Faet & Fantasy : Winter

The magnificent sound of a thousand fluttering wings melodiously echoed as the Winter Fae arrived at Raven Dell.

Kiena watched from her porch as the hosts of Raven Dell cheered.  The Lord of the colony took forearms with the Lady of the dell in welcome.

Bored with formalities, Kiena scanned the newcomers interested in how many there were this time.  She’d never paid a great deal of attention to the Winter Fae as she and Rynn took off on marvelous adventures more often than not prior to Acacia arriving.

Kiena found herself staring at one of the fae.  While she was looking him over, his eyes met hers.  Caught off guard by the piercing stare of blue eyes, Kiena looked immediately away.

Foolish move. She thought to herself glancing his way again.

His features were sharp and angular.  Long black hair pulled back at the nape of his neck, setting off his pale skin and blue eyes, with his sharp ears pointing out of his hair.  His wings were like crystal, tinted with lavender.  She only imagined his voice was just as glorious as his appearance.

His eyes trailed to hers.  He could feel her staring.  Hiding her cheeks from the coming flush, Kiena stood and went inside to hide from the embarrassment in being caught staring.  This last time she was sure he smirked and shook his head.

Her throat constricted nervously as she peaked through the narrow seam of her curtains hoping he wasn’t on to her, Kiena admitted she felt foolish hiding from him.  Maybe he would forget– though, she reminded herself, being the only one in her colony with black hair, Kiena stood out like a dandelion in a field of grass.

As the colony began to disperse to their seasonal homes, Kiena watched him fly across the way with a group of males.

He was single from what she could tell.  Perhaps she might consider getting to know him.

Faet and Fantasy : Kiena

Kiena circled the glen slowly, wrapped in thought.  Her eyes mindlessly scanning the flowers she buzzed past, her hair gently whisked at her face.  She held an arm behind her back, keeping her toes pointed to the ground while in flight. Instead of watching where she was going the fae started when fur collided with her face.

Grinby, her dearest fox friend barked in surprise.

“Oh, I apologize Grinby.”  Kiena spit fur from her mouth, pulling a strand of decent length from her tongue.

“You’ve been quite distracted lately, Kiena,” Grinby chuckled.

“I don’t mean to be.”  Her eyes stayed focused beyond the ground, her expression still blank.  “I’ve lost all sense of direction since they left.”

They being Rynn and Acacia.

Grinby offered a smile meant to comfort, though foxes rarely can look empathetic beyond their natural pointed scowl.  “I know my dear.  We all hate to see you like this.  Is there anything I can do?”

Kiena shook her head, her black curly tresses bouncing untamed with the motion.  Her empty eyes seemed to glisten as she quickly wiped her nose and looked away, “It wouldn’t help anyway, I’m fine.”  She sniffed once, smiling to Grinby without cheer.

Grinby nodded slowly, “Well, I was off to the cubs to bring in dinner.  If you need anything, you know where to find us.”

“Thank you,” Kiena said trying to appear sincere, though she knew it wasn’t working.

The fox left, and the faerie decided it best to try to head home.  Twilight began setting in, early though it was as winter approached.  A chilly wind gusted suddenly.  Kiena braced herself against it, welcoming the cold.  Soon she could shiver and others wouldn’t ask if she were alright.

And why did they ask anyway?  What could anyone do about it?

There was more silver lining to be thankful for, she reminded herself.  The winter fae would be migrating again, and no doubt they would take attention off of her for a few months so Kiena could finally mend her sullen mood.

Lit mushroom lanterns dotted the tiny village as she made it back to Raven Dell.  Some of the fae were out dancing at a festival of sorts near the top of the rocky face.  Perhaps it was a birthday for a youngling?

The image brought back the memory of Rynn and Acacia’s wedding.  It had been a lovely event.  Acacia had been a vision of a bride.  Her blonde hair shining like gold to offset her burgundy dress.  Rynn had not taken his eyes off her the entire night.  He was enchanted with the fae.

Tears blurred Kiena’s vision again and she quickly ducked inside her tiny home.

Her main room looked out into a cleft of the dell where she could watch passersby.  Tonight, she did not light the candle on her table, she simply went into her room and stretched out on the bed going instantly to sleep.

Sunshine Blogger Award!

I was recently nominated by a writer friend of mine to answer 11 questions in the Sunshine Blogger Award.  D. James Fortescue was one of six authors in a collaboration project I joined in 2014.  It was a great deal of fun working with him, and after the team had gone our seperate ways, it was quite exciting to see his name pop up in my notifications with this nomination.

