The Dragons of Keanna - Book II
by Jandar Tyr
Out of the Darkness
No sound of animals or insect could be heard as she slowly crept her way through the forest toward the house on the cliff. Rain splattered her face. It felt good to her. It had been a long time since she had smelled fresh air or felt the rain, but it didn't matter. She felt the hunger, that and the pain would keep her weak if she didn't feed. She pushed her way closer and closer. The scent of life driving her on. At the edge of the trees she looked on the house. She could see there was a fire burning in there. Smoke drifted up out of the chimney. Whoever lived here was cooking their supper. The smell of food turned her empty stomach, but the smell of life pushed her on. Closer to the house she moved until she stood at the front window. She could see a man inside. He was repairing harnesses for his plows. Getting ready for his next busy day. He would do.
[COME TO ME.] She whispered.
She saw his head come up, he had heard her. She called again.
[COME TO ME.]The man stood up and shook his head. He thought he was hearing things. Something was drawing him outside. He walked to the door and looked out. He didn't see anything, but the voice sounded again.
[I AM HERE. WAITING FOR YOU.] The picture of a woman in black appeared in his head. She was beautiful he thought. He pulled open the door and stepped out to find her. His passions were inflamed. Suddenly a withered old hand reached out and grabbed him by his throat. In shock he was looking into the eyes of the decrepit old woman. Her eyes burned red and she drooled with sharp fangs curving in her mouth. Fear totally paralyzed him as she pulled him to her mouth and bit into his throat, his blood rushing into her mouth.
Screams echoed through the room as Athene woke covered in sweat. She had just had the most horrid dream of her life. She heard footsteps hurrying to her door. Then someone was pounding on it.
"Athene!!" Jandar called. "Let me in! Are you alright?"
She got out of bed and pulled on her robe, then answered the door. At the door stood Jandar Tyr, Master Mage werewolf and her friend dressed in cotton sleep pants. He came in and hugged her.
"I heard you screaming." He said. "Are you alright?"
"I don't know. I had the worst dream." She told him as they sat at a table in the living room of her apartment.
"Dream?" He looked at her worried. "Your dreams always scare me. They always mean something. What did you dream?"
"I dreamt, I was an old witch of a vampire." She told him. "Feeding on some man in a cottage on a cliff."
Jandar looked at her with a strange look. This wasn't like her at all.
"Why would you suddenly start feeding on people?" He asked. "You've never done that before, and it would condemn you into darkness."
"I wouldn't." She told him. "Mine isn't a curse, it's a birthright. There's no point in sacrificing my soul to feed. Jandar, the dream puzzles me. My people don't feed on humans anymore. I'd lose the ability to walk in daylight, and the hunger would come. Why would I want that?"
"Athene." He put his hand on hers. "In the past, your dreams have aided me to help others. We know they don't always mean just what you see, but they do mean something and it has to do with the future and things going on now. Rage and I and the others will do what we can. But for now, I guess we have to wait. We need more information."
"I know." She said. Athene smiled at him. "You go on back to bed, I'll be alright. I just need rest."
"Sleep well." He said. Jandar got up and left her apartment. He was worried about her. Athene's dreams of horrible future things helped him prevent disasters. She was an asset he wouldn't do without, so he had to see what he could do.
[Love.] Rage sent out.
[You should be sleeping.] Jandar told him. [You have a long trip ahead of you.]
[I know. But I heard Athene. I think Cutter can help you. He may be able to look into the dream.]
[I'll check with him now.] Jandar turned and started up the stairs to Cutter and Ariel's apartment. Outside he called to Cutter through his mind.
[Jake, are you awake?]
[Yes, I was meditating.] He answered.
[I'm sorry I interrupted you.] He told him. [I'll come back later.]
[Nonsense. I'll be right out.]
Seconds later, Jake came out of the rooms, dressed in a tan robe. His hair had grown and was now down his back. He tied it back as he walked up to Jandar.
"What can I help you with?" He smiled.
"Athene." Jandar told him.
"I see." He said. "Her dreams, I caught some of it. I didn't mean to, but her dreams are so powerful I couldn't help it."
"Then you think there's something to worry about?"
"I'm not sure." He told Jandar. "But I don't think that was her in the dream. You want me to look into this?"
"Yes, please. She's really upset by this dream."
