The Dragons of Keanna - Book II
by Jandar Tyr
Dragon against Dragon
The council building doors flew open and Insa came running out leaving a trail of smoke behind him. He had just got a warning from Jandar about an imminent attack on Winterhaven by dragons. As he ran down the cobbled street he shifted to smoke and flowed between the people on the streets. He had warned the council, now he was on his way to the city gates to activate the city defenses. As he approached he shifted back to human form and surprised the guards on duty.
"Councilmen Insa." The guard looked at him in dismay. "Is there something we can do for you?"
"Yes." He said. " We're about to be attacked Activate the shields at once!"
"At once sir!!" Spinning on his heels the guard ran to the gate house and started issuing orders to all the guards within. Suddenly a hum could be heard growing throughout the city and the skies developed a golden hue as the magical shield covered the city. Just then Fiero dove out of the sky spewing flames at the gate. Everyone on the wall jumped for cover as the flames hit the shield and were reflected back at him. Fiero roared out his anger and slammed himself against the shields. As Insa watched the guards all went running from the walls of the gates into the city in terror. The only one to stay at his post was a young elf named Morganz manning the shield controls. Insa quickly ran into the gate house.
"When you hear my roar." He said. " I want you to turn off the shield, then switch it back on again."
"You're not going out there?" Morganz said grabbing Insa's arm. "It's suicide."
"Don't worry son. I can handle myself." Insa patted his shoulder. "On my roar. Off, then on, got it?"
"Yes sir." He saluted.
Shifting back to smoke, Insa flew out and up onto the wall. As he watched Arik attacked battering at the shield then pulled back so Fiero could dive in again to flame the shield. The shield was taking a really strong beating. Insa wasn't sure if it could hold out until Rage and Jandar got there. In his smoke form he watched both Fiero and Arik streak back up into the sky to ready another assault. This was his chance. Insa roared and the shields fell. Quickly he took off out of the city as the shields came back on behind him. Now it was up to him to hold off the dragons until help arrived.
[Rage, you better hurry.] He sent. [I don't know how long I can hold them.]
[Insa?] Jandar sent. [What the hell are you doing?]
[Giving you time to get here. The shields won't take their attacks much longer. Just hurry!!]
[We're over the bay.] Rage sent. [Two minutes.]
Soaring up into the sky, Insa formed claws out of his smoky essence and slashed at Fiero's back. Fiero roared in pain as he banked to the side to avoid the smoke cloud. As he passed he sent a stream of flame at Insa. Quickly becoming smoke the flame went right through him as he turned himself again to slash at the fire dragon. But twisting in the air Fiero managed to angle himself out of the way. Suddenly and a great gust of wind caught Insa and defused his smoke leaving the dragon exposed. As Insa looked up he saw a gout of flame coming at him that he couldn't avoid. This was it, he thought. Suddenly Rage flew out of nowhere and blocked the flame with his own. Behind Rage, Insa saw another dragon. This one was golden. He thought it was Shine, but his crest was totally different. This had to be Valen, the first dragon.
[Get back to the city.] Rage sent. [ You've done your job. Thank you old father! Jandar, take the others down to the city. Valen and I will take care of them.]
[Love.] Jandar sent to him. [You can't kill them. They're innocent dragons being control by Muerte.]
[Then what do suggest I do?]
[I know exactly what to do.] Jandar sent to both Rage and Valen. [It won't be easy.]
After explaining his plan to them Jandar, Dreik and Jade headed down to Winterhaven to watch from the gate walls as they took off to battle the two dragons.
[Valen, you take Fiero.] Rage sent. [Try and contact him. He's in there fighting to be free, I can feel it.]
[I know.] Valen said. [I feel it too. ]
Diving down at Fiero, Valen reached out to see if he could feel his mind. He felt the pain that was driving his brother mad, and a spark of intelligence. He was fighting her. Valen called out to him.
[ Fiero!] He sent. [ Little brother. It's me Valen,]
Fiero shook his head as if to knock the voice out of his mind and sent his flame at the golden dragon. Valen didn't even try to avoid it. He didn't have to. Fiero's flame couldn't hurt him. It never could.
[Fiero, you have to remember me and your sister Jade. Please!]
[Sister?] He sent. [Jade? Remember? No!!]
The red dragon launched himself at Valen only to get knocked away with the batting of his golden wing. Valen wasn't sure talking was doing any good. Maybe Jandar's plan was the only way. In his fist Valen held a piece of the Salvation stone. He would have to get close enough to plant it in his head. He wasn't sure Fiero would let him get that close.
