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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:17 am 
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Hi there every one!!This is my first post on the board, but I have been looking at it for ages!! I have a Dragon and rider figure that I started a backstory for and it kinda just kept going. I wanted to get everyone's take on what I had written. So, What do you all think?!?!

Lady Gla’mereth Shennkayla Starlight, Venerable Dragon Queen of Caledor

I changed the story and have it posted below...



Thank you all for your insight!!
Lord Sithoelan

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Last edited by Lord Sithoelan on Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:39 pm 
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I like the story a lot, and the Dragon princess. It would be well worth to go over it once more and "smooth it out" a little to make it even better. Do you have more written?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:07 am 
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Well played Sir
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HaHa~ Cool story, I like your avatar btw, do you want me to upload a copy of it without my rune? Or add a rune of your own?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:53 pm 
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Elessehta of Yvresse wrote:
HaHa~ Cool story, I like your avatar btw, do you want me to upload a copy of it without my rune? Or add a rune of your own?


I didn't notice it, I was reading on a phone. Will there be Elessehta the third now? I hope not, two are confusing enough. :lol: But it is a great honor to have a Dragon Princess join your House.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:07 am 
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Well played Sir
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Elessehta isn't married, yet. There was a rumor of a thing with a dark haired daughter of an archon, but he died in avelorn before anything could be arrainged.

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Lord Elessehta Silverbough of Ar Yvrellion, Ruler of Athel Anarhain, Prince of the Yvressi.
Beastly member of The Mage Knight Guild.
Narrin’Tim wrote:
These may be the last days of the Asur, but if we are to leave this world let us do it as the heroes of old, sword raised against evil!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:25 pm 
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Elessehta,
Elessehta of Yvresse wrote:
HaHa~ Cool story, I like your avatar btw, do you want me to upload a copy of it without my rune? Or add a rune of your own?


Yes, I would like that. I thought that it was just a rune, I did not know that it was yours. I do appologize for that. I had other Pics that I wanted to use, but could not manage to "fix" them to fit the requirements.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:42 pm 
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Aicanor wrote:
I like the story a lot, and the Dragon princess. It would be well worth to go over it once more and "smooth it out" a little to make it even better. Do you have more written?


I'm working on it... I have more that I came up with on this weekend, but not enough to post yet... more will be on the way!!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:05 am 
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Well played Sir
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I'll PM you the clean version of the pic this afternoon.

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Beastly member of The Mage Knight Guild.
Narrin’Tim wrote:
These may be the last days of the Asur, but if we are to leave this world let us do it as the heroes of old, sword raised against evil!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:56 am 
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Elessehta of Yvresse wrote:
I'll PM you the clean version of the pic this afternoon.


Elessehta,

Sweet!! Thanks... Hey BTW if anyone hads any suggestions, I'm open to them... This is my fist posting like this ever, so any remarks are welcome!! Thanks everyone!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:33 pm 
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Elessehta,

Thanks for the cleaned pic. I got it this AM. Now everything is as it should be!! 8)

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:11 am 
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OK All, I reworked part of the original that I had opsted and wrote some new... Let me know wha toyu all think, OK?!?

Lady Gla’mereth Shennkayla Starlight, Venerable Dragon Queen of Caledor

Part 1
Gla’mereth has long been a scion of the Caledor lineage and deserving of the title” Venerable Dragon Queen of Caledor”. Throughout High Elven history, Dragon Riders of Caledor had always been males who woke and rode dragons to battle. While the women were never excluded from other roles, the cavalry and that of the Dragon Riders was always the domain of the males of the land. That all changed on a bright, chill spring day those many years ago…
……………………………………………………………………………………………..
In the Beginning
It was a bright, clear, chill spring morning when the clarion calls of the sentry horns split the calm morning shattering the peaceful nature of the mountains in spring. The alert sentries had spotted a great Dark Elven raiding force bearing down on the Starlight Hold within the Dragonspire Mountains. While troops within and without the Hold marshaled to thwart the advancing Dark Elves, Gla’mereth became suddenly confused, disoriented, and lost in a foreign fog of strange thoughts, feelings, and emotions all battling for room inside her head. It was as if all of these strange alien thoughts were fighting to get loose, threatening to split her head to find that particular end. She wandered blindly, seeing, yet not seeing, where she was heading. Everyone else was rushing about, not noticing, nor honestly caring where she went as long as she was out of their way. Never before had this happened, and it frightened her to no end. Sure, Dark Elf raiders had been dealt with before, but never in this type of strength, and she was always in control of her faculties, ready to lend aid when needed. She had been trained in all forms of combat by the Hold’s weapons masters and was expected to hold her own against incursion and invasion. It was her duty.

Blindly wandering for what seemed forever, Gla’mereth finally shook off the head clouding mists that kept her off balance, ‘woke’ up, and realized that she had blindly stumbled deep into the caverns and weyrs nestled deep within the Dragonspire Mountains. Her people knew that dragon weyrs were nestled in the mountains of Ulthuan, but one did not know where exactly they were located, nor if they were even populated anymore. Long had her people known that fewer and fewer dragons were awake and flying through the heavens. The harsh sounds and clash of the battle was hundreds of miles in the distance, and yet she could almost swear that she stood in the very center of the bloody battle that raged on. The horrific screams of the dying, the painful clash of arms and armor, the smell of blood and death… all as close to here as was her own clothes.

Wondering and marveling and scared, all at the same time, as to how and why she got to where she was when her embattled senses cleared some, she looked about and cried out in despair in the darkness that surrounded her. Not out of terror, but rather out of despair. She knew not how she got to where she was, and had no idea on how to return to whence she came. What happened next would forever change her life… As she cast about, looking in vain, for a way out, she turned and faced an odd feline-reptilian like orb floating in the darkness about shoulder level. The mystery and vastness contained within that orb was something that Gla’mereth had never experienced and was instantly drawn in… wanting more.

“Why do you wait? What is it that you seek, Youngling?!?” asked a strange, almost sleepy, gravel-like voice within her mind.

“I…I…um,” Gla’mereth hesitated, stumbling over her words. She was confused. Was she dreaming this? Was she losing her mind?

“No, to both of those questions, Youngling. You are not.” answered the alien voice. You came here and wakened me. Once again, why do you wait, and what is it that you seek?”

“Wait for what… Seek what?” Gla’mereth questioned. “I don’t even know where I am, or what you are.”

With a gust of hot, foul, sulfuric breath, the answer came in an ear shattering roar, “I am Haklasharra Ceithlin-Har, and you test my patience, Youngling!”
In an instant, it registered… DRAGON!!

“Yes, I am.” Now, that two of those infinite orbs occupied a space that once held but one, Gla’mereth now realized those were dragon’s eyes, and they held her gaze. “Now, why do you wait? You know that your kin need you. The longer you hesitate, the more of your kin and those that they provide for continue to move beyond the confines of the mortal realm!”

Realization finally hit her like the entire mountain side had collapsed on her… Family, friends, and others were dying in the field, and she did nothing…while visions of fire and flame, carnage and blood, death, and chaos filling her muddled mind…

“I, uh, have to go. I’m so sorry to have wakened you. Please, forgive me, Oh Great One.”

Gla’mereth moved as if to go… and stopped! Her vision swirled, colors and clouds of incandescent colors blinded her… swept around her head, and then cleared with a flash of bright silver, and she saw herself, gilded in shiny silver armor, carrying a scarred shield of dragon scales, wearing an ancient Elven longsword, and holding a glowing, shiny silver lance, a beautiful, graceful, and deadly weapon, riding a great dusky blue dragon among the clouds. It was then that it dawned on her… could this be for real?!? She was flustered and disoriented in this current state, but she seemed to be calming down… accepting a fate that she had never known, but would welcome none the less. She turned to her left and saw the items in a not-too-distant corner of the now dimly lit weyr.

“Yes, Youngling, it is all there… just as you saw it, as am I. All you have to do is to decide to grasp your destiny, and do what you know you must.”

With one final look into those deep wells of knowledge and wisdom, Gla’mereth took control of her life and destiny, for the first time in her long life, and chose to do something for something greater than herself… for those who needed her. “Very well then. Let us do this.” She muttered to herself more than to the dragon confronting her.” Haklasharra Ceithlin-Har, will you bear me, Lady Gla’mereth Kethryvarrius Shennkayla of House Starlight, aloft upon the winds and into the heavens so that others who will stand in our way will quake at our coming, and we may revel in the glory that is due us?”

“Yes, Gla’mereth, we shall take our place in line with the others of our kin, and teach those who oppose us the folly of their ways!” With that, the very mountains shook at the great reverberating roar that rattled the insides of the great cathedrals of rock.

Empowered by her newly found “courage”, Gla’mereth spoke something that she would never had thought to do… ever,” Well and good, now please stop calling me ‘Youngling’. Though I may be centuries younger than yourself, I have a name!”

Chuckling deep within her massive maw, Haklasharra made her opinions known,” When you have proven to be more than a hatchling acting like a proud popinjay, I shall call you what I like. Until that time, Youngling, you will remain ’Youngling’.”
..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
On the field of battle, things were looking grim. The Dark Elf raiders were more numerous than was originally thought: Dark Elf Corsairs formed the left flank; Dark Elf spear phalanxes filled the middle in addition to repeater crossbow batteries as well, anchored by the notorious Black Guard of Naggrond; frenzied Witch Elves filled the gaps between units, and the Right Flank was held by units of Cold Ones Knights. Commanding this impressive host was a Sorceress, surrounded by her acolytes. All sneering with the intent purpose of wiping out the thin lines of High Elves assembling before them…

The ever dwindling High Elf forces were being systematically pushed backwards to a point they would never be able to regroup anymore… the foot of the towering mountains. The High Elf spear phalanxes were holding firm against the constant onslaught, but the few troops assembled in the barest of moments would not be able to hold out against the enemy assaulting them. There were no supporting Silver Helms present on this field; no wandering battalions of Swordmasters from Hoeth would miraculously appear out of nowhere. Only the spears and archers from his own garrison would be all that was available to him to use to defeat this horde of evil and malevolence. The problem was time… there was not enough of it, for the surrounding communities to muster their forces and come to the aid of those of House Starlight. If only there was more time…

As Lord Alithor Starlight considered their plight, while dodging black fletched bolts… one of his captains shouted, “Liege, look to the mountain flank!” Trading blows with a Dark Elf warrior, and cutting him down after the second exchange of blows, Alithor looked to the indicated direction, wondering what new evil beset them now. In the distance was a dark blot on the horizon with a silver glint on top from time to time reflecting the sun’s rays. Once again his gaze and attention was diverted with another Dark Elf warrior willingly meeting his doom at the end of Alithor’s ancient family sword.

Again he looked, now he could make out the shape of a dull, dusky-blue dragon with a rider… As he watched, the dusky blue pivoted its wings and glided into the left flank of the Dark Elf host. With an unbelievably loud, ear-splitting, thunderous roar, the dragon and unknown rider tore into the unsuspecting Dark Elf troops before they knew what was happening. Following that fearsome battle roar, great gouts of dragon flame erupted, searing, burning, and charring all of those Dark Elves who were foolishly caught within its fiery way. Surging forward, almost in a cat–like pounce, the dragon continued to plow through the tightly packed Dark Elf ranks. What the dragon failed to rend or crush with its claws and teeth, the unknown rider skewered with a lance of an unknown, ancient design.

The sudden appearance of the dragon and the rider initially caused the High Elves forces to withdraw a bit to avoid the untamed fury of these unexpected allies. Seeing a golden opportunity, and wanting, no, needing to capitalize on it, Lord Alithor rallied his beleaguered troops and renewed the attack, beginning to drive the Dark Elf forces back the way that they had come.
…………………………………………………………………………………………..
Part 2
The tide of the battle had switched, and the Dark Elf Sorceress in command knew it. The Dark Elf forces that had once been moving forward, chewing up High Elven forces was suddenly stopped and reeling at the onslaught of this new ally of theirs. ‘Curse them’, she thought. Her spells were useless against this cursed dragon and its rider, and her troops were fleeing the field of battle like rodents in a brightly lit room. How the fortune of war changes so quickly. She had but one choice… to summon her powerful hydra steed and utterly destroy this dragon and its rider herself.

Concentrating on chanting the necessary chants and words, she began the sonorous call for her mutated beast to join with her. The air began to shimmer and warp with the foul arcane energies required to summon the great war beast. With an eruption of dark flames, smothering heat, and the potent smell of sulfur and ash, the great beast split apart the very fabric of the air appearing in its fear inspiring form. The great foul hydra made its presence known to all by instantly letting loose a bugling bellow that would have unsettled even the most stalwart of soldiers… its defiance erupting from each of the five dragon-like heads at the same time.
Moving quickly, the vile Sorceress swiftly vaulted to the back of the hideous creature commanding, “Fly my lovely, Fly!!” The huge hydra, suddenly sprouted mutated wings, bunched its hind legs underneath itself, and jumped into the air, its great wings hammering the air with each gigantic flap, in an effort to quickly gain altitude to meet the dragon and its rider in battle.
………………………………………………………………………………………….
Part 3
Gla’mereth was amazed at the thrill of flying and the ease she felt as Haklasharra took to the air from her mountain lair. Flying dragonback seemed natural to her, as if she had been born to ride in the dragon saddle. Her elation was cut short when she could now see the lines of the embattled regiments of both sides clashing in the desperate act of kill or be killed. From the aerial vantage point that they had, both Gla’mereth and Haklasharra could see the dire straits that the High Elves were in: they were outnumbered at least 3 to 1, and were being forced to retreat into the confined space of a boxed canyon where there would be no escape from.
Altering Haklasharra’s course, Gla’mereth managed to get in on the Dark Elves’s unprotected left flank. Thirsting for blood and destruction, Haklasharra let loose a thunderous battle roar and plunged into the middle of the Dark Elves, rending, stomping, thrashing, biting, and killing all in her way. As Haklasharra worked her way through the enemy ranks, Gla’mereth turned in her saddle and motioned with her shield arm for the High Elves to advance, began skewering Dark Elves upon her lance… what a magnificent weapon she marveled!!

It was during this when the hydra’s battle challenge shook the very fabrics of the air, and Haklasharra responded in kind with her own challenge. She then jumped into the air and began climbing to gain altitude over the bloated body of the mutated hydra.

As the two titans began to enter into their aerial dance to the death, the High Elves on the ground were finally joined by their nearby brethren forces that had just arrived, and began to rout the Dark Elven stragglers who continued to fight under the rallying cries of their foul commanders. Alithor paused for but a moment, while his combined forces began to finish off the enemy, to watch the grandeur as the aerial battle began to take shape…

Haklasharra was no hatchling and had plenty of experience in battle, even if her rider did not. Not that it mattered. The venerable blue knew that Gla’mereth was a competent warrior, even if she, herself, did not know it… yet. She, The Great Haklasharra would not have woken for the elfess hatchling, if she was any less than having the potential to be a great warrior like Herself. Besides, the gifts that She had given to Gla’mereth were of an ancient time, when the dragons and their riders ruled the magick laden skies of Ulthuan unopposed by any, and would well shield her from any but the direst of events. They would make quick work of these vile, disgusting, imposter interlopers. With that final thought, Haklasharra circled her opponent, her claws instinctively flexing on their own, and She breathed another great gout of molten dragon flame and fire… this one even greater than even the one She unleashed on the Dark Elves on the ground mere moments ago.

The hydra, not used to having wings, ungainly tried to dodge the oncoming wall of flames, and instead flew right into the middle of them. Had the Sorceress’s foul, tainted magic not saved, them, they would now be ash and cinders gently floating to the ground now hundreds of feet below them.

Cursing the beast in her foul Elven tongue, the Sorceress turned the hydra and unleashed a blast of deadly foul, perverted magic towards the huge blue dragon and its silver rider. Again, the magics of the Sorceress seemed to hit the opponents head on… and yet they seemed unharmed! Furious and frustrated, she commanded the hydra to dive and make a sweeping turn in an effort to try and get behind and above the duo. ‘If she could take out the rider then perhaps the dragon will follow.’
…………………………………………………………………………………………..
Gla’mereth saw the horrible bolt of foul energy head towards them, yet it was too close to avoid, so she braced for the impact… expecting to be blasted into oblivion… and nothing happened.
……………………………………………………………………………………………
Haklasharra unleashed another bellowing roar, and just missed snatching the hydra out of the sky as it dove beneath her and went for the sweeping turn that would put it above and behind them. Once again, she was no hatchling, and instinctively turned to the opposite direction, actually turning into the path of the hydra, head on once again.

The hydra was committed to its course of action and could do nothing to alter the course and had no choice but to collide with the huge blue dragon and grapple with it in mid air. The hydra uttered its battle cry, and collided with the dragon, biting and clawing with the blue. After the initial shock of the slamming together of two such masses, the hydra pierced the air with a hideous scream unlike any living had ever heard, including that of the Sorceress. The hydra kicked at the blue in an effort to get away…

As the two massive beasts were set on the inevitable collision course, Gla’mereth couched the extremely lightweight, but durable lance under her arm and prepared for the impact. As Haklasharra slightly reared backwards, in an effort to bring all four of her massive taloned claws to bear, Gla’mereth tilted the lance almost instinctively so that at the point of collision, the hydra would be impaled by the lance as well all of Haklasharra’s claws and the massive bite from her jaws.
The scream from the hydra was promptly followed by a wet gurgling as one of its heads was severed by the jaws of the massive blue. Flailing about in a wild attempt to bite at the blue, the hydra quickly lost another head, to another massive bite from the blue. If the pain that the hydra was feeling wasn’t enough, there came another piercing of its hide by that hated pointy-shiny-stick-thing. The pain from that weapon was like that of molten fire being injected directly into its being.
………………………………………………………………………………………….
The Sorceress knew they were outmatched, but her hatred of the Asur would not let her give up the battle, the loathsome High Elf and dragon would die… or she would die trying to kill them!! Little did she know, but this one battle was almost over. She managed to get the hydra, with now three limp stalks where heads should be, to disengage from the great blue dragon. If she did not, the battle would be over in mere moments. Thinking quickly, she managed to heal some of the hydra’s lesser wounds. She could do nothing about the lost heads or the two holes where that lance had pierced the hydra’s body.

Circling away from the dragon, she needed time to think of another strategy… As she was thinking, she flew the hydra over a regiment of High Elven Archers. As they loosed their shafts skyward, the Sorceress turned all of the arrows to ash with a fiery burst of dark Sorcerous magic. She laughed at the feeble attempt, but it was short lived. The huge blue dragon had gained altitude on them, and was now arrowing down from the sun straight for them. Once again, she cursed in the foul, harsh language of the Druchii and attempted to maneuver her dying (she knew it was) hydra out of immediate danger…

Haklasharra and Gla’mereth saw the attempt for what it was: a feeble attempt to delay the inevitable. With a somewhat wicked gleam in her eye and a smile upon her helmed face, she encouraged her steed onward, finally feeling the battle lust that she and the great dragon shared. Once again, altering their course slightly, they thunderously collided with the Sorceress and the hydra in midair. The force of this collision was even greater than that of the first one, and the Sorceress was knocked from the back of the hydra, and fell screaming the whole way to her death as she smashed against the cold peaks of the Dragonspire Mountains.
With the Sorceress gone, Haklasharra could now turn Her full attention and fury upon the flailing hydra in Her grasp. She sunk her razor sharp talons into the black flesh of the hydra and gave a huge shake, rattling the hydra as a child would a stuffed toy. One of the remaining necks snapped from the force of the move, while the remaining head was pierced by that hated-pointy-shiny-stick-thing.

With her fore claws dug into the hydra, Haklasharra brought up her back legs and tore huge rents in the hydra’s flesh. The last screams from the hydra were those of a final, pain induced fear that it knew it was dying. Though the hydra was dead by now, the instinctive back leg raking motion, like that of a cat, freed Haklasharra from the lifeless corpse of the hydra allowing Her the ability to get away from the dead weight of the hydra, as it plummeted back to the spiny mountain sides.
The dead hydra started to fall away from the duo as Haklasharra trumpeted a victory bellow, proving that She was Mistress of the Sky. To add further insult to injury, she flamed the dead carcass of the hydra, as it fell onto a regiment of fleeing Druchii that had managed to evade the High Elf pursuers.
…………………………………………………………………………………………
All of this Alithor watched from a low plateau where he could see the titanic struggle overhead, and still concentrate on the enemy forces in the field, what pitiful few were left. He watch as the dragon turned in its flight, after having circled the field, and flew straight to him. He continued to watch in awe and amazement as this huge blue dragon, that a few mere moments ago had savagely rent apart a five headed hydra to nothing, gracefully backwinging and landing before him, as light as a feather (Well, as light as a dragon could!).

With a good natured laugh, striding forward, Alithor heartily greeted the unknown allies, “Hail and well met my friends!! My debt to you, Great One, Lord of the Skies, and to your Rider as well for your assistance!!”

After landing, Haklasharra settled so that her armored rider could dismount with ease, and swung her massive head from side to side taking in the scene before her. Her Rider had by then began to stride forward to meet this elf lord, still helmed and still clutching her lance and shield.
“Greetings Dragon Rider!! I thank you for your assistance. How may I show my gratitude for your efforts and those of your dragon in coming to the assistance of me and mine hold?” Alithor asked of the rider, as she reached up to remove her helm. He though it odd that this Rider was a she-elf, but at the moment, he did not care if he was speaking to the great Aenarion, Himself.

“You may start by giving your sister an embrace… and some water, for I am so thirsty… and hot in this armor!” Gla’mereth stated as she pulled the helm from her head and shook her hair loose.

Dumbfounded and completely speechless for the first time that he (or anyone else could think of), Lord Alithor of House Starlight could not believe that his little sister, Gla’mereth was the one who had flown in on dragonback and saved the hold, surrounding fields, countless warriors’ lives, their families and the lines of her family! It could not be. It simply, could not be.

“How… what… when… “, was all that he was able to stammer out. He then followed with,”I don’t understand.”

Laughing at her older brother’s plight, Gla’mereth said, “Brother, I wish to present Haklasharra Ceithlin-Har, Mistress of the High Reaches, and friend to Starlight Hold!”

“Oh, Great and Mighty One, Grand Mistress of the Skies, we are pleased to call you friend to Starlight Hold!” Alithor gravely stated as he formally genuflected and went to one knee for the dragon. Haklasharra nodded her massive wedge-shaped head in a sign of respect and acceptance of the pointy-eared, two-leg elf lord’s words.

“Come, Brother. We have much to discuss and reassemble and put back to rights,” stated Gla’mereth matter-of-factly as she began to move among the wounded of House Starlight.

“Who is this new she-elf who looks like my younger sister?” Alithor asked of no one in particular…

“One who has the potential to start a great many changes, Elf Lord.” rumbled Haklasharra.
Startled that the dragon had spoken mind-to-mind to him, Alithor quickly hastened after his Dragon Rider sister, missing the toothy smile from the dragon as he passed her.
……………………………………………………………………………………….
Many long years had passed and Gla’mereth and Haklasharra continued to fight when they were needed. After that fateful day so long ago, Gla’mereth had become a power to reckon with. Others would begin to listen to her ideas, and she would find that she had a voice and was no longer afraid to use it to voice her opinion, nor take action when needed.
…………………………………………………………………………………………
Part 4
After the battle on that day (so long ago) Gla’mereth and Alithor sat at a table in the Grand Hall. Haklasharra was curled up in the courtyard, napping while being attended to by the pointy-eared-two legs of House Starlight. Earlier, Haklasharra had honored the dead of House Starlight by purging the High Elf dead with dragon fire… sending the bodies of the noble High Elf warriors to Asuryan, the Phoenix God, cleansed with dragon fire. An honor to the elves.

“Sister, tell me… how did this come to be?” Alithor asked, “I’m curious to say the least,” he said looking out the panes of glass to see the hulking mass of a blue dragon in his courtyard.

“Well, in truth, I’m not sure… One minute I was here in the hold, the next, I was staring into Haklasharra’s eye. Honestly I don’t know. My mind was so confusing at the time and not my own. I guess that I instinctively called out to a dragon and Haklasharra answered my frantic call. That is all that I can say.”

“Truth be told, I’m glad that She did, because If not, then you and I would not be sitting here now! We were but a knife’s edge away from destruction when you two came into the picture. What do you plan to do now?” he gravely inquired.

“Well, I considered taking a more active role in managing things around here, and kind of ‘winging’ it, so to speak,” she giggled at her unintended pun.

With sudden clarity, Alithor leaned forward and grasped his sister’s hand, “NO. I think you and Haklasharra should go and train with another of your kind. Future ‘engagements’ will not be as easily handled as this encounter was. I fear, that without additional guidance, you would fall in the future, and I for one do not want that to happen.”

“You do not want me here because I will usurp you power and lordship over those of the hold and the surrounding area!” she blurted. “I do not want your hold, Brother!” she screamed, and quickly began to rise from the table, knocking back the chair she was sitting on, in the process. A great bellow rose from the courtyard as Haklasharra woke from her slumbers, filled with rage. Elven servants, soldiers, and others within the hold on business from afar went scrambling as Haklasharra thrashed about for a moment…

“No. No. Sister, you mistake my words! Peace, please! No in fact, I thought just the opposite… and wanted to let you stretch those mighty wings of your dragon…”
“Haklasharra…” she interrupted. By now, the mighty blue dragon had quieted down and was once again settling back into a semi-restive state. It would be some time before the elves of the house would walk around her again, though.

“What?!?”

“Haklasharra is Her name. Please, give Her the respect that she deserves, by using Her name and not referring to Her like some dumb animal… Brother.” Gla’mereth’s voice had taken on a chill edge: one that had never been present before. Alithor decided very quickly that he must tread carefully from this point forward. He must learn and remember that his sister of old was no more, but now she was a powerful warrior with an ever more powerful ally… one that had more power than his entire Hold, and that of several others, put together. Yes, he was on dangerous ground and must tread ever so lightly. No need to irritate and upset a dragon and its, her rather, Rider, especially since the Rider was family… did that matter anymore?!?

Um, well of course. Forgive, me, but this will take some getting used to, Sister. That is all. What I was saying is that Haklasharra and yourself deserve to learn more about your bond and need to train together to fight without having to think about what you are doing. The two of you no longer belong to House Starlight… but rather to Ulthuan as a whole and you have a sacred duty to fulfill that duty. I don’t want to see you go, Sister, yet I have no choice. This will always by your home, for both of you… but for now, you must go and learn from others of your kind.”

“Where? I have no idea where to go and Haklasharra has not mentioned anything either, Brother.”

“Let me think on this, Sister, perhaps, Riathia will know. Having trained in Saphery in the White Tower, I would think she should know. I will ask her when she gets here in the next few days. Until then… was there anything else in Haklasharra’s weyr that you will need, or from your own rooms? We can provide whatever else you will need.”

"There were some other things inside the weyr, but I only grabbed what I needed then at that moment. I remember seeing an ancient sword and a rig of some sort.”

“Then I think that you should go, no, I’m not dismissing you, rather letting you go, and spread you wings, so to speak.” The last he said with a tender grin…

With that she left her brother deep in thought and strolled out into the court yard, carrying the dragonscale shield on one arm and her helm under the other. Going to the slumbering dragon, she rested her hand on Her head, near the eye ridge and smoothly stroked the scaly skin there, eliciting a deep grumbling purr from the dragon.

“Come, let’s fly back to our weyr and rest some by ourselves. What say you to that?”
Haklasharra opened one eye and asked,” Are you already of the mind to set aside life here?” Haklasharra inquired.

“Yes, I think that Alithor is right, we can be of better use elsewhere, but this is always going to be our home…” With that statement, followed by a contented grumble-purr escaping from Haklasharra’s throat, Gla’mereth swiftly mounted the dragon saddle nestled upon Haklasharra’s neck, just forward of her wing joints. The pair swiftly took to the air, circling the Starlight Hold, Gla’mereth raised the Dragonlance and let loose with a war cry followed by another of Haklasharra’s ear splitting, thunderous roars. Then, the pair was off, heading to the sanctity of Haklasharra’s mountain weyr.

The thunderous dragon roar broke the train of thought that Alithor Starlight had been locked in, watching his little sister stride out of his hall toward her dragon… her dragon. The thought still seemed surreal to him and he was as of yet unable to wrap his head around that idea. Standing up from the table, he walked over to the windows, and watched in fascination as the dragon circled the Hold one final time, then gracefully turned in the air, and headed for areas unknown to him. With a sigh, he turned from the window, just as Elion, the Hold seneschal approached him.

“My Liege, I thought that the numbers of the slain would be of importance to you, so that you may send the condolence letters to the families.” The elderly elf stated.

“Yes, very good, Elion, that will be fine. Thank you. Oh by the way, do you have any idea as to where the Hold Mage Riathia is?!? I have need of her council at this time.”

