Destiny: Random Tidbits

The Dragon on the Island Nic saves is actually a direct descendant of the original Artol family member that started the curse.

Nic and Serenity understand more about each other than they do themselves!

Nic and Alen’s best buds relationship has some interesting quirks after Nic realizes Alen’s loooooove for Serenity!

Faith thinks Drake is a lil crazy at first cause he’s always talking to “himself”.


Destiny: Saga II: Book/Chapter Outlines


Faith discovers Valora is actually Valencia, Drake’s sword because she mentioned ___ in innocent passing.

So we have for interpersonal relationships, Serenity and Rivalen who spend all of book two trying to get back home so they can get married after Serenity getting kidnapped and with the help of Sekai he rescuing her but the lot of them ‘lost’ in the far south.

We have our scholar and barbarian who become an official couple sometime between book one and two perhaps?


Destiny: Saga I: Book/Chapter Outlines

Secret Room
Circus, Elephants, rescue
Faith leaving
Dinner remeet R&R, meet ‘cousins’ & High Lord…
Meet in hall on way to S. Room – Conversation
Lady flirts w/”prince” part I
Another conversation Garden
Courtly dealings
Kidnap Trolls
Lady flirts w/”prince” part II
A ride & musing about Nic
Kidnap Fairies
Mildred conversation
Lady flirts w/”Prince” part III
R&R convo
Secret revealed & confrontation
Mildred Dead
Ried w/emotion

Circus, Elephants, Rescue
Talk w/Serenity, Drake
Letter to Rivalen
Argument, Drake stays
Followed again
Argument, Tanin stays
first attempt @ stealing sword
Sir Mors & Wife
Derelic Castle
Stormy night, church
Second Attempt
Town, lots of guards
Rent a boat, fight

Derelic castle
Boat & overboard
Sir Baulder
Princess & Backstory
Rescue Ederyn
Sneak into Castle
Battle Dreogan
Festival, dual, wedding
Faith & Co arrive
Return home
Where’s Serenity?
New Ambassadors, explanations






[b]MAJORSCENE: THE KIDNAPPING[/B] (Expanded version of book 1 prologue.)
Nic gets kidnapped out of his own bed in the middle of the night. A small hint that someone on the inside let the kidnappers in!

Abandoned castle, lacks guards. Saws ropes off his hands with jagged rock, lures one guard in, attacks him, gets weapon, wounds but doesn’t kill other guard, runs for it! Chase scene!

Two events in the forest on the way to coastal town where something almost kills Nic. Falling tree while he’s trying to hunt , flying weapon. In the forest on his way to the Coastal town… Nic could have met and ran in to Mr. and Mrs. Mors at their cabin, right after the first time something tries to kill him! It could be a small scene of them being rather helpful (him not mentioning he happens to be the prince, though they probably know anyway)… and leaving… Thus having a tie-in for them in Faith and Drake’s arc besides randomness.

Baldur a scorned knight shows up at the coastal town and it looks like he is the one trying to kill Nic. Nic blows him off and boards a ship back home. The sailors on the ship were hired to throw him overboard… and Baldur saves him! They wash up on the beach of the island.

deserted town! But there they meet.. Truda Hildagunn the viking warrior woman! She’s there looking through the town by request of the princess! Mountain of a woman that obviously doesn’t belong there. And she doesn’t think they belong their either… so her first instinct is to attack and capture! something is said or noticed that makes someone pause though and realize they’re not enemies.

So Truda takes them to the Rebel camp while explaining, she was looking for.. a book for the princess! It’s an antique tome but the language is so old there’s no way anyone there can read it. So, they have to sneak in to the library which is currently under the overlord’s control… and they meet Ederyn!
Ochahime: Who’s feeling fairly helpless. Even though he gave Truda the information she needed to get Arlea out of the castle, he hasn’t been able to help the king… but he does know what is needed to stop the dragonlord… but it seems impossible.
By now Nic is pretty invested in helping, especially seeing how so many poor helpless people are being displaced. He proposes a great plan of rescue.. And Baldur interjects that there’s no way he’s letting Nic run off and get killed before they can have their rematch, so he’ll be helping as well! Of course, and the Princess thinks it’s very nice of them but the boys better not think that her and Truda arn’t gonna being doing their part.

This is where they start with two or three smaller strikes… Reclaiming some very important parts of the island to be able to give back food and weapons to the people! Which is important, but really doesn’t solve the problem, specially when they find out their ‘victories’ was nothing but a ploy to be able to expose the princess. Not good when the princess is captured… Because then the Overlord plans to destroy her and the entire royal family in one big public display of power! That will crush the rebels for good!

Truda being a barbarian wants to make for a straight attack but wiser minds pervail. This is where Nic shows he is ready to be King, as he displays great skill of planning and determination! It’s going to cut it down to the wire, but they have to mobilize the entire rebellion… even the people so they can stop the royals from being killed just at the nick of time and take the overlord by surprise!

— And the plan at first is going well till, um… something has to go wrong long enough to make it seem like they won’t win and then a twist so that the Dragonlord is unexpectedly killed. Um.. it looks like they were too late to save the princess from a horrible death, and there is much despair and anger-fighting… But it turns out she’s not dead and kills Dragonlord herself! And he dies with a ominous warning that HE was not the greatest evil to face… there’s something more… But All seems fine and happy for now!

— And then the king declares a feastday… and Baldur is all like ‘dual’ and that gives everyone the great idea about a joust and such. And it’s while all this is going on that Faith and company arrive on the island. And Nic is told he’s needed home.. especially for Serenity. And he admits, that yes… he is finally ready to take his parent’s place as ruler… and hopefully with princess Arlea as his bride? Arlea is all for that, but the King has an issue with it. Not with him becoming his daughter’s husband, which everyone is relieved about, but because she’s his only heir, there’s not even any cousins that could rule… lots of people dead after all. DianaNotacat: That proves to be a problem indeed! The next in line heir to Artolia is Serenity, and she’s still too young for rule! But.. he can’t make any choices without discussing it with his sister.. He has to return home!
Ochahime: And Arlea’s going with him, and if Arlea is going with him Truda’s going with her and if Truda’s going, Ederyn is going…

And thus, a whole lot of people show up in Artolia just in time for shit to hit the fan at the castle! Mildred had found out that Rivalen is the real prince… Reynard killed her to keep her quiet, and a few wicked plots are revealed!



nic escapes from dungeons

serenity gets drunk with the faeries

alen meets “grandma alice”

alen and serenity get grabbed by the troll king

nic and baldur make up


Destiny: Enemies, Monsters, Villains

Siren Slugs – Giant maneating slugs that lure their prey to them with a hypnotic song. Enjoys the flesh of many creatures but not trolls.

Bloodsucking Butterflies – These beauties fly in swarms and if someone is not careful could be drained completely by them.

Trolls –


Destiny: Misc Character Profiles & Cast List

[b]BOOK ONE[/b]

[b]Name:[/b] Sir Eliot Mors
[b]Age:[/b] 63
[b]Gender:[/b] Male
[b]Homeland/town:[/b] Artol, Artolia
[b]Role/Occupation:[/b] Retired Knight living in the
[b]Appearance( height, eye and hair color, style,
build):[/b] Square jawed, steel grey hair, dark brown
eyes, a few inches taller then Drake and thicker then
the knight-errant also.
[b]Personality:[/b] A bit of a rogue in his youth, he
got things done and didn’t worry too much about the
details. He’s got a bit of a shoot first ask
questions later approach to life. Old enough to think
before he acts somewhat but really doesn’t give a
flying leap to what people think.
[b]Weapons training/magic:[/b] As a knight of the
realm has been given excellent weapons training. He’s
more into heavy weapons not having the grace for
lighter ones but is also still sharp eyed and steady
enough to use a long bow well.
[b]Extra info:[/b] Retired 15 years ago to live away
from the city with his wife. Enjoying the simple
life, but is starting to get restless. Wouldn’t mind
having one last great adventure in his life while he’s
still fit and able.

[b]Name:[/b] Julia “Jewel” Mors
[b]Age:[/b] 58
[b]Gender:[/b] Female
[b]Homeland/town:[/b] Bright River, Artolia
[b]Role/Occupation:[/b] Retired Lady-in-Waiting and
part time healer.
[b]Appearance( height, eye and hair color, style,
build):[/b] Slightly short woman with rosy cheeks and
light silver hair she has up in a bun constantly.
Hazel eyed and often wears peasant dresses and an
[b]Personality:[/b] Friendly and motherly, with an
iron will.
[b]Weapons training/magic:[/b] She’s a great adapter.
She was actually given a minor bit of self defense
training since she was one of the queens constant
attendants. Couldn’t use a sword if her life depended
on it, but can wield around a nasty stick (or broom).
She doesn’t have any magical inclination but knows
about herbs and how to set bones.
[b]Extra info:[/b] There’s no way in hell she’s
letting her husband go off with a bunch of ‘kids’ and
not a one of them knows how to take care of themselves.

