Sword of Aendil

by Jason Finigan

This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. This story may contain scenes which involve sexual situations between young males. If this type of material is offensive to you, or it is not legal for you to be reading this type of material, please do not read any further. This story is copyright © 2007 by Jason Finigan, all rights reserved. Please do not copy this story for distribution or post on any online server without the author's permission. Please send all your comments to: . You can also view this story and other stories on my website at: .

From the last chapter:

"You? But that means you could very well become another Serin," I said. "If a power as great as magic could corrupt a druid such as Serin, what is to stop it from corrupting you as well?"

"It is true, that possibility does exist, as it exists in all of us. We keep hidden from both our selves and others the darker part of our being, but it is there nonetheless. It's like a caged animal that is always seeking to be free, and only our morals and beliefs keep it at bay. I am no different than anyone else. I am different from Serin in one way, however. I do not seek power for the sake of having power. I do what I must, but only because I must, and not because of my wants. Serin allowed his greed to dictate his actions, and as a result, was corrupted by the very power he sought for himself."

"And you still believe that I alone am capable of ridding the kingdom of Aendil of Serin's evil for good?"

"I do. I believe what the shades have shown me."

"Then after we have eaten, we will make our way to Pelianor as quickly as we can.At least there we will have a decent bed to sleep in."

Chapter 4

Weiss soon returned with a couple of large rabbits strung over his shoulder. The bow and quiver that I had given him carried in his left hand.

"Don't tell me you had to use my arrows to kill those rabbits," I teased him.

"Hardly Taey," he scowled. "There was no big game for me to hunt, and I had to set traps near a rabbit borough I found nearby. I caught these two by accident really."

"Well it doesn't matter how, it's time to get the fire started so we can eat."

"I thought you would have been doing that while I was gone," Wiess said.

"Dinendal and I have been talking."

"Talk, talk, talk. We spend any more time talking and we'll never get to Pelianor."

"So why are you talking?" I teased him again. Weiss didn't say anything, but instead swung the rabbits off his shoulder, putting them on the ground before me, and resting my bow and quiver up against a nearby tree.

"I will prepare the rabbits, Taey, you collect the wood for the fire. It won't take long to get one going," Dinendal said.

"Hah, it takes more than a few minutes to get a good fire going, Druid," Weiss said, now himself sitting down against a tree.

"Trust me," Dinendal said, smiling at Weiss.

I did as I was instructed and went into the forest to locate dry wood with which to build a fire. All of what I needed was already on the ground. In a reasonably short amount of time, I had found enough wood and returned to our campsite where Dinendal had already skinned and gutted the rabbits. Weiss was still resting against a tree, watching the druid prepare our meal.

"Alright, I have the wood," I said, walking towards the druid.

"Place it in the circle of stones I have prepared, young Taey," Dinendal said. I placed the wood in the circle, putting the smaller pieces in the center and surrounding them with the larger ones.

"Now stand back a bit," Dinendal said after I had finished. I stood up and backed away from the pit, looking over at Weiss who was now staring intently at the druid. I could hear the druid muttering something softly, concentrating briefly before a flash of light appeared within the wood I had put in the circle. When the light had disappeared, I saw that a fire had begun to grow, burning the smaller pieces of wood, quickly, and spreading out to the larger ones, the fire grew quite rapidly.

"How did you do that?" Weiss said, standing up and walking over beside me.

"I told you that Serin was not the only one who acquired the knowledge of magic," Dinednal said, smiling up at Weiss. "Now, I suggest we get these rabbits cooked so that we may eat."

"Can you show me how you did that?" I asked him.

"Maybe, in time, Taey, but not now," Dinendal said, looking at me strangely.

As well as preparing the rabbits, Dinendal had also gathered three pieces of wood. He drove two pieces into the ground on opposite sides of the fire, and tied up the rabbits to the third piece resting it in the grooves he had cut into the first two pieces. In this way the rabbits were held suspended above the fire, cooking the meat.

It did not take long for the rabbits to cook, and soon we were feasting on the ample meat the rabbits provided us. When we had finished, all that was left were the bones and remnants that we had not eaten. Throwing everything that remained into the fire; we watched as it consumed everything.

"I have never seen fire do that," Weiss said in wonder.

"You have never seen fire burn things to nothingness?" Dinendal asked, amused.

"Of course I have Druid, but not that fast, and certainly not bone and flesh without creating a foul smell."

