I do not own any of the characters but I do own most of the plot of this story. Takes place after the second book
Kale silently made her way through the thick darkness of the forest and drew her cape closer to her, telling herself to breathe. She had woke up in her rooms at the Hall and without her control, she had dressed, and, making sure not to wake Toopka or the minor dragons, made her way downstairs and out to the forest. I wish Dar were here! as her feet carried her to a yet unknown destination, she let her thoughts linger on Dar and his squire-turned-knight friend, Bardon. She had not seen or heard from either of them in almost five years and, though it worried her, it also made her feel quite alone. Though she and her mother had spent a lot of time together it just wasn't the same. When she, Dar and Bardon were together she could talk feely about whatever, or whoever, was bothering her at that time and they were always there to help.
Her mother spent a lot of time in the library searching for Kale's father, staying there for hours. Kale missed Dar's music, his cooking and, surprisingly, his smacking at the table. She hadn't realized just how irreplaceable he was and she missed him more and more. Thoughts of Dar brought thoughts of Bardon. She found herself thinking a lot about him and their strong, yet unexplained, connection. On their first quest together they found out that Bardon could mindspeak but only if Kale was near him.
They also had an ability to know each others thoughts, feelings, emotions even actions before telling each others. Bardon had been there when she called and even when she didn't, that is, until he went to train for knighthood under Dar in Wittoom.
I wonder how or what he's, no, they are doing now? He never came through on his promise. I miss him, both of them.
The feeling she had gotten when she entered into the forest, had been steadily growing and it was now a strong thrum. Her feet stopped and she finally looked at her surroundings, she was on the bank of a river she didn't know. She bent down to get a drink from the clear liquid when she noticed a bright glow in the water. Without her control, her hand reached into the water and grabbed the glowing oblect.
When she pulled it out of the water she was amazed to find that it was a dragon egg that was just a little bit bigger than her first dragon eggs and hadn't been quickened. She breathed a sigh of relief at this, no one had laid claimed to it yet. Paladin will be very hap- suddenly her body was picked up and thrown backwards.
She hit a tree with a muffled, "umph." then she slowly stood up. Though she was quite dizzy from the hit, she tucked the egg in one of the pockets of her moonbeam cape. Once that was done she turned to face her opponent, a rather large bison beck. She began to yell out attack spells that she had learned during her wizardry lessons, but the spells just hit a strong barrier around him.
"What!?" she yelled as she tried to jump up on a low branch to avoid a head on attack from the creature, noticing a strange symbol on his head. Unfortunately, the second she took to think about the symbol, the creature had pulled her down and slammed her around the neck cutting off her air supply.
"My massster will be pleasssed" it said, it's tongue slithered out to brush against her face, "you are quite pretty."
Kale tried to break way but he was to strong.
Someone…help….me, "he…help…m…me." she whispered just as she began to lose consciousness.
Suddenly the pressure against her neck was yanked away scratching her as it did. She collapsed on the ground gasping for air. She looked up to see what happened and saw the bison beck losing a heated battle to a young man, he looks familiar. An arrow sliced through the air, hitting the creature in the back and then a sword finished him. She just had time to whisper a thank you before the darkness took her.
When Kale came to, she found herself at Fenworth's castle instead of the Hall. It's my old room, she breathed. She heard a grating nose from the right side of her bed and turned her head to see what it was. The noise was snoring and it came from a furry head that she knew all to well.
"Dar!" she said and tried to get up but she was suddenly hit with waves of nausea and dizziness, causing her to fall back on her bed, waking Dar up as well.
"Hey, be careful!" cried Dar "you haven't healed yet. You were poisoned again." he said
"What do you mean, 'poisoned again'?" she asked.
"When that bison beck scratched you he had a strong poison on his claws and he hit the right spot. Within a few minutes it had spread through half your body, and if you remember you seem to have a liking for getting poisoned. We thought we had lost you" Dar's voice was full of concern as he turned to get some water for her.
