Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Limit Break Radio

I'm exploring a new media! It was only a one time thing but it was very fun.

Alison the Amazing Thief is now on Limit Break Radio as a guest host for Juxtaposition, a Limit Break Radio intern, on his Simply Summerbreeze episode.

Check the link and give it a listen. I hope you enjoy it. :D

(image this week comes off the LBR website.)


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Maat’s Final Challenge

“It’s you again.” He chuckled as he looked up at me with his winkled leathery face.

“Yes and I’m ready to pass your little test this time.” I said confidently. “I have a new ring now that I’m sure will give me the edge I need. I was almost kidding when I said one little ring would make all the difference but I really hoped it would. It wasn’t a big improvement over the other times but I was always so close to beating the old fart.

Old and withered he was, but the small framed hume was the best trainer in the world without contest. Everyone who was anyone has gone through him. He was tough and ruthless and broke many a man’s spirit and it made the successful all the better.

A few more times now than I care to admit he had pounded me to a pulp and left me laying on the ground dazed and defeated. This was his final challenge for me before he would help me reach my full potential. I had to prove I was ready for it by beating the stuffing out of the old man until he couldn’t take it anymore. Twisted if you ask me but I wanted it so I was willing and so far I had not come close to straining him one bit.

“Do you have the testimony I asked for?” he asked as he stretched his boney old legs.

With a nod I gave him the parchment I had stolen off of a goblin that very morning. He pinned them on the poor stupid beastmen and asked his students to go fetch them before he would take them into the fighting arena.

He put the paper into his pouch and smiled. “Ok then. Let’s see what that little ring does for you.”

A quick teleport and we were there. He waited for me in the middle of the arena as he bounced around on his toes like a boxer warming up. I had a plan and I felt good about this time being the one. Using a magic reraise scroll I gave myself two shots at this fight.

“Are you ready little girl?” he taunted.

Grinning to myself I pulled out my best sneak attack combination and stealthy stabbed him in the back driving my blade in deep before taking it back. Spinning around he looked a little angry then a little pleased I had caught him off guard. “Very good little girl but that alone will not prove yourself.”

With blinding speed he slashed at me with his short daggers ripping open the belly of the scorpion harness I had on loan as I leapt out of the way just in time to save my body from harm. “Darn you old man! This is new!” I spat angrily.

“Go ahead and let your anger take over your mind. I’ll have you beat all the faster.” He laughed.

Every time anyone squares off against Maat they come away saying the same thing, "Damn, he is old, how does he move that fast?!" My profession has taught me to move like lightning so the two of us were a blur of motion. I thought my younger body would give me an advantage but it was all I could do to keep up with him. For a few short minutes I kept my focus perfectly and dodged everything he tried to come at me with. It felt darn good.

After stabbing him in the back there was no way he was going to let me out of his sight again so my favorite attack was out. Crouching down to avoid a fast swing I sprung up and off to the left slicing a nice hole across his ribs to avenge my own. Before I could even crack a smile of satisfaction he kicked out at my front foot and followed my immediate stumble with a dagger handle upside my head and another small slash through my scorpion harness. Blood trickled down my back but with the rush of battle I hardly felt the wound.

Grinning he closed in again. I tried to lunge and stab him in the chest but he caught my wrist, parried it away and locked my arm at the elbow bringing my eyebrow down into his knee with a horrible thunk. I was dizzy and my vision was blurry from the cut over my eye dripping crimson down my face. My dagger had gone flying and the metal screamed across the stone floor as it glided out of my reach. Locking my arm and he kicked me in my ribs hard enough to lift me into the air and let my body fall limp on the floor. "Had enough little girl?" he taunted.

Rage boiled in me and I rose with newfound speed to elbow upwards into his chin with a satisfying CRACK. I was in a frenzy, adrenaline flowed like I had never felt before and I used it to land a chopping strike to his exposed throat. He dropped both of his daggers to grab his injured neck and I took the opportunity to sink my last dagger into his thigh to the hilt. He let out a half scream-gurgle and then it happened... Just as I thought I had won a strange power emanated from Maat, his whole body almost glowed with energy. A psychotic look overtook him and he came at me with his fists striking so fast they were a blur even to me. Getting out of the way was impossible this time. I tried to get my elbows up to block like I have seen some of my front line fighting friends do but he was too fast. The few I managed to block meant nothing overall and I hit the ground once again.

Maat stood over me for a moment before he turned to walk away, eyes gleaming in triumph. The world was going black as I realized I had landed on my lost dagger. Luckily it wasn't lying point up I thought to myself. The scroll of reraise kicked in and I mustered all my strength to stand quickly and quietly.

With the grace of a stalking Jugner tiger I crept up on him and struck him between the fourth and fifth rib. A spot I playfully poke on Gurok often when he tanks for me but deadly when it's a dagger. He tried to cry out as he fell but there was no air left in his pierced lung. He looked up at me and held his hands up weakly to yield. I reached into his bag and stole the warp scroll prize. Strange as it seems, his look of terror quickly dissolved as he warped out of the arena and I swear I saw him smile and mouth the words “good job” and my heart swelled with pride.

Using the magic scroll I sent myself back to Jeuno to meet him. I had finally done it. Whether by luck or the skill that comes with not giving up I had finished my final trial and was on my way to be one of the great ones. It felt dang good.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thank You Lady Ari!

She colored it for me! I didnt want to wait until I had a story to match it so it gets it's own post. Thank you Ari. <3 I love it. I'll update the photo and link to the right when I get another little window of time.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

It's a Living

Dizzy and confused as to where I was, the light was so blinding I couldnt see. It stang and pulled tears from the corner of my eyes and my entire body was burning as if I had been set on fire.

A form stepped between me and the sun allowing me squint them open. He smiled a crooked grin and laughed. “Well hello goblin bait. I think you’ll be ok as soon as your head clears.”

“Zerokb?” I asked as I tried to focus on the face inside the hooded robe.

“Yeah, it’s me. I’m glad I found you. Who knows how long you would have baked out here in the sun until someone found you.” He offered a hand and pulled me to my feet. His grip shot tingles up my arm as his healing magic gave me a little bit of energy. “What are you trying to do out here?”

“Get rich quick.” I said as I tried to brush some of the dust off my culottes.

He chuckled and offered me a drink. I didn’t need to know what it was. I was parched. I carried it over to a shaded spot against the rocks and sat to rest and drink deeply.