"Druid fire is far more efficient than any flame you have ever seen before, Weiss. It feeds on everything it touches, and and far more quickly than a normal fire does."

"But surely we still would have smelled something," I said.

"It is Druid fire," Dinendal said, as if that was enough explanation for us. "Come. We must hurry if we are to reach Pelianor."

"We need to put out the fire first," Weiss said, already gathering some dirt to throw on it.

"No need. The fire will not spread," Dinendal assured us.

"And if someone is following us, will they not see signs that we made camp here?" I asked him.

"Probably, but not from the fire itself. Trust me, Taey, I am doing everything I can with what I know to ensure our passage is kept secret. Now, gather your things, and let us continue. We still have quite some ways to go."

Picking up my bow and quiver, as well as my pack, I looked at Weiss, who was also gathering his things. "You ready Weiss?" I asked him.

"As ready as I'll ever be. I just can't wait until we've reached Pelianor so we can lie down in a nice comfy bed."

"You're spoiled," I said, smiling at him.

"You're damn right I am. And proud of it," he replied.

"Come on," I said, slapping him lightly on his back. "Let's get going. I want to get there too." Together, Weiss and I followed the druid as we walked through the forest, and then out into the open air. Coming out of the forest we were greeted by a sight that neither Weiss nor I had ever seen before. Before us lay wide open lands and a large lake.

All I had ever seen before were the lands I traveled between Icelea and Fallhaven. The only body of water I had ever seen was the ocean on which Icelea Point lay. The vista before us was breathtaking. I could see small pillars of smoke rising to our left, and across the lake.

"That, my young friends, is our destination, " Dinendal said, pointing off in the distance to where I saw the pillars of smoke.

"Those are the fires of Pelianor. The smoke you see comes from the forges within, where the dwarves create fine weaponry and tools necessary for the citizens of Aendil. Most are sold in Icelea like everything else, but some trading also goes on there, mostly between the various dwarf clans that go there.

"What about humans and elves?" I asked him.

"They too live in Pelianor, though it is governed by the Dwarves. A few select humans and elves even serve on Pelianor's council. Come," Dinendal instructed, making his way down the road that led to the lake. Weiss and I followed the druid, as he steadily made his way along the road, with both of us keeping our distance and allowing Dinendal to walk alone in front.

So many things were going through my head, though surprisingly, none of what Dinendal had revealed to me. Rather, all my thoughts were of Weiss. He was my best friend and like a brother to me, but deep down inside, I felt something else. Something more, which I was hesitant to give a name to. I knew as I looked upon him, walking side by side with me, that he meant much more to me than I had allowed myself to admit. I would do anything for him that he asked of me, and even anything he didn't. I didn't know how, but I could tell that he shared the same feelings that I hid from him. And in him too, I could sense a bit of fear, the same fear that kept me from saying the things I should. If only we could have the time to ourselves, to talk as we should have so long ago.

"Weiss..." I tried, looking over at him.

"Hmmm?" he answered, looking back at me.

"Earlier you said you wanted to talk to me about something."

"I do, Taey. More than anything. I've wanted to say something to you for the longest time, but I can't. Not now, not with him around."

"I do understand, Weiss, it's just that there are things I need to say to you too. I don't know why I haven't said them up till now. I guess I just kept convincing myself that the time just wasn't right."

"Boy do I know how that goes," Weiss said, sighing heavily.

"Listen, when we get to Pelianor, and we get settled, I promise we're going to sit down and talk, Weiss," I told him.

"That's why I want to get there as quickly as we can, Taey. I've wanted to say this to you for a long time now."

"I was going to have Dinendal talk to us about how it came about that he is the last of the druids, but that isn't important right now. You are, Weiss."

"I don't really like him, or the fact that he's making you go on this quest of his."

"Neither do I, but I do trust him, Weiss. I know he doesn't mean us any harm."

"Doesn't mean I'm not going to keep an eye of him." Weiss said.

"Nor would I expect otherwise of you," I said. "As far as I'm concerned though, so long as we're together, I know everything will turn out okay."

"We had better hurry, though. He's gotten too far ahead of us again," Weiss said, nodding toward the druid, who was indeed some distance from us."

"Alright. And once in Pelianor, we can talk. Alone. Like we should have a long time ago."

Weiss and I caught up to the druid, and together the three of us found our way to the lake, following the road that now lined the edge of the water. Walking along the lake shore, I could tell we were rapidly making progress on our journey to Pelianor. Eventually we came to a fork in the road, one path leading around the lake, the other heading for a thin line of trees up a small hill. The smoke, which had earlier been seen in the distance, was now much closer, and could easily be seen just past the trees, along with the outline of the buildings they came from.

