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Archives: Search for Nat

Chapter 1: Rest in Adan

    Since leaving her home, Amara had been riding west on the main roads and she had finally came to a city where she could rest for the night. She rode around the streets of Adan, her head hanging down under the hood of her cloak. She knew it made no sense to wear the hood since it wasn’t raining or very cold, but she felt safer that way. It had been several days since she left him, and her family probably realized by now that she was missing.

    Amara rode down the streets looking for a place to sleep, her eyes drifted from one sign to another until she came upon a inn. It was called Kigan’s Inn, and it looked to be a nice place. A smile came to her face and she walked Lin over to the inn’s stable, then climbed off the horse and petted him softly. “I will check on you before I go to bed,” she said, frowning at the horse as she unloaded her bag and placed it on her back. “I am sorry for putting you here but I don’t want you to get taken away. I promise to make it up to you, if you behave yourself,” she said as she waved good by to the horse, then walked into the inn

    Amara looked around the inn as she made her way over to the counter. “Excuse me, I would like a room to stay in for the night, please,” she said to the innkeeper.

    The man looked at the young woman and smiled. She was attractive, but he noticed her round belly and instantly felt sympathetic. “The night? Hmm... Will you be having dinner tonight and breakfast in the morning?” he asked.

    Amara thought as she took the hood off her head. “Let me just pay for the room. Can I please get a cup of water or something healthy to drink?” she asked him.

    The man leaned against the counter and replied, “That will be five gold for the room and a silver for the drink.”

    Amara nodded and took out the coins then gave it to the innkeeper in exchange for her room key. “Thank you,” she said as she turned into the common room.

    “You’re welcome,” the innkeeper said with a smile. He turned back around and continued with his business.

    Amara chose a table in the back of the room near a window and set her bag down. It had a good view of the room, so she could see everything going on. She sat down in the chair closest to the window and sighed, she had so many thoughts running through her head.

* * *

    Thalia and Gregory had been staying at Kigan’s Inn for a few days since they broke away from Aiyanna’s company. Thalia had been so frustrated by Azala’s advances that she had to abandon Aiyanna. However, she doubted the sorceress would need her help as a healer as she was so close to Roid. Thalia had been looking for other means to travel, but she was also waiting for more space to be put between her and the amorous elf. Enough time had passed, so whether or not they found travelers who would need a priestess, Thalia intended to leave tomorrow.

    After running some errands out in the city, Thalia returned to the inn while Gregory had stayed at the blacksmith to see to their horses while they were shod. The priestess headed over to the front desk to speak to Kigan, the innkeeper for whom the inn was named, then asked him to have dinner prepared for her. She didn’t request anything for Gregory, as she didn’t know when he would be back.

    Amara had so many things going through her head, and she just wanted to rest and try to get everything off her mind. “I should have brought some books,” she said softly to herself. As she watched the room, woman, obviously a priestess, came into the inn and took a seat in the middle of the room. Amara looked away and drifted back into her thoughts.

    After her dinner order was made, Thalia sat down at a table in the middle of the room and waited patiently. Idly, her eyes began to scan the room when she noticed a young woman sitting in the back. Thalia wasn’t sure, but she looked pregnant; and it made Thalia wonder just what was a pregnant woman doing alone at an inn. After considering for a moment, and waiting for some sign of the woman’s husband, Thalia decided to go speak to the girl.

    Getting up from her seat, Thalia crossed the room to Amara’s table. “Pardon me, but may I sit with you?” Thalia asked the young mother-to-be.

    Amara’s red eyes drifted up to the beautiful blonde priestess as she walked over to her table. A gentle smile came to Amara’s face as she nodded her head. “Yes, you may,” she said, brushing her hair out of her face and placing it behind her ears. She then took off her cloak, folded it as neatly as she could, and placed it inside of her backpack before looking back up at the blonde.

    Thalia took a seat across from the pregnant woman and extended her hand in greeting. “My name is Thalia,” she said.

    “It is very nice to meet you Thalia,” Amara said, taking the woman’s hand and shaking it. “My name is Amara Amaria. You can call me Amara or Amaria, I don’t really mind.” It felt so good to talk normally to someone. She kept the smile on her face as she watched Thalia. “So, what is it that you need, Miss Thalia?”

