Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fireshaper's Staff. 33

The island of Mythioes was one of the most mysterious and strangest places on Keanna Where it was has been known for hundreds of years, but almost nothing else. No one knows what's on the island, nor who might live there. The only thing known was that no one has ever returned from there, and that there was a volcano that erupted very often. Flying around the island, Cutter carried Cheshire while Denner still wearing the Chameleon ring in the form of a Pegasus carried Nautica on his back . By their side, Gaia rode comfortably on a boulder. They all looked out for anything that might cause trouble.
" This is a beautiful island." Nautitca said. " I wonder why no ones here?"
" Its strange." Cutter said. " I feel no fear here. Not even from the animals. I do feel the magic of the talisman."
" Land on the beach." Gaia said.
He dropped the boulder down and landed on the beach. The rest followed him. Cutter put down Cheshire and he took off up the sandy beach.
[Cheshire, Stay close.] Cutter told him.
Unlike a cat, Cheshire ran into the water for a swim. He looked like an alligator sliding through the water. Shifting back to human form Cutter and Denner sat on the boulder Gaia had used to fly.
"Where to now?" Cutter asked.
" We rest." Denner said. " Its been a long flight, and I for one am tired."
" I think we should do this now." Gaia said. " This place feels strange to me. Its not stable."
"What do you mean?" Denner asked.
" This island." He said. Gaia bent over and grabbed a handful of earth. " It feels angry."
Suddenly a blast blow out from the volcano. Smoke rose into the sky and a ash cloud bellowed out.
" You really want to stay here long with that?" Gaia asked with his hands on his hips. Cheshire came running out of the water to Cutter. He stood behind him and whimpered.
" He feels it to." Cutter said as he ran his hand over Cheshires head and back.
" OK." Denner said. "How do we find this staff?"
" Follow the emanations. They should lead us right to it." Cutter said " Come on. Lets get moving."
Cutter and Cheshire lead them off the beach. Its was a very hot day on the island and everyone wore leather except Denner. Heat wasn't a problem for the dragons, nor was cold really. The trail they followed cut through a valley between two mountains. High trees and thick foliage covered both sides of the trail. Suddenly Cheshire hissed. He sense something. They stopped. Cutter cast out his senses, probing the area up ahead.
" There is something here." He said. " I feel raw emotions."
" What do you mean?" Nautica asked.
" Like hate and madness." Cutter frowned. " Its weird."
A noise caught their attention over to the side. It was a crashing noise. They all looked up. Large rocks came sailing off the sides of the mountain.
" RUN!!! " Nautica yelled and started to run. Gaia held up his hand and all the rocks stopped in the air. He sent them back to the mountain to crash back where they came from.
" Wait." He said. " I can handle this."
" Someones up there." Denner said scanning the mountain sides.
" Hold on." Gaia closed his eyes and concentrated. He reached out to the plants on the mountainside. He felt the movements of the creatures walking and hiding in the jungle.
" There are strange manlike creatures up there." Gaia told them.
" People?"Cutter asked.
" No." He said. "Big, hairy but not people. Primitive."
" Lets keep going." Cutter said. " Everyone keep your eyes open."
Everyone moved on close together. Cutter could feel their uncertainty, their uneasiness. It seemed they were heading for the volcano. Not someplace he wanted to go, but the trail leads to where it leads. There was a clearing up ahead. They moved slowly toward it. A shadow passed over them. Nautica looked up. She saw nothing. She kept moving. More shadows passed.
" Did you see that?" She asked Denner.
"What?" Denner asked. Big shadows began to pass over their heads and the sound of wings flapping filled the air. Everyone looked up to an amazing sight. Gargoyles filled the air. One carrying some large animal like a deer. They all landed in the clearing and began tearing at the carcass, fighting over bits and pieces.
" What is that??"Nautica asked.
" They're Gargoyles." Cutter told them. " I didn't believe they were real. But there they are!!"
" I bet I can become one." Denner said. " But bigger."
Denner moved closer for a better look. He had to have a good image in his mind to copy.
" Wait, come back!!" Cutter called quietly. Denner waved him off. He studied the winged creatures until he was satisfied, then he concentrated on the changed. With a flash he became a larger version . He flapped his wings and took to the air.
" Look at him!" Nautica said.
Denner flew a circle around them and landed right in the middle of the feeding crowd. They looked at him and backed away. Denner roared and snatched up the carcass and held it over his head. One gargoyle barked at him and rushed him. With a backhand he smacked it away. The rest went down on their knees and began to hum to him. Satisfied Denner tossed the carcass to them. and started barking and growling at them. Together they all called back. Denner took off into the skies and flew off. He flew around behind them and changed and slipped back to the Dragons.
" I understood them." He said. " I'm the chief now."
" What did they say?" Gaia asked.
" Nothing really. Just that I'm their chief and they will come if I call." Denner told them." Lets go around them. Let them eat."
They backed up and took a different path toward the volcano. The trail was thick and they pushed through.

Back on the beach the four Shadows came down to land. Taren climbed down off Terror and looked around for signs or clues. He saw the footprints of the dragons and knew which direction to go.
" They beat us here." Taren said. " We can't miss this one. Master's going to be so angry. We missed the Stormcatcher Dagger."
" It would have taken troops to get that one." Graym said. "The Werewolves would have attacked us the minute we got there."
" Werewolves."Velusia spat. " You should have let me go in and kill them all. I hate werewolves. Filthy animals!!"
" We can't just kill them." Pelic said. "Polan might have plan's for them."
" What about the Icemen? We killed them? She said.
" They needed the Frost Belt to exist." Pelic said. " We had no choice and Polan knows. He told me to pass the Dagger up. He has plans to get them all."
" We follow them." Graym said. " And take it from them. There's only two Dragons. Lets move."

Deep in the jungles of Mythioes, Denner and the Dragons pushed their way further in. All kinds of strange things were about. Denner was having a great time copying them. Every now and then they heard something crashing around in the jungle, but they couldn't see anything. Curiosity finally got to Denner.
" I'm going to wait in the trees to see whats following us." Denner told them. "Just keep going. I'll catch up."
In an flash he became a parrot and flew up onto the top branches to wait. Everyone else moved on. Moments later Denner heard the crashing coming nearer. He dropped down to a lower branch and watched. Soon five tall manlike creatures came into view. Horrible looking things , like Ogres only one eyed. Cyclops. The all carried clubs. These things aren't suppose to exist. They re suppose to only be stories to scare kids at night, but here they are. Well another beast to add to his list of things he could copy. This island was full of interesting beast. Denner took off to catch the others. Cutter would want to hear about them. From high overhead Denner found his friends on the side of a lake. He came down and shifted back to his normal form.
" This place is amazing!!" Denner said. " Its weirder then Ardia!!"
Cheshire walked to the edge of the lake and started to flick out his tongue tasting the air. Unlike a cat, Cheshire didn't have fur on his back to stand up when he sensed something strange. But his barbed tail stood instead. Ready to strike out at whatever it was that caught his attention.
" I think Cheshire's found something in the lake." Nautica said. " You sense anything Cutter?"
The big dragon cat hissed as bubbles rose to the surface. Suddenly a fin popped out of the water, followed by the head of a handsome man with green hair and slits on his neck. He looked at them and smiled.
" There are Mer people in the lake." Denner said. " I should have expected that."
" Are we gonna have ta stop every time you see something new?"Gaia asked. " We don't have time."
" Hello. " The merman said. " Your strangers here."
" Yes." Cutter said. " I'm Cutter. These are my friends, Denner, Gaia, and Nautica. This is Cheshire."
The Merman swam to the shore. As he climbed out he shook out his hair and tossed it back. He had a very strong body. Musclar arms and legs from swimming all the time. Webbed fingers and long webbed feet. He also had fins on his thighs and forearms. All the clothes he wore was a green and gold pair of trunks.
" I'm Mortimer." He said. "What are strangers doing here on this island of all places.? You know this is a dangerous land, filled with some very ancient creatures "
" Where looking for something."Cutter told him.
" That's funny." Motimer said. " So am I."
" Could we be looking for the same thing?" Cutter asked.
" I don't think so." Mortimer said. " I'm looking for something to help my people."
" Maybe we can help each other." Denner said. " We help you, and you tell us what if anything you know of what we're looking for."
" Seems fair." The Merman said.
" How can we help you?" Denner asked.
" My people live in a village under the lake in Dree not far from here. We,re being hunted every time we come out of the village. Its some kind of monster. We can't hunt for food or harvest our crops. We're starving down there. I'm the only one not in our protected village. I can't take care of this myself. I came above water hoping to find someway to stop it."
" Well." Denner said. "I think we can help you."
" How? You can't breath underwater." Mortimer said. " How can you help?"
" I can!!!" Nautica said.
" So can I." Denner smiled.
" How?" Mortimer asked.
Nautica moved into the water and shifted to dragon. She reared up and blew water into the air. Denner moved in next. He concentrated and in a flash became a great snake like serpent. His long body coiled and twisted around in the lake. Since receiving the Chameleon ring, Denner had been studying all different kinds of beast. This one had a long body all red and gold, with three pairs of legs and great claws and spikes along its body. Its mouth was filled with long pointed teeth and it looked powerful.
" How are you able to do this?" Mortimer asked. " What kind of people are you?"
" We're the Dragons." Cutter told him. "And if you want our help. We'll be glad to help you."
Mortimer look at them all, from one to the others then smiled.
" Yes." He said. "We need your help."
[ Then lets go.] Nautica sent. [ Cutter, will you wait?]
" Gaia and I will keep moving." He said. " I don't want to stay in one place to long."
" Wise decision." Mortimer said as he walked back down to the lake. " There are things here."
" Meet us after your done." Cutter waved as they left." And call me if you need help."

Mortimer dived in with Nautica and Denner following. Deeper and deeper they swam.
[ Its so good to be in the water.] Nautica sent.
She was in her element now. Speeding through the water. Denner next to her really enjoyed this new form. It was a lot like flying, cutting through the water.
[We go this way.] Mortimer waved at them.
He swam deeper and pointed to a large reef. There they found a boulder that covered a hole. Mortimer pointed at it then he gestured as if to push it aside. Thrusting himself forward, Denner swam to the boulder and nudged it aside with his head. That made an opening big enough for all of them to get through. After Nautica was through, she reached back with her tail and pushed the boulder back into place closing the passage. From then on they were out of the lake and into the Shyr ocean proper. Mortimers village was less then and hours away.
[ Over there is my home.]
He pointed to a large area with some kind of strange hazy around it. It was a handsome place. Small buildings no more then two stories high with a rainbow hue about everything. They could see into town. but there was no one visible. The shield kept the monster out but it was weakening. It wouldn't last much longer. Then the people would all be in trouble. All of them.
[Over here.] Mortimer moved behind the rocks. [ We need to watch and see if its around.]
No fish or any life swam by. That was a clue. Something was there scaring away all the fish. They waited for a while, still they saw nothing.
[ This is not working.] Denner sent. [ Nautica. Do you sense anything?]
[I feel hunger and anger.] She said. [ There something out there for sure. Hiding and waiting.]
[What do we do?] Mortimer asked. [Soon starvation will drive my people out of hiding. That thing will grab them out as they come out. We have to do something.]
[Wait here.] Nautica said.
She swam out into the open. There was nothing there.
[I know your here.] She sent out. [Come out.]
Seconds later a huge creature, nothing like a dragon, more like a great alligator came out and charged at her. It had huge yellow eyes, and its mouth was open wide as it rushed at her. Nautica moved fast and dodged the monster. It turned to come around to try again. Denner swam out and caught it in his coils. The thing spun around trying to shake him off. Denner hung on. Trying to rip into Denner with its claws it struggled and broke free. Nautica came in, she raised her tail and stabbed her barbed tail into its back. The gator howled out in pain and took off. Denner and Nautica followed it. Moving at top speed Denner caught it. He wound himself around the great Gator dragging him down. It bellowed out its rage as it thrashed about. Denner held fast tightening his hold more and more. Its head exposed Nautica struck it in the head. Again and again she struck down, stabbing into its head. Soon blood ran from the wound and the brain was exposed. With one last stab Nautica's stinger entered its brain. The monster howled then stiffened as it died. Denner released it and it sank to the bottom. Mortimer came swimming out to them. He had witnessed the battle from behind the boulder.
[How can we ever thank you.] Mortimer said. [We're free now!! I can go back home again!!]
[Your welcome.] Nautica said to him.
[How can I help you?] Mortimer asked. [I can show you around the island if you like.]
[Do you know anything about the Fireshapers Staff?] Denner asked.
Mortimer looked at them. The look on his face told them he knew something.
[The Fireshapers Staff.] He said. [I know of it. Its the bane of our existence. It causes all the earthquakes here. The volcanic activity. This is the third location for our home. Underwater earthquakes cause us to move and killed my people.]
[Do you know where it is?] Nautica asked.
[I think I can help you.] He said. [I know where to is it.]
[Nautica, call Cutter have him meet us at the lake shore.] Denner told her. [You go see your family. Tell them its safe to come out. We'll stay here. We don't want to scare them like this. They'll think we're more monsters.]

