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General Art Rise of the Dragir

*M i d n a*

Æsir Scribe
Aug 18, 2009
Now I am real curious!! Greatr chapter Ats and I wonder who the third person will be ;)

Thanks. Well, that's what I am good at, I've been told: keeping peeps interested and wondering about stuff. :P

Sorry about not commenting sooner, this looks really good. It'll be interesting to see how things play out as opposed to the original.
There will be a few minor changes, perhaps you will notice that more than a few sentences differ, and also there will be more talk amongst the characters, a few new added characters, etc.

I just started reading it and I'm loving it so far. I can't wait to read more!
Thanks for reading, xmajorax. And don't feel bad, Serris is coming up soon enough. I can't wait to introduce him finally to one of my stories, and what better than this one? :P

Wow, great job. The only thing I wanted to say is that I'm not sure you should abbreviate Celestial Mark... idk it just sounds a little modern to me. Other than that great chapter. You're doing an awesome job taking the Zelda out of it. I bet if someone didn't know that's what it originally was, they would never guess.
It's a just a story, go with the flow. Even professional writers do silly stuff like that. Oh, and most pros don't even capitalize races, btw. Just thought you should know that since you suggested that I should capitalize the races in this story. I did it, so that looks good, I guess. :P

--Only three more chapters to go to end this one, but don't be surprised if I add a brand new chapter. ;)

Part 6: Learning Facts About the Mission

30 minutes before sunset

Artemys found himself standing in the middle of the room where all the portals had been created by the Amura. He was dreaming, he knew it right away, and when Althea appeared before him, she also let him know that even if the dream appeared too real, it was only that: a dream. He briefly glanced around the room trying to find the other dragir, and he noticed that they were laying face up comfortably behind him. Their breathing was soft and they appeared to be perfectly at peace. He glanced upon Lazarus of House Ryu, then upon Tyrus of house Sullivan. The two female dragir would follow soon after. Artemys could not help it but stare at Saskia of house Zeeron, who had laid right next to him.

Seeing her, he remembered that Magatha had mentioned to him that she liked him. But, was that true? Artemys knew that could not be the case, for Saskia of house Zeeron had never given him a reason to believe that. She’d talk to him and had seemed friendly most of the time, but not anything other than that.

"Artemys," Althea's voice suddenly made him turn to face the front.

He saw her standing a few feet away from him, the Amura looking as calm as ever in her serene stance. He was quick to head to her.

"Are you ready to hear about your mission?"

"I am," he said, for he was.

A brief period of silence ensued, with Artemys only being able to hear his thumping heart.

“You can ask me any questions that you may have or don’t understand,” Althea pointed out, her voice kind and soft. “Alright?”

He nodded at her in total understanding.

"Then let us begin.” Althea said. “Your mission will be to head to the royal castle of Phyd and rescue someone.”

"Who, if I may ask?" Artemys had politely questioned a few seconds later. The first thing that he had learned about his mission had totally confused him, for he had believed that his mission would be to go up against foes in battle.

"A recent newborn child," Althea replied, keeping her cool. "A child of great value to us and to the world itself. A child who carries a mark and one who needs saving."

Artemys felt that he had the need to ask a few questions.

"Why does the child need saving?” he asked. “And what is this mark that you speak of?"

The Amura knew that Artemys was asking questions merely because he was afraid to blow the entire mission, so he just wanted to make sure he got all the information correct. That fact alone made the Amura smile proudly behind the veil, for mistress Vee had selected a good warrior in him.

"The lass has a mark known as the Celestial Mark. It is engraved on the upper part of her right wrist," she went on to explain to him. "Her given name is Annabeth Cole Phyd, she's the granddaughter of the King of Phyd."

"And what about my first question?" Artemys could not hide a troubled stare, although he appeared very focused before the Amura.

"An evil being has shown great interest in her, and he cannot have her, lest us all be ruined! Tonight, he will attempt to abduct the little child for his own evil purposes. Artemys, your job and that of others is to keep him from getting his hands on her. Do you understand me?"

"Fully," Artemys felt several sensations then. He felt nervous, compassion for the newborn, troubled with himself, and very lost, as if he did not belong in the room. The Amura knew what he was going through, but said nothing.

"But tell me,” Artemys went on. “Who is this evil being you speak of? And why, truly, does he desire this child?"

The Amura knew there was ample time left, so she could grant the dragir some answers before he was sent out to tackle the mission. She had answered questions from the other dragir as well, so having to answer Artemys's was fine.

"We simply know this foe as Master Shadow, but his Furrion clan call him the Dark Lord."

"So he is a Furrion?" Artemys’s face hardened, and he felt his rage rising just a little bit. For all he knew, the Furrions had sided with the Sleechurs and were on the brink of invading his homeland. That very thought was what had made the dragir become slightly agitated and angry.

"No one knows what he truly is," Althea politely explained, shaking her head once. "His magic is strong, though. With it, he has morphed his body to his liking. You’d do well not to underestimate this foe if you run into him, Artemys. He uses a dark, magical blade that steals the very essence of life from foes and makes him stronger. He has many evil plans for himself and for this world, Artemys. He is a loss to us all."

Artemys remained standing, pondering on the information, his eyes on the stony floor. “Where would a creature like him find such a powerful sword? I mean, really, a sword that is able to steal souls?”

Althea Angelides remained quiet for a while.

“Normally, I wouldn’t have spoken of this to you, Artemys,” Althea said, lowly. “Except that we are facing tough times. The world is in terrible peril, I think you deserve to know. All you need to know for now is that this blade belonged to a god. A war between gods and other species took place in this world long ago. It is safe to say that the blade was lost during the war, as were many relics and other weapons, the spoils of war. I am guessing that Lord Shadow found it and claimed it as his own.”

Artemys nodded, understanding. Althea was glad to see that nod, for she knew that she had given him a satisfying response to his doubts.

"Now let us talk more about your mission. You won’t be alone in all this," Althea spoke, hoping that what she said next would calm the dragir a bit. She knew that Artemys had hardly killed anything during the early years of his life, he had just been training to become a warrior and one that would see plenty of action in many years to come. The young dragir only knew about Sleechurs and Furrions but knew nothing much about Phydians, nor Fairies, nor Amura, and he knew nothing of greater forces found elsewhere.

Artemys straightened at that and glanced back at the Amura.

"I won’t?" Artemys straightened at that and glanced back at the Amura.

She softly shook her head, Artemys wondering what could truly be her appearance behind the robe and veil.

"Others from your kin will support you," Althea continued. "They have already been told what they need to do, and they will be doing most of the fighting if it comes to that, and believe me, it will.”

Artemys’s heart skipped a beat at that revelation.

“There will be many enemies, Artemys, and danger all around you. But you are a good warrior, you have been training hard and are capable of pulling this out. Your mission is the hardest. You are to infiltrate castle Phyd and secure the newborn and her mother at all cost. Once you have them secured, you will have to create a portal using a magical stone, one that I have provided you with in your satchel. It will be the silver colored stone, Artemys, don't forget that."

"Wait, wait," Artemys pleaded, thinking that his dream was about to end. "So let us assume I do get to where the mother and child are. Do I just bring that stone out and trace an opening in mid air? Similar to that which you did at Dragiria with your finger?"

"Exactly," Althea nodded lightly. "You will simply make a door big enough where you and any others can escape through. That stone has already been altered by me, so when you use it, you will not be coming back here, rather you will have returned to Dragiria, to the very same spot where we met earlier."

The Dragir felt his tension diminish greatly at the sound of his homeland's name, and he smiled.

"Artemys," the Amura proceeded. "You also need to know that when you wake up from this dream, your amulet and ring will be activated, their magic will be at your disposal. I am proud of what you chose, young one. If there is anything you should know now, it would be how to summon Qetz."


"Yes, Qetz," Althea replied, too gently. "A mighty war beast from the heavens. This beast was part of that ancient war that I told you about. The room where you saw all the objects that I sent you and your friends earlier is where I have been keeping lost relics and other items that I have found through out time."

"So how do I summon Qetz?" Artemys seemed eager to know. To his knowledge, he knew that somehow he had acquired a mighty companion, a heavenly war beast as Althea had just said, so his inner being was tingling with much excitement.

"You simply grab and hold the amulet core, or the statuette of the winged being, close your eyes, and request his aid by calling out his name. The war beast will obey your command. But...also be warned that Qetz is a living creature in his own way, so just like the rest of us, he is obliged to obey certain rules, even if he is just a spirit trapped within the pendant. He must return to his magical home, which is within the statuette hanging from the chain, and rest for several hours. The statuette will change colors. It will go from green to red. When it does turn red, Qetz's time with you would have ended and he will dematerialize and return to the material plane found within the amulet. It will remain red until Qetz has had its rest and then it will turn back to green, meaning that you can summon the beast again. As to the ring, Artemys...well...you will just have to experience that yourself. Good luck with your new pet, and I hope that you succeed with the mission."

