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Thread: Dreamwalker...

  1. #1
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    Default Dreamwalker...

    I've been working on another story, and it may take me a while to write it but wanted to share a snip from it. I will add more as I feel it is ready and parts that I post are subject to correction or change. What else is new right? hehe

    Unfortunately none of the characters thus far are what you'd call healers. Sorry about that.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dreamwalker...

    Dreamwalker
    by Aurora Lee


    ****
    Prelude


    Odden nervously stepped into the dark room and closed the door behind him. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness he focused on the far window that stood from floor to ceiling, with moonlight pouring in. In the moonlight stood the figure of a woman clad in a light colored dress that flowed to the floor. His queen, Mayla Thilyme.

    “Mi'lady?? Odden said barely over a whisper. He paused at the door holding the rolled parchment he came to deliver.

    “It is strange how the night seems to wash everything away.? She said, her voice was low and salutary. “It is hard to believe so much has happened.? She paused a moment longer then turned to look into the darkness. “You have something for me??

    “Yes, mi'lady.? He returned and began to carefully make his way across the dark room as to not trip over anything. When he was next to her she smelled of sweet lilac flowers and powder. He bowed deeply at the waist then handed her the note. “It is a message from Captain Delanc ti Mogran.?

    “Thank you,? She said in receiving the roll, pulling it open she read it in the moonlight. After several moments a tear began to form in her eye and she rolled it back up and dropped it to the floor. “You are dismissed.?

    “Yes, ma'lady.? Odden returned, and he turned to leave.

    “Odden…? She said stopping him and he spun around to look at her again.

    He stood frozen for what seemed an eternity, this was the first time he saw her cry.

    “Where is he now?? She asked.

    “He has departed again.?

    “Do you know what he sent me??

    “No, I did not read it.?

    “He, is resigning his service. I knew this day was coming, but I had hoped it wouldn't.? She referred to her top military leader and as far as he knew her closest friend.

    He sent her a note that he was leaving and didn't come before her himself. There had to be some mistake, yet it was the Captain that gave him the message. “Are you sure that is correct, mi'lady??

    She gave him a sad smile, “I am afraid that it is there in writing, his writing.? She turned her head back and looked out at the window. “The kingdom will soon crumble, and I will be powerless to stop it.?

    “Have you spoken to him? He cannot just leave mi'lady. It is not right that he would not come before you.?

    “Thank you again Odden.? She told him.

    He took her strong message and turned to the door again and slipped out.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dreamwalker...

    Chapter 1
    ****




    It was dark and the only sound Lant could hear was his wife's breathing as she lay in the bed next to him. His heart was pounding from the dream that woke him. He did not wish to think of the dream nor did he wish to wake Nalia. Peeling back the covers he dropped his feet off the side of the bed and placed them on the cold wood floor. It was winter and the draft around the curtained bed was near freezing. The fire was probably coals. Slipping out of the curtain he collected a warm robe from a chair next to the bed and wrapped it around his body.

    Padding over to the fire place he saw that the fire was dancing on the remains of the glowing wood embers. He picked up wood from the nearby stack and started to place them on the glowing embers hoping the sounds would not wake Nalia. Every sound seemed amplified. He kneeled for a bit in front of the glowing embers watching them and trying to remember the dream that woke him. Alas he could not remember why he woke or why the dream increased the beat of his heart.

    Soon the fire started again and began to consume the new wood lighting the room more. He glanced over at the bed where his beloved slept. She need not know he was up and fretting over the fire and a dream. She knew as he that dreams meant many things and she would draw from him what it was, this time he did not want her to settle in his thoughts. He wanted to keep this one for his own. The flames danced as the thoughts in his mind fought to find the dream. Why? What was in the dream he did not want her to know? His death? Or a secret passion.

    Nalia stirred on the bed. The blankets rumpled as her body moved. “Lant?? She called out.

    “I'm here.? He said turning to look at the curtained bed. “The fire was almost out so I figured I would add some wood to it.?

    She laughed softly. “When will you learn??

    “I forgot to do it tonight, we were so tired.? He looked at the logs he had just placed and mumbled the words to enchant the flame to slow the consumption of the wood causing it to last longer. He smiled at the memory of his forgetfulness. They had a moment of passion before falling to slumber.

    “Are you almost done?? She cooed.

    “Yes love.? He stood from his crouched spot before the flames and straightened his back. He had not even noticed how long he had squatted. Laying his robe back across the chair he climbed back into the bed next to her. Before long they lay curled up sleeping again.



    The next day he stood dressed in warm robes looking out the bedroom window at the vast sea of white snow on the fields and the forest beyond. In the distance a small village bustled with swirling smoke and people moving about doing their daily duties. Nalia stepped up next to him her scent of rose oil filled his nostrils. Turning to her he smiled. “We should go down to breakfast.?

    She nodded and took his hand leading him toward the door. “Is something bothering you?? She asked as they walked through the door.

    “No.? He lied, still trying to remember the dream during the night. He knew she would see through his lie, but instead she only smiled.

    They lived in a large stone manor with a few servants. Tapestries hung on the walls covering the cold stones and decorating the halls. In the dinning room he pulled a chair out to let his wife sit and he sat at the head of the table to her left. Sildy one of the manor servants slipped into the room. She was a small thin woman with many years creased into her face and she always wore her dark peppered hair in a tight bun. She gave them a smile as she carried in a tray of food. “Good morning,? She offered with cheer as she set the plates before them.

    They returned the greeting as the smell of warm ham and eggs filled the air almost covering Nalia's rose oil.

    “Sire,? Sildy cut in as Lant was about to lift his first mouthful of food to his waiting taste buds.

    He nodded for her to continue and ate the food anyway.

    “A messenger came by this morning with a note for you.? Sildy produce a rolled note tied with a dark purple ribbon from her apron.

    “Mayla?? Nalia asked looking at the ribbon.

    Swallowing the mouth full he accepted the note with a nod and untied the ribbon. Lilac he could smell it permeate from the paper. “It has to be.? It unrolled to show Mayla's careful flowing script.



    Greetings Lord and Lady ti Moninore,

    I hope that this letter finds both of you in good health, since it has been two months since I last heard from you. I also send this letter as a request for Lord ti Moninore's assistance. I shall not state more in a letter but it is urgent that I see you in person.

    Your Friend,

    Mayla Thilyme



    He rolled up the note and sat it on the table between them. “Read this and tell me what you make of it?? He paused and waited for her to finish. “I shall leave after breakfast.?

    “Would you like me to accompany you??

    “It is very snowy and cold, I don't know that I want to subject you to this weather.?

    “You worry too much about me, but I will stay instead to watch over the manor.?

    He could tell she was disappointed that he did not want to take her, but this was something he needed to do alone for her safety. “I will try not to be away long.?

    “What do you think is wrong??

    “I wish I knew.? A twinge of his dream filled his mind. It was an image of Mayla's face with tears toppling down her pale cheeks. This was odd for Mayla since she never cried.

    “What is on your mind?? Nalia asked tilting her head to the side. “You had an image.?

    “A faint one yes, but I am not sure what it means yet.? He said trying to push back the dream he did not wish to talk about. An image of Mayla struggling with a large man flashed in his mind, they were… in a wood. That would not be now, was it the future or the past? He shook the memory from his mind. Perhaps seeing Mayla would calm these thoughts.

    “War or an assassin?? Nalia interjected, she was reading his thoughts after all.

    “I feel both.? He admitted. “Mayla will need to amass her army soon.?

    Nalia made a noise confirming his thoughts as she ate some of her eggs.

    He turned to Sildy who was back to nearly disappearing into the wall. “Where is the messenger??

    “I said he could rest in a guest room sire. He seemed very tired from the trip. I fear he rode night and day to get here.? She said with a bow of her head.

    It was a hard ride from the Palace of Galleent to their manor near Vipmin, at least a two day ride if taken at a reasonable pace in good weather. “Can you tell the messenger I will be riding back with him and leaving in the next hour?? He told Sildy. “And can you let Geno know that I will need my horse readied??

    “Yes mi'lord.? Sildy said bowing out of the room to do the tasks she was assigned.

    “Lant,? Nalia said once Sildy was gone. “Please be safe, I worry after your health.?

    He smiled at her understanding why she worried, and finished eating his breakfast. He would need his strength for the ride ahead since he knew they would ride straight through to the Palace and hope they did not run into a storm on the way.

    After breakfast he changed into his riding breeches and heavy wool garments to keep him warm for the trip. Nalia walked quietly behind him suggesting different things for him to take on the journey. Kindly he gathered the garments and finally kissed his wife goodbye as he mounted his horse along side the page boy.

    On their way he asked the young man Odden mi Dovon what he knew of the palace gossip. “Mi'lord, there is much gossip, but it is the queen I worry about. I've never seen her sad.?

    This struck Lant odd since Mayla was always a woman with high spirits and an infectious smile. “Explain.?

    “Well mi'lord, I delivered a message to her a night or two ago that was handed to me directly by Captain ti Mogran.? He explained, “The message was his resignation.?

    “Delanc ti Mogran , as in the Captain of her guard?? Lant asked the boy. He remembered that Delanc was also one of her closest confidants next to himself. Had he betrayed her? This could not be possible. This was obviously the urgency of her message for him.

    “Yes, I could hardly believe when she said he was leaving. Just like that he left. It was the following morning she called to me to deliver the message to you.? Odden told him. He shook his head, he knew her well enough to know that this was a killing blow for her.

    The day wore into a bitter cold evening with snow flurries about them. When it grew too dark to see the way Odden started a fire and Lant enchanted the small pieces of wood that made up the small warmth against the blustering snow. There was no shelter from the cold so they had to cluster around the small fire in the warm wool blankets Nalia insisted he take. Thank goodness for Nalia she was always caring for him.

    Odden set about finding enough snow to fill a pot to put over the flames for tea, and Lant filled his pipe and lit it with a small stick from the fire. “How long have you been at the palace?? Lant asked aloud as Odden handed him a loaf of bread from the rations.

    “About ten winters.? He said with a bow of his head. He looked about eighteen years of age so he was only a boy when he became a page. When he then raised his head again he looked into Lant's eyes with striking blue eyes surrounded with long dark lashes that almost did not seem to fit with his long blond hair. “I love serving her majesty, and she is a sincere wonderful woman. I have seen her guide men into war and bring back nearly every one of their souls. She is sent by Rukor himself.? Then he lowered his eyes and sucked in his breath. “Mi'lord, my queen is hurting, and war is in the air. I can feel it. There is an enemy out there. It is lying in wait perhaps it is the reason Captain ti Mogran resigned.?

    “I don't know.? Lant said as he sucked in on his pipe. “Who is desires to destroy the kingdom??

    Odden took a stick and poked at the small fire, “A few months ago a tall woman with white skin came to the castle. She had skin the color of the snow about us. I remember introducing her as Empress Janique Lex-tha`Goin from Urquin to the east. I stepped out of the room, but one of the guards present said that she was ruthless and demanded our lands or they would be taken by force. The queen of course refused such outrageous demands.

    “I never saw the woman leave it was said she lifted her black cloak swung it about her and poof she and her guardians vanished in a puff of black smoke. The smoke filled the throne chamber for nearly a day, even with the windows opened to try to make it go away.?

    He took a breath and appeared to think of something that made him smile with pride, “Queen Mayla held her head high she knew she had the support of her people and Captain ti Mogran.?

    “What changed??

    “I don't know,? He paused a moment and stopped poking the fire with his stick, “Mi'lord, she is haunted by nightmares, and it has made her very distant.? His voice was thick with agony as he stared into the dancing flames. “The men are bickering and she and Captain ti Mogran were fighting. They never fought before. This is the same woman that never raised her voice, never cried, never was anything less than a beautiful smile.? He looked up and gave Lant an imploring look. “I hope you can save her.?

    “I will talk with her that does not mean I can save her.?



    Lant woke to the gloomy early light the next morning. A thin layer of snow covered everything about him to include Odden. Standing he shook the snow from his wool blanket and folded it back for his pack. Odden stirred as well and shook his own blanket. The melted water in the pan was used to put out the flame and soon they were back on their horses riding toward the palace.

    It was mid afternoon when a contingent of the Queen's soldiers marched to them. “Halt in the name of Queen!? The Commander said with a raised hand to Odden and Lant.

    Drawing up their horses they stopped before the soldiers. “Captain Favon ti Gidmoore.? Odden addressed. “It is me, Odden mi Tovon personal page for Queen Mayla.? He said with a bow in his saddle.

    “Page mi Dovon, you are out of the castle. Who is this with you??

    “His Lordship Lant ti Moninore,? Odden introduced formally.

    Gidmoore's brow rose with the introduction. “Mi'Lord, I apologize for the stop. The Queen said you were on your way, and we were sent to escort you the rest of the way to the Palace. I assumed it would be a larger party.?

    “Is the escort necessary?? Lant inquired, this was unusual unless she thought his life was in danger.

    “Necessary or not her majesty said you would be on your way and we were sent to meet you.? He raised his hand to signal for the contingent to turn around.

    On the way Lant rode next to Gidmoore and Odden fell behind them. “Captain, what is happening? I haven't seen this much activity since the Donthar war.? Lant inquired.

    “I only know the queen was concerned for your safety.?

    “Should I send word to my wife to have her come to the castle too??

    “Ask her majesty.?

    Now he regretted not bringing Nalia with him. I thought she would be safe at the manor. Am I already too late? Shaking his head he needed to know more before the chain of worry spread through his system. Focus . He had to remain focused on what lay ahead.

    Darkness closed them and the soldiers lit torches to push it back as they continued the journey to Galleent. Shortly after the darkness consumed them they were within the outer villages of the castle. It was not long when they were on the streets of the palace fortress that surrounded the main palace. Due to the cold the houses and shops were closed and wood smoke filled the air along with the aromas of different foods within to fill hungry bellies. His belly reminded him that he had not eaten in a while either. Soon. Mayla always has good food.

    What about Nalia? His thoughts turned back to Nalia and hoped for her safety. Soon I will know more.

    Upon entering the gates of the main palace more soldiers came from the barracks to tend to them and take the horses. He dismounted from his horse and allowed it to be led away for food and grooming.

    “Follow me,? Gidmoore told him with a formal bow and then led the way up the vast steps and through the large wooden palace doors at their top. Once inside the brilliantly lit palace was a beacon of light compared to the gloom outside. Crystal chandeliers bounced the light of hundreds of lit candles off the white marble and gold walls. Warm fires filled the hearths on either end of the room. They continued up a wide staircase that led out of the foyer and through shimmering stained glass doors of painted water falls to a hall with a long carpet that ran its length. More crystal candle fixtures were on the walls guiding the way and pushing back the dark night that filled the windows at the end of the hall.

    Finally at a door guarded by two young guards Gidmoore knocked and waited for an invitation. When he received it he opened the door to a dark room. “Milady,? He said bowing into the blackness. “I bring Lord Lant ti Moninore per your request.?

    “Thank you Captain.? Mayla's soft voice filled the darkness from within. “You are dismissed.? When he bowed out of the way, he waved for Lant to enter.

    Once Lant was inside the door closed leaving him to stand in the dark room and allow his eyes to adjust to the light change. It was not long before soft arms wrapped around his body and her soft form was pressed against him in a tight embrace. “Lant,? She cried and her body began to shake with sorrow.

    Lant stood for a long time just holding her to him smelling her lilac scent in her hair. A rush of memories filled his mind as he stood holding her. Together we have faced many challenges. I am here again to help you as I did your father. He thought to himself as he stood there. This was very unlike her she always held her head high.

    “Mayla,? He finally said after a time. His eyes were now adjusted to the darkness and he could see her pale round doll face as she looked up at him. Like a necklace, a dim coin sized mark faintly glowed aqua at the base of her throat. It was part of her and what made her queen of Galleent. Not everyone could see it but an Archimage like himself could. “Tell me what is going on??

    “How can I support a kingdom that doesn't support me??

    He pinched his brow and straightened his neck. “I don't understand.?

