Wednesday, May 26, 2010

EPILOGUE. 52

All over the world people celebrated. The monster was dead. The dragons had done what they promised and killed him. No more poisons, no more wars, no dead walking. The fields can bloom and the people can flourish again. New Keanna was now a free happy place.


Shayn and Ono had returned to Shayn's kingdom to make sure everything was in order. He tried to abdicate and leave the country in the hands of the council. But they insisted he keep the title of king. This would always be his home.


Dreik escorted his father and the rest of the dwarves back to his village. He promised to help with all the damage done done before he met Ariel and Cutter. There was a lot of towns and villages that would he there help. Dreik could speed up the crops so the could feed everyone. Ariel could help with the weather, and Cutter could help round up the lost livestock.

Pelic had returned to Winterhaven. He was a totally different Mage then when all this started. No more dark magic for him. He was still a council member in Winterhaven although New Keanna was now his home. All of Polan's influences were gone from him. Though he still bore the Cloak of Shadows and always will.

Graym flew back home and revealed himself to his family. Fighting Polan wasn't as frightening as that was, but he did it. And he found out how much they loved him. The children couldn't be more proud of him, and boy did they love flying with there dad. Graym packed them up and took them back to New Keanna.

Blaze also went back to his village accompanied by Shine and explained everything to his family. He had to tell them how he was one of the men that started this war. Thank god they forgave him. The kids loved playing with Shine and his wife was glad to have him back. He packed there house and moved them back to there new home.

Jayce flew back home to JP. He received a heroes welcome when he arrived. JP hadn't seen Jayce's wings and he was astonished when he showed him. JP didn't care, he loved him and was glad to see him. Unlike the rest, JP couldn't move to New Keanna with Jayce. He had duties as heir to the throne. But it wasn't a long flight, and he promised to visit often.

In New Keanna a joy filled the street. Some were even packing and going back to rebuild homes that were destroyed in the fighting. At the Manor, Rage and Jandar lay in bed after making love and a long sleep. Jandar lay there watching Rage sleep. All he could think about was how close he came to losing him. He brushed the hair from his forehead and kissed him. Rage opened his eyes and smiled at him. " Don't worry." He said. " You will never, ever lose me."

                                                                      The End.

                           STAY WITH US FOR THE NEXT DRAGON STORY. IT'LL START SOON.

It Ends Here, Now. 51

Darkness filled the sky as dust and dirt rained down on a davastated land. There was absolutely no life here anymore, just a rocky landscape. No plants or animals had survived the blast. Nothing lived here now for miles around. Eight figures stood in the center of the ruined lands surveying what use to be the homes of there brothers and sister dragons. Some cried, most just stared out in shock unable to believe what had happened. And what exactly had happened? A large ball of shadow energy hit the mountain and brought it down with a tremendous explosion. Polan, the shadow dragon was responsible for all this and so much more.
" How could this have happened?"Jayce said his wing fidgeting nervious on his back.
" How could we have lost so many?"
" You underestimate Polan's evil." Blink told him. "He corrupted my egg and made Shadoe into something we have to destroy. And we will. I promise you that, We will."
" Yes we will." Rage and Jandar stood there in grief over the dragons they lost today.
" What do you want to do?" Ono asked. He and Shayn standing with Jandar and his mate.
"Dreik. Can you do something?" Jandar asked saddly. " We cant leave them like this."
" Yes I can." Dreik stepped up. He looked out over all the rubble spread out across the landscape. He raised his hands and began to concentrate. Rocks and dirt rose up into the air and began to mold together. Around him everybody watch as he molded and sculpted what was left of the mountain into shape. This was a big job and sweat rolled off his brow as he worked. Soon a shape could be seen beginning to grow out of the dust cloud. Atlast he was done. He stepped back. Dreik walked back to Jandar and Rage and turned back to face what he'd done. He raised his hands and slowly lowered then and settled the dust. Where an empty davastated plateau was a few hours ago, now stood a dragons head for all to see.
" Theres a gas vein out of the mouth. ignite it please Rage."
Rage stepped forward and sent a stream of flame out. From the mouth a jet of fire bagan to issue.
"That witl always burn as a memorial to our brothers and sisters."
" You did a great job." Shayn told Dreik. Everyone agreed and clapped him on the back.
" Lets go end this." Rage said. " We cant allow him to kill anyone else."

Back in Maricora, Polan strode up to give orders to the troop still in his service. There were'nt many, but there was enough to finish off the dragons. Darkness still covered the the world and as long as it did, Polan could draw power from it. He felt strong. Strong enough to win the upcoming battle. Taren was the first one he came to. He stood there with Terror at his side sharpening his blades. When Polan walked up, Taren put away his swords and bowed.
" How can I serve you?" Taren asked.
" By killing as many of them as you can." Polan told him." I will be waiting back in the old cemetery absorbing darkness. Soon this darkness will be permenant and I will have all the power I want. I expect you and the rest to give me your all in this battle or I will take your souls now. You understand?"
" I hear and obey." Taren answered." If any of them try to run, kill them."
The dark man turned and walked back to the cemetery. Taren turned and walked out to the black armours gathered there. They were all gathered around a large piece of meat roasting on the fire. He looked around and realized they all were here. No one was on watch. Anger filled Taren, the dragons could walk in to camp any second and no one would be ready. Taren stormed over to the fire and kicked the the meat over into the fire. Ash and sparks flew up into everyones face as they all jumped back.
" Is this how you protect your master?" He screamed." The enemy could be here any second and no ones watching for them!! All of you. Get your ass ready and on watch! I dont care if you eat or not!! MOVE!!"
Everyone grabbed there things and ran and took there place in a watch position. All of them knew what Polan would have done had he caught them. He would have showed no mercy. This could be a long night.

High in the sky three parties of dragons made there way to Maricora. Ariel, Toric, Blaze and Ono were to be the first in. Ariel summoned storm clouds to move in slowly to cover there entrance. Toric rode on her back and Ono rode with Blaze. They stayed high until there was enough to make sure they couldnt be seen. Beside Ariel flew Toric's manticores.
[ Is everyone ready?] Ono sent.[We go now.]

Dropping down they flew into Maricora silently. The guards noticed nothing until they were just about on them. Ono jumped from Blazes back shifting into man-wolf form. Two guards came at him with swords raised, ready to cut him down. Ono went low and slashed ones legs out from under him. As the other tried to bring his sword down, Ono ripped his stomach opened and kept moving. Off to the left, Blaze had been surounded by three men. One man ran in and tried to bury his sword in the dragons chest. As he came close enough, Blaze swung his wing out and batted the men into the air. He landed on his head and broke his neck. The other two men rushed in and were caught in blazes flames as he blasted out at them. Ono ran forward at another group of men. He leaped high over there heads slashing down and decapitated two of them before his feet hit the ground. Ariel roared and reared up on her hind legs. She called lightning down and struck three men dead. Two others tried to attack her. Coming back down and crouching low, she blew out hurricane force winds and blew them back, crashing them into an old delapidated building. Toric sent out bolt after bolt of mystic energy while his manticores ripped apart anyone that came near him. Toric refused to leave Ariels side, He had to keep a watch on her back.
Grabbing a man and throwing him into a group, Ono howled out his rage. He knew every dragon that died in that cave. When he was sick, they spoke to him and kepted him from drifting into death. He would make all these men pay for the horrors. All the people they killed and tortured for their black hearted master. A man came up behind Ono and raised his sword to stab him in the back. Blaze sent out a fireball and roasted him before he could strike. Ono waved and launched himself at another group. Having cleared the front gate of men, it was time for the next stage to come in.[SHAYN,BLINK ITS CLEAR] Ono sent out to them.
Out of the sky three more dragons decended. Shayn , Blink and Syren. It was time for phaze 2 of their plan. The three dragons landed and moved off to the side out of the fighting. On the ground Denner's army rushed into join the battle. Everywhere you look, black armors were now being engaged by the dragons forces.
Over on the side Shayn, Blink and Syren prepared to begin their task. Clearing Polan's shadow.
[You two do your job, I'll keep a watch.] Syren said. her wings vibrated so fast a loud hum rose over the entire battle ground. Shayn took Blinks hand and they began to concentrate as a bright glow started to cover them. It grew brighter and brighter as the two strained theor power. Three man charged at them two with arrows notched. They fired. Syren opened her mouth and screamed, causing a barrier of sound to form around them. No sword or arrow could get through the sonic barrier no matter how much they beat on it. As time passed the glow around Shayn and Blink grew until they couldn't hold it any longer. They released it and sent it into the air. Like Polan's ball of energy it went straight up into the dark sky passing through the clouds and spreading out. In an explosion of light, all of a sudden the darkness began to clear. They had dont it. The darkness was gone, daylight came shining back on the world. Blink and Shayn collapse in exhaustion. All the battling stopped for a minute and everyone looked up to see the light. But soon the battling began again. The sun shining in the sky told Taren things were going bad, He knew Polan would be furious. It was time for him to join the battle. He jumped on Terrors back and pulled his swords.
" Come Terror. Time for us to kill."
[ We will kill many.] Terror said as he took to the sky. They flew out to join the battle. Taren spotted the dragons fighting. He saw Shayn and Blink getting to their feet. He started to charge down on them when a dart hit him in the shoulder. It was one of Graym's feather darts. Taren looked up and saw Graym, Pelic and Jayce coming in at him. Taren turned Terror to charge at them.
" You can't stop my master!" Taren yelled at them. " This will me our world."
" We don't care about your master." Pelic said his cloak flowing out. " We do care about you. You hurt a good friend of ours."
" That damned golden dragon?" Taren laughed. "You mean he lived?"
" He lived." Jayce pulled Salvation. " To bad you won't"
Jayce dived at Taren swinging his blade. Taren countered and blocked. Back and forth they fought both looking for an opening on the others defenses, neither finding one. Fighting fiercely Taren looked for more room to maneuver. Pelic and his soul freezing cloak to the left and Graym and his sword to the right. He didnt see anyway out but down. Graym flexed his wing and sent darts flying at Taren and Terror. Terror dropped for the ground. Once on the the ground, Taren jumped from Terrors back. He and Jayce circled each other looking for the right opening, eyes lock together. Rushing forward Taren swung down with both swords aiming for Jayce's head. Jayce blocked and spun quickly and hacked at the sword in Tarens left hand. Salvation snapped Tarens black blade in two. He jumped back and looked at the hilt in his hand. Taren was shocked. Elven magic made there swords completely unbreakable. The shining sword Jayce held must be made of more powerful magic. Reaching behind him into his pouch, Taren pulled out a hand full of powder. He threw it into Jayce's face then charged him, Jayce batted his wings and blew it back in Taren's face. The powder blinded him. In his forward motion he ran himself right onto Jayce's blade. It buried itself deep in his chest.
" Arrrgghhhhhhh!!!" He screamed as he fall off the sword and to the ground. With his eyes open and a surprized look on his face Taren lay dying. Jayce grabbed the front of his arnor and pulled him up to face him.
" You lose." He said then dropped him dead to the ground.
All the time Jayce and Taren battled. Terror fought the two other shadows. Rearing up he lashed out with kicks aimed to kill. In his hand Graym held Retribution. Each time he hit Terror, a burning scar appeared on his back. Smoke issued from Terrors nostrals as he fought. His back was covered with smoking scars. In pain, Terror took to the sky. He tried diving down to attack them, but it didn't work. These foes could follow no matter where he went. From high in the sky Terror saw Taren die. He screamed out his rage and he flew it Jayce. Jayce leaped into the sky and called out for Grayms help. Knowing light will always destroy the darkness, Graym called for his sunbirds. They came from everywhere. Hundreds, thousands, millions of them came out and swarmed Terror. He screamed trying to get away,but he couldn't escape form them. They tore the demon horse to pieces as the others watched. That was the end of Taren and his demon mount Terror.