“I already stole quite a few.” I said in my defense, giving my bag a little pat to let the jingle prove it.

The white mage nodded and smiled warmly. “Maybe I should stick around awhile.”

“That’s very kind of you but I’m fine. I just have to be more careful. I won’t get into trouble again.”

“I doubt that.”

I sat quietly and pretended to concentrate on recovering myself. I really couldn’t argue the “won’t get into trouble again” part. Even if it was not today trouble tended to follow me.

“Have you seen Jenjen lately?” he asked breaking the silence.

“No, but I know where she is. She left on some business with her brother for a few weeks. She’ll be back.” I was happy to talk about something besides my embarrassments.

He frowned as his eyes glinted with mischief at the thought of the mithra. “Too bad. She’s grown on me since the first time I met her in that tiny port town. She has life.”

“That she does.” I smiled and softly laughed to myself. It thrilled me to discover the crush. I do love to see people I care about twiterpated.

He glowed and closed his eyes briefly as he gathered energy. My chest burned with the warmth of the white magic that briefly paralyzed me while it healed. My own skin glowed pearl white for just a moment before leaving me to gasp in a refreshingly painless breath. “Thank you.” I managed to whisper out.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A New Start

I felt like I had aged thirty years in the last year. Things were finally quiet now and I was trying to establish normality again and find things to keep myself occupied so I wouldn’t dwell on my thoughts. I stayed in Whitegate and it became my new residence though it would take awhile for it to feel like home.

As for Hope I made the very painful decision to keep my distance from her for awhile. People would surely be watching for me to be around an infant and I couldn’t put her at risk. I planned to play with her and love her as a family friend once things settled down but she couldn’t know I was her mother until she was an adult. It was much too big of a secret to ask a child to keep.

“You look lost in your thoughts again.” Kjarbo smiled as he sat down and touched the top of my nose.

I nodded and smiled. The sun was rising over the walls of the Al Zahbi district and I was sitting on top of one of the highest ones. I loved the way the long rays of the sunrise made the stones glow warmly. It was a beautiful city and always active and busy. It was growing on me.

Kjarbo handed me a small plush dhalmel with a stitched on smile. “It’s on loan to you from Hope.” He smiled. “She is doing well and growing strong.”

I leaned over and rested my head on his arm as I smelled the little toy and glowed with joy to hold something my little angel had held. She lived in Windurst now with Yamari and Zhirin and I longed to see her more often but I was greatly comforted to know she was well watched over and loved by many people.

“I’m have been training with Maat.” I told him. “He seems to think I am nearly ready for my final test.” Maat is the undisputed master trainer of highly talented adventures. His expertise covers all disciplines to the point where some question if he is not endowed with supernatural or godly powers. I just find him aggravating but I have the good sense to respect him for his genius.

“I have no doubt you’ll be up to any task.” Kjarbo smiled.

I had to laugh and smile. “You spoil me with praise. You spoil me with sweets. You dote on me and stand by like my unfailing protector. It makes me blush.”

He looked down.

“Is something wrong?” I asked.

“No, not really but I came out here to tell you I have to leave for awhile. A few weeks I think. A friend of mine from my life as a fisherman is in need of help. I’m taking Jen with me.”

“Jen? I thought she would want to be here now with Beldin showing up out of nowhere.”

“I don’t trust him and I can tell something is bothering her about him. She’s been very upset. She needs the time away.” He said as he brushed my hair behind my ear carefully. “If you need me I’ll come rushing back.”

“It’s ok. I’ll be busy training. Today I plan on practicing my stealing and evading skills on the goblins near Bibiki Bay.”

“That sounds like a dangerous thing to do alone.” He frowned.

“Not at all. They’re not very smart. I practice my archery on them, steal their gold when they get near and then hide. They’re not bright enough to find me and they give up and wander off. It’s a great way to vent frustration. New shinny gold coins always make me happy.”

He chuckled and stood up. “Well then, good day and good luck hunting my lady. I must be off to catch my boat.” He bowed.

I stood up and hugged him. “Be safe and quick to return.”

“As you wish.” He kissed the top of my head and hurried off towards the south port.

I sighed and sat down with the little toy. I decided now was a good time to start on my own day. I tucked the little toy into my vest so it could snuggle near my heart. I had a lot of work to do to prepare for my next lesson with Maat.

Monday, June 02, 2008


I found myself on a boat once again and feeling rather sentimental about it though I didn’t say so out loud. Some things I preferred to hold secretly in my heart these days. It was early morning now and I could hear the shore birds welcoming the boat as we grew nearer to port.

I reluctantly passed Hope back to Yamari where she wouldn’t be noticed as unusual. No one thought twice about a hume woman with a hume looking baby. I had already counted her little fingers and toes countless times on our long ride over. It never got old just to hold her and look at her tiny sleeping face. I laid my head on Yamari’s shoulder and put my hand over the tiny girl in her arms.

By some cruel joke of the gods I still looked pregnant so I kept concealed under loose mage robes. They were much more cumbersome than my usual clothing but comforting and warm and I was starting to like the feeling of being unseen.

The boat slowed to a stop and I heard the thump of the ramp extending to the dock. “Let’s hope there isn’t a royal knight waiting for us.” I only said what everyone already was thinking I just wanted to break the nervous silence that had settled around us the entire ride over.

Gurok smiled confidently. “If they’re here we are ready for them.” He clutched the sword at his side as if to show me he did indeed know where it was and how to get to it quickly. I couldn’t help but smile back.

All around cheers of agreement and encouragement bounced around the cabin from friends who came along to make sure things went well. I smiled broadly. These were all people I loved deeply. They were family to me and our near death and back adventures had only made us all the closer.

We exited the boat without incident. I don’t know why there would not be someone representing San d’ Oria checking these traveling hot spots but I slipped by without making eye contact with anyone and Hope only got oh and ahs from admiring attendants. I had kind of hoped that no one would notice a baby at all but we were safe all the same and it felt good to breath a sigh of relief.

“I have a house in the residential area not far from here. We will be safe there while we figure out what to do next.” Tastywaffles said as he looked back to make sure we were following. “I spend a lot of time in this area. People tend to mind there own business here.”

“Yes and no.” Someone said. I turned around to stand nose to nose with Beldin and nearly screamed in surprise.

“Much too convenient timing.” Gurok said as he drew his sword. “How did you know we would be here?”