“I understand, Althea.”

“Good,” she said. “Now, if there is anything else that you wish to know before I put you back to sleep, now would be the time to ask.”

Artemys shook his head at her. “I think I’ve heard plenty.”

“Very well,” Althea said, her voice suave. “When you wake up you won’t find your dragir kin in the room, they would have already left. But you won’t be late, so as soon as you gather yourself and your items, proceed into the portal.”

Artemys suddenly felt impossibly tired in the dream, and he began to get dizzy. His lack of energy made him stumble to the side and he felt someone grabbing him tightly. He did not know anything else from that moment.


Artemys woke up again, feeling dizzy at first. That feeling subsided, though, and he stood up from the temple’s cool ground, noticing that the rest of his kin were not there. The Amura had been correct, he knew.

He noticed a dark brown colored satchel laying on the ground near where his fairy pistol and the two magical trinkets laid. He quickly bent low to retrieve the satchel and opened it, noticing that the Amura had spoken truthfully. He found pink stones and also a silvery one within, the one that he would use to trace a magical portal once he would have the newborn and her mother secured.

Artemys strapped the satchel around his waist belt and buckled it up. He then leaned forth and retrieved his other belongings. He gave the ring a quick glance, noticing the red gem that shone brightly at the top. He inserted it on his right index finger, feeling a weird sensation and a shiver as he did. He ignored the shiver and then moved on to tie the amulet around his neck, also feeling a weird feeling as he did.

Artemys wondered whether that feeling could be attributed to the items being magical. He shook those thoughts off, then remembered the vivid dream that he'd had.

How Artemys would have loved to summon Qetz and meet the creature there and then, but he resisted the urge knowing that he needed to get going. Lastly, he retrieved the heavy double-barreled fairy pistol from the ground. As he examined it closely, he noticed that the pinkish stone located within the weapon's handle was shining brightly as well. The pistol was heavy, and he would need to find a holster for it soon. For now, he knew he had to carry it with him.

He glanced around the room but found that many of the portals were already dimmed in hue. That let him know that through them his other friends had gone. One portal alone remained, flashing brightly. Artemys knew that he would have to go through it and experience those sickening sensations that came with traveling through space and time. He winced, but he also nodded in acceptance of what he needed to do.

"It's for the good of the world," he reminded himself.

Feeling a bit nervous, he started for the portal, a little unsure of himself, for Artemys was pondering about the Phydians. What manner of creatures were they? How would they react when they saw him? He closed his eyes and wondered whether they would see him as just some monster. He had never seen a Phydian before, had only heard of them. Their appearance was similar to his, he knew, but the Phydians had no horns, no scales, just very long, pointy ears. And they surely did not enjoy the privilege that he as a dragir did: The privilege to live for many centuries.

He stopped when he stood two feet from the portal and examined its intricate designing; the symbols, the runes, all of it. His thoughts went back to the earlier day that he had lived at Dragiria. Then those thoughts drifted over to the dream, Artemys remembering right away that he had a mission to complete.

Remembering that the Amura had mentioned the little newborn, he took a deep breath and imagined that evil being named Shadow putting his evil hands on the child. The dragir scowled at that thought and steadied himself. Then he walked into the portal, decisively. He knew he would fight to save the newborn and would attempt to make Mistress Vee feel proud of him.

*End of Part 6*


Soldier for Christ!
Jan 29, 2011
I'm so sorry I'm not caught up yet! D; I promise to catch up when I have time, but a lot of things are happening now. I read the first two or three chapters I think (I'm at Fairy Island). It's really good thus far, and I hope to catch up soon! :D


I caught up! <3 And it was so good! I wan't to read more!
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*M i d n a*

Æsir Scribe
Aug 18, 2009
My most humble thanks to you all for reading. Alright, here's another update.

Part 7: Pandora's Crew

North Western Coast of Phyd, 30 Minutes to Sunset

Her small crew loved her much. She was a young, sixteen year old girl who had long, jet black hair and small, light blue eyes. She had the look of an innocent, naive girl but was actually very smart for her young age. Her name was Pandora Koeki, and she was one of the best archers alive.

Pandora held her black bow tightly with her left hand, the string with her right one. An arrow with its tip engulfed in flames was strung to it and was ready to be fired at any time. Pandora was too concentrated, one eye closed, the other observing the target way inland just near a secluded village that was located about two miles south of the royal castle.

“Come on, cousin, you can do it!” Pandora heard her cousin’s girlish voice coming from behind her. She didn’t lose her concentration because of the encouragement, rather that cheer coming from her cousin had made her feel more positive about what she was intending to do.

Suddenly and without warning, Pandora let fly the arrow and watched as this one flew through space and went on to stick to a target on land.

Pandora had taken the shot from behind the starboard rail of her small ship as this one had been cruising near by.

"Holy smokes!" shouted her cousin, making Pandora turn over her shoulder to regard her. “That was a good shot. You nailed it, Pandy.”

“I’ve learned well from father, Lexi.” Pandora told her, lowering her bow and feeling proud of herself.

Lexi, whose last name was Xinn, nodded with a grand smile. She was a bit taller than Pandora, but had the same long, dark hair and the small, dark eyes. The cousins were from the Asakian folk, an exotic race that resided to the east of the main land of Phyd in a realm known as Yamato. The Yamatoan folk were good neighbors to the Phydian folk, but in the past they’d had their own wars over silly disputes. Now, though, it was peace amongst them, and thus Pandora and her cousin had been able to travel freely all over Phyd, as the main continent was also called.

The two turned back to observe the target, which was now burning. Pandora had placed the arrow right on the mark on a circular target made out of hay that was located near the side of a pub. As soon as the target started to burn, people who took notice of it were quick to scramble about, calling for the village guards.

Pandora, seeing the folks in action, smiled, feeling too happy with herself as she always did when hitting the target, which was often.

“You can’t seem to miss, captain,” said a tall, buffy lad with red hair, who had approached the duo from the side. “Be proud of yourself, that was a long shot!”

"Well, Ranike, I am glad about nailing that shot. The people will be alerted that pirates are about."

"Indeed, captain," Ranike smirked.

“But what about us?" a mysterious-looking young man called out from behind the ship's helm. "We are pirates too, captain Pandora. Are we joining with them or moving south to look for that treasure you spoke to us during the morning?"

Pandora turned around to her left and glanced over at the ship's helmsman, who was busy steering behind a wooden wheel. He stood two inches shy of six feet, was dressed in a green tunic and white pants. He was known as Dillon Lotaga. He called himself an assassin but really wasn’t one to both Pandora’s and Lexi’s eyes. He was mysterious looking, alright, for he fought using a style rarely seen. He knew about magic but used it only in short range with a series of deadly blows using a small blue-hilted dagger and his two flexible steel gloves, which sprouted three inch pointy blades at his command. When he fought, Pandora actually believed that he rather appeared to dance. The young leader of the White Dove was glad that Dillon was on her side rather than against her, for he was a formidable fighter.

"We are pirates, Dillon," Pandora told him with a nod, placing the bow behind her back and moving towards him. Lexi would follow her there, and Ranike went back to working on the deck. "Albeit good ones, not bad ones,” Pandora added. “If the pirate clans have gone insane and have decided to declare war against King Locke Cole merely because his daughter has decided to opt out of piracy, then that is their decision...and their folly. They are calling Lady Cleo a traitor, but I don’t think she is one. Thus the White Dove will not be joining in the attack."

Dillon said nothing, rather just nodded in acceptance at his boss.

Pandora stared at Lexi and then went on to say, "I am not going to rise against the Kingdom simply because my good friend Cleo decided to leave piracy for her own good. She will be giving birth to that child soon, or maybe she already has, I am not informed of this yet.”

“Oh, god. That has to be a beautiful child,” Lexi said in an exciting voice. “Cleo was the most beautiful woman I’ve laid eyes on.”

“Indeed, cousin,” Pandora nodded at her, agreeing. “If I was in her shoes, I'd done the same thing. I would have left my pirate life behind in order to concentrate on giving my child a better life."

"And so we make enemies by not joining in," a matured voice suddenly was heard coming from the back side deck. "An excellent move considering that there are about two hundred pirates all over the land. And most of those stick to their codes even when we do not."

The trio regarded a dark clothed figure approaching along with another crew member who was dressed in a dark robe and a dark cloak as well. The figure who had spoken was actually the shortest and oldest of the males who formed part of Pandora Koeki’s crew. He had green eyes and short, messy dark hair. His skin showed what could happen to someone when they spent too much time out in the sun: A strong tan. He was thirty five years old, but despite his age, he was in good shape and excelled in using a machete, which he carried at his left hip. Victor Zepol was his name, and even though he always seemed to oppose to whatever Pandora said, he always ended up agreeing with the lass, for she was their leader and they all loved and respected her.

