Prologue No Rest for the Wicked Brilliant fiery flames illuminate the darkness.

Their sporadic glints cast reddish orange hues upon the black pumice laded walls. Rivers of magma carve wide trenches through marred scorched ground. Meditating in its darkness a figure sat waiting. Planning and calculating, the years only served his plan. Patience was a virtue he learned to appreciate. Chains divine in essence, shackled his arms, and feet to the earth beneath him. Multitudes black disembodied specters, allies of times past, floated and swirled around him. Their wispy ethereal voices cried out for vengeance and freedom. “Free us Zaheil,” they moaned. “Make them suffer brother.” “Patience, we will have our time,” said Zaheil. They all were once divine beings of beauty and grace. Until The Father stripped them of their heavenly grace and the Arch-Dragons banished them to their infernal home. His silver skin had long since lost its luster, only a pale gray husk remained. Brimstone seared away his long pure white locks. Six black leathery wings remained they served as a reminder of his former glory. The upper two wings lay furled against his back. His lower four wings wrapped around his body forming black plated armor. On his chest plate resided two serpent heads. They embodied the essence of his once divine dragon. Before his fall his immense silver six headed dragon reigned above all others. Second only to The Father. After the Great Divide that pitted brother against brother only three heads remained. The other three were felled by the sword of the ArchDragon Michael, yet his dragon endured. For eons after his fall he mourned the loss of Heaven’s visage. Zaheil held tight to that pain, for it was weapon and his motivation .All will know how he suffered, and those responsible for the crimes against him would be handled accordingly. Zaheil continued to mediate, he sat crossed legged his palms resting in his lap. Though his grace was gone, he was remained innately divine. He knew that most of his soldiers fell with him, but a few managed to escape, and through them his will was done. Devotion was the reason he was there, and only an act of pure devotion could free him. Using his vast knowledge of Ereda, he was able reach out through the divine essences of its creation, and reach out to the world above. Unbeknownst to the peaceful realm above, the wheels of revenge were spinning, and Zaheil began to set his plan in motion. Chapter 1 What Dreams May Come Night bowed into dawn as a full moon sat low upon a starless sky. Below its waning visage a Priestess was in the midst of a dream. Or more like a nightmare. Visions of a dark underground cavern invaded her mind. A woman unknown, yet familiar dressed in a black hooded robe roamed in its darkness. Light from her lantern illuminated the black pumice walls as she race down a wide darken tunnel. Her feet pounded against the floor causing remnant ash

to flow upward clouding the air. Pain drenched screams and the sounds of clashing metal resonated off the rock laden walls. “Hurry!” a deep male voiced yelled from behind her. “Get to the door!” The Priestess tossed and turned. Her hands tensely gripped the white silk sheets of her white canopy bed. As the hooded woman approached the tunnel’s end her paced slowed. The screams ceased and a deafening quiet stilled the atmosphere. She paused and stared at two soot covered colossal stone doors. Their hearts pounded in unison, as sense of deep dread whisked through the sleeping priestess. Through a dreamy haze she peered through the hooded woman’s eyes. Wiping the soot away with her hands she raised her lantern. Its light illuminated images of war engraved upon the door. As she scanned across its stone scape, visuals of winged beings battling a titanic six-headed dragon came into view. “No…No,” The Priestess pleaded. “Please turn away… Leave it be.” Two large circular handles suited for giants among men rested above her head. The hooded woman reached up grabbed one and pulled. Slowly it opened, a loud breathy groan emanated from within. Intense heated air rushed from the sealed room. The stench of brimstone and ash chocked the air. Gasping for a clean breath the hooded woman and the priestess coughed. The hooded women slowly entered, once inside she stood on a rocky narrow ledge overlooking a massive fiery abyss. At the same time, outside the priestess’ door, her huge yet humble bodyguard, Gregory Armstrong made his hourly rounds. He wore a white suit trimmed with gold. His trousers and collared shirt were white. It had gold button which matched its cuffs. Gregory was a Tectons, a race of giants known to be great