Elementals Mystic Warriors- Chapter 1
The air was cool and crisp in the Cascade Mountain region as the sun was barely making an appearance over the mountain peaks marking the beginning of a new day.
Under the guidance of the Earth Mother the season of autumn was beginning to make her subtle approach. Marked by the spectacular colors the golden yellow of alpine larches, of late-season huckleberries and brilliant yellow leaves of the canopy of Aspen trees that lined the mountain paths. All was still except for the cool breeze and the musical sound of the rustling of leaves and the squirrels and small animals scampering about on the forest floor and amongst the treetops. Bly La Croix needed the feel of the cool gentle breeze blowing through her hair and the coolness of autumn’s breeze flowing across her face.
Bly sat perched on an overhang of a mountain cliff looking out to absorb the beauty of her home area of the Northern Cascades Mountains, while memories of times passed flowed through her mind. She had come to the Northwestern American states the Northern portion of California, Washington, Oregon and into the southern part of British Columbia, Canada. For the safety of the Cascade Mountain range with her parents and family as a child to the place know to her as, Nos Ysse Kraggenra – Our Sanctuary Mountains. This almost wild and untamed area fitted perfectly to the needs of her people. The mountainous region covered a span of over seven hundred miles. Its terrain covering snow capped mountains, with valleys, gorges, and volcanoes and waterfalls the epitome of untamed wilderness. This territory of influence, this domain fitted Bly’s unique and gifted family. Unique and gifted in ways mankind and society was not capable of understanding and thereby could not and would not accept. She was a product of the La Croix and MacIntyre family union. Family elders spoke of the fact that it had been predestined that her mother and father would meet and marry. Their marriage bonding together two very distinct and powerful families…both families not quite human but of the old world and times forgotten. The species of her family members and those inhabiting this area she called home were a mixture of beings.
Elves, Shape Shifters, Ranger-warriors, Shadow Warriors, Practitioners of Magic, and Day Walkers. On the whole in general some unique humans too made up their tightly formed society of beings! They were all recognized amongst their society as the Elementals.
The Elementals was a very fitting name because of their various gifts that were derived from the elements of the Earth itself. Fire, water, air and earth, the earth was a part of every one of them, along with what was called their fifth element… Spirit! Their earth gifts and their spirits united them under one cause, to protect mankind from the evil that preyed on them and lie in wait, on the city streets, alley ways and shadows of society. Though to even do that, the Elementals had to isolate their home bases. Some Elementals were intertwined in today’s society as business people, agents of law enforcement, the media and even the medical fields. What better way to stay alerted to what was going on around them, but to be a part of it. To be in the mix of things!
The Pacific Northwest was what was now called home. But in the last century the Elementals found themselves having to expand the coverage area of the New World because evil had expanded its reach encompassing more of the new world. The Elementals found to a large extent, danger to humankind taking hold in larger populated cities of the Northeast Coastal or Atlantic seaboard too. The Northeast having the most heavily populated cities like Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. But the third coast too, the Gulf Coast and it’s southern boundaries that were filled with its own historical mystical influences were also in jeopardy from the assault of evil’s growing reach. Statistically speaking crime and victim related crimes was running wild…they had to make a move to cover a larger area. That is probably why some of the Elementals were being called to Council…it was rumored that the need was great and that the council members were going to need to send them out.
So, once again it looked like Bly and some of the others were going on a mission that would address the immediate need in their area and possibly to the other regions of the country to scout out what was rumored and even beyond. There was even the possibility that some of them would be sent to the Old World countries, eventually. Possibly seeking allies like themselves that stayed just under the radar of who and what they really are, and were sometimes mistaken to be something else… it was hard enough fighting the enemy. But it is even harder to convince those that don’t know you, that you are one of the good-guys! Especially when some of your gifted society’s abilities almost mirrored the enemy’s…
Standing up on the cliffs edge Bly slowly surveyed the beauty of the Northern Cascade Mountains. She surrounded herself with her shield of invisibility as she inhaled deeply filling her lungs with the fresh fragrances of the surrounding timber and other plant life that accompanied the clean mountain air and then slowly exhaled as she let herself start a free fall off of the mountains edge. She let herself plummet, fearlessly
free-falling. The air rushing past her body was such a rush, she was elated by the feel of it. Mid-way through the fall Bly made her body buoyant and was caught by an upward air current and she took flight riding the air currents. She headed deeper into the mountains to the isolated and hidden compound of her people and the Elemental Council members that had summoned them. In flight Bly had shielded herself from all eyes that might accidently see her. Her society’s members were species of beings that mankind either didn’t have an inkling of their existence or was thought of as only myth or superstitious folklore.
