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Petal's of the Ages, a begginning


Aug 1 2005, 11:29 PM (Post #1)
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OKAY IF YOU READ THIS KEEP IN MIND that I have never read through it myself. I did this in a few days boredum, so its no masterpeice of finalized work. Its chock full of mistakes I am sure.


and the preface is currently on another computer, and i cant really get to it because i need to network my pc's together, and I don't know how.


The Petals of the Ages
By Rebecca Gale

Chapter One

Renoa stood on a fountain in the middle of a town square. She was balanced on the edge with her head thrown back laughing at the sky. Her hair fell behind her in a cascade of multicolored locks.
In the sky above her joyous self, her dragon rode on sinuous wings. The sun glinted off its green scales, sending splashes of light reflecting on the Endless Towers of the surrounding abandoned city. The dragon roared fire as it soared higher into the sky, exhaling to make itself lighter.
Inside her head there was a constant fight. Renoa battled for control as did many of the people inside her that threatened to take over her. She was exiled from place the used she to live, because Insanity was punishable in Pensuan, especially if you make it known. Bu that was long ago and out of thought.
Her dragon was always by her side. The telepathic connection between the two was essential for her life. The dragons voice, cool yet powerful, was the only way to depress the people in her head. They respected the dragon, and no one else. You could almost say that they feared the dragon. Keeping the dragon around had more than one advantage. Besides companionship-which was always provided- the dragons voice kept the dead men and women at bay for a few hours, usually.
But today she was overjoyed. The voices were gone, although she didn’t know why. The Prophet warned about the time after they left-which would happen eventually anyway- all ways saying that it would be filled with trouble. But right now she could care less. It always made her mad when someone said that “your talking so loud I cant here my own thoughts.”. She was the only person alive, who had never been able to here her thoughts unless she screamed, or talked out loud. Now she could. And that was all she could do.
She sang chords of her favorite songs, and hummed lullabies from her child hood. The lullabies were all she could really remember from her child hood. That and a lone friend. She was told that after she had gotten her dragon, and began to realize that she was more than one person(although she was only herself today) that her parents left her. She was taken in by a woman with a boy around her age, maybe two years older. But they eventually left, The mother fearing for her sons sanity. No one could stand Renoa for very long. They all left in the end.
Climbing down off the fountain, she told the dragon to return to the ground. As he landed, Renoa reached up and pulled herself up into the molded saddle that was anchored in between his wings.
“Fly now. Fly home now, Cerandin.” She commanded the dragon. He obeyed silently. The vibes that came off the dragon were peaceful. Renoa assumed that he was leaving her mind free of only her voice. For that she was thankful.
The dragon shot up into the sky. He rounded one of the towers that seemingly went straight out of the sky. Climbing higher and higher, soon reaching a level that made Renoa’s lungs ache, she requested to go lower.
Sorry Renoa. I forgot myself. Cerandin often berated himself for forgetting the two friends differences.
It is alright. Just remember that my lungs aren’t designed for being in the sky. Renoa found it humorous how he could just forget she was here. There was more than one occasion she had to duck more than would have been necessary, when flying under a bridge or something of that nature.
A necklace around her neck swung as they soared through the sky. It was an odd charm, simple, but odd. A clear, quartz crystal sitting in a seemingly endless web of silver and gold , thin as spiders silk. Thinner. You could trace the line for years and not be finished. Renoa spent whole afternoons searching for the meaning. It had been a gift from the Prophet, and he had told her that it held the story of the Life, What ever that meant. If you stared into the small gemstone, no larger than a letter in a book, there was a fire burning inside. When it extinguishes……

.~*~.

“I shall wait in your anteroom, my Lady. Peace see you,” the guard bowed deeply, his long hair brushing the floor. When the door shut softly, Rittah slid out of her perch on the bed, to slump on the floor. Her dress pulled, caught on a sheet fastener. Reaching behind her, Rittah sighed and yanked her dress away from the hook. Another ripped dress. She was exhausted, overwhelmed. Almost five weeks in the Crystal Tower, But the whole thing exhausted her. The whole lady bit had her running ragged.
“I am no bloody Lady!” She scolded her guards often about cursing, but lately it proved as an immense stress relief. She almost giggled at the thought of her fathers face to see her talk so. Standing up and straightening her dress- her yellow and blue petticoats were peeking- she walked to the small gilded table. Upon it sat a small Mandaroni tea tray, complete with matching glass and bowl. In the bowl was steaming, what appeared to be, Grudach soup. Grudach was a small bird, that had wings full of moss and flowers, instead of feathers. Rittah thought it looked more like a Crystal experiment gone wrong. But it was pretty. And tasty. Accompanying the soup, was a small soft roll, with butter on the side, and a tall glass of chilled blueberry punch. She would have preferred wine, but drinking was only allowed at dinner, inside the tower. It was Crystal law.
But the small brunch went untouched. Rittah simply wasn’t hungry. She sat down in a small chair, gilded to match the table, and listened to a bird singing in the tree out side her chamber window. The glass portal was open and always remained open in the unseasonable heat. Through the open window, Rittah’s ears picked up the sound of a horse whinnying, followed by the low rumble and squeaking of a wagons wheels. Many wagons by the sound of it. Raising her self from the small chair, Rittah walked to the window and yanked on the curtain pull. Sun streamed in around the branches of the Peace Tree. The twittering bird sat in the leaves, which always appeared to glisten as if covered with a mornings dew. But it was not morning. It was almost 2 turns past the time of Rising. The bark on this particular tree was black, and apparently represented something, but none of the elders thought she was old enough to hear what. If you were to look straight at the bark, you could go nearly blind. Direct eye contact made the tree glow like a beacon. Rittah had learned her lesson and spent two days chasing spots with her eyes. But if you looked around the tree, it was fine. It would only appear to glow, and just slightly, but it was enough to keep Rittah's room from becoming as dark as she’d like it.
She chose the safe option and peered between two of the major branches, to see a wagon train of about 4 wagons, and Twenty some horses. More tattooed ones it appears. It looks as if they have had luck! The elders had been sent out to gather up The Tattooed ones before anyone else did.
The wagon trundled up the narrow boulevard and through the Crystal Gates. The horses pranced nervously, as the footmen stepped of the wheel rest. On the wagon door there was a silver wrought insignia. It appeared with the same heavy-handed style of Hold Out.
She sighed and pulled the curtain closed. Walking over to a low lapis inlaid table, with a small looking glass above it, she began to comb her red gold curls with her small ivory handled brush. She scattered a small silver chain with emeralds hanging down through her shining locks. For her every day was the same. She woke up with her breakfast on the table, and her ladies in waiting, wearing black and yellow slashed livery, waking her up and waiting to help her pull her dress over her head. The dresses where so splendid that they made her terribly uncomfortable. Silk or fine Dom` velvet, with embroidery and spills of lavish lace on the hems and collar. Not to mention buttons, ties, ribbons, and many other adornments. She wished she could just where some suitable woolen dress and some stout shoes. But it was Crystal Law. Every one must dress accordingly. So she had to suffer. Suffer another long forever.
When she finished with her hair, she disregarded all of the laws and sunk back into the many folds of lace feather blankets and pillows, and studied the map painted on the ancient ceiling, through the sheer canopy of her bed. A map of the ancient world before the War That Lasted. It showed even some places that don’t exist anymore, that had sunk into the ocean or just were destroyed. The only ones alive where the Elders. The map extended so far that there where lands fabled to be there. They were labeled Untouched, some even telling of a thriving city, or Place Of Magic or Power. There were also Unclaimed lands which she had been brought through on her way from where she had come from. She came from the Edgelands and was forced, more or less, through the south tip of the Unclaimed lands.
She had gone as far as to ask one of the Elders what was or used to be in those lands. But that resulted in her almost getting her head bitten off and landed her scrubbing floors for one week. But that didn’t diminish her curiosity. With special permission, she spent two days in the Library of Crystal, researching what used to be Claimed. What she did figure out was minimal, and didn’t answer to many of her questions.
The Unclaimed lands had at one point been several hundred small cities, claiming to be countries. Long ago, each “country” had possessed an object of power, regardless of the “country’s” size. But when warring Cities went to battle often the object of power was taken, giving over possession of the territory. When all of the smaller and weaker cities were destroyed, war between the two remaining cities was inevitable. Sorcerers, wizards, and magic users came from miles around, even countries that nobody had heard of, to get their hands in the huge stock piles of magical items. Plus when it came down to it, the magical items would unavoidably be used in the Final Fight. So the Magic users would be needed. But when it came down to it, no blood was shed. But every one except a few stragglers, died. The life just wiped out of them. And all of the powers were used up, with the knowledge on how to make more gone. Only one remained, which was taken into the unclaimed lands and, many believed, taken under ground, by the remainders of people. When it was finally discovered it was brought to the Crystal Tower, where no one alive, even the elders, have any idea where it is. It could be buried in the ground, or melted into the crystal. But the elders do know one thing. A Forecast came to one who was an elder, and another is due to one who is not an elder. The Forecast was said to go like this,

