The Chronicles of Valana Volume 2: Elaria's Bane

by AB

Chapter 15

Two in The Price of One

The ship docked at Lea'laros, Gel'anr's port. "You must be Orphon." Norion greeted the boy on the marble and wood dock.

"Yes…who are you?" Orphon asked feeling lost.

"I am Norion Anorion…Crown Prince of the Elven Kingdom of Udala." Norion replied with a sad expression on his face.

"You, you are Norion? How come you are here? How did you get here?" Orphon started firing question after question.

"I was never in Elaria to begin with." Norion paused for a moment before he started walking towards the city and the Royal Palace. "All of this can wait for later. For now, you need some rest, a bath and some food." Orphon followed him through the cobblestone path towards the city.

"The vegetation here is…stunning." Orphon said as they walked amongst the plush evergreen forest.

"Some of the trees are ancient. It is indeed a beautiful forest. Serene and full of life." Norion replied, his hand caressing some of the leaves of the trees and bushes around them.

The birds and animals filled an orchestra of sounds with wind as the maestro filling their ears.

"How ancient? Firefly forest has some really old trees I think." Orphon commented.

Norion's lips broke into a faint smile. "A few centuries old are they?"

"Yes, I think so. I've only been allowed to go once so far with a full battalion of dragon riders no less. Father's a bit overprotective of me." Orphon stated.

"There are trees here in Gel'anr and in the Elven islands that are older than a few tens…of thousand years old. Some of which are even Elves who decided to take tree shape and become trees. Their songs can be heard if one remains completely silent." Orphon tried closing his eyes holding in his breath in an effort to listen to the songs of the primeval Elves turned trees. He could hear nothing other than the melodies of the birds and animals of the forest and so with his lungs demanding air he released his breath and opened his eyes.

"Your father…well, fathers can be that way. He loves you, you know."

"I know but I am not a little kid anymore, I am almost Fifteen years old and he treats me like I'm five. I'm old enough to join the army and fight." Orphon whined.

"How old do you think I am?" Norion asked him.

Orphon studied him from head to toe. "Thirteen?"

"Indeed…only I have lived for over fifty sun cycles and my father will continue to treat me like a kid for a few…centuries yet. It is what fathers do until you prove to them otherwise, if you don't like it you have but one choice."

"I know." Orphon did not need to be told he could either stand up to his dad or remain a kid forever.

They continued walking in silence until they arrived at the Royal palace overseeing the city.

"This place is just…" Orphon whispered feeling awestruck by the simple beauty of the place. "A city inside a forest, streams and waterfalls everywhere. Such craftsmanship in everything…my father did not exaggerate when he described Gel'anr."

"Your father has spoken to you of this?"

"When I was little when he would put me to bed at night. Those nights he had free time and could. He often spoke of those long ago times when he and his lost friend…I guess your High-King, had spent in this island."

"I see…well we had better go. They'll be waiting for us, son of Lucas." Norion started walking up the Royal Palace's marble stairs.

Ravenered looked over the kneeling men and women. "These are all?" He asked a man standing next to him.

"Yes, sir. Those are all those loyal to Micraal and the old ways."

"Good, execute them all without mercy or regret for they are traitors to our cause." Ravenered ordered and one by one those kneeling, their hands tied behind their backs had their throats slit from end to end.

"Good." Ravenered grinned. "Now that the traitors within our Order have been dealt with…unleash upon Oghelle and rid her of any and all rich. I want opulence destroyed. Art extinguished. Affluence eradicated. Let the poor rejoice for we, their saviours are coming."

The soldiers of The Vaghish, now armed with armour and weapons from looted Oghellen military storehouses, saluted and left.

A voice thundered in Ravenered's mind. Dark, hallow and foreboding. "Wellllll doooonneeee, my ssssservant. I grant theeeee the power of immmoorrtaall ssssppiirriiits. Usssse it my name. Conssssuumme this world in my naaame. Fiiirsssst of my bisshoops."