[b]BOOK TWO[/b]

[b]Name:[/b] Lady Victoria
[b]Gender:[/b] Female
[b]Homeland/town:[/b] Kensington region of Artolia
[b]Role/Occupation:[/b] Lady of Estates
[b]Appearance( height, eye and hair color, style, build):[/b] Busty blonde
[b]Personality:[/b] Vindictive, Spoiled, Greedy and flat out rude.
[b]Weapons training/magic:[/b] None.
[b]Extra info:[/b] Victoria is one of the many of self-proclaimed nobles out for the Artolia crown.

[b]Name:[/b] Marielle
[b]Gender:[/b] Female
[b]Homeland/town:[/b] somewhere in Artolia
[b]Role/Occupation:[/b] Lady in Waiting
[b]Appearance( height, eye and hair color, style, build):[/b] mousy brunette
[b]Personality:[/b] the girlygirl worshipping type
[b]Weapons training/magic:[/b] a mage, specializing in electricity
[b]Extra info:[/b] Nobility, but her family is so poor that there are merchants that do better then her. She ‘has’ to kiss Vickies ass just to have any social interaction at all.

[b]Name:[/b] Kadir
[b]Gender:[/b] Male
[b]Homeland/town:[/b] Artolia suposedly
[b]Role/Occupation:[/b] Sage/Sharlantan
[b]Appearance( height, eye and hair color, style, build):[/b] slick/greasy black hair
[b]Weapons training/magic:[/b]
[b]Extra info:[/b] He does slight of hand and if he wasn’t working for Vickie as a spy of some sort would be saling snake oil. con artist, wanted in several countries and is curently in disguise

[b]Name:[/b] Minister Atythan
[b]Gender:[/b] Male
[b]Homeland/town:[/b] Artolia
[b]Role/Occupation:[/b] Minister of Royal Affairs
[b]Appearance( height, eye and hair color, style, build):[/b]
[b]Personality:[/b] He is cold and condescending, or at least comes as such to everyone that he speaks to. He is all business and usually blunt about his thoughts, especially if he disaproves about someone’s actions.
[b]Weapons training/magic:[/b]
[b]Extra info:[/b]

[b]Name:[/b] Reynard
[b]Gender:[/b] Male
[b]Homeland/town:[/b] Iroka
[b]Role/Occupation:[/b] Rivalen’s Porter, but posing as the Irokan Prince
[b]Appearance( height, eye and hair color, style, build):[/b]
[b]Personality:[/b] Spending his entire life around royalty, Reynard knows how to act like it. He remains distance from people so they do not get to close and learn his real idenity. He is bitter about past expiriences, but for the most part appears to be a pretty congenial kind of guy. He comes off as shy, inadequate in some social areas (although it might mostly be an act).
[b]Weapons training/magic:[/b]
[b]Extra info:[/b]

[b]Name:[/b] Prince Rivalen
[b]Gender:[/b] Male
[b]Homeland/town:[/b] Iroka
[b]Role/Occupation:[/b] The Prince of Iroka, posing as a Porter
[b]Appearance( height, eye and hair color, style, build):[/b]
[b]Weapons training/magic:[/b]
[b]Extra info:[/b]

[b]Name:[/b] Baron Osref
[b]Gender:[/b] Male
[b]Role/Occupation:[/b] Baron that owns/hired the Circus
[b]Appearance( height, eye and hair color, style, build):[/b]
[b]Weapons training/magic:[/b]
[b]Extra info:[/b]


[b]Name:[/b] Prince Nicholai
[b]Age:[/b] 20?
[b]Gender:[/b] male
[b]Homeland/town:[/b] Artolia
[b]Role/Occupation:[/b] Prince and Future King of Artolia
[b]Appearance( height, eye and hair color, style, build):[/b] Tall, lean and slightly muscular, not too buff, 6’1″, light brown hair, blue eyes. He’s not big in to fashion or styles and dresses in what’s comfortable for the days task. While traveling he wears a simple tunic and pants.
[b]Personality:[/b] Nicholai is friendly, easy going, a conversationalist and charismatic with people. He is very responsible though lately having so much pressure thrown on him has mde him doubt his own skills.
[b]Weapons training/magic:[/b] Nicholai has been training in swordplay, hand to hand fighting combat, jousting, and other things that most Knights typically do. He has no magical skills.
[b]Extra info:[/b] Nicolai was kidnapped from his home in Artolia in a plan to hold him for ransom, but managed to escape before the ransom note could be sent. He is trying to make his way back home, but has been side tracked time and time again, until ending up on the island kingdom of Ryseth.

[b]Name:[/b] Princess Arlea
[b]Age:[/b] 18
[b]Gender:[/b] Female
[b]Homeland/town:[/b] Ryseth
[b]Role/Occupation:[/b] Princess
[b]Appearance( height, eye and hair color, style, build):[/b] Small, delicate and petite disguising a strong body. Exotic islander look? long kinky dark purple hair and a golden tan.
[b]Personality:[/b] Arlea is sweet and kind and very professional in her princess role. Maybe not so much spoiled as opinionated, possibly the island looks down on women by and large but she’s too intelligent to fit the steriotype of the island. She is not the delicate flower type despite her looks. She is a daredevil and adventurer?
[b]Weapons training/magic:[/b]
[b]Extra info:[/b] know some basic herbal remides and maybe have some archic knowledge thanks to Ederyn, like how to get rid of curses but doesn’t acually ‘do’ magic,

[b]Name:[/b] Ederyn
[b]Age:[/b] 33
[b]Gender:[/b] Male
[b]Homeland/town:[/b] Ryseth
[b]Role/Occupation:[/b] Scholar and Teacher
[b]Appearance( height, eye and hair color, style, build):[/b]
[b]Personality:[/b] Quiet, reserved, mousey
[b]Weapons training/magic:[/b] magical training
[b]Extra info:[/b] Ederyn might have a book of spells he’s aquired over his life

[b]Name:[/b] Truda Hildegunn
[b]Age:[/b] 24
[b]Gender:[/b] Female
[b]Homeland/town:[/b] Throg
[b]Role/Occupation:[/b] Warrior
[b]Appearance( height, eye and hair color, style, build):[/b]
[b]Weapons training/magic:[/b] Can handle any weapon known to man, and kick just about any man’s ass!
[b]Extra info:[/b] An amazing warrior woman from the viking country of Throg. Truda is an adventurer at heart and has traveled the world since she was first set on her journey from her tribe. (names means strong warrior woman)

[b]Name:[/b] Baldur Einar
[b]Gender:[/b] Male
[b]Homeland/town:[/b] Artolia
[b]Role/Occupation:[/b] Knight of Artolia
[b]Appearance( height, eye and hair color, style, build):[/b]
[b]Personality:[/b] vengeance!
[b]Weapons training/magic:[/b] Typical Training of all Knights. No magic.
[b]Extra info:[/b]

[b]Name:[/b] Dreogan
[b]Gender:[/b] Male
[b]Homeland/town:[/b] Overlording In Ryseth
[b]Role/Occupation:[/b] Dragonlord/Warlord
[b]Appearance( height, eye and hair color, style, build):[/b]
[b]Weapons training/magic:[/b]
[b]Extra info:[/b]


“Cast List Beta”

Dreogan – Dragonlord currently ruling the island
kingdom of Ryset

Prince Nicholai – Heir of Artolia

Princess Serenity – Second in line for the thrown of

Princess Arlea – Only child of the King of Ryseth

Prince Rivalen – Grandson to the king of Iroka

Lady Faith – Third in line for the thrown of Artolia

Minister Atythan – Minister for the crown of Artolia

Lady Victoria – After the thrown of Artolia

Baldur Einar – Vengeful Knight from Artolia

Drake – Knight Errant of Artolia

Reynard – Porter and best friend of Rivalen

Mildred – Serenity’s nurse maid

Ederyn – Scholar from Ryseth

Truda Hildegunn – Arlea’s personal bodyguard

Vena – Drake’s rune sword aka Avenger

Tanin – Theif after Avenger

Sekai – Circus girl

King Lornen and Queen Tatiana – king and queen of Iroka



King Garret & Queen Olana – former king and queen of Artolia, murdered in the castle throne room.


Destiny: The Ivalec Curse (Notes Drafting)

Just writing down notes cause we talked about this before and I dunno if have all that saved and what not. >>;

We know that the “Ivalec Curse” is about getting kidnapped! Always getting kidnapped! Since every member of the family, even poor cousins are kidnapped at least once in their life!

We mentioned that it was a Gypsy curse because someone of the Ivalec line “stole” one of their daughters… I think.