When Taren fell, all fighting stopped. The black armours had had enough. They all dropped their weapons and gave up. Ono and the rest of the army rounded up all the rest of Polans forces and made them all drop their weapons. It was over for them.
" IT WILL NEVER BE OVER!!" A bolt of shadow energy came from no where and struck the unarmed men killing them all. Polan walked out of the cemetery. The look on his face was absolutley terrifying. His eyes bulged with anger and rage and shadow energy radiated from him.
" You all think you've won don't you. You think im just going to go away and disappear. That's not going to happen."
He reached out and sent a bolt of dark energy at Ono. Moving with all the speed he could, Shayn cast a shield around him. The bolt struck it and was deflected away. Shayn and Blink walked over and stood by Ono.
" You won't hurt another person." Shayn said.
" Won't I?" Polan laughed.
" NO YOU WONT!!" A voiced boomed out. Polan looked all around and saw Rage fly in and land. He roared as he shifted back to human form. Seconds later in a flash of light Jandar appeared. He walk over and stood with Rage.
" The all powerful Dragons are here to put me in my place." Polan mocked them. " I have more power then any of you."
" But You don't have more power then all of us together." Jandar called his staff and raised it high over his head high in the air.
"Now everybody!" He whispered a spell to collect power from the clan. Each dragon called forth there power and sent it on to Jandar. Streams of power in each of there colors streaked out to the staff and was absorbed there. Polan saw this happening and shifted to Shadoe and rushed out and grabbed Rage.
[ Now I have you.] Shadoe sent to his mind. [You and your clan will pay for all your interferance in my plans.]
Using his shadow abilities he made himself grow to gigantic size. He was five times the size of the largest dragon and Rage struggled in his grasp. Pointing his staff at Rage , Jandar sent all the clan power to him. As he absorbed it, his eyes flashed every color of all the dragons of the clan. All the dragons took off to find a safe place to watch the two giants battle. Jandar stayed close, he refused to leave Rage alone.
[ This ends now!!]
With extraordinary strength, Rage forced Shadoes claw open and shifted to dragon as he dropped. Using Shines ability to grow Rage grew himself to Shadoes size and launched himself at him. He drove his head into Shadoes chest and knocked him back and off his feet. Shadoe crashed to the ground and rolled over his house and the rest of the buildings in the dead city. Before the black dragon could recover, Rage grabbed him by the leg and slammed him into the side of the mountain. Shadoe climbed to his feet and roared in anger. He rushed at Rage and blasted him with his black flame. Rage laughed at him.
[That won't work, I have the power of a dark dragon to, among other dragons.] Rage pointed at Shadoe and sent a blast of Shayn's white dragon enegy at him. It struck him in the chest and seared him.
[Arrrrrrgghh!!!!!!!!]
Shadoe was blasted to the ground. He looked down at his chest to find he was all blistered. Shadoe climbed to his feet. He was hurt. The dragons had never hurt him before. He needed to get away. For once he was scared. He spread his wings and took to the sky.
[ Oh no. You won't get away.]Rage sent another blast that hit Shadoe in the wing and burned the membrane away. He fell back to earth with a tremendous sound. Weakened by the blast Shadoe began to shrink back to his normal size. He tried to get up, Rage blasted his other wing. Shadoe screamed out. His wings were gone.
[ It's over monster.] Shadoe struggled to get up. He looked up into Rages eyes.
[ Not yet it isn't.] Shadoe started mumbling a spell as he stared at Rage. A look of shock came over his face as Rage clutched his head. Jandar saw the look on his face and ran over. Shadoes mumbling became louder as blood began to run for Rages nose and ears.
" STOP!!" Jandar yelled at him franticly.
Rage fell to his knees and Jandar grabbed him. Rage started to shake all over. Jandar let him go. He summoned his staff and ran over to Shadoe.
" I SAID STOP DAMN YOU!!!" Jandar raised his staff and plunged the end with the Salvation stone into Shadoes heart. Shadoe screamed as smoke began to bellow from his chest and he began to burn from the inside.
" Everybody get away!!" Ono screamed.
Ono ran forward and grabbed his brother and dived to the ground. The magic force building inside of Shadoe made his body expand until he exploded with a dark shadow blast. When the smoke cleared Jandar jumped up and ran back to Rage. He grabbed him and craddled him in his arm. All the rest of the gathered around there king.
" Rage!!" He wiped sweat from his borw then kissed him. " Wake up, please wake up!!"
Slowly he opened his eyes and looked up at Jandar. Jandar smiled down at him, his tears falling on Rage in his arms.
" I hope I never feel that again." Rage said. Everybody laughed in relief.
"Let's go home." Shayn said. " We all need a nap. And you need a bath."
Shayn looked at Ono covered in blood from the battle. Jandar picked Rage up and carryed Rage over to Blaze and put him on his back then climded on and held him.
" It's over Tomar." He said. " You can go back to your family now."
[ I am with my family.] He sent back to his king. They all took off for home and some rest.

Out of the Dark Depths. 50


Far off in the city of Zagar the people were all in a panic running crazy in the streets. There was no safe place here anymore That bastard Polan had done so much damage here and killed so many people, no one know what to do. There wasnt much food, the strong were killing and stealing from the people. It was total chaos in Zagar. And on top of all that, theres this damn darkness that wont go away. Everyone knew somehow it was something Polan did. His revenge. People were doing things to try and bring back the sun. Kalin Ka, a dark priest of an old god named Maz found his way to the outskirts of town. He had a special mission tonight. He and his god were going to bring back the sun. Kalin carried his bag of magic to a place miles away from town where no one would interupt him. In an old sacred place he knew of there was an altar made of bone , human and animal. No one came here any more, for not many worshipped Maz or any of the old gods any more, And that angered them. Kalin thought it was the old gods that had made Polan so powerful and ruthless. This he knew because of the whispers he heard at night. Late in the night Kalin studying in his tower alone would hear the voice of his god Maz, telling him how mad he was and how to help him get back in power. He also told him he could give him the power to defeat Polan. That pleased Kalin. His wife had died from the poisons of the necromancer, so he would do anything he could to bring him down. Kalin stood at the altar and set the things he needed up. He laid out his circle made of salt and set up his candles and the fire. He had brought with him a goat to sacrifice and different things to burn or present to his god. He took out the sacrificial blade and put it on the table. All was ready. All he had to do was wait until the midnight hour,say his incantation and make his sacrifice then Maz would grant him his favor. The only problem was,no moon. How was he going to know when it was midnight? He could only guess, what could it hurt?
[JUST DO IT NOW!! I WILL GIVE YOU WHAT YOU WANT.]
He heard ringing through the night.He raised his hands and began his call to Maz.
"I CALL TO YOU OH DARK MAZ,
THE GOD OF VENGENCE.
TO COME FORTH AND BRING TO ME THE POWER
TO AVENGE MY PEOPLE OF ALL THE WRONGS WE HAVE SUFFERED"
The winds began to pick up and blow. Lightning flashed through the dark sky. Kalin reached into his bag and pulled out a hand full of Grain. He tossed them into the fire. The fire blazed up.
"FROM THE EARTH I GIVE TO YOU THE FRUIT."
The wind blew harder. He reached into the bag and pulled out a small bird. He broke its neck and tossed it on the fire. Again it blazded up
" FROM THE SKY, I GIVE YOU LIFE."
The flames grew higher as lightning struck the ground near the altar. This was all working. Kalin reached in his bag. This time he pulled out some sea salt and threw it into the fire.Fire flashed higher and this time the color of the flame changed to a deep red.
" FROM THE THE SEA, I GIVE TO YOU SALTS OF THE WATERS."
Kalin looked at the goat and reached for the knife. He walked over and in one swope he cut the goats throat. Blood spurted all over as he picked it up and threw it on the fire.
" NOW I GIVE YOU LIFE. ALL FOR MY GOD.
COME FORTH AND GRANT ME YOUR BOON DARK MAZ!"
Lightning flashed and crahed to the ground all around Kalin. From the air he heard loud laughter. It wasnt the sound of Maz's laughter he heard. It was a woman. Something was wrong. Maz should be here thanking him for his freedom. Kalin looked to the side were all the lightning had struck the ground. There he saw a pit and a faint transparent image of an old croom rising from the ground.
" IM FREE, IM FREE!!"
Kalin turned and fled away from the altar. He know who that had been rising, and fear filled his soul. Polan was a saint compared to what just rose for the ground.
"MUERTE !!!!"
Kalin knew he had made a big mistake. He'd been tricked. His magic was no match for her. Even in her weakened state like she is, he couldnt beat her. But he knew who could, and he had to get to them fast. He had to get to a place called Settlement.

Darkest before the Dawn. 49

One by one, city by city, in almost every kingdom Polan had conquered, his armies fought a losing battle. The Dragons forces were winning and there didn't seem to be much he could do to stop them. He couldn't even get back in and help with the fighting. His dead were being put down and his troops were on the run. His schemes had all failed. Even the kidnapping of Toric's family had failed. He had come back to Maricora and found his troops burned and blasted and the two woman gone. Delmar died for his failure. His soul was now mixed in with all the rest Polan had consumed.
High in the sky Shadoe flew filled with anger.There had to be something he could do to turn the course of things back in his favor. Maybe if he got the spirit back again, he would have the power to break back into the lands he lost. Surely if the dragons cast this spell, dragon power could break it. Keanna may just be his answer. Polan called out to Taren to meet him in the Durmista mountains. They stole it once, they could do it again. He turned and headed for the mountains. A evil gleam in his eye. Tonight he would kill everything in the cave.

