Book 8 - Conquest for the Truth - Chapter 5 - Start of a Return

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httyyd
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I know it is 3:22 am in the morning at the time I am posting this, but when homework and college have been getting in the way, let alone everyday commitments I have, enough is enough that I want to just sit down and get a chapter written.  Though, for the most part, this chapter has been a lot of looking at notes, asking questions, comparing notes, asking more questions, and getting everything situated so that I could write this chapter; not to mention that these chapters are epically packed with a variety of story that takes a while to get written, I am finally ready to post.

 

I hope you all enjoy the chapter!

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The Wedding

New - Part 4

 

Book 8 Coming Soon!!

 

Destiny in the Dark

Chapter 3 - Friends and Enemies

 

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Here are links to the chapters of my fan-fic series.  The books go in chronological order.

 

The Clue of the Missing Socks.

Chapters 1 and 2                         Chapter 3                                       Chapter 4

Chapter 5                                      Chapter 6                                        Chapter 7

Chapters 8 and 9                        Chapter 10                                     Chapter 11

Chapters 12 and 13                     Chapters 14, 15, and 16             Chapter 17

Chapter 18                                    Chapter 19                                      Chapter 20

Chapter 21 and 22                      Chapter 23                                     Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26 - There is a hidden surprise.  Can you find it?

Chapter 27                                   Chapter 28, Part 1                         Chapter 28, Part 2

Chapter 29                                   Chapter 30                                       Chapter 31

Chapter 32                                   Chapter 33                                       Chapter 34

Chapter 35                                   Chapter 36                                       Chapter 37

Chapter 38                                   Chapter 39                                       Chapter 40

Chapter 41                                   Chapter 42                                       Chapter 43

Chapter 44                                   Chapter 45, Parts 1 and 2

 

The Mysterious Frozen Fire

Chapter 1         Chapter 2         Chapter 3         Chapter 4         Chapter 5         Chapter 6

Chapter 7         Chapter 8         Chapter 9         Chapter 10       Chapter 11       Chapter 12

Chapter 13       Chapter 14       Chapter 15        Chapter 16       Chapter 17       Chapter 18  

Chapter 19       Chapter 20      Chapter 21        Chapter 22, Part 1       Chapter 22, Part 2 

Chapter 22, Part 3

Epilogue/Preview for my Third Story!

 

Thoughts of Guilt

Chapters 1 and 2          Chapters 3 and 4          Chapter 5          Chapter 6          Chapter 7

Chapter 8          Chapter 9          Chapter 10          Chapter 11          Chapter 12, Part 1

Chapter 12, Part 2          Chapter 13         Chapter 14         Chapter 15         Chapter 16

Chapter 17 and 18         Chapter 19         Chapter 20         Chapter 21         Chapter 22

Chapter 23         Chapter 24         Chapter 25         Chapter 26         Chapter 27

Chapter 28         Chapter 29         Chapter 30         Chapter 31         Chapter 32

Chapter 33         Chapter 34         Chapter 35         Chapter 36 and 37

Chapter 38, Part 1         Chapter 39, Part 2         Chapter 40, Part 3         Chapter 41

Chapter 42, Parts 1 and 2         Chapter 43         Chapter 44

Chapter 45, Part 1         Chapter 45, Part 2

 

On the Edge of Mystery

Chapter 1          Chapter 2         Chapter 3        Chapters 4 & 5    Chapter 6, Parts 1 and 2   

Chapter 7          Chapter 8         Chapter 9            Chapter 10       Chapter 11        Chapter 12

Chapter 13        Chapter 14       Chapter 15          Chapter 16        Chapter 17       Chapter 18

Chapter 19        Chapter 20       Chapter 21          Chapter 22       Chapter 23      Chapter 24

Chapter 25        Chapter 26       Chapter 27         Chapter 28        Chapter 29 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 30       Chapter 31       Chapter 32 and 33                         Chapter 34 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 35 Part 1         Chapter 35 Part 2        Chapter 35 Part 3        Chapter 36