    “I wish I did.? Her voice was soft and breathy. “There is someone that is working from within the castle against me.?

    “Is that why you called for me??

    “I don't know who I can trust.?

    “Let us sit.? He said trying to guide her to the shadows of furniture that were in the room. She collected his hand and sat on a couch pulling him with her.

    “Tell me about Delanc.? He asked as he sat.

    “He resigned.?

    “I heard that why??

    He watched her profile as she lowered her head. “I think it's because of my resilience to give into Urquin Empire.?

    He closed his eyes a moment. Since when did the Urquin Empire want anything to do with Galleent? “I thought the Empress was an ally. Odden alluded to many things as we were traveling. He said you were fighting with Delanc before he left, and that Empress Janique came here demanding you give over Galleent to her. I do not understand.?

    “I thought she was a friend too just like Delanc.?

    He shook his head. “What happened??

    She fell quiet for a time, he worried she had fallen into a deep mediation. “I don't know exactly where it began.? Her voice was thick. “I don't even know how far back the betrayal goes. Perhaps years, perhaps decades.?

    “Betrayal??

    “My friends those closest to me are all against me. Delanc, didn't want to go to war with Urquin said they were too powerful, said it would destroy the kingdom that we should lay down our weapons and give the lands to them. Janique, she was a friend. At least I thought she was. I fear people around me are constantly spying on me. Letters arrive with retreated seals.?

    He put his fingers to his forehead pushing back a pressure that was starting to cause his head to hurt. “Perhaps I am too tired to understand this tonight, but so far you have make little sense. Should I worry about Nalia, I had her stay to watch over the manor? Then you had a contingent come out to escort us.?

    “I don't know who is safe and who is friend and who is foe.? Her mouth opened again as if to say more but the words were not forming on her tongue. Her eyes cast about the room wildly. She was like a caged animal that knew it was going to be tortured.

    He wanted to just catch her and look into her eyes to stop her thoughts. She was always a level woman, but now… He feared she was suffering from lunacy. “Am I friend or foe??

    She turned to look at him, “Friend.?

    “Tomorrow I will sit with you again, and we will discuss this matter. Mayla, I am lost in everything you are saying.?

    “Don't leave me.? Panic filled her voice as she grabbed his sleeve. This was a side of her he never heard.

    “I am a married man.?

    “I know that and I'm not asking you to break the vows. I only ask that you stay the night in this room. I fear my sleep.?

    “Why??

    “There are frightening things that happen when I close my eyes.?

    He looked at her face. He was now regretting not bringing Nalia, she would be able to read Mayla's dreams. She could make sense of this craziness that was consuming her. “Mayla…? The word seemed to cover his thoughts of question and concern. “I haven't ever seen you like this. Are you sane??

    She let go of him, “I fear I do not know what sane is anymore.? She said shaking her head and looking down at her lap. “After everything that has happened and the dreams, horrifying nightmares, I do not know what sane is.? She tilted up her head and looked at his eyes, hers glimmered in the dim light that was managing to seep in from various places like the torch light from outside through the large window, the dying fire in the fire place and the peeks of light from hall as they crept around the door. “Help me Lant.?

    This was worse then he imagined, “I will sleep here.?

    “Thank you. I shall see to it you receive blankets.?

    “I haven't eaten either.?

    “Anything…? She managed to smile as she walked to the door to notify the guards of her requests.



    It was not long before he was fed and covered in a blanket on the couch where they were seated together. He lay awake for a while thinking of Nalia and how she would not approve of this, but she had never seen Mayla in this state of madness either. The woman was crazy, he was certain. Someone or something was trying to break her, and was succeeding.

    As she lay in her bed he could tell she too was staring at the ceiling. The nightmares she spoke of were enough to make her lay awake and desire to avoid sleep.

    He turned his thoughts to what he needed to do first in the morning. First, find out if anyone else was having frightening dreams, this could lead to a direction of what was causing her troubles. Second, sit and look into Mayla's eyes to see the dreams that made her afraid of sleep, this could also offer some insight into what he was facing. Mayla was not the kind of woman to break under pressure. This was probably why she sent for him because she knew she was breaking. There was still sense in her. He needed to learn the gossip. It could explain why Delanc left.

    Odden's words haunted him as he rolled to his side and looked at the curtained bed in the room beyond. I hope you can save her . She was his friend he had to save her. She was such a young queen at only twenty-six. Unlike her he was not young by any stretch of the imagination but his age was masked by his abilities to wield the magical arts.

    He thought of the day he met her, a girl of twelve years grieving at the funeral of her father. Soon she was crowned Queen of Galleent and her determined soul won the hearts of the people. Her people adored her. She was considered an angel from the gods above, especially after the Donthar war. She managed to bring all but one-hundred men home from that battle. It was a huge battle one that gave Galleent a sense of victory that touched every heart of the entire kingdom and surrounding lands.

    She still did not marry, after a discouraging marriage contract where the count she was supposed to marry called it off. In spite of this she held her head high and still ruled her land alone with Delanc at her side. Perhaps it was the loss that made her fear she could not do it again especially with the scent of war in the air.
    Last edited by Auroralee; 05-05-2005 at 12:38 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dreamwalker...

    Chapter 2

    ****




    “NO!? Mayla screamed. Shaken Lant woke and leapt to his feet. She screamed again and he ran to the curtains that surrounded the bed. His fear was finding someone killing her. He flung the curtains aside to find her gripping the blankets in her sleep and squirming as she yelled out.

    With his heart pounding he looked at her little form underneath the blankets. She was terrified, sweat beads were protruding from her forehead.

    He climbed onto the bed to get closer to her. “Mayla,? He said touching her. She screamed again and flinched at his touch. “Mayla, it's me, Lant.? He touched her temples with his finger tips as she thrashed her head back and forth on the pillow. This stopped her head from moving and he saw into her mind. She was being chased by black dogs in a nightmare labyrinth that was filled with bones of those that had not made it. The dogs would chase her catch her skirt and tare it but then let her run again. Hands came from the labyrinth walls to pull her hair and hold her arms in place for the dogs to snap at her again. He had to get her out of this dream. “Mayla!? He yelled at her this time hoping to break the spell of sleep.

    Her eyes fluttered open and she breathed heavily as tears filled her eyes. “Lant!? His name slipped from her lips as her voice shook. “It was horrible.?

    “Is that what it always is?? He asked her. The dream was precise and meant for her.

    “No, they change. Sometimes it's a pit of snakes, or a huge snake. My dreams are so dark, last night it was blood. The blood was drowning me.?

    Now he had a better understanding of what was consuming her. “How long has this been going on??

    “A month or so now,? She told him, “I thought I could handle them at first and they weren't that bad, but they are getting worse. I'm afraid to fall asleep. Tonight I thought I could sleep soundly with you here. I was mistaken.?

    “I'm not a dreamwalker.? He told her, “If I were I could possibly change your sleep. Only a dreamwalker can change these dreams and manipulate what you see. It is illegal to dreamwalk in Galleent unless it is a Temple healer. So there aren't many in Galleent that will step forward and say they can do it. And I know of no temple healers alive that dreamwalk.?

    “This means that he can change my dreams to server his purpose doesn't it?? Suddenly she was speaking very calm. This was the woman he knew. Rational.

    “Yes, I do not know that this is happening, but it is a theory. Now the second half is to find out who and why.?

    “I have probably had all the sleep I'm going to have. Do you think it is too early to wake for the day??

    Lant did not protest, he could not imagine returning to sleep either after the dream he encountered. No wonder his dear friend was losing her sanity. After a month of this and a gradual turn to the worse anyone in her position would begin to break. “I am amazed you have lasted this long.?

    “With you here I am sure I will be able to face it with added strength.? She looked down at her dressing gown in the glow from the fire as she realized they were laying on her bed with him leaned over her. “Lant.?

    “Yes,? He looked down into her eyes.

    “Would you mind moving?? She asked him.

    He suddenly realized his compromising position as well and quickly corrected the situation by standing up next to the bed. He thought about apologizing but remembered there was a reason he was there in the first place. At least she was returning to the woman he knew. “I shall step out and let you dress.? He told her turning to return to the other room where he was sleeping.

    “Thank you Lant, for coming to rescue me from my dream.? She knew it was her place to try and make him feel somewhat comfortable again.

    “It is what you asked me here to do,? He reached for the door and pulled it closed behind him separating the two rooms of the royal suite.

    She sat up in bed for a time and wiped the sweat on her forehead. Would she ever be able to sleep again? Lant was an old friend and she needed his help more now then ever. With a sigh she stood and dressed in a simple gown. She did not feel like dressing fancy, for the past month she tried to avoid audiences with people, she just did not have the energy. So many problems and more seemed were arising trying to crush her.

    Her army was also spread thin helping the Honish people hold back the Bringads that were trying to take over their villages. The Honish kingdom did not have an army of its own and depended upon Galleent to fight the battles. The rest of the soldiers were in disarray with the lack of a Captain of the Guard. She laid back on the bed and put her hands to her head in frustration. Why did you leave me Delanc? She was lost without his help and friendship. He was all she knew for most of her adult life. In the past months they fought so often over petty things it was a wonder he did not leave sooner.

    Her marriage proposal also fell through, she was certain Lord Bromin was going to marry her. Part of her died the day she received the letter telling her he was not going to perform a marriage contract. Reflecting back that was the day all of this began or was it during the courtship through letters that it started. Delanc became insensitive to her requests and treated her as a child. That was when their fights started.

    Then came the day Janique appeared in her court demanding she give up Galleent to the Urquin Empire. She shook her head, Janique was once her friend or so she thought. They used to send letters back and forth talking of their homes and lives. This was encouraged by her father and continued after his death. The Urquins were very different compared to her people of Galleent. They had pale skin and unusual red eyes, Janique's were slightly different, hers were more of a bright violet. Their Empire was a Matriarchy, and she led with an iron fist. The men still served in the armies but the women were fierce and held all positions of authority.

    Why would Janique want Galleent, it was farm land and the Urquins lived in caves in the rough volcanic lands to the east. They raised huge poisonous spiders for silk. The best silk in the lands came from the Urquins.

    Changing her thoughts Mayla walked over to the mirror and picked up her brush and began to brush her long auburn hair in the fire light. She did not like the drawn face with dark rings under the eyes that peered back at her in the mirror so she looked at the window behind her in the reflection. It was still thick black outside and she wondered if anyone else was awake at this hour.

    Setting the brush down she slipped on some slippers and walked to the door Lant had closed and walked through to the adjoining room of her suite. She quickly realized she was the only one awake as Lant had lain down while waiting on her and now was sleeping again.

    She walked over to the large window and looked out at the dark night. She could see the lit torches outside as a guard walked along the top of a wall below on patrol. The snow was heavy on the lands, but this would only last another day or two. Spring was in the air and this was said by the templars to be the last snow of the winter. She placed a hand on the cold pane of glass and rested it there as she looked out. Winter would go and the flowers would bloom in the meadows. The farmlands would soon be green again and the seasons would start new.

    In the past this last snow was a celebration. She loved spring, but this year she could not lift the gloom from her heart. Tears filled her eyes as she her hand went numb from the cold window glass. Would she ever feel joy again?

    She turned and looked at Lant again as he stirred in his slumber mumbling something that was probably meant for Nalia. Most would feel uncomfortable this close to him even though he was a handsome man. He was older then she knew, but his body and face did not show it, it was his magic she was certain that retained his youth and black hair that he usually kept trimmed short except for the one long thin braid that fell from before his right ear. He was a wizard or archimage as he called himself. She did not know exactly what it meant but she had seen him able to do many things. He was known through the lands for his ability to make men do his will by a word from his breath.

    She remembered the day she met his beautiful wife Nalia, it was before they were married, and she learned that Nalia was another archimage like him. They were not the only magical beings in the lands but Lant was probably one of the best known in all of Galleent. Nalia did not seem as knowledgeable as him in the crafts but as he explained once to her, his wife had certain abilities that she was more attune to.

    When tested for magic on her sixteenth birthday it was quickly discovered Mayla held no magic in her blood. Yet no one believed it because of her knack for saving her armies. Will I still be able to do it? So many thought of her as an angel sent by the gods yet, to her she was nothing more then a simple woman. It had to be Delanc's strength that saved all those men. Now Delanc was gone. He did not even come to her the day he left.

    In a type of trance she turned her attention back to the window and stared out into the night again. She stood there so long that the sun rose over the horizon, and bathe the lands with golden-orange rays. It was a knock on the door that brought her from her trance. Looking at it she called out for the visitor to enter. This woke Lant from his slumber of peaceful dreams.

    Odden pushed the door open and waited for permission to speak.

    “Yes,? She said letting it fill the silent air.

    “Mi'lady, I was sent to let you know there was a messenger that arrived this morning.?

    “Where is this messenger now?? She asked, what a way to start a day.

    “He is in the lower court. Did you wish him sent elsewhere??

    “I will meet him in my office. Please send for him.? She told Odden who quickly turned to the door and disappeared again. She collected a robe and pulled it about her simple dress and left the room to cross the hall to her office.

    Lant was not long after her and walked into the office taking a seat in a chair near her desk. “I must apologize for falling back into a slumber.?

    “It is fine, at least one of us was able to get some rest.?

    “You seem to need it far more then me.? He returned crossing his legs looking at her.

    She did not respond to this and it was not long before a knock tapped on the door. She invited the visitor a small man only standing a little over the height of Lant's waist if they were standing side by side. He was Enonian. A race of small folk that lived to the south of Galleent. He was a man and not a child with a beard that he wore. It fell to the bottom of his neckline and was tied in braids. Odden followed to attend in the far corner of the room out of the way.

    Out of respect the little man bowed deeply at the waist before her. “Majesty Mayla Thilyme, I bring a letter from his Supreme Majesty King Quandren.? He straightened and approached her with a folded parchment sealed with Quandren's wax seal. She collected the parchment and slipped a finger under the paper breaking the seal. It was Quandren's hand writing scrolled in fine Enonian script a collection of boxy letters.

    Queen Mayla Thilyme,

    We understand your concerns with Empress Janique of the Urquin Empire, but should war break out between Urquin and Galleent we will be forced to set up a strong border to avoid the spill of blood upon Enon's soil. Our trade relations are best kept neutral between both parties, yet if we are threatened by either side we will fend off the danger.

    I hold the Galleent Kingdom to a high respect and do not wish to lose your trade with Enon, but I am certain you understand the position this places me. We will also offer refuge to those of either side if it does turn to bloodshed.

    May the gods be with you,

    Quandren

    Mayla's shoulders slumped at this letter, yet she did not understand why he felt the need to send a fast messenger to deliver this. “Thank you…? She left the break for the messenger to fill in his name.

    “Addawar Ifana, majesty,? He took the request and offered the information she sought.

    “Thank you Addawar. Have you eaten?? She implored, even if his king would not help she did not wish to make his people suffer. She was certain the refuge he offered in his letter also came at a price since nothing in Enon was free. There were also certain to be Enonian mercenaries that would come to help on the side that paid best.

    “No majesty,? He said with a bow.

    “Odden,? She said pulling him from his quiet corner, “Would you please take our guest and ensure he receives a good breakfast then a comfortable place to rest before he returns to Enon.? She instructed, hoping she sounded like her usual self.

    “Yes mi'lady,? He offered and guided the little man from the room.

    “Oh, and would you let Sarnra know I shall dine in my office this morning with Lord ti Moninore.?

    “Yes mi'lady.? He returned and closed the door to the hall.

    Once alone, Lant stood and crossed to the fire, without thinking about it he whispered the words to enchant the wood slowing the burn. Then he turned to her, “What is in the letter?? He inquired.

    She lifted the letter and offered it to him “Read it.?

    He took it from her hand and read it then set it back on her desk, “You sent him a letter requesting assistance??

    “I did.?

    “I see.?

    “I guess with everything going on I thought I would ask. Not sure what Delanc would have advised if he were here.?

    He took a deep breath. She was doing her best to cope with the situation. “Was he here when you sent it??

