Wandering Through Terran–Chapter 13

January 15, 2010

Revisions.

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Chapter Thirteen: The Calm

Where Some Mysteries Become a Bit

More Clear, but Generally Remain Mysterious…

The elves had set up camp on a hill in the forest, a good distance from the walls of Aven. A circle of five tents were set up in a clearing, a set of ropes going up to the trees above. The elves escorted their five allies into the camp. Marizan pointed to the nearest tent.

You three can rest here for now,” he said. “Our time here will be limited, the hour to emerge from the shadows and make ourselves known drawing ever closer. You will need to rest before that time. We will guard you while you sleep.”

The three looked to each other, realizing they were too tired to argue or fight. Entering to find four bed rolls, they each lay down and tried to rest.

puup

Looking out from the balcony in the early afternoon, Sydney waited as the delegates slowly moved up the street towards his palace. The envoy from the province of Sargean was arriving for their annual tribute, a long line of carts, carriages, and chariots making the slow trek up through the streets of Aven towards the Palace of Heritage. His focus was on the last carriage. The one he knew was carrying the daughter of the Duke of Sargean.

I wonder what would have happened if our fathers had agreed to that pact? Sydney reflected. Sargean is a minor province, with little resources to call its own. Her father wanted to become an official part of Aven, securing himself with a decent title of his own. All agreed it was a foolish disagreement that led tot he break down.

He moved away from the balcony as he heard Lothgar enter the chamber. The High General stood waiting in the living room of Sydney’s chambers. He watched as the High King entered the room.

Hello Lothgar,” Sydney said sourly. “Is all prepared for the delegates?”

Yes, my liege,” Lothgar said. “There were some issues with the Ranger bodyguards, but those were easily negotiated through. They’ve turned themselves over to our custody willingly.”

Doesn’t sound like something assassins would do, is it?”

No, sire. I am beginning to think Urza misread the prophesy, pardon my questioning.”

It is pardoned and agreed with. I made mistake in siding against the Rangers.”

Yes… I suppose so…”

You were suspiciously silent during the discussion I had with Urza that day.” Lothgar did not speak, only hanging his head in shame. Sydney stepped over to the man, putting a hand on the general’s shoulder to reassure him. “It is all right, my friend. Something happened that day, that I don’t entirely understand… doesn’t matter. I suppose we should be down there for the arrival then.”

Lothgar nodded and turned to the door. Sydney followed him through the halls and down the stairs towards the audience chamber. Guards flanked them as they moved.

I heard that our men were attacked in the forest,” Sydney said. “An unknown force aided the fugitives.”

That is what I have heard as well,” Lothgar said. “We’re still debriefing the men, but a great many mysteries surround that event. General Cyrus was one of the few to return, but he has not been seen since his debriefing. No one has seen him. They brought back some of the arrows they were attacked with. No one in Terran uses such weaponry. I called on the Guardians to confirm a hunch. It would appear that they were attacked by someone using Elvish arrows.”

Elvish? I thought the elves left Terran forever, never to return. At least that’s what the nursery rhymes and lullabies always said.”

It has not been confirmed that elves attacked our men. That does leave the question of where someone would procure elvish arrows, and that could be more disconcerting. Regardless, I do suspect there is still more to be revealed in this situation.”

Agreed.”

They entered the audience chamber, Sydney going to stand before the dais as the delegation entered. Lothgar stood at his side, straightening to full attention as the envoys approached. They approached in lines, each presenting a small gift for Sydney. At the back of the line, they could see the Lady Ashley standing alone. With her her auburn hair tied back in a long braid, the girl looked bored as the line moved slowly ahead of her. Younger than Sydney by a matter of days, she looked out of place as the envoy from her people. With a ornate and glittery silver dress, she moved slow and clumsily with each step as the hem of the dress challenged her.

So what do you think we’ve got here?” Sydney asked. “About the delegation, I mean. Think this has the potential to be interesting?”

Lothgar looked at the young girl and smiled.

I don’t know how her father would feel about you courting her right now,” he replied. “Or her for that matter. Tensions ran a bit high after the pact they attempted to negotiate failed.”

I’m just thinking of talking to her, Lothgar,” Sydney replied slyly. “Nothing sinister or out of the ordinary about it, just some conversation with someone my own age. There are plenty of ways to pass the time until the moment for courtship arrives. I can assure you, my friend, my intentions are entirely within the legal diplomatic normalities.”

Of course, my liege.”

puup

Zev woke up late in the afternoon, the sunlight poking through the flap of the tent. He felt somewhat refreshed after not sleeping for the last day and a half. Merf and Patracolus were still asleep as he moved out of the tent, Viktor and Galic likely joining the elves to keep guard or scout out the area. Most of the elves were gone as he looked around the camp, likely scouting the area around Aven. Two elves sat by the fire as the Ranger approached them. He sat down beside them, eliciting little response from the two elves. The one closest to him had softer features than the others, an elf woman. With black hair tied back in a taunt and thin braid, she appeared locked in concentration on the fire.

Elf maiden,” he asked. She looked over to him. “What is your name?”

They call me Kaylee,” she said. “I am a champion archer of my people.”

I thought the archery yesterday was very impressive,” Zev commented. “My name is Zev, by the way. So what brings you and your friends to Terran?”

As Marizan said, we started hearing voices from the darkness. A returning evil we thought vanquished. Our dreams were ruined by them. Casting the stones, we saw that Terran was in danger. And so we were sent to learn what has transpired here. We were to report to the High King in Aven, but a great darkness spreads out from there.”

Recently we awoke one of the Goblin Lords. He has some great power that I have not encountered before. My comrades and I were barely able to escape him when we did battle with him.”

It would seem we are here on the same matter, although I suspect more to it than you imply.” She held out her hands, palms up. “Would you do me the honor of reading your path?”

He looked at her in surprise, not entirely sure what she meant. Curious, he nodded and put he hands on top of hers. She closed her eyes, pursing her lips in concentration. Zev was not entirely sure anything was happening when she started shaking violently. The other elf looked over in confusion as his comrade broke down in seizures. Rushing over, he caught her before she hit the ground. Zev leaned over and tried to help.

What’s happening?” he asked.

I do not know,” the elf replied. He carefully examined her face. “Kaylee has had particularly strong visions in the past, but this is considerably more fierce than is typical.” He checked her mouth. “Hold her tongue in place. We don’t want her to swallow it.”

Zev nodded, taking the elf woman gently in his arms as her companion rushed off to find some medicines. Once she hit his arms, Kaylee’s trembling ceased and her breathing restored itself to normal. Her eyes fluttered open weakly as Zev looked down on her.

Oh my,” she whispered weakly. “You are a good one. You’ve been a busy little boy. That was considerably more of an intense experience than I anticipated it being.”

What happened?” Zev asked.

I saw the path you must walk. You’re the one who put this all in motion. Awakening the Goblin Lord. You didn’t start it, but you definitely accelerated it. And it will end with you. It all ends with you.”

I… I’m going to die?”

Death is not a thing to be afraid of. I see a great glory for you in the process.” She moved her face to his and kissed him. Drifting back down, she smiled at him. “Trust me. You’re going to be remembered.”

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