Cutter, Gaia and Cheshire arrived back it the lake. They hadn't gone far, Cheshire had been hunting when Nautica called. Cheshire sat crunching on some animal she caught when Nautica and Denner came walking out of the lake.
" How did it go?" Gaia asked.
" Biggest alligator I've ever seen." Denner said. "Want to see it?"
" No, you'll scare Cheshire." Cutter said.
Not far behind Denner and Nautica, Mortimer rose out of the water. He walked up and shook Cutter's hand.
" All's well now." He said. " I thank you for your help."
" Your welcome. Nautica says you know where the Fireshapers staff is." Cutter smiled.
" It's a ways from here. " He said. " I know the way."
Together they all left the lake shore and started back into the jungle. Mortimer lead them with Cheshire sniffing at his heels. The trail they followed was dense , but Mortimer had no trouble finding it. As they walked he explained what he know about the staff and the trouble its caused.
"There are no, how should I say this? Civilized people. There are the Cyclops. They live on what they catch. I'm sure there following us now." Mortimer said.
" They are." Denner ran out to walk beside Cutter behind Nautica, Gaia taking up the rear to protect them.
" There hunting us." Mortimer went on. " They will hunt anything big enough to eat. We're going to have to do something before they corner us in a trap. Then there's the Harpy's. Winged shrieking bird people, also savage. We'll find them once we're out of the jungle and pass through the cliffs ahead. These things have a sense of smell that's very strong. It won't take long for the wind to carry our scent to them."
" What do we do about these Cyclpos?" Nautica asked.
" Can you distract them like you did the Orcs?" Denner asked.
" I think so." He said. " But not for long. There minds are different from Orcs. Not as much fear. Lets see if we can show them something to fear."

The Cyclops moved though the jungle with ease. They had been hunting here for centuries. Tall one eyed men and women, tough skinned shaggy haired primitive people. They were over eight feet tall, heavy browed brutish people. They didn't use fire or tools. Or even have a language. All they did was grunt and yell at each other. A club was there weapon. Swing ans bash then eat it. This time there was six of them following the Dragons. They worked in three party's of two. As the Dragons moved down the trail, the Cyclops tried to surround them from three sides. Slowly they moved in. Listening to the sounds of there prey as they got closer the Cyclops readied there selves to attack. With a roar the leaped out to find nothing there. All six stood there confused. Where was the prey? Suddenly a giant alligator appeared in front of them. Its mouth big enough to chomp a Cyclops down in one bite. It roared at them. To the left of them roared a great tan Dragon. It reached out to grab one of them and missed. They turned right. There they found the green Dragon, teeth flashing in the sun. Screaming in fear the Cyclops 'turned about to run and found the blue Dragon hissing at them. All six dropped there clubs and run between the Dragons as fast as they could. No more hunting today for them. Mortimer and Cheshire walked out of the bushes and found the Dragons all on the ground laughing.
" You could have ripped them apart." Mortimer said.
" Yes we could have." Cutter said. " But their just hungry. I cant fault them for trying to catch some food. Its natural. Anyway, those six wont hunt for a while."

Off they went. The edge of the jungle wasn't far and it only took them a few minutes to reach it. Now they where in a more rocky area, surrounded by cliffs. The trail they were on was very wide. Wide enough for them all to walk as dragons. In the distance they could see the volcano. Heavy smoke always rose into the sky. Making a dark ominous cloud that occasionally rained ash.
" How far to the caves?" Nautica asked.
" Not far." Mortimer told them. " Its just past the Harpy nests"
" We cant go around?" Gaia asked.
" Not possible." He said. " This trail were on is a straight line there. The Harpy's are in the next valley over to the right. They know were here already."
" Mortimer." Cutter said. " We thank you for leading us here. But you should go now, We can't ask you to put yourself in anymore danger."
" You put yourselves in danger for us." He said. " Ill take you all the way. Besides I want to be sure the staff is gone."
" Ok." Denner said. " We should keep moving."
Keeping an eye on the volcano in case it erupts, they quickly moved on. Gaia had power over earth, so he could tell how the mountain was doing. He could feel the pressure building. There wasn't alot of time before the next eruption.
" We need to hurry." Gaia said.
" Is there anything you can do? Cutter asked."
" Only if we get closer." He said. "From here, I can do nothing."
As they ran, they heard a squawk from the skies. They looked back as they ran and saw three Harpy's diving on them.
" Get closer to the walls!!!" Nautica yelled.
Together the group made for the side of the cliffs. Gaia sent rocks skyward, striking some of them, making a few crash into the ground. Cheshire ran on. not looking back. A harpy dived for him. Cutter saw this and ran for him. The harpy grabbed him and began to rise and stared over the cliffs. All the rest of the Harpy's followed.
" CHESHIRE!!!!" Cutter spread his arms and began to shift.
"Wait!!" Gaia said. " Let us help. If you take off and follow them, you'll be swarmed by harpy's. We need you. We'll get him back. But we have to hurry."

Cutter and Denner flew through the sky towards the Harpy. Denner to the shape of Rage, the most powerful dragon he knows. The nest was up a head. They could see Harpy's flying around.[ OK.] Denner sent. [ We have to give Gaia time to get in. So we make a distraction.]
[ Ill cast an illusion of many more of us.] Cutter sent.
He concentrated and formed many different dragons in the sky. All colors winging toward the cliff. The Harpys noticed and came out in masses attacking the dragons., Cutter made them solid enough to battle them. But it was hard to concentrate on to many different things at once. Dragons fell, as did harpy's. Denner and Curry stayed back to direct the fight. Denner protecting him. When Denner took the form of any of the dragons, he also gained use of the abilities. It was no where near as powerful as the real Rages, but he could flame. Harpy's dived on them as Denner blasted them.
[ He better hurry.] Cutter said. [ This is painful.]

As the Earth Dragon, Gaia can move through the earth like water. No vision or hearing. No sonar, just Gaia being in tune with the earth around him. He moved through the rock and dirt quickly. Up into the cliffs to come out in the Harpy caves. Cautiously he stuck his head up for a look. There was Cheshire lying on his side. Through the ground Gaia could feel Cheshires breathing. Gaia moved closer. He could hear the fighting going. He knew he better hurry. [NOW!!] He sent.
Gaia rose up out of the ground and grabbed Cheshire, then the both of them sank back into the ground. He had to hurry back and meet the others.

[That's it!!] Denner sent to Cutter.
He dropped the images of the dragons. All the Harpy's were confused, their enemies had vanished. But Denner and Cutter were still in the air. Denner in the form of a red dragon. They turned toward them and srceeched.
[ Ready?] Denner asked. Cutter nodded his head.
[Now!!] Denner sent loudly.
He blew out the largest gout of flame he could. Cutter magnified it and formed it into a Phoenix. The Harpy's tried to back wing and get away. Some didn't make it and flew into the Phoenix and burned. The rest turned and flew back to the caves. Feathers flew as they pushing and clawing to get back in. On the floor of the trail way Gaia emerged with Cheshire. He layed him down by Nautica and Mortimer and began to focused on the cave entrance. With a simple tug he pulled down the ceiling of the cave and sealed them all in screaming. Cutter and Denner came down and joined. Cutter went and checked out Cheshire. He was waking up, shaking away sleep he had been in.
" He's OK." Cutter said.
" Good." Gaia said. " We need to move. That volcano's ready to go any minute now. Mortimer, which way?"
" We're on the wrong trail now. We have to go around. Its a long way." the Merman told them.
" We don't have time to go around." Denner said. " We go over the cliffs. Gaia, Can you take Mortimer and Cheshire?"
Gaia looked to his left and saw a large flat boulder. He raised his hand, the boulder rose up and sailed to him.
" Get on." He said. Mortimer got on and Cutter carried Cheshire on.
" I'll take Nautica." He shifted to his Pegasus form. And lowered his wings so Nautica could climb on. Cutter shifted to dragon form and flexed his wings. Gaia raised his hand and the boulder rose up into the air.
" Hold on to Cheshire." He said.
Then sent the boulder sailing up and over the cliffs. Cutter and Denner followed him into the skies. They all flew on following Mortimers directions.From the skies they could see parts of the island breaking off and falling into the ocean. Cliff sides were crumbling,trees were down. If this kept up, there wouldn't be very much left. They sped up. It wasn't long before they saw a large cave opening ahead.
" That's it!! " Mortimer pointed. Seconds later there was another explosion from the mountain. Rocks and debris flew into the sky.
[ We better get in there now.] Cutter said.
They all dived down to the entrance and landed. They all shifted back to human form and ran for the cave.
" Mortimer. Please stay out here with Cheshire where its safe." Cutter told him.
" It wont be if that mountain erupts." Mortimer said.
" If we get the staff." Gaia said. " I think the mountain will calm down. Its whats causing all the trouble. The power of the staff is keeping the mountain active. If we can get it out of there , they'll be no more eruptions."
" Then hurry!" Mortimer yelled over the rumbling. Denner and the three dragons ran into the cave. The caves sides were falling.
" Gaia can you hold this together? Cutter asked.
" I can try." He said his short legs pumping. He was struggling to keep up. Denner grabbed him and put him on his shoulders.
" Thanks. He said.
Gaia reached out and concentrated. The walls vibrations became weaker. Deeper in the cave they ran. They came to a blocked section.
" Put me down." Gaia said.
" No." Denner said. " Clear the blocking. We have to move fast."
Gaia put out his hands, then spread them and the blockage cleared.Rocks and debris rolled to the side clearing the way. They ran on. It was beginning to get hot in the cave. They must be either close to a lava vein or maybe there objective. Faster they moved. Occasionally a boulder or rock came at them, Gaia deflected them off to the side. The heat was becoming unbearable. Ahead they saw why. A lava pool. Without stopping Gaia pushed it back.
" That ground is hot." He said. " Whatever you do, don't stop."
They sped up even faster. Their feet feeling the heat of the ground as they moved. Gaia being in tuned to the mountain he could feel the Fireshaper Staff ahead. It emanated so much power, he could find it blind now.
" We're almost there." Gaia said. 'Its there."
They came out in a large cavern full of lava. They couldn't go any further.
" Its up to you now." Cutter said.
Denner put Gaia down. He looked it the lava lake then at his brother's. He shifted to his dragon form then dived into the lava.
[ AHHHHH. ] He sent. [ This feels so good!!!]
" How do you like that?" Denner smiled. " Our Dreik swims in lava."
" Its Earth." Nautica laughed.
Like a sea serpent Gaia rose and fell as he moved. He was enjoying his swim. In the center of the center of the lake there was a raised altar. There sat the Fireshaper Staff. Glowing bright and humming. Gaia stepped out of the lake back in the form of Dreik and walked to the altar. He reached out and grabbed it. At that second, all the vibrations and quakes stopped. All was now calm. Gaia held it up to show the others It. The Staff was almost twice his size. Crusted with Fire Rubies and made of something the color of gold. At its head was a Fire ruby the size of a fist. It was magnificent!! Gaia walked back to the lake. Still in his Dreik form he walked out over the lava. The Staff made him very powerful. He walked back to the others smiling.
" I'm impressed." Denner said in awe." We did it!!"