architect. Few were chosen for royal duties, and fewer accepted the task. Though it’s considered an honor to be bestowed such duties, most would rather draft and build instead. Gregory bulky yet muscular eight-foot frame strolled gracefully down the immaculate hallway. He sported a full beard, and his curly silver locks rested on his shoulders. Chrystal chandelier lights hung from the vaulted ceiling illuminating the hallways. The floors were white marble the walls were a mixture of white sandstone and brick. Gold etching lined its baseboards. The night was nearly quiet; he could hear the whispers of the younger priestesses, as he passed by their room doors. In passing, Gregory knocked on their door. “Go to sleep ladies,” he said in soft yet assertive tone. “Yes, Sir Gregory,” they replied. He waited for their whispers to fade away. Even though he knew they would continue once he left. His duty was not to enforce behavior, but to ensure their safety. The parents of Almarna had the option to send their daughters, to the sanctuary to train. Of course it was strictly voluntary. The High King wouldn’t have it any other way. To force one into the order was considered a capital offence. Once there the students were given the title Geni, which was Ancient Almarnan for beginner. After they’ve completed seven Prayer Rites within one of the seven Kingdoms of Almarna, they are granted the title Priestess. Most girls were sent there at the age of six. Some would seek holy guidance much later in life. The High Priestess Claire Munset,

was just such a girl. She was initiated into the order at the age of sixteen. Normally, one would not be eligible for the title of High Priestess at such a late age, but she was an exception. At the end of Gregory’s hourly patrolled he took his usual post by the High Priestess’ room door. By the door sat a giant black oak desk and an enormous grey wicker chair. As he settled in, he heard moans emanating from within. He wasn’t the over protective sort, but he decided to check in on her anyway. He knocked then waited for her to answer. She did not, so he figured she was having dream of sorts. He eased the door open, and poked his massive head in. Dim moonlight illuminated the room just enough for him to see. Claire tossed and turned the white silk sheets crumpled as she lashed about. Gregory didn’t think much of it; the manor was filled with females of all ages, so nightmares were a given. He eased back and shut the door. After he retook his post, he took a large drafting pad and several drawing pens from his desk draw. There he sat and sketched new building designs. The Priestess continued to dream. The hooded woman knew her purpose. As she stood on the ledge she knew a sacrifice was needed so she jumps. Claire’s body tensed, and her voice cracked, “Why…? Why…?” As the hooded woman plummeted into the fiery abyss she accepted her fate with open arms. She uttered not a word as the flames consumed her. Once the flaring maelstrom devoured her its flames subsided, but the darkness remained. From within the abyss, guttural maniacal laughter resonated through. As the maelstrom calmed it morphed into a giant serpent eye. From it depths an great evil spoke directly to the priestess, “You all will know my pain!” Claire cried out, “No…No! Not you! It can’t be!” Her body flailed she ripped the sheets from her bed. Her screams caused Gregory to rush in he was stunned by what he saw. Claire was in the midst of a change her Divine Dragon was awakening. The control she had studied years to maintain was collapsing. Gregory rushed to her side. With his giant hands and innate Tecton strength he pinned her to the bed. Deep down he hoped it would be enough because he didn’t want to transform himself. As he held her down he could see she was struggling for control. Her skin shifted back and forth between its bronze tone and her dragon’s scaly pearl white hide. Her short dark cropped hair grew long, and flowed over her white pillow. Gregory budged slightly as her body violently arched upward testing his strength. “It’s okay, Your Holiness it’s safe!” Gregory exclaimed. “Please, Claire you have to calm yourself.” Claire’s body jerked in fierce spastic movements whipping the sheets away. As they crumpled by the wayside the silk white night gown she wore was reveal. Suddenly, her eyes opened but they were not hazel brown wonders he hoped for. They were gold and that was a problem. Her dragon was free. Her skin shifted again from bronze to scaly pearl white. Two leathery white wings sprouted from her back. Claire’s body arched upward forcing Gregory back. Her wings unfurled breaking the canopy post.