“I didn’t actually but you stand out. I couldn’t miss you.” He said.

I hugged him open mouthed and still in shock. “We thought you were dead. Where were you?” Jenjen was frozen.

“Can we wait till we’re inside to chatter?” Tastywaffles said looking a little annoyed. He was right.

The people of this area dressed strangely and the buildings were like nothing I had ever seen before. I felt like I was in an entirely different world. It was perfect. Things were going to change.

As soon as we entered Tastywaffles’ house Beldin was the first to fall onto a long sofa and sprawl out like he was already at home. I noticed he winked at Jenjen and patted the seat next to him to invite her to sit with him but she turned away from him. I wondered what could be running through her head right now. I made note to find out when the time was right. Kjarbo as always was keeping a protective eye over his sister.

I sighed deeply in relief and sat down in a large pile of plush pillows and reached for Hope. Kammy was already here and nearly crushed us both as she leapt to hug me. “You’re safe!” She yelled and stuck her face into the bundle of baby and rubbed her cheeks against Hope in typical mithra fashion.

“Gentle!” I protested as I pushed her enough away to be able to see Hope’s little face again. Kammy’s frowned but obeyed.

“Our moogles are all here.” Tastywaffles announced. “It seems they have a plan.”

The moogles came in and bowed to me as low as they could without touching the floor. “Congratulations on the birth of your daughter Kupo!” My moogle smiled widely as he spun in excitement. “I have met with the HEIR council while you were away and we have a plan for you.”

“HEIR?” I asked. “What do you mean.?”

“Well Kupo, a need arose to protect the tiniest of heroes from those who feared them so the Hume Elvaan Infant Rescue was formed to help. I told them about you and they were very excited to help. They don’t get many opportunities to actually do something since they are not needed very often.”

“Very pleased to meet you both, Kupo!” another moogle chimed in excitedly.

“So what do we do now?” I asked. Kjarbo knelt down next to me and gave me a plate with a steak and carrots along with a tall mug of chocolate milk. He smiled and nodded silently as if to encourage me to eat without interrupting this little meeting.

“Well we need to make Hope disappear Kupo.” Moogle explained.

“You can’t take her away! Not a..!”

Moogle interrupted. “No no, don’t worry Kupo. We don’t want to take her away we just need to make the rulers of San d’Oria and Bastok believe that she..” he hesitated, “not to offend or upset Kupo but.. We just need to make them think she’s dead.”

I clutched Hope tightly and I caught more than one eyebrow raise and hand twitch ready to take a weapon in response to my alarm. “What are you saying?!”

The moogles turned and whispered to each other as their wings fluttered. “HEIR used their numerous connections to obtain a certificate of death for your child Kupo. It says she was still born and unnamed and most importantly, elvaan, Kupo. It just needs to be delivered to San d’Oria. They will not risk a war with West Aht Urhgan by coming here in force to question an official document but I’m sure there will be spies to check on it. We will need to hide her Kupo.”

“I will take the certificate.” Beldin announced. “I have some influence there.”

Someone in the room huffed at him but I couldn’t tell who. I ignored it.

“Thank you Beldin.” I said sincerely. “How do you suggest we hide Hope?” I asked Moogle.

“In the past HEIR has placed babies with families that match what the child looks like. The babies have always taken after one parent or the other Kupo. We can’t leave her to be raised with you or they will surely catch on and protecting her will become very near impossible Kupo.”

“I won’t give her up. Come up with a new plan.” I glared.

“No one is saying that you have to give her up Kupo. Look around at what trusted hume couples you know who would look natural with a new baby. Its best if you are not seen with a child but moogles will always keep you safe in your homes Kupo. It’s our honor to protect and serve Kupo.” He glowed with pride and I was humbled by his selfless kindness.

I only knew one hume couple but I did trust them entirely. Question was would they raise my baby in public so I could keep her close to me in secret? I looked at Yamari and she smiled at me and nodded. She knew she was the only hume woman I knew who was in love with a hume man. She didn’t have a child of her own and I’m sure the thought of caring for my baby must have terrified her but she didn’t show it. Her inner strength shone brightly that day.

She put her arm around me and let Hope grasp her tiny hand around her finger. Keeping Hope safe would be a life long linkshell effort that would bond us together as a family for our entire lives. We had no idea what we had to look forward to but we had full confidence that we could handle it together.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


“Babycakes?” I muttered with my jaw dropped. It looked kinda like him but kinda not. Was it really him? He smiled at me showing bits of seaweed in his teeth. His face glistened with a bit of a damp sliminess and his skin was pale.

“Hello hot stuff.” He grinned as he opened his arms waiting for me. “I missed you.”

Half because he looked pretty dang gross and half because I had it set in my mind that he was dead I hesitated. “Where have you been?”

Frowning and dropping his arms he looked broken hearted that I had not run to him. I couldn’t take it any longer. Rushing him nearly pushed him over as I threw my arms around my husband. “Brodie I missed you.” Tears welled up in my eyes and fell down my cheeks onto his wet armor.

He felt cold. “I think you need a hot bath.” I told him as I looked up at his face trying to brush his wet hair away from his eyes.

“I think I’ve had more time in water than I ever wanted. I’ll pass thanks.” He replied with a warm smile. “How about we have some hot chocolate instead?”

My weakness. He knew me so well. I was a little unsure about his strange appearance but for now I would enjoy having my heart swell with the joy of my family being whole again. Altana was smiling on me I could just feel it glowing from my insides out. I would tell him about our new baby as soon as Yamari arrived with her. He and I had a lot of catching up to do.

(April Fools!)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Welcoming Hope

In the distance a pack of dogs howled in unison. “I think they may be upset.” I said as I straightened.

Tastywaffles smiled warmly at me and jogged ahead to check the next turn and with his nod of approval Kammy grabbed my hand and pulled me after him. Sneaking around stealthily we carefully made our way to the only logical way out.

The pain didn’t go away completely. Every few minutes we would have to stop while I leaned against a wall to grip myself. No one said anything anymore and I pretty well figured out what was happening and it had nothing to do will any spell. It was clear we needed to get out fast. Terrified I wouldn’t make it my eyes showed the anxiously desperate panic that was gripping my heart as tightly as the contractions gripped my body.

“Last turn.” Tastywaffles said as he glanced back at me without making eye contact. “There are four spooks in the way and I don’t think we should take the time to try to send them back to their maker and I can not charm these things.”