After following the Dragons, and watching there movements, The Shadows knew it was there turn to act. Mortimer sat at the cave entrance with Cheshire, running his hand along his back as Cheshire slept. Taren slowly walked up to Mortimer with his sword drawn. Mortimer turned with surprise to find the Shadows before him." If that thing wakes and moves on us." Taren said. " I'll kill it. Where are the dragons?"" In the cave." Mortimer said." Fine." Pelic said. "We wait here till they come out and bring us the Staff."

On there way out Cutter stopped. Fear suddenly came at him from outside the cave.
[Cutter. the Shadows have your friends.] Mags told him.
" We have a problem." Cutter told them. " Mags is here. That means the Shadows are outside. " They have Cheshire and Mortimer."
" What do we do?" Nautica asked. "We cant give them the Staff, And we cant let them hurt Mortimer and Cheshire."
" I have an idea." Denner said. " We trade for them."
Gaia started to protest and Denner held up his hand.
" I know what I'm doing." Denner said. " Trust me."

Walking side by side the Dragons emerged from the cave. Mortimer sitting beside the still sleeping Cheshire and the Shadows standing over him. The Dragons stopped.
" You know what we want." Pelic stepping forward. " You give us the staff and you get your friends unharmed."
" And we should trust you for what reason?" Denner said.
" Because you don't want them dead." Taren called, his sword at Mortimer's throat.
"Give me the Staff or I give you his head."
The Dragons looked at each other. It seemed they didn't have much choice. Mortimer and Cheshire's life were more important then the staff. Gaia stepped forward holding the Fireshaper's Staff.
" Don't try anything." Graym said. His wings extended, ready to send out his wing darts.
" Move away from them and we'll send over the Staff." Gaia told them.
He put down the Staff. With a gesture it rose up before them as they waited for the Shadows to move away from there friends.
" How do we know we can trust you?" Cutter asked.
" Do you have a choice?" Graym asked. " We could just kill your friends then fight you for the Staff. Instead we're doing as you say."
Graym and the others moved off to the side away from Mortimer and Cheshire. He kept his wings open. If the Dragons didn't follow through with the staff, he could kill the hostages in seconds. Not that he would, he'd find a way to save them..
" The staff. please." Pelic said.
Gaia sent it slowly forward as they walked to there friends. It landed in Taren's hands. He looked it over then nodded to the others. Taren mounted up on Terror and took off as Velusia shifted to smoke and went after him.
" We go now." Graym said. " You have to get word to Mags whats next."
With that, Pelic and Graym took off into the sky after Taren and Velusia.
" I'm sorry." Mortimer said. " I caused you to lose the Staff."
" Don't worry about it." Denner said. " That was nothing."
" Nothing?" He said. " After all the work you all did to get it? You lost is cause of me. Because I wasn't watching."
" You don't understand." Gaia said.
From behind his back he pulled something. It was the Fireshaper Staff. Mortimer's eyes lite up. " But how?" He asked. " I saw you give it to them!!"
" Illusion." Cutter said. " Soon that Elf's going to realize he holds nothing but a tree branch. We have to be gone by then. And you back in the lake safe.
"Mortimer laughed at the trick they had just pulled.
" I'm gonna get my people ready." He said. " This war may come here. If you ever need my help again, we will be here to help."

Stormcatcher's Dagger. 32

Of all the places in the world, this was the last place Jandar expected to find a dragon talisman. Tir Na, home of the Dark Wolf Clan and the place where Jandar was expelled from. Tir Na was a beautiful land,with great forest and lakes and his family. During the flight to Tir Na, Jandar explained to Rage way he had been banished. For loving a forbidden one. Rejek the vampire. He told him about his hatred for his father Drake, the man that ordered his loves death. Yes, Jandar knew about the hatred his people had for vampires. But Rejek had been a lone vampire meaning them no harm. He had been sent here as a punishment. His people wanted the werewolves to do just what his father had done. And what was his crime? Tolerance. Rejek wanted to end the hatred between the werewolves and the vampires. And he was right. No one even knew why they hated each other any more. But Rejek died trying to bring peace to both there people. And Jandar was banished for helping and loving him.
" So now you know my sin." Jandar told Rage as they flew." I just gave up and left. I swore to help anyone being oppressed. And we have. My brothers and i have done all we could to free people and help in anyway we could."
[ I know love.] Rage sent to him. [Ive seen what you will let me in your mind. Rejek was a good man. And he had the right ideas. Peace is the only way. Hate never works for anyone. But you said brothers? What happened to your other brother.]
" Tof." He said. " Tof will be there. He went home to help our sister Sharone. With all her brothers gone, she had no real protection. No one to fight for her honor and to keep suitors she denied from taking her against her will."
[ Your father would stand for that?] Rage asked.
[ It was my job to protect her. As I  was banished, It fell to my younger brothers. Since they were with me. I had to send Christof back to protect her.]
[Have you heard anything from them?] Rage understood protecting your family, since that's how this all started.
" No.' Jandar told him. " But if there was anything Tof couldn't handle, he would have let me know. All I know is that they're safe, and Sharone will soon marry. It seems she has made her choice and Tof accepts whoever he is. Since I trust Tof, I wont interfear.]
" There it is!!" Ono called from Shayn's back." Tir Na!!"
Up ahead Rage saw the most beautiful forest ever. It was even more amazing then the elf forest. High trees that spread out and reached for the sky. Below he could see a lake sparkling blue in the sun. From up here Rage could see animals running through fields and in the forest. Jandar must miss this place. That's way he came. Banishment or not, he had to protect Tir Na.Rage and Shayn came down and landed in a clearing. It was early afternoon and the Sun was high. Shayn looked around amazed at the beauty here.
" This is beautiful!!" Shayn said.
" It's home." Ono smiled.
" You miss it don't you?" He asked.
" Yeah, a little." Ono told him. " But I've seen wonderful places with Jandar. And met people I really like. People I hope like me too."
Shayn blushed and smiled back it Ono. How does he say how much he likes Ono? Maybe ill just tell him and get it over with.
" How do you want to do this?" Rage asked Jandar. " This one, you lead."
" Thanks." Jandar said. " I'll talk to Tof from here. I want Ono to take you and Shayn to talk to my father. He has the dagger. I've seen it."
" So have I." Ono said. "Why don't I go in first. I'll talk to father and Tof. I don't know how he will feel about dragons around. You know father."
" Stubborn." Jandar said.
" Just like you." Rage kissed Jandar and smiled.
" We'll wait till you call."Ono looked at Shayn. Shayn motioned him aside. They walked over beyond a near stand of trees.
" I want to go with you." He said.
" Why?" Ono asked.
" I have a bad feeling about this." Shayn said. " I don't want you alone here."
" Your worried?" Ono said. " About me? This is my family I'm going to see. What could happen?"
" I don't know. That's what bothers me." Shayn told him
." Ill be safe." Ono said as he reached over and touched Shayn's face. He turned to go.
"WAIT!!"
Ono turned back to see what Shayn wanted. Shayn reached over and took his hand. He looked into Ono's brown eyes.
" You said before you hope people liked you. I do. I like you very much. There I said it."
Shayn turned away from Ono. He was afraid of want he might say next. He wanted to run right now and hide. Ono put his hand on Shayn's shoulder. He turned him back to face him. Then he pulled Shayn into his arms and kissed him. Shayn's eyes flew open, then he settled into Ono's arms and the kiss. Rage and Jandar watch and smiled at them.
" There growing up so fast. Rage said.
" Ahem!"
Jandar made a noise in his throat. then laughed as Rage nudged his arm. Shayn and Ono pulled apart smiling at each other.
" We'll finish this later." Ono kissed him again. " I'll be back."
Before Shayn could object, Ono shifted to wolf and was gone into the forest. Shayn sat and watched as he vanished from sight.
" You think he'll be OK?" He asked Jandar.
Jandar sat next to Shayn and hugged him.
" My Mother would never let anything happen to him." He said. " Nor I hope would father."
" I hope you're right." Shayn watched the spot where Ono disappeared.

Asleep in the family Manor, Tof dreamed of his brothers.They were running through a field chasing a pair of bucks. All three were running full speed as Tof suddenly felt something. A familiar feeling came over him. He know this feeling. He sat up awake.
" There back!!" He whispered.
Tof jumped out of bed and pulled on his pants and boots. He raced out of his room and ran to his parents room. His Mother sat at the window staring out.
" Mother!!" He called to her. " Jandar and Ono's back!!"
She looked up in surprise. Could it be? Is he going to be the answer to her prayers? Tof hurried to her side as she got up.
" Go to him." She told him. " We have to warn them not to come here. Hurry!!"
Tof ran out of the house and through the Tir Na. He knew Ono was close, he wanted to catch him before he came into town. Tof shifted to his grey wolf form and ran.
[Ono, go back!!] He sent to his brother, [ Don't come into town!!!]
To late. Ono had made it to the middle of town. He stopped and turned back to the forest.
" You stop!!" He heard. He turned around and three guards were standing there.
[ Tof whats going on?] He sent. [ Why are stopping me?]
" I'm here." He said running up to him.
" Whats the problem here?"
" This is your brother?" One of the guards stepped forward. " He's under arrest."
" For what?" Ono asked.
The three guards moved in to surround him. Tof's eyes flashed with anger. He stepped up to free Ono from there grasp.
" No!!" Ono said. " Don't fight them. It will only make it worse. Ill go with them. Tell Jandar what happened."
The guards made to take him away and Tof stopped them.
" He is a Prince of the House of Tyr." Tof warned them. His eyes flashing yellow " Treat him as such or suffer the wraith of our family. We'll come for you as soon as we can."
" You better." Ono called as they led him away.Watching Ono being led away angered Tof. His body shook and he howled.
" Awroooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"Running off into the forest, Tof sent his Mother a message telling her want happened. The he went to find Jandar.

Back in the clearing Jandar and Rage talked about how things were turning out when he heard Tof's howl. Jandar jumped to his feet and clutched Rage's arm.
" There's something wrong,!!" He said. "That was Tof calling. He's coming now."
Shayn heard them talking and knew something was wrong. It had to be Ono. He went over to them.
" What's happened to him?" Shayn demanded. Jandar and Rage looked at each other then at Shayn.
"How do you know anythings happened to Ono?" Rage asked.
" He's in trouble. I know it!! Shayn told them." I can feel his fear."
" Can you talk to him?" Jandar asked.
" I don't know."Shayn answered.
" Try." Shayn concentrated on Ono. He could feel where he was. In a dungeon. He called out to him.
[Ono?] He sent.
[ Shayn? Where are you?]
[ With Jandar and Rage, Back at the clearing.]
[ Shayn, tell them they have to get me out. There want to kill us all. We need to get Mother and Sharone to safety]
Shayn relayed what Ono told them as Tof came into the clearing.
" Christof!!" Jandar hugged him. " What the hell is going on here? What has Father done now?"
" Its not Father." He said. " Its Uncle. I think."
Rage walked up beside Jandar. Tof looked at him close.
" A dragon?" Tof said. He looked at Shayn talking to himself on the side. "Two dragon?"
"Actually, its seven dragons." Jandar said. " They're very noble and I'm a part off their family now. This is King Rage And Prince Shayn. Rage, this is my brother Christof."
" I'm honored to meet you Prince Christof." Rage held out his hand and Tof shook it.
" These are bad time King Rage." Tof said. " Fighting in family, Brother fighting brother over a throne. We are sorry to drag you into this."
" Nonsense." Rage said. " We will fight for Jandar and Ono with our life. The have fought for mine. So we will fight for your family."
" This is whats happened. " Tof said. " My uncle, Tyken Ro Has been envious of my father being in line before him for years. This is well known. There has been a few attempts, but we could never prove he was behind them. Now my father is missing and I know my uncle is behind it."
" There's more." Shayn said as he walked up to them." Ono says they going to arrest all your family for heresy. And that includes your mother and sister. He say we have to get him out and the woman away and safe."
" HERESY?" Tof said. "That's a lie!"
" We need to get to Mother and Sharone." Jandar said. "Tof, take Shayn and take Mother and Sharone to someplace safe. Rage and I will free Ono."
" No!!" Shayn said. " I want to go to him."
" SHAYN!!" Rage stopped him. " We will save him and bring him to you. Do as Jandar says and help his family. Protect them, my son"
" I will do as you say, Sire." Shayn looked down.
" Go now." Jandar told them." We have work to do."

