
  "Sure." Laurel told her as she handed her the last package of food. "When do we leave."
 "At sun down tonight."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Part 41 by Taylor

The army was leaving Locien. Everything was in place. In front rode the cavalry, commanded by Kyrian and Mintara. Behind them came the foot soldiers, led by Landlion and Tomas. Laurel and Cerelda brought up the rear with the archers. "Wish I had some help," Laurel muttered. "Why couldn't Landlion be back here?" But she knew that he was needed where he was. He expertise was in the sword, not the bow. Kyrian was good with the bow, but also with a horse, so Mintara had placed her with the cavalry. Also, Laurel got the feeling that Mintara had taken a special liking to Kyrian. "Teacher's pet," Laurel muttered under her breath. But she really didn't mind. Mintara was a little too aloof and sarcastic for her taste anyway.

As they camped that night at the end of their first day's journey, Laurel suddenly felt an urge to ride Cerelda. She couldn't explain it, but she felt so complete, so fulfilled when riding her dragon. Cerelda fluttered over, a beautiful, bronze dragon with a slender build and brilliant eyes. Laurel was disturbed that Cerelda could not yet breathe fire in a steady stream. It came out in short bursts of flame. She didn't think that she could become any closer to the dragon, but apparently, something was amiss. She probably should have stopped and thought if it was all right to ride out in the open, but since she wasn't one to think before she did things; it didn't even occur to her. She swung up into the saddle and leaned forward as Cerelda clapped her wings downward and shot into the sky. As they gently glided over the forest, Laurel spotted a small clearing. Cerelda, already knowing Laurel's thoughts, swooped down and gently landed with a scattering of leaves.

Grateful for the alone time, away from the noisy bustle of the army camp, Laurel sat down and leaned up against a tall elm. Suddenly, she heard a scuffling noise underneath her. She jumped to her feet and drew her sword in the same motion, brandishing the weapon with her newly healed arm. The scuffling continued for another moment, then a little head popped up out of the ground. "Goricnal!" Laurel exclaimed, lowering her sword. The dwarf pulled himself out of the ground with a groan, then got to his feet, dusting himself off busily. "What are you doing here?" Laurel asked, sheathing her weapon. "I came to help you," was his brief answer. "Why?" Laurel asked bluntly. "Because you obviously need me!" he said gruffly, as usual. Laurel couldn't help but smile at the funny little man. "All right, then come with me." She lead the way to Cerelda, who greeted Goricnal enthusiastically. "My, she's grown!" he exclaimed. Laurel looked at her proudly and Cerelda winked at her.

Goricnal had a hard time mounting the large dragon, but soon managed to land squarely in the saddle, Laurel riding behind. Laurel had a good idea of what Cerelda planned to do, and she was not disappointed. The mischievous dragon shot straight up into the sky, Goricnal screaming at the top of his lungs. She dove, flipped, looped, and everything else she could think of.

Finally, Laurel nudged Cerelda in her thoughts, and the frisky dragon calmed down and flew them to the army without further delay. As Laurel dismounted, Goricnal fell off in a small heap. "Laurel?" Kyrian asked, coming up curiously. "Hi!" Laurel greeted brightly. "I was off on a ride, and guess who I found?" Before Kyrian could hazard a guess, Goricnal picked himself up on the ground and piped, "Me!"
"Goricnal!" Kyrian exclaimed. Like Laurel, she had a certain fondness for the gruff little guy.

After the girls had taken Goricnal around, meeting up with old friends and introducing him to others, he said he was quite exhausted, and made himself at home in Kyrian's tent. "Come on, you can share with me," Laurel giggled.

The next morning, Kyrian woke up early. She groaned and rolled over, trying in vain to fall asleep again. No use. She sat up and rubbed her eyes tiredly. Beside her, Laurel stirred. "Oh, did I wake you?" Kyrian asked. "No, I was already awake," Laurel said remorsefully. Both girls stepped out into the brisk morning air. "I guess I'll go ahead and get started on a fire for breakfast," Laurel sighed. "I'll go find some wood," Kyrian volunteered. Most of the army was still asleep, or slowly emerging from tents. Kyrian's clothing was becoming damp from the early morning mist, and she longed for the warmth of a fire, but she couldn't return empty-handed, and sticks seemed to be hard to come by.

Several people were already awake, including Goricnal and Cerelda. Kyrian stopped for a moment and watched them with amusement. Goricnal seemed to be showing off to the young dragon, fitting an arrow to his bow and aiming at a target. Cerelda looked bored. Twang. The arrow hit the mark dead-center. Goricnal turned a smug look upon Cerelda. She stood up and sized up the target, then exhaled a small blast of fire that incinerated Goricnal's arrow. She turned and smiled a toothy grin at him. "You know, I don't like you," Goricnal growled. "I don't like you at all." Kyrian covered her mouth to keep the laughter in, then continued on her way.

A while later, Kyrian stopped and leaned up against a tree to catch her breath. A wave of sleepiness washed over her, and she slid down the trunk until she slumped down onto the damp ground. Even though she knew that she needed the wood, it seemed like a faraway place, almost like a dream. Her eyelids were sliding shut, and she was powerless to resist, if she had wanted to in the first place. An image began to form in her mind....

A golden city, high up in the sky, disguised in a giant cloud. Many seats, arranged in a circle. Then, on a higher level, several more seats, ten, to be exact. Two of the seats were empty, but the others were occupied by shining beings, who's manner and appearance made it obvious that they were very important and very powerful. One seat, shaped like a golden throne, shone with a radiant brilliance, and was at the head of the circle. On this throne sat a regal being, clothed in a shimmering golden cloth robe. Somehow, Kyrian knew that this was the legendary Council of Wizards. She also knew that what she was seeing had happed thousands of years ago.