As a cool late night breeze blow through his terrace, Toric sat and thought about the events of the day. His mother and sister were free and away from Polan's captivity. The battle he and Ariel had with the monster bat, they had won. Afterwards, they flew back to Settlement and got Tess into a room there. She was in a bad way, but she opened her eyes and saw her mother and brother and smiled. She knew she was safe, she'd be alright. Shayn their healer said it was Polan's poison and exhaustion that almost killed her. Thank the gods it was all over.
[But its not]
Toric jumped when he heard the words in him mind. He looked around and saw the little dragon flying onto the terrace. Shine fluttered down and settled himself on the railing.
"I want to thank you for helping my family." He said as he walked over.
[My pleasure.] Shine sent. [Your mother is a formidable powerful woman.]
" She is?" Toric looked at him with surprise.
[Father always said she had power, but I never saw it."
" I think you received you powers from her. Those energy bolts she used were just like the ones you fired. We never would have gotten out without her.]
" But I got my powers from my father." Toric told Shine. " He was a master mage. He came from a very powerful family."
[Yes, powerful siphons.] Shine told him. [ All the collectors were. They stole power from others for their own use. Thats why they collected magical things. Your mother was part of his collection, but you and Tess are different. You both have power of your own from your mother. You won't collect will you?]
"No. never."
Toric sat in a chair to talk with the smallest dragon.
"I saw what it did to all creatures and beings in my fathers cages. It made them weak. Sometimes it killed them."
Shines head tilted as he looked up at Toric, his eyes flashed. He liked this young man and his family. He hope they would stay in Settlement.
"Shine. how is Ariel today?" Toric asked.
[You like our Pricess?]
" Very much." He said blushing with a smile.
[Then befriend her brother, or beware the dragon of fear.]

Upstairs, Cutter paced back and forth in the study. He, Denner and Dreik were ending a Settlement security meeting that he hadnt paid much attention to.
"Cutter?" Dreik called. Cutter didnt even hear him call.
" CUTTER!!" Denner yelled.
" Yes?" He looked up at them.
" Have you heard anything we talked about?"
" No, im sorry." Cutter walked around the end of the table and sat down.
" What were we talking about."
" Nevermind." Dreik said to his friend. " Whats wrong?"
" What do you mean?" Cutter asked.
" I know you well enough to know when somethings wrong Jake." Dreik and Denner sat with there friend.
" You know Ariel's fine right?" Denner said. "She wasn't hurt last night."
" Its not that. Somethings wrong though. And I cant quite get to it." Cutter put his hands to his head. He'd been feeling this fear and dread all day, but he didnt know where it was coming from. That was the problem with his fear abilities. He felt others fears and sometimes he even saw things about to happen. Maybe that was it, something was going to happen. Or was happening to the cave.
" The cave?" Where did that come from? Cutter jumped up. He knew know something was going on with the dragon cave.
" We have to get Rage and Jandar." Cutter said. "The dragon caves in trouble."
[RAGE!!]
[Yes Cutter? Whats wrong?]
[We have to get to the cave. Somethings wrong there.]
[The dragon cave?]
[Yes, we have to hurry.]
[I'll get some of the others and meet you out front.]

Outside Cutter met Rage with Icicle, Banshee and Blink. Denner and Dreik had come out with Cutter. Being part of Cutters seurity force they were alway with him when they could be.
" Whats going on." Rage asked.
" I dont know. But somethings either going to happen or has happened at the cave."
[Gird!!!] Rage sent out. Gird came flying down from the roof. He landed before Rage and bowed.
" Will you stop that!!'Rage said.
Everyone laughed. Rage hated being treated like royalty.
" Sorry Majesty. You called me?" He said.
"Its Rage, for the hundredth time. Yes, go back to the cave and see if anythings going on. Jandar gave you the ability to transport right into the cave right?"
" Yes." He said. " I can get in."
" Good. Go now. Hurry!!"
Gird flew up into the sky and disappeared, he'd be back soon.
" Hopefully everythings ok." Rage said. " Maybe all we have to do is warn them."
" If it was that simple." Cutter said. " I don't think I'd be getting warnings."
" We'll see." Rage turned to go back into the house when Gird reappeared.
" Majesty, I mean Rage!! They're surrounded by Polan and his forces. They havnt made it in yet. Thunder says they can take care of it"
" No." Rage said. " Tell him and the others not to come out. Stay in there and protect the eggs. We'll take care of this. I want everyone except Shayn ,Ono and Jandar out here now! We have a war to end."
" Jandar's not going to like that." Denner told him.
"He, Shayn and Ono will protect our homes." Rage told him. "Gather everyone and lets get moving."

Circling high in the Durmista mountains, Polan split from the assault on the cave. He knew Rage was no longer here and he thought the other dragons would probably still be sleeping off the long enchantment he had put on them. None of them had come out of the cave while they had been watching the entrance. But he could smell them, so he knew they were still there. From the last time he tried to get in, he knew getting in would be a difficult task. Placing men on the trail to the cave entrance, he told them to advance and try to get in. From the air he watched as they moved forward. Five black armours crept closer and closer till they were right outside the cave. Pulling there swords and spears they rush the entrance. Unknown to them, Rages spell was still in affect. No man could get in, only dragons. Polan watch as his men tried to run in. When they hit the entrance, an electrofying energy overwhelned the men and electrcuted them to death. Well that won't work. Time to try another way in. There has to be another way into the cave. One entrance doesnt make sense. It would have to be hidden to. A secret way in and out. But how to find it? Magic was the answer. Across from the cave entrance Polan see a plateau. He headed down and landed. Now for a spell.

ENTRANCES AND EXITS
INS AND OUTS
FIND ME A NEXUS
HELP ME OUT
CRACKS AND HOLES
HOW TO SLIP THROUGH
SHOW ME A WAY
HOW TO GET THROUGH

All around the mountain, dark spots started to swirl and fly covering every inch. Polan smiled, he knew his spell would find a way in. All he had to do was gather his forces and be ready to move. On the ground he had less then one hundred men. In the air he had his flying demons and other sorted flying creatures. Polan shifted back to Shadoe and took off so he would be ready when the opening revealed itself. Looking to the west, he saw another large group of creatures flying toward them. He guessed it was more of his demons coming to aid him. The more the better. He would leave nothing alive this time. Suddenly an area on the mountain began to flair up. That was it!! He'd found the entrance!! It was time to move in.
" MASTER!!" Taren called to him."Coming from the west!! Its the Dragons!!"
Flying with all the speed they could, Polan saw Rage and the other dragons coming in their direction. This was his chance to kill Rage and Jandar.
[Attack!!] Polan sent.
He angled his wings and turned to intercept them. He called all his winged forces to follow him into battle. Shadoe could see Rage in front of him with a stern look heading for him. Next to him, a dragon that looked just like Shadoe.
[Polan is my responsibility. Leave him to me. Kill the demons.]
Blink flew in front of him.
[He's all yours.]Rage turned and began tearing into demons and other things.
[Who are you?] Polan sent. [Some young dragon looking to die today?]
[Your a dragon and you know nothing of our people, or our ways.] Blink told him. [I'm your senior. I'm the one that's going to make sure your reign of terror is over. I am Blink, the Dragon of Darkness. Your just a shadow of me.]
[We'll see who's a shadow.] Shadoe dived at Blink and slashed out . Blink batted his claw away and punched at his chest. He connected and it pushed Shadoe back. He roared and came at Blink again. Blink duck as Shadoe sailed over him. He reached up and grabbed Shadoes leg and swung him around. Shadoe fell back into a group of demons. He slashed out and ripped them apart. Pieces fell toward the ground. Blink laughed at him. [Is that the best you can do?]
Shadoe looked at Blink, then inhaled and blow his black flame breathe in Blinks face. Blink shieding his eyes with the eye shield Jandar gave him. It was good against more then bright light.
[Your breathe won't work against me. But my darkness is stronger then your shadoes.]
Blink sent out his darkness field. It covered them both and totally disoriented Shadoe. He couldnt find Blink in the darkness. He swung blind trying to find Blink. Blink saw through his darkness like there was nothing there. Avoiding his blows was easy. Blink struck out and battered him again and again. Shadoe drew back trying to get out of the darkness. The field wasnt that big, so it only took seconds to get out. Blink collapsed the field and watched Shadoe. He knew he had the upper hand, that would give him the advantage in this fight. Enraged Shadoe rushed at Blink. He wasnt much of a fighter. Polan usually used magic in battle. Blink fended off most of his blows and connected with many of his.
Wading through demons Icicle and Banshee fought everything that came near them. Icicle's icy breath and Banshee's pounding scream dropped things from the sky as the moved towards the cave entrance. Soon they were outside guarding the way in to keep them out. Ariel with Toric on her back had found the other entrance. Demons tried to get in the mountain but Toric blasted them out of the sky. Shine and Ariel sent lightning bolts at the enemy. Rage and Blaze shot gouts of flame at demons and monsters. All around the enemy fell from the sky, bodies littered the side of the mountain.

