The Ranger Of Severum: Episode 4

In the remaining moments before dawn Trillian had finally been able to sleep a bit. The storm did not last long, but the rain continued on and off.

Yulissa had stayed beside him all night, after the rain started, but fell asleep as dawn neared.

Trillian had watched the woman sleep. She was a beautiful creature, of that there was no doubt. Her hands had been gentle, her voice soothing, her long, dark hair and eyes… Trillian shook his head, warding off the sudden sensual awareness in his body.

As the sky casting a foreboding red hue upon the fleeing darkness, he moved slowly, so as not to waken Yullissa. Picking up his cloak, which she had used to cover him in an attempt to keep the bindings dry, he clasped it at his neck and put on his belt and quiver. Not wanting to wake her, he tried to leave the campsite quickly with as little noise as possible.

Unfortunately, his attempts were feebly shattered when his maimed wing sent the pots clamoring over one another to the ground.

Yulissa awoke with a start, turning to the warm patch of bramble the ranger had been sleeping on. Her eyes wander nervously until they lighted on Trillian.

He tried desperately -to no avail- to hide his clumsiness, whilst clambering over the pots which now lay scattered in his path.

The lady smiled in amusement.

Trillian glared at the woman, not the least amused.

“Where are you off to in such haste?” she queried.

“I need to return to Severum before my injury gets worse. So I must leave you now.” If he would let himself be truly honest, he did not want to leave the woman behind, but his mind had started clouding with images of her. She was nothing but distracting.

“If you are going to Severum, would you mind taking me as well? It will take only a moment to break camp.”

Trillian heard himself give in to her request. Whether from the need for someone to see him safely home, or the growing awareness in his flesh, he was unsure.

She packed things up and dowsed the fire in moments, and they set off as the gray clouds rumbled again, overhead.

I am never, ever, ever, doing this again. Trillian grumbled.

The woman had been silent most of the journey, and even in the rain she uttered not a word. He knew she must be dreading the weather, but braved it rather well.

When Severum came into view, the rain had not let up, nor had Trillian’s mood.

As they approached the gates to the city, Trillian whistled.

Immediately three rangers appeared at the top of the gate, and began opening it.

One of them, a good friend of Trillian, eyed the Master Trainer warily as they let the woman pass.

He caught the older rangers arm. “Trillian, you know she cannot be seen with you, what will Sideon think?”

“I will explain everything later, Eregoth.” He replied quietly.

“Don’t gamble your hope, Sideon is certainly not in the mood to listen to explanations, especially from you.” Eregoth replied, letting the ranger go. “What did you do to your wing?”

“I ran into a little trouble.” Trillian replied as nonchalantly as was possible.

“A little trouble?” Asked Eregoth, not amused by the way Trillian brushed off the question.

Yulissa watched the men going about their early morning work. Some gathered wood for fires, some carried tools, and some food.

“Where are all of the women of Severum?” she asked.

“They are chambermaids,” replied Trillian, “chambermaids and servants of Sideon.”

“Chambermaids,” Yulissa grew pale. “You mean concubines?”

“In a way I suppose they are. They serve the men whom Sideon wants to ‘breed’. Many of the children you will see in the palace are born here to the women. Many young girls are sent away to the Apologists to be educated by the most highly of praised teachers, some are traded to the druids for creatures of races like mine for the men to breed with.”

“That is terrible!” Yulissa held her breath. “What race are you?”

Trillian looked about nervously, avoiding the question a second time, hoping that no one saw him with the woman.

To his dismay, everyone seemed to watch him walk towards the Palace of Severum. Sideon would know before Trillian even arrived, that a woman was with him. The ranger was in enough trouble as it was.

Finally, they reached the steps of the palace, and a servant came running to Trillian.

“You are back!” he said, “Good. Sideon is not in a very good mood and he requires you immediately.”

“Do you know what the urgency regards?” he queried.

“It has something to do with bringing her with you.” The servant whispered. “Sideon is not in the mood for explanations, and if you try and cover this one he might…” The servant saw Trillian’s wing for the first time. “Trillian, what happened? Oh, never mind for the moment, it might aid your testimony.”