The golden-garbed wizard, Simar, paced the floor agitatedly. "How could this happen?" he finally said angrily. A purple-clothed young woman, Escathyst, said soothingly, "Father, do not worry. We can find a solution."
"Yes, Lord Simar," a heavily bearded wizard named Parthlin said. "How could he do this?" Simar lamented. "Melkor has always been prone to evil, if I may say so," a young, blonde wizard, Scintir, said carefully. "But to betray us! To betray the council!" Kyrian saw a muscular man rise to his feet. "He must die!"
"Calm yourself, Jothlar," Escathyst cautioned in her calming voice. Jothlar sat heavily in his throne-like chair with a sigh. "Jothlar is right," a familiar voice seconded. Kyrian twisted around. She definitely knew that voice! Mintara was standing, a new glow and radiance about her white robes. "The only way to stop Melkor and end his treachery is to kill him!" she pronounced firmly, her cold eyes snapping. "Mintara, we know what your opinion is. We also know of the fate of Emerion," Escathyst comforted. Mintara eyes smoldered, and she abruptly sat down. "Father, what my sister means, is that we must act now," Escathyst continued, talking to Simar. "Emerion will not survive Melkor's evilness for much longer." The Chief Wizard sat heavily in his chair, holding a hand to his forehead. Everyone else in the Council sat as still as stone. Finally, he raised his head, and everyone held their breath. "We attack." Mintara and Jothlar leaped to their feet with something like a war cry.

The scene faded from Kyrian's mind, and a new image took place.
A large army was marching upon a black castle. It was led by Mintara and Jothlar, who both wielded staffs. Both staffs were of identical build and material, except Mintara's was white, and Jothlar's was a deep brown. An army of black-clad soldiers were marching out to meet them. Jothlar let out a mighty cry and rushed into their midst, slashing and smashing with his powerful arms. Mintara slunk away to the side, and ran to the castle. Subduing the guards, she made her way down the cold, rank corridors to the dungeon level. She didn't know where Emerion was, but his presence was very close.

She finally found him crumpled in a filthy cell. The bars evaporated with a wave of her staff, and she rushed to his side. "Emerion." Kyrian saw a tenderness in her face which was completely foreign to the Mintara that she knew. The young, black-haired wizard stirred slightly, and opened indigo eyes, so dark they were almost black. A convulsion seized him, and Mintara could feel him slipping away. "No no!" she cried, burying her face in his chest. She knew that she had to make a decision. A nicker startled her. In a cell across the way, a white unicorn stamped nervously. Mintara recognized him as a wild one that had apparently just been caught. She turned to Emerion, quickly fading. She pulled a dagger from her belt and shut her eyes, asking her father, Simar, for strength. Then she plunged it into Emerion's chest.

Kyrian screamed in her dream as the picture disappeared. Then, something else came into view. Mintara, in bedraggled white, leaned on a beautiful unicorn as they slowly exited the castle. The armies had moved away, and all she wanted to do was to get home. But as they slowly made their way along, enemy soldiers jumped from the bushes. Mintara was fully occupied, dodging and dealing blows, when a fierce whinny caught her attention. She turned to find Emerion, in unicorn form, being held in the grasp of two soldiers. Terrible rage filled her, and she leaped at the men, who were no match for her wrath.

Although Kyrian didn't see it, she knew the rest of the story. Mintara tortured the men brutally before mercifully killing them, and for her terrible acts, was banished from the Council by Simar, her father, stripped of her power. Emerion went with her, choosing rather to stay with her than remain on the Council.

Kyrian awoke with a jolt, her clothes soaked with the dew. Looking down at her small handful of sticks, she suddenly remembered where she was. She scrambled to her feet and ran to the camp to tell Laurel. Suddenly, she skidded to a stop. What was she thinking? she berated her herself. It was a very personal part of Mintara's past, and Kyrian technically had no business knowing it, much less blabbing it to the whole army. She turned and ran instead to Mintara's tent. Not finding her there, she remembered a hilltop that had caught her eye. She knew of Mintara's fondness to be up high, so she instinctively knew that she would find Mintara there.

Her intuition did not fail her. Mintara sat on the grassy hilltop, looking thoughtfully at the surrounding landscape. "Mintara," Kyrian greeted as she came up. Mintara didn't turn around, but nodded her head slightly. Kyrian settled down next to her. "I had a dream," she began. Mintara looked bored. "About you," Kyrian said. Still bored. Kyrian sighed and started at the beginning....

When she finished, Mintara wouldn't look at her. "Honestly, Mintara, I don't know why I had the dream; I didn't mean to!" Kyrian said apologetically, as if she could have helped it. She didn't know what else to say, so she just sat there. "It's not your fault," Mintara said quietly, still looking down. "But I would appreciate if you wouldn't speak of this to anyone." Her cold eyes made it clear that it wasn't a request. Kyrian nodded vigorously. Mintara's eyes told Kyrian that it was time to leave, and the young elf scrambled to her feet and walked swiftly down the hillside.

In her dream, Emerion had been gentle and mellow and wise, and Mintara was fiery, impetuous, and fierce. Kyrian knew that the Chief Wizard, Simar, had the power to change Emerion back, but Emerion would only go back with Mintara, and she still had to earn her necklace before she could return. Kyrian sighed, she would be glad when the calming, indigo-eyed unicorn was back.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Part 40 by Emily

    Mintara's eyes blinked open, some one was dabbing her forehead with watered down herb paste. The face came into focus, it was Rachele, Kyrian's mother. "Oh, Mintara!" she said,"We will never be able to repay you for saving our daughter! Thank you so much." and in a lower voice she added,"I know it was a hard choice to make. For I know it took many years and much hard work to restore the person you love." Mintara's mind reeled, 'How does Rachele know all this?'

    Rachele looked around at Kyrian and Laurel, they were asleep in their chairs. "Yes Mintara, I know that Emerion the unicorn is also Emerion your love." she tucked her long brown hair behind her ears, showing off the points. "I am half-elven as every one knows. But what many do not know is that I am much older than they think. I was alive when you killed Emerions' captures, and you found him half dead. I do not know how you turned him into a unicorn, but you were at least able to save his life then. I am so sorry for your loss of him now." Tears trailed down the wizards cheek, and for the first time in a long time she cried. Rachele comforted the heart broken woman, and soon she stopped crying.

