HEART OF THE DRAGON
Andrinor woke early, the light of the morning stars greeting him as he exited his home. He had dressed in his studded armor, and
packed what he hoped would be all of the things he would need for the journey. In his hand he carried his double-bladed sword.

The Matriarch was not yet at the Silver Hall, and he turned to the shrine. He left his pack and sword in the small entryway and
slowly approached the altar. "Ghainaess, Great Mother, She who watches over us. I ask your guidance and blessing for this
journey. May I prove myself worthy in your eyes and may my blades always serve you."

He looked up at the image of Ghainaess and thought he saw a brief shimmer of silver in the eyes as they looked at him. He bowed
his head, then stood and left the shrine.

"I see you are ready," Lorymi said stepping out of the Silver Hall. "The Great Mother beckons you inside." She gestured to the
doorway as she stepped to the side. A radiant silver glow filled the building as Andrinor stepped through the door.

Human child of mine, a powerful female voice spoke in Andrinor's mind. You seek to honor me and I have a task for you. My
children are being called from their homes; some have gone voluntarily and some have been taken. An evil power seeks to trap and
control them. I will send you to this place. There are others there, who also seek the evil that controls that realm. You must help
them to defeat it. Those of my children who are there have already been damaged by the evil power. Do not hesitate to defend
yourself.

Before he could speak, the room brightened to a blinding brilliance. When it cleared, he found himself in an ice-covered corridor.
He exhaled sharply and a cloud of fog blurred his vision for a moment. The cold was not bitter, but there was a deep chill and the
ground was slippery.

From somewhere up ahead, Andrinor heard the sound of ringing metal and yelling. He tightened his grip on the hilt of his weapon
as he moved through the corridor. He quickly found himself in an empty room, the sounds of battle echoing off the walls. This
time he moved slowly, listening carefully as he sought the correct side passage that would lead him to the conflict.

After several turns, he entered a large chamber to see a group gathered around a large creature that had fallen. It had several heads
and the group around it was bloodied, but appeared to be victorious. A small woman with long blonde hair, dressed in studded
leather turned and pointed in his direction. Another woman, dressed in full plate turned, a gleaming long sword in her hand as she
looked at him.

"Identify yourself," the woman in plate said giving him an appraising look.

He held his blade in a defensive posture, hoping she did not see it as a threat. "I am called Andrinor. I come from a village in the
Dragonflame Mountains. I was sent here by Ghainaess to seek the one who would try to control Her children."

"I do not know the deity you have named. However, it may be that we share a similar purpose. We were brought here by powers
unknown and have learned that a powerful mage is trying to gain control over the elemental planes. We hope to prevent this from
happening. Perhaps this is also the person you seek."

"Perhaps." Andrinor lowered his weapon slightly and held out his hand.

The woman's hand grasped his forearm and gripped it tightly. "We welcome your blade," she said formally.

Andrinor bowed his head slightly accepting her apparent leadership of the group.

"Myrith, over here! It's Kyrianna!" He looked up to see a man in chain mail kneeling over a body.

The woman, Myrith, turned and moved quickly to the side of the man, Andrinor followed.

"Rangerette. Kyrianna," Myrith said, slapping the woman's face gently. There was a slight moan and a brief fluttering of the
woman's eyelids. Myrith's hands glowed softly and she placed them over the woman's heart. After a minute, the woman's eyes
opened and she sat up shivering.

"Myrith?" She looked at the man next to her. "Jerietlan? Where are we? What's going on?"

"Easy, Kyri." She draped a blanket around the woman's shoulders. "We're not really sure either."

Myrith turned and looked at Andrinor and a Dwarf who had walked up. "Get a fire going. I don't care how."

"I've got it."

Andrinor turned to see an older man make several gestures with his hands and a fire appeared near the still shaking woman.

"Thank you, Falden," she said through her chattering teeth. Myrith and the man she had called Jerietlan continued to rub her arms
and legs trying to warm them. "Who are they?" She looked at Andrinor and another person who had stepped up beside him.

Myrith glanced over her shoulder for a moment. "The barbarian is called Andrinor. We just met him. The older one is called Agrala
and he claims to be here to stop an evil mage from taking control of the elemental planes." She paused and looked at woman
closely. "How did you get here?"

"I was scouting the road between Duvshire and Raspa, when a sudden ice storm surrounded me. Some magic seemed to hold me
in the grip of the storm and I lost consciousness until you woke me." She paused, brought her legs up to her chest, and wrapped
her arms around them. "And you?"

"A portal opened before us and brought us here. It was like the others."

"If you're feeling better, we should move on. You'll warm quicker once you get your circulation flowing," Jerietlan said.

The female warrior stood and offered a hand to the other.


"Where are you from?" Kyrianna asked approaching Andrinor, her gaze seemed drawn to the multi-colored feather tattooed on the
left side of his chest.

He looked down at her. "A village in the Dragonflame Mountains."

"The Dragonflame Mountains?" Her eyes went wide as she looked up at his face. "The Dragonflames?"

"That is what I said."

"Kyri?" Myrith placed a hand on her sword as she glanced from the one called Kyrianna to Andrinor and back.

Andrinor felt his grip on his weapon tighten as he saw the pointed ears under the woman's tousled mane of golden-brown hair.

"I have heard rumors of humans who lived in the lands of the dragons, but thought they were only rumors." She took a slow step
forward and extended her hand. "I am from the same world as you. I am Kyrianna Dalynne, a ranger of Frayrith."

He took her hand hesitantly. "Andrinor, a warrior of Ghainaess."

Kyrianna smiled then turned to Myrith. "She is the Great Mother of all dragons and generally counted among the deities of light."

Myrith nodded then motioned the others forward. "I am Myrith, a Paladin of Arayelle, these are Jerietlan a cleric of Arayelle, Nirav,
Falden, our mage and Hendandra our scout."

Andrinor nodded to each in turn.









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