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Dragon's Kin

- - - - - dragon kin

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#1
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(OOC: this is an old story I wrote based around the characters I used to play on Legends. Its quite long. 10 parts actually. So Ill put each section in a different post for ease of reading. ive made a few small changes (mainly changing a name in one part) so if you see a discrepency, let me know. let me know what you think. :) )

Kam walked out into the open field and stopped a moment to take in its blessed silence. He made his way over to his place and laid his blue bardiche down on the ground in front of him. He placed his hat down on the bardiche as he slowly lowered himself onto his knees. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes and held his right hand to his heart as he bowed slightly in respect to his creator.

"Paladine, I come to you tonight in prayer. Guide me. Help me find my way through this." he spoke softly, in prayer.

He took another deep breath and relaxed into the darkness, slipping into his meditative state. The only sounds around were the sounds of the nearby brook and the occasional cricket. One sound he did not hear, however, was the sound of the intruder's heart beating rapidly as it stalked it's victim.

About 10 yards from the now meditating Kam, a dark figure lay in hiding, in wait. It slowly made it's way to the unknowing paladin, not making a sound. Walking silently, breathing silently, and even through the autumnal crispness of the leaves, made no sound. It was as if it didn't even exist.

"Paladine....." spoke Kam in a soft whisper, followed almost immediately by a soft sigh of frustration. He sat up straight, but kept his eyes closed as he tried to synch himself with his spiritual strength.

The dark figure, now barely 1 or 2 yards from Kam, withdrew a small, slim dagger from its concealed sheathe in it's pant. The dagger dripped a very pale green substance as it was slowly poised to attack.

KAM! reverberated in his mind and snapped him out of his meditation. He jumped up and looked around quickly, but as he turned to face his assailant, he heard a cavernous voice say "Anak Serraid mel-ahs teureig shul" as he felt a stinging pain in his neck. He saw no one or nothing around as he grabbed his neck with his hand. He turned quickly, looking for the source of Paladine's urgency in his call, for the possible source of this now searing pain in his neck. He removed his hand from his neck to find it covered in blood. Feeling at his neck, he found a gash in the flesh of the right side of his neck bleeding rather heavily. The assailant had missed his mark, but not by much.

"Show yourself, pathetic worm!" he shouted as he moved towards his bardiche. He picked it up quickly with one hand, applying pressure to the wound on his neck with his other, when suddenly, he felt strangely weak. Weak and dizzy. He could barely hold the bardiche straight. His world started to swirl and blur slowly. He moved to the nearest tree and braced himself as he felt around his wound. Looking at his hand, he noticed a tinge of green on one of his fingers.

"Pois..." he spit as he broke into a fit of hysterical coughing. The earth seemed to be reeling under his feet, creating ripples where he stepped as if the earth itself were becoming liquid. He dropped to the ground, the bardiche falling beside him. He could feel himself slipping from consciousness. He glanced around the area, hoping to catch a glimpse of his assailant, but for a moment, saw nothing but blurs of colors and darkness.

Suddenly, his eyes caught a dark mass in the distance. "Bas...tard! Co..me bac...k he...", he said weakly before he broke into another coughing fit. The black mass he saw starting running towards him frantically as he drifted into the darkness. The last thing he heard was a female voice screaming "Father!" as the black mass knelt beside him. Then, darkness....

#2
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Darkness. Bleak, unmerciful darkness was all Kam was aware of. What happened? Where am I? He slowly opened his eyes, but a massive blur was all he could see. Closing his eyes, he sighed softly as he turned his head to try and relax. The dizziness hit him as soon as he moved his head, and the nausea reared unstable in his stomach. He pinched his eyes closed as he regained what control he could of his body. He felt a blanket wrapped tightly about his frame, felt a cushioned surface under his body. I’m in bed? The weakness in his muscles, in his bones suddenly became very apparent.

“Is anyone there….?” he whispered hoarsely. Silence. “Hello?” He reeled in pain at the attempt to speak louder, and groaned deeply. Theros came running into the room.

“Kam…” he sobbed. He dropped to his knees beside the bed and took Kams hand in his. “I didn’t know if or when you would wake”, he whispered as he held his brothers hand tight. Kam made another attempt to speak but Theros cut him off before he could make a sound. “Don’t talk brother, save your strength.” He wiped Kam’s brow with a nearby cloth and raised the blanket higher towards his chin. “Sleep brother…..” Kam let his eyes drift closed to try and rest.

Theros placed a damp cloth on Kam’s forehead and slowly made his way to the window, drawing the curtains slightly open. “Kitiara….” he spoke softly, “Paladine bless…” He put his right hand to his heart and bowed slightly before drawing the curtains closed. He made his way to the door and turned back to make sure one last time that Kam was sleeping. Sighing softly with a smile, he left the room, leaving the door ajar.

What he missed, however, was the fact that Kam’s eyes were darting back and forth rapidly under their lids. His fingers twitched lightly, and beads of sweat were starting to form on his face.

He heard the brook. He heard the crickets. But this time, he could see his assailant. He could see himself knelt, praying. He tried to scream down to himself, but his lips made no sound. He saw the figure draw the dagger, saw the poison dripping grimly from the point of the blade. He dove towards the figure, but flew right past him as Kam jumped up and turned to his assailant. He turned in time to see Kam’s neck wound be inflicted and stumble backwards as he grabbed his neck. He turned to look at the assailant, and this time, before the assassin was gone, he turned and looked right at him. A flash of darkness clouded his vision before he could make out the face, and then all that could be seen was his poisoned body, lying in the grass. Everything slowly faded to black as the nightmare ended, but the fear was still very real.