Out of the corner of his multi faceted eye, Shine thought he saw something. A quick fluttering of wings, he wasnt sure what it was but he flew down for a look. Whatever it was, it moved behind the side of the mountain. Shine followed it. He looked through the trees on the side of the mountain and saw nothing. Suddenly he heard a noise and looked back as a stabbing pain erupted from his back. On his back was Taren stabbing down with his sword again and again. Shine twisted and turned tyring to shake him loose,but to no avail. He couldnt get him off. The pain was more then he could bare as Taren kept stabbing. Growing weak, Shine did a quick backflip that tossed Taren into the air. Quick as a flash, Terror came flying out of the trees. He flew under Taren and caught him. His laughter rang out as they flew out to where Shadoe was flying.Struggling to stay airborne, Shine tried to reach Rage. His wings became heavy but he kept on trying till he reached and collapsed at the cave entrance. From high up, Rage saw his father being stabbed by Taren. At the time he was battling two demons. They were trying to land on his back and get at his wings to bring him dowm. Rage reached out and grabbed them both. He sent his heat through his hands and held them as they burst into flames. As they screamed in flames, he dropped them and flew to Shine lying in front of the cave. He had to help his father, he was dying right in front of him. Shadoe reached out and raked his claws along Blinks chest then swung around and tried to spike him with his tail spikes. Blink winged himself out of the way of the spikes and delivered a punch to Shadoes snout. Blinded by pain Shadoe angled up and flew out of Blinks reach. He looked around and saw this forces falling everywhere. This is not what he planed. Its not how the battle was suppose to go. In his frustration screammed out.
[Nooooooooo!!!!]
From his rage and anger Shadoes shadows began to spread. His shadows began to cover everyone. Further and further out it spread until it was in every corner of the whole mountain. And it keep going. Soon the whole world was covered in his shadow.
[This is my gift to you all!!]
Up he flew, high and away. The only one the could see him was Blink. He started to follow when Rage called him back.
[I need you here brother.]Blink rushed down to Rages side. He didnt know how to help, but he would be there. As he laid there, Shines body shrank back down to the little dragon that was his normal size. Rage picked him up and ran into the cave. There was only one hope for any help. He could use dragon healing magic, but he doubted if it would be enough. His only chance would be for Jandar to bring Shayn to help. The white dragon was the most powerful healer he knew. If he couldnt help, then Shine had no chance.
[ Jandar!!! I need you and Shayn here now!!] He sent out.
[ What happened Rage?] His mate asked.[Who's hurt?]
[Fathers been stabbed. I need Shayn here now!]
[We'll be there in just a minute.] Rage really had a worried sound in his voice. Running quickly through the cave, Rage met Thunder.
" Brother,I need the spirit." He said. Shines color had become pale.
" Its in your old lair." Thunder told him. "We havnt moved it."
Rage ran further in to the place where he use to sleep and pulled the spirit down. He placed it on the ground an layed Shine down on it. As they watched his color became better and his breathing wasnt as labored. All the dragons began to gather around. The thought of one of their own dying was foreign to them. Dragons dont die often. None so far in Rages lifetime. A bright flash behind them caught everyones attention. Jandar was there with Shayn and Ono.
"Here Shayn!!" Rage waved at them. Running over to them Shayn bent and examined the little dragon. He found his wound and gasped.
" How did he do this?"Shayn asked.
" What does it matter?" Rage asked."Heal him!"
"Ono, help me." Shayn held out one hand and Ono took it. Shayn found that being with Ono made him more powerful. He had once told Ono he would make a great magic user. Shayn close his eyes and concetrated on Shines wounds. They were deep and he'd lose a lot of blood. There was something else. More then the wound. The blade that cut him was.. a Dark elf blade. They means Elven magic. He opened his eyes and asked for a blade. He needed a special blade." Call Jayce." He told Jandar. " I need Salvation. His blade."[JAYCE. WE NEED YOU IN THE CAVE. HURRY!!]
[ On my way.]
Blink stared at Shayn and Ono. He'd been in Settlement over a week but had never met these two. He could feel their magic and he knew Ono was a werewolf and Shayn was a dragon. There magic was unmistakable. And it seemed he was a healer. Could he be? Was it possible? He had to talk to Rage about Shayn. But not now. Things were moving to fast. But soon, very soon.It took Jayce no more then 15 seconds before he came flying in. Jayce had never been in here before, but finding his brothers would never be a problem for any of them. He sailed in with no fear over all the dragons there and landed next to Jandar.
" How can I help?" He asked. " Give me Salvation." Shayn said.
He held out his hand for the sword. Jayce looked at him, then at Jandar.
" He cant." Jandar said. " No one else can hold Salvation but him. It would kill you."" I have to cut myself and bleed on Shines wound in the next ten seconds or he'll die." He told them.
" Then cut me quick"
" I can't do that either." Jayce said. " If I try and cut you, the blade will kill!! This wont work!"
" Then just pull your blade and i'll cut myself." Shayn yelled in frustration.
" Do it now, Ill take my chances. I have to save him."
" Do it!" Jandar told him. Jayce pulled out Salvation and put the point in the ground. Shayn ran his hand across the blade and cut his palm. Quickly he put his bloody hand on Shines wound. The wound began to absorb the blood and close. Inside him his organs started to heal. He would be ok. Rage,Jandar and all the rest of the dragons let out a sigh of relief. Blink stepped up to them.
" Can we do something about this damned shadow now?" He said.
" Yeah, we can." Rage said. " And Taren is mine."

Darkness Falls. 48

Kara woke to another day of captivity in the home of the strange man that took her and her daughter from their home. She had no idea where she was. All she knew was that this was a frightening place and she wanted to get them out of there. She hadnt seen another living soul here, except for that monster of a man dressed in black. How she hated him. He smelled of evil magic. A smell she had learned to hate. Her husband and his brother had that smell. She was so glad her son had rejected his fathers teaching and turned his magic and his life in a different way. Her husband had been the Mage called The Collector. He and his brother had used their magic to enslave hundreds of different creatures and steal their magic to grow strong. But it did neither of them any good in the end. In trying to capture certain prizes they ran into someone more powerful then them. Someone they couldnt beat or scare. Her husband had tried to capture a werewolf. Unfortunately for them, the werewolf they tried to capture was one of the brothers of Jandar Tyr, the Master Mage of the Dark Wolf Clan. He of course came and rescued his brother. Her husband's punishment was sever. He was placed in a zoo himself after being turned ino a freak. His brother's punishment was even worse. Then again his crime was much more horrible. Haner kidnapped and was responsible for the death of a young centaur, a child. Jandar turned him over to the centaurs to be punished by them. No one knows what they did to him. His body hasnt been found. Feeling weak, Kara climbed out of the bed and walked over to check on her daugther Tess. Tess didnt look very good. Her beautiful brown hair has lost all its shine. Kara was worried about her. Being around all these dead things was having a dreadful affect on her. She's listless and walking around like death was stalking her. And maybe it was. She had to get her out of here soon. Over in the corner was a fountain. Thank god the water in it ran clear and clean. Kara took the pitcher from the table and went and filled it up. She brought it back and sat Tess up and gave her some water.
" Mother, I want to go home." Tess looked at her with circles under her eyes.
" I know little one. Toric will be here soon for us, we just have to hold on." She dabbed her daughters face with a wet rag.
"Please Toric, You have to hurry my son." She prayed.

Toric sat in the window sill of his room and watched all the children outside playing . He wanted so bad to get his mother and sister free. He was worried about them. Tess was very frail. She was his twin. He could feel what was happening to her and he know she wasnt doing good. His mother would take care of her as best she could, but if Tess started to become really bad. She would start fighting. And her power and strength were a mystery. Father always said he siphoned off a lot of her power and that she was much more powerful then she looked. He knew she was no match for Polan. But if she fought, it could get them killed. As he watched there was a knocked at the door. He stood up and walked over and opened the door. There on the other side was Ariel. Toric smiled at her. What a regal beauty she was dresssed in her stormy gray gown and those beautiful smoky eyes and her elven features. Ariel was tall with long silky blond hair and carried herself like the princess she is.
" Come in my Lady." Toric smiled and bowed to her holding out his hand. She took it and smiled back.
" Thank you." She said.
He escourting her out to the terrace and held her chair for her. Ariel sat down and folded her hands in her lap.
" How are you doing today Toric?" She asked.
" I will be alright,but i fear my sister isnt doing well at all." He said. She had a look of concern on her face. Ariel reached out and touched his face. Toric knew to that moment this was the girl for him. His heart almost burst at her touch.
" You are a twin like Cutter and I, arent you? "
"Yes, Tess and i are twins," He said.
" And you feel her pain." She said. "Please dont worry. Rage and Jandar are on their way. And Rage says we are going to get them as soon as we can. We are all going to do what we have to, to get them free. I promise you that."
" I know you will." Toric took her hand and kissed it. She blushed.[Ariel, we are back.]
"There all back. Toric. Come on, Lets meet them."
Toric stood up and held her chair for her as she stood. Together they left his room and made there way out into the courtyard to meet everyone coming back. In the courtyard Jandar, Rage ,Pelic Denner, and Graym came walking up to the Manor.
" Welcome Home!!" Ariel said. She hugged them all as the came to her. Rage looked to Toric.
" Come, lets sit in the garden and make some plans. Ill call everyone out here."
One by one eveyone came out to the garden and greeted Rage and Jandar. Graym told them all about the demise of Velusia. How well Azeal did against his Mother. At the moment, only Jandar and Graym knew about Valkar being there father. They didnt even tell Valkar yet. Azeal wanted to wait. They let them know that Azeal was still in Tir Na with his little brother and Jandar's family safe. Rage told them about the places they stopped at and freed from Polan's hold. He also mentioned that Shine was again out of body watching Polan.
" Now that everyones been caught up. We have to discuss how we're going to help Toric and his family. One thing I can tell you is that Polan's not in a very good mood right now. He's lost a lot of land and im sure he's in a rage right now. So we have to act quickly while he's not thinking clearly. Heres what we're going to do....."

The day dawn gloomy in the country of Vicenta. Vicenta was once a beautiful place full of fruit trees and farming fields. The people were pleasent, always ready to help a stranger in need. Now they were suspicious of anyone that came near their villages. Food as in all of Polans land was scarce. Stealing was now bthe norm here. Woman and chilren couldnt walk anywhere alone anymore and no one was ever unarmed. These were sad day now with Polan as there ruler.Ono and Shayn flew in and landed in a barren field and looked around. Jandar had warned them to be careful and to avoid being seen if they could. He knew how scared and dangerous the people had become because of there hunger.
"Theses poor people." Shayn said. He reached over a took Ono's hand.
"We're here to help." Ono smiled at his love.
"Go ahead and do what we came to do."
Shayn bent over and stuck his hands into the ground. The shimmering effect begain to spread out from there. As it moved, the color of the ground began to look more healthy. Rotton fruit begain to fall from the trees and the leaves turned a more healthy color.
" Ok." Ono said. " Lets move on."
Shayn shifted back to Gabriel and Ono climbed on his back and they took off for there next destination.

Cutter and Dreik were the next to land. Theirs was a mountainous land. Dreik liked this place. He felt comfortable in the mountains. The only problem was that everyone here was either dead or had left to find a better place to lived. Dreik could feel the poison Polan had infected the land with. They never said a word as they cleaned the land and left.

Jumping from island to island, Nautica and Denner cleaned all the islands they could find. Polan had poisoned ever thing he touched on land and sea. Mortimer's people on Mythioes ever felt his poisons in there lake until that island was cleaned and turned to a prison by the dragons. On Parsia a large island. Nautica and Denner fought against the demons Polan left there to keep the people in line. Fear and terror ruled the island. Luckly they defeatted the demons and cleaned the island and cut Polan off from there forever.

