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Legondre Chapter 1--continued

by legondre

Ok, here it is, part of the "very" long chapter 1. I'll post the other half later, but anyways. I know I most certainly am missing something in my writings, and I can't quite figure it out..can you guys help me?..Please? By the way, I apologize that it is so long, I want to restrain from posting so much to finish one chapter.

Chapter 1

Tekél of Honor

As King Idis’ father used to tell him as a young boy, “If ever you shall have to go to war my son, fulfill every line of the oath you will take, and you shall receive your honor.”

Remembering the ancient king’s words, Idis embraced his own son and found himself saying the same words as his father, “Receive your honor.”

He took a moment to take in a deep breath and stand still to admire his son. He smiled at a man whom in his eyes was a little lost boy, thrown in the battlefield with nothing but a sword and a shield in his hands, as it was in the old days. Idis remember that is was not long ago, that young boys over the ages of twelve, were forced to fight against their will. But he knew that this was no little lost boy; this was his son, who was only seconds from becoming captain. The future captain had been training since his hands were able to grasp a sword, and he knew nothing of war. Idis could only mourn for the surprises war has prepared for him, and he could now only hope that he wasn’t making a mistake.

The young prince looked up to his father and said, “I will father.” He patted his aging father on his right shoulder twice, turned and left without a care in the world about his own life, only the lives of his soldiers. He knew in his heart that he was scared and nervous, but he was ready. He knew that if it was one thing he ever learned throughout his years of training, is to never fear. “Fear brings weakness,” as the elders used to say, “If you stand there trembling with fear, you are most likely a coward. And it is probable that you will be the first one to fall.”

It had been six months to the day and no word reached the king’s ears about the well being of his heir and the thirteen hundred men he sent with him. He was never the one to think positive in dark times; he could only think the worst, for he was weak for letting fear and worry in his heart. But he was strong, and he stood motionless in Kei Lethui E Tekél, the Ancient Hall Of Honor. Idis looked down upon the city and watched as the worst and coldest season of all was nothing but a mere curse upon Tekél. He had announced for all of the remaining soldiers and advisors (all except the Nibestir ) to set forth for a meeting in Silver Hall on the third ring from the bell. Thoughtless, the king could only hope for some council regarding one of the decisions he dreaded to make in the future.

The sky had remained grey-dulled, with the threatening clouds as they snowed and snowed with a never-ending potential. The blinding light of the sun was to never be seen again, so was the fate of the bright-green grass upon the field hill. No color was ever to be seen since the first snowfall (save the light-blue colored skin of the freezing tekéns). The guards of Tekél couldn’t resist the cold to deal with any riots uproaring about when their loved ones shall return, so all were forbidden to leave their homes. They stood at the sides of all entrances with their hands clutched onto their cloaks, as their faces became more red every second. They knew they had a duty and had to stick to it, but they prayed the king would show mercy and let them switch shifts with the inside guards. As they trembled in the cold, the bell rang the third time and the fifty soldiers Lord Idis summoned left Intelef for Silver Hall and were soon accompanied by the royal advisors. As they went, struggling through the snow, none could identify a single flake, for it seemed a white blanket fell from the sky instead of snow. The road they walked across had snow up to thirteen inches in depth that their footprints vanished in seconds as if the ground was never walked upon. The soldiers shivered intensely as their body started shaking faster and faster, hoping for some warmth. A chill then rose in their spine that branched into their arms and legs making their pain greater. In their eyes they weren’t walking on snow, but a field with tall grass and blooming flowers, then the scent of pure warmth tickled their face.

When a fierce wind blew from the west, they snapped back into reality. The breeze brushed by, and the tekéns shivered in the frost, as they remained emotionally disturbed in their homes. The women were with much grief and sorrow, for their husbands suffered far more badly, and no one dare imagine the perilous journey they went through. The children were confused as to why they left in such a hurry, so they somberly waited for their fathers after more than six months had passed. All were grieving and no one else knew what to think, then a poorly blown horn was heard from the distance and everyone looked outside through their frosted windows.

King Idis knew that sound and slowly ran to the balcony overlooking Silver Hall. No one knew where to look, for the trail heading down to Leaie Point was completely covered. All hope either kept or lost, was risen at the sight of Captain Isthul wearily dragging his right leg across the snow-covered field. He was barely seen through the blizzard, then after a few steps, slowly, the Tekén army was finally seen behind him. The women’s eyes widen, the children’s frown became a smile, and then suddenly their jaws dropped and silence fell as if it rushed its way through the blizzard from Estorlair.

Isthul barely remembered anything. He was so cold; he put his hands in front of him, wiggled his fingers and felt nothing. He moved his legs and felt nothing. He was glad, and smiled as he thought about how this moment was perfect to rest and slowly die. But he wasn’t dying, at least, he thought so. He tried hard to remember if he had possessed any wounds, but highly doubted it. The captain prayed the cold would freeze him to death instead; even after all he had been through.

Lying on his back, his eyes winced in pain. He dare not open them to the falling snow, which was the one thing he only remembered; the mere sting of snow in his eyes. His men didn’t even cross his mind until he heard their cries when the snow finally blew out of his ears. Something struck him and he sat upright to see his soldiers. He saw nothing, but heard their cries clearly, even with the powerful breeze whistling in his ears. He struggled to his feet and he looked at the field and saw little ditches in the snow everywhere and realized what had happened. The soldiers along with Isthul fell into their pain and weakness, and were buried in their 13-inch grave.

Isthul quickly went to every ditch helping his men to their feet, shouting, “On your feet! Run! Run to your homes! Your eyes play no trickery!” Then he pointed towards the city, “Intelef is before you!” All heads perked up and ran towards the city cheering and chanting with joy when the sight of home reached their eyes. Then all pain and all fear left them.

He came across a badly injured soldier still in the ditch lying there helplessly. Isthul took his hands and brought him on his feet. He took the soldier’s right arm and put it around his shoulder to help him walk.

Then the man released himself from Isthul’s grasp and said while trying to squeeze in a small smile, “Weakness is no excuse, for is that not what you have always said my lord?”

He turned and wearily started walking away. Isthul went in front of him, “I have. But you have shown no weakness if you survived the journey.”

The injured soldier walked around the prince, and then, getting annoyed, Isthul walked in front of him again. The man looked up at him and as he struggled to stand he said, “I am fine my lord.”

Grabbing his left shoulder before he can escape again he looked into his eyes and asked him, “Look straight at me in the eyes. Would you ever lie to your captain?”

The soldier bended his head down to the ground and replied, “No my lord,” and then his knees started shaking.

“Then answer me this: How do you feel?” Isthul asked as he looked at his dear soldier trying to prove himself worthy of honor when he already received it in war.

The soldier looked at him for a while and gave up into his pain and said, “Like hell, my lord.” He was about to collapse until Isthul grabbed him under his arms and held his soldier, “I thought so,” he said to himself.

Soon the people realized what had happened. They laughed and cheered as they jumped with joy. Intelef’s horn blew loudly, and permission was given to the people to meet their loved ones, who are running to the city. The women ran to the snowy fields holding their children and reunited as a family. They smiled with a joy that could not be explained while others mourned for the missing presence of their loved ones. Healers rushed through the crowd and snatched all soldiers with injuries. Chaos had reached the paths within seconds. Isthul was way behind, he never saw his soldiers so happy before, and frowned at the thought that they may have to go and fight again.

His thoughts were interrupted by Colad, the main healer of the Kei E Nibestir . He walked up to Isthul, “Back already eh sire?”