Sunlight shone down on a field of flowers. There was a man lying there with dark brown hair. He was a handsome man with regal looks and simple clothing. He looked like he could be the son of a king. The sun warmed him and woke him up. He sat up and looked around. The sun and the smell of all the flowers in the field made him feel good. He got up and brushed the stray leaves and dirt off himself. Who was he? Where did he come from? He didn't know. All he could remember was that he was searching for someone. But who? He started to walk from the field and found a road. It didn't matter where he was going at the moment, it just felt good to be alive and free? Why was that? Had he escaped from some kind of prison? He didn't know.
So off he walked down the road. What a beautiful place to be he thought. He looked up at the sun and felt like there was something he should know about the star in the sky. As he walked, he saw a young man walking toward him on the road. He was a handsome boy with red hair. He was dressed in brown pants and a deep reddish coat and a white tunic. He looked familiar to him. Maybe he knew who he was.
"Good day sir." The boy said.
"Yes, it is." He said. "You look familiar to me. Do we know each other?"
"I'm new to these parts. My name is Jack." The boy told him. "I'm searching for my brother. He's been missing a long time."
"I'm sorry; you're the first person I've seen today. I haven't seen your brother."
"That's OK." Jack said. "What's your name?"
"I don't know. I don't know who I am."
"Where are you heading. This is a long road and there're many village along it. Maybe one of them is your home."
"Maybe." He said. "Where are you headed?"
"To a place called New Keanna." Jack told him. "A wonderful magical place. I might find my brother there. You want to come along? Maybe they can help you find your way"
"That's an idea. I'll come with you."
Together they started to walk. Jack told him all about himself and about his brothers and sisters and family problem. It seems Jack loved to talk.
"I have to call you something." Jack said. "How about Aramis. I like that."
"OK." He said with a smile. "Aramis it is. Until I know who I really am."
In a cottage on the cliffs of Zagar, she looked at her reflection in the mirror. She was no longer the old ugly monster she had been when she woke. After feeding she was much more beautiful. Not quite what she thought she should look like but better. Her memory was better now. She remembered her name. Muerte. She knew she was a powerful something. But what? All her memories were confused. She knew she was looking for something. A book? Revenge? Her mate? Her head was spinning at the moment with all the possibilities. She knew she had been imprisoned for a long time and she knew she would prevent that from ever happening again. And to do that, she needed power. Power to make this world bow to her wishes. That was it. She wanted to be the most powerful one ever. Powerful enough so no one would challenge her. And it begins here and now. At her feet was the body of her first victim. He wouldn't be getting up again. She had drained him of everything and left nothing for him to rise with, but she knew there would be many more. Her army, her vampires that would do her bidding. She remembered one. Her first. If she could call him up, she would have a direction to go. But she would need more blood to power her, to cast the spell she needed.
In the docks of a small island off Winterhaven, A man in robes got off a ship he'd been travelling on for many days. He had an important mission. To save the world as he knew it. There was a monster loose and it was his fault. Kalin Ka walked off the docks and made his way through town. He knew he was close to the people he was looking for and someone in this town could help him. Winterhaven was still recovering from the Shadow war. He could see the buildings and parts of the wall destroyed in the fighting. But this city didn't look to bad; he'd seen cities in ruins after the Shadow dragon's troops had done there worse. Winterhaven at least still stood and the people were spared the worse of Polan Dressak's horrors. Kalin asked in many shops how he could reach the new city of New Keanna. Everyone seemed to know of it, but no one knew where it was. Some told him to ask in the council chambers. He thought that was a good idea, so he headed for the building they pointed out. He walked in and saw many noble looking people going about their business. At a desk just inside the entrance he found a reception area. Kalin stepped up to a pretty young girl She smiled at him.
"How can I help you?" She asked.
"I need to see someone that can contact Prince Jandar and King Rage."
"Ahhhh " She said. "That would be Councilor Insa. Please wait here."
She reached over and pushed a button on a console and soon a pixie came flying down from above. She wrote out a message and gave it to the pixie and off it went.
"It will be just a few minutes if he's in." She said. "Please have a seat."
Kalin sat down and waited. It wasn't long before an elderly man in grey robes came out to meet him. Kalin stood and shook his hand.
"Welcome to Winterhaven," He smiled. "I understand you wish to see the dragon king?"
"Yes." He said. "It's very important I speak with him."