Theros heard the moans that were Kam’s manifestation of the fear in his dreams, and he came rushing back in. He knelt by the bed and took Kam’s hand in his once more. “Peace, brother. Be at peace…” He wiped the sweat from his face once more and stayed by the bed, weeping softly as he tried to soothe his brother’s soul.

#3
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Kitiara ran towards her father to see him lying there in the grass. "Father!" she screamed as she knelt down beside him, looking him over to find his ailment. "Father, are you alright? Father?" She turned him over onto his back and gasped heavily as she noticed the blood slowly draining from his neck.

"Father. Father! Wake up. What happened?" she said through sobs as she removed her pack. "Oh Paladine, what has taken place here?" she prayed softly as she reached for a bandage. No sound came from the now unconscious Kam. She looked around as she prepped the bandage for application, hoping to see some kind of trace of the assailant. She turned to apply the bandage to the wound when she saw the green tinged flesh around the heavily bleeding gash. "Poison?! Oh..."

She applied the bandage to her father's neck and sat him up, holding him as she fetched a curative from her pack. She tilted his head back and gave Kam the small dosage, hoping to hold him over until they got back home. Grabbing her pack, she stood up and lifted Kam to his feet. She took a deep breath and lifted him onto her shoulder, grabbed his bardiche and hat, and started the trek back home.

The cold autumn air infiltrated the heat in her lungs, making them feel about as small as a child's pouch. She starting breathing heavily after only a short distance, and the chill breezed did not help to make matters any better. She held onto her father tightly as she made her way through the woods back to their home.

"Hang in there dad, we're almost there."

Kam groaned softly as he bounced up and down with each running step. That groan, that small, finite sign of life in her father fueled her determination. Pushing past the branches and bushes, she ran out into the clearing on the eastern side of her house. At once, she started calling for her uncle.

"Uncle Ther! Uncle Ther! Come quick! Its dad!" she yelled through harsh breaths. Theros seemed to make it to the door almost instantly and took Kam from Kitiara. "Uncle Ther! He's been attacked. Worse, he's been poisoned. I gave him a curative but it's not enough. YOU HAVE to help him. Call Aunt Laura. Do someth..."

"Kit, relax," he interrupted. "I can help, but your panic will only hinder me. Go to the study and get your aunt. Ill take your father upstairs."

Kitiara left the bardiche and hat at the door and ran to the study. "Aunt Laura, are you here?! Aunt Laura!"

Lauralanthalasa was sitting by a fire, writing, when she jumped up at the frantic voice. "What is it Kit. What's wrong?"

"Its Dad. He's been poisoned. Uncle Theros took him upstairs. He told me to come get you. You have to help him! Come on!" She took Laura's hand and started towards the stairs. Passing the bardiche, she stopped. Laura immediately knew, and she turned Kitiara to face her.

"No, Kit. You will do no good out there, hunting something or someone in vain. Stay here. Go sit and relax."

"Aunt Laura, they almost killed dad!" she screamed as she tore away from her aunt's grip. The firelight reflecting off of her face made the very apparent tears streaming down here face look like small rivers of fire. Streams of blazing fury and rage that could not be stopped. When Laura looked more closely, she could see the fire reflected in her eyes, could see flames dancing on an emerald backdrop, and for the first time, she saw her brother in her niece.

"Kit. You have to stay here. You are safer here." she said as she tried to take Kitiara's hand. Kit snatched her hand away and stormed over to a seat. "Fine! Just go and help dad!"

Laura walked up the stairs hesitantly, making sure one last time that Kit had not left. She hadn't. She was sitting in that same chair, eyeing the blue bardiche. Her short, tight, red curls looked ablaze in the light of the fire. She gripped the arms of the chair so tightly that her fingertips whitened.

And she sat there, staring into the fire. The rage inside her was starting to become the sustenance that would be needed to fulfill the hunger for vengeance. The fire in her eyes was all that one needed to see to realize this....

#4
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Laura made her way into Kam's room to find Theros knelt by the bed, holding Kam's limp hand. Theros heard Laura enter and looked up to her, with saturated eyes.

"Help him," he sobbed, "I don’t know what to do."

"Its OK," Laura said soothingly as she took Kam's hand from Theros, "Go sit by the window and relax with some fresh air for a moment. Let me see what I can do." She smiled reassuringly as she started to gather reagents from her pack to try and make some kind of curative.

Theros stood slowly, sat in the chair by the window, and slightly opened the curtains to allow in a soft breeze. He sighed softly as he let himself sink into the chair. Arms resting limp, legs extended slightly, and his head slightly falling to the right, he looked as if death was knocking on his door, as opposed to his brother's. And the ghostly white moonlight reflecting off of his tear stricken cheeks did not help the matter.

Laura concocted a strong smelling potion and held Kam's head up as she fed him the liquid. She also applied an ointment that she made to the wound on his neck. She wrapped him tightly in his blanket to protect his frail body from the chills of the bitter autumn night. His body already convulsed slightly from the fever-induced chills and horrid nightmares.

