Lady’s Duty Chronicles
— Adellandra Dranna Dratianos, 24Sept2006
Stories here are of the Lady Empress Guardian Adellandra Dranna Dratianos as she takes her duties from the Realms of Dreams to Mal’estar and beyond. From the Wolf-Packs, to the Companion Armies, Crusaders, Draconians, and the Dweller-kin, follow as she patrols through All Realms of All the Worlds with her mate, Lord Emperor Guardian Draconis Vilinos Dratianos. As Chronicled by the Head-Chronicler herself, Adellandra Dranna Dratianos.
- Dweller kin-Clans vs. the Stalkers
- Leaders of the All-Realm Crusaders Report
- Lord Brakkon’s Quandary
- Legacy of the Dragon-Mistress (Prologue to the actual story)
Dweller kin-Clans vs. the Stalkers:
It was that time of year again. All our peoples were to report to us in Mal’estar, in the Realm of Dragons, more commonly known as the Dragon Nations. The first of these were the Dweller kin-Clans from the Mortallan Realm.
Draconis, my Lord Emperor and Lord Guardian mate, sat at his Throne beside me. Behind me were our son Kronin to my right, Father to my left, and Dranus, Draconis’ Branno to His left.
“Step forward, Ramon and Daniel.” Draconis supplied, beckoning them with his hand. “Your report?”
“Lord Emperor,” Ramon began. “Since the four of you have fulfilled our Prophesy, or at least its beginning, the Stalker Clans have backed off.”
Draconis grinned. “How fitting.”
“Indeed.” I echoed. “Surely, it was not that easy to rid ourselves of them? Just by our fulfilling the prophecy?”
“You have right to be suspicious, Lady Guardian.” Daniel replied.
“Daniel, call the Lord and myself by our given names.” I told him with a grin. “We loathe our titles. Besides, we’re family.”
“Quite correct.” Draconis remarked. “I admit to suspicion as well. Are they in hiding somewhere, waiting?”
Ramon nodded. “Aye, Draconis.” He said. “I sense it.”
“Do you know where?” I asked. Ramon nodded again, not meeting our eyes. “Cousin,” I began, standing and stepping to him. “Where are the Stalkers now?”
Ramon looked up at me with death-red eyes. That’s when I knew.
“Here in the Nations?”
“They are within the Nations and Realms themselves. Spread widely amongst them all.” Ramon said.
I could sense and hear Draconis’ low growl.
“What have your Clans been doing to handle the situation?” Draconis growled.
Daniel and Ramon both shrugged. “Only what we can do.” Ramon supplied.
“Rise with the Night and Hunt them, Destroying the ones we can before they Destroy us.” Daniel remarked. “As it is, Simone and the children are restless. She wishes to Hunt as well, but I will not let her.”
“Why not?” I asked him. “I know she’s your mate and all that, I know how that works, but why won’t you let her Hunt with you for your Turned Kinsmen?”
“I was wondering the same thing, love.” Draconis said.
“Our women are precious to us, and the very breath of life breathes within them.” Daniel remarked. “Every time a woman Hunts a Stalker, we have found they are Turned as well. I do not wish that to happen to Simone.”
“You have no faith in your mate, Daniel?” Draconis asked. He turned to Ramon. “What of you? Do you agree with him?”
“I have given Bella the choice, Draconis.” Ramon supplied. “She chooses not to Hunt, as she has found herself a better Healer.”
Draconis turned again to Daniel. “Why not give Simone the choice? As it is her free will to do as she wishes. I know Adellandra is both an excellent Fighter and potent Healer.”
I grinned, blushing. “I know any Ancient Mystics, especially the females, are strong and resourceful. They are also loving and courageous. Why not let Simone fight by your side, as I do Draconis’?”
Daniel looked down. “She is still a Youngling.”
“She is also my daughter.” Ramon remarked. “She has taken care of herself and you for hundreds of years now. Do not think she will Turn now that she has you. Neither of you will.”
“You are bound by your blood and love.” I supplied, taking Draconis’ hand.
Daniel roared. “All right! Enough!” He laughed. “I know when I am beaten. Onto more important matters. It is said Balor is still in power amongst the Stalker Clans.”
I shook my head. “How can he be if he is trapped within one of my crystals?”
“You only have his spirit.” Ramon said. “That which carries the very soul and power. His body, decaying by the century, is loose somewhere amongst all the Stalker Clans. He is bound to one Realm, so once you find him, you can Destroy him.”
