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The Curse of Maraqua: Memories - Part Two


by charlotte203368

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Part Two

Alena landed down on a soft knoll and ate a little. The azure sky was clouding up-she had to find shelter soon.

     A small, rocky outcrop jutting out from the top of a cave was within her reach. Crawling under it, she curled up into a tight ball as the rain outside splattered down.

     She had to find that Eyrie. She had to.

     *

     Toran awoke to find himself lying down in a thick, steel-barred cell. Rose was not there. His belt had been stripped of its weapons along with his longbow and quiver. He lay there, waiting for a visitor.

     Soon a Grarrl guard came, dragging Rose along by the wrist with him. She was struggling and kicking, but to no avail.

     "Your friend's feisty, isn't she?" he sneered coldly. Those were the only words he said. Opening the door, he threw Rose in. Toran, a seasoned fighter, took that as a chance of escape. Quick as lightning, he grabbed the Grarrl's arm and dragged him inside. He didn't like doing it, but he needed to escape. Toran gave the guard a hefty punch in the face, and Rose began to search him.

     They recovered the keys to the cell, and opened it, keeping the key-ring with them. Toran scrabbled up the stairs, careful to avoid any guards.

     The armory was not far away. Toran found his sword and dagger, longbow and quiver, and Rose simply snatched a rapier from the stacks of weapons littering the floor.

     "This is King Skarl's palace. I don't think he'll listen to our pleas, though. The stupid oaf would rather scoff down a large bread loaf," hissed Rose, opening the door quietly.

     No guards were outside. Rose and Toran slunk softly down the halls and corridors, aware that a single glimpse of them might mean their deaths.

     Then, unluckily, a prison guard doing his rounds spotted them.

     "Get them!" he yelled.

     Rose and Toran ran as huge swarms of guards chased after them as they headed towards the drawbridge. It was already about to roll up on them. Toran flew up to the top, Rose on his back. He could not maneuver them through the small crack left.

     Together, they jumped.

     *

     The rain had stopped, and Alena hesitantly emerged from the cave. A Beekadoodle rested on top of the rock outcrop. It twittered merrily, seeming to not have a care in the world. Alena sighed. She wished she could be like that Beekadoodle, without a care in the world. That is, she would be, when her quest was finished.

     She swiftly soared through the air, keeping hold of the legendary flying speeds of Unis. As she flew over King Skarl's palace, she saw two minute splashes in the moat. She flew down closer.

     *

     Toran emerged from the moat, coughing and sputtering. He was relieved to see that the drawbridge had been fully drawn up, thus trapping everyone inside until it was put down again. He was also worried about Rose. Where was she?

     Drawing his sword, he waded around in the marshes and cut himself some hollow reeds as preparation for breathing underwater.

     Rose, however, had dragged herself up onto the bank of the moat, using her sword to pull herself up through the mud. She laid there, in the reeds, her still form barely breathing. She could see a blurry outline through her half-closed eyes.

     "Toran?" she asked, trying vainly to sit up. She sank down into the mud, unconscious.

     *

     Alena was astonished to see the Zafara laid down in the reeds, half-dead. She was comatose, though only barely. Her eyelids flickered as Alena applied a cold compress. Leaving the Zafara with her pack, she proceeded to look for the Eyrie she had seen.

     The marshes around the moat were hard to travel around in. At last Alena could see the Eyrie sitting on the bank, downcast.

     His beak was twisted into the form of a snarl, and his hardened features gave no hint of giving away his sadness. Only by magical means was Alena able to figure out that he was sad.

     "Who are you?" queried the Eyrie anxiously. Alena approached him, her petite, yet strong form beaming with pleasure.

     "I am Alena. And you?" answered Alena.

     "Toran is my name. Listen here, Alena. Have you seen a red Zafara anywhere?" Toran inquired anxiously.

     "Yes, I found her. She is lying in the reeds with my pack. You may go see her, if you like," replied Alena softly.

     Toran quickly found Rose, and saw that she was all right. His sturdy blue form slumped down, exhausted, and he fell into a pained sleep.

