The Dragons of Keanna - Book II
by Jandar Tyr
Death Becomes Her
Back in New Keanna, Aramis sat in the garden thinking about all that happened in the last few days. To him this was the most perfect place to be. Surrounded by all the plants and flowers he was at peace. He loved it in the garden among all the beauty. The scent of life in the air. The fragrant aroma of all the flower calmed him. The garden was alive when he came here. All the different types of flowers seemed to bloom whenever he came here.
[I knew you would be here.]
Aramis turned as Jax walked into the garden. He looked around admiring the trellis covered with crawling flowering vines. The bluebells and snow glories with their blue and white petals with yellow centers. Snowflake, white bell shaped flower. The many colored Irises, or dahlia's. The beautiful deep red orange amaryllis. And his favorite, the roses. Jandar or Rage, whichever was the gardener had put banks upon banks of roses. Red, pink, white, yellow, Roses must mean something to them. Aramis loved them.
"Where else would I be?" Aramis walked to the bench near the pond and sat down. Jax crossed his arms and frowned, annoyed with him. It's not every day you're told you're a god.
[You always did do great work with flowers and animals.] Jax said standing in front of the roses.
"Me?" Aramis said. "This isn't my work. This is the loving care of a master gardener. Jandar I'll bet, or Dreik the green dragon. He's good with plants."
[Oh really brother?] Jax laughed. [Then who made these?]
Jax pointed out rows of green and blue roses. Then he turned to the sunflowers. They were red with huge blooms.
[Jandar didn't do that.] He said. [You did. Jandar and Dreik might be able to grow roses and sunflowers, but they can't create new species. Only you, Vitale the god of life can do that. This garden has your touch most definitely.]
"DON'T CALL ME THAT!!" Aramis yelled. "I'M NO GOD!!"
Jax shook his head and looked up towards the sun.
[Still he doubts.] He sent out. [He won't listen to me brother.]
"Who are you talking to?" Aramis asked. Suddenly the sun flared and sent warm shafts of light all over the garden. Flowers burst into bloom. The fragrant aromas filled the air. Aramis turned and saw a handsome blond man in golden armor standing with Jax.
"He's talking to me." Alee smile.
"WHO ARE YOU?"
"I'm Alee, god of light and the sun." He told him. "Your brother. I'm here to help convince you of who you are, or were. There are so many memories locked away in your mind. If only I can get some loose."
"I don't see how you can." Aramis looked away, sadness filled his heart. He wanted to remember his past. But no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't remember anything. Not Jax or this Alee or any of his past life. He did see flashes of the one called Muerte, but there were no feelings attached. Just a face, her face. Alee stepped up to Aramis and put his hand on his shoulder.
"There is one that may help." He said looking into Aramis's eyes.
"Who?" He asked. Aramis was tired of feeling so alone. He wanted to be complete and not feel so empty.
"The god of love and memory." Alee smiled. "Our brother Atol. He should be able to stir your memories and bring them out for you."
"Can you bring him here?" Aramis asked.
"No." Alee said. "We have to go to him."
"Then lead me to him." Aramis said. "I'm ready."
Deep in the caves of eternal rest and damnation, Muerte stepped out of the gloom and haze of the underworld. All around her she saw spirits wandering through the edges of the entrance of the place called the Underworld. Muerte had no fear of this place. In fact, she thought she should be queen here and she intended to take this realm first in her quest for dominance of the world. As she walked through this dark and gloomy land, she saw a gate. Just inside the gate there was a desk piled with scrolls and parchments. Behind the desk, there was an elderly looking man hard at work sorting the spirits and sending them to their separate heavens or hells. From the entrance to this dark place there was a line of spirits heading to the desk. Many had guards with them, keeping them in line. These were the ones headed for punishment and damnation. Muerte moved forward to the desk with a look of determination on her face. At last she would confront her uncle Nestor and make him hand over this realm to her. Making herself as beautiful as ever, she pushed out with her mind and cleared away all spirits in front of her and sailed to the desk.
"Name?" The spirit at the desk asked without looking up.
"I am Muerte." She said. "I seek your master's attention."