An object long lost, was found and lost again.
To whom not gone, just lost.
But it shall be found, to one not Acclaimed.
To one who was marked, twice rebound.
But not to be used.
A drink to the earth.
The raven watches from the top of the spire,
When seen it will point to the mark,
Where the lost entity is found.
But don’t hold to hope, that triumph will come
But don’t cling to doom
But don’t embrace failure

The Forecast told that one day will come when the Power will be found. But most of it was cloudy, or the information with held. But what ever it was, none of it made any sense to Rittah.
Still staring up at the map, sleep overtook her. Her Dreams boiled and roiled in her head, undisturbed by anything good.

A toddler sat in a chair, bands holding her head to the back of the chair, and her legs to the chair legs. A woman, gray streaking her hair above her left ear, talked to a dark skinned man, with both nostrils pierced, with chains connecting to his pierced right eyebrow and left nipple, who hailed from Drist. They where conversing about something, but in this dream it were unclear. Tattooed on the Childs upper frontal breast was a small insignia, a right side up U with a shallow, downward facing U slicing through it. A small oval in the center was slashed with an X, one line stretching downward, all the way to her mid thigh. A small rune sat in the middle of the oval, but no one knew its importance. A younger woman sat cowering in the corner, whimpering for forgiveness, pleading to the child in the chair. A tattooed child was worth much. The child struggled to turn her head, to look at the crying woman. But the child smiled and reached her hand out. She called to her mother, but as she did, her mother slumped against the wall, and melted into the floor, leaving a single leafed tree, reaching out of the wet stone. The bark on the tree was black, and filled the room with a dull light. A mad laughter filled the air as the older woman and the Dristian man peeled laughter from the baby’s skin.
.~*~.
A soldier awoke, the air in his tent frozen and dark. Sweat beaded on his forehead from the dreams that destroyed his unfruitful sleep. His dreams always seemed to be from someone else’s memories. This one was particular personal. Only not to him. He pulled out his Handkerchief and wiped his face.
“General? Jestin? You asked to be awoken one turn before the rising of the sun. I hope you slept well. Where did you place your tan coat? I fear you have stained it during drinking last night. I will brush it for you and have it ready before we enter Silen today…” The soldier was his personal servant, and his drone voice was easy to block out. Tossing the coat to him Jestin let his head fall bask on the folded cloak he was lying his head on. The tent flap snapped in the wind, as the servant left. Erigyn was a good man, but sometimes forget full. Pushing up on his elbows, the wind so cold it sliced away all drowsiness. Jestin wrapped the blanket around himself, and tied the tent flap shut with a spare leather thong. His good leather piece was holding his hair around his neck. Hidden under his hair was a permanent mark of his rank in his home of Nona. A ring, attached to a pulled loop of skin on the back of his neck, was about the size of a silver penny. Kings and Queens only have barely a stud, or no mark at all. Jestin’s was silver, with red die twisted in it, the color of his House. He was a minor noble, yet still unimportant enough to have a relatively big ring. The ring called, a Hodak, is used by slave tradesmen, to attach and leash the slaves to anything they want. But the size can never change, unless something so terribly horrible or terribly good happened that you had to be punished or rewarded. But Jestin hid his, as he was ashamed to be part of anything so cruel. Anyone smart, that wasn’t Noble, figured out a way to be smuggled on to a ship and left.
Dressing quickly, he pulled a fleece vest over his long sleeved tunic, grabbed his belt pouch, which contained a small bag of tobacco and a silver inlaid, long stem pipe. Plus a spare knife, and a lead stick and paper. He untied the leather holding the door and closed it behind him, carrying a lantern, so he wouldn’t trip on tree roots, and soldiers sleeping on the ground.
He approached a fire ring, with three men seated around it. Thealisnam sat puffing on his pipe, and sharpening his rapier` on a small whetstone. The other two were soldiers, who looked as if they were still up from the night before. A smell of stale drink hung in the air. Jestin’s mouth turned down at Thealisnam, who was a good man, just sitting there watching it going on.
“what is the peace is going on here! Did you all not sleep? I demand you to get up and bath in the river. I will not have a scent of drink in the air as we enter the city today. Go! Now!” Jestin sat down grumbling as he tamped down the tobacco in his pipe, and lit it with a burning coal. He took a long drag to ensure that it stayed lit, and exhaled. Clearing his throat, her peered past his comrades shoulder at the stock pile.
“Did you ever finish figuring out how much we can pawn? We need to be able to afford being in the city for a few days,” Thealisnam glowered across the fire to his general, “Don’t look at me like that! You knew it had to be finished yesterday. If you haven’t finished it yet you might want to.” He gestured with the stem of his pipe, holding the insulated bowl in his right hand.
“I don’t have all day, so hurry up. Please excuse me. I must send out scouts.” He stood up and turned his back on the fire with a nod of his head.
“Be ready to march at first light.”




