The Dark. Queen Opal rules the land, Elwith and his men are sent after her.
|Rysaras and Rykon were half an hour into their journey, and both elves were silent, Rysaras gripped his reins tighter, his leather gloves squeaking. Rykon rode next to him. "Brother what's plaguing you?"
"Elwith," he said not even looking at Rykon, who leant over and pulled the reins; his horse stopped abruptly.
"He'll be fine brother." he told Rysaras.
"Opal has cursed him! I can't watch him wither away, Rykon you saw it he's in a bad state." Rysaras said and threw his high crimson ponytail over his shoulder.
"He's with Paolo, he's in safe hands brother." Rykon said and rode forward.
"That may be the case but we're weaker without them. Remember the last attack Opal launched on us?" Rysaras asked and rubbed gloved fingers over the scar on his throat.
"I do, I was glad I was there, she nearly killed you." He said turning in his saddle. The horses began to neigh as they were tired but continued to walk, the twins were passing the land of Floating Islands, the horses had tojump a few times till they came to the Evergreen Forest. The green deer decorated with leaves, and the spots on their coats lilac flowers bounded in fright as they entered into the forest.
"Such skittish creatures," Rysaras cursed under his breath. The horses then walked through a shallow river, turtles lifted their heads announcing their presence and the fact that they weren't stepping stones, as they came to the middle of the woods everything had withered and died, everywhere they looked was black.
"She's been here," Rykon said.
"She's still here!" he exclaimed dismounting his horse. "Rykon move!" he yelled, a diseased horde consisting of a few boars, forest deer and wolves came charging at the two, the wolves tore Rykon from his horse and the boars and forest deer circled Rysaras splitting him up fromhis brother, Rykon was on the ground and a wolf on his chest.
Paolo had mixed serums and potions to help Elwith but still the captain suffered, the infection had got worse, half the length of his knee length hair was almost black. His eyes had dulled and his veins had turned an even darker shade of black, he was unconscious most of the time. That was when Paolo decided to call upon his paladin powers, he crossed oer his legs, rested his hands on his knees and began to meditate calling upon the light. "I won't lose you captain." He said, his whole being began to light up and his hair began to blow in a gentle breeze, and his hands began to glow.
Rysaras stood in the middle of the woods his sword stabbed into the dirt, he was panting and his limbs were shaking, he was covered in blood from head to toe, his gaze was on the ground, Rykon lay not far from him, he too covered in blood, bite marks lined his chest, arms and legs. Rysaras soon found his strength and lifted his head. "Brother are you still there?" he asked.
Rykon lifted his head wheezing, "I'm still clinging to life." He said and hauled himself off the ground which was an effort to the injured elf.
"Come brother," Rysaras said walking to his brother and offering his hand to him and helped him off the floor. "Can you ride?"
"I can try," Rykon answered and mounted his horse, both brothers continued on their journey the wood still dead, the horses hooves broke the dead twigs and turned them to ash, the air became thick and hard to breathe, both brothers felt like were being suffocated, their horses began to slow down, but there sitting in a dead trunk was Opal. The horses shed their fur, skin and muscle and now there stood skeletons, both riders fell as the saddle slipped, the horses then walked to Opal, she stood and emerged from the shadows, she caressed the smooth bone noses of the horses.
They walked into the forest and disappeared. "Oh boys, it's nice to see you again." She said. "But oh where's Elwith? Dying perhaps? Or under my control?" she said teasing the boys.
Paolo leant over Elwith, he held a dagger blade in front of his nose, it steamed up with every breath the captain took, the black from his veins faded a little and his hair was returning to its natural colour but he still had a way to go, Paolos hair seemed to turn an even lighter shade of gold and the curls seemed to tighten. "We will be able to move in a few days," he said putting the blade down and picking up a strand of Elwiths hair and witnessed the black leave him.
The twins arms, legs, had been restrained and a vine was now wrapped around their necks and restrained them. "You won't keep us here!" Rysaras exclaimed with a snarl on his face.
"You keep talking you will die first!" she said leaning down to his level and using a clawed finger she ran it under his chin and forced his head up to look at her. Rykon hung his head, he had been silent since she had caught them. "Nothing to say Rykon?" She swung her head like a snake around to the younger one, she suddenly stood up with a start. "Impossible!" she whispered to herself.
She felt a burning sensation that lasted for only a few seconds. "You're lucky your friend has been saved for now!" she exclaimed, she threw out her arms and disappeared in a flock of crows, when they cleared she was no longer there, she had escaped once again and the vines let the brothers go. Rysaras took in a deep breath and rose to his feet, he offered a hand to his brother who took it but didn't say a word, what he wasn't aware of was that Opal had silenced him with a curse. Rysaras thought nothing of it, he turned his tail and began to head back to Elwith.