"Muerte?" the spirit said. "I have no Muerte on my...." Then he looked up and saw her. Her godhood blinded him. He knew then that she was the goddess that had escaped earlier, the one Master Nestor was looking for. He thought if he was the one that get her recaptured, the master might release him. That's when he started screaming for the guards.
"Guards, guards!!" He yelled as he leaped out of his seat. "This is the one that the master seeks!! Take her!!!"
The entry hall went mad. Spirits flew in all directions. Many escaped back to the world of the living. From every direction the guards of the realm came running. There were demons and creatures the world hadn't seen in thousands of years coming out to attack Muerte. She stood there and batted them all aside. Winged creatures she blasted out of the air. Many tried to gang up on her but couldn't get near her. Phantom arrows were shot at her that ricocheted off her shields. Muerte closed her eyes and for a second and shifted to a better form for fighting. Her body grew taller and more powerful. Her long red hair fell away and was replaced by dry gray strands as her fangs and talons grew long and sharp. Wings grew, large monstrous wings that could crush a living man with a swipe. She became the biggest most horrible vampire harpy that her mind could conceive. Into the air she flew to battled hell's minions. She blasted them and ripped it them. There was no stopping her. She would fight until she found Nestor and settled her fight over the underworld
A voice was heard loudly echoing through the caves of the dark world. Lord Nestor stood on a high plateau looking out over his kingdom. He wore his ebony armor and held his staff with its black skull head on top.
"You're looking for me Muerte?" He said.
"Yes uncle." She flew over to hover before him. "It's time I took the throne that was meant for me."
"This realm was never meant to be yours, my dark niece." He laughed. "You have no idea what it means to be master here. What I endure here or what I do."
"None of that matters Uncle". She said. "Your time here is up. Go find Alea and leave the underworld to me."
Nestor looked deeply at Muerte. He knew she spun the spell that took his wife from him. How he hated her for condemning Alea to her hell of loneliness.
"She'll be free soon witch." Nestor said. "And you, if you're lucky you'll be here. If you're lucky that is."
"Never will you confine me here again." Muerte's hands began to glow as she readied her spells. Nestor raised his staff then shouted.
"Let us began!"
Muerte sent a bolt of magic streaking at Nestor. Bolt after bolt Nestor ducked. With his staff, he batted the bolts away. They he took to the air, his black cloak opened as he sailed through the air. Raising his staff, he rained his dark magic on her. She threw up a shield over her to deflect the rain like pellets. Slowly but surely the pellets began to destroy her shield. Cracks began to form. With a quick motion, she sent out a force bolt that hit Nestor in the shoulder. He fell back disoriented for a few seconds against a wall. This was her chance she thought. Muerte charged at Nestor with her claws raised. His heart and throat her target. But before she struck, Nestor disappeared. All that was left behind was his black cloak which she hung on to.
"Damn you Nestor!!" She screamed. "You can't get away from me! Your throne will be mine!!"
Appearing behind her, Nestor readied his next spell. A crushing spell took hold of her. She fought it, forcing the magic away from her. As she fought, Nestor raised his staff to strike her. Fighting against the spell she saw the lord of the underworld advancing on her. There was so much hatred on his face. Nestor knew she was responsible for Alea being missing. All his years of searching for her came to this moment.
"You have lost, Muerte." He said as he approached.
"Free my wife and let her come home and I will be merciful."
"We'll see who has lost!" Muerte's eyes began to glow as she cast a special spell from Gannon's book. Magic glyphs and signs began to appear one by one on Nestor's armor. His walking began to slow as the spell took hold. In seconds his whole body was covered and his movement was halted. Only his facial expressions were active. Sweat ran from his brow as he tried to unravel her spell. But try as he did, he couldn't. Muerte stood and brushed back her hair as she shifted back to her beautiful form. Smiling she walked to Nestor.
"This realm is mine!!!" She screamed in his face as her hand hit him across the face. Shaking out her long tresses Muerte walked around him." I'm going to do you a favor."
She raised her hands and began a spell.
HERE YOU ARE, NOW YOUR GONE.