Claire roared her voice merged with her dragon’s and echoed a monstrous duality, “He must not be freed! The Fallen One must not be freed!” “Dammit you’re strong for a tiny one,” said Gregory. “You’re forcing my hand Claire.” He had no choice but to change, Claire’s dragon was too strong. Like most races on Ereda his abilities were divine in essence. However, Tectons were pacifist and didn’t use their strength for aggressive act. Their change involved brute strength and power. Gregory’s silver pupils enlarged. “I’m going to have to order another suit,” he thought to himself. He grew another foot in height, and packed on an extra hundred pounds of muscle. His biceps budged splitting shirt sleeves. His chest, and back muscles burst through his tailored shirt. Pieces of shredded fabric dangled from his chest and back as his trousers ruptured at the seams. At the same time, Claire’s growls woke her assistance in the adjoining room. Rhea was a Condalor priestess; she belonged to a race of bird- like beings that called the skies their home. She lurched in drowsy from sleep; the hem of her blue gown dragged along the floor. Rhea had flawless brown skin and hazel blue eyes. Two large beautiful indigo and auburn feathered wings hugged her body. She was few years older than Claire. Like her, she too became a Daughter of the Dragon at a late age. Unaware of the seriousness of the situation she was caught off guard by Gregory’s tanned manliness. “Well that’s an eye full,” Rhea joked. Gregory turned, and blushed. Tectons were a modest folk and he was more than little exposed. Before he could explain Claire’s growl explained for him. Rhea eyes widen, she locked the bedroom door. She couldn’t risk any little children wandering into the room. Gregory glanced toward her, with a somewhat befuddled expression. “Eldest, how do we stop this?” he asked. Rhea rushed to his side. She pulled her indigo and auburn streaked hair back into a pony tail. “We can only assure her,” she said. “It’s all her, we just have to hope that she regains control.” Claire’s body flailed ferociously, but Gregory’s might held her at bay. “There’s nothing? No, bells… No charms dammit?” he asked. “Uh…No,” stated Rhea. “These are divine creatures Gregory. Nothing, but Will can placate them. ” “Well, I enough will for the both of us,” said Gregory. He increased the pressure, and leaned towards her ear. “Forgive me, for this.” It was an awkward situation for Gregory, but he had to restrain her. However, sanctuary was a place of peace, so chains and straps of any sort were not available. Well aware of his girth he proceeded to straddled her. He supported most of his weight himself, and let the rest stifled her movement. One by one he grabbed each wing. Crossing them along her body, he cradled her in her own wing. With his massive hands he gripped both sides of her frame and clamped her down. Claire tried to struggle free, but Gregory wrestled her back down. “You have to get a grip on this monster!” exclaimed Gregory.

The wooded bedframe began to creak and bow under their weight. Claire began to emerge, but the dragon maintained control. “Gregory… Get off of me!” she roared. “I’m sorry but I’m going to have to decline!” Gregory exclaimed slamming her body to the mattress again. The bedframe buckled under their struggle and crash to the floor. Moments later, Claire slowly regained control. Her scaly white pearl hide returned to normal. However, her hair remained long. Her wings slowly shrunk, and retreated into her body. Though, she was nearly back to normal Gregory remained straddle across her. He was concerned about her eyes; they were still golden in color. “Gregory…” Claire chuckled. “You can get off of me now.” Somewhat satisfied by her change Gregory dismounted her. “Oh, sorry,” he stated as he returned to his normal less hulking form. “Your eyes?” Claire rolled out of bed with a rather somber look on her face. Her white night gown was slightly ragged. Its back was shredded from her wings. “They’re always the last to change,” she said. “They might be this way for a while. The Fallen One is plotting a return.” Rhea eyes widen, but she was not afraid. “He’s always plotting that’s what he does,” she said. “We always found ways to stop him before.” “Yes, but I fear this time will be different.” “What do you mean?” Rhea asked. “You’re starting to worry me a little bit her.” “There is no need to worry,” said Claire. “I’ll get everything under control. But right now, I need time to think, could you two leave me, please?” Telling Rhea not to worry only made her worry more. She knew it was the High