“No, my liege, not at the moment, but I shall have runners sent to search for her. Where shall I have them direct her, when she is located?!?” The elderly states-elf asked.

“Have them send her to my study if you please Elion… and thank you for everything…”

“As you wish, my liege,” With that, he quietly withdrew from Alithor’s presence, concerned by his master’s not normal quietness.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Part 5
On the return trip to the weyr, Gla’mereth indulged in flying with her newly found helm off her head. Her lustrous dark auburn hair flowed in the wind like a banner, streaming behind her. Enjoying the leisurely flight to Haklasharra’s weyr gave her time to think, with the occasional input of her new companion, every now and then.
Haklasharra had not flown in quite some time, and was in no hurry to return to the cavernous confines of her… their home. She was glad to have the wind under her wings, the mountains beneath her and the world in front of her. She almost felt like a hatchling again… almost.

As they continued on, Gla’mereth casually mentioned,” Not in a hurry to go home, are you?” fondly patting the scaly skin of Haklasharra’s neck. “No worries, chier…neither am I. I am enjoying this new sensation for me, and I would like to get to know you better. What a better way than in a setting like this. Up upon the winds, higher than the mountains where mighty rivers are not but small ribbons…what a better place can there be?“
“Just wait and I shall show you one,“ chuckled the great blue…a sneaky grin touching her great maw.

Within a few minutes of flying, the mountain peaks of the Dragonspire Mountains loomed ahead. Nestled within those craggy peaks, there lay a great ledge, how it was formed, none knew, and Haklasharra cared not. She had found this ledge many centuries ago, and was glad that it had not fallen, as it was her favorite place to lay and lounge in the sun. It was here, on this ledge in a remote part of the mountains, dragon and elfess lounged and learned about one another, and explored this, their new bond.

Haklasharra landed on the ledge and allowed Gla’mereth to dismount. Then, as Gla’mereth was taking in the breathtaking views, Haklasharra paced around the ledge until she found “her spot” (which was a spot on the ledge that had been wallowed out to accommodate her size) and settled down to take in the view as well. The winds of the high reaches of the Dragonspires normally whipped and tore at a person or beast, but here, on this sheltered ledge, the winds caressed the pair. Gla’mereth turned and faced her new partner, and was awed by what she saw: A large, finely shaped, muscular dragon of a dark dusky blue. The spine of the dragon was marked with a row of spikes that grew from the backbone and were covered with a fine membrane of a deeper, almost sapphire color, except for the area where she sat. Positioned on Haklasharra’s great muscular neck, in front of her great leather-like wings was a natural gap in the spikes where the dragon saddle was fitted for her to ride in. Gla’mereth marveled at the size, power and strength that exuded from the dragon. She was not afraid of her, like others were, but she figured that was part of the bond that they shared.

“Haklasharra, tell me what do you know of other dragons and riders,” Gla’mereth asked. “It seemed to me that you have had Riders in the past. Is this true?”

“Yes, Youngling, it is true, I have had Riders in the past, though not as many as you might think…

“Will you tell me of them?” asked Gla’mereth as if she were a child wanting a bed time story.

“Yes, I will. But it is a long story, and will take time…are you sure you want to hear it, now?” Haklasharra asked.

“Yes, very much so. That is, if you do not mind.”
“No, I do not mind, you would need to hear it at any rate, but it is better that you asked to hear it…

“What I tell you know is the history of mine and your race and how we became intertwined together so long ago…” Haklasharra took a deep breath and let it out slowly, pausing, searching for a place to begin. When she started, she sounded like an instructor reciting a history of Her people.

“Long ago, long before the elves walked the lands, dragons ruled the skies. We soared upon the winds and we were masters of everything that we encountered. Even back then, before what is Chaos as you know it, there were creatures that warred with us for the right to rule the lands and the skies. We had our own society much like you with that of warriors, teachers, elders on a council, only they ere not set up like you would think. There was still a structure to them. The mightiest of us ruled us all and we accepted this. One day, Isha, Mother of All Things, came to us and told us that in time there would be One who would seek us out and that we were to teach this one our ways.

The mighty Kalgan, ruler at the time, scoffed at Her and told Her that we would teach no one, for they were lesser than us. Rather than teach this one, he would make it subservient to dragonkind. Foolish that he was, he turned the Goddess Isha away.

For centuries no one came, although there were those among us who looked for this One’s coming. Though Kalgan might be the strongest of us all, he was not the wisest, and our wise ones looked for the One prophesized by Isha to find us. It had been decided amongst a select few, that they would take that this One to a secluded place, away from Kalgan and those who supported him, and teach him about our ways. For if the Goddess said that it was to pass, then why would it not, and who were we to turn this One away?

Time passed like that of a slow river and no one came. Eventually, after most had given up, there came an explorer to our mountain that was unlike any that we had ever seen. This One must have been the one that Isha had promised would come to us!! One of our eldest sages took the One off, just as had been decided many an eon ago and began to teach this One.

Then the worst thing that could happen, did: Kalgan found out about this secret teaching and flew into a great rage. He flew to this secluded area, how he found out about it remains a mystery even to this day, and raged at the sage and the One. In the madness that struck Kalgan, with fire and tooth and claw, he slew both the teacher and the student. This caused a great rift in dragonkind that day. What was even worse, was that news of this tragedy spread far and wide and eventually reached the Student’s own kind… the elves.” Here Haklasharra paused to sift back through the ages of memory passed down from dragon to hatchling…

“In the early days, the elves were plentiful. It was then, that the elves, in their wild youth, sought vengeance and retribution for the actions of Kalgan. A dark day dawned when the armies of the elves marched to destroy dragonkind. The Elf and Dragon wars, as we remember them were long and bitter. Kalgan was caught and killed by an elven ambush and while some of my kind thought that this would end the war, others decided that by killing in an ambush, your kind did not deserve the right to live, so the war continued for another several centuries… minor battles here and there, but the hatred was always present and the rift grew ever wider and wider.
“Eventually, there was one of your kind that came forward and asked to speak to our leader. His name I cannot remember at this time, but the one that your leader spoke to was one of those who though that the war was needless and was wasteful, to say the least. Negotiations started that day and lasted for another six hundred years. Time had to heal the wounds on both sides, and trust had to be reestablished. After the six hundred years of talks and diplomacy, an accord was signed… not on paper as you would have it, nowadays among your kind, but in the Winds of Magic that bound us dragonkind to you elfkind. The accord was to be that we would be bound to each other in both good and bad times so that our mutual strengths would benefit the other.

“Normally if dragonkind were to bind dragonkind to an oath, we would seal this bond with a pairing to ensure that both sides were equally represented. Since a bond of that nature could not be achieved with elfkind, an exchange and pairing of dragon to elf was made. It would be the duty of each dragon to teach its bonded elf the ways of the dragon while the elf taught the ways of the elf to the dragon.

“It was during this pairing that elves learned about flying and all other matters of dragons. It was also when the elves learned to fight on dragon back as well. A special group of dragons and riders were formed and these were to be ambassadors for dragonkind and elfkind alike. They were simply known as The Riders. It was their duty to watch for Chaos and evil. It was also their duty to take messages between the two races, to maintain communication. Each of us, dragon and elf learned a great deal from the other, and the bond became more that it started out to be.

“The only time that this bond has ever been modified was when dragonkind refused to join your dark kin the Druchii, when you had your great Civil War. It was decided by our elders that we would take no part in the war, aside from assisting the Asur when you asked for our help. By then we had decided to let the younger generation assist, for they were of the restless sort and would enjoy the “excitement”. The modification then included that we all sleep unless we were woken by a particular elf in need and that elf would be answered by one of us. “

“Did you notice the confusion and thickness, during your quickening?” she asked of Gla’mereth.

“Yes, I was so confused I did not know what was happening…”

“That was the forming of the bond, your unconscious self searching out for the one of dragonkind who would answer you… that searching, Youngling, lead you to me.”

When Gla’mereth looked at the great dragon, she saw a faint smile crease the great maw, and saw great tenderness and compassion in those huge round eyes…
Several hours later the two eventually left the “Remembrance Ledge” as Gla’mereth were to name it and made their way to Haklasharra’s cavernous home. Upon reaching the dragon’s weyr, and properly illuminating the space, Gla’mereth saw how spacious that it was. There was an area that was carved out that resembled a bed for a humanoid figure, in addition to an area to bathe in and a personal space for writing, weapons and assorted living. Near the ledge that was the entrance to the weyr was a wallowed out spot that served as the dragons resting area. Being inside of a mountain, one would tend to think that it would be chill and damp. However, this was not the case as the internal fires of the various volcanoes in the Dragonspire Mountains kept the internal temperatures at a nice even gradient.

Gla’mereth toured this space with all of the curiosity of a child, amusing Haklasharra as she did so. When Gla’mereth found the ancient sword resting on a shelf on the wall, she asked, “Haklasharra, is it OK for me to use this, and the other items?!? I know that I took the lance and the shield and armor for the battle, but are they now mine?”

“Do you want them?” was all that the great dragon replied with. She continued, “If you want them then they are yours. They would be considered treasures by your kind, but I have no need of them. The original owner is long since gone, and has no need of them where he is now.”

“If I may ask, who was your last rider?” Gla’mereth tentatively asked.

“Youngling, my last Rider was over six thousand years ago, and it makes no difference now. Know only that he, like you started out the same way. In time you will be as great, if not greater than he. Now, if I may make a suggestion, Youngling, why don’t you rest, there is plenty of time to teach you what you need to be a great Rider!”
With those last thoughts, Gla’mereth went over to the carved out bedding area and thought to lay down. Instead, she joined Haklasharra in her wallow, and fell asleep tucked under Haklasharra’s wing, laid nest to her warm side, as comfortable as a hatchling and was quickly asleep.

“Sleep well, my Youngling Rider.” crooned a satisfied dragon.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………
Part 6
An elfess, dressed in fine shimmersilk robes of various colors of blue and burgundy, which fluttered about her, hurried through the maze of hallways and corridors, occasionally knocking into a servant along the way. Finally, she came onto a door that she recognized and remembered well… Bursting through the oaken door, in a flurry of robe and cloak, she entered the room filled with books, scroll, and other sorts of learned materials. The hearth was banked so that it still flickered with fire, but not enough to make the room stifling and unbearable. There, on the far end of the room, library really, sat the person to whom she was to report to… Lord Alithor Starlight, Master of Starlight Hold.

Never looking up from a scroll that he was studying, he said,” Ah, Lady Riathia. How nice of you to finally join me. Please, take a seat and I’ll be with you shortly.” With that he continued to write on the scroll, signed it with a flourish, and then carefully, almost reverently, sealed the scroll with white wax and placed a white ribbon around the scroll to keep it rolled up, and placed it with the others on a small side board next to the desk. There, located on the side board was a pyramid of about five hundred other like scrolls, each tied with a white ribbon, and sealed with white wax, bearing the symbol of House Starlight, a multi-pointed star with a sunburst behind it.
Turning to face his guest, Alithor once again looked upon the hold mage, the Lady Riathia. “Now, I’m sure that you’re wondering why I asked for you? The reason is that I have a problem and need you guidance and help.” He looked to the mage, to see if she would say something. For as long as he had known her, Riathia was never one to be at a loss of words. Seeing that she was not going to say anything, he continued on:

“I’m sure, by now that you have heard about the ‘little’ encounter that we had earlier this morning,” he said, gesturing to the pile of scrolls. It finally dawned on the elfess what he was referring to… those scrolls were the letters to the families of members who had died in service to Hold Starlight while defending against the Druchii invasion scout force.

“Well, we were about to get over run by the Druchii forces when out of the sky appeared a dragon and its rider. The dragon swept in and destroyed the ranks of the Druchii warriors and killed the Sorceress and her hydra. The problem was not there, though we were hard pressed and might not have survived… No, the problem is not with the Druchii, but with my sister, Gla’mereth…”

“What?!? Gla’mereth. Not the Druchii. But my liege, there seems that this was but an expeditionary force that will lead to other larger forces! Word must be sent, allies gathered, and…”

“My sister,” Alithor calmly interrupted, “was the rider of the dragon that swooped out of the sky. That is the problem at hand. I’m not sure how to deal with this new turn of events. She says that she started wandering about, was confused and heard a strange voice, or some such, in her head. Then she happened upon the dragon’s cave, and woke the dragon. The two of them then joined the battle and routed the enemy from the field, freeing us to pursue them and strike them down.”
Letting out a long and protracted sigh, Alithor fell silent for a time. Resuming his train of thought, he continued on,” So you see, where my problem lies. What is to become of Gla’mereth?” With this he stood and sauntered over to the windows of the study looking out to the fields and valleys of the mountains, hands clasp behind his back. “I have no idea how or what she needs now… How do I help her?!?, Do I help her or turn her out? I have no idea.”

“If I may, interject here, my liege…I may have an idea,” said Riathia very quietly from close by. She had silently gotten up from the chair that she was reclining in, and moved to join Lord Alithor by the window. “We need to get into contact with a Dragon Mage of Caledor, or else Prince Imrik himself. ‘Twould be they who would be the ones to assist in this ‘problem’. Where are the two of them now, if I may ask?!?”

Lord Alithor looked completely nonplussed as he sharply replied,” I have no idea!! Last I knew they were flying off towards the Dragonspires.” He indicated with a wave of his arm. “I asked her if there was anything else that she needed and she said that yes, they were going to head back to the dragon’s weyr, but that was days ago, and I have not seen nor heard from them since!”

“Well, then I suggest we wait. She said that they would return, right?!?” Not waiting for an answer, she continued onward, “Well if she said that they would be back, then they will. Remember, my liege, we have never dealt with a Rider before, and this new found freedom must be something new… for both of them. They both need the time to figure out who and what they are. Now that are something different that just an elf and a dragon.” Riathia continued, taking up a tone that bordered on lecturing, “This bond between dragon and Rider is a special thing that has to nurtured, not unlike what a griffon and its rider, or the bond that a hunter and its While Lion would feel.

“The difference here is that the dragon has a vast amount of intelligence and wisdom that can be imparted to the rider, if it is allowed to… but this takes time. Before you ask, because I can see it forming on your lips; No I do not know how long this bonding takes. Remember, my lord, that I only know the general theory behind this bonding. Only those who have bonded know the truth behind it. And it is to these that the two need to learn from… Though honestly, I have no idea where to begin.”

“So what do I do in the meantime?!? How am I supposed to deal with a dragon and a Rider within my lands, let alone within my House?!?” Alithor demanded of the Mage.

“Continue to run Starlight as you would normally, just without Gla’mereth around, as if she were on a trip of some sorts. Let me send a missive to the Tower requesting assistance from them there. From there, I will be better able to guide you. Until then, continue to treat your sister as such, and make every effort to appease the dragon. It would be a bad thing indeed if you were to gain the ire of a dragon.” Riathia answered sagely.

“Fine, but I want you to go to the Tower and see if you can gain an audience with The High Loremaster himself, or any one of the other sages there and ask this of them,” after a slight pause for effect, he belatedly added”, please.”

“As you wish, my lord,” Riathia answered with a flourished bow. “Now, if I may be excused then, I shall prepare immediately for my trip to the Tower. I daresay that it shall take a week or so for travel and who knows the time to find the answer. Until then, I will continue to keep you updated as I find out.”

“Hmm” was all he answered as he waived her off. He knew he was being trite with the mage Riathia, but he could not help it. Worried as he was about the Druchii invasion and keeping the Watch doubled, this whole mess with Gla’mereth was not what he needed now!!

An endless stream of couriers and messengers had streamed nonstop ever since the Druchii incursion into the lands. The plus side was that the surrounding areas had sent additional forces to House Starlight, and they were told to remain there until the need had passed, or they were recalled by their garrisons. The problem was now that Lord Alithor had to find lodging and board for additional 15 spear phalanxes, three heavy units of Silver Helm cavalry, one unit of Swordmasters, not to mention to having to deal with the regiment of hotheaded, arrogant Dragon Princes that had found out word that a Druchii incursion might be had again. At this point, Alithor did not know which was worse: the Druchii or the Dragon Princes.

“Dragon Princes, ughh…” he groaned and turned back to his cluttered desk looking for the decanter of spiced feywine.

More to be coming in the future.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:48 pm 
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It took me a while to read it all, but now I did. I like the story so far. I have two questions concerning the background. First is - this is Caledor. They know as much about dragons as elves can know there, why are they so confused and uncertain what to do? Second is also about dragon lore. I like the history you gave to dragon-elf relationship. I do not know how much you care about canon lore, but if you do, how does Caledor the Dragontamer come in? I am just curious. :-)

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:51 am 
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I'm kinda looking at it like this: The House Starlight is a small house that just recently was granted the nobility title of house, hense the descriptions thus far is of a small hold newly established in a remote mountain region of Caledor. This describes and should fulfill the idea about the confusion of the what to do about dragons.
As far as the lineage of Caledor I'm working an angel of a very obscure tracing that goes back to him, but one that is very weak. You see, House Starlight could be originally from a neadby region, so they know the basics about dragon lore, but have never been exposed to it as thay are about to be, hence the confused learnign curve (that and mine too). I'm also trying to add a bit more to the canon dragon lore, sut with a different slant. Especially the fact taht no other female has been described as being a dragon rider. I wanted to do something a touch different with the lore, but still keep it within Caledor. Oh and I have skipped around on the time line some, so don't feel too confused about that... I wasn't sure where to start with so I figured that I would start with the "present" and then fall back and begin from there.

Does this help answer and clarify some things for you?!? This is my first attempt of something like this, so I knew that there might be some rough spots...

Any ideas or advise?!? I would welcome both.

Thanks for reading... Now that I have a computer again, I hope to be on more often.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:40 pm 
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Good to see you back. So they are new nobility (in Elven terms) and do not want themselves embarrased by their Caledorian compatriots, and rather consult wisdom of Saphery?
I'll wait what you do with the dragon story and Caledor Dragontamer then. In fact, I am looking forward to it. :D

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:38 pm 
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Aicanor,

Thanks for the support, I should have something to add around the New Year or so!! [-o<

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:57 am 
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Hello everyone!! I know that it has been awhile since I last posted more to the ongoing story, but I have been busy... I got a new job and it has ben challenging learning a new highly detailed computer software language. Any way, I have managed time to rework and rewrite the story as it stands thus far... Since I have reworked part of the beginning I feel that I have to post the entire story as it is written so that everyone can get the new changes and see how it has impacted the story. From here on out, anything that I write now will be added without the rest of the story so as to shorten the reading time.

