Posts tagged ‘Journals’

War Journal – 2-3-4 Bane-War-Aftermath (ep3)

“Word n the salt pans is the pole has been deformed, perhaps with the same purpose?” it was Lilly’s turn to shrink, the Sphinx had been working with Leif and the bane, transforming the pole, but she had kept her motifs to herself. “So there are more?” Fathala tried not to sound as she felt. Instead of a reply the floral waved them to follow him. Not far behind the position where he had stood a crevice cleft in the rocks, giving way to a cave. After several meters light grew scarce, Fathala made her Naga light appear. In front of her the Floral man made a squirming sound. “I’m sorry if my light hurt your eyes.” immediately she sought forgiveness. If thw Dorei should prove to be a dead end to her intentions to get back home, he and his people might be an important stop along her way back to the sweetwater sea.

“I should’ve thought of that,” he replied, “you have not adapted to this sort of darkness.”

After a few minutes the cavern had gotten eveb hotter, basins of salty sludge softly bubbled beside their path. Vapor rose from them, collected at the ceiling above and subsequently condensed, trickled down on the sides into small shallow trenches, designed to carry the water off.

Alhough they can make their own water, they won’t share it freely. After about an hour more they reached a large dome in the cave. Several dozen people wandered about. All florals, most looked malnourished, most eere far younger than the man who had found them. “We die young mostly.” he had caught Fathala’s slightly terrified look as she had glimpsed a girl of about thirteen years, carrying a seedling. “Yes, it is her own, not her little sibling.” he sounded as sad as Fathala felt terrified. “Florals in my world have a seedling patch to nurse their unborn.”

“For now. Maybe that will change, the Chimera who is responsible for all this,” he pointed around, “has returned to there, and with her countless others like her.” he eyed Lilly carefully, still uncertain whether she wasn’t the Chimera.

Soft daylight streamed through the large dome, where it touched the ground the florals stood in tightly packed groups, drinking it in, their feet dug into the ground. On firat glance it.looked like regular soil, free from salt.

No food. They can go without it. Not very well though. “We scout the desert, over time we had learned how to conceal ourselves.” he sighed. When he removed his cloak his skin turned out to be as hardened as bark, other florals avoided him. “It’s the curse of age.” thoughtfully he examined his hands, stiffened fingers, his joints made cracking sounds when he wiggled his fingers. “Some believe it to be contagious, but I know it is just age. And the conditions we live in.” he lowered his hand and waved them to follow him.

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War Journal – 2-3-4 Bane-War-Aftermath (ep2)

“Naga died, not by the hand of the sphinx, but what she had done to the oceans. In your world the Sphinxes have set a killer in the seas, so they won’t do the same to your world.” Lilly’s voice was muffled again by the cloth in front of her face, she had given Fathala a hooded cloak and facecloth too. Together they moved westward, what seemed to Fathala as the direction east was in in her home. “Where are we going?”

“Dorei.” was Lilly’s answer, meeting the eyes of her Naga comapnion Lilly understood that she did not know Dorei. “It lies south west of the pole, in your world it’d be north east. It was destroyed by the sphinx, but the people of Dorei in your world are resourceful.” she smirked behind her cloth, only visible at her eyes. “Most people who come here from your world come here by accident. Not the Dorei, they have switched the devastated land of this world with their own from yours. They are here with all their people and all they need to live.”

Fathala stopped dead.in her tracks, Lilly turned around, her ataff whirling, gave her smack on the bottom, and before Fathala realized, both of them were.moving again. “Don’t stop. At all!” she pointed back, the ground they just had left had become slightly darker. “Some nasty salt sludge lies buried beneath the surface. It can swallow you whole.” recalling she spoke with a Naga Likly eased her tone slightly. “Maybe you could escape, but better not test your luck.”

Before them the flat salt pans went on to the horizon, making Fathala long for a change. The salty ground made her raw, more than rocks did.