Isthul replied, “Nibestor Colad, it is good to see you as well. Here, get this man some aid.”

“Of course!” he said and the two assistants behind him took him to the Hall of Healers. “What about you captain? Any injuries?”

Isthul took a look at himself from his arms to his legs, “Take no care for me.”

Colad laughed, “You’re not getting away so easily, and I bet you can’t feel a thing, you’re colder than ice itself! Let’s go, I’m going to check you out whether you’re injured or not.”

Isthul wanted to see his father, as he had much to discuss with him. He just wanted to get out of the sight of Colad, who is so overprotective of the prince, being that he cared for him as a child. “Colad, I’m fine reall-”

The Nibestor interrupted him, “Nonsense! You’re so stubborn you know? Just like when you were boy. Always too high and mighty to get help. If you don’t come with me, I’ll have your father drag you to the Hall of Healers himself. Now let’s go, it’s bloody freezing out here, come on.”

As Isthul started walking, Colad stopped him. “What troubles you?” the captain asked.

Colad looked at him, “You’re limping. What happened to your right leg?”

The captain couldn’t believe his ears. He looked down at his legs shocked, “I didn’t know of its presence.”

By the time Isthul and Colad were going to the Kei E Nibestir, there wasn’t anyone in sight. All the soldiers went inside craving a fire. When the two got inside it was so crowded, you couldn’t find a place to stand. But of course, everyone made way for the captain, and Colad showed Isthul to his private room. They walked across the hall and up the stairs into the room. He closed the door and Isthul examined the room as Colad went to the well outside on the other side of the room to wash his hands. The walls and floors were made out of wood and there was long table to his right that caught his eye. There were knives of different sizes and looked away when he caught a glimpse of the biggest and sharpest one.

Far away to the end of the table were bottles of medicine and folded cloths, and then he found himself staring at the knives again.

Things started flashing in his head and then Colad came up behind him drying his hands with a white cloth, “Don’t worry, you won’t be needing those. You’re one of the lucky ones captain.”

Isthul felt the edges of the knives. The Nibestor understood his shock and watched him stare at the knives and knew he was thinking of the deaths he witnessed in battle. He decided to break the silence, “Come, please take your pants off and lie down here,” he pointed towards a high bed that was behind a long, thick, squared pole that went from the floor to the ceiling.

Slowly, Isthul did as told, and took off the small knives that were strapped to both his legs and the armor that were covered the lower part of his legs. He also took out his sword that was strapped around waist and just dropped them on the floor and sat, and then he saw a large, deep slit on the upper part of his right leg. Looking at it carefully, he remembered how he got it, and he peeled off the once running blood that got frozen into red ice. Colad took a long, thin, nicely carved piece of wood and placed a small cloth over the top and dipped it in one of the medicine bottles.

Then he placed it into his wound and Isthul made a slight hiss in pain and the wise Nibestor tried to make him calm, “It’s all right sire, you’re just going to feel a bit strange because your wound is a bit frozen.” As he tried to get the medicine in every corner of the wound, his eyes widen, and he exclaimed, “Damn it!”

The prince was taken back at Colad’s reaction and asked, “What is wrong?”

“What I feared might happen just did.” Colad got up and dipped the cloth into the bottle, “You’re wound is infected…badly. How long have you had it?”

Isthul thought for a minute and replied, “About 3 weeks.”

Stunned, the healer shouted, “3 weeks! Oh lord!” Pausing for a minute, he continued to examine him and sighed, “Now, take off the rest of your clothes, let’s have a look at what you have in store for me this time sire.”

Isthul took off everything on his chest, mostly the armor and mail and then he started feeling pain everywhere. He noticed he wasn’t feeling so cold, it was because he was warming up and so were his frozen wounds. He felt a small tickle in his back in various places, it was the same for his chest.

“My my, you’re just bleeding everywhere,” said Colad, as blood trickled down Isthul’s body.

Isthul remembered he had to go and speak with is father. He was getting impatient and finally spoke his mind, “Nibestor, I do not mean to rude but I need you to hurry. I must get to my father immediately.”

“I’m sorry my lord. I’m trying, but it looks like your wound here is pretty serious. Give me a few moments and I’ll have it bandage it for you.”

Colad quickly put in several more bottles of medicine and bandaged the wound on Isthul’s leg. He did the same for the small wounds on his back and chest and then stood up and said, “I am finished, but please captain, try not to walk on your right leg too much and whatever you do, don’t go outside until a few hours pass.”

“I will do as you ask.”

Colad gave Isthul some fresh clean clothes and he dressed. It was comfortable when he put it on. He felt lighter, no heavy mail, no armor, no sword, no knives, nothing. He noticed it was his clothes, and that Colad kept it to prepare for when he returned.

He helped Isthul get down from the high bed and as he walked towards the door to leave, he stopped, turned around and said, “Thank you Colad.”

The man replied, “Anytime sire.”

Isthul went down the short narrow stairs and then silence left his ears and noise came rushing in. It was very chaotic in the hall of healers. It had cleared up a bit and he went through the passage way that lead to the door. It branched out to small beds where the injured soldiers lay. There were, but very few, soldiers that were screaming in pain, and among these was the soldier Isthul had helped on the field.

He walked towards his bed and asked the Nibestor there, “What seems to be the problem?”

The young woman turned around and was gasped in shock, since it was the prince. But she calmed herself down and answered casually, “My lord!…His right arm is broken along with some deep wounds in some parts of his feet, mostly caused by the frost bite.”

Isthul looked at the man’s wounds and pitied him as he breathed hard. He noticed that tears flooded his eyes, and the captain could not bear to look at his wounds any longer. He asked the Nibestor, “Will he be alright?”

“It can be cured, but I never say anything for sure. Time will only tell.”

Isthul examined his face and asked, “What is his name?”

“Berhil, my lord.”

The captain went to the soldier’s side and whispered in his ear, “Berhil? Can you hear me?”

The paining soldier struggled to answer, “Y-yes m-my lord.”

“Everything will be all right. Make it your last duty to stay in good health and to hang in there.”

Berhil smiled and answered with pride, “I will.”

Isthul’s heart almost melted when he saw his soldier smile. He patted him lightly on his chest and said, “And I will hold your word to it.”

Isthul turned and by now, many of the soldiers were bandaged and he was saved from seeing what he had been seeing for the past six months. He can only see the blood drastically seeping through the white cloths wrapped around arms, legs, heads, and everywhere else on the human body. He yawned and just realized that he was tired, but he had to get to his father to discuss what’s been going on for all the time he was gone. He knew it would be a long discussion along with questions so he decided he owed it to himself to get some sleep.

Meanwhile in the Kei Lethui E Tekél, the king was losing his patience. He had been told his son was in examination in the Kei E Nibestir, but then heard no more. A maiden passed by with a tray filled with all kinds of meat, and Idis guessed she was bringing food to feed the starving army.

He stopped her, “Excuse me.”

“Yes my lord?”

He looked at her and he remembered who she was. She was the maiden who had been serving food to the royal family for years. “Ah Treis! It is you! Have you any news about my son?”

“Yes King Idis, he has just finished getting some aid with Nibestor Colad. I believe he is getting some rest.”

“I see..well, thank you Treis.”

“Your welcome sire.” Then she continued her work and walked out of Silver Hall.

He was disappointed for he was anxious to see how his son looked after all this time, but for his son’s sake, he furthered his patience for just a little longer. King Idis along with at least a hundred people from soldiers to advisors, were sitting in Silver Hall for the meeting he had called for. But then he decided it would be best if Isthul were here so that they may know of any news. They all agreed.