“Let’s just distract them while Kammy helps her outside. They won’t follow us out there.” Zerokb instructed.

Kammy and I stayed around the bend while Tastywaffles and Zerokb turned the corner and shouted at the dark forms. They turned their eyeless faces towards the men and started plotting their worst.

One rushed the hume summoner and reached its tiny black arm out and slapped him. Zerokb cringed and shuttered as his eyes rolled back into his head briefly. Shivering the hume tried to straighten himself but he was clearly slowed by the dark effects.

The ghosts were shrieking angrily and lashing out at the two heroes their full attention set on ripping them limb from limb for having the nerve to intrude on their domain. Tastywaffles whistled and a hecatomb hound, possibly even the same from earlier, tore around the corner and came to their aid.

“I think now is a good time.” Kammy said. “Are you ready to run for the moon light?”

I nodded. I wasn’t sure how fast but exiting sounded good. I wanted out and now was an understatement. Yesterday would have been better. Even better I wish I had never been in this awful place. I should be in the care of elvaan midwives not in a forgotten part of a San d’Orian prison but dwelling on the bad hands dealt to me was not going to help. I shook my head as if to shake out the unhelpful sorrow and ran.

Gurok was just outside and when he heard and saw us running towards him he got up as quickly as a huge galkan paladin can manage. He just got to his feet as I crashed into him wrapping my arms around his waist and bursting into tears.

“Whoa now. Don’t cry. You’re out now and everything is going to be fine.” He patted my head nervously and gave Kammy a questioning look.

Peeking out I witnessed Kammy as she pointed at her belly and made motions to tell Gurok the baby was coming now. She spotted me spotting her and blushed cupping her hands over her mouth. “I’m sorry Alison.” She gasped.

I was about to tell her there was nothing to be sorry about but a contraction caught me off guard and I screamed as I crumpled to the ground. Gurok sat down with me and pulled me into his arms. “How in the world did you get her out like this? Someone could have told me and I would have come in and helped.” He was clearly upset.

“We needed you to keep a look out for soldiers just like we planned.” Kammy whined to Gurok. She whimpered to me. “I’m sorry Alison. I don’t know what to do.”

“I do.” Zerokb panted as he came out looking tired but none the worse for the wear. “I called Yamari and she said she could help. I don’t think Alison is ready for a long trip. I think the baby is going to come first whether it is good timing or not.”

“She can’t stay here.” Gurok barked as he picked me up and started walking south.

“I don’t know how much longer they can keep the guards ready before they get into serious trouble.” Tastywaffles muttered.

“Who?” I asked.

Kammy perked up. “I helped think of it!” she announced. Tastywaffles chuckled. “See we ‘borrowed’ things from the Orcs and everyone ever loyal to the Thumbmonkeys dressed as Orcs and captured near sighed old Palcomondau and his heartless friend Zovriace and tied them to trees. Those stupid old scouts never helped anyone anyways. Then they staked torches all over the woods to make it look like tons of troops were in there. THEN they marched out to the edge to the tree line and made tons of noise. They are dodging in and out of the trees and banging on shields in the woods to make it look and sound like huge hoards are just inside the trees outside the gates of snooty old San d’ Oria.” Kammy looked very proud. “Ok maybe I didn’t think of everything but I helped a LOT!” she smiled looking very happy with herself.

“We only have until the knights get tired of waiting inside the walls of the city for us to get clear. If they march everyone plans on warping away and leaving the knights there to scratch their heads and wonder what happened. Even if they are not the army of their glory days the knights still greatly outnumber us when united.” Tastywaffles explained.

“How far do you plan on walking with her?” Zerokb asked.

“As far as I need to.” Gurok said with a determined frown.

“You have about five minutes.” I whispered and Gurok nodded and walked faster as he surveyed the area.

“Beowulf you have to keep it up a little longer. I’ll call when we are clear and safe.” Tastywaffles said over a communication pearl.

“He knows not to use the linkpearl right?!” I said with alarm.

Tastywaffles nodded. “Yeah we’re only using friend pearls now. No linkpearl. Don’t worry about it. Yamari is here and is going to meet us in a sheltered nook in the rock near here.”

The baby didn’t take much longer to make her great entrance. My less than lady like vocalizations where drown out to the occupants of the city by the banging of drums, shields and whatever else they could come up with. By the end Gurok had blood trickling down his arm where my fingers had dug into his thick snowy white skin as he tried to be supportive. Permanent scars that would forever be a reminder of the day.

Yamari wiped off her little face and handed my tiny screaming girl to me. I looked her over and cried as I leaned against friends who were huddled near to see. As chubby a baby as I had ever seen she had fiery red curls on top of her head and her father’s perfect hume features. I held her close to my chest and the crying stopped as she looked up at me with steely blue eyes and wrapped her fingers around mine. “She’s amazing.” I said between tears.

“What is her name?” Kammy asked with wide mithra eyes full of astonishment.

“Hope.” I smiled. “My perfect little angel is named Hope.”

They allowed me a few minutes to hold her but clearly everyone grew anxious. “The soldiers are coming out to challenge the Orcs.” Tastywaffles said. “The Thumbmonkeys are leading them back to Fort Ghelspa but they are running out of time and the army is flooding the area. We have no time. You have to be gone.”

“I’m ready.” I said as I held Hope tightly in my arms.

Yamari bit her lip. “We need to teleport you out now but Hope doesn’t have the ability to teleport yet. I need you to let me take her and meet up with you right away.”

“Not a chance.” I said clutching my new infant.

“I love you. Trust me. You can NOT be spotted by them. They will not bother me. No one is looking for a hume baby. They would be looking for an escaped pregnant elvaan woman if anything. I’ll meet you within hours. Don’t worry.” She assured me.

“Ok Yams.” I said and I let her take my frail new baby from my arms reluctantly as my heart broke. I trusted Yamari with my life but my baby was harder let go. In an instant Kammy had teleported us away and the image of Hope faded.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


No way I could sleep even though it felt like it should be night time by now. Pacing circles in my cell nervously with the super charged energy given to me most likely by the combination of the red curry soup and my nerves my mind raced to figure out what was going on. At least that’s what I though was making me so anxious.

My ears pricked. I was sure I could hear the sound of some distant rumble outside the wall of my stone prison. It had been going on for nearly an hour or so I guessed. It was so hard to judge time down here. Michael had been rushing back and forth from somewhere, glancing at me then hurrying away again.

