Check out the draft from chapter 8 below. Read beyond for updates! If you have not already done so, read chapters 1-7.
Tomas finds Kalera standing outside of her chamber with fire in her eyes as Lady Shelleann stands nearby.
“It seems your wife has had few words for me since my revival,” Kalera says.
“She is fearful. We all fear what we don’t understand.” He replies.
“What doesn’t she understand?” Kalera asks.
“Some moons ago, I went off to fight in a battle down south. The Battle of Leeds it was called. When I returned home, I returned with a baby boy. I had betrayed my wife during my absence. The baby had no one else because his mother died in her birthing chamber. 18 years later it still haunts her to see me with another woman, including you my Queen.” Tomas answers.
“She has nothing to fear from me. I can assure her.” Kalera replies.
Tomas takes Kalera’s hand into his begging for her help.
“Taking the eggs to Mount Mahar is the only way to free them from Boilos’ grasp. I know this is hard for you, but I need you to understand our plight. We need you. Without you, those eggs won’t make it to Mount Mahar.” He pleads.
“Mount Mahar?” She questions.
“A mountain beyond Grayler. There you will find Obed, the Fountain of Life. You will pray to ask the gods to take the eggs back to the undying lands. After you will toss them into the falls of the fountain. There they can never be awakened. The deed can only be done by you. Only a Dawn may enter the falls for the Gods cursed everyone else from entering to prevent the falls from being used to kill dragons. You see a Dawn would never kill a dragon.” Tomas explains.
“Everything is taken so literally here. You burned me alive before searching for another way. I dare not destroy innocent beings who have not had a chance to live.” Kalera responds.
“Just please consider. Consider the cost if you do nothing. I must take my leave to see my children before they fall asleep.” Tomas bows turn and walk towards his wife.
Hiddard makes his way around the corner taking a knee before reaching his queen.
“Rise my Lord.” Kalera orders.
“My Queen, Tomas is trying his best to lead in these outlands. He has to worry about his family, the Realm, and his city. We don’t know when or where the Death Claws will strike, but we know they will. But there is something else.” Hiddard states.
“What is it?” She asks.
“Not long after your and Molly’s leave, my children were taken.” He says.
“Taken? By whom?” She questions.
“Ta’l Forces for my refusal to obey commands from the Crown. There is news I have kept from Molly. The Bolongs and the King want me and my family to move to Thaves. I have been called as a slave master.” As a master, I must sit on the Facers Council. I would serve as a Guardian of the Keys to Thaves.” He divulges.
“Why would Ager appoint you?” She asks.
Hiddard explains his former place as a guardsman Enforcer. Growing tired of the repulsive actions he was commanded to commit, he decided not to renew, requesting a transfer to Mason to fight in the games for his release. Ager agreed only after Hiddard swore fealty to him. He swore that if ever called upon, he would return without question. Now they have Sundo and Celest who are old enough to fight in the games.
Mason is where Hiddard must go. He is taking a small group of men to help bring the children to safety. Only those chosen and Queen Kalera knows of his plan. Kalera is taken back as to why Hiddard has not spoken to Tomas, his friend about his plight.
HIddard assures his queen that he agrees with her by way of Ager. His reign must end. Looking upon Hiddard she sees the fear in his eyes. Kalera knows there is a high chance of him not returning. Ager will send his best to lay and wait for him. There is no doubt the King knows Hiddard will come after his children. And then there was another pressing matter. Xavgon. Without him she has no powers. Maybe she can find a Dred or Shellion to help her.
“Lord Larks, I will not let you do this with a few men. Your queen is coming with you so I suggest you speak to Tomas immediately.” She commands.
“I can’t let you do that Tomas has an army here who will fight for you.” Hiddard promises.
“Maybe. If I destroy those eggs, a deed I will never agree to.” She responds.
“Yes your Gra…” He reluctantly responds.
“We will leave at dawn. Meet me at the long hall near the main entrance.” Kalera interrupts.
Hiddard lowers his head and walks away as Kalera decides the eggs will be safe with her.
Turning from her chambers, she heads towards the council chambers. Standing outside the door is a young man with a familiar face. He has charcoal hair, brown eyes, and slightly darker than the men and women she has seen. Kalera politely asks him to step aside, but he refuses.
“Do you refuse your queen?” She asks.
To his knees, he descends.
“Forgive me, your Grace. The whispers are true. I did not know you were you.” He murmurs.
Cracking the door, Kalera steps inside making her way to the round table where the wooden box remains. Placing her hand atop it, she feels the life force of the dragons. The tender beats of their hearts vibrate through her.
The young man walks over.
“Who are you?” She asks.
“I am Ton Donegal, commander of the House Guard.” He answers.
“Are you Lord Donegal’s brother?” She asks.
“Ha, ha.” He laughs.
“No. I am his bastard son.” He responds.
“His son.” She whispers.