 

The Secret Symbol

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7     Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21   Chapter 22   Chapter 23   Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29 and 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39

Chapter 40 and 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43, 44, 45, and 46

 

The Legend of Shadow Mountain

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16   Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23    Chapter 24    Chapter 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29    Chapter 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39    Chapter 40

Chapter 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43    Chapter 44    Chapter 45 & 46

Chapter 47    Chapter 48    Chapter 49    Chapter 50    Chapter 51

 

Teaser "Trailer" for Book 8 - Conquest of the Truth

 

The Crimson Storm

Chapters 1 and 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5    Chapter 6

Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapters 10 and 11    Chapter 12

Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15    Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18

Chapter 19    Chapter 20    Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23

Chapter 24    Chapter 25 and 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29

Chapter 30    Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34

Chapter 35 and Epilogue

 

The Wedding

Part 1     Part 2     Part 3 

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httyyd
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When u make a drink called 6up dont give up until u make 7up. XD

Here is the suggested soundtrack to listen to for this chapter:

2-Hours Epic Music | THE POWER OF EPIC MUSIC - Best Of Collection - Vol.4 -

 

Conquest for the Truth

 

Chapter 5

Start of a Return

 

         “Well,” Heather adds.  “You four go on, the rest of us will take care of business here and wait for reinforcements.”

         Complying, we mount our dragons and fly off towards the center island of Izar.  With the relief of our initial part being done, I finally take in the beauty of the night.

         “Annabeth,” I address.  “Have you ever seen such large islands before.”

         “Not even Shadow Mountain can hold a candle to these islands,” She replies.  “But by the looks of it all, they have been ravaged by war.  The Dragon Conquerors have not bothered to rebuild any part of Izar since taking over.  Yet, to see seven large islands so close together is amazing.”

         Dawn corrects, “Well, ‘close’ is a relative term.  There has to be at least a few hundred yards if not a mile or two between all of these islands.  It would just depend on what part of the island you are measuring from.”

         Garth was right, I will know their Great Hall when I see it.  Flying past what looked like a town plaza, we came to two great big doors the size of a viking hut.  The doors were also carved with various viking designs.

         To me, it is just as grand as Berk’s Great Hall, yet has a totally different style while at the same time, there are similarities.  One such is that this Great Hall is big enough for dragons to fit it, although Dawn whole heartily volunteers to stay with the dragons while the rest of us go find out about boring “mystery stuff” as she puts it.  I know she would have wanted to be knocking some Dragon Conqueror heads together, but there will be a time and place for that.

         Annabeth, Cazi, and I walk into The Hall.  It is not much brighter in here than it is outside.  Everything is a mess, tables and chairs broken, banners ripped and shredded… It is as if a battle was fought in here too.

         This Great Hall is literally built inside of the center mountain of Izar as from the inside there are elements of both viking and natural formations.  The inside cavern looks to be in the shape of an octagon with balconies on a second level.  On each side of the octagon there is a different banner of some sort crest probably signifying the islands here in Izar.  There are eight large pillars holding up the ceiling with some artwork on the walls; some of the art work is missing by the looks of it.  On the side opposite of us coming into the Hall is another pair of doors leading to somewhere else.  These doors too nearly span the entire height of the cavern.

         “Over here, Jarl,” comes Garth’s voice from the left.

         There are a few lone candles on a table where Garth is setting down a book.

         Garth states, “I still need to find a few things, but in the meantime, I thought you would like to know more about how this all got started.  With Jarl writing all of his books, I thought maybe it would be good to have a record of what happened to Izar.  Collecting my journal notes from during the times these events actually took place, I now wrote a book.  There are more in the making, but this is one of the completed in a book format book.  While it may not be the happiest of books, it may help you to better understand somethings.”