    “Amara Amaria...interesting name,” Thalia said. “Actually, I was wondering if you needed something. Do you have a husband, or are you alone? I noticed you’re pregnant, and I find it a little strange that a woman in your condition would be staying at an inn.”

    ”Well, I am alone. It is just me and my horse,” Amara said as she rested her hands in her lap. “Yes, I am pregnant. The reason I am here is because I left my home to find the father of my baby.” It was a bit weird to be telling her this but she looked like someone she could trust. “You see, I am afraid of being punished for making the same mistake my mother did. She was suppose to get married, then have children, but she didn’t and thus, I was born. I made the same wrong move and I need to find this man before my family finds me,” she told priestess. “I am sorry for the long explanation, but I just needed to get this off my chest.”

    Thalia gave Amara a sweet smile. “It’s alright. It’s good to talk about your problems,” she said. “But it sounds like you could use help. The road is no place for a pregnant woman to be alone. I will gladly lend my services as a priestess, and the protection of my guardian, if you will have it.”

    Amara nodded her head as Thalia spoke and closed her eyes as she listened to her. “Well, I guess I will need some help,” she said, then started to think about it. “I accept your help Thalia. I don’t really want to be alone on my little journey.” She open her eyes to Thalia again. “I will be leaving in the morning right after I get some breakfast, but I have no clue where to head to first. I am sort of out of it right now.”

    “Does the father know you’re pregnant?” Thalia asked. Perhaps she could help Amara sort out her thoughts.

    Amara thought, then shook her head. “Well, not to my knowledge, but I think he doesn’t know.”

    If he didn’t know Amara was pregnant, Thalia thought that might be a mark in his favor. Had he left her pregnant, it would be best if Amara gave up on him now. “Do you know where he might be?” Thalia asked. “Or where he went after you last saw him?”

    “Well, his mother fell ill and he left to go be by her side,” Amara said. She felt a soft pain in her chest at the thought of Nat, but decided to ignore it. She looked down at her hands and then back up at Thalia. “But something keeps telling me that he didn’t leave just because of that.”

    “ I suppose you don’t know where his mother lives then?” Thalia asked. This didn’t seem like a case of someone running away from responsibility to her. Perhaps this could have a happy ending, if they could figure out where in Lodoss he could be.

    Amara thought, then frowned as she shook her head. “No, he did not tell me, but he did say that he was from Moss.”

    It wasn’t much to go on, but at least they had a direction. “Well, if we assume he went west, then perhaps we can get somewhere by asking people about his whereabouts. What is his name?”

    Amara nodded her head as she listened to the woman, and blushed as she thought of his name. “His name is Nataniel, but most people call him Nat for short.”

    “Nataniel or Nat...” Thalia repeated, dedicating the name to memory. “Can you tell me what he does for a living? What he looks like?”

    Amara closed her eyes and visualized him in her mind. “He has brown hair and green eyes. He is about five inches taller than me and slim,” she told Thalia. “He is a half-elf and he is very handsome. And he’s a bard.”

    “Hmm...being a half-elf bard will make him rather easy to find, I think,” Thalia said. “Perhaps we might be able to track his journey by asking around at inns on the way to Moss to see if he’s played there. Where are you from, exactly?”

    “Yes, we can do that,” Amara said. “I am from Valis, but for some years now, I have been living in Alan. How about you, Thalia?”

    Thalia gave a little giggle. “Actually, I was trying to figure out which roads he may have taken,” she replied. “But I’m originally from a village called Hishi. It’s near Raiden. I’ve been living in Tarba since I was fifteen, while I trained to be a priestess.”

    “Ohh... That is pretty neat Thalia,” Amara said to her. “I am so glad that I reached here when I did,” she said as a warm smile came to her face.

    “I am too,” Thalia replied with a smile. Who knows what might have happened to this poor girl if she was left alone?

* * *

    The next man to enter the inn looked quite foreign. Covered in taut tan leathers from head to foot, he looked like a fool of insatiably odd fashion sense. To a man of Moss, he was quite respectable. But how many people were from Moss in Adan?

    “Water, please,” the man said as he pulled off his face mask to reveal a devastatingly handsome face, albeit a bit dusty. He tussled his hair and more dust came off of him. Yanking off his gloves and unbuttoning the thick leather skin across his chest, he slumped down on a stool at the bar.