“I take it you have not been able to pinpoint his position as of late?” I asked, arms crossed and wings behind me fluttering in agitation. My tail twitched.
“I am afraid not.” Ramon supplied.
“The last we heard of him, he was in the Old Dominion, somewhere Underground.” Daniel said after his blood-brother. “When we had a Hunting Party search, he already disappeared.”
“Hmm.” I closed my eyes and thought. “He could not have gotten far. The Underground tunnels of the Old Dominion are long and ever-winding. They are too confusing to one without a soul to get through with his sanity intact.”
“What are you thinking, Lady-love?” Draconis responded.
I stared at him. “We search ourselves.” I told him. “I know my way through the Underground Tunnels, as I’ve been held captive many years ago in the dungeons. Not to mention I helped Sabrina give birth to Mateo when she was hiding there in dragon-form.”
“I do not think that a good idea, kana.” I heard Dratyr speak up, clearing his throat. “I am sure Draconis will agree with me, will you not, Kanota?”
Draconis shook his head. “Sorry, Dratyrna, but no.” He supplied. “I think it a brilliant idea. She is the Lady Guardian still, Sir Airemus. It is part of her duties as both her main titles to take care of filth like Balor.” He turned back to me. “You, however, know my conditions.”
I nodded. “Of course, m’love.” I smiled. “They will be with me.” I turned and nodded to Ramon and Daniel. “Do you remember where he was seen in the tunnels? By sight and sense?”
Daniel nodded. “I could try, Lady Guardian.”
“Daniel…” I warned him. He just stood there, staring at me with a patient look on his face. “Nevermind.”
I kissed my Lord mate and left with them.
“He did not insist on being with you?” Ramon asked. “That is a switch.”
“Aye, that it is.” I said. Once we got outside the Castle, I pointed to the skies. “I always have at least two of the Guard with me at all times, no matter what. They follow at a distance, as to not interrupt my duties. They are always there at my mind-call should I need a hand.”
Ramon laughed. “Sentries, I take it?”
“In a way, aye.” I told him. “Can you shift to an Aerial Creature?”
He nodded, as did Daniel, before he shifted to an owl while Daniel shifted to a raven. I shifted to a smaller dragonform before we each took to the skies.
(to be continued…)
Leaders of the All-Realm Crusaders Report.
As usual, Draconis and I sat at our Thrones, with our faithful bodyguards, Dranus, my Dratyr Sir Airemus, Sheena and Lady-Knight Sophie behind us. Months earlier, I had Called all my Crusader Teams to Mal’estar for a full report. I was pleasantly surprised when only their ‘leaders’ arrived.
First-Generation Crusader Team leaders were Shannon Ryan-McNathaniels, my Ancient Mystic cousin and her Earthly Protector Nick. Second-Generation was myself, my twin Adarramena, and our mates Draconis and Drakkar. Being I was ‘stuck’ in Mal’estar with Draconis, our twins took over, with Adarra’s Earthly Protector and other mate Shadow Morehouse. Third-Generation were the Enchantress, my Ancient Mystic daughter Kelly and her Earthly Protector and mate Bradley Allen Waters. Since he used to be my Earthly Protector, Derrick “Sir Karrath” Reading was there as well, for all three sets of Crusader teams.
“What have you all to report to us?” I asked them, acting as Lady Guardian.
“I’m afraid you’re not going to like it, cousin.” Shannon began. I Felt Nick shudder beside her.
“What is it?” Draconis asked.
“You know how you destroyed all Dominionites, Draconis?” Shannon asked. He nodded. “Not all of them were destroyed. There are some females in hiding in the Unknown.”
“Females, such as?” I prodded.
“Shenara, Albrath and Gloriana to name a few, Matéré.” Kelly spoke up. “Zeta has already done some damage to Amanda Jo and me, pretending to be us and framing us for things we wouldn’t do.”
“How?” Draconis asked his adopted-kana.
Kelly gulped. “She’s Earthbound, Dratyr.”
I shot up. “How in the hales did she get Earthbound?” I cried, growling.
“I don’t know, Momma.” Kelly whined.
“Find out.” Draconis growled after her.
“That’s not all I have to report.” Kelly said. “Shenara’s in on it, too, and haunting Peter Valentine.”
Peter Valentine. I thought of the name. “As in son of Brett Valentine, and Earthly Protector to your Over-Seer Samantha West?”
“The very same.” Kelly supplied.
“Explain.” I told her.
“She’s haunting his mind, trying to keep him in the Unknown with her.” Kelly remarked.
