Page 10 of 10

Saga: Life is...

Series: Life is Always Changing. Malyanna's Journey.

Story: Life is Scaled.

Arc: Life is Persevering.

Chapter 1: Life is Moving.

Disclaimer: I am an artist, writer, Gamer and a single Mother. I DO NOT create or produce games. I AM NOT BIOWARE. All Character but Melyanna and Narinn are not mine.

In one brutal attack the promise of those at the academy had been snuffed out. Hope disappeared with the Waterdhavian creatures and the weight of the terrible sickness pressed down on the city once more.

Even more chilling, the whispered rumours of enemies seeking to destroy Neverwinter from within had proved true, the identity of those responsible for the slaughter was yet unknown.

Still… a flicker of hope still remained, for not all had died in the attack. From the bloody carnage at the academy a survivor has stepped forward, a champion to carry the torch in this darkest hour...

"To your left 'Anna … oops your other left." Linu shouted at Melyanna.

She should have known better of course, to trust Linu to point her in the right direction and almost getting Melyanna skewered. That's not to say that Melyanna mistrusted or disliked Linu, she was a hell of a good healer and she could almost turn the zombies quicker than they are coming at the small group but she could also be a complete and utter hurricane of disaster. It wasn't really her fault, it was just her nature, and she tended to be accident prone.

"I suppose that it didn't help that I accidentally lit the altar on fire the previous day" Melyanna remembered her saying earlier in the day. Melyanna just couldn't help but feel sorry for her sometimes.

While Melyanna ducked under her zombies swing and kicked out at the other zombie bearing down on her she thanks Linu for the heads up. Melyanna caught him in the ribs and he stumbled strait into an arrow of Sharwyn's

"Ugh, why can't these things just stay dead?" Sharwyn moaned.

Melyanna laughed out loud, Sharwyn was such a contradiction at times. She seemed like the kind of woman that wouldn't want one hair out of place when they first meet, and yet here she was in the thick of undead with the rest of the small mercenary group. "If they stayed dead, they wouldn't be zombies Sharwyn" Melyanna commented while she slammed her quarterstaff into the back of her zombie then blasted it with Magic Missiles while it was trying to get up off the ground. She gave it a good kick making sure it wasn't getting up again, spun on her heel, just in time to see Daelan beheading the last Zombie in this group with his enormous double axe.

The sturdy, stoic half-orc looked around and appraised the situation. He swung his double axe over his shoulders to sheath it in its harness on his back. "I believe that is the last of this group."

"Hey, watch the head. I like it where it is on me shoulders" Tomi said incredulously glaring at the half-orc.

"You know, he wouldn't have hit you, Grin. Anyway, we need to keep moving."

They were in a warehouse in the middle of the Beggar's Nest searching for a missing watchman. Melyanna never have thought that, this is where she would be today, a week ago.

Still a little groggy, I speed through her morning routine and dashed down the corridor to the Dining Hall for a quick breakfast. Melyanna wasn't sure what would be waiting for her at the meeting but both the priest Fenthick and the Lady Aribeth believed that she would be able to help, so She headed back to her suit after her breakfast and waited for the priest Fenthick Moss.

She had only been back in her suit long enough for her and Narinn to decide that it would be better to start the meeting without Narinn summoned when there was a soft but insistent knock on her door. As she opened the door she saw that it wasn't just the priest but also Desther Indelayne. She did her best to ingot the contemptuous expression he showed her and focused on Fenthick.

"Welcome to the Halls of Justice Melyanna, good to see you well rested after the last few days." Fenthick said while smiling warmly to the young mage.

"Thank you, it's just 'Anna" as they walked back through to the atrium and saw all the infected again she was having trouble comprehending what she was passing. "As much as I want to help the city I admit I still don't know if what you are going to offer is right for me."

"That is why we are holding this meeting. There is no pressure for you to accept what is offereing but we do ask that you hear everything first." As they reached the other side of the atrium Melyanna pulled her eyes away from the ill and focused on Fenthick who was holding a door open for her.

Melyanna smiled and walked through the door. "Fair enough."

As Fenthick shut the door just as Desther walked through the look on Desthers face became more pronounced. "This is a mistake, Fenthick. We know nothing about this sorceress! How can you so blindly trust her?"

Melyanna stopped dead in her tracks and could feel her control slip a bit. So she hitched a sweet smile on her face and spun on her heal to face the Helmite. "It is not a matter of trust sir. It is that we do not know each other well enough to make an accurate assessment of each other. You don't know me and I don't know you but if we are going to work together, I'm sure that will change. Trust and distrust take time to evolve." Then she turned around, took a deep breath and waited for Fenthick to take the lead.