Rage and Jandar walked calmly out of the Forest. There were people coming to and fro all over the village. Going about there business. Not many really knew what was going on in there village politics. But Jandar understood it all. Right now his family was being hunted and Jandar wouldn't have that. Not for one second. He walked proudly down the center of town with Rage following. In his hand he held his staff. On his face was a scowl that not many had seen before. Certainly not Rage. In his mind, Rage knew how mad he could get when his family was threatened. Now he would see Jandar's rage. He was afraid for his love. In front of them three wolf men came running toward them. Jandar swept his staff in front of them and changed them back to men. His hand swung up and the three men were tossed aside. They kept moving.
" Don't hurt any of them to bad." Jandar said as he walked.
" Me? Ill try not to." Rage said.
All around them people pointed. Everyone here knew Jandar. They knew what happened. Not all of them agreed with his father. Most were tired of the fighting and wanted a chance at peace with the Vampires. So Jandar and Rage walked on. Two wolf men tried to come up behind them. But its not easy to sneak up on a dragon. Rage turned and blasted them with his flame. Rage has total control of his flame. He singed all the fur off them, then he roared, They took off smoking, leaving a trail of smoke as they ran. Ahead was the council building, there destination. This is where Ono was being held.
[ Ono?] he called.
[ Jandar?] They heard in there heads.
[ Rage and I will be there in a moment to free you.]
Jandar started up the stairs. Behind him many wolf men officers began to gather. They all had spears and swords. Not a threat to Rage or Jandar.
" Do you want me to come in or keep everyone out?" Rage asked.
" Come in." Jandar said as they passed though the entrance. He clapped his hands and gestured to the door. A bright light flashed and surrounded the door.
" No one else will come in or leave this building until I say so. Come on"
" There's still a lot of people in here." Rage said.
" Your point?"" Jandar asked with a smile.Rage laughed as they moved on. A large group of wolf men came around the corner. They spotted them and charged. Rage exhaled a large burst of flame, then he used his fingers and made a circle. The flame began to circle the wolf men trapping them.
" If you move, these flames will burn you to dust." Rage told them. "So don't move."
They moved on down the stairs to the cell rooms. There they found two guards. Quickly Jandar held up his hands and shook them, the guards froze in place.
" Ono" Jandar yelled running into the room. He found him two cells down.
" I'm here!!' Ono got up and came to the door.
" Hows Shayn?"
" No Jandar, I'm glad you're here, or get me out?" Jandar said. He motioned Rage to the door.
" I am glad you're here." He said. He backed away as Rage ripped the door off the hinges.
" He's with your family, protecting them." Rage told him. Ono hugged them both.
" Did you see Uncle?" Jandar asked.
" Yeah, He was here." Ono said. " He wanted to know where you were."
" You should have told him." Jandar put his arm around his brother as the walked back out.
" I was going to." Ono told them. " But he wouldn't shut up and let me. I swear that man loves to hear his own voice."
" Now we have to find father." Jandar said.
" I know where he is." Ono told them. Jandar and Rage stopped and looked at Ono. Drake had been missing for two months. Ono's back a few hours and he knows where he is already?
" Where?" Jandar asked.
" 'Where's the one place father hated most?" Ono asked. He looked at Jandar and smiled.
" The old Baron's Castle!!" Jandar laughed. " HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!"

High above the town sat a lone castle. It was the castle of Baron Valkar, the vampire. Long ago Baron Valkar and his vampire clan ruled all these lands. The werewolves were nothing more then there underlings. Back then werewolves weren't suppose to use or know magic, only the vampire by there laws could. They treated them like dogs. Werewolves were created by vampire magic to do there bidding. But one day things changed. And it was a single spell that changed at all. And the death of an innocent. Hundreds of years ago a werewolf named Azeal Tyr was leader of all of Valkar's wolf pack. He was the most trusted of all his werewolves. So high a place he held that the Baron gave him rooms in the castle. He had access to all the rooms and libraries where the Baron kept his magic lore. Werewolves couldn't use magic they thought. But they were wrong. Some could, they just didn't know it. Azeal read his books. He tried many times to cast spells but was unable. Baron Valkar Zlenka was a mean master. Who loved to punish others. He treated most werewolves like they were beneath him and Azeal saw this. His hatred grew over time for the Baron and the rest of the vampires. A cruel lot they were. Then one day Azeal's son Danik was playing in the courtyard as he walked up. He saw his father coming and smiled. Azeal walked to his son. planning to pick him up and take him to his mother. Before he reached Danik, the Baron came out of the castle. Not watching where he was going he tripped and fell over the little one. Valkar looked down at the young werewolf and in his anger, he cast a spell that killed the boy where he stood. Azeal had just seen his youngest son killed for being in the Barons way. He screamed and words came to him. Azeal spoke those words and cast his first spell. The Baron was burned by the fireball Azeal had cast. That was the beginning of the Vampire Werewolf war. Eventually the werewolves drove the vampire far away from this land with Azeal leading them. Baron Valkar died by Azeal's hand. Beheaded and staked out then burned. No one ever lived again in the castle. Secretly all the were children played there. But if they were caught in the castle, there parents punished them severely. This was the place Jandar hid Rejek. The courtyard was where Rejek died. Now Jandar must go back there to rescue the man that ordered his lovers death, with his new love, a dragon. Fathers going to love this.

Back at the clearing, Tof and Shayn guarded Tof's Mother and sister. Jandar had sent them a message telling them Ono was free and they were on there way. Shayn was in constant contact with Ono, relieved that he was free. Sharone and mother where out of contact with both of them. Neither one having had contact with either in over a year." Where are they? Sharone asked. She paced back and forth. Sharone missed her brothers. She and Jandar were a year apart. Tof and Ono were much younger but Ono was like hers. The little brother she couldn't get rid of no matter what she did or where she went.
" They will be here soon Sweetheart." Tresandra told her daughter. " Sit, your making me nervous."
" Nervous?!!" Sharone said. "Mother, Father's been missing for months. Jandar just busted Ono from the dungeon, and your nervous? "
" Jandar did what?" He asked as he walked out of the woods. Rage followed him and a grey wolf shot past Jandar an launch itself at Sharone. Ono changed back to himself and hugged her.
" Puppy!!" She laughed holding him in her arms. "I've missed you!! I've missed you both."
" So who is he?" Ono asked. "This Aggar?"
" He's a wonderful man." She said smiling. "You'll like him."
" Mother." Jandar walked over and hugged her.
" We've missed you so much." She cried as she hugged him.
" Just you or father to?" Jandar asked.
" He loves you Jandar." She said.
" I don't care any more." He said. "I'll help him. then I never want to see him again."
" Jandar." She said. "I know you think his crime is great."
Everyone looked at her in surprise as to what she had just said.
" Do you understand what you just said?" Sharone asked. " Do you even really understand what father did? He had someone kill out of prejudice. For an old hate that our people have for another. He killed someone because of what he was, not anything he had done. He killed someone his son loved!!!"
" Forget it Sharone." Jandar told her. "All this is more important to them. I'll finish my business here then ill be gone. And they can have there precious kingdom."
" But we're your family?" Tresandra said. She had tears in her eyes. " You can't just walk away!!"
" These are my family." Jandar told her. " Sharone and Tof, Ono and Rage and Shayn and the rest of the Dragons. They love me and stand with me and I'll stand with them. We didn't come here to save father from uncle Tyken. I'd sooner let him suffer and deal with it himself. But the people of Tir Na deserve better then what Tyken Ro will give them. And I guess that's father. But be warned. They won't take it forever. They will see through all this, and then it will be you both facing them. I'm going for father now. I need someone to stay with mother. "
" Aggar will be here soon." Sharone told them. " Can I talk to you a minute?"
Sharone and Jandar walked off to the side for a private talk.
"I'm sorry about all this." She said.
" Its not your fault." He said.
" Let me finish." She put a finger to Jandar's lips. "Once Aggar and I are married, we're leaving here. We've discussed this. We had planned to come and find you and Ono. If these dragon's matter to you, then I'll love them like brothers."
" Thank you." He said. " They are my family.They're Good people. You're gonna like them."
" I see Ono's happy." They looked over and saw Ono and Shayn sitting together and laughing.
" I think they've bonded like Rage and I. They can hear each other over long distances. You now what that means."
" What father did was absolutely wrong, and unforgivable, and I won't make excuses for him." She said. " But after you three left. I want you to know that nothing matter to him but knowing you were safe. He sent familiars after you to watch out for you."
" How do you know this?" He asked. " How do you know he wasn't making sure I wasn't coming back for revenge?"
" Because he made peace with the vampires." She said. "And Rejek now rest in a shrine he created with his own hands. He didn't have it made. He worked for months on it alone. Then put a spell on it. The flame will burn forever and his tears created the fountain."
" Father did this?" Jandar's eyes teared up.
" That's why your uncle's trying to take the country. He thinks fathers become weak because of the peace he made. There's something else you need to know."
" What?" He asked.
" Rejek's only family was two younger brothers." She said. " Father adopted the youngest, Ranjer. He loves that boy so much. I haven't seen him so happy since Ono was born. Jandar he was taken with father. We have to find them."
At that moment a silver timber wolf came into the clearing. He looked around and saw Sharone.
" AGGAR!!!" She ran to him as he shifted to a handsome grey haired man. He held out his arms and she ran into them and they kissed.
" Aggar. This is Jandar. my eldest brother." Sharone introduced them. " He leads the guards in the city."
" We finally meet." He said holding out his hand. " I'm glad your here."
" I'm glad to meet you to." Jandar shook his hand. "And I'm sorry for what we did at the Council building. I had to get Ono out."
" Im glad you did." He said. " It saves me from having to do it. I was upstairs arguing to free him all morning. But Tyken Ro would have none of it. Now there's a arrest order out for me to."
" We have to go for father now." Jandar said.
" Go where?" Tof said." Ive search everywhere."
" Have you searched the castle grounds?" Ono asked.
Tof looked at him with his mouth open. The one place he never even thought to look. The perfect place to hide him cause no one would think to go there to look.
"I haven't been in there since we were pups." Tof said. " I never thought to check there."
" We need to go now." Jandar said. " Aggar ill feel safer if you stay out of this and with Sharone and mother."
" I will protect them." He said. "Don't worry."
" I want Shayn to stay to." Ono said.
" If you go, I go." Shayn told him. " Will you stay here?"
" I have to go, Its my father." Ono said holding his hand. " But I want you safe. Your important. Think of your people."
" I am." He said. " I'm thinking of you and Rage and Jandar. Your gonna need me. I'm the best healer here.Someone may get hurt."
" He's right." Rage said. " A dragon knows his duty."
" Lets go." Jandar said. "The five of us. We meet at the castle."
With that Jandar shifted and took off into the forest.
[ Rage, Are you coming?]
[ Yes love. I'll be flying right behind you.] Rage jumped into the sky and shifted then flew toward the castle with Shayn right behind him. Tof and Ono ran after Jandar.

The moon was full and the castle dark as they all arrived at the castle . No sound could be heard around the castle and that was strange. The forest was usually very busy with animal life. Now it was quiet.
" Tof, Ono." Jandar said. "You take Shayn and find the young vampire. I want him safe. Or i want to know where his body is. Rage and I will get father. Don't wait for us. Take him to the clearing and stay there."
Ono started to say something and Jandar stopped him.
" Ill get him." He said. "Whats the boys name?
"" His name is Ranjer." Tof told them." We'll find him. I know his scent."
" OK, You three go now." Jandar hugged them all.
" Be careful."Shayn hugged Rage and left with Ono and Tof. Jandar stepped up to Rage.
" I'm not going to ask you to go easy." He said. " There going to try and kill us. We do what we have to."
Rage took Jandar in his arms and kissed him deeply." I love you." Rage said " Since the day we met."
" I love you too." Jandar said. " Forever."

