Friday, January 24, 2014

Friends and Enemies // Chapter Nineteen // Immer's Story

Willow lowered her dagger, which she had raised just in case of need for self-defense. "Maybe. Why do you ask?"
   The girl smiled, her very-white teeth flashing against her warm brown skin. "My name is Immer, and I've been waiting so long."
   Willow cocked an eyebrow. "Waiting so long for what?"
   Immer ran her hand through her cropped hair, which had a tad bit of wave to it. Even with her hair so short, she still looked feminine with it all askew. "I've been waiting so long for a chance at freedom," she said by way of explanation. "You see, I am what you might call a spy. I've been checking up on everyone around here, trying to help the "rebellion"."
   Willow was squinting at her the entire time. Finally she gave her a sideways grin. "You're not Tashrian, are you?"
   Immer grinned. "How did you know?"
   Willow shrugged casually. "You use contractions and "modern" words, unlike most people on this planet, who all sound like poets who don't know it. So, how did you end up on Tashra if you're not native?"
   Immer's dancing eyes drooped. "I was brought here as a slave, brought by portal jumpers when I was four. I'm an orphan. No family at all."
   "There was no one to miss you, to chase you to the end of the galaxy and back, if need be, to get you home," Willow's eyes were dewy.
   "You have someone like that?" Immer snuffed and wiped her eyes.
   "Yeah. My family. Mostly my sister, though." Willow's eyes sparkled.
   "She must really care about you, I take it," Immer noted.
   "She's my best friend. Anyway, sorry, back to your story. Who were you enslaved to?" Willow interjected.
   Immer nodded. "Father bought me. He and his wife adopted me as their own, because they were childless. Then they both died about two years ago."
   "I'm sorry," Willow offered.
   "Thank you. Anyway, I now live on my own in the forest. But I came back to find someone who needs my help. And I think I've found them," she finished.
   Willow tilted her head. "How can I trust you?" She doesn't seem to want to reveal much about her past. It must hurt a lot.
   Immer blinked innocently. Gently, she lifted a necklace from where it had been tucked inside her tunic. It was a green V medallion. She nodded to the red one hanging around Willow's neck. "That enough proof for you?"
   Willow took the medallion from her and turned it over. To Immer it stated simply. "Welcome to the team, Immer."

   Immer was up before Willow that morning, and had already bathed and was combing her still-damp hair when her new friend groaned.
   "What time is it?" Willow asked, sticking her tousled head of very dark hair out of the cascade of pillows.
   "Eight. You are just in time to take a quick bath and dress, as breakfast is in a half an hour," Immer informed her cheerily. Her friend was less cheerful, but she hurried to take her bath.
   A half an hour later, Willow trotted down the immense hallways towards the dining room, almost tripping over her long skirt. And then she did trip over her long skirt. "Oof!" she grunted, landing face-first in the plushy carpet. Untangling herself, she managed to roll over onto her side. Unfortunately, she wasn't alone. As she rolled onto her side, she came face-to-face with a pair of black leather boots. Large black leather boots. She craned her neck and peered upward into the face of a tall, black-leather clad austere man. Gulping, she offered an embarrassed smile.
   "Would you like some assistance?" the man asked, offering a black gloved hand. Willow grasped it and he helped her to her feet.
   "Thank you, mister...?" she offered.
   "Sir Jehonathan," the Knight corrected.
   "Oh, my name's Willow, and I was just going to breakfast." No matter how ridiculous that sounded, she couldn't just go babbling on about their mission. Killian would kill her.
   "May I escort you?" he asked coolly. She wondered if the guy was ever cheerful, but nodded and took his offered arm. He must be Sir Richard's twin, they look exactly alike! she mused.
   Both Killian and Teclemith looked rather annoyed that she was late when she and the Knight entered the dining room. Ganymede looked surprised, but composed his face with lightening speed. He offered Willow a seat and motioned to his father to follow him into the hall. "If you will excuse us, we'll return in a moment," Ganymede said by way of explanation.
   "What took you so long?" Killian hissed at Willow, who was taking a long drink of orange juice.
   "I have someone I want you guys to meet, she's a Codebearer."
   "Who?" Teclemith inquired, wondering who on earth Willow could have met in her room during the night.
   "Don't tell me you were cavorting around outside," Killian groaned.
   "Of course not! A girl named Immer knocked on my window. She's a Codebearer, like we are, and was brought here by portal jumpers. She's got the greatest skin too. She wants to help!"
   "I never knew someone who could get into as much trouble as you do!" Killian whispered, exasperated.
   "It wasn't trouble-" Willow started, but was interrupted by the re-entrance of both Sir Jehonathan and Ganymede.
   "May I introduce my father, Sir Jehonathan of Gossgath? Father, this is Killian, Teclemith and Willow. They have come here under sanction of Uncle Richard to gather support for the cause of the prince," Ganymede explained.
   Willow tried to kick Killian's shin and ask him why on earth they had told Ganymede about their intent, but her boot only kicked air, and she couldn't reach Teclemith's either.
   They all nodded politely, and the Knight nodded back. "Please, help yourselves," he directed.
   Breakfast was pleasant, but mostly because Ganymede made conversation, asking them about what they planned to do and if they were enjoying their stay in Gossgath. Killian answered back just as politely, but Sir Jehonathan literally made no sound whatsoever.
   After breakfast, the trio excuse themselves to prepare for the day. "Meet back here in fifteen minutes, and Willow, tell that Immer girl to meet us at the pastures," Killian directed.
   Willow nodded. "Sure. See ya in fifteen."


