Kaia: The Legacy of Love

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by 4everDifferent, May 18, 2015.

  1. Kaia

    Once a world ruled by only nature, it quickly flourished into a world that sustained man. Guided by the ever present hands of the Pantheon, mountains stretched high into the sky, oceans sustained and brought forth life, and the ground was plentiful of everything that would sustain the greatest of their creations. From the dust of the plains of Aggedon, the stones of the mountains of Haidengrund, and the emerald-crowned trees of Langdalar, arose the three races that would supply the Pantheon with power unimaginable. It wouldn't be their blood that fueled them, but their very worship would be all that was required. In exchange, the Pantheon taught them much.

    Athos, the god-king, shaped his creation and instilled in them a desire to procreate. Tione, his bride, gave them light to guide their way. Mara gave them fire and taught them how to love. Beyond that, the fiery goddess instilled in them a passion for all things. Fenheimer taught them how to till the land and brought forth all manner of seed for sustenance. Odros taught them to be explorers. His adventurous nature caused all of creation to expand to all corners of the world. Yanke gave her gifts of water and peace instilling in all a desire for no conflict. Adona brought the night so that creation could rest. Finally, Krasus brought death so that life could be cherished.

    However, Krasus was never content with his sitting and thought that Death should rule over all since all would ultimately meet it. His selfishness drove him to revolt and in the coming conflict, many would perish including himself. Kaia was ravaged by the jealous God as he marched from his Obsidian Tower and led his armies of the fallen and followers to Athos' Tear. Fortunately for Kaia, creation, blessed by the Pantheon, struck down the rogue God but not before Kaia suffered a wound she would never heal from. Dagor's Scar marks to this day, the very spot Krasus fell.

    With their deity fallen, his followers retreated back into Kor'Dala where whispers of their dastardly deeds seep from the thick fog that hides their wickedness. None dare travel through it. None dare disturb the maddened followers of the Fallen God.

    "Of course, these are just tales that parents tell their children to keep them in line," Reid chuckled as he scanned the wide-eyed children that encompassed the open fire. The disagreeable moans of mothers rang out as they quickly gripped the shoulders of their younglings and pulled them from the fire.

    "Your words are blasphemy, sir," the deep accent of the ever stuck up Tandrielans was think on her words, "How dare you tell such a sacred tale of the past and end it with your accusations. We all know that those were true events."

    Reid read her for a moment, his eyes scanning ever so slightly from face to face before returning to her. He could see the faint white glow of her Marking just above her collar. This woman had sworn her loyalty to Athos, the God-King. It was no wonder she was so pious about her religious tales.

    A smile spread across his lips and he quickly rose from his cross-legged position, "You're right, my lady, I apologize for my words."

    She nodded, rose her nose and spoke down to him, "Perhaps you should visit the temple and seek forgiveness. Your words shame Athos and only Athos can grant you his forgiveness."

    Reid's jaw clenched. The dancing flames threw shadows over his stubble. His head lowered for the briefest of moments before he spoke again, "I shall. Thank you," he spoke as she, along with the others left the fire.

    His fists were clenched at his side as his eyes turned to the flames. They danced wildly as did his spirit in that moment. How ignorant were these people to believe that the Gods would show them any mercy or forgiveness. He had grown up in hard times. He knew otherwise. The Gods were pitiless and cruel. Mercy was far from them and forgiveness was just a tool to keep their subjects in line. As far as Reid was concerned, there were no Gods.

    "You ought to be more careful, old friend, the words you speak can do far more than just earn you a tongue lashing," Takar stepped from the shadows and crossed his massive arms over his chest.

    Reid looked up at his friend and sighed, "You are right. We are within a day's journey of Tandriel. We are far too close to throw it away with carelessly spoken words."

    "So you'll keep your mouth shut from now on?" A young woman spoke as she stepped from the tree line.

    Reid laughed. He was a natural leader. Keeping his mouth shut was difficult but for this situation, "I will do my best, Kyleigh," she shrugged as if she knew better, "The others should be close to completing their tasks. We should break camp and get an early start."

