Heritage Ch. 03-04bydonalde©
Hello all I posted a double chapter this week. Chapter 3 was very short so I also posted chapter 4. I would like to thank everyone who took a few minutes to read my story and especially those who voted and /or left me a comment. Thank you, Phoenixbreez for your editing skills. Nazari2964, I would like thank your help. Thank you; Mokkelke, Fatality, Lostchicken, and Resapoo for all of your proofing work and advice.
I have kept you long enough here is chapters 3 and 4. I hope you all enjoy the story and please vote and comment.
Greagor barely registered Melinda's scream. He was already beginning to chant a spell to erect a magical barrier in front of them all. Mentally he made the barrier form in front of the women first to shield them from the worst of the blast from the fireball. He knew he would not be able to get the barrier fully in place but he was hoping to lessen the damage done by the spell. He formulated the spell to redirecting the majority of the blast more towards himself and away from his women.
Melinda spotted the figure that had launched the fireball toward them; at first she thought it was a child. She quickly realized it had been a gnome who had attacked them. Knowing what sort of creature it was explained how he had gotten so far into their warded area undetected. Gnomes were known to have the innate ability to spot magical imbuement's and their effects. Their ability was not flawless but it did help them in situations others had difficulty with. She let lose her arrow just before the fireball struck. She knew it was highly likely her family would not survive the blast, but at least she would have the satisfaction of taking the sneaky bastard with her.
The fireball exploded against Greagor's barrier, the impacting force of it sent him flying backward. Sailing through the air he felt himself smashing into something solid. Greagor heard a cracking sound as he hit the object, he felt very sharp pain radiate down in his back just before his world went black.
Melinda watch in horror as the fireball exploded against the shield formed she knew, by her father. Melinda tried desperately to stay on her feet but the force of the explosion easily overcame her. She wound up landing on her ass with a thud, knowing she had some bruises and was a bit dazed but otherwise she was unhurt. Hearing a sickening crack, she turned in time to see her father slide down the tree he had hit and slip into unconsciousness. Looking over to where the gnome had been she spied a dark shape lying on the ground with no visible signs of life.
Melinda jumped up, running towards her father's crumpled body; she began to call forward her healing abilities hoping they would still work here, so far away from her home world. Even though Greagor desired her to become a wizard like himself, she was thankful that her father had allowed her to pursue her desire to become a divine healer. She studied hard not only on her magical side but also human medical training. Feeling the holy energy focused within her body was comforting to her under these circumstances, it almost felt like having a warm blanket wrapped around her on a cold night.
Reaching her father the amount of damage he had sustained horrified her. Looking deep within him she saw his skull had a depressed fracture, his left forearm had a compound fracture. Several lacerations as well as third degree burns spread across his face and chest. She checked his pulse and respiration, his pulse was strong but his respiration was rapid but labored.
Using her divine abilities to seek out any other damage he had sustained she sensed that he had numerous internal injuries too, Melinda knew without strong divine intervention, he would die very soon. The problem she had was that using her magic in certain ways would also incapacitate her. That was not an option with the possibility of other enemies in the area, but she knew she could not just sit and watch her father die before her, so what was the best choice for her in this matter but would be less problematic for her to use? She sat there for a few seconds trying to figure out how to save her father and keep yet still keep them all safe.
A Gentle voice whispered in her mind what to do, saying. "Place your right hand on the ground and your left hand over his heart, become the conduit to then channel the life giving force of the earth through you and into your father."
Knowing this was the only option open to her, Melinda followed what the voice had told her to do. Monitoring Greagor's condition she felt him rapidly improve as the flow of energy from the earth enhanced her healing abilities, once she knew he was more stable she felt it was time to slow the flow of energy she was pulling from the earth. Placing her dad into a very deep enhanced regenerative sleep, she knew his wounds would be fully healed in a couple days. Looking over towards her mother Melinda checked her condition but she was still sleeping deeply, it worried her immensely but there was no cure for her condition, only time was needed to heal.