    “What kinda get-up is that?” asked the barkeep, looking him over.

    “Flying leathers,” he replied as he took up the mug.

    “Come again?”

    “It is to keep me from getting too cold when I fly. It’s standard issue.”


    The flyer shook his head and drank the water as fast as he could. Thirst had taken over. His companion’s endurance was much greater than his. “Another... I don’t suppose you know where I could find some livestock?”

    “Outside a town somewheres, I’m sure. So what’re you supposed ta be anyway?”

    “I’m a dragon kni—well, I am a dragon rider. The name’s Jeren.”

    “Like them Mossian Knights? You one of them? What are they doin’ out here?”

    Jeren coughed on the water, drinking it too fast. He cleared his throat. “Sort of. I’m on my own though.”

    “Got business around here?”

    “Only if I can find some. I guess you could call me a free knight,” Jeren said, shrugging. He hadn’t ever really thought about it, but he simply did what was needed because it was needed. The title fit.

    “Fancy yourself a Parn or sumthin’?” the barkeep asked, chuckling.

    “If the leather fits,” Jeren chuckled back, scratching the back of his head.

* * *

    Amara nodded her head to Thalia and placed her hand on her stomach. She watch it for a while and started to rub it slowly. A smile came on her face as she pictured how her baby would look, then she looked up at Thalia and continued to smile. She yawned and placed her hand over her mouth. “Excuse me,” she said, removing her hand from her mouth and resting it on her lap. “So, what time shall we leave tomorrow?” she asked her. Hearing the inn’s door open, she looked back and see a man enter into the in, then she looked back at Thalia and smiled.

    Thalia overheard the conversation between the newcomer and innkeeper, finding it rather intriguing. The new fellow was handsome, but the priestess had long since forgone physical attraction. If she hadn’t, her chastity would have been wasted on Azala. What brought her eyes to Jeren was purely curiosity since he had spoken of being a dragon rider.

    The priestess turned back to Amara as she spoke. “That’s up to you,” Thalia said with a warm smile. “I’m only following you.”

* * *

    “So, you come here looking for work then?” the barkeep asked, handing a mug to another patron.

    “Something like that. I’m not a mercenary,” Jeren replied, taking a sip.

    “What kinda work do you do?”

    “Mostly finding people. I guess you could call me more of a noble bounty hunter. I’ve taken plenty of jobs from courts recently. The eye of a bird is a valuable skill towards finding someone, you know?”

    Jeren put the mug back and brushed some of his hair away from his face. The barkeep began to refill his mug with ale, but Jeren put his hand over it. “I don’t drink.”

    “Why? Cuz you’re some noble knight or sumthin?”

    “No. It is my memory. I’ve seen what happens when dragon riders get drunk. I promise you, sir; it is not a pleasant thing to see.” The youthful dragon rider reached into his pocket and produced a few coins and dropped them on the counter. “Any good tips on any escaping convicts or any damsels or such?”

* * *

    Amara thought. “I would love to give you a right time, but sometimes I over sleep,” she said. She started to giggle softly as she rubbed her stomach. Overhearing the the conversation that was going on at the counter, her attention was caught by what the man said. “Hmm.. I wonder if he can help us?” she asked Thalia.

    Thalia had the same idea Amara did as she heard the continued conversation between the dragon rider and innkeeper. He could be a great help. “Yes, I think so,” Thalia said. “Do you want to ask him?”

    Amara nodded to Thalia. “Yeah,” she said, then stood up. Pushing in her chair, she walked over to the counter. “Excuse me,” she said to the innkeeper and the dragon rider. “But may we ask you something?” Amara looked at Thalia and then the dragon rider.

    Jeren let the empty mug land on the counter gently, looking up at the female voice to his side. Without even half of a look over, he noticed that she was pregnant, so it probably wasn’t romance. A small wave of disappointment ran through his lovestruck veins. “Well, of course, ma’am. Please, have a seat.” Jeren hopped up and pulled a chair out for Amara with a smile.