"Can I ask what this is about?"
"A threat far worse than Polan Dressek." Kalin said. "It's about death!!"
The road was dark as Aramis and Jack walked on. New Keanna was less than half a day's walk further on. It seemed they would have to camp for the night. Jack showed Aramis how to start a fire and went out to find food for them. Aramis gathered tinder and wood and built a fire pit. He struck the flint to the stone and sparks flew. Soon he had a raging hot fire started. It felt good to be warm. Aramis didn't have much clothing, just a tunic, pants and a lite jacket which couldn't protect him from a chill. As he warmed himself, he heard a noise coming from the forest. It was probably Jack he thought. He ignored it. Seconds later he heard a deep growl coming from behind him. Aramis jumped up and stepped back. He looked around trying to find out what it was. Still he saw nothing. He reached for a burning branch from the fire when something jumped out at him. It was a large beast. A grizzly bear. It rose up on its hind legs and swung at him. It knocked him back on the ground. Aramis quickly climbed back to his feet as the bear rushed at him. Fear filled him as the bear attacked. Quickly he threw out his hand and a bolt of energy shot from him and hit the bear. The creature howled in pain and was thrown back through the trees. It got up and ran away frightened. Aramis stood staring at his hand. What had he done? What had just happened? Who was he?
High in the sky, Insa flew to New Keanna with Kalin Ka on his back. Kalin had told him an incredible story of a coming peril. He thought something evil had woken. Something dark and powerful. Some spirit that few knew about. He himself only knew she was full of hate and had been condemned for treason against the old gods. Insa believed him. He had heard the name in the past. It meant evil doings in the olden times. Insa didn't have much information, just a feeling that there might be something to Kalin's story. So he agreed to take him to New Keanna. Maybe Jandar and Rage could figure it out.
High over the world. In a place no one but the gods can reach, there is a place called Fortis, The Isle of the Gods. It's a magically beautiful place with temple like homes of gleaming marble, gold and other precious stones made by the gods. There for millions of years the gods ruled over the lives of men and beast. But now only one still sat in residence. Rimnar, The high father of all the gods. Once the people no longer believed, most of the gods left to find others to worship them. They would be back, he knew, so Rimnar stayed behind. He knew he would be needed here one day. For he saw all time lines. And he knew she would come back one day.
Riding the winds on high, Muerte looked upon Fortis. The minute it had come into view, all her memories flooded back into her and she knew what she really was and why she was here. She smiled for she was about to have the spells on her lifted. No more blood lust, she would have all her powers back as soon as she stepped foot on the isle. The Isle in the clouds was beautiful. She floated down and spread her arms to receive her birthright as she stepped on the isle. Above gray clouds covered the sun. Lightning flashed as she took her first step on the Isle. Her beauty had been returned last time she fed. Now being home she felt no different. She wondered what was wrong. The Isle always was able to empower them before. She walked around looking to see if anyone was still here. She could still feel their presence. Someone still lived here and she would find them. Muerte went from temple to temple. Somewhere up here was the book she was looking for, The Book of Gannon. She had been told it would be in someone's temple. Her brother's temples were empty, so was her sisters. There were many lesser gods' temples to check. She searched them all. The last to be search was Rimnar and Salia. Their temple being the largest sat up high so all would know who ruled here. There she felt her father, and something else. She looked all around the temple and found a wooden box. Why would her father have that? It was the most simple object there. She smashed it open. There she found five pages. Muerte looking at them. They were spells. But not complete spells. She would have to find the rest. Suddenly a bolt of lightning crashed into the open box and burned the pages to ash.
"Father, I know your still here." She called out.
AND I KNOW YOU PLANS He answered thunder crashing in the skies. YOU WISH TO TAKE MY HIGH SEAT? YOU THINK YOU CAN RULE OVER ME?!!
"Yes." She answered. "I will be high over everyone and everything. You are old and powerless to stop me. In the end I will win and you will bow before me."
WE SHALL SEE. Rimnar said. YOUR CURSE HAS NOT BEEN LIFTED. YOU STILL SUFFER THE VAMPIRE CURSE AND YOUR GODLY BIRTHRIGHT WILL NOT BE RESTORED TO YOU. WE SHALL SEE WHAT YOU CAN DO AS YOU ARE. CAST YOUR SPELLS DAUGHTER. IF YOU CAN BEST MY CHAMPIONS THEN YOU CAN RULE IN MY PLACE.
