The Dragons of Keanna
Copyright © By Jandar Tyr
Dear Mother, Go to Hell!
In every shadow in every town and forest. In every field or jungle, shadow beasts came forth to search for Ranjer. Every house or shack was searched. In the places of light, the sunbirds searched too. They covered everywhere and everything; nothing was overlooked in the light or darkness. Then in a dungeon in a dark place a little scared crying boy was heard by a few hounds. They had found him. One hound sat in the shadow and watched the boy to be sure he was safe. This was their orders, find the boy and protect him and for one to report back his location. Outside in the sun, a sunbird entered the dungeon through a shaft of light and found Ranjer. Soon a flock of sunbirds circled the castle to show where Ranjer was being kept. It was too dark in the dungeon for them so they had to stay out. Traveling through shadow and on sunbeams, the hounds and the birds quickly went back to Yadessa to tell Pelic and Graym that they had found, Ranjer and where he was.
Out in the courtyard of Shadowvyn, Pelic, Graym and Jayce sat and waited in the sun as Azeal walked out and pulled his dagger. He held Justice up to the sun as it grew to a full sized longsword and the Salvation stone glowed a dark blue. He looked back at the three men waiting for him
"Just stab it into the ground." Jayce told him.
Azeal raised the sword over his head ,then stabbed down and the sword went into the soil. Sparks flew up and suddenly a ripple effect began to spread out from it. It raced out and all through Yadessa sending Salvation all through the land.
"That's it." Jayce told him. "Yadessa is safe from Polan. He can't touch or enter here ever"
"Retribution can do this too?" Graym asked.
"Yes, we're all going to have a piece. Soon we'll all spread out to all the countries and one by one we'll banish his black poisons."
"Good." Graym said. "They're still burying his victims at home."
"Look!!" Azeal pointed up in the sky. Jayce and Graym looked up and saw many sparks of light coming down to fly around them. The sunbirds were back! Graym held out his hand and one beautiful golden bird landed on it.
"I know where he is." Graym said. "Come on, let's get back to the others."
Jayce grabbed Azeal and took off with Graym right behind him. They flew up and into the window of Valkar's study. All the others were there waiting spread around the room.
"I've found him!!" Graym shouted.
"So have I." Pelic said.
Jayce and Graym set down and let Azeal go. Then they all came together at the table and sat down.
"So how do we do this?" Denner asked.
"I'm going to get my brother." Azeal got up from the table and started for the door.
"Wait!" Jandar called. "You're not going alone. I'm coming with you."
"So am I." Graym stood up.
"Rage, we still have to free Toric's family. You take Pelic. Maybe his hounds can find them for you."
"No." Rage walked over to his mate and took his hand." I'll wait until you get back. You sure you don't want us to come with you?"
"No love. Go to Tir Na and put our protection down there. I don't want Polan invading my family's home. Then go on back to Settlement, and you and Jayce can spread Salvation where you can on your way. I want to limit the places he can go."
Rage pulled Jandar into his arms and kissed him.
"I'm not gonna worry about you." He said.
"Good, cause we'll be fine." They kissed deeply and held each other.
"I'll see you at home." Rage smiled.
"Always." Jandar whispered in his ear.
Minutes later with the help of a sunbird and a spell from Jandar they found themselves in the forest outside of an old run down castle. The gates were down and there wasn't much time before Polan's deadline. They had to get him out now.
"I can feel Ranjer." Azeal told them. "He's here, and so is she."
"I know." Jandar said. "She's not the only one here. I feel something strange here, too."
"What is it?" Graym asked.
"I don't know. But it's evil. I can feel the hate. Graym, take to the skies and see if you can find a way in from up there and around back. Keep Retribution handy, who knows what's here."
"I'm on my way." Spreading his wings he leaped to the skies and flew towards the castle. Soon he was gone from sight. Jandar called his staff to him the looked at Azeal.
"Azeal, we're going in together. I don't know what we're going to find in there, so be on your guard. If we get separated, you get Ranjer out of here. Be careful, if you find your mother."
"She'll be the one that will need to be careful." He told Jandar as he pulled Justice from its scabbard. The stone setting flashed blue as it lengthened to a short sword.