Isthul slept soundly in one of the rooms the Nibestir provided for him. He didn’t go to his bedroom for sleep for he had promised Colad to not go outside for a few hours, and he was a man of his word. When had closed his eyes, he wished that he would never have to open them again. He couldn’t remember the last time he had a good rest. To him, it seemed like years, not months. And he was more comfortable than ever, in his soft clothes, in a warm room, he was very cozy. But this feeling did not last until he started dreaming.

He pictured a battlefield, empty, deserted, no one there but the tekén army and himself. They were just staring into nothing, there were no trees, no lakes, rivers, and not even a small weed plant grew from the cracks on the ground. Then Isthul knew where he was when he realized he was in a lifeless territory. He was in Estorlair, Windless Plain, and he didn’t know why. And then he heard a loud sound, “boom bah boom, boom bah boom,” it was the sound of drums and everyone looked around frightened as they could hear it, but not see it. The captain then saw something like a black cloud slowly coming into sight in front of him. The cloud became bigger and bigger until he realized it was no cloud, and it came closer and closer. He unsheathed his sword and so did the soldiers and Isthul found himself dreaming the same thing over and over again.

He woke up instantly when he heard a voice calling his name, “Isthul!”

The prince’s eyes opened wide, blinking a few times till he could finally see. It was his sister, “Liariel.” She was a beautiful woman. She had long silky light brown hair, that hanged down to her sides, and she wore a white gown that dragged on the floor. He wanted to smile, but then grew malicious when he remembered past events.

She kept calling out to him, “Isthul? Isthul!”

“Must you yell so loudly?” And he finally sat up stretching and then yawned a bit.

Liariel had a straight face and said what she had to say quickly, “I was sent here to check up on you. Spare me the humiliation, and give me an answer to report back with.”

Isthul looked up at his sister, “I was having a comfortable sleep, till I just remembered that my little sister is guilty of treason.”

She chuckled a bit in anger and gave him an angry face, “Treason? I swear Isthul, if you ever say that again-”

He was staring at her, “What will you do little sister? Harm me? I highly doubt it.”

“You are a snake. And I hate you.” She said coldly.

“That, I know.” Isthul got up on his feet and walked slowly toward her, “But you know, you need not to fear me sister. I have restrained my anger, do not heighten it now. I am in no mood for it.”

Liariel continued to look at him scathingly, “I do not fear you, nor your anger. I do not care for you or anything having to do with you anymore. Nor will I ever care if you were even alive. It is a shame you did not die in battle!”

Isthul lost it and grabbed his sister’s arms and put them behind her back and fiercely pushed her against the wall. His face was close up to his sister and he said angrily, “You will watch your tongue Liariel!”

“How dare you touch me! Let go of me!” Liariel struggled to break free, but Isthul hands locked Liariel’s arms tight in place, so she couldn’t move.

Isthul held her down and spoke again, “Do not be so feisty Liariel. The more you struggle, the more your strength wanes.” He let her go and she immediately went to the other side of the room, away from Isthul. He smiled as she attempted to get away from him, and Liariel stood still for a few moments as anger instantly grew in her. She controlled herself and then finally spoke, “I pity you brother.” She turned and left the room. Isthul almost laughed to himself, but he held back and sat back down on the bed. He tried to forget what had just happened. The last thing he needed now was more worry.

A female Nibestor entered the room with a tray of food. It had some bread, spiced wine, a large chicken leg and tomatoes. The young prince thought it was an odd combination, but he dare not complain about food. He hadn’t had a decent meal since he left, he had been nibbling on small pieces of bread, or apples he had taken bites from and didn’t take another until a few days later.

She laid it his lap and Isthul said, “Thank you,” and the woman just smiled and left.

Isthul was starving and ate all the food within minutes without leaving a single crumb behind, and then grabbed the spiced wine and drank it down to the last drop. He placed the whole tray aside, then got up and walked out of the small room.

A male nibestor came up to him, “You are awake.”

“Yes, I am. How long have I been sleeping?”

“Two hours sire. Your father requests your presence at Silver Hall.”

“Thank you.”

Behind the nibestor was Colad and he saw the look in the captain’s eyes and gave him a nod, which meant he could go now. A bit happy, he went outside to the stables. He was too weak to walk all the way to Silver Hall so he went to ride on his dear childhood horse, “Kifir.” As he approached the black horse, he remembered the day he named him. He couldn’t think of a name but then decided to name him, “Kifir,” the (unknown language) word for “peace.” At that age, Isthul barely saw his father, for even war was still going on back then, and he thought that if there were some peace, he would see his father again. But peace has not been reached yet…

Kifir neighed with joy and Isthul smiled at the horse’s reaction to his presence. He got on him and rode at a steady pace. He didn’t want to ride too fast or too slow. It was still snowing heavily and the sky showed no signs of ever stopping. Isthul started to feel the chills again from the cold, and with his long red cloak covering him, he began approaching Silver Hall. It hadn’t changed a bit except for it being covered in tons of snow. It still stood tall and majestic.

He approached the gate and the gate watcher saw the prince, “Well well! Here you are at last! Open the gates boys, the prince stands before it!” Then Isthul started hearing chains clanging against each other noisily and very loud. When the chains turned and the gate started rising, it stopped and wouldn’t go any further.

Then the gate watcher shouted, “What’s going on up there boys?”

One of them shouted, “The gate’s not moving sire! The middle chain is frozen.” Isthul sighed, but he didn’t get angry, he kept his patience.

He began thinking that at this rate, everything will be frozen. Meanwhile, the gate watcher ordered to get some hot boiling water, and the gatekeepers brought bowls of it and threw it on the middle chain to melt the ice. The middle chain is what holds up the gate in general, the front chain holds the left side of the gate, and the back chain holds the right side of the gate. All are built so only the strength of ten soldiers can pull the gate up and open it from the other side. After a few bowls, the ice began melting. Isthul and the soldiers couldn’t see anything, for one can’t see clearly if two opposite and drastic temperatures are met. It finally cleared up and they tried it again. All struggled and it finally broke through the small bit of remaining ice. Isthul’s ears started hurting from the ringing noise of metal rubbing against each other, and then he was allowed to go through. Kifir neighed in relief and took off. Isthul was greeted by a soldier outside Silver Hall. He gave the soldier Kifir, to put him in the stables, and then he faced the door, let out a big sigh and entered.

When Isthul opened the door, everyone looked and stopped what they were doing and stared at him. Some faces were surprised, confused, or happy. All showed different emotions through their faces, and then King Idis approached his son with his arms opened and a huge smile on his face. “Isthul!” He hugged him and backed up to take a look at him.

“My, look at how you’ve grown! Growing a slight beard there I see, and your face! It’s so aged! You’ve got broad shoulders and your tough looking too. Must come from the fighting I bet. You’re becoming a man my son!”

Isthul knew everything his father was saying was true. He was getting older, not too old, but he became older. He was growing a slight beard around his face, but not too much, just a grey shade across his chin and cheeks. He couldn’t tell much about his shoulders, but he knew he grew. Older and wiser he became, and he was a man, not becoming one. He thought about telling him about the situation with Liariel, but then decided to tell him when the more important matters are done with.

He looked up at his father and replied, “Have I changed that much father?”

The king was still a bit hyper, Isthul didn’t just want to rudely jump to the real reason he was there, so he tried to spark up a quick conversation, although he knew his father could do that on his own. “Well of course! Just look at you! How have you been?”