"I will destroy your champions." She waved the pages at the cloud defying her father. "Bring on your champions. They won't matter."
WE SHALL SEE.
The words echoed through the sky as the face in the clouds fell apart. No one could stop her. No one had the power, except him.
Aramis woke early the next morning beside Jack. He shook out his hair and got himself a drink. His head was filled with the strange dreams he had just had of himself and a beautiful woman. He creating wonderful things and she destroying them. Both of them doing magic. There were also different wondrous people in the dreams. He didn't recognize any of them, but they did seem familiar. A silver armored lady with her golden brother. A young red haired boy flying through the skies doing flips. He saw a whole continent explode and fall into the sea while that beauty laughed. That woke him almost screaming.
"Good morning Aramis."
He turned to see Jack up folding his bedroll and strapping it to his back.
"You hungry?" He asked.
Jack looked so familiar for a second. But the feeling passed as quickly as it came.
"No." He said. "Let's just get moving. We can eat once we arrive."
Together they got back on the road. All along the way Jack kept up a constant conversation about nothing and everything. Aramis barely heard anything he said. His dreams and the bear was all that was on his mind. Who was that woman? And how could she do such evil things? He had a feeling there was more to his dreams then stray thoughts.
"And then the witch ripped off all her clothes."
"What?" Aramis said turning to Jack.
"You haven't heard anything I've said have you?" Jack stopped in front of him. "You have something on your mind?"
"Just dreams." Aramis said "Scary dreams of strange people with magic."
"Magic?" Jack smiled at him as they continued walking. " I know a bit about magic."
"Yeah?" Aramis laughed. "Can you interpret my dreams?"
"Maybe." Jack told him. "Are they dreams or memories coming back?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you said you have no memory of your past." Jack explained to him. "I think when you sleep and you're mind is at its most peaceful, those memories try and break through into your conscious mind."
Suddenly out of the forest came the sounds of crashing footsteps. Something big was about to exit the trees. Jack and Aramis stepped back. Neither of them carried a weapon. The sounds were coming from all around them, both sides of the road. Roaring and leaping out at him, a creature tall as a bear covered with hair came at Aramis. On the other side another went for Jack. Aramis raised his hands in reflex sent a force at the beast. It howled as it was blasted back into a tree trunk.
"JACK!!" Aramis yelled. He turned to look for Jack and saw him move faster than he could follow and hit the beast several times in the snout. The beast roared and tried to grab him. But Jack was too fast for it. He grabbed a large branch and quickly beat the creature until it ran back into the forest. Aramis stood and watched as Jack jumped up and down in triumph.
"How did you? How did I?"
Aramis looked at him in confusion. He didn't understand how he could do what he did.
"I told you I knew something about magic!!" Jack said. "Come on. We better hurry. New Keanna isn't far and they will be back. I'll explain what I know when we're safe."
Insa dropped down in front of the gates to New Keanna and let Kalin climb down from his back. Kalin gazed at the city. It was beautiful with its tall spires and towers.
"Come with me." Insa told him once in human form. They walked to the gates and Insa greeted the guards. He was told Jandar was in but Rage was away. He thanked them and took Kalin in. This city was a lot like Winterhaven. With all the people hurrying about their business. Markets were open and children played in the open. So not like Zagar where fear of Polan still held the city. One day Zagar would be free again, he knew it. As they walked to the home of the dragons, a dark haired boy with a scar passed them. He nodded to Insa and Insa bowed. Then they moved on.
"You know that boy is a vampire?" Kalin said in shock.
"Yes." Insa said. "I know he's a vampire. We're going to meet a werewolf now. Any objections?"
"A Werewolf?" Kalin stopped. "Why?"
Insa turned to him. He had the look on his face he reserved for ignorant people.
"You just climbed off the back of a dragon. You're a mystic mage, in your life I'm sure you've met others that were not quite human. There are many here with dark racial past. We judge the people, not their race. Jandar is one of the most powerful and courageous men I know, and he's a werewolf. If he can't help, all hope is lost. So you want help, or are we wasting our time?"
"You trust him?" Kalin asked. He looked deep in Insa's eyes.
"Yes, with my life I trust him."