“What’s going on?” I called after him.

He shuffled around nervously. “San d’Oria is being attacked by the Orcs from Fort Ghelsba. Sinless has gone up with everyone else to defend the gates. I’m sorry, I’m going to see what I can find out. I won’t be long. Don’t worry, they’ll never get all the way down here.” He scurried off again.

Very odd. Usually they preferred to wait until we came out from the security of the city walls to pick weaker adventures off one at a time. Attacking the fortified city seemed like craziness. These were very strange times indeed.

“Hey Alison. Are you alone?” I heard someone familiar hiss to me in a mithran whisper.

Rushing to the front of my cell I called back. “Yes, yes hurry please I want out.”

Kammy skittered out quickly followed by a much slower moving and watchful Tastywaffles and an easy striding Zerokb. She grabbed my outstretched hands and a deep rumbling purr erupted from her. “Arrrre you ok?” she purred shaking her head a little as she finished. “Garness said there were no locks so we brought in some muscle.”

Kammy bounced back into the arms of the beastmaster elvaan named Tastywaffles who was her nearly constant companion and he caught her pushing her hair back away from her face without even looking at her as if it was so habit he didn’t even think about it anymore. I couldn’t help but smile at them and miss that kind of familiarity and affection in my life.

So distracted by them I didn’t even notice what Zerokb had done until I heard the ground crack under the giant’s great effervescent feet. Smiling in such a way that it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck, Titan winked at me. The most perplexing sense of déjà vu swept over me but as much as I struggled to grasp at it I couldn’t figure out why, like some strange dream forgotten as soon as I woke.

I’m not sure how he fit into the hall but he did. Great hands bent the bars as his fingers pushed through them to get a grip causing the steel to scream as it gave way to him. Devouring the spicy curry soup earlier had given me terrible heartburn as well as the energy burst but now it seemed to reach around my ribs crushing me like I was in the talons of the dragon I consumed. It caught me off guard and I cried out like the steel as we both felt ripped apart. Knees to the stone I watched the bars bent apart as effortlessly as taffy candy in his hands.

“Thank you old friend.” Zerokb said as he smiled and nodded to Titan. The giant bowed lower if that were possible in his current cramped quarters and disappeared as quickly as he had arrived clearing room for my friends to leap in to help me.

“Ouch.” I whimpered pathetically as the pain went away.

“What in Altana’s name was that about?” Zerokb demanded. “Did that spell link you to the cage?”

“Maybe.” I replied still feeling a little shaken as Kammy pulled me to my feet. “Let’s get out of here already. Someone is going to want to know what all that noise was about.” Pulling me along I stumbled after the mithra in the dark between the occasional torch hanging from the damp stone walls.

It wasn’t long until we heard the snarl of one of the large dog-like creatures that stalks the tunnels at all hours. I nearly slid as I stopped abruptly and jumped back just in time to avoid it’s long fangs as it lunged at me. Tastywaffles the beastmaster stepped in front of me showing the angry beast his palm and yelling at it to stop. To my great astonishment it laid down shaking its head and snarling but not attacking as the tall elvaan stared it down as if he was willing it with his eyes alone.

Scratching of toe nails on stone echoed against the walls as another dog ran to catch up with his companion. With a flick of his wrist Tastywaffles sent the first creature racing to meet the second leaping at him and catching his neck in his jaws. Crashing to the floor the dogs tore and snapped at each other until the second dog ran in a panic followed closely by his turncoat pack mate.

“Time to move.” Tastywaffles commanded us but my knees had already hit the floor again from the gripping pain.

“The bars! The bars! The bars!” I shouted as I held my abdomen tightly.

“Shusssh!” Kammy hissed.

“What in the world is she talking about?” Zerokb said clearly a little exasperated as he frowned at me.

“We need to hurry if we don’t want to be trapped in here by soldiers on one side and beasts on the other. Can’t you carry her?” Tastywaffles asked sounding a little tense himself.

“Do I look like a monk? She’s huge!” Zerokb complained as he pointed at me. “Why can’t Kammy just teleport her?”

Kammy glared. “You can’t teleport a prego Stupid. She and the baby could be very unnicely separated in the process this late term.”

“I can walk all by myself, thank you.” I snapped as I struggled to my feet. “I’m ok now.” I turned and glared at Zerokb and he gave me a flirtatious nod and a wink in return. Problem was I wasn’t entirely sure how long I could keep going on like this but stopping was not an option. I told myself it would be ok if only I could get to the fresh night air outside of this awful stifling place but I didn’t really believe me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Red Curry

I held my precious purple link shell in my hands. It was cold to the touch but it warmed my little thieving heart to have it back. Poor naive child had it in his pocket. He was so willing to let me near him.

Why did they put me down here with only a child? Did they that wrongly underestimate me? Did they plan to keep me here with him locked away forever for being unacceptably different? Maybe they just wanted to keep me long enough to see if my child would have the proper length ears. I really did not want to birth this child down here and it wouldn’t be long now. I needed to get out.

I couldn’t believe that a Sandorian would treat another elvaan this way. I had to hope that this was very temporary and someone would come get me out and explain this madness before the end of the day. I was curious what they had in mind but I really didn’t want to stay here any longer to find out.

I didn’t hear anything near me so I put a pearl in my ear and heard it crackle briefly as it activated. “Can anyone hear me?” I whispered.

“Fearless Leader!” Garness rawred in excitement. “Where have you been? It’s been chaos without you. Naturally I stepped in and made due but we have been worried and…”

I had to interrupt. “Slow down big guy. I’m in trouble. I need you to listen.”

“Ok.” He responded in a markedly more business tone.

“I think I’m in the Bostaunieux Oubliette but I don’t know for sure yet. I only seem to have one guard right near me but I don’t know what could be down the hall. My cell doesn’t seem to have a lock so I have no idea how we’re going to open it. Can you get help? I really want out of here fast.”

“You get in more trouble than anyone I know.” He said with a bit of a chuckle.

“I know. I’m sorry. You’re the best. Don’t call me unless I call you. I don’t want it to give me away.”

“Understood” he replied.

“By the way, I’m pregnant.” I said matter of factly.

I heard him drop his pearl on the floor, no doubt in surprise, and I turned mine off now that he had all the important information. I needed to go quiet again and I really didn’t want to try to explain it all to him right now.