   Fifteen minutes later, the trio set out down the sunny cobblestone roads to the pastures. "It's like a postcard," Willow marveled, a light breeze ruffling her hair. "When this war is done, I'd love to bring the Four down here for a visit."
   "If we win," Killian murmured.
   "There are the pastures," Teclemith pointed.
   The pastures were rolling hills where many brown and white cows grazed lazily on the emerald grass. Immer was lounging beside a fencepost, shading her eyes against the sunlight. Willow waved, and the trio approached her.
   "Immer, this is Killian and Telcemith. Guys, this is Immer," Willow explained.
   The guys bowed and Immer nodded back politely.
   "Good morning. Here, come closer, I don't want anyone else to hear this," Immer pointed to a small shepherd's shelter leaning against the fence about twenty feet away.
   "All right, Willow explained why we should trust you, we don't have to go over that," Killian commented, though he seemed slightly unsettled. "So why don't you tell us what you've noticed about here?"
   Immer lowered her voice. "I will. Follow me."


   I love Immer, she's an awesome character. To you guys who can't wait for D's appearance, she's coming soon - promise.
   I hope to work on my characters post soon, it might take a while, I'm going on a photography retreat today.
   If you want to see more of Im, she's on my pinterest board for Friends and Enemies.
   Next chapter will be called Investigative Research. Can't wait!

Be a friend, not an enemy,


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Watchmen Files // File One // Q&A // Questions

Hey guys!

It's D again, here without another chapter.

   Yes, I said without. Because, I think it would be a good time to have a Q&A, like Willow did with Friends and Enemies. And Q&A means question and answer, btw. I didn't know that for a long time *embarrassed smile*

   Yay! Now you get to ask me all sorts of questions and I have to answer them :)

   Though, I must say, I have a few things I can't answer, or will come up later. So... yeah.

   So Willow thinks that I should try and answer the questions on a video, like a vlog, or whatever they're called these days. I dunno, I'm kind of nervous about that. Sitting in front of a camera, talking... Willow's pretty good at it, but I might just pass it up and write my answers.

   But either way, please, comment below (or on Pinterest) with your questions, and would you mind not saying something like 'cute', or (I can't believe I'm typing this), 'hot', or whatever. I'll just bleep it out or something. And no swearing, no using the Lord's name in vain (and the OM- things count, btw).

   And if you have a hard to pronounce name, just write a little pronunciation in the comment, that'd be great! For Willow's sake :) If we do a video, she would ask me the questions, and I would answer.

Now on to announcements...

So Ammiela G. did a characters post and Willow put it on the characters page, so if you read her story 'Without Cause' (which is awesome, I highly recommend it), you can go check that out.

Ammiela's older sister, Billie Catherine, posted the first chapter of her story, 'Rising Shadows' on our blog, so it's up right now for your viewing. It has Irishmen, a war, talking dragons, oh my! Her story has so much potential :)

And Willow wrote chapter eighteen of Friends and Enemies, and it's got a new character that I'm suspicious of now, and another character I think I'll like.

  So let's see how this question and answer thing goes :) Anyone can ask a question, so please do! Comment below or on Pinterest if you would like :)

Always watching,

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

//Without Cause// //Character Post//

Hello dear readers! Since I cannot seem to be satisfied with how the fifth chapter keeps turning out, I'm just going to post a character page for my characters from Without Cause. As new characters are introduced, they will be added. So, here's what I've got so far.

We start with the head of the Robard family, Mr. Logan Robard.

Mrs. Bethany Robard, who is a bit younger in this picture (around 30).

 Ethan Robard, age 19.

