The Dragons of Keanna - Book II
by Jandar Tyr
Spells and Enchantments
After his talk with Jandar and Rage, Eheren had to pick someone to accompany him on his search. The Baron was right, neither Jandar or Rage had any trust in what the Baron had told him. But Eheren reminded them that it was the Baron that saved Eheren and the other boys. Yes, Mags did the work, but the Baron led him to them and give Mags the knowledge he needed to save them. And they didn't know what it meant to be a spirit trapped in the world of the living. Or the aspects of spirits. The Baron couldn't hide his regrets from them. How he felt, he was responsible for the damnation of his people. And he was. For years he feed on humans made a race that proved to be savage and warlike. What they did to the Werewolves, their enslavement and tortures. That was his biggest regret. The Baron knew they would never forgive him for that.
Eheren walked through the forest until he found the high cliffs. He looked out into the bay and saw the two dragons swimming in the bay. Denner and Sara seemed to be falling for each other. These day, one couldn't be found without the other, unless one was on a mission. Eheren sat at the cliff side and watch them play. They looked so peaceful, he didn't want to bother them.
[What happens if I fall in love?]
[Anyone that loves you will be very lucky.] Mags told him.
[That's not what I mean. What of you?]
[We're bonded now Eheren. I can leave for short periods of time, but we are one now. I've had my life and this is your body. If need be, I'll leave.]
[No, whoever loves me will have to love us. And that's final.]
[The day might come when you feel different.]
[We'll deal with it then.]
[Denner!] He sent out as he watched a long dragon neck came up out of the water and looked his way.
[Shine? Is that you up there?] He replied.
[Eheren please, and yes, it's us. Can we see you please?]
[I'll be right up.]
The head dived down deep then he swam back up and jumped out of the water. In the air he shifted to an eagle and flew towards him on the cliff. Amazing Eheren thought. He watched him flying up to meet him. Denner had taken the form of a large golden eagle. How regal he looked as he landed next to him and took his own form.
"How have you been?" He asked looking him over. "It's great to see you human."
"Thank you." Eheren said. "We like it too. We came to see you about a mission we're going on. We want you to join us."
"What's the mission?" Denner asked.
"We have to find the pages of a magic book. A very powerful magic book. Have you ever heard of Ganon Ka?"
"No." Denner frowned. "That sounds like a Jandar or a Shayn mission."
"Don't worry." Eheren told him as he got to his feet. "I have the magic covered. Rage just doesn't want me to go alone."
"Will it be dangerous?"
"Could be." Eheren said as they walked back to New Keanna. "There are others looking for the pages. Very powerful others, and I'm sure we will confront them sometime. So, what do you say?
"I say we have a job to do." Denner clapped him on the back.
"Great! Let's get back to town and get moving,"
Eheren and Denner made their way through the front gates of New Keanna. There they found Athene and another dark haired guy waiting for them. Neither of them knew who he was. Of course, he was a vampire, but who was he? The gate guards told them she had been waiting all day for them.
"I wonder what this is?" Eheren whispered. Denner shrugged. Athene and her guest walked up and met them.
"Eheren, Denner. I want you to meet my brother Tanis." Tanis held out his hand for them.
"Welcome to New Keanna." Eheren said shaking his hand. "I'm sure you'll like it here."
"I'm just happy to be free at all." Tanis shook both their hands.
"I have a request for you." Athene said. "Jandar told me of your mission. What I want is for you to take my brother with you. It's Jandar's idea actually."
"I need to prove myself them." Tanis interrupted. "My father has ruled my life and giving me no room to live. He made me do terrible things and it's time to live for me and do right."
"This could be dangerous." Eheren said. "Don't you want to stay with Athene and get to know her?"
"Athene and I have the rest of our lives. I need to show Jandar and Rage I can be trusted and helpful."
Eheren and Denner didn't know Tanis, but if this was what they wanted, it must be important to them.
"Be ready to go in ten minutes."
"I'm ready now." Tanis told them. Athene kissed him and bid them farewell. She had work to do herself. She was going back to Yadessa.
It was night and Muerte hungered. She knew it was time to feed and who her next meal would be, made no difference to her. She walked through the big city of Altoria watching all the men and women dressed for their nightly activities. Dancing and drinking, shows and brothels. What a rich place this was, and completely oblivious to what nightlife really was. All the dark things at night that could really hurt them, for years living under the protection of the dragons made them weak. Blind to what was real, the horrors of the night or the day. They thought they were safe on their night games, but Muerte know better. She and her children roamed these streets tonight and they were not here to play.
High in the sky, five figures moved silently. They were night avengers, Shadows there to prowl the night and cleanse it of the evil that lurked in the brightly lit streets. The five were sent out after the dark things and were drawn by their hunger. From above Jayce saw a man and woman dressed in rich cloaks and fine wear strolling along the stream that ran through the city. They laughed and kissed as they made their way through the park toward the Opera they were meaning to attend tonight. Suddenly the man heard something behind them. He turned to see what it was. There was nothing there. Or at least he saw nothing. What he didn't see was the two vampires creeping along after them ready for this night's meal. Jayce swooped down and ducked into the shadows. He hid behind the two stalking the couple. Silently pulling Salvation he watched them. Fear found its way into the man's heart and he quickened his ladies steps. He didn't know what was in the dark, but he knew he didn't want to meet whatever it was.
