"This might work out better than you all think," Andromadus said with a faint hint of a smile in his voice. Everyone had gathered to discuss what would happen next. They needed to beat Seth to the titan valley Dragon sanctuary. Everyone sat on the floor in a large circle. Kendra had Bracken on her right with Tanu on her left. Tess sat cuddled next to Knox sleepy. Warren and Vannesa sat holding hands at the far end of the circle and Newel and Doren sat on the carpet trowing grapes their mouths.
When Seth had left in his leviathan four words had been found engraved on to the sand " Calvin lives Titan Valley" Kendra snapped out of her preoccupied thoughts to stare at the wizard with one eyebrow raised."Those where the word Seth left on the beach before departing. Thus we must gather a team to go retrieve him. But we also have a second motivation, one of the three artifacts used to stop the first war with the dragons. The gauntlets are at wyrm roost, Consequently, there will be the harp or the shield. We have reasons to believe it is the harp that calms dragons to sleep that resides at Titan Valley."He paused to let the implications sink in.
"But stealing the harp would be an act of war!" Vanessa said sternly.
"Not if the dragons have already declared war, which they have" Warren countered. Silence enveloped the room.
"Exactly, which is why we will need a small and elite team to go to titan valley find Seth and then retrieve the harp," Andromadus said with finality. " The first thing we need to attend to is who will be going on this perilous mission of great importance."
"I am coming there is no way I am staying behind." Knox intervened.
"You might have to stay behind kid, you are no dragon tamer and many of us almost died at the last mission to a dragon temple," Warren said darkly. Kendra remembered her first trip to Wyrm Roost far too well. There had been betrayal, death, and injuries on every corner. None of which she had wanted to remember, but the memories flashed by none less. Warren his shirt bloody and torn, Mendigo being destroyed by Sellita, Dougan being eaten by Navarog in one bite, Mara falling off the edge of the ravine, Gavin disappearing in a few bites right before her eyes. She looked to Warren and Tanu. She could tell they had the same memories flashing through their minds.
"What happened last time?" Tess piped timidly. No one spoke, Tess paled and Knox put his arm around her. Warren and Vanessa shared matching grimaces. Tanu was trying to keep his poker face on. Savani, Bracken, and Andromadus all looked curious but none of them pressed for info.
"I'll get the details later," Bracken whispered into Kandra's ear he was sitting right beside her, his arm protectively around her shoulders.
"Warren, Tanu, Vanessa, Bracken and myself would probably make a good team," Kendra said, she hoped she would not regret this, but she would do anything to find Seth and help him get his memories back. Knox looked like he wanted to object but held his tongue.
"We should also consider some outside help as well, might I recommend Trask and Mara?" This was the first time Tanu had spoken the entire conversation. And Kendra couldn't help but agree with his recommendation.
"Where do they currently reside?" Andromadus asked.
"Mara is with Trask at the Jade falls dragon sanctuary in western China. They have been investigating a death threat the dragons keep telling the caretaker," Tanu announced with no hesitation "I suspect they will be at the main stronghold of the sanctuary, the Iron Fort."
"Do you have a description I can use?" Andromadus queried.
"Sure you are looking for a tall lean native American female with high cheekbones, dark hair, and eyes; and a dark muscular guy with a bald head and a confident stride." Warren asserted with confidence. Andromadus nodded his head and disappeared with a flash.
" Can I look at your memories of the first time you came to Wyrmroost." Bracken leaned over and whispered in Kendra's ear so silently she could barely hear him.
"Sure," she said as she tentatively put a hand forward. What would he think would he see her heroics or just the times when she was scared out of her witts and running for her life? Bracken's hand closed around hers and he closed his eyes. When he opened them his expression was stunned.
"You went through a lot, I am so sorry."
"It's okay," she reassured him, She was glad there was not only sympathy but admiration in his eyes as well. She was about to respond when Andromadus appeared with a flash along with Trask and Mara. Both of whom looked drastically different than the last time she had seen them. Mara looked impossibly thin. She had a long scar cutting deeply across one cheek, The bottom half of her tank top had been torn away to reveal the thick bandages around her abdomen. Trask looked no better, he had bandages all over his head and looked way to lean. Kendra also noticed with a jolt that Trask now only had 4 fingers on his right hand his index finger was missing completely with only a scar where it had been.