As Fenthick walked up to her to guide her down the hallway he gave a short chuckle. "You raise a good point 'Anna. This way" he gestured her to follow him and continued talking. "Desther please, even you can't deny what little we do know about 'Anna shows us that she had great promise throughout her training at the Academy, and what she did during the attack. She is a rarity of recruits, it would be wrong to look a gift horse in the mouth. The fact that My Lady has invited her for a meeting demands your politeness at least! If we are to have any hope of finding a cure to the Wailing Death we are going to need people like 'Anna in the service of Neverwinter."

"And I still say we should put our faith in my Helmite brethren, rather than an unproven girl." Desther said snarkily.

It was Fenthick's turn to stop abruptly. The calm expression he had had when knocking on her door not 10 minutes earlier had become one of utmost distaste. He was utterly appalled by his collogues behavior. "It is NOT for you to say Desther! Aribeth holds 'Anna in the highest regard. Lord Nasher put Aribeth in charge, not you." Turning back to Melyanna, Fenthick pleaded for Melyanna to forgive Desther's outburst with his eyes. "Please, 'Anna, you must forgive Desther. The plague takes a heavy toll on us all, a toll made even worse since the attack and the loss of the cure."

Melyanna tried hard to control her anger and her aura. "He has no right to talk to me or about me like that!" but could not help that her aura increased enough for Fenthick to look at her with a shocked expression as the anger showed in her eyes. "... but I understand that these are troubled times and nerves are stretched to breaking point."

He motioned for her to follow him down through a corridor again. "Because the plague cannot be cured by the priests or clerics of the city, some claim that it is an unnatural thing sent by an unknown enemy bent on destroying Neverwinter. We need to find the cure and do it fast."

Unfortunately for Melyanna's self-control, Desther also continued to follow though it would seem at a more wary distance from Melyanna. "The attack on the academy yesterday will only make things worse, Fenthick - Once people learn how Aribeth lost the cure through her lack of faith!"

Fenthick stopped again and spun on his heel to face Desther. "Desther! I will not have you question the faith of my true love! Aribeth believed the academy to be a safe haven. Anyway it is not our place to even discuss such things." Melyanna could tell Desther had gone too far this time. Fenthick looked livid with him. Fenthick turned to her, took a deep calming breath, tried to hitch a smile on his face and started walking again. "My Lady Aribeth is in charge, appointed by Lord Nasher himself to stop the wailing death. You must talk to her 'Anna as soon as possible."

They continued walking through the Hall of Justice till we reached the room that Fenthick was looking for. "In here 'Anna" he said, opening the door for her.

As she walked through into the room, she heard Fenthick close the door behind her. In the room, Melyanna saw Aribeth with two others at a table, She tilted her heas slightly to the right when she senced a forth presence in the room and secretly smiled to herself, the presence was in the shadowed corner behind her by the door. "This should be interesting, I wonder who they are and why their hear? Are they just observing? Hmm, let's see how this plays out, shall we?"

"Welcome Melyanna. We have been waiting for you." Aribeth smiled, bursting through my thoughts. "This is Sir Navelle and Lady Melia of the Neverwinter Nine. They are helping me coordinate our efforts with the plague."

Before Melyanna could acknowledge anyone there was a knock on the door and Melyanna recognized it as Casavir. He ducked his head at Aribeth before he spoke in a whisper. "I... I'm sorry to interrupt my Lady Aribeth. I have the things that you asked for." He passed a bag and a package too her and then waited for any further instructions.

"Thank you, Casavir, Would you please stay here for the duration of this meeting please."

"Of course My Lady." As Casavir turned to stand next to Aribeth his eyes landed on Melyanna and he smiled at her.

Melyanna couldn't help but return his smile.

"If you take a seat we will start Melyanna. Aribeth has filled us in on what happened the last few days at the academy. We are very impressed with your performance." Navelle said pompously while he motioned to the empty seat at the table.

Melia giggled "Could you sound any more pompous Navelle? I think what Nevalle is saying is that after hearing about you from Jaroo and now Aribeth; it's a pleasure to meet you. Neverwinter has need of a good woman like us." Melia said while giving Melyanna a wink.

"It's a pleasure to meet you all, and it's just 'Anna."

"The attack on the academy yesterday has doused the one faint spark of hope that this city had. We were hoping that perhaps you would like to join the search to recover what was lost."

