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Gathering and Skepticism

He swallowed. Corded throat working.

“Come now.” She pushed her skirts down and turned to step next to him. “Escort me home.”

Her family home was only a short mile from his house.

Her soft blue eyes were bright with excitement as she spoke of dreams she’d had of him. Strange memories haunting her.

“Someday I’ll write all these down.” She vowed. When he said nothing she continued, “Do you remember me?”

“I could never have forgotten.” He whispered.

As they arrived at the end of the walk to her lovely white and brown home he bowed over her hand. Pressing a soft kiss there. Reluctant to let her go.

“Would you do me a kindness?” He asked.


“Please don’t go to the village without someone to look after you. It could prove unsafe.”

She eyed him a moment and nodded.

Deragan was thinking of Radix and his minions.

If she’s right, if she is The Fallen one, Radix will come for her. He watched her until she was safely through the door of her house. When he comes after her, I’m going to be there.

As soon as he returned to his country home, Deragan clasped the Dragon Eye pendant tight in his hand, using it to summon the other knights.

Silver Stallion Inn, Netherlands

Deep in the Netherlands at the Silver Stallion was a robust red-haired giant partaking heartily of ale. He was singing a coarse song and shouting enough to shaking the building. Though no one dared stop the behemoth.

"Mardichi." The large man next to him nudged him with an elbow.

"What, Viking?" Mardichi paused in his merriment to eye Acharius.

"We're lighting up."

Only then did Mardichi register the heat burning against his sternum. He glanced down and saw the blue luminescence shining through his worn brown tunic.

"The Captain." Mardichi sobered.

Acharius nodded.

Warlock Grove, Warwood, Nightway

"No, Boy!" Chavias was losing patience as he circled the white-haired man. "You have to focus, Little Brother. Your speed is not enough without skill."

"You're relentless!" Teverius groaned. Twirling a hatched and sinking it back into his waistband.

"He can only teach you if you let him!" Sebastian contributed. Arms crossed over his chest. "Chavias you have to be patient."

"I am being patient!"

They were in the Warlock Grove on the edge of the Nightway Realm. Practicing weaponry.

"We've been at it for days." Tev groaned. "Enough is enough!"

"You've no stamina, Boy! It's how your enemy will always win. You're fast but tire quickly."

Bast hissed as he felt the superheated warmth of his pendant burning along his collar. "Time to go, Boys."

Chavias and Tev were staring at each other's pendants, anxiously.

"It's never good when the Captain summons us." Tev murmured.

"Perhaps you'd not worry so if you built some stamina!" Chavias glowered.

Paladinian Mountains, Paladines

Rhyers, the Forever Knight tracker was hot on the trail of a pack of targue. Trying to follow them to Radix's new lair.

Raese was close behind with his long staff with the green orb atop it. Ready to remove them if they suddenly encountered the pack.

"How much further do you think we have to go?" Raese asked.

"I don't know. Their trackers are getting deeper. Closer together." Rhyers knelt over one in the snow. Eyeing it carefully. "They're getting tired. We must be close."

"Your pendant." Raese pointed out.

Making Rhyers look down at the bit of silver.

"Time to head back." Raese remarked.

Rhyers groaned. "But we're so close!"

"Our alpha calls."

"True. He'll be in a fine rage if we're not prompt." Rhyers knew. He stretched his neck and his long black hair was replaced with blue-green scales and a fan of spikes going down the back of his head. He stretched his arms and bits of turquoise skin connected from his sides out to his wrists. Tipping his arms in feathers.

Behind him, Raese was doing the same but his scales were vibrant emerald. Together they strode to a bank overlooking a ravine and when they dropped they finished turning into dragons. Flying side by side as they made their way toward

Once the Forever knights had convened in Deragan’s parlor, he explained to them the strange meeting with Lacey Marcelle.

“It’s insanity for us to think…It’s impossible!” Mardichi declared tossing his arms as he paced before the Captain. Running his tanned hand through thick red hair.

Careful. Deragan watched him through slitted eyes.

Seeing his look, Mardichi settled. Moving into he shadows next to the fireplace.

“Are you certain?” Alazareth asked. Blue-green gaze wary.

Yes. It’s her.

“How can it be?” Excitement tinged Raese’s voice.

I don’t know. He stared at them all expressionlessly. Arms crossed over his thick chest, he was unmoving.

“Did you smell Cimmerii?” Lucien tossed out, worry written over his face.

“Do you think I’d be so careless?” Deragan’s lips whitened, keen gaze flicking to his Second.

“You’re right. You’re never careless.” Lucien changed his tone at the warning.

“How can you be sure, though?” Tev queried certain to ensure no disrespect seeped into his tone.

Deragan lifted a staying hand. “I know how ludicrous it sounds.” He shook his head. “But she remembers us…All of us. She remembers falling for our souls in Billar. She remembers making us immortal.”

She couldn’t know that unless it was her.

“Did you tell her the story?” Mardichi asked skeptically.

“Do you think I’m a fool?” Deragan’s head slowly turned to Mardichi.

The barbarian shook his head. Realizing his mistake.

Lucien and you? Deragan’s annoyance was mounting.

“I told her nothing.” Deragan snapped.

“My Captain,” Sebastian said softly, causing all eyes to turn to his tall tawny frame. “Is it possible she could be one of Radix’s elaborate traps?”

Like the girl at the ball in the UpperLands. Deragan studied the blonde man carefully.

It was Chavias that stepped forward and put a staying hand on the Captain’s bicep. “You should let someone check it out. See if they see what you did, Old Friend.” Chavias urged quietly.

Despite that he and Deragan were particularly close the touch earned his hand a glance that had Chavias retracting it.

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