Heading up the hill towards the trees, eventually Pelianor began to take shape. Where once it was just a shadowy form behind the trees, I could now make out the brick walls that lined a large city. A drawbridge lay open and inviting, creating a bridge across a wide stream that seemed to separate the rest of the land from the city. I could not tell if the city itself was surrounded by the stream, though I suspected it was.

For a people I knew little about, I couldn't help but stare in wonder at the architectural marvel that stood before us. Not even Icelea was this grand. Aside from the wall that surrounded the city, Pelianor seemed to be made of a polished marble. The walls of the buildings were cut straight and with sharp corners. Even the roofs themselves were as ornate as the buildings. The magnificence that stood before us made me gape at it in awe.

"Magnificent isn't it?" Dinendal asked, stopping us just before the gate to the city.

"Dinendal, you said this was just a dwarf outpost," I said, managing to find my voice.

"And so this is, young Taey, but it also serves as the capital of the dwarves. They are after all, master draftsmen, and they take great pride in the work they do, especially the accomplishment they achieved with Pelianor."

"It's huge!" Weiss said, his eyes trying to take in the entire city.

"There are over five thousand dwarves who live in Pelianor. And another hundred or so humans and elves as well," Dinendal said.

"It's almost as if the dwarves wanted to prove something to everyone else," I said.

"You're absolutely right, Taey," Dinendal laughed. "They are, as I said, a very proud people. There was no way they were going to allow a mere human or elf to out-design their city."

"I guess not," I said.

"Come, we are expected inside," Dinendal said.

"You mean they're waiting for us?" Weiss asked.

"Of course. You don't think I would have brought you here if I didn't first receive permission from the council, do you?

"No, I guess not," Weiss admitted.

Dinendal led us across the bridge and into the city. It was busrting with life; people of all sorts were going this way and that, taking care of whatever errand they had to do. I found myself captivated by everything. Not even Icelea with the ships in the harbor, or streets lined with shops was as busy as Pelianor was. Dwarves, elves, and humans all mixed together, not even paying each other any mind, unless they had some business to discuss or old acquaintances to renew.

As Dinendal led us deeper into the heart of the city, the crowds began to thicken. It was becoming almost impossible to make any progress without bumping into someone. Weiss stuck very close to me, acting as a bodyguard almost, and clearing a path for me to follow. It was almost comical, though we were too busy trying to keep up with the fast moving druid. I was amazed at how easily he seemed to make his way through the crowd. I realized then that people took notice of him, and there were hints of recognition on some of their faces as they quickly moved out of his way.

We soon came to a tall structure, domed at the top, but otherwise featuring the same sharp corners as the rest of the city. A large red door provided the only entrance, and standing on either side were two dwarves, dressed in ornate battle armor.

Dinendal stopped in front of the door, and addressing both dwarves, spoke in a loud voice, "We are here to speak with the council."

One of the dwarves guarding the door moved to open the door. It swung inward, barely making a sound as it swung on it's hinges. The three of them walked inside, finding themselves in a well lit room masterfully crafted in marble, with four tall pillars near the center of the room. The door closed behind them as they walked further into the room; several dwarves and a couple humans could be seen moving about their business, barely noticing their presence.

At the far end of the room was a rather odd looking door. It was the same red colour as the door through which they had just passed, but it was carved into it an intricate gold pattern that looked to me like a representation of some majestic city at the base of a mountainside.

"Dinendal, what does that picture represent?" I asked, pointing to the door in front of us.

"That, my friend, is the first city of the dwarves. It is called Helidor, which, in the common tongue, literally means, doorway to hell," Dinendal said.

"Why would they give such a name to their city?" I asked him.

"In the beginning, the city had no name. It simply existed. The dwarves aren't a people concerned with naming things, but when they do give something a name, it is more often than not given one with some meaning of special importance to them. In this case, the city was called that by the dwarves who mined the metals within the mountains. The dwarves have always been expert miners, and these were no exception. The mountains you see behind the city, are the Dunadeid mountains."

"Why then is Pelianor their captial?" I asked him.