"We?" she tried to say but her dry cracked voice stopped her. I didn't know that I was so thirsty she thought,
she turned to Dar. "I hate it when you do that, you scared me. You must be a mind speaker, Dar."
she looked at the doneel who just smiled at her.
"Sorry, but no."
"Thanks" she said sarcastically and drank the water he gave her before continuing.
"So, how have you been and who's "we" again?"
"I, Fenworth, Cam, your mother, the dragons, Toopka, Regidor, and Bardon of course. Why?" he looked at her with a little curiosity in those dark eyes.
"Just wondering. Where's Librettowit?" she asked
"He went to his home city to get more books, of course." smiled Dar.
"Of course" giggled Kale, Librettowit had a dangerous infatuation with books, and he swore that books were the only things that were important, not questing. He despised quests, but that never stopped Fenworth from making him go on one.
this came from a little creature who looked like Dar, only smaller and not as elegant.
"Hey, Toopka, sorry to have worried you."
Toopka was an orphan placed under Kale's guardianship, the two of them had become like mother and daughter since they had first been placed together.
"Why'd you go and get sick again, me and the dragons-oh their here to by the way- well, we got real worried."
Kale could only smile as the little doneel and eight dragons began scolding her, the dragons' scolding came only as rapid angry cheeps but they were sending what seemed like thousands of images to Kale. "Sorry again, I'll tell you why when we are all together. I found something that is very important to us." she said.
"Oh, that reminds me" this came from Dar, "You will never guess who is on his way here."
This struck Kale with interest, "Who?"
"Paladin" Dar stated,
"What?! How did he know already" she asked, more to herself then to Dar.
"Paladin always knows. Know what?"
She looked at him and just smiled, "I told you I will tell everyone later."
"Ok" Toopka jumped off the bed while Dar looked at Kale quizzically,
"Yes-well shall we try to get up and visit some very worried friends and mother?"
Kale clapped her hands together, "Oh yes, please?"
Dar helped her slowly get out of bed and made the slow progress down the stairs and into the biggest living room of the castle. Kale found the rest of her friends gathered there, all of them were reading except for Fenworth who had dosed of.
"Welcome back, young Dragonkeeper" said Cam bring everyone's attention to her.
"Oh thank Wulder" this came from Lyll, Kale's mother, who crushed her in a tight hug, releasing her for a good scolding.
Fenworth, who had just begun to look like a tree, opened his eyes and harrumphed his happiness.
Then it was Regidor's turn to scold, "What were you thinking, did all that magic get to your head" he yelled.
"Excuse me, magic never 'gets to one's head,' you scoundrel meech." harrumphed Fenworth.
Well, this is becoming interesting, as usual smiled Kale as teacher and student began to argue.
She was glad to be back with all her friends.
'I am glad to see you well again, Kale' the voice she heard in her mind sent shivers down her spine.
Bardon stood up and walked over to her. Suddenly, another wave of dizziness struck her and her knees buckled. She tried to catch herself but Bardon caught her first. He looked down at her with concern evident on his face and eyes,
"Bardon, please take her to the window seat. She's obviously still weak." said Lyll.
Bardon looked up at Lyll and, with a "yes ma'am," swept Kale up in his arms and began to carry her to the seat. Kale felt herself blush and looked down so he couldn't see, what's wrong with me, I have never felt embarrassed or shy around Bardon before, though, he has grown up well, and she was right.
Now about 22 he was a full knight and as handsome as ever.
'Thanks' thought Bardon.
Kale looked up at him in embarrassment; she had forgotten about their connection and hadn't put up her mind guards.
'Still undisciplined' sighed Bardon, a smirk across his face.
Excuse me! Cried Kale but was suddenly dropped on the window seat. Hey, what's your problem, she cried,
'Nothing, I'm just thinking about how much trouble you get into.' Bardon looked down at her 'comfy?'
Hey, I have a good reason why I did this!
Oh really, mind sharing it with the rest of us.'