    Shortly after the wizard stopped crying, the door to the house was thrown open and two young men ran in. Kyrian and Laurel woke up instantly, and Mintara sat up in her bed. "We've got good news!" Landlion shouted.
"Emerion isn't dead!" Tomas breathed. Mintara's eyes went wide, "What?" she looked around for the unicorn.
"The only problem is he is now linked to Aelysha, and if we kill her he dies." Tomas said,"So we need a potion to kill her but not him."
 "We think that Aelysha fled to Melkor's castle, along with that man." Landlion explained. Mintara shot out of bed.
 "Landlion, gather the troops." she said,while throwing her cloak on,"We're leaving at sun up tomorrow."

  Locien was a chaotic mess, with all the soldiers scrambling around trying to gather up all the supplies. Several of the healers decided to use magic on Laurel's arm so she wouldn't be handicapped in the war. They were in the middle of healing her that very moment. The apprentice healers were running through the forest looking for herbs to use in the war. Others were reading about the herbs that would be found near the coast, where the battle might take place. Kyrian was gathering a group of men and women who would be in the Special Task Force. King Ire was in league with Melkor so they were planning to attack his castle in the capitol city, Xerob.  Mintara was gathering things for the potion, just the things they had in Locien and that didn't have to be fresh.

    When night had fallen Locien was still buzzing with excitement. Paths had yet to be plotted, food yet to be packed, and tents not bundled. But the Dragon Rider had been healed, the Special Task Force was chosen, and Mintara had her ingredients for the potion. The night flew by in a blur. Dawn was quickly approaching, and the Special task force would be the first group to leave Locien. Kyrian hugged her mother tightly,"I'll miss you mother." she whispered. "Be safe Kyrian." she told her daughter as she stroked her hair,"Just remember I will be with your father as his assistant. We won't be far behind."Kyrian started to pull away."I love you." Rachele said before letting go of her daughter. Kyrian turned to her father and enveloped him in a large hug. "Don't take any unnecessary risks my girl." she smiled up at him. "Yes father."
 "Be on your watch, and always remember I love you." He kissed her on her forehead. Tears started to well up in her eyes. Kyrian let go and scooped her pack off the ground. "Good bye." The tears started to make their way down her cheeks. She walked away from her loving parents and went to her group. The tears in her eyes didn't allow her to see Tomas walking up to her parents.

  "Keep my daughter safe." Ven told him, with a stern look on his face.
   Tomas nodded,"I will sir." He had asked Kyrian's father, when Kyrian was older, that he could for her hand in marriage.
"I would just like to thank you once again for saving Kyrian's life from the Nurgals." Rachele said, as she gave Tomas a hug, "Give Kyrian a hug for me please."
 "Fair well." Tomas said as he walked to the Task Force. Horses were mounted, and the group rode off, into the forest.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Part 39 by Taylor.

"Hello Aelysha," Mintara greeted coldly, throwing back her hood. The beautiful girl was shocked. Where was Stephenius? She focused her violet eyes on Mintara's icy silver ones. Both women were stunningly beautiful, but Mintara's beauty was.... different somehow. No one would think her beautiful when first meeting her; whereas Aelysha could melt anyone's heart at first glance. "Hello, Mintara," Aelysha said casually. She could feel Stepheneis's presence, and she could only hope that Mintara was unaware. Behind Mintara, a shadow moved noiselessly. Aelysha frantically tried to think of something that would hold Mintara's attention. It wasn't necessary. "What are you doing here?" Mintara said dangerously, her staff tensed in her hand. "Just looking around," Aelysha lied.

The shadow sprung from the tree line. Mintara suddenly whirled around, the heel of her hand smacking Stepheneis on the ear and sending him rolling. A blow landed on the back of Mintara's head, knocking her to the ground. Aelysha dropped her modest cloak, and crouched like a cougar, ready to spring, eyes like flames. Twang. An arrow came into Mintara's field of vision. She backflipped off the ground, out of harm's way, and landed behind Aelysha. The wizard knocked the evil girl's legs out from under her, and she landed on the ground hard, knocking the breath out of her. Mintara raised her staff. But it was too late. Stepheneis came up from behind and grabbed Mintara's long white hair and wrapped an arm around her neck. "You're coming with us, dead or alive," Aelysha panted. Mintara's icy eyes snapped sparks.

A ways off in the forest, Kyrian suddenly felt a jolt, like a shot of electricity. She looked furtively all around her. Then she heard a scream, and she leaped to her feet, dropping her herbs on the ground. She hiked up her skirts and ran for all she was worth towards the sound. She came to the edge of a clearing and saw Aelysha hit the ground. She quickly realized the beautiful "healer" and anger filled her.

Suddenly, Kyrian heard a noise behind her. She was almost too petrified to turn, but she finally did. And was met by a soft whuff in her face. "Emerion," she breathed a sigh of relief and rested her head against his silky mane. Wait. She was actually touching him. She raised her blue eyes to his indigo ones, and saw pain and fear. She glanced back into the clearing, and saw Mintara in Stepheneis's grip. She inhaled quickly, and, without thinking, grasped the unicorn's mane and swung onto his back.

He leaped forward, clearing the trees and landing in the clearing, startling the twins. While Stephenius was distracted, Mintara lifted her staff and drove the end backward into Stepheneis's stomach. He doubled over in pain, and while Mintara still faced Aelysha, she kicked him in the face, snapping his head back and landing him on the ground. Emerion, Kyrian still aboard, reared and charged at Aelysha. She turned to face them defiantly, then leaped out of the way at the last second, barely escaping his razor-sharp, silver horn. She came out of her roll and sent a blast of green flame after Kyrian's retreating back.

It struck her squarely and knocked her off her mount, searing heat washing over her motionless form. Emerion skidded to a stop and wheeled around on his haunches. A slim figure blocked his way. In a quick, fluid motion, Aelysha whipped a cord like steel around his nose, twisting his head around and throwing him to the ground with a squeal. She got on top of his head and held the point of an arrow to his throat.