“Have you never heard of a bastard?” He questions.
“I have.” She answers.
The fact is Kalera understands the concept all to well. If she believes in that sort of thing, Xavier was a bastard. He was born outside of wedlock to her mother and her then-boyfriend at the time. Strangely Kalera’s father accepted Xavier and she never understood why. She is sure for Ton there are many whispers in Bram.
“Why are you commander of the House Guard?” She inquires.
“It would be the best way to get rid of me. It was my stepmother’s request that I join the most dangerous ranks.” He responds.
“Your father agreed.” She asks.
“He did not want to, but he loves his wife and his daughters, so he did what he must.” He explains.
“Are you willing to serve your queen?” She asks.
“I would not hesitate, your Grace.” He answers.
“Good.” She responds.
“Meet me at the Long Hall at dawn.” She command.
He looks down at the case and then into Kalera’s eyes. Yes your Grace.
He bows and moves through the doors as lighting.
Back at the chamber Kalera finds Molly at the door with pain in her eyes.
“I need to speak to you, Kalera.” She mumbles.
“Okay.” She replies.
Kalera opens the door and they step inside. Molly dries her tears and looks her queen in the eyes.
“Did you know?” Molly asks.
“Know what?” Kalera responds.
“Know of the children being kidnapped.” She barks.
“Only recently.” Kalera barks back.
“I overheard my husband divulging his plan to Tomas. How could he not tell me?” She pushes.
“I am sure he had many reasons, one being he did not want to see you hurt. Men do things as they see fit Molly. You know that.” Kalera responds.
“Why are you going with him? We need you here. Those eggs must be destroyed.” Molly claims.
“I need to face Ager. If he is in Mason that is where I must go. I will not allow your husband to go to his death.” Kalera rebukes.
“Have you lost your mind?” Molly responds.
“Excuse me Molly. I would think you would be happy Those are your children. Are they not?” Kalera replies.
“Ager will kill you the first chance he gets. I have no doubt he has learned of you by now.” Molly screams.
“I am a Dawn. I have powers. I rose from the ashes, remember.” Kalera barks.
“But you have no dragons. You are only as strong as your dragon bond. Without it. You are but a woman.” Molly rebuts.
It was hard hearing those words from Molly’s lips. But clearly she knows the truth of the Dawns. I must swear her to secrecy.
“Tell no one of this. They are to fully believe in me. Not in just someone who bears no scars. Do you understand? She commands.
At that very moment, the bells of Bram rang out. Kalera and Molly quickly make their way towards the Great Hall. There they were met by several armed Bram’s men and women, Tomas, and Tao.
“We need the House Guard. Where is Ton? The two of you take Molly.” Shouts Tomas.
Walking to the edge of the hall and looking down to see at least five to six hundred armed men. The sound of meres rang out as the men split their ranks allowing a carriage between them.
As it halts, men begin to exit. They are dressed in black suits of iron with gold saber tooth panthers etched on their breastplates.
They immediately remove their swords as the last three men exit. One as tall as Everest wearing black and gold. The last two wearing white iron. Kalera’s eyes begin to focus as she cannot believe who she sees.
Ager. King of the Zaylen Realm is standing in the center of Bram and next to him Jessup wearing the hand insignia pin.
Tomas grabs Kalera.
“My queen, we must get you out of here.” He whispers.
Ton appears and rushes to his father.
“I will take our queen. I will keep her safe.” He assures.
“Where will you go?” Tomas asks.
“We will head for the Dark Forest.” He responds.
“Wait just a dam minute. I am not some damsel. I am your queen. I have no fear of the bastard down there. I would rather like to speak with him and his hand.” Kalera counters.
“As the Lord of this house, I cannot allow you to face him. He will have your head the minute you step foot in front of him.” Tomas barks.
“What am I to do? Allow him to lay waste to your home. He is here for me. I am sure of it. Someone here has betrayed you. Someone here has betrayed us.” Kalera responds.
“Please your grace, Allow Ton to take you. He will keep you safe.” Tomas counters.
As Tomas pleads with his queen, Ager calls out.
“Donegal! I know you can hear me! You have been a thorn in the realm long enough. The crown will no longer allow you and this sick company to poison other houses. You have two choices. Bend the knee. Send out the Dawn bitch and Hiddard in which case some of you die or refuse and all of you die.” He commands.
“Tao get to the bell tower! Ring the battle tune. The people must be given a chance to arm themselves.” Tomas commands.
A scruffy man runs up.
“I can’t find them, my Lord. Shelleann and the girls have vanished.” He alarms.
“My wife is strong. She will have taken the afflicted from the infirmary to the catacombs which is where you must go. Ton, take our queen, my wife, and your sisters through the Coemic Passage to the Dark Forest. Give me to the second moon. If I do not arrive take the Salaman road to the long trees and head for the Port Cye. There you will find Krake. He owes me.” Tomas orders.
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