         The three of us all slide onto the bench, sit down, and read the title of the book laying on the table:

 

         The Fall of Izar

 

(Author Note: I read what Garth has posted on the start of his backstory for Garth and his Izarian friends.  I reference quite a bit about what you can read if you follow the link above.)

 

         I open the cover and I read out loud.

         Finishing the story, I am left to wonder there should be more.

         Garth comes back over and immediately, Annabeth asks, “What comes next?”

         “Oh yeah, I didn’t write it all down in that one, I need to do that sometime,” Garth states but then goes on.  “Well, there really is not much to tell to the story, maybe the ins and outs of how it happened, but you all can see the result of what happened.  Einar and the Dragon Slayers came and attacked.  Einar came full force with his new armada backed by a young Bewilderbeast.  He has greater numbers and more dragons than he did during the Dragon War.  Because the Council of Seven was not complete, for those reasons, I married Saga.  I saw that Izar could not win this war, so with the power I had gained from the marriage, I called a meeting of the chiefs.  An intense fight came and the chiefs finally saw reason and reluctantly agreed to give the order to evacuate Izar.  Our remaining forces waged guerilla war until those wanting escape could leave.  I was one of the last people out after the six other chiefs had named their successors, I did as well.”

         Garth pauses as regret starts show in his eyes and tone of voice, “The other chiefs sacrificed themselves to hold off Einar as I got away.  Einar doesn’t know that I am technically the Chief of Aurum.  He assumes I am just an errand boy and let’s me get away.  I use a hidden submarine and take Riptide with me and leave Izar.  My mission was to recruit as many vikings to our cause… I just hope it is enough.”

         It finally dawns on Cazi and she shakes here head, putting her right hand to her forehead, “Woah, wait a second… You are married?  And when were you going to tell us that?”

         Garth shrugged, “I never really had a reason to and the reason I am was already used.”

         I subtly grab for Annabeth’s left hand, resting on the bench top besides us.  We both glance at each other.

         Annabeth then quietly asks, “Do you love her?”

         Garth sighs, “I-.”

         “We need to go meet up with Sif,” Lilah’s voice struck the moment.

         We all get up to leave Izar’s Great Hall, but Annabeth, Cazi and I all three look like we are now wondering the same thing.

         Garth states, “I haven’t been to Aurum in a long time.”

         Garth hesitates for a moment before mounting Riptide.  He and his Tide Glider lead the way to the Isle of Aurum.  Heading Northwest, we go to the location of the Dragon Conqueror fort.  Still seeing my friends there, we land.

         Updating Explod, Angie, Reptiel, and Faith on the current situation, Garth starts pacing back and forth.

         Explod explains that they had been exploring the fort to see if there is anything that they could learn.  They are not done yet, but we thought we might help them.  With Garth here, any of the paper could be translated.  By Explod’s suggestion, Garth started to comb through the fort commander’s building.  This kept Garth busy while not thinking about meeting his friend he has not seen in years.

         While Annabeth and I searched, we found that we are the lone two in the upstairs office.

         Annabeth stops me and pulls me to the side, “That is crazy to think about that Garth and Saga agreed to be married like that.”

         I lean against the wall, Annabeth does to; I tell her, “These are different people than Berk or even the Berserkers.  They have their own way of doing things.  Yet, when push comes to shove, they will do whatever it takes to defend their home, wherever that might be.”

         She has her arms crossed, but has a twang of sympathy in her tone, “I mean, if Garth had said this about his marriage before now, I would have completely called him out for agreeing to such a thing.  But reading some backstory and him explaining the rest of the story, gave me pause to understand why he did it.  Do you think that is wrong to be forced into marriage?”

         “Yes,” I respond.  “On the surface, I totally disagree with marriages for political reasons.  Marriage is supposed to be a holy thing that is respected and treated as a pure relationship between a man and a woman.  To take marriage and treat it as a gadget just to appease the traditions of the other Chiefs of Izar, that still is not enough for me.”  I sigh, “But as you said about knowing more about the details of what happened and what tough decisions Garth had to make, I don’t know what I would have done if I were in his position.”