Meanwhile, Stepheneis, battling Mintara, ducked a blow from her staff, and, muttering a strange incantation, moved his hand forward and flung her backwards across the glade. He ran over to the unconscious Kyrian and grabbed her collar, dragging her to her feet and waking her up.

Mintara struggled to her feet and lifted her staff, a bolt of light ready at the tip to obliterate anyone who came against her. Her eyes widened in shock as she saw the scene unfolded in front of her. Aelysha held Emerion's head down, an arrow poised at his throat, and Kyrian in Stepheneis's clutches, a small, black dagger with its tip resting on her neck. "It's time to make a choice!" Stepheneis yelled. "All we want is the girl. Choose who will live," Aelysha said, nodding to Kyrian, who's terror made her breath come hard and short. Mintara stood undecided, her heart frozen with the decision she had to make, eyes darting to Emerion's liquid, gentle eyes, and Kyrian's large, terror-stricken ones. It was the hardest choice she had ever had to make, or would ever make, but it was made in an instant.

Closing her eyes for a moment to draw strength, she pointed at Kyrian in one, eternal instant. Stephenius released her and nodded to Aelysha. Mintara dropped into blackness as Emerion's scream pierced her innermost being.

"Mintara." She opened her eyes and saw a blurry image in front of her eyes. She blinked several times, and her vision cleared. Kyrian was leaning over her, looking at her with concern. Mintara glanced over and saw Tomas, Landlion, and Laurel standing near. Suddenly, it all came back to her. She moaned in agony and closed her eyes. "She's in shock," she heard Landlion say before darkness again claimed her.

"What're we going to do?" Laurel said sadly. They had taken Mintara to Kyrian's house to wait for her to wake up. "I don't know," Tomas sighed. He glanced over and saw Kyrian huddled at the base of a giant dogwood. "Kyrian?" he questioned. "It's all my fault!" she cried, bursting into tears. "If I would have dodged that fireball, then everything would be fine! Emerion wouldn't be gone, and those two wouldn't have escaped!" Tomas sat next to her and comforted her. Laurel and Landlion moved away to leave them alone. "Kyrian, you can't blame yourself," Tomas gently admonished. But Kyrian just sat and cried for a long time.

When she was under control, she went to her house to watch Mintara and be with Laurel. "Come one, Tomas, we need to take care of things. Without the girls," Landlion said, motioning for him to follow. Tomas understood what he was insinuating, and followed him to the clearing. "It will be hard to dig a grave for such a large animal, but-" Landlion's voice trailed off as they entered the clearing where Emerion had been slaughtered. There was no trace of the unicorn's body. "Where is he?" Tomas asked, thinking that some of the elves had already moved him. "I don't know," Landlion said, his voice betraying the confusion that he felt. "Wait. You mean that that body isn't here? It's disappeared?" Tomas's voice sounded strangely excited. "Um, yeah, I guess so." Landlion turned to face him. "Why?" Tomas's eyes danced. "I'm not sure yet." He ran off toward his temporary hut and slammed the door, leaving Landlion standing there, wide-eyed.

Several hours later, Tomas was pouring over his books. Landlion silently entered behind him. "Where did you get these?" Landlion asked in amazement. "From the library," Tomas answered briefly. Landlion picked up a thick book and looked at it's cover. "'Ancient Potions and Spells'," Landlion read. He raised an eyebrow at Tomas, who leaned back and rubbed his eyes. "Just reading up on a theory. Emerion's gone, right? Well, that girl apparently killed him with a special arrow, tipped with a special potion."
"What does that mean?" Landlion asked.
Tomas sighed. "It means that Emerion's not dead."
"He isn't? But how?" Landlion was becoming intrigued. "That girl has him," Tomas answered. "He's like linked to her now. Her fate is his. His spirit lives on. If she dies, his spirit dies. If she lives, he does."
"But how do we set him free without killing her?" Landlion asked.
"Well, that's the tricky part," Tomas sighed. "We need a special potion, to kill her without killing him. We'll dip some type of weapon in it and stab her with it. It's the only way. It's a slim chance, but it is a chance." He looked at Landlion. "What do you think?" he asked. Landlion's eyes lit up. "Let's try it."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Part 38 by Emily

     Tomas lay in bed restless. He was thinking about Kyrian. She was so strange sometimes, sometimes she acted like she hated him and others like she liked him. But Tomas knew how he felt about her. Tomas was nineteen, not to young to be married, Kyrian on the other hand was only seventeen, it wouldn't work. Before Tomas even thought about marrying her she would have to be older. Tomas sighed, Landlion stirred in the bed beside him, but didn't wake up. He closed his eyes and thought back to the day he first met Kyrian.

     It was a chilly morning, Dale rode over to his house and asked him to go along to town with him. Tomas's father took some convincing to let him go with Dale. When Tomas went into town he was supposed to bring back some more seeds that his father didn't have. Tomas quickly agreed to his father's bargain and rode off with Dale. On the way to their other friends house, Wearen, Dale explained why he was going to town. Dale had had a dream that told him to go to a certain pub, in the city of Gaeheld, and only order food. Tomas wasn't so sure why this dream was so important, but he went along with Dale.

     Once in town they had a large group of young men. They went to the pub Dale pointed out and ordered some food. A few minutes later he noticed two women walk in. One, in a forest green cloak, made her way over to his table. She opened her mouth to speak, but then she fell onto the table unconscious. Tomas immediately jumped up and picked her off of Dale's plate of saucy noodles. The second woman rushed over to they table and said in a low voice,"Bring her into the back room, I'll explain everything." Tomas caught a glimpse of the woman's face, she wasn't as old as he thought her to be. He scooped the unconscious woman up into his arms and followed the older woman to the back room.

     He laid the girl on the bed, and smoothed the hood behind her head. Then wiped off her face, her hair was brown and braided, and her skin was fair. The woman said,"Quickly go get your friends I must explain everything to them too." Tomas exited the back room only to find they had gathered at the doorway. "Who is she?" Wearen asked. "Did she like my noodles?" Dale questioned jokingly. "I'm not sure yet." Tomas told them,"But the other lady wants you inside." They all crowded into the large room,"Now men," the woman said,"my name is Mintara. I am a great and powerful sorceress, but I need your help." "Why?" Quintan piped up. "To fight Melkor." she told them, then aimed a glare at Quintan,"Because I'm not an entire army." She went on to explain what they were fighting for, and what positions they might have in the army.