    “Yes, but we were fighting at the time and he didn't hear my questions.?

    “Well, the good news is the Enonians haven't changed in all my years. They are still an opportunistic bunch willing to make a few silver or gold when ever possible.?

    “Do they think Janique would really stop at Galleent? How can they not see that she will likely come to their border??

    “They never take sides and will hold off blood shed, among their people and any one that can pay the price to be refugees.?

    “Will they really?? She asked with slight disbelief.

    “They are still short.?

    She had to laugh at this.

    “They don't take sides, never did, it is bad economics.? He turned his head to the side, “Odden mentioned she disappeared out of the court. I was unaware the Empress was an archimage.?

    “Apparently there is more to the Empress then either of us knew.? She pulled a parchment from under a painted rock that sat atop waiting stack on the corner of her desk. Collected her quill and dipped it in the inkwell. Poising it over the parchment she looked down at it. What was I about to write? Holding the quill for a bit a drop of ink fell from the tip of the quill and landed with a splash on the parchment.

    “Mayla…? Lant asked apparently watching the same thing, “What happened between you and Delanc??

    She lifted her chin and looked Lant in the eyes, “By the gods I do not know. He was my friend and he used to come to me about everything. Then, everything seemed to change. Overnight it was like he was a different man, I didn't know what to make of him. He and I would spend hours bickering over nonsensical things.?

    “Like what??

    “One day I commented about a dent in his armor, he returned with an entire litany of how I never leave the palace and do not know what combat is. That was probably our first fight.?

    “He was upset you pointed out a dent??

    “Yes.?

    “Who runs the guard now that Delanc is gone??

    She looked away a moment and put the quill in the ink well. “That is why I called upon you,? She said quietly, “I had no one I could turn to that I trust.?

    “You want me to Captain your guard??

    “At least until someone is able to fill the position that isn't just going to try and use the position for power.?

    He could tell her trust in others was damaged, yet he did not desire to Captain the Galleent Royal Guard again. “This is not something I was prepared for.?

    “You have experience, you used to do it for my father.?

    “I haven't done it in years. I'm a much better advisor.? He knew Nalia would not approve. It was a dangerous thing being the captain of a guard, it meant he had to go to the front line and often be away from home. “Also I don't have the trust of the men. I'm an outsider.? What a miserable excuse. She comes to me in desperation and I say no? He chastised.

    She looked away from him again and at the quill that rested in the inkwell, “I am sorry, I shall see what I have for Captains. You are right I shouldn't have asked you.? She pulled out the quill again and placed the tip to the parchment, but did not write.

    “Mayla,? He said breaking the deafening silence that fell between them. “This is not a decision I take lightly. Yet, I will not leave you in a time of need. I will send word to have Nalia come here to the palace. I want her closer and the palace is safe with war in the air I don't think she is safe out at the manor.?

    Mayla set the quill down and looked at Lant, tears were beginning to well in her eyes. “Thank you,? She said with a quivering lip.

    “No need to cry,? He offered. She was at her wits end, and the weight of everything around her was heavy on her mind.

    She wiped her face with her hand and attempted to smile the dark circles under her eyes clouded her smile, “If I could get a good night sleep I am sure I'd be able to take on the world.?

    Lant shook his head, the nightmares. Without knowing when they began exactly and the activities around their start he was not certain how to solve them. “Is there anyone else that can not sleep?? Most of the kingdom would feel it usually in an instance like this. That was if it was a spell to infect everyone and make them fight inwardly making war easy.

    She looked down at the parchment again, “No one has mentioned bad dreams and the Templars think that the gods are angry with me.?

    “You are an angel of mercy sent by Rukor, he will watch over you and guide you, not shun you.? He looked at the place where her mark set. Her robe was tied at the top covering the spot but he knew it was there.

    “What if it wasn't me and it was Delanc all this time that was sent by the gods to guide me??

    “Non-sense, I've seen it within you. You may not carry a known magic but within your soul you hold something I don't understand. I am confident with you as Queen of these lands anyone can Captain a guard that will not falter even in the face of the Urquin Army.?

    She smiled at this, “I realize asking an Archimage to guide an army is hardly proper use of your powers, but I have no one else to turn to.?

    “You need help and I am a friend first, with as you mentioned, experience in this realm. I helped your father when he was young.? He suddenly wished there was more he could do, but even his abilities were limited. “Perhaps you should try to rest again.?

    “It won't do any good,? She frowned, “I am infected with bad dreams.?

    He thought for a moment drawing a heavy silence over the room. “Nalia!? He blurted out.

    This made her jump in her chair.

    “Why didn't I think of it before? She may be able to sooth these dreams. She isn't a dreamwalker either but she can perhaps allow you to rest. Make the thoughts easier to deal with. I will…? He stood and made a wide circle around the room not seeming to know what to do. Then he spotted the parchment on the desk and started to it, “Let me borrow your quill and parchment and I'll write her to have her come right away.?

    “She can help me?? There was a glimmer of joy at the edge of her voice. Light at the end of a long tunnel was Nalia. She pushed her quill and parchment over so that he could lean over and use them.

    “I think she can.? He gave her a smile as he knelt next to her to write on the parchment.
    Last edited by Auroralee; 05-15-2005 at 05:21 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    1,680

    Default Re: Dreamwalker...

    Chapter 3

    ****



    Leaving Mayla to draft a letter to king Quandren he ordered Odden to find a lady to watch over her. Mayla protested the idea of having a lady around but he insisted and told her it was not normal for a Queen to avoid ladies-in-waiting. She did not fight him on the issue long and he feared she was close to collapse. He knew once Nalia was here at least she could help watch over Mayla. He always knew she was different from any other Queen he had known. It was probably because her father raised her after her mother died in childbirth. This seemed to fulfill a prophecy that the Templars dug up from some library cellar. He never had much faith in the Templars. Sure he understood their purpose but they seemed to take everything off the deep side.

    Taking his written and sealed note he set out to find a messenger. For this task he avoided asking Odden. The man needed to stay at the castle since he seemed the closest to Mayla plus there was the contemplation of sending a contingent of men to escort Nalia. The thought of Nalia's comfort about the idea came to mind. Would it scare her to see a contingent of soldiers sent to retrieve her? She would certainly know there was something serious in Galleent.

    Shaking his head he decided it did not matter what she thought he wanted her safe. A small contingent would work. He met a young Captain named Ronvor mi Octan outside the main hall, where courtiers were leaving the morning meal, and asked if he would take his men to collect her. The young man seemed enthusiastic for something to do, and Lant marveled over the age of the Captain. Most were at least twenty-five and Octan was only nineteen.

    After sending Octan off with his note he decided to take a walk and familiarize himself with the palace again. Stepping outside the warm sun touched his cheeks letting him know that spring was in the air. The dripping sound of the melting snow filled the courtyards and servants were beating carpets over the railings. Spring should wash away all of her fears. Yet this spring was different, with the foreboding feeling in the air soon when the lands were dry and the hot summer winds blew in war would fill the lands.

    He had seen many wars and led enough armies to their deaths. This would be different it was a whole new crop of men, and they would resent him. It was not something normally done to appoint someone outside the ranks to command them but he would have to ensure they knew it was temporary. He was the commander for most of their fathers and grandfathers.

    Outside the soldier barracks he found Captain ti Gidmoore again and asked if he could show him around. The Captain bowed and led the way showing where the horses were stabled and the armor stored. The armory was just off of the room that kept racks or chainmail and plate armor. In thirty years nothing had changed, it seemed even the plate armor still had the same dents it did when he was here last time.

    “Why do you want to know all of this mi'lord?? Gidmoore asked after showing the armory.

    Taking a deep breath it was best he started to let the men know of Mayla's decision. “The Queen asked that I Captain the Guard until she finds someone suitable to replace Captain ti Mogran.? He watched as Gidmoore processed this information.

    “That is a tall order, mi'lord,? Gidmoore did not hold back his surprise. “She called upon someone that barely knows the men. No offense.?

    “None taken. She will, I'm certain, find someone that will replace ti Mogran and me soon.?

    Gidmoore sucked in his breath. Lant paused a moment and looked him directly in the eyes. He wanted to know what was on this man's mind if he was loyal and trustworthy. They stood in a deadlock for a long moment as Lant carefully picked through his mind trying not to allow the man to notice he was there.

    The foremost thought was, Why didn't she pick me? Am I not a loyal Captain? Delanc was never loyal yet she wanted him as Captain. I served loyally. Then he seemed to try to rationally think it through. This is only temporary. The Queen is fighting a battle with the demons of the dark gods perhaps when she comes to her mind she will see me as her loyal servant. I could be the one that marches back carrying her banner and be loved by all the beautiful women. He sighed in his thoughts as they turned to women with large busts and bouncing blond hair. This was where Lant slipped out of the man's thoughts leaving his lustful desires personal.

    “It is only temporary.? Lant finally said breaking the moment.

    “I understand her decision.? He said, as they walked out of the out of the armory.

    “Besides I was enjoying my retirement out at my manor near Vipmin.? He laughed.

    “Retirement? You hardly look old enough to be a retired man.? Gidmoore said looking at Lant's face. “Yet, someday I hope to retire and marry.?

    “Any woman yet??

    “No, several that I would desire, but I've not enough to marry a woman yet.? As a Captain, the pay was pretty good. It must be his desire for the glory instead of the pay that kept him from marrying. He desired the beautiful women falling at his feet because he was a hero. “You lord? Are you married in your retirement?? He asked as they continued walking.

    “Yes, to a beautiful woman,? Lant returned.

    “Ah, I must have misplaced my memory you were concerned about her as we were returning the other day. What did the queen conclude??

    “I sent for her this morning.?

    Gidmoore let the subject die to think, and then took in another breath to speak, “Is it true that… well they are saying that our Queen is cursed with a demon, and that it is why Delanc left. I heard she isn't exactly herself. I am not sure exactly what to believe.?

    Lant raised an eyebrow to this, “No,? He returned quickly. “Queen Mayla is not demon cursed, she is still the gods' sent angel she always was.? He paused a moment then spoke again, “Where did you hear this anyway??

    Gidmoore looked at his feet a moment before speaking again, “Captain ti Mogran commented about it. He explained that that was why he and the Queen were not getting along. He said that a war with her fighting demons would slaughter thousands and that if she told him to battle for her during this time he would leave.? He shook his head, “It was a devastating day when he left.?

    Lant closed his eyes a moment and set his jaw with a twinge of anger. So, Delanc was turning her men against her before leaving. This was going to be an interesting puzzle to put back together in his wake. “Let us go somewhere and talk, I would not want others to over hear our discussion and think wrong of what we are saying.?

    “I can take you to the ti Mogran's quarters. Since you will be the Captain of the Guard I guess they are your quarters now, or at least until the Queen finds your replacement.?

    “That would be fine,? He returned, “I am sure my wife will love them for our time here.?

    Gidmoore smiled and led the way to a pleasant two story stone manor about three hundred paces from the barracks. Since it was on a hill within the great walls of the city the view was breathtaking from the back of the manor where also a lush garden covered with melting snow grew. After seeing it he was certain Nalia would like this place. It was not like their country manor but a high class home for living within the bustling city of Galleent .

    The manor was kept by a small servant staff obviously supplied by the castle yet they lived here on a permeate basis. Unsure what to make of Lant upon his approach one of the servant men an older man straightened and bowed.

    “The Captain is gone.? He announced.

    “Thank you, I am Lord Lant ti Moninore.? Lant gave a sweeping bow.

    “He's the Captain of the Guard until the Queen can find another,? Gidmoore added on.

    “Mi'lord I did not realize she would ask an Archimage to take Captain ti Mogran's place.? The man was surprised at this turn.

    Gidmoore gave Lant a side look having apparently not known that he was an archimage.

    “It will be a pleasure to serve under you again.? The servant bowed again, “I am Homte ti Jathmick, I served under your command about thirty winters ago, for King Fayeth.?

    “That was a very long time ago.? Lant returned with a smile, “King Fayeth was a very good man, and it is an honor to help his daughter again.?

    “Yes, and as you see I have aged yet you look the same as the day I served you last,? Homte's smile widened. “Mi'lord I shall alert the rest of the staff, please make yourself at home.? Homte opened the large wooden door to the manor and beckoned them to enter.

    Lant with Gidmoore in tow found the front parlor and seated in one of the large chairs. He had to offer it to Delanc he had style, the place was nicely kept and the furnishings exquisite.

    Gidmoore sat on a couch across from Lant and closed his opened jaw then let it fall open again. “Mi'lord, I must apologize for my earlier ignorance. I had no idea you were once the Captain of the guard for King Fayeth. I mean hardly a position for an archimage.?

    “The Queen realized asking me to Captain the guard again was not something I usually do, but she is a friend. How could I turn her down??

    “I guess this is true, mi'lord.? He was now visibly tense at the idea of sitting with an archimage.

    Lant ran his hand along the comfortable upholstery of the chair he was sitting in. This was a well worn chair. “This is a comfortable chair.?

    “It was the Captain's favorite chair. I'm sure the furniture has changed a lot in the last thirty winters.?

    “This manor is new in that time. I used to live within the palace walls when I was here with King Fayeth.?

    Gidmoore made an “O? with his lips. “So you do not age??

    “I age but in a very different way.?

    “What was it like serving the King??

    “He was a friend I never served him I merely helped him through some of the battles with Kivindine.? Archimages never served anyone, they made friends and did things they desired.

    Nodding Gidmoore made it obvious he had read of the Kivindine wars “Replacing an archimage in the position of Captain of the Guard will not be easy for her Majesty.?

    “She will do well I am certain.?

    “You have known her majesty long then??

    “Her entire life, but did not really meet her until we sent her father to the sea to be with Rukor.? He bowed his head in memory of that day. Watching King Fayeth's body float away on a raft until an archer cast a burning arrow onto the raft setting it aflame. It floated off to the sea burning. It was like saying goodbye to part of himself seeing Fayeth disappear into his ocean grave. It was the way of mortal men. When Fayeth grew ill he called him to his side and asked that he watch over his daughter. She was so young then.

    “That was a sad day, I was only a young man then but that was the saddest day I ever saw in the entire kingdom.? He also paused a moment to reflect. “It was soon after the King died that I felt it was important I server our beloved Galleent. The Queen has been a wonderful woman to serve as well.?

    “She is a good woman. Not as young anymore.? He smiled, she was now quite a blossom of beauty, though he would never admit it to anyone. “I am curious if you know of anyone suffering from nightmares within the kingdom? It is something she brought to my attention this morning. Are any of the troops complaining??

    Gidmoore paused for a time, “No, well nothing out of the ordinary. I mean soldiers are often haunted with nightmares. It is a soldier's life, but no more then usual and if there was chances are the men would not tell of them.?

    He nodded, but was certain if there was an epidemic that Gidmoore would be aware of it. “If you hear of anything please let me know.?

    “Certainly, mi'lord,? Gidmoore returned.

    “My friends call me Lant, you are welcome to use that name.?

    Gidmoore raised his brow again in surprise, probably the first time an archimage said that he could use a less formal name. “Yes, mi--- I mean Lant.? He paused as he thought how the name felt on his tongue, “And I would like it if you called me Favon.?

    Lant smiled at the hope that he could keep Gidmoore as an ally instead of losing him to the direction Delanc went. “I seem to recall hearing that the Galleent army is spread to the corners of Galleent and beyond. Would you happen to know where I could learn about this??

    “Perhaps Captain ti Mogran's office.? He said seeming to turn his head in the direction of the office within the manor.

    “Alright,? Lant said as he stood preparing to search for this office. “Then I guess that is the next order of business. It is always best to know what it is you are getting into.?

    With Gidmoore leading the way they went to the large foyer then up the stairs to a hall the first door in the hall was the office they were looking for. It was a large room. Along the walls were bookcases filled with books and scrolls then at the far end of the room was an enormous desk. In the middle of the room was a table covered with unrolled maps decorated with little silver statues.