Picking up her father's sword Melinda went to check on the gnome she had shot. Bending down she retrieved the arrow sticking out of his neck. Searching the body for anything useful, she found a few scrolls, a couple of potions, along with a dagger. Those items were the only thing she found which she could might be of any use. He had no identification, no money on him. Not even one lousy copper piece. For some reason she found that a bit vaguely disturbing. Did he not expect to survive the meeting with her and her family? Why would he be willing to attack them? The lack of answers was the major reason for her concern.
Leaving the gnome where he lay, Melinda went to move her father as gently as possible closer to her mother. Her delicate looking frame hid an immense amount of strength. She made up some food for herself and as she ate, she began wondering what she should do now. She knew that the forces of the citadel would be back, but had no idea why they wanted her so badly?
She really missed her home world; it has been such a long time since she has been able to visit the goddess in her temple. How much longer did she have to stay hiding? The jumping from realm to realm was getting old. She wanted to go back to Ddaear. She felt like she was missing a vital part of herself since they started this run, by not having the comforting presence of her goddess in her life and only allowed to worship her in her mind. She had to fight herself to pull out of her momentary despair. Placing her trust as always in her goddess Gaia, who would protect her and her family.
She pulled a small mirror that was hung on a chain around her neck, staring at it for a few seconds an image of her birth parents appeared. She sniffled a little bit at viewing their faces and said to the images, "I wished I would have had the chance to meet you and talked with you. Dad and mom are taking good care of me and have told me all about you. It is hard for me to believe that dad married your sister, momma. I know mom misses you too. She really does love you and poppa. Mom has told me all about you when you were girls growing up. I love you both."
Melinda knew it might seem a bit strange to others if anyone saw her talking to a mirror but when she was troubled, it helped her to talk to her birth parents. She placed the mirror back inside of her shirt. She had no worries about it getting broken; her father had magically made the mirror indestructible.
She tended to the fire making sure she had plenty of wood near, and then set about preparing things for the night ahead. Melinda realized she had not said a burial prayer over the gnomes body to prevent him from being raised as undead, but even more unsettling she had the very distinct feeling she was being watched.
Retrieving her bow and sword Melinda walked over to the body, kneeling down she began to recite the prayer of the dead. Once finished she decided when daylight came she would bury the body. Returning to the camp, she tried to settle down. She normally felt so at peace in the woods but this night she could not shake the feeling someone or something was watching her, uneasy at the fact she could not locate where.
Throughout the night, she kept watch constantly, checking regularly on her parents. She prayed to Gaia for protection and comfort. Sometime late in the night her mother began to stir, coming out of her slumber. Melinda stoked up the fire and started heating water to make her mother a broth and some tea. She could sense her mother fighting to regain consciousness. She checked her father, seeing that his wounds were healing nicely and that he was as comfortable as possible she turned her attention back to making her mother's food.
Elisia slowly came around confused and disoriented. Her head was pounding and she was parched. Opening one eye her daughters face came slowly into focus. Melinda had a sad smile on her face, a face that looked extremely worried. Melinda placed an arm under her mother's shoulder's to help her up a little more into a sitting position and putting a bowl to her lips said, "It is water mother, drink slowly!"
Elisia took a few sips as her senses came back to her she screeched, "Greagor! Where is he? What has happened to him?"
"Mom we were attacked and he was injured. I have mended his wounds and placed him in a healing sleep. But you need to take things slowly too. I will care for both of you for now and I will have no argument!" Melinda said sternly. Elisia looked over to her husband and tried to get up to go to Greagor. Melinda quickly but gently pushed her back down.
Elisia was taken aback; her eyes glowed with angry fire at the tone her daughters used with her. Melinda saw the look in her mother's eyes, she normally only spoke to her mother with respect and love but tonight for some unknown reason her mother's reaction angered her.
"Mother I have not the time or the energy to get into a long debate over this! You will know I am right when you are able to think more clearly." She said perturbed. "Now you need to drink this broth and the tea also. I need to turn my attention back to protecting us."