Lauralanthalasa bent over and kissed her brother on the forehead softly. "May Paladine bless, my brother. May he keep you in his arms." she prayed softly. She gathered her things in her pack and pulled up a chair next to Theros. "I have done what I can. I can re-administer the ointment and curative periodically, but from here on in, it is all up to him whether or not he comes out alright."

"Laura,", Theros spoke between soft sobs, "I don’t want Kam to die."

"Neither do I, Ther,", she said as she took his hand into hers, "neither do I". They sat in almost complete silence, save for the occasional moans from their ill-wracked brother, and the rustling of sheets from his chills.

What they did not hear, however, was the sound of Kitiara walking away from the door. She had heard all that she needed to hear. She stalked downstairs swiftly and silently, as not to alert her aunt and uncle of her plans. She quickly armored herself with the armor her father had made her and grabbed her bow and quiver from the corner. Eyeing the bardiche stolidly, she stopped.

"They will not prevail, Dad. They will not."

As she went to leave, she saw her Kam's hat. His orange, over sized, floppy hat. She walked to it slowly and reached for it, taking it in her slim fingers as thoughts of revenge, of bitter sweet revenge piled in, blocking out all other thoughts. Placing the hat atop her head, she left the house and started running at a furious pace towards the woods. Every step carried her a little bit closer to vengeance. Every step propelled her towards her goal. These steps she took with utter confidence and complete hatred. The bitter cold mattered not to her oxygen-hungry lungs. It only fueled her fire.

Theros noticed an orange floppy hat running across the field towards the woods and he sat quickly, peering out the window.

"Laura, its Kit! Kitiara! KIT! Come back!"

Laura leapt up and hushed Theros quickly. "Ther, be wary! Kam finally rests!" she whispered harshly. She too saw Kit dashing towards the woods and before long, the green canopy of leaves had swallowed her whole. Laura sighed deeply.

"Kit," she whispered, "They don’t know." She let herself fall back into her chair softly as she whispered again, this time more to herself.

"They don’t know anything..."

#5
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A cold, dark forest surrounded the clearing around their house. In the dark of night, one could barely discern bushes from boulders in those bleak woods. In the distance, however, could be heard twigs snapping, leaves rustling, and harsh breathing. This small bit of evidence of existence in this forest all came from the same entity. An entity of fury and passion. A spirit undying. Kitiara.

She ran through the woods without fear, without doubt. It was as if she knew the location of every rock, when to duck under the low hanging branches or when to jump over the stumps and rocks. She knew exactly where she was going, or so it would seem to an observer. The silence of night was broken with each step as she neared her destination. A place she had secretly been going to for a while now. A place forbidden: a small wooden cabin a little ways south of her location. Her other uncle, her uncle Raistlin lived there.

Raistlin had been shunned. While the Pyrebrand family took to the blessings of Paladine, Raistlin had never recovered from the death of this mother and father, and blamed Paladine wholeheartedly. This hate caused him to turn his back and to take on the dark arts. Kitiara had not even known of his existence, and when she found out, was forbidden any form of contact with the death mage. But her uncle, this death mage, was her only source of hope right now.

She finally stopped near the cabin, and dropped to her knees breathing harshly. The biting cold made her lungs feel unbelievably small, as if they could only hold a small gasp of oxygen. Each breath, each small gasp of life sent a searing cold into her lungs, causing her to cough violently when she took too deep a breath. Relaxing her breathing slowly, she stood and made her way to the cabin.

"Uncle Raistlin," she said softly, as knocked on the door, "are you home?" There was no answer. She moved to a window and put her hands to her face to try and better her view. "Uncle Raist. I need you." She sighed softly and turned to leave, only to find him standing there in front of her.

He was a man of average height, but almost sickeningly skinny. He looked like a walking skeleton. He supported himself on a tall, shadow iron scythe which only aided the menacing aura about him. He wore a hooded, torn shroud about his lithe frame, the hood only allowing a minimal amount of light to fall upon his chin, leaving his eyes in dark shadows. He spoke in a very raspy, harsh voice, a voice that seemed much more used that it should have been.

"What do you want child?"

"Uncle Raist...? I... I need your help." She looked at him awkwardly, trying to see his eyes.

"What could I possibly aid you with?", he said with a deep sigh, as if the mere act of speaking took all the strength of his soul, "I am no one."

"Father has been attacked..." she said awkwardly as she took a few steps toward him, "and I need to find his.... assailant."

He retreated away from her with such fluid and smooth steps that it made him appear to be floating just above the ground. "How is that my prob...", and he stopped as he broke into fit of deep, gut wrenching coughs. He put a handkerchief to his mouth, only to withdraw it slightly stained with blood droplets. ".... my problem?" he finished.

She gasped, seeing the blood on the handkerchief and took a step towards him. "Uncle Raistlin. What's wrong? Are you ok?" She extended a hand towards him, from which he retreated quickly, as if a mere touch would bring upon the end of his existence. "I... are you..."

"Do not worry about me, child. Your creator takes care of you, and mine of me." He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. It was as if death was rearing his clearly visible head, but Raistlin defied him with every breath. With another deep breath, he moved to the door and pushed it open slowly with the shaft of his scythe. "Come in, child. Maybe I can find somthin...", and he started coughing again, this time even more violently. His body shook with such spasms from each cough, it appeared he would fall. He held out his hand to stop Kit's helping gesture before she even attempted one.