    Takar and Kyleigh couldn't agree more. With haste, the trio broke camp and mounted their horses. The hooves beat hurriedly against the dirt roads as they rode East. They were no more than a half a day's ride from the gates of Tandriel.
  2. "Mila! I will not allow this!" bellowed a woman from inside Mila's bedroom. She stood with her arms on her hips, barring the door that led out of Mila's room.

    "There isn't anything you can do about it mother. I'm an adult and I will do as I please," Mila said calmly as she finished placing the last bit of her clothing into a bag and throwing it over her shoulder. She stood directly before her mother and sighed deeply. "Mother. Tandriel isn't home for me anymore. I need to do this and you know this. Ever since I took the mark of Odros; it is all I've thought of and now, after so many years, I'm finally ready to take the journey."

    "Mila," her mother continued to protest, hoping her daughter would see reason, although she knew she would not. "But Kor'Dala? The thick fog? The followers of Krasus? It isn't safe!"

    Mila stared into her mother's eyes for a moment until her emerald eyes traveled down to the mark tattooed on the inside of her wrist. Ever since the day of the marking ceremony, Mila knew she was called for something greater. She couldn't remain stagnant, living day by day in Tandriel. She was born for more, called for more. She needed to travel all of Kaia, map regions that hadn't been mapped in years and that included the forbidden and mysterious Kor'Dala. "I've spent years learning of the region. I've studied the maps. I know the dangers and am prepared to face them. Please mother. Step aside."

    The two couldn't argue anymore. Mila was going to leave whether her mother wished her to or not. She hugged her daughter tightly and sent her with the blessings of Athos.

    Mila looked behind her one last time, memorizing every detail of her mother's face. She was well aware that there was a possibility she may never return and she needed to ensure she remembered her mother's face. She even studied her home, every corner, every angle, where the cracks were and where the dust accumulated. With a wide grin, Mila began her journey. The first stop was the city marketplace. She needed to see the city traders and grab a few necessary supplies. The journey was going to be long but Mila was driven and determined.

    The market place was crowded and noisy, as usual. The citizens were trading, buying, and haggling, while others peddled and stole. Mila walked around, examining the various carts and stands, paying for what she needed and adding it to her small bag as she passed. She walked a bit aimlessly, not really paying attention where she was walking or who she could be walking into.
  3. Tandriel was as busy as anyone could expect since it was the commercial capitol of the world. No where else in Kaia could one find so many Elves, Dwarves and Humans bumping elbows in business and pleasure. The streets were packed full of all manner of tradesmen, merchants and customers not to mention the ever looming presence of the guards. It was a city that lived up to its reputation as a city of trade and the religious leader as the host of Athos' own tower of worship. The roads cleared as the clergy passed through them. Next to the king and queen, no one had more power than the clergy.

    Reid walked four paces behind Takar as the wall of man cleared a path for him as subtly as possible. Kyleigh was no where in sight but it didn't bother Reid. As his guard, he knew she would never let him out of her sight and before danger could reach him, she would have already cut it down. He had never liked this city. Their focus on religious rituals in ignorance always made him standing on edge. Never would he ever want to be here but this visit was important. For there was one person he had need to meet though the meeting was unknown to all parties involved but him.

    Takar rolled his shoulder and then dropped his arm to his side. His index finger extended toward the ground. Reid pulled the edges of his hood out further to hide his face and then he stepped from behind his friend and melded into the crowd that had gathered around town center. People were whispering, most of which held in their hands gifts to present to the princess for all she was doing for them. Every year on this day, The Day of Slumbers, everyone great and small brought gifts for the princess who was fending off the nightmare in eternal slumber. King Galdris and Queen Ysela were always present and without disappointment, they stood upon the raised stage that was crowded by armed men and the ever growing stack of gifts.

    Now would be the time to do what needed to be done.

