Raider of the Sky: Part Four
The sun was a ball of fire in the sky as Croshar and
I sat on a wooded bluff, looking over our map of the area. We were on the far
side of the Angel's Wrath Mountains, past the Cliffs of the Angel's Wrath, near
enough to look over the city of Peranda and barely glimpse the land of Maracharon
to our left. Peranda was one of Kranslunar's sister cities, and far to our west,
behind yet another mountain range, lay Maracharon. We were well out of the way
of the Four Peaks, which were even more dangerous than Kranslunar. They were
a set of three monstrous mountains and one so huge its top was lost in the clouds.
No one, even the thieves, knew what was there. Some thing dangerous, some said.
Something evil, said others. But neither of us wanted to find out.
"If the wind is at our back, we should be able
to fly over the valleys and the mountains tomorrow. If not," Croshar paused,
"we'll have to spend the night in the mountains again, but we can stand that."
"Fine, as long as we get this over with safely.
Can we eat now?" I had been bothering Croshar about eating for the past ten
minutes. She had insisted we study one of our many maps.
"Alright. Come on." She stuffed the map in her
We walked back to our camp, which consisted mainly
of our sleeping maps and packs. Croshar looked around momentarily, then trotted
over to a small plant.
"Ah, here we go," she said, and pulled off a
few large pods from the vine. "These are edible. I don't want to have to bother
with a fire."
I shrugged. "Sure, as long as we eat something."
I bit into the middle of the pod, only to have
the seeds fly out each end. I frowned and grabbed for them.
Croshar broke out laughing. "That's not how you
eat it, silly!"
I growled at her. "That could have happened
"No, but it happened to you! Look, you eat it
like this," she tore the top off another one and gave it to me. I sighed, then
grinned. At least I wouldn't starve, though I might if Croshar wasn't here.
What would I ever do without her?
I stared up into the cool fall night. The stars
were mirrored clearly in the sky, as was the moon. Kreludor was almost invisible
in the darkness, due to its deep purple color.
Croshar stirred behind me. I was keeping watch
while she slept. Never take chances this near to Kranslunar, or anywhere for
The Lunar City was dangerous, more dangerous
than Kurn or even allof the Valley Kingdoms ever were. As far as I knew, no
thieves, or anyone else like us for that matter, lived in the kingdom. Kranslunar
ruled Peranda and Maracharon, and it was also rumored that they had combined
their army with that of the Four Peaks. They had nothing to do at all with the
kingdoms of the other valley, where I normally worked, but it was said also
that Kranslunar held a grudge against them. A grudge that would some day be
paid for by the lives of those who lived in the valley, and when the armies
of the Four Peaks and Kranslunar were ready and big enough to overpower the
valley, the grudge would be carried out. The Valley Kingdoms' people would be
made slaves to the Kranslunarians. As far as I knew, the grudge was a completely
meaningless thing, something that could have been forgotten long ago, but wasn't.
Instead it had to be taken out on the Valley Kingdoms, and the 'Dooms Day' couldn't
be too far off. I just hoped that day didn't come anytime soon.
Croshar and I crept to the edge of the rock
crevice we had hidden in.
"I think we lost him," Croshar muttered, gasping
I nodded voicelessly. On the far side of Peranda,
a Shoyru had showed up, and he had been following us for the last stretch of
the flight over the last mountain range. I was sure he had come from Kranslunar,
but I wasn't about to worry Croshar with the news.
I saw nothing up above as Croshar and I lifted
off yet again for the treacherous journey to Kranslunar, the Lunar City.
High overhead, a sky-blue Shoyru rocketed toward
the city of Kranslunar. He looked below at the two Eyries, far down below him,
making their way at what, to Eyries, would be a fast pace. Yet he was so much
faster! He shook his head and smirked. The King of Kranslunar, Darqous, was
going to like this. The top two thieves, finally in prison…Oh, he would love
In the early hours of dawn, Croshar and I crept
up to the Kranslunar castle. It was even larger than the castle at Kurn, and
covered in guards. I was confident we could get in, though.
Kranslunar's main power source was the huge
dome in the middle of the castle. In the middle of that dome was a tiny stone,
barely five inches long and two inches deep. This stone, once a month, captured
the light of the moon and brainwashed the army, the castle hands, and the pets
of the city seven and under. (Thus the name Lunar City.) This way, they were
perfectly obedient. This wasn't even half what they did to thieves…
We slipped around one of the walls and inside
castle itself, barely avoiding a troop of guards. We then made our way toward
the center of the castle, were we hoped to get hold of the Moon Stone.
As we entered the central dome, making no noise
our selves, I paused. Something was wrong, but what? All seemed fine to me,
Suddenly, Croshar whipped around. There behind
us were the guards we had avoided earlier, a smirk plastered firmly on every
face. I gulped and turned back to the dome.
From quite a few directions, guards were pouring
into the dome. Croshar and I started to run, but we were surrounded, and that
blue Shoyru who had been trailing us yesterday stood right in front of us.
"Kind of you to visit," he said, and commanded
the guards to drag us off to the King's court.
"If it isn't the famous Eyrie thieves," the King
said. I growled at the starry Draik menacingly, though I knew it was no good.
I was so mad at Morhoaron…
"I trust you knew the risks when you came," said
King Darquos, "and you shall pay now. That is what thieves deserve, is it not?"
he looked to the jury. Of course it is, I thought, because you told them what
to say…I silently cursed the Draik's sorry hide.
The jury nodded in agreement, of course. Darquos
turned back to us, grinning maliciously. "Well then. A fair trial, I'd say."
I'd say not, I thought.
"So guards," he sat down on his throne, "kill
I drew my sword, as did Croshar, since the guards
had not removed them earlier. Standing back to back, we began to fight.
We were outnumbered sorrily. I took down the
first few with my broadsword. Then I was forced to use a regular sword when
it was wrenched away. I tired quickly, though.
Sometime during the battle, Croshar and I were
separated. I thought to go after her, but the gap closed faster than I could
move. I figured she could hold her own.
A blow to my leg knocked my feet out from under
me. I barely blocked the razor-sharp sword of the guard I was fighting with
my own, but as I threw him off I was able to roll to my feet and defend myself.
However, this time I was encumbered by my leg. There was a shallow gash in it
that was beginning to turn my green fur red.
My strength was ebbing quickly now. I was having
more trouble blocking the attacks from the many guards. Croshar had noticed
and was trying to get to me.
The flat of someone's sword hit me in the head.
I dropped to the ground and closed my eyes against the pain.
Vaguely, I saw the guards drawing aside to reveal
my attacker-a vicious looking brown Krawk. He raised his sword in the air. The
light from a window glinted off the curved blade. I closed my eyes, waiting
for the strike to fall…but it never did.
Before the Krawk could hit me, Croshar had jumped
in front of me. The blade had fallen instead between her shoulders. I was shocked.
Croshar was gone, her bright green fur dulling with red. She had done that for
"So the female was your weakness, thief. Your
partner. Your friend." Darquos was standing in front of me now.
His words stung, as did the tears.
"Now I have destroyed that weakness, and you
shall pay for ever setting foot in this land. Take him to the dungeons."
I let myself be led away with out a fight. My
one true friend was gone (could it be true?), I had been captured, and now,
as Darquos had so conveniently stated, I would pay the price.
To be continued…