Kylie Robard, age 15.

Hugh (last name withheld).

Shannon (last name withheld)
James Stockett. 

For the will of Cause,

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Authoress // Rising Shadows // Chapter One // by Billie Catherine

   Hello readers of ours!

   Today I bring you the first chapter of a new literary work by a maybe soon-to-be authoress, Ammelia's older sister, Billie Catherine! I've been whiling away at her to put this on this blog.

   The book is called Rising Shadows and follows these dragons and their masters in eleventh century Ireland. It is awesome!

Warning // Caution is suggested if you're squeamish, or don't like reading about blood and violence, because there is a bit in this story, the authoress sort of intended it for an older-ish audience

“It is better to die by the hand of your most hated, and feared enemy, than to face the fire and fury of a dragon, whose master has been slain.”~ Sir Rueben (Dragon Master, rider of Arual)

                                           ~ Chapter One ~
                     Donegal County, Ireland 1074, 11th century

The sky was thick with boiling dark, angry clouds that made even the king himself a bit on edge. Every few minutes, huge bolts of lightning streaked across the sky. Only a small handful of soldiers now remained, the rest had been killed during the battle. The men waited anxiously, scarcely even daring to breath. They knew something horrible was about to happen. The enemy had disappeared too quickly, too easily. Where were they? Every man could sense they were being watched, that it was only a matter of time before the enemy would strike, and more of the king’s valiant men would lose their lives.

The clouds continued to worsen, getting thicker every second. Every now and then lightening would flash across the sky, illuminating the world below for a brief moment, before all went dark again. The king, his men, and their dragons, were hiding beneath a large stone wall that was once a fortress battlement, now reduced to ruins. “Why do we stand here doing nothing, my lord?” a young Warrior with sandy colored hair asked impatiently.

“Why do you hunger so for battle, young Hugh?” questioned a general. “Have you not seen enough bloodshed today?”

“Tis not the battle I long for Sir Rueben, but vengeance.” The young man replied bitterly. “My younger brother is among the fallen.” With those words, the young man fell silent.  The dragons stood still and stiff, trying to hear and smell the enemy. In a burst of lightning the king’s dragon, Azrion, thought he saw something move. A glint of dark purple. It was so small, so faint, that one might have thought it was simply a reflection of light off the stones.  He thought he had imagined it move, when his father, Arual, suddenly moving closer to him, stood a bit taller, and craned his neck to see further. “Did you see that” Arual asked in as low a voice as he could, “Beyond that hill.” Azrion looked to where his father pointed. He saw what seemed to be a strange looking heap close to what would have been the southern gate. As another bolt of lightning streaked across the sky both dragons kept their eyes fixed beyond the hill. The light, despite its short time, had confirmed their fears.

 Gleaming yellow eyes, full of murderous hate.  A huge black tail, quivering with impatience.  Not only were they being watched, they were being advanced upon. The fact that at least one of the enemy’s dragons had gotten so close was unnerving. How many more were out there in the dark, waiting? The next attack would come soon. They informed the king at once, who instructed everyone to mount up quickly, and be ready. They all silently moved closer to the edge of the wall and waited. Azrion still couldn’t get the image of what he had seen out of his mind. A flash of purple. What did it mean? He went over as many possibilities as he could think of, and still nothing. He went to his father and quietly told him what he had seen.  Arual looked startled at this news. “Why did you not tell me this before?  Was it moving?”

“I was going to, but then you pointed out the black one, and I forgot about it” Azrion said “and yes it was moving, a little. What does it mean?” His father looked out at the sky, it had begun to rain. Softly at first, then harder, and harder, till finally almost nothing could be seen beyond the veil.  Finally, his father spoke to him. “It means” he said quietly, “That one of our kin may yet be living. And by the color, it would seem to be a female.” As he heard these words, Azrion’s heart was lifted a little. A survivor among the dead? He desperately wanted to believe it possible, that one of his friends had somehow made it through. Then, as he remembered the rest of his father’s words ‘and by the color, it would seem to be a female’, his hope began to fade. He knew hardly any females, save for his mother, Indris, and sister Azuria. They had left all but five of the fiercest females behind, they had all been confirmed dead, and he hadn’t known any of them anyway, so who was this?

 He had scarcely thought those words, when suddenly someone shouted from the back “Look out!” Before anyone could do anything, an awful dragon scream split the silence, then the roar of huge wings followed by the sound of cracking bones. They heard both a dragon and its rider screaming for help, this time, from the sky.  Dragons and Warriors on both sides burst from their hiding places. Chaos filled the courtyard as the sounds of war cries, clashing swords, shredding wings, and dying men and beasts soon filled the air. The king’s men began shouting words of encouragement to their comrades, ‘For the King!’  ‘Don’t give in, drive out the Norman dogs!’ ‘Make them pay for the blood that has been spilt tonight!’ and so on. 