    Amara nodded to the dragon rider. “Thank you,” she said, sitting down in the chair. She looked at the man and smiled. “Well, I am traveling with my companion,” she said, pointing to the beautiful blonde priestess as she continued to speak, “and I was wondering if you can help us with finding someone? I am searching for the father of my child and the only place I know he could be is in Moss. He has brown hair and green eyes, he is about this tall,” she said showing him how tall he was with her hand, “and he is a half-elf. His name is Nataniel but most people call him Nat.” Amara sighed and looked back at the man. “So, can you help us?”

    “Moss, eh...?” Jeren looked down for a moment in thought. He hadn’t been back to Moss since his escape from prison, and while his conscience was clear in terms of his actions, perhaps his guilt in terms of the law would not be. “Why not?” Jeren said, shrugging his shoulders. “I haven’t seen Moss in a while. Do you have any idea about where in Moss he might be?”

    “No, he just told me that he came from Moss,” Amara said with another sigh, but kept her smile on her face. She looked at the counter and thought aloud, “I should have asked more about him.” A lot of things were bothering her and she kept trying to answer the questions she had in her mind by herself. Her eyes looked back up at the dragon rider. “I am sorry, My name is Amara and my friend behind there,” she said and pointed to the priestess, “is Thalia.” Turning back to him, she put out her hand.

    Jeren smiled his trademark smile. When Amara put out her hand, Jeren knelt before her, cradled it between his own, and kissed it as one would expect a prince to from a fairy tale. “And I am Jeren Aldener, at your service.” Jeren rose, slowly letting the lady’s hand slip from his. “I would be glad to seek out this man for you.”

    Amara blushed as she watched the man and returned a sweet smile to him as she watched him kiss her hand. This happened to her often, considering her family’s status, but she was shocked to see someone like him doing it. “Jeren... Aldener,” she said softly, then repeated it in her mind. She slid off of the chair with the same smile on her face. “Thank you, Jeren,” she said and started to walk back to her table. “Come, so that we can talk to Thalia.”

    Amara sat back down in her chair at the table, continuing to smile as she looked at the priestess. “He agreed, Thalia. I am so happy,” she said with a little giggle at the end.

    “Lead where you will, miss, for I shall follow you to the ends of the earth and onward,” Jeren said, as if it were a line from a play. As he came to the table, the appearance of Thalia struck him. Instead of the amusing antics of overacting, he became more serious. Since she was sitting, he dropped to one knee and took her hand. “And you must be the lady I’ve been hearing about,” he said, his voice lower, quieter, smoother than before. He leaned down to kiss her hand, but his eyes stayed up on her, his sky blue eyes unable to pull away. He placed the gentlest of kisses upon her fingers before letting them slip away.

    Thalia overheard much of the conversation between Amara and Jeren, and she was quite pleased to hear that they had found more help. “Yes, I am Thalia,” she said with an amused smile to Jeren. “Thank you for agreeing to help Amara. My skills are not in tracking, after all.”

    “Quite the other way around, I would imagine,” Jeren said, his lip beginning to curl. “With the blessed beauty you possess, anyone with a hope and an eye would be hunting for days and nights to catch sight of you.”

    The color rose in Thalia’s cheek at Jeren’s compliment. Oh, please don’t be another Azala, she thought. Forcing a small smile after that ominous thought, she replied; “They may look all they want, but my heart and body are devoted to my goddess.”

    “Of that, I am certain,” Jeren said. “Only the gentle touch of a goddess could wrest from the world its majesty and give it a form such as yours, madam.” He smiled gently, his eyes never leaving hers. “No man should tempt a goddess’ fickle spirit.”

    Amara giggled as she watched the two. Wow, this will be a good journey after all, she thought. Her red eyes drifted to window as more and more questions filled her head again. Having one hand on her stomach and the other resting on the table, she watched a few people walk back and forth on the streets. I must remember to go and see Lin before I go to bed. I don’t want him acting wild to anyone that enters the stable or worse, going crazy, she thought. I wonder if he even remembers me? Or if he just made up a lie to leave? She paused, No, he wouldn’t do that, I think. I hope he wouldn’t. Amara moved her hand up to her chest as she felt a slight pain in her heart. This bad pain I feel in my heart whenever I think of him... She closed her eyes as a few tears came to them. I must stay calm. I must stay calm, she thought to herself over and over.