     Alena watched him, smiling reminiscently. If she was right, one of Fyora's messengers, Dream, would come down and tell him everything.

     *

     Toran found himself staring straight into the eyes of a faerie. Warily, he jumped back, striking out with his sword. A stroke that would have cleaved an enemy straight in half the faerie effortlessly dodged, to his surprise.

     The faerie was clothed in a simple blue robe, and her voice sounded like a tinkling bell.

     "Toran, you're more than you think," she sang. Toran didn't say anything, swiping at the faerie with his sword.

     "Go with Alena, son of Mirovin. She is the daughter of Theresa," the dream-faerie sang. Toran continued to slash and lunge at her.

     Then, everything disappeared.

     *

     Toran awoke with a start. Alena looked at him, understanding shining in her eyes.

     "That happened to me, too," she whispered.

     Toran was puzzled. How could he, a lonely Eyrie, pursued by Varson, could be the son of a prestigious warrior? He did know Mirovin had left a blood line behind, but he wasn't supposed to be one of his heirs!

     Toran wasn't surprised Alena had been of very noble birth. After all, she was from Fyora's palace, he had sensed.

     "We're going to find Varson," muttered Toran angrily.

     "Who's he?" asked Alena, puzzled.

     "Someone you don't want to know," Toran answered. Rose had regained consciousness, and was strong enough to run and hold her sword.

     They disappeared into the night.

     *

     Alena did not like the inky blackness that surrounded them as they ran silently through the woodlands. The Darigan Citadel was not far away, though Alena dreaded the thought of going there. The only thing waiting for her there was death and destruction.

     They knew they had reached the woodlands under the Citadel when the pine trees no longer smelled fresh and clean, and the air was smoky and stank of death.

     Alena could tell that they were being tracked when someone stepped on a branch. She, Toran, and Rose froze.

     Rose leapt onto Toran, and everyone jumped into the air, hoping they would not be followed.

     The Darigan Citadel rose up to meet them, the darkly tantalizing buildings looming up to their faces. Alena and Toran arced down towards a wave of soldiers coming to meet them.

     They threw caution to the winds, and fought.

     *

     Varson sat on the throne that Darigan sat on whenever he had come to the Citadel. Varson smiled. Toran, the Zafara, and the Uni, would not stand a chance against his guards. He leaned back into his chair, and looked out of the window.

     His guards observed the scene calmly.

     "The Zafara is a good fighter," one remarked coldly.

     "I know that! Now be quiet!" Varson snapped bad-temperedly. The tables were turning, he knew. The Uni, although very good fighting with her horn and hooves, had begun to fire energy bolts at the guards. One smashed open his window, disintegrating, but spraying flecks of white-hot magic at him that singed his fur.

     He snatched a longbow from one of his guards, and drew it back to its full length. He let it fly at the Uni, hoping to dispatch her in one hit.

     The Zafara whirled around and caught the arrow in her paw. She snapped it in half, a look of vicious contempt on her face. Varson handed the bow back to the guard.

     They would be no match for his fresh reinforcements, he thought. Clapping his hands, a loud bugle call sounded from a guard carrying a trumpet, and more Darigan and mutant guards swarmed from the Citadel.

     The Uni, the Zafara, and Toran, his hated enemy, were weakening under the pressure of so many people. Laughing, he called for a drink.

     He was not laughing anymore when an arrow shaft zinged into the room, killing one of his guards. Snarling, his lip trembled angrily.

     He grabbed his sword and armor, and tromped down the stairs, shoving everyone out of the way. His servants, mainly captured Meridellians, cowered in fear from him.

     One did not. Devin, a thin, gauntly figured young Cybunny, did not go out of the way.

     Without another thought, Varson hit him in the head with his sword handle. Devin sank to the ground.

     Varson surveyed the battle scene. It was going well, and the reinforcements were fresh. He knew there was no need for him to go into the battle.

     That is, until the tables turned on him.

To be continued...

 
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» The Curse of Maraqua: Memories - Part One
» The Curse of Maraqua: Memories



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