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2006-10-08 16:20:15
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The Eye of Midranda: Chapter B


Pristontale: The Eye of Midranda
Chapter B - Yiro's First Strike


It was a most beautiful spring day and the flowers were all in bloom, as Dylane stared down at the colorful meadows far below him. Pillai had always given him a peaceful feeling and he had truly missed it over the years. The people were very nice and their lifestyle very interesting, and Dylane loved being with them. But that day he was feeling many things, and the peacefulness didn't seem to reach him at all.
It had been five days since they had sent out Fylla, in search of Tyrank. Dylane really wanted him to be his best man, but there seemed to be no trace of him. He had become worried over the days and even the thought of the big day couldn't give him back his peace.
"Dylane, my boy."
Dylane turned and saw it was the Royal Mage Ray, walking up to him.
"What is your mind saying?"
Dylane sighed and stared ahead of him, as he was leaning on the balcony at the edge of the village. "I am not sure," he answered after a while. "My mind is saying many things at the moment, but I cannot hear it properly anymore."
"The thought of Tyrank clouds your minds," said Ray slowly. "You seem to fear for him."
"Once again you know me better than I do," said Dylane, shrugging. "I just wish he was here. But now I also fear for Fylla."
He couldn't afford anything to happen to that kestrel, for he felt it was his duty to protect her. Even though he couldn't exactly explain why, but it was like he made a promise to a little girl. Fylla had been made the official messenger of their old fellowship, but still she belonged to no one else but Melocrie.
"That kestrel is a special bird," said Ray eventually. "Even so, she is only a rookie as a messenger. Give her a little time."
Dylane nodded, for he knew the mage was right.
His big day was approaching with every hour. Tomorrow he would stand at the altar, seeing that beautiful Kayleigh walking up to him. He would smile, no doubt about it. When he and Kayleigh had announced they were getting married, Urani had given him a whole brotherly speech. In the end, they had both laughed about it. Of course he would take good care of her, for Dylane loved Kayleigh more than anything in the world.
Yet he stood at the balcony for hours, gazing over the lands before and underneath him. He truly feared for Tyrank, and felt that without the man by his side, he wouldn't want to get married at all. But if he would actually announce this, Urani would kill him for sure. Mage Ray had told him he had to follow his feelings, but which of the so many? The Mage patted him on the shoulder and left, leaving him alone again with his thoughts.
The sun was already setting and Dylane had not moved. He did not feel like eating or sleeping at all. Now his mind wondered off to Kayleigh and it pained him. He didn't want to hurt her at all, not at all. He only prayed she would understand. Eventually he heaved a sigh and decided he should go and see her, but on that very same moment, someone shouted out his name. Dylane turned and saw it was Kayleigh, who came running to him, waving a small telescope in her hand.
"Dylane, here!"
She stopped next to him and breathed heavily, still waving the telescope through the air.
"Honey, what is it?" Dylane asked worried, but Kayleigh sounded more happily exited.
Kayleigh pushed the telescope in his hand. "Look to the sky!" she breathed, laughing. "Come on, do it!"
Dylane puzzled, but then did as he was told. His heart leaped in happiness when he saw a bird approaching them from the distance. "It's Fylla!" he said happily and raised his head. "She's back!"
Kayleigh couldn't stop laughing from joy, as she took Dylane by the hands and started to dance around. After a while, Fylla stroke down on the balcony and cried out exhausted. It was like she was breathing heavily. and she seemed to be weary. Kayleigh quickly took her in her arms, as Dylane removed the little note from her paw. He folded the paper open and glanced at Kayleigh once more, before he started reading.
"So what is it?" asked Kayleigh exited. "A message from Tyrank at last?"
It was, but Dylane couldn't exactly be happy about it. His eyes grew wide and something stabbed his heart, his peace and happiness, and he felt he was being covered in shadow. The words written down overcame his mind like the beating of a drum and his hands started to tremble.
"Dylane...?" Kayleigh was getting scared. "What's the matter, Dylane?"
"We..." stammered Dylane, as he stared at her. "We have to call off the wedding."
"What!?" Kayleigh almost dropped Fylla from her arms as she said it. "But... why?"