If it weren't for the occasional candle in the room, darkness would prevail. There were parchments and books, flasks and reagents, mortar and pestles, along with other odds and ends, littering the floor and nearby tables. Spider webs adorned the legs of the chairs and tables, even some of the corners that she could actually see. The candle light flickered quickly with the cold breeze, causing shadows to be tossed about the room. The air smelled so heavily of dust and dank, it gave an impression that the room had been untouched for ages. Each breath of the heavy air was a struggle for Kitiara as she took her first few steps into the cabin.

"Let me get my serum. and we shall look." His words came out like the sounds of stone grinding on stone. "Shut the door and take a seat." He pointed to a chair as he disappeared into the next room. She closed the door with her heel as she absently made her way to the chair. Taking a seat she looked about the room curiously until her eyes fell upon a long, slim dagger on a table across from her. Next to the dagger was a small bottle of a green substance, with a tainted cloth opposite the bottle on the other side of the dagger. The flames danced on the fresh substance on the blade.

All of a sudden, a cloth was thrown over the dagger, bottle and cloth. Startled she looked up and saw Raistlin standing in the doorway. Removing his hood, she finally saw his eyes. His gold flecked, hourglass-shaped eyes did not reflect the candle flames, but seemed to absorb their light into them. He stood there for a moment, staring at her. She felt as if he were gazing into her soul with his strange eyes. She suddenly felt uncomfortably exposed.

"Are you alright, child?" He said with an awkward grin as he moved closer to her. "It's only poison."

#6
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"His fever is going down. Slowly, but it's going down." Laura stood over Kam, touching the back of her hand to his forehead as she spoke to Theros. "He should be alright in a few days, given he stays on the path is currently on."

"His chills have subsides also. He does seem to be recovering. Hopefully, he'll be fine soon." He turned to look out the window towards the forest and the now-cresting sun. "What about Kit. You know she went to see Raistlin."

Laura sighed deeply. "Yes. I know. As much as she asked that we keep her visits to him secret, this visit will have to be brought into the open so that Kam may know." She shook her head softly as she sat down beside her younger brother. "As much as we have warned her about him, the child does not learn."

"I remember that day as if it was yesterday...", and Theros' voice trailed off as the recollection came back to him.

"Run! Go, Laura! Take Ther and Kit and run! Ill go and get mom and dad!" Kam screamed, trying to project his voice over the clang of steel and iron. The sound of fires flaring and people screaming littered Laura ears, along with the horrifying, inhuman screams of the cloaked figures that now massacred their town. Laura hesitated but the stern look from Kam gave all the insistence she needed. Taking the infant Kitiara, now wailing with cries of fear, and Theros' hand, she started running for the woods on the edge of town.

Kam turned and hastened back into his house, to find Raistlin leading his mom and dad to the door towards Kam. "Raistlin, go with Laura! Ill take mom and dad!"

"No, Kam! I can help! I have the training I need to help, even if it’s only a little bit. I’m staying!"

Kam sighed deeply, knowing that wasting time arguing with him was not going to help. "Alright, take dad and lead him out of town towards Laura. She’s standing at the edge of the woods with Theros waiting for you. I'll take mom!" Kam moved to his mother side and took over the task of supporting her as Raistlin helped his father outside. Suddenly, a blood-curdling scream reverberated in Kam's ears. He looked out the door and saw a dark figure pass by. He set his mother down on a chair. "Mom, keep your head down and stay here. Do not make any noise.", and he left the house quickly, only to find Raistlin knelt over his father. "Raist! What happened?!" he screamed as he moved to kneel down beside him.

Panic and deep sobs choked Raistlin's words. "He... he kil...led... h..h..him!". He put his hands over the deep slash in his father’s chest, trying vainly to stop the blood that was flowing out of him like a river. "What... Kam... what do..." he said between sobs.

Kam put his hand on Raistlin's shoulder. "Relax there is nothing that we can do for him now. Paladine has him. We have to make sure mother is alright. Come on." Kam stood slowly with his brother’s hand, and with one last, heart-wrenching look to his lifeless father, he moved inside. His mother sat in the same position he had left her, with her head down in her lap. They both knelt down and Kam placed a hand on his Mother’s shoulder. “Come on, mother, let’s ge…”, and his voice stopped dead as his mother fell off the chair from the mere touch of Kam’s hand. She too, was dead. Raistlin jumped back away from his now deceased mother and jumped to his feet.

“They got her too! They killed her too, Kam! We have to get them!” He moved over to Kam and tried to lift him into a standing position. “Come on. We can’t let them get away!”

Ignoring his younger brother’s cries for the moment, he reached down and closed his mother’s still-open eyelids. With a soft prayer he stood slowly and turned to Raistlin.
“We have to get out of here. We have to find Laura and the others.”

“NO!” screamed Raistlin as he pushed away from his brother, “We have to pay them back for this.” Kam took Raistlin by the shoulders and shook him. “Raistlin! Relax! Paladine will give them their due justice. We have to get out of here! Laura and Theros and Kit need us! Come on!” He started out the back door of their small house with Raistlin’s wrist in his hand. Making sure none of the marauders were around, they broke into a run, making a beeline for the woods.