* * *

    Having gotten the horses shod and ready, Gregory returned to the inn. He took longer than he should have, due to Berz being difficult and wanting a brushing. Gregory was worried about making his new friend upset. Granted she was so nice to him anyway that he was sure she wouldn’t be mad, it was still a concern for him. After the horses were secured in the stable, he approached the inn, resolving to not look flustered.

    Gregory opened the door and started to walk in, explaining as he went, “Berz and Nyn are all set outside for whenev…” He stopped in mid sentence when he noticed Thalia’s red face and uncomfortable countenance at the hand of another man. Puffing up like a big brown bear protecting its cubs he asked, “Is something wrong Lady Thalia? I’m sorry for taking so long to get the horses ready. I hope nothing bad happened in my absence...”

    As Gregory entered, Thalia’s eyes lit up. Her savior had arrived! “Excuse me,” she said to Jeren, then slipped out of her chair and went to the younger man.

    “Welcome back, Gregory,” she said, then linked her arm with his and led him over to the table she was just sitting at. “Amara, Jeren, this is Gregory,” she introduced her new companions to her current one, “Gregory, this is Amara. She is looking for the father of her child. And this is Jeren, he agreed to help her as well.”

    Amara looked at the new person and smiled. As she heard his name, she repeated it twice in her head. As she watched him, she notice that he was blushing when Thalia touched him. “It is nice to meet you,” she said after Thalia’s introduction.

    Gregory’s tan turned darker from blushing as Thalia touched his arm and led him over by the table. Having lost all of his former composure he stammered out, “Pleased to uh... meet you both. My-my name is Gregory. Umm... How do you lose the father of your child?” Realizing what he just said he tried to continue, “Oh no, I mean umm... will we be helping her as well Lady Thalia?”

    Thalia stiffened slightly at Gregory’s faux pas. Hopefully Amara wasn’t offended. “Yes, we will,” she replied.

    Listening to what Gregory had to say, Amara was surprised by the question, but all she did was smile in returned. “Well,” she said, then paused, trying to find the best thing to say, “Since you’re helping me, I guess you should know,” she said, then paused again. As she looked down at her stomach a little frown came to her face. She then looked back up at them with the sweetest smile she could give them. “He left because his mother fell ill and she needed him by his side” she said in a low voice.

    “I am much more happier now to get more help!” Amara said with a blush, clasping her hands together in front of her breasts. She was trying to brighten up the moment and show them that she was just fine. “We will head out tomorrow, but I still don’t have a clue as to what time. I tend to over sleep sometimes,” she said, then started to think. “I wonder... if he says no after I ask him to marry me, what will I do?” she said to them softly, not noticing that she was speaking out loud. “My family will surely be angry at me and I wish to not be in trouble,” she said. “Maybe I can send them a note, telling them that I am pregnant so the blow won’t be that hard when I return... If I return.” Amara started to think. “Maybe I should journey with my child? But that wouldn’t be good. I would return but, I fear what will happen. Hmm...” She looked at the group as her cheeks turn red. Bringing her hands up to her mouth she thought, Oops! Did they hear me?

    The priestess listened to Amara speaking her thoughts aloud, then returned to her seat at the table. “Don’t worry about oversleeping,” Thalia said with another of her warm smiles. “You’re with child, and entitled to extra rest.” Reaching out and putting her hand on Amara’s shoulder, she continued, “Perhaps you should send them a letter. I’m sure that despite their disappointment, they will accept and love your child as one of their own.”

    Amara nodded to Thalia. “Alright then,” she said in a soft voice as she listened to her. Amara’s face brighten up as she watched the priestess; her lovely joyful smile had returned. “Yeah, you’re right Thalia. Tomorrow morning, I shall send out a note before we leave. As for now, I guess we can get to know each other before sleepiness starts to hit me.”

    “Of course,” Thalia said. The priestess thought for a moment, then turned to their newly hired ‘seeker’. “I would like to know about Jeren. I heard that you are a dragon rider. I thought only Mossian knights rode dragons. Are you a knight of Moss?”

