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, Bobbie's work don't steal please!!!
~Goddess of Inspiration~
Member No.: 5
Joined: 23-May 06
Deciding there was nothing she could do to make the others see she seated herself next to the cave opening and watched Mika.
Drops of rain glistened in the moon light, falling when a breeze swept through the trees. The night was silent. No owls called to each other, no wolves sang to the moon, not even a bug buzzed about. The emptiness spoke volumes. Something evil lurked nearby. Blocking out her worries and the eerie stillness around her Ketra scanned the night. When she didn't sense anything she began to feel silly. Unwilling to admit that she had acted on impulse instead of fact she continued to reach into the forest. The fist wave was unexpected and rocked her back and sent her head buzzing painfully. The sting had no chance to ease. Evil seemed to be all around them.
“Th...they are here...” Ketra gasped, hoping someone heard her. The buzzing increased sending bolts of pain through her body. It was so intense that Ketra came close to losing consciousness. A heavy hand fell on her shoulder, jolting her out the fuzzy world of pain. Ketra stared up at the man standing over her with vacant eyes. Kneeling beside her the man turned her to face him.
“Ketra, how many?” His voice bounced off the walls of the cave, echoing back to them. Ketra couldn't place the man's name to the face before her. Her mind reeled from the onslaught again.
“Ten at least.” Ketra whispered. Her voice did not carry, it dropped like a heavy stone in a pond. A blond woman moved up beside the man, shock distorting her features. The confusion cleared slowly. She now recognized Thavine and Carina and remembered Mika, their host.
“Thavine, Mika is responsible for this.” Her voice softened. “I don't think I can protect you both and myself.” A tear slid down her face. She could not bring herself to tell them that the power she sensed was stronger then any she had felt before. Hanging her head Ketra stood. Wind wafted through the cave, lifting her hair and blowing it over her face.
“Find somewhere to hide and no matter what you hear do not come out.” Ketra ordered. Carina and Thavine exchanged a glance, making their decision with a single look.
“We go where you go.” Thavine replied, taking Ketra's hand in his.
“We started together we finish this together.” Carina's words were brave nut fear radiated from her. Ketra looked hard at each of her friends. They were willing to risk their lives in a danger they could not understand. She had not known people were like this, other then her guardians. Ketra had always believed her mother and Aunt were different because they shared her gift. Now she was learning it had nothing to do with what you could do but who you were. Heedless of the evil fast approaching Ketra pulled her friends into her arms.
~Goddess of Inspiration~
Member No.: 5
Joined: 23-May 06
Kadin and his companions stopped for the night in a large clearing. Rocks and trees surrounded them and protected them from the chill in the air. They set off in different directions to set up camp. Shyan pulled out the meager dinner they would share while Fegrith pitched the tents and arranged rocks for a fire pit. Kadin watched from the edge of the woods till he was sure that no threat was near then slid off in search of firewood. A sense of danger had grown in him as they traveled. He did not see anything so he assumed it must be from Ketra but every time he sought her mind it was closed. This worried him more then the feeling. He was so used to her touch that with out it he was being to feel beret. While searching the damp ground for some dry wood he again reached for her. This time he found the link open.
Fear and nausea washed over him. The image he received was dark, no light, no stars, nothing. Out of this complete darkness a voice lifted.
“Ketra, what do we do? How do we fight so many?” The womans voice shook with fear.
“I don't know.” Ketra's voice was little stronger, tears in her voice. The implications of what he was hearing took only a few short moments to sink in. Ketra and her friends were being hunted by a large number of those creatures. Forgetting the firewood the half-dragon ran back to the clearing.
Shyan and Fegrith had finished setting up camp and were waiting on Kadin. Both of them jumped when he bounded into the clearing. The wild terrified look on his face stopped either from speaking. Kadin hurriedly packed up his stuff as he explained.
“Shy, it's Ketra. She's near-by and under attack by those things I told you about. We have to hurry there are a lot of them. I'm not sure how much help we can give but I have to try.”
By the time he finished he was mounted and peering down at them pleadingly. Shyan was the first to over come her surprise. Within a few minutes she too was ready to move on. Fegrith took the longest. The young elder was not sure who this Ketra was nor did he know how Kadin could now the danger she faced. However he could not remain in the forest alone. Reluctantly he followed the others example.
