The Return of Maeve 13

Epilogue

The chamber's walls were now a shimmering hodgepodge of browns, reds, yellows, and blacks. The once twinkling seeing bowls were now scattered every which way and broken into so many tiny pieces that it'd take an extremely direct spell to put them back together. The once highly decorative curtains, giving the illusion of passageways and windows, were lying on the ground. The ripped pieces, coated in multi-colored dust, still connected to the ceiling, easily a witness to the powerful magic that had overwhelmed the sole occupant lying in a crumpled heap at the base of the wall.

The occupant wasn't in good shape at all.

The once luscious dark brown hair, elegantly brushed and pulled into precious jewels was dull, haphazardly thrown about, and smoldering with tiny embers of fire and light.

The skin of this occupant was once clear and smooth; now it was blackened and crispy as if a tiny touch could cause it to collapse into a black mist.

The clothes reveal it to be a woman; what was left of it in any case. The red silks and glistening translucent cloths were burnt to blacked twigs and wrapped around the thin body. The cloths that were left behind were nothing more than bits and pieces here and there across her body.

And yet, even as the body of the dead woman laid there, her finger, thin and boney now, were twitching just so…

As the brilliant white light dispersed around the kissing couple, Bryn, who was slightly uncomfortable with the fact that Sinbad was kissing yet again, another woman, turned and felt her mouth drop open.

On the chair's head rest was Dermott and he was glowing a dark yellow.

"Dermott!" she yelled in fear for she had never seen her feathered friend enveloped so.

In shock and fear, for her tone wasn't what they wanted to hear after such a great success against the dark, the crew spun on their heels.

Their mouths dropped too.

For right before their eyes, the dark yellow glow winked out in a blast of harmless energy; what was left behind was a person, a man, they had never seen before.

There before them was a tall, thin yet athletically built man, with sleek, straight black hair with a few braids here and there to strategically keep the long locks out of his face.

He had dark skin, darker than Sinbad's but lighter by a fair few hues to Rongar's, smooth and soft despite his rugged appearance.

His gray eyes were animated by their reactions it seemed and he possessed strong facial features with a tattoo on each cheek.

Covering his body was richly pristine and wealthy but durable clothes. Over his heart cut into four pieces was a shield. The upper left quadrant was painted a dark purple, nearly black color. The upper right was bronze. The lower left was bronze and the lower right was a dark purplish-black. In the center of the shield was a golden panther with its claws extended and its sharp, purple eyes piercing ahead of it. Behind the panther was a bow and arrow both bronze in color. Around the bronze shield was a golden one that they knew nothing about.

Just seeing this man made Bryn's heart clench in both pain and happiness.

Did I know him? She asked herself as the man rose from his perch and said calmly, "My name is Dermott."

He gave a tiny grin through his braided black hair and added, "It's good to see you all through human eyes."

Doubar took a step forward, unconsciously placing his hand over his cutlass, and demanded, "Who are you? Dermott is a hawk not a man!"

Maeve was in heaven; was in Avalon's heart. It was the only explanation to the joyous emotions welling up inside her very heart and soul.

She felt warmth…

She felt belonging…

…family…

…comfort…

…and most important of all, love.

As she pulled back from the kiss, to regain a bit of breath, her chest heaving in its exertions to survive with what she was reluctantly giving it, she heard Doubar's demands.

Dazedly, for Sinbad could still make her weak at the knees, she turned a bit in his arms, and looked at who Doubar was yelling at.

Ah, it's Dermott she thought. It didn't seem important enough to her that Doubar was yelling at him though.

He was only human after all…

Her throat closed up around her in amazement as she looked again.

Yes, yes, he was human.

She took a step out of Sinbad's arms, the way he gripped her, told her he wasn't to happy about that, and called out hesitantly, "Dermott?"

The tall man, so much like their father, turned to her with a tiny smile and said simply, "You did it sister; you killed Rumina."

She shrieked in happiness as she rushed into his arms and cried out, "DERMOTT!"

Sinbad couldn't describe the purity of his emotions with her in his arms. It was like everything and nothing all at once. He felt every living cell in his body beat solely for her, but with each beat it stole a little more life and killed him that much more.

He loved it; for each time he died he was born again with each new beat.

With each beat of his heart, his scarred and hidden heart, grew and grew until it encompassed his entire being.

Until it encompassed his Maeve; his beautiful Maeve.

His sole reason for living.

He didn't want to let her go.