I hope that everyone enjoys it and if you have any questions or comments, or ideas, please do not hesitate and get up with me... And now ON WITH THE SHOW!!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:01 am 
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Lady Gla’mereth Shennkayla Starlight, Venerable Dragon Queen of Caledor
Introduction
Gla’mereth has long been a scion of the Caledor lineage and deserving of the title” Venerable Dragon Queen of Caledor”. Throughout the High Elven history of the Asur, tales of the Dragon Riders of Caledor had always been males who woke and rode dragons to glorious battle. While the women were never excluded from other roles, the cavalry and that of the Dragon Riders always seemed to be the domain of the males of the land. That all changed on a bright, chill spring day those many years ago…
The Present
Looking out onto the long, desolate plain in front of her, she sees many thousands of her dark kindred gathering a great host for the upcoming battle. Advanced in age, even by the long sighted standard of her kindred, Gla’mereth was ancient. She and Haklasharra were asked to be present by the current Phoenix King, Finubar. Legends of the daring, courage, leadership and accomplishments of the “Venerable Dragon Queen”, she who was the first ever she-elf who woke a dragon from its long enchanted slumbers, are what caused the Phoenix King to have her join his glittering host to expel the Druchii for this portion of Ulthuan for the last time. Finubar decided that this was going to be the day, that the Asur would see the beginning of the end for their vile dark cousins. To that end, all of the best were present for this engagement: Teclis led the host of Saphery, including its mighty martial arm, the Sword Masters of Hoeth; his twin brother Tyrion led the massed cavalry of Ulthuan: Dragon Princes, Silver Helms and also the Reaver Knights of Ellyrion, Captain Cadaryan led the ever silent legion of the Phoenix Guard; The Everqueen of Avalorn with her Maidenguard were enroute to join Finubar and the host. Her spiritual support would be called upon in the upcoming battle…so too were other heroes either enroute or already gathered, but none as awe inspiring as the Riders.
Turning around and glancing behind her, she looked upon the finest unit of combatants ever formed in Elven history… the Riders. Long have dragons and elves worked together in harmony for the greater good, as has been told in the archived annuals of the Loremasters. Yet, throughout all of that time, a dragon rider was a single elf and [usually] his dragon. It was not until she, Gla’mereth, (and Haklasharra, who had just as much to do with the creation of the unit) brought dragon riders from all parts of Ulthuan together into a cohesive combat unit the likes that had never been seen before. Throughout the years, they had found willing elves and dragons who would forge themselves into an air cavalry that was both powerful and awe inspiring at the same time.
Gla’mereth laid an ancient hand upon the faded hide of her faithful friend and confidant, Haklasharra. Together the two of them had seen many a glorious and sorrowful battle where both friends and enemies fell, never to see the light of day again. Such was their world, and together they had seen many things, and for them their job, minus this one was nearly complete.
“Well, my old friend, this is what we have worked all the long years for. What are your thoughts?” She asked, with a wide aged grin.
“Hmph, you know my thoughts, Hatchling,” the ancient she-dragon rumbled”… the sky is clear, the winds are good, and the sun is shining, and my wings ache to take to the air… all in all a perfect day to fly!”
“Then that is indeed what we shall do… RIDERS TO THE SKIES!!”
With that, all of the Riders, some five hundred in number, rose from the land of Ulthuan to take to the skies. Elven knights in polished silver armor shining brightly in the glittering sun, and dragons of every color imaginable flew in well practiced V shaped formations… all driving for the dark elven lines, yet high enough to be out of range of spell or shot. With a single signal, Gla’mereth riding Haklasharra at the front of the massive formation let out a war cry that was joined by the entire formation, and reverberated over the whole landscape… instilling absolute fear in all of those opposing them…
Once again dragons rode the winds and ruled the skies above Ulthuan, this time with help from friends and those considered as family…
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In the Beginning
It was a bright, clear, chill spring morning when the clarion calls of the sentry horns split the calm morning shattering the peaceful nature of the mountains in spring. The alert sentries had spotted a great Dark Elven raiding force bearing down on the Starlight Hold within the Dragonspire Mountains. While troops within and without the Hold marshaled to thwart the advancing Dark Elves, Gla’mereth became suddenly confused, disoriented, and lost in a foreign fog of strange thoughts, feelings, and emotions all battling for room inside her head. It was as if all of these strange alien thoughts were fighting to get loose, threatening to split her head to find that particular end. She wandered blindly, seeing, yet not seeing, where she was heading. Everyone else was rushing about, not noticing, nor honestly caring where she went as long as she was out of their way. Never before had this happened, and it frightened her to no end. Sure, Dark Elf raiders had been dealt with before, but never in this type of strength, and she was always in control of her faculties, ready to lend aid when needed. She had been trained in all forms of combat by the Hold’s weapons masters and was expected to hold her own against incursion and invasion. It was her duty.
Blindly wandering for what seemed forever, Gla’mereth finally shook off the head clouding mists that kept her off balance, ‘woke’ up, and realized that she had blindly stumbled deep into the caverns and weyrs nestled deep within the Dragonspire Mountains. Her people knew that dragon weyrs were nestled in the mountains of Ulthuan, but one did not know where exactly they were located, nor if they were even populated anymore. Long had her people known that fewer and fewer dragons were awake and flying through the heavens. The harsh sounds and clash of the battle was hundreds of miles in the distance, and yet she could almost swear that she stood in the very center of the bloody battle that raged on. The horrific screams of the dying, the painful clash of arms and armor, the smell of blood and death… all as close to here as was her own clothes.
Wondering and marveling and scared, all at the same time, as to how and why she got to where she was when her embattled senses cleared some, she looked about and cried out in despair in the darkness that surrounded her. Not out of terror, but rather out of despair. She knew not how she got to where she was, and had no idea on how to return to whence she came. What happened next would forever change her life… As she cast about, looking in vain, for a way out, she turned and faced an odd feline-reptilian like orb floating in the darkness about shoulder level. The mystery and vastness contained within that orb was something that Gla’mereth had never experienced and was instantly drawn in… wanting more.
“Why do you wait? What is it that you seek, Youngling?!?” asked a strange, almost sleepy, gravel-like alien voice within her mind.
“I…I…um,” Gla’mereth hesitated, stumbling over her words. She was confused. Was she dreaming this? Was she losing her mind?
“The answer is no, to both of those questions, Youngling. You are not dreaming, nor are you going insane.” answered the alien voice. “You came here to my domain and have wakened me from my slumbers. Once again, why do you wait, and what is it that you seek?”
“Wait for what… Seek what?” Gla’mereth questioned. “I don’t even know where I am, or what you are.”
With a gust of hot, foul, sulfuric breath, the answer came in an ear shattering roar, “I am Haklasharra Ceithlin-Har, Mistress of the Skies of the Caledor, and you test my patience, Youngling!”
In an instant, it registered… DRAGON!!
“Yes, I am.” Now, that two of those infinite orbs occupied a space that once held but one, Gla’mereth now realized those were dragon’s eyes, and they held her gaze. “Now, why do you wait? You know that your kin need you. The longer you hesitate, the more of your kin and those that they provide for continue to move beyond the confines of the mortal realm!”
Realization finally hit her like the entire mountain side had collapsed on her… Family, friends, and others were dying in the field, and yet she did nothing…while visions of fire and flame, carnage and blood, death, and chaos filling her muddled mind…
“I, uh, have to go. I’m so sorry to have wakened you. Please, forgive me, Oh Great One.” She stuttered and stammered out at last.
Gla’mereth moved as if to go… and stopped! Her vision swirled, colors and clouds of incandescent colors blinded her… swept around her head, and then cleared with a flash of bright silver, and she saw herself, gilded in shiny silver armor, carrying a scarred shield of dragon scales, wearing an ancient Elven longsword, and holding a glowing, shiny silver lance, a beautiful, graceful, and deadly weapon, riding a great dusky blue dragon among the clouds. It was then that it dawned on her… could this be for real?!? She was flustered and disoriented in this current state, but she seemed to be calming down… accepting a fate that she had never known, but would welcome none the less. She turned to her left and saw the items in a not-too-distant corner of the now dimly lit weyr.
“Yes, Youngling, it is all there… just as you saw it, as am I. All you have to do is to decide to grasp your destiny, and do what you know you must...”
With one final look into those deep wells of knowledge and wisdom, Gla’mereth took control of her life and destiny, for the first time in her long life, and chose to do something far greater than herself… for those who needed her. “Very well then… Let us do this.” She muttered to herself more than to the dragon confronting her.” Haklasharra Ceithlin-Har, will you bear me, Lady Gla’mereth Kethryvarrius Shennkayla of House Starlight, aloft upon the winds and into the heavens so that others who will stand in our way will quake at our coming, and we may revel in the glory that is due us?”
“Yes, Gla’mereth, we shall take our place in line with the others of our kin, and teach those who oppose us the folly of their ways!” With that, the very mountains shook at the great reverberating roar that rattled the insides of the great cathedrals of rock.
Empowered by her newly found “courage”, Gla’mereth spoke something that she would never had thought to do… ever,” Well and good, now, please, stop calling me ‘Youngling’. Though I may be centuries younger than yourself, I have a name!”
Chuckling deep within her massive maw, Haklasharra made her opinions known,” When you have proven to be more than a hatchling acting like a proud popinjay, I shall call you what I like. Until that time, Youngling, you will remain ’Youngling’, “and a smile (if one could call it that) creased the maw of the ancient being.
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The Battle Lines
On the field of battle, things were looking grim. The Dark Elf raiders were more numerous than was originally thought: Dark Elf Corsairs formed the left flank; Dark Elf spear phalanxes filled the middle of the advancing line, in addition to repeater crossbow batteries mixed in as well, anchored by the notorious Black Guard of Naggrond; frenzied Witch Elves filled the gaps between units, and the right flank was held by units of Cold Ones Knights. Commanding this impressive host was a Sorceress, surrounded by her acolytes. All sneering with the intent purpose of wiping out the thin lines of High Elves assembling before them…
The ever dwindling High Elf forces were being systematically pushed backwards to a point they would never be able to regroup anymore… the foot of the towering mountains. The High Elf spear phalanxes were holding firm against the constant onslaught, but the few troops assembled in the barest of moments would not be able to hold out against the enemy assaulting them. There were no supporting Silver Helms present on this field to check the Cold Ones Knights; no wandering battalions of Swordmasters from Hoeth would miraculously appear out of nowhere and beat back the members of the Black Guard and rally the flagging High Elves. Only the valorous spears and archers from his own garrison would be all that was available to him to use to defeat this horde of evil and malevolence. The problem was time… there was not enough of it, for the surrounding communities to muster their forces and come to the aid of those of House Starlight. If only there was more time…
As Lord Alithor Starlight considered their plight, while dodging the black fletched bolts of the Dark Elf crossbow archers… one of his captains shouted, “Liege, look to the mountain flank!” Quickly trading blows with a Dark Elf warrior looming in front of him, and cutting him down after the second exchange of blows, Alithor looked to the indicated direction, wondering what new evil beset them now. In the distance there could be seen a small (due to the distance) dark blot on the horizon with a silver glint on top from time to time reflecting the sun’s rays. Once again his gaze and attention was diverted with another Dark Elf warrior willingly meeting his doom at the end of Alithor’s ancient family sword.
Again he looked, now he could make out the shape of a dull, dark, dusky-blue dragon with a rider… As he watched, the dusky blue pivoted its wings and glided into the left flank of the Dark Elf host. With an unbelievably loud, ear-splitting, brazen, thunderous roar, the dragon and unknown rider tore into the unsuspecting Dark Elf troops before they knew what was happening. Following that fearsome battle roar, great gouts of dragon flame erupted, searing, burning, and charring all of those Dark Elves who were foolishly caught within its fiery way. Surging forward, almost in a cat–like pounce, the dragon continued to plow through the tightly packed Dark Elf ranks which stood no chance against the unleashed might of the dragon. What the dragon failed to rend or crush with its claws and teeth, the unknown rider skewered with a lance of an unknown, ancient design.
The sudden appearance of the dragon and the rider initially caused the High Elves forces to withdraw a bit to avoid the untamed fury of these unexpected allies. Seeing a golden opportunity, and wanting, no, needing to capitalize on it, Lord Alithor rallied his beleaguered troops and renewed the attack, beginning to drive the Dark Elf forces back the way that they had come.
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The Fortunes of War Shift
The tide of the battle had switched, and the Dark Elf Sorceress in command knew it. The Dark Elf forces that had once been moving forward, chewing up the High Elven forces was suddenly stopped and reeling at the onslaught of this new ally of theirs. ‘Curse them’, she thought. Her spells, and those of her acolytes, were useless against this cursed dragon and its rider, and her troops were fleeing the field of battle like vermin in a brightly lit room. How the fortune of war changes so quickly. She had but one choice… to summon her powerful hydra steed and utterly destroy this dragon and its rider herself.
Concentrating on chanting the necessary chants and words, she began the sonorous call for her mutated beast to join with her. The air began to shimmer and warp with the foul arcane energies required to summon the great war beast. With an eruption of dark flames, smothering heat and the potent smell of sulfur and ash, a great, huge, hideous beast split apart the very fabric of the air appearing in its fear inspiring form. The great foul hydra made its presence known to all by instantly letting loose a bugling bellow that would have unsettled even the most stalwart of soldiers… its defiance erupting from each of the five dragon-like heads at the same time.
Moving quickly, the vile Sorceress swiftly vaulted to the back of the hideous creature commanding it, “Fly my lovely, Fly!!” she cackled with evil glee. The huge hydra, suddenly sprouted mutated wings, bunched its hind legs underneath itself, and jumped into the air, its great wings hammering the air with each gigantic flap, in an effort to quickly gain altitude to meet the dragon and its rider in battle.
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A Dark Scene
Gla’mereth was amazed at the thrill of flying and the ease she felt as Haklasharra took to the air from her mountain lair. Flying dragonback seemed natural to her, as if she had been born to ride in the dragon saddle. Her elation was cut short when she could now see the lines of the embattled regiments of both sides clashing in the desperate act of kill or be killed. From the aerial vantage point that they had, both Gla’mereth and Haklasharra could see the dire straits that the High Elves were in: The long, thin white and green lines that represented the High Elves looked considerably thin and tiny as compared to those dark lines that were thicker and broader in width. The High Elves of House Starlight were outnumbered by at least 3 to 1, had no cavalry or artillery support, and were being forced to retreat into the confined space of a boxed canyon from where there would be no escape from… The Dark Elves would be able to destroy them to the person in their wicked leisure… that could not happen!!
Altering Haklasharra’s course, Gla’mereth managed to get in on the Dark Elves’s unprotected and unsuspecting left flank. Engaged with their High Elven enemies of old, the blood-lusty dark elves paid no attention to the dragon and her rider descending from the skies. Thirsting for blood and destruction, Haklasharra let loose a thunderous battle roar and plunged into the middle of the Dark Elves’ left flank, rending, stomping, thrashing, biting, and killing all in her way. As Haklasharra worked her way through the enemy ranks, Gla’mereth turned in her saddle and motioned with her shield arm for the High Elves to advance (whether anyone saw her movement or not, she never knew for sure), and then began skewering Dark Elves upon her lance… what a magnificent weapon she marveled!!
It was during this when the hydra’s battle challenge shook the very fabrics of the air, and Haklasharra responded in kind with her own challenge. She then jumped into the air and began climbing to gain altitude over the bloated body of the mutated hydra.
As the two titans began to enter into their aerial dance to the death, the High Elves on the ground were finally joined by their brethren forces that had just arrived as reinforcements, and began to rout the Dark Elven stragglers who continued to fight under the rallying cries of their foul commanders. Alithor paused for but a moment, while his combined forces began to finish off the enemy, to watch the grandeur as the aerial battle began to take shape…
Haklasharra was no hatchling and had plenty of experience in battle, even if her rider did not. Not that it mattered. The venerable blue knew that Gla’mereth was a competent warrior, even if she, herself, did not know it… yet. She, The Great Haklasharra would not have woken for the elfess hatchling, if she was any less than having the potential to be a great warrior like Herself. Besides, the gifts that She had given to Gla’mereth were of an ancient time, when the dragons and their riders ruled the magick laden skies of Ulthuan unopposed by any, and would well shield her from any but the direst of events. They would make quick work of these vile, disgusting, imposter interlopers. With that final thought, Haklasharra circled her opponent, her claws instinctively flexing on their own, and She breathed another great gout of molten dragon flame and fire… this one even greater than even the one She unleashed on the Dark Elves on the ground mere moments ago.
The hydra, not used to having wings, ungainly tried to dodge the oncoming wall of flames, and instead flew right into the middle of them. Had the Sorceress’s foul, tainted magic not saved, them, they would now be ash and cinders gently floating to the ground now hundreds of feet below them.
Cursing the beast in her foul Dark Elven tongue, the Sorceress turned the hydra and unleashed a blast of deadly foul, perverted magic towards the huge blue dragon and its silver rider. Again, the magics of the Sorceress seemed to hit the opponents head on… and yet they seemed unharmed! Furious and frustrated, she commanded the hydra to dive and make a sweeping turn in an effort to try and get behind and above the duo. ‘If she could take out the rider then perhaps the dragon will follow easily enough,’ the Sorceress thought.
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Gla’mereth saw the horrible bolt of foul energy head towards them, yet it was too close to avoid, so she braced for the impact… expecting to be blasted into oblivion… and nothing happened.
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Haklasharra unleashed another bellowing roar, and just missed snatching the hydra out of the sky as it dove beneath her and went for the sweeping turn that would put it above and behind them. Once again, she was no hatchling, and instinctively turned to the opposite direction, actually turning into the path of the hydra, head on once again.
The hydra was committed to its course of action and could do nothing to alter the course and had no choice but to collide with the huge blue dragon and grapple with it in mid air. The hydra uttered its battle cry, and collided with the dragon, biting and clawing with the blue. After the initial shock of the slamming together of two such masses, the hydra pierced the air with a hideous scream unlike any living had ever heard, including that of the Sorceress. The hydra kicked at the blue in an effort to get away…
As the two massive beasts were set on the inevitable collision course, Gla’mereth couched the extremely lightweight, but durable lance under her arm and prepared for the impact. As Haklasharra slightly reared backwards, in an effort to bring all four of her massive taloned claws to bear, Gla’mereth tilted the lance almost instinctively so that at the point of collision, the hydra would be impaled by the lance as well all of Haklasharra’s claws and the massive bite from her jaws.
The scream from the hydra was promptly followed by a wet gurgling as one of its heads was severed by the jaws of the massive blue. Flailing about in a wild attempt to bite at the blue, the hydra quickly lost another head, to another massive bite from the blue. If the pain that the hydra was feeling wasn’t enough, there came another piercing of its hide by that hated pointy-shiny-stick-thing. The pain from that weapon was like that of molten fire being injected directly into its being.
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End Game
The Sorceress knew they were outmatched, but her hatred of the Asur would not let her give up the battle, the loathsome High Elf and dragon would die… or she would die trying to kill them!! Little did she know, but this one battle was almost over. She managed to get the hydra, with now three limp stalks where heads should be, to disengage from the great blue dragon. If she did not, the battle would be over in mere moments. Thinking quickly, she managed to heal some of the hydra’s lesser wounds. She could do nothing about the lost heads or the two holes where that lance had pierced the hydra’s body.
Circling away from the dragon, she needed time to think of another strategy… As she was thinking, she flew the hydra over a regiment of High Elven Archers. As they loosed their shafts skyward, the Sorceress turned all of the arrows to ash with a fiery burst of dark Sorcerous magic. She laughed at the feeble attempt, but it was short lived. The huge blue dragon had gained altitude on them, and was now arrowing down from the sun straight for them. Once again, she cursed in the foul, harsh language of the Druchii and attempted to maneuver her dying (she knew it was) hydra out of immediate danger…
Haklasharra and Gla’mereth saw the attempt for what it was: a feeble attempt to delay the inevitable. With a somewhat wicked gleam in her eye and a smile upon her helmed face, she encouraged her steed onward, finally feeling the battle lust that she and the great dragon shared. Once again, altering their course slightly, they thunderously collided with the Sorceress and the hydra in midair. The force of this collision was even greater than that of the first one, and the Sorceress was knocked from the back of the hydra, and fell screaming the whole way to her death as she smashed against the cold peaks of the Dragonspire Mountains.
With the Sorceress gone, Haklasharra could now turn Her full attention and fury upon the flailing hydra in Her grasp. She sunk her razor sharp talons into the black flesh of the hydra and gave a huge shake, rattling the hydra as a child would a stuffed toy. One of the remaining necks snapped from the force of the move, while the remaining head was pierced by that hated-pointy-shiny-stick-thing.
With her fore claws dug into the hydra, Haklasharra brought up her back legs and tore huge rents in the hydra’s flesh. The last screams from the hydra were those of a final, pain induced fear that it knew it was dying. Though the hydra was dead by now, the instinctive back leg raking motion, like that of a cat, freed Haklasharra from the lifeless corpse of the hydra allowing Her the ability to get away from the dead weight of the hydra, as it plummeted back to the spiny mountain sides.
The dead hydra started to fall away from the duo as Haklasharra trumpeted a victory bellow, proving that She was Mistress of the Sky. To add further insult to injury, she flamed the dead carcass of the hydra, as it fell onto a regiment of fleeing Druchii that had managed to evade the High Elf pursuers, burning them to cinders where they stood..
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Aftermath
All of this Alithor watched from a low plateau where he could see the titanic struggle overhead, and still concentrate on the enemy forces in the field, what pitiful few were left. He watched as the dragon turned in its flight, after having circled the field, and flew straight to him. He continued to watch in awe and amazement as this huge blue dragon, that a few mere moments ago had savagely rent apart a five headed hydra to nothing, gracefully backwinging and landing before him, as light as a feather (Well, as light as a dragon could!).
With a good natured laugh, striding forward, Alithor heartily greeted the unknown allies, “Hail and well met my friends!! My debt to you, Great One, Lord of the Skies, and to your Rider as well for your assistance!!”
After landing, Haklasharra settled so that her armored rider could dismount with ease, and swung her massive head from side to side taking in the scene before her. Her Rider had by then began to stride forward to meet this elf lord, still helmed and still clutching her lance and shield. As Gla’mereth strode forward, Haklasharra looked at the beginnings of a legend and once again emitted a self-satisfied chuckle to herself.
“Greetings Dragon Rider!!” Alithor announced as he gave the unknown Rider a sweeping and extravagantly resplendent bow. “I thank you for your assistance. How may I show my gratitude for your efforts and those of your dragon in coming to the assistance of me and mine hold?” Alithor asked of the rider, as she reached up to remove her helm. He thought it odd that this Rider was a she-elf, but at the moment, he did not care if he was speaking to the great Aenarion, Himself. He was glad to be finished with this fight.
“You may start by giving your sister an embrace… and some water, for I am so thirsty… and hot in this armor!” Gla’mereth stated as she pulled the helm from her head and shook her hair loose.
Dumbfounded and completely speechless for the first time that he (or anyone else could think of), Lord Alithor of House Starlight could not believe that his little sister, Gla’mereth was the one who had flown in on dragonback and saved the hold, surrounding fields, countless warriors’ lives, their families and the lines of her family! It could not be. It simply, could not be.
“How… what… when… “, was all that he was able to stammer out. He then followed with,”I don’t understand.”
Laughing at her older brother’s plight, Gla’mereth said, “Brother, I wish to present Haklasharra Ceithlin-Har, Mistress of the High Reaches, and friend to Starlight Hold!”
“Oh, Great and Mighty One, Grand Mistress of the Skies, we are pleased to call you friend to Starlight Hold!” Alithor gravely stated as he formally genuflected and went to one knee for the dragon. Haklasharra nodded her massive wedge-shaped head in a sign of respect and acceptance of the pointy-eared, two-leg elf lord’s words.
“Come, Brother. We have much to discuss and reassemble and put back to rights,” stated Gla’mereth matter-of-factly as she began to move among the wounded of House Starlight.
“Who is this new she-elf who looks like my younger sister?” Alithor asked of no one in particular…
“One who has the potential to start a great many changes, Elf Lord.” rumbled Haklasharra.
Startled that the dragon had spoken mind-to-mind to him, Alithor quickly hastened after his Dragon Rider sister, missing the toothy smile from the dragon as he passed her.
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Many long years had passed and Gla’mereth and Haklasharra continued to fight when they were needed. After that fateful day so long ago, Gla’mereth had become a power to reckon with. Others would begin to listen to her ideas, and she would find that she had a voice and was no longer afraid to use it to voice her opinion, nor take action when needed.
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Part 4
After the battle on that day (not so long ago) Gla’mereth and Alithor sat at a table in the Grand Hall of House Starlight. Haklasharra was curled up in the courtyard, napping while being attended to by the pointy-eared-two legs of House Starlight; she was being scrubbed and oiled form snout to tail tip. It was a pampering that she had not had for a very long time, and she was enjoying every moment of it. Earlier, Haklasharra had honored the dead of House Starlight by purging the High Elf dead with dragon fire… sending the bodies of the noble High Elf warriors to Asuryan, the Phoenix God, cleansed and purified with that of noble dragon fire. An honor to the elves.
“Sister, tell me… how did this come to be?” Alithor asked, “I’m curious to say the least,” he said looking out the panes of glass to see the hulking mass of a blue dragon in his courtyard.
“Well, in truth, I’m not sure… One minute I was here in the hold, the next, I was staring into Haklasharra’s eye. Honestly, I don’t know. My mind was so confusing at the time and not my own. I guess that I instinctively called out to a dragon and Haklasharra answered my frantic call. That is all that I can say.”
“Truth be told, I’m glad that She did, because If not, then you and I would not be sitting here now! We were but a knife’s edge away from destruction when you two came into the picture. What do you plan to do now?” he gravely inquired.
“Well, I considered taking a more active role in managing things around here, and kind of ‘winging’ it, so to speak,” she giggled at her unintended pun.
With sudden clarity, Alithor leaned forward and grasped his sister’s hand, “NO. I think you and Haklasharra should go and train with another of your kind. Future ‘engagements’ will not be as easily handled as this encounter was. I fear, that without additional guidance, you would fall in the future, and I for one do not want that to happen.”
“You do not want me here because I will usurp your power and lordship over those of the hold and the surrounding area!” she blurted. “I do not want your hold, Brother!” she screamed, and quickly began to rise from the table, knocking back the chair she was sitting on, in the process. A great bellow rose from the courtyard as Haklasharra woke from her slumbers, filled with rage. Elven servants, soldiers, and others within the hold on business from afar went scrambling as Haklasharra thrashed about for a moment…
“No. No. Sister, you mistake my words! Peace, please! No in fact, I thought just the opposite… and wanted to let you stretch those mighty wings of your dragon…”
“Haklasharra…” she interrupted. By now, the mighty blue dragon had quieted down and was once again settling back into a semi-restive state. It would be some time before the elves of the house would walk around her again, though.
“What?!?”
“Haklasharra is her name. Please, give her the respect that she deserves, by using her name and not referring to her like some dumb animal… Brother.” Gla’mereth’s voice had taken on a chill edge: one that he had never heard present before. Alithor decided very quickly that he must tread carefully from this point forward. He must learn and remember that his sister of old was no more, but now she was a powerful warrior with an ever more powerful ally… one that had more power than his entire Hold, and that of several others, put together. Yes, he was on dangerous ground and must tread ever so lightly. No need to irritate and upset a dragon and its, her rather, Rider, especially since the Rider was family… or did that matter anymore, whether Gla’mereth was family?!? Did new allegiances give sway over family?!? Shaking his head, he quickly banished that thought… of course Gla’mereth was family, and now so to was her companion, Haklasharra.
“Um, well of course. Forgive, me, but this will take some getting used to, Sister. That is all. What I was saying is that Haklasharra and yourself deserve to learn more about your bond and need to train together to fight without having to think about what you are doing. The two of you no longer belong to House Starlight… but rather to Ulthuan as a whole and you have a sacred duty to fulfill that duty. I don’t want to see you go, Sister, yet I have no choice. This will always by your home, for both of you… but for now, you must go and learn from others of your kind.”
“Where? I have no idea where to go and Haklasharra has not mentioned anything either, Brother.”
“Let me think on this, Sister, perhaps, Riathia will know. Having trained in Saphery in the White Tower, I would think she should know. I will ask her when she gets here in the next few days. Until then… was there anything else in Haklasharra’s weyr that you will need, or from your own rooms? We can provide whatever else you will need.”
“There were some other things inside the weyr, but I only grabbed what I needed then at that moment. I remember seeing an ancient sword and a rig of some sort.”
“Then I think that you should go, no, I’m not dismissing you, rather letting you go, and spread you wings, so to speak.” The last he said with a tender grin…
With that she left her brother deep in thought and strolled out into the court yard, carrying the dragonscale shield on one arm and her helm under the other. Going to the slumbering dragon, she rested her hand on Her head, near the eye ridge and smoothly stroked the scaly skin there, eliciting a deep grumbling purr from the dragon.
“Come, let’s fly back to our weyr and rest some by ourselves. What say you to that?”
Haklasharra opened one eye and asked,” Are you already of the mind to set aside life here?” Haklasharra inquired.
“Yes, I think that Alithor is right, we can be of better use elsewhere, but this is always going to be our home…” With that statement, followed by a contented grumble-purr escaping from Haklasharra’s throat, Gla’mereth swiftly mounted the dragon saddle nestled upon Haklasharra’s neck, just forward of her wing joints. The pair swiftly took to the air, circling the Starlight Hold, Gla’mereth raised the Dragonlance and let loose with a war cry followed by another of Haklasharra’s ear splitting, thunderous roars. Then, the pair was off, heading to the sanctity of Haklasharra’s mountain weyr.
The thunderous dragon roar broke the train of thought that Alithor Starlight had been locked in, watching his little sister stride out of his hall toward her dragon… her dragon. The thought still seemed surreal to him and he was as of yet unable to wrap his head around that idea. Standing up from the table, he walked over to the windows, and watched in fascination as the dragon circled the Hold one final time, then gracefully turned in the air, and headed for areas unknown to him. With a sigh, he turned from the window, just as Elion, the Hold seneschal approached him.
