Don’t have time to read click here for the Audio File
Chapter 1 The Ambassador
Tylander stood just outside the Quinetta City walls and watched as his children played in the shallow creek nearby. “Look Daddy the Flumpas are starting to hatch” His daughter Gabriela pointed out the tiny multi colored tadpoles as they escaped their eggs. “That means we will have lots of Flumpfly’s to catch this spring” Tylander smiled down at his daughter. Flumpas grew into small frog like creatures with butterfly like wings called Flumflys. Gabriela giggled and ran off to show her twin brother Isaac the newly hatching Flumpas.
Gabriela was the spitting image of her mother Ryanne. Ryanne was a true exotic beauty. She had long dark brown hair, and deep chocolate eyes. But what truly made her exotic was her skin tone. While Arrainanites have skin as white as snow Tylander’s wife had a deep olive complexion that never burned in the sun. She said it came from her human ancestry. Until Ryanne showed up no one had ever heard of the term “human”, or ever since for that matter. It was as if she were the only one of her kind. Tylander loved watching Ryanne grow darker as the sun kissed her skin. Gabriela and Isaac had that same skin tone.
It pained Tylander to look at them sometimes. Ryanne has been gone nearly eight years. She was the love of his life. His true mate. Tylander remembers it like it was yesterday. It was the night the Twins were born. The night the traitor was unmasked. Ryanne fought him. Even knowing she would die, she couldn’t allow Dyvanor to bring the Dark Goddess Illucious into the City. Illucious would have razed Quinetta to the ground. Ryanne sacrificed herself to save Tylander’s people. Now Tylander was left here the raise their children alone. He made her a promise, he would raise the twins himself and not leave them to the Priestess’ of Lunester to raise.
Arrainanites could only mate once as their body chemistry changed during the ritual mating ceremony. The females produce a unique pheromone that the male becomes addicted to and vise versa. The longer a couple is together the stronger the addiction becomes. It’s not uncommon for withdraw symptoms to occur if a couple is parted for too long. Many Arrainanite widows and widowers have died from withdraw symptoms after the loss of their spouse. This includes the former Queen Hyntha, King Locktos’ mother, shortly after his father, King Gunatan, died in a Nilactin raid. Tylander was not that lucky. He had only been mated to Ryanne for two years before her death. He had not yet formed a strong enough addiction to her for his body to follow her into the afterlife.
Tylander has his kids and that would have to be enough.
“Captain Leafgather!” Tylander looks up to see Janos, the kings Currier, run up to him out of breath. Bent over and pressing his hands to his knees Janos huffed and puffed a little before he continued speaking. “King Locktos needs you right away. An Ambassador from Asoonadye King has just arrived at the Castle.” Janos said catching his breath and straightening out to his full height of 6’7″. Janos is a peculiar man only about an inch taller than Tylander, almost bean pole thin and lanky instead of the normal wide Arrainanite build. Tylander noted how Janos’ normally spotless and pressed, green uniform is wrinkled and wonky from his rushed arrival.
“Janos, it’s supposed to be my day off.” Tylander scolded him gently.
“I know, I know, but the King said that he needs you. He said to tell you this may be the delegation he’s been hoping for. King Thealos might be ready to sign a peace treaty”. Janos exclaimed as he pushed his overly long white-blond hair out of his pastel green eyes.
“Really?” Tylander asks trying not to get his hopes up. A peace treaty would mean an end to the cold war with the Asoonadye. Maybe his days as Captain of the guard were about to become far less taxing. Maybe he’d get a few more days off to spend with his kids. He could do with fewer nights camping out on the cold ground, mapping out positions of the Asoonadye armies. “This could be good. Watch my children for me. When they are finished playing here take them home and contact Surietta. She will take over watching the kids.” Tylander was already moving away as he was waving goodbye to the twins.
“But I am the Kings Currier! I’m not supposed to be a babysitter,” Janos responded, trying to look offended while chasing after Tylander. Instead of acknowledging Janos, Tylander waved goodbye once more to his kids and jogged back toward the castle. Tylander was confident that Janos would take good care of the twins despite his comment. Ryanne was well loved in Quinetta. The whole city mourned her death for a full year after her passing. As the peoples only link to her, the community had a tendency to spoil the twins.
Tylander made his way through the city and into the palace to find, his longtime friend and ruler of the Arrainanite people, King Locktos sitting on his throne. In front of the king stood the lone Asoonadye Ambassador. By the look on Locktos’ face this meeting was not going as his king had hoped.
“I’m sorry Ambassador Othyos, if I can interrupt you for a brief moment. Captain Tylander has just joined us.” King Locktos stood and walked down the few steps leading up to his throne to Tylander, for introductions. “Captain Tylander, this is Ambassador Ren Othyos. He was sent by King Thealos with and urgent message.” Then Locktos turned back to Othyos “Ambassador Othyos this is my most trusted man and Captain of my royal Guard Tylander Leafgather.” Tylander took a moment to observe the Asoonadye Ambassador. He was short for his kind, barely reaching the middle of Tylander’s chest. his black beady eyes were far larger than Tylander had ever seen on an Asoonadye before. However, his voice was far more pleasing to the ear than the higher pitches of his kind. One of the reasons that the Arrainanites and Asoonadye have never been able to have a peaceful relationship is due to the Asoonadye’s high pitched voices. Arrainanites have very sensitive ears and high pitched frequencies such as Asoonadye voices, tend give them migraines. Thus most negotiations don’t often get very far.