As Raistlin was practically dragged towards the rest of his family, the only thought that ran through his mind now was of pure hatred. Rage, resentment, and vengefulness. All fed by hatred. “Paladine will protect us! Paladine will watch us! Is this what Paladine does for those that serve him?! Take their families?!”, he screamed to Kam. “Is this the so called ‘Glorious’”, the sarcasm in the word ‘Glorious’ could be tasted in the air, ”God that we are supposed to worship?!” Tears streamed down his cheeks, but he did not sob. Tears of hatred and fury caused no sadness.

They reached Laura and Theros after an intense sprint. Raistlin looked up into Theros’ eyes and thought he saw the same thing in his eyes that he felt in his own heart, and he grinned. “Paladine!? Hmph!” Kam gave Raistlin a sharp look before turning to Laura. “Laura. Take Kit and Raist and make your way into the woods! Go!” Laura took the order without thought and took Raistlin’s hand as she turned to make her way into the cover that was the forest. Kam turned to the paralyzed Theros. “Ther! Theros!”, but there came no answer. Kam shook him quickly and Theros looked at him with tear streaked cheeks.

“Mom and dad… they’re… they’re gone… “, and his knees failed him for a moment. Kam supported him as he regained his step. “Come on, Ther, we have to go help Laura. We’ll figure things out later. If we don’t leave now, we won’t have the chance to leave. Our priority now is to protect the others. Now lets go.”

Theros nodded blankly and turned to move into the woods after Laura and the others, with Kam at his side.

Theros shook with the recollection. “I’ll never forget that day… the look in Raistlin’s eyes as the hate… the pure blasphemy towards Paladine spilled from his lips…” He sighed deeply as he stared out the window. Laura turned to look at her brother. “Theros. You know how Raistlin was, and you know how he is now. That is why we have warned her about him time and time again. She is old enough now to have to learn on her own that he cannot be trusted. Even if we wanted to help, who can tell where she is?”

Theros nodded slowly. “I know….. I know…..”, he whispered.

#7
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"Are you alright, child?" He said with an awkward grin as he moved closer to her. "It's only poison."

She got up from her seat and took a step towards the window, trying to mask her rapidly dropping level of comfort. “When did you take up the art of poisoning, uncle?” She spoke a bit faster than normal, making her doubt apparent. She turned and looked at him over her shoulder.

Raistlin moved to a chair nearby and sat down slowly, resting his frail frame. “That matters not, chi..”, and he started coughing hoarsely. Recuperating from his harsh coughing, he took a sip of his concoction. The thick liquid was in a small pewter mug. The mug was stained with dark spots that almost resembled soot. After taking a deep breath, he continued. “That matters not, child.” He paused for a moment, searching her over with his gold flecked hourglass-shaped eyes. “Do you doubt me, dear Kit?”

She walked over to take a seat near him as casually as possible. The damp, heavy air made it hard for her to breath. This, the lack of sufficient light, and the pure tension in the air just helped to make her even more uncomfortable. “N..No. It’s just… with Dad being poisoned, it… well it caught me off guard.” She placed one leg over the other and allowed herself to sink back into the chair, trying to give the impression of comfort, even though, right now, she could not wait a moment longer to leave. “I need your help. I need to find something… someone… to help bring my dad’s attacker down. Something… anything…”

He laughed softly, mumbling something under his breath. He looked up to her with his gold flecked, hourglass-shaped eyes. “You want me… to help… him… to help them after they…” He stopped, not wanting to reveal any unnecessary information to her, but then grinned behind a grim realization and decided to continue. “Why? Child, why should I give of my time…. to service those that would… wish me dead?” He spoke softly and slowly, as if each word took a bit of his life. He cocked his head the side with a cynical smile.

She sat up quickly, shaking her head lightly to get the tight curls out of her face, the effort being fruitless however, as they just fell to their place again. “Wish… you dead?,” she asked confusedly, “Why would they want you dead? I mean… I know they don’t exactly,” and she paused as she tried to find the right word, “… like you. But… to wish you dead?” Unlike the rest of her family, she actually cared for her uncle. For some reason, she connected with him more than the family she lived with. Maybe it was because she was like him in some ways. Maybe it was just the fact that he didn’t hound her like her dad and aunt. She wasn’t sure what it was but it was something.

“Child… No one likes me. That is fine, as I could give a mongbat’s ear who likes me and who doesn’t.” He took another sip of the thick, dark substance in the small pewter mug. He took a deep, raspy breath, realizing that, in revealing something like that, he had gone too far. “You know… You are the only one… that has come to visit me… in years.”

Kitiara nodded slowly. It was obvious that he wanted to change the subject and, reluctantly, she decided to let him. “Yes, I know. Despite… what they say, I have come to… to trust you.” Talking with her uncle again, hearing him say such things, it helped her slowly regain that level of comfort and trust that she was used to. Maybe he just uses the poison to hunt…Yeah that’s it, she thought to herself. She smiled slightly, more to reassure herself than anything else. “That is why I came to you first, Uncle Raist. I knew you would be able to help me.”

He cocked his head to the side slightly, as if he heard a deeper meaning in her request. Searching her with his intense eyes, he noticed her wince slightly under that powerful gaze. He smiled and chuckled softly, and took another swig of his potion, trying to subdue any of his horrid coughs before they surfaced. “Child, it is late. Rest here. By the time the sun crests the trees, you will have what you wished for.” He smiled crookedly, but Kit knew that was the best he could do. He finished off his black potion and, using his scythe for support, he stood slowly. “There is a room down that hall,” he pointed to a dark hallway with a slim, twisted index finger, “which you may use. I will also retire for the night. Rest well, my child.