"Gather up your equipment," said Dylane and swallowed. "And warn the Royal Mage... Yiro has escaped."

The falling of night had released the Maple trees from their golden glow and instead, thousands of stars twinkled high in the sky. The dark water moved slowly in the wind, reflecting the silver glow of the moonlight. Tyrank was pacing up and down the dock behind his house, as Cage sat on the ground underneath a tree, telling his story.
"It was horrible," he moaned and swallowed. "Yiro just vanished into nowhere... For a moment it went black before my eyes and when my sight returned, I could see things which I didn't want to see. Monsters, Tyrank. Monsters started pouring from the dungeon, each one stronger than the last. I have never seen anything like it..."
"Monsters?" Tyrank grunted while he thought deeply. "What kind?"
"I don't know..." said Cage as he tried to recall. "Most I haven't seen ever before."
"I mean, what kind of eyes?"
"Oh..." Cage swallowed. "All purple."
It was as he feared and Tyrank heaved a sigh as he watched the stars above. They were in so much trouble. "What's happening now?" he asked after a while.
"We have hired warriors to destroy these monsters," said Cage. "A monster holocaust is now at hand."
"So no prison anymore?" Tyrank shrugged. "Then we have nowhere to lock Yiro up. Too bad."
"What are you talking about?" said Cage puzzled. "It's not that easy to kill him, you know. We had trouble with him last time, so imagine his power right now. And he's not alone."
"Yes, you already said that." Tyrank rubbed his forehead as he sighed. "But what exactly is that thing then? You really didn't see what it looked like?"
Cage shook his head and moaned. "I'm sorry... To my eyes it was no more than a vague shadow."
"And you also said there were rumors of active radicals?" said Tyrank as he remembered. "What are they up to?"
"Until now they have done nothing more than threatening, vandalising and stealing," said Cage. "But who knows what their true intentions are."
"Priston is turned upside down," Tyrank muttered urgently. "We must call upon a meeting in Ricarten and consider the measures."
"To take action?" Cage shrugged. "But we still know so little of the situation."
"Well, we know enough," said Tyrank. "Whatever is going on, it's not to be taken lightly. We must act before things are getting even uglier."
"Alright," nodded Cage. "I will go to Navisko to find Roldin, for that is where the Lunans are staying now. Maybe they can tell us more."
"Good idea," Tyrank agreed. "But you're not going alone. At least let someone else come with you."
"How about that Atlanta?" suggested Cage. "Debhora, right? I heard she was looking for a job to do."
Tyrank laughed. "Yes, she indeed was. These past times have been to quite for an Atlanta. I'm sure she will be pleased."

The last beams of the sun had faded completely, and the moon now stood high to take over the night. Crickets played their songs in a choir, hidden in the tall grass covered with snow. Mother never felt like mowing the lawn anymore, and their backyard almost seemed like a forest. Those things had bothered Daemon quite a few times, but now his mind had made room for other worries. After their finding of the ancient map, Daemon was afraid to go to sleep, afraid of the dream he would surely have. Yet he felt tired and longed for a dreamless sleep, and he was angry with himself for being afraid. There seemed to be nothing at all scary about the night. The festival had been going on for two days, and finally the last sounds of their joy was drawn away. Daemon had found the cheering and feasting people very annoying, for their joy had not been able to reach him. And now it was over and every turned slowly to their beds again, probably with a good sleep in the night, to recover their energies. Daemon shrugged as he lay on his bed. What a waste of energy, those festivals. He would much rather be with his friends, away from the overjoyed crowd.
Suddenly a loud banging sounded outside and Daemon sat op straight. Could they never just let people sleep, he thought. They always had to make noise. But when he could also hear a scream among the people at the dying festival, it made his change his thought. He quickly got out from bed and hurried over to the window. At first he couldn't see anything outside, for it was far too dark. But then another scream sounded and he blinded by a flashing white light, that seemed to wake up all of Eura. The screaming didn't stop, it only became worse, and when Daemon opened his eyes he could see other people dressed in black chasing the villagers. For a moment he only stood by the window, staring down onto the events, as all courage failed him. What going on? Moving torches lit he village as the black people started to take down the ice-sculptures, and a laughter sounded as all doors were opened and the villains stormed in.