Kara woke to the sound of something tapping at the window. She opened her eyes and looked around. Over on the window sill she saw a small golden animal scratching. It looked like a little dragon. wasnt Polan talking about dragons earlier? something about a red dragon. She got up and walked over and opened the window. The little dragon flew in and up to the rafters. She watched it fly around and jump from plank to plank. Tess opened her eyes and smiled at it.
" Mother!" She called weakly. Kara rushed back to her daughter. She sat down next to her and wiped her brow.
" Yes sweet heart?"
" Look, Toric sent us help."
" What are you talking about?" She asked as she looked back at the little dragon. It was sitting there staring at her.
"Its talking to me in my head." She said.
Tess closed her eyes.
" Shhh sweetheart. You're dreaming." Kare wet the towel and laid it on her daughters forehead.
[No she's not.] Kara heard in her nead. She jumped up a look around.
" Who's there?
[It is me up here.] Kara looked up to the little dragon. I must have the fever too she thought,
[No, you dont. I am talking to you. Toric sent me for you. Please dont talk. They might hear you. I can hear your thoughts.] Shine jumped down and clutched the bed post. The color in his many faceted eyes kept changing in the light.
[Toric sent you?] She asked. [Is he well?]
[He's worried about the two of you. Otherwise he's well.]
[How can you help us?]
[I can take you out of here. We have someone that can help her get better]Kara look at the small thing on the bed. How was he suppose to transport them anywhere being so small?
[ There are some very powerful small things my lady. Dont underestimate me.]
[I dont understand.] Kara said.
[Dont worry. Toric and help will be here in a moment and you will ba out of here.]
Suddenly the door burst open and a man in black armour came in. He was carrying a tray of food. He looked at her then Shine and dropped the try and called for help. Kara pointed at him and a stream of enegy shot at him. He froze in place then dropped to the ground dead. It was to late. There was no more time to wait for any help from outside. They would have to move now.
[Grab her and get her out the window now!!]Shine took to the air and landed on the window sill. Two men came running into the room. Kara quickly through out her hand again and one man fall like the other. Before she could cast again the other man ran toward her with his sword. Shine called and sent a lightning bolt at him. It hit him and killed him dead.
[Hurry!!] Shine sent. [You have to get her outside.]
Kara grabbed her daugter and with amazing strentgh, picked her up and carried her to the window. Shine jumped out to the ground as Kara pushed Tess out and she fell. As she climbed on to the window sill, another black armouer came in and tried to grab her. As he tried to pull her back in, she turned and grabbed his head. Her hands began to glow as she sent her magical energy into his brain. He screamed and fell with her out the window. Quickly she untangled herself from the dead man and climbed to her feet. Before her stood a massive golden dragon. She just stared for a second, not sure what to do.
[Its me. Do not worry. Quickly climb on my back. I'll left her up to you. Then hold on tight.]
Kara ran to Shine and climbed up his leg as he reached out and grabbed Tess and put her in front of her mother. Flying around the corner, came a red dragon and a purple one moving at high speed. On the back of the purple one sat Toric sending out blasts of magic at the black armours shooting arrows at them. Lightning bolts blasted out from Ariel as she twisted and turned to avoid the arrows.
[ Move now Shine!!] Rage sent. He bellowed fire out to scatter the warriors.In a matter of seconds Shine was airbourne and heading to the heights carrying them away. Higher and higher they flew as they made their getaway. Suddenly behind them they heard a roar. At was two of Polans dead things chasing after them.
[ Shine, take them back to Settlement. We'll take care of them.]
Rage and Ariel circled around back to confront the two dead things. Climbing higher Toric sent bolt after bolt at the dead dragon. It was a giant bat like thing with holes in its wings swooping at them.
" You fly, let me take care of them." He yelled to her.
Toric sat strapped into a special saddle Rage had made for Jandar to ride in. Diving at them the bat thing reached out and tried to claw at Ariel. Toric put his hands together and sent out a blast the took off one of its legs. The bat thing didnt even flinch. Instead it swung out its wing to smash them. Ariel sent a wind that beat it back. In he's saddle Toric called out a string of strange words. He swing his hand in a circle over his head then screamed out and pointed at the bat monster. It exploded in the air, pieces rain out everywhere. Rage looked ahead. In front of him was a Roc. The biggest, nastiest bird he had ever seen. He knew it was one of Polan's things so it was dead. But its claws and beak were still powerful enough to rip him apart if it caught him. Rage picked up speed and flew right at it. Just before contact he dipped, flipped over and reached out his claws and ripped its bottom open. Feeling no pain the Roc keep going. With a suddenly batting of its wing, it knocked Rage aside. For a second he tumbled, but he gained his balance and did a flip in the air to recover. Climbing high he saw that Ariel and Toric had done away with there pursuit. It was time to end this and get home to Jandar. Rage decide to do a head on attack. He did another flip and came straight it the Roc. Closer and closer they flew. The Roc stuck out its claws to grab and rip him apart. Rage took a deep breathe and blasted it with the hottest blast he ever used. The Roc burned in the air, incinerated. Ash and feathers floated in the air as Rage turned and headed for home.

Good Bye, Mother, Go to Hell! 47

In every shadow in every town and forest, field or jungle, shadow beast came forth to search for Ranjer. Every house or shack was searched. In the places of light, the sunbirds search to. They covered everywhere, nothing was over looked in the light or darkness. Then in a dungeon in a dark place a little scared crying boy was heard by a few hounds. They had found him. One hound sat in the shadow and watched the boy to be sure he was safe. This was there orders, find the boy and protect him and for one to report back his location. Out side in the sun, a sunbird entered the dungeon through a shaft of light and found Ranjer. Soon a flock of sunbirds circled the castle to show where Ranjer was being kept, it was to dark in the dungeon for them so they had to stay out. Traveling through shadow and on sunbeams, the hounds and the birds quickly went back to Yadessa to tell Pelic and Graym what they found, where Ranjer was.

Out in the courtyard Pelic, Graym and Jayce sat and waited in the sun as Azeal walked out and pulled his dagger. He held Justice up to the sun as it grew to a full sized longsword and the Salvation stone glowed a dark blue. He looked back at the three men waiting for him
"Just stab it into the ground." Jayce told him.
Azeal raised the sword over his head ,then stabbed down and the sword went into the soil. Sparks flew up and suddenly a ripple effect began to spread out from it. It raced out and all through Yadessa sending Salvation all through the land.
" That's it." Jayce told him. " Yadessa is safe from Polan. He cant touch or enter here ever"
" Retribution can do this to?" Graym asked.
" Yes, Were all going to have a piece. Soon we'll all spread out to all the countries and one by one banish his black poisons."
" Good." Graym said. " There still burying his victims at home."
"Look!!" Azeal pointed up in the sky. Jayce and Graym looked up and saw many sparks of light coming down to fly arond them. The sunbirds were back! Graym held out his hand and one beautiful golden bird landed on it.
" I know where he is." Graym said. " Come on, lets get back to the others."
Jayce grabbed Azeal and took off with Graym right behind him. They flew up and into the window of Valkar's study. All the others were there waiting spread around the room.
" Ive found him!!" Graym shouted.
"So have I." Pelic said.
Jayce and Graym set down and let Azeal go. Then they all came together at the table and sat down.
" So how do we do this?" Denner asked.
" Im going to get my brother." Azeal got up from the table and started for the door.
" Wait!" Jandar called. " Your not going alone. Im coming with you."
" So am I." Graym stood up.
" Rage, We still have to free Toric's family. You take Pelic. Maybe his hounds can find them for you."
" No." Rage walked over to his mate and took his hand." I'll wait until you get back. You sure you don't want us to come with you?"
" No love. Go to Tir Na and put our protection down there. I don't want Polan invading my families home. Then go on back to Settlement. And you and Jayce can spread Salvation where you can on your way. I want to limit the places he can go."
Rage pulled Jandar in to his arms and kissed him.
"I'm not gonna worry about you." He said.
"Good, cause we'll be fine." They kissed deeply and held each other.
"I'll see you at home." Rage smiled.
"Always."Jandar whispered in his ear.

Minutes later with the help of a sunbird and a spell from Jandar they found themselves in the forest outside of an old run down castle. The gates were down and there wasn't much time before Polan's deadline. They had to get him out now.
"I can feel Ranjer." Azeal told them. " He's here, and so is she."
" I know." Jandar said. " She's not the only one here. I feel something strange he to."
" What is it?"Graym asked.
" I don't know. But its evil. I can feel the hate. Graym, take to the skies and see if you can find a way in from up there and around back. Keep Retribution handy, who knows whats here."
"Im on my way." Spreading his wings he leaped to the skies and flew towards the castle. Soon he was gone from sight. Jandar called his staff to him the looked at Azeal.
"Azeal, we're going in together. I don't know what we're going to find in there so be on your guard. If we get separated, You get Ranjer out of here. Be careful, If you find Your mother."
" She'll be the one that will need to be careful." He told Jandar as he pulled Justice from its scabbard. The stone setting flashed blue as it lengthened to a short sword.
"Lets go."

Together Jandar and Azeal stepped on to the bridge and started across. The inside of the castle was dark as night, but that didn't matter to a werewolf or a vampire, they both could see perfectly well in the dark. They saw rats and mice run as the made there way forward. This castle was totally unfamiliar to both of them so neither knew where to go. But the dungeon seemed the place to start. But where exactly was the entrance to the lower levels? Side by side the moved forward from the front courtyard into the castle proper. Jandar could feel something here, he knew they were not alone. Ahead in front there was a set of double doors. Jandar figured it probably was the doors to the throne room. On the right side of that there was another door. If this place was built like most area castles, that would be the kings study or a council room. To the left of the center doors, Jandar guessed that would probably go to the kitchen and pantry and dining areas. To there sharp left and right were the stairs to the upper floors. There would be the king, queen and royal families quarters and guest rooms and other nobles quarters. Under the stairs they found another door. These went down to the dungeons.
"Well." Azeal said. " Up or down?"

Up in the skies, Graym flew around looking for a way in to the castle. All the windows he'd seen so far were to small for him to fit through so he searched on. As he winged his way around , he saw a place were the wall had fallen. That could be a way in. Hovering in the air, Graym turned and headed for the hole in the wall. As he came closer several winged things emerged from the hole. There were seven or eight of the winged demons. Graym pulled up and headed higher, he needed room to swing Retribution. They closed in on him trying to surround him. Graym knew he couldn't handle all of them. He needed help. He wished he still controlled the shadow beast. They could rip these things apart in seconds. He wondered if the sunbirds were as deadly. He had no choice by to call them and see. Graym sent out a call for as many as he could as the demons launched there attack. They were unarmed but they had sharp claws and fangs that could tear him up. Graym swung his sword as one came in reaching for him, he slashed at its chest. As the burn slash appeared, Graym pulled back and stabbed another through the shoulder. It burst into a flash of light as it died. He kicked out and hit another then spun around slashing a demons throat and dropped till he was free and slowed his fall. Looking up he saw sparks of light coming toward him. He saw hundreds of Sunbird's coming in to help him. Graym climbed higher as the birds attacked the first demon. They tore it to pieces until there was nothing left. That answered Graym's question. They were deadly. Seconds later two more demons reached for his wings. He flexed them in a sudden jerk and sent hundreds of feather darts at them. They fell there wings ripped to shreds. Climbing higher, he watched as the rest of the demons were overcome by the horde of sunbirds. Now he was free to enter the castle.

