Tag Archive: Tifferin

Lost in a Dream from Which I Can’t Awaken

Kyaira tied her hair up into its usual pigtails and then settled her dress over the crisp white blouse she’d chosen for the day. She had about enough time to glance at the clock before she raced out the door. Martel was a bit of a stickler for time and wouldn’t let her forget it all morning if she was even one minute late.

She only slowed her pace as she entered the main building of the keep. “Morning,” she called to her partner.

“You’re almost late,” Martel said. His voice was taut with emotion but Kyaira chalked that up to his high-strung personality as she poured herself a cup of tea and settled into her usual seat at the communications table.

“But I’m not late,” she pointed out. Not really expecting an affirmative answer, she asked, “So, any change in the gate?”

“Yes,” Martel said. He stepped over to her side as she stared at him, open-mouthed. She took the printouts that he held out and shook her head in shock. “As you can plainly see, the energy level in and around the gate has been fluctuating all night and it’s only gotten worse.”

“When did it start? Everything was fine when we left last night,” Kyaira said. Her tea forgotten, she stood and walked over to the view screen that showed the gate itself – or rather the location of the gate since when dormant the gate was invisible. She was relieved to find that nothing could be seen on the monitor.

“Late last night, during Nico and Cheila’s watch. It got worse all night until now. Needless to say, Tifferin and Aeriella are probably awake.” Martel frowned and shook his head. “We’ll have to risk sending a probe through. You do that. I’ll wake the others and tell them. They might have to move in a hurry if this goes south.”

Kyaira nodded and walked over to the summoning stone. It normally functioned as a long-range communications device but it could also be used to send energy over a distance. Since a probe was nothing more than a bundle of energy, the summoning stone could be used to send one into the gate. However the very act of sending such energy could draw the demons the probe was meant to sense out.

Martel frowned and shook his head. He could sense Kyaira’s hesitance, her reluctance. “It’s our job,” he said shortly before he left the room.

Kyaira nodded and focused a small amount of light energy into the summoning stone. The device glowed briefly and then a soft beeping sound behind her told her that the probe was through the gate.

She looked up at a previously darkened screen to see an image of a black sky streaked with red. The rocky landscape was crawling with demons of every imaginable description. It was like a scene from her worst nightmares. Crocodillians, blood pumpkins, tentacle masses all vied for access to the small opening that led to their world.

Then the scene was blocked by a scaly hand as it closed around the probe. “Have we been noticed?” Nicolau’s voice called from the doorway.

“I think so,” Kyaira said, a tremor in her voice.

“I’ll set up the distress beacon,” Tifferin said softly. “You guys get going. Move quickly as far away from the gate as you can. The beacon will let everyone know that an incursion is inevitable and that we’ll need help. It’s best if we don’t try and confront them though.”

“What about you?” Nicolau asked in a voice that hardly carried, even in the still room.

“Go,” Tifferin repeated. “I’ll catch up.”

And May Tomorrow be Wonderful Too

When he woke, he was in a cavern. It was strangely well lit; not at all as dark as the caverns he was used to. His wing felt strangely stiff. He couldn’t get it to move at all but the pain in his abdomen was completely gone.

“Tifferin?” a familiar voice called hesitantly.

He opened his eyes to find Kyaira seated on a window ledge in front of him. “Hey,” he greeted in a tired voice. “Did everyone get away safely?”

“Besides you, yes,” she replied. “The elders are going to hold a convocation, I guess. They need to discuss what the next steps will be. It’s still not certain if this was an isolated incident or if the seal has failed completely now. Nico and Cheila are supposed to go back to the keep with a team of warriors to see if they can figure that out.”

“It seemed very opportunistic,” he said softly. “They didn’t seem to know what they should be doing.”

“The warriors that fought them said they seemed to be just the lower ranking demons,” Martel said from the doorway. He came in and leaned against the wall near Kyaira as he continued, “If that’s the case, then we might still be alright for a while. They just followed the probe to where it originated from and attacked there to feed on the energy.”

“Good to see that you’re finally awake,” a new voice said. “My name is Dien and I’m the healer who is assigned to your case, Master Tifferin. Shall I tell you my assessment of your injuries now or would you prefer to wait until we’re alone?”

He was, as most healers Tifferin had met were, a water dragen. His fin ears were a soft red-brown color that complemented his hair and eyes well. He wore, as most of his people did, only a simple wrap that was bound at the waist.

“You can speak freely in front of my friends,” Tifferin said. He settled back in the nest to listen.

“Your left wing is broken in three places,” Dien said seriously. “At present that’s the most complicated injury. I am, however, hopeful that it will heal completely. That will take time, of course. To keep the bones stable during the healing process, I have immobilized the wing itself, which you most likely noticed. It’s best if you don’t try to move it until it has healed more completely. If the break does not heal correctly, we may have to amputate. But I am hopeful.”

