.


Kyrianna watched as the others left. She didn't remember much from the time she had been pulled through the portal until she had awakened in this
room. There had been the demoness who had questioned her about Myrith and Andrinor. She had claimed to be working against Thynitic but had still
threatened to turn her over to the Lady of Chaos if Kyrianna didn't answer her questions. Despite not wanting to, she had found herself answering
those questions. Then Myrith and the others had arrived and the demoness had told her Thynitic was having an amulet made for her and she already
had everything she required to bind her to it once it was completed.

Her mind had retreated into itself at those words. She could still feel the pain Brular suffered constantly from being tortured. She did not want to
imagine herself as a plaything for the Lady of Chaos for all eternity--without even the hope of death releasing her. Brular had said when he died his
soul would again be trapped by the amulet. Now, even if she escaped Thynitic's influence she knew that when she died, her soul would not go to
Frayrith but would instead end up trapped by Thynitic. She didn't know what Thynitic needed to bind her soul to the amulet, but the image of the
goddess standing before her as she had cut her cheek and caught the blood that flowed from the wound came to her and she knew the demoness
had spoken truthfully.

As she had lain there, unable even to whimper, Tristan Duvall's face had flashed in her mind forcing the image of Thynitic away. The same fear that
he was in danger grabbed at her heart just as it had at Tyril's cabin. After that everything had faded into a swirling gray fog. She had felt someone
helping her up, but had been unable to focus on anything through the fog. Then had come a sensation of something powerful studying her.
Something that tried to block the chaos and give her a thread of order to grasp onto, then it was gone. Gone too had been the fear she had felt for
Tristan.

She had emerged from the fog and chaos to find herself being held by Myrith and Andrinor in this small room. The older woman had held a potion
vial and had urged her to drink. As the warm liquid flowed down her throat, she felt something blocking the memories of what had happened. The
sharp edges of the pain had been dulled and she found she could ignore them to focus on what had to be done--find a way to rescue Brular from
Thynitic.

The cleric of Hellavar had been a friend and had given her something she could never repay him for--she was not going to let Thynitic have him
without a fight. Myrith had said they would talk tomorrow about going after Brular, but she needed to talk to her now. Kyrianna had no doubts
Myrith would be willing to attempt the rescue, but she needed to know about the demoness' interest in her and Andrinor.

Kyrianna waited until the noise in the hallway died down, then got out of the bed. Shadow Seeker whined softly as she approached the door to the
room.

"Quiet Shadow, I'm not running off." She opened the door to see Andrinor looking at her.

"She told you to rest."

Kyrianna shook her head at the frown on the young man's face; a frown that was not reflected in his pale blue eyes.

"She told all of us to rest. What are you doing here?"

"Guarding you--per her instructions."

Kyrianna sighed.
Still trying to protect me. I thank you for it Myrith Lake, Paladin of Mykaylene, but there are some things even you cannot protect
others from.

She placed a hand on Andrinor's arm. "Do me a favor and tell Myrith I need to talk to her. Now, without the others. I will remain here and Shadow
can alert you if anything happens."

The wolf moved past them to sit in front of the door.

Andrinor nodded. "We'll be back shortly."

Kyrianna left the door cracked open as she sat on the edge of the small bed. Perhaps now, before she lost the chance she should also tell Myrith
about her past as well as the demoness and the amulet.

She looked up as Myrith entered the room. "What did you need to talk about," the older woman asked.

Kyrianna caught Andrinor's gaze from where he stood next to the door. "Please stay," she said.

"You both need to know the demoness seemed extremely interested in both of you. I don't know why, but she kept asking me questions about you.
Andrinor, she was interested in where your power came from. Myrith, she seemed more interested in where you came from and who your father
might have been."

"While we did not know she had questioned you about us, she did not hide her interest when we arrived. She made some comment that indicated she
had a son by my father. We will deal with her if we have to." Myrith paused and looked at Kyrianna. "Was there anything else?"

"The demoness told me Thynitic is having one of those vile amulets made for me." The words came out in a rush and Kyrianna sat there not saying
anything as she waited for Myrith to react.

"Then that is one more thing we will take care of when we face her. I have no intention of letting her have you again," Myrith said. "Her power was
weakened by the events of the last day. If we hurry, we may yet be able to rescue Brular and destroy both amulets." She turned toward the door
then stopped and turned back. "Drink the potion, Kyri. Allow it to help you sleep. We'll talk again in the morning." With that she turned and left the
room, followed by Andrinor.