“She’s claiming to be his Dream-girl, but he’s smart enough not to buy it.” Bradley finally spoke up. “We had him explain to us what happened in his attic. He says it has something to do with a statuette.”
“Interesting.” I said. “How are you dealing with it?”
“We’re Crusading every night during our patrols, just as you did, Momma.” I gave her a stern look. “What?”
“Is that all you’re doing?” Draconis asked for me.
“We can do naught but wait.” Bradley supplied. “We’ve already Exiled three younger Dominionites Lord Guardian. That’s all we can do for now.”
“So you are going to wait until they strike to do anything?” Draconis asked, eyeing both Kelly and myself.
“Would you rather attack when we’re not ready for them?” Kelly asked her Dratyr. “We’re conditioning, thanks to Granpere Airemus and Uncle Dranus. We’re being taught how to fight with both might and magic, just like you did in the Crusades.”
I put my hand up. “Enough said, kana.” I supplied, then turned to my ex-Protector. “Sir Karrath? What do your own patrols tell you?”
“Same as theirs, Lady.” Karrath remarked. “I’m fighting feisty females nightly, and even destroying many Turned female Dwellers. I don’t understand it.”
“What is there to understand?” I asked him. “You didn’t believe that females could be evil? Thought we are all fluff and flowers?”
Karrath smiled. “I know better, Adellandra. I know you, so I never underestimate a female. No,” He supplied. “That’s not what I don’t understand. I don’t understand why females like Gloriana and MagDaliah are attacking us now.”
“MagDaliah?” I growled lowly. What could the Queen of Nightmares want with us? Revenge for my destroying her King Lord Bane?
“I agree with him.” Nick finally spoke up. “Never in all my years of being a Crusader have I ever fought so many females. At least, not those that were in charge like they are. They believe themselves Queens of the Unknown.”
“They’ve rounded up all the female Dominionites they could find.” Shannon supplied, then shook her head. “I’m not liking what I See.”
“What do you See?” Draconis asked.
She stared at me. “My Lady Guardian, cousin, Adellandra, I’m afraid to tell you this, but if you don’t control your own chaotic side, they’re going to do it for you.”
I blinked. “I’m sorry, what? What are you talking about?”
“Since you are a Draconian as well as an Ancient Mystic, your Dark Mystic’s Magic is more potent than a pure Mystic’s.” Shannon said, playing with her necklaces. “And much more destructive. Let’s just say you’ll become one of them if you don’t reign it in somehow.”
Draconis stared at her, then glared at me. “I knew I Felt something growing in you!”
“Oh, relax my love, I have it under control.” I told him, then turned and stared at Shannon. “So neither of you has anything to worry about.”
“I would hope not.” Draconis grumbled.
“I would like to say something in her defense.” Shadow, who’d been silent until now, spoke up when he cleared his throat. We all looked at him. “I’ve known her for many years, Lord Draconis, and I must say, not even the Black-as-Night Crystal itself was able to beat her. You know her more than I in this form, so you shouldn’t be so anxious.”
I sighed. “Brother, you’re not helping any.”
“Silence, both of you.” Draconis remarked. “I’ll have no more in my court, is that understood? I know my mate much better than you ever will, Shane. I know what she can and cannot do, so I know she can handle herself with Dark Magic.”
“I’m in no fear of Turning Stalker, or Dark Mystic.” I told them all. “Now then, getting back on the subject, all of you will keep watch and fight as you have been doing. Should they wish to harm us,” I grinned, my eyes turning dark and mischievous. “Send them here. We’ll take care of them ourselves.”
The Crusaders in front of me were wide-eyed in fear, Draconis narrowed his eyes and watched me, and I even heard Kelly gasp softly.
There was a certain energy within me that wanted release. I believe whatever threat these female Dominionites were would spawn a whole-new life within me, my own kind of controlled-chaos.
As they stared, I could only smile. “You are excused.”
(to be continued…)
Lord Brakkon’s Quandary
My Dratyrna, Lord Brakkon, came to us for advice one night.
“I have an interesting quandary.” He told us.
“What is it, Dratyr?” Draconis asked, looking at me.
“I am here in Mal’estar, and have been for a long time.” Brakkon started. “Mystica joins me, as well as your mutyr Locarra.”
“Aye.” I said. “So?”
“Our Princess is taking care of the Epsilon, Adellandra.” Brakkon supplied. “You know how she hates to be tied down.”
“Aye, that I do.” I sighed. “Are you wondering who would be King or Queen of it in your stead?”
Brakkon nodded. “Aye. Starfire is still a young one, and not far into his training.”