“How did the Sphinx miss out on the people of Dorei coming here?”

“That bloke Leif was pulling her over into your world, she was almost completely gone from me when they arrived.” How did you know of their arrival? Though feeling curious she couldn’t afford losing Lilly as an ally.

 

Grotesquely shaped dry branches reached from a massive tree skywards as if to beg the heavens for help. Roots, thicker than the two women combined had dug into the soil ages ago, in order to find some source of water. “I’ve met a floral girl once on Naga’na. She was a brave young woman. And she would’ve loved to see this.” Nicodia. Where ever you might have gone, I hope you’re far from the Sphinxes.

 

“Hello.” startled the two women turned to the source of the greeting. Just like themselves the shape that had emerged from the cracked, and washed rocks was wrapped in hood, cloak and face cloth. The voice was smoky, like Fathala had heard from humans and Albin who had a long history with the pipe. “Greetings.” Lilly finally replied, shoving herself between Fathala and the stranger.

“May I ask what brings you to the floral enclave isle?” the man asked, revealing himself as a Floral when he removed the hood. “We’re bound for Dorei.” curious how the florals survived in the salty desert Lilly lowered her staff. “Ah, water business.” his voice indicated a smile beneath the cloth. “We come from the sweetwater sea.”

As far as they could see the eyes of the floral man squinted. “The Chimera lives there.”

“Lived. She was pulled through to my world.” emerging behind Lilly, Fathala removed her own face cloth. “If she’s truly gone, why didn’t you stay?”

“She knows the passage through, if she and her brethren decide to come through, where do you think that’ll be?” Lilly gave up on shielding the Naga. Where am I to pass back? Dorei in my world will be a desert. Discouraged by her own thoughts Fathala noticeably shrank.

Again the vision of Naga Eric appeared, smiling benevolent, trying to encourage her, but this time he uad little success.

War Journal – 2-3-4 Bane-War-Aftermath (ep1)

Grey hard crystalline ground stretched in all directions. From horizon to horizon, just the flat grey unforgiving salt desert. No trees, shrubberies, grasses.

Winds gusted, whirling up clouds of dust, dust that consisted solely of salt, and traces of other materials. Hooded, wrapped in several layers of cloth, and a cloth in front of the face, a lone figure wandered through the saltpans, that once were the ocean floor.

Carefully placing steps, probing for unsafe ground wih taps of a staff the figure was not the fastest, but didn’t want to.break through the hard salty crust to get stuck in a puddle of salty sludge.

The sudden sound of a splash, accompanied by thunder as if huge waves broke above, the figure looked up, finding another figure in the air. The second figure had wings, but seemed to be unconscious, flying onward but in a steady decline. Might be some time until she comes down. If it truly is a Naga. After an hour the supposed Naga came down, landing unpleasantly on the salty ground. A cry of pain followed. That woke her.

Still taking care.not to cruah through he surface into sludge the hooded figure continued on. Guided by the Naga’s cries the hooded figure navigated through the salt pans.

 

“You were flying eastwards, you crash landed westward.” the voice of a woman reached Fathala, it seemed distant, all of her body was burning, in every scratch there was salt, her left wing was dislocated, her right wing broken, her right arm didn’t feel much better. “Mirror world?” only now, after crying in pain for a while, did she notice how raw her throat felt, how dry she was.

“Yes.” a hand white as snow appeared from underneath the cloaks. Fathala felt like crying but was too dried up to shed tears. The alabaster woman! She is going to kill me! Another figure appeared above her. Wings like fire, garbed only to hide his private parts. A male Naga, Eric’s ghostly Naga shape. “Do not be afraid of her.” he said in a calm voice. A cold, yet warming touch sent shivers through Fathala’s body, the burning vanished, and the pain in her extremities eased. A healing touch?

