A smile bloomed across her face like a rose,

Wi' thoughts and words that would ne'er be told.

Her eyes shine with morn's light,

Greater still art the words tha' trickle forth from her mouth 'n delight.

A breath o' spring entwines with golden locks,

Her beauty in nae stone could e'er be caught.

She graces the heavens wi' each tender kiss,

Her smile mirrored by the wind's gentle wisp.

Many ha' come before her,

But none like she.

Chilled wind gently moves from the northern mountains over the hills and valleys caressing the skin of the lovely maiden Idalee. Her golden locks entwined with various thin braids danced about her as the sun rose steadily o'er the mountains. Joy filled her as she gazed over the snow dusted hills bordered by the forests and further out mountains. Clad in her various bear and wild cat furs, she would soon have to shed, she turned gracefully to see Carodoc already bare chest and covered in sweat and dirt from this mornings brawl. Laughter trickled from her bold lips as Carodoc was teased by two small boys.

Carodoc was large in size, almost seven feet tall, and built stronger than any ox. His shoulders were broad, and his body was encased in nothing but muscles. His barrel strong chest glistened in the morning light as he gently played with the younger boys. Twenty two years had passed since his birth and those years had been very kind to him. His jaw line was sharp and his nose was awkwardly long for his face and his lips thin. But his eyes where lovely, and soft as he looked up for a moment meeting Idalee's gaze encasing her in his warm chocolate eyes. His moment of distraction allowed one of the small boys the opportunity to tackle him. The boy squealed in delight as Carodoc fell to the ground and gave up the fight.

Idalee's smile widened as her dear friend began to run up the hill towards her. How much she loved her dear friend; he was like an older brother to her, always caring, protecting, and making her feel safe. Whatever maiden would happen to hold his heart in her hand would surely be the luckiest maiden in this world.

"I have but only one thing to say to you." Carodoc taunted.

"And what, pray tell would that be?" she taunted back playfully glaring at him.

"Fish Soup."

Idalee fell to the snowy ground laughing and he with her. He crawled to her side, heat radiating from his body.

"Why does that make you laugh so? I dare not begin to under stand what causes you to laugh every time I say fish soup."

She laughed harder then calmed to a chuckle, "And why dear friend are you covered in dirt? Go to the stream and wash yourself."

"But the day has only begun dear lass. I've plenty of work to do and I'll just get dirtier." He waved her comment off with the wave of his hind. "But you are also avoiding my question." His eye brows cocked to the side a habit he had with almost all of his inquiries.

Idalee smiled and bit her lower lip. "'Tis something I shall explain to you later." She took her finger and poked the button of his nose and laughed.

Carodoc smiled taking in the beauty of Idalee. She was small in size only four foot eleven, a dwarf in comparison to him, but built strongly and yet had a lovely womanly shape. Her body curved gracefully with well toned muscles. A small amount of fat was set beneath her skin, on her stomach and thighs, not in a fat sort of way but one that made her healthy. In such a cold environment a lass that was made of nothing but skin and bones would surly become ill; life here is hard but she is well suited for it. Never the less she is still lovely and skinnier than most women he has ever come across and like them is durable and not easily breakable. Her curly golden hair with strains of red and silver complemented her kind face with a small smooth jaw line and soft chin. Her eyes shined in the morning light overshadowing the sun itself; emerald green laced with gold. "How could any man contain himself from her? My dear friend I'd hate for any man to take her from me."

"Carodoc? Are you even on the same page as me?"

"Of course I am, dear lass." He smiled and winked at her.

"Oh really you are?" She shot an almost hostile glance at him. "Then what did I just say?"

He smiled slyly, "'Oh really you are?'"

She glared at him only meeting his pleasing smile, her expression then saddened, "Why do you not listen to me? 'Tis important to me and to everyone else. I don't know what to do and, and…"

"You are too sensitive dear lass." His fingers brushed her cheek, "Never the less I offer my deepest apologies for not listening to what you had to say."

"I'm always sensitive. And you are always too bold and willing to speak your mind I cannot not be sensitive about things. Though I will admit you are right…"

"Ha! I'm right you've finally acknowledged it."

"I'm gonna beat you with this stick you butt!" She tackled him immediately with a playful laugh as he rolled her onto the ground and held her arms tighter than necessary.

His immediate anger turned to caution. "Are you all right? Am I hurting you? I am so, so, sorry. I didn't mean to…"

Her laughter cut him off, "'Tis alright I am fine my dear friend. You worry too much."

He smiled with a ting of sorrow in his expressions, "I fear hurting you." He hugged her tightly and jumped at the sound of a deafening yowl followed by a deep gurgling growl. A large shadow coved them.

"Ashland!" Idalee called and pushed Carodoc off of her. "Fear not. His intent was not to harm me." The creature before them was an ancient beast known as a behemoth.

This creature measured twenty feet in height and its fur was white with strains of gray. Its chest was massive and barrel in shape and its back sloped downward towards its powerful hind legs which supported the creature. At the end of the behemoth's forearms were three powerful curved claws ten feet in length. They were sharp and more durable then any sword and aid the creature in walking as well as killing anything idiotic enough to get close to it. The head was almost square in shape with large sharp teeth and red glaring eyes.

Though quite a fearsome sight to behold they all happen to adore the lass. Perhaps it was due to her heritage Carodoc began to wonder as Idalee pet the intimidating creature which almost seemed to coo at her touch. He dared not go near such a fretful creature let alone even attempt to ride one like Idalee does. How could she ever prefer a creature like that to a horse? Or even a wolf?

Idalee turned to him and smiled. He focused his attention quickly to be sure to hear all she had to say. Though it was quite hard to not turn away and run with those red eyes glaring at him.

"The next thing we need to construct is a place for my precious Behemoths. I love Ashland dearly and I would love to have more Behemoths. We have plenty of wolves and shamans and birds and so on and so forth." She waved her hand as if dismissing the matter. "Within such a short amount of time we have been able to construct such an impressive army what land my father left me with. This, by the way, brings me to the other issue I was trying to discuss with you earlier. We have a fort…"

"You, have a fort my lady. I have not a share in it."

"But you have helped me dearly with constructing it!"

"You should not use me as a crutch. Make decisions on your own. Step up. Are you not the queen of this land?"

"I don't like making decisions. And you do have share in it…"

"Only if I were married to you!" He stepped back shocked at what he had just said allowed hoping he didn't offend her.

She stooped her head her voice quiet, "I deserve not such a caring friend as you." Her head lifted and she gazed at him like a confronted child. "You push me to make my own decisions and you refuse to take advantage of me and my position."

"Idalee how old are you?"

She smiled and proudly proclaimed, "I am nine…"


"Yes, I was about to say that…"

"In so many ways you are far past your years and in so many others so young and naïve. My dear friend if you desire to place your resources into building a dwelling for your Behemoths and breed more then be my guest I have no say in the matter however if you feel that you must expand the bounderies of your land then go right on ahead."

"Your not going to tell what I should do are you?"


She sighed slightly then smiled, "I shall invest in my Behemoths then. It's not like I have to worry about the neighbors" She waved her hand as Carodoc always did while dismissing something he should not be concerned about. "The alliance we share with them is strong and has lasted for a great many years. They'd dare not turn on us."


She turned to behold a wolf rider upon a wrought and bloody wolf whimpering and wincing with each step.

"By the graces of Iscar! What has happened?"

The rider came closer holding his stomach and upon clear sight of him Idalee gasped. The rider was cut deeply and his hand was the only thing holding his insides inside. "In the cavern to the south east we where attacked!"