Zarin Testa and the Andrake Academy
Copyright © 2016 by Jandar Tyr
All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved
Morning dawned in Winterhaven as Tayor Larin walked from his study carrying his cane. He had an appointment with one of his co-councilmen on matters of the city. The meeting was to take place in a matter of minutes, in fact Councilor Begaise was waiting for him in the front library. Tayor stopped in the kitchen on his way and poured himself a drink of Junga juice, a citrus fruit grown locally for energy. He would need his energy for what he planned for the day. His attack on Insa last night had failed because of the two vampires with Insa. But this day was just beginning and he had expelled Insa. Before it's end he would kill him. That he swore. As he walked from the kitchen into the entry hall, Yoron his aide met him.
"Councilor Begaise awaits you Master." He bowed. "He arrived only minutes ago."
"Very well." Tayor said handing his empty glass to Yoron. "Don't let anyone disturb us."
Tayor walked to the library door and stopped. He looked at his cane. The light sparkling in the globe at the head. Today he would take his first step to be king of Winterhaven. As a matter of fact, soon as he entered this room he would begin his journey. He reached for the door knob and turned it to enter.
Dressed in his wizard robes, Begaise turned to look at Tayor as he entered. Oh how he hated this man and wished he never had to deal with him again. But Tayor was an important man on the council and Begaise had no choice but to deal with him. Begaise stood and with an unemotional look, he bowed to Tayor.
"Thank you for coming Councilor." Tayor said greeting him. He walked to the front of his desk holding his cane in his hand. "I think you may be of use to me today."
"I don't see how." Begaise said as he sat back down. "You've fought me and denied any proposals I've presented for the last two years. We've been trying to strengthen the enchantments on the entry road but you fight us. Why? Can't you see how unsafe the roads are now? Or don't you care?"
"It's not going to be your problem from today on." Tayor told him. "It's all going to be my responsibility."
"So what's that supposed to mean?" Begaise didn't trust Tayor. He knew he was up to something and that could be trouble for him.
"It means you're going to change your point of view." Tayor smiled. "See things my way I think." Begaise jumped to his feet enraged. "If you think even for a second I'll side with you on anything discussed in chamber. You're going to be disappointed."
"Oh I don't think so." Tayor held out his cane as it began to glow brightly. "I think you will do whatever I tell you."
Begaise raised his hand shouting strong words at Tayor. His hands glowed red as his spell formed. Tayor waved his cane at him and a stream of red energy shot from Begaise flowing into the cane. Tayor began to laugh as Begaise's magic slipped from him. A look of horror spread across his face as he became weaker and weaker and he slipped to the floor.
"Your magic and knowledge is mine!" Tayor shouted at him. "You are now mine!"
A gray color began to spread through Begaise laying on the floor as he died. Tayor snatched back his cane stopping the spell as the magic stopped. He looked at the wizard laying in the middle of his floor. He was dead. It wasn't his intention to kill him. He wanted to use him as a pawn but his cane's magic was much stronger than he expected. Tayor walked over and kicked Begaise over to lay on his back. There lay the gray body of his first victim. Tayor felt stronger with all the magic he had absorbed. This was just a setback he thought. Next time he would be more careful and stop before he finished off his opponent so he could still be used. Tayor turned and walk off away from Begaise. He opened the library door and called out.
"Yoron! I have a mess that needs cleaning." he called. "And send in the next councilor as soon as he gets here."
Early morning sun slipped in the window of Elan Darkshades room and roused him from his dreams. He had been dreaming of conquest with his lover Aron at his side. In the dream, he and Aron along with Tabor Larin had just beaten their enemy Zarin Testa and his group out of their stronghold and had them on the run. Elan stretched in bed and opened his eyes. He knew Tabor had a busy day planned for them all searching the city for the gold ring Zarin had stolen from them. He sat up in bed and turned to get up when he saw the dark green long eared features of Aesis, his mother's Imp messenger sitting on the table beside his bed. He jumped, startled to see Aesis there looking at him.
"What the hell are you doing here?" He yelled waking his roommate Aron from his sleep.
Aesis climbed his small body from the table he was perched on and grinned at Elan.
"Pardon sir," He bowed. "But I come with a message from your great Mother."
"What's going on, Elan?" Aron sat up then saw Aesis sitting on the headboard of his bed. "What's he doing here?"
"I'm about to find out if you'll keep it down a second." He turned back to the Imp. "Well?"
"The Great One wishes to see you today." Aesis said as he hopped over and handed him a message stone.
"I can't possibly come today." Elan told the Imp. "Is this even important?"
"Oh the Great one would never send me out if it wasn't important." Aesis shook his big head. "And her Greatness has far too much to do for trivial pursuits. It must be important."
Aron get out of bed and walked over to sit next to his lover. He started to kiss Elan, then thought better. He knew the Imp would report all he saw. And that was something he didn't need to see.
"What is it?" Aron asked.
"It can't be good. "Elan looked at him then at the Imp. "What are you waiting for?"
"Why your reply Sir."