     Suddenly they heard the girl stirring Tomas rushed to her side. "Her name's Kyrian." Mintara told him. Kyrian's eyes blinked open,"Are you okay?" Tomas asked. "Yes,"She answered groggily,"Where's Mint-my grandmother, I mean." Kyrian blushed. And in that moment he saw she had blue eyes, and those blue eyes were swallowing him up-

Before he drifted off to sleep he determined to talk to Kyrian about how she felt, in the morning.

     The first beams of sunrise filtered through the trees tops. A young woman walked alone in the forest. She hoped she was nearing the Elven city of Locien. Suddenly a man leaped from behind the trees. "Halt, who goes there?" He questioned. The woman stopped, in a split-second she had her opponent sized up.
"Well sir,"she said, while batting her long black lashes,"I was on my way to Locien hoping that it wasn't to late to register for the army."
The guard blinked in shock,"You want to be in the army? Why you're just a young lady, I couldn't let you fight against Melkor. It would be terrifying for you!"
"Sir, I'm a healer." she told him,"I would hope that they wouldn't put me out on the front lines to fight Melkor, I'm too timid to hurt a flea. I prefer to stay hidden and help others." She put on an innocent face, the guard melted as he looked in her violet eyes.
"The, the city's this way." he said, stumbling over a root. He pushed a branch aside, there was a large willow, it was ancient, the guard put his hand on the trunk of the gargantuan tree and muttered something.

     The trunk opened up to reveal a secret tunnel. "Now miss." the guard said,"Go into the tunnel and when you come out find a man named Dale, he should be able to take you where you need to go." The woman started to walk into the tunnel,"Wait!" the man called while grabbing her shoulder. She turned around with her black hair falling against her back. "What is you name, miss?" he asked her.
She hesitated for a moment then said,"Aelysha, my name is Aelysha." Then she turned and went into the tunnel with the guard staring after her. The tunnel was dark, but it wasn't long. Soon Aelysha entered a bright hollow, a young man leaned against a slim birch. When he saw Aelysha he quickly stood up straight and walked over to her. "Hello." he said,"My name's Dale."
"Hi Dale." Aelysha said, faking shyness,"I'm Aelysha."
"What brings you here Aelysha?" Dale asked.
"I'm hoping to be a healer in the war." she told him while batting her lashes. Dale thought for a moment.
"Well I have a friend who has a friend who is a healer I guess I could bring you to her." Dale turned to one of the many paths through the trees,"Come on follow me."

    They made their way down the path, that ended at a small collection of houses.  Dale walked up to the front door of one of them and knocked. A few seconds later the door opened revealing a tall elf. "Yes?" he asked.
"Hi, I'm looking for Tomas." Dale told the elf. Aelysha hid a smirk, everything was coming together splendidly.
"I'll go get him." The elf went back into the house and emerged with a young man.
"Hey Dale!" Tomas said cheerfully,"Who's this?" he asked turning his gaze to Aelysha. Her beauty took his breath away.
"This is Aelysha." Dale said. Aelysha waved her hand as a greeting. "I need you to take to your friend, that girl, Kyrian right?"
 "Yeah, her name's Kyrian. What do you need her for?"
"I thought maybe she could help Aelysha with healer stuff."
"Well she and I were,"
 "What going on a date?" Dale interrupted playfully,"Why not just practice with Kyrian some other time? Or maybe you could practice with me." he suggested.
 "Fine." Tomas said,"Come along Aelysha." Tomas walked out of the house and set off on a well worn path. They walked in silence, it seemed like an eternity, but they soon got there. At the training grounds Kyrian was practicing with the long bow. There was a twang, and then Kyrian's quivering arrow was stuck on the bulls eye.

    "Hey Kyrian!" Tomas said. Kyrian immediately jumped up.
 "Hey Tomas!" she greeted him,"Who's this?" she asked pointing at Aelysha.
 "That's Aelysha." he told her, "She wants to be a healer in the army and I was thinking you could show her the ropes and stuff like that."
 "Okay, so do you know the herbs?" she asked Aelysha.
 "Oh yes, I've know them since I was a little girl." Aelysha said confidently.
"Well just to make sure we'll have a little test."
 "Okay." Kyrian unstrung her bow and laid it aside. Then started down a path, Aelysha followed her.
 "Kyrian wait." Tomas said as he grabbed her arm. She spun around,"Yes Tomas?" she asked. Her expression barely masking the joy and hope she felt inside. "I was-" Tomas stopped he just couldn't tell her right now, it wasn't the right time.
"Go on." Kyrian said.
"I was wondering if you want me to practice archery." Kyrian's face fell with those words.
"Yeah, I think that would good." Then she stalked off down the path with Aelysha in tow.

"Go find me these herbs." Kyrian told Aelysha as she handed Aelysha a list. The girl disappeared into the forest. Good. Kyrian thought, She's gone.
  Aelysha quickly made her way to the spot she and her brother decided to meet at. A person with dark hood stood in the clearing. "Steve!" she called. The person turned around, plates of long white hair spilled out of the woman's hood. Uh oh. Aelysha thought. This isn't Steve.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Part 37 by Emily

Raladhea drifted between life and death. At moments she could feel the touch of a kind hand or hear the murmuring of voices, but only for a moment. Then it soon vanished and an unbearable pain replaced it. A scene kept on playing in her mind, the same scene all the time. Vibrant colors swarmed around her, a golden shape was predominate. Then two black objects would jump into her range of vision, one large and one small. The large one attacked the golden shape, devouring it. And the smaller one yelled words at Raladhea she could not understand. She yelled words back at the black shape, but she could not hear what she said. Then she felt the malicious touch of a blade slice through her. All would fade to black. After the scene played out the icy fingers of death clawing at her soul. She felt herself giving in to the pull of Sheol. Suddenly a blinding light came and death retreated from her. She looked to the center of the the light, even though she could not bear it, and saw what she had waited her entire life to see.