The other lad stood close to six feet, was buff, and had strong arms under the robe that he wore. His oval-shaped eyes were dark brown, his stare could be mean at times but not always. His name was Deiniol Llewelyn. He was just a deck worker on the ship, as was Victor. Deiniol and Victor had been merchants long ago, though. Victor had been rescued by Pandora’s crew on a stormy night in which he had been doomed to die if Pandora and her crew had not shown up. His small boat had tipped off to the side and had been sinking. He had gone down with it, but the White Dove had arrived to save the day. After being rescued, he had joined Pandora’s ship as a crew member and had worked diligently for her ever since, as compensation for having been rescued.

As to Deiniol, he had been a good pick-up from one of the farm villages located to the south of Phyd. Deiniol used to be a fisherman, a logger, a merchant, and a farmer. When his village was raided by bandits, he had defended it like a raged beast. He had dealt with the bandits with what little magic he knew and with a bow, but he had lost his family, his friends and a dog that he had loved too much. After the tough loss of his family and everything that he held dear, Deiniol thought about ending his miserable life. But he was a strong man and had honor, so much that he refused to take his life, even when he was hurting so bad. He had left the area and had settled in a village close to the Royal Castle. There he had established himself in a tavern, working as a bouncer for the owner. Pandora and her crew had come to the tavern one night and had met him there as he’d been tossing drunks outside. It had been Victor who had recruited him, the man actually liking how he’d handled himself against a trio of drunk *******s who had started trouble in the pub. Deiniol not only agreed when he came to know about Victor’s tragedy at sea, but also when he was told that Pandora was the captain of the ship.

"We might make enemies," Pandora teased the old sea dog, knowing how frustrated he seemed to become when she spoke and made decisions. "But I doubt they'd want to attack us. We may be one vessel, gentlemen, cousin,” she winked at Lexi. “with a very small crew, perhaps, but we have tremendous power in our ranks. We will be fine."

She was about to continue saying something when a shout came from above the crow's nest.

"Captain Pandora. I see many ships to the north. They all fly pirate flags, boss!"

Not only did Pandora stare up to the crow nest but the others did as well right away, seeming concerned.

"What? Are you sure? How many can you count, Alex?"

Alex was the nickname that the crew had given Alessandra Walsh, the eye-on-top who kept watch most of the time. Alessandra stood an inch over six feet and was the quiet type, but she often had had a few fights with the crew, mostly because of anger issues when she lost at cards to them.

"Eleven ships, captain," Alessandra shouted back, her girlish voice sharp. "I think they are fanning out, maybe planning to bombard castle Phyd or the surroundings."

"Sounds serious, I better go have a look," Pandora told her cousin with a stricken face, who nodded at her right away.

“Do,” Lexi cried as she also ran to an opening on the deck that would take her down to the sublevel. “I will make sure our canons are ready to go in case we face trouble ourselves. Come, guys, we have work to do.”

Lexi Xinn was the ship’s deck leader, master-at-arms, and the only cook that they had available during that time. She was in charge of having meals ready for everyone come morning, afternoon and night time. She also made sure that everyone took care of performing their jobs as best as possible when working the deck. Moreover, she also took command when it came to fighting foes. Lexi would direct the firing of canons or she would lead them out to battle if Pandora was no present.

Ranike, Victor, and Deiniol went after Lexi, and they all lost themselves through the opening.

Meanwhile, the top-notch vigilant waited within the bird’s nest for her captain to arrive. Alessandra had remained staring at the ships through the long spyglass that she carried with her.

Pandora was good climbing up through the shrouds, maybe her not-so-heavy build helped her out in that reward, but Dillon whistled in surprise as he saw her climb up the shrouds like a little spider going after a trapped victim on a web.

In a matter of a minute, Pandora was helped by Alessandra into the crow’s nest. Alex was quick to give the captain the spyglass, for Pandora had given her this scope long ago and had carried none. Pandora stared through it and wasn’t so surprised when she laid eyes on the many ships.

“Damn it!” Pandora cursed, her voice shaky and with fear. “This does not look good.”

*End of Part 7*

*M i d n a*

Æsir Scribe
Aug 18, 2009
Thanks, Veely.

Here's the next update. The story is almost completed. :P

Part 8:The Mighty Furrion

Western Sea, 20 Minutes before Sunset

He was tall, lean and very mean. His name was Simerus. He was the top captain of the Furrion forces. His furry skin was of a golden hue, his mane silvery and gold. A fine warrior as he had always been, his body was dressed in fine armor worthy of any fine warrior. He carried two fat daggers at the side of his hips. Those were his weapons of choice and were heavily enchanted with shocking magic. He was of the Lion tribe, a hero among the feline folk, for he had been the one to send the fairies scrambling away from their beautiful island just a few weeks ago.

At his master's call, though, Simerus had returned to Furrion island, along with his massive lion tribe. Master Shadow had named him his top captain then, for having dealt with the fairies as he had been ordered too. From that day on, Simerus had gained much power. He now controlled the other three Furrion tribes--the tigers, the bears and the wolves. All tribes had united under Shadow's rule for a single purpose, and that was to eliminate the pesky dragir race, who always seemed to be in the middle of everything.

Before the unification had come, though, the Furrion tribes had been at war with each other fighting over terrain, bragging rights and possessions in their Furrion island. Once Master Shadow was able to remove the magical walls that the dragir had set up as protection for the Phydians from Furrions and Sleechurs alike, the unification had come. The Furrion came to understand that their mighty leader would surely lead them to greater things. For someone like him to have been able to breach those un-passable magical walls, that was a great feat indeed. The dragir would have a hard time re-setting those magical walls back together, maybe they wouldn't even be able to at all, if Shadow's magic could prevent them from doing so.

And so the war against the dragir and Phydians was on. Without the magical walls to protect the Phydians, they too would fall quite easily, for Phydians were the weakest of races. But the dragir were sure to put up a fight and would send troops to defend the Phydians, as they had always done so.

That is why two large fleets had been assembled weeks ago. The main fleet was already sailing toward Dragiria and very close to arriving, with Simerus leading the way on his mighty warship. Some five thousand other Furrion followed on other ships and smaller boats. The rest of the Furrion clans, the weaker ones, had been dispatched to the east in an attempt to invade Phyd once and for all while the opportunity lasted. Five thousand or so Furrion were sailing toward Phyd and would be arriving in a week, just a day or so after the main fleet would have made contact with the dragir in the north.

"Soon," Simerus heard himself saying as he watched how the sun went down in the western horizon. He smirked and kept his yellowish orbs on the sun. "The fairies were first, the dragir will follow and then the serpent folk. There will be no greater race than ours!"

*End of Part 8*

*M i d n a*

Æsir Scribe
Aug 18, 2009
Thanks Rainy.

Well, I opted to post the remaining two chapters. It is very long, so read at your own pace. I just felt like I needed to get this thing out of the way. I am sorry to inform you all that I won't be able to publish this as I thought. If I did, then I would have to cancel my other story since it is basically the same tale and I would have to do a lot of editing at the publishing site. I don't wanna do that. So I will not be publishing what you have read here. I will, however, give it a shot with that other long version that I am writing.~Ats

Part 9: The Battle for the Newborn

Phyd, Sunset

He came out of the portal feeling dizzy and sick, but Artemys held the gun aloft pointing it in every direction just to be sure that no enemy was waiting for him.

When he pointed it to the left, a beautiful face that he already knew well, ducked low right away.


"Oh," Artemys lowered the fairy gun right away. "Sorry, Magatha, I didn't mean to point this thing at you, I was just afraid of appearing in plain sight of Phydians or enemies..."

A scared Magatha stood back up, her eyes eyeing the dragir and her right hand on her chest.

"Gosh, you almost gave me a heart attack, Arty. After hearing what the Amura said about that weapon, I don't want to be shot with it. There would be nothing left of me."

"I am sorry, alright?" Artemys apologized but then he began staring around the place. Darkness was beginning to take over the day, the sun was minutes away from setting in the west. Artemys noticed it and smiled, for he always had taken a token to watch the sunset and the sunrise. He glanced back at Magatha and asked her, "Are we in Phyd now?"

He began to look around trying to get a better feel of his surroundings. Magatha did not let him though, she quickly grabbed him by the left forearm and said, "Yes, come on, it's this way, I was told to wait for you here."

Artemys followed the mage, for he really had no choice, she was clutching his left forearm tightly with her hand, pulling him along toward some heavy brush. They knelt and hid there, and Artemys was able to scan the area a few seconds later. All he saw was white, stony walls, but behind those he made out the form of a mighty castle.

The dragir glanced to the sides, then. He noticed that there were a few trees scattered about, but no living creatures could be seen nor heard. Artemys did hear the chirping of birds, though, and he hoped those did not play a role in bringing any of the guards looking for them. Finally, the dragir glanced to the back, and he noticed in the far distance what appeared to be a small village. Figures moved there, but they were too far to take notice of them there. He took in a loud breath and brought his sight back to the front.

