Disclaimer & Notices
Copyright: Many of these characters do not belong to me, and we know which ones do not. I, however, own the plot and other certain characters.
Violence: There is violence in this story.
Subtext: Any subtext becomes main text here.
Summary: This dramatic epic opens up to Xena and Gabrielle's childhood when they are best friends with an growing friendship. One day, Gabrielle's hometown is attacked while Xena is visiting her. Xena tries desperately to protect Gabrielle but ultimately fails. Xena will not stop believing that Gabrielle is alive, and she hunts for her friend. Along Xena's journey, things become darker and lead her further from Gabrielle and the memories. Meanwhile, Gabrielle is taken into slavery but it isn't for some time before her luck comes back. She meets a very caring master, who sends her away to be schooled as a bard. Later, Gabrielle befriends a very unusual girl, and the girl claims to be an Amazon. It isn't long before Gabrielle discovers how real the Amazons are, and that she's fated to be more than just a slave.
Update List: http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/redhope/
Started: March 33, 2003
Ended: April 24, 2007
by Red Hope
Part 8: Xena's Fifth Year
Queen Cyane's head whipped up when there were fast knocks at her office hut. "Come in," she called. She was surprised to see Ino and Yakut entering together. She stole a look out of her window to gauge that it was in fact the late afternoon already. She wasn't sure where the time went anymore.
"My queen, we need to speak to you." Ino took an offered seat in front of the queen's desk.
Yakut took the other seat.
Cyane was already concerned and asked, "What's it about?"
Ino looked at her student and nodded.
"It's about Xena, my queen." The apprentice shaman steadied her rapid beating heart since her rush to the queen's office. "I had a disturbing set of visions this morning."
The Amazon Queen leaned forward then murmured, "Go on."
Yakut licked her lips then relayed what she saw when she'd touched Xena's hand earlier this morning. After she went through her long winded story, she sighed and stared at the queen, ready for her to speak.
Queen Cyane had her elbows on the table, her hands linked, and her lips touching her thumbs. She finally lowered her hands to her desk then asked, "Have you told anybody about this? Alti?"
Yakut negatively shook her head.
"I am the only other person that knows," Ino stated who was the retired shaman.
The queen gradually leaned back in her chair as she tried to absorb this new information about Xena. It hadn't surprised her but it also didn't settle with her at all. Nor did she like the fact that it didn't give her any hard proof to stop Xena.
"There's nothing you can do," Yakut murmured, "Is there?"
Queen Cyane bit her lower lip then sat up again. "Not without hard proof. I'm sorry, Yakut."
"Is there anything you can do?" the retired shaman argued.
"Just keep a closer eye on her," the queen answered.
"Wait," Yakut cut in, "can't you send out a small party to investigate… see if there's an army near."
"Even if we find them," the queen countered, "it doesn't prove it's hers."
Ino shot up suddenly but looked at Yakut. "You said in your vision that Xena released some young woman?"
It dawned on Yakut, and she quickly explained it to the queen. "Find that woman, my queen. If she describes Xena then we can prove it."
"Yes but we have the issue of Xena's threat on this woman." Queen Cyane had her hand up yet lowered it down. "We can't risk her life."
"We could offer protection," Ino suggested.
"If she agrees to it, yes."
"My queen, we should at least try… its better than being sitting rabbits."
Queen Cyane knew the apprentice shaman had a point, a very good point. "Alright." She knew this was a better course of action than leaving it alone. "Yakut, do you know Agaue?"
"I know of her but I haven't met her."
The queen subconsciously licked her parched lips then explained, "I want you to find her. She's an excellent drawer, and I believe she can draw this woman's face that you've described. At least it won't seem like we're quite searching for a needle in a haystack."
"Of course, my queen. I'll do it first thing tomorrow."
"See that you do then ask Agaue to turn the drawing into me."
"Who will you send on the mission?" the retired shaman interrupted.
"I'm not positive yet." The queen's eyes lowered to the desk. "I am concerned about the stratègos as she favors Xena greatly."
"So I've heard," Yakut murmured. "She wishes Xena to become the next ilarchès."
"Over my dead body," the queen hotly whispered. "Talk to Agaue, Yakut then we'll go from there."
"Yes, my queen."
"Is there anything else?"
"I believe that is all, my queen." Ino stood up knowing this was the end of the discussion.
"Thank you for informing me." The queen then bid them goodbye.
