Don’t have time to read click here for the Audio File
Chapter 2 The King’s Summit
Tylander was uneasy as he watched the Nilactin Warriors enter the ball room. The furred Cat-men circled the room cataloging everything in it. Tylander was able to tell immediately who the leader of Guard was, a rather fierce looking indigo colored warrior. After surveying the room and finding nothing but a small round table with three chairs in the center of the room the indigo warrior signaled for his king to enter.
King Chenji entered the ballroom with his massive black panther head held high. He was the largest Nilactin that Tylander had ever seen. At 6’9″ he towered over most of his guard. His midnight black fur and intelligent yellow cat eyes made Chenji an intimidating figure–even to the most seasoned warrior. The multitude of scars on his chest attested to King Chenji’s battle experience, strength and might. Tylander was suddenly grateful that he would not have to face this man in battle.
Once King Chenji took his seat at the table, the Asoonadye Royal Guard entered the ballroom. To Tylander, they almost looked like a walking carton of eggs in uniform. The Asoonadye kept eyeing the Nilactin warriors nervously as they circled the room. Tylander always had a hard time identifying Asoonadye by sight–as these egg men looked all the same to him. They were all short, bald, egg-shaped men with black beady eyes. Each had an almost shell-like bone down their backs–ensuring no one could ever forget the turtle-like creature from which they evolved. Tylander preferred to use his superior hearing to identify Asoonadye men by their voices. That way he made fewer errors.
Taking another look around the room, Tylander noticed that he did recognize one Asoonadye by sight, Ambassador Othyos. He was dressed in his long grey robes. The Ambassador seemed to notice Tylander as well and made a bee line towards him. “May I have a word with you.” Othyos whispered.
“As long as we can speak here. I can’t leave my post. King Locktos will be here momentarily,” Tylander replied.
Nodding his head Othyos continued, “I fear my people are a little nervous about having so many Nilactins this close to our king. We heard a rumor about Asoonadye being a Nilactin delicacy.” By the look on his face Tylander could tell the Ambassador was serious. Tylander pressed his fist to his mouth to keep himself from laughing at the ridiculous rumor. In a voice just as serious as the ambassadors, Tylander reassured Othyos that no Asoonadye would be eaten during the course of the summit. With his concerns met, Othyos motioned for King Thealos to enter the ballroom.
Thealos was rather thin for an Asoonadye–having more of an oblong oval shape as apposed to the egg like stature of his guard. His face was lined with age and worry. While King Thealos was barely thirty, he looked closer to fifty. It was obvious the mantle of leadership had taken its toll on the Asoonadye king.
Once both visiting kings were seated, King Locktos entered the ballroom. Tylander stood up taller as his king entered the room. Locktos was quite the sight to behold when he entered a formal setting. His straight white blond hair was pulled back into a ponytail at the base of his neck and his porcelain white skin reflected the light in the room giving him a majestic glow, but his kind pale green eyes made him appear far more approachable.
Once all three kings were seated, Tylander moved to stand behind his king and as he did so, he noted that the Ambassador and Chenji’s indigo warrior also moved to stand behind their kings. The rest of the royal guards lined the walls of the room–ready to defend their kings if necessary.
“King Thealos will you begin.” King Locktos gestured toward the Asoonadye king.
“My people are dying,” Thealos exclaimed, “Giant beast like none we’ve ever seen before are attacking our outer settlements and are making their way through our lands at an alarming rate. They kill everyone in their path, men, women and even children. Our solders have had no effect on them. As soon as we think we’ve identified a week spot on these creatures, they contort their bones into a type of armor around the weakness. ” King Thealos tried to keep his voice from getting too high pitched since he wished to avoid causing physical pain to the other kings. By the looks on their faces, however, he was failing. King Thealos took a deep breath as he tried to calm himself. “We need help, we are not warriors by nature. My people are farmers and merchants. If you do not help us we will all die.” Somehow King Thealos managed to finish without his voice cracking, which impressed the other two kings.
“While I feel for your people, King Thealos, why should this concern the Nilactin people? We have always been enemies.” King Chenji said while looking King Thealos in the eyes. The Asoonadye king met Chenji’s gaze without fear, “Do you think these beast will stop at us? What will happen after they mow through our lands? I can tell you. They will sweep through Quinetta and then they will be on your doorstep.”
“You can not be sure of that,” King Chenji stated to Thealos..
“Actually he can… ” King Locktos interrupted before King Chenji could say more. “We believe this army of beasts is being lead by a very powerful Arrainanite man, Dyvanor Greenlock. Dyvanor fled our city eight years ago when we discovered that he was working with the Dark Goddess Illucious to kill me and as many of my people as he could. We were able to stop him, but just barely.”
King Locktos looked down at his hands as he continued, “Illucious has given Dyvanor a great deal of power. He can do things even our most powerful priestesses can not.” Taking a shuddering breath King Locktos turned and looked briefly at Tylander before he continued. “We did have one person who was also blessed with the powers of a god. Ryanne was favored by Lunester Keeper of the Light. She was able to wound Dyvanor severely enough to cause him to flee city, but not before he mortally wounded her. Even our best healers were unable to save her.” A wave of sadness washed over Tylander as King Locktos spoke of his wife’s death.
King Chenji noticed anguished looks on the faces of every Arrainanite in the room and the guilt that filled King Locktos’ eyes. Chenji and Locktos had a bit of history together and Chenji thought of Locktos as a kindred spirit. To see him like this, was surprisingly unsettling for him. “What would you suggest we do? If this man is as powerful as you say and he has an army of Giants at his command, is it even possible to stop him?”
King Locktos sat up straighter in his chair, “We will do the one thing Dyvanor and Illucious will never expect. We will join forces. The three warring nations of Thera coming together to fight off the Dark Goddess and her minions. No one would believe it, but I think it’s the only way.” King Locktos looked at Tylander briefly before he continued to address his fellow kings. “Quinetta is the middle kingdom, we should evacuate as many Asoonadye as we can and bring them here. Then we will assemble our armies within the city walls. We should train together so we can each play to our strengths and learn to work as a team. Then we can take this battle to Dyvanor.”
“It will take a while for us to mobilize our armies.” King Chenji stated, “I think it would be wise to send a small team into Asoonadye lands to assess the situation and to help spread the evacuation order to the Asoonadye people.”
“I like that idea,” King Locktos stated, “A three man team should suffice. I suggest one man from each nation. Captain Tylander, make preparations for yourself and the representatives from each nation to leave tomorrow at first light.” Tylander nodded to his king even though he was not happy about leaving King Locktos while so many Nilactin’s and Asoonadye were in the city.
“Junkar,” King Chenji addressed the indigo colored warrior behind him, “You will be joining Captain Tylander.”
“Yes, King Chenji,” the indigo colored warrior growled obliviously as unhappy as Tylander.
“Ambassador Othyos, the people know you and will believe the evacuation order is real coming from you. You will escort Captain Tylander and Junkar through our territories.” King Thealos’ statement left no room for argument, but Tylander could tell Othyos wanted to argue. Instead the Ambassador took a deep breath and nodded to his king.
With the summit over, Tylander returned to his home and spent as much time with the twins as he could before he had to leave them. Just like every other time he had been forced to leave the city, Tylander did not know for sure if he would be returning. Once the twins were in bed, Tylander reviewed the instructions to his family for what to do should he not return, and then retired to bed. He was not looking forward to traveling through Asoonadye lands with a Nilactin Warrior and an Asoonadye ambassador.
At first light the three men, one from each nation began their journey into Asoonadye lands.