Tof, Ono and Shayn slowly walked into the castle. The boys hadn't been in there in years. But they knew every inch of the place from the dungeons below to all the apartments above. After going in,Tof sniffed around trying to pick up Ranjer's scent. At the door he caught something so he knew he was here. He walked in and over to the stairs. Father was downstairs, that was Jandar's mission. Ranjer was upstairs, his scent led up.
" Come on. He's upstairs." Tof told them.
" Hold on." Shayn said. " I want to know what else is up there."
" What are you going to do?" Tof asked.
" Shhhh" Ono said. " Watch."
Shayn whispered a few words and a firefly appeared. Shayn waved it upstairs. On it flew up the stairs and around through the castle. It passed strange men, men in Black armor. Polan's men. On it flew into every apartment. At last it flew into a room with werewolves and a young boy. It had found him. The firefly went out the window and winked out. Back downstairs Shayn opened his eyes.
" We have a problem." He said. "There are Black armors up there."
" Damn!!" Ono said. "We cant get away from them."
" Are they a problem?" Tof asked.
" Yes." Ono explained the war and some of the things that led up to this point.
"Look, There are six Black armors and four more werewolves." Shayn told them. " What do you want to do? Rip and tear or magic?"
" Magic?" Tof said. " How talented is he?"
" I can put most of them to sleep." Shayn said." Or paralyze them."
" Cast you spell." Ono said.

LULLABY E AND GOOD NIGHT
GO TO SLEEP EVIL AGENTS
THE TIME IS RIGHT
TO FREE LITTLE RANJER"

" Now we wait a minute." Shayn said. "It will work on the Black armors but they're not really evil. We'll have to fight them.
" Not a problem." Tof smiled. Seconds later he had shifted to his wolf man form. Ono stayed in human form.
" Lets go." Together they crept up the stairs. At the floor where Ranjer was being held they came on two Black armors laying on the floor. They stepped over them and kept going.
[That way.] Shayn pointed. Down the corridor they moved silently. A were in human form stepped out of a room, Ono punched him in the jaw and dropped him. Shayn caught him and laid him down. Tof took the lead as they moved.
" Duck!!" Ono whispered.
Quickly they ducked into a room as another Were walked out of the room Ranjer was being kept in. He saw the men on the floor and rushed to see what happened. As he reached the room they were in, he saw Tof and slash at him. Tof raised his arm and was cut with the knife he held. Shayn reached out and grabbed him. He swung the man against the wall and cracked his head. Two down.
" Tof is hurt." Ono said quietly." I want to try something." Shayn said to them. He shifted to his white dragon form. Being the size of a horse Shayn was the smallest of all the dragons.
[ Back up.] He told them. [I'm going to use my breath.]
After taking a deep breath he exhaled toward the room the last two werewolves were holding Ranjer. Then Shayn licked Tof's wound and healed him. Shifting back to Shayn he checked Tof's arm. Nothing but a scar remained.
" Come on." He said." What was that?" Tof asked.
" My dragon breath has many effects." Shayn said walking down the hall. " It can flame like Rage or poison like Polan."
The walked into the room and found the to Lycans and Ranger asleep.
" Or send you to dreamland like Cutter." Shayn smiled. " Go get him and lets get out of here.

Together they walked to the castle entrance. Jandar summoned his staff, It appeared and he reached out and took it. Before them was the courtyard that Rejak died in. His shrine stood on the spot where he died. The shrine was a beautiful fountain . The base was a marble pool with a centerpiece that stood up in the middle. On top was fixed another bowl. water spread out and ran over into the lower base. In the middle of the bowl stood Jandar and Rejek. A flame burned over there heads.
" Its beautiful." Rage whisper to Jandar.
" Father did this all himself by hand." A tear appeared in Jandar's eyes. " Lets go get him ." Snapping his fingers an orb of light appeared before them . It moved in front of them as the walked. The doors to the castle were open. They moved into the foyer, from there Jandar sent a probe to search the castle.
" Dont bother." Rage said. " There in the dungeon. I can hear them talking. Someone talking about how the people have been betrayed. And that that abomination has no place here."
Jandar took off to the right and down some stairs.Two flights down they saw light on the bottom floor. Rage stopped Jandar.
[ Theres more then ten people down here.] He sent. [We go slow.]
" I wont hate anymore." Jandar heard. "Its cost me all of my children. I banished my son. My Jandar! Do you have any idea how proud I am of him? The things he's done since he left. My son helped bring down a God!! A God Tyken!! How could I be so stupid?"
Drake Tyr was tied to a rack on the far wall. Tyken Ro walked up to him and smacked him.
" He deserves to have been executed for loving a vampire!!!" He screamed in his face."There our born enemies!! How dare he heal one."
" No." Drake said. "They were right. That war ended hundreds of years ago. Let it go."
" NEVER!!!" He hit Drake again and again." I'LL KILL EVERY VAMPIRE UNTIL NOT ONE OF THE UNDEAD THINGS WALK THE WORLD!!"
Jandar stepped out. He'd seen and heard enough.
" Hit him again and I swear ill make you burn for hundreds of years!!! He said calmly. "JANDAR!!!" Drake called to his son.
Tyken turned and saw his nephew and and the man in red standing there.
" Kill them!!" He ordered. Wolfmen came running from all directions. Rage shifted to dragon and waded in. Slashing and biting, Ripping werewolves apart. Some were armed , but it didn't matter. He flamed them and fought on. Jandar walked to the rack and freed his father. Tyken had run for a dais and grabbed something.
" Jandar." Drake said as he fell into his son's arms. "I'm sorry. I know you'll never forgive me for what I've done, but I am so sorry.
" I love you dad." He said. " its alright."
" He has the Dagger." Drake told him. "Be careful!"
" I will." Jandar waved his staff over his father and sent him to a safer place out of the way of the fighting. Then he turned to his uncle. His anger was murderous.
" Well if the Traitor hasnt returned to us." Tyken Ro said walking in front of the torture table. "Why have you come back?"
"I'm back for that dagger your holding." Jandar walked out to the middle of the floor. Rage tossed the last of the wolfmen aside and came over to Jandar.
" Take my father to safety." He told him.
[ Are you sure?] Rage said. He flexed his wings then smoke escaped from his nose.
" Yes, I can handle him."Jandar reached out and ran his hand along his snout. "Go."
[ I will wait outside with your father.] Rage turned and walked over to where Drake was laying. He picked him up and put him on his back and carried him upstairs.
" A dragon?" Tyken said. " This time its a dragon? Have you no shame?"
"None, Rage is a better man then you will ever be." He said. " And who I love is none of your affair."
" I always wanted to slay a dragon. Ill take care of him and your father after I kill you." Tyken said with an evil grin. The dagger glowing in his hand.
" Do your worse." Jandars staff began to glow as he centered his power.Tyken swung the dagger around and lightning flashed and shot out at Jandar. He held out his staff and it took the strike. Jandar pointed at Tyken and showered him with magic darts. Circling the dagger over his head the darts were deflected. Holding out his palm, Tyken caused the wind to roar through the dungeon, battering at Jandar. He stood straight up against the winds.
" You better do a lot better then that if you want to kill me." Jandar told him. "I'll show you power."
Jandar spun his staff and began to rise into the air. He folded his legs in a lotus position and sent fire blasting out it his uncle. He tried to dodge but was hit a few times. He slapped at the burning places then looked up to see Jandar pointing at him.
" Give up." Jandar told him. " You have a very powerful item there. But your no magic user. You have no idea how to use it."
" I'LL KILL YOU WITH IT!!" Tyken swirled the dagger around till a vortex appeared. He sent it at Jandar. Jandar held out his hand and the vortex stopped in place. He held it there while he floated.
" Last chance." Jandar told him." Give me the dagger. Leave Tir Na forever and I wont kill you. Your family, I owe you that."
" YOU CANT KILL ME." He screamed back. "I HOLD THE STORMCATCHER'S DAGGER!! ITS MINE!!
" But I can control it from here! " Jandar touched his temple and the dagger glowed brighter. Lightning flashed out of the dagger, burning his hand. He dropped the dagger. Jandar held out his open hand and it flew to him. The vortex began to move again. This time toward Tyken Ro. His eyes openned wider knowing what was about to happen. He tried to run but he was caught in its suction.
" NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" He screamed as he was pulled in and torn apart. Jandar settled back down to the ground as the vortex dissipated. He looked around at all the dead or wounded men laying around. The walked up to the stairs and began to make his way out of the castle.
[ Mother, Sharone. I'm bring Father home. Its over. Come home.]