"I hope you trust him with everyone else's life." Kalin walked next to Insa. "Cause that's what it's going to come down to."
As Aramis and Jack walked out of the forest, they heard the rustling in the trees start again. This time there were more than two of them. They could hear the howling in the distance getting closer.
"I think we better hurry." Aramis told Jack.
Together the two men ran for the gate as fast as Aramis could. Jack could have out distanced him, but he didn't want to leave him behind. Aramis looked back and saw the beast men on all fours chasing them. There legs pumped as fast as they could. Up ahead the guards started to shut the gate. Jack grabbed him and poured on the speed. Up on the wall Aramis saw a tall man dressed in red. He saw him inhale then blow flame out behind them to break up the pack and keep them away from the gate. As they rushed in someone yelled for them to close the gate and bar it. Once in, everyone gathered around them.
"What in the world was that chasing you?" A guard asked.
"I don't know." Aramis told them out of breath. "I figured it was something that lived in your forest."
"No. We've never seen them before." The man in red came walking down from the wall.
"I'm Blaze." He held out his hand. "Welcome to New Keanna."
In the cold royal cemetery in Yadessa, a beautiful woman dressed in black silks roamed through the dark tombs. She was looking for a certain grave. The tomb of the second vampire, Baron Valkar, her very first victim. From him spread the whole vampire race. He had certain secrets Muerte wished to have. The location of the pieces of Gannon's book. The spells in that book could be the source of her power. Being Valkar the first, his tomb could be pretty important and it shouldn't be hard to find. Then again, Baron Valkar was hated and the people were scared to death of him and his blood curse. But he did do as she commanded. He made her a whole country of vampires. He should have gone further though. The whole world should be hers by now. But in time, he had rebelled and lost all faith in her. Then he learned of Alea's curse and prophesies. She said the curse would be lifted from one of his ancestors. Well she could fix that. She would make the rest of the world vampiric and finish the job she started so long ago.
There in a small unmarked grave Muerte sensed who she was looking for. Baron Valkar's remains. The only way to raise him was if she had had a piece of his remains. Muerte held out her hand and concentrated. Soon the grave began to tremble, and dirt started to push itself aside. The grave was open and the casket was exposed. With a simple gesture Muerte opened the casket and gazed down at the remains of the dead baron. Inside dressed in all his dark glory lay Baron Valkar Antonescu Zlenka. Opened, it was a simple matter to pull a bone from his skeletal chest to use as an anchor for his spirit. Luckily not all of her goddess abilities were binded and calling him back would be easy for the death goddess.
COME TO ME HE WHO'S BLOOD I TASTED FIRST.
RISE AND ATTEND SHE WHO GAVE YOU THE THIRST.
YOUR SPIRIT I SEEK RISE FROM YOUR FALL.
SO UP FROM THE GROUND, HEAR MY CALL.
The rib bone began to glow as she released it to go and join the rest of its owner's skeleton. As she watched, flesh began to grow on the bones. What was once a skeletal body soon had muscle and flesh. Veins developed as blood began to rush through it. Soon skin formed and hair began to grow on the head. Then eyes appeared and his mouth opened and he gasped for his first breath in centuries. Alive again his eyes opened and he looked up. Above him he saw the woman he most hated through all his life. Then Baron Valkar rose from his grave to answer his ex-mistresses call
Still dressed in his ancient dark armored, Valkar floated over his grave. Gray haired and proud, Valkar even in death still was a very strong figure. Pale with a grim look on his face, he looked down at the death goddess.
[I HOPED TO NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN.]
"Maybe if you did as I ordered, we wouldn't be meeting again."
[What do you wish my Queen of the Dead?]
"To know everything you know about Ganon's book." She said.
[I have no wish to help you. You made me almost as evil as you yourself. I have had no peace from all the things I've done.] He told her. [My punishment is eternal and it's all because of you. I turned my peaceful home into a blood sucking horror.]
"BAH." She said. "I made your people nobles, immortals. They were to go out and spread across the world and make it in my image. You failed!! But with Ganon's book, I'll finish the job."
[You'll get no help from me.] The Baron said. [My people finally are free from your curse. I won't help you enslave them again.]
"Yes you will. Or I will drain Yadessa dry and fed on your children, and you know I'll do it. Where are the book parts?"