“My Liege, I thought that the numbers of the slain would be of importance to you, so that you may send the condolence letters to the families.” The elderly elf stated.
“Yes, very good, Elion, that will be fine. Thank you. Oh by the way, do you have any idea as to where the Hold Mage, Riathia is?!? I have need of her council at this time.”
“No, my liege, not at the moment, but I shall have runners sent to search for her. Where shall I have them direct her, when she is located?!?” The elderly states-elf asked.
“Have them send her to my study if you please Elion… and thank you for everything…”
“As you wish, my liege,” With that, he quietly withdrew from Alithor’s presence, concerned by his master’s not normal quietness.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Part 5
On the return trip to the weyr, Gla’mereth indulged in flying with her newly found helm off her head. Her lustrous dark auburn hair flowed in the wind like a banner, streaming behind her. Enjoying the leisurely flight to Haklasharra’s weyr gave her time to think, with the occasional input of her new companion, every now and then.
Haklasharra had not flown in quite some time, and was in no hurry to return to the cavernous confines of her… their home. She was glad to have the wind under her wings, the mountains beneath her and the whole world in front of her. She almost felt like a hatchling again… almost.
As they continued on, Gla’mereth casually mentioned,” Not in a hurry to go home, are you?” fondly patting the scaly skin of Haklasharra’s neck. “No worries, chier…neither am I. I am enjoying this new sensation for me, and I would like to get to know you better. What a better way than in a setting like this. Up upon the winds, higher than the mountains where mighty rivers are not but small ribbons…what a better place can there be?“
“Just wait and I shall show you one,“ chuckled the great blue…a sneaky grin touching her great maw.
Within a few minutes of flying, the mountain peaks of the Dragonspire Mountains loomed ahead. Nestled within those craggy peaks, there lay a great ledge, how it was formed, none knew, and Haklasharra cared not. She had found this ledge many centuries ago, and was glad that it had not fallen, as it was her favorite place to lay and lounge in the sun. It was here, on this ledge in a remote part of the mountains, dragon and elfess lounged and learned about one another, and explored this, their new bond.
Haklasharra landed on the ledge and allowed Gla’mereth to dismount. Then, as Gla’mereth was taking in the breathtaking views, Haklasharra paced around the ledge until she found “her spot” (which was a spot on the ledge that had been wallowed out to accommodate her size) and settled down to take in the view as well. The winds of the high reaches of the Dragonspires normally whipped and tore at a person or beast, but here, on this sheltered ledge, the winds caressed the pair. Gla’mereth turned and faced her new partner, and was awed by what she saw: A large, finely shaped, muscular dragon of a dark dusky blue: the top portion of Haklasharra being the darker blue and fading to that of a lighter azure. The spine of the dragon was marked with a row of spikes that grew from the backbone and were covered with a fine membrane of a deeper, almost sapphire color. Positioned on Haklasharra’s great muscular neck, in front of her great leather-like wings was a natural gap in the spikes where the dragon saddle was fitted for her to ride in. Gla’mereth marveled at the size, power and strength that exuded from the dragon. She was not afraid of her, like others were, but she figured that was part of the bond that they shared.
“Haklasharra, tell me, what do you know of other dragons and riders,” Gla’mereth asked. “It seemed to me that you have had Riders in the past. Is this true?”
“Yes, Youngling, it is true, I have had Riders in the past, though not as many as you might think…
“Will you tell me of them?” asked Gla’mereth as if she were a child wanting a bed time story.
“Yes, I will. But it is a long story, and will take time…are you sure you want to hear it, now?” Haklasharra asked.
“Yes. Very much so. That is, if you do not mind.”
“No, I do not mind, you would need to hear it at any rate, but it is better that you asked to hear it…So, I shall tell you part of it starting now, and will continue with
“What I tell you know is the history of mine and your race and how we became intertwined together so long ago…” Haklasharra took a deep breath and let it out slowly, smoke circling her head, pausing, searching for a place to begin. When she started, she sounded like an instructor reciting a history of her people:
“Long ago, long before even the elves walked upon the lands, dragons ruled the skies. We soared upon the winds and we were masters of everything that we encountered. Even back then, before what is Chaos as you know it, there were creatures that warred with us for the right to rule the lands and the skies. We had our own society much like you with that of warriors, teachers, and elders on a council; only they were not set up like you would think. There was still a structure to them. The mightiest of us ruled us all and we accepted this. This system continued on for many, many millennia. Until one day, the Goddess Isha, Mother of All Things, came to us and told us that in time there would be One who would seek us out and that we were to teach this one our ways.
The mighty Kaligan, ruler at the time, scoffed at Her and told Her that we would teach no one, for they were lesser than us and should instead be ruled by us, not treated with as our equals. Rather than teach this one, he would make it and others like it subservient to dragonkind. Foolish that he was, he turned the Goddess Isha away.
For centuries no one came, although there were those among us who looked for this One’s coming. Though Kaligan might be the strongest of us all, he was not the wisest, and our wise ones looked for the One prophesized by Isha to find us. It had been decided amongst a select few, that they would take this One to a secluded place, away from Kaligan and those who supported him, and teach him about our ways. For if the Goddess said that it was to pass, then why would it not, and who were we to turn this One away?
Time passed like that of a slow river and no one came. Eventually, after most had given up, there came an explorer to our mountain that was unlike any that we had ever seen. This One must have been the one that Isha had promised would come to us!! One of our eldest sages took the One off, just as had been decided many an eon ago and began to teach this One the history of all things and of ourselves.
Then, the worst thing that could happen did: Kaligan found out about this secret teaching and flew into a great rage. How he came to find out is still to this day unclear… there are some who think that there was one who told Kaligan of the Ones coming and who had secreted the One away. There are others that believe that he knew on his own that the One had arrived and who had taken the One away and to where. No one really knows. Unfortunately, it matters not, for the story continues… He flew to this secluded area, how he found out about it remains a mystery even to this day, and raged at the sage and the One. In the madness that struck Kaligan, with fire and tooth and claw, he slew both the teacher and the student. This caused a great rift in dragonkind that day. What was even worse, was that news of this tragedy spread far and wide and eventually reached the Student’s own kind… the elves.”
Here Haklasharra paused to sift back through the ages of memory passed down from dragon to hatchling…
“In the early days, the elves were plentiful. It was then, that the elves, in their wild youth, sought vengeance and retribution for the actions of Kaligan, ruler of dragonkind. A dark day dawned when the armies of the elves marched to destroy dragonkind. The Elf and Dragon wars, as we remember them were long and bitter. Kaligan was caught and killed by an elven ambush and while some of my kind thought that this would end the war, others decided that by killing in an ambush, your kind did not deserve the right to live, so the war continued for another several centuries… minor battles here and there, but the hatred was always present and the rift grew ever wider and wider.
“Eventually, there was one of your kind that came forward and asked to speak to our leader. His name, I cannot remember at this time, but the one that your leader spoke to was one of those who though that the war was needless and was wasteful, to say the least. Negotiations started that day and lasted for another six hundred years. Time had to heal the wounds on both sides, and trust had to be reestablished. After the six hundred years of talks and diplomacy, an accord was signed… not on paper as you would have it, nowadays among your kind, but in the Winds of Magic that bound us dragonkind to you elfkind. The accord was to be that we would be bound to each other in both good and bad times so that our mutual strengths would benefit the other.
“Normally if dragonkind were to bind dragonkind to an oath, we would seal this bond with a pairing to ensure that both sides were equally represented. Since a bond of that nature could not be achieved with elfkind, an exchange and pairing of dragon to elf was made. It would be the duty of each dragon to teach its bonded elf the ways of the dragon while the elf taught the ways of the elf to the dragon, thus ensuring that there was to never be a repeat of the events that led to the long and bitter wars of the past.
“It was during this pairing that elves learned about flying and all other matters of dragons. It was also when the elves learned to fight on dragon back as well. A special group of dragons and riders were formed and these were to be ambassadors for dragonkind and elfkind alike. They were simply known as The Riders. It was their duty to watch for Chaos and evil. It was also their duty to take messages between the two races, to maintain communication. Each of us, dragon and elf learned a great deal from the other, and the bond became more than it started out to be.
“The only time that this bond has ever been modified was when dragonkind refused to join your dark kin, the Druchii, when you had your great Civil War. It was decided by our elders that we would take no part in the war, aside from assisting the Asur when you asked for our help. By then we had decided to let the younger generation assist, for they were of the restless sort and would enjoy the “excitement”. The modification then included that we all sleep unless we were woken by a particular elf in need and that elf would be answered by one of us. “
“Did you notice the confusion and thickness, during your quickening?” she asked of Gla’mereth.
“Yes, I was so confused I did not know what was happening… It seemed as if thousands of voices were all crammed into my head and there was no room for anymore, and the only way to release them was to crack my skull.”
“That was the forming of the bond, your unconscious self using the Winds of Magic searching out for the one of us dragonkind who would answer you… and that searching, Youngling… lead you to me.” When Gla’mereth looked at the great dragon, she saw a faint smile crease the great maw, and saw great tenderness and compassion in those huge round eyes…
Several hours later the two eventually, maybe even reluctantly, left the “Remembrance Ledge” as Gla’mereth were to name it and made their way to Haklasharra’s cavernous home. Upon reaching the dragon’s weyr, and properly illuminating the space, Gla’mereth saw how spacious that it truly was. There was an area that was carved out that resembled a bed for a humanoid figure, in addition to an area to bathe in and a personal space for writing, weapons and assorted living. Near the ledge that was the entrance to the weyr was a wallowed out spot that served as the dragon’s resting area. Being inside of a mountain, one would tend to think that it would be chill and damp. However, this was not the case as the internal fires of the various volcanoes in the Dragonspire Mountains kept the internal temperatures at a nice even gradient.
Gla’mereth toured this space with all of the curiosity of a child, amusing Haklasharra as she did so. When Gla’mereth found the ancient sword resting on a shelf on the wall, she asked, “Haklasharra, is it OK for me to use this, and the other items?!?” Gla’mereth asked, brandishing the ancient sword. “I know that I took the lance and the shield and armor for the battle, but are they now mine?”
“Do you want them?” was all that the great dragon replied with. She continued, “If you want them, then yes, you may claim them and they are yours. They would be considered treasures by your kind, but I have no need of them. The original owner is long since gone, and has no need of them where he is now.”
“If I may ask, who was your last rider?” Gla’mereth tentatively asked.
“Youngling, my last Rider was over six thousand years ago, and it makes no difference now. Know only that he, like you, started out the same way. In time you will be as great, if not greater than he. Now, if I may make a suggestion, Youngling, why don’t you rest, there is plenty of time to teach you what you need to be a great Rider.”
With those last thoughts, Gla’mereth went over to the carved out bedding area and thought to lie down. Instead, she joined Haklasharra in her wallow, and fell asleep tucked under Haklasharra’s wing, laid next to her warm side, as comfortable as a hatchling and was quickly asleep.
“Sleep well, my Youngling Rider, sleep well, and know that you are safe.” crooned a satisfied she-dragon.
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Part 6
The next morning dawned bright and chilly, as was to be expected in the mountains. When Gla’mereth woke, she was encapsulated in a soft warm darkness that she did not readily want to leave. Nestled within the folds of her dragon companion, she was warm and happy… and hungry. Gla’mereth rose from her warm resting place and carefully, so as not to disturb her companion, climbed her way out of Haklasharra’s embrace, and went exploring this newfound area.
As she explored, she stumbled across a wall cabinet fitted with many scrolls and other forms of written text. Haphazardously, she picked a couple of scrolls out of their resting places and carefully unrolled them curious to see what they were. Some she could read, written in an ancient flowing elven script, some she could not, for the ink had faded beyond what the eye could see in the candlelight. Those that she could read were pieces of history, journal notes and other such dissertations. An interesting read she thought for a later time. The wall cabinet also contained various little bottles of different colored potions and liquids. Having grown up around a mage in the Hold, Gla’mereth was wise enough to leave these well alone until she knew what they were. Perhaps Haklasharra would know, if not, then mayhap Riathia would let her know their properties.
She continued her exploration of the huge living space and once again came upon the rack with the weapons that she had wielded earlier: the ancient lance crafted from starsilver and ithilmar and was longer than most lances: extending greater than that of a regular lance by at least two lengths, closer to three, and was so sharp that nothing would stop the finely balanced weapons progress, not even solid rock. The exquisite armor was crafted of an alloy of ithilmar and mithril, making it impervious to dragon breath weapons or even regular fire. The matching battered dragon scale shield was as old as the armor, maybe even older, and looked as if it had seen more battles than any of the other items combined. However, the shield had a sense of security and safety when it was held that Gla’mereth had never felt before. In sifting and examining the weapons in detail, she now noticed something else she had not seen earlier. This new item was a wooden handled knife that was about twelve to fifteen inches long and was curved with the edge on the inside of the curve. This weapon was locked in a leather scabbard that snuggly fit around the weapon, to prevent it from easily slipping out. When she drew the knife from the scabbard, it made a slight rasping sound. She was amazed about how the weapon looked awkward, but the balance of the weapon was superb. She then remembered something that she just read from the scroll cupboard. This weapon was called a kukri, and was a gift to the last rider, from a noble for something that the rider had done for the noble. This was a weapon and a tool that could be used for almost any project. She slipped off her belt and fed it through the loops of the kukri scabbard and tried it on. The kukri lay along her hip as if it was meant to have been there on purpose. She then tied the secondary strap to her thigh so that the entire weapon was secured and would only move when she moved her leg. The scabbard also included a thong that tied the weapon’s handle to the scabbard so that during flight, the weapon would not fall out.
Finally, she looked at the ancient sword that lay in its scabbard on a shelf above the armor and the shield. The sword of an ancient make and design, this much she knew. She had been trained by the best weapon masters of House Starlight, and she was a good judge of weapons. The sword was finely made and well balanced. When she drew the sword from the scabbard, the sword had a blade that was unlike any she had seen before… it was a dull smoke color with a flame like design etched into the double edged blade. The handle furniture was designed to look like that of a dragon and with the head situated as it was it looked as if the flames on the blade originated from the dragon’s great maw. The sword was designed in the old style that was a straight bladed, double edged weapon with a straight hilt, and a small, thin blood groove running most of the length of the blade…very different from the smooth flowing, curving swords of today’s manufacture that focused on style instead of strength. Still, the weapon was fluid and smoothly slid through the air…
She replaced the sword… the Dragonspear, as it was named by a small set of scriptic runes etched on the handle. The leather wrappings needed to be replaced, but other than that, the weapon was superb, and slowly slid her hand over the other items… reverently… all as if they designed for her. Were the Gods toying with her, she wondered?!?
“No, Hatchling, the Gods do not care about you,” came the gravelly voice of Haklasharra. “The items only fit and feel right because they are your birthright. Once you became a rider, then the weapons were meant for you. As far as you other musing: In time, the Gods WILL care about you, but not right now…” droned a drowsy Haklasharra.
Making up her mind, she donned the armor and weapons, hefted the shield and the lance. “Well then, Haklasharra, let us begin to gain their notice!” exclaimed Gla’mereth. She walked over to the ancient she-dragon and firmly, tenderly hugged the great dragon’s leathery neck. In that tender moment, Haklasharra lowered her snout and touched it to Gla’mereth’s forehead.
“Come, Haklasharra, I am hungry and I am ready to start this new life adventure together with you.” With that she turned to pack what she could. Some items she would take the rest would be fine here in their home secluded from everyone in the mountains.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:03 am 
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Part 7
An elfess, dressed in fine shimmersilk robes of various alternating shades of blue and burgundy, which fluttered about her, hurried through the maze of hallways and corridors, occasionally knocking into a servant along the way. Finally, she came onto a door that she recognized and remembered well… Bursting through the oaken door, in a flurry of robe and cloak, she entered the room filled with books, scroll, and other sorts of learned materials. The hearth was banked so that it still flickered with fire, but not enough to make the room stifling and unbearable. There, on the far end of the room, library really, sat the person to whom she was to report to… Lord Alithor Starlight, Master of Starlight Hold.
Never looking up from a scroll that he was studying, he said,” Ah, Lady Riathia. How nice of you to finally join me. Please, take a seat and I’ll be with you shortly.” He said while pointing with the plumed end of a writing quill to an empty chaise located in front of the expansive desk. With that, he continued to write on the scroll, signed it with a flourish, and then carefully, almost reverently, sealed the scroll with white wax and placed a white ribbon around the scroll to keep it rolled up, and placed it with the others on a small side board next to the desk. There, located on the side board was an ever growing pyramid of about five hundred other like scrolls, each tied with a white ribbon, and sealed with white wax, bearing the symbol of House Starlight, a multi-pointed star with a sunburst behind it.
As he continued with the scrolls in front of him, Riathia looked around the study that was one of the inner sanctums of Alithor Starlight. The study was a medium sized room that seemed to have been repurposed for the idea of a study. It was not as large as some of the studies that she had been in before, but in this instance it seemed fitting. The large bay window that overlooked the mountains was both esthetically pleasing and functional at the same time, letting in huge amounts of natural light, while still showing a panoramic view of the Dragonspire Mountains. The wall opposite the huge window was reserved for the several shelving units holding books, scrolls and other miscellaneous papers. Behind the desk was a small martial display of Elven longbows, swords, shields, armor and cavalry lances. The wall opposite the desk, behind her, was cover with several tapestries depicting battle scenes and the House Starlight Banner that was presented to Alithor by Caledrian, the ruling prince of Caledor, when the House was elevated to that of nobility. The raising of the House to that of a minor nobility rank was because of an honorable action that saved his brother’s (Prince Imrik) life during a battle with beastmen in one of Caledor’s colonies in the New World. For that heroic action, Alithor’s family line was to be blessed from that point on by being listed in the official archives as one of the lesser branches of the Dragontamer clan.
Turning to face his guest, Alithor once again looked upon the hold mage, the Lady Riathia. She was newly appointed by the White Tower to be that of House Mage for the fledging House. In time, members of the family would train to be a mage, but until that time came to pass, Riathia was considered family and treated as such.
“Now, I’m sure that you’re wondering why I asked for you? The reason is that I have a problem and need you guidance and help.” He looked to the mage, to see if she would say something. For as long as he had known her, Riathia was never one to be at a loss of words. Seeing that she was not going to say anything, he continued on:
“I’m sure, by now that you have heard about the ‘little’ encounter that we had earlier this morning,” he said, gesturing to the pile of scrolls. It finally dawned on the elfess what he was referring to… those scrolls were the letters to the families of members who had died in service to Hold Starlight while defending against the Druchii invasion scout force.
“Well, we were about to get over run by the Druchii forces when out of the sky appeared a dragon and its rider. The dragon swept in and destroyed the ranks of the Druchii warriors and killed the Sorceress and her hydra. The problem was not there, though we were hard pressed and might not have survived… No, the problem is not with the Druchii, but with my sister, Gla’mereth…”
“What?!? Gla’mereth. Not the Druchii. But my liege, there seems that this was but an expeditionary force that will lead to other larger forces! Word must be sent, allies gathered, and…”
“My sister,” Alithor calmly interrupted, “was the rider of the dragon that swooped out of the sky. That is the problem at hand. I’m not sure how to deal with this new turn of events. We [elves] have long worked with dragons and few have gained the honor to be able to ride one into battle… let alone become bonded to one. Since House Starlight was raised to that status not but some several decades ago, we simply do not have the experience, nor the resources to be able to properly deal with this “honor” at this time.”
My sister says that she started wandering about, was confused and heard a strange voice, or some such, in her head. Then she happened upon the dragon’s cave, and woke the dragon. The two of them then joined the battle and routed the enemy from the field, freeing us to pursue them and strike them down.”
Letting out a long and protracted sigh, Alithor fell silent for a time. Resuming his train of thought, he continued on,” So you see, where my problem lies. What is to become of Gla’mereth, and how do we as a minor House deal with all that is entailed in housing a dragon and its rider. What are the hows and ways of managing the pair, or do we at all?” With this he stood and sauntered over to the windows of the study looking out to the fields, valleys and peaks of the mountains, hands clasp behind his back.
“I have no idea how or what she needs now… How do I help her?!? Do I help her or turn her out? I really have no idea. I am truly honored by this turn of events and hopeful that this will heap much more honor and power onto this small hold, but until I, no we can figure out what to do I am at a loss as to what to do.”
“If I may, interject here, my liege…I may have an idea,” said Riathia very quietly from close by. She had silently gotten up from the chair that she was reclining in, and moved to join Lord Alithor by the window. “We need to get into contact with one of the Dragon Mages of Caledor, or else Prince Imrik himself. ‘Twould be they who would be the ones to assist in this ‘problem’. Where are the two of them now: Gla’mereth and her dragon that is, if I may ask?!?”
Lord Alithor looked completely nonplussed as he sharply replied,” I have no idea!!” He quickly regained his composure and continued on,” Last I knew they were flying off towards the Dragonspires.” He indicated with a wave of his arm in the general direction of the looming mountains seen through the window. “I asked her if there was anything else that she needed and she said that yes, they were going to head back to the dragon’s weyr, but that was days ago, and I have not seen nor heard from them since!”
“Well, then I suggest we wait. She said that they would return, right?!?” Not waiting for an answer, she continued onward, “Well, if she said that they would be back, then they will. Remember, my liege, we have never dealt with a Rider before, and this new found freedom must be something new… for both of them. They both need the time to figure out who and what they are. Now they are something different than just an elf and a dragon.” Riathia continued, taking up a tone that bordered on lecturing, “This bond between dragon and Rider is a special thing that has to nurtured, not unlike what a griffon and its rider, or the bond that a hunter and its White Lion would feel.”
“The difference here is that the dragon has a vast amount of intelligence and wisdom that can be imparted to the rider, if it is allowed to… but this takes time. Before you ask, because I can see it forming on your lips; No, I do not know how long this bonding takes. Remember, my lord, that I only know the general theory behind this bonding. Only those who have bonded know the truth behind it. And it is to these that the two need to learn from… Though honestly, I have no idea where to begin. I would suggest that we contact Lord Imrik and ask for his input, or the chatelaine of Tor Caled.”
“So, what do I do in the meantime?!? How am I supposed to deal with a dragon and a Rider within my lands, let alone within my House?!?” Alithor demanded of the Mage.
“Continue to run Starlight as you would normally, just without Gla’mereth around, as if she were on a trip of some sorts. Let me send a missive to the Tower requesting assistance from them there. From there, I will be better able to guide you. Until then, continue to treat your sister as such, and make every effort to appease the dragon. It would be a bad thing indeed if you were to gain the ire of a dragon.” Riathia answered sagely.
“ Fine, but I want you to go to Tor Caled and see if you can gain an audience with Lord Imrik himself, or any one of the other sages there and ask this of them,” after a slight pause for effect, he belatedly added”, please. There may be information that you may find that may be missed otherwise.”
“As you wish, my lord,” Riathia answered with a flourished bow. “Now, if I may be excused then, I shall prepare immediately for my trip to Tor Caled. I daresay that it shall take a week or so for travel and who knows the time to find the answer. Until then, I will continue to keep you updated as I find out.”
“Hmm” was all he answered as he waived her off. He knew he was being trite with the Mage Riathia, but he could not help it. Worried as he was about the Druchii invasion and keeping the Watch doubled, this whole mess with Gla’mereth was not what he needed now!!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:04 am 
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An endless stream of couriers and messengers had streamed nonstop ever since the Druchii incursion into the lands. The plus side was that the surrounding areas had sent additional forces to help bolster those of House Starlight, and they were told to remain there until the need had passed, or they were recalled by their garrisons’ commanders. One other reason for the other citadels was also for the chance to see the new dragon rider. Times are that there are few who can wake a dragon and fly into battle. The problem was now that Lord Alithor had to find lodging and board for additional 15 spear phalanxes of 300 soldiers, three heavy units of Silver Helm cavalry numbering around 500 each, and one unit of Swordmasters, not to mention to having to deal with the regiment of hotheaded, arrogant Dragon Princes that had found out that a Druchii incursion might be had again. At this point, Alithor did not know which was worse: the Druchii or the new logistics problems that had just appeared out of nowhere.
“Dragon Princes, ughh…” he groaned and turned back to his cluttered desk looking for the decanter of spiced feywine. “Though they are the best of Cavalry, I would rather not have them underfoot…”
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
“So, have you now accepted your destiny and your lot, Youngling Gla’mereth?” asked a very serious Haklasharra. “Do you now see why it is that you were chosen?”
“Yes, it is I who wish to reunite the races and restore the Old Ways mixed with that of the new,” answered Gla’mereth after a short pause. “But I know not where to begin, nor even how. Do you?!?”
“Yes, I do, but it is not a trip for the faint of heart. Only a warrior worthy of a dragon can go there. Only one who is as wise as a dragon can go there. Only one who is filled with the passion of a dragon can go there… and only one who has the faith of your kind can go there. Are you sure that you are this kind?”
“I do, and I am not afraid.” stated a determined Gla’mereth. Haklasharra leaned as close as she could get and stated, “No, Youngling, but you will be… you will be.”
Gla’mereth blanched at the sudden cold and animalistic change that happened to her friend. But the instant was lost when just as suddenly Haklasharra changed back.
“So, what do you decide to do next?!?”
“First, we gather what we need for the trip from here. Then we fly to House Starlight and gather what I need from there. Then after that we follow your memories and our instinct, and go to where we need to start this training, that we need.”
In the span of five candle marks, Gla’mereth had gathered her weapons, armor, and some of the other items from the weyr, and what she could not wear or carry, she packed them in Haklasharra’s saddle bags, and was ready to take off. “Worry not, Great One, we shall be back to this home of yours, rather ours. I know it.”
“I have never feared that I would not return… it was just a matter of when…”
And with that final thought the two plunged down the cliff face until the wind caught the mighty wings of the dragon and she soared into the heavens, winging her way back toward the ancestral home of Gla’mereth.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
What would have normally taken weeks, or even months, of travel by land took only what seemed like mere moments to travel by wing to return back to House Starlight. Soon Gla’mereth could see the spires that denoted the sentry towers, and the square courtyard that served all sorts of needs when needed. Today it would serve as a landing place for Haklasharra. She smiled at this thought. A landing space for her and her dragon… who would have thought it?
Dipping down and canting slightly to the left for a passing glide, Haklasharra caught the right winds and descended like a piece of down floating on the wind… and landed with all of the authority of one of her kind, dragonkind. With their arrival, horses grew terrified, servants and soldiers hesitated when a moment of dragonfear washed over them, sending them scurrying here and there.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
In his office study, Lord Alithor Starlight heard a great eruption of chaos and the general din of panicked people and animals. Just as he was about the rush and find out the cause a cry erupted form the sentry towers… DRAGON!!! This cry startled Alithor into greater motion, and he rushed out into the hall way and ran into the Mage Riathia, who was about to leave on her journey to the White Tower.
“Come we must see to this great disturbance,” she shouted to Alithor in an effort to get above the panicked chaos filling the halls. Alithor had drawn his sword and was rounding the corner when he came face-to-face with his sister Gla’mereth!!
“Gla’mereth, what in the name of Asuryan are you doing here, and what is all of that commotion?!?”
“Oh, dear brother, I’m afraid that is my fault… well really Haklasharra’s, but I told her to land there. I do apologize, but I don’t have long and must really be on my way. Do forgive me dear Brother.” she said sounding as trite as she could manage.”
“Hello there, Gla’mereth,” spoke the slightly disheveled mage. “I am Riathia and it is a pleasure to finally meet you. I do hope that I may sit and chat with you a bit.”
“Now hold on one moment,” commanded Alithor, “Why have you returned?” he directed at Gla’mereth, “and why have you not left for Tor Caled?” this directed to the mage, his irritation beginning to show. And to the general population within the sound of his voice,” And will everyone please calm down!!! It is my Sister, Gla’mereth and her dragon… Haklasharra!! Now go about your regular business!”
“Sorry,” was all that a crestfallen Gla’mereth could manage.
“I was about to depart when Gla’mereth and Haklasharra landed. I will be but a moment and then I will be off. “
“Gla’mereth, may I speak with Haklasharra a moment?”
“Ask her, not I. I am not her keeper, just her companion.” With that, the mage bit back the remark that formed on her tongue, and strolled over to the dragon who was lounging in the sun in the courtyard.
“So, how long will you be with us, Sister?” asked Alithor who was genuinely concerned. In the back of his mind he was already adding up the number of beasts that might be required to satisfy the appetite of a dragon.
“Not long. We have come for a couple personal items of mine, and then we are off to an area that Haklasharra has said that would be of help to us in our learning. Where that is, I know not yet. Rest assured, it lies within the realm of Caledor, but where is a secret locations known to but a few.”
“Oh, OK. How long will you be gone, do you know, and will you be able to see us in the mean time?”
“No, I do not think that I will be able to see you until the “training” is finished, but as to the length of time required, I know not that either. Sorry.”

