In which there is a gem found, betrayal, and the death of a friend. (Part 2)

Soren, the 9th of Decem 976(Back in Alpaca)

We got back to the village without any troubles.   At Alpaca I asked Sophia if she would be travelling on ship from here or if she would be heading further inland.  She said that she would be leaving us here in Alpaca to journey onwards further into Angora.   She turned to me with open arms and enfolded me in an embrace and spoke warmly to me to take care.   She then turned to Theradon and kissed him on the cheek and told him to take care of me.   She bowed to Mazrith, offered a hug to Amayah, who instead opted for a handshake and the same with Felix.   And with that she was gone.

Our first order of business was to try and sell some of the weapons and armor that we had acquired.   The local blacksmith was a dwarf who was very knowledgeable.   He informed us that the sword that I had and the armor were both made of adamantine.   The weapons and rest of the armor were all of masterwork quality.   Mazrith thanked him for his help and gave him his pick of the armor and weapons in ways of thanks.   Next Mazrith and I proceeded to find Captain Rito, while the others went aboard The Weatherlight.   Mazrith and I managed to find a very drunken Captain Rito playing cards with an elf, dwarf, and another human.   As we walked over to the drunken Captain, Mazrith whispered to me, “Quick, use your sex appeal to get him to accept the offer!”   Stunned I stopped in my tracks.   Was he joking?   Mazrith never jokes!   So surely he was being serious….Very confused, I recalled how my last attempt at using feminine wiles with the wizards back in Eternos went…As we walked up to the Captain I tried my luck.   The exact words I used escape me, but let us just say I was not the smooth talking woman I was hoping to portray.   Defeated, I went up to the bar and ordered myself a drink.

As I surveyed the scene from my seat at the bar I noticed that Mazrith was trying to convince the Captain to go with him back in the ship.   Tiring of being diplomatic, Mazrith grabbed him and proceeded to drag him out the door, while the Captain exclaimed, “My coins, you’re dropping them!”   Chuckling to myself, I motioned to my friend that I would meet up with them and continued to enjoy the rest of my drink.   “So much for having a handsome man buy me a drink.   Sex appeal, ha!” I muttered to myself.   “I’ll buy you a drink,” said an unfamiliar male voice behind me.   Turning I noticed the man who had been playing cards with Captain Rito.   He had a golden sheen to his skin to match his shoulder length golden hair.   To be blunt, he was the most gorgeous man I had ever seen.   Standing at about 6,’ he still towered over me as I sat in the bar stool. “I couldn’t….um…help but to….um…over hear that you’re….with…um the….Captain?” he stammered out slightly as if looking for the right words to use, or how to approach the subject.   Wanting to put him at ease I laughed slightly, smiled and asked him, “Are you always this eloquent?”   As if on familiar ground he smiled and replied, “Only when I’m talking to beautiful women.”   My heart skipped a beat as I could feel my face turn ten different shades of red.   Beautiful?   I’ve never been called beautiful before!   A Dragon Warrior’s life is far from glamorous; even Theradon had never called me that.   Growing slightly wary that the stranger was some type of would-be womanizer, I got out of my chair.   Beautiful, indeed!  Ha! I bet he uses that “just off the farm shy-boy” routine as a way to get women! Well not this woman!   One of Theradon’s smiles was worth a hundred compliments from this pretty boy!   “I have to go,” I said suddenly, and bolted for the door.   “Wait!” he called out.   As I got out the door, Tath moved over to join me.   The man followed me outside.  “Wait,” he said, “I need a ship.”   “What type of ship are you looking for?”    He proceeded to explain to me that he had been working on a contract that had brought him to Angora but now that the contact was filled, he needed passage off the island.   “Well I’m not sure where you’re going, but we’re heading to Lemuria.”   “Lemuria?” he asked.   “That’s where I’m from, and actually where I need to head back to.”   “You’re from Lemuria?” I asked.   “Maybe you could be our guide then!   My name is Alusair, and this is my dragon, Tathandral.”   In my voice, Tathandral said “He smells funny”   “What do you mean?” I asked Tath.   “He smells like a dragon,” he explained, “but doesn’t look like a dragon.”   I looked at the man again.   “My name is Galant, by the way,” the man said.   Still wary I looked into his purple eyes and saw sincerity.   I nodded and proceeded to show him to the Weatherlight.