And so I mention this now to remind ourselves what we plotted about that, and because we could write a “mini story” about it. I think that plot bunny is supposed to come up in Saga II. “Someone” is telling one or more of our royals about this old legend and it might be a few chapters long…


Ochahime (02:04:53): I know I shouldn’t even be THINKING of book 3, but what’s your thought about Serenity looking for a way to break the family curse when she finds out about what’s going on with Faith’s family?
crimsondewolfe (02:05:10): lovely lovely… And ooh! what a fantastic idea!
Ochahime (02:05:41): Damn curse needs to be broken at some point
Ochahime (02:07:31): We need to think about our major villian just a tad… he’s not the major villian in book 3…
crimsondewolfe (02:07:46): *nodnod*
Ochahime (02:08:03): So do they ‘take care’ of the major villian in book 2?
Ochahime (02:08:35): *gasp of horror* No
crimsondewolfe (02:08:42): squuee?
Ochahime (02:08:47): I know who our major villian is
crimsondewolfe (02:08:54): oh? XD
Ochahime (02:10:12): It’s the decendent of the brother or King Ivalec’s wife, the gypsy. He has some delusion he should be king or he’s destroying the country for family honor or something… somehow getting rid of the major villian is going to give Serenity the key to breaking the curse or…
crimsondewolfe (02:10:34): oooh!
Ochahime (02:11:08): They can destroy all his plans in book 2, but he’s still alive in book 3, but everyone has to deal with Drake’s old nemises… Serenity’s gonna have to deal with gyspy man.
Ochahime (02:11:16): Well Serenity and Alen
crimsondewolfe (02:11:34): teehee.. sounds good to me. XD
Ochahime (02:12:18): So now we know ~who~ our villian is, we still need to figure out why he’s fucking half the world over…
crimsondewolfe (02:13:36): hmm.. that’s a tough one..
Ochahime (02:14:59): Does he know he’s related to the royal family very distantly?
Does he know about the curse?
Does he ~really~ know about the curse?
Does he want distruction or dominion?
crimsondewolfe (02:17:58): yes he knows he’s related… and I think he’s bitter about it… maybe he can’t decide if he’s more bitter about his ancestor marrying her kidnapper, or at his own family for disowning one of thier own? he might know about the curse, but not enough -really- know the details of it…
Ochahime (02:18:41): *nods*
crimsondewolfe (02:19:18): he’s might;ve decided both families should be damned for all the trouble they’ve caused so he’s got a “screw it” attitude about ti all.. @.@
Ochahime (02:19:57): So the gypsy clan has been holding a grudge for the past 100+ years?
Ochahime (02:22:37): Quote of the night. Royal Musical Chairs
crimsondewolfe (02:23:26): *cackle!* haihai.. he could be… that curse his ancestor set might’ve backfired on his family in a karma sense as well? c.c; something like that could be bad voodoo…
Ochahime (02:24:08): There young ones are always being kidnapped, but unlike the Ivalec’s many don’t come back alive?
Ochahime (02:24:41): Villian was kidnapped and never returned to family and has a fucked up sense of justice now?
crimsondewolfe (02:24:54): hmmm that sounds pretty good…
Ochahime (02:25:11): We have motive! Yaaay!
Ochahime (02:25:56): Oh man the end of the curse is gonna be so fucking simple.
Ochahime (02:29:17): Ooo… but that’s gonna be kinda a back drop to the main story of book 3 since gypsy villian is pretty low by this point having every plan backfire, Reynard and Kadir pry both dead by the end of book 2 as well… hmmm
crimsondewolfe (02:30:54): bwahaha evil plottyness..


Originally Posted by Ocha
Hmmm, well we do know that Drake’s nemisis while not involved in anything for the past 50 years or so is a pretty fucking big threat. Did we decided that somehow the gypsy king was involved with the demonmaster on the island from the first booksaga?


Destiny: Saga I: Book I: Chapter 3 (Drafting)

(((“Ze ringmaster don’t seeming to be here Pwincez,” Sekai informed Faith. They had gone down a row of wagons so that the lady could talk with both the ringmaster and the baron, whom Sekai was sure by now here boss was meeting with. However they were not in the ringmaster’s wagon. “I be sure both be touring,” Sekai said as she turned to smile at the lady. Lady Faith was not standing behind the circus performer any longer though. Sekai looked left and then right, wondering where the noble had wandered off to on her own. “Pwincez? Pwincez, were be you?”)))

(((The large gray creatures, that Victoria informed Marielle were called elephants, though Marielle knew very well what they were, were still the biggest things she had ever seen in her life. Had she been given an opportunity to think this over herself, she would not be standing here now about to do what she was going to do. Of course here, was not right by the elephants. Marielle just needed to see what she was aiming at and the chains were big, big for the big creatures they held. The woman did not need to turn around to know that Victoria’s eyes were on her. The feeling of someone with a dagger to her back was all Marielle needed to know that she had no choice in the matter.

Summoning her power, which in the woman’s opinion were nothing much, she sent the sparks out, melting the chains, freeing the elephants. That wasn’t enough though. Elephants were herd creatures, and though curious creatures were not likely to do anything more dangerous then mill around until their handlers found them roaming.

The second part of Victoria’s plan was dangerous. Marielle made sure she had on hand firmly holding her reigns before she sent out a second fork of sparks. This time right at the beasts. Trumpets of fear were let out by the massive gray beasts and then they started panicking. Marielle did not wait to see were they would go. The way she aimed her sparks they ought to head off to the field, but one never knew what a wild animal would do in pain or in fear. Marielle road, as though her life depended on it, following Victoria and Kadir.)))


Well if the ringmaster wasn’t in his wagon, Faith knew she was going to have to find him. Faith around the corner. She would have sworn she saw a woman with a beard and a man taller then Drake and skinnier then Serenity walk by. They had gone around another corner, or Faith thought they did, because when she rounded the same corner she didn’t see either of them.

The day was not going well at all. Nothing seemed orderly at all and what was more, the animals were making an awful racket. If they always sounded like this there would be no sleeping in the castle. Faith looked back to complain about this to her tour guide to realize the woman wasn’t there. What was worse, Faith wasn’t sure how to get back to where she had last seen Sekai.

Wandering the circus aimlessly, the horrible sound was coming upon her faster now. What was with those creatures and why did it feel like the ground was shaking? The answer came at her as a large wall of gray flesh came at her. Faith didn’t have time to run.

With quickness and strength she hid in her slender form, Sekai pulled Faith into the doorway of the booth that had already been built. She did not stop once she had the lady inside though, as the elephants ran passed. All it would take would be one of them to move slightly more to their left and the booth would be gone. With a death grip on Faith’s wrist Sekai half lead, half dragged Faith out of the booth on the other side and down the alley between tents and booths until they were well far from the stampede. (EXPAND THIS SCENE)


Reynard, riding slightly ahead of Rivalen, so to keep up their illusion of master and servant rode to the palace. One thing that the prince, now servant noticed was how much smaller the capital or Artolia was to his own home. It was hard to think such a quaint kingdom could have such devastating problems.

It was only with mild interest that both men noticed the circus tents. Iroka was a land of the exotic, sometimes just to outdo it’s self. Traveling performers were not only welcomed but encouraged. So seeing the colorful tents did not make much of a mark on the two foreigners. What did catch their notice was the sound of very scared elephants.

Without thinking of what was proper or seemly, Alen stood up on his stirrups to look for the cause of the ruckus. What he had not expected to see was elephants tearing out of the colorful enclosure and heading out into the field. A field where a single rider, with golden hair was right in their path. Without thought, Alen started racing his horse to cross the field. He had to get to the rider in the path of the stampeded before it was too late.

Serenity was deep in though, and so did not see the elephants until they were close indeed. Even still she could have turned her horse and fled, but Serenity was frozen with fright, and her horse was not very bright. It was a good riding horse, but neither horse or rider had ever had to run from anything in their short lives.

“Move it,” a male voice called out and as if in slow motion, Serenity turned slightly from the horror that was going to befall her just as a young man came galloping up beside her and grabbing her horses harness. Suddenly the horse was moving, and Serenity responded.

They galloped to the edge of the clearing near part of the old wall. Serenity was white faced and gasping for breath, but she didn’t take her eyes off the man who so boldly came to her rescue. “Didn’t you see those elephants coming at you? Why didn’t you ride out of the way?” Serenity couldn’t speak, which was a bit of a shock for the usually outspoken princess, but the fear was still thick. The creatures, those elephants, were huge.

“Alen you should not talk to someone with a higher rank then you in such a fashion.” Reynard said sharply, making sure he has eye contact with the prince in disguise.

Serenity had not seen the second man until just now as he dressed down his subordinate, or servant or what have you. She did however recover some of her wit. “I’ll excuse it this time, I will however have your names as you escort me back to the castle.”

Alen knew already this servant business was going to be a lot harder then he had thought.


(((Some aftermath stuff here…. Elephant trainer, “And I always told my brother his tiger’s were dangerous.”)))


“Serenity! Are you alright?” called Faith, as she took the reigns of Serenity’s horse and helped her cousin down. The poor girl was white as a sheet, but otherwise looked unharmed. “What happened, you are alright, aren’t you?”


Destiny: Official Timeline

Year by Iroka’s calendar. Current reign known as _____ era. For a full list of the Iroka era’s please ask Ederyn for details.