The twins were hard at work creating weapons for Melkor, well at least their people were. Aelysha was busy combing her hair and Stepheneis was no where to be seen. Some of her fathers top spell casters were in the large chamber busy casting spells. Aelysha motioned for Fres, a boring young spellcaster whose looks are as dull as his humor. Fres walked over to Aelysha,"Fres,"she whispered,"I have an important duty for you." His face light up with excitement.
  "What is it, milady?" he asked eagerly.
 "Follow me." Aelysha walked to a door no one used, opened it and went in. Fres followed her down the long  dark hall way. After various twists and turns, and chanting of incantations, that only Exron and his children knew, they arrived at a small door. Aelysha and Fres ducked as they walked through, inside there was a single light, and that light rested on the Agaril. Fres gasped in awe of the beautiful and rare object, only a few were known to be in existence. "You, you, how?" Fres sputtered.
 "Shh," Aelysha told him,"that's not important Fres. Now I've chosen you to help me accomplish a great task. Will you do it?"
 "Yes, milady." Fres said bowing low. Aelysha took Fres's hand and together they grasped the Agaril. Earlier Stepheneis and Aelysha had planned to use the Agaril to find the location of the army,so that they could infiltrate it and destroy it from the inside out. Now all they need to do was find some one who was there. The girl, Kyrian, wasn't a good target since she had ended in a melt down last time. The only other person they knew was safe and would be there was that boy who their father used as bait, Tomas. "Now Fres,"she whispered,"Say with me "show me Tomas"." Fres nodded then together they said,"Show us Tomas."

 Tomas paced through the town with Kyrian at his side. It had been hours since Mintara and Laurel had flown off to some place Tomas had never heard of. The only clue they had was Laurel's murmuring of something to Mintara which sounded like,"Raladhea-Serva-killed by Melkor." Then the two of them jumped on their flying animals and flew off. 
They heard the flapping of wings and Kyrian grabbed his hand and they started running to the landing grounds. Tomas smiled to himself, Kyrian was holding his hand! They reached the landing grounds just as Mintara and Laurel landed. Tomas had a peculiar feeling, as if he was being watched by an evil being.  "How are they?" Landlion asked, he had arrived just a few seconds before Tomas and Kyrian. The feeling grew stronger and Tomas began to feel frightened. He glanced over at Kyrian to see if she noticed it, but she was just standing beside him listening to the wizard speak. Tomas began to panic,"You don't," he started. "We'll have to leave Locien soon." Laurel was saying.

Fres let go of the mirror. Aelysha gasped, Fres was lying in a heap on the ground. She laid the mirror gently down on it's stand, then stooped down to feel Fres's pulse. There was nothing, Aelysha laughed. 'Fres had died because he wasn't powerful enough!' she thought with glee. She had brought a dagger along with her to kill Fres, but now she didn't have to worry about that. She grabbed him by the arms and dragged him out of the room, and down the long hall. She made a right turn then a left, a stench rose up from the pit in front of her. It was so horrible it made her eyes water. All  this was worth it now that she knew the location of the army. She pushed Fres's body over the edge and watched as he fell into the abyss.

"Melkor mortally wounded Raladhea with his magical sword. She's not dead yet, but her life is in the hands of Melkor's sword, I guess you could say." Laurel was talking so fast Tomas could barely understand her. "We know that Melkor lives in a castle on top of a mountain at the end of the world. We need to work our way there kill Melkor, destroy his sword and then Raladhea and Serva will be safe. Not to mention the rest of the world."
 "Woah. Slow down there Laurel." Kyrian said, as she let go of Tomas's hand,"First we need to get some rest." She looked around at the tired group of people."Second your arm needs to heal. And third this army needs to finish training! So Laurel your going to have to calm yourself down and take it easy for a few days."
Laurel sighed and looked sad,"But what if we don't save Raladhea in time?" she asked.
 "What if we stormed Melkor's castle right now?" Kyrian explained,"Would we kill him and destroy the sword? Most likely not. The most probable thing to happen would be our entire army gets wiped out in a matter of moments, then Melkor kills us all. After killing us he finds Mintara's necklace and becomes all powerful."  Everyone stared at Kyrian in shock.
"The girl is right." Mintara stated,"We mustn't do anything right now except step up our training and give Landlion and Laurel their rights back." She sighed at the last part.
 "And sleep." Tomas added.
"Yes and sleep." Mintara said,"Now off to your resting places, get some good sleep and I'll see you bright and early."

Part 36 by Taylor

"Mintara, can we defeat him?" Kyrian whispered. Mintara shook her head sadly. "The only possible way to defeat him is if I had my necklace. Without that, it's out of the question." They continued to stand before him defiantly. "Mintara, you're looking good," he commented. Mintara's eyes smoldered at him, so full of hate that no one could look at them. "What are you waiting for?" Laurel challenged, not having heard the conversation between Kyrian and Mintara, and seemingly forgetting her broken arm.
"Very amusing," Melkor said. Radlin let out a blast of fire into the air. "Well then, it would be such a shame to see you die. I'll have to do something about that." Radlin bared his teeth and blasted them with flames. Quick as a flash, Mintara blocked it with light, but when the smoke cleared, Melkor and Radlin were gone.