 

The rules are:

  • Link back to the person who tagged you. TICK
  • Answer all 11 of their questions.  See below.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 1000 readers and let them know you’ve nominated them.
  • Ask them 11 questions.

Linking 11 bloggers.  Hm.  That’s the hard part.  Finding people who would do it.

I nominate:

  1. Travis Martin
  2. Beth Hammond
  3. Lilian Oake
  4. Carl Baumann
  5. Kasey Hill
  6. JC Boyd
  7. Laurie Wetzel
  8. Robert Cano
  9. Steve Rose
  10. Alvin Foeng
  11. Devani

 

My questions are:

1. When you think about your goals, how are your pursuing them?
2. What kind of things do you use to help get the mood going for your projects?
3. If you’re listening to a Pandora station, and a song comes on that you don’t like, do you stop your writing and change the song, or do you listen to it through and keep writing anyway?
4. How do weather patterns play into your stories?  Does the weather affect your characters?
5. If you had the opportunity to go absolutely anywhere for inspiration, where would it be?
6. What role do politics play in your stories?
7. Are you afraid to write about certain topics based on how others might view them?
8. As a BLOGGER, what do you blog about?
9. How do you feel your blogs are making an impact on your skills as a writer, or your exposure in general?
10.  Do you like chocolate cake or white cake?
11. If you had the option to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

 

My answers to D. James’ questions:

  1. As you are all awesome authors, what stories of yours are currently available for people to procure? (provide links)
    I am currently published in Den of Thieves, a Den of Quills Anthology
    My story is called “The Precious Jewel”.  It’s the first short story I have available, while I continue to work on my High Fantasy words.
    I also wrote a 100 word drabble for a Halloween themed drabble Anthology ((I also did the cover))
  2. What exciting things are going in your portion of the planet?  On my portion.  Well, we’re currently holding primary elections for President.  It is at this point in time that I have decided we should have started America as a monarchy, because then no one would be complaining about the idiots running for President.
    My son and daughter are growing like weeds, I’m extremely excited to have both of them.  On Sunday we’re taking them to A Day Out With Thomas to ride a very special blue engine from the magical Island of Sodor.
  3. Do you prefer your fermented beverages grain- or grape-based?  Grape and berry.  I enjoy a good blackberry merlot from time to time.  I also like coconut based– Rum is pretty good stuff.
  4. What currently unavailable works are you working upon?  The Tambine of Eldegras, and the first book that has yet to be named.  I’m also writing a book for my branch of the wonderful universe of Volden.
  5. Who’s your sports team of choice?  I’m partial to the Green Bay Packers.
  6. Dream holiday location?  Ireland.  I love Alaska’s inside passage and would cruise that stretch every year if I could afford it, but my dream trip would be to see Ireland.
  7. Your feelings on the current status of the USA Presidential Nominations?  I hate everyone on the ticket, and think We The People should overthrow the candidates and set up a new panel of candidates to vote for.  But considering everyone in America is so darn compliant, that won’t happen.
  8. If you could start your own religion, who/what would be its figurehead?  That’s an odd question.  I don’t really want to start a new religion.
  9. Favourite style of house?  Mansions.  Lots of them.
  10. Greatest source of strength and inspiration?  Lord Of The Rings.
  11. I couldn’t figure it out. What DID The Fox say? 

 

 

Thank you for the tag and the opportunity to answer your questions.  I look forward to reading everyone elses answers!

Happy Spring!

Authoring and Littles

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It has been said a number of times that friends are impressed with the amount of writing work I can do, and raise two small children ((almost 3, and 7.5 months)) at the same time.
Even now as I write this, I am holding a sleeping baby in my arms.

On the one hand, there isn’t as much work happening behind the scenes as they might believe.  This time last year I was publishing my first short story, The Precious Jewel for debute in Den of Thieves: A Den Of Quills Anthology, I was blitzing through episodes of The Ranger Of Severum, and I was writing my High Fantasy series.

Being able to write and blog are only two hobbies of like, five, I enjoy doing, and it’s becoming difficult to have to choose which one to do in my free time.
Do I read?  Do I workout?  Do I write?  Do I paint?  Or Draw?
Better yet, DO I SLEEP?!?!

