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… … …Talmar shuddered.  The palace was COMPLETELY ruined.  Destroyed.  They stayed hidden in the trees, watching the place.  Humans littered the area like a disease.  All of them from the human King's army.  Talmar's eyes went wide, "…Nova…"  He started forward, but a growl and teeth pulling his shirt kept him in the trees.  He looked back at Sage and frowned, "I knew Nova as a child!  Please, release me so that I might speak to him.  If we gain ALLIES, then aiding the dragons to the isle will be all the easier."

Curry hadn't gone feral, "Nay.  He is yet surrounded by those who would sooner KILL us.  If speaking with a human is of such importance to thee, we wait for thy human to be alone, where confrontation cannot lead to battle."

"… … …aye…"  They waited a long time, but eventually, Nova DID head off by himself into some trees.  He sat by a tree and began to carve a stick into something.  Talmar and the other quickly snuck around to where he was.  Basil, in his anthro form, was the one who grabbed Nova and pulled him toward them, hand over Nova's mouth to keep him quiet.  When Nova saw Talmar, he stopped struggling.  Talmar went up and without even THINKING, hugged Nova.

Nova gasped and shoved Talmar away, "TALMAR, cease."

Talmar frowned, "Nova…we grew up together.  Friends.  Us and thy brother Gareth.  Why go to WAR?  Mine people have done nothing to stir such actions, have they?"

Nova paused, then let his head drop.  He shook his head, "Nay.  I do not approve of this war, but I dare not disobey mine father.  It is HIS mad scheme to destroy dragon-kind."  He glanced back, "I need to be with mine men, lest they come searching for me.  Talmar, RUN.  Hide.  Flee.  If mine men should behold us together, I will have no choice but to do what is possible to slay thee, and I do not wish to."

"…but thou be a PRINCE!  Surely—"

"A prince under order from his king, Talmar!  As are the rest of the men here.  I hold no power over these men.  I am ONE of them since I am the younger of the brothers.  Were it not for our friendship, I would have slain thee here and now."

Sage tugged on Talmar's shirt again, motioning to the commotion of the humans.  They were starting to LOOK for Nova.

Talmar frowned, "Nova…come with us."

"I cannot.  I would help thee, but I DARE not be seen a traitor by mine own father.  I can offer only this in the way of aid.  Thy Queen escaped this castle before it fell.  She is alive, but someplace else.  Leave."

"PRINCE NOVA!  I've FOUND HIM!  MEN!  TO ME!  HE IS SURROUNDED BY THE ENEMY!!!"

Talmar gasped, eyes going straight for the voice.  Thyme and Basil rushed forward to stall the advance of the humans, but both were shot down in nearly the same second they were seen.

Curry rammed forward, tackling Nova to the ground.  He looked back at Talmar, "Our lives mean NOTHING compared to thee, Talmar!  Take Sage and FLEE!"

Sage bent under Talmar and scooped him onto her back, then BOLTED.  Talmar cringed, unable to do more than hold on.  When they had fled a good distance, Sage finally let him drop to the ground and he started back the way they'd come.  She formed into an anthro and grabbed his shoulder, "They sacrificed themselves so WE could flee!  Do NOT make mine dearest friends DEATHS be in VAIN, Talmar!"

"But…perhaps they yet li—"

"The human outnumbered them so GREATLY that I see that as improbable.  Our sole purpose now is to find the Queen."  She was holding back a rush of tears, though…and Talmar noticed.  He paused…it was honestly HIS fault that those three had died.  He'd wanted to speak with Nova, and that had been the reason they'd been SEEN.

He grabbed Sage in a tight hug, "…forgive mine foolishness, Sage.  I am the reason they died…and my sorrow knows no bounds.  I beg thee forgiveness…"

Sage shuddered in his grasp at first, then…then…cried.  She clung to him like he was the only reason she was upright.  She cried HARD for nearly an hour, mourning the loss of what was the equivalent of her only friends.



… …

… … …"Sage…"

She sniffed in hard and looked at Talmar, "Aye?"

"Sage…I would learn how to alter forms, if thou would be willing to take me on as thy pupil."

"…and why should I?  Thou hast done nothing but bring DEATH to the only people I know would accept me."

"I wish to protect mine family, mine people, as best I can, and that animal form of thine would be of inestimable value."