Priestess’ duty so Rhea left her to her thought. Claire tried to bury her worry, but Gregory saw it in her eyes. Gregory quietly and quickly eased away. He knew the Daughters, and the Geni would be waking soon, and his appearance was rather unsightly. The massive two story ten room sanctuary held a total of twenty females of various races and ages. He was already subjected to whispers and snickers being the only male on the premise. The last thing that he wanted was for them to see him such skimpy attire. As he left the room the halls were quiet like he had hoped. It seemed as if no one was aware of the incident. “Interesting,” Gregory thought to himself. “ The walls must be more insulted than I thought.” Claire was deeply shaken by the events of the night but quickly recouped and forced her fear away. She turned toward her wrecked bed and glowered. Not since her youth had been so destructive. It seemed she didn’t have as much control as she thought she had. Claire exhaled a sigh as she walked towards the window. The hem of her white silk gown dragged along plush white carpet as she strolled towards her room’s large panoramic window. Opening its large golden curtains she stared out into the waning darkness. Her room over looked the city. Lantern styled streetlights illuminated the misty atmosphere; casting a grayish hue upon the smooth

cobble stone pavement. All the shops were closed, the streets were quiet and still. “What are you planning?” Claire questioned to herself. “I know it is one of us but which one is it?” There were very few girls in the sanctuary that fit the image of the hooded woman in her dreams. Claire hated the uncertainty she knew how cryptic visions could be. One thing was for certain she needed to talk to the High King. Their past was a well-kept secret. She and Josia were orphaned by war and he was the only person she could truly confide in. As children she and Josia were a bit mischievous, Josia being Loren made it even more so. During his youth the orphanage was located within the slums of Camaria. At night he would sneak away from the castle, and she from the orphanage. Together they would stroll the streets together often finding trouble to get in to. Closing the curtains she headed toward her writing desk. Gregory had carved it from white oak, and presented to her as a gift on her birthday. On its countertop lay a stick golden wax, a dripless candle, and a fountain pen. A cushioned golden brown wicker chair was tucked firmly underneath. She pulled out the seat, and sat down. She clicked on her vase-shaped lamp. Its dim white light illuminated her desktop. In the top draw, her stationary rested beside a box of matches and her High Priestess seal. Her stationary’s fiery red pages contrasted the pure whiteness of the room. Entwined black roses decorated the borders of each page. It was the only thing she could truly call her own. Everything the people perceived to be hers belonged to her High Priestess title. When she dies or steps down it all will be passed on to the next. It was a life of sacrifice, a term she had become well aquatinted with. She placed the golden seal on her desk. Engraved on the bottom was an ornamented dragon shaped like the letter C. Using a decorative white and gold fountain pen, she began write Josia a letter. It was her only solace from the solitude felt inside. Emotions unsaid poured from her soul and streamed through the pen. Words of fear, love, and loss bleed upon the pages. As she wrote time seemed irrelevant, and before she knew it was dawn. The reddish orange sun radiated through her golden curtain; casting a kaleidoscope of citrus colored hues upon her white walls. Their warm vibrant colors signaled the morning, and soon her daily duties would be at hand. She took the four page letter, and placed it inside a white envelope. With the matches she lit the dripless candle and melted the golden wax on the envelope. Using her High Priestess seal she pressed it against the wax and sealed it shut. Her letter to the King of Camaria was done. At the same time, Rhea made here mornings round. She had changed out of her sleeping attire. She wore a hooded white kaftan with blue sleeve cuffs and sandals. Her hair was up in a neat tight bun. Part of her duties as the Eldest Daughter entailed being a counselor to the Daughters below her. During her rounds she made sure that the girls were up and about preparing for the day. Since, the High Priestess was her main responsibility she often delegated duties to the oldest Daughters in each hall. As she rounded a corner, Rhea saw Gregory sitting at his post. He had changed into a new suit, which was identical to the one he destroyed hours early. Gregory saw her approaching from down the hall, which prompted him to close his drafting pad. He stood to his feet and waited to greet her. Rhea approached with a big smile on her face. Gregory prepared himself; he knew what was coming, she always had something overtly sexual to say. Rhea paused and smirked. “Hello Gregory,” she said. “You know what? You should