CE 127 – Artol Ivalec unites the armies of the three baronies and succeeds in defeating the Lord of the Haze Swamps thus founding Artolia.

CE 269 –

– 1 Spring – Spring Equinox, King Garret and Queen Olana are assassinated

– 14 Spring- Prince Nicholai is kidnapped

– 28 Spring- Prince Rivalen and Reynard arrive in Artol, as does Sekai and the Circus and Lady Victoria and co.

– 29 Spring- Lady Faith, Sir Drake, and Sekai leave Artol

CE 270-

– 1 Winter – Winter Solstice, New Years Day

– 25 Winter – Dreogan is defeated. Warns of greater foe before death. Ryseth royals’ set free.

– 32 Winter –
–Nicholai and Arlea are married. Big festival including formal duel between prince and Sir Baldur.
–Fair and Co. arrive on island and tell Nic to go home.

– 36 Winter-
–Mildred learns of Rivalen’s identity and is killed.
–Serenity is kidnapped again, this time by fae, gets drunk and tells Rivalen she loves him before passing out from the honey juice.
–Alen learns of the Ivalec family curse

– 37 Winter-
–Serenity learns Rivalen’s identity and of Mildred’s death.
–Prince Nicholai, Princess Arlea, Lady Faith, Sir Drake, Sir and Mrs. Mors, Sekai, Ederyn, Truda and… return to Artol.
–Reynard’s identity is revealed, flees with Kadir and Marielle

– 45 Winter- MidWinter Celebration
–Rivalen’s parents, Crown Prince ___ and Princess ___, Lady of the Blue Marshes, come to visit their son and explains a few things about Reynard’s past.
–Nicholai is Crowned King.

-End Saga One-

CE 272

– 15 Spring – Serenity leave’s Artol for Coast City

– 17 Spring – Serenity’s ship is attacked. Alen meets up with Sekai in Iroka’s capital

– 18 Spring – Alen and Sekai search for Serenity

– 52 Autumn – Faith and Drake ‘run away’ to get married. Sekai finds time to give Faith a wedding gift, her amulet.

-End Saga Two-

CE 273-274 Serenity and Alen get married, royal musical chairs.

CE 277 – Book Three Main Story Begins.


Destiny: Saga I: Book I: Chapter 2

The capital city, Artol, of the country Artolia was like many of the large cities of the north; loud, crowded, and an adventure. That is at least how Sekai, the young looking, golden skinned, human pretzel felt as she sat atop one of the wagons as the circus caravan made it’s way into the city. They had been contracted to the capital for the coronation of the new king. Of course, now the heir was missing and there would be no coronation. That did not mean, however, there was not going to be a circus. A contract was a contract after all.

A bearded head poked out and looked up from the inside of the wagon Sekai was seated on. “Sekai are you going to ride into town like that?”

Gracefully Sekai stepped over to the edge of the wagon and looked down at her friend, her beige hair flying off to one side. “Of course Emmie. It’s far to nice a day to be inside and I wish to get a good look at the city.” Emmie was the famed Bearded Lady. One of many other entertainers that traveled with the circus wagons.

Emmie just shook her head, the beads braided into her dark hair and beard making soft clanking sounds. “You just like the attention don’t you. Don’t you get enough performing?”

“It’s not about attention Emmie,” Sekai disagreed with an impish look in her lovely blue eyes. “It’s more like I can get away with it, so I will. Would you like to join me?”

“No, I’d likely end up falling off and into a mud puddle and think what would happen to my dress. Have fun,” and Emmie pulled her head back into the wagon.

There were animals from around the world traveling with the performers. Creatures from the south and the east and even across the ocean to the west. Large and fearsome animals they were, or at least to the city folk. Sekai had spent so many years with the strange beasts. They were more like pets or friends than creatures to be feared. People on the road had been staring at them, but now as they entered the city, people in shops came out and looked at the caravan in wonder. There had likely been rumors of the circus coming, but with the disappearance of their prince many likely did not believe there would be any events.

Sekai and the other performers outside the wagons waved and smiled to the people. The beast masters threw out candied sweets to young children while keeping an eye to make sure people did not get too close to the rolling cages.

“Ringmaster,” Sekai called out to the man sitting on a white horse in the lead of the train. The older man, with a full gray beard looked over at the girl, who’s scarf like outfit flowed in the wind. His eyes followed to where she was pointing and nodded.

It was a large field, with evidence that it was used mostly for tournaments and other such amusements. That was where they would be spending the next several weeks with their tents and wagons. Bringing these poor people, who’s kingdom had been through so much, some joy was the job of the circus performers now and Sekai and her fellow entertainers where going to do their best for these people.

Men, beast, and men that looked a bit beastly were moving all over the grounds as soon as they reached the field. Tents and booths were being put up, cages and wagons were being moved around and over all there was a air of enjoyment from the circus folk. They all
enjoyed their job. Their boss was one of the rare honest ringmasters who cared more about his people then profit. They still made a profit however, and some of the folk said the gods smiled down on him.

Most of the people were helping put up the main tent, the Big Top. Ropes and rods where being manipulated as the silk slowly rose higher and higher into the sky. Before people had finished their afternoon tea the circus would be up and the performers would be getting ready for their opening night. Sekai had one last job once the Big Top was put in position. The Human Pretzel started climbing the main inner pole, with her a large bundle. Finding the flap at the top of the tent she poked out her head like a gopher before getting around the tent silk and climbed to the top of the pole.

The view was always wonderful on top of the main tent. She took a deep breath and looked out onto the city. From this height she could see almost all of it and she could see the different avenues and streets. It was the easiest way for Sekai to learn a city and with her skills, it was not difficult to convince her boss to let her be the one to place the flag on top. With a sigh, she finally took out the package and unfolded the bright colorful flag.

It took only a few moments to connect the flag to the pole and before climbing back down, taking one last look around. Once back on solid ground she walked out of the tent and wandered for a time around the wagons. There was nothing else she had to do but she gave a few people a hand here and there while chatting with them, just to wander off again to another group of people. She continued her wandering until she was no longer among the tents, booths and cages. She didn’t have any plan, though she didn’t wander far from the circus.

As Sekai wandered down the road, she started taking note of the different sounds and smells of this city. Most city folk did not think much of the uncivilized people of the south and normally didn’t talk much to her. This was all to the good for her, she would play the dumb nomad, listen to their conversation and learn more by the ease-dropping then by having a conversation with these folks. On the rare occasion she felt talking would be more polite, she’d dig out the worse accent she could from when she was learning the five main languages of the circus all at once.

* * *

In their week of travel Prince Rivalen and his porter, Reynard, had heard many unusual stories from the countryside. The death of the Artolian King and Queen had made for most of their conversations to be bleak. As the pair rode in silence across the grassy plain Rivalen sat with thoughtful consideration, distractedly brushing deep brown hair from his downcast eyes. He had been invited by the Prince for his coronation as the new Artolian King. The pair had been friends since they were children, often getting into trouble together during state visits in their younger years and often relying on each other for not only advice, but just someone to talk to that understood the pressures and responsibilities of being royalty as they grew older.

It was while his prince was deep in thought that Reynard pulled next to Rivalen and politely cleared his throat. “Alen I believe we need to talk before we finish our journey.” Reynard looked very similar to the prince. Both males had the dark hair and the dark color eyes. Had they not been royalty and servant, many would mistake the two for brothers. Rivalen looked at his porter and best friend with curiosity but reined in his mount. Once the pair had stopped moving Reynard continued.

“I’ve heard rumors from other servants. Even as we passed through the border town.” Reynard hesitated as he glanced around the grassy countryside, keeping a wary eye out for any unexpected travelers. “Artolia is in some duress. First the King and Queen and, well, one of the stable hands told me that Prince Nicholai has disappeared also.” The porter’s mouth turned downwards in a slight frown. He seemed worried and concerned over the matter.

Rivalen’s thoughts conflicted with each other as he wondered why Reynard didn’t mention it sooner. It didn’t take long for him to consider it was because the porter wanted conformation of those rumors before telling him. Then his thoughts turned grim. What could possibly happen next in this once fair kingdom? “You have more to say, my friend. This is no time to hesitate.” Rivalen felt that he better then anyone could read the porter. After all they had been friends since his childhood, much like he and Nicholai.

Reynard hesitated for a few moments, as if deliberating what to say to the Prince. “I believe it may be dangerous for you in the Artolian household. Who is to say that their troubles won’t become Iroka’s?” He sighed deeply. “I think, perhaps we should trade places. If the rumors of Prince Nicholai are true, no one will know the difference. Only the Prince would recognize you. If something were to happen, you would be safe.” With the King and Queen gone, none would recognize the Prince. Only Nicholai had seen him regularly and the only other to have seen Rivalen was the Lady Faith. Even Faith may not recognize Rivalen, as they had not seem each other since they were small children catching glimpses of each other when her father visited Iroka on trade routes.