    Reid's eyes met Takar's, who had managed to make his way to the other end of the crowd. With a slight nod, both men began to agitate the crowd. A murmur arose. It began to grow in volume until Galdris ordered men into the crowd as it began to impede on the stage. Satisfied, Reid and Takar quickly made their way to the back of the crowd. Unfortunately for Reid, just as he stepped out of the crowd, he stepped into the path of several guards. Their eyes pierced through the darkness of his hood and identified him right away.

    "Stop!" the ranking soldier called, "Re-" his words were cut short as Kyleigh dropped from the roof of the closest building and drove her dagger just under his fifth rip from behind. Before any of the other men could react, Kyleigh killed them. Quickly rising from the corpse of the last man she killed, she nodded to Reid. It was time to get out before anything got worse. They still had one more stop before they could leave.

    Just as they turned to leave, a blood curdling scream arose from the back. Instead of stilling the crowd, the sight of the dead guards and the woman's scream only encouraged it. From a peaceful protest, it quickly rose to a full out mob as people began to panic and attack each other.

    "Grandmaster, we need to leave. Now," Kyleigh's words were not a request. He could hear the urgency in them. Reid nodded as he darted down a separate road.

    "Stop!" Another set of guards were on their trail.

    "Damn it," Reid muttered as he and Kyleigh launched into a full sprint. The sound of heavy footsteps echoed down the alley as they were pursued. A sudden crash and a cry from behind them drew his attention as he turned to see Takar barreling through the soldiers. Takar's eyes ordered Kyleigh to keep Reid going just before he turned to stand against the guards.

    Reid wanted to stop. He wanted to help Takar but Kyleigh wouldn't allow it. The pair continued to run and just as they rounded a corner, Reid slammed into something, or rather someone. Losing his balance, he crashed to the ground and slid against a building a grunt falling from his lips. Kyleigh did quite the opposite. In one quick movement, she drew her dagger, swept up the dazed person, pinned it against the wall and pressed the dagger against it's neck.

    "Kyleigh!" Reid called to stop his defender. He could see the muscles in her jaw tighten and then release when she registered that she had almost killed an innocent woman. Instead, she pushed open the closest door and forced the woman inside. Reid followed after her.

    "Shhh," Kyleigh pressed a finger against the woman's lips as Reid closed all the shutters, "Not a sound."

    Reid waited a moment, checked his body for injuries before he turned and addressed the woman, "I apologize for this. You were not part of this but it seems that the gods deem it necessary," he could see the flash of the Odris' mark on her wrist. That might make this less difficult, "Just keep quiet until the guards are gone. Once they're gone, we will leave you be," His eyes begged her for compliance. Kyleigh would not hesitate to kill her if she felt that Reid's life was in danger and he could not live with that. Too many innocent people have died because of this conflict already.
    • Love Love x 1
  4. Mila had just finished purchasing some food for the road when she heard the commotion up ahead. Mila knew the Day of Slumbers was today, she had even purchased a gift for the sleeping princess to give to her before she set off, but the ceremony was usually very peaceful. What was all the ruckus about then? Being the ever curious one, Mila began to make her way through the crowd to investigate what could possibly be disrupting such an important event. But what was once a peaceful event had turned into a full on violent riot. The people were attacking the guards, the guards were attacking the people, everyone was turning against one another. It was utter chaos. She needed to get out of the city as quickly as she could or she risk never making it out.

    Mila did her best to move around the crowd, pushing past the people as hard she could. It was difficult to maneuver as fighting was breaking out everywhere she turned. She was knocked into a few times, pushed and almost thrown to the floor. She finally made her way around and quickly darted down an alleyway. She knew the city well. If she made the right turns she could escape without encountering any more people from the mob. She sighed in relief, adjusted her bag better on her shoulder and kept moving. She could hear the soldiers yelling and sounds of quickening footsteps. Perhaps more of the mob had entered the alleys. She needed to move faster if she expected to make it out.