“I take it from your reaction to me, that you have heard of me.” the alabaster hand withdrew beneath the cloaks again. “Or rather, of her.” as she removed her hood more white skin was revealed to Fathala, framed by streams of fiery red hair. “The Sphinx had taken possession of me, used me. Not so long ago a young, handsome man had come here, to the sweetwater sea. She used my body to seduce him, to make him bend to her will.” she helped Fathala stand up. “I am Lilly.”

“Fathala. I suppose you don’t carry any water?” Lilly produced a skin and a cup, poured some water into the cup. “We need to ration it.”

Eagerly Fathala gulped down the water.

Upon defeating the sphinxes the last time, one had been left stranded in the mirror world, with her counterparts. Life giving benevolent creatures, who saw no danger in the new arrival. One by one the malevolent sphinx killed her benevolent counterparts, met with no oposition by the people of the mirror world she wreaked havoc on them, murdered them, tore holes in the rim and let the oceans drain into the depths. When she had nothing left to destroy, she turned on Lilly, occupying the immortal anti Succubus, biding her time until she could slip back into the world she belonged to.

War Journal – 1 Swift Wings (ep31)

Heeding the old woman’s warning Fathala turned, no one was paying her much attention anyway. Quickly she slithered up the steep stairs, crossed long hallways, past common rooms.

A soft and gentle growl rose from the rock around her. More and more knights poured out of the rooms, old men, younger men, but still old, young men. Fathala had hoped to see one of the sons Eric had left with the order, to warn them, yo take them with her, but she saw not one.

Soon she found herself out in the open again, from the dry heat of the keep she had cone back to the damp, icy air of an.almost wintery pole.Within.minutes had she flown to he house, dusk was close, not that it matter much with the dark clouds above. For a moment it appeared to her that an immense ray of golden light was engulfing the pole, or at least the mountain with the keep in it.

Roused by the unusual sound of her wings beating the air Thorsten rushed out, his family in tow. We raised him wisely. He had packed some provisions and clothes, on his arm a little child. Fathala couldn’t tell whether itvwas Erica or his own daughter.”We need to leave.” she didn’t waste any breath on long explanations, the ground beneath her grumbled softly. “I thought as much.” he replied, showing his luggage. “Fishers bay is too far away, come father.” He is accepting this better than I thought.

Thorsten led his family west, out to the place where he and Eric had built the first boat, to find an identical ship waiting for them. Fathala felt almost bad for abandoning hers in the middle of the ocean. It would’ve been towed by the Albin ship, and would be inaccessible now as well.

“Tide is out.” Thorsten sounded desperate, but Fathala recalled that he couldn’t know of her ability to let the ship to water.

Mere moments later waves towered over the mast that now seemed tiny by comparison. Although she felt the exhaustion of her powers Fathala kept pushing he ship away from shore, out into the raging storms.

 

Above and behind the wandering, furious mountains of water the tall black rock stood above, barely distinguishable from the dark skies and waters. Deafening thunder roared, making Fathala and Thorsten turn their heads. Just as Fathala had feared, a broad ray of light crossed the skies above, engulfing the mountain.

Another thunder sounded as the top of the rock was torn apart, fire and molten rock spewed forth from it, immediately a plume of ash and smoke rose into the sky, melting through the clouds, forming an even darker cloud above.

“Faster!” she cried to herself, closing her eyes to propel the ship faster through the waters, but exhaustion got the best of her, leaving the ship adrift in the currents of the storms.

 

Relieved she noticed the currents carried them off.

 

Thorsten stood next to her, his hand on the rudder, while she was hanging against the railing of the ship. We’re doomed. Streams of lava ran down the slopes, whilst more ground shaking explosions tore at the peak of the pole mountain. Fathala saw that something massive was spewed up inside the plume, but couldn’t determine if it was chunks of rock and lava or their dreaded enemy. “Wave!” Thorsten’s cry took her attention further down, amassive wave raced towards them. I can’t breathe seawater for long. An hour, maybe two, before I die! she wanted to cry but felt a ghostly touch on her left shoulder. Glancing up, she found Naga Eric smiling down on her benevolently. Returning the smile she rose to her full size, wind caught in her spread wings, ripping her off the deck, dragging her high up.