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:30 pm 
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It took me a while to read through all, but it is definitely better than the old version. I like it. Perhaps you could edit the first post and direct people to the current version though. It is getting somewhat confusing. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:32 am 
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Aicanor,
I was thinking that now I have the beginning kind of the way that I want it, I would leave it be and just add to the story from this point. What do you think?!? I'm unsure how to redirect the story...

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:06 am 
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I like it as well, perhaps you can do clips of major events in her history that got them to their power of 500 riders and what not. If your looking for ideas :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:11 pm 
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Lord Sithoelan wrote:
Aicanor,
I was thinking that now I have the beginning kind of the way that I want it, I would leave it be and just add to the story from this point. What do you think?!? I'm unsure how to redirect the story...
If I did it right, this link should work:
http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=40818&start=16
or like this:
Start here...
You can add it to the first post and of course write whatever text you like... :D

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:46 am 
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Larose,

Thanks for the ideas... I was kinda thinking the same thing... just trying to work the ideas that I have into a smooth flow. Never fear... more will be comming in the future!! [-(

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:49 am 
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Aicanor,

Will this link work for everybody, or just me?!? I like the way that it is right up front... I hope that it works for everyone else too...

I have more notes written out, and a "plot" (OMG!! :roll: ) but just need the time to start it all out...

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:03 pm 
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It should work for everyone, yes. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:53 pm 
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Hi there everyone. I know that it has been forever and a day since I was last on, but I have just recently gotten home from being over in Europe for my job... I spent the last 75 + days in Germany and Italy... 8)

But I have been working on the story since my last post: Here it is for your reading pleasure!!!