    Jeren cleared his throat and glanced away before looking back up. “It is somewhat of a half-truth, Miss Thalia, that only knights ride dragons.” He was already lying, but fallacy was something he had a talent for. After all, he was known quite well among the courts for his lies—of course, no one knew they were lies. Jeren pulled his hands behind him like a nobleman. In reality, his hand tapped the medallion that once proved his membership to the Knights of the Talon, tucked underneath his leathers. “However, there are others in Moss that retain that right to fly. I myself trained and cared for them.”

    Thalia easily believed Jeren’s lie, knowing little of Moss herself. Her eyes were bright with curiosity, eager to know more. “Where is your wyvern? I don’t suppose there is a place to keep one inside this city...” the priestess asked.

    “Not quite.” Jeren walked over to the window and looked outside. “She is about just outside the city, waiting for my call.”

    “Tell me about her,” Thalia persisted, intrigued by the wyvern. She was looking forward to the next day when they left the city and she could see it, but she had no intention of going out to see it tonight.

    Amara listened to their conversation, it was very interesting and she let Thalia ask him questions, all she did was nod back before he started to speak. Like the priestess, she didn’t know much about Moss and sort of believed every word he said. He sounded truthful enough for her to believe him.

    Jeren’s voice fell quiet, not looking away from the mirror. It was soft, as if he was speaking of a true love. “She is a free spirit,” he said, his eyes off somewhere beyond the city. “No one will ever tame her.” The dragon rider looked back after a moment. “I can’t think of any other words to put to her, though I know they did her little justice.”

    Gregory had never dealt with dragons before other than occasional stories he was told. Having finally regained his composure, Gregory decided to ask some questions and put voice to some things he had been thinking. “Not to insult you sir, but the way you talk about your wyvern is like that of a prized horse or a lover from some of the plays I’ve seen in the past. As a concern, what does your mount eat? Will it be a problem traveling with horses, do I need to be concerned about Berz disappearing?”

    “Oh yes, that is a good question,” Thalia added to Gregory’s comment. “All three of us have horses.” She recalled that Amara said she was traveling with hers.

    “She prefers lamb or cattle to horses,” Jeren replied. “Your horses are safe with her. Wyverns can go days without food or water, so they are ideal for long distance travel.”

    “That’s good to know,” Gregory said. Turning to Thalia, he asked; “Since we aren’t leaving until tomorrow, I would like to go work Nyn and Berz in the outdoor arena, if thats alright with you lady Thalia? It’s been several days now and they seem a little restless, like they could use a good workout.”

    Amara listened to them talk, but she had no clue what to say. Her head went back and forth with a clueless expression and a sweet smile as she watched them speak.

    Thalia nodded to Gregory. “That’s fine, Gregory,” she said softly.

    Amara blushed. “May I please come along, Gregory? I would love to see the horses work out and my own, if that is alright?” she asked in her normal soft pitched voice. “My horse is very wild, I must add. I understand if you don’t want to carry him along.”

    “I’m always happy to work with horses, so working with your little one shouldn’t be a problem, it just means it will take more time that’s all. Feel free to come and watch if you would like Amara,” Gregory said with a genuine smile. He was really starting to like his new friends, since all he had really had for friends in the past were the animals on the farm and some local kids. “Lady Thalia, would you care to join us as well? You could learn some tricks you can do with Nyn if you would like?” he said, continuing to smile and thinking this would be a good way to show he wasn’t a total fool after his earlier mistakes talking.

    Thalia looked back at Jeren; she didn’t want to leave him out. After all, his mount wasn’t here. Slowly dragging her eyes back to Gregory, she replied, “Sure. I suppose we might as well all go out to the yard then.”

    “The art of horse riding,” Jeren said with a dramatic sigh. “Perhaps it is something I missed out on.”

    Amara nodded at Gregory. “Alright then,” she told him. “It would be really good if we all go, good choice Thalia.”

    The priestess stood from her seat and smoothed her robes. “I suppose the connection between a horse and rider must be akin to what you feel for your wyvern,” Thalia said to Jeren. “Well, I can’t say that Nyn and I are especially close, but she and I haven’t known each other very long.” The priestess gave a slight chuckle. “Shall we?” she asked her companions as she headed for the back door of the inn.

    Amara smiled and stood up. “I will be with you guys as soon as I put away my stuff,” she said, pushing the chair back in. She then picked up her bag and walked upstairs.

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