"I'll call you when I'm ready. "Elan told him. "Get out of my room!"
"Yes Sir!" With a pop the Imp disappeared.
"I thought he'd never leave." Aron reached over and kissed Elan. "It's a good thing I was in my own bed."
"Yes, it is." Elan stood and got his clothes from the chest at the end of his bed. Aron watched. He knew Elan was upset. Aesis might have caught them had he shown up during the night.
"Elan." Aron get up and stopped him. "He didn't catch us. What's wrong?"
"Not this time he didn't." Elan tried to step around him but Aron stopped him. "Sooner or later someone will. Then what?"
"Then we're free of all this hiding. I for one will be glad."
"And what about me?" Elan pushed him away. "You know what my mother will do? She'll have the hunters on us. They'll bring us back in disgrace."
"You are not the first male Dark Elves to have a male lover." Aron said. "Or the last. King Hylinan ruled for over 100 years with his love in the open. Why can't we?"
"Because my mother will not have it!!" Elan shouted at him. Elan was becoming angry. Aron knew he loved him but he had to do as his father their king said. Neither boys knew what to do.
"What does your message say?" Aron retrieved his clothes and started dressing. Their argument had made them both forget they were still naked. Elan looked at the message stone in his hand then pulled on his clothes. He wouldn't check it until they were dressed. Who knows what magic Talsara Darkshade might have put on the stone. Once dressed Elan took the stone from their desk and rubbed it. Only Elan could activate that message stone since it was attuned to him. He sat it back on the desk and the image of his mother rose to stand before them in her completely regal attire. Talsara Darkshade like her son had grayish dark handsome features with long pointed ears. She wore her white hair in a long braid down her back. She was dressed in dark leather riding pants and a long black coat studded with diamonds. At her side she wore a long saber etched with magical runes. On her hand she had many jeweled rings. Talsara Darkshade was the most powerful ruler of the dark elf tribes of the Darkshade, of which there were many due to her lust for power. She never let anything stand in her way to gain what she thought should be hers. For years she had tried to train Elan to be like her. After all, he was her heir apparent. The next ruler of Darkshade since she had never produced a daughter. This she accepted. The fates had made the decision not to grant her a female child. She didn't like it, but she would make him so ruthless and powerful as she could.
"Elan my son. It is good to see you." She said. Elan and Aron were not surprised that she could see and hear them. It was a good thing they had dressed before using the stone.
"Mother." They both bowed to her image. "It's good to see you to. How is father?"
"He's fine." She said. "I have something I want you to do."
Elan looked at his love. "What do you wish my Queen?"
"There is a young elven princess in the school you attend." Talsara told them. "Her name is Emrel Eventide. I want you to bring her back to Darkshade. She is to be your bride, and the next Queen of Darkshade at your side."
It took a minute for the shock of what she had just said to hit the two lovers. She had said bride. Elan was to marry? This couldn't be true. Surely they had heard wrong. Or this was someone's idea of a joke on them. Aron looked at Elan. Tears were beginning to develop in his eyes. He started to say something against this mad notion when Elan gripped his hand out of his mother's sight.
"You wish me to kidnap a daughter of the Eventide's?" Elan wanted to be sure he heard it right. "That will mean war with the forest elves, the Eventide's. And an Eventide would rule in Darkshade since only queens rule our lands"
"Yes." Talsara smiled. "I know that. It's what I want. I plan to add their lands to ours with your wedding. And I will make sure she is always under our control. There are ways Elan."
"And what if she doesn't wish to marry?" Elan asked.
"She doesn't get a choice." The elven queen told her son. "With her father dead, the oldest male in the Eventide house is just a boy, less than one hundred years old. Once we have her we can make our demands. If they ever want to see here again, they'll agree."
"And that will be binding?" Aron asked.
"Yes son of the house of Neveral." Talsara looked deeply at him. "It has been done this way for many eons."
"But only during wartime to end wars, mother. This is highly usual."
"Your point?" Talsara folded her arms to show she was beginning to become annoyed. "Do you think I don't know the Elven laws? Or that I might break them? Eventide will be ours, or yours. And what is yours is mine. Do you understand?"
"Then do as I say and bring me the daughter of Eventide. "With a wave of her hand, Talsara Darkshade was gone. Elan up stood from the bed and reached for the stone. In anger he looked at it and threw it out the window into the bay. Then he turned to Aron.
"Now what the fuck do we do?"
Morning light rippled off his scales as Cutter flew over Winterhaven and descended to land outside the gate. Once on the ground he shifted back to his elf form dressed in his tan leathers, and walked to the gate. Up on the gate sentry tower a familiar face saw his approach. It was the elven guard Morganz Ammarth, a captain now of the guard. He waved at Cutter and called to have the gate open and went down to greet him.
"Adon sha!" Cutter smiled holding out his hand for him. Morganz gripped his bicep in the way of elven greeting.
"Adon ebrath!" Morganz shook in greeting."
"I see you have made captain." Cutter congratulated him.
"Yes." He said showing off the captain bars on his shoulder. "Captain of the gate guard."