"Ah! Let go of me!"
Daemon was shocked away and hastily shook his head. He felt his heart pounding like mad when he saw a little girl outside, trying to release herself from a tight grip, as one of the dark men smirked at her.
Without being able to stop himself, Daemon turned and rushed down the stairs, to the front door and kicked it open. He now stood in front of a strange battle and he desperately searched the crowd for his little sister. There she was, she was being taken away! Daemon ran after them as fast as he could, and picked up a fresh log from the ground as he went. When he got close enough to the dark man, he swung around the log and hit him hard on the back of the head. The man stumbled and fell, without moving again. Farrah looked up at her brother, but all breath seemed to have been taken, for she could bring out no words. Daemon grabbed her hand and started pulling her through the crowd, back to their house. There they went in and Daemon locked the door, pushing his sister up the stairs. He only stopped when they reached their attic, where he opened a large chest, blowing off the dust.
"Get it!" he breathed.
"What?" Farrah was scared and confused. "No way, I...!"
"Farrah!" Daemon shouted. "Please, listen to me for once in your entire life! Get in there and hide!"
"But why? What do they want?" Farrah was on the edge of tears and trembling all over.
Daemon swallowed, for a terrifying thought came to him... the map. They might have awoken it somehow... He shook his head again to stay focused and knelt down by his sister. "I did something bad again," he said, though it was hard. "I don't know if that's why they are here, but I'm not going to guess it! Please get in."
"Oh..." Farrah clearly didn't know what to say to that. They had always picked on each other, they were only rarely nice. But it seemed that no matter what, there always sparkles a little love between a brother and sister. "Alright," she sighed. "But what are you going to do?"
"I'm going to search for mom," Daemon said and smiled. "It'll be alright, we have warriors here don't we?"
"Right!" said Farrah and nodded, as she climbed into the chest.
Daemon closed it without locking, for he didn't know if he would be back. The comfort he had given his sister could barely reach himself. Thoughts were flying through his head which he had never seen before, feelings he had never felt. All of a sudden he felt like a whole other person, something he couldn't explain. Was it because he and his sister had been nice to each other, for the first time in years? Deciding that was it, Daemon stormed down the stairs and outside again. Eura hadn't been in a battle for hundreds of years, for no army was crazy enough to fight battles in the everlasting winter. Yet now they were at it again, without a clear reason why. Daemon started wondering all those things as he searched the crowd for his parents, his friends, and an answer that would explain the reason why.
As he ran through the swarm of people, he was horrified by the screams and panic, that reminded him too much of his dream. His thoughts were out of his control, as he did not see a log coming closer to him, the same one he had used himself earlier. A terrible laughter and a sound of a roar were the only things he heard, before he the log hit him hard on the head and everything went black.

The news of Yiro's escape had turned the two greatest nations upside down and another gathering was at hand in Ricarten. Cage had asked Debhora to accompany him to Navisko, and she was more than glad to come. They had taken the Warpgate to the city of dusk, to speak with Roldin and the Lunans. The old fellowship had also been called to Ricarten, along with Leroy, Melocrie's father.
Tyrank hugged Dylane tight as they met again and shook Urani's hand firmly. He praised Kayleigh for her presence and bowed to the others he knew, in honor and respect. A horn sounded through the city, as the crowd fell silent and all heads turned to the platform in the middle, where the Elder stood next to Melocrie's statue, with his arms raised high. There was no time to exchange stories of adventures.
"Brothers and sisters of Priston, we are gathered here today, for another conflict is upon us!"
All eyes were fixed upon the Elder, but Dylane kept glancing around at his friends. He didn't feel comfortable at all and managed to catch Tyrank's eye, who seemed to feel the same way.
"The radical Koltan leader, Yiro, has escaped from the Ancient Dungeon, and it now seems that monstrous spawn has taken over that region!"
Immediately the people around began to shift on their places and muttered against each other. Nonetheless, the Elder called for silence and continued.
"It also seems that one of the skeletons in the cursed land have disappeared without a trace, and its master has joined Yiro's side. We must find him soon and clear out the situation. The old party," he waved his arms around at Tyrank and his friends, "have already volunteered for the job. Is anyone else willing to accompany them?"