"Oghelle….and the world will buuurn in thy name." Ravenered replied before pain shot all over his mind and body.

"Riders, riders approach from the west!" A forward scout shouted to the armies moving behind them through the fields. They had entered the borders of the Kingdom of Oghelle the night before.

Aer'andil urged his horse forth. Minaroth and Belevod close behind him.

The riders rode closer and closer until Aer'andil and his Elven companions could see them, even if human eyes still could not.

"They don't look military…and what is that thick black smoke in the horizon? The second Darkness army can't have reached Oghelle yet." Aer'andil murmured.

"At ease, they are civilians." Minaroth yelled to the armies.

The riders, a man, a woman and three young children. A boy and two girls came to a sudden stop in front of Aer'andil and his mentors who had walked their horses in front of the forward scouts.

The horses reared on their hind legs. One of the two girls fell off her horse.

"Orkhavocs? An Orkhavoc army is marching to Oghelle?" The man asked no one in particular, in obvious panic.

"What's happening my good man?" Aer'andil asked him as he dismounted his horse. "Why are you in such a panic? Worry not. The Orkhavocs are not heading to Oghelle as enemies." He extended a hand to the fallen girl helping her up to her feet.

"Thank you." She told him timidly. Her cheeks flushed, rubbing her posterior. She was maybe seven or eight years old but no older than that.

Aer'andil nodded with a smile turning his attention to the older man.

"The Vaghish…or so they call themselves. Oghelle has been betrayed from within. They are killing anyone who they consider "rich". Everything beautiful is being destroyed. I was a merchant in Oghelle bringing wine and deeds from Nikorn. I barely managed to escape with my life, my wife children and niece…her parents, my brother were not as fortunate. We are heading to Hordivar where my wife's sister lives." The man told him.

"Hordivar is no more. Oghelle's army led by the Dark General Elaria's Bane burned the city to the ground killing almost everyone in it. Head to Lakosi. The refugees from Hordivar are heading there, maybe your sister in law survived." Aer'andil answered him in a grim voice.

"By the…thank you, we will head to Lakosi. What happened to the Oghellen army?" The man's eyes almost bulged out of their sockets while his wife covered hers with her hands, trying not to show her kids the tears falling off them at the news of her sister's probable demise.

"Slain, all of them down to the last man and creature of Darkness. The Dark General as well." Aer'andil replied getting back on his horse.

The man looked at him in disbelief, his eyes looking as if he had not heard correctly or believed he had not.

"Dark General? Dead? Who…what can kill one?" He stuttered.

"Me." Aer'andil turned his head to Minaroth. "Tell the army to move out. We can't lose a moment more." Aer'andil spurred his horse onwards.

"You…you killed Elaria's Bane? What are you?" The man whispered.

Aer'andil's Elven ears caught the faint sound on the wind. "I am Aer'andil, son of Liandras. High-King of all Elves and descendant of Glothoin."

A few hours later they stood to the east of Oghelle's impressive walls.

"Oh my…" Rodania's Crown Prince and general of the army whistled. Before them the city burned with screams echoing everywhere.

"The army of Darkness will come from the west and north, from the Kingdom of Riadbar. Everyone have their orders?" Aer'andil asked Minaroth.

She nodded. "Indeed, my King."

"Good, do not go near the city's walls, give them a wide birth and do not attack unless attacked first."

Behind them to the east the horizon could not be seen. Heavy dark clouds gathered everywhere. It had not stopped raining since they had left the remains of the Serpent's Bastion.

"Move out!" Minaroth yelled out and the combined Alliance armies marched on.

It was night when they arrived at the sea.

"My Lord…should we attack the boats carrying the enemy army?" The crown Prince of Eri'Adar asked Aer'andil. They were standing on a cliff's edge at the outskirts of their camp. Below them a vertical cliff, a thin beach leading to a pathway up the cliffs and the sea lit by the seemingly countless ships crossing the sea between Riadbar and Oghelle. The first ones having made landing, spilling the soldiers on the white sand.