Lady Gla’mereth Shennkayla Starlight, Venerable Dragon Queen of Caledor

Introduction

Gla’mereth has long been a scion of the House of Starlight, one of Caledorian lineage and deserving of the title” Venerable Dragon Queen of Caledor, and Champion of the Everqueen”. Throughout the High Elven history of the Asur, tales of the Dragon Riders of Caledor had always been males who woke and rode dragons to glorious battle doing great and heroic deeds mounted upon steeds that were as mighty as any that the forces of Chaos could throw at them. While the women were never excluded from other roles, the cavalry and that of the Dragon Riders always seemed to be the domain of the males of the land. That all changed on a bright, chill spring day those many years ago…
Part 1 - The Present
Looking out onto the long, desolate plain in front of her, she sees many thousands of her long separated dark kindred gathering a great host for the upcoming battle. Advanced in age, even by the long sighted standard of her High Elven kindred, Gla’mereth was considered to be ancient. She and Hakklasharra her ancient dusky golden dragon companion, were asked to be present to this ever growing glittering host by the current Phoenix King of the High Elves, Finubar. Legends of the daring, courage, leadership and accomplishments of the “Venerable Dragon Queen”, have been woven into the current myths and legends surrounding the two. She who was the first ever she-elf who woke a dragon from its long enchanted slumbers, are what caused the Phoenix King to have her join his glittering host to expel the Druchii from this portion of Ulthuan for the final time. Finubar decided that this was going to be the day, that the Asur would see the beginning of the end for their vile dark cousins. To that end, all of the best were present for this engagement: Teclis led the host of Saphery, including its mighty martial arm, the Sword Masters of Hoeth; his twin brother Tyrion led the massed cavalry of Ulthuan: the proud and fiery Dragon Princes of Caledor, Silver Helms from all of the realms, and also the Reaver Knights of Ellyrion, Captain Cadaryan led the ever silent Legion of the Phoenix Guard; Prince Althran led his contingent of household troops from the Island of Blood. The Radiant Everqueen of Avelorn with her Maidenguard and the Sisters of Avelorn were enroute to join Finubar and the host already gathered. . As she travelled, she gathered others where she went. Her spiritual support and gift with the mystical energies of the forest would be called upon in the upcoming battle…so too were other heroes and countless thousands of more troops who were either enroute or already gathered, but none as awe inspiring as The Riders.
Turning around and glancing behind her, she looked upon the finest unit of combatants ever formed in Elven history… the Riders. Long have dragons and elves worked together in harmony for the greater good, as has been told in the archived annuals of the Loremasters. Yet, throughout all of that time, a dragon rider was a single elf and [usually] his dragon. It was not until she, Gla’mereth, (and Hakklasharra, who had just as much to do with the creation of the unit) brought dragon riders from all parts of Ulthuan together with the dragons of Caledor and forged them into a cohesive combat unit the likes that had never been seen before. Throughout the years, they had found willing elves and dragons that would forge themselves into a well-trained, highly disciplined, air cavalry unit that was both powerful and awe inspiring at the same time. Some of those that they found were not inclined to join the newly forming dragon cavalry unit, but their assistance would not be turned away, either. They would work outside of the confines of the unit structure. Those that had not joined the unit would fill other roles supporting the glittering host, but Finubar and his advisors had other plans for The Riders. Even the mighty Dragonlord of Caledor, Prince Imrik Dragontamer, himself and his ever faithful and mighty mount Maedrethenir, The Red, were a part of this airborne dragon cavalry unit. So too were his brothers: Dorien, the youngest of the brothers, and also Caledrian, Ruling Lord of Caledor [though he was not in attendance today]. The ancient dragon, Maedrethenir, looked upon the aged she-elf and her golden hued companion with the look of a father to his children. It is said in legends, yet to be confirmed, that the mighty Maedrethenir, sired by none other than Indraugnir himself, sired the legendary Hakklasharra.
Gla’mereth turned from the plains spread out before her, laid an ancient hand upon the faded burnished golden hide of her faithful friend and confidant, Hakklasharra, and looked into a vast, deep pool of iridescent and striated feline-reptilian like orb that belonged to her. Together, the two of them had seen many a glorious and sorrowful battle, where both friends and enemies fell, never to see the light of day again. Such was their world, and together they had seen many things, and for them their job, minus this one, was nearly complete. Soon, they would be able to enter the dragon slumbers together and return when the land had need of their assistance.
“Well, my ancient friend, this is what we have worked all these long years for. What are your thoughts?” She asked, with a wide aged grin.
“Hmph, you know my thoughts, Hatchling,” the ancient she-dragon rumbled”… The sky is clear, the winds are good, the sun is shining, and my wings ache to take to the air… all in all a perfect day to fly!”
“Then that is indeed what we shall do: RIDERS… TO THE SKIES!!” Gla’mereth commanded as she thrust a gauntleted arm holding an ancient lance into the skies.
With that, all of the Riders present [for not all would be present this day] some five hundred in number, or so, rose from the land of Ulthuan, once again, to take to the skies, in defense of their homeland. Elven knights in polished ithilmar armor shining brightly in the glittering sun, and dragons of every color imaginable, [some even donning dragon sized suits of ithilmar dragon armor barding] rose into the air nearly as a single being and flew in well practiced V shaped formations… all driving for the dark elven lines, yet high enough to be out of range of spell or bolt shot. The very air thundered, as if a titanic storm were on the horizon, with the flap of leathery wings as the dragons beat furiously, in the air in order to desperately gain altitude and break away from the bonds of the land, to soar where they truly belonged…as lords and lady of the heavens. Circling in a gigantic arc, Gla’mereth and Hakklasharra waited for the others, she looking over the deployment of the enemy. Scouts, with mages riding behind them, mounted on their dragons were already crisscrossing over the enemy lines reporting the changes in formations to field commanders, who had become well practiced in gaining battlefield intelligence in this way.
With a single command signal, Gla’mereth, riding Hakklasharra at the front of the massive formation, let out a war cry that was joined by the entire formation, dragon and elven knights of both sexes alike, and reverberated over the whole landscape… instilling absolute fear in all of those opposing them…
Once again dragons rode the winds and ruled the skies above Ulthuan, this time with help from friends and those considered as family… nothing could or would stop them as flame burst forth from the dragons’ maws, burning all those before them… creating a massive swath of destruction, thus clearing the way for the rest of the army to follow… all that was left in their initial wake were the ashen and charred remains of the enemy… unrecognizable by any save the Creator.
.……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Part 2 - In the Beginning
It was a bright, clear, chill crisp spring morning in the Dragonspire Mountains of Caledor, when the clarion calls of the sentry horns split the calm morning, shattering the peaceful nature of the mountains that early spring day. Most elves were not even awake, or were just beginning to stir, as the morning sun began to just creep over the mountains when the sentry horns sounded the urgent call. The alert sentries had spotted a great Dark Elven raiding force bearing down on the Starlight Hold within the Dragonspire Mountains. The small fledging Hold was placed on a narrow road that wound its way through this part of the mountains’ many treacherous passes.
While troops within and without the Hold marshaled into their long practiced positions with their appropriate Elven tall spear phalanxes and archer batteries, in an effort to form the battle line that would be used to thwart the advancing Dark Elves, Gla’mereth, whose job it was to rush around the Hold, attempting to keep matters and other Keep personnel calm and in order in the middle of a nightmare that had come true, became suddenly confused, disoriented, and lost in a foreign fog of strange thoughts, feelings, and emotions all battling for room inside her head. She lost all of her equilibrium, stumbled and crashed into the cool white washed wall of the hallway; she then fell in a sobbing, crumpled heap to the stone flooring of the hallway. It was as if all of these strange alien thoughts were fighting to get loose from the confines of her head, threatening to split it wide open, as one would a ripe melon in summertime, to find that particular end. She cried out as the pain seemed to be unbearable to her. She sobbed like she was a youngling again.
Finally, after an unknown amount of time, she slowly picked herself up off the floor and began to wander blindly, seeing where she was going, yet not really seeing, where she was heading. Everyone else was rushing about, not noticing, nor honestly caring, where she went, so long as she was out of their way. Never before in the past had anything like this happened, and it frightened her to no end. Sure, Dark Elf raiders had been dealt with before, but never in this type of strength, and she was always in control of her faculties, ready to lend aid where and when needed. She had been well trained in all forms of combat: archery, spear phalanx maneuvers, sword and shield combat and techniques, and even hand-to-hand combat moves by the Hold’s weapons masters and was expected to hold her own against incursion and invasion…to assist in the defense of the Hold. It was her duty just as it was the duty of every High Elf since as far back as anyone could remember.
Blindly wandering for what seemed forever, Gla’mereth finally shook off the head clouding mists that kept her off balance, ‘woke’ up, and realized that she had blindly stumbled deep into the caverns and weyrs nestled deep within the Dragonspire Mountains somewhere deep under the Hold itself. Her people knew that dragon weyrs were nestled in the mountains of Ulthuan, more specifically here in the mountains of Caledor, but no one knew where exactly they were located, nor if they were even populated anymore. Long had her people known that fewer and fewer dragons were awake and flying through the heavens. The harsh sounds and clash of the battle was leagues in the distance, and yet she could almost swear that she stood in the very center of the bloody battle that raged on. The horrific screams of the dying, the painful clash of arms and armor, the smell of blood and death… all was as close to her as was her own clothes.
Wondering and marveling and scared, all at the same time, as to how and why she got to where she was when her embattled senses cleared some, she looked about and cried out in despair in the darkness that surrounded her. Not out of terror, but rather out of despair. She knew not how she got to where she was, and had no idea on how to return to whence she came. What happened next would forever change her life… As she cast about, searching in vain in the near complete darkness, for a way out, she turned and faced an odd feline-reptilian like orb floating in the darkness about shoulder level. The mystery and vastness contained within that orb was something that Gla’mereth had never experienced before and was instantly drawn in… wanting more.
“Why do you wait? What is it that you seek, Youngling?!?” asked a strange, almost sleepy, gravel-like alien voice within her mind.
“I…I…um,” Gla’mereth hesitated, stumbling over her words. She was confused. Was she dreaming this? Was she losing her mind?
“The answer is no, to both of those questions, Youngling. You are not dreaming, nor are you going insane.” answered the alien voice. “You came here to my domain and have wakened me from my slumbers. Once again, why do you wait, and what is it that you seek?”
“Wait for what… Seek what?” Gla’mereth questioned. “I don’t even know where I am, or what you are.”
With a gust of hot, foul, sulfuric breath, the answer came in an ear shattering roar, “I am Hakklasharra Ceithlin-Har, Mistress of the Skies of the Caledor, and you test my patience, Youngling!”
In an instant, it registered… DRAGON!!
“Yes, I am.” Now, that two of those infinite orbs occupied a space that once held but one, Gla’mereth now realized those were dragon’s eyes, and they held her gaze. “Now, why do you wait? You know that your kin need you. The longer you hesitate, the more of your kith and kin and those that they provide for continue to move beyond the confines of the mortal realm!”
Realization finally hit her like an entire mountain side had collapsed on her… Family, friends, and others were dying in the field, and yet she did nothing…while visions of fire and flame, carnage and blood, death, and chaos filled her muddled mind…
“I, uh, have to go. I’m so sorry to have wakened you. Please, forgive me, Oh Great One.” She stuttered and stammered out at last.
Gla’mereth moved as if to go… and stopped in mid step! Her vision swirled, filled with bright, vibrant clouds of incandescent colors blinding her… swept around her head, and then cleared with a flash of bright silver, and she saw herself, gilded in shiny ancient silvery ithilmar dragon armor, carrying a scarred shield of dragon scales, wearing an ancient Elven long sword belted at her slim waist, and holding a glowing, shiny ancient silver skystone and ithilmar lance: a beautiful, graceful, and deadly weapon. She could see herself riding a great huge burnished golden dragon among the clouds. What did this “vision” mean. It was then that it dawned on her… could this be for real?!? She was flustered and disoriented in this current state, but she seemed to be calming down… accepting a fate that she had never known, but would welcome none the less. She turned to her left and saw the items in a not-too-distant corner of the now dimly lit weyr. . As she took it all in, she noticed that the light shimmered off a golden reflective surface… That surface that she thought was a mirror was not, but actually the hide of the dragon to whom she spoke with.
“Yes, Youngling, it is all there… just as you saw it, as am I. All you have to do isbut to decide to grasp your destiny, and then do what you know you must...”
With one final look into those deep wells of knowledge and wisdom, Gla’mereth took control of her life and destiny, for the first time in her long life, and chose to do something far greater than herself… for those who needed her. For those that could not defend themselves… for those weaker than she. Never again would the likes of those stronger and more arrogant and self centered trample on those lesser then they! “Very well then… Let us do this.” She muttered to herself more than to the dragon confronting her.” Hakklasharra Ceithlin-Har, will you bear me, Lady Gla’mereth Kethryvarrius Shennkayla of House Starlight, aloft upon the winds and into the heavens so that others who will stand in our way will quake at our coming, and we may revel in the glory that is due us?” Somehow, this statement seemed appropriate, and she spoke it as if she had known it instinctively…growing more confident by the minute. In the back of her mind, she thought that she could feel… was that contentment from the dragon?!? It felt as if the dragons mind was with her in her head…
“Yes, Gla’mereth, You and I shall ride upon the winds and fear no one who opposes us. We shall take our place in line with the others of our kin, and teach those who oppose us the folly of their ways!” With that, the very mountains shook at the great reverberating roar that rattled the insides of the great cathedrals of rock.
Empowered by her newly found “courage”, Gla’mereth spoke something that she would never had thought to do… ever,” Well and good, now, please, stop calling me ‘Youngling’. Though I may be centuries younger than yourself, I have a name!”
Chuckling deep within her massive maw, Hakklasharra made her opinions known,” When you have proven to be more than a hatchling acting like a proud popinjay, I shall call you what I like. Until that time, Youngling, you will remain ’Youngling’, “and a smile (if one could call it that) creased the maw of the ancient being.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….………
Part 3 - Battle Lines
On the field of battle, things were looking grim. The Dark Elf raiders were more numerous than was originally thought: Dark Elf Corsairs formed the left flank; Dark Elf spear phalanxes filled the middle of the advancing line, in addition to repeater crossbow batteries mixed in as well, anchored by the notorious Black Guard of Naggrond; frenzied Witch Elves filled the gaps between units, and the right flank was held by units of Cold Ones Knights. Commanding this impressive host was a Sorceress, surrounded by her acolytes. All sneering with the intent purpose of wiping out the thin lines of High Elves assembling before them…
The thin lines of High Elves that formed up in lines and squares looked mighty pitiful indeed… several hundreds against several thousands of their dark evil kindred. It seemed bleak indeed; one could see it on their faces. The tight drawn looks of those who knew that what they were about to do was a futile effort, but they would die trying… defending their homes, family, and their brothers and sisters next to them. They were professionals. They were the Asur. They were of House Starlight.
The Druchii Sorceress commanded that the Dark elf crossbowmen launch several volleys into the High Elf formations. Black bolts spewed forth into the white blocks of troops…and all that was heard was the sound of those black bolts striking against the shields of the high elves. With that crunching sound, the next wave started: the spears of the dark elves started to advance, closing the gap between the two opposed forces. At the same time, the vile Cold Ones Knights began a flanking maneuver in an effort to pin down the High Elf troops.
The High Elf Commander saw this move and gave the order that began to peel several of his most veteran phalanxes of spear-elf formations in an effort to block these knights. He knew that they would not last long, but every moment helped. He looked to his archers and gave the command that they were waiting for:”Loose!” With that, the sky was filled with white shafts that found their home piercing the dark armor of their enemy. Hundreds of the dark elves fell. Even before they hit the ground, another round was already on its way… again, death from above. Shaft after shaft felled the enemy, but there were just too many of them.
As the High Elf archers continued to thin the ranks of the enemy, the high elf spear formations closed the gap with the onrushing dark elves. Crashing together, the high elves maintained their discipline while the dark elves erupted in an uncontrolled frenzy of blood lust. Screams and howls of those dying filled the air. Determined and resolute in their defense, the high elves just could not maintain their position in the face of such unbridled… hatred… and slowly gave ground… fighting every step of the way, making the dark elves pay with each step with their blood.
The ever dwindling High Elf forces were being systematically pushed backwards to a point they would never be able to regroup anymore… the foot of the towering mountains. The High Elf spear phalanxes were holding firm, for the moment, but they could not win out against the constant onslaught, now facing them, eventually they would be surrounded and cut to ribbons. The few troops assembled in the barest of moments would not be able to hold out against the enemy assaulting them. There were no supporting Silver Helms present on this field to check the Cold Ones Knights; no wandering battalions of Swordmasters from Hoeth would miraculously appear out of nowhere and beat back the members of the Black Guard and rally the flagging High Elves. Only the valorous spears and archers from a lone outpost of a garrison would be all that was available to use to defeat this horde of evil and malevolence. Aid had been sent for as the signal fires atop the mountain peaks were lit and the chains had been formed. The problem was time… there was not enough of it, for the surrounding communities to muster their forces and come to the aid of those of House Starlight. If only there was more time…
As Lord Alithor Starlight considered their plight, while dodging the black fletched bolts of the Dark Elf crossbow archers… one of his captains shouted, “Liege, look to the mountain flank!” Quickly trading blows with a Dark Elf warrior looming in front of him, and cutting him down after the second exchange of blows, Alithor looked to the indicated direction, wondering what new evil beset them now. In the distance there could be seen a small (due to the distance) dark blot on the horizon with a silver glint on top from time to time reflecting the sun’s rays. Once again his gaze and attention was diverted with another Dark Elf warrior willingly meeting his doom at the end of Alithor’s ancient family sword.
Again he looked, now he could make out the shape of a dull, dark, burnished golden dragon with a rider… As he watched, the burnished golden dragon pivoted its wings and glided into the left flank of the Dark Elf host. With an unbelievably loud, ear-splitting, brazen, thunderous roar, the dragon and unknown rider tore into the unsuspecting Dark Elf troops before they knew what was happening. Following that fearsome battle roar, great gouts of dragon flame erupted, searing, burning, and charring all of those Dark Elves who were foolishly caught within its fiery way. Surging forward, almost in a cat–like pounce, the burnished golden dragon continued to plow through the tightly packed Dark Elf ranks which stood no chance against the unleashed might of the dragon. What the dragon failed to rend or crush with its claws and teeth, the unknown rider skewered with a lance of an unknown, ancient design.
The sudden appearance of the dragon and the rider initially caused the High Elves forces to withdraw a bit to avoid the untamed fury of these unexpected allies. Seeing a golden opportunity, and wanting, no, needing to capitalize on it, Lord Alithor rallied his beleaguered troops and renewed the attack, beginning to drive the Dark Elf forces back the way that they had come.
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Part 4 - The Fortunes of War Shift
The tide of the battle had switched, and the Dark Elf Sorceress in command knew it. The Dark Elf forces that had once been moving forward, steadily chewing up the High Elven forces was suddenly stopped and reeling at the onslaught of this new ally of theirs. ‘Curse them’, she thought. Her spells, and those of her acolytes, were useless against this cursed dragon and its rider, and her troops were fleeing the field of battle like vermin in a brightly lit room. How the fortune of war changes so quickly. She had but one choice… to summon her powerful hydra steed and utterly destroy this dragon and its rider herself.
Concentrating on chanting the necessary chants and words, she began the sonorous call for her mutated beast to join with her. The air began to shimmer and warp with the foul arcane energies required to summon the great war beast. With an eruption of dark flames, smothering heat and the potent stench of sulfur and ash, a great, huge, hideous beast split apart the very fabric of the air appearing in its fear inspiring form. The great foul hydra made its presence known to all by instantly letting loose a bugling bellow that would have unsettled even the most stalwart of soldiers… its defiance erupting from each of the five dragon-like heads at the same time.
Moving quickly, the vile Sorceress swiftly vaulted to the back of the hideous creature commanding it, “Fly my lovely, Fly!!” she cackled with evil glee. The huge hydra, suddenly sprouted mutated wings, bunched its hind legs underneath itself, and jumped into the air, its great wings hammering the air with each gigantic flap, in an effort to quickly gain altitude to meet the dragon and its rider in battle.
The Sorceress was pleased that this spell, given to her by Morathi, herself, caused he beloved beast to be gifted with the ability to fly. She always wanted to try this ability out, but never had the chance… until now. She would see the end to the pathetic, miserable wretches that called themselves elves, and she would also conquer a dragon at the same time. This would be the sweetest part of the whole day!!! Especially, if she downed the dragon and its rider, then she would wreck havoc on the ever dwindling foot troops opposing her and crush them into the mountains itself.
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Part 5 - A Dark Scene
Gla’mereth was amazed at the thrill of flying and the ease she felt as Hakklasharra took to the air from her mountain lair. Flying dragonback seemed natural to her, as if she had been born to ride in the dragon saddle. Her elation was cut short when she could finally now see the lines of the embattled regiments of both sides clashing in the desperate savage act of kill or be killed. From the aerial vantage point that they had, both Gla’mereth and Hakklasharra could see the dire straits that the High Elves were in: The long, thin white and green lines that represented the High Elves looked considerably thin and tiny as compared to those dark lines that were thicker and broader in width. Those thin lines and blocks were beginning to buckle under the weight of the larger dark elf host, soon it would be over. The High Elves of House Starlight were outnumbered by at least 3 to 1. They had no cavalry or artillery support, and were being forced to retreat into the confined space of a boxed canyon from where there would be no escape from… The Dark Elves would be able to destroy them to the person in their wicked leisure… that could not happen!!
Altering Hakklasharra’s course[once again, it seemed that the two were linked, because all she did was think of getting into a better position], Gla’mereth managed to get in on the Dark Elves’s unprotected and unsuspecting left flank. Engaged with their High Elven enemies of old, the blood-lusty dark elves paid no attention to the dragon and her rider descending from the skies, much to their detriment. Thirsting for blood and destruction, after many long years of quiet restful dragon sleep, Hakklasharra let loose a thunderous battle roar and plunged into the middle of the Dark Elves’ left flank, rending, stomping, thrashing, biting, and killing all in her way, reveling in the savage beastly ferocity that was the other part of Herself. As Hakklasharra worked her way through the enemy ranks, she inhaled and breathed huge gouts of dragon fire onto the dark elves all around her, burning and charring everything. Gla’mereth turned in her saddle and motioned with her shield arm for the High Elves to advance (whether anyone saw her movement or not, she never knew for sure), and then began skewering Dark Elves upon her lance… what a magnificent weapon she marveled!!
It was during this when the hydra’s battle challenge shook the very fabrics of the air, and Hakklasharra responded in kind with her own challenge. She then jumped into the air and began climbing to gain altitude in order to meet head on the bloated body of the mutated hydra. Not in many years had Hakklasharra been able to fight against a worthy opponent…if in fact this puny thing were worthy of fighting her.
As the two titans began to enter into their aerial dance to the death, the High Elves on the ground were finally joined by their brethren forces that had just arrived as reinforcements, and thanks in part to the intervention of the dragon rider and her dragon, began to rout the Dark Elven stragglers who continued to fight under the rallying cries of their foul commanders. Alithor paused for but a moment, while his combined forces began to finish off the enemy, to watch the grandeur as the aerial battle began to take shape…
Hakklasharra was no hatchling and had plenty of experience in battle, even if her rider did not. Not that it mattered. The venerable gold knew that Gla’mereth was a competent warrior, even if she, herself, did not know it… yet. She, The Great Hakklasharra would not have woken for the she-elf hatchling, if she was any less than having the potential to be a great warrior like Herself. Besides, the gifts that She had given to Gla’mereth were of an ancient time, when the dragons and their riders ruled the magick laden skies of Ulthuan unopposed by any, and would well shield her from any but the direst of events. They would make quick work of these vile, disgusting, imposter interlopers. With that final thought, Hakklasharra circled her opponent, her claws instinctively flexing on their own, and She breathed another great gout of molten dragon flame and fire… this one even greater than even the one She unleashed on the Dark Elves on the ground mere moments ago.
The hydra, not used to having wings, ungainly tried to dodge the oncoming wall of flames, and instead flew right into the middle of them. Had the Sorceress’s foul, tainted magic not saved, them, they would now be ash and cinders gently floating to the ground now hundreds of feet below them.
Cursing the beast in her foul Dark Elven tongue, the Sorceress turned the hydra and unleashed a blast of deadly foul, perverted magic towards the huge golden dragon and its silver rider. Again, the magics of the Sorceress seemed to hit the opponents head on… and yet they seemed unharmed, unraveling as the bolt of crackling black and purple energy dissipated when striking them! Furious and frustrated, she commanded the hydra to dive and make a sweeping turn in an effort to try and get behind and above the duo. ‘If she could take out the rider then perhaps the dragon will follow easily enough,’ the Sorceress thought.
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Gla’mereth saw the horrible bolt of foul energy head towards them, yet it was too close to avoid, so she braced for the impact… expecting to be blasted into oblivion… and nothing happened.
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Hakklasharra unleashed another bellowing roar, and just missed snatching the hydra out of the sky as it dove beneath her and went for the sweeping turn that would put it above and behind them. Once again, she was no hatchling, and instinctively turned to the opposite direction, actually turning into the path of the hydra, head on once again shortening the distance between the two.
The hydra was committed to its course of action and could do nothing to alter the its present course and heading and had no choice but to collide with the huge golden dragon and grapple with it in mid air. The hydra uttered its battle cry, and collided with the dragon, biting and clawing with the gold. Having 5 heads would have normally been an advantage, if it was on the ground snapping at troops or even other grounded dragons, but in the air, it was an entirely different matter. The multiple heads got in the other’s way hindering attacks. The hydra could not bite through or even claw through the centuries’ old toughened scaly hide of the gold dragon. After the initial shock of the slamming together of two such masses, the hydra pierced the air with a hideous scream unlike any living thing or soul had ever heard, including that of the Sorceress. The hydra kicked at the gold in an effort to get away… the pain that it felt was unlike that it had ever encountered before…
As the two massive beasts turned towards one another with Hakklasharra’s sudden turn, and were set on the inevitable collision course in mid air, Gla’mereth relying on her training for the cavalry, couched the extremely lightweight, but durable lance under her arm and prepared for the impact. As Hakklasharra slightly reared backwards, flaring her wings to angle herself for the correct attack, in an effort to bring all four of her massive taloned claws to bear, Gla’mereth tilted the lance almost instinctively so that at the point of collision, the hydra would be impaled by the lance as well as all of Hakklasharra’s claws and the massive bite from her jaws.
The scream from the hydra was promptly followed by a wet gurgling as one of its five heads was severed by the jaws of the massive gold. Flailing about in a wild attempt to bite at the golden dragon, the hydra quickly lost another head, to another massive bite from the gold. If the pain that the hydra was feeling wasn’t enough, there came another piercing of its hide by that hated pointy-shiny-stick-thing. The pain from that weapon was like that of molten fire being injected directly into its being.
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Part 6 - End Game
The Sorceress knew they were outmatched, but her hatred and ultimately contempt of the Asur would not let her give up the battle. The loathsome High Elf and gold dragon would die… or she would die trying to kill them!! Little did she know, but this one battle was almost over. She managed to get the hydra, with now three limp stalks where heads should be, to disengage from the great gold dragon. If she did not, the battle would be over in mere moments. Thinking quickly, she managed to heal some of the hydra’s lesser wounds. She could do nothing about the lost heads or the two holes where that lance had pierced the hydra’s body.
Circling away from the dragon, she needed time to think of another strategy… As she was thinking, she flew the hydra over a regiment of High Elven Archers. As they loosed their shafts skyward, the Sorceress turned all of the arrows to ash with a fiery burst of dark Sorcerous magic. She laughed at the feeble attempt, but it was short lived. The huge gold dragon had gained altitude on them, and was now arrowing down from the sun straight for them. Once again, she cursed in the foul, harsh language of the Druchii and attempted to maneuver her dying (she knew it was) hydra out of immediate danger…
Hakklasharra and Gla’mereth saw the attempt for what it was: a feeble attempt to delay the inevitable. With a somewhat wicked gleam in her eye and a smile upon her helmed face, she encouraged her steed onward, finally feeling the battle lust that she and the great dragon shared. Once again, altering their course slightly, they thunderously collided with the Sorceress and the hydra in midair. The force of this collision was even greater than that of the first one, and the Sorceress was knocked from the back of the hydra, and fell screaming the whole way to her death as she smashed against the cold peaks of the Dragonspire Mountains.
With the Sorceress gone, Hakklasharra could now turn Her full attention and fury upon the flailing hydra in Her grasp. She sunk her razor sharp talons into the black flesh of the hydra and gave a huge shake, rattling the hydra as a child would that of a stuffed toy. One of the remaining necks snapped from the force of the move, while the remaining head was pierced by that hated-pointy-shiny-stick-thing.
With her fore claws dug into the hydra, Hakklasharra brought up her back legs and tore huge rents in the hydra’s flesh. The last screams from the hydra were those of a final, pain induced fear that it knew it was dying. Though the hydra was dead by now, the instinctive back leg raking motion, like that of a cat, freed Hakklasharra from the lifeless corpse of the hydra allowing Her the ability to get away from the dead weight of the hydra, as it plummeted back to the spiny mountain peaks waiting below.
The dead hydra plummeted away from the duo as Hakklasharra trumpeted a victory bellow, proving that She was Mistress of the Sky. To add further insult to injury, she flamed the dead carcass of the hydra, as it fell onto a regiment of fleeing Druchii that had managed to evade the High Elf pursuers, crushing and burning them to cinders where they stood.
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Part 7 - Aftermath
All of this Alithor watched from a low plateau where he could see the titanic struggle overhead, and still concentrate on the enemy forces in the field, what pitiful few were left. He watched as the gold dragon turned in its flight, after having circled the field, and flew straight to him. He continued to watch in awe and amazement as this huge burnished golden dragon, that a few mere moments ago had savagely rent apart a five headed hydra to nothing, gracefully backwinging and landing before him, as light as a feather (Well, as light as a dragon could!).
With a good natured [nervous] laugh, striding forward, Alithor heartily greeted the unknown allies, “Hail and well met my friends!! My debt to you, Great One, Lord of the Skies, and to your Rider as well for your assistance!!”
After landing, Hakklasharra settled so that her armored rider could dismount with ease, and swung her massive head from side to side taking in the scene before her. Her Rider had by then began to stride forward to meet this elf lord, still helmed and still clutching her lance and shield. As Gla’mereth strode forward, Hakklasharra looked at the beginnings of a legend and once again emitted a self-satisfied rumbling chuckle to herself.
“Greetings Dragon Rider!!” Alithor announced as he gave the unknown Rider a sweeping and extravagantly resplendent bow. “I thank you for your assistance. How may I show my gratitude for your efforts and those of your dragon in coming to the assistance of me and mine hold?” Alithor asked of the rider, as she reached up to remove her helm. He thought it odd that this Rider was a she-elf, but at the moment, he did not care if he was speaking to the great Aenarion, Himself. He was glad to be finished with this fight.
“You may start by giving your sister an embrace… and some water, for I am so thirsty… and hot in this armor!” Gla’mereth stated as she pulled the helm from her head and shook her hair loose.
Dumbfounded and completely speechless for the first time that he (or anyone else could think of), Lord Alithor of House Starlight could not believe that his little sister, Gla’mereth was the one who had flown in on dragonback and saved the hold, surrounding fields, countless warriors’ lives, their families and the lines of her family! It could not be. It simply, could not be. He knew his sister, and this was not something that she was capable of doing. It was not in her nature, yet here she stood, resplendent in an antique ithilmar dragon armor, carrying a shield and lance, with an equally ancient elven blade buckled at the waist.
“How… what… when… “, was all that he was able to stammer out. He then followed with,”I don’t understand.” He didn’t, it made no sense, none what so ever.
Laughing at her older brother’s plight, Gla’mereth said, “Brother, I wish to present Hakklasharra Ceithlin-Har the Golden One, Mistress of the High Reaches, Mistress of the Sky, and friend to Starlight Hold!”
“Oh, Great and Mighty One, Grand Mistress of the Skies, we are pleased to call you friend to Starlight Hold!” Alithor gravely stated as he formally genuflected and went to one knee for the dragon. Hakklasharra nodded her massive wedge-shaped head in a sign of respect and acceptance of the pointy-eared, two-leg elf lord’s words.
“Come, Brother. We have much to discuss, reassemble and put back to rights,” stated Gla’mereth matter-of-factly as she began to move among the wounded of House Starlight.
“Who is this new she-elf who looks like my younger sister, and yet acts nothing like her?” Alithor asked of no one in particular…
“One who has the potential to start a great many changes, Elf Lord.” rumbled Hakklasharra.
Startled that the dragon had spoken mind-to-mind to him, Alithor quickly hastened after his Dragon Rider sister, missing the toothy smile from the dragon as he passed her.
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Many long years had passed and Gla’mereth and Hakklasharra continued to fight when they were needed. After that fateful day so long ago, Gla’mereth had become a power to reckon with. Others would begin to listen to her ideas, and she would find that she had a voice and was no longer afraid to use it to voice her opinion, nor take action when needed. That and the fact that she and her gold dragon started to become powerful symbols of hope and rebirth.
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Part 8 - Hatchlings
After the battle on that day (not so long ago) Gla’mereth and Alithor sat at a table in the Grand Hall of House Starlight. Hakklasharra was curled up in the courtyard, napping while being attended to by the pointy-eared-two legs of House Starlight; she was being scrubbed and oiled from snout to tail tip, after having feasted on dozens of beasts brought to her in thanks for her assistance. It was a pampering that she had not had for a very long time, and she was enjoying every moment of it. The sun, shining on her golden scaly hide warmed her through the core, and was causing her to rest, relax and dose in the mid afternoon sun. Earlier that day, after the elves had attended to their wounded and prepared their dead, Hakklasharra had honored those who had given their lives of House Starlight by purging the High Elf dead with dragon fire… sending the bodies of the noble High Elf warriors to Asuryan, the Phoenix God, cleansed and purified with that of noble dragon fire: an honor to the elves.
Of the dark elves, they were left to be the feast for the carrion predators of the mountains… They would receive no honor for their deaths.
“Sister, tell me… how did this come to be?” Alithor asked causally waving his hand and encompassing her within and the dragon without, “I’m curious to say the least,” he said looking out the panes of glass to see the hulking mass of a golden dragon in his courtyard. He was still awestruck when looking out there and seeing the dragon lounging in his courtyard…awe struck to see a dragon, but a gold one!! Light, every Caledorian, youngling to ancient, knew the tales of the few legendary gold dragons from ages past. Gold dragons were rare, extremely rare, and to a point somewhat mythical. Every gold dragon in the legends had always been a harbinger of change and was a force to reckon with… daring deeds and mythical events were always what happened around a gold. Who would have ever thought that he would see one, let alone have his sister be riding one!!
“Well, in truth, I’m not sure… One minute I was here in the hold, the next, I was staring into Hakklasharra’s eye. Honestly, I don’t know. My mind was so confusing at the time and not my own. I guess that I instinctively called out to a dragon and Hakklasharra answered my frantic call. That is all that I can say.”
“Truth be told, I’m glad that She did, because If not, then you and I would not be sitting here now! We were but a knife’s edge away from destruction when you two came into the picture. What do you plan to do now?” he gravely inquired.
“Well, I considered taking a more active role in managing things around here, and kind of ‘winging’ it, so to speak,” she giggled at her unintended pun.
With sudden clarity, Alithor leaned forward and grasped his sister’s hand, “NO. I think you and Hakklasharra should go and train with another of your kind. Future ‘engagements’ will not be as easily handled as this encounter was. I fear that without additional guidance, you would fall in the future, and I for one do not want that to happen.”
“You do not want me here because I will usurp your power and lordship over those of the hold and the surrounding area!” she blurted. “I do not want your hold, Brother!” she screamed, and quickly began to rise from the table, knocking back the chair she was sitting on, in the process. A great bellow rose from the courtyard as Hakklasharra woke from her slumbers, filled with rage. Elven servants, soldiers, and others within the hold on business from afar went scrambling as Hakklasharra thrashed about for a moment…
“No. No. Sister, you mistake my words! Peace, please! No in fact, I thought just the opposite… and wanted to let you stretch those mighty wings of your dragon…”
“Hakklasharra…” she interrupted. By now, the mighty burnished golden dragon had quieted down somewhat and was once again beginning the process settling her bulk back into a semi-restive state, curling up almost as a cat would to take a mid-day nap. It would be some time before the elves of the house would confidently walk around her again, though.
“What?!?” Alithor asked back, after a moment.
“Hakklasharra is her name. Please, give her the respect that she deserves, by using her name and not referring to her like some dumb animal… Brother.” Gla’mereth’s voice had taken on a chill edge with that last remark: one that he had never heard present before. Alithor decided very quickly that he must tread very carefully from this point forward. He must learn and remember that his sister of old was no more, but now she was a powerful warrior with an ever more powerful ally… one that had more power than his entire Hold, and that of several others, put together. Yes, he was on dangerous ground and must tread ever so lightly. No need to irritate and upset a dragon and its, her rather, Rider, especially since the Rider was family… or did that matter anymore, whether Gla’mereth was family?!? Did new allegiances give sway over family?!? Shaking his head, he quickly banished that thought… of course Gla’mereth was family, and now so to was her companion, Hakklasharra.
“Um, well of course. Forgive, me, but this will take some getting used to, Sister. That is all. What I was saying is that Hakklasharra and yourself deserve to learn more about your bond and need to train together to fight without having to think about what you are doing. The two of you no longer belong to House Starlight… but rather to Ulthuan as a whole and you have a sacred duty to fulfill that duty. I don’t want to see you go, Sister, yet I have no choice. This will always by your home, for both of you… but for now, you must go and learn from others of your kind.”
“Where? I have no idea where to go and Hakklasharra has not mentioned anything either, Brother.”
“Let me think on this, Sister, perhaps, Riathia will know. Having trained in Saphery in the White Tower, I would think she should know. I will ask her when she gets here in the next few days. Until then… was there anything else in Hakklasharra’s weyr that you will need, or from your own rooms? We can provide whatever else you will need.”
“There were some other things inside the weyr, but I only grabbed what I needed then at that moment. I remember seeing an ancient sword and a rig of some sort.”
“Then I think that you should go, no, I’m not dismissing you, rather letting you go, and spread you wings, so to speak.” The last he said with a tender grin…
With that she left her brother deep in thought and strolled out into the court yard, carrying the dragonscale shield on one arm and her helm under the other. Going to the slumbering dragon, she rested her hand on Her head, near the eye ridge and smoothly stroked the scaly skin there, eliciting a deep grumbling purr from the dragon.
“Come, let’s fly back to our weyr and rest some by ourselves. What say you to that?”
Hakklasharra opened one eye and asked,” Are you already of the mind to set aside life here?” Hakklasharra inquired.
“Yes, I think that Alithor is right, we can be of better use elsewhere, but this is always going to be our home…” With that statement, followed by a contented grumble-purr escaping from Hakklasharra’s throat, Gla’mereth swiftly mounted the dragon saddle nestled upon Hakklasharra’s neck, just forward of her wing joints. The pair swiftly took to the air, circling the Starlight Hold, Gla’mereth raised the Dragonlance and let loose with a war cry followed by another of Hakklasharra’s ear splitting, thunderous roars. Then, the pair was off, heading to the sanctity of Hakklasharra’s mountain weyr.
The thunderous dragon roar broke the train of thought that Alithor Starlight had been locked in, watching his little sister stride out of his hall toward her dragon… her dragon. The thought still seemed surreal to him and he was as of yet unable to wrap his head around that idea. Standing up from the table, he walked over to the windows, and watched in fascination as the dragon circled the Hold one final time, then gracefully turned in the air, and headed for areas unknown to him. With a sigh, he turned from the window, just as Elion, the Hold seneschal approached him.
“My Liege, I thought that the numbers of the slain would be of importance to you, so that you may send the condolence letters to the families.” The elderly elf stated.
“Yes, very good, Elion, that will be fine. Thank you. Oh by the way, do you have any idea as to where the Hold Mage, Riathia is?!? I have need of her council at this time.”
“No, my liege, not at the moment, but I shall have runners sent to search for her. Where shall I have them direct her, when she is located?!?” The elderly states-elf asked.
“Have them send her to my study if you please Elion… and thank you for everything…”
“As you wish, my liege,” With that, he quietly withdrew from Alithor’s presence, concerned by his master’s not normal quietness.