    “This map is where the troops are.? Gidmoore pointed out walking over to it. “Captain ti Mogran represented the places where our regiments are with the silver statues.? He explained as Lant looked over at the map of Galleent in the middle, Honish to the north, Enon to the south and part of Urquin to the east as well as the ocean to the west. The silver status were spread all over Honish and then through different parts of Galleent.

    “What is going on in Honish??

    “Brigands, we have several regiments up there because Honish has no army due to the Donthar War.?

    “I remember, but I didn't realize Mayla had sent so many. That doesn't help protect Galleent should someone decide to attack. I will talk with her about moving some of those regiments back down here. Perhaps we can leave some on the border and that will be enough have a protective presence there.? He pointed to the upper border of Honish, then to the border of Honish and Galleent.

    “I thought it odd that Captain ti Mogran had so many up there cut off from home.?

    Tossing Delanc's name into the mess added things up quickly, but he would not wish to destroy Galleent unless he was associated with the enemy. Is it possible that he is? Lant shook his head slightly and refocused on the map. “I see we have several at the different forts, but what are these?? He pointed out some statues placed in remote locations. “These troops have a reason??

    Gidmoore tilted his head as he looked at the map where Lant was pointing to. “I don't know what they are doing there. I could send a runner out to them and see about having them return or for a scroll of their orders.?

    Lant raised his hand and rubbed his thumb on his chin. “The army is pretty thin, how many regiments do we have here at the palace??

    “Perhaps six.?

    “Six? That is all? This is the Palace there should be ten at least. What is Mayla thinking? We need to recall those in Honish. This palace is ripe for an attack from any direction.?

    Gidmoore looked at the map perhaps surprised he never noticed how poorly the Palace and the lands of Galleent were protected.

    “I count at least fifteen…? He started to count the statues, “No, eighteen regiments in Honish alone. And I just sent a contingent to collect my wife so that lowers us to nearly five.? He shook his head at this revelation. “There is only so much Rukor can do to protect the castle but he left us with the means to do it. Tossing that to the wind means that we are looking at our destruction.?

    “With the snow to the north it will probably be two months before we can get half of those regiments home.?

    “How about we recall some of the closer regiments and send out word to pull those in Honish back to the locations we pulled troops from. Here, here and here.? He pointed to some of the locations on the map that contained regiments with in the boarders of Galleent. “This palace must be protected.?

    “Speak with her majesty and I will help get the word where it needs to go,? Gidmoore offered.

    “I should have something for you tomorrow. The Queen was very tired and I believe she was going to nap so talking to her now would be a waste of time. Have riders ready to depart tomorrow at first light. They will have to ride hard for this but it is the best way for us to protect the Palace before someone takes advantage of this.?



    That evening He sat with Mayla in her suite again eating off of a tray of food brought for them. She looked gaunt in the lamp light and she was barely eating the foods in front of her. He almost did not have the heart to tell her of what he learned about her kingdom and the danger they were in.

    “Mayla,? He started, this made her look up at him from the piece of bread she was pushing around on the food tray. “Who ordered the troops to go to Honish??

    She blinked a couple of times before speaking, “I did.?

    “Did you order eighteen regiments??

    Her lips parted slightly and question filled her eyes, “No, well perhaps, I don't know.?

    He put his hand to his chin and looked down at the food tray for a moment. Then lowered his hand. “Your army is spread very thin. I don't know if this was done to leave the palace vulnerable but right now we have five regiments here. There were no fewer then ten when I helped your father last. It is also hard on the army to support a kingdom when they are not in that kingdom. Why are you in Honish??

    Again she blinked, he started to realize it was because her mind was not thinking as fast as normal. She was slowed by sleep deprivation. She took in a breath and spoke, “King Ronad, asked me to help him after the Donthar War his army was destroyed, and he needed help with the Brigands that were coming down from the North and devastating his lands.?

    He nodded at this, “But the Galleent army hardly needs to have eighteen regiments up there.?

    “I will trust your judgment.?

    “I suspect that Delanc took those words as well and purposely spread your army across the known lands in the name of the Queen and thus leaving you vulnerable to attack.?

    She closed her eyes a moment and her lips drew down. “He wanted to hurt his home?? She placed a hand to her forehead as she spoke.

    “I don't know but I will send word first thing in the morning to move regiments back here. I am sure the men from these parts will be happy to be home again. Do you know how long some of these regiments have been out there? The Donthar War was nearly ten years ago.?

    She shook her head, “I left the movement of troops to Delanc.?

    As well she should if she trusted her Captain of the Guard, “Did he come to you with these ideas??

    “Usually, at least I think he did.? Tears began to form in her eyes again and she tried to blink them away only causing them to splash down her drawn cheeks faster.

    “I will take care of it and let you know what it is I am doing.?

    “If you need anything I will do my best.?

    “I seem to have gained the respect of Captain ti Gidmoore.?

    “Favon is a good man,? She returned, “I just don't like the way he looks at me.?

    Remembering the images from earlier that he glanced in Gidmoore's mind he was pretty sure why she was uncomfortable. “What looks??

    “Well,? She paused a moment to think of the right words, “He looks upon me like he's hungry for something.?

    He could not hold back the laugh that came to his mouth, “Favon at least has taste.?

    She shook her head a moment and then blushed. “That was not something I was expecting.?

    “Most men that are soldiers find a certain lust after spending long times in the field of war. That is why it is always a good morale boost to let them come home to the women they left.? He tried to explain, “I don't think you are in danger of him.? At least he hoped, if the man's heart suddenly turned problems might arise.

    “I see,? She closed her eyes for a long moment then shook back to a waking position.

    “You are putting up a good fight.? He said noting her fight against sleep that was trying to envelope her.

    She smiled at him and soon her heavy lids closed again. He moved to her and helped her lay down on the couch where she was sitting. Then stepped back to the chair he was occupying before and watched her sleep. Will she be able to sleep past the dreams tonight? What can I do if she isn't able to? He shook his head, without knowing the source he could not even begin to figure out how to stop them.



    He must have dozed because he woke to her moaning and saying, “Stop,? In her dreams. Another nightmare. He crossed to her and put his fingertips to her temples again. Her eyes were welling up with tears and she screamed out in pain as he saw her being whipped. Between painful hits that tore into her soul she craned her head around to see the assailant, only to find it was Delanc. This made her weep harder as she yelled out, “Why??

    Shaking her again she did not respond at first. Then she opened her eyes and looked at him. “It was Delanc.? She cried out to him putting her arms around his neck and pulling him close in a tight scared embrace.

    “It was only a dream.? He told her trying to sooth her.

    She sobbed heavily on his shoulder. The lack of sleep was making her inconsolable.

    “I am here,? He soothed and helped her sit up petting her hair as she held on to him. “I am here.?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Dreamwalker - Chapter 4

    Chapter 4

    ****




    A week passed and Nalia arrived from the manor. She smiled at her husband when she stepped out of the carriage but it did not cover the concern for why she was here. “Lant!? She said walking up to him and kissing him in the courtyard in front of the waiting servants.

    When they broke the kiss he looked at his beautiful wife, “How was your trip love??

    “I am glad it is over and that you are here to receive me.? She told him, as she looked over the waiting people and spotted Mayla with a few ladies-in-waiting. “Majesty,? She said with a pleasant smile as she walked over to curtsy before the queen. “I am so happy to see you again.?

    “As I am you Lady Moninore,? Mayla returned also bowing her head to the lady archimage. “I trust your travel was uneventful.? She was trying to look normal before the court of people that stood around them, because she did not wish anyone to know she was suffering.

    “Pleasantly uneventful.?

    “Good, then I shall look forward to speaking at dinner this evening with you after you have had a chance to reacquaint with your husband.? Mayla offered a smile to Nalia and turned to walk back into the palace.

    Nalia returned a curtsey then turned back to Lant. She had a look of worry that flashed across her face as she glanced at him. “So where are we staying?? She asked trying not to show her concern.

    “Let me take you into our manor for our stay here.? He said leading his wife.

    At the Captain's manor she seemed pleased with the view and once they were alone she turned to him still puzzling over something. “Mayla is ill??

    “Yes, I was hoping you could help her.?

    “What is it??

    “She is unable to sleep because she is suffering from nightmares. I've seen them they are horrifying.?

    She shook her head, “I don't know what I can do.?

    “Sooth her, I've seen her fall into a deep enough sleep that she didn't have a nightmare but that is because she is exhausted.?

    “So you've been tending to her??

    “Every night since I got here, but there isn't much I can do when someone is dreaming.?

    “I'm not a dreamwalker.?

    “No, but perhaps you can help her face these dreams. Give her a fighting chance against the images that fill her mind when she closes her eyes.?

    “I will do my best,? Nalia frowned and looked down. “It is difficult to see her suffering.?

    “That is only the beginning of it. There is much going on in the kingdom that it is starting to make my head swim.? After a week he barely knew all the damage Delanc left for him. The surprises kept building and traitors were woven deep in the ranks.

    “I can tell. It was a surprise to get your letter saying you were staying on to help her, but that it was urgent I come. I do need to know what else is going on.?

    “The Urquin Empire is demanding that Mayla hand over Galleent to them, and Delanc wanted her to do it. It seems he was upset over her decision not to and resigned. He also made Galleent vulnerable by sending nearly all of the queen's army to Honish to help hold back a Brigand problem. Now, Mayla is suffering from nightmares.?

    “Who is Captain of the Guard now?? She looked at him raising a brow. He could tell she already guessed the answer.

    He swallowed, “Me.?

    “I thought you were done.?

    “What was I supposed to do? She needed help and she fears everyone is her enemy after what Delanc did. She said she receives sealed letters where the wax seal has been reapplied en-route. I couldn't leave King Fayeth's daughter without help.?

    She crossed her arms and took a sharp breath. “You were retired from all of this. Now, I have to worry about you going off to battle and never coming back. I didn't want to marry a soldier.?

    “Nalia, you saw her. Does she look like someone that I should say, ‘no,' to??

    She took another deep breath and sighed, “No, she needs friends now, and people that will help her.? She threw her arms around his neck and kissed him, “Just promise me I won't be a widow.?

    “I will do my best, plus she is Mayla the queen of Galleent. Remember it was by her hand that Galleent won with the massive victory during the Donthar war.?

    “I just hope her shine doesn't wear off.?

    “I think we will be aware of it if her shine does wear off.? He kissed her deeply and that was the last of their deep conversation for the afternoon until it was time to dress and prepare for dinner.



    Dinner was in the main hall of the palace. Mayla sat at a large chair that dwarfed her at the head of the long table covered with food. Lant sat to her right with his wife next to him and Gidmoore to her left. Courtiers, Ladies and Captains all sat at the table enjoying to succulent food prepared for the meal. Through the dinner the conversation was light only touching on how things were in Vipmin, and the crops that were being prayed for.

    “I am glad we got here in time for the Water of Life Festival.? Nalia commented to Mayla.

    “Yes, it is always beautiful in Galleent.?

    “Is there a water maiden picked out yet??

    “The Temple hasn't informed me yet of a name, I'm sure they will tell me soon.? The annual Water of Life Festival took place after the first bloom. It was a where maidens collected flowers and put them in floating baskets to send out to sea for Rukor with their wishes written on scrolls within the baskets. Most wished for good husbands or healthy children. This year Mayla knew what she wanted to put in her basket. A wish for the nightmares to disappear.

    “I'm sure she will be beautiful.?

    Mayla thought a moment about the maiden, it was tradition to select a girl of sixteen years. The job of the water maiden was to stand waist deep in the ocean and face out to the sea while the baskets past her. She was to pick one basket without knowing the owner and collect the wish from it. That wish was going to be the one to come true because it was Rukor's choosing. At sixteen she was not selected as the water maiden because she was already queen. There were many festivals she had to miss out on in her teens because of her position.

    The dinner conversation continued on and when they were done a group of court minstrels found a corner to start to play in. The music was beautiful but Mayla could not hear it over the fog in her mind as exhaustion haunted her again.

    “You should go rest,? Lant told her seeing her head bob.

    She lifted her head and shook it. “Yes,? She told him not wishing to discuss her sleep troubles in the Court.

    Lant and Nalia walked with her up to the royal suite, where she invited them in to her sitting room. Nalia and Lant sat on a couch together and she found another couch to sit on across from them.

    “Tell me about the dreams.? Nalia inquired now that they were alone.

    “They started several weeks ago taunting me at first, now they haunt me.?

    “Do you mind if I look into your mind and see them?? Nalia knew it was proper to ask such questions before slipping into someone's mind and stealing from them.

    “Please, I will do anything to stop these dreams. I just want a night where I can sleep.?

    Nalia stood and crossed to Mayla sitting next to her on the couch. “Lant said he's seen these dreams and does not understand why they come to you. The other night was about Delanc??

    Mayla nodded.

    “I think you are being told something with these dreams.? She put her hands out and touched Mayla on the temples with her fingertips. Closing her eyes she started to search. Mayla did not close her eyes for fear of seeing the images when she was awake. Nalia began to wince as she continued her search then she began to breath heavy as if something were scaring her. That was when she opened her eyes and pulled her hands back as if she had touched something hot. “How long has this been going on again?? Her face was ash white.

    “Several weeks.?

    Nalia put her arms around Mayla and hugged her, “Dear dear woman, you are very strong to suffer these dreams.?

    Mayla's hopes sank as the archimage held her. “Then there is nothing you can do for me??

    “I will do my best while you sleep tonight, but alas I don't know what I can do.?

    “I've thought about seeking a dreamwalker.? Lant added in. “Perhaps one could help Mayla through her nightmares, but alas I do not know where to look.?

    Nalia let go of Mayla and sat a moment closed her eyes and thought. Then she opened her eyes and looked at Lant, “Divion ti Fogra??

    Lant also thought about this a moment, “Divion has been dead for many winters.?

    “Oh, I didn't realize that. He was the best, taught me a lot about dreams.? Nalia returned saddened to learn that one of her tutors was now with the gods.

    Mayla's eyes closed as the two of them talked and soon she was sleeping heavily. Nalia and Lant sat quietly watching her, afraid to guess how soon the dreams would start.

    Nalia helped Mayla lay down on the couch and covered her with a blanket. “Is this becoming common?? She whispered to Lant when she crossed over to sit next to him again.

    “We've both been sleeping on these couches a lot lately, because she stays awake until her exhaustion takes over and won't let her eyes stay open any longer. I've been staying here to, I guess, watch over her as best I can.?

    “I'm sure that is getting some interesting rumors blooming around the palace.? She said with a small sweet laugh.

    “I'm sure it is.?

    They did not wait long before Mayla's dreams caught up with her. Lant looked to Nalia, “Anything you can do for her??

    “I will try.? Nalia walked back over and knelt down beside Mayla. Placing her hand on Mayla's forehead she closed her eyes. It took several moments and Mayla stopped moaning.

    Lant knew not to interrupt is wife but sat and watched as a grimace formed on her face. The dreams were extremely powerful and she was having trouble soothing what she could. He walked over and put a hand on her shoulder to help her. Through her clothes he could feel the sweat on her body. Before long she began to shake. He grabbed her hand and pulled her away from Mayla as she began to convulse. Holding her loosely he waited for the episode to end and sat there holding his wife.

    It was several minutes before she opened her eyes again. “I can't do it.? She told him, “These dreams aren't natural.?

    He nodded and watched as Mayla started to twitch again fighting what ever was finding her in her sleep. “We have to find a dreamwalker soon or I fear she will die from these dreams.?

    Nalia started to doze in his arms from the stress of trying to sooth Mayla, so he picked her up and laid her on the couch they were sitting on. Finding a blanket he covered her up and watched as Mayla started to whimper then scream from what ever nightmare there was in her head. A tear formed in his eye as he thought about the pain she was enduring.

    After a time she calmed he could sense she was in a deeper exhausted sleep. She was in a state he feared very close to death. Leaning his head back he looked at the ceiling and prayed for someone to help her. His prayer was cut short when she started to scream again. He walked over and shook her awake.