No, but you can wait until Paladin comes. He is your superior.
Bardon sighed, turned and walked back to is seat, 'I give up' he simply stated and went back to reading but not before giving her a wink.
Kale ran to her room to change. Paladin had finally come and she wanted to impress him since he was the one who held all the answers. Which were yet to be answered since she had refused to tell her friends anything until now. She dressed in the only dress she had, it was black with embroidery of birds and
butterflies in different colors around the base. It accented her frame and especially her hair and eyes. This will have to do, she sighed, "What do you think, Toopka? Yes or No?"
"I like it so the others probably will like it too" was the doneel child's answer.
"Thanks, I think" Kale turned to help Toopka get dressed. When they were finished, they raced down the stairs. When she got there she found everyone, including Paladin, waiting for them. She ran to Paladin and received a gentle embrace.
"Come, we are short on time and there is much to do." he said in that rich voice of his.
"I know" Kale replied "I have a story and some questions."
"And we will listen," he then went to sit down next to Fenworth.
Kale began her story and told them everything that had happened in the forest, watching as the faces of her friends changed constantly. The only ones that didn't change were those of Fenworth, who had begun to dose and shift into the tree, and Paladin's, whose smiling face never changed.
"And then I blanked out and woke up here" she finished and took a cup of water from Dar.
"Can I see the egg?" Asked Toopka.
"Yes but, Paladin, what was that symbol?" asked Kale, "I haven't been able to get it out of my mind."
"I am not sure but I intend to find out. Fenworth, Cam, do you two have any idea" asked Paladin.
"No, but it does sound familiar. I will get started on researching it" and Cam left for the library.
"Harrumph" Fenworth had shifted back into a human and had his usual serious face on. "Well, while we wait let's have a look at that egg" said Paladin
(Three days later)
"Ah ha! Found it. I knew it sounded familiar" yelled Cam.
Some how he seemed very high spirited considering that he had searched day and night for it nonstop.
Talk about dedicated thought Kale with a smile.
'I would say so' the intruding voice made her jump.
"Bardon, would you stop doing that you scare me." cried Kale.
"Well, put up your guards and you won't have to worry about it" stated Bardon.
They were standing on the balcony in the library, the night sky was brilliant and the stars were clear. A cool wind blew across the balcony, brushing against Kale's arms. She shivered, drawing Bardon's attention,
"You're cold. Wait here" he went inside and came back with a blanket. He wrapped it around her brushing against her arms. She breathed in the citrus smell that came with all o'rants, but Bardon's scent was a little different. Kale remembered the time when she found out he was a Halfling, half o'rant and half emerlindian. Her stomach and heart did a flip when his hands had brushed against her. She turned to thank him but found that their faces were just inches apart. They stared at each others eyes for a moment before Bardon said
" I-I think we should go in and see what Cam found out, "his voice was a little husky.
"Yeah, right, lead the way, "smiled Kale.
As Bardon slowly turned and walked away Kale breathed a sigh of relief before throwing up her mind guards. What is going on here she thought but didn't get the time to think about it. When she reached the living room Cam had already started to explain.
"This symbol belongs, or should belong, to a wizard named Kira. He was once known as a trouble maker at the wizardry school Fenworth and I once taught at. He was expelled because he used necromancy and the dark arts to control any one or any thing. It looks like he is at it again."
"Is he dangerous" asked Bardon.
"No, but it seems he is after Kale. You said the creature told you his master would be pleased. If it is Kira, I believe he's going after Kale to get his revenge on her father and, of course, her gift and dragons." stated Cam.
"What did father do to him "asked Kale earnestly.
"Well, for starters your father married me," Lyll had been listening to Cam and was just now stating her own opinion, " Kira always wanted to marry me in school but your father won that right. He also is after you, the Dragonkeeper. If he can control your power he will be very strong indeed." Said Lyll, anger evident in her stare.
"Oh" was all that Kale could offer to this bit of news.
