Sometimes the real ones who make things happen are
not the heroes, or the villains, or even the assassins. Sometimes it is the
partner who saves the day. The partner, the one who is usually looked down upon
as the weakest of the group, can sometimes become the hero. So here is a tale
of the Zafara Assassin, Zarrel Charmain's partner, and the quest that he undertook
in order to save the ones he cared for.
Book 1: The Tale of an Eyrie
I opened up my eyes, but not to the bright sunlight,
but to the jabbing that I was suffering on my left side. "Quit poking me Kowl,"
I said to Kirin and Zarrel Charmain's youngest, a small green Zafara who was
about four years old.
"Ahh, wake up. I want a ride," Kowl said.
Ever since they found out that I could carry their mother through the sky, Kowl
and his older sister Zana Taru started to bother me to take them on rides.
"Go play with your sister Kowl," I said as
I stretched out my paws, and let out a huge yawn.
"He can't," Kirin said walking up to me, his
cape slightly moving with the breeze. Kirin had not changed since I had met
him. He still wore the same style of a green tunic, and he still had his blue
handled dagger, which was tucked away in his leather belt next to his gloves.
Kirin and Zarrel Charmain were life partners. Not partners like Zarrel Charmain
and I were, partners in the job, but a different sort of partnership.
"And why can't he?" I asked prancing up to
Kirin. I had grown a whole lot bigger since I had first met Kirin. Now I stood
at an equal height with him. I may not be as big as the black Uni twins, but
I was still big enough to hold both Kirin and Zarrel Charmain without any problems.
"He can't Dorono, because Zarrel is out training
Zana Taru," Kirin said.
"Training?" I asked, "But Zana Taru is only
"That is what I said, but you know Zarrel
Charmain. She wants Zana Taru to become the top assassin someday--" But Kowl
"I want a ride, please," Kowl said tugging
at my leg, looking up at me with his icy blue eyes that he had inherited from
"Okay," I said finally giving in, "I will
give you one quick ride."
"Yay!!!" and with that, Kowl tried to scamper
up my leg, and with a smile, I picked him up in my paw, and hoisted him up to
"Hold on to my mane," I said, stretching
out my green Eyrie wings, and then I took off into the air with Kowl laughing
in sheer joy of flying. I soared high above the treetops, the afternoon sun
warming my back, and the wind on my face. I let out a screech for the heck of
it, and then I circled over the trees looking for Zarrel Charmain. I spotted
her red coat down below next to Zana Taru. I landed next to them, Kowl jumping
off my back, and running over to Zarrel Charmain, hugging her, before I could
even recover from my landing.
"Mother," Zana Taru said, crossing her purple
arms. "Tell Dorono to take Kowl back home, I want to learn more."
"Have patience Zana Taru." Zarrel Charmain
said, lifting Kowl up into her arms, "A good assassin must know how to wait
patiently." Then she turned to face me, "Dorono, has something come up, or did
you just want to disturb me," she said with a smile.
"Choice number two Zarrel Charmain." And we
laughed. Zarrel Charmain and I have always had a good relation. Well, unless
you count that one time with Jown the snowy Kougra, but that is a different
"Well, since you're here Dorono, could you
"What do you want me to do?" I asked ready
to help my partner.
"Take Zana Taru and Kowl home to Kirin. I
got an urgent letter from an employer asking of my services about ten minutes
before you arrived, and it would be quicker if you took Zana Taru and Kowl home
then if I had to walk them all the ways there."
"Who is it this time?" I asked Zarrel Charmain.
"I am not too familiar with this employer,
but I have heard of him before in our travels. She is Umbra the white Aisha.
She lives in the East if I recall correctly. Well, anyway this is enough talk,
for I have to get going. Dorono, you can meet up with me after you drop off
the two rascals." And then with a smile, Zarrel Charmain was off slinking through
the woods, her trusty pack over her shoulder, and her green handled dagger in
position to be withdrawn whenever necessary.
I walked up to Kowl and Zana Taru who was
standing with her arms crossed, "Let me guess," she said, "Mother wants
you to bring us home, because of that job request that she received."
"Correct," I said, "Now climb on, for I have
to hurry back to your mother." Then with a grown from Zana Taru, I lifted both
of them up to my back, and was in the air, and on my way back to our home.
As I landed, and got the kids off of my back,
Kirin looked at me, and then sighed. "Another job?" and with a nod from me he
walked up to Kowl and Zana Taru, "I guess that I am stuck with the kids again."
I heard him mutter as I took flight once more. We took turns watching the kids,
Kirin, and I, while the other one of us went with Zarrel Charmain. The odd times
when Kirin got a job offering, I usually was stuck watching the little rouges,
but today I was on partner duty, and had to help Zarrel Charmain.
Soon, I caught up with Zarrel Charmain, and
I landed next to her, brushing up a cloud of dirt. Zarrel Charmain coughed,
and then waving her hand in front of her face said, "Next time land farther
away from me, Okay Dorono."
I laughed at Zarrel Charmain, and then asked,
"Do you need me to fly you to Umbra's place, or can you walk?"
"I can walk, thank you," Zarrel Charmain said.