Deepin the western horizon clouds opened up to send the last rays of daylight into the world. Wereit not for the catastrophe raging around us, this would be a peaceful sight. Good bye my children. She glanced down on the tiny boat dancing on and between the the mighty waves, ahead of the large floodwave. Summoning the remainder of her strength she pushed the little boat away. Far away from the wave pursuing it, where the sea was deep enough forthe wave to disperse in the deep.

Aware that she had no.place to land anymore, she.plunged downwards to catch the massive wave that had threatened the boat until then.

Lit by the light from the west she could see her distorted reflection in the front of the water wall for a moment, before she was struck by a waterfront as strong as rock.

 

Leif smiled as he cradled he bane in his hands. “She is dead, our gift to the world will soon,” he felt the lips of he alabaster woman touch his. “They are here.” she breathed wih a cold smile. “Thanks to you, the dragons have returned.”

Not understanding Leif tried to gatger any meaning from her eyes. But again he felt her lips on his, her tongue searching for his. Before he could resist he felt a sharp stingin his throat.

The alabaster woman stood over him, one hand buried in his hair, one tightly clasped around the arrow she had forced through his throat, she kissed away the blood he spewed up. “I am a dragon, or a chimera or sphinx. We have many names, and I have brought my brethren here. Thanks to you.” she smiled turning to face outwards through the dense curtain of water behind the waterfall.

She felt the coming presence of the other sphinxes, a demented grin jerked the corners of her mouth around. Under a maniacal laugh she ran towards the waterfall.

 

Whlana felt air brushing against her face with increasing intensity. Suddenly liberated from the alabaster Chimera she fought to forget the countless times the creature had spread her legs for Leif. It had left memories in Whlana’s mind. It had been true that the chimeras of the other place were bringers of life, but the alabaster creature had not come from there.

Suddenly Whlana felt the crush, every thought stopped, there was just water and rock, bones like sand and blood everywhere.

Darkness.

War Journal – 1 Swift Wings (ep30)

A thin layer of dew covered the fields, in some patches it was frost, Fathala had a hood drawn into her face, watching the house with a longing heart. In one way or the other her children were supping inside the building. Like she had predicted, their landing was met with suspicion, the people of fishers bay had welcomed them, but didn’t let any of them into the underground village further uphill from the ocean, nor their huts and houses at the shore.

But they knew of Eric’s departure with Leif, and that the order also had sent two ships of their own, with two men each. After they too had left, their mission was made known. Suspicion was replaced with disappointment, after learning that the ship was indeed not carrying women for the pole. Again, just like she had predicted. Before paying a visit to the order and readying them for Leif and the bane, Fathala had decided to take a detour, she wanted to see how Eric’s family was fairing. “Who are you?” the door to his house was wide open, Thorsten stood in the warmly lit opening, blade in hand. “A friend of your fathers.” it cost her all her strength not to rush to his side, wrapping her arms around him and express her fatherly love to him, like the parts of Eric remaining inside her wanted.

“You are.one of the strangers who.came ashore two days past?” he lowered his.blade, although the sight of the Naga surely must’ve been terrifying to him. “A friend of my father is welcome here, even if you look queer.” grateful for his hospitality she slithered towards him. “I came to tell you of his passing.” she took off the hood, immediately icy winds made a mess of her hair. It was not as homely as Eric’s memories made it seem.

Thorsten was seemingly moved by the ill news, but something told Fathala that he had assumed as much when Eric had set out to sea. “How?”

“A dagger.” I can’t tell him that it was his little brother who slew me.