Together Jandar and Azeal stepped on to the bridge and started across. The inside of the castle was dark as night, but that didn't matter to a werewolf or a vampire, they both could see perfectly well in the dark. They saw rats and mice run as the made there way forward. This castle was totally unfamiliar to both of them so neither knew where to go. But the dungeon seemed the place to start. But where exactly was the entrance to the lower levels? Side by side they moved forward from the front courtyard into the castle proper. Jandar could feel something here, he knew they were not alone. Ahead in front there was a set of double doors. Jandar figured they probably were the doors to the throne room. On the right side of that, there was another door. If this place was built like most area castles, that would be the king's study or a council room. To the left of the center doors, Jandar guessed that would probably go to the kitchen and pantry and dining areas. To their sharp left and right were the stairs to the upper floors. There would be the king, queen and royal family's quarters and guest rooms and other nobles' quarters. Under the stairs they found another door and set of stairs. These went down to the dungeons.
"Well." Azeal said. "Up or down?"
Up in the skies, Graym flew around looking for a way into the castle. All the windows he'd seen so far were too small for him to fit through so he searched on. As he winged his way around, he saw a place where the wall had fallen. That could be a way in. Hovering in the air, Graym turned and headed for the hole in the wall. As he came closer several winged things emerged from the hole. There were seven or eight of the winged demons. Graym pulled up and headed higher, he needed room to swing Retribution. They closed in on him trying to surround him. Graym knew he couldn't handle all of them. He needed help. He wished he still controlled the shadow beasts. They could rip these things apart in seconds. He wondered if the sunbirds were as deadly. He had no choice but to call them and see. Graym sent out a call for as many as he could as the demons launched their attack. They were unarmed but they had sharp claws and fangs that could tear him up. Graym swung his sword as one came in reaching for him; he slashed at its chest. As the burning slash appeared ,Graym pulled back and stabbed another through the shoulder. It burst into a flash of light as it died. He kicked out and hit another then spun around slashing a demon's throat and dropped till he was free and slowed his fall. Looking up he saw sparks of light coming toward him. He saw hundreds of Sunbird's coming in to help him. Graym climbed higher as the birds attacked the first demon. They tore it to pieces until there was nothing left. That answered Graym's question. They were deadly. Seconds later two more demons reached for his wings. He flexed them in a sudden jerk and sent hundreds of feather darts at them. They fell, their wings ripped to shreds. Climbing higher, he watched as the rest of the demons were overcome by the horde of sunbirds. Now he was free to enter the castle.
"You go up." Jandar told Azeal. " I'll go down."
"You think Ranjer is downstairs so your sending me up?" Azeal asked him. "Isn't that right?"
"No. Azeal. I don't know where he is. But we have to check both up and down. If we do it together, it's going to take that much longer. I'll call you if I find them downstairs. You call me if they're up. Fair enough?"
"Yeah. I guess." Azeal said.
"I mean it Azeal." Jandar started down the stairs. "Call me if you find them."
Down into the dungeon Jandar walked. The smell down here was awful. It was the smell of death. That means there's something down here that's dead. But it couldn't be Ranjer, even if he was dead he hasn't been dead long. Holding his staff in front of him, Jandar stepped on to the dungeon landing. He looked left and right and saw nothing. He moved on to the cell area. There he saw a row of open cells. He was going to have to check them all. Jandar stepped up to the first cell and looked in. He thought he saw something move on the floor. Was it Ranjer? He stepped in to check and looked down on the body on the floor. It was too big to be Ranjer. But it was moving. Could she have taking someone else? Knowing Velusia, the answer was yes. Jandar bent over to check the body when it jumped up and hissed at him. Claws reached for him as he stepped back. It was a vampire. But not a born vampire. It was one of Velusia's dark changed thralls. Swinging his staff down, Jandar stabbed it in the chest. In a bright flash and a scream, the thrall was consumed by the fire of the Salvation stone in his staff. At that second he heard sounds of movement from all around him. He knew he was in trouble.
"Damn!! Just my luck!!"
Upstairs Azeal slowly made his way higher and higher. This is where Ranjer was. He knew that more and more with each step he took. He could feel Velusia too. Her stench was everywhere. At the top of the stairs he found a balcony with three hallways branching off. He sniffed the air. There was no smell in the left hall and nothing in the center. That left the right one. From there he could smell them both.