There was no real answer to the king’s question, and his father had always said, “If you cannot answer a question, do not answer it. It is better to remain quiet than say a wrong answer.” Isthul didn’t necessarily agree to his saying but he just shook his head from left to right which meant, “Not so good.”

Idis knew he had asked a stupid question, so he just replied, “Oh..”

He was speechless, so Isthul decided this was his chance. “Father, we must talk about what has happened and we need to do it quickly.”

The king looked embarrassed, but tried to restrain himself from it. He replied quickly, “Ah, you’re right, I’m sorry. I was just so happy to see after so long. I suppose you received my message?”

“Yes, I have.”

“Good, let us begin.” Idis rubbed his together, took a deep breathe, and together, he and Isthul walked to the front of the hall. Silver Hall was a very important place. Significant meetings and gatherings were held there numerous times throughout the years. It was a very beautiful place. Bright, lit, silver candles were hung at each thick column from the ceiling to the sides of the hall. The pillars were grey and were made out of marble. The ceiling was very high, and important speeches and such were held there because every movement, footstep, and sound echoed brilliantly throughout the hall. There were also high windows, about half the size of the columns, that always caught the sun, and it shined through the windows revealing a diamond-shine light, and it twinkled throughout the walls. Ceremonies were held there also. Isthul’s birthday was held there every year, and nowhere else, except this year he missed his birthday because he wasn’t in Tekél.

Isthul helped his father sit down, and he stood beside him and few feet in front of Idis, was a long, never-ending table from the front to the back of the hall. Idis called it, “The Table of Tekél,” because only soldiers, advisors, and Nibestir, were allowed there.

After taking a deep breath, followed by a long pause of attention, Idis spoke, “I had announced for this meeting today to discuss our next decision concerning this..” The king paused for a second, “..war.” Idis took a breathe and glanced over at Isthul, who in turn, returned the look. “I however, know little, but Isthul has returned today in just time.” King Idis looked at Isthul and whispered to him, “Son, speak of what has been going on.”

Isthul froze. He looked around the hall locking eyes with the people sitting there waiting for this heroic story they expected to hear. A nervous chill instantly climbed his spine, and he thought, how can he possibly put all the things he’s been through, he’s done and seen, into words? Isthul took a deep breath, swallowed hard to clear his throat, closed his eyes and spoke as if he was doing it all over again, right when he left Tekél…

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Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:18 pm
Rei says...

Please. Break it up into shorter chapters. This is far too long to be one chapter. And actually, if you click edit, you can add to the piece directly rather than posting it the way you would post a reply.

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Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:53 pm
legondre says...

Thank you very much! And yes I do plan on publishing it, I love writing too much to not do so ;)
Anyways, you're all probably as tired as I am on how long chapter 1 is, here is more, only another post to go! This is a battle scene, which I have spend weeks on because it's so hard. Please let me know if you have any suggestions whatsoever, thanks!

“I slept well surprisingly, how of you?”

“I barely had gotten any, but I’ll manage.” and Keder shivered, “It is rather cold here in the morning.”

“Yes, I can imagine how the soldiers slept.” Isthul lowered his head in pity for the soldiers.

“I am sure they’re ok.” Then he looked at Isthul who still had the same impression and smiled, “They are still alive captain.”

Isthul made a small smile and continued eating. He heard two light footsteps and looked up to see Etheria entering the small house. Keder saw her too and slightly bowed his head down and said, “Thank you for the breakfast.”

Then Isthul realized he had never thanked Etheria for everything she has done for them, and said, “And thank you for the hospitality.”

Slightly pleased, she answered, “You are welcome. I am sorry I was not here to greet you earlier, I had to speak with some of my soldiers.”

Isthul jumped in right away, “Do not apologize.”

Keder stood up, “Well, we should get ready for our departure.”

Etheria was rolling up some rope and then attached it onto her belt on her left hip. She looked up suddenly when Keder spoke, she replied,” “That would be wise.”

They left the room and then stopped in surprise to see the tekén army lined up and ready to go. Keder approached Reniel and gave him a pat in the back, “With you around my friend, time will no longer be a bother!”

Feeling proud he replied, “Thank you my lord.”

“Tell them to go to the gates, we leave in a few minutes,” Isthul said.

“Yes my lord,” and the soldier turned around and walked back to the others.

Isthul sighed heavily that Keder immediately turned to him knowing something was amiss, “What is wrong captain?”

The captain made another, but a more silent sigh and answered, “Nothing at all. Just a bit uneasy. I could not help but think of what Etheria said of the savéns.” The prince wasn’t sure what exactly he was uneasy of. He was very skeptical about the journey ahead and what it might bring. Isthul was getting nervous, but failed to admit to it his friend, who in turn replied, “If the kifiri have the same feud with the savéns as we do, they can prove to be useful allies.”

“True, but it will all remain clandestine until we reach.”

Etheria, accompanied by six of our guards came up and told them all was ready.

Isthul, Keder, and Etheria all rode on horses and the rest walked silently behind them. The tekén soldiers stared at the kifiri who looked straight ahead ignoring their eyes. The road was simple follow, they only had a travel up a small path. The prince could tell everyone was tired yet they couldn’t help but stay awake because it was rather chilly. Isthul, Keder, and Etheria had conversed on a few things, such as the ways of the kifiri and how long she had been present at the Iel E Mal. However, everyone went quiet when they were parallel to Vine Forest.

The captain noticed his soldiers walked more carefully as to not make too much noise with their clattering of swords and armor. Etheria stared at the forest for some time but then continued to look ahead. As they journeyed, morning began to fully rise and the heat beat down on them once again. They had gone two and a half miles until the three heard a noise in the forest. Keder was positive that it was the sound of a branch breaking, but he knew it wasn’t natural.

They froze and concentrated heavily on their sight and hearing. Isthul carefully examined all corners of the trees, while Keder and Etheria’s eyes were still as they listened. None knew what to think and neither one of them wanted to jump to conclusions. They were still for at least ten minutes until their minds convinced them it was a natural noise of the forest, but none were actually sure of it.

Isthul grew uneasier with every step. Keder was craving some sleep and turned to notice Etheria tighten her grip on the hold of the rope on the horse’s saddle. She tried to concentrate on their journey to Tierniel, but her mind would not let it go. It was the same for the two gentlemen also. They heard it again and in a flash, the three of them drew their swords and faced it forward.

Etheria was afraid and Keder could tell, so he asked, “Would now be a good time to share what you seem to be holding back?”

“They will attack in an ambush. They have done this before.”

Hearing more noises, their hearts raced faster and faster and Isthul asked, “What about your guards, are any of them in the forest?”

“No, I ordered them to evacuate themselves out before we left Iel E Mal. I did not want to risk another attack and anyone else getting hurt.”

“Damn it! I hope we aren’t outnumbered,” Keder asked worried.

Etheria answered, “No, most of their soldiers guard the forest border near Eduar. If we are lucky, we could slaughter all before any of them send for reinforcements.”

“And if that happens?” Isthul asked, also worried. Etheria didn’t answer and Isthul looked at her with much fret. He turned to his soldiers who seemed confused and shouted, “Prepare for battle!” And the captain heard thousands of swords sliding out of their holds.

Etheria did the same, but spoke in the (unknown language) tongue, “Mire este ne!” The kifiri soldiers unsheathed their long blades and moved closer to the forest.

Isthul grew more puzzled and looked at Etheria, “What are you doing?”

“We must get closer.” However, Isthul still kept his expression and she spoke again, “You will not understand.” He knew she was right, he could clearly see that this has happened before and she knew their ways well.