"So Kale needs protection, "stated Bardon who actually seemed to be quite anxious and concerned about the situation. Kale felt herself blush at the emotions she felt swirling through him.
What is going on between us? We do nothing but fight or have small talk and our connection seems to be getting stronger, She forgot again to put up her guards but Dar and Paladin were the only ones to listen to her, both had stayed quiet through all of this. 'It is called love,' they responded at the same time and exchanged smiles at this.
"What?!" cried Kale forgetting that they had been mindspeaking. She froze and quietly sat down, apologizing for interrupting, but not without giving a dangerous glare at both of them. She threw up her guards,
Love? No it couldn't be. Besides Bardon thinks of me as a fighting partner who he always has to protect; I don't love Bardon, that's ridicules. Right? She shook those thoughts away and forced her focus on the plans being made.
They ultimately decided to 'go strait to the source of the all this riff raff.' as Fenworth stated. With that decision made, the group called it quits for the night. Kale, however, couldn't go to sleep, she kept thinking about love and a particular Halfling. It wasn't until Metta began humming a tune in her sleep that Kale finally fell asleep. A few hours before the sun rose Kale jumped awake. She didn't know what woke her but what ever it was she didn't have a good feeling about it. She slowly swung her legs over her bed side and grabbed for her sword that she kept under her bed. However, before she got it something covered her mouth. A smell overwhelmed her senses and she lost all consciousness immediately. She just had enough time to plea for help using her mindspeak.
Help me! Bardon! Dar- she passed out.
'Help me? Bardon! Dar!'
Bardon jumped out of his slumber.
"Was that Kale?" Bardon whispered then felt a sharp pang of fear that he knew wasn't his. He jumped up, pulled on suitable clothes and grabbed his sword. He slammed his door open and ran to Kale's room.
"Kale!" he yelled as he entered her room, but he didn't see anyone in it. He looked every where but didn't find a trace of Kale anywhere, until he heard a wimper coming from underneath her bed.
"Toopka!" he dropped down and pulled the child out from the bed.
"Shhh" he whispered, "what happened?"
"Sh-she's gone a-and th-these big-big black things came and took her. I am so-sorry I g-got scared" cried the child.
"It wasn't your fault. We will find her." but he couldn' help thinking, I pray we do.
He picked her up and exited. The others were now up and frantic, but not like Bardon. He had to find Kale; he had sworn that he would protect her. She was the reason it took him five years to complete his training. She was the one he wanted to fight for, to give her and the ones they loved safety in a world so full of hate and darkness. He and the others had begun to search for any clues as to whom or what took Kale. He couldn't stop thinking about her which wasn't unusual now that he thought about it.
"Bardon, we found something but you aren't going to like it" this came from Regidor who wasn't very happy either and that wasn't good.
"It's a letter" Regidor handed the piece of parchment to Bardon. The companions gathered around him as he began to read:
My dearest Lyll,
I have your beautiful daughter and her amazing little dragon friends. Though not as beautiful as you she will make a wonderful bride and ally. She will be helping me control every person and dragon in this wretched land. I won't hurt her to much, only if she gets to stubborn which I feel she will since she already has but, besides that, I promise to take good care of her.
p.s- oh encase you would like to come to the wedding it will be two days from sunset.
Bardon slammed his fist into the wall.
"Bardon!" cried Lyll and Toopka running to him.
"I should have known he would do this. I wasn't there for her, now I might--" he stopped; he almost let it slip that he might lose her and that wasn't ready to be said yet.
"Calm down, we know what to do," said Cam, "We figured he would strike when powers were weak"
"That must be why we didn't notice his accomplices when they came into the castle grounds." observed Lyll will she wrapped Bardon's fist in a bandage to stop the blood flow.
"Exactly, as I said, Fenworth and I have expected this and formed a new plan. We will go to him and while we start a battle of our own, Bardon will sneak into the castle by way of a secret passage. We found the castle by magic and found some old blue prints. Any way Bardon will grab Kale and the dragons and get out of there."