"You go up." Jandar told Azeal. " I'll go down."" You think Ranjer is downstairs so your sending me up?"Azeal asked him. " Isn't that right?"
" No. Azeal. I don't know where he is. But we have to check both up and down. If we do it together, its going to take that much longer. I'll call you if I find them downstairs. You call me if there up. Fair enough?"
" Yeah. I guess." Azeal said.
" I mean it Azeal." Jandar started down the stairs. " Call me if you find them."
Down into the dungeon Jandar walked. The smell down here was awful. It was the smell of death. That means there's something down here that's dead. But it couldn't be Ranjer, even if he was dead he hasn't been dead long. Holding his staff in front of him, Jandar stepped on to the dungeon landing. He looked left and right and saw nothing. He moved on to the cell area. There he saw a row of open cells. He was going to have to check them all. Jandar stepped up to the first cell and looked in. He thought he saw something move on the floor. Was it Ranjer? He stepped in to check and looked down on the body on the floor. It was to big to be Ranjer. But it was moving. Could she have taking someone else? Knowing Velusia, the answer was yes. Jandar bent over to check the body when it jumping up and hissed at him. Claws reached for him as he stepped back. It was a vampire. But not a born vampire. It was one of Velusia's dark changed thralls. Swinging his staff down,Jandar stabbed it in the chest. In a bright flash and a scream,the thrall was consumed by the fire of the Salvation stone in his staff. At that second he heard sounds of movement from all around him. He knew he was in trouble.
"Damn!! Just my luck!!"

Upstairs Azeal slowly made his way higher and higher. This is where Ranjer was. He knew that more and more with each step he took. He could feel Velusia to. Her stench was everywhere. At the top of the stairs he found a balcony with three hallways branching off. He sniffed the air. There was no smell in the left hall and nothing in the center. That left the right one. From there he could smell them both." Im coming Ranjer." Azeal started down the hall he held Justice in his hand. He passed Many doors on his way down the hall. But the scent grew stronger ahead of him. Soon he came to a large open room. This must be the kings private quarters and this is where the scent was strongest. The room was filled with old furniture.There were tapestries ,bureaus, trunks and over stuffed chairs. An enormous canopy bed with curtains hanging. Azeal stepped into the room and stared at the bed. There was someone in it. It was Ranjer. He ran for the bed when a cloud of smoke came between them. He heard a cackling laugh fill the room.. He stopped as the cloud began to solidify.
" My darling son." She said as her beautiful form became clear. She was smiling at him as she walked to the front of the bed. Velusia was dressed in beautiful blue silks wrapped all around her. She looked like a dream, an evil dream.
" I haven't been your son since you had Rejek banished."
" That was his fault." she said. "He refused to comply just like you."
" Why should we?" Azeal was getting mad. " Its not like you ever showed us any love. We were tools to get what you wanted, that's all"
" That's right." She said. " I should have drowned all three of you at birth. Your just like your father. I wish id killed him to."
" My father?"
" You might as well know, you'll be dead soon anyway. That damned Valkar." Her eyes burned with hate for them all.
" Valkar is our father?" Azeal was shocked to hear all this.
" Does he know?"
" No. I swore id never give him a heir. That's why I had Rejek banished. That's why neither of you will leave alive."
"I've hated you most of my life. You and grandfather give me these scars I'll carry for the rest of my life. Look at my face mother, you did this to. With your own hands you did this!!!"
His rage was building as he scream at her. Justice felt warm in his hand. It sent power all through his body as they argued. Today would be the last time they would have to see each other. After today,one of them would certainly be dead.
" I have another gift for you my sweet Azeal."
Smoke began to rise all around her.
" The gift of peace. Never again will you have to worry about anything. And I promise you, Ranjer will follow you in a few minutes. HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!"
Azeal charged at her with his sword raised. She dissolved into smoke and swirl around him. All around him she flowed,she reached out and slashed at him. Across his cheek a scratch appeared. He reached up and felt the blood on his face. That's one more scars she would answer for. Azeal took a step back but she just came on. Again and again he felt her strike him. in his face, then his chest, and his stomach. He fell to the ground in pain. Azeal was beginning to think maybe this was to be his last day. He heard her laughter ringing in his ears. He felt a kick hit him in his side and he flew into the wall." Did you think you even had a chance?" The words echoed through the room. Something grabbed his hair and threw him across the room. Azeal crashed into the side of the bed. He sat up and for a second he was blinded by the smoke.
"HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!"
He climbed up trying to stand and felt her hit him in his face and knock him back to the floor. Azeal again got back to his feet and raised his sword.
" What do you plan to do with that?" He heard her taunting him. " Maybe I'll take it from you and slice you both up with it."
She grabbed his leg and tripped him. Azeal fell to the floor again. By now he had bruises all over, his head hurt and he was having doubts if he would survive this day. Azeal heard a noise from above and looked up. It was Graym. He was trapped in the upper floors . All he had was a window which he could watch Azeal die from.
" I see a new victim. Who is that? He looks familiar. Doesn't matter, He dies after Ranjer. I'll just cripple you so you can watch."
She hit him again in his face. Reeling from all the blows Azeal staggered to the wall and leaned on it. He though he heard a voice. Azeal shook his head to clear it and the voice became clear. It was Graym yelling to him. He looked up at him.
" AZEAL!! DEFEND YOURSELF!! USE THE SWORD! TRUST IN JUSTICE!! FIGHT HER!!"
" You can't hurt me! He can't hurt me! There's nothing you can do!"
Smoke swirled and swirled around him. Azeal bought his sword up and again shook his head to clear it. Velusia came at him again and Azeal swung Justice through the smoke cutting a path through it. He felt Justice hit something, Velusia screamed. This was it. He hurt her. He swung the sword again and again she screamed.
" How can this be?" She tried to flow away from him and he chased the cloud. Again and again he stabbed and sliced at the cloud. Her screaming became louder. Justice was getting slippery with what Azeal assumed was his mothers blood. He hacked and hacked at the cloud. The stone in the hilt growing brighter and brighter. With one last thrust he stuck Justice into the center of the cloud. She screamed another cry as the cloud dissipated leaving her body lying on the ground. Azeal looked down on her as a tear rolled down his cheek. She looked up and him and tried to sit up. She reached her hand out to him.
"Please Azeal." There were tears in her yellow eyes. "I'm your mother. I gave birth to you, I gave you life. I can change."
"No mother." He said as he stepped closer to her. "I would never be able to close my eyes and feel safe with you alive. One day you would come after me or Ranjer or Valkar again, and I can't have that. Good bye Mother, go to hell!"
Azeal raised Justice over his head and with a quick downward stroke, he severed her head. She screamed as she burst into flames. Azeal stepped back and watched her burn. This was the only time he ever cried for his mother. As she burn he turned and walked to the bed. He picked up his brother and walk out, leaving the room to burn along with all his memories and hate with her.

Change. 46

Deep in the dark crags of Maricora, the dead city of Napia sat. It was a cold dead place that housed only one living being. This was the home of Polan Dresek, the Shadow dragon. Ruler of all he saw. Polan sat at his throne in a dark mood full of hate. His enemies, the Keanna Dragons still thwarted his every move. He stared at a map on the wall that was covered with red except a few white areas. The red areas were territory he held, the white controlled by the enemy. Meaning the dragons or areas still free. Polan wanted to dominate the world. He wanted the whole map red and the white areas so frustrated him. Sitting in his study staring at the map, Polan thought about all the presidents and prime minister's, royal families and high courts he had destroyed or killed. He knew there were many out there looking to kill him. But none of them scared him, none of them had more power then he did. His only worry was the dragons. Only they were any danger to him. His magic he knew was above there's. A smile spread across his face as he thought of the plans he had for all of them.As he sat and pondered his next move, Maveta the lone white spot visible glared out at him. He stared back wishing that color would change to red. Suddenly as he watched, another white spot appeared on the map. Polan stood and walked over to the map to look at it in disbelief. Certain cities and countries shone out in white. Tir Na, Yadessa,these cities were dragon cities. Now Dansport shined out. Somehow it had been freed. As he watched Ardia, Winterhaven, Mythioes and Kensor turned white. This cant be. He was losing countries fast. And if they were anything like Maveta, He couldn't enter them to take them back.
"NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!"
This was somehow being done by the dragons. Polan flew into a rage and tore through the study trashing everything in sight. He blasted his desk then threw his world globe against the wall smashing it to pieces. He turned to the map and started to rip it down then stopped. He had to calm himself. This would not get his conquests back. He still had the Collectors family. He would deliver the dragons to him. While he waited, he could send his Black Armours and the armies out to take back what he lost.He walked out to his courtyard and summoned his captains to him. One by one there images appeared before him. Most of them were dark elves or trolls. All from armies he had taken and made his. And all infected with the poison Polan oozed to keep them loyal.
"I am losing lands we have taken." He said. "How do you explain this?"
"This is not our fault Sire." Said one human captain. "We capture lands as you bid us. after that we move on."
"ARE YOU SAYING THIS IS MY FAULT????" Polan screamed at him.
"No. sire. My apologies."
"Not accepted."
Polan reached out and sent a bolt of black energy into the sky. A look of fear covered the humans face. He turned and ran hoping to get away from what he knew was coming. Seconds later the bolt struck him and he fell withering to the ground. Polan watched as he began to age and die. Soon he was nothing but dust blowing away.
"I want those lands back under my control." He told them. "I don't care how you do it. Invade them in mass. BUT GET THEM ALL BACK NOW!!!"
He turned and stalked back to the house. He had plans to make and dragons to kill.

Far off in Petralia, A handsome winged man came flying out of the clouds, winging his ways down to land. Jayce St.James looked all around him. He hated what Polan had done. Petralia was once a beautiful flat grain bearing country, full of life and hard working people. Now it was a bleak dark place poisoned and suffering to feed its sick inhabitants. Now those days were over. The dragons had a way to cleanse the land and banish Polan forever. Jayce flew to the center of town and pulled Salvation from its scabbard. The sword hummed with power. He raised it to the skies and watched as the clouds parted. Soon the dark dusky sky was bright and clear, filled with sunlight. Smiling he took the sword and stabbed it into the ground and watched as a flash of light overwhelmed the land. From the spot he placed the sword, the ground began to change. It began to take on a more healthy hue the spread out and into the rest of the country. Jayce stood the and smiled. He saw people begin to come out of there homes and look around. From the look on there faces, he could tell the healing had began. Quickly he touched his pin and became invisible. This was the beginning to Polans end. Spreading his wings he took to the skies again. On to the next place to be cleansed.

Azeal arrived in Yadessa riding on the back of a beautiful unicorn. Denner in his unicorn form. Together they almost flew there the forest and mountains that surrounded the vampire home. He couldn't wait to see Valkar again, his adopted father. Jandar and the others had taught him well of the importance of family. he was glad to be here, back home. His job was to put there protection on Yadessa. With Justice at his side they rode in to the city. Everyone turned to look as they passed. Its not everyday they saw a vampire riding a unicorn in Yadessa.
[I'll bet you'll be glad to be home and see Valkar again.] Denner sent to him.
"Yeah." He smiled. "But Yadessa's not my home anymore. Settlement is. I like it there. So many different people. No one treats me like an outside. And no ones afraid of me."
[You mean because your a vampire? With all the werewolves and dragons and things. We're all use to different types of people around us.]
"But people don't think your gonna creep into the room at night and suck them dry." Azeal said. "My people have always brought fear to others. That's our history. My whole race was created from a curse and an evil ancestor."
[But as I was told, he wasn't always evil. The curse was laid on him because of love. Isn't that true?]
Azeal looked down at Denner as the rode. Not many knew the history of the vampires. He was shocked that Denner knew.
"Yeah." He said. " It's true. One of Valkar's great ancestor loved a woman so much, he fought against all odds to make her his bride. He even fought against his god and lost. He was denied his love and cursed. Doomed to walk the lands as the undead and spread his curse to others. That's how we were created. At least that's one of the stories."
[Undead? Like Polan's undead?]
Azeal could hear the twinge in Denner's voice. It wasn't fear. More like uncertainty.
"Polan makes dead things walk. That's not undead. They are dead, he magically gives them a resemblance of life. We were different. It's hard to explain. His crave for blood and life made him evil. It took a new love to show him what he's been doing. The evil that he spread across the land. He praying to the gods to grant him the love he needed and he swore to never feed on another being. They granted his wish. But it took centuries and by then, there were hundreds of vampires roaming the lands biting and dominating others. We created werewolves, treated them like slaves. Then the war. By the end, everything changed. The wolves taught us something. We were still much to proud for our own go. But we were changing for the better. We no longer feared the sun, we no longer feed on humans, except the truly evil among us. For them nothing has changed."
[Vampires like Velusia?]
Azeal hesitated for a few seconds. Not sure how to answer. But he decided truth would be best. "Yes. My mother thinks blood makes her more powerful then the rest of us. But she's wrong. I have none of her weakness's and all of her strengths."
[Except she's been changed by Polan now and is much stronger then before.]
"I know." The dark haired youth said.
In front of them they saw Yadessa coming closer. They had been traveling all day. Denner was thirsty but not very tired. The gates of the city loomed in front of them. A guard called down then recognized Azeal and greeted him. He opened the gates and told him he'd let Valkar know he was back and on his way to the castle.
"We can walk from here." Azeal said. He climbed down and Denner began to change. His form shimmered and soon he was standing there in Nautica's deep blue colors.
"Nice outfit!" Azeal walked over and brushed something off his shoulder. Denner was wearing trouser of an almost black deep blue. High boots an a gray shirt. He had a lighter blue vest and a dark blue jacket. Azeal as usual wore all black except his white shirt. On his hip he wore his dagger, Justice.
"Excited?" Denner asked him.
"Yeah a little. Come on. The castle is this way."

Up in the mountains of Tir Na, A small troop of Black Armours kept out of sight. There mission tonight was to take the city if they could. But to at least cover a certain person as they completed their mission. He idea was to cause so much confusion, no one noticed what was really going on. Slowly they made their way down the side of mountain and to the outskirts of the city. They sat and watched as people went about there business in the late of the night.A beautiful woman walked by with a wolf cub at her side. Seconds later the cub became a young boy, jumping up at her as his mother laughed.After a few minutes the street became clear and the men started to come out slowly. All around the town they positioned themselves and tried to hide and wait. with a little luck, no one would find them until it was to late. Werewolves are nocturnal. There much better at night like the vampires so normally there up during the night hours. The home of Drake and Tressandra Tyr is no exception. Being the royal family, the house is always filled with messengers and nobles and people seeking an audience with Lord Drake or Lady Tressandra. This night things went as usual. Except for the beautiful golden eyed woman that came to visit. She had been announced as a visitor sent by Valkar to learn the ways of the werewolves. No one suspected anything as she'd been here for two days, and so far had been very polite and courteous. Be today she had something else on her mind. Something evil was afoot. She had toured their home and know where she was going as she climbed the stairs towards the family apartment, There wasn't many people up there at this time of night so she wasnt worried about being seen. She was looking for a certain room and its inhabitant. It didn't take her long to find the room she was looking for. Soon she stood outside the room she had been looking for. It was the room of her son, Ranjer. Velusia smiled as she saw him in there playing with his favorite toy. A spinning top. Ranjer wound it up with the string and tossed it. Round and round it spun as Ranjer watching with a smile. He had put obstacles in the way for his top to bounce off of. Her son. How she hated them. Rejek was dead and she plan to make sure both Ranjer and Azeal joined him in the ground. It was time to make her move. The soldiers must be in place by now. She backed up and dissolved it to a smoke cloud that rose up to the ceiling and waited for the attack to begin.

"It's time." The captain turned to his men. "I want you all to split up. Head to the all sides of the town. We have to draw the towns guards out and everybody we can. Tear this town up. Start fires, do as much damage as you can. If we can take this town for our master, we do it. But don't let them capture you. The master has plans that will make them turn this country over to us. Now go!!"
Fanning out in teams, they all quietly spread out through the town and began to cause havoc. Breaking windows, beating citizens, starting fires, they did anything to bring out the guards. Soon the entire city guard was out spreading around the time battling the Black Armours. Drake Tyr and other leaders were there directing men to places where they were needed. Battles broke out all over the town with soldiers trying not to be capture but most failing. Soon the werewolves had many of the soldiers in custody in there city prison.
Back in the Tyr residence, Velusia heard the noise of battle raging through the streets. It was time for here to move. She stepped out and smiled at Ranjer.
"Hello young Prince, Do you remember me?" Ranjer looked up at her and the smile faded from his face.
"I remember." He said. " You're the mean lady that hurt my brother. I don't like you."
"That's to bad." She said. "Cause your coming with me."
"No, I'm gonna tell my Poppa Drake on you."
He stood up and tried to run past her. She blew a stream of smoke in his face that overwhelmed him and knocked him to his knees. the last thing he remember before he passed out was calling Azeal.
"It's to bad your Poppa Drake will never see you again. Say good bye to all this."
She reached down and picked him up and started for the door when Tof came walking in.
"Ranjer, come on, were..." He stopped when he saw the woman carrying his brother. He had no idea who this woman was but she was holding his brother. Tof shifted to half wolf and growled.
"Put him down now!!"
"Or you'll do what?" She smiled showing her fangs.
"Who are you?" He asked.
"I'm his mother." She put him. "And theres nothing you can do to stop me."
"We'll see about that."
He launch himself at her, his claws slashing at her trying to rip her to pieces. Before he came into contact, she dissolved to smoke and swirled all around him. Tof swung around and kept slashing, hoping somewhere in this cloud he would find her. But she was the cloud and soon the smoke began to overcome him and he fall to the floor gasping for air. He wanted to get up and fight her, he had to stop her. Tof had no idea what she would do to Ranjer. He knew it wouldn't be anything good. He had heard Jandar and Ono talking about her. But he could barely move. The last thing he heard before he passed out was her laughter.

Later on that night, Velusia carried Ranjer in a pocket of air to her new castle. It was someplace no one knew about, not even Polan or any of the shadows She planned to keep him here until she killed him weather Polan liked it or not. Soon as she got Azeal and Valkar and Drake promised to abdicate, she could turn the lands over to Polan and be rid of these two thorns in her side. She reformed on the stairs heading for the dungeon. There she put Ranjer in a cell and locked it.
"Your days are numbered little brat, just like your fathers." She turned and headed for the stairs. "Soon I'll have everything I want and you my son, will be dead."