Ino and Yakut stood just aside of the queen's office hut. Ino could tell the young shaman was disturbed by today's events about her so-called friend. "I am sorry, Yakut." She touched the Amazon's wool cloaked arm.
Yakut shook her head and sadly gazed at her mentor. "I thought she was good… and my friend."
"I know," the worried elder murmured. "You have to remember this is for the Nation. You cannot betray somebody that's already betrayed you."
The apprentice shaman sighed then started walking towards the village. "I suppose."
"You're doing the right thing," the retired shaman assured. "Let's go to my hut and practice more."
"We still haven't figured out what Alti is up to."
Ino's lips were pressed tightly together. "She will reveal herself soon enough." If it was one thing she knew about her previous pupil it was that she wasn't as clever as she liked to think she was.
Xena was strolling through the darkening woods on her way back to the Nation. Her skin suddenly crawled, and she knew what the meant so she stopped. "Alti, where are you hiding?"
"Over here, Xeeena." The shaman appeared from the shadows of the forest, garbed in a black cloak.
The Amazon casually sauntered up to the shaman, a wide grin over her face.
"How goes things back in the army?"
"Less than expected," the annoyed warlord sharply replied.
"I take it you saw to remedying the problem?" the shaman probed.
The Warrior Princess wickedly grinned. "What kind of leader would I be otherwise, Alti?"
Alti shifted closer to the dark Amazon. "Stay away from Yakut." She grinned when Xena's features became angry at her. "She knows… which means the queen knows as well."
"More than enough," the shaman chewed out. "Yakut has figured out she's a two-spirit. Ino has been training her to adapt to her new powers."
"They'll be too late to stop me," the warlord reminded.
Alti lifted her hand up to Xena's chin and ran her thumb across Xena's jaw line. "Let's hope so otherwise I'll be forced to slow Yakut down." She leaned her face closer to Xena's.
"What would you do?" the warlord murmured. She sensed her protective nature over Yakut bubble to the surface. She didn't understand why, but she cared for the apprentice shaman, who'd been there for her.
Alti's teeth shined in the moonlight suddenly. "Don't you worry." She leaned in quickly and captured Xena's lips in a wild kiss.
The dark Amazon matched the kiss's control for power. She tore away from Alti then her powerful body outmatched Alti as she slammed the shaman against the tree behind her.
Alti growled while digging her hands into Xena's midnight hair.
Xena's mouth found Alti's neck and her teeth reeked havoc there.
Alti growled while dropping her head back against the tree. She loved this new agreement for sex between her and Xena. It was more than perfect for Alti's consuming hungry on many levels. She moaned when strong, callused hands found their way to her bare stomach between her cloak. She was soon busy with eagerly devouring Alti's dark passions while keeping her pinned to the tree.
By the next morning, the Amazon Queen received a visit from Agaue, who brought her a scroll. The queen was thoroughly pleased by the portrait of the woman they needed to find. She read something at the bottom of the scroll and peered up at the artistic Amazon. "Dasha?"
Agaue nodded her head then explained, "It is her name… according to Yakut."
"She didn't mention this previously," the queen muttered.
The Amazon merely shrugged while standing before the queen.
"Thank you, Agaue." Cyane offered a smile along side her thanks.
Agaue bowed while stating, "You're welcome, my queen." With that, she said goodbye and left the queen to her thoughts.
Queen Cyane rolled up the drawing and tucked the scroll into her top drawer for later. She got up and started pacing in the office hut as she tried to decide on a few things. She finally made up her mind about her plans so she headed out of the hut. She went to the training fields and found who she was looking for.
"My queen," the weapons master warmly greeted.
Cyane smiled at the old weapons master. "How goes things, Yalena?"
"Fair, my queen. And you?"
"The same." The queen tucked her hands behind her cloaked back. "Have you seen Merta or Pasha of lately?"
"Every now and again." The weapons master turned away from watching the trainees on the sparring fields. "What can I help with, my queen?"
"I need some competent Amazons to go on a mission for me." Queen Cyane tilted her head then stepped closer to the weapons master. "Can we speak about it in private?"
Yalena immediately understood the importance so she pivoted on her heels. "Thaddea?" She called out to the junior grade and when she got the Amazon's attention, she hollered, "Take over, I'll be back in a bit."
Thaddea waved at the weapons master then went back to instructing the trainees.
"We'll go to my office," Yalena offered to the queen.