Yulissa looked upset, “I have gotten you in trouble, I am so sorry. If I had known…”

“No, it is alright.” Trillian brushed her aside gently, “I will see what Sideon wants. Reinstör, you stay out here with her, if any of the men attempt to take her away, you know what to do.”

“Yes sir, Master Trillian.” Reinstör saluted, letting Trillian into the halls of Severum.

For The Love Of All Things Coffee

I have a severe need for coffee.  Being half-way through my second pregnancy, so close to the end of breastfeeding the first one, has been difficult — but only because, once again, I can’t have any alcohol, or coffee.

How grand it might be to grab a cup of coffee to soothe my raging emotions.  How sweet to savor a glass of red moscato, or a Mikes Hard Lemonade, or a mixed drink from your favorite restaurant, when one has lost the end of their sanity.
Simple relaxing agents that one might use to indulge themselves for just a moment.  A selfish little stimulant that you can wash away your worries with.

No, I’m not an alcoholic.  But work with me people, every once in a while you just NEED a glass of wine, am I right?

When life hands you lemons, they insist you make lemonade.  What I want to know, where do they find the sugar to do that with?

Life is full of ups and downs, and this week I have hit some pretty heavy downs.
From my grandma dying (which didn’t bother me much, she was a difficult woman to love) on Monday morning, to our car not starting on Monday night, to not having funds available to fix it, to several unnecessary things happening with the car in between…..  My saving grace this week is that the landlady is giving us an extension next week, so we can pay partial rent in good faith, up until the extra money starts rolling in.
From Monday, which is Hubby’s birthday, through the rest of the month, I will be in Ohio.  And I’m not sure when I’ll be back home after that.

So this has certainly been an “I need to relax with a glass of wine” week.  It’s terribly inconvenient that I don’t get to use anything to soothe my nerves during pregnancy.  Except like, a Lavender Essential Oils bath— but I’m a mom of a toddler, who gets the time to be in a bath long enough to actually enjoy it?

I’m going to break down and make a cup of coffee……

Take A Walk

The Lands of G'desh

This past week, I (Dana) spent several hours-in three different painstakingly long sessions-finishing up the final edits of a short story being submitted into an upcoming anthology.

Wednesday came and went, and being the first one on the new posting schedule, I completely forgot on Wednesday.  Though, that’s no so terrible, we had a huge winter storm waiting on the edge of the state.  Going out to buy a few things to tide over until the weekend was helpful.

Sitting at my laptop, on a sunny, frigid, Friday morning, I’ve decided to write about inspiration.

My greatest inspiration for writing is nature.
The simplest things one can reap from the world around them, has created Fantasy and Mythos since the dawn of man.

From dune-people who hide in the sand of the deserts, to sirens in the water who lure people to their death.
From enchanted pools of healing water…

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The Ranger Of Severum: Episode 3

Mulling over his explanation, Trillian watched the woman busy herself around their makeshift campground. Having disappeared into the forest a few times, the woman returned with a traveling pack, an arm load of wood, and a change of clothing.

As she stood over the pile of kindling, Trillian watched her breathe gently into her hands. They burned orange for a moment, then a tongue of fire danced out onto the top layer of dead leaves, catching the wood with a pop. His eyes caught the fading orange glow of an object slide into her pocket as she stood. With an alluring grace, enhanced by the firelight, she bent to pull a few things from her pack, and then sat next to the fire.

The smooth luster of a bowl glinted in the firelight when she set it down on a wire rack over the flames.

Trillian’s curiosity was heightened. “What is your name?” he asked.

The maiden’s lips formed into a gentle smile. Dipping pieces of cloth into the bowl, she glanced at him briefly “Yulissa. I was on my way to the Severum when the druids attacked.”

The Ranger inhaled sharply, wincing against the pain in his body. The weight of the splintered wing began causing his shoulders and back to drag toward the ground. Adjusting to accommodate proved more challenging than he’d thought.

In a steady rhythm of haste, she picked up the bowl and came to his side.