“Who?” tears shot to his eyes. I have to. “Leif. In his defense, he was charmed and seduced by powers out of this world.” more grief, joined by anger, displayed on his face. “All his training,” Thorsten began, “had not prepared him for what has happened to him.” Fathala finished the sentence. “A powerful entity grabbed hold on him, regrew certain parts, and seduced him to think the Dragons were bringers of life.” she placed her hand on his cheek like Eric had done whenever Thorsten was sad in his childhood.

Surprised the young man looked up. “Father?” “In a way. But not entirely, I’m sorry.” she withdrew both her hand and herself. “Erica is well I hope? And your own child?” weeping heavily he nodded, the sword had fallen to the ground. “The girls are fine.” A girl too!? Perhaps there’s hope after all. “It fills our hearts with joy to hear that.” she wanted to correct what she had said, but Thorsten seemed to understand. Tears in her eyes Fathala turned away. “I need to go to the order, your brother still poses a threat, even at great distance.” Or especially then. Thosten did make no reply, the sound of the blade scraping over the ground as he picked it up sounded as sad as she felt. Without another word she left the home that Eric had known for all his life, and the home she had thought and hoped to find with him. Fighting the frosty dew and icy patches she slithered towards the landing party that had accompanied her, they waited in the village to journey to the Orders keep.

 

The faces carved from the basalt and tuff seemed to weep with the dew and thawing frost running down them. Large and intimidating gates awaited any visitors to the keep, flanked by faces of men, women and beasts. Above them all was a slain dragon, facial features had washed away long since, but the nigh face less creature wept along with the men and women of stone below. Fathala felt unwelcome, as Eric had every time he had to go to the keep. An unwell feeling got hold of her stomach when she entered the keep with her fellowship, Danarien amongst them.

Seeing things the young Naga couldn’t Danarien gazed about. Our warning comes late. Not too late I hope.

“It gives us grwat pleasure to receive guests from beyond he seas.” Fathala quickly translated for her company, Danarien smiled peacefully, still gazing about. Shadows move beyond these walls, they prepare to tear open the gates holding them back. “I am mightily interested in your defences.” she suddenly blurted out. Seemingly irritated the knight who greeted them looked at the blind old eyes staring at him. Through him.

“Certainly. You.sound urgent, is there cause to it?”

They’re almost upon us, fool. “An old woman’s curiosity. At a certain age, with death no further than a step, you loose your patience.” nodding he led the.party to the abbot knight, an elderly man of nigh fifty years, skin like white leather, he was found in the library, immersed in plans for more ships.

Danarien repeated her desire to see the defences of the keep. “I’ll take you tgere personally, but must ask your companions to surrender their weapons to my men.” Cautious. Good.

Following steps carved from basalt the abbot led them down the great dome, Fathala remembered the stories Leif had told his father. All the abandoned quarters. The defences Danarien seeeks are weakly manned at best. All because he decline of population. Although second sons are mandatory required to go to the order, fewer girls mean fewer births, means lesser numbers for the order. Are we too late after all?

“Excuse me.” she stopped. To her right a long hallway led away from the great hole in the rock. A red glow lit the hallway that was not from the torches or lamps. Surprised as his guests the Abbot stopped, stared down the hall. “Sentries!” he yelled, to which half a dozen men came running. On Danarien’s face an expression of contempt was clearly visible. “Eric, Fathala, grab your family, run ftom this land.” the old woman let go of Fathala’s hand after taking it in a hasty fashion.

War Journal – 1 Swift Wings (ep29)

“I knew that I’d meet you again.” the frail looking, but robust Danarien smiled at Fathala as the Naga landed on deck. She had flown the last hundred meters to the Albin vessel, restlessness had gotten the best of her. “What happened to your polar friends?” immediately tears shot to Fathala’s eyes.

Stern and yet warmly she took the Naga’s hand. “That bad? Come.” she led her to the cooking fire, shooing off the other crew members.