"What happened to you guys?" Tanu sounded stern but also concerned and worried.
"The threat from the dragons was no threat it was the real deal. we had only been at Jade Falls a day when the dragons attacked, the caretaker was killed despite our best efforts. The sanctuary has fallen. After the attack we fled the fort, we are lucky your wizard found us, I dought we would have survived much longer." Trask announced gravely. Mara nodded to confirm his words. Knox was the first to speak.
"Are you ok?" He almost sounded scared Kendra understood his fear both Kights of the dawn looked like they were going to fall apart on the spot. What had happened to them? They looked like they had been mauled by a dragon then left to starve. Kendra realized with a jolt that that was probably what happened. Neither Trask or Mara looked keen to answer Knox's question. Trask looked like he was about to answer when Mara gave him a gentle elbow to the side and gestured to Tess.
"Mabey I should be the one asking what happened. These two look far too young to have any business in these grave matters." Trask stated gravely gesturing to Knox but looking at Tess. Knox looked like he was about to respond when Mara gave a low moan and toppled to the floor. Trask knelt and checked the fallen woman's pulse."She is still alive but barely." Trask announced as he rose with Mara is his arms. "Tanu can you show me the nearest accommodations which I can put her." He gestured to Mara with his eyes when he spoke. Tanu and Trask hurried out of the room. Kendra's mind reeled what had just happened. Would Mara make it trough her injuries? How could they include the two emaciated dragon tamers on their dangerous mission?
"Who were those guys," Tess asked with a hint of worry in her voice. She looked thoroughly shaken. Kandra felt so bad that her little cousin had to watch this whole ordeal.
" Trask and Mara are two of the greatest dragon tamers in the knights of the dawn. Trask is a brilliant leader and no words can explain Mara properly." Warren said.
"Smoking hot, battle-hardened, adventurer might be accurate," Doren said, Kendra didn't know if he was trying to lighten the mood or was sincere, she suspected a bit of both.
" Why doesn't someone take the little lady to the beach so the adults can talk?" Savani piped up. Both satyrs volunteered instantly. After the satyrs had taken Tess out of the room Savani announced that she was going to check and see if Tanu needed help with Mara, then left.
Knox had no idea what he had just witnessed two people who looked like they came out of a horror movie had appeared out of nowhere and one of them had collapsed without a word. Knox new that Tanu had experience as a healer. Could he help the woman, or had he met his match? Knox was glad that Newel and Doren had taken Tess out. He had hated that his little sister has witnessed what he had just seen. Knox half-listened to everyone talking about the upcoming trip to Taitn Valley and doing a supply run since almost everyone needed new clothes and provisions for the trip. The Satyrs had wanted to come on the road trip but Bracken had said no magical creatures would be attending the supply run himself included. That had gotten Knox's attention. When Kendra had shown up from the under realm she had brought Bracken with her. Knox could tell he was different from a normal human. Knox had suspected something about Bracken being nonhuman, but hearing it out loud was different. "If you are not human what are you?" Knox asked hoping he did not sound completely stupid.
"A unicorn," Bracken said casually as if the comment meant nothing.
"LOL no, what are you." Knox would not believe it wasn't a unicorn supposed to be a horse with a horn?
" This is my human form. Laugh all you want, I am a unicorn, I was thinking of showing your sister my true form when the meeting is over. But first I need to go check on Mara and Trask." And with that, he stood up and strode out of the room leaving Knox in his confused thoughts.
The ride in the leviathan was the longest most boring trip in Seth's memory, which only went back a week. Who knew, he might have been on more epic journies before. He suspected he had. At least he had company Calvin the nipsie and a hermit troll Hermo. Hermo liked to play card games but Seth liked the stories of his past more, he had spent most of the journey listening to Calvin tell about Seth's past adventures. Seth was currently listening about the night he went to a dragon's castle for a feast back when he was caretaker of Wyrmroost.
" And then Eve of the fair folk showed up; she is lord Dalgorel's daughter. You walked up to her, took her hand, and kissed it."
"Hold on, I kissed her hand?" Seth exclaimed incredulously that sounded like nonsense even for him and he had done some stupid things.