"I'm coming Ranjer." Azeal started down the hall he held Justice in his hand. He passed many doors on his way down the hall. But the scent grew stronger ahead of him. Soon he came to a large open room. This must be the king's private quarters and this is where the scent was strongest. The room was filled with old furniture. There were tapestries ,bureaus, trunks and overstuffed chairs. An enormous canopy bed with curtains hanging. Azeal stepped into the room and stared at the bed. There was someone in it. It was Ranjer. He ran for the bed then stopped when a cloud of smoke came between them. He heard a cackling laugh fill the room. He stepped back as the cloud began to solidify.
"My darling son." She said as her beautiful form became clear. She was smiling at him as she walked to the front of the bed. Velusia was dressed in beautiful blue silks wrapped all around her. She looked like a dream, an evil dream.
"I haven't been your son since you had Rejek banished."
"That was his fault." She said. "He refused to comply just like you."
"Why should we?" Azeal was getting mad. "It's not like you ever showed us any love. We were tools to get what you wanted, that's all."
"That's right." She said. "I should have drowned all three of you at birth. You're just like your father. I wish I'd killed him, too."
"You might as well know, you'll be dead soon anyway. That damned Valkar." Her eyes burned with hate for them all.
"Valkar is our father?" Azeal was shocked to hear all this. "Does he know?"
"No. I swore I'd never give him an heir. That's why I had Rejek banished. That's why neither of you will leave alive."
"I've hated you most of my life. You and grandfather gave me these scars I'll carry them for the rest of my life. Look at my face mother, you did this to me With your own hands, you did this!!!"
His rage was building as he screamed at her. Justice felt warm in his hand as It sent power all through his body as they argued. Today would be the last time they would have to see each other. After today, one of them would certainly be dead.
"I have another gift for you my sweet Azeal."
Smoke began to rise all around her.
"The gift of peace. Never again will you have to worry about anything. And I promise you, Ranjer will follow you in a few minutes. HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!"
Azeal charged at her with his sword raised. She dissolved into smoke and swirled around him. All around him she flowed, she reached out and slashed at him. Across his cheek a scratch appeared. He reached up and felt the blood on his face. That's one more scar she would answer for. Azeal took a step back but she just came on. Again and again he felt her strike him. In his face, then his chest, and his stomach. He fell to the ground in pain. Azeal was beginning to think maybe this was to be his last day. He heard her laughter ringing in his ears. He felt a kick hit him in his side and he flew into the wall.
"Did you think you even had a chance?"
The words echoed through the room. Something grabbed his hair and threw him across the room. Azeal crashed into the side of the bed. He sat up and for a second he was blinded by the smoke.
"HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!"
He climbed up trying to stand and felt her hit him in his face and knock him back to the floor. Azeal again got back to his feet and raised his sword.
"What do you plan to do with that?" He heard her taunting him. "Maybe I'll take it from you and slice you both up with it."
She grabbed his leg and tripped him. Azeal fell to the floor again. By now he had bruises all over, his head hurt and he was having doubts that he would survive the day. Than he heard a noise from above and looked up. It was Graym. He was trapped in the upper floors. All he had was a window which he could watch Azeal die from.
"I see a new victim. Who is that? He looks familiar. Doesn't matter, he dies after Ranjer. I'll just cripple you so you can watch."
She hit him again in his face. Reeling from all the blows, Azeal staggered to the wall and leaned on it. He thought he heard a voice. Azeal shook his head to clear it and the voice became clearer. It was Graym yelling to him. He looked up at him.
"AZEAL!! DEFEND YOURSELF!! USE THE SWORD! TRUST IN JUSTICE!! FIGHT HER DAMMIT!!"
"You can't hurt me! He can't hurt me! There's nothing either of you can do but die!"
Smoke swirled and swirled around him. Azeal bought his sword up and again shook his head to clear it. Velusia came at him again and Azeal swung Justice through the smoke cutting a path through it. He felt Justice hit something, Velusia screamed. This was it. He hurt her. He swung the sword again, and again she screamed.
"How can this be?"
She tried to flow away from him and he chased the cloud. Again and again he stabbed and sliced at the cloud. Her screaming became louder and desperate. Justice was getting slippery with what Azeal assumed was his mother's blood.