Chapter Two

Rittah awoke out of her troubled dreams, and stared through the gossamer canopy searching for answers. A ship sailed motionless across a bay long since eroded, maneuvering around rocks long since weathered. A traipsing army walked frozen through a woodland that no long grew, defending the land of The Hold Out.
But still answers evaded her. Her dream was one that frequented her sleep often, but still she could see nothing, except that the child was one of the Tattooed. Not necessarily her, but it was a possibility. And she also was sure that that black-barked tree was one of the peace trees. They were a gift to the tattooed from the Shadow marked men who received the payment of delivery. Delivery of the tattooed being. Rittah was sure that she was either mind linked some how to another Tattooed, or remembering parts of her own life. She hoped it was not the latter.
A knock at the door broke her out of her thoughts, and stole her back to reality. The attendant entered and frowned at the sight of her Mistress still in bed. Her name was Ameris, and has been her nurse since she was born.
“Rittah you missed breakfast with the High Elder this morning. She was furious and has a right mind to set you a sentence. You will be kneeling in front of her by the end of tonight if the dice fall in her favor. They are already out of the cup!” Her hands on her hips, fingers facing upwards said more than you could imagine. Her face portrayed annoyance, but the rest of her said amusement. She would enjoy to sit ,eating a Locade sandwich, while watching up to your elbows in soapy water scrubbing pots. She would enjoy it to her wits end. Rittah had never got the story out of her, but something in her eyes gave it away. It is your turn! When she watched you her face danced with amusement as she hummed a little song.
“I don’t understand the urgency of breakfast. Especially when they eat eggs. Embryos not even allowed to live. It is repulsive!” A shudder ran up her spine and she jumped from the bed. Even talking about eating poor chicken eggs made her livid. Her father was a chicken farmer, and she had never even thought of the idea, as the chicks had been her playmates when she was little. Rittah stalked over to her nurse and said, “ You can go and tell the High Elder that I will not join her for any meals as long as chicken Eggs are served. Never!” She turned her back and harrumphed as she settled back into the rigid chair. The curtains fluttered in the wind, the sound of a blaring trumpet carried along. The 4th Turn Of Rising by the pitch of the sound.

“You might as well tell her not to expect me for dinner now either. Or lunch. I think I will dine in a tavern, maybe play some dice or cards. It has been along time since I had any fun.” She laughed inside at the repulsed look on her nurse’s face. “Don’t worry. I have been in enough tavern brawls to fend for my self. I am not a child, Ameris.” The color of the older woman’s face went a paler shade of gray. “You may go now. Deliver on my messages!”
As the door slammed it seemed that being a Lady seemed to have its good times. Especially now that she could order around the woman that had paddled her bottom on more than one occasion. Oh the joys of being Powerful. To bad Rittah hated it, more than you could imagine.
.~*~.

The door slammed shut behind Ameris as she let go of the fragile crystal door knob. That girl had gotten extremely pompous since she realized that she was important. Rittah used to be so very nice when she was younger. Now she just ordered and pointed.
“ You may go now. Deliver on my messages! Bah!!” she mocked her young charge, that she could not disobey. Nothing bothered her more than that foolish child right now. Sooner or later, Ameris would be back in charge. Somehow. She knuckled her back-it was very knotted- and made her way down the hall to the Way of the Elders. She turned a corner and started down the seemingly endless corridor, lined with tapestries and statues, until she came to a set of huge brass and gilt doors. A large crystal was inset in each door, surrounded by a ring of smaller jewels. A large piece of parchment was some how adhered to the door that stated the following “ All visitors to any level Elder is to knock once and state there name and business. Wait for the door to open and enter. Do not open the door yourself , because a council is in session.” Ameris had read this note a million times when she went to breakfast. The council, which has been in session for five days now, has not had a single person leave its chamber for the entire time. It remains behind locked doors, at the end of the Way of the Elders, until their decision is made, or overruled. It was very strange. But the council only had 8 Elders in it, 1 male and one female from every Rendar . Each Rendar contained numerous Elders, except only the two most powerful went to council. Ameris, had never met any of the Elders that were important enough to be in the council, but the one that she had to go and give Rittah's news to, was important enough for her taste. Colava will not be happy about having her invitations being declined. Rittah really was a stupid girl. And Ameris would be the one to get most of the blame, let alone the punishment. But maybe this time at least she could get Rittah to take some responsibility as well.
She reached up and knocked on the door, waited for some response. Remembering that she has to state her name and mission, she stated, “ I am Ameris Detah, and I have Lady Rittah’s response for the High Elder Colava,”. And she waited. Moments passed, and the door creaked open, and a maid stepped to the side, a blue armband circling her upper arm, signifying a Keeper of the Elders. Other than that significant mark, she wore the same livery that every servant wore. Unless the certain Render required something different.
The high servant curtsied extremely deeply, and Ameris nodded in rightful acknowledgment. Ameris stepped passed, and said a simple, “peace is with you,” for the servants thanks. The hallway was long, and wound up in a spiral, a constant incline, that would take a long time to traverse. Many servants scurried barley acknowledging her, the ones who did, attempted to curtsy carrying heavy armloads of blankets or tea trays. Ameris could not understand why she was bowed to. She was simply the Lady’s nurse. Not a Lady her self.
Three levels later, Ameris took a deep breath outside of the High Elder’s chambers-only one Rendar’s division- and rang the small bell. A small sound lingered in the air, but she could tell, by the reverberations that followed, it triggered a chain of bells, that would not disturb anyone out in the corridor. It would only let someone inside know that some visitor waited. It seemed extremely secretive, except that every Rendar was secretive. They all competed against each other constantly, and a fierce battle it was for all Four Rendars.
Another servant answered the door, his blue armband decorated in a peculiar matter, that would be normal to this Rendar. All very strange. He bowed, like the rest of the servants, but she just pushed passed him, rushed for time, as the Fifth Turn was heard being announced by trumpets. She was very pressed for time. Picking a ring out of her pocket, she reached the door she wanted, and pressed the ring to a small piece of metal. The door opened, and another door beyond it, required a knock. She knocked and nestled her self into the small chair that leaned against the wall in the cramped anteroom. The Elder herself came to the door, In a wool smock, that announced that she had been at her painting again.
“Come in Ameris. You company will be welcome, since I Breakfasted alone this morning,” her tone went cold at the last few words, and heightened the stress of the message Ameris had to deliver.
“Speaking of Breakfast, actually any meal, Rittah said that she refused to dine with any one that served eggs. You must understand, that she grew up playing with chickens, and doesn’t like the idea of eating them. I apologize but if it is any consolation, I will dine with you when every you 839 3473ask.” With a chuckle she added as an afterthought, “just give me about two hour warnings. It takes for ever to reach these chambers.”
The Elder smiled and walked to her painting. The unfinished picture, showed the partially filled outlines of a pair of lovers, lying watching the sunset, in a field of daisies. The Elders paintings always showed this couple. Ameris had a feeling it was a personal thing.
Colava turned to look at Ameris, a smile playing at her lips, “Speaking of your young charge, I think that she could do with some lessons on how to be a Lady. What do you think about that?”
Laughter rang around the room as the two woman giggled at the idea.
.~*~.