Cyane quietly joined Yalena on the trek to the weapon master's office hut. When they got inside, it was quiet and just what the queen wanted. Yalena took her seat behind her desk then offered a chair to the queen.
Cyane settled into her spot then began to speak. "I need about four Amazons to carry out a mission for me… for the Nation. It needs to be kept secret too, Yalena." She knew she could trust the weapons master, who'd always been very loyally to her.
"What are the matters, my queen?" Yalena leaned back in her chair.
"There is a woman in one of the neighboring villages that they must find. I would like for them to hopefully bring her back here to the Nation."
The weapons master tilted her head. "This is a wild rabbit chase, my queen?"
"Not at all," Cyanre denied. "I have a name and a face."
Yalena was surprised so she sat up and leaned against her desk. "What is happening, my queen?"
Cyane knew she needed the weapons master full help because she could not turn to the stratègos, who favored Xena so. "I have concerns that Xena may not be who she says she is."
Yalena's back straightened out at this news. "Then the rumors are true?"
The queen inwardly grumbled and replied, "Possibly. That's what this search is for. This young woman, Dasha, she may be the key to proving who Xena really is."
The elder Amazon's moved in understanding. "I believe I know who should go on the mission. They are trustworthy."
"Name them," the queen offered.
"Merta and Pasha, as you say and I believe Thaddea will serve well too. Then Asta is quite competent."
Cyane nodded her head at the list then some relief washed over her. "Can you have them report to me in a candlemark at my office?"
Yalena smiled then nodded. "Of course, my queen. I'll inform them now that you wish to speak to them."
"Great." The queen stood up just as the weapons master walked around the desk. "Thank you, Yalena for your help."
Yalena touched the queen's midback. "I know these are trying moments, my queen." She opened the door and exited the hut with the queen. "Everything will reveal itself in time."
The Amazon Queen shook her head then said under her breath, "I pray before it's too late."
The weapons master shook relinquished her touch. "With your leadership, we are never too late." She gave one last confident smile then parted from the queen's side.
Queen Cyane had only been a queen for eight seasons now but she was amazed by how her Nation followed her very faithfully. She never imagined she'd be so well respected and just beyond her capabilities as a fighter, but as a leader. She made her way back to her office hut.
It wasn't long before the queen had her arrivals in the office. She couldn't seat them all so she let them remain standing while she informed them of their mission. Thaddea was selected as the leader of the party, and the queen required them to go by horseback so that their time away would be shorter. Finally, Queen Cyane got up from her desk with a scroll and handed Thaddea the image of the woman they were seeking.
Thaddea stood in the middle of her party. Thaddea and her companions memorized the woman's face. Thaddea rolled up the scroll and lowered it to her side. "We will find her, my queen." Her eyes held determination and promise.
"I believe in you, Amazons and I trust you." Cyane scanned the four faces then nodded her head. "Please be swift. Leave tonight when there are less eyes."
The Amazons bowed to their queen then were excused from the meeting. Queen Cyane steadied herself against her desk with her right hand as her nerves started to settle at the prospect of hope. She went back to her parchment work for the rest of the day.
By moon high that night, Thaddea and her party rode out of the village from the south gates. They hoped to make it to the first village by daylight so that they could begin their search for this mysterious woman. Their luck would fall short of their determination though on their quest.
The days continued to cycle through the Thrace Amazon Nation as they did for Xena and Borias's army. While Xena learned to become a fierce Amazon warrior, Borias busied with preparing the small army for a battle against the warlord Kyros. Borias soon gave the order for the army to break camp and mobilize then they were marching across the rolling hills of the Thrace lands. The small army easily covered the thirty Roman miles in a day as Borias planned. He then bellowed out to the men to make a temporary camp as tomorrow they would engage Kyros.
Just before dawn, Chuang and Borias commanded the warriors to prepare, and they did with hunger written in their eyes. Borias positioned the few archers on a hill side where they would take aim into a valley that would hold the battle. Chuang then took a handful of men, went into the valley, and up the other side to find their enemy comfortably nestled in a larger valley.
Borias and the rest of the army remained battle ready, waiting for the signal. Borias was on horseback, his head cocked, and listened carefully. Slowly a grin spread over his tan features when he heard the yells. He turned in his saddle then signaled the men to march up the hillside. When they came to the crest, he saw the fight begin as many of Kyros's men had chased after Chuang.
Borias waved his sword down at the valley. "Take them!"