"Please stop!" She cried weakly and in pain.
He ignored her pleas and kept hacking at the cloud, the stone in the hilt growing brighter and brighter. With one last thrust, he stuck Justice into the center of the cloud. She screamed one last cry as the cloud dissipated leaving her ripped and bloody body lying on the ground. Azeal looked down at the body of his mother as a tear rolled down his cheek. She was dead and there was only one thing left to do. Azeal raised Justice over his head.
"Let your soul rest mother. Good bye."
With a quick downward stroke, Azeal severed her head and she burst into flames. Azeal stepped back and watched her burn. This was the only time he ever cried for his mother. As she burned he turned and walked to the bed. He picked up his brother and walked out, leaving the room to burn along with all his memories and hate with her.
Kara woke to another day of captivity in the home of the strange man that took her and her daughter from their home. She had no idea where she was. All she knew was that this was a frightening place and she wanted to get them out of there. She hadn't seen another living soul here, except for that monster of a man dressed in black. How she hated him. He smelled of evil magic. A smell she had learned to hate. Her husband and his brother had that smell. She was so glad her son had rejected his father's teaching and turned his magic and his life in a different way. Her husband had been the Mage called The Collector. He and his brother had used their magic to enslave hundreds of different creatures and steal their magic to grow strong. But it did neither of them any good in the end. In trying to capture certain prizes they ran into someone more powerful than them. Someone they couldn't beat or scare. Her husband had tried to capture a werewolf. Unfortunately for them, the werewolf they tried to capture was one of the brothers of Jandar Tyr, the Master Mage of the Dark Wolf Clan. He of course came and rescued his brother. Her husband's punishment was severe. He was placed in a zoo himself after being turned into a freak. His brother's punishment was even worse. Then again his crime was much more horrible. Haner kidnapped and was responsible for the death of a young centaur, a child. Jandar turned him over to the centaurs to be punished by them. No one knows what they did to him. His body hadn't been found.
Feeling weak, Kara climbed out of the bed and walked over to check on her daughter Tess. Tess didn't look very good. Her beautiful brown hair had lost all its shine. Kara was worried about her. Being around all these dead things was having a dreadful effect on her. She was listless and walking around like death was stalking her, and maybe it was. She had to get her out of here soon. Over in the corner was a fountain. Thank god the water in it ran clear and clean. Kara took the pitcher from the table and went and filled it up. She brought it back and sat Tess up and gave her some water.
"Mother, I want to go home." Tess looked at her with circles under her eyes.
"I know, little one. Toric will be here for us soon, we just have to hold on." She dabbed her daughter's face with a wet rag.
"Please, Toric, You have to hurry my son." She prayed.
Toric sat in the window sill of his room and watched all the children outside playing . He wanted so bad to get his mother and sister free. He was worried about them. Tess was very frail. She was his twin. He could feel what was happening to her and he knew she wasn't doing well. His mother would take care of her as best she could, but Tess was starting to get really bad. She would start fighting. And her power and strength were a mystery. Father always said he siphoned off a lot of her power and that she was much more powerful then she looked. He knew she was no match for Polan. But if she fought, it could get them killed.
As he watched there was a knock at the door. He stood up and walked over and opened the door. There on the other side was Ariel. Toric smiled at her. What a regal beauty; she was dressed in her stormy gray blue gown and those beautiful smoky eyes and her elven features. Ariel was tall with long silky white blonde hair and carried herself like the princess she was.
"Come in my Lady." Toric smiled and bowed to her holding out his hand. She took it and smiled back.
"Thank you." She said.
He escorted her out to the terrace and held her chair for her. Ariel sat down and folded her hands in her lap.
"How are you doing today, Toric?" She asked.
"I will be alright, but I fear my sister isn't doing well at all." He said. She had a look of concern on her face. Ariel reached out and touched his face. Toric knew at that moment this was the girl for him. His heart almost burst at her touch.
"You are a twin like Cutter and I, aren't you?"
"Yes, Tess and I are twins," He said.
"And you feel her pain." She said. "Please don't worry. Rage and Jandar are on their way. And Rage says we are going to get them as soon as we can. We are all going to do what we have to, to get them free. I promise you that."