All the hardship, love and loss, betrayal and sadness of the past weeks seemed to melt together into one big boulder if crushing feelings weighing Fathala down. Over a cup if Danarien’s tea she told the Albin all that had happened after she had left them, spilling out her heart and her secret with Eric. Only keeping to herself that she saw a Naga shaped, ghostly version of Eric. From the corner if her eyes she saw him sniffing the tea in the kettle. “We haven’t had much better fairings either, the storms around the pole knocked us about pretty good, and eventually we ended up badly damaged, leaking and with close to no sails left. It took us long to reach shore and begin repairs, and the modifications. But here we are.” she managed a smile. There had been casualties, three Naga, seven humans, three from the Norsers, four from Galnerra, and eight Albin. But no one Fathala knew particularly well.

“In any case,” Danarien turned to face the commander of the ship standing in the door, “we better get going, circumstances are dire.” Moments later commands were barked, followed by the sails snapping as air filled them once again. Smoothly the ship continued its voyage, leaving Eric’s small ship behind. Where might the others be? The order set out to send a small like this out. No word about them. Did they suffer at the winds of the storms?

“I recon they came off course and landed far away. Perhaps the fungal empire, or their small republican brothers. Mayhaps north east of the pole. Maybe south east.” Naga Eric stared out to the raging sea next to Fathala, leaned against the door frame. I hope you’re right my love.

Sunlight danced on top of the towering waves. Storm gusts hit the waters, spray flew against the hull of the ship. “Eerie weather, is it not?” Danarien stood next to Fathala. The unusual mixture of storm and sunshine irritated most of the crew. A bad omen they reconed.

“Not all.” a tranquil smile played around Fathala’s lips. “This is sunny weather here in our homeland.” Danarien knew it was the mixture of Eric and Fathala speaking. Between the towering waves every so often land appeared in sight. “Captain! East south east.” the voice of Naga fought against the thundering waves and winds, with success. Relaying the course corrections to the man at the rudder, the Captain was glad to have her on board, despite what other magic users thought of what she had done with Eric.

That way she knew her way around the pole.

Between foaming rocks a gap appeared in the coast. Beyond that gap the sea seemed a lot calmer. Navigating into the bay was like threading a needle, in a violent storm.

Fathala provided little information she had on the bay. “Fisher’s bay it’s called.” a crude map was spread on the tabpe before her, the captain and Danarien stood to her sides. Just like the people of fallhus, they had reacted with astonishment when she had donned her clothes again after they had finally dried. The arrow had left a hole in the cloth, as much as her skin and flesh. From time to time the cortorized wound itched, but Fathala ignored it.

“The village lies about here, some fifteen ships will be in there.” her finger pointed at the bay, not any particular point, “I expect they won’t exactly be forthcoming, they know no strangers from beyond the seas.” “Will they attack us?” Military thinking. Rightly so he’s a captain!

“Not like, they will mistrust you,” she paused, closed her eyes tooka deep breath of annoyance. “us. They won’t trust us.”, between Danarien and the Captain, Naga Eric slithered into the light of the lamp, smiling peacefully.

War Journal – 1 Swift Wings (ep28)

Around her the world began to shrink. No! Don’t lose consciousness! Not here, not now! Splashing her head into the icy waters she struggled on. Quickly she looked at the arrow in the cold light of her hand, let go of it. Another cry of pain filled the air as she jammed hand against the wound, a magical fireball in it to close the wound and stop the bleeding. Not my brightest idea! she cursed silently. Cooling her head once more she let go of the rock, swam away, eastward bound, as to avoid Leif and Whlana, who most certainly were looking for her by now. Will the brothers of the.order be able to stop him? Both Eric’s mental remnants and Fathala wondered.