The warriors gave out various warcries and went sweeping down the valley to the pending fight.
Borias turned to his right and signaled the archers to pick off whoever they could then he joined in next.
It wasn't long before Borias and Chuang ordered the army over the crest of the second hill and there in the valley remained the last of Kyros's army. They raided the remaining army easy and finished with more loot and plenty of men turning sides. It'd work like a vision, for once.
Thaddea held up her hand for the party to slow down, they did. She then turned in her saddle as the Amazons came to a stop around her. "This is the town of Maroneja, it is fairly small."
"It's also the last town," Asta mentioned.
Thaddea exhaled but didn't say anything to that fact. "We'll stay here for the night." She ordered the party forward.
The Amazons only received a few odd looks as they entered the village. The village folk already knew of the Thrace Amazon Nation many Roman miles away due northeast. The Amazons went to a stable that was connected to an inn where they stabled their horses. After collecting their things for the night, they weaved through the people and went into the inn.
The innkeeper's head snapped up at hearing the drumbeat of boots coming inside. He stiffened at seeing the female warriors that were obvious from the Amazon Nation. He swallowed as a tall, dark Amazon with curly black hair grabbed the bar and leaned towards him.
"We want two rooms with two beds in each room."
The owner faintly smiled at the Amazon. "How many nights?"
Thaddea smirked at the man. "One night."
The innkeeper tilted to the right to see past he, and he smiled pleasantly at the three other Amazons. "Eight dinars, please."
"Fine," the leader Amazon clipped. She handed over the money from her coin pouch at her side.
"The two doors on the right at the end."
Thaddea simply nodded then turned to her sisters. "You heard him; I'll be there in a heartbeat."
The Amazons quietly slipped past their leader and went down the hallway nearby.
Thaddea reached into her cloak and pulled out a scroll. "We're looking for somebody."
The innkeeper tilted his head then folded his arms over his chest.
The Amazon unrolled the scrolled, turned it around, and waited patiently.
The innkeeper squinted, leaned forward, and his features brightened with recognition. "That is Titus's daughter." He shook his head while rocking back into is original position. "That poor girl."
Thaddea was rolling the scroll up while speaking. "Why you say that?"
The innkeeper was weary of the female warrior now, and he narrowed his eyes.
"Listen," the Amazon offered, "my friends and I have been searching high and low for her. Its really important we speak to her." She hoped her plea would go over well before she had to do it the hard way.
The innkeeper's arms fell from his chest. He bent forward then quietly spoke, "She'd gotten kidnapped about half a moon ago." He shook his head. "These warriors came intuh town lookin' for trouble. They took Titus's daughter along with a few boys that signed up tuh join their army."
Thaddea now had a perfect idea where this was going. "You know what army?"
The innkeeper shrugged. "They're a drachma a dozen around 'ere." He considered it, his eyes floated to the ceiling then centered around the Amazon again. "Some'in about Warrior… Warrior… Princess, I think."
Thaddea wasn't sure, but she filed the title away in her memory. "Where does Dasha live?"
The innkeeper put his hands on his hips. "They're jus' outside of town… small farm on the east side."
Thaddea slowly nodded then had a faint smile. "Thanks for the help."
The innkeeper grunted then watched the Amazon stroll down the hallway. He disregarded it and went back to pleasing his customers in the tavern portion.
Merta peered up from milling about in her saddlebags when Thaddea entered their room. "Any lucky?"
Thaddea had a grin suddenly and held up the scroll. "Yes, we're in luck."
"Thank Artemis," Merta breathed, "I was fearful we wouldn't find this woman."
"Well...." Thaddea shook her head then finished, "We don't have her yet."
Merta turned back to her saddlebags. "We will," she promised.
Later, Thaddea informed the other two Amazons of their now warm trail. They decided to eat dinner since it was already nightfall and at first light would set out to find this woman. Just at dawn, the four Amazons were slipping on their cloaks and headed out of the inn with efficiency. They followed the east road out of town by foot, and it only took them quarter of a candlemark to come along a small farm house set off from the beaten road.
The Amazons turned onto the rutted path that led to the house that had a barn off to the right of it. When they were near enough, a slave on the porch of the house spotted them and raced into the house in fear.
Thaddea had everybody stop at the foot of the steps. She cocked her head when she heard hushed voices floating out from the open window. Then the door was shoved open and an older man stepped out with the earlier slave.
