Ellyn I

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It was a cold night. She wanted a fire, but yet she knew better, they'd be seen. It was hard to believe 30 warriors and 5 prisoners made so little disturbance. She could hear the faint sounds of the village beyond the hill and past the trees. It was a deadly silence. Ellyn had noticed a dark cloud above them, a small patch where the stars were not seen. Just looking at it brought a menacing weight on her like a great eye above watched her.

She'd left Garen alone with Balared tonight. She wanted to be with him but tiredness took over. A long day of high tension and blood demands a long rest. But unfortunately Balared knew no such concept. The moment the Moon reached its last quarter they would be walking. Just thinking of it made her feel weak. 'I cannot show weakness. I cannot show weakness' she told herself over and over again. It was true, despite Arramar being a purely genderless country there was still doubts people like Ellyn would keep up with the Men of the group. People like Ellyn were brought up in castles, dressed in bright gowns and made to marry. Ellyn simply did not want that, she would not do it. Therefore when she reached grown age she abandoned her stead in Allynwood, replaced her pink gown with grey iron armour and trained herself with sword and steel. Now she stood in the Dragon Watch, the greatest hunter guild there is.

But to her the Dragon Watch was now significantly different from the one she'd joined. She joined a guild which hunted countless beasts and monsters who had been terrorising the people of the Empire. But now it was being hunted by the Empire.

Her eyes glanced around the camp and she saw Garen sleeping. The Dragon Watch changed when he came into the fold. Not 3 weeks past he arrived smelling of death, they healed him and treat him as their own. She remembered vividly the huge wounds and open flesh she saw on his body, immediately after she judged him to be dead within a day but he lasted. Again she judged he'd be dead several times but again he lived. With each day his wounds sealed on their own, within a week he was walking.

Even the Potion Master of Dragon Hold claimed his heart never stopped despite having the a huge gash in it.

Ellyn looked at him again, even on his face she could see a man who should be dead.

Morning came and there was still a cloud over them, the cloud of dread for the on coming terrors and also the pure black cloud still above them.

Balarad had noticed it too, So to much of Ellyn's dismay he set off even earlier. Before the first sun had even shown an inch of itself.

Today she walked beside the Book Master, he seemed happier than she expected bearing a slight smile.

'Why are you smiling?' she asked him

He looked at her 'Is a man not allowed to be happy?'

'I wouldn't expect someone who has just been captured to be happy. If i were you i'd keep quiet' there was a stern tone in her voice.

He smiled more 'That is where we differ then. Had i been captured by anyone else i would. But i know the Dragon Watch are on the right side'

'There are no sides anymore'

He gazed up to the sky 'I've seen more moons than most, After such a long life you begin to see things differently. I see the Empire has changed sides, however it is done in such a way nobody except Lord Aryn and the King know. '

She gave him a strange look 'There is only one world, old man'

'Is there?' he grinned 'According to the ancient texts of the Eteri there are 9 other worlds beside ours, some small and some so big you could fit a thousand of our world inside it. The text goes:'

In thy journey to Harazed, thy found Men'

'In short, Men came from another world. We drove the Eteri from their homes and out of this world into another' Ellyn noticed a sadness in his voice

'They have been gone for a thousands of years, Scholars in Grimalore will tell you they never existed. But one only needs to visit the libraries of the Arc to know the truth'

The Arc, its name brought memories and dreams about the Arc to her mind. The Arc was a place north of Goldenhold. Sat in a wide crossroad between 2 massive valleys, the Arc was a place known to have been there before even Gindew was born. After the old castle fell a new greater castle ten times the size was built. Ellyn remembered Garen telling her of it.

'I spent a fortnight there when the old King was first crowned. The white walls of the castle were still perfectly sharp and cut as if it were finished the day before.' he told her.

'Only when inside you see its age, any architect of today would weep seen as the layout of it makes no sense. the King claimed even a farmer's homestead made more sense. To me though it was a beautiful place. there were books there that predated even Gindew, but they were locked away. Not even the King was allowed, that he was bothered'

The day passed on, Balared continued a hasty pace through the trees beside the road. yesterday they passed fields and woodlands teeming with people but now in the Wilderness they were in deep thick forests, its trees often reached beyond the clouds.

'These must be the old Giant Lands. They say when the Giants died the area around them infused itself with their magic and made the greenery grow ten times the normal size' said the Book Master straining his neck looking at the trees.

'I saw a Giant once, it were on the mountain roads' said Nat.

'The Giants are dead, Albern Gold Hand killed the last one 30 years ago remember' replied Ellyn sighing afterwards.

'I ave, i saw it wive my own eyes. Great big stone beast it were' He acted a bizarre posture as they walked clearly trying to imitate.

'I bet you just saw a Stoneman. They are easy for fools to see them as Giants' She looked disgusted at Nat. She'd never liked him. He was a small, skinny creature who smelled of absolute death. Her fellow Watchers tried to keep him away but had a habit of including himself anyway. He had sickly green hair on his thin and gaunt head.

He did not walk like the rest of them, he crawled like some wild creature.

'I've saw more than you ever saw' Nat began.

Yet again he was ranting again. After Ellyn went quiet before he glared at her for ages, his purple eyes gave her the chills knowing he could see right through her.

'I've saw monsters, i saw a Walking Weed in da south' he boasted, but as usual he fell on silence.

He continued to boast again and again until Balared hit him so hard he screeched and from then on he limped like a wounded dog.

For a long time it seemed they'd seen nothing other than grass and a thick woodland, only hours after they'd set of they arrived at a cross road. It sat in a opening of the wood, in the centre resting on the crossroad was a small inn, it looked well used but the age of the place was apparent from the cluttered mess surrounding it.

'Where are we?' she asked Garen 'Is this safe?'.

He removed his helm 'No' he gave her a saddened look 'This is where we must part Ellyn, make for Lorewald, but...' he paused 'Be careful, we have so many enemies now. You have to trust your men, trust me Ellyn' Ellyn felt a shy tear fall, but he didn't look, he gave her one long look but before she could say more he was away with his men.

'Farewell, Garen Blackwood' she whispered to herself, her heart sank.

'Where are we to go now my lady?' a Watcher dressed in black scaled armour stood next to her 'What do you expect to find in Lorewald?'

'I expect to find answers Daegon, and for the record, i'm no lady'

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