"The castle walls," Magatha told him as she noticed how he stared at the walls once again. "You can see the castle looming behind the walls.”

Artemys nodded at her without turning to regard her, for his whole attention was on the looming castle.

“I am afraid there is trouble going on here, Artemys."

"Trouble?" Artemys glanced at her. "What sort of trouble, exactly?"

"I used my magical abilities and spied on a few sentinels over there yonder, whom I was able to perceive behind this wall. They spoke about some trouble with pirates, and they believe those pirates will bombard the castle soon."

"Pirates? What in the Daelden's name are they?" Artemys looked confused, and Magatha knew that he wanted to know.

"They are Phydians, silly," Magatha rolled her eyes at him and laughed lowly. "Just not good Phydians, rather enemies. From what I heard they ride ships and raid villages and whatnot. But come, we must not waste time here, my job is to lead you into the castle. I am supposed to create a magical entrance for you."

"And what of the others?" Artemys seemed confused, even felt a bit nervous of not being able to see them. Where were the other dragir?

"They keep hidden around the perimeter of the castle. Look at the top of that castle corner over there,” she pointed towards one end of the castle that was visible to Artemys’s far right.

Artemys stared hard in that direction, wondering what Magatha wanted him to see. Then his eyes saw them: Phydians stationed behind the tower wall, and they appeared to be mounted behind what seemed to Artemys as long ranged weapons.

“What are those things?”

“I can respond to that,” Magatha replied, her eyes on the tower. “But only because Althea told me about them, otherwise I wouldn’t have had a clue. They are ballistae, they fire harpoons.”

“Har what?”

“Harpoons. Just imagine a huge steel arrow twice your size and with four sharp heads, Artemys, for that is what they fire. The Amura warned me about them and probably warned the others too. We should be careful out here, those weapons will literally tear you apart. There will be nothing left of you if you get hit with one.”

Suddenly, Artemys seemed to shrink more behind the bushes, and Magatha noticed that. She touched him gently on the forearm and smiled soothingly at him.

“We’ll be alright, we just have to be very careful when advancing. For now, tell me, were you told about an evil being who is coming to secure some newborn?"

"Yes," Artemys nodded nervously. "I am to get to this child and her mother before master Shadow does.”

“What? Master Shadow?”

“That would be your evil being,” Artemys explained. “I am to secure the mother and the child, and then we are to escape back to Dragiria once I have them in my possession."

"Yes, back to our homeland,” Magatha nodded, knowing that very part herself. “I suppose you will be on your own then?”

"That is what the Amura told me," Artemys spat. “I wasn’t told whether anyone else would go with me into the castle or not, but I believe I am to return back home all by myself...with the women and her child, of course.”


"Yes, what is it?" Artemys asked, but his eyes went back to the ballista, where his eyes could just make out the beings operating them. They were Phydians, or humans, as they were also called. All Artemys could make out of them was that they were dressed in their battle gear, and he could barely make out faces as well, which to him resembled that of his own kin.

"Half of the other group is here, by the way. Group B is also here."

"What? Are you serious?"

"Yes. That handsome dragir from house Afon and a younger lass known as Abigale have come. They stand watch in the shadows at the north side wall. I think they are the muscle, our defenders for that area should anything go awry."

"I see. Are you and I the only dragir from our group here?"

"No," Magatha said. "Saskia of house Zeeron will provide support with her bow. She's a few hundred feet away from here, keeping an eye out for anything that might get in our way.”

“That dragir has a bow? I never saw it on her.”

“I believe it’s magical,” Magatha explained, glancing up at the visible part of the castle. Artemys shook his head at her response.


“One of the gifts she chose, I believe.”

“Alright,” Artemys nodded, understanding now. “So what about Lazarus and Tyrus?”

“I know nothing about them, perhaps they are to operate under cover?"

Artemys tensed at that.

"So we are five, then? Fine, we better get a move on. Get me inside the castle as you were told to."

"But we are to wait until the sun sets completely," the thunder dragir told him. "So you still have time to suck in a good breath and gather courage. I can tell that you are very tense, just like I am."

"I am not tense,” Artemys lied and licked his dry lips. “Well yes, I actually am...but I just want to get this whole thing over with and return to Dragiria."


"What is it now?"

"Much rides on your shoulders for this mission," Magatha lowered her sight to the ground, which was mostly barren and with little grass coming out from it here and there. "I come to understand now that your part is the hardest of all. You are going into the castle!"

"Don't be silly, Magatha. You all will provide me with assistance in some way. So, you are as important as much as I am."

Magatha glanced at the dragir, with the last rays of light fading in the distance to the west.

"You are not bad, Artemys, for a warrior, I mean. At first glance I thought you to be different, like the majority of the reds. You, however, are different – way different! When I stepped on you, I did it only to see if you would become enraged and do something funny that would get you in trouble with mistress Vee. But you didn't, you were raised and disciplined well, and my respect for you multiplied many times over after you just took it. Other reds would have retaliated back in some fierce way or another."

"Magatha, I have no reason to hurt anyone for such small incidents. I don't plan on hurting many folks, to be honest with you, I will simply defend myself when the time comes. As for hurting someone just because I may be able to do so, well...that is just not me. I might be a red, yes, but my father taught me well how to deal with the rage burning inside me. He said that if I let it get a hold of me, that I would..."

Artemys suddenly went quiet, and his expression hardened. Magatha noticed it when he stared at the ground and licked his lips in a saddening way.

"What is it, Artemys?" she approached him then, knowing that something had bothered him.

"Nothing, Magatha," he quickly glanced back at her. "Come...it is time, the last rays have disappeared. Lead the way, I will handle the rest."

Magatha glanced at him for a bit. Artemys noticed that she seemed pale, but to her, he also seemed pale and nervous.

“We can’t waste time,” Artemys reminded her.

"Very well,” Magatha said. “Follow me."

Feeling the adrenaline rushing within his stomach, Artemys followed the thunder dragir.


At King Locke's call, his personal messenger, who was a tall, thin man named Thar Meitus, had sent the word out for the seven captains of the elite guard and their commander to gather in the middle of the main garden. As requested, they had gathered at the center of the main garden, which stood some twenty yards away from the castle’s double-door main entrance and thirty yards from the castle’s main gate. Among the seven captains was the troop commander, the leader of the entire armada. He was a handsome young man who appeared to be in his late teen years. His name was Serris Lapinski. Dressed in his fine regal armor underneath a red cloak and with a small arsenal of weapons on him, he had been waiting patiently in the garden for his Highness and his right hand man to arrive. King Locke Cole and Thar Meitus came out through the main entrance minutes later, both walking in a hurry and with a few personal guards trailing behind them.

“Report!” cried Thar, and as soon as he and the king stopped in front of them all, the group of captains and the commander formed in a single front line. After they bowed to the king, it was Serris who spoke.

“All captains present, sir. Every available division is out beyond the castle front gate awaiting deployment.”

“We go to secure the beach,” Thar let them know their plan of action, which the king had told him about as they had reunited within the main hall. “Commander Serris, take the field.”

“Aye, sir.” Serris bowed again, then he turned around. “Captains, follow me.”

The group left in a hurry, with the king and Thar not far behind.

Minutes later, the elite guard, who were some three hundred well armed and armored men and women, had proceeded to march to the north, where the pirate ships could be seen marooned on the water a few hundred yards away from the beach. The elite guard pulled along catapults and ballistae with horses, and a few wagons with canon balls and other war essentials followed along. They would use those weapons to retaliate at the pirates should they open fire upon the castle or the land.

The king, who was mounted on his white palomino, was pleased to see how fast the troops had mobilized. It was no wonder, it was just that the elite forces had always been stationed in garrisons close to the castle, with only three other divisions scattered about to protect the borders of the realm.

But besides the elite forces, other forces had a role to play as well. Several hundred lower ranked guards had been assigned to guard several gardens that surrounded the castle. Plus there were those who kept a constant watch from above the towers and balconies. These were known as the sky watch. If those were not enough protection for the castle, a good contingency had also been left to guard the inside of the castle, but mostly the room where the King's daughter rested with her newborn. They had orders to kill anyone who didn’t belong in the castle.

The elite troops were well coordinated, and they organized themselves well. When everything was ready, when they finally set a wide perimeter around the lengthy northern beach, they waited for the pirates to initiate the trouble.


"We haven't received the order yet," a fat pirate captain spoke to his eager crew. "Hold on, boys. As soon as lady Miranda gives the order, we shall join our brothers in arms and decimate the castle. Her signal is supposed to be the first fired canon shot, so wait for it."

Suddenly, the wind seemed to die and the fat pirate noticed a dark creature flying high around the ship. Grabbing the shoulder of one of his lieutenant's, the fat captain asked as he pointed upwards, "What in the nine hells is that?"