Sound returned to the darkening forest. The sounds were not what you would expect to hear in a forest but ones that foretold the evil approaching; mocking laughter and rising winds. Ketra , Thavine and Carina huddled together in the cave, hoping that Ketra could shield each of their minds. The young psychic knew she could not but did not have the heart to tell her friends that. She focused most of her energy on protecting her companions knowing that there was a chance she could shield each of them if not herself also. To her disappointment while using so much of her energy she could not scan her surroundings. There was no way to know how many were out there or if more raced toward them even now.
Voices drifted to them over the rushing of the wind, muffled by the distance.
“You said they were here. Where are they?” The man that spoke had a gravely voice that resembled a growl.
“The cave is where they hide. Easy prey for one such as yourself.” Mika sniveled.
So this is what they plan? To not even give us a chance? Ketra shied away from the thoughts, knowing they would have stood very little chance anyway. Footsteps echoed back to the friends. Ketra glanced at each of them making a decision in that short span of time. Greatly daring Ketra removed her shield and focused on reaching each of the others mentally.
'Thavine? Can you hear me?' She saw his eyes widen and attempted to stop him before he spoke aloud, she failed. “Ketra?” Her fell over his mouth as she shook her head. 'Not out loud Thavine. I can hear what you think when I am linked to you.' Again the man's eyes widened but he nodded. 'Are you speaking to Carina too?' The voice in his mind hide nothing of the fear and sadness he felt. This made Ketra realize that he too knew the chances they faced.
'Not yet. I want us to rush them as soon as they enter this cavern.' She knew her mind voice shook and that there was nothing she could do to keep it from doing so. 'Got ya.' The was unusual excitement in Thavine's mind. Up till this moment Ketra had forgotten the kind of man Thavine once was, this was his element.
'Carina? Don't speak. It's Ketra. I know this is weird but trust me.' Carina's gaze locked with Ketra's, all the reassurance either needed. 'when they enter this cavern we are going to attack. Don't worry this may be our chance to cut an escape.'
So trusting were her friends that they did exactly as she had instructed. The moment the men entered they were shocked and confused to find themselves under attack. Mika fell to a well placed blow while the other was stunned by not only a physical attack but a mental assault also. When both men seemed unaware the three slipped past. They could hear a few more voices but Ketra hoped they would be distracted enough for them to get some distance away before they noticed their escape.
No one, including the monsters were prepared for what they found. A man with a mane of dark brown hair rode onto the trail. It only registered in the back of Ketra's mind that there were two other riders with him, so intent was she on the stranger. The lead rider held a vague familiarity that she couldn't place. She could see his eyes flash with anger and fancied that the night warmed with his presence.
To confuse matters more the strange dusky man leapt off his horse and landed squarely on one of the creatures. The group was so stunned that they didn't rush off into the woods as they planned to do. A woman's voice broke through the surprise.
“Hurry, run or give me your hand.” Ketra blinked up at the woman. Dark hair trailed down her back whipping in the lashing wind. A peace radiated from her. The pull to follow this new person was strong but the need to stay with the dark fighter was stronger still. She glanced back at the struggle.
“You mean to leave him to fight them alone don't you?” For some reason she believed that he could deal with the two he faced now. What she feared were the others lurking in the darkness.
“He is more then what you see. Hurry now while they are distracted.” The person that spoke was not the woman but another man. His mount danced in agitation and all of them could see he had little control over the animal. Carina slipped onto the beast soothing it with words and well placed pats. Once the horse was again calm Ketra got a good look at the stranger that had spoken. He was thin with light blond hair, proubly an indoor type not used to physical exersition. Turning from him she decided this to be the reason he was aiding the escape instead of fighting.
“I will not leave him to fight alone. No matter what else he is. This is my fight.” Ketra's words caught them all by surprise except for Thavine who had also silently decided to stay and receive some compensation for the injuries one of their kind had caused him. The friends rushed off into the fray before any of the remaining group could attempt to object.
'Carina, Keep watch on those two and keep your blade close. These are not the creatures that hunt me but they may well be servants like Mika.' Carina jumped when the words formed in her mind then nodded slowly as Ketra's warning sank into her mind. “I promise Ketra.” She saw her new companions look at her in confusion but chose not to elaborate. “Come on we have to go.”
“You're all crazy.” The young man exclaimed as the two horses galloped into the woods.