Rivalen frowned. He did not like the idea of hiding, of running away from a problem. What Reynard said had merit though, and he would not discount the plan simply because it left a foul taste in his mouth. “I would rather you did not put yourself in danger on my account, but I also know that it is your job.” Try as he might he could not think of an argument against this plan of Reynard’s.

The porter nodded solemnly. What he was asking the Prince to do was against Rivalen’s nature. However, it was obviously the best course of action. “I understand.” Reynard paused then voiced an idea that might be easier for his prince to accept. “But sir, if we switched places, you would be put in a better position to hear conversations you would not otherwise be privy too.” Stopping he watched as Rivalen carefully considered this new suggestion.

As a servant Rivalen would be allowed to do his own investigations. Not only was Nicholai his friend, but he cared for the safety of the rest of the Ivalec family as well. “I’m not sure. I suppose it might be in everyone’s best interest.” Rivalen admitted slowly. Still, he hated to lie to the royal family, despite the fact they would understand his choice in the end. He hoped they could understand.

Reynard nodded. “The only other option would be for us to return home immediately. It would be too dangerous to stay in Artolia while it is undergoing a crisis with in it’s own castle walls.”

“No,” Rivalen shook his head, fully committed to the idea by now. “That would only prove a weakness not only for Iroka, but for Artolia’s royal family. We can not turn back now. There may be something we could do.”

Reynard unclasped his cloak then and silently handed it over to the prince as he dismounted from his steed. The prince also climbed down from his horse. Both would have to switch their clothing if their ruse was to be successful. Using the horses as a covering, both men tossed their clothing to the other and re-dressed. It was luck that the pair had a similar build, though Rivalen was slightly uncomfortable finding himself in another man’s pants.

After they both dressed, the Prince and his porter mounted again, after a small squabbled about which horse was who’s. Rivalen didn’t mind someone else riding his horse, however his horse had an entirely different idea. After one or two times getting his leg nipped, Reynard decided it was best to let the prince turned porter keep his own horse.

“Will we switch names as well?” Reynard asked curiously, once they were finally one their way through the grasslands once again. Ahead was the forests that surrounded the Artolian capital.

Rivalen considered in silence for a few moments. “No. I have so many siblings no one would remember our names. And if they did, no one would dare correct a prince.” He gave a winsome joking smile. “Just call me Alen, that’ll do.”

“As you wish.” Reynard replied. This trip was going to be interesting, to say the least. Incredibly interesting.

* * *

Faith enjoyed her walk back towards the castle through the small worn path. Despite the severity of the situation in Artolia, the day was beautiful. It was pleasantly warm, just at the start of spring with the sun high in the sky and birds chirping in the air.

A loud strange noise suddenly pierced the sky, sounding a lot like Corren, the chef at the castle, getting the air squished out of him by a mallet. The odd sound sent the birds in the trees scattering. It took Faith several moments to recognize the sound as being from an elephant, a strange gray beast not native to the country of Artolia. The thought piqued her curiosity as she turned from the path in the direction of the sound towards the great clearing.

As the clearing came in to view, she could see huge colorful tents, and masses of people scattered everywhere. Faith gave a deep sigh. She had forgotten all about the arrangements for the circus to entertain the guests for Nicholai’s coronation! It was much too late by now to cancel the contract, and though festivities seemed so inappropriate at the current time, Faith decided the town might need something more cheerful to keep up their spirits. Picking up her skirts, she hastened her pace. She would have to see the headmaster to make sure everything would run smoothly. It would be one less thing Serenity had to deal with.

“Settin` up over here boss!”

“Somebody give me a hand with the lions!”

“No no no. Not there, the wagons are all suppose to be back there. I don’t care what he told you.”

Faith huffed to herself, side stepping performers and various creatures. As much as she loved the circus, being in the middle of it was quite confusing! Not to mention if those dancing goats didn’t get out of the vegetable garden, the chef was going to be livid! She had told him time and time again, that the clearing was not a good spot for his gardening.

“Excuse me…?” Faith tried to stop someone as they walked by, but they brush by her so quickly, she doubted they heard her speak at all. She tried again a second time, ending the in the same result. Was everyone so busy that they couldn’t stop for a few moments and give a woman directions? “Great Goddess, You’d have to dance naked with a sword to catch someone’s attention here!” she spoke a bit more loudly than she usually would in public. All she needed was the headmaster not a headache!

A small golden haired woman began laughing as she made her way to Faith. Tapping Faith’s arm lightly, she directed the Lady’s gaze to an open tent. Inside were men, completely in the nude, and just as Faith exclaimed, juggling swords! “Velcomb du da Circus, Pwincez.” Sekai smiled, still not refraining from her amused laughter. She had only returned from her wanderings in the city a short time ago to find this noble wandering around.

“Oh dear!” Faith quickly covered her eyes and turned away from the tent, lightly pulling the girl along side her. She coughed, looking down at Sekai and placed her hands on her hips with a small lit of exasperation. “I am Lady Faith Kirali, not the princess. But since I have your attention, I’d appreciate it if you could help me find the boss of this mess so we may organize just a bit better.” Faith paused turning her fuchsia eyes to the clouds with a heavy sigh. “Heaven forbid Serenity gets an eyeful of that!”

Sekai nodded. She understood Faith perfectly well but her fancy title didn’t interest her. Rolling her shoulders, she smiled at Faith. “Pwincez tis organized! Bwoblem take to Bare-end Osref.” Absently Sekai pulled her leg up over her shoulders, stretching her muscles as she tended to do often. “Enne utter help Sekai ken give?”

“Yes, actually. I can’t seem to find my way around this maze.” The foreign girl was a bit difficult to understand at first, her accent being so thick, but once Faith caught the pattern of how she spoke, it made it a little easier to decipher the thick speech. Faith brushed a few dark emerald strands of hair from her face as the wind picked up.

Several men moved past them, each carrying several boards. They were followed by a pair of clowns who stopped and interrupted the conversation. “Sekai when’s the first act?”

Responding in her native tongue Sekai replied, “An hour before sundown. We want to give the nobles a good show with the painted sky as our finale!” Nodding the clowns left. Sekai looked at Faith again, then nodded. “Ah vill show you.”

* * *

Word had traveled fast and by the time Serenity reached the stables her sweet mare, Lady, was already saddled and waiting for her. It was only a few moments later until the princess had her mare galloping at top speed, the wind whipping her golden locks behind her. Lady was in as much need of a run as Serenity did. It had been several weeks since their last ride.

Once a good ways from the castle, Serenity slowed Lady down to a walk. This was the first time since her parents’ death and Nicholai’s disappearance that she’d been alone while awake. She was so angry with them! Angry at them for all leaving her, and now Faith was doing the same thing by running off on some ridiculous crusade. It was irrational to blame the dead though, and Serenity highly doubted that her brother had wanted to be kidnaped.

The mare wandered as she wanted, her mistress lost in thought, though not so lost as to allow Lady to stop and munch on any bushes. The princess tried to tell herself that there were advantages of her family being gone. She would not be married off quickly. Serenity had no delusions of finding love. Only peasants were allowed the privilege of marrying for love. What she would have now is a choice. She would be able to decide who she would marry and it would be her, not her husband, and not her family that would dictate the direction of the relationship. She was still too young to be crowed but she could block, delay and fool the court until such time as she had the crown. No lord old enough to be her grandfather or abusive youth would be her consort, and before the vows where exchanged she would have enough documents written and signed so no one would be able to contest her rule. If she did things right she’d not even need to marry for ten years or more.

She was getting ahead of herself of course. Serenity knew she had to consolidate her power first. Those so called cousins of hers that where trickling into the palace would have to be kept busy. She couldn’t let any of them be messing things up for her. They would try, Serenity had not doubt of that, but she had to make sure she was one step ahead of them.

Then there was the damn prince from Iroka. Serenity doubted she’d be lucky enough to have one of the older married princes coming. The princess shook her head, no the most likely scenario was one of the King’s grandsons. Serenity didn’t even know the names of all the princes, the Iroka royal family bred like rabbits. It was politically sound for King Lornen to try and instill one of his own blood on the thrown. There was no way Serenity was going to let herself be used, let alone allow Artolia to become a puppet state. Serenity was positive the Iroka prince would be much more dangerous then any lord or lady within the kingdom. She would have to insure that her nobles realized this too. None of them would want to be replace and be treated as second class citizens.

Serenity’s path led in the direction of the tournament field. From there many lovely paths where open to her, including a road leading into the heart of the city. What she saw out in that direction was not the empty fields that she was expecting but colorful canvases and people milling about. Reining her horse in she stopped and looked at the chaos beyond her. She could faintly here the murmur of dozens of voices, some of those being from the animals themselves. Baron Osref had made arrangements for a circus as part of the festivities for Nicholai’s coronation, but with her brother missing there was no need. The princess had reservations about getting closer to the circus, they where known to have many strange wild dangerous animals. She was curious about the situation though and considered the fact that as long as she didn’t go into the maze of tents and booths she would be fine. It wouldn’t take long for someone to notice her and then she could get some answers. With that decided she rode down the hill and out the side gate of the lesser palace wall that surrounded the property around the castle.