She nodded slowly, smiling. “Thank you Uncle. I knew I could count on you.” She stood and moved towards him. “Can I help you?” she asked as she moved to take the mug from his hand. He laughed hoarsely. “It is only a mug my dear.” He laughed softly to himself as he moved across the floor away from her. His movements were, again, so liquid and smooth that they gave the impression that he was floating as disappeared into the doorway from which he came. She watched him in awe, wondering how he stepped so silently. She shook her head, laughing softly to herself. “So stubborn.” She started to make her way to the indicated hallway, and passed by the table with the poison and knife. The cloth was still thrown over it but she could easily make out the shape of the bottle in the dim light. Yeah… its for hunting., she thought, but found herself having to keep repeating it as she walked to the dimly lit hallway.

#8
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--- A few days later ---

A light rain fell that night. The light fog that caressed the ground, along with the soft night breeze, gave the area a gloomy aura. At least that's what Theros thought as he looked out the window. He opened the drapes slightly to let in a soft, cooling breeze into the room. Turning back towards his brother, he moved to the side of the bed. Kam was looking much better now. The color had returned to his skin. The wound on his neck had healed pretty well, and his breathing had finally become regular. Theros smiled as he observed his brother on the speedy road to recovery. He took a seat next to the bed and let himself relax as he sunk into its cusions. Hearing the light rustle, Kam turned and saw his brother sitting there and smiled.

"Oh, did I wake you. I am sorry brother. Please, go back to sleep, I'll be more quiet."

"Nonsense. I have been in and out of sleep for a while now. I am just resting." Kam smiled again. Physically, he was feeling much better. The pain was pretty much gone. The dizzy spells and blurred vision were non-existant. He felt almost normal now. Kam sat up against the headboard and stretched a bit. "What I have to do is get out of this place," he chuckled softly, "I need to find who did this, and why."

"You know Laur wont let that happen."

Kam laughed softly. "She just wont have to know." He smiled, but through that smile could be seen a touch of complete seriousness. "She has me locked up in here like I am child. I am fine now. My neck is healed. The poison has run its course. I just need to get up and move around now. Have to get back to the normal."

Theros shifted uncomfortably in his chair. He did not feel in his place telling his older brother what he could or could not do. "She kee...we keep you here to make sure that you have healed completely. We both know how you are and the first thing you would do is go out and try to find vengeance."

"I do not want vengeance. I want answers. This attack came unprovoked. I want to know why, or even who." He removed the comforter from atop his lap and got up out of bed. Stretching broadly, he walked over to the window to take a breath of fresh air. After a moment, he turned to Theros and held his arms out to the sides. "See? I am fine. I had no trouble getting here to the window. I can breathe fine. I am alright."He moved back to the bed and sat down on the edge. "I need to get out. Even if its for a little while."

Theros sighed deeply. "Im sorry brother, but until Laura says you are healed fully, I cant do anything. She knows more abo..."

"Yes yes, I know. She knows more about healing than you do. I know that," he said as he quickly cut him off, "Everyone keeps telling me that. I know about healing also. Most of all, I know myself and I am fine." He sighed deeply. “Im sorry Ther, I don’t mean to put you in the middle of this. I know you want the best for me.” He smiled as he laid back down. “Ill be alright. Go get some sleep.”

Theros smiled as he stood up. “Alright. Before you know it, brother, you’ll be out, bringing home dragon scales again.” He laughed softly as he moved to the window to draw the drapes closed. The breeze in the room stopped almost instantly. He moved to the door and turned back to Kam. “You know where to find me if you need anything.”

Kam nodded, smiling. “Aye.” Theros left the room and was pulling the door closed when Kam called out to him. He popped his head back in the room. “Yes?” Kam smiled. “Thank you for everything, Theros. I mean it.” He smiled again before turning to his side and pulling the comforter up over his head to sleep.

Theros smiled, nodded and shut the door behind him. He went down the hall to his room, and realized that he forgot to light the fire to keep Kam warm during the night. He went back to the room quietly and pushed open the door very slowly, not wanting to disturb his brother. He took the lantern from a nearby table and moved to the fireplace to light the fire but a quick gust of wind blew out the flame. He turned to see the drapes open again. He looked back at the bed and saw the mass of blankets in the same place he had left them. “I’m guessing you are too warm to want a fire then?” he whispered. No response. “Kam?” he whispered again. Must be asleep he thought to himself. He moved to light the lantern again and noticed the bardiche missing from its usual place in the corner. He looked back down at the blankets and they weren’t moving. He leaned down and ripped the blankets off to find pillows lined up in the center of the bed. He sighed deeply as he left the room quickly. “Laur!” he hollered down the hallway.

-- Meanwhile --

".. tum Viates", Kam finished uttering the words to his blessed magic travel spell and he appeared at the foot of the steps of the only place he knew to go. He walked up to the stairs but neither heard nor saw anyone around. Swinging the bardiche up over his shoulder to secure it on the harness at his back, he started to make his way to the door, but a sign caught his eye. As he read it, he smiled, nodding in approval. "I guess I have plans now..."

#9
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Kit walked into the room and sat down on the bed. Just for hunting…, she said to herself, nodding in reassurance. She laid her head down on the pillow and pulled her legs up on the bed. She suddenly realized how tired she was. It had been nearly twenty-four hours since she had slept. Slowly but surely, the land of dreams created a firm grip on her consciousness and she was asleep.