As she reached her destination of the Council Hall she became visible once again in her human form and landed in the courtyard. Approaching the Council Hall, Bly was remembering some of the Council members were Elementals that were legendary, some as old as time itself. Some that could remember the birth of mankind, “Edain", as they were named in the Elfin language. “Edain’s” translated literally meant the “Second People”, which was the reference to mankind.
Bly was the third child of eleven children and was a Half-Elf /Elandili, from her mother’s side of the family with all the abilities bestowed and a Shape-shifter from her father’s side and she was a natural born telepath with a defensive power that her people call a psychic punch. Bly Angeni (Tall Spirit) La Croix was not a woman of small stature. She had a beautiful exotic smooth tan complexion that covered a six feet one inch very shapely woman’s curvy full figure, with a golden head of wavy hair that reached past her waist. Like her mother she had an almost oval face with a slightly squared jaw line with full sensuous lips that very seldom seemed to smile. Her exotic upturned almond shaped eyes were a rare pearl gray. Eyes with a hint of golden sparks that seemed to radiate, flaring out around a distinctive cat-eye shaped pupil. The intensity of the pearl gray iris was surrounded by a dark halo. The cat-eye pupil only became obvious or manifested itself when Bly was close to shifting or one of her creature’s instincts was drawn close to the surface. Which sharpened her awareness of everything and everyone around her, seen and unseen. Her creature powers involve a shift to the Eagle or a Black Panther. On rare occasion she would sometimes shift to a golden coated wolfe with shadows of black on the tips of her fur.
As she approached the Council Hall she was being joined by others that had also been summoned by the Council. She immediately recognized the three of them who were approaching as her kinswomen of her mother’s family. The MacIntyre triplets were Lilly, Lillian and Lilith. All three striking beauties and identical. They deliberately distinguished themselves by the way each chose to wear her hair. They were not quite as tall as Bly but they were not of average height either and were not lacking in feminine endowments. All three were crimson haired with golden streaks woven throughout their tresses. Their skin was porcelain white and smooth as cream and they had the most beautiful emerald green eyes a person could behold. They were enchanting like Earth goddesses. The MacIntyre sisters too were Half-Elf/Elandili, like Bly. They too were telepaths and practiced the magical arts and had a strong connection to the elements of Fire and Earth. These ladies if needed in battle could transform into the legendary Phoenix or Firebird. As they drew near Bly spoke a greeting in the Elfin tongue as a show of familial recognition and attachment, “Aaye! Naesaian luume’. Hail! It has been too long”, to which Lillian responded, “Aaye Bly! Cormamin lindua ele lle seler. Hail Bly! My heart sings to see thee sister”. These women were blood-kin and had grown from childhood together all relocating to the Pacific Northwest as times required.
Besides the MacIntyre triplets another distinguished set of triplets amongst their people had also been apparently summoned. Not your conventional set of Elemental triplets, as were the three ladies. This set of siblings was made up of two males and a female. They were the Von Erikson triplets, the Elementals’ Triple Threat Team. Their connection and existence was unique to the Elementals because their entire existence was due to an impossible twist of fate, that since never has been duplicated…
***Enter the Day Walkers***
Their point of origin was well over six centuries ago on a small farm outside a little village located in the region of the Bihor Massif Mountains in Romania. Johan and Merrirska Von Erickson on their small isolated farm one late evening came under a vicious, merciless attack by two of the undead, vampires that were traveling through the area while on the way to Slovakia.
The Von Erickson couple was just starting their family. A very happy event in the young couple’s lives. The coming births of their first children. Merriska knew she was carrying two babies as she had been told by the village mid-wife, Anna. Her excitement was building and just before the brutal attack from the undead she and Johan were making preparations to go into the village the next day… The mid-wife Anna, was to assist her with the delivery of the babies and thought it would be best that she come into the village in case there were difficulties, considering there were going to be two babies to deliver. In the village Anna would have the extra help of another villager she would need to insure everything would be all right.
The life changing event happened during late night hours after Johan and Merriska had settled in for the evening. Johan was awakened by the abnormally high pitched horrendous sounds of screaming that seemed to be coming from the barn. It sounded like the horses were under attack. The penetrating screams of alarm mixed with pain caused Johan to sit upright and bolt out of bed and immediately get dressed. Johan’s sudden movement awakened Merriska from her slumber but the sounds of the
horses cries pulled her into full awareness, especially when she saw her husband reach in the closet for the old single shot gun that was the only weapon that they owned. She called to him, “Johan, what is wrong?” He answered, “There is something in the barn at the horses! I must go see…” She reached for her robe as she started to rise to go with him. But Johan put a restraining hand on her shoulder and told her, “No! You stay here…it is probably nothing. I will be back in shortly.” Johan left the room and she heard the front entrance door to the house close as he went out. The barn was a bit of a way from the house so Merisska got out of bed anyway to wait for her husband’s return… She would wait in the small cabins main room for him. As she looked out of the window she watched as the lantern light he was carrying disappeared when he rounded the corner of the barn.