Elisia eyes cooled as she began to drink the broth and then the tea. She realized that her child was stressed and worried and had not meant to be so brash. After finishing her food and drink, she asked, "Would please tell me what has happened if I promise to stay put?"
"I am sorry for how I spoke mom I am just so scared. Dad's ward was set off and that gnome over there tried to use a fireball to take us out. Dad managed to get some kind of shield up, which protected you and me, but he took the brunt of the blast. I managed to kill the bastard and stabilize dad, but now I feel as if we are being watched." She blurted out in a rush.
"Ok first of all take a deep breath to calm down. Then hand me the other bow and some arrows." Elisia said in a calm voice, she realized her daughter needed her control right now. "Most likely your father's anti-scrying field has failed since he is incapacitated, someone is scrying for us however there is nothing we can do about that right now. Now could you do me two favors? "
"Sure mom, what do you want me to do?" Melinda asked calming down. She placed the other bow along with a bunch of arrows near her mother. Then she waited for Elisia to tell her what she wanted.
"First of all would you put on a pot of coffee I think we will need it more than tea; then make us some solid food," Elisia asked. "Then we both need to plan on moving our camp for two reasons. One we have been located, and two by this time tomorrow it will be raining cats and dogs and I hate sleeping on a wet bed."
Melinda made the food, and then sat next to her mother as they ate. She poured them a second cup of coffee while they began to plan their move.
Ferhew drove around at the speed limit even when Mordrick urged him to go faster.
"Master if we are pulled over it will only take us longer to get there. Better, not draw any attention to us at this point. Would you not agree?" Ferhew said.
Mordrick sighed loudly as he nodded his head in agreement. He thought about his friend who became his apprentice about fifty years ago. They had been friends for well over three centuries, first meeting when his father, Primos had assigned him to help defend the Town of Brightwater from an Orc attack. It was his first command and Ferhew an accomplished knight and field commander, was assigned as his second in command.
Ferhew was highly trained with swords and extremely proficient with a bow. His best attribute was his imaginative use of the cavalry. He had his mounted troops break every rule that Mordrick had been taught. Many nights they would argue almost to the point of blows over tactics, but no matter what occurred in private Ferhew never argued with any order that Mordrick gave in front of the other men. He would request to see him in private, making strong suggestion to reconsider his tactics. At first Mordrick resisted these suggestions, thinking that Ferhew was trying to steal his command. He soon realized that he was earnestly trying to help him and by following his council it had saved many lives, working together they had won a great victory against the Orc's. By the time their little war was over, he had developed into a better leader and he had gained a lifelong friend. He was surprised when Ferhew ask him to teach him magic but he happily took him as his apprentice. He was one of maybe a few dozen people that knew Ferhew's secret.
He grabbed the cell phone from between the seats flipped it open and dialed a number. The phone went straight to voice mail. He yelled into the phone, "How many fucking times do I have to tell you not to turn off the dam cell phone you stupid fucking gnome! Call me as soon as you get this message and it better be fucking soon if you value your hide!" he slammed the phone shut "One of these days I am going to really lose it with that son of a bitch and kill him!"
"Master I think you just blew out my ear drum. Please try to remember that we are enclosed in this thing and if you break your phone he will never be able to call you." Ferhew shook his head.
"I am sorry my friend but that gnome knows better than to be out of touch and right now we really need him." Mordrick said calming down. "Therise is never around when we need him lately or is it just me that thinks' that?"
"No Master he does seem to wander off on his own more as of late. But considering he is a gnome and we know how they tend to wander around as a race and is getting very old for a gnome. After all he is over seven hundred years old and while that may be nothing for you it is way up there for a gnome." Ferhew replied with a frown.
Mordrick knew the gnome was old because he had known his grandfather. Therise knew how important it was for him to be in contact. Therise had been added to their group after Sansain had to return home for a family emergency. He was acting suspicious ever since he had joined them. Mordrick knew something was wrong when they had been watching the lord for almost a year and the citadel had not located them on that little world. Then only a couple weeks after Therise had replaced Sansain, the forces of the citadel showed up and almost caught Melinda. If not for Arterias timely intervention, they would have had her.