    Tears rained from her eyes as she opened them and looked at him. “Lant!? She cried heavy sobs. “It won't stop!?

    He held her for a time, “Nalia did what she could.? He sighed, “I will send out word that I'm looking for a dreamwalker in the morning. I fear that is our last hope.?

    Between sobs she nodded, “Soon, I don't know how much more I can take.?

    I don't know how much more you can take either , “Hush, you are strong.? He petted her hair as he rocked her like a child in his arms. “You are strong.? No one could last as long as you without your strength. He looked over at his wife's body, even she could not handle the weight of the dreams.



    When morning came Mayla could not figure out how she managed through the night. Her day was not promising and it was also overcast with rain clouds outside which echoed her mood. Nalia still slept through the morning until the sun was high in the sky. Mayla could think of nothing else but to apologize to her for making her suffer as she did.

    Nalia shook her head, “I am the one that should apologize to you. I was the one that was unable to save you from the dreams.? She paused a moment to look around the royal suite. “Where is Lant??

    “He went to my office to write some letters for runners to take looking for dreamwalkers. He said there were a few archimages he knew to contact perhaps one of them knew a dreamwalker.?

    Nalia shook her head, “I failed you.?

    “You did your best.?

    “I have never encountered anything like this.?

    “I understand.? Mayla swallowed as fear gripped her. What am I to do now?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Dreamwalker...

    Chapter 5

    ****




    It was late and Mayla could barely keep her eyes open, yet she dreaded going to sleep. After what happened to Nalia the night before she now feared there was no hope for her. Lant sent word to find a man called a dreamwalker, but would he be found soon enough?

    She held her quill and tried to write in her journal. She wanted to leave an account of what was happening so that someone would know if she no longer could open her eyes. The end was coming she could feel it. Quill in hand her eyes closed and she dreamed of what she wanted to write until she realized she was a sleep. Bobbing her head back awake she saw the line she drew off the side of the page. Shaking from the start of sleep she tried to continue with writing. Her eyes closed again and darkness followed.

    She felt it before she knew what it was, it was the serpent again slithering around her feet. It was calling her name with the hiss in its voice. She was in darkness complete suffocating blinding darkness. Her heart pounded as she felt the scales of the serpent slithering along the bare skin of her leg. She screamed and started to run. She did not know where to run, but she had to get away from the serpent.

    Her bare feet slapped against a cold hard cold ground as she ran. She could not seem to out run the slithering sound behind her. Then pain gripped her ankle and she fell face first to the hard rocky ground. Its fangs bit deeper into her ankle forcing the poison into her body. As she lay there with the poison paralyzing her it wrapped around her leg.

    I'm dying! Her mind screamed as she felt the poison race up her leg. It would soon stop her mind and her heart.

    “You are not hurt.? A soft male voice whispered next to her ear.

    Her heart pounded but now there was light. She no longer felt the serpent nor was she paralyzed by the thick poison. Her ankle stopped hurting.

    “You are safe.? He said. “I won't let any harm come to you.?

    Sitting up she looked at him. “Who are you?? She asked unable to see his face clearly. His dark features blended into with the surrounding blackness that threatened to snuff out his small lantern. He wore a hood that covered most of his dark face too, but what was clear was the reflection of the light against his eyes. They were a dark red almost lavender.

    “Who I am is not important, just know you are safe.? He offered her a dark grey hand past the light of the lantern. She placed her hand in his and he helped her to her feet. Together they began to walk. “Where do you want to go?? He asked her.

    “Somewhere I can rest.?

    “Then rest you shall receive.? He told her and they came upon a door, which was not there before. He released her hand from his and opened the door offering her inside. It was a dimly lit room with a warm crackling fire and a huge bed. “Is this comfortable for you??

    “Yes,? She returned and laid on the bed. “I will be safe?? Her dreams were so terrible for so long she could hardly trust that this was not going to turn soon.

    “I promise.? He told her as he pulled his hood down further to cover his face. “You will be safe as long as I'm here.?



    Lifting her head from the pillow on her bed she stretched the sun was up. Looking at her surroundings she tried to remember how she got here. She did not remember going to bed nor did she dressing in her bed clothes. She stretched again and tossed her feet off the side of the bed to the floor. Rested she felt great. It was the first restful sleep she had had in a long time.

    Someone knocked on the door to her bedroom of her suite. “Enter.?

    Lant opened the door and walked in cautiously. “I could sense you were awake. How are you this morning?? He said tilting his head to the side slightly observing her.

    “Refreshed,? She told him. “I had a wonderful night.?

    His eyes widened. “That is great news. What did you dream of??

    She smiled and shook her head, “I don't remember. I just know it was comfortable.?

    “Well this is a pleasant change.? He shook his head slightly unsure what to say, “I hope this it will ease your mind and allow you to accomplish some things. I—I shall leave you to dress.? He said with a smile as he turned to leave.

    “You don't know why?? She asked him before he managed to get away.

    “No, I wish I did but I had nothing to do with your dream.?

    She puzzled a moment over this, “I just hope it wasn't a fluke.?

    “As do I, now go ahead and dress.? He bowed and closed the door leaving her alone again.

    She dressed and began to hum. Today she felt great and refreshed. A handmaiden was soon in to assist her with dressing and prepared her for going down to breakfast.

    Once she had eaten she return to her office and found her open journal from the prior night where she had drawn a line with her quill. Closing the journal she set it aside and went through some of the accumulated correspondence she was neglecting because of exhaustion.

    It was late morning when Lant returned to her office with Nalia on his heels.

    “Good morning,? She said greeting them both without rising.

    “I wanted to come by and see how you are feeling.? Nalia told her with a small courtesy.

    “I am feeling better than I have in weeks.? Mayla returned. “Though, I don't know how I managed to my bed last night. I was pretty certain I fell asleep here at my desk.?

    “I found you sleeping here and assisted you to your bed.? She said with a pensive smile. “You were screaming and I was unable to bring you from your fright.? Nalia's face paled with the memory of what she had seen in the night. “I knew you were tired and you assisted me a little with your night dress, yet you would not wake.?

    “Were you able to turn my dream??

    “No, but you calmed when I laid you down in your bed and covered you with the blankets.?

    A flash of the dream where she laid on the bed returned to her thoughts. “I remember lying down.? She sigh and looked at the pair of archimages, “I just hope that this means I am able to sleep now.?

    “I think we all do.? Lant added.

    “You two look like you are ready to go out riding.? Mayla said observing the gloves in their hands and Lant's tall riding boots.

    Lant bowed his head with a smile. “It is a warm day and Nalia and I thought since you feel well we'd slip out and ride a bit in the forest.?

    She offered a smile and bade them her blessing to go, “Have fun.? Mayla said as she watched the two turn and hold hands as they left. Mayla marveled at how in love they were. She quickly turned back to her work because she did not wish to think of her own heart felt failings she was tired of misery.

    She spent another hour in her office then returned to her suite to add a long gold embroidered vest to her dress and placed her thin jeweled crown upon her head. It was time she went down to see the people of Galleent.

    Soon she was walking in the sunlight along with a pair of guards that were sworn to protect her. She felt like a new woman as the people of Galleent waved at her on the way to the temple. At the temple she removed her shoes, washed her feet in a small basin and walked to the shrine a wall with a constant flow of water down the side. This was in homage to the water god Rukor. He was the god responsible for Galleent.

    The legend said that Rukor cut out a part of the sea's fertile floor as a gift to a Princess named Galleent. This was her land since she had no fin. Rukor was so enamored by her beauty that he knelt beside her on the sea shore and kissed her at the base of her throat. Since that day the princesses born in Galleent wore the mark. Mayla bore this mark since the day she was born. It lay like a glowing aqua gem at the base of her throat. She could cover it with a scarf, but not many could see it, including her. Only those that are blessed with the gift of magic in their veins could see it. Lant told her the mark was brighter then any of the queens he had met from Galleent. This was why everyone said she was angel kissed or a blessing of the gods.

    At the base of the shrine was a small pool with large orange fish swimming around. She knelt next to the pool and the fish swam over to kiss the surface of the water. She put her hands in the water and closed her eyes. It was a blessing to have Rukor look over her again, perhaps he was the one in her dream pushing back the serpent.

    Thank you Rukor, I remorse in the knowledge I ever doubted you. I am also humbled by your great blessings and pray for strength as the future is uncertain. I know you will watch over your lands as the Urquins come from the East to disrupt our lives. Please, help the crops and stop the Urquins from burning out the lands to harm those that are innocent and loving of your forgiveness. You placed me here as your servant let me live within your arms.

    When she was done with her prayer she heard the rustling of the Templars as they came to the shrine to see her. Lifting her head she looked about her to see six Templars all dressed in their shimmering silver robes. “Your majesty,? An elder woman Templar said not completely entering the shrine but bowed deeply to her.

    Mayla rose to greet them, “Temple mother.? She said with a smile to the woman.

    “You are feeling well today?? The woman noticed.

    “Rukor blessed me in my sleep so I am able to feel better.?

    “We never doubted his careful watch,? Chimed in a young man as he stepped from a shadow to bow to her.

    Mayla gave him a special smile since this was her cousin Coanim, he decided to become a templar before she became Queen. He said it was his calling, perhaps it was because he had no desire to become King. “I never doubted either.? She was not sure if that statement was as true before, she cursed him for faltering her and leaving her.

    “Come join us for tea.? The temple mother offered.

    “Thank you.? Mayla walked out of the shrine and through the temple with the small group of templars. The cold stone felt smooth under her naked feet and none of the others wore shoes either. They were forbidden within the temple walls.

    The temple mother led her to a small room with a low table where they sat on cushions around it with their legs crossed. Coanim served the tea and handed her the warm cup. “You are looking very well.? He commented.

    “I feel as if it was Rukor that came to me in my sleep last night and offered me protection. Tell me what does he look like?? She returned, the image was not what she imagined Rukor would look.

    “No one really knows what he looks like,? The temple mother told her, “It is rumored that he is part man and part fish. He has no legs only a fin, and his skin is the color of the bluest ocean, the same color as the kiss you wear.?

    Mayla thought a moment, the man in her dream definitely had legs and his skin was ash grey. Did she have some demon lord coming to save her now? Realizing this, her skin began to crawl. “Are there any gods that have dark ash skin and violet eyes??

    The temple mother thought for a moment, but she could not seem to come up with an answer.

    “Luthwiss,? Coanim blurted out.

    His voice was so loud and sudden he made the temple mother shake her hot tea out of her cup on to robe. She leapt up to her feet shaking the tea from her robe. “Don't do that to me!? She scolded him, “You could have killed me.?

    “I'm sorry Temple mother, but his name came to my thoughts like a strike from above.? Coanim returned.

    “Tell me of this Luthwiss.? Mayla asked, his revelation may have come from above.

    “He isn't really a god, but he is more of a rogue. He has dark skin as you described and has red eyes, not that violet. Although, red can sometimes be seen as violet.?

    The temple mother sat down on her cushion and poured more tea. “He is as old as the gods themselves.?

    “Is he enemy or ally of Rukor?? Mayla asked cautiously.

    “He is neither.? The temple mother said solemnly.

    “He allies himself as he feels fit,? Coanim added, “He does what he feels is best for the moment. Why do you ask about him anyway??

    “He saved me in my dream last night. I was dying from a poison and he stopped it. He never told me who he was nor why he was there only that he would protect me and I was safe with him.?

    The temple mother raised a brow to this, “Could it be that Rukor asked him to help you??

    “Since Rukor is unable to walk on land I could see it as a possibility.? Coanim adjusted on his cushion and poured more tea into Mayla's cup. “A god assistant like Luthwiss could be used in many ways. Since he saved you, I am going to believe that he is on the side of Rukor and not another god that would wish you harm.?



    Reluctant that the previous night was just a coincidence she walked to her bed not wishing to tell anyone that she feared the dreams returning. She dressed slowly in her bed clothes and lay down to stare at the canopy above her bed. The curtains were open because spring had warmed the palace during the day. The window in her bedchamber was open and the canopy danced in the breeze. Her eyes would not drop closed for fear of the images she would see.

    A knock rapped on the door. “Enter!? She called, without rising to meet the visitor.

    Someone walked in and closed the door to the sitting room portion of the suite, “Hello,? Nalia called out.

    “Nalia,? Mayla returned with relief and sat up in bed.

    “No don't get up Majesty,? She said walking in to the bedchamber, “I was coming to check on you. I could feel your apprehension of going to sleep. So I thought I'd sit with you while you go to sleep to ensure your nightmares do not return.?

    Mayla smiled and laid her head back down. “Thank you, I didn't want to tell anyone I was afraid. But I what if last night was just a breather??

    “Breather or not it was something you needed.? She returned.

    “Yes, and am glad I did.?

    “Now rest.?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Dreamwalker...

    Very nice beginning....Hope to see more..

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Dreamwalker...

    I have enjoyed what you have written so far. I hope you continue until it is finished.

    /hugs
    Niamh

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    Default Re: Dreamwalker...

    Chapter 6 may be delayed because I'm doing finals in school and moving at the same time. I'll do my best to get to it. Thank you for your encouragement so far. /hugs

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    Default Re: Dreamwalker...

    Chapter 6

    ****


    They went through the same nightly routine for a few days and still the dreams did not return. Luthwiss was there every night to take her hand once she closed her eyes from Nalia. By the third night Nalia thought it was safe and let her sleep on her own. Mayla felt like a nervous child as she lay down for her dreams again. As it was nights before the canopy swayed lazily above her head in the warm breeze.

    What would Luthwiss do tonight? He started to talk more in her dreams tell her of things. His words were usually sweet and loving. He would whisper things that made her heart melt, yet when she was awake she worried these words would turn to something to hurt her.

    Closing her eyes she thought of him. It was always dark and he always wore a hood that covered most of his face. If he were not such an angel of mercy she would be scared of a man like that. Rukor must have sent him to protect her from the demons that were there to disturb her dreams.

    Soon her dreams came to bring her to a dark room with moonlight streaming in a window. It was not her room but it was a comfortable room, and he walked up to her from out of the darkness. Music began to play and he stepped into the moonlight. She saw his face for the first time a dark handsome face with piercing violet-red eyes. He had shoulder length dark hair pulled back in a ponytail at the nape of his neck.

    He smiled at her with white teeth, no fangs she checked, and took her in his arms. His dark clothing was thin and soft as she wrapped her hands around it holding him as guided her in a dance to the wispy music.

    Their dance became more intimate as he held her closer and ran his fingers through her loose hair. She leaned her head back into them and melted as his thin muscular arms held her and he kissed her lips.

    Darkness further shrouded them as they stopped dancing and his words filled her mind with his close warmth. Things grew torrid and fuzzy.



    Mayla woke out of breath with the sun pouring in the window of her bed chamber and brightening up the room. She took a moment to sit up and look about her realizing it was all just a dream but it was so expressive. She smiled softly at the memory of what took place in only a dream. Is this why Luthwiss is here? Was I chosen for more then I know? The prophecy what did it say again? Perhaps she could go to the temple and ask about the prophecy again. She never paid much attention to it before because Lant always scoffed at it. So far much of what was written had happened. He said could happen to anyone. That the prophets were often crazy mad men that just babbled on for days. Many had to be tied up to keep them from harming themselves or others because they were so crazy.

    She rose from her bed and dressed. It was late morning and she needed to make an appearance in the main hall for breakfast. She was surprised that Nalia and Lant had not come to check on her. What if they had and saw her dream? She blushed profusely at it again. It could not be his influence she was feeling something for her savior.

    Leaving her room she made her way down to the great hall where courtiers and ladies mingled. Everyone bowed before her as she entered as they always did and she bade them to stand. Among the court was a woman dressed in dark purple with pure white skin. She stood out from the rest of the crowd in the room and as Mayla sat in the chair set aside for her at the head of the table the woman approached.

    She was Urquin the dark red eyes gave her away as soon as she was close enough. “I am a messenger for Empress Janique.? She offered a bow.