* * *

“This place is disgusting! Just look at the filth that is just freely walking around the streets. And is that a chicken?! There are farm animals all over the place! Detestable!” Lady Victoria spat out viciously as she rode high on her midnight black mare. Her long sun golden locks fell loose at her back over a rose colored riding cloak. Her dress was low cut, inappropriately showing off creamy skin for such a long ride across the country. Accompanying her were several servants, her personal favorites riding at the front with her.

Lady Marielle rode at her left sporting much more subdued clothing, that in Victoria’s opinion was shamefully close to the typical dress of peasants. The mousy girl was no where near the kind of statues Victoria preferred to associate with, however she had a few special talents that had become useful in recent years.

To the right was Kadir, another awful creature that Victoria would have delightfully done without if provided with better company. Kadir had also proven useful with the skills of a sage and spy.

Marielle nodded quickly in agreement with the ‘Miss’. “You are so right, Miss. At home they would never let such dirty people walk the streets like this. Once you have the crown you-”

“Marielle!” Victoria practically growled out. She then laughed lightly as if to brush the comment away as just nonsensical chatter. “Oh, Marielle darling don’t be silly.” Victoria guided her horse closer to Marielle’s and muttered low under her breath. “Unless you want to be shipped back home in a wagon, do not mention such things in public. Would you like to be tried for treason against the crown?” Rolling her eyes in exasperation Victoria led her horse ahead.

Her nose curled up in disgust as she caught whiff of something unpleasant. “What is that ungodly smell?” Tilting her head back to get a better look, she gazed far down the Artol city streets to a large grassy clearing that seemed to be teaming with people, and worse yet, animals! Hoards of nasty smelly animals! Artolia’s capital had quite literally become a circus! Farther yet Victoria could see a platinum blonde mane riding a white horse. The royal seal was quite evident on the horse’s dressing. Her eyes narrowed as she recognized the young Princess Serenity. “Amazing! Out riding carefree as a child when her country is near ruins.”

A loud trumpeting sound startled Victoria as one of the large gray elephants that were chained nearby the circus tents sounded it’s trunk. Her eyes narrowed as her gaze went from the beasts to Serenity and back to the beasts again. “You know,” she commented with a light tone, “it would be terrible if something had happened during this time of turmoil. I mean, if one of those beasts were to get loose and someone killed – it would be terrible!” A smile crept across her face. “Perhaps we should have a word with the circus folk and voice our concerns.”

Victoria dug her heels in to the horses side and trotted off towards the circus tents.


Destiny: Saga I: Book I: Chapter 1

Looking at her reflection in the mirror, Serenity sighed. If these sleepless nights continued she would no longer be able to hide it with simple cosmetics. The images that she saw when she closed her eyes kept her from wanting to dream. No child, even a mature fourteen year old, should see their parents dead bodies so horribly mutilated. They might not have been good parents, but they were the only ones that she knew. That would have been enough to keep her awake at night and for a long while it was. It seemed as soon as she was starting to deal with that though, her brother was kidnaped. At first she thought he had simply ran off, thinking maybe he didn’t want the responsibility or simply had gotten overwhelmed. The King and his Queen were not good parents perhaps, but they where excellent rulers and made the job seem easier then it truly was.

Tonight she would drink one of those vile sleeping concoctions they kept in the great kitchen for the help. No need to let anyone with power know she needed something. If she did it right Nurse wouldn’t even need to know. Serenity did not wish to worry her dear nurse maid.

Taking one last look at her light gold locks and carefully prepared face, with it’s large blue eyes Serenity turning away from her mirror and headed for her sitting room. Once seated in her favorite chair the young princess looked down at the stack of letters and notes. The notes were more important to Serenity then any letter. They were quickly written messages from the servants, sometimes with the worst of spelling and handwriting. Serenity learned more about what happen in the castle this way then by any letter from some Lord or Baroness.

It was while reading one of the formal letters about her second cousin, William, coming to pay a visit that there was a light tap on Serenity’s door. “Come in,” she said, only loud enough that the person on the other end could hear her voice, but no louder then that.

Faith stepped inside the room with silent grace at the voice of her cousin and closed the door gently behind her. On any normal day, the taller Lady would be pleased to visit Serenity for cheerful chatting and a little tea, though sometimes it seemed the young princess only accepted the invitations out of royal obligation. Faith worried about her, more often than not, especially with the recent death of the King and Queen. Her cousin looked like a fragile doll under regular circumstances, but lately she could see the signs of fatigue showing on the girl’s face.

“Cousin, I have a bit of news,” Faith wasn’t quite sure how she was going to explain her newest idea to the Princess. Either way she said it, it would seem as if she were abandoning Serenity to the wolves. However if the Prince were to be found this was the only way. “The hunters have returned with no news about Nicholai. He doesn’t seem to be anywhere in Artolia,” Faith paused for a brief moment, tucking back a lock of her teal colored hair, before continuing, “There is talk that Artolia is lacking defenses, I can’t send any more guards out for the search without putting it in danger.”

“Serenity, I am going to conduct my own search,” she finally said, giving a serious and concerned expression. “Nicholai must be found and there is no one left to search. I will find him.” The comment was not some sort of false hope, Faith really truly believed she could track down her loose cousin. The idea hadn’t completely come at random, it was like she could sense him somewhere alive. It had been that way with all of her family as long as she could remember, but it never seemed so important until now.

Faith sighed, “I hate to leave you here alone, but Minister Atythan will be here to help you.”

Serenity had been studying her cousin’s movements since the moment she entered the sitting room. Though she had thought that perhaps her brother might have been overwhelmed by the pressures of becoming the new king, when it came to the throne and Faith, Serenity was much more certain. The fact of the matter was, everyone knew that Faith wanted to be as far away from the throne as possible. The last thing in the world she wanted was the responsibility of running the kingdom. Now, however, it was simply that, her responsibility. Serenity was too young by their laws to rule and the act of guardian almost always feel to the next living kin.

Faith was running away and Serenity was too tired to remind her cousin of her place. “So will that be an official decree that the minister help me, or will you simply run off looking for Brother?”

Serenity gave Faith what she knew would be considered a condescending smile. Lady Faith would do whatever she wanted, but if Serenity had it her way, she’d make her cousin feel dreadfully guilt.

Faith for her part often wished her cousin would have a tantrum, a screaming fit, anything that showed more emotion than the icy cold mask she wore just now. Where ever the emotional mask started, Faith was sure by now it was so deep that not even Serenity herself knew where it ended. It was something Faith desperately wanted to fix, and had started to try, but then chaos erupted and everything was turned upside down. The Kingdom would fall if Faith had to be in charge, she had no misconceptions about that and though the princess would be upset now, maybe in time she’d see why it was so important for Faith herself to find Nicholai and bring him home.

With a sigh, Faith took a seat in a plush chair, her silk skirts making a soft rustling sound as she moved. “I have already taken care of everything and plan to leave in the morning. I am very sorry, Serenity, but we need Nicholai.” There would probably be no convincing the princess, but she could not leave in good conscience without making sure Serenity would be alright in the castle on her own.

“Of course we need him. He is the heir and should be king.” Serenity’s own feelings about this where so mixed up she herself didn’t know how much of that was honest truth and how much of it was political nicety.

“As for what you said before. Artolia is weak, not because of lack of arms men, or generals, but lack of a ruler. The political edge is gone and every day we are viewed as easier prey. The merchants are already feeling this. Our neighbors are dealing with us harder then they have in many years and in the end certain deals are most likely going to have to be made. I have no intention of weakening our militarily any longer. If you go hunting for my brother, you will be the only official hunting party.”

Serenity took a cup of the tea from the tray that had been brought in just prior to the princess entering the sitting room. There where an assortment of pastries that the princess pointed to in offering to her cousin. Faith nodded to her cousin as Serenity sipped her tea.

Drake leaned against the wall next to the door, barely breathing. The redhead Knight Errant’s arms were folded across his chest as he listened through the door at Serenity and Faith, particularly Faith. This would be exactly like something she’d try to do, even when it wasn’t her place. ‘Especially when it wasn’t her place,’ he thought.

If it was up to Drake, he’d have gone out and been looking for the Prince the same day he went missing, but as far as he knew, Nicholai was already dead. His priorities had shifted now to Serenity, who was the next heir after her missing brother. Whether either she or Faith liked it or not, they had to accept reality: Nicholai was gone, and there was nothing either of them could do to bring him back.

Drake reached out and knocked the door open with an elbow. He could hear the girls gasp in brief shock at the sudden noise, and a small smile began to creep across his face, but he quickly squashed it.

“You’re not leaving,” Drake said flatly, looking back over his shoulder at the girls.

The Knight Errant had the infuriating habit of giving orders when he had no authority to do so! “I am afraid I will be leaving come morning. It simply must be done.” Faith told him with a bit of steal in her voice. She knew there would be no more conversation with Serenity if Drake was going to insist pitching one of his stubborn fits. The princess had enough to think about without having to hear a ridiculous and in the end, pointless argument.