Raladhea was just finishing up another one of her papers when she heard a roar from Serva outside. She rushed out and saw her dragon poised between a monstrous black dragon and it's fearsome rider. "Melkor," she said, fear sparking her heart. He was clad in black armor from head to toe, and was at least eight feet tall. His helmet was shaped as a snake's head, and his sword hilt was also in the shape of a snake baring it's fangs. He drew his sword, and it was black with red glowing bits running through it. "Raladhea, I have not seen you for ages," he said soothingly. "Don't patronize me," she snapped. The evil knight pushed past Serva and stood before Raladhea. "Where is the necklace?" he asked. "What are you talking about?" Raladhea stalled for time. Melkor sighed in exasperation. He turned and nodded slightly to Radlin. The evil dragon grabbed Serva's neck in it's teeth, and she let out a horrible scream as he pinned her to the ground, his teeth grinding into her neck. Raladhea screamed as she felt her dragon's pain. Melkor turned from the struggling dragons and again faced her. "Where is the necklace?" he repeated his question. Raladhea had to make the most difficult choice of her life. Her beloved dragon's life, or the well-being of the entire world? Her decision was made in a second. Lifting her chin, she said, "I would sooner die than tell you." Melkor's eyes, the only part visible through his helmet, turned black. "Very well then." He lifted his sword and ran it through her middle. Serva screamed, but Raladhea couldn't make a sound. She fell to the ground in a heap. "Let her go," Melkor spoke to Radlin, who released Serva. "She will die soon enough." He mounted his dragon and took off into the sky.

Back at Locien, Laurel suddenly shivered. "Oh!" She turned pale and fell to the ground. "Laurel, what is it?" Landlion asked with concern. "Raladhea," Laurel gasped. "Something terrible has happened!" Landlion almost asked if she had only been dreaming, then thought better of it and ran to get Mintara.

"Are you sure?" Mintara asked Laurel once the girl had finished telling what she had seen. Instead of an answer, Laurel said, "We must go to her at once! Before it's too late!" No one knew what she was talking about, but the terror on her face was enough. "Come on, Laurel, we'll go right now." Mintara mounted Emerion and Laurel jumped up on Cerelda's back. They left in a rush of wings, leaving Kyrian, Landlion, and Tomas standing there, gazing after them.

Mintara and Laurel arrived at Raladhea's hiding place soon afterwards. Rushing in, they saw Raladhea on the ground, lying in a pool of blood, and Serva wilted next to her. Mintara rushed to the elf, and Laurel ran to Serva.

An hour later, both had done all they could for the injured. "Is she going to live?" Laurel asked fearfully, looking at Raladhea. Mintara shook her head. "Her fate is now directly linked to Melkor. His sword is magical. It is like my staff. If we destroy the sword, then Raladhea will be healed."
"Then we must find the sword!" Laurel cried. "Melkor lives in a castle at the end of the world. It is on top of a rock mountain. We can only destroy the sword if we first destroy Melkor." Laurel was silent for a moment. "We'll have to leave Raladhea and Serva here. We could carry Raladhea with us, but we couldn't take Serva, and they won't be separated," Mintara said. "We've done all that we can for them. Now we must prepare for battle." She and Laurel mounted and flew off toward Locien.

Meanwhile, Aelysha and Stephenies were getting a visit of their own. "I want them destroyed," Melkor said, his voice full of fury. The twins grinned, their lust for blood and death coming to the forefront. "And no mistakes," the evil one warned ominously. The twins nodded seriously, if they failed, Melkor would surely kill them, or worse. "Do not worry," Aelysha reassured him. "We know just how to handle this." Melkor suddenly vanished, and the siblings were left alone. "We have work to do," Stephenies said. Aelysha nodded, and they both got to work on their magic spells. They would need some special weapons. Melkor hated Mintara, and both twins had it in for a certain blue-eyed, brown-haired, orange cloak-wearing girl for helping to kill their father.

Part 35 by Tessa

After dinner at Kyrian's house Laurel slipped out into the mass of trees surrounding the elven city.  The oaks and maples towered above her making her feel very small.  The laid a hand on the rough bark of the tree and looked up to where the canopy of leaves covered the sky.  Only small rays of sunlight sparkled in between the trees.  "Cerelda?  Can you hear me?"   She reached out with her mind to Cerelda.
"Yes, what took you so long to ask me this question?"  Cerelda teased.
"It's been crazy here.  We've been training for the war and if that isn't hard enough Landlion broke my arm.  Now I have to learn to fight with my left hand."  she said sadly.
"I'm going to break more than his arm if he tries that again!"  Cerelda said determinedly and Laurel laughed.
"Yes, he'll cower in his boots from you...the most terrifying dragon in history!"  she said chortled out loud.
"Who's going to cower?"  Laurel whirled around to see Landlion standing there with a puzzled expression on his face.  Laurel tried to stifle a giggle but failed miserably.
"Y-yo-you!" she said bursting into an outright laugh.
"Um...okay that's strange but I came to tell you tha..."  he started to say but started to say but stopped mid-word. 
"What is it?"  Laurel said looking around.  Then she heard it too.  The sound of huge wings beating the air laboriously.  Laurel met Landlion's eyes.  She knew what she had to do.
She started running away from the elf city and deeper into the forest.  She knew whatever this flying beast was would follow her.
"Cerelda!  How far are you from the elf city?"
"Mile or so...why?  What's wrong?"  she demanded.
"I think that Melkor is here.  At least I know his dragon is!  Hurry!  Get Raladhea!"  Laurel yelled in her thoughts.
I have to keep Melkor away from the city.  It puts to many people in danger.  No, this is something I have to do by myself.  She saw a clearing up ahead and headed for it.  She skidded to a stop just a Cerelda appeared.
"Oh no!  Cerelda!"  she yelled as she saw Melkor and his dragon level out into a dive, heading straight for Cerelda.
Her yell distracted Cerelda for a split second but that was enough for Melkor.  They hit into her sending her spinning to the ground.  She broke through the trees before landing heavily on the forest floor.  Laurel sprinted to her side.
"Are you alright?  I'm so sor..." she started but stopped when she heard Melkor's evil laugh resounding through the trees.  She drew her sword and turned face him hatred in her eyes.
"So darling, are you going to die or surrender?"  he said in a mocking tone.
"I would rather die than surrender to you.  So maybe I should ask you.  Are you ready to die?"
"Oh my.  We can't have that now.  Just give up and please don't put up a fight." he said exasperatingly.
"And if I choose to?"  she inquired.
"Then we all will fight with you."  said a person stepping up next to her.  It was Kyrian.  Laurel saw all of her friends.  Kyrian, Landlion, Thomas, and yes, even Mintara and Emerion.
"Then you will die!"  cried Melkor.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Part 34 by Emily

Aelysha let out a chuckle, her plan was coming together quite marvelously. "Steve!" she called. Her brother looked up from the smoking vat of liquid. "Yes dearest sister?" he answered.
"Is it ready?" Aelysha asked, her face barely showing the eagerness she felt inside.
"I have but one more thing to add." Stepheneis grabbed a snow white bottle from the shelf above him, and cast it into the brew. A vibrant violet fire burst from from the pot. Stepheneis lept back and muttered an incantation. The flames burst higher and Aelysha feared they would consume the entire room. Then the fire dwindled out and Stepheneis reach into the vat and took out a glittering object. Aelysha sprang from her perch on the window seat. She rushed forward and grabbed the slender object from her brothers grasp. She lovingly stoked the sleek contour of it. "At last!" She shrieked," We have created a Aglaril!"

