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Hikari no Roojii
The sun was just starting to creep over the snow capped mountains, bathing the land in soft, warm light. The training grounds, occupied by only a few Knights at this hour, remained in shadow, the large castle behind it blocking the suns rays. It wouldn't be until noon that the courtyard's hard stone tiles would feel any heat. All was quiet, the piece only occasionally interrupted by the chattering of birds due to the fact that there weren't many halfway up a bare mountain. All the birds, deer, wolves and other creatures that inhabited this corner of the realm were situated in the forest at the mountains base.

The piece was more than briefly interrupted moments later when a breathless boy of no more than sixteen ran through the open front gates. The gates were always open unless there was a good reason to close them. He wore the distinctive red uniform of a messenger and one glance at his panicked face was enough to tell anyone who looked that the message he carried was important indeed.

5/20/2007 #1
Pluto's Rose
There was nothing that Alvena loved more than the morning hours. The world was at peace, and nothing bad usually happened in the early hours. She hated the nighttime more than anything. A violent shiver went down her back as she recalled a few painful memories.

She was about to aim and shoot at a target with her bow, when she noticed a messenger. He looked anxious, and perhaps it was best to take the message. After all, something bad could be happening at the moment.

"What is it?" she called to the messenger, hoping he wouldn't notice her pointy elven ears.

5/20/2007 . Edited 5/23/2007 #2
Hikari no Roojii
The boy skidded to a halt then made straight for her. "I have a message for the Knights of Elythia. Are you one of them?" He asked, barely managing to get the sentence out through his panting. He thought he knew the answer, he only had to look at her to see that she was obviously in very good shape and there was an unmistakable air of authority about her. It may have just been his age that caused him to feel this, but he wasn't so sure. The fact that there were several arrows embedded firmly and perfectly in the target across the courtyard only served to make him more certain that she was indeed a Knight of Elythia.
5/20/2007 #3
Pluto's Rose
"Yes, I am," she answered. She was fairly used to the fact that no one recognized who she was anymore. It was sort of what she wanted, escaping the life that she used to live. But, she couldn't help feel the slightest bit of remorse about leaving her former life.

"What is it?" she repeated.

5/20/2007 . Edited 5/20/2007 #4
Hikari no Roojii
The boy was unaware of the thoughts passing through the elven womans mind, or even the fact that she was an elf. He was entirely focused on the message he'd traveled nearly a hundred miles to deliver. The home of the Knights was in an extremely remote region, the city the boy had come from was the closest one. There were a few settlements in between, but they were few indeed.

"I come from Branshea with a message from the King himself. He bids you come to the city's aid. We are soon to be engaged in war. A mighty army approaches and his majesty fears the defences will not hold. Usually, the city would be able to hold out against any foe, but it is an army of goblins, ogres and other creatures of evil that comes, not an army of men. You and your brethren are trained to combat enemies of this kind, so my Lord asks that you lend the people of Branshea your expertise and help us." His message relayed, the boy fell silent. He used the few moments of silence after his message was complete to study the woman further. It was then that he noticed her ears. He tried not to stare, he really did, but he couldn't help it, he hadn't seen many elves during his short life in the city.

5/20/2007 #5
Pluto's Rose
"Hmm...Branshea," she tried not to think about the fact that that was the last place that *he* had been spotted, "I'm sure that the others would be able to help. I don't know if we can be much help if the Leviathan appears."

Not noticing the fact that she had dropped his name into regular conversation, she continued.

"Not seen many elves have you?"

5/20/2007 #6
Hikari no Roojii
The boy shook his head a little shyly. He didn't react to the name, not recognising it at all. He had led a pretty sheltered life in the palace for as long as he could remember, his entire family worked and lived at the palace, so he wasn't sure if he should know the name or not. He decided to say nothing, he didn't want to look like an idiot in front of a Knight after all. If it was important, she would take it up with the king.

"His majesty asked that you gather your forces and come with all haste, the monsters will be upon the city within two weeks" He added, trying not to look around too much as more people spilled out of the castle for early morning training.

5/20/2007 #7
Pluto's Rose
"He's practicaly a myth, so I'm not surprised that you don't recognize the name," she glanced over at the castle, "we'll be ready. We've been up against worse before."

Her eyes were focused on the people that were coming outside. She was now regretting the fact that she was the one that had to tell them about the impending danger.

5/20/2007 #8
Hikari no Roojii
The boy nodded and stood to the side a little as she focused her attention on others.

One of those others being the tall, dark haired man who stood out like a sore thumb in his long, flowing green robes. While the fact that he was wearing robes wasn't all that remarkable, there were other mages there after all, the fact that they were covered in drawings of dragons and other monsters that looked like they'd been scribbled by a small child was a little distinctive.

"Good morning Alvena!" Rothas called cheerily, striding towards her with his customary grin spread across his face. He was oblivious to the fact that his cheerfulness seemed to be offending some of the people around him, the ones who did not rise so easily from their beds. He stopped a few paces away from the elf and looked between her and the messenger boy. "What's going on?"