“I’m sorry, Cousin. I would love to stay for tea, but there are a few more details I must take care of. Please don’t fret too much over matters, things will work out well in the end.” She rose from her chair quickly, giving Serenity a delicate supportive smile. Faith truly hoped it would work out in the end, for her dear cousin especially. Serenity seemed to hold the world on her shoulders.

Smoothing out her skirts, she gave one last wave to Serenity before brushing past Drake at the door. Faith didn’t utter a word to him or spare him another glance, hoping that he’d not make too much more of a fuss about the issue, though she knew better.

Once alone Serenity wondered why she thought that anyone would think beyond their own motives. Hadn’t her nurse maid, Mildred, taught her that lesson well, admitting even she expected something by raising and training Serenity properly? Nurse, as Serenity referred to the woman, might have regretted that candied answer though if she realized that Serenity did not trust her as much afterwards. Serenity trusted her more then anyone else in the world, just not as much as before.

As the Lady Faith passed by her in the hallway looking as if hell were on her heels, Mildred quickly stepped out of the way. It seemed the woman had much on her mind with her plans to leave the castle in search of the missing heir. That concerned Mildred little. Her loyalties lied strictly with the young princess, and so long as the Lady didn’t make moves to take the throne from the child princess, she could go running off on whatever silly adventure she pleased.

As Mildred grew near to Serenity’s chambers the knight, Drake, brushed past her, obviously chasing after the lady. ‘Good riddance, really,’ thought the nurse maid. As far as she was concerned he was just as much in the way as the others, constantly hovering around and getting in the way of good solid plans. Mildred figured they must have both spoken with the princess. It was then the perfect moment to have her own chat with the child and make sure the princess knew who her true allies were.

“Good Morning, m’love.” Mildred cheerily said as she knocked twice on Serenity’s door and entered the chambers in a busied fashion. The nurse hovered around the room picking up things here and there, rearranging, and secretly reading whatever small note she could catch a glimpse of. It was the daily ritual of making sure her sweet princess was still the darling little doll she raised her to be. “I see the Lady has paid you a visit, it’s such a shame she doesn’t care about you like we servants do. Just leaving like this when everything is such a mess.”

“Indeed.” Serenity nodded sipping on her tea. She then artfully painted a frown on her face. “I do not recall Lady Victoria being of the bloodline. This I think will be a problem. The last thing this country needs is contest for the crown. I think we will have to keep her distracted somehow. We’ll put her in the northern suites.” Serenity folded the note and picked up another one. She nearly choked on her tea when she read it however.

“Nurse, how many princes do they have in Iroka?”

“Several I believe dear.” Mildred said sweetly wondering what was upsetting the princess.

“I should have been informed of this sooner. No matter though, he shall be here either today or tomorrow if he left when he was suppose to. Make sure my cousin remembered to have the guest mansion readied for the royal guest.” Serenity then rose and gathered up her notes. Some she tossed in the fire that was hovering on the logs in the fireplace, the remainders she put in her desk after pulling out a key and unlocking a drawer.

Serenity then walked into her dressing chambers. “I’m going to take a ride.” The princess knew that her nurse found her enjoyment of horseback riding a waste of time and hovering on unladylike behavior. It was, however, a battle that her nurse had lost a long time ago, and not to Serenity even, but to Prince Nicholai. It was most probably the only thing that the siblings ever did together.

“Yes, miss,” Mildred replied as the princess entered her dressing rooms. The Nurse took that moment to go over the remaining notes on the Serenity’s desk. The Lady Victoria was a vain and bothersome woman, but the older woman doubt she would be much of a threat to the throne. The Prince of Iroka, however, that would be a slight problem. Mildred did not like the idea of her princess getting close to a man. It would ill-affect her carefully laid out plans. Something would have to be done about him.

“Don’t forget to take your cloak, miss! It’s chilly out,” she called to the Princess as she gathered up a few dirty garments to take for washing, along with a few pieces of letters carefully hidden amongst the garments. The Nurse left Serenity’s chambers to prepare for the arriving guests.

* * *

Drake followed after Faith, ignoring her ignoring him. She’d just keep ignoring his ignoring if he kept ignoring her ignoring like that, and going around in circles like that was, well, ignorant. He’d put a stop to this, one way or another. The direct approach always worked for him. The knight easily caught up to Faith, and grabbed her by the arm, not paying attention if she started complaining. She was stubborn, but he was stronger, and he started dragging her back towards her room. He pulled his master key set from his pocket, and it became abundantly clear was he was going to do–lock her in her own room! “Shut up and don’t struggle,” he grumbled.

“Have you lost your mind?! Let go of me!” Faith chided. Did he think he was going to lock her in a room somewhere? She had her own set of master keys. Not that she would divulge that tidbit of information incase he succeeded. If anything else, she would simply slip through one of the many hidden passages that connected through out the castle. It was simply the principal of the thing! He was stronger, she had to give him that. Faith couldn’t manage to twist her way out of his grasp, and she’d likely have a nasty bruise by the time he let go. “Do you have to be so rough? I didn’t even plan to leave until tomorrow morning. Did you plan to leave me locked up forever?!”

“Until you calmed down,” he snapped. “So, yes, possibly forever.” Drake didn’t barb people like that often, but when he did, that irritating icy tone made it even worse. Without another word, he shoved Faith into her room, and soundly locked the door behind her. There. That took care of that. Giving a brief, relieved sigh, Drake tucked his keys away again, and wandered out the main gate, into the warm, inviting morning. Drake took a deep breath, and a rare smile crossed his face.

The knight sat down on the Artolian castle drawbridge, and found himself hypnotized by the gentle gurgling of the castle moat flowing beneath the wooden bridge. It reminded him of life before Artolia, before knighthood, and before the Ivalecs. Back then, his only responsibility was to himself, and anything else wasn’t worth caring about. Drake laid back on the bridge, and folded his hands behind his head. The clouds passed by overhead, and as he daydreamed of his former life, he started to drift off to sleep.

Crossing her arms and giving the door a callous look, Faith waited until she heard that tell tale click of the lock and Drake’s footsteps fading down the hallway. He was infuriatingly bossy. Life was so much more peaceful in her own manor, away from the busy bustle of the castle, and away from the horrible man that seemed to go out of his way to stop her from getting anything accomplished.

Faith moved to the window and leaned out to see if she could catch a glimpse of Drake. He was snoozing on the draw bridge, no doubt assuming she was going to scurry out and run off in to the forest with out a plan or preparations. Did he really assume she was so daft? Faith scoffed as she leaned against the stone wall and crossed her arms. It wasn’t as if she decided out of thin air to go find Nicholai. Things were getting difficult in the castle. Without her cousin, Faith was next in line for the thrown. Serenity was not yet old enough to take on the responsibilities herself. Faith could do the job, that was not the difficult part. It was the constant attention and care put in to dealing with people that she could not stand. Faith was uncomfortable being the focus of so many people.

Then there was Serenity. The young girl didn’t even act upset over her brother’s disappearance. She was doing her duties without question. It made Faiths heart ache watching the girl surrounded by all those people, none of which really cared about the girl under the crown. Serenity needed her family, and her brother was all she had left besides Faith. To grow up under the close scrutiny of the country would crush the young girl, and Faith feared her shoulder’s were fragile enough.

That was enough pondering at the moment. Faith needed to check on the guest house and make sure everything was in order for the visitors Serenity would receive, while she was away. She retrieved her hidden key from a dresser and unlocked the door. Stashing it safely away again, she pulled deep ocean blue cloak from the wardrobe and wrapped it around her shoulders. Faith left the room, keeping a wary eye out incase Drake woken up from his nap and returned to the halls to stand watch.

Walking out through the front gates and out on to the bridge she caught a glimpse of Drake sleeping precariously close to the edge. She narrowed her eyes and a small mischievous smile snuck it’s way across her face. Faith was by all means, not a spiteful woman. In fact she went out of her way to avoid confrontation with people at the cost of her own comfort. But it seemed Drake would always bring out the worst in her. Quickly she stepped across the bridge until she was standing directly over his sleeping form. With a good quick shove of her foot, Faith sent Drake rolling in to the cool waters of the Artolian moat!

As Drake came bobbing and sputtering back to the waters surface she gave a quick, innocent wave of the hand. “Enjoy your swim, Sir Knight!” she called sweetly, before walking off towards the guest houses quickly as possible!

Drake floundered for a minute, but it quickly turned into a full-blown temper tantrum. As he pounded at the water, he started shouting awful and obscene comments in blackspeech, and even a few in draconic, some being provided from another entity offering suggestions directly to his mind. Some of the curses were bad enough to make the royal sage poke his head out the window to see who could be screaming such atrocious things. Still cursing, Drake heard Valencia taunted in the back of his head, ‘What a lovely way to wake up for you, yes?’ She was almost surprised that he used a few of her suggestions. Then again he really was irritated so adding fuel to the fire was easy.

Drake sloshed out of the moat, and looked down disgustedly at his armor ignoring her. Valencia, though more commonly known as ‘Avenger’ was a sword. Not a normal sword by any means, but enchanted. No one was quite sure what she was, some even said the sword was
cursed, but only Drake heard the voice in his head, as he was Avenger’s bearer. He grabbed his long hair and wrung it out over his shoulder, then started to peel off his half-plate armor and dropped it onto the ground at his feet. Significantly lighter in just his regular clothes and tabard, Drake charged off after Faith full-tilt. He could smell her smug attitude in the air. It was a sharp scent, like a knife between his eyes. Or in his back! It didn’t help that he knew that his chasing of the Lady Faith, drenched amused the spirit of the sword to no end.

As Drake started gaining ground Valencia ventured a question. ‘Once you have her ladyship then what? Are you going to bend her over your knee like a child and spank her? What she did was childish indeed and if you make her bottom sore enough she won’t have time to think of tracking off anywhere. You have a duty after all and it’s not to her.’ The last bit might have been uncalled for, but Valencia could sometimes see the way Drake’s mind worked with a certain irritating female came up in topic of late. Valencia however never thought of herself as the jealous type, she was, but she never thought of herself like that.

Faith should have known that she couldn’t have gotten away with the stunt so easily! The second she caught a glimpse of Drake on her heels, she lifted up her skirts and ran towards the guest house grounds. She reached it before he caught up to her, but keeping him out was going to be an entirely different matter. Then escaping again, well, she was going to have to do a little dodging. Faith was quick for such a small woman, and entered the manor with not more than twenty paces between her and Drake. Unlike the castle, the guest manor was more like a very large house. No surrounding walls or big moat, just a lovely house with white marble walls and large glass pane windows. Fumbling inside the huge oak wood doors, she slammed them behind her and dropped the large bar lock in to place. Drake was sure to find another way in, if he didn’t knock down the doors, but it would buy her enough time.

Drake slid to a halt in front of the doors, and pressed his ear to the thick wood. He couldn’t hear anything through them. He had a feeling she’d blocked the door up, though–she was stubborn and naive, but hardly stupid. With enough time, he might have been able to break the doors down, but he really didn’t want to break anything or hurt anybody. As a matter of fact, as long as Faith stayed there he was satisfied. At least now he knew where she was!

Drake thumped on the doors a few times, and stepped back, looking over the doorjamb carefully. He slid his dark gray, almost black-bladed sword from its sheath, and eyed its surface, staring at his reflection in the polished metal. He slowly rested the tip of the sword on the surface of the door, and took a deep breath.

“Vara!” The Avenger’s surface lit up with shimmering azure runes. A faint blue glow surrounded the blade, along with a faint white mist. Suddenly, with the thunderous crack of a shattering glacier, the sword was covered in a thick layer of crystalline ice, from the tip, all the way down to the hilt. Drake pressed the blade into the oak doors, and the entire front entrance was soon covered in a thick, translucent layer of solid ice.

Seemingly satisfied, Drake removed the sword from the ice-covered door, dispelled the weapon’s magic, and eased the weapon back into its sheath. “A practical solution to an impractical problem,” he mused, smiling at his handiwork. “With the front entrance sealed, that gives me one less exit to cover. I’m not quite as thick as you would like to think, Valencia.”

Faith inwardly groaned as she stood paused on the manor steps, watching Drake freeze the doors from the outside. It really wasn’t that awful, there were other ways out of the manor, including the back door and a hidden passage or two. But there were to be guests in the next few days, and it would have to be fixed or else they would have to stay in the castle! The poor servants were going to have a fit over the door, and likely be fussing over it for quite some time. She stomped an irritated foot before gathering her skirts and hurrying up the stairs. She might as well finish her duties and overlook the house to make sure things were in order.

Drake patiently waited, pacing past all the smaller entrances, just waiting for Faith to come out and run off. With the front door sealed, there were only a few other places she’d be able to leave from, and regularly patrolling them was the only way he was going to catch her. Waiting, however, was not something Drake was fond of. It had been nearly an hour, and he was starting to get impatient. He was considering storming inside and simply putting her in chains! She’d hate him for certain, but that was none of his concern.

‘That’s a lie, and you know it,’ Valencia chided.

“You be quiet,” Drake snapped back. The scent of faint perfume wafted across the air from the far side of the manor, snapping the knight errant out of his argument with his weapon. Without another word, Drake eased his way through the back gardens, past the side gate, and caught a flash of movement in the distance ahead before it vanished into the woods. It didn’t matter if he couldn’t see her; as long as he could keep her scent, he’d be able to follow her anywhere.

He started to chase after her, but quickly stopped before he reached the tree line. This was starting to get tiresome. Every time he’d catch up to her, she’d find some way to escape again, and he’d end up chasing her all over again. He didn’t have time to be following her heels all over Artolia! And she wasn’t going to listen to reason, so… “Experience has always been the best teacher,” Drake said to himself with a wicked smile. “What do you say we just stay out of sight for a while? If she wants to see the world, we’ll let her. She’ll have one run-in with some scruffy back-alley thugs, and come running back to the castle for protection.”

Valencia was about to speak, but Drake put a hand on the Avenger’s hilt, and patted it lightly. “Just play along this time. I know what I’m doing. I was hunting and trapping back when her parents were still in diapers.” Drake casually followed behind Faith, keeping far back enough to stay well out of sight, smiling to himself the whole time.


Destiny: Saga I: Book I: Prologue

It had only been two weeks since the royal couple’s ghastly murder. King Garret and Queen Olana were found in the throne room, beaten, slashed, and blood pooling all over the floors. It was the high pitched scream of his younger sister that had alerted the entire castle something was amiss. Being the next in line, in another two weeks Nicholai would be crowned Artolia’s new king. He wasn’t ready to be king. Sure his parents gave him the best education in the world to ready him for this day, but this day wasn’t suppose to come so soon.

The young prince sat on top of his bed looking up at the ceiling in the dark room. He brushed a few strands of dark honey colored hair from his face as he thought in silence. The last two week’s events had gone by so fast he felt he hadn’t had a chance to catch his breath. Nicholai knew he wasn’t the only one that had been under pressure. He’d seen how his cousin Faith was running around, trying to distract people away from himself and his sister. Faith had such a strong sense of family and responsibility to them, despite being only being a few years older than he and his sister.

That was another problem in itself. His sister, Serenity, was going on with business in a most unnatural way. He had hardly seen her much since their parents’ death, but every report he had on her said she was picking up her assumed duties with the same steadiness she did everything. He worried that his younger sister was just burying herself in work to escape reality. She was perfectly poised, taking care of her duties without missing a single beat. Even he had not been able to function so flawlessly.

Though things where in chaos, Nicholai decided there was nothing so urgent going on that he couldn’t go out for a ride tomorrow afternoon and take his sister along. He had missed her company, and riding with the horses was always their favorite activity. It was one of the few things they shared that wasn’t about duty or being responsible. Afterwards they could have dinner with Faith and then it would be back to their different courses. Putting up faces for the people for the good of the kingdom.

This did not seem like much of a solution to the heir, but it would have to do for now. There was only so much one could do in the face of a crisis, and he was growing tired. Slowly he felt his eyes get heavy as sleep started to gain control. Just as he was about to drift asleep he felt a hand over his mouth as several arms tried to hold onto his legs and body. He tried to struggle, but there where several of them armed with weapons and only one of him. Nicholai had already undressed and was situated in bed without anything that could be used as a weapon.

With quick efficiency they gagged him and tied him up so that he could barely move as he struggled against the ropes. A pair of them took hold of him, one his shoulders the other his legs and moved to the wall next to his dresser and to a passage that opened up and lead down. No one would know there had been a struggle and no one would know where he was taken.

One of the men snorted as they carried the Prince along the hidden tunnels. “Guy weighs as much as a ton of bricks… why didn’t we just stab him?” He grunted as one of his comrades promptly socked him on the head.

“‘Coz, you numbskull! He’s worth more in ransom than he is dead!” He muttered a few obscenities under his breath. For some reason he always had to get saddled with the lackies that weren’t too bright.

“Oh. Y’think the boss will mind if we break any of his bones?” Another grunt suggested he was thoroughly smacked for another bad idea.

Nicholai would have rolled his eyes if he were in such a predicament. With his arms and legs bounded, and so means to yell to the guards for help, he was stuck being lugged off by a bunch of idiots. He was at least comforted by the fact they didn’t mean to kill him. As soon as he was given the chance he would have to escape. All he could think of then was how much his disappearance might hurt his sister. First their parents and now him.

The small band of men hefted the prince through the tunnels until they came to their final stop. It was deep underground the Artolian castle, were a small underground river flowed. A boat was waiting in the waters. Carefully easing Nicholai in to the boat and boarding themselves, the men cast off down the stream. Nicholai sighed as he watched the banks disappear as they floated deeper in to the underground tunnels.