    This made Mayla nervous what if she was an assassin for the Empress. How did this woman get in? “What is your message??

    A hand rested on her shoulder and she took a moment to glance and see Lant standing next to her. He leaned down and next to her, “I have already checked majesty,? He whispered.

    She nodded.

    The woman rose from her bow and pulled an envelope from an inner pocket in her cloak. She presented it to Mayla wordlessly. Mayla opened the wax seal and flipped up the parchment envelope. Out of the envelope slithered dozens of snakes that quickly fell to her lap. She leapt to her feet screaming and dropping the envelope. Lant quickly chanted a spell that froze the small snakes that were pouring from the opened envelop and closed it again with a spell.

    The Urquin woman laughed then cast a spell making her disappear in the same black smoke that Janique cast. Her laughter remained in the air for a while as the smoke filled the room. The Urquins were toying with her.

    “I decree that no more Urquins be allowed in the palace gates.? Mayla roared as she fanned the black smoke from her face. Nalia who was sitting at the table also chanted a spell making the smoke disappear.

    “Lant, we need to talk.? She said addressing him informally.

    He chanted another spell and the frozen snakes all slithered back in the envelope and it sealed itself again. “Yes, majesty,? He walked over and picked up the envelope from the floor and handed it to Nalia. “Would you like to do the honors and dispose of this love??

    She smiled, “Most men give their wives flowers. Mine gives me an enchanted envelope that spews snakes.?

    “Meet us in my office,? Mayla told her and then turned to leave the room with Lant in tow.

    Once they were in her office and Lant was comfortable in his favored chair she looked at him. “You said she was safe.?

    “I saw nothing in her mind that indicated otherwise.?

    “Could it be that she is more powerful then you??

    He put his fist up to his chin and sat a moment in contemplation. “Another mage with my abilities would be able to force me to see what she desires.?

    “This means Janique knows you are here.?

    “I'm sure spies are within the halls of the palace. You said this when I came here.?

    Their chat was interrupted by a knock on the door and soon Nalia was with them with an unfolded piece of parchment in her hands. “It was a simple enchantment on the paper.? She stated as she offered the paper to Lant. “Janique knew we'd be able to stop it quickly, but that is what she wrote on the paper.?

    “There is no escape,? Lant started to read, “Give up no before your kingdom suffers things far worse then snakes.? He offered the paper to Mayla when he was done but she politely waved it away. “Interesting threat,? He commented.

    “I don't like it.? Mayla said simply.

    “Perhaps it is her way of trying to strike fear into your heart. She probably knows she can't truly defeat you.? Nalia returned. “I could think of no other reason to send a threatening letter instead of an army.?

    “Unless she is building her army,? Lant added. “I find it interesting that we are seeing more Urquins with magic in their veins.? He paused a moment and scratched his head before speaking again, “Nalia, could it be they are trying to breed dragons again??

    “She couldn't be that arrogant. That was a practice Empress Shivona put a halt to because of the danger of the dragons.?

    “Mighty creatures hard to handle.? He paused a moment. “All the same perhaps I should let the Mages and Wizards of Galleent know something is up.?

    Mayla stopped listening to the two mages as much as her thoughts drifted back to the dream she had. Her face flushed as she thought of the dream and of his face when he smiled at her. He was so dark but beautifully sculpted.

    “Who is the man in your dream?? Nalia finally cut through the fog that had come over her.

    She took a moment flushed a deeper red then shook her head. “I -- I don't know.? Even Lant had raised a brow to this. She had forgotten that both could read strong thoughts in a room especially Nalia when it came to dreams. “Wh-- what was it you were saying about dragons again?? She asked trying desperately to change the subject.

    “That…was…? Nalia stopped herself, “Dragons yes, I doubt Janique would be breeding them again.?

    “She has had the last twenty years to attempt it,? Mayla jumped back in still trying to take an interest in the discussion.

    “Then perhaps it is a good thing that it takes a full fifty years to raise a dragon to full maturity,? Lant smiled.

    Their conversation continued until mid-afternoon when Lant and Nalia retired back to their manor for lunch leaving Mayla to sit alone. She could tell they wished they were back in the country where things were not so busy. Lant was ready to raise a family not an army. She needed to release him soon from his obligation.



    As evening set in she remembered her desire to find out about the prophecy. Finding a pair of guards she ventured back to the temple again. The afternoon streets were filled with bustling people preparing for the night, but all that saw her bowed and smiled. Some of the young women tossed flowers at her feet as she walked.

    At the temple she removed her shoes and washed her feet again. Barefoot she searched for the temple mother. She was in her chamber where they had tea upon her last visit.

    “Majesty,? the woman said bowing before the queen, “Enter please. I shall send for tea.?

    “Thank you,? She stepped further into the chamber and someone closed the door behind her. “I come with a question.?

    “You seem troubled have the dreams returned??

    “No, I wanted to know the rest of the prophecy.?

    “Ahh, the prophecy. You already know the first half, the second is that you will save kingdoms with a thrust of your sword.?

    “There is nothing more??

    “No, the prophecy ends there, well the page that it was written on was torn there.?

    Perhaps Lant was right it was only written by a mad man. “There is nothing about being touched by dreams or war? Nothing??

    “Majesty the scroll the ‘Prophecy of Milarik' was poorly kept. There was more to it as the tale goes she is queen with a shine brighter then any other and a power not known.?

    “Do I need to take up sword play??

    “I don't think so, when the time comes the sword will find your hand and you will use it as you are supposed to.?

    “I've had a man, whom I believe to be Luthwiss, come to me in my dreams.? She paused a moment as a Templar entered with a tray of tea and set it between them. He served them and left. Holding her tea cup she continued. “He stopped the dreams, and he watches over me every night.?

    “Very interesting, some tales say an angel will watch over the queen with the shine, and others say that a prince will watch over the queen. Of course without the writings it is hard to say which is right, and unfortunately with word of mouth tales tend to change as the story teller feels fit.?

    Mayla bowed her head and closed her eyes as she sipped at the tea in her hands. “Thus, no one really knows.?



    After finishing her tea she bade the Temple mother her thanks and returned to the shine. Once again at the shrine she placed her hand in the water and she prayed to Rukor. She did her best to dismiss the thoughts that were front on her mind of the dream.

    Rukor great one of the sea, help your kingdom again as war approaches from the east. Guide me to keep your people safe and with a way to stop this war without it consuming your lands. I beg for something to know I am doing the right thing. If it is Luthwiss you sent in your place give me something to know.

    The prophecy, it says I would be born of a queen that gasped her last breath to give me life. Raised by a king that held your values and honor close to his heart. What is the rest of it? I'd save kingdoms with the thrust of a sword? Am I truly the one in this prophecy? How will I know when to use this sword?

    Taking her hand from the water she rubbed her face and the water ran down her face along with tears that were forming her eyes. How will I know? Rising to her feet she walked out of the shrine collected her shoes and returned to the palace.
    Last edited by Auroralee; 05-18-2005 at 07:36 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    1,680

    Default Re: Dreamwalker...

    Chapter 7

    ****


    Days and nights passed where she and her savior did not share the same excursions but she could feel him near every night. He did not speak to her anymore he kept a distance between them and seemed agitated, almost nervous yet the nightmares did not return. Her comforting dreams continued in light of a foreboding future. Something in the air still let her know that there was something bad.

    It was day now and she sat in her office. A servant woman walked in and opened the windows to outside. “Thank you, Colam.? Mayla told the tall woman. “It was a bit stuffy in here.?

    “Yes, majesty.? The woman bowed deeply at the waist.

    “Colam, would you do me a favor??

    “Yes, majesty.?

    “Have Odden go down to the stables and have them prepare my horse for a ride. I feel I should get out and enjoy this day.?

    “Yes majesty,? The woman bowed again and left to find Odden.

    She did not wish to bother Lant with this he had so much to worry about. She needed to get out of the palace and clear her mind. In the past a pleasure ride outside the walls was nice and the forest was patrolled enough that a small squad of soldiers could protect her.

    Odden could get the right men to go with her and she could just take her horse out to the woods and enjoy the day. She used to do this all the time. Often when Delanc was back from the front lines she would ride with him and talk. It was always relaxing, and then his company was good.

    She crossed from her office to her suite and changed into a gown for riding. It was a velvet maroon gown with her white blouse appearing from over the top and shoulders.

    At the stable she met with the small squad of six men and a stable hand put a step next to her horse allowing her to climb onto her saddle. It was a sidesaddle made for her long dresses, decorated leather with gold and paint. Her dark dress contrasted the mare's white coat.

    They paraded through the city and down to the gates. Outside the city walls they rode past the budding the fields and farmlands to the thick forest. The birds chirped greeting them and the young insects played their songs. Since it was still spring the pesky biting insects were not thick making the ride more pleasant. Spring was a beautiful time of year.

    They stopped in a meadow surrounded by trees. This was where she and Delanc used to ride. I want to marry my one true love here. She remembered confessing to him and the smile he wore at the thought of her confession. He reminded her that all queens and kings of Galleent were married in the Temple of Rukor , but not to despair it was still a beautiful place as long as she was there. She sucked in a breathe trying not to think of the painful memory that he was now gone. His leaving was like he died.

    Dismounting she walked the mare for a bit through the wave of brilliant colored flowers that covered the rainbow. Leaning down she lifted a wild rose blossom careful of the fine thorns to smell it. She had to resist the urge to run through the field watching the flowers fly by her in some dizzying spiral of color. Alas queens were not young maidens no matter their age, and she could not frolic in a carefree way.

    She walked the mare for a little bit then decided it was time to ride on. “Help me back up.? She asked. A soldier dismounted and walked over to assist her back on to her mare. Once back in her saddle she counted the soldiers and realized there were now only five instead of six. “Where is the sixth man?? She asked.

    “Majesty?? The soldier still standing next to her mare asked as if not noticing the change in number.

    “There were six when we left the city and now there are only five.?

    “He stayed behind. Something came up.? Another guard filled in where the other one did not.

    “Oh, then when we return to the castle remind me. I would like to send someone to check on him and ensure everything is well.?

    “Yes majesty.?

    Continuing she turned them to head back to the city. In the trees again she soon realized the squad of guards was gone. Stopping her mare she turned around to see if she could see any of them. Fear began to fill her, she was alone. Calm yourself, you know your way home. She reassured her suddenly fast moving thoughts. The path is just ahead. All I have to do is go to the path then run this mare home to the palace. Oh, someone is going to hear about this when I get back!

    Turning the mare again toward the road she started the road was just a few paces ahead. She and Delanc used to ride this route all of the time.

    Something flew from the trees at the mare making the beast rear to her hind legs. Mayla tried futilely to hang on to the reins as she slipped from the saddle. She heard as the horses hooves started to run but she was not with the mare. Her body was in the air and soon landing on the ground with a bone jarring thud. Her head snapped back and struck a rock knocking the world from her vision.



    “Here she is,? A male voice announced as she rolled her head slightly and groaned.

    “Thanks,? A thick familiar voice returned. “You should hurry back to the palace before you are missed.?

    “Yes sir,? The response was a snap and a horse began to take off through the trees the sound of the hooves soon became distant.

    “Mayla,? The familiar voice said.

    “Delanc?? She asked as she tried to open her eyes. Her head was pounding. “Oh, Delanc…? She opened her eyes finally to see his strong chiseled face with the scar on his cheek from where a sword blade glanced him. His broad shoulders were blocking the sun from hitting her eyes and his long blond hair was tied back with a leather strap and spilled over his shoulder as he leaned over her. “It is good to see you.?

    He grinned, “By what fortune do I find you out here??

    She went to shake her head when the pain reminded her of falling from her horse… “My horse threw me. Something came from the trees.? She lifted a hand to touch her head, but he caught her wrist in a thick hand.

    “Then I shall have to thank that horse.? His laughed, his voice was heavier then she remembered and there was a flame in his eyes.

    “Delanc, what is it??

    With his free hand he unsheathed a double edged knife. “Now that I finally have you what should I do??

    Her eyes widened as she caught site of the blade and her heart began to hammer in her chest. “What are you talking about??

    “Save the kingdom a lot of grief?? He looked down at her with a smile and turned the blade again letting the sun reflect off of it and glimmer into her eyes, “Everyone thought you were a strong queen. They know nothing of who or what you really are.? He brought the knife down closer to her face and touched her cheek with the blade. “They should have been worshipping me not you. I was the one that led your armies into battle and returned them safely. What did I get for it? Hidden behind a woman's skirts.?

    “Delanc, I thought we were friends.? She breathed.

    “Did you ever ask me if we were friends?? He slid the knife blade along her cheek and she cried out as it bit into the flesh. “I'm a man.? He laughed, “But I guess you never noticed that did you!? He let go of her wrist and grabbed her cheeks in his hand and pulled her face to look directly into his eyes. “I am a man that wanted you from the first day I met you. I would have done anything for you, but now I can see how selfish you are.?

    She squeaked through her squeezed cheeks as tears formed in her eyes from fear and pain. He let go of her face but turned to run the tip of his knife along the bodice of her blouse and dress. She squirmed under his massive weight as he straddled her prone body pinning her to the ground. He slipped his knife in her cleavage and used the blade to tear the material. The double edge of the blade slid along the flesh of her chest cutting a fine line into her skin. “I always waited for the day--.?

    “Leave her alone.? A voice cut in.

    Delanc snapped his head up and in the direction of the speaker. “Who are you??

    Her rescuer raised a sword and pointed it to Delanc. “Draw your weapon, or I will kill you where you are.?

    Delanc climbed off of her and drew his sword. “I am an expert swordsman.? Delanc warned the pale stranger. He was a small thin man that almost looked like a child next to Delanc's massive size. He wore a black cloak that shaded his pale face from the sun but it quickly fell back to reveal a head of white hair pulled back in a fancy set of braids. His sword was made of a shimmering white material that almost glowed in the sunlight and sparked when Delanc's blade made contact.

    “You should not be here,? Delanc chastised as he fought with ferocity. “This was my time, I was going to get my revenge. I did not need anyone to stop me.? The stranger said nothing yet easily deflected Delanc's attacks. “You should not be involved,? he hissed to the silent man.

    Soon discovering his breath was being wasted on the petite man he turned his energy to trying to kill him. Mayla was not sure how long the battle lasted as her mind blackened on her again and again, but each time she managed to open her eyes the small man was still deflecting Delanc. Delanc was sweating profusely and fell to his knees from exhaustion. “So-be-it, kill me and have your way with her.?

    “If you ever touch this woman again, and you will only wish for death.? The man finally said with his sword blade at Delanc's throat. “Now go!?

    Delanc scrambled to his feet and scurried off into the woods leaving Mayla and the stranger alone.

    “Mi'lady.? He said walking over to her, and knelt down.

    As she gained consciousness again she tried to pull the remains of her blouse about her front. He gave her a kind smile and pulled off his cloak to lay over her. “You are Urquin,? She puzzled taking in his pale body and eyes that were a dark red almost deep violet.

    “Yes,? He covered his eyes a moment seeming to protect them from the bright sun.

    “Does the sun hurt you??

    “I will live. You need the cloak more than me.?

    Blinking a few times she looked at his face again, “Have we met before?? He seemed familiar his face and his voice.

    “I doubt it.? He said looking away and standing. Once he was up he looked around the small clearing. “We should get you out of these woods.? He offered her a hand. She rested her hand in his and he helped her to her feet.

    No sooner was she standing when her head whirled and her vision blackened. He grabbed her in his arms as her knees buckled under her and gently lowered her back to the ground. “Perhaps you shouldn't rise yet.? He told her with a gasp as he glanced at the back of her head.

    “What is wrong?? She mumbled as her world threatened to dim again.

    “You're bleeding,? He told her as he placed a hand on the back of her head. “Hold still.? He instructed as he began to mutter a few words in a language she did not know.

    The pain started to subside and she relaxed. Opening her eyes she looked at him again, “What did you do?? She asked reaching a hand to the back of her head and touching his.

    “I gave you some of my life energy to heal your wound.? He explained as he gently slid his hand down her hair. “How did you come to be here??