“Do it.” the alabaster woman stood over Eric, her hands on his shoulders. “Our gift to this world awaits.” in Leif’s lap sat the Bane, sweating clouds of golden light. “No. She is out there. If she tells the.others, they’ll find a way to fight us, and they’ll descend upon us like the wrath of the heavens!” Whlana came round his.left side, like him she was naked, sweat dried on her skin, semen trickled down her inner thighs. “The bane could do away with the Sphinxes, they are most like he most powerful beings in existence. If they couldn’t fight its power, why should hey be able?” she smiled a peaceful smile. Leif’s glance fell on the trickle of semen. When she gave herself to him he could feel Whlana in there somewhere, resisting. It was not the same as in the other place with the alabaster woman. “It was mortals who made it, it will be mortals who’ll undo its effect.” he lectured. Taken aback by his reasoning her expression hardened. “Our gift can wait.” she agreed. “But do with her quickly.” again she took up place behind him in the great sanctuary hall, looking out through the waterfall.

“Please be swift.” Fathala thanked the Naga girl that took her message. She was about twelve, her mother and little sister spent the summer in the norh of the sea, but moved back to Naga’na in the cold winter months. Szihndaya vowed to abd hurried after her mother. The encounter had come as a relief to Fathala, after spending half a day in a ghost town, and an unknown amount of time in the air, contact with living, breathing Naga was more than welcome. After she found herself all alone in the icy waves once again Fathala felt lost. Tired she went to ground, allowing herself to rest for the night.Digging her stinger into the mud and rock of the sea floor he ensured not to be washed away by the currents, her wings drawn tightly around her she almost felt secure. “Go home. Tell them, and tell them to go through the archives, there must be an answer!” Eric stood before her, but his appearance was much changed. By all means he looked like a Naga man would look like if Fathala had to imagine one. His wings were ragged, but colored like liquid fire, his hand illuminating the ocean floor glowed more orange than the typical Naga blue. “You are a figment of my imagination, conjured up by my distressed mind.” she wanted to say, but beneath the waves she couldn’t speak.

“I am, true, but also the remnants of my memories and thoughts left in your mind, given form by both my memory of myself and your imagination.” his lips didn’t move when he spoke, but it didn’t feel like thoughts projected into her mind either. “However, go to the pole and tell them. Warn them.” “After I regained my strength.” she looked into his unaltered eyes, drinking in the warmth they spent. “Will you be here when I wake?””In a sense I’m always with you, and always will.” She felt as if she cradled her head on his curled up serpent like body. Just hold me and never let go. Never part my side again. Se fell asleep, deep, dark sleep without dreams.

Ravaged by wind and weather the small boat was not in the same condition that Fathala had last left it in, but still seaworthy. From Eric’s memories she knew how to operate it, maintain it. Within a day she had it ready to go to sea again. Since she couldn’t breathe saltwater, and the way to the pole was too long to fly, she decided to use Eric’s boat. I wonder whether the ithers nade it to the pole yet. Behind her the coast shrank to a thinner and thinner smudge on the horizon, vanished soon after. “Winds are with us, that’s good.” She glanced to stern, Naga Eric stood there, clearly enjoying the wind from the west. “Yes. But what will await us at the pole?” she had continued her way through the autumnly forests on wings rather than tail, that way she covered the path that took them close to three weeks in a few days. Originally she wanted to stay in Reedheim for a night, but the painful memories of her and Eric there was too much to bear, so she flew straight onward to the sea.

Besides, the fewer people she encountered, the better. For them. Leif might track her and might cause harm to anyone helping her. Seldom her glance fell west, afraid a light might shine through to her, taking her mind captive once again. Instead she continued east.

Within two weeks time she found a sail north east of her position. “That’s the ship we’ve met on.” Eric stood next to her as she stared at the distant canvas of cloth. “Still here?” she raised her eyebrows, fear grabbed a hold on her stomach. Leif!?

“No. They did not break through the storms around my home, sailed back to shore and refitted the ship like I told them to.” the plans he had drawn up for the crew for the ship came back to her mind. After following the sail for a while with her eyes she noticed that their course was bound to intercept hers before the much more violent seas. Taking the rudder firmly in her hand she hoped to reach them in time to meet with them. Still Leif might catch them wih he bane, but if they successfully reached the pole, he would turn on them in any case.