"Because some damn fools should know better than to trust a rebel druid," a voice sounded behind us. We turned to see an aged, portly dwarf walking towards us. Like all dwarves, he had long hair, with an almost equally long beard. It had turned gray, though I could still see hints of it's original brown colour. His face was weathered, as if he had been out in the sun too long, and looking into his eyes, I could see a wisdom far beyond even that of Dinendal; if such a thing were possible.

"My Lord," Dinendal said, bowing respectfully before the dwarf. Weiss and I followed his example and bowed to him, though we didn't know who he was.

"Well met, Master Druid," the dwarf said. "It is about time you showed up."

"My apologies my Lord, but we were delayed," Dinendal said.

"You are here now; that is what matters. I am Rodin Deeprunner, King of the dwarves, and head of the Pelianor council," he introduced himself.

"My Lord," I said, bowing to him.

"Enough with the bowing, already. I'm far too old to care about such nonsense," he said dismissively. "Welcome to Pelianor. We have been waiting for you. The council has already been convened."

"Taey and Weiss have journeyed long and hard with hardly any rest. Is there not time for them to rest a while?" Dinendal asked.

"I'm afraid not, Druid. Matters have grown more urgent since you left last, and we must make plans immediately. Fear not. You two will get the rest you need after council has finished," he said, addressing Weiss and me.

"Then let us get this done and over with," Dinendal said.

"Follow me then," Rodin said. He turned suddenly, and opened the door before us, the same door I pointed out to Dinendal earlier. The four of us walked inside, waiting for him to close it behind us. Before us now was a stone staircase, which spiraled down to what I could only assume was the council chambers. It was quite well lit, providing us with ample light to see our way. The walls were like the rest of the building, smooth marble, yet the stairs themselves were of a normal stone, which to me seemed an interesting contrast in design.

It also struck me that while most of the architecture of Pelianor featured squared edges, only this building utilized rounded walls, including the dome I saw before entering the building, and the stairs we were now going down.

The stairs led to a small landing with another door at the base of the stairs. This door was almost a replica of the one we passed upstairs, only it was slightly smaller. Rodin took out a set of keys, and quickly found the one he was looking for. He inserted the key in the lock, and unlocked the door, turning the handle at the same time to open the door. The door swung inwards, and on the other side of it, all I could see was blackness.

"My Lord, what is beyond this door? I cannot see anything but pitch black," I said.

"That, my young friend, is exactly what you are supposed to see, that is until the door is closed. Inside lies the Council Chambers of Pelianor, where the rest of council awaits us."

"They are waiting for us? Why?" Weiss asked.

"That will become apparent shortly," Rodin said. We stepped inside the room, still unable to see anything at all. Only the light from the stairwell gave off any illumination, but it was still not enough to penetrate into the blackness we were now in. As soon as all four of us had moved into the room, Rodin closed the door, leaving us in total darkness.

That did not last however, as a sudden flash of light threatened to blind me, forcing me to cover my eyes, but only for a second. When the flash disappeared, what lay before us was a grand chamber, circular in shape, with a raised platform forming a semi circle against the far end of the room. Upon the platform itself were many small tables, behind which sat dwarves, elves, and a few humans. The majority of the people in the room, however, were dwarves. In the center of the room was another table with three chairs arranged around it, all of them facing the people who sat behind the desks.

"Welcome my friends to the Pelianor council. Now that you have arrived, we can begin," Rodin said. He moved towards the raised platforms and headed for the center table, behind which sat a large ornate chair. The chair itself appeared to be made of marble, but was well cushioned in a brown leather. Once Rodin had taken his seat, he beckoned us to come forward. And take our seats at the desk in the center of the room. Once we had taken our seats, Rodin stood up and began to address the council.

"My friends, we are gathered here today under grave circumstances. A cloud has taken shape over the land, and all of Aendil stands threatened by a force we had long since believed to be no more. Before I continue, I ask that Dinendal of the druids please stand and fill us in on the events that have transpired these last few days." Rodin then took his seat. Dinendal stood, and addressed the council.

"My friends, I wish I came before you today with good news. Instead, I come before you with news of the gravest sort. Our worst fears have indeed come to pass. As you are all aware from my earlier visit, Serin, the traitor druid and his followers have returned. Two tasks this council gave to me before I left, to enlist the support of the druid council, and to gather together all members of the Elanessė family. I regret to inform this council that for the most part, I have failed in both of these tasks."