Melyanna looked curiously at Aribeth. "This is not what you were originally going to offer me when we first spoke the other day is it?" She had to confirm her suspicions, and they were when Navelle listed his head to the side and studied me for a moment before answering.

"No, this is not what we had initially thought of offering you when Aribeth was first sent to talk to you. BUT we believe that you may be the best choice for this." Seeing my unsure expression, he continued. "Don't get me wrong, you are not the only one who will be searching for the cure but you are the only one that would know what they were looking for apart from Aribeth and Fenthick."

Melia continued, looking at her with apprehension. "We are however aware that Aribeth has given you a choice. We would never 'draft' someone into the service of Neverwinter. But we ask that you hear us out entirely before you make you decision."

Melyanna sat there thinking for a moment or two… thinking about the previous days and what had already been said. She decided that this was the time for Narinn to make her entrence. If she was going to search for something in a city that is falling apart at the seams with panic, she wasn't going to make any decisions without Narinn. "Okay, I'll hear you out… Yalai'loki Narinn," The air crackled with magic till Narinn appeared. Apparently Aribeth had not told anyone what her familiar was like she had hoped. Melyanna laughed at the stunned looks on Navelle and Melia's faces. "She is a Faerie Dragon" answering their unasked question, but it was Casavir's face that made her grin. It would seem that Casavir had hoped to see Narinn here. "If you don't mind, I want Narinn to also hear the 'proposal'. If there is a chance that I am going to be taking on a dangerous job then I want Narinn to be in on the decision. I am not going to risk her life without her knowing why. "'Rin, this is Sir Navelle and Lady Melia."

"A pleasure to meet you." Narinn commented while she landed on my lap and made herself comfortable.

Melyanna was still watching Casavir, watching Narinn. It looked as if he wanted nothing more than to play with her but knew that he couldn't just at the moment. "Casavir…" She moved to kneel next to Casavir while still holding Narinn to her chest. She smiled at him before continuing. "Would you be able to look after Narinn for me? Keep her out of trouble, while I talk to Lady Aribeth and her friends? I need someone that is responsible and reliable. She tends to look for trouble when I am not paying her enough attention" He grinned while nodding enthusiastically.

Standing up and moving back to her seat Melyanna saw Melia grinning and shaking her head. "I think that is the first real smile I've ever seen on the boys face ... ever." She whispered conspiratorially to Melyanna.

"There are many rumors about the plague, but if you are to aid us in this, it is important for you to know the truth about the Wailing Death. Neither divine nor arcane can do anything to heal or raise those who have succumb to the illness. But a short time ago we heard word that an arch-mage from Waterdeep, had discovered a potential cure, one that might be concocted from the essence of four rare and magical creatures." Aribeth said, jolting both Melia and Melyanna back to the matter at hand.

She looked down dejectedly "The creatures that I was meant to protect yesterday but failed to do so."

She saw Navelle lean forward on the table towards her. He waited for her to look at him. "From what we hear 'Anna, there was nothing more you could have done. Do not blame yourself for what was out of your control." Melyanna heard Narinn murmur "I have already tried to tell her that." And she sighed.

"'Anna." Aribeth caught Melanna's attention then she continued. "Both Navelle and Narinn are correct. But yes, those were the creatures. Under great secrecy they were sent up here to Neverwinter, A Cockatrice, an Intellect Devourer, a Yuan-Ti and a Dryad. I sent them to the Academy, thinking that they would be safe there, away from the main city. I had thought the students and instructors were loyal to Lord Nasher and Neverwinter but…"

Melia's face grew dark at Aribeth's words and continued. "And then the academy was attacked a couple of days ago. So either someone inside the academy betrayed us or someone outside the academy that knew where Aribeth had put them told our enemies. You were there 'Anna, you saw the slaughter. The attack caught the academy unprepared and completely by surprise. You are one of only a handful of survivors from that carnage, one of the few that helped defend the academy, the survivors and the creatures and the ONLY one to come here to see if there was anything else you could do."

Navelle looked Melyanna strait in the eye and added. "As you know, Fenthick and Desther arrived with reinforcements, but during the confusion of battle the Waterdhavian creatures fled into the streets of Neverwinter - and our hopes of a cure vanished with them. If you agree to work for the city, your task is twofold. First, find the Waterdhavian creatures and bring them back here to Aribeth at any cost. We need to harvest components from the creatures if we are to concoct a cure for the Wailing Death. This is the most important task. The second task is to discover who was behind the attack on the academy. Any evidence you uncover in this matter should be brought to Fenthick. He is the one assigned the task of unmasking our hidden enemy."