         Annabeth rests her hand on my left shoulder, gently saying to me, “You would have done the right thing.”

         I smile then hug her.

         I then comment, “It brings into perspective the blessing it is to have you as my wife, Annabeth.  While everything we did together fell into place over the course over a few years, Garth and Saga were put into a situation that neither of them asked for.  To me, it sounds as if Garth does have some feelings for Saga and Saga for Garth.  But I am not sure either of them has put much thought into it because of situation dealt to them.”

         Annabeth shifts to rest the side of her head on the front of my left shoulder, “I know.  Made me stop and think not to take what we have for granted.  I never want to take for granted the husband I have in you.”

         I tilt my head down and kiss her on top of her head, “At this point, we need to be supportive of Garth as much as we can.  He recruited us for his battle, we can’t let him down.  Too many lives have been lost and too many are counting on us.  He’s come too far for this not too work.”

         Finding nothing more up here, we return downstairs.  As we exit the stairwell and turn left, we see a girl with her hands on her hips standing in the door way while Garth is still at a desk facing away from the door.  Garth looks up to see that Annabeth and I have stopped in our tracks.  He then slowly turns his head to see the girl.

         The girl cracks, “I see that you have already started without me.”

         “Sif!” Garth leaps up out of the chair and hugs his friend.

         As if some of the weight on Garth’s shoulders was lifted off, Garth sounds somewhat relieved to see Sif.

         “It’s good to see you again, Garth,” Sif admits.  “But we have a meeting to go to.”

         “Oh,” Garth simply says.  “Yes, we do.”

         Garth returns to his previous mood as he and Sif go out of the house.  I call for my friends to return and come with us.  Lilah also informs she had already told the other groups to join the meeting location while the rest of the forces secured the rest of the lands.

         Sif mounts her Scuttleclaw and leads us out to the west out over the water.  There we see near a collection of sea stacks two massive ships.

         Garth announces, “There is the Retribution and the Pride of Iyer.”

         These two ships are massive.  They look to be both a cargo ship and a battleship.  Reason I say battleship is because both ships have an assortment of catapults and ballista lining the top deck on the sides.  And really, who knows what else these ships can do.  A tour can happen later.

         Sif points to the ship on the left where a gathering of vikings and dragons are there, similar to what we had done previously for our meeting.

         Landing, Garth immediately jumps off Riptide and looks for someone.  We follow him going towards the center of the crowd.  I see that my friends are all here, so this must make our group the last to arrive.  My forces, Lilah’s forces, the crew of the ships, and even more vikings are all gathered together.

         Garth then stops in his tracks and questions, “Where is Kaya?”

         The young strangers there I have yet to meet, lower their head.  The light is not very good, so I cannot really make out too much of their features, but the look of sadness on all of them is like a dagger in the night.

         A young woman about the age of Cazi, with blonde hair, comes over to comfort Garth, “It isn’t as bad as you might think.  Kaya is just not here yet.  None of us have seen here.  Maybe she can only go so fast and will be here soon.”

         Garth did not reply, he just looks in silence down at the deck of the ship.

         To change the subject the young woman sees Annabeth and me, “And who might these two be?”

         Garth snaps out of his state, shaking his head to wake himself up from his thoughts, and then introduces us, “Val, may I introduce to you Jarl and Annabeth Everson, or have you changed your last name again?”

         Annabeth and I chuckle as we both, in turn, shake Saga’s hand.  Walking to the center of the gathering, introductions are made between my leaders of my forces and those of Garth’s friends and their forces.

         Lilah adds, “Formal introductions of all of your friends Jarl can wait until after.”