Back at the Manor everyone gathered around. Father was safe and Ranger was in his own bed. Jandar sat at his side and looked at him. He looked so much like Rejek. Rage walked in and stood next to him.
" He's a handsome lad" He said.
" That he is." Jandar looked up and smiled at Rage." Can I ask you something?"
"Anything." Rage bent over and kissed the side of his face.
" What happens when this is all over?" He asked. " You go back to your cave?"
" Not without you." He sat down next to Jandar and put his hand over Jandars.
"I cant live in a cave." Jandar said. " I have to be in the open. We werewolves need open space." " Then no cave for us.." Rage said. " I don't have to go back and stay. I have to get the spirit back, Yes. But we can start somewhere else. Here if you want."
" No not here." Jandar said. " I love my parents, and I forgive my father. He's made a lot of changes for me. But i cant live here."
" Then you better tell him." Rage said. " Come on. he's awake now."
Together they left Ranjer's room. Jandar looked back to see the boy sleeping.
" I'll be back little one."As they left the room, Tresandra came out of their room. She stopped and looked at her eldest son.
" I owe you an apology Mother." He said. " There's so much I didn't know."
She smiled to him and touched his face.
" Rage, do you mind we talk for a minute?" She asked him.
" Not at all M'lady." He bowed and winked at Jandar.
" Come with me." She walked back into Ranjer's room and shut the door.
" Look at him." She smiled. " He's our hope for the future. He's here because of you."
" Tell me what happened," They sat on a couch by the window.
" After you left your Father was anger. He was mad at the world and nothing I said or anyone else mattered. All because of the Vampires. He walked around in a daze. He loves you so much. One day he made his way to the castle without even knowing where he was going. Then it hit him. What had he done? He killed someone you loved. What if someone had killed you? That thought was almost more then he could bare. You were gone and it was his fault. And he might never see you again. All because of a stupid prejudice. Rejek was only trying to end the hate between our two people. That's when he made the decision to do what Rejek was trying to do. He came home and told me he was going to the Vampires. I begged him not to. I was afraid they were as stupid as we were. But you know your father, Hes not afraid of anything. And once he's made up his mind, there's no turning back. He went. When he came home, he was beaten and carrying Ranjer. The second most beautiful little boy I've ever seen. No babies cuter then Ono."
They both laughed.
" Did he tell you what happened there?" Jandar asked.
" Not only did he tell me." She said. " He took me there with him when he went back. When he arrived in Yadessa, he was taken captive. Think about it, a lone werewolf appears in a vampire city,holding the ring from a family crest of one of there leading clans. Some thought him mad. He was beaten then brought before there king Valkar. Your father laid down his life before Valkar. He told him everything. He said his son had fallen in love with this vampire and took a chance on being put to death to save him. Now here he was begging there forgiveness for killing him. Somehow Valkar saw the truth in him. What a wise man he is. We owe him your fathers life. And I thanked him with tears in my eyes. He promise that the vampires would never raid or come into our lands without coming to us first. We promised friendship as long as we ruled. Then he ask your father to raise Ranjer. That way we would remember Rejek always. When we came home, he built Rejek's shrine. He brought Ranjer before the council and told them what he had done. Some were angry. Your uncle, his own brother.That's when this all started."
" Mother?" A voice came from the bed.
Tresandra got up and went to the bed. She smiled when she saw him awake.
" Here's my little one." She hugged him. " How do you feel?"
" Hungry." He said.
" I'll get you something in a minute. I want you to meet you big brother Jandar. Say hello."
She waved Jandar over.
" Hi little brother!!" Jandar smiled at him. " I'm glad to meet you."
" Hi" He said. " You know what happened? Some bad men took me and father away. I was scared. But father kept telling me you were gonna come get us. Is father ok?"
" Yes little one he's gonna come in to see you soon." Jandar told him. " You get some rest and something to eat. Ill be back before I go."
" Ok." he said. Jandar went to the door and opened it." Jandar." He called.
" Yes?" Jandar stopped and looked back."Thank you for helping father and me. "Ranjer smiled." " That's what big brothers do." He went back to the bed. " Ranjer. You remember when father was talking to you in your head?"
" Yes."
" If you ever need me. Or you want to talk. If your ever in trouble and you need help. I want you to call me, just like went you talked to father. Ok?" A tear rolled down Jandar's face.
" Ok." He said. " I will."
Tresandra smiles as her son left the room. Outside the room Rage waited. One look at Jandar and he knew things would be alright here.
" Go see your father." He told him. "Ill be downstairs."
Jandar nodded and went into his parents room. Father was in bed, Sharone was talking to him. She smiled as he came in.
" Give us a few minutes Princess." Drake said.
As she left she hugged Jandar and whispered " Thank you." Then she ran out.
" Its been a long day Huh?" Jandar sat at his side. Drake held out his hand." Help me up." Jandar took his hand and helped him to sit up. Drake put his arms around his son and started to cry.
" No father don't cry." He said as his tears began. They both sat there holding each other crying.
" I knew you would come." Drake told him. " Rejek kept telling me you were coming to save us."
" What?" Jandar asked.
" Over and over I kept hearing Rejek say, Hes coming for you. Hes coming for you both. " Drake laid back on his pillow.
" Rejek is out there at the shrine."
" Ok, father. I believe you." Jandar said. " That's the kind of man he was."
" I'm sorry I didn't see him for what he was. I was blinded by hate." Drake said. " Can you forgive me?"
" I already have." Jandar said. " I heard what you told Uncle, and I saw the shrine. And I've seen Ranjer. I'm proud of you father. And I love you very much."
" I had to make amends for my stupidity." He said. "Even Valkar agrees, That war is in the past. We have to move on. It wasn't him that Rejek was running from. It was grandfather. And he's been taken care of by Valkar."
" Its ok father. All that is over now." Jandar took his father's hand.
" So King Rage huh?" Drake smiled. " And this Shayn is a King too?"
" You don't miss much do you?" Jandar smiled.
" Its good to be the king." They both laughed.
" Father." Jandar said. " You have to get back on your feet fast. I'm sending Shayn in here to heal you. Theres a war coming and Polan's men were helping Uncle. They wanted the dagger."
" You have it?"He asked.
" Yes ,and I need it to destroy the enemy." Jandar showed it to him.
" Take it." He said. " We don't need it. Just come back after its over. We'll miss you."
" I will, I promise." He bent and kissed his father's forehead. "I need to get going."
" Take good care of Ono." Drake called to his son as he turned to leave.
" Don't worry." Jandar said. " Shayn will. You take care of my littlest brother. He's our future."

The Frost Belt of the Dragon King. 31

Jayce, Ariel and Nautica were the next team sent out. There destination was the country of Kensor. A isolated country to the north. It was a frigid place covered with ice and snow. Usually ice bound so not many ships came here. Why would they? There wasn't much here to export. The people here learned to provide everything they needed themselves. During the winter all the inhabitants lived under ground with heat provided by thermal vents. Magic was practically unknown here and the people were simple. There were not many wars here. The only thing they feared were the wild Kensi and the real snowmen that roamed the lands. The Kensi were tall white furred tribal men that hunted with huge white furred dogs. So big they rode them. Kensi lived in the high caves and in the mountains. They hunted cave bears and the seal like creatures that swam in the rivers and ocean. They also hunted people. No one in Kensor traveled alone or without weapons. The most useful weapon up here was called a blaststone. The Blaststone was a magical weapon. Developed to fight the snowmen. Heat was there only weakness. Everybody learned to use one as a child and always carried one. The snowmen were really snowmen, made of snow and ice and magic. Intelligent with a real hate for anything warm blooded. There touch could freeze any warm bloods. They made there homes in ice cities hidden in the glaciers. That was where they hid during the warm seasons. But now, ice and snow fell, so they were out on the ice trying to find a way into the human underground city of Torcin. Torcin was one of seven underground cities in Kensor. It was the largest city in the north and had the biggest population. Down below they had farms and livestock breed to survive in colder climates. The most popular means of travel down there was ice skates and spiked shoes. It was a pretty happy place. and things were about to change.
" Thank god for Jandar's heating spell." Jayce said as they flew on. " Without it I'd have froze be now."
" I think it feels good." Nautica said riding on Ariel's back. " Almost like the bottom of the ocean. I'm good with cold and I have limited ice powers."
[That could be a big help here.] Ariel sent. [ Either of you see any cities or towns?]
" Not a soul." Jayce peered out and scanned the lands they passed over. " I've seen a few caves and some pretty big animals. Hell if I know what they are. But no people so far."
" We're pretty close to where Insa said to go." Nautica said.
" Look over there!!" Jayce pointed. There were two people running from something. Whatever it was, it was huge, furry and fast.
" Come on!!" Jayce said pulling his sword. " We have to help!!"
Angling his wings, Jayce went into a dive. As they got closer they realized it was one of the Kensi on his dog chasing two people. Jayce flew over his head and swung down and smacked the rider on the head. He rolled off and crashed into a snowbank. Jayce landed in front of the two men who had stopped. The Kensi rose up to his feet and stood over seven feet tall. He beat his chest and roared. From his mount he pulled a spear and drew back to throw. Suddenly a lightning bolt struck the ground at his feet. The Kensi jumped back and looked up. Ariel and Nautica were coming down fast. Growling the Kensi grabbed his mount and climbed on and the dog took off.
" Are you all right?" Jayce asked turning to the two men in white fur coats. Both men pushed back there hoods to reveal two young boys. One of sixteen the other about twelve smiling at them.
" We thank you winged man. " One said. " My name is Xander Corden. This is Drew my younger brother. We are returning from Amon to the east. If you hadn't come alone we might have been the Kensi's tribes dinner tonight."
Beside Jayce, Nautica stood with Ariel still in her dragon form.
" Is that a dragon?" Drew asked from behind his brother.
" Yes. Her name is Ariel." Jayce told them. "Watch her."
With a flash of lightning Ariel shifted to her Elven form, the beautiful Seven. She stepped up to Drew and knelt and extended her hand.
" It nice to meet you both." She said.
" WOW!!!!" Drew said.
" What are you two doing in the middle of nowhere?" Nautica asked.
" Nowhere? " Xandar said. "Our cities right over there."
He pointed over to the cliffs behind them. Jayce and the others saw nothing , Xandar could tell by the looks on there faces.
" Come on." He said."Ill show you."
Together they walked towards the cliff Jayce looked ahead. There were cave openings. But he didn't see any city. The boys had to come from somewhere out here. He purposed the city could be hidden by magic. But he didn't feel any magic. Jayce didn't do magic, but he had a feel for it. He could tell when hes around it, and here he felt nothing.They made it to the cliff wall and stopped. Jayce looked around, now what? Form his pocket Xandar took an oval stone. He placed it in a hole on the cliff face. And pushed it in. Light shone from under and all round the stone. There was a creaking noise and a doorway opened in the ice cliff.
" Magic?" Jayce asked as he looked over the opening.
" No." Xandar said ushering them in. " It's science. Mechanical. springs and weights that are activated by my blaststone. The stone provides power. That's magic."
Together they all walked in being careful on the ice. The corridor they walked was brightly lit by reflected light from up high. Jayce and the dragons looked around there were carved images on the walls. Pictures of scenes from the city's history. From the carving of the city to strange creatures they encountered on the ice. There were pictures of both the Kensi and the snowmen, Both of them frightening. Up ahead they saw some kind of metal contraption. Drew walked in and Xandar held thew door for them. Jayce looked at Nautica. Then shrugged and walked in. Xandar shut the door and placed his blaststone in its place. The cage lurched to life and began to move.
" Hold on." Drew said. " It moves pretty fast." Sliding down a ramp the cage picked up speed. Ariel looked from Jayce to Xandar. Xandar and Drew didn't have any fear in there eyes so she relaxed a little. Nautica was scared to death, and Jayce loved it. Moving around curves and going higher then a steep dive, the cage slowed to a stop. Xandar took his stone as he opened the door.Nautica stumbled out on shaking legs looking green. The rest followed, Jayce with a look of pure delight.
" Lets do that again!!!" He said.

On an icy plain, Taren and the Shadows came to ground. This had been a long cold flight for Taren. The only thing that keep him warm was the heat from Terror. As a demon, Terror's body produced large amounts of heat. Enough to keep him warm as long as he stayed close. Graym to was cold. He was wrapped in his wings to fight the cold. But he wasn't as cold as Taren, his shadow abilities partly made him immune to the cold. Pelic and Velusia didn't seem to feel it at all.
" Which way do we go? " Pelic asked.
Taren opened the map and took a look at it. There was a flashing spot a little to the west. That was there destination.
" It's that way. West." He pointed.
" Good. Lets go." Pelic started forward.
" But were not alone." Taren stopped him.
" What do you mean?" Graym asked.
" The dragons are here to." He said. " I can feel them."
" Which way?" Pelic asked.
" See those cliffs? They went that way."Taren motioned to the north.
" That's the wrong way."Graym looked at Pelic. " They're on the wrong track."
" I think we should slow them down if we can." Taren said. " Or kill them. Polan would be pleased."
" Lets see where they went." Pelic said. " Then we can see what we can do."
" Why don't you three head west." Taren suggested. " Terror and I can check it out, then meet you. If there's any why to slow them, we will.
Pelic thought for a minute. There was no way he could stop Taren. He was right. Slowing the dragons was the right thing to do. But he must try and warn them. He could send Mags to find them.[I HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS. I'LL FIND THEM.]
Off Mags went to search for the dragons. Mags sailed off to the cliffs. He sensed the dragons here.But he didn't see a entrance. No matter , he'd go through the wall of ice. He reached out to pass through and met resistance. These walls where imbued with some kind of magic that stopped him from passing through. He had to find a way in. He searched all along the wall and found nothing. No way in. He went back to the place where the dragons entered to wait and see what Taren would do.
" Do what you can to slow or stop them then meet us." Pelic told Taren.
" Keep west." Taren said." You'll run into a glacier, that's your destination."
" We'll wait for you to enter." Graym told him. "Hurry."
Terror took off as did the Shadows. Terror flew north to the cliffs. Using his elven sight, he could see there tracks. There's two dragons and three others. The tracks end at a wall. There he could see many other tracks. Mostly human, but a lot of something else. Something that didn't get in through the wall.
[SOMETHING HUNTS HERE] Terror sent. [SOMETHING BIG]
" I see that." Taren frowned. "This is a human settlement. Whatever it is, its hunting the people."
[THEN WE HELP THEM IN.] Terror suggests. [ THEN THEY WILL BE TO BUSY HELPING THE HUMANS TO GET IN OUR WAY.]
" Can the smash through this wall?" Taren asks.
[ WE'LL SEE.]
Terror blew fire out and melted the ice all over the entrance way. It was thick so it took time but finally he was through to the stone doors. These he smashed with his hooves. Soon the was a large opening. Large enough for Terror to pass through. Then Terror roared a call to the Kensi.[ THAT WILL BRING THEM HERE. WE GO NOW.]
Taren climbed back onto Terror and they were off to the west. Mags watched Terror bring down the wall. What power the horse has!! This was the opening he needed. He flew in and settled for a seconds to orient on the dragons. There they are. He made his way down through the maze of tunnels to the city cavern. Now to find the dragons.