The lieutenant, along with a few others who had noticed the dark creature, just followed it as it flew around them several times. The creature came about and the pirates were able to see that it was dark in appearance and scary looking, with two fiery red eyes that stared at them as it flew close by. The pirates had to duck at one time when the creature sailed just over them, its black robe trailing behind and leaving the scent of raw magic. The creature came at them again with a wild laugh and dropped a nearly-invisible powder on them all before it flew back out and away. It went towards another of the ships, where the creature had in mind doing the very same thing.

"What manner of creature is that?" the fat captain shouted and headed to the beak of the ship, wanting to see where the mysterious creature was headed. “And what sickening smell just took hold of me?"

Most of his crew had followed him to the beak, also eager to see what became of the mysterious being. As had their captain, they too suddenly started to feel very sick within. Soon, the pirate crew felt all hot within, and there was coughing and even vomiting going on with all the crew members. Confusion took them all then, for none knew what had just happened.


Lord Shadow flew over and around several ships, doing his thing. It was not that he wanted to be spotted and feared - he loved the fear that his sudden appearance was leaving on the faces of the pirates - rather Shadow was silently cursing the crews of the ships as he flew around them one at a time.

The sparkles of unseen, powder magic was his doing, and that dark magic would take its effect upon his command.

He came upon the largest of the ships, noticing as he flew highly above them that they had noticed him since a while ago. The ship was dark and had white sails, and it was known as The Spirit of the Sea. He flew around them several times, issuing forth his curse.

Shadow let out a loud, wicked laugh and landed on top of the cabin's roof, the crew's full attention on him, even the beautiful blue eyes of captain Miranda, the leader of the whole pirate armada.

Pointing a pirate pistol at the monstrosity with a trembling hand, she spoke. "Wh...at are you? And what do you want? S...peak or I will shoot you."

"What do I want?" Shadow's voice seemed to echo all around the area as he stood eyeing the scared crew, his robe flapping with the wind. "Why I want your souls of course, dear. And I will have them."

Miranda, a beautiful pirate lass of no more than twenty one years of age, had never known fear. But she suddenly became very agitated and pulled the trigger. The steel ball hit the target but it bounced off his chest and fell harmlessly to the cabin's roof where it made a low banging noise.

Shadow grinned evilly at the foolish woman and then suddenly began to extend his arms to the side.

"Fire at him!" Miranda desperately ordered at her crew, knowing fully well that this foe was still impossibly alive. "Kill him!"

A few gunshots were heard, and her left hand went for her sword's hilt. But then she felt very sick, her whole being felt hot, and her stomach churned inside as a sickening smell invaded her nose.

"It is no use," Shadow's loud voice stopped those few pirates who had started to advance upon him. "It is already too late, fools. I have sprinkled you pirate scum with dark magic that penetrates deep into the body and turns you into monsters."

"Mon..sters?" a scared pirate asked, observing his arms, which he suddenly felt as if something from within wanted to come out. The others felt the same and glanced upon themselves, even lady Miranda, who after feeling the odd sensation within her had let the pistol drop to the deck. Her beautiful face deformed in terror when her womanly hands grew into much larger ones, hairy ones with long claws at the end. Her pale skin became rough and dark as the night itself, and then lady Miranda felt how her head seem to explode. It didn’t, but her appearance changed drastically, becoming that of a wolf’s.

Shadow watched in delight as the pirates deformed and turned into assorted dark monstrosities as the ones that he had created long ago in that huge island of his.

"Yes, don't fight it! Come forth, my Furrions, my creations! Come forth my lovelies! Head to castle Phyd, destroy all in your wake! Leave none alive!"

Many loud howls echoed all around, bringing a wide grin to Shadow’s face.

Satisfied with what he saw then, Shadow turned his attention over to the castle, where his coveted prize awaited. He took off in that direction and at the same time his new dark army started to splash into the water.


Artemys and Magatha headed to where Saskia Zeeron stood watch in the shadows. She easily made them out in the shadows, and she felt a little better, her tension leaving her. She took a deep breath as she watched them approach, knowing that the time had come.

"We are ready to begin," Magatha simply told her, to what Saskia nodded in return, giving Artemys a brief glance.

“I am ready,” she told them.

"Follow me then," Magatha moved out toward the castle high wall. The two dragir followed, Artemys carrying his pistol while Saskia carried her magical white bow with an magical arrow strung already.

"I will make the guards behind this wall fall asleep," Magatha said as she began raising her arms as if to chant. "We don't have to hurt them! The Amura warned me that we must not hurt any Phydians if we can help it, they are not our enemies."

"I know that already," Saskia responded as she watched the thunder dragir motioning her hands expertly on the wall as she designed a door. "The Amura said I was to use magical arrows that will put anyone to sleep. She provided me those arrows, so it will be fine."

Artemys stared at the arrow’s tip, noticing that it wasn’t sharp and pointy. No, the arrow had a small ball at the end, filled with magic that would burst out when the ball hit its target. That magic would then make the target fall asleep.

“Hurry it up,” Saskia hurried the mage after two full minutes had gone by. They could all hear faint voices in the distance, these probably belonging to the soldiers scattered about the gardens.

“We could have just climbed over the wall,” Artemys pointed out.

"And have the whole dang castle sentinels all over us?" Magatha turned her head but kept her design going. "Keep quiet, It, I am working here. I am almost done, anyway."

Artemys kept quiet, hiding a nervous smile, for the blonde dragir’s reaction had eased him a bit.

Soon, a portion of the wall seemed to melt and a passageway appeared. Magatha glanced at the two dragir and noticed that they were too concerned with her design.

"Go!" she ordered. “It’s ready, don’t you see?”

"Oh!" Artemys snapped out of it and went in first. A quick Saskia followed second and finally Magatha, who stared to the sides once she was at the other side. The wall behind them went back to its original state in a matter of seconds, Artemys noticing it as well as the other dragir who had turned around.

"The door..." Artemys pointed out.

"Yes," Magatha took a hold of him and spun him around. "It sealed again, Arty. I used temporary magic, you know? I don't want my magical energy to drain so quickly. Anyway...it is time for us to head on over to the back side of the castle, this side is too heavily guarded." Magatha glanced over at Saskia and added, "You lead the way and drop any soldiers that might spot us."

Saskia nodded and moved out. Artemys hesitated a bit but then was pushed onward by Magatha, who again had to say, "Go!"

Artemys ran after the earth dragir. Darn she was fast, he thought, but not faster than him. He caught up to her right away, so did Magatha, who had to speed her run up a bit in order to do so.

“Quiet!” Artemys whispered at them, believing that they were making too much noise by running over the hardened ground.

“We’re fine,” Saskia said. “We are hardly making any noise, Artemys of House Titanium.”

They used the shadows well and avoided coming in contact with the sentinels. Some were too busy talking to each other, and though they did keep a good eye out, the dragir were just too stealthy. As they had come upon a trio of soldiers, Artemys took a good measure of them, for he had never seen a Phydian at close range before. What he saw from them sort of interested him, and he did not notice much difference between his kin and them. He had even stopped to check their faces well, but Magatha had shoved him on letting him know with a hushed voice that there was no time for that now.

"I am as intrigued as you are," she had told him. "Phydians are cute, friendly creatures, but we must move on."

Artemys had nodded and moved on. There were large trees and tall bushes that adorned the gardens, so they managed to arrive the backside of the castle undetected, having used everything to their advantage. Saskia had even downed several sentinels who had made their crossing through one of the last gardens difficult. Once she had hit them with the magical arrows, Artemys had taken care of hiding the fallen soldiers behind well trimmed bushes that adorned the garden.

"What now?" Artemys asked as he glanced around. There were statues standing against the walls, and there were well-trimmed trees and shrubs, and even a fountain way to the north where the walls seemed to intersect. Artemys could hear the fountain spitting out water.

"I open up a passage for you again, dummy, that's what," Magatha said with a chuckle and quickly began touching the wall, feeling its vibrations. "Dang it, not here, too crowded on the other side...lets move a bit to the center."

They did, all three, and Magatha investigated the wall again. "Clear," she sort of said with a smile. "You aren't afraid of getting wet, are you, Artemys?"

"Why do you ask?"

"Never mind," Magatha said as she noticed how the earth dragir seemed to be impatiently staring at her. "I'll trace that entrance now."

She swallowed hard and did so, motioning her hands first and uttering words. Artemys just glanced at the earth dragir as Magatha designed the door, however, the earth dragir paid him no heed, for Saskia was keeping an eye out for any signs of trouble.

In less than a minute Magatha had the passageway open for the young warrior.

"There it is," Magatha moved to the side to give him room to move in. Saskia Zeeron stepped in front of the doorway, making Artemys stop in the process, for he was about to go in. The earth dragir seemed to be checking the room carefully. All she could see was a pool of fresh looking water.

"Alright," she turned around and came face to face with the warrior, who seemed surprised at her intervention. "The room seems to be clear. I just wanted to make sure no one was there..."