The soldiers readied themselves and all heard shouting from a distance and stood still, prepared, as they listened as the shouting grew and grew until it struck their ears. Keder knew this was it. This was his and Isthul’s first battle, and he felt worried yet somewhat ready. They were trained well and learned from the best and as the head of the royal defense, he repeated what his father told him to say in dire situations, “Fight well and fight hard.”

Etheria smiled as she looked forward at the forest, as if she enjoyed fighting. She then turned to the two and said, “May I suggest something?”

“Yes?” Keder asked.

“Let us not stand here forever. I was taught to always strike first.”

“Agreed.” Keder said, feeling more confident. Etheria and Keder both looked at Isthul and he nodded in agreement also. They clearly read each other’s minds. They all smiled, looked forward and ran towards the forest.

EDIT: Sorry it was so long, I broke it up much shorter. And it's really long for a good reason.

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Sun Apr 03, 2005 8:41 pm

personally, I think that this story is veerrrrry good. Your details are very vivid. Are you considering publishing after you've finished?

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Thu Mar 24, 2005 1:39 am
WoodElfArya says...

Hi Lady, it's me.

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Wed Mar 23, 2005 5:21 am
Shadow Knight says...

8) No probs. I am loving this story, i leave the major editing to Hunter and co.

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Tue Mar 22, 2005 10:22 pm
legondre says...

Thank you! :D

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Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:36 am
Shadow Knight says...

Very good, and you are answering a lot of questions about the prince.

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Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:41 pm
legondre says...

Ok then! Here it is! The second half of chapter 1. One more half to go! Again, sorry it's so understand why...And this picks up right after the first half I posted, so the first paragraph here is not put here by mistake (because it's repeated)

The young prince looked up to his father and said, “I will father.” He patted his aging father on his right shoulder twice, turned and left without a care in the world about his own life, only the lives of his soldiers. He knew in his heart that he was scared and nervous, but he was ready. He knew that if it was one thing he ever learned throughout his years of training, is to never fear. “Fear brings weakness,” as the elders used to say, “If you stand there trembling with fear, you are most likely a coward. And it is probable that you will be the first one to fall.”

Isthul slowly walked out of Kei Lethui E Tekél. Outside were thirteen hundred able men, waiting for his call, his command. It was silent, even though it was the season of light, the prince heard no birds, no blowing breeze, and no other sound. He approached his combat horse, “Rafst,” a strong-willed white horse covered in a big saddle, armor from between his ears, down to his nose. He was a big and tough horse. Isthul never liked him much, he had been constantly training with him, and the captain found that the horse was too serious. It was as if the he was afraid to loosen up and have some fun. He wished he had Kifir instead, he was a black horse filled with a proud and raging, victory.

Isthul walked up to Rafst who was snorting with an impatient attitude, and as he came closer, he stopped. He heard someone running behind him, and he turned around to see it was Liariel.

She slowed down and stopped right in front of him. The princess looked into his eyes and said, “Leaving without saying good-bye?” The captain smiled and held his sister’s hands. She sighed and spoke again after some silence, “I still can’t believe you’re leaving me here all alone.”

Isthul’s head was down, trying everything he can to avoid Liariel’s stinging eyes. He finally looked up and replied, “I am sorry. Look after father for me.”

“I will.” Liariel kept looking deep into his eyes and he spoke again, “I will be back soon.”

She smiled very slightly, “Soon is not good enough captain.”

Isthul stared into her eyes and simply said, “Good-bye my lady.” And he let go of her, turned around and got onto Rafst, who was simply losing his patience. Isthul caught Liariel’s eyes, and then turned away and faced perfectly lined soldiers in front of him. Some held up spears, others held up flags. They were still and Isthul had acknowledged at that moment that Tekél was placed into his hands fully. Idis was growing old, and at many times, struggled in his health. The Nibestir feared he will get ill soon, and the prince knew, that when the gods decide his father’s time, an entire country would be given to him as the family burden. He will face many wars, deal with the many conflicts, and fully understand the meaning of being a leader. Every solider standing before him, every life that willed to fight for him, is now on the verge of something the prince recognized he would never forget. “Father was right,” he thought to himself, “You do come to care for the lives of your comrades, of your friends, and even family, more than your own life. When you lead an army, your life is the last thing on your mind. What is on your mind, is to live up to your duty to return your soldiers home back to their wives and back to their families. Nothing matters more or less. My duty is to simply live up to what I was born to do. And if that is my fate, and my destiny, then so be it. A life of honor and of strength and of fearing nothing, is a life. It is the life I live for. No more can be said of that. It is simply what it is.”

Isthul looked out at his army, unsheathed his sword, and rose into the air as he exclaimed, “For Tekél!”

The soldiers unsheathed their swords and spoke together, “For Honor!” In unison the army turned and marched away from the Kei Lethui E Tekél and headed southwards.

Isthul’s mind was raging with thoughts after they left. He kept thinking about their destination. Idis’ specific orders were to head southwards to investigate the disappearance of about eight soldiers. The king sent two soldiers to deliver a message to Iel E Mal. They were to return with a reply but never did. Idis sent another, and he too never returned. The king sent two more soldiers, and the cycle continued with them also. He got upset, and sent three to Tierniel to ask the spirit peoples of the Forest Haven as what was happening, but no news of their going was heard either. King Idis was frightened, and from the last words of his ancient father, he knew in his heart that war was brewing from the south, as was it many years ago. He decided to end it and sent Isthul along with the tekén army to find out what was happening to his men and to kill those who either held them captive, or killed them.

Isthul and his men had been silently riding, and it has been about three hours since they left. Keder, the assistant captain, head of the royal defense, and also Isthul’s loyal friend, was riding along side him. He looked at Isthul who seemed to be lost in his thoughts and he wanted to comfort him, so he spoke, “Nervous captain?”

Isthul smiled at the sound of his closest friend calling him captain and laughed, “More like confused and unfocused.”

Keder also laughed, “But you are nervous, are you not?” Keder had a smirkish look on his face, he knew Isthul was trying to avoid the question.

“Yes, I am nervous. For one, I have never actually fought with someone, I do not know if I can be a good leader, and I do not even know why we are here.” Isthul looked forward, slowly trailing back into his thoughts.

“Ah, you have never fought someone before have you? Hmm…I see..I guess a certain fight in the hall does not count eh?” Keder said sarcastically, smiling as he remembered the childhood memory.

Isthul almost laughed out loud, he could never forget that fight they had when they were young. He could remember it perfectly, they were just boys, about 11 or 12, and they were bored beyond reasoning. Their fathers had punished them for using the swords they trained with on each other without supervision, so they were banned from the training centers around the Kei Lethui E Tekél. They could not find anything to do and used their own swords, since their fathers had only banned them from the training swords, for they were sharper and more dangerous. They decided to fight where no one can see them, so they went beyond the trees behind Silver Hall. They fought with some of the swings they learned a few days ago, and they were going fast and they weren’t aware of the fact that they were walking back towards Silver Hall.

Behind the hall was an open door, but the two young swordsmen kept fighting, having confidence that they were getting better and better. Keder had striked Isthul, he had not hurt him, only gave him a scratch that he fussed about. Isthul kept fighting faster and faster in anger and without knowing, they walk straight into Silver Hall through the backdoor and were caught red handed by both Isthul’s father, “King Idis,” and the head of the royal defense, “Ferith,” Keder’s father. They were both dining and Isthul and Keder were grounded for a longer time, and they didn’t leave their room for weeks.

“That scratch pained me. That sword of yours is deadly.” Isthul couldn’t stop smiling.