Then a horrible thought occurred to me. What if they had set it up knowing I would steal that linkpearl and call for help and now they knew my friends where coming and could listen in on their conversations? “Curse my absent minded spontaneity.” I mumbled and kicked a bucket hard against the wall venting out some tiny bit of my frustration.

I quickly turned the link shell back on. “Don’t use the pearls! There are spies listening!” I hissed in a rushed hush before flicking it back off.

“Are you ok Mam?” I heard the boy call as the flickering light came down the hall with him.

“Yes, I just don’t like captivity and I’m hungry.” I grumbled as I shuffled the hay against the wall looking up into his eyes angrily.

He looked a bit surprised at my change in demeanor. “I’m sorry. Sinless said that tomorrow you are going to be taken to the Chateau d’Oraguille to be a guest of the prince himself. I’m sure you will like it much more there. I’m sorry you don’t like it here.”

He looked genuinely sad that I was unhappy. He was such an odd and kind hearted boy. I’m sure he could have the potential for greatness if he wasn’t hidden down here and told he was a hideous beast unfit for the life with the rest of us. It just added to my anger. I wondered how naive this boy was. “Can you let the door stay open while I wait for the prince to call for me if I’m just a guest? I hate cages. It makes me feel just ill. Maybe you could come sit with me while we wait.”

He twisted his face and wrinkled his nose like a child. “I can’t open it. This one is magically sealed especially for you. It’s to keep you safe. Nasty monsters are lose down here and I wouldn’t want you to be hurt if one slipped past me. I do have food for you though. I’m sure you’ll feel better after a meal.”

He handed me grape juice and a bowl of hot red curry soup with some bread. I took it slowly and awkwardly so he wouldn’t notice that I dropped my link pearl back into his pocket. “Wow this is a nice meal for a captive. I don’t normally even eat this well at home.” I tasted a bit of the dragon meat and the heat of it burned in my chest and made me feel ten times stronger than my normal self. It was very good.

“It comes from the king’s own kitchen. You’re not a captive. You’re an important guest.” He looked cross that I didn’t seem to understand.

I let a huff of frustration sneak out. Honored guests don’t arrive by force to be left down here in this dank dark place. “Michael, you can slay the monsters down here alone?”

He nodded. “I have a lot of time to train and practice and Sinless brings me new weapons and amour when I earn them.”

I raised an eyebrow and sipped my soup. Really really odd things where going on down here and as much as I would love to find out more I needed to get out fast for Hope’s sake.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Boy

Added 2/23/08 Thank you Shiyu-Chan for another beautiful illustration!

“Jen?” I mumbled as I reached out and grabbed straw to steady myself.

“No one here but you and me today.” A young voice answered.

I was cold and confused. “I was with…then…” I paused to think harder as I tried to recall. “Someone attached us.” A moment passed before I groaned and squeezed my eyes closed at the pain of betrayal. Curling up tightly I held myself in a moment of indulgence. “Kallo.” I said painfully. “Where are my friends?”

“You are the only one they brought.” He answered.

I was in a cell about ten feet by twenty feet with hay piled up in one corner and a water trough in the other like an animal stall. It was dark and had no windows. Only torches in the hallway dimly illuminated the darkness making long shadows.

“Who are you?” I asked the boy. He was a tall adolescent and pale skinned with long wavy black hair peeking out from his hooded cloak. The torch he held reflected off the most captivating sky blue shade of eyes I had ever seen.

“I’m the caretaker. This is my section. They give me responsibility over the very most special things. You are the first person ever though. They said to watch you very close. I have to tell Sinless as soon as you start to act oddly. They said you’re my very most special thing yet.”

“Are you a human or an elvaan?” I asked. I couldn’t tell. He was tall and slender featured like an elvaan except for one important thing. His cloak draped snugly against his head without the support of elegant elvaan ears. The boy dropped his face and turned away from me.

“I’m elvaan. I’m sorry if I offend you. With my hideous deformity I stay here where Sinless protects me from the eyes of normal elvaans. He’s like a father to me.” He held his hand over his ear and slumped down in a nearby chair.

My mind raced. What if it wasn’t a deformity at all? What if this child was like mine. My moogle had told me my baby would look either hume or elvaan and no one would be able to tell the child was blended but one looked pretty blended to me.

“I’m a healer. May I touch them? Maybe I can help.” I lied.

He turned and looked at me with a shocked expression. “You could heal them?” His eyes were wide with hope.

“I’m not sure but I would like to look and see what I can do.” I said with a warm motherly smile.

Slowly he approached the bars and removed his hood. His face flushing red with shame but his eyes wide and full of trust as he knelt in front of me looking up at me with his jaw and hands clinched bravely. How could someone so innocent and trusting be in a place like this?

He was remarkable. He looked as I had hoped, an oddly beautiful marriage of the two races. His ears where those of a hume except for a lovely upward point at the top rear. On his chin he had the youthful beginnings of a hume beard. His neck was too short like a hume and but other than these clues he was the perfect picture of a young elvaan nearing adulthood.

“Can you help me?” he whispered anxiously.

“My name is Alison. What is yours?” I asked warmly.

“Michael.” He answered.

I reached out and pushed the hair away from his unique ear. “I am very glad to meet you.” I said as I smiled reassuringly to the young man.

“It’s not a curse that can be magically erased. I think you are one of the most special and handsome boys I’ve ever seen. Sometimes it’s good to be a different.”

He looked sad and disappointed as he stood up and dropped his eyes. “You’re very nice. I’ll bring you your breakfast.” He shuffled down the hall kicking rocks. The light went will him leaving me in near total darkness to take in what my eyes had just witnessed. I couldn’t help but wonder how many more there were like him. Meeting him almost made me forget the desperate situation I myself was in but not quite.

I knew where I must be. Deep under the stone walls of the Chateau D’Oraguille in Bostaunieux Oubliette is where I would expect knights from my home country to take me. In the dim light I looked around for some way out. A trap door, a lock I could pick, a loose bar, anything. I pulled at every bar of the cold cage until I was sure none were weak or loose in any way before falling down on the pile of hay to rest and think as my stomach growled to let me know the day was moving on and I was hungry. What I would do for a good cookie.

Friday, February 01, 2008


Jenjen stuck her arm out and caught me across the stomach as we both came to an abrupt stop. “Shhhh!” she hissed. “I smell something.”