They both remained staring at each other. After a few seconds, Magatha coughed from the side and said, "We are wasting time."

"We are wasting time," Artemys kindly repeated her words as he kept his cool stare on the earth dragir. Saskia nodded at him and then moved to the side to stand next to the mage.

Artemys closed his eyes briefly and took a deep breath. The time to infiltrate the castle had come. He felt his heart in his throat. He gulped hard and started to move forward.

But someone grabbed his forearm before he was able to go through the opening on the wall.

He turned his head to the left side and noticed that Magatha had done the grabbing.

"You are on your own now, Artemys ," she said, her voice kind and proud. "We might no see each other again for some time, so please be careful and I wish you the best of luck."

"Alright," Artemys said, slowly, glancing at her blue eyes. "You two take care too, you hear? I won’t fail Mistress Vee...I won’t fail my kin."

He then glanced over at the earth dragir, who nodded at him and even offered him a slight smile. That made Artemys generate some courage, and he smiled back at her.

"I promise you that we will be fine," Magatha told him. "It is you who I fear for..."

"I'll be fine, Magatha," Artemys confessed right away. "I think I will be. I trust myself in what I can do, I will be alright."

But he wasn’t sure, and the two females noticed it written clearly on his face.

Magatha let go of his forearm and moved to the side, knowing that she was keeping him from his duties. The two female dragirs watched as the male dragir headed into the opening. Once inside, he turned around and glanced back outside. The opening began to seal itself slowly and all he could see of the female dragirs was that they stood watching him with concerned and even sad faces. He noticed the two dragir waving good bye. He was able to wave back before the wall went back to its solid state.

Artemys took a deep breath to steady himself. He really needed it, he thought as he had done so. He was inside the castle now, his nervousness was still there but diminishing quickly. The earth dragir had smiled at him! And she had waved him off politely too! That thought alone set the dragir in motion, for maybe Magatha was right after all. Maybe Saskia of house Zeeron had feelings for him and those feelings were starting to come out, slowly but surely. She had stood staring at him and had said nothing, rather seemed to have enjoyed too much staring at him. He had enjoyed it too, but had not shown it. Or had he?

Artemys shook those thoughts away as he ran over to the side, avoiding the pool of fresh water. He wondered what it was used for. He wasn't sure but he believed that maybe it was used for showering, kind of like the dragir did in their Dragirian lakes.

He went out of the room but used stealth. It appeared that no one was around but he knew he had to be careful, one could never know.

The whole castle walls appeared to be white and made out of stone. The floor was made out of some shiny mosaic, material he had seen before, for the dragirs were beginning to dig it out of underground mines at Dragiria.

The dragir shifted the heavy pistol over to his left hand, the weapon had finally managed to tire his right arm.

A few moments later he came upon a corridor that had several wooden doors on the walls. Artemys stood at the far end watching the corridor. Could it be that what he was looking for was behind one of those doors? The dragir thought that possible, so he knew he had to check them all. There were just eight doors, so he would check them quickly and move on if he did not find the mother and child inside, time was of the essence. But what if he found other Phydians inside instead? He pondered on that for a bit but then decided that either way he had to check them out, so he got moving, knowing that perhaps that dark being was on its way to the castle as well.

A startling thought made the dragir tremble. Had the dark being already beaten him to the job? He calmed down and went on.

It took him but mere minutes to check the rooms. The dragir found nothing that seemed alive, but the rooms did contain beds and tables and whatnot, probably living quarters to soldiers or for servants.

After the checking the last room, he headed to the end of that passage and came upon a large room, where he noticed that the floor was not the same as the one he had been stepping on before. It was now adorned with a red carpet that he found quite interesting. He stooped down and felt its material, believing that it was harmless. He stood back up again. He scanned the room with the fluid movement of his eyes.

There were also statues made out of stone, benches and plants off in the corners. Artemys noticed several large frames on the walls which depicted characters and wildlife scenes. He thought those looked well there.

He noticed that there were door-less entrances on all walls, one leading north and the others left and right. He took the one leading to the left, thinking that he heard voices coming from the other passages.

He followed the corridor and came to another large room, this one showing him similar things as the one before but with the ceiling way up high. A massive golden chandelier hung at the top. He noticed that there was a two-way stairway leading up, one which had the form of a heart. At the top there was a balcony, and the dragir could make out an entry farther back.

Artemys ran toward the stairs, believing that his targets had to be on the second level beyond the entry. He started going up but was suddenly very still.

Two armored guards – one being white skinned and the other dark skinned - had been coming down the stairs, talking and laughing and a bit distracted. These two guards suddenly stopped cold on their tracks. They shivered in wild fear and remained frozen when they took notice of the rare creature appearing below them.

Artemys thought that the mission would be over, that he had failed. He stared at the two guards, who made no movement at him, rather seemed to be in awe staring at him. They were shocked about him just as he was shocked to finally lay eyes upon a Phydian at close range and without the darkness keeping their facial features hidden.

The white skinned guard was the one who reacted first.

"He...Help! A monster!" he shouted, keeping his eyes on him, his right hand went for the hilt of his sword.

The other guard’s face hardened then, and he snapped out of his momentary confusion as well. He went for a bow that hung at his back. Artemys felt threatened and lifted the pistol and pointed it at them, making the one who had shouted to scramble back the way he had come. The dark skinned soldier holding the bow did not move, though, rather kept it pointing in defiance at the creature standing below him.

“Drop the pistol or I will shoot!” the guard shouted.

"We are not to hurt the Phydians!" Magatha's voice echoed in his thoughts as Artemys considered firing the pistol, and he remembered what the Amura had said too; the weapon was powerful. Could it be powerful enough that if he fired upon the Phydian the castle would come crashing down?

With that thought in mind, Artemys lowered the pistol, but with his right hand brought his blade out. He would defend himself from harm.

Knowing fully well that the creepy creature was an enemy to the realm, an intruder, the soldier let the arrow fly towards the monster. Artemys avoided the arrow by dodging to the right. The soldier growled lowly at the miss and began to string another arrow to the bow as he ranted, "What manner of monster are you, creature?"

Artemys wished he could have engaged in conversation with the soldier. He would have told him that he was no monster, just another living creature, but he knew that the Phydian soldier would never believe him anyway.

He suddenly took off running in a charging maneuver against the soldier, who was just barely beginning to take aim once again.

Artemys was quick, so quick that before the soldier came to realize it, the creature was already next to him. He shoved the guard softly on the shoulder as he sprinted by, for he did not want to hurt the Phydian. The soldier got shoved but he kept his balance and the arrow strung. He turned around and saw that the creature was headed towards the doorless entry that led to the main corridor of the second floor, from which he and his partner had just come.

The soldier immediately turned around and took off after the creature. It was clear to him that the creature was probably part of the pirate crew scum and was looking for lady Cleo and the newborn baby. Why else would it be here? But as the soldier went up the last few remaining stairs, he became curious to the fact that the creature had not hurt him at all, even when it could have.

Regardless, he was a soldier under the service of the crown. His orders were to kill any intruders who would want to get to lady Cleo and her baby. So he let the arrow fly towards the creature just as it was about to disappear at the entrance of the main hall.

The arrow struck true, sticking into the creature's lower back.

Artemys felt the nasty, painful sting at his back. The pain that he felt coursing through his body made him stop, just a foot away from the entrance.

The soldier was smiling at him when he turned around to consider him, and he was already preparing another arrow. Artemys's eyes flared, and inside he began to feel a deep rage taking a hold of him. He had been wounded, and at those moments he only felt like going over to the Phydian and hurt him in return, give to him some pain as he had taken it. But he remembered his father's words first of all, words of advice that had taught him not to hurt anyone if he could help it. Then he remembered the Amura, the mission, the dark being. He knew that he could not hurt the soldier.

The soldier fired once again, but Artemys moved out of the way and the arrow hit the wall, falling harmlessly to the floor. From the beyond the corridor behind him, Artemys heard the scuffling of many feet in the distance and also voices speaking.

"Ha," the soldier with the bow laughed triumphantly as he also heard the same thing. "Back up is coming, *****! You are a goner!"

Artemys ran away from the entrance, ignoring the pain and the arrow at his back. He jumped over the balcony to land on the room below. The soldier appeared at the edge of the balcony and let fly another arrow, but missed badly as Artemys just moved aside.

“Freaking monster!” the dark-skinned soldier appeared annoyed that he had missed yet again.

"Where is the monster?" a deep low voice was heard from the top.

"Down there," the soldier with the bow pointed down. "Damned thing is an ugly one, man! I've never seen such a creature before!"

Artemys noticed other soldiers as they appeared on the edge of the balcony, their helmeted heads and part of their necks only visible to him. At first they were shocked to see him there, some even gasped and asked in befuddlement at each other what the creature was. But then, at the leader's order, the soldiers started to stream down the stairs, a large number of about twelve.

