The Silverline Forest was so named because around the edge of the gargantuan forest grew a beautiful line of Silver-Birch trees.
"But they're not just trees Hay; they protected the rest of the forest until Merdocks soldiers came along and obliterated half the forest, they used to keep the inner trees safe and protect the peoples of the forest." Elera informed Haylie, a bitterness underlining her tone.
They had stopped off by a small stream on the edge of the forest as Imps love to swim even though they could easily be someone's dinner! The silver birches shimmered in the dappled light cast by the running water, they seemed sad as they stood side by side, no longer with any purpose tying them to the land.
"Master" said Dracon "tell the others to set up camp here there is a storm coming in from the north so I suggest you all get under cover soon."
"Of course, and don't call me master it seems weird to me ok" Haylie replied.
"If you insist Haylie, now hurry up and get them moving!" He stressed; Haylie trotted over to where the others were standing, milling about watching the Imps splash about in the cool waters.
"There's a storm approaching and we need to set up camp as fast as possible." She said informatively. Suddenly the small gaggle of people was alive with action, and poles and sheets were being handed out; yet surprisingly everybody was organised and perfectly in sync with each other. Elera was helping assemble the tents using some of her magic, while Ringmore was helping the Imps unload the horses. In less than half an hour the tents and camp had been assembled and everyone was tucked up in clean warm sheets and blankets.
As the night dragged on Haylie found herself dreaming of her family and friends back home on Earth and she wondered silently to herself, if she would get back to them, though eventually she realised how amazed and stunned they would be if they knew that such a place existed, and that she of all people was experiencing it all. It was in this moment that Haylie made up her mind to do whatever she could to help these people and see this endeavour through to the end, in the morning Haylie made a real effort during her training with Ringmore, who was more than a tad surprised with her newfound enthusiasm.
The morning dew glistened in the lazy sun and the air around them was fresh and moist, a spider had made a web in a near by tree and the dew drops on it gleamed and sparkled in the light from the rising sun like jewels strung on a necklace. As Haylie turned to comment, Ringmore emerged from his tent bringing with him a thin leather object.
"What's that?" Haylie asked.
"It's a sheath to keep your sword in Hay" Haylie took the long leather sleeve, attached to a simple belt with a steel buckle, and fastened it around her waist, "it would keep the sword closer to you, rather than leaving it strapped to your horse."
By now the Imps had woken up and were running around sorting and fetching and it all looked very organised for such small people. Finally Killga appeared from her tent and started to cook some breakfast for them.
"I think we're like a family!" Haylie stated.
"Well I have to tell you Hay," said Ringmore, "we are the oddest looking family I have ever seen; Dragons, Imps, princesses, that's one crazy family you've roped together!"
"Still we all care for each other and we act like a family and help each other when we need it right?"
"Yeah and in our spare time we're rebels who oppose a dark and evil overlord!" Elera interjected.
"Why haven't you found them yet, you fool?" Merdock screamed.
"We got close while crossing the plains my lord" She stressed.
"Close, oh you got close," he said, his tone over sarcastic, "close does not bring me the most influential rebel leader in all of Lardinia, does it Madelia?"
"I have scouts everywhere; they can't hide under Elera's energy field for much longer master" Madelia replied.
"Well then, let's hope your soldiers can survive your absence for a little longer, I will need you here for some time now: we must prepare troops for uprisals in the smaller villages if Elera is trying to start a war then we will deny her of her troops."
"But my lord there will be no one left for you to rule" Madelia pointed out.
"I have the Morgantians, ever my loyal servants, which is more than I can say for you these days; now get out of my sight I have planning to do" He yelled again.
"As you wish my lord Merdock" said Madelia walking off down the dark scolding black corridors to the grimy grand staircase all the time thinking about what Merdock had said to her and cursed under her breath at being called an apprentice in his will, as she cultivated these vivid emotions of hate and anger in her mind, she began some planning of her own.