Jestin walked back over to where the fire ring was, to find it knocked in and extinguished. At least someone was following his orders. Glancing over his shoulders at the wagons, soldiers and servants alike where loading the remaining food and camp items into the canvas covered wagon beds. Eight wagons were already closed and lashed shut. A bright red painted carriage was waiting at the head of the train the horses stepping in anticipation. Everybody in the camp was excited for the days trip, only about 15 miles. The city of Silane was just around the low hills in the distance and across the Plains of Drumich. Who cares that it is infested with its name sake. The day could mean a host of minor skirmishes but who cares? They were an army of ten thousand hands, not to mention over seven thousand crossbows, and even more swords. They had no worry. Plus it was winter. The Drumich should be, he hoped, under ground.
“General? My Lady Asrai calls for you.” A Soldier in a plain black woolen coat, tight fitting around the waist to flare down to the knees, stood about 5 paces in front of him, his hand resting on a sword hilt.
“What exactly does my sister want?” she had some nerve showing up in the middle of the night, requesting a host of men to escort her to the Crystal Tower, him included in that host. What about Silane? But she was his little sister. So he will take her there…. Eventually.
“ She questions when we shall be under way. My lady Asrai is in a rush to reach the Crystal Tower. And I must say so is some of her guard,” the soldier, his name was Balwar, shifted his feet in the frozen ground riddled with tree roots.
“Tell her we leave as soon as all of you ragtag soldiers are prepared to leave. Now move!” Jestin stepped forward to intimidate the young man in front of him, and was successful. Balwar jumped and skittered away and ran smack into the side of a wagon. Ha backed off, rubbing his head, and walked off. Jestin chuckled under his breath, his arms crossed under his chest. He reached down to turn the top of his boot over his laces. He tilted his head, his hands busy at work, and his eyes laid on a pair of silk looking slippers. He was no judge of fabric.
“How are you sister? Sleep well?” he straightened and looked at his sister, her hands on her hips. She was a snippy one.
“ How dare you intimidate my men! You have no right. No right Jestin!” Asrai’s foot tapped under simple skirts. She was a simple woman. The wind toyed with her hair, but, as it was short, couldn’t do much with it.
“ Now, now. No need to let everyone no how testy you are. Now go back to your carriage and tell your men to continue with there work.” Jestin cocked his head, and smiled. A smile that never touched his cold eyes.
“Jestin I will leave when I want. Right now I wish to stand here and stare at how ruthless your cold eyes are. Why don’t you throw your self in that fire over there. The men are having trouble extinguishing it with out water. I’m sure you could do it just by looking at it.” She smiled, and looked angry enough to murder. “ I still won’t forgive you for leaving, nor for dragging me with you. Now neither of us, or our offspring may every return to there home land. Are you proud of yourself for cutting off our family from their heritage?”
Jestin threw his head back and laughed. His sister always blamed everything on him, since they were little children. In his eyes, she came crawling to him and begged him to smuggle her away. At least she would have, if she knew how better the rest of the world was. He grabbed his sister in a one armed hug and pulled her to his chest.
“That country would have killed us both. Both of our children had we stayed. That is why I convinced you to go the Crystal Tower. You may learn of all the good in the world. You’re young yet. And impressionable. I’m not. The world has ruined me and hardened my heart. But you can still find love. I will get you to the crystal tower soon as possible.” He released her from his grip and spun on his heel, and walked to where his black war stallion was standing. “Go back to your carriage and prepare to depart, little sister.” He placed his foot into the stirrup and heeled the horse to a slow walk.
“Fine big brother. But I don’t know where you get off saying you’re so old.” She turned and called over her shoulder. “Your only three years senior of my eighteen!”
Walking back to her crimson carriage, she laughed at her brothers sudden show of affection. He was a strange man.
.~*~.
A Fachan crouched behind a tree, watching the two humans communicate. He couldn’t understand what was happening, for he couldn’t tell what they were saying. The emotions that they showed were so scattered. One minute there faces were creased in anger, the next they were laughing and hugging. All strange.
An arrow planted it self in the dirt next to the young mushroom creature, and he darted off squealing. He remained to long.
.~*~.