"I know you will." Toric took her hand and kissed it. She blushed.
[Ariel, we are back.]
"They're all back. Toric. Come on, Let's meet them."
Toric stood up and held her chair for her as she stood. Together they left his room and made their way out into the courtyard to meet everyone coming back. In the courtyard Jandar, Rage, Pelic, Denner and Graym came walking up to the Manor.
"Welcome Home!!" Ariel said. She hugged them all as they came to her. Rage looked to Toric.
"Come, let's sit in the garden and make some plans. I'll call everyone out here."
One by one everyone came out to the garden and greeted Rage and Jandar. Graym told them all about the demise of Velusia. How well Azeal did against his Mother. At the moment, only Jandar and Graym knew about Valkar being his father. They didn't even tell Valkar yet. Azeal wanted to wait. They let them know that Azeal was still in Tir Na with his little brother and Jandar's family, safe. Rage told them about the places they stopped at and freed from Polan's hold. He also mentioned that Shine was again out of body watching Polan.
"Now that everyone's been caught up. We have to discuss how we're going to help Toric and his family. One thing I can tell you is that Polan's not in a very good mood right now. He's lost a lot of land and I'm sure he's in a rage right now. So we have to act quickly while he's not thinking clearly. Here's what we're going to do....."
The day dawned gloomy in the country of Vicenta. Vicenta was once a beautiful place full of fruit trees and farming fields. The people were pleasant, always ready to help a stranger in need. Now they were suspicious of anyone that came near their villages. Food as in all of Polan's land was scarce. Stealing was now the norm here. Woman and children couldn't walk anywhere alone anymore and no one was ever unarmed. These were sad days now with Polan as their ruler. Ono and Shayn flew in and landed in a barren field and looked around. Jandar had warned them to be careful and to avoid being seen if they could. He knew how scared and dangerous the people had become because of their hunger.
"These poor people." Shayn said. He reached over and took Ono's hand.
"We're here to help." Ono smiled at his love. "Go ahead and do what we came to do."
Shayn bent over and stuck his hands into the ground. The shimmering effect began to spread out from there. As it moved, the color of the ground began to look more healthy. Rotten fruit began to fall from the trees and the leaves turned a more healthy color.
"Ok." Ono said. "Let's move on."
Shayn shifted back to Gabriel and Ono climbed on his back and they took off for their next destination.
Cutter and Dreik were the next to land. Theirs was a mountainous land. Dreik liked this place. He felt comfortable in the mountains. The only problem was that everyone here was either dead or had left to find a better place to live. Dreik could feel the poison Polan had infected the land with. They never said a word as they cleaned the land and left.
Jumping from island to island, Nautica and Denner cleaned all the islands they could find. Polan had poisoned everything he touched on land and sea. Mortimer's people on Mythioes ever felt his poisons in their lake until that island was cleaned and turned to a prison by the dragons. On Parsia, a large island, Nautica and Denner fought against the demons Polan left there to keep the people in line. Fear and terror ruled the island. Luckily they defeated the demons and cleaned the island and cut Polan off from there forever.
Kara woke to the sound of something tapping at the window. She opened her eyes and looked around. Over on the window sill she saw a small golden animal scratching. It looked like a little dragon. Wasn't Polan talking about dragons earlier? Something about a red dragon. She got up and walked over and opened the window. The little dragon flew in and up to the rafters. She watched it fly around and jump from plank to plank. Tess opened her eyes and smiled at it.
"Mother!" She called weakly. Kara rushed back to her daughter. She sat down next to her and wiped her brow.
"Look, Toric sent us help."
"What are you talking about?" She asked as she looked back at the little dragon. It was sitting there staring at her.
"It's talking to me in my head." She said.
Tess closed her eyes.
"Shhh sweetheart, you're dreaming." Kara wet the towel and laid it on her daughter's forehead.
[No, she's not.] Kara heard in her head. She jumped up and looked around.
[I'm up here.] Kara looked up to the little dragon. I must have the fever too she thought,
[No, you don't. I am talking to you. Toric sent me for you. Please don't talk. They might hear you. I can hear your thoughts.] Shine jumped down and clutched the bed post. The color in his many faceted eyes kept changing in the light.
[Toric sent you?] She asked. [Is he well?]
