Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 24

Well, Kyri had had a horrific shock...   ------     Chapter 24.      Kyri found her hand on Flamewing's hilt, the sword already half drawn, before she caught herself. The horrific thought echoed through her, a sentence of death and failure. Not summon Myrionar's power? Be barred from Myrionar? No! "That fast?" Xavier asked, unbelieving. "C'mon, she's gotta have some time!" "The Curse is already on her," Tashriel said, the same horror in his voice, and a part of her understood that he knew what she felt. [ Continue reading... ]

Chapter 23

Now they finally have someone they can ask questions...   -----   Chapter 23.      Poplock looked at Kyri, who was clearly weakened and shaking with reaction from the attack and shock, and Tobimar standing near her. Right, I can take this myself. "Okay, you've got a chance to talk. Better make the talk good. So you're a demon under Viedraverion's command?" Tashriel's face twisted in half-amusement, half-misery. "I was… on loan to Viedraverion. He made my real master, Balinshar, give me to him for a special project – [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 22

Well, we'd left off with Kyri in a rather bad spot...   -----     Chapter 22. "This is going to look so stupid, Poplock," Tobimar said, settling his swords back into place. "We –" "I'll take all the blame if it looks stupid. I know that it seemed like we pretty much settled it just now, but there's still that chance left, and can we afford it if you're wrong? We can take a little embarrassment, even getting Kyri mad at us, but…" "Fine, fine. You're right. You generally have been. I just hope we're all [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 21

They had discovered a possible problem...   -----     Chapter 21.      "A vampire?" Kyri repeated in shock. There hadn't been a vampire of any type in Evanwyl for years, maybe decades, at least as far as she knew. "And it might be Rion," Poplock said. She found herself half out of her chair, hammering her fist down on the table. "Rion is NOT…!" Then she realized how ridiculous her reaction was. These are my friends and best companions. They wouldn't say things like this to me idly. She sat back down slowly, [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 20

Tobimar and Poplock had decided that Rion had to be watched...   -----     Chapter 20      "You lost him? You?" Tobimar couldn't keep the incredulity from his voice. There was a part of him that felt almost betrayed, and he finally identified it as the same feeling he'd had the first time he realized his mother couldn't fix everything. Poplock had always been the one who got things done when other people couldn't. The diminuitive Toad couldn't meet his gaze. "Yeah. I lost him." "Where?" "He'd taken a walk [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 19

So there were some questions to be answered...   -----     Chapter 19.      "You wish to see… what, precisely?" Arbiter Kelsley asked. "Well, that's part of the problem," Poplock said. "We're not sure." Kelsley jumped. "By the Balance… were you always able to talk?" "Yep," he answered. It was still amusing to see people suddenly have to revise their entire evaluation of him in an instant. "Then why… ah. Because you were a far more dangerous weapon when not suspected. Obvious, really. But why reveal [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 18

Having broken the Watchland's enchantment, the question is what to do next...     ----     Chapter 18.      Tobimar watched as Xavier and Rion sparred. Rion wielded what Tobimar thought of as an Odinsyrnen sword and some others called a knight's weapon – a fairly long one-handed blade, double-fullered along most of its length, with a dragon-motif hilt – and a small shield, slightly larger than a buckler, and wore chain armor with some plate elements. Xavier, of course, wore no apparent armor and used two [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 17

They had to begin addressing the problems... and one of them isn't far away...   ------     Chapter 17.      The Watchland's Fortress lay in front of them, only a few hundred yards distant. Of their dual group, only Rion was not present; he had remained behind with Lythos at Vantage Fortress. His presence would have vastly complicated the entire issue. Kyri looked to the five younger people. "Ready?" Toshi nodded. "This should not be complicated, only potentially dangerous. For our purposes, there are really only [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 16

Xavier and his friends finally tell something about their adventures...   -----     Chapter 16.      Poplock watched from his perch on one of the unlit candleholders, nibbling on a thimbleberry, as the others slowly filtered in. Xavier practically leaped back into his chair and started eating. "You know," said the Toad, "you seem to eat like twice as much as everyone else." "Yeah," Xavier mumbled around a mouthful of crispwing, "my sensei said something about that being a consequence of burning more energy than [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 15

Finally, after hearing about them since Phoenix Rising, we get to meet Xavier's four companions!   ------     Chapter 15.      Kyri gave a full, formal Armed Bow to the five young people – all of them definitely younger than she was, Xavier's age, sixteen or seventeen at the most. "Welcome to my estate, all of you." She was dressed in the Raiment; not only was this an official council of war, with hopefully new allies, but also if somehow their enemy realized what was going on, she wasn't going to be caught [ Continue reading... ]