Chapter 9: Lair of maiden of darkness
Back to: Chapter 8: The blood of demise Next: Chapter 10: The summoning of night

Mid day passed until they reached a dark part of the wilds near the Dalish camp that was over the over side of the cliff. Through the trees they could barely see an entrance to the cave. Arthion looked around at the trees and the signs of little life that was around this area apart from then.

A smile on the lips of Geraldine had appeared since she was tired of travelling through the wilds with dark creatures watching her from the shadows in trees and from under rocks and boulders “Aziza why have we come to this place on the opposite side of the lake of night?”.

The lake of night had on its far bank an entrance to the Arbor wilds in which only by travelling through the wilds to the unknown south reach could be reached also by crossing the lake of night although Aziza would kill any one on her lake’s surface.

Aziza snapped at her when she asked her “I have come to bring you aid. She will aid you in your quest” Arthion blinked with confusion as he could see that no one lived this side of the lake of night. He knew that through a passage in the cliff and down a narrow path led to hidden Dalish camp site which has been abandoned for five centuries before.

“I ask you this, who do you mean by aid. No one lives here as their hardly anyway to get here through the wilds with creatures with only with your aid we avoided them” he told her, his eyes looking around for any sign of danger but no sign of monster or minion of Kalian had been here recently and they had never been here as even the queen was weary about going deeper or out of the wilds and so were her own minions.

A silence fell between all three them as Geraldine and Arthion waited for an answer from Aziza but no answer was forth coming. She did not want to tell them who she meant as their aid for they would kill her friend on sight.

Aziza left them to walk to the hidden entrance of a hidden cave in a cliff wall. She could see that a torch was burning bright inside the cave as she approached the entrance.

She entered cave and shivered for it was a cold as the grave, she knelt before a fire pit and casting spell which made logs appear in the fire pit. “you are early, I was not expecting to see you until the rising of the full moon in three days time” a voice echoed from a corner of the cave “you know if you want freeze to your demise in your hiding then you will do so” she told the voice.

The fire gave the cave some warmth as she stood to look for her friend who lived in the cave.

Her eyes fixed on a woman who had standing near the fire pit. Her eyes where fixed on with some worry “why did you come hither? When you brought me here you said that you would bring me food so I can survive here in my hidden cave unless” she fell silent as Aziza heard a twig snap outside making her friend her snarl like a wolf to hear it “I sense her, I sense her, you have led her to me” she snarled panic in her voice.

Aziza wondered what she meant as she herself did not see the queen at all.

“please calm down, the queen is not” she feel silent when her eyes noticed that her friends eyes flashed crimson like the colour that belonged to those of the witch queen. “you have betrayed me, maiden of the sea” she hissed at Aziza.

A scythe appeared in the hand of her friend, she waved her hand causing a wave of red light where here hand moved from her hand making Aziza float of the ground above the fire.

“oh my god, Vanlanthiriel! The first blood eagle and the maiden of darkness” cried Arthion for he and Geraldine had creped in when Aziza spoke to her.

Vanlanthiriel turned away so that they could not see her face “serve you the queen for I sense her magic. Bring your word from your lips so I could hear what you wish from me”

He blinked after she had spoken her words to him “we do not serve that foul fend known as your mistress, we wish to stop the queen and we were led to you by Aziza as she said that you could aid us in our quest but seeing you here makes me wonder as it has been few years since anyone has seen you. What happened to you?” he asked her, a smile appeared on his lips as he wondered about his now nemesis who was his former of lover.

The eyes of Aziza who were filled with fear in case Vanlanthiriel decided to set her on fire with her magic “on that night when she vanished a few years ago, assassins tried to take her life so they kidnapped her from her Shadow Daine to end her life as she knew for a while what the queen had planned that is now in action. The assassins were hired by that vanishing Dalish elf, Alyan who wished to prove himself to all as the true hero of the Dalish. She was almost slain by them but although her attackers where all killed by her magic and combat skills. I found her a few days later mortally injured and close to death in a shrine to the dark god, Nor, which the queen had found a few years before. I took her from that place to my home under the lake and healed her wounds. When she was healed enough I brought her here for she had no wish to return the queen after her near death experience and every phase of the moon or sooner if she requested me to bring her food and supplies so that she could live here in safety while hiding from Kalian and her forces who search for her” she fell silent with a hissing grown of pain.