    She picked up the pace, looking behind her to ensure the mob wasn't coming and just as she turned a corner, she slammed into someone knocking the both of them to the ground. She let out a small cry from the sudden pain, feeling slightly disoriented from the abrupt crash but didn't have a chance to react before she was lifted to her feet and a dagger was being held to her throat. Mila's breath caught when she realized what was happening as stared into the eyes of her assailant. She could feel the steel pressed against her neck and for the first time in Mila's life she was truly terrified.

    The man she had slammed into called out to the other woman and the dagger was lowered but before Mila could move on her own, she was dragged through a doorway. The other woman told her to keep quiet, pressing her finger against her lips. Mila swallowed hard, blinking a few times but obliged, refraining from making any sounds. She didn't even breathe for a moment. She was terrified the woman would kill her simply because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    The man came towards her, Mila freezing in place. Her heart threatened to rip through her chest and she felt she might pass out from holding her breath. She did not want to die, not today, not like this. He spoke to her and Mila nodded her head quickly, signaling to the man that she was going to do as he said. She was too afraid to do much of anything else. All she had to do was keep quiet and they would leave her alone. She only hoped he was telling her the truth.

    Outside the door came the sounds of heavy steps as the guards began to move through the alley just outside the small room they were in. Mila's eyes darted from one than to the other, waiting to see what they were planning on doing and praying to the gods that the guards wouldn't find them and that they would actually let her go. She was trembling already from the fear but did her best not to move at all. She wouldn't give them the excuse to kill her. She wouldn't.
  5. Kyleigh eyed the woman with murderous intent should even the slightest whimper slip from her lips. Reid, noticing this, positioned himself next to Kyleigh so that he could grab her should Kyleigh interpret the bump of a table as an attempt to give them away. They had accomplished what they wanted, perhaps not in the way they wanted but now it was time to play quiet in order to finish their purpose of arriving in the pious city.

    Reid waited for the boots to pass before turning back to the woman, "I apologize for all of this," he started, "I've a question for you before we leave. In the market, there's a small tannery that I need to get to. Could you tell me the safest route? Time is of the essence so if you could be quick about it, that would be much appreciated."

    Reid grinned hoping, but knowing otherwise, that his gesture would help alleviate some of the fear that gripped her heart tightly. He truly meant her no harm. Circumstances and chance just found them facing each other in the heat of the chase.

    Just then the door opened and in walked Takar. He sported a few bruises and cuts, but nothing he had never worn before. Kyleigh had already moved and focused her attention on the new addition before relaxing upon recognition, "You big Ofe, I almost killed you. Haven't you ever heard of knocking?"

    Takar grinned and shrugged slightly, "Sorry," his eyes fell on the shaking woman, "Who's this?"

    "Just a friend," Reid spoke before Kyleigh could and seeing the distaste in her eyes for his choice of words reaffirmed that it was good he spoke first, "We ran into each other, literally, and she was just about to give us directions under promise of freedom."

    Takar nodded as he turned to see Kyleigh peek out the window. She closed it quickly and cursed under her breath, "Whatever she is going to say, she needs to do it quickly," Takar braced himself against the door just before it shook from the impact of a boot. Reid could hear the men outside in confusion as they struck the door again but it didn't budge. They were running out of time and Reid still didn't know how to get to the market from where they were.

    "Damn it," he breathed and turned to face the woman, "I'm sorry, but until I figure out where to go, you'll have to come with us," he took her hand and started toward the back of the room, Kyleigh in tow. When they were far enough away, Takar abandoned the door just as the guards through themselves against it again. They stumbled to the floor as Takar ran for the back of the building.

    "There's four not three!" one called out as he released a bolt from his crossbow that slammed into a post right beside Reid's head before they exited back into the alley behind the building.