         Now that I have been introduced, I am able to see Garth’s friends closer and what they look like.  Val is the young blonde woman.  She has red eyes, which is uncommon to her tribe, the Fireflies.  Usually, Garth says, a member of the Firefly Tribe has red hair and red eyes.  Val is wearing an orange short sleeved shirt, orange pants, a green skirt with brown leather petals on it which at as light armor, golden bracers, and a golden winged helmet.  The helmet is similar to my own, but her helmet’s wings are taller and sleeker than my own.  Her hair is tied up in a pony tail with a red ribbon.  She also wears on her left shoulder a black scaled armored brooch.

         Sif has golden blonde hair and sky-blue eyes.  Her clothes look simple, long sleeves and a skirt with pants, but look to have a few layers of thin Gronckle Iron for armor.  The armor is light, but some may not even notice it is armor.  Being the spy that she is, I am sure this is the point to her armor looking like normal clothes.  Sif is rather small for a viking, yet the smaller a viking, the harder the punch.

         Tholme has brown hair, brown eyes, and has a muscular build.  His skin is a bronze tan.  Even though the light is still dim, it seems as if he is starting to grow a moustache.

         Kaya, Saga, Lyra, and Grunt have still not shown up, though Grunt is still at his post guarding a hidden record vault along with some Sentinel Trappers.  We will have to go to Grunt to contact him about our plans.

         Sif calls the meeting to order, “We have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time.  My wayward scouts towards the south and west say that Einar and Vixxen’s combined forces are only three days sail away from reaching Izar’s waters,” Sif reports.  “We have a lot to get done to get all of Izar battle ready.”

         “I see that you Garth,” Sif addresses.  “Have recruited many dragon riders to our cause, in addition to a few other forces.  Who is their chief?”

         “May I present to you Jarl Everson, leader of the forces of the Barbaric Archipelago,” Garth lets me step forward.

         Sif crosses her arms, “You say leader of the forces.  Are you not a chief?”

         “Yes,” I answer.  “I am not a chief.”  Sif looks confused, so I explain, “There are three chiefs here: Dagur the Deranged, Mala of the Defenders of the Wing, and Atali of the Wingmaidens.  My father, Sigvald Mollerson, he is one of Berk’s trusted advisors and second in command of Berk’s Navy.  While I may not be a chief of my own right, I am appointed the leader of the forces as all of my friends have chosen to follow me.”

         Garth adds, “I can personally vouch for Jarl’s and all of his friends’ skills in battle.  We have had run ins with Vixxen and her forces several times and just recently Einar himself.  Jarl and his crew are just as skilled in the air on their dragons as they are on the ground and in close combat.”

         “Then I hope your forces will be enough,” Sif comments.  “Lilah tells me you have some insight to what Einar may be after.”

         “Yes,” I then go on to tell what information my crew and I have.  “As Garth has said, my crew and I have had several run ins with Vixxen.  My crew and I are what you might call, Mystery Conquerors.  Basically, we solve mysteries to better serve the archipelago.  Over the course of the last year or two, our adventures had crossed paths of one Thorgunna Vixxen.  Seeing her to be a threat to dragons, we altered our mission to try and stop her.  But the current mystery we were on led us to Vixxen anyway.  Have you ever heard of The Legend of Shadow Mountain?”

         The phrase is not familiar to anyone, except for those in my crew and Lilah.

         “Well,” I go on.  “Vixxen believed there to be a power of some kind inside Shadow Mountain as she too was trying to solve The Mystery of Shadow Mountain.  My crew and I went to nearly every corner of our archipelago searching for answers to clues.  What we found inside Shadow Mountain was not what either Vixxen nor I was expecting.  A Purple Death.”

         This dragon name is definitely known among the Izarians, so if there were doubters in the crowd about what my crew have been up to, they were listening now.

         “While we were unable to defeat the Purple Death, we let it return to Shadow Mountain to go back into hibernation,” I continue.  “But what I saw inside Shadow Mountain was actually a map which leads straight to the Isle of Izar.”

         Gasps where heard throughout the crowd and Garth’s friends stood up straighter.