I stopped and listened but had a hard time over the sound of my own heavy breathing. This baby felt like she could come any day now and moving at all was hard let alone sprinting. I could hear the normal noises of wind and the grunt of the large beasts of this area… but… as I listened closer I could also hear the tinkling sound of someone in chain mail armor moving about. I could even possibly make out the sound of more than one person not far outside of the cave we were about to dart from. We needed to get a better idea of what was going on.

“A lot of someones are out there and I think they want to fight.” She whispered wide eyed.

“I don’t want to fight today.” I whimpered as I supported my belly in my hands.

As Jenjen reached for her cesti I put my hand over her arm. “There must be a better way. Let me go peek and see what exactly we are dealing with.”

“I have to protect you. My brother will never forgive me if you get hurt because I let you go alone.” She whined.

I flashed her my most charmingly confident smile. “I’m still a thief, remember? I can handle this. They’ll never know I am near.”

Jenjen held her lip in her teeth as she nodded with wide concerned eyes. Hiding myself I crept to the end of the cave and peeked around the corner cautiously. I almost gasped too loudly when I realized what was happening. My heart raced as I backed slowly away and turned to creep back to Jenjen.

“It would appear the whole of the Temple Knights are here to welcome us and they brought a few goblins and…” I paused a bit taken back by my heartbreaking disappointment. “Kallo is with them and he doesn’t look like a prisoner.”

My mithra friend hissed in anger as her face tightened. “I’m going to trap that rat and make him suffer as I kill him slowly. How dare he!”

“Not too loud! We need to think of some way around them. There is no way we can handle them all even if we waited for Gurok and Kjarbo and I wont be responsible for my friends getting killed or imprisoned.”

Her face lit up. “Cakes!” She squeaked in delight as she dug through her bag.

“I do love cake but I just can’t eat when things are this dire.”

Jenjen giggled and held out Mithra rice cakes. I smiled back at her. “Purrrfect.” I giggled and took one. The Rhinostery in Windurst developed these magical little delights and used them as a novelty treats during special holidays and events. I eagerly popped one into my mouth and hummed in delight at its sweet smooth taste.

As soon as I swallowed the fast acting magic made my whole body tickle and caused me to giggle and squirm uncontrollably as I shrank into the size and image of a mithran child complete with short ears and long tail that waved with a mind of its own. Jenjen bounced and clapped her hands together in delight. Her cake had already shrank her down too and we looked like twin sisters.

“Who’s in here?” A gruff voice called into the cave.

Jen and I giggled in response and purred as we skipped innocently in circles arms locked loosely with one another. “No one but us.”

“Children shouldn’t be in here alone.” The red haired elvaan said as he put his hands on his hips and tried to look stern through a smile. “What are you two up to?”

Holding hands and stopping to look up at the man we smiled warmly as I explained to him. “We want to see Tavnazian Safehold like we heard about in school. The mean taru in our class said we were not brave enough but we are plenty brave.”

“Way more than them.” Jenjen chimed in.

“We don’t care if it’s haunted. We’re not afraid of any silly ghosts.” Jenjen and I let out a unified rawr and ran past the elvaan. We had to make sure to get by them all before our magical cakes wore off.

The elvaan caught us both by the back of our shirts as we ran by and carried is out. We yowled and struggled but it was no use in this little form. “These two say they are little adventures out to see the Safehold. What should we do with them?” he asked his superior officer.

Kallo laughed and took us one in each arm. “Well aren’t they just the cutest little girls you have ever seen? Like little matching dolls aren’t they? I suspect they will grow up quicker than you think. You girls down mind keeping us company while we have a little bit of a lunch do you?” He looked at the knights. “They must be hungry right?” He grinned evilly. He knew.

I began to tickle and I knew we didn’t have long. “We don’t want to stay with you!” Jenjen protested as she squirmed. Taking a cake from her bag she tried to stuff it in my mouth but Kallo reached around her and took it. “That is our lunch! She hollered.

I reached for it but it was no use. Kallo held us tighter. “I’m sorry dolls.” He said almost sincerely as he handed the cake to a knight. “Eat this.” He commanded.

The elvaan raised an eyebrow and ate it. “It’s quite good.” He barely got out before he became our triplet.

“I was raised in Windurst too.” Kallo said as he held us tighter. To our horror we transformed back into ourselves in his arms. He kissed our noses. “Aren’t they just too cute for words now?” he chuckled back to the others.

Jenjen bit him hard and he pushed her away into the waiting arms of two of the knights who she preceded to pummel with her fists and feet as they tried to get a grip on her.

I head butted Kallo causing his nose to bleed and pulled lose reaching for my daggers as I lunged forward. Kallo grabbed me again and I spun around and stabbed his arm. “Run back Jen!” I cried.

Our bodies locked as we became trapped in a cocoon of magic. Someone had cast a bind spell on us. “Never send a thief to do a black mage’s job.” Someone chuckled as another used his healing magic on Kallo.

“You’re a little out numbered for running.” One of the knights said. “Tie them up and let us get back quickly. The wife says if I am late for dinner one more time this week she’s going to stop feeding me all together.” He chuckled and seemed very pleased with himself. I couldn’t wait for the bind spell to wear off so I could kill his ugly face.

I couldn’t help but let hormonal prego tears roll down my face. “Why?” I cried as I looked at Kallo.

“Thief, please check it.” He said as he patted the heavy looking gil purse on his belt. It amazed and hurt me to see how simple minded and evil a person he really was. I really wanted to hope that there was more to his betrayal than met the eye but I feared that it was nothing but self-centered greed. He turned his back on us and walked away.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


This chapter was co-written (meaning pretty much totally written) by Gurok and is from his point of view. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you Gurok for helping me write again. It feels good. You're my hero yet again. <3

For some reason unknown to me Jenjen and Alison were busy rolling around in the sand laughing and didn’t seem to notice when a nearby group of fisherman started pulling serious weapons out from under their ragged looking clothes while watching us menacingly.

“It’s an ambush!” I shouted. “To the back of the cave!”

We all scrambled to take a defensive position but it was a cave not a fortress. The best we could do was duck behind the corner of the bend and try to take stock of the situation. “Jenjen, take Alison through the portal to Tavnazia get her safely to the stronghold. We’ll catch up with you there after we handle this.”

As I saw Alison about to protest I spoke before she could speak. “Ali, you can’t move as fast as you used to so we need to buy you time and protect this baby. I’d prefer to be by your side every step of the way but this is our best option. Not like Kjarbo and I can’t handle ten bandits.” I saw her worry and gave her a confident grin.