Rage flew head on at Arik and sent a stream of flame towards him that he easily flew around. But as he did, Rage reached out and grabbed his leg throwing him off course. Arik tumbled through the air but caught himself and sent a hard blast of air at Rage. Folding his wings, Rage dropped like a rock until he was under Arik and kicked out hitting him in the chest. Arik roared out in pain and veered off to catch his breath. But Rage wasn't going to give him that much time. Angling his wings, Rage dived down and slammed into Arik's back then launched himself away.
[Come and get me Airbag!!]
And Rage took off. Angered, Arik gave chase after him. Unknown to Arik, Rage had just dropped Denner on his back in the form of a spider. So small Arik never noticed he was there. Increasing himself in size, Denner crawled as quickly as he could along the dragon's back. As Rage sent gout's of flame back at Arik to keep him distracted from feeling Denner and shaking him off. Denner kept moving. Crawling along Arik's back, Denner found himself on Ariks head. He shifted back to human and slammed a Salvation stone down onto the dragon's forehead then dove off, shifted to eagle and flew off.
As the Salvation stone's magic took effect, Arik howled out in pain and dropped from the sky shifting to human as he fell.
[NO!! ARIK!!] Fiero screamed. Seeing his brother fall was all he needed to destroy the spell. [Valen save him!!]
Rage dove down folding his wings to his back and was like an arrow moving through the air. As he approached Arik, he reached out and grabbed him out of the air then opened his wings and sailed over the surface of the water. Suddenly a large column of water shot up and Maxius the water dragon appeared. Turning west Rage turned aside to miss him. Looking back, he saw Mortimer riding Maxius's back. He climbed forward until he reached his head and placed a blue stone on the top of his head. Rage saw him wave as Maxius howled then slipped back under the waves.
[I got him!] Rage heard. [ Don't worry. I'll get him out of the water and back to shore. Call someone to pick us up.]
[I'll meet you there and give you a lift.] Rage headed for the shore to wait for the Merman and the passed out dragon.
Opening his eyes Fiero looked up to see Valen sitting in a chair next to his bed. He rubbed his eyes not sure if he was dreaming. He looked around not sure where he was.
"It's not a dream." Valen said leaning over and wiping Fiero's forehead. "You're free of her. She'll never get in your mind again. I promise."
"Arik?" He said. "I saw him fall?"
Valen pointed to the beds next to his. There he saw both Arik and Maxius sleeping soundly.
"Are they alright?"
"They're fine. Slip into their dreams and see." Valen smiled.
Fiero looked at his brothers and remember all that had happened to them. Tears began to run down his face as he turned away from Valen and cried.
"Little brother what's wrong" Valen asked.
"I failed you." He said. "I couldn't protect them."
"Nonsense." Valen said as he got up and sat on the bed next to him. "If it wasn't for you. Both of them would be brain dead. You kept them alive and you fought so hard you broke her spell on your own. I felt the pain. Jade and I both did. We know what you endured. I am so proud of you."
"What now?" Fiero asked.
"You three get some sleep." He said. "You need it. You haven't slept in weeks. Let us deal with her. That's an order."
"I don't think I can get out of this bed anyway."
Valen got up and pulled the covers up over his second then ran his hand through his hair.
"Go dream with your brothers. I'll come check on you later." He said as he headed for the door. "Sleep well little brother."
Outside the door Cutter waited for him. Valen held up his finger to keep him quiet and walked him down the hall.
"Does he remember yet?"
"No." Valen told him. "You can make sure they never remember?"
"Yes." Cutter told him. "Don't worry. They won't remember what she made them do until you can help them with the memories."
"Good." Valen said. He looked sad as he turned to head down to Rage and Jandar's study. Muerte had made Fiero and the others do some horrible things. He knew it was time to end this. She had to be stopped.
Sounds of crashing and furniture being destroyed could be heard echoing all through the underworld as Muerte ripped and torn through the palace. She had been disappointed again by agents she sent out to ravage Keanna. Once done rampaging through the palace she went and sat back down on the throne. She had one more idea. She had trillions of spirits at hand to use. They could be sent out to cause havoc and distract the dragons until she was ready for them and start her death walk. She got up from her throne and walked out onto her balcony. There was not a soul in sight. She smiled. That's good she thought. That means they fear me. But her will was supreme here so her voice would be heard throughout the realm.