         Sif contends, “That’s impossible.  How could anyone else know of Izar?”

         “That’s what I am trying to figure out,” I tell her.  “While my crew and I are here to help in anyway we can to help defend your home from Einar, we are also here to figure out the rest of The Legend of Shadow Mountain.”

         Lilah steps in, “There is a prophecy which was directly tied with Jarl’s latest mystery, which brought him face to face with Einar.  I will also testify to Jarl’s abilities and his friends.  Not only did they do battle against a dragon that Einar was trying to control for his own ends, Jarl and Annabeth nearly gave their lives trying to defeat Einar.  Jarl used this prophecy against Einar to sway the Masked Vikings, a group of individuals that were displayed from the war Einar fought against Izar.  Einar had them all on his side, but Jarl and his friends stood their ground saved the people from utter destruction had Einar been able to use them and the Gale Heart dragon against Einar.”

         “Back to the prophecy,” Lilah goes on.  “This prophecy’s roots actually go deeper than just the so-called hope of a people to return to their home with vengeance with the power of an Alpha Class dragon themselves.  Not sure if Jarl or his friends have made the connection yet, but this prophecy has some of its basis in Sentinel history.”

         Now my friends and I listen closer at this revelation.

         Lilah looks down for a moment before saying in my direction, “I was not sure if this prophecy was the correct one or not.  There have been so many attempts made by many foes before to try and solve the prophecy before, but all had failed.  Vixxen is one of them, though she started out as an Izarian Sentinel.  But after the events of The Crimson Storm, I researched the old books of Sentinel history which I took with me as The Scattering started.”  Lilah reveals a battered, worn old book and reads, “This prophecy has been passed down generation after generation of Sentinel Protectors as a warning and a safe guard against the people of Izar.  Those who discover the Secret of Shadows will be one step closer to finding a power which could corrupt or save a world.  It has been the duty of a Sentinel to protect Izarians and every nation of the world from this power.  Even as I, Thorgunn Vixxen, Sentinel Scribe write this entry into the history books of the Sentinel Protectors of Izar, I do not know what this power is to be, what form it is, or if there is any power at all.  The reason for this was intentionally lost by the founders of Izar for the very purpose of hiding the power.  But since that time, there have been foes of Izar trying to take this power for themselves since the founding of Izar.  The prophecy specifically reads as follows, ‘At the proper time, all will come to pass, all will be made clear.  The Heart of a storm will rise with the winds of the sky and the depths of the ocean will return to its origin.  The power that waits to beheld, can punish, corrupt, or be the savior to a land that was once lost.  A land which is home to healing, to wisdom, to strength, to immortality.  Only the storm will survive.  A storm is coming… A storm is here.’”

         Lilah puts the book down and looks at Garth and myself, “I hoped and prayed this prophecy Einar and Vixxen have been chasing was not the same prophecy.  But after hearing it read on the Dragon Eye lens map right under Izar, ‘A storm is here,’ I knew without a doubt it is the same prophecy.  I know I was hoping against hope that this whole mystery was something else entirely, I just thought maybe for once the prophecy could finally be put to rest and no one else would come.  Einar must be after this power the prophecy speaks of.  I believe it goes without saying, Einar cannot succeed.”

         I do not know what to say, but Garth steps into to further the discussion, he lays down a notebook while he points to a place right below the island of Izar, “On the Dragon Eye lens, the phrase ‘A storm is here,’ is right here.  Could the lens be telling us that something is there underneath the water or underneath Izar?  But from what I gather from the rest of what the lens is saying and cross-checking what Jarl has on his notes of The Mystery of Shadow Mountain, there is something in or under the islands of Mjolnir and Iyer.  They are the last pieces to The Mystery of Shadow Mountain, the very same islands that the ceiling of the inside of Shadow Mountain is pointing towards.”

         Taking in all that has been said, I finally state, “What still remains is what is the prophecy talking about and what is Izar hiding?”

         Sif starts to lay out some of her plans, “Now that Einar’s forces are captured and are being held, we must fortify all the islands.  With all the combined forces, we may be able to pull this off, but it will probably take a miracle without our Bewilderbeast here.  I would like to take some of your crew and station them across the islands.  You may pick some of your crew to help you in your quest to solve this mystery.  I assume that you won’t need all of your forces to do so.”  I shake my head, Sif continues.  “Then those who Jarl allows to go the islands, report to me and I can station you on an island to wait further instructions until everything is set.  I do fear that taking back our land was way too easy.”

         Val asks, “How so?”

         Sif remarks, “Einar and his forces were never one to just give in unless it was according to his plan.  I have been living in their midst for years.  While Einar is still unpredictable, his forces aren’t.  It is like they knew you guys were coming even before I knew you guys were coming.”

         I suggest, “Is there a mole in your ranks?”

         “I thought of that,” Sif acknowledges.  “But each one of my spies have been with me since the beginning.  It has to be someone spying on us.  There have been sightings of a foreigner on Izar.  Young man, about your age, similar build, but with crimson red hair, and a full-suit of brown leather.”

         I sigh, knowing full well who it is, “Does your reports about him say anything about a lime green bandana around his neck?”

         “Why yes,” Sif answers.  “Do you know him?”

         Ali speaks up, “Unfortunately, we have crossed paths.  I am blind because of him, you know.  I’d like to get my hands on his scrawny little neck.”

         Valkarik puts her hands on the shoulders of Ali, “Now calm down.  You will just get yourself worked up.  Besides, we’ve talked about this.  I am going to give him a kick in the rear like he ain’t never seen.  And that is just the start.”

         “Yeah,” Ali agrees and folds her arms.  Valkarik steps to the right to then lean on Ali’s right shoulder.  Ali looks straight ahead as if she was talking to someone, “Skygge is going to wish that I’d have never laid eyes on him.”

         “Eh,” Valkarik stands up.  “A quippy retort.  I don’t want to catch it.  We’ve been around Jarl too much.”

         I nod my head for them to come over here, “Well, be prepared to be around me some more, because I want you two to come with Annabeth, Asvord, Cazi, Dawn, Aiyana, Samantha, and Explod to be the crew that helps me solve this mystery.  The rest of you help Sif in any way that you can.”

         Lilah adds, “I will talk with your father and Dagur of where to station their ships as well as Mala and Atali of where to enlist their viking power for the defense of the Isles.”

         “Jarl,” Sif bows slightly with a nod to me.  “You have your marching orders, I have mine.  We will reconvene in two days with anything that you have uncovered and then prepare for battle.”

         Sif adjourned the meeting.  As the crowd dispersed, a Scauldron then emerged from the darkness of the night and landed near our location.

         The dragon rider is dressed in clothing made of dragon scales and wears a mask made of a deer’s skull with antlers included.  A green skinned, golden winged Terrible Terror also accompanies the figure, resting on the figure’s left shoulder.

         The figure walks through the dispersing ship crew and other vikings, so I think it is safe to assume this person is an ally.  The figure comes up to the group still around me and stops.  The reveal of the head made the few that read that The Fall of Izar book instantly recognize her.  The Terrible Terror is Sparky.  The girl has long dark hair, leather band around her head, and green eyes.  She has an ax sheathed on her back.  While her gear is of dragon scales, she still wears a simple designed short sleeve shirt, skirt, pants, and boots.

         Once the figure had made her way over to us, the Scauldron lifts back into the air and returns the way it came.

         The young woman walks straight up to Garth, standing in front of him, she only says, “Garth.”

         Garth greets, “Saga.”

         Saga, in an instant, hugs Garth.  Garth’s look is the look of relief and sadness, yet he slowly lifts his arm and then embraces Saga by hugging her back.

         Garth then whispers, “I’ve missed you.”