The two vampires stepped out of the darkness, one ran quickly ahead to block their exit. The other began to laugh. He wanted to scare the couple into running to his partner. Jayce jumped into the air and flew ahead of them. He dropped out of the sky inches from the vampire waiting at the gate. Gripping his sword he thrust it into the vampire and held its mouth so it couldn't scream. It dropped to the ground as the couple ran past him and out the gate. Still laughing, the other vampire ran to Jayce in a flash. He thought his partner would have subdued the couple and saved one for him. Instead what he found was his partner dead, and Salvation swinging to decapitate him. Jayce wiped his sword clean and took off.
On to the next. It would be a busy night. Valkar and Azeal hunted all through the city. Along with the three shadows, they killed many vampires. Valkar didn't care, these things were not his people. They were monsters out to destroy the vampire race. He knew what would happen. The hunting would start again. No vampire would be safe anywhere except in Yadessa. And then, Yadessa would become their prison until the Humans decided to invade and drive them out. He had to stop that from happening.
In one gaming room, a group of vampires blocked the exit and thought to ravage the house of all the life present. They didn't count on the Shadows intervening. Through every door and crack came shadow beasts and sunbirds. It was a horrible scene as the vampires were ripped apart. Outside waiting for anyone to escape waited the King of the Vampires, his prince and the Shadows. One by one they were all killed. But it was a big city and they couldn't get to them all. Muerte had her meal tonight and more vampires were made, but many were killed this night. And many more would die, this vowed Valkar Zlenka, King of the Vampires.
Muerte retired to an old mansion in the hills of Altoria after she supped. She was alone there, As the Queen she didn't want any other vampires near her right now. She had some thinking to do. Muerte had seen Valkar and his Shadows hunting her children. They tore them apart as she watched. She didn't care, she had no love for them. She only loved the one. But who was he? She couldn't remember his face no matter how hard she tried. All she saw was a shadow of him. It didn't matter she thought. Right now she gathered the pages she had found and put them in a safe place. She knew there were three more parts to Gannon's book. She had to find them. One of the parts missing was very important to her. It was the spell that would make all the other spells in the book useless. That spell she had to have. It could also undo the spells she had already cast. That was something she couldn't have. She needed a magic hunter, but she didn't trust anyone else to do the job, so it was up to her.
Shayn and Ono were happy to be out flying again. They had run, but they hadn't been in the air in a long time and this was a long journey. They had been flying for days now and were still full of energy. Together they flew high with Cutter following them. Like kids Shayn and Ono were enjoying themselves doing acrobatics in the air.
[You think bringing them was a mistake?] Aramis sent to Cutter. He and Jack rode on Cutter's back. Shayn was too small to carry more than one rider. In a few years Gabriel would grow, but white dragons were not like other dragons. They were more powerful, but if merging with a young person, they matured with them.
[No.] Cutter said. [They'll both be an asset I'm sure. Ono's one of the best fighters in New Keanna. And Shayn, well white dragons are unique. They don't come along often.]
"I have a question." Jack said. His red hair flying in the wind. "How do you know where we're going?"
[Aramis knows.] Cutter told Jack. [Eheren showed me the mountains were heading for in the east.]
"And what are we looking for?"
"My past." Aramis said. "My future, I'm not really sure. I just think there are answers there, and I need answers now."
"What of your missing brother?" He asked. "Any word?"
"I'm getting closer." Jack told him. "I'll find him soon."
Suddenly out of nowhere everything stopped. The air was still and nothing moved. Birds hung in place in the air. Jack knew it was father. The air in front of him began to sparkle with magic. A pocket opened in the air and out of it came Karis his brother and Rimnar's messenger. He had dark curly hair and he was dressed in a dark tunic. He smiled at Jack and waved,
"I have a message from father." He said.
"Mortals aren't to go to Fortis." He said. "You know that. Find a way to turn them. You're too close already. He likes these dragons and doesn't wish to have to stop them himself."
"Tell him I will. but I can't stop the others."
"Don't worry, we will." Karis told him. "And be careful. He's worried about you both. Safe journey."
Karis vanished and time began again. They knew nothing. Minutes later Shayn dropped back to fly next to them. Ono had a distressed look on his face. He was looking behind them at something. Jack turned to look back. He saw a black cloud advancing on them. It was big but not so big as to fill the sky.
"What is that?" Aramis asked.
"I don't know." Jack said. He focused his eyes and saw it was a flock of crows coming their way.
"I do. They're vampires in their bird form and their feathered rats. " Ono told them. "And they're coming after us."
[Everybody, get ready!!]
Aramis and Jack pulled out their swords and secured themselves with straps to Cutter's back. Ono shifted to a form between man and wolf. His claws grow long and sharp for slashing. They were ready.
"Dive down!" Aramis told them. "We're better off on the ground."