5/20/2007 #9
Pluto's Rose
"Apparently the messenger hails from Branshea, a city that will be under attack by an army of monsters within two weeks time," she stated.

"The King is asking us to come to the city's aid with haste," she added.

What the messenger had described didn't sound as serious as it should to her, as elf settlements were frequently under attack, and a few goblins were nothing to her.

What did bother her though is the dragon hybrid, Leviathan. He was almost always the one behind the attacks on the elven cities.

If he was behind this, she definetely was concerned. She wanted to be the one to kill him as he had killed her family.

5/21/2007 . Edited 5/21/2007 #10
Hikari no Roojii
Rothas clapped his hands together happily. It had been a fair while since they'd seen any action and he was starting to get bored with the endless training. Smashing a few monster heads would certainly be an enjoyable way to kill the boredom. He chuckled to himself at his own feeble joke.

The messenger bit his lip nervously. He could not decide whether he should come forth with the information he had not yet shared. It was only rumours after all, and if the rumours proved to be false, he would only trouble the Knights. He began to shift his weight from one foot to the other as he went over the information in his mind, unsure of what to do.

5/23/2007 #11
Pluto's Rose
"Is there something that you would like to tell us?" Alvena asked the messenger. She was pretty sure that he hadn't shared something with them. Something that might be very important to their new mission.

"It doesn't matter if it's a rumor," she added.

In a way, she gave the impression that she could read the boy's mind, when she really couldn't. She was just very good at reading people.

5/23/2007 #12
Hikari no Roojii
The boy paled instantly, it was indeed as if the elf woman had just read his mind. But then, he'd heard that elves were supposed to be extremely good at deciphering a persons thoughts and intentions just from their body movements and expression. He never would have guessed they could be that accurate though!

Taking a deep breath, he looked up into her eyes. "I...I have heard people say t-that the army is led not by a sorcerer, as one would expect from an army such as this, but by a beast. A dragon to be more exact. I must stress though that this is purely rumour, none have found any evidence to support the theory!"

5/23/2007 #13
Pluto's Rose
Alvena bit her lip to stop the flood of words that were trying to make their way out of her mouth. She was still resisting the urge to scream something, anything at the top of her lungs, when she took a deep breath.

"Leviathan. I haven't heard or seen any other dragons that can change their shape to become almost human. Well, none that are as awful as he is anyway."

5/23/2007 #14
Hikari no Roojii
"Who is Leviathan?" The boy asked curiously, "Apart from an evil dragon I mean. Is he powerful?"

Rothas wasn't so excited anymore. Goblins were one thing, but a dragon?! That was in a completely different league and it was going to take a lot of manpower to take it down. There was no way they'd make it through without losing a significant number of Knights.

5/23/2007 #15
Pluto's Rose
"He's a dragon that somehow managed to learn the magic of evil sorcerers. This was because he possessed a rare gift, where he could change his shape to become almost human looking. Well, he still has a tail, and obscenely long fingernails. He was the one that killed my family when I was five," she stopped for a moment, and glanced over at the boy, "you probably don't remember, as this was before your time. When I was five, he killed my family. The royal family of Aelmont, an elven country of sorts. After they died, it was destroyed in a sense."
5/23/2007 . Edited 5/23/2007 #16
Random 4 life
Ayetra had to be cautious. Technacially, she wasn't a knight. When she ran away, she snuck herself into their ranks and began to train and improve. Her name was still unkwon to most other knights, and she planned on keeping it that way. One false move, and it was back to learning how to sew and cook with mother. She shuddered by the thought. Walking slowly, she came upon some other people she assumed as knights. She walked up to them.

"Hello, is there any business to attend to today, knights?" Ok, that stuck out like a sore thumb. But, at least she didn't look like a total moron.

...Or did she?

5/23/2007 #17
Hikari no Roojii
The boys eyes nearly popped out of his head. "You're a princess?!" He blurted, blushing in embarrassment immediately after and looking at the ground.

Rothas put his hand on Alvena's shoulder comfortingly then looked towards the rapidly growing group that was gathering nearby and watching them curiously.

Sunell, part of that group, looked around as a voice asked a peculiar question. "Uhhh...well, there might be something happening over there..."

5/23/2007 #18
Random 4 life
Ayetra, who was very impatient, rolled her eyes. "No! I...uh...heard over at the barraks that there was a threat of a dragon of sorts." Ok, she had been overhearing their conversation for the past five minutes. But, no use to scare them yet.

"Of course she is a princess, you daft fool!" Everyone turned to see a young man on horseback looking down on them. "Her family was in close relation with mine for the longest time. It's good to see you again, m'lady. Last time I remember, we were but children. It's so good to see you again. You've grown to be a beautiful woman." He bent down to kiss her hand. Well, he was a prince after all.

5/23/2007 #19
Hikari no Roojii
Sunell gave the girl a cold look, not particularly effective with his almost feminine elfin features, but clearly an aggravated look. "That's what I meant..." Unfortunately for her, he was an uncharacteristically short tempered elf, known to completely lose it on occasions and break whatever he was having trouble with, be it person or contraption. His short, slender frame and long blonde hair made it easy for people to underestimate him.