"Can I help you?"
Thaddea took a step forward, her boots brushing the bottom of the step. "Hello, I am Thaddea and these are my companions. Are you the owner of the house, Titus?"
"I am he." Titus stood poised at the top of the steps, he scanned over the women. "What is your business?"
Thaddea cleared her throat before speaking again. "We are from the Thrace Amazon Nation, and we were sent on a mission to find a young woman, we believe she may be your daughter."
Titus's narrowed eyes darkened now. "My daughter has dealt with enough. Leave."
Thaddea held up her hands. "We not here to cause trouble." She lowered her hands then explained, "We must speak to her about her recent… incident."
Titus shook his head then pointed towards the road. "Leave. Now." He turned his back on them.
Thaddea quickly unrolled the scroll that'd been stashed in her cloak pocket. "Is this her, sir?"
Titus had his hand on the door handle, but he stopped and dared to gaze back. His back tightened up at seeing the perfect drawing of his daughter's face, and her name clearly written at the bottom. He focused on the Amazon again.
"Please, we need to speak to her… its very important," Thaddea urged.
Titus read the determination and persistence in the warrior's face. He could see that they'd traveled long and hard to come here on some mysterious quest. Finally, he reluctantly nodded his head. "You may come inside." He turned to his slave and ordered, "See to my daughter."
The slave silently agreed and hurried into the house.
Titus waved the women to follow him into the house. He stepped in first and Amazons, by single file, followed after him. He guided them to the neighboring room, which was a large enough sitting room for them all. He signaled to the various chairs in front of the roaring fireplace. He too took a seat that allowed him to face the Amazons. "It is rare we see Amazons in these parts."
Thaddea slowly nodded her head. "We usually do not come this far east… to the Grecian borders."
"No, but I have heard of the Amazon Nation," the man relented. He sat proudly in his wood chair, his brown eyes set on the women, and his thin lips creased. He broke from conversation when the slave brought his daughter into the room.
The respectful Amazons immediately rose to their feet when the young woman entered the room.
Dasha stopped in the doorway once her view was filled by these female warriors, which harbored her fresh wounds. She fearfully looked to her father.
Titus got up and joined his child. "Its okay, Dasha… come sit with me." He steered her through the room safely and set her down in the chair next to his.
The Amazons reclaimed their chairs but said nothing with the tense air between them.
Titus took his daughter's shaking hand into his. "These women are from the Amazon Nation."
Dasha stopped biting her lower lip then looked from her father to the soft features of the Amazons. The one Amazon, to the far right, reminded her very much of the woman she'd met half a moon ago. The Amazon's body was much the same less her curly hair and more grayish eye color.
"I am Thaddea," the Amazon spoke who was receiving the longest stare. She nodded to the Amazon sitting next to her.
This Amazon took the order and stated, "I am Merta.
The next Amazon offered a warm smile. "I'm Pasha."
"And I'm Asta," came the last introduction.
These seemed to give some relief to Dasha as she leaned back into her chair finally.
Thaddea focused solely on Dasha, the woman from the parchment, and asked, "Our queen, Queen Cyane, has asked us to come find you because of some unusual circumstances."
"It has to do with what happened," Titus whispered, "half a moon ago."
Dasha showed understanding, and she nodded at Thaddea to continue.
Thaddea sadly smiled but lost it as she spoke again. "We believe that you may have come in contact with one of our Amazons when you were kidnapped. We're hoping we could get your help on proving or disproving this story."
Dasha glanced at her father, who nodded so she finally talked for the first time. "Half a moon ago I was taken by some warriors… when I was in town taking care of some errands for my father. I was taken back to their camp… tied up by the man who took me." She stopped as her gaze fell to space between them all. She swallowed and quietly continued. "Just as he was about to…."
"Its okay," Thaddea offered softly. When murky eyes met her, she gave a smile to help her.
Dasha found some confidence from the Amazon's support. "Just before anything happened, this tall female came in and stopped him… kicked him right out of the tent. I don't recall everything but I know she fought him, I remember hearing her talking, and I think she killed him. After that she came in, she picked me up, and took me to another tent… I assume hers." She now knotted her fingers together in her lap on top of her skirt. "She tended to my wounds and I eventually fell asleep after she left the tent. I'm not sure how long I slept, but I didn't wake up until she came back."
Thaddea tilted her head and asked, "What happened then?"
Dasha sighed then answered, "She put me on horseback and… took me home."