Torcin was one of the most beautiful places Jayce and the dragons had ever seen. Down there they had marvelous white stoned buildings, stone paved roads, and ice roads. The buildings were tall up to five stories. Lighting was provide by the sun and mirrors. Reflected light and some kind of solar powered batteries. These people had achieved a level of science that was unknown to the most of the world. Jayce had been to many places and seen many things,which included science. Everything here was clean and beautiful. They kept it that way. The people laughed and everyone seemed happy. Xandar took them to see the city manager. Maybe he knew of the belt. His name was Janos. He was a tall man and very busy. He saw them in his office.
" Thank you so much for saving the boys." He said shaking there hands.
" Your welcome." Jayce said. " There great boys. But we need your help."
" Sure. What can i do for you?" Janos sat down and motioned them to sit to.
" Where looking for something that might be here." Ariel said. " Its a belt."
[ JAYCE!!] Mags flew in the window. Jayce turned as he heard his name called in his head.
[ WE HAVE TROUBLE. THE SHADOWS TORE DOWN THE DOOR AND NOW THIS PLACE IS NO LONGER SECURE.]
Then a loud roar echoed through the city.
" What was that?" Nautica and the rest jump to there feet.
" That's the Kensi." Janos said as he rushed to the door.
" Somehow they got in."
On the wall by the wall there way a switch for a speaker system, Janos turned it on.
" ATTENTION!!. ALL MEN AND WOMEN. THE KENSI HAVE BROKEN IN. DEFEND THE CITY. THEY MUST BE REPELLED."
" We want to help." Jayce told him. He pulled his sword from its scabbard.
" Go back to the entrance." Janos told them." That's where they're coming in. We have to get them out."
" Follow me. " Xandar said as he ran out. Reaching in his pocket he pulled his blaststone.
"This way"
They made there way quickly through the city. They could hear howls and screams from everywhere. People ran in a panic to fight.
" Lets hit them Ladies!"
Jayce took of into the air. His wings took him high and he scanned around for the Kensi. Ariel and Nautica shifted and went to work, Ariel in the air with Jayce and Nautica on the ground. There were many men fighting and being tossed like dolls. Jayce dived down and slashed about them. Ariel flew over head and sent lightning down on them. Kensi ran crazy creating havoc in the city. Men used there blaststones and shot heat beams at them. Kensi died everywhere. Nautica ripped and tore through them,roaring. Xandar pushed Drew into a room and blocked the door so none could get in.. He stood there blasting any Kensi that came near. One of there dogs rushed at Xandar. From above Jayce saw Xandar was in trouble. He dived down and came between Xandar and the dog. Jayce slashed at its legs to bring it dowm Snapping at him the dog lunged for Jayce. Screaming his rage Jayce thrust out and stabbed the dog in the throat. It fell dead it his feet. Looking around he saw that the Kensi were running back to the entrance. But a few still fought. In the corner Janos was backed in.
" Stay here. Protect your brother."
Jayce took off to help Janos. He came in behind the two Kensi. One turned to attack him and he drove his sword into its chest. It screamed and fell away. Jayce slashed it the others back. With a back hand it sent him flying back. Enraged the Kensi turned on Jayce. With bloody claws It reached down to grab him. Suddenly a heat bean caught it in the shoulder and spun it around. A large shadow appeared over the beast man. It looked up in time to see Nautica snap it up shake it and toss it dead to the floor. Janos went to Jayce to help him up.
" Are you alright?" He asked as Jayce got to his feet.
" Yeah." He said shaking his head. Jayce looked around. It all was over. All the Kensi were gone. There were a lot of hurt and wounded men laying around. And many more dead Kensi.
" Xandar!!" He said.
" Relax." Janos told him. " He's fine. He saved your life."
Xandar and Drew walked over to see both men smiling at them.
" What?" Xandar said.
" Your my hero!!" Jayce said. He reached out and ruffled his hair. Nautica and Ariel came over to stand with Jayce.
" I couldn't let him hurt you." Xandar said.
" You are one brave young man." Jayce told him. " The way you stood an protected your brother. No Kensi stood a chance against you."
Xandar smiled at the praise he was receiving.
" Now we have to get back to the job we came here for." Jayce told them. " We'll help you secure the city, then were off on our search."
[ITS TO LATE JAYCE.] Mags sent. [THE SHADOWS ARE THERE. THEY WILL FIND IT. MOVE ON TO THE NEXT ONE.]

Taren caught up with the others at the glacier. He told them what he and Terror had done.
" You should have let me go in." Velusia laughed at the damage the Kensi had to have caused.
" Relax, You can come with me this time." Pelic said. " But as smoke."
" What are you planning?" Graym asked.
" To slip in as a shadow and see what we can find." Pelic told him. " It's in there somewhere. I have to find it."
" How will i know it?" Velusia asked. " Whats it look like?"
" I don't know." Pelic said.
" It will give off some kind of magic effect." Taren told them." What, I don't know. Its a belt. It may be in a tomb or something. Or even frozen in the glacier. But its there."
" Unless you find a way in, I want you two to stay here. " Pelic said. " The dragons may still find there way here. If they do. Stall them, kill them, do what you have to."
All along he wall there was a series of cracks. Velusia became smoke and seeped into them. These cracks ran all the way through the glacier. Slowly she made her way in while Pelic just walked through the wall. At was a dense wall, about Fifteen feet deep then they were in what seemed to be a cave system. But not just any ice caves, more like rooms. Pelic and Velusia found tables and chairs, furniture made of ice. All around they found statues of ice. At looked like men and woman made of ice and snow. But who could carved all this? And why? Certainly not the people of the city. Its to far away, and way to cold for them to spend more then a few minutes there at a time, and all this would have taken years to carve.
[What is all this?] Velusia asked.
[ I don't know.] Pelic sent. [But keep looking, and can you become a clear gas? There my be someone here. I don't want the smoke to draw attention to you."
Velusia shifted to form of hydrogen, A clear flammable gas that would not be very detectable.[ That's better.] He said. [ Go in that direction, and be careful.]
[ Why?] She said. [ Nothing here can hurt us]
[ Just do as I say.] Pelic silently floated away.The caves were really magnificent. Almost perfectly carved.Stairways and halls,tables and chairs, but no beds. On the tables where plates of snow and ice, like someone used that for food. then Pelic found a fountain with running water. The statues he inspected were that of huge bearded ice men and beautiful women naked. The further he moved in, Pelic began to feel something. It was the magic effect Taren told them about. He followed it and found himself in front of a large set of doors, like the doors of kings hall leading to a throne room. Pelic passed through the doors. On the other side he found just what he expected. A throne room with the king carved on his throne. He had to be eight to nine feet tall. In his hand he held a long rod made of ice. Around his waste he wore a belt. A large silver belt studded with diamonds and one blue sapphire in the center. The gems were in the shape of a snow flake. This was The Frost Belt.
[ Ive found it.] He sent to Velusia and the others.
[ I'll come to you.] Velusia sent.Pelic looked back at the Ice King. It seemed like his head had moved. Like now he was looking straight at him.
[That cant be!!] Pelic thought.
[What?] Taren asked.
[ Nothing.] He said.
[ It's my imagination.]
Pelic floated around the throne. Looking to see if he could reach the back of the belt. He could. He moved back to the front. This time the Kings face had a different look.
[ Whats going on here?] He thought.
[ Whats going on in there?] Graym asked.
Loud crackling noises began to come from all around. Sounds of ice breaking. Pelic looked back to the King. He was standing now.
" WHY HAVE YOU COME HERE?"
He stepped down from the throne. He held out his hand and sent a cloud of frost that would have frozen any living being. Pelic moved aside
." YOU HAVE COME HERE TO DESTROY US!!"
He swung his staff at Pelic. It passed through him. Ice men began to wake everywhere. Velusia switched to a acid cloud and swirled around them ,melting them one at a time.
[ Were coming in.] Graym sent. [We found a place where the ice is thinner. Terror is breaking it down now.]
Pelic could hear noises of things breaking. Terrors roars were loud enough to hear deep in the mountain. More ice man came in as Pelic wove spells to defend himself. He sent energy bolts flying at them as they advanced. Each time one hit ,the ice man exploded. But more came. The King stood on his dais directing them in the fight. Then Pelic heard Terrors roars coming closer. They were in the mountain. Graym and Taren came in, Graym sending his steel like feathers flying at the ice men. Like diamond drills they shattered the ice men as they made contact.
" This is fun." Velusia shouted.
She became a volcanic cloud and rushed at a number of ice men moving on Pelic. When she hit them they vaporized instantly. She kept laughing as she moved on to the next group.
" Taren over here!!" He called.
Terror kicked out and smashed two ice men as he made his way to Pelic.
" Where is it?" Taren asked.
" On the throne. The King!!" Pelic pointed. " Have Terror use his flame on him."
Taren had Terror advance on the King. As he saw the demon horse coming he tried to back away. Terror reared up and exhaled his flame. The King held his arms in front of his face and screamed as the flames hit him.
" NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"The king melted on his throne, Soon there was nothing left but the belt and a large puddle of water. With thew Kings death, the rest of the ice men crumbled. Soon a rumble began in the hall. Pelic ran forward and grabbed the belt.
" Lets go!!"
Pelic rose up and sailed through the walls with Velusia following through the hole Terror made. Graym and Taren followed her up as the cave came crashing in behind them.
" Polan will be please." Taren said.
" Yes he will." Pelic said as he put the belt into his cloak. " We go find the next one."

Chameleon Ring. 30


Ardia is a very hostile place. Filled with wild animals of a like no one's seen before, very magical and dangerous. And Orcs, many tribes, and always fighting each other. Fighting over land and food and females and anything that one could take from another. Wars were fought here over a buck or some other animal that some hunting Orcs were after. Its not that there's not enough to eat, they just loved to fight and kill. The strongest Orc ruled each tribe and could be challenged at anytime, even in his sleep. This is the place Rage and Jandar sent Blaze, Cutter and Denner after the first of the Dragon Talismans. Insa had explained that the Chameleon Ring would be found in Ardia. The smoke dragon had said it would be in a tomb. The tomb of an ancient king of Ardia by the name of Navar Ren in an old abandoned human city.
They arrived in Ardia early in the morning. Denner rode on Blaze's back as they flew in with Cutter beside him.
" Do you see a city?" Denner asked.
[ No, not yet.] Blaze sent as they landed in a clearing in the dense forest.
Denner climbed down then the dragons made the shift to human form.
" Do you sense anything Cutter?" Blaze asked.
"Oh yes." He said. " These Orcs may be fierce, but it seems they live in fear of each other."
" What about the city?" Denner asked. " How far away is it?"
Cutter sent out a probe to find it. A small part of his consciousness sped out and Cutter could feel the surrounding area. The forest was dense and he sensed many Orcs and strange animals around them. There were Orc villages out there, he could feel them. There it was. Many miles to the east of where they were now.
" I found it!" Cutter said. " It's east of us. And we can't fly there. That will bring every Orc in Ardia after us."
" Then we walk." Blaze said as he pushed his way into the thick bush..
Together they started walking east. It was hot in this forest and strange insects and birds flew about. Denner spotted a bird with four wings and pointed it out to the others.
" I wonder why the animals are so weird here." Denner asked.
" I think it's the Ring." Cutter said. "I can feel it even now. Its magic is very powerful."
" Wait!" Blaze stopped. " We're immune to strong magic., but your not." He said to Denner.
" I doubt if it will affect him in any way." Cutter told them. " He'll have to be in contact with it for a long period of time. These animals have lived here for all there lives and that's why there affected."
" I don't really care." Denner said. " We need to do this and quick. If Polan finds it I can't imagine what he will do."
" Then lets go." They started walking again with Cutter in the lead. Pushing through bushes and climbing hills, it was hard work. Cutter stopped as he heard something.
" What is it?" Blaze asked. He moved up to Cutter.
" There's something over there." Cutter pointed to a wall of bushes.
They backed a bit for room to fight. But Cutter didn't move. His senses told him what was there. Then they heard a roar and something lunged out. Blaze inhaled, ready to use his flame on what ever it was.
" STOP!!!"
Cutter held up his hand to stop Blaze. Before them stood a large cat, but not like any cat any of them had ever seen before. It was like a tiger, only it didn't have fur. It had scales and a forked tongue. A reptilian cat. It roared again and slowly advanced toward them hissing.
" Let me kill it Cutter." Blaze called to him. " Get out of the way."
" Quiet!!" Cutter stepped forward holding out his hand for the beast to smell. Denner tried to push forward with his sword drawn and the beast roared again.
[Peace brothers.] Cutter sent. [ It won't harm me and your scaring it. ]
The beast walked forward and sniffed Cutters hand, then it purred as it pushed its muzzle against his hand to be petted. Its tongue wrapped around his hand. Cutter hugged the beast and rubbed its neck and laughed.
" I'll call it Cheshire, its very intelligent." Cutter told them.
" It's scary too" Denner said. Cheshire walked over to Blaze and Denner and sniffed them both then he rubbed against there legs.
" See." Cutter smiled. " He likes you both."
" What do we do with him?" Blaze asked.
" Well, He knows this forest. He can lead us to the city." Cheshire roared.
" He says there are Orcs near. They hunt him. And there are others here to. I think they're Polan's men."
" Where?" Denner asked. Cheshire roared.
" To the south and moving toward the city." Cutter told them.
" You understand him?" Denner said.
" Yeah, I've always had a way with animals. Now, I can understand them completely." Cutter ran his hand along Cheshire's back. Cheshire started to move off to the east then looked back and growled.
" He wants us to follow him. Lets go." Cheshire and Cutter dashed off into the forest followed by Blaze and Denner.