As Azeal and Denner stood in the palor waiting, Azeal wondered what was taking Valkar so long. They have been there an hour so far. He knew that wasn't like Valkar to keep people waiting. Valkar was an impatient man,. He hated to be kept waiting so he didn't do that to his guest. The more they waited the more he knew something was wrong.
"Denner, somethings not right." He said. "This is not like Valkar to keep us waiting."
"He's a king." Denner said walking over to a chair and sitting down. "I'm sure he's busy."
"To busy to see me, his ward?" Azeal paced back and forth in the room.
"Calm down Azeal. I'm sure eveything's fine."
"I don't think so." He said. "I'm gonna check with Rage. He may know whats going on."
"OK, if it makes you feel better."
[RAGE? is somethings wrong? Valkar's got us in a waiting room for over an hour.]
[There's been an attack at Tir Na. I'm waiting for Drake to tell us how serious it is.]
Suddenly the double doors open and Valkar strides in with a stone serious look on his face.
"Azeal. I'm glad your here. We have a big problem." Valkar reached out and shook Denner's hand.
"Welcome to Yadessa." He said. "I'm sorry about this but there's been a kidnapping."
[AZEAL!! RANJERS BEEN KIDNAPPED. I THINK IT WAS VELUSIA!! STAY IN YADESSA. I'M COMING TO YOU.] Jandar sent to him.
Azeal looked up at Valkar. He reached out and grabbed him.
"She took Ranjer!!" He said. "She took my brother!! She'll kill him I know she will!!"
"Calm down Azeal." Denner said. "She wont hurt him. She needs him to get what ever she wants."
"I'm afraid he's right. Velusia will kill Ranjer. She hates her boys."
"Why?" Denner asked."They're her sons."
"I made them both wards of the kingdom and my successors. If I were to die. Azeal becomes king. If all three of us die. She his a claim to my throne."
"Even if she killed you?" Denner asked.
"She doesn't care about the throne!" Azeal cried. "She wants us dead! Me, Ranjer and Valkar! She already killed Rejek, now she wants to finish it! I have to save him!"
"You will with our help." Valkar put his hand on his shoulder. "Getting excited and running off after him wont help. You don't know where he is or how many are holding him. Let's wait for Jandar. He may have a way to locate him. Come on up to my study. He wont be long."
As Valkar finished talking. Jandar appeared with Graym and Pelic in the doorway.
"You're right. I won't be long." He said. "Rage and the others are flying. I thought it best if I get here as fast as I can. We don't have a lot of time."
"Aiya Jandar." Valkar reached out and shook his hand. "You and your friends are welcome to join us in my study."
"Thank you."
Jandar waved Pelic and Graym to join them.
"Follow me."
All together they followed Valkar through the doors and upstairs to his study. Shutting the door he sat at his desk while the others pulled up chairs.
"So here's what I know." Valkar asked. "Tir Na was attacked tonight by Black Armours. They came in and burned buildings and it seemed like they were everywhere. Drake thought it was the prelude for an invasion. But they manage to capture all the soldiers, then nothing happened. Last I heard from him, he was a bit confused by the whole thing. He didn't understand what Polan wanted. Was it just to harass them? That's all he told me. He said he'd get back with more information when he can. Jandar, I guess you have more?"
[Jandar!]
"Hold on." He said. " My father's sending to me."
[Polan wants us to bow to him. Were suppose to turn TirNa and Yadessa over to him in two hour or Ranjer dies. Im sorry son but we cant do that. There to many peoples lives it stake here. Are you with Valkar?]
"Yes." Jandar told them. "I'm with Valkar. I'm tell him."
"My Dad sent me the rest. Tof was worried that the invaders had gotten into the Manor where Mother, Sharone and little Ranjer was. so he went home to protect them He found mother and Sharone safe, so he went up to check on Ranjer. Upstairs he caught a beautiful woman with golden eyes carrying Ranjer out."
"Velusia!!" Pelic said. "I should have killed her when I had the chance. Now I'm sure the spell Polan gave me won't work."
"Yes." Jandar said. " I'm sure by now he knows you've changed sides. But let me finish. Tof fought her or tried to but, how do you fight smoke? He said he should have grabbed Ranjer and ran, but he really didn't have a chance to. Next thing he knew he was choking on smoke and passing out."
"It wouldn't have worked." Graym told him. "She would have chased him down and the same result would have occurred."
"Tell that to Tof. He blames himself for losing Ranjer. Now we have two hours to find him or he dies. Polan wants us to give him the two countries. No fighting, We bow to him and swear to serve him. My father wont do it. No matter how much he loves Ranjer. Valkar?"
"I can't do it either."He said. "Not for the sake of one little boy."
"So what do we do?" Denner asked. "I could go out and catch the others and start searching. With all of us, we could cover a lot of ground."
"I don't think we have that much time." Azeal said."My mother doesn't care what Polan wants. She's going to kill him, I know it!!"
"We believe you Azeal." Valkar got up and went to comfort his ward.
"So we have to find a way to find Ranjer."
"No we don't." Graym said.
"What do you mean?" Denner asked. "We find Ranjer, we get him out."
"How do we find him?" Graym said. "Anybody know?"
No one it the table had any idea. Even Azeal, who was closest to Ranjer couldn't locate him.
"Do we all agree that wherever he is, Velusia will be near him?" Graym asked.
"Yes." Jandar said as the rest shook there heads."That makes sense."
"Then we find her." Graym said with a smile.
"How?" Azeal asked impatiently.
"Shadow Beast."
"Of course!!!" Pelic banged his fist on the table. "We use Polan's own magic against him. That's brilliant!!"
"What are shadow beast?" Valkar asked.
"One of the powers Polan granted us was total control over the shadow beast." Pelic told them. "Watch."
Pelic leaned back and called one to him. From under the table a growling noise came. Everyone pushed away from the table and a dark figure emerged. It was the size of a Great Dane and completely made of shadow. The shadow beast came over and stood by Pelic.
"We can call thousands of them and they can go anywhere there's shadow." Pelic explained.
"That means everywhere in minutes." Graym said. "And there attuned to her. They've found her before."
"What about Polan?" Jandar asked.
"Polan may be able to destroy them, but he cant command them." Pelic told them. "Only Graym and I can. And Taren a little.
"Well what are you waiting for?" Azeal asked. "Do it!!"
Graym bent his head down and tried calling them to him. Seconds later through the window sparks of light came pouring in and flying all around the room. Everyone looked at them in wonder. These weren't shadow beast, they were sunbirds. Many landed on Grayms shoulder. He held out his hand for some to land on.
"I guess your change give you something new." Jandar told him. " I'll bet they're the same as the shadow beast only in light. Send them out. They may find him."
Pelic send out the shadow beast. "This is going to work. We'll find him."

To be Collected. 45

 The ancestral home of the Collectors is a large piece of land about the size of a small city. All manner of creatures had been kept here behind enchanted walls to keep them in. All that changed after the two senior members of the family were caught and punished for there crimes against the magical beings and creatures of the world. Pelis was now a freak in the zoo of Tir Na. His brother Cam, Jandar wasn't quite sure what had happen to him. All he knew was that the Centaurs had taken him away after he had killed one of the children. But this is Toric Norstin's tale, and he was different then his father and uncle. He didn't collect, his task was to protect. All his life he did what he could to hide and free things his family captured. Early in his life his father had given him the job of feeding his collection. So he would learn all about each and everything they collected and tried his best to free them when he could. But it had backfired, when he was caught freeing a pair of dog men. His father beat him severely. But it didn't stop him. Toric saw how much these beings and animals wished to be free. He vowed never to trap anything. No animals and never a sentinel being.
The sun had just peaked over the trees as Toric stepped out to greet the new day. It was a strangely silent day. No bird were singing, no animals came running out to meet him. Toric had a strange feeling of gloom and despair as he walked into the garden. He looked around wondering what was wrong. He could feel something out there, something that was a threat to him and his family and home. Summoning a power ball he walked on. Toric scanned from left to right moving carefully. But nothing moved as he searched. He walked on and over the bridge that spanned the lake. On the other side he saw something lying on the edge of the bridge. As he moved closer he could see it was two of his guards. They were both dead. There bodies totally drained of blood and life. They looked burned. Toric bent to check them. They weren't burned, they were desiccated, drained of life. He jumped back up. What the hell is going on? Not ever vampires killed like this. Something has crossed this bridge. They must have headed for the house. God, please let the wards stop whatever it is from getting in. Toric ran back across the bridge and sent out a call to his guardians to come to his aid. In there cave, two manicores heads came up. They heard the call and both bolted from the cave running at top speed to help there friend. All of the animals and folk that lived here were here by choice. There were no bars or cages here. Everything lived here freely. Back it the house Toric was met by his friends the Manticores.
"Stay with me." He told them. At his side they entered the house. On the first floor there was the dinning hall, Toric's study and magical library, living quarters for his staff. There was the kitchen and pantries. and other common rooms. They searched each room one by one. They found all the staff dead in the same way as the guards. Toric now was worried about his family. Something was obviously in here. They came to the stairs and ran up, heading for his mother and sisters apartments. Outside his sister Tessa's room they found another dead guard. Toric again summoned a power ball and he and the manticores crept quietly forward. His mothers rooms were next. Suddenly both the cores began to growl. There was someone in there and it wasn't his mother. Some kind of smoke and a strange smell seemed to fill the room. Toric waved his hand in front of him and magically pushed the smoke back. Then he heard the voice.
"Come in Collector"
Toric stepped boldly in carrying the power ball with his Manticores roaring at his side. In front of him stood a man dressed in black. Toric knew who he was. He had been dreading his arrival since the war began. He hoped his spells had hidden his home, but he guessed that was not to be.
"What do you want here?" Toric asked. "I have no quarrel with you."
"It doesn't work that way young Collector. I take what I want. And I want you to do something for me."
Polan Dressek smiled his evil grin at him.
"And if I refuse?"
The manticores took a step forward toward Polan.
"If you want them alive, they wont move again."
Polan held up his hand and dark energy shone out from it. The room darkened and all the smoke began to combine into a cloud which came down to the floor and took a form. It became a beautiful woman with glowing eyes.
"Ahh my beautiful Velusia!!!"
Smoke wisping from her hair and around her shapely body. Velusia stepped forward and took Polans hand as he held it out for her.
"My Lord." She smiled.
"I trust your appetites have been filled?"
"I thirst no more for now." She told him.
"Velusia, Meet the young Collector." Polan said. "His father and I were good friends. He's going to be doing a job for us."
Velusia walked down to Toric smiling and circled him. Her hand went to his face and traced a line along his cheek. How she loved leaving her burning mark on men's faces. Toric drew back from her burning touch rubbing the scar she made.
"Ahh!! You don't like her touch?" Polan laughed. "I doubt your mother or sister will like it either. I'm sure your guards didn't."
"You have my family? Where are they? Tell me?"
Sensing his distress the two manticores seemed ready to launch themselves at the pair. Toric heard them back.
"They're fine." Polan said. " They're enjoying my hospitality and will be back here after you finish what I want you to do."
"And what is that?"
"Use you powers to collect and bring the dragon Rage and his mate Jandar Tyr to me."
Polan pulled his vampire back to him and kissed her cheek.
"You should have no problem with that. Jandar turned you father into a freak."
"Savages?" Toric shouted. You could see the hate in Toric's eyes. He wanted so much to fight Polan.
"My father killed one of there children. I hope he's still screaming in his cell. And he makes a better beast then a man. A cage is where he belongs."
"And your mother?" Polan asked. "Does she deserve to be turned to an undead thing?"
Everything drained from his face. His mother was an innocent, so was his sister. They weren't guilty of anything but protecting him all his life.
"You just made an enemy that wont stop until you are in the ground." Toric said. "I'll do want you want. But you better not harm them."
"Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!" Polan laughed. "I've been in the ground before. And what's another enemy to me? Just another body. Come Darling, we're going home. Just remember. Bring them to my mountain home. I'm sure you'll have no problem finding it."
With that Velusia dissolved into smoke and took to the winds.
"You have three days." Polan said as he walked out into the yard. "Don't disappoint them."
Polan spread his arms and shifted into Shadoe. He roared and jumped into the air and flew off into the night.

Jandar had been sitting and listening to Torics story, Cutter and Jayce by his side. Rage had woken up in time to hear the whole thing,Cheshire was lying next to Shayn as he listened to.
"And that's my story." Toric said. "Instead of hunting you, I put myself and my family in your hands. I know there's no reason you should believe me. But I'm hoping you give me a chance."
Rage got up off the bed and stood next to Jandar.
"Come with me." Together they walked on of the room to talk.
"What do you think?" Jandar asked him.
[He's telling the truth.] Cutter sent.
[I feel it too.] Jayce sent.
[I smell Polan in this room. He's been here.] Shayn sent.
"Jandar, its up to you." Rage said. "But I think we should help."
[Jandar, This is not the Collector we fought before.] Jayce told his brother. [I don't feel any of the malice in him at all.]
[I'm glad your ok. We help him] Jandar reached out and pulled Rage into his arms and a deep kiss.
"Always." Rage said.
[I'll always love you.] Jandar smiled and led Rage back into the room where Toric waited.
"You have our help." He said. "We'll do whatever we can to free your mother and sister."
"Thank you all."
"We'll need everyone for this." Jandar said. "I think its time to end Polan's rule over us."