Thaddea leaned forward in her chair and gently asked, "Dasha, did she tell you her name?"
Dasha was staring down at her hands, yet she slowly lifted her head then the name crisply rolled off her tongue. "Xena."
Thaddea inhaled sharply as she leaned back in the chair like she'd been struck. She touched her forehead at the implications that this meant, what it meant for the Amazon Nation. "Did...." She faltered and dropped her hand to her lap. "Did she say anything that may have… led you to believe she controlled this army?"
Dasha truly considered, and her mind searched through hard memories then finally she nodded her head. "When I was in that man's tent… I heard her say some things. One thing she said was that if somebody rapes in her army their life would be forfeited."
"Her army?" Thaddea quietly repeated; her head shaking some.
Dasha could see that the Amazons were stricken by fear and worry.
Titus grabbed his daughter's hand to get her attention. "Do you still have the cloak?" At his daughter's nod, he urged, "Go get it for them."
Dasha excused herself and went upstairs; this gave the father a couple of minutes to explain how hard it'd been on his daughter. The Amazons merely listened and didn't interrupt the father's expression of grief for his daughter's hardships. Finally Dasha returned with a folded up piece of clothing article in her hands, she went to Thaddea.
Thaddea stood up and picked up the item from the woman's hand. She held it by the collar when she first laid eyes on the feather emblem. She lifted up her hands, and the cloak cascaded down until it nearly met the floor.
The other Amazons observed their leader examining the cloak.
Thaddea concluded it was most likely Xena's considering it was so long, and Xena was tall after all. Thaddea asked to keep it, and Dasha agreed since she really didn't want to have anything to do with it. Next Thaddea inquired if she could write out Dasha's ordeal with Xena then have her sign it as proof. Dasha agreed, and the father declared he'd guarantee Dasha's word with his seal. Once the agreement was in order, the Amazons excused themselves and promised to return the following day.
Once the Amazons were far from the house, Asta stepped closer to their leader. "Why don't we take her back to the Nation?"
"You saw how shaken she was from it," Thaddea reminded, and her tone held a thread of annoyance.
Asta shook her head then argued, "We can protect her."
Thaddea suddenly stopped and grabbed the Amazon's forearm. "Listen Asta, that girl back there…" She pointed back at the farm house far off in the distance. "That girl has dealt with enough as it is and coming face to face with the woman that threatened to kill her upon seeing her again, that's not exactly comforting." She released the Amazon's arm then hotly mentioned, "If that was my daughter I wouldn't allow her to leave." Then she continued the trek back to town.
Asta saw her comrades were not in agreement with her either so she hung her head. She fell into step behind the rest of the group and considered Thaddea's words further.
The next day would prove to go fast for the small band of Amazons as Thaddea would spend most of her morning with Dasha. She recorded, in great detail, Dasha's experience then by the early afternoon the scroll was signed, and Titus pressed his seal into the red wax blotch beside his daughter's signature. It would be those written words that would seal Xena's fate with the Amazon Nation.
Back in the Nation, Queen Cyane felt her days slowly pass her, and she grew extremely tense about what news her Amazons would bring her. On one side, she prayed the results would prove Xena's guiltiness so that she could protect her Nation from any harm. Yet, Cyane wasn't too fond of exposing Xena's true nature, and she wished it wasn't so. A part of Cyane did believe that something rested good within Xena. She saw potential buried in the dark Amazon, but she doubted she could harness it.
Also Cyane had trusted Alti's judgment about bringing Xena into the Nation and had she really been so wrong? She wasn't sure just yet, but she knew if Xena proved to be somebody else then Alti was just as guilty. As far as the queen was concerned, she would absolutely enjoyed defacing then banning Alti from the Amazon Nation.
Today was the twelfth or so day since the queen sent out her secret Amazon party. She was concerned but mostly because she was nervous about the results of their hunt. Cyane stayed busy by keeping to her scrollwork. In the middle of her work, she stopped and something felt out of place in her for a second then the feeling became fleeting. She shook it off and returned to her work, her quill scratching over her parchment again.
Queen Cyane stopped about a candlemark later and set her quill in the inkwell for the night. It was late, and she needed to attend dinner then get some rest. She stood up, blew out the candles in her office, and she quietly left her office hut. Her dinner went quickly, however, her dreams tonight came less slowly and when they did arrive they were dark.
To be continued in part 3...
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