The enemy began to shout to their friends as well, saying things like, ‘Leave none of them alive!’, and ‘Courage men! We will defeat the pagan savages!’  ‘Raze these Celtic barbarians to the ground!’  ‘Hold fast men, victory is at hand!’ And so on and so forth. At first, the men fought while mounted on their dragons, but soon both sides began to see how very impractical this was; the dragons were fighting their own battles. So they took to jumping from their mounts to the ground, and continuing the fight there. Once free of their riders, the dragons took to the skies for their battle.   By now the sun had begun to rise, and though clouds still covered the sky, a small bit of light shone through, ever brightening as the battle wore on, and the men on both sides could now see the result of last night’s massacre.  The hearts of King Aidan’s, soldiers began to sink. Most of the dead were their own. If the battle continued like this, none would escape this place alive.

 Meanwhile, up in the sky, the dragons from both sides fought fiercely, tearing their enemies to ribbons, breathing fire, blinding and burning them with it. Arual led the fight, charging directly into the danger, followed closely by Azrion. Together, father and son fought as they had never before, twisting and turning, slashing with their claws, beating with their wings, stabbing with their horns. Mercy would never be shown to these foul Norman beasts! Arual would continue to fight until these accursed dogs were driven out fully from his homeland.

 On the ground far below the dragons, the fight between their masters was fierce. Now, the king and his friend, Sir Rueben, fought side by side, stabbing and slashing at their enemies together. They had been the best of friends since their youths, learning together, training together, and fighting together. The friendship they shared as children carried on into their adulthood. Now, here they stood, one of royal blood, a King.  The other of common blood, once a servant having saved the life of the king long ago, now a knight. Together they fought as brothers, each willing to lay down his life for the other, and their homeland. And all it took was one tiny insignificant pebble to unravel it all. Sir Rueben saw a shadow quickly pass over them, when he looked to where it had been it was gone. He pondered what it could be, a dragon maybe? Suddenly he heard the king cry “Rueben, look out!” He turned to look, but slipped on a pebble, and lost his balance. Before he had time to do anything, a great black tail that seemed to come out of nowhere hit him square in the chest, and sent him flying. The king watched in horror as his friend was thrown through the air and up the hill toward a pile of rubble. He landed just short of it thankfully, but was still hurt nonetheless, the force of impact from the dragon’s tail breaking two of his ribs and cracking another.  He had also twisted his ankle badly when he had landed. The king killed the last of the foes standing against him, then ran as fast as he could toward his friend, hoping against hope that he would reach him in time. His going was slow, the rain from the night had loosened the hillside, and what had been solid earth was now mud. By now the black dragon had turned and was facing Sir Rueben, standing over him. The king could now see who was riding the beast. Sir Brian. Once a man of integrity in King Aidan’s court, he was now a traitorous monster. The one man both the king, and Sir Rueben, had hoped to never see alive again. Seven years prior to this battle, Sir Brian had tried to take Sir Rueben’s wife, Lady Fiona, while he had been courting her. Had the Lady’s dragon, Indris, not stopped him, he most certainly would have succeeded. A nasty fight had broken out between the two men, but Sir Rueben, younger then and full of jealous rage, had the upper hand, and would have most likely killed Sir Brian had the king’s servants not intervened. And now, as Sir Brian gloated triumphant over his enemy, his dragon stood hungry and impatient, waiting for his master’s bidding. “Just a mouthful, a little morsel!” the creature silently begged. And yet, the command never came. Instead, Sir Brian dismounted, unsheathing his sword as he walked slowly with deliberate purpose toward the fallen Warrior. “So!” said Sir Brian, “It is I who have the upper hand now Sir Rueben! Tell me, how does that make you feel? You certainly are not as young as I remember you” he taunted, knowing full well Sir Rueben hadn’t slept in almost two days, and was therefore very tired and haggard looking. Plus, he was now wounded. His enemy stood over him now, sword in hand; ready to deliver the fatal wound. Sir Rueben looked for his own sword, but in vain, it had been cast aside when he had been thrown by the beast.  Sir Brian lifted his sword, ready to stab the fallen Warrior through the heart, when a small smile played on his lips. He lowered the blade for a moment as he bent down close to Sir Rueben and said softly “Don’t worry about Fiona, I’ll take good care of her in your stead.”  Sir Rueben could feel a dark hatred for this man welling up inside him as he remembered a small knife he had at his belt. Unfortunately, Sir Brian noticed it, and before anything could be done, deftly snatched the knife away. “Now, now, surely a man of your standing would dare not think of such a thing as that. What ever happened to dying with honor? What would you want your widow to think of you in your final moments?”  He stood up again, and after taking a step back, raised his sword. Sir Rueben caught a glimpse of movement out of the corner of his eye just before he closed them, and took a deep breath. He heard someone shout “No!” followed by a cry of pain.  He felt something drip onto his cheek, and opened his eyes to see his friend, King Aidan, drop to his knees in front of him, doubled over in agony. Blood poured from a wound in his back. Sir Brian held a bloody sword and had a look of shock, which quickly turned into one of delight. “Well, well, isn’t this an exciting surprise,” he said, “The two men I hate the most, are at my mercy. How wonderful! ” He looked at both men on the ground before him. “Well,” he said, “Better kill two birds with one stone, I suppose,” and with that, he raised his sword again. He was suddenly interrupted by the roar of dragon wings and the screeching of an animal in pain. He turned to see his dragon being attacked by Azrion, who, from the sky, had seen his rider stabbed. The sight had filled him with horror, and a monstrous feeling of revenge. All dragons (even the bad ones) love their masters fiercely and are so wholly devoted to them that they are willing to lay down their lives, or fight to the death for the ones they love. That is why Azrion felt the way he did. Anyways, back to the story.  The black dragon was much bigger than Azrion though, and quickly flipped him over on his back. Azrion wouldn’t give in. He kept trying to stab and slash the bigger dragon with his horns, but it was no good. He was defeated, his death certain. Sir Brian, seeing the situation was under control, turned back to the task at hand. “Now,” he said “Where was I? Oh yes, I was going to kill you” he finished with a smile. He was interrupted again, this time by a more alarming matter.