“What if we take over?”
Brakkon shook his head. “Sorry, Kano. You have enough on your hands, and the Epsilon is not like the Nations or the Realm of Dreams. I’m sorry to say neither of you would be able to handle it.”
“Where is Joel?” I asked, thinking of a solution. “Is he still in the Province, or did he return to the Realm of the Ancients?”
“Joel, ah.” Brakkon smiled. Draconis wondered what we were talking about.
“Joel is not of your blood, Dratyr.” Draconis responded. “He cannot rule in your stead.”
I sighed. “Things are different in the Mystic Realms than here. That is why you agreed to be my consort as the Lord Guardian; just as I agreed to be your consort here. They are each run differently.”
“She is correct, Kano.” Brakkon said. “Take your Lady for example. She was not born a Mystic, yet she was blooded by them, hence making her the next in line for Lady Guardian. By their rules of succession, it is great-grandchildren who take the Throne. Now, Joel may be my adopted-kano through Mystica, but he is still considered my true-kano.”
“Who do you think named Starfire?” I asked my mate, smiling.
“Think about all he has done for you.” Brakkon started. “He is the Head Companion-Chronicler, just behind the two of you. He has saved the Elder Companions back in the Wars for Power, taking them Underground to be safe. He has even taken care of his newly-born twin-kit brattonas when Mystica and I were sent to the Epsilon by the Gods. He is a very knowledgeable Companion, with both bloods of Ancient Mystic and Djinn.”
“Djinn?” Draconis’ eyes lit up. “How is he part-Djinn?”
“Through O’Dell.” I said. “The four brothers were Djinn High-Council members before Orthos screwed up and forced the other Council members to Exile them to the Outer Realm.”
“He is O’Dell’s son?” Draconis asked. “Why is he in a Companion form then?”
“Because his mother Mystica was in a Persian form when she bore him.” Brakkon remarked. “Just as I was in Balinese form for so long.”
“I know that, Dratyrna.” I told him. “Back to Joel, I agree with you. He should take the Throne until Starfire reaches the age to mate and Claim it with her.”
“In the meantime,” Draconis began. “You could teach my bratton the ways of the Epsilon. I do not know Joel very well.”
“Than get to know him.” Dratyrna remarked with a grin. “Adellandra, Draconis, I will speak with you both later.”
I smiled at my mate once Dratyrna left. “Drac.” I began, kissing him. “You called Braken Joel your brother. That’s sweet of you.”
He held me and kissed my nose. “I believe once I get to know him better, I will be proud to call him brother.”
I looked into his dark eyes. “There’s nothing here that cannot handle itself in our absence. Shall we find him, and give him the news?”
Draconis shook his head and smiled. “You don’t know when to let up, do you?”
I grinned. “No time like the present, I always say.”
“You never say that.” Draconis laughed, kissing me again.
I couldn’t help thinking about my cousin. Would Braken Joel Hawk take the news of his new-found Kingship well? Will he and Nikita rule the Epsilon with royal airs? Or will he turn it down, wanting the simplicity of the Companion life?
We were going to find out.
(to be continued…)
Legacy of the Dragon-Mistress (prologue):
“M’Lady, there is a dragon guard here to see you.” Dranus panted. Draconis and I looked at each other. “He is with a raven-haired woman. Both are demanding they speak with you.”
“Did you catch their names?”
“Aye, they told me to tell you Kra’tath and his Lady Sabrina.”
Kra’tath? I knew Sabrina, so that could only mean one thing.
“Hells.” I cursed, padding to Dranus. Draconis was just behind me, following quickly. “Show me.”
“In the Main Hall, M’Lady.”
I raced to the Main Hall to greet the two beings I have known for as long as I can remember. My old nemesis and Mystic cousin Sabrina and her mate, Cyrix. His Dragon-Clan name was Kra’tath Starchaser and he was one of the last Fire Dragon-clan Guardians. Sabrina used to be my opposing equal, taunting me with her magic and always finding wild ways to hurt me more. She’s the one who strengthened me, and when she finally had enough of being her father’s pawn, she turned good. Kra’tath, a fire-demon Warrior named Cyrix, followed and showed her how to love again.
“What is the meaning of his intrusion, Kra’tath?” I asked them.
“M’Lady, Sabrina and I wish to have a word with you.” Kra’tath bowed to me.
“It must be important if you shifted to dragon form.” I supplied. “Rise, Cyrix. You don’t need to bow to me, remember?”