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"Adapt, Overcome, Persevere - No Sacrifice, No Victory!"


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:11 pm 
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Here is the 2nd part of the story thus far...

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Part 9 – Bonding
On the return trip to the weyr, Gla’mereth indulged in flying with her newly found helm off her head. Her lustrous bleach white hair flowed in the wind like a banner, streaming behind her. Enjoying the leisurely flight to Hakklasharra’s weyr gave her time to think, with the occasional input of her new companion, every now and then.
Hakklasharra had not flown in quite some time, and was in no hurry to return to the cavernous confines of her…no, their home. She was glad to have the wind under her wings, the mountains beneath her and the whole world in front of her. She almost felt like a hatchling again… almost.
As they continued on, Gla’mereth casually mentioned,” Not in a hurry to go home, are you?” Fondly patting the scaly skin of Hakklasharra’s neck. “No worries, chier…neither am I. I am enjoying this new sensation for me, and I would like to get to know you better. What a better way than in a setting like this. Up upon the winds, higher than the mountains where mighty rivers are not but small ribbons…what a better place can there be?“
“Just wait and I shall show you one,“ chuckled the great gold…a sneaky grin touching her great maw.
Within a few minutes of flying, the mountain peaks of the Dragonspire Mountains loomed ahead. Nestled within those craggy peaks, there lay a great ledge, how it was formed, none knew, and Hakklasharra cared not. She had found this ledge many centuries ago, and was glad that it had not fallen, as it was her favorite place to lay and lounge in the sun. It was here, on this ledge in a remote part of the mountains, dragon and elfess lounged and learned about one another, and explored this, their new bond.
Hakklasharra landed on the ledge and allowed Gla’mereth to dismount. Then, as Gla’mereth was taking in the breathtaking views, Hakklasharra paced around the ledge until she found “her spot” (which was a spot on the ledge that had been wallowed out to accommodate her size) and settled down to take in the view as well. The winds of the high reaches of the Dragonspires normally whipped and tore at a person or beast, but here, on this sheltered ledge, the winds caressed the pair. Gla’mereth turned and faced her new partner, and was awed by what she saw: A large, finely shaped, muscular dragon of a dark burnished golden: the top portion of Hakklasharra being the darker gold and fading to that of a lighter golden hue. The spine of the dragon was marked with a row of spikes that grew from the backbone and were covered with a fine membrane of a deeper, golden color. Positioned on Hakklasharra’s great muscular neck, in front of her great leather-like wings was a natural gap in the spikes where the dragon saddle was fitted for her to ride in. Gla’mereth marveled at the size, power and strength that exuded from the dragon. She was not afraid of her, like others were, but she figured that was part of the bond that they shared.
“Hakklasharra, tell me, what do you know of other dragons and riders,” Gla’mereth asked. “It seemed to me that you have had Riders in the past. Is this true?”
“Yes, Youngling, it is true, I have had Riders in the past, though not as many as you might think…
“Will you tell me of them?” asked Gla’mereth as if she were a child wanting a bed time story.
“Yes, I will. But it is a long story, and will take time…are you sure you want to hear it, now?” Hakklasharra asked.
“Yes. Very much so. That is, if you do not mind.”
“No, I do not mind, you would need to hear it at any rate, but it is better that you asked to hear it…So, I shall tell you part of it starting now, and will continue with the rest at a later time.
“What I tell you know is the history of mine and your race and how we became intertwined together so long ago…” Hakklasharra took a deep breath and let it out slowly, smoke circling her head, pausing, searching for a place to begin. When she started, she sounded like an instructor reciting a history of her people:
“Long ago, long before even the elves walked upon the lands, dragons ruled the skies. We soared upon the winds and we were masters of everything that we encountered. Even back then, before what is Chaos as you know it, there were creatures that warred with us for the right to rule the lands and the skies. We had our own society much like you with that of warriors, teachers, and elders on a council; only they were not set up like you would think. There was still a structure to them. The mightiest of us ruled us all and we accepted this. This system continued on for many, many millennia. Until one day, the Goddess Isha, Mother of All Things, came to us and told us that in time there would be One who would seek us out and that we were to teach this one our ways.
The mighty Kaligan, ruler at the time, scoffed at Her and told Her that we would teach no one, for they were lesser than us and should instead be ruled by us, not treated with as our equals. Rather than teach this one, he would make it and others like it subservient to dragonkind. Foolish that he was, he turned the Goddess Isha away.
For centuries no one came, although there were those among us who looked for this One’s coming. Though Kaligan might be the strongest of us all, he was not the wisest, and our wise ones looked for the One prophesized by Isha to find us. It had been decided amongst a select few, that they would take this One to a secluded place, away from Kaligan and those who supported him, and teach him about our ways. For if the Goddess said that it was to pass, then why would it not, and who were we to turn this One away?
Time passed like that of a slow river and no one came. Eventually, after most had given up, there came an explorer to our mountain that was unlike any that we had ever seen. This One must have been the one that Isha had promised would come to us!! One of our eldest sages took the One off, just as had been decided many an eon ago and began to teach this One the history of all things and of ourselves.
Then, the worst thing that could happen did: Kaligan found out about this secret teaching and flew into a great rage. How he came to find out is still to this day unclear… there are some who think that there was one who told Kaligan of the Ones coming and who had secreted the One away. There are others that believe that he knew on his own that the One had arrived and who had taken the One away and to where. No one really knows. Unfortunately, it matters not, for the story continues… He flew to this secluded area, how he found out about it remains a mystery even to this day, and raged at the sage and the One. In the madness that struck Kaligan, with fire and tooth and claw, he slew both the teacher and the student. This caused a great rift in dragonkind that day. What was even worse, was that news of this tragedy spread far and wide and eventually reached the Student’s own kind… the elves.”
Here Hakklasharra paused to sift back through the ages of memory passed down from dragon to hatchling…
“In the early days, the elves were plentiful. It was then, that the elves, in their wild youth, sought vengeance and retribution for the actions of Kaligan, ruler of dragonkind. A dark day dawned when the armies of the elves marched to destroy dragonkind. The Elf and Dragon wars, as we remember them were long and bitter. Kaligan was caught and killed by an elven ambush and while some of my kind thought that this would end the war, others decided that by killing in an ambush, your kind did not deserve the right to live, so the war continued for another several centuries… minor battles here and there, but the hatred was always present and the rift grew ever wider and wider.
“Eventually, there was one of your kind that came forward and asked to speak to our leader. His name, I cannot remember at this time, but the one that your leader spoke to was one of those who though that the war was needless and was wasteful, to say the least. Negotiations started that day and lasted for another six hundred years. Time had to heal the wounds on both sides, and trust had to be reestablished. After the six hundred years of talks and diplomacy, an accord was signed… not on paper as you would have it, nowadays among your kind, but in the Winds of Magic that bound us dragonkind to you elfkind. The accord was to be that we would be bound to each other in both good and bad times so that our mutual strengths would benefit the other.
“Normally if dragonkind were to bind dragonkind to an oath, we would seal this bond with a pairing to ensure that both sides were equally represented. Since a bond of that nature could not be achieved with elfkind, an exchange and pairing of dragon to elf was made. It would be the duty of each dragon to teach its bonded elf the ways of the dragon while the elf taught the ways of the elf to the dragon, thus ensuring that there was to never be a repeat of the events that led to the long and bitter wars of the past.
“It was during this pairing that elves learned about flying and all other matters of dragons. It was also when the elves learned to fight on dragon back as well. A special group of dragons and riders were formed and these were to be ambassadors for dragonkind and elfkind alike. They were simply known as The Riders. It was their duty to watch for Chaos and evil. It was also their duty to take messages between the two races, to maintain communication. Each of us, dragon and elf learned a great deal from the other, and the bond became more than it started out to be.
“The only time that this bond has ever been modified was when dragonkind refused to join your dark kin, the Druchii, when you had your great Civil War. It was decided by our elders that we would take no part in the war, aside from assisting the Asur when you asked for our help. By then we had decided to let the younger generation assist, for they were of the restless sort and would enjoy the “excitement”. The modification then included that we all sleep unless we were woken by a particular elf in need and that elf would be answered by one of us. “
“Did you notice the confusion and thickness, during your quickening?” she asked of Gla’mereth.
“Yes, I was so confused I did not know what was happening… It seemed as if thousands of voices were all crammed into my head and there was no room for anymore, and the only way to release them was to crack my skull.”
“That was the forming of the bond, your unconscious self using the Winds of Magic searching out for the one of us dragonkind who would answer you… and that searching, Youngling… lead you to me.” When Gla’mereth looked at the great dragon, she saw a faint smile crease the great maw, and saw great tenderness and compassion in those huge round eyes…
Several hours later, the two eventually, maybe even reluctantly, left the “Remembrance Ledge” as Gla’mereth were to name it and made their way to Hakklasharra’s cavernous home. Upon reaching the dragon’s weyr, and properly illuminating the space, Gla’mereth saw how spacious that it truly was. There was an area that was carved out that resembled a bed for a humanoid figure, in addition to an area to bathe in and a personal space for writing, weapons and assorted living. Near the ledge that was the entrance to the weyr was a wallowed out spot that served as the dragon’s resting area. Being inside of a mountain, one would tend to think that it would be chill and damp. However, this was not the case as the internal fires of the various volcanoes in the Dragonspire Mountains kept the internal temperatures at a nice even gradient.
Gla’mereth toured this space with all of the curiosity of a child, amusing Hakklasharra as she did so. When Gla’mereth found the ancient sword resting on a shelf on the wall, she asked, “Hakklasharra, is it OK for me to use this, and the other items?!?” Gla’mereth asked, brandishing the ancient sword. “I know that I took the lance and the shield and armor for the battle, but are they now mine?”
“Do you want them?” was all that the great dragon replied with. She continued, “If you want them, then yes, you may claim them and they are yours. They would be considered treasures by your kind, but I have no need of them. The original owner is long since gone, and has no need of them where he is now.”
“If I may ask, who was your last rider?” Gla’mereth tentatively asked.
“Youngling, my last Rider was over six thousand years ago, and it makes no difference now. Know only that he, like you, started out the same way. In time you will be as great, if not greater than he. Now, if I may make a suggestion, Youngling, why don’t you rest, there is plenty of time to teach you what you need to be a great Rider.”
With those last thoughts, Gla’mereth went over to the carved out bedding area and thought to lie down. Instead, she joined Hakklasharra in her wallow, and fell asleep tucked under Hakklasharra’s wing, laid next to her warm side, as comfortable as a hatchling and was quickly asleep.
“Sleep well, my Youngling Rider, sleep well, and know that you are safe.” crooned a satisfied she-dragon.
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Part 10 – Exploration and Discovery
The next morning dawned bright and chilly, as was to be expected in the mountains. When Gla’mereth woke, she was encapsulated in a soft warm darkness that she did not readily want to leave. Nestled within the folds of her dragon companion, she was warm and happy… and hungry. Gla’mereth rose from her warm resting place and carefully, so as not to disturb her companion, climbed her way out of Hakklasharra’s embrace, and went exploring this newfound area.
As she explored, she stumbled across a wall cabinet fitted with many scrolls and other forms of written text. Haphazardously, she picked a couple of scrolls out of their resting places and carefully unrolled them curious to see what they were. Some she could read, written in an ancient flowing elven script, some she could not, for the ink had faded beyond what the eye could see in the candlelight. Those that she could read were pieces of history, journal notes and other such dissertations. An interesting read she thought for a later time. The wall cabinet also contained various little bottles of different colored potions and liquids. Having grown up around a mage in the Hold, Gla’mereth was wise enough to leave these well alone until she knew what they were. Perhaps Hakklasharra would know, if not, then mayhap Riathia would let her know their properties.
She continued her exploration of the huge living space and once again came upon the rack with the weapons that she had wielded earlier: the ancient lance crafted from night elm, starsilver and ithilmar and was longer than most lances: extending greater than that of a regular lance by at least two lengths, closer to three, and was so sharp that nothing would stop the finely balanced weapon’s progress, not even solid rock. The exquisite armor was crafted of an alloy of ithilmar and mithril, making it impervious to dragon breath weapons or even regular fire. The matching battered dragon scale shield was as old as the armor, maybe even older, and looked as if it had seen more battles than any of the other items combined. However, the shield had a sense of security and safety when it was held that Gla’mereth had never felt before. In sifting and examining the weapons in detail, she now noticed something else she had not seen earlier. This new item was a wooden handled knife that was about twelve to fifteen inches long and was curved with the edge on the inside of the curve. This weapon was locked in a leather scabbard that snuggly fit around the weapon, to prevent it from easily slipping out. When she drew the knife from the scabbard, it made a slight rasping sound. She was amazed about how the weapon looked awkward, but the balance of the weapon was superb. She then remembered something that she just read from the scroll cupboard. This weapon was called a kukri, and was a gift to the last rider, from a noble for something that the rider had done for the noble. This was a weapon and a tool that could be used for almost any project. She slipped off her belt and fed it through the loops of the kukri scabbard and tried it on. The kukri lay along her hip as if it was meant to have been there on purpose. She then tied the secondary strap to her thigh so that the entire weapon was secured and would only move when she moved her leg. The scabbard also included a thong that tied the weapon’s handle to the scabbard so that during flight, the weapon would not fall out.
Finally, she looked at the ancient sword that lay in its scabbard on a shelf above the armor and the shield. The sword of an ancient make and design, this much she knew. She had been trained by the best weapon masters of House Starlight, and she was a good judge of weapons. The sword was finely made and well balanced. When she drew the sword from the scabbard, the sword had a blade that was unlike any she had seen before… it was a dull smoke color with a flame like design etched into the double edged blade. The handle furniture was designed to look like that of a dragon and with the head situated as it was it looked as if the flames on the blade originated from the dragon’s great maw. The sword was designed in the old style that was a straight bladed, double edged weapon with a straight hilt, and a small, thin blood groove running most of the length of the blade…very different from the smooth flowing, curving swords of today’s manufacture that focused on style instead of strength. Still, the weapon was fluid and smoothly slid through the air… When she turned the blade over, there on the hilt of the sword was elven runic script. The script read:” I belong to the Warrior with who the Old Ways join the New.
She replaced the sword… the Dragonspear, as it was named by another small set of scriptic runes etched on the handle. The leather wrappings needed to be replaced, but other than that, the weapon was superb, and slowly she slid her hand over the other items… reverently… all as if they designed for her. Were the Gods toying with her, she wondered?!?
“No, Hatchling, the Gods do not care about you,” came the gravelly voice of Hakklasharra. “The items only fit and feel right because they are your birthright. Once you became a rider, then the weapons were meant for you. As far as you other musing: In time, the Gods WILL care about you, but not right now…” droned a drowsy Hakklasharra.
Making up her mind, she donned the armor and weapons, hefted the shield and the lance. “Well then, Hakklasharra, let us begin to gain their notice!” exclaimed Gla’mereth. She walked over to the ancient she-dragon and firmly, tenderly hugged the great dragon’s leathery neck. In that tender moment, Hakklasharra lowered her snout and touched it to Gla’mereth’s forehead.
“Come, Hakklasharra, I am hungry and I am ready to start this new life adventure together with you.” With that she turned to pack what she could. Some items she would take the rest would be fine here in their home secluded from everyone in the mountains.
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Part 11 – Counseling and Plans
An elfess, dressed in fine shimmersilk robes of various alternating shades of blue and burgundy, which fluttered about her, hurried through the maze of hallways and corridors, occasionally knocking into a servant along the way. Finally, she came onto a door that she recognized and remembered well… Bursting through the oaken door, in a flurry of robe and cloak, she entered the room filled with books, scroll, and other sorts of learned materials. The hearth was banked so that it still flickered with fire, but not enough to make the room stifling and unbearable. There, on the far end of the room, library really, sat the person to whom she was to report to… Lord Alithor Starlight, Master of Starlight Hold.
Never looking up from a scroll that he was studying, he said,” Ah, Lady Riathia. How nice of you to finally join me. Please, take a seat and I’ll be with you shortly.” He said while pointing with the plumed end of a writing quill to an empty chaise located in front of the expansive desk. With that, he continued to write on the scroll, signed it with a flourish, and then carefully, almost reverently, sealed the scroll with white wax and placed a white ribbon around the scroll to keep it rolled up, and placed it with the others on a small side board next to the desk. There, located on the side board was an ever growing pyramid of about five hundred other like scrolls, each tied with a white ribbon, and sealed with white wax, bearing the symbol of House Starlight, a multi-pointed star with a sunburst behind it.
As he continued with the scrolls in front of him, Riathia looked around the study that was one of the inner sanctums of Alithor Starlight. The study was a medium sized room that seemed to have been repurposed for the idea of a study. It was not as large as some of the studies that she had been in before, but in this instance it seemed fitting. The large bay window that overlooked the mountains was both esthetically pleasing and functional at the same time, letting in huge amounts of natural light, while still showing a panoramic view of the Dragonspire Mountains. The wall opposite the huge window was reserved for the several shelving units holding books, scrolls and other miscellaneous papers. Behind the desk was a small martial display of Elven longbows, swords, shields, armor and cavalry lances. The wall opposite the desk, behind her, was cover with several tapestries depicting battle scenes and the House Starlight Banner that was presented to Alithor by Caledrian, the ruling prince of Caledor, when the House was elevated to that of nobility. The raising of the House to that of a minor nobility rank was because of an honorable action that saved his brother’s (Prince Imrik) life during a battle with beastmen in one of Caledor’s colonies in the New World. For that heroic action, Alithor’s family line was to be blessed from that point on by being listed in the official archives as one of the lesser branches of the Dragontamer clan.
Turning to face his guest, Alithor once again looked upon the hold mage, the Lady Riathia. She was newly appointed by the White Tower to be that of House Mage for the fledging House. In time, members of the family would train to be a mage, but until that time came to pass, Riathia was considered family and treated as such.
“Now, I’m sure that you’re wondering why I asked for you? The reason is that I have a problem and need you guidance and help.” He looked to the mage, to see if she would say something. For as long as he had known her, Riathia was never one to be at a loss of words. Seeing that she was not going to say anything, he continued on:
“I’m sure, by now that you have heard about the ‘little’ encounter that we had earlier this morning,” he said, gesturing to the pile of scrolls. It finally dawned on the elfess what he was referring to… those scrolls were the letters to the families of members who had died in service to Hold Starlight while defending against the Druchii invasion scout force.
“Well, we were about to get over run by the Druchii forces when out of the sky appeared a dragon and its rider. The dragon swept in and destroyed the ranks of the Druchii warriors and killed the Sorceress and her hydra. The problem was not there, though we were hard pressed and might not have survived… No, the problem is not with the Druchii, but with my sister, Gla’mereth…”
“What?!? Gla’mereth. Not the Druchii. But my liege, there seems that this was but an expeditionary force that will lead to other larger forces! Word must be sent, allies gathered, and…”
“My sister,” Alithor calmly interrupted, “was the rider of the dragon that swooped out of the sky. That is the problem at hand. I’m not sure how to deal with this new turn of events. We [elves] have long worked with dragons and few have gained the honor to be able to ride one into battle… let alone become bonded to one. Since House Starlight was raised to that status not but some several decades ago, we simply do not have the experience, nor the resources to be able to properly deal with this “honor” at this time.”
My sister says that she started wandering about, was confused and heard a strange voice, or some such, in her head. Then she happened upon the dragon’s cave, and woke the dragon. The two of them then joined the battle and routed the enemy from the field, freeing us to pursue them and strike them down.”
Letting out a long and protracted sigh, Alithor fell silent for a time. Resuming his train of thought, he continued on,” So you see, where my problem lies. What is to become of Gla’mereth, and how do we as a minor House deal with all that is entailed in housing a dragon and its rider. What are the hows and ways of managing the pair, or do we at all?” With this he stood and sauntered over to the windows of the study looking out to the fields, valleys and peaks of the mountains, hands clasp behind his back.
“I have no idea how or what she needs now… How do I help her?!? Do I help her or turn her out? I really have no idea. I am truly honored by this turn of events and hopeful that this will heap much more honor and power onto this small hold, but until I, no we can figure out what to do I am at a loss as to what to do.”
“If I may, interject here, my liege…I may have an idea,” said Riathia very quietly from close by. She had silently gotten up from the chair that she was reclining in, and moved to join Lord Alithor by the window. “We need to get into contact with one of the Dragon Mages of Caledor, or else Prince Imrik himself. ‘Twould be they who would be the ones to assist in this ‘problem’. Where are the two of them now: Gla’mereth and her dragon that is, if I may ask?!?”
Lord Alithor looked completely nonplussed as he sharply replied,” I have no idea!!” He quickly regained his composure and continued on,” Last I knew they were flying off towards the Dragonspires.” He indicated with a wave of his arm in the general direction of the looming mountains seen through the window. “I asked her if there was anything else that she needed and she said that yes, they were going to head back to the dragon’s weyr, but that was days ago, and I have not seen nor heard from them since!”
“Well, then I suggest we wait. She said that they would return, right?!?” Not waiting for an answer, she continued onward, “Well, if she said that they would be back, then they will. Remember, my liege, we have never dealt with a Rider before, and this new found freedom must be something new… for both of them. They both need the time to figure out who and what they are. Now they are something different than just an elf and a dragon.” Riathia continued, taking up a tone that bordered on lecturing, “This bond between dragon and Rider is a special thing that has to nurtured, not unlike what a griffon and its rider, or the bond that a hunter and its White Lion would feel.”
“The difference here is that the dragon has a vast amount of intelligence and wisdom that can be imparted to the rider, if it is allowed to… but this takes time. Before you ask, because I can see it forming on your lips; No, I do not know how long this bonding takes. Remember, my lord, that I only know the general theory behind this bonding. Only those who have bonded know the truth behind it. And it is to these that the two need to learn from… Though honestly, I have no idea where to begin. I would suggest that we contact Lord Imrik and ask for his input, or the chatelaine of Tor Caled.”
“So, what do I do in the meantime?!? How am I supposed to deal with a dragon and a Rider within my lands, let alone within my House?” Alithor demanded of the Mage.
“Continue to run Starlight as you would normally, just without Gla’mereth around, as if she were on a trip of some sorts. Let me send a missive to the Tower requesting assistance, if any, from them there. From there, I will be better able to guide you. Until then, continue to treat your sister as such, and make every effort to appease the dragon. It would be a bad thing indeed if you were to gain the ire of a dragon.” Riathia answered sagely.
“ Fine, but I want you to go to Tor Caled and see if you can gain an audience with Lord Imrik himself, or any one of the other sages there and ask this of them,” after a slight pause for effect, he belatedly added”, please. There may be information that you may find that may be missed otherwise.”
“As you wish, my lord. The Lords and Mages of Caledor have much more experience in matters such as these. ” Riathia answered with a flourished bow. “Now, if I may be excused then, I shall prepare immediately for my trip to Tor Caled. I daresay that it shall take three fortnights or so for travel and who knows the time to find the answer. Until then, I will continue to keep you updated as I find out.”
“Hmm” was all he answered as he waived her off. He knew he was being trite with the Mage Riathia, but he could not help it. Worried as he was about the Druchii invasion and keeping the Watch doubled, this whole mess with Gla’mereth was not what he needed now!!
An endless stream of couriers and messengers had streamed nonstop ever since the Druchii incursion into the lands. The plus side was that the surrounding areas had sent additional forces to help bolster those of House Starlight, and they were told to remain there until the need had passed, or they were recalled by their garrisons’ commanders. One other reason for the other citadels was also for the chance to see the new dragon rider. Times are that there are few who can wake a dragon and fly into battle. The problem was now that Lord Alithor had to find lodging and board for additional 15 spear phalanxes of 300 soldiers, three heavy units of Silver Helm cavalry numbering around 500 each, and one unit of Swordmasters, not to mention to having to deal with the regiment of hotheaded, arrogant Dragon Princes that had found out that a Druchii incursion might be had again. At this point, Alithor did not know which was worse: the Druchii or the new logistics problems that had just appeared out of nowhere.
“Ughh…” he groaned and turned back to his cluttered desk looking for the decanter of spiced feywine. “How in the name of Isha am I going to pull this logistical nightmare off…”
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Part 12- Decisions
“So, have you now accepted your destiny and your lot, Youngling Gla’mereth?” asked a very serious Hakklasharra. “Do you now see why it is that you were chosen?”
“Yes, it is I who wish to reunite the races and restore the Old Ways mixed with that of the new,” answered Gla’mereth after a short pause. “But I know not where to begin, nor even how. Do you?!?”
“Yes, I do, but it is not a trip for the faint of heart. Only a warrior worthy of a dragon can go there. Only one who is as wise as a dragon can go there. Only one who is filled with the passion of a dragon can go there… and only one who has the faith of your kind can go there. Are you sure that you are this kind?”
“I do, and I am not afraid.” stated a determined Gla’mereth. Hakklasharra leaned as close as she could get and stated, “No, Youngling, but you will be… you will be.”
Gla’mereth blanched at the sudden cold and animalistic change that happened to her friend. But the instant was lost when just as suddenly Hakklasharra changed back.
“So, what do you decide to do next?!?”
“First, we gather what we need for the trip from here. Then we fly to House Starlight and gather what I need from there. Then after that we follow your memories and our instinct, and go to where we need to start this training, that we need.”
In the span of five candle marks, Gla’mereth had gathered her weapons, armor, and some of the other items from the weyr, and what she could not wear or carry, she packed them in Hakklasharra’s saddle bags, and was ready to take off. “Worry not, Great One, we shall be back to this home of yours, rather ours. I know it.”
“I have never feared that I would not return… it was just a matter of when…”
And with that final thought the two plunged down the cliff face until the wind caught the mighty wings of the dragon and she soared into the heavens, winging her way back toward the ancestral home of Gla’mereth.
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Part 13 – Homecomings and Beginnings
What would have normally taken weeks, or even months, of travel by land took only what seemed like mere moments to travel by wing to return back to House Starlight. Soon Gla’mereth could see the spires that denoted the sentry towers, and the square courtyard that served all sorts of needs when needed. Today it would serve as a landing place for Hakklasharra. She smiled at this thought: a landing space for her and her dragon… who would have thought it?
Dipping down and canting slightly to the left for a passing glide, Hakklasharra caught the right winds and descended like a piece of down floating on the wind… and landed with all of the authority of one of her kind, dragon kind. With their arrival, horses grew terrified, servants and soldiers hesitated when a moment of dragonfear washed over them, sending them scurrying here and there.
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Part 14 - Goodbyes
In his office study, Lord Alithor Starlight heard a great eruption of chaos and the general din of panicked people and animals. Just as he was about the rush and find out the cause a cry erupted form the sentry towers… DRAGON!!! This cry startled Alithor into greater motion, and he rushed out into the hall way and ran into the Mage Riathia, who was about to leave on her journey to the capital city of Tor Caled.
“Come we must see to this great disturbance,” she shouted to Alithor in an effort to get above the panicked chaos filling the halls. Alithor had drawn his sword and was rounding the corner when he came face-to-face with his sister Gla’mereth!!
“Gla’mereth, what in the name of Asuryan are you doing here, and what is all of that commotion?!?”
“Oh, dear brother, I’m afraid that is my fault… well really Hakklasharra’s, but I told her to land there. I do apologize, but I don’t have long and must really be on my way. Do forgive me dear Brother.” she said sounding as trite as she could manage.”
“Hello there, Gla’mereth,” spoke the slightly disheveled mage. “I am Riathia and it is a pleasure to finally meet you. I do hope that I may sit and chat with you a bit.”
“Now hold on one moment,” commanded Alithor, “Why have you returned?” he directed at Gla’mereth, “and why have you not left for Tor Caled?” this directed to the mage, his irritation beginning to show. And to the general population within the sound of his voice,” And will everyone please calm down!!! It is my Sister, Gla’mereth and her dragon… Hakklasharra!! Now go about your regular business!”
“Sorry,” was all that a crestfallen Gla’mereth could manage.
“I was about to depart when Gla’mereth and Hakklasharra landed. I will be but a moment and then I will be off. “
“Gla’mereth, may I speak with Hakklasharra a moment?”
“Ask her, not I. I am not her keeper, just her companion.” With that, the mage bit back the remark that formed on her tongue, and strolled over to the dragon who was lounging in the sun in the courtyard.
“So, how long will you be with us, Sister?” asked Alithor who was genuinely concerned. In the back of his mind he was already adding up the number of beasts that might be required to satisfy the appetite of a dragon.
“Not long. We have come for a couple personal items of mine, and then we are off to an area that Hakklasharra has said that would be of help to us in our learning. Where that is, I know not yet. Rest assured, it lies within the realm of Caledor, but where, is a secret location known to but a few.”
“Oh, OK. How long will you be gone, do you know, and will you be able to see us in the mean time?”
“No, I do not think that I will be able to see you until the “training” is finished, but as to the length of time required, I know not that either. Sorry.”
Gla’mereth hated being so callous and curt with her brother, but, there was no other way. Her shared awareness with her serpentine friend and companion, pressed her to keep moving on… driving her to an as yet undetermined goal. Hakklasharra seemed to know something, but whatever it was, she had as if yet decided to share it with her. As she quickly strode through the halls of Starlight hold, Gla’mereth continued to ponder this question and others, on her way to her old suite of rooms to gather some things for her “adventure”.
“Adventure, hmph!” Why me?” she wondered. “Although, I could now never imagine not having flown on dragon-back, and meeting Hakklasharra.”
With that, she pushed open the large oaken doors that led to her suite of rooms. Looking around, she paused, soaking in the sights and aromas of things she knew so well… the slightly worn, graceful curves of her finely crafted bed table… the gracefully smooth worn curves of her canopy bed… the cool, smooth polished marble floors. When would she see these comfortable surroundings again? This place had always been her retreat from the painful, hurtful world she would at times find herself in… she was never what others could be referred to as “rustic”. It wasn’t the items themselves that she would miss… but rather the familiar, comforting presence of the memories that were tied to those items.
With a final plunge, she entered the sanctum and went to the wardrobe and dressers, rummaging through her fine things for articles of clothing that were more functional in nature: pants, tunics, warm stockings, riding boots, gloves, and other assorted items. As an afterthought, she went looking for winter, fur-lined clothing as well.
“It would never do to be caught in the mountains with no protective clothing as well.” she mused to no one in particular. Thankfully, the suite was devoid of the numerous maids or keep staff, so that she could be spared those painful goodbyes. It was enough to have to tell her brother goodbye. When she looked at the gathered items on the bed, she stopped long enough to see that she had no means of hauling everything… normal travel gear like trunks, hat boxes, and the like would never travel well on a dragon. So, she left the suite again in search of more sensible travelling gear. She would acquire saddle bags from the stable hands; a knapsack of foodstuffs, for about a week or two’s travel from the kitchens; a set of leather belts and various pouches from the Armory, in addition to a field pack that the armorer had found that fit her slight frame.
As she returned to her suit, she noticed that the inelegant piles of rumpled clothes, strewn about the canopy bed, had been sorted, folded, and packed neatly into the weatherproof, honey-leather canvas bags used by the household troops when they would go to the field to practice maneuvers. So too did she find Kethryvarrius, Starlight Hold’s chatelaine, patiently awaiting her return to these quarters.
Since there was, at present, no Lady of Starlight Hold, Kethryvarrius acted as the matron of the household, managing all of the daily activities of the household: from sculleries, to kitchen staff, to footmen, servants, and maids all; it was her iron will that kept the Hold from falling apart. This iron she-elf was also the closest that Gla’mereth had for a mother figure since the loss of her own so many years ago.
“Thought that you could sneak out on me, what with that huge dragon waiting outside? Waiting as if someone was going to join it?” came the voice from the elder she-elf. “I’d not have you leave like a thief in the night and not be properly packed,” she added with a touch of an edge that only she could have with one of the family.
“I thought that I had taught you better than that…”
Gla’mereth interrupted her at this point, “You did, Kethry, I was just trying to save you the pain of the parting… that’s all.” She said, sounding more like a child than one who rode in on a huge dragon, sweeping the enemy before her, with little battle experience.
“Child, one last lesson will I leave with you: There is always pain in this world, the manner in which you accept the pain determines how much you will feel, and how much you will remember it.” Gracefully rising from one of the divans, and taking the field pack from Gla’mereth, Kethry continued on…
“When your mother passed on, it was painful, not just for you, but for everyone as well. It just so happened that you were able to be shielded from a majority of that pain the others felt. You were still very young at that time. I know, because it was I who bore the brunt of that pain for you. Your mother was as a sister to me, and I to her, with our growing up together,” with a slight quaver to her voice, she continued on…
“But I did what was needed at that time to spare you. Now, your leaving, and you must leave, will have repercussions that none but maybe Mother Isha, Herself knows… Now, you must bear this pain of separation, in order to grow stronger from it. Strength is a trait that flows deeply in Caledorians’ blood like a mighty river in the mountains. Accept this, and use it to your advantage! You are a daughter of Caledor, and you have a dragon. Use those, along with everything else you have learned and apply them to the situation you find yourself in!”
With the packing of the bags completed, the elder she-elf, now in Gla’mereth’s eyes, looking much sadder and very much older, turned and embraced Gla’mereth for one final time.
“Go now, Gla’mereth Shennkayla Starlight, sister of Alithor Starlight, Daughter of Caledor, and future Queen of the Dragons… go now into whatever glory and great deeds await you, knowing that I, Kethryvarrius, give you my blessing, as would have your mother, the Lady Illnarieen, Lady of House Starlight!”
After a short, lingering embrace, full of love and courage, Gla’mereth spoke not a word as she donned the gear she had earlier acquired. She heaved the now bulging field pack onto her back and settled it in place, then picked up the saddle bags and walked to the open doors. There, she stopped, turned, and looked upon Kethry’s weathered face with silent tears streaming from her sapphire hued eyes and said with a voice full of emotion…
“Worry not for me, for I have listened well all these years. Today, I will bear that pain for you… I will always remember you and love you… always. Good bye…mother.” And with that, she lingered but a moment more, taking one final look at the elder she-elf, who had been then driving, loving force in her life, and then turned behind the door… starting through the halls back to the courtyard where Hakklasharra was patiently waiting for her to return.
Leaving the silently weeping elder matron, in the quiet, secluded suite of rooms, Gla’mereth was once again assaulted by the near riotous cacophony of the Inner Courtyard. Elves of nearly station in life were in the courtyard for some reason or another: messengers, soldiers, servants and a host of others, yet Gla’mereth had eyes only for the huge dusky burnished golden dragon lounging within the very heart of it all. As she confidently strode toward Hakklasharra, the dragon’s wedge shaped head loomed above the dim and watched her approach. Gla’mereth thought that she could see a slight smile on the dragon’s face, but with a multitude of long, sword sharp teeth protruding from her maw, she could be wrong, but there was that new found feeling of contented joy(?!?) in that bundle of emotions roiling in the back of her mind…
Stepping up to Hakklasharra, Gla’mereth asked in a teasing fashion, slapping the dragon’s hide, “So, was she to your liking? Did she settle well on you palette?”
“Who? The mage?” Hakklasharra asked incredulously. “No, I did not eat her. We had a pleasant conversation and she left. Really, I had no desire to eat her. Our chat was short, as she was in a hurry to get on with a journey she was to begin… but I like her. We will see her again, that I know. Contrary to what you might think, I do not eat everything that crosses my path… unless they deserve it!” she answered rather condescendingly. This time, she was grinning, a great toothy grin that would scare any right being out of their skin… but even this short time into their relationship, Gla’mereth knew better.
“Oh, oh, so you won’t eat everyone your path crosses?”
“Well, I didn’t eat you, now did I? And I could have, you woke me from my slumbers… rather rudely too, if I may add.”
“Oh, well excuse me. I had not planned that, you know!”
“Oh, I know. I too can tease one, it seems! Hehehe!” chuckled the ancient dragon, which seemed as if the earth itself was rumbling.
“Well, I think that soon we will be leaving this place.”
“Have you made all of the necessary preparations, then?” inquired Hakklasharra.
“I have, all but one… that is,” Gla’mereth said as she finished placing the various saddlebags and field pack securely to Hakklasharra’s saddle. Then cinching one final strap down, she looked up, through a stray lock of hair, and saw her brother approaching them. As he did so, the commotion in the courtyard slowed, and folks moved even farther from the center of the courtyard.
“And I think that the last good bye is about to happen now… Wish me luck!”Gla’mereth said hesitantly.
“A Daughter of Caledor needs no luck, but go easy on him, as this is as tough on him…if not tougher,” counseled the ancient dragon. Then with a huff of steam from her nostrils, she butted the she-elf towards the Elven Lord who now stood a good bow shot from them. “Now, go!”
Staggering in a much undignified manner, Gla’mereth walked toward her waiting brother, Lord Alithor Starlight.
“Well, I guess that you are off,” he stated as a matter of fact. His demeanor was cold and distant, with a bit of an edge to it. The tone that he was using was the ”Lord” tone that she said he always used when dealing with issues that he didn’t want to deal with.
“Yes, Brother, we are about to take off. That way the Hold could get back to rights again.” She paused, for a moment, searching for her next words.
“I don’t know what to say, other than I’m sorry, Brother.” She stammered out at last. Much to her surprise, she did not expect what happened next. Enveloping his sister in a large embrace, he pulled her close to him, saying,”It is hard letting you go, Little Sister.”
“And yet you must… let me go that is. Only then will I, no we, be able to fulfill whatever the Fates have in store for us.”
Pushing Alithor away just enough to look into his eyes, Gla’mereth, looked at her brother with a different perspective.
“You must be strong, Brother. As Kethry told me earlier, so I tell you now, here, in this space… You are a Son of Caledor. Lead these people… our people, with the conviction and strength that is Caledor: as strong as the mountains… as fierce as the rivers and the wilds, and as fiery as the volcanoes below the surface. Know too, that once I have learned what needs to be learned, and done what needs to be done… I, no we, Hakklasharra and I, will return here and be with you again.” She continued on, placing her fingers upon his cheek, “Fear not, dear Brother, you and the others have taught me well. I will return.”
With that, she leaned over and kissed him lightly on each cheek and his forehead, just as a mother would have and turned away from him. She then covered the distance between him and Hakklasharra, and vaulted upon Hakklasharra’s back. Settling herself in the saddle, modified in record time by the artisans and stable masters of Starlight Hold, she now had a saddle fitting for a future dragon rider.
As soon as she had finished cinching the leg straps of the saddle, Hakklasharra reared up on her powerful hind legs, wings extended, foreclaws rending the empty air and let out a thunderous roar that threatened to shatter every pane of glass within a mile of the hold. With a grand display of power and might, Hakklasharra bunched her hind legs and leaped into the air, her massive leathery wings beating the air into submission, willing herself into the air. With each powerful stroke of her wings, she gained altitude over the Hold. Gla’mereth instructed Hakklasharra to circle the Hold. As she circled the Hold, for what may be the last time for some time, a great cheer for the elves of Starlight Hold rose up to send the two off on their journey… the likes of which had never been heard before… and the two were gone.
As they continued to circle upwards, Gla’mereth looked down upon Starlight Hold, watching as it grew smaller and smaller…
“Fear not, Youngling. You and I will be back,” comforted the wise dragon. With one final turn they left Starlight Hold in the past… and to the future.
……………………………………………………………………………………………
Part 15 – The Journey Begins
For what seemed like hours, they flew in silence, each lost in their own thoughts. Finally, Gla’mereth broke the silence, “So, where are we going? Anywhere in particular?” she inquired.
“To a place of legend: The Valley of the Drake. It is here that we should find some answers. Everything of late reeks of a strange taint.”
“A strange taint? What do you mean?”
“I’m not sure, and that is the problem. There in the Valley of the Drake live the greatest of my kin. I plan on speaking with them… if they will rouse from their sleep. To this end an elf must sing the elfsongs in an effort to rouse dragon-kin from their slumbers. For centuries, even millenniums, dragon-kin have taught elf-kin the magical songs that can be used to rouse the dragon-kin from our long slumbers.
Elf princes have long learned these songs, usually passing them from father to son, and so forth, thus the youngling elf-kin prince can summon forth a dragon to bond to… Today that changes, as I will teach these and more to you, whether the elders of my race approve or not!”
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Part 16 – The Mage’s Journey
The elven steed surged ahead as if the very life of the steed was at stake. For the third day, the mage drove the steed to his very limits. Riathia was in a hurry to say the least. Travel as she did, she continued to think back to her most recent discussion with the dragon, Hakklasharra. To be able to speak with one so ancient and wise was a gift unto itself.
The ancient creature decided to speak to her telling her that she (Haklasharra) approved of what the elf-mage sought to do and to find. “Go forth, little sister. Seek that which you will find. Return back to Gla’mereth and myself, for you will know how and where to find us.”
With that kind of directive lodged in her mind, Riathia had no choice but to push her elven steed to the very brink of its limits. There was no compulsion spell at work, just the directive from a being that was much older, wiser, and greater than she.
