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ring, but he forgot the Dragons. Twelve rings fell when dragons held Dragon lords laughed and laughed from where they dwelled
So the Dark lord looked for fallen dragons But only found the haziness slime where black dragons dwelled But soon the cursed beast came; but he held his ground and captured them all under his net of darkness And gave them he did to nine reached Riders who dwelled as his ensnared servants in the land of Droshen, the dark realm of death.
Part One MASTER RIDER
PROLOGUE Eleven young Riders entered the ancient and dark city of Dasha, and then they entered into a shrine like building and saw a glass table eight dragon eggs were on it. Each Rider took his or her own egg that was the color of the armor they wore but one egg remand and all knew who’s egg that was. The Master Rider’s egg their leader. Then there was the sound of screeching and horses galloping nearby; the Dark Riders of the Dark Lord Galidon had felt their presence it had been a trap. The Riders drew their weapons which were magical and mostly swords or bows then the Dark Riders came with their accursed weapons drawn and fought the seven young riders then they disappeared. The Dark Riders saw that not only were their masters enemies gone but that the last egg the golden dragon and the table was gone they mounted their black steeds and rode out to find their masters enemies.
CHAPTER ONE ERIC DRAKE Sixteen-year-old Eric Drake watched as his father pounded the life out of a red hot bar of iron. His father was of course the only blacksmith in the small town of Blean which was next to border of Iui Gadiilia Inida or in the common tongue Elvin Empire of Elishmail but the town of Blean was also near the border of Gashidale or in the common tongue Dark Empire. The town of course was in the Pelmon Empire, which was mostly made up of united states under the control of King Dodron the eighteenth. Eric awoke from his thoughts when an iron spark landed in is black hair; he quickly brushed it out of his hair with his two hands sending the still hot spark to the stone floor. His father shook his head and smiled “You shouldn’t stay to close to the anvil while sparks fly” “Why does your shop sign have a golden dragon on it” asked Eric. His father put the iron rod he had been pounding into a pile of coal which where in the very hot furnace then sighed. “It’s our family crest…a crest from ancient times” he said, “ Do you remember your great grandfather?
Eric shook his head. “Well his name was Adrathon Drake and he was a Master Rider” “Rider?” asked Eric “You mean he was master horseman?” “Well no” said Eric’s father “ He was master of dragons” “Dragons” said Eric in shock “But dragons eat all living things” Eric’s father smiled “ Your ancestors would disagree. Our family were friends with dragons and their protectors when other people tried to kill them” “But what were the Riders?” asked Eric. “The Riders were in short were Naz” “Naz” said Eric “Aren’t they gifted Magicians” “Yes” said Eric’s dad “But the Naz were also great protectors in the early beginning when many foes walked the earth. The Naz in a since were people who fought the dark side ” “Its always good versus evil” said Eric. His father nodded. “So how come they’re no more of us Riders?” asked Eric. “Well after so many battles against Galidon the dark lord of the demon gods there where few Riders left” said Eric’s dad. A shiver went down Eric’s back as his father said “Galidon”. “The few who did survive into the Third Age ruled the Pelmon Empire but Galidon who was the last of the still living demon gods stirred up trouble. He made a race called the orks and led huge armies against
Nordanthia and to the Riders Nordanthia was their home for even though they were sons and daughters of the gods of Light all the Riders had families in Nordanthia and they knew that every two thousand years later offspring with the blood of the Naz would rise to its full power and the line of Riders would start again. The Riders met Galidon in front of the city Isin-Ismailen the capital of Nordanthia and they had war” “So a hand full of Riders fought the Dark Lord armies,” said Eric. “Eric” said his father “The Riders because they were so wise were judges of the kingdoms they had only to ask for help and they had it” “So who came?” asked Eric. “The elves of Iui Gadiili Inida and Linia Donian the dwarves of Crimishia the horse men of Talnorn and the Nordanthian king himself led his massive legendary army of Rider and human decent” Eric smiled. “The two sides fought and the Riders won but only eight out of the hundred lived” said Eric’s father sadly “ And when they returned to the Pelmon empire they learned that their power to rule had been destroyed by a group of regular people who wanted to rule. The Riders decided that it was finally time to let regular people rule themselves so the supported the new rulers but were forgotten. Most became solders, travelers but our family settled here it’s been a two thousand years since the last real Rider died”
Eric’s dad went back to pounding his iron bar after he put it back on the anvil. “But what happened to the dragons?” asked Eric. Eric’s father stopped his pounding and was quiet for a moment then said “ Most flew to other land or to Iui Gadiili Inida” he said “ But there is a story that eight eggs are in Dasha” “Dasha” said Eric a chill went down his back “But that’s in the Black land” Eric suddenly felt the hot smith shop go cold as the smith’s shop door opened and a tall figure entered. Eric saw the figure was a wizard from a rich court for he was dressed in a Elven white robe that match his long white beard that went down to his sword belt. “Yes?” asked Eric’s father. “Are you related to Arbothen the Master Rider?” asked the wizard “Are you Aric?” “Yes”-said Aric as he put the iron bar he was working on back into the pile of hot coals. “I need this sword fixed,” said the wizard as he drew a sword from his long brown boiled leather sheath then handed it to Aric. “There is a dint on the blade” Aric gapped at the sight of the sword which he now lay in his hands; he looked at the sword blade but saw only the smallest dint that wouldn’t of been visible to a person who didn’t know swords.
“This sword” said Aric as he looked at the hilt “Its maker is the Elven smith Eldeen Moulel” “You know her?’ asked the wizard. “No” said Aric “But her work is legendary and I’ve seen a few pieces” He looked at the wizard “I can’t work on this-it’s to fine a piece for me to work on” The wizard looked at him “Have you worked on iron and steal?” “Yes”-said Aric. “Then you shall work on the sword” said the wizard “And when you are done I will pay you for your work” Aric nodded. “Now tell me where is the nearest inn?” asked the wizard. “The Blue inn” said Aric “It’s across the road” “Thank you” said the wizard and he left the smith shop. Eric and his father soon closed the shop and walked home that lay in the woods north of the town. “Dad would mom. If she were here would she approve of me being a Rider?” asked Eric as he followed his dad into the wood log house. Aric was quiet for a while and Eric knew why. His father didn’t like to talk about her because when Eric was four she just disappeared. Everyone thought she was taken by orks but Eric’s dad said it was because she ran away. He had always blamed her running away on himself because he didn’t give her a proper home or items a young
wife would want. “I think she would love for you to be a Rider,” said Aric “Why do you ask?” “I was just thinking it’d be neat to be a Rider,” said Eric. Aric smiled “Well then you’d need a dragon and their hard to come by then you’d need a suit of Rider armor but you’d also need to work magic” “How?” Eric asked. “The magic comes from within you,” said Aric “Now dinner”
CHAPTER TWO Adrothon
The next day Eric wounded into the wood, he sweated in the summer heat. He was headed for the lake Lumeorn, which was always cold in the summer heat and always warm in the winter cold. Then there was a snap of a twig and Eric’s hairs on the back of his neck stood up. He looked around then caught a glimpse of a female elf; she was running from an ork who was catching up to the elf. Eric ran for the ork at a full run and slammed the ork to the ground, but was easily thrown to the ground himself with a thud. The ork got to his feet and drew his sword that was black and was shaped like a T; he swung the sword at Eric but just missed the edge of the blade and
watched it go into the ground. Eric got up and saw the female elf send an arrow right into the ork’s heart but it didn’t stop him, Eric ran for it and the ork fallowed him. The two ran then Eric found an Elven made spear set against a tree he took hold of it and quickly took aim and threw it toward the ork. The spear entered the ork’s stomach causing him to stop and fall down dead. Eric breathed in the much-needed air that his lugs needed after the run then he felt a hand on his shoulder, which quickly turned him. And to his surprise it was an Elf lord and his guards. He bowed. “Who are you?” asked the Elf lord “Why are you here?” “I am Eric Drake, “said Eric “ Son if Aric the metal smith in the town of Blean I am going to go to the lake Lumeorn” “Son you wouldn’t be lying?” asked the Elf lord as his right hand fell on his sword that was in its sheath. “No” said Eric “If I may ask who are you?” “I am the Lord Adrathon,” said the elf “what is your age?” Eric looked at the elf’s guards then said “Fourteen-and I’ve got to go” An elf guard stepped in his way as he turned to leave to the lake. “Or I’ll just go back home” said Eric and he ran in the direction of his home. But he soon stopped and took another path to an old tree house he and his friend Fredrick made when they were young. Once inside the tree house that sat on an old oak he grabbed his bow and quiver of
arrows then his sword he had found in an ancient fort. “Hello Geveron” he said as he drew it from his sheath then put it back. Then his eyes laid their sight upon a more precious item. He picked up an elven made necklace that had been his mother’s; she had given it to him before she left. Eric admired the thin gold chain and the silver flower that hung from it; a round diamond was in the flower’s middle and a pearl was on the bottom of the two-inch stem that was attached to the flower. Eric put it on and put the flower under his shirt. He left the tree house and took his own route to the lake of Lumeorn. On the way he passed five dead orks on the way to the lake and ordinarily he would search them for valuables but he decided to go to the lake since it was nearing noon the hottest part of the day. Finally he reached the shores of Lake Lumeorn; he looked around and seeing nobody around he stripped of his clothes but for some under shorts and dove into the water. He swam the backstroke. The front stoke then finally just floated on his back for an hour or two, then he felt a poke at his back and quickly he fumbled in the water; Eric looked into the water and saw a teen age elf girl about seventeen. She surfaced and looked at Eric. “Who are you?” the girl asked. “Eric son of Aric a black smith” said Eric. Then hurried to shore and got dressed even though he was wet all over. But when Eric look to the wood he saw a dozen elf guards then
Adothon who had a naked sword in his left hand. Eric drew his sword and was thankful that Fredrick’s dad had taught him how to fight (Fredrick’s dad was the town’s captain of the gate). “I am on Pelmon land,” said Eric. “You had only to go home,” said Adrothon, ignoring Eric’s comment “Now you must die for your safety and for the Princess’s safety. What is that?” Adrothon pointed to the necklace Eric wore. “My mother gave it to me before she disappeared” said Eric as he sheathed his sword and took of his necklace. He handed it to Adrothon. The Elf lord looked at it while a second party of elves joined the first, but this time it was made up of elf women, children and servants. An elf woman walked over to Adrothon and looked at Eric’s necklace then looked at him; the two spoke for a while then Adrothon walked over to Eric. “You are coming with us,” said the Elf lord the waved his hand over Eric’s face and he felt sleepy then fell to the ground.
CHAPTER THREE Home-Sweet-Home Gone Eric woke up slowly in a tent he saw was elf made. Then he found himself tied to a thick wood pole that held up the tent and was
stuck a foot into the ground. So trying to escape would be impossible, so he waited for someone to come to him. An hour passed before entered the tent but Eric couldn’t see who for his back was at the entrance, then his hands were untied from the thick pole. “Get up,” said a voice. Eric did and looked at who cut him free; he saw the elf girl he’d meet in the water “Why was I tied?” “Because I am Grainne the Emperor’s daughter” said the girl “You where a brake in security. But this saved you” Grainne handed Eric’s necklace to him and he took it then put it on. “The flower resembles my peoples flower for peace,” said the girl “The flower Anathela. It proved you not a spy from the ork lands” I’m not a spy and I don’t care why you were in the lake,” said Eric “But I would like to go home” “You can’t go,” said Grainne “At lest not yet your mind needs to be checked incase you are a spy” Eric held back his anger but asked “Well at lest give me my weapons?” Grainne said something in her elf language and a guard entered the tent with Eric’s stuff in his arms. “The only question I have is about this” the Elf princess took Eric’s iron sword. “Where did you get this sword?” “I got it from an old fort that used to be held by orks” said Eric “ I like collecting weapons”
Grainne sheathed the sword then handed the items to Eric. Eric put his gear on after the two elves left, the left the tent. He saw the camp was made up of sixty to eighty people, twenty of them being elf guards some of which were run after children straying to far out of camp. Eric walked close to the wood were the edge of the camp was then slipped into it, making a full run for home, but he knew that soon the elves would go after him. An hour passed and no sign of the elves was around, Eric stopped at a pond to drink then saw an ork in it. He recoiled from the water and got up to see an elf warrior across the pond then saw that the warrior was looking at him. The elf stepped into the water and took the ork’s pack, he opened it and took out chain mail that looked like marble then he finally said, “ Who are you?” “I am Eric son of Aric” said Eric, and then saw the elf lord draw his blade. He did also. The two blades clanged as they met and the elf lord said “You’ve been trained well Eric son of Aric” The elf tossed Eric the chain mail with a smile, but then there were ork roars. “C’mon” said the elf Lord “Back to camp” But Eric ran in the direction of his hometown of Blean, with his sword in hand. Only a moment later he was attacked by a Keshia tribe ork, but
he was to quick for it and put his sword through its stomach. After taking out four other orks he ran out of the wood to see Blean on fire; rage filled every bit of him and he charged toward town half knowing what he was doing he fought like a made man. But he soon grew tired and was pushed into his father’s smith shop where he closed a bolted the door then turned around to see the wizard who had come the other day. The old man sat on a stool with a sword across his knees; the sword had ork blood on it. “I’ve been looking for your father but these Keshia tribe orks have kept me in here” said the wizard getting up. There was a bang on the door then all was quiet. Eric slowly opened the door to find Adrothon and two-dozen elf warriors standing over ork bodies; all were killed by arrows, which made them look like porcupines. Adrothon saw Eric and said “Garna get him” Garna a strong male elf solder grabbed Eric’s left arm while another solder but this time a female took his right arm and not as rough as Garna had done. “What is going on?” asked the wizard as he entered out of the smith shop and into the street of the town where everyone was “Adrothon what are doing?” “Albus? Lord Adrothon?” said the man Eric had met only a few moments ago.
Adrothon spoke first and pointed to Eric “ This boy endangered your sister. “How?” said the young elf “I have read his mind he is good. Though anger fills him at the sight of his town being destroyed. Let him go. The two elves, which held on to Eric, let him go. He looked around then ran for his house where his father might be. Eric ran even when the wizard Albus called after him to come back. He ran faster even though every step hurt, even though he knew his father might be dead. He just ran. Eric neared the house and saw that the oak door had been kicked down but he walked in anyway and on his father’s bed lay his father dead by loss of blood. An ork lay dead on the floor. “I’m sorry “said Albus as he stood next to Eric. “Eric” shouted a voice outside the house “It’s Fredrick” Fredrick entered the house then looked at Eric’s dead father “We’re the only survivors. What are we going to do?” “I don’t know,” replied Eric. “Come with my folk to Elidon” said the brother of Grianne “I know someone that will care for the both of you” Eric nodded then looked around his home then thought, “Home sweet home gone”
CHAPTER FOUR ELIDON
The next day Eric got on his wagon that was full of items from home he didn’t want to leave behind. The most precious of all a large wood chest, which was also mysterious because he didn’t know what was inside it but it reminded him of his father so he had decided to bring it along. Eric’s friend Fredrick got on his father’s coal shire draft horse
which was loaded with only needed items then he looked at Eric the to nodded at each other then started off toward the Elf city of Elidon. “This wasn’t the way I had my life planned out,” said Fredrick as the two followed behind the line of ridding elves. Fredrick exhaled a puff of air that could be seen in the cold air of the early morning; soon summer would die and autumn would come with a strong burst of cold air. Like always autumn came early and strong even if it was still summer, autumn rains came with cold air and thunderstorms. Fredrick wiped away a tear that was full of sorrow, loneliness, and a bunch of other stuff he didn’t want to dwell on “What’s in the wagon?” “Things I couldn’t part with. And things you forgot to bring” answered Eric “When do you think we’ll be in Elidon?” “Tonight” answered Adrothon as he rode next to the wagon “See or hear anything?” “Orks?” said Fredrick “No. You?” Adrothon didn’t answer but rode over to where princess Grainne and her older brother Eldrid was as if to block shots from the right side of the path, which was thick with tall bushes and trees. Then there was an ork roar and orks charged onto the road from both sides of the pass. They tried to get close to the prince and princess but Eric’s bow was out and he had already fired his first shot as an ork stepped into its rang.
Fredrick road into the thick of the black orks swinging his sword to block an attack or to cut an ork down, Eric could tell his friend was having fun and revenge all at once. But a moment later another wave of orks came and started to overwhelm the elf guards, even Eric’s quiver was running low on arrows. He saw Adrothon put an ivory horn to his lips and blow. All orks looked at him them rush toward him as he blew again from the horn, they had to stop him from blowing for help or they might be overwhelmed. Them among the shouting, clinking and clashing of the fight there came a strong and clear voice “Ithinia palina” Eric looked around for he recognized the elf words for “Let loose arrows” Seconds later dozens of arrows hit the ork mob and forced them down others fell back into the forest and an ere quiet rained again over the forest and the group. Then from Eric’s left came elves on horseback and one man on a white and brown horse from out of the forest. The man was dressed as a ranger of Talladon a wise and powerful warrior a Naz and the last of his kind but for Eric. Eric also knew this ranger like all who are decedents of Talladon where of royalty from Nordanthia a powerful raise of men. “Andun” said Eldrid.
Eric watched as the ranger who also looked weather beaten ride over to the prince the two hugged each other like brothers then the ranger looked at Eric and nodded. He nodded back. The ranger spoke quietly with the prince then rode over to Eric and Fredrick “ The two of you fought well. But my I know your names?” “I am Eric Drake,” said Eric “And my friend is Fredrick Birch” “I hope the both of us may be friends,” said Aragon with a smile, and then he rode next to Eldrid. The night grew on as the group passed through the forest, but soon little lights appeared in the distance and a magical singing could be heard. Eric and Fredrick gasped as they entered a clearing to see a huge elf city. The city had a tall wall and a tower every one hundred feet, but the most impressive thing was the gate for it was huge. It was eighteen feet tall and each door was four feet wide and lastly the metal the gates were made of was white as marble. “What are the gates made of?” asked Fredrick in wonder. “Galenstine a metal like marble but the strongest metal on earth” said Adrothon with a smile “ Only found in Iui Gadiila Inida and the dwarf land of Orlmishada” The gates opened and the group entered into the city elf city of Elidon.
CHAPTER FIVE SILVER RINGS Eric and his friend Fredrick were given a place to stay in the high quarter where rich elves stayed, but also where the wizard Albus stayed. “Did you know the wizard wasn’t fighting?” said Fredrick as he and Eric walked passed a fountain “And that ranger Andun is a little dark” The two sat on a stone bench as an elf messenger can up to them and said “Eric Drake. Andun would like to see you in the library” Eric nodded and left Fredrick to meet the ranger Aragon in the library. He ran and entered the library, which was full of dust and books but didn’t see Andun on the first level so he quietly and slowly walked up the stairs to the second level. He heard to voices and stop walking up the stairs so nobody could see him but he could see who was talking. There was a beautiful elf woman with long black hair to match her black eyes and she was sitting next to Andun who looked troubled. Finally after a few seconds she asked, “Andun what troubles you?”
“Airwen my brother is dead and now his son is alone and has no guide” Said Aragon. “He has you,” said Airwen “ You are the boys uncle. “Airwen I am no teacher” said Andun “I don’t know how to deal with children” Airwen looked at Andun and then said “ Eldrid said you are to take care of the boy” “I will send him to Gadithon to be taught by scholars” said Andun “Besides I have no time to take care of the boy” “But” said Airwen. Andun cut her off and said “Airwen. Its for the best” Eric heard Airwen get up and start to walk away, so he ran down the stairs and out of the library. He hurried down a street then bummed into Albus “Can I talk to you?” “Of course” said Albus. “What can you tell me about Aragon?” asked Eric as the two entered the gardens. “He is descended from King Eisar and Queen Olwen. They where the ones who brought the Naz from over the sea to this part of the world. Andun and your father’s parents died but not before they were told that Aragon was to be king of Nordanthia and Aric was to be the Master Rider” said Albus “But they were to afraid. War broke out against Galidon and they fought but when they were needed they fled”
“I want to become a Master Rider,” said Eric “But I’ve heard my uncle wants to send me to Gadithon” “You must find a dragon egg” said Albus “A golden egg. Then Aragon can’t send you away. The world needs you” “Why?” Eric asked. Albus mumbled then said something about going to the library for an old book. Eric thought something was going on but what? He walked out of the city over to a river the elves called Uden, which meant gift. He sat on the bank a tossed a rock in then looked down the bank to see a shiny object on some dead grass that had been flooded over by the over flow of the river (it was the rainy season after all). He walked over to the shiny object and his mouth opened right in front of him was a golden dragon egg. He took it out of the water then made a dash to his quarters. “You found a golden egg” said Fredrick in shock the next day. Both boys where in the library “Looking for a book about dragons” “Shh” said Eric as he pulled a thick book from a shelf “ Drginias.I think that means dragons” “Can you read elf script?” asked Fredrick “No” answered Eric. “Need help?” The two boys saw Grainne who was Fredrick’s age, eighteen.
“We can’t read elf script so can you look up a dragon that has a golden egg?” asked Fredrick. He handed the book to Grainne. “Everyone knows that a basilisk has a gold egg,” said Grainne. The two boys looked at each other then ran back to Eric’s room. “Ok” said Fredrick “Time to open that chest of yours” He opened the chest and again they were amazed to see Master Naz armor fight for Eric’s size. “Wow” said Eric. There was a knock on the door, then it opened; Airwen entered “Eric. Grainne has told me you have a golden egg” She looked at Eric’s bed and saw the box and the egg in side then said “ Hurry I must get you to a meeting before it’s over” Eric got up and took his egg and followed Airwen as she ran through the Streets; and then followed into a building where the meeting was being held. She led Eric up a stairs made of marble and into a large and airy room Where in the middle of the room was a large round wood table. Men, Elves, Dwarves, and two small Men like people sat on chairs around the table. Andun shook his head and said “Airwen the boy does not belong here among rulers” “Does he” she replied back “Then does not a Master Naz have a place at the table of rulers”
Eldrid looked at Eric “Is this true?” Eric walked over to the table a placed the golden egg on the table. The table was full of gasped and mutterings. “Then it is true,” said an elf. “But they were only myths. Stories.” Said a dwarf. “Apparently not” said Adrothon “The Naz are still with us” “But Eric is only a boy” argued Andun “Though he be Naz can he face this earth foe” The room went quiet. “What foe?” asked Eric “Who is this foe that threatens all of you?” “No one tell him,” ordered Andun “ He is going to be sent north to Gadithon to be a student a the elf scholars there” “Andun you are his closet relative” said Eldrid “But there has been no recording of something like this ever. And the Naz did have to survive on their own, even there ancient laws say that a child may go his or her own way if they embrace being a Naz and have their dragon egg” “Which I have” said Eric. “Do you?” Eric and the council turned to see Albus, he entered the room; the wizard took long strides to an untaken chair next to Eldrid then said “ You are alone. You are the only known Naz alive, and you’ll face a very powerful foe should you choose to become a Naz”
Eric was about to answer when Airwen put a hand on his shoulder “Eric this is not a matter to take lightly. You must take your time” The meeting resumed as Eric left with Airwen. He hadn’t sworn himself a Naz yet but he knew he had to be, but did he want to be? Fredrick didn’t push the issue of what happened at the meeting at dinner that night but did eat a lot even when Airwen told him he would regret it later. “I loved the chicken,” said Eric “It had a ton of flaver” Fredrick moaned then looked back at the table where every one who was still eating was “I loved the lamb” “You know you two ate like pigs,” said an elf voice. Out from a shadow of a building came Grainne. She was barefoot on the stone but Eric noticed that she seemed to put off a light of her own. Faint but a lightly colored blue light that made Grainne more. More. Eric didn’t know but he just thought it made her more beautiful, but he didn’t care about that he had other things on his mind and besides he wanted adventure. “I’m going to bed,” said Eric. “Ok” said Fredrick “I’ll stay up for a little bit” Eric smiled and nodded and made a quick walk to his quarters before the moon fully came out. He sighed as he glanced at his dragon egg and noticed it was putting off a glow.
Eric walked over to his room’s window and closed it then turned around only to have an armored glove go around go around his neck quicker than he could move. The moon came out from a cloud to show Eric’s uninvited not to mention quiet guest. There were twelve clocked figures, but their polished armor gleamed in the moonlight. They wore a chain mail piece that covered their head but there were two holes for eyes but Eric didn’t see any; only blackness which sent a cold shake down his back. The hand left Eric’s neck and then it opened up to show twelve silver rings “take one” said the clocked figure. Eric’s heart started to beat then the moon suddenly let off beams off light like the sun. The figure screeched in pain then escaped out off the window forcing Eric to the ground.
CHAPTER SIX MASTER RIDER
The next day was quiet even Fredrick left Eric alone. Eric walked into the stables where his uncle was grooming his black steed Caldun. “His name means mystery “ said Andun as he turned to Eric “I found him wondering the mountains of north eastern Talnorn in the mountains near the ancient Horse fortress” Eric put a hand on the horses’ side, but it didn’t feel like a regular horses side it felt worm a soft like nothing Eric had felt before “He’s no normal horse”
“No” agreed Andun as he stepped away from the horse “ When I brought him down from the mountains I brought him to North Folk the capitol city of Talnorn people told me he was a mountain horse but he’s not” “What is he?” asked Eric. Andun shrugged and smiled “Nobody knows not even gray beard knows type of horse Caldun is” “Albus” said Eric. Andun smiled and nodded. Airwen entered a moment later and walked passed them; she didn’t look at Andun but kept her eyes on a small foal a small white horse that had a gray line down his back. She took it out of its carol and passed the two again out of the stable. Andun looked terrible and even watched Airwen as she walked out of sight. He looked at Eric “Choose the right answer for you” Eric felt more weight on his shoulders as he remembered what he had to choose. “Caldun be good to your new master,” said Andun. “What do you mean?” asked Eric. “He’s yours,” said his uncle “You’ll need him more than I do. Besides I still have Kaden and he already knows me” Eric smiled “Thanks”
“Ride him,” said Andun “And see house he rides” Eric got a boost up from his uncle and rode Caldun out to an open field where Caldun bucked and ran wildly, Eric held on and said, “Try Caldun. You can’t get me off your back” Caldun stopped then nodded his head to Eric surprise. “Friends?” asked Eric. The horse neighed. “Now can you gallop to a place I can think?” asked Eric. The horse didn’t answer but start to trot towered a wooded area then stopped and backed away from the wood, Caldun snorted, Eric knew why. A clocked figure on a black horse came out of the wood “Well?” The horse turned around before Eric could answer and galloped for the city’s gates. Then the gates closed, but on their own. Eric turned his friend around to face twelve black riders he drew his sword then something took over. He shouted” I am a Master Naz. I will always be a Master Naz. I will die a Master Naz” The sky darkened and the black rider’s horses started to get restless. There was a blinding lighting flash in the city and a shadow went over the field where Eric and his foes where. A roar sounded shaking the earth, the air and even the heavens then a stream of fire hit the black riders killing their horses but not them. The black rider that had shown
Eric the silver rings pointed to Eric then all twelve riders disappeared as a gust off wind picked up and took all of then away like a wind sanding a sand statue. They had disappeared for now. Eric sheathed his sword and sighed then looked up to see a dragon. A dragon with golden scales and eyes that looked right at Eric. “Wow” said Eric “Now I’m a Master Rider.” Another wind picked up but this time it went straight for Eric. It hit him off his horse and on to the ground but his last thought before he blacked out was a happy one. He was a Naz a Master Rider.
Part Two SILVER RIDER
Chapter Eight THE HUNTING PARTY Eric aimed his bow at a stage as it drank from a pond some yards away. Hidden behind strawberry bushes was Eric and his friend Fredrick who was back from patrolling the Elvin border from ork attacks because it was Eric’s seventeenth birthday. Eric let loose his arrow and watched as it hit the stag in through the ribs and just into the heart, causing the deer to stager and stumble to the ground. “Nice shot” said Fredrick.
“Thanks” said Eric as he walked over the bushes to get to his prize “Did you get the chain mail shirt I sent you last fall?” “Yeah” said Fredrick then breathed in the air “I’m eighteen…” But Fredrick wasn’t able to finish his sentence for an Elf horn sounded in the distance. “The rest of the hunting party” said Eric. The two left the stag and hurried to the location of the hunting party, and they found them fighting for their lives against Keshian war orks that kept on coming like waves lapping a sandy beach. “Help!” Eric watched as two orks dragged Grainne from her horse and started for the forest. Fredrick armed his bow and shot one of the orks who fell making the other tumble and loose his grip on Grainne who stood up and drew her sword to finish off the ork. Eric drew his sword and made for the thick of them but the hunting party was forced back toward the city of Elidon. Eric slew an ork then saw five more take its place he charged into them but was forced back. “Come on” said Fredrick “Retreat” The party ran for Elidon the orks just behind them. Eric and Fredrick stayed for a few seconds then grabbed Grainne who was wielding her elf sword like a true warrior of her kind. “Let go,” she shouted as she pulled at Fredrick and Eric who dragged
her. “I can’t hold her, “ said Eric. Fredrick looked at the ork horde then picked up Grainne making her drop the elf sword she had used to cut so many of the cursed raise down “I go another way. Eric run” “What?” Said Eric puzzled. “Run” shout Fredrick as he turned into the forest. Eric nodded and picked up Grainne’s blade as an ork made for him, but was to slow. Eric ran like the wind as he outpaced the orks then all to quickly for him to see he was hit on the head and stumbled to the ground.
Chapter Nine Starting for Nordanthia
Eric awoke up with Albus asleep in a chair next to an open window. He smiled and was glad he had somehow made it back to Elidon, even if he was sore. Eric looked around the room to see his basilisk or golden dragon that was now in the sunlight on the bed like a cat. He looked at Eric as Albus stirred and awoke. The old wizard opened his eyes and looked at Eric “Good morning” “Yes. Good morning” said Adrothon as he entered the room “Master Drake you slept well?” “Yes,” said Eric “What happened?”
Albus who was standing near Adrothon was quiet then said “ Galidon has influence in Gashidale he’s having his allies the Keshia and Molu ork tribes attack the elf boarders” “We have the only real power to challenge him” said Adrothon “ We have the resources and means to wage a long war with him but if we have to face two foes” he paused “ Albus do you know if Galidon has stared to collect trolls and other less savory creatures?” “I cannot see that far and no trader will inter the realm of Galidons” answered Albus “But ogres do inhabit the vary far reaches of the eastern part of his domain” “Orks of Gashdale and his own hordes from his land” said Eric. “There is no army in all of this land that could hold out forever against them,” said Adrothon. “But for now we must worry about you safety “ said Albus looking at Eric “If we are able fight Galidon’s armies we need a Master Rider to fight him. That is if you are willing Eric” “Since nobody else can face him I’ll have to” said Eric. “Good but you must flea to a safer location,” said Adrothon “Bradose or Bounina” “Wait” said Eric “If any Naz at all survived the war where would they most likely be?” ”Isin-Ismailen” answered Adrothon “The capitol of Nordanthia” “I’ll go there,” said Eric “Besides there might be a chance my mother is
there” “Albus smiled “Yes that would be good” “You can’t go alone,” said Adrothon. “I’ll go with him” Fredrick entered the room dressed for a long trip on the rode “Besides my home is gone” “Ok” said Eric “I’ll be down in a moment. I have to pack” The three left Eric and the dragon finally got up “Hello” Eric looked at the beast “Do you have a name?” “No” said the scaly beast. “If I may name you I’d like to call you Graylend,” said Eric. The dragon nodded then smiled “If you’ll excuse me I have breakfast to get” The dragon jumped off the bad then climbed out the window. Eric dressed and walked into a garden where Fredrick was talking to his horse Airwen was over by her white horse Andun was with his brown saddle Kaden. Then a silent figure walked into the courtyard. It was Grainne who was dressed in dark brown denim pants and a long sleeve cotton green shirt with a leather vest over that. Fredrick saw her and shook his head “No” “I’m coming,” said Grainne standing next to Fredrick. “Eric saw his horse Caldun next to Fredrick’s and walked over, he saw both of them had a silver ring on their left middle finger the marriage
finger he remembered. “Eric” said Fredrick “Te Grainne she can’t come” Eric looked at the two “I wont get into a couples fight but Grainne I will say this. It will be a very rough journey” Grainne nodded “I know” Fredrick looked at Grainne and folded his arms “You aren’t coming” “Then you’ll have to lock me in my chambers” said Grainne. “I might just do that,” said Fredrick. “Come on” said Andun “We must ride before we waist away the day” Grainne got on her light elf horse and looked at Fredrick. “Lets ride,” said Eric as he rode out of the garden and on to a dirt rode a shadow went over him and he looked up to see Graylend flying and looking down at them. “At least he’s having some fun,” said Eric to himself.