Artemys, seeing their action, sheathed his sword quickly, knowing what course of action he would take. He needed help, so he grabbed the amulet and closed his eyes, forgetting about the pain he felt at his back. He willed Qetz to come forth and help him.

A very bright light enveloped him for an instant, and that light blinded the soldiers so badly that it forced them to stop in their tracks.

Artemys closed his eyes too, for the light was too blinding that it stung his eyes. Then, in a matter of seconds, the light vanished and a wide-bodied creature began to take form in front of the dragir.

The transformation began with the dark outlining of the beast, a four-legged beast with a tail, for that matter. Then that body began to show the creature's silky black, muscular skin. A pair of dark wings along with a very long, whitish mane also materialized near the end of the transformation. When the transformation was over, the soldiers tucked tail and ran back up the stairs, for the beast that stood in front of the winged creature was scary and fierce looking. It issued forth a loud growl then, recognizing friend and foes.

Artemys was also shocked at what he saw, and he took long a step back. Then suddenly, Qetz spun its head back and glanced at him with fiery red eyes, two huge fangs hung from the creature's closed mouth.

"Oh, don't look scared," the creature spoke then, alarming Artemys even more. "Every owner I've had has had the same reaction. Am I really that bad looking? I am just a heavenly saber tooth."

Artemys did not know what to say, how to react, but he was not afraid of the creature. He glanced down at the amulet and noticed that it was shining brightly in a greenish hue.

"You are now my master," Qetz spun around and faced the dragir. "The first dragir I will serve. What is your name, master?"

"Artemys!" he said it aloud, still very shocked. "Qetz! I am on a mission! You must help me!"

"Yes," the beast said, glancing around the room and pawing the floor with one of its mighty paws. "Let us go. I will lead the way, master Artemys . I know very well who is foe and who is not. Believe me, I've been living on this earth for so long. I have seen many things, master, and while that amulet hangs from your neck, your thoughts shall also be mine. So I know why you are here. Follow me."

Artemys nodded several times, the tension fading away. He saw the mighty beast scamper away and up the stairs. He took the time then to grab the arrow that was sticking from his lower back. He pulled it out and took the pain with just a wild grimace.

"Come, master Artemys," Qetz called from above the balcony. “It’s this way, we are close.”

Artemys stared at the bloody arrow then dropped it. He then proceeded to go towards the stairs and up again, ignoring the burning sensation at his back.


King Locke Cole and his troops were not taken by surprise. The area where they stood waiting at the beach was well lit up by a few spells that several mage soldiers had enacted.

That is why they noticed the hairy creatures approaching from the beach. At first, the King, as well as those that stood in the front of the formations, were surprised at what they saw, but they reacted nonetheless.

"Infantry units, move. Take them down!" the King shouted, his sword pointing forward. Neither he nor his troops knew where those ugly creatures had really come from, but his faithful army followed him to meet the oncoming wave of monsters.

Swords met swords and other weapons met other weapons. The ringing of steel against steel echoed that night as the battle was joined. Then the air was filled with the cries of the wounded, and also the last painful cries of those who fell dead and would never see another dawn again.

King Locke Cole was no stranger to battle. From atop his mount he slashed and hacked madly at the creatures. The king even kicked a few away using with his strong, long legs. Near him, atop his own horse, Thar fought the hairy beasts off. But there were many of the beasts, and so when he saw that his fellow Phydians were struggling and falling to the creatures, he dismounted and ran to help them out. So did the king, who had seen commander Serris in the middle of the battle field downing opponent after opponent with a pair of daggers.

As the battle went on, soldiers fell and screamed all around the trio of high ranked men, and the sound of cracking bones and moans of pain filled the night. The majority of the monsters were felled rather quickly, for the elite squads of King Locke Cole were well trained, however, a significant number of soldiers also died at the hands of those dark creatures.

After ten minutes of ongoing battle, King Locke smiled in great satisfaction as he glanced around the battlefield and noticed that his faithful followers were winning the battle easily.


Shadow went undetected through the night. He had gazed at King Locke Cole and his army of elites and had decided to stay away from them. He could confront them this night, but he knew that his confrontation with the King of Phyd would have to wait for another occasion, the newborn was what was important to him the most.

He flew a few times around the castle, taking a good measure of it. He did not know where the child and her mother were being kept, so he hovered in mid air and enacted a spell of seeing, a scrying pool like the ones that he used at his quarters in Furrion Island.

The spell was strong, so it would drain his magical will a bit more, but Shadow knew he did not have time to waste. All he wanted to do was get his hands on the precious little girl and leave Phyd. As he was designing the scrying pool with his hand, one of a few magical amulets that he wore under his dark shirt had detected trouble coming from the north, a large fleet that had left Slyria hours ago. To add to his troubles, another vessel was coming in fast from the eastern side, very close to the edge of the castle. Another of his magical detecting amulet had detected strong foes onboard that ship, so he knew he had to get a move on.

Shadow growled in anger when his amulet let him know about other figures that lurked in the shadows outside of the castle. He knew those creatures too well!

"Dragirs!" he said, gruffly, and his eyes narrowed and flared. "Damn it all! They’ve probably come to stop me from getting to the child."

Feeling very angry, he finished designing the scrying pool. A round, magical pool that resembled a mirror appeared before him, and he ordered it to show him the exact place where the newborn was kept. Soon, the pool showed him a woman in bed with a sleepy newborn at her side. With an evil smile he dismissed it and went flying toward the area that the magical pool had shown him.


When Artemys made it to the corridor that connected to the entrance of the balcony room, he sort of laughed lowly. Qetz had the entire soldier squad backed up against the hallway's dead end.

Qetz approached in furthermore, growling and pawing the floor, making several soldiers squeal like scared mice seeing a cat approaching.

"The little one and her mother are in the room to my left, master," Qetz spoke out. "Go on in, I will remain here keeping these soldiers at bay."

Artemys remembered his mission then, and headed toward a wooden door off to the side of Qetz. He grabbed the knob and twisted it aside but nothing happened. He twisted harder and pushed forward, the door was locked.

He had no time to ask for any keys, so he took three steps back and rushed the door, hitting it squarely in the middle with the side of his arm and shoulder. The door, which was made out of thick wood, gave in and the dragir crushed through.

The woman who had been laying on bed with her eyes almost closed due to tiredness, was startled back to reality. So was the newborn, who started crying shortly after.

But lady Cleo screamed in fear as her eyes noticed the mysterious creature that had barged in.

She wanted to get out of bed but couldn't. Nervousness took her when she believed that the creature had probably slain all the soldiers that her father without a doubt had left guarding the room.

"Please relax," Artemys spoke as soft and friendly as he could muster it, the young dragir feeling too upset with himself after seeing that his appearance had the beautiful woman too frightened. "I am not here to hurt you nor your baby. I am here to..."

The wall off to the left suddenly exploded violently, mortar and block as well as debris and particles filled the room. Artemys, before he could react, was hit in the face with a broken piece of stone from the wall but it didn't do much but make his right cheek bleed.

Again, the frightened Lady Cleo screamed, and her baby was crying as never before. What was going on, she thought as her heart thumped and her thoughts raced. She had curled herself on the bed, her daughter in her arms.

Artemys noticed a dark figure coming in to the room through the large hole that the blast had caused on the wall. He instantly knew who that figure was, and he brought his pistol up and pointed it at him, making him stop as he landed within the room. As soon as he had appeared, the room began to shake, though not violently, but mildly. That fact alone made everyone stare around, wondering what was going on. Was an earthquake occurring then?

"Go ahead, fool dragir," the dark figure challenged him, ignoring the vibrations. His eyes narrowed. "Press the trigger, I am sure nothing will happen."

"You must be Master Shadow," Artemys replied, his rage starting to build within. He kept his left hand steady as he kept the pistol on him. "A good entrance if I do say so myself, but you will not take the baby."

"And you will stop me?" Shadow cried angrily. “A pitiful creature such as you?”

“Just move an inch and you will know,” Artemys challenged.

He began to laugh but then he quieted when he saw a mighty beast peering in through the blasted door. Its reddish eyes narrowed when it considered him and it came fully into the room in one short, well-timed jump to stand next to Artemys, its master.

It roared loudly and showed its tremendously long, sharp fangs at Shadow, who took a slight step back when he noticed that the mighty creature would be on him in a snap, for it had positioned itself for a launch attack upon him should he do something silly.

"Go to them, master Artemys ," Qetz shouted then. "Save the little one and her mother, I will keep this foe at bay. If he does something to interfere, I will shred him to pieces."

Shadow laughed out aloud, and that wicked laugh stopped Artemys from doing as Qetz had said, for that laugh assured him that Master Shadow was not going to give up the baby so lightly and without a fight.

"There will be nothing left of you two," Shadow shouted. "You make a run for the babe, fool dragir, and I will surely take action. You think your beastly friend here will be able to stop me?"