“You haven't seen the half of it yet.” Shyan whispered.
“Wait it gets worse.” Carina laughed. The two females spoke at the same time causing Fegrith to turn between them both.
Kadin heard Ketra insist on helping him and wanted so badly to force her away. He could not however because at that moment one of the Vexthar lunged at him, talons extended. The razor sharp points dug into his shoulder as he rolled away only to be countered on the other side by the remaining creature. He had two choices, focus his energy and burn them all or try to roll away a second time. While he weighed the chances of each the choices were both removed.
In a blur of motion Thavine and Ketra joined the battle. Ketra came in swinging where as Thavine dived between them. For the moment Kadin was free of combat. He took advantage of the rest to asses the damage to his shoulder. Two gashes dug deep into the tissue burning from the inside out. Blood oozed from each wound staining his clothes. Deciding he could block the pain long enough to finish these two and help Ketra reach safety he shoved his way back into the fight. He chose the Vexthar Ketra was so that he could place himself between her and the monster. Kadin fully expected the creature to deal with the stronger of the two first but to his surprise the attack came from behind.
Ketra slammed into him causing both of them to fall heavily on the ground.
“You don't know what you face let me deal with it.” Kadin could barely hear her voice over a strange sizzling sizzling sound that zipped above their heads. Looking up he saw a bolt of blue white lightening streak past.
The familiar sound of flames hissed somewhere off to the side followed quickly by an excited shout from Thavine. “Fire kills them Ketra!”.
He ran over to them panting for breath holding a burning log. To his dismay the sky opened up and poured freezing rain on them.
“Let me.” Kadin pushed himself to his feet, allowing Ketra to slid off onto the ground. He turned to face the remaining Vexthar. It's fangs dripped from the promise of fresh blood. A hideous grin formed on it's mouth expecting them to be easy prey. Kadin returned the smile concentrating on building the flame. The grin turned to a look of alarm as it felt it's body warming. Screams bubbled up from the demon's throat when lounges of the blaze began to lick at it's flesh.
Thavine and Ketra watch in growing amazement as the monstrosity's body crumbled to ashes before their eyes and was blown away on the wind.
“How?” Ketra breathed. Kadin looked around to make sure the immediate threat was gone. “I'll explain later. Right now we should meet up with the others.”
Thavine turned to Ketra. “How many are left?”
She closed her eyes for a short time trying to locate the other creatures. “At least seven. Lets find Carina and get out of here.”
Shyan pushed her horse the the limit and then pushed it even harder. She rode so hard that soon her two companions fell behind. Kadin had found a good hiding place not far from the base of the mountains. Seeing the trail he had indicated Shyan finally slowed.
Carina steered Fegrith's horse more to the rear so that she could keep watch for her friends. While riding she noticed that Fegrith seemed oddly calm considering the situation they faced. This bothered her but she could not contact Ketra because she did not posses the power to do so.
The riders did not slow for any reason, not the wild life that also fled nor the swinging branches. Each ran out of fear but each a different fear. Once Carina and Fegrith caught up they edged their way up the trail. They could hear angry howls on the wind carrying from every angle. Carina was the only one that knew they proubly surrounded and vastly out numbered. Though she had only known about the creatures for a short time it had been long enough for her to learn that one of them would be the death of them.
~Goddess of Inspiration~
Member No.: 5
Joined: 23-May 06
The confusion was etched more deeply on Ketra's face then any other. Her lose was completed with an exaggerated shrug.
“Maybe they figured that us all together was to much of a fight.” Thavine volunteered, aware how shallow of an excuse it was.
Kadin, still watching the area beyond the opening, shook his head. “No a group that size could have taken us easily. There is something we are missing.”
Fegrith had been silent up till this moment causing the others to forget his presence. “Yea I'm sure there is but can we keep running like this?”
“What does it matter why they left? They did and now we can use this time to rest before we continue on to Silver Cavern.” Shyan's voice held the weight of their journey and more when she spoke. Kadin shifted to look back at her in concern.
“Yea I guess you're right Shy.” He stood up offering his hand to Thavine.
“I'm Kadin by the way. You're Thavine right?” Kadin was not surprised at the suspicious glint in the other man's eyes. Thavine did not take his offered hand although he nodded.