As their kiss came to an end, for her chest was heaving with the exertions of keeping breath in her lungs, he felt her being to pull away.

He just got her back!

She can't leave!

But like all flames, if you squeeze it to tight, it'll die out, but if you give it a little breathing room, it'll flourish.

He let her go.

He let her go to a man's arms he had never seen before.

Just as he felt his heart being to break at their hug, the man's words hit him like an anchor to the sea's floor.

"You did it sister; you killed Rumina."

This man was Maeve's brother? What was he doing here?

Before he could ask or say anything, Maeve pulled away from him, grabbed the black haired man's hand, turned to them all and announced, "Sinbad, Doubar, guys, this is my older brother, Dermott. Rumina turned him into a hawk years ago. To get him back I travelled all over to find a magician strong enough to break the spell, and I found DimDim. He tried; he really did, but told me only I would be able to break the spell with the death of Rumina."

Sinbad caught on at once, "Rumina did this with the other two. You must have killed her when you burst free of her control Maeve."

Maeve smiled at him with her loveliest of smiles, one he had never seen before actually, and corrected, "Ah no, when we, Sinbad, kissed and brought ourselves here we broke the curse and killed Rumina."

She let Dermott's hand go, walked back to his side, wrapped her arms around him and said lovingly as they hugged, "Thank you, you saved me Sinbad, you saved me."

He didn't want to let her go.

In truth, she had saved him not the other way around.

Once the hug was over, he didn't want it to be, it made him feel as if he could battle Scratch himself again and again, she turned to the crew and said with a grin and arms wide open, "Guys, don't I get a hug?"

Doubar, Firouz, and Rongar couldn't get there fast enough it seemed to him. He chuckled as the three men ganged up on the red haired Amazonian woman of his heart; and she took it all with a beautiful smile on her face.

As she was being smothered by the three men, Dermott came to Bryn's side, who had been staring in disbelief at him the entire time, and said to her cheekily, though Bryn had a feeling this wasn't in the norm for him, "Don't worry, I didn't watch you getting dressed you know. I always looked away."

Bryn gave him a smart look mixed with anger, for him figuring her out, and said pointedly, "I know you, don't I."

Dermott raised an eyebrow at that and she retorted, "And I don't mean as a hawk. I know you as a human too, don't I?"

He smiled and nodded but said, "We'll talk about it later with Maeve on the Nomad, eh?"

She wanted to say, NO now!, but he continued, "That way the spell on us three will be removed and none of us will be punished for breaking the terms of our oaths."

She furrowed her brows at that, breaking our oaths? Just what HAVE I been in before I lost my memories?

Once everyone had their fill of Maeve, they turned back to the exhausted Caipra. She was smiling sleepily up at them and raised her arms weakly.

Sinbad and Maeve knelt by her side; Doubar and the rest of the crew were behind them watching anxiously. Each worried about the old woman in their own way.

"Is there anything we can do Caipra?" asked Maeve gently as she ran her fingers across the wrinkled brow.

The old woman, whose burdens had wondrously transformed into miracles, grinned lightly up at them and said, "No, I'll sleep for a few days and then I'll be fine. You all need to go, though; you're next adventure awaits you."

Sinbad pursed his lips; he didn't like the thought of leaving Caipra so weakened and all alone.

Maeve elbowed him and asked, "What adventures Caipra?"

She gave them another sleepy smile and answered as her eyes closed, "The return of Bryn's memory, of course dear."

As she said this, her door burst open and a light wind began to gently push them in that direction.

Firouz, who had eyed the old woman with a physician's eye, said, "She'll be fine after a few days of rest and good food."

Doubar snorted and added as the wind gave another gentle yet insistent push, "Not that it matters, we're not exactly wanted right now!"

The Nomad had never looked so good to Maeve; the feel of the seas' breeze, the sounds of the port of call, the seagulls calling to one another, the merchants trying to sell their wares.

It was beautiful to her.

Once on board her home, Bryn marched up to her and Dermott and demanded, "Tell me what you know about me!"

Dermott raised a hand and said, "You'll have to say this then… 'I, Princess Brenna Pendragon, daughter of Arthur Pendragon, King of Albion, King of Britannia, hereby release Lord Dermott and Lady Maevelynn Paldor of the House of Paldor from their Oaths of secrecy.'"

Bryn blinked at those words, but a surprising note of harmony deep within her acknowledge them as right.