Satisfied that she was completely asleep, Raistlin slowly made his way into her small bedroom and shut the door behind him as not to let in any disturbing light. His vision was not impaired by the dark, as his unique eyes allowed him to focus clearly, even with the lack of light. He started to make his way around the bed watching her, and starting the low incantation. “Anak, seraid tzu l’mer, undeihd czheckt.” Slim, disfigured digits marked invisible runes in the air that, one by one, started to glow a deep, iridescent green. They did not illuminate the room however, as their light seemed to shine more into them than from them. He continued marking the runes and reciting the spell until all seven runes were lit.

Kitiara slept undisturbed. Her eyes darted back and forth under their lids. Her fingers twitched every now and then, accompanied by a low moan. She seemed to be having a nightmare. Raistlin, noticing this, smiled fiendishly as he stopped at the foot of the bed. He spread his arms out, as if to embrace every rune. “Anak, seraid l’mer undunit!” he shouted. The shout woke her, and as she jumped up, all seven runes dissipated and seemed to flow into her. She sat, frozen. She stared straight ahead, unmoving, without recognition or emotion. Raistlin smiled deeply to himself.

“Ah, my child. It is time again. Come.” He made his way out of the room, and Kitiara followed him. Her steps were stiff and corpse-like. She showed no sign of recognition of her surroundings or what was happening as they made their way into the main room. Raistlin uncovered the bottle and knife and tossed the cloth aside. “Prepare your blade, my dear. I will return shortly.” He disappeared into a doorway as Kitiara nodded. “Shzi, Anak.” She moved to the table and picked up the knife in one hand, and a cloth in the other, eyes focused ahead of her. She cleaned the dried blood off the knife, and started to pour the poison on the blade. All without looking down at her hands. She applied the poison to both sides of the blade and held it over a nearby candle. The poison started bubbling almost instantly and dried just as fast. She finished the application of the poison, the end result being a very ordinary looking knife. Her skill could almost be considered professional.

Raistlin walked back into the room as she was sealing the bottle. “Ah, my dear Kit, you have finished already?” He smiled grimly as he took her hand and led her over to the mirror. He stood behind her, hands on her shoulders as he looked at them in the mirror. “So beautiful, yet so deadly.” He ran a finger along her cheek bone as he spoke to her inanimate form. His voice was raspy and coarse, like rocks clashing against each other. “It is time.”

She nodded slowly. “Yes. It is time, Anak.” Her voice was very monotone and grim. She moved to the corner and removed from a dress form a jet black cloak. Placing it on a nearby chair, she moved over to a large cauldron. The big iron pot was full of a black, thick liquid. Without hesitation, she thrust her hand into it. Slowly, the black liquid began to make its way up her arm. It covered what skin it touch in a darkness as bleak and unmerciful as The Void. Working it way across her chest and other arm, as well as down her body to her feet, the black liquid totally eveloped her. It flowed up and covered her face so that she was a standing mass of blackness.

Raistlin smiled as he watched. “My favorite part.”

Slowly, the liquid began to take the form of black scales all over. Sharp spiked jutted out of the liquid on her shoulders, up out of the deep blackness on her elbows and knees. The dark substance over her face formed a helmet to resemble a black dragon’s head. After a few moments, her body was completely covered in a suit of solid black dragon armor. In all the darkness, two human eyes could be seen. But they were not Kitiara’s eyes, for these eyes had no color. Their blackness seemed to absorb all light. Reaching over to the chair, she took the cloak and fastened it to her shoulders, letting it fall almost all the way to the floor behind her. She took the dagger off the table and held it in her hand, palm up. Slowly, the armor seemed to form itself around the dagger, swallowing it into the palm of the grim, black gauntlet. She stood there facing Raistlin like a black dragon of death.

He smiled once again and, nodding, he spoke softly. “Still so beautiful.” He paused for a moment before he moved to her. He reached up and wiped a small piece of dust from her cloak at her shoulders. He removed a black necklace from a pouch at his side and placed it around her neck. As he latched it, the dark green gem illuminated for a second before turning black. The, now, obsidian crystal reflected no light, was as black and unholy as the armor on her back. He stepped back and smiled grimly.

"Excellent. Welcome back, Fiora."

#10
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Raistlin smiled grimly as he opened the door for his dragon of death. “You know what to do,” he said hoarsely, “Maybe if I would have sent you in the first place, you wouldn’t have to be going out no…”, and he broke into a coughing fit. He waved her on with one hand as he placed the other over his mouth as he coughed hard.

Fiora nodded briefly, then turned, took two steps, then broke into an all out run into the woods towards her house.

****Meanwhile, back at Kam’s House****

Kam walked right up to the front door of his cabin and very nonchalantly, opened the door, and stepped inside, only to be standing before Theros and Laura. He smiled sweetly. “Hello.”, he said as he passed by them on his way to the coat rack. He put his bardiche in the corner, hung up his floppy hat and robe, and sat down on one of the sofas, looking up at them. They just stared at him dumbly.

After a moment or two, he said “What?”

That was it. Something in Laura snapped. “What? WHAT?! You don’t tell anyone where you are going. You are supposed to be in bed recovering but you are out about the damned town as if nothing could be wrong! WHAT?!”, he spat as she turned and stalked away up the stairs.

