7.6K 425 27

Unlike the Primiad Kelly had faced, easy to overwhelm with his power, the Tigris, who fought one on one, and the standard human-sized, though squad-minded Kanid, the Ryon were individually as powerful as the big elf.  And they attacked Kanid-style as a unit with all of them charging in at him at once.

Ducking under the first attack and brushing aside the second, Kelly found himself being born roughly to the ground by no less than four large and muscular Ryon hitting him with everything that they had.  Still, as soon as his back was against the hard cobblestone, he was struggling with everything that he had, despite the bands of steel that were attempting to pin his arms at his sides.  Even when a spear, gleaming wetly from the rain, appeared to jab threateningly at his throat the big elf continued to writhe against the Ryon trying to hold him.

It was only when Longspear cried out in despair that he paused to throw a desperate glance in her direction.  And the elf’s heart sank when he saw that she had been captured by no less than two of the massive cats, their big, gauntleted hands holding her tightly.  ‘Damn you, woman!’ he thought darkly as he twisted to once again face his captors.  They had been joined by a Ryon with a slightly more ornate breastplate; a low ranking officer of some kind.  ‘You should’ve run when you had the chance!’

It was the officer that held the spear.  With a final jab for emphasis, the big Ryon spoke in fairly passable Gideon Tranalo.

“You come with us,” he snarled, the hatred unmistakable in his voice.  For Kelly was human, despite all of his modifications to his size, speed and strength.

“You under arrest.  We take to palace and Prince Ryahd for judgment!”

Kelly was then pulled to his feet bodily by a surge of strength from the four that held him.  The two were then dragged off through the rain towards the palace, the hold on them unrelenting.

Nor did it ease when the gates of the palace loomed out of the fading light of late afternoon, all but hidden behind the gray curtain of rain that fell unceasingly.  There more soldiers met them until the two were guarded by no less than a full two dozen of the big cats.  Without a pause the gates, great portals of wrought iron, were opened and the two were roughly pushed inside.

Once inside the palace grounds, it didn’t take long for their captors to drag the two into a nearby building.  There they were bound with thick cords before resuming their inward journey.

Because of the rain and the rapidity of their passage, Longspear wasn’t able to catch sight of what was supposed to be one of the most impressive structures in all of Noranda, the Ryon royal palace.  Still, what she did manage to see was impressive enough.  She was almost disappointed when they were pulled inside and away from the works of art that filled the grounds.

The two were then quickly hustled down a number of hallways until they came to a relatively large chamber, the walls covered with tapestries and paintings, sculpture and weavings.  The room was lit with great oil lamps, similar to the one Longspear had tucked away in her pack, casting a warm glow over the whole of it.

But the expression on the faces of the half a dozen Ryon that stood at the chamber’s far end was anything but warm.  And, as she could observe as she and Kelly were dragged closer, the big Ryon in the middle by far had the coldest expression on his handsome feline face.  ‘That could only be Ryahd,’ she thought as they were deposited in a heap before the big Ryon prince.  ‘If not the expression, the richness of the clothing gives it away.’

“So,” Ryahd began, speaking smooth and cultured Tranalo as he glared down at his two prisoners, “more interlopers in our fair city.  What should I do with them, General Tith?”

Hand Over FistRead this story for FREE!