pose for a calendar. I need a new one.” Gregory smirked he usually had a witty comeback, but this time he was speechless. Rhea glanced down at his drafting pad. “New designs?” Gregory smiled, “It’s a little something I’ve been working on.” Rhea gestured towards the pad, “Mind if I take a look?” “No, by all means… Have at it.” Rhea became to flip through the giant pad; its pages dwarfed her tiny hands. She was well aware of his talents, but his new works amazed her. She flipped through beautiful elaborately detailed works. It pages were filled with arching suspension bridges, three dimensional dome cathedral, sky scraping towers, grandiose libraries, and even a futuristic metropolis. He was a gifted artist, far beyond any Tecton she had ever meant. “These are amazing Gregory!” Rhea proclaimed. “You could easily be the most famous architect in all of Almarna!” Gregory graciously shook his head, “No, I enjoy my quiet life. I don’t want that.” “Really, I thought all Tectons dreamt of designing the perfect building.” “I’m not going to lie, the notion has cross my mind,” said Gregory. “It is just not feasible; the only person to ever come close was the Great Architect, and his measurement was 100 microns off.” “Wow! Nevertheless, I still want to see your name on a building one day.” “One day, maybe…” Gregory. “So, you’re here to see the High Priestess?” “Yeah, I have her schedule for today.” “She’s still woke you can go in,” said Gregory. Rhea knocked on the door. Claire gave her permission to enter. She had just gotten out of the showers, and was wrapped in a silver bathrobe. Rhea turned and was talking at Claire from and angle. “I have your purposed schedule for today,” she said. “Nothing too pressing.” Claire walked between her mirrored dresser, which rested along the western wall and bed then circled towards Rhea. In passing, Rhea handed her the schedule as Claire continued on the writing desk. “Nothing too pressing is good,” Claire said as picked the envelope off her writing table. “Could you do me a favor?” Rhea knew exactly what she was going to ask. “You want me to deliver another private letter to the King don’t you?” she asked playfully. Claire tried to force back a smile, but it Rhea saw the glim of infatuation in her eyes. “Yes, could you?” she asked as she handed Rhea the letter. “Of course,” said Rhea. “Why don’t you just tell Josia how you feel?” Claire rolled her eyes and huffed. She knew Rhea knew why she couldn’t tell him. Their history was far too personal for a High Priestess. Rhea was like true sister to her, so that didn’t

stop her meddling. Rhea rolled her eyes back, “Bah, bah your duty. Bah, bah High King duty. I get it.” “Anyway, thank you.” “Don’t worry… I got you,” said Rhea. Rhea headed back to her room. It had a more natural feel than Claire’s. The position Eldest Daughter allowed for more personal freedom. Like most Condalors Rhea was a minimalist. They were known to spend their days enjoying the nature, so she didn’t care too much for furniture or confined spaces. An earth tone mirrored dresser rested flush against the west wall. The white marble walls were offset by a light brown rug, and sky blue curtains that covered a large panoramic window. Her bed was centered underneath it. A bookshelf filled with books sat cattycornered against the eastern wall. Humming a gleeful song, she danced her way towards her closet. As a priestess she had so few moments to herself, so she enjoyed her brief outings to Camaria. A strapped satchel hung on hook outside her closet door. She took the satchel off the hook placing it and Claire’s letter on her bed. Opening her closet she changed out of her Priestess kaftan opting for more low-key wears: brown shorts, a tan t-shirt, and sandals. After she donned the new fit, she took the satchel off the bed, and placed the letter inside. Then she strapped it down tightly across her chest, and headed out. Before she had one foot firmly out the door she was stopped by Nora Weston, a bright blue-eyed girl of relatively short stature. She was 16 years old and belonged to a race of little people called Mechne. As Almarna’s scientists and engineers they were