Baron Valkar knew he didn't have any choice in helping her. She was the goddess of death. She could do horrible things to Yadessa, devastate his people. But there were ways he could fight her. There are people that can help him, but only if he gains her trust. If that's even possible.
[I will help you.] The Baron told her. [But you must leave Yadessa alone.]
"I will do as you ask this once." She stood and pointed at him. Pain ripped through his essence and he screamed out.
"That's the first taste of what eternity will be like if you anger me again." Muerte's eyes blazes at him.
"Beware Baron.” Athere screamed out as a terrible pain gripped her. Covered in sweat she sat up in bed. The dreams again. Those terrible dreams that haunted her almost every night. She held her head in her hands and cried. This had to stop. She didn't know how long she could take this anymore. Somehow she could see everything this woman was doing, her every move. Athene wondered who she was and why she was in her mind.
[Something horrible is happening.] She heard in her head. Athene jumped up and look around to see if anyone was there.
[Fear not. I am here for your help.]
[Who are you?] She asked. [Have you been sending the dreams?]
[No. The dreams come from her. Muerte, the goddess of death.]
[What does this have to do with me?] Athene got up from her bad to make tea for herself. She still didn't know who this was or what was really happening. She hoped she was about to find our
[I am Baron Valkar. Do you know me now?]
[Yes, but this can't be. You've been dead for centuries.]
[What is that to the goddess of death? Muerte was very powerful in her day. Now she is back to claim the world as her own. We have to stop her or the curse our people lived with will be back and all the world will suffer. I don't have much time. Will you help me?]
[If I can, Yes.]
[I must go, but we will need help. Powerful help.]
[I know who will help.} She told him.
[Good, I will call again soon.] And he was gone from her.
Knocking on the door, Insa and Kalin waited outside of Jandar's study when a handsome winged man came down the hall and met them.
"Jayce." Insa stuck out his hand. "How have you been?"
"Very busy." He said, "These are strange day my friend."
"How do you mean." The smoke dragon asked.
"You know who Baron Valkar is I'm assuming?"
"Yes." Insa said as the door opened and Jandar appeared. He looked at his guest and invited them in.
"Sit down everyone." He said as he stood in front of his desk. "Insa. Introduce your friend."
He held out his hand. Kalin shook his hand and introduced himself.
"I have a story to tell you." He said. Kalin went on and told him all about what happened in Zagar. How he was called to end dark curse of Polan. Jayce and the dragons looked at each other. They had destroyed Polan, so what was this? Kalin went on with his story. He told them about how he tried to bring back the sun and called up something else. Muerte and ancient witch from the elder days. Kain wasn't exactly sure what she was. All he really knew was the stories about her that were passed down to him from his old master. From there Insa picked up the story. He told of how old the story was and how dangerous she was supposed to be.
"So I'm guessing she's much older than your dragon memories go back?" Jandar asked.
"Oh yes." Insa said. "By hundreds of centuries. There's not really much to go on."
"But she's up." Kalin said. "There's no doubt. Whole villages full of people are disappearing from around Zagar."
Jandar listened carefully as they talked. This may be something they would need to look in to.
"Jayce." He said. "You have something?"
"Yeah." Jayce told them. "Baron Valker's grave in Yadessa was opened and his body is missing."
"What?" Jandar stood. "That could mean a lot of things."
"King Valkar detected magic." Jayce told them. "He thinks this means trouble."
"I agree. " Jandar said. "I need to talk to Athere. She can help with this. Jayce, I want you Graym and Pelic to go to Zagar and find out what happened to the villagers. And have Pelic look at the place this Muerte came from. Kalin will you go with them?"
"Yes." He told them. "If I can help. I started this."
Blaze spent all day with Aramis and Jack showing them the city and where his family lived back at the manor. He found rooms for them close to his apartment. There was something about these to men that he liked. They became fast friends quickly and Blaze was not easy to trust new people. But Jack made him laugh and Aramis was so warm. He couldn't help but befriend them.
"So what brings you to New Keanna?" Blaze asked.
"I'm looking for my older brother." Jack told him. He looked at Aramis. Blaze thought that a little strange, He thought he saw love in Jacks eyes.
Blaze smiled." And you?" He asked Aramis.
"I don't know who I am." He said. "Or where I'm from. All I know is there's someone I must find and when I do, I don't think at will be a happy reunion."
"So you're both looking for someone? You think they're here?"