If there was one thing that I was proud of her about was the fact that she didn't
abuse the fact that I could fly. So with a smile, and a nod of my head, we continued
thought he forest.
We reached Umbra's place just as the moon
came up. Umbra lived in a wooden castle-like fort. The walls towered above Zarrel
Charmain and I, and with the last of the suns rays shinning down upon the fort;
it looked magnificent. Zarrel Charmain turned to look at me, "Dorono, watch
your step, and what you say in there. Umbra is a sorceress, and if you displease
her, she will turn you into a Lupe, and force you to guard her fortress."
I shivered at the thought of being turned
into a Lupe It wasn't as if a Lupe was bad, but no wings! I could not live without
them, for I lived to feel the rush of the wind in my face, and to hear the swish
as it tries to catch up to me. "Dorono!" A nudge from Zarrel Charmain woke me
from my thoughts.
"Sorry, I will pay attention," I whispered
back to her as we walked up towards the entrance.
We walked up to the front gate of the fortress
where two Lupes stood guard, one fire, and the other green. The green Lupe walked
up to us, and started sniffing. He sniffed Zarrel Charmain's boots, and then
reared up to sniff at her face, and then he turned to the fire Lupe "No deceptions.
She is fine." The green Lupe then walked up to me to start to sniff. He stuck
his muzzle into my fine coat of fur and feathers, and I dug my claws into the
soft dirt as he did so. Then the green Lupe sniffed out, sending a few of my
feathers astray. It took self-control not to growl at the Lupe as he sniffed
me, for I hated being this close to another creature that I did not know. Finally
the Lupe stopped his sniff brigade, and turned to the fire Lupe, "The Eyrie
is also fine. They both may pass."
The fire Lupe nodded, and then turned to face
Zarrel Charmain and I, "Follow me. I will lead you to Umbra's personal chambers."
As we silently followed the Lupe, he started to speak. "I am sorry for keeping
you waiting out at the front gate, but it is Umbra's orders that we check all
pets that enter to make sure that they are really the ones sent for, and not
an impostor that could have been sent for Umbra. You know that times are really
hard with the Laxcornian-Gerake war just ending."
Zarrel Charmain just nodded, "I understand."
I looked up into her eyes, and saw the glint of hatred that I knew was sent
towards the mention of Gerake. Zarrel Charmain's father, Vernok was the overlord
of Gerake, until he was defeated in bloody hand-to-hand combat from Wintroq,
Zarrel Charmain's brother... his son. With Vernok's defeat, the war was over,
but not without it's costs. The lands were filled with many villains who still
fight in the name of Vernok, and Wintroq almost lost his life. He suffered many
wounds, but the worst was that he got a big slash down his right, lost his whole
left ear to Vernok's sword. Slowly, though, for the war was over, peace was
returning to the lands between Laxcorna and Gerake.
Before I even knew it, we had arrived at a
large door covered with carvings of trees, and strange writings that I did not
understand. The fire Lupe pushed the door, and with a loud creak, it moved inwards,
then as soon as our tails had past the doors line, the fire Lupe shut the door
with a loud slam. I straightened up, and carefully folded my wings up against
my sides. I held out my tail, and I put my ears slightly back, ready to approach
Umbra the way an assassin should. I eyes Zarrel Charmain, and saw that she had
already prepared herself.
The room was enormous, and there were all
sorts of strange statues put up. There were several large paintings up on the
wall, and one especially caught my eye. It was a painting of a dark blue Aisha
wearing a black dress lying on a bed of silk. The thing about the painting that
caught my eye was the Aisha's staring green eyes. They seamed to watch us as
we walked across the room towards a chair that faced the other way. We guessed
that Umbra would be in the chair, but she wasn't. When the chair did not move,
and no one got out of it, Zarrel Charmain walked up to it, but gave a surprised
"What?" when she saw that the chair was empty.
"I thought that you would be here soon." We
both turned and saw Umbra walking up to us wearing a long black dress just like
in the painting.
"How did you get behind us?" Zarrel Charmain
"It is not something hard for a sorceress
to do." Then she let out a small smile, "But let's forget about that, and get
down to business." She wavered her paw in the air, and mumbled a few words.
Suddenly from above her head, a vision of a Meerca appeared. By the Meerca's
looks, and clothing, I could tell that he was a lowly peasant, and would be
no problem for Zarrel Charmain and I. "This Meerca is called Fraable. He currently
resides out in the small village of Keeth. I want you to capture him, and bring
him back to me... alive. That Meerca has irritated me for the last time,"
Umbra said, clenching her fists. Then she calmed down a bit, and the vision
disappeared. "Fraable will not be easy to catch, so I offer you 5,000. Currently
I am not in the mood to haggle with you, so don't even try it."
Zarrel Charmain looked on steadily ahead,
her gaze never changing, yet by the gleam in her eye I knew that she, like me,
in truth thought that 5,000 Neopoints for the capture of a peasant was better
then any of us had expected for the job. "I take the job Umbra," Zarrel
"I expect you to hurry back assassin. Don't
take to long." And Umbra said those last words with a devilish gleam in her
eye. "You may take your leave." So with a deft bow, Zarrel Charmain started
on her way out the door with me following.