    Now what was he going to do? They counted this innocent woman as an accomplice of his. Surely her life would be forfeit if they caught her thinking that she had helped the most wanted man in all of Kaia though she didn't know that. She would surely die and her blood would be on his hands.
  6. Mila's eyes locked on the eyes of the man with the hood over his head as he came to apologize to her for literally being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Her lower lip quivered from the fear as she breathed in hesitantly, trying everything possible not to move or make a single noise. The man asked her for directions. The request seemed simple enough. If she could get them moving, they would possibly leave her alone and she could get the hell out of Tandriel once and for all.

    Just as she was about to tell him where the tannery was located, a man burst through the door they had initially come in through. Mila's heart was now in her throat as a tear fell down her cheek. The others seemed to recognize the new man in the room and Mila was suddenly introduced as a friend. She looked to the hooded man curiously but his words of promised freedom made her take in a deep breathe. All she had to do was lead them in the right direction.

    Again, just as she had opened her mouth to speak, a crashing sound was heard outside the front door. The city soldiers had located them. Mila closed her eyes, thankful to have been found. Now the guards could take these people into their custody and she would be safe again. Only...the hooded man had other intentions. He grabbed her hand and forced her to go with him. Mila's eyes opened wide and her mouth dropped open slightly as she was dragged towards the back. Her heart pounded violently in her chest and her breathing quickened. She was so scared of what they might do to her.

    There's four not three!

    At the sound of those words Mila's neck snapped back quickly to look behind herself, "No, no! I'm not one of them," she began to shout, finding her voice, but she quickly shut her mouth, gasping as an arrow hit the post directly next to the hooded man's head. The soldiers would never believe her now. They assumed she was an accomplice of theirs. Whatever these people had done, Mila was now considered just like them and the soldiers would never give her a chance to explain. She was doomed.

    They reached the alley and Mila looked behind her again. The soldiers were advancing towards them and if they didn't move, they would surely be captured and Mila didn't wish to find out what city soldiers did to their criminals. She turned quickly towards the man still holding her hand, "The tannery. It's only a few blocks from here. We could dodge the soldiers by keeping to the alleys. We could come up just at the back of the shop and avoid the mob on the main street....This way."

    Still holding the man's hand, Mila led the group of criminals through the back alleys. They made a quick right just dodging oncoming soldiers, then two lefts, straight down a few blocks then another right. Mila stopped suddenly, unsure of where she was for the moment. She looked up at the buildings. Turning around in circle. Where is it? Where is it? She knew Tandriel like the back of her hand. There were certain markings and decorations that helped guide her when she wished to move about the city unnoticed. There! What she was looking for. The flag of Athos moved softly in the wind and Mila turned in its direction. "Come on!" One more right and they had arrived at the back of the tannery.

    She had such a rush of adrenaline coursing through her, she was almost unafraid, even slightly excited but when she looked down she saw the man still held her hand. She was too afraid then to attempt to release herself from his grasp. "I brought you to the tannery. Please...just let me go. I won't tell a soul about you all. I just want to get out of Tandriel."
  7. They finally made it to the tannery. They were that much closer to finishing their mission. Encouraged by this, Reid almost didn't hear the woman speak. He stood up and started to shake his head, "No I-" a firm hand landed against his chest and Reid's eyes followed it to the eyes of his friend. His own eyes were pleading. He couldn't leave her to fend for herself. It was his fault she was now a fugitive.

    "We need to get this done," Takar spoke low assuming the woman could not hear him, "Let her go."

    Reid hoped those would not be the words his dear friend would speak. He hoped that Takar would encourage him to keep the woman safe but it had been the opposite. His eyes flicked the Kyleigh's, whose own eyes read the same as Takar's. A sigh slipped through his lips in frustration as he turned back toward the woman, "Go," he told her simply before turning back toward his friends. In a matter of minutes, the three of them disappeared into the Tannery.

    Night fell and the moon sat high in the sky when they reemerged in the tannery. They weren't alone. Behind them was a fourth who moved sluggishly as if she had just awaken. Her hands were bound and her head hooded as Reid checked their surroundings. It was going to be difficult to make it out of the city with their new cargo, especially if she didn't find her treatment to be all that worthwhile.

