“Sometimes things are hidden
in the most obvious of places,”
Arajuan to Anika
“Get up, get up,” a woman’s voice rang out, “Breakfast is ready.”
Anika dragged herself from the bed. On the foot of her bed was a new dress, a lovely medieval elven styled gown. It was black with red lace trim along the sleeves and hem. The skirt was black except the middle; it was red like the lace. Beside the dress was a small tiara with a bright red gem in the center. She was certain it was a ruby.
She washed again in the washbasin and slipped from her silk nightclothes into the beautiful garment. The sleeves flowed down her arms to the tip of her long middle finger. The skirt just touched the ground around her feet. She placed the tiara on her head. The black corset top squeezed her into an hourglass. She tied a red sash with a money pouch attached around her waist. For the first time in her life, she looked feminine and royal. She slipped on a pair of shoes she found at the foot of the bed. They were black strapped sandals that looked elegant with the dress.
“The eyes are the quickest to deceive a man.
This is why I am glad to be blind.
There are no deceptions.”
Arajuan to Tarnink
Anika lay in her tent and stared at the ceiling. She was restless and found it difficult to get to sleep. She sat there with thoughts of home and Atron Reu. He always had made her laugh, and she missed him. The boy often got himself into trouble with the other elves. He had a habit of escaping the village, which caused her to drag him back. If he were to do that now, without her, Arajuan might find him. She despised having to deal with Arajuan’s cruel way of taunting her mind.
Anika felt uneasy about Atron, that he was unhappy without her. She hoped she was wrong as she already worried enough. Whatever the child did she wanted him to stay safe. The Aldarian Army hunted half-dragons now even more than dragons were. Thinking of dragons
“It was a vast burning field
where no flowers grew
blood covered the embers
where no bodies were strewn
Who could do this to a land
that committed no crime
a place that had peace
In a time before time”
the devastation Arajuan
caused through out
That morning Anika awoke as the sun peeked into her tent. With the darkness gone the sun beamed the brightest she had ever seen. Only a slight trace of sulfur was on the wind much to her relief. She sat up, her stomach had a dull ache, but her legs healed except for scars on the back of them. Her shoulder where Arajuan gripped her had no wound at all. She had fallen asleep in her travel armor, so she did not need to dress. She left her tent, found Tarnink was already up and had prepared a fire.
Tarnink pulled out a pack of food and handed it to her. She tried to eat but her stomach felt numb. The food just sat and rotted. She tossed the food away from her in frustration.
“Arajuan, that vile beast, he is trying to starve me to death,” she exclaimed.
“How many fear the dark only
to find there is little to fear”
-The Bird-Child Socrates
As the shadowy mist faded away, a foreboding man with charred brittle skin appeared. In the cracks, there glowed what appeared to be red-hot lava. His eyes were embers as he glared at them. Anika regained her bearings, Tarnink behind her, sword drawn. A small troop of twisted men circled them.
Anika found herself faced with this monstrosity. His eyes glowed so hot that his stare burned into her. He was blind, yet Anika felt he could sense her that he was looking at her.
The scar he had on his left eye glowed the brightest red and cut deeper than the other cracks of his flesh. Strapped to his right side he carried a sword, and in his right hand a long spear. His long feathery black hair blended in with the darkness of the forest. He wore a battered
“Those who seek adventure often
fail to see the deadly perils
that follows after it”
The Bird-Child Socrates
Anika awoke the next morning refreshed. She glanced around her palace bedroom. It was a large spacious room with an elegant queen-sized bed. Bright red curtains draped the expansive windows. It had a large cherry wood chest of drawers with an ornate mirror across from her bed. The morning sun spilled in to the room and painted her face in a soft light.
Anika tossed her elafi skinned blanket as she stood up and slipped out of her red silk nightgown. She dressed in a new rohit-elafi, leather armor and found her leather moccasins. She admired in the mirror how perfect the skin from her prey fit. Anika pulled on her new red trimmed traveling cloak. She pulled the hood down letting her beautiful light curls flow over her shoulders. The cloak was airy and well made; it covered her delicate frame with a delightful
“There are none fairer than the
Earth Elves of Lenagard”
Tarnink, ambassador of Lenagard
A young woman with elven beauty walked along a narrow forest path. Her black and red streaked hair swept past her high cheekbones with a small wind. She froze at the sound of a snapped twig and sniffed the air. She caught the distinct scent of rohit-elafi along with the familiar trace of sulfur. The woman grabbed her bow as she peered out through her emerald eyes, the slit pupils narrowed when she spotted her prey. Her arched eyebrows curved in concentration. It was an older rohit-elafi and was not likely to survive the coming winter; she shot and hit her mark.
The woman approached the small red deer like creature and lifted it over her slender shoulders with ease. The weight shifted on her shoulders. She moved a strand of her wavy hair away from her eyes as she slid down the path. The narrow path grew wider and large trees dotted
“If you fail, I will deliver
the most severe of punishments.
Pain and suffering will be your only friend.”
Gori to Arajuan
The warm sun could not cheer Arajuan’s defeat and losing the twins would cause him even greater pain. He had taken a full troop of men but now he had enough left for one platoon. As they marched towards Lenagard, he halted the men and sniffed the morning air. Mika, she must be taking the hatchling.
“Into cover now, we don’t have the men to fight another dragon!” He ordered.