"I will," said Leroy instantly and stepped forward. "Anything for my daughter's friends."
Tyrank nodded thankfully at him and Leroy nodded back, stepping onto the platform.
"Anyone else?" called the Elder.
The process of selecting warriors took quite a while and it went very slowly. Eventually, Tyrank and his friends were invited into the Skillmaster’s cabin, where they would stay the night. About a hundred good warriors had volunteered and all were given different mission. They were to be scattered all over Priston, in order to protect all regions from danger. The old fellowship, along with Leroy, would go to Pillai the next morning, to speak with Royal Mage Ray and discuss their plans further. In the meantime, Debhora and Cage had reached Navisko to look up Roldin and Fylla had been sent to Ruinen to pick up the news.
"I wonder where he is right now," said Dylane, as they all stood on the balcony, enjoying the fresh air of the afternoon.
"Yiro?" asked Urani as he chewed on some bread. "Me too..."
"What is he up too?" muttered Leroy. "I can't stand this. Something terrible is happening, but we don't know what. And it's not likely we'll find out so easily."
"We'll just have to be patient," said Tyrank. "He cannot hide forever. One of the parties should notice anything of him eventually."
"Of course, but..." stammered Kayleigh, as she took a sip from her whine. "He scares me."
Dylane slew his arm around her and kissed her cheek. "He scares us all, dear."
For a moment silence fell and everyone held his thoughts for his own, as minor clouds moved through the sky on the wind. Kayleigh watched the people walking below on the streets and listened to the everlasting hammering of the blacksmith. Tyrank moved his left shoulder a bit to stop the aching in his back and Urani frowned when he noticed it. After a while, Leroy heaved a deep sigh and suddenly the silence was broken. Kayleigh had no time to swallow her sip as the loud noise of breaking stone sounded through the city, and people below turned around to see what was happening. A scream sounded from the square and Tyrank immediately ran to the edge of the balcony and bended over, to see what was going on.
Soon the street below them was swarming with running people, who were going into all directions. Kayleigh dropped her glass of whine when a deep roar sounded and the balcony seemed to shake. For a second the warriors looked at each other, but then instantly started to run down the stairs, through the streets, toward the Ricarten square.
"What's happening?" Leroy shouted at the people around. "Tell me!"
"Monsters!" yelled a man back and then ran away.
"Monsters?" gasped Kayleigh. "In Ricarten?"
"Be strong," said Tyrank and drew his weapon, the others following. "We need you."
Kayleigh nodded and took out her wand. "Right!"
Madness took over Ricarten, as more, different kinds of roars and screams sounded through, along with a terrifying, all too known laughter. Tyrank clenched his teeth at the mere thought of that man, for what he had done and for what he in fact was. He thought of Cage, who had seen his friend being killed by this monster. Also Roldin, who had suffered greatly under his reign. Yiro had gotten what he deserved and yet he had escaped from it, for a unknown reason. Tyrank grabbed hold of his axe even tighter and quickened his pace, which made it hard for his friends to hold up.
"Tryank!" breathed Dylane. "Wait for us!"
There was no need to say anything more, for Tyrank suddenly stopped dead in his tracks and stared with open mouth at the sky. They were two winged creatures, floating in their might above the city. Angels they seemed, yet more terrifying than beautiful. One seemed cold, covered in blue and white, though the other was entirely black. They both had javelins at their front, while they gazed down onto the panicking people. A familiar face in the crowd brought Tyrank back to his senses and he started off again, with his axe at the ready. Yiro could see him approaching and smirked at him, while he stood beside Melocrie's statue with his arms folded. Tyrank screamed out and hit him with all his might, but was hit back himself by a magical force. He was thrown hard to the floor and his axe had flew from his hand to the ground some meters away. Dylane, Leroy, Kayleigh and Urani stopped by him and helped him, but were shocked when they saw who was standing in front of them.
"You..." Dylane growled through clenched teeth. He could still feel the moment on which he had been stabbed in the back. "You have no right to be here!"
"Wrong!" shouted Yiro and raised his arms to the angels above him. "I have all the rights and I will use them!"
The angels in the sky lowered their heads and suddenly began to move, floating around in descending circles.
"How did you escape?" yelled Urani, but couldn't keep his eyes from the winged beings.