Chapter Ten Travel
At the front of the group was Andun then Airwen next was Fredrick and Grainne lastly was Eric with his dragon behind him still flying in the air. Fredrick rode next to Eric. “Why did allow Grainne to come?” he asked. “It was her choice,” said Eric “ Why?” ”Well I asked her to marry me,” said Fredrick in a horse whisper “ She hasn’t said anything yet” Eric smiled “ You asked her after you ran off with her and I had to run “ “Well it was the only chance I could get to be alone and ask her,” said Fredrick. “Where are we headed?” Fredrick wasn’t whispering anymore. “Where going to Isin- Ismailen,” answered Andun “There Eric will be safe. He can search for his mother and we will be able to ready to face Galidon and destroy him”
“How will we get to Isin- Ismailen?” asked Grainne. “By ship” said Andun “We’ll ride to Bradose and charter a ship to Carida in Orlmishdia then travel up north” ”What about pirates and the Krishcania are slavers” said Fredrick. “We will go by land,” said Eric. “Are you crazy” said Andun “It’ll take months longer” “Land” said Eric “I have a bad feeling about going to sea” “An omen” said Airwen. She closed her eyes then for a moment it grew calm. Eric grew uneasy. “A darkness falls on the Kelgan Sea and but also on the ports of Malida “ said Airwen. She opened her eyes “Land it the best route” “Land” said Andun looking at Eric “We must hurry to Maie or close to it. The closer we are to a city the better”
Chapter Eleven The Signs of War
Albus paced and paced in the gardens the smell of tobacco filled the air as he puffed away. Then She entered his mind. “The tribes of Gashdale or growing they hunger for war. In the lands of Malida, Galidon has asked for armies, food and materials to fuel his wanting for a dark empire. In return they get wealth power and territory. The Dwarves ready a mighty force a fleet of ships but their king fears this will be the end of his people if all goes wrong. In the wild land of the Khan Kingdom the race of babies mass forces against Galidon though they are a force even the dark lord will have to face they have little order and only want to rebuild an empire like of which they held in the olden days gone. Talnorn knows of no trouble for the kings’ mind is under a spell by a young witch. Albus if you come across her do not harm her, she herself is under a spell and she has a importuned role to play in this war.” “And of Nordanthia? Thought Albus. “The council king readies for no war” said the voice “He is a fool and
only wants power and wealth, he is corrupt. But not in control” “Then there’s the Rider,” said Albus. “He is the only one found at the moment,” said the voice “ He’ll die alone and sad” “Do not foretell his future,” said Albus “ Even our kind can’t tell of their beginnings, lives and ends” “Wizards maybe” said the voice “But the elf kind…” “Are the same” interrupted Albus “ The elf kind may see the future of many but of the Naz it will always be a mist” “Very good” said the voice and she left his mind. Albus sighed then walked into a dimly lit room. “Albus” Adrothon came into the dim light of a candle “ She has talked to you” “Yes”-said Albus “ Things aren’t well in the world” “ It’s worse then you think Albus,” said the elf “ A power is massing in the north the woman ruled country of Evera are sending thousands of warrior women to the dark lands to wait” “This means war” said Albus. “It does mean war,” said Adrothon “ See the arch- wizard Gan” And with a heavy heart Albus rod hard and long till he came to the tower of Gan the wise that stood near the Khan Kingdom and Talnorn. Gan was waiting for him. “Albus” said Gan as he walked with Albus in his garden “ You come but
I have bad news” The two walked into the tower Albus listened to his friend’s bad news. ” Malida has joined Galidon- but only because they fear him. The dark wizard Nowndine watches and sees, he to has joined Galidon and is massing an army of Bull ork” “The Altamont Fighters” said Albus “ How do you know this?” “I have my ways” said Gan “ The animals” The two walked into a study filled with books “A rider the master rider nears Malain”’ “Yes”-said Albus. Gan was quiet then said “ Dasha is being rebuilt Galidon is no more the weakling the twelve are about they seek for the Riders” “Rider” corrected Albus. “ I mean Riders,” said Gan looking at his puzzled friend” One near Malain the other is at North folk”
Eric got off Caldun as the group stopped near a river. Graylend who was still in his massive golden dragon form landed next to the river fifty feet from the camp and started to drink in mouthfuls. “ We’ll stay here till tomorrow morning” said Andun “ I’ll find dinner, Fredrick get some wood for a fire and Eric guard camp” Eric didn’t argue, he was to tired to do anything but unsaddle his horse and lay a sleeping mat on the grass, which on a second latter he fell to sleep on and dreamed. He dreamed he was on a grassy hill with miles of green fields all around him; it was peaceful then a shadow came over him, and he looked behind him to see a gray horse but the rider on the horse was another matter. The person was a girl of seventeen and she was looking right at him with a smile but Eric saw she was wearing a magnificent dress the color of a sky blue that went well her brown eyes and brown hair that sometimes looked as though it had some gold strains in it. She had curves that made her look thin but strong and beautiful, she got off her horse and looked at Eric then spoke. “ I am the Rider of Silver I hose the city of North Folk where my father the king sits,” she said “ I await your coming” Then she smiled and kissed him on the cheek afterwards she got back on her horse, and that is when Eric asked her “ What is you name?”
“Aurora” she replied, “ I am the dawn” Eric awoke from his dream and found it to be night and everyone asleep, and then he felt Airwen close by. “You dreamed of the Silver Rider?” she asked. “ Yes” replied Eric “ She dwells in the city of North Folk but what does it mean?” ” Eric it means you have found your wife” said Airwen. “Wife” said Eric loudly “What?” “Quiet” said Airwen. Then she looked a Eric “Eric Andun should of told you that once you accept being a Master Rider you take on a wife a silver Rider. She will help you with choices you must make but since there are so few of your kind the two of you must have a child” Eric was quiet and in disbelief “No” he finally said. “No” repeated Airwen “ What?” ”Look I’m no husband. I’m a seventeen year old kid,” said Eric “ Already having to take on a dark lord I can’t have a wife and kids. That would be to much” “Eric” said Airwen softly “Lets just take one thing at a time. Ok” Eric nodded. The next morning somehow Fredrick had found out about his friends dream. “She good looking” he asked Eric as everyone finished packing for the rest of their journey.
“Yeah” Eric said. “She’s a Silver Rider,” said Fredrick “What does that mean?” “Wife of the Master Rider” said Andun “All Silver Riders are women. They’ve always have been” “So Master Riders are men and Silver Riders are women,” said Eric to himself. Andun nodded. “Do I have to marry her?” asked Eric. Andun looked at Eric “You have no other choices you either marry her or don’t marry at all” “Ouch” said Fredrick. “How are the Silver Riders chosen?” asked Eric. “The elf Lady Eldilane of the Linia Donian chooses the woman but most have already bloodlines to the Naz” Andun said “Or it’s the Silver Dragon a female dragon that know it serves the Silver Rider so it wanders the land and stays with a young girl it knows to be the silver Rider” Eric got on Caldun and looked at Graylend “Do you think it’s fair for me to be forced to marry Aurora?” ”Why don’t you get to know her” said the dragon “And seventeen is the age of marriage in the Pelmon Empire so stop fussing” The dragon smiled “You will like her” Eric hoped so then the grouped headed east.
Chapter Thirteen An Enemy On the boarder of Orlmishdia, Droshen and Malida there is a tower. The tower of Nowndine the servant of Galidon where Bull orks are formed and bred for war by art of Nowndines black magic. “How many?” he asked as he entered the birthing pit area, but on a bridge of iron.
An ork- the chief of the birthing operation replied with an evil grin “ four hundred a week sometimes more” “Increase the number” Ordered Nowndine “ One thousand a week and get them ready in one week. How are the impure breeds?” “Ork trolls, goblin men, goblin orks and the slag left over are coming in at full production,” said the ork as he and his master walked down an iron stairs to go below the tower where furnaces worked over time. The troll man in charge walked over to his master “You honor us by your coming” “Production?” asked Nowndine getting straight on to business. “We’re producing more then expected” said the troll man. “And the grade of metal?” asked the wizard. “We get all types,” said the troll man as he walked over to a pile of helmets, body armor, swords and other war supplies “ But its all war metal” Nowndine walked back to his tower and made for his war room where three massive Bull ork generals where and next to them was a huge black stone black for a table. On it was a map of the known world which was detailed showing towns, cities, forest and almost everything else. The wizard sat in a tall steel chair and his generals looked at him then he spoke “A rider nears the horse country where another hides in the city of North Folk. Take both alive and kill the rest but take any who are
Riders our master wants them. Ready a large force to take Talnorn; I don’t want to loose my gripe on that land. The orks made roars of laughter and readied for war.
Chapter Fourteen The Silver Rider “Ride,” shouted Fredrick“ Raiders on horses are headed this way” It was midday and the group was still far from Wilshsae but they had stopped next to a bunch of trees that made up a wood. Now they were getting onto their horses as quickly as possible. “Where is Grainne?” asked Fredrick after he noticed she wasn’t around the camp. “In the wood” said Eric.
“I’ll get her,” said Fredrick “You go on” Fredrick grabbed the reins of Grainne’s horse and rode into the thick but cool wood. Then the raiders on horses came just after the rest of the group left and as quick as they came they were gone. Fredrick wiped his sweaty brow then got off his horse, he walked a bit into the wood then got hit by a wood staff in the chest. “Ouch!” he said and grabbed the staff. “Fredrick” said Grainne “ I’m sorry” Fredrick who had recovered from the blow Grainne had given him then looked at her to see she was clothed only in a large towel “ What are you doing?” he asked. “I was washing,” said Grainne “I haven’t washed for two months and I stink” Fredrick smiled. “Do you want a wife that stinks?” asked Grainne who saw his smile and didn’t think it was a laughing matter. “First of all your not my wife “ said Fredrick “Not yet anyway and secondly where’s the water?” Grainne just smiled and walked away “Want to join?” Fredrick looked at his soon to be wife “ I’d love to but what about the group?” But Grainne was either to far away to hear him or didn’t want to hear. “Women” said Fredrick as he followed Grainne.
Andun, Airwen and Eric rode at a fast gallop as the raider’s arrows whizzed by, their launchers; the raiders on horses were almost on to the three. Eric looked back after he had gotten his bow off his back and armed it with an arrow then he fired. The arrow hit a man in the chest making him fall of his horse but still the rest followed. Eric suddenly stopped and closed his eyes. Airwen and Andun also stopped but watched as the earth opened up suddenly under the raider’s horse’s making then fall. “Good job” said Andun. The group of three rode till they were in Wilshsea. They took rooms in an inn called the Silver Penny where Airwen and Eric both learned that Andun was friends with the innkeeper Barlim Beaver. Barlim and Andun laughed aloud at a joke the innkeeper said, Airwen though just smiled because she didn’t quite understand human jokes. Eric who was at another table just drank his mug of ale even though Airwen though him to young to drink, but Andun said he was becoming a man. Barlim sided with both and gave Eric a mug of cider saying though “ I wont have two friends argue over a matter that is mine and the customer’s, I’ll give him the weakest drink I’ve got and nothing else unless he wants water” Soon though a storm rolled in and about the town. Eric informed everybody that he was going to bed. He felt six eyes watching him as he left the room but he didn’t mind at all at lest he thought he didn’t
mind. When his mom disappeared he had his dad then he was taken from him. No. Eric knew ‘taken’ was to weak a word, his father was more like ripped away from him but that was the painful past. He started up the stairs then he went all cold and fell down the three steps he’d walked only to hit the hard wood floor. Airwen was the first to get to Eric, she got on her knees and felt his head then it all went blurry…then dark. The young Master Rider stood in a black clouded somewhere; but where? “Hello” he shouted. There was no answer but the darkness grew or did he shrink in size as a menacing creature came into sight for it put off a light of its own. Eric felt the light was more of a slow evil seeing what it had caught and was hopping to burn up. Eric closed his eyes and breathed slowly as his foe drew near, he resembled a Minotaur but several times taller than a man if not eight times taller. The beast let out a roar like a fierce lion and shook its head, stamping the ground as it prepared to charge his foe. Eric reached deep inside himself, desperately looking for the magic he had used on the raiders but the Minotaur was already charging, there were feet between the two and it was closing fast. Then Eric felt something being formed behind him, and he noticed not two seconds later a wall of water behind him, it was a tidal wave. He smiled and let the thousands of gallons fall around him but his foe was to smart for that and somehow caused the ground they were on to rise,
making it and island. Eric’s head ached with pain, his legs buckled but with his last effort he caused a rainstorm and the beast slowly vanished. He awoke in his bead with a very wet towel on his head and with a terribly worried (almost mother like) Airwen next to him. “ What happened?” she asked with almost the same worrying as Eric could see on her face. “ I though I lost you a moment back and you had me weeping” “I’m sorry,” said Eric, he tried to sit up but he was to weak “Airwen I think I saw one of the fire demons my dad has told me about” Airwen looked shocked “ It can’t be. The Daridem were all destroyed. Eric are you sure?” “It looked like a giant minotaur,” said Eric, he hesitated before continuing, “ It was on fire and it looked evil” Airwen looked at him then forced a smile “ You should ware that necklace your mother gave you” He nodded then Airwen kissed his forehead and left. He thought if she was hiding anything from him but he grew tired and fell into a deep sleep. Airwen meanwhile entered Andun’s room, seeing him get up from his red cotton sheeted bed brought some old memories to her but she put then aside. She sat in a plain wood chair Andun offered her
then he sat beside her, both gazed into the fireplace’s roaring fire for a moment before Andun spoke. “How is the young rascal?” “ He’s just like his father,” she answered “ And he also reminds me of you” “ I asked if he was well,” said Andun looking at Airwen. “He’s well,” said Airwen but she changed the topic “ He’s taken on his role as a Master Rider” “Airwen” said Andun looking at her “ I don’t want to be cornered into who I have to be. I’m a grown man” “But your hiding from your real role in life” she said now looking at him “ You are suppose to be the king of Nordanthia not a ranger” Andun got up from his chair and walked a few feet away, Airwen was quite but knew she was right, Andun had to take up his role as king or else Eric wouldn’t be accepted as a Master Rider. She got up and gave a last look at Andun before she started to leave. Andun watched her leave then walked over to his bed where his sword belt hung from one of the bedpost, he took the sheath and drew the blade. He fingered it then looked at the lettering on the long blade – undera tandin gidno herhidun – it was in the old tongue of his ancestors but it basically meant – heir to the throne. “Why?” he asked himself “ Why me. I never wanted to have royal blood. I never wanted to be a king”
He swung the sword around then looked at the door the elf he had fallen in love with left through. The ranger sheathed his sword and looked about for spies then picked up his horse’s saddle; putting on his bed he undid on of the leather bag holders and took out a ring. It was a family treasure his father had given him to give to his wife when he found the perfect woman, Andun fingered it then put it back only to take out another treasure but this one was for Eric. He walked out of his room and sauntered across the hall to Eric’s room, he heisted to knock but did it. “Who is it? Asked Eric from within. “Its your uncle” answered Andun as he opened the door. He saw his nephew in bed but not yet asleep even though it was nearing ten o’clock “ I have something for you. Your father gave it to me when you where young” Eric’s uncle sat on the bed and handed him a rough looking wood box. He looked at the box but it didn’t have carvings on it like other boxes he’d seen then he opened it and saw a ring inside. “It s for you to give to your wife” Andun said, again he was slightly reminded of Airwen “Your father gave it to me for safe keepings since in those days orks raided the area” Eric looked at his uncle then asked something that had been on his mind for sometime “ Andun did you ever meet my mother?” The ranger grew uneasy for some reason, but why, was it his not liking
of emotional times? Or was it his knowing the next question Eric was going to ask. “I meet your mother many times” he replied finally after a minute or two “ She was very pretty and she knew how to tempt a ranger to stay the week” Eric looked at him but he soon finished his sentence “ She made good food. Better than I got as a ranger traveling around in the wild. You would have loved her soups, pies, she even made once a very tasty meat pie that I still crave today” Eric smiled. The room grew quiet and an owl’s hoot could be heard in the distance, Eric looked at his uncle who had walked over by the window. He felt a question nagging him so he asked it” Do I have to marry the Silver Rider?” “Eric” his uncle replied, “If you don’t you will be the last of your kind and the young woman will have a broken heart” “ Well all this sounds like a forced on marriage” said Eric angrily “ I always had my eye on a milk maiden back in Blean. She and I were friends and well we just started talking about future and what we would do” Andun looked at him sadly “ I’m sorry you lost her”
“Lost” started Eric then smiled “No she wasn’t killed in the Keshia ork attack, she and her family moved a month before. I’m glad they did but I wont marry any girl I’m being forced upon” “You aren’t being forced to marry any young lady,” said Andun. “Really” said Eric surprised “ First I’m told I can only marry the Silver Rider next I don’t know if she’ll like me. I don’t know how old she is. Where she was from. If I try to marry another girl I’m destroying my bloodline, and the non-Silver Rider girl might be thought an out cast” “She will,” said his uncle with some force. “ I might as well be a bachelor all my life” Eric said loudly. Andun sighed then walked out of the room with a hurry. He walked into his room and slammed the door behind him “ He’s nothing like me” “Really?” The angry and tried ranger looked around but saw nothing “Who said that” Airwen walked out from a dark corner, as the fire died “You are just like him. You both are denying your futures, but Eric has more ground for argument. You’re just hiding” “I’m not hiding,” he said calmly but his anger was rising “Please let me be alone” “You know I love you to much to leave you now” said Airwen, she looked at the man she had loved and still loved “ You are the king. I see it in you”
“No!” shouted Andun “I retract it. I will never be king even if only I had to be king to save Nordanthia even to save it from ruin I wouldn’t do it” Airwen the elf maiden he had loved since he saw her looked at him and he thought that a lonesome tear fell from her left goldenrod colored eye. He felt bad but he had spoken the truth, he turned away from Airwen and she left just as silently as she had come in. The next day was wet and rainy but Barlim said, “ It’ll clear up. It always does” Eric still couldn’t get out of bed so Andun and Airwen watched over him much to his annoyance and displeasure. Though they came in separately and never stayed around to see the other Eric got the news of what happened out of them both, he felt sad for the pair and thought it was partly his fault. Airwen came in after lunch and brought him some bread, cheese and ham to eat but she also came up to ask questions about human men and how human women attract very stubborn men. “To tell you the truth I don’t really know” said Eric “ I never got to ask my mom that but I did know a girl that her hair all free and long. I like it that way but she often gave me a look as though she knew something about me” Airwen said, “ I’m sorry your life was just taken away from you” ”Its ok” he said, “ I’m just used to the Pelmon ways and laws” ”Eric” Airwen said her voice was now serious.
“Yes” he said looking at her. “You have been ready for this all your life for it is in your blood, but the Silver Rider your wife my be just a farmer’s daughter. Be gentle and careful Eric for her life has been changed completely, she will have to be very lady like and be truthful to you even if you aren’t to her” Airwen kept the serious note in her voice then smiled. “I’ll be truthful to her,” said Eric. “Good” she replied. Airwen soon left and Eric slept again till just after dinner when he was awoken by a fight in the bar below. He got up then got into some clothes, Eric left his room and went below to the tavern and bar like room where the guest ate. Barlim waved him over and he came over. “Sir” said the man “ There’s some folks who have been wanting to see you – ah- a Fredrick and Grainne Birch their called” It only took half a second for Eric to figure it out before he asked, “Where are they?” “Right behind you” Eric turn around just in time as Fredrick hugged him as great friends do “Where have the two of you been?” Eric asked. “Well I just figured out how fast it is to get married by the elf way” said Fredrick “I just asked if Grainne would have me and I slipped a ring on to her left hand’s fourth finger”
“I’m happy for the both of you” said Eric but he remembered they got married through love. He wouldn’t have that chance. Andun and Airwen soon came down and Barlim opened a bottle of wine but non-noticed that Eric had gone out the front boor. The sun was going down and its last rays of light were quickly leaving the silver moon would soon be the watcher of the world. The Master Rider walked to the edge of town and watched as a golden Greylend made for the town’s river June then something caught the left corner of his
eye. He turned around but saw nothing though he was getting the feeling he was being watched or was that just his upset mind, he thought. “Whatever” he said aloud then turned to go back to the Silver Penny. He saw a shadowed figure run into the inn where did the person come from? There was no town or city for miles and to come on foot was dangerous with raiders in this part of the empire that was still trying to be tamed. Eric fast walked to the inn and entered, he walked over to a table and sat down but the stranger had sat in the most shaded part of the room where a few last stragglers ate or drank in the quiet before going off to their rooms. Barlim came out of the kitchen wiping his hand in a towel then he saw Eric and walked over. “Your friends were starting to get worried about you,” he said “And if I may say so it isn’t good to be out at this time of night when thieves and no-gooders are about”
“I just went for a walk,” said Eric “To clear my brain” “Well at least your ok” he said. “I know it’s late but I didn’t get some dinner?” asked Eric. “ My wife just took a meat pie out of the oven and she’s wanting someone to taste it” said Barlim scratching his head “I could get you some” “Thanks” said Eric. The man nodded and made for the kitchen as his wife left it, she walked over to the stranger then Eric saw then exchange some thing. The figure got up and made for the stairs like a cat then disappeared behind the corner just as Barlim emerge from the kitchen with a more than healthy serving of meat pie on the tin plate he was holding. Eric smiled and thought that the nice old man loved his wife but not his wife’s meat pie but he took it and promised to tell Barlim’s wife in the morning how he thought of it. Making for his room he put the plate of food in his room then went down the rest of the hall till he found a stairs, it led to the third floor where only a few rooms were. Eric looked around and found one of the doors ajar; he looked around then came closer to the door just, as it closed then there was a sneeze. A girl’s sneeze, he thought. He started to leave but didn’t know that the door had reopened and a young person was watching him leave. It was several hours latter till a young woman dressed in Silver Rider apparel left the room; she looked around then went down the
stairs to the second floor then entered into the bar where she saw the innkeeper had put his guest book. She made one stepped toward the bar then saw a dog under one of the many wood tables, and she didn’t want to test the possibility that that dog was a very deep sleeper. She slowly mad her way to the second floor and knew she’d have to find the spy the hard way by looking into a few rooms. The young woman picked one at random and saw by the dim light of the room that there was a young couple in bed, she closed the door quietly then picked another only to find it had been given to a smelly old man who snored. Aurora sighed and picked another that was finally had the person she wanted. The young man was about her age and he looked handsome, she almost felt sorry to kill him but she had to, she couldn’t have spies after her even a handsome one. She neared the bed and drew her elven-crafted sword from its sheath, raising it level so the point was an inch above her head. Aurora lowered the sword to the boy’s neck then raised it ready to behead him, but as her sword came down there was a clank. Her sword had not made its target but had been blocked by her foe’s sword, which now lay in his hands. She dew back as the young man got out of bed, Aurora noticed he was fully dressed, he had been waiting for her. She made a slash at him but he again blocked with ease and pushed her to the wall where he took her sword, he smiled but wasn’t ready for what his intruder did next. Aurora hit the young man in the nose then as he dropped the swords to protect
himself she jabbed him in the stomach, he dropped to the floor but tripped the girl. He was the first up and put the swords on the bed then turning to the girl he asked, “ Who are you?” ” You first” she replied sitting against the wall and folding her arms. “I am Eric Drake son of Aric Drake a Master Rider. The only one left” Eric said. “I am Aurora of the house Heiradon in Talnorn, I am the only Silver Rider alive,” said the girl. The young woman got up then asked “ So your not a spy?” ”No, I’m on my way to Isin-Ismailen “ said Eric. He handed Aurora her sword back then asked, “ Where are you headed?” ”That is none of your business” Aurora said. Eric stretched and the elven necklace he was wearing fell on to his shirt, Aurora looked at it then said “ I was told in Linia Donian when I found the man who wore the anathela flower of peace that he’d be my husband” She looked at him. The two were quiet for a moment then Aurora ventured to say “ Your more than I expected” “Oh” said Eric as he sat on his bed. She nodded then said “I thought you’d be thirty or older. In Linia Donian- that’s where I was taught to be a Silver Rider- I was told it was
my job to keep you out of trouble. Though now that I know you a bit I don’t think you’ll be any trouble, Eric” “Yes” he replied. “Were you expecting me? Aurora had a I really need to know look on her face so Eric answered, “ Yes. Well a month or two ago, it was kindda hidden from me” “The lady of Linia Donian just entered North Folk and picked me” said Aurora as she sat next to Eric “My father is the king of Talnorn and he didn’t like it” “How did you get to Linia Donian then?” asked Eric. “My mother sent me away to a family member near the Talnorn and Linia Donian border. An aunt,” said Aurora “She said that if my father asked about my where about she’d say that I was learning to be a lady” “Ah” said Eric “Well it’s getting late” “Where do I sleep?” asked Aurora as she got up. “Um” started Eric “I’ll take the chair by the fire, you sleep in the bed” She looked at him then said “Your not ready for us to be together?” Eric nodded his head. “Its ok” said Aurora “Neither am I even though it’s Rider law” The room went quiet and all was peaceful including Eric’s mind but a horseman rode on to a hill just above the town. The rider was clad in armor of a prince and rode on a black horse; his eyes fell up the inn he
wouldn’t attack it now. No. That would be to dangerous he’s have to wait till the small group was far away from any aid then he’d fallow through with his father’s orders.
Chapter Fifteen Into Talnorn Eric awoke the next day in bed next to a still sleeping Aurora but how he got in bed escaped him. He got out of bed and into some fresh clothes just as there was a knock on his room’s door then Airwen entered, but her eyes fell on the bed where Aurora still slept. “Eric you said that you were going to be faithful to your wife” she said angrily. “ I am” said Eric “The young woman in bed is the Silver Rider. Her name is Aurora, she came during the night thinking I was a spy” ”Aurora” said Airwen thoughtfully “Didn’t you some days ago that you had a dream about the Silver Rider and her name was Aurora. Oh I’m so happy for the both of you”
Eric sighed and forced a smiled as Airwen quietly left but after she left he didn’t feel good, he looked out his room’s window. “Eric” Aurora had been up for some time thinking and heard what Airwen said but she like Eric didn’t feel good about just having to marry someone you just met. Though actually the two weren’t even married and that was one of the things she had to tell Eric other than that her father was under a curse of a witch, and the east was getting stronger. Eric looked at Aurora just as the sun’s rays of light fell upon her and she looked wonderful even pretty “Yes” he said. “I have some bad news, we’re not married,” she said “Just by meeting wont get us married, and we have to go to Linia Donian to get married” “Ok” said Eric, he knew it was wrong to smile but he did “Anything else?” ”My father the king of Talnorn is under a curse of a witch and in the east; the dark lands are starting to move,” said Aurora as though she were reading them from a list. She got out of bed and took of her sleeping gown that was made of silk then she noticed Eric had turned away “What’s the matter?” she asked. ”Um. Until we’re married I’d like to give you your privacy” said Eric. Aurora got a riding dress that was draped onto a nearby chair then put on the dress “Ok you can turn around”
Eric hesitated then turned around to see Aurora dressed but he noticed she looked worried “What’s the matter” he asked. “Do we have to go through North Folk?” she asked “I’m worried if we do my father will take us by force. He might kill you and I’ll be punished” “You fear your father?” said Eric “ We who are the Naz judge the nations no fear them” Aurora looked at him and then fast walked over to where he stood “How dare you say that. You’ve never lived the passed year under his darkening eye, ever so watchful. It sends a coldness down my back” “I’m sorry,” said Eric, he put his arms around Aurora to comfort her “No we don’t have to go through North Folk but we can fly over it. Aurora?” “Yes” she replied. “How did I get into the bed? I don’t remember waking up” “I kindda did some magic” said Aurora “I didn’t feel safe with you on the opposite side of the room” “What do you mean you didn’t feel safe?” asked Eric. “I don’t know,” said Aurora, she left his arms and made over to the window “I felt something was wrong. I hope you didn’t mind” “No” he said, “I didn’t” Just a moment later the room door opened again and Andun came in with Airwen and Fredrick with his wife.
“I’m so happy for you” said Eric’s uncle taking his nephew’s hand and shaking it. “Andun” started Eric but his uncle cut him off. “Eric aren’t you going to introduce me to your wife?” his uncle asked. Andun meet Aurora” said Eric “But we’re not married” His uncle looked at him as though he had gotten something wrong then asked “What do you mean?” This time Aurora spoke “ Sir, Eric and I aren’t married for he and I must wed the Naz way which is to get married in Linia Donian” Eric smiled and looked at Aurora, she looked at him in but quickly turned her eyes away for some reason. Eric found the room emptied quickly and even he somehow got put out but Grainne stayed behind with Aurora. He, Fredrick and Andun walked into the tavern like bar on the inn’s first floor, they all sat down at an empty table. Barlim soon came over and they started to talk. “So you’re all going into Talnorn?” asked Barlim. “Yes,” said Andun “ What? Your voice caries some heaviness” ”Well there’s been some rumors that the Talnorn king is no longer in control of his lands,” said Barlim as he lowered his voice. ”He isn’t dead is he” asked Fredrick. “No that I’ve heard” said the Barlim “But he has gotten weaker. There were some raiders that came here from Talnorn, a big band of them. We scarred them but it’s not good to have Talnorn weak while the
Pelmon’s east part of the empire is uncivilized. The next thing we need is Talnorn torn to bits by the king’s warring warlords and raiding parties taking the Pelmon empire apart” ”Its probably the last thing we want but the Dark lord Galidon would love for that to happen” said Andun “With Nordanthia at its weakest in centuries it would be very easy for him to march on of his many hoards of orks across Nordanthia and into Talnorn then into the empire itself” “Can anything be done?” asked Barlim, he had a bit of a pale and looked just as worried as his voice gave away. Everyone at the table looked directly in the direction of Eric who felt like one pressure left only to have a heavier one replace it. “Aurora ran away from her father” he said “If she goes back I’m jailed and she’s punished” ” Ok” said Andun “ But we’ll be with you and you have magic” “I’ll talk to Aurora,” said Eric. He got up and made for his room. Eric entered his room and found Aurora alone, she looked at him but she didn’t like the look on his face “We have to into North Folk right?” ”To save your father,” replied Eric “If he is under a curse I might be able to lift it” ”If you can,” said Aurora. Eric nodded then said “ C’mon lets saddle our horses” “I didn’t come on a horse,” Aurora said “I came on a dragon and Grainne told me you have you”
”That’s right” said Eric with a smile want to meet him?” ”I think I’ll eat first,” said Aurora. She walked over and kissed him on his cheek, which took him, be surprise till she said “Thank you for not being a thirty-year-old man” “I’ll just try not acting like one,” joked Eric. Aurora lightly laughed then the two went to eat breakfast. Afterward the group packed and set off east again into Talnorn with a new member and a new dragon that had silver scales. Her name everybody found out was Europa and she talked with Greylend though nobody knew of what. “I’ve never seen a horse as strong or as well built as yours Eric” said Aurora a week latter. She had agreed to ride with him on his horse named Caldun. “He’s no ordinary horse” he replied. “Well I can see that” she replied “Where is from?” ”The mountains where the Talnorn Horse fortress is” replied Eric. “I didn’t know of any horses that lived there,” said Aurora. Eric smiled as the sound of horses galloping horses and then the sight of a group of horsemen stopped the group “Are they raiders?” he asked. “No” Andun said, “They are from Talnorn” ”Eric” said Aurora but before she could say another word three-dozen riders surrounded them.
One of the riders Eric saw was richly dressed with chain mail on then a chest plate that had a gold horse on it. On his head was head was a steal cape but he saw that the rider’s eyes fell upon him and Aurora who sat behind him; Eric felt her arm that went around him tighten their grasp. The got off his horse and so did a few others “Who is the leader of this company?” he asked. “I am” said Andun, and he got off his horse “We are travelers making our way to Nordanthia” “I am ordered to check for a person the king wishes,” said the man. “Check so we may be on our way” said Andun. He got on his horse then said “But you will not find the person here” “I’ll be the judge of that,” said the man. He walked passed Airwen, Fredrick and Grainne then came up to Eric. He gave a glance a Aurora then walked over to his horse “You may go” “Thank you” said Andun and made his way passed the riders. The others followed. “What happened back there?” asked Aurora after the riders had ridden away. “I don’t know,” admitted Andun “Just thank your lucky stars you didn’t get caught” “I am,” She said “But I have a question?” “What” said Andun.
“We are still in the Empire why did you let the riders stop us?” ”Numbers” he said simply “Never fight when you don’t have to” The group slowly entered Talnorn by the end of the day and stopped by a foot of a hill. Eric unsaddled his horse as Aurora tied a leather string around her hair “ Where can I help?” she asked him. “I can do this,” he said back as politely as he could. “I’ll start the fire then” she said. “I’ve got that,” said Fredrick. Aurora looked at Eric with eyes begging for something to do but he couldn’t think of a job a princess would like to. She walked over to him “I can do anything a man can do” she whispered, “Please give me a job” “Do you know how to spar?” asked Andun. “No” she said. He looked at her and she finally said, “Yes. In. Linia Donian I was taught how to fight, that is every think but fights fighting” “Well” said Andun very impressed “And I thought I’d have to teach you, it seems you and Eric should spar to keep up your training” “That’s fine with me” said Eric, he unsheathed his Naz sword “Aurora?” ”If you want to?” she asked. She unsheathed her elven sword. He nodded. “Then we shall,” she said.
“Wait” shouted Andun “You can spar with real swords or you’ll cut each other up. “What then?” Eric asked. Andun smiled as he walked over to his saddle that lay on the grass over by the sheets that was his bed and took out two short swords made of wood “These are what you are going to use” He handed one to Aurora then to Eric “Now you my fight” Eric made is move without warning and struck Aurora’s wood sword causing it to fly out of her hand then he put the blade to her neck “I win the first round” he said with a smile. “You cheated,” she said back. “No” said Andun “ As a warrior you must always be ready for an attack” Aurora picked up her sword an said” Lets do it again” “Ok” said Eric and this time he let her move first. She made a strike at his chest but he blocked it then again she tried to slash him but he block that to, she began to move faster but Eric was always one step ahead of her. She knew he would win again once she grew to tired to block his hits then so suddenly she couldn’t see what happened her sword hit Eric’s chest and he fell onto his bedding of sheets. “Are you alright?” she asked dropping her sword and getting to her knees in front of Eric.
“Yes” he said with a smile “You won” Aurora smiled ‘I did didn’t I” she smiled. “You’re very good,” said Fredrick. “Like a man” said Andun. “No” corrected Airwen like a woman. “Your right” Agreed Andun “Like a woman” Aurora blush when she heard the praise but saw Eric feel the spot where she had struck him with her wood sword “Let me see your wound” she said. “Its nothing” he said. “Please” she said. “Fine” Eric took off his shirt and Aurora saw a large bruise where her wood sword had hit Eric’s left chest ribs, she saw there was some blood under the skin “ I hit you to hard” she said. “No” he said “You where just trying to defeat me” “Maybe” she said “Lay down” “Why” Eric asked. “So I can check for any broken ribs” she said and forced him onto his back. She felt gently around the bruise then on it. Eric felt her soft hands like silk press gently on his skin “Anything?” “No” she said getting up “You’ve just gat a bruise”
Eric sat up and put his shirt back on he picked up their swords and handed them over to Andun “Keep them” he said then went over to start the fire. “Shall we spar again?” asked Eric to Aurora. “If you are strong enough” she replied. Eric tossed her one of the wood swords and they again began to spar till dinner was served. They went to sleep soon afterward, Eric though stared into the night then a Greylend who slept next to Europa Aurora’s dragon. “Well” he thought, “Aurora seems to be perfect” ”Perfect” he muttered to him-self “I never thought I ‘d hear myself say that. It like I’m consenting to a forced marriage” Eric turned back on to his bed and then fell asleep. Meanwhile Aurora who had heard everything Eric had said doubted they would ever get married even if the known world was in trouble and only their marriage could save it which was basically what was happening. She had to convince him that she wasn’t so bad if she became his wife. Either that or let the world fall into darkness. Aurora sighed then fell into a troublesome sleep, but in the distance someone approached.