"You deserve the honor." They turned and headed into the city as the gates closed and locked.
"Tell me." Cutter asked. "How are things in the city?"
"These are strange days friend. "Morganz face showed his worry. "The roads into Winterhaven are no longer safe. The council battles each other so nothing is getting done. My men are taxed to no end trying to keep visitors safe. We dare not wander to far down the road without at least five men for protection. The enchantments on the roads keep failing."
"Who's responsibility is it to keep the spells strong?"
Morganz looked at Cutter and shrugged. "I've asked and haven't got an answer from any one. Sad days I fear."
"I'll see what I can find out." Cutter patted him on the back. "I'll talk to Insa while Im here."
"My thanks." Morganz said. They took a seat on a bench outside the gatehouse.
"Have you seen my brother and sister?"
"Yes. She's growing into a fine proper elven princess." Morganz told him. "And Adanar studies hard. I hear good things from his teachers."
"Thank you for watching them." Cutter stood and grasped his shoulder in gratitude.
"Think nothing of it." Morganz said. "We are cousins. You best be off; I have duties to perform."
"Be well cousin." Cutter took his forearm. "I will see you soon."
Sitting on the balcony lair of the smoke dragon Insa, Azeal and Tanis watched him sleep. They tried everything they could to wake him all morning and nothing seemed to work. They tried shaking what parts they could move, screaming in his ear but nothing worked. Azeal tried using his mind like Jandar and his father had taught him, still nothing. Soon people from the council began to drift in.
"What's wrong with him?" A lady Councilor asked. She moved towards him to examine her colleague.
"We don't know." Tanis told her. "We found him like this just before we were attacked."
"Attacked?" She looked over at another of her fellow council member. They locked eyes. "We know there's only one person in Winterhaven that would dare attack Insa."
"Tayor Larin!!" The man stepped up. He looked down on Insa. "I see the spell on him. There's nothing I can do here."
"Me either." said the lady.
"But maybe there's something I can do." A voice came from the door. Azeal and Tanis stood to see who had entered the balcony. Walking towards them came a familiar face. Jake Eventide. His long white blond hair blowing back in the breeze showing his handsome elven looks.
"Jake!" Azeal called out to him. "I'm so glad to see you!"
"Jandar sent me. He seems to think there might be trouble here." Jake walked over and gripped Azeal's arms. He knelt down to Insa and frowned. "It seems he was right."
"I'd say so." Tanis walked over and put his hand on his shoulder. "He's sleeping so soundly; he didn't even hear us fighting earlier"
"You see it, don't you?" The lady asked him.
"Yes I do." Jake looked up at her and smiled. "My pardon Lady. I am Jake Eventide, Cutter the fear dragon."
"My name is Elora Den." she bowed to him. "This is Kentor Humbridge. We are members of Winterhaven's council along with Master Insa here. You know this spell?"
"It's a dream weaving he's under." Jake stood. "A very powerful one I might add."
"A what?" Azeal asked. Jake looked at both Azeal and Tanis. He knew both of them had the ability to use magic. Their shifting told him that. It was time they learned.
"Azeal, Tanis." He waved to them. "Come closer. It's time for your first lesson in magic."
Both Azeal and Tanis stepped closer to Jake and Insa's great head.
"I need you both to close your eyes and concentrate on Insa. Reach down for the spark you use to shift forms and hold on to that. But don't change." Jake's voice had become somewhat more soothing to their minds. "When you have it, open your eyes."
Not sure just what it was Jake wanted, both boys did as they were told. They reached in and found the power they used to change forms and touched it. They wrapped their minds in it.
"Yes." They both told him.
"Now open your eyes and look at him."
Still holding on to their magic, both boys opened their eyes. To their surprise they saw Insa's head wrapped in bands of different colors. These bands were wrapped all around his head with some penetrating his skull.
"What is that?" Tanis asked.
"It's the spell." Elora told them. "See the gray glow?"
"Yes." Azeal said. "Is that his magic?"
"Yes' it is." Jake said quietly. "Now, look around the room."
As they turned to gaze around the balcony they saw all different colored bands and strings flowing through the balcony. They passed through the walls and windows.
"These are Insa's personal spells he placed on his lair." Kentor told them. "If you weren't friend to him, you would burn in just a few steps."
"Then there's something I don't understand." Azeal turned to Kentor.
"What is it?"
"If that's true," he said. "how did those men get in last night?"
Azeal and Tanis looked from Jake to the Councilors. If what they said was true, then Insa's spell should have activated to protect him.
"That's a good question." Elora said. "Let me look around a bit, maybe I can find an answer."
"What do we do about the spells on him?" Tanis asked. "We can't leave him like this."
"I'll have to un weave the dream weaving." Jake said. "It's going to take some time. Kentor, maybe you can help."
"Can we stay and watch?" Tanis asked.
"You're my protection. You better stay." he said. "Just keep everyone but the four of us out of here while I work."
"We can do that." Azeal pulled Justice out and he and Tanis took their place at the door while the others worked. It seemed it would be a long day.
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