Kyrianna glanced at the vial of pale blue liquid sitting on the table as Shadow Seeker came back into the room and jumped on the bed next to her and
pushed his head under her hand. She closed her eyes for a moment as she scratched the wolf's ears, letting her mind still enough to hear the
murmuring in his mind telling her to rest, that he was there to protect her.

"Thank you," she whispered. Kyrianna turned to blow out the candle on the small table next to the bed. The flames puffed brightly and smoke filled
her eyes. She coughed, then found herself staring at a familiar clearing. It was the place she had seen in her link with Brular. The clearing where he
had found Torliana as she prepared to perform the dance to welcome the coming of spring. The place where she had asked him to stay with her and
he had failed to see what she truly offering. An offer that if it had been accepted could have changed many things.

She picked up the vial and threw it against the wall. She had had enough of magic being worked on her. Shadow Seeker whined and stuck his nose
in her face. "Ugh, dog breath," she said as she pushed him away.

The wolf barked playfully then pounced at her, his tail waving. Kyrianna reached out and grabbed him around the neck and hugged him tightly. The
wolf relaxed and she rested her head against him and started to drift off to sleep.

Kyrianna froze as she heard a voice; no it was two voices woven together as one, whispering in the silence.
No, she thought. No.

:Peace Kyrianna, the voices said.

"Frayrith?" She whispered the name into the darkness, her breath held as she waited.

:
Yes, Daughter of Arielle. There was a pause. You have won back your soul. You witnessed what could have unleashed Chaos turned it back toward
the Balance. You have done well--see the change you have brought about.

An image formed in her mind of Thynitic's throne room. Brular lay on the ground with Torliana sitting beside him there hands clasped together.

:
Order and Chaos joined. Balance can yet be restored. Rest, Kyrianna, you have braved the darkness; tomorrow see the light.

#

When Kyrianna awakened the next morning she found herself more rested than she had felt in many months. Yes, there was a fog in her mind
blocking the pain and dulling the edges of the memories she knew she still had to face, but at least she would have the chance to do so with the sharp
pain and guilt that was buried behind the fog. This had to be an effect of some magic cast on her, but she was willing to accept it.

"Where are we?"

:
The Coliseum, Jerietlan called it, Shadow Seeker's voice said. :A temple to Mykaylene.

"Then I shouldn't need these." She laid her swords on the bed. "However, I do need something better to wear. She rummaged through her pack until
she found a clean tunic and riding skirt. It was the closest to appropriate attire she had, other than the one gown she had brought and that just didn't
feel right to wear. She started looking around for her boots, when she heard something moving outside the door. She glanced at Shadow Seeker,
who put his head back down on the pillow on the bed.

She shook her head when she opened the door to see Myrith standing there. "You can't guard me every hour of every day," she said smiling.

"I can most certainly try." Myrith didn't return the smile.

Kyrianna sighed. "I am up. I will call if there are any problems."

Myrith nodded and started to walk away, then stopped. "Did you have a vision in smoke or fire last night?"

Kyrianna took a deep breath then nodded. "Yes, I saw the glade where Brular found Torliana. Something tells me I should visit that place."

"Hmph," Myrith said. "I was given a vision of this very temple. I guess you go without me."

"Don't worry. I'll be fine. I will have both Cewyr and Shadow Seeker to protect me."

Myrith nodded once then turned and headed down the hall, barely avoiding Hendandra as she stepped out of her room.

"Come on Myrith. Do I have to watch out, even when we are in the safety of a temple?"

Kyrianna laughed as the older woman didn't break her stride. "Every minute of every day," she said.

Hendandra shook her head as Myrith entered her own room. "She needs to lighten up."

"She feels responsible for us all and we will be traveling to even greater danger this time," Kyrianna said.

"Stop reminding me. I don't want to go, but he did help us and I can't let you go alone and get skewered by some trap."

Kyrianna placed a hand on Hendandra's shoulder. "Scared?"

Hendandra stared down the hall and nodded her head. "Myrith told me she preferred that I stay behind." She turned and looked up at Kyrianna. "I
think she is afraid for me. I think that demoness Drezmona said something to her. Kyri, what could she have said that Myrith, who really doesn't like
me anyway, is concerned for me?"

Kyrianna knelt down in front of her friend and placed a hand on her cheek to still the fear she saw in her eyes. "Don't worry Hendandra; we will all
be there to face the dangers--together. She is just being--Myrith."

"Come on Kyri; let's see if we can find something to eat. A temple this large must have a dining hall."

Kyrianna smiled. "Let me get my boots on. I'm sure Shadow Seeker can locate the kitchens if not the dining hall for us."
Chaos Embraced