"No. Some of those are carrying men, not creatures of Darkness…"

"I know, my Lord but we will have to fight them either way. Why not sink their ship from here with archers and siege weapons and lessen what we will have to face?" The Crown Prince of Eri'Adar pressed on.

Aer'andil smiled in the dark of night. Minaroth and Belevod caught glimpses of it with their Elven eyes, Vacroth, Crown Prince of Eri'Adar missed it.

"We shall have to wait and see won't we, prince of the deceitful." Aer'andil walked to his tent.

Vacroth chuckled. To him that title was not an insult but an honour.

Aer'andil was awake and ready before the crack of dawn.

"Minaroth, have the armies of men cover the western approach. The Elven armies shall attack from the center path. Oh and have the Lavonian King lead the human armies with the Crown Prince of Fadr."

"My King? Those are not the orders from yesterday." Minaroth noted.

"I know, Minaroth. I know." Aer'andil mounted his horse headed for where the Elven armies gathering and breaking up camp.

Minaroth shrugged making her way to the human part of the camp.

"What? This is…" The General of the Rodenian Empire begun to complain.

"The High-King's orders. You want to be the one to disobey them, General?" Minaroth inquired calmly yet with a death stare.

The Rodenian General opened and closed his mouth a few times before finally giving a cough and staying silent.

"Good. Gather your soldiers and move out." Minaroth left.

"They are coming." Belevod stated.

"Finally. Well the army have their orders…rid this place of Darkness." Aer'andil replied in a stern face. "Minaroth, Feldon's navy in place?"

"Indeed my King." Minaroth replied dryly.

"Good. Good." Aer'andil took hold of his bow spurring his horse to the edge of the overhang. Below the army of Darkness had begun it's ascend up the cliff-face.

"Shall we deal death, then?" Aer'andil fired an arrow down at the incoming creatures of Darkness.

The Elven armies closed rank blocking off the path to the top of the cliff with a wall of spears, shields and magic spells.

" Zigush nivaj glughj!" A male voice shouted from below.

"Kill us all eh?" Aer'andil shouted back. "Come and get us then!"

A hollow laughter. "I, Atrik Nakeros am coming to kill you, little one." Aer'andil grinned. The battle was afoot.

Wave after wave of Dark creatures fell upon their lines.

"Why are we here if not to fight?" Vacroth inquired.

The General of Rodenia smirked through his beard and helmet.

"Raise the parley flag." The General ordered one of his underlings.

"Parley? You want to negotiate with them?" Vacroth asked.

"Of course, why slaughter each other if we can…avoid it." The King of Batorn laughed.

The Rodenian General, Vacroth, the Crown Prince of Fadr and the King of Batorn along with the other Kings and heads of armies walked forward.

Two horses walked forth from the opposite side. The men on both sides standing at attention.

"So…you Kings of Valana want to negotiate with us?" A man with a gold crown on his head and an armour made to look as a lion's head spoke.

"My honourable friend, King Hatoushet of Riadbar. How are you?" The King of Lavonia asked him.

The King of Riadbar smiled a forced smile. "Wish that we met on better terms, my old friend."

"Why are the terms not favourable for a reunion my friend? We are not here to kill you and your men. No, for heaven's sake. We are here to negotiate a…pact, a treaty which has you and your men leaving for your Kingdom with all of us alive. There is no reason to kill each other is there?"

"Not today, perhaps." The King of Nikorn, the other man on horseback said.

"Shield wall!" Aer'andil yelled from his horse behind the front rows of Elven warriors.

The Front lines of the Elven armies holding back the creatures and fiends of Darkness at the mouth of the path leading from the beach to the top of the cliff. In one synchronized move the front row of soldiers kneeled locking shields and protruding spears and long swords between the voids of the shields. The second line locked shields above the shields of the first line with their spears extruding through the gaps.