Another had dragon appeared. This one, Sir Brian could tell, was a female by her coloring, which was purple. Azrion recognized her at once. It was the dragon that he had seen earlier! She let out a loud roar as she charged full-force, head down, horns pointed out, strait into the black dragon’s side. Her aim was true; she pierced his side, broke a rib and punctured a lung. The great black beast roaring in pain and fury, jumped off of his catch, and whirled to face this new foe. Azrion took advantage of this, and leaping onto the black dragon’s back, tore off a section of the armor covering his neck, clamped his teeth over the back of the neck and bit down hard. The black dragon was furious now, and reared up on his haunches, trying to shake Azrion off.   The purple dragon, seeing her chance, darted in and, lifting one of the plates of armor that covered his chest and belly, stabbed the beast through the heart. She had to jump out from under him quickly to avoid being crushed as he fell to the ground, twitching and dead. Sir Brian was getting nervous now. His mount had been killed, meaning that there was no quick and easy escape as there had been before. During all this time, King Aidan had become very pale, his breathing labored. He was losing a lot of blood, and fading fast. Sir Rueben could see that he would not last through the night. Azrion, seeing that Sir Brian was alone and unprotected, began to charge forward with all his strength, but had to stop himself almost as soon as he had started.
Out of the sky two other dragons, one red, the other a reddish/orange color, swooped down and put themselves between the man and the enraged dragon. The red one had a rider, who called down to Sir Brian “Quickly my lord, mount up! The battle has been lost, and the enemy is approaching!”  The other dragon, which did not have a rider, looked at Azrion with contempt and hate. “Stay back scum!” the dragon hissed through bared teeth. This particular dragon, whose name was Arikas, was a warmongering fellow who loved to pick a fight, even amongst his comrades. He had chosen neither mate nor rider, but was a cunning fighter and was therefore always chosen for battle. Arikas knew that, even though Azrion was much smaller than himself, he was a formidable opponent. “What is your name, dragon?” Arikas asked. “I am Azrion, son of Arual” was the reply. By now Sir Brian had climbed aboard the other dragon, and was flying to safety. Arikas could see that it was time to leave. “Well then, Azrion, son of Arual, know this. I am Arikas, son of Arik. Do not forget my name, for I am fairly certain we shall meet again!” and with that, he unfurled his wings, and took to the sky. Azrion watched as the beast turned, along with the rest of his comrades, to the southeast.  Arikas, son of Arik.  Azrion would never forget that name as long as he lived, even if he wanted to. For now however, he turned to face the matter at hand. His master, King Aidan, was dying.  

Postscript // If you want to read more, comment! This is an experiment for Billie, so please share your thoughts!