"TO ALL OF YOU IN PRIVATE HELLS. I'M RELEASING YOU AND SENDING YOU OUT AMONG THE LIVING TO TORMENT THEM AND KILL AS MANY AS YOU CAN. I GIVE YOU BACK YOUR PHYSICAL ABILITIES. GO DESTROY KEANNA. I COMMAND IT."
Azeal Tyr listened from the palace he used for his command with Baron Valkar at his side in what was once the Celestial Fields, home of the blessed. They looked at each other knowing this meant trouble. Together, they ran from the marble estate Azeal calling for his aides.
"Talin, Lucien!" He called.
From up of the crowd of thousands two spirits came sailing from the crowd to see what their leader wanted.
"You called Azeal?" Lucien bowed to the werewolf
"Yes." He said. "I need you to take a force to the gate and stop anyone from leaving or thousands of murderous spirits will be out terrorizing the world above. I think the time to move is close."
"Yes sir!" Lucien said. "This isn't going to be easy. Some of us spirits won't make it through this. "
"We know. But our families will be safe if we can stop her." The Baron told them. "That's what's important."
"Yes Lucien. We swore to help stop her." Talin put his hand on his friend's arm. "My great grandchildren deserve to live out their lives. She won't let them do that."
"I know. Let's get going." Lucien said. "Gather some warriors. We don't have much time. They'll be going out any minute now.
"And I should get back to the Manor." The Baron told his old enemy turning to leave. "They're going to want to know about this turn of events."
"Baron." Azeal stopped him. "I can't do this along. Only Nestor or one of the others can stand against her. Otherwise, this is all for nothing and she will win."
"I know Azeal." He said. "So does Aramis. He made it clear to me he planned to free Alea and Nestor. I've just been so busy here with you, I don't know what's going on in the real world. But don't worry, I'll be as quick as I can with answers."
Willing himself transparent Baron Valkar took to the air and headed for the gate back to the world above. Below him he saw all the men they had assembled to fight Muerte. There were thousands of spirits down there. He hoped it would be enough. Ahead of him he saw the gate. A great crimson spiral that was usually one way. But Muerte had opened it so souls could leave now. Stepping through the gate Baron Valkar recognize someone. It was someone that served him when he was alive. Wyland his court mage. One of the evillest men that he had ever met. This wasn't good at all. He knew he would go right back to attacking the werewolves. He had to get Lucien to the gate to stop anyone else from leaving.
[Lucien!!] He called out. [You have to hurry. There's a line at the gate of spirits leaving.]
[Here we are!] He heard. [No one else will be leaving!]
The Baron looked back as he made his way through the gate and saw a battle waging. Lucien had arrived with his troops and was fighting them back. Baron Valkar breathed a sigh of relief. He knew he better hurry. She could make her move anytime and Lucien wouldn't be able to stop her.
Back at the Manor, Aramis stood at the gate with Nestor and Ono. He sent out his probes to try and locate Baron Valkar. He found him on his way back to the Manor and called.
[Baron. How is everything in the underworld?]
[Desperate.] He said as he materialized. [Azeal and I have gather an army to fight Muerte. But we need someone to lead it with godly power.]
He looked at Nestor then back to Aramis.
[My lord.] He bowed. [I'm pleased you're free.]
"I've been told good things about you and Azeal." Nestor looked at him sternly. "You have my thanks. Both you and Azeal."
"Perhaps we should be on our way." Aramis held out his hand and called to Jax to send him Hazzard. The flaming sword appeared in his hand. "Ready?"
[Just a minute.] Baron Valkar turned to Ono. [I have a warning for your father. Tell him Wyland Rusk is free.]
The look of shock on Ono's face told him he knew the name and the history.
"How is that possible?" Nestor asked. "My spells on the gate prevents anyone but those I have exempted from leaving there."
[Muerte opened the gate.] The Baron told them. [We have guards fighting to keep everyone in, but a few made it out before they got there. Someone's going to have to catch them and send them back.]
"I'll let everyone now." Ono said. "You better go before she does something worse."
"Wait." Aramis said looking at Hazzard in his hand. "Once we appear in the underworld. Muerte will know we're there. Can you defeat her, Nestor?"
"With that I can." He said reaching for Hazzard. Aramis pulled it away.
"I can't give this to you." He stepped back.
"But that was a part of the plan." He frowned. "I can end this with that."
"No you can't." Aramis told him. "Not down there. If you do, she will become so powerful she will win."
"How do you know this?" Nestor shouted at him
"Father told me." He shouted back. "You believe him? Is his word enough for you?"