Chapter Three


Tired of sitting in her chambers, in the high zenith of the Tower, Rittah flung her cloak around her neck. Keeping her promise, she planned on dining and staying in an inn tonight. Preferably one where the swaying sign said that it was called the Travelers Abode. It was the inn she had first stayed at, when she reached the village surrounding Crystal City, and she liked the innkeeper there. The rotund woman, had a very motherly air about her and was always smiling. And her traveling companion, Rynelle, was currently employed there, along with a young man that she wrote to Rittah about. Rynelle had enclosed a gift of a Ruby brooch, and a small pendant, which swung loosely, dangling on a thin silver chain in between her breasts, along with a very… appetizing… description of this young man, and Rittah planned on meeting a friend of his. Rittah had come to a time in her life, actually before she left for the tower, that people have begun telling her it is time to marry. Ameris, for one, claim she is at a ripe age for child bearing. None the less, the entire concept scared Rittah, who was barely out of her Seventeenth year. She, herself, had never thought she could impress a man. But thinking about herself settling down and raising a family does seem to have its up sides. Rittah smiled besides her self.
The heat outside made Rittah glad she only grabbed a silk dust cloak, instead of the heavy woolen one she had hanging next to it. Running out her chambers, she attached the small ruby brooch to hold the sheer red cloak on and succeeded in poking her finger. Rittah sucked on the drop of blood she had procured, and ran down the hall to catch one of the many sedan chairs, that waited out side the Crystal Tower First Gate.
“ I’d like to go to the Inn called Travelers Abode. Do you know it?” Her foot tapped on the ground as she waited for a response
“ ‘Course, my Lady! Is that where you wish to go?”
“why in the peace would I be asking if I did not wish to go there.” Her mouth puckered as Rittah glared at the driver. Picking up her skirts, she climbed into the Chair, and was raised into the air. The men under her started off at a run, and succeeded to jostle the woman around in her seat. She hated traveling this way. But any other way ran risk of cutpurses, kidnapping, murder, or more coin than she was willing to shell out.
The sun had moved in the sky when he arrived at the Inn, and found the common room just pleasantly full. There were a few empty tables, and a couple surrounded by men enthralled in their game of dice. Rittah moved to an empty table and was brought, thankfully, a glass of wine. It might not have been cold, but at least it wasn’t punch.
Grabbing a hold of the serving girls sleeve she smiled and requested that Rynelle be told she was out here. The young girl, whose name was Cristel, bobbed her head in a small, polite, curtsy and jogged off to find Rynelle, nearly running right into her mission.
“ Rittah! How are you? I had been sitting her twiddling my fingers wondering whether I should call upon you at the Tower! Anyway, I tried but the Front Guard wouldn’t let me pass. I was actually gonna write you a letter, but… oh dear! I talk to much!” Rynelle laughed as she grabbed Rittah around her waist and hugged her tightly.
Obviously, Rynelle had been quite bored. “ Friend. I shall get you a Gate Pass, that way you can see me when ever you want. I have asked you to come and work as one of my Ladies In Waiting, but you would rather work here. To tell you the truth, so would I!” The tower was stuffy and extremely straight laced. Rittah seated herself in her ladder-backed chair and took a swig of her wine. The warm fluid seemed cleanse her mind. She laughed as she watched a mother trying to feed her child at a table by the high fireplace on the far wall.
“So, Rynelle? Where is your gentleman friend? And his coworker? Your description of him seemed very inviting.” Rittah giggled behind a raised hand.
“ He is currently out cashing some banknotes for the innkeeper. Purran will return shortly. And his…coworker you say… is out with him. Oh, his name is Samuth.”
“Samuth? That’s nice. My brothers name is Samit. It shouldn’t be hard to remember now. At least it’s not like my fathers name, which I still have a hard time spelling,” Daverinious, her father, hated his name and choose to be called Dave or Daver. Even on formal matters, he is still only known as Daverin. To her he was just Da.
Cristel walked passed her small, square table, and stopped at the table next to her. It was a large table, With place for a party of at least six. The lady was putting out two plates, one at either end of the counter. But she did pull six chairs up to its flanks. She placed a brandy snifter at each seat, but only filled up the two at each head. Next to those two glasses she placed a condensation beaded glass of punch, and a steaming pile of rice and lamb slathered in a mint sauce. Cristel looked down at the meals, with growing desire. Rittah her self found her mouth watering. But to no avail. She hadn’t nearly enough gold, or silver, for that luxury. She could also tell that, because of the telltale punch, not wine, that it was a Crystal affair.
As if that was a summons, The High Elder and The Second In Waiting, entered, trailed by six men. There sheathed swords, plate armor, and knives, were all proclaimed by small raises in there tunics. Obviously, the four men, were Outer Wall guards. A rough sort, whose job it was to guard the tower from intrusions. Or at least to provide a warning. Rittah could hardly believe that the Elders where taking there company, especially when the men looked so… Smug was the only word for it.
“ The gold will be paid. That is not of object. What is, is the fact that your guards are blackmailing,” the elder shuttered nervously, “ the Elders, in a way that doesn’t even allow them to leave the vicinity. It’s outrageous,” a guard started to protest, “ Be quiet man! I know that your guards have been here since before we came into authority, but that doesn’t matter. We are the authority here. The Ultimate authority! But now you have us stuck. With out you, the Tower is vulnerable to attack. Every nation knows that. You are all that keeps Silan from swallowing us whole, along with everyone here. We are rebels against our native country! We cannot hold out with out your soldiers along our borders. This is a pressing matter. The Council of Age has been in session for six days now. We are unable to reach consensus. The aggressive ones want you gone, saying we can fight our battles with power. They think that power will spring from wells when need be. I keep saying beware that wells dry, in the worst of times, too. The other half of the council say, give you what you want. I my self, just to end this am willing to give you what you want, but you have to stop this black mailing!!” Her chest shook as she breathed. That was along string of very, very brave words.
“ You are willing to meet are requirements? That is a wise choice, if you agree. Otherwise… well you heard our terms. Silen will love more soldiers,” his smirk deepened, and the color paled on the elders face.
“It will cost me much, but, fine. The tower agrees. Under the Peace. We will give you what you want. Now on to pressing matters, we have some,” Her face went even paler, than turned a sickly shade of pale, as she sat, and laid her eyes upon Rittah sitting there staring into her glass. Treason. The tower had agreed, under the peace no less, to treason of Crystal Law.
“What are you doing here!!??” The elders face now longer looked on the verge of sicking up but, rather, outraged. Her eyes seemed to burn under the sharp downturn of her eyebrows.
“ I came to get food. If I was aware of this… meeting, than I would have gone some where else,” A lie through her teeth. Rittah couldn’t stand the High Elder. She imposed the Punch Law, as well as many other constricting laws.
“ You better hope I hear no word out of your mouth about this. Why are you out of the tower? Is Ameris with you?? I told her to keep you in the Tower for…. Never mind. You better be back at the tower tomorrow morning. I have plans for you. Actually I have plans for all of you Tattooed ones. Don’t fear. I’m told it doesn’t hurt,” Her smile even went as far as to reach her eyes. She was going to thoroughly enjoy these plans.

.~*~.

The Fachan ran as fast as his stumpy legs would carry him. His temporary home surrounded the base of an ancient oak tree. Its foundation was wide enough to house his entire nation. But for now, only one tribe of Fachans camped under its leaves. He approached the oak tree cautiously, whistling the tune of a male Yellowbird. Heads poked out from under there root homes, and 3 of the heads emerged.
“ What did you find, Moonson? Have they left?”
“ No Planter. But they are preparing to leave. I had stayed to long and had to leave. I think some one might have seen me.”
.~*~.

Asleep on her pallet, curved to the underbelly of her dragon, she slept, protected by Cerandin’s warmth. The fire danced with low pale flames, kept alive by the dragons flaming snores. Stars blinked lazily in the sky, visible through the spacious cave mouth. The pale striations on the floor where thrown into shadow, by the dragon with his back to the opening. Behind the dragon, a hand gripped the rock edge, and hoisted up the torso of a man. Swinging a leg up on to the ground, he soon stood, framed in the caves wide, stone expanse.
The opening seemed to shrink in size, as the tall, broad shouldered man tensed his muscles. He thought this cave would be empty. He, a master at scaling these mountains, thought himself alone on this Island. Plus these mountains couldn’t easily be climbed. But then he realized that this bulk behind the caves occupant, was none other than a dragon. Every muscle in his body tensed, as he backed away from the massive beast, tripping over a stray deer femur, the remains of dinner certainly. He landed with a crash, as he found the rest of the deer carcass. Thank the peace this dragon had a large appetite, as he hit only a stripped skeleton.
Scrambling to his feet, he ran to the cave mouth, but stopped short of barreling straight into a woman. Well no one could sleep through the racket I just made. At least its not the…. A low rumbling was bouncing of the cave walls from behind him, sounded to close for comfort. Of course, the dragon was awake. What else could go wrong?
“ Should you die now? Or perhaps after I allow my dragon to have the fun he wants, watching you writhe with out your legs like a worm,” she smirked and brushed hair from her face.
“ Excuse me for intruding. I thought I was the only inhabitant of this Island. No one has been on Trema since the Slaying.”
“ I guess you were wrong then. Well? Go,”
“ I was looking for a place to reside for the night,” the corners of his mouth betrayed his attempt to appear unafraid. As well as the fact that he was shaking from head to toe.
“ You might stay, as long as you swear to sleep at the mouth of the tent. That way my dragon can watch you in moonlight. And If I feel like it, it’s easier to push you out. I do hope, for your sake you don’t snore,” Walking around the man to Cerandin, she stroked his nose, “ Cerandin here hates snoring,” Leaning over to the man she whispered in his ear, “That doesn’t stop his from snoring though. Sounds like thunder in your head!” she chuckled, barely audibly.
“Well I will accept your offer, and I will offer you some food, if you will accept. It is only bread, but one deer might not even fill one dragon stomach.” He reached behind him into his pack. Renoa’s hand flew to her sword hilt, and the
dragon bared his teeth.
“ If you wish to get something out of your pack, put it down in front of you. I will get it. Don’t think for one minute I trust you. I have met many smooth talking bandits. One may even be on an Island. I hear of many riches in this land.”
He put the pack down in front of his legs at his feet, the worn leather straps tied securely. He told Renoa that the loaf of bread was in the main pocket wrapped in wool. She reached in and pulled it out, then broke it in half and gave the bigger half to the man.
“ I had enough of the deer, but I do accept and will save this for some traveling food. If you don’t mind me asking, what is your name? Mine is Renoa. And I’m to awake to go to sleep again for a little while, so I might as well sit and have some water by the fire. You may join if you like.”
“ My name is something I really don’t even know. I was abandoned a long time ago, and sort of adopted the name Torin. It means one who is lone. It’s kinda old. So you can call me Torin, as It’s the only name I have, I guess. And as for sitting by the fire, I shall join you. But I can do better than water. There is a wineskin in my pack full of just that. Wine. If I may get it..?”, He gestured to his pack, and plunged his hand in at Renoa’s approval.
“ I thank you for your generosity. How are you with a sword?”
.~*~.