Melyanna noticed Aribeth watching her intently. "Do you have questions so far 'Anna?"

"Why choose me for such important tasks? I've only just graduated."

Before she had even finished asking her question the stoic, pompous Navelle suddenly let out a soft chuckle. "Don't even try to belittle yourself to us. First, you're an Elf. And no, that is not insult; it just means you have lived a lot longer than anyone else in this room, except maybe Aribeth. So you have more life experience whether it was a quiet life or a life in battle. Second, you proved both Aribeth and your instructor's right during the attack. Your bravery, skill and loyalty are obvious." Even on Melyanna's dark skin there was a prominent blush.

She turned to look at Narinn and Casavir on the floor. "What are your thoughts 'Rin?"

"As always, I will follow you in to whatever trouble you find yourself in Bonded." Narinn said snickering, and then suddenly became serious. "I... I believe we should do it. Like what we talked about over the last couple of days, I don't believe your conscience would allow for you to do anything else but help this city in its time of need."

Melyanna stared at her not at all surprised by her conclusion. "I should have known that you would say." I looked back at Aribeth. "Alright, I'll do it; I'll take on these tasks. But ... I fear that I will need a little help, other than Narinn. There are just some skills I don't have."

Aribeth smiled and gave me a map. "Here, this is a map of the Merchant Quarter. It will help you find your way around the district to make looking for provisions and other things easier. Also, stop by the Many Starred Cloak Tower, they also wish to speak to you. I believe any help you may want to hire will be staying in the Trade of Blades, the local Inn here in the Merchant Quarter. We ask however, for your discretion in this though, as it will only add to the panic and chaos already in the city streets if what you are seeking leaks to the general populous. If you or any companion is in need of healing come here and speak to me or Hlam, the temple priest assigned to healing those that are doing these tasks."

"The districts we would recommend you look through would be the Peninsula District, the Beggar's Nest, the Docks Quarter and Blacklake. These are the districts that we have heard odd rumors coming out of." Melia said, shifting the focus back to the tasks, themselves.

Melyanna stood up and squared her shoulders. "Alright, thank you very much. I'll do what I can." She turned to Narinn, who was getting, what looked like a VERY relaxing tummy rub from Casavir and I grinned. "Narinn, you can get spoiled with undivided attention the next time we are back here. It's time to go." As Narinn got up, from her comfortable position, Melyanna looked down at Casavir, who was reluctantly letting her go. "Thank you so much for looking after Narinn for me Casavir. You did an excellent job keeping her out of trouble." He stood up and grinned at her before saying "That's ok, we had a lot of fun, 'Anna. I'll see you again soon wont I?"

"Of course you will."

As Melyanna and Narinn turned to leave she saw a shadow shift in the corner. "So, there was someone else in the room… I wonder what his purpose was during this meeting." Slowly and very deliberately she let my hand closest to the shadow spark with a circuit of electricity, making sure the shadow saw it. She then opened the door and stepped out into her first mission for Neverwinter.

Once the door closed Aarin chuckled while shaking his head. The others in the room looked up at him while he moved out of the corner to sit on the now empty seat that SHE had occupied.

Melia quirked an eyebrow "What's amusing you Aarin?" she quarried?

"She knew I was here, knew exactly where I was."

This time it was Navelle's turn to quirk an eyebrow at his colleague. "How do you know that?"

Aarin chuckled again. "You didn't see the hand closest to where I was spark with a circuit of electricity?" by the look on their faces, his colleagues had not seen it. "She knew! I would wager she knew from the start that I was here. She has tilted her head towards me when she first came in. Though, that makes me wonder why she didn't point it out or ask why during the meeting."

Coming out of her deep thoughts of the past hour, Aribeth looked Aarin in the eyes. "What are your thoughts on her?

He thought for a moment, "She was intriguing, more intriguing than anyone he had met for a long time, a very long time." Not that he would tell anyone in this room that. Making sure that his face showed no sign of his feelings, he said. "If you believe that Lord Nasher will want an eye kept on her and that he will want to make use of her wherever he can, then I agree. She is young, – Don't look at me like that Navelle, I know she is an elf and over a century old probably but she is still young in elven terms. She seems a little naive – extremely skilled, gifted and strong willed from everything I've heard but I also think she may be idealistic. That isn't a bad thing but mixed with her strong will, it could have tremendous or disastrous effects. If we or Lord Nasher push her into anything, she may leave, or worse, rebel."