" You bet you did, but I dought you would have done it without the courage potion Tanu gave you." Seth had heard a lot about Tanu from Calvin along with a few other people who he knew. Tanu was a gifted potion master and a good friend of theirs. Seth had also heard of Warren and his girlfriend Vanessa; Calvin had never heard them confirm the depths of their relationship, but Calvin guessed it was imamate. Calvin had also told him about Kendra's unicorn boyfriend Bracken. Seth liked the stories with him and Kendra the best. Seth wished he would have believed her when she had told the truth as opposed to Ronidin's lies. Seth searched his mind for all types of people he remembered he knew what blixes where and when Calvin related that Vanessa was a narcoblix it made sense to him. Two memories that made no sense was an Australian and a native American.
"Calvin did I know and native Americans? Or Australians? I remember what they look like. Tall, dark skin, dark eyes, high cheekbones. did I know anyone like that?"
"You might have, but I wasn't there when you met them. What if you remember the people you knew less well as opposed to your close family?"
" That fits because I remember a hand full of different people but nothing about them or what they mean to me. It might be because I don't know what they meant to me?"
"That might be a good guess, Seth, we'll question Humbugle about it when we find him."
"Good idea, if we find him." Seth was not confident in finding the demon and confronting him; but Seth would do anything to get his identity back.
"Hey Tess I have a suprise for you." Kendra called, she knew if this did'int cheer her cousin up nothing would.
"What is it?" Tess called to Kendra without turning back. Kendra currently sat astride a tall, lean, pearly white unicorn. Bracken had offered Kendra a ride to Tess. On their way to cheer the young girl up after the trauma of the morning. Kendra hopped of Bracken about 15 paces away from Tess, who was too preoccupied to notice the unicorn sneaking up in her. Tess did'int turn around before Bracken nuzzled her shoulder gently with his muzzle. Tess whipped around and almost took out an eye on Bracken's horn. Kendra had never seen her cousin soo happy, it was adorable.
"Can I pet it," Tess asked quietly trying not to startle the unicorn.
"You can pet him, and one-up it. He said you can ride him too."
Tess had the biggest grin and looked like she was going to explode with excitement. Kendra looked down to see what Tess had been so transfixed on before. In Tess's right hand she held a small necklace made with grass with seashells woven in. "Where did you get the necklace?" Kendra asked her cousin.
"Oh, I made it a fairy showed me how to string the shells and weave the grass properly; Can I ride him now?"
"Sure."Kendra chuckled she doubted that anything would take Tess's mind off a unicorn ride. Kendra lifted her cousin up on to the horse gently as she could them hopped up with herself. "Bracken just a short ride the others want us back by dinner in about 20 minutes." Bracken nodded his head and trotted off at a smooth leisurely pace around the beach. His strides where so smooth she almost didn't have to hold on. Tess was in heaven, she giggled and squealed with delight as Braken started into a canter toward the treehouse. At the base of the elevator, he stopped smoothly. After Kendra and Tess hopped off Bracken changed back to his human form. Tess watched with wide eyes as to where her unicorn stood a second later there stood Bracken.
"No way! Kendra your boyfriend is a unicorn! I have the coolest cousin ever!" Tess squealed with delight. Kendra could tell by the heat in her face she was blushing. When she looked at bracken she saw that his cheeks were pink too. They rode the elevator in silence, Warren was waiting for them at the top.
"Just in time guys, I was about to come to get you. Did you little fairy princesses have fun on your unicorn ride?" warren joked half-heartedly. Tess started to chatter about the hole ride and how her unicorn had turned into Kendra's boyfriend at the end. Warren was trying and failing to hold back a laugh at that and then said: "Don't worry having a lover who is nonhuman runs in the family." He winked at Kendra and Bracken who blushed harder than before. As Bracken was about to say something the dinner bell rang.