Riathia reached the capital city of Tor Caled three long grueling fortnights of hard travelling after setting forth from Starlight Hold. After immediately securing extended lodging, she travelled to the castle of the capitol city, Caled, to see if she would be able to gain entry into the Great Library. It would be here, or with the knowledge of the Smith/Priests of Vaul, that she would find the answers that she was searching for.
Meeting with the Castellan, and after having been thoroughly interviewed (more like interrogated) the capable castellan granted her access to the Great Library and all of the “treasures” contained within.
It was within the hallowed walls and corridors of the Great Library, within the stacks and many bulging shelves of books, tomes, scrolls and other written works dating back to the beginning of record keeping for the Asur, that she would find the beginnings of the information that she sought. Among the myths, legends, and fables of untold centuries, there was a small, dusty, fragile scroll alluding to an ancient scion to who the Lords of Caledor would go to, to be trained to be dragon riders. This scion of Caledor was reputedly to have lived deep within the Valley of the Drake, deep within and under the lairs of the dragons… but nothing giving a definite description of where this scion was located, exactly. If such a person existed, then it might take a bit of time to find him… or her; she was going to have to change her way of thinking on such matters… some of Ulthuan’s best commanders in the past were she-elves. Not to mention the Handmaidens of the Everqueen… Her research and studies needed to get to both Lord Alithor and Gla’mereth alike.
During her studies and exhaustive research in the Library, two interesting occurrences happened: One, she received a message scroll from Lord Teclis, High Loremaster of the Tower of Hoeth. Inside, the message was brief, but enlightening and heartening all the same. The message was an invitation to come to the Tower of Hoeth after her research and studies were completed at Tor Caled. If she came to the Tower in Saphery, the invitation hinted that she would be leaving returning the Starlight Hold with even more knowledge and also her own contingent of Caledorian descended Swordmasters to act as her own honor guard. They would then train those as they see fit in the way of the sword and lend their combat skills to the Hold itself when needed.
The second was that, during her time in the endless catacombs and shelves of the Grand Library, searching for the information about dragons and their past, she found a small, unassuming, brittle, dusty scroll, buried deep within the countless stacks of Tor Caled’s Grand Library that discussed the myth (fable to some) of the rumored Ral Parthanian Legionnaires. This legion of legendary soldiers, which included heavy foot infantry of pike and tall-spear phalanxes, light foot infantry of sword and shield regiments, and batteries of eagle eyed archers, and fearless heavy and light cavalry troops were the finest of elven military troops ever trained and formed into units in the history of the elven nations: Asur, Druchii, or even the Asrai in the Old World.
The scroll told how the troops were in a pitched battle against an unusually powerful lich who was leading a vast army of undead and were assaulting the city state of Ral Partha. Long had the undead lich lord loathed the Elves of Ral Partha, and as such, wanted to wipe out the city-state for ages. Because of the unbending will of the Ral Parthanian soldiers and citizens, they withstood against the onslaught, time and time again for ages. Unfortunately, during this one battle, the lich called up a new and powerful wild magic spell that caught, the soldiers and cavalry of the legendary unit in a vortex of wild magic from the lich, and they were entombed in a trance-like state… keeping them alive and unharmed… but, preserved out of time in a perfect state of stasis. It has always been rumored in myths and legends of old that the units entombed in the vortex, will follow their commanders no matter the situation, such was the determination of the Ral Parthanians. If, she mused to herself, she were to find them and break the spell, she would be able to use these troops, whose homeland has been gone for several centuries, and deliver them to both Lord Alithor and Starlight Hold, or to Gla’mereth and they could become the personal troops for the Dragon Riders and all of their land based operations. Either way, she thought, she would give them a home… to replace a home that was lost to them ages ago.
Finishing her work in the Grand Library, Riathia took a couple of days to resupply herself for another long journey… she was going to Saphery to answer the summons from the High Loremaster of the White Tower of Hoeth.
When she makes her way out to the White Tower in Saphery, she meets with the High Loremaster of the White Tower of Hoeth, Teclis, himself. After several tense moments of the mage meeting the most powerful elf in the world, he graciously invites her to enter his chambers in the top of the Tower, contrary to his nature. Mage Riathia is stunned to have received this invitation. Very few people have ever been invited into his council, besides those Loremasters within the Tower. He is impressed with her drive and thinks that she would make an excellent Loremaster within the Tower walls. Long has he watched her progress and was always impressed with how she handled herself in many a situation. However, he was surprised when she decided to make the choice for being the House Mage for a fledging small Hold deep within the Dragon Spire Mountains. He of all elves, should have known that she would be tied to the winds of the aether in some form or another… but how was anyone supposed to know that she would wind up in a hold that would gain prominence and status in a few short years because of the extraordinary talents of a single lass who would be able to woo a dragon, and even one as old as Hakklasharra, to wakening?
It was because of this that he wanted Riathia to have a contingence of Caledorian Swordmasters with her at all times. They would number about 20 or so and would be useful to her and to what was to happen in the future, whatever that may be. They would inspire others (as they always did) to join her and possibly House Starlight as well.
He knew that, at this moment, thousands of Houseless elves were flocking to the fledging House in an effort to be a part of something. No one knew what it was, but some force as he had never seen, was pushing them to make such an arduous journey to the small hold located deep in the Dragon Spire Mountains. It was as if the hand of Asuryan guided them Himself. To what end, he was unsure.
Teclis also told Riathia that because of her efforts and work, he was promoting her to that of Loremistress. This title would then enable her, if she needed them, to be able to draw from the vast resources of the White Tower itself… all of the resources. Never before had the taciturn High Loremaster of the White Tower ever offered anything of this nature and magnitude, unless the nation was in an active state of war! She was to be a Loremistress of Hoeth!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:10 pm
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Location: South Eastern North Carolina
Greetings all, I know that it has been forever since I have been on, but I have been on the road and had not much time available to post... that having been said, even with the End time sand the whole AoS thing going on, I have been writing when I can... here is the latest to the story thus far...………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Part 16 – The Mage’s Journey
The elven steed surged ahead as if the very life of the steed was at stake. For the third day in a row, the mage drove the steed to his very limits. Riathia was in a hurry to say the least. Travel as she did, she continued to think back to her most recent discussion with the dragon, Hakklasharra. To be able to speak with one so ancient and wise was a gift unto itself.
< The ancient creature decided to speak to her telling her that she (Haklasharra) approved of what the elf-mage sought to do and to find. “Go forth, Little Fire Sister. Seek that which you will find. Return back to Gla’mereth and myself, for you will know how and where to find us.” With that, Haklasharra bent her mighty neck and touched her snout ever so lightly to the brow of the waiting mage. Aside from the sulfuric breath of the dragon, a warm feeling of calmness settled over Riathia like never before, mingled with a sense of urgency. >
With that kind of directive and blessing lodged in her mind, Riathia had no choice but to push her elven steed to the very brink of its limits. There was no compulsion spell at work, just the directive from a being that was much older, wiser, and greater than she.
Riathia reached the capital city of Tor Caled three long grueling fortnights of hard travelling after setting forth from Starlight Hold. From dawn to dusk Riathia rode as she had never rode before. She would stop only long enough to relieve herself and to let the steed get something to drink and eat. Towards the end of the journey, she started to worry that she may have overdone the gallant stallion: it's great flanks would heave, and the pace, relentless and long caused the great animal to start flagging, froth and foam was present on its mouth, and a small trickle of blood could be seen streaming from its flaring nostrils. Just as she started to slow the pace down, the steed collapsed, throwing Riathia from the saddle. Both of them lay crumpled in the dust on the road. Afraid for he steed, Riathia recovered from her fall and went to tend to the steed. Using a chant she had learned from a friend of hers from the Plains of Ellyrion, she cast the invigorate spell that should ease its labors. Almost instantaneously, the heaving flanks of labored breathing started to slow, the breath being strong and deep; the pained look in its eye faded to a more healthy hue; and finally, the trickle of blood from the nose stopped as well. Relived that the casting worked, Riathia promised to her steed, then and there, she would never abuse him like that again. For the remainder of the trip, Riathia walked the steed the rest of the miles in order to allow him to recover his strength.
After immediately securing extended lodging, and finding one who could look after her gallant steed, she traveled to the castle of the capitol city, Caled, to see if she would be able to gain entry into the Great Library. It would be here, or with the knowledge of the Smith/Priests of Vaul, that she would find the answers that she was searching for.
Riathia travelled up the winding streets that led to the hill where Tor Caled stood. When she approached the main gat, the sally port guards blocked her way and inquired to her business within the great castle.
"Hold there, miss. What is your business here at the castle?" intoned the senior of the two gate guards.
My name is Lady Riathia Lilliraindria Swiftfirewind, House Mage for Starlight Hold, and I am here to peruse the histories kept in the Grand Library."
"Very well, my Lady Mage," responded the guard. "Please wait here whilst the Castellan's clerk in notified." With that, the guard speaking, turned and left the gate to go into a small office located just around the corner of the gate. Shortly, a runner dressed in the livery of Tor Caled left the little office, and the guard returned too his post. "My Lady Mage, a response should be met with directly. If you would kindly wait here until the Clerk can return a message back, it would be greatly appreciated."
A small bench was brought out to Riathia for her to rest upon until the Castellan's Clerk or himself came out to address her. After about half a candlemark, a clerk approached the gate, "Lady Riathia, my name is Loren, and I am Tor Caled's Castellan Clerk," he said bowing to her in the form of the court. " Welcome to Tor Caled. I trust that your trip here was uneventful. What may we assist you with?"
I am here seeking admission into the Grand Library in order to research some historical precedence and information that may help in the making of a decision for the Lord of House Starlight. I am not at liberty to say the nature of the research or the question, as that is confidential to Lord Starlight and myself, if you please, sir."
"Very well, Lady Mage Riathia, I understand. I will convey the request and the urgency of your undertaking to the Castellan. Where are you lodging, that I may send notice of the decision when it is made?"
"I am currently holding accommodations at the Drake's Wing. Any message may be sent there. I have left instructions for any message to be held at the front desk clerk. Also, if you need to confirm my application, please reference this missive from Lord Starlight, himself." In finishing her statement, she produced a small rolled scroll bearing the Mark of Lord Alithor Starlight of Starlight Hold. The clerk took the scroll and placed it in a small sporran on his left side, saying, "The Castellan will read this upon my presenting of your application, Lady Mage. You should hear something possibly in the next day or so." With that, the Clerk of Tor Caled's Castellan bowed deeply again, turned and left Riathia there at the gate.
After her meeting with the clerk, she decided to go back to her lodging and check on her steed's health. She had abused the steed, and she knew better than that. Riathia strolled back to her lodging looking at various shops and other vendors as she leisurely made her way back. When she finally returned to the Drake's Wing, she check the front desk to see if, by chance, any messages had arrived... they had not. After checking the front desk, she then made her way back to where the stables were located. There she inquired after the Master of Horse from a stable hand. The Master of Horse found her looking after her steed. He inquired as to what the problem might be, and was pleasantly surprised by her answer.
She confessed to the extended hard riding and what befell her on the road. She poured out her pent up anxiety about the situation, without giving in to hysterics that could have happened. After listening to her prolonged story, the Master of Horse reassured her that he would have a vet look him over to make sure that all was good with his health, and that he, himself would look after the steed to guarantee that no ill befell him while she lodged at the Drake's Wing.
For the remaining part of the afternoon, Riathia spent the time in the municipal library that was open to all patrons and personnel, researching what she needed to find in reference to dragons and how to live with one. After searching all afternoon into the evening, she found nothing that helped her search. When she returned that night, she took a simple dinner that was held over for her and retired to her chambers.
Early the next morning, a messenger knocked on her door, informing her that she was to meet with the Castellan of Tor Caled at 16 Candlemarks. Receiving this message was news... it meant that she would be admitted to the castle, but on a conditional basis, until word was given by the Castellan. That could be good or bad, depending on how the interview went. So she went about making the needed preparations...
Meeting with the Castellan, was a lengthy and tiring process and after having been thoroughly interviewed (more like interrogated) the capable castellan granted her access to the Great Library and all of the “treasures” contained within.
It was within the hallowed walls and corridors of the Great Library, within the stacks and many bulging shelves of books, tomes, scrolls and other written works dating back to the beginning of record keeping for the Asur, that she would find the beginnings of the information that she sought. Among the myths, legends, and fables of untold centuries, there was a small, dusty, fragile scroll alluding to an ancient scion to who the Lords of Caledor would go to, to be trained to be dragon riders. This scion of Caledor was reputedly to have lived deep within the Valley of the Drake, deep within and under the lairs of the dragons… but nothing giving a definite description of where this scion was located, exactly. It was also rumored that this scion was known only as The Dragon Master, and could communicate with all dragons and they would listen to him above all else. If such a person existed, then it might take a bit of time to find him… or her; she was going to have to change her way of thinking on such matters… some of Ulthuan’s best commanders in the past were she-elves. Not to mention the Handmaidens of the Everqueen… Her research and studies needed to get to both Lord Alithor and Gla’mereth alike.
During her studies and exhaustive research in the Library, two interesting occurrences happened: One, she received a message scroll from Lord Teclis, High Loremaster of the Tower of Hoeth. Inside, the message was brief, but enlightening and heartening all the same. The message was an invitation to come to the Tower of Hoeth after her research and studies were completed at Tor Caled. If she came to the Tower in Saphery, the invitation hinted that she would be leaving returning the Starlight Hold with even more knowledge and also her own contingent of Caledorian descended Swordmasters to act as her own honor guard. They would then train those as they see fit in the way of the sword and lend their combat skills to the Hold itself when needed.
The second was that, during her time in the endless catacombs and shelves of the Grand Library, searching for the information about dragons and their past, she found a small, unassuming, brittle, dusty scroll, buried deep within the countless stacks of Tor Caled’s Grand Library that discussed the myth (fable to some) of the rumored Ral Parthanian Legionnaires. This legion of legendary soldiers, which included heavy foot infantry of pike and tall-spear phalanxes, light foot infantry of sword and shield regiments, and batteries of eagle eyed archers, and fearless heavy and light cavalry troops were the finest of elven military troops ever trained and formed into units in the history of the elven nations: Asur, Druchii, or even the Asrai in the Old World.
The scroll told how the troops were in a pitched battle against an unusually powerful lich who was leading a vast army of undead and were assaulting the city state of Ral Partha. Long had the undead lich lord loathed the Elves of Ral Partha, and as such, wanted to wipe out the city-state for ages. Because of the unbending will of the Ral Parthanian soldiers and citizens, they withstood against the onslaught, time and time again for ages. Unfortunately, during this one battle, the lich called up a new and powerful wild magic spell that caught, the soldiers and cavalry of the legendary unit in a vortex of wild magic from the lich, and they were entombed in a trance-like state… keeping them alive and unharmed… but, preserved out of time in a perfect state of stasis. It has always been rumored in myths and legends of old that the units entombed in the vortex, will follow their commanders no matter the situation, such was the determination of the Ral Parthanians. If, she mused to herself, she were to find them and break the spell, she would be able to use these troops, whose homeland has been gone for several centuries, and deliver them to both Lord Alithor and Starlight Hold, or to Gla’mereth and they could become the personal troops for the Dragon Riders and all of their land based operations. Either way, she thought, she would give them a home… to replace a home that was lost to them ages ago.
Finishing her work in the Grand Library, Riathia took a couple of days to resupply herself for another long journey… she was going to Saphery to answer the summons from the High Loremaster of the White Tower of Hoeth.
When she makes her way out to the White Tower in Saphery, she meets with the High Loremaster of the White Tower of Hoeth, Teclis, himself. After several tense moments of the mage meeting the most powerful elf in the world, he graciously invites her to enter his chambers in the top of the Tower, contrary to his nature. Mage Riathia is stunned to have received this invitation. Very few people have ever been invited into his council, besides those Loremasters within the Tower. He is impressed with her drive and thinks that she would make an excellent Loremaster within the Tower walls. Long has he watched her progress and was always impressed with how she handled herself in many a situation. However, he was surprised when she decided to make the choice for being the House Mage for a fledging small Hold deep within the Dragon Spire Mountains. He of all elves, should have known that she would be tied to the winds of the aether in some form or another… but how was anyone supposed to know that she would wind up in a hold that would gain prominence and status in a few short years because of the extraordinary talents of a single lass who would be able to woo a dragon, and even one as old as Hakklasharra, to wakening?
It was because of this that he wanted Riathia to have a contingence of Caledorian Swordmasters with her at all times. They would number about 20 or so and would be useful to her and to what was to happen in the future, whatever that may be. They would inspire others (as they always did) to join her and possibly House Starlight as well.
He knew that, at this moment, thousands of Houseless elves were flocking to the fledging House in an effort to be a part of something. No one knew what it was, but some force as he had never seen, was pushing them to make such an arduous journey to the small hold located deep in the Dragon Spire Mountains. It was as if the hand of Asuryan guided them Himself. To what end, he was unsure.
Teclis also told Riathia that because of her efforts and work, he was promoting her to that of Loremistress. This title would then enable her, if she needed them, to be able to draw from the vast resources of the White Tower itself… all of the resources. Never before had the taciturn High Loremaster of the White Tower ever offered anything of this nature and magnitude, unless the nation was in an active state of war! She was to be a Loremistress of Hoeth!
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Part 17 – The Ranger
Rain. Constant, incessant rain. It seemed that the sky was mourning the loss of someone, or something, very dear, and wept for that loss. For weeks now, the rains had not stopped falling from the heavens. At times, it fell in sheets, pounding the forest floor in its deluge… at other times, a light, fine, misty rain covered the plants and trees as would a wet blanket. Though the forest had been dry, and needed the rain, the elven forester did not… She, being a creature of the forest was accustomed to endless trials and changes of climate in the wilderness; that was what she loved about the wilderness… it was wild, unpredictable, and ever-changing, but this weather pattern was a bit much. She was soaked to the bone, even though she wore the much renown elven honeyleather cloak and clothing known to shed water like that of the down of a goose.
Schaiekessellendrell sat huddled under a honeyleather canvas tarp that was being used as a shelter from the weather, trying in vain to stay warm… since dry was not an option and definitely out of the question. The deadwood and tinder around her area were as soaked through as she was after several weeks of endless rain and would not even begin to hold a flame of any sort. She could not remember when last she was warm and dry beside a campfire. It would be another cold meal of lembas (a hearty elven waybread) and a small amount of quah-pah (an elven trail mix of honey, various grains, oatmeal, and dried fruits and berries) yet again. These were elven trail rations, and while pleasant enough as trail rations went, they do get rather dull after several weeks of having to eat them straight. With the constant wet weather, she was also having trouble keeping her bowstring dry. If she could keep it dry, then she could hunt, but that raises another question: How does one cook fresh game, of any sort, with soaked through wood that won’t light? She could not even hang the meat to dry into jerky… so, cold iron rations and cold water… again…yum. She thought.
Schaie sat in this miserable, sodden weather trying to remember why she was here in the middle of this foreign forest, in weather not fit for beast or fowl…
One beautiful afternoon day, about two moon phases ago, Schaie sat in a peaceful meadow glade fletching a sheaf of new arrow shafts. The sun shone brightly upon her auburn hair, and her emerald eyes sparkled and danced in the sunlight with a contented joy. As she continued her work, she saw a glint of silver off to her right, just outside of the surrounding wood line, a good two hundred yards away. She could tell, thanks to many years of training in the wilderness and combat experience, that an armored warrior was approaching her with the confident steady, strides of one who had seen combat many times. Schaie’s elven longbow lay close at hand, as did her own blade and long knives… She had learned long ago that one could never be too careful, especially if you felt safe and comfortable. Slowly, with a deliberate careful motion, Schaie looked over in the direction of the approaching figure.
Being a forester, Schaie was used to picking out details about her surroundings, at a mere glance. Today, she saw an elven warrior maiden outfitted in a corselet of gleaming pure ithilmar plate mail, an ankle length skirt of scale mail, shin guards reaching up to her knees, in addition to matching vambraces and a stylized matching helmet, all crafted of beautiful ithilmar as well. On her back rested a quiver full of elven shafts, in addition to the elven longbow as well. She carried with her a tall spear fitted with the traditional leaf bladed ithilmar tip forged as hard as a diamond. On her hips, encased in well oiled, lush honeyleather scabbards rested an elven blade and two matching elven long knives. Outfitted as she was, it would not even take a simpleton even a fraction of a second to see that this she-elf were not just any warrior maiden, but was in fact a Handmaiden of the Everqueen, Alarielle the Radiant. Where a Handmaiden went, so too did the will of the Everqueen.
Under normal conditions, Schaie would not be flustered or concerned under such situations, but one did not just casually deal with a Handmaiden… so she actually stood to receive the approaching Handmaiden. With a slight nod of her head, the Handmaiden acknowledged the gesture, and continued to advance to within arm’s length of the seasoned, wary forester.
“Schaiekessellendrell of the Northwood”, the Handmaiden stated, not questioned.
“I am,” was Schaie’s response. “What may I do for you, Handmaiden?”
“I have been asked to find you, not an easy task, I might add, and bring you to the Everqueen’s Court. Nothing is amiss, in fact the Everqueen wishes an audience with you. She has watched you from afar, for a time, and feels that the skills that you possess may be of assistance to Her. She expects to see you within a fort night. Good day, and may Isha watch over you.” With that, the Handmaiden turned around and started heading back the way that she had initially come from.
“Wait,” a stunned Schaie finally called out.”How will I know where to find her? As you well know, I am a stranger in a strange land.”
With a slow, deliberate turning of her beautiful ebony haired head, the Handmaiden looked back over her shoulder and replied,” You will know, if not, then mayhaps you were not meant to find Her.” Then with a sarcastic giggle, the Handmaiden added,” Mayhaps you are not all that the stories the bards tell are true. Only a ranger of your skill would be deserving of finding the Everqueen’s Court.”
Turning her back on the ranger, the Handmaiden left the meadow and headed towards the wood line.
“Well, that was interesting,” she mused as she watched the Handmaiden disappear into the wood line. Thinking nothing of the exchange, except for the strangeness of it, she laid down to take a short nap, as she was suddenly feeling the need to take one.
While she slept, Schaie dreamed a strange dream… she was in the forest, not far from this very location where a gloriously beautiful elf maid full of life, with long golden tresses flowing around her was standing in a pool of radiant light. The beautiful elf maid had tears falling from her eyes. That was all that she could see as the light brilliantly flared, blinding the ranger, forcing her to her knees and averting her face to the mysterious figure. The light shrouded figure spoke directly Schaie in a voice full of compassion and power, as would a mother to a young child needing to be convinced of doing something:
“Go to the Lands of the Lords of the Skies… Seek the One who rides the winds and the Shining One.”
With that, there was a brighter flare of light, and then… she was gone…
Schaie awoke with a start and felt compelled to go on a journey…
The highland mountains were no place for a wood elf from a more temperate climate… yet here she was, trekking in the high country… looking for something… or someone. Two weeks ago, she had a dream, or it seemed like a dream, where the Mother Isha came to her and charged her with the task to come to the Lands of the Lords of the Skies, and to seek the One who rides the winds and the Shining One… What it meant, Schaiekessellendrell had no idea. Two days after receiving the strange dream, or vision, or whatever it was, she packed her field ruck with her field gear, and she and Elandra and Ellirra, her twin elven hunting cats went in search of the One… in the Lands of the Lords of the Skies.
Schaie and the hunting cats wandered the forests for a little under a fortnight, when she stumbled into a glade that was unblemished…full of the height of summer fullness… and the sounds of festivities. As they cleared the wood line leading into the glade, Schaie was granted with a reward of entering an encampment of many brightly colored pavilions and warrior maidens all over the place, in addition to minstrels, poets, dancers and other participants. Awed by the appearance of the unexpected sights, Schaie and the cats were greeted by a vaguely familiar warrior maiden. It suddenly dawned upon the ranger that this she-elf was the Handmaiden that delivered the summons from the Everqueen. Just as she was about to ask if she really found the Everqueen’s Court, the Handmaiden spoke.
“Isha’s Blessings be upon you, Schaiekessellendrell of the Northwood. Peace be upon you and welcome to the Court of the Everqueen Alarielle, the Radiant. Please, follow me. The Everqueen awaits you.” The hand maiden stepped forward and ruffled the ears of the twin hunting cats, eliciting loud purrs from both.
“Isha’s Blessing, Handmaiden,” was all that this rustic ranger was able to manage as she was lead deeper into the mobile court. Absently, she let her hands trail at her sides, and she realized that her hunting cats were not at her sides. As she looked back for them, she found them lounging on the ground, acting as though they had not a care in the world.
Schaie continued after the Handmaiden as she wound her way past ever more pavilions and tents of all colors and sizes. Finally, they reached a clearing amongst the forest of canvas, and there on a finely wrought throne shaped of living oak, sat the Everqueen. She was leaning to her right facing and addressing one of her other Handmaidens. She was everything that Schaie had ever heard about the Everqueen…beautiful, full of life, light and yet there was an undercurrent of sorrow as well. As she continued to study the Everqueen, She turned to face Schaie and addressed the ranger. As she did so, Schaie dropped to one knee, genuflecting to the Everqueen.
“Isha’s blessing upon you Schaiekessellendrell. You are welcome here. Long have I watched you, and today is a momentous occasion. I ask something of you that I have asked of few in the past. It is this… there is one that is touched by the Great Mother that has a destiny that needs to be fulfilled. I am charging you, Schaiekessellendrell of the Northwood, of finding the one who was mentioned in your vision. Find her, defend her, and help her in the fulfillment of her destiny. Only those who are Handmaidens may fulfill these missions of mine and of the Great Mother when She sends them to me… so arise, Schaiekessellendrell, Handmaiden Warden for the Everqueen!!
“Schaiekessellendrell, keep in mind that this office of yours is special in that the other Handmaidens fulfill various missions that are required of them. You will be, upon your return to me, my warden of the Forests of Avelorn. They, and all other matters of any other forest under my domain, are yours to manage and to keep care of. None, but the Lords of the Forest and me may gainsay you in those matters. Remember, you must complete this other mission first,” reminded the Everqueen.
“Stay for a brief time, resupply as needed and rest. But you must be ready to move soon, as Time continues to march on.”
Stunned beyond belief, Schaie was not sure that she had heard correctly… as she was replaying the events of just moments ago, several Handmaidens went to her, and covered her in a cloak, woven from materials found in the forest, and with hair from the other Handmaidens of the Everqueen’s Court, and made to remove her from the Court.
Shaking loose from the grasp of the Handmaidens, Schaie swiftly moved to the throne and knelt on her knee again.
“My Lady, I thank you for this honor. I will not fail you in this. You may rest assured that your faith in me is not misplaced. I vow it!” With that, she bowed again and left the Court on her own accord, head held proudly.
After leaving the Court, Schaie was directed to a large tent made of a nondescript coloring, and made from a durable canvas. That tent, as she was to find out, was where the various personnel who had traveled great distances would be able to repair, refit, and resupply their wares prior to leaving again, the Outfitter. The kindly elder elf who occupied the tent showed her wares that she had never had access to before. Almost anything that she desired for a lengthy stay in the field far from home could be found. All she had to do was but decide and pick: specialized packs, clothing, shelter equipment, weapons, and other gear lined the walls and floors of the area. After several hours of going through the inventory, Schaie finally had picked what she needed and took the articles up to the elder elf so that he could process them. She expected to pay an exorbitant amount, but he just noted the items and packaged them up… most of the smaller items going into the various packs themselves, and bade he a good day.
That evening, Schaie rested in a spacious tent, with her old campaign equipment and new equipment given to her as per her station as Handmaiden Warden, reflecting on the strange turn of events. The next morning she and the hunting cats would start out on this mission of hers.
After about a month of travel, Schaiekessellendrell finally learned for sure that the Lands of the Lords of the Skies meant that of the kingdom of Caledor. For months she travelled by foot from the temperate forests of Avelorn to the cold, hard, craggy, climes of Caledor. After having travelled in Caledor, wandering almost aimlessly, she began to understand how the people of Caledor were so proud and hard. This gave her new insight into the people of Caledor. They had a right to be the type of people that they were… it takes a certain type of person to live in a remote land of mountains and volcanoes, let alone to “tame” dragons, and to have to constantly deal with the warped creatures roaming the mountains: manticores, dire wolves, cocatrices, monstrous scorpions, and a host other similar monstrous creatures. Well, being a ranger, what her people called a Way Watcher, she had seen a lot before… but never some of these creatures.
As she wandered the wilds of Caledor, she came upon the site of a small hold that seemed to be having growing pains. The hold was as others were: seemingly carved out of the very rock of the mountains. This particular hold though had what looked like a wild array and multitude of tents surrounding it. Upon first look it looked like it might be a festival celebration. The only problem was that there were no festivities, no minstrels, jugglers, or other entertainers. All that was to be seen from the warden’s eyes were the grim visages of soldiers expecting the worst of battles…
As she meandered her way through the throng of troops, horses, furriers, blacksmiths, coopers, and others, Schaie could not but get the feeling that she was getting close to something that had to do with her quest.
“Pardon me, but what Hold is this? I am not from the area.” she asked of a passing stable youngling-elf.
“This would be Starlight Hold! You must not be from around here, miss, if you don’t know what hold this one is above all others. This is the home of Gla’mereth and Haklasharra the Gold!! “The youngling exclaimed. But before she could ask more of him, he dashed off with bridles trailing after him. Schaie continued to wander around the “tent city” for a bit, before approaching the keep itself. It was here that she was challenged for the first time.
As Schaie approached the open gate, she noticed that there were two sentries on duty at the gate itself with more arrayed on the surrounding walls. From the sentries’ point of view, the sentries saw a lone she-elf dressed in the tans, dark greens, and leathers of a forest ranger. She had a large field ruck and forest cloak on her back, a longbow in her hand, and two long knives and an elven blade on her back, next to a full quiver of arrows. Oh, and she had two large elven hunting cats padding beside her. She had the look of a wary, travel worn loner about her…
“Hold.” stated the sentry on duty. He was arrayed in golden scale armor with the tower shield and tall spear prevalent to those of the citizen militia. “State your name and business.” Upon his uttering these words, another like arrayed sentry stepped from inside the gatehouse that was unseen around the corner of the wall. The total was now three, not including the ones who had moved to bowshot range upon the walls. The third sentry leveled his longspear at the two hunting cats Schaie got the distinct feeling that something was amiss…though she was not quite sure. The twin hunting cats quietly laid down, resting, posing no threat to anyone.
To the Sentries, Schaie replied, “Good Day, I am known as Schaiekessellendrell of the Northwood. I am a simple ranger on a journey spanning across The Lands of the Lords of the Skies, and seek the One who rides the winds and the Shining One…” Schaie deliberately used this cryptic verbiage to see if the sentries knew of what she was in search of.
The sentries looked at each other dumbfounded and then back at her. Obviously, they did not. One spoke up saying, “I know not what or whom you speak of, but if you wish to gain access to the Hold, then I will take you to the Castellan, Elion. He will be able to assist you if needs be.”
Schaie stood there thinking for a moment, then gave her answer, “Yes that will be just fine. Thank you.”
The third sentinel spoke as he moved away from the gate house (to the ranger, it seemed as though he was in a position of command at some level), “Stay here if you will, please, miss, and I shall fetch him straightaway. “
With that, he was off, and she was escorted, along with the cats, to a chair in a small cell of a room, within the gate house by the first sentry. The small cell of a room, Schaie surmised was usually used for holding persons at the gate so as to determine their intent.
To make time pass, she asked the first sentinel, “So why all of this? I saw no passing festival carnival. Is there something amiss in the area?”
“Well, you see, Warden, there was a Druchii incursion not but three fortnight ago, and the local lords and some others from all across the realm have come here because of what happened.”
Trying to coax more information out of the sentry, Schaie kept on, “So, what happened?!? I see scorch marks where huge fires ran wild on one of the surrounding plains. To me this indicated a dragon, or worse, but I see no damage on the Keep.”
“True Warden, what you see are the scorch marks of dragon fire that was used to begin the rout of the enemy. If the dragon and rider had not come when they did, then none of this would be standing here, and who knows what other atrocities may have occurred as well.”
This piqued Schaie’s interest… so there was a dragon and a rider in the area. Now all she had to do was find out if this pair was the one in the cryptic message or not. Her guess was correct that the Lands of the Lords of the Sky were indeed the princedom of Caledor.
“Who was this rider and dragon, do you know?” she asked in an effort to continue the conversation in hopes of finding an answer. If she was lucky she would not have to travel much farther.
“Well, Warden, that I can’t rightly say. Some say that she is as ancient as the mountains and is protector of the mountains. Others say that she is the sister of the lord here, and others say that she is a commoner who happened to get on a sleeping dragon and when it woke up, tried to buck her off, and failed. I do not know for sure, so… who knows?”
More bits of information… the rider was indeed a she-elf, that much was plain.
“Interesting,” Schaie mused aloud for the sentry’s benefit. “So what happened next?”
“Well...” the sentry started, but was soon interrupted by the arrival of the shift change. Spearmen moved into the guardhouse, and began the process of receiving their briefing from the Sergeant of the Guard, and began moving to their posts. With the bustle of activity, the sentry set to babysit Schaie was relieved of duty, replaced by one who was less talkative.
“Hello.” Schaie stated in an effort to gauge the new sentry’s talkativeness. It did not work.
“The Castellan should be here soon, or at the very least, someone to collect you, Warden.” The new sentry stated. That was all he said. After that he stood there just looking at her and she at him. After what seemed an eternity, the original sentry returned with another elf. This other elf, a dignified elder elf male, was dressed in robes and a mantle that made him look official. When they approached the Warden, the sentry took his leave from the elder elf.
“Good Morrow and welcome, Warden. I am Elion, Castellan of Hold Starlight. Would you please come with me? I would very much like to assist you in any way that I can.” As he was saying this, he continued to look around the guardhouse,” But, I think that a different venue might be appropriate. Would you follow me?”
Rising to greet the Castellan, Schaie bowed, “Greetings Master Elion, all is well within the I Hold, I hope?” With that, Schaie gathered her field ruck, longbow, and other weapons and moved to follow the elderly elf out of the guardhouse. When they left the holding room, the cats, which were left outside, under heavy guard, got up and began to follow her, headless of the spear tips being leveraged at them.
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Part 18 – A Destiny Unfolds
“When an elf presents himself or herself to the chosen dragon as it awakes, their chance to bond with it is short… the elf must pour all of his or her will , strength, and vulnerability into the archaic dragon-song, which is used to attract the dragon. The dragon, a creature not to be tamed, only come to those applicants that the dragon already sees a bit of itself (or their qualities) inside the elf.
Your link to the Dragontamer line is through your affinity with all of dragonkind. For some reason, and I think that, your ancestors possess that undefined quality that is prededicated for dealing with dragonkind.
Have you ever wondered why certain snatches of a melody would come unbidden to you? How about when you would sing or hum those melodies, that all around you would calm… that is the power of the dragon-song; That and the fact that, when bonded, we, you and I, can speak mind to mind. Also, your particular dragon-song allows you to communicate with other riders and their dragons, as easily as you and I can. This is a very rare gift… very rare indeed.
With the knowledge of the dragon-song and the words of power, you are able to calm the rage, hunger, and wildness that run within all of us dragons… or stoke those fires as well, all depending on your actions and thoughts. As the ages continue, less and less of us rise from our slumbers to continue the sacred duty that was given to us dragonkind so long ago; however, I see the aether changing now, even as we speak. More and more of my kin are growing restless… Why, I do not know yet kalamn- taelaenn.”
What is this ‘kalamn taelaenn’ that you used? It is not an elven word, yet I do not understand the dragon for it either” asked an intrigued Gla’mereth.
A deep, grinding rumbling sound issued forth from deep within Hakklasharra’s belly.
“It would be as you would say ’little lady’. This is what the others will refer to you as when you meet them. It is a term that we dragons only use for those that we dragons greatly respect.”
" Others?" asked Gla'mereth. "Will I be meeting your clan, soon?"
"No, Youngling." My kith and kin are dust in the wind by now. I am the last of the Skysoarer Clan.
"Oh," announced a very crestfallen Gla'mereth. Reaching her hand to ever so reverently and lightly touch Hakklasharra's great dragonscaled snout, Gla'mereth said the ancient last rites for the dead: " May they return to the Great Mother and know that the Light shall ever shine upon them."
After a moment of silence that stretched into a comfortable companionship, Gla'mereth finally asked the question that had lingered on her mind for a bit now, “So, I can command the respect of other dragons?” she asked.
Changing from the melancholy self-remembrance of her kith in a lightning flash, “NO!” exclaimed the she-dragon vehemently, her hot sulfuric breath washing over Gla’mereth, reducing the she-elf to a coughing wreck. “You can only command a dragon’s respect if and when the dragon recognizes him or herself within you! Only when the dragon allows him(her)self to be commanded can you hope to do so. Only then can you gain his/her ear. After that, well, it depends on you and your actions: Become reckless and unthinking and they will turn away from you, unless that is the temperament of the dragon. If you become overly full of vengeance or battle-lust, then you will be lost to the emotions of dragon-kind. A knife’s edge do you walk, ‘kalamn taelaenn’, between that of elf-kind and dragon-kind. You are a child of both diverse worlds. Stray but a little, either way, and you will be lost to the other... never to recover, never to return.
This line that you now walk is a line that very few have ever been able to walk; you would know them as Caledor the Great, Prince Imrick, and Imladrick of House Dragontamer, “and with that, Hakklasharra snorted a short sulfuric cloud through her nostril, in derision and continued, “as if we dragons could be ever considered ‘tamed’." Then she continued, “These are the ones who all others refer to as DragonMasters, they who would have the sane traits as you, ‘kalamn taelaenn’.”
"Dragon Masters, as you now them, also possess character traits that we dragons admire, in addition to how Elves see them: strength, power, grace, resourcefulness, intelligence, wisdom and cunning, compassion and fierceness, reckless abandon and controlled reserve, strength of personality, and a considerable list of others that I will not enumerate at this time. Dragons accept their Elf as a member of his or her clan. As such, the elf must live up to the exacting demands of dragon culture, yet that Elf must also retain a sense of who he or she is... if not then once again he or she is lost to the dragon. Are not your history lessons filled with the daring and almost 'God-like' acts of heroics and abilities in those that I have mentioned?" questioned the aged dragonness. " Why is it that they were able to accomplish feats and deeds that other could only write about? Were they that special, or was it something else?"
Moving her great bulk, so that she could better see her charge, Hakklasharra continued, eyeing the small she-elf with her great dragon eye, “Is this something that you are prepared to deal with and handle? I see a great many possibilities swirling around you, Youngling. Only you can decide which path to take and when.”
What the ancient dragon failed to add, but kept to Herself was that, "Know this, Youngling: I am with you no matter what path you choose... to the end. There is a work here that stirs me to an action that I have not taken since I was youngling myself..."
Standing up, looking out over the vast mountains of the Dragon Spire Mountains, all of Caledor lay before Gla’mereth: cold, cruel, stark, unforgiving and unyielding in its presence... much like that of her destiny. In a small, almost unheard voice she answered, “I do not know.” She felt very small; very small indeed. How and why was this hers to choose to take up. Why would this not be better suited to her brother, Alithor? He was the one who yearned for glory, power and responsibility. Not her. She would rather run free, rather than be shackled to a duty that was of more importance than she... Why her?!? This would take time to work through… time to figure out who and what she was. What she wanted... and why.
Seeking solace and divine intervention, she asked for assistance, crying, at the top of her voice, out across the seemingly endless expanse of the Caledorian Dragon Spine Mountains: “Oh, Great Mother Isis, is this such that You desire me to do this? I am but a small and meaningless figure. Would you have me choose a destiny such as this? As always, Great Mother, lead me as you would have me, and I will do the best that I can not to fail in your eyes.”
Finishing her prayer to the Great Mother, a feeling, a satisfied know of approval settled deep within her. She knew then, that this little slip of a she-elf was destined for a greatness that none had known before. The fact that Hakklasharra had chosen her, Gla'mereth, to be the one who had the ability to unite elf and dragon as never before, restoring glory once again thrilled her to no end, but it also scared her beyond comprehension. This combined with the fact that Gla'mereth felt the satisfaction that the Great Mother Isis had blessed this venture. Once again the Dragons would rule the skies above Ulthuan. She, Gla'mereth, and her dragon, Hakklasharra, would lead them to the greatest glories ever… but that was a long way off yet.
...................................................................................................................................................................................................

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:22 am 
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