She sniffed again and thought it over, "…I've a single request to thee, Talmar.  In exchange for the knowledge you wish, I would have thee give me status among thy people.  When returning to the isle, I wish to have people who would accept me as their own, and I know mine own people would shun me."

"Done."  Talmar nodded, "Thou are mine teacher.  Should thou deign to teach the rest of mine people, that alone would give thee status among us."

"…Truly?"

"Truly."  He sighed, "If the Queen yet lives elsewhere, we too must journey on.  We will return to mine home and have word spread to the people.  All of dragon-kind must fly to the sea…"



She huffed and finally went to rest, sitting next to a tree trunk with a sigh.  Marie-Ann smiled at the small bundle in her arms and poked the her infant son to wake him.  It was time to feed.  She shook slightly and heaved another sigh.  She was EXHAUSTED…

…who had that human been again?  The human King's eldest son…Gareth.  Oh!  Right.  One of Talmar's friends when they were young.  She smiled at the old memory, wishing things could go back to being that simple.  Her smile vanished in an instant when she heard bushes rustle near her.  With a soft whimper, she curled up and darted her gaze about, PRAYING it was an ally…

"Madam…Madam, thy trail is simplistically easy to follow, but thou need not worry.  Mine father found someone else to kill.  If thou continued to flee, thou would be safe."  Gareth stepped out of the brush, smiling gently at her, "I am glad God saw to thy safety.  While killing is a sin, I would not have been able to abide mine father slaughtering a mother and her child.  Are thee well?  I have spare rations."  He handed her a small bundle of food, "I would rather thou escaped, Madam."

She paused, eying him for a long moment.  He honestly didn't recognize her…hm.  He continued with a smile, "Thy son looks quite healthy.  Strong lad.  His father ought be proud."

She winced, "…his father died fighting THY father, giving us this chance to flee…"

Gareth winced, "Aye…I would make things right if I could, Madam…"

She smiled ever so slightly, "I do enjoy thee more than thy father.  It has been far too long, Gareth."

He blinked, "Thou know of me?"

"Aye.  As does mine youngling brother, Talmar."

His eyes went wide, "Marie-Ann?!  Dear LADY, had I but known I would NEVER have allowed mine father to slay thy husband!"  He knelt forward, face on the ground and pleading her forgiveness.

She watched him for a moment, slightly confused, then sighed, "…Gareth, if thou truly would wish us safe, help us.  I seek mine brother even now.  He and his family live in a village West from here."

"I would see you to him, whether thy people slay me or not."

Her smile widened a little.  Gareth was as much the gentleman as EVER.  She sighed, "Thy father will know of thy treachery.  Mine journey will take a full lunar cycle, and that is if we have steeds to carry is by the wind.  We face a long journey."

"I despise what mine father has wrought.  I would sooner see thy race safe and away from his cruelty than let him continue.  I would give up mine crown to see his tyranny end, and HIM with it!  He is mine father, but he has allowed his sins to transform him into a monster that must not be tolerated.  I have travelled with him thus far only because I dared hope I could send him back to the proper path.  A fool's errand, that.  Doomed to fail from its beginning, and I only now see that.  He has constructed a Demon Knight from a set of bewitched, cursed armor, and a fallen dragon.  Even now, that construct is set on its path, laying waste to places it once would have called home.  Destroying families and life…"  He shook his head, "I could not bear it…"

Marie-Ann placed a hand on his shoulder, "Thou are not thy father's son…and the world will be better for it.  As it stands, please, escort me to mine brother, and I will bargain with the people to allow thy life among us on the haven mine brother set out to find."

"Thou would trust the son of a monster?"

"Nay.  I would trust mine brother's childhood friend."  She smiled softly at him and stood back up, letting her son go back to feeding once more, "We'd best continue our trek, then.  Sir Gareth, if thou would be so kind?"

He smiled and nodded, getting up as well, "CERTAINLY, Madam.  I shall keep thee and thy son safe from all manner of harm, should it be the last that I do."



"…'twould seem we've discovered our target."  A blackhoof dragon stepped forward, eying the blade, "Embedded by the Mistress Maerith…a fabled sword in the stone, guarded by the Invisible Foe."  He smiled, "I was beginning to fear it as myth.  Come.  We must attempt to free the blade from its prison."

A pygmy polar dragon stepped forward, clapping his hands together and smiling, "I shall be the first to attempt."