"Well, we sure got out of there with a decent
price," I said to Zarrel Charmain as we walked out the fortress, and started
on our way towards Keeth.
"That is true Dorono," Zarrel Charmain
said with a smile. "So let's make the best of it, and try and get our job done
"Good point." And we continued our walk through
the forest. "Zarrel Charmain, how far away is Keeth anyhow?" I asked my partner.
"Well, if I remember correctly it is about
a three hour walk."
"Then it will be a twenty minute flight. Hop
on," I said bending down as to make it easier for Zarrel Charmain to get upon
my back. Zarrel Charmain smiled, and then she hoisted her leg over my back,
and took a strong hold upon my mane. "Ready?" I asked.
"Here we go!" and I jumped into the air flapping
down with my wings lifting the two of us into the clear sky. I flew higher and
higher, until even the trees looked like a large green carpet underneath us.
The sun was directly above us, shedding its radiant glow upon our backs. Even
the birds were below us as I flew fast and hard towards Keeth. I flew hard for
not even twenty minutes when we saw the first signs of civilisation.
"Find a spot to land Dorono, for that below
up is Keeth," Zarrel Charmain called out over the rush of wind. There below
us were golden-brow squares, and other shapes of roofs. Trees basically surrounded
the village, making it a good place to hide, because if you didn't know it was
there you could not find it unless in the air. I folded my wings to my side,
and plummeted towards the ground. I loved the rush of wing upon my fur and feathers.
Right before we hit the ground, I tilted back, and spread my wings out wide,
slowing us drastically. My back feet caught the ground, and I trotted, and then
stopped all together on the land. As Zarrel Charmain jumped off my back, I reached
up, and smoothed out my mane. Zarrel Charmain put a hand upon my back, "It is
time to do our job, but first we must change the way we look, for an assassin
and her partner will not be welcome to a village."
"Right!" I said, and as Zarrel Charmain dug
through her pack, I studied my blade. It was a decent sized sword, which was
given to me by the despicable Jown. He had brainwashed me into deceiving Zarrel
Charmain and Kirin. I almost killed Zarrel Charmain that night. The memories
still pierced at my heart, of me pushing my paw into Zarrel Charmain's throat
ready to smother her. She forgave me... even though I was going to kill both
her and Kirin. She is a true friend, I thought as I looked at the carving upon
the blade of a Zafara standing next to an Eyrie.
"Here we go!" Zarrel Charmain said pulling
out a jacket made for an Eyrie. "Wear that Dorono while I wear this." And she
pulled out a brownish dress. She took off her cape, and carefully put it in
her bag, and then she threw the dress over her head. "I really hate dresses!"
she said, sneering, while I put on the jacket so that it covered my sword and
"I'm not too sure. You do look more like a
lady in a dress," I said teasing Zarrel Charmain.
"At least I don't look like a furball wearing
a bag," she said back to me.
"You're right," I said, "You look more like
a furball wearing a dress."
"Hey!" Zarrel Charmain said giving me a playful
swipe, which I avoided with ease. We were like that, always teasing each other.
"Let's go find ourselves a Meerca," I
said, starting to run off towards the village with Zarrel Charmain close on
my feet. Keeth was bustling with creatures all trying to get to their destinations,
so we had to slow down in order not to get separated.
"We should ask some of the villagers if they
have seen Fraable. Perhaps one of them knows where he resides. If they do it
would really help us to find him." Zarrel Charmain said, "So let's start asking,
and we will meet back here in thirty minutes."
I nodded, and then we split up to start asking
the villagers. I walked up to a merchant. "Have you seen or do you know anything
about a Meerca named Fraable?"
"I've heard of him, but can't say I've seen
"Okay, thanks for your help," I said,
and then turned down the merchant's request to try a free sample of his bread.
I walked away from him, and tapped a female Kacheek on the shoulder who was
washing clothes. "Do you know anything about a Meerca named Fraable?" She turned
to look at me, and then with out answering, she turned around and started working
again. "I'll take that as a no," I said, walking off to talk to more creatures.
It was basically the same with every creature
that I asked. It seemed that no one knew of Fraable. As I walked up to a young
Wocky playing with a Puppyblew I wondered if Zarrel Charmain was having any
better luck. "Do you know anything about a Meerca called Fraable?" I was really
starting to get sick of saying that.
"I don't know anything about him." And rolling
my eyes, I turned around, and started to walk away, "Wait sir!" the Wocky yelled
"What!" I spat out.
"Go ask the Babaa shepherd. He knows everyone
in this village."
"Thanks," I said. I was finally getting somewhere,
but since the half hour was almost up, I had to go and meet Zarrel Charmain.
"Any luck?" Zarrel Charmain asked me as I
"I didn't find a single thing out about Fraable,"
I said annoyed.
"But I did hear that the Babaa shepherd should
"Then let's go," Zarrel Charmain said, and
we started to walk off, but a Chia stood in our way. "Move it!" Zarrel Charmain
said to the Chia.
"Not until you hear what I have to say..." he
started, laying a hand upon Zarrel Charmain's shoulder.
To be continued...