“It’s a pleasure meeting you Ambassador Othyos,” Tylander said while giving Othyos a respectful bow. Othyos returned the gesture halfheartedly “Yes, yes good to meet you too.” His gaze quickly returned to the king, “Now King Locktos, can we please get back to the issue at hand. My king needs a response urgently. Our people are dying. My village was destroyed not 24 hours ago. Will you help us or not?” Tylander stood in shock as he listened to the Ambassador.
“Why are the Nilactins destroying Asoonadye villages?” Tylander asks assuming they are the culprit the Ambassador is talking about.
“No it’s not the Nilactins. They don’t destroy villages. They pillage and maybe burn houses down, but they do not kill indiscriminately.” Othyos said shaking his head. “We have never seen creatures like these beasts before. We have witnesses who claim that an army of greenish grey giants attacked my village in the middle of the night. The reports state that these creatures spoke a strange grunting language and were able to contort their skeletal structure allowing them to change shape and to protect vital organs by surrounding them with bone.” Othyos took a deep breath and shuddered before he continued his story, “My childhood friend Antar’s wife, Danalty witnessed this first hand. Antar managed to stab one of these beasts. Then, the creatures bones and muscles began to twist and realign themselves so that the next time Antar tried to stab the creature he was met with a wall of bone. Antar somehow managed to hold off the beast long enough for his wife to escape before the creature killed him.”
Othyos took another deep breath and squared his shoulders as he once again addressed King Locktos. “We have something even more disconcerting to discuss. We received a visit from one of your people shortly before the attacks started. A man who claimed to be your Ambassador. He called himself Lord Dyvanor Greenlock. He said he had an urgent message for our king.” Othyos pulls out a letter from his jacket pocket and handed it to King Locktos. The letter was written on official Arrainanite stationary.
This cold war has gone on long enough. I have decided it’s in the best interest of the Arrainanite people to own and control all Asoonadye lands.
We demand your unconditional surrender. You have one week to lay down your arms, disband your armies and surrender your king into the custody of my ambassador or we will unleash our new beast friends on your people. Many will die who do not need to. Be reasonable and surrender.
King Locktos Truhart
“What the hell is this!” King Locktos exclaimed, “I didn’t write this.”
“I know, and so did King Thealos.” Ambassador Othyos clears his throat and shifts his weight nervously before he continues, “Eight years ago one of our spies reported that a man by the name of Dyvanor Greenlock fled the City Quinetta to escape charges of treason. King Thealos had him arrested, but Dyvanor managed to escape. The attacks started the next day.”
King Locktos stood stunned in front of the Asoonadye Ambassador. Tylander was not sure which revaluation shocked the king more the fact that Dyvanor had the gall to forge the letter or the fact that an Asoonadye spy was able to obtain so much information.
Tylander knew what upset him more. Stepping into Othyos’ personal space, Tylander asked through clenched teeth “You have a spy in our city?” Ambassador Othyos turned red with embarrassment and fear. “Had a spy here in your City. As in past tense. We do not currently have anyone except for myself here in your city. Our spy left your city shortly after Greenlock did and has not been back here since.”
“Lets keep on topic now, Tylander,” King Locktos said, while placing a placating hand on Tylander’s shoulder. “We have more important things to worry about. Like how Dyvanor has managed to obtain an army of giants.” Tylander took a step back away from the Ambassador and nodded his head, “Of course my king.” Tylander took another step back from Ambassador Othyos and the little man visibly relaxed. “This is our fault Ambassador Othyos. We should never have allowed Dyvanor to escape. This situation is worse than you think. Dyvanor has aligned himself with Illucious herself. The Evil Goddess has been aiding Dyvanor by granting him some rather powerful and deadly gifts. These creatures you describe could be of her creation. In which case they will be very difficult to defeat. I’m not sure the Arrainanite and Asoonadye armies will be enough to defeat them.” King Locktos turned and walked back up to sit on his throne.
“All three nations will need to stand together if we are to defeat Dyvanor, and Illucious’ creatures. The Nilactins are the best warriors on Thera. Tell King Thealos I expect him and King Chenji to be here in two days time to discuss this threat to all our Nations.” King Locktos turned to Tylander, “Have your fastest runner ready. I will have a letter ready to be delivered to King Chenji within the hour.” Tylander bowed and left the room to do the kings bidding.
“Ambassador Othyos, Tell your King that the Arrainanite people will gladly welcome any and all refugees into our great city. I believe our walls should be able to keep them safe while we further investigate these attacks on your people.” The Ambassador bowed and hastened out of the room to deliver King Locktos’ message to King Thealos.
Finally alone, King Locktos slouched down in his throne and buried his face in his palms. “Oh great God Lunester, keeper of the light, please guide me through this. I know that if I am careful and I have your help maybe some true goodness can come from this great evil. A lasting peace between the three nations of Thera. Please guide my words and actions so I don’t screw this up. So many lives are on the line. Please Lunester, help me. I could not survive it if I fail my people the same way I failed Ryanne.” He prayed. Locktos took one final fortifying breath before heading to his office to draft the letter to King Chenji.