responsible for most if not all-of Almarna’s technological achievements. Rhea’s 5’10 statuesque figure dwarfed Nora’s four-foot frame. Like the other Geni, Nora wore a hooded jade green kaftan with black hem lines and sleeve cuffs. Her hair was braided up in a full-crown style. “Excuse, Eldest do you a moment.” Rhea held back her sigh, and flashed a pretentious smile. She knew someone would interrupt her trip. The flight to Camaria was one she desperately longed for. Rhea proceeded to bend to one knee to be equal and courteous. The tips of her wings nearly grazed the floor. “Of course, I do,” Rhea said. “I was wondering can I accompany you the next the High Priestess goes to Smolders Gate?” asked Nora. Rhea smiled, “Are you looking to sign off on some of your training. Or is this a family visit?” Nora nervously placed her arms behind her back. “It is a little of both actually. I only need to complete on more Pray Rite to qualify to be a Priestess of Smolders. Also I haven’t seen my poppa in quite some time. So I would…” Nora had a ways to go before she could be considered a High Priestess Candidate . One must complete seven Prayer Rites in each of the Seven Kingdoms to be considered. The Eldest must watch and ensure the rites were done correctly in order for the Geni to be given credit. Since, there’s only one Eldest most girls usually don’t complete the initiation before there eighteenth birthday due to competition. However, once the Geni became a Priestess she was free

to travel on her own, and trusted to document their Prayer Rites. Those who do are considered for the appointment of High Priestess then it was up to the Divine Dragon too chose the successor. Nevertheless, to be considered a Priestess of their home kingdom was a prestigious honor. “Say no more,” said Rhea. “We hadn’t planned to go to Smolders Gate this week, but for this special occasion I’m sure we can pencil it in.” Nora was filled the joy and anxious anticipation. “I’m not making any promises, but I’m thinking Friday,” said Rhea. “I will let you tomorrow for certain.” Rhea rose back to her feet. “Thank you…Thank you.” “Just happy to help,” said Rhea. “Now if you excuse, me I have an errand to run.” Nora graciously stepped out of her way. As Rhea walked away Nora shimmied and danced with joy. Rhea could sense her elation, and in that instance she knew she had to hurry. Nora’s happiness would trigger a wave of questions from the other girls. The last thing she wanted was to be bombarded by more requests. She so longed to fly; to feel the wind embraces her body, and the warm sun against her skin was something she truly missed. Once she made her way back to Claire’s room, she asked Gregory to inform Claire she was on her way out. Gregory did as she asked and Rhea continued on her way. The hallway was filled with a kaleidoscope of skin tones, and Eredain races. Nearly all of Almarna’s kingdoms were represented: Mananite, Condalor, and Gean. Only the Loren and Tecton races were absent. It wasn’t because they were not allowed. There gifts either made them culturally ineligible. Lorens were a race of warriors, even as infants they were a rowdy lot. Combine that with their mischievous shadowy doppelgangers they were more than hand full. Tectons, due to their size, only have one child their entire lives. Tectons parents are fiercely protective of their children; fathers even more so when daughters are concerned. In the few moments that she left Nora’s side word had already gotten around concerning their purposed trip to Smolders Gate. Rhea was just about to turn a hallway corner when she paused. There were two Mananite Geni discussing Nora’s trip. They both wore a jade and black kaftans like Nora. Rhea knew they were Mananites, by their silver pupils. When they used there elemental powers their eyes turned to match its essence. “I have to get in on the trip,” said a Water Mananite. “I only need one more Prayer Rite, to be a Priestess of Smolders Gate.” “I have to talk to Eldest. Do you think they’ll go to Magos? I need her to go,” inquired the Fire Mananite. “I really want to be a Priestess of Magos.” As Rhea continued to listen she could help but smile a little. She remembered how hard she had to hustle to her Prayer Rites done. The last Eldest had a knack for disappearing. Now that actually had the position she finally understood why. The position may have allowed for more personal freedom, but the opportunity to exercise it was few and far in between. “You’re not talking to Eldest, not before me!” exclaimed the Water Mananite. “Besides, Magos is a day’s journey in the other direction.”