Chapter 4


“Ameris? Did you eat your fill of eggs? We have plenty,” The corners of the elders mouth turned skywards with a smirk, “ How about you Rittah? There is plenty to go around.”
“Sorry. I am full from my Grudach sandwich. Maybe if you would let the eggs grow…. We could all enjoy roast chicken. And I am sure Ameris had enough also!” she rose from her chair and motioned for Ameris to follow. She bowed curtly to the elder, Colava, and waited by the door for Ameris to follow suit.
“ Rittah, I think I will stay if you don’t mind. Plus you have your meeting with the high elder to prepare for. The council will be there, you know. The entire Full House. You had better prepare,” her eyes glanced off the book shelf, “ somehow,”.
“Ameris. How come you won’t tell me? It could be dangerous and I need to be prepared. You’re supposed to care about me. I swear you don’t!”
“Don’t be ridiculous. I loved who you used to be, not this spoiled child!”
Rittah stalked out of the room, slamming the heavy oak door. A painting on the wall, slipped off its brackets and smashed on the floor.
.~*~.

Her Promised sanctity, from becoming angry, had long since diminished. The night at the tavern had been so stupendous that she felt sure that nothing could have busted her bubble. But her bubble was long since burst.
“I cannot believe that she had the.. Audacity!…. to be like that!” In her tirade, Rittah, failing to notice a young servant girl, had tea dumped down the front of her dress. The girl, apologizing profusely, succeeded in spreading it around instead of wiping it up at all. She insisted of cleaning the dress personally.
“ Please Mistress, allow me to accompany you to your chambers and collect your soiled dress. I am very sorry mistress.”
“Will you also on the way bring me fresh tea?” she was quite thirsty with all this tea literally at her finger tips, “and what is your name miss?”
“I am Aine. I just started today. I was traveling from Cadose, for work. My mother is very poor, and too sick to work. But why would you care. I shouldn’t bother you with my stories.”
“Actually life is very dull, and if you tell me a story, I will tell you a story about my childhood. Maybe we could talk for a while.
“That sounds wonderful, mistress.”
“I am not mistress. I am Rittah.” She was delighted about having someone to talk to and the possibility of a friend in the Tower.
“Yes Rittah. Shall we move on now? I will get that tea. Where are your apartments?”
“They are on the second floor. Next to Elder Orna’s study, on the left.”
Rittah walked off and waved to the young woman behind her. The quarrel she had just partaken in was out of her mind. Her imagination and mind wandered back to the previous night

A tiny bell tinkled as the door to the inn opened slightly,
“Anybody home?” a nameless voice called. The lamps flickered as a breeze swept through the open door.
“Go in and shut the door already” a foot shuffled as another voice pushed the first, “Ouch! You tread on my toes!”
Two men entered the inn and hung their cloaks on the pegs adjacent to the door. A floor board creaked as they crept towards the kitchen doors.
“Where do you two think your going? I supposed you would be hungry, how long did it take to cash those bank notes anyway?” Rynelle stepped out of the shadows, followed by a girl that the two men didn’t know. “You two meet Rittah. Rittah meet Purran, my brother. He arrived here two weeks ago,” the fire blared as Rynelle through oil on it, showering the room with light. The man with dirty blond hair nodded his head and straitened his shirt.
“ His companion is Samuth, my cousin. He had lived with us in Edgelands, and had moved down here a few years ago looking for work,” The man named Samuth, bowed his head, his shaggy red hair falling over his eyes, “ Obliged”
“ It is a pleasure to meet all of you. I must have met you before since I knew Rynelle, before we moved here. It must be a lost memory.” Rittah smiled and bowed her head back.
“Rynelle? Now that you are finished… may we eat? We haven’t eaten until this morning. There were mad riots filling the streets today. Rebels against the reformation in the country. We were defending homes and inns all day.” He turned to leave, than remembered, “ Where should I leave the gold from the banker?”
“Give it here. I’ll deliver it to the mistress. Your dinner is warming in the oven.” Samuth went to his cloak and pulled out two large purses.
“We owe you three silver crowns. I wanted to play dice. Could you tell Mistress Hatans to take it from my pay roll? Thanks dear cousin,” Samuth handed the purses to Rynelle and followed Purran into the kitchen.
Rynelle turned to Rittah and smiled, “Handsome aren’t they? I need to cut Samuth’s hair but he wont let me,”
Rittah, thinking of the way Samuth’s hair fell in his eyes, laughed, “I like his hair. It suits his wildness. Any man who gambles has sure to be wild. At least that is how it was at home,”
“the Edgelands are no longer home, Rittah. Home is here. In this bustling little village surrounding the Tower,” She laughed, “listen to me. I sound bloody well like mistress Hatans. My mother always said that home is where ever your heart takes residence. So I guess home still is in the Edgelands,” Rynelle looked to the floor, “I hope some day I will get back there…anyway, mistress Hatans will be wanting her money. Go talk to Purran and Samuth. Stoke the fire would you,” Rynelle said with a demonic smirk. Rittah pushed her friend and then bounded towards the kitchens.
“If you want me to!”
Rittah was shoved from her reverie as Aine came running behind from her.
“There is something wrong. I can’t find anyone. The kitchens are empty and the elders are gone from the Way. All of the studies are vacant. And all the animals are roaming free over the grounds! There was chickens in the main hallway!!”
“Is there some kind of immense sermon going on? That even the stable boys had to attend?”
“There is nobody here! The soul counter in the entry way says zero!!!,” Her feet shuffled under her, “I’m afraid. Have you seen anyone on your way down here? Anyone???”
“come to think of it…. No. I haven’t.”
A silence answered her. Aine stared down the corridor, waiting to hear any sound at all. It was a bone chilling moan that followed.
“Come we go to my apartments and get a couple of things. Then we leave,”
They started at a slow lope down the hall, but ran faster at every corner. When they reached Rittah’s apartments, the tree out side her open window, looked parched and dry, the leaves were cracking, and the light dimming. She ran to the window, stuck her head out and peered down the row of windows. Some trees were beginning to drop their leaves. Looking down the stepped sides of the Tower, Rittah could see a hundred levels of peace trees beginning to die.

