To my current readers, thank you. Here is chapter 1 of part two. Enjoy.
A Chance Meeting
Hemmed in by arrows and sword blades we were herded through the forest. Suddenly we entered and clearing and were forced to stop. A muffled curse burst from the line as Dameon, not looking where he was going, cannoned into Catarina. I raised my eye and saw we were in a clearing surround by tall maple trees. The trees were draped in golden-orange leaves, but what really drew my gaze was building in the centre of the clearing. It was a small gazebo, built of orange-gold stone. We were shoved inside and one of the Elven Hunter’s flipped a small switch set into the wall. The pillars around us begin to glow and began to then pulse with an inner light. The light grew in brightness so we had to shield our eyes. Suddenly the walls around us disappeared. As the light faded we found ourselves standing in a broad square thronged with people. The Elven girl we meet in the forest was escorted inside. The other Elven Hunters stayed in position around us.
“Welcome to Silvermoon City,” Brandon said then muttered “This was not the reception I expected.”
“I told you they’d attack us,” Alex snapped.
Before Brandon could reply Cassius pushed forward, “Something’s wrong here. The Blood Elves of Quel’Thalas were always harsh but they have never shown this amount of open hostility. Something must have happened.”
“I agree,” Dameon put in.
“You don’t think it could be something like what was happening with Serah’s mother, do you?” Catarina asked.
“Maybe,” Brandon muttered. Further conversation was cut off as the Elven Hunters herded us towards one side of the square were several stakes were driven into the ground. Dameon eyed the stakes with growing apprehension. We were herded into the middle and each tied to a different stake.
“Something is very wrong here,”Brandon said.
Cassius rolled his eye’s, “Well done.”
“Why are you doing this?” Catarina asked as she was tied to the stake, “What have we done?”
But the Elven Hunters tying us to the stakes made no reply. After a while the sun began to set. Lights around the town began to glow with a soft golden light. It was almost impossible to sleep that night; being tied to stakes is extremely uncomfortable.
As the sun rose Cassius and Dameon awoke to see a group of five Elven Hunters lead by an Elven Sentinel approaching. Dressed all in red; long red pants, high red boots with spikes and a long red, plated robe. Carrying a tall rectangular gold shield with the twin hilts of two weapons showing over his shoulders he had the look of a seasoned warrior. The Hunter’s took up guard positions around their group. The others were awake by this time and throwing apprehensive glances at the Hunter surrounding them. The Sentinel looked over the group before selecting Brandon as the leader and addressing the questions to him.
“Who are you?” The girls voice took us by surprise. The Sentinel removed her helmet to reveal a girls face surrounded by flame-blonde hair tied back in a short ponytail.
Brandon, recovering from his surprise answered, “I am Brandon the Elder, this is Lady Hawkeye. The younger ones are Catarina, a demi-god messenger,” the Sentinel glanced at her before returning his gaze to Brandon. I saw Catarina’s lip’s whiten. “The two boys are Cassius Wolf and Dameon, Heir to the throne of Erazona. The Sentinel eyes snapped over to Dameon and then dismissed him too. Dameon jaw clenched as he bit back an angry retort. “The three Ki’miri are Alex and Serah Kreiss and the Warrior-Mage Luka.”
For the first time I saw the Sentinel give more than a passing glance in our direction. Her head jerked up and she glared in my direction. After giving me a long searching look she leaned towards one of the Hunters and whispered a few words. The Hunter nodded and sprinted away. She moved forward a few steps and turned to Dameon “Prove to me you are the true prince of Erazona?”
Dameon, struggling to stand up ripped his right sleeve back to bare his forearm. There clearly definable in the early morning sunlight was a tattoo like brand, a golden Dragon. Only those directly related to Alex the First were born with such a mark.
“Star,” a voice called from across the square. We all looked in the direction to see a tall, wealthy dressed man approaching. He wore a red and purple striped tunic over and a plain white shirt with gold lining on the sleeves. The red and purple pattern was repeated on his leggings and his boots. “What have you found?”
Casting one last look at Dameon’s brand Star quickly moved over to him and conversed in hushed tones. I strained my ears trying to hear what they were saying but could detect nothing but a low buzz. Luka caught my eye and commented telepathically ‘The Blood Elves had spells in place to stop intel gathering techniques’.
After a quick conversation the man nodded and darted away. Star returned her attention to us, “We have decided that you will be kept in quarantine until the King returns.”