Nestor looked at him in surprise. Rimnar hadn't been heard from in centuries. But if his son said he talked to him, he believed him.
"Lord Rimnar's word will do." He said. "What do you want to do then?"
"If we make a duplicate, do you think she'll know?" Ono asked.
Nestor and Aramis looked at Ono in awe, then they both burst out laughing.
"I don't think she'll let it get close enough to tell the difference." Aramis clapped Ono on the back. "She must know how Cressca's died by now. She knows we have it I'm sure. It might work. Thank you my prince."
"I can conjure a fake." Nestor said.
"Good. Ono, you get going. Your father and Jandar need that information." Aramis gripped his shoulder. "When Jandar and Rage wake. Tell them to be ready. Let's go."
"Who is this woman?" Angela looked her over. She saw the resemblance between the two of them. Alea had long dark hair and Angela's was pure white now, but otherwise they could be twin sisters.
"Atol." Alea said. "Is this...?"
"I knew the minute I saw her." He smiled and nodded.
Alea walked around the stunned woman admiring her.
"Can one of you please tell me what is going on here." She looked at them confused.
"Angela, this is my sister Alea." He said. "Goddess of the moon, and she's.."
"Stop." Alea took her by the hand and walked her to the couch and they sat down. She reached up and touched Angela's face. "You're so beautiful."
"Who are you?"
"I'm your mother." Tears ran from Alea's eyes as she grabbed Angela and pulled her into a hug. Shocked, she just sat there and let this woman hug her, but what she said made no sense to her. How was this possible?
"How can this be?" She asked her. "It can't be true."
"It is true." She pushed the hair from her face. "Years ago I found I was with child. I didn't tell anyone other than my parents who foresaw my greatest enemy torturing and killing my child. So I had to hide you from everyone. I think you know what I'm talking about."
"What do you mean?" Angela asked.
"I met my granddaughter outside." She said. "Didn't you do the same thing? You hid her from the exact same enemy. Muerte. I watched Athene for years from above even though I couldn't do much to help. I gave her dream abilities to protect her. I even sent Jandar to protect her when she needed help."
"What about me when I was imprisoned by my husband?" She asked. "You didn't try and free me?"
"I've been imprisoned too." She said. "And my powers were so limited. But I did send Adam to be your guard and influencing Balthazar was no easy task."
"I tried to find my parent for years with no clue who they were." Angela was on the verge of tears. "You left me nothing."
"I knew who you would marry. One of her disciples." Alea took her hand. "If he had any idea who you really were what do you think would have happened? Tell me, what would he have done?"
Angela thought for a minute. For years Balthazar had raged about how his goddess hated the moon and the werewolves, the moon children. She knew the answer to her question.
"He would have killed me in the most horrible way." She looked deeply into her mother's eyes. She could tell what she was hearing was the truth. "I'm not sure how to react to all this. I mean what am I? A vampire, a goddess? What?"
"Neither." Atol said as he sat across from them. "I know you've fed all your life on cattle blood. But both your parents are gods. You will need to be presented to Rimnar and Saila to be confirmed."
"Then your godly abilities will be available to you." Atol stood and looked at the mother and daughter. "But until then, I want you at New Keanna. The dragon's manor is the safest place for you."
"Why?" Angela asked. "Prafa is safe. There's no one after me."
"Yes there is." Alea looked at her with worry. "He still wants both you and your children. And if he finds out you're my daughter. He will do anything to turn you over to her. Please, all three of you should go to the dragons. He won't attack there."
"I will do as you wish mother." Angela hugged Alea. "When do I meet my father?"
"As soon as the Underworld is free I will bring him to you." She looked out the window and noticed it was late. Alee would be surprised to see her. "It's time for me to go. Be safe my darling."
In a flash of light, she was gone. Angela looked at Atol smiling at her.
"I guess you would be my uncle then?"
"Yes I am." He said. "And so is Jax, Aramis and Alee."
"What do I tell my children about this?" She asked.
"Nothing." He said getting up to leave. He kissed her. "I must go too. Just get them to safety. We'll meet you at the Manor. "
Atol walked toward the door and faded away. Angela sat there thinking about what had just happened to her. She couldn't believe it still. She looked out the window and watched her children talking at the gate. Balthazar had no idea where she was. There was no hurry getting to New Keanna. She would leave in the morning. She walked to the stairs and headed up to her room to rest. Up in the rafted a vampire bat unfolded his wings and dropped down and flew out the window. He had a report to make to his master.
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