She stood watching out the window as seconds turned into minutes… the horses had stopped screaming. Now there was an eerie silence replacing the sounds that had been the animal’s cries. She waited. Suddenly there was a gunshot… a moments silence and then the spine-chilling heart wrenching cry of the voice that she knew so well… Johan! Johan, what had happened…God! Johan! She was screaming his name in her head as in the distance on this moonless starlit night, she saw the figure of a man come around the corner of the barn. Merriska in a panic snatched open the front door and stepped out unto the porch of the small house… she called to him, “Johan!” It was as another figure suddenly came around the corner of the barn that she was overwhelmed by fear! By an uncontrollable dread as she placed a hand over her stomach. A feeling of trepidation tugged at her heart! She could feel the presence of something malicious, something ruthless in the air. The babies stirred in her womb as though they could feel the presence of evil also…she placed her hands protectively over her stomach. Could her babies feel it too? Something evil was in the air, and it was coming their way. Merriska gathered her wits an immediately went into the house… She in her heart knew that her Johan was gone and somehow by the grace of God, she had to survive for the sake of their babies…they had to live! She ran through the small house to the bedroom and barricaded the door…then went into the closet. Dropping into the farthest corner and she started to pray that someone would come to help her. Minutes passed that seemed like hours as she heard the shattering noise of her front door blown open. The force shook the little house on its frame. Then she heard it, the voice of death a low menacing call. The sound of sheer evil raking against all of her senses! It called to her, tauntingly, “Woman! Come out and face me… you can not resist me and you are wasting time trying to avoid the inevitable…” Merriska’s heart was racing. Panic and fear was dominant in her mind. If her heart beat any faster or harder, it would surely explode out of her chest! Without warning the door to the closet she was seeking sanctuary in was ripped off of its hinges by an invisible force and she was exposed to whatever evil that had invaded her home and had taken her beloved Johan away from her. She sat huddled in the corner of the closet as still and as quietly as she could. But she was sure that whatever was out there could hear the pounding of her heart. Into her sight came a claw like hand with nails that were razor sharp and was attached to something bony that may have once been an arm. The clawed limb gripped her by the hair and ruthlessly dragged her from her place of protection in one motion it threw her unto her bedroom floor. Utter fear gripped her as the foul stench of death and decay filled her senses. She couldn’t make herself look up at those that intruded into her home. From her position on the floor she could see what had once resembled elegant clothing. But she was afraid to look upon the presence of what she knew in her heart was pure evil, Nosferatu…the undead…Vampire! She almost couldn’t breathe the smell and stench of death was all around her.
Fear was upon her and her stomach was turning over as she held back bile and the urge to throw up… her babies had ceased all movement. They lay still within her womb as they too seem to be awaiting their inescapable fate. He glided closer to where she laid and reaching down gripped her once again by her hair lifting her off the floor bringing her face to face with the presence of death. There he stood something that once resembled a man but no longer! It was tall in figure but its body was nothing but bones covered by rotting flesh and once elegant rags. A skeletal figure with gaping holes where flesh once was and a maw filled with jagged teeth blackened, stained with old blood. Places where parasites were protruding out of the spaces and dropping to the floor as the undead stood there. Merriska wanted to scream but her voice had abandoned her, she felt like her throat was closing up on her. It was hard for her to breathe. She visibly trembled from fear and tears clouded her vision. “I will feast upon your warm rich blood to appease my hunger for a while. What luck to find such an offering for our travels” The Vampire mockingly said to his companion as it held her at arm’s length and looked her over as if he were accessing her worthiness.
“Where is my manners?”, with mock politeness the undead spoke, “My name is Niccoli Dalca and my companion here is Viktor Bykov.” His voice sounded like gravel and sand raking over stone when he spoke, grating on Merriska’s nerve endings. As he looked upon her he drew her nearer. He paused tilting his head, he sniffed the air and what was supposed to be a smile spread across the gaping hole in his face. Exposing sharp elongated teeth darkened with bloodstains from other victims of his savagery.
