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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 - 27. Chapter 27

“The primary node is empty.” Dalen said flatly as the Permanent Gate shut down with the last of the Heralds being transferred to Prince’s Retreat. First through that Gate had been Prince Dellinar, Heir to the Throne and King’s Own Herald (trainee) Bart Firkin. Both had been protesting that they shouldn’t be first, but Dalen’s own glare from where he rested at a nearby table silenced them.

“How are you holding up?” Nevin asked him gently and Dalen shook his head. Master-level Herald-Mage Thomas had already recovered thanks to his tapping several of the ley-lines that fed into the reserve nodes. Dalen’s own power reserves were in decent condition, but he was exhausted from the pure rivers of power that he’d been handling back in Haven just a few short hours ago.

“I’m well.” Dalen said after a moment’s self analysis. He’d slept for the first two hours and then eaten ravenously for most of the last while Herald-Mage Mavren waited for the Gate to recharge. She may only have been Journeyman level, but she had an affinity for working the Permanent Gate and making it last longer while using less power than it had when Dalen was directing its use.

“Herald-Mage Laken was in the injured bunch.” Nevin said and Dalen closed his eyes with relief. That was confirmation that three of the Adept-level Herald-Mages still alive after the explosion in the Palace were now with them. Herald-Mage Andley was reported to have holed up at Ashkevron Manor in the last few weeks. When Dellinar, who was also Adept-class and Dalen was included in the mix that meant they would have six Adept-class Herald-Mages. There were still missing Heralds and Herald-Mages that had been on circuit patrols, but the majority was now accounted for, as well as the regular Heralds who were by no means useless when it came to magic.

There were another eight Master-class Herald Mages and sixteen Journeyman-level, three of whom would one day reach Master-class. Among the Trainees that had been rescued were another ten Herald-Mages to be, two with Adept potential and all of the rest easily able to make Master-class when their training was complete. For now though, they were young, with the oldest just having celebrated his fifteenth birthday and unlike Dalen, he’d only been in training as a mage for a year and half instead of three years.

“Are we going to have enough?” Dalen asked aloud. Neither of them knew, especially since Dellinar would be at least another month recovering before he could be expected to handle any mage duties. How long Laken took to recuperate was another wild card and the fact was that the young mages still needed training would take more energy and time from the experienced mages. Granted, many of their lessons could be taught by experienced Journeyman and Masters, but the stronger students would need to be trained by the Adepts if they were ever going to reach their potential.

“Enough mages?” Nevin asked and then he shrugged. “Valdemar survived for seven hundred years without any.”

“Yes, but we had protections then that we don’t have now.” Dalen reminded him and Nevin frowned.

“I thought you were going to try and do that?” He asked Dalen.

“I didn’t want to risk the Vrondi.” Dalen murmured. “At least the changes to the Web that I made worked, but the other part, well I’m not Vanyel Ashkevron. I’ve only summoned the Vrondi once and I’m just not familiar enough with them. Maybe someday when I’ve had years more experience behind me, but not today.”

“At least you know your limits.” Nevin assured him.

“Are there any healers left here?” Dalen asked. “I’m going to need a massive painkiller for the reaction headache that is setting in on me, and at least a full night’s sleep. In fact, the sooner I start on the sleep, the better.”

“We’ve got a couple hundred Guards, three Healers, and sixteen full Heralds here as well as one stubborn trainee.” Nevin said with a look at Blake who was sitting innocently next to Dalen.

“Radev said we stay and I don’t argue with my Companion.” Blake said with a shrug while Dalen snorted with disbelief.

“Oh yeah, what about the time that you wanted to put itch powder in…” Dalen started to tattle on Blake, who spluttered before putting his hand over Dalen’s mouth and smiling at Nevin.

“Honestly, Herald, I think he really needs that medicine.” Blake said in a deadpan voice as he tried not to giggle. Dalen was licking the inside of his fingers, tickling them. “The good Prince is starting to have imaginary memories.”

“Imaginary memories, eh?” Nevin said with a smile. “I have not heard of that symptom before.”

“It’s peculiar to mages who’ve just held off a dozen other mages and now is trying to get his best friend in the world in trouble.” Blake retorted and then screamed in pain as Dalen bit his fingers.

“I don’t know what you are, but you are not my best friend.” Dalen said in a mock-angry voice. “Bart is my best friend.”

“That’s King’s Own Herald to you.” Nevin said with an admonishing finger. “He ranks you, remember?”

“Ye gods don’t ever tell him that.” Dalen snorted with a shake of his head. “He’ll spend the next twenty years rubbing that in my face. The little page who now ranks the mighty Prince. Ugh.”

“You’re sounding better.” Nevin said with a fond smile.

“This creep always cheers me up somehow.” Dalen said with an elbow pushed lightly to Blake’s ribs. The blond Trainee looked pleased at the comment.

What am I, chopped liver? Jadev tried to sound offended, but failed.

No, you are smelly horse out in the rain. Dalen laughed. The shields had been expanded and the Companions were out in the rain now. Luckily it was a warm rain instead of a winter blast, although Dalen had noticed a distinct smell of wet horse when he’d poked his head out there earlier. For all that they were as intelligent as their riders, Companions were still in the form of horses and when they were wet, they smelled no different from any other wet horse.

I have an itch. Jadev complained. Will my rider please come out here and bring a brush with him?

There’s plenty of grass out there. Dalen countered. Go for a roll like the horse you resemble.

“Oh, I don’t think that was a wise thing to say.” Blake laughed as Jadev gave a purely mental snort of indignation and slammed down his own mental barriers against Dalen. Dalen just smiled at Blake and tried to look indignant while Radev chuckled in their head. Of the two Companion brothers, Radev was smart enough to not get into verbal arguments with his rider unless he knew he was going to win.

“Your Companions?” Nevin asked with a slight smile.

“Yes.” Dalen said tiredly. There was still a lot going on, and the Healers were busy with a few injured people they hadn’t wanted to move just yet, so while he desperately wanted something for his reaction headache, he would wait until they had a chance to see to the truly needy. “Why is it that we hear each other’s Companions?”

“Companion twins are rare.” Nevin said with a shrug. “Most of the time they choose Heralds that are twins themselves, or who are related in some way. The last two times Companion twins were recorded, they chose lifebonded couples.

“Oh now, are we going to be lifebonded?” Blake asked with a frown. “I’m sorry Dalen, I know that Bard kind of likes you, but you’re a bit pale for my tastes.”

“Are you the same Holderkin boy that I knew who nearly fainted when he first heard about men pairing off with men?” Dalen countered. He hadn’t been there when it happened, but he’d heard about it from Jadev.

“I’ve gotten over that.” Blake said with a blush and Dalen smiled.

“It is something to consider, and why we have been letting the two of you stay together so much.” Nevin answered honestly. “Do either of you feel like you can’t live without the other?”

“No.” Blake said with a sidelong look at Dalen and a blush.

“Spit it out.” Dalen half-growled and Blake blushed.

“If you have to know, well there’s someone that’s caught my eye and it’s not Dalen.” Blake said with a very slight stammer. “You gotta remember, we don’t talk about this kind of stuff back home.”

“It is okay, son, but if you remember what I told you, we have to talk about everything if we are going to get through these times together.” Nevin replied.

“I know.” Blake said with a sigh. “When I think about Dalen, well he’s like a solid presence in my mind, someone who will always be there for me, and who I’ll do anything for, but he’s not, you know, who I think about at night, if you know what I mean.”

“You mean when you masturbate?” Dalen asked just to see Blake blush and was rewarded with the desired reaction.

“Stop that.” Blake growled as he pushed at Dalen, but there was a little smile on his face as well.

“I see.” Nevin said with a frown. “Well, these are interesting times as the Shin’a’in say, and odd things happen in interesting times.”

“I just know that I’m supposed to be here with Dalen at times, and that he needs me.” Blake said firmly and Dalen nodded since that matched his own feelings.

“Well, we’ll manage that whenever we can.” Nevin said as he stood up. “I see a Healer coming in so I’ll see about your medicine, Dalen.”

“Thank you.” Dalen said with a sigh and rubbed his temples.

“How are you doing?” The strange Healer asked. This was a relatively young woman in her late twenties and she was carrying a goblet filled with some healing mixture or another that she set down in front of Dalen before taking his head in between her hands.

“I’m tired and I’ll have a massive reaction headache before too long.” Dalen answered her as he felt her begin the process of delving him for injuries.

“I don’t sense any drugs or other untoward things in your system.” She said after scanning him for what seemed like the longest time. “You have the beginnings of a massive reaction headache that I’ve pain-blocked for now. Drink this up and I’ll keep it blocked while you get some rest, which you should do very soon. In fact, I recommend ending this little gathering and getting some rest immediately.”

“We will, Healer, and thank you.” Nevin said in a serious tone and she nodded but didn’t move off. She stood there waiting while Dalen drank the entire bitter contents of the goblet before she took it back and walked away. Dalen looked over at Nevin who was opening his mouth when it started.

“Not again.” Blake groaned as the sky lit up with the flash of mage-fire. The shields around the Vale, tied to the same three nodes that fed the gate held against the initial onslaught, but Dalen saw the immediate dangers of the attack, as did Herald-Mages Loishia and Mavren.

“Damn!” Loishia exclaimed as she stood with her hands over her head and began moving them in complicated gestures, adding her own reinforcements to the areas of the shield that were weakening. “They must have sensed the draining of the node.”

“Those two reserve nodes aren’t going to hold out forever.” Mavren noted while Dalen stood and prepared to join them in making shields. A hand on his arm stopped him and he looked at Nevin’s worried face.

“The Healer said you’ve already got a massive reaction headache.” Nevin warned him.

“Yes, but my power reserves are in excellent shape.” Dalen said as he extended raw senses outside the shield. “None of them are half as powerful as what we faced in Haven. They do not have access to any nodes or ley-lines in this area and their own power reserves will give out long before both the reserve nodes, but I need to help. The Healer pain blocked me so I can still function.”

“Pain is a warning that we have overexerted ourselves.” Nevin said firmly. “Whether it is our muscles overstretched by too much exercise or our gifts overstretched by too much usage, the pain indicates that we must stop, rest, and recover.”

“I know that, but there are times for resting and times for action.” Dalen snapped at the man. “This is a time for action.”

“Be careful.” Nevin ordered as he released Dalen’s arm. Dalen just stared at him for a moment before walking over to the two female mages. They saw him approach and knew his intentions, so both of them reached out little tendrils of power to him that he took up instinctively.

Nevin was an experienced Herald and understood a great deal more than Dalen did about a great many subjects. The older Herald wasn’t a mage though, and he didn’t understand magic a tenth as well as Dalen did, and he never would because he was not a mage. As he took the two tired, but still steady women into a three-way rapport, Dalen also extended himself to tap the two reserve nodes, letting the power boil up inside him.

Despite the pain-block from the healer, he still felt little tendrils of pain from his abused power channels. Node energy was so much wilder than Heartstone energy and it took more time and concentration to tame it before he could use it effectively. With the two Journeyman mages feeding him energy, and strength, he quickly tamed the node energy, combining it with his own power and spinning it out in the form of the honeycomb shields he’d used in Haven.

Whatever their flaws, and the structural weakness in combs neighboring a breached section was a flaw, these types of shields were much better suited when facing attack by multiple mages using multiple techniques. The outer shields on the Vale were powerful, and fed directly by the nodes underneath the Vale, but they were sixty years old in their creation, and these mages used a far different style of magic than the creator of the shields had known.

Given enough time, these Haighlei mages would have been able to work a way through those shields, even if just a single breach through which their troops could invade the Vale. They had around five hundred of those troops out there right now, just waiting in the public sections of the Vale grounds that had been turned into a park and were not covered by the shields.

Dalen slowly worked on supplanting those original shields with layered honeycomb shields. Instead of totally taking down the pre-existing shields that had been created by Windfire, he used his knowledge of the Tayledras mage to supplant the old shields with his new ones even while continuing to repel the attacks. With a sigh of relief he felt the new shields reach dominance and replace the old shields while still retaining much of their innate characteristics, like the power tap from the nodes.

“Damn that was smooth.” Mavren said with a shake of her head as Dalen slumped slightly and dropped their link. It wasn’t needed anymore unless the shields began draining the nodes too far. His newer form of shield was draining the power much more slowly and Dalen wondered for a moment about the node structure. He should probably create a Heartstone here, because he should be able to stop the shields from draining the reserve nodes completely dry. That would cause the Gate to go unstable, but he could not set such a spell without a Heartstone to regulate the power like he had back in Haven.

“You okay, Dalen?” Mavren asked him calmly, interrupting his thoughts. He shook his head and realized that no, he wasn’t okay. When she helped him to sit back down at the table with Blake and Nevin, he frowned slightly. The Healer’s pain block was losing its effectiveness because there was a pounding in his head right behind his eyes and it was distracting him.

“Dalen?” Nevin asked worriedly and Dalen fought his way back from the disorientation to remain focused.

“I’ve reset the shields. “ Dalen said breathlessly, taking the cup of honeyed tea which appeared from nowhere at his hand. He continued talking around sips of the sweet tea, and realized the sweetness was exactly what he needed. “They are much more stable than what Windfire originally put over the Vale, and they’re structured to better resist the type of attacks these Haighlei favor. I am sure they will hold without draining nearly as much power from the nodes.”

“Loishia and I will monitor them and work repairs when they get close to breaching a comb.” Mavren said. “We got the information from you during the link, Dalen. We may not be able to pull energy directly from the nodes, but we can use the energy in the shields to repair them since they recognize us as belonging in the Vale.”

“Good.” Dalen said with a nod since that was what he’d hoped would happen. Moving his head hurt, and he stopped the gesture before the pain grew too great.

“We are going to have to do something about them.” Nevin growled as he looked at the fireworks lighting up the night sky. “If they weren’t barracked down with the Guards in this area we could attack them.”

“If you take a look, there are no Valdemarans out there right now.” Dalen countered.

“Yes, but do we really want to risk fighting here?” Nevin countered. “There’s a whole bunch of vegetation out there that I’d hate to see catch on fire and you know it will what with the pistols, firearms, and magic that would fly around. Besides you are in no condition to fight and we’ll need you.”

“The locomotives.” Blake said with a frown.

“Huh?” Dalen asked.

“They get their reinforcements here by using our locomotives, right?” Blake said slowly as he tried to explain his thought. “Well, what if we stopped them?”

“Only Companions can catch a locomotive.” Nevin replied with a snort.

“But they run on rails.” Dalen countered as a thought occurred to him. “We don’t have to stop the locomotives directly. They need the rails to run, so we blow up sections of the rails and they can’t get reinforcements here.”

“That’s a good idea.” Nevin agreed with a slight grin of excitement on his face. “The only problem I can see is how long would it take them to repair the rails? We’d only be buying ourselves a little bit of time.”

“Take the rails.” Dalen suggested after thinking for a moment. The magic still flaring against the shields wasn’t helping his reaction headache at all, but he was still able to think and push aside the exhaustion he was feeling.

“They’re awful big.” Nevin said skeptically.

“If we used the Permanent Gate, we could bring them through here in sections and then store them somewhere else.” Blake suggested. “That way, when things are over we can replace them. It’s better than blowing them up. Valdemar will need them after all.”

“Not just the rails that lead here.” Dalen added. “We should do this to all the lines as long as the Haighlei are here. It takes the factories in Haven weeks to make new lines, and they’ll have to have more ore to refine. Cutting off the existing lines will make that much more difficult.”

“Without the transportation lines people will face privation.” Nevin warned. “Many of our cities now depend on them for fresh food, and the reports are that the Haighlei are taxing the farms heavily already.”

“They won’t dare let the people starve.” Dalen said firmly. “The demonstration in Haven today will make sure they understand that the people are growing tired of them. Plus, my mother will do her best for the people. She’s not really on the side of the Haighlei. She is trying to walk a fine line between mollifying them and protecting the people.”

“Are you sure about that?” Nevin asked worriedly.

“I am.” Dalen said with a sigh. “I’ve talked with her. Her actions, well I don’t approve of all of them but she was fooled in the beginning. She’s trapped now though, and doing her best to lessen the impact on our people. My mother is not the villain in all this and will do her best for all of us from the position she is in now.”

“I will make sure we run the idea by Dell as soon as we can.” Nevin said with a nod of his head. “Now that we have him back, he is in charge.”

“Yes.” Dalen said and realized that he was actually happy at those words. This time there was no sense of loss at having the responsibility lifted from his shoulders, only a great sense of relief. Sure, he would still have responsibility, but as he recovered, Dell would assume the final responsibility for everything. Then another thought occurred to him and he winced. “Damn. We forgot about their families, Rothar’s and Dell’s.”

“No, we didn’t.” Nevin smiled at him gently. “Dell’s family was sequestered with the Heralds in the Collegium. Rothar’s were at Healer’s and protected by them and by your mother. Since none of Rothar’s children were Chosen or showing any inclination for the throne, they were largely overlooked by the Haighlei. All of them have Healing almost exclusively as their Gifts and the Haighlei consider it almost a holy calling. They have done nothing to harm or hamper any Healer in Valdemar, except reducing their royal grant and forcing them to charge for healing.”

“Why are they doing that?” Blake asked with a frown.

“Because they consider it holy they believe that it should not be a free service for the commoners.” Nevin answered. “From what our people in the field have been able to gather, the Haighlei have a very caste-driven system with everyone in their place. It’s caused quite a few conflicts already, but they are not trying to push it on Valdemar by and large.”

“That’s mother’s doing.” Dalen added, feeling the urge to defend her. “She’s pretty much convinced them that their best bet is to let Valdemar exist as it has for the most part. They get their policies on mages, but she gets to keep Valdemar free of things like their caste system.”

“Interesting.” Nevin said. “We were wondering why they hadn’t pushed things that far in those aspects. I didn’t know it was your mother keeping them in check. We assumed that it was them playing it smart and not going for wholesale change that would be resisted right away.”

“They do understand that, but only after mother pushed it in their faces.” Dalen answered the unspoken question. “As I said, she is doing her best in a bad situation.”

“She is still wrong though.” Nevin pushed and Dalen nodded.

“She is wrong.” Dalen agreed. “But that doesn’t negate the fact that she is doing her best in a very bad situation. Given hindsight, I know she would not have cooperated with the Plebiscites. She, and they, were fooled by the Haighlei.”

“They’ve stopped.” Blake said with a sigh of relief when the attacks on the shields faded away for several minutes. Everyone sighed with relief as an exhausted Loishia and Mavren came to sit down at their table. Dalen noticed Lee moving in the background, near the edges of the dome as he tried to peer outside with his distance viewers.

“It’s a good thing they stopped when they did.” Loishia said with a sigh as a Healer trainee appeared with two goblets filled with some liquid. The two Herald-Mages took them and drained them quickly.

“Ah, that’s good.” Mavren said with satisfaction.

“It’s a fruit juice based restorative.” The Trainee in pale greens said before taking the empty Goblets and disappearing back the way he had come.

“I love Healers.” Loishia said. “It is a good thing so many of them joined us from Haven.”

“How many?” Dalen asked with tired curiosity.

“Thirty full Healers and more than twice that in Trainees.” Nevin answered. “They also brought a huge amount of books and supplies with them. I think they’re looking at setting up a second Collegium with us in exile in case the Haighlei change their attitudes towards them. Healers have always operated fairly independently of the Crown in matters.”

“That’s the way it should be.” Dalen added his own thoughts. “Healers will provide their services to anyone who needs them, friend or foe. That is the way it should be, I believe.”

“No arguments from anyone here on that score.” Nevin added. “It’s like Heralds who have helped people from out-Kingdom. Our history is full of examples of that, and it is the way it should be, now and always.”

“Even if they heal one of the Haighlei?” Blake asked with a frown. “That doesn’t seem right that we’re fighting the Haighlei, but the Healers are free to help them.”

“The Haighlei are our enemies, yes, but they are also human beings.” Nevin countered the Trainee’s statement. “We must never lose sight of that fact. As Heralds, we respect all life and only challenge those that would harm the innocent. A wounded Haighlei ceases to be an enemy the moment he can no longer harm us, and while we will care for him, we will not be foolish enough to allow him to cause more harm when he is recovered.”

“Oh.” Blake said. “So we hold them after they’re healed?”

“Until hostilities are over, yes.” Dalen agreed. “The Healers understand this and will not object to humane confinement.”

“As long as it is humane.” Nevin added with a warning tone.

“We’ve got a problem.” Lee said as he approached the table of Heralds. Dalen frowned at his foster-cousin and good friend who looked nearly as tired as Dalen felt.

“What is it?” Nevin asked with a sigh.

“Those mages stopped their attacks on us because they’ve got another problem.” Lee explained quickly. “They are being attacked from their rear.”

“By whom?” Nevin asked as he stood with alarm.

“It looks like local units of the Guards, members of the Burnham Watch, and the local populace.” Lee said with a frown. “Frankly, they’re doing fine right now but as soon as those mages get into the action, there’s going to be trouble.”

“It looks like Haven isn’t the only place where the people of Valdemar have had enough of the Haighlei.” Dalen said as he stood. His head spun briefly and he held the table for support. “How many people do we have in here?”

“Most of the people went back through to Prince’s Retreat.” Nevin spat angrily. “We just expected to hold this place, not fight them yet!”

“We’ve got one hundred and twenty Guards, half on foot.” Lee answered Dalen’s question directly. “I’ll have them ready to go in ten minutes.”

“Get them ready, and warn the Healers their skills will be needed some more.” Dalen ordered and Lee saluted before heading away from them, shouting orders as he moved briskly.

“There are fifteen Healers and I have no idea how many trainees.” Nevin supplied as he shook his head. “We also have twenty-six Heralds. I’ll get them embedded in the Major’s units. Sit back down, Dalen. You’ve done enough today.”

“There are mages out there, Nevin.” Dalen growled. “I will take them, with the assistance of Loishia and Mavren. After we’ve got them taken care of, we’ll fall back to the Vale and help with the healing. It’s about all we’re good for right now.”

“I’ll get a couple of the Heralds to act as bodyguards for the three of you.” Blake said as he stood quickly and moved off too fast for anyone to protest.

“Take out the mages and nothing more.” Nevin said to Dalen grimly. “We can’t afford to lose you now.”

“I’ll be careful.” Dalen said just as grimly, already turning from the table and heading towards the exit where the Companions were located.

Heyla, wet-horse smelling means of transportation, get ready.” Dalen called out to Jadev. We’ve got mages to hunt down.

By the time we’re done, I won’t be the only one smelling like a wet horse. Jadev sounded amused, and it almost covered the intense concern he was feeling.

My, aren’t you just going to be happy you’ve got your revenge already. Dalen countered and ignored the mental snort as he went out into the mild rain to find his Companion. Loishia and Mavren were right behind him, already preparing themselves for their part in what was to come.

For Valdemar! Dalen said in the silence of his mind as he closed his eyes and tried to push the exhaustion away for just a little bit longer.

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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well as they say no rest for the wicked lolol. Even to near exhaustion Dalen and the gang can't get the rest they needs so sad. And i really don't like Dalen standing up for his mother although it is his mother, it is entirely her fault that the country is in this mess, no matter what she is doing to "lessen the blow." they wouldn't have cause of having to lessen any blows in the first place, now they have to fight without and within, how has she help. Doing the best out of a bad situation my bony ass. Dalen is pissing me off you know. I'm sure she knew the king was going to be taken out, and she was telling Dalen to quiet the mob and tell them everything is all right, that is not so bad cause they could die, what was bad was the tone she had at Dalen for going against the enemy. Up to this point she is still thinking she did the right thing even if she was used like a dirty floor cloth, hoping to reason with the Halgeil (sp). From what i knew compromises can only be made if both parties are willing to contribute and sacrifice. The Halgeils only wanted to dictate, they have good intention but they have no intention of listening to others, because they believe that only they are good and only their god are worthy. Isn't that what the mage said to Dalen, they don't understand companions and they are sent from foreign gods so basically they don't care. steeups

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On 02/03/2013 11:03 AM, itachibones said:
well as they say no rest for the wicked lolol. Even to near exhaustion Dalen and the gang can't get the rest they needs so sad. And i really don't like Dalen standing up for his mother although it is his mother, it is entirely her fault that the country is in this mess, no matter what she is doing to "lessen the blow." they wouldn't have cause of having to lessen any blows in the first place, now they have to fight without and within, how has she help. Doing the best out of a bad situation my bony ass. Dalen is pissing me off you know. I'm sure she knew the king was going to be taken out, and she was telling Dalen to quiet the mob and tell them everything is all right, that is not so bad cause they could die, what was bad was the tone she had at Dalen for going against the enemy. Up to this point she is still thinking she did the right thing even if she was used like a dirty floor cloth, hoping to reason with the Halgeil (sp). From what i knew compromises can only be made if both parties are willing to contribute and sacrifice. The Halgeils only wanted to dictate, they have good intention but they have no intention of listening to others, because they believe that only they are good and only their god are worthy. Isn't that what the mage said to Dalen, they don't understand companions and they are sent from foreign gods so basically they don't care. steeups
It's important to remember that Dalen is still very young. He loves his mother and sometimes that means he looks at her with rose-colored glasses. Notice that Nevin wasn't too quick in agreeing with him?
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