Navelle scratched his chin in thought before he spoke. "Keep an eye on her Aarin. We need to gather more information on her so we can try to… predict responses. Watch her in the city and her interactions with others and follow her to the first district she goes into. I have the feeling that she will be thrown into many fights during her tasks. Watch her for a few days and then report back. We want your opinion on how she interacts with different kinds of people and how she fares in battle and stressed situations.

"Of course." He gave a curt nod. "I'll be back when I believe I have what we need."

"On your way out could you show Fenthick in, please?"

Before Aarin turned and left through the same door SHE had left through a quarter of an hour ago he nodded his head in acknowledgement. "Yes, she was intriguing; he would enjoy gathering the needed intelligence on her." After walking through the door, he stopped and he turned his head to his right. "They want to see you."

"Thank you Aarin." Fenthick walked through into the room and shut the door behind him and sat in the empty chair. "So?"

"She has accepted the tasks My Love" Aribeth said, giving Fenthick a smile.

Melia sat looking at Casavir curiously. "Casavir, what do you think of 'Anna and Narinn?" Casavir looked up at Melia surprised. "It's ok; I really want to know" she smiled. "You have a somewhat… unique perspective on this because of your age."

"I ... I like them." Casavir stuttered.

Aribeth looked down at him and smiled kindly. "Can you recall what feelings you felt coming from her and what you felt towards her."

Casavir closed his eyes and tried to remember what he had felt from his new friend 'Anna. "She has a kind heart, a strong will, a lively spirit and a happy soul. Even with the sorrow I felt from her, her natural personality was too strong for it. She has a quick mind, for logic and humor. There is also a power deep inside her that she tries to hide. Lady Aribeth said that it was her mana well yesterday. When I focus on it, I see a cage or a cell with fire inside... at least it is in inside the cage for the mean time."

Melia knitted her brows together, thinking hard. "For the mean time"

Casavir looked over at Melia. "Yes, I don't know how long it will stay in the cage, I feel like it was trying to get out. Maybe …"

Aribeth turned to look at the others in the room. "She knows that she has immense power within her. She doesn't like to show people how powerful she really is. It would make her a target for who knows what. She has learned to control her aura, she will let you feel it if she believes that it's needed for some reason. Or if she is strongly emotional, she has a harder time controlling it."

Navelle thought about this before asking Casavir to continue.

"W when I walked in here, I felt like she was trying to... hold something back, trying to calm herself, sir."

Fenthick sighed quite audibly and looked at a far off point, not really seeing anything as he spoke. "Desther does not like or trust her and makes no bones about it. He went a little far by insulting her and telling her that there was no reason why we should trust her. Her control over her power slipped a bit, I could definitely feel her power ... it's staggering to think that that much power is in someone so petite. Slowly though, she seemed to be able to rein it back a bit and got it under at least some measure of control again. Then she responded, saying "It is not a matter of trust sir. It is that we do not know each other well enough to make an accurate assessment of each other. You don't know me and I don't know you but if we are going to work together, I'm sure that will change. Trust and distrust takes time to evolve." After she said it, I had to laugh. Here she was, she had just been insulted and still trying to gain control over herself and she makes a sly comment like that. The look on Desther's face was priceless. But apparently he didn't receive her message because he insulted her again, just before she came in here. This time she told me that he had no right to say what he had about her, let alone while she was in hearing distance but then said she understood that these were troubled times and put Desther's comment down to fraying nerves."

Aribeth shook her head. "I had wondered why she came in here a little angry and annoyed; I had also felt that tightly reined anger. Desther will need to learn to bite his tongue around her or he is likely to release her control by accident." She then looked to Casavir. "Did you sense anything else from her Casavir?"

He thought for a moment, and then looked up with confusion showing on his face. "Just that she let her… feelings stretch out from her, like she was trying to touch each of us. But I don't understand that or why she would do it."