"Push!" Aer'andil yelled throwing a fire ball at a four-legged Khasival, a creature corrupted from a large cat into a being of dark blue fur, elongated, sharp teeth and viscous red eyes. The Khasival avoided the spell before launching itself at Aer'andil with a roar.

Aer'andil bent backwards avoiding it while at the same time arching his hand up holing the bow-transformed-bastard sword. The Khasival dropped dead behind him just as his horse reared on its hind legs throwing him on the ground. Aer'andil rolled on his back rising to his feet to see a second Khasival mauling at his horse with both teeth and claws.

The Elven warriors used their swords and spears to jab at the enemy before using their shields as a battering ram to push the enemy back. They stabbed again before walking forward two steps.

Minaroth took off the Khasival's head, offering her hand at her King who used it for leverage jumping up behind her. "Push! Push them back at the sea, over the cliff, slaughter them all without mercy!" She bellowed casting acid rain on the rear ranks of the enemy host.

"Are we in agreement then gentlemen?" The King of Lavonia asked, a gleeful smile on his lips.

"Quite." The King of Riadbar replied emotionless. "Oghelle loses the exclusivity of the trade with the Kingdoms from Valana, we get two percent from all trade from Fadr and the Kingdom of Lavonia and the Empire of Rodenia become equal partners to the Kingdom of Eri'Adar, correct?"

"One percent, let's not be "that" forgetful now, shall we?" The Crown Prince of Fadr corrected him. The King of Riadbar nodded his submission.

"Then we are all in agreement, for the aforementioned terms, the Kingdoms of Elaria will not join in any hostilities towards any Kingdom of Valana, Human or Elven for a period of twenty years, including the Orkhavoc Confederacy." The King of Lavonia said.

"Where is the Orkhavoc army?" The Crown Prince of Eri'Adar asked.

"The High-King of the Elves has them at the rear, in case anyone from Oghelle decides it a good idea to attack us from behind." The Rodenian General replied. "I so have enjoyed these negotiations. Learned something about diplomacy, boy?" He taunted the Eri'Adar prince.

Vacroth grinned. "Oh most assuredly, I learned diplomacy from my father, who ordered me to take a tenth of the army and join the rest of the alliance in the war effort in Elaria. Since you guys decided to bring two thirds of your army over he is now liberating every piece of ground and territory Rodenia was kind enough to steel from us after the last war when our military was almost annihilated and we could not reply in fear of losing the whole fucking kingdom. Now we are repaying the favour in full. I believe my father's ambitions stop just east of the mountains, who knows maybe we'll reach the Anarmel River. You don't mind having an empire without a capital city do you?"

"They've had you, General, do not unsheathe your sword unless you want war between the rest of us against Rodenia." The King of Lavonia told the Rodenian General before he could unsheathe his sword and attack Vacroth.

"Losing some trade is not such a bad tradeoff for about a third, if not more, of your territory, I believe." Vacroth turned and went back to his army leaving the General of Rodenian steaming.

"We shall take our leave then." The King of Nikorn told them getting ready to head back to his army when the King of Lavonia spoke again.

"Join us in the battle against the Darkness army and Lavonia and Fadr will give you ship-docking privileges throughout our kingdoms, even for external trade."

The King of Nikorn smiled and nodded. "So be it then."

"Master," A corrupted man called out to Atrik. "They are overwhelming us."

"Where are the fucking human armies?" Atrik chopped off an Elven Soldier atop his horse.

"Attacking our flank, they joined the Humans of Val…" Atrik shrieked beheading the man.

"Give the signal to our reinforcements." Atrik told one of his army's spellbinders who waved his hands as if pulling a bow-string chanting in Zah Dah's tongue of Darkness. A black arrow left his hands bursting in a ball of black fire a few dozen meters above them.

Aer'andil saw it and looked at Belevod fighting next to him. Daggers in hands.

"They've called for their reinforcements." Aer'andil changed the blade back to a bow firing two arrows at a couple of Shadowkillers attacking him. The arrows burst in bright white light.

"I can see that, my Lord." Belevod stated throwing one of the daggers on a Beralock catching it between the eyes dropping it dead.