Mordrick decided keep a close eye on Therise and for five years there was no sign of the citadel. Deciding to hide on a world with no magic was a pure stroke of genius on Lord Greagor's part. No one would expect a wizard of his caliber to survive in a world where you had to hide your magic. Therise had to return home for personal reasons for about a year. Three weeks after Therise rejoined the group not only does the citadel show up but also they went straight to Lord Greagor's home. Then on top everything else he was now out of contact. The two of them were going to have a long conversation once he got in touch with him.
Ferhew pulled up in front of Arteria's place where she was waiting for them on the porch with four large bags. As soon as the car stopped, Mordrick jumped out of the car and ran over to Arteria, "I will get those," he smiled. "Sorry for the interruption, I know you had plans but it is an emergency."
"It figures on the day I had a spa appointment, after waiting only two weeks for it, the citadel would choose to show up." She glared at Mordrick and then picked up two of the bags. "The day I cannot pull my own weight, I will quit the party." She snapped at him.
Ferhew grabbed the bags from her. "Why don't you let me get those while you get the house closed up," he said.
She nodded and said, "All right. Do you want me to get you a bottle of water, and you Mord?"
Both of the men nodded yes, as they loaded the bags into the car. They waited by the car for Arteria to come out. She returned and tossing each of them a bottle of water she asked, "So what's the plan?"
Ignoring her query Mordrick asked, "Have you seen or spoken to Therise today Arty?"
"No, I haven't talk to him since last week." Arteria stated pulling out her cell and dialing Therise number. It went straight to voice mail and she grimaced, "Therise, this is Arty please call me or Mord as soon as you can." She hung up.
Mordrick angrily spat out, "Dammit this is not looking good. Lord Greagor has gone on the run and our master at scrying is missing in action! Fucking great! I am going to skin his hide off!"
Arteria asked, "What happened? All Ferhew told me was the lord was attacked by forces from the citadel."
Mordrick filled her in on all the details. Arteria let lose a belly laugh as tears spilled out from her eyes. "I would have paid you real gold to have seen them doing an imitation of a roman candle. I can't believe you blew up Lord Greagor's house!"
"My only regret is that those two got away, Arty." Mordrick exclaimed with a glint of mischief in his eyes. "But that does not help us to find the Lord and his Family."
Arteria thought for a few minutes then said. "Mord, the lord's wife is a druid and Fey and he is Elven. I would think that they would head for the woods. I say somewhere with a lot of land to get lost in. Let's see, there are three state parks and a national park within a hundred mile radius. I would exclude small parks or parks with little or no wooded areas. The closes one is over 20 miles to the south and it is a state park. The next closest is a national park to the southwest and is 45 miles away. It is the largest of the parks with over million acres of land. This one is the one I would go to if I were trying to hide out."
"Sounds like a plan but even if you are right it will be a long shot to find them." Mordrick groaned.
"True master, even though you cannot scry for them, what about scrying for their car?" Ferhew asked. "If we can locate their car then at least we will have a starting point."
"Arty where did you pack my scrying equipment?" Mordrick asked with a bit of hope in his tone
"I have it in the bag on my side. I had a feeling you would want it." Her voice contained more than a bit of humor in it.
"Good! Once we get closer to the park I will attempt to locate them or their car." Mordrick said, then joked, "If I manage to locate the car do you think you can track them Arty?"
"Please!" She huffed out as she rolled her eyes. Mordrick knew that she would be able to track them; he just loved it when he got a rise out of her.
The ride took a couple hours. Everyone joked and made light conversation to pass the time. Arteria handed out trail mix and deer jerky while they headed towards their destination. The only point of contention was the missing gnome. Once they got in the area, they stopped at a gas station. Arteria went inside and told the attendant that they wanted to fill the car. She got ten bottles of cold water, large bag of potato chips and bought a map of the area. She paid for everything and went back to the car. Mordrick took over driving to give Ferhew a break. Arteria handed out the bottles of water, opened the bag of chips, and took a hand full. She then asked in between munching on the chips, "What's next?"