Knox was seated at a long table when Kendra walked into the room followed by Tess, Bracken, and Warren. Knox looked up and down the table and noticed Tanu was missing along with the lady with the wheelchair, Uma. Knox figured they where probably assisting the two dragon tamers. After asking around a bit Knox had found out that the woman was Mara Tabares and the guy was Trask both of whom were good friends and most trusted allies. They were also some of the greatest dragon tamers in the knights of the dawn and had both survived against impossible odds. Dinner was quiet until Andromadus came in and announced a Dragonwatch/Kights of the dawn meeting. Knox immediately said if they wouldn't let him in he would find a way to eavesdrop on the meeting and after a short argument, he was reluctantly admitted with a promise not to open his mouth. But Tess and the satyrs where vetoed. Knox's was slightly nervous, Why was there going to be a meeting? Why were everyone but him and Tess part of this elite secret organization who fought demons and dragons? Knox skipped dessert and followed the others to a secret room in the center of the Monkeymaze.
Kendra was astonished when Mara entered the room leaning heavily on Tanu with Trask walking behind them. Warren stood and wordlessly offered his chair to the native American. Vanessa did the same for Trask. Mara had changed into a new outfit that looked suspiciously like Vanessa's. Tanu looked exhausted the same with Trask, though Trask looked much better than when he had first come. He looked less emaciated and cleaner. The bandages on his head had been changed. Kendra had seen Tanu work his wonders first hand but Kendra had not expected to see Mara awake let alone up and about. Andromadus entered the room last.
"May we begin the meeting?" He asked the answer was unanimous. Kendra was worried but also excited. she was scared to go to some foreign dragon sanctuary but she was excited to be going after Seth and to have any clue where he is. "The next big question is who will be going?"
"I am coming!" Knox shouted to loud that it made Trask and Mara wince.
"We talked about this Knox there is nothing against you, you just can withstand dragon terror," Tanu said calmly from his spot next to Mara.
"You can't either Tanu neither can Warren" Vanessa shot back. "I know that Tanu will be making courage potions and bringing Seth and Kendra saved your butts last time. Why not let the kid come. Let us not forget that he saved us from the squid demon." Warren added,
"It's decided I am coming," Knox said a little too proudly.
"Well, we are obviously coming," Warren announced gesturing to himself and Vannesa.
"I will too," Kendra said she hoped she didn't sound to timid or hesitant.
"I will come as well," Bracken announced.
"I am also coming to lead the group," Trask announced in a tone that implied there would be no questioning his desition.
"I am coming along as well, there is no keeping me here no matter what you say," Mara spoke her normally beautiful alto was strained and slightly raspy.
"Absolutely not. you are suffering from a serious wound and serious internal bleeding." Tanu asserted.
"If you do not include me I promise I will escape the preserve and follow you to New Zeland." Kendra gawked in disbelief, Mara was crazy going on such a dangerous mission with such serious injuries.
"If we take her you can keep an eye on her Tanu," Trask affirmed.
"Fine, she can come, but I reserve the right to send her back if she gets worse. That is my final word." Tanu announced, Trask nodded his agreement and Mara's posture relaxed.
"Well it is settled, Kendra, Bracken, Knox, Warren, Vanessa, Trask, Tanu and Mara are going to retrieve Seth. Meeting dismissed." Andramadus announced as he stood and strode from the room.
Hard to believe we have only been in this thing for a day." Seth moaned "I am succumbing to boredom. How are we going to still be sane by the time we reach New Zeland."
"Want me to tell you about the time where you sent your clueless cousin up against swarms of dragons, and you flew on griffin to the fairy queen's shrine, and almost got eaten by dragons?" Calvin proposed Seth agreed the tale sounded like a good one, but he had other plans. the leviathan had announced they were nearing a small island with no apparent preditors so Seth had quickly accepted the opportunity to stretch his legs and explore.
"We are nearing the island I recommend you ready a boat I cannot enter the shallow waters." The leviathan's deep voice entered Seth's mind telepathically. A few minutes later the gargantuan whale's mouth opened to reveal a small island with a small grove of trees on the far side, the island was small Seth could see the end of it but there was still enough space to spare. Seth pushed the rowboat out onto the water and hopped in. What was he thinking he didn't know how to row let alone maneuver a boat! Seth almost capsized more than once on his way to the island. Then suddenly the boat pitched forward and stopped. Seth panicked what was going on? He looked around and realized he had hit the beach. Seth was excited to be able to explore the island, but he would not take too long because his memory could not wait.