Keder returned the smile and replied, “You are one to always whine and complain my dear friend, but you need not to worry. You can not know direction till you are unwilled to lead. However, if you know the purpose, then you need not to know leadership.”

“The purpose is undefined,” Isthul sighed, “and I do not know of conduction.”

Keder thought for a moment and said, “The purpose is of a unobtainable letter and far afield soldiers. We are on a journey to slay others we are not aware of, and we do not know how to come across them.”
“Nothing is ever certain,” replied the prince with a cold tone. “However, I think of nothing else now but to return safely in company.”

“I think of it also. I want to get back home soon-“ then Keder smiled, “-to get back to that beautiful sister of yours.” Isthul smile grew widely, “She will find a place in her most gracious heart for you I am sure.” Keder laughed, “I hope for it as well. She is a very capricious woman, but most sweet than any other there is. I have a feeling; that she tempts me intentionally when her midnight black hair is blown lightly away from her rose cheeks and reveal her most sparkling silver eyes, along with her unbearable lovely expression.”

Isthul continued to smile and then laughed as Keder gave him a confused look and asked him, “Am I being too loquacious?” Isthul restrained his laughter, but he still smiled as he replied, “No indeed! In fact, I am surprised you did not find the strength in you to say more of her.” Keder began to lightly blush, “There are far too many words to relate to her dearest character.” “Careful Keder,” said Isthul, “she may seem as lovely as the earth herself, but when animosity and annoyance reaches her mind, she is merciful in her choosing well as her actions.” Keder laughed, “I, but do not fear a woman who will state her mind. In fact, it intrigues me so.” The two gentlemen laughed and then Isthul stopped and suddenly had a serious face. “I had just grasped something that might grieve your heart.” Keder instantly turned to Isthul, “What is it?”

Isthul took a deep breathe, “Father means to associate Liariel to an appropriate gentlemen at his command, since none have but come forward, or have been worthy of taking her hand. You surely are more than what my father has implied for my sister, you must suggest if it will be an honor if you take the place?” Keder was silent to think for a moment. His mind kept cursing him for not proposing this matter sooner, but he straightened his back and answered back casually, “Such a jewel to not be bought is a shame. I will not buy the jewel, but merely earn it. The lady must decide for herself if I am suitable enough for her. Though I am curious to ask….who is the fortunate gentlemen in mind?”

“That I do not know. He keeps such things to himself, but I am most admired by your respectable comments.”

“I thank you for that captain, but I still stand fretful.”

“Do not tire your eyes with fret-” Isthul looked ahead and quickly said, “But enough of my sister, we now have other things to fret over.” Isthul continued looking forward.

“And what may that be?” asked Keder. Isthul didn’t reply, so Keder looked at him and saw him looking forward and he followed.

Keder didn’t notice that they had already reached Leaie Point, which wasn’t good. He wondered if they could walk pass without trouble from the keiéns. Isthul was thinking the same thing, but he had to do something. The keién gate guards were fiercely watching their every move as they walked by slowly. The captain hoped they can just go by without any conflict, but then his hope died when one of the guards stopped them by yelling out to them.

“Hey! Where do you think you are passing of to?” The guard shouted out to Isthul.

Isthul looked at Keder and together they rode up towards the guards a little bit, but tried to stay away as far as possible. Isthul looked up at the three keién guards and was about to say something until Keder spoke first, “And where do you think you are going minding others’ work?”

Annoyed by Keder’s response, one of them jumped down from one of the two high platforms at the side of the large gate. He walked up to Isthul and spoke back in the same rude tone, “I should ask you the same question, but I was not talking to you sir, but the prince here.”

Isthul’s eyes widen in shocked. He wondered how the keién guard knew he was the prince. He dressed no differently from his men, except for his large red cloak. Rafst snorted loudly at the guard and he backed away a bit fearing the horse might attack him.

Isthul kept his chin up and replied, “It is none of your concern, nor it is when any tekén leaves his own land for his own purpose.”

The guard stood his ground and would not give up until he got his answer, “We have orders from the king to question those who dare pass the trail of Leaie Point.”

Isthul replied, “We too have orders from the king, now please, step aside.”

“I beg your pardon young sir, but I cannot let you leave.” The guard was getting irritated by the moment.

Keder had enough, he jumped down from his horse and unsheathed his sword and pointed it toward the guard and said, “You will let us get on with our doing, or you will regret ever questioning the tekéns!”

The guard lost it, “You dare threaten me?!” and he unsheathed his sword.

Isthul started to remember the little information his father told him about the keiéns. They were feisty peoples, always willing to put up a fight for the smallest of things, yet they were strong and able and hardly ever failed a quest. The last thing the captain wanted was a fight, so he looked at Keder and waved his hands downwards, and Keder lowered his sword.

“We do not wish to fight you, now I will not say it again, please step aside!” Isthul’s faced turned serious and he was afraid of what he might do if he got too angry.

The guard’s eyes kept looking back and back forth from Keder to Isthul and finally spoke, “So be it. I will let you be..for now.”

“We thank you.” Isthul turned the other way to continue to Iel E Mal.

Keder got onto his horse and while smiling, he said, “Good-day..young sirs.” Then Keder turned and followed the captain, and the keien guards just nodded in disgust.

As the tekén army rode past the keién gate, the guards kept staring at them. Isthul caught a glimpse of the soldier he spoke to running back to Keiél’s main city. After twenty minutes, the sun beat down on them and they were sweating as they were all covered heavily in both their mail and the armor on top of it. They had reached an intersection of three different paths. Keder stopped, and Isthul walked up to him and stopped also, for a moment to think.

“We go left.” The captain said.

Keder saw Vine Forest on the right of the trail to the realm of water. It ran three and half miles from Iel E Mal, to the far lands of Savél. He got worried and whispered to Isthul, “We must be attentive here. We cannot get too close to the forest. The savéns are highly skilled with the bow, and they shoot at anything. They are unmerciful.”

Then the prince chuckled a bit, “They would fire an arrow at a bird if it took flight across their forest.” He stressed the word, “their” because the savéns always believed Vine Forest was their land. Isthul pondered about whether they were the ones responsible for the soldiers’ disappearance. He remained silent for a while trying to be as quiet as possible to not alert the savéns, but Keder couldn’t take anymore of this silence, so he finally said something, “This is absurd.”

The captain looked at his dear friend, “What is?”

“That we must walk through this region in stealth, trying to get past undiscovered. We have never done anything to them.”

Keder shifted into his complaining mood, and Isthul made a small smile, “Well, we have never done anything to them. Do you have memories of the war that was conflicting, when we were, but young boys?”

Thinking, Keder answered while the answers came to him, “Yes..but very little. I have a memory of the day I asked of my father to explain their reason for departing..he replied ordinarily, saying that the savéns accused us of anonymous reason and revealed it to the keiéns. Then they fought us after..another unknown event..” The assistant captain could remember no more, “Ah, forget it, I cannot remember.”

The captain found it odd that he had been told the same thing. They were never told the truth of what really happened. Isthul remembered the days when he asked his father over and over again why the three kingdoms were always at war. But all he ever got back in an answer was that it was all because of reason even he did not know of. As a child, always thought that if there was an unknown reason, than what reason is there for war?

Isthul then heard something in the trees and turned away trying to convince himself it was nothing, but they were so intimidating. They hanged down in a true but deceiving innocence, and he ignored it, and looked ahead.