Chapter Sixteen North Folk
Aurora was the first up. She asked Europa her gray silver dragon to relight the campfire that had been put out last night. Then she started making breakfast. Then the sound of hooves stopped her; she looked around to see half a dozen riders nearing the camp at a very fast gallop. Aurora dropped her water canteen and made for Eric, she shook him and then jumped backward when he awoke and slashed with his sword he had slept with at his side. “What?” he asked still sleepily. “Riders” said Aurora and she pointed to them. Eric wiped his eyes and saw the half a dozen riders “Andun!” he shouted. He got up and unsheathed his sword ready for a fight as Aurora stood behind him scarred as ever. The first rider passed them but the second made right for Eric but before he was three yards from Eric Greylend swung his tail into the man’s chest. Europa torched the third but the forth jumped right on to Eric sword in hand, about to hack away at Eric but not before Aurora put her sword she had unsheathed through the man. The last two of the riders stared at them then rode away like they came: at a fast gallop. Aurora helped Eric up and they found the rest of the camp staring at them. “Wow” was all Fredrick could say.
“What?” Eric asked. “That was fast” said Andun, his sword in hand “Before I even unsheathed my sword the fight is over” “Well that’s happens when there’s two dragons in the camp” said Greylend aloud. The camp laughed but Eric eyed Aurora, she looked at her sword with discomfort then dropped it. “You ok?” he asked. “I think I’m going to be sick” she said “It’s the blood on the sword. I can’t stand the sight of blood” Eric knelt and took the sword; he wiped the blood of in the grass then re-sheathed “Here” he said handing it back to her. She took it and the started to walk past him though not before Eric took her arm “Can we talk in privet?” he asked. “Sure” she replied, curious about what he had to say. Eric walked to the top of the hill, Aurora followed slowly behind watching him think for a moment then say “I’m sorry I haven’t been well -like a husband” “Were only sixteen” she said, “Nobody would expect us to marry if non of this was happening” “But it is happening” said Eric as he pulled a weed from the ground“ Were the only Riders left, there’s a war in the east and Galidon is getting more power full”
“Well” ”Well what?” asked Eric sitting down. “ Like I said back in Wilshsea we can wed in Linia Donian” said Aurora sitting next to him “Eric?” ”Yes” “Do you also get the feeling that your childhood has been taken away from you?” “Yes” “OK” The two looked at each other and smiled. For once since they had met it was quiet and they had nothing to say to each other. “Well” said Eric then found he had nothing to say. Aurora laid her head against his shoulder then sighed. Eric put an arm around her like a good friend then it was quiet again. Though not for long; soon they were back on their horses heading right for North Folk, which was close by though not visible to a human eye. There were riding parties about looking for Aurora but always the sight of two large dragons kept the parties away from them. Even with day travel mostly safe night riders always came closer since a sleeping dragon was less dangerous but once the intruders came with in sixteen feet of the camp Europa or Greylend would awake and breath fire or Eric would open the ground below him and all the intruders would fall into a ten foot hole. Though always they wouldn’t be there at morning.
Were they eaten or did they run away? Everybody but Aurora and Eric said they had run away, the others thought the two dragons had eaten them. They argued about it till they started seeing farms. “These are the royal farms” explained Aurora “The peasant’s farms are on the other side of the city” “So where getting closer to North Folk?” asked Grainne. Aurora nodded. And she was right. The next day North Folk was in sight the city, which had a log post wall standing on blocks of stone, looked like an oversized Pelmon town. The only real impressive thing was the palace that had a solid stonewall around it but other than that it was like every other town in the world. “Let’s go to the Black Horse inn” said Andun “Its an out of the way place for people who don’t want to cause trouble” They got through the gates easily and even the captain of the gate who did the inspection for Aurora didn’t even recognize the princess when he set eyes on her. Eric thought everybody must be blind not to see her but he thank his lucky stars they were blind enough no to see her who she really was. The streets were crowded with merchants, common folk and peddlers all coming and going. Then there were travelers but most importantly
warlords of Talnorn on their large warhorses who passed by the group many times and at an arms distance away. Finally they reached the inn after about half an hour of sweating and wading through crowds. Andun got the last three rooms and they went to them to rest and wash up. Eric dumped his saddle on the floor next to his bed and fell on it. Aurora smiled; she walked over to her bed and put her stuff next to it. She was glade she and Eric had gotten the only room with two beds even though it was smaller than the other two in size. “What now?” Eric asked. “Well we came here to lift the spell from my father” said Aurora walking over to a drawer that had a empty metal bowl on it and next to that was a pitcher. She pick up the pitcher and poured water into the bowl until it was half was full then she walked back over to her bags; she took a small leather bag out and looked at Eric “Can you help me dye my hair?” she asked. “Dye your hair,” said Eric. “Well my hair isn’t naturally dark brunette with strands of gold in it” she said “Its just brunette” “What are you dyeing it this time?” Eric asked. “Gold” she replied a smile “I’ve always wanted gold hair” Aurora walked back over to the drawer and opened the leather bag then taped it gently. Eric saw some yellow collared dust fall into the
water, then Aurora closed the bag and then she stirred it with a wooden spoon she had in her other hand. The water turned yellow and Aurora said, “Ok, now the dyeing part” Aurora slipped out of her dress now in her shift then she pulled a chair over to the drawer. Eric put a towel over her so not to color her shift or her skin then he gently lowered her head into the water where he bargain to take handfuls of the water and pour it over her hair. He put his fingers deep into hair that was slowly changing its color to a gold like shade. Finally it was over and Aurora took her hair out of the water and started drying it. Eric took his hands out of the water and took the towel Aurora handed him but he noticed his hands were gold colored. Aurora smiled but said, “Don’t worry Eric” “Why not?” he asked, “My hands are gold” ”Aurora walked over to her saddle and took another leather bag out “Catch” she said as she threw it to him. “What’s in it?” he asked. “Brine salt” said Aurora as she put on a new dress on “Put a little of it in the water and then wash your hands” Eric did what she said and the gold coloring washed easily off. He dried his hands then asked, “What is the best and safest way to go to the king?” ” There is no safest way” said Aurora leaning against the end of her
bed where there was a large wood carving of a horse “The best way is to seek a council with him” Eric smiled. “What?” ”I’m not the one who needs the council,” he said “I wish Albus was here though” ”Albus the wizard?” asked Aurora. “The same” “Well last I heard of him he was in this city” she said. “You know him?” asked Eric. “Yes. He’s like family to me” “In the city, but where?” Eric asked himself. “I don’t know,” said Aurora, as she took a brush out of one of her saddle’s bags then started to straighten out her hair. “I’m going to look around North Folk,” said Eric “You want to come. Aurora shook her head “I might be spotted by one of my family members or by the royal guard” “Ok” said Eric, he paused as if he wanted to say something but he just said, “ I’ll be back soon” “Alright” Aurora said. Eric opened their room door and closed it when he left; he made his way down to the tavern like first floor where in the middle of the room there was a bar counter. Two men and a woman where behind the
counter filling and re-filling drinks while another woman but this time heaver built served customers at individual tables. Eric looked for his friend but saw none so he made his way out of the inn and on to the streets of North Folk. He noticed there were less people about since it neared suppertime so he took advantage of the opportunity to walk about more easily without being push and pulled with crowds. He ran down a dirt road and passed a whole line of houses made of dried grass on wood frames or stone, there were some people still out, most of them men smoking on pipes and talking in their tribal languages or the common tongue. The few women that were about looked young but had a wild look about them, most had a sword at their side that hung from a leather belt. They looked at him with angry faces and knew they had seen him stare at them. “Its rude to stare” shout one of the older women. “My apologies” he said back and stopped “I never knew women of Talnorn could carry weapons” ”Carry them,” said another of the group. She looked sixteen and carried a short bow on her back with a quiver of arrows next to it; at her side was a short sword “We don’t just carry them. We use them in battle, any of us can fight just as well or even better than a man” Eric smiled. “You don’t believe me,” said the girl.
“I do,” said Eric. He really didn’t want to get into a fight with group young warrior women “ I take your word for it” The girl looked at him then said “Good” Eric made his way away from the group then saw something in the corner of his eye; he looked but saw nothing but a line of ominous looking shops. He neared them and then found most of them were open, he decided to enter one when suddenly a cloth bag was put over his head. His arms were put behind him and then he was pushed into one of the stores. There was some shuffling sounds then a deep, old and wise voice said, “Who are you and why were you following me?” “Albus” said Eric “Is that you gray bread” “How do you know that name?” asked another. “I knew him in the town Blean” he said back “Is he here?” The cloth bag was taken off and Eric wobbled around but soon he got his since of balance and his eyes got adjusted to the dark room but at once he saw Albus. He sat in a chair some feet away from Eric with a smile on his face “Hello my boy” said the old wizard, he had a large smile on his face. “Where have you been?” asked Eric, he had been happy to see Albus but he wanted to know where had the wizard been. “Before I answer that” said Albus “ I’ll need the group and King Vidar”
Eric frowned; he really wanted to know what the wizard had been up to. Albus noticed and just smiled “You’ll have to wait but tell me what happened after you left Iui Gadiili Inida” he said. “ Well we reached Blean and I visited my father’s grave” started Eric “ Then after that we reached Maie, Benion then we crossed the mountains through a valley. Reached Malian. Oh, we got chased by some raiders but I used my magic…” “What!” Albus interrupted. He stood up. “I opened cracks in the ground and the raiders fell in,” said Eric surprised about how the wizard had acted. “I should of known this would happen,” muttered Albus, he walked into a darker part of the shop “Well I believe this is partly my fault I was hopping your uncle would tell you but apparently he’s forgotten” “What?” Eric asked. “ Galidon is a Namurian” said Albus “He was an Elder Naz at a very young age and was a very talented young man but he had one flaw he was proud. He won every game anybody could think of all but the game of love” “The Silver Naz” whispered Eric but then he spoke louder “I though the Silver Naz just went to the man she wanted to marry?” Albus nodded ”Yes, but back in the old days their were many Numarian men with good family, honor, power, and wealth. The choice was very
hard for a young woman. Though there was one thing she could judge on. The heart” he said “She could tell if the man was truly for her or if he was to proud” “Oh” said Eric. “Men all over the Pelmon Empire went to the Elder Council to be judged,” said the wizard. “So the Silver Naz was already picked out,” said Eric. “Remember Eric that the Silver Naz is picked out by the Elves unless the Silver Naz before her had a girl but most Master Riders and Silver Riders who got married couldn’t have children” “Why” Eric asked. “ That knowledge is not known,” said Albus sadly. Eric looked worried “So when I marry Aurora and if we really want kids…” “You may not be able to have them,” said the wizard “I am sorry” Eric sat in a chair that a man had brought from the back of the store. He couldn’t believe what he had heard, which was basically he and Aurora were the last Naz to live in the whole wide world. “So only the Master Naz and his wife can’t have children?” he asked. “Yes” replied the wizard sitting down “ The regular Naz couples could have children and so kept the Naz people from dieing off”
“Why wasn’t I told of this before?” asked Eric. “You were needed to fight Galidon” said Albus “Which takes us back to you using magic” “What about it?” ”Galidon knew his kind would die off and that’s is what gave you and your family protection from him. But know that you’ve used magic he knows that you are alive and powerful” said the wizard “You have only two choices know. One join us and kill Galidon. Two join him” “Or three” said Eric “ Forget who I am and become a regular person” ”All three are dangerous Eric” “I just want to go to Isin-Ismailen,” said Eric “Beyond that I don’t know what to do” Albus smiled “Well can see you’ve made it more than half the way” “And I met the Silver Naz” said Eric. “You have” said Albus “Who is she?” ”King Vidar’s daughter” said Eric. “Is that right” said the wizard “Remember we must visit the king tomorrow” Eric nodded “ Well I think I need to get back to the Black Horse” he got up. “You left your wife alone in the city that is crawling with spies looking for her” said Albus “Eric never leave while Vidar is not himself if he finds her…”
Eric didn’t let the wizard finish but left the building and made a dash for the Black Horse in. He passed the warrior women some of whom asked what was his hurry but he couldn’t answer. He entered the inn and walked up to his room he noticed the room door was ajar so he entered: the room was a mess as if somebody had gone through it or if there had been a fight in the room. “Aurora” he said, but knew she wasn’t in the room “Why, oh why was I so stupid as to leave her alone”
Chapter Seventeen A Witch for a Sister
Airwen was the maddest of everybody, she lectured Eric about leaving Aurora but it was soon quiet in the room after Andun suggested that he and Eric go to king Vidar. Eric himself paced his room then some think made him pick up his sword strap it on then dress in his Numarian armor; he was going to meet the king not tomorrow but to-night. “He won’t see you,” said Grainne. “I am the Master Naz” he replied “He will see me or I’ll break down his house and meet him out in the open” Everyone smiled but for Airwen. Eric walked out of his room and down into the inn’s main room. Everybody in the room stared at him but couldn’t care less. He walked out of the inn and then started for the king’s palace. Some people followed while others went inside their houses though mostly everybody whispered as Eric neared the palace gates. The guards looked at Eric and smiled slightly amused “Who are you?” the captain asked. “Eric Drake” he replied “The last Namurain and Master Naz” “You are?” he asked. “I am” Eric said back “And if you don’t open the gates I will” “With what?” asked the captain, his amusement now gone from his face. “This” he said back. Eric closed his eyes then said “ Abri Nalic Maveron”
The thick iron bared oak gates opened and then fell from their hinges. The guards went pail but the captain looked at Eric and said, “Then it’s true your people are real” “Yes” was all Eric said. “Follow me” said the captain and led the way to the palace doors, which Eric noticed, were made of oak like the gates he just put off the hinges. They stood there for a moment then the captain knocked “Open up the Master of kings his here” Eric got nervous when he was called ‘Master of kings’, but kept his sternness and when the doors opened he entered ahead of the captain. His eyes fell upon a king who eyed him angrily; next to him was a woman who he took to be the queen. She eyed him with curiosity and a hint of pity. Beside her was a meek Aurora who kept her eyes down but he noticed her cheeks redden. “Who are you?” asked the king his voice was rough. “Eric Drake the last Master Namurian to walk” he replied, as he took the last steps to be right before the king. Only a rise of three steps separated him from Aurora “I’ve come to take your daughter for my wife” “Which of my daughters?” asked the king. “Aurora” he answered back. “No” was the king’s only reply. “What?” Eric asked.
“My daughter’s hand is not for a smith’s,” said the king. “I am the judge of kingdoms,” said Eric politely “ Not a smith and I will thank you to remember that. Now whether you like it or not I have to marry your daughter” “You will not have her,” snapped the king. Then Aurora a blurted “I love him” “Go” was his only reply. “No” she said. “I told you to go” the king said. He looked at his daughter but she didn’t move “Anitha” His wife didn’t move but stayed in her seat. “Will you not obey your king?” he asked. He seemed to be loosing his temper. “You are the head of our family before you are king” was his wife’s reply “And I find you not well” “Not well” he repeated standing up “I can’t be well after you lie to me that our daughter is at an aunt’s. My daughter goes off to find a husband without my consent, my only son is not here and he” The king pointed to Eric “Demands my eldest daughter” “My king” A young woman who was in her twenties entered the room. She looked like a sorceress wearing a dark green dress and around her neck was a
necklace that held a large black pearl. She looked at Eric her soft green though seemed afar “What seems to be you dilemma?” she asked. “This boy wishes to have my daughters hand,” he said. The woman looked again at Eric then she slowly came closer and that’s when he stuck. Eric graded her necklace and pulled off her before she could re-act. She starred at him then began to wobble then she fell into his arms unconscious; everyone else just starred. Eric dropped the necklace onto the floor and it turned to dust just as Albus pounded on the palace doors to be let in. The king who was now in his wife’s arms because he had lost his balance along with every other guard in the room. They had all be under a spell. Albus finally got into the hall when a page opened the door. Eric put the sorceress upon the ground her back against a wall then he walked over to Aurora and the two hugged. But it wasn’t long before the king came to his senses. He looked at the two seventeen year olds then nodded “I cannot stop an ancient law. Yes Eric you may have Aurora’s hand” he said “And I give you my blessing. May you lives be happy and full” “Thank you” said Eric. “Well now that’s is over,” Albus said. “Yes we must get to more pressing matters” said the king. He led Albus down a hall and into another room.
Anitha showed the two to a large bedroom then left without a word. Eric striped off the heavy armor then sank into a chair with a long sigh afterwardI he just closed his eyes. Aurora though massaged Eric’s shoulders but she was thinking about something else. “Eric” she said. “Hmm” he replied. “You asleep?” she asked. “Not yet” he answered back. “Good because I have to tell you something” “What?” he asked. “ Can we have” she paused then continued “Do you mind if we have two weddings?” “Two” “One here for my family to see and one in Linia Donian” said Aurora. She had stopped massaging him and now was in a chair in front of him. “I don’t mind,” said Eric “I’m not really wanting to get into all the wedding preparations” “All the better” said Aurora with a smile .She put her hands together. Then the room was quiet. Eric got up and stretched then looked around. “What?” Aurora asked. “Where do I take a bath?” asked Eric. “I’ll show you”
She got up and led him to the back of the room then opened a door to a marble made room “Here” Eric entered the marble room that was about twenty feet long and wide, eight feet tall. The pool was fifteen feet long by fifteen feet wide but Eric couldn’t tell how deep it was. He was amazed though about the size. Aurora saw this and smiled “My ancestors like big pools. It showed off their wealth you could say” “How do you keep the water always warm?” asked Eric after he dipped his hand into the water. “A natural hot water spring is under the palace” she replied, “I’ll get you some fresh clothes and a bar of soap” “Thanks” Eric undressed and plunged into then water that he soon found to be four feet deep. He soaped up and washed his hair but soon Aurora was shouting from the other side of the door “Eric get out so I can wash” “Why didn’t you come in with me?” he asked. “I can’t” she answered back “Not till after we marry in Linia Dona” Eric got out of the water then dried off. He got into the new clothes Aurora gave him then he left the room. Aurora slipped passed him into the room but not before she told him that some food had been brought to the room. He ate some of the food that was on silver platters that
had been placed on a small desk since there weren’t any tables in the room. Eric sat in a chair then fell asleep.
~*~ The next morning Eric slept in a bit but Aurora awoke him when two pages brought them both a small platter of food for breakfast. She had dressed into a beautiful light blue dress with peach trims; her natural brunette hair was braded and she had on a few pieces of jewelry. Such as a thin gold chain that held a silver horse, she had a gold ring on her left index finger and lastly a band of gold around the top of her head. A teardrop shaped tear dangled from it so it was right below her hairline. She looked very beautiful. “Why are you starring at me?” she asked Eric after noticing his gawking at her. Eric was quiet. “What’s the matter?” asked Aurora. “Nothing” he replied. “You’re smiling,” she said. “So?” ”You think I look funny or something,” she said. “No” said Eric. “Then what?” she asked. “I think you look great” he said.
“Great” she said, “You really think so?” “Yes” “Eric when do you want the wedding?” Eric looked at Aurora “When do you want it?” ”I want you to decide,” she said. “How long will it take to get every thing?” he asked. “Oh, I’d say a month or two,” said Aurora “ So the wedding should take place in four months” said Eric. “Ok” She got up at that moment then made for the door “Where are you going?” asked Eric. “I’ve got to tell my mom” she said “Then we have to get everything ready, so I wont be back till very late” With that she left leaving Eric alone in the room. He ate some of the food on his platter but soon left for the city. He passed through the guards then made for the markets his hand tightly gripped his money pouch just in case of thieves. There were many peddlers selling wears from far reaches of the known world or just cheap junk made in mass quantities in a town away. He entered cloth the cloth market thinking about getting Aurora something special when he saw Grainne. She saw him to and walked over. “Where have you been?” she asked. “The palace” he said back.
“The king is well?” she asked. “Yes” “Andun has been worried about you but this time Airwen is the one who is calm,” Grainne said with a smile. Suddenly she took his arm and then pulled him over to the far back of the cloth market “I have a bolt of cloth I have to show you. It isn’t elven cloth but it is beautiful” Grainne stopped in front of a shop then pushed Eric in “This shop sells clothes from the lands far south” “So?” Eric asked. “Look at this one” She put a bolt of fine gold cloth into his hands. It had different shades of gold from see through gold to a shinny gold but Eric didn’t care for he didn’t know what to do with it. “Well?” Grainne asked. “What’s it for” he asked. “Aurora’s dress” she said. Eric gave it another look then shook his head. “This?” Grainne handed him a bolt of smooth white silk. “I like this” he said. “It’s ok,” she said “But it’s to plain” “I’d like Aurora to where a white dress” said Eric, thoughtfully.
“White” said Grainne. “Is it getting hot in here?” asked Eric. “No. Why?” Eric felt dizzy then he his head ached: all went out. He came to some time latter in his room back at the palace and found Aurora putting a cold wet rag on his brow. She looked worried but smiled when his eyes fell on her but not for long. At that moment Andun entered the room behind a doctor who looked angry. “Eric you ok” his uncle asked. “Perfect” he replied, smiling “What happened?” “Heat stroke” said the doctor. Andun shook his head “I say you had a spell put on you,” he said. “I think so to,” said Aurora. “Why call a doctor if you do not use his abilities and knowledge?” the doctor asked himself aloud. “I didn’t call you,” said Andun “The king did” “Precisely” said the man “Therefore I will be thankful if you would be kind enough as to leave my patient alone. That is everybody but the princess” Andun frowned but left. The doctor left also but not before ordering Eric not to leave bed. “What part of the day is it?” asked Eric.
“Its almost ten o’clock” she answered. She took the wet cloth off Eric’s forehead then got up from sitting on the be, she walked over to a chair and put the bowl of cold water on it. She made over to the end of the bed where there was a chest. On it was a large platter of food, she took a pitcher of milk and poured her self some, she drank a bit then yawned. “Why don’t you get to your bed” said Eric. “What do you mean?” she asked. “Don’t you have your own room?” asked Eric. Aurora looked at him then smiled “No” “You mean we share the bed” She nodded. “What about waiting till after getting married” Eric asked. “What about it” she asked. She walked over to him and sat next to him. “I don’t feel we should be in bed together till after we marry,” he said back. “Oh” said Aurora then edged over. “Why are you getting closer?” asked Eric. Aurora didn’t reply but lowered her head so they could almost kiss but right at that moment the door was opened and the king entered. He raced over to his daughter and pulled her off the bed before she could argue.
“What’s going on?” asked Eric. “This Eric” said Fredrick. He came in but also did a the sorceress “She put a love potion in the milk” “How do you know?” asked Eric. He got out of bed. Fredrick answered “The sorceress put a love potion in a pitcher of milk that was brought to my wife she had some as the pitcher was taken by a page to this room. My wife went after me” “Why?” asked Eric. The sorceress didn’t answer. “What’s is the cure?” he asked. “She’ll have to sleep it off,” said the king. He then pulled his daughter out of the room. “Why?” asked Eric again. She only this time looked at Fredrick. “Leave us Fredrick,” said Eric. He nodded then left closing the door behind him. “Well?” Eric said. “My name is Sireen,” said the sorceress “And I am your sister” “Ha” Eric said. “Its true” She said. “Aric is our father” she said “And Freyna is our mother” “Why should I trust you” asked Eric “You just put my friend’s wife and my soon to be wife under a love potions effects”
“I was nine when our mother left Blean and went to Isin-Ismailen to be queen” she said. “If what you say is true then tell me why did my mom leave?” asked Eric. “She had to be queen or else the country would fall into a dictator’s hands,” she said “ But she gave you a necklace like this one” Sireen took a necklace from around her neck. It to had the anathela flower hanging from the chain. Eric took his from around his neck and the two glowed “I guess you are my sister but the true test is to have Andun see you” “Andun” said Sireen. She smiled “The Andun, the ranger” “Yes” “I haven’t see him in a long time” she said “Ok. Want to get dressed so we can see him?” “I guess so,” said Eric. Eric put on some pants and the two walked over to Andun’s quarters. He knocked on the door and the next moment his uncle opened the door. “Elisabeth” he said after looking at Sireen. “Its me uncle” she said. “Well that means I have a sister,” said Eric, then he hugged her. Sireen smiled as Eric hugged her. She put her arms around her brother and it was quiet.
Chapter Eighteen Wedding Preparations “So why did you put the love potion in the milk” asked Eric, he and his sister were walking around the stables the next morning. “Well lets just say I was hoping something was to come of it,” she said. “You mean you wanted her pregnant?” asked Eric. “To put it simply” “Why?” ”So the line of the Namurians will go on,” said Sireen. “Albus told me Aurora could never be with child,” said Eric. “Ha” she said, “Albus may be wise but he doesn’t know everything” “ You mean she can have a child,” said Eric. Sireen didn’t say anything but just smiled as a page ran up. “Sir” said the boy to Eric. “Yes” “Princess Aurora would like to have a word with you” the boy said. “Ok” he said. He turned to his sister “See you latter?” He asked. “Sure” she replied “Tell Aurora I’m sorry about the potion” “I will,” he said. Eric followed the page into the palace then to Aurora’s privet quarters, which were covered in wedding material. Aurora herself sat on her bed with a medium sized black and white dog while her mother Anitha the queen was looking through a bunch of different fabrics.
“You called,” he said as he entered the room. “Eric” said Aurora. She got off her bed and walked over to him then quite suddenly she landed a kiss onto his cheek. He looked at her but smiled “Why did you call?” he asked. “Mother wanted to know what type of clothes you were going to wear to the wedding” she replied. “Well I haven’t really decided yet” he replied. “And right before you entered Aurora was saying you’d have your clothes for the wedding already planned out” said Anitha as she turned around to look at him. “Well I was thinking of wearing my armor” Eric said. “That would be nice,” said Aurora “The gold armor?” ”Yes” he replied. “That would make your wedding Aurora like the ancient royal weddings of Nordanthia” said Aurora’s mother. She smiled “Oh that would be beautiful” “It would,” agreed her daughter. “Well if that’s all” said Eric “I’ll be going” “I’m afraid not,” said a voice behind him. Eric turned to see the king. “Come Eric I wish to speak with you,” said the king. He nodded and the two left the women.
“Eric” the king said, “ As always I must know how you intend to support my daughter” “ I intend to reclaim my peoples territories,” he said. “Alone?” asked the king. “King Vidar the darkness in Dorshen grows, I must gather my allies and defeat Galidon before he can strike Nordanthia” said Eric. “What allies?” asked the king. “I am going to order the ancient law of Cavera Undween,” said Eric. “The rise of an alliance” said the king. He smiled “It is a great idea but not many people fallow the ancient laws” “The elves do” said Eric “So the dwarves and the people of the Khan kingdom” “And the people of Talnorn” added the king. Eric smiled. “The age of darkness will fall and a new age will come again,” he said. “The age of the Naz” said the king “When do you wish to send out the order?” ”After the wedding” he said. The king left Eric and he went to fit on his suit of armor. The wedding was a slow process since the queen wanted the perfect wedding for her eldest daughter. So many more merchants than usual crowded the city that few weeks selling perfumes, dresses and many other items for the wedding and after it. There were also travelers from
the Pelmon Empire, Iui Gadiili Inida, and Orlmishdia who came to see who this Master Naz and Silver Naz were. There was even rumored that the lady of Linia Donian was going to be there so that she could announce the marriage legal by elven law and Numarian law. Eric watched as merchants presented themselves before the queen and the princess and but soon found out there was a line of merchants waiting to see him. Though he had one problem he didn’t have the money to buy any of the goods they sold. Andun often found him hiding from merchants and fished why he was doing so out of him. “I’ve got no money to my name” said Eric in Andun’s chambers one night “Nothing” “I found most of the things the merchants were selling useless” said Andun. The two sat down before a roaring fire, which put of a lot of warmth off in the constantly cold country. “I know,” said Eric “But if I wanted to by something I couldn’t and what will people think?” ”What will they think?” asked his uncle. “That I’m nothing but a young man going after Aurora’s wealth,” said Eric. Andun frowned. He hated when people put their dirty little noses in his family’s affairs but he knew Eric was right about having no money. He smiled.
“Why are you smiling?” asked Eric. “You know that your mother is alive. Right?” “Yes” “Have her come,” said Andun. “Ask my mother to come,” said Eric then asked, “Will she come?” “Leave that to me “ said his uncle getting up “ But she will come very soon” “Its to far for her to reach me immediately” said Eric. “Like I said before leave that to me” said Andun “ But it’s getting late you should get to bed?” “Alright” Eric said, he got up and left his uncle’s chambers. He wondered how Andun would get his mother and if she came what she would say or do. He changed into his bedclothes and got into his goose feather mattress, he pulled a thick red wool bed sheet over him laid his head on to his soft pillow and then fell into a deep sleep. The next morning it was raining and Andun was nowhere around. Eric tried to see Greylend but both he and Europa were nowhere to be seen; so Eric found himself helping Aurora and Sireen jewelry for the wedding. Both had gotten over the love potion and were now whispering to each other every time Eric turned his back to get another try of royal family jewels that had been handed down from family member to family member. He had just returned from the Aurora’s
family vault for the sixth time and halted right before Aurora’s room when heard the two young ladies talking. He listened. “ So Eric’s mother is the queen of Nordanthia,” asked Aurora. “Yes” replied Sireen “ But lately she’s had some trouble with some very powerful men of the kingdom. Aurora you do know Eric will have to face Galidon if the next age is to come?” ”Yes” she said “ But I wish he didn’t have to go. He may have to go for a very a long time then there’s the chance he may die” Sireen was quiet. “Elisabeth” “First he’ll have to gather support,” Sireen said “He’ll have to travel to the capitol of the Pelmon Empire and to all the other lands” Eric entered before Aurora said anything “Miss me ladies?” he asked. ”Terribly” said Aurora. Eric looked at her and noticed she wasn’t joking. He kissed her forehead then let the two ladies get back to their work. “Eric” she said a second later. “Yes” “What would you like my wedding dress to be?” Aurora asked. Eric thought for a moment as Aurora added, “Because I can’t find a cloth or color I like” “You could wear a silver dress,” said Eric as he brushed aside the idea of her wearing a white wedding gown.
“Silver Naz, silver dress” she said thoughtfully “That might be nice” Eric smiled glad he could be of some use but he was really hoping to do something more not just laze around waiting for his wedding that was in two months and two weeks. He sat back on his chair in front of the hearth and picked up a book from under the chair it was called The Age of the Numarian. It was basically the only history book and only the rich could afford it so Eric borrowed it from Aurora who had gotten it from the lady of Linia Donian: Lady Eldilane. He was very interested in it since it had the history of his people, the customs of his people and many other interesting facts Eric never new the Numarians. Then quiet innocently he fell asleep. Aurora took this time to ask Sireen about her life starting of with why she didn’t use her real name Elisabeth. “Have you ever heard of a powerful sorceress named Elisabeth?” asked Sireen. “No” Aurora replied thoughtfully. “That’s why,” answered Sireen. “What does you mother call you?” asked Aurora as she picked up a set of earrings she had decided to wear on her wedding day. “Elisabeth” said Sireen sadly. “Well Elisabeth for now I’ll call you Sireen,” said Aurora with a smile. The rest of the day was slow but it went by.
Dinner was held in a large hall that King Vidar claimed hadn’t been used since he got married to Anitha. Cooked pork, elk, and pheasant along with many vegetables that Eric was used to, were placed on the large rectangle dinner table. Eric himself was shown to his chair that was next to Aurora’s by a young page, he looked about and then noticed how many lords and ladies there were going to be sitting at the table. In all two hundred came that night. Most of them were men with honor, battle stories to tell and wealth. The few women there were either the wives of the royal family or were independent warrior ladies who after their husbands died took control of their power. Eric who had asked his sister earlier if they were lady like or were really like warriors got a straight answer from her. “I never stayed around to figure out” “But he hoped that being betrothed to marry Aurora would help him in case he got on the bad side of one of the women. If not he would be just as rough as he needed to be to make them think he wasn’t a kitten and hopefully it wouldn’t turn to a duel. As the dinner started out Eric noticed Aurora put very little on her plate; mostly vegetables but he didn’t ask why. Instead he took little meat himself though he did take a large slice of pork that he had his eye on. The dinner went smoothly but just as Eric thought it was over and everyone was getting up to leave a young man tripped and landed on Aurora. In his hands was a pitcher of gravy and all of its contents
spilled on to her and her dress. She now stood in Eric’s arms red faced and partly embarrassed about what had happened. It was quiet in the hall, not even the king or queen spoke since their daughter was becoming of age, she needed to stand on her own two feet with the help of her soon be husband. The young man though looked more embarrassed than Aurora “ My lady” he started “I’m so sorry…” But before he could say anything else Aurora said, “It is quite alright Sir Gilden it was an accident ” She walked away with Eric following behind her. He followed Aurora to her room where he watched the princess worry over her favorite gold linen dress; he soon said his goodnight as the maids came in to help Aurora undress and get her into bed. In his own chambers he blew out all the candles and made a fire in the fireplace. He took out a map of the world and studied it, his mind thought of Galidon and the forts that Nordanthia held on the border with the evil land. He would soon have an army march across that border and make for Dasha where Galidon ruled his bleak and bark realm Droshen. Eric leaned back in his chair. It will be in a few years, he thought, but he had a wedding in two months. It wouldn’t be right to worry over this now, at least not yet anyhow.
Chapter Nineteen The Queen of Nordanthia Eric awoke the next morning with blurring horns going off in the courtyard. He got out of bed as Aurora entered his chambers she looked radiant for some reason but Eric felt tired.
“Eric how about if you go out hunting with my father and his nobles?” she asked. “Hunting” Eric, said, his sprits rose. Aurora nodded “You’ll be gone all day so you wont have to sit and sleep while I look over the wedding preparations” “That would be fun” said Eric, smiling then he frowned “That wouldn’t right. I’m suppose to be here with you not out having a ball hunting” “I don’t mind,” said Aurora “Really” “Well” said Eric thoughtfully. “Go” ordered Aurora. “Alright. Alright” said Eric “I’ll go” “Good” said Aurora smiling “But don’t enjoy it to much or you’ll never return” “Oh, I promise never to have to much fun” said Eric jokingly. Aurora smiled and turned to leave just as she said, “Don’t forget to bring back a stag” Then she disappeared down the corridor. Eric got dressed and armed himself with a sword and his bow. He picked up his quiver of arrows and then marched out of his room. He made it to the stables where he saddled and bridled horse Calden just as the king entered to get his horse. “I thought you might come,” he said. “It was either that or face your daughter all day “ said Eric. “What do you mean?” asked Vidar.
“Aurora told me to go,” said Eric. The king smiled. “What?” Eric asked. “I have just remembered that you are not from Talnorn,” said the king “ There is an ancient custom that is still carried out in this land. A young man who is about to marry a lady is suppose to go out hunting and bring back a stag for a feast held in her honor” “Oh” “Don’t feel bad,” said the king “I never did the custom though I did save Anitha from being run over by a horse” “I think I’ll go after the stag,” said Eric as he got on to his horse. “Good” said the king as he got onto his horse after saddling and putting a bridle on it “But remember we aren’t likely to stop and our hunts may run into a group of outlaws. They often do” He and Eric rode out of the stables to see a group of forty or fifty riders mostly men though Eric did see a few women coming along. “Lord Eric” a girl called out. A servant girl that Eric knew served Aurora’s ran over and handed him a scented white hancerchief “Princess Aurora wishes you carry this so that you may remember her” said the girl. Eric took it and thanked the girl who then ran back to the palace. He looked at the king who again was smiling “What is it this time?” he asked.