“Return’s?” Dameon asked.
Further discussion was cut off as the Hunter’s surrounded us again. We were led away and placed, under guard in one of the larger guesthouses.
Two days later were positioned at different places around the living room. Hawkeye was seated on the couch, repairing the fletching on several of her arrows. Our weapons had been returned to us the other day after we and promised to not try and escape and anyway, Dameon was intent on speaking to the King. Catarina was seated on the floor attempting to scry using some Firewater that Luka had been carrying. She wasn’t getting very far coming up a meter or two short of the city walls no matter which direction she went. Luka, Alex and I were lounging on the floor in a rough triangle playing a Ki’miri version of three-sided chess called Divide and Conquer. Cassius was seated a few steps away, watching the game intently. Brandon and Dameon were discussing the usefulness of different weapons and tactics in different situations.
We were all interrupted by a light knock at the door. Hawkeye looked up in the middle of reflecting an arrow. Alex, Luka and I broke off our game and Cassias, Brandon and Dameon looked up.
“Anyone expecting visitors,” Hawkeye asked.
Catarina shook her, using magic to return the Firewater to its jar and tossed it to Luka who caught it without looking. “Why don’t we see who it is?” she suggested getting up. Catarina opened the door. For a second we didn’t recognize the Elf that stood there. She was dressed in the same long red pants, this time spike less boots and a plain white T-shirt with bloodstone’s sewn into the hem and sleeves. Her long red hair was now loose and falling naturally to her shoulders. It was the hair that gave her away. Cassius and Dameon recognized her at the same time.
“You.” Dameon cried, “You’re the Sentinel from yesterday. Why are we still locked up here? No King leaves his people for two days, it’s the kind of thing my brother would do.”
Brandon laid a restraining hand on her shoulder. “Calm down, she seems worried.”
Luka stepped forward, “I must apologize for Dameon. He can be a little rash at times. Please, can you tell us what’s wrong?”
The Sentinel relaxed a little, “The King left eight days ago to attend a diplomatic meeting with the High Elves in Darnassus on the border. He should have been back three days ago.”
“Could he have been delayed?” Hawkeye asked, “Could the meeting have gone on longer?”
The Sentinel shook her head, “That’s what we thought a first but a day before you arrived one of the King’s scout’s returned,” she paused as gathering her resolve and continued, “he was nearly dead when he arrived. Both he and his mount were soaked with blood. He lived long enough to tell us that it was a trap set by the Mind-benders, then he died.”
“What could the Mind-bender’s accomplish by kidnapping the Blood Elf King,” Cassius asked.
The Sentinel shrugged, “No idea but all of that aside for now. In the absence of the King we have decided you are to be brought before the Blood Elf court.”
“They will listen to your story and decide what to do with you.”
“What are our option’s?” Hawkeye asked standing up. Cassius, Dameon and Brandon followed suit. Alex and I started to pack up the game while Luka and Catarina looked on.
“Well, option one is that you are set free and can wander through Silvermoon at your leisure. Option two is that you are kept here under guard until the council decided what to do, which could take months. Option three is…” She hesitated for a moment “…your killed.”
“Can you do anything to ensure that we aren’t killed?” Brandon asked, “You seem to be pretty high ranked.”
The Sentinel flashed him a smile, “I can’t because I’m not a Blood Elf.”
“What?” Dameon exclaimed in surprise, “What are you?”
The Sentinel glared at him, “My name is Star,” she pushed back her fringe to show them a star shaped birth mark on her forehead, “I’m a sixteen year old Were…”
“Your only sixteen and already a Sentinel?” Cassius asked unbelievably.
Star switched her glare to Cassius, “If I could finish, I’m an eighteen year old Werewolf from the planet Iago in the far reaches of the universe. A large force of Dark Wolves led by a Drakel Mage attacked my clan. The Drakel Mage cast Shadow Vortex trying to pull our leader in but I jumped in front at the last minute and got dragged in instead.”
Before anyone could speak a bell rang three times and Dameon, standing by the door spotted a group of Elven Hunters coming across the square.
Star looked over her shoulder, “I’ll explain everything later. But for now you are to be presented before the court.”
She quickly disappeared out the door, conferred briefly with one of the Elven Hunters, then turned and beckoned us the follow.
We crossed the square and were herded into a large, long building. It looked like a Roman style Basilica. The Blood Elf council was seated in a semi-circle at the far end. Star ushered us into a circle in front of the council and the meeting began.