The baby has now woken up and every few words or letters, I have to push away at her little smacking hands as they hit at the laptop keyboard.  She giggles, finding it a game, I move the computer, and then she pulls on my clothes, to stand up and reach over my lap to try at it again.

What it all boils down to is time management.

 

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Exercising is difficult to make time for with littles.  Especially when they demand your attention all day long.  But, what I have found is I can get in an hour of cardio by doing squats, and swinging the kids around, and dancing with them, doing jumping activities, all by including them in my fitness goals.  Swinging a 26 pound child up in the air, and down through your legs while squatting really works your thighs, and you feel it for the next three days.  Doing the various leg lifts lying down on the floor, planking, sumo-squatting, bridges, yoga positions, you suddenly become a bridge, or a mountain for cars to drive up and down, all the while you’re toning, slimming, trimming, and making your goals happen without having to duck off to the gym in time you really don’t have.

Painting and drawing can also be activities to do while in the living room.  Set up the canvas on the counter, with all of your tools out of reach, and stand and paint while watching the kids.  Boom, easy.

Reading and writing are the tricky ones, as both are full attention activities.  So, when going to bed at night, or during naps in the afternoon….  I play games and scroll through Facebook, because I suck at time management.  ((I have written 440+ words and it’s taken me roughly thirty minutes, because Facebook))

Usually I read myself to sleep, once my pocket game has been taken care of.  I’m currently beta reading for an author friend of mine, and I find his book is best executed at night before going to sleep.  My husband works nights, so I have from the time the kids go to bed, to when the baby wakes for midnight feeding, to myself.  And again, I have to pick “Do I work, or do I sleep?” and in the end, socializing wins most times.

Mothers are secluded creatures who need to clear their headspace.  Clearing headspace involves mindless activities and SOCIALIZING with other people.  So, my writer friends on the internet are readily available to socialize with when I want to sit and do absolutely nothing when I’ve been going, going, going all day.
This, by no means, means I am inactive during the day.  All the day long, I’ve been working through my writers block lately, to try and plan out the course for action in my High Fantasy series.  One day, I hope to set the world of Eldegras in orbit for the world to see.  I’ve just spent the last two years trying to clean it up and make it ready.  This became an even slower process in bearing children.  Along with the kids comes managing the household, doing laundry and dishes, and cooking and cleaning, and being wifely by spending time with the husband….  All of the responsibility!  Nobody should be surprised when all a woman wants to do is mindless nothing on the internet.

 

My simple advice to mothers everywhere, workout with the kids, do your hobbies with them, and in the quiet moments you have to yourself do whatever the hell you want to.  You deserve it.

Oh.  And Coffee.

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The Ranger Of Severum: Episode 9

While Trillian was on his way through the city, Yulissa found him first, “Trillian!” he heard her call. Looking around for her, he tried to swallow the lump of nervousness building in his throat. His eyes lighted on her coming across the square.  She was dressed in riding clothes which accentuated her willowy figure. He couldn’t help but admire the way she looked in them as her cloak swirled with her quick steps.  Her boots rode up to her knees, hiding whatever was left of her burgundy leggings which dove into them.  Her traveling tunic was grey, she wore a dark leather vest, and matching belts about her waist.  Her cloak swagged over to one shoulder, clasping in a large golden brooch, and her hair was braided hanging over one shoulder.  Trillian wished he could stop looking, but with women off limits, he’d never had the chance to really admire them before.

Her brow drew together in confusion as she approached, “Aren’t your wings healed?”

Watching her eyes flick back and forth caused his heart to skip a beat, “Um, yes.” He stuttered, “I haven’t tried to hide them away yet.”

“Could you try?” She prodded with a hint of alarm.

He smiled playfully, “Do they bother you?”

Her expression did not relax as she laughed, “No, not at all. It is rather important, though, that you do.”

“Why?” Trillian asked with a laugh, though the way she asked cause an alarm to sound in his head.

Yulissa’s actions gave him the impression she was in a hurry. Visibly she tried to relax and smile, “I haven’t had the opportunity to see you without them.”

Raising his brow, he tried to figure her out. He didn’t care for the way she nervously looked about, or how she seemed to fidget impatiently. After all, in his mind, she could have left the city at any point if it bothered her so much. And why was she so interested in him all of a sudden?