"My master has came to me," said Yiro and lowered his arms, the angels followed his movements. "And he has granted me power."
"Look out!" Kayleigh screamed suddenly and pushed her brother aside, as the dark angel shot a beam at him.
The lightning struck the ground instead and a small explosion followed, leaving a vague cloud of dust. Yiro laughed out loud and jumped onto the back of the white angel.
"I will take what's rightfully mine," he shouted down to them. "And you cannot stop me!"
"What are you going to do?" Leroy demanded to know.
"The one thing that will hurt you the most," Yiro answered and made his angel turn. "Consider this a warning."
The two angels raised their javelins and strange energies were freed, coiling themselves around Melocrie's statue.
"No!" shouted Tyrank and Leroy together, as they ran up the platform.
But Yiro stretched out his hand and stopped them with an invisible barrier, knocking them a few meters back. Kayleigh and Urani could only stand and watch, while the angels' magic lifted the statue into the air, away from the platform.
"Melocrie!" Dylane yelled and raised his sword. "Let her go!"
He began to run, bringing force into his sword and hit the barrier with all his power. For a moment he stopped still in the air, his blade forward, and then a breaking sound followed, and thousands of tiny lights were scattered. Dylane had broken the barrier as he ran through, jumping in the air in an attempt to catch the statue.
"You're too late!" laughed Yiro, as Melocrie was lifted even further into the sky. "Be patient, my victims. You will all die soon enough."
"Get back here!" yelled Leroy in anger and banged his fists on the floor, but it was no use.
It only took a few seconds and Yiro was out of sight again, leaving Ricarten empty and scarred. Leroy couldn't take it anymore and screamed out, before standing up and running away.
"Leroy!" Urani called after him.
But Melocrie's father had disappeared in the crowd, that now had come to a complete halt. Dylane sighed and looked sideways at Tyrank, while all people's eyes were fixed on them. Tyrank couldn't believe it either, he just kept gaping at the sky above him. Kayleigh was trembling all over and pressed her face against Dylane's chest, who embraced her with a sob.
"She's gone..." Urani muttered eventually. "Yiro's taken her..."
"After him!" said Tyrank and turned. "We must know where he is going."
"It's too late," said Urani, on the edge of tears. "Don't you see? Yiro's probably miles away now."
"You're just going to give up then?" said Tyrank angrily. "Just like that?"
"Don't lay the fault on me!" shouted Urani. "Do you think I wanted this to happen?"
"Stop it!" cried Kayleigh and slapped her brother on the back. "How dare you?"
Tyrank, Urani and even Dylane stared at her, while the priestess stood there with clenched fists, screaming at them.
"You two are fighting over nothing here! Melocrie's gone, alright? Gone! And above that, Leroy might be after her! We must stop him, he's going to get himself killed!"
"She's right, you know," Dylane said and wiped his eyes. "Come on, you guys."
"Fine," said Urani.
"Fine," agreed Tyrank.
Kayleigh heaved a sigh and turned to look once more at the sky, before following her friends toward the Garden of Freedom.
Leroy was standing on the top of a hill, staring into the distance. When Tyrank and the others came near, he turned around and looked at them. Kayleigh was shocked by all the emotions showed in his face. Above all there was sadness, and she understood why. First his daughter had left on a most dangerous quest, then she was trapped into stone and finally she had gone, taken by Yiro. And next to that, confronting his wife about it wouldn't be easy either. Kayleigh understood his pain and nodded, and Leroy seemed to appreciate it. He turned back to the vast land before him and heaved a sigh.
"We'll get her back," said Urani after a while and lay a hand on his shoulder. "Whatever it takes, where ever we must go."
"I'm sorry, Leroy," continued Tyrank. "We are with you."
"I know," muttered Leroy and cast down his eyes. "I just never thought things could get worse." He clenched his fists and teeth as he began to tremble. "Curse that Yiro... He will die, even if that means I will have to make him myself."
"Calm yourself first," said Dylane urgently, although his voice was broken. "We will see the Royal Mage tomorrow, he'll know what to do."
Leroy looked up again and nodded. "I'm sure of that," he said determined. "But still... no matter what it takes - Yiro will pay for this."

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