The kender pressed together to peer out of the window in the room, which was beginning to grow grimy with the massive amounts of smoke outside. Fire could be seen licking around buildings as the black noxious clouds parted here and there.
"What is it this time?" Tas wondered aloud, pressing closer to the window. Dreamflight stood on tiptoe but sighed.
"I can't see a thing through all the smoke," she muttered. "I don't suppose it'd be helping anyone if we left, though." She fingered her flute a moment but shook her head. "Oh well. Come on." She grabbed his hand and started to lead him outside but the form of Elevra blocked the doorway. She glanced back, feeling the two kender trying to worm their way outside. With gentle, but strong hands, she held Dreamflight and Tasslehoff firmly.
"I can't let you go outside," she sighed, looking sadly at the orderly mayhem. "The smoke will surely choke you, and there are great firey insects bearing down on the city. I don't need to be tending to anymore wounded than necessary. Please, stay inside."
"Fiery insects?" Dreamflight repeated gently, being pulled out of the way of a cleric rushing wounded knights to the infirmary. "What insect has fire?" Tas didn't answer her. Instead, he was looking for another means of escape. There were no other doors but there was their one window… He hurried back to it, inspected it thoroughly, and began using an knickknack from his pouch to work the frame loose.
"They should keep these windows in better repair," he muttered as he worked. "The wood is half rotted away. Anyone could just escape."
"This isn't a prison," Dreamflight reminded him, jumping up and hovering slightly off the ground until Tas pushed the entire window from its frame. Grinning gleefully, she squeezed through it, landing gently on the other side. Tas followed closely. Together, the two started to run to the main gates.
An insect with fire. Dreamflight hadn't imagined these. She could even recall a fond summer night when she'd ran in the streets with the other children to collect the fireflies. She supposed, now, that this was like revenge for the ones who hadn't lived the night in her jar. Giant fireflies hovered above the city, five to be exact. Under their shiny black and green bodies burned red hot infernos of fire that they could apparently launch in fireballs at their discretion. Whatever could burn, was. Whatever couldn't was being mauled by the insects themselves.
"It's terrible," Dreamflight murmured, ducking low under the smoke. She coughed regardless and her eyes were beginning to water. "Should we help them? This is my fault, after all." Tas shook his head and held tightly to her hand.
"These are Solamnic Knights," he reminded her. "They can handle anything. Look! The insects have stopped fighting. They're landing at the gates now." Dreamflight crawled quickly closer to the gates to better hear what was going on. A silence hung like the smoke over the crowd.
"What are your demands?" asked the knight. Tas had briefly hoped it would be Sturm, and was quite disappointed when it wasn't. "Why have you attacked this settlement, if not in the name of Takhisis? Who sent you?" Although the insects were known to be intelligent enough to carry out orders, what happened next stunned the kender.
"Brrring the kenderrrr," one of the fireflies stated simply. It spoke in a voice that grated on ones nerves as foreign and alien. Tas and Dreamflight shuddered in unison and instinctively ducked lower. The knights seemed quite stunned as well.
"What do you want with kender?" asked the lead knight suspiciously. "And what kender do you want? We get visits from many. Quite likely they have already been turned from our gates and left."
"Brrring the goddess and the herrrro," it clarified, feeling that this was explanation enough. The Knights still seemed quite mystified.
"We should leave," Dreamflight whispered urgently. "This is Chaos's doing." Tasslehoff was already inching towards a wall. Dreamflight followed with haste.
"Goddess and hero?" the Knight muttered. To the insects, he replied. "We have, er, never heard of any kender goddesses or heroes." If the insects could have sighed and rolled their eyes, they quite likely would have. As it were, their tones merely took on an edge of irritation.
"Tasslehoff and Drrreamflight," I ordered. This was orders enough. The Knight nodded, sending two squires to the infirmary where they would apprehend the two kender.
"Tas, is this wrong?" Dreamflight whispered, acting as lookout as Tasslehoff squeezed through a crack. Tas pulled his leg through the crack and motioned her to follow from the other side.
"Of course not," Tas assured her. "We'll merely be leading the bugs away from Sanction. You can't get anymore noble than that."
The knight was still trying to talk with the insects. "If we give you these kender, you will leave Sanction in peace?"
"We shall," it answered, "howeverrr, we cannot speak for our brrrrotherrrs worrrking for Takhisis." By now the two kender were making a sprint for the nearest large covering.
"What do you want with kender?" the knight asked again, curious. The insects still did not reply. Shortly after, the two squires returned, looking quite flustered and empty handed. The insects were enraged and their fires burned hotter. The Knights began to subtle back away into defensive fragments.
"The kender have escaped," the Knight informed the insects. "Through a window." All five insects took to the air, buzzing with anger.
"Find them!" one of them ordered as the swarm flew off. "Or all of Sanction will burrrrrn!"
The two kender had found a stream flowing near Sanction and followed it. To their luck, a grove a trees was nearby to provide shelter not far from it. They huddled together in the safety of its shadows and considered their next moves.
"Do you suppose the bugs are looking for us yet?" wondered Dreamflight, splashing her face with the cool water and fighting back her dizzy spell. "I should hope we have a little time." Tas leaned back against a large rock and scanned the skies.
"I don't see anything," he murmured. "But… I do hear something." Dreamflight held very still and listened. Soon, she heard it as well - hoofbeats.
"That's odd," she mused. "I didn't think that flying insects would need mounts." Tas, who had become more familiar with the sound, hurriedly helped her up and tried to run deeper into the small grove.
"That's not insects, my dear," he explained. "That's-
"I see them!"
The two kender looked in vain for a hiding place. The grove of trees was small, and unsuitable for good hiding. The tree tops were not full enough and the trees too far apart from one another.
"We'll never outrun them," Tas pointed out. "What are we going to do? What are they going to do with us?"
"Whatever it is," Dreamflight muttered, reaching for her flute, "it won't be pleasant. Stay low. Keep quiet. Try not to listen to what I sing." Tas was puzzled, but did as told, plugging his ears and watching expectantly.
The song was a lullaby, one Tas could almost remember. He waited tensely until her playing stopped, and he unplugged his ears. He listened carefully; there was not a sound to be heard.
"What happened?" he asked. "Dreamflight, how do you do those things?" She shook her head, tucking her flute away and sprinting in a direction. He followed, recognizing that they were headed north.
"There's no time to explain now," Dreamflight sighed. "We have to get away."
"And go where?" Tas wondered aloud. Dreamflight smirked sadistically.
"There is nowhere we can go that would be safe," she sighed. "Wherever we go, destruction will follow. Therefore, we'll go where they least suspect it - Neraka." Tas nearly halted.
"We're going to go straight to the enemy?" he mused, picking up his pace. "But… Why?"
"It's war, Tas," she answered. "And we're going to try to turn it."
A/N: Well that's it. No, really it is! For this story at least. I felt the fanfic is getting too long so I'll be continuing in a Part Two Sequel dealy. Look out for it! It's entitled Kender Goddess: War of Creation