    "We need to leave quickly," Reid said to the owner of the establishment, "undetected would also be preferred."

    "No worries," the man replied, "I have prepared a cart of prepared skins you can hide under. The guards will let me pass because this shipment is for their garrison. Once we are out, you may exit and be on your way. I am not sure of your plan Reid, but I trust that you know what you're doing. Awakening the princess will doom us all if you are wrong."

    "I can assure you I am not," he looked at the princess who stood as regal as ever despite being a prisoner, "Now, let's go."
  8. Mila wasted no time. As soon as the hooded man gave her leave she turned and ran in the direction opposite her captors. She wished to place as much distance as possible between herself and those three criminals. She didn't want them changing their minds about letting her go and capturing her again. She didn't know what they could possibly be capable of and she didn't intend to find out either. She turned a corner and saw the same guards that were pursing her earlier. She had to avoid them, they still thought she was connected with those people and there was little time to explain her innocence, plus she promised she wouldn't say anything.

    Mila instead darted into a dimly lit nook and hid there until the sun set. Night would better serve to assist in her escape from Tandriel. As time passed she couldn't help smiling to herself. Her adventure had already began and she hadn't even left her city yet. This journey would be all she had hoped for. She knew it. It was going to be epic. She looked to the mark on her wrist and kissed the skin gently, thanking Odros silently for her adventure.

    When night finally fell and the soldiers had given up their search through the alleys, Mila emerged. She grabbed her bag, threw it over her shoulder and headed for the gate. She kept to the shadows, avoiding as many people as possible, especially the guards. She wasn't entirely sure how she would avoid the guards posted at the gate but she hoped they wouldn't notice her at all. Grabbing a hooded cloak from inside her bag, she threw it over herself, tying a knot at her neck to secure it in place. Pulling the hood over her head, she made her way towards the exit. She just needed to make it passed the gate and she was free.

    Mila moved quickly, trying to get out as quickly as possible. There were some carts making their way out of the city as well. She hoped she could just blend in beside them but one of the guards noticed the mark on her wrist as she walked. He grabbed her suddenly, bringing her to a halt in front of him. Mila's breath caught and her eyes opened wide. The soldier pulled the hood down, recognizing her immediately and yelled out. "It's her! The fourth! She was part of Reid's group."

    Reid?! The hooded man was Reid? The leader of Kor'dala?!
    Mila's eyes darted from one soldier to the other. Fear consumed her once again and she began to panic. "No! I'm not one of them!" she shouted back. "Please let me go!" she yelled as she began to try to pull her arm from the soldier's hold. "I'm innocent! Let me go!"
  9. "Sh!" Reid hushed as he placed his finger over his lips. His eyes darted out into the alley way as he stepped out just after Kyleigh. Behind him was Takar. Behind him was a fourth addition. It was a young girl, fifteen or sixteen years old and wearing a thick veil that one could tell she was not accustomed to. She clung to Takar's extended arm and moved clumsily as she stepped slowly behind him. It had been a slow task stealing away this addition but completely necessary.

    "Careful," Takar whispered to her, "I'll move as slowly as you need me to but just like Reid said, we need to get out of here as soon as possible," the girl nodded and took in a shaky breath. It had not been easy on her to walk as far as they had.

    Reid led them as best he could through the streets. The shadows cast by the absence of the sun helped and after a few twists and turns they were within eye shot of their way out. Just as the other three had slipped through their escape, noise at the gate caught his attention. Squinting, he caught sight of the very woman he had released against his wishes earlier. She was being arrested for something she was not a part of and when the King caught news of exactly what had happened, she would surely be put to death. It would be all his fault. He had to do something.

    "Reid?" Kyleigh turned back to see him standing there. She saw the look in his eyes when he turned back but he was gone before she could object, "Takar! The horses! Hurry!"

    Reid was in a full sprint. It was stupid really. He was about to ruin a perfectly good escape plan for a woman who would not be excited to see him in the least. With a lowered shoulder, he tackled one of the guards sending the other, and the woman crashing to the floor. Quickly he arose snatching up the woman and darted for the gate.