The son and daughter of Exron rushed to the large oak table. They laid the Aglaril down on the table, their eyes met. Their eyes were both sparkling with delight and excitement. They grasped the slender handle of the mirror at the same time and whispered,"Show us the girl father captured."

Kyrian happily skipped down the path to her house. She had left Laurel there before she met up with Tomas. Suddenly her skin prickled up, like goose flesh. She rubbed her arms trying to get the feeling to go away, but it wouldn't budge. She felt like something was watching her, something sinister and evil. Kyrian slowed her pace and scanned the tree tops. There was nothing there, but she could not shake the feeling of being watched. Paranoia took over her and she sprinted to her house. She burst through the front door and wrapped her arms around a woman who was stirring a pot. "Kyrian what is," her mother started.
"Mommy I'm scared." she whispered.

The twins let go of the mirror at the same time. The experience had left them weak and tired. "I'm going to lay down." Aelysha said, starting for her bedroom.
"That sounds like a good idea." Stepheneis replied, he watched as his sister closed the door to her bedroom. Then he placed the mirror in a secure place, and walked out of the door to the chamber.

Laurel walked into the kitchen, only to see Kyrian's mother sitting in a chair and Kyrian quietly sobbing in her lap. Laurel felt like she was intruding in something personal so she quietly backed out and went outside. She walked over to a birch sapling and sat at the base. She plucked a blade of grass and tried to do the trick that Tomas showed her. No matter how hard she blew the blade of grass would not whistle. Laurel was so concentrated on making the blade of grass whistle she didn't hear Landlion and Tomas come up.
"What are you doing?" she heard Landlion ask. Laurel blushed as she realized that she probably looked quite hilarious blowing on a blade of grass.
"I was trying to make the grass whistle." She said putting on a puppy dog face.
"That's not what it looked like to us." Landlion said.
 "Yeah," Tomas added,"It looked like you were trying to put down Melkor's whole army with your breath." The two boys laughed at Tomas's joke. Laurel threw the blade of grass down on the ground in defeat.
  "Look," Tomas said,"watch the master." He pluck a blade of grass, and held it up to his lips. He blew and the grass let out a whistle. Landlion laughed again, and Laurel stood up trying to think of a different subject.
  "So where's Kyrian?" Tomas asked, saving Laurel from talking about something stupid, like ears.
 "She's inside the house." Laurel told him. Tomas started for the house. "Wait!" Laurel cried,"You can't go in there!"
Tomas stopped,"Why not?" he questioned.
 "Kyrian isn't feeling to well."
"Why? What's wrong with her?"
 "Well, I'm not actually sure."
"How can you not be sure?"
 Laurel thought for a second about how to answer Tomas. She wasn't sure Kyrian wanted him to know she's crying. Laurel started to open her mouth to talk, but then Kyrian came from the house.

 Her eyes were slightly puffy, and her hair was a little disheveled, but otherwise she looked fine.
 "Hey Tomas." Kyrian said coolly.
 "Kyrian, are you alright?" Tomas asked rushing forward to Kyrian. Laurel hit herself on her forehead, she regretted telling Tomas that Kyrian wasn't feeling well.
 "Um yeah, I'm alright." Kyrian said with a puzzled look on her face. "Why wouldn't I be alright?"
"Well Laurel said you weren't feeling well and I was," Tomas stopped mid sentence.
"You were what Tomas?" Kyrian asked with a sly smile on her face.
 "I was,"Tomas stopped to think," worried about you." He said quietly. Kyrian's eyes sparkled with delight. Laurel stifled a giggle.
  "Well why don't you come in for dinner every one?" Kyrian asked,"My mother is making lentil soup."

The group walked into the house. Kyrian and her mother acted like nothing had happened fifteen minutes before.
"Please sit down." Kyrian's mother said, motioning to the table and chairs. Kyrian's mother looked like an older version of Kyrian, except her eyes were brown. Not blue like Kyrian's. She was wearing a pale orange dress with a stark white apron over it. It looked like something Kyrian would wear. As they sat down at the table they heard the front door open again and a masculine voice say, "I'm home!" Kyrian jumped up and ran to greet the man.
 "Daddy! It's so good to see you again." She said while giving her father a hug. She hadn't seen her father for a few weeks because of her involvement in the war and his job. Kyrian's father was a very handsome man with bright blue eyes like Kyrian's. He was an herbalist, one of the ones who looked for herbs in the forest. Kyrian was in training to be one before she got involved in the upcoming war.

 Laurel felt a twinge of sadness as she looked at Kyrian and her family. Only a few weeks before her parents had told her that she really wasn't their child. Then she had set out on a journey as a Dragon Rider. Soon everyone was seated around the large table and they were eating and enjoy each others fellowship.
 "Where did Gornical go?" Laurel asked, she kind of missed the fellowship of the little dwarf man.
  "I think he went back to his mountain." Kyrian said.
 "Good." Landlion muttered. The conversation was quite for a moment then Kyrian's mother asked,
"Where is your dragon Laurel?"
Laurel panicked for a moment she hadn't seen Cerelda for a few days. Then she remembered,"Cerelda is training with Raladhea and Serva for the war." She told everyone.