Trillian had to admit after six weeks of this cumbersome wear of his wings, he was ready to hide them away again. Standing his full height – which was difficult enough with the kink in his spine – Trillian dropped his head back, bracing in case of lingering pain, and folded his wings. He didn’t know what it looked like to hide them away, only what it felt like, but considering the woman’s reaction, Trillian could only guess it was certainly an unusual sight.

Yulissa’s eyes had widened, whether it was out of fear of disbelief Trillian did not have time to ask. As soon as his wings disappeared, she took hold of his arm, “Alright. Come with me. We haven’t any time to lose. Quick, this way.”

Bewildered with confusion, Trillian found himself following. “Where are we going?”

“No time to talk.” Yulissa stated, dashing to the northern side of the village.

Darting between row houses and narrow alleys, Trillian tried to make sense of the situation. Considering it had been his home for the last twelve years, it felt strange to be sneaking through the town. A few villagers watched curiously as they fled through the back streets. Trillian did his best to not make eye contact, feeling his cheeks redden with embarrassment.

When Yulissa finally did stop they were in the forest, safely out of sight from Severum.

“Would you mind telling me what this is about?” Trillian panted. Having physically exerted himself for the first time in six weeks he felt as though he might fall to his knees. Not to mention his aching back from sagging to one side for so long.

Taking three exaggerated steps toward a large oak tree, then five more to the right towards a pile of bramble, Yulissa crouched and began digging with her hands, “There isn’t much time to explain, my ship leaves tomorrow morning, and we need time to travel.”

Trillian reeled back, “What do you mean time to travel? I can’t leave Severum, you’re out of your mind. We don’t even know you.”

“The name is Yulissa, I’m a Realm Jumper, your life is in great danger.” Brushing off a small pouch, she opened it checking it’s contents. Seeming satisfied, she closed it up again, sticking it under her belt, then took six exaggerated steps to a grouping of bushes.

“My life? How would you know?”

Bending down into the bushes, she pulled out two large packs, “Listen Trillian, I’ll have plenty of time to tell you later, but right now you need to move.”

Irritation growing, Trillian put his hands to his hips, “If you don’t start talking right now I am going to—”

“Here.” She tossed him one of the packs carelessly, clearly not paying any attention. “And here is a cannister of water. You might want to drink some now before we get going, you sound rather thirsty.” She was referring to his pant.

He looked down at the cannister, then back at her. Yulissa pulled the strap of her bag over her shoulder, tapping her foot as though impatiently waiting for him to drink.

Trillian again found himself complying to the request. After a long drink of water, he did feel a bit refreshed. He capped the cannister off, putting the strap around his neck.

They stood staring at each other, both expecting the other to do something.

“You good?” She threw her hands out, “We need to go.”

“First, I need to know where you’re taking me.”

Yulissa shook her head, “Even if I told you, you’d never believe me.”

Trillian grit his teeth. His curiosity had kicked in, which created a great deal of conflict in his head. His duty to Severum and the likelihood of being murdered by Sideon for running off being the highest of confliction.  “I’m not going to go with you unless you give me some kind of reasonable response. My life could very well be in danger if I left the Severum.”

“You mean Sideon?” She laughed, “Your step-father is a coward. Especially since he thinks primitive distractions like women need sent off and away from his boys so they can fight mindlessly for him.”

“This coward you reference took the city over and killed my father.” Trillian defended angrily, “Who do you think you are anyway?”

Yulissa huffed, “Trillian, I guarantee I am your friend. Mark my words, Sideon is a coward. Everyone in all the Realms knows it, except for you blind fools in Langoria. Why nobody has tried to overturn your ridiculous leader is beyond me. Clearly your realm fantasizes your dark ages too strongly to have any form of common sense!”

“You’re unbelievable.” He exclaimed, “Are you listening to a wor—”

“No, you listen to me,” she started with vehemence, “you are wasting valuable time. Either you come with me willingly, or I will tie you up and drag you along behind me, do you understand?”

Taken aback, the ranger was at a loss for a reply. His mouth dropped open, but nothing came out as they met eyes.

“Good.” She whirled around, “now follow me. We haven’t much time.”

The ranger found himself complying yet again, put his pack over his good shoulder, and followed silently behind her into the forest.

The Ranger Of Severum: Episode 5

Trillian held his breath as the musty scent of the damp palace filled his nostrils. The women of Severum were allowed to clean, but Sideon preferred the depressing, gloomy air that hung even in the open areas of the Palace. It fed his evil soul the tiniest bit of comfort. Trillian did not find the air unbearable. The Master Trainers and Rangers were allowed brighten the fragrance of their rooms with the spicy aroma of pine. Though dreading the scent, Trillian also found it welcoming because it meant he was home.