OFF YOU GO TO MEET THE DAWN
TO ALEA I SEND YOU ALWAYS STILL
NOW BOTH I'VE CURSED WITH MY STRONG WILL
A BOON I GIVE YOU, I'LL LET YOU FLY
CAUSE SOON YOU KNOW
YOU ALL MUST DIE!!!
"Now you and your wife can be together until the end in silence and loneliness. Off with you now!!"
Magic winds began to swirl around Nestor. Bright sparks dazzled his eyes as he went silent and they picked him up and took him away. Wherever Alea was in her daytime prison, Nestor was on his way there to join her.
"Now it begins." Muerte said to herself. "My final victory. I know what I must do. Death to everyone. No more vampires, no more slaves. Everyone, everything must die!"
High above the cavern floated a lone spirit. He watched as the Lord of the Underworld was defeated. He had been sent here to watch and see what Muerte was up to. Now he knew. She was planning the end of the world. Fear filled his soul for he knew she of all the beings high or low could do it. Baron Valkar had to get back and warn the others. But he still didn't know how she planned to do it, so he decided to wait around and see what happened next. He needed more information and this was where he would find it.
Finding Atol would not be easy. In fact, finding any of the gods since they went into hiding was an almost impossible task. Dressed in hooded cloaks, the three gods roamed the world. From continent to small islands they searched. It seemed Atol didn't want to be found. But in every place they went, they heard of different stories of impossible love. In Baderia, the daughter of a powerful king met and charmed the prince of her father's most hated enemy. War almost broke out until a strange man in white brought the two kings together to see how happy and in love their children were. A new nation was born that day. On the island city of Teki, two men met. Both were merchants. One grew sick from a strange ailment that weakened him almost to death. The story was told of a handsome tall man with the most amazing smile that came to meet the two men. One halted all his business dealings to go out and bring back a certain curative herb the tall had suggested. Than he returned to take care of the rival that he had come to love. The tall man took the well man aside and showed him how to create a cure and save their lives for one wouldn't live without the other.
There were many stories, one leading to the next until on a mountain far west of New Keanna, they learned that the Elven kingdom of Remod was under siege.
In Remod there was the most horrible race war that none could remember how it had started. Someone had kidnapped someone's children some said. Others said one race had lived as slaves to the other. They were both elven people but different, like day and night.
On a road into the city a stranger walked. Alee was told the stranger walked right through the battle to the gates and ended the war. No one knew how, but they said he was still there. That was their destination.
With the speed of light, Alee took his brothers to the city. All around they could see the ravages of the war were being cleaned up. Damaged wagons and siege towers were being dismantled and taken away. There were no wounded to be seen. They had already been taken care of but still the outside of the city looked dire and bleak.
Dressed in their gray robes and hoods, the trio made for the city's gates. They passed many soldiers in bandages but the look on all their faces was one of relief. They were all glad the fighting was over. From the city the sounds of celebration could be heard. As they approached the gates a smiling guard came out to meet them. He was dressed in a clean uniform of the city and still wore a sword.
"Aiya strangers." He wave to them. "It's a glorious day isn't it?"
"Yes." Aramis said as he shook his hand. "What's all the celebration for?"
"Haven't you heard? The hundred year war is finally over." He spun around happy. "Our city is free again!!"
"When peace is achieved, there's always cause for celebration." Alee smiled. "But tell me friend. Your war has lasted one hundred years. What miracle brought it to an end?"
"We elves are a warlike race." He shrugged. "Especially the dark elves. We go to war over small things because it's in our nature to fight. But someone proposed something different. Games to settle differences. It's a marvelous idea. We get to fight, but no one has to die anymore. Soon we begin construction on an arena where all can come and see our games. They will be famous all over the lands. It will be great!"
The trio looked at the guard. He had so much joy at the games idea. But they knew the idea could be dangerous too. It could lead to slave gladiators. Houses fighting house's. Their leaders would need to be watched very carefully.
"It's a good thing your leaders came up with this solution." Alee said,
"Oh it wasn't our leaders." He said. "It was a stranger. He came in fearlessly and gathered our leaders in for the compromise and it worked. He's a good man. We owe him so much."
"You are a lucky people." Aramis clapped him on the shoulder. "We are in need of rest from our journey. Is there an inn here?"
"There are many." The guard told them. "But the Golden Griffin is the best. Head up the lane and go left at the end. Three streets more and you will be there. Enjoy your stay with us."
So on they walked heading for the inn. All along the street people celebrated. There was all kinds of wine being drank and passed around. Wizards shot magical pyrotechnics off for the amazement of the crowds. Elven men and women danced everywhere while their children played. Jax's eyes were so bright. He wanted to go run and dance and play with the children. Aramis was having a hard time keeping him with them.
"Let him go." Alee told Aramis. "He'll find us later."
"What's wrong with him?" He asked. Aramis let Jax go and off he went dancing in the street.
"Jax is the god of celebration." Alee said. "Games and parties and fun. Right now here, he's bursting with power."
"The god of celebration?" Aramis asked. "What good is that?"
"Look around you and you'll see the good of celebrations." Alee pointed out how happy everyone looked. "Celebration and joy is necessary to life or people would have nothing to look forward to. You use to know that brother. On his practical side, he is also the god of justice and sometimes he has to pass some pretty harsh judgements. You know we need that. He's important to us, and he's always been at your side, no matter what happened."
Together Alee and Aramis made their way to the inn passing through the crowded streets by all the revelers. The inn was a three story building with fifteen rooms, a kitchen and a common room for dining. On its side there was a livery station and a blacksmith. During the war, the blacksmith was always busy making and fixing armament while the inn was used as a hospital for the wounded.
The Golden Griffin was a pretty nice place again. It was the largest inn in Remod that housed any important business men or royals that came to the city. As soon as they walked through the door, Alee turned to Aramis.
"Atol is here. I can feel his presence." Alee whispered to Aramis. The lobby of the Golden Griffin was still being transformed back to an inn from being a hospital. It was a very homey place with a broad fireplace and many tables for customers to dine at. Drapes hung on the walls to hide the age of the building and the smell of meat roasting on a spit filled the air. From behind a counter an Elven man came out smiling to welcome them. He was a thin man with white hair and a long straight face with pointed ears.
"Welcome my friends." He said. "It's been awhile since we've had guest. Can I offer you refreshments?"
"No." Alee said. "Just three rooms and a little information."
"Very well." He ushered them over to the counter. From a peg board he took down three keys and pushed them over.
"The rooms are on the top floor, three of our best. Dinner is served here at the stroke of eight." He said leaning on his counter. "What information do you seek?"
"There is a stranger in your city." Aramis told him. "He is said to perform miracles. How can we find him? We have need of his help."
"I'm not sure. He keeps to himself." The innkeeper said with a suspicious look. "I can give him a message when I see him."
"No." Aramis took the keys. "Don't bother. We'll find him."
Alee and Aramis followed the innkeeper up stairs to their rooms. He told them there were towels in the rooms and there's hot water available if they needed it. They both went into Aramis's room and closed the door. The rooms were sparsely furnished but of average size. They had a bed and a bureau for luggage, a bedside table with a lamp and a table with two chairs and two nice comfortable looking couches. Alee went to the window and opened it. He wanted to see the moon as it rode across the night. He closed his eyes and let its light energize him. His hair began to blow in the night wind. He looked so peaceful Aramis thought.
"What do we do now?" Aramis asked.
"I know Atol is here." Alee said without opening his eyes. "I could call him, see if he answers."
"Try." Aramis watched him at the window. Alee's body was alive with energy. Aramis could feel it pouring off him. There was no heat, just power.
"I'm going out into the sky." He said. "I need the freedom of the sky to strengthen me. I'll try calling Atol while I'm out."
Alee began to grow brighter until his body became an orb of light. Then he flew out the window and up into the sky. He flew high over the town and for a few minutes soaked in the essence of the moonlight. It wasn't as strong as sunlight but Alea's light would always power her brother. Energized he called out to his brother the god of love.
[Atol! Brother we need your help.]
He waited, probing the city below him for an answer. Minutes went by. He found Jax dancing in the city center with the rest of the Elves. Alee could tell he was enjoying himself and keeping the people's level of revelry high. Suddenly he felt a familiar contact. Atol, reached out to him.
[Brother, what are you doing here?]
[I'm looking for you.] He answered. [We need your help.]
[Who needs my help? Surely not you.]
[No, Vitale needs you.]
Alee could feel the curiosity Atol felt in their connection.
[Vitale is imprisoned in the underworld, in exile with Muerte. Why would he need me?]
[Come to the inn the Golden Griffin and we will explain everything to you.]
[I will meet you there.]
And the contact was broken. Finished with his task, Alee returned to their room and found Aramis asleep. Alee smiled. Aramis was taking on human traits. Gods didn't sleep, they didn't need to. He pulled the covers over him, then sat down and waited for Atol and Jax to come to the inn.
The palace of the governor of Remod had quieted down after the feast was over. Everyone had retired to their chambers except all the guards at their post and most of them were drowsy. Atol had been the guest of honor dressed in the finest ware the governor could find. Many toasts had been made in his honor and the city's, for they were all happy the war was over and their long feud had come to an end. It was time he left. His brother the sun god had called to him earlier and it sounded urgent.
As he walked out of the palace he wondered what Alee wanted. What could make him come out of the sky to find him? He had said something about Vitale needing him. But what was he doing free and out of the underworld? He hoped it didn't mean what he thought it meant. That would be something too horrid to think.
The Golden Griffin was not too far away. He could be there in a snap but he decided to walk, it was a most beautiful night. As he walked he passed a couple in a garden arguing. He smiled and waved his hand and the man took the woman in his arms. He apologized and kissed her deeply. Atol stopped and whispered to the wind.
[I feel your love for her. Now show her.]
As the kiss broke up, he young elf kneeled down and took her hand as she blushed in surprise. Atol walked on, he knew he was proposing to her. He also knew they would be happy for the rest of their lives.
The city of Remod had celebrated long into the night and it seemed like in the palace, most of the people had gone home to rest. But still there were a few out. Over in the city center he saw someone that looked familiar. It couldn't be, he thought. But who else had such rich red hair as his younger brother Jax. But what was he doing here? Had the celebration brought the god of laughter here? No, it had to be Vitale. Jax was always at his side. If he was in trouble, Jax would be there.
Atol watched Jax leave the people he had been with in the center and start down the avenue. He was heading in the direction of the Golden Griffin. As Atol watched, a group of strange men began to follow Jax. Could this be just a coincidence? Are they just heading in the same direction as Jax? Then Atol saw the swords and weapons they were carrying. Dressed as he was, these men probably thought Jax was a rich man with a lot of coins in his pouch. Atol knew Jax didn't carry any money, he didn't need it. They were going to try and rob him. Not my little brother he thought. He knew the likes of them couldn't kill Jax, but they could cause him pain. If they could catch him. Gods did feel pain.
The Golden Griffin was at least six city blocks away from where they were. These men would corner him before he could make it there if Atol didn't warn him. If he did, Jax could be there in seconds, but he wouldn't. He would want to fight, Atol knew that. And he could take them all, he knew that too. But the god of love hadn't had a good fight in a long time. So why not?
There were six of them advancing on Jax spread along the street. One was standing next to a cart hitched to two oxen's. He was alone just pulling out his sword. Atol sent a message to the oxen and it kicked out and got the man in his back. Then with their teeth the oxen pulled the man under the wagon to hide him. One down, now there were five. Atol smiled and moved to the man closes to him. A simple illusion changed Atol's appearance to that of a dancing girl. He whispered to him.
"Turn to me."
Hearing the sweet voice, the man turned to look at him. What he saw was a shapely beautiful girl dressed in red silks dancing seductively in the streets. He couldn't resist this beauty. As if hypnotized he dropped his weapon and staggered back to Atol. Atol put his arms around him and with a touch on his neck, knocked him out. Then there were four. Two men were just about to Jax. He had to warn him.
[Watch your back little red one.] He sent. [There's two men about to brain you.]
Atol saw the slightest move from Jax letting him know he had heard him. As both men brought down their clubs to bash him, Jax moved. He moved so fast they didn't even see him. But they felt their clubs when they came back and hit them dropping them to the floor. Two left with Jax at one side and Atol at the other. The two godly brothers smiled at their adversary.
"Run away or end up like them." Atol said. "It doesn't matter to us."
Looking around the two men noticed they were alone and in trouble. The man they were going to rob was standing there with one of their clubs smiling. They knew these two weren't ordinary men. They were wizards or warlocks. So they ran for it past Atol and down the street. Atol laughed as he joined his brother and hugged him.
"It's good to see you red one." He smiled hugging him tightly. "What brings you here?"
[Vitale and trouble.] He sent. Atol frowned.
"Why are you sending?" He asked.
[Punishment. Come, Alee and Vitale are waiting.]
Down in the underworld, Muerte looked over her new domain. It was as bleak and desolate as she was. But it was now hers. None of the spirits of this world could be seen. They were all in hiding in fear of her. But she could fix that. Nestor's palace stood just on the hill before her. Muerte walked up the hill and on to the dais in front of the palace. She turned and looked out over her new kingdom.
"Your old master is no longer in control here." She said in a voice that carried all over the land.
"I am, and I would have you all come out to pay homage to me, now!! Or find out how I will punish you!!"
From everywhere she looked, spirits began to emerge. There were millions of them. Hundreds of millions all the dead from ages were here. And they all were now under her command. Now that was power she thought. The front of her new palace was crowded with spirits waiting to see what she had to say.
"No longer will there be a heaven and hell." She said looking over the crowd. "From this day on, there will only be my realm. I don't care if you're evil or not. I don't care if you've been righteous or if you've been eating children's hearts. All that matters is if you serve me. And for those of you that don't, I'll show you horrors that you won't believe possible."
From up high, Baron Valker watched as the crowd moved back in fear. He didn't want to stay too much longer. Muerte couldn't perceive him, but there were a lot of other mages down here that might.
"That's right." Muerte said as she smiled at her audience. "Fear me, all of you. For I plan to rid myself of all life on this mud ball and start again as the sole god to all. As I give the world or I plan to rid my gift of death, I will grow more and more powerful. Soon I will be able to finish off every living thing on this world. Gods and all and remake it as I wish. Some of you will be helping me clean out the living. We will be starting soon. I will be releasing you to help ravage the world. Don't disappoint me. You won't like your reward."
She turned and walked into the palace laughing. Baron Valkar knew this was his chance to get back to the living before he was caught. Below him he could see many spirits, demons and monsters muddling about. Not sure what she wanted them to do and afraid to do anything on their own. Baron Valkar looked over and saw the entrance beyond the gate unguarded. Everything here was in chaos. This was his chance to get out. Moving across the ceiling of the underworld, he took off for the entrance. Between him and his way out he saw just the newly dead standing around confused. As he tried to move past them hands reached up and tried to bring him down. He batted at them knocking them away as he flew. Suddenly he felt a hand wrap itself around his ankle and drag him back.
"I will never let you of all people escape here!!"
Baron Valkar turned back to see Azeal Tyr pulling him back.
"Not you!!" The Baron groaned. "Not now!!"
"Yes, me!" Azeal frowned as her pulled the Baron in and pushed him to the ground. Climbing to his feet the Baron watched Azeal start to walk around him and set himself for battle. This was the last person he needed to see. Azeal's hatred for him still burned in his eyes.
"I've lost my peace, but there's one thing good coming out of it." Azeal said. "I get another chance at you."
With a sudden burst of speed, Azeal launched himself at Valkar. He landed on his chest and began beating on his face. Blow after blow hit Valkar as the Werewolf beat him. Trying to fend him off, Valkar sent a force bolt out that knocked Azeal away and on his back. Baron Valkar got up, now he was ready to battle. But he didn't want to. Not with Azeal.
"Stop!!" He said. "Azeal. I know how much you hate me, but I'm not trying to escape. I'm trying to stop her. You heard her. You know what she plans is mad. She's going to kill all of our descendant out there. Mine and yours. We all have to stop her."
"Why should you care about my descendant?" Azeal yelled at him. "When you killed so many yourself?"
