Raider of the Sky: Part Two
In the early hours of dawn, a shadow creeps past the
guards of Kurn's castle unnoticed. The shadow has a certain destination, and
is making the way there quite easily…
I looked up from my work as I heard a sound
from without my cell. I had given up trying to open the lock, and was now working
the hinges on the door. I had already opened one, but the other two refused
to budge. I lay down and hid my lock pick and waited to see who (or what) the
And who should appear but that fire Gelert.
How annoying! I was trying to escape, and here he comes! I scowled at him angrily
and forced myself to stay still. He stared at me momentarily, and I glared back.
Then he spoke.
"Who are you?" he asked. I sneered.
"I'm not telling you, but if you really have
to know, go ask your precious king." I was in no mood to be civil with the creatures
who were going to kill me on the dawn of the morrow. I wasn't usually civil
with them, anyway.
"No really, what is your name!" he persisted,
and this time I growled. "My name is my business! But if you really want to
know, I'm Weatree!" I got up and spun around, then lay back down, my back to
the door. I was sure the Gelert cringed behind me. He should be.
"Weatree? Is that really…you?" the irritating
thing asked again. I sighed.
"Sure. I have no clue who you are, so would
you please leave me alone?!" My patience was slipping.
"No…I mean, er, sure, unless, that is, you want
to stay in that cell," he said. Hmm. Crafty. Now it was my turn to ask questions.
I stood up, shook out my green fur, and turned to him. I surveyed him in the
half-light of the dungeons, and slowly I realized I did, indeed, recognize this
Gelert. Green eyes, dark fur, sleek, short, silky hair…it all fit in. Not only
this, but his annoying, persistent tone, and tall, lean features, too.
"Who are you?" I couldn't help asking. I had
to be sure…
He grinned. "I'm Shadow Dragon, don't you remember
I did remember. "I knew a Shadow Dragon once.
He was a knight in Kurn's army. You are Shadow, indeed. Nice to see you one
last time. Now if you'll excuse me," I brandished the lock pick, "I'm trying
"There are easier ways out, you know," my old
friend said, and from under his slate-colored armor, he produced the keys to
the cells. "Now just hang on a moment…"
I noticed a stirring in the darkness behind
Shadow, and golden-green eyes appeared in the dark. I grinned- she was right
on time, as usual.
"Croshar, don't he was just about to release
me," I said as she padded up softly to stand beside Shadow Dragon, who jumped
maybe two feet off the ground and made a strange sound only a severely startled
Gelert would make. "Yarrr!… er, who are you?" he asked, looking sheepish and
frightened. She shrugged in a nonchalant way. "Weatree's partner. And you are…?"
she waited for an answer.
"Shadow Dragon. I'm a knight in the army." He
held out a paw, which she shook rather unsurely.
"Hey, are you just going to leave me here?"
I asked impatiently. Croshar looked up.
"Okay. I think you look better in the cage though,"
she joked, and held up the keys Shadow had just had. He looked surprised. "Thieves,
Gelert," Croshar reminded him, and twirled the keychain before releasing me
Croshar and I dashed through the main courtyard,
into the castle keep, and found our way to the castle vault. The vault was just
a very large room with an iron door and a strong iron lock. Nothing we couldn't
I pressed my ear to the door and took a specially
made lock pick to the strong, iron padlock. Croshar had retrieved my daggers
and the bag of picks when she had come in. The door opened, and we trotted inside.
Dawn found us at the gates to the huge castle,
the Cloud Amulet in hand, where Shadow Dragon met us. When we reached the woods,
she stopped me, panting slightly. "Why is he here?" she asked sourly. I shrugged.
"I'll ask him."
"Hey Shadow, why aren't you at the castle? I
mean, you are a knight," I asked him.
He grinned. "I can't go back. Hear the horns?
They know you have been released; they know I did it by now. I am going to have
to hide." He looked to me. "Know any good places?"
I most certainly did, but I wasn't about to
tell him where they were. Well, maybe one…
"Croshar come here a minute," I said, and moved
off into the bushes with her trailing me.
"We ought to take him to Lananroam," I suggested.
She gasped and growled at me.
"No! We already have to go to the Lakelands!
No more stops! I already had to save you, and you're enough trouble as it is."
"Oh, come on. It's only a day's flight to Lananroam…"
"No! You know the rules! It's death to bring
a stranger into the City of Thieves!"
I smiled disarmingly. "Not for me or you."
"But what if the Gelert sees the way we go?
Then it is!"
I shook my head no. "Look at the low cloud cover.
We can fly above, or even better in, those. It'll be fine."
Croshar growled. "If you wish. It's your funeral.
But if we do get in trouble,"-she shook one paw good naturedly in my direction-"I'm
going to kill you. But as it is," she grinned, "you carry that Gelert." And
with that, she turned and walked back toward Shadow Dragon.
I was sure Shadow turned grey when I told him
we were dropping him off at Lananroam, which was pretty funny. "You don't mean
to say," he almost trembled-him, a brave knight!-before continuing. "You're
talking about the Lost City? That cannot be found by anyone but those who already
knew where it was? That those who have gone looking for it have never returned
from!" he gulped. I could have laughed-I believe Croshar and I were responsible
for a few of 'those who had never returned.' If you've been to the City, you're
responsible for the safety of it.
"Sure," I said, "Now get on. I have less than
a day to get you there."
So it was that we were on our way to the City
of Thieves. Well, not just thieves. It was full of all sorts of 'disagreeable'
folk. The plan was to drop Shadow off at a tavern or inn, spend the night, and
continue to the Lakelands. I just hoped the runaway knight would be fine. He
wasn't trained for the hard life like Croshar and I were…
We arrived in Lananroam near noon, but it was
almost night now. We were all in the tavern area of the Green Moon Inn, one
of my personal favorites. Shadow sat beside me, and all was as calm as it can
be in a tavern filled with thieves. Then the door flew open of its own accord.
The double door held its pose as an electric
colored Gelert came forward. A greenish Wadjet slithered along side her. There
was a gold ring on each ear. All perfectly normal-except for the fact that most
of the pets were leaving out the back door or going to their rooms. I looked
down into my drink. The witch. Talequa.
Talequa had a different effect on Shadow Dragon,
though. He seemed captivated as her stunning green eyes met his. I had no idea
she had actually put a spell over my old friend, as I noticed no change.
Sometime after dark, Shadow Dragon the fire
Gelert was compelled to get out of his soft, warm bed and went out into the
cold night. Weatree and his partner had already left; they had decided to go
early. He was alone in the Lost City.
As he rounded a corner, he was met by the electric-blue
Gelert he had seen earlier in the Green Moon Inn. She smiled. "So you have come.
Very good," she said in her lulling, quiet voice. "Now, come with me…I have
something to show you…"
Shadow followed Talequa to a brightly colored
wagon, with two white Unis tethered outside. The Gypsy moved aside a blue curtain.
"Come in," she offered Shadow Dragon.
The fire Gelert was amazed at the items within.
Potions, bottles, jars, all containing rare things and objects. As Talequa,
who Shadow recognized as one of the traveling gypsies, allowed him to look into
a crystalline globe, he knew he would stay. How could he ever leave? This was
amazing! And Talequa had offered to teach him magic. She was also a sorceress.
He would never leave. He couldn't.
To be continued…