Aer'andil rolled his eyes killing another Beralock with an arrow. "I know you can, Belevod. Give the signal to Feldon…after they disembark from their ships."

"Is that wise my King? We would have more enemy creatures to fight."

"I know, Belevod. I know. And a third Dark General to slay as well as less for later. Eradicate as much as we can now. We have been wanting to kill off the armada of our enemy since the last war I believe." Aer'andil answered gleefully.

"If you two are finished we have a battle to fight." Minaroth cleaved at anything near her not Elven.

"Quite." Aer'andil replied. "Push!" Four layers of Elven warriors pushed the shield wall forward. "Without stop. Let's put an end to this fight." Aer'andil fired a volley of arrows as the shield wall begun to move slowly, step after step.

"My King!" An officer called out to the King of Riadbar. "reinforcements from the sea to the west."

"Fantastic…now we all get to die a slow painful agonizing death." The King of Riadbar quipped sarcastically without a shred of joy or fun in his voice.

"We turn to the west the existing army slaughters us. We stay and fight this army, the reinforcements slaughter us…a high of a price for ship docking as I have ever seen." The King of Lavonia killed off a Vorug. A creature created by Dark Spiritum abilities, a dog and the evil thoughts of men when murdered by a loved one.

"Thankfully, this whole charade of a battle is yet another ruse by the High-King of the Elves." The King of Lavonia continued pointing his sword to the sky to the east.

The King of Riadbar saw dark clouds form all over the battlefield, starting from the positions of the Elven armies spreading outwards.

"What can dark clouds d…" The King of Riadbar did not get to finish his sentence as thunders started raining down from the clouds. A few minutes later ships showed in the horizon. Elven ships.

"They never show you the whole picture do they? Elves." The General of Rodenia sniggered as he slew a corrupted man.

"Nay, neither do they ever tell the whole truth. They may not lie but they do omit things ever so cleverly."

"Quite. Our nobles have a lot to learn from them." The King of Riadbar replied chopping off a head.

An hour later the battlefield had moved westerly on the beach where the reinforcements of the army of Darkness and Feldon's army of Udala had landed.

"Are you finally going to fight me, Atrik?" Aer'andil shouted at him from behind.

Atrik turned letting a Human soldier fall to the ground dead. His neck broken.

"But of course Elf-ling. I and Throngul will fight you together." Atrik smiled a vile smile. Two rows of rotten teeth showing with a black tongue between them.

"Throngul? A third Dark General? Good, the ruse has succeeded I see." Aer'andil avoided a sword directed to his head from his left flank. He dashed back turning to see his attacker.

He saw a tall pale-skinned elf with longer than average ears, red eyes and dark brown lips, armed to the teeth and handling a two handed sword in one hand and a large kite shield in the other.

" Throngul, I presume." Aer'andil fired an arrow at the Elf.

"Indeed. I come from the North, slayer of men and Elves." Throngul launched another attack at him. Aer'andil parried it easily.

"From the North? So there is another land mass." Aer'andil stated.

"Now face the both of us." Atrik attacked him.

"Ready to die are you?" Aer'andil smiled.

"There's two of us. You may kill off one of us with an arcane magic spell or avatar like you have done with Naire but the other one will kill you. And that is if you can guess our bound elements." Throngul told him swinging his sword aiming at Aer'andil's head.

Aer'andil ducked to avoid Throngul's blade before rolling to the left as Atrik tried to slash him open.

"Not entirely true. I have already killed Naire using Fire. The farseer in Gel'anr using time, the farseer in the place of water here in Elaria using water. I'm guessing one of you is bound to soil and the other one to wind so why not get the both of you for the price of one…" Aer'andil jumped to his feet grinning.

Speaking in a tongue that no one present understood, not even the two Dark Generals he turned his bow to a spear. A spear of pure wind mixed with what appeared to be mud.

"Come on then. Attack me." Aer'andil held the peculiar-looking spear with both hands and jumped at the two Dark Generals.

