REVISED Nomorims…


I reformatted it a bit, and moved some pieces around. So here is more of Jeb and Kars:

“Where’s your Nomorim?”

He fiddled with the middle finger on his left hand. “Safe.” He said shortly.

She glanced at his hand, but there was nothing there. “Okay.” She rolled her eyes. “No need to be so defensive.” She muttered under her breath. He still heard her.

“Where’s yours?” he asked pointedly.

“Safe.” She responded in the same tone. Jeb merely smiled and they continued to walk side by side looking over the expanse of the nothingness before them once again silent.

***

She looked down and gulped. The villagers had been following for at least three hours, trying to get their hands on the thieves. Jeb had spotted a village that night and decided that they had both been hungry for quite long enough. They had traveled for two days with no food, and while Karstrel was getting used to that empty feeling in her stomach, Jeb had not.

“I’m sick of being hungry.” He insisted. And so they had stopped in the village and Kars had waited rather anxiously for Jeb to come back. The gnawing in her stomach had been aggravated  by worry and regret. By the time he reappeared she was almost in a state of panic.

“What took you so long?” she demanded.

“It’s not as easy as it looks!” he protested sending a furtive glance behind him. “Let’s get out of here.”

So, picking up the two bags full of food which he had acquired they had left. However, it had not been long before they heard the tromping of boots and yells of men from behind them. Jeb’s mouth had been stuffed food of some sort of meat, while she had been nibbling delicately at a pastry. When they heard the noise, they glanced at each other, then started to run. Kars grabbed a bag from Jeb and they sprinted along the path in the forest. It was Jeb who had noticed their uphill climb first.

“Is it just me or are we getting higher?”

“I think we are.”

They both paused, huffing, and looked up. They had somehow made it to the base of the mountains.

“How did we make it here?” she mused. The sounds of their pursuers grew louder and Jeb grabbed her hand.

“I don’t care, but there’s probably some sort of shelter or hiding spot up there, so let’s go.” So she had run with him, getting pulled along up the mountain. The wider path had dissolved into a sort of goat path, not fit for humans to traverse, but they were making it. The villagers had stubbornly followed them for a while, but the sounds were now getting fainter.

“I think…we can…rest now.” Kars said to Jeb.

“Yeah…” And he dropped her hand.

They both sat, catching their breath, straining their ears to hear if they were being followed. No noise availed them, and relief slumped Karstrel’s shoulders.

“We should cross a body of water, of some sort, just in case.” Jeb inserted, but didn’t move to look around. They both looked at the bags of food that they had carried and grinned a bit.

“We are officially, successful thieves.” Kars smiled.

“Not exactly successful, but close.”

“We should eat some of our spoils.”

“Agreed.”

They set up camp for the night, ate their fill and slept, till dawn crept on the horizon.

***

Well, faithful readers, I have no clue what happens to these two next. If you have any awesome ideas about something exciting that could happen, let me know! Here’s Peebles and Korle. More will come with them soon:

“Hang on.” He crouched and leaped into the sky. She quickly grasped his wings, the feathers slipping through her hands. She screamed as his wings spread and stroked powerfully through the air. WIth every stroke Peebs took them away from the ground. If Korle had looked down she would have seen Ami watching them fly away.

“Well played, brother.” He muttered. “We’ll meet again soon.” And he was gone.

Korle didn’t see that because she was quickly sliding off the back of the mythical animal.

“Peebs. PEEBS!” She shrieked as she fell off his back. She tried to grab on to something, but was completely unable to and found air under her and felt herself fall. Instead of falling to her death, as she immediately assumed she would, she was caught by something and swung through the clouds.

“PEEBLES!”

“Hold on.” He sounded as though he were struggling with something. She swung backwards and found herself under him. Then she was flying back out again and thrown up high. She let out a shrill scream as she came back down, but then she hit something and it knocked the breath out of her. Her eyes registered that she was once again under the griffin and she immediately shut them.

“Sorry about that.” Peebs said. Somehow she continued to hear him, despite their altitude.

“Just tell me when we’ve landed.” She muttered and clung tightly to his back, unwilling to relive the terror that she had just experienced to the remotest degree.

“The view is great.”  He said after a while. She then realized that she was hearing his voice in her head, he wasn’t speaking out loud.

“How do you do that?” she asked, her eyes still shut.

“Wizard thing.”

“Oh.”

“You really should take a look.”

“No.”

“You won’t fall this time. Promise.”

Cringing, she cracked open her eyelids, just a little and ended up opening them all the way.

“Wow.” Before her was a spectacular sunset, full of reds, purples, oranges, and other colors that she couldn’t even name. She looked down and saw a village that looked like a toy, so small and fragile looking. She noted that there were no people and then saw two rows of men march through.

She frowned. “Is it always like that?”

“Yes. It was the same where you were, but hidden better. They don’t like to upset the nobles.”

“Why?”

“They have power, respect and money. Rebellious insurrections would become lawful revolutions if lead by a person of noble breeding.”

“Oh.”

“People only see what they want to see.”

Korle couldn’t argue. Sh’ed seen it and experienced it herself.

They soared for a while as Korle drank in the view. She saw mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, forests, villages, and castles, all made romantic by the dimming light.

“Where are we going?” she finally asked.

“Circling, making sure we lost him. We’ll land in a minute.”

She bit her lip, remembering their earlier encounter. She had forgotten her worries in the face of the beauty before her.

“Just a precaution.”

Suddenly she smiled and then broke into laughter.

“What?”

“I realized, that despite the bad circumstances, this is the longest conversation we’ve ever had. I didn’t know you were so talkative.” She teased.

If griffins could blush, he would have been.

***

I know that’s not a lot, but let me know what you think!

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The REVISED Nomorims…more of it anyway


Here’s is another part. For those of you who actually read it 😉 enjoy! And as always, I appreciate feedback, positive, negative, or otherwise…

A while later they ate the charred stew and banked the fire. Kars stretched out and tried to sleep, though she had never slept on the ground before and she found horribly uncomfortable. Eventually, however, she fell into a rough and troubled sleep.

The next morning she was woken by a rough hand at her shoulder, shaking incessantly.

“Jackie, go away.” She demanded sleepily but imperiously nonetheless.

“Not Jackie. Whoever that is.” It was a man’s voice, one that had floated through her dreams. Gently, her eyelids fluttered open and she found herself staring into a youthful face, floppy black hair falling into his eyes.

“Wake up.” He said. “We’ve got to get moving.”

Awareness returned to her then and she sat up quickly, moaning as her back complained loudly against the long night on the ground.

“Where exactly are we going?” She asked.

He had turned away to mess with some of the twigs by the fireplace but now turned back toward her.

“Depends on you. We can travel together, and help each other along the way, as we seem to be pursued by the same person-well people. Or we can go our separate ways. And probably get caught. I don’t want to continue…following someone who refuses my expertise.”

“Expertise? In what? Horrible shelter making?”

“At least I can make one.” He responded calmly. “What’s it to be?”

Karstrel weighed the options and decided that she would probably be safer with this homeless looking man. He had saved her life twice already and would probably come in handy later.

“All right. Let’s go together. But where exactly will we go?”

“West. I’ve heard of a woman who can see things that others can’t. I want to see her, so that maybe we can figure out where to go.”

“Where is this woman?” She demanded suspiciously.

“I have to see a man, to find out where exactly she is, but I’m pretty sure that she’s out by Wiza.”

“Wiza?” Karstrel’s incredulous look had him doubting himself not for the first time.

“I know it’s far, but I think we’ll make it.”

“Jeb, Wiza is on the other side of the continent.”

“I know.”

He began to disassemble the make-shift shelter. In short order he was done and Kars was still staring at him.

“Well. Are you ready?”

“I guess so.” She replied weakly. She wasn’t really, but did she have a choice? Where was she planning to go? They couldn’t be on the run forever, and this woman might be able to help.

“Pack.” He reminded her, pointing.

“Oh, right.” She grabbed it and they started their trek once more.

They continued their journey in silence for quite sometime before Kars finally thought of a question that wasn’t intrusive or rude.

“How did you find me? And heal me? You know back when Ami demolished me…” She trailed off as he looked at her quizzically.

“I was running myself and just happened across you lying there. It seemed bad form to leave you so I set about to make you better. Whoever you were with left you for dead. You had a broken spine, cracked ribs, a broken leg, fractured wrist, and a serious concussion.”

Kars shivered. “Thank you.” She murmured.

Mirth entered his voice. “Your welcome.”

“The governor drugged you?” she asked, uncharacteristically eager to get the subject off of her gruesome injuries.

“Well, his henchmen, yes.”

“Where’s your Nomorim?”

He fiddled with the middle finger on his left hand. “Safe.” He said shortly.

She glanced at his hand, but there was nothing there. “Okay.” She rolled her eyes. “No need to be so defensive.” She muttered under her breath. He still heard her.

“Where’s yours?” he asked pointedly.

“Safe.” She responded in the same tone. Jeb merely smiled and they continued to walk side by side looking over the expanse of the nothingness before them once again silent.

***

Korle was exhausted. After two hours she was still sitting in the tornado. Currently she was sitting on the ground, watching the wind swirl around her.

“Anytime you want to stop, feel free.” She said tot the mass around her. She had eaten half her loaf of bread, drunk almost all of her water. She wasn’t sure what would happen if she ran out. SHe had wandered about looking for Peebs, but there was no sign of panther or man. She realized that the mode of her transportation was a little off-putting to any living thing. They were all afraid of dying in the ridiculously strong winds that surrounded her. She knew it must seem strange- a tornado standing still in the middle of a clearing. The wind was creating a hole in the ground. It was getting quite deep and she knew she should move, but she was tired of being inside of the twister and wanted to figure out how to get out of it. SO she sat and tried to use her stone against it,  tried to will it to stop, but it didn’t work. Her ears were ringing with the sound of the wind. And the she heard a different sound, or she thought she did. But she ignored it, passing it off as her imagination. It came to more times before it registered that the noise might be coming from the outside. She stood up and looked out the small window she had created and saw a large black cat, yowling form a fairly good distance away.

“Peebles!” she cried, delighted to see him still alive.

“Korle.” The voice came over the noise. “What have you done?” He sounded annoyed, as much as he could anyway.

“I had to get away from Amikol.” She tried to yell, so she could be heard but knew that it was futile.

“Calm down, I can hear you.” Peebs tone seemed more amused now. “Tell it to stop.”

“You don’t think I’ve tried that already? It won’t stop!”

“Hmm…Interesting. A moment.”

“Sure.” Korle mumbled. “Got all the time in the world.”

She heard a small smirk in response to that.

After a moment Peebles spoke again, “It is a thing of nature, I think it cannot simply dissolve. You must give it a direction and send it on without you.”

Korle paused for a moment. “Won’t it destroy and kill more stuff?’

“Probably, but I don’t think there is another way to get rid of it.”

She sighed. “Okay.” She focused on the Nomorim and picked a direction away from Peebles and told the tornado to GO! She felt the wind sweep over her-tugging at her to join it. Fortunately, she was sick of wind.

Not now. She told it  Later. And it glided away, wreaking destruction and havoc.

She nearly wept with joy at the sight of it leaving. Peebles had shifted to his human form and approached her.

“How long have you been in that?” his mouth was stern, but his eyes twinkled with mirth.

“A couple of hours.” She said with a sigh. “I can’t believe I didn’t figure that out.”

“I almost didn’t know.” Peebs said. “I realized that he weather had changed, though and it seemed the thing to do.”

She laughed. “I ‘m just glad that’s over!” then she looked at him for the first time. HIs eyes had dark circles under them. His hair was disheveled. His clothes were torn and unkempt and bloody. Through the tears of the fabric she saw gashes and wounds.

“You’re hurt!” she gasped.

He shrugged a little. “I can heal it in a while.”

“You’ll lost too much blood!” she grabbed her pack. She ha d lost a few things in the wind, but her extra set of clothing that she had stuffed in there shortly before they had left was till there. She began to strip up the dress and turned back toward Peebs.

“Take off your shirt.” She struggled to make another tear in the dress.

“Let me.” Peebs held out a hand for the garment. She looked at him then handed it over, a rebellious glint in her eye. Peebs tore the rest of the strips easily.

“You will probably want to clean up a bit when you’re done.” He said with a smile. Then, “I need help.” Gesturing toward his shirt. She circled to the back of him and gently pulled his shirt upward. She gasped as she saw the wounds. Peebs shut his eyes and hissed in pain. Korle continued to pull of the shirt, but the look of horror never came off her face. Peebles back was one big, bloody scab.

“What happened?” She whispered.

“Ami had a little fun.” The pain and betrayal in his voice almost broke her heart. “He threw me against your tree.”

She winced, holding the shirt off the partially sealed wounds. “You need to lift your arms.”

He looked to the right, to be heard. “I don’t think I can.” His voice seemed softer than usual.

She suck her breath in. “Okay.” She muttered. She looked to both sides of him, trying to figure it out.

“Um…can you bend down? With your knees?”

“I don’t know.”

“Can you try?”

Slowly he bent down and she gently lifted it over his head. He held his breath through the whole ordeal, keeping back the screams of pain.

Then it was off and opened his eyes gently. Korle glanced around.

“I think that we could use some herbs or something-” Peebs held up a hand, cutting her off. Some ways off he heard the tell tale signs of his brother, coming closer.

“No time, Ami’s coming. Bind me up quickly.”

Korle fumbled with the strips she had made, and began wrapping them around him tightly.

“Let me know if I tie them too tightly.” She murmured. Peebs was surprised; she worked fast. A little bit later she was done. He motioned for silence again.

Korle held her breath.

“He’s getting closer.” Peebs whispered. “He’s gonna find the path of your tornado soon.”

:But he ran from it.” She looked up at him. “He ran from my tornado.”

“But he know you’re not in it now.”

“How?”

“He probably saw it, and saw that you were no longer in it.”

“How did this happen? What happened to him?” tears, that she refused to let free, gathered unbidden in her eyes. “Why are we running from someone who is supposed to be good?”

“I don’t know, but I intend to find out.” He looked at Korle. “Come on, we gotta get out of here.” He took a step away.

“How? He’s too fast, we won’t make I.t”

“We’ll take to the skies.” He morphed into a creature she’d only read about. She gasped staring. Before her stood a magnificent animal. The head was that of an eagle, a beautiful, red feathered eagle. The feathers glinted in the last of the sunlight. The body was that of a lion, broad and strong. From out of the back of the lion sprouted two magnificent wings with the same glorious red-orange feathers. (ENTER DESCRIPTION OF THE REST OF HIM! HE’S MAJESTIC!)

“Oh wow.” She murmured as she drew closer. Then she saw the muted gashes on his back. She drew back.

“I can’t Peebs. Your back.”

“Get on.” She heard the voice in her head. “He’s here.”

She glanced around in surprise, looked back at Peebs, winced and walked up to his back.

“Umm…”

“Behind the wings. Hurry.” She quickly slid, grimacing, where she was told, knowing she was hurting him.

“Sorry.” She whispered.

“Hang on.” He crouched and leaped into the sky. She quickly grasped his wings, the feathers slipping through her hands. She screamed as his wings spread and stroked powerfully through the air. WIth every stroke Peebs took them away from the ground. If Korle had looked down she would have seen Ami watching them fly away.

“Well played, brother.” He muttered. “We’ll meet again soon.” And he was gone.

***

Yet another part of the REVISED Nomorims…


I am a crazy person. Here’s the second update in two days for this story…*wipes fevered brow* I’ve been typing like a maniac. Karstrel’s part is new. I came up with it as I was typing because I got a little tired of the wilderness and nobody else but my little gang. Some greedy villagers seemed like the thing to do. Plus now they have a real enemy, not just Amikol coming to kill them all, but the Governor/ess on their tail with an army to tear them limb from limb. I’m exaggerating. A little. I also made Jeb less of a nancy and more of an…well donkey-like person 😉 I feel so powerful and evil. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Okay, now back to our irregularly schedule mania fest…

Korle ran as quickly as she could, her brain was turned off to anything but the one thought: Get away, faster! Keep running. This thought circled through her mind. There was no warning, he just appeared in her path. She stopped short fear washing over her.

“Give me the stone Korle.”

“Where’s Peebs?” She longed to look behind her, but feared that AMikol would strike if she did.

“Dead. Or he will be soon.”

She swallowed and took a deep breath, ignoring the tears that threatened to pour over. “Why are you doing this?”

“To keep them safe.”

“They would have been safe.” She said. “Why did you take us out here?” her mind started up again.

Ami chuckled. “Just give it to me.”

“What happened to you?” She saw the madness in his gaze and feared it.

He sauntered toward, as a lion to prey. WIth every step he took more panic entered her. And as the terror crept into her heart, the wind picked up. It got stronger and she heard a whisper. RUN. And so, without hesitation, she turned to run and saw that the clouds had darkened and a small smile crossed her face. That second of realization was all it took for Ami to be in her way again.

“You can’t escape.”

“Perhaps not, but I’ve been practicing a few tricks.” She grasped her gem in a vice grip, concentrating. A second later a tornado ripped from the sky, landing loudly behind her. Amikol stood, completely in awe for one moment. Korle turned and ran straight into the center of it. THe twister was already pick up stones, dirt and trees. AMi weighed the option of going in after her, but feeling the wind tug at him, pulling him to death, he turned away and was instantly gone.

Korle let go of her pent-up breath. She turned and walked, int the center of the tornado, back toward Ami. The first few steps startled her as the whirling wind moved with her and she went farther than ordinary steps would have taken her. However, after a bit she loved it. It gave her power, something she had never experienced before. She quickly arrived at the site of Ami and Peebs little battle. Her heart was gripped in fear. What if Ami had come back to finish Peebles off? For before her eyes was an empty stretch of land, no panther or man in sight. She grabbed her stone and tried to stop the tornado. Unfortunately, nothing happened. She concentrated a little harder. Nothing happened. The force of the wind was tearing up the plants and pulling up all the trees. She started to get worried. This was out of control.

***

When Karstrel awoke she found herself on a rather uncomfortable bed, with aches and pains all over her, but of a rather more agreeable nature then when she had last been awake. She opened her eyes the moment awareness hit her and looked around her surroundings. She appeared to be in a small hut made of some sort of mud substance. She grimaced at the stench as she slowly, so as not to become dizzy, sat up.

“Where am I?” Her voice was more of a croak then a melodious noise and she was appalled at the state of her once gorgeous dress.

“You awake then?” Came a voice from outside her small room. The door opened and a rather robust lady came in carrying a bowl of something that made Kars’s mouth water.

“Ah, I can see that you are.” Her voice was low and had a rough timber that likened her to Karstrel immediately. Kars nodded not trusting her own croak until she’d had some water.

“I expect that you’ll be wanting something a bit more refined than this stew, but I figur’d that you ought to get some good food in ya a‘fore you continue y’ur journey.”

Kars nodded again, thinking that she’d sell her own soul to eat whatever it was in the kind lady’s hands. The bowl was put on a little table beside the bed, where a jug and cup was waiting as well. Karstrel looked expectantly at the woman, expecting her to pour the water.

“If you be needing anything else, just holler. My husband and I’ll come as soon as we can.” And the door was shut again.

Karstrel swung her feet off the bed and noticed that they were bare. Then she gasped as she realized that her precious stone, was gone. She quickly searched her person, but it was no where to be found. She remembered holding it as she passed out on the forest floor. Her new hosts must have it, along with her pack.  She had a sense of loss, almost as if she had lost a hand or foot. She stood up, a little dizzily, determined to get it back when her stomach rumbled, reminding her that she hadn’t eaten since they left the snug little cottage.

And how long ago was that? She grabbed the bowl and dug in as lady-like as possible under the circumstances. She poured herself a cup of water and gulped it down, then another, then a third. When she had finally quenched her thirst and felt as though she was full for the first time in days. She opened the door and took a tentative step outside of her small room. She walked down the hallway and entered a rather large room. As she looked about she realized that this was a bedroom, which made her own temporary space look like a closet of some sort. The bed looked much comfier than the one she had lain on and the whole room was well-lit by a cozy fire in the fireplace. She quickly walked toward the door of this room and walked into another room. This room had a blazing fire in the middle where a pig roast on a spit. The pig was manned by a boy of about twelve or so, who spotted Kars immediately and yelled, “MUM! GIRL’S AWAKE!”

Karstrel pulled herself up to her full height, outraged at being called a “girl,” but had no time to speak. The older lady from earlier bustled out of what looked to be a kitchen of some sort, carrying a rolling pin covered in flour.

“Oh, no. Back to bed missy. Gather y’ur strength. You’ll need it for wherever it was that you were ‘eading to.”

“I will momentarily. I would like to know where my belongings are. It’s very important that I have them.” She was instantly scared of this bulky woman, who, in that moment, looked like she would like to brain the dainty lady with the pin in her hand.

Your belongings? Ha!” The woman chuckled for a moment. “Think it doesn’t cost money to take care o’ you? We had to look after ya for three days and make sure that you were alive! That’s one child that canna go out and work on the farm. That’s money from our pockets. We took ‘your’ belongings as payment. Not as if ya didn’t steal it anyways…” the woman trailed off as she looked into eyes the color of steel.

Karstrel glared at the woman, horrified that anyone would treat her in such a fashion.

“I beg your pardon, but I did not ASK you to help me in any way. I am grateful that you took me in and nursed me back to health, but stealing my things is unacceptable. I will have them now, ALL of them mind you, and be on my way immediately.”

The glare of death may have frightened her a bit, but the woman didn’t back down.

“It was money and resources from OUR pockets that kept you alive! You should be grateful that y’ur here at all! If it weren’t for my Thomas you’d have been dead or worse!”

“What, pray tell madame, could possibly be worse than death?” was the cold response. “I suppose if I had died, you still would have stolen my things and acted like no more than the lowly scavengers you are.” Her entire manner was like frost; the iciness descended on the house like a plague and swept over everyone. A strange, harsh, steel-like humming filled the air and unnerved the boy and the woman. The boy felt a chill go down his spine and slipped out an entrance on the side.

“We need some form of payment for our time and energy.” The woman insisted, though she was now incredibly pale.

“Give me. My things. NOW.” It was an order, with a threat that would imminently be delivered should it not be obeyed.

“What of my lil ones? We canna have them starve!” Her voice was many octaves higher now.

“It does not look as if they will go hungry.” This was said through gritted teeth with a meaningful look at the roasting boar. Kars was beginning to lose her patience rapidly.

“Well…” the woman glanced at the pig then back at the terrifying young woman before her. She hastily made her decision and went back into the kitchen, returning with Karstrel’s pack. As it returned to her hands the anxiety that had been resting in her gut lessened a little, but as she searched through it and found no signs of her valuable rock, it returned.

“Where is my stone?” She tried not to let her apprehension seep through her voice.

“I dunno what y’ur talkin ‘bout.” The woman  was clearly lying, but held fast to her position.

“I need that.” Kars’s voice went up octaves, and the humming got louder.

“I dunno what stone you be wantin’!” the woman practically shrieked as Kars took steps closer.

“Yes, you do. Give me. My stone. Now.” This time her voice got lower, softer, but it sounded far more dangerous.

The woman was practically in tears. “All right! All right!” She rummaged through her person until she finally pulled out a small blue stone and held it out in trembling hands. “Take it! Please!”

When it was in Karstrel’s hand again, a sense of peace washed over her. She closed her eyes and swayed in relief.

“WITCH!” the woman shrieked and ran out of the fire room. Kars’s eyes snapped open as the door to the small cottage shut. She shoved her stone into the secret pocket in her pack, shouldered it, and ran out the side door the boy had gone out. She saw the shelter of the woods and ran in that direction, hearing the sound of pursuers behind her. She reached the trees and turned as an arrow swooshed by her. She turned, eyes wide and saw that her attackers were all men, armed with various farmer’s weapons; pitchforks, picks, shovels, knives, and two men with bows and arrows. The young boy was leading them. Kars screamed and carried herself further into the forest. As she ran she began to look for shelter of some sort. A tree with low branches or little valley would do the trick, but there were none. Then she felt a hand grab her and she opened her mouth to scream again, but the sound was muffled, by another hand. She tried to look down, but couldn’t see a thing but the forest floor and the trees ahead of her.

“Do not make a single sound.” Warned a rough voice in her ear. “If they hear you, we are dead.”

She nodded slowly in reply, unwilling to breath lest they be heard. The hand was removed and Kars stood paralyzed as the men from the village ran past the spot where they were hiding. They stopped a ways ahead of her and began to mumble, unbelieving and looking around.

“Check the trees!” yelled one man and they all began to look up and down, spreading out throughout the green.

“Come on.” The rough voice spoke again and dragged her backwards a bit. She stumbled and nearly fell, but was caught by her unknown benefactor.

“Careful.” They took steps backward slowly until they were a good distance away from the men who continued to search. Kars turned to thank the person, but saw no one. His hand was still on her arm, and she was alarmed to find that when she looked down at herself, she saw nothing there.

“What on-” her statement was cut off by that hand again.

“Do you want to get us killed?” he whispered. “Don’t talk!”

“Mmmhm mmmmm!” She whispered against his hand.

“No noise.” He whispered again, serious. “We have to keep going farther until we can really talk. Come on.” And this time he dragged her forward, releasing her mouth. However, she was unable to talk because she could barely keep up with him. It took her a moment to gain her balance behind the invisible man and after she did, she remained breathless as he loped off into a run of spectacular speed. The speed was made remarkable because he did not slow down as she ran behind him, but merely dragged her if she stumbled and went a bit faster when she finally gained her footing. He did not stop once, but sprinted for about fifteen minutes before allowing her first break. Jerkily, he let go of her. She fell straight down on her face, breathing heavily, her face coated in tears. It took her several minutes to catch her breath.

When she finally did she asked, “Who are you?”

The question remained unanswered, because as soon as he assessed that she was ready, he grabbed her hand again and began to sprint, dragging her behind him once more.

“Please…stop…” She begged, but was ignored. Her trip with Amikol had been bad, because he had used the stone and gone speeds that no human had gone before, but she hadn’t realized how easy that trip had been made because of the magic. They continued on for another fifteen minutes or so then he let go, permitting her to fall to the ground again. This time she scraped her hands as she hit the gravel. When she looked up through her water-logged eyes she realized they were by a river.

“Might…I…drink…some…water?” She spoke through heavy breathing as her body forced the oxygen in. The trip had made her throat raw.

“Quickly.” Was the short answer. She looked about for where her dictator stood, but did not see him anywhere.

She stumbled down to the bank in a state of perplexity. Where was this man who seemed to think that dragging her through these woods made good sport? She drank the water greedily, unable to restrict herself to the decorum that was usually required in such situations. Once she’d had her fill, she turned and stared directly into fierce green eyes.

“What do you think you were doing in there?” Asked the young man before her.

For a moment she was rendered speechless. She stood staring at a rather short man with longish black hair. His looks would have been charming, but for the wickedly nasty expression that marked his face. There was also a scar that looked fresh that covered the left side of his neck. Her bewilderment must have shown because the man took a step closer and repeated his question.

“What do you think you were doing in that house?”

“Wha-What?” She replied, shaking herself out of her revery. “I was…I was…” What had she been doing? “I was getting my things. And leaving. That’s all.

“You used your stone! You might as well have shrieked your location to the rebels and to anyone else who is looking for the lost Nomorims! They’ll have heard about these ‘strange occurrences’ by nightfall and be scouring these woods by morning!”

“What are you talking about?” She replied, her pride reappearing with a vengeance. “I didn’t use my stone, not on purpose! I can’t help it sometimes! And who do you think you are to yell at me and criticize me for what happened in there! It’s not like you were much help.” She shivered, and looking down realized that her dress was in tatters, the bottom half of the skirt had been completely torn away.

“I did not save your life only to have you throw it away because of your stupidity and ignorance.” He snarled. She glanced up quickly.

“That was you?”

“What, did you think you had a guardian angel of some sort?”

“Well, no. Of course not. But I didn’t think that my healer was…” she trailed off and looked down again. “I have no desire to fight with you…right now. I am sorry that I used my stone, I wasn’t aware that I could without holding on to it.”

“What?” It was his turn to be slightly bewildered.

“They took it from me. I got angry. I scared her so much that she gave it back to me, it must have been the power of the stone.” Awareness flooded her. “How did you know I had a stone anyway?”

“You think you’re the only special person around here?” he growled looking back the way they had come.

“You…yours is invisibility.” And that knowledge confirmed her suspicions and any lingering doubts she had about her initial impressions of the man.

“Maybe.” He seemed wary of her suddenly, as though uncertain what she might do.

“Maybe?” she smiled. “It is. It has to be, that’s why the men ran past us and why I could never see you.”

Before she completed the sentence he was gone, like so much smoke.

“Wait!” she shouted and ran back up to where he had stood, but it was no use. He could have been there avoiding her outstretched arms easily as she tried to find where he might be. Or he could have run off. Either way she found that she was wasting time by trying to find him and finally gave up.

She turned and continued to walk through the forest, going for hours with little rest. She couldn’t help but feel that those villagers were right behind her, or worse, Amikol was. The other Nomoree’s words came back to her again and again, “You might as well have shrieked your location to the rebels and to anyone else who is looking for the lost Nomorims! They’ll have heard about these ‘strange occurrences’ by nightfall and be scouring these woods by morning!” Her heart sounded even louder to her ears as she thought about who might come looking for her by morning. Amikol was actually the least of her worries, but the most immediate threat, because he was closer. That she knew of. The Governess was a much bigger, more horrifying prospect, but Kars didn’t know where she had gone after attacking her the first time and so pushed her to the back of her mind and worried about other things for the present. Like where she was going to get her next meal. The food in her pack was gone, but she still had her knife and her canteen, which she filled with water by the stream that she was now following. She didn’t have the heart to kill anything, so on the first night she went to bed hungry and continued on that track for two days. She didn’t stop much for sleep, one or two hours at the most before she was up and moving again. In the middle of the third night, she found herself at the end of the forest and looking at a huge plain. For miles, all there she could see was grass. Long grass, tall grass, impossible to walk through. She glanced back into the darkness of the trees and felt eyes watching her. In her head she saw Amikol, waiting for a vulnerable moment to attack and try and kill her once more. Despair washed over her as she looked back at the plain.

“Death,” she whispered. “Come quickly.” And she walked out into the long reeds. They bit at her legs, leaving long scratches and welts. After three feet she turned to look longingly at the forest, where the floor was relatively damp. Then she heard voices in the trees. She turned and ran through the reeds, allowing them to tear up her legs as her fear drove her.

It wasn’t long before she collapsed on the ground, tears streaming down her face.

“I can’t do this.” She whispered. A snapping sound cam from behind her. Her eyes grew and she looked back, but there was nothing there. Shakily she stood and braced herself.

“Invisible man?” She called out into the night. One moment there was nothing, the next he was standing before her.

“Hi.” He looked a little sheepish.

Fiery righteous indignation took hold of her and her stance became like that of a queen. “Stay back.” Her tone had become icy and her eyes were like steel, unforgiving and cold. They froze the young man to the spot.

“I’m sorry.” He spoke quietly, differently from before. “I did not mean to act so…rough. I was afraid that they would find us and kill us. I’ve been on the run for some time and I assume that you have as well. It was a life or death matter.” His eyes seemed kinder than before, but Kars refused to be beguiled by the man.

“Who are you?” she asked him again.

“My name’s Jeb. I don’t usually act like such a…beast. Sorry.” This time he blushed a little and a little of the anger that she harbored fell away, but not much.

“That does not answer my question.”

He smiled. “I’m a friend.”

“Well, that’s difficult to say. You healed me, saved my life, once. Then you let strangers take me into their home and steal my most valuable possession.”

Argument crossed over his face, but he was given no opportunity to speak.

“Then you saved me again when they came after me, after which you ran me to the ground, literally, twice before…scolding me as though you were the king himself and had any right to do so.” Her voice remained almost neutral with just enough sting to let him know that he was on a fine line. “The running nearly killed me. And now you’ve been following me for what, three days? While watching me starve, which might also kill me. So you can see why I’m confused. You rescue me at critical moments, but seem to enjoy my prolonged suffering.”

“You needed help.” He ran his hand through his hair. “And so I gave it to you when you needed it most. How was I to know that they would take your stone? I am sorry that I got angry at you for making a ruckus, but the running…well, we needed to get as far away from them as possible. They would probably search for a long while before giving up and we needed the time because I knew that the Governor would come looking once he heard about it.”

“The Governor?” Kars kept her eyes on him. “Don’t you mean the Governess?”

“The Governess has been out of the province for weeks.” He replied. “The Governor took her place here a couple of days ago. He’s been waiting to hear word of where the stones might be.”

“How do you know that?” She began to back up reaching into her pack for her stone.

“No!” he realized what she assumed as he saw what she was going for. “I didn’t-I’m not…they attacked me! Wanted my…family heirloom. Drugged me and took me away to find out where I hid it. I only know he’s around because I saw him when I was watching you. You were within a mile of each other and you were completely unconscious. I heard his men talking about the Governess.” He talked fast, almost as if he were scared of her, or what she might do.

What will happen to Jeb? Will Karstrel magically find out how to use her power and gain discipline? Why the sudden change of heart/character in “Jeb”? Does he have multiple personality disorder? Will he disappear and leave her and her scabbing legs alone once more? Tune in next time to find out!!!

Part whatever of the REVISED Nomorims!


yes, we are indeed starting in the middle of a paragraph. Let me know what you think about the awesome scene between Ami and Peebs…

When she had received her pack there had been a duplicate stone and a hidden compartment, where she had hidden her real stone. She glanced through it and noticed that the real stone was gone.

They took it. She realized and breathed a sigh of relief, gripping her Nomorim tight. It hummed lightly in her palm. She grabbed her canteen of water, carefully, the pain was still exquisite, and guzzled it down. As she screwed the cap back on, a prickly feeling traveled up her back. She turned, but there were no eyes peeping out through the darkness. The feeling didn’t go away, so she slowly stood, shouldering her pack, not relinquishing her tight grip on her stone. Her eyes watered as sore muscles protested loudly.

I can’t do this…And she collapsed on the ground, a scream escaping her lips as her whole body groaned in pain. She bit her lip, uncertain of whether to try to stand again or to wait and go after she was feeling a little bit better. She heard rustling behind her and turned quickly, pushing the pain away in favor of looking for danger. In that moment she decided that moving on, no matter the torture, for she didn’t know if these woods were friendly or not. So once again, slower than before, she stood and took one tentative step. Her leg muscles gave out. She stood again and took another step.

I have to get out of here! Was her last thought before the welcome blackness enveloped her for the fourth time that day.

She never could have imagined where she would end up.

***

Korle plodded along behind Ami, her mind buzzing. She wasn’t at all sure she was safe anymore with the wizards. Ami had seemed almost prepared for ‘s attack and it had been carried out with a cold precision that sent shivers down her spine. With every step she regretted leaving karstrel behind. She desperately wanted to know where they were going, but feared asking. She felt slightly comforted by Peebles presence, for he seemed slightly less unhinged than his brother at the moment. As she was processing all of this Peebles was, for the first time, plotting mutiny.

They stopped for the night by a stream at the edge of the wood. Ami started a fire with his magic and Peebles stalked off.

“Where is he going?” Korle asked, trying to mask the fear in her voice.

“He’s hunting food for us.” Ami responded without looking at her. “He’ll be back soon.”

“Oh.” She cleared a spot in the grass and sat down. AMi looked over at her, examining her profile carefully.

“Are you all right?” She glanced up at him, questioningly as her heart pounded in her ears. He shrugged. “We didn’t stop much. It was a tiring  journey.”

“It was fine.”

He looked down again. “Good, because tomorrow we’ll probably be traveling at the same pace.” Korle nodded, wondering if she’d even be able to walk tomorrow or if she’d  be left crumpled on the ground like Karstrel.

Peebles returned a little later with a deer, which was cooked and eaten in short time. Dark descended quickly and the three slept. Korle woke several times, anxious about what might happen to her the following morning. The third time she did so, she thought she heard a whisper say, “Go back to sleep Korle, I’m watching out for you.” And she slept until morning.

The three rose in the morning and continued on their journey. It was during this walking time that Korle began to learn how to control her stone. She was behind Ami and in front of Peebles again and they had walked for two or three hours with little rest. Fear was gnawing at the edges of her imagination. She gripped her stone and felt green warmth spread through her. And she saw the tree move. It wasn’t  much, maybe a centimeter, but it was enough. THe tree was out of Amikol’s line of sight, but she was fairly certain that Peebles saw it because the panther behind her emitted a chuckle. She glanced back and saw him grinning, as much as a panther could anyway. She smiled too and started playing a game of sorts. She would pick out a tree farther up the path. As soon as Ami passed it she would try to move it; and she had until she passed it. She successfully moved four trees in about an hour. After that she decided to try other things. She began moving rocks, flowers, grass, leaves, water, all out of Amikol’s eye line.

Every day she did this practice expanding her knowledge of her power and gaining control over her unconsciousness and emotions. Their fifth night of travel Peebles left to get food, as he had the four nights previous. Ami and Korle were silent. Korle was silently exulting in her success of the day, she had experimented with water. She had bent it and whirled it and, shortly before they had stopped, she had created a mini water spout. She replayed the scene in her mind until a shadow fell over her. She looked up into Amikol’s face.

“I need your stone Korle.”

“What?” she scrambled to her feet.

“Give me your stone.” His voice was low and menacing, his face a mask of hatred that had not shown before.

She grabbed her locket tightly. “No, I can’t do that. You told me not to.”

He smirked. “You think you have a choice.” Yellow fire sparkled around his fists. “You don’t. I will get your Nomorim.”

Korle took that opportunity to reach out with the stone that she gripped so tightly and grab a tree. She threw it between herself and the wizard, jumping back as it landed. She heard a panther growl and fled.

***

Peebles saw Ami walk up to Korle. She stood, grabbing her Nomorim. He couldn’t decide. What if Ami was right and this was the only way to keep the magic safe? Then he saw her move the tree as Ami threw a bolt of magic. He sprang into action, leaping toward his brother, claws at the ready. As he landed on Ami’s back, he growled a warning to Korle. Ami blasted him off and he flew, his claws scraping off his brother’s skin as he went. Ami screamed in pain and turned toward the mutineer. Peebs twisted, landing on his feet. They stood, facing each other.

“What…are you…doing?” Ami gasped for breath, trying to recover from the excruciating pain.

“This is wrong.” Peebles growled.

“No.” Ami shook his head. “This is the only way.”

Peebs transformed into his human body. “How do we know? What makes you think that we can keep the Nomorims safe?”

“I know that we can. We are the most powerful wizards of the clans and as such are completely capable of keeping the stones from those who would take them.”

“It isn’t our right to take them from their proper owners!”

“It IS!”

Peebles saw the madness glint through his brother’s eyes.

“What makes you think so?”

“You, too, are questioning me?” A different light entered those eyes.

Peebles had just enough time to throw up a wall of magic before Ami struck. He had, for so long, lived int he shape of a panther that his reflexes were slow. He and Ami both knew that a battle of magics would leave him the loser. He started to sweat, feeling the full force of Ami’s power streaming on him. Peebs looked through his semi-transparent shield and realized that his brother now viewed him as an enemy. He wouldn’t give up until the enemy was obliterated. He gave a push of extra power into the shield and broke off, shifting into his panther form with ease. He braced himself as the shield dissolved. The stream of magic came straight toward him ruthlessly. He quickly jumped to the side and ran toward Ami, powerfully leaping over the magic. Ami couldn’t move fast enough. Peebs scratched and tore more skin, focusing on areas that were weak already.

Ami managed a strangled gasp, and fell to his knees. Peebs broke away, to circle around and attack again. Amikol took advantage and threw several balls of magic, effectively knocking the panther off his feet and throwing him into the tree that Korle had moved. Ami approached the broken, large cat who was struggling to rise. He looked down on his kin.

“I should kill you.” Yellow eyes pleaded with him. “But I won’t. If only because you’re my brother.” The once friendly dark brown eyes were now cold. “No doubt other creatures will come feed on you. I’ll come back for your stone later, when you’re picked dry and human once more.” Then he was gone and Peebs was left at the base of the tree to perish.

***

Another part of the REVISED Nomorims!


So I miss numbered them…I don’t know what part this actually is but it doesn’t really matter…lol. I haven’t actually finished typing it all up, but figured it had been too long since anyone had actually read them. And I didn’t want them forgotten! 😉 So here is yet another installment of the book that has consumed my life since I was seven!

They trudged about for a full day, from dawn to dusk. Karstrel at first tried to see or sense some sign of their mysterious follower, but she couldn’t see anyone or anything following them. The silence rule began to grate on her, for she had many questions and knew that Amikol would know the answers. They stopped to camp for the night and Kars decided that it was time to get some answers.

“Where are we going?” She asked quietly as Ami lit a fire.

He looked up sharply, glaring at her. It disconcerted her a bit, he had never shown her anything but kindness and it was clear that he was very annoyed at her in that moment. Possibly more than that. In his eyes she saw…hatred. She felt shock penetrate her system. She had done nothing to deserve hatred, had she? A sliver of fear wormed its way into her heart.

“The silence rule stands. No questions.”

The rest of the night it was so. The others had blankets in their packs, or cloaks on in Korle’s case. They were warm. Karstrel slept on the ground for the first time in her life, in the cold, without a blanket. Anger rushed through and all she could process was the injustice of everything that was happening to her. She couldn’t even voice her outrage because of this ridiculous rule that the impudent wizard had put into place. It boiled and bubbled and rose to the surface and she would let it simmer down, until it would heat up again and she would have to calm down again. She tossed and turned, trying to find a good spot on the ground in which to be comfortable, but there were none. She felt bruises form on her back and sides.

By the morning, she had gotten little to no sleep, and all she had really accomplished was to make herself righteously indignant at the treatment she was subjected and very angry about Amikol’s with-holding information from them. Ami shoved her shoulder to wake her, and began to clean up the site. Peebles was awake, eyes watchful of the surrounding area. Korle was sitting, arms hugging her knees. She looked a little bit afraid, for some reason. Karstrel became more irritated. She and Korle had come to an understanding of sorts. They weren’t exactly friends, but then, Kars didn’t have many friends. And to befriend a peasant was a ridiculous notion. However, it was the closest thing to a friend she would ever really have though. She stood and brushed off the twigs and leaves that had lodged themselves on her person. Doubt began to flood her mind, but she ignored it as she approached Amikol.

“I demand to know where we are going.” She said, drawing herself up to her full height.

He pinned her with his hateful gaze, but only for a moment. She gave enough of her own looks like that to brush it off quite quickly.

“Silence.” He said. Though his voice was calm, it was a dangerous calm. The kind that, if you had sense, you obeyed in all haste.

Karstrel did not have much sense.

“No! You have dragged us through the woods with very little explanation! You are scaring Korle! We do not know where you are taking us, for all I know, this could be a trap!” She cried. Her face turned red with the force of the vexation she felt. “We have a right to know the location to which we are being led!” Her voice cracked, it had only just recovered from her screaming bout with the house.

“Karstrel.” His eyes glittered dangerously.

“If you do not tell me where we are going, I will leave and go on my own.” She said viciously. “I will take my stone and disappear, so you will not be able to find me!”

Ami suddenly lashed out, slapping her face with the force of magic behind his blow. She flew across their camp area, her body slamming into a tree. They all heard the crackle and crunch of bones upon impact. Her body crumpled on the ground, blood pouring from her arm. Korle saw the bone sticking out. She turned her head away quickly, before she was sick. Peebles changed from his panther form quickly.

“Amikol.”

“Grab her stone.” His voice was low and menacing.

“What?” Korle breathed.

“We can’t leave it here.”

“Are we leaving Karstrel?” her voice cracked. She held her breath, fearful of the answer.

“We must.”

“She’s hurt!”

“Ami,” Peebles stepped forward, “I don’t think this is a good idea.”

“Do as you’re told.” Ami’s back was still turned away from them. His voice was like steel.

Peebles sighed and walked over to Karstrel’s still body and began to root through her sack.

“You’re going to leave her here, injured?” Korle walked over to Ami. “Please,” she pleaded, “she needs help!”

Ami turned his eyes toward her and first the first time she felt a shiver of fear at his look. His eyes brooked no argument. Peebles walked up and placed a blue stone in the hand of his brother.

“This is wrong.” He whispered.

“She questioned our authority and leadership and eventually would have become a danger.” Ami murmured back. “WE need people we can trust. And now, we can travel in relative peace.” Peebs nodded, looking down. Ami rested his hand on Peebles’s shoulder.

“Stay with me brother. We’ll make it through this storm.” He glanced over at Korle, who was leaning over Karstrel. “Come on, we should get moving.”

Korle sent a pleading look at Peebs.

He shook his head and murmured. “Come one.” And the young woman who had been abandoned so many times in her life, followed, abandoning one in need for the first time.

***

Karstrel awoke to pain. It filled her, but she felt the headache the most. She wanted to move, just open her eyes, but it was all too painful. A small whimper escaped her lips.

“You’re awake?” the voice sounded distant. “It’s all right, I think. I’ve got this figured out.”

By the time the sentence was finished, she was out again.

The next time she awoke the pain had decreased. All she felt was an ache throughout her body. She opened her slowly, adjusting to her surroundings. It was dark out; the sun had just gone down and there was a lingering remnant of light. She was still in the forest, but it didn’t appear to be the same place she remembered being before. What had happened? She couldn’t really wrap her mind around the days previous to this. It was fuzzy and just out of her reach. Slowly, she sat up. To the left of her was her pack. She reached out to grab it, but cried out in pain. Her muscles were frozen, cramped, and any movement brought sharp pain to the forefront of her mind. Slowly, more carefully she reached out. There was still pain, but it wasn’t a surprise to her and this time she successfully grabbed her bag. Wincing all the while, she dragged it toward and reached her aching hand in and gently rummaged about the sides until she found the secret pocket. She reached in and grasped the small blue stone hidden there.

Part 6 of the Revised Nomorims


So…most of this is a first draft…but the end is not. So most of it is poorly written. I apologize. I’m not going back and editing it, so deal. I’M SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS PART! It marks a turning point. I think this would be the end of the first chapter or part or whatever. So I’m excited. I’m sorry for the length, but I really wanted to finish it up.  As always, PLEASE WRITE FEEDBACK! YES, SCOTT THAT MEANS YOU!!!

For two days Karstrel tried to leave the house and found it impossible to do so. The first time she merely walked out and within three feet of the door found herself flat on her back. She tried again and ran straight into an invisible wall. She continued to run straight into the wall for a better part of the day before turning indoors. The next morning she was up and she tried again, this time using more ingenious methods. She went around back to the garden and tried to scale the wall but fell, inexplicably, every time. She tried cutting at the wall in the front and even tried reasoning with the house, which seemed to like her less and less each passing day. It was in this state that Korle found her on the second day. Up till then, she hadn’t found the noble’s actions too interesting. However, she noticed that Kars had yet to eat anything since the brothers’ departure and she went to see if she wanted to partake in the small dinner Korle had cooked. Karstrel was in the foyer yelling at the house.

“I AM A NOBLE! As such I DESERVE respect! TAKE IT DOWN!” Her voice sounded raw, as if she had been screaming for some time.

Korle approached hesitantly. “Karstrel?”

“WHAT?” Karstrel turned, breathing heavily and turned red when she saw Korle. “Oh, it is you.”

“Um…yeah. Who did you think it was?”

“This house has been playing tricks on me since I arrived here.” The bitterness in her tone may have been directed at the house, but Korle felt its full impact.

“I was just going to ask if you wanted to eat something, but if you’d rather yell at the house I completely understand.” She turned back to the kitchen.

“What is it?”

Korle smiled.

An hour later the two girls had finished the meal and in a surprising act of graciousness, Karstrel offered to clean up. Korle decided to spend some time reading in her room. The books they had in this house were glorious and she was currently reading a tale written 200 years before her time. She was sitting in her room in a comfy chair when she felt the explosion. The whole house shook. She jumped up and ran downstairs into the kitchen, where she suspected the commotion had originated. Once again, she found Karstrel in the middle of a fight with the house, only this time she was the one being “yelled” at. The sink was overflowing with water and soap. Water was spraying everywhere and the food that had remained on the dishes had somehow made their way onto Karstrel’s clothing.

“Stop!” Tears were streaming down her face as she cried, “Stop, please!”

“Stop!” Korle commanded. “Can’t you see that she’s upset enough?” And there was calm. She turned to the distraught Karstrel who was standing, covered in leftover food, water and soap. “You shouldn’t make the house angry because this,” she flung her arm out to the mess, “is what happens!”

Karstrel glared at her, the silver eyes pinning Korle to the spot. “You do not give me orders. I know what I am doing. It is the one who should not make me angry.” With those words she stormed out, as noble as any queen.

Korle sighed. “Try and be nice?” she asked of the house. “I doubt she’ll change much.” She looked around. “And I’m not cleaning up this mess. You made it, you right it.” She too left the kitchen. The instant she left, it was clean.

She went up the stairs and down the hall that she knew lead to Karstrel’s room. She heard the sobbing on the other side of the door.

“Karstrel?” She called. Instantly the crying stopped.

“What do you want?” Resentment flowed from her crackling voice.

“Can I come in?”

There was a moment of silence and Korle was sure that Kars wasn’t going to open the door. She was about to turn away when the door creaked open a sliver.

“Why?” Kars rasped.

“Are you all right?”

“No, there is no bath in my room!” Kars exclaimed.

Korle almost laughed, but coughed it back. “Come with me.” She opened the door fully and grabbed Karstrel’s arm. Kars vaguely protested, but didn’t resist much. Korle brought her into the yellow room. Kars’s mouth dropped open in shock.

“This is your room?” she whispered.

“The house likes me.” She dragged her into the lovely bathing room set up on the far side of the room. “Everything you need should be here, and if something happens just call me, I’ll be here in a jiff.” Korle briskly returned to the library and picked up the book she had been reading.

She glanced around at the walls and sternly said, “Be nice. Keep the water hot. She isn’t used to this way of life.” And then continued reading.

The next morning Korle found Karstrel in the kitchen looking bewildered.

“Want some help?”

“No.”

Korle shrugged and took out some pots and pans. She grabbed some things from a cupboard and began to assemble breakfast. Karstrel watched for a few minutes and then sighed.

“Teach me.”

Korle looked up in mild surprise. “What?”

“Teach me to cook.”

Resentment built up in Korle. “You could try asking.”

“I need to learn how to cook.”

Korle snorted. “So learn.”

“Come on, Korle. I need the help.” Karstrel whined.

“That may have worked back home, but in my world people ask when they want something.”

Karstrel looked a little bit shocked, and so did Korle. She glanced down, bewildered by the sassy response that she had issued. She never questioned the authority of others, especially not nobles. She looked up at Karstrel cautiously. Kars was also looking at the floor. Korle took a deep breath, about to apologize for being so harsh.

“Iamsorry.” The words hurled themselves out. Korle looked surprisingly at Kars from whose mouth they had come. Kars looked up. “You are right. I…I can be difficult.Would-” she stopped and took a deep breath. “Would you…please, teach me to cook.”

It was so pathetic. Kars looked better than she had in the past, due to the bath she had finally had. However, her hair was a bit of a mess, there were huge dark circles under her eyes, her skin was dry and flaky, and her overall appearance seemed disheveled.

Korle sighed and heard herself say, “Fine.”

That one little word led her to a world of trouble. Over the next few days the two girls spent large quantities of time together. More often than not Korle would get insanely frustrated and walk out, only to come back in a little later and try again. It was on one such day that the brothers returned.

“I do not understand why it has to be that spice. Why not paprika?”

“Because that’s what the recipe calls for.”

“Well, I think we should use this.” Karstrel was holding a small bag of paprika in her hand. Both girls were standing over a large pot of boiling stew.

“That’s too hot. It would ruin the flavor of the stew.”

“How do you know?”

Korle clenched her fists and took some deep cleansing breaths. “Because, that’s the way it is.”

“Well it should not be.”

This was why Korle was frustrated. Kars would insist that things should be different just for her. She would do what she wanted, regardless of the recipe or the rules and ruin perfectly good dishes, requiring that they spend even more time in the kitchen. Usually after Korle left in a huff, Kars would start over and make it the way it was meant to be made.

“You do this every time!” Korle exploded. “Sometimes there are concrete rules that you have to follow and this is one of them! Put in the basil.” She pointed sternly at the pot and her eyes threatened consequences if Karstrel didn’t obey. Karstrel held back laughter and put in the basil.

“I still think that it would taste better with paprika.” She mumbled.

“Something smells good.” The soft voice came from the doorway.

Both girls turned and saw Peebs leaning casually against the doorway. He was covered in dust from head to toe.

“You’re getting the kitchen dirty.” Korle said stupidly.

“When did you arrive?” Karstrel inquired.

“Just now.” Peebs took a step out of the kitchen. “Ami will be here in a moment.”

The loud sound of bubbling and hissing brought both girls back to reality and they hurriedly turned back to the pot on the stove. Taking the stew off the stove, Karstrel breathed in the wonderful smell that she had created.

She leaned over to Korle and whispered, “It really does smell divine.”

Korle smiled and stirred it a bit.

Amikol came in, looking a little haggard, but not half as bad as his brother.

“We’re going to rest for the remainder of the day and then we are ALL leaving tomorrow at dawn.”

The girls exchanged a look, startled.

“The house will pack for you, so don’t worry about that. Just rest and prepare for tomorrow.” Ami continued.

“Did you find the stone?”

“No,” Peebs responded glancing at Ami, “but we did find that the house has been discovered. Someone’s been watching us.”

“What?” Kars backed up into the stove.

“Well, doesn’t the house have protection or something?”

“Yes, I am certain you can a erect a magical wall around the area. It is not like you have a lack of experience.” Kars sent her steely glare toward Ami. He decidedly ignored her.

“Yes, but it will be better if we go, we don’t want to abuse the house’s hospitality.” Ami replied. “We’re only here temporarily.” He turned. “Get some sleep tonight.”

“Do you want some stew?” Korle called to his retreating form. He kept going with no response.

“Do you want some?” Kars asked Peebs.

He smiled. “I’ll get the kitchen dirty.”

Korle spared a withering glance and told him to eat.

Dawn arrived too quickly for everyone. The girls had not gotten a lot of sleep, anxiety about the coming journey ate at them both. Karstrel had managed to reacquire her noble, disgusting attitude and felt a little self-righteous about the whole affair. Korle wondered at Amikol’s strange attitude the night before and Peebles sudden talkative one. She had gotten about five hours of rest. Not a promising start to a day on the road. She jumped out of bed and put on the gown that had appeared on her side table. Slowly, quietly she crept out of the room. There was no one in the hallway. She walked down the stairs and nearly screamed at  the sight of Peebles.

He turned when he heard her squeak, bearing a questioning look.

“You scared me.” She whispered.

“Sorry.” He whispered back.

Korle glanced around the foyer and saw that Karstrel was already awake.

“When did you wake up?” she asked quietly.

“About an hour ago.” Kars responded. “I was agitated and could not go back to sleep.”  Her nose went into the air and she pointed to a canvas sack on the floor. “That one is yours, I believe.” There was a yellow ribbon tied to the strap.

Korle went over and lifted it, surprised at how light it was. She pulled open the draw strap and peeked inside. There was a dagger, a canteen full of water, a small pouch with bread in it, and a chain. She pulled it out and examined it for a moment before putting it back into her bag.

“What did you get?” Karstrel was looking at her closely.

“Just some food, a knife, and a chain.” She closed the bag and set it down as Amikol came down.

“Okay,” he sighed, “we need to go quietly. Peebles and I were followed back here, and the house is being watched periodically, we think by two different people, but there are gaps, which gives us time to get out of here. When we leave there will be no talking, at all.” He looked directly at Karstrel.

“What?” she tried an innocent look.

“Not one word.”

“Fine!” she huffed, angry at being so singled out.

“Alright, does everyone have the packs?”

Korle grabbed hers and both girls slung them on their backs. Peebles lounged against the wall near the door.

“Don’t you have anything?” Korle asked.

“Don’t need anything.” He smiled slightly.

“Peebs will be a guard of sorts.” As Ami said this Peebs shifted into his panther form. Karstrel shuddered.

“That is so strange.” She whispered.

“Let’s go.” Amikol opened the door and stepped outside with Kars right behind him. Korle looked back, up at the picture of her parents.

“I don’t know how you got this picture or how you knew, but…will you keep it for me?” she felt strange requesting such a thing, but she heard the whole house creak in response and she knew it would honor her request.

She smiled. “Thank you.” She felt something nudge her and looked down to see Peebs butting her. She sighed.

“I’m coming.”

Slowly she turned away from her past and walked out to her future.

*****

The Revised Nomorims part 5! WHOO!!!


I am so super excited about this part!! I rewrote the entire history of the Nomorims and the country. 😀 If you read this PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give me feedback. I slaved over this so I want to know if there is anything that doesn’t make sense or sounds weird. Or if it’s fabulous tell me that too. 😉

Later that evening, all assembled in the foyer of the great house. Amikol looked over as the two girls descended the stairs.
“Follow me.” He walked down a dark corridor that had not been there a moment previous. The two girls were taken aback, but one put it behind a mask of indifference and the other shrugged it off and followed him. The four entered the solarium together, parading on after the other. Korle looked around in genuine delight. It was a large circular room and the wall was covered in bookshelves, which were filled to the brink with books. In fact books were everywhere. They lined the shelves, they sat in stacks in front of the shelves, they lay on tables, covered the window seat, and basically took up so much floor space that one could not walk about the room freely. In order to get anywhere one must follow the clearly marked path. Kars looked around Korle to Ami, condescension in her disconcerting gaze.
“You live here I’m assuming?” the question was delivered with as much snobbery she could muster.
“The path leads to a place where we can sit.” Was the only response as he led them forward. As they moved forward, Korle felt an awe overcome her. There were more titles in the stacks that surrounded them then she had seen in her lifetime, not to mention what was on the shelves.
“It’s beautiful.” She murmured as she followed Ami through the room, occasionally reaching out and touching a book reverently. Finally the reach a small clearing with four very cushy chairs just waiting for them.
As they sat Amikol took in the appearance of both girls. Korle was still fascinated by the room, her eyes never stopped wandering. Her looks were much better than when they had found her. She was wearing one of her new, soft gowns. This one was a pale pink and had swished with every step. Karstrel was sitting with her back ramrod straight, pride etched all over her. As simple as Korle’s gown was, Karstrel’s was worse. It was the ugliest blue Ami had ever seen and made of a scratchy woolen material. Her face held a sneer of disgust as she examined the books around her.
This will be a long conversation. He thought.
“Well, are you going to talk or are we meant to sit here and breath in dust.” Her nasty tone stung, but he merely smiled.
“Have either of you heard of the Nomorims?”
“Legend.” Kars said as Korle replied, “No.”
“You both have one.” Peebles said softly.
Korle unconsciously grabbed her locket. Karstrel’s haughty look was replaced by one of slight curiosity.
“They don’t exist.” It was more of a question than a statement.
“Do you have your barrette?” Amikol asked.
She nodded and reached into a small pocket in her dress and pulled out her silver barrette. The blue stone winked at her as she reluctantly held it out to Amikol.
“No, no, keep it.” He said. “Examine your stone and look at Korle’s locket. You’ll se, that though they are two different colors, they are made from the same type of stone.”
The girls examined the other’s stone carefully, and saw that what he said was true. Peebles drew the red disc from beneath his shirt and showed it to them.
“Mine as well.”
Korle turned to Ami. “What about you? Do you have one?”
He nodded. “I keep it safe.”
“So…these are the so-called Nomorims?” Karstrel inquired, looking quizzically at the gem.
Ami nodded slightly, allowing her to be correct.
“And we’re their bearers?” Korle followed up.
“Yes, they do have, to a certain extent, minds of their own. We use them, but only with the assistance of the stones themselves. No one can teach you how to use your stone really.”
“From where do they come?” Kars looked genuinely interested in his answer. For some reason, that annoyed him more than her arrogant facade did.
“At the beginning of the world six stones were found. Each stone was infused with a magical quality; speed, sound, shape-changing, nature, mind powers, and invisibility. The leaders of the races found them.”
“Who were they?” Korle questioned.
“There were six races, back at the dawn of time, and so six leaders.” Peebles input.
Amikol nodded. “Gemenina was the leader of the elves, Ripley led the wizards, Percy governed the humans, and Laurel fought her way to the top of the gnomes. The griffins and dragons each elected a leader, but their names are lost. We know that they existed because of the records,” He motioned around him at the books, “however, no records remain of the names of any of those two races or what happened to them after the Nomorims were lost.”
“They were lost?” Korle looked confusedly at Ami.
“How do you think they came into our possession?” Kars asked archly.
“Two minutes ago you didn’t even believe they existed.” Peebles retorted, his usually soft voice biting. Karstrel looked at him in surprise.
“Moving on.” Ami interrupted. He looked at Korle. “They did indeed become lost, but not for centuries after they were found. Not all of the races got along on this world and that is how the countries came about. However, no one could agree on the borders and a war was started. The Leaders met to discuss peace and how to achieve such an enigmatical object. Gemenina and Laurel were walking by some caverns and found the stones. It was Gemenina’s idea to bring them in and each were miraculously infused with magic.”
“What do you mean ‘miraculously’?” Kars skeptically asked.
“No one is sure how it happened. None of the Leaders did it. Once it was done, Laurel and Percy both leapt at the chance to squash their more magically inclined brethren and tried to gain the stones for themselves. Gemenina and Ripley barely escaped with their lives. The only reason they did escape was because of the dragon. He got them out of there safely. The griffin joined Percy and Laurel in their quest to gain the stones for themselves and it turned into a full-scale war, no longer about property lines, but about power to rule. After much experimentation Gemenina found a way to combine all six stones together into one. Once the stones were one, they could be used at the same time. Up until then they had to be used individually. So Ripley mounted the dragon and went out to meet the enemy in battle, and, using the stone, won single-handedly.”
“Wow.” Breathed Korle.
“Gemenina and Ripley married and reigned over this realm peacefully for a century.”
“What happened?” Karstrel, too, was caught up in the story.
“They died. They had been granted long life, but that span had come to an end. They had had six children and so decided to split up the inheritance between them, which included the Nomorim. The children were greedy and split the stone between them, effectively ruining the peace their parents had achieved. It is around this time that record of the dragons and the griffins disappearance appears. I’ve always thought it was strange that they vanished at around the same time, for those races were mortal enemies.”
“So if Ripley and Gemenina’s children received the stones, how did they get lost?” Kars sat back in her chair, removing herself from the engrossment of the tale.
“Well each one received a stone: Olan, invisibility; Marcol, speed; Sanah, sound; Nimate, shape-changing; Cobi, mind powers; and Korol, nature. After they received their stones, no one knows what happened to them. Some legends say that a curse was put on their families; that any woman would die giving birth to offspring of the Six.
“Well, you have speed.” Karstrel said, nodding at Amikol. “And you have shape-changing.” She looked at Peebles. “I guess I have sound?” She looked to Ami for confirmation.
“I don’t know.” He looked vexed. “There’s no documentation of which color went which power.”
“Well, I am fairly certain that is the one that I have.” She responded.
“How would you know?” Ami asked, irritation written across his features.
“I used it.” She replied.
“What?” The two brothers asked simultaneously, looking at her intently.
“Not on purpose.” Karstrel rolled her eyes. “I had a piece of timber on my leg and I used it to make it disappear or move or something. I am not certain what happened to it.”
“Really…” Ami looked pensive.
“That’s all well and good,” Korle interjected, “but why did you bring us here?”
“When the Main Council overthrew the Monarchies, both East and West, they expressed a wish to find the stones. On the council are the two governors of the human dominion, and the governess of the gnomish lands.”
“So you found us so that you could take us to the council?” Fear crept into Korle’s voice. Karstrel felt the hairs on the back of her neck prickle as she thought of the Governess Laurel in her house, destroying the only home she had known.
“No.” Peebs inserted. “We found you to keep the stones away from them.”
“So which stone does she have?” The nasty tone had returned to Karstrel’s voice.
“Nature.” It was barely a whisper, but they all heard Peebles murmur it.
“I came to that conclusion myself, but,” she looked at him curiously, “how do you know?”
Peebs face turned a dull red.
“We’ve been watching you,” Ami rejoined, “both of you.”
“What?” Kars drew herself up regally.
“We had to make sure that you held the real Nomorims. If you didn’t have them, we didn’t want to waste our time. Our sources were fairly confident with both of you. Karstrel kept wearing hers in her clip and Korle kept using her power accidentally.
“What?” Korle looked slightly startled.
“Every family you worked for treated you in an abominable fashion and in response the plants would start doing weird things, or the weather would act strangely. It would harass, if you will, your employers until they let you go. The stone was following the commands of your subconscious.
“Why did that never happen to me?” Kars asked.
“Your stone works a little differently and you never fail to act on impulse . Korle tends to brood on things.” His voice became completely monotone when he addressed.
The two girls sat in contemplative silence for a while.
“Is that everything?” Korle asked.
“Basically…” Ami responded.
“Okay. Good to know.”
“There is one more thing.” Peebles interjected, looking pointedly at his brother.
Amikol sighed. “Yes,” he glanced at Peebles, “we are leaving, to do some scouting on one of the stones.”
“I want to come.” Karstrel exclaimed.
“No.” Her gaze grated on him. “My brother and I are doing this alone.” His tone indicated that this decision was a final one, so she sat back, deviously plots running through her mind.
*****

Part 4 of the Revised Nomorims


Reluctantly, she turned from the picture and followed Peebles upstairs. She took each step slowly, contemplating her parents, the picture, and the strange house to which she had been brought. When she reached the top of the stairs, her jaw dropped again and all thoughts cleared from her mind. Before her was a maze of sorts. There was a large circle, a foyer-type of area, out of which were six distinct hallways. Some turned, so one could not see where they went, others went straight a long way, so that the door seemed incredibly small.
“How?” she breathed.
“What?” Peebs turned to face her.
“It looks so small from the outside.”
“Oh, the house is magical. One of the first Nomorees, Olan, built it and infused it with magic. Over time it’s gained a mind of its own and, for now, has agreed to help us. Although, if Karstrel continues her fits she will be the first and only Nomoree to sleep outside.” Peebles added softly, a smile touching his face. Korle smiled.
“This way.” Peebles led her down a brighter hallway. They walked for a short way and then he stopped before a yellow door. “This is it.” He opened the door for her and motioned her through it. Korle stepped inside and faced a huge room decorated in different shades of yellow. There was a gigantic bed in one corner, opposite of the small table that was set with a couple of plates and a gorgeous tea set. Korle gasped in awe of the beautiful room. Behind her Peebs softly shut the door and walked back downstairs, leaving her to explore her new room on her own.
By the time he reached the bottom of the staircase, he had transformed back in to a panther. A clamor arose from the kitchen, and the large cat stalked in, to see what the trouble was. There were pots and pans everywhere. Some foreign gray substance, slightly resembling porridge, was splattered everywhere. Burn marks adorned the walls and the ceiling. The one responsible for the mess was in the middle of it all, covered in the sticky gray mass on the ground and crying. Carefully, Peebles made his way through the mess toward Karstrel. He gently butted her with his head. She rose her head quickly and unsuccessfully dried her tears.
“I was just making breakfast.” She explained, as dignified as possible.
He snickered.
She stood up and straightened her spine. “I was doing fine, until the stove EXPLODED!” She pointed at the charred contraption in the corner. “I did everything I was supposed to do.” She whispered. Then she burst into tears and ran out to the garden.
Peebles was shocked that she allowed herself to cry in his presence. He shifted back in to human form.
“That wasn’t nice.” He whispered. The house moaned. “We need her. So be nice. A bath, I’m sure, would be welcome. I doubt she’s washed since she arrived. I know that she’s unpleasant to deal with, but for the time being we should all do our best to get along.” A breeze swept through the kitchen, surrounding Peebles. He laughed. “I know. We’ll have to teach her how to cook, I suppose.” He glanced out the window at the figure huddled over on the bench. “It’s best to leave her alone for now, I think. Just make sure her room is nice when she goes back up.” He walked out of the room and instantly it was clean. There was no sign of the chaos that Karstrel had created.
Outside Karstrel sobbed for a while, the grief of all her loss finally setting in. Her father, her friends, or the only people she could call friends, were all gone. Dead in the wreckage of the house. The fact that she had survived was a miracle, and it was clear that she wasn’t meant to live through it. Tears flowed unchecked as she mourned the deaths of the ones she had loved most in the world. She didn’t know how much time had passed when she stopped. She glanced around and saw Amikol watching her through the kitchen window. Her pride returned and she instantly sat straighter and glared at him. People in the Queen’s court had often called her the Lady of Ice because of her cold demeanor to those who had the misfortune to earn her contempt and for her icy gaze that turned many a noble to stone until it was turned elsewhere. Amikol was no exception. The glare forced him to look away and leave her in her solitude again. As soon as he was gone she slumped down again, exhaustion shaking her. She rose and wearily walked inside, drawing herself up, in case the others saw her, and ascended the stairs to her room. When she had first arrived, the room was a dark hole with a small pallet on the ground and a thread-bare blanket. No matter how she had railed, nothing else had appeared. She opened her door to find a bigger room, well-lit. A bed was there now and in the corner was a hot bath. Tears filled her eyes once more as a breeze filled the room. She heard the whisper, I am sorry for your loss noble-girl.
“Thank you.” She whispered back. And closing the door she dropped her mask of arrogance.

The Revised Nomorims Part 3


Two days later…
Korle stopped at the fork in the road. She looked one way, the the other.
“Great.” She muttered. “Just perfect.”
She moved down the right fork. Her bright green eyes took in her surroundings, noting the little details, in case she had chosen the wrong path. As she walked, her strange cloth shoes squished a little and she left a very wet footprint. She was, in fact, wet all over. Her light blonde hair hung in strands and was lightly damp. Her brown ratty dress was completely soaked and dripping. Her eyes burned with a righteous anger as she marched along, looking for the next sign that would lead her along her way.
These directions, she thought, are awful! The Dartmonts had left her with nothing in the end.
“What happened to you?” a soft voice came from the woods and spoke of suppressed laughter.
She said nothing, plowing ahead, as if she heard nothing.
“You are absolutely drenched.” The voice called again. “What did they do to you?”
That ruffled her a bit. How could this person know that “they” had done this to her? She could have fallen in a lake, or poured a bucket of water on her head.
It’s logical. Why would I do this to myself? It’s obvious I’m miserable. She resolved to ignore the voice and move on, although her guard was now up. This stranger wanted something from her.
“The Dartmonts are cruel. Taking you in was the only good thing that wretched woman ever did.” This stopped her cold in her tracks. Then she saw him. A red-haired man leaned on a tree a few yards in front of her. “I know what they did to you, Korle.”
Yesterday, Korle had lived in a small, attic-like room in the Dartmont’s large mansion. She had worked as a maid for them, in exchange for room and board. They gave her the tiny room and three small, pitiful meals a day. It was better than starving. She had been weeding the garden, one of her last chores of the day, when she had heard the lord and lady talking about her.
“She’s a nuisance, Raoul. We cannot continue to allow her to live with us. She’s dirty, unkempt. And she’s an awful example for the children. Henry and Isabella should look up to someone of their own rank, rather than a scullery maid, with nothing to her name.”
“Well, my dear-”
“No, I am standing firm. We must get rid of her.”
She had heard many conversations like this before, so the words didn’t hurt as much as they had once. She had sighed and mentally began to make a list of things she’d need to do before moving out.
“She’s a nobody, with parents who were good-for-nothings. I am quite certain her mother was no more than a prostitute, selling herself on the streets. Her father was once respectable, but that all ended when he took the little whore for his wife.”
“Jemena, that’s not true. He-”
“Should have married Elinor, as planned. But that tramp seduced him, and got pregnant on purpose. There are charms for such things, but she knew he was honorable and would marry her if she got pregnant.”
“He’s either honorable, or a good-for-nothing, my dear. He cannot be both.”
While this conversation went on, anger grew in Korle. She had never known her parents, but she knew that they had loved each other. Her mother had been a commoner, but her father had fallen in love with her anyway, despite the difference in situation. Righteous anger welled up in her as she listened to that woman call her mother wicked names and impugn her father’s honor.
“He disgraced himself by marrying that bitch.”
“How dare you!” Korle had jumped up from where she was, startling the two nobles. “You may speak of me however you like, but how dare you insult my father and mother who can’t defend themselves!”
“Get back to your work, girl. I will speak of your parents however I choose.”
“Because you think you’re better than them? You’re petty and mean and a gossip. And you don’t know how to treat people!”
“Your mother was nothing more than a tramp who sold herself to your father for a piece of copper!”
The anger had welled up in Korle, her vision going blurry. And the next thing she knew she was flat on her back, the vines around the lady.
“OUT! GET OUT!” Jemena screamed. The groomsman had come and doused Korle in three buckets of water. Only then had the plants had released their hold of Lady Dartmont.
She had stood there, rigid, staring at Korle with daggers in her eyes. “You will leave this house IMMEDIATELY!”
So Korle had fled, without a thing. The family had given her directions to a local farmhouse a while back, in case the Governess Laurel made a surprise visit and she needed to take the children there.
“Why did they kick you out Korle?” The man’s question pulled her into the present.
“I don’t speak to strangers.” She straightened her spine and continued walking, a little faster this time. She didn’t know what he wanted, but she wasn’t about to stand there as ready prey for this stalker.
“This is the fifth family you’ve worked for, and things seem to go down hill faster at each place.” The man was following her. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Oh really?” the sarcastic comment flew from her mouth before she could check herself. She silently berated herself for responding to the man.
“No, I’m actually here to help you.” The humor had left his voice.  “All of these strange incidents happen to you, but you’re not alone, Korle. There are more of us.”
She turned and looked at him, and took a step back, startled. His eyes were cat’s eyes, yellow in color.
“Um…” she shook herself out of it. “What do you mean?”
“I can explain everything, in a safer location.”
“I don’t even know who you are.”
He smiled charmingly. “Quite right.” He bowed. “I am Peebles of the wizarding world.  I also have a stone.” He pulled on a thin leather strap around his neck. From beneath his shirt came a red stone disc pendant. She stared at it and her hand flew to the yellow locket around her neck.
“What does that have to do with anything?” She asked, meeting his eyes again.
“I can explain once we’re in a place of safety.” His eyes pleaded with her.
She had done a lot of reckless things before, but even she knew better than to leave with a stranger, unaware of their destination. After a few seconds of looking into those eyes a feeling of dread settled at the bottom of her stomach and she heard her mouth form one word, “Okay.”
Suddenly, a black-haired man with compelling brown eyes stepped from the forest. Korle jumped back in surprise, but that was all the time she had before he grabbed her hand. The second he grabbed her it seemed like the world around her wrenched. She closed her eyes for a second, and when she opened them all she could see were colors flying past. She looked over and saw the other man, but no sign of Peebles. She looked down and saw the ground zooming past. Her head began to spin and nausea settled in her rolling stomach, making it tumble even more. She closed her eyes again, hoping to make the feeling go away, but it only grew worse. Just as suddenly, they stopped. Korle fell to the ground, onto her knees. The little food she’d managed to eat before her hasty departure came up. Cool hands brushed her hair back.
“I’m sorry, but it’s best not to warn you.” She looked up into those dark brown eyes. “The first times’ the worst.” His deep baritone voice soothed her frazzled nerves. He held out a wet square of linen.
She took it and wiped her mouth. “Thank you.” Her voice was raspy and her throat hurt. She stood shakily and found herself facing a small, bright red house with orange shutters.
“Where are we?” She swallowed, trying to get the taste out of her mouth.
“Olan’s house.” The man replied.
She glanced behind her and saw yellow eyes stare out from the trees surrounding the little clearing. “Where’s Peebles?”
“He shape-changed and followed us.” A panther slunk out of the forest. Korle jumped and a squeak issued from her.
The man smiled. “Don’t worry, it’s just Peebs. This is a favorite of his.” He gestured to the large cat. “I’m Amikol, his brother.” He bowed. “I apologize for not introducing myself earlier.” His smile was warm and friendly.
“Oh, um…that’s all right.” She replied, feeling uncomfortable. “Who is Olan?”
“We’ll explain all that later.” He stood straight. “Shall we go in?”
Fear washed over her as she realized what a predicament she was in. She didn’t know who these men were, and they were leading her into the oddest house she had ever seen. What have I done? She swallowed and tried to smile.
“Come.” He led the way to the house. Korle thought about running, but Peebles the panther was behind her, so she decided to follow Amikol into the strange building.
She passed through the doorway, certain that she was entering a dungeon of some sort, meant to keep her locked away for whatever devious purpose these two men had in mind.
“Oh,” Amikol paused and, wincing, turned to face her. “I apologize for-”
“FINALLY!” The shrill, high voice, came from above and Korle’s fear turned to shock. The inside of this small, little cottage was like that of a large, airy mansion. It was bigger than the Dartmont’s house.
A young woman stomped down the grand staircase to Korle’s left. “I have been waiting for almost THREE days for you two to return!”
“I think she woke up.” Peebles soft sarcasm came from behind Korle and she turned to see the man standing there, not the panther he had been a moment ago.
Amikol gave him a look. “I can see that Peebs.” He turned back to the blonde on the stairs. “Welcome back.”
She reached the landing. “I have been awake practically since you left. I demand that you explain yourself!” her voice rose, taking on a shrill quality that hurt Korle’s ears. She winced a little and notice a huge painting on the wall.
“Wow.” She whispered, going to examine it.
The blonde noticed her for the first time. “Who is that?” her tone relayed her distaste for the subject in question and her snobby manner.
“That is Korle, another Nomoree that we found.” Amikol supplied. “Korle, this is Karstrel de Lunar,” he said her title with a mocking, pompous tone. She glared at him and curtsied to Korle, who wasn’t paying attention.
Karstrel looked at Korle and rolled her eyes. “No manners at all. Another country bumpkin.” She muttered.
“We ‘country bumpkins’ have excellent hearing.” Peebles smiled dangerously at her.
Korle was still staring at the painting.
“I don’t remember that portrait being there yesterday Peebs, who is it of?” Amikol inquired.
“I don’t know, it just appeared today, or possibly another time during our absence.”
“No,” Karstrel put in with all the authority of her rank, “it…arrived today. This house is completely unnatural.” She shivered slightly, looking around her.
“It’s my parents.” Korle whispered. The picture was of a man and a woman, facing each other and holding hands. They were on a shore of some sort and a body of water extended behind them. Both of their faces were peaceful, neither smiling, but happy nonetheless. The woman was beautiful and petite with light blonde hair, almost white, much like Korle’s. The man was strong, courage evident in every aspect of his being. His eyes shone fiercely with love and an anger that seemed to contradict each other. Both were wearing black. The bottom of the painting had lighter, more serene colors, and the water lapping the shore looked tranquil. However, as the water stretched out behind them, it grew dark and shapes hovered just below the surface of the water.
“They drowned.” Her voice, although soft, was easily heard by the three others, who had hushed into silence. She looked at Amikol, tears in her eyes. “Who painted this?”
“I don’t know.” He replied softly.
“What is this place?” She turned back to the painting, one tear making its way down her cheek.
Amikol and Peebles exchanged looks.
“Come,” Peebles laid a hand gently on Korle’s shoulder. “I’ll show you to your room.”
Reluctantly, she turned from the picture and followed Peebles upstairs. She took each step slowly, contemplating her parents, the picture, and the strange house to which she had been brought. When she reached the top of the stairs, her jaw dropped again and all thoughts cleared from her mind. Before her was a maze of sorts. There was a large circle, a foyer-type of area, out of which were six distinct hallways. Some turned, so one could not see where they went, others went straight a long way, so that the door seemed incredibly small.

Part 2 of The Nomorims


And this ends our interlude with Karstrel…for the time being. 🙂 I’m super excited I’m getting this online…

When Karstrel awoke she felt pain in every bone of her body. She sat there under the heap and rubble of what was once her home. There was a piece of timber that weighed on her leg and one on her arm. Time passed and slowly the haze of pain that had descended began to fade. She didn’t know how long she was there, trying desperately to move. After her first couple of attempts she realized that the barrette was still in her free hand.In the middle of it, the blue stone almost seemed to shimmer in Karstrel’s eyes. A strange tension surrounded her, much like the one before. It pressed down on her and suddenly power shot up her arm, like a bolt of lightening and out of her mouth came an unearthly noise. The power overwhelmed her and she passed out again. She was wakened by a loud, shrill voice.
“Find the stone! Kill the girl!” the governess’ unmistakable voice carried across the large field of rubble. Karstrel sat up quickly and stared in shock. The beams that had hindered her before were gone. There was no evidence that they had ever been there, except for the pain that still plagued her. She looked around, slightly bewildered, then the governess’ voice startled her out of her reverie. She poked her head up to see what was happening and found herself staring at the foot of a very large man. Slowly, she sunk back down, biting her lip when her muscles screamed in pain.She huddled up under some of the wreckage and waited. Several times on of the many large men came very close to finding her small hideout. Night fell and still they searched. Finally the governess screamed for them all to return to their camp. Karstrel peeked out and saw them beginning to clear away the ruins silent, but efficiently. These men were like machines, they followed orders precisely and with speed. Just watching them clear away her home stole her breath away, but the realization that they would soon find her brought on a full panic attack. Her mind was numb with fear. This woman, this MONSTER, was willing to kill an entire household to find her, for whatever reason. Karstrel’s mind began to cool as logic washed out the fire of fear. Why would the governess blow up the whole house when Karstrel was in it if she wanted her alive? Shivers raced down her spine. She was supposed to die, with everyone else. Then why were they looking for her body? The wheels of her head churned, but were hindered by fatigue and shock. She heard the strange machine men getting closer and the barrette began to hum ominously, again. She looked out and saw that they were roughly twenty yards away from where she was. All of the men’s backs were to her and slowly she eased out of her hole. Her muscles screamed in protest. She bit her lip, trying to keep quiet as pain coursed through her body. She began to crawl, as silently as possible, away from the men and towards the forest. Every motion caused her pain. She reached the end of the rubble and began the slow descent down from the rocks. Gravity took over and she fell the rest of the way down, landing on her bad leg.
“AH!” she screamed in pain.
The noise attracted the attention of the men searching for her. They all came running towards her with speed and agility that would not seem possible. Karstrel sat there, paralyzed by fear. They came closer and closer until they were no more than one yard from where she sat. The men were excited they were so close to their prize. Then she was gone. She vanished right before their eyes. They all stopped, looking stupidly about them.
About a mile away karstrel was gently laid on the grass by a black-haired man.
“I’ll be right back. Don’t move.” And he was gone.
Karstrel immediately rose and limped in to the woods. She wasn’t going to sit around and just wait for another bad thing to happen to her. She was hurting all over, but was utterly determined to get as far away from there as she possibly could. She was about a half-a-mile into the forest when she saw a hut. It was small, made of straw and mud, and looked somewhat homely. Karstrel nearly broke down in relief at the sight of it. As she approached the door of the hut swung open and revealed  a little old woman. She was ugly in appearance, covered in wrinkles and warts that were separated by the occasional mole. She was stooped over a little stick that served as a cane and was covered in black rags that hung from her body like curtains.
Her eyes were open wide and pierced Karstrel as she called out, “Who are you? Who is there?”
Karstrel gathered herself up regally and said, “My name is Lady Karstrel de Lunar, ruler of these lands. You WILL allow me to rest in your hovel.”
The woman stood there for a moment, silent. Then she cackled. “I do not know that you are who you claim to be. I shall not do as you command, for who be you to command me?”
“Look at me woman! While I may be disheveled in appearance, my eyes are like my mother’s, as silver as they were the day I was born.” She allowed the anger she felt wash over her fear.
“Are they indeed?” the woman’s voice was sly. “Well, I cannot tell, for I lost my sight long ago. And if you indeed be Maralyn’s daughter then I say you are nothing like her for your pride is great. You treat me, your elder, with no respect, young one.”
“Elder?” Karstrel took in the hag with eyes clouded by judgement. “I would be ashamed to call you that! You, who talks about my mother, as if you knew her! As if she would mingle with the likes of you.” Karstrel’s face showed her disgust.
“As if she would…” The woman cackled again. “She did come to me, quite often, young one. She came to me for advice and friendship. She saw me with true eyes, unclouded by pride and arrogance, as yours are. I will give you no rest here. Go on your way.” The hag retreated into her little house.
“How dare you!” Karstrel yelled.
“Your mother would be ashamed of you.” And the door closed.
All arguments drained out of her.It had been years since she had been chastised, more still since anyone had said what this wizened old woman had. She had always felt that her mother would have been proud of her and her accomplishments. She was the most graceful and acclaimed young lady in the queen’s court. A seed of doubt was in her mind and a piece of her confidence wavered.
She sat there staring at the door for a minute or so, then all her self-righteous indignation returned and she limped up to the door and tried to open it. She found that the door had been locked.
“Woman! Open this door immediately! I will not have you speak of my mother this way!” She continued to bang on the door, too preoccupied with her own suffering to notice her surroundings.
The man with the black hair stood there for a moment, watching her make a complete fool of herself. A sleek panther came into a patch of light behind him and growled lightly. He turned, caught the sight of it, and turned back. “Do you think we could just take the jewel from her and leave her here? I’m not excited at the prospect of traveling with her.” The panther stepped forward through the dark and shifted. There, where the animal had been, was a young man with red hair and eerie yellow eyes.
“No, we have to bring her with us.” He glanced at her as she continued to yell and hit the entrance to the hovel. “I doubt she’d give it to us anyway. She seems to be a most stubborn individual.”
“Indeed.” The man sighed and stepped toward her.
“I thought I told you to stay put.”
Karstrel quickly tuned, every muscle screaming in protest. “”You!” she backed away. “Stay away from me!”
He sighed and shook his head. If we wanted to hurt you, we would have.”
“We?”
Out of the shadows stepped the panther, yellow eyes glaring unflinchingly.
“We.” He indicated the tiger of the night. “Leave the old woman alone. She’s dealt with your harping for long enough.”
Karstrel sneered at him. “You have no right to give me orders. I am a Lady of the Monarchy and as such I deserve your respect!”
The man smiled and bowed with a flourish. “Milady.” He smile mocked her and his eyes mirrored it.
“I am!” she whined stomping her foot and then wincing as pain shot up her leg. The panther growled a bit, sounding amused, and the man snickered.
“Oh, I believe you.” He winked at her. “I am Amikol, a member of the wizard community.” He bowed again. “And that,” he gestured behind him, “is my brother Peebles.”
She contorted her face and incredulously said, “THAT is your brother?”
“He changes his shape when he pleases.” Amikol’s grin grew. “It would be better to speak of these things in a more…secure location.”
“Absolutely not. I am not going anywhere with you…rogues. I don’t even know you.” She turned to limp away.
In that moment Amikol made a quick decision. Yellow sparks flew from his fingertips to her head and she instantly slumped to the ground.
“Was that necessary?” the panther inquired.
“Perhaps not, but it will be easier. We’ll take her back to the house and then go find the other.”
“Be careful with her.” The crone opened the door to her hovel and pierced Amikol with her blind gaze. “She may be a rude, selfish, ridiculous little elf, but she is of noble birth and should not be abused.”
“No fear, grandmother. We’ll treat her well.”
She nodded and retreated into the darkness.
Amikol gently lifted her and he was gone. The panther slinked back into the shadows and the forest became quiet once more.
*****

Part 1 of The Revised Nomorims


Here it is. FINALLY! I typed it up…lol. I hope that anybody who reads it likes it. If you have any feed back I’d love to hear it!!!

Blue curtains were pushed back, allowing the sunlight to stream through the window onto the closed eyes of Lady Karstrel de Lunar, the toast of every elvish banquet and ball. The sun gleamed in her silky blonde hair as the maid gently shook her awake and her eyes snapped open.
“Milady, the governess from the human capital is due today.” The maid quivered.
“Ah, yes.”A smug smile crossed her face as she sat up and languidly stretched. Sighing in satisfaction, she glanced at the maid. Her contentment transformed to irritation. “Well, don’t just stand there stupidly! Draw me a bath!” The maid quickly curtsied and shuffled from the room.
“Such incompetence.” The lady muttered. She threw off the bed covers, donned her robe, and glided to her wardrobe. The gowns were all the height of fashion and elegance, such was the privilege of the rich. Her calculating, critical glance slid over every one, dismissing each. She huffed and rang a bell by her bed. A few seconds later a maid scurried in, her head down fearfully.
“What took you so long?” Karstrel demanded. The maid opened her mouth to speak but was cut off, “I have no wish to hear your insipid excuses. I’m paying you to be prompt.Where is my blue gown?” The maid was pierced by icy silver eyes for which the lady was known.
“Mi-milady?” the maid stammered.
“The gown I wore to the Winter Ball.” She tapped her foot impatiently.
“Is it not in your wardrobe, milady?” the servant squeaked.
“If it were, would I have called you?”
“N-n-n-n—”
“Go, find it!” she barked. The maid curtsied quickly and fled the room. Moments later an older maid entered with the dress in question.
She curtsied, “Milady.”
“Jackie, oh good.” Karstrel approached and examined the gown.
“I knew you would wish to wear it, so I had it pressed for you.” The blue, silky gown was lain on the bed.
“Well done. I was wondering where you were. These other maids are completely unsuitable to wait on me. They have no clue what they are about.”
“Yes, miss. Your bath is ready.” Jackie began to make the bed.
“Excellent.” Karstrel swished out to her bathing room and returned soon there after to be dressed by Jackie. Once the blue dress was on and straightened, Karstrel examined herself carefully. The gown was slimming, the obvious reason for the choice, but there seemed to be more to it than that. It made her look more graceful, cunning and much older than her seventeen years of age.
“Fetch me my barrette.” She commanded. Jackie got the engraved silver barrette from the jewelry box on the vanity. In the middle was a small blue stone, no bigger than a silver coin, but it radiated power. Karstrel loved wearing it because it made her feel like she could own the world. Jackie clipped it into place.
“Good.” Karstrel said. “You may go.”
The maid curtsied, left the room, and walked down the grand staircase into the flurry of activity downstairs. Servants bustled about with trays, vases of fresh flowers, dusters, and various other items in preparation for the governess’ arrival. On Jackie walked, dodging, turning and finally arriving in the Baron’s study. He sat at his desk, making sure that all of the legal documents were in order. He was unsure of the purpose behind this unexpected visit, but he was taking no chances. Governess Laurel was infamous for making noble families become nothing, fading into obscurity. He kept his door open, so that he could approve of the decorations going into the room where she would be staying and the various other arrangements that needed to be finalized. Jackie curtsied in the doorway of his study and waited.
The Baron glanced up and smiled grimly. “I hope she does not look too closely at the Arminda accounts. They are bordering legality according to the new government.” He set the documents aside. “I only saw two frightened maids this morning, Karstrel must be in a good mood.”
“She is…agitated. She is doing the final touches herself.”
“Hmm…” the Baron looked thoughtful. “No harm in that, I suppose. She is wearing it?”
“Yes, Milord.”
“Excellent. That will be all, Jackie, thank you.” And they both returned to their previous business.
By midafternoon everything was ready and the house was quiet. A thick tension had filled the air and seemed to grow with every minute that passed. The Baron remained in his study, responding to correspondence; Karstrel was in the library reading, one of the few things that brought her pleasure; and the servants were whispering and waiting. Due to this unnatural silence, the horses’ footsteps were heard clearly when the carriage was still a half-a-mile out. The groomsmen hurried to their positions and the hive was buzzing once again, for a last minute check. The Baron and his daughter met in the large foyer, to greet their guest.
The minute the governess stepped from her carriage, Karstrel took an instant dislike to her. Governess Laurel worked for the human government, but was not, in fact, human. She was a gnome, bulky and awkward, with corners where there should have been curves and sour expression permanently etched onto her face. Karstrel abhorred those who took no time to take care for their outer appearance. Her hair was in disarray and her dress was rumpled. What an awful first impression!
The governess entered the foyer and stretched her mouth into a grin, which made both of her hosts wince. The Baron bowed and Karstrel curtsied.
“Welcome, Governess, to our home.”
“We’re so glad you could come.” Karstrel added.
“Thank you for allowing me to join you.” Her was like that of a toad, it croaked and squeaked in a vulgar fashion.
Karstrel plastered a smile on her face as the Baron replied, “Nonsense, when we heard of your arrival we were delighted, were we not darling?” he asked, turning to his daughter.
“Indeed. Being a part of the court of the Monarchy for so long has kept me quite sheltered, I fear. I long to know of your system in the East.”
The governess bestowed what would have been a benevolent smile on Karstrel. “Democracy, my dear, is everywhere, including Rivell.”
“Of course, but Queen Marilia tries to shelter her young nobles from it.” The Baron supplied. “She wishes to keep up the semblance of a monarchy even if the Council does rule Rivell.”
“Yes, I know the technical workings of it all, naturally,” Karstrel added, “but you are ON the council and I’m certain that being on the inside is much more exciting.”
Governess Laurel’s frightful smile remained on her face, but she said nothing. An awkward silence descended. For one long moment no one said a word. Then Jackie came down the stairs.
She curtsied. “If it pleases you miss, the governess’ rooms are ready.”
“Well, excellent.” Karstrel clapped her hands together. “Jackie will show you to your rooms madame and she will be waiting on you personally.”
“Thank you. I’ll call you when I’m ready for tea.” They were dismissed as the governess waddled and limped up the stairs. As soon as she was out of sight the Baron and his daughter released their pent-up breath. He patted her shoulder.
“Courage, my love. Courage.”
*****
Three hours later, Karstrel was waiting for a summons for tea. It was two hours after a common tea time and she was utterly frustrated. The governess was ignoring the noble politeness owed to her hosts and that was simply infuriating.
After the governess’ arrival the Baron had retreated into his study with strict orders that no one disturb him unless the governess summoned. Karstrel was in her blue sitting room beginning to write a letter to a friend.
She felt a sort of tension in the air, but ignored it telling her friend of the governess’ impudence and disgusting manner. Slowly the feeling of anxiety grew Until she could no longer ignore it. Then her barrette started to hum. An anxious and weird feeling washed over her, and then the building started to shake. Karstrel unclipped her hair and stared at the small blue stone in the middle of her jewelry. The hum was coming from that stone. She glanced around. The pictures were shaking and then falling, glass shattering everywhere. She screamed and fell to the ground as furniture began sliding and breaking around her. She shakily got up and began to stumble to the door. Her small couch fell in front of the door just as she reached it. She pushed it with all her strength, straining to get it to move, and then it gave way! She ran out the door and continued to run through the mine field of her house. She made a turn and the tone of the stone changed to a more ominous note. Quickly, she turned around and it changed to the note it had been before. Karstrel payed no attention to where she was going, but followed the notes of the song coming from the small gem. The rumbling and shaking of the house came to a pitch and the whole of it exploded in fire and magic. Karstrel fell and darkness came over her.
*****