Looks from Arthion noticed that Vanlanthiriel was looked mournfully at the wall of the cave before clicking her fingers making Aziza fall from her floating position.

She was knelling as she tried to stand as pain shoot through her magically formed her legs, she was knelling before a fire a pit. The warmth the fire warming her skin. “what will you do now Vanlanthiriel? If we came here then it will only be a matter of time until Kalian finds her way here and brags you back into her service” with a groan of pain she stood behind the fire pit.

Vanlanthiriel turned to look at them, her eyes where her own blue colour. With her slight smile on her lips “what you say is true but with my powers and my long standing friendship to the queen will not be enough to get all three of you into Shadow Daine”

“then you will aid us?” asked Arthion with a hopeful look on his features.

She nodded to with a harsh grin on her lips and answered his question with a snarl “yes I will aid on this one promise, that you take me home to my clan which you live Arthion” he blinked when he heard speak his name “oh yes I know who you are for else you forget that I am of Dalish birth and I am from the same clan as you now live. I ask thus that through this if I am still alive or dead bring me to my clan so I can be buried as a true Dalish elf not like this ... Demon elf that I have become through the blackest of magic if I am dead for if not then still bring me so I can make peace with my younger sister. Do I have your word Dalish upon your life and that of your mage sister’s?” she breathed hard to catch her breath while she waited for answer from Arthion.

He stood for moment thinking, he had completely forgotten about her being of Dalish birth and that she had a younger sister called Saphira Mahariel who was now a fully grown Dalish hunter, the best in their clan. She spent some of her time hunting with her friend Tamlen or Violet, she had been raised by the keeper’s second since her mother’s demise and her sister joining the blood eagles.

With that in mind he gave his promise “I give you my word that you I will fulfil your request, this I swear upon my life”

“Then I will aid you but first” she turned and started to walk out of the cave “come with me witch, I must speak with you alone”. She left the cave with Geraldine following her soon after with some worry.

When she managed to catch up with Vanlanthiriel, her eyes was watching the waves hit the shore of the small beach. Some times she would bathe in sun to get rid of that pale skin of hers “what did she promise?” she asked her.

“what are you talking about blood eagle?” asked Geraldine.

With turn she gave her a reply "I sense the queen with in you, she has given you something hasn't she. What did she offer you witch?” hissed Vanlanthiriel.

A flash of anger appeared on her features, her own body had tensed up with rage to what Vanlanthiriel was saying to her “if this is the answer you want then I will give to you. The queen offered me the love of the Arthion, is that such a crime. Still a monster like you would not understand love” a snarl came from the lips of Vanlanthiriel with her stating that she did not understand love.

“The foolish, the foolishness of this did that you have spun with such evil in what words where told you to. Temptation is that of the queen, many of the eagles have been lured to her by promises. If she given you his love with no catches this pact was will lead to your doom and that of your love. I sense the queen’s magic upon you, if you are smart then let me remove the magic on you both, as it will mean your doom” a laugh escaped from mouth of Geraldine.

“oh why should I pander to the demonic will of a monster such as yourself. My love, will love me by what ever means I need to use and you will not stop me” she snarled at her.

They both run to do what they needed to do to get the quest. as Aziza was heading to the blood eagle armoury to get some armour for herself. Geraldine was going to the inn to rest along with Vanlanthiriel while Arthion visited his clan to see if they could help.

Sadness filled the mind of Vanlanthiriel as she knew what the reaction would happen when Vanessa found out about Arthion's betrayal of her love for him. Her rage would be immense, her thoughts were to tell her but she needed to make sure that neither Geraldine or Arthion followed her to Vanessa. She would rest for awhile and then make her to see Vanessa with the hope that she would take her life for bringing her this news.

Click Next: Chapter 10: The summoning of night to continue...

Back to: Chapter 8: The blood of demise Next: Chapter 10: The summoning of night
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