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Friday, March 17, 2017


Amerak turned away from the window, usually the view aided in his concentration, but of late nothing seemed to help. The stars aligning had been the portent he had waited for. Now all he needed to do was get his hands on the Triad. All his machinations would be fulfilled if only he controlled the mysterious object. He looked at the portrait standing on its easel in the corner. His dark eyed daughters solemn face looked out at him as if in accusation. He had done so much to see her crowned the true Queen of Cameria. Now with her gone, he wanted the Triad to give him the power he needed to make the world pay for her loss.

One of his guards tapped on the door. After he had given his permission to enter, he watched the small thief enter ahead of the guard. He nodded at the guard to give him permission to leave, closing the door behind him. The thief weaved her way around his workroom, he made sure to watch her closely. She was after all a thief. She finally took up his abandoned post by the window. “We had the apprentice. Unfortunately, he was rescued by a couple of warriors. One of my men said one of the men looked to be Pantheri. He even said the warrior had glowed as he fought. My men are searching now to relocate the apprentice. Do you have any further orders?”

Amerak growled deep in his throat at the dreaded word. He had extinguished the life of the last Pantheri. Little knew that only the Pantheri princes had the ability to glow during battle. He had slain the prince years ago, surely the thief’s men didn’t want to admit that they had lost to more than likely a couple of worthless ruffians. “I want you to continue your search for the young mystic. And this time do not allow him to be “rescued” from your grasp. He cannot be allowed to join with the Queen’s private team. I need him here to keep his master in line.” Amerak walked over to a table set with a flagon of wine, as well as some sandwiches. After pouring himself a glass, he motioned for the thief to help herself. “Time is of the essence. We need to know where the Triad is hidden. The apprentice has that information. Find him and bring him to me. Oh, and Nilla just remember your failure means not only your life but that of your crew.”

Nilla had poured a glass of wine, and was just reaching for a sandwich, when Amerak spoke. Suddenly she no longer had much of an appetite. She knew damn well what the stakes were in this hunt. Why did the wizard have to keep reminding her every time she came to make a report? She had already watched him burn a city to ash, did he really think she did not take him seriously. She took a big gulp of wine before sitting the glass back down. “I know my orders, and they shall be obeyed, Master.” Nilla then grabbed a couple of the sandwiches, and left the room.

Meanwhile at the cabin, a lively discussion was being had. “Why should we listen to a child? How can he know where the Triad is, or what is?  I, for one vote that we continue searching for a full copy of the prophecy. Follow where it guides.” Bo paced around the small room, agitation in every bone of his body. “The Triad cannot be at Black Barrow. If it was, someone would have found it by now. All that is at that place are ghosts, and memories.”

Neko stood near the fireplace. He alternated watching over CeCe, and glaring at Bo. “I say we listen to him. He has been right so far on our so-called gifts. I say we journey with him, and along the way learn more about what has happened to us. I think you are letting the past color your decision.”

By now both men were standing face to face. “I am not letting my past interfere with my decision. I just don’t think we ought to believe a kit that you just randomly rescued off the street. If anything, I think you aren’t using your impulsive head once again. As usual you want to jump without looking to see if there are rocks at the bottom.” Bo growled at the younger Felis. “Why don’t you let the grownups make the decisions, and deal with our decision when it is made.”

The two were so busy yelling at each other, that they hadn’t noticed what the others were witnessing. Neko had begun to glow faintly, as his emotions became more volatile, the stronger the glow became. As Spooks walked into the cabin, Dominic jumped up to step in between the two combatants. “Stop! We are not enemies. We can all come to an understanding. You guys need to take a step back and calm down. Neko get a grip, and look at yourself.” Dominic pointed down at Neko’s luminescent skin. “And you, big brother need to get over yourself. This isn’t about who is older or what. We will all have a choice in the matter.” He said this while poking Bo in the chest.

Spooks stopped inside the door, watching the tableau before him. He knew of the Pantheri battle glow, but until now had never witnessed it. A trickle of fear ran down his spine, as he felt the untapped power in the young prince. The Triad would have a strong protector, that is once he learned to control his aggression. He watched as Dominic soothed the two angry Felis. “Hey now guys. You need to get a grip, and I don’t mean on each other. We’ve a job to do. The Queen is depending on us. If it means following the kit, then that is what we will do. Now go to your separate corners and calm down.” Dominic stepped between Bo and Neko pushing them in opposite directions.

The two combatants went to their respective corners, still grumbling about which was right. They grew silent when they heard an angry hiss. Two heads turned in the direction it had come from only to find CeCe in full hissy fit mode. She stood with her ears back while her claws unsheathed. “We are family. Whether by blood or not, and this bickering accomplishes nothing. As the only female, here as well as the highest rank I choose to follow the kit. So, it is settled.” As was proper both Bo and Neko lowered their head in respect for their matriarch.

Spooks took that moment to clear his voice. Six pairs of eyes focused on him. “If all has been decided, I think it is time to leave here. The hands of the clock stop for no one, our time is fast running out before we lose the Triad forever. I say we head out at first light.” Spooks took a moment for this news to register. “Yes, we only have a finite amount of time to succeed in this quest. Don’t forget there are others who search as you do.” He hoped that his sense of urgency was conveyed to the group.

Bo broke the silence that had invaded the room. “Fine, first light is fine with me. I think I am going to get some sleep. Sunrise is not far away. He headed to where is pack was. Once he had made sure everything was close at hand, he lay with his back to the others. Neko sat on his side of the room, the nimbus that had surrounded him earlier nothing but a faint trace. In hushed tones the rest of the gang prepared to resume their journey.

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