After flying in and landing on the coast of Ardia they got ready to move inland. Terror was a huge jet black horse. So black it seemed to swallow light. Its eyes were like flames in the night with sharp cloven hooves. His tail was that of a whip. A cat o nine tails able to peel the skin off any living creature. Terror's hide was as tough as armor and just as strong. And he flew with two massive demon bat wings. One look from the eyes of this creature could freeze one in place as it devoured them. Taren and Terror were bonded but blood. Polan controlled it with magic, but in Taren, Terror found a soul that was close to its own heart. They would be together from this day until there last days of life.
[Terror,We walk from here on.] Taren sent to his steed. [ This is a dangerous place.]
[NOT FOR US.] Terror said to his bonded one. [THERES NOTHING HERE THAT CAN HARM US.]
[I know.] Taren took off the bridle and saddle and put them aside.
[But we want to come in quiet. If we fly, all will see us coming. You hunt while I'm away. I'll call when I need you.]
[ I
"I WILL STAY CLOSE.] Terror took off into the forest to hunt. [I WILL BE NEAR BROTHER.]
Together they walked into the forest. There were strange noises all around them, Taren could feel eyes on them. He could sense that there were others watching them. Then things came out and attacked. Orcs were everywhere. With clubs and heavy swords and spears. The Four Shadows battled the Orcs. Graym flexed his arm and sent his deadly feathers flying at a group of advancing Orcs, they fell to the ground bleeding. His feathers had a paralyzing affect on them. Taren slashed his way through them and Velusia burned them as a acid cloud. Opening his cloak Pelic commanded Shadow beast to attack. Six came running out and tore into the Orcs. Unable to fight the magic of the Four the Orcs turned and ran into the forest. They would be back later with more.
" Ok " Graym said. " We have a break. Let's find this talisman. Which way Taren?"
Taren opened up the map and studied at.
It seemed they were to the south of the place they needed to be.
" We go north." Taren told them.
" Then let's go." Velusia took off in to the air.
" Come back here." Pelic yelled.
She rose above the trees and suddenly she was attacked by large insects. She screamed and tried to bat them away but there were to many. They were trying to sting her. Quickly she became smoke that burned there wings but still that came. Velusia made her way back down to the others and the insects flew off. It seemed they attack anything in the air.
" That's the last time you will disobey." Pelic told her. " You do as we say, when we say. Understand?"
"Or?" She stood there with her hands on her hip. " You can't hurt me. I'll just become smoke and take off and do this alone."
" Will you?" Pelic held out his hands and clapped them together. Velusia froze in place solid. She couldn't move, Or dissolve to smoke. Her eyes widened as she realized the state she was in. Pelic walked over to her and whispered in her ear.
" I could put you down right here and now. And I don't have a problem with that." Pelic said. " It's up to you."
Pelic released her and she relaxed.
" I will do as you say." She said.
" Can we get moving?"Graym turned to Taren.
" Which way?"
Tarens hunting abilities gave him the knowledge of where he was at all time. Once he oriented on something or one, he couldn't lose them. He pointed in a northern direction and they moved on.

After speeding through the forest, the dragons came out following Cheshire. The dead city was huge and old. There were crumbling towers and a long wall surrounding the city.The walls had big gaping holes where the Orcs used battering rams to get in. The people that lived here must have been overrun by Orcs and taken. That means they were eaten. Orcs don't take prisoners, they take meat.
" Here it is." Denner said. He started to walk out and Cheshire grabbed his arm.
" What?" he said. Cutter grabbed him and covered his mouth.
" Orcs." Cutter pointed out movement in the distance.. There was a group of Orcs out by the city gates. Cutter wondered if the city was full of them.
" Before we go in I want to see how many are in there." Cutter told them.
" How?" Denner asked.
" Their fear." He said. " It shines like a beacon."
Cutter sat down and cast out his mind to feel the fear in the city. Spreading through the city he located every Orc in every corner awake or asleep. There were many. This was going to be tough. Using his abilities Cutter searched for the tomb. Being a kings tomb he figured it would be one of the biggest in the cemetery. He found two that fit the description.
" I think I found it." Cutter rose up and told his comrades.
" How do we get in?" Blaze asked.
" We fight." Denner said pulling his sword.
" No." Cutter said." There's to many. We couldn't do it."
" Then how?" Denner re sheathed his sword.
" I'll scare them out." Cutter said.
" You think it will work?" Blaze asked.
" I've seen their fear." Cutter said. " Orcs are bold in numbers, but I'll put something in their minds that will make them run and hide. Don't worry I'll keep broadcasting as we move. But we better hurry."
Cutter closed his eyes and concentrated. Blaze and Denner watched the Orcs in the distances. Suddenly they started screaming and running into the forest. A few seconds later many more came out. They ran over each other trying to get away. Many were trampled to death in there panic.
" Let's go." Cutter called out as he and Cheshire began to run toward the gates. All together they ran in. They saw other Orcs, but none paid them any attention. The closer Cutter came to them the worse there fear. Some died of fright when they came to close to them.
" What are they seeing?" Blaze asked as they ran.
" Cheshire." Cutter said. "Five times bigger then Rage in dragon form ripping through them. This way."
Vegetation over grew the city and the smell of the Orcs was horrible. Bones litter the ground they ran over and no other animals could be seen. Soon, Cutter found the cemetery he was looking for.
" There, the two tombs." He said. " Denner check them out. "The kings name was Naver Ran."
Denner ran over and checked the one on the left. It was Navar's queen, Lessa.
" It's the other one." He said. Blaze went to the other tomb. It read Naver Ran and had a golden crown on the door. He tried the door. It was rusted stuck, it wouldn't budge. Blaze shifted to dragon form an butted the door with his head. The door crashed in. Cutter sat down exhausted from the effort of projecting fear. But he had to keep it up or the Orcs hiding in the city would come out.
" Cutter you stay here." Blaze told him. " Denner and I will get it."
Quickly the pair ran in. The tomb consisted of four rooms. The furthest one in would hold the body. The rooms were filled with all kinds of treasure. They ignored it and kept going. They weren't here for that. The last room was the largest of them all. There they found the sarcophagus of Navar Ran. It was beautiful, Made of gold and silver with many large rubys an diamonds on it. On the cover, Navar Ran's image was carved. Denner tried to push it open. It was to heavy for him.
" It's a good thing this room is so large." Blaze said. " Stand back."
Again Blaze took his dragon form. He walked up to the coffin and gripped it with his claws. Then with a hard pull he lifted the cover.
[ Get it.] He sent to Denner.
Denner looked into the coffin and saw the dead king. On his finger was a glowing ring.
" Forgive us my lord." Denner said. " But we have need of this."
{TAKE IT MY SON. PROTECT THE LANDS}Denner's eyes opened wide as the hand thrust out to him. He took the ring from the finger.
{NOW GO! AND HURRY}
" Thank you your highness." Denner said to the dead king." " I will do as you say."
" Let's go." They ran out and back to Cutter.
" Blaze." Denner said as they emerged and meet up with Cutter. " Did you hear that?"
" What?" He asked.
" The King talked to you." Cutter said as he stood. " I heard him. We should hurry."
" Yes." Denner said. " He told me to protect the land."
" We know you will." Cutter told him. " But we need to go. Polan's people are coming."
" I think we should fight them." Denner told them.
" Denner. I know your eager to fight Polan. But this is not the the time or the place." Cutter said. " To fight them , I'll have to drop the fear I'm projecting. then we'll have to fight them and the Orcs. We won't win. We need to go now."
Cutter tried to get up and fell back. Blaze rushed to his side to help him.
" We need to go now." Cutter tried to shift to dragon, but he was to weak. "Polan's men are close."
" CUTTER!" Blaze said. He shifted to dragon and put Cutter on his back.
[ Climb on. Hurry!] Blaze sent.
" Can you fly with us both on your back?" Denner asked. Then he looked at Cheshire. "And what about Cheshire?"
[I don't know. We'll find out.] Blaze told him. [ And we'll have to leave him. He'll be fine.]
{USE THE RING. MY SON.}
Denner looked at the ring he held in his hand. This ring is suppose to give him the ability to change his form at will. Quickly he put the ring on. He needed to fly now like a dragon. Suddenly his body felt all tingly. It was like electricity ran through his body. He was changing! In seconds he was the twin of Blaze. He grabbed up Cheshire and took off into the air. Blaze looked at him in surprise and took off after him. Cutter relaxed as they flew into the clouds and were hidden. He dropped his fear projection releasing the Orcs.
[WHOA!!] Denner sent to them both. [ This is what its like! I love it!!]

Entering the city, the Four Shadows looked around. They knew what they were looking for. Polan had told them about Navar Ran and his tomb. All they had to do was find it and retrieve the object. So they searched the cemeteries for his tomb. As they searched Taren felt eyes on them. He knew something was about to happen. Slowly he drew his blades and made ready to fight. Navar's tomb was ahead. It was open. This is bad. Someone had been here.
" Taren." Pelic said." Go check out the tomb."
Walking to the tomb door and noticed there was no dust around the edges of the door
" This is recent." He said. " Someones been in here recently."
" Go check it." Pelic told him.Mags sped into the tomb and found Navar's sarcophagus. It was open and the ring was gone. Mags sensed the dragons had been here. That was good. They got the ring. Mags when back and told Pelic. Minutes later Taren came back and told him the same news. Then Taren heard a noise, something moved in the building behind them. Then over to the left and the right. There were noises coming from all around them. And the smell of Orcs filled the air.They were surrounded.
" We have a problem." Taren said pulling his swords. "Orcs everywhere."
[ Terror come!!] He sent out.
[I COME.]
Graym looked around. He didn't see or hear the Orcs, but he knew Taren was right.
" The ring is gone. It's time to go." He said.
Suddenly an Orc came running at them. Before anyone could move, Terror flew over the wall and grabbed it by the shoulder. It screamed as Terror tore into it, then tossed it aside. The demon horse quickly trotted over to Taren and he climbed on. Then they charged. Hundreds of Orcs came running toward them. All armed and ready to tear them apart. Velusia began to laugh as she became a cloud, her smoke began to cover them as she spread out and the Orcs ran into to her cloud.
[ Go![ She said. [ I'll hide you all.]
Terror took off and Graym spread his wings and launched himself skyward. Pelic became a shadow and floated up. Velusia's laugh could still be heard as they climbed higher.
[By the way.] They heard. [ May I feed?]