I introduced Galant to the rest of my friends and explained that he was a native of Lemuria and that he was willing to be our guide since it seemed he also needed to travel back to Lemuria anyways.  Captain Rito told him that it would be 500 gold for passage, but Mazrith interceded and offered to put him on our tab.   Galant thanked him.  Mazrith turned to me and said “You’re responsible for him,” and strode off.   Galant introduced himself to the rest of the party, bowing slightly over Amayah’s hand as he kissed it.   Quite the gentleman it would seem!   I thought about warning her about him, but my friend had proven that she was capable of taking care of herself.   After a bit of consultation the crew decided that we would ship out in the morning.   As the sun began to set I could faintly hear the minstrels and bards tuning their instruments.   Music!   They were going to play music tonight at the Inn!   I dashed downstairs to the room, stripped off my armor, washed and got dressed in my blue dress.   Noting its slightly wrinkled appearance, I vowed to get a new dress the next time we were in a large city for some shopping.   I went back up on deck, sword in hand and announced that I was going to enjoy the rest of the evening at the Inn listening to music and dancing.   Amayah and Theradon both said that they thought that was a great idea.   Holding out a hand to Theradon, he took it, and together the three of us set out for the Inn.

I wasted no time in joining the dancing and merriment.   Diving in, I picked up my dress and danced with the locals.   The steps of the dance were not ones that I knew, so I just made some of my own up. My heart soared and all my cares fell away as I lost myself in the music for at least a short time.   After a few fast paced sets, the music slowed.   “Theradon,” I called out, “Come dance with me!” As I looked over at him, I noticed that he hadn’t needed my prompting, he had already proceeded to make his way towards me.   I looked around for Amayah and noticed that at some point she had slipped out of the Inn.   Checking with Tath, he confirmed that she had decided to get some fresh air and go out for a walk.   As we danced together slowly, I closed my eyes, content to be so close to Theradon and savored the moment.   How could a man like this be evil?   Shoving the thought aside, I was happy to just enjoy the moment with him.

“DANGER!” came the mental shout from Tathandral.   I stopped in mid-dance.   “Where, Tath,” I asked.   “Monsters in town!” he replied back.   “What’s wrong?” asked Theradon.   “There are monsters in town,” I told him.   Focusing on Tathandral I asked him in a hurry, “Where are they?   What kind?   How many?”  he replied back, “They’re everywhere!”   Suddenly there was a crash as a black being hurtled into the Inn through the window.   Taking advantage of the panic and confusion the black monster started slaying everything around it.   It was one of the shadow demons that we had seen before!   I willed myself into action to grab my sword.   If the shadow demons were here, then the Shadow Man had to be close by.   Looking up at Theradon, I noticed that he had taken off the amulet that I had always seen him wearing and hand it to me.   “Here, put this on,” he said.   “It’s ok, I can cast armor on myself, you keep it,” I replied back.   “You are not in an advantageous position.   Wear it, I cannot afford to chance losing you in this battle.”   Stunned that he had spoken so freely, I looked at him and said, “And I cannot afford to lose you either, but I will do as you say for now.   You’re a good fighter, don’t take any needless chances.   We need you…I need you.”   Taking the amulet from his hand, I placed it around my neck.   Cupping his cheek with my hand, I kissed him.   He returned the kiss, then broke it off saying, “There is no worry for me, this shall be fun!”   Nodding, I said, “Then let us dance, my love!”

Turning we faced the demon in the inn and dispatched him.   Theradon shouted and commanded for the people in the Inn to not go outside and take refuge upstairs in the Inn.   Together we dashed outside.   “Tathandral,” I called out mentally, “Look after Theradon.  Don’t worry about me, stick with him and protect him.”   Tath nodded and took to the air.   Holding my the skirt of my blue dress in my hand, sword in the other, I took off running to look for the rest of the demons.   We found them every outside.  It was worse than last time, there were more of them.   I had Tathandral guide me from the air as I searched frantically for the closest member of our party.   My thoughts turned to Amayah, potentially caught unaware outside on her walk.   Tathandral said that she was confronting a demon and had entangled some roots about them.   I proceeded to head towards Mazrith and dove into the fray, trying not to worry about Theradon or the rest of my friends.   I needed to focus on the battle at hand.