.~*~.

The wind blew, rustling Jestin’s hair, and sending the coat tails of his generals overcoat flapping. The troops marching ahead stripped of there coats and tied them around there saddles pummel. The breeze had brought uncanny heat, and melted the deep piles of snow before the sun had risen to noon. Now the sun was setting amidst the high moor grass, swaying and shimmering in the heat.
“Halt! Were gonna stop for the night. Send out tonight’s scouts. We are getting close enough to the city now that the Outer Guards may be around. The heat is a sure sign. Tonight will be the last night on the dirty ground. Tomorrow beds are in our future, Thealisnam.”
“Jestin, you sleep on a bed every night! I don’t know what your complaining about,” Thealisnam shook his head and chuckled, “ You youngsters are so soft nowadays. Have no idea what it means to be in an army,”
Thealisnam and Jestin had known each other for a long time. They were both ranking officers at the same level at one point, Jestin being raised faster. He was raised from corporal to lieutenant, than to captain, and finally now he is General Jestin Carrman.
Jestin slapped his friend on the shoulder and said, “maybe its your old fashioned ‘army’ ideas that have held you back, all these months!” Jestin laughed and took off at a gallop.
The older man’s belly shook with laughter and he yelled, “Be glad my horse is tired you scoundrel!”
Erigyn, Jestin’s manservant walked up from behind Thealisnam’s horse and patted him.
“Sir? Does your horse need a rub down? I will brush him and see to it that he is tended well, if you like,”
“That’s alright Erigyn. I will deal with Captain. Speaking of captains, would you like to dine with the general and I, on the last night outside of the city?”
“I would be obliged. I have some cure venison, if I may contribute,”
“it would be most welcome. and forget the formalities. Tonight we are all equal. All of you young people have traveled well and far, quite fast. Tonight is a celebration!!” Many of the soldiers around jumped up and cheered, thrusting fists and swords into the air. Thealisnam leaned towards Erigyn and whispered, “ Not a single battle yet and they still feel like they have won! Fools. Oh well, best let them enjoy it, after we leave the city, its battles. Jestin is very foolhardy to try and claim the unclaimed,”
“What? That is why he hired us? That land is unbelievably cursed! Is he insane?”
“ No not insane, just foolhardy,”

.~*~.

“Hurry Aine! In my wardrobe, grab my travel case and pack as many dresses as possible. Better yet two dresses, and the cream and red pantsuits. Will they fit you too?” Rittah ran to the dresser and began to put her comb and belongings into her large saddle bags
“They should be fine. I don’t have any thing to get so we don’t have to waste time going to my rooms,” she continued to stuff fine clothing into the pack.
“ I have money so we can get you some new dresses in town. I have a question to ask you…”
Aine stopped her packing and looked up sweeping her hair out of her face, “ Yes, Rittah?”
“ How many other Tattooed Ones are there in the tower?”
“About…. Seven, I think,”
“Do you know where their chambers are?”
“Yes. Right in this hallway,”
“Get them!”
Aine ran out of the chamber as quick as her legs would carry
her small body. Rittah heard doors banging open and multiple voices, followed by more footsteps. A few moments later, Aine led in a pack of individuals, al with bags on their shoulders.
“We were preparing to leave as well, when we dining and every body in the dining hall…. Well… I’m not sure how to describe it. I guess they liquefied and then soaked into the walls. Never seen anything like it,” the woman spoke with a drawl, reminiscent of North Bardoon.
Rittah bowed her head, “ Who exactly was in the dining hall. Was there a woman named Ameris? Or Elder Colava?”
A man with sandy hair and a matching beard spoke up, “ It was a late lunch, so it was mostly the servants. I’m not sure who was there. Al I know is that everyone is gone, except for us. And its cold out side. Anyone have any Forecasts lately?”
“Speaking of Forecasts, doesn’t the Power Forecast mention something like a Drink to the earth? Coincidence maybe that every one turned to water, than soaked into the earthen walls in the Hall.”
A scream out side the door made every head in Rittah's chambers spin around. The sandy haired man ran to the door and ran left down the passage. A moan was punctuated with screams, some where in the hallway.
“ Grab your things and follow me. Aine finish gathering my cloths and catch up as fast as possible. Will some one stay behind with her?”
A man about Aine’s age stayed behind. The rest of the party, eight in total, ran down the hall after the sandy haired man. About half way down the passage, the man was kneeling with a woman’s head in his lap, his back against the wall. The woman was breathing heavily and clutching her swollen belly.
A woman in the back of the pack, spoke up for the first time, “ She is in heavy labor. Gilem, get away.. I’m the only one who knows anything to do in this situation,” she turned around and asked, “Does anyone have a pillow that they can get quickly? Along with a pitcher of water, or a bowl, and a clean sheet and blanket?”
The woman from North Bardoon looked up from the pregnant woman, “ My chambers are closest. I will get them,” she spun on a dime and darted to her door. As she turned the handle, she shouted, “ Should I get some whiskey? For her pain?”
“Yes, but I’m not sure if it would be able to help in time, but we can still use it to sterilize and clean!”
Rittah suddenly felt an urge to remove any men from the area. She grabbed sleeves and collars and thrust four separate men into the closest room.
“This is not something for your eyes,” She looked down her nose at them, trying her best to look noble, “ I will fetch you when all is finished,” One of the younger looking men tilted his head to the side and strutted to a chair. Placing his thin self down on the cushion, he picked up a glass of wine, sitting on a tray.
“ I feel just awful for you women sometimes. She looked to be in much pain,” He took a sip of the wine, and his face soured. Spitting the contents of his mouth on to the intricate patterns of the carpet, he sighed and said, “ At least the inns will have a cold brew or two. It might even taste good, if we’re lucky,”
Disgusted by the man’s attitude, she skulked over to where he sat, “ Before I box your ears, what is your name?”
“ I am Timundy, hailing from Pensuin.”
“ I could have guessed where you came from. Your so arrogant that it is obvious,” Rittah paused to survey the look on the three men’s faces, “As I said, I will fetch you when it is safe for your feeble stomachs,”
Back in the passage, six people, including one man, stood admiring a new born baby boy. Aine and the young man who had stayed behind, had returned after the birth. The new mother was laying swathed in blankets and towels, and had a pitcher of water being slowly trickled over her forehead. She was sweating profusely, and she appeared to have tossed her lunch earlier in the process.
The woman who had done the birthing stood up and pulled Rittah aside.
“ It appears that something ruptured during labor. Her bleeding hasn’t slowed, and her fever is worse. This is her first child, and I’m sorry, but it will be her last. We could attempt to transport her to the remedial woman, but I'm not sure that she would make it,”
A scream behind the two, made them whip around. The mother was on her feet and running down the hall towards an erupting light, coming straight from a crack in the rose colored crystal wall. Gilem had left the room where the men sat and was running after her.
“No! Let her go!” One of the women that was attending the birth cried out. Gilem stopped just short of the light. The mother was gone. In her place was a small black tree. It had no leaves. Only a single rose.


Chapter 5


Renoa awoke early the next morning, to the sound of two different sets of snoring. One was a deep growl, accompanied by small puffs of smoke, while the other was high pitched and decreased. She sat up on her knees and clambered over her dragon and kicked the owner of the second set of snores.
“ Get up you lay about! If your gonna keep me up than your gonna get up yourself,” Torin rolled over on his back than sat up quickly. He reached behind him and pulled a bone out from under him. He threw it against the cavern wall with a satisfying thunk. The black haired man stood up and stretched. His boots and shirt sat alongside his back pack. Torin pulled his deerskin tunic over his head, and slide his foot into its boot, than paused.
“ Where exactly are you headed? There’s not much on this island,” the sun rose high enough to illuminate the back of the tunnel.
“ Well, the weather is getting cold, out land, so I wanted to fly inland, for the winter at least. It’s hard for Cerandin to fly when his wings get cold, because they splinter, under harsh cold. Its quite inconvenient,” the dragon had its wings propped up for a blind to change behind. When she emerged she had on bottle green pants and a cerulean lace up shirt, with a cherry colored ribbon holding up her hair. It was never braided.
“ When do you leave? “
She walked to where Torin was sitting and placed her self on the stone floor, stroking Cerandin's scales with her hand.
“ Hopefully as soon as possible. If it gets any colder, Cerandin will have trouble flying long distances. And I want to get off this island, because I can’t find any where that is suitable for living in the winter on Trema,”
“How do you expect to get off the island when it is already extremely cold and over two hundred miles to shore? That’s a long flight even for a dragon,” Torin finished with his boots and turned the tops over the laces. He made a fist, then shook out his hand, his face grew dim with thought.
“ What’s wrong? You got really quite, all of sudden,” she stated gently.
“ I might know a place on the island, but I don’t know if I wasn’t to lose the sanctity of it. If you were to tell anyone It would be over run.” He stood up and paced the length of the cave girth,” How badly do you need to get off this island? Is it urgent?”
“I am desperate for my next quest to begin. And if I wait to soon, my leads will surely dry up. I only came here to escape the Tower Guards that were tracking me, but that is none of your business,” she spoke sharply.
Torin turned to face Renoa and knelt in front of her,“ Your quest will get no where with out proper provisions and preparations. Come with me,” he held out his hand and waited for her to accept.
“Are you joking? Don’t get all fancy on me, Sir!” She laughed and took his hand. Torin smiled and pulled her to her feet.
“ When we get to where I am taking you, you might be a little surprised. I’ll give you one hint. Did you ever wonder where your dragon came from?”

.~*~.
“How did her rose get here? Why isn’t the Maker holding it?” Rittah’s head crammed with questions until it throbbed.
“ I am not sure, but—“
A loud gasp interrupted what Kiena, the woman from North Bardoon, was saying.
“ The child…. It Is tattooed! But it’s so minuscule! Just a single symbol on the backside of his neckline,”
All the Tattooed Ones crowded around trying to get a glimpse of the tiny baby—apparently a boy, upon further investigation—and his tattooed neck. Indeed, there was a small letter Q printed under an even smaller F, right at the nape of his tiny neck.
“ What does a Q and an F have anything, whatsoever, to do with each other?” Aine was ever so confused.
“ The F, well there are a few possibilities, such as Forecast and Forgivable, but the Q? I have no idea at all,”
Aine smiled and said,” We should give him a Q Name! What about Quinen?”
“ That is a wonderful name!”
A collective intake of breath was heard around the room. Those words were just uttered by a less than 15 minute old baby boy. Silence followed.
“ Oh yes, I forgot. Excuse me. Whaaaaaa” a natural baby’s cry reverberated off the stone walls, the tension in the hall broken.
“ I don’t mean to break up this… Um… Thing, but I think that we need to get moving,” Kiena was desperate to get out of the tower,” But I think that it is beneficial to our success as a group of free people, to choose a leader. Other wise we aren’t going to last long, after all we are the most wanted people in the world right now,” The words took a while to sink in. Many thoughts ran through the 3 companions heads at this moment. Were there other Tattooed Ones out there? Were they captures of someone? How are they all going to avoid capture them selves?
“ I agree. After all thirteen people are better at keeping countries
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Aug 2 2005, 01:58 AM (Post #2)
Leisure Mouse
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I remember that story. I thought it was a pretty good idea. Of course... your spelling sucks, edit! EDIT! xD
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Aug 2 2005, 02:01 AM (Post #3)
Origin's Photographer.
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Joined: 7/16/05 10:43 PM
hayley, would you like to edit it for me ? I'm lazy.
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Aug 2 2005, 02:04 AM (Post #4)
I Love Jingy
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I'll edit the spelling and grammar next week, I got a butload of homework to do this week x_x
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Aug 2 2005, 02:21 AM (Post #5)
Origin's Photographer.
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Your in school already?.. or what?
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Aug 2 2005, 02:23 AM (Post #6)
I Love Jingy
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Joined: 11/30/04 08:44 PM
I go to school next week. My Chemistry teacher gives everyone a few dozen problems to do during the summer preceding his class, and my Lit teacher is making me read a stupid book about an Indian boy that likes zoos....
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Aug 2 2005, 02:43 AM (Post #7)
Masked Insanity
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Duke, it's summer reading, lmao, we both have to do it, along with every other senior-to-be....I admit, the book started off crappy, but it gets good by about page 120....I'm halfway through it atm....

Anyway, I read the first paragraph since I'm short on time, but I'll certainly read the rest over the next couple days. I'll comment then. sbiggrin.gif
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Aug 2 2005, 02:52 AM (Post #8)
I Love Jingy
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I'm on page 131 o_o...I think. The hyena is running in circles.

So you're actually gonna come on Origin? XD
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Sep 22 2007, 03:19 AM (Post #9)
I Love Jingy
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so has anyone read this yet? i completely forgot about it x.x
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Oct 17 2007, 05:35 PM (Post #10)
Origin's Photographer.
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don't bother it blows. But give me feedback on my new poem.
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