Fenthick chuckled and smiled knowingly at Aribeth. "That is not in her control. It is part of her heritage, part of being an Elf. As Elves we make... almost tangible soul bonds with other people just as a mage, a druid or ranger would with their familiar or animal companion. It is something that happens automatically without us being aware of it, unless of course we have astute senses like yours Casavir. Like any being we are looking for friendship or a Life Mate but what makes us different from other humanoids is that our bonds are SO strong that they can cause both physical and mental pain if something happens to our Life Mate or an extremely dear friend. It is VERY rare and only under very special circumstances that en elf would bond with more one Life Mate in their Lives, hence the term. The bond is so strong that usually if their Life Mate was to die, they would die with them or soon after, but there has been the rare occurrence when the surviving mate has survived. Most of the time, if there is a surviving mate they will not find or even ever think about searching for a new Life Mate but in saying that, I have known of a couple of people that have found a new Life Mate. Anyone that she had a natural affinity with, – which just means people that she naturally likes - she would 'feel' out to. It could be for friendship, like with you Casavir or Aribeth or Melia. But it could be also be her feeling out bonds, searching for her Life Mate." He heard Casavir's soft "oh" of understanding and smiled at the boy. "Could you feel the strength of the threads you were feeling Casavir?"

Casavir scrunched up his face in concentration. "The strongest threads were with Me, Lady Aribeth and Sir Aarin. Sir Aarin was the strongest." The shocked faces of all the adults were enough prompting for him to ask. "What is it, what did I say. I... I'm sorry" He bowed his head to them

This jogged Fenthick out of his daze. "No Casavir, you haven't said anything wrong, just a little hard to understand and fathom. You're sure that one of the strongest threads was Sir Aarin?"

"Yes Sir."

Looking around, Casavir saw a glint in both Aribeth's and Melia's eyes. Then Melia finally spoke up. "Considering Aarin's response about his first impression of her, this should be interesting to watch."

So here she was, in the Beggar's Nest, in a warehouse infested with zombies and liches looking for a missing watchman.

"Hey, 'Anna, there's a door over here" They all quickly went over to where Sharwyn was pointing down a staircase.

"Lovely" Melyanna sighed and shook her head. "What are the chances that that we find Walters down there with a group of mates, playing cards and having a drink?"

"Not too likely lass" Tomi laughed.

"Thought as much" Melyanna squared my shoulders, took a deep breath and went down the stairs through the door.

As soon as they were through the door they were besieged by a battle mage mummy, which upon seeing the small group bolted towards them flinging spells. Both Daelan and Tomi rushed past the woman to get to the Mummy and stop him in his tracks, so he wouldn't get to close to the rest of his group. Melyanna sent a web and grease slick under his feet, and then started firing all the fire spells she could think of at him. Beside her Linu was chanting asking her goddess for help to heal Daelan and Tomi to keep them alive well enough to keep fighting as well as 'fearing' the mummy. On Melyanna's other side she could hear Sharwyn's beautiful battle song to aid them, helping thier dexterity, endurance and attack, while firing her arrows as quickly as she could. After what seemed like forever to the group, the mummy finally fell to the ground and turned to dust.

"I do love it when they turn to dus' like that." Tomi laughed.

"You guys have a look around" as the words left Melyanna's mouth she heard a crashing and then a 'thud', looking around to where she had heard the noise she saw Linu sprawled over a decent size chest massaging her toes.

Linu groaned as she looked up at a snickering Tomi. "I think I found a chest for you Grin dear."

"Aye, I believe you have lass." He laughed outright.

"As much as I'd love to sit 'ere in this locked cell and listen to my rescu'rs small talk, do ya think you might be able ta hold off till afta you've let me outta here?"

Melyanna turned to face the new voice. "Oh right… sorry, didn't see you there." She jogged over to the cell door. "You wouldn't happen to be Walters, would you?"

"Last time I checked I was."

She shouted over her shoulder at Tomi. "Grin, come over here. Can you pick the lock on the cell here for our friend?"

"Aye should be able to. Step aside and let the pro in to do 'is work lass." Tomi said while giving her his crocked grin.

Melyanna turned back to Walters. "Ergus has been worried about you. We'll take you back to him."

Tomi said he was done and the door swung open letting Walters out. Because the group had already cleared out the warehouse and path to the gate, the way back to Ergus was quick and peaceful.

When Ergus saw them coming, it took him a moment to recognize them as living and not undead. But when he did and saw Walters with them, his smile reached his eyes. "I see you found him Melyanna" as he welcomed them back. "Thank you." He turned and focused on Walters, "I'm going to want a full report in the morning but for now, go home and rest tonight. I'll see you tomorrow."

"I'll let Harben know he's been found, so he can at least cross one name off his list. Keep safe Ergus" Melyanna smiled and then lead the way back to 'The Shining Serpent".

As always, Hope you've enjoyed this chapter there ismuch much much more to come. Don't forget the review, good or bad. I'm a fan of constructive criticism.

~Becky D