When Cam had finished fully explaining the plan, he suggested that they all get some sleep. However, that was easier said than done for Bardon. He had finally got Toopka to sleep but Kale's not being there was driving him crazy. He went to the library balcony and looked at the sky. It looked just like it did the last night Kale was here.
If something happens to her, Kira will not live to see another day. '
That is not for you to decide.' Bardon spun around to see Paladin walking onto the balcony,
What do you mean? he asked.
"I believe we can speak. I mean that Kira's fate will be decided by Wulder, not you. I know you feel helpless right now but there is a reason for this and, that, you will find out soon." said Paladin.
"How soon is soon" Bardon's voice cracked when he asked this.
"Soon," chuckled Paladin, "patience is key. Now you need to sleep, tomorrow is a big day." Bardon sighed before thanking him and walked to his own room, falling asleep the minute he hit the bed.
The next morning, at dawn the group set out. Bardon was anxious to get started and get Kale back. I hope she is okay, no, she better be. Bardon had had Kale on his mind nonstop since he found out that she was taken. He knew he had to stay strong, not only for himself but for his friends, for Toopka and Kale.
Poor Toopka hadn't said a word to anyone since the abduction, not even to Regidor who usually was Toopka's confidante other than Kale.
I hope we get there fast this wait is wreaking havoc on me and Toopka. He sent this message to Regidor who looked at him, 'I know, but we cannot always get what we want when we want it ' replied the meech, 'I am just as anxious as you and as worried about Toopka and Kale as much as you, Bardon. However, losing our control and getting killed won't help Kale or us.'
"My friends will come," yelled Kale. She had woken up chained to a wall in some kind of throne room, coming face to face with her captor, Kira. He laughed at her words and walked away, telling a well built, bearded guard to watch her and the dragons. When he left she looked at her minor dragons that were caged across the room from her. She hated it. They were sleeping now. She began to cry as she watched them. They will come. Bardon will come, he will come. Bardon! I trust in you so please hurry up! She closed her eyes, sending comforting thoughts to her beloved dragons. She remembered the egg in the pouch around her neck and thanked Wulder that Kira hadn't seen it tucked under her nightgown. Suddenly an alarm was sounded causing the guards to run out of the building. She heard Kira curse, running past the open door of the room. Wha- she stopped when she heard Bardon's voice in her head.
'Kale, don't worry I am here,' a second later she smelled his scent and felt the chains around her hands and feet break from some kind of hammer. When she was free she was swept into his strong embrace. She clung to him, crying and thanking him and Wulder for finding her.
"Kale, I am so sorry. I let them take you away from me. I won't let that happen again."
"I know Bardon, I know. Let's just get the dragons and go home please."
They broke away from each other and opened the cage holding her dragons. They made their way to the door when they were stopped by a cruel laugh that rang through the room. "How sweet!" a cloud of black smoke landed in front of them blocking them from their exit.
"Kira, I assume" spat Bardon, his voice full of anger and eyes sending a dangerous warning.
"You assume correctly. Did you honestly think that I would let you take away my lovely bride? Really?!"
With that Kira yelled out a spell but Kale threw up a strong barrier. Bardon drew his sword and lunged at the wizard but Kira jumped away and yelled another spell. However, Bardon was quicker and the spell hit his sword and fizzled out. He lunged at the surprised wizard and landed a deep blow to his arm.
"Curse you, Halfling" at that Bardon stopped in surprise, giving Kira the chance to spit out a spell that threw Bardon backwards landing a few feet away from Kale. Kale ran over to Bardon but when she did her barrier was lifted.
"Kale, no!" but Kira had already captured her inside a bubble-like prison.