They had been riding for two hours, and the prince looked ahead and saw but a blur of the enchanted realm, and knew they only had half a mile to go. It was very silent, the only sound was the clip and clop of the horses’ feet against the ground, and the clattering of swords against armor. It was such a peaceful place, so where had the soldiers gone? He looked down at the ground to see if he can identify some footprints from the soldiers, but he could not see any. Then he began to wonder again, if the spirit peoples were friendly at all. He shook his head, they were not called spirit peoples, but the Kifiri, “Ones entwined with peace,” or “Peace peoples.” His father had a habit of saying spirit peoples, and he thought it must of grown on him.

The Kifiri, were people who were strongly against the concept of war. They lived amongst forests and rivers, one of them is Tierniel, “Forest Haven,” and that was their main city, or “realm.” The Iel E Mal, “Realm of Water,” is another one of their realms, in which they keep their main defense. The Iel E Mal is an extremely significant place, this realm connects to the main river, Tar Malë, “Branch River.” The kifiri long ago, had made this river for the dead areas of Eduar, which specifically just means, “Black.” The death of Marlonde and his forces had created a dark, black plain, in many areas of the south, that no living thing was ever to be seen there. No plants, no rivers, nothing. So the elder kifiri made the Tar Malë, which was a success. This beautiful gift spouted up a beautiful forest that went three and half miles from the southern part of Savél to the intersection of Tierniel, Tekél, and Keiél, all the way down to the Iel E Mal.

The Iel E Mal is what supports the Tar Malë of its waters, and because of this, the enchanted realm was getting attacked constantly for control over it. The kifiri never failed in keeping it safe, and with their strength they are now feared by all.

Isthul and the tekén army had reached. He and Keder approached the gate together and there seemed to be no one in sight. Isthul yelled out loudly, “Open the gate for Isthul, son of Lord Idis, for we are here on important matters concerning your land!”

After several moments, the gate opened by itself, creaking as it opened inward, and they walked into the realm. Beautiful it was, Isthul never saw anything like it, he did not know that such a beautiful place as this can possibly exist. In front of him was a very unique building, one he had not seen. It was of a different style, there were curves at the edges of all windows, the doorways had no doors, and it arched widely in the front entrance. On top of this beautiful wooden house were vines and branches hanging down from the trees behind, and at all sides, except the front, were bright-green trees. Isthul heard running water flowing against rocks, and he knew that somewhere there was a river.

As Isthul looked around, Keder whispered to him, “Is there anyone present in sight?”

Then he heard a voice say, “Yes, there is. May I help in any way?”

When the person spoke, Isthul immediately turned to the entrance and saw a beautiful young woman standing at the doorway. Her arms were folded under her breast and she stood there and looked deep into Isthul. She had a silver headdress in her hair and it reflected the light of the sun. Her eyes and the sound of her soft voice put the captain into a trance, that he moved his lips to speak, but no words came out.

Keder was enjoying this, and to save his friend from embarrassment, he spoke when the captain couldn’t, “Yes, we have come here with orders from King Idis of Tekél regarding the disappearance of our soldiers.” Isthul sighed in relief when he realized Keder spoke first.

The young maiden replied, “Ah I see. Perhaps you would like to converse inside?”

Isthul took over this one, “Yes we would, that would be most convenient.” And the prince looked at the assistant captain, who in return smiled at him.

“Good. Follow me please.” Isthul and Keder got off their horses and she finally noticed the teken army behind them.

The two men had left a soldier, “Reniel,” to be in charge of the rest of the soldiers while they were in discussion. Isthul was the first to enter the house and when he walked in, he immediately smelled sweet flowers, as if the kifiri had planted a garden inside. When they had entered, Isthul was surprised at how spacious it was inside, for from the outside, it seemed small. In the center of the room was a small wooden round table that seated four people. Above on the ceiling was a wide-arched dome that glared down upon them.

“Please, sit.” Isthul and Keder sat down at adjacent seats to one another and the young maiden sat across from them. “My name is Etheria.”

“I am Isthul and this is my assistant captain, ‘Keder’. ”

“It is nice to meet you both. Now, what matter can I help you with?”

Isthul replied, “We are here to investigate the disappearance of eight tekén soldiers. They were sent here separately at a time to send a letter to the person it was addressed to. However, none of them returned and no news was ever heard of them.”

Isthul paused for moment and was going to speak again until Etheria spoke first, “I can assure you, I know nothing of this letter, nor have me or any of my people has seen them either.”

“So they never reached?” Isthul immediately asked.

Etheria replied in his same pace, “I’m afraid so.”

Then Keder spoke up, “Are you sure none of your guards hasn’t taken them captive in some kind of way? Thinking of them as a threat perhaps?”

Etheria responded defensibly, “No no. We never harm or disturb anyone unless the same is acted upon ourselves. And if my guards had done what you have assumed, I would have knowledge of it surely.” The assistant captain paused, and thought for a moment. The silence was truly uncomfortable until he finally got the courage to ask, “How of the forest along the trail? Do the savéns control it?”

Etheria looked slightly uncomfortable about the question, and Isthul could tell she had to think before she answered, “I am sorry, this is a matter I am not allowed to speak of, but I will only tell you they lurk there sometimes…against our will.”

“Ah…do you think it’s possible they could of-”

“I would really like to help you, but I cannot discuss this. But you can get your answers from the lord and lady of Tierniel.”

“But-” Keder was about to speak until Isthul said, “Ked-,” and slowly shook his head to give up. Isthul knew she was on edge on the topic, so he dropped the questioning. “I thank you for your help. Do you know how to reach this Tierniel?”

“I do, it is a three and half to four day journey there. If you would like, I can join your party to show you the way.”

“If it is not an inconvenience then you certainly may come with us.”

“It is not, I was to journey there in seven days, but it would not bother to go early.”

“Sounds gratifying, when shall we leave?”

“Tomorrow, at dawn.” The three sat down as their eyes switched from one another. Etheria knew there was nothing left to talk about so she ended the conversation, “It will be getting dark soon. Would you like to eat and then take some rest?”

“We would very much appreciate that, thank you.” replied Isthul.

Etheria got up from her seat and walked farther in the house to the other side of the large room to the next arched doorway. A woman came to her and they spoke for a while, and within minutes she brought back plates filled with food. The two ate silently alone as Etheria left to prepare their rooms.

As soon as she left, Keder spoke what he had been dying to ask Isthul, “What was amiss with you earlier dear friend?”

“What do you mean?” Then he stuffed the bread into his mouth.

“When the woman, “Etheria,” spoke to you, why did you not speak?”

Isthul almost choked, and pretended that he was still chewing. Keder laughed, “Do not dare give me that captain, tell me the truth.”

Slowly swallowing, Isthul kept hoping something would happen so that he wouldn’t have to say what happened. The captain knew he could never hide anything from Keder, but he didn’t want to tell him so he said, “Nothing, I just have never expected a woman to be in charge of the Kifiri’s defense is all.” Then he continued to his eating.

Keder sipped some of his water and then spoke, “That is all hm?”


“I see..” he said sarcastically.

Looking at his friend with a tiresome face, “What are you implying?”

Keder smiled again, “That you have the thought of some sort, that she is the most beautiful woman that your eyes have ever come across.”

The prince remained silent with his eyes away from Keder, and Etheria entered the room, “Your rooms are ready for you. There is a large garden in the back for your soldiers to sleep in, one of you should tell them, for it is already dark.”

Wanting to leave, Isthul immediately spoke first, “I shall tell them.” Keder wasn’t going to let him go so easily so he spoke up so Etheria could hear him, “No my lord, I shall go.” Then he got up and looked as his dear friend shiver as he became nervous. He smiled and whispered to him, “May the gods aid your heart.”