    “I fell off my horse.? She stared into his dark red-violet eyes, there was such familiarity in his eyes. “I have seen you before.?

    He looked at her and smiled. “I think you are just lucky that I was here.?

    “What is an Urquin doing here??

    He paused a moment and looked away from her again, “I'd rather not explain.? Then after another long pause he looked at her again. “Well how about we try again. It will be dark soon and you need to be somewhere safe.? This time when he helped her to her feet she was able to stand, but the cloak fell to the ground. They both reached for it but his reflexes were faster and he pushed it against her bare chest. “This is not a place for a woman like you.? He said with a frown, “Dare I ask milady, if you knew that man??

    “I do.? She told him.

    “Spouse??

    “No,? She returned. “I don't really care to explain.?

    “Good, then I'm not going to take you home to him.?

    He was definitely not familiar with Galleent because he did not comment about the mark at her throat. Pulling the cloak up tighter she tried to cover the spot where it sat. Then she paused a moment and listened. There were no horns blaring. No one was looking for her. “That is strange.?

    “What is??

    “I do not hear anything.?

    “Anything? I am not sure I know what you mean.?

    “Well…? She glanced at him not sure if she should trust him, after all he was an Urquin. “I need to get back to the city.?

    “Let me escort you.?

    They started to walk through the thick foliage. She really was not sure which way they should go, the terrain suddenly looked unfamiliar. Taking a breathe she decided that if they kept the sun at their backs, eventually they would hit the coastline or the path. Where did my horse go? Was it Delanc that scared her? “You didn't see a white horse did you??

    “No, your horse I presume.?

    “Yes, the one that threw me.? She touched the spot at the back of her head.

    He shook his head and then stopped. Putting his fingers to his mouth he whistled loudly. “That usually will catch a horse's, well our horse's, attention.? He explained as he proceeded to attempt to whistle for her horse a second time. Still nothing.

    “Please don't do it again.? She said placing her hands to her ears.

    “I am sorry mi'lady.? He put his hand over his eyes trying to ward off a bright beam of sun that pierced the tree canopy.

    “Here,? She offered him the cloak again, “I'll find another way to keep covered, and you need this for protection.?

    He lowered his hand and looked to the ground. “I will be fine.?

    They continued to walk for a bit quietly in the direction of the coast until she broke the silence. “Tell me of your home.?

    “What is there to tell?? He laughed softly then frowned not seeming to like his home, “We live in the lava caves to the east of here. It is always dark, not like here. Here it is beautiful. There are flowers and green trees.? He waved his hand in the air illustrating what he meant.

    “Lava??

    “Yes, the caves run along lava flows making a sweltering heat. This is nice when the cold bites at the world outside, but it also casts a red glow on everything.? He shook his head, “I am not fond of my home, and when she said, ‘Go to Galleent.' I was ready. I wanted to see the beauty I was missing. This is my first time here.? He smiled and looked around at the trees again. “There is much beauty here,? He said glancing her way.

    “Who is she ?? Mayla inquired.

    He took a deep breath and looked down, an expression of guilt wore wrinkles into his brow. “I can not explain.?

    This man was another spy! “Is the Empress thinking of war?? She asked.

    He stopped again to look at her. “You are a nice woman and it was an honor to save your life, but I can not say anything about what the people of Urquin plan. I am only a pawn in a very large plan.? He shook his head and ran his hand over his white hair. He held a braid a moment with his fist and pulled on it, “You see,? He started once more, “The men of Urquin are not like the men of Galleent, we are no more useful than the women of Galleent. No offense mi'lady, but I do as I'm told and am not privy to information.?

    “No offense taken, I just wanted to ask.? She let the conversation die for a moment then restarted, “You said you were told to come here.?

    “You think I'm a spy.?

    “Well, yes.?

    “I have a mission that I must continue.?

    “So you are spy.?

    He looked at the ground again. “I really don't want to discuss it.?

    She looked toward the west and also closed her eyes. The knowledge that she would soon need to confront the man that saved her life was falling heavy on her shoulders. Opening her eyes again she began to march forward. He followed behind her but did not say anything.

    It was a while when he broke the silence between them. “Mi'lady,? He swallowed, “There is something I must tell you.?

    She stopped and turned to see him, “What is it??

    Tears were filling the corners of his eyes, “It breaks my heart to think I must betray someone as beautiful as you.?

    Her heart started to pound as she looked at his eyes, “There has to be an alternative.?

    “I can not lead you back to the palace, not now. You know I am here and I am here to kill the queen. I am not a spy. I am an assassin.? His voice was thick with grief. He drew a dagger from his hip opposite his sheathed sword. She took a quick step away but he was faster and grabbed her. His grip was not tight or forceful as he placed the blade to her throat and looked into her eyes. She found she could not move away but instead gazed into his eyes watching as tears fell from them. “I…? He dropped the dagger. “I can not do it.? He let go of her and fell to his knees. “I am sorry.?

    Shock and fear melted as she looked down at her would-be assassin. “Sir,? She whispered as she knelt before him.

    “Kine,? He responded. “My name is Kine.?

    “Kine,? She said trying out his name on her tongue, “What can I do for you??

    “I wish I knew.? He collected his dagger from the ground and sheathed it. “I learned by meeting you, I can not do it.?

    “How were you going to do it?? She had to know.

    “I was going to slip into the palace tonight and take her life while she dreamed. She would be defenseless against me. You… she…? He stopped and looked into her eyes, his sincerity was bottomless as what he told her stopped her heart.

    “But why?? The words slipped off of her tongue in a whispered breath.

    “I don't know how to explain why. My Empress sent me to kill her to start a war that she knew she can not win with you/her alive. It was also to prove…? He stopped and swallowed as he pulled the dagger from its sheath again. She flinched back, nearly falling over to get away. “Take it.? He offered it with the handle toward her. “I want you to kill me.?

    Shaking the fear she looked at him as he kneeled before her offering the dagger. Her lip quivered as she realized how small and pitiful he truly looked. “I…?

    “Please,? His voice was filled with grief and plea. “I can not live without completing the mission, which I can not.?

    This was the same man that saved her life begging her to take his.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    1,680

    Default Re: Dreamwalker...

    Chapter 8

    ****




    “Mayla!? Lant called out as he led a squad of troops to find her. She was late returning from her ride and it was Odden that pointed out the soldiers that went with her as guards. He had them arrested and set out to find the team only hoping he was not too late. She should feel safe with her soldiers and here she was alone in the woods. No she is not dead. He could not take the image from his mind of seeing her dead body.

    “Your majesty!? Gidmoore chimed in a small distance to Lant's right. Another soldier also called out for her.

    “Mayla,? Lant called again. He knew how wrong things were when they found her mare outside the gates grazing. His heart sank the deeper they went into the forest and the further the sun fell in the sky. He stopped again as he had frequently. Everyone around him stopped as well knowing he was going to concentrate and search with his mind through the thick trees for her.

    This time he raised his head and kicked his horse's sides, there was no time to waste. He saw her and she was in danger. A man was holding her with a knife to her throat. His horse ran and leapt over fallen logs as he pushed it to save Mayla from her assassin.

    Breaking through to where she was he found they had distance between them and she was still alive. The man an Urquin slipped the dagger he had been holding out back into its sheath at his waist and stood raising his hands in the air.

    “Mayla!? Lant cried out placing his horse between them and dismounted.

    “Lant,? She returned falling into an embrace with him.

    “Are you alright?? He asked checking her. There was blood stains on her clothes but she looked undamaged. He glanced at the white skinned Urquin man. Something was odd about him, he did not have a cloak. Normally they wore cloaks in the sun to protect their skin.

    “Yes, I'm fine,? She responded letting go of him and clutching a ball of dark material against her bodice. The material was silky and shimmered in the afternoon sun. “This man saved my life. He must be spared.?

    “Mi'lady please, no, I am not a savior.? The Urquin said pleading with her as he took a few steps backward.

    He could not let this man get away, “Don't go anywhere.? Lant cast a spell with a stern voice stopping the Urquin, who now appeared frozen in time. It was a simple enchantment. “He's an assassin.?

    “I know.? She told him.

    “Lord ti Moninore, did you find her?? Gidmoore asked slowing his horse as he and others approached from all angles.

    “Yes, and she is fine.? He called out to them, giving her another concerned glance. “You are sure you are not hurt?? He asked keeping his voice quiet so that she was the only one to hear it.

    “I am not hurt now,? She whispered to him, “Take him with us. I'll explain later.?

    Shaking his head he did not like the idea. “I will do as you say.? More men were now surrounding them. All soldiers and all good men wanting to save their queen at any cost unlike the men he arrested. “That is the Urquin's cloak I presume.?

    “Yes, he let me borrow it.?

    Looking this time he realized she was clutching it because the bodice of her dress was torn. He would need to ask later why. “Majesty, I'd suggest if it fits wrapping that about yourself and pull the hood over your head and face. This will avoid questions as we approach the palace.?

    Before following his guidance she pointed to the pale man, who was now drunk with lack of self-control. “He will be mounted on horse as well. I do not wish to make him walk.?

    Trying not to show his contempt he turned to another soldier. “He needs covered his skin and hair will give him away anywhere we go. Do you have a cloak??

    “Only the one I use for rain, sir.? The soldier told him.

    “Put it on him,? He instructed. “And he will ride with you.?

    The Urquin, under Lant's spell was unable to move or speak in protest of the command. He walked to the mounted soldier who was dismounting and producing a cloak from a saddle bag to pull over the white head. It was a simple circle of material made for riding and keeping the water from the torso. Roughly the soldier yanked the loose hood over the snowy hair and helped him onto the back of his horse behind the saddle. The soldier was a good man and knew better than to protest his riding companion but his sour look once mounted with the stranger told the truth.

    Satisfied Mayla turned her back to the men as best she was able and shook out the long black cloak. Placing her arms through the wide sleeves she wrapped it about her like a robe and pulled the hood over her head. Finally shrouded she climbed up in front of Lant to sit sideways in his lap.

    Without speaking further he tapped his horse to start the journey back to the Palace. It was nearly dusk before they reached the outer edge of the city. This was fortunate because it meant fewer people were actually on the streets watching as they returned. The torches were burning bright by the time they entered the palace gates and dismounted.

    Lant signaled for the Urquin to follow as the three of them shunned the amassing servants by Mayla's commands and walked through the palace doors.

    “Meet me in my sitting room.? Mayla instructed. “There is much to discuss.? She left them, but took a moment to glance at the Urquin and Lant could sense she held some emotional attachment to the little man he now commanded to follow him like a zombie. After she closed the door between the two rooms he walked over to one of the couches and sat leaving the stranger to stand.

    “So young man what secrets are you going to tell me?? He asked as he attempted to explore the man's mind.

    Please just kill me.

    It was the only thought on the assassin's mind making it difficult for him to penetrate past it. He shook his head. “Who are you??

    Please just kill me. This was the only response he was going to get out of the man unless he cast a new spell after releasing him from this one. Why does this man wish to die? Hopefully the question would soon find an answer.



    In her bedchamber Mayla removed the cloak and her bloodstained dress. She paused a moment to examine the material. There was no hope for repair the way Delanc cut the material. Touching her chest she looked to realize the knife cut down her chest was gone and a quick glance in the mirror also revealed the cut on her cheek was missing.

    He knew who I was the entire time. She shook her head remembering his slips when talking to her. Yet, he is here to assassinate me. Why?

    Pulling on loose white linen robes she walked through to the sitting room where Lant sat on a couch with Kine standing next to him an eternal blank stare of a dead man was etched into his face. Unlike a dead man he seemed darker in the candle light of the room, even his snow white braids did not seem so bright.

    “Release him.? She commanded.

    “Are you sure? How about I have him remove his weapons before I do??

    “If it pleases you,? She was going to humor him.

    “Show all of your weapons.? Lant ordered.

    Kine started by removing his sword belt, then a dagger, another smaller dagger in his boot and in the waist of his pants he was dressed as an assassin. When he was finished removing various items like poisoned darts and daggers of many shapes, Lant waved his hand in the air at Kine.

    He gasped as the life returned to his face and drained from him at the same time. He nearly collapsed with release.

    “Sit Kine,? She offered him, with an outward stretched hand.

    He breathed a moment and gave her a frightened half smile. “Mi'lady,? He mumbled. She returned his strained smile with a small smile

    “You know his name?? Lant asked.

    “Yes, it is Kine.?

    “Kine,? Lant repeated aloud. He lowered his brow and examined the Urquin again. “Why do I know that name?? He paused sucked in his breath, “You are young.?

    “Not that young.? Kine whispered back.

    “What is your given sovereign name??

    Kine sucked in his breath. “I do not wish to say.?

    “If you hold any value on your life I would suggest you do.?

    “If I held any value on my life I would not be before you now, and to tell you my sovereign name would only make that life which I have remaining shorter.?

    “Kine, please,? Mayla said encouragingly, knowing how short Lant's temper could be when he did not get answers.

    “Might I make this easier?? Lant asked grinning to her. He could make Kine say anything he pleased.

    “No.?

    “It is Lex-tha`Goin,? Kine said aloud as he bowed his head from looking directly at her. “I am Kine Lex-tha`Goin.?

    Her eyes widened and her heart stopped. This explained why his voice and appearance were so familiar.

    Lant also sucked in his breath knowing what this meant. “They sent a Lex-tha`Goin as an assassin?? He shook his head in disbelief, “You are the Empress's son!?

    Janique's features were strong in his face and the eyes. He even had her uncommon dark red-lavender eyes.

    Kine closed his eyes for a long time and remained silent then he swallowed and opened them again to look at her, “My mother knew I would do it to prove my loyalty, after all I am her son.?

    Lant closed his mouth for a moment and started to think.

    “I don't understand.? She fumbled over the words, “Why did you want me to kill you??

    “What?? Lant blurted out. “I thought he was sent to kill you.?

    “I was,? Kine added in.

    “What??

    “I couldn't do it not after seeing her there helpless in the woods with that man. I could have let him make my job easy, but I had to stop him. It was at that moment I knew I could not hurt her.?

    “Man in the woods? So you did save her.? He turned his attention from Kine to Mayla, “Please explain what happened.?

    “It was Delanc...? She started to explain her ride in the woods. “Those were men that are still loyal to Delanc. It will be hard to them all Lant.?

    “I know. When Odden pointed out your escort was back and you weren't I had them arrested. Your mare was found grazing outside the city walls.?

    “Oh good she is safe then.?

    “Yes, for what it is worth. Perhaps we should get you a less flighty beast.?

    “I do not worry after that. But those men gave me to Delanc.?

    “That was Delanc.? Kine commented, “I'd heard much about him but never seen him.?

    This reminded Lant that she had not explained the part where Kine wanted to die. “So when I came up and he was kneeling offering you the dagger he was asking you to kill him??

    “Yes.? Mayla said glancing at the Urquin.

    “Why do you wish to end your life?? Lant asked returning to Kine. “Why is it not important to you??

    “She will kill me, because I do not want to complete my mission.?

    She , your mother?? Mayla could not hold back her surprise, “But you could always disappear, she'd never know you weren't killed by my guards or something.?

    He shook his head and laughed, “There is no asylum you could offer me that would keep me safe from her. She's a dreamwalker. She will know by the end of the night if I have or have not finished my mission because she will come to your dreams.?

    This raised Lant's interesting, “The nightmares.? He said to Mayla. “Empress Janique is visiting you in your dreams.?

    Mayla cringed remembering the terrifying dreams that were only made pleasant by a man. “You are a dreamwalker.? It was not a question she knew it was true. It was no god-like being named Luthwiss it was Kine, only dark, very dark.

    He opened his mouth a moment and closed it then swallowed and spoke, “At first I was lessening the dreams, but she caught me. I told her I wouldn't do it again, but I would step in and see you in pain and finally I had to block her completely. Then she caught me again.? He lowered his face and watched his hands as he wrung them against each other. “This time she was furious. I…? He stopped as a tear formed in his eye and dropped to his lap.

