Dragon Wars: Land of Myth Chapter Four Part Four

March 29th, 2010  |  Published in Dragon Wars  |  3 Comments

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Chapter Four
Part Four

At least they’d been kind enough to give them some light in the cell, Lydia reflected . Even if it wasn’t very much, it was a relief after the stygian darkness they’d walked through since entering the shadow of the dark mountain. At least they could see now – once their eyes had adapted, anyway.

The dim light was, however, the only comfort in the cell they’d been tossed into. The walls were bare and damp, and the space was clearly not meant for so many. A single bare cot lay in the corner but was clearly not intended for a human sized individual.

As soon as the door clanged shut Karen sank onto it and curled up sobbing; more out of relief than anything else. Lydia knelt by her and rubbed her shoulders.

“It’s okay, Kaz,” she murmered. “I’m sure it’ll be okay.”

“Too dark,” Karen sobbed.

Lydia winced in sympathy. The dark seemed to affecting Karen like the ice cave had afftected her, and they’d been in the darkness longer than she’d been in the ice cave.

“It’s not dark in here,” she said soothingly.

“But we have to go back out there.” Karen rolled over and looked at her, then sat up as the door opened and a tall svart alf strode in.

“Bracelets!” he snapped without preamble.

“Eh?”  Lydia said.

“Your bracelets, give them to me. King Dariad doesn’t want you to be able to attack us during your trial.”

“But-” she began.

“I think you’ll be okay as long as you don’t do anything while you haven’t got it,” Kimi said, “As long as as you’re the one who takes it off, anyway.”

“You don’t want to find out what will happen if we have to take them by force,” the alf added.

“That sound ominous,” Lydia murmered as she slipped the bracelet from her wrist and handed it to him. She braced herself for the return of the exhaustion she’d felt before she found it. Her head swam for a moment and her vision clouded but it passed as quickly as it came. She looked up in time to see Andrew hand his bracelet over.

The alf turned to Karen and opened his mouth, obviously intending to demand hers as well, but then stopped and stared at her. “You don’t have your bracelet yet, do you?” he said.

Karen shook her head and lifted her arms to show him her bare wrists.

“Very well,” he said and turned to Eyvindr. “Eyvindr!” His eyes widened. “You’re alive! No one told me it was you. But why are you in resting form, cousin?”

“I doubt they recognised me, Hreid. I’m not well known here.” Eyvindr shrugged. “My heart stone was cracked when these good warriors rescued me. A long story best kept for the trial, I think.”

“It sounds like it,” Hreid said. He looked round at them and it seemed to Lydia his expression had softened somewhat. “Your trial is in a few hours, try and rest. I’ll make sure the guards feed you.”


“So what do you think, Hreid?” Dariad had his back to the door and was staring into the polished obsidian mirror which hung above his throne.

“It’ll take the trial to tell for sure, sire, but I don’t think they did it. For one, my ljos cousin Eyvindr is with them and he seems to be acting of his own volition. He says they rescued him.”

“Hmm… ljos and cold-blooded murder don’t really go together do they,” he agreed. “If that’s one reason, what are the others?”

“The light warrior is with them,” Hreid said. Dariad whipped round and stared at him.

“You’re sure?” he asked sharply.

“Yes, I recognised her. It’s her, but Prince Alban isn’t with her.”

“No, Val will be trying to keep them apart.” Dariad made a thoughtful noise in his throat. “This complicates things, though. Even if they’re guilty – and I can’t imagine that girl murdering anyone – I can’t take action that will harm someone who wasn’t even there.”

“And what Huldre told Hardmar doesn’t feel right anyway. Even the Dark Rider hasn’t sunk that low.”

“I know. That’s why I’m insisting on a trial. The mirror will clarify things-” he broke off as someone banged on the throne rooms doors. “Enter!”

Brita, his chatelaine, burst in. “Sire! Why wasn’t I told about the goblins!”

“Calm down!” he ordered. “What’s this about goblins?”

“There’s a trade delegation here, now!” The oread flapped her hands around in an agitated fashion, sending stone dust floating to the floor from her granite skin. “No one told me. Where am I going to put them?”

“Brita!” Dariad snapped at her and she stopped. “No trade delegation is due. You’d best start at the beginning.”

She shook her head slightly. “There’s not much to tell, sire. They arrived at the gates not two bells ago and all their documents are in order, so we can’t turn them away without creating an incident.” She stopped and scowled. “It can’t be coincidence. If there are uninvited goblins here now, someone sent them.” Her eyes narrowed and Dariad could see her thinking about their defenses.

“And by someone you mean a dragon,” Hreid muttered. “At least we can fight goblins. What colour are their eyes?”

“Mostly silver, the odd few purple,” she replied promptly.

“Hmm…” Hried said. “That’s unusual I would have expected black or red.”

“Indeed,” Dariad said. “Brita, bring the delegation leader here. I think we have some free rooms for our unexpected guests in the outer reaches, don’t we?”

“Indeed, and they are easily watched there. But they’re hardly suitable for such a delegation.”

“If they arrive without warning, they can take what they’re given. Assign Faf and his troops to watch them. I want Hardmar as far away from the prisoners as possible until after the trial and this is a good excuse.” He turned to Hreid. “And you, look after the prisoners and make sure they’re not mistreated. Feelings are running high at the moment. Higher than I can account for.”

“Yes, sire.” They bowed simultaneously and departed to do his bidding.

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