"No." Aramis said.
"Yes." Jack said. They all laughed at that.
"Blaze you have been so kind to us." Aramis smiled at the two. "How do we repay you?"
"Just meet my brothers and help out in any way you can and you can both stay as long as you wish." Blaze told them.
"Can we meet them now?" Jack asked.
"I don't see why not. I'll see if Jandar is free." [Brother, are you free to meet two new friends?]
[Of course, bring them to my garden.] Jandar answered.
Minutes later they were waiting in the garden when Ono came walking in.
"Blaze, who are your friends here?" He asked holding out his hand.
"Aramis, Jack this is my little brother Ono." Jack gripped his hand and shook.
"Your next form will soon reveal itself." Jack told him.
"What?" Ono asked. "How do you know about that?"
"What?" Jack asked. He had a puzzled look on his face.
"You just said his form would reveal itself." Blaze said.
"I'm sorry if I have disturbed you in anyway." Jack said. "It's my magic. Sometimes I can tell things that will happen. But I can't hear my predictions."
"A prophet." Ono smiled. "There's something we don't have. Welcome Jack! Excuse me, I have to tell Shayn."
Ono waved as he ran from the garden changing into a wolf and speeding through the manor. Aramis looked at Blaze in wonder of what he had just seen. Blaze laughed.
"You two know that most of the people in the manor are magic, right?" He said. "I'm a dragon, you saw me blaze those things from the forest? Ono's a werewolf, so is Jandar. I'll let Jandar explain. Here he comes now"
Out of the Manor door came a tall handsome dark haired man dressed in black leather. He smiled as he walked over to them to greet them.
"Welcome to our home." He said. "I'm Jandar Tyr. Blaze asked me to meet you."
As he came closer he felt the magic emanating from them of both. These two have great magic. Ono had just told him one was a prophet. Jandar was sure there was much more to them than that.
In a farmhouse on the outskirts of Zagar, Jayce, Graym Pelic and Kalin riding Cutter came to ground. They were here to find any evidence of where the villager had gone.
"Do you know where we are?" Jayce asked Kalin.
"Yes." He said. "My house is over that way. I know the people that live here."
They all began to look around. It looked like they were eating dinner when someone came in. The door had been knocked down and the table over turned.
"Look over here." Graym called to them. "I found blood."
Jayce and the others came over to see. They found a trail going from the table out the door.
"How many people lived here?" Jayce asked Kalin.
"Five." He told them. " Caleb his wife and their children. Two girls and a little boy."
"They have been taken." Cutter said. He had a look of horror on his face.
"How do you know?" Graym asked.
"The room reeks of fear." He said. "I can follow them."
Cutter reached down and touched the blood. Then he blew on the blood drop on his hand and an image appeared in the room. It was the family eating dinner. Suddenly the door burst open and several strange men came in. They were vampires.
"Oh no." Pelic said.
One vampire rushed over and grabbed Caleb and hit him in the face. His nose burst and blood splatter him. Then he bit the man and the family screamed. The rest of them dragged the family away. Jayce and his men follow them out and into the woods. The family was dragged screaming back to a house on a cliff. There, Jayce knew what he would find in the house.
"Pelic, send in shadow beast." He said. "See how many are in there."
Pelic opened his cloak and released one of his beasts. It streak into the house and was back in a flash. It dived back into his cloak as he closed it.
"There are about fifty in there." He said. "All sleeping and hiding from the sun."
Jayce turned to Kalin and walked him toward the cliff. They sat and watch the surf for a minute.
"Zagar is dead." He said. "We'll go and find out if any ones alive, but I doubt it."
"I can find the live ones with my magic." Kalin told him tearfully.
"Good." He said. "Take Cutter and save the live ones. We'll take care of the vampires. Cutter, Help him."
Cutter shifted to dragon and Kalin climbed on his back and they took off. Graym and Pelic walked over to Jayce to talk.
"How do you want to do this?" Graym asked.
"We take off and let the shadow beast and sunbirds take care of them." Jayce said.
"Good idea." Pelic agreed.
Jayce and Graym spread their wings and they all took off onto the skies. Graym called out for his sunbirds and Pelic opened his cloak and let out the shadow beasts. Jayce watched as shadow beasts and sunbirds gathered. They sent them to every house and cave and hiding place to hunt them down. They weren't going to leave until the land was clear, and all of the vampire were dead.