Suddenly letting her fall to the floor and with a display of mock delight, Niccoli clapped his hands together and looked over his shoulder at the other vampire that was with him… the other no longer staying in the background but drawing near. “Viktor, it seems that we have stumbled upon a true prize here. Listen as her body tells us her story. She is with child!” Niccoli started gliding around Merriska as if he was circling her in a maypole dance, trying to savor the moment. Again he reached down and lifted her off of the floor with one hand, as if she was a ragdoll. But this time bringing her body in close to his and pulling her neck to the side exposing the pulse that beat there…frantically beating as fear laced her blood with adrenaline. A true Vampire’s feast. His addiction. Without another word Niccoli savagely bit into her throat, gulping her blood greedily, savoring the rush her blood gave him. A vampires high! The pain she felt was agonizing as the bite burned like acid and all she could think of was that this night she was going to die…suddenly Niccoli raised his head from her neck and a trail of blood ran down pass her collarbone staining the white nightgown she was wearing. He had not released her and she was still alive! With her blood spread over his mouth from his gluttonous feeding, he looked down at her and laughed aloud as he spoke. “Viktor, this one is a prize to be savored. Fear laced blood not only from her but from the brood she carries within her!” Niccoli’s feeding from Merriska produced a high and a rush that he had never felt in all of his time as a vampire. This time was different… she was different with the babies that she carried within only fueled her blood because he could taste their fear, the babies fear, also! He had almost drained her and then he realized that this could last a little longer, he slide his slimy tongue over the savage bite that he had uncaringly made in her neck when he had started to feed. Niccoli then ripped open his wrist with his teeth and brought his foul dark blood to Merriska’s mouth. She was too weak to resist him. He forced her compliance and made her swallow the tainted blood of the undead, because he wanted to keep her alive with her babies a little longer. Tears ran down her face as she mercifully passed out…
Three days had passed since the attack upon her and her beloved husband Johan. The vampires had taken her with them as they left her farm behind to continue their travels. Niccoli favored and was addicted to the taste and feel that he got from tasting her blood. Viktor had managed to drink from her once upon rising before Niccoli and there was a quarrel that almost led to an altercation between the two vampires for who Merriska belonged to… it seemed Niccoli did not care to share his special prize with Viktor… To prolong her life, so far after each feeding, Niccoli made her ingest a small amount of his tainted blood. But not enough to replace what he had taken … even so Merriska knew it would not be long before her death. In fact she prayed for it. The babies she carried were now more still, almost motionless not as active as they once were. She knew her little ones didn’t have a chance either…they too were as good as dead. Foul tainted blood was not meant to be ingested by babies or any living human or creature for that matter! This was going to be the third rising that she had been held captive and used as fodder for the vampire. Through his greed she prayed that this time he would not be able to restrain himself and finally draw all of her life’s force from her body. Permitting her spirit the release she so desperately wanted. So that she could join her beloved Johan in the next life.
While they lay in their lairs awaiting for the sun to set they left her tied up within the entrance of caves or to trees near their lair. Not caring how she survived or if she survived in their absence. Her will to live was depleted. She just wanted everything to be over. As she waited she wondered if anyone from the village had come looking for her and Johan when they had not arrived the next morning. Had anyone found Johan’s body and given him a proper burial? Tears stinging the back of her closed eyelids she could envision the face of her beloved…happy with a smile that could light up any room. Johan…her Johan! His plans for them, their future…gone. Ruthlessly , savagely murdered by Nosfertau, the undead! Why! They had had their whole lives ahead of them. They were to be a family with their little ones running around playing as children should, happy! But destiny would have it not to be so… and so she now awaited, no prayed for her death! The sun was almost down and with that darkness was coming.
She sat there leaning against the wall of the cave where she had been placed to await their return. She was so weak. The feelings of oppression, dread and hopelessness had been her constant companions since her home came under attack by the vampires. But now, this night… for some reason in her mind and heart these feelings were being pushed aside. The weight that was a burden upon her heart and chest had began to feel lighter… was this the feeling she was suppose to get that heralded her coming death…her release and peace from this horrendous state of being? Even the air around her began to feel and smell different, she could almost breath, and she wanted to breathe…her heart began to beat a frantic rhythm, something was coming…she could feel it! Whatever it was had to be better than what she had been going through. As the sun sank she could tell that he, Niccoli Dalca, had risen. With the increase throbbing of pain in her neck wound she did not have to turn to see him. To know that he was standing behind her… looking at her. His mouth salivating for the taste of her warm rich invigorating blood.