“Don’t take too long.” She snapped back trying to hide her distress with venom.

I could see her struggling with the facts but she didn’t argue. Even in her current state she outran the mithra easily and disappeared into the vortex. I like to think it was her confidence in Kjarbo and my ability to handle ourselves that made it so easy to run away when things got too dangerous for her.

As soon as they had gone through, the group outside began to move toward the cave from behind the trees and rocks outside the entrance. I gave Kjarbo cover and he began casting gravity on our attackers. Answered with a volley of arrows I barely managed to block I called to my partner, “Something is very wrong with this.”

“You mean something other than the fact we are outnumbered five to one?” Kjarbo responded quickly.

“Yes, they are moving in formation. Bandits aren’t normally this organized... I don’t like this. Can you lay down some offensive spells and buy me some time?”

“Sure can try… what are you thinking?”

I replied simply “Getting help.”

I got on my linkpearl and scanned to see everyone’s location. We we’re in luck. Two of my best were in the area. Konamy, my second favorite thief in all of Vana’diel and Dkrchris a dark knight I had barely beaten in a fight once before. We almost killed each other and it was just for fun. He could do damage like no one else I knew and Kona was capable of using mithra reflexes and daggers to an extreme. “Dkr… Kona… I need your help and FAST.”

“Sure G, what’s wrong?” Dkrchris replied.

“Long story after you help, short now: I am pinned down in the Tavnazian portal cave by around ten bandits. I’m with a red mage named Kjarbo. They are organized better then they should be and they have archers and a mage. The two of us will not last if they attack intelligently and if we don’t stop them... Alison is in a lot of trouble.”

Konamy spoke up first “Be there in less then a minute Gurok. Hang on.”

Kjarbo had been casting spells and I could smell the fire and ozone mixed with some other dark arcane taint. “Nice work. Thank you.” I said. As he smiled back as an arrow that whistled by me hit him in the forearm. I dragged him back behind the corner, snapped the shaft and pulled it through as he grunted in pain. “There you go, heal that.”

“OWW! Next time please warn me before you do that.” He protested to distract from the pain through gritted teeth.

They had entered the cave and were moving fast. Five elvaan men armed with swords, three men with bows and at the back a female mage in dark robes.

“You ready?” I asked. Kjarbo is a great guy for a red mage. He fights with his heart and would give his life to protect his friends. I have a lot of respect for that but at that point I really wished he wore heavier armor.

“As I’ll ever be.”

“Let’s kick their teeth in.” I rushed out shield in front, head low and sword held back. I slammed into three of the elvaan with everything I had sending them sprawling. The archers fired and I could hear arrows shattering on my armor and the cave walls, all except the one that got through the space between my chest plate and shoulder pauldron.

Kjarbo locked swords with one of the other two and I could hear the deafening crackle echoing off the stone walls from his enthunder spell as they hit. The mage was focusing her energy with her eyes tightly closed and never saw the butt end of the scythe that knocked her out in one shot. As she collapsed I could see the proud grin on Dkr’s face as he looked at Konamy and said, “See that? One shot!” He moved in fast and used a spinning scythe technique to cut down the other swordsman as he tried to get behind Kjarbo.

Konamy was dodging arrows with speed and shadows to keep two archers busy. I kicked one of the fallen Elvaans in the face hard enough to hear the jaw crack but the other two had regained their feet. Kjarbo rushed past me to help Konamy as Dkrchris took up the fight with his swordsman, blocking a strike with the end of his scythe and sweeping him off his feet with the blade. I didn’t see but I could hear the sound of the scythe striking through armor, bone and ground.

The other two Elvaans flanked me and I managed to block the one to my left with my shield but the other knocked my sword from my hand, which was steadily going numb and weaker from the arrow stuck in my shoulder.

Kjarbo had slept one archer and Konamy was pouncing on another as I saw the third take careful aim on her. I grabbed the Elvaan to my right by the throat and picked him up hurling him back into the archer taking aim on my mithra friend as the arrow went off landing his shot into the chest of the archer Konamy had her hands on. Dropping him to the ground to die she looked a bit annoyed to have her prey stolen so unexpectedly.

Dkrchris had just gotten his scythe free of the ground and the body when he shouted “G, look out!”

The Elvaan on my left cut my cheek open with a well-aimed slash causing me to drop my shield. I quickly punched low to the groin and with a metal gauntlet. The sound was… rewarding. I grabbed his tiny skull and head-butted him with my helmet. He fell to his knees and I hit him again in the back of the neck with both fists for good measure and picked up my shield.

Kjarbo was immobilizing the final archer and Konamy was fighting a slow moving elvaan that Kjarbo must have gravitied. She slipped behind him and kicked out his knee, quickly putting a blade to his throat and saying with all the menace a Mithra can muster “Drop the sword now!”

Dkr spoke up “I’d listen if I were you. She REALLY likes to watch stuff bleed.”

As I walked towards the last conscious member of our opponents I saw his cloak had torn away and underneath was the armor of San d’Oria. I realized all at once “They are Sandorians. This was a setup… Ali and Jen are in danger.”

The dark haired Elvaan spoke up with contempt. “You are right galka. We outsmarted you and controlled your every move. Your group could not hope to outmaneuver the brilliant knights of Sandoria.”

Every bit of rage I had been holding back for weeks bubbled to the surface. “If you all were so smart… you’d have known when to keep your mouth SHUT!”

Konamy let go just in time as the edge of my shield came down across his head harder then I’ve ever hit anything before and the blood sprayed across her and Kjarbo. Fantastic ideas of what I would do to the body next raced wildly through my mind but Kjarbo interrupted before I could follow through. “Umm, Gurok… we need to get to them. Now.”

I paused only briefly to take a deep breath and regain myself. “You’re right. Nice work, let’s go. Dkr and Kona, thank you.”

“No worries G we’ll stick with you guys for a bit to make sure everyone is ok.”

We rushed the portal afraid to think of what we might find or not find on the other side. I hit the ground at a run and raced out into the field. I couldn’t see her. I had to find foot prints or something that could tell me if she had headed to the safe hold or been picked up or worse, hurt, by the knights. I called her on my linkpearl but I got no response. I tried not to panic but the furious urge to break things was building in my head to the point of nearly blurring my vision. I would find her and someone would die for this.