“What are you doing?” he grimaced, startled by the scent of the herbs in the pan she laid beside him.

“I am going to bandage your wounds and help with your wing.” She replied with a smirk, “What do you think I was doing with that bowl?”

Trillian pulled back, raising his hands in defense, “Thank you, but no, I will be fine, you mustn’t worry about me.”

Yulissa quietly but firmly insisted, “You need help, please allow me to repay you for rescuing me.”

Trillian attempted to remain calm and hold still as the woman set to work on his wounds. Her touch was gentle and compassionate. Under any other circumstance, he might admit that he rather liked the feeling of her hands on him.

“What were you possibly thinking, traveling alone at night?” the question burning in his mind, finally tumbled out of his mouth.

Her movement against his back slowed, “I was on my way to the Severum.”

Alone, and in the dark?” it wasn’t condescending, but the edge clearly conveyed his disbelief.

Silence. Her hands quickened again, and he felt a bit of a tug as she began pulling the bandages tighter. Obviously, he had struck a chord with her.

Really though, he thought to himself, what woman in her right mind travels alone at night? Surely she knew the druids would be out.

“You are a half-breed?” The question referred to his wings.

It was his turn to avoid answering. Instead he cried out -though she had done nothing that hurt him. At least her attention was diverted for the moment.

Her hands were much lighter than before as she apologized, “I am sorry.”

“Just be careful.” Adding extra breath to his sentence wasn’t very difficult, it felt as though his wing were ripping from his body. It took everything in him to stay alert while he was tended. Talking seemed to help, he decided, “I suppose you aren’t afraid of me, after you watched what I am capable of?”

A burst of laughter answered for Yulissa, “If you could see your wing.”

Unamused, Trillian waited until the cynical reminder that he was defenseless stilled.

Once she was able to contain her laughter, Yulissa continued, “By your appearance, you are obviously of the Severum, and you did rescue me from the druids.” She was finished now, the bowl clinked behind him, and he heard her getting up, “since you are friend, and injured on my account, it would be cruel of me to leave you behind.”

She set herself up across the fire from him. Her outward appearance reflected no fear — his wing must really look bad. It felt bad, that much was certain. Hopefully, the night wouldn’t tarry, and he could get it properly bandaged when he made it back to the Severum.

Dread suddenly washed over Trillian as he thought about having to explain the situation to Sideon. The Master was not going to be happy about this.

Thunder rumbled off in the distance.

Perfect. That’s all I need. The ranger shifted a bit, sighing with disgust.

He could see Yulissa’s eyes glinting, as they moved back and forth. She was staring at the sky, probably monitoring the clouds above them.

“Do you want me to set you up a tent?” She asked.

Trillian shook his head, “Just one more thing to worry about in the morning. I’ve weathered worse, we will be fine.” He met her gaze, “Thank you.”

With a gentle smile, Yulissa laid her head down on her arms, “Of course.”

Maybe it was the fire light, but Trillian thought for a moment that she appeared a bit sullen. Her eyes watched the tongues of flame dance in the wind, which was becoming increasingly stronger.

The sky rumbled again, this time a bit closer.

Trillian grimaced, dipping his head and crossing his arms as best he could against the strain in his shoulder. As the first drops of rain started to sputter in the fire, the ranger wondered why he had ever agreed to go out on the skirmish in the first place.

Prompt XIII

The Lands of G'desh

It’s Monday, and despite the weather recently, it’s supposed to be quite nice today.

Your Prompt – Your characters are trapped at a tavern, and a blizzard is coming in.  What are they going to do to wait it out?
The blizzard lasts a day and a half, but when it’s over, everyone has to work together to get out of there.  Does everyone handle it well?

Happy writing!

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The Ranger Of Severum: Episode 2

Muffled pleas led Trillian directly to them. He crouched low behind the bushes and forest overgrowth to examine the situation.

The woman was fighting against the druid in vain, her kicks and shoves were obviously doing nothing but wearing her out as the druid seemed to be trying to remove her clothing.