“Good Evening My Dear! It is time to feast once again upon that which is mine.” As he glided nearer to her. Viktor Bykov materialized near Niccoli, demanding that Niccoli share what he had been hoarding all this time. Caught in the middle of the two vampires as they argued whether or not she was to be shared, she tried to slowly drag herself out into the open air nearer to the entrance of the cave. She lay half in and half out of the cave entrance and she felt relief from the coolness of the night breeze upon her bruised and battered face… then out of nowhere strong hands gripped around her arms and drug her clear of the entrance… there was a moments silence, then the high pitch screech of outrage from Niccoli was heard as he realized his prize had disappeared out of his sight while he argued with Viktor. Rushing through the entrance of the cave to retrieve his possession he stopped short as he came face to face with four beings of Old… Legendary beings seldom seen and often forgotten that they even existed. Two “First Born of Earth”, or as most of mankind had learned to call them Elves, a Sorceress of the Earth and a Sorcerer. A strange combination of beings traveling together. But there held within the arms of the Earth Sorceress as she knelt on the ground was his possession. The woman…she that was his! The others that were accompanying the Sorceress stood tall and immovable as the hideous blood sucker emerged from the cave. Almost at once with sudden awareness that he was in the presence of powerful beings, the undead donned the appearance of normalcy. The evil laden hideous being that had first appeared was no longer present. In his place was a tall elegantly dressed man, one that appeared to have prominence and stature. A being that could be construed as someone of honor. The illusion had come to late to be of any aid to Niccoli Dalca, because the First Born of Earth and the others accompanying them had seen him for what he really was and could not be deceived by his trickery. Unknown to Niccoli, the quartet of beings had picked up the Vampires trail a couple of days earlier after passing through one of the local villages and having heard the story of a farmer being found mutilated and dead, his livestock slaughtered and his wife had not been found. They had gone to the site of the farm where they found the signs of the evil ones that had been there and the possibility they had taken the woman…but why? Vampires usually just tortured and killed their victims as they sucked the life from their bodies.
It was Shayla MacIntyre, the Sorceress that broke the silence, “She’s still alive, but I don’t know for how long. Or if I can even help her!” She continued, "and there is more… It seems that the villagers failed to mention the she was pregnant!” Niccoli had yet to speak, but had started to move. His motion in increments so minute that he hoped it would not to be discovered by the four until it was to late. It was Dresden MacIntyre, the Sorcerer that called him out, “Unholy one, do you think to escape the justice that is due one such as you!” He made it a statement not a question. “Call forth the cowardly worm that travels with you…you both thrive on the will and the souls of the weak and defenseless.” Pure contempt and loathing laced the words spoken as he continued to address the undead, “It is time to put your tormented souls into the darkness of Gehenna where it belongs and put an end to your miserable existence.”
Viktor Bykov finally came slithering out of the caves entrance, an audible low hiss escaping from him as he moved away and to the right of Niccoli. His purpose was to divide the focus of the warriors. Viktor didn’t even try to hide behind an illusion of what he was. It would have been a waste of time and energy. They had not yet fed this rising his energy was low… Niccoli with his flamboyant manner was wasting his on a frivolous illusion. A battle with these four was certain. No time for flare. Viktor was planning to strike first. The Sorceress was occupied with the woman… she could be a weak point for escape. The two Elves and the Sorcerer would have to be distracted and made to focus more on Niccoli for Viktor to affect his escape. Cunningly Viktor played to his companions ego. Vampires were prideful and egotistical, “Niccoli these cowards that stand before you are no match for one as powerful as you! Look they seek to take that which is yours! The woman and the brood she carries belong to you...”, he paused letting his statement penetrate the ego of Niccoli as he continued, “They seek to take her for their own…to increase their power as you have increased yours.” As Viktor spoke bolstering Niccoli’s pride building him up for the attack so that he could make good his escape, he drifted farther away from the other vampire.
“Worm of the Earth you will not escape us.” The Elf’s voice was melodic and almost serene as she delivered her message to Viktor. Artanis Celaborne had been witness over the centuries to the devastation and atrocities that the undead and other evil creatures upon this Earth had perpetrated upon it’s weak prey, mankind. She along with a few others of her kind, Elves, the First Born of Earth, chose to stay behind when others had left, to fight and defend the weaker beings known to her people as Edain’s. “You seek to deceive and manipulate this state of affairs and you think to slip away by pumping up this pompous ass’s ego!” Artanis regarded Viktor with an unwavering grave accent on his demise. “You will not prevail this day. For the crimes that you have done unto this woman, her husband, along with countless others traveling your evil life’s path, you must and will pay!” Artanis’s words were spoken of truth and with purity of heart. When she spoke to the undead even the creatures of the night became still…not even a whisper of the night’s breeze could be heard. All was still within the sound and range of her voice. Just to listen to Artanis caused the undead pain because of the purity and nature of her kind.
Knowing the truth of her words meant that this night he would have to fight for his survival… Niccoli had a trick or two up his sleeve. While trying to distract the warriors before him with the illusion of what he was, he was secretly calling forth his minions, his army of evil to do his bidding. Below the grounds surface surrounding the four, ripples, bulges and fissures started to form. With a powerful shudder the earth split, erupting and flowing forth from damaged ground came large eight legged, red eyed, venom dripping spiders accompanied by countless numbers of poisonous beetles and huge venomous snakes. All single-minded in aiding their unholy Masters in the battle against the warriors. The ground was beginning to be completely covered by waves of the unholy creatures as they flowed forth from the depths of darkness. Then a wave of Niccoli’s hand released a flurry of bats rushing out of the mouth of the cave in a swarm passing their Master to attack and envelope the warriors. Niccoli’s contemptuous and maniacal laughter echoed over the area as the warriors were being viciously attacked by the bats, their elongated teeth gnawing and tearing at the flesh of the warriors trying to devour them. Niccoli’s focus had been of the three that stood before him. He had all but forgotten about the woman and the Sorceress that held her. Shayla MacIntyre was a child of Mother Earth and Half-elf, Elandili. Often overlooked because unlike her traveling companions she appeared to be ordinary, calm, serene and harmless. Unknown to the vampires she was anything but mundane.
From out of the middle of the hell storm of evil creatures that did the bidding of the undead came the raised voice of purity Shayla’s, as she called upon the elements to assist them;
“Powers of Light Greatest of all
Replace this darkness
Drawn here by evil’s call.
Reveal all that dwells within
It and is unholy!
Cast upon them your brightest light
Destroy them this night
Through Your Power and Might!”
Still sitting with Merriska in her arms, Shayla called to the spirits of the Earth to aid them in this battle against Nosfertau, the vampire and his minion. All of a sudden the winds stirred and started to howl and clouds formed rolling in overhead and thunder rolled within as the power of light forming in the clouds became visible. Without warning white hot streaks of light descended to the earth repeatedly trailing across the grounds surrounding the warriors that were under attack by the crawling and flying poisonous creatures summoned by Niccoli and Viktor! The onslaught of the dark creatures apparent as expected, Viktor cast a bolt of energy toward the Sorceress holding Merriska with the intent of destroying the one blocking his path of escape to freedom! Ever aware, Dresden came into play as he conjured a shield between the energy blast and the women it was intended for. Whirling around with supernatural speed, a blur to the normal eye, Dresden redirected the energy bolt casting it back to its point of origin striking Viktor dead center his chest. Causing his putrid body to erupt into flame, incinerating his heart, burning him from the inside out. What once was Viktor now dropping into a pile of ashes leaving behind nothing but the foul stench from his end. The faith and destruction he had intended for the women now his own. Then the unearthly shriek and howl the message of destruction came next from Niccoli, as the onslaught of purifying light that had been summoned continued to destroy all in its path that was of evil and darkness… the look of pure shock was locked into a mask on Niccoli’s face as justice was performed upon him and Viktor…
With the vampires destroyed the clouds began to roll away and the winds carried away the burnt ashes and the traces of evil that had been a part of this night and the crevices in the ground eased close to become one solid mass again. Calm had been restored to the surroundings and nature no longer withered under the presence of the undead. Shayla’s attention was now only focused on Merriska and her condition. She was not only a Sorceress of the Earth but also a natural born healer. Gifted with the power to heal drawing her ability from the Mother Earth. She had the knowledge of spells and herbs used for healing and she could communicate with the mind and spirit of an individual…to heal as one… a dangerous practice to her and seldom used. But she could feel the woman’s desperate need as she held her in her arms.
Lying in Shayla’s arms Merriska’s breathing was shallow and labored, but she managed to open her eyes and look directly into Shayla’s. There was pleading and sorrow surround by a pool of tears that began to roll down the side of her battered and bruised face… “Thank You!,” two simple words came from her cracked bleeding lips as she struggled for breath. Shayla pushed the hair off of her forehead and her fingers traced and caressed the roundness of what was once a beautiful face. Still gazing into the Sorceress’s eyes Merriska struggling sent out a mother’s plea, “Please save my babies…Please!” The other warriors were now standing near the two women and overheard the words spoken by the dying woman. “Is there a possibility to save them?” Artanis asked. Shayla and Dresden both looked at each other for a moment, their eyes connecting as they silently communicated on their family’s private mental corridor. Dresden spoke, “There’s a possibility, but we have never dealt with what has occurred here. The babies have ingested tainted blood. Even after birth there is the possibility that they will not survive!” Merriska was suddenly gripped by pain, contractions had begun. She screamed and her water broke, her whole body trembling with pain… “Please, I know that there is no hope for me… but please…please save my babies!” She was in full blown labor… the babies were coming, there was no doubt.
From the packs they had been carrying Shayla took a blanket and tried to make Merriska as comfortable as possible considering the circumstances. She was growing weaker by the minute. Dresden assisted Shayla with the birthing of the babies… even though two babies were expected when a third was born it more than complicated the matter. The baby girl barely made it out before her mother passed away. Merriska had had a chance to see the two boys and was happy. It was thought to be over when her body convulsed once more and contracted and the third child started to pass through her body. With the birth of the last baby Merriska died…without the knowledge of what the third baby was. With the birth of each child, assistance in the way of Shayla having to guide them through breathing had to take place. With each child she had placed her hand over their little chest and pressed gently and prayed to Mother Earth to strengthen each of these her children and she blew a breath into each of their mouths, a first breath…then their breathing on their own began. The babies were wrapped in whatever cloth that they had with them and the journey back to the farm village began.
Entering the small village the four found the mid-wife Anna, who was also the village doctor or medicine woman. Shayla presented the babies born to Merriska and Johan Von Erikson to the mid-wife and she saw fear in the woman’s eyes as she took a step back from the infants and made the sign of the cross over herself, as she backed away. She didn’t want to have anything to do with the babies! It was not just the mid- wife but the whole village that did not want to have nothing to do with the babies. The quartet traveling together and all their kind were known as Elementals. A legendary group, a alliance of different species of individuals that bonded together to live as one and secretly render aid and defend the weaker one…mankind! They were gifted with telepathy and it wasn’t hard for them to read the minds of the villagers and see the fear that was associated with having the babies in the village. The villagers felt that the little ones would draw evil and the undead to them. If left in their presence they would kill the babies, without a doubt ridding the town of the trouble they represented. The little ones… now orphans! No one else wanted them…they became wards of the Elementals alliance.
It was during the care for the babies back at the home base that it was discovered that they were not your average babies. They were fed as all little ones but they were not thriving, they seemed weak and sickly. Shayla had taken a true interest in the infants. It was as she said she had given them their first breath of life. She felt connected to the little ones. She was in the compound’s clinic nursery and the babies were crying as they often did. She had given them names. The oldest baby boy she had named Andrew, the second boy child was Alexander and lastly the baby girl she named Aileen.
These were the Von Erikson Triplets born from a hell storm of pain and misery and these little ones needed all the help they could get. Shayla stood over their cribs while they cried and she felt as if these infants were trying to reach out to her…she focused on Andrew…then Alexander and Aileen. From each she came back with the feeling of hunger within them… These little ones were fed regularly as any infant should be… Why was she reading hunger from them? The need for nourishment coming from them…Shayla sat at the side of Andrew’s crib and with a sharp instrument she pricked her finger. She hesitated for a moment, but then she placed the blood tipped finger to the infant mouth. The crimson drops rolled past the baby’ lips and his little tongue licked at the liquid of life and started to suckle her pricked finger. His crying ceased and an air of calm replaced the crying. Withdrawing the finger from Andrew’s mouth Shayla repeated the same routine twice more for each baby and the results were the same…the babies along with their other forms of sustenance would need blood as part of their nourishment to survive! This information would have to be brought before the council… this along with what other discoveries were to be made about the Von Erikson triplets…
*** Present Day***
Andrew, Alexander and Aileen Von Erikson siblings, a species of beings unto themselves one of a kind named by their people, the Elementals as the Day Walkers, their story had begun over six centuries ago. To the Elementals they were loyal and true. Shayla MacIntyre held their hearts. To them she was as close to a mother as they ever had and they owed her their lives…their existence, she commanded their complete loyalty and love. Elementals they were and would always be… secretly the defenders of mankind against the evil that walked amongst them.
Each triplet truly was a sight to behold. Aileen was the smallest of the three at six feet two inches. Her hair was as dark as obsidian, with dark eyes and the figure and alluring beauty of a Greek goddess. Her body’s skin was smooth as satin with signs of understated muscle camouflaged beneath the satiny veneer. The Von Erikson men with their black eyes and jet-black hair that fell just short of their collars and flowed from their faces as they moved, were exactly six feet seven inches each. They had a physique that rippled with muscles and their masculine beauty rivaled Roman and Greek Gods or warriors of old…and they were battle worthy warriors honed in the fiery passion of many battles. Their stride was steady and precise they seemed to float when they walked. Their movements almost a glide, fluidity in motion, they exuded power and was with no doubt an unmistakable force to be reckoned with. Their supernatural gifts and abilities bestowed upon them through the circumstances of their births. They were here to answer the call of the Council of Elementals…Shayla and the Council.
Bly and her kinswomen the MacIntyre’s turned and with a nod of recognition they acknowledged the presence of he Von Erikson’s as they passed, it had been over fifty years since Bly had seen any of these three. They were a solitary set, totally the opposite of the red-haired triplet beauties. The Von Erikson’s were amicable when they were in the company of others, but mostly they stayed to themselves but never shied away from Shayla… she could always bring a semblance of a smile to their faces and a show of warmth in her presence.
The nine Council members were already seated at the council table whatever they had been discussing was of great importance. Artanis, a Firstborn and the War Chief of the Elementals and a council member, was standing in the center of the large crescent shaped table. Bly always thought that it reminded her of the story of the Knights of the Round Table, bedtime stories of her childhood… As each entered the council that were seated all rose to their feet and Artanis turned to face them as they entered, a collective of seven Elementals… Artanis raised her right arm bringing her hand to touch her brow then letting it fall half-forward and then bringing it to lay across her chest in an age old salute of welcome to the Warriors entering… “Creoso, Othar! Welcome warriors… Creoso, mellonamin! Welcome my friends...”, the seven almost simultaneously replied, “Aaye Artanis! Hail Artanis… Vedui’ Hodoerea! Greetings wise ones!”, as they returned their salutes to the council.
Artanis started to speak, “We know you are all wondering why you were summoned here”…she made it a statement. “After much discussion it is the council’s opinion that we need to send out a team of Elementals. We need you to scout a few outlying cities where it seems much trouble and unexplainable deaths, amongst other things have been occurring. The Edain- humans, we believe have no idea what is happening or what is causing it. ” Shayla rose from behind the table to join Artanis. Coming forward she extended her hand to touch Andrew first and then the other two siblings…her hand lingering on Aileen’s forearm for a few seconds longer while she made eye contact with her and a whisper of a smile crossed their lips… returning her attention to Andrew once again. It was almost like she was speaking directly to him…
“We believe that the bay area, San Francisco, is being overrun by Nosferatu, the undead…and it seems that Seattle may be in trouble too…” turning away from Andrew and his siblings she seemed to address Lilly and her sisters next, “We also believe that Nosfertau has had some assistance or help with implementing the evil they are spreading. Help from some Practitioners of the Arts…Magic!” At this point Bly broke the silence of the group and spoke to the council, “It seems that you have pinpointed what you needed the Von Erikson’s and the MacIntyre three of our little troop to focus on… but where do I fit in?” A third council member’s voice echoed in the hall. It was Steven Valiem, legendary Elandili and Ranger/Beastmaster and Warrior Elite, “Bly, you will be the glue in the middle of the teams connecting everyone…we will rely on you to make the balance for what is needed for either Day Walkers or the Sisters Three! You all can connect telepathically… as far as we know our communication corridors have not been compromised.” Artanis chimed in again, “You seven must stay alert! Be on guard because the undead, the Vampire is not alone on its path of destruction for mankind. The Vampire is drunk with his own power and we suspect that the magic being used to also aid them may be the work of Grey-Elves and Dark Mages!” Artanis and Shayla looked at each other and then focused their attention back to the Elementals they were sending out. “Nosfertau may not be expecting you!” She had directed her first statement to the Von Erikson three and then turned to face the other four, “but you four warriors must stay alert. This might be a trap set by the Grey Elves to draw us out into the open…driven by the hate for our kind, they will be hell bent on trying to destroy the four of you!” Councilman Valiem added, “Andrew, the council decided that we needed you to take the lead for the team. You and your siblings are the most experienced of this crew…” For a moment there was silence in the chamber but not in Bly’s mind… and from what she gathered the others of the team were all being touched too, telepathically by their team lead, Andrew. His mental probe was swift and feather light but none the less there…he scanned the section of her thoughts, her mind that encompassed as to how she was feeling about being called to service. He sought nothing else and moved away as quickly as he had entered…
Until then none of the other team members had spoken, then Andrew did. “Council of the Elementals… I think that I speak for all that have been summoned here today…it will be with pride and honor that we go forth and perform our duties for those who are less fortunate. Human kind needs our help to fight the evil that walks the streets and dwell within the shadows of the cities. We are honored to serve justice upon those that seek to corrupt, destroy and devour the weaker of this Earth!”
The three members that had come forth stood together looking upon this troop and proudly released them to their task in the age old manner of their people saluting and stating, “Lotesse kalian tiri! May your light shine bright!” The seven returned the warrior’s salute and Andrew completed their exit with, “Lotesse lle i’ kalian! May you live long in the light!” Exiting the Chamber Hall, it was Bly that touched the minds of the seven through the path established by their team lead… Andrew and everyone we need to get together and plan our next move… that couldn’t be clearer. But apparently it wasn’t! Bly and her kinswomen paused outside the hall, but the Von Erikson’s kept walking and suddenly took flight, their bodies shimmered and they were gone!
Bly stood there for a moment, because she didn’t believe that which just happened… had she not been able to reach Andrew and the others? Did she inadvertently reach out on her family’s familiar mental pathway instead of the team link? Had he not heard her request to meet for discussion? Damn, now what? She thought. Almost instantly again she felt that feather light mental touch! It was Andrew… Bly, you were on the right mental path for this team…I heard your request to meet and we will…but there is something else that I have to do first before we begin our mission! I will get back with all of you shortly… and just as quickly as he had connected, he disconnected and he was gone! Dumbfounded Bly turned to look at Lilly and her sisters and asked, “did you all get that too”? It was Lilith that walked up to Bly and placed her arm around her shoulders and smiling simply said, “Tea Cousin?” With that little comment the others all laughed and they walked to the common gathering area to join with others of their home just to talk and have a cup of tea…
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