The Ranger walked swiftly into his Master’s study, fearing the punishment in store for him. When angry, Trillian was the one Sideon took it out on.

Trillian was different from the others, his tolerance to withstand punishment was higher than most anyone else’s in Severum. He could bear it without discouragement, whereas many of the other men found themselves degraded and self-conscious.

Sideon wanted a chance to break that in him and to cause Trillian to crumble as the others, but his attempts were frustratingly futile.

Trillian stood at the door in procrastination. He finally raised his fist to knock just as the door swung open.

There, face to face, Trillian met Sideon.

“So, you finally come to me?” The Lord of the Rangers started.

His dark hair was pulled back and held in place at the nape of his neck. Streaks of gray ran above his ears and one shock trailed from the center of his brow down the back of his head.

The Old Master was in his five hundredth year and his life was coming to a close, though at least another hundred lay before him, belying the signs of age.

His angular face smoothed with relief, “Trillian, you are well aware that keeping me waiting is not a good idea. You know what happens to those who try my patience.”

“Yes, my lord.”

“Wake up in a nightmare, you will, if I catch you coming to me late again.” As Sideon closed the door behind Trillian, the Master’s attention was drawn immediately to the severed wing which hung helplessly down the left side of Trillian’s back.

“What have you allowed to happen to yourself?” he shouted angrily. Sideon could seem merciful and gracious the one minute, but the next his anger would surpass constraint as he let loose in violent fury.

Trillian held his breath, ready to give his well thought explanation, but before he could begin, Sideon started right into his questions.

“So, did you complete your second mission?” Sideon asked impatiently.

“Yes Master, not one troll was left.”

“You had no encounter with any enemies?” Sideon clearly wanted the account concerning Trillian’s wing.

“This did not happen in Taar.” Trillian began.

“And has it something to do with the woman everyone watched you walk in with? Is she the one who gave improper care to your wing? I know you did not do that.”

The accusing tone in Sideons voice gave Trillian nervous pause.

“Tell me, what was she doing as she bandaged your wing?”

“I made no form of contact with this woman. I merely saved her from a small band of the Druids of Câr. She asked me to escort her to Severum this morning after she had given care to my wounds.”

“I do not believe you,” Sideon said with raised eyebrow. “I will have some of the satraps inquire of her, and if I find any reason for you to not be in earnest, I will send you and her away in disgrace.”

“If you will but give me a chance to explain—” Trillian suddenly collapsed to his knees as pain shot through every nerve in his body.

Sideon contemplated the idea of hearing his explanation, “Very well, I give you five minutes.”

Trillian related every detail that had happened from Taar, to fighting off of the last Druid.

“You used your power against them? You are not one who can work against the powers of the druids. What were you thinking?” Sideon asked angrily.

Trillian nodded, “I know that I should not have been so hasty in the matter, but I found this challenge welcome amid the frame of mind that had settled upon me.”

Sideon remained silent, so Trillian continued.

When the Trillian finished, Sideon sat back reflectively, “Your story does seem to carry some truth in it. You completed the task I sent you forth to do, you earned your punishment for combating alone, and so I suppose there is nothing left for me to do. Well done, Trillian.” He mused, tracing a finger beneath his chin. “What does this woman want?”

“I am not sure,” replied Trillian.

“Then I am giving her situation to you. You are free to go.”

Trillian knit his brow and stood, “Thank you, Master.” he replied slowly.

“Hurry and go to the healer. That wing must be tended immediately.”

“Yes, Master.” Trillian bowed at the waist, then turned to leave. He was confused, but was not going to hesitate for a moment. The mercy he had just acquired was a precious gift indeed. His hand caught the knob, and Trillian was gone without taking a look back.

Sideon almost laughed in glee, as Trillian closed the door behind him. He clapped his hands together in delight, lacing together the pieces of a grand new idea.

“Rûthlion!” Sideon called out.

“Yes sire?” the general entered from a side door.

“I want you to keep an eye on Trillian. This is the second occurrence of such events. You remember what kind of revolt he ensued last time, we do not want that happening again.”

“Yes sire. And the woman?”

“She can remain. Yulissa is promising, maybe she will be the one to beguile him.” Sideon mused.

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.

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.

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.