Tifferin nodded and glanced at his wing. The healer had obviously used magic to immobilize it since there was nothing to be seen covering the wing.


Chapter Twelve Excerpt

We’re All Trapped in a Maze of Relationships

Aeriella sighed and looked up at the board. They had been at the world gate keep for six months now. It was to be expected that their partners would shift some time. They couldn’t expect to work with the same person for the entire three years. She had gotten used to Chiela’s quiet ways though. She didn’t know what to expect of Tifferin.

She shifted her wings beneath her cape and looked over her shoulder. Chiela seemed to be getting to know her new partner well enough. The fire dragen had also seemed to be the type of person who found it easy to make friends however. Aeriella didn’t see herself that way. Returning her gaze to the new duty roster, she wondered if Martel would be able to handle the vibrant Kyaira.

Without meaning to she shifted her gaze over to the tired looking light dragen. She’d been on the early morning shift and was ready to get some sleep. Tifferin insisted they have breakfast first, as he always did. Even as tired as she was, she looked beautiful. The vagrant thought made her blush and turn away. They had two and a half more years to get through together, she couldn’t think that way about her co-workers.

If getting involved with Norrell had been any indication, it wasn’t a good idea to have that kind of relationship with a co-worker. By the time she’d left to become a world gate sentinel, the atmosphere in their workplace had become almost toxic. She wasn’t about to let that kind of thing happen again. It was better to just ignore the other girl.

Kyaira settled back to eat her fruit bowl. She would miss Tifferin’s older brother type of guidance. She was certain that martel wouldn’t make sure she ate breakfast after working an early shift. Then she’d wake up ravenous and have to wait until lunchtime to eat. Martel seemed to be lost in his own world half the time.

She looked up in time to see Aeriella glare at her a moment, then look away. The dark dragen didn’t seem to like her. She was as nice as she could be, but still the other girl hardly spoke to her. “I don’t think Aeriella like me all that much,” she said softly to Tifferin.

“She’s hard to read,” Tifferin said around a mouthful of pastry. He swallowed and took a sip of tea. “She doesn’t really know you all that well, though, so she can’t really dislike you. You’re too… cute for anyone to really dislike anyway.”

“Aw, thanks Tiff,” Kyaira said. He flapped his wings as he stood to lead the way back toward the kitchen. “You’ll be working with her for the next six months. You can tell me what she’s really like. When we’re in the dorm together she won’t even talk to me.”

“You can see if you can nudge Martel out of his shell, while you work with him,” Tifferin said. “I’ve spoken to him a few times late night in the dorms. He’s like an enigma, wrapped in a puzzle and dipped in angst.”

“That makes me want to strike up a conversation,” Kyaira teased. She bagan to wash their breakfast dishes, handing them to Tifferin to dry.

Chapter Five Excerpt

I cry surrounded, amidst the light and shadow you have left behind

Tifferin looked over the carry-sack he had packed one more time.  It held the most portable of his worldly goods as well as food for the journey he was about to undertake.  He had been chosen as one of the worldgate sentinels.

 For the next three years his duties would include careful measurements of the gate.  If it opened to a certain dimension, he may even be required to send a probe of magic through to see if the demons had opened it or if it was weakening on its own.  In the event of a probable attack of demons, he would be called upon to warn the rest of dragenkind.

 Tifferin sighed as he thought about how he had come to this point.  When he’d been training, his father had thought he would never amount to more than a third-rate mage.  Then suddenly, when he was placed in an actually dangerous situation, his magic had blossomed to an amazing level.  Now he was more than capable of any magic that he might be called upon to use in the field.

 He replaced an old pictograph of his magic class in the carry-sack and sighed.  So many had been killed or maimed in the war against the demons.  Denair had been a dear friend and it still pained Tifferin that he hadn’t been able to stop the demons who’d kidnapped the other apprentice.  Worse yet, the old ones in the clan had dismissed his claim that Denair had been carried off alive.  Hoped had fooled his mind they said.  The demons didn’t take hostages.  They merely killed and ate.

Tifferin growled now as he had growled then.  No one had believed what he’d seen with his own eyes.  Demons didn’t kidnap dragons, they killed them and ate them.  Any disappearances were blamed on the ravenousness of the beastly creatures.  Any chance that someone might still be alive and in the clutches of the demons was quickly dismissed.

 He shook his head.  One of the things he would do if he was ever allowed to send a probe into the demon realm would be to search for energy from dragens.  Even if they didn’t perform magic, energy left them all the time.  If Denair, or other dragens, were trapped in the demon world, their energy would have permeated that other world by now and it would show up on a probe.  Then he would have proof.

Monica Ferris

an author with many hats

A Land of Curiosity

From the files of Shynian Intelligence

Heather's Fancies

tales from the enchanted gardens and shadow hollow


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