The messenger boy blushed even further and moved far into the background. Rothas gave the new arrival a very exaggerated bow then went back to looking around almost aimlessly. He had little respect for royalty, a trait that often got him into trouble.

5/23/2007 #20
Random 4 life
Ayetra blushed. "Right, I meant that too. So, how long do you suppose until the dragon becomes a serious threat?"

Prince Ethero stood up and bowed at the messanger boy. Then, perked his ears up at the conversation. "A dragon you say? I shall slay him singlehandedly with my sword, Robelius!" He pulled out his sword in an overdramatic fashion. And stood there for about thirty seconds.

...Ayetra would so be hurting him right now if he didn't have the authority to hang her.

5/23/2007 #21
Hikari no Roojii
Sunell continued to stare at her. "It's amassing an army of monsters, I'd say it's a pretty serious threat now..." He knew he was being rude, but it was early and he was in a bad mood. In truth, he was trying to goad her into hitting him, a good fight would certainly cheer him up.

Rothas cracked up and doubled over in a fit of laughter. Even Sunell's mouth twitched a little as he watched the apparently mad prince out of the corner of his eye.

5/23/2007 #22
Pluto's Rose
Alvena twitched slightly when the prince kissed her hand. She had never really been all that fond of him.

"If I remember correctly, you wouldn't be able to remember me at all. Aelmont was dissolved when I was five, and you were two at most."

She wondered if perhaps the prince had mistaken her for her dead twin sister. They had looked almost exactly the same, and when they were little, both of them had often been mistaken for the other.

5/23/2007 . Edited 5/25/2007 #23
Hikari no Roojii
Rothas got a grip on himself and started twirling a strand of dark hair around his finger. He could see the elvish woman's discomfort and thought it would be a good idea to move things along.

"Alvena, why don't you go round up some of the stronger knights and explain the situation before I inform everyone else?"

Some of the new comers still weren't past the panicking-at-any-sign-of-real-danger stage, so it was sometimes wise to put off informing them of anything too serious until absolutely necessary. There would be no problem with the older knights though. They had all faced much worse in the past.

"And if you do not mind, I wish to speak with you when you're done" he added. He wanted to make sure she was alright, and also find out what she knew of this Leviathan. Knowledge is power after all.

5/26/2007 #24
Pluto's Rose
Alvena nodded. She started walking off towards a crowd of older knights. In truth, it wasn't exactly a crowd, as many of them were scattered about.

She hadn't personally known any of the older knights, so she decided to just speak.

"An army of monsters is about to arrive at Branshea, and might already be there. It's led not by a sorcerer, but by a dragon. The Leviathan to be exact."

5/26/2007 #25
Hikari no Roojii
"Are there any plans drawn up at this point?" A quiet voice asked from directly behind her. Deshin had a bad habit of sneaking up on people. He didn't do it deliberately, he just walked so quietly that no one ever heard him coming. All dark elves walked as quietly, it was part of what made them so dangerous. With his ebony black skin and long, think white hair, his appearance alone was often enough to send people screaming in the opposite direction. Something he had grown used to during his two hundred years of life. Not that he looked old in the slightest. Like all elves, he aged very slowly.
5/26/2007 #26
Pluto's Rose
Showing no sign that she had been startled, Alvena turned around, and continued.

"As far as I know, no plans have been made."

She knew that this wasn't probably the best thing to say, but it was the unfortunate truth.

5/26/2007 #27
Hikari no Roojii
Deshin gave a short nod then turned and walked away.

Sunell threw a rock at Alvena's head to get her attention. "I'll go gather some troops."

And with that, he left too. Quickly so that she wouldn't hit him back.

5/26/2007 #28
Pluto's Rose
Alvena twitched slightly, and walked off as well. She wasn't about to follow Sunell, as she was afraid if she did, she'd do something a lot worse than hitting him.

She had this strange sinking feeling that the Leviathan wasn't about to make an appearence out in the open. Which made it about three times harder to catch him.

5/26/2007 #29
Random 4 life
Ayetra, bored of petty conversation, was sitting down sharpening her sword. She wasn't one for conversation, she was nothing but a warrior. Her father never considered sending her to school. Girls were meant to sew and cook, and little else.

Ethero, however, went to school, he just never absorbed that much. But, he thought he did.

"No plans? To slay the vicarious dragon?"

"Vicious..." Ayetra chiped in, then when back to her sword.

"Vicious dragon? No worry! I know the perfect way!"

"Here we go..."

Ethero grabbed a stick and began to draw in the ground. "Ok, we're here." Ethero said as he drew an x in the ground. "The dragon is over here, at this x. We need to get there and not get killed. Any questions?"

Ayetra looked up, confused. "Is that it?"

Ethero smiled and nodded. "Good, isn't it?"

"I'm not going to comment..."

5/26/2007 #30
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