[Jandar, Rage. I think we have a big vampire problem.] Jayce sent out. [This Muerte is real.]
[I'm coming home after I see Valkar.] Rage's deep thoughts rang in their mind. [Jandar, you, Azeal and Athene meet me in Yadessa. Jayce, I want you back home when you're done in Zagar.]
[As you wish Sire.]
Two days flight away from Yadessa, there is a small town. In this town there's a very old temple. It's the temple of some old unknown deity in the middle of town. Most people don't go there anymore; some use it for good luck. Long ago it was a very important place. At some time everybody in town would pay their respects there. But whoever the god was, they fell out of favor and were lost. Today Muerte found the temple as Baron Valkar had directed her. He told her that under the floor she would find the pages she was looking for. Muerte thought hard on how she could get the temple out of the way and get under the floor. A simple spell of levitation may work. Muerte stood in front of the building and began to concentrate in her spell. The foundation started to shake. Birds took flight from the rafters and dirt and leaves fell. But she couldn't move the stone building. This angered her. She should be able to move mountains. Once she could with the twitch of a finger. But the binding kept her weak. She wanted her powers back. To be feared again as the goddess that was her right. If she couldn't move the temple, then she would direct the river through the town to do her bidding. Muerte in her anger cast her spell at the river and it rolled over the banks and crashed through the town. Homes and shops were swept away. People ran dragging children and whatever they thought to grab as they heard the sound of destruction on its way. But for most, it was too late. They were caught in the path of the flood and killed.
On the banks of the river Muerte laughed and watched the temple being crushed and swept down the street. The destruction of the people meant nothing to her, just more dead cattle. She hope the pages were protected by some kind of containment spell, that's all that matter to her. She walked down to the site probing for magic. She figured whoever hide the pages magic would show itself once the building was gone. There in the hole that was the temple, she saw a glow. Muerte smiled as she spelled the pages out of their underground tomb. She looked through them and saw something that gave her pause. A evil look spread over her face. She found a spell she could use definitely.
Walking out of her room and headed down the hall. She was on her way to meet Jandar to fly back to Yadessa. Athere was dreaded going back there. She didn't mind seeing King Valkar, but Yadessa didn't have many good memories for her. The death of her mother, the abuse she received from her banished father, not to mention her uncle. She forgave him and loved him, but wasn't sure how she felt. Making her way down the stairs, she saw two men coming up toward her. The taller man stopped and stared at her. There was something about them both that gave her a strange comforting feeling. She wondered who they were. They watched her walk down the stairs and into Jandar's study. Sitting in the study with Jandar was Azeal, Valkar's ward. She and Azeal hadn't known each other until they came to live in New Keanna. Since then, being the only two from Yadessa, and the only vampires, they had come to know each other better.
"Come in Athene." Jandar told her. "We'll be leaving soon."
"Jandar, who are those to strange men I just past?" She asked
"Aramis and Jack?" He motioned her to a seat. "They're two new friends that came in recently. Why do you ask?"
"I don't know." She sat down next to Azeal. "There's something about them."
"Something good or bad?" Azeal asked. " Because if it's bad, we shouldn't leave them here."
"I don't feel anything bad from them" She told them. "More like familiar."
"No." She said. "Like family I haven't seen in years and I've missed."
"Strange." Azeal frowned.
"No, I've felt power from them." Jandar said. "Great power from them both."
"And that doesn't frighten you?" Azeal asked.
"Blaze likes them." Jandar told them. "Rage and I have learned to trust Blaze's instincts on people a long time ago. It's almost like his very own magic. Maybe it even is magic. Anyway, Blaze will be here, and Cutter and Jayce are on their way."
"There's something else." Athene had the most serious look on her face. Jandar knew this might be trouble.
"Baron Valkar has been raised from his grave." She said.
Azeal jumped up in shock. Being a Yadessian, he knew of the Barons horrors.
"What?? How do you know this??"
"He came to me as a spirit." She told them. "He wants our help"
"Athene." Azeal turned to her. "He was a very dangerous vampire. He was our beginning. You can't trust him."
"Calm down Azeal." Jandar told his little brother." We'll see what this is about when we get there. But if he's a spirit, we better take Shine with us. Let's go. I'll have him meet us out front."