Somehow in the middle of the fighting and chaos, Amayah had managed to find me and continued to fight next to me.   Galant miraculously showed up with my armor as well.   Amayah hurried to help me hastily don it.   Looking up she noticed I was wearing Theradon’s amulet.   “Theradon gave it to me,” I told her in celestial.  It seemed we were about to have the talk that we hadn’t had time for previously.   As she helped me buckle straps and get armor on, I proceeded to tell her about the talk that Theradon and I had in the Inn.   “He said he can’t afford to lose me!” I recounted to her.   “Amayah, you are my best friend, but I must confess as much as I love him, I sense…evil in him.”   “Ah so you did sense it,” she replied, hands working quickly and deftly.   “I wanted to confront him first but, he is evil.  I found out when I detected evil in the room of the Lich king.  But the fact that he gave you the amulet and is being so nice to you…please be careful,” she said.   “I will,” I told her.   “I realize now is not the best time to have this conversation, but we may not get another chance. I know that you can sense those things, so I wanted to confer with you.   I know there is good in him though!  I don’t believe him to be very evil, I have known theives who would be considered evil, but they indeed are not…LOOK OUT!” I shouted, our conversation cut short as a female looking demon landed next to us.   “I wasn’t one with you….” She said to Amayah.  That voice sounded familiar!   Looking up, I couldn’t believe it.   It was Sophia.   As she struck Amayah with one of her swords, I shoved Amayah behind me, trying to protect her, Sophia’s other sword biting into my exposed flesh as I did so.   It felt as if the sword and bit down deep into my soul.   Taking a defensive stance to protect Amayah, Sophia flew off.  Apparently she had grown horns and wings since we had seen her that morning!   “Theradon,” she purred.   I turned and saw as she landed near him and raised her sword up to strike him down.   Knowing how badly she had just hit me, I feared for the worst.   Time seemed to slow as her sword swung down towards him.   Suddenly Felix was standing next to Theradon.  As the sword headed for Theradon, Felix shoved him out of the way….taking the blow intended for Theradon.   Theradon was shoved into something that had been conjured by Amayah to harm Sophia.   Both Felix and Theradon fell to the ground, unmoving.   Sophia cursed as Felix took the blow intended for Theradon.   “Nooooooooooooooo!” I screamed out, in rage and pain.   I found myself surrounded in darkness.   I looked for the flame that I knew I would find there.   A light flickered in front of me.  “My friends!” I sobbed.   “I need to help them!”   A deep male voice answered, “Do you want to help them?”   “Yes, please I want to help them.   I love them”   “Then take my power,” he replied.   As always I asked, “At what cost?”   “The cost,” he said “is mine to say and will come at a time of my choosing.”   “In hopes that it will not later harm my friends or jeopardize our mission…deal.”   “Then take my strength and make it yours,” he said.   “Thank you,” I whispered.   The darkness faded away and was replaced with the battle.  I looked down and saw that I was encased in a black armor with dragon wings.  The armor had highlights of green, red, white and blue also.   I charged across the opening between me and Sophia, and struck at her.   She seem surprised as my sword bit deep into her.   “You were my friend!,” I screamed.  “I trusted you!”   “   “Felix was a great ally,” I heard Theradon say.    “You will regret this. Now run back to your master like the one who came before you and tell him I am coming. I am coming and I will not allow you to destroy this world.”   Sophia laughed and called us fools, and flew off.   Theradon was safe!   I turned to see that Amayah had been close to him and must have healed him enough that he was able to get back up.   As we kneeled down around Felix rain started to fall.   “C’mon Tath, lets take him back to the ship.”   As we headed back to the ship, Theradon fell in step with me.   I handed him back the amulet.   “Thank you,” I told him.   “You fought well.”   “We all did,” replied Theradon.   “We have suffered a great loss today, but the enemy was pushed back. They now know we are a force to be reckoned with.”   “I take heart in the knowledge,” I told him.   “Sophia will pay…I feared I feared for the worse when I saw both of you fall.  Felix was a good friend, Tath loved him dearly.  I will avenge Felix.”   Back in my room, I noticed my foot hit something on the floor.   Reaching down I found my journal that I had thought lost.   It has been a long day and tomorrow we will bury Felix and help rebuild the town.   I am more determined than ever now to obtain perfect mastery.   I will become the more respected and renowned Dragon Warrior…The Commander of all Dragon Warriors in Eternos.  If I can be the commander I can help guide them to fight the darkness and evil in the world.   I’m not powerful enough to protect my friends, but I will be….someday….

-Alusair Farstrider, Dragon Warrior of the Bronze Dragon Tath’an’dral

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