    "Stop! Seize them!" the guards yelled to the others as they stood up.

    Reid drew his sword parrying a blow before slapping the flat of his blade against the man's helmet. He kept urging on the woman until they were cleared the gate where Kyleigh waited for them with the horses, "Quick! Get on!" he ordered the now fifth member of their party.
  10. Mila tugged hard against the hold of the soldier. "Let. me. go." She said, struggling to break free of his grasp but he was stronger than her and Mila knew she would never be able to break free. "Please," she implored. "If you would just let me explain you would see I have nothing to do with Reid and whatever he was stirring earlier. Please."

    "Quiet down woman!" The soldier bellowed back at Mila. "The dungeons await you until the King decides what to do with you."

    Her eyes couldn't open any wider as shock laid over her features. The dungeons? She didn't even commit any crimes! She was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. "No! No..."

    Suddenly the soldier holding her was tackled, dragging Mila down with him. Before Mila could get her barrings, she was being snatched up and dragged away. She struggled to her feet, skidding as she tried to run away. She could hear the soldiers ordering their seize behind her. She looked towards the one who helped her and there he was, the same hooded man from earlier...Reid. She didn't know what was worse, Reid or the soldiers. The soldiers were going to imprison her for crimes she didn't commit, she was going to have to take her chances with Reid.

    He urged her forward and Mila kept running towards the gates. The same band of criminals was waiting outside the gates with horses, only there was a third person with them. Were they in the business of kidnapping women from this city? She turned quickly to see Reid's sword glass with the helmet of one of the shoulders and his shout for her to mount the horse. She nodded quickly and without a hitch mounted the steed. As Reid's companions did not anticipate a fifth member in their party, there weren't sufficient horses for all of them and Reid found himself mounting the same horse as Mila. To ensure she didn't fall, she wrapped her arms around his waist as he kicked the sides of the horse and they took off.

    She held tightly to him as Tandriel began to disappear behind them. What had she gotten herself into? She was literally a fugitive now. She pressed herself closer to Reid, using him as leverage to keep herself on top of the horse as it galloped forward. She silently prayed, Odros...please take us away from here. She felt a slight tingle in her wrist, right where her mark was. The winds picked up slightly, propelling the horses forward. It was probably coincidence but she couldn't help smiling anyway. Now...what was Reid going to do with her when they finally came to a stop?
  11. All that Reid heard for some time was the pant and stomp of the horse beneath him. He could feel the wind blowing at his back as well as the tightened grip of the woman who sat behind him. She clung for dear life as they rushed from Tandriel and into the plains of Aggadon. Even when he was sure they had lost their pursuers, they did not cease. No one stopped until Kyleigh had found a spot safe enough for the small party of five to rest.

    The moon sat high in the sky as they nestled in the crook of a rocky hill. The rocks above would provide them cover from the rain should it decide to fall. The hallow allowed for the heat of the flame that now fanned in the midst of them to bathe them all. Kyleigh always managed to find the things Reid needed most. Without her, he was sure he would have been dead ten times over.

    Reid had encouraged the woman that rode with him to huddle near the flame. She would stay warm in the cool of the plain's night. Once Takar and his passenger arrived, Reid helped the girl down from the back of the horse. He carried himself more respectfully than anyone would have expected him to be and even his two allies showed respect to the girl.

    "We're safe here," Reid told her while he looked over at the one by the fire, "We'll leave in the morning to return home. You're welcome to join us seeing as staying here would only serve to quicken your end," he told her before he offered his hand to the girl and walked her to join the woman at the fire, "Here, Princess, warm up beside her."

    Taking out a knife, he cut her bindings and then slid it away. They all watched as the girl removed her hood allowing her red locks to fall to her shoulder. Her eyes squinted to the fire's light but quickly adjusted. Standing in the midst of the other four was none other than Aaliyah Aggadon, the Slumbering Princess of Tamriel. She eyed her three captives before kneeling silently beside the fire where her eyes settled on looking within. She seemed quickly lost in them.