Cutter and Shayn quickly shot down and made for a clearing ahead. Like arrows the crows followed them pecking at their backs trying to get at them. Ono and Jack slashed at them knocking some out of the air. As they got to the clearing, Aramis and Jack jumped off and Cutter shifted. He grabbed a branch and began to bat them away. Shayn stayed in dragon form. He blew gout's of flame as Ono slashed at them. One after another the crow's burst into flames, feathers and blood flew through the air. Not only from Shayn's flame, but from the power of the Salvation stone radiating power through their body. Soon the bird attack stopped, they all took off to the east as fast as they could.
"What's going on now?" Ono asked. All around him was the bodies of dead birds. He kicked them away and went to make sure Shayn was alright, he had switched back to human. Jack and Aramis re sheathed their sword and joined the others.
"That was to slow us down." Cutter told them. "They want to get there before us."
"But why?" Shayn asked. He and Ono came and stood with the others. "You think there's something there they don't want us to find?"
"I think it's a trap." Cutter sat down on a log that was next to him. "Balthazar is behind this I'm sure."
"So far from Yadessa?" Aramis said. "What would be his point?"
"Think." He told them. "What would happen if he caught Shayn and Ono, or me?"
"He'd have power over Jandar, Rage and Valkar." Jack said. "To save them, they would do almost anything Balthazar wanted. Including surrender themselves over to him."
Shayn looked over to Ono, He had a dreadful look in his eyes, like he'd been caught already. Is this why Jandar and Mags had been teaching him all the magic they could? Or why Jayce and Rage drilled battle maneuvers into them so hard? They knew the day would come when they wouldn't be there. Was this going to be that day.
[Ono, we're here now and we're not going to let him win. Not by a long shot.] Shayn sent to his partner.
[All we have to do is all of us watch each other.]
[I know.] Ono told him. [We stay close and keep aware of all that's going on. We'll be alright.]
"Ok, we know it's a trap." Ono said. "The question is do, we walk into it?"
"No we don't." Aramis said. "This is all because of me. I'll go on alone. There's no reason all of you have to be in danger."
"You're one of us now." Shayn told him, he smiled that smile that Ono knew meant he was up to something. "So forget going on alone. Besides, I have an idea. Can you project images of us up there?"
"Not without seeing it." Cutter said. "What were you thinking?"
"I was thinking if you could project us in the air and they could chase us, then maybe Aramis could do his search."
Shayn watched them for approval. Ono had that proud gleam in his eyes. He thought it was a good idea. Cutter frowned; he didn't know if it would work. Jack opened his mouth to talk but Aramis stopped him.
"No." He said. "This is wrong."
"What?" Ono asked.
"There's something about that mountain. I know you're not supposed to go there. We can't go there."
Aramis turned away from the mountain and walked away.
"He's right." Jack said. "That's a sacred place, I can feel it."
"Then this trip was for nothing." Shayn said.
Aramis turned back, he looked angry. He walked back to Shayn.
"This is a lesson I'm sure all of your teachers tried their best to teach you." He said. "I want you to reach out to that mountain with all your senses and tell me what you feel. You're supposed to be a special dragon, show me how special."
Frightened Shayn did what he was told. He closed his eyes and opened up to the mountain.
[Father, Show him the palace and why he can't go there.] Jack called in his mind.
Suddenly the clouds parted and the sun shined down on the peak. This is what Shayn sensed. High on a mountain top stood a gleaming marble palace. No one lived there anymore. It had been abandoned long ago by the wondrous people that lived there. This palace was a magnificent place with beautiful singing flowers in the garden and others that sent the scent of love and life into the air. The vibrant colors of rich reds and deep blues, the passionate purples and brilliant whites could drove a normal man mad. This was a special place, divine is a better word for this place. Because no mortal could stand on this sweet perfumed grass, but it was about to be invaded by beings that should not be there. A small group of strange crows came to rest in a fruit tree. There were fifteen of them in the tree. They marveled at the strange fruit. It looked like apples but they were the deepest shade of purple. They had never seen anything like that before. They began to peck it at. It was delicious and they couldn't stop themselves from eating. Then the pain began and the burning crept through their bodies. All at once they took flight. In his mind Shayn watched them fly off, but they didn't get far. One by one he watched as they all became dust and blew away on the winds. Shayn opened his eyes and Ono helped him up. He had seen to. They looked from Aramis to Jack in wonder.
"You don't understand do you?" Aramis asked. They shook their heads no.
"But you understand there are places that you're not to go to, and that's one of them." Jack said.
"Yes." Shayn said. "We can go now, the vampires won't be chasing us anymore."
"So we're going home?" Cutter asked Shayn. Cutter thought that would be best. He didn't know how safe it was for them way out here in the east. There could still be enemies out there watching them. But he knew Aramis was the reason they were out there and if there was a way to help him, he thought they should take it.
"What do you want to do?" Ono asked Aramis.
"I know this place." He said. Aramis looked around and flashes of memories slipped in and out of his mind. He saw a beautiful woman in silver garb and her brother in gold laughing. There was a dour man with sorrow on his face. Aramis could tell he was missing someone he loved. He knew these people. But from where? That he wasn't sure.