"You can't beat me. Yes, knight, I know your secret and-" he stopped as the sound of cracking hit the air. Kale eyes widened, the egg! No! She reached inside the pouch and pulled out the egg. Her cage was lifted and Kira came towards her,
"Well, well. You have been hiding my wedding present from me. I think I will take that- curses!" he drew his hand back from the egg. It had a very powerful barrier around it that had burned his hand. Kale watched as the egg hatched in her cupped hands and revealed a teal colored dragon. Bardon got up and looked at the egg and then Kale.
Bardon! Her name is Hwyn and her gift is...oohh! Kale stared in awe at the new dragon,
'Kale, what is it?' Bardon's sharp voice drew her eyes to him.
Her gift is… Kira threw another spell at them and Bardon stepped between it and Kale but to the two men's surprise, the spell stopped in mid air, spun around and went back to its originator. "What?!"
..is spell reversing.
Kale smiled at Bardon and then at the little teal dragon who opened her eyes causing Kale and Bardon to gasp. They were a piecing violet color. Kira backed away trying spell after spell each one came back to him. He turned to run away but was quartered by Regidor, Dar, Lyll, Paladin and Cam who just looked at him. He was about to turn away to run the other direction when he was hit in the head by Fenworth.
"Well, that caused the blood to rush. Quite good. Quite good." he said. Paladin came up to Hwyn and picked her up and began to pet her, "Hwyn, I am very pleased to make your acquaintance and thank you for saving my little Dragonkeeper."
Bardon breathed a prayer of thanks to Wulder and rushed over to Kale and embraced her again.
"Bardon?" he put a finger to her lips
"shh, when we get home and get settled I have something to tell you, if you promise not to get into anymore trouble"
She looked up at him with a look of curiosity but smiled and simply said "Ok."
She was then tackled by a relieved Lyll and Toopka. Lyll began to scold her while hugging her again and again. "If your father saw y-"
"Lyll?" a croaking voice called out from behind them.
Lyll spun around, eyes landing on the guard with the beard who had come into the room. "Arthur! Is that really you?" the man pulled off his helmet and walked to Lyll.
"It is. I am sorry for all of this. Kira had put a forgetful spell on me after taking me from Risto's castle and-" Lyll jumped into his arms and kissed him soundly.
"I missed you, too and I have a surprise for you." she guided him over to their daughter.
"This is Kale Allerion, your daughter. She has acquired your gift of Dragonkeeping." Arthur stared at his wife and then at his daughter.
"Well, it looks like I have missed too much of your life, but I am sorry and I hope we can become close." Arthur smiled as Kale suddenly hugged him.
"I know we will."
Everyone was safe in the castle with the exception of Paladin who took Kira to the Hall for prisonment and trials. Before he left he told Kale that he was very proud of her and that he would see her very soon. She and her father had spent a lot of time together over the past week since they had returned and the two were almost inseparable. Kale now stood on the library balcony thinking about all that had happened over the last week. She felt strong arms come around her and hand her a rose. She spun around, coming face-to -face with Bardon. She relaxed in his arms as he pulled her into a tight embrace.
"you knew about me, didn't you?" he pulled back and smiled down at her. She gulped.
"Yes, I have known for a long time actually. Since that time in Prushing when you were hit in the head. I'm sorry for not telling you, please don't be mad at me."
But he pulled her into another embrace as if she were going to fade away.
"Thank you" he whispered in her ear, causing her to shiver.
She suddenly wondered why he was thanking her, but the connection they shared came into play again and explained everything. He was thanking her for keeping his secret and for being there whenever he needed her.
"You promised me that you were going to tell me something when we got home. Would you like to share it with me now?" Bardon smiled at her before pulling her into a kiss. She stood there for a moment before letting her arms circle around is neck and kissed back.
'I love you, Kale'
Kale and Bardon were soon married and moved to a house that was just outside of Vendela. They adopted Toopka and a year later had their first child. A little bouncy boy whom they all agreed to name Darien. Kale and her father continued to become closer, he and Lyll retired from questing and stayed at the castle with Fenworth. The companions were always visiting each others and as you can well guess, they all lived happily ever after