    "Is there anything you need, princess?" Takar asked as he humbly stepped toward her.

    She shook her head and swallowed hard as she looked toward Reid. Her eyes were wet with tears that she refused to let fall. She had been awakened and the shadows were now free to haunt her people. What would happen now? She turned to look at the other woman before rising and walking toward the night sky. Takar tried to follow her but Reid stopped him.

    "Kyleigh, let her go as far as she wants. Just keep an eye on her and bring her safely back once everything settles in," the woman nodded and disappeared into the shadows after Reid finished speaking. Looking over his shoulder at the woman by the fire, he knew she would question him. He just hoped she wouldn't overreact.
  12. Once they had finally come to a stopping point, Mila made her way off the horse. The hard riding made her legs sore but she nodded and walked over to the fire as Reid encouraged. She was cold anyway. She sat on the ground, pulling her knees up to her chest as she warmed up by the fire. The warmth of the flames were a welcome distraction from everything that was happening. She hadn't even left Tandriel properly and she had already gotten herself into more trouble than she could have ever anticipated. She had somehow gotten herself mixed up with Reid and his band of misfits and was now a fugitive. She had only left her home that morning!

    Mila sat staring at the flames until her attention was drawn by the other woman she had seen earlier. She sat beside her and Mila examined her curiously. Princess? Why were they revering this woman so much and calling her...Mila's question was quickly answered when the woman beside her removed her hood. Mila recognized her immediately. Princess Aaliyah? Tandriel's Slumbering Princess? Reid had kidnapped the princess?!!

    Her eyes opened wide and her mouth dropped open. No, this could not be. The princess was protecting her people from the terrors of the night. Yet there she was, directly beside her. Mila watched helplessly as the princess stood and walked into the distance. Mila was so overcome by shock and anger, she impulsively stood and marched over to Reid. She pushed hard at his chest, "You sick bastard!" she began to yell. "The Princess? The Princess?!" She pushed at his chest once more, putting all her strength behind her movements. "How dare you?! How dare you awaken her?! You know about the unspeakable horrors yet you chose to damn us all?!" Tears welled up in her eyes from the anger as the petite beauty began to beat against his chest with her fists. "How could you?! How could you?!"
  13. The woman reacted almost exactly how he thought she would. Reid didn't have time to brace himself for the first push and stumbled back. The ensuing ones pressed him against the cave wall as he stepped back to make the shoving less impactful. She yelled insults at him and even began to hit him. Reid's eyes turned to Takar looked to aid him but Reid signed for him to stop. His eyes turned to the angry woman and, despite his chest aching from each blow, he continued to let her strike him. Finally having enough, he caught her wrists, spun around and pinned her against the wall. His eyes took in her features and the tears that streamed down them.

    He wished he could tell her why he woke up the princess but he could not. He didn't know this woman and just like she jumped to horrific accusations toward him, he did not know her well enough to know whether he could trust her with such sensitive information, "Stop!" he demanded, "You know nothing. I didn't do what I did to intentionally harm anyone. Trust me when I say I know what will befall Tandriel, but it's not of malicious intent."

    Taking a step back, he released his grip and held his hands up. He didn't want to fight her, but the aching in his chest told him that he couldn't let her take the rest of her wrath out on him, "The suffering of innocent people, the loss of life, that is all a burden I must bear and I will do it because everything I do is for the greater good. Do you think I enjoy the suffering of others?"

    They were the last words he spoke before he turned and walked away leaving the woman and Takar. Takar eyed her carefully with massive arms crossed over his chest. He sighed heavily and once Reid was out of earshot, he spoke, "Reid carries a burden far greater than any man on Kaia should ever have to. Life is precious to him and yet, like now, for the greater good, he must endure the loss of it. He's right in that you don't understand but if you're so concerned, pray to Athos and maybe the God King will sentence another young woman to a life of solitude and nightmares."