“You are the Empress, m’love.” Draconis spoke up.
“Aye, that is true.” I told him. “I’ll ask again. What brings you both here?”
“You both might want to sit down for this.” Sabrina remarked. “For it has to do with MagDaliah’s son Dominick.”
That got my attention.
“What has he done?” Draconis growled.
Kra’tath looked to Sabrina uneasily.
“He has attacked my mate.” Kra’tath supplied.
Draconis growled behind me. “Where is he now?” He demanded with a feral look in his eyes.
I kept my low growl to myself.
“In hiding within the Unknown, Lord Emperor.” Kra’tath remarked. He held a shaking Sabrina. She was crying in his embrace.
“Send a party of sentries.” I commanded, stepping down and attempting to hold my once-evil cousin. “Are you still in Stargazer Castle and the Canine Valley?”
After a moment, Kra’tath nodded. “Aye, Lady.”
“Have you told Wolf or Kat?” I asked. He shook his head. “Why not?”
“I thought it best to come to you personally first.” Kra’tath supplied. “As this is both a Realm matter and a familial matter.”
I rubbed Sabrina’s back. “Are you forgetting Kat and Sabrina are cousins? They grew up together.”
“Nay, I am not forgetting.” Kra’tath said. He looked to a silently-seething but patient Draconis at the Thrones. I looked to see my mate’s tail twitching and his eyes burning red. “Did I do something wrong, M’Lord Emperor?”
Draconis shook his head. “Nay, you did the right thing by telling us first. Do you agree, Adellandra?”
I looked to him. He still didn’t know protocol when it came to the Mystic Realms. “Aye and nato Draconis. According to procedures and chain of command in the Mystic Realms, they should have reported to Katherine and Wolf first. In that, you are wrong. If it happened here, you would have been correct.”
“But it did happen in the Nations, M’Lady Empress and Guardian.” Kra’tath spoke up.
I turned on him. “You didn’t mention that, Kra’tath Starchaser.”
I stared, waiting. “Explain exactly what happened, where, and when.”
It was Sabrina that spoke up. “I was in the Unknown, led there by visions.”
“You were not with her, Kra’tath?”
He looked down, shaking his head. “Nay, M’Lady.”
“I will speak with you later on that, fire drake.” I growled lowly. He gulped and I turned back to my cousin. “Go ahead, Sabrina.”
She nodded, and continued. “It was near where Father had rebuilt Dark Tower. In the Unknown’s Perilous Forest, I could sense something there. Something was wrong, and I was scared.” She paused, and I saw she was now lost in a memory-trance, trying to remember what happened without showing emotion. I still held her, comforting her. “I called out into the forest, and received only echoes and shadows in return. Dominick came out then. He startled me from behind and attacked.”
“When did this happen?” I asked her gently, using a little magic of my own to calm her troubled thoughts and get her out of the trance. “What else did he do?”
She didn’t answer right away.
“Sabrina, cousin, please tell me.” I said softly. “I can’t do anything about it unless you tell me what I need to know.”
She stared at me, still frightened at what she had in her mind. “Can you still Read people’s memories? As you did in the Crusades with Crusader Nick?”
At first, I didn’t understand. “Read memories?” I thought about it. I now remembered way back in the Second Crusades, with the Crusaders fighting in the Outer Realm against Sabrina and those she’d put under a dark spell to do her bidding. The image of Hill View Cemetery came to mind, and what I did with Nick McNathaniels. I asked. “You want me to Read your memories so I can experience it first-hand? Why?”
“So you can See and Feel for yourself.” Sabrina replied. “It is hard for me to explain.”
“You do understand when I do such a thing, it makes me ill?” I asked her. “Why don’t you just tell me? Kra’tath, Draconis and I are here for you.”
My mate grunted, but nodded, agreeing.
An Emotional Visit to the Wolf Packs
I took a chance one day to take Draconis with me on my visit to the Mountain Wolf Forest Packs, where I was Alpha SheWolf. I told him to shift to Companion Wolf form, and fortunately, he agreed.
“Why am I shifting again?” Draconis asked.
“My Granpere hates dragons.” I told him. “That’s why I’m shifting as well. Oh, and we each have nicknames amongst the Packs, just to let you know.”
“I see.” He said.
We raced in full wolf forms through the Mountain Region of the Dream Realm. We zig-zagged through the forest, just feeling the wind in our fur, the earth beneath our pads and the scents upon the winds. We raced up to Wolf’s Peak and looked down at the Forest beneath us.
I opened my canine senses and searched the area for wolfkin.