She took a deep breath and intoned in a serious tone of voice for she knew this was exactly what she was looking or, "I, Princess Brenna Pendragon, daughter of Arthur Pendragon, King of Albion, King of Britannia, hereby release Lord Dermott and Lady Maevelynn Paldor of the House of Paldor from their Oaths of secrecy."

With those words Dermott and Maeve began to glow with an inner golden light.

Dermott took a deep breath and intoned, "I, Lord Dermott Paldor, son of Tristran Paldor, Lord of Albion, Lord of Britannia, hereby release Princess Brenna Pendragon of the House of Pendragon and Lady Maevelynn Paldor of the House of Paldor from their Oaths of secrecy."

With those words Maeve's light grew stronger and Bryn began to glow too.

The Nomad crew was eyeing them with open curiosity. None of them could believe the words they were hearing. If they understood it correctly, and they had ALL been in enough royal situations before to understand palace intrigue, Dermott, Bryn and Maeve were of royal lines?

"I, Lady Maevelynn Paldor, daughter of Tristran Paldor, Lord of Albion, Lord of Britannia, hereby releases Princess Brenna Pendragon of the House of Pendragon and Lord Dermott Paldor of the House of Paldor from their Oaths of secrecy!"

With those words the lights that were surrounding all three vanished as quickly as the eye could blink.

Maeve turned to Bryn and said bluntly, "We are your second cousins through your father and our mother."

Bryn blinked and looked at her body in amazement. That had been a huge blast of magic and yet she didn't feel the strain of using that magic.

Dermott answered her, "It wasn't your magic blocking you or us; it was our cousin's your aunt's. She had us bound before we left Britain to keep us safe and to protect us from those who would try to use us as ransom against our family."

Doubar butted in, "What's that mean?"

Maeve placed a gentle hand on Sinbad's arm and said as she looked at Doubar, "When Rumina turned Dermott into a hawk our mothers and other Priestesses tried with all their power to turn him back. Unfortunately, Rumina used both Easter and Western magics to fight me, and when I was down Dermott jumped into the spell Rumina launched at me. The mixed magic was too much for any of us, so it was decided that I'd travel east and find a Master to train under. Bryn, who didn't want to stay home waiting for word of Dermott, wanted to go too. Our families made us swear a magical oath not to reveal who we truly were until there were two of us available to release the third from their secret."

Firouz piped in, "Which is what just happened, right?"

Dermott nodded and said, "And now we need to go home."

Sinbad raised an eyebrow and Dermott amended, "Britain, it's the only way to get Bryn's memory back."

The chamber was large and charred with hundreds of light bursts that splashed harmlessly against the geological material.

The male body on the floor though wasn't so lucky.

It was mutated beyond repair and looked to the demon as he flashed in with a burst of hellfire like a puddle of goo.

With a snap of with his fingers and another flash of hellfire another body, more feminine, appeared before the sea fearing demon.

The demon growled out with finger curled into a sadistic claw, "Oh Dark One, Morkoth,

Thee who I giv-ith this sacrifice.

Pain and Blood indentify,

Negative energy where it lies.

Soil thou body tress to toe,

As I will it, make it so!"

He crackles evilly as the hellfire roars from his claws and envelops them both. What little sentience survived inside their bodies screamed in the depths of their souls as their remains burned to nothing.

When the fire burned out, two tiny, dark, floating orbs of dark green and dark yellow light flew into his hands.

The green light (Turok) flashed angrily up at him.

Scratch laughed some more and said gleefully, "I got two souls after all!"

The dark yellow light (Rumina) fluttered flirtingly about his hairy hand causing delightful shivers up and down his arm.

"Hmmm…you have a deal little witch." He agreed with a husky tone of voice that caused the green light to shiver with revulsion.

Scratch waved his hand down at Turok and watched him disappear into the depths of the earth.

He waved his hand again and the dark yellow orb exploded and Scratch disappeared with an advantageous laugh.

When the explosions settled down, Rumina, with a superior gleam in her eyes and arrogance in her stance vowed, "I WILL have my revenge!"

She waved her hand and conjured a mirror.

What she saw had her glaring hellfire and surrounding herself with an aura of hellfire too.

She had raven black hair that fell fetchingly down her back. Around her forehead was a golden tiara with a red hellfire orb dangling between her eyes.

Her skin was dry and scaly like snakes. Her eyes are slit down the middle and her teeth like claws.

She was wearing a tiny shirt that fell just under her improved chest and a tight pair of silken pants that cuffed her ankles and hugged her bigger waist. It too was hellfire red.

She screamed, "SCRATCH! I'LL HAVE MY REVENGE!"