"Then do something about it!" Artemys shouted back, too sick of the being's evil intentions. He had been sent to rescue the child and her mother, and he was wasting time. He suddenly dashed toward the bed in an attempt to secure them, knowing that he had Qetz's back up.

Shadow attempted to fly after the dragir and utterly destroy him with the use of his dark blade, but Qetz launched at him and the two figures hit the wall hard, with Shadow taking most of the damage.

Master Shadow found himself pinned to the floor, the beast was too strong. Qetz roared loudly and rose a mighty paw in an attempt to swipe at Shadow's face, but the dark lord blasted the beast away with a quick, shocking spell before the swipe was delivered.

“Foolish creature,” Shadow cried and began to rise.

By that time, Artemys had already taken the child from the grasp of the Phydian female, and he had ordered her to get up. They needed to be off, he had told her.

Lady Cleo did not know what to believe when the monster had taken her baby away from her too easily. The horned being had assured her that he had not come to hurt her nor her baby. Then the appearance of that dark creature had made things interesting too, and the room vibrating had her terribly scared.

But she quickly had understood that perhaps the horned monster had been sent to save her and her child from that dark figure. She had started to obey, but that is when a blast was heard and she saw the mighty beast flying away to land close to the room’s door.

Artemys saw the same thing, but he had the pistol at the ready and aiming it at Shadow as he rose back up, his right hand drawing forth a nasty-looking long dark blade from a scabbard that hung at his left hip.

"Stay where you are!" Artemys shouted at him. “I will fire upon you.”

“Idiotic creature,” Shadow cursed lowly. “If you are going to take action then do it.”

Artemys wanted to press the trigger, but he found out that he couldn’t. His eyes were on Shadow the whole time, and Shadow’s were on his, the two staring at each other.

Master Shadow grinned evilly at him, sensing his weakness to shoot at him, to kill him. Before Artemys could react in some way, he lashed his left arm out, sending a wave of unknown magic his way. Artemys was barely able to twist his body, keeping the babe from getting hit with the spell, but he felt himself getting licked fully by the spell.

Nothing seemed to have happened, but soon Artemys began to feel himself going numb from the toes. This sensation continued to course through his body slowly. Lady Cleo felt the same sensation as she remained seated on the edge of the bed, too scared to even ask what was going on. She too, had been hit with the spell.

“What is…happening to me?” Artemys cried, staring back at the dark creature, who was showing him a wide grin, a smile of victory.

“You’ve lost, dragir,” Shadow informed, putting his blade back in its scabbard. “You’re as good as dead now.”

"No, you monster!" Artemys shouted, believing that the dark creature had beaten him after all. Enraged, he pulled the trigger and the pistol opened fire upon master Shadow, who was taken by surprise.

A loud blast was heard as two sizzling balls of fire proceeded to hit Shadow squarely in the torso. The blast sent him crashing through the wall and to the outside, but Artemys did not know whether that would be the end of him. He surely hoped so.

He quicky threw the pistol on the bed and opened his satchel with his free hand, trying to locate the silvery gemstone, all the while forgetting about the numbing sensation that seemed to be taking effect on his toes. He suddenly realized that he had no movement on them, and he panicked, swallowing hard.

Qetz was up again then, and he headed to take a look through Shadow's opening on the wall. He could not see anything of him and said, "We must hurry, master. That sure was one heck of a shot, but I doubt that foe has been defeated, I felt strong dark magic within him."

Artemys nodded at the mighty war beast and he suddenly found his hand holding the gemstone. At that same time, Artemys , Lady Cleo, and Qetz heard the soldiers running down through the hallway and then down the stairs.

"They appreciate their life," Qetz said, noticing the last soldier running by the door. “They know foes beyond their skill have come this night.”

"And they do well to run," Artemys responded. "But we must...hurry too."

He shifted the cute little baby over to his left hand and used his right hand to draw the magical portal.

"What...is going on?" Lady Cleo suddenly managed to break her silence. "Please, can I have my baby back?" She tried to stand but Artemys noticed that she couldn't. He ignored her and continued tracing the door.

When he was done tracing it, he felt the numbness had already reached his ankles. He glanced down and noticed that his feet had turned into something similar to stone, like a statues. He felt very frightened then, and he glanced upon the female Phydian and noticed that her feet were also turning into stone. Lady Cleo shouted frighteningly as she stared at her feet.

"I...I cannot move my feet, Qetz!" Artemys shouted as well, a desperate, frightened tone in his voice. "That creature did something to me...to us..."

"A petrifying spell," Qetz realized as he jumped on the bed, taking a good view at his master's lower body and the beautiful woman's. "He's good, he was able to fire it so soon too. Hurry, before it is too late. Go to the portal if you can, I will carry your pistol and the woman."

Artemys nodded and was barely able to move forward using his upper leg strength. He almost fell, for his feet were solid stone, but he did well to go on, knowing that much was at stake.

In through the portal he went, feeling his feet so heavy. Would he die? Would he become a statue for all eternity? Had Master Shadow manage to win something out of the engagement after all?

What was going to happen to him and to the female? The sickening sensations of time travel took a hold of him as he traveled through the portal, but that did not worry him now. Not even feeling his knees become heavy would keep him from smiling out. He did smile as he kept his eyes closed and the baby strongly secured in his arms, the dragir feeling very proud with himself. He had saved the baby at least, and Qetz was sure to bring the mother along. The mission had been completed, even if he would live on as a statue of some sorts for all eternity.


Part 10: Lady Medusa

Deep in the Slyria Underground Keep

Medusa was what she was known as in the world of mortal beings. The serpent lady was taller than any other of her sleechur servants, snake-like beings who she had given life to many centuries ago when she had come down to earth.

All of the lady's hair, which were living, writhing reddish serpents, had fallen to the ground that time, and the Sleechurs had come to be. She now had a massive army and had plans to expand that army further, however she could only let her hair fall only once per year.

She had light tan skin and the lower body of a serpent, her upper torso was as beautiful as any Phydian female's was. She carried many amulets and collars around her neck and her wrists and arms, and all of them were imbued with some sort of magic.

Her eyes were lined with darkness and of a green tone, and she wore a golden diadem on her forehead.

Her personal chamber was wide and mostly covered in darkness, with many remains of dead beings scattered all over the place. It smelt sickening but Medusa had adapted to the sick, rotting smells that permeated her room. The walls were dark reddish and gave out a weird smell. Orihalcon grew there too, but in small portions. With it, Medusa had created her throne and many other things that laid scattered about the place.

Lady Medusa felt saddened at what she had seen on her massive display mirror, which she had magically created on a wall to the side. The dragir that had confronted Shadow, her ally for now, had done good, even though Shadow had managed to hit him with a petrifying spell. The dragir had blasted the Dark Lord away but had not defeated him. It had defeated him temporarily for the night. That scene unfolding had made the lady serpent laugh in delight. Shadow was a tough one, she knew, for she had been observing him for long now. His knowledge in the magical arts was great, and he had a long way to go still. But as she had seen, he was weak, and that was good.

She pondered on something personal as she noticed the heavenly war beast, a beast she knew too well. She saw Qetz flying into the portal with the Phydian female hanging from one of the creature's mighty arms. The pistol, she noticed, Qetz had secured using his other front arm.

"That Qetz is sure handy," she told herself and laughed halfheartedly. "Perhaps he could be of some use to me."

But her thoughts drifted back to that handsome dragir who had saved the newborn from Shadow's grasp. Handsome, yes, she thought as she licked her reddish lips in delight. The dragir could be just that: just a dragir, but Lady Medusa, who had grown up in Celestia, the world of the gods, was not too picky when it came to determining who was ugly and who was not. Dragirs were her mortal enemies, descendants of Drakol, a god that had once been her husband back in Celestia and one that she had killed.

Her thoughts remained on that creature dragir, who Qetz had been calling Artemys.

If she knew correctly, and she believed that she did, the dragir folk would not let the savior of the newborn remain imprisoned in its petrified state. If they decided to act accordingly, she knew that perhaps they'd be willing to strike a deal with her, for she was the only being who could restore petrified beings to their normal state. She had brought the stone curse to earth and only she had the cure.

She grinned, excitedly, her long tail whipping about in the dark room, sending pieces of bones and skulls flying away. A grand opportunity was before her, and she would reach out and take it.

"Yes. It will be good to speak with Mirokth once again," she laughed aloud. "Perhaps she has already forgiven me."

*The End*


*M i d n a*

Æsir Scribe
Aug 18, 2009
Well, there won't be more. :P The story has ended. There is a second part to it, but I won't be rewriting that one. I am too busy finishing my other story, so I won't be doing that. Thanks for reading this one, though. :)


The Sexy One
Aug 18, 2012
In your pants.
Wow... You're an amazing writer! It's such a good story! I'd love to read more if you put the next part up! :D

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