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Search For the Dragons Eye Staff

Novel By: Kerry Lee Storm
Fantasy


would be heros join forces after being summoned by the king to fight a new evil that has risen to take over their land. View table of contents...


Chapters:

1 2

Submitted:Apr 11, 2008    Reads: 204    Comments: 1    Likes: 1   


Prolog
As the twin, suns of Narrsus crested the horizon a stranger rode into the quiet village of Nexius. He grunted as he passed through the small village, His memories went to the way the village was once bustling with activity before the Dragon Wars, now it appeared to be almost deserted even though he could feel eyes upon him as he rode down the street. The village had been slowly rebuilding for nearly twenty years, he allowed his eyes to roam over the new building and some of the original structures that remained since the end of the wars, and then his eyes caught sight of a set of stairs leading up into one of the extra large trees in the village.
"Hmmmm… still here after all these years." He urged his mount in the direction of the stairs.
A thicket of gnarled tress bracketed the stairs. "Sounds like the inn is still open after all these years." He murmured as he slowly started up the old staircase. The wood squeaked under his weight with each step he took. Upon reaching the landing, voice could be heard through the open doorway of the inn so the traveler stopped to listen in on the conversation before announcing his presence.
"Tarra, hurry up we've go to open in five minutes!" Rumbled a deep voice.
"I'm just about done Di… Did you hear what the knights were talking about last night?" A young ladies voice asked timidly.
Inside the inn Korron, the innkeeper smiled at his ward as he wiped the last of the dust off the bar. 'No, I didn't were you eavesdropping again little one?" He asked as he watched Tarra's face.
"No, of course not. I just happened to over hear bits and pieces of their conversation while waiting on other customers." Tarra said, with a gin as she finished her own clean up.
"Where is Calladoran this morning?" Korron asked.
"I believe that he is in the kitchen making bread." She replied while ringing out her rag before heading to the bar for a seat.
She watched the large man squeeze through the door leading into the kitchen as she approached the bar. Tarra sat at the bar, lost in her own thoughts, and did not hear the swinging doors squeak.
"Are you open for business?" The voice was elderly but with a vibrant strength.
Tarra jumped slightly and turned to see who had spoken. The man's face was hidden within the folds of a hooded cloak.
"Yes, Sir we are open. Please enter and have a seat. May I bring you something to drink?" She moved to a near by table and wiped it unnecessarily.
"Yes, please some ale would be good to wash down some of this road dust." The man said as he slowly passed b the first of the tables.
Tarra watched the cloaked figure move gracefully through the tavern area of the inn. As he crossed by the hearth the warm flow of the fire washed across his face. The face looked ancient like that of a wizard. When he sat down, he chose a table concealed by the shadows on the east side of the tavern's central hearth.
"Your ale Sir. Would you care for some fresh baked bread or perhaps some stew or chops?" Tarra sat his ale onto the table "Please forgive my back being toward you when you first entered."
"No young one," He chuckled "I am the one who is sorry. I did not mean to startle you. For now some bread would be wonderful." He sat watching Tarra as she headed back to the kitchen. The girls jade green eyes and fire-colored hair belied her meekness.
"I need a loaf of bread." She said while pushing the heavy kitchen door open. "Do we have any ready to serve?"
"There are a couple of loaves by the fire," Calladoran said as he placed another loaf onto the baking stone. "Help yourself."
"We have customers already?" Korron asked as he walked out of the smallest of the storerooms.
"Only one so far. I can handle things you go back to what you need to do." She grinned knowing how much Korron hated bringing in supplies. "I'll yell if I need any help." Picking up the loaf of bread, she slipped through the heavy wooden door.
The newcomer watched a grinning Tarra approach his table. "Here is your bread Sir." She sat the bread onto the table "Will there be anything else?"
"It's nice to see the young smile." He picked up his much and took a drink before speaking again. "No, this will do for now. I do have a question for you?"
"Yes Sir, I will do my best to answer your question." She looked into his eyes for the first time.
"Do you still have rooms for travelers?" He looked up and locked his silver eyes with her jade green eyes.
"Yes Sir we do. We have rooms available if you require one." Trying with all her might to break free from his gaze.
While looking into his gaze Tarra felt her soul open up, it was as though the old one was searching for something within her.
"Your eyes are beautiful. Forgive me I have kept you form your duties long enough." He bowed his head releasing Tarra from his stare.
At once, she was overwhelmed as a sensation of relief washed over her.
She shook her head trying to focus her thoughts before speaking. "I shall check on you after while. Will you be requiring a room for the night?" Her voice was shaky as she waited for his response.
"I may later on," He chuckled "For now I will sit here admiring this homey tavern." Raising his head.
"Very well." Turning away form the table Tarra headed back to the safety of the bar.
Looking up at the young ladies pale face "What troubles you child?" Korron stepped closer to his charge.
Nervously glancing over her shoulder. "It's that newcomer He give me the creeps. The way he looks at me sends chills up my spine." Taking a seat as she spoke.
"Don't let him get to you." Covering her shaking hands with his own. "You probable remind him of somebody he knew years ago or perhaps somebody he lost in the wars." Giving the girls hand a gentle squeeze.
"You may be right. Talking with you always makes me feel better." Giving Korron a halfhearted smile.
Looking over his wards shoulder at the mysterious stranger. "Why don't you go help Callodoran for awhile?" Never taking his eyes off the cloaked figure.
Standing up "That sounds like a good idea." She started around the bar. Tarra paused at the door leading into the kitchen and glanced over her shoulder at the stranger before slipping through the door and out of his sight.
The traveler watched the pretty barmaid disappear form sight, while examining the rustic beauty of the massive inn and tavern. The structure seemed to materialize out of the massive twisted tree. Each wall of the inn seemed to be apart of the tree. The newcomer could just about hear the walls talking. He sat admiring the hearth, which had been situated in the center of the inn for ultimate heat and light. The fire pit seemed to be constructed out of Dragon stone, a rare stone believe to only be found in the Fire Mountains.
"That is rare." He murmured, "Even though the fire already burns there are no scorch marks on the stones. " He sat staring at the prism reflecting off the stones.
To his astonishment, there was little evidence of a fire even burning within the confines of the hearth from the evening before. "The innkeeper has a very immaculate establishment." He thought while continuing to allow his eyes to roam around the large room.
In the kitchen, Tarra quickly started cutting vegetables for the stew. She turned to get a couple of carrots and noticed that Calladoran was gone. Placing her hands on her hips with disgust, "Where did he take off to now? If Korron walks in here and we're not about done with the mid-day meal he'll be furious." Spotting the backdoor open.
"Don't panic I will be right in." He called "I'm getting some more fire wood for the oven." Peaking his head around the corner.
"Hurry up before your father starts yelling." She chuckled.
"Can you open the wood box for me?" Stepping through the door with his arms full of firewood. "I'm about to drop this bundle."
"Yes of course." Tarra went to lift the lid of the wood box. "Do you want me to help you with that?"
"I got it under control. It will really be a big help if you hold that lid open for me."
"That's right this thing does like to snap back down." Pretending to let the lid slam down. Tarra started to snicker causing Calladoran to laugh aloud as he dropped the firewood into the box.
"What brings you into the kitchen so early today? The suns haven't even reached the mid-way point in the sky." Glancing at the early morning suns as he passé by the open door.
"I know that isn't mid-day yet, but we're slow right now." Glancing toward the door leading into the inn.
"There is something that your not telling me isn't there." He asked while preceded to the cutting block.
"There is an outlander in the tavern that gives me the creeps. The way he looks at me with those foreboding silver eyes, yet at the same time I feel drawn to him. I can't explain why." Dropping her head into her hands Tarra began to sob.
"Easy does it." Stopping his work and going over to her "You probably remind him of somebody, or maybe you have seen him when you were a child. Silver eyes would be something to remember." Wrapping one of his arms around her shoulders.
Wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. "You might be right." Smile up at her friend
"I don't buy that smile and neither do you but I know that you will be alright because you're a strong person Tarra." Smiling down at the young lady standing beside him.
Tarra finished composing herself. "I had better go check on things out front." She turned and headed for the door.
"Before you go would you take couple of loaves of bread with you?" Reaching across the counter to retrieve some spices for the stew.
"I can do that and I will let your father know that the mid-day meal will be ready soon." Taking the warm loaves from the counter next to Calladoran before heading back into the tavern. The young man watched Tarra whom he thought of as a sister slip through the door and out of sight.
"How did things go in the kitchen?" Korron asked as he reached for the bread she carried.
"Things went good. The mid-day meal will be ready shortly. Calladoran is finishing the stew and the chops are cooking."
"Good I think that our guest might be starting to get hungry. Why don't you go and check on him, before our mid-day flow of patrons start arriving." He said as he placed a stein of ale onto the bar.
Glancing toward the outlanders table. "It has been awhile since I've checked on him." Reluctantly she picked up the stein and turned toward the ancient ones table.
"We'll be busy soon little one. Just keep your chin up." The usual hard-edged voice was now caring and tender.
A side of the large man, which Tarra knew well. Turning her head to look at Korron, she could still see some of the man who had taken her in when her parents were summoned to the royal palace so many years ago.
"Korron the might warrior that is what papa always called you." Chuckling to herself trying to see the once proud and honorable warrior instead of a bitter innkeeper who now stood before her eyes.
"Are you growing roots? You have been rooted in that spot for three minutes. Get moving before our customer has to serve himself." Bellowed his deep voice when he turned and saw Tarra standing in the same spot.
"I'm going, there's no need to yell." Smiling at her aging guardian with a sparkle in her jade eyes.
Slowly she walked toward the travelers table, when she was close enough "Are you doing alright Sir?" She asked in her friendliest voice.
He jumped slightly as though Tarra had jarred him awake form a dream. "I am doing alright except I could use some more of that wonderful ale and perhaps some more bread if that would be possible."
Picking up his empty mug and replacing it with a fresh stein of ale. "Here you go Sir and I shall return with some bread in a few moments." She turned to depart from his table before speaking again. "Forgive me if I startled you when I approached Sir."
"Do not trouble yourself with startling me child. I was merely lost in thought." Raising his head to look at the young woman with his cold silver eyes.
Turning her head to look at the man who remained concealed within the shadows of his cloak. "I will return shortly with another loaf of bread." She left the area of his table as fast as her legs could carry her.
He sat watching the timid young woman. "There is a great power within you. I have sensed it and yet it is raw and untamed." He chuckled softly and did not hear Tarra approaching his table.
"Here is your bread Sir." Placing the warm bread and small cutting board onto the table. Then she retrieved the one she had placed on the table shortly after the outlander had arrived. "Is there anything else that you require Sir?" Tarra held her breath hoping that he did not require anything else.
"Not at this time. I am expecting four companions; they should arrive after the rise of the moons." He watching the young lady stiffen up.
"I may not notice your associates we get very busy near moon rise Sir." Hoping that her statement would end their conversation.
As she turned to depart form the travelers table, he reached outland caught hold of her hand with one of his cold boney hands to stop her from leaving. "You will notice these men my dear, they shall all be cloaked in heavy dark cloaks such as mine." Looking once more into her beautiful eyes.
Glancing down at the old yet strong hand, which held her firmly in place. Trying to avoid the mans piercing eyes, but for a fleeting moment their gaze seemed eternally locked.
"I will do my best Sir." Bowing her head thankful to have the opportunity to look away form the man.
Relinquishing his hold on her hand. "They shall require rooms for the night."
"I shall prepare a could of rooms for your friends." Tarra avoided the mans eyes while she spoke. This seemed to amuse the stranger, because a frigid grin started to appear. A grin, which chilled her to the bone.
Tarra quickly headed for the bar to let Korron know about the guest the stranger was expecting.
"How is our guest doing?" Korron asked as he cleaned up some ale that he had spilled.
"He is doing well. He said that he shall require two rooms after the suns go down." Taking a damp rag out of a bucket near the bar, Tarra started helping clean up the mess.
"Why don't you go upstairs and get a couple of rooms ready." Stopping his work to look at his ward. "I can handle things down here for a bit." Giving her a tender smile.
"I won't be long. There shouldn't be much to do in the rooms they were all cleaned yester-morning." Trying to avoid her friend and protectors eyes. "I can't let him see how upset this outlander has gotten me." She reached over the bar for the master key avoiding Korron's gaze.
"We still have sometime before the mid-day rush, so there is no need to hurry on preparing the rooms." Dropping his gaze and returning to his work, 'I can't push her for answers when she is ready I am sure that she will talk to me about whatever is troubling her so much. What power does this stranger have over you my sweet Tara?' Korron asked himself while trying to keep the concern out of his eyes for the young lady who was in his charge.
The stranger watched Tara depart form the bar, once she reached the far corner of the tavern she unlocked a doorway which he believe lead up the back stairway to the bedchambers above. Tara used the master key to unlock the hidden doorway, while he sat and watched the fiery redhead the outlander reached into his cloak and withdrew a piece of parchment, a peacock feather, and an ink well form on of the many hidden pockets within his cloak.
"The time has come for you to remember the day your parents left you in Korron's care." He thought as he dipped the peacock feather into the ink well.
Korron stood watching the stranger as he began to write, "He is probable a storyteller." He dismissed the man form his thoughts and returned to his work preparing for the mid-day lunch.
The outlander closed his eyes and began speaking softly in a bizarre language as he uttered his eccentric words he began to fold parchment. Once he was finished he threw it into the hearth and watched it erupt in a flash leaving no evidence that it was ever in the hearth.
"Now my child you shall remember what you have suppressed all of these years."
Upstairs Tarra busied herself putting clean linens on bed of the two beds in the first bedchamber.
"There one down and three more to do before the rooms are ready for guests."
All at once, she felt lightheaded and dizzy, and then nothing the whole room went dark. Tarra felt as though she was falling through space and time only to awaken in what seemed like a dream.
"Tarra, come over here for a moment."
"Yes, mama." A bright eyes little girl skipped toward her mother.
"You, know that papa and I have to go away form awhile." Taking hold of her daughter's hand.
"Yes, mama." Looking into her mother's sad eyes trying to see what her mother was feeling.
"I want you to promise me something and it is very important Tara." Tears started to swell in her eyes
"What is it mama. I have already promised to be good and listen to Korron." Turning her head to look at the muscular man speaking with her papa.
Reaching up and touching Tarra's cheek. "There is something more important that I need you to promise me." Holding onto her daughters hands firmly. "Vow to me that you won't use your gift while we are gone. You know what could happen if you do."
"Something bad could happen if I were to use my gift." Letting go of her mother's hand "I swear that I won't use my gift." Wrapping her tiny arms around her mother's neck.
Lowlana, held her little girl tightly trying to hold back the tears that were starting to stream down her cheeks. "I know you will sweetheart."
"Mama, don't cry we will be together again." Wiping away her mothers tears.
The memory started to fade as Tarra started to come too. "I must have fainted." She thought as she held her head to stop the room form spinning and tried to sit up.
"Tarra hurry up child, our customers are getting impatient." Bellowed Korron's worried voice form the bottom of the stairs.
"Two more minutes." Forcing herself to stand up and quickly finish the bedchambers. "I'm on my."
She double-checked the room before closing the door and heading to the stairs. Once she reached the stairs Tarra composed herself so that Korron would not notice that she was even more rattled then before she went upstairs.
"I had better hurry and get downstairs." She quickened her pace. "How long was I unconscious and what caused me to black out like that? I have never fainted like that before." Emerging from the stairs Tarra observed just how crowded the inn had gotten.
The mid-day regulars had started pouring in. Quickly she pushed her own troubles out of her mind and commenced waiting on patrons. She approached the bar still feeling unclean and a bit dizzy.
"Are you feeling alright Tarra, your looking a bit pale?" Korron asked as he placed six steins of ale onto her tray and looking into her usual bright and cheerful eyes.
"I'm fine just hot and tired." She replied cheerfully. "It's pretty warm upstairs so I had to fight with a couple of windows to get some fresh air into the rooms and to help get rid of the stale air that filled them." She giggled.
"We should slow down for awhile when they return to work." Nodding toward the merchants who occupied the large corner table.
"That won't be for awhile, looks like they plan on staying at least a couple of hours." Tarra watched as the men who sold their trinkets in the marketplace lean back in their chairs and start telling stories to each other.
"Well once they leave, it should calm down until twilight." Korron said as he filled another stein of ale for a patron standing at the bar.
As she turned and started toward the table of merchants her thoughts turned toward the knowledge that once things slowed down a bit, she would have to check on the outlander and see if he needed anything. This thought sent a shiver up her spine almost causing her to drop the tray of ale she was carrying.
"Tarra, could you please add some wood to the hearth? The fire is starting to die down to much." Korron asked of his ward as she returned to the bar.
"Right away Korron." Tarra quickly went to get some fire wood to add to the dwindling fire within the hearth. After placing the wood onto the fire, Tarra stroked the flames to ignite the new wood.
The newcomer watched Tarra tend to the hearth
"Are you warm enough Sir?" She asked of the outlander while she tended the hearth.
"Yes, thank you for asking. There seems to be a nip in the mid-day air. Perhaps there is a storm approaching on the winds." He replied while watching the fresh embers flare up.
"Yes, Sir I agree with you there does seem to be a storm approaching, it could be rain or even snow. Winter has not totally passed us by as of yet." Looking once more into the hearth doing her best to avoid the outlanders silver eyes.
"You seem distracted, are you feeling alright?" The old one asked in a very concerned voice.
Smiling warmly, "I am alright Sir it' is very kind of you to ask." She turned her head to give him a friendly smile
The moment Tarra's eyes meet the outlanders his gaze locked with hers and she felt herself being taken back to the day her parents left her with Korron once again.
'While speaking with her mother, Tarra saw Korron speaking with her papa and ever once in awhile both men would turn and look over at the young girl.
"Mama, what is papa doing?" she asked as she looked toward her papa.
"They are just talking child. Come let's go over to your papa and Korron." Reaching out to take Tarra's hand into her own.
Tarra's head began to spin as her thoughts rushed back to the present at an alarming speed.
Blinking her eyes trying to focus her eyes and mind. "What just happened?" Trying to regain her composer
Dropping his gaze, "I am not sure my dear. Are you feeling alright?" A hint of sarcasm crept into his voice.
Fighting to control her temper. "Excuse me but I have work to do Sir!" She snapped.
The usually timid barmaid turned on her heels and marched off with her fist clutched at her sides. The old one watched her walk off; her eyes seemed to burn with rage.
She headed toward the bar. "Why am I so mad?" Running one of her hands through her long red hair.
"How many ales do you need? Korron asked as he reached four empty steins.
Tarra quickly looked around the tavern and noticed that it was starting to fill up with the twilight crowd. "I need for jugs of ale and four glass of wine for the Elves who have just arrived."
"Need any thing from the kitchen?" He placed the drinks upon her tray as he spoke.
"I don't know yet, haven't gotten over there yet to see if they are hungry or just wanting something to drink. Those clouds are starting to look like storm clouds; I think we are going to be in for a major storm tonight. Calladoron might want to put on some more stew and perhaps add some mutton also, we might get a larger crowd then normal if this storm hits us early enough."
Korron glanced out the large window, "Here are your drinks Tarra and I will go and speak with Calladoron know about the extra food that we might need tonight." Slipping off to go speak with his son in the kitchen, "How did Tarra know that we had an approaching storm, those clouds look as though they might by pass us completely?" Korron though to himself, as he entered the kitchen to speak with Calladoron about the twilight meal and the need for perhaps some extra food.
Tarra cleared her mind pushing thoughts of the outlander totally away from her conscious thoughts. "Ok girl it's time for a friendly smile." She told herself as she picked up her drink tray and went about serving some of the regular patrons.
After serving the drinks that she carried on her tray, Tarra quickly sat about waiting on regular patrons and travelers who had come to the inn for a hot meal and something to wash down the road dust that had settled in their throats. She was waiting on a large table of Elves when a sudden gust of wind swept through the tavern. The cold air drew her attention toward the door, which stood open but to her surprise, there was nobody standing in the open doorway. Only a cold wind flowing through the inn causing the flames in the hearth to cast an eerie light on the walls and the faces of the patrons who had turned to see where the air and come form.




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