“Yea thats me. I've taken it upon myself to protect these two.” He gestured to Ketra and Carina, leaving the hinted at threat open ended. Kadin let his gaze wonder to Ketra before he responded to the young man.
“I can see that my friend and I have to say you've done a great job. I am in your debt.” The last statement only added to the confusion in the cave. Shyan seemed to be the only one smiling knowingly.
“Yes Thavine you have made our task much easier. I am Shyan, Keeper of Kadin.” When Thavine turned his confused face to her and then back to Kadin she laughed.
“I know it sounds odd but that is my title. There is much more to our group then you first see.” Shyan smiled warmly at everyone.
“Now let me see..” Shyan walked over to stand next to Carina. “You are Carina, correct? So that means...” Without waiting for Carina to reply she sauntered over to Ketra. “That you are Ketra. Finally we meet.” Ignoring the other womans astonished face Shyan hugged her.
“You know us but we have no clue who you are. How is that?” Thavine crossed his arms over his chest as he spoke, assuming a stern expression. Ketra removed herself from Shyan's arms and quickly retreated to her friends side.
“That isn't true Thavine we know Kadin. Well I know Kadin.” Locking her gaze with the man she had allowed to share her mind. “You're the one that I spoke to. The one that lost a friend right?”
The sorrow that filled both Kadin's and Shyan's eyes gave Ketra her answer long before either ever spoke.
“Yes that was me.” Kadin whispered, his voice laden with sadness. Shyan placed her hand on his shoulder in comfort and Kadin lifted his to cover hers. “The man that died was my father. He and Kadin were very close.”
Fegrith watched the interplay between Kadin and Shyan closely. Everyone was so involved in the strange substance of the encounter to notice however.
Ketra lowered her head. “Sorry for both of your losses. I know the pain of losing a parent.” Carina lowered her own head in thought as she clasped Ketra's hand. Few people knew about Ketra's past and fewer still knew about the pain and guilt she carried because of it. Carina held herself lucky that she had been told but wondered if this odd man would know because of his bond with Ketra. The young woman put the jealous thoughts out of her mind.
“So you know us through Ketra's mind right?” Carina's meek voice lifted over the hushed silence. Startled gazes snapped up and stared uncomprehendingly at her. Fegrith chuckled quietly.
“It seems they were caught up in their memories, ma'am. I am Fegrith Council Elder of Perrin and I assure you I have no clue who you people are. Anyone care to explain?” Now the group turned to face the young elder. Shyan shook her head as if in disbelief.
“I'm sorry Fegrith I got so distracted I forgot to introduce you.”
“Elder?” Ketra's voice mingled with Shyan's as they spoke echoing off the walls in a jumble.
Kadin sifted through his bag and produced a flash light. “I think we all have much to tell.”
Liole cursed the hard tree he leaned against with every breath that night. Shielding the group he caught murmured snatches of their conversation but no matter how hard he tried he could not understand the full extent of what they were saying. Through out the night he felt the presence of his evil counter parts many times. Each time they passed over he strengthened his block and held his breath. The Vexthar sensed his presence as much as he sensed theirs, he however was much stronger. The leader of the band had left the younger ones to the search. The leader is who held Liole's interest. He was stronger then most of the Vexthar that the elderly wizard had encountered. What such a strong creature was doing hunting mere mortals was a conundrum of it's own. The elders of The Vexthar left the more mundane parts of their life, such as hunting, to the younger ones or pawns. The wizards council had much to discuss.
The night ended with only more questions for the entire party involved. As the sun reached the horizon Liole stood with an exaggerated sigh. His stiffened muscles groaned and strained joints popped. Searching the surrounding area once more he slowly walked down the hill, whispering a strange language. The wizards voice drifted on the wind and rose far above him till it finally reached it's destination.
A lone figure on the Sliver Cavern mountain top lifted it's head and nodded as if in consent. Without so much as a sigh the being was gone leaving only the howling of the northern winds.
Shyan was the first to rise that morning after, her dreams having kept her awake most of the dark night anyway. She padded about the cave till the light of the rising sun shone on the entrance then slipped out into the chill morning. As the young woman watched the wildlife she caught a strange voice echoing off the valley walls. Without much success she searched for the source of the words. After deciding that finding the source may not be a very good idea anyway she sat down to try and understand what the being was saying. After many long minutes of listening all Shyan caught was the words
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