[He's worried about the two of you. Otherwise he's well.]
[How can you help us?]
[I can take you out of here. We have someone that can help her get better] Kara looked at the small thing on the bed. How was he to transport them anywhere being so small?
[There are some very powerful small things, my lady. Don't underestimate me.]
[I don't understand.] Kara said.
[Don't worry. Toric and help will be here in a moment and you will be out of here.]
Suddenly the door burst open and a man in black armor came in. He was carrying a tray of food. He looked at her then Shine and dropped the try and called for help. Kara pointed at him and a stream of energy shot at him. He froze in place then dropped to the ground dead. It was too late. There was no more time to wait for any help from outside. They would have to move now.
[Grab her and get her out the window now!!] Shine took to the air and landed on the window sill. Two men came running into the room. Kara quickly threw out her hand again and one man fell like the other. Before she could cast again the other man ran toward her with his sword. Shine called and sent a lightning bolt at him. It hit him and killed him dead.
[Hurry!!] Shine sent. [You have to get her outside.]
Kara grabbed her daughter and with amazing strength, picked her up and carried her to the window. Shine jumped out to the ground as Kara pushed Tess out and she fell. As she climbed on to the window sill, another black armor came in and tried to grab her. As he tried to pull her back in, she turned and grabbed his head. Her hands began to glow as she sent the last of her magical energy into his brain. He screamed and fell with her out the window. Quickly she untangled herself from the dead man and climbed to her feet. Before her stood a massive golden dragon. She just stared for a second, not sure what to do.
[It's me. Don't worry. Quickly climb on my back. I'll lift her up to you. Then hold on tight.]
Kara ran to Shine and climbed up his leg as he reached out and grabbed Tess and put her in front of her mother. Flying around the corner, came a red and a purple dragon moving at high speed. On the back of the purple one sat Toric sending out blasts of magic at the black armors shooting arrows at them. Lightning bolts blasted out from the dragon beneath himl as she twisted and turned to avoid the arrows.
[Move now Shine!!] Rage sent.
He bellowed fire out to scatter the warriors. In a matter of seconds, Shine was airborne and heading to the heights carrying them away. Higher and higher they flew as they made their getaway. Suddenly behind them they heard a roar. It was two of Polans dead things chasing after them.
[Shine, take them back to Settlement. We'll take care of them.]
Rage and Ariel circled around back to confront the two dead things. Climbing higher Toric sent bolt after bolt at the dead dragons. It was a giant bat like thing with holes in its wings swooping at them.
"You fly, let me take care of them." He yelled to her.
Toric sat strapped into a special saddle Rage had made for Jandar to ride in. Diving at them the bat thing reached out and tried to claw at Ariel. Toric put his hands together and sent out a blast that took off one of its legs. The bat thing didn't even flinch, instead it swung out its wing to smash them. Ariel sent a wind that beat it back. In his saddle, Toric called out a string of strange words. He swung his hand in a circle over his head then screamed out and pointed at the bat monster. It exploded in the air, pieces rained out everywhere.
Rage looked ahead. In front of him was a Roc. The biggest, nastiest bird he had ever seen. He knew it was one of Polan's things, so it was dead. But its claws and beak were still powerful enough to rip him apart if it caught him. Rage picked up speed and flew right at it. Just before contact he dipped, flipped over and reached out his claws and ripped its bottom open. Feeling no pain the Roc kept going. With a sudden batting of its wing, it knocked Rage aside. For a second he tumbled, but he gained his balance and did a flip in the air to recover. Climbing high, he saw that Ariel and Toric had done away with their pursuer. It was time to end this and get home to Jandar. Rage decided to do a head on attack. He did another flip and came straight at the Roc. Closer and closer they flew. The Roc stuck out its claws to grab and rip him apart. Rage took a deep breath and blasted it with the hottest blast he ever used. The Roc burst into flames as it flew toward him. It frantically flapped its wings beating at the flames trying to extinguish them and lost all control of its flight. Like a true rock, it fell from the sky and crashed still smoldering into the ground. Ash and feathers floated in the air as Rage turned and headed for home.
[It's done.] He sent to Jandar. [We're coming home.]
Below, Polan screamed in rage as he watched the Dragons fly off heading home.