August 13th, 2012 | Published in Dragon Wars
Shadavar was waiting for them in Waldhalfen.
“Welcome back!” The unicorn tapped horns with Ebona as Daniel carried Marian through the portal. “We have a secure place to keep your prisoner and Alaryia and Estara are waiting to check on her condition.” He gave a thoughtful whicker as he eyed Marian. “She is rather messed up, isn’t she?”
“Yes,” Matthias said. “Mitakrian did it, apparently.”
“I see. Well, I’m sure they can fix it. Follow me.”
He led them along a bridge to an isolated treehouse which was wound around with wards. “This should hold her, if she needs holding. I don’t think she will.”
Daniel tested the wards with his mind and found no gaps, so he carried her inside. Alaryia and Estara were sitting in comfortable chairs and talking quietly but looked up when he entered.
Alaryia leapt to her feet and hurried over. From the way she was swearing in draconic she had already scanned Marian and seen the damage.
“How did he do this? Was that what he was doing all along; not trying to destroy it, but get just close enough to get control of it?”
“That makes a certain amount of sense. I never did think it made sense for him to want to destroy it,” Estara said. “He needs it out of the way but he doesn’t want the world gone and replacing it would be nearly impossible.”
“Hmm…” Alaryia shook her head. “He’s certainly manipulative enough, but using Shalriya that way is dangerous.”
“I doubt he cares about that,” Estara said. “But back to business.” She took Marian from Daniel’s arms. “We’ll take a look at her condition and join you presently. You should go and start making plans with the others.”
“Mummy!” Salia ran up to Valeria and climbed into her lap for a hug. “I didn’t know you were going to be here!”
“Of course I’m here, moppet!” Valeria hugged her back. “Matt needs everyone’s help to get his son back. You’ll be staying here while we go an rescue him. Is that okay?”
Salia looked around and nodded. “I can make lots of friends here.” She pulled a face. “But what if he comes after me while you’re gone?”
“He won’t,” Ystelyan said. “He’s going to be preoccupied blocking Shalriya and Mitakrian. Endaria-miria went and got in his face until he agreed. Apparently he knew about Likadrian and that’s why he’s been acting even more irrationally than usual. He blames Likadrian for what happened to his sister.”
“My father did as well,” an unfamiliar dragon said. “But Gerian-mirian is obsessed with the idea Kaylaria-miria is still alive and in need of rescue.” She rose to her feet, walked over to Daniel and dropped to one knee. “Dark Warrior, thank you for saving my children. I am in your debt.”
Daniel looked confused for a moment. “Oh! You’re Ivina’s stepmother! Don’t worry about it. It was the right thing to do.”
“I am,” she said. “I wish to help rescue your brother. May I?”
Daniel exchanged a glance with his father and then nodded. “You may.” He gave a frown. “Do you think Gerian can be trusted to keep his word on this?”
The dragon gave an eloquent shrug. “I don’t know him. My father was one of Kaylaria’s ilsran and named me for her, but he’d split with Gerian over his obsession long before my birth. But it’s generally unwise to lie to Endaria-miria.”
“She had a unicorn question him,” Ystelyan said. “And she’s going to watch him as well. So I think we can.”
“Your name is Kaylaria as well?” Daniel asked.
The dragon shook her head. “Mine is Kelaria,” she said. “So what’s the plan?”
“Apparently he’s planning whatever he’s planning for tomorrow, so we need to move to stop him before them,” Matthias said.
“Actually,” Tarian said. “While we do have to stop him, it’s going to be hard to get everything together in time to attack today â€“ and he’ll be distracted by whatever he’s doing tomorrow, which would be to our advantage. That suggests a plan.”
“Risky, Tar,” Lyrrekka said. “Very risky, but I think you’re right.”
“It’s a good point,” Ystelyan frowned. “And we do have a source of information in there to tell us when to hit.”
“It also gives us a chance to bring Andrew up to speed so he’ll know when to do his part.” Matthias paused. “I’m right that you can use Naria as conduit to let us talk to him?”
“If she agrees,” he replied. “I can’t imagine she won’t. We’ll do it this evening; it gives us plenty of time to sort out the exact plan.”