"But the Invis—"

"The blade first, the foe second."  He knelt beside the blade, gripping it in one hand, and PULLED.  It began to give way, but before he could pull it all the way out, he fell forward, blood dripping from a slash across his neck.  He was still alive, but VERY dazed.

"Geoffrey!"  He started forward, but paused.  Geoffrey was slowly getting back up.  He gripped the blade again, but a new cut slashed through his glove and into his hand, making him cry out in pain and fall backwards.  He moved away from the blade, wincing, "…Geoffrey, see our priest for healing.  I will see to the blade and its Invisible Guardian."  As Geoffrey left, he knelt beside the blade, but did not move to take it.  Instead, he closed his eyes and spoke softly, "Guardian.  This blade was forged by a mystic of the land, and the blade is meant never to break or grow dull.  We have need of the blade.  Our people are being hunted down as animals and slaughtered.  I am Sir Lucas.  Mine own village was slain by a demonic knight under the human King's rule.  I have need of this blade, else I will not be able to save the lives of the other villages the Demon Knight will attack.  Please.  Allow mine hand to receive thy holy blade so I might smite the enemies of mine people."  He opened his eyes and reached for the blade—WHAT?!  He instantly grabbed behind him on his neck.  Something had landed there!  He winced as he felt something sharp sink into his hand, but that was better than his NECK.  Lucas looked at what was in his hand, and his eyes went wide, "Wh…what manner of magic is THIS?!"

A tiny mountain dragon dressed in FULL armor snarled at him, "I am the Invisible Guardian of this blade, and I will not allow thee possession of it, no MATTER how dire thy plight is!  Mine is more dire."

"THOU would be the Guardian of the blade?!"  He shook his head, "Th…I fail to see…"  He shook his head again, "Thy name, Guardian?"

"Guardian.  Mine title is mine name.  I bear it proudly, and will not relinquish mine name until mine time is nigh."

He scowled, "It may well yet BE, Guardian.  I have need of the blade, and MUST take it.  Countless lives could be lost if I do not have it before the Demon Knight appears again."

"And countless MORE will be lost if thou deigns to take it!  I have a people as well.  Thousands.  A Countless number of mine people dwell beneath the earth, and this blade is what allows the ceiling of our massive home to stay in place.  Should it be removed, the ceiling shall collapse, and too many of mine people will perish.  Thou shall NOT take this blade.  It is the life of mine people."

Lucas sighed, frowning, "There are yet more of thee?"

"Many.  MANY."

"Then ask them to flee their homes.  The savior Talmar must be returned from his voyage by this date.  He left in search of a home for dragon-kind to live safely away from humans.  At thy size, surely thou and thy people will be more than able to join our trek.  I—"

"LUCAS!  THE DEMON KNIGHT!!!"  Geoffrey RUSHED Lucas, clutching his bleeding shoulder, "The Demon Knight seeks the blade!  He has slain our companions and seeks us out next!  I would have led him astray of the blade, but as I fled, he turned to thee!  Instead, I am here to help aid thee in battle."

"In thy condition, I would have preferred thou to continue fleeing."

Guardian paused, "…Our home is doomed this day, whether it be for righteousness of darkness."  He nodded to himself, "Sir Lucas.  Keep this Demon Knight at bay until thou sight a blackened cloud in the sky.  Once you've spotted such a devilish cloud, take the blade.  There shall also be a sea of mine people along the ground.  I will evacuate our home, then you may grasp the blade as thou would need."

"…thanks be to thee."
Next piece of the story for Poseidon! Hope ye like! ^__^

The characters are all copyrighted to :iconposeidonsimons:

The story is copyrighted to me.

Enjoy! ^__^
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:iconposeidonsimons:
poseidonsimons Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2011
hmm one thing I dont know
why are they not accepted with their own people? (the ehm... "spices" characters I mean XD)
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:icongrathiam:
Grathiam Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2011
Leaving the island is forbidden. To do so means that you no longer want to be part of their civilization to them, so if you leave, you are NOT welcomed back. Period. They'll accept foreigners, because those people will not have learned the ways of their people, but basically, if you know the rules and run away anyway? To those who didn't run you're no better than the animal form you've got. That help explain it?
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:iconposeidonsimons:
poseidonsimons Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2011
aaaaah I got it. Ok thanks
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:iconposeidonsimons:
poseidonsimons Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2011
aha gareth finds mary ann!
waiting for the next :P
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