The captain wanted to slap Keder, but he tried to remain calm and slowly turned his head toward the kifiri maiden. He kept thinking over and over what he should say to her to spark a quick conversation, but before he can do so, Etheria looked as if she had forgotten something. Then it came to her and she quickly took the empty plates and left the room. Isthul felt childish, but he looked at her as she left. Her long dress swung as her feet kicked them into the air, and her wavy black hair just stood still.

Etheria came back, and she walked towards him and sat across the table. Her mind was raging with thoughts, but she felt silly just sitting there so she said, “So you are the son of Lord Idis?” Isthul’s head perked up. She spoke! He immediately answered, “Yes, I am.” Then he quickly thought of something to say, “Are you related to the royal family of Tierniel?”

Etheria chuckled a bit and her smile just made Isthul stare, “We would not necessarily say “royal family,” but yes I am. I am the daughter of Lord Rakél and Lady Ethela.”

“Ah, I see you were named partially after your mother.”

She smiled again, “Yes, she always desired to name her child that, if she ever was to born a girl. Etheria means, “A white flower.”

“Well you certainly have a beautiful name.”

Etheria blushed and Isthul couldn’t believe he had just said that, then she asked, “Do you know what your name means?”

“I do not. Does it have a meaning?”

“Yes it does. Your mother has never told you?”

Then the prince frowned, “No. She died sixteen years ago.”

“Oh…I’m sorry. What happened?”

“She got ill, no one knows of the cause, but her fever went out of control and it became too high for her to bear. She became very weak and didn’t survive it’s passing.”

“She must have been a great woman to name you Isthul. It means, “ A great warrior,” and I am sure you are.”

Isthul smiled then it occurred to him Keder was taking a long time to return. “Well Lady Etheria, we have a long day tomorrow.”

Then he got up, and so did she, “Yes we surely do. Give me a moment to prepare your rooms.” Isthul nodded and then left.

Keder was brushing his horse when the captain came outside, and he smiled as he approach the guilty assistant captain, “You were suppose to return to let me know you instructed our comrades.”

“Hmm…I had decided to see where conversation could arise to.” And he continued brushing.

“Uh-huh, I see.” Isthul said while still looking at Keder.

“You both spoke far longer than I expected.” Keder said while still smiling.

Isthul answered sarcastically, “Did we now?”

“Yes.” Keder’s smile widened, “You have but no idea of the sort on how much I am tempted to tease you right now friend, but I will let you be.”

“Thank you, I do not need the head of the royal defense to decide my feelings for me.”

“So you are saying you do have feelings?”

Isthul snapped back, “I never said it, now stop. We have much to do tomorrow.”

“I am sure you are excited considering she will be com-“ Isthul looked at him with an annoyed face, “All right, all right, I will stop.” Then he laughed.

Isthul looked around, “From the looks of it, I am assuming the army is colonized safely?”

“Yes sir, it is all taken care of.”

“All right, then we must rest now.” Isthul went to Rafst who layed down with his eyes closed and neighed when Isthul pulled his bag out from underneath him. Keder took his bag too and they went inside where Etheria was waiting for them.


Keder answered, “We sure are.”

“All right, follow me.” Etheria lead them out through the back of the house. The very large garden wasn’t too far ahead. There was a river and then after it were the thousands of soldiers resting on their blankets on the soft, warm, grass.

She turned left and Isthul was surprised to see two stairways on opposite sides of the house on the outside. The kifiris’ ways of architecture was surely strange, yet somewhat amazing.

Etheria stopped and pointed up the left stairwell, “Lord Keder, your room is right up those stairs, there are blankets and pillows on the side of the bed for you.”

Keder slightly bowed to her, “Thank you my lady. Sleep well.” And he turned and slowly walked up.

“Lord Isthul, the stairwell to the right is your room, there are blankets and pillows for you too.”

“Thank you Lady Etheria. I appreciate your help.”

“Your welcome sir, it is my duty to make peace with all. Have a pleasant night.”

“And may you have one too.” The captain went into his room and didn’t look back at Etheria.

To his left was a small window with no curtains, in front of him was the bed, and on his right was a small yet very decorative chair. The captain took off all armor and weapons and put them lightly on the floor, and then he took off his shirt and changed with the clothes he brought with him in his bag. He placed the pillows on top, layed on the soft bed and then took his blankets and looked outside. It felt strange being in a room with no doors, but he felt cozy and closed his eyes for the journey at dawn.

The next morning, the prince woke up about an hour before dawn. The sky was dark blue, for the day had not started yet. It was a bit chilly and Isthul shivered. He got up, dressed, and made up the bed. His sword was clamoring against his mail as he walked down the narrow stairwell and then he looked to his right. Some of the soldiers were already awake, but most were still sleeping peacefully. He was thinking if Keder was awake yet, but then decided to let him get a few more minutes of sleep.

He walked to where the soldiers slept and saw that Reniel was awake, and he saw him and approached the captain and said, “Morning captain, you are up early.”

Isthul replied, “Yes I am, looks like the rest of the them are still asleep.”

“Yes my lord, but if you desire, I will wake them.”

“No, let them get some sleep, but wake them up half an hour before dawn.”

“Yes my lord.”

Isthul turned and went into the main house, and surprisingly, Etheria was not there, but one of her guards were. He approached Isthul, “If you are looking for the Lady Etheria, she is not here, but she will come shortly to greet you this morning.”

“Thank you, I shall wait for her here.” Isthul went to the small round table and saw that breakfast was already made for him. He guessed she did not leave too long ago for the food was still very hot. There were two plates, and Isthul thought that before the food could get cold he would wake up Keder.

He got up but then a voice stopped him, “Save your strength captain, for I am up already.”

“Ah, I see. Well a fair morning to you.”

Keder yawned, “And to you as well, I see the lady has prepared breakfast. You did not think that you could have snitched my plate too now.”

Isthul laughed, “If I do not recall that would be you, not me,” and Keder joined him in laughter. He sat down at the table and they slowly ate.

“Where is the lady?” He asked as he put the spoonful of soup into his mouth.

“Her guard over there said she is away, I do not know where she went.”

“Oh all right. So how did you sleep?”

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172 Reviews

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Reviews: 172

Sun Mar 20, 2005 12:23 pm
Shadow Knight says...

Yep, post the rest, i want to read it! But seriously good story!

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10 Reviews

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Reviews: 10

Sun Mar 20, 2005 4:09 am
legondre says...

Thanks again you guys! Should I post the rest of chapter 1? That way I can get an overall opinion of it?

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Reviews: 25

Sun Mar 20, 2005 2:54 am
Bazoo wrote a review...

Personally, I think it kind of jumped into that beginning a little fast. I think you should've tweaked the third paragraph and started witht that, but really, that might be just my opinion.

Great job with the character development. I really liked it.

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263 Reviews

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Reviews: 263

Sat Mar 19, 2005 11:35 pm
Lollipop says...

Yeah, this was so good!

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10 Reviews

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Reviews: 10

Sat Mar 19, 2005 10:53 pm
legondre says...

Thank you so much Dreami! And yes it is most certainly missing something. I need some help :(

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84 Reviews

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Reviews: 84

Fri Mar 18, 2005 11:37 pm
Dreami wrote a review...

That was a very good story, I really enjoy your work. I didn't find much that seemed wrong with it. Sorry, I usually don't edit stories, but I liked it. I agree though there seems to be something missing.... well, ask someone who's a little more expierienced that thy poor little good-for-nothing Dreami that happened to be first to poke around and read this. :wink: lol. *rolls eyes at self* :roll:

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing; it was here first.
— Mark Twain