Atrik turned to run, a look of utter terror on his decaying face while Throngul tried to parry with his blade.

Aer'andil's spear broke the two-handed broadsword in two before hitting Throngul right on his face, neck and chest.

Throngul fell, dead, the pearl on his chest shuttered, before turning to ash.

"Fly true." Aer'andil whispered to the spear before throwing it at Atrik. Atrik tried to avoid it, to parry it. He tried everything he could but still the spear pierced his torso. With a screech of anguish and malice he turned to ash.

"Give the signal to our kin. Finish this. Sing the army of Darkness to oblivion." Aer'andil yelled to Minaroth who sent out the signal.

It was not fifteen minutes later when the singing was heard all across the battlefield. Clear voices carrying chants of magic. The dark clouds in the sky, the same ones that had been used earlier to signal Feldon now turned purple and blue before a chain of dark-blue lightning bolts erupted all around them frying anything they hit. A few minutes later the lightning stopped and the clouds cleared before a beam of light filled the battlefield for a few seconds, scorching the creatures of Darkness.

"Belevod, the signal to the Speakers! Hurry!" Aer'andil commanded. He knew the Elves who had just finished singing would be exhausted and unable to fight so the Elven and Human speakers would have to protect them.

The singing had killed all of the creatures of Darkness but the corrupted men were still alive.

Belevod sent the signal. A few seconds later pale-green barriers appeared all around the Elven armies.

"That's our cue lads." The King of Lavonia shouted to the armies of the Human Kingdoms of both Elaria and Valana. "The barriers won't last forever, let us end this."

Surrounded by all sides, either by barriers or by the now charging Human soldiers the remaining soldiers of Darkness had nowhere to run or escape. Not half an hour later the battle was over.

"My King, are you alright?" King Lados of Qazameria asked Aer'andil.

Aer'andil returned the courtesy bow with a small inclination of his head. "I am fine, thank you King Lados. Prepare the Elven armies to depart for Valana. We have spent enough time on this place."

The Kings and army chiefs had retired away from the battlefield in Feldon's Flagship leaving the armies to mop up and prepare for departure.

"What about Oghelle?" Vacroth asked.

"The city is lost. When things settle down the Human Kingdoms of Elaria and Valana are free to send emissaries to negotiate with the city's leaders.

"What of the Royal Family?" The King of Riadbar inquired.

"They're all dead. Queen, Heir to the throne and King." Aer'andil answered him.

"What of the King's brother and his children?" The King of Riadbar continued, clearly pleased.

"Imer is dead, his children are safe." Aer'andil replied.

"How do you know all of this?" The King of Nikorn asked.

"I know." Aer'andil's reply was short and vague.

"Where are Imer's children?" The King of Riadbar questioned.

"Safe. The where is unimportant. Their father asked of me personally to keep them safe if he helped me reveal and kill the Darkness in the throne of Oghelle and I am a…man of my word. His kids are safe and I intent to keep it that way." Aer'andil replied, now clearly starting to become irritated.

"You wouldn't happen to ask because you are the previous King's brother and you want to remove any…obstacles to the throne now that Imer's brother, the man who killed your brother and uncle to Bava and Uer, is dead. Would you? King Vagahomir?" Minaroth queried. Her voice emotionless.

Her father, King of Gel'Glidorn smiled, placing a hand in front of his mouth as if to scratch his nose.

Vagahomir looked at her, clearly agitated for a moment. "Of course not, my lady. I merely wish to know where they are so I can help protect them until they are adults and I can marry them off to my daughter and cousin's son. Assassinations are such a…grim business. And completely unrequired when one can use Royal marriages to get the same result." He replied with a smile.

"They are my responsibility now. If they wish to marry off to anyone when they come of age that will be their decision. This subject is closed." Aer'andil said with finality in his tone. "Feldon has signed papers from the both of them relinquishing any and all rights to the throne of Oghelle which will come in effect and sent to you, King of Riadbar, when they come of age. Until then they will remain safe within the Elven Kingdoms."