"I'm sorry." Valkar said looking Azeal in his eyes. "My crimes were unforgivable, and of most souls down here, I deserve punishment I know that. But our people don't deserve to die and I can help stop it,"
"How and why should I believe you?" Azeal asked a little calmer. There was something in Valkar's eyes Azeal had never seen before. And he'd been with the Baron for more than a hundred years. Compassion?
"I have no way to prove what I'm saying to you Azeal." Valkar held his open hands out to Azeal. It was a futile sign, but it was all he could do to show he was being truthful. Then from behind them they heard a small voice.
"I believe him father."
Azeal turned around and saw his son Danik standing there with his mother hugging him and kissing him. All though he had been dead for centuries like his parents, he had been lost in a place between life and death so his parents couldn't find him. Azeal rushed wide eyed to his son and took him in his arms.
"How is this possible?" He asked. "We searched all over the underworld for you."
"He gave me rest." Danik pointed to the Baron. "I was lost a long time and he sent me home to rest."
Azeal looked up to Valkar tears in his eyes.
"You did this?" He asked.
"I am sorry for all I did." Valkar said. "But I need your help to save them Azeal. I've seen them. Mine and yours. They're so wonderful and full of life. You would be so proud of them. I can help keep them alive and this time, I won't fail them."
"How can I help?" He asked as he stood and shook his old enemy's hand.
"Not all of these souls will want to help her." Valkar told Azeal. "There has to be some way to fight her. Gather them and wait for our call. I'll find a way."
"I'll do as you ask Baron." He said. "I'll gather my own army in hell. Go. Get out of here. Hurry."
"I will be back!" He said as he rose up and flew out the main entrance to hell and back to the living.
Kneeling at Muerte's altar in Yadessa, Balthazar was waiting for word from his goddess. He had done as she asked and sent his vampires out to turn the lands all over their continent to nightwalkers. Valkar and the Dragons were fighting them, but he was slowly gaining over them. All over the lands the night was now feared. Only his nightwalkers and the hunters moved at night. Soon he would start his day movements. He had been gathering day creatures for the assault, now he was about ready to move. All he needed was the word from his mistress to begin and he could start sending out missions. Balthazar looked up and noticed the room darken. All the candles in the room began to go out as her visage appeared over him.
"I have done as you ordered Mistress." He bowed his head never to look her in her eyes.
[YOU HAVE DONE WELL, BALTHAZAR.] She said. [SOON I WILL ARRIVE AND WE CAN BEGIN BRINGING DEATH TO THE WORLD.]
"Death?" Balthazar looked up to her. That wasn't the plan she had told him. How was he to rule for her if everyone was dead? Surely she didn't mean him?
[THERE WILL BE NO PLACE TO HIDE. SOON THE WORLD WILL BE COVERED IN DEATH.]
"As you command Mistress." He bowed.
[BE READY FOR MY ARRIVAL BALTHAZAR. SOON.]
With that her presence faded away. Balthazar stood and headed out of the temple. He knew she meant what she said. She planned to kill everyone including him. This had all gone wrong. Entering into the castle, Balthazar thought about what to do. Clearly he couldn't defeat her on his own. He would need help. And the only help out there strong enough to win was the Dragons. Fine, he would join them. Then at the right moment after he's rid of Muerte, The dragons will be weak. Then he could make his move and crush them all. Balthazar walked up to his study and opened the door. Inside he found one of his aides waiting.
"Find Valkar for me." He said sitting on his throne. "We need to talk."
The morning dawned bright and beautiful in Natassi. All the people were rising for their morning chores. Eggs needed to be collected, cows needed milking and the fields needed tended. All the farmer and cattlemen were up and at work. In the town nearby, shops were opening and the towns people were getting on with the day. At the gates to the town, a pale beautiful red haired woman nodded to the guards at the gate as they dropped dead where they stood. Muerte walked on. One by one as she passed them everyone in Natassi dead. Death rolled out from her and into every home shop and farmer in Natassi. Minutes after she had arrived there was no one left alive in Natassi. She laughed as she left for her next target. The sky palace of the gods.
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