That statement sent off a chorus of discussion between some of the council members, some of them heated. Dinendal made no move to try and explain his failure, nor did Rodin attempt to stop the council members' reaction to Dinendal's news. At least, not right away. Rodin sat in his chair, carefully regarding each of his council members. I saw him glance briefly over at us, and at Dinendal specifically, before he stood, grabbing a round rock and banged it sharply upon his table. The sound of the rock hitting the table echoed throughout the council chamber, sounding over the loudest of the council members and drawing everybody's attention to him.

"If everyone is finished, I do believe master Dinendal has more to report," Rodin said, after everyone had returned to their seats.

"Thank you my Lord," Dinendal said. "As I was saying, I was unable to enlist the aid of the druids. This is not due to my inability to persuade them however. The reason we will not have support from the druid council, is because the druids have all been slaughtered."

"What?!" Rodin exclaimed, getting out of his seat in shock. The same shock that was on his face was mirrored on everybody else's, as I'm sure it was on mine as well. "What the hell happened, Dinendal? How did this come to pass?"

"I do not have the answers to those questions, my Lord, I do know, however, that sometime after I had left Adreanor, and I am assuming it was during the night when it happened, the entire population of the druid keep was decimated. Not a single druid remained alive. Their bodies were strewn about the place, a bloodied mess. Something, or several somethings, had attacked them without warning, and viciously ripped their bodies apart. The attacks were not discriminatory. They killed everyone in the keep. Adreanor is now a tomb."

"My God!" a council member exclaimed. I looked over to see a human male stand, dressed in the armor of the Royal Guard of Aendil.

"Calm yourself Captain Eadir," Rodin said, addressing the man who spoke up.

"I knew then that the enemy has already begun his plan. It was the druid order that helped organize and thwart his plans the last time. He did not intend to give them the chance to defeat him again.

"And what of the Royal family?" Eadir said, rising to his feet again.

"For the most part, the Royal family is no more," Dinendal said sadly.

"That is not possible!" Eadir exclaimed.

"It is, and it has occurred. Immediately after I discovered the massacre at Adreanor, I rode to the city of Aendil. Everything at first seemed to be as it should be. That is until I reached the castle. Once inside, I saw the same gruesome scene that I saw at Adreanor. Whatever had killed the druids so viciously did so also to every living soul in the castle. It did not matter to them who died. Every man, woman, and child within was dead. Except for one, the Royal family of Aendil is no more."

"No, that is not possible! What of the Royal Guards?" Eadir asked, a barrage of emotions washing across his face, the most prominent of which were anger and shame.

"They are no more, Captain," Dinendal said. "You are the last of the Royal Guard still living."

"I should have been there!" Eadir exclaimed, slamming his fist upon the table in front of him.

"And done what?" Rodin asked, "Had you been there, you too most likely would have been killed."

"I would have at least died protecting the family I swore to defend," Eadir said angrily.

"You still have that charge."

"How? According to you the entire Royal family is dead!"

"Not entirely Captain. Do you not recall me saying that except for one, the Royal family is dead? Well there he is Captain, the last of the Royal family. Taey Elanessė," Dinendal said, pointing to me. I suddenly felt the weight of everyone's eyes baring down upon me. On some of their faces, there was mild curiosity, as if they tried to test my legitimacy. On others there was, shock, and on the rest, there was only mild interest.

"Impossible. If he were a member of the Royal family, then why is he not dead like the others? You said everyone in the castle was slaughtered," Eadir said, standing once more.

"Except that Taey was not in the castle. In fact, he wasn't even aware of his heritage until I came to his house last night. But he is a descendant of the Royal family. Distant though it might be, but family nonetheless."

"Dinendal, he may, as you say, be a member of the Royal family, but what of these attackers. Have they been identified?"

"Oh yes. I discovered their identities all right. In total there were five who attacked the druids at Adreanor, and the same five slaughtered the Royal family at the city of Aendil. They are the original followers of Serin, twisted and shaped into creatures we have come to know as wing wraiths.

"There is one other thing," Dinendal said, raising his voice to be heard over the councilors who had begun to speak in disbelief. "The enemy is looking for Taey. They know there is a member of the family left alive, and they are hunting for him."

"Do they know who he is?" Eadir asked.

"I do not believe so Captain," Dinendal replied. "For if they had, Taey would be dead."

"That will not come to pass," Eadir stated resolutely.

"I am glad for that Captain. Young Taey will require your help in the days to come.

Eadir quickly rose from his position behind the table he was sitting at and walked around, heading for the table where I was sitting with Weiss. Without warning he drew his sword, causing me to flinch, for at first I thought he intended to use it on me, but relaxed when he turned his sword, hilt pointed towards me, and went down on one knee, his head bowed as he held his sword out to me.