"The children or the papers?" The King of Nikorn asked.

"Both." Aer'andil replied now clearly vexed.

"Shall we proceed to the end of war negotiations?" The King of Lavonia changed the subject.

"The Elves wish only one thing." Aer'andil interjected. "We retain custody of black river and the passage in the east. Our trade deals remain the same with the Kingdoms of Valana except for one change. Fadr is now a trade partner of the Alliance and all previous sanctions against them are lifted. In the coming years we will as a whole begin to discuss trade deals with the Human Kingdoms of Elaria." Aer'andil stated.

"This is one thing?" The King of Nikorn asked. "What of The Orkhavocs?"

"It is one thing indeed. The Orkhavocs are and have been part of the Alliance for a while now. I am sure they will want to negotiate for new peace and trade treaties with each of you separately…in a few years." Aer'andil smiled.

"Why in a few years?" The King of Qadon requested.

"Ah…well you see." Aer'andil chuckled knowingly. "Since a few hundred…thousands of years now their land has been arid, a desert. This will now begin to change. Rapidly. In a few years the lands of the Orkhavocs will be the most fertile in all of Elaria so I'm guessing that after they start feeding their own population they'll be…eager to find trading partners. Until then I would…stay out of their lands." Aer'andil turned to leave the cabin.

"My Lord. You set your terms but there's nego…" The King of Riadbar cut him off.

Aer'andil shrugged. "I didn't set terms to be negotiated. I just stated to you what the Elves are getting from this and I am leaving as soon as my army is ready to depart if you think you want to negotiate with me and my people at this stage you better start a war with me and hope you win it."

The King of Riadbar laughed. "I like this one. No, child I have seen what you and your people are capable of, I have no wish to start a war with you and your kin."

"Minaroth, I want us gone from this place before dawn breaks. Tell the Elven Kings and army Generals. The Human Kings can "negotiate" to their hearts' content. We are done…for now." Aer'andil told her and spotting Feldon speaking to one of his generals headed his way.

Feldon saw him approach and gave his general a nod.

"Feldon! I haven't seen you for so long." Feldon was ready to greet his King when Aer'andil just hugged him.

"My…liege, Aer'andil. It has been long indeed. I…thank you. My score is settled."

"It worked out. I am astonished it did as it did but it does give us reason to talk more. Come with me." Aer'andil led them to the Flagship of the Gel'anr's navy and in the captain's cabin.

A month later the ships carrying him and the army of Gel'anr docked in Lea'laros.

His mother and Tha'ala were there to greet him. The port was full of Elves who wanted to welcome back their loved ones, mothers, husbands, sons, siblings and friends. Some would leave the port happy and some in grief. As with any war not all who had left had returned alive.

Aer'andil hugged his mother and Tha'ala.

"I wish to walk back to the Royal Palace. Norion?" He asked. Tha'ala shook her head negatively.

Aer'andil gave a deep sigh. "In Udala?" Tha'ala nodded.

"I see…I can't blame him I just wish he forgives me sooner rather than later. I miss him so." He started walking. Tha'ala and his mother followed him. Belevod and Minaroth close behind them.

"Orphon and Lucas?"

"They left a week ago. You'd have liked him, Orphon." His mother answered him.

Aer'andil nodded. "Vashka and Imer's kids settled in?" His mother nodded.

"Good, any news from Micraal?" His mother shook her head negatively.

"Is it done? Is it finished?" Tha'ala questioned.

"No, but three Dark Generals are dead and I don't mean their hosts. Elaria's Bane is dead and our plans are developing. Now comes the long wait." Aer'andil replied in a grim mood.

"When will it be over?" Tha'ala asked.

Aer'andil did not reply. They walked the rest of the way in silence.

End of Volume 2

I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it and that you felt what I felt while writing it.

The story shall continue and conclude in Volume 3: Open Doom

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[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]

* Some browsers may require a right click instead