    “She wanted to test your loyalty.? Lant added in the quiet pause.

    Kine remained silent and did not look up.

    “I saw part of a dream.?

    This made her suck in her breath knowing what dream he was referring to. This also made Kine lift his head to look at him with a frightened glaze in his eyes, “I never meant to let it go that far.?

    “Either way if your mother saw the same dream, she would want to destroy either you or Mayla. Now I understand why you wanted Mayla to kill you.?

    “I would rather die to her hand then let my mother have the pleasure of my death for being disloyal.?

    “Kine,? She said breaking in, “If I ask you a question would you be perfectly honest with me??

    He raised his eyes and made contact with hers, “Yes, but on one condition.? He seemed to already know what the question was.

    “What is that?? Lant asked.

    “May I have a few moments alone with you, majesty?? He said with desperation in his eyes. “Only a few moments. You can take all of my weapons. In fact I ask that you do.? He said sweeping a hand at his personal arsenal.

    Lant looked at her protesting this idea. Tricked so many times already by Urquins and he did not wish her to fall for the trap if it was a trap. His reflexes were faster then hers and he was defiantly stronger. He shook his head.

    Switching between the two faces she finally said aloud, “Lant, step out until I call you and take the weapons. Put them in safe keeping.?

    Reluctant Lant stood and gathered the weapons then glanced down at Kine. “You touch one hair on her head, and I swear by the gods you will die a thousand deaths.?

    Kine stiffened obvious remembering the experience of the mage's power from earlier. He watched as the tall man stalked out of the room. Once the door was secured he returned his gaze to her, “The dream,? was all he said.

    She met his gaze as the flood of the dream's memory returned causing her to blush. “It was you.? She could not accuse him.

    “Yes,? He smiled slightly and it almost seemed that his darkening skin flushed also. “I am sorry I did that in your mind.? The flush quickly faded as he plodded on, “I wanted to tell you that I am ashamed. You had no control and I realize it was no better than having that fellow enchanting your mind, making you do as he pleases.? He said indicating to the door where Lant exited.

    She tore her eyes from him. Dreamwalkers were outlawed from practicing in Galleent because it was too easy to abuse the power. This is what made the whole action difficult to excuse no matter how it made her feel. Biting her lip she made eye contact with him again, his sincerity brought back the dream and she realized she should be angry with him, yet the she was not. Instead she almost felt rejected. “I understand.? She knew she had to be strong but she looked down at her robe's material in her lap. A small smile crept across her lips as she let a small laugh pass her lips. “It is odd what we feel ashamed of.?

    He swallowed, “You can call him back now if you desire.? His voice had nearly dropped to a whisper. “One more thing,? He said not raise his voice. “I know that since I will not live through the night I will leave you with this. I would not trade a moment I have spent with you for anything.? That was the answer to the unasked question she was looking for.

    “Perhaps we can stop her from finding you.?

    “My life does not matter to me, I want you to live, and will tell you everything I know but it is not much. She is the Empress, and I am only a man. We are the servants of our masters.?

    “Such an odd culture,? She said aloud. He did not seem any different from any other man. “Lant,? She said by raising her voice,

    The door opened shortly and Lant strode in glancing at Kine, then at her. “Everything is well?? He asked her as he sat back on his chosen couch from earlier and crossed one leg over the top of the other.

    “Yes,? She answered, “He had something personal he wanted to share but we are done.?

    “I agreed to tell you everything I know of my mother's intentions.? Kine announced. When both were looking at him he seemed to want to slip back into his seat and disappear. He cleared his throat and started again, “She wants to take over Galleent. Your captain Delanc, your trusted friend has been a spy for her for years. They are quite intimate.

    “I think the goal was to have you and he marry, and then he'd kill you to have the kingdom as his. This would leave the door open for her and him to marry and join the two kingdoms together.? He licked his lips and continued. “But it didn't work. I think it was the proposed marriage to Lord Bromin that changed things.?

    Her heart fell to her stomach at the mention of Bromin's name.

    “They saw that the quiet plan to take control wasn't going to work so they went a different route. I know they stopped your letters to and from Bromin, I even saw the portrait painted of you before it was thrown into the lava. It was enchanting.? He closed his eyes seeming to hold back a painful memory.

    “What about his letters?? She asked also feeling the pain of the deceit.

    He paused a moment and bit the inside of his mouth before speaking, “Foraged, by my hand. She figured it would work best if I wrote them to look like a young lord.?

    “You wrote the letters??

    He looked down at his hands he was squeezing tightly together. “I did.? He paused again for a time. “When the plot failed my mother's desperation grew she also seemed disappointed in her lover Delanc, because I think deep down he did care about you. She felt him slipping and worked her way into his dreams not letting him go. Now there is nothing left of the man you knew.?

    “But why Galleent??

    “It is fruitful and would make trade easier if she owned all the lands to the sea.?

    “I thought Janique was my friend. She and I used to share letters like she was my mother.? Mayla's frustration ached in her words. “I don't know why she and Delanc would do this? It was all a careful plot to make me comfortable and allow her to take over.? She drew in another breath to say more then paused. Her thoughts had to catch up with the words that would bring them from her mouth.

    “My mother is a strong woman and when she has her eyes set on something she won't stop.?

    “Lant,? She started he raised an eyebrow to her. “How can we keep Kine safe??

    Lant shook his head, “I don't know.?

    “You are a true magic user,? She said confidently to him, “Is there no way to stop her from learning of his betrayal??

    “It's not that easy.? He raised a hand and scratched his face and brow. “She is a different type of mage, but perhaps I could ask Nalia…? He thought for a moment. “Yes, perhaps Nalia could do it.?

    “She is also a mage?? Kine asked.

    “Yes, and there are some things she's better at.? He stood from the couch again, “I will fetch Nalia, the night is wasting and we've not much time to figure this out. I will have a guard stand in here while I am away.?

    She glanced at Kine. Lant still did not trust the Urquin but something in her said she could. “No, leave them in their position outside, I will call them if I need their assistance.?

    Lant shook his head, “Very well.? He turned and left.

    Once again alone they looked at one another in silence. “We should get food.? She suggested reminded by a grumble in her stomach.

    “You would care to dine with me??

    “I will have them bring a food tray.? Standing she walked to the door to fetch a servant. Opening the door she found her usual guards waiting. “Would you fetch Odden and have him get dinner for me and my guest?? She requested.

    “Yes, milady,? One said as they both bowed.

    Leaving the task to them she closed the door and returned to Kine. He had not moved from his seat, yet he seemed more comfortable. “Your friend Lant, he doesn't like me.?

    “He doesn't trust you, after all you are an assassin.?

    “Why do you trust me??

    “You are sincere. I can read it in your eyes.?

    He jerked up his chin, “I am not a savior,? He paused a moment to close his eyes, when he reopened them he looked at her neck. “That is beautiful.?

    “You can see it?? She asked then realized of course he could see it as she put her hand to the place where her mark rested. The material of her robe was open revealing the spot.

    “Yes.?

    “I don't see it.?

    “You don't see it? But it is so bright when cloth is not over it. I noticed it earlier when we were in the woods but dismissed it as a gem sparkling in the sun.?

    “I don't even know what it looks like.?

    “What is it??

    “The mark of Rukor.?

    “The God of Water??

    “Yes, all the princesses of Galleent are born with it.?

    “As I said it is beautiful.?

    A tap sounded on the door and shortly after Colam appeared with a tray of food, cooked chicken, grapes, bread, cheese and wine. She set it on the low table in the sitting room. She bowed to Mayla but gave Kine a wary eye, not sure what to make of him.

    “Thank you,? Mayla told her dismissing the woman who slipped out the door and closed it again.

    Kine gave Mayla a smile then peered at the food. “What is it??

    “Do you not eat such foods?? She had not realized his cuisine would be so different.

    “No, I don't think you would understand what we do eat. Our food is not quite as… colorful.?

    She turned her head to the side and looked at his face realizing as the sun went down he was turning darker excepting his eyes. His eyes glowed brighter in the candlelight. “I guess I know less about your people than I thought I did.?

    He smiled at her. “We aren't that different.?

    “Your skin changes,? She noted. Now he looked more like the face in her dream.

    He looked at her and smiled, “I never noticed.?

    “You've never seen your mom as a pale as a ghost, I always thought she and her guards were. I've actually seen women try to imitate that nearly white skin thinking it was a sign of the gods. Now I guess I must laugh to realize in your home all of you are dark.?

    He looked down at his hand, “Yes, I guess you are right.? He turned the hand over to look at it from all sides. “It has always been my hand, but I've never had anyone find me different.? Putting his hand down he looked across at her again, “You do not change, you are still radiate.? Leaning closer to the tray of food he sniffed the wavering smells in the air. “What do you recommend I try??

    “Anything you like.?

    He picked up a piece of white cheese and sniffed it before taking a bite. His face first showed displeasure but then he ate another bite, “I think I like this.?

    She smiled and picked up a piece of chicken and delicately nibbled at it.

    He ate another bite of the cheese and swallowed it. “I told the truth when I said I wanted to come to Galleent.? He finished the cheese piece and picked up a grape, “I wanted to see the beauty of the flowers and the trees.? He bit the grape and spoke again, “My mother has been here many times, but never would describe it. The lands outside of my home are so dark the rocks are sharp and the volcanoes are always spewing black smoke into the sky. Everything is grey and red. Of course we live in the caves, nothing like here, where everything is open and you have windows that let the sunlight come in.? He pointed to the large window that stood from floor to ceiling. “It must be a beautiful view from there.? He turned his gaze back on her.

    “It is.?

    “I saw that it in your dream.?

    “How does dreamwalking work??

    He smiled and started to speak when someone knocked on the door. “I will explain later.?

    She nodded and called out, “Enter.?

    Once Lant and Nalia were in the room the mood changed and Kine lost his relaxed manner as he watched the two mages. Nalia was as beautiful as ever in a long pink dress that shimmered in the candle and torch light.

    “Dinner,? Lant commented, “I had nearly forgotten about eating.?

    “Prince Kine Lex-tha`Goin this is Lant's wife Lady Nalia Moninore.? Mayla said adding in the forgotten introduction.

    “I've not been introduced as Prince in a very long time.? He said as he bowed his head to Nalia.

    “It is your formal title is it not??

    “Yes.?

    Nalia tilted her head to the side and walked over to sit down on the cushion right next to him. “Hello Kine.? She said with a pleasant smile, “Lant says we need to stop a dreamwalker.?

    He stiffened more to her sudden closeness, “My mother,? He returned nervously.

    “Lant, I thought you said Urquins were pale, this boy is about to disappear into the shadows.?

    “Only in sunlight dear,? He told his wife calmly. “In the dark they are very hard to see.?

    “Oh, very interesting,? She turned her attention back to Kine again.

    “You knew this?? Mayla asked. “Why didn't you ever tell me??

    “You never asked.?

    “Hush you two,? Nalia chastised then turned her attention back on Kine, “Are you a dreamwalker??

    “Yes, but not a good one.?

    “That will have to do.? She returned. “Stopping a member of your family from finding you is going to prove difficult especially a mother son bond. This is not going to be easy.? She looked into his eyes. “Let me in.? She whispered.

    Kine's body relaxed as he and Nalia stared at one another. It was an unblinking and locked gaze. Nothing was exchanged in words.

    Lant walked over to sit with Mayla. This was a moment of complete hope, could Nalia help him? Tearing her eyes from them she watched as Lant picked at the dinner on the tray. He plucked a grape and tossed it into his mouth, realizing she was watching him he turned to look at her as he squished the grape in his molars. He gave her a small smile, and swallowed. Then stood and indicated for her to follow.

    Together they left the room and he closed the door that separated her bedchamber from the sitting room. “We can not talk in there it could break the concentration between them. Yet, I wanted to talk to you alone.?

    She gave him a reassuring smile. “It has been an interesting day.?

    He looked into her glittering eyes for… He was not sure what he wanted to find, “Are you sure you are all right? Did Delanc do anything to you??

    “He cut me with a dagger on the face and…? She waved at her chest, “That he did while destroying my gown. I was very fortunate Kine showed up when he did.?

    “You aren't cut now. I mean I saw the blood but you have no signs.?

    “Kine has the ability to heal someone, he said it was sharing his life energy with me.? She touched the back of her head unconsciously, “I guess I had a nasty cut on the back of my head too from my fall off the horse.?

    He reached a hand and touched the back of her head as well. “I can see why you are willing to help him then.? He could not resist her eyes and her hair was soft in his fingers. “I was afraid I'd never see you again. I am not sure if I want to go through that again so soon after losing your father.?

    She smiled at him, “That was fourteen years ago, but I guess to someone like you that was too recent.?

    Watching her glittering eyes he leaned his face to hers and kissed her lips. He was not sure why he was doing this but it seemed she needed the compassion of his kiss. The warmth of her lips against his soon turned from compassion to passion as the world around them seemed insignificant.

    She moved her lips from his and leaned her cheek against his chest as he straightened. “We can not do this.? She whispered.

    “I know.? He returned just as quietly. He squeezed her body one more time then stepped back letting her have room to breathe as well.

    They did not speak for a long time. There was so much to say yet the silence between them spoke volumes. He could not understand why he held such passion for this woman. Yes, she was the queen and he loved her as such but there was more. He shook his head. I'm a married man and I love my wife. Did I think that much of this family? He realized he never looked at Mayla like she was a child or a daughter, but as someone that was always able to beat the odds.

    “I know this hasn't been easy for you.? She finally said breaking the silence.

    “I am here for you and loyal to you and you alone.? He returned. “It doesn't matter if I am looked upon as an outsider I do my best for you as my queen.?

    “Today was a good show of how hard this is. Soldiers within the ranks were willing to turn me over to Delanc.?

    “I will find someone they will listen to.?

    “Gidmoore.?

    “Gidmoore, is resentful of me but loyal to you. I think I may have finally won his trust and he will not leave you. But he desires power and these will soon be features that will make him less loyal and an easy target for betrayal.?

    “I am aware.?

    “It is amazing how the thirst of power will change someone.? He paused and shook his head, “I never suspected Delanc. If I had you would have known all of this a lot sooner. He had better hope I never see him again for if I do he'll die those deaths I promised that Urquin. A quick death would be far too easy for him after the deceit he has laid.?

    She sighed and stepped back a moment to look at his face. “I am sure there will be a time to think of revenge but now is not the time. War is on the horizon, even Kine mentioned it. We know Janique is frightened she might lose but she is still willing to make an attempt for what she covets.?

    “He was right about her. She thinks she can frighten you because you are still young. She probably already knew Kine doesn't have the heart to harm you, but that he would get as far as entering this room. You would wake seeing him and scream making the guards come in and kill him. Another way to frighten you and shake your soul, but with him out of the way she could break you in your sleep.?

    “She will come soon. The battle will be at night, because of their skin. I wish I'd known about their skin.?

    “I'm sorry I never mentioned it before, but I think I can do something for when they do come.? He put his hands together and formed a small ball of light in his palm that quickly filled the room with light as if it were day. Cupping his other hand back over it the light went away. “I can make it huge and it will show like a sun in the sky when they attack.?

    “Brilliant,? She said with a smile. “Will this blind them as well??

    “Likely, because Urquins see exceptionally well at night, this is why they always wear the cloaks in the sunlight.?

    “What other secrets about the Urquins have you been hiding?? She said cocking her head to the side.

    “That is about all that I can think of, which you didn't know.? He said offering her a boyish smile.

    She laughed slightly and shook her head, “I only hope Nalia can come up with a way to save Kine.?
    Last edited by Auroralee; 05-19-2005 at 05:49 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Dreamwalker...

    /waits impatiently for the next chapter.....

    I may be the only one waiting to see how it ends, but I hope you finish it. I love a good story....

    /huggles
    Niamh

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    1,680

    Default Re: Dreamwalker...

    I am short on time at the moment but when I get some time to sit around I will work on the next chapter. It is currently needing a lot of work.

    /hugs

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