The ranger slid his hands into the pocket of his cloak, pulling out a small knife. He ran his finger across the blade, making a small slit in his thick gloves. Satisfied, he rubbed a cloth filled with poison across the blade and then ran into the meadow. With great stealth he threw the blade. Having the element of surprise against the unsuspecting druid, it embedded perfectly in the druid’s side.

The foul creature cried out and turned as Trillian approached, pulling out his short blade and knife.

Shoving the woman aside, the druid stood to his feet and held up his hand, in an attempt to ward off his attacker.

Trillian spun quickly out of the way, and lunged at the druid with his knives. The first one caught him in the leg, but the second missed as the druid unsheathed his sword and caught the blade against his own in a clash of red sparks.

Angry, the druid spun around the ranger, letting out a blast of energy wrapped in red wind. Trillian easily dodged the gust, angering the druid. The adversary spat and jabbed his sword in a deadly thrust. Weakened from the poisons, the lunge made the druid stagger. Switching his choice of weapons, he held up his hands sending a radiant glow wrapped in a show of white light toward Trillian.

The ranger jumped out of the way as it flew at him. Dropping his knives, he took out a pre-dipped arrow, strung it on his bow, and let the arrow fly.

It landed in the druid’s side. He began to sway as the poison quickly attacked his system. The earlier injection of poison had rendered his central nervous system nearly inoperative, needing only a simple brush with the liquid kiss of death to bring his demise.

Trillian was quick to prepare another arrow, this one finding its mark in the druid’s chest.

The dark knight smiled, “I am sorry for you to meet your doom this way, human. If you knew what kind of power I have amid a state of weakness, you might have withdrawn your attempt to kill me slowly.”

Trillian did not speak as he watched. This will be fun, he mused to himself.

As the druid raised himself back up, his eyes flashed bright red. A tree uprooted next to Trillian.

The ranger watched in amusement, as the tree hurled itself at him. Moments before it neared, Trillian threw a large rock at it, causing it to shatter.

The druid looked surprised, if only for a moment.

The ranger laughed, his own secret emerging as black and red wings extended from his back. He flew up into the air, above his opponent.

Rising to the occasion, the druid also sprouted wings, following the ranger into the sky.

Trillian spun quickly out of the path of another burst of red energy. With arms extended, toes pointed downward, and his chin up, he rose into the air. Waves of white encircled about him, sending tendrils of light in every direction.

One of the curling flashes of light struck the druid’s chest. The druid held on feebly, through Trillian’s sudden show of magical abilities, as he felt the last of his energy drain from his body. In one last attempt, he shot a disabling bolt of light at Trillian. It caught the young man off guard, breaking one of the rangers wings.

Trillian faltered slightly, as he watched the last strand of life in the druid break and fall away. The creature descended heavily from the sky with a thud.

Trillian glided down to the ground again, giving careful protection to his broken wing.

While fighting to regain his breath, he turned to the woman, who was watching fearfully, waiting for what might happen next.

Trillian unlatched his cloak and handed it to her, hoping to further be of protection and comfort to her.

Her silver eyes questioned his as she accepted his gracious offer.

The woman was concerned for her rescuer. Having wrapped the cloak about her, she slowly approached her savior, “You are hurt.” she stated.

Trillian shook his head, “I am fine. I regain strength quickly.”

He could not hold himself up, though, as he fell to his knees, his injured wing hanging limply down his back.

The woman watched silently as the ranger sought to collect his strength.

“I will be fine in a moment. All I need is to rest.”

The woman furrowed her brow, “Can I do anything for you?”

Trillian shook his head slowly. Sighing deeply, he tried to steady his breathing. He knew that he could not hide his wings away with the one broken, he needed to return to Severum quickly. Lifting himself, he attempted a standing position to no avail, dropping once again to his knees. Feeling defeat, which was a poisonous state of mind to a Ranger, Trillian stayed where he was on the ground.

Seeing the young man was in serious need of attention, the woman helped to prop him against the splintered tree that now rested in the middle of the clearing. With him a bit more comfortable, she gave him a bit of a comforting smile, “I’ll be right back.” And with that, she disappeared into the forest.