“Laura. Laura!” Kam sighed after hearing no answer. He turned to Theros with pleading eyes, as if to say You understand, don’t you? Theros looked at him as sternly as he could, but his heart was soft, and could not hold a grudge against someone he was so close to.

“Kam. Why do you do the things you do? You know it drives her off the horse.”

“Ther. I appreciate everything she does for me, and I love her for it. Her maternal instincts are too strong. She needs to understand that I am an adult and I can decide what I wish to do and when I wish to do it. Should I suffer, that will become my problem.”

“Exactly. She doesn’t want you to suffer.” He sighed as he moved over to the door and softly shut it.

“I know, Theros. I know, but do you think I am doing things that are SO bad?”

As Theros turned to answer him, a black greave broke through the center of the door, exploding it into splinters. The force of the kick sent Theros flying into one of the tables, knocked him unconscious. Kam jumped to his feet as quickly as possible. He was staring at a figure from which nightmares are made of. A black, dragon-like mass was standing in his doorway, peering at him from under a jet black dragon head. The shape of the armor, the conformity to the skin, made it apparent that it was a female. It was his daughter, Kitiara, unrecognizable to him. To him... this.. this figure... was pure death.

The void that was her gaze caught him, held him. She walked over to him so quickly that, before he had time to react, he was already lifted off the floor by his neck. The assailant began to squeeze her hand, clenching her fist around his esophagus, cutting off his airway. He struggled to get out of her grasp, punching her armor fruitlessly, kicking and flailing his legs, but all for naught. He started to see the bright spots in his vision, started to get that tingling feeling all over his skin telling him that he was loosing consciousness.

Laura, hearing the explosion that was the door splintering to pieces, ran downstairs. Fiora sensed her long before she even reach mid-stair. She extended a hand out to her side towards the stair, a wave of power emanated from her hand, causing the stairway to incinerate instantly. Laura lost her footing and fell to the ground hard. She stood slowly, groggily and caught her first glimpse of the hell-born creature in her home. She gasped deeply and stumbled backwards, falling to the ground.

Fiora laughed as she saw, tasted the fear that was in all their hearts. It was almost… nourishing. Deciding to have a bit of fun with it all, she tossed Kam away like a rag doll, sending him into the log-wall, upon which he crashed hard. It knocked what little air he had left in his lungs out, and he started gasping for life.

Laura scrambled to her feet when she saw the dragonesque female walking towards her. She mumbled some arcane words and Kitiara was surrounded by the bright yellow trail of light that is paralysis. She stopped in her tracks, and laughed softly as she started towards Laura again. Laura gasped softly and mumbled another, different set of words, and a bolt of energy flew towards Fiora. She caught it in her grim gauntlet, held it for a moment before it dissipated into a small tuft of smoke.

She laughed in a cavernous tone that seemed to echo on forever. Extending her hand again, she prepared to loose another wave of power when her hand was whacked heavily by a bright blue bardiche. The blade didn’t even scratch the armor, but it was enough of a hit to catch her attention. Kam swiftly brought the bardiche around for another swing, this time, catching Fiora on the shoulder as she turned to face him. The bardiche bounced off of the seemingly indestructible armor and flew out of Kam’s hands.

In a flash of bright light, she was behind Kam. She grabbed him by the throat and took his arm in hers, rendering him helpless. Theros still lay unconscious, and Laura, weak from the two previous castings, was trying to regain her bearings. Kam could do nothing but be contained. Fiora laughed horribly as a slim dagger started to protrude from the gauntlet around Kam’s neck. The blade extended out its full length, almost piercing Kam’s flesh.

“This time, it WILL be done right.” She hissed into his hear. He writhed uselessly in her grasp. In one swift movement, she brought her arm around his back and thrust the blade into his side. Kam screamed in agony as Fiora threw him down to the ground. “Remove it and bleed to death. Leave it, and the poison will slowly eviscerate the life force which so weekly sustains you.”

She laughed once more as she stepped over him towards the door. She turned back to see Laura run over to Kam. She shook her head and laughed. “Its useless. He WILL die.”, and she bolted out of the house so quickly, Laura barely saw the shadow of her form. Laura turned to Kam, expecting to see the worst. Kam, however, was looking up at her through glassed eyes. He smiled softly, meekly, and spoke through, what sounded like, a damaged voice.

“I’m alright. Look under my robe.” Laura did as instructed and saw not one, not two, but three leather jerkins on Kam’s chest. The blade had, in fact, pierced the leather, but there was so much to go through, only the tip of the blade pierced his skin. He smiled up at her and laughed softly. “Someone already tried to kill me. You think I was going to out unprepared?” He reached to the blade and pulled it out, seeing the bit of blood on the tip. “She said something about poison. Get me a potion for this.” He sat up slowly. Laura did not listen, but threw her arms around him. He did the same, hugged her snugly, then saw Theros regaining consciousness. “Laur, get me a potion. I’m going to tend to Theros. Go.”, he re-iterated when she hesitated. I’m fine, and Ill be better when you fetch me a potion. Now go.” She finally listened and got up to get the potion as he moved to help Theros sit up.

As he tended to his little brother, he eyed the blade on the floor. He noticed the mark of The Shadowlords. The feeling of vengeance rose up suddenly, as he thought to himself "I'll kill every one of you if I have to..."





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