"My Lord. If you are indeed the last of the Royal family, then I am pledged to your service. I ask your forgiveness for failing in my duties, and I accept whatever punishment you deem fit to bestow upon me," he said.

To say I was in a state of shock would be an understatement. This was not something I expected, nor wanted. For a minute I was at a loss for words, until Dinendal leaned forward and whispered in my ear. I knew then what I needed to do and say. Standing up, I reached out with my hand and grasped his sword. It felt heavy to my young arms, but well balanced.

"Rise Eadir, Captain of the Guard," I said. He did so, but still did not look up at me. "There is nothing to forgive. The fault was not yours. You are the Captain of the Guard, and I am the last of the Elanessė line. Will you resume your duties?" I asked him.

"I will, my Lord," he said, raising his head to look at me. "I pledge my life to your family, and I swear to you, I will not fail."

"Then take your place, Captain," I said, turning the hilt of his sword back towards him. He grasped the hilt, and lifted the blade off my hand. Raising the sword up in a salute, he then returned the blade to the scabbard that hung by his side. Sword now back in place, he took his position behind me, and for some reason, it felt right to have him standing there, just as it felt right to have Weiss sitting beside me. I looked over to him, and saw him smiling proudly at me. He nodded his head and then looked back up at Dinendal.

"My friends," Dinendal continued. "All is not lost. There is one member of the Elanessė family still alive, and only he has the means to defeat Serin."

"And not a moment too soon. Master Dinendal, this council has received word from our scouts that Serin has assembled an army to the north. It is an army made up of trolls and orcs, and other foul creatures. Even now they march steadily towards us."

"I was not aware of this, my Lord," Dinendal said, surprised for the first time.

"Now you are. Tell us then. Will Serin be defeated before this army reaches our gates, or should we begin defending ourselves against an enemy we may not be able to defeat?"

"I wish I had those answers for you, my Lord," Dinendal answered honestly. "Taey, his friend Weiss and I shall be making a journey to the Dunadeid mountains when we leave here. I hope to learn the answers we seek. But I believe this. He is our last hope for peace, and to bring an end to Serin's evil."

"How? He is but a child," one of the council members to my right said, standing up.

"He is of age, I assure you. He is young admittedly, but I have been shown that he is the one that is needed."

"And how is it that you come by this knowledge?" the same councilor asked.

"From the shade of Aerandir," Dinendal said.

"The first Druid," the councilor whispered, sitting back down in his chair in shock.

"And I must go there again. But Taey needs to come with me, for I do not plan on returning here," Dinendal said.

"Then if Taey is going, so too am I," Weiss spoke up.

"As will I," Eradi said from behind me.

"You will not be going alone. I know of some of what Dinendal has relayed to us here this day. I have read the histories of our people, and know very well the treachery and evil that Serin and his followers represent. I will send with you four of my best hunters young Taey Elanessė."

"The elves too will contribute to this quest," another of the councilors said, standing up. I saw that she was an elf, tall and slender, like most of her race, yet her eyes to me seemed as if they carried within them a heavy burden. "I will go with three of my best warriors."

"Lady Alatįriėl," Rodin said, addressing the elf who stood. "Such is your decision of course, but I would ask you to reconsider. You are the sole heir to your father's throne. I will not be the one who must face your father and tell him of his daughter's death."

"It is my choice, my Lord," she replied. "And I have made it."

"As you wish," Rodin said, bowing his head before her respectfully. "Taey Elanessė, you are charged with a most perilous mission. Are you prepared to take on this responsibility?"

"I am," I said resolutely, looking straight at Rodin.

"Very well, may the Gods favor you and those who follow you young Taey. This council stands ajourned," Rodin said, slamming the rock twice upon the table before him. Then he rose, along with the rest of the council, and one by one, they left, leaving Dinendal, Weiss, and Eadir standing alone in the council chambers.

"Well, I guess that is that," Weiss sighed. "There's no going back now."

"No. There's not," I said.

Editor's Notes:

Looks like Taey and Weiss and their friends and protectors will have quite a task ahead of them. I don't envy them in the least. I wonder if Taey and Weiss will ever get the chance to have that talk they want so desperately to have with each other. I guess we will have to wait for the next chapter or longer before we find out. This was, as usual, a wonderfully exciting chapter. I will eagerly await the next one.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher