A Chapter by Eddie Davis

Aurei, Eleazar and Alvis are rescued by the crew of the Autumn Maid, but what surprises wait for them back in Westmark?







It was a gray, cold dawn when the crew of the Autumn Maid saw the smoldering flames of a dwindling campfire on a hill, amidst a field full of debris.   By the time they had slowly descended to hover only a few feet above the ground, two forms stood before them.   One was a very weary looking man wearing dark and sinister appearing black plate armor, but smiling broadly at the crew as they peered over the railing.   Next to him stood a tall grey skinned Elf with red glowing eyes, also wearing plate armor, though his was of a normal grey color.   He carried the sleeping form of a graceful young Drow woman, wrapped in cloaks and robes as if she were a huge baby.   It was Earl Eleazar and Duchess Aurei.  


Minutes later the three were aboard the vessel and Captain Tarron was introduced to Sir Alvis Ray.   The men exchanged information on what had happened and the Captain insisted they all go below deck for some warmth and rest.   But minutes after descending the stairs, the half-Drow emerged alone and asked that the crew help him salvage what magic items they could find in the debris field.   As the sun rose, the Paladin and the airship crew trudged through the snow for four hours, until all were confident that all magic items that had fell from the airship were found and safely brought aboard the Autumn Maid.  


Eleazar was sad to hear of the destruction of the Imperial airship, though he rejoiced that no-one was killed or injured when it fell to the earth.  They had recovered a rather large number of magic items, which they had placed on the floor in the cargo hold of the Autumn Maid to dry out after a night laying in the snow.


The Autumn Maid resumed its flight to Westmark shortly after noon, as the wintery sky again began to snow.   Sir Alvis had slept most of the morning and arose seeming somewhat more refreshed, though still somewhat drained.   As the hours passed, Alvis spoke to Captain Tarron about the enchantment on the ship, so after listening to the discussion for a long time, Eleazar slipped downstairs to the ships sleeping quarters, where he had put Aurei earlier in the morning.   His own shrapnel injuries were totally healed as a result of the healing properties from the two rings, and he was growing somewhat concerned that Aurei had not yet awoken.


Peering into the ship cabin, he could hear her steady breathing and he went over to the edge of the bed and lifted back the covers.   She still wore her damaged chainmail undershirt, though it had been ruined with a large gaping hole in the stomach region where the sphere had ‘eaten’ the armor as well as Aurei’s flesh.   Eleazar gently pulled back the chainmail enough to examine the site of her injury.   The skin was a healthy black color, indicating that the Drow girl had completely healed.   He softly poked the wound site to see how the skin responded, and instead, he got a giggle from the girl.

“That tickles.”  She said, opening her eyes, which brightened when she saw him, “Well, I guess I’m still alive, or else we both are dead, right?”

“Well, you survived a fatal wound from a sphere of annihilation, so I’d say you are indeed alive.”

“A sphere of what?”

“Annihilation.   I’m not really sure what it is, but it destroys things that come into contact with it.   The darkness sword apparently had one embedded in the tip of the sword.   You were grazed by it in the stomach and it took a hole out of your insides, about two inches deep.”

“And I’m still alive?”

“Barely.   You actually stopped breathing for a moment.”

“I did?   What happened, did you lay hands on me?”

“Both of us did - Sir Alvis and me.”

“Alvis!!”  Aurei sat up in bed, “He’s alive!”

Eleazar gently took her shoulders and eased her back onto the pillow, “Easy, Aurei, you had a serious wound.   Yes, Alvis is quite alive, thanks to you.   We both laid hands on you.”

“And that started me breathing again?”

“Well, no, I had to… help you.”


Eleazar blushed slightly, “I just blew some air into your lungs to get them started.”

“Really?  And it worked?”  


“I’m amazed that a wound that bad could be healed with just the laying of hands.”

“It wasn’t just that, Aurei, it had help.”

“From what?”

Eleazar held up his hand with the ring of Nitthum on it.   For a moment Aurei didn’t notice it, until he wiggled his finger.

“The ring?   You found the Friendship Ring?!”

“Just in time, too.   It was on the ground in the middle of the debris.  It glimmered in the starlight.   I’m sure it was from Yesh.   I almost messed up and put it on you instead of on myself.   It’s odd having to put a magic ring on to heal someone else.”

“But it worked?”

“Yes, though I was growing worried that you wouldn’t wake up.”

Aurei looked down at her ring, “I dreamed that I was all warm and safe, back at the Muddy Boot.   I felt someone holding onto me, comforting me and at first I thought it was Mother Bugley… then I realized it was you.   It wasn’t just a dream, was it?”

Eleazar suddenly felt very nervous and awkward, “Well, you were unconscious and at the time the airship hadn’t arrived.   We made a fire, but we didn’t have much to wrap up with, so I tried my best to keep you as warm as possible.”

Aurei’s eyes shined, “I knew you were there.   I don’t know how, but I knew I would be okay because you were there.   I guess that’s an effect of the Friendship Ring, right?”

“What are friends for?”  He smiled with a sigh.

She patted the bed next to her and gave him a sweet smile, “Sit down and talk with me for a minute, okay?”

“Um… okay.”  His nervousness increased and he felt his heart about to beat out of his chest as he sat next to her.

Her lovely red eyes were glowing as all Drow’s eyes do when they are feeling something strongly.   She stared at him for a long, long moment and then took his hand and put it over her heart, turning her gaze to their interlocked fingers.

“The two rings are just alike.”  She said in a soft voice.

“Identical.”  He commented.

“More like two parts of one piece.   Interlocked, interconnected.   One.”  Her gaze returned to his eyes.

“Um… okay.”

“These rings are not just ‘Friendship Rings’ are they, Laz?”   She leaned in close to him, but before he could answer, the door to the cabin swung open and Captain Tarron burst in.

“I am truly sorry, Earl and Duchess, but we are nearing Westmark and something is going on there.”

“What do you mean?”  Aurei asked in alarm.
“It looks like they have been attacked.”

“What?”  Eleazar and Aurei both exclaimed together. 

“Come and see.”   Tarron beckoned and they hurried after him, up the stairs and outside to the deck.  

Ahead was the city, but everywhere there were mounds of snow and scattered weapons and armor.

“Oh, no!”  Aurei gasped, and Eleazar put his arm around her as he surveyed the scene.   People were milling around, picking up items in the mounds of snow or standing in groups, talking.

“Laz, what has happened?”  She asked him, panicked. 

“I don’t know, Aurei, but apparently our forces have won the field.   Look, ahead is the Ducal Keep - I see the King and Queen on the parapets… and Matron Zeatt, Siris and Lute.”

“Thank you, Yesh.”  She exhaled in relief, “But I hope there aren’t fatalities.”

“We’ll see soon enough.”   They stood back from the railing as the airship slowed to hover at parapet level.  
“What has happened?”  She yelled across to those on the parapet.

“We were attacked.”  Zeatt replied.

“How many were killed?”   Aurei asked her, dreading her answer.

“None, thank Yesh.   We’ve many injured though.   We’ll tell you about it when you disembark.”



The sun was nearly spent in the west by the time the Autumn Maid had docked.   It was a joyous reunion, and the sight of Sir Alvis thrilled everyone.   Quickly they related the loss of the Imperial airship and their encounter with the Death Knight, but the King was not concerned about the ship’s destruction, as he too was thrilled to see Sir Alvis alive again, and was thankful they had survived the encounter with the Death Knight.


Aurei was surprised to see Matron Zeatt embrace the Knight as if he were a dear acquaintance, but as she listened to them chat for several minutes, she realized the two had apparently known each other back in Aeropolis.   As they spoke in the failing light, suddenly Sir Alvis looked surprised, as if he had suddenly remembered something very important.

“What is it, my friend?”  Zeatt asked, concerned.

“It just returned to me… a memory.   I don’t know why it didn’t come to me sooner!   Yesterday, earlier in the day before Sir Eleazar and Duchess Aurei arrived; there was a brief meeting between Thantus and his lieutenants.   My mind was so clouded by the torture collar; I guess I didn’t realize it.   His lieutenants are vampires.”

“Vampires!”  Zeatt, Aurei and several others on the Keep’s roof exclaimed together.

“Yes!   But there is more.”  Alvis looked around and noted the sun fading to orange in the west, “But not here, not now.   I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow morning, when the sun rises.   Tonight, tell everyone to stay indoors, Duchess.   If they have to journey outside, they should go in groups of at least two, preferably more.   Keep the children and women indoors.”

“Do you think there are vampires here now?”   Aurei asked, wide-eyed.

“Oh, most definitely!   But they have a very specific mission and rest assured, nobody in town will be killed by them.   I know this for certain.   Trust me, Duchess; I will explain it more clearly in the morning.   They are here, but they have orders not to kill anyone… yet.   Relay my warnings about staying indoors and only going out in pairs, but whatever you do; DO NOT mention Vampires to anyone.   Perhaps we can keep this secret.   They will recognize me, however, so I need to hide quickly.   Can I stay here at this Keep tonight?”

“Certainly, Sir Alvis.   Do you need guards?”

“No, I just don’t want to be seen - if they know I’m here, then they may panic and escape before we can act against them.   They will be out and about soon, for the sun is nearly set.   I will go below and conceal myself until morning.   Then I will tell you of their plans.”   

Alvis turned to everyone standing nearby, “Friends, remember, do not speak of me to anyone, and do not mention vampires to anyone, at least until morning.   You all should be safe; just stay together and stay indoors until dawn.”

Everyone agreed, and Matron Zeatt, King Haroldris and Queen Eioldth escorted the Knight Commander quickly into the Keep.

Aurei glanced around, but didn’t see Alis or Aeric, and asked Lute about them.

“They’re fine, Duchess.   They’ve been searching all over town for injured residents or remaining snow golems.  They were very tired, but about noon they decided to try to track where the golems came from by following their tracks in the snow.”

“Did they take anyone with them?”  

“No, but they were armored and were armed to the teeth.   They said they’d circle back to the east to make sure there are no more golems around, and then spend the night at Tally Station if it gets too late.   I wouldn’t worry about them, Aurei.”

Aurei nodded, though she would feel better when they returned.   She gave orders for the guards to let her know as soon as the pair returned. 



© 2014 Eddie Davis

My Review

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"...all magic items that had fell from the airship..." I think that fallen would probably work better, here.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Nice stuff. Were you influenced by Forgotten Realms, Dungeons and Dragons, and/or something else?

Posted 10 Years Ago

Eddie Davis

10 Years Ago

Hi Cher,

Oh yes, most definitely, both Forgotten Realms and AD&D. Actually, I had an .. read more
SpeedyHobbit Armstrong

10 Years Ago

Nice! My books are based off what was originally DnD campaigns. My friends and I do 3.5 because fou.. read more
Eddie Davis

10 Years Ago

I understand that. When I was introduced to AD&D, the Dungeon Master's Guide had just been introdu.. read more

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2 Reviews
Added on December 10, 2013
Last Updated on May 26, 2014
Tags: Drow, Elf, Fantasy, Adventure, Undead, Death Knight, airship, necromancer, magic, knight, paladin

The Chronicles of Aurei Book 2: The Knights of Northmarch


Eddie Davis
Eddie Davis

Springfield, MO

I'm a fantasy and science-fiction writer that enjoys sharing my tales with everyone. Three trilogies are offered here, all taking place in the same fantasy world of Synomenia. Other books and stor.. more..

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A Chapter by Eddie Davis

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A Chapter by Eddie Davis