Rhea could sense an argument about to brew. “Maybe I can sneak pass without them seeing me,” she thought to herself. Directly across the hall was a door that led to a library. Rhea knew it was usually empty during the morning hours. The Fire Mananite snapped, “Oh, she’s going Magos! I’m going to find, her first!” “No, she’s not!” snapped the other. There squabble was the opening she needed. With swift and stealthy steps she darted towards the door while the girls bickered. Once secured inside she slowly closed the door. The student library marked a half-way point between the mansion’s eastern and western wing. Its spaces are primarily used for educational purposes. Mechne scholars held classes there three times a week. The room was a well lit by two ceiling skylight and florescent lighting. Four large library tables were sporadically place throughout the room. Ten white oak book cases, six feet in height, were spaced equal distances apart. The cases were labeled according to the academic disciplines. On the western wall, there were a set of glass double doors that led to the manor’s western selection. Rhea breathed a sigh of relief. She give the room a once over as she made her way to the exit. But before she made it into the clear she was stopped by a young familiar voice. “Good morning Eldest,” said the voice. Rhea turned the around to the sight of a young girl sitting at a table reading. The raven haired miss with alabaster skin, and sky blue eyes was Abigail Sinclair. She wore a white hooded kaftan with a jade hemline, and matching cuffs. Its colors symbolized her Priestess status. She was 10 years old, one of the youngest Priestess in the Order and feat shared by only one other girl. Rhea sighed. “Ah, Abigail ever so studious,” she stated. “If anyone would be here so early it would be you. How are you doing this morning?” Rhea was correct in her assumption Abigail was studious. As a Gean, she felt she had to be. Not many of her people were granted such an opportunity. Abigail closed and patted her book, “Just getting some reading done,” she said. “We have class today.” “Oh, that’s right. Miss Penny is schedule to come today,” said Rhea. “I wish I had more time to talk, but I have an errand to run.” Abigail opened her book and proceeded to read, “Okay then… Well, have a nice day.” “You too,” said Rhea as she headed towards the double doors. After she entered the west wing, she weaved around corners, and darted down hallways stealthy making her way towards the balcony. The halls were filled with gossips concerning Nora’s trip, and every young Geni wanted to claim at seat. Rhea usually took three Geni with her on High Priestess trips through Almarna’s kingdoms. That way the Geni can get there Pray Rites signed off and the High Priestess can attend to her royal duties. Rhea maneuvered through an office space and another study area. Soon her exit was within sight. Two gray glass double doors led to an outside balcony. White balustrades fenced the balcony as it wrapped around the manor’s back section. Rhea stepped through the glass doors. As she peered, over the lush green back lawn the morning sun felt warm against her skin, and a cool breeze whisked over her. On

the grounds below, a trellis entrance covered by beautiful red climbing roses led to her favorite part of the property, a massive rose garden. Her Priestess’ word worried her, but she refused to dwell. It was a beautiful morning despite its hectic beginning. She inhaled deeply letting the fresh air flow through her being. Nature, the warm sun, and cool breeze calmed her and then she exhaled. She unfurled her wings and stretched the stiffness away. Then with a mighty thrash of her wings she launched herself into the sky. Gracefully she ascended into the brilliant blue heavens. The morning sun shimmered off her brown and indigo wings. The skies were a Condalor’s domain and she was home. Higher she climbed her body pierced the clouds leaving billowy fragments behind. Soon the earthly realm faded way and the blue heavens encompassed her. Once she reached her height precipice she unfurled her wings to slow her climb. Like a feathered angel she hovered, in the sky. Her wings whipped the air around her and she bowed her head for a moment of silence. “Great Ejderha, I wish to thank you for this much needed respite from my duties. Blessed Be” Rhea said to herself. After her pray, she flapped her wings and thrust herself upward. Arching backward she began a free fall. She folded her wings along her side streamlining her body. Like a feathered missile, she plummeted from the sky. As she neared the end of her decent a smile graced her face. Her wings unfurled; with a mighty thrust, and graceful curl of her body she eased into a glided. With a loud screeched of joy she began her flight east to Camaria. As Rhea flew over Almarna’s vast landscape rocky plateaus merged into green lush plains. Clear fresh water stream and lakes feed into Almarna’s grandest river- the Great Fox River. However, she remained hours away from her destination.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful