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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works.
Valdemar world, characters, events belong to Mercedes Lackey and Tor Publishing

Tests of Blood - 20. Chapter 20

“If you say the word ‘patience’ one more time I am going to blast you.” Dalen growled as he ‘stared’ at his next task.

“I think there is no need to say it anymore.” Windfire’s spirit chuckled from behind Dalen.

“No, I understand.” Dalen sighed and relaxed. Even after all this time his body felt no less real than it had before he’d come into this weird half-existence. As he relaxed further the flows of power around the central nexus of the Permanent Gate became more and more clear.

After what seemed like years in this small workroom, Dalen had at last progressed to the point where the spirit would let him begin to work on the Gate itself. The first third of his time here had been pure hell, with him spending every conscious moment fretting about what was happening back in Valdemar while he struggled with Tayledras verb-noun agreements. Then there were these extremely basic lessons in magic that the spirit insisted he master before progressing to the next level.

Finally Dalen realized that all his worrying about what was going on in Valdemar was only making his forced exile from his homeland longer. Every moment spent worrying about the events happening in that other world was a moment when he was not moving towards getting there. Then he had another lesson to learn in that rushing headlong into learning Tayledras magic was a recipe for disaster.

It had taken a long time for his sense to recover from that little accident, and Firewind’s constant murmuring to him about patience had nearly driven him insane. The spirit of the dead Tayledras Adept had spent what felt like an eternity to him without any company, and now he had a temperamental teenager to tease.

Windfire must have thought he’d reached his Goddess’s heaven.

The mage must have been a horrible tease when he was alive, always with a quip or jest on hand that would strike home on anyone he focused his attention towards. No wonder he’d left k’Chona Vale. It had probably been just ahead of a lynching mob, and no wonder they hadn’t bothered to look for him when he disappeared.

No, those were unkind thoughts and Dalen pushed them aside. In truth, Windfire did have a very acerbic wit, and was very observant of even the smallest of details. Dalen had never worked with someone, or been taught by someone with the instincts and wisdom that Windfire had possessed when he was alive. Nor had he ever imagined understanding the flows of power so well, the nature of ley-lines, nodes, heartstones and anything made with magic. The possibilities were endless, if he could ever master this Gate and get back home.

Dalen also had learned other lessons besides the magic that Windfire was teaching him. In the end, Windfire had failed, and the humility of that lesson was something deep inside the Tayledras mage. From Windfire’s failure Dalen began to understand just what true failure meant, and how its effects could be more far-reaching than he could possibly imagine.

There were even more lessons as well. When Dalen’s mind overloaded with what he was learning, he needed rest of a sort. Here the physical need to eat, drink, or sleep did not exist, but he did need rest. The problem was that when he rested, he risked losing his sense of self, his identity. That was a danger here, because if he rested too much, he would cease to exist as an individual being. His essence would join the ebb and flow of power around this pocket of reality in a mad world.

When Dalen needed that rest, he had to trust that Windfire would ‘hold’ him together. Never before had he been so intimately aware of how much control of his existence another being could possess, and he’d been terrified of it the first few times. Now though, he knew he would trust Windfire with anything.

That was another thing.

Dalen was human, as Windfire had been, and so no matter how much the urgency of Valdemar’s need drove him, Dalen could not spend all his time learning and preparing to leave. When he had enough of lessons and did not feel like resting, he and Windfire would talk. Sometimes they would talk of Windfire’s life, and the Tayledras. Other times they would talk of Dalen’s much shorter life.

He learned many things in those talks, things he had never expected. The Tayledras largely kept their history by oral traditions, and in their discussions Dalen learned just how much his perceptions of the Hawkbrothers had been skewed. Oh, the basics had been right, but had been shorn of much of the breadth and rich detail that he learned from Windfire.

For his part, Windfire was proving to be a valuable advisor. Dalen found he could tell the spirit all about his life, and those in it, and all that he was facing when he’d ended up in this place. The Tayledras lived in a far different way than Valdemarans, and their classless society was something that Dalen found extremely helpful when thinking about the issues facing Valdemar.

“Oh, it is not a classless society as you would imagine.” Windfire retorted when Dalen had made a comment about that. “If you ask the non-mages, they will tell you that everything in the Vales defer to the mages. The Tervadi will tell you the Hertasi get special treatment because they are always taking care of the Tayledras. There are always rivalries and perceived slights between different groups whenever they come together as a society. The key is to see which are simply perceived slights and which are real problems. The problems you can do something about. The perceptions, well all living beings are entitled them. For instance, I perceive that you need to rest no matter how much you protest otherwise.”

“You win, I do need rest.” Dalen had replied with a smile.

“At last, the beginning of wisdom in my student!” Windfire had laughed. Now, he wasn’t laughing as much, but he was extremely serious as he observed Dalen’s deft movements with the central core of the Permanent Gate. This was where both Losien and Windfire had made their mistakes, and it was Dalen who had seen their error.

“This is what you get when you take a mage who understands science and a naturalist mage like a Tayledras and they work together.” Dalen grumbled as he focused on the problem he was facing. “They think that together they can do anything, when what you really need is a mage who understands both methods.”

“There haven’t been many of those, my pupil.” Windfire said gently, doing his best not to disrupt Dalen’s concentration. The truth was the conversation was keeping Dalen relaxed instead of distracted. This was the most dangerous part of getting back to Valdemar. It felt like he’d been gone for years, and he dreaded stepping back through the Gate to find out that Valdemar was long gone, conquered by outsiders or so unrecognizable as to be a different country.

What would he do then?

“Don’t let your attention wander, young one.” Windfire’s gentle voice kept him on the path, and he made the final connection between the node in the other world, Dalen’s world, and the Permanent Gate. With a flare of light, the Gate began to power, and Dalen turned to face Windfire’s spirit with a broad smile of triumph.

“We did it!” Dalen said excitedly, no longer noticing that he spoke mostly in Tayledras now.

“You did it, Dalen.” Windfire said with a smile as the power in the Gate began to build. Dalen looked at it with alarm as he realized the full implications. At last he was going home, and Windfire, he was…

“I am already dead, Dalen.” Windfire said as the ‘room’ they were in began to vibrate with the growing power of the Gate. “I have been dead for a long time, and had many years to ponder it while I waited for you. Do not grieve for me. I go now to the arms of my Goddess, but I do it proudly. Once I thought the purpose of my life was to create something that everyone would see and was known as my creation, but now I know it was something else. Dalen, you are my proudest accomplishment. You are an Adept, and a better mage I have never known.”

“Thank you, Windfire.” Dalen whispered as the vibrations in the room grew. The Permanent Gate was dragging them back to the real world, and with it the spirit in front of him was fading. “Not just for the lessons in magic, but for being my true mentor.”

“Zhai’hellava, brother.” Windfire whispered just as a flash of light and power blinded Dalen for a moment. When he opened his eyes again, the workroom was just as it had been before, complete with Windfire’s body in the canopy of overgrown plants where Dalen had moved it, but above him, there was something different.

After seeing nothing but the bright flows and eddies of pure power above him, Dalen was shocked by the startling blue color of the Valdemaran sky. Wisps of angry gray clouds began to appear as he stared up, and he knew a god-awful storm had brewed up with the massive amount of energy that had washed over this plane with his return. With a shake of his head, he looked around for the entryway that had once led into nothingness and now led into the familiar confines of the work area. He was back in Burnham Vale, where he had intended to go so long ago.

He felt older, much older than just sixteen, and he wondered if days, weeks, or months had passed in his absence. With the power that had brought him back, he knew someone had to have noticed his return, and so he went through the entryway on weak legs, hoping someone would meet him.

No one did at first, and he began to worry until he passed a mirror in the hallway between the private areas of the Vale and the public areas. What he saw in the mirror shocked him and he stared, running his hands over his features. It seemed surreal, the way his shoulder-length hair was a pure white. The white wasn’t the white of elderly men either. Rather it was almost a translucent white that seemed to shimmer slightly with the colors being reflected by the dim mage lights and the light from the sky above the dome. His eyes were no longer their natural color, but rather a bright icy blue color that seemed to transition between silver and ice blue as he looked at himself.

The starkest, and most unexpected change was to his skin. He’d always had a decent tan complexion that would grow darker in summer when he spent time outside, but now his skin was pale, almost ivory in color. It made him wonder if he’d burn just by going out in the sun.

You are going to look like a statue when you show up in Whites. A male voice in his head caused him to turn and stare at the public area of the vale and if he could have, he’d have gone even paler at the sight of the Companion standing there, staring at him.

Okay, where’s your Herald?” Dalen asked him cautiously.

I don’t have one, yet. The Companion replied with a hint of laughter in his voice.

Who else is in here that you’re going to Choose? Dalen asked, again cautiously.

Don’t the Shin’a’in have a saying about third time being the charm? The Companion’s mind voice was filled with laughter this time.

I hate Shin’a’in sayings. Dalen growled.

I love them. The Companion said and made a horsey sound that sounded an awful lot like laughter. Aren’t we going to be quite the pair?

So it has come at last. Dalen said with a sigh as he looked at the Companion’s eyes. It was said that when a Herald first looked into his Companion’s eyes that he got lost in them and knew he’d always have someone who loved him, and that he would never be alone again.

You’ve never been very lonely, but I will always be there, watching your back and coming up with pithy Shin’a’in sayings. The Companion said in a tone that was part serious and part humorous. We might as well get the traditional part of this over with. My name is Jadev and I Choose you, Dalen, if you will have me.

Why do I feel like you’re asking me to marry you?” Dalen joked lightly.

Maybe because it is a lot like being married, and between us there is almost no chance of divorce. Jadev replied good-naturedly.

I accept. Dalen said and something inside him shifted at that moment. He truly was lost in those eyes, and he felt his whole world adjusting, changing. Once, he might have panicked, but his time in the ethereal plane with Windfire had taught him to place his trust completely into the hands of others. This time, the person he was trusting just didn’t have hands.

“Is it safe to come out yet?” A somewhat familiar voice asked and Dalen looked past the Companion, his Companion to see Blake standing further down the room in a set of Trainee Grays. His own Companion was standing next to him.

“Wait a minute!” Dalen snarled. “Jadev, Radev, are you two Companions related?”

We’re twins. Jadev laughed in Dalen’s mind as he stepped towards Dalen so that Dalen could wrap his arms around his Companion’s neck.

“That’s no fair!” Dalen said aloud. “I can take you, but that one over there called me vain!”

“Was he wrong?” Blake laughed and Dalen fixed him with a glare.

“What happened to that sweet innocent farm boy I met?” Dalen asked.

“After a little more than six weeks with him, I’m corrupted beyond recovery.” Blake laughed and Dalen smiled before frowning.

“Six weeks?” He asked.

“You’ve been missing for six weeks, yes.” Blake said with a frown. “There’s a lot to catch up on.”

“Wait, how come you’re here?” Dalen asked him. “You were supposed to be heading to Haven.”

“Fortunately for me, Jadev here showed up while we were still two days out.” Blake provided the answer for Dalen’s questions and then some. “He told Radev that we were to come with him, and wouldn’t explain further. I almost got off and walked the rest of the way to Haven, but Radev finally convinced me to go with his brother.”

“I’ve always heard Companions are pushy.” Dalen said while running his hands through Jadev’s silky mane. It was a relaxing feeling, almost surreal.

You have no idea. Jadev said into his mind.

“So, anyway, they start taking me south and we ran into a Herald about three days later.” Blake continued. “The Herald sent us down to Prince’s Retreat.”

“To where?” Dalen asked in confusion.

Your little valley where you were when you disappeared. The voice was very close to Jadev’s but Dalen knew somehow that it was not his Companion’s.

“Radev’s right on that.” Blake said with a smile. “It’s where Captain Helgenberger and Herald Nevin are forming the resistance.”

“The what?” Dalen’s voice did crack at this, and he felt tired. The next thing he knew he was sitting on the floor, leaning against Jadev, who had lain down also.

You fainted. Jadev said with a worried tone. Radev’s Chosen is getting some food for you. When we came we didn’t know what condition you would be in, so we brought a lot of things.

“How did you know I was coming today?” Dalen asked aloud as he leaned against his Companion. Again he was overtaken with a slight sense of wonder at that thought.

“They say that Companions always know when and where to be in order to meet their Chosen.” Blake answered for the companions as he showed back up. He held a canteen of water in one hand, and a bar of high-energy fruit compacted with a honey oat mixture. The water was wonderful, and the food was even better.

“Oh, that is so good.” Dalen sighed. “It’s like I haven’t eaten in years.”

“Where have you been?” Blake asked. “Everyone on both sides has been going crazy blaming each other for your disappearance.”

“Both sides?” Dalen asked around bites of the bar. Blake already had another one in his hand for when Dalen finished the first bar.

“The Loyalists and the Royalists.” Blake said with a sigh as he sat back on his heel and took a bite out of the bar he was holding. When he realized what he’d done he got a guilty look on his face. “Uh, sorry, I uh…”

“Don’t worry about it.” Dalen said with a smile. “There’s supposed to be a staff here…”

“They’re in prison along with all the other suspected Royalist sympathizers.” Blake explained quickly, only causing Dalen more confusion. “The Regent blames them for your disappearance and the Royalists are claiming that you were ambushed here and that’s why the staff is being held incommunicado.”

“That’s insane.” Dalen said with wide eyes. “I assume the Regent is my dear mother?”

“Yes, and she’s the head of the Loyalist faction.” Blake continued. “They blame Heralds for the old King’s death, and their pushing for peace with the Haighlei. She’s pretty much given the Haighlei priests all they want in return for their help pushing the Menmillith folks out of Valdemar. General Lofar is with their army fighting to free the farms that were taken.

“Your father…” Dalen began in a worried tone.

“Don’t worry, they’re safe.” Blake said with a grin. “Captain Helgenberger and Herald Nevin led a rescue party. They got most of the crops and all the people as well as all the livestock to the safety of Prince’s Retreat. It’s kind of crowded there now, but everyone’s working together so it isn’t too bad. Things were really bad until Jadev showed up and informed the Heralds that you’d be coming back today. I don’t think they half-believed him, but you know Heralds. They’ll take their Companions word on almost anything.”

“Oh.” Dalen said as he tried to absorb the details the way his stomach was absorbing the food. He didn’t dare eat more than one bar just yet. As much as he’d felt like he’d had his body back in that ethereal plane with Windfire, now he was realizing once again what it felt like to have a real body.

“Now that I’ve brought you up to date, where were you?” Blake asked with real curiosity burning behind his green eyes. They were a nice, deep dark green, Dalen noticed. He had to admit that Blake was quite the handsome young man.

“I think I should wait so I don’t have to make the conversation over again when we meet back up with the others.” Dalen teased the other young man.

“Oh c’mon, you can tell me!” Blake cajoled him. “Do you think it was easy sneaking two Companions and a Herald-Trainee in here? Don’t I deserve something for that?”

“Sure you do.” Dalen said with a smile and did something he’d never have done before that night with Carl, and before spending six weeks, or was it six years trapped in another plane of existence.

“Uh, wow.” Blake said softly as Dalen leaned back after kissing Blake. The Herald-Trainee was shorter than Dalen, but well-built from farm life. His blond hair had tinges of red in it, and when he smiled Dalen noticed that his molars were a little larger than normal, but his lips were a nice cherry color.

“You don’t kiss half bad.” Dalen smiled as he climbed to his feet. Even as Jadev also got to his feet in that weird manner of horses, Dalen smiled down at Blake who was staring at him with wide eyes.

“You seem different than when I first met you.” Blake said gently. “Then you were all serious. Now, it’s like, I don’t know how to describe it.”

“Then don’t try.” Dalen smiled. “For you it’s been six weeks, but to me it feels a lot longer. Get your gear. I assume we have saddles for both these beasts?”

I am not a beast! Jadev’s mental voice was outraged and he nipped Dalen’s ear with very strong horse teeth.

Whatever you say. Dalen laughed and realized he was feeling almost giddy. The world was real around him, he was out of that damn trap. He’d eaten, he’d had something to drink, and before too long he’d have some sleep. It all seemed too wonderful, even if he would now have to worry about the troubles ahead of him. First though, there was one other duty he had to perform.

“We’re heading back to the retreat?” Blake asked him as he returned with a saddle under one arm, and another over his shoulder. He didn’t wait for an answer before dumping the gear and turning around to get more things from the entrance dome.

“No, I have something else I have to do that comes first.” Dalen said with a hint of sadness. Blake looked up at him with a frown.

“What comes before saving Valdemar?” Blake asked.

“A duty of personal honor.” Dalen said with a heavy feeling. Windfire’s body would begin to decompose now that he was back in the material plane. Blake’s every pore expressed his curiosity, but he held it as they saddled the Companions and loaded the saddlebags. It was odd saddling a Companion because their equipment was all different, although the rump band was still the rump band. When they were ready, they followed him deeper in to the Vale compound, stopping in the living area so Dalen could grab a green satin sheet to use as a shroud.

What in the name of all the Kings of Valdemar is that? Jadev’s mental voice was loud and full of shock as they entered the secret workroom and saw the Permanent Gate.

“Uh, what he said.” Blake murmured as Dalen stared at the Gate himself. It had an almost ethereal quality to it now, glowing with warm power. The stone arches were practically exuding warmth now.

“That is a Permanent Gate, and where I’ve been for the past six weeks.” Dalen explained.

Permanent Gates are impossible unless tied to the life energies of a mage, or mages. Jadev said and Dalen noted that again Blake could hear Dalen’s Companion from the way the trainee gasped. Once tied to a Permanent Gate, the mage can’t go very far from it or he dies. What have you done, Dalen?

“This Gate is tied to the node underneath Burnham.” Dalen answered as a flash of lightning lit the sky above them. He frowned at that. “I really should take care of that storm, but I don’t have the time or energy.”

“I wouldn’t worry about it too much.” Blake said. “The Haighlei have a detachment of their Priest-mages down here, trying to break into this place. The first time they tried to come in here, some shields flared over the place and they haven’t been able to break them.”

“Nor will they.” Dalen smiled as he crossed to the plants where he had temporarily ‘stowed’ Windfire’s body. It had never seemed to bother the spirit, but it had begun to bother Dalen and he had asked for permission to move it here. Now he was fulfilling Windfire’s request to take his body home. He knew the general location of the current k’Chona Vale, and while he’d never have been able to find it using regular Gates, he now had a Permanent Gate at his disposal, and he controlled the key to it so it would work for no one but him.

“Blessed Lady, is that a body?” Blake exclaimed when Dalen moved the curtain plants aside and got the sheet ready.

“Yes, his name was Windfire k’Chona and we’re taking him home to his people.” Dalen supplied as Blake swallowed once before coming to help him. Together they had the body wrapped in the sheet, and Dalen used magic to help them rig a litter between the two Companions to carry the body. The Permanent Gate was big enough for four Companions to walk through, so there was plenty of room as Dalen activated the Gate and began to tell it where he wanted to go.

It took longer than it would have if Dalen had intended to go somewhere he already knew, but as it was there was only a broad, general location to the far north and west of Valdemar. What he did have was a gate that had been built largely by Windfire, and that in its primal way remembered its creator and those who had magic like Windfire had once possessed. Together, Dalen and the Gate found the k’Chona Vale, and they found the areas that were commonly used as a Gate Terminus. Dalen knew such Terminus locations would be guarded by Tayledras scouts, so he sent the Companions through first.

Tayledras were now far less likely to shoot first and ask questions only of the dead, but Dalen took no chances. All Tayledras knew of Companions, and would not doubt them when they saw what it was coming through the Gate. Only after the two Companions were through did he follow with Blake right at his heels. He did not intend to stay long, and so the Gate stayed active behind him.

“Who are you?” A young woman in the brown and greens of a Scout asked him in Tayledras little changed from when he’d learned it from Windfire.

“I am Dalen Ashkevron of Valdemar.” Dalen answered her in the same language, seeing her eyebrows go up slightly.

“What is your business with k’Chona?” She asked him sharply.

“I return one of your own to you.” Dalen said formally. “Here is the body of one Windfire k’Chona. His spirit now rests with the Goddess.”

“There is no Windfire in k’Chona.” The woman said suspiciously as an older woman entered the small clearing. She had the long white hair of an experienced mage and Dalen sensed she was an Adept.

“Peace, Sharptongue.” The Adept said with a careful look at Dalen. “Stranger, you have the look of one who was caught in a Gate between worlds and managed to survive. Few have ever done so, two in known history. One was a good being, the other evil.”

“I am Dalen of Valdemar.” Dalen reintroduced himself. “I was stationed in the Burnham area, located in the South of Valdemar.”

“I am familiar with it.” The woman said with a frown. “Windfire’s Folly is what we called it, after the Adept that established it to conduct some sort of study there. He is said to have perished there. After, we asked k’Treva, who have many dealings with your people, to make it safe for your kind.”

“They did so, but they did not Gate there directly.” Dalen said with a slight smile on his face. Oh how Windfire would have loved tweaking this uptight woman’s nose a bit. Well, Windfire was gone now, so Dalen would have to do it for him. “If they had Gated there directly, they would have found what I did, and would have returned Windfire to his home long before now. I must say, he was quite put out when he had to be rescued, as it were, by a barbarian Valdemaran instead of one of his own people. He’d have been much happier even with a k’Treva mage as outlandish as they are reputed.”

“You speak with far too familiarity, Dalen of Valdemar.” The woman said brusquely and Dalen smiled to himself. Yep, Windfire would have loved making her life hell if he was still alive.

“Mayhap I do, but it is I who has returned Windfire’s remains to his people.” Dalen said proudly. “Many years ago he was attempting to tie a Permanent Gate to a node and failed.”

“The fool!” She spat angrily. “He could have done much damage!”

“He could have, but instead he took his workroom and himself into the ethereal to prevent an explosion in our world.” Dalen said, taking no offense at her words. After all, he’d heard Windfire call himself worse for his mistakes. “When I made a Gate back to Burnham…”

“Your gate was caught by the element still connecting the Permanent Gate to the node in this world.” The woman answered. So, maybe she wasn’t a complete idiot after all.

“Yes, and I found myself in Windfire’s workroom in that other plane.” Dalen continued and she frowned.

“So Windfire was still alive?” She asked.

“He died in the accident, but his spirit was still cohesive and bound to that plane.” Dalen explained. “Windfire knew anyone making a Gate to that area would be trapped there, and so he kept the matter of his workroom from collapsing into the energy plane. When I came through, he taught me what I needed to know to complete his work and escape.”

“You were able to complete his Permanent Gate?” She asked him breathlessly.

“Yes.” Dalen answered and then decided to answer the next question before she asked it of him. “Yes, I am capable of making more Permanent Gates tied to nodes. It is not easy and takes a great deal of effort as well as preparation, but it can be done. Oh, and I am sorry, but Valdemar is in a state of turmoil right now and I need to concentrate my time and energy on that for the moment. Maybe, if I live through these times, we can talk about the creation of Permanent Gates.”

“I am Frostfleaf.” She said with a bow of her head. “Thank you for bringing the body of a kinsman home. I pray that you will also one day bring his knowledge home as well.”

“Only if time, and the Goddess permits.” Dalen answered her with a Tayledras saying before bowing his head. Two of the scouts who had been listening came and took the body and its litter from the back of the Companions. Even as they’d gone first through the Gate, this time the Companions brought up the rear. When he was back through, Dalen gave a sigh of relief and closed the Gate right behind Jadev.

You almost left part of my tail back there! Jadev complained, but Dalen didn’t rise to the bait the Companion was giving him. There were tears in his eyes, tears for Windfire, he realized. It’ll be okay, Chosen.

“I hope so, horse.” Dalen shot back, suddenly feeling better right up until his Companion gave him a very horsey bite on the shoulder. Somehow he felt he was going to be getting a lot of those in the future.

Valedmar and its world belong to Mercedes Lackey. Everything else belongs to dkstories. Copyright ©2013; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works.
Valdemar world, characters, events belong to Mercedes Lackey and Tor Publishing
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This was one of my favorite chapters so far. We got our training montage (time or at least the perception of time passes much slower in the ether), Dalen is a full Adept with a greater understanding of magic than anyone in Valdemar and he's been chosen by a Companion with a hilarious personality. I imagine Dalen has also matured and outgrown a lot of his character flaws.

 

I wonder if the Loyalists actually caused the war with the Black Kings? I wonder how far the conspiracy goes. What will Dalen's mother think when she finds out that Dalen is now a Companion? What will the nation think when they witness Dalen's new power? I'm psyched for the next chapter.

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yes i agree my favorite chapter so far i just had to re-read it after i finished lol. I am psyched as well for what his mother's response will be to her son being chosen, i believe that she used him and twisted him so that he will never want to be chosen and so she can further use him in her schemes for power, now Dalen is a full adept and with the knowledge of windfire, will make an impressive mage. I am barely holding on to what little patience i have need to fast forward time to tonight sigh can't wait.

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On 01/30/2013 11:16 PM, Rebelghost85 said:
This was one of my favorite chapters so far. We got our training montage (time or at least the perception of time passes much slower in the ether), Dalen is a full Adept with a greater understanding of magic than anyone in Valdemar and he's been chosen by a Companion with a hilarious personality. I imagine Dalen has also matured and outgrown a lot of his character flaws.

 

I wonder if the Loyalists actually caused the war with the Black Kings? I wonder how far the conspiracy goes. What will Dalen's mother think when she finds out that Dalen is now a Companion? What will the nation think when they witness Dalen's new power? I'm psyched for the next chapter.

I have to agree that this chapter was one of my absolute favorites. From my experience, it is someone outside the home or outside the normal surroundings of a teenager who can make the most impact. For Dalen, Windfire was that person and exactly what he needed.
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On 01/31/2013 01:15 AM, itachibones said:
yes i agree my favorite chapter so far i just had to re-read it after i finished lol. I am psyched as well for what his mother's response will be to her son being chosen, i believe that she used him and twisted him so that he will never want to be chosen and so she can further use him in her schemes for power, now Dalen is a full adept and with the knowledge of windfire, will make an impressive mage. I am barely holding on to what little patience i have need to fast forward time to tonight sigh can't wait.
Dalen is indeed reaching his full potential as an Adept. The Talaydreas have a very active Goddess who often invtervenes in the lives of her people (Shin'a'in, Talaydreas, Kaled'a'in, and even Valdemarans now). I wouldn't be surprised if she intervened a little here and made sure Dalen met Windfire,, hitting two birds with one stone.
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LOL, I'm loving Dalen's Companion. I'm also somewhat concerned and curious if we have seen the last of Bart. I want to believe that is a no but another part says IF we see him again that he will not play the part to which I figured he would originally.

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At last our hero embraces his destiny to its fullest. I'm glad that Blake was spared capture. Compelling read, thank you.

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