“That piece of cloth is to tell other ladies you are taken and that if any of the warrior women would like to start a fight with you they’ll have to answer to her if you die” said the king “If I were you I’d give Aurora something” “I know what” said Eric as he took his mother’s gift from around his neck. “Page” ordered the king. A young page around eleven years old ran over “Yes my king” he said. “Take this young man’s necklace to my daughter” he said. Eric gave the boy the priceless item and watched the boy run off to deliver it then a minute later a horn was blown. The hunt had begun. The group rode to a wood that was far from then city and from aid if it was needed. The riders rode spaced away from each other but they were always eyeshot from each other. Eric though kept next to the king just incase they ran into a few outlaws. The king slowed his horse and Eric also slowed down “Eric “ said he. “Yes” he replied. “If you do get support and raise an army what will you do after the fall of Galidon?” asked the king. “Take back the lands he took from my people,” answered Eric. “I thought your people came across the sea and then formed the Pelmon Empire?” asked the king.
“They did,” said Eric “ But in the book The Age of the Numarian the people in the Pelmon Empire where conquered so the Numarians moved to Nordanthia then the regular Numarians. The common folk stayed there but the Master Naz move and conquered the lands of Droshen” ”What an empire” said king Vidar. “Then there was a war with Galidon and Nordanthia became a separate nation followed by the Pelmon Empire,” said Eric bitterly “And all of Droshen became loyal to Galidon” “I’m sorry,” said the king. “ At least it will be easier to ask for help,” said Eric. “From Nordanthia perhaps” said the king “But from the Pelmon Empire?” “I know the whole land hates my people,” said Eric “My father told me not to tell anyone where he came from” “Where did he come from?” asked the king. “I still want to keep that a secret,” said Eric “ For the memory” The king nodded then looked around a elk is coming “Ready?” Eric armed his bow “You want this one?” he asked. “Alright” said the king as he took a spear that had been tied to one side of his saddle. Not a second later a huge elk the size of a horse ran out from a brush of thorny bushes.
“It’s huge,” gasped Eric, then he saw that the king was in shock. He wasn’t ready to throw his spear. The animal charged as the king tried throw his spear but it only pierced the skin and fell out “Eric go” the king ordered. Eric ignored the order and let loose his arrow; it hit the animal on its front right shoulder piercing the skin and gong into the muscle. The elk fell on the wounded leg and slid till it was inches away from the two’s horse. The king and Eric got off their horses and walked over to the struggling beast. “This is your kill,” said the king “End his pain” Eric took another arrow from his quiver then put it to his bow and seconds later the animal was dead. “Well done Eric” said the king slapping him on the back “ Aurora will be pleased and surprised many elk don’t get this big but it seems fate has given you one” Eric smiled “Now what?” he asked. “Well I could send a few of my riders back to the city with the animal” said the king “ The cooks would put it in the cool house till we get back” A few riders rode over and took the elk back to the palace while the rest of the hunters went on but this time they split up into pairs. Eric hoped to go with the king but he already had a hunter with him and everyone else seemed to be paired. He guessed he’d have to hunt
alone this time. He looked around then turned around to go deeper into the wood when a girl called out to him. She was a young warrior but looked like she would have more fun acting more like a young lady than out hunting. She rode over on her gray horse and asked, “Could I hunt with you?” “If you want” he replied roughly. “I’m not going to hurt you,” she said angrily “Just because the other women are rough doesn’t mean I am” “Sorry” said Eric this time normally. “Its alright” she said, “My name is Raven” “ Raven?” said Eric. “My real name is Evera” “Well Ervera lets go hunt,” said Eric. At a slow trot the two went deeper into the wood where it was darker and scarier looking. “You ever go this far?” asked Eric. “No” replied Evera. “You see any game?” he asked a moment later. “No” she repeated, “Its like they were scared away” “ Lets go back,” said Eric. The turned their horses around and both their eyes saw a goblin. Eric loaded his bow then fired but as soon as it went down with a screech more came. They came without warning jumping from out
from the thick brush. Eric switched his bow for his sword and struck one down and Evera shot one with her bow but they were surrounded. Then an arrow from out of nowhere hit a goblin in the back, it fell and then another, the others fled in a great hurry as an elf appeared. The elf neared them and hailed them. “ Riders tell me am I near North Folk?” the elf asked. “You are near,” answered Eric. “ Could you take me?” “Yes,” replied Eric. The elf got on easily then Eric rode, with Evera behind him. As they rode through the wood the sounds of other riders could be heard. Then a squad of heavily armed riders rode into their path at their front was Andun. They passed the two riders and rode on. “Those were solders from Nordanthia,” said the elf “What are doing here?” “Lets find out,” said Eric and he sped up his horse. The two entered the city and rode toward the palace. Eric eyed the sky for his dragon but there was no sign of him. They reached the palace and handed his horse over to a page then the three entered the palace and they saw the solders entering the throne room. “The king must be back,” said Evera. “I must speak with him” said the elf and strode into the room.
Eric parted with Evera and went to Aurora’s chambers but found the door was locked so he knocked “Aurora” he said. There was no answer from with in and Eric didn’t know what to do. Was she fitting on a gown did wanted to be alone or was there a man in the room. Eric tried to not think about a man being in the room but it got to him. “Eric” He turned around with a jump and saw Fredrick. In his arms was bolt of fabric. “What’s going on in Aurora’s room?” asked Eric. “Airwen told me Aurora was going through fabrics for her bride’s maid” said Fredrick “And that she was going through a ritual where she could talk to anybody today and tomorrow till the feast tomorrow night” “Oh” said Eric. He now felt ashamed for what he had thought, “Andun is back” “So is the king” said Fredrick as he put the fabric in front of Aurora’s door and knocked three times “Want to get a drink?” “Ok” said Eric. The two walked to the kitchen where they each got a mug of ale. They both stared at their mugs worried about how powerful it was then out of cowardness they poured their drinks into a farmer’s patch of corn. The both returned to the kitchen and got milk this time and drank up. “I miss being a kid” said Fredrick.
“Me to” said Eric “But your married and I’m about to get married” “Yeah” said Fredrick sadly. The day went slowly but nothing really happened. The king was in the throne room most of the day and dinner everybody was quiet. So that night Eric read a bit from The Age of the Numarian then fell asleep in bed. The next morning Eric rolled over in bed and tired to get a few extra hours of sleep but a tickle at his ear made him scratch it, but instead of and ear his fingers touch a hand. He opened his eyes and saw a woman smiling at him. She was very beautiful and queenly but also in a since very motherly looking. “Eric” she said, “I am your mother Freyna” “Mom” he said then noticed Andun in the room over by the fireplace. Mother and son hugged and Eric wept a bit in joy. “ I heard you meet your older sister,” said his mother. Eric nodded. “Is she still calling her self Sireen?” asked his mother. “Yes” he said. “Well she did decide to be a sorceress,” said Freyna then looked very sad “Andun told me that Aric is dead” “Yes” said Eric sadly. He remembered how his had died then looked at his mother” I’m getting married”
“I heard” said his mother smiling “And I hear you are what your father was” ”A Master Naz” said Eric “Yes” “Well” said his mother “Now I have to tell you something” “What?” Eric asked. “You have a little sister,” said the queen “And her name is Elisa” “Is she here?” he asked. “Yes but she’s taking a nap in my room” said his mother. “Mom” said Eric. “Yes” she said getting up from sitting on the bed. “When dad married you were you a Silver Rider?” His mother looked at Andun then said, “Yes. Why?” ”No reason” said Eric. “He had to marry me,” said his mother “But you could say we had been in love since we were teens. We lived a city called Durin near what is Isin-Ismailen. I lived in the merchant’s sector since my father was a very well known merchant and your father and uncle lived with their uncle lord Ersol. We bumped into each other one night then we met again a week later but at that time he saved my life” “How?” Eric asked. He felt like he was fifteen again and his father was telling him a story about his childhood or the great wars long ago. “Well” said his mother smiling “I was on my way to a friends house to spend the night and met some thieves. I was only fifteen and had the
courage of a worm. Your father on the other hand had been following me and scarred the thieves when he drew his sword” “How old was he?” asked Eric. “Sixteen” his mother answered dreamily “He was cute and strong. Aric escorted me to my friend’s house and I thanked him but he just smiled and walked away. I was curious about my hero for the next few days I followed him wherever he went then one day he led me into a maze of buildings and I got lost. He found me and then took me home without making fun of me for following or losing him in the maze. Soon we became friends and he always stuck around even when my father’s business fell to pieces and my family had to move to the commoner’s section. I always felt embarrassed about it but Aric never brought it up then he helped restart my father’s business with his own money. Even though he told me he made me promise that I wouldn’t tell my family. I asked him what he wanted for repayment and he said he wanted nothing for he was just helping out a friend’s family. I never forgot that moment then a year later the first Dark War began and he went into the service. I cried for weeks because everybody knew that Galidon had been massing troops for decades and that everyone going to stop him would be killed. I was wrong. I didn’t know your father had the bloodline of the Riders and he returned eight years later. We had sent letters to each other and in the last one he sent me was a ring. I thought he was giving me a gift but when he knocked on my father’s
door and then asked him for my hand in marriage. I was giddy and happy. The marriage happened around the time the Master Rider and Silver Rider died and then the Lady Eldilane of the Linia Donian came. We were surprised she left her people and then on your father’s and my wedding day she entered the church and then said we were the next Master Rider and Silver Riders” “What happened next?” Eric asked. “I fainted,” said his mother simply “But twenty years later another Dark War opened up and Aric went again but this time it was bad. Though he won the war many nations that had been under his control were now independent so he and I dispersed with the rest of our kind. We lived a happily as a family in Blean but fifty years later I was called back to rule Nordanthia since my brother had married the princess but they died of poisoning and I was the only one next line” “Mom” said Eric “How old are you” “Eric I am ninety-three years old” said his mother “ How’s that for growing old” Eric looked at her but she still looked like she was in her thirties “But you look so great” he started. “Well talk about that another time” said his mother “ But right now I think it is time you got dressed” The two left and Eric got out of bed. He looked around and saw several large oak chests on the floor at the bottom of his bed. He smiled and
opened the first one to find princely clothes. He got dressed, and then looked into the others. Another held clothes, one held books; one was labeled Gifts for the Wife and the last one held the most important items of all. A Master Naz’s great sword, bow and shield. Eric fingered ever inch of every item then tears left his eyes for he finally had every thing he was suppose to have. He left his room and then went down to eat in the great eating hall that the king had reopened. His mother was there along with the rest of his friends. He sat next in an empty chair next to Grainne who poking at her eggs and ham. He smiled and took a roll from a basket that sat nearby then reached for a platter of bacon. “The feast is tonight,” said Grainne turning to him “Are you ready?” ”As ready as I’ll every be” said Eric then he asked lowering his voice “What have you heard about the feast?” ”Well” said Grainne “ Everybody who is a friend or family member of Aurora may come and you will have to cut everyone a large piece of the elk you killed. But you will cut Aurora’s piece first then though before everyone has a piece and their plates are full you will offer a toast to the health and happiness of Aurora then eat” “That’s all,” said Eric. “No” said Grainne “Then the two of you will have to follow each other almost everywhere you or she goes so you two can get use to each
other presence though its really to make sure the two of you don’t see anyone else” “And what about sleeping?” asked Eric. “Don’t worry” she replied “Your still sleeping alone” Eric sighed with relief. “But in a month the two of you will be together” said Grainne happily. Eric couldn’t help it but smile at the fact that a year or two ago he was opposed to being married to Aurora and now he couldn’t wait to tie the knot. He ate his breakfast in silence then went out to brush his horse Caldun. Though on the way he saw Greylend surrounded by a dozen children, the dragon looked at them all as they stood all around him in awe. “Greylend” he shouted. The dragon looked up from the children to see Eric approach “Miss me?” Greylend. “No” was Eric’s replied. “No” “I was dead worried,” said Eric. “Good” said the dragon “How is Aurora?” “She can’t talk to me till tonight” said Eric. “I see” “So what are you going to do today?” asked Eric, as the children left.
“Well we could go swimming” suggested the dragon “And live the rest of our bachelor days the way we want to” “Sounds great but after tonight Aurora and I have to stick to each other” said Eric. “We can take her along,” said Greylend “It’s a small drawback but I guess she has something to be happy about” “I’ll tell her tomorrow” Eric said but how about we get swimming” Eric got on Greylend’s back and then they took to the sky, the ground shrank as they rose up in the sky and then everything sped by. Then the dragon slowed down as a great big lake appeared below them then Greylend went down. Eric felt the air whip past then before he knew it he was wet and under water. It was nice and warm but he soon swam to the surface to breath. Greylend on the other hand stayed under for a while before he decided to surface all wet and cheerful.
Chapter Twenty A Time of mixed Fealings Eric returned to the palace around three o’clock in the evening and could smell many good smells from the kitchen. He went to his room and then got ready for the feast he had been waiting for. An hour later he emerge from his room dressed in his armor that he’d been told to wear by Aurora’s mother. She told him that tonight he and Aurora would wear their wedding clothes tonight as a sign that they where having a pre-wedding feast. Eric took step by step to the feasting hall heavily, as if he was going to his death. Then he entered the hall and there was Aurora in a white wedding gown. Eric smiled. “Do you like it?” she asked as he sat down next to her. “I love it,” he said and he meant it. “Sireen told me you’d like me to wear a white dress so every moment I had I worked on this dress” said Aurora as other guest came “ Did you get a stag?” ”No” said Eric “I got an elk” Aurora smiled “Trying to impress me?” “I try,” said Eric. The last of the guest entered and sat down then Eric with a last look at Aurora stood up “Thank you all for coming” “ We came whether we like it or not” said Fredrick then Grainne elbowed him.
There was a few laughs then Eric continued “ Don’t worry Fredrick you’ll get to eat soon but first I’d like to finish the speech or toast I was about to say,” He paused then continued “ I wish you Aurora my bride to have all the happiness and good life I can offer you “ “Here, here” said Fredrick but after his wife gave him the look he was quiet. Everyone raced their mugs or glasses to Aurora and drank to her happiness and good life then Eric cut the elk. He sat down tired after cutting the meat then serving it but noticed Aurora’s glass of wine was empty. He reached for the silver pitcher and then felt cold and weak but took a hold of the pitcher and poured Aurora a glass of win. He felt weaker and gently put the pitcher down then he got dizzy and felt sick. “Aurora” he whispered. She looked at him and saw he was pale “What’s wrong?” she asked. “I’m not feeling well” he said then he blacked out. He woke up some time later in bed then saw Aurora still in her wedding dress sitting in a wood chair next to the bed. He saw the room’s windows were closed and that there were a few candles in the room, it was night. He sat up and Aurora awoke “Eric” she said. “ Did I mess up your dinner?” he asked. He felt angry with himself that he hadn’t stuck it through and finished the feast. “No” She said.
He looked at her and she smiled “Ok so it was a little messed up but you didn’t mess it up on propose” said Aurora “How do you feel?” “Ok” he said. She looked at him with worried eyes then there was a sound of an explosion. Eric got out of bed and ran to the window to see the stables on fire. “What is it?” asked Aurora. “The stables are on fire,” said Eric. Eric slipped on some pants and ran down to the stables as it started to rain heavily. The whole of the stables was engulfed in a huge fire that made Eric go num. Aurora ran passed him but he got to her before she reached the building. “My horse Snowflake ” she screamed “I have to get her” She fought him his arms then she just started to cry. Eric couldn’t stand it and let her go, he ran in to the engulfed building and kicked at stable doors after which the horses ran. He was sweating and trying not to breath in the smoke then finally he got to Aurora’s horse Snowflake and kicked at the horse’s stable door. He started to cough as the pure white horse galloped by then Eric fell to the floor he tried to get up but he was to weak then he noticed Caldun standing over him. Eric pulled himself up and then on to the horse, which then galloped out of the building. Eric back in the smoke clear air began to
breath normally again. He got off his horse and then had Aurora embrace him, “You stupid, brave boy” she said, “You could have been burned alive” “I know,” he said. “But never mind that” she looked at him and smiled “You saved my families royal horses. Thank you” She gave him a kiss on his check that left him speechless but happy. The rain turned into a downpour as Eric took Aurora who was still in his arm back to the palace the both of them still drenched in cold water.
Chapter Twenty-one Out for a Picnic The next morning the king was in a bad mood so the queen sent Aurora and Eric on a picnic out on the hills a mile or two away from the city. “The king was upset about the stables,” said Eric as the two rode down a gravel path to a hidden valley with a small spring. “Of course” said Aurora “The last of the pure bred horses were almost killed” “Pure bred?” asked Eric.
“When my people came from the north they brought herds of their horses but most died on the way” said Aurora “ The ones in the stable are the last in this land but I don’t know if there anymore in the north” They stopped next the spring and Aurora took out a blue cloth and spread it out on the grass while Eric got the picnic basket. He put it on the cloth then sat down. “What’s wrong?” asked Aurora. “Nothing” said Eric “I just never had a picnic” “You’re joking,” said Aurora sitting herself down then she noticed Eric’s ears had gone red “You really haven’t gone picnicking” “No” said Eric “ My father never was that type of man and my mom wasn’t around” “I’m sorry,” said Aurora “Well a picnic is just a relaxing way to eat in the open wilderness so there isn’t a need to use your manners” Eric smiled. Aurora opened the picnic basket and took out a hunk of feta cheese then a small knife “Want some” she asked. “Yes please” he said. “What’d I tell you about manners” Aurora said cutting the cheese. “ I still think person needs to say please and thank you” said Eric as Aurora handed him a piece of feta “Thank you” “You’re welcome” “What else does a person do on a picnic?”
“Play” she replied “There’s tag, hid and go seek and catch me if you can” Eric looked at her “It seems a picnic is a waste of time” “A picnic is also a time to talk to another person or just sit and watch the clouds go by” said Aurora a touch of anger was in her sentence. “I’m sorry” Eric said, “I’m just tense” “Why?” “Galidon” he replied. “Forget him,” she said “Our wedding is coming soon and your suppose to loosen up” “I’ll try,” said Eric. “Good, now hand me a piece of meat please,” said Aurora. Eric leaned over and looked into the basket “What type?” he asked. “I’ll let you decide,” said Aurora as she cut her piece of cheese. Eric looked at her then took out a cut of chicken and put it on a wood plate then put a few small tomatoes on it with a piece of garlic bread “Here you go” he said as he handed her the plate. She took the plate and looked at him “That’s what I wanted. Something light but filling, let me get you a plate ” She took a wood plate and put a large piece of garlic bread then she looked lost. Eric did a light cough then looked at the roasted slices of ham and then at the pickles. Aurora looked at him then figured out
what he meant; she took a good size piece of ham then cut a pickle long ways in half and put it on his plate. “There” she said handing him the plate. “Very well done,” he said. “But you showed me what you wanted” said Aurora then she tore her chicken piece in half and bit into the smaller of the two. “Did I” said Eric then ate his pickle. He reached for a whole one but Aurora gently slapped his hand. “Eat what you have on your plate,” she said. Eric frowned then started in on his ham “So what’s to drink?” he asked after biting into his ham. Aurora smiled and took out a thick glass flask from the basket “ wine” ”Wine” Eric repeated “What type?” “Red” she replied, “ I like red because it’s earthy and this has been or was in a cask for years” “She looked at him then asked, “Want some?” ”I really don’t like red wine,” said Eric. “Oh” said Aurora. She looked disappointed even though she tried to hid it. “But let me have a glass anyway” said Eric. “Really” Aurora said looking cheerful again. “Yes,” said Eric.
She took two glasses out of the basket and poured herself and Eric a glass. She handed him his then Eric sipped his wine, Aurora didn’t drink hers but watch carefully as Eric swallowed his sip. He smiled and took another sip. “Is it good?” Aurora asked. “Its very good” he replied “Its better than the red win I was allowed back home” “Eric” “Yes” “Were there many beautiful girls in your town of Blean?” Aurora asked. “They had some beauty,” said Eric carefully “Why?” “I was wondering” she replied then asked “Eric when you go to ask for help can we visit the town of Blean?” ”I’m not going,” said Eric as he fingered his glass “I’m going to send messenger to old allies with one message” “Cavera Undween” said Aurora quietly. He nodded then said “And besides Blean is probably a ghost town or is rebuilt and has another name” “I wanted to see your father’s grave” Aurora said quietly as if scarred of what Eric might do. “Oh” said Eric “I guess so but I’d rather not, it’s a place filled with feelings I don’t want to relive”
Aurora laid down her head upon the grass and asked, “ What’s after the messengers have come with whoever is joining you?” “Then there’s a lot of talking,” said Eric as he reached in to the basket for a pickle. “And late nights” “Yes there’s going to be a lot of those,” said Eric. The rest of the day went by with a game of catch me if you can which Aurora said started out with her running and Eric counting to ten then going after her and trying to catch her. He always let her get ahead but in the end she always ended up in his arms. Though when it got dark they packed up and headed for the city. Anitha was at the gate to meet them then took her daughter aside as Eric led the horses into the spare stables and put them into the care of a stable hand. He walked into the palace very tired wanting of sleep. He entered his chambers and heard something move about the room and though the embers in the fireplace put off poor light he could see the outline of a little girl. He made a guess of who it was and said “Elisa” The out line came closer and a little girl came over to him, she looked about nine or ten and wore a white nightgown. “How did you know it was me?” she asked. “A lucky guess” he replied, “How are you?” “Very good” she said looking up at him “Your big”
“Thank you,” he said, “So how do you like North Folk?” ”Its great” she said “I never saw so many passages or corridors in my life, I sometimes get lost” ”So do I” said Eric truthfully “Now where is our mother?” “I think she’s in her chamber,” said the girl “I snuck out to see you” “Oh” said Eric. “Please don’t tell her” said Elisa. “I wont,” said Eric “Lets go see her” Elisa led the way and showed him to their mother chambers. Eric knocked on the door and his mother opened the door “Eric your back and just in time” she said. “In time?” asked Eric. “Come in” she said opening the door. He walked in and noticed the fireplace didn’t have a fire in it. “Eric I’m trouble” said his mother. She sat on her bed then continued, “ Once I took the job to be queen of Nordanthia a man had his eye on the job as king. But as long as Aric was alive I was safe from him but once he finds out and he will find out Aric is dead he’ll force me into a marriage. Either that or he’ll make me give up the queen ship” “What position does he have?” asked Eric. “He’s the head of the counsel lords who control my power,” said his mother “But he has the power to turn loyalties against me” ”How can I help?” Eric asked.
“You can when we get to Isin-Ismailen you can scare him” said his mother. “I could always…” “No Eric you are not to kill him,” said his mother “That would put me in a bad situation” “Fine,” said Eric. “That’s my boy,” She said “Now its time for you to get to bed” Eric left and went back to his room and changed then went to bed.
Chapter-Twenty-Two The Wedding
Days sped by and then returned back to normal the week before Eric’s and Aurora’s wedding. Everybody ran about and shouting was more common but the two most important people were almost never to be seen. They spent days ridding or watching over Elisa who had a bad addiction to stealing cookies and pastries from the kitchen. Though people swore they spent less time with each other since they had the picnic. Finally by people pressure and self-interest Andun met the two on a hill covered with flowers, which Aurora was picking up one by one. “Eric, Aurora” he said. “Yes,” said his nephew. “People who love the two of you are worried about you two,” he said. “Why?” Aurora asked. “The two of you don’t hang out with each other,” said Andun “So people think the two of you have kindda split” Aurora laughed lightly, and then said, “You can rest your mind Andun we love each other, we just have separate things to do” “Oh” said Andun “Well I’ll let the two of you be alone now” Andun left the two. Eric smiled and picked up a wild flower he looked at Aurora who was looking at him “I have plenty” she said smiling. “Just for the spectators” said Eric. Aurora took the flower and smelled it “Thank you Eric” she said. Eric smiled then the two laughed aloud.
“Aurora” The two stopped laughing and saw Anitha standing before the gate. “Coming” said Aurora. She dropped her flowers then started down the hill but stopped. She returned to Eric and gave him a kiss on his cheek “That’s also for the spectators” Then she walked to the gate and the she and her mother went into the city. Eric walked about thinking but soon he was thinking about the wedding and Galidon. The day before the wedding a great big tent was put up for the two and the guest. Eric with the help of the king, Andun and Sireen practiced his vows. Aurora also practiced her vows while her mother and Eric’s were perfecting her white dress. Then the night came. The next day Eric was awoken by Fredrick who pulled in out of bed “Hurry up and get dressed” he said. Eric held back his anger and got into his armor then Fredrick clipped a gold silk cape on to him “Well” said Eric “I guess this is it” Fredrick nodded. The two walked out of the room then made for the entrance of the palace where everybody but the bride and her group was to be. Fredrick paced for some time and it was Albus who finally stopped then a page ran into sight “The pavilion is on fire” he shouted.
Eric stopped thinking and just closed his eyes. “We can’t proceed without the pavilion of purity,” said the king trying not to get angry. “The wedding will have to be delayed,” said Andun “Eric you feeling well?” Eric looked at the group then opened the doors and then made for the tent. It was in flames and the whole thing was never going to stop burning. He yelled till he ran out of breath then watched as the large tent fell to the ground. He felt a hand on his shoulder and turned around to see Fredrick then it began to rain. “I’m sorry,” his best friend said but Eric wasn’t listening to him. He closed his eyes then reached inside of him into his mind. The next moment the rain stopped tapping against his armor and he heard Fredrick gasp a moment later. He opened his eyes and saw the pavilion was back up and other than a puddle of rain here and there no signs of rain appeared but a rider on a fast horse was in sight. Eric saw it was a solder on a spent horse, he and Fredrick stood still as the rider approached and shouted “ Orks have burned Brea they’ve killed the solders of the Northern Brigade and are moving to take the Horse Fortress” “It can’t be”
The king and a few others had come into the open and had heard the rider’s sad message. “The wedding must continue” said Andun to the king “ Let your daughter have some happiness before she is told” ”Yes” agreed Albus “We have started the day with a wedding we therefore we must finish it” “Very well” said the king “Let us continue” A page was sent to Aurora’s group and they came with the bride a front. Eric stood under the tent and watched as his wife to be neared, he could see she had cried from the news of the burning pavilion but now she was smiling. She entered the white pavilion a minute later her dress’s long white tail carried by three of her younger sister Marisa, Violet and Roselend who wore finally tailored pink dresses. “We are hear today as witnesses for Eric Drake Master of the Namurians and my own daughter Aurora Gelden princes of Talnorn and Silver Naz of the Namurians” said King Vidar steadily “ We have no religious custom for this happy occasion so the bride and groom bind each other by law and by each others promise” Vidar was quiet as Eric then said what he had been practicing for “ I Eric Drake take Aurora Gelden to be my wife till I die, I will love her,
care for her and die for her. My positions are hers and my family will be hers. She will be my equal and have every power in law and in rights” It was quiet for a while then Aurora said what she had been practicing for months “I Aurora Galden take Eric Drake to be my husband until I die, I will love him, care for him and die for him. My positions are his and my family will be his. I will be faithful, obedient, advise him, and morn him when he dies” The king produced a piece of parchment and then hand Eric a quill along with a small metal box of hot wax “Sine your name and put your ring of the Master Naz into the wake then press it under your name” Eric did so then Aurora. The king handed it to a scribe to copy it so that the extras my be put in other country’s library of records “It is now legal, I congratulate you both” he said to the newly wed couple “Now you may kiss” Eric looked at Aurora then kissed her. Friends and family clapped and cheered loudly then they threw rice at the two for good luck. They all made it back inside the palace for a huge feast lasted in to the night. Everyone ate with a good appetite and drank with no care in the word that is everybody but Aurora and Eric. The two were now married and it was a scary and new feeling. Then that changed right then and there.
A man in armor forced open the doors to the hall and entered, the room was silenced at once and all looked at the solder. “The Horse Fortress has been taken” he shouted then fell to his knees and started to weep. The king went pale, and it seemed his drunken state had left him. He stood up his chair falling behind him and he called for his generals and advisers. They fallowed him deep into the palace were his war room was. Even Andun and Fredrick followed the king sadly looking at the bride and groom as they passed by. Eric started to get up but Aurora grabbed his arm, he looked at her saddened face almost begging him not to go. He watched as Fredrick closed the doors to the once happy hall then sat himself down. Aurora placed her brunette hair on his shoulder then quietly cried. Eric knew why she cried. War was in the land and that meant deaths of solders, loved ones and probably herself if orks made it to North Folk. Eric put an arm around her and hoped they would get through this and what fallowed. A war against Galidon.
Part Three The Return of the Old Alliances
Chapter Twenty-Three The Die Cast Eric woke up in his chambers sitting in a large armchair before an ash filled fireplace. He looked around and noticed nothing new in his room other that the armor he had worn to his wedding. “Aurora” he said getting up. He opened the drapes to his room’s window and let in the light then got into some new clothes before heading to Aurora’s room. He hesitated to knock but did and got no reply. He turned the doorknob and saw Aurora sitting on the floor before a few toys that must of belonged to her when she was five or eight. “Time goes by ever so quickly,” she said without looking at Eric.
“Yes it does,” he said then walked over to her. He sat on the floor and then said “ But we’ve got to move on” “I guess so” said Aurora then looked at him and asked, “ Even if war is ahead of us” Eric nodded. “War” she said bitterly “ I wont allow you to go into battle” “Aurora” he said, “I don’t want to go either but I have to” “Why?” “I am the Master of the Namurians” said Eric “I must have no fear and fight” “That’s no reason,” said Aurora. “I want to” “You want to die,” said Aurora shocked. “No” said Eric “I don’t want to die but fight” “Fighting isn’t much of a reason” “I know but I feel I have to be what I am,” said Eric, he stood up “I have to fight and win back the glory of my ancestors on the battle field” ”Glory” Aurora said simply. She stood up and hugged her husband “Just don’t die” Eric put his arms around her and said” I’d have to be stupid to die and leave you alone” “Good thing you’re not stupid then” said Aurora.
It was quiet then the two made it to breakfast afterward Aurora helped Eric ready is war gear. While he sharpened his sword she polished the sheath then they both put a shine on the golden armor. “Eric” “Yes, Aurora” “When we were saying or vows why did you say I’d have equal rights like you?” Eric looked at her “Don’t all men say that when they get married?” ”No” she replied, “Most if not all men say that their wife is a subject under their rule” “That’s a far cry from love” said Eric then he answered Aurora’s question “I said what I did because my father did it and he taught me to do the same” ”But didn’t that give your mom the right to leave your dad?” asked Aurora. “Yes and I’m glad she did leave” said Eric “ She might have been killed along with my father” “Then I’m glad you gave me those rights,” said Aurora. “Don’t you have those right a princess?” asked Eric. “No” said Aurora then she said bitterly “Because I am a woman” “That’s not a reason” “Tell me Eric in the Pelmon Empire do women have the same rights as a man?”
Eric sighed “No really, women still need a male family member to take of them or you could say to protect her from men who have no care for her. Women can however own land be put into a will, right a will themselves, use the courts, own a business do everything but go into the army” “So they can do every thing but with a male family member in the back ground?” “Yes” said Eric “But the male family member can only advise her, he can’t tell her what to do are get into her finances” “I guess that’s fine” said Aurora “Its better than women have in Talnorn. For example a woman needs to go to her husband and ask if she can by something, she has no rights over her children or her property since it is given to the husband because he is suppose to know what is good for her. The husband is able to divorce his wife at any time but he must give her dowry if she wishes to remarry though he keeps all the male children while his wife will get all the girls” ”Sad life” said Eric. “Its slavery” said Aurora “But I here the elves both man and woman all have the same rights” It was quiet then Eric spoke “When I retake Droshen I’m going to copy the elf’s laws” “I hope so,” said Aurora “But who’s going to populate the land?”
“Those who are decedents of the Namurians” said Eric “ And those who want more rights” Just then there was a knock at the door and Fredrick entered “Eric I need to talk to you” “Sure” he replied, “Be right back” he said Aurora. He left the room a closed the door behind him “What is it?” “Orks have been spotted leaving the Horse fortress,” said Fredrick “They’re coming to attack the city. The king has ordered all solders within the city and within a day’s ride to come to come but he wants you and Aurora to go to Linia Donian now” Eric looked at Fredrick “What?” “And he doesn’t want to hear you argue,” Said Fredrick then smiled “Because he got a full dose from me” Eric smiled. “You have to go to now,” said Fredrick quickly “ Before the orks circle the city” “Why doesn’t the king evacuate the city?” asked Eric. “Where would ten thousand people flee?” asked Fredrick. Eric began to think but Fredrick cut in “Don’t worry about us; you just go. Your mom will be going with you then hopefully within a month or so we’ll see each other” Eric hugged Fredrick suddenly “Don’t die on me and take care of Grainne”
“I will” he said “And don’t worry no ork will be able to kill me since I will be taking revenge for what they did to both our families” Eric let go then nodded. He went back into his room and looked at Aurora “We have to pack” he said. “Why?” she asked, she stopped working his armor. “The orks are coming,” said Eric as he opened the chest at the foot of his bed which held his clothes “The king has ordered we leave” Aurora looked at him and smiled “I’ll get my things” She left the room as Eric finished stuffing clothes into his sack then he strapped on his Namurian belt and sheathed the great sword. He packed his armor up and his bow then took all of his stuff to the stables where he saddled his horse then packed his stuff on Caldun. He noticed his mother’s solders were waiting for her outside the stables then she came dressed for riding. She saw him and walked over. “How are this morning?” she asked. “Ok” he said. “You want to fight don’t you?” she asked but already she knew the answer. “Yes” “And Aurora?” She wants to go” “She has brains”
Eric looked at his mother then walked over to his wife’s horse Snowflake and started to saddle her. His wife entered the stables some minutes later with a light pack across her shoulder. Eric helped her up onto Snowflake then got on Caldun “Let’s us ride” he said. “After you” said his mother as she got onto her gray horse. Eric gently kicked Caldun and he surged forth, followed by his mother Aurora and the guards. ~*~ Meanwhile the king looked at a map of his domain behind him sat Andun in a chair next to an empty fireplace. “I must strike fast,” said the king “But” “What?” Andun asked. “I don’t have enough men,” said the king “And our fortress is taken” Andun got up and walked over, he looked at the map then pointed to a valley “Here” “The valley of Carun” said the king. “If the orks go into there we can surround them easily since there are rocky hills around the valley” said Andun “We shoot at them with little or no chance of them getting to us” “One problem” said Vidar “The valley can only fit a few hundred and there must be a few thousand orks in the horde coming to attack us”
“It’ll still weaken them and the rocky hills are like a wall even though they don’t block the orks from going east then going around the hills” said Andun but if the cavalry attack them every time they stop we can tire them out and if it does come to a full battle the” “The orks will be at a disadvantage since they will be weak from exhaustion” finished the king “But it’ll take time to move men there and the supplies” “I still think we can do it,” said Andun. Then the king said “You know the elf messenger that came?” “Yes” “He told me that Galidon has made an alliance with Gashidale” said the king “ And now he has the means to attack Talnorn, the Pelmon Empire and Iui Gadiili Inida then by the time everyone is ready to take him on he’ll have his army” “But there’s Eric” said Andun “If he gets to be a large threat to him he will concentrate on him” “Yes,” said Vidar “But that is a death trap” “Before he married Aurora I would agree but now he has the power” said Andun “You see a Master Naz needs the Silver Naz since she holds the same power as him and with out her he could loose his power” “Good thing he is married to her then” said the king. “Not really” said Andun “The marriage needs to be performed be the lady of Linia Donian and it hasn’t”
“So Eric is in trouble” “He and Aurora” said Andun “ If Aurora doesn’t get married to Eric soon she’ll die” The king went pale as he sat in his chair “Die?” he asked. “Yes,” said Andun. “Oh my” said the king. “So lets hope they get to the East Elves quickly,” said Andun.
Chapter Twenty-Four A Long Ride The group didn’t stop even when night since a full sun illuminated their path. Aurora though had trouble keeping her eyes open so they stopped and Eric helped her onto Caldun so she sat in front of him. They all rode at a gallop and rarely went slowly Eric
though felt sorry for the Nordanthian horses who had some trouble keeping up with Caldun. Then they stopped. “What time is it?” asked his mother some time into the night. “It must be near midnight,” said one of the guards. Aurora gently stirred from her sleep and looked about “ How long have I been asleep” she asked Eric. “A few hours” he said. Aurora felt her neck then tried to get back to sleep as Eric and the rest got back to ridding at a full gallop. Morning came but nothing changed much. They stopped to eat then got back to ridding. This time Aurora rode on Snowflake and even Eric was impressed when she passed him quite easily at a gallop then he whispered something into Caldun’s left ear. A moment later he was next to Aurora. “You can’t pass me,” said his wife. “ I don’t’ want to” said Eric. “Children” called Freyna “Slow down or your horses will die of exhaustion” The two obeyed but then a horn blow stopped them. They looked around and then Aurora spotted a rider slowly coming toward them and she knew him. “Carvus” she said.
“Aurora” he said then recognized Eric “Well I see you survived my father” “Your father is back to normal but he does need your help” said Eric “Orks near the city” ”I know “ said Aurora’s brother “I’m going to the Carun hills to ambush them” “I wish you luck,” said Eric. “Eric” snapped Aurora she turned to her brother “Carvus no, I wont have you get killed” “You know the hills are a perfect fortress,” said her brother “Nobody can leave the valley but through a small entrance and that will be the folly of the orks” He turned to Eric and said “Take care of my sister brother in law” Eric looked at him and smiled “I will” The man rode off then the small group looked up a hillside as Carvus blew at his horn and a few hundred riders came over it then followed him at a gallop. The group headed east again but this time at a trot since by the next day they would be in Linia Donian. Night fell and this time they stopped when Freyna lost feeling in her legs. Eric made a fire and started to cook a broth as his wife came over “Your cooking?” she asked surprised. “Yes” he said as he put the small pot over the fire.
She sat down then he sat next to her as Freyna put out her bed cloth on the ground “Can imagine what everybody will say when they found out that I didn’t take all the things I was suppose to” “I’m sure dad would be please” said Eric. “Yes he would,” said his mother. When the soup was done Freyna served it out then all but two guards went to sleep. It was the first time Eric and Aurora really slept next to each other. Aurora felt him put an arm around her then he must have been scared for he then slowly removed arm but not before she took it and put it around her. She knew he’d never had a friendship with a girl so he must have not of known what to do. She kept a hand on his then fell asleep knowing her husband was next to her. Eric though felt nervous like Aurora had guessed. He never had asked his dad about girls and even when he met one his hands always got sweaty and his mind went blank. Only Fredrick had friends that were girls and every time Fredrick tried to introduce on of them to him she’d giggle and that’s all it took to tear down moths of built courage. Eric remembered when there was a spring party to celebrate and hope for a great year. He had finally asked a girl if she’d go with him; she accepted but a week before the party she told him she was going with another boy. He told her he understood but never showed up at the party; instead he got his father’s ax and hacked away at twelve large oaks. When his father returned he found his son cutting firewood. Then
at a wedding his father made him come along but this time he stood in a dark corner of the dancing hall after the wedding. Everybody watched him then after the party his father found him back at the house chopping even more firewood. His father never took him to another dance again but always returned to see Eric sad and miserable. This time, Eric thought, he’d have to dance but this time with a young woman who knew him and his weaknesses along with his strengths. He fell asleep peacefully and with a smile upon his face. The next morning Aurora weaved her fingers through Eric’s. She knew she had nothing to fear if she wanted to hold Eric’s hand or get closer to him since it was cold, but she knew she had to do it step by step so not to make Eric shyer. Then she felt Eric kiss her neck. “I need my hand,” he said to her. Aurora reluctantly gave up his hand and sat up. She found all the guards asleep and her mother in law making breakfast. Had she seen their hands together or Eric kiss her neck? She got up and walked off. Eric started after her but his mother called him back. “Serve out the oatmeal” she said as he came back. As he did so his mother asked, “Do you and Aurora plan to have children?” Eric looked at her “I guess so” he said.
“Has Albus told you that it might be impossible for you and Aurora to have a child?” “Yes” “Well its true” she said then asked“ Does Aurora now?” Eric shook his head. “It’ll be a heart ache for her” said his mother. Eric nodded then asked something that had been nagging at him for some time “Where is Elisabeth and Elisa?” ”I sent them on a head of use the night before we left” said him mother “In the safety of the night” “Oh” He looked around but saw Aurora hadn’t returned some worry filled him. “Stop looking around like a wolf” said his mother “She’ll be fine, Aurora most likely went to be alone or refresh herself” “Aurora” Eric shouted, but there wasn’t any reply. “Stay here” he said. He walked off in the direction he had seen Aurora take but went at a fast walk, as more worry entered his heart. He passed a few boulders then entered a valley of wild grass. He walked slowly this time and saw a shred of her dress on a branch of a dread tree that was at the end of the valley were a rocky hill started and made a almost complete circle around the valley. He ran climbed up the rocky hill smiled at what he
saw down the other side. Aurora had fallen down the other side, which was steeper then he saw a wolf that seemed dead at the foot of her feet. “Aurora” he said. She looked up and saw Eric climbing down to her “ I knew you’d come” she said. “Can you get up?” he asked as he knelt beside her. “I twisted my ankle,” she said, “ While trying to get away from this wolf” “I see,” said Eric “Then I’ll pick you up” “No you can help me up the hill” said Aurora but it was too late. Eric picked up his wife and slowly step-by-step he got up and over the hill. He smiled but Aurora just called him a show off. They made it back to camp where Freyna took a look at the ankle. “She’ll have to ride with you Eric,” she said “I wouldn’t trust this girl to take good care of this ankle the way she rides” Eric smiled, and then helped his wife up onto Caldun then got on “Wild girl” he said in her ear and she looked at him with a small smile. They started their second ride at a slow trot then around midday Aurora didn’t feel good. She felt weak and over hot, then it came to her. “Eric” she said. “Yes” he said putting an arm about her waist.
“Eric I haven’t told you something I just now remembered” she said. “What?” he asked. “If we don’t get married in Linia Donian by tonight I’ll be dead” Eric who didn’t understand what she had just said asked “What?” ”I can’t tell you now just believe me when I say I can’t feel my legs” Eric took his arm that went around her waist and felt one of her arms “Your pulse is weak” he said but Aurora didn’t respond. He then went from a trot to a gallop in a heartbeat hoping Aurora would hold onto dear life till he could get to the east elves.
Chapter Twenty-Five Samilon
Eric passed into the forest of the eastern elves that bordered Nordanthia. He knew he was being watch by many elves but nobody stopped him. Finally Caldun’s strength ran out and the horse stopped, he was sweaty and tense but Eric still had some ways to go. Eric got off Caldun and took Aurora into his arms. She was pale, weak and she started to mutter under her breath but all Eric cared about was getting her to lady Eldilane before she was dead. He strode through forest never stopping and never thinking what would happen if he didn’t get to the lady in time. Then Eric walked into a clearing and saw a pavilion where some elves sat, all were men and they looked like men of important positions but Eric didn’t care. Then before he took another step into the clearing Aurora began to cough as if having trouble breathing. The elves jumped from their seats and stopped talking and saw Eric. “Aurora” he said as he put her down upon the ground. “She is dieing” a woman’s voice said in his head. “No” he said “He put a hand over Aurora’s heart and closed his eyes. Without knowing it he bound his soul to Aurora’s then he felt her life draining away. He picked her up with some effort and started to stride again. “Where can I find the Lady Eldilane?” demanded Eric from the elves that watched him but non-answered.
He turned and passed the pavilion and then she spoke again “You will not make it. She will die” “She will be my Silver Naz,” said Eric aloud “My wife and the mother of my children” He started to feel his life drip out of him but he kept going. “And you will be?” the voice asked. “The return of the old kingdom” he answered tiredly “I will rebuild the old power of the Namurians and kill Galidon myself” “The new age” the voice said as Eric entered a garden where there was a large white stone table “Has just begun” she finished. Eric felt his life’s last drops go as he put Aurora on the table then he stumbled and fell to the ground. ~*~ The sound of a twig being snapped awoke Eric from his deep sleep. He saw a person dart from out of the darkness from the other side of the room where Aurora lay. He got out of bed and grabbed his sword but just as he made one footstep the person jumped was out of sight. Eric looked around but saw nobody and went back to sleep. He awoke and this time the sun was up and showed him where he was sleeping. He and Aurora were on a large platform that served as a floor went all around a huge tree that must have been two hundred feet tall. The platform Eric figured was held up by ropes and branches and the other platform that served as the roof has held by a
few beams of oak placed here and there in the floor. The wall was only a thick golden cloth that went around the room, that is but for the door and a balcony .He looked around and saw Aurora, he noticed that she wasn’t pail or anything like that. Walking over to her he noticed a gold rose in her hands that were placed on her chest. He walked over to her bed and sat down next to Aurora. She was her natural color and looked even better than she had even during the wedding then he wondered how long she had been sick. “Aurora” he said gently. She stirred but didn’t awake. Eric smiled then leaned down to kiss her but as his lips met hers a violent wave of wind hit him and sent him flying to the other side of the room. “Eric” said Aurora. She’d had awoken from the thud Eric had made against the floor. “What did you do?” he asked her as he got up. “I didn’t do anything,” she said. “I see you have one of Samilon’s works” The two looked to see Lady Eldilane standing at the entrance of the tree room. “Samilon” said Eric “Who is he?” “He is a young man from the south eastern desert lands,” she said “And he has put a clam on your wife Eric”
Eric looked at the golden rose “Where can I find him?” “In the smiths quarter” said Eldilane. “And how does Eric release me from the clam?” asked Aurora, keeping an eye on her husband. “He must ask Samilon to give you up since you are already married” “And if he doesn’t?” “Eric will have to challenge him to a fight to the death” Eric smiled as Eldilane left but wife didn’t like the look of it “Eric” she said. “Yes” he said. “Don’t do anything rash,” she begged him. “ I don’t think asking him to give you up is rash” said Eric as he made for the door way “But he doesn’t I’ll skin him alive” Aurora dressed quickly into some clothes she found under her bed and fallowed her husband down a spiraling staircase from the middle of the tree to the ground. From there Eric easily found the smith’s shop and with Aurora following close behind he found the only non-elf smith. Eric tapped the boy on his shoulder but when Samilon turned around he only looked at Aurora “You honor me with you visit” he said. “Samilon” said Aurora. She set closer to Eric “My husband would like to talk to you” Samilon looked at Eric “What do you want for her?”
“She’s mine,” said Eric “She’s not for sell or and she’s worth more anything you can give me” ”You will give her up” he replied. “No” said Eric beginning to loose his patience “I will be with her for the rest of my life” ”How ever long that is” said Samilon under his breath. Eric had it and took a hold of the boy’s shirt; he flung him onto an anvil that sent both to the ground. Samilon got up looked ready for a fight. “I am a magician,” warned Samilon. “I am the Master Rider,” said Eric as he reached inside of him for his power. But that wasn’t necessary and at once Samilon apologized. “ Forgive me,” he said backing away“ I retract my claim on your wife” “ Just undo the spell on my wife,” said Eric. “The spell is on the rose she carries,” said Samilon. Aurora tried to drop the rose but her hands were magically stuck to it. “She must either kiss me or put her hands into a pit of red hot coals,” said Samilon. Eric turned around to see just as Aurora put her hands into a smith’s red hot coals that were in a stone bowl which stood level with her stomach “Aurora” he said but it was to late her arms where in the coals.
He ran over to her and found her looking at her freed hands. He felt them but they were fine and note burned “You ok?” he asked her. “Yeah” she replied. Eric took her hands and kissed them “Good” he said afterward. The two walked out of the smithy but Samilon ran to his home in a tree. He ran into his room and took a red silk bag from under his bed and took out a black pearl the size of his head. “I want her, he thought as he closed his eyes. Then a voice spoke back “You shall have her just make for me a black jewel and twelve arm bracelets” “My I ask what they are for?” asked Samilon. “The jewel is for my escape if Eric proves to be the end of my rule” said the voice “But the bracelets are of no concern for you” Eric walked dawn a trail with Aurora beside him “You know I feel good that Samilon did what did” she said. “Why?” Eric asked pausing and looking at her. “It made you jealous” Aurora said passing him “ And once in a while that tells me you still love me” “I thought saving your life counted as love,” said Eric. “It does” said Aurora then went behind a tree. “What do you think Fredrick and the rest of the group are doing?” asked Eric.
“Oh they’re probably getting ready for war,” said Aurora “Remember if my father defeats the ork in the Carun hills Galidon will strike IsinIsmailen with a large and powerful army” “I know” said Eric “We have to get there and quickly” “What about your mother?” asked Aurora “You practically left her trailing behind you when you rode here” “I could leave you here” said Eric thoughtfully. “No” said Aurora “I’m not going to explain to your mother why you left her in the dust” “It was just a thought” said Eric “Where do you think she is?” Aurora thought for a moment then said, “She’ll be here by tomorrow” “And how do you know that?” asked Eric as he and Aurora got back on to the trail. “I am a Silver Rider,” she said. Eric smiled “I know” He looked around then started to walk deeper into the elfish wood. “What are you doing?’ asked Aurora. “I want to explore a bit,” said Eric then he turned looked at her “Want to come?” “No” she said, “You go ahead” “You sure?” he asked. “Yes” she replied “I want to meet some of my friends that I made her while I was in learning to be a Silver Rider”
“Ok” said Eric “I’ll be home soon” “Good” said Aurora with a smile. Eric ran of the trail but he knew Aurora was watching him even after the trees and bushes blocked him from view. He went a fast pace for some time then stopped after seeing some ancient ruins, he walked over to them then saw Lady Eldilane. She was over by a statue of a man who looked like a king but he had to many vines and leaves on him for Eric to tell completely. “His name was Calus Tysus” said Lady Eldilane “A Master Rider in 6820 just thousand years after his father Maxerus Tysus conquered the lands Pelmon, Talnorn, Nordanthia and some of Gashidale but it was Calus who made Droshen under Namurian control” “They were a warriors,” said Eric. “And you think you aren’t?” asked Lady Eldilane. “Not really” said Eric “I mean I can fight but I can’t lead men to battle” “You haven’t tried,” said the Lady “These ruins used to belong to a great Numarian city Calsus but after many raids from the Khan Empire nobody wanted to govern it but there was a young man who took up the challenge. In 5942 Durius Elusin governed the city and defeated four large raiding parties after being defeated three times. When asked why he held on to the city and stayed he answered ‘there would be no honor in fleeing but when asked how he defeated the raiding party he
said I tried different defenses but found them all useless so I went on the offensive and won four times’. Eric was quiet but Lady Eldilane said, “You may fail in your first attempts to control men but soon you will find your way”
Chapter Twenty-six To The Field Fredrick hit Andun’s sword with equal strength as he had hit with. The two sparred for a second then Andun hit him on his left knee with the flat side of his sword. Fredrick fell to his knees but blocked the next blow and then knocked Andun to his feet. The spectators, which were a few farm hands, Airwen, Grainne, and a solder or two, clapped. Fredrick smiled and helped Andun up to his feet. “Your stronger than I thought,” said Andun breathing hard “I think age has finally gotten to me” “No way” said Fredrick “Your still middle aged” Andun smiled but saw Airwen’s worried face “Your right, I’m just tired” Greylend flew over as Andun walked over to Airwen “Well?” he asked her. “What?” She asked. “I’m getting old,” he whispered to her. “You can’t be getting old” she said, “Your father’s blood run’s in you as well as your brother and your mother was an elf” “I’m surprised I’ve lasted this long” said Andun “ Only the Numarians can reach two hundred”
A horn blew and a battalion of horsemen rode passed them. The weapon smiths could be heard nearby and even boys who had just turned men were running to the recruitment office to become warriors like the ones they had heard when they were little. Mother’s wept and father’s sat in the dark even the children had stopped playing in the streets. Parties of men went out every day to capture horses from wild herds then bring them back to be tamed and reared as a war horse. Traders came lees often but those who did come came with bad news. “The orks are just a week away,” one said. “Their huge, black and green brutes” said another “And they don’t look to peaceful” “I’ve seen them burn then kill every one in villages,” said a few others. Those who did survive the mass slaughtering went straight for the capital or another well built cities. ~*~ The next day the king got word a barrack city called Redun had fallen. The orks had killed and burnt everything; the only survivor was a girl who had run four days non-stop after seeing her mother and father butchered. The king sat in silence till his sword hand gripped the hilt of his sword. War was finally the last option. Horses were saddled and
weapons readied. Solders where pulled out of every house and even the king readied. He did every thing alone and always at night. Everybody worried for him but non-had the courage to talk to him. Night grew colder and days shorter. Fredrick and Andun were less seen the next day or two and even Albus rode off one night. Then the morning came when all the women put on their best clothes and waited for then solders to leave the city for war. Fredrick’s wife though wouldn’t leave her room to see her husband off so he carried her out to the stables where they argued then kissed for some time but Fredrick emerged out of the building alone. Andun was silent and even when he saw Airwen he only nodded to her then a horn was blown. The solders rode out with thoughts of war glory and of death in their minds. Then two large shadows passed over them. They looked up and saw two dragons pass over them heading to Linia Donian and the thought of the Master Rider filled them.
Chapter Twenty-Seven The Path South
Eric’s mother arrived within a day or two but Lady Eldilane had orders for them all. “ Greylend is coming with Europa and they should be here by night fall, tomorrow Eric leave to go south for the Nordanthian Mountains and find the Amera” “ The Amera” said Aurora. “They will be the first ones to come to his aid” said Eldilane “Then go to Isin-Ismailen and wait for more aid to come” “What about me?” Asked Aurora. “You and Freyna must go to Isin-Ismailen and ready the city for war,” said Lady Eldilane then she left them. “The Amera” said Eric “ Aurora have you heard of them?” ”No” she lied. He looked at her for a moment then asked, “ I wonder why the Amera would help us” “They were saved by the Namurians long ago” said Eric’s mother from being slaughtered by the people of the Great Southern desert and it is time they repaid their debt” “But will they honor repaying their debt?” asked Eric. “I don’t know,” said his mother “They may not” “They may kill you Eric,” said Aurora. “They may,” said Eric as he sat on a nearby rock. “It would be wise to have some help,” said Freyna.
“You volunteering mom?” asked Eric with a smile. “No but I’m sure Aurora is willing to help” said his mother “She is your wife and you two should do this together” Aurora smiled “Really” she asked. “I don’t see why not,” said Freyna “But I’ll be waiting for you both in Isin-Ismailen” “Well be there” said Eric. “With help” said Aurora. Freyna smiled at the two then left the two. Eric got up from the rock then walked over to Aurora “Well it seems she approves of you” said Eric. “I think she approved of me at our wedding” said Aurora as she took Eric’s hand “Eric do you think the Amera will come and help?” “I don’t know,” said Eric then he asked, “Are you shure you don’t know anything about the Amera?” “Only that they are a very wild but proud people” said Aurora “Nobody ever entered the mountains because they might be killed” “Charming,” said Eric “Do you think we can find them?” “I hope so,” said Aurora. They walked a bit in the quietness but Eric noticed Aurora looked a bit worried, he didn’t really know what to do so he asked, “What are you thinking about?” Aurora looked at him “Nothing” she said.
“You look worried,” said Eric in a concerning way. “I’m fine” Aurora said, “I’m just tired for some reason” “Then lets go back to our tree house” said Eric “Want to race” “Alright” said Aurora “But I am faster” “Are you?” asked Eric then without a warning he started for the their tree house. Aurora though wasn’t slow in catching up and two laughed as the tree house came into sight. The two sped up a flight of stairs and passed a group of elves that were surprised to see them acting like children but Aurora and Eric didn’t care. They both reached the stairs to the tree house but only one could go up so Eric pick up his wife as she ran in front of him then made his way passed the other houses to the top where theirs were then put Aurora in her bed. Eric collapsed on the bed at Aurora’s feet he smiled then sleep over took them. ~*~ They awoke as a chill entered the tree house; Eric sat up then noticed it was night. The moon was out but he lit a few candles that were on nearby candelabras then he turned around to see Lady Eldilane and the man she was betrothed to. “I wish to speak to Aurora” she said then added “Alone” Aurora awoken a moment later and saw Lady Eldilane standing quietly and still. In her hands was a maple box, which she gave to Aurora a moment later. She opened it to see a yew bow with silver inlaid into it
she fingered it the looked at the arrows that were also yew. Both items were beautifully made and seemed to be created for some one of great importance. “It was mine when I was a Silver Rider ” said Lady Eldilane “But Like Eric’s mother I had to rule my people” “It’s beautiful,” said Aurora then she looked around “Where is Eric?” ”He is out side with Eldilon” said the Lady “My betrothed” “Lady Eldlane “ said Aurora. “Yes” she said as she sat on the bed. Aurora sat on her bed and sighed then asked, “What will happen to Eric if I die?” ”You would not have asked this question unless there was something that you knew was going to happen” said Lady Eldilane then answered Aurora’s question “He would move and forever morn the loss of you” ”But would he remarry?” asked Aurora. “You have read the rules of the Riders Aurora” Eldilane said “Eric has the right to take another wife if he wishes” Meanwhile Eric spoke with Eldilon. “Orks move nearer to the Carnun hills,” said Eldilon “You must now act quickly so to reach Isin-Ismailen before it is breached” “I know” Eric said. “You have acted like a child for most of the journey but if I’m correct you are now eighteen” said Eldilon “You turned eighteen yesterday”
“Yes,” said Eric. “Now you are a man,” said Eldilon “You act like one and be one for that is what will strengthen men’s hearts in battle and weaken Galidon’s” “But Aurora” said Eric. “What of her?” asked Elidon. “I may be a man but I still don’t know how to act like a husband,” said Eric. He felt bad and stupid but as he looked down at the ground shamefully. Eldilon put a hand on his shoulder. “No man does right after he has marred,” said the elf “especially you Eric since you haven’t had the chance to know her for a year or more but be brave. I’m sure the two of you will get to know each deeply” Eric nodded and felt a bit better. “Now for something I think you will need” said Eldilon. The elf took a ring off his finger and handed it to Eric “ This is a ring I found on the beaches when my people landed on the shores of this land, it has strong magic and it will help in all your needs” Eric looked at the ring that Eldilon had given him and noticed it looked like glass then he saw it turn into a ring made of a golden dragon “The ring of the Master Rider” said Eric. “Are you ready Eric?” He turned around to see Aurora ready to head south “Yes” he said. The two went to bed but each knew they had grown and were not children anymore but now adults with great responsibility.
~*~ The next morning they armed themselves and said goodbye to Freyna, Elidon then lastly to Lady Eldilane. Their dragon’s Greylend and Europa waited for them in a clearing but it didn’t take long for them to get into the air with their Rider’s on them. As they flew south Eric noticed Aurora kept looking toward the west to Talnorn where her father was going to do battle with a large ork army. “They’ll survive,” said Eric. Aurora looked at him and smiled, she nodded “Yes your right they will” she said. “The only problem is will Isin-Ismailen survive” Eric said. “With you in with in its walls it will” said Aurora. “Not if I can’t defeat Galidon,” said Eric. “Galidon” said Aurora as her dragon Europa passed Eric’s “ You know I’m really going to give him a piece of my mind when we fight him” “We” said Eric “No I am to fight him you are to stay were it is safe” “What” said Aurora “ I’m a Silver Rider I will fight not wait for you to come home like other women” “I don’t want you to get hurt,” said Eric. “You gave me the right to do what I please when you married me Eric and I plan to go with you to war,” said Aurora. “I still glad I did that” said Eric.
“You are?” asked Aurora. “Yes,” said Eric “Did you know most Master Riders had more than one wife and that most wives didn’t have half the rights of a man?” “Yes,” said Aurora “And it’s sad really” “And that’s why when your father gave you to me I wanted you to have all the rights of a man” said Eric “I want a new age” ”Well” said Aurora “Women always had the same rights as men it’s just they were never recognized” “That’s true,” said Eric thoughtfully. “But I’m sure all that will change” said Aurora. Eric looked at Aurora and asked “You getting at something?” “No” said Aurora. “Like when I’m the king of Droshen you want me to give women the same rights as men?” asked Eric. “If you want it that way,” said Aurora. “And if I don’t?” asked Eric curiously. Aurora didn’t answer but gave him a look and then her dragon passed Eric’s. Around mid-day they landed to have a brunch somewhere on the border of Talnorn and the Nordanthia southwestern mountains. Eric who was playfully order by Aurora to find a big and healthy deer was crawling on his hands and knees near a pond were a small heard of mountain goats were getting a drink.
He picked out a good sized male then armed his bow but suddenly the goats stopped drinking then made a run for the mountains before Eric could see why there was an ork roar. Three goats were killed by black ork arrows and were soon picked up by the orks themselves four in number. They passed Eric in the dead gold colored tall grass then headed somewhere near Eric’s own camp but he couldn’t really tell. He got up once the orks had left and made a run for his own camp. Though before he got there something grabbed his left leg and pulled him down into the tall grass. A hand was put over his mouth and a man’s voice said, “ Your camp has been ambushed by orks and a young man” Eric tried to unsheathe his sword but someone had already taken his sword and his bow “You can’t save them” said the man. Eric felt like fighting but he didn’t then the man signaled him to fallow. He was released then nodded and started to fallow the man but he could hear the roars of Greylend and Europa. The men led Eric through the tall grass and into a valley in between to small mountains then they got up. They walked for another hour or two then signs of a camp started to be seen. First there was a guard in a bush then a group of men surrounding a fire that had a pot over it then Eric and the two men stopped at a natural boulder in front of the front of one side of the mountain.
The man who had spoken to Eric picked up a rock a through it up to a ledge and shouted “ Gefren, Salis open the door” Two men looked over a ledge down at the three and then came down and what Eric saw next shocked him. The men came down but they came with a troll that pushed the boulder aside enough for the three to ease in. Then the boulder was closed behind them but that didn’t leave them in the dark for the cave inside was lit up with candles and some small chinks in the rock. Eric was led to a cave that had a dead end but had a spring in it and the two men drank then washed their faces. “What are you doing on the border of Talnorn and Nordanthia?” asked the man who had spoken to him. Eric didn’t answer but the man turned around to face him “You are a smart young man” he said, “ Don’t try to do anything that would take your life” “The woman in the camp that was taken” started Eric “Well she was Aurora the daughter of the king of Talnorn” “What is she doing here?” asked the man. Eric ignored the question and asked his own “Who are you and these men; who do you serve? “You might as well know,” said the man “I am Uthern captain of the third ranger guard” “I am Aric Aurora’s personal body guard,” said Eric.
Uthern smiled and then took a gold ring out of a pocket “Or you are the Master Rider I’ve heard of” he said. Eric looked at the man who tossed him the ring a second latter “You’re a very good pick pocket” he said “But you have heard correctly I am the Master Rider and woman you saw in the camp was my wife Aurora the Silver Rider” “So the Namurian people have come again,” said Uthern “ To conquer and reclaim their lands” “I have come to destroy Galidon and his servants,” said Eric “ And to take Droshen as mine” Uthern looked at Eric with a gleam of something in his eye “But why come here to the border?” he asked. “To ask the Amera for aid” said Eric “ I will need many allies if Galidon is to be defeated” “True” said Uthern “But the Amera are a people who have no contract with anybody and even if you had such a thing you cannot find them for they are an empire within the mountains themselves” “That may be true but I am a Master Rider,” said Eric “I’m not without advantages” “True,” said Uthern “But your dragons and wife are captured by a servant of Galidon is that not so?” “Yes,” said Eric “And I’ll get them”
“How?” asked Uthern “ Will you hunt them down as they make for Dasha, will you attack tonight and find out that their camp is but a trap and that the orks and their master will tie you down or will you fight with your magic” “I don’t know,” said Eric “But I will hunt them down” Eric turned to leave but the other man who stood at Uthern’s side and had been quiet now moved to the door. “This is my mission,” said Eric. Uthern smiled then said “ That my be but you are in my hands now and I find it very hard that you can fight orks and their captain” “It may seem that I am in your hands but I do have many magical arts mastered,” said Eric “But the more time I am here arguing the father away the orks are” Uthern looked at Eric then nodded “ Fine go” he said. Eric made it through the cave and then surprisingly left the outpost through a south passage then started northeast. He ran for a time then found out that he couldn’t go northeast because of step rocks but he then found a path south.
Medetha of the Amera Wolf Tribe Eric ran without really thinking but he kept going south. He was getting tired of Galidon, his servants and the war that was going to come. This was one big head ache for him but he had to finish his mission and to get his wife back. Eric paused for a quick rest then noticed he was in a maze of hills made of sandstone. He started again as the sun started to go down but then the full moon went up. Making a right he ran into an opening and right to a camp. Eric drew his sword as he saw an ork but before he could do anything someone grabbed him from behind. Then Samilon came into sight with a smile on his face. “I can’t believe my luck” he said “ First I find your wife and your dragons then you” Eric tried to fight but an ork sent a fist into his stomach and he lost his footing. He was dropped and tasted the dirt of the ground then his feet and hands were tied. “Where’s Aurora?” asked Eric. “Aurora” said Samilon then walked off into the dark. He soon came back thought and with Aurora who looked like she was under a spell “She’s safe with me” said Samilon. “Aurora” shouted Eric.
She looked at Eric as though she didn’t recognize him “ Nowndine will be pleased,” said Aurora. “Yes he will be” said Samilon then put an arm around Aurora much to the annoyance of Eric “And you my pretty will be my wife” Aurora turned to Samilon then they kissed. Eric got to his knees before an ork sent a foot into his back and pushing him down. “Did that make you made?” asked Aurora. “Aurora” Eric said “Don’t obey Samilon” “And why not?” she asked as she drew closer “He love me like no other” “I love you,” said Eric. Aurora looked as though somehow she knew what he said was true but she said “ Not for long though” “Come,” said Samilon to Aurora “It’s getting late” The fire soon went out and the orks slept like pigs that snored. Eric thought over what had happened and couldn’t believe that Samilon had enough magical power to put Aurora under his control. Then there were some birdcalls and Eric looked around but again he was taken be surprise when Uthern cut his bounds. This fallowed by the quiet gasps of ork’s who had their necks cut. Eric grabbed his sword and quietly made it to Samilon’s tent then when Uthern signaled they forced their way in.
Five solders and Eric entered the tent and found Aurora on a padded mat but there was no sign of Samilon. Aurora tried to sit up but two solders held her. As they did Eric saw Aurora was wearing a necklace that had a black circle hanging from it. He knelt down and took it off. Everything was quiet for a second or two then the necklace turned into dust and Aurora fainted. The charm’s spell was broken. The next morning Uthren and his men had left without leaving a trace. Eric let Aurora sleep as he climbed onto a nearby rock to see Greylend and Europa chained to a not so near boulder. He returned to the camp to find Aurora packing and she looked like she did want to be talked to. “Aurora” he said as she went into the tent. She didn’t answer but emerged a minute later with some folded up blankets in her hands. Eric took her arm and Aurora looked at him. “I should have been stronger,” she said. “He took you be surprise” said Eric “ It wasn’t your fault” “But I remember everything I did” said Aurora “The kiss” “Aurora” said Eric “You were under a spell and you couldn’t control yourself” He sat on a rock the size of a foot stool then Aurora sat next to him “How was it” he asked. “The kiss” said Aurora “Dry”
Eric smiled. “But Samilon did tell me that Nowndine is gathering a large force to help Galidon put down any resistance” said Aurora. “An invasion in the Carun hills an army in Nowndine’s tower and in Dasha” said Eric “I have to get the Amera to help” “They will help,” said Aurora “They have to” They finished packing then walked to where Greylend and Europa were chained. The two dragon had been watched by two orks but Eric and Aurora could tell that the orks were now charred and dead. The two riders unchained their dragons and then saddled them with the dragon saddles they had gotten in Linia Donian then got on. The dragons happily took to the skies after days on the ground but the question of where to go came up. “The Amera have to be found,” said Eric “But Isin-Ismailen have to be warned that Nowndine is sending an army their way” “But He hasn’t sent the army yet” said Aurora “And if he does we can easily tell from the backs of our dragons” “One problem” said Eric “If we fly the Amera will be able to see us and hid” “So we stick to the ground?” asked Aurora. “I can,” said Eric “And you can spot from the air” “No” she said. Eric looked at her “Aurora we seem to be in an argument”
“I guess so,” Aurora agreed with a smile. “The dragons don’t like to stay on the ground for long periods of time and we need to find the Amera without scaring them” said Eric. “If you two humans could stop talking for a moment and look down I think I found something” said Greylend. All four looked down to see a small black figure runnig about on the ground at some pace. Eric kicked the sides of his dragon and they both went down then Aurora and her Europa soon fallowed. The large scaly beast landed with a bit of a run to slow down but they all saw that the black figure was an ork, which carried something in a leather bag. Aurora armed her bow them fired. The arrow flew through the air like its elven makers crafted it to do and hit the ork right in the back and exited out the front. The ork fell and hit the ground sending the goodsized bag to the ground. Aurora and Eric got off their dragons and walked over to the back that began to move by the time they were upon it. Eric opened the top and smiled at what he saw: a twelve or thirteen year old girl. She was a bit pale and seemed to be scarred at seeing the two take her out of the bag. The girl was in a fur dress and had iron bracelets on her arms, iron rings on her fingers and a copper ring around her throat. She also had a tattoo on each of her arms of a black wolf. “She’s Amrian,” said Aurora “I’ve seen her tattoo before” “You have?” asked Eric.
“She part of the many tribes of Amera who are the Amera Empire” said Aurora “Her tribe is the most powerful tribe” Eric looked at his wife then the girl who by the look on her face knew who they had figured out who she was. “Why was that ork carrying you?” asked Eric. The girl was quiet. Aurora looked at the packs that the dragons were holding then asked “ Eric do you think we have some spare food” “Yeah” said Eric then smiled. Aurora took charge of the girl as Eric walked over to the dragons and unpacked some dried fruits from Linia Donian and some dried meat from Talnorn. He returned to Aurora and the girl and handed the food to her with a leather water bag. The girl looked at the food then without much of a second thought she started to stuff her mouth. After a long drink from the water bag the girl said, “ The ork ambushed me and my family as they went hunting and stole away with me in a bag” “Where are your people?” Eric asked. The girl looked at him was she didn’t answer. “At least tell us your name,” said Eric. “Medetha” said the girl. “Well Medetha I need to find your people” said Eric “ So they can fulfill a promises they made to my people long ago”
Medetha looked at Eric then Aurora “Who are you?” she asked. “Riders” said Aurora. “The Namurians” said Medetha. “The one and the same” said Eric. Medetha turned and started to run but before she could get far Aurora caught her and muttered in her ear before Eric made it over to them. The girl seemed to have calmed down somewhat but she still eyed Eric with fear. “What are we going to do know?” asked Eric to Aurora “We have to find the Amera but Medetha has to get home without getting caught” “Medetha could leads us on foot” said Aurora. “I could do that,” said the girl “The dragons can fly” Eric thought for a moment but saw no other way “Fine” he said. Medetha turn and started to run straight south on a path that led deeper into the mountains. Eric and Aurora fallowed her after taking off their armor but still Medetha was in the lead. Aurora ran in silence as she thought over a family secret. She also thought over the ancient laws of the Numarians and Riders, which were still in forced by those like Eric who were of the bloodline. She feared of telling Eric of her secret but would he find out if he didn’t. “Aurora” said her husband “ Something is bothering you” “No” she replied. “Aurora” Eric said.
“Nothing is bothering me,” said Aurora. She said it in a tone that made Eric quiet for the rest of the run. Night came and the three made camp in a cave but Eric still worried about Aurora. He handed out a bowl of stew to Aurora and Medetha then got a bowl for himself before Medetha started to talk to his wife in whispers. He acted as though he didn’t hear them while he looked over a map of the world but he couldn’t help over hearing what they said. “How can you be a Silver Rider and have Amera blood in you?” asked Medetha. “Since my great grand father married one of your kind” said Aurora “You don’t have to fear me and Eric” “You I don’t fear,” said Medetha “Your husband is another matter” “He knows nothing of what laws his people set up” said Aurora “And he doesn’t need to know” “Why does he need my people?” asked Medetha. “To defeat Galidon,” said Aurora “Your people made a promises to help the Namurians and they need to fulfill that promises” “The council will have to decide on that,” said Medetha. The two didn’t say anything else and soon the fire went out. All three went to sleep but Eric soon woke up and thought over what Aurora and Medetha had said. He didn’t care if she had Amera blood in
her and what with the laws that his people had set up. Surly the laws didn’t stop him from marrying her if she had Amera blood in her. Eric looked at Aurora then a thought hit him. The Numarians can’t marry the Ameraians and since Aurora has Amera blood in her she is worrying that he wouldn’t love her. Though something didn’t make since, why couldn’t Numarains and the Amera intermarry? Eric calmed himself then went to sleep but his thought still floated in his mind.
Chapter Twenty-Nine The Amera Eric awoke first in the morning and then looked around the camp. Greylend watched Eric as he walked about like pacing dog but it wasn’t soon before everybody else was up. Medetha eyed Eric as he saddled Greylend then she went and talked to Aurora but this time Eric waited for their talk to be over before he walked over to his wife. “Aurora” he said. “Yes” she said as she started to saddle Europa. “I over heard you and Medetha talk,” said Eric. Aurora slowed her work but she still continued “So?” she asked. “I don’t care if you have Amera blood in you” said Eric in a rush. Aurora turned to her husband, she was all red but still she managed to contain herself “You don’t care?” she asked. “I really don’t care,” said Eric “ But tell me what is up with the Numarian law”
“After the Numarians saved the Amera they themselves made the Amera slaves” said Aurora “ And then the laws made sure the Amera couldn’t get out of slavery by any means” “Aurora” said Eric “ I don’t care if you have Amera blood you are my wife” “Eric” said Aurora. A smile went across her face “ I’m glad you said that, you’ve eased my mind” “But I think I’ll have to terminate those laws” said Eric, then he smiled “It seems that I’ll be busy after the war if I take Droshen for my kingdom” “Eric you are better than your forefathers,” said Aurora happily then she kissed him. “Come” said Medetha “The Amera capitol is near” Eric got on Greylend to the surprise of Medetha and Amera “Then let is go” he said, “ It is time the Amera’s leaders met a Rider” Greylend took off and Eric smiled as his dragon soared over a maze of rocks then they went up till they flew over a city that was carved into the mountains that surrounded their camp. People who Eric thought to be Amerains in the city ran and fled into buildings as he flew over them. Greylend landed on a flat place that was connected to the city by several stone bridges then Eric got off. He saw dozens of armed Amerains running across the bridge to where he was, they had spears in their hands and swords at their side but their armor was a
brownish leather with a fur trim. The solders gazed at Greylend with awe, as the dragon looked at them all then growled as a few solders came to close. “Greylend” said Eric “We’ve come in peace know don’t do anything to dragonish” The solders stayed on the bridge but soon a man of some leadership came but so did more armed men with armor. Eric noticed that the man had little fear of dragons or Riders for he came within Greylends torching rang but the man also carried a smile on his face. “A Rider” said the man “ I thought you all died when Galidon fell” “But Galidon is still in power” said Eric. “Yes,” said the man a bit sadly “He’s sent envoys here” “He has” said Eric in shock. “Galidon doesn’t sit about young Rider he makes allies, orks and war,” said the man “But you haven’t come to be lectured” “Who are you?” asked Eric. “I am Gan the Great seer and the ancient of all the world” said the man with a smile “ I normally don’t mess with the little affairs but Galidon has made it my affair” “How?” Eric asked. “Don’t ask questions that are non of your business” said Gan “ Not even the Lords of Numar and the Riders of Brevin knew my affairs in the past and they wont know it know”
“Brevin” said Eric “That’s elven for-the world- you mean the Rider guarded the world” “Their ruins of outpost lay everywhere” said Gan “But come the Lords of Amera await you Rider” “Eric” said Greylend “I wont be able to protect you in the city” Eric looked at the solders then Gan “ If only Albus were here but he isn’t so I have to go but get the others” “Aurora and Medetha will soon be in the palace to which I am to take you,” said Gan “A guide is showing them through the maze you flew over Greylend if you fly to the sauterne part of the city you will find caves that were meant for dragons, there you be told where to go to find the palace” Greylend looked at Eric and he nodded. The golden dragon took off leaving Eric alone with the solders and Gan. Eric fallowed Gan across the bridge and into the city, which looked very like the cities that he had been in. Those who they passed looked at the two and a few followed them but when he looked at them they shied away. “These people have gone through a lot when the Riders took them as slaves” said Gan “Then the Numar Empire fell apart and the Amera took their stand” “I’m glad to here of it,” said Eric. “They are a very strong people,” continued Gan “ They nearly out do the solders of the Numarian Empire”
“Is that good?” asked Eric. “You are a Rider,” said Gan with a look at Eric “A judge of nations and kingdoms make your own mind” “If they are going to help I help” said Eric “I hope they are as good as you say” The two left the commoners area and entered the palace district where within a few minutes they stood in front of a large white building. Guards surrounded the building and each had armor made of steel. Each suite of was highly decorated with a black metal Eric knew was niello and a large gold eagle. A solder walked over to the two and then showed them into the palace where they were soon led into a large stone room with fur flooring. Though what Eric noticed most were twelve old men and two women who sat in oak chairs adorned with silver and gems. “The Rider” said one of the men “We have foreseen his coming and know he has come” “Yes,” said one of the women “To ask us to help the world in defeating the great and dark Galidon who know threatens all life in the world” Eric stood bewildered till Gan said, “ These are the Lords and Ladies of the fourteen tribes that lead their people the Amera, and they are seers and great magicians”
“But even the future before us is clouded in a darkness” said another man “Galidon has gathered dark arts to challenge even yours Gan the Great” “Then we must make a war upon him,” said Gan loudly “We must wipe him out so that even his servants flee this world” “That is easier said than done,” said the second woman who seemed to be older than all “Galidon’s servants are many and then the Dark Riders have awoken from their deep sleep” “But we must stop them” Everybody looked to see Aurora in her armor. She walked in at a pace that made everyone think she had breeding and a queenly figure. She stopped next to Eric and gave him a glance with a quick smile. “The Silver Rider” said the old woman who had spoken “She has our people’s blood in her” “My father’s father married an Amera woman but after she had a son she died,” said Aurora. “But you are here” said the woman and smiled “ And she would be proud at what your husband will do once Galidon has fallen” “Forgive me,” said Eric suddenly “But I don’t like it when people read my mind” The woman looked at Eric with a hard look like if she was concentrating on something then she said, “You have carried a pain all the way from home Eric Drake”
Eric closed his eyes and the woman smiled “Do not worry Rider we will join you in your war” she said. “It is not my war,” said Eric “It is the war against evil a war shared with everybody who apposes it” Eric and Aurora were shown to a private part of the palace that was to theirs till they left for Isin-Ismailen. Furs covered the floor and in each room there was a fire since every night and day was cold. Though the most beautiful room was the bedroom with a large four-posted bed that had four white sheets hanging from four rods that went from post to post at the top. The floor was fur and the walls had a rough fabric on them but Eric noticed that the room had no window at all just a lot of candles. “This is very fine,” said Aurora “Don’t you think so Eric?” “Yes” he replied but his tone was weak. “What is it?” asked Aurora. Eric looked at Aurora “Nothing, I just can’t wait to rest” Aurora smiled. Eric sighed then walked over to the bed and sat down after pulling one of the white sheets aside then he laid down on the fur sheets. They were soft under his fingers and a bit cold but then they felt something. He sat up and found an arm bracelet that would go from the wrist to right below the elbow. Eric picked it up and at once Aurora spoke up.
“A Rider bracelet” said Aurora. “You mean this saves my magic power,” said Eric. “You’ve been reading,” said Aurora “Though this is doesn’t save your power it increases it like when you let the sun shine through a piece of glass” “The sun’s light turns into a beam of light and burns objects,” said Eric thoughtfully “But who put it here?” “I guess it was from the council,” said Aurora as she took it from Eric “It’s beautiful” The bracelet was of some gold metal and had a golden colored oval diamond in the middle of it. Aurora handed it back to her husband who put it on and smiled then they unpacked. They gave Greylend and Europa a visit and went around the Amera city, which was built right below the top of the mountains. The city was built in four parts on the nearest four mountains and a stone bridge connected each part. The most impressive bridge of all was one that was linked to each part of the city, so it looked like a plus sign from the air. They retired early to their palace room but many people were already talking about them. The next day Eric awoke late in the morning but he decided not to sleep in further. He gently got out of bed so not to wake Aurora who he thought might sleep in all day on the goose feather bed. Eric got dressed and grabbed his sword then quietly left the room and the palace, he walked the filled street but tried to take the back alleyways
to bypass the crowds. He wanted to find an empty place where he could practice his sword fighting without interruption by other people. He made it across a stone bridge to the southern part of the city then a solder ran up to him and pointed into the sky. “Rider” said the solder “The Black Rider envoy has come” A large black dragon that was three or four times the size of Greylend or Europa on the main bridge that linked the four parts of the city together. The dragon roared and then attacked the bridge but before too much damage was done the Black Rider pulled at the reins to stop his dragon. “What is you answer to my master?” asked the Rider in a shout. Eric saw Gan and the fourteen council leaders on the north side of the city. They were surrounded by dozens of Amera solders that looked scarred. Still they held their ground as Gan spoke up. “No” shout the old man “The council’s answer is no” At once Eric saw Gan put is right arm to his sword that was on his left side but the black Rider was to smart to face him on. Instead the Rider pulled on his dragon’s reins and the beast to the air. “Then face the anger of my master,” shouted the Black Rider. The air was suddenly filled with horns being blown and goblins surged out of holes in the mountains that were just over the four parts of the city. The Black Rider though spotted Eric quickly and his dragon flew right towards him. Eric ran but he knew he couldn’t out run a
flying dragon but right at that moment there was another roar. Greylend who was a basilisk had changed shape to match the size of the black dragon and this made the Black Rider make his dragon fall back. Eric’s dragon landed as the Black Rider made a wide turn on his then when he faced Eric they were both in the air. The black dragon flew right to Greylend but Eric was in the retreat. Greylend out flew the black dragon then he saw a mass of fly creatures coming to him and on each was a goblin. Arrows whizzed by before Greylend released a mouthful of fire that sent the creatures and there riders in retreat. Eric looked back at the Black Rider to find him fighting Aurora who was on her Europa and taunting him by firing arrows at his dragon’s wings, which were not scaly but leathery with blood veins here and there. “Attack Greylend” said Eric as he drew his sword. The dragon obeyed and flew right over the Black Rider before he could do anything. Greylend sent his claws into the back of the black dragon and then dragged his foe. Then the other dragon tried to bite his neck but he released his grip and the black dragon free fell and hit the bridge which breeched underneath the weight. All the mess landed in the valley far below and much to the surprise of the enemy army who quickly fled without the leadership of the Black Rider. Eric and Aurora checked for the Black Rider but they couldn’t find him then they knew he had used his black magic to get away. The
Amerians had easily held of the goblins since they just had to pick them off the side of the mountain. The Amerians living where they did gave them the upper hand since one couldn’t hang onto the side of the mountains and fire off arrows. Also the goblins had to climb down the side of the mountain and even in their large numbers barley any got to the ground to fight. The Amera people though were now ready for a war against Galidon.
Chapter Thirty The Carun Hills and Mountains King Vidar on his horse with an with his army of sixteen thousand had moved north of North Folk and were now in the rocky hills of Carun waiting for the orks. His son Carvus was hiding deeper in the rocky hills
surrounding a valley where a large detachment of orks was heading to. He would shoot them down with his men and then retreat back to a wall like rock that went though the Carun hills and mountains. Though right now it was Fredrick and Grainne who were really doing anything. They were practicing there sword fighting even though they both knew nobody would win since they were equal in almost all parts of fighting. Fredrick attacked with a powerful hit on Grainne’s sword, which sent her a few paces back, but she deflected the next three hits with ease. Her husband was strong and with the training her people gave him to be a warrior it gave him he had even more surprises. Grainne was on the defense for some time then Fredrick backed her up so at her back was a steep rocky hill. Then quiet suddenly he pinned his wife’s sword between his and the rock, he put a arm around his wife then put his head on hers. The two stopped fighting and rested suddenly noticing they were being watched by a crowed of solders and Andun. “Very good fight” said Andun “Very good” “Thank you” said Grainne with a smile “But wait till the orks come” Fredrick shook his head and smiled “Yes, beware of my wife” he said. “Well” said Andun “ I need a volunteer to see how close our ork friends are” “I’ll go,” said Grainne.
“And me” added Fredrick quickly. “You’ll have to go on foot” said Andun “And get back before night fall” Fredrick and Grainne started north with an elven speed but soon Fredrick spoke up “Grainne I know you want to fight but I worry” “As an elf I can fight” said Grainne. “I know,” said Fredrick “But to loose you would be to much” “You are sweet,” said his wife “But I need to be in this war” “Why?” Fredrick asked. “Because I’m the only elf, because my people are fighting and I’m not” said Grainne “ I don’t like that” “Ok” said Fredrick “But stay close to me” “We’re a team,” said his wife and they continued north. Though hours later they reached the stonewall that had been carved into the rocky Carun hills. There they found a few solders that stood watch but minutes later Carvus and his horsemen came just as orks came into Grainne’s sight. “There must be thousands,” exclaimed Carvus as he gazed at the mass that spread to the far left and right as the eye could go. “Tens of thousands” said Fredrick as he looked at Grainne “Grainne warn the camp… now” She looked at her husband for a time then after a kiss she darted off. Fredrick then armed his elven bow and looked at the mass ready to kill every one of them so he could see his wife again. The next few
minutes passed by to quickly and then the orks were in range of the bows. Arrows went up then went down into the tide of orks but it made little damage but that didn’t stop more arrows from being loosed. Then the orks were at the chest high wall but that didn’t stop them for they easily climbed over it though a few orks were killed. The tide of orks entered into the lines of the men and a battle began. Fredrick drew his sword and stood his ground as orks swarmed passed. “Fall back” Carvus shouted. Fredrick turned and ran but an ork grabbed him. He ran it threw with his sword then something hit his head and he went unconscious. Meanwhile Grainne made it back to the camp and found Albus there but he had help with him. Around the wizard was three to four foot little warriors all bald and resembled babies though only remotely. Though Grainne new better and knew that they must have some surprises. “Orks are at the wall,” she shouted. Everybody went pale. They wont make it,” said Albus “We must aid them” “There are tens of thousands,” said Grainne. “Good” said the fattest little warrior then shouted in a language that resemble a baby’s but with few changes. He then turned to Albus “We will deal with the sons of the black hand you march to Isin-Ismailen” “May blood flow as wine oh Khan,” said Albus.
The little man smiled “And may you free the world of the dark hand” he said. The Khan got on a pony and with his guard rode forward just as Grainne grabbed his arm. She looked at the camp and saw them packing “Khan… will you do me a favor?” she asked. “Anything for an elf so pretty” said the Khan. “If you see a body of a man dressed as an elf bring his body to me” she said without emotion. “I hope I wont have to,” said the Khan as he looked into her eyes “But daughter I will if I see him” Grainne thanked him and they passed but the view she saw next shocked her. Masses of little warriors on ponies passed by all dressed in armor and all heavily armed. “They are the warriors of the past and of the future,” said Vidar as he rode up to her “They will over come the orks” “How?” Grainne asked. “Nobody knows,” said Vidar “They’ll just win-now pack-we must march to Nowndine’s tower” Grainne ran to her tent and quickly packed everything. She put the items in packs and tied them to Fredrick’s horse them got on hers but didn’t fallow the rest of the camp but started north to find her husband. ~*~
Fredrick awoke cold, hungry and alive but sore. He pushed over a dead body and looked about to see nothing but the dead. As he struggle up he saw more bloodshed and fled the area as fast as he could. Night fell quickly and Fredrick thought he heard the clashing of metal. More war. He tried to head west to go away from the sound of the battle then stumbled upon a river. Fredrick fell to his knees and washed his face in the cold water before drinking then he heard a horse and hooves. Fear filled him as he the thought of the horse being wild entered his mind. The horse came closer then it sniffed his hair and nudged him gently. “Caldun?” he asked aloud. The horse neighed. Fredrick got up and felt the horse’s neck then down to find a saddle “ Well I guess I get on” he said and did so. The horse seemed to have a mind of its own and Fredrick couldn’t control it so he let it do all the thinking. Then suddenly he fell off. He awoke and knew at once he’d been asleep for it was midday and Caldun (for it was him) had stopped in front of a camp. The horse at once turned around and fled from view leaving Fredrick alone. He scowled and then turned to the camp where he found a dead fire and no food but he did find a few failure items. Though before he got to spend another second looking at them something hit him in the side. Falling to the ground he saw an arrow in his side then Grainne looking down at him.
“Its good to see you to sweetie” he said, “You should of said you didn’t want me to come” “Oh Fredrick” Grainne said, “ Please forgive me” She went to his side and pulled the arrow out with no pain then healed it with her magic “You looked like a thief” she said half apologetically “Oh Fredrick” “Forgive and forget” he said and sat up “Its so good to see you” Grainne planted a kiss on him and Fredrick put his arms around her. Then he broke it “Wow” he said. Grianne didn’t say anything but just put her head in her husband’s lap. “We have to go to Isin-Ismailen,” said Fredrick as he put a hand in his wife’s hair “Hmmm?” “What?” Grainne asked. “Your hair is longer than you like it” Fredrick said. “I changed my mind on it” she said, “Ok lets go to Isin- maybe Aurora and I can go on a shopping spree” Fredrick smiled “As long as you don’t over do it” The two packed after Fredrick ate and then they headed west for IsinIsmailen.
Chapter Thirty-One Death Eric and Aurora had spent a few days in the Amera city-Ava’kabut now they wanted to get to Isin-Ismailen. Though somehow someone filled their room with Rider things that ranged from armor to jewelry which is what Aurora was now packing into a saddle pack. “Jewels are a woman’s best friend,” said Eric as he entered the room to see his wife wrapping cloth around a necklace. “Very funny” she replied and gently placed the small packet into an already filled pocket in her saddle “Done” “Good” said Eric as he wrapped his arms around her and held her close “ You smell good” “I washed” Aurora said, “Eric let go” Eric did and sat on the bed “Yes” he said. “Are you done packing?” his wife asked. “Yes” he replied. “You’ve got everything ready for us to leave?” she asked. “Yes” Eric replied “Everything” Aurora then sat in Eric’s lap “I can’t wait to get this war over with” she said. Eric smiled “Then you want to redecorate our house” he said.
“Oh yes” said Aurora and closed her eyes “So who do we have helping us?” “The Amera, Talnorn, Iui Gadiilia Inida, Nordanthia” said Eric. “Hmmm” said Aurora. “I know said Eric “Its not enough” “Don’t worry,” she said, “Will win” She got off his lap and took her saddle “Come on lets go see your mother” Eric smiled then got up to take his saddle “Lets go” The next week passed like nothing Eric had ever seen with Europa and Greylend flying at max speed. Now with a storm moving in they all rested in a large cave. Aurora slept just after dinner but Eric didn’t sleep at all but watched her. “You must sleep,” said Greylend. “She’s changing me,” Eric said. “Who?” asked Europa. “Aurora” said Eirc “I thought I’d hate her but now I can’t live without her-I don’t want to” “That’s what happens if you wait for the right girl,” said Greylend. “What” said a sleepy Aurora. “Nothing” said Eric “Sleep” Aurora nodded then fell back into a peaceful sleep.
“I hope we have enough solders to fight” said Eric once he knew Aurora was asleep. “How come we didn’t ask the Pelmon for aid?” asked Greylend. “We didn’t have the time,” said Eric “Besides I don’t think they would help…it was my people who ruled them so they would probably not care if I died” “They would if it was a choice between you and Galidon,” said Europa. “Yeah but I don’t want to rule them” said Eric “I want them as an ally. I need them as one” It was quiet for while them Greylend asked “So what are our chances of defending Isin-Ismailen if Galidon should attack the city?” “Well” said Eric “The city is on raised land so that ought to help the archers and there are two walls each forty feet tall. Then there’s a secret weapon or at least that’s the rumor going around” “And the armies?” asked Europa. “Well there nothing like the Rider armies that reached three hundred fifty thousand,” said Eric “ But I here they’re around one hundred thousand” Time passed by and the rain continued then Eric fell asleep. Hours passed but it wasn’t that long till Eric felt a kick I his stomach. He woke up and found a Black Rider hold his wife up against the cave wall with a chain mail gloved hand.
“Galidon will be pleased,” said the Rider as he lowered the hood to his clock to reveal a man with black eyes and wet, greasy hair that went down his neck in a ponytail. It was dead black. Then tears fell from Aurora’s eyes falling on to the chian glove. They melted through and burned the rider’s hand causing him to jump back and release Aurora. Though before anyone could attack him he vanished like a ghost. “Aurora” said Eric as he caught his wife in his hands. He saw cuts on her neck from the Black Rider’s grip, they were pale and so was the skin around it. “Eric” Aurora managed “Its getting cold” Europa released a mouthful of flam onto the dead fire, as answer but Aurora turned even paler “I’m dieing” she said. “No, no, no” said Eric gently as mentally said spells to heal his wife’s wounds “You are a Silver Rider…my wife” “Eric I don’t live forever like you do” said Aurora then paused “ I can die” “No” said Eric bluntly “ You will not die” “Eric” said Aurora. Her voice full of fear “I can’t see” Eric cursed under his breath “I’ve done all the spells I know” he said. “Kiss me” Aurora whispered. Eric did but a second later he knew his wife was dead.
Greylend pulled Eric away from the body and held him close as the Rider cried and shouted. Europa put a spell over the body of her Rider so that it wouldn’t decay then the night started to end. Eric put the body of his wife into a silk sheet of cloth he had gotten in Linia Donian. He tied the body to Europa so he could give Aurora a Rider’s burial. Then they started north as the rain stopped to Isin-Ismailen- to defeat Galidon.
Chapter Thirty-Two Aurora’s Return Greylend and Europa flew through the next two days and into the night while Eric went into an uneasy sleep on Greylend’s back. IsinIsmailen came into sight by mid-night. Greylend and Europa landed softly though both their feet pounded the ground, they walked to the
gates of the city and waited for the gates to open. They did and Sireen stood there in a black dress with a few guards around her. She told them to take Eric to his room and she took care of Aurora’s body as tears of sorrow fell from her eyes. The next morning Eric awoke alone in a room fit for a prince of Nordanthia. He was dressed in bedclothes that were of gold silk and a fresh set of clothes was on the end of his bed. “You’ve been asleep for two days” said his sister as she entered the room from an adjoining room. “I’m not well” he relied as Aurora’s death flooded over him. “She buried,” said his sister. “I wish to see her,” said Eric. “No” said his sister “You have a war to wage…this may seem mean but you can weep later” Eric looked at his sister and saw that she to also missed Aurora and meant no ill will “Fine” he said. “The alliance has been called,” said his sister “The Pelmon Empire and the dwarves will be here soon” “I never called the alliance,” said Eric. “King Vidar told mother and mother told me,” said the sorceress with a smile “So I sent out the letters and they were answered” “How’s mother Elisabeth?” asked Eic using her real name. “She’s morning” said Sireen “For the loss of her daughter- your wife”
“Has Galidon attack yet?” asked Eric. “No” answered his sister “And that worries me but you being here lightens my heart much” Eric got out of bed and dressed “I need to talk to the generals” he said. “No you shall eat,” said Sireen “You need food in you before you talk and do what men do in these times” “Elisabeth” said Eric. “No” said Sireen sternly. She took him by the arm and led him to the kitchens of the palace and there she had him eat everything that could be eaten for breakfast before she let him go. Though when she left him Greylend followed him in the shape of a man but his eyes were an unnatural gold. The generals of Nordanthia were middle aged and up and many slept like hibernating bears when Eric found them in the library. The once that were not asleep got up and shook Eric’s hand thought they stood away from Greylend. “Were nothing like the Numar armies” whispered Commander William as he led Eric over to a map of the city and the out lying areas that was on a square table “But we are something formidable when it comes to fighting” “I know,” said Eric “The fame of Nordanthia’s warriors reached Blean and Elidon”
Commander William seemed pleased by this then the two discussed many plans about the city’s defenses and Galidon’s supposed strength along the boarder. Many others got into the discussion but the head general that was nicknamed ‘Dragon’ stayed asleep in his chair. The talk ended as lunch came but Eric stayed to look over the map as the general continued to sleep and Greylend read. “Maps are good but they don’t really work for me,” said a voice. Eric looked about and found the general gone “Greylend” he said. The dragon quickly came and smiled “He’s under the table Eric” he said. Eric knelt and saw the general with a book under the table “What are you doing under the table?” he asked. The general scowled “What does it look like- I’m hiding” he said “And you’d better do the same” Before Eric could ask Greylend pulled him over to a long couch and the two hid behind it. Then a group of teen-age girls just entering marital age entered the library then one of them locked the door. “Look and make sure the place is empty of ears,” said a girl’s voice. Eric quickly muttered a spell that would render him and Greylend invisible and it work just as a girl looked at him but she didn’t see him or his human fromed dragon. “It’s empty,” said another girl a moment later.
Eric got up slowly and was thankful the couch had a rug under it. Then he and Greylend quietly retreated to the other side of the library several hundred feet away. It was a few long minutes later that he and Greylend were now safe but he didn’t release his invisible spell. “They’re talking about you,” said Greylend “They heard about your loss but they still think you are cute and some even want you as theirs” “Fat chance” said Eric as he turned to another aisle and saw a girl. She was watching the only other door out of the library and seemed to be a servant. “Now what?” Eric mouthed. Greylend shrugged and led Eric to a safe area in between the two doors. “Now their talking about gossip” said Greylend with a smile “though some are talking about meeting you” “I’ll lock myself up in my room then” said Eric. “You know for a man who was married you really haven’t gotten used to girls,” noted Greylend. “I am,” said Eric “I’m just used to respectable women” “Ah” said Greylend “That I understand” “Anything new?” Eric asked. “Lets just say you should always have your room door locked or you could find a surprise,” said Grelend “…entering your room”
“What am I?” Eric asked, “A piece of cloth…no…I’m a Numar a Rider and I will not have a girl enter my room and try to win me over with flirts and her tricks” “You have a plan to stop it?” Greylend asked “Or shall I scare every girl in the city?” “No” said Eric “I’ll take care of theis” With that Eric quietly walked back to the place where the girls were still gossiping and undid his sleep. The reaction was instantaneous and very pleasing to Eric. All the girls screamed and then when they saw it was Eric they grew scarred that is all but the eldest of them. The girl was a blond and a very beautiful one but also very brave as Eric walked over to her. “I heard what you were saying,” he said “And I don’t like it” “You are not married,” said the blond. “And neither will I be” he replied, “I had a wife and now I will never have another” The room grew quiet and then Eric said “Good day ladies may we meet again but under more happier times” He left the library with Greylend pulling the general after him. The girls eyed the general surprised to see another man. “I wanted to listen to them,” said the general shortly afterward. “No” said Eric “A ladies conversation is privet. “You were there,” said the general.
“You knew they talked there while they happened upon us general” said Greylend “Besides I’m sure all those ladies’ fathers would be shock to hear that an old man was in a room alone with a bunch of very young women” The general grew pale once he got the meaning of what the dragon had said “Oh” “Yeah” said Eric “So unless you what to continue having your job you’d better stay away from girls under thirty” “I wouldn’t do anything wrong” said the man. “Are you married?” Eric asked. “Well” said the man “No” “Then stay away from them” said Eric “Or get a wife” The general frowned and nodded then went on his own way as Eric and Greylend made it to the eating hall. “Do you think the general would of done anything bad?” asked Greylend. “No” said Eric “But I still didn’t want him spying on young ladies and besides why push temptation” The two piled up their plates (Greylend filling two plates up) then they sat before the subject of the queen at the head table. Sireen was there and she was there with Elisa and a man who seemed very much a figure who didn’t like other people. Then Eric saw his mother enter the hall through a side door. He smiled. Though he noticed she stopped
next to the man and he kissed her hand and then he muttered something. Freyna looked at her son then sat next to the man though uneasily. “That’s the man mother was talking about” whispered Sireen to Eric “He’s one of the Council Lords who threatens our mothers position” “What’s his name” Eric asked. “Barium” she replied. “Anything else I should know?” Eric asked. “He raped mother,” said Sireen in a dead whisper. Every muscle in Eric’s body tightened up and he looked a Elisa “So…” “Yes” whispered Sireen “But she’s family” Eric couldn’t ague with that since he already loved Elisa more than the air and the sun but Barium was another story in all. He turned to his food and started to eat but he also started to think. The rest of the day passed by and night fell. Eric retired early since he didn’t want to meet any girls or Barium like they had been trying to do with him the rest of the day. He changed into his bedclothes then fell asleep. Then he slipped into a dream. In it he was at Dasha but the city was perfect without signs of war or age. He noticed he was at the city’s palace, which looked over awing, but then something caught his eye. Something Sliver. He entered the palace to see mounds of silver but he didn’t care. Eric ran up the stairs to find more silver but this time with
gold and then he saw her. Aurora stood at the end of the hall in a silver dress that fit her perfectly. “Aurora” he said. She smiled and nodded. Eric ran over and then embraced her then kissed her “I don’t care if this is a dream I miss you” he said. “Eric” said Aurora “I’m not a dream open your eyes” “I’m sleeping Aurora,” said Eric “This is all a dream” Aurora kissed Eric and then said “Are you going to really believe that” she asked. Eric looked at her then said “No” The next moment Eric awoke and saw Aurora’s body on the bottom of the bed. Eric rushed over and felt her neck. She was cold but had a pulse. “Aurora” he said. She opened her eyes and smiled “E-Eric” she managed. “Shh” he said then asked “How?” Just then Sireen entered “Aurora’s body is gone” she said then saw Aurora on the bed and her alive “Guards” she shouted. Half a dozen guards ran in and unsheathed their swords just as Sireen said, “Her mind could have been taken by Galidon and that’s happened before” “That couldn’t have happened,” said Eric.
“Then give me one good reason why not,” said Sireen. “She has the anthelia necklaces on,” said Eric as he took the necklace from around his wife’s neck “Nobody can over whelm the power of the elven flower of peace” He looked at Aurora who was know in a natural sleep and alive. Alive! Sireen looked at Eric then sighed “fine” she said “But I want the both of you in my room in the morning” Eric nodded then his sister and the guards left. He looked at his wife then picked her up though she was still a bit cold and put her under the sheets then watched her all night since he was to excited to sleep.
A Problem Eric awoke as a cold draft went over him. He found Aurora opening the widows of his room but why? He got up as quietly as he could and walked over then held his wife in his hands. “Why are you opening the windows?” he asked. “I like the cold” said Aurora “ Helps me remember Talnorn and home” “Oh” said Eric then he asked “You know you shouldn’t be here” “You want me to leave?” Aurora asked. “No way” replied Eric “Its just that well…” ”I was dead and know I’m not,” said Chelsea. “Yes”, said Eric. “All I can remember is that I felt you kiss me in the cave then everything went dead” said Aurora “Then last night I could suddenly breath” “So you can out run death,” said Eric with a smile. “Well it was scary,” admitted Aurora “But I found my way somehow to your room” “ I’m glad,” said Eric. Then there was a knock on the door. “Come in” said Eric. Freyna entered followed by Sireen. Both looked wary of Aurora but yet polite. “Aurora” said Freyna.
“Careful” said Sireen then said “Eric I told you to come to my room” “Why?” Eric asked. “I need to read Aurora’s mind to make sure she is who she is” Sireen. “She is my wife,” said Eric. “Eric” said his mother “ Galidon has awoken people up from the dead before and used them to spy upon us-I don’t really believe Aurora’s body has been taken over but Eric please. Do you think it harsh of me to try and protect my family and people” Eric looked at his mother “No” he said then he turned to his wife “Aurora will you let Elisabeth read your mind?” “Yes” said his wife “But only the parts she will know as the times we shared a secret with each other” “Ok” said Eric then let his wife go. Aurora sat on the edge of the bed then closed her eyes as Sireen closed her eyes to. The four were quiet for sometime till Aurora and Sireen opened their eyes. “Forgive me Aurora” said Sireen “I should of known it was you” “No harm done” said Aurora then she yawned and stretched. “Sleepy?” Eric asked. “A bit” said Aurora. “Rest” he said “Ill return shortly” He, his sister and mother left and the door closed behind them. Eric left the two and entered his little sister’s room. Elisa was still
asleep. She looked peaceful and didn’t have a care in the world. Then something stopped Eric as he walked to his sister’s window. He started to see into the city Dasha or maybe it was a vision. He could see great men marching into the city from all over Droshen. Who were they? Then he saw orks putting white liquid metal into hundreds of mold. Mass production. He saw piles of armor and weapons around camps were solders came to arm up. So did trolls and orks. Then the vision faded and he looked at Elisa who was starring at him “What” he asked. “You saw it two,” she said. It was more a statement then an answer. “You saw the vision?” Eric asked. “I’ve been seeing them for sometime” she said “But they fade quickly. Oh Eric make them stop. I see him and he scares me” “You’ve see Galidon?” asked Eric in shock. Elisa nodded “I forget what he looks like but his voice I can’t forget. Oh Eric he’s ordering armies and killing and I-I can’t stand it” “Ok” said Eric as he sat next to his sister “When can you see him and here him?” “All the time” said his sister “But he speaks in a weird tongue” Eric picked up his sister and left her room in a hurry “Freyna, Sireen” He ran into the grand hall where his mother’s stone throne chair was and found his mother talking to a man and a dwarf. “Mom” he said, “We have a problem”
Part Four The Last Battle
Chapter Thirty-Four Problem Solved Eric explained everything to his mother. Whispering all of it so the man and the dwarf couldn’t hear him. “Oh dear” said his mother and took Elisa into her arms “Do you know how to stop it Eric?” “Why stop it?” asked the man. Eric looked at the man as Sireen entered the room “Because she wants it stopped and Galidon could see through her eyes” he relied. The man was quiet for a while then said, “Then it must be stopped” “And I know what will stop it” said Freyna and took from around her next a necklace that had the anthelia flower like Eric necklace had. She
placed it around Elisa’s neck then asked, “How about now sweetheart do youhear the mean old man?” Eric smiled and Sireen smiled while the dwarf and the man rolled their eyes. “No” said Elisa. Relief wash over everyone and Freyna said she was going to take her daughter back to her room. Eric turned to the two strangers who were armed and looked like important people “And your names are?” he asked. “General Palticon of the Pelmon Empire” said the man then he put a hand on the dwarf’s shoulder “And this is my very good friend General Calic of Orlmishdia. We were called here by a man named called Simon who said if we didn’t we wouldn’t live another year” “I’m Eric Drake,” said Eric with a smile “The last of the Riders” “Ah yes” said Palticon “I’ve heard of you Master Rider and who is the beautiful woman next to you? Your silver Rider? “I’m his sister,” said Sireen “I’m Sireen” “Now why are you here” said Palticon as he gazed as Sireen as though he’d never see a woman before. “I sent the letters,” said Sireen. “So you threatened us,” said the dwarf as he fingered a small hand axe that hung from his belt.
“Now, now” said Palticon “She had to get us here so Galidon wouldn’t destroy the city then all the rest of the world. We have to make a stand here and now at least the Sorceress can help. I’m sure she is useful” “Useful” said Sireen “General you make me sound as if I were an object” The general smiled “Forgive me, but after my wife died some years ago and we having no children, I became a bit rusty when talking to ladies but I have also have met very few women who have hand any real standing. Please forgive an old man of his rude manners” “You are forgiven,” said Sireen. Eric noticed Sireen looked at the man in a weird way like when Aurora was thinking of how handsome he was then said, “Well I think we have a big problem solved now. I don’t think Galidon will attack without a proper army now”
Chapter Thirty-Five To Vanish Eric woke up the next day with his wife’s head on his chest. He smiled and felt Aurora’s hair just as she turned her heard to look at him. “I want to go shopping today,” she said. “Ok” he said “Right now?” Aurora looked at him then leaned in for a kiss “If its ok?” she asked. “Any thing for you love” he said. Eric got out of bed and got out of his bedclothes and into some pants a shirt then put on his socks and boots. He took his sword then said, “I need my own sword” “Then get one” said his wife and slipped into an adjoining room. Eric smiled and put on his marriage ring then turned around to see his wife in one of her country dressed that she used for ridding. “How do I look?” she asked.
“Perfect” Eric said, “Like you always do” Aurora blushed then the two walked to the dinning hall that was already filled. Mostly with lords and ladies of Nordanthia but with also a nice amount of dwarves and Pelmon men. “What are they doing here?” Aurora asked Eric. “They came to our aid” he replied in her ear. “And the army?” she asked. “In camps outside the city” he said as he led her to the head table. He sat her down then sat next to her. Food was served out and Aurora looked at the amount of food that was more than what she was used to. She ate the vegetables leaving Eric with the meat though he knew she really didn’t like him eating meat. “Aurora” said Freyna. Aurora hesitated. “You may call me Freyna or mother,” said the queen. Aurora smiled “Thank you,” she said. “What are your plans Eric for today?” asked his mother as she sat down next to him. “I’m going to take Aurora out to shop” he said “She needs some things” “I need a lot of things” Aurora said then finished her plate “Come on Eric” Eric looked at his unfinished plate then sighed “Ok lets go” he said.
Aurora led her husband to the stables where they saddled their horses. Aurora was giddy all the way to the markets while Eric just rode and smiled. “Where first?” Eric asked as he looked at his wife. “I need fabric for a dress,” she said. “Fabric” he said then pointed to bunch of shops that held fabric from every part of the world known to man. Aurora rode over and gave her reins to her husband then entered the store leaving Eric out in the shade. The hours passed and Aurora entered one store then another but Eric waited for her. Then a moment before he was going to go in and get her she emerged with an arm full of fabric that she handed him. “Where next?” Eric asked his wife. Aurora didn’t say anything but told indicated him to fallow her, which he did. He followed her to a lace shop a soaps shop and perfume shop in an addition to a few others. Then she entered a charm shop. “Honey” Eric gowned as he carried all his wife’s purchases. “One moment” she said then touched a rose then disappeared. “Aurora” Eric shouted and dropped everything he held then saw the rose his wife held “Samilon I’m going to kill you!”
The Fall of Nowndine’s Tower Aurora awoke and noticed she was in a dark room. “Eric” she said. “Shh” said a person nearby. “What time is it?” Aurora asked. “Its late” said the voice. “Eric” said Aurora “Where are you” There was no answer so Aurora felt around on the bed but found Eric wasn’t in bed “Eric where are you” she asked again. Aurora felt the side of the bed she was on go down a bit as though someone was sitting “I’m here” said the voice and a back of a hand touched her face. Suddenly Aurora shot out of the bed “ Samilon” she said. “It’s me” he said sad that Aurora wasn’t sitting next to him. Lights appeared as candles lit up by magic so Aurora could see Samilon. He wore elven clothes that were a shade of brown then she noticed she wore an elven-sleeping gown that was a light shade of green. She took a nearby black robe and covered herself since she didn’t want to give Samilon any romantic ideas. “Where am I?” she asked. “Nowndine’s tower” Samilon said simply. “Now listen here Samilon” said Aurora “I am not in love with you and never will be”
“In time you will” said Samilon then got up “ And I can wait since Eric will die. Nobody can survive the army Galidon will send against IsinIsmailen” Aurora was quiet. “The only reason you will not die is because I found attractive” said Samilon then got up and left the room. Samilon went down two flights of steps and then entered a large study where Nowndine was reading a book at a table. “She’s strong,” said Nowndine. “She’ll crack,” said Samilon. “Maybe” said the wizard “but while you’re waiting you can lead an army of Bull orks and destroy the Talnorn force that nears the southern mountains of Nordanthia” “I will,” said Samilon then added, “Nowndine leave the girl alone, she’s mine” He walked out as Nowndine smiled then said “No Samilon she’s got another purpose- to get her Master Rider here- for if he does get full strength he’ll be very dangerous.” The wizard got up and left the study to enter his bedroom to see the queen of Malida chained to a corner “Hello my little prisoner” The queen a woman around thirty years old looked at him “The Riders will defeat Galidon”
“Milida” said Nowndine “ If a Master Rider’s wife a Silver Rider dies he will die or turn human so Eric wont be able to defeat Galidon” “Why did you visit me?” asked the queen “If not to stink up the air with your breath” “You are to serve Samilon’s prisoner,” said Nowndine with a small smile “But if you try to get out of this tower you’ll die” “How?” the queen asked. Nowndine smiled “The iron ring around your neck has a spell” he said. The queen felt the ring around her throat then said “Fine” Nowndine unchained her then led her out of his room “Go two flight up and you’ll know were the Silver Rider is” Milida nodded. She left the wizard’s study to enter a round room that had wide black stairs going up and down the tower. She went up to flights to the attic of the tower and saw an ork standing next to the door. It looked at her then it walked away. The queen walked to the door and knocked but there came no answer so she opened the door. She found the Silver Rider in the one room crying on the bed. The girl was dressed in a brown elven dress but she was barefoot and it looked like she had been crying for some time. “Come, come,” said Milida as she walked over to the girl “ All may seem bleak but not all is lost” “All is lost” said the girl and looked at the queen “But why do you care”
“I am the queen of Malida” said Milida “and I was blinded Nowndine’s word then he took me prisoner and my people obey him or he will kill me” “And were is the hope?” asked the girl. “Your husband will defeat Galidon,” said Milida. “Not if he comes here,” said the girl “Then Isin-Ismailen will fall and all hope will die” “You are full of despair,” said Milida with a smile. “I am sorry,” said the girl “I just miss my husband” “I can understand that,” said Milida “What is your name?” “Aurora” said the girl. “Well Aurora I will help you find a way out of this tower and back to your husband” said Milida. “And risk your own life” said Aurora “No” “How am I risking it?” asked Milida “ Nowndine needs me to give orders even if they are to a messenger and not to a crowd. If he were to kill me the messenger that goes to the generals would have to be put under a spell and in my land there spell casters that will know if the messenger is under a spell. So then my generals wouldn’t obey and then they would attack this tower knowing I was dead and could be used to stop them” “Good idea” said Aurora “But why are you helping me?” “I don’t want my land ruled by Galidon or by a Rider but I can’t tell
Galidon to leave me alone” said Milida “I can however be left alone by a young man who only wants Droshen which is rightfully his” “Good reason” said Aurora “But how are you suppose to get me out of here?” “We’ll wait a bit,” said Milida “Then make our move…we can’t be to hasty or we could be caught” “And the ork at the door” said Aurora. “Oh he’s death,” said Milida “He couldn’t hear a thing after another ork sent an iron wire through one ear and then through the other” Aurora grimaced then said “And I’m at the top of the tower” “Let me get working on a plan” said Milida “Mean while you must be hungry” Aurora nodded. “Ok I’ll get some food” she said then left. Aurora sat up and dried her face off with her sleeve the looked out the iron barred window to see not orks marching in lines but black men. Who were they? They were proud looking but not so much that they didn’t walk it but they seemed to wear it. Every solder had leather armor but for the chest plate, arm plates, and leg plates then a black metal helmet. Their arms were bare up to their elbows so she could see their brown or black skin. She watched for a while then saw a man on a white horse. He looked up at her then turned back to his men.
Milida returned with some bread, dried meat and two wood cups of milk. Apparently Nowndine had fine taste for a servant of Galidon. The two ate in silence then discussed how they could escape. Night fell and Aurora got into a shift she used to sleep in but she didn’t sleep well. She thought of Eric and what he could be doing and how she could get out. Then she fell into an uneasy sleep. Though she didn’t sleep for long. Soon there were drums being beaten as more of Nowdine’s army left. Aurora couldn’t keep the sound out even when she put her fingers in hear ears then if that hadn’t been enough the door to her room was slammed open right at dawn. She sat up and covered herself with a sheet as a black man entered with two white women and Milida. The two white women moved in a chair then a chest then left. Aurora got out of bed as the man said, “You two servants watch my daughter” “You brought your daughter here,” said Milida “Even you wouldn’t…” Though just before she could finish the man slapped her. Her face stung and it turned red. “Don’t’ speak” said the man “Now go” Aurora looked at Milida and she nodded. When Aurora left the man took Milida’s hands and looked at them. They weren’t like his, which were brown, but they weren’t white like Aurora’s but very tanned. “You are not a slave,” he said “To the white people” “I know that” said Milida taking back her hands “I’m a prisoner here”
“A prisoner?” asked the man. “I’m queen Milida of Malida” said Milida “And the girl you just slapped is a Silver Rider” “So?” asked the man “I care very little for white people” “Why?” Milida asked. “On the Ilistrean ilands my people were slaves to the Riders,” said the man “Till we killed every one of them” “So that is why you fight this war to kill more white people?” Milida asked, “Then you don’t belong here” “Non of us do” said the man “But no I’m am not here to kill whites” “Then why?” asked Milida. “I am Omalar,” said the man with a smile. “So?” asked Milida. “That is my name,” said the man “What is yours?” “Milida” she said “But I told you that” “Milida will you help me get my armor off” said the man “It is very heavy” The man took off his helmet and handed it to her then his chest plate and his arm plats. Lastly came his sword, which Milida unsheathed and held at the man’s chest but he seemed amused by it and came closer. “I’ll kill you,” she said. “No you wont” said the man “Or you would of already” The sword fell out of Milida’s hands and she breathed in heavily.
The man picked it up “I got this sword from my father who had me swim with it and practice everyday till I was twenty then I had to prove I was strong. I was put up against a white slave who I had to kill and I did but during the night he was given a boat and was freed with his family by me” “How could he when you killed him?” asked Milida. “A good hit on the back of the head with enough minor cuts will make everyone think he is dead along with a potion” said Omalar with a smile “I am not a hater of whites but one with a soft heart” He opened the door to the room and saw Aurora “I am sorry for taking your room” he said then looked about and saw nobody “But I can’t free you if I am kind to you” “What?” Milida asked. “I’m not here to help Galidon” said Omalar “But to destroy this tower” “How?” Aurora asked. The man smiled “My daughter I have an idea but you may not like it” “I don’t care,” said Aurora “What is it?” “You will have to play servant to my daughter till you are safe away from here?” said the man “I’ll work out the rest but I have to go now” The man looked at Milida then left. The days passed and nothing happened but orks leaving and more Ilistrean men coming till almost all the people were men and not orks.
Omalar had moved into a tent with his daughter in another tent. Though the man seemed to spend almost every second he could with Milida. “Can’t you leave?” Omalar asked. “No” said Milida. “Why?” the king asked. The queen pointed to the ring around her neck “It’s has a spell on it so if I leave I will die” she said. Omalar smiled then took off the ring “Not anymore” he said. “How did you do that?” the queen asked. “I am a magician” said the man then smiled. An ork entered the room “My master would like to see you Omalar” he said. Omalar nodded and followed the ork to Nowndine’s war room where the wizard sat staring at Omalar’s daughter who in turn stared back at him. Omalar sat down then the silence broke. “There is word that you Omalar will defy me,” said the wizard. “Me?” asked Omalar “That’s stupid” “Why would you bring my daughter?” asked the wizard. “Her mother his dead and she gets into trouble,” said the king. “Would you prove your loyalty?” asked the wizard “In front of her?” “Of course” said the king. “Good” said the wizard “Bring here!”
An ork dragged Milida into the room “Kill her,” said the wizard. Omalar got up and walked over to the queen. The wizard fallowed close by then watched at the man drew out his sword then beheaded the ork. Omalar landed back first on the wall. “You will die Omalar,” said the wizared then he gassed. Milida had grabbed Omalar’s sword that had fallen next to her and she sent it right into the wizard. Omalar landed onto the floor and then rushed over to Milida “Are you alright my dear” he asked. “Yes” she said. The tower shook and the three left the room. Milida go Aurora then the four fled just as the building began to crumble. The next thing Aurora noticed was that she was on a horse. “Go Silver Rider” said Omalar “And tell your husband we are all counting on him” “I will” said Aurora then headed north wondering where Samilon was.
Chapter Thirty-Seven Some thing on the Wind Eric gripped his new sword and then swung it around a bit. He still didn’t have his Numarian though he did have his father’s but it didn’t have the right feel. Though the main reason was that he didn’t want to since his father was dead and didn’t want to remember it. He smiled at the sword smith that had made his sword. The man smiled back then went back to a spearhead that he had been working on
before Eric had interrupted him. Eric sheathed the sword then turned back to the markets where he left Elisa. He saw her talking to a woman who looked elven but was human. The two looked at him then the elven looking woman vanished as a few people passed by. Eric walked over to his half sister who was smiling. “Whom were you talking to?” he asked her. “The Seer” his sister replied. “Where does this Seer live?” he asked. “She haunts the city” his sister replied, “ She is neither here nor ghostly” Eric smiled “What do you mean?” he asked. “She will come to you soon” said Elisa. “That’s good” said Eric “ I need my future told” His sister smiled “Take me to mother, Eric” “I thought you wanted to see the city?” he asked. “After mother” she said “Please” “Fine” said Eric and took one of Elisa’s hands. The two walked to the center of the city where the palace was and the gardens of the Lily Lady. She was an old myth told by the Linia Donian elves who said she could do things no body else could at the strangest times. Two walked into the palace and to the solder’s stairs; the quickest way to the queen’s room. Once there Eric opened the door and saw Barium slap his mother.
“Get that blasted son out of here” shouted the man. “Like I’ll ever leave,” said Eric in a stone tone. Eric’s mother had her worried face on and it looked like she had been crying. Barium looked at Eric then at Elisa who was hiding behind her brother “And Freyna. The throne is mine cause all of you and even you Elisa are dirt” “Don’t” said Eric as he pulled his sword out of its sheath. Barium drew his but Freyna had enough “Stop she this or I’ll banish you all” she said. Barium looked at her. She was quiet and tilted her head down. The man left pushing Eric aside. Eric sheathed his sword and went over to his mother who now sat on the bed. “Barium needs to be punished for his crimes” said Eric. “Eric” said his mother “I hold my queen ship but in a dangerous position. Barium has many supporters among the Lords and the Keepers of the Law” “He has violated you and treated you with no respect” said Eric “If you cannot punish him I will. I am not in your position I am the Master Rider” “Where is Elisa?” asked the queen suddenly. Eric looked around but Elisa was gone “What?” he asked.
“Elisa was kept in the dark about her father though I am sure Barium has told he is” said his mother “And to hear him say she is dirt” “Great” Eric said, “My wife disappears and I can’t go after her since Galidon may strike now my sister may do something stupid, and I’m getting one good stomach ulcer” His mother smiled “And yet you still stand” she said. “Yes” her son replied “But for how long?” “Don’t” Freyna said, her worried face repapered “I need you I need my son to survive this” “I will,” said Eric. He looked about then said “Well I’d better go and try to find Elisa” His mother nodded. Eric ran out of his mother’s room and saw the small body of his sister exist the garden and pass the royal gate that protected the palace. Eric put on an extra sprint of speed and went after her. “Stop Elisa” he shouted. The guards looked at him then the girl. Some tried to catch her but her small body weaved out of their reach. He lost her in a crowd then cursed just as a roar erupted over the city. A black Rider on a black dragon covered in black feathers flew over and landed in front Eric. The beast knocked some people out down then snapped a young man who was under it. Eric heard the screams of him then tensed up as the Rider looked right at him.
“You are the lassst,” the black Rider said. Eric drew his sword “I am your master’s ending. I am your ending” “You are but a boy!” shouted the Rider “You will end nothing” “Fight me,” said Eric. The beast made for him but Eric darted out of its way then an arrow hit the beast’s neck. Grainne and Fredrick stood out of the fleeing crowd both armed and ready. “Stand back,” said Eric “This is my fight” Grainne smiled and armed another arrow just as the beast looked at her “You’re mine” she said. The beast went after her and the Back Rider fell of but went right for Eric with a naked blade. Their blades hit and Eric’s snapped and it started to melt. He took a step back and then drew his father’s sword just in time to block another hit. This time the swords stood steady and the two looked at each other. The black rider wore a black metal mask that cover his face even his eyes. Eric went on the offensive and knocked the Rider’s sword down then struck with all of his might. The Rider was quick also and blocked it as Eric reached into himself for the untold spells of old. Then the wind changed and the two stopped. Eric felt cold and then Rider disappeared the second he blinked. The beast was dead with six arrows in its neck and sword jabs in the back two legs. Eric looked at them though a moment later a vision took him. He saw around Dasha the armies of Galidon; great they were
and yet weak. Non-had moved to war, they were waiting for a command that had not come. Though Eric did see the dark Numar marching, led by a lady who’s beauty surpassed even the elves. She looked at him then said. “Furia galinda herbron jurndiel. The time has come for the ultimate fight of good and evil” “Eric” said Grainne. Fredrick rushed over to his best friend and the two hugged for sometime, “How’s Aurora?” asked Grainne after she hugged Eric. “A boy named Samilon has her,” said Eric. “And why aren’t you going after him?” asked Fredrick “I’m sure you could cream him” “If I leave the city Galidon will attack and I’m the only one who can hold him off and destroy him” said Eric. “Where’s your sister?” asked Grainne. “She’s around here somewhere” said Eric “But come I must take you to my mother then I must leave you to look for my little sister” “You have two sisters,” said Eric. “Come on” said Eric. Meanwhile Sireen was in her was in her room and very refreshed after taking a long bath. She was in a green and brown dress that she didn’t like since it was to tight but it did show off her nice figure. She
laced up her boots then left her room for the library. Sireen went up the solders stairs and passed the Pelmon general Palticon. His eyes fallowed her then he did. “Elisabeth” he said. She stopped and faced the man “Yes” she said. “Do you know the time?” he asked then his stomach growled. “Did that answer you question?” Sireen asked smiling. “What I meant to ask is that are you free for lunch?” the general asked. “I really have to go to the library,” said Sireen. “Oh” said the man a bit sadly. “But I usually eat dinner alone” said Sireen “So I guess we eat then” “I’ll come by six pm,” said Palticon “And take you to a great tavern I know” “Ok” said Sireen “But just dinner” Meanwhile Eric looked around for Elisa but it seemed the little one could hide anywhere. He went into the great eating hall for a quick bit and found General Calic of Orlmishdia eating a platter full of food. Eric sat across from him and waited for the dwarf to finish his mouth full of food before asking a question. “Where are all your solders?” he asked, “ I’ve been wanting to inspect them” “Where do you think they are?” asked the dwarf “They are in the city”
“I don’t see them,” said Eric. “That means the plan is working” said the dwarf then gulped down his mug of beer and then took another mug he had and said, “They are disguised as are Palticon’s men” “That explains why the city’s population has gotten larger” said Eric “But how many? “Five hundred thousand” said the dwarf “In all” “Add that to the hundred thousand we have” said Eric to himself “That should be enough to take Dasha” “It better be” said Calic and returned to his lunch. Eric ate then returned to searching for his sister but this time in the ruin part of the city with Fredrick and a few guards. He searched in and out of parts of buildings then went into an old stone mansion that was still in shape, but he could easily see nature was taking it over. “Elisa” he said but heard nothing. He went up a stairs the second level where some sun went shone through the roof and a large whole where he saw his sister on the flat roof. He climbed up some stone rubble that was part of the roof up to the roof and saw his sister but also a young woman. He neared them but they took no notice of him so he spoke. “Elisa” he said. Elisa turned around and saw her brother. She had been crying and Eric saw that but he also knew that she thought she was in trouble.
“Elisa” hr repeated, “Come here” She came slowly till she was right in front of him then at that moment Eric hugged her “Don’t do that again” he said “You had me worried” Elisa didn’t saying thing but hugged her brother back. “Who’s your friend?” Eric asked. “She’s one of your kind” Elisa said. Eric looked at the young woman and saw that she was smiling. He picked up his sister and walked over to the woman who spoke first. “I’m Morgan,” she said. “My sister tells me you are a Numar,” said Eric. “And you are?” she asked. “Eric Drake, Master Rider and prince of Nordanthia” said Eric. “A Master Rider” said Morgan “Well in that case I am Morgan an Elder of the Numar; I and those who have come with me are some of those who fled the falling parts of the Numarian Empire. We have returned because you have” Eric thought for a moment then asked “What others” “The others aren’t here,” said Morgan “but they are in the city but I hear that your wife is dead” “Not dead” said Elisa “Just missing” “Maybe we should return to the palace where my mother can meet you” said Eric. “Very good” said Morgan.
The two went down where they met the rest of the search party and just when Eric felt something on the wind. There was a roar and soon after the roof came down making everybody run for cover. Eric covered Elisa and felt plaster fall on him then all was quiet. He got up but wished he didn’t see what he saw. Just a few feet away was a black lizard like dragon and its black Rider and the beast was eating a dead guard. Morgan was near the dragon on the ground but alive though as she tried to get up the Black Rider through a handful of fire at her. Morgan screamed as hit her back and burned her skin then she fainted due to the instant pain. “Die” said the Black Rider as he turned his head to face Eric “Die” Eric knew he didn’t have a sword with him and his father’s was back at the palace but before he think any further the dragon let out a mouthful of fire. He grabbled his sister and put out a hand and hopped his magic would shield them. The fire hit the magical shield that had surrounded the two but it also forced them back into a heap of rubble. Eric landed on some thing hard and after a second saw it was a sword handle that protruded half way out of a solid piece of stone. Eric didn’t waist any time but grabbed it just as another dragon flame came but the sword seemed to put the fire out as the flame neared the sword. The sword glowed after the dragon’s fire ended then the dragon attacked but the Rider was gone.
Eric took a swing at the beast jaws then hear the clash of metal behind him. “Fredrick?” he shouted. “Who do you think it was keeping this black Rider off you?” said Fredrick. The dragon jumped just as a jet of flame hit it and Greylend appeared as a large golden dragon and landed. The black Rider acted quickly and vanished like they had seen so many times. Eric saw Elisa was safe as she hugged Greylend’s next then his mind turned to Morgan. He ran over to her and barely felt a pulse then he reached inside himself for his magic and started to heal her.
Chapter Thirty-Eight Surprises “Morgan” said Frayna as she entered Morgan’s room in the palace. “Its been long” said Morgan.
“You two know each other?” asked Eric. “We used to be great friends,” said Morgan “Then the wars came and I had to leave” “But you’re back” said Freyna. “With help” said Morgan “But tell me where’s Aric” “He’s dead,” said Freyna sadly. “I’m so sorry,” said Morgan. “But come tell me what brings you out of hiding?” asked Freyna with a smile “Though I don’t think you have minded it” “No I haven’t” said Morgan “I moved to the Empire of Velendi that’s far north east of here and married a good man who’s a skilled warrior, and a chieftain. He is rich and for some reason didn’t mind taking me in then marring me after a while.” “And know you have come back” said Freyna. “That’s because the Master Rider has come back,” said Morgan now looking at Eric “ Galidon’s time is running short now that you are here Eric” “Lets hope so,” said Eric. Eric left the two alone so they could talk about their past. He saw the other Numarian Elders as they waited to see him and though they never talked the whole group almost scarred him for some reason. “Sir” said a small voice behind. He turned around to see a young boy “Yes” he relied.
“Are you the Master Rider?” the child asked. Eric eyed the group and saw a woman look at him then her eyes fell and he knew the boy was hers. He walked over to the boy then kneeled so that his head was about level with the boy’s. “I am the Master Rider” he replied “Why?” “I wanted to know if one could be afraid?” the boy asked. Eric smiled “You know I have never been able to answer that myself” he said “I used to think one couldn’t be afraid when I was a lad like you” “You were my are once?” the boy asked. “We don’t pop out of the ground” said Eric “ But know I know Master Riders can be afraid” “Why?” asked the boy. “You have a lot of questions,” said Eric. “My mum told me to ask them to a Master Rider if I ever saw one” said the boy. “Uh” said Eric then answered the boy’s question “ Well I’m new to this job and I don’t know what’s ahead of me and everybody is thinking I am something I’m not” “Like what?” The question didn’t come from the boy but from the boy’s mother.
“I’m not a born leader,” said Eric “I’m not almighty and I don’t know how to kill Galidon if all the stories of him are true. I fear him like you do” “We’re not asking you to know all that,” said a man who looked old “We know you are still a boy; we know that you have fears, hates, loves and even desires” “But it’s because you have those that you are our Master Rider,” said another “ You have the blood line and so you have the job” “But it’s our job to council you” said the old man “That’s the job of the Elder Numar” “Good” said Eric “ Because I don’t think I can do this alone” Eric walked to his room and washed his face in a copper bowl then remembered his sword. He drew is out of the sheath that he had been lucky would fit it and looked at the blade. It was nothing he had ever seen with the blade looking as though it were melted silver even though he knew it was solid. He felt it and then his fingers went over the blade but nothing happened so he tried it against one of the small fire logs that lay next to the hearth. The sword cut through it as though it was bread dough and he was even more awe by the sword. He looked at the handle and saw it was the same silver metal but the grip was gold that was many swirls in it. They made the sword easer to grip but one thought sank all the others. This sword was his master sword.
“It needs a name” he said to himself but he couldn’t think of one then it came to him “Buricton” He would name the sword after what it had done to the black dragon’s fire, which was shield it him from. Now though it would help him shield the free peoples from Galidon’s evil. He smiled as the name sounded good but the surprises weren’t over because as he looked down at the blade he saw written in the Numarian script on the blade was Buricton. He re-sheathed the blade then left his room. The rest of the day sped by as Eric finally inspected most of generals Palticon’s and Calic’s solders. He knew they would be ready for battle and they were and he knew the time for battle was very near at hand. He skipped dinner and went to his room to read a book he had pick up at the royal library. Though before he got far his older sister entered the room and rush over to his bed and landed on it. “What are you doing?” Eric asked. “Palticon took me out for dinner” said his sister “And we had a perfect time” “He took you out?” asked Eric finally putting down his book and getting up from his chair that sat in front of the fireplace “Aren’t you a little wild?” His sister quickly got off her brother’s bed “No” she answered. “Any proposals?” asked Eric.
“It was only a dinner,” said his sister “Not a date” “But why would he have dinner with a witch?” asked Eric. “Are you just going to hurt my feelings?” asked his sister. “No” said Eric “I’m sorry” “Good” said his sister. “But what did he call you?” Eric asked. “Sireen” said his sister. “He loves you,” said Eric. “What?” his sister asked. “Every time you two are together he calls you Elisabeth,” said Eric “Then tonight he calls you Sireen” “Eric” said his older sister “You are seeing things” He frowned. Sireen walked over to him and kissed his head “Goodnight little brother” she said then danced out of the room. “And another thing” Eric called after her “Your to flighty” He dimmed the lights after closing door then got ready to go to bed and got into bed. He thought over everything then calmly went to sleep just as a wolf howled. Meanwhile a shadow passed through the gate then made for the palace like a cat and slipped passed the sleeping guards. Very easily it entered the palace unnoticed and made for the solders stairs to the upper rooms. Once there it went down a hall into a corridor that went
left and then saw the third door on the right. It went over to it and then entered the room quickly enough to the sleeping person in the room wouldn’t awake. Slowly it made for the bed and sat down on it next to it to see a young sleeping man with an elven made knife in his right hand. The shadow took the knife out of the man’s hand and put it on a nearby table then laid next to the man. “Eric” Eric awoke quickly and sat up but the person next to him didn’t move “Aurora?” he asked almost sure it was her. “Yes” she replied, “I’m back” “I should have gone after you,” said Brian then Aurora rolled over to face him. “You were busy Eric” she said, “I knew that” “Still” said Eric. “Don’t be hard on yourself,” Aurora said tiredly. Brian snapped his fingers and a few nearby candles lit to reveal a tired dirty Aurora with one change “Aurora” said Brain gently “You look different” Aurora was quiet then said, “I do” “You’ve got more muscle,” said Eric “You look tougher” “Is that bad?” asked Aurora quickly. “No” said Eric gently as he lay back down and put a sheet over both of them “No I like it but don’t muscle up to much”
“I’ll try” said Aurora and then fell asleep. Eric put an arm around Aurora just to make sure she wouldn’t disappear on him again. The next morning Eric awoke when Aurora snuggle closer to him since the winter months were getting closer. He tightened his hold on her and put the second wool blanket over Aurora just as she started to try and get out of bed. “What are you doing?” Eric asked as he let her go. “I don’t think it’s a good idea for us to do anything we would regret,” said Aurora. She pulled some of her clothes out of a chest and walked into the connecting room that had a tub and a water pump. Eric got out of bed just as he said, “We’re married” “I know” Aurora said from the other room “ But we are in a war” Eric heard Aurora get into the tub then it was quiet “Want me to join you?” he asked. “No” she answered. A while latter Aurora emerged from the tub room dressed in clean clothes and clean. Eric at that moment took her in his hands and kissed her till he found Aurora limp. He let her go then with a fresh set of cloths went into the tub room. After he got out he found Aurora gone so he went to the eating hall where he found her talking to Sireen but he found the generals wanted to speak with him.
“We must leave and soon” said the dwarf general Calic. “Its better to take the enemy in a fight while they are far away” said the Pelmon general Palticon. “I agree,” said the head Nordanthian general Cumare Hurcif. “When can we leave?” asked Eric. “This week” said Calif “We’re ready so all we have to do is pack all the food” “Then lets move,” said Eric “I’ll inform the queen” “What about Vidar and his forces?” asked Palticon. “Someone will have to defend the city if we fail” said Eric. The generals nodded then hurried to prepare to leave. Eric walked over to the head table and sat next to Aurora and his mother. “I must leave soon,” he said loud enough for only the two ladies to hear. His mother gave him a sorrowful look but Aurora looked as his her life would end soon. Soon after eating Aurora walked with Eric in the halls quietly but they really didn’t need to speak. They what each other would say but still each one spoke. “Eric don’t die on me,” said Aurora near tears but she held them off. “I won’t die on you” Eric replied then pulled her into an empty room and closed the door.
He chanced a kiss and Aurora kissed him back “Remember I want kids” she said. “I know” Eric replied as he held his wife gently, a free hand in her brunette hair. “What are you two doing?” The two looked around to see Elisa looking at them from behind a few dozen dusty chairs that were in storage. “Its not good to be spying” said Eric. “You walked into my secret hiding place,” said Elisa. “We did?” asked Aurora and walked over to Elisa. Elisa nodded. “Well your brother and I were having some quiet time before he left,” said Aurora. “Don’t go” said Elisa at once and ran over to her brother then she held on to him. “Where is you nanny?” asked Eric. “I lost her in the maze of corridors” said Elisa then looked at her sister in law “Make him stay” “I can’t” said Aurora. Elisa buried her head into Eric’s pants and started to cry, “Why are you crying” Eric asked. “Because you’ll die,” said Elisa. “You don’t know that,” said Eric.
“I have visions about it,” said Elisa. “You do?” asked Aurora. “Eric dies” said Elisa and then was lost in crying. “I’m not going to die,” said Eric. “Eric” said Aurora “ Your mother told me Elisa’s father has been talking to her” Eric at once handed Elisa to his wife and let the room for Barium’s chambers’ where he slammed the door down but found Barium not there. He turned around and found himself face to face with the man. “I hate you,” said Eric. “Thank you” said Barium. “Don’t be so thankful” said Eric “I have the power to banish you” “No” corrected the man “Only the queen’s council and the queen” “That’s right,” said a voice. The queen entered the room “ Barium you have pushed your
powers to the limit and I banish you” she said a bit scared. The man looked at her “You do?” he asked then smiled. “Yes she did” said Eric “Now go” Barium left quietly but let the room cold “He’s a magician” said Eric. “How do you know?” asked his mother. Eric took a chest from under Barium’s bed and opened it to find books on magic “ He could be like Samilon” said Eric “ A mind magician”
“You mean he practices magic that controls people’s minds?” asked his mother. “That’s it,” said Eric “No wonder you grew in fear of him” “But I’m a Silver Rider” said Eric’s mother. “You haven’t practiced the spells” said Eric “Have you?” “No” said his mother “That’s why I’m glad I have you” “Mom” he said and walked over to her “I have to fight” His mother looked at him then hugged him “Just be careful,” she said. “I will,” said Eric as he hugged her back “I promise” “Now all I fear is Barium coming back for revenge” said his mother “But I don’t think he’d be fool enough to do that” “Lets hope not,” said Eric. Eric walked with his mother for a while then she left him and he met up with Aurora after she had Elisa back to her nanny. They in turn met up with Fredrick and Grainne who were on their way to have a picnic. “Want to join us?” Fredrick asked them. “I don’t know,” said Eric. “Please come,” said Grainne “Fredrick packed enough food for four people and I’d hate for him to get sick” “Eric” said Aurora. “Ok” said Eric “Lets go” The two made a slow walk to the garden but Eric’s mind seemed to be elsewhere.
“What are you thinking about?” asked Aurora as she and Grainne set up the picnic. “Nothing much” he replied. “That’s a first,” said Fredrick with a smile “Come on tell us” Eric sat on the ground next to Aurora then said “ I’m a bit scarred with me going to war and Aurora being here” “Why can’t I go?” asked Aurora. “You may know how to fight but I’m not going to loose you again” said Eric as he looked at his wife “And then there’s Galidon” “Those don’t seem to be easy things to think over,” said Fredrick. “I know how to make it easier” said Aurora. “How?” Eric asked. “I’m going with you to battle” said Aurora. “Wait” said Eric quickly. “No” said Aurora “ When we married you said I had the same rights as you” “That’s true,” said Eric and gave up “Ok, but I want you close” “Yes sir” she said then Aurora smiled.
Chapter Thirty-nine The Path to War
Eric dressed for bed as the city bell rang nine o’clock and night fell over the city. Aurora was already for bed and had her eyes closed as she tried to sleep while the lights were on. Eric turned them of then got into bed and his wife put her head on his chest. “Night” he said. “Good night” she replied and she went asleep. Aurora dreamed as the midnight bell rang. Eric was asleep but something she heard opened their bedroom door. She saw at once it was Elisa with a candle and got out of bed to see what she wanted. “Something is moving about the palace,” said Elisa. “The guards?” suggested Aurora. “It scares me,” said Elisa. Aurora put her bed robe on and took Elisa’s hand “Come I’ll take you back to your room” she said. As the two left the room Elisa stayed close to Aurora especially as they went father and father from Eric’s room. Then Elisa stopped and wouldn’t move just as her room came into sight. Aurora looked at her then looked around and saw a shadow in front of them a few feet away. “All alone” it said.
“Aurora” whispered Elisa. Aurora looked to her side and saw Elisa was gone. She looked back at the shadow to see Barium and stood in shock. Though not for long: she started to run back to her room but Barium pushed her to the floor. He smiled as he circled her as she got back to her feet. Aurora saw Barium’s eye’s light up then he went after her again but missed as his sword made a swipe at her. She ran down the corridor into a room and locked the door. She turned around and was face to face with Barium. He sent the back of his hand flying directly to her left cheek before she could re-act then grabbed her hair. Aurora let out a scream and then things changed. A light entered the room as Barium pushed Aurora to the floor ready to kill her. A young woman appeared from the light and Barium paused for a moment long enough for Aurora to trip him. Eric entered at that moment with guards and Greylend in his human form. They took Barium even though he fought them but it seemed he had lost his magic. “Are you alright?” Eric asked his wife. Aurora looked around to see the light was gone then looked back at Eric “I’m fine” she said “Just a bit shaky” “Don’t do that again” Eric said. “Believe me” said Aurora “I wont”
Eric walked her back to their room where Aurora asked, “How did Barium get back into the palace?” “He’s a magician,” said Eric as he laid on his bed. Aurora got in bed next to him then kissed him. “Sleep” Eric said. “I just had a nightmare” said Aurora “I don’t think I can” Aurora awoke and saw she was safe but her dream haunted her. She got out of bed and lit two candles then went to her dressing table and looked into the mirror. Eric meanwhile turned around in bed and felt for his wife but she wasn’t there. He opened his eyes and sat up to see it was still night but Aurora was at her dressing table combing her hair. He could tell by her reflection in the mirror that that something was bothering her so he got out of bed. He put on his robe then walked over to her and took the hairbrush that she had out of her hand. He started to brush her hair then asked, “Have a bad dream?” “Yeah” Aurora replied. “Want to tell me about it?” he asked. Aurora nodded “ Elisa had entered our room and you were asleep so I took her back to her room, and I met Barium” “Barium” said Eric. “We fought but you and a few other rescued me” said Aurora and looked at her husband.
“Doesn’t sound that bad” said Eric. “I know but it felt so real,” said Aurora “And Barium scared me” “We’ll he’s not here so you don’t have to worry about him” said Eric and planted a kiss on his wife’s forehead. “I’m glad you’re here,” said Aurora. “Me to” said Eric and put the hairbrush on the dressing table “Now bed” “Can’t we check on Elisa?” asked Aurora “I want to make sure she’s safe” Eric sighed then smiled “Ok” he said and grabbed his wife’s robe. He helped put it on her and the two went to check on Elisa. “I can’t wait to have my own children,” whispered Aurora as the two walked down the hall. Eric sighed and smiled “I know “But we have to wait till after the war” The two turned a corner and saw Elisa’s room at the far end of the corridor but her room door was open. Eric quietly walked over to the room and entered to see a shadow over Elisa’s bed. It shot up sending a dagger into Eric shoulder then went after Aurora after seeing the poison on the dagger was working on Eric. Aurora scarred for her life did what her mind told her to do-run. She ran up the corridor and into three of the night watch who didn’t need to be told there was trouble nearby. Two of the guard went down
the corridor and dispersed into the darkness as the third tried to calm Aurora. Aurora felt the guard holding her try and pull her further up the corridor as the minutes passed by. Then there was the sound of armor being rattled and the guard pushed Aurora further up the corridor. He drew his sword and shouted, “Go my lady” Aurora ran and turned in so many directions in the dark she was lost. Then she landed in strong arms of a man. “Its alright” said a calming voice as Aurora tried to get away. A light was lit and Aurora saw a man that resembled the rangers that she had seen as a little girl. His hood up so she couldn’t really see his face. “What’s your trouble?” asked the man. Aurora didn’t say anything but with the man’s lit torch she led him to Elisa’s room. They had seen the three guards Aurora had been with but all were dead. “The queen’s room is next door right?” asked the man. “Yes,” said Aurora. “Get her and go,” said the man “Raise the alarm” The man went into Elisa’s room and Aurora went into her mother in law’s room. She shook the queen but Freyna wouldn’t budge and Aurora saw why. On the bed side table Aurora saw a glass of water and some crunched up leaves.
She walked over to the table and smelt them. At once she knew the queen was in a drugged sleep then someone grabbed her from behind. “Goodbye” said Barium’s voice and a second later she felt something hit her head. A long kiss awoke her and she sat up with a start to see Eric standing over her. “I thought I had lost you,” said Eric. “I thought I had lost you” said Aurora then smile “But where’s Barium?” “Barium” said a man entering the room “ Has left the city” “Aurora” said Eric with a smile “Meet my father” “Your father” said Aurora “But I thought he was dead” She looked at the man and said “ No offence” “It’s ok,” said the man “ All Master Riders have long lives and even death sometimes can’t over come us” “Well thank you for saving my life” said Aurora. “I was happy to” said Eric’s father “ Its been a while since I saved a young lady’s life but it was added pleasure to find out that she was my daughter in law” Aurora blushed then she remember Elisa “How’s Elisa?” she asked. “She’s doing fine” said Eric “After what she’s been through”
“We’ll have to leave soon,” said Eric’s father. “I’m coming to,” said Aurora. “I know I said you could go,” said Eric as he sat next to his wife “But think about what you are getting into” “I know what I’m getting into Eric,” said Aurora with a smile “I don’t want to be here worrying about you while you have to fight” Eric frowned “ A fight in which you might die in” he said. “I can fight you know” said Aurora “Now leave so I can get dressed” “Just keep close,” said Eric “When the fighting starts” Aurora nodded and the two men left leaving Aurora alone to get into her ridding dress. Eric didn’t follow his father to his mother’s throne hall but went to check up on Elisa. He found her looking out her room watching her father ride away on a white and brown horse then within a few moments Barium was gone from sight. “He’s not coming back is he?” asked Elisa. “No” said Eric. “Who will be my father now?” asked Elisa and looked up at her half brother. “My father will be your father,” said Eric “He’s a good man” Elisa was quiet then Eric took her hand “Come lets see our mother” he said.
Elisa nodded and Eric led her to the throne room where he saw everybody was ready for the war. Elisa ran up to her mother who stood beside her throne chair were Aric sat. “I could get used to this chair,” said Aric. “As soon as you get back you can have it,” said his wife “That is if Andun still doesn’t want it” Aric noticed his son then got up from the chair “I must go” he said. “I wish you didn’t have to” said freyna and hugged her husband as she started to cry, “You just got back” “I know,” said Aric “But war doesn’t wait” Freyna gave her son and her husband a blessing but Aric wouldn’t have just a blessing. He kissed then turned to Elisa. “Will you watch out for your mother for me?” he asked. Elisa nodded and Aric kissed her forehead. Aric then turned to Eric “Ready?” he asked. “If you are” said Eric. “Then lets go” said Aric and left the hall. Eric ran up to his mother and put his arms around her “I’ll bring him back mom” he said “Don’t worry about us” “Just take care of your selves,” said his mother. Eric stepped away and nodded “We will” he said then rushed to catch up with his dad.
He ran out of the palace and into the front gardens where his horse was and got on. His father smiled as Aurora showed up a moment later then Elisabeth. “Girls aren’t suppose to be in battle,” he said. “We are women” said Sireen then quickly added, “Father” “Still” said Aric. The four and those coming with them rode out of the palace gates then out of the city. There they and their army rode for Droshen.
Chapter Forty A Change Of Heart Samilon looked into his black crystal “Sire” he said. “Plans have changed,” said Galidon “ Nowndine is gone. Aurora and her kin must die” Samilon couldn’t believe his ears “But” he started. “Bring the troops” said Galidon then added, “Your mother will be proud” Samilon was quiet for some time so Galidon let him. “I can’t loose her,” said Samilon. “Sir” said a bull ork “The goblins have raided a town and have taken prisoners”
Samilon walked out of his tent ands saw some forty or so cowering villagers “Let them go” he said “We aren’t fighting the Riders anymore” “What?” a goblin asked. “Galidon wont fulfill his promises to you,” said Samilon. “The Humartian plans belong to the Bull orks,” roared the Bull ork. “Then Talc we’ll go to the Rider’s side” said Samilon. The goblin hissed. “And kill all who don’t like the idea” added Samilon with a looked at the goblin. Samilon turned to go back to his tent when a horn was sounded. He saw the Talnorn riders advancing and ordered his orks to stay put. He himself drew his sword then dropped it on the ground. Samilon started to walk to the horsemen but one of them loosed and arrow at him. It was at that moment that the two armies began a long battle with Samilon in the middle of it. He awoke some hours as a wet towel touched his wounded leg. He shouted in pain and saw a woman with a wet towel. He got of his mat and looked around as some men ran into the tent. “Where am I” demanded Smailon as the pain in his left leg creped up the rest of it. “You’re in my camp boy” said a big warrior like man “I am King Vidar”
“Well king right when I have a change of heart you really know how to try and kill a guy,” said Samilon. “And you are?” asked another man who reassembled Eric. “I-I” started Samilon but was know getting dizzy and fell to his knees. “Don’t talk know” said a woman’s soothing voice as everything started to spin “You’re not totally healed yet” Everything disappeared for some time then he awoke. This time his was in a stone room. He got up and limped over to a chest where he found clothes then dressed. As he was about to leave a woman entered his room. She tolled him to sit on his bed and he did so then she checked his wound. “I’d say the bone is healed but the skin is still a bit soft” said the woman then smiled and asked “Now for your name young sir?” “I’m Samilon,” he said. “I am Alwen,” said the woman “Daughter of the elves” “I’m the son of Galidon,” said Samilon. The woman sat beside him “ I see” said Alwen “ We’ll I don’t think you are as bad as people say” “I was going to make a pax” said Samilon “ Then someone shot me” “We’ll I’m glad for the pax” said Alwen “ And I’m sorry for the battle” “Where am I?” asked Samilon. “Isin-Ismailen” said Alwen. “How was I a sleep so long?” asked Samilon.
“That was a little eleven magic” said Alwen “But I’m sure your hungry” “A bit” said Samilon. “Good” said Alwen with a big smile “ Lets go to the eating hall” Alwen led him to the eating hall and up the head table where she sat him between Andun and herself. Tell me Samilon,” said King Vidar “What do you know of Galidon’s defenses?” “The dark Numar and the fortress of the Black Riders are the real hard to conquer” said Samilon slowly “But my father’s” At that moment everybody stopped whatever he or she was doing. “Your father?” asked Andun. “Galidon is my father,” said Samilon. “Well” said Andun as he got over the shock “I hope you aren’t like your father” “No sir” said Samilon “He’s to much for me” “I’m sorry,” said Alwen. “Yes,” said Andun “ I am to” “We’ll he’ll soon be gone” said Samilon “Though his fortress is a real problem” “How?” Andun asked. “Don’t you know Andun” said Samilon “My father has spoken of you and has shown me your life in his pool of prophesy”
“Have you been there?” asked a woman who sat at the center of the table. “Yes Freyna I have but I don’t want to go back,” said Andun and then the meal continued with some lighter conversation. Samilon though knew Eric needed to know what he knew. He knew he had to leave soon and that would be best for all.
Chapter Forty-one The Turning of The Tide On the third day of their march, Eric and his army was camped in a rocky region. It was a mile to the Droshen border where black volcanic rock walls stood as bad omens. Eric sat beside his wife before a fire making breakfast in the cold weather. “Wake up” he said as he lend over and shook his wife gently. Aurora stirred and looked at him “I hate the cold” she said. Eric smiled. “What are you smiling about?” asked Aurora as she sat up and wrapped herself in her blanket. “You wanted to come” said Eric “Now you are complaining” “I wasn’t complaining, I was commenting on the weather,” said Aurora. “Sure” said Eric and took a look at the breakfast stew that seemed to be done “Hungry?” “Very” replied Aurora. Eric took a wood bowl out of a leather bag and then filled it with stew with a wooden ladle. He handed it to his wife then got himself a bowl full of the food.
Aurora put her hands around the bowl to warm herself up “Where’s your father?” she said. “He’s doing his morning prayers” said Eric “To Ardon the father of the Numar” “Why aren’t you praying?” asked his wife. “Ardon isn’t real” said Eric “And so are all the other gods and goddesses” “That’s your opinion,” said Aurora “I personally believe the elven goddess Aurora is helping me” “The goddess of dawn?” asked Aric, as he appeared from around Aurora’s dragon Europa who was still asleep “The elves say that she will bring out a new era of peace soon” “The very same” said Aurora. Aric got himself a bowl of soup “We’ll soon enter Taskail Maie or the Eastern Marshes” “Don’t the Beacons of Elinadead block our way those lava walls?” asked Aurora. “Yes,” said Eric. “But what’s behind the walls?” asked Aurora. “Monsters” said Eric “Monsters?” asked Aurora. “Yeah monsters” said Aric “Aurora are you sure you want to come with us?”
“Yes,” said Aurora “But how do you know what is in the marches?” Everybody was quiet then Eric said “ My dad was lost in it when he went into the Droshen for the second war” “He told you?” asked Aurora. “Only once” said Eric “It was a nightmare” It was quiet as they ate then they got ready for the move though this time Eric and Aurora were going to fly. “It’s about time,” said Greylend as the two were in the air with Aurora and her dragon. “Eric” shouted Aurora and pointed at the wall. Eric looked over the wall and cursed as he saw the Numar of Galidon. They were camped behind the wall and it looked like it wasn’t a swamp or marshes anymore. A horn was blown and both knew what they had seen. “Attack?” asked Aurora. “If the army is ever going to make it past the wall we’ll need to put a crack into it” said Eric. “That’s my job,” said Aurora. Eric blew his horn then the four made for the wall that was already being manned by archers. They launched volley after volley at Europa but they seemed to miss Aurora who jumped of her dragon then landed on the wall. She knocked several off at once then drew her sword and attacked some more. Eric meanwhile was a hundred feet
away taking having his own fight while Greylend flew above and roasted many dozens of enemy solders. Eric found he had a little rest when Greylend made a gap of breathing space for him. He looked at Europa and found she needed some help but how could he help put a whole in the wall? His sword started to glow red then he smile and sent it into the rock below his feet. The rock cracked and grew unstable as it crumbled. Eric made his way to Aurora and they saw their army make it through the space Eric had created and the whole Europa had clawed. Then there was a screech and the two saw a black dragon make fore them. “Shaden Aurora” said Eric. The dragon landed feet away and picked up Eric with its jaws only to throw him. Then it made for Aurora but the shield spell Eric had put on his wife worked. Eric got back to his feet as Greylend came around then grabbed the black dragon. Eric ran to his wife and took off the shield spell then hugged her. “That’s so sweet,” said a woman’s voice. They saw a woman dressed in battle armor that was queenly “Narsa” said Eric. She smiled at him the looked at Aurora with a look of disgust. A second later Narsa sent Aurora flying over the wall by magic then made for Eric. Eric jumped over the wall and landed on some stone that had broken away. He saw Aurora then ran over to her but she was knocked
out. He picked her up and slowly made his way to the bottom of the pile of rocks. There he saw a solders stray horse and put Aurora on it but as he was about to get on something hit his shoulder blade. A strong pain entered is body then he blacked out. Aric meanwhile watched as the dark Numar retreated. The dwarves men had won their first battle. Hopefully it was the turning of the tide in this war. At the first chance he got he rode back to the army camp to check on Aurora. She wasn’t badly hurt but Aric had bad news with him. Aurora he found was in Eric’s and her tent. A little bruised but other wise just fine. He entered the tent and Aurora looked up at him “Is Eric still missing?” she asked. “I’m sorry but Narsa the lady of the Dark Numar has taken him captive,” said Aric. “That’s not possible,” said Aurora. “We think he was taken out by an arrow that had some type of poison on it” said Aric. Aurora was quiet for some time so Aric left her so she could be alone. She returned to the letter she had been reading before Aric had given her bad news about her husband. It was a thank you letter from Barium thanking Eric for not killing him even when he had a right to. Though he did write that he didn’t
like him much but he did act badly. He would repay Eric somehow for sparing his life since he didn’t like debts. Aurora folded up the letter then put it in Eric’s horse saddle where she had found it. Then she went to check on the wounded solders.
Chapter Forty-Two Allies Eric opened his eyes weakly and then closed them after having them open for a second or two. A few minutes later he opened them again and saw he was in a black clothed tent. It had a lantern hanging from a wooden cross beam that held the ceiling. He then saw he was
sitting on the ground with his arms tied around a wide wood log though his feet weren’t tied. Just then Narsa and a few solders entered the tent. “Cut him free” ordered Narsa. A solder walked over to Eric and with a knife cut the ropes that bound him. Eric massaged his tired and sore hands then got up to look at Narsa. “Fallow me” she said. Eric eyed the guard then followed Narsa outside the tent. The tow walked among an army of tents, which made it almost impossible to get away. Narsa’s personal tent was the largest of all and had more space around it. Not to mention a lot of gourds around it. Narsa opened an entrance flap and Eric entered to see a few of her servant maidens. They were reading books or were gossiping but they all stopped and looked at him a moment latter. Narsa entered seconds later and then her maidens left quickly. Narsa gently walked over to a couch and took off her sword belt then sat down. She smiled then said “ Sit Master Rider” “No thank you” Eric replied. Narsa smiled and then almost twenty years disappeared from her face and body so she looked about Aurora’s age. She leaned forwarded and took a pitcher of wine then filled a goblet full. She picked it up and drank and then her eyes flashed back on to Eric.
“Eric do you know what I am?” she asked. “Narsa” Eric said, “You are the Silver Rider of the dark Numar servants of Galidon” “I wouldn’t go as far as to say we were the servants of Galidon but you are correct” said Narsa and sipped her wine “Though there is on problem” “And what is that?” asked Eric with a smile. “I am lonely,” said Narsa “The line the Master Riders has died out and there is nobody for me to wed” “No” said Eric. “Eric I am suppose to marry soon or Galidon will choose my husband,” said Narsa “ And he his an ancient Numarian lord” “So?” asked Eric. “I don’t want to marry him or have him choose my husband,” said Narsa “But you I can learn to love” “No” said Eric. It was quiet then said Narsa asked, “What shall we do then?” “Join my side,” said Eric “And your people can join mine” “Join you,” said Narsa almost in a whisper. Narsa looked at her mug then put it down “ Eric that tastes like honey to my tounge and light to my eyes” she said “ But a trap to my ears” “You’ve live to long in the darkness” said Eric “ There will be no trap if you make a deal with me”
“And what will be in this deal?” asked Narsa. “Nothing you will not like,” said Eric “ Our people will live in Droshen and we will revive the greatness of our people” “Words that are sweet can quickly turn sourer,” said Narsa. “You want to keep your position,” said Eric “But there is already a Silver Rider Narsa and that’s my wife” “And with me out of the way you can harm my people” said Narsa. “Your age doesn’t do your mind justice,” said Eric with a large smile. “My age” said Narsa “How do you think I am” “Sixteen” he guessed. “Close” said Narsa “I seventeen the same age as your wife and you” “Not quiet,” said Eric “I’m eighteen” “Oh” said Narsa. “Narsa” said Eric “Can we deal with our problem after the war because right now we both know Galidon is our enemy” Narsa picked up her mug and took a sip “Fine but all orders that you give to my people go through me,” she said afterward. “That’s fine,” said Eric. “Then Eric I do believe we have an alliance” said Narsa “But you’d better win or we’ll end up dead” “I know” aid Eric “I know” “And he wont like losing a Silver Rider” said Narsa “ Even a young one”
“Let me deal with that” said Eirc “But like what my wife would say. Your to good to be bad” “What’s your first order?” asked Narsa with a smile. “We will return to my army,” said Eric. “They’ll kill me,” said Narsa, now scarred. “My wife wouldn’t allow it,” said Eric “And my father wouldn’t either” Narsa calmed down and ordered two horses to be readied. They rode into the night through a forest and on a path that was lit by a half moon. Eric felt something following but kept him mind on the war. He had to bring his army and Narsa’s together so they could attack the ancient city of Dasha. They slowed to a walk as the night lingered. Eric looked at Narsa who was asleep in her saddle so he grabbed her horse’s reins and led the horse. They went along like this for sometime till their horses just stopped. “Who’s there?” shouted a voice. “Eric” said he replied “And Narsa” A lantern was lit and a group of solders could be seen around Eric and Narsa’s horse. They were all Nordanthian solders and all knew Eric so they let him pass. Eric soon came into his army’s camp and all looked at him. “Eric” said his wife.
Aurora rushed over as he got off his horse and hugged him “I was worried that you were dead” she said “Who’s the girl?” “That’s Narsa,” said Eric. Aurora looked at him “ She looks younger” she said “Than when I first saw” “Don’t worry your still attractive,” said Eric with a smile “Narsa and I have an alliance” “That will help,” said Aurora. She then ordered a solder to take Narsa off her horse and to follow her. He looked at Eric then did what he was told. He followed his lady to her tent and laid the girl on a cot then left before Narsa awoke. Meanwhile Eric entered his father’s tent to see Samilon. “What’s he doing here?” asked Eric. “He’s here to help,” said Aric “But I saw you swung Narsa to our side” “Yeah” said Eric “Why?” “I know her mother” said Aric “ Your mother and I took her in just after the second dark war but she disappeared with one of my solders” “Then what?” Eric asked. “A letter came from the solder just when your mother had you” said Eric “It said that he was dieing and that his wife had passed away because some sickness but he had a daughter. He wanted me to take care of her but I couldn’t since it would be to dangerous to travel into the black lands”
“Grandpa” Everybody turned around to see Narsa and Aurora. Narsa who was in a borrowed dress from Aurora looked great with her loose hair and shyness. At least that’s what Samilon thought. “Why did you call me that?” asked Aric. “Mama always said you were her dad,” said Narsa “So I grew into thinking you were my grandpa” Aric was silent but Samilon spoke up “Could Narsa and I talk alone” he said. Eric smiled at Aurora who seemed as happy as he was that Samilon wasn’t going after her. All left and went to bed as Narsa and Samilon talked.
Chapter Forty-two Forest Fight Eric awoke the next morning to find Aurora deep in a dream sleep. Her hair was loose rather than tied into a knot and she looked so innocent and beautiful. He gently got up and put on his day clothes then strapped on his sword. Next came a tough leather shirt that had fur along the inner side. He put on his wool socks and leather shoes last then went outside to find his father talking with Samilon before a fire. “What are you two talking about?” asked Eric. “The fortress of Umilar” said Samilon “Where the Black Riders dewll” “And where six of your fellow Riders are magically captive in a sleep” said Aric. “And how long have they been dozing off?” asked Eric. “If I’m right on the timing” said Aric as he scratched his chin “ They’ve been asleep since we were in Blean” “That’s a long sleep,” said Eric as he put his hands over the fire to warm himself.
“Speaking of sleep” said Aric “ How’s Aurora?” “She deep in her sleep” said Eric then smiled “ I don’t think she truly believes the fact I’m here” “She did see you last night?” asked Aric. “Yes,” said Eric “But she was dead tired” “Well she doesn’t know I’m here,” said Samilon. “I hope your love crush on her is over,” said Eric. “It’s over,” said Samilon. “Good” said Eric “ Well dad how’s Sireen?” “I’m fine” Sireen came from around the tent dressed for cold weather and war. “Is Aurora still sleeping?” asked Eric’s sister. “She is” Eric replied. There was some movement inside the tent and Aurora said “ Elizabeth you can come in” Sireen entered the tent and the men heard the girls giggling then chattering. They did it with hushed voices and so quickly that the men didn’t try to listen in. Instead they made breakfast then went about their duties. Eric made for the forest he and Narsa had traveled through some hours before that stood at the edge of the eastern part of the camp. It was now filled with fog and seemed haunted.
“We’ll need to fly over that so that the army will now where to go,” said Greylend as he walked over to Eric. Eric nodded. “Come on then” said Greylend “No time like the present” Eric got on Greylend and the dragon took off into the sky with one jump. The air that passed by was cold and very wet, which made it uncomfortable, flying but Eric didn’t care. He looked below to see the vast dark forest below him but it seemed to have grown in size and in evilness. They did however hear the local monsters of the forest. When they got back to camp Aurora was ready with Europa and Samilon was on a Wyvern. The dragon was huge and mud colored but it seemed tamed enough not to kill anyone. “Narsa is riding with Samilon,” said Aurora, walking up to Greylend as Eric got of the golden dragon. “Is that good?” asked Eric as he put his arms around Aurora. “I think they fancy each other,” said Aurora. “That’s good,” said Eric “I wont have to kill Samilon now” “What did you see during your flight?” asked Aurora. “Fog and forest” said Eric just as Paliticon blew is horn “ You’d better get on Europa” Aurora smiled “ Dragons are faster than marching armies sweetie” she said. “We still don’t want to be left behind,” said Eric.
Aurora kissed him on the cheek then ran over to her Europa who she got on. Eric got on his Greylend and three dragons took off as a massive army moved into the dark forest. They stayed at a steady pace so they could fly down low and see bits of the army here and there. Over all it was slow progress as the army moved through the forest that seemed to be hiding something in its shadows. It grew dark though not as dark as night but it made the place seem more eerie. It also was quiet with the only sound being the army marching and the flapping of the dragon’s wings. Then there was a screech in the forest below. The riders on their dragons looked below to see only the treetops. Greylend flew down and crashed into a dead pine tree making it crack under his weight. Eric and his dragon landed mostly unharmed with a clearing made for the other dragons. “Eric” shouted his father from somewhere. He turned to see a horde of forest goblins, trolls and their smarter brothers the Crathen. The crathen were only a bit smaller than the trolls but had bone plate armor on and had more refined weapons in their hands. They were obviously smarter than the trolls and prepared for battle. Greylend by that time had changed into his human self but dressed for battle. “I hope your weapons are real,” said Eric.
“They’re real,” said Greylend “Everything I have came from the supply wagon” The size change of Greylend made the enemy hesitant but there being only two of them didn’t help. The goblins charged first and Eric unsheathed his sword Buricton. Greylend did the same to a huge sword that fit well into his hands then the goblins came. Graylend sent the first swarm to meet their maker but the second swarm came on to fast. Eric sent Buricton into a goblin’s head then sliced of another’s arm and hacked at its chest. Then Aurora and the others came to join in the fun as they crashed among the goblins causing more trees to crash. Aurora slipped her bow out if its leather holder and armed it as Samilon sent his curved sword into a troll’s chest. The dragons did what they could by crushing all that came to near or burning it. A roar of many voices came from behind and dwarves came charging with axes held high ready for battle. Though still the enemy held strong as the crathen cut many down. “Burn the trunks above them,” shouted Aurora somewhere in the fight. Europa turned her head to the leaves of the trees and breathed fire that caught onto the trees. Eric saw the fire travel unnaturally quick over the enemy then fire fell to the floor below. It landed on the enemy and they roared, chattered and screamed in anger or fear as it burned them. They fell back as more of the trees became lit with fire
till they were in a full retreat. Then the fire dead as quickly as it was started and it grew quiet once again. The dwarves though ran after the enemy with hast hoping to really fight by sword not by magic. “Galidon must have sent them,” said Samilon after he wiped his bloody nose. “No they are the watcher over the forest” said Narsa “ And they’ll be back once we’re resting” “Come on” said Eric “Lets go find the bulk of the army” They didn’t have to travel far to find the bulk of the army that was having to fight in a very woody area. Both sides were fighting mostly by arrows and it was too dangerous to us the fire trick again. Eric and Aurora hid behind an old pine tree that was very wide and didn’t seem to be a target for the enemy. Eric sighed and wished he had a long bow with him as he saw Aurora arm her elven bow. He watched as she took out a goblin then another but in return they got shot at. “Missed me you pigs,” shouted Aurora and a few more arrows hit the tree. “You’re having fun aren’t you” said Eric. “Totally” said Aurora and fired of another arrow “But I need more arrows” Eric looked around then said, “I’ll be back in a moment”
He made a run for another tree that also got shot at once he hid behind it. Though from there he could see Palticon and a few others behind two or three fallen trees firing arrows. He made another run and landed next to the general who shouted out a curse. Eric ignored all this and grabbed a spare bow and two quivers of arrows. “Give me some cover fire guys,” he said to the men. A few moments later and he made it back to Aurora. She had just fired off her last arrow and sat with her back to the tree when he came and kissed her. She was surprised but at once knew it was her husband. “About time” she said as she grabbed one of the quivers Eric held “The goblins are coming closer” Eric armed his bow and fired at a troll who roared. It ran into a tree that knocked it out causing it to land on several goblins that were out in the open. “We’re still not winning,” said Aurora. Then Eric shouted “Aurora” Blinding light appeared everywhere then it disappeared as Eric called of the spell. The forest was quiet then someone shouted something the two couldn’t here. An army of arrows flew up into the air and landed on everything then there was the roar of charging men. Men ran toward the stunned enemy and forced them back into a retreat. Eric watched
from the tree where he was then laid his head against the tree to slow down the thumping he heard in his head. “That was fun,” said Aurora who sat next to him. “I’m beat” said Eric and closed his eyes. “Eric you’ve got a bad cut on your for head” said Aurora. “It’s ok” said Eric and looked at her. She smiled at him and took a white rag from her side pack she always carried. She put a bit of water on it from her water flask then put on Eric’s cut. It stung for a while but it wasn’t too bad. The army camped there to help the wounded and burry the dead though Eric had a bad feeling as the tents were set up. He didn’t trust the forest that hid the enemy who he knew wouldn’t give up on killing them. He made sure the spread out camp had enough guards on watch duty then sat next to his wife and waited.
Chapter Forty-